Self care, skin care,
& nurturing Mother Nature.

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Living life with good intention, loving with soul, and consuming with a conscience

November 30, 2018

Cost Per Wear: Ethical & Sustainable Fashion & the Blogging Clash

Back in April 2018, we saw a surge in people asking #whomademyclothes as it was Fashion Revolution Week. This week each year sees many of the most popular brands being challenged to be more transparent about the process their items go through from who collects the natural fibres, to how the items are made in factories, to the shipment of the finished articles across the globe. This, alongside many other reasons, is why I opted out of buying into the fast fashion industry as much and why I'm still trying to create a fully slow/sustainable/ethical wardrobe for myself now. Whilst I find it really important to ask brands about their production etc., Fashion Revolution Week naturally sees a surge of interest in this big ethical question which isn't maintained throughout the year. This isn't the fault of the movement of course, but it's interesting to see how little interest is shown when the topic isn't in the spotlight.

Which brings me on to the real topic of today's post. You've probably all guessed that it might be a bit of a rambling rant of a one already, but I just had some things I had to get off my chest (no surprises here for regular readers). Being more sustainable and buying more into slow fashion has gained a lot of popularity, especially during this past year, and it's such a positive thing. There's been a huge growth and popularity in sustainable bloggers and YouTubers, people advocating a more minimalist, less consumer-led life, and lots of people showing you how DIY things from beauty products to cleaning to clothing alterations and everything in-between. More awareness is being raised which is obviously a great step within such a consumerist society, but is it just a phase?

Over this past year I've made a switch in the content I consumer for entertainment. I mainly watch recipe, zero waste, slow fashion/thrift YouTube accounts now and I find that it has completely altered my purchasing and "need" for things for the better. Some of the "big name" YouTubers I still watch now and again have seemingly started to dip their toe into the ethical/sustainable fashion world and again, whilst that's a fantastic thing to see, it's all falling a little short for me. I've genuinely watched a YT video of a quite well-known influencer review an item of clothing from a more sustainable brand (thumbs up) but literally - as in physically - wave away the explanation of sustainability and ethical fashion with a flick of their wrist and that was that. I fully understand that the majority of this particular person's audience might not give a hoot about the background to an item and just want to see on trend pieces, but plopping the word "sustainable" into a video just doesn't cut it for me. It's not benefiting anyone if you discuss it in such a sweeping way. It needs an explanation.

Although ethical and sustainable clothing is becoming more of a popular choice, the true benefits of purchasing such items are glossed over with "it's good for the planet" and that's that. It was not that long ago that everyone and their gran were talking about that Stacey Dooley Fashion Industry Documentary and rightly so, so many influencers, bloggers etc. shared their horror over the truth of fast fashion via their social medias. Fast forward a week later, they're throwing out "AD" after "AD" for those exact fast giants they were horrified about just a matter of days ago. Of course, it's an influencers job and income at stake if they suddenly stopped doing this, but I'd almost prefer sustainability to not be mentioned at all by such big names if it's going to be just a trend to get them some more views, readers, or subscribers.

I feel like a cynical wee bitch writing that because I know, every little helps - even in this situation - but I can't help but feel the lack of detail is a massive error. Often individuals with the best of intentions can decide to start shopping more sustainable and ethical clothing only to find out how expensive it is. This can be a huge turning off point for many and can cause many to turn away from the idea. And you know? I totally get it. Ethical brands are *definitely* more expensive but if there was more explanation behind why this is from influencers who undoubtedly influence their audience, then it would certainly help.

Ethical and sustainable fashion is more pricey because you're paying for every step of that garments journey. You're paying for natural and sustainable materials which can be grown in bulk, which don't damage the planet in anyway, which are paid for fairly by brands paying those who farm the fibres. You're paying for the dyes and treatments used to not damage the planet so much; to cost a little extra because the individuals completing this step are paid fairly and treated with the respect they deserve. You're paying for the individuals who sew those materials and fabrics together to create your items to be paid a good living wage, for them to have safe and clean working conditions, and to not be mistreated like sweat shop workers are. You're paying for more environmentally-friendly ways to ship garments around the globe amongst so much more. *These* vital points are what are often missed out or forgotten about when advocating sustainable slow fashion.

Many sustainable brands aim to have less of an impact on the planet but of course you as a customer have a part to play in that too. As I mentioned earlier, I am the first person to agree that sustainable clothing can be damn expensive but the reasoning behind this and what it means for you as the consumer has method in its seeming madness. Many bloggers and YouTubers in the fashion industry will talk about "cost per wear" to justify purchasing an often expensive garment or item. This exact philosophy should be applied to sustainable clothing because not only are you buying into brands and an industry that cares wholeheartedly along the journey of their productions, but also once they've been passed over to you after purchase. Sustainability is not only about being kind to the planet and others but also about proving that you don't need as much as you think you do. That's not me saying that you have to be minimalist if you're trying to be sustainable (lord knows I'd call myself anything but), but if you've bought a well made white t-shirt that is made from sustainable fabric that is high quality, that t-shirt should last you for years and not need to be replaced or repurchased for some time. Compare that to £3 basic tee from the likes of Primark and I guarantee after a few washes it loses it's shape, crisp white shade, and it will have almost certainly have started to bobble.

I know you're all sat there thinking "Jesus Christ Amyleigh get off your high horse" and you know what? I wouldn't blame you because I'm as lost as you are at this point as to where this post was going. But, I want to leave you with some food for thought:

If you buy a dress for say £30 (usually what I used to consider the top-end of my budget when I used to buy *way* too many clothing items from fast fashion high-street retailers), divide that by two. You've now got £15. That £15 is probably the wholesale price (it's assumed that some retailers will mark up items up to two times, some mark up for as little as 20%, but many mark it up more than that). Now half that wholesale price of £15 - we're left with £7.50. That £7.50 is the price of the fabric, the labour, the machinery, the factory rent, the additional items such as buttons or zippers, the packaging for the item, the cutting and sewing of the fabric - all for £7.50? £7.50 is just over the top-end of the National Minimum Wage per hour in the UK. Therefore that £30 dress may have been a "bargain" for you, but at the drastic cost of someone else. It's overlooking the livelihood, rights, and just general human kindness that each and every person deserves. I know that a £3 tee in Primark might be all you can afford and I've been there. I understand. All I ask is that you think twice when you see a sale or you only buy what is needed because your wardrobe bursting with stuff has blood sweat and tears sewn into each seam.

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November 26, 2018

My 10-Step Cruelty Free Korean Skincare Routine

It's been a wee while since I did some real beauty chat on NB, so I'm coming at you all with my evening skincare routine that just so happens to be heavily influenced by Korean skincare products and practices. Over the last couple of years, the "X Step Korean Skincare" routines have swept through the online beauty community so surprise surprise, ya girl got sucked right into them. If there's one thing I feel like Korean's are known for, it's for caring for their skin and being observant of their skin needs. Having shared my morning skincare routine a few months ago now, I thought it was about time I shared what I do in my evening routine because if there's one thing that really helps out my oily, acne-prone skin, it's having this quite heavy routine but oh my my, I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy it.

Before I get into each step and each product I like for them, I have to mention here that these step routines aren't for everyone. Some people find them great for their skin whilst others find it just makes them break out more so take everything I say with a pinch of salt. What works for one person and skin type won't necessarily work for another. It's also worth noting here that some people do a 4-step routine, some do 10 - and some might do something in between. I typically do around 9 steps most days but not every evening as it really would be overkill. So here, let me show you:

Monday: 6 steps (no exfoliation, no face mask, and no sleep mask)
Tuesday: 9 steps (traditional face mask, chemical exfoliation, and sleep mask added)
Wednesday: 7 steps (traditional face mask added)
Thursday: 8 steps (solid exfoliation and sleep mask added)
Friday: 7 steps (traditional face mask added)
Saturday: 7 steps (traditional face mask added)
Sunday: 10 steps (solid exfoliation, sheet mask, and sleep mask added)

Although the use of traditional wash off-style face masks aren't usually included in a Step Korean skincare method, I really enjoy doing a face mask most evenings and find that it helps my skin out a great deal so I slot them in between steps 2 and 3. I typically listen to my skin though and if it's looking and feeling fine (and more importantly, I'm feeling damn tired) I will skip the traditional mask as it's not a necessary step anyway!

Step One: Oil-based Cleanse
Heimish All Clean Balm | 120ml | £13.0o -This cleansing balm is my absolute favourite skincare product. It's a really luxurious feeling balm but it's incredibly gentle and fuss-free too. I take a gumball-sized amount on the spatula provided and rub gently all over the face. I find it breaks down products like my mascara and eyebrow gel really well and just makes sure I've definitely removed all traces of makeup. It's not a heavy product at all but, it will still leave the skin feeling soft and nourished.

The idea of the the oil cleansing step is to remove the grime of the day. If you don't want to buy an oil-based cleanser, you can absolutely make your own. Some people believe natural oils to block the pores but, I've never had any issues with any natural oils I've used in the past. Natural cold-pressed coconut oil is a great option as it melts in a similar way to this balm. If you're more oily-skinned or acne-prone, I'd recommend mixing 1 part olive oil with 1 part castor oil. It will help neutralise your oil production levels whilst also leaving the skin soft and melt away makeup - nice and easy zero waste option!

Step Two: Foam/Water-based Cleanse
Superdrug Naturally Radiant Complete Cleanser | 150ml | £5.99 - I don't use a specifically Korean brand cleanser for this step, purely because this Foam Cleanser from Superdrug has become a ride or die product for me over the last couple of years. Again, it's gentle on the skin but it leaves my skin feeling thoroughly cleansed and my skin is never as radiant or clear if I don't use this product in my routine.

Using a foam cleanser after oil cleansing at night helps lift any excess oil residue and just leaves your face feeling thoroughly clean and ready to soak up any products you want to lay on it overnight. I only use my foam cleanser in the mornings and miss out the oil cleanser as I just feel I need a refresh and a foam cleanser has a great way of waking up the skin.

Step Three: Exfoliate
Skin Food Black Sugar Scrub or Pixi Glow Tonic | 250ml | £18.0o - Exfoliating is a vital step in skincare for keeping skin looking healthy and getting rid of texture and lord knows I need help in that department! This step should only be done a couple of times a week as over-exfoliating can actually damage the skin so don't over-do it! My current go-to's are the Black Sugar Scrub from Skin Food (sadly Skin Food are ending!) or the Superdrug Naturally Radiant Brightening Micro Polish. Both of these products are your classic grainy skin polish that buff away dead skin cells and I thoroughly enjoy using both of them - particularly on my chin and forehead. I also use the highly coveted Pixi Glow Tonic once a week too. I know some folk like to use this everyday as a toner but it's just too much for my skin to handle. Instead, I use it once a week as my exfoliation step to get rid of any dry/flaky skin and dead skin cells by popping some on a cotton round and spreading it across my face.

Exfoliation can be either a gritty scrub formula or a chemical one so just use whatever you are most comfortable with. I tend to use a scrub at the weekend as kind of a deep reset for my skin and half way through the week as a pick-me up whereas my chemical exfoliant is used at the start of my working week to try and keep some glow and healthiness locked into my skin.

Step Four: Toner
Cosrx AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner | 150ml | £16.0o - Toner isn't usually a product I stay particularly loyal to, so I tend to try a new one each time my current bottle runs out. Recently, I've been using the Cosrx AHA/BHA Toner and I'm quite enjoying it. It's a lovely gentle toner that secretly packs a punch. I find it balances out my skin really well and isn't harsh or stripping on my skin which is always something I'm weary about being an oily-skinned girl (as I don't want it to send my oil-production into overdrive!). I also like this one for my morning routine too as it's very cooling and calming on the skin and the convenient spray bottle means I don't overuse or waste product.

Toner is a great step that can often be overlooked. When I was younger I never used to tone and I really notice a difference in my skin's condition nowadays if I miss out this step. I find toner helps balance my skin a lot and it can help prevent me from getting too oily everyday which is always a welcomed aid! Depending on your skin needs whether you're acne-prone, oily, dry etc. toner can be helpful to manage and improve all and any issues.

Step Five: Essence
Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence | 60ml | £24.0o - Ah, the step that confuses everyone: essence. My understanding (which please note could be entirely wrong,) is that essences are almost like serums but seem to be runnier/thinner liquids and possibly more intensive for the skin. I love this Snail and Bee Venom essence as it feels feathery light on the skin and sinks in rapidly. It's great for hydration and plumping up the skin and it really helps me fill in my laugh and frown lines.

If you don't want to use an essence or you can't get your hands on one you like, you can always just try an additional serum of your choosing. I'd definitely recommend trying essences however as I honestly feel they are little miracle products and there's a wide variety of them out there.

Step Six: Serum
Boots Botanics All Bright Radiance Concentrate Serum | 25ml | £8.99 - Back to one of my western products of choice. The Botanics range is one that I love and I always use this serum every evening and morning without fail. It's a lightweight serum that really hydrates my skin and leaves me looking glowing. The glow I get from this product is healthy and radiant without being greasy or too sparkly/unnatural. It doesn't irritate my skin at all and my skin seems to love it.

Serums are another step that I used to overlook when I was younger but can really see the benefit in them now. This step is a great chance to add in any intensive treatment for whatever your skin needs. Although I still suffer from acne and could sometimes do with using a more acne-fighting product, I never miss this product or step out as getting healthy glowing skin is my top priority and other than exfoliating, I feel that serums manage to reach this goal the best.

Step Seven: Sheet Mask
Skin Food Masks or Love Beauty and Planet Masks | 1-use Mask | £4.99 - Okay, confession time. I typically do a face mask everyday. I love them and can't get enough of them. However, when it comes to sheet masks, I find them to be quite intensive and so I typically will only do one once a week. I *love* the Skin Food masks but unfortunately, these guys are shutting down shop so I've been trialling alternatives and I've fallen hard for the Love Beauty range. The Love Beauty and Planet masks smell delicious and are so good for plumping up the skin and leaving your face feeling soft and supple.

It's recommended that you use sheet masks only once or twice a week - some individuals seem to use them everyday but I find that's just too much for my skin to handle. Always pay attention to your sheet mask's instructions, particularly the time, as if you leave it on longer than the recommended time stated you could actually make your skin worse as it will start to dehydrate your skin and rehydrate the mask.

Step Eight: Eye Cream
Mizon Collagen Power Firming Eye Cream | 25ml | £20.33 - I don't have any loyalties to any specific eye cream, but one thing I always look out for in any eye cream I choose is that it has to hydrate my undereyes and lids but also not irritate my eyes at all. Despite my super sensitive eyes, the Mizon Collagen eye cream does a grand job of keeping my skin soft and hydrated without causing my eyes any distress. I picked up a sample/travel size 10ml tube of this stuff and I definitely think I'll be picking up the full size tub once I've finished this.

Eye cream is incredibly important in a skincare routine no matter how long or how little time you spend completing your routine. Eye creams are usually specially formulated for the delicate eye area and will avoid particular ingredients that might be in other skincare products. It's always best to gently apply eye cream with your ring finger and pat it in. This keeps the eye area happy!

Step Nine: Moisturiser
Superdrug Naturally Radiant Renewing Night Cream | 75ml | £5.99 - Surprise surprise, another product from the Superdrug Naturally Radiant line! This night cream (which is the combo/to oily skin version) has been a firm favourite for some time. It's thick and nourishing for bedtime but also somehow doesn't feel heavy and has an almost jelly type of texture. I feel like it does a fab job of locking in all the products I've used in previous steps and makes my skin look healthy the following morning.

Just like eye cream, moisturiser is such a significant step in any skincare routine. It not only keeps your skin hydrated, but it can protect your skin from UV rays, sun damage, pollution, and more. Always have a good reliable moisturiser to hand and you won't go wrong.

Step Ten: Sleep Mask
Mizon Good Night White Sleeping Mask | 80g | £12.50 - Okay, I promise this is the last time masks will be mentioned in this post. For Korean skincare routines, the last step is usually sunscreen but as I only do my routine in the evenings, I switch out that product for a sleeping mask instead. My favourite one to use at the moment is this Mizon Good Night White Sleeping Mask as it's brightening and smoothing. I honestly notice such a difference in the appearance of my skin, in it's texture, and how generally healthy it looks if I don't regularly use this product. Using just a pea size amount, I smooth it gently all over my face, avoiding the eye area, once my moisturiser has finally dried down.

Sleep masks are certainly not essential, but if you ever feel like your skin needs a bit of a boost, using one of these is always a sure-fire way to make your skin happy again. They tend to be quite intensive as you leave them on overnight and you really do reap the benefits the following morning. I typically like to use a gentle but heavy-duty sleep mask so it can work lots of magic overnight but not irritate my sensitive skin. If you need a quick fix, particularly for things like dry skin, dullness, or blemishes, a sleep mask is definitely the way to go.

So you guys, you can breathe now. It might seem completely excessive to some people to have a skin routine this long and intense, but it's genuinely done my skin the world of good and I've seen some undeniable improvements in my skin's condition in the few months I've kept this routine up. If you haven't tried out the Korean step skincare routine yet, give it a go - you might be pleasantly surprised with just how well it all works!

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November 22, 2018

Sustainable, Zero Waste & Eco Friendly Christmas Gift Guide

Here it comes - the start of some Christmas content! I'm not usually one for blogging about specific times of the year all too much, but one thing I knew I wanted to talk about this Winter was sustainability at Christmas time. I've got a post coming in a couple of weeks that will delve into how to be more sustainable with things like your gift wrapping and gift making (for those on a budget or would like to make something a little more handmade and/or zero waste), but before that I thought I needed to talk gifts generally. I'm usually someone who buys gifts rather than makes them as I usually simply don't have the time to put into a variety of gifts for all the different people in my life. I also struggle with some people and wouldn't even know where to begin making them something - buying can be hard enough! So I like to think I'm quite savvy when it comes to buying gifts, making my money stretch, and getting more "unique" gifts that other people wouldn't necessarily know where to buy them themselves.

Although I've always enjoyed the gift-buying aspect of Christmas, something I'm consciously trying to do this year is buy things which are more sustainable, eco-friendly, or zero waste so each gift I hand out reflects my beliefs more. This is a lovely way to still stay true to yourself and your ethics, but without pushing it down other people's throats. There's so many great options out there and so many wonderful small and indepdent businesses which really benefit at Christmas time. One thing you truly have to remember at this time of year is that many small and indie businesses are either one individual or a small team who are working behind the scenes - it's often a hobby-turned-business and can be an individual's livelihood and only source of income. They're not multi-million corporations and they often have good ethics behind their products and services because they come directly from the individuals who set the businesses up in the first place. No corruption, no middle man, no issues. Therefore I wanted to mention so great gift options you could use this year that vary from gifting second-hand to buying something new.

I've purposefully published this post now so it hopefully gives you all a chance to order anything you like the idea of before Christmas cut-off dates. Due to Christmas deliveries, small businesses often have stricter deadlines for orders to ensure they get to you on time. So let's stop rambling and get to it!

Non-physical Gifts
Donating to a charity which is important to your gift recipient is always a thoughtful alternative gift. Not only does this mean others benefit from this gift, but it is fuss-free and has no physical waste is created. If you wanted to, you could print the evidence of your pledge/donation which could always be recycled at a later date. Sponsoring or adopting an animal is also another great alternative as this again has benefits for more than just the recipient and they usually have a certificate/gift as part of the sponsorship/adoption. Of course this doesn't make the gift exactly zero-waste, but it does create something that an individual would like to keep forever and it benefits are friends we inhabit the planet with.

Another option which has minimum physicality to it is buying a star. Over the years I have somehow accumulated two stars which people have named for me and honestly, it's such a thoughtful gift that I know this astronomy aficionado loves. There are a number of places that "sell stars" and there are then various options depending on how much you want to spend or how big of a star you want to purchase. Whoever you buy the star for will then usually get a certificate and a star chart, detailing exactly where their star lives in the night sky. A very thoughtful and heartwarming gift that doesn't create too much waste!

One last mention here I have to make is services. There's lots of services you could tap into for Christmas gifts - pay for yoga classes for someone, pay for a gym membership, pay for a creative DIY class or a chocolate tasting session - there's all sorts! One service I *have* to give a shoutout to is Holly Cassell's Witch Services. Whether it's a tarot reading, crystal programming or a beautiful candle, Holly should be your first port of call for all witchy goodness that doesn't cost the earth (in more ways than one!).

Ethical/Sustainable Clothing
An obvious option for those loved ones who love fashion is definitely an item or gift card for an ethical and/or sustainable fashion brand. This could be one of the more "big name" brands out there (check out some of my favourites here) or smaller handmade brands. Etsy is a great place to start if you want to explore sustainable/ethical small-biz and many offer gift cards so if you don't know what to buy in particular, you can play it safe. Buying ethical and sustainable fashion for friends or family members at Christmas can be a wonderful way to introduce them to slow and sustainable fashion if they're not into it already.

Some of my favourite small business brands (that I haven't already mentioned here) include:
- Ragtrade Clothing Co: beautiful linen capsule wardrobe pieces created by an equally beautiful and hardworking woman
- Rawson Chicago: The no.1 place for the best pants and vintage tops and tees
- notPERFECTLINEN: lovely linen pieces that fit like a glove

If your loved one is really into shopping second-hand or vintage pieces, there's absolutely no reason why you can't use this joy for their Christmas gifts. Not everyone is comfortable with receiving something second-hand as a gift, but if you know someone who is all for it - do it. Etsy can also be a a good starting point for this if you want to shop online, amongst other fab online options.

Eco-friendly Items
There's *so* many fantastic eco-friendly products out there that can help someone because more eco-friendly or less wasteful in their day to day life that would make awesome gifts. You could try some practical items such as Bees Wax Wraps for keeping food fresh or an alternative to store your lunch-on-the-go in, Reusable Cotton Pad Rounds for the beauty lovers in your life that want to make a better impact on the planet, or a fresh new Bamboo Coffee Cup or Water Bottle for everyday sustainability and reducing plastic pollution.

If you want to branch out even further, curated sustainable gift boxes are perfect as items have been hand-selected and come together in one great package that is bound to be a show-stopping gift. Brands who do this really well are The Sustainable Box and Low Tox Box. If you're looking for more specifically beauty or skincare related gift boxes, definitely check out Green Tulip too!

Plants, plants, and more plants
If you follow me on Instagram, you will know by now that I bloody love plants so so much. House plants are very "in" right now so they're an excellent gift idea as they're so readily available. Not only that, but I am a firm believer that a house plant has a thoughtful vibe to it and can boost people's moods and elevate a home's atmosphere too. They have so many health benefits and can be something someone will treasure for years. Of course you can pick up house plants anywhere and everywhere these days - even in your local supermarket - but my favourite more independent places to shop plants are definitely:
- The Watered Garden
- Stupid Egg Interiors

Handmade & Re-gifting
Handmade DIY presents are often overlooked but have so much love and time poured into them, it's rather silly that they're not given more attention. Baking some cookies, making a candle, or making your own shower scrub/bath salts is a lovely way to tick off one of the gifts on your "to-buy" list and make it a little more personal. Not everyone has the time or abilities to be creative and do things themselves, but if you're feeling comfortable and confident, I say go for it and make whatever your heart desires. By making something yourself, you can ensure that that outcome is ethical and you can also consider if the ingredients are natural, zero waste, eco-friendly etc.

Lastly I want to mention something that some people deem quite distasteful but, hear me out! How many of us end up with unwanted gifts each Christmas because people go a little consumer crazy? I personally see no issues with re-gifting these items to others as long as it's something you would genuinely gift to that particular person anyway and if that person wouldn't mind. A great re-gifting option to minimise the backlash of this is definitely books and cookbooks. I know that my kitchen has an awful lot of cookbooks in it and many don't get used regularly at all so passing these on to others who would lovingly use them is not only cost-effective, but sustainable too. If you have a favourite page-turner that you've absolutely loved reading but you know you won't read it again, pass it on to a friend or family member too!

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November 06, 2018

My Favourite Apps for my Inner Astrologer & Mystic

Hey folks, I thought it was high-time we talked a little bit more about the stars and predicting our futures - just kidding. We all know here I am a massive advocate for horoscopes and learning more about starsigns, but I always like to use them as a way to navigate life and assign things that might happen to me which don't make sense or stress me out etc. as horoscopes help me to give that particular incident a purpose so I can then think "what should I do about that? What should I do next?" and I find that really helpful. I also just like them because I think they have a lot to do with our personalities and who we are as people. As my first post delving into astrology went down well with you all, I figured I would share with you the apps I enjoy using and would highly recommend for those tech-savvy mystics out there:

Daily Horoscope: One of the first ever horoscope/zodiac apps I downloaded and I still swear by it. This is my favourite app to look at not only my daily horoscope, but also my weekly and monthly. This app has a nice little level of customisation for the colour palette, the font size, the readability etc. of the app so it fits your style, but really it's the content of this app that always wins me over. You can scroll back and forth between days so you can read ahead of time future horoscope predictions if you so wish or if you missed yesterday's, you can scroll back to see if it was accurate or not. Daily Horoscope also has a nice addition of the Chinese birth years which you can read for each sign and Druid tree signs that you can educate yourself on. You can also check other horoscopes so it's not just fixed on your own and have an annual overview or traits read of each starsign so there's a lot of flexibility with this app. My favourite thing about this though is that I just find it to be the most accurate out of all I use and have tried in the past. I find I can apply most of what is said really easily to something going on in my life and it helps me process what might have changed or what I'm currently experiencing as it gives it a purpose and correlation.

Golden Thread Tarot: If you are interested in tarot but you just don't know where to start, get Golden Thread Tarot downloaded as soon as possible. This visually pleasing app helps explain how to read and interpret tarot cards and tracks a lot of information in the mean time. This app will track what cards you pull over time and the affect they, or the things the cards may be hinting at, have on you and your feelings. I really like this app as it's kind of like a spiritual toolkit so it not only educates me but can be used for support and insight into my more spiritual side. If you really want to, you can also purchase a physical tarot deck of the same cards that are used in the app's beautiful artwork so you can feel like you've really got all of your shit together.

Celeste: If you're someone who wants to get more into very specific astrology and get down to the nitty gritty of birth/natal charts and what they mean about you and your interaction with others, then Celeste is the app for you. I've talked about birth charts and the beginners guide to understanding them before and also recommended helpful reading on the topic but if you're more techy and find it easier to understand when you actually just get stuck into it, Celeste maps out your birth chart based on the information you input. Therefore it's a great starting point for those who are wishing to map their birth charts or if you simply want to be nosy and check out someone elses.

Co - Star: Okay so, if you own an iPhone, you need to get this app. Co-Star gives you the opportunity to not only track your own horoscope and gain familiarity with your birth chart, but you can add friends and family members who also have the app to explore their charts in more detail and also look at your compatibility. I *really* like this one for that reason the most - I can read about my friendships and relationships and it's helped me make sense of some things and prepared me for others. I find it be yet another app that is very accurate and its got nice imagery and a nice interface too. If you're someone who has started to get into your birth chart and horoscope but you're still learning what it all means, this app explains things simply and clearly.

Time Passages: Another app similar to Co-Star, Time Passages allows you to map your own birth chart and others, understand your sun, moon, and rising signs in more detail (if you're wondering what on earth I'm talking about, check out this post), but also updates you on moon phases and upcoming mercury retrograde periods if you want to prepare yourself for their effects. Just like many of the other apps mentioned in this post, this one is aesthetically pleasing and easy to navigate but also utilises GPS on your phone really well to give you an as accurate chart and reading as possible. In-app purchases are available and you can also buy a more detailed version of the app, but I honestly think the free version and it's freebies deliver more than enough.

Astrolis Horoscopes & Tarot : This app allows you to look at both your horoscope and tarot cards and both can be looked at daily. The horoscopes are short and sweet and include little snippets in relation to the planets now and again which I like (it always feels a little more authentic when this is the case!) and you can check just a regular daily update, weekly, monthly, annually, and everything in between! If you're having money worries, you can check that out specifically. If you've recently fallen head over heels, you can check out "Love" and see if it tallies up with reality. I like that this app gives you a daily compatible sign, lucky numbers, and also daily outlooks focusing on your mood, love, energy, and money - most of which I find quite accurate day to day. My favourite part of this app though is the daily tarot pulls you can do. You can flip three tarots - past, present, and future - and read a little about them and what they might be related to. Again, these readings are short and sweet, but I find them quite insightful and they help me navigate changes and negativities in life.

iLuna: I make jokes about "mercury in retrograde" as much as the next millennial, but the way the moon affects the planet is something I will always argue and stand by. The moon has an effect on the ocean and the tides so in my mind, it's foolish to think that it doesn't have an effect on us as human beings. iLuna tracks the moon and it's travels through the 12 signs of the zodiac. During this tracking, it suggests ways in which the moon's movements could affect us and you can also search ahead of time to find out what phase the moon may be in on a specific date (if you want to check special date and plan accordingly). Again, this is another visually pretty app to use and is simple to navigate so it's just a joy to use.

Mystic Mondays: I love the whole aesthetic and pay off of this app. Mystic Mondays pulls a daily tarot card for you and I often find it to be scarily accurate or applicable for my day or recent mood. I like this app because it's simple and fuss free but the artwork/design of it is still gripping and visually stimulating. Although, of course, you get some repetition with it (as there's only so many options you can possibly get from a tarot deck each day), it still feels individual and unique to me and the words are just as good as the artwork. It's definitely a full package kind of app. It's also a good one for those of you who might be getting into tarot reading as it has a library section of all of the cards and what they typically refer to.

Skyview Lite: Skyview is a great app not just for those of you who are into your astrology or spirituality, but for anyone who just wants to look at a beautiful app and potentially wow others. Skyview allows you to point your camera at the night sky and will map out the stars for you, constellations, and satellites. Skymapping apps can get quite pricey, but this one is free for the most part and has a nice interface to use. It's educational and a must-have for stargazing advocates as you can check out local stargazing events too!

Dreamboard: Last but not least, if you're someone who remembers their dreams or remotely likes to sleep track etc. then Dreamboard is a must. It is a dream journal app which you can use for tracking, analysing, and recording your dreams. A bit like a fitness app, Dreamboard will collect whatever information you store in it so you can visually see how often you may have nightmares, lucid dream, if you haven't dreamt for a long time - even if you've had a good night's sleep. I like to look back at the narration I can input to see if any themes crop up or if I have any recurring dreams.

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