How do you do the washing when you can’t see?

Tips for doing the washing when you’re blind and can’t see colours, and some new products from Ecover

When I was a child, I just had to throw anything dirty in the big wicker box, and it miraculously appeared back in my cupboard, clean and usually ironed as well. The only time I got involved with it was when it started to rain and I had to dash out into the garden to help my Nan get everything off the line and into the basket before it got wet!

When I started living on my own, I was responsible for that lovely chore – the washing! Nothing unusual in that, apart from the fact that I had to develop a system for separating the colours so I didn’t inadvertently wash things together that could run. Not so easy when you can’t see colours, but I developed some ways to make it easier:

  • Have several bins for washing so that you only have to identify the colour of each item once.
  • Don’t buy the same top in a number of colours. Try to have different things in the wardrobe so they can all be identified by touch – hopefully then you’ll remember what colour they are!
  • Don’t buy really, really cheap fabrics as they are more likely to run – and the worst part about that is that you won’t even know it unless someone points it out!
  • Invest in a colour detector – these are little gadgets that you put up against the material, press a button, and a voice announces the colour. There are also apps that do this, but the stand-alone gadgets tend to be better, if more expensive. They work well on single-colour garments, but patterns confuse them!

When S and I moved in together, we kept the multiple bin system, because there is no way I would remember what colour all of his stuff is, and many of his shirts and t-shirts feel the same. So He has to put his stuff in the right bin, and then I know that anything in the same bin can be washed together.

We have a washing machine with dials on it, so I know what the moving them to different positions means in terms of the different programmes. You can also get little stickers that you put onto the machine to highlight the programmes that you use regularly. This is much easier than a touchscreen washing machine.

Products from Ecover

Ecover recently held an event for bloggers. I was unable to attend, but they kindly sent me a lavender and sandalwood washing non-bio laundry detergent and a gardenia and vanilla fabric softener to try.

Firstly – how did they smell? I’m super-fussy about that. I don’t believe my sense of smell is better because of my blindness, but I think I pay extra attention to it, in the same way that other people might be lured in by pretty packaging! Both of them smelled nice and fresh, although my personal preference was the gardenia and vanilla fabric softener.

I hadn’t heard of Ecover before. The company was founded in the 1970s when Frans Bogaerts and his team in Belgium designed a new product because they were concerned about the harmful effect that phosphates in washing powder was having on the water system. This pollution was a problem for the plants and animals, so they developed a phosphate-free washing powder with the idea that making clothes clean shouldn’t lead to pollution further down the line.

The range has developed, and now there are a number of household cleaning products made from biodegradable plant-based and mineral ingredients.

The packaging is eco-friendly too – it’s made from 75% plastic derived from and 25% recycled plastic. The bottles are 100% recyclable. Ecover does not test on animals and the products are suitable for sensitive skin.

I’ve heard complaints before that environmentally-friendly cleaning products don’t do the job as well, but this wasn’t the case here. The clothes were clean and fresh, and as the detergent is a concentrated formula, you don’t need to use as much, so the bottle lasts longer.

Overall, I really like the concept behind the brand. One family can’t save the planet, but it’s the little steps that help and I think we all have a responsibility to do the little things to protect the environment, because they all add up.

From a practical point of view, I prefer capsules to liquid detergents because you don’t have to measure them out, which can be a bit fiddly if you can’t see the line on the measuring cup. As a result, I wouldn’t buy the detergent, but there are also laundry tablets available in the range.
The fabric softener made a nice change, and if you don’t want the scents that I mentioned, there are other fragrances too such as apple blossom and almond. The gardenia was quite a delicate fragrance, which is good if you don’t like heavily-scented products.

If you want to find out more about Ecover, you can follow Ecover on Twitter or visit their website.

Have you tried any of these products? Let me know what you thought in the comments!

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(This post contains PR samples.)

Lovelula review – 15 products from April, May, and June

My review of the products in the April, May, and June boxes from Lovelula.

Do you know about Lovelula? It’s one of the many beauty subscription boxes, but its emphasis is on natural, cruelty-free products. Until now, it was also more skincare based, but the last couple of boxes have made me wonder if this is going to continue. If it doesn’t, that will be a problem for me, but this post is about what I got in my April to June boxes. I like to write my posts after I’ve had a good chance to test out the products, which is why I’m doing it now!

The picture shows 5 of the 15 products reviewed in this post.

April

The April box was a good one for me. There were two products that I really liked, two that were ok although I probably wouldn’t buy them, and one that I gave away, but only because I didn’t like the scent.

My favourite in this box was the FOM London Antioxidant Hydra Plump & Firm Cream. The cream contains an anti-aging silk complex that promotes collagen production and moisture retention. This is combined with antioxidants (rhidiola and ginseng) and shea butter for thirsty skin. This cream is rich, but not greasy, and it does have a fairly strong scent. We received a generous travel size in the box as the full-size is quite expensive! I need to use up some of my other creams before buying any more, but I would recommend this one!

My other favourite was the Madara Brightening AHA Peel Mask. I’m not a fan of grainy exfoliators and I’m naturally drawn to the ones that use natural fruit acids. This one contains vitamin C from quince fruit, lactic acid and soothing elderflower. It smelled good too! Usually I’m a sheet mask kind of girl, but I happily made an exception for this one and I have come to really like the products from Madara. I wouldn’t have found out about them without Lovelula, so that’s another plus point.

Next came the Greenfrog Botanic Soapberry Handwash in Geranium & Peppermint. This was a travel size. I put it in the bathroom and we used it up, but I think peppermint belongs in tea or icecream – I’m not sure I want to go round smelling like polos! It was nice enough, but I wouldn’t go out and buy it.

We also got a sample of the Marlenha Petal Delicate Eye Serum, which I thought was nice enough, but I think there are more affordable products on the market that are just as good, so I wouldn’t buy the full-size. Still, it was nice to try it!

Some people got a little Apple & Bears Pomegranate & Aloe Vera Body Wash. I would have been really happy with that, but I got the honey and hemp one, which I didn’t like. I gave mine away, but if I’d got one of the other scents (they also do a green tea one and a grapefruit one), I would have liked everything in the box.

So overall I was happy with the April box!

May

This box had three haircare products in it, which may have annoyed some people, but I could use all of them, and there hadn’t been much haircare in previous months.

My favourite product in this box was the Agario London Styling mist. Actually I have two of these because I got one from a friend in a beauty product swap! To be fair, I’ve never used this product on its own – I always put on a couple of squirts of my mango detangling spray, and then spray the mist on top. My friend said it made her hair greasy, but I didn’t find this. It does look a bit wet for a couple of minutes, but it dries out. I don’t need a styling spray, but the product contains lemon zest and oats to give your hair shine and strength. It also contains argan oil to target damaged hair and seal split ends. So I’m happy to add these things that I know are natural and good for my hair.

My next favourite was the PHB gentle moisturiser. We got a full-size jar of this product. To be fair, I liked the other moisturiser more, but this is still a good face cream, and particularly good if you have sensitive skin. Someone like me with dry skin should probably go for the hydrating moisturiser from the same range, though I haven’t tried it yet. Anyway, it’s a nice, lightweight moisturiser that would be fine under make-up and it was an interesting addition to the box.

To be fair, I haven’t actually used the Laidbare cleanser and toner yet. I’m a bit suspicious of two-in-one products, and I don’t usually use cleansers that you wash off, but I will give this a go at some point. Not what I’d usually buy, but part of the fun of these boxes is discovering new things to try.

The last two products were mini hair products and I’ll talk about them together. We had the John Masters lavender and rosemary shampoo and the John Masters citrus and neroli detangler, which apparently can also be used as a conditioner. I’ve heard a lot of good things about the brand, and the products themselves worked fine – but if I’m not keen on the scent of something, I won’t buy it again. Lavender is for going to sleep – it’s fine as a bath soak, but I don’t really want my hair to smell of it. The same goes for neroli, I’m just not fond of the stuff. So while I think these were good products, the scent would prevent me from buying them. Still, I’d be happy to try out other products from the range.

So again, even though I haven’t used one of the products yet, I think this was a good box. Maybe a bit top-heavy on the haircare, but overall I was happy with it.

June

This box was a bit disappointing for me with one product I didn’t like because I don’t think it’s a good product, one I won’t use, and one that I will use at some point but which didn’t excite me very much!

But let’s start with the one product I really liked – the Madara daily defence Ultra-rich balm. I’ve already said that I’m becoming a Madara fan and this product didn’t disappoint. I’m not out in extreme weather conditions as described on the page, but I do have dry skin, and this balm was great at moisturising and softening the dry areas. It was gone way too quickly! Apparently this is because the vitamin-rich Northern cloudberry and sea buckthorn oils soothe, hydrate and restore the skin barrier providing softness.

Next was the one I felt was just ok – the John Masters soap. I’ll put this in the kitchen when my other one runs out.

I’m so glad I didn’t spend £20 on the Bellapierre kiss proof lip crème in antique pink. I did not like this product at all! The formula did not dry down and left my lips feeling sticky for ages. I have a job that involves a lot of talking, and I don’t enjoy feeling my lips sticking together all the time. Some people said that they didn’t experience this, but I saw a few Youtube videos where people had the same problem as me. Not happy with this product!

The last things in the box were a Balm Balm face mask and a Muslin cloth. It’s not Lovelula’s fault that I don’t like grainy face masks. This is an interesting idea, because you add water to the powder to make a paste, but it’s not the kind of product that I would use, so the mask and the cloth are going in my September giveaway.

I don’t mind there being one or two make-up products in the box, but I think there’s a difference between products that are just not your thing, and those that for some reason don’t work as they are supposed to. I was a bit disappointed because I will only use two out of the five products from June.

What do you think>

Do you subscribe to Lovelula? What do you think of the box? Is it something that you would consider? Have you tried any of these products? Let me know in the comments!

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