12 things I finished and one that I gave away in October

It’s that time of the month again! Time to tell you which products I’ve used up. Let me know if you’ve tried or if you like any of these! A few of the products are in the header image, but as I’m blind, people come to my blog for the writing. The links take you to pages where you can see images and get further information about each product. 

All of the products were bought with my own money, apart from the two free perfume samples. 

There was a lot of good stuff this month, but a couple of misses too. I like to keep things honest! 

Sleeping cream

This sleeping cream from the Body Shop® is something that I’ve mentioned before. It’s part of the Oils of Life range and contains three seed oils from around the world. It’s a thick, nourishing cream, but not greasy, and does really make your skin feel “velvety soft” in the morning. To be honest, I haven’t come across a moisturiser from the Body Shop® that I haven’t enjoyed, but this one is particularly good for the cold winter months, when the central heating and cold weather outside both contribute to drying out our skin.

Chocolate orange bubble bath

‘Tis the season for long baths and pamper evenings! Well actually I like these all year round, but I can lose hours lying in the bubbles and forgetting my day or all the things I need to do. It’s that one thing that makes me stop to unwind.

I swap out my bubble baths a lot, but I fancied going back to my old favourite chocolate orange one. It produces a decent covering of bubbles and makes the whole place smell like Terry’s chocolate orange! What’s not to love?

Coco Mademoiselle

My Nan used to wear Chanel perfume – although not this one. I discovered Coco Mademoiselle because S’ Dad brought me a bunch of samples from Boots to review on the blog!

I liked this one straight away, and when I looked it up, I wasn’t surprised – the top notes are fresh and vibrant orange. It’s floral too, because there is jasmin an rose in it, but it’s not the kind of overly floral scent that I don’t like – probably because of the orange! I have a number of perfumes open, so won’t go straight  out to buy it, but this is something I enjoyed wearing and would get again.

Cranberries and cream hand cream

I got this cranberry hand cream as one of my Latest in Beauty choices, but you can get it in Superdrug as well. I think this scent, or anything to do with cranberries really, is a festive thing to have around this time of year. I like the Patisserie de Bain formula – it feels a bit sticky for about 30 seconds while it’s sinking in, but it doesn’t leave you with a greasy residue, and it is long-lasting. A lot of these scents are quite sweet, so if that’s not your thing, you may not like it, but I’d take these over flowery ones any day! My favourites are still cherry and lemon, but I like this cranberry one and the strawberry one too.

Banana hand cream

I was excited to see that Ocado now sells products from brands like Yes To, Burt’s Bees, and Korres. I recommend all of these brands and like to try new things. Unfortunately the Banana hand cream from Burt’s Bees wasn’t for me. I don’t think it’s a bad product – but it’s more of a solid product, like a balm, and I found it to be quite greasy. I just didn’t like the texture much. But if you are looking for a heavy-duty balm, you might like it. I rehomed it, so it isn’t really an empty, but I thought I’d include it anyway!

Weleda pomegranate firming serum

I’d tried some body lotions from Weleda, which I first discovered through the Lovelula natural beauty boxes. I then decided to try out their pomegranate face serum. It’s not a cheap serum, but you can often expect to pay more fore serums because you really don’t need a lot. This is a product marketed at people over 40, which I didn’t see at the time, but a couple more years and I’ll be there – so no harm done! It contains pomegranate juice, which firms the skin, thus reducing wrinkles. There is also a day and a night cream in the range, though I haven’t tried them yet.

This was a really nice texture to work with – not watery, not greasy, and not annoying when you come to put other products on top. It has a refreshing pomegranate scent too and I’d definitely get it again.

I got mine on Ocado when it was on offer. At the moment it isn’t on offer, and at the time of writing there was a better price on Amazon.

Wild rose sleeping facial cream

I got my Korres wild rose sleeping facial cream in my M&S advent calendar last year. I’m not sure if it’s been discontinued, because it’s out of stock on a couple of sites that I tried, but I tracked it down in M&S.

The cream is rose-scented – not a surprise when you think about the name!

Apart from liking the products that I’ve tried so far, I like the idea behind Korres skincare – using natural active ingredients in the products – so the things that nature has already given us. The cream is basically a night cream that you apply at the end of your night time skincare routine. It is boosted with wild rose oil, vitamin C, and hyaluronic acid – and yay, it’s in a tube to reduce exposure to the air (I don’t like to see vitamin C products in jars!)

Rose toner

Staying on the rose theme, I also got through this refining toner from Weleda. To be honest, I didn’t like this as much as the serum. Despite containing lemon and witch hazel as well, the rose scent was very strong, and the consistency was quite thin. It’s called a refreshing tonic and I guess that’s right – not really like the toners that I’m used to. Probably wouldn’t get this again.

Body Shop® mango bath bomb and pink grapefruit bath bubble

Mango is one of my favourite ranges at the Body Shop, so I was intrigued by the little mango bath bombs. They smell great, make your bathwater turn orange, and are also quite a good deal. However they are also tiny, when you compare them to other bath bombs, and I’d be tempted to drop a couple in, which then doesn’t make them such a good deal. Hmm, I’d take the shower gel instead!

The same goes for the pink grapefruit bath bubble, with the difference that your water becomes pink and smells of grapefruit. It’s more like another bath bomb than a bubble bar though.

Balance me micellar water

People seemed to be complaining about this mini micellar water showing up in beauty boxes. I think I got mine in Pink Parcel. I don’t have a lot to say about it really – it was a nice micellar water that did the job it was meant for. And I’d rather get a staple product of something that I’ll use than something that I don’t want!

Wild garden pure and fabulous lotion

Unfortunately I can’t find a UK link for this, but it’s a body lotion that I got in my Glossybox. It seems a lot of other people got body sprays, but I got this generous size of a body lotion which was fairly lightweight and smelled really nice and refreshing.

Coach

I decided to pick up a perfume sample in my Latest in Beauty, so I got a sample of Coach. I knew it reminded me of something, and when I looked it up, it was the raspberry body spray that I have. So if you like raspberries, you’ll probably like this too. My sample was from LIB, but you can also get it in Superdrug.

Alaía perfume

It just shows how personal a thing scents are! I heard Sussex Sandra and Lady Mawa saying on YouTube how much they liked this scent. I really didn’t! It just didn’t smell good on me! It came as a free sample in LIB, and I’m always happy to try samples, but this really wasn’t for me. If you want to check it out though, it’s available on FeelUnique, but even there the description is a bit odd, so I can’t really tell you what’s in it!

Discounts and offers

And finally if you’ve made it this far – just a reminder that I have some affiliate discount codes for you:

Feelunique – you can get £10 off your first Feel Unique order by going onto the site using my affiliate link. This offer is open to new customers only, and the minimum spend is £30.

Glossybox – you can get 20% off your first box by using my code KIRSTY-RGE when you place your first order on the Glossybox site.

Ocado – if you would like me to send you an invitation to Ocado, just fill out your details using the form below. You will receive a £20 voucher for your first shop, and a free smart pass, which gives you free deliveries for one year (minimum spend applies).

More from Unseen Beauty

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21 bath and skincare empties from September

This is apparently my 201st post!I didn’t realise I’d written so many on here! Anyway, these posts don’t need any introduction now – here are some of the things that I finished in September and what I thought of them. Have you tried any of these? Let me know in the comments! A couple of them were birthday or Christmas gifts from friends and family, but otherwise these are all things that I have purchased myself

1. Banana hair mask

I’ve talked about this before, so I won’t ramble on, but this banana hair mask from the Body Shop is one of my favourite masks. It leaves your hair lovely and soft, and I know it’s hard to sell the idea of hair that smells like bananas, but trust me, it’s good!

2. Dragon’s blood serum

I’ve mentioned this before too, but it was last November, so here it is again! This serum from Nip+Fab is one of the most versatile serums I’ve found. It’s fine for daytime and absorbs quickly, so you can apply moisturiser and make-up over it without worrying about it all balling up and peeling off. It smells – kind of manly in a way – but I don’t hate it, and it promises to moisturise skin, plumping and smoothing expression lines. I’m totally down with calling them expression lines, not frown lines or wrinkles. I have some other serums, but this is a good daytime one.

3. bubble mask

I’d seen a lot about bubble masks, but hadn’t tried one until I got one in my Glossybox. I can’t see demonstrations, so I was imagining bigger bubbles. In reality it’s a bit like a foaming micellar water, not like the bubbles you get in your bath. The idea is that it’s a cleansing and detoxifying mask, so you don’t leave it on as long as moisturising ones. As it foams up, it is a bit more messy than other types, so I did mine in the bath! It talks about micromassage from the bubbles, which I didn’t really notice, but my skin did feel better afterwards and maybe it’s one to keep at hand for those wonderful times of the month when the hormonal breakouts come. You can get the BeautyPro detoxifying mask from FeelUnique.

4. scalp treatment

I got this grow gorgeous scalp detox from Glossybox (the link goes to Lookfantastic as Glossybox don’t sell directly). The first time I did a scalp treatment, I thought I was having an allergic reaction to it because of the tingling sensation! I was wiser this time, but I am not a fan of the gritty bits! Aaagh! I have very thick, long hair, and all in all this was just a pain to get anywhere near my scalp and equally annoying to wash out!

5. grapefruit shower gel

One of my all-time Body Shop favourites! I can’t remember why I picked up the pink grapefruit shower gel. I think it was a “buy 2, get 1 free” offer, so I just wanted to stock up on something I would enjoy! Body Shop shower gels are great anyway, and this is one of my favourite scents.

6. Elizabeth Arden 8-hour cream

I hadn’t tried any skincare from Elizabeth Arden before. I’ve tried fragrance, which I liked, so I thought the skincare would smell great too. But I was really glad only to have a little sample of this 8-hour cream that I got as one of my Latest in Beauty products. It was indeed really good at moisturising – my face felt wonderfully soft the next day – but it smelled like something I’d got out of the first aid kit! Almost like an antiseptic. Maybe there was something wrong with my sample, but I’m really glad I didn’t invest in a full-size! That’s one of the great things about a build-your-own beauty box. I did use it up, because it was only tiny, but I’ll be steering clear of it from now on!

7. Cranberry hand cream

I’m a fan of the Patisserie de Bain hand creams, and there have been quite a few of them on Latest in Beauty recently. This was the cranberry one (from Superdrug). These creams feel a bit sticky at first, but they dry right down, leaving your hands feeling great and moisturised for ages. This cranberry one makes me think of Christmas! They are all quite sweet scents, but you’ve got the fruity scent as well, so I don’t find the sweetness overpowering. This is a good handcream for a decent price, and I would definitely buy more of them. My favourites are the cherry and lemon ones, but I would get the cranberry one again too.

8. Green tea primer

I seem to be fussy when it comes to primers! I will try new ones, but I’m hard to please. I ended up with a couple of these green tea primers from Evelyn Iona cosmetics. I think at least two subscription boxes included them (Glossybox and Pink Parcel I believe). I had about half left in this one when I gave up on it. It didn’t play well with some of my other skincare products, and I didn’t find it as moisturising as some of the other moisturising primers that I use, one of which is much cheaper! I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad product, but it wasn’t one for me!

9. Body Shop vitamin E day cream

I know I’ve talked about this before. This was another 3 for 2 when I only had 2, so I picked up a small pot of the Vitamin E day cream. It’s just a good all-rounder! It’s gentle on the skin, leaves your face feeling soft, isn’t greasy, and although I try out lots of different creams, I often come back to the vitamin E range.

10. Korres toner

I picked up this Pomegranate toner from Korres, because I wanted to try out some of their face care. It doesn’t smell much like pomegranate, but I found it to be a decent toner, and even better, you can just pick it up at the supermarket. I got mine from Ocado. It contains pomegranate extract, rich in antioxidants, along with witch hazel and salicylic acid. I’m looking forward to trying out more from the Korres skincare range because so far I’ve mainly used bath and haircare products from them.

11. soaper duper vanilla shower gel

I only had a mini of this body wash that I picked up in Latest in Beauty, but these shower gels smell great, and they’re thick and creamy, with shea butter to moisturise even when you’re still in the bath or shower. It smells of vanilla and somehow that’s just right now that Autumn is here!

12. Grapefruit bubble bath

This is another Ocado find – and ridiculously good value! At the time of writing, it’s just 99p for 750 ml of grapefruity bath bubbling goodness! So I’ve got through another one! I do switch out my bubble baths, but you can’t go wrong with this grapefruit one.

13. Origins moisturiser

I was sad to see the end of this Origins moisturiser that I thought smelled like oranges! I discovered it in the M&S beauty box, but you can also get it in Boots. It’s lightweight and contains ginseng and coffee bean extract (no wonder I like it) to give you a healthy-looking, vibrant glow.

14. Throat cream

I got a small pot of this throat and décolletage cream from Prai in a beauty sample box. It’s nice enough I guess, but the throat doesn’t need specific ingredients that the rest of your face don’t need. Yes, people should moisturise their throat and neck, but having a separate product for it is a bit of a marketing gimmick. So yeah, I’ll use up products like this, but I wouldn’t go out and buy them because my normal moisturiser will do fine!

15. modern muse nuit – Estee Lauder

We even have S’s dad looking for products to be tried out on Unseen Beauty now! He had a voucher in a magazine to get some samples, and he got me a sample of this Modern Muse Nuit, which you can get from Boots among other places. It’s marketed as “exploring the deeper, nocturnal, more addictive side of a Modern Muse. Blends of sophisticated floral with creamy woods for an extraordinary scent that is lushly vibrant yet luxuriously warm.” I think the reason I like it is the jasmin, which is paired with musk and amber.

16. almond milk and honey yoghurt

I just had to buy another one. I surprise myself how much I like the almond milk and honey collection, because it’s not strongly-scented, like some of my other fruity favourites, but it’s just so fresh and gentle on the skin, which I appreciate if my allergies are annoying me or if I just want something a bit more subtle. I love this almond milk and honey body yoghurt – like a body butter, but lighter and faster to absorb.

17. Woman – Ralph Lauren

Another sample from S’s dad – this time Woman from Ralph Lauren – also available at Boots. It’s described as fruity, floral and woody, mixing three very different types of scent together, but somehow it works. I think I’m drawn to the blackcurrant, but it also has tuberose in it. I’ve always thought I don’t like floral scents, but I do, as long as they are not overpoweringly so. Add some fruitiness and I’m a happy girl!

18. Breathless color tattoo

Kirsty finally finished a make-up product! It takes me longer than skincare! Actually this wasn’t finished, but it was beginning to dry up and had probably been around long enough anyway. These Maybelline color tattoo pots are good cream shadows, and they don’t dry out as quickly as some.AT the moment I’m feeling the love for the eye shadow sticks more, but I do still have some of these little pots.

19. Elf hydrating primer

After complaining about the green tea one, this hydrating primer from ELF is one that I like to use. It’s quite thick, and if you don’t like that, you won’t like this product, but I like it because it moisturises and creates a good base. I’m not a fan of watery primers. This wouldn’t be good for someone with oily skin, but then you wouldn’t be looking for a hydrating primer would you? It doesn’t feel greasy though, and doesn’t react badly with any of my other skincare products.

20. Bath fizzer – lemon and green tea

Yes, Ocado does bath fizzers too! This one with lemon oils and pineapple extract smells good enough to drink. But don’t – let it fizz and whizz around your bath instead! It was a birthday gift, but I will be checking out more of the range myself.

21. alpha gold rose

This is something that I got in my advent calendar last year and have only just finished up as I had another exfoliating toner on the go. I love the concept, but if I were buying it again, would probably just go for the normal one, and not the one with rose. Still, I enjoyed using this Alpha gold rose from M&S, which promises to “gently resurface skin and improve skin texture and appearance”. Basically an exfoliating toner for those who don’t like physical exfoliants – which I don’t! I still have another similar product to use up, but would get this again!

Wow – that was a lot of products. A lot of them were sample sizes, but that’s a good way to try new things. Let me know if you’ve tried any of them!

Discounts and offers

And finally if you’ve made it this far – just a reminder that I have some affiliate discount codes for you:

Feelunique – you can get £10 off your first Feel Unique order by going onto the site using my affiliate link. This offer is open to new customers only, and the minimum spend is £30.

Glossybox – you can get 20% off your first box by using my code KIRSTY-RGE when you place your first order on the Glossybox site.

Ocado – if you would like me to send you an invitation to Ocado, just fill out your details using the form below. You will receive a £20 voucher for your first shop, and a free smart pass, which gives you free deliveries for one year (minimum spend applies).

More from Unseen Beauty

If you’d like to get my catch-up emails, usually once a week, you can sign up using this form.

The emails contain news of my new posts, other things that I’ve enjoyed (podcasts, posts from other bloggers, interesting articles etc), and any UK shopping information that I think my readers might like.

This post contains some affiliate links, but I only promote things that I’ve tried and tested.

September favourites – birthday, chocolate skincare, and eye shadow sticks

Well, it’s the last day of September, and before we get into October, I’d like to talk about the good bits, the things I discovered, and generally things that made me happy.

Also, the giveaway is still open, so if you haven’t done so already, why not check it out? Details are at the end of the post. Closing date is 7th October 2018.

Birthday and family time

September is my birthday month, so it was good to spend some time celebrating with S, family and friends. There was the Chinese meal with S + 11 wonderful friends, the meal for 2 with S at Chiquitos, and the birthday shopping day in Reading, including a trip to the jewellers! There were also thoughtful gifts from friends, a visitor with cake (you know who you are and are probably reading this!), a Braille card from a company that not only brailles the cards, but also describes the pictures, and quite a lot of chocolate. Birthdays are great!

The photo in the post header was taken earlier in the month, when I met up with two of my cousins, whom I hadn’t seen for eight years. They were staying with their mum in a holiday cottage, another aunt and uncle came too, and we had a family reunion. It was lovely to see them after so long.

New finds – skincare and make-up

This could also fit under the birthday heading. I had no idea that Hotel Chocolat also did skincare – until I was bought one of the body lotions for my birthday. You can check out the whole chocolate skincare range here It’s mainly cocoa butter with nuts such as almond and coconut – so not good for you if you have nut allergies, but I don’t, and I think the lotion I got smelled good enough to eat!

I can’t help thinking this next product was bought just because of the name, suggesting that it suits me! However, the lippy cow lip treatment from Cowshed is a good product to prepare for the colder weather.
And ok I may be a lippy cow as well!

Finally, the lovely Joanna from MyPinkRambles was talking about the ELF eye shadow sticks the other day, and I picked up a couple when we went to Superdrug. If you find it hard to apply powder shadows because of a visual impairment, or just prefer something that’s quick and easy to draw on, this may be of interest to you. They are very creamy, and don’t drag on the lids as some of the other eye crayons do. I got rose gold and perfect pearl.

New finds – food and home

I can’t link this because it was a gift, but I was given a sunflower to sit in my office. I love sunflowers, and this one isn’t going to die through neglect because it’s artificial! Some fake flowers can look awful, but if you find tasteful ones, it can brighten up the room without the need to worry about keeping plants alive – which I’m not good at!

If you have children or you’re bored of ordinary-looking fried eggs, I’ve discovered some moulds recently. To be honest, I’m more of a scrambled or poached egg kind of girl, but I got this owl egg-mould to add to my ever-growing owl collection. One of the things I like about Ocado – you can get all the usual food and grocery stuff, but there are also a decent number of toiletries and things for the home on there. By the way, if anyone wants to try Ocado for the first time, there is an offer whereby we both get £20 of vouchers – £20 for you and £20 for me. You also get a free smart pass for a year, so if you like Ocado, you won’t need to pay delivery charges for one year. have to be a new customer to apply – see terms and conditions in your invitation. You can request an invitation in the contact form if you’re interested.

Studying

The beginning of my course is getting closer. I’ve found the Facebook groups really good – there is a specific one for my course, as well as one for my region. The forum on the Open University site is also quite active, but I like the way that Facebook is being used to bring people together so that they can help each other. There is also a Whatsapp group, but maybe I’m too old – I can’t keep up with so many messages lol!

I also went to a meet-up for new and existing students. I was the only one from the IT degree there, but it was still good to meet some other people on different courses, talk about their experiences, and see the wide range of backgrounds that people come from to do distance learning.

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The emails contain news of my new posts, other things that I’ve enjoyed (podcasts, posts from other bloggers, interesting articles etc), and any UK shopping information that I think my readers might like.

Giveaway

Don’t forget that the Autumn giveaway is open until 7th October. Click here if you want to see what you can win and how to enter.

Late August empties – mainly skincare and haircare this time

After my stupid accident, I kept working, but I’ve been chasing my tail all month. I did put together some August empties though, so I thought Better late than never!”

Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products, and if so, what you thought of them!

Skincare

Products: 8

I’ve talked about the Body Shop® almond milk and honey body yoghurt before but it’s worth mentioning again. This range is so kind to the skin. It’s not as strongly scented as the others, and it’s recommended for those with more sensitive skin. I don’t have sensitive skin, but my allergies to other things can make my skin flair up at times, and this is when I especially enjoy using the almond milk and honey line of products. The body yoghurts are much lighter than the butters, they absorb quickly, and are great for the Summer and Autumn.

I discovered two more hand creams through my Latest in Beauty box –first the orange blossom one. You can’t buy individual products directly from Latest in Beauty, so I’ve included the link to Boots. Not the cheapest out there, but it does a good job, isn’t greasy, and I am a big fan of the citrus scent.

Then there was the Gardeners’ hand therapy from Crabtree and Evelyn. The link is to Feelunique. This was a bigger tube, so more value for money, but I found it a bit greasy, which was a shame because I do like this brand. I’d use this again as a night treatment, just before bed, but after I’ve used a handcream, I don’t want my hands to feel sticky, so for me this one lost points on not being an all-purpose kind of product.

I wanted to link the Body Shop ® vitamin C serum, but it doesn’t seem to be on the site any more. I’m not sure whether it’s been discontinued or is just out of stock, but as someone who likes the vitamin C moisturiser, I decided to try the serum as well. This is an oil-based serum, so I found it better for use in the evening or on no-make-up days. I like the moisturiser more, but as someone who doesn’t like using face oils, an oil-based serum that isn’t so oily that you spend the rest of the night with a shiny face is a good thing to have.

I raved about this Lavera serum in this Latest in Beauty review. You can really get some good finds in there if you are lucky. Of course some boxes are better than others, depending on the products available, but this was a full-size serum and one that I would definitely buy again.

As I loved the serum and the night cream from this range, I decided to try the toner as well. (The link goes to Amazon). I wasn’t as happy with this product though. The product itself was fine, but it smelled like cough mixture, and I can’t deal with that in my morning facial routine. So, it’s a personal preference, and it lives up to the name of being gentle (at least I thought it did), but if there’s an ingredient that I don’t like the smell of, I don’t buy it again!

Another Latest in Beauty product was the Morning Dew moisturiser from Aimie. I think it’s aimed more at people with oily skin, because it does absorb fast, and promises to control excess oil and shine. I don’t think someone like me with normal to dry skin will see the best results from this, because I do like something a bit more moisturising, but that’s more about it not being the right product for me than it being a bad product.

I’ve talked about this Malin and Goetz moisturiser before, but as it was on offer on Latest in Beauty for a while, I picked up a couple of them. They were really generous sizes too, and I had no problems with applying this moisturiser over other products.

Haircare

Products: 5

I’m not even going to link these – I really wasn’t impressed! I was so glad to try some products from Noughtie, especially as a full-size shampoo and conditioner duo counted as only one product in the Latest in Beauty basket. Out of the two sets I tried, I liked the Blondie locks shampoo more than the “to the rescue” duo, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy any of them again. Rather than being super-nourishing, I found the “to the rescue” products quite thin and watery, which meant I ended up getting through them much faster.

Something I did really enjoy though was the Korres sunflower shampoo. I got mine from Feelunique, but it’s available in supermarkets such as Waitrose and Ocado too. I got this because sunflowers are my favourite, and didn’t actually notice that it was for coloured hair – which I don’t have – but even so, it’s a lovely range and definitely one that I’d recommend.

At the same time, I picked up the Korres almond and linseed mask. This is intended for dry and damaged hair, but you can also use it from time to time as a treatment if you want to give your hair some extra moisture and nourishment. I would definitely get this again as my hair felt great afterwards. It’s not damaged, but it’s so long – down to my waist – that I like to give the ends some love once in a while.

Perfume

Products: 1

I loved this Shea and blue, blood oranges perfume that we got in the 2017 M&S advent calendar. It’s so fresh and well – orange-scented! Definitely one for you if you like your citrus scents. Once I’ve used up some other products, I’d definitely buy this again. I think this is one of the great things about advent calendars, especially the non-branded ones – you get to discover some new brands that you’d never heard of before. (See this post for my thoughts on the advent calendars this year).

Bathtime

Products: 2

I actually forgot that I had this Cowshed Gorgeous Cow shower gel – I found it when I was doing the massive tidy-up operation when the new drawers came. It is part of the Cowshed range and contains Madagascan rose and Indian palmorosa oils, along with lavender to relax you. I love the Cowshed and always recommend their products. They are quite strongly-scented, and some of the scents are unique, using plant extracts that other companies don’t, but I think they’re great.

I tried out the ginger and clementine bubble bath from Waitrose. Actually I got mine from Ocado, but it’s available in both stores. I’m not loyal to bubble baths, but this was a refreshing change, had a good deal of bubbles, and is one that I would cycle round to again.

Discounts

You can get £10 off your first Feel Unique order by going onto the site using my affiliate link. This offer is open to new customers only, and the minimum spend is £30. So basically you can get £30 of products for £20.

More from Unseen Beauty

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Beauty advent calendars 2018 -what has got my attention so far?

I know, I know, it’s way too early to be talking about anything Christmas-related, but when one of my readers mentioned that they didn’t know beauty advent calendars were a thing, I thought I’d do a quick post about them, and which ones have caught my eye so far this year. The other reason for doing this now is that they can sell out really quickly, so it pays to be on the company’s mailing list if you want to know when something is going to become available.

I’m not planning to do a comprehensive guide – other people do really comprehensive ones, and they are usually the bigger bloggers who have been sent a bunch of them to unbox on their YouTube channels so you can see what’s inside.

I don’t have people beating down my door to give me advent calendars, but I am super-nosey and do watch this kind of videos to find out which one I want to get each year.

Which ones have I had so far?

It all started in December 2016, when I got the Body Shop’s calendar . I’d just got interested in the Body Shop’s products, and thought this would be a really good way to test out a bunch of them. There were a few things that I didn’t use, but overall there was a good selection of skincare, a few make-up bits, and a couple of tools.

Then later in 2017 I came across a Sanctuary Spa one that was being sold at a discount because it hadn’t been sold the previous year. This was shortly after my stay in hospital and I thought it would be a nice treat to do in the summer, especially as there was a good selection of bath products in there for pamper night. There were a couple of random fillers too, such as a pastry cutter, but there were plenty of lotions and body washes, and this one wasn’t as expensive.

In December 2017 I was really lucky and had two – one that I got myself and one that was a gift from my Mum. The L’Occitane one was full of fairly small samples, but then the price of the actual products meant that larger samples of them would have made the calendar even more expensive. I love these products and I had got them hoping that there would be Braille on the packaging, as there is with the full-size ones, but this unfortunately wasn’t the case. Still, I think I’ve used just about everything that was in there and having a one-brand calendar is a good way to check out a lot of products from different lines. L’Occitane usually does multiple calendars, so you can choose your price point. Whenever people are talking about this brand they seem to say “this would be good for your Gran!” but there are some lovely scents in there and I don’t think you have to be a grandma to appreciate them! I’m in my 30s!

The gift that I got was the M&S calendar – really reasonably priced, although you do have to buy a bunch of stuff from M&S to qualify to buy it. My Mum helped out with that! The lovely thing about this was that it had a range of brands in there, and introduced me to skincare brands such as Gatineau and Rodial. I also loved the fragrance in there and kept about 75% of the products for myself.

So what’s available?

Of course you can still get the traditional chocolate calendars. I’ve seen ones for wine, gin or other alcoholic drinks, food ones, ones with toys or other things to collect. Some only have 12 doors, but most have 24 or 25.

In terms of beauty, there is a lot out there, so it’s really important to think about what’s important to you. For example, I do wear make-up, but I go for the ones that are more skincare-heavy, because I know I won’t use the powder eye shadows or baked highlighters. If nails are your thing, there are some specifically for just nail varnishes. There are also ones that lean more towards make-up, with no skincare at all. Good if you have sensitive skin or don’t like to try out a lot of new skincare products. There are other calendars that focus more on bathtime, and I know there are ones for candles too.

They also cover all price points, from £10 to over £300! Obviously if they’re really cheap, like a tenner, the quality isn’t going to be amazing, but you certainly don’t have to pay hundreds of pounds to get a good deal. It can be a lot of money to pay out in advance, but even if you look at one around the £100 mark, it works at around £2.50 for products that would usually cost a lot more, so if you can save the money and would use the products, it’s a good investment.

Some people try to avoid the spoilers all together, but I’d rather forfeit the element of surprise and gain the satisfaction of knowing that I want and would use the things inside.

The other thing to consider is what you want in the end – do you want to really get to know one brand, or do you want something from a beauty subscription or department store that will introduce you to a range of brands?

What has caught my eye this year?

To be honest, I wasn’t that excited about the Body Shop® calendar last year, but I like what they’ve done this year. There are three calendars available at different price points, and they include new products, as well as ones that will be coming out for Christmas 2018. The most expensive one has 14 full-size products, and the most affordable one still contains a lot of the most popular products, such as the body butters and hand creams. You can find all three of the advent calendars here and if you want to see what’s inside, just click on each one to see the list of products.

Something else that I’ll be keeping an eye on is the first calendar from Glossybox, with £300 worth of full-sized products. I’d like to know a bit more about what’s in there, but it will feature products from NARS, Crabtree and Evelyn, Bare Minerals and Real Techniques. It will cost £99, but £75 for subscribers, who receive a monthly beauty box. It’s not available yet, but if you are interested in signing up to become a subscriber and getting 20% off your first box, you can use my code KIRSTY-RGE when you place your first order on the Glossybox site.

Finally, there’s the Feelunique calendar. I’m not actually sure whether they did one last year, but I’ve been using this site more and more because of the good range of products on there, the fact that it’s accessible to me as a screenreader user, and the big sales that they have. The calendar will be worth £250, cost £75, and include brands such as Caudalie, Makeup Forever, and REN. Possibly more of a skincare one? Not sure, but if you’re interested, it’s worth getting on the mailing list to find out when it goes on sale in October.

Also, if you find anything you like before then, you can get £10 off your first Feel Unique order by going onto the site using my affiliate link. This offer is open to new customers only, and the minimum spend is £30.

So, will you be getting an advent calendar this year? If so, which one? Do you have a favourite one from previous years? Let me know in the comments!

More from Unseen Beauty

If you’d like to get my catch-up emails, usually twice a week, you can sign up using this form.

The emails contain news of my new posts, other things that I’ve enjoyed (podcasts, posts from other bloggers, interesting articles etc), and any UK shopping information that I think my readers might like.

This post contains some affiliate links, but I only promote things that I’ve tried and tested.

Newly discovered and favourite things in August

So, actually I wanted to put this up earlier in the week, but if you saw my post from Thursday, you’ll know that life didn’t go to plan this week!

Anyway – these are the things that I enjoyed in August – in terms of products, activities and new discoveries.

1. Masktime

This is not a new thing for me, but I wanted to try it out for a couple of months before telling you about it so I could see what kind of things came in the boxes. The picture in the post header is of masks that I got back in the springtime in a subscription called Masktime – masks for sheet mask lovers.

To be fair, the last box contained a couple of other things, such as a gel mask and a bubble mask, but generally you get a selection of sheet masks for different things (rehydration, detoxifying etc.

I used to buy sheet masks regularly, as I find them relaxing, and less hassle than traditional masks, and this subscription gives you the chance to discover some new brands and types of mask.

There are details in English on the masks themselves and on the card that you get with them, so no worries if you don’t speak Korean! The only thing is, if you’re blind and usually identify products by scanning them and reading the information electronically, your app may struggle as there is Korean and English writing on the package. I generally ask for a real person (usually S) to read the information and instructions to me, as the apps don’t work so well on these, particularly if you have a multi-step mask with little sachets of product that have to be applied in a certain order.

It’s a selection, so you don’t choose what you get, but I’ve pretty much tried or I plan to try everything that I’ve received, which I can’t say about all my other subscription boxes. You can find out more on the Masktime website. At the time of writing, there’s 10% off your first box – not an affiliate link. You can also buy one-off boxes for specific skin types and individual products, and within the subscriptions there are different price levels, depending on how many masks you want. I would say it’s good value for money, especially when you consider how much single masks can retail for.

2. Lindt Europe – blueberry, coffee and passion fruit chocolate

So, I’ve done a post before about the chocolate Emporium. I originally found the site when I was looking for mango chocolates, but they do a wide range of stuff on there, particularly good for people like me who like fruity chocolate.
I got an email to say that there were some new things in from Lindt Europe, and in a moment of weakness while waiting for a meeting to start, ordered a couple of things for us to try.
S was a fan of the hello blueberry muffin bar, which did really taste like blueberry muffins. I liked the peach and apricot bar, because I have never had peach and apricot chocolate before. The papaya was good too, and I also found a couple of coffee ones. Here’s the link to the whole Lindt Europe range. These are bars that we do not usually get in the UK, and some of the packaging is in German.

3. Turkish

I used to have Turkish lessons and be reasonably good at it – well the understanding part anyway. Speaking was never really my thing, mainly because I don’t think about how hard it is when I speak German now, and I had forgotten what it’s like to have the vocabulary of a small child when you start a new language. But I could read articles and enjoy podcasts that were meant for a Turkish audience.

Life moved on and I became busy with other things. It’s hard for me when my interests change – I’ll be doing something 100%, and then it’ll go down to nothing. Like when a relationship ends! I don’t think I’ll ever feel as passionate about the hobby as I once did, but I got out my old notes recently and was happy about how much I could still remember and understand. So I’ve subscribed to a short Turkish news magazine podcast and decided to start going through my old class notes again. It seems a shame to throw all that effort and hard work away, especially as most of the time this hobby made me happy.

4. Apple micellar water and lime toner

You know I love fruity things! I heard about a company called Freshly Cosmetics from another blogger, and really liked the sound of some of the products.

To be fair, there are a few spelling mistakes and errors on the site, and I think this may have put me off buying from them if I hadn’t known of someone else who had. So the communications professional in me can’t get away from the message that not checking your texts thoroughly could end up costing you in the long run. In the end I did order, but I certainly went through the thought process of “is this really a serious site?”

Anyway – the products came really quickly and I love the scent of the green apple micellar water. and the lime toner. I’ve never seen a toner in a spray container before, but it does actually mean that you use less, so waste less as a result – and you don’t need to use cotton pads. Both of them smell amazing and fresh.

These are not budget items and I think they would make a nice gift or a special treat for yourself. The brand focusses on natural ingredients and is also involved in a reforestation project.

5. My favourite serum ran out

This is very sad, because it’s expensive. I got it heavily reduced in a post –Christmas sale at Feelunique last year. I think I only paid about 1/3 of the price, but I really like this serum! It’s not oily, it’s not watery, it goes on smoothly, and helps you to build a lovely base for make-up. You can find the smoothing serum on Gatineau’s website.

6. Happy

This is such a lovely, summery fragrance – even better because it contains grapefruit! I’ve talked about Happy from Clinique before, but I wanted to mention it again because I’ve been wearing it all through August and now sadly the bottle is empty. Described as a fruity floral fragrance, and perfect for the summer!

7. Up close and personal with the owls

I had to include my new feathered friends in the August highlights! If you missed the post, here’s what I got up to when I met some owls from Hilltop Birds of Prey.

8. Body Shop club card event

A week ago last Wednesday I was invited to an event at my local Body Shop. It wasn’t a blogger event, but one for anyone with a Love Your Body card, which is a loyalty points programme. If you have a card, you can earn points when you buy things from the Body Shop. You also get £5 to spend on your birthday, and the chance to be invited to Exclusive events.

This was the first one that I’d been to. I could take a guest, and there was free chocolate (yay!), as well as prosecco for those who wanted it, or fizzy mango for those of us who didn’t! The main point of the evening was to launch the new almond milk with oats face mask, and to encourage anyone who hadn’t signed it to sign the petition against animal testing. There was also a free gift for those who attended (a make-up bag containing a body wash and bath lily), as well as another free gift if you spent more than £30 (a grapefruit perfume and a mini grapefruit body butter). I was very happy about the grapefruit. There was also 30% off a lot of the products. My Mum and I had a good evening, and I’m interested to see now what will happen as a result of the petition against animal testing in the cosmetic industry.

Signing up for a Love Your Body card is free, and you can get one here if you’re interested.

9. Grapefruit bubble bath

From the very expensive to something under £1! 750 ml of grapefruity goodness for your bath. Not the biggest bubbles I’ve ever seen, but the scent is amazing, and it will last you ages.
I got mine from Ocado, but as it’s Waitrose own brand, I imagine you can get it there too.

10. Sorbet maker

And finally – something I haven’t tried out yet, but which made me happy when I found it with 70% off in the Ocado clearance sale. I think it’s sold out now, so I can’t add a link, but once I’ve eaten the sorbet I have in the freezer, I’m looking forward to making my own. Mango of course! Have you tried making your own icecream or sorbet? How did it turn out? Any tips that you want to pass on?

So now it’s September and people are talking about autumn, cosy jumpers, and I saw the first advent calendar advert on Facebook. September is my birthday month, and there will also be the Autumn giveaway later in the month – you can follow the blog or sign up for updates if you want to find out what is in the box and how you can take part.

More from Unseen Beauty

If you’d like to get my catch-up emails, usually twice a week, you can sign up using this form.

The emails contain news of my new posts, other things that I’ve enjoyed (podcasts, posts from other bloggers, interesting articles etc), and any UK shopping information that I think my readers might like.

This post contains some affiliate links, but I only promote things that I’ve tried and tested. None of these products are sponsored.

Finished in July – 15 empty products and what I thought of them

A little later than usual, but I still wanted to let you know about the products I tried out in July. So here we go – let me know if you’ve used any of these, and if so, what you thought of them!

1. Madara serum (Feelunique)

This time miracle serum from Madara is probably something that I got in a Lovelula box, but to be honest, I don’t remember! I haven’t had something that I don’t like from Madara – it’s a natural brand and its products came to be among my favourites in the Lovelula line-up because of their moisturising properties.

It promises to increase the cellular renewal cycle and thus improve the appearance of skin and reduce fine lines. Not sure there’s much that can be done for my frown lines now, but I like the bit about essential moisture and vitality and I enjoyed using this serum.

2. Molton Brown hand cream (Molton Brown)

I picked up this Molton Brown hand cream when I got the hair care products from them a couple of months ago. As I remember, it was to avoid paying P&P, because I’d rather spend the money on something I’d use than the packaging! Also it’s made with oranges, and I like things with a citrus scent.

Yes, it’s luxurious. Yes, it smells great. Yes, it would make a lovely gift. Given the price though, this is more of a luxury, and there are plenty of cheaper brands that do just as well in terms of softening your hands an cuticles!

3. Korres conditioner (Waitrose)

I picked up this Korres sunflower and mountain tea conditioner from the supermarket because I love Korres skincare and wanted to try out a couple of things from their haircare range.

I’m not a specialist, but I noticed too late that this range is for coloured hair. Still, although I don’t have coloured hair, I still used it because as I understand it, the main difference is that the formula is more gentle and doesn’t strip the hair as much. I wouldn’t go out of my way to by products for coloured hair, but I didn’t see any problem with using this one up, especially as I really liked it. My hairdresser even asked what I’d been using because my hair was so soft, silky, and smooth. If anyone knows more about the differences with products for coloured hair, do let me know in the comments.

4. Raspberry body butter (the Body Shop)

I’m a fan of the body butters from the Body Shop® and I had a raspberry one in my drawer. This was more at the beginning of July, before the really hot weather set in and I reached more for the lightweight formulas. Really I’d say this is more of a winter product, but it is good if you have dryer areas that you want to take care of. Raspberry isn’t my personal favourite in terms of the scents, but if it’s yours, then you’ll smell of tangy raspberries all day! I haven’t found one body butter that I don’t like though, so really it’s just a question of personal preference.

If you’re reading this between 14th Aug and 9AM 4th September 2018, there is an online offer at the Body Shop where you can get £10 off when you spend £30. Use code 14671.

5. Body lotion (Lush)

After trying out some Lush products that were kindly sent to me by a reader, I decided to try out some other things from there. I picked up a couple of my favourite bubble bars, and also decided to try out their Sympathy for the Skin body lotion. It comes in a little pot, and is quite thin, a bit like the body yoghurts I’ve talked about from the Body Shop®. It smells really refreshing too – there’s banana in there, but it’s not totally a banana scent. Perhaps it’s the cocoa butter and vanilla blend. In any event, I think this is a good product for the summer – nice and gentle with a refreshing, but not overpowering scent.

In terms of value for money though, it is quite expensive in terms of what you get. If you compare it to the body yoghurts, they are around the same price, but you get twice as much product. So, whilst I liked this, I think there is better value for a similar product elsewhere. Lush is still my go-to place for bubble bars though!

6. I’m forever blowing bubbles (Lush)

This was what I thought would be a bar, but it’s a kind of circular thing on a stick. You’re apparently supposed to use it for blowing bubbles while you’re running your bath. I didn’t – I just used it like a normal bubble bar, but it’s a novel idea, especially for children or children at heart! It’s smaller than the other bubble bars though, so although I enjoyed it, I’d probably just get the normal ones in future.

7. Green lemon and orange blossom body wash (Boots)

I like Sanctuary Spa products, particularly this citrusy range. The green lemon and orange blossom body wash is fresh and good for waking you up in the morning. As I write this, it’s part of a 3-for-2 offer. No idea how long it will last, but I thought it was worth mentioning! I’ve had it before and often come back to this range.

8.Green lemon and orange blossom moisture miracle (Boots)

Something else that’s on 3 for 2 as I write this is the moisture miracle, which is another of the light-weight moisturisers that seem to be everywhere this summer. Put them on damp skin and they’re dry within minutes, whilst still giving you moisture throughout the rest of the day. None of this watery nonsense that I’ve tried with other brands in the past that dry quickly, but make you feel as if there’s nothing there!

If orange and lemon isn’t your thing, there are moisture miracles in their other scents as well!

9. Maybelline pore eraser primer (Amazon)

I got this pore eraser primer because it was recommended as a cheaper alternative to the Porefessional one. It’s quite thick, and if you don’t like silicone-based primers, you probably won’t like it. However, I think it makes a really nice base. You maybe don’t want it on the hottest days, but I like it more than some of the more expensive primers that I’ve received in beauty boxes lately.

10. MUA whipped velvet blush (Amazon)

I finally finished up a make-up product!! I get through my skincare much faster than my make-up, but I came to the end of my cream velvet blush from MUA.

I’m a big fan of products, and I don’t use any powder blushes. I liked this and used it right down to the bottom till there was only a tiny bit smeared around the edges. I do prefer the sticks though because you just draw them on and blend, so I won’t be repurchasing this one.

11. Burt’s Bees tropical pineapple lip balm (Amazon)

I raved about this pineapple lip balm to begin with – because pineapple! It does smell and taste great, but the flavour crystals do feel a bit rough on the lips as you apply it. Great if you want to exfoliate your lips at the same time, but not so great if you keep applying it and want something a bit more gentle on the lips. I do like the Burt’s Bees products, but would pick up the mango or grapefruit smooth ones rather than getting another one with flavour crystals.

12. Mango whipped body lotion (Body Shop®)

I’ve talked about this mango whipped lotion before. It smells amazing. It’s got a creamy light texture – perfect for the summer months. It’s a pump, so a bit more hygienic than the tubs. Ok I had to take it apart to get every last drop out, but you can get most of the product out using the pump. I’ve talked about this before and it’s a firm favourite.

13. Bee Good serum (Amazon)

I won’t go on about this Bee Good serum here because I’ve only just reviewed it in my Latest in Beauty post. It’s something I would get again though.

14. Noughty Blondie Locks shampoo (Amazon)

I got a conditioner and this shampoo as one item in Latest in Beauty, which was really good value because both of them were full-size. I wanted to try out something from Noughty as I’d seen these haircare products around on Feelunique. I don’t want to say anything bad really because I didn’t dislike the shampoo, but having tried out some Korres products at the same time, the Naughty ones just didn’t excite me as much. So there’s nothing wrong with it – I just liked another brand more.

frosted plum shower gel

The last of my Christmas stuff from the Body Shop®. All of their shower gels are nice enough and good quality, but this scent was a bit sweet for me. Bring back the spiced apple!

Update

I realised that I put it in the header image, but forgot to mention the Pixie glow tonic. This is an exfoliating toner that uses glycolic acid to help remove dead skin cells, and is a good alternative for those of us who don’t like physical exfoliants that rub away at the top layer of skin. I’ve tried a few of these and I do prefer the Nip+Fab pads or the Clarins exfoliating toner. This Pixie one is a bit cheaper, but I’m not a fan of the scent.

So, have you used any of these things? Don’t forget to let me know what you think of them!

The shop names in brackets tell you where my link will lead you, but of course you can get the products in other places too. Some of the links are affiliate links. Some are just added to show you more information and pictures for those who want to know what they look like.

You can get £10 off your first Feel Unique order by going onto the site using my affiliate link. This offer is open to new customers only, and the minimum spend is £30.

More from Unseen Beauty

If you’d like to get my catch-up emails, usually twice a week, you can sign up using this form.

The emails contain news of my new posts, other things that I’ve enjoyed (podcasts, posts from other bloggers, interesting articles etc), and any UK shopping information that I think my readers might like.