December products – new haircare favourite, mango goodness, and festive treats

I didn’t get round to finishing this post in December, but I wanted to do a kind of update – it is an empties post of sorts, but it also highlights some of the new brands and new skincare products that I’ve been trying. Let me know if you’ve tried any of these, and if so, what you thought of them!

Aveda

I was given a sample size of the Aveda almond and cherry shampoo along with something else because I helped fix a problem on a website – so it wasn’t paid for by me, but not gifted by the brand either!

I had never tried anything from Aveda before and this shampoo smelled amazing. It was nice and gentle on the hair too, something I appreciate after trying a different one recently that made me feel like my scalp was on fire. I’ll definitely be buying the full size of this along with the conditioner because I think the best way to try things out is to use the shampoo and conditioner together.

Bare minerals

I’ve never used anything from this brand before – mainly because mineral make-up is harder for me to use as someone with a visual impairment, but I didn’t actually know that they did skincare as well.
I got a sample of the Skin longevity serum in an advent calendar and I really enjoyed using it, though it’s not cheap! You’re supposed to use it with a Bare Minerals foundation, which I didn’t, but I would be interested in trying out more skincare from this brand.

Body shop

I thought I’d tried out everything from the mango range, but then I discovered the mango Eau de Toilette! It’s the same juicy mango scent as the rest of the range. To be honest I use it as more of a fruity body spray than a perfume, and I’m really sorry it’s gone! I’ll be replacing it soon!

I’d been avoiding the vanilla scents, but Halloween came round again, so I thought I’d try the vanilla pumpkin hand cream – and I really liked it. It smelled good enough to eat. I think I don’t like pure vanilla on its own, but the pumpkin just gives it something else and I hope they bring it back again next year! I haven’t linked this because it was a Halloween special.

I picked up the spicy vanilla body yoghurt, one of the 2019 Christmas scents, because I had a mini of the shower gel in the same Christmas scent and quite liked it. This scent is very sweet though and if you’re used to more fruity scents, you may want to be a bit less generous at the beginning. The first time I wore the body yoghurt, I slathered it on like I normally do and then went in the car to get some tiles. By the time we’d reached the tile shop I was finding the scent overpowering and not feeling too well! This has never happened with a body lotion or yoghurt before. Since then I used a bit less than I usually would, because this is a fairly strong and sweet scent, and I was fine.

I was having some problems with my face being really sensitive and reacting badly to a mask that I’d tried, so I wanted a moisturiser that would be really gentle. I had tried the vitamin E cream before, but I also wanted to try the aloe one. I really liked it – it did lock in the moisture, but was gentle too and is made with fewer ingredients so keeping it nice and simple. It’s formulated without colour, fragrance and preservatives – which means it’s a good idea to get it used once you’ve opened it, but it also means there is less to irritate it if you do have sensitive skin.

La Roche Posay

I got this vitamin b5 serum in the pick and mix samples from Feelunique. You just pay postage and then you can get five samples for free. You also get the postage back in the form of a voucher that can be spent on Feelunique.

Some of the samples are quite small, but this was a generous one – a folder with 8 sachets for 8 days of use. People tend to descend like vultures if anything good comes on the selection, even though you are only supposed to make one selection each month. So I was lucky to get this.
My skin definitely liked this serum, but you should make sure it has had time to sink in before going in with anything else.

Little butterfly London

Actually I think this is for babies – or at least for mothers with babies – but the dewdrops at dawn body lotion came up on Latest in Beauty, and I decided to give it a try because I hadn’t heard of the brand before and other people were giving it good reviews. It was a full-size body lotion too, and as a 9 item box subscriber, this worked out at £2 for me, which is much less than the actual value. I liked it – it is gentle on the skin, whilst still feeling like you’re putting moisture back. I liked the pump, but it was really hard getting down to the bottom because the packaging is very stiff plastic, and I felt a bit bad because I know I wasted some.

Lush

I’m too late to talk about these really because they were Christmas specials, but I tried out the polar bear bubble bar – which was fresh and minty, but not in a way that was overpowering, and the Santa bubble bar on a stick, which smelled amazing! The polar bear was definitely the best value for money in terms of the bubbles it produced, but if they come back next year, I’d buy either of them again.

Natura Brasil

I was trying out some new products from Feelunique and I came across the Ekos Castanha Body Cream, which seems to be sold out at the moment. I wanted to mention it though, because the cream came in a cardboard box that had Braille on the side. I’ve never seen it as a product marketed towards Braille readers – in fact I didn’t even know it had Braille on until it arrived – but it was lovely to see accessible packaging like this. I don’t know whether this brand puts Braille on all of its packaging, but I think it’s cool, so wanted to give it a mention here!

Rituals

I got a 10ml sample of the Ritual of Dao night balm from the Feelunique Pick n Mix. It lasted a long time because you really don’t need a lot. This is something to put on your hands at night because it is very quick, as you would expect for a balm, and it doesn’t sink in very quickly. It smells great though and your hands do feel soft in the morning.

Shay and Blue

I’d tried a perfume from this brand with the blood orange scent, but then I got this black tulip one in an advent calendar. I don’t think it’s something I would have picked up usually, because I don’t tend to go for floral scents, but I really liked this. It’s different, and maybe it’s just because I got it in winter, but I think it’s a nice wintry scent – a bit spicy and heavier than I would usually wear in the summer.

Vitamasques

This was a lovely Christmassy product from the Pip Box. It’s a cranberry and apple face mask – packed with vitamin C! A lovely pamper treat and festive too! My skin liked it and it wasn’t massive – I don’t have a big face and I like it when I come across masks that fit me properly!

If you enjoyed this, you might also like my November post that was about new products and testing out some high end samples.

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Skincare in November – new products and high-end samples

Someone asked me the other day why I write about products when I’m not paid to do so y brands. But I think the fact that I’m not working on paid advertising campaigns is part of the reason I do it. Sure, if something came up that I really like, I’m not against it, but there has been a big move in the blogging world towards so much sponsored content. People say they’re only giving their real opinions, and I believe some of them, but with many blogs and YouTube accounts it feels more like a magazine with ads than someone having the independence to say what they really think – good or bad.

One of the things in this month’s list is there because a friend gave me a recommendation. She isn’t a blogger, but she’d tried something and thought I would like it. In terms of blogs and YouTube channels, those are the accounts I like to follow too. People who give me tips about things I might like, who share their discoveries, or the things that didn’t work so well for them.

So that’s really why I do it. I have a day job – this is just something I enjoy and want to share with others – because I find it interesting when like-minded people do the same.

Let me know if you have tried any of these products, and if so, what you thought of them.

Body Shop

This is the product that was recommended to me by my friend Sarah – the Aloe body cream. It’s a soothing, cooling and hydrating moisturising gel cream that absorbs quickly. I imagine it’s a good thing to use as a general body cream if you have sensitive skin and react badly to more scented products, but it’s also really good for sun burn. I forgot to renew my sun cream and didn’t realise that as the sun moved, part of my arm was no longer under the parasol. I burn really easily – and badly – and this cream worked well as an after sun.

The camomile range is also a gentle one, and I didn’t realise that the Body Shop did a Micellar water. This isn’t the only product I use to cleanse my skin, but I do use micellar water sometimes and wanted to give this one a go. It’s not the cheapest on the market, but the skincare products are often on free for two, so if you plan it right, it can bring the cost of all the products down. I would buy it again.

I like to try out different moisturisers, but I got a
vitamin E face cream
in an advent calendar, I think it was last year, and this is a range that I often come back to. It’s promoted as being suitable for all skin types and it’s just a really nice face moisturiser. I believe it’s one of the more popular ones too.

If you find the strawberry range a bit sweet, you might like the Japanese cherry blossom and strawberry body cream. I wanted to give it a go because I needed some new body lotion and I thought the cherry blossom might just take the sweet edge off the strawberry. It’s a fairly thin cream, more like a lotion or a body yoghurt than a body butter, and although it’s still quite a sweet fragrance, I do prefer it to the strawberry line on its own.

I’ve talked about the Oils of Life sleeping cream before, but not for a while. It’s more expensive than ranges like vitamin E, but if you want to treat yourself or someone special, it’s a good investment. The cream contains three different seed oils from around the world and leaves your skin feeling soft and smooth in the morning.

The Juicy pear shower gel was a gift from my friend Heidi and it’s part of the Christmas range. It’s actually my favourite of the three scents because it’s so fresh and fruity! It’s good, like all the other shower gels, but I am glad that they created this as one of the festive fragrances. If you think you might like juicy pears from Italy, go and have a sniff and see what you think.

Gatineau

Advent calendars are to blame for this! I discovered Gatineau a couple of years ago because there was a night cream from this brand in an advent calendar. After that I got a discovery set that contained their serum, and I was convinced. This is a very expensive serum, even if you can get it in the sale, but I really do rate it. I finished up the ultimate smoothing Serum and this made me sad! I haven’t replaced it yet, but if I see it in the sale I’ll definitely think about it. It works to reduce the early signs of aging, but is also a really nice serum to hydrate and smooth the skin.

I also got a sample size of the peeling treatment, which definitely got my attention because I like chemical peeling products as opposed to physical ones. The consistency is a little strange at first – it’s like a fairly thick cream, but once you massage it in, it feels more like an oil. You can either wash it off after a few minutes, or leave it on for 20 minutes as a peeling mask and then wash it off. I think some detoxifying treatments are a bit hit and miss, but I definitely noticed results after this one with less clogged pores and skin that felt refreshed. Again, the price tag reflects this, but I do think this is a premium skincare brand that works – and not one where you’re just paying for the name.

Korres

If I feel like pampering myself with a shower gel, I often pick up something from Korres – either from Feelunique or from Ocado. My favourite is the Almond and cherry shower gel – it moisturises as well as cleanses, and it smells amazing!

L’Occitane

I got a mini Verbena perfume in an advent calendar last year. I’m not sure if you can buy these tiny bottles separately. I do like the verbena scent, but tended to use it as more of a body scent than a perfume. I think really I prefer this scent as a shower gel or body lotion.

Origins

I got this mega-mushroom treatment as part of an Origins set. I really liked some of the products, but I wasn’t really sure what to do with this. It said to use after cleansing to reduce redness, so I used it as a kind of toner on areas when my skin was being particularly sensitive. I don’t think I’d get it again, but maybe I’m just not the right target audience.

However, the orange gel cream is definitely something that I would use again – it’s a lightweight moisturiser and it smells of oranges. Actually this was the reason I gto the set of minis in the first place!

Zelens

I got a mini of this transformer instant renewal mask in an advent calendar. This is one of the times when the calendars can be really good, because you try things you otherwise wouldn’t. This mask is very expensive and I wouldn’t usually pick something like this up. I’ve heard great things about Zelens, and I definitely enjoyed giving it a go – although with a smaller size it’s hard to tell whether the product really worked. Normally it’s a bit out of my price range though.

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Pip box in October – cruelty-free subscription box

At the end of October, I got the 2nd of the three birthday Pip boxes that my mum got for my birthday. So yes, this is gifted, but not by the brand and therefore not sponsored.

These boxes come out at the end of the month, which is why I review them at the beginning of the following month. I thought there was a good range of products again this time, with only one new brand for me, but I’ve been wanting to try some other products from the brands that I new, so this gave me a chance to do that. All the products are cruelty-free and vegan – I’m not vegan, but if you’re specifically looking for a vegan box for yourself or a friend, I’d say this is a good one to try.

I ended up keeping four out of the five products this time, but that’s only because I prefer cream blushes. The person who got the blusher is happy with it, so my not keeping the product is no reflection on its quality.

Skin care for the body

We got a pouch of the sweet orange hand Cream by Sknfed. This is a new brand for me, and I like the packaging – it feels less wasteful because it’s a soft pouch and you can squeeze out every drop. It also takes up less space in your handbag – I just need to make sure I don’t puncture it with anything sharp!

The hand cream has a fairly strong orange scent, which is good because I like anything citrusy. I’m always in need of hand cream, so I thought this was a good thing to put in the November box. The hand cream contains shea butter and cocoa butter, but it’s fairly thin, so you need to watch out that you don’t get too much~!

Skincare for the face

The pomegranate regenerating Sleeping Mask by Dr Botanicals

has been doing the rounds in beauty boxes for a while, but this is the first time that I’ve got one, so I was happy to try it out. As the name suggests, you apply a thin layer to clean skin and leave the mask on overnight, cleansing as usual in the morning.

It doesn’t have a strong scent, and it’s full of antioxidants to smoothen and brighten your skin while you sleep. This was new for me because most of the overnight masks that I use are moisturising ones. I rarely put overnight masks on directly before going to bed because I want to give them a bit of time to sink in – nobody wants mask all over the pillow – but you don’t have to worry with this one as it absorbs fairly quickly and doesn’t leave your face feeling sticky.

Haircare

I’ve used sheet masks from Vitamasques before, but I didn’t know that they do haircare too. We had a reusable sachet of the blossom hair masque, which contains evening primrose and cherry blossom, and is recommended as a deep conditioning hair treatment.

I don’t overdo it with styling or hours in the sunshine, but my hair is very long and that’s why I like to give it a deep conditioning treatment a couple of times a month. I find I can’t use some of the haircare products that you get in boxes, but I can use this and I’m always happy to see hair masks. It’s also a decent size for if you have a lot of hair – some are tiny!

Bathtime

We got a 50ml bottle of the Sensual rose bubble bath and shower gel from Kathleen. It comes in two sizes – 50ml and 150ml.

You can buy me roses, but I’m not usually too fond of rose-scented products. However, this one also contains orange and nutmeg, so the rose isn’t quite as strong, which I think makes it more pleasant. It’s not my favourite from the range, but it was good to try it out and see what other people do to make a rose scent a bit less rosy!

Makeup

I can’t review the paradise Blush from Manna Kadar because I passed it on. It was a little pot of mineral blush, and I didn’t keep it as I don’t use this type of product. Still, it was a nice addition to the box and I know it is being used and enjoyed!

What do you think?

All in all I was pleased with this box. Keeping four of five products isn’t bad, I got to try a new brand, and the other things are products that I will use or have already used. In fact only the handcream is left!

Have you used any of these products before? What did you think of the products? Let me know in the comments and if you want to take a look at the Pip Box, you can check out their website.

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New skincare in October – the Lovelula subscription box

It’s November already, but I like to give things a try before I write about them. That’s why I’m talking about the October Lovelula box today. This is not a sponsored post – I paid for the box myself and wanted to talk about its contents with you in case some of you are interested in trying out a new natural and cruelty-free subscription (I don’t receive a commission if you do!)

So, what was in the box this month?

Balmonds Intensive Facial Oil

This facial oil is my favourite product from the box this month. I hadn’t heard of the brand before, and I’m only really just getting back into facial oils. Apart from the ingredients, the packaging really makes or breaks them for me, because I don’t like the ones that have a big old neck and can make a mess because they come out too fast. No chance of that happening here though because it comes with a pipette, so you can get as much as you need in an easy, controlled way.

The product costs £22 at the time of writing, which is more than I paid for the entire box. It says you can use it as an overnight treatment, which is what I’ve been doing.

It contains rosehip oil, lavender, palmarosa, chamomile essential oils, along with cold-pressed sunflower and calendula oils. It doesn’t have an overpowering lavender scent and leaves my face feeling really soft after use.

Dr Botanicals Cocoa & Coconut Superfood Reviving Hydrating Mask

This was my second favourite this month. I’ve tried a couple of products from Dr Botanicals before, but I hadn’t heard of this wash-off mask before.

You apply it to a clean face, leave for five to ten minutes, then wash off. It contains cocoa butter to moisturise, and coconut oil to rehydrate and protect the skin. I really think my skin is enjoying some of these more gentle products and although I usually tend to go for rehydration masks that you leave on overnight, I enjoyed trying something new and will keep this in my skincare routine.

Seascape Island Apothecary Uplift Body Lotion

Laidbare Pac

I was a bit surprised to see another body lotion because we had one in the September box. I don’t mind, because I get through quite a lot of the stuff, but I can imagine some people not being so happy about another one so soon.

To be honest, I ddid prefer last month’s one because it had a citrus scent, whereas for me, this one is predominantly lavender. I do like lavender, but more in my bath than on my skin afterwards.

It’s a nice body lotion though, and something that I’ll definitely use. It also contains lime and eucalyptus, along with beeswax and shea butter to moisturise the skin. Maybe if the lime could be a little more promenant?

Laidbare Pack Your Bags Eye Cream

Laidbare is a budget-friendly brand, and anyone who’s been reading my blog for a while will have seen me raving about their sunflower hand cream! I hadn’t tried their eye cream before, so I was interested to give it a go. It’s a generous size and aims to target dark circles, as well as provide moisture around the delicate eye area.

To be honest, I have more eye creams than a girl could need, but that isn’t Lovelula’s fault, because they didn’t come from these subscription boxes.

Mossa Glow Cocktail Serum

We also got a sample of the glow cocktail serum, but I think you’d really need to try it out for longer to see whether it really works. It is something that I would consider using though, and contains vitamin C for a brighter complexion. I keep seeing cloudberries coming up in ingredients and really should find out more about them.

Overall thoughts

I think it’s another good box. I’ve discovered two new brands, and tried out some products from three that I was already familiar with.

Most of the products came in cardboard boxes, but I took them out so that you can see the products themselves mor clearly.

I wasn’t feeling the love for the plastic wrapping outside the box for the body lotion, but overall there isn’t a lot of excess plastic in this box.

If we add these products to the ones from the September box, that’s 10 products, and 10 that I will use. I don’t expect this run of good fortune to keep going – it’s natural that one or two things will come up that I’ll need to pass along to someone else, but so far I’ve been really pleased that I can, and want to, use everything. These two months have given us a decent number of full-sized products two – which is great when you consider some of the comparibly priced boxes are mainly sample sizes.

Did you get the Lovelula box in October? What did you think of the products? If not, is it a subscription box that you would consider getting? Let me know in the comments.

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Old favourites and new skincare in October

It’s time for me to talk about some new discoveries and old favourites from the world of skincare this month! Let me know if you’ve tried any of these and what you thought of them!

Body shop

These aren’t out yet, but I was given a couple of gifts from the new Body Shop Christmas ranges by my friend Heidi. Although I couldn’t find them online, I believe you can put orders in through the Body Shop at Home consultants like Heidi – Here’s Heidi’s Facebook group. So I tried the bath bomb and the shower gel from the spiced vanilla range.

I don’t usually go for vanilla anything, but this one isn’t overpoweringly sweet, and it makes me think of Christmas – maybe because they’ve done other vanilla ranges at Christmas. The bath bombs fill your bathroom with the scent of whichever one you choose – don’t be fooled by their small size! I usually top them up with a bit of bubble bath too because I like bubbles!

Next a couple of things from last year’s advent calendar. They are both body creams – the Japanese camellia cream is made with oil from the camellia flower to soften skin and relax mind and body. It’s from the Spa of the World range, and it’s a rich, creamy body cream for when you feel like pampering yourself!

The other body cream is also Spa of the World and it’s the Ethiopian green coffee body cream. At first I was a little disappointed with this product because I thought it would smell like a rich cup of coffee, and it doesn’t. But if you don’t come at it with that expectation, it’s a good body cream, which is meant to help your skin feel firmer and smoother.

The vitamin E range is one of the popular ones – it’s gentle and suitable for most skin types. The vitamin E quench sheet mask is for moisturising. It won’t take the place of a good skincare routine, but if you want to give your face a drink and give yourself a pamper evening, it’s a good choice. I usually use one or two sheet masks each week and really like to take the time to unwind with them. Tip – if you don’t like the dripping sensation from the mask, do them lying down.

Finally a while ago I wanted to look at what other toners the Body Shop has on offer and I found the Chinese rice and Ginseng milky toner for brighter looking skin. I liked to use this with the vitamin C range. It’s more gentle than the tea tree toner and with the same consistency as a milky cleanser, although obviously it’s a toner. I’ve since gone on to try a couple of other toners, so I wouldn’t repurchase immediately, but I did enjoy trying this, especially as it’s something that people don’t often talk about.

Boots

Unfortunately I can’t provide the links here because the products seem to be sold out at the moment, but I got a couple of the products from the Boots Extracts mango range for my birthday.

People know this girl loves mangos! I hadn’t heard of the Boots extracts range before, but if you come across them and like mangos, I’d give them a try! I had the shower gel and the body butter. I hope they have more stock soon.

Elgon

I’d never heard of this brand until I got the hair mask in the Glossybox advent calendar last year. It’s not a brand I’ve seen since either, and it seems quite hard to get hold of here. But I was really happy to see a hair mask in the calendar – I don’t have any use for some of the other hair styling products, but the mask was good and a fairly generous size too!

Korres

I’m a fan of Korres anyway, but I recently discovered this Santorini vine body milk, which contains soothing aloe, shea butter and almond oil. Like all of the Korres products I’ve tried so far, it’s good quality (your skin feels soft for ages) and this has a refreshing, non-artificial scent. It’s hard to say what it is exactly – you can definitely smell the almond, but it’s not only almonds that you can smell. Nice and refreshing for the summer, but really good at any time of the year.

Laidbare

I’ve talked about Laidbare before, but I was really pleased to see the Sunflower hand cream come up on Latest in Beauty. The link I’ve given here isn’t to Latest in Beauty, because you can’t buy individual products, but as someone with a 9 product box, I’m basically paying £2 for each product, which is a bargain when you get a 50ml tube of this really good hand cream! I picked it up a couple of times when I was doing my monthly selections, and I think it’s sold out now.

This brand often appears in natural beauty boxes such as Lovelula and I highly recommend the hand cream, which is non-greasy and absorbs well. I have one on my desk now in addition to the one I finished up!

Lush

My favourite thing from Lush has to be the bubble bars! The Karma bubble bar is bound to be a winner for me with its mixture of lemon grass, orange oil, and mango butter! All the good citrus things! Watch out for the glitter though as it goes everywhere!

Nivea

I was supposed to put this in the last post, but I forgot. Still, I wanted to mention this Spray on after sun lotion because I got really burned this year, which is a bad idea, and something I usually avoid because I am fussy about wearing my factor 50 sun cream. But I forgot to reapply it and paid for it later.

The spray on after sun was great because I could aim at the sore patch and tentatively rub it in, rather than going straight in there and applying it with my hands. I like the Body Shop aloe lotion too, but that doesn’t have a spray pump as this Nivea one does.

The best advice is don’t do what I did, but if you do, this may come in handy.

No 7

I think No. 7 often gets overlooked, but they do have some decent products, such as the Lift and luminate Serum, This serum contains three times the active ingredient concentration of the moisturiser in the same line, and is intended to support the skin renewal process and reduce the appearance of fine lines. I wore it under several different moisturisers and it’s a serum I would buy again.

Superdrug

I decided to have a look at some of Superdrug’s own brand face care products. The vitamin C gel moisturiser is a bit like the vitamin C one that the Body Shop does. If you compare them side by side, I do prefer the Body Shop one, but the Superdrug one is more affordable and it does a good job as well. I’ve certainly had more expensive moisturisers that I didn’t enjoy as much as this one.

It’s my usual gripe with vitamin C products though – vitamin C reacts with the air, so a tub with a lid is not the best. If you’re going to get one, don’t have it hanging around open for ages!

This Works

I keep hearing people raving about the in transit camera close up primer but I didn’t like it. I’m not fond of things that are meant to do multiple jobs anyway – this is supposed to be a mask, a moisturiser, and a primer. I want different things from each of these product, and for me this doesn’t work! I ended up using it as a mask because I didn’t like the way that make-up set on top of it, or the way it spread on my skin. I didn’t buy it specifically because I think it came in an advent calendar, but I wouldn’t buy it again.

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

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Pip Box in September – cruelty-free subscription box

Today I’d like to introduce you to another beauty box – the Pip Box. It’s a cruelty-free box and 50p from each box sold goes to an animal charity. Also, the box was named after its founder’s dog, Pip.

This was gifted because it was a birthday present from my mum, but it’s not a sponsored post.

The Pip Box comes out towards the end of the month. Mine arrived on the 26th September, but I wanted to try out the products before telling you about them. The September box was called the Glow Edit – it isn’t available to buy now, but you’ll get an idea of the kind of things that you might find in the box. You can buy the box monthly, take out a subscription, which works out cheaper, or gift one or more boxes to someone else, which is what my Mum did.

The sign-up process is accessible with a screenreader.

So what was inside?

Bali balm cinnamon and burnt orange lip balm

I’d never heard of Bali balm before, but this cinnamon and burnt orange lip balm turned out to be my favourite thing in the box! I have more lip balms than I probably need, but this one smells and tastes amazing! The orange scent comes from orange peel, and cinnamon is used because it’s a natural anti-inflammatory and can help with blood circulation, therefore giving you plumper lips. Actually I have quite full lips anyway, but I didn’t know that about cinnamon – that’s good to know! Also, it makes me think of Christmas baking, so now I have an excuse when I make my next batch of Zimtsterne (cinnamon star biscuits) – it’s good for your circulation, right?

Seriously though, the lip gloss has a lovely texture and your lips feel soft for ages afterwards. Great for as the weather gets colder.

Nakin cleansing milk

I’ve heard of Nakin before, but had never tried anything from the brand. This advanced cleansing milk is a gentle cleanser that contains hyaluronic acid, seaweed and plant extracts. It removes make-up and environmental toxins/excess oil, stimulates cell turn-over, promising to leave your skin feeling clear, smooth and radiant. According to the website, it’s also suitable for sensitive skin.

My skin can be sensitive at times, so I was hoping to find some gentle products in these boxes. It isn’t fragranced, does remove make-up, and I didn’t have any problems or reactions after using it. It’s basically a nice, gentle cleanser.

Diamond eye pads from vitamasques

This set of eye pads are infused with diamond extract and caffeine. They promise that you’ll feel as relaxed as you do after a great night’s sleep. The formula also promises to brighten up tired eyes, feel cooling, and eliminate fine lines.

I certainly felt relaxed after using them. I’m not sure one treatment can completely eliminate fine lines, but it’s a nice sensation after a long day and I do think this kind of mask helps you to relax. I’ve had sheet masks from this brand before, but never tried any of their eye products.

This Danish brand is another new one for me. Actually that’s one of the things I like about these boxes – the chance to get to know new brands and try new products. If you’ve been around beauty subscription boxes for a while, you can start to see the same things turning up again and again – but I’ve found that the cruelty-free and more natural boxes tend to offer a bit more variety in this respect.

This refreshing scrub mask promises to help you avoid oily and blemished skin. These are my tormentors at certain times of the month, so I was eager to give this a go!
It is a mask that you leave on for 10-15 minutes and then wash off with lukewarm water. I lasted about 10 because what they describe as a “refreshing feeling” from the menthol is actually quite intense! Not unpleasant, but it would wake you up in the morning. If you do have sensitive skin, it’s worth doing a patch test first to make sure it’s ok for you.
The mask contains both chemical and physical exfoliants – salicylic acid and black jojoba beads. There’s also apricot kernel oil and shea butter to soften the skin, and jojoba oil to moisturise.

Once I’d got used to the sensation, I was ok with it and after a while it did actually feel good. This is a purifying mask, so you may see evidence of impurities in the form of spots after using it, but the point of the deep cleansing is to bring out those impurities and dead skin cells so they won’t block your pores.

This is a new product for me, and one that I enjoyed using. Still, I personally would use this once, rather than once or twice a week.

Mineral eye shadow

I can’t review this because I gave it away. I don’t use loose powder eye shadows because as a blind person, I find liquid or cream ones easier to work with. So I gave this to my mum, who said she liked the colour and it was something that she would wear.

Overall thoughts

I would use four out of five of these products, which is not bad for a beauty box. I don’t expect to keep everything in boxes and the thing that I gave away was one of the lower value items. I liked the range of products, was introduced to some new brands, and think these will come in handy for the cooler winter months. It’s also great to have some more cruelty-free products in my skincare regime.

I have two more of these boxes coming and look forward to seeing what else there is.
Have you had anything from the Pip Box? Let me know in the comments. If you want to find out more about them, you can visit the Pip Box website.

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Lovelula subscription box September 19

Lovelula was the first beauty subscription box I tried. I’ve had a break for a few months, but I decided to re-subscribe last month after seeing some great products from previous months on various blogs and YouTube channels. This is not a sponsored post – I just like the box and wanted to tell you what I got in mine.
Lovelula is a beauty box for natural and cruelty-free skincare and make-up items. There are various plans which mean you can save money the more boxes you sign up for, but a rolling monthly subscription costs £14.95 at the time of writing and the value of the products was around 4 times that.

My favourite product this month

When I got this box before, I was introduced to Madara – a brand that produces a wide range of moisturising face and body products. I didn’t know that they did body creams too, so I was really happy with the Infusion Vert intense anti-oxidant body cream that we got in the September box. It’s a generous size (200ml) and it’s my kind of scent as someone who loves all things citrus. It contains horsetail, thyme and lemon balm, with the main scent being the lemon. The cream absorbs fairly quickly, but your skin is soft all day.

Something for the cold autumn evenings!

Anyone who has been reading this blog for a while will know that I love baths! I love them all year round, but especially when we get to autumn and cosy nights in!
The Kathleen Tranquil fields bubble bath and shower gel was also a generous size – 150ml. It’s more something that I would use as a bubble bath because the main scents are lavender, vanilla and frankincense. I have paid its full price for bubble bath before, but it would have to be a special treat and one that I really liked!
I tend to be a bit more generous with it than the instructions suggest, because I like lots of bubbles. That means I’ll get through it a lot quicker and the price per use will go up – so if you really like your bubbles, this might not be the best thing. Still, I think the lavender will help me to relax when I’m taking time out to soak, particularly if I do it before bed.

Something new to try

My aunt once told me you can only say you don’t like something if you’ve tried it at least once. She had a point!
I don’t usually use oil cleansers and I didn’t think I was going to like the Balm Balm little miracle cleanser, but I wanted to give it a fair chance. The cleanser comes in a little glass bottle with a pump. You apply it with your hands and then remove it with a damp cloth or cotton pad.
The first time I tried it, I thought I’d never get the oil off and it would be greasy for the rest of the day! I also wasn’t sure about the rose scent. But I was pleasantly surprised! It did come off and my face was so soft afterwards. I think this is one of the nice things about the subscription boxes – you may get things that you can’t or won’t use, but it’salso a way to try out new products or types of product that you otherwise wouldn’t have picked up.
So I was happy with this one and am now more open-minded about giving oil cleansers a fair try!

Make-up

I’ve never used a soy mascara before, but this month I got to try one! I’ve never heard of the Brand Imani before either, but we got an full-sized midnight soy mascara..
Plus points were no flaking or clumping and I liked the packaging. Not so sure about the no smudging though and I did apply a second coat. The biggest problem for me is that I’m fussy when it comes to my wands and I like a big fluffy one rather than a curved one. So although I’ll use this, it doesn’t tick all the boxes it would need to for me to buy it again.

Sample

We also received a sample of the UrbanVeda reviving body wash, which I took away with me this week. It was creamy and the product itself was nice enough, but I found the scent a bit too floral. Still, if they have other scents in the range, I’d be interested to try them out.

Overall thoughts

You never know what you’re going to get in a beauty box, and some months you may end up with things to pass along or put in a giveaway. I was happy that I can and will use everything in this box – so that was an automatic win for me and it made me happy!
My clear favourite was the Madara product and I would buy that again. The Balm Balm product was a pleasant surprise – I need to try it out for longer than a couple of days, but I like it more than I thought I would. The Kathleen bubble bath isn’t something that I’d buy, but I will enjoy using it.
What do you think about this box? Have you used any of these products before? Let me know in the comments!

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15 bath and skincare products to talk about in September

I’m back with a products post to tell you about 15 more (mainly bath and skincare) products that I’ve been using recently. Have you used any of these? Let me know in the comments!

Body Shop

NO empties post on Unseen Beauty is complete without some Body Shop products.

The Mango body butter is one of my favourites because it’s from the mango range. It’s not a new product for me, but I love the tropical scent and the way it leaves your skin so soft afterwards.

I got the super volumising mascara because I wanted to find a cruelty-free one that I liked, but unfortunately although this was ok, I didn’t find it as volumising as some of my others, so I’m still looking. On the plus side, it had a decent brush and it didn’t clump.

I’m still using up advent calendar products, and last year I got the moringa body yoghurt. I love the body yoghurts, especially in the summer. The mango one is my favourite, followed by almond milk and honey. I don’t tend to by from the moringa range because it’s too floral for me, but if floral is your thing, then this is a great product because I’d highly recommend the body yoghurts on the whole.

I only use roll-on deodorants now because they’re better for the environment than aerosol cans, but I only recently discovered that the Body Shop did a roll-on deodorant as well. It’s from the aloe range, which is also quite new to me, but which is gentle and kind to the skin. It’s formulated for sensitive skin, so has no fragrance, but it does the job it’s supposed to, and I usually wear a body mist anyway, so the lack of fragrance doesn’t bother me. It’s slightly more expensive than other roll-on deodorants, but it’s made with community trade ingredients and gentle on the skin, so I would pay the extra and buy it again.

I picked up the tea tree skin clearing toner even though it’s for oily skin, which I don’t have! Still, if I do use it at times when I have hormonal breakouts because of the skin clearing properties – tea tree oil is my friend when it comes to that. This product took me a bit longer to use up because it’s not the right skin type for me to use all the time, but I like to have one or two tea tree products in my stash for when I need them.

Bubble Tea

Not for drinking! As well as a range of bath products, I discovered that Bubble Tea also produces hand cream. This lemongrass hand cream is out of stock as I’m writing this, but it was fresh and citrusy, and a good size too at 100 ml It also contains pineapple and shea butter, and is cruelty-free! I just got it from the supermarket and hope it will come back in stock.

Burt’s Bees

I love all things grapefruit, so when I saw that Burt’s Bees had a pink grapefruit lip balm I snapped it up! I have too many lip balms really, but this one actually got finished up, which shows how much I liked it! I can highly recommend the mango and pink grapefruit lip balms from this range – they keep your lips nice and soft, and they smell and taste amazing!

Clinique

I got a mini of this high impact mascara as a gift with purchase when I had my Clinique make-over.

As someone who can’t see to apply her make-up, as a rule I tend to struggle with mini mascaras more than full-size ones, but I wouldn’t expect a full-size one as a gift with purchase. It’s described as thickening and volumising and I would buy it again because I agree it does both!

Elizabeth Arden

When I was about 16, someone bought me the Sunflowers perfume for Christmas and I felt like buying it again a couple of years ago. It’s very fresh and summary with notes of melon and peach. Buying perfume is always a bit risky, but this friend did well and the fruity fragrance is just my thing. I’m not sure if it’s too young for me now, or it just makes me feel 16 again because it was my signature fragrance at that time!

Freshly

I’ve talked about the Freshly products before, but I finally finished up the toner as well, which lasted a long time because it came in a spray bottle, meaning you spray it directly onto the face. It’s good because you don’t waste any, but it’s also good because there’s no need for cotton pads. I liked all of the products in this set. They’re not cheap, but they didn’t give me any reactions, and they’re made with natural ingredients from fruits and other foods, which means they smell amazing too. This soothing and hydrating toner had lime extract in it, and the apple micellar water was lovely too.

Lush

This is a Halloween special, so if you want it, you need to get it before they all get snapped up! Yesterday I tried the lucky cat bewitched bubble bar, which comes in the shape of a lucky cat face. It smells of bergamotte and blackberry. Poor little cat face, but it makes a lovely relaxing bath!

Nuxe

After being introduced to this brand last Christmas, I was interested to try some more of their products when they came up on Latest in Beauty. I’ve got a couple of mini tubes of the correction cream, which has a light, gel-like texture and the typical Nuxe scent. It’s for normal to combination skin and although it does feel lightweight, it keeps the skin moisturised and is also intended to help protect the skin against pollution whilst protecting the skin’s natural balance.

Radox

Good old Radox! I usually just use them for bubble bath, but was intrigued to try out the grapefruit shower gel! I have to be honest and say I don’t like it as much as the Body Shop pink grapefruit range, but if you need some shower gel and are looking for a grapefruit one, it’s a good everyday one to have.

Madara

I forgot I had this, but this overnight cream from Madara is something I would buy again. You tend to get a lot of Madara products in the Lovelula natural beauty boxes, and they tend to cater more towards dry skin. I’ve tried a few of their products now, but recently found out that they do haircare and body lotion too, so I’m looking forward to trying out some of those.

Yes to

There’s been a bit of a grapefruit theme this time. I also tried the Yes to grapefruit body wash and was happy enough with it. However, I’ve had bad reactions to two different lines from this brand, so although this body wash was fine for me, I’m going to be avoiding the brand in future because there’s something in some of their products that really doesn’t like me.

So, what have you been using or used up recently that you would recommend? Let me know in the comments!

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Latest in Beauty choices – August 2019

I thought I’d let you see what I picked for my Latest in Beauty choices in August.

Latest in Beauty is a subscription box with a difference – you can choose your own products.

I think this can make it a better option because although you can’t guarantee in advance that you’ll love everything, you can definitely make sure that you don’t get products in your box that are the wrong shade or that you will just leave sitting in a drawer for ages because you won’t use them.

I don’t make my choices on the highest value products, although I do try to make sure that they’re good value for money. This works – partly because you do end up paying less than the retail price, but also because I’m not wasting money on things I won’t use.

You can choose a 3, 6 or 9 product box. I get 9 products for £18, which means that the products work out at around £2 each.

Every month there is a star product, which means there is enough of this product for any subscriber who wants one. I didn’t get the August star product because it was an eye liner and I don’t use those, but September’s is a Nars lipstick and I’ll be snapping that up!

I didn’t get any make-up this time, but on the site there is skincare, makeup, haircare, tools, and bath stuff. Products are added all through the month, so you’re not at a disadvantage if you get your box at the end of the month like I do. New products are being added each day, but some of the ones mentioned here are still available.

A quick note about accessibility – as a blind customer I have no problem picking out my items and checking them out each month. This should be the way it is for all sites, but unfortunately this isn’t the case with all beauty boxes, so I like to highlight good practice when I find it!

Face masks

I like to use my LiB subscription to stock up on face masks because there are often new ones in the edit, and it’s a really cost-effective way to buy masks. I have only ever had one bad experience in about 3 years of trying different masks, and that was with a well-known brand. This didn’t put me off trying others – particularly the more natural ones.

  • It’s skin fresh mask avocado – with natural ingredients and over 25 vitamins. I’ve had this one before and it’s a nourishing mask for when your face needs some hydration.
  • It’s skin fresh mask olive – a firming and refreshing mask, again for dry skin. I haven’t tried this one yet, but I liked the avocado one and this is from the same brand.
  • Mitomo soy bean mask – to keep pores clean. I love Korean and Japanese skincare and although I haven’t tried this mask before, I’ve had another one from the brand. I got this because it’s said to reduce irritation and improve skin texture. My skin’s been a bit sensitive lately, so I thought something that was both detoxifying and soothing would be a nice treat!

Hair

  • Jo Hansford intensive hair mask – to be used as a wash-off mask or an overnight treatment. This isn’t strictly for my type of hair because my hair isn’t coloured, but I wanted to try something from the Jo Hansford range and I generally give my hair a mask treatment every one or two weeks because it’s very long and I want the ends to get some tlc! This mask contains Ethically harvested Castanha do Brasil and sunflower extract.

New to try

Every month I like to try a few new things just because they’re there and I can! Sometimes this means full sizes, other times it’s a sample – but even with samples it’s good to try something out first before buying the full size.

  • Sebamed clear face mattifying cream – because hormonal breakouts! Reduces the skin’s oily shine and the formation of pimples, blackheads and skin impurities. I thought this may help, particularly at the times of the month when the hormonal breakouts like to raise their ugly heads!
  • Weleda sea buckthorn body wash – my favourite from Wileda is the pomegranate range, but I thought I’d give this a go too because generally the brand makes things that smell great and that are also gentle on the skin.

General things that I need

Sometimes I pick up general things like deodorant, cotton pads, shower gel etc because they are things that I always use and want to keep topped up.

  • Sure advance protect antiperspirant roll on – not very exciting, but it’s something I use every day, so why not pick one up when they’re here?

Yardley London lily of the valley hand cream – I tend to get through hand creams because I have one on my desk, one in my bag, one by my bed etc. Also, if my hands are covered in hand cream, I’m less likely to bite my cuticles. Well it’s a strategy at least. So I picked this up because I hadn’t tried anything from Yardley and I thought it sounded good. It has a floral, but not overpoweringly floral scent. The cream rubs in well and isn’t greasy.

Fragrance

I don’t often get fragrances, but I will if I think something looks interesting.

  • Kieren NYC perfume bundle – I got this because I thought it would be a good way to get to know the brand as there are four fragrances in the set. They come on cards in a little bag. I am not sure if any of them are going to be my new favourite scent – I need to test them out a bit more. I automatically liked Sunday brunch because of the citrus notes, but I also liked 10 a.m. flirt because it’s fruity.

Have you tried Latest in Beauty? If so, what did you get in August? If not, do you think it’s a good idea?

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New products and old favourites from the Body Shop

I guess the brand that I am most loyal to is the Body Shop. I don’t use their products exclusively, but I buy a lot of stuff from there because the products are great value, they’re kind to my skin (I’ve never had a bad reaction from anything there), I like the brand’s ethics, and the products smell amazing too.
This post is about some things from a recent online order, where I also got to spend the points I earned from recycling my old products, and some things I picked up in a Sale on Facebook. Heidi is a Body Shop at Home consultant and she has a Facebook group where the sale was held.

What I got from Heidi’s sale

The sale was stock clearance, so everyone watching the Facebook live could just say which products they wanted from the selection and buy them if they were still available.
I was happy when the Body Shop started doing sheet masks as I give myself a face mask treatment once or twice a week, and the sheet masks are so much nicer to use than the ones that you paint on. I got two of the vitamin c sheet masks, which are part of the vitamin C range for hydrated and more radiant-looking skin. These masks definitely have enough serum in them, but they are not sopping like some others where you feel that you are wasting serum. I find the Body Shop masks fit my face well (some from other brands are definitely too large, too wide, or go up too far above the eyes. However, they don’t cover the chin and lower jaw area as well as some others do.
Recently a new range of hand washes came out and I was eager to try them, especially as one was my 2nd favourite scent – pink grapefruit! The pink grapefruit hand wash smells amazing, just like the rest of the range. It leaves your hands feeling soft, and although it’s a bit more expensive than other hand washes on the market, the packaging is part of the recycling scheme, so you can earn £1 back in points when you recycle it. You can read more about the recycling scheme here. I probably wouldn’t use these all the time, but I definitely like them as a grapefruity treat!
I hadn’t had anything from the banana range for a while, so I also got a banana shower cream, which is one of the special summer edition shower creams. I like the fruity scent, but I also like the fact that it’s made from bananas that won’t sell to the food industry and presumably would otherwise have gone to waste.This shower cream smells exactly like the banana haircare products.
I don’t usually buy from the strawberry range, but I do like the fast-absorbing body yoghurts, especially in the summer, when it’s hot. So I got a pot of the strawberry body yoghurt as a change from the mango or almond milk and honey ones that I usually get. This body yoghurt is enriched with strawberry juice and almond milk and the strawberry scent really makes you think of summer.
So that’s what I got from the sale – a couple of things I liked already, a new product, and an older product that was new to me.

What I picked up from the Body Shop online

The online store is mostly accessible, although I have had problems applying vouchers using a screenreader.
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know that the mango range is my favourite. I had £5 to spend because I returned 5 items of recycling, so I spent them on a mango shower gel because it smells amazing!
I picked up the almond hand wash too, but it doesn’t appear to be on the site any more. If it comes back, it’s a good alternative for you if you aren’t into fruity scents as much. I like it because it has a distinctive almond scent, more so than the almond milk and honey range.
I’ve tried the eye shadow sticks before. They’re certainly easier to use than powder eye shadows. I have a couple from the Body Shop and have recommended them in the past, though now I’ve tried a few other brands, the Body Shop ones aren’t the gentlest on the eyes, and they can dry out and drag a bit. I prefer the formula to be a bit more creamy. Anyway, I’ve recently been investigating liquid eye shadows because even without being able to see what I’m doing, I can paint the liquid eye shadow on where I want it with no worries about fall-out as I’d get with a powder. So I was interested to see the metallic eye shadows, which unfortunately seem to be out of stock at the moment. Not every day will be a metallic eye shadow kind of day, but I was happy with this because it gives me another option that I can feel confident about using without worrying whether it looks ok.
I’ve already mentioned the vitamin C masks. I used something that my skin really didn’t like recently, so I picked up a couple of things from the aloe range because they’re good for soothing and hydrating skin – either because you naturally have sensitive skin, or because you had an experience like I did and justwant to sooth it after irritation.(Of course if you have skin concerns, you should seek advice yourself as this recommendation won’t be suitable for everyone). Anyway, the aloe range has helped me in the past, so I got one aloe sheet mask and one vitamin E sheet mask” because they are good for hydration.
These masks are also good in the really hot weather because they have a cooling effect as the liquid evaporates.

How about you?

Do you like any of these products, or have you tried anything new recently from the Body Shop? Let us know in the comments!

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