New finds from my beauty and skincare subscriptions

I haven’t done a skincare and haircare post in a while, so I thought I’d share with you a few recent finds from my subscriptions. Let me know in the comments whether you’ve tried any of these!

Odyssey box

One of my favourite products from the Odyssey haircare box was this almocado seaweed shampoo that came in the April box. It smelled amazing and its gentle formula lathered up well, leaving my hair feeling clean and less tangled. Seaweed is full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and this product smelled more fruity than the funky smell you sometimes get with seaweed products!

I’m not usually a fan of mint haircare because I hate that tingly feeling on my scalp. I’ve heard it’s meant to be good for you, but it’s uncomfortable for me and I think my bathtime is a time for relaxing, not pain! Maybe I’m particularly sensitive to it. Anyway, I was a bit wary of using this herbal hair mask from the same April box, but even though it contains mint, it’s not as harsh or maybe as concentrated as products that I’ve used before. As a result, I could sit with this mask on for a while and get the full benefits of it. It also contains rosemary and sage.

These products are from the same brand and it’s not one I’d heard of before. That’s something I like about this box – being introduced to and supporting new independent brands.

Pip box

This Skinfd sweet Orange hand cream smells great! I like the packet with a nozzle – I had it in my bag for ages, and as well as being made from cardboard, aluminium and recycled plastic, this kind of packet doesn’t take up as much room. You can also get right down and get every last drop of the product. It is a good formula, I loved the orange scent. It is quite thin though, so you do need to be careful when tipping it out because it came out quite fast.

Not a new product for me, but I like Dr Botanicals, and I was happy to see this Cocoa face mask. It’s a wash-off product and it promises to revive and hydrate. I’m all about the hydration now that we’re coming into the winter months. Looking at my list now I see that there are a number of Dr Botanicals products. They are good and don’t have a lot of preservatives as some other skincare products do, so once you’ve opened them, you do need to get them used up!

Latest in Beauty

This is the box where you get to choose your own products, so you can customise the selection to things that you will definitely use.

I’ve used various products from Weleda, but I didn’t know they did a citrus range. It was a fairly small tube, but I’m glad I tried the Weleda citrus hydrating body lotion because now I know that I would definitely buy it again! It’s packed with a juicy lemon scent and also contains aloe vera gel and coconut oil to keep your skin soft.

I’ve mentioned the Laidbare sunflower cream before on the blog, but LIB had it on their selection list for a while, so I picked up one every month for a while. The plan I’m on means that products work out at £2 each for me, so it’s definitely a way to save money on things that you already like as well as trying out new ones. I do love sunflowers, but it’s more about the formula of this – it dries down quickly, making your hands softer, but isn’t one of those quick-drying formulas that make you feel as though you didn’t apply anything. Especially now, at a time when we’re all washing our hands more. I like to have some good quality hand creams around. This is a pretty cheap one by comparison, but it works!

The Dr Botanicals pomegranate overnight mask seems to be sold out on a lot of sites at the moment. It got to the point where I think some people were tired of seeing it because it showed up in so many beauty subscriptions, but it is a good overnight mask and I was happy to get another one!

Lovelula

Another Laidbare product, this time their shea body butter As the name suggests, it’s a thicker, creamy butter and contains jasmine, bergamot, patchouli and vertiver. It’s a butter, so you need to work it in, but my skin can become quite dry and I never skip this step, which for me is part of the whole bathtime ritual!

I also tried this Kathleen Tranquil fields Shower gel. It’s marketed as a bubble bath or shower gel, but I didn’t find it produced many bubbles, so just used it as a shower gel. It contains lavender and other floral fragrances that are good for relaxing and transporting you to a tranquil field far away. I do find these products are quite expensive for what they are though. I think I’m more likely to pay out on leave-on products such as body lotions, than those that you wash off in the bath!

I couldn’t find this Madara foaming cleanser on the Lovelula site, but I tried it out when it came in my box. I don’t usually use foaming cleansers because I find they can be quite harsh, but I do really like Madara as a brand, so decided to give it a go. I was pleasantly surprised. It was a lot more gentle than some that I’ve tried, and I did use it all. I probably wouldn’t repurchase, though this has more to do with the product category than the product itself.

Self-made Advent calendar

Last year I made my own advent calendar and loved it! I haven’t done it this year, but I think of all the ones I’ve had, it was my favourite – because it was all things I wanted to try, there were no filler products and no products that I wouldn’t use. It also gave me new things to try throughout the year.

There is a bunch of Dr Botanicals superfood moisturisers on Feelunique, which is where I got the pineapple one, but it doesn’t seem to be available any more. Yes, I did love the juicy pineapple scent, but it was also a good morning or evening moisturiser. I hope they bring it back, but I’m also tempted by melon or cranberry!

I also wanted to try this Nympf radiance serum from Barry M because who doesn’t want to be a radiant nymph? Actually I just wanted some new serums, but I enjoyed using this one. The main ingredient is apricot oil, but it’s the citrus oils that you smell! It’s described as a lightweight serum to use under your make-up, but due to its oil base, I tended to use it in the evenings instead of a face oil. I guess you could do either though.

Looking back at this list, I see there are some common threads with brands, and some old favourites – but also a bunch of new products that I probably wouldn’t have discovered if it hadn’t been for my various subscriptions.

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Dr Botanicals pineapple cream
Lemon serum

Odyssey box – a hair subscription box accessible to blind people

This is not a sponsored post. I talk a lot about accessibility and the problems that I have when companies don’t think about customers with different needs. Instead of just talking about problems, I also want to use my platform to highlight good practice, and talk about those brand owners who are working hard to make their products and services more accessible, particularly for visually impaired customers like me.

I first mentioned the Odyssey haircare box back in my March products post when I was talking about how much I’d enjoyed the Queen of the Nile mask. Since then, I’ve been getting the box every 2 months, because that’s how it comes out.

The Odyssey Box was created by Chloé, and As well as enjoying the products, I’ve been impressed by her commitment to diversity. She agreed to tell part of her story for this post.

What is ODYSSEY BOX?

First I wanted to know why Chloé decided to bring this new haircare box onto the market.

“I created ODYSSEY BOX to fill the gap in the market for a customer-first brand that could truly stand behind the products it was marketing. When I was growing up, I didn’t have access to the knowledge I needed to really care for my afro hair as I was the first generation in my family to decide against chemically straightening it.

It wasn’t until 2012 that I truly started to learn what my hair needed and started to embrace my true texture without using heat styling tools. In 2018, I discovered Black-owned hair care products and learned the truth behind the brand giants I had been purchasing for many years. I learned that the products I had been using contained low quality, filler ingredients, and in some cases, some of these ingredients were toxic.

It was an easy decision to make, to decide to stick with the natural, plant-based, community-oriented Black-owned hair care brands I had found and after committing my time and efforts to support these brands for 2 years, I knew that I wanted to have a longer-lasting impact and that’s where ODYSSEY BOX comes in.

ODYSSEY BOX is a subscription box service delivering luxury haircare from the best of black-owned brands for curly, kinky, and coily hair textures. We are committed to educating, empowering, and connecting our community, whilst working towards more positive mindsets about natural haircare.

An odyssey is a long and exciting adventure and that is what we believe your natural hair journey should be. I am aware that some ODYSSEY BOX subscribers don’t have curly or afro hair and for me, that shows that the demand for safe, natural, and effective products extends beyond just the natural hair community and so I am happy to be able to meet that demand.”

My thoughts on the products

As Chloé mentioned, some of her subscribers don’t have curly or afro hair. I fall into that category too. My hair is thick, down past my waist, and naturally straight.

I was interested to try out the box though when I saw it on YouTube, being reviewed on Sussex Sandra’s channel. I thought that the contents of the February box looked good, and I’d be able to use most of them. After all, a lot of the focus was on nourishing the hair and helping it to lock in moisture. My hair isn’t dry or damaged, but as it’s so long, I often use masks and moisture-rich products to keep it in good shape.

It didn’t bother me that I wasn’t the main target audience for the box. Occasionally there is a product that is not as relevant for me, such as one specifically for curls, but to be honest, when I was getting beauty boxes including products that were more geared towards my own type of hair, there were plenty of styling products that I didn’t want to use, probably more so than there are with this box.

I’ve been moving towards more natural products over the last couple of years, and I like the fact that this box supports smaller, independent brands. Sometimes I would like to do more of this than I do, but as a screenreader user, I often face challenges with the accessibility of smaller brands’ websites. This is not always the way, but when it happens, it can make buying from them more of a challenge. It’s not just a case of put in your credit card details and go if none of the buttons on the website are labelled!

Given that this is a luxury haircare box, it’s not one of the cheapest around. But if you want better ingredients and to support small companies, that’s normal. I expect to get value for money with subscriptions, but if it’s a race to the bottom with the biggest savings on products, it’s A not a sustainable business model, B not going to support independent brands, and C not going to ensure quality long-term.

.The Odyssey box website is accessible and I had no trouble signing up with my screenreader, so that’s a win-win. I can discover smaller independent brands, most of which I hadn’t heard of before, without having to find out whether each individual site is accessible.

Blind people and subscription boxes

In most beauty and hair subscription boxes, you don’t know what you’re going to get. I have various ways of identifying my products, but they all involve relying on someone or something else.

Probably the easiest way is to ask S – who knows more about beauty and skincare than most fiancés would want to. But that depends on him being around and having time to do it when I want the information. More importantly, he’s my partner, not my admin help. He does help me, but I’d rather be independent.

I have an app on my phone, which can often read labels, but then I have to Google to find out how to use the products. Also, its being able to read the label isn’t guaranteed – it depends on the font, the background contrast, the size of the writing, and the material.

I can wait for online reviews on YouTube or blogs – this is helpful, but this involves waiting, and I don’t like waiting! It also doesn’t tell me which product is which in my own box.

When Chloé asked for customer feedback, we got talking about accessibility. I’ll let her take up the story again:

“It’s important to me that I make the whole ODYSSEY BOX experience accessible. From the language I use to describe hair care concepts to the layout of the inserts in the box, I want every single person who gets a box to have an equal opportunity to enjoy it.

It wasn’t until I reached out for feedback that I learned that one of my subscribers, Kirsty was visually impaired and so my first instinct was to email the inserts instead of including them in the box so that she could listen to the information instead. I did this for a couple of boxes and had the realisation that it was all well and good being able to hear the information but if the products are all in identical packaging, it would still be challenging to distinguish which information related to which product.

I was so disappointed in myself for the oversight but saw it as an opportunity to do better for the August Box. I want my community of subscribers to feel empowered when they receive their boxes, and not feel as though they can’t access what they need on their own. So, for the August box, I got creative and taped some packing material to two of the products to make them more tactile.

The box contained two pump bottles, two spray bottles, and a pouch. So, this time around, when I emailed the information to Kirsty, I was able to say which of the pump bottles had something taped to it, which of the spray bottles did and what they felt like overall. I was pleased that it had a positive impact!

Small things like this make a big difference and only make the experiences for the customer and the brand more positive. It’s not always an impairment that disables someone, oftentimes it’s society and services that prevent equal access for all. I’m always willing to get creative and do what I can to make sure that my service isn’t one of those. ODYSSEY BOX is all about bringing you positive haircare experiences and I’ll go above and beyond to make sure of it.”

My customer experience

Of course we want good quality products, but the way you feel about a brand or subscription also plays a role. I am more loyal to brands that take the extra time to create an experience that lets me participate, independently and as an equal. When my box arrives, I can just unpack it and go, without having to ask my partner, or spend time scanning and figuring out what things are. I can read my email, check it against the products to see which is which if they feel the same, and get going using them. This is good customer service and I love the fact that it’s less work for me!

In the last year I’ve been working with a lot more small business owners, and I think that they are often less removed from their customers than bigger brands. They appreciate that we are all different and may have different needs, and it is often the small things like this, that make a big difference.
Thanks to Chloé for making her boxes more accessible to me as a blind customer.

The growth goals box

I’m looking forward to my October box as I write this, but the August box, which we’ve been talking about, is still available from the Odyssey Box website.

The growth goals box contains 5 full-size products from Black British haircare brand, shea decadence London. I hadn’t actually heard of this brand before, but having a range of products from the same brand gave me the chance to try them out together over a period of time.

In the box there is a conditioning shampoo, a deep conditioner, detangling hair milk, a curl-enhancing leave-in conditioner, and reviving hair dew.

I use all of them. My long hair can get tangled, so the detangling milk is a firm favourite this month, and the shampoo leaves my hair feeling really clean, without feeling stripped. The conditioner is rich and luxurious – I’ve never seen one in a pouch before, but it’s good because you can get every last drop out. The leave-in conditioners are quite rich for my hair, so I do use them, but they last me a lot longer because I don’t need much.

So – have you tried this box? Would you be interested in a hair subscription box? Let me know in the comments.

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Image © Odyssey Box

September – sunflowers and shielding birthday

September – sunflowers and shielding birthday

I was debating whether to write this post at all. Our household is still shielding, so I don’t have posts about the places we went or the things we did on our week off.

But the thing is, even though many people around us are going out and doing all the things, which is allowed now as we’re not under local lockdown, There are plenty of us who aren’t. It feels like we’re kind of under the radar now we’re in the minority, but we still have something to say. We’re still learning things, making connections, and enjoying the good things – even if that doesn’t involve going out, meeting up with people in person, and doing all the things we may have taken for granted before.

We’re still here. If you look in the right places, you can find that there are more of us. Doing that actually did me good, as did having a spring-clean of my feeds to remove people who think that the virus isn’t real, who believe their individual rights to do what they want are more important than helping to keep others safe, or who want to try and convince us that making informed choices about staying safe is just succumbing to fear and oppression.

I don’t want echo chambers, but neither do I want to see people promoting illegal gatherings, encouraging others to ignore measures to stop the spread of the virus, or behaving as though the lives of anyone who is not “fit and healthy” don’t matter. That’s offensive.

My not writing as often because we’re not going out and about this year just pushes us under the radar even more. So here’s my good things in September post!

The beginning of Autumn

I love Autumn. You won’t see me crying that Summer is over! I love it when the air is cold and fresh in the morning and you can get out the snuggly, fluffy things. I love the crisp leaves and the idea of new beginnings, that began as a child with the new school year, but has somehow followed mi into adulthood too. Ok, September is also my birthday month, so that’s a reason to like it, even if this year was a bit different.

There are still places to go where you can enjoy the nature – as far away from other people as possible, because sadly some people don’t understand about social distancing, or respect others who are clearly choosing to do it.

The birds don’t know what’s going on in the human world. They just carry on as they had before – in fact, studies have shown that some are singing more interesting songs now that they don’t have to compete with as much traffic noise.

Shopping

I know some people have had real problems with online grocery deliveries, especially during lockdown times. But Ocado has served us well. In September, they stopped selling Waitrose products, but at the same time started stocking M&S goods, which has been really good. I never shopped there before because they didn’t deliver. There are new foods to try, and I also ventured down the beauty and skincare isle!

And then of course there are Percy pigs and Colin the caterpillar!

I made the dangerous discovery that the Boots app works quite well with VoiceOver, and I prefer it to the web version with my screenreader. I may have got a little carried away, but fortunately I had the generous treat of some birthday money too! I stocked up on a few essentials, bought some new skincare to try, and treated myself to some makeup, including a Fenty cream highlighter, and some liquid eye shadows from Pixi and Too Faced.

The Body Shop brought back their vanilla pumpkin range, which I discovered last year that I actually liked! Usually I avoid everything with vanilla because it’s too sweet, but I like this fragrance and have already used up the hand cream! I still have a body butter and a shower gel on the go! I would link them, but they’ve sold out all ready. I’ll have another post soon about the Christmas ranges though.

Work

It was an interesting month at work because I pushed my boundaries and did a couple of new things. I was asked to speak about accessibility at a virtual meeting for local business owners, and I did a live interview on YouTube about my online English lessons for adults. The latter was new for me – the public speaking part of it wasn’t as scary as the fact that I didn’t know how many of the host’s rather large following would be there or watch later.

I’m really glad I did it though and it reminded me how sometimes it’s good to do things that make you feel a bit nervous or uncomfortable, because these things can help us to grow.

I also held my first paid webinar about helping businesses to make their Facebook posts more accessible to visually impaired customers. I hadn’t thought of doing one-off events like that, but I went with the suggestion and it worked out well, so I’m thinking about other topics for the future.

Week off and birthday

I didn’t tell many people about our week off because I didn’t want to answer the “where are you going” question for the millionth time. We had a week off at home. We didn’t do any work. We spent time together, cooked, read books, had time for hobbies, relaxed and recharged.

Yes, I see people doing things that we would like to do, but each household has to do their own risk assessment. Sometimes just enjoying what you have and what’s going well is a choice, and I have a lot to be grateful for.

I chose to enjoy our time off and my shielding birthday, which involved flowers (sunflowers are my favourite), a home-cooked meal, messages from friends and family, presents, and chocolate cake!

How was September for you?

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August 2020 – chocolate owls, neck fans, results, and cheese bread!

Good things in August 2020

Well, August isn’t usually holiday month for me. It hasn’t been for as long as I can remember. When you don’t have children, taking holidays outside of the school holidays often feels like a smart move! It’s hot! It’s sometimes a bit much! But generally there’s a holiday vibe and I like the long summer nights where you can eat in the garden and spend more time outdoors.

We are still being careful and shielding, so you won’t see a lot of staycation posts this summer, but there are still good things, and things to be grateful for. I think in some ways I’ve socialised more this year than I have before, even though I’m not saying “yes” to any face-to-face socialising right now.

New course

Since I’ve been working for myself, August is often a quieter time because many of my customers go on holiday. This year was the launch of my pilot programme for a new course though, so it was actually quite busy – getting things ready and starting off the programme. I have a really lovely group and I’m enjoying working with them. It’s good to try something new!

University results

This actually belongs in July, but I didn’t write this kind of post then!

The end of the university year was a bit different because two of my final assessments were cancelled. With so much else going on, it was quite nice to not have to do them, but nobody really knew what would happen in terms of the results. We knew the previous results would probably become more relevant now, but it wasn’t really clear what would happen. I think an opportunity for better communication was missed there.

As it happened, I got my two distinctions, but as I understand it, the calculations were all adjusted down because they also reflected previous students’ performances on the final exams. I wasn’t on the threshold, so I got what I was aiming for, but some people dropped down into the next bracket, through what felt like no fault of their own. If you screw up an assessment, ultimately it’s on you, but if it happens because generally other people don’t do as well in that assessment, it doesn’t feel fair.

Overall I was happy – year 1 took me 2 years because I’m part-time, but I did it! Posts about the final two modules are coming soon – I don’t like to write them until I’ve properly finished.

Next module booked

There were some questions about the accessibility of the module I wanted to study next. That took a bit of time to resolve, but it feels as though we have a better process in place now, and a way to make sure that the transitions to future modules go more smoothly.

I’m looking forward to writing the code for web pages – less so to the reliance on diagrams to communicate ideas about how said web pages should turn out! But at least we have a plan now to make it more accessible!

New products

The Body Shop has come out with some new hair and body mists. Body mists are nothing new, but not all of them are suitable to be used on hair – some ingredients can dry your hair out – but these ones are fine .

There are 5 in the range – apricot and agave, lime and matcha, pomegranate and red berries, pink pepper and lychee, and coconut and yuzu.

I got the apricot one and the lime one. My favourite is the apricot one, but both of them are good!

Not quite so new, but I also enjoyed the new zesty lemon range of products – they were a special edition, but if they come back, I can definitely recommend them if you love zingy citrussy scents. I enjoyed the zesty lemon body yoghurt. It’s made with lumpy lemons, which presumably wouldn’t be up to the normal standard for selling and eating.

Portable neck fan

I turned up to an online meeting during the heatwave and a friend was wearing one of these! It’s a great idea – you take your fan around with you wherever you go! It’s like three sides of a square. The side opposite the open side goes behind your neck, and the two arms sit on your shoulders, facing forwards. You have to be careful with long hair, but I push mine back and I haven’t caught it yet! The arms blow out air onto your face and neck, and there are multiple settings for how intense you want the fan to be. This is the neck fan that I got.

New platform to try

I was involved in an accessibility research project throughout August. I probably can’t say a lot about that at the moment, but one thing it also gave me was the opportunity to try out Microsoft Teams with Jaws and VoiceOver (the two screenreaders that I use on my laptop and my phone).

I was impressed! It’s so much better than what we use at university! I mainly use Zoom and other conferencing tools at work, but it was interesting to try something new. It’s more involved than Zoom, but it also has more features for working collaboratively.

Chocolate owls

These are the owls featured in the image for this post. They were delicious – some were with orange essential oil and others with peppermint. (If you intend to try this, make sure the essential oils you have are suitable for internal use – not all are).

The owl moulds can be bought from Amazon – this is one of my owl mould sets.

They were amazing – both sets were good, but I think my favourites were the orange ones! I’m going to try dark chocolate tnex.

New Turkish friends

I know my biggest weakness in learning a language is speaking. I hate it. I don’t want to do it until I’m really good – but the only way to become really good is to do it!

Especially if you’re living in a country where you’re not being exposed to the additional language every day, you need to be more proactive.

So I went to a language exchange site. You have to be a bit careful, because especially if you are a woman, you can get inundated with messages, some of which are quite annoying. I started chatting with a few people. Some fizzle out straight away, so it’s good to not only rely on one or two right at the beginning. I’ve found two people wit whom I’m meeting regularly online now for English and Turkish practice. It’s hard for me – I would much prefer to write – but they are both really friendly and having a real person to speak with definitely gives you a reason to do it!

Duolingo

I wrote before about improving my Turkish on Duolingo.

I saw that this way of strengthening the connection between language pairs was also really good brain training. A lot of activities for training your memory involve pictures, and therefore don’t work for me. But I love languages, so I decided to use my subscription to this app to work on my active languages, refresh a couple that I used to speak, and also try a couple of new ones.

I want to write a more in-depth post about this and what I’ve discovered. At the moment I have 12 courses, which are combinations of 8 languages!

Baking bread

I haven’t jumped on the sourdough train, but we have been trying out some bread recipes. Yesterday we made cheese and onion bread – something I’ve never had before – but it has cheese in it, so it must be good, right? It was amazing! Random internet recipes can be a risky business, but I can recommend this yummy cheese and onion bread! Not an affiliate link – just something we found and enjoyed.

So, that’s a round-up of my August! Tomorrow is September – I love autumn!

How was August for you?

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Vitamin C products and beauty box finds

Vitamin C products and beauty box finds

I thought I hadn’t done a skincare post for a while, so here are some of the things I’ve been enjoying (or not so much!) lately. Let me know if you have tried any of them and what you thought.

Vitamin C range from Pixi

I was excited when Pixi brought out its vitamin C range. I’m not sure exactly when they came out, but I got them some time last autumn.

I first tried Pixi skincare when I heard about the glow tonic – I’m all about the chemical exfoliants – so when I heard that the new range had this kind of toner, I decided to give the whole range a go. It’s made with oranges and lemons to brighten and exfoliate the skin, without any abrasive particles.
The cleanser and the serum also contain grapefruit extracts. I know how a product smells is no indicator of how good it is, but these smell amazing and that made me want to use them!

The juice cleanser is a no-fuss cleanser – I’m not sure how well it would work with heavy make-up because I tended to use it in the morning, but it’s gentle and refreshing, and you don’t need to wash it off. The vitamin C tonic is similar to the glow tonic, but I think it’s gentler, and this meant that even when I had both of them on the go, I was more likely to reach for the vitamin C one. The vitamin C lotion comes in a tube and is a fairly light-weight moisturiser, good for wearing in the daytime, and fine for layering with other products.

I’d recommend all of this range. I also have the serum, but it’s still going as it was out of stock when I bought the others. I haven’t tried the caviar balm yet.

Lovelula

I signed up for this subscription because I wanted to try more cruelty-free and natural brands. You don’t know what’s coming in the box, and it tends to be more skincare than make-up. This time there was one hit and one miss, but even if something isn’t for me, I do appreciate the chance to try new things, for a fraction of the normal price.

Madara often shows up in this box, but I’m ok with that as I really like their products. This set of 10 Hyaluronic Collagen Booster Ampoules alone costs double what I paid for the box! They are enriched with hyaluronic acid and natural plant sugars, to stimulate the protein structure of the skin and provide a protective layer to shield the skin’s protective barrier. You basically use them like a serum, after toning and before moisturising. The capsules are very generous, but I tended to use them in one go because I understand the point of having sealed capsules is to prevent exposure to the air. Madara is not a cheap brand, but I am happy to pay more for serums and moisturizers if I think they are worth it. I would buy these again.

I really wanted to like this Rescue My Hair Shampoo Bar – Pollution Patrol from My. Haircare. It was the first shampoo bar I’ve tried, and I love the idea behind it. However, the “ultimate sensory experience” they promised just didn’t happen for me. My hair felt stripped afterwards, I didn’t like the scent or the texture, and I didn’t come away feeling that I’d done something good for my hair. I do have a couple of other shampoo bars, and I will try those, but so far I can’t see myself making the switch.

Latest in Beauty

I’m loyal to this subscription because I get to choose my products. I might make a mistake, but they’ll never send me something I’ll never use!

Yardley Lily of the valley hand cream – this was an all-round good hand cream. All the hand-washing of late does mean dryer hands, so I want to take care of them. It is floral, but a pleasant kind of floral!

Rodial Vitamin C sheet mask – this was one of the products – usually more high end ones – that they have as the product of the month, which means there is enough for everyone. Rodial is a more expensive brand, but if I were going to invest in something from them, it wouldn’t be a £14 sheet mask! The plan I’m on meant that I paid £2, but I do prefer the ones that are tissue soaked in the serum, rather than this kind of solid slimy stuff – I know that’s not a good description! It felt nice enough afterwards, but is not something I’d rush out to buy.

Single use hair masks like the couple I’ve got from Hask aren’t the most environmentally friendly way to go, but they are a way to check whether you like a product before committing to buying it, and the 50g ones give me enough product to work with as someone with really long hair. I’ve had the charcoal with citrus oil purifying mask, and the argan oil repairing deep conditioner. These can also be bought as a larger size, and it got me interested in the brand, so I also tried the orchid and white truffle moisture-rich shampoo. This is a budget-friendly brand, but my hair always feels really good afterwards.

Advent calendar

So my plan last year was to build my own beauty advent calendar. I had a lot of fun doing it, with some budget-friendly buys and more expensive treats, and the best bit was I knew I would use everything in there. Often the best thing in a beauty calendar is something I don’t want – such as a palette – and it feels like a bit of a let-down. Most of the wellness products have already gone, but I have a couple of skincare bits still going strong! There’s usually a sale at Feelunique in November, so I could try some new things and make the money go further.

I haven’t found a link for the Yves Rocher Hydra Végétal Moisture Boost Serum from a site that I would use, but it’s definitely a good one and one that I’d get again if I found it. As the name suggests, it’s good for dry skin.

I also wanted to try the e.l.f. Beauty Shield Vitamin C Pollution Prevention Serum. I liked the packaging – you push the top down and it draws the product up into a kind of pipette. Unfortunately that’s where the positive feedback ends! I found the product very watery – which in itself is ok if you use it like an essence, but it was sticky too and just not pleasant! I didn’t finish it.

Body shop

I finished the almond bath milk powder from my Body Shop pamper package. It’s powder to milk, so you just shake some in and it becomes bath milk. Think more moisturising than bubble bath, but this is a lovely gentle range.

The banana bath blend smelled good enough to eat! These are bubble baths made with fruit and vegetables known for their vitamins, and these are made from wonky bananas, which makes me happy because they weren’t wasted!
I used up a tub of the shea body butter – I think I must have got it in a set. I usually go for more fruity scents, but this one is good for sensitive skin or if you don’t want a strong scent, and it is really good for dry skin.

An old favourite – the
Gentle eye makeup remover.
This doesn’t sting my eyes, so I repurchase it.

I was super lucky to get to try the two new ranges – Sicilian lemon, and cucumber. Unfortunately the cucumber hand cream also contains mint, and gives you the weird tingly sensation that peppermint products often do. It might not be so bad with a wash-off product, but this stays on your skin and I found it quite uncomfortable. I think it would be even worse for more sensitive parts of the body. I think cucumber would be really nice, but I feel the peppermint was a mistake.

Supermarket

I needed some shower gel, so decided to try something new from the supermarket. I like fruity scents, so I tried the Kind natured lime and mandarin body wash and an almond milk hair mask. This was a new brand for me and I liked the brand’s commitment to natural ingredients and the fruity scents.

So, let me know if you’ve tried any of these and what you thought.

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Skincare in May – some new discoveries and a couple that were not so good

It’s halfway through June and I’m just getting my act together to talk about the products I tried and used up in May! As always, let me know if you’ve used any of these.

You may have noticed I’m trying out some new brands, and also trying to make my collection more cruelty-free. That doesn’t mean chucking out things that have already been purchased, because creating waste doesn’t help anyone, but I am trying to be more mindful with what I buy, and my Lovelula and Pip Box subscriptions are introducing me to some cool new brands and products.

All of these products were paid for with my own money, apart from the customer loyalty product, which is labelled as such.

Balm Balm

The little miracle cleanser was one of the first products I got when I started the Lovelula boxes again and it helped me to decide that yes, I actually do like oil cleansers. I’m not sure what put me off them before – I think I had a particularly sticky and unpleasant one, but this one isn’t like that. It is a budget-friendly gentle cleanser that removes make-up easily and leaves your skin feeling really soft and smooth afterwards. It also has a pump dispenser, which I like when it comes to getting the right amount of product, and it’s definitely one I’d buy again.

Body Shop

I’ve mentioned Heidi and her Body Shop pamper packages before. I’m a member of Heidi’s Facebook group, where it’s possible to earn loyalty points by either buying products, posting reviews, or interacting in the group. These points all add up and can lead to loyalty point gifts, such as my Spa of the World™ Tahitian Tiaré Hand Wash. This is out of stock as I write this, but it’s so important to keep our hands clean, especially now with increased hand washing because of the virus. This hand wash contains coconut oil to moisturise your hands, and it leaves them smelling of flower blossom – not in your face floral, but more of a subtle scent. Body Shop hand washes are not the cheapest, but they are a nice treat or a practical gift.

Of course Miss Mango has to have a mango product in here – this is my favourite scent from the Body Shop, and I used up another of their Mango shower gels. Not much to say really, other than it’s good quality, good value, and smells amazingly of mango goodness!

There was also an offer on haircare, and I got a set of the banana shampoo and conditioner. The conditioner always runs out first, so I finished up the banana conditioner to deeply nourish hair. I don’t have particularly dry or damaged hair, but it’s long and I have a lot of it, so I like a deep conditioner or hair mask for it. The strawberry and shea ranges are good too, but the banana one with banana puree from Ecuador is still my favourite.

Elizabeth Arden

This Green tea body cream was supposed to be a luxurious treat in the advent calendar that I put together myself last year. I really wanted to like it – it smells good, with the green tea, but it also had crushed up bits of something, which I can only assume is green tea leaves, in it as well. So I came out of the shower all fresh and clean, and ended up feeling dirty again because my body cream had bits in it. I tried, but I didn’t end up using this up. It may have been ok as a shower gel or something, but I can’t deal with a body cream that has bits of anything in it – I’m not a fan of glitter particles either for that same reason. Oh well.

Flawless Beauty

I haven’t been able to find this on a site that I know, so haven’t included a link, but we got a Parma Violet Luxury Body Cream in one of the Pip Box subscriptions. I’m not familiar with the brand, but it was a lotion-type cream, that did smell of parma violet, but not in a real sweet and sickly way. It had some other scent with it, that was a bit like cucumber. The bottle was kind of squishy too, so you didn’t feel as though you were wasting any. I’d try more from this brand, and I’d be interested to see what other ranges they have. That’s the nice thing about the subscription boxes – you don’t use the same things all the time and can find out about new products.

Kathleen

This natural bright mask was in one of our Lovelula boxes. I liked the sound of it, using white willow bark and hibiscus extracts, both of which are natural acids for exfoliating the skin. I always choose chemical exfoliators over physical ones, so thought this would be really good. The mask itself was ok I suppose, but it is sooo messy! It’s a bit like the cheese you get on top of a pizza, which sticks to itself, the fork, the knife, and is just a nightmare to cut. Whether you get some of this product on your finger, brush, spatula, or whatever you’re trying to apply it with, it has a long stringy tail and clings to the rest of the product in the pot. Or it hangs down precariously, threatening your top! Having this consistency doesn’t make it particularly easy to spread evenly either and because of this, although I liked the idea, it’s not something I would get again.

Korres

I’d tried a lot of bath and body products from Korres, so decided to try one of their face creams as well. I went for the almond blossom moisturising cream for very dry skin (I think they do two formulas using the almond blossom, because there is one for oily skin as well). Following some changes to medication, my skin isn’t very dry any more, so this is no longer the best choice for me. As such, I ended up using it more like a mask if I felt my skin needed some care. It’s a good moisturiser though, and I would be interested to try more skincare from the brand.

Natura seberica

The rich Siberian body butter also came in a Lovelula box. We had quite a few body butters, but I use them all the time, so this didn’t bother me! According to the site, ” Siberian cedar and Red Juniper oils improve blood circulation, while Siberian Fir Oil rejuvenates and smooths skin. Altai Oblepikha and Arctic Cloudberry oils protect skin from environmental impacts, making it soft and enhancing natural glow.” It was a fairly thick butter with a faint citrussy scent. Due to its buttery consistency, it is rich and you do need to take the time to massage it in, but if you do, it leaves your skin feeling soft for a long time.

Ooh-Arr

I haven’t found where you can buy these individually, but Latest in Beauty were offering both the strawberry and the orange face masks from this range recently. These are single use masks, but my LiB choices end up being £2 per product, so this is ok for a mask. It’s a thick, creamy mask that smells deliciously fruity. I usually do them in the bath and just wash them off after.

Pai

Another LiB choice is this rosehip cleansing oil. The only thing we seem to get from Pai in calendars or beauty boxes is the throat cream, which is ok, but I’m still not convinced we need a separate one. So I was interested to try something else from the brand. It’s a cleansing oil, and as I’ve reviewed two this month I do prefer the Balm Balm one, but this one did the job and I wouldn’t mind using it again.

Rituals

Another of my own advent calendar treats was finished up in May – my Ritual of Ayurveda Hand Lotion. There’s always something luxurious about rituals products, and this one has Indian rose and almond oil in it. It smells amazing, and is a pretty good hand cream too. This is definitely something that I would get again.

So there we have it – a couple of misses, and I think my favourite products were the first and the last in the list. How about you? Have you tried any of them? Let me know in the comments!

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New skincare and bath products in April – tried and tested!

Well, April has come and gone. I tried some interesting new products, and am going to share them with you here. I was particularly interested to see that the Body Shop has some new launches coming in the next couple of months, and I tried out at least one of them in April. Let me know in the comments if you have tried any of these.

Australian body care

This is a new brand for me. I saw the tea tree skin wash on Latest in Beauty, and with my subscription only costing £2 per product, this was a good deal for a full size. This, unlike some other tea tree products, was fairly gentle and lathered up well. I think it’s something I’d be more likely to use as a hand wash though as I don’t enjoy the tingly tea tree sensation all over my body. Nice enough, but not something I’m in a hurry to buy again.

Aveda

I’ve already raved about the almond conditioner, but in April I finished up the almond shampoo as well. These are really good products – they leave your hair feeling and smelling amazing, and the naturally derived cherry blossom and sweet almond restore softness and shine. I would definitely buy these again.

Body shop

the satsuma lotion is one of the light-weight body moisturisers that aren’t talked about as much. But I really like them, especially in the summer. This is a fresh, citrusy satsuma scent, and the lotion absorbs quickly and easily. There are lotions in a number of scents, but I prefer the mango one and this one. They make a nice change from heavier products such as the butters, but they are still moisturising enough to make a difference. The pump also keeps them fresher for longer because you’re not opening the whole tub up to the air.

This roots of strength day cream is marketed at the 40+ range, so a bit older than me, but only just! It’s a non-greasy moisturiser, although it is one of the richer ones that the Body Shop does. It’s main selling points are plumping the skin and reducing fine lines. It contains ginger from Madagascar, ginseng from China and ruscus from Europe. I enjoyed using it, but there are other Body Shop moisturisers that I like more.

The chamomile eye make up remover is something that I got in an advent calendar, but I also have a full-size one on the go. I like it because it’s gentle and it gets the job done. I don’t tend to shop around for these because once I’ve found one I like, I don’t like to take the risk that a different one will sting my eyes. So I usually keep one of these in my stash!

This is one of the new arrivals, and sadly it’s out of stock as I write this, but you can ask to be notified when it’s back. The mango bath blend is one of the new range of bath blends that are packed full of fruit and vegetables, rich in vitamins and antioxidants. Other blends in the range include banana, berry and pear. It’s a mid-range bubble bath in terms of the amount of bubbles you get, but the silky smooth skin and the amazing scent make it a treat worth splashing out on. I also have the banana one and I’m looking forward to using that on pamper nights. Seriously these smell like fruity cocktails with real fruit, not the synthetic fruit scents.

Cowshed

I still like this brand as much as I always did in terms of the products, but I don’t like their rebrand and the fact that they lost all the cool names. I had a mini of the indulge body lotion in our Christmas Eve box and I finished it up in April. It contains Madagascan Ylang Ylang, Moroccan Rose, and Indian Palmarosa, but isn’t only floral. I’m not sure what they did to it, because I don’t usually like floral lotions, but it’s a scent and formula that I enjoy.

Crabtree and Evelyn

Previously I’ve only had hand cream from this brand, but I got this Silky rose body lotion in a Christmas gift set. I’m not usually a fan of rose, but this also has some citrus notes such as lemon, so I actually quite liked it. It was good to try something else from this brand and I’m glad it’s not all flowery scents. The lotion absorbed well and I like the pump dispenser.

Kores

This is an old favourite, the Sunflower conditioner. Technically it’s for coloured hair, which I don’t have, but I like this conditioner so much, I don’t care! It leaves my hair so soft and silky, and it’s a good detangler as well. Generally this brand is known for its shower products and body lotions, but the haircare is definitely worth looking at as well.

Natura

I got this Herb Infused Sheet Mask in one of my Pip boxes. I don’t usually go for multi-masks unless I’m intentionally targeting different parts of the face with different products – this one is intended to hydrate, brighten, and reduce pore size, but I did actually enjoy using it, and extra points for the recyclable rather than plastic packaging.

Nuxe

The Rev de Miel face balm was one of the Latest in Beauty products of the month – usually a high-end product that is available all month. It’s marketed for dry or sensitive skin, or for normal skin in cold weather. It’s a fairly thick face cream, but I used it in the daytime too, because it sank in quickly and wasn’t greasy, so it was easy to put make-up on over it. It has the kind of smell that is characteristic of Nuxe products, but nothing overpowering. It contains honey, propolis and oils to nourish, soothe, and repair skin.

I’m not going to get another one just yet because I have other face creams, but it’s definitely something I’d use again.

Tigi

This mango protection spray has been knocking around for a while because it’s for sun or heat protection and I was mainly using it for when I went outside in the sunshine. It’s a small bottle that you can easily put in your bag, and of course it gets extra points because it’s mango. I do have another heat protection spray, but I will repurchase this because nothing smells as good as mango and it’s more handy than some of the big bottles you can get to use before you use heat tools on your hair.

Tropic skincare

Actually I have no idea where I got this super greens oil mini. It has a very strong plant-based scent, but it’s not unpleasant. It makes me think of preparing broccoli! Anyway, it’s designed to help boost your skin’s natural defences. I used it in my night-time skincare routine, especially on dryer areas.

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

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Mystery pamper packages from Heidi at the Body Shop at Home

I’ve said for ages the Body Shop is missing a trick by not offering a beauty box subscription. They still aren’t, but Heidi, my friend and a consultant at the Body Shop at home, does now offer mystery pamper packages. They have the added bonus that they’re not entirely a mystery because she asks you a few questions first to make sure that you get things that you like.

This post is not sponsored and I paid for my pamper package. I think it’s a cool idea, so I wanted to show you what was in mine, and to let people in the UK know about them. Especially at the moment, when we’re being asked to stay at home, they can be a nice treat for yourself, or to tell someone else that you were thinking of them.

It could be a complete surprise, but Heidi also likes to get an idea of what you like, what type of skin you have, whether you have any favourite ranges or things that you particularly want to avoid.

What was in my box?

I got my box before the lockdown, so Heidi packaged it up herself. At the moment, all packages are coming directly from the warehouse to keep everyone safe, but essentially they still work in the same way – Heidi puts your products together and the package is worth more than you pay for it.

Mine included a sachet of hot chocolate too, but that was gone by the time we got round to taking the photo!

Mango perfume

I’ve mentioned the mango eau de toilette before on the blog – in fact, Heidi reads my blog and saw that I had run out! This usually retails for £9, so there’s almost half the £20 I paid for the box covered by the first product! The mango range is my favourite range from the Body Shop, so I was really happy to get something mango-scented in there. It’s fresh and fruity – sometimes I use it as a perfume and other times as a body mist. But either way the mango scent follows you around for the rest of the day!

Egyptian milk and honey bath powder

This is the most expensive item in the box and it’s from the Spa of the world range. You put some of the Egyptian milk and honey bath powder to milk in your bath, swish it around, and the powder dissolves into the water. It contains honey and three oil extracts to make your skin feel smooth and help you relax.

Bath time and pamper time are important for me, so it was good to get a body care treat in my box. Oh, and it also comes with a cute little wooden trowel to scoop the powder into your bath!

Coffee face mask

I’m excited whenever I see the C word – coffee! Like mango, it’s one of my favourite things! I usually go for the sheet masks, but I was intrigued when the Body Shop brought out a coffee mask, and happy that Heidi put a travel size one in my pamper package.

It’s an exfoliating mask with natural coffee bean particles. Good for use in the morning to wake you up, and it smells amazing too! It’s enriched with coffee and Community Trade sesame seed oil from Nicaragua, Community Trade cocoa butter and shea butter from Ghana, and organic Community Trade cane sugar from Paraguay.

Vitamin E lip care

This vitamin E lip care with SPF15 is a good handbag essential to keep your lips from getting chapped and sore. This one is particularly good if you don’t like flavoured lip care. It does contain coconut, but you don’t really taste it.

Final thoughts

So, this is a way to get a surprise, or also to try out something that you’ve had your eye on for a while. If you want to find out more, check out Heidi’s Facebook group. I was really happy with mine and highly recommend them! There was bath care, fragrance, and two face products, with a product from four different ranges, and the value was a lot more than the £20 that I paid.

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Pamper products in March

I’ve got a slightly smaller collection of stuff to talk about this month – mainly because I’m not repeating staple products that I’ve already talked about, but I think that during this time of uncertainty, it’s nice to do things for our well-being. For me, that’s been long baths where I can relax and get a break from interacting with people – because as much as I like people, I recharge best by getting some time out alone. If anything, as I’m still working full-time from home, and every group that I’ve ever been involved with is now meeting online, I’ve felt a bit of socialising fatigue, which I know sounds odd in a time of social isolation. It seems selfish writing that when there are people who are really isolated and craving some human interaction, but I’ve also learned that people having a different problem doesn’t make your own problem any les valid.

So bathtime is good. My skincare regime is good – there’s something comfortingly predictable about all the steps that always come in the same order and are doing something good for my skin.

Here are a few things that I discovered in March:

Aveda

I only discovered this brand at the end of last year when I got a travel size of the almond cherry shampoo. After that I got the shampoo and the conditioner because I was so impressed. The conditioner was finished first, but they both lasted a decent amount of time. They are not cheap, but some of the more expensive products are less watery, so you end up using less. This conditioner is especially good for long hair like mine. It contains naturally derived cherry blossom extract, almond oil and shea butter. It leaves my hair soft, less tangly, and smelling amazing!

Body shop

Of course there are products from the Body Shop in here!

The first is a big jar of the Drops of youth ® Bouncy sleeping mask. This has a slightly strange consistency – it’s like a gel, but it settles down into more of a cream once it’s been on for a few minutes. It’s an overnight mask, but I usually put it on a little while before I go to bed so that it doesn’t stick to the pillow. It’s great for giving thirsty dry skin a drink overnight, and it promises skin that looks plumper, fresher, and renewed. It smells good too, though I couldn’t tell you wat it smells of! I can’t speak for anyone else, but an unlikely benefit I’ve found is that sometimes I get red blotches on my forehead, and using face oils or this mask helps to reduce those as well.

This isn’t a cheap mask, but the jar lasts a long time. Luckily for me, my friend Salomi bought me one last year, so I already have another one to use.

We often hear about the body butters, but the Body Shop does some really nice lotions as well. I keep coming back to the almond milk and honey body lotion because it’s really gentle and soothing. It comes in a tube, so you can get every last bit out! You can smell the honey more than the almond milk, and although it’s not as thick as the butters, it does keep your skin hydrated for a long time.

Still on the subject of body lotions, there are a couple of whipped lotions too, which are light in texture, but which are still great moisturisers – particularly nice in the summer months, when you want something a bit lighter. The mango whipped lotion is part of the mango range, so of course one of my favourites! It contains mango seed oil from India and smells like real mangos.

Molton Brown

In February I talked about my Indian cress hair set that my Mum got me for Christmas, and in March I finished up the conditioner. Again, not a cheap set, but it lasted ages, particularly the conditioner. I’m not usually a floral scent kind of girl, but this jasmin and honeysuckle is fresh and not overly floral. My hair smelled great for ages and more importantly, it felt soft, nourished, and smooth. These products are cruelty-free and even the packaging lets you know you’re in for a treat!

I think sometimes we can spend a lot on things like make-up and then be horrified when a hair or skincare product is a bit more pricy – but I would actually rather invest more in the things that will be put on my hair and skin first.

Retro Rich

I hadn’t actually heard of this brand before. I follow Sussex Sandra on YouTube and she finds some interesting new boxes, particularly more inclusive ones, because many of the mainstream boxes often leave her with things that she can’t use because they don’t take into consideration the full range of skin tones that their members have. We should be doing better than this.

Anyway, Sandra reviewed a haircare beauty box, primarily aimed at people with curly or coily hair – so not me with my type 1 straight hair – but the products sounded so good and inclusive that I wanted to give it a go. I use some of them differently, but they looked like interesting, good quality products and I decided to give the box a go.

The February box focussed on the brand Retro Rich, and that’s how I discovered the Queen of the Nile hair mask – probably my favourite item in the box. Some of the other products are things that I wash out whereas people with different types of hair can leave them in, but super long hair needs moisturising down to the tips, and this mask is something that anyone can use to give their hair a pamper. You just use it like any other hair mask – leave it on for 10 minutes or pop it under a shower cap (I’ve done both). It smells lovely and my hair felt amazing afterwards.

The box comes out every two months and you can find out more about the Odyssey box here.

Rituals

It was the first time that I tried a shower oil from Rituals. I wasn’t actually sure whether I’d like it, but having used it, I actually liked it more than the foam, which seems to be their more well-known shower product. This ritual of Sakura oil contains cherry blossom extract, and rice milk, known for its purifying properties. I love this scent anyway, and the oil isn’t greasy – it’s easy to wash off and doesn’t leave a mess in your bath or shower!

Weleda

I’ve tried the pomegranate body lotion before, so I also picked up one of the Pomegranate shower gels. This brand is probably best known for its skin food, which isn’t something I tend to use, but the pomegranate range is worth exploring as well!

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Luxury treats – February product review

A bit later than usual, but here are some of the skincare products that I used in February and what I thought of them. All of these products were bought with my own money or birthday/Christmas presents from family and friends. None of the products are sponsored, although the post does contain some affiliate links.

Balmonds

This wasn’t a brand that I was familiar with until I started getting Lovelula again last year. This intensive facial oil got me back into using facial oils. I’d had a bit of a thing against them after a bad experience with a particularly greasy one, but this is not like that. It is a fairly rich oil, but it soaks in well and leaves the face feeling soft and rehydrated. The lavender scent makes it a nice choice for bedtime as well.

Body shop

This Mango body Scrub is an old favourite. I love the mango scent, and the fact that it’s a sugar scrub means it’s not messy, so you’re not for ever clearing up something messy like coffee grounds. It just dissolves and washes away. It’s firm enough to feel that it’s doing something to the skin, but it’s not so abrasive that it hurts.

The Ethiopian coffee cream is from the spa of the world range and it’s a luxury body cream. It doesn’t smell of coffee, but it contains caffeine, which is known for its stimulating properties, and it promises to leave your skin feeling firmer and smoother.

The moringa body butter is not something I would usually buy because of its floral scent. I got it in a calendar and used it up because it’s one of the creamier body butters, which I like as opposed to the really firm ones. It’s not something I’d buy again, but it is good as a body moisturiser, and if you like more floral scents, you might like it too!

I was having some problems with my skin and decided to pick up the aloe toner for sensitive skin. It’s super gentle and reminds me a bit of the vitamin E toner. As a rule I don’t have sensitive skin, but I like to use something like this if I have had a reaction to something or just want something really gentle. I’d definitely pick this up again.

H2k

I’d never heard of this brand before, but I picked up the Oilovme serum for fine lines and blemishes as one of my Latest in Beauty choices. This small tube retails for £9.99, and as a 9 product subscriber, I paid £2. This is why I really like LiB – you get to try some new brands and products for a fraction of the price. Anyway – it’s an oil-based serum (sunflower seed and wheat germ) and I particularly applied it to any areas with blemishes. It doesn’t say anything about tea tree oil, but it smells of it, and did calm down any areas where I had hormonal breakouts.

Hugo Boss

I’ve talked about this The scent intense for her perfume before. It’s not the notes that I usually go for, but I smelled a sample of it and really liked it, probably because of the fruity peach and roasted cocoa notes. It does contain osmanthus flower too, but it’s not a particularly floral scent. This is something that I wear quite often, and I finished up my 30 ml bottle. Fortunately I got a really good deal on it in the sale last year, so I do already have a replacement for it. I don’t replace all my perfumes when they run out, but I like this one enough to keep wearing it.

Molton Brown

Molton Brown is usually known for its shower gel gifts, but they have some really nice haircare too. I’ve talked about the Indian cress purifying hair set before, but I got one for Christmas and have now finished the conditioner. The shampoo lasts a bit longer because with that, a little really goes a long way. They smell and feel luxurious, and the jasmin and honeysuckle scent stays on your hair for ages. This particular set is the purifying one and it contains enriching Indian cress extract. Not something I can afford every day, but it’s a lovely treat once in a while.

Radox

Budget friendly and fruity, I got through a couple of Radox shower gels. I particularly liked the lychee and watermelon one because it’s so fruity and refreshing, with a creamy texture that felt moisturising as well. I’m always up for trying fruity scents, and they don’t have to be expensive.

Rituals

Back to the pampering products again – I got this Ritual of Ayurveda shower foam in a Christmas present, which was the Feelunique bathtime pamper box (now sold out). I didn’t even know that Feelunique did these boxes, but I look out for them now. They basically collated a bunch of products to help you have a relaxing night in, and I love the Ritual of Ayurveda scent with its sweet almond oil and Indian rose. I didn’t actually know there was rose in it – it’s not an overbearing rose scent – you really mostly smell the almond oil. Anyway, this certainly makes bathtime more special!

Seascape

This is another Lovelula discovery – the Island Apothecary uplift body lotion. It says that it contains eucalyptus, lime, and lavender, though the only thing I could really smell was the lavender. It was nice enough, but I’d be interested to see whether they do ranges with some different scents.

So, fewer products than usual, but some really nice ones nevertheless. I’m also only talking about things where I have something to say – for example I finished an eye cream and all I really had to say about it was “yeah it was ok” and I don’t think that makes interesting reading! Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products, and if you have, what you thought of them.

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