The Body Shop – earn rewards for recycling your empty product packaging

It’s not just kitchen waste that needs to be recycled. It’s sometimes a bit more difficult with beauty products in terms of identifying exactly which bottles and tubes can be recycled, but it’s something we need to take seriously because so much waste from beauty products ends up in landfill, or even worse, in the ocean.

Yesterday I heard about someone diving to the deepest part of the ocean, only to find sweet wrappers and a plastic bag down there. We have to do better.

Some shops are going down the route of naked products – with no packaging, but this can be quite messy, and it’s not suitable for all product types. The Body Shop has a different strategy. If you have a Love Your Body® card, and it’s really easy to sign up if you don’t, you can earn £5 on your card for every 5 eligible products that you return.

Once the empty product containers have been collected, they are either recycled, or repurposed and made into new products, such as park benches children’s play equipment.

In order to receive the £5 reward, you have to return 5 eligible containers at the same time. They must be clean, so wash them out first. A shop assistant does it with you, so you can find out exactly what can go in the recycling container, and the shop assistant will update your card with the reward points. The reward could take up to 48 hours to appear on your account, but after that, your points will be available to spend.

You can also return recyclable packaging from other brands, but this will not count towards your 5 products that qualify for a reward.

Some types of packaging are exempt, such as cardboard boxes, although these should go in your home recycling. Single wrappers from things such as soaps or bath bubbles are not part of the scheme. Also, you can’t recycle perfume bottles or anything that contains alcohol.

Bottles, tubs, pots, and tubes should be fine. There is no comprehensive list on the Return, Recycle, Repeat page, but this is where you can find further information. Also, this information is correct in May 2019, but if you’re visiting my site after this time, it’s best to check the terms and conditions directly on the Body Shop site.

Most stores are taking part in the scheme, but there are a few exclusions, so check the list on the above link to make sure that your local store is taking part.

Doing the right thing for the planet should be enough of a reward, but I think it’s a great idea that the Body Shop is offering this scheme to encourage people to recycle. There are plenty of little treats that you can get for £5, or you could save up points on your card and put them towards something else (points are valid for three months).

What do you think –have you heard of this service? Will you be using it? Let me know in the comments.

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Good things in April 2019

I got a bit bored with my favourites posts because they were all quite samey, and often focussed on beauty products, which I know is less interesting for some of my readers. So I thought I’d try something else now, to make the posts a bit more varied. So here are my April highlights!

Something I bought

I’ve already been raving about my coffee machine! I’m really glad I got it!

I needed a way of keeping track of the capsules because I can’t read the pods. My first idea was to stick Braille labels on the boxes (text recognition apps don’t work so well on them). Anyway the idea with the Braille worked well enough, but it did look a bit untidy with all the capsule boxes.

Then I discovered some trays that slide out for your pods. The ones I bought hold 60 capsules each, and you can stack the trays if you want to have more than 6 types of coffee. The trays have raised squares to keep the pods in place. They might move about if you’re not careful, and you do need to put them in properly so they don’t get stuck. I now have a Braille list that sits on top of the trays. I’ve numbered the lines and written down which coffee is In each line of each drawer. I can still keep track of them, and it looks tidier in my coffee area – or coffee shrine as a friend recently called it!

Something I tried

Can you believe I’m still getting through advent calendar products? One of the things that was new to me was the almond milk and honey body lotion. I knew about the body butter and the body yoghurt, but I hadn’t come across the lotion before. It’s similar to the yoghurt, but it comes in a tube, so is arguably less messy and a bit more hygienic.

I like this gentle range and find the cream cooling as well. Sometimes my allergies cause a reaction on my skin too and I like something gentle like this for times when my skin has been irritated and needs something soothing. I was already a fan of this gentle formula, but I didn’t know about the lotion – so I’m happy they put one in the advent calendar.

Something I did

I’m all about the online networking. When you’re visually impaired, it really creates a level playing field. You don’t have to care if someone’s giving you eye contact, keep your place in the queue for coffee or see where the nearest toilets are. You don’t have to find your way to places you’ve never been before, or shell out on taxis because there’s no sensible way of getting there with public transport. I would do these things too, but I like the freedom I get from networking from my own desk, and have met interesting small business owners from other parts of the world that way. It’s less hassle, and as it’s not one of the first things I tell people, half of the people I speak with don’t even know I’m visually impaired. It’s not relevant for the discussions we’re having and as far as I’m concerned, not the most interesting thing about me.

Having said all that, I am aware that having an international business does mean that I don’t get to meet many new people locally. Yes, I have my friends, and I meet other people through them sometimes, but a lot of the people I used to meet in London were somehow either on the journey to work, or through work. I don’t have that now.

I decided to look for a local group of business owners. I quickly discounted any that sounded pretentious or that expected people to meet at 6:30 in the morning – because who can even put a sentence together at that time? I can’t! But I have found a Facebook group now and pushed myself out of my comfort zone by signing up to a face-to-face meeting too.

Something I read

Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

This is a series of 8 books and I originally found out about them through another blog, though it was so long ago unfortunately I can’t remember who it was so that I can tag them.

I’m glad not to be living in central London now, but reading about it makes me feel a bit nostalgic. Without giving anything away, the books are based on the life and adventures of a young police officer who ends up getting involved in the supernatural cases in a world where the gods of the River Thames are actually people some of the time, ghosts are real, and magic is a thing that can be learned.

Normally I stay away from any crime or detective books. I’ve worked in the criminal justice system and it bugs me when things aren’t true to life. It’s way less glamorous than the TV series make it out to be. But in real life there is no old house where people go when they’re working on supernatural cases, so I had no expectations of it being like real life and could therefore just enjoy it for what it was – a story.

It does make sense if you read the books in order – many of the characters appear again and you build on the knowledge as you go along. However each book is a story and a case that can stand alone.

We listened to the audio books, and Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, who narrates the Audible versions, does a really good job.

Something I watched

Star Trek – discovery

I wasn’t a Star Trek fan before, but S persuaded me to give it a go and yes, there are action scenes, but I hadn’t realised how much more depth there is in terms of learning about the characters, understanding different cultures, moral dilemmas, and teamwork. Also, this was set before the original series, so it doesn’t matter if you start watching it with no idea what comes next!

I’m not good at TV reviews and I don’t want to post any spoilers, but I would recommend it if sci-fi is your thing – or even if it isn’t!

Something I ate/drank

Pong! You’ll have to wait to see the review, but I signed up for a monthly cheese subscription called Pong, where you get a selection of cheeses sent to you by post each month. It’s a good way to try new things.

Something I learned

In this module of my Open University course we’re starting to work with Python, which I’m enjoying a lot more than the horrid drag and drop visual programming language that we had to work with in the last module. Ok, it’s only the basics at the moment, but this makes more sense to me, and that makes me happy!

Somewhere I went

We decided to make a day of the blogger event that I was invited to in Reading, and we also visited the Real Greek for lunch.

Something random that made me smile

I know that I probably don’t drink enough water. I know that I should probably do something about that – running on coffee alone isn’t the best, especially with the hot summer months coming up.

So I had the idea of putting a pint of water on my desk in the morning and refilling it in the afternoon. If it’s there next to me, I found that I am drinking it. If I don’t make the effort to put it there, I generally don’t bother.

So just changing my habit and making the effort is actually helping me to drink more water! I also decided to get this owl drinking glass so there’s one more owl in my collection!

What have you been enjoying this month? Let me know in the comments!

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New products from the Body Shop

I decided to pop into the Body Shop the other day as I had run out of a couple of things, and I’d also heard that there was a new haircare range. I’m a fan of the banana and strawberry ranges, so wanted to try the shea one too. All of these products were bought by me. None were gifted and these are my honest thoughts.

First for the things that I wanted to stock up on. After discovering the Vitamin C skin reviver back in December, it’s now become my new favourite primer! I like the silky smooth finish either on its own or as a base for make-up, and it’s a cruelty-free alternative to some of the other primers I’ve used in the past. It’s slick without being greasy, and it promises to enhance natural radiance and cheer up “dull grumpy skin”. That just about sums up me in the morning!

I’d also run out of the mango body sugar scrub which is the only physical exfoliants that I will use. And it smells amaaazing! Like the rest of the Body Shop mango range.

I’d definitely recommend these two products!

The new shea haircare line

There were some other new shea products, but I just picked up the three haircare ones.

The shea butter shampoo does what it promises in terms of leaving the hair feeling nourished. The range is especially good if you have dry hair or want to give it some love to stop breakages or dry ends. It has a fresh but non-intrusive scent. I’m really fussy about hair products that smell of chemicals, and this range definitely doesn’t.

The shea butter conditioner is for dry to damaged hair and promises to leave hair feeling intensely nourished and richly replenished. I don’t have damaged hair, but because it’s so long, I like to give it nourishing treatments from time to time to stop the ends drying out. It definitely felt in good condition afterwards, and it was nice and silky, but I’m less convinced about the claim that it helps with detangling. I didn’t feel this and I think there are more effective detangling conditioners out there. Still, the community shea butter from Ghana is definitely something that will perk up dry hair.

The shea hair mask is similar to the conditioner, but it’s a thicker treatment to apply for longer. I actually preferred this, both in terms of the nourishment and glossiness factor, but given the choice between this one and the banana, I’d still take the banana!

So, overall, I thought the new line was nice enough, but I do prefer the fruity ones more, so I probably wouldn’t buy these again. If the banana and strawberry are too strong for you though or you’re already a fan of the shea line, you might enjoy something to keep your hair soft and with a less intense fragrance.

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Blogger event – consultation and make-over at the Clinique counter

On Saturday we took a trip to Reading, where I’d been invited to a blogging event by Jenny, who runs the South East Bloggers’ Circle, which brings together and organises events for bloggers in the South East. It was lovely to meet Jenny and to take part in an event for which we didn’t have to travel to London! Yes, blogger land, there is life outside the capital!

The event was held at the Clinique counter at Boots in Reading, and I was excited to try out some new products, as well as to pick up some make-up tips during my consultation with Amy from the Clinique counter.

I hadn’t tried much skincare before, but I was already a fan of some of the make-up products such as the contour chubby stick, the highlighter stick and the blusher stick. As someone who has a visual impairment and who finds it easier to work with cream products, these sticks are great. I knew there were also some for lips and eyes, and although there is only one shade in the highlighter and contour stick, I thought I might find another blusher to try.

The staff at the Clinique counter were very friendly and helpful. I had a skin consultation, followed by a make-over, and as well as discovering some new products and getting shade-matched properly, I also picked up a few new tips – as did S, who was watching and taking photos! Not his favourite way to spend the morning, but we made up for it later when we spent the rest of the day in Reading!

Clinique ID range

Clinique has a new set of moisturisers called Clinique Id, which you can customise to get the best moisture for your skin type. You first choose your base – out of moisturising lotion, hydrating jelly, or oil control gel. Then you choose a cartridge to treat whichever concern you want to focus on – reenergising, addressing lines and wrinkles, evening out skin texture, dealing with uneven skin tone, or soothing irritated skin. Once you’ve made your choices, you can have your own personalised moisture with the formula that you need or prefer, and the cartridge best suited to your skin type. Find out more about Clinique ID here.

Skincare

We started with a skin consultation so that Amy, my make-up artist, could find the best products for me.

As well as trying out a moisturiser, I had my first experience with an electric cleansing brush – also available at Boots. The bristles give you a deeper cleanse than you would get with normal exfoliation and help to clean out your pores before you start applying skincare or make-up. It was an odd sensation at first, but not unpleasant, and I could get used to it!

At the time of writing this, there is a gift with purchase offer at Clinique. If you buy two products, one of which must be foundation or skincare products, you can get a free gift – a make-up bag with six products inside (conditions apply). I did end up going shopping after my consultation, meaning I got one of these bags too, which included 3 skincare and 3 make-up products (micellar gel, eye make-up remover, moisturiser, lipstick, lip gloss, and mascara). I’m not sure how much longer the promotion will be running, but it’s fantastic value, and I see at the moment it’s available online at Boots too.

Make-up

I don’t usually experiment with foundations, mainly because I can’t swatch them myself or work out which one I should buy. It’s like clothes sizes. You might know what size you are in one shop, but somewhere else that same size means something else. It’s kind of annoying when you can’t see for yourself, so I tend to just buy the same thing over again.

So we got a couple out and Amy advised me on which one to get. We actually tried two types of foundation – the liquid one and the chubby stick one. However, I felt more confident with the liquid one as that’s what I usually use. The stick one gives fuller coverage, but that also means that any blending mistakes would show up more, and I wasn’t up for that!

I also took the opportunity to get colour matched for a concealer, because this is also something I would struggle to do on my own without being able to see it.

I didn’t need another blusher, but I picked up the amp’d up apple one that Amy used on me, as well as one of the shadow tints for eyes, which are like crayons and really easy to apply.

Finally, after confirming with S that I didn’t have anything that colour in my ridiculously large lipstick collection, I also got all heart from the dramatically different moisturising lipstick range.

Overall experience

Before we started, we had a chat about how I do my make-up, what kind of products I like, and which ones I avoided. This gave Amy a better understanding of how I work as someone who can’t see what they’re doing, and helped her to pick out products that I would actually use again.

I didn’t feel flustered by having to make decisions about colours that I can’t see, which is one thing I was concerned about. On the contrary, it was relaxing and I was glad of the recommendations I got during the consultation.

I think that especially if you can’t watch your friends or see exactly what other people are doing on YouTube, having your make-up done by someone else can really help in terms of feeling how and where to apply the products. I did buy a bunch of stuff, but I felt under no pressure to buy.

Also, the fact that you’re going for a skincare and/or make-up consultation means that you can turn up with no make-up on. Not a plus point if you can’t leave the house without a full face of make-up, but if you don’t feel so confident about your own make-up skills, you don’t have to worry about a professional seeing them!

If you want to, you can also open up a Clinique profile, which means that the products you’ve bought are stored with your details. This means that even if you forget which shade of foundation you are, you can just buy it again because the store has a record of your previous purchases.

Thanks to the team at the Clinique counter in Boots Reading, and thanks to Jenny for organising the event.

How about you?

So tell me – do you have any favourite Clinique make-up or skincare products? Do you enjoy skincare and make-up consultations? Let me know in the comments.

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This post contains some affiliate links, but I only promote things that I’ve tried and tested. The consultation was free of charge, but the post was not sponsored. I bought the products  with the exception of the gift with purchase.

15 products from 2019 – part 1

Well, I haven’t given up on the product reviews entirely, but I’m doing things a bit differently now. There will be posts that each have 15 products in them, and they won’t be monthly any more. If I thought something was just nice enough or ok, I probably won’t spend time talking about it. So the things I’ll write about are either amazing, or there’s some kind of story, or I discovered something new, or maybe I really hated something. Who knows. But I hope you like the new style of product post.

So here are the first 15 – quite a lot of Body Shop in here! Have you tried any of these? Let me know in the comments.

1. Orange moisturiser

I was excited to try something from Dr Botanicals, and even happier that it was something with a citrus scent. This moisturiser comes in a tube, a bit like a hand cream, which I prefer to the tubs, and keeps your cream fresher. It does have an orange scent, but isn’t overly perfumed, and you won’t notice it after a few minutes. I enjoyed using it, would definitely be open to trying more from the range.

2. Mango hand cream

I love this mango hand cream from the Body Shop stuff so much! The only thing is I wish they would do it in bigger tubes, but these ones are fine to go in your handbag. I haven’t found anything in the mango line that I don’t like, and you’ll see some other products from there in this post too. The Body Shop hand creams aren’t the cheapest, but they are good value, and there are often deals, where you can either get money off, or buy multiple products for a reduced price.

3. ELF primer

I’ve mentioned this primer before, and I replaced it again when this one run out. I’ve since started using a different one too, but I like to have a couple on the go just in case one runs out. It’s a silicone-based primer, which is like the marmite of primers – you either like it or you don’t – but I like it for creating a base. I’m feeling the love for my Body Shop one more at the moment, but I’ll definitely use this as well.

4. Vitamin E toner

As toners go, I’ve been more in to the spray on type recently. They are better for the environment because you don’t use cotton wool to apply them, and I think as we move into the Spring and Summer, they’ll be more refreshing too. However, as far as the more traditional toners go, I got through another vitamin E one from the Body Shop. I bought a couple of different ones from there recently to try them out, but overall I still prefer this one because it’s so nourishing, not watery (I hate that!), and it’s gentle on the skin.

5. Yes to cucumbers micellar water

I think the person who designed this packaging needs a D minus and to be sent back to design school! The first cucumber micellar water that came had the top shattered, which meant I had to order a replacement. When the replacement came, it was such a pain to use. Rather than a spray nozzle, it has a kind of circle with a hole in the centre where the product shoots out. I think you maybe press it onto a pad, but then it prevents the product coming out properly. If you hold it slightly away, it goes all over your hands and not on the pad. I got fed up with it and decanted it into an empty bubble bath bottle. The product is fine, but I don’t have time for all that faffing about.

6. Mango shower gel

Love love love this mango shower gel! It was part of a birthday present that included lots of the mango line and I never get tired of smothering myself in the mango scent! My favourite from the Body Shop skincare line!

7. Nail varnish remover pads

I know some people think this is a bit extravagant, but if you’re travelling, or if you don’t want to risk spilling nail varnish remover, these nail varnish remover pads are a good idea. These ones are from Waitrose. Ocado do them too, and the Ocado ones come in a bigger pack, which works out as better value if you will use them regularly, but in terms of performance they’re about the same, so the Waitrose ones are a good one to start with if you want to see whether you like them. They don’t feel as moist as a cotton round covered in traditional nail varnish remover does, but they do work as long as you’re thorough, and they don’t have that traditional strong nail varnish remover scent either. I will keep using the pads now that I’ve discovered them.

8. Clarins exfoliating toner

Of all the exfoliating toners I’ve tried, this is my favourite! It’s similar to the Pixie Glow Tonic, but I can’t bear the smell of the glow tonic unfortunately! So this from Clarins is slightly more expensive, but it’s an ideal solution for someone like me that doesn’t like physical exfoliants for the face. I won’t repurchase straight away as I also have some exfoliating pads from Nip+Fab to get through, but I would definitely buy it again.

9. Mango body yoghurt

You see a theme going on here? Yes, I love the mango body yoghurt too! This is a lightweight body moisturiser and unlike a couple of the other body yoghurts, this one dries down really quickly, without feeling sticky. As with the other products in this range, the mango scent stays around, so the best way to spend the rest of the day smelling of it is to layer a couple of them up!

10. Mango body scrub

Yay for birthday presents – they get you to try things you otherwise wouldn’t have picked up. I hadn’t tried the sugar scrub before, because generally, I don’t like scrubs. I don’t like the texture. I don’t like the way they feel in the bath or shower. But this is sugar, not some kind of ground up or crushed up thing, so it exfoliates your skin and then dissolves in the water – as if it had never been there. Leaving just the mango scent behind. Salt scrubs are harsher and dissolve more slowly – but this is great and I would buy it again.

11. Pink grapefruit spray

I finished up a bottle of this pink grapefruit mist – which is something I tend to use as a body spray. I guess you could use it as a scent on its own, but I usually wear a scent in addition to this. The pink grapefruit line is another one of my favourites from the Body Shop – more zesty and less sweet than the mango.

12. Origins face wash

I got a bunch of Origins minis in a set during the pre-Christmas sale as I wanted to try out some more from the range. My favourite is still the moisturiser – the reason I got the set in the first place. I liked a couple of the other things too, but wasn’t really a fan of the frothy face wash. Face products should not contain mint. Ever! It doesn’t matter how good the product is. If face or hair products contain mint, they’re out of the running for me. Shame though as generally I do like Origins.

13. Troublemaker mascara

I got a mini of the Urban Decay troublemaker mascara in the Feelunique sale. Sexproof lashes? Really? Apparently lasts through snowboarding, saunas and sex! Glad we got that sorted out then! Who even tests these claims out?

I’m generally not a fan of minis, but I did want to give this a try and was glad that I had. It was volumising without being clumpy and didn’t flake off or smudge.

14. Sunflower hand cream

I talked about this a while ago, but it came up on Latest in Beauty, so I got myself another tube of the sunflower hand cream from Laidbare. Originally I got this for the highly technical reason of liking sunflowers, but it is a good hand cream – moisturising, decent price, not greasy, and a generally good all-rounder. I usually go for fruity hand creams, but this made a nice change.

15. Apple micellar water

This is from a regime of products that I bought from Freshly Cosmetics. It’s the best-smelling micellar water I have ever used and contains ingredients such as aloe vera, green apple water, ginger and cucumber extracts. Definitely not the cheapest out there, but these products make good gifts or treats for yourself. Here’s the link to the apple micellar water.

Discounts and offers

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

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

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

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

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Working from home -is your chair right for you?

This is the story of how I went out for a pint of milk and came back with a new office chair!

We needed a couple of things from the supermarket, and S decided he wanted some stationery and office supplies too. I went along for the ride and when we got to the shop, we started talking about chairs and the fact that I should probably buy a new one. What better place to do it than a place where you can go and sit on them all to try them out?

I’d had my other chair for ages. The bit below the seat had something wrong with it, which made it tilt to the side. I used to work in Health and Safety (don’t worry, this isn’t going to be a health and safety lecture!) and knew better than to keep using it – it’s not good if you’re either leaning sideways or compensating for a leaning chair.

So I had taken S’ old chair, which I’d become quite fond of after it was the only way I could get around safely in the kitchen when I had my accident and couldn’t put weight on my leg. A girl needs a safe way to move coffee and hot food around, so round and round the kitchen I wheeled! But this chair was too low, even for a short person like me, and the mechanism for lifting it was broken. Not a massive deal, but it did mean my hands were too high for typing, and I spend a lot of time at my desk.

It’s like Goldilocks and the 3 bears – this chair is too wonky, this chair is too low, and this chair is just perfect so I’ll buy it and take it home. Or something like that!

I did want to mention it though because more and more people are working from home, if not full-time, then for a couple of days a week. Then there’s studying or blogging, and people like me who work from home full-time. Is it really important what you sit on?

The answer is yes, and here are a few reasons why.

1. Length of time

I’ve touched on this already, but whereas you might spend half an hour at the dinner table, your office chair is somewhere you might be sitting for hours at a time. It’s not good to be sitting uncomfortably or in a position that encourages bad habits such as slouching. Bad posture can lead to other problems later such as back, neck or shoulder problems if you’re sitting uncomfortably, flopping forward, or if you don’t have enough support.

2. Height

It’s important to have a height-adjustable chair because if you’re too low, you’ll have to lift your arms and shoulders up at an uncomfortable angle when you want to type. As a general rule, your arms should be straight.  If the chair is too high, and this was often my problem in the office if someone had been sitting on my chair, your feet aren’t flat on the floor and you don’t have any support. Also, a chair that’s too high ends up with too much pressure on the back of your thighs because your feet aren’t taking any of the weight, and having no support for your feet can also lead to foot pain later in the day. You might also want to consider a foot stool if you don’t want to, or can’t lower your chair.

3. Back and shoulder support

It’s easy to slump forward when we’re working. I don’t tend to do it in meetings – then I’m thinking about sitting up straight because I want to look professional. But if I’m typing away on something on my own, there is a tendency to lean forward, and this isn’t good for your back or your shoulders. Office chairs have padding around the back and many also have neck and shoulder supports. Using these encourages you to sit up straight and not hunch your shoulders forward, as doing these things can lead to back, neck, or shoulder pain. So try not to perch on the front of your chair. Make full use of the supports, from the lower back to the shoulders.

4. Padded seating

Think about the chairs you used to sit on at school. After an hour of sitting in the same position with no support, it gets uncomfortable. You might be fine having a picnic on a garden bench for a while, but if you’re going to spend 8 hours sitting somewhere, you need a bit more padding. Apart from the obvious discomfort, fidgeting around trying to make yourself comfortable isn’t good for your concentration or productivity either.

5. At work it’s someone else’s responsibility

At work we sometimes take it for granted that our employer carries out DSE (display screen equipment) assessments to check that our workstation is set up correctly and we have what we need. Ok, obviously some companies are better at meeting these requirements than others, and I was pretty lucky, but the point is, it’s a company’s legal responsibility. When you’re self-employed, you don’t have someone reminding you about it or checking that it’s been done, but it’s no less important when you’re the boss! There can be 101 things that feel more urgent or directly linked to making money, but if you’re self-employed and don’t look after yourself, who else will?

6. You’re an individual

Everyone needs and likes different things, due to factors like our height, the shape of our back, any existing pains or conditions, and just what we find comfortable. This is why I haven’t put a link to my chair on the blog.

I didn’t get the most expensive one I could find. The cost did play a role for me, but also, I didn’t find the most expensive ones were the most comfortable. The absolute cheapest ones weren’t either – I went for a mid-range one, and if you go for one from a specialist shop, you can pay a lot more than I did. But it was important to me that I could sit in them, adjust them, and see which I thought would be comfortable.

7. It’s not all about the chair

It’s important not to spend long periods of time sitting without taking any breaks. This is partly connected to the amount of time you spend looking at a screen, but it’s still important for people like me who can’t see the screen, because it’s not only about screen time. It’s about giving your body the chance to move around and not be stuck in the same position for hours on end.

Try and build in reasons to get up throughout the day, even if you work from home. Make drinks, tidy up, stretch your legs, take the dog for a walk – whatever you’re doing, make sure that you also build in breaks that involve some kind of movement so you’re not just stuck in a seated position all day. This is particularly important for those of us who don’t naturally get the exercise of walking anywhere on the way to or from work.

How about you?

Do you use an office chair when you’re working at home? Is it comfortable? Does it give you all the support you need?

More from Unseen Beauty

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

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

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

 

My weighted blanket – what is it and why did I get one for Christmas?

I thought I’d do a bit more of an in-depth post about one of my Christmas presents because some people have no idea what they are, and in any event I’m moving away from monthly favourites posts to articles with more information on one topic.

When I first started to learn about sensory differences, I thought all of my behaviours were sensory avoiding ones. Like avoiding loud noise or certain textures. But now I see that that from a young age, I showed signs of sensory-seeking behaviour too, like the hours I would spend on my swing, or the drama with the duvet and the sheets.

I’ll explain! In those days, we had a normal sheet, and then another sheet on top of that, to go over you, and the duvet or blankets on top. But that upper sheet between me and whatever else was on the bed had to be pulled really tight. I always asked my Nan to make it as tight as she could before she said good night.

When I was old enough to do it myself, I always did. Not just at bedtime. If I got out of bed in the night, the whole procedure had to be done again, even when I was half-asleep. I’d kneel down on the floor next to the bed and push the sheet as far under the mattress as it would go. Then I’d inch my way in from the top, only pulling it as far as necessary for me to get under and feeling that tight cocoon feeling of being wrapped up. Not quite the same as the weight of a blanket, but I knew I liked it and it made me feel safe and cosy so that I could fall asleep again. That was just the way the bed had to be!

Later we did away with these extra sheets and just had duvets, but I always wanted the heaviest one I could find, even in the Summer. As an adult, I left the same Winter duvet on all year round and maybe added something extra in the Winter. Not because I was cold, but because I wanted the extra weight on top of me.

I often used to sit with my dog on my lap – not a little lap dog, but 34 kg of golden retriever. Sitting with her and stroking her had its own beneficial and therapeutic effects, but I never thought anything of all that weight on my lap.

Finding out about weighted blankets

So then I started hearing about weighted blankets. I’d had one on my Amazon list for a while, but I’d never seen one. And that was the problem – firstly the expense, because they aren’t cheap, but secondly although I love online shopping, I really wanted to see one and to touch whatever it was that made it feel heavy. Nobody has them on display though. You have to buy them online. And that worried me because it would be a lot of money to waste if I wasn’t ok with the texture of the material used to give it the weight.

Once you start looking out for something, you se it cropping up everywhere. I noticed posts on blogs about them and how they helped children who wanted the same kind of sensory input. I kept thinking about it, but didn’t get round to buying one. I also kind of hoped it might drop in price a bit as things on Amazon sometimes have a tendency to do, but these are specialised and therefore I didn’t fancy my chances.

So when S asked me to make a Christmas list, I started with the things on my Amazon wish list. I didn’t want a specific one, but I found the link to one and added it to the spreadsheet. He ended up choosing a different one, but I’m not sure I would have indulged in this for myself, so I was very happy about it turning up under the Christmas tree!

The blanket arrives!

On Christmas Day I had a very heavy box to open! A 15kg heavy kind of box! It was my blanket!

It was a bit different to what I’d imagined. It’s not as big as a double duvet, but it can go over 2 people when folded out, so it’s a double one. I thought the weight of it would be concentrated over a smaller area, but then I realised it was supposed to be a double one!

The idea is that the blanket goes over the body, and it’s not supposed to hang over the bed, otherwise it will just pull down towards the floor. You can get different weights depending on a person’s body weight and preferences.

The tiny beads are kept in place in squares, so you don’t have the problem that they all fall down to the bottom or to one side. It can apparently go in the washing machine, but I dread to think how heavy it will get when full of water – it’s heavy enough now. So I’d want to reduce the need for that to happen and put it in a duvet cover or something if you’re not going to have it on top of your duvet as we do.

We put it on the bed on Christmas night and I had the best sleep I’ve had in a long time. I don’t have sleep issues, but I would say I sleep better with it on – it’s a deeper and a better quality of sleep. The weight relaxes me and although hew wasn’t originally the one looking for one, S seems to like it too!

It is fine now, but it will be too hot in the Summer. I hadn’t really planned on having it on the bed, so when the weather gets warmer, I’ll take it off and use it as a blanket on the sofa in my office. For times when I’ve had enough or need some balancing time if I’ve felt overstimulated and want to hide and snuggle under its weight .

How do weighted blankets help?

Weighted blankets look and feel like normal blankets, but they are heavier, because they have been filled with tiny polypropylene pellets that are distributed evenly throughout the blanket in squares that are about the size of a hand when it’s spread out.

The feeling of the weighted blanket is often compared to the sense of being hugged. This can help people who like to feel the pressure of being squeezed in a big hug, or apparently it is also good for some people who don’t like so much physical contact with another person, but who enjoy the pressure sensation.

It’s said that using the blanket is similar to deep pressure therapy and stimulates the release of oxytocin. Oxytocin is a neurotransmitter – a chemical in the brain that can make us feel calm, happy or relaxed. It’s often released when we do things like hugging, and therefore the weight of the blanket is compared to that feeling of being hugged.

I can’t give advice for individuals and wouldn’t want to. Some people will like them, others won’t.

From what I’ve read, some people on the autism spectrum as well as those with anxiety and/or sleep issues have said that weighted blankets have helped them. I’ve read most about them on blogs related to autism, but the blankets are used by neurotypical people as well.

I know that in the past, when I’ve felt sensory overload or just stressed out after a long day, I’ve gone to bed and burrowed right under the duvet, sometimes piling other blankets on top. I didn’t really understand why at the time, but just did it because I thought it would help. My blanket fortress to keep out the things that were stressing me out! For me, the weighted blanket is a cosy, heavy extension of that!

Have you ever heard of or used weighted blankets?

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

December products – haircare, chocolate bodycare, and Harry Potter bath products

Dec 18 empties

I’m not sure what I’m going to do with empties this year. I want to be a bit more selective – so if something was just ok or I’ve talked about it before, I probably won’t mention it again. I think I’ll limit them to 15 items too so that they don’t get too long!

1. Hotel Chocolat body lotion

This chocolate body lotion was amazing! I mentioned it a couple of months ago when I got it for my birthday, but I wanted to mention it again here because it’s such a lovely range and I’m looking forward to trying out more of the products. Hotel Chocolat is only really known for its main product, the chocolate, but this lovely gentle and delicious-smelling skincare is well worth a mention as well.

2. Caffeinated shampoo and conditioner

I managed to get hold of one sample of shampoo and to of conditioner, which given the length of my hair, worked out well when I used them all together. The idea with this is that the caffeine stimulates the hair follicles, so it’s really something you would need to use for a longer time before you could say whether it was working. Still, why does something that does a good thing like that have to smell so bad? Really, it was awful! That combined with the tingly sensation that you get if you use a mint scalp massage treatment. I’m not convinced. I would love the benefits that this promises, but I’d have to slather on something nice afterwards like a hair mist or my mango detangler. This felt more like something you endure for good results than a pleasant treat for the hair.

3. Guava hand cream

I said how much I liked the guava body butter from Korres, and I picked up the hand cream in the same scent as well. These are nice, generous tubes, and out of the two hand creams I’ve tried from Korres, I liked this guava one more. Partly because the guava scent was more prominent, but I felt it was a bit more nourishing too. I try out a lot of hand creams and something has to be good for me to buy it again, but I would get this again!

4. Naughty elf

Want a cosy night in? Get yourself a naughty elf from Lush! Well they seem to have sold out now, but see if he comes back in the Christmas 2019 collection. Anyway, I heard about the naughty elf bubble bar in a review, and as bubble bars are my favourite thing from Lush and I love citrus scents, he sounded right up my street! I find with bath bombs, you have to add bubble bath too, but these are just a treat on their own. You could snap him in half if you wanted to get another bath out of him. He apparently looks a bit like Father Christmas and is not how you’d expect an elf to look. Also he turns your bathwater red!

5. Spot zap fix

Not at all glamorous. Maybe you don’t have those monthly hormonal breakouts, but if you do, this zap fix is just the thing. It’s like a pen with a roller that you apply to clean skin and I haven’t found anything that takes breakouts down as fast as this. I’ve already got another one – two in fact because they were on Black Friday half price! It says it’s for teenagers, but I don’t really care if it does the job.

6. Korres hair mask

I have talked about this hair mask before, but although there are a lot of hair masks that I think were nice enough, this is one that I go back to. It comes in a tube, which means you don’t get the product wet by dipping into it. It contains almond and linseed extracts, so isn’t floral, like some masks. It also contains shea butter to help your hair stay moisturised and protect against split ends. It also claims to control static and prevent frizzy hair, although this isn’t a problem I have, so I can’t say how true this is.

7. Nails Inc hand mask

I hated this so much! It was sticky and smelled of alcohol. The hands were modelled on someone whose hands are twice the size of mine. I won’t be buying this again! It wasn’t particularly cheap either, and there are much better hand masks on the market.

8. Elizabeth Arden Prevage serum

I got a mini sample of this Prevage serum in a bag of free products after stocking up in the Feelunique Black Friday sale. This has become my favourite place to buy beauty and skincare! 50ml of this costs £170, and it’s not something I would usually go out and buy, but it was by far the best thing in the free gift. It is packed with antioxidants, apparently the most powerful antioxidant available today, and primarily helps the skin to fight the effects of environmental aggression. It was a sample, and I therefore couldn’t use it long enough to say whether it really made a difference, but as serums go, I enjoyed using it. I doubt I would shell out £170!

9. Banana shower gel

I have mentioned this before, but I get the feeling the banana range is mainly known for the haircare. There are other things as well though such as the body butter and the shower gel that are also worth checking out if you prefer the fruity scents.

10. Aveda shampoo

I got this cherry almond shampoo when I was on the Lookfantastic site, spending my Glossy points. I wanted to try something from aveda because I’d heard good things about the brand. It’s a 98% natural lightweight shampoo with cherry blossom and almond oil to clean your hair and leave it silky and glossy. I’m not very faithful to shampoos, but I’d pick this up again.

11. Philip Kingsley conditioner

This isn’t a brand that I’d usually reach for, but I got the body-building conditioner in my Glossybox advent calendar. It was nice enough as a conditioner, though I can’t say that I noticed increased volume in my hair or that I would run out and get it again.

12. Strawberry cupcake shower gel

This was something else that we got in the Glossybox calendar. Some people would find this too sweet, but the whole range is based on desserts, so you expect them to be sweet. My favourites from this brand are the lemon and cherry ranges, but I was happy to use this strawberry shower gel too.

13. Fuji green tea shampoo and conditioner

We got this purifying shampoo and hydrating conditioner in the Body Shop calendar. The only reason I wouldn’t get these again is that I like other hair products from the Body Shop more, and out of the two I probably preferred the conditioner for hair that needs a bit of nourishment. If you’re looking for something from the Body Shop and you don’t like the fruity ranges, this would definitely be something I could recommend.

14. Rituals Hamam shower gel

I got a small sample of this in the December Tili box. I like Rituals scents, but this one knocks you out with the eucalyptus! Fine if you have a cold and need to clear the airwaves, but I think otherwise I’d choose one of their other scents!

15. Harry Potter bath bombs

I got a set of these for Christmas. I’m not sure if they were limited edition from Superdrug as I can’t find them now, but if you get them, be warned! They are a bit of fun, and the designs are cool, but the cauldron one turns your water black, the golden snitch one makes it look as if you’ve been bathing in urine, and the Gryffindor one makes it look as though you’ve been bathing in blood! Just so you know! They are very big and smell quite good. In fact, I was blissfully aware of the strangely coloured water until it was pointed out to me later, but I think I was at a distinct advantage not being able to see it!

So, what products have you enjoyed recently?

Discounts and offers

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

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

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

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

More from Unseen Beauty

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

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

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

Blogmas 2018 – gifts that keep giving

There are sooo many gift guides being written for Blogmas – I wanted to do something a bit different! So these gifts are things that don’t just show up at Christmas time. They’re subscriptions. So you can usually choose whether it’s for 3, 6 or 12 months, but the person gets a treat throughout the year, and not just in December. It’s something to look forward to, and also a chance to try out a new product or service more than once. So here are some ideas for you – either of things that I have tried myself, or things that I would like to try.

Food

This was actually my introduction to subscription services. My boyfriend got a gift subscription to The Spicery around 4 years ago and we decided to continue with it. In fact we still get the boxes through our door now! Each month you can choose between a series of recipes. You then get the recipe card with easy-to-follow instructions, along with all the spices and dry ingredients that you need, already measured out and blended for you. All you need to do is buy the other ingredients. This is a great gift for anyone who loves cooking and maybe wants to try some new dishes, or things they wouldn’t have attempted before. It’s also good because nothing goes to waste and you don’t end up with a huge pot of something you’ll never use again. S and I do like spicy food, but you don’t have to get really spicy options if that’s not your thing.

I haven’t tried this service out yet, but when scrolling around on the internet, I came across the Pong cheese subscription – a cheese club that you can customise and receive a new box of cheese each month. Are you listening Santa? That would be fun to receive!

Books

Two years ago S got me an Audible subscription as part of my Christmas present. This is especially good if you want to give someone books for Christmas, but you don’t know exactly what they like, or which books they have already read. After the subscription finished, we kept it up and now get new books to listen to together every month. You choose them on the Audible site, and can then download them on your phone or tablet.

If you’re interested, you can use my Audible free trial link (If you are based in Germany, use my German link.

Beauty boxes

Perhaps the best known of the subscription boxes, you can give the beauty lover in your life one of these so that they can try out some new skincare or make-up treats each month. There are so many on offer, but here are a few to choose from:

Glossybox – this is a box that I have been getting throughout 2018 and I’d recommend it if the person you’re buying for likes a mixture of make-up and skincare. My code KIRSTY-RGE entitles you to 20% off your first box – this may also give you a discount on gifts, so it’s worth a try if you are thinking of gifting a Glossybox subscription.

The Pip box – I haven’t tried this, but I’ve seen videos about it on YouTube – a box for the green beauty lover who is interested in cruelty-free and natural products. I thought this looked interesting and am considering looking into it next year.

Lookfantastic – this is also something I’d like to try next year – it’s similar to Glossybox, but does tend to focus more on skincare than make-up, which is more my thing, so I’d be interested to give it a go. I haven’t tried it before, but it does tend to get good reviews.

Flowers

If you’d like a longer-lasting floral gift for someone to brighten up their home, Bunches do a monthly gift subscription service. There are three categories to choose from, ranging in price, and you choose how many months the gift will last.

Coffee

Surprisingly I haven’t tried this yet, even though the first thing I do in the morning is to make my first cup of coffee! There is a Coffee club subscription where someone gets to try two new coffee brands from around the world each month. You choose whether they want ground coffee or coffee beans, and then the packets of coffee are sent to them. The link takes you to a 3-month subscription, but there are others. I’d love to try this as well!

How about you?

Have you been given, or have you given a subscription as a Christmas present? If so, let us know what it was in the comments!

Advent calendar unboxing

Throughout Blogmas I’ll be unboxing my two advent calendars from Glossybox and the Body Shop and giving a brief product review.

Body Shop – a full-size black eye liner pencil. I can’t tell you what I think of this, because it’s going to be product 3 in the giveaway box! Use the form below if you would like to enter.

Glossybox – a lip primer from 3ina I’ve had a couple of cream eye products from this brand, pronounced Mena, but I haven’t tried anything from their lip range yet. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever used a lip primer! It was thinner than I had expected – the idea is that you use it like an eye primer, but for lips. So apply a thin coat before your lipstick. This isn’t something I would have gone out and bought, so it’s nice to have the chance to try it.

Unseen Beauty Blogmas Giveaway

Today you have another chance to enter my Unseen Beauty Blogmas giveaway. There will be a box with 10 prizes from the Glossybox and Body Shop advent calendars, and the prizes will be revealed throughout December. You can enter once on each Blogmas 2018 page, which means you have up to 24 chances of winning. You can enter at any time from when the page goes live to the end of December 2018.

Multiple entries on the same page will not be counted – I have a spreadsheet to log them!

Your answers to the questions will help me to get to know my readers and where they are based. Also, they prove that you’re a real person as I don’t use inaccessible widgets on my site.

The giveaway is international, but if postal restrictions prevent me from sending a product to your country, I will replace it with an alternative.

The form only goes to me.

What’s in the box?

  1. Huda Beauty Winter solstice palate Featuring one pearlescent creamy formula and three icy pressed pearl powders.
  2. Spa of the World® French grapeseed body scrub from the Body Shop.
  3. Black eye liner pencil from the Body Shop

Products 4-10 coming soon!

Giveaway entry form

     
 

Terms and conditions

  1. The give-away is open until 23:59 on 31st December 2018, and I’ll draw the winner on 2nd January 2019.
  2. I will give each entry a number and then draw the winner by asking Siri to generate a random number. I want to make it as easy and accessible as possible for people to enter.
  3. Your email address is being collected solely for the purpose of contacting you if you win the prize. You are welcome to sign up to my newsletter at the same time, but this isn’t necessary to take part in the give-away. If you do not win the prize, your email address will only be stored if you have signed up to the newsletter or asked for your entry to be carried over to the next give-away.
  4. I will email the winner on 2nd January to ask for their address so that I can send the prize. The winner will have 7 days in which to respond. If they haven’t responded after 7 days, I will draw a new winner.
  5. No cash alternatives are available and the winner is responsible for checking product ingredients for any known allergens)

This post may contain affiliate links.

Blogmas 2018 – looking after your hair in Winter

Say hello to Maisie the German Shepherd! She’s not mine, but she’ll be appearing in the header so you have a wintry image to look at, particularly on days when I don’t have a relevant image for the post!

I have very long hair, and although I try to take good care of it all year round, Winter presents its own set of challenges because of wet and windy weather, central heating, and the fact that a lot of us go out more and style our hair more around Christmas time.

So I thought I’d put together some tips for looking after your hair in Winter. I have long, thick, straight hair, so I know more about that than other types of hair, but most of these tips can be applied to any type of hair.

1. Keep your hair from blowing around in the wind and rain

Whether you choose to do this by tying it back, wearing a hat or hood, or using a scarf to keep it down, if you keep your hair from blowing around, it won’t get tangled and you won’t risk snapping the strands when you try to tame it again. This also helps to prevent the scarecrow look – or the medusa look as I sometimes get in the car with the windows open!

You can also carry a travel brush around in your bag so if you do get a bit windswept, you can sort it out rather than walking around with tangles.

If you’re worried about hats and scarves causing frizzy, messy hair, you can carry around a small frizz taming product to tame the unruly bits on the go.

2. Show your hair some love

When it’s exposed to elements that dry out your hair, it’s nice to make time for pamper evenings too, including a nourishing, hydrating hair mask. A couple of my favourites are the banana one from the Body Shop and the oatmeal and honey one from Korres.

I don’t make my own masks, but if you don’t want to buy one, you can use raw honey. Honey is a humectant, which means it seals in the moisture and can help if you have dry or damaged hair.

3. Try to go easy on the styling

It’s easy for me to say as someone who doesn’t straighten their hair, but if you are going to a lot of parties, and want to blow-dry and then style or straighten your hair, try to give your hair a rest on days when you don’t have as much planned.

If you’re going to use heat products, try using a heat protection spray.

4. Hydrate from the inside

I know I don’t drink enough water at the best of times – because all the coffee I drink doesn’t count. But if you are giving your body enough hydration by drinking lots of water, this will be good for your hair too.

5. Don’t go out with wet hair

Apart from increasing your chance of getting a cold, going out in the cold with wet hair can also cause your hair to freeze and break.

6. Don’t forget to have a trim

You might be busier over the Christmas period, but don’t forget to book in for your regular trims. Nobody wants split ends, and if winter weather is making the ends of your hair more dry and brittle than usual, having them tidied up is a good thing.

7. Vary the pressure points

If you’re going to put your hair up, try having your pony tail at different heights, so you don’t put pressure in the same place every time. If you put your hair up in a clip, it’s mainly the sides that are being pushed into the clip, so make sure you remember to condition them well and be gentle with them. Plaits can be good to prevent tangles, but don’t pull them too tight, or you risk breaking the strands.

8. Don’t let the water run too hot

It’s tempting if you’ve been out in the cold and you want a really hot bath or shower to warm you up again, but really hot water doesn’t do your skin or hair any favours because it dries them out.

Have you got any more tips? Let us know in the comments!

Advent calendar unboxing

Throughout Blogmas I’ll be unboxing my two advent calendars from Glossybox and the Body Shop and giving a brief product review.

Body Shop – – a 50ml tub of the Ethiopian green coffee cream. This is part of the Spa of the World® range and it’s enriched with caffeine, known for its stimulating properties (you may have heard of shampoo with caffeine). It promises to leave your skin feeling firmer and smoother. I’ve had this before – it’s a lovely cream if you get past the fact that it doesn’t smell of coffee. I was hoping it would, but if you don’t start with this expectation, it’s a good body moisturiser.

Glossybox – the greater than mascara from MDMFlow (full-size). I haven’t had anything from this brand before and look forward to trying this out once I’ve used up a couple of my other mascaras. #The packaging makes it feel more expensive, and it promises to enhance and volumise lashes. The brush is indented, so it will be interesting to see how that works out because I usually prefer straight ones! I’ll report back on it once I’ve tested it out properly.

Unseen Beauty Blogmas Giveaway

Today you have another chance to enter my Unseen Beauty Blogmas giveaway. There will be a box with 10 prizes from the Glossybox and Body Shop advent calendars, and the prizes will be revealed throughout December. You can enter once on each Blogmas 2018 page, which means you have up to 24 chances of winning. You can enter at any time from when the page goes live to the end of December 2018.

Multiple entries on the same page will not be counted – I have a spreadsheet to log them!

Your answers to the questions will help me to get to know my readers and where they are based. Also, they prove that you’re a real person as I don’t use inaccessible widgets on my site.

The giveaway is international, but if postal restrictions prevent me from sending a product to your country, I will replace it with an alternative.

The form only goes to me.

What’s in the box?

  1. Huda Beauty Winter solstice palate Featuring one pearlescent creamy formula and three icy pressed pearl powders.
  2. Spa of the World® French grapeseed body scrub from the Body Shop.

Products 3-10 coming soon!

Giveaway entry form

     
 

Terms and conditions

  1. The give-away is open until 23:59 on 31st December 2018, and I’ll draw the winner on 2nd January 2019.
  2. I will give each entry a number and then draw the winner by asking Siri to generate a random number. I want to make it as easy and accessible as possible for people to enter.
  3. Your email address is being collected solely for the purpose of contacting you if you win the prize. You are welcome to sign up to my newsletter at the same time, but this isn’t necessary to take part in the give-away. If you do not win the prize, your email address will only be stored if you have signed up to the newsletter or asked for your entry to be carried over to the next give-away.
  4. I will email the winner on 2nd January to ask for their address so that I can send the prize. The winner will have 7 days in which to respond. If they haven’t responded after 7 days, I will draw a new winner.
  5. No cash alternatives are available and the winner is responsible for checking product ingredients for any known allergens)

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