Feel good teas for September – detox. Energise. Sleep. Repeat!

My review of the three new feel-good teas from teapigs!

I’m from a family of tea lovers, but as a child, I always told everyone that I thought tea was disgusting. If we’re talking about the standard, milky tea that my family drinks, I still think it’s disgusting, but fortunately I’ve now discovered herbal and fruit teas. For example, I had a pot of jasmin tea with the Chinese food I had at lunch time, and I love anything that has mango, lychee or pineapple in it. I’ve recently discovered the health benefits of turmeric tea as well – I didn’t even know that was a thing!

This month, teapigs has brought out a selection of “feel good” teas, which are designed to make you feel good for different reasons and at different times of the day.

Upbeat

There are three teas in the range. Let’s start with my favourite, Upbeat!

I like this because its strongest flavour is ginger. It also contains hibiscus, green tea and beetroot. I was a bit worried about the beetroot, but I can’t really say that you can taste it! I don’t know what hibiscus tastes like, but apparently both it and the beetroot are good for stamina.

I don’t hear the fridge calling my name in the middle of the afternoon like some people who work from home, but there is a chocolate stash in my office, and if I’m not careful, I can find myself reaching for it after lunch has worn off. I’m going to be honest – there are some days when only the chocolate will do, but I do appreciate having another source for energy, and I like the fact that as well as being good for you, these teas do actually taste good.

Also, by the time it gets to mid-afternoon, I’ve usually consumed a lot of coffee, so it’s good to space out the coffees with another kind of hot drink.

Clean n green

The Clean n green tea is intended for first thing in the morning. If anyone tries to come between me and my coffee first thing in the morning, things don’t go well for them! I’m one of those people who doesn’t function properly until the 2nd or 3rd cup of coffee, so I’m not going to pretend that I started my day with these. However, when I don’t have any early meetings in the morning, I usually go for a run first, and I found that the Clean n green tea was a refreshing change after my run.

It contains green tea, lemongrass, ginger, coconut and dandelion leaves. As someone who can’t see, I pay particular attention to how things smell. It’s no good if something tastes delicious and smells strange, which is one of the reasons I was a bit concerned about how some of the ingredients that I hadn’t come across would smell. After all, I know what dandelions smell like, and I don’t want to smell like one too! However I needn’t have worried! This tea smelled predominantly fruity, and when I drank it, I found that the lemongrass was the main thing that I tasted, although perhaps not as sharp as lemon tea because of the other ingredients.

Both of these teas contain ginger, which has been used for hundreds of years in cooking and for medicinal purposes. It’s thought to help reduce nausea, pain and inflammation. I sometimes feel unwell as a result of food allergies, and I find that ginger teas can help me to feel better, so I like to keep a supply in. Both of these teas tick that box too because they both contain ginger.

I’m not going to say that the clean n green tea turned me into a morning person overnight, because I don’t think anything will manage that, but I like a fresh, detoxing lemon drink to set me up for the day!

Snooze

Finally, there is the Snooze tea for last thing at night.

The Snooze tea is a blend of chamomile, apple and lavender. Lavender is well-known for its soothing properties that help send you off to sleep. I often use products that contain lavender oil just before I go to bed. This tea smells wonderful, but I think I would prefer the taste more if the apple were a bit stronger to overpower the lavender taste! Maybe that’s because I’m a bit biased – I loved the apple tea when I went to Turkey!

Overall thoughts

This is the first time that I’ve tasted a blend of teas containing a number of ingredients and which were put together with a focus on the benefits that the individual ingredients can give you. Looking at the ingredients in these helped me to understand what benefits certain ingredients have, rather than focussing entirely on the taste.

Overall I enjoyed the teas and I’d definitely buy two out of the three again.

How about you? Have you tried any of these teas? If so, what did you think of them? If not, what do you drink just before you go to bed to give you a good night’s sleep?

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This post contains PR samples, but as always, all opinions are my own.

Don’t forget my giveaway is still open

My September giveaway is still open, so if you’d like to be in with a chance to win some skincare goodies from brands such as the Body Shop and Sanctuary Spa, this is where you can enter.

Latest in Beauty – June and July product review

18 products from my Latest in Beauty subscription – what I thought of them and whether I would buy them again.

No, this is not a really late post. I wait till I’ve had the chance to use up, or at least use my products so that I can give an honest review about them and whether I would buy them again.

Latest in Beauty is a subscription box with a difference – you can choose your own products, which means you don’t end up with things you won’t ever use, or which are the wrong colour for you. You can choose 3, 6 or 9 products, and the more products you buy, the better value they are.

I get the 9 product box (only the first one comes with a bag, but that is ok for me, because I don’t want hundreds of make-up bags!)

Latest in Beauty Bag

You can’t buy individual products on Latest in Beauty, and in any event most of these will no longer be available because they switch out products all the time. Therefore I’ve included links to other places where you can buy the products online so you can read more about them, see what they look like, and of course buy if you’re interested!

June

1. Hydraluron Moisture Boosting Mask by Indeed laboritories
This sheet mask contains hyaluronic acid and is intended to moisturise and make your skin feel smoother. I was happy with the mask, but it didn’t make me want to run out and buy more or replace my other sheet masks. Still, I use sheet masks once or twice a week and it was good to get the chance to try something new.

2. Sanctuary spa luxurious body balm
I was already a fan of Sanctuary Spa, and I was pleased with this new discovery. A decent sized sample pot, I believe the same size as the one from the Sanctuary Advent Calendar. I like it particularly for dry areas after a shower and it smells good too! I was glad I had another one from the calendar and have since got a 3rd one from Latest in Beauty – so this went down well!

3. White Company – Seychelles hand cream
It’s back again! Anyone who read my first Latest in Beauty review will know that this was already a firm favourite! It’s back in stock on the White Company website now, but for a long time it wasn’t, so I kept stocking up on these minis. I do like the product in its own right, but now that I associate it with my wolf weekend, I think I like the memories that it brings back too, which is probably why I keep going back for more. It contains coconut without being overpowering, is creamy without being greasy, and leaves your hands soft and smooth for a long time.

4. Thé Vert & Bigarade perfume from L’Occitane

This was the first scent that I’d tried from L’Occitane. I already liked some of their skincare and shower products, and this was an interesting change to what I normally wear. It’s always a bit of a gamble with perfume, but this one contains orange and fits in with my usual citrus vibe. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be on the L’Occitane site at the moment.

5. Strengthen Nail & Cuticle Finger Masques
To be honest I prefer the glove masks in this range because they stay on better and you don’t have to keep your fingers really still, but if you’re a cuticle biter (no I don’t do this at all!) it’s a good way to get some moisture to the cuticles, and the product is already inside the finger holes, so there’s no fuss or mess.

6. Jackson D-Shape Bangles
These are fine if you have the hands of a 6-year-old! They came nicely presented in a box, and the bangles themselves are nice enough, but they are tiny! I found that having the flat part of the D on the same side as my wrist and with a bit of shoving, I could get them on, but I don’t have particularly large hands, and I also saw a few Youtubers having the same struggles as I did.

7. Bubble Bath

I threw the bottle away before I decided to do these review posts and it doesn’t say on my order exactly what kind of bubble bath it was! I think it smelled of lavender or something – nice enough, but not something I dashed out to buy again.

8. Essential Micellar Face and Eye Makeup Remover from Katherine Daniels

This was lovely – so lovely in fact that it is now out of stock! To be honest, I only used it as a micellar water because I have a separate eye make-up remover, but it felt good on the skin, smelled good (I can’t stand micellar waters that don’t smell of anything now) and probably most importantly, got the job done. This was a nice travel size too, so ideal for going away.

9. MUA highlight Shimmer Stick
I’m a big fan of the cream make-up products – you don’t see that many on Latest in Beauty, but I snapped this one up to go in my highlighter collection. It’s nice an creamy, which means it blends in well.I believe there are different shades, so make sure you get the right one for you!

So no real disasters here, apart from maybe the bangles. The shimmer stick was a generous size, so will keep going for ages. I still have some of the perfume left. I replaced the balm and would buy the make-up remover again.

Jul

1. Revlon Ultra HD Lipstick in Hibiscus (860)

I’m fine with drugstore lipsticks, and I’d already got a couple from this range. If you get the 9 product box, it works out at £2 per item, so if you find a colour that you want, £2 for a lipstick is not bad!

2. Hydrating Face Spray
I’m not sure I’d pay £24 for a water-based product (I’m not sure how many ml), but £2 is ok!

I didn’t get that much use out of this because I bought it for really hot weather, and we didn’t have much really hot weather. Oh well, I have it for next year!

3. Green tea sheet mask from Masque Bar Green Tea Sheet Mask

To be honest I was struggling a bit to find things I wanted in the July edit. However, I’d had these ggreen tea masks before, and I pick them up if I’m lacking in inspiration, because I know that they are good and they are a nice change to go in my sheet mask collection.

4. Soften Glove Masques
This is similar to the finger masks that I got in June, but they cover the whole hand. My hands are quite small, so I have to wriggle the fingers down, but this is so easy to do with no mess because all the product is already inside the gloves. After my previous experience with gloves sopping with product, I appreciate these even more! I have already got another pair since I got these.

5. Seychelles Hand & Nail Cream
Yep, it’s back!

6. AA Skincare Green Tea & Aloe Vera Soothing Cleansing Wipes

I didn’t really need these because I like my Yes To cucumber ones, but as I couldn’t find anything that really excited me, I decided to be practical.I rarely use these for make-up, so can’t tell you how good they are for that, but if you just want to freshen up a bit, they’re fine.

7. Shave Foam Gel from the Refinery

I was still on my “let’s be practical” train of thought. Shaving foam in itself would have been fine – I did use it up in the end – but why oh why put peppermint oil in it? Peppermint is for ice-cream or polos – not for legs! I can’t get on board with the whole mint in the bathroom thing unless it’s for toothpaste!

8. Luxe Vivid Lipstick in Hot Chili
I couldn’t actually find a link for this, but it’s an MUA lipstick and I didn’t have any of those, so I decided to give it a go.

9. Lime Twist Lip Balm
I thought the first Carmex product I tried was nasty, but decided to give the brand another go with this one. But unfortunately, although I usually like lime products, I didn’t like this one either!

So, July wasn’t quite as good as June, partly I think because there was a lot of tanning stuff in the edit, and I don’t do tanning, as well as a lot of nail varnish, wich I didn’t want. This limited my choices a bit.

So, one product I didn’t like, a couple that I wasn’t fussed about, some new lipsticks and some old favourits. I was a bit underwhelmed, but I think that most of the things I got were still good value for money.

How about you?

Have you tried any of these products? If so, what did you think of them? If you do Latest in Beauty reviews, either as blog posts or Youtube videos, feel free to leave a link!

Don’t forget the giveaway is still open

My September giveaway is still open, so if you’d like to be in with a chance to win some skincare goodies from brands such as the Body Shop and Sanctuary Spa, this is where you can enter.

Never miss another post!

If you’d like me to email you when new posts come out, usually once or twice a week, you can sign up using this contact form.

I got in the media by accident – twice

Two stories of accidental media coverage

They say you never know who’s watching. This is especially true if you are blind and can’t see who’s watching!

Now that I have my own business, some positive media coverage is always welcome, but I managed to get myself in the media twice without even knowing it – first by gatecrashing a statement on national TV, and then because I asked a policeman a question nobody had asked him before.
I’m not proud of these things, but they did make me laugh – that is after I’d got over the embarrassment of the first one.

So, you need to know that I used to work in central London, where there are sooo many people. My guide dog and I got around well, but tourists were a constant problem for us. Not because I’m against tourists in general, but when they get into big groups, they have a habit of taking up the whole pavement, even when it’s really wide, and not letting anyone through. This is a pain when you have to get to work, and it makes a guide dog’s job even harder. I did on occasion let people know my frustration, especially when I worked at an office close to the London dungeon, which always had massive, sprawling queues outside.

Anyway, on one cold, rainy morning I was making my way into the office and as was often the case, there was a crowd of people outside my office. Sometimes big busses used to let people off there, so this was nothing too unusual. I just jostled my way through, a bit grumpy about people who were hanging around the entrance so other people couldn’t get in.

When I got to my office, my colleague said she knew I had arrived because she had seen me on TV. One of the senior staff had been giving a live press statement outside the building and I had had no idea! Oops! If I’d known, I would have gone and got a coffee instead of marching straight through – but I didn’t know!

After that, a cab driver near to my home said he’d recognised me from the TV, as did a journalist that I met on the tube a few months later! Not really what I wanted to be known for – my hair was a bit wild because of the wind and rain – but after that I was always more cautious when approaching our front entrance!

I guess they thought that trying to stop me would have caused more of an interruption than letting me through. Still, there are lessons to be learned about making people aware when things like this are happening, or maybe choosing a spot where people can get to the building entrance without being on camera!

The second time was another wintry day, but this time there was snow. The outer London boroughs generally get more of the stuff than Central London. I worked in Central London, and as it took me about an hour and a half to get home, there was already a nice, thick, blanket of snow on the ground. I was wearing my office shoes – so not the best – but I was happy enough to tackle the walk home! Cindy, my guide dog, loved the snow, especially when we got home and could play snowball games in the garden.

Anyway, as I was walking out of the train station, a guy stopped me, said that he was a policeman, and asked if I wanted a lift home! I was happy about the idea, but I wasn’t about to hop in the car with any random guy claiming to be a policeman, and I knew that the Met Officers carry Braille ID cards. (I knew this because an officer had stopped me to ask what the Braille on his badge actually said!)

I think the police officer was a bit taken aback that someone had asked him for ID, but he produced it, I was satisfied, and we hopped into the back of the police car to be driven home. I was glad of the ride because the snow had started to melt with all the people trampling over it, and then it had frozen over again, becoming quite slippery in places.

I told my colleagues about my ride home and we thought no more of it until the story appeared in the local news! Of course it had been hyped up a bit – something like “police rescue blind woman stranded on her way home” rather than “police offer lift to woman who was minding her own business walking home”, but I was fine with their raising the point about the Braille ID cards, because it’s important that blind people know about them. You don’t want to just let anyone into your house or take you somewhere claiming that they work for the police. The only thing I wasn’t so impressed about was the fact that they said “a woman in her 30s” when I was only 29 at the time!

Do you have any accidental media stories? Let me know in the comments!

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Scents and the memories that they bring back

13 bloggers and I talk about special scents, and the memories that they bring back to us.

When we were out walking the other day, I smelled the unmistakable smell of horses! I love that smell! It took me straight back to my horse-mad years (the end of Primary school and beginning of high school) when all I wanted to talk about was horses, what I’d learned in my lesson, what I’d read about them, and my latest jumping or dressage lesson. My Granddad used to take me to the stables on a Saturday morning, and I spent the day there with a group of girls, grooming the horses, mucking out, and teaching the golden retriever tricks before my afternoon lesson!

I still have the riding hat that my grandparents bought me for my 11th birthday, and surprisingly it still fits!

Thinking about how easily a scent can bring back memories, I realised this is true of products as well. I first discovered the Seychelles handcream from the White Company the weekend we went for our wolf adventure, and now the coconutty goodness always reminds me of that special weekend.

There are scents, such as Organza and A Mirage, that I wore when I first moved to London around 15 years ago, but I don’t wear them now. They remind me of that time in my life, discovering the big city, getting my first job, and finding new friends. I’ve moved on, and so my taste in fragrances has moved on too. However if I smell one of them when I’m out shopping, it reminds me of that time.

There are also scents that remind me of my Nan, who is no longer with us. It’s not just fragrances – although Chanel no. 5 will always remind me of her. The smell of pine trees brings back memories of her too, because we always had a real Christmas tree and decorated it together.

When we went to her house after she had passed away, the first thing I smelled as I stepped inside her room was her face cream, and I expected her to walk in at any moment. I’d smelled that cream a hundred times as she got ready in the morning, and now when I smell it, it makes me think of her (which is why I bought some the other day!)

There are certainly smells that I don’t like, but I can’t think of any that have such distinct memories for me in the way that the positive ones do to remind me of childhood fun, a holiday, certain times in my life, or a special person. I think scents are powerful – the same one can mean many different things to different people, but the connection between the scent and the memory is often so strong, that you almost feel you’re back in a different place and time when you smell it.

Scents are perhaps more important to me as someone who is blind. I don’t subscribe to the idea that I have a superpower sense of smell, but using this sense comes in useful, because it can help me to work out exactly where I am (the scent of a particular bush on my way home, or the smells coming from particular shops), so I guess I take more notice of them. They can be practical as well as enjoyable. Still, I was certain it couldn’t be just me, so I asked in a couple of blogging groups for other people to share their scent and memory stories. Here’s what 13 bloggers told me:

Jazmin

The scent of the Passion Fruit lip balm from Lush really takes me back to when I first moved to Liverpool for University as it’s one of the first products I bought whilst living there. My home town doesn’t have a Lush so I was super excited to buy a bunch of stuff from their.
The passion fruit lip balm is still safely in a trinket box on my dresser and every time I use it I’m definitely transported back into my first University halls.
Visit Jazmin’s blog Jazminheavenblog.

Janelle

Being a classically trained violinist, White Musk by the Body Shop used to be my go-to perfume for concerts and events. I am strangely superstitious when it comes to these things, and something about spritzing this on always gave me that delicious rush of adrenaline that I loved and thrived on. I actually found a bottle lying around the house recently, and it brought a lot of lovely memories rushing back. There’s just something so unmistakably invigorating about this scent and I can’t quite place it – that’s exactly what I love about it. All I know is that I’ll be reaching for this a lot more when I have special occasions now!
Visit Janelle’s blog Beauty Expert Amateur.

Yvette

I always treat myself to a new perfume at duty free when I go away, on my way back from Vegas I bought La Nuit Tresor by Lancome. I then took it on holiday to Tenerife with my best friend. Every time I wore it, my friend would rave about how nice it smelled. Ever since our holiday, whenever I see her, if I’m wearing the perfume, she’ll comment on how much she loves it and how it reminds her of our holiday. If I wear a different perfume, she tells me off! The frustrating thing was it was another year before it was available in the UK!
Her fiancée has just messaged me asking what perfume it is as she talks about it so much he’s surprising her with it for her birthday!
Visit Yvette’s blog Getalife101.

Jessi

My parents have a house in Portugal and I spent half my childhood years there. Being a redhead, it meant I was constantly having inch thick sun cream slapped on me on the hour, every hour. Back then sun protection only came in the white, thick cream version that took 15 minutes to rub in, and whenever I smell that kind it transports me straight back to running around by the pool as a child. I’m so glad we now have spray on, more transparent type protection, and that’s what I take to festivals, but I sometimes buy the old stuff as I miss that hit of nostalgia.
Visit Jessi’s blog Where’s My Tent.

Rachel

Chanel N°5 reminds me of the days when I worked as an air cabin crew member. The fragrance takes me back to those carefree days without responsibilities, with lots of travel, spending time with friends and having fun. It also makes me pause to think how I can inject more travel and fun into my life now I have a family. Visit Rachel’s blog The Daisy Pages.

Tamara

Whenever I smell Anais Anais perfume it always takes me back to our holiday at Disneyland Paris when I was about 5? My mother always had set perfume for all occasions and this one was a small one that she took away – I love the memories that come back each time I smell it!
Visit Tamara’s blog The Epileptic Blogger.

Hannah

Aromatics Elixir Perfume. “Every year I would go on holiday to Lanzarote with my mum, sister and Godmother, and every year my mum would wear the Aromatics perfume each night we went out to dinner. I’ve since moved away from home, but the smell of this perfume always reminds me of my mum, and takes me back to the waves hitting the rocky walls as we laughed and joked on our way to dinner. Whether I walk past someone wearing the perfume as I’m out shopping, going for lunch, or even just heading to the cinema, it always comforts me and relaxes me, especially when I’m feeling stressed or anxious.”
Visit Hanna’s blog HD Personal Fitness.

Ally

Brut after shave reminds me of my dad. I remember he used to put it on once he had his RAF uniform on and some days when I stood beside him, he’d then pretend to wipe it on my face. Whenever I smell it now, I can picture our bathroom, our house and my walk to school with him by my side
Visit Ally’s blog Slim Sights.

Vanessa

My favourite smells are chlorine and neoprene! This is only since I became a parent and it transpired that my first child (girl now age 11) was/is a total water baby. We started taking her baby swimming at 8 weeks old – and she loved the classes, becoming the ‘demo model’ for the teacher! She just never cried whatever the class did (these are the sort of classes where you just push them under water and let their natural instincts kick in). From there she – and her younger sister – have gone on right to the end of typical swim lessons to swim for a local town club – training a couple of times a week. Our summer holidays soon began to revolve around the beach and body boarding – so we now all have wetsuits too. My husband now also swims in open water. Accordingly my ‘babies’ often smell of chlorine and the laundry room is full of costumes and towels smelling of it too. And when it’s time for our summer trips to the coast, out pop the wetsuits – and neoprene is in the air once more!
Visit Vanessa’s blog A Happy Healthy Mummy.

Sarah

When I was a child, I’d always sit on my Grandma’s bed while she was doing her hair (she loved doing her hair). I always remember that she did it ‘properly’ every morning and filled the whole room with a hairspray mist. Now every time I spray hairspray, no particular brand, it reminds me of her. Strange how those sorts of memories stick with us!
Visit Sarah’s blog Dream of Home

Becky

The scent that brings back strong memories is Cacharel In A Flash. I don’t wear perfume all the time because I forget to put it on, but I tend to when on holiday because it’s in my wash bag with everything else. So this perfume reminds me a lot of being in New York City, because I was there for 6 weeks and used it every day. But that was almost 3 years ago now! The memory that comes along with the scent is fading, so I’m finding I’m more reluctant to use the perfume, despite really liking it, because I want to make the memory last…
Visit Becky’s blog Becky Becky Blogs. .

Bethan

I’m an enormous fan of scent (and have the perfume collection to prove it!) and love to buy a new fragrance as a way of remembering special occasions. For example I bought Jo Malone’s Pear and Freesia to wear when I was a bridesmaid for a good friend. Not only did the scent reflect her English country garden wedding, but every time I smell it I’m taken back to that day. Likewise I bought Clarins Eau des Jardins after I was a witness in a court case to remind myself how I could be brave and get through difficult times, and Miu Miu reminds me of a lovely trip to Barcelona last year. I could go on and on (Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue evokes massive memories of high school!), but it’s fair to say I reckon fragrances are a great way to make memories!
Visit Bethan’s blog A Pretty Place to Play.

Rachel

My smell would be lavender. Not necessarily a certain product, although Yardley’s lavender soap would be it. The smell reminds me of my gran and baking round her house. She used to always have the soap for washing our hands with before baking and she had dried lavender in her wardrobe so all the clothes smelt of it too. It’s such a comforting and happy smell for me now. It also makes me want to bake!
Visit Rachel’s blog Rachel Emily

How about you>

Thanks to everyone who took part in this – I really enjoyed reading your stories. How about you? Do you associate any scents with particular memories or people? Let us know in the comments!

Don’t forget the giveaway is still open

My September giveaway is still open, so if you’d like to be in with a chance to win some skincare goodies from brands such as the Body Shop and Sanctuary Spa, this is where you can enter.

Never miss another post!

If you’d like me to email you when new posts come out, usually once or twice a week, you can sign up using this contact form.

My thoughts on the new Being by Sanctuary range

I tested three products from the new Being by Sanctuary range that you can buy at Boots. Here are my thoughts!

Most people know about Sanctuary Spa products. I think they’re really good, and am still working my way through a Sanctuary Spa advent calendar!

If you like the range, don’t forget that there are some Sanctuary products in my birthday giveaway so get your entries in if you haven’t done it already!

But that’s not what I’m talking about today.

A couple of weeks ago I went into Boots. I didn’t find any of the things that I went in for, but while I was there, I discovered the new Being by Sanctuary range – “5 punchy fragrances that will leave you smelling fresh!”

I’d describe these as a bit more zingy and exotic than the usual Sanctuary fragrances, and I liked all the ones I picked up. There are five scents in the range, but there were only three on display when I was checking them out. The scents are:

1. Cloudberry and lychee blossom
2. Salted caramel and macadamia
3. Hibiscus and coconut water
4. Chilli mango and tonka bean
5. Water lotus and pomelo

To be honest the advertising language on the advertising page doesn’t really speak to me – I think in my mid-30s I’m about 15 years too old to be in the target audience, but who cares? I can still enjoy the products!

I got three different products in different scents, and to be honest, it’s hard to pick a favourite. The coconut and the salted caramel ones weren’t on display at the time. I probably wouldn’t have bought those two anyway though because I have other coconut stuff from the Body Shop and I hate salted caramel! Ok I don’t know if I hate this particular salted caramel, but in general I’m not a fan!

I think my favourite has to be the chili mango and tonka bean body lotion, which won’t come as a surprise to anyone who knows me, the lover of all things mango. It’s in a pump container, which means you don’t have to scoop it out, and it’s a lovely, rich but spicy mango scent. Unlike another body lotion I tried that was aimed at a younger audience, it did still moisturise as well as you would expect a lotion to. These products are generous sizes too (300ml), so you won’t run out quickly. The body lotion is available in the other scents too, but I wanted to try different things out.

Do you know what a pomelo is? I didn’t! Apparently it’s a citrus fruit, 15-25 cm in diameter, and which weighs half a kilo! I’ve no idea what they smell or taste like, but the pomelo and water lotus body wash is another decent size, 250ml, and I would say smells more floral than citrus, but not in a traditional floral way. You can definitely smell the water lotus if you know what that smells like.

And what on earth is a cloudberry? Apparently they come from a plant that likes to grow in Finland and Scandinavian countries, among other places. The cloudberry is the fruit that can be eaten, and apparently cloudberry jam is a thing in Sweden.

Anyway, I don’t know what they smell like, but the lychee blossom and cloudberry body mist is very sweet and fresh. I guess I wouldn’t wear it on its own, and it is quite a young and sweet scent, but I like lychees and I think if paired with a fragrance that goes well with it, you can get away with it at any age!

So my favourite was the mango – what a surprise – but I like the way that the range includes a variety of scents (sweet, citrus, floral – but not traditional floral) and of course the other ones that I didn’t try.

I was happy with all the ones I picked up.

How about you? Have you tried any of these products? What did you think of them?

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12 empties from August – reminiscing, being scared, and new favourite shampoo

The products that I used up in August – which ones I loved, and the ones I’ll avoid in future!

Before we get on to the August empties, if you live in the UK and you’d like to be in with the chance to win some skincare products, my birthday give-away is running throughout September, so head on over and enter if you haven’t done so already!

Haircare

The good, the great, and the somewhat scary!

Let’s start with the good. When I did my 7th Heaven review, I hadn’t had the chance to test out all of the masks. Although the papaya was my favourite, I also liked the honey one and I still need to try the coconut. I’m happy with these though and I like these little single-use masks, particularly for going away.

I raved about the Yes to cucumbers volumising shampoo in July, and now that the tube is finished, I’m pretty sure that this is what I’m going to stick with – that is, once I’ve used up the Mane & Tail one that I’ve just bought. But this Yes To product smells good, lathers up well, is affordable, and leaves my hair feeling clean and alive – so I will definitely be buying more of it!

And now for the thing that left me wondering if I was having an allergic reaction – the John Masters scalp stimulating shampoo. (I do have allergy issues, but not usually with skincare ingredients!) Fortunately this was just a travel size from the Lovelula box. I know some people really like it, but apart from not being a fan of mint-scented hair products, I didn’t like the way it felt like someone set light to my head. It’s apparently meant to do that and feel all tingly, but it’s not for me!

Bath and body

I was so sad when the Anatomicals Java Lather coffee buzz shower gel ran out at the beginning of August! It smells amazing, like you’re bathing in coffee, and I’d recommend it for any coffee lover! I can’t justify buying it again because I have some other shower gels knocking around, but it’s definitely something I’ll get again in the future.

If you like banana and want some bubbles, you might like the Imperial Leather banana bubble bath I just picked it up from the supermarket because I fancied a change, and I was pleased that it foamed up well, and although the banana scent was there, it didn’t smell sweet and like fake bananas as some other products do. So nice for a change when I’m swapping out my bubble baths!

It must have been a month of baths, because I also got through a Radox stress relief bath soak with rosemary and eucalyptus. As a child growing up with my grandparents, I always had bubble bath, but we didn’t have Radox! Radox reminded me of my visits to my mum during the holidays when we would make bathtime last for ages, relaxing in the water and having stories! Now, when I smell it as an adult, it often takes me back to those times. I haven’t been impressed with one or two of the shower gels that I’ve tried, but the bubble baths are something that I often go back to!

Now for a couple of shower gels. I used up a body wash from the Sanctuary Spa advent calendar, and I love their fresh and luxurious scent. This wasn’t a floral one, so it got extra points from me. I also used up the virgin mojito shower gel from the Body Shops summer range. I think the mixture of lime and mint was a cool idea, but I preferred the pineapple and coconut one! Still, I’m glad I tried them both.

Skincare

I have to say I was a little disappointed with the wonderous whip body lotion from Zoella, but then I think I’m maybe expecting more from it than it was meant to give. Even when I use a whipped lotion, I still want a degree of moisture for my fairly dry skin, and I don’t think this lotion gave me enough. It’s fine if you’re at the gym and you want something to dry really quickly, or if you don’t have dry skin, but I probably won’t get this again because I need that bit of extra help!

Another thing in the Sanctuary calendar was the Sanctuary spa luxurious body balm and I was happy to see it again! I’d already tried this from Latest in Beauty, so I knew that I liked it. This is a thick and luxurious balm which smells good and leaves your skin feeling pampered and moisturised for hours afterwards (not greasy, just soft and smooth).

The next thing I tried was the Skyn Iceland hydro cool firming eye gels. The link leads to a pack of 8, but I only ordered 1 in my Latest in Beauty box, so I can’t report on what it does if you use them over a number of days. I read somewhere that you are supposed to cool them first, but I didn’t know that at the time. They are supposed to help soothe the under-eye area, reduce fine lines and puffiness. They were easy to apply and having them on was a pleasant experience, but I can’t say I noticed any dramatic effects. I think for me the money is better spent on sheet masks, but if you have tired eyes or you want to give your under-eye a treat, then why not?!

Make-up

My ELF hydrating face primer ran out, so I replaced it. I do use the Porefessional one from Benefit as well, but I can’t afford to use that every day! The ELF one is a more affordable alternative, and it does the job well enough. I like the pump dispenser because you always get the right amount. As I have dry skin, I like the fact that this one is moisturising too. It doesn’t have that same silicone base as the Benefit one, but it gives good coverage and doesn’t go weird and flaky with my moisturiser as some primers do. I’ve already got a new one!

Can someone explain to me the point of Foaming micellar water? I got some in my calendar and whilst I’m a fan of micellar water for removing make-up, I really don’t get why you’d want a foaming one! I’ve used it up, but won’t be repurchasing.

So, those were my August empties. Have you tried any of these products? What did you think of them? Let me know in the comments, and also drop your links if you’ve done an empties post or video!

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September give-away

September is my birthday month, and to celebrate, I’m doing a give-away for readers in the UK.

This give-away is to thank my readers for their support since Unseen Beauty started at the beginning of the year.

I’ve bought a couple of my favourite skincare products from the Body Shop, and added in some other skincare products. Details of how you can win are below. The draw will be open throughout September and I’ll notify the winner at the beginning of October.

What you can win

  • Body Shop mango body butter
  • Body Shop grapefruit hand cream
  • Body Shop satsuma shower gel
  • Face mask and muslin cloth
  • 2 mini Sanctuary Spa candles
  • Sanctuary Spa face mask
  • Sanctuary Spa body scrub
  • Lavender soap
  • Maybelline duo contour and highlight cream stick

The Body Shop products are from my favourite ranges, so I do hope you like fruity things!

I’ve tried to stay away from make-up because I think this is a more personal choice and I don’t want people to get colours that they don’t like, or that don’t work for them.

I know the cream contour and highlight won’t be the right shade for everyone. I originally bought it for myself, but as the two colours are on the same stick, it will be hard for me to use it because I can’t see where one ends and the other begins. I really wanted a double-ended one, so hope someone can get some use out of this – I’m all about the creams! If it’s not your colour, maybe you have a friend who would like it!

What do you have to do to enter?

All you need to do is enter your details in the form below. The questions are to make sure that you’re a real person, and they also give me the chance to find out what people like, and what other blogs I can check out. This is a UK-only give-away.

Terms and conditions

  1. The give-away is open until 23:59 on Saturday September 30th 2017 and I’ll draw the winner on Monday 2nd October.
  2. 1 entry per person.
  3. This is a UK only giveaway, so the winner will need to be able to provide an address in the UK for the prize to be sent to..
  4. I will give each person a number and then draw the winner by asking Siri to generate a random number.
  5. I will contact the winner on 2nd October 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.
  6. No cash alternatives are available and the winner is responsible for checking product ingredients for any known allergens)