Keeping fit when you can’t see

Being unable to see doesn’t mean that you can’t stay fit! This is what I do.

When I worked in London, I got daily exercise without even thinking about it. I had a 30 to 40-minute walk to the station, which I usually power walked with my guide dog – not really to keep fit, but just because we enjoyed it! Then there was a 40-minute train ride followed by a 10 to 15 minute walk to the office – which was much better after I’d discovered a back way to avoid all the tourists. Seriously, if you go on a city break, please spare a thought for the people who actually live and work there! Some people have places to go and they don’t want to have to fight through crowds of people who won’t let them through. Some of the other pedestrians walked in the busy roads to get round them, but I invariably made the tourists move!

Anyway, apart from days when it was pouring with rain, or snowing, I really enjoyed these walks. Still, over 2.5 hours of travel every day is a lot. I was always happy when I negotiated a working from home day – partly because I didn’t have to commute, and partly because I felt I made much faster progress in my quiet cottage than in the noisy open-plan office.

Taking action

When I decided to set up my own business, I still took my dog for a walk, but I didn’t miss the commute. However, as my dog grew older, the walks were usually not as long as the trip to and from the station, and I realised I needed to do something more for my fitness.

I decided to invest in an exercise bike. Something that I could put in my spare room and use whatever the weather to make sure I got my daily exercise. Well, buying the bike was the easy bit. I said I’d use it when I had time, which often meant that the free time never came. Planning to do exercise when you have time is a bad idea!

When I moved in with my boyfriend, I brought the bike with me and he brought his cross-trainer. I decided something needed to change in terms of my exercise routine, so I now put it in the diary, like a meeting that I have to attend. Monday to Friday. Every day. It’s ok if the meeting gets put back a couple of hours, but the meeting has to happen! Only then can I click away the Outlook reminder and know that the job is done! This is important to me, partly because I have a desk-based job and no walk to work, and partly because there are some considerations to do with being blind that mean you sometimes have to be a bit more proactive if you want to stay fit.

I’ve heard some positive experiences about blind people going to the gym, but I’ve also heard of people struggling with staff who are not particularly helpful, or machines that are not accessible.

I would rather make the initial investment in the equipment and have it in my own home, where I know that I’ll use it. I don’t use any of the features on the equipment, but there is nobody who will change settings and make it harder for me to use. I don’t have to queue, work out which machines are available, or take time out of my day to get to and from the gym. Ok and I don’t have to listen to anyone else’s music choices either – I listen to my own music or podcasts to make sure I don’t get bored!

As I can’t use the display on either of the machines, I generally do 20 minutes on the bike and 45 minutes on the cross-trainer and use the step counter on my iPhone to measure the distance. I like to use the app from Withings, which is generally accessible, apart from some buttons that I had to label myself. I don’t use all of the functions, but I can keep track of how far I’ve gone each day, which is what interests me.

For anyone who wants to measure their blood pressure or heart rate, the Withings wireless blood pressure monitor is fully accessible because you use it with the app. I think this is a better alternative than some of the talking blood pressure monitors on offer because you can store your activity and your heart and blood pressure measurements in the same place, whereas some of the so-called accessible talking stand-alone devices say in the instructions that you need sighted assistance for some functions.

I did try a device that you put on your wrist instead, but it annoyed me because it didn’t seem to track all of my steps, and I could only read my progress score when I synchronised the device with my phone, which was a faff. I’d much rather check the total going up in realtime on the app. However, if you can see enough to read the screen of the device, it might be ok for you. Here’s the link for the Withings pulse activity tracker.

Last Christmas, my mum bought us a set of York Fitness cast iron dumbbells. I like this particular set because you can change the weight of the dumbbells by adding or removing the metal discs. They come with a set of exercises, which my boyfriend showed me last week, and I plan to include using the weights in my fitness routine – ok, when my arms have recovered, that is!

I think it’s good to do other activities as well. I enjoy going for walks, I’ve been on tandem and canoeing holidays, and I used to do a lot of horse-riding as a child. However I see these things as additions, whereas I need some kind of plan to make sure I get enough exercise whenever I need it, and by doing activities that don’t rely on someone else being available. For me, the exercise regime with the bike and the cross-trainer is the ideal solution.

I have heard about some audio exercise classes specifically for blind people, which means that the exercises are described. This is something that I would be interested in exploring, because I can’t follow normal fitness videos or Youtube classes. If I decide to try them out, I’ll report back later here.

I know there are many blind people who are interested in sports and who play team games or take part in local activities. I don’t really do this, because I need my fitness plan to fit in with my schedule, and for me it’s about keeping fit rather than finding additional social activities.

I think there are a fair number of blind people who struggle because they haven’t yet found good and accessible ways of keeping fit. However exercise bikes don’t have to be expensive, especially if you’re not looking for features on the electronic display, and when you consider the price of a gym membership, I think they are a good investment. If that is too expensive, finding a friend who can describe exercises and then writing down the exercises is also a good work-around. If I’m away on business and I don’t feel like investigating the hotel gym on my own, I often use these exercises from the NHS fitness pages. However I still think it’s a good idea to get someone to check the first time that what you are doing is in line with the images on the page.

Do you have any tips to add?

Let me know in the comments if you have any tips or resources to add, or share with me what you do to keep fit!

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My review of our spice box subscription

Find out what I think of the monthly food subscription bx from the Spicery.

An interesting way to discover new dishes

In 2014, one of my boyfriend’s Christmas gifts was a 6-month subscription to the Spicebox from The Spicery. Our friends knew he liked curry and thought this would make an interesting gift. Well actually I stole my friend’s idea of what to buy him, so she had to come up with something else! Two years later, we have kept renewing the subscription and we’re still enjoying the boxes!

Each month you receive a box that contains a recipe along with various packets of spice and hard-to-get dry ingredients such as certain types of chillis. You buy the rest of the ingredients and then follow the instructions to create a range of delicious dishes.

We really like spicy food, so we choose the curry boxes, but there are other alternatives, such as world kitchen explorer, date night, and a meat-free option.

Our spice rack is fairly well-stocked, but some of the ingredients would be pretty hard to come by unless you went to specialist shops. With the spice box, the spices are measured out and ground for you, so you can just add them when necessary, with no hunting around for ingredients, and no wastage because you bought a big pot of something you’ll never use again.

Occasionally we swap ingredients out if there’s something I can’t have because of my allergy or something that neither of us like (fish curries often become chicken curries!), but generally we follow the recipes exactly. I think it’s a fantastic way to discover food from around the world – we’ve had meals from India, Pakistan, Thailand, Jamaica, and different countries in Africa. It also gives you the confidence to try making things that you would usually just buy in the shops, such as naan bread.

Each month you are given a preview of what’s in the box. If you don’t fancy that particular meal, you can swap to one of the other options. We don’t usually do this, but I think we’ve done it once or twice and it’s nice to have the option.

On Sunday we cooked Andhra Guntur Chicken with Tamarind Mango and Cauliflower. I’m not a fan of raw cabbage, but everything else was really good – the spicy chicken curry, the tasty rice, and of course the mango made me happy! I’ve never eaten cauliflower that tasted so good. As a child, I thought I didn’t like vegetables. But the problem was that I don’t like bland vegetables. Once you’ve spiced them up, they’re delicious!

Obviously we’ve liked some curries more than others, but there hasn’t been one that we haven’t enjoyed.

In terms of accessibility, I think it might be difficult for a blind person to cook these meals without any assistance because even though you could scan the recipe, the spices are in little plastic packets, and although I haven’t tried it, I don’t think the shiny material would scan very well using OCR software to read the text. We either put a text copy of the recipe on my phone so that I can read it using Voiceover, or my partner reads it out as we complete the various stages, dividing up the tasks between us.

We enjoy cooking together, learning new skills and eating our creations afterwards. It’s a kind of stay-at-home date night! Ok, I know that not all couples would make a good team in the kitchen, but if you enjoy working together, it’s a fun thing to do and of course, as long as you follow the steps on the recipe, you get rewarded afterwards with some good food! If you like the sound of this, I would definitely recommend the Spicebox!

How about you?

Have you tried any subscription services such as the Spicebox? How do you discover new recipes and new things to try?

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Cheese tasting in Amsterdam

Find out what we thought of the cheese tasting event in Amsterdam.

Last year, my boyfriend and I spent a weekend in Amsterdam.

The way it usually works is that I’m in charge of researching and planning things that we would both like to do, and he is in charge of navigating – finding where the places are on the map and working out how we will get there. I usually put together a list of ideas and we pick our favourites, which we then try to fit into our stay.

I looove cheese, and my boyfriend is quite fond of it too. So I was really pleased when I came across a cheese tasting session in Amsterdam. You can read more about it and visit the Reypenaer website here. The family-run company has been producing cheese for over 100 years and where possible, it uses milk from cows fed on fresh grass, because apparently this gives milder and better milk. There was also some goats’ cheese on offer.

The cheese tasting took place in a room below the Reypenaer shop and as there was a mixed group of Dutch and English speakers, the presentation was in Dutch and English. I always find it fascinating when I go to Amsterdam because I can pick up odd words and phrases, as some words are similar to German. Still, this wasn’t enough to understand the presentation, so I was glad it was in English too!

We tried six different types of cheeses that had been ripened for different amounts of time, and later took the opportunity to buy some cheese in the shop.

My boyfriend kept the score sheet, and I took charge of the cheese guillotine, which is used for chopping slices off the cheese block for tasting. We could have done it the other way round, and I would have taken notes on my phone, but I thought the cheese chopper would be a good addition to our kitchen, so I wanted to try it out. In fact, we later bought a cheese guillotine too, because if you can’t see, it’s a handy way to line up the cheese and make sure you get a nice, straight, thin slice.

I didn’t know much about the production of cheese before and, as well as enjoying tasting different kinds of cheese, I enjoyed learning about the history and production of these tasty cheeses. It was also good to learn that these are natural products, with no artificial ingredients being used to speed up the ripening process.

The presenter was friendly and happy to answer questions. He walked around the various groups to answer any questions, and I am sure if a blind visitor had been on their own, it would have been no problem for him to also point out which cheese was next.

We chose a kind of fruit juice and then water, but various wines were available for those who wanted them to accompany the cheeses.

After the tour, we walked around the town for a bit, before making our way to the boats for our canal tour. Headsets were available so that you could listen to the presentation in a number of different languages. You just needed to select the appropriate language, then the audio tour ran along with the boat tour and you didn’t need to interact with it any more as you do with some tours, where numbers need to be selected etc.

If you are a cheese-lover too, this is definitely something worth adding to your list of things to do in Amsterdam! Also, I’d recommend that you try cumin and pesto cheese too because they are sooo good!

What do you think?

If we go back to Amsterdam again, are there any things that you would recommend for us to see or do?

What are your favourite cheeses?

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Guest post – Amy’s new skincare essential

In this guest post, Amy tells us about one of her Christmas presents, which has become an essential part of Amy’s skincare routine.

Today I have something different for you. The blog’s very first guest post!

You may remember I mentioned Amy’s good advice in my post about eye make-up. In this guest post, Amy tells us about one of her Christmas presents, something that has become a vital part of her skincare routine.

If you want to follow Amy, you can find her at @monkey_honk on Instagram, or you can check out her blog at Blogmoo. * * * *

Guest post number one – So, it’s a hello from me….

Ahoy internet land, my name is Amy and Kirsty has very kindly said that I can guest blog on her new and upcoming venture, because in short I freaking love beauty and make up and all that comes with it. Unlike her, I have no idea how to blog, so I am sure I will make a few faux pas so I shall apologise in advance. Nevertheless I am pretty excited to share with you, and to have a front row seat so I can see how quickly Kirsty’s new blog takes off.

I must warn you, I am not trained in make up or beauty, but I do love it and make it my business to absorb all I can about tips, techniques and upcoming releases. You will never see me without a full face of make up, because I love to play about with colours and products, trying to recreate looks that I see online. Sometimes I get it wrong… very, very wrong, but sometimes I get it right and the best thing about make up is that you not only get better with practice, but also it comes off at the end of the day. So it’s no harm, no foul right?

With Christmas all but a distant memory away it would seem silly of me to do a ‘What I got for Christmas’ post, but I do want to share one thing I got for Christmas, which has become a staple of my daily skincare routine, and I genuinely couldn’t live without right now, not something I would say lightly. This amazing item is the Clarisonic Mia 2, and whilst it comes with a heavy price tag, (at the time of writing it’s £109 on Amazon, or QVC normally has some pretty good deals), what it has done for my skin in such a short space of time is amazing.

Let me give you a quick run down of my skincare issues/history. Depending on my skin’s mood, I am either combination or normal. There is no in between with my skin. I had enlarged pores, and breakouts too, and was forever losing my make up because it would all come sliding off. I was at my wits end as I was cleaning my face daily, yet nothing would ever change and the products were never as amazing as they claimed to be. The great thing with the Mia 2 is it is as amazing as it claims to be, removing 6 times more dirt, make up and sebum (the oil that your skin produces) than scrubbing your face by hand. It does this by oscillating at 300 times per second to clean your skin super deep, removing anything that your cleaner missed. Whilst this sounds quite harsh it really isn’t (unless you press super hard, yeah you can tell I did that can’t you!!!) and claims are you can use it as many times as twice daily, although once is enough for me.

You have 2 speeds, so you can vary what you want to do, and the best thing is it is only one additional minute to your skincare regime. It is really simple to use as well, with only two buttons to navigate (on and change speed from delicate to normal). They recommend 20 seconds on your chin and forehead, and 10 seconds on each cheek. To save you having to count (one Mississippi, two Mississippi) the device will stop when it gets to the end of the time cycle so you know to move onto the next area, and will stop when the full minute is up. All you need to add is your chosen foaming cleanser to the centre of the brush and off you go (I like to use Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleaner as it is not abrasive in any way). It is even fully waterproof so you can cleanse your face in the shower. You don’t need to apply any pressure, just move the device around in swiping and circular motions, and let the brush do its job.

The brush heads do need replacing every 3 months or so like your toothbrush, but equally like your toothbrush, if you feel you have life left in it then don’t swap it out. You can get different heads for different things, such as deeper cleaning ones or more sensitive based ones, and they retail at about £21 each on the Clarisonic web page, but again some shopping around can get you them cheaper. To change the head you simply rotate it, and it pops off. Nice and easy.

Even the charger is magnetic so you don’t have to faff about finding the port, just hold the device close to the end and it does the work for you. It’s easily identifiable with 2 small divots where the charger will go and the same on the device itself.

I have noticed a massive difference in such a short space of time, and it really is quick and user friendly. I honestly can’t say enough about this product!! One small word of caution though, we all have dirt and grime in our pores, its inevitable. As this product is so powerful and cleans so well, you might find for the first few weeks of use that you have a few blemishes pop up as you are dislodging dirt and grime which has been happily sitting in your face forever and a day. It doesn’t want to be evicted, even though it doesn’t pay you any rent! These do go though, and the rewards of using it and pushing through, honestly outweigh these few additional blemishes. My skin has been better than it has been in years, even my other half has noticed without being prompted, so it must be good because what male does that. I jest of course, he is a diamond.

If there is anything else you would like me to review for you, any questions or queries you might have then please shout. Leave a comment below and I will be sure to get back to you and help as much as I can.

If you have made it this far, I thank you. I appreciate I have a whole lot to say and I am sure that Kirsty will tell me off for taking up too much of your time. I really love this product though, not sure I said that before or not….

Anyhow internet land, all that is left for me to say is toodle pip.
Have a wonderful 2017 and I hope that Kirsty lets me come back soon.

(This post contains affiliate links).

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How do you apply eye make up if you can’t see?

My tips on applying eye make-up when you can’t check in the mirror.

I’ve been using eye make-up since I was about 15, but I’ve only recently discovered some products that make it a lot easier and reduce the chances of things going wrong. When you can’t see, avoiding mistakes is even more important because you can’t look to see whether you’ve done a good job. If my boyfriend or a trusted sighted friend is around, I usually check to make sure everything looks ok, but I am also confident enough to go out or go on a video call with one of my English learners without first getting my make-up checked.

Eye shadow

In the past, I used to use powder eye shadows. I labelled them all up in Braille with a friend so that I knew which colours were where on the palate. (Braille is a tactile writing system used by blind people). We printed the words out onto plastic sheets and stuck them on the lid of the palate above each colour.

The problem with powder eye shadows is that, even if you get good coverage on the eye, if you can’t look in a mirror, you can’t tell if there was any fall-out under your eyes or on your cheeks. This definitely isn’t the look I was going for, but sometimes the powder went in places where I didn’t want it, and this was annoying.

Then I discovered the whole idea of eye crayons. I first heard about them on my friend Joanna’s blog MyPinkRambles. You can look at some of the crayons that Joanna bought here.

Joanna makes a good point about brands and their names – sometimes it’s really hard to work out what colour things are if you go by the product names. I understand it’s all part of the marketing, but I wish that brands would includemore information in their product descriptions sometimes.

Anyway, I now have a few eye shadow crayons, and colouring in my eyes with them is much easier than using the powder, with the additional bonus that there is no chance of fall-out because the colour goes only where you put it.

When I was telling my friend Amy about this – you’ll get to meet her on the blog soon – she suggested that I try the paint pots as well. They are cream eye shadows that you can apply with a brush or your fingers, and, like the crayons, the colour only goes where you put it. At the moment I have two cream eye shadows:

1. MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot – chilled on ice.
2. Maybelline color tattoo veils – breathless.

Both of them go on well and last well. I prefer the packaging on the MAC one because it doesn’t have such a high lip around the product, which means it’s easy to access it. The MAC one does feel more luxurious, but if you are looking for a cheaper alternative, the Maybelline one works fine.


Applying mascara is an art and it’s best to learn when you’re not in a hurry. I prefer non-waterproof ones, because it’s easier to be sure that I really have got rid of it all when I take it off.

I usually bring the wand up to my face and blink gently until my eye lashes make contact with the brush. This is a good way to avoid getting poked in the eye with it. I prefer the big, fat brushes, because they give you more surface area to work with. At the moment I am using L’oreal volume million lashes.

Eye liner

I haven’t done much with eye liner in the past, but I got a pencil in my Body Shop calendar, and it’s easy enough to draw on the line because I can feel where the tip of the pencil is and where the line needs to go.


This is something that I hadn’t tried before, but my friend Amy gave me the Make-Up Revolution eye primer, to lay a foundation for the eye shadow. As long as there isn’t too much product on the applicator, this can just be painted on to the eye, using the fingers on the other hand to initially position or guide the applicator if necessary.

What about you?

If you’re visually impaired, what are your favourite products? Do you have any tips to add to this list?

I’m not an expert – I’m just sharing my experiences and what has worked for me. I’m still learning! In fact, I don’t think we should ever stop learning.

If you haven’t tried any of these things before, the best advice I can give is to try out a few products and get some feedback on how you look. Just because something works for me, it doesn’t mean it will be the best choice for you. When I was a child, something that I hated with a passion was the one-size-fits-all this-is-how-blind-people-do-things-idea! So if it’s something that interests you, I’d encourage you to just give it a go.

Also, if sighted readers have any tips or products to recommend, let me know. If I’d known that cream eye shadows were on the market, I would have snapped them up years ago!

If you want to find out how I do the rest of my make-up, check out this article!

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This post contains affiliate links. I only promote products that I own or have personally tested.

Rogue One

On Saturday I went to the cinema to see Rogue One. Some of my friends have been raving about it on Facebook and we found out that it was audio described at our local cinema.

In the past I’ve been to the cinema with friends. I didn’t always have access to audio description, which means that you wear a headset and can listen to additional information about what is happening on the screen and what the characters are doing. To be honest, if you’re watching a film like a comedy or a love story with lots of dialogue, it’s not too distracting if someone whispers a few words about what just happened. However, in a film with a lot of action, the description is more important because there is a lot of information to convey and this could be distracting for other people in the cinema, even if you are trying to be quiet. At home it doesn’t matter – my boyfriend just describes the action because there is no one else around.

Anyway – before I met my boyfriend, I hadn’t seen any of the Star Wars movies. We watched numbers iv v and vi at home last year. The events in Rogue One take place before the 4th movie and explain how the rebel alliance steals the plans for the Deathstar superweapon created by the Galactic Empire.

The storyline was clear at the beginning, then it got a little confusing as it kept switching between several locations before finally bringing all the characters and elements of the plot together for the final battle at the end. I wouldn’t say I was a big Star Wars fan, but I could follow the story and although I didn’t pick up on some of the references that others did, I didn’t feel that I was missing any information through not having watched the first three movies.

I think my favourite character has to be the new droid because of his uncanny ability to predict things, such as how unlikely the group was to succeed or use weapons against each other, which he delivered with the calm certainty that he would use for any other general calculation. He made me laugh and had some good lines!

I also liked the visually impaired character, Chirrut, whose samurai style made a change from the usual way that people despatch their enemies with their blasters.

Even though the group of characters didn’t start off as a team, they needed to work as one and each do their part if they wanted to succeed with their mission.

It was good to see Jyn’s character developing from someone who didn’t care who was in charge, to someone who was determined to fight for what she believed in. At over two hours, I don’t think it would have been good to add any more length to the film, but I would have been happy to sacrifice a little of the final action scene for a bit more time to get to know the back stories of some of the other characters so we could get to know them and their motivations better. Maybe that’s just me though and I’m not representative of the hard-core fans.

I had hoped for more survivors, but I guess this wasn’t practical, seeing as it’s around 40 years since the other movies came out, and it also makes the depleted number of rebels in the 4th film more realistic. The audio description didn’t say anything about computer animations of Tarkin’s character, which whilst it didn’t distract from the story, meant I had no idea what my sighted friends were talking about until they explained.

The final part of the movie is full of action and without the audio description, I would have had no idea what was going on. They did a really good job!

Overall I enjoyed the film and would recommend it to any Star Trek fans or anyone who likes this genre.

Have you been to see Rogue One? What did you think of it?

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Favourite Body Shop products in December

Find out about my experiences with the advent calendar,a party at home and Body Shop at home.

Well, December was definitely a busy month for me in terms of buying and testing Body Shop products.

I’ve like the Body Shop since I was young (does anyone remember dewberry?!) My introduction to Body Shop parties was when I was in my early twenties and one of the guide dog trainers organised a party for the people on dog training. It was some time before Christmas and I remember buying presents and testing out the products.

At the end of November, I started hearing a lot about beauty advent calendars. I know it’s not the first year that they’ve come out, but somehow more people seemed to be talking about them. I watched a couple of reviews on Youtube, my favourite being the ones on Fashion Mumbler’s channel, and decided to get the Body Shop one.

The box was massive, and it was full of smaller boxes – one for every day from the 1st to the 25th December. Some of the numbers on the boxes were larger and I could read them because they were slightly raised. Others were more faint and smaller, so I asked my boyfriend for help in identifying the right box and also telling me what was inside. Some things were obvious, but the 60 ml bottles of shower gel, body butter and eye make-up remover all feel the same, so it was important for me to label them. It would have been somehow doable when I lived on my own, but it’s more accessible and more fun with sighted assistance. I guess you could get round the problem of identifying new products with an app like be my eyes.

I had a group of friends round for a Body Shop party hosted by Sophie, which was a lovely chance to get together, have a make-over and try out some products.

I also tried out some bits bought from “your Body Shop at home with Heidi” which I’d really recommend if you don’t want to have a party yourself, but you want to benefit from discounts and special offers.

I can’t link to some of my favourite products from December because they were the Christmas lines that are only available at Christmas. My favourite was spiced apple because it was so wintry and Christmassy. I think I must have bought most products in that range, but the vanilla chai and frosted berries were good too. They all appeared nice and early in the calendar so you had the chance to try them out and buy more before the stocks ran out.

My mum bought me the festive tin, which is shaped like an apple, and which I have now filled with make-up!

I passed along a couple of the tools, but will use most things that I got in the calendar. There were actually 3 on offer – I got the cheapest one at £60. Not the cheapest beauty calendar on the market, but there were decent-sized products in there and if you know you like the brand, it was an excellent way to get some more old favourites (for me that’s the mango, satsuma and pink grapefruit ranges), and try out some new ones (for me coconut and strawberry).

I’ve included some links below. These are not affiliate links. Whether you buy in-store, online or through Body Shop at home, the links just give you a bit more information about the products.

I had already been using the vitamin E moisture cream, so I decided to try out the rest of the range, including the the cleanser, the toner, and night cream. I would definitely recommend the range – it leaves your skin feeling smooth and hydrated. I used to have combination skin, but now it sometimes gets really dry, particularly in the winter time, so I want to take good care of it.

The same applies to my hands. My favourite hand cream is the grapefruit one. I just wish that the Body Shop would make these in larger sizes. Still, they’re great to pop in your hand bag, and if you want something bigger for your desk or your bedroom, I recommend the almond hand and nail body butter. I also tried the coconut hand cream – it’s a little overpowering at first, but the smell does wear off and it’s fine if you’re a big fan of coconut!

I wanted to try the vitamin C range too, so I got the glow-boosting moisture. because I wanted that “daily boost of radiance and hydration”! My skin can be as grumpy as me in the morning, so I wanted to try out something that would boost the natural glow. It also smells amazing. Like oranges. Not as sweet as the satsuma range, which I also love, but still distinctly like oranges!

I tried one of the products in the tea tree range, which I can’t link because I can’t find it on the site. I like the pump at the top to regulate the amount, but I have decided I just don’t like this smell, so however good the product is, I’ll use it up, but I won’t buy it again. I’ve since read that it’s more for people with oily skin, so not the best choice for me anyway.

Whilst checking out the other night creams, I came across the pomegranate firming night cream. I don’t know if someone in their mid-30s counts as having “mature skin”, but I liked the idea of the cream moisturising and softening as I slept, so I picked it up as well. I’m not sure I really need this product, but it’s a nice alternative for a night moisturiser. My favourites are still the vitamin e day and night creams and the vitamin c moisturiser.

I watched a number of video tutorials about the Body Shop make-up and I did ask to look at it during my party. In the end, I only bought a couple of bits, which I’ll review in a future make-up post. It’s not that I dislike the make-up, but the things that I’m looking for are not yet in the Body Shop range. If they bring out cream eye shadows or a cream contour kit, I’ll definitely be interested.

There was a big body butter in door 24 of the calendar, but most of the products are travel-size, which is great for going away. In terms of larger products, I used the party host rewards to stock up on some of my bigger all-time favourites, such as the pink grapefruit body sorbet that I like because it gives instant hydration without hanging around on your skin. I like the fact that it’s in a tube as well, so you don’t have to keep dipping your hand into the tub. Ok I wouldn’t do it unless I had clean hands anyway, but I like the tube and would like to see more of them!

As someone who can’t see, I can use the main Body Shop site, Heidi puts text in the descriptions of the pictures that she posts in her group, and when I go into the actual shops, the staff are friendly and will help me find what I’m looking for. That said, there is definitely room for improvement in terms of the Body Shop at Home catalogue. There is an alternative .pdf, but I didn’t find it to be very accessible with a screen-reader, and I was glad that I have a kind boyfriend who was willing to go through the catalogue with me, reading out descriptions for products that interested me so that I could make my shopping list. If this hadn’t been an option, Sophie would have done this at the party too, but I’d like to see a more accessible document or web page in the future so that screenreaders are able to make their choices independently as we can on the store website.

Overall I was really happy with my products and owing to the amount that I bought, including Christmas items, shower gels and body butters that I haven’t named here, I’ll have plenty to keep me going over the coming months!

What are your favourite body shop products? Did you make any new discoveries in December? I’d love to know, so please tell me in the comments!

Picture of Kirsty

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