Hive Originals – with ingredients fresh from the beehive

My review of four products from Hive Originals. Products contain natural honey and beeswax from the Hive Origianals beehives.

So, S and I were at a chilli and cheese festival, chomping on unusual cheeses and looking for the hottest chillis that we could find, when he noticed a different kind of stall and one that he thought I would like! He was right! I spent the next 15 minutes or so being given a tour of the Hive Originals stall, testing out products, and deciding which ones I wanted to buy!

Claire took her time explaining about the products. I was most interested in the skincare, but there were also candles, soaps, foot care products, and products for men, all made with natural ingredients from the Hive Originals own bee hives.

According to the website: ” Our bees work extremely hard to produce their honey and beeswax. Our skincare follows the same ethos and is lovingly hand-crafted so that we can ensure that only natural products ever go into any of our products. Raw honey is well known for its healing, moisturising and protective qualities. We blend our raw honey and beeswax with the finest organic vegetable and essential oils to truly bring you the very best that nature has to offer. ”

I have been reading a lot lately about the benefits of honey in skincare, and I was interested to find out a bit more about why it’s good for you and how these hand-made products are made.

I could have spent a lot more (there were face creams too!) but in the end I decided to get four things

Body lotion

Firstly I am always keen on a citrus scent, and after testing out several of the body lotions, I chose the orange one. This orange body lotion is a lightweight whipped lotion with organic sweet orange essential oil. It also contains skin-regenerating honey, and beeswax to lock in the moisture. It’s great if you like a fresh citrus scent. If you don’t, there are other body lotions in the range.

Hand cream

I like the lemongrass scent anyway, but lemongrass is also a natural insect repellent, so this is a good handcream to wear in the summer to keep the insects away. This is especially good for me because they love to bite me and leave everyone else alone. I think maybe they like the high caffeine content in my bloodstream!

Anyway, this rich lemon-scented hand cream contains beeswax and jojoba oil, which act together to create a protective barrier to lock in the moisture and protect against the elements.

Lip care

I didn’t know what to do because there were lip balms containing two of my favourite things – so I got both of them! Both contain beeswax to protect, cocoa butter to soften, and organic sunflower oil to nourish and repair the lips.

The Mango lip balm turned out to be my favourite, because you can almost taste the juicy mangos, and it’s not as sweet as some other mango products. However, if you want a sweet treat, or a gift for the chocolate-lover in your life, I can also recommend the chocolate lip balm!

Have you tried any products from Hive Originals? If not, why not check out what else they have to offer!

More from Unseen Beauty

If you’d like to get my catch-up emails, usually twice 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.

Holly’s story – from a puppy farm to a loving home

You can help dogs like holly by not contributing to the demand for puppy farm puppies.

From a puppy farm to a new forever home
You can help dogs like holly by not contributing to the demand for puppy farm puppies.

Something a bit different today, but anyone who has been reading this blog for a while will know that dogs are close to my heart!

Meet my friend Holly! She’s an eight-year-old yellow Labrador and she lives with my partner’s grandparents.

I met her nearly two years ago one evening after work. S had suggested going to visit his grandparents. It was a bit unusual going after work, but it would be good to see them, and of course they had the dogs – a greyhound and a saluki, who had both come through a rescue organisation.

When we got there, I was ushered into the front room where, dozing on a duvet, was the newest addition to the family – Holly.

S’s grandma had seen Holly on a dog rehoming website and she knew immediately that she wanted to help.

Holly had been living on a farm in Ireland, where she was being used for breeding. In her six short years, she had already had several litters of puppies, and she was unlikely to have had a break between each litter. Her teats were swollen, she was terribly overweight, and she didn’t seem to understand the concept of going for a walk. This combined with the worn patches on her elbows suggested that she had spent a lot of time just lying on a hard floor throughout the cycle of mating, pregnancy, and giving birth to puppies. The puppies would be sold and then the cycle would start again. This is no life for a smart, young Labrador.

Fortunately for her, Holly was rescued from this life of puppy production and she was brought to her new forever home around two years ago. She now goes out for regular walks with the boys (Perry the Saluki and Gwyn the greyhound). She can’t run as fast as them, but she has lost several kilos already which makes it easier for her to move around. Like all Labradors, she loves her food, but her new diet is helping to bring her weight down to where it should be, and of course going for walks helps with that too.

Holly is a typical Labrador in that she likes to be patted. She is very calm, and I often sit on the floor stroking her when we go round to visit. She has perked up a lot in the time I’ve known her, and although people haven’t always treated her well, she likes people. When I first met her, she had her lovely, kind nature, but she seemed so tired. Not the kind of tiredness that goes when you’ve had a good night’s sleep, but weary because life had been tough for her, and somehow lacking enthusiasm.

Now she often trots out behind the boys to greet us at the door, and there’s nothing like a tasty treat to awaken Labrador enthusiasm!

Her legs aren’t strong enough to allow her to jump up into the car like the others, but she has learned how to use the ramp.

I’m so glad that she now has a life with a soft bed, the chance to have a good diet, people to give her hugs, and interesting places to explore.

Some months later, Holly was spayed, so there’s no risk that she will have to go through another pregnancy. She’s had enough of that to last a lifetime!

There are plenty of good reasons not to buy from a puppy farm (also known as puppy mills in the US). These are essentially irresponsible breeders who run factories for producing puppies with little concern for the puppies or the mothers. The dogs are often not well-cared for, there is little or no medical history, basic medical care and immunisations are not given, there is insufficient information about the parents (including any hereditary health problems), and the dogs are often taken away from their mother too early, which is bad for their social development. If you get a dog from somewhere like this, you could end up with a sick puppy, or one with behavioural issues. Temperament can be inherited, so if you’re not allowed to see the parents, or the mother has behavioural issues that go beyond the normal protectiveness towards her puppies, the puppies could have issues too.

Some people go to puppy farms because they don’t like the fact that good breeders and animal rescue organisations will want to vet potential new homes first, but if it were your puppy, wouldn’t you want to make sure that it was going to a good home?

I can understand why people who genuinely want to help would buy a puppy from a place like this and give it a better start in life, but even if you do help that one puppy, it’s contributing to the wider problem. As long as people think there is money to be made in this way, and as long as there is a demand for puppies, people will try to meet that demand. This means they need dogs like Holly to be mothers – again and again and again. In the UK, it’s illegal to breed from a bitch more than six times in her lifetime, but that doesn’t mean that people don’t do it.

So if you really want to help dogs like Holly, it would be better to go to a rescue organisation, or if not, a registered and responsible breeder, than to support the puppy farm trade.

More from Unseen Beauty

If you’d like to get my catch-up emails, usually twice 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.

17 empty products from July – new conditioner and some old favourites

The products that I finished up in July – what I thought of them, and whether I would buy them again!

17 empty products from July – new conditioner and some old favourites

Right, it’s time for the July empties! Not all of them are pictured here – partly because there were a lot, and partly because I had to completely destroy some of them to get all of the product out!

Have you used any of these products? What did you think of them? Let me know in the comments, and also feel free to share any of your empties posts or Youtube videos there.

Skin care

I can’t show you the first thing that I used up because it’s not available at the moment, but it is a lip gloss from Hot Lips. I got two, but the one I finished up was the grape flavoured one. It’s a gloss with a difference because you apply it using a roller ball rather than an applicator, or even worse, nothing at all! I like the way that the ball slides over the lips to give an even finish. I would use this again if it weren’t unavailable, but I also have the cherry one to finish up.

I like the sweet mandarin and grapefruit range from Baylis and Harding, and we had the Sweet mandarin and grapefruit hand lotion in the bathroom for a while. You get a decent amount. It’s not the thickest, richest hand cream I have, but it’s got a pleasant scent, and I had it near the sink so that I remembered to put on some hand cream when I washed my hands to stop them drying out. I like to have something more heavy-duty at night, but I think this is a nice product to keep in the bathroom.

I also got through the strawberry and pomegranate hand cream from the same range. This is in a tube, not a pump dispenser. It’s a bit more expensive than the grapefruit one, and I don’t usually like strawberry scents because they are too sweet. However the mixture of strawberry and pomegranate makes it work for me!

I’m quite hard to please when it comes to eye creams, but I did enjoy the Bee good youth enhancing lift and brighten eye cream. I think it’s a fair price, and I like the fact that it uses more natural ingredients. It absorbs well without being greasy and moisturises at the same time.

According to the web page, it’s made from natural British bee ingredients including the antioxidant-rich propolis which fights bacteria and helps to repair skin damage. Propolis has natural preservative properties that eliminate the need for harmful synthetic preservatives. Vitamin E is expertly blended with skin tightening oat extract, and the brightening silk tree extract to address dark circles and fine lines. It moisturises, strengthens, and enhances the elasticity in your face.

I got mine from Latest in Beauty, but you can buy it elsewhere too and I would get this again once I’ve used up my other eye creams.

One of my earliest memories of the Body Shop, apart from the Dewberry perfume, is the Cocoa butter body lotion. I won one in a prize draw run by Heidi from the Body Shop at home and it took me back to being a teenager! I can’t find the link on the site now, so maybe it’s only available on special promotions. It’s made with cocoa butter from Ghana and it’s a nice, lightweight lotion for the summer.

Staying on the topic of things that I used when I was younger, a few months ago I repurchased the No. 7 moisturising night cream. I shudder to think of my skincare routine back then! I knew a lot less than I do now, but I always understood the importance of moisturising, even in the night time! The smell of this product took me back to being a teenager, and I think the no. 7 products are rather underrated! I’ve tried plenty of other creams since, but I enjoyed coming back to this one. It absorbed well and left my skin feeling wonderfully soft and smooth in the morning.

Boots had a deal on face masks, so I picked up a couple of the Garnier pomegranate sheet masks to mix in with my Korean stash. You get a lot of product with these masks and they’re different because once you’ve got it settled on your face, you peel off the protective outer cover, which presumably is there to stop it sticking to itself.

As someone with dry skin, I really like these because they are super-hydrating and another plus for me is that they also contain hyaluronic acid, which helps the skin to retain collagen, increase moisture, and provide elasticity.

I mentioned my L’Occitane lavender oil in my L’Occitane post back in March, and as a little goes a long way, I’ve only just finished it up. This product has completely changed the way I think about oils. I didn’t like them before because I thought they were messy and annoying, but the roll-on packaging means that you don’t get too much out at once, and you can just apply it to the skin where you want it. Lavender is known for its calming properties, and I enjoyed applying this oil before going to bed.

Next – this isn’t a point about a specific product, but when I was tidying up my products I came across some sun cream that was years out of date, so I chucked it. I am not usually ultra-strict with dates if the product seems and smells fine, but with sun care it’s not worth the risk. If the product has past its usefulness, you’ll get burned!

Another Latest in Beauty finish was my Katherine Daniels micellar water. It’s out of stock at the moment.
I’ve gone from someone who didn’t see the point of micellar water to someone who uses it all the time! I enjoyed using this one, and it has won an award for best eye make-up remover, but I think I still prefer the one from Madara, so I’d be more likely to buy that one again unless this one came up on Latest in Beauty.

I’ve got a few Sanctuary spa products from the Sanctuary Advent calendar. This month I used up the Sanctuary rose body lotion (I got a mini and this link is to the full-size one). I enjoyed the mini, but think this scent is a bit too floral for me. It reminded me of a teacher I used to have at school – she must have worn this or something similar!

Bath and shower

Another treat from the calendar was the Sanctuary bath soak. It contains aloe vera to moisturise, and there was a decent amount of bubbles. I got the mini because it was in the calendar, but I would buy the full size version.

Next up is the Seascape unwind body wash, which I got in my March Lovelula box. I don’t usually go for lavender body wash, but this was good for unwinding in evening baths!

When putting in an order for L’Occitane, I had the choice between paying postage or adding one small item to qualify for free postage! I’d already enjoyed the verbena bubble bath, so I got, and used a little Verbena shower gel mini I’d usually get a larger one, but this would be fine for a weekend away!

I don’t usually buy face washes, but I used up my Sanctuary Spa face wash from the calendar. I probably wouldn’t get this again, but it was fine to use in the shower and it didn’t leave my skin feeling dry.

Hair care

I continued with my hunt for good hair care products, and the Korres almond conditioner sounded like a good thing to try as I had already been impressed with a number of Korres products. I don’t have dry, damaged hair, but I have very long hair, so I like to make sure that the ends get a lot of nourishment so that they don’t split. Still, maybe the one for normal hair would have been better, but I’ve only just seen that whilst looking for the link for this one! Almond does sound more appealing though! Anyway – I enjoyed using the product and was happy with the soft and silky results.

Perfume

I don’t want to add a link for this because I believe this fragrance has gone out of stock and there are a lot of fakes around. I was bought the Gucci Envy perfume as a gift many years ago. It’s always a gamble when you buy perfume for someone, but I was pleasantly surprised with this because I really liked it. I repurchased it once, but wouldn’t do so again because it’s so hard to get hold of. There is another one called Envy Me, but I can’t say what I think of that because I haven’t tried it out yet.

Thank you for reading if you got all the way to the end! Don’t forget to let me know your thoughts on these, or the products that you’ve used up!

More from Unseen Beauty

If you’d like to get my catch-up emails, usually twice 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.

How accessible is healthcare?

My experiences of healthcare – a post from the perspective of someone with a visual impairment

I find it much easier to write product posts, which in a way are more impersonal, but I do also want to have some opinion pieces on the blog that tackle issues around accessibility and the challenges and solutions I’ve found as someone with a visual impairment.

Healthcare isn’t something that I really think about much. I do have a health condition that I need to be aware of, but generally I’m reasonably healthy and I haven’t spent much time in hospitals or at the doctor’s.

Still, a recent trip to the hospital got me thinking about the accessibility of healthcare for people with a visual impairment. These experiences are my own, and this isn’t an investigative piece to represent the views of other blind people.

I think the worst experience I had was when I was about 14 or 15. I went to the doctor or nurse, I can’t even remember now, for a general check-up.

Doctor: Do you need contraceptives?
Me: NO.
Doctor: Oh, no, I suppose it would be more difficult for you.

What exactly? Surely not the physical act! Or did she mean it would be more difficult for me to find someone who would want to be in a relationship with me? I was incensed!

“No”, I said, in my “you’re-tedious-stop-wasting-my-time” voice, with the disdain that only a teenage girl can pull off. “I just don’t need them”.

I have never usually held back, but at that moment I didn’t know what to say. I wish I had said more. I certainly would now, but you know how it is when something takes you by surprise and you’re lost for words. Still, that could have completely destroyed someone’s self-confidence if it had happened to someone else. I was just annoyed, but I still remember it 20 years later. You know the saying – people may forget what you did, they may forget what you said, but they will remember how you made them feel.

I don’t think any kind of training could have fixed that. Any reasonable person would know that’s not a cool thing to say.

Just to clarify, I am not complaining about teenagers being offered contraceptives, but those who don’t need them shouldn’t have to justify why not!

However that was a long time ago now. The care that I received in the hospital recently was great. Everyone I met explained what they were doing, and when I needed to go somewhere else, people just guided me there. Prior to the operation, there were forms that needed to be filled out by hand, but someone was available to do that.

I don’t have a guide dog now, but when I did and I was visiting someone in a hospice, nobody tried to prevent my dog from coming in. I think they were happy to see her and a waggy tail was welcome in a place where people were going through a sad and difficult time!

Technology makes it easy for things to be accessible. For example, my doctor’s surgery and my dentist send out appointment reminders by text (the dentist does email as well). This means that the information is automatically accessible to me because I can read it with the speech software on my phone or laptop. Access to the internet also makes information available that I wouldn’t otherwise be able to access without help, and this helps in terms of being able to read up about anything related to my health, animal health, or the research being carried out into sight restoration. More about that in another post.

In terms of patient letters, I did have to ask for it specifically, but I got the preparation letter about the operation and the surgeon’s letter by email. This wasn’t standard practice (it would save so many trees if it were), but I just had to request them so that I could have them in a format I could read. It would be helpful if this could be extended to all correspondence, not just the letters that you are anticipating and can request by email. I take it for granted that my business is paperless and it will take a while before large organisations catch up!

When I moved to a new area, shopping around proved to be the best way to find a new dentist. I initially registered with one practice, but I found the guy so dismissive and unhelpful, that I decided not to let him loose on my chompers. I don’t think that had anything to do with visual impairment though, just poor customer service. Still, I’m glad it happened, because I then went somewhere much better. My dentist is kind and helpful, and she shows me what she is going to do, the tools that she is going to use on me, and the plaster moulds of my teeth so I can feel the difference between how they were and how they would be after the treatment.

My eye condition is stable, but I do have check-ups at the eye hospital. The consultants are great, but to be honest some of my more frustrating experiences have been there whilst going through the preliminaries. If I can’t see you at all, then it makes no sense to make me do the “how many fingers can you see” exercises. Fortunately one of the doctors has put a note on my record so I don’t have to do that, but some more initiative at the beginning would have been nice! If I can’t make my eyes look in a certain direction because I have nothing to focus on, repeating the instruction won’t help. I understood the first time! I just can’t do it! I do find these visits kind of tiring, but they are worth it because at the end you get to speak to someone who knows a lot about your eye condition and current research.

Generally I attend appointments on my own, but I did take my partner in once because he had some pictures of an allergic reaction I’d experienced. I also took him to the appointments about my operation for moral support. Most of the time it was fine, and people still addressed me because I was the patient, but I think many people with disabilities know what a pain it is when people start talking to the person with you, when they should be talking directly to you. We don’t go along with that, and they soon learn that they need to speak to me!

Perhaps this is something that people could learn in some kind of awareness training, although as someone who has grown up in a world where most people I meet, including my teachers, colleagues, and new friends had never met another blind person before meeting me, I think most people are smarter than we give them credit for, and I don’t believe that awareness training necessarily solves every potential problem. If everyone followed the rules of not making assumptions about people, asking questions when they’re not sure, and talking directly to the person, whether or not they have anyone with them, that would be a great start! I often feel more comfortable with people who’ve had no experience of visual impairment, than those who have been working in the field for so long that they think everyone is the same in terms of how they do or perceive things.

The systems used in some surgeries for letting people know when it’s their turn are not accessible. I mean the ones where you have to wait for your number to come up on the screen. I can’t see those, so in those cases I asked someone from reception to let me know when it was my turn. I guess there is the risk that you could be forgotten, but this never happened to me and my current surgery doesn’t do that – you just have to wait for your name to be called.

I am very happy about the ruling that requires medication to have Braille labels. This makes life so much easier for me to know what things are without having to label them myself. Hopefully we won’t lose that when we leave the EU – that would definitely be a step backwards in terms of accessibility to information. The information leaflet is not in Braille, but as long as I know the name of the medication, I can go online to look for the leaflet.

Overall I’d say my experience of the healthcare system has been good. I think that people with disabilities have a responsibility to be approachable and explain what they need or what would be helpful, rather than expecting other people to know – because seriously, how can they? Everyone is different.

More from Unseen Beauty

If you’d like to get my catch-up emails, usually twice 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.

Latest in Beauty – 3 month review

In this post, I review 3 months worth of Latest in Beauty products (21 in total).

So, I mentioned in my March favourites that I’d started getting Latest in Beauty, a monthly subscription box for make-up and skincare items. I like this box because you can build your own set of products, so you don’t end up with things that you don’t want or will never use.

You can choose 3, 6 or 9 products. AT the beginning I chose 6, but I’ve now moved up to the 9 product subscription, which at the time of writing works out at £2 per item. The bag comes with the first order. All subsequent orders come without a bag.

I’ve seen a couple of people going back to their old boxes and writing what they thought of the products when they’d finished them all up. I like a good unboxing, but I think that this way, you have more to say because you’ve actually tested them out. I decided to do this with my Latest in Beauty boxes. I started receiving These in March this year, so this is my summary from March to May.

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!

March

I started off on the 6 product plan for £15.

1. Nourishing Lip Gloss in Evening Glow
This was from Burt’s Bees, and I am a big fan of this brand. You have to swish it around a bit to get some on the applicator, but it goes on well and isn’t sticky – a big plus point for lip gloss! I’m more of a lipstick than a lip gloss girl, but I’m glad I tried this out and I like to support the bees.

2. Lip Crayon in Sedona Sands (405)
This is another Burt’s Bees product. Some people have complained about these crayons because you have to reapply them, but as someone who can’t see, I’ would much rather touch it up than have to deal with a mistake on a 24-hour stay lip stain. Again I do prefer my Burt’s Bees lipstick, not from Latest in Beauty, but I like the crayon and am glad I got it.

3. Lift and Brighten Eye Cream
A bit of a bee theme going on here as this is from Bee Good! I didn’t use this up straight away as I had other eye creams on the go, but I am considering buying this one. It’s a fair price and not hideously expensive, as some eye creams are, and it has a light texture, which I prefer to some of the heavier, sticky ones.

4. Green Tea Sheet Mask
This was the first time I got something from the Masque Bar. I’m a big fan of sheet masks, and this one was soothing and moisturising. If other ones came on Latest in Beauty, I’d like to try more from the range.

5. Dry Skin cream
This product is from Catherine Daniels and I noticed it’s come back to Latest in Beauty. I’d say it was ok, but no better for dry skin than some of my normal creams. If you like scentless creams, then this would be good for you, but I personally like my moisturiser to smell of something. So I’m still using this up, but I probably wouldn’t get it again.

6. Seychelles Hand & Nail Cream
I love, love, loved this, as you’ll see when you see how many times I got it again. The full size of this was sold out for ages on The White Company’s website, so I kept getting these little tubes from Latest in Beauty. It smells wonderfully of coconut, is not greasy, keeps your hands moisturised for ages and I can’t get enough of it!

So overall this was a good box for me. I repurchased one of the items multiple times, and when my other eye creams run out, I’ll get the full size of that too. The most underwhelming product for me was the face cream, but there was nothing wrong with it.

April

Still on the 6 product plan!

1. Moisturising Lip Balm in Peach & Mango Burst
Anyone who follows this blog knows that I love all things mango. Unfortunately this lip balm from Carmex tastes more like something you are told to take as a child in the form of cough mixture that they tried, but failed, to make sweet and pleasant for children. I won’t get this again!

2. Glycolic Fix Cleansing Pads
These were fab and I quickly bought the full size of this product from Nip and Fab. I don’t like exfoliants with particles inside, so I prefer to use natural acids to exfoliate. I bought a couple of bottles of product for this purpose, but the pads are so much better, and they’re also handy for when you’re going away. I’ll use up the other stuff I bought, but then it’s pads all the way!

3. Seychelles Hand & Nail Cream
Yes, I liked it so much that I got it again!

4. Citrus Blend Aromatic Wash
This was a refreshing hand wash with lemon, lime, basil and juniper berries. I would use this again, but I tend to swap out our hand washes all the time to keep things fresh.

5. POREfessional primer
Oh yes! I got the full-size of this as soon as the mini was empty. It’s from Benefit, so not the cheapest primer in the world, but it’s worth it. Actually I have two primers, this one and a cheaper one for days when I’m not making so much of an effort, but this has such a silky smooth formula that application is really easy and it also makes it easier to apply everything else on top.

6. Yes to cucumbers Calming Paper Mask
This was not good – usually I love Yes To products, but this made my face red and I had to take it off. I did get another one just to see if there was some other product underneath that had caused a bad reaction, but unfortunately I had the same reaction. I wouldn’t get this again.

So this box was a bit more hit and miss with some products that I loved – I bought the full-size version of two of them, and two that I would never buy again!

May

Now up to the 9 product box!

1. Velvet Touch Creamy Stick Blush in Hot Pink
This was a bit of a gamble, but I wanted to try something from Kiko. It was very pink – probably too much so for me. I’d heard some people say it was Barbie pink and others say it was nice and buildable. I do like the formula, but this was not the right shade for me. No link because I couldn’t find it on any UK sites.

2. Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet
This product smells like the other one that I had from Caudalie and didn’t make my skin oily, so I’m glad I gave the brand another try! It smells clean and fresh, and is a fairly light product, so you can use it in the morning under make-up.

3. Radiance Face Mask
I made a mistake with this because I didn’t realise it had bits in it and I don’t like that in a mask. I think it was some type of clay. I gave it to a friend. I don’t have it any more, so can’t link it because I’m not sure who made it.

4. Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial
I was keen to try something from Ren. It smelled good – like oranges. I enjoyed using it, but the appeal of get it over in one minute doesn’t really work for me – I like to take time with my pampering. I can’t say I noticed a huge difference, but I enjoyed the experience. Lınk removed because ıt was broken.

5. Bergamot Pear Body Milk
I love Korres and this didn’t disappoint. I would buy this again and also try other things from the range. These body milks from Korres are lighter and more refreshing than the heavier balms and butters, so ideal for the summer.

6. Shower Gel in Jasmine & Bergamot
I’m also a big fan of L’Occitane and hope that Latest in Beauty will get more products from them. I enjoyed this and the minis are great for taking away.

7. Le Parfum L’Eau Couture EDT
This was ok from what I remember, but not totally “me”, so I wouldn’t get it again. Still, it’s good to be able to try new fragrances – you got two little testers of the same scent. I think I picked it because of the orange and citrus, but the vanilla is quite strong as well, and this is classed as a floral scent.

8. Cucumbers Calming Paper Mask
So I tried it again and had the same bad reaction. No idea why, but this is not for me. It’s strange though because I can use the shampoo and the face wipes from the same range without any problems.

9. Vitamin E Face Moisturiser
I wanted to try something from Malin Goetz. This was a generous sample size and it absorbs quickly, so it would be fine under make-up. It’s not oily and it promises to be hydrating and provide PH balance. I can’t give a full review of this because I haven’t finished it. Scentless moisturisers aren’t really my thing, but I’ll definitely use it up.

So, there were two products here that I really liked, 2 mistakes and another five that were fine. I’d never be able to try as many products as this if I had to buy full-size all the time, and I love the fact that I get to test out all these different brands.

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!

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.

Feel Unique – part 2 – 6 masks to try

So, on Tuesday I posted part one of my Feel Unique order, and today it’s time for part two!

For anyone who didn’t read part one – I have only just discovered the Feel Unique site, which sells a wide range of make-up and skincare products, often at better prices than you’ll find them elsewhere.

Feel Unique has a special promotion for inviting new people to join. You can get £10 off your first order by going onto the site using my affiliate link. This offer is open to new customers only, and the minimum spend is £30. So basically you can get £30 of products for £20. This is an affiliate link, so I also get a reward – in this case it’s £10 worth of products, which I will use to buy new things to test out on Unseen Beauty. However I only promote things that I enjoy, and I was very happy with the service I received from Feel Unique.

Let’s look at the masks!

I’d already had a couple of things from 7th Heaven in my Latest in Beauty box, and I was impressed with them. My first venture into glove masks didn’t go well, because it was basically a pair of very thin, porous gloves, oozing with product, that you then needed to wrestle into flimsy plastic gloves and tie up, all whilst getting covered in the stuff. That wasn’t fun. But the ones I’d had from 7th Heaven were better because you got either a strip with five inserts for fingers, or a pair of gloves, with the product only on the inside.

As I had been pleased with the finger and the glove masks, I decided to see what else was available for me to try. I noticed that they do a lot of mud masks, which really aren’t my thing, but I ended up ordering two packs of masks. One contained three hair masks, and the other contained a glove mask, a sock mask and a finger mask.

I know that my hands and feet are on the smaller side, so I wasn’t surprised when both of them were a bit big for me. However it wasn’t a problem. If they did a smaller foot one, I would choose that, but it seems they only do one size, which is ok. The foot one is like a sock, and similar to the hand mask, the product is inside. I think there is enough product in both, and my hands and feet were softer after using them.

The finger masks are just for your finger tips and cuticles. I would say the hand and foot masks are more comfortable to wear, but the finger mask is fine if you just want to concentrate on the area around the nail.

In the hair mask pack (on the site known as hair therapy pack), you get 3 hair rescue masks – pulped papaya, Manuka honey, and coconut. I’ve only tried the papaya one so far, but I was pleased with it. I don’t have a particular problem, but I like to give my hair a treat a couple of times a month, and anything that promises extra shine, a volume boost, or stronger, healthier hair can’t be bad! Also, as someone with very long hair, I was pleased that there was enough to go round – something that isn’t always true of single-use masks. It just smelled of papaya, so no chemical hair product smell! Afterwards my hair was soft and silky!

Have you tried any of these masks? Are there others that you would recommend? Let me know in the comments!

More from Unseen Beauty

If you’d like to get my catch-up emails, usually twice 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.

Feel Unique haul – part 1

I’d heard about Feel Unique’s pick n’ mix service, which means you get to choose a number of samples and only pay the packaging, but I only really got interested in Feel Unique when I learned that it was much more than the sample service. I saw a Youtube on Willow Biggs’ channel about the Feel Unique sale, so I decided to check it out!

I was interested because I’d noticed that some of the things that I wanted to buy were cheaper than on Amazon, and I also couldn’t find some products that I wanted in my local Boots, so I was pleased when they showed up on Feel Unique.

My first order came to just under £30. I put the order in last Wednesday and my box arrived yesterday – well-packed so that nothing got damaged on the journey. I also got an email for tracking my parcel, but the parcel turned up earlier than it was scheduled to, so that was great.

I’m going to show you half of the items now and half at the end of the week.

Feel Unique has a special promotion for inviting new people to join. You can get £10 off your first order by going onto the site using my affiliate link. This offer is open to new customers only, and the minimum spend is £30. So basically you can get £30 of products for £20. This is an affiliate link, so I also get a reward – in this case it’s £10 worth of products, which I will use to buy new things to test out on Unseen Beauty. However I only promote things that I enjoy, and I was very happy with the service I received from Feel Unique.

Unfortunately I think the summer sale is now over, but even without the sale, there are bargains to be found, and you can also sign up for the newsletter that lets you know what’s coming up.

Products from Zoella Beauty

The first three things that I chose were from the Zoella Beauty brand. I was intrigued about Youtubers having their own merchandise, and I’d recently seen a review of a bunch of Zoella’s products.

I didn’t get so many from this line because I’m not really a bath bomb kind of girl, but I did find three things to try.

When asked in a recent interview which of her products she would recommend for someone who hadn’t tried any, she said it would have to be the Scooper Duper bubble bath. It’s a big pot with 400ml of bubble bath in it. The idea is that you scoop a load out with your hand and hold it under the running water for extra bubbles! It’s described as floral, but it’s not an in-your-face kind of floral that would turn me off. It contains vitamin E, aloe and shea butter to soothe and soften the skin.

I also picked up the wonderous whip body cream, which contains some of the same ingredients as the bubble bath. It’s a light-textured lotion, which I think is nice for the summer, when you particularly want something that will absorb quickly. The wonderous whip comes in a tub similar to the bubble bath, but smaller because it’s 200ml. I’ve only had thick body butters in a tub like this before, but it goes on nicely and it’s a good way to make sure you get all of it – not like some of the bottles that you have to squish and squish till you get every last drop out!

The last thing I picked up was the Zoella Wonder Hand moisturising hand cream. It’s described as having a calming feminine fragrance. I’m not sure how I’d describe the fragrance – I guess it’s floral but I tend to go for more heavily-scented hand creams than this one. The handcream comes in a 90g tube and it is a non-greasy formula that left my hands feeling soft.

Overall I was pleased with these products. I will use all of them up and I would buy the first two again.

Have you tried any of Zoella’s products? Let me know in the comments. Also, have you ever shopped at Feel Unique?

My next post will be about the other things that I got in my Feel Unique haul!

More from Unseen Beauty

If you’d like to get my catch-up emails, usually twice 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.

July favourites – haircare, cream shadows and chocolate animals

The make-up, skincare and haircare products that I’ve been enjoying this month!

It’s time for my July favourites! These are the things that I have been enjoying this month. Do let me know if you’ve tried any of them, and what you thought of them. Also, if you’ve done a July favourites post or Youtube video, feel free to post the link in the comments.

Skincare

The first thing I want to talk about is something we got in the April Lovelula box – the hydra plump and firm cream from FOM London. I’d never tried anything from this brand before, but I like this rich cream for hydrating thirsty skin. When checking the site for the link, I was surprised how expensive the full size is – I hadn’t realised this was a high-end one, but to be fair a little goes a long way. The cream contains an anti-aging silk complex that promotes collagen production and moisture retention. This is combined with antioxidants (rhidiola and ginseng) and shea butter for thirsty skin. This cream is rich, but not greasy, and it does have a fairly strong scent. I like it, but if you prefer scentless ones, this is probably not for you! To be honest I can’t justify spending £50 on a face cream, but I was glad that I got to try this sample size!

I mentioned the almond hand and nail butter. in my December haul, but I only really started using it this month. It’s a tub, so not handbag size, and a little of this silky smooth butter will make your hands and nails soft for several hours. I like the almond smell too!

This was just a little tester because I wanted to try the Korres basil lemon range. I knew that I liked their body milks, so I got the one in the basil lemon scent and I was not disappointed. A good choice for citrus lovers like me!

Make-up

I got two new items of make-up this month. Firstly I got the Body shop eye crayon in gold. I can’t find these on the main site, but I got it through Heidi’s Facebook group. There are a number of colours and they’ve just brought some more out. Basically these are twist-up crayons, and they’re really creamy, so it doesn’t feel scratchy on your eye lid. I can easily colour in my eyelids with these and know that I have the product exactly where I want it!

The second product is also for the eyes and I found out about it on Wavy Kate’s Youtube channel. I didn’t even know that ELF did cream eye shadows, but they do, and they’re called smudge pots. You get a little plastic pot (not a glass one like some of the cream shadows, but I’m more interested in the product than the packaging!) I got the Cruisin’ Chic smudge pot from Amazon, but it’s unavailable at the moment, so I can’t post a link. Still, they are available in other colours, and I believe ELF is coming to Superdrug, although it seems it isn’t available in all stores yet.

Haircare

This is really just a beginning of July favourite as I only had the chance to use it when I was in the south of France at the beginning of the month. Still, I was glad that I picked up the Philip Kingsley sun shield to protect my hair from the sun. I always take such good care of my skin, never venturing out into the sun without my factor 50, so I was happy to discover on Youtube that there is a product to protect your hair too. It’s enriched with sunflower extract and promises to guard against damage and dryness caused by UV rays, chlorine and salt water. It’s a spray that you just spray onto your hair, particularly the ends, and brush through. Well I’m not sure if you’re supposed to brush through, but I did so that it covered all the way down the hair! It’s hard to measure the effectiveness of a product like this, but I like to think I did what I could to protect my hair from the effects of the sun.

I’ve been on a mission to find a good shampoo and conditioner for a while now and I’ve been impressed with the Yes to cucumbers volumising shampoo. It smells good, lathers up well, leaves my hair clean and shiny, and doesn’t smell of chemicals, which is what bothers me about some of the more high-end haircare products. I would buy this again!

Bath and shower

I really enjoyed doing the research for my skincare for coffee lovers post. I think my favourite of all the products was the Java Lather coffee buzz from Anatomicals. It smells so rich and good, like you’re bathing in coffee! Mmmm!

Perfume

You may have seen this in my Christmas post, but I’ve been enjoying my Innisfree this month because I think it’s such a lovely, summery scent. I guess I’d describe it as fruity and floral, and I was surprised to read that it contains lavender oil, because you really can’t smell it! For anyone who wants to know what’s in it, it also contains lily, apricot, peach, lemon, jasmin, rose and cedarwood. Unfortunately the link I posted in January doesn’t work any more – I guess they stopped selling it there – but you can buy directly from Fragrances of Ireland.

Tasty treats

So Colin the Caterpillar got a couple of comments last month and I decided to show you what else I was given! I don’t have a link for these praline animals because they’re from the Co-op, and I don’t think you can buy online from there, but you get sheep, rabbits, chickens, ducks and eggs made out of plain, milk and white chocolate. Too cute, but as you can see they’ve all gone!

More from Unseen Beauty

If you’d like to get my catch-up emails, usually twice 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.

10 of my favourite youtubers

Ever wondered what kind of videos a blind beauty and lifestyle blogger enjoys? Here are 10 of my favourite youtubers!

So, you may be surprised that someone who can’t see anything at all has a big list of Youtube videos to watch every day! After all, it’s a very visual site. But no! Unlike Instagram and Pinterest, which I don’t enjoy at all, Youtube has so much great information and as people often talk about products, what they think of them, how they look, and how well they work, it’s a great way for me to get information.

Obviously there are some types of video that I won’t watch. Lookbooks with no speech are a classic example. But when it comes to unboxings and product reviews, I have a long list of people that I follow because I like what they have to say. Some people are more descriptive than others. Some get the same beauty boxes as me. My boyfriend does read out the information, but if I can get it first from a Youtube channel, plus what someone thinks of the colour etc, I’m winning!

Here are 10 of my favourite Youtubers. A couple are full-time Youtubers, but many are people like me who are interested in the beauty industry and who share their thoughts and ideas as a hobby. What I mean is that I haven’t gone for the biggest channels that everyone knows about – I’ve picked out ten whose content has helped me to make exciting new beauty discoveries, or who help me to learn about new products.

I don’t know who has the best camera set-up or lighting because I can’t see anything on the videos. These channels made it into my top 10 because I like their audio content and the way that the Youtuber’s personality comes across!

This list is in no particular order, but I’ll start with the person who gave me the idea to do this.

1. Julie Barbour

I first got the idea of doing a favourite Youtuber blog from Julie, who did a favourite Youtuber video on her channel and I thought it was a really nice idea.

I first discovered the channel because Julie does Latest in Beauty unboxings and I was looking for people who were talking about that. She also does other things such as hauls, make-up looks and favourites. I like Julie’s honesty and the way she used the favourites video to give something back to the Youtube community.

Diaryofa40something

Claire from Diaryofa40something is always bright and bubbly and her enthusiasm for whatever she’s talking about really shines through!

Claire does unboxings, tutorials, reviews and product tests and although we don’t get the same boxes, she gives me ideas about new products to try. I also like the way that she goes back to the products to give us her review after using them – something you can’t always do in an unboxing because you need time to see if the product is any good!

3. Lightning Lass

Lightning Lass is another blogger who does unboxings, reviews and hauls. She’s also great at hunting out deals and special offers that I haven’t heard about! I don’t know where she finds them, but I’m glad she shares them with us!

4. Wavy Kate

I discovered Wavy Kate when I was looking for Latest in Beauty reviews, but then I watched a whole bunch of videos from her back catalogue! Kate’s chatty and friendly style makes you feel like you’re grabbing a coffee with her whilst you find out what she thinks of her latest new products or unboxing a haul.

5. Fashion Mumbler

I discovered Josie’s channel when I started getting into Youtube last year and I was looking for some advent calendar reviews. Josie did a very comprehensive review of a bunch of advent calendars, and she also did daily vlogging throughout December, which made me feel as though I got to know her faster. I particularly enjoy her roundups of new products – as someone who can’t see what’s new in the shops, I really enjoy getting a heads-up about what brands are bringing out in terms of make-up and skincare. And Josie has a cute doggy – now two – so of course I want to know how they are!

6. Fleur DeForce

I also started watching Fleur deForce’s channel around the beginning of December, so saw all her festive content, and more cute dogs. I have picked up tips from this channel about new products to buy and there is a good mix of high-end and high street make-up reviews on the channel.

7. Sussex Sandra

I discovered Sandra’s channel when I was looking for people who review Lovelula boxes, because I get this natural skincare box and although I enjoy the products, there don’t seem to be many unboxings of it. I then found out that Sandra gets Latest in Beauty too, which is my other subscription box. The thing that stands out for me about Sandra’s channel is her attention to detail and the way she takes time to find out about the products. This is particularly good for me because I can’t read the packaging myself, so it saves me having to ask someone to do it, or to find out the exact name so that I can do my own online research.

Sandra also does other unboxings and product reviews on her channel and I appreciate her honesty!

8. Willow Biggs

willow’s channel has plenty of unboxings, hauls and tutorials. Like many of the other channels mentioned, particularly the smaller ones, Willow takes the time to answer comments and talk to her followers, which creates a sense of community.

9. Fashioneyesta

I’ve included Emily’s channel because it’s another one of the channels that I followed from the beginning of my time on Youtube, and Emily also inspired me to start Unseen Beauty. When I started looking for beauty and lifestyle content by women with a visual impairment, I was surprised at how little there is out there. But Emily has a blog and a Youtube channel where she shares her beauty and fashion likes, tips, and her experiences of life a guide dog owner. I’ve bought a few products following recommendations from this channel!

10. Louise H

I only discovered a Louise’s channel recently, but she also produces a wide range of haul and unboxing videos and I enjoy the way she talks about them.

How about you?

So, which other Youtube channels should I check out? I subscribe to more than 10, so no doubt there will be a part two to this series some time in the future. So do let me know if you have your own channel, or if there is one that you think I should check out!

More from Unseen Beauty

If you’d like to get my catch-up emails, usually twice 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.

Skin care for coffee lovers

My quest to find coffee-based skincare other than coffee scrubs!

This post is for people who love coffee! People who love drinking coffee and people who love the smell of it!

I drink a lot of coffee and especially in the morning, I need it to get going!

When it comes to skincare, I keep hearing people raving about coffee scrubs, how amazing they smell, and how they enjoy using them. There’s only one problem with that – I don’t like scrubs! Any kind of scrubs! I just don’t like that gritty, scratchy sensation on my skin.

So I thought there must be some other products out there that use coffee, and I set out to find them!

1. Java lather coffee shower gel

To be honest, I’d never heard of Anatomicals before, and it appears that they do a range of products that I would enjoy. On the coffee theme, I found the Java Lather coffee buzz which smells absolutely amazing. Ok, everyone knows what coffee smells like, but this is rich and strong and almost good enough to drink! It’s called a body cleanser, which could be misleading as it’s a shower gel, not something like a face cleanser. It contains a soothing blend of aloe vera and witch hazel, and it’s definitely worth it as a treat for your coffee loving friend or for yourself!

It comes in a nice square bottle with a pump and I’m thoroughly enjoying using it!

2. Coffee lovers lip balm gift set

The next thing I found was something for the lips. It comes in a small cardboard box, the kind that is often used for necklaces, and inside the box there are three coffee-flavoured lip balms to suit different coffee preferences! You have Americano, latte and mocha! My favourite was the Americano, which isn’t surprising really as I never drink coffee with milk, and this was the strongest one. However I would use them all, and they all taste of coffee in their own way.

I like the variety that you get in this box from Pinwheel Balms and the way that the coffee flavour stays around and doesn’t disappear as soon as you put it on. The lip balms are in stick form and glide on easily, giving you a lasting moisture boost.

3. Maybelline Baby Lips café mocha

Staying on the subject of lips, there is also a coffee balm in the Maybelline Baby Lips range. I found this one to be quite sweet, probably because of the chocolate. To be honest I preferred the other lip balms, but if you like sugar in your coffee, or you don’t want a set of 3, the Baby Lips might be the one for you.

4. Evelin cosmetics coffee balm

This coffee body balm is from Eveline Cosmetics’ Spa Professional range, which includes body balms, butters and hand care products in a number of scents. The products are intended to moisturise, protect the skin and leave it feeling soft and smelling great!

It comes in a generous squeezy tube and should last a decent amount of time. I’d say this is actually more of a lotion than a balm, because it isn’t as thick as some of the other body balms that I’ve used, but it does leave the skin feeling soft and smelling wonderfully of coffee.

5. Fair squared Coffee lotion

I also had high hopes for the other body lotion that I found, but this turned out to be the product that I liked the least.

Let’s start with the positives – the packaging was practical with a squeezy pump for easy application. It’s fair trade and organic, and if you’re a vegan, which I’m not, but if you are, this would be suitable for you.

But that’s where the good comments end because I really don’t like the smell of this stuff and if I don’t like how something smells, I know I won’t use it! I can’t figure out what it smells of, but the coffee isn’t at all prominent.

The main ingredients are rich olive oil and grapeseed oil, which apparently provide moisture and smoothness, and the coffee bean extract revitalises the skin.

Maybe it’s the grapeseed oil. Sorry Fair Squared, but this one wasn’t for me!

summing up

So, I had heard of Maybelline Baby Lips before, but the other five brands were completely new to me. This was a bit of a risk because I didn’t know how good they would be, but I really liked four out of the five new brands, which means it was definitely worth the risk.

I really liked the shower gel, the balm and the set of three lip balms, and would buy all of them again. I was happy with the quirky t-shirt. The Baby Lips was ok, but I actually like some of my other Baby Lips products more, such as the grapefruit one, so rather than buying another coffee one, I’d probably buy the grapefruit again or try out some of the others in the range that I have my eye on, such as the lemon or the cherry one.

What do you think?

How about you? Have you tried any of these products? Can you recommend any other coffee products for me to try?

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.

This post contains affiliate links. I always give my honest opinions about the products that I try!