Body Shop products – roots of strength collection and new banana skin care range

I’ve got two lines from the Body Shop for you today. If skincare isn’t your thing, there are posts about books and horses coming up soon! Also today (15th July) is the last day to enter my Summer giveaway!

Banana treats

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll have heard me raving about the banana haircare range. This summer, The Body Shop® has added to the banana range. There are some sets, or you can buy the products individually. S bought me the three new products last weekend and I’ve been trying them out. All of them have the familiar juicy banana scent that we know from the haircare range. They’re made from Ecuador with bananas of all shapes and sizes that wouldn’t sell in the food industry. So it’s saving waste as well because the puree is fine for skincare.

Starting with something for the shower, the banana shower cream is a fruity treat that will leave your skin soft and smelling of bananas!

The banana body butter is one of the firmer butters and leaves your skin feeling softer and smoother. It’s not overpowering, but I could even smell the banana the next day. The body butter comes in two sizes – I got the smaller one and now wish I had gone for the big one!

The banana body yoghurt is a lighter formula and perfect for this hot weather, when you want something that will still moisturise, but also absorb quickly. As well as the banana puree, this body yoghurt also contains almond milk from Spain. (I talked about the almond milk body yoghurt in my June favourites post.) The body yoghurts can be applied to damp or dry skin, so ideal if you don’t have much time but still want to moisturise after the shower or bath.

I really like this collection. The only problem is that it’s limited edition, so if you want to try it, you need to be quick! At the time of writing, you can Save £10 when you spend £35 by using the online code: 19805 – also there’s free delivery over £25.

Roots of Strength collection

This is something that I’ve had for longer, because I like to give skincare products for the face a bit longer to try them out before I put them on the blog.

I first heard about the Roots of Strength® collection on Caroline Hirons’ blog, where she did an overview of it in February.

The key ingredients are ginger from Madagascar, ginseng root from China, and ruscus root from Europe. This is presumably why it’s called Roots of strength, because of the roots in the ingredients. The scent of the ginger is quite strong in all of the products, so if you don’t like ginger, this isn’t the range for you!

There are three products in the range. I bought all of them, but one of the things that I love about the Body Shop® skincare is that it plays nicely with other products and doesn’t tend to pill or ball up, so you could also introduce just one of the products into your routine to see how you like it. However, there are sometimes deals if you buy the complete range together.

The first step is the essence lotion which you apply after cleansing. It’s a lightweight lotion to make your skin feel more hydrated. To be honest, I don’t usually go for essences and go straight from a toner to a serum, but this can be a welcome addition to the skincare routine, particularly if your face is feeling dry.

The next step is the serum, which is a lightweight one that can easily be used under make-up. So it’s not oily like some of the evening serums. It’s said to hydrate and reduce the signs of aging, with skin feeling firmer and plumper.

You can then finish off with the day moisturiser, which feels thicker than some of the other day moisturisers, but it doesn’t leave your skin feeling greasy.

I think my favourite from this range is the serum, followed by the moisturiser. Skin does change and I know my skin is different now to what it was 10 years ago in my mid 20s, so I appreciate having these targeted ranges. I’m probably at the younger end of the target audience for this range, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing to start early when it comes to thinking about replumping, firming and moisturising.

Have you tried any of the banana or the roots of strength® products? What did you think of them?

Summer giveaway

Don’t forget that my Summer giveaway is still open – so why not have a look and enter if you haven’t already. The giveaway is international and it’s open until 15thJuly 2018.

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19 February empties

Well, I have quite a lot of empties to share with you this month, so let’s get straight on in!

1. Cherry and almond body milk

So this Bath set from Candy Spa was a Christmas present. I thought the mango powder would be my favourite, but no, it was the cherry and almond bath milk, which smelled great! The fizzy mango powder was good too, but I found you needed quite a bit of it to get a good mango scent going on!

2. Molton Brown gingerlily body wash

This was a little sample, but I wanted to include it because it is the first ever Molton Brown product that I’ve tried and although I don’t think you can wash a whole body with such a small sample, the product is a lovely treat.

I got mine in the Amazon beauty box, which you get free if you spend £50 on beauty. That does sound a lot, but I buy a lot of my beauty products and toiletries on there, so when I stocked up, I did hit the £50. In the box you get a body mud scrub from Rituals (70ml), day cream from Pai Skincare (10ml), this body wash (30ml), Elemis lavender repair mask (15ml), Gatineau radiance enhancing Gommage (15ml), Laura Geller make-up primer (15ml), Korres body milk (40ml), and Dr Lipp nipple balm (4ml).

This box is now unavailable – I guess they sold out – but if you see anything similar on Amazon and were planning to spend money on beauty treats anyway, it’s a nice way to try out some new products for free! Oh, but if you want the body mud, keep an eye out for the March give-away, either by following the blog or subscribing to the email alerts!

3. Age defying moisturiser

I think I got this in Latest in Beauty, but you can buy the full-size one from the Green People site. It’s certified organic and fair trade, and as a moisturiser it was fine. It claims to moisturise, as well as reduce fine lines and wrinkles. The only problem for me was the lavender scent. Lavender belongs in the bath or as an oil for relaxing – but not on my face. Still, if you’re ok with the lavender, it’s a nice product.

4. L’Oréal million lashes mascara

So sad this mascara ran out. I like its formula, the way it lengthens and separates my lashes, and I like the wand. I want to use a couple of others up first, but I will be buying this again.

5. Maskorea too many late nights sheet mask

Another find from Latest in Beauty, this 3-part sheet mask was a new experience for me! As I’m writing this, the mask is on special offer. I don’t think I’d pay full price for it, but if you’re going for a weekend away and space is at a premium, it does include a foaming cleanser and a night cream as well, which makes it a bit different from your standard sheet mask. I was happy with it on Latest in Beauty, because with the 9 product box, I only paid £2, which made it a bargain – and the mask itself was a good hydrating mask.

6. Body Shop banana shampoo

I have mentioned this before, but I wanted to add it into this post because there is now a larger option available for the banana shampoo in case you find yourself in the situation in which your shampoo runs out before your conditioner. I love this banana range and although it’s fine for all hair types, it’s a nourishing range, so good if you have dry hair, or just want to give it a pamper!

7. Satsuma body butter

This was enormous and took a long time to use up. I love the fruity scents from the body shop, and I don’t think you can go wrong with the satsuma body butter!

8. Eyeko mascara

This mascara came in the M&S beauty advent calendar. I liked the fact that it was waterproof. I liked the formula because it didn’t stick my lashes together. I did not like the curved brush, and as a result I wouldn’t buy the full size!

9. Kiwi, shea, aloe, and bamboo Innis Free masks

I use a sheet mask once or twice a week and used the above four from my Innis Free selection pack. There are 18 masks available and you get a selection of 16 which could be acai berry, aloe, bamboo, broccoli, Coconut, cucumber, fig, ginseng, green tea, lime, manuka honey, oatmeal, pomegranate, rice, rose, shea butter, tea tree, or tomato

I enjoyed all of these and so far there have been none in the pack that I don’t like. Last time I was reviewing sheet masks I was complaining about a sticky residue on the face, and this doesn’t happen with these Innis Free ones, which gives them extra plus points.

10. ginger shower gel

I picked up the Soaper Duper ginger body wash at the supermarket because I wanted to try a couple of products from this range and I was intrigued about the ginger. The body wash is thick and creamy, leaving your skin feeling soft, and the zingy ginger and lemon scent is refreshing. The bottle is an unusual shape, which means you have to give it a good squish to get the last of the product out. I would buy this again or see what else they have in the range.

11. cranberry shower gel

I got this cranberry shower gel from Lavera just before Christmas, but have only just got round to using it up. Intensive moisture? I don’t think so. I found it quite thin. Yes, it smelled of cranberries and that was cool, but there are nicer festive products out there!

12. Shea butter and almond body lotion

This was from my swap box from Germany and it’s made by a German brand that you can’t get here. Still, I enjoyed trying it out and smelling of almonds. It was nourishing and gentle on the skin.

13. L’Occitane cream

This was the teeniest sample, but the best thing in the L’Occitane advent calendar as far as I’m concerned. I’ve had the full-size product before and loved it! It’s so gentle and soothing on the face, with a subtle scent. It leaves the face feeling soft all day, and soaks into the skin quickly. This is a lovely cream and I’m glad they included it in the advent calendar.

14. almond soap

I really am not sure about this! On one hand I love the smell of almonds in this soap from L’Occitane, but the crushed up almond shells that are supposed to help exfoliate were not my thing. They just made it feel as though the soap were dirty. Like the one we had at the riding stables that I never wanted to touch because I didn’t like to think of where it had been. I know the reason for the shells, but the almond oil on its own would have been better!

15. Maringa shower gel

I had this little mini from the Body Shop. All of the Body Shop shower gels are good quality and made with natural ingredients. The maringa line is for you if you prefer a floral to a fruity scent. I prefer the fruity ones, but it was still nice to try out a mini from the Maringa line.

16. strawberry shower gel

Another Body Shop shower gel mini – this time the strawberry one. I preferred this to the maringa, but it is a very sweet scent, and not something I would use all the time. Still, I do like the smell of fresh strawberries from time to time!

17. sunflower hand cream

I wanted to try out some products from Laidbare, so I got their sunflower hand cream. I love sunflowers – that was part of what attracted me! I had this on my desk and I liked the subtle sunflower scent. This isn’t runny, but it isn’t heavy-duty either. It sinks in quickly, but leaves the hands feeling moisturised. It’s not sticky, so a good one for your handbag or to use throughout the day.

18. Manuka honey sheet mask

This was my favourite item in the Pink Parcel box in February. It’s the Manuka honey sheet mask from Vitamasques.

Manuka honey has loads of great properties for your skin and hair. For example, it hydrates, locking in moisture and absorbs moisture from the air. It promotes skin regeneration, oxygenates pores to draw out bacteria, reduces redness due to its anti-inflammatory properties, and inhibits a group of enzymes that destroy collagen, a protein we need for firm skin – the opposite of wrinkles and fine lines.

19. Schreck apple lip balm

This apple-flavoured Chapstick was a lovely addition to my lip balm collection. I enjoyed the fruity flavour and it did its job, with the benefit of added SPF. This is a pack of 4, but they are cheap and it’s actually more cost-effective to buy a multi-pack.

So, what did you use up this month? I like a good empties post, so let me know in the comments if you have written one!

Listen to the podcast episode

I’ve also produced a podcast episode about my empty products for February. You can look for Unseen Beauty on Apple podcasts (previously known as iTunes), or wherever you get your podcasts. Alternatively, you can listen to it here:

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January empties – grapefruit, banana, and one for the bin!

14 of the skincare and bath products that I finished up this month – what I thought of them and whether I’d buy them again.

I have 14 empty products for you – well 13 empties and one that I chucked because I hated it! Let me know if you’ve tried any of these things, what you thought of them, and what else you think I might like based on this selection! Also, If you’ve done a January empties post, you’re welcome to leave the link in the comments.

1. Malin Goetz moisturiser

I mentioned this Malin Goetz moisturiser back in October and I’ve now finished it up. First of all, I got this in Latest in Beauty, and it was a really decent size, which you can’t say about all of the moisturisers that you get in there! Vitamin E is good to have in face creams because it has antioxidant properties, which help your skin to fight the effects of wrinkle-causing free radicals, both from the sun an the pollution all around us. I liked this cream – it went on nicely, absorbed quickly, moisturised and had a slight scent. I can’t do with completely scentless moisturisers! 8/10

2. Radox grapefruit shower gel

I saw “grapefruit” and had to try this! I think I prefer Radox for its bubble baths, but this grapefruit shower gel is refreshing and will help to wake you up. I don’t like it as much as the pink grapefruit line from the Body Shop, but if you’re looking for a budget-friendly alternative, this one is fine! 6/10

3. Lavera cream highlighter

I don’t even want to link this! I got it because I was so happy with the Lavera night cream. I then got a couple of satin lipsticks, and they were fine. I was excited to see that this natural brand also did some cream make-up products and got myself one of the highlighters. It was a mistake. It felt like a cream with coarsely-milled powder in it, which meant that when I tried to blend it in, I was rubbing all the scratchy powder grains across my face. Great if you like the sensation of rubbing sandpaper across your cheekbones, but that’s not for me! Maybe there was something wrong with the one I had, but that’s all I have to go on and I couldn’t bear to use it again! 1/10

4. Madara mask

This was about the only thing that made me happy in the December Lovelula box which was full of samples and make-up I wouldn’t use! I was already a Madara fan and I enjoyed using this MADARA SOS Hydra Mask, which alone was worth over double what I paid for the box – so I did get my money’s worth! I did take the mask off, but some people used it as a leave-on treatment. Its main ingredient is northern peony, which is used because it moisturises, tones, smooths the skin, and protects it from environmental damage. It also contains hyaluronic acid, which is good for locking in moisture and preventing skin from drying out.

I’m still a sheet mask kind of girl, so I probably wouldn’t get this again, but I did enjoy using it! 7/10

5. Body Shop almond milk and honey body butter

I reviewed this whole range here, but used up my almond milk and honey body butter this month. Once I’d got over the fact that it didn’t smell like the almond hand butter, and the honey scent was stronger than the almond, I found that I really liked it. It’s not as strong as some of the other Body Shop scents, but it’s fresh and clean, and great if you want something a bit less overpowering. I know that a lot of people with sensitive skin love this range too. 8/10

6. Styling spray

We got this Agario London Styling mist in a Lovelula box. I used up mine, then a friend gave me hers. It’s not something I would buy because I don’t really need a styling spray, but it does contain nutrients that are good for the hair, so I mixed a couple of squirts in with my detangler. 6/10

7. Yes to Cucumber conditioner

I’ve mentioned this before, but then I realised that there are two of these cucumber conditioners – so I wanted to be clear that I mean the Yes to cucumber volumising conditioner. I like it and have already repurchased it. There is a colour protection one too, but I don’t need that so haven’t tried it. 9/10

8. Original Source shower gel

I was actually looking for something else when I noticed this but, being intrigued by green banana and bamboo milk, I decided to give it a go. I’m not vegan, but if you are, this is vegan certified and contains natural fragrances and moisturisers. I don’t like the sickly sweet banana smells that you can get because they’re too synthetic, but this one was not like that. I’m not loyal to shower gels and I like to switch things around, so I enjoyed using this for a while. 7/10

9. Nature republic sheet masks

The masks I usually get had run out, so I decided to try a set from Nature republic.

There are 13 masks, and you get a selection of 10, which could include Olive, Orange, Chamomile, Rose, Avocado, Shea Butter, Aloe Vera, Green tea, tomato, Acai Berry, Royal jelly, bamboo, or cucumber. Not a snail mask in sight – this makes me happy!

I liked these masks because they felt a bit thicker than some of the others, which made them easier to apply. They also didn’t have such large tears, which you’re supposed to use to fit around your face, but which can result in the whole thing sticking to itself. These seemed a good size for me too – some are too big. The only problem was that two of the masks – I don’t remember which now – left my face feeling a bit sticky afterwards, so I had to remove the serum rather than just letting it sink in because I didn’t want to walk round feeling like I’d smeared my face with honey! But other than that I enjoyed using these masks. 8/10

10. L’Occitane foot cream

I cannot get excited about foot creams, but I got one in my advent calendar and used it up. Yay for citrus and not the usual peppermint scent! 7/10

11. Wileda almond body lotion

I discovered this through a sample size that I got in Latest in Beauty. This almond body lotion is good for sensitive skin and is made from a few ingredients to moisturise the body. It’s a mild formula and good for skin that gets irritated easily – I don’t have that, but it was created with this kind of skin in mind. I just liked the moisturising cream and walking round smelling like a cherry bakewell! 9/10

12. Grapeseed hand cream

I was curious to try a Burt’s Bees hand cream, so I got the honey and grapeseed one. It’s nice though and I had it on my desk because it’s not sticky and dries quickly – I’m just not a fan of the grapeseed smell, so won’t get it again. 5/10

13. Vitamin E night cream

I don’t think there’s anything in the Vitamin E range from the Body Shop that I don’t like. These products are lovely if you want your face to feel soft and silky in the morning and to treat any dry patches. I’ve been through more than one pot of this and I’m definitely a fa! Of the night cream. 10/10

14. Tea tree face cream

The last thing I used up was also from the Body Shop – the Tea tree night lotion. One of these will last me for ever because I don’t use it as a night lotion, but if I get a break-out, I just apply a bit of this to the area and it helps to take it down. 7/10

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My organic fruit and vegetable subscription box

What I got in my first three fruit and vegetable subscription boxes, and what I thought of the products!

So, I mentioned in my subscriptions post that we’d just started getting a vegetable box from Able and Cole.

I thought I’d give it a couple of weeks and then tell you about what we’ve been getting.

I chose the medium-size box which gives us 3 types of fruit and six types of vegetables each week. The food comes on a set day every week, and you can choose not to have certain things if you don’t like them. So for example I don’t like sweetcorn, so I put that on my “never send me” list, and they just give you something else. You don’t know what it’s going to be, but hey, you don’t get the thing you don’t want!

You can also add other things from the store to your box – I couldn’t resist a little chocolate owl, but there are other, healthier options too. You just have to add the additional items to your basket and check it out two days before delivery.

You get a free cookery book with your first order – not useful for me because it’s in standard print and I can’t read it, but I think S will look through it and see if there is anything good in there. You also get your first and fourth boxes half-price if you’re a new customer.

If you don’t want a box one week, you just amend your order in your account settings, so there are no problems if you’re going away or if you have too much veg left over.

Week 1

In week 1 we got:

  • Bananas
  • Tangerines
  • Pears
  • Potatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Carrots
  • Kale
  • Tomatoes
  • onions

Ok so that was a good selection! I’d never cooked with kale before. I found a tasty recipe, but we both agreed that it would have been better without the kale, so I added that to our “don’t send” list. Still, it was good to try something new!

I usually buy bananas, onions, potatoes and mushrooms anyway, and it is good to get organic ones.
The pears made a nice change – I don’t usually pick them up, but I enjoyed them. The tomatoes and bananas were good quality as well, but the tangerines were a bit sour – not a fan of those, but I think it was just that particular batch!

Week 2

Week two we got:

  • Potatoes – but a different kind
  • Peppery salad
  • Sweet potatoes – because I didn’t want sweetcorn
  • Onions
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • bananas
  • Mandarins
  • Apples

Yum yum, I’m glad I said no to the sweetcorn and got the sweet potatoes! One went in a soup and the others went into some mash!

I think potatoes and onions are a staple in every box, and that’s fine with me. I was less happy about the carrots though – there are quite a few of them and I don’t use them all the time. This may become a problem if they’re in every box! Also, you don’t get a huge amount of potatoes, which isn’t a big deal for us because we also eat a lot of rice, noodles, and pasta, but if you have potatoes more than once or twice, you’ll run out.

The mandarins were better, the bananas were fine, and it was good to get some apples. I think these are smaller than the ones I usually get from the supermarket, but I don’t want to support an industry that throws away food because it’s not perfect or an exact size. I think too much perfectly good food gets slung out, and that makes me sad – so I don’t mind the odd wonky carrot or small apple!

The mixed leaf salad was good too, although I didn’t finish it all before the next box came. We use a lot of tomatoes, so the cherry tomatoes were a nice alternative to the full-size ones.

Week 3

This week we got:

  • More carrots!
  • Apples
  • Red onions
  • Clementines
  • Potatoes
  • Aubergine – instead of pepper
  • Spinach – instead of kale
  • Peppery salad
  • Bananas

So more bananas, potatoes and onions, but this time a different kind of onion. Fine for us because they will get used up, although I am getting behind on bananas!

I was very happy with my substitutes – I buy both aubergines and spinach, and I think they are nicer than the things we would have got! So yay for substitutes!

The carrots may be a problem if they continue to be in every box – I’m going to look for “interesting things to do with carrots so they don’t just taste like boring carrots” – any ideas welcome! I wish it were mushrooms every week because we use them so much more than carrots!

Apples and oranges again, but that’s fine – I haven’t tasted the tangerines but the fruit was in good condition and you get about 5 of each thing.

More salad – I think similar to last time. I probably would use it up – the only reason I didn’t was because we made a load of pumpkin soup.

We’re getting through most of the fruit and vegetables and I do think it’s a good way to try new things that you wouldn’t pick up. I did need to buy more mushrooms last week, but apart from that we haven’t had to stock up with extra fruit and veg from the supermarket – well apart from to feed my mango obsession!

For now I’m really happy to keep the subscription going, though if I see carrots in the next box, I may have to stop them!

There are also a lot of recipe ideas on the site, and you can get the newsletter, which gives you three new recipes each week, although these are not specific to one box. You can also get different boxes – smaller ones, ones for only fruit, ones for the slow cooker etc. Oh and I’ve just noticed a cheese club mmmm!

Have you tried these boxes? Let me know what you think in the comments!

Also, if you’re interested in trying out one of the boxes, they do a recommendation scheme. If you send me your email address, I can invite you, which means you get £20 off your first order and I get £20 credit too! Even if you get your first box half-price, you can still fill up your order to make sure you get the full value for your £20 – just remember to check out the basket (I didn’t the first time, so I only got my box and not the extra things I’d added).

Update

I’ve since realised that there is no need for any unwanted carrots. If you go into your account, then click on the subscription box, you will then see what is going to be in your next box. I think this works two or three days before the box is sent out. Rather than adding the carrots to the never send list, I can click on them and see some alternatives, one of which is extra potatoes, so if you are finding that you don’t get enough of them, you can add in extra.This is also a way to select what you want instead of a mystery veg option if there would normally be something from your “never send me” list.

Click here if you’d like to find out about our other subscriptions.

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

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

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

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

Haircare

The good, the great, and the somewhat scary!

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

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

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

Bath and body

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

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

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

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

Skincare

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

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

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

Make-up

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

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

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

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February 2017 empties

Find out what I used up in February and whether I would repurchase these products.

So, this is a list of the products that I got through in February and what I thought of them! Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products and what you think of them in the comments! Also, feel free to link your February empties posts!

If you’re interested in Body Shop products, I’m holding an online Body Shop party at the beginning of July. Let me know using the contact form if you want to know more or to get an invitation.

Skin care

It always looks as though I’ve got through loads of hand cream, but remember that most of the Body Shop ones are mini 30ml ones!

I finished up the Sanctuary Spa essentials hand cream and this is something I’d recommend for people who don’t like a strong scent. It’s got shea butter and almond oil in it, and although it’s a thinner consistency than some on the market, it smells good and does a decent job. I prefer my orange and lemon one from the same brand, but if you like it less fruity, you will probably like this!

I also used up the satsuma hand cream from the Body Shop, another of my favourites, and the coconut one, which is nice enough but I found it a bit intense!

I was sad when my Cowshed – grumpy cow uplifting body lotion came to an end. Apart from totally loving the name – to wake up my inner grumpy cow – I was really impressed with the moisturising properties. My skin was wonderfully soft for ages after using this and I’d definitely buy it again. Actually I wanted to use it as the picture for this post, but when you get to the end, you have to be quite brutal with it to get the rest out, so the bottle wasn’t in the best state to be photographed! I think it might be better in a tube, but I love the actual product.

The Christmas Eve surprise in the Body Shop advent calendar was the raspberry body butter, which doesn’t appear to be available online at the moment. It was a full-sized product and a good buy if you’re into the raspberry scent. I thought it was ok, though I am more of a fan of the less solid body butters like the almond and honey or the pink grapefruit one.

I also used up a mini of the Apivita Bee Radiant Age Defence Illuminating Cream. It’s described as a rich cream, although I’d say it’s more of a light moisturiser. Still, it’s apparently 98% natural ingredients, including orange stem cells, and it’s something I would probably use in the summer for dull skin and for moisturising.

I mentioned the Clarins exfoliator in my favourites post. Finding out about this made me happy because I do not like the gritty texture of most other exfoliators on the market. However, this one uses natural fruit acids to do the same job. So the product is smooth and there are no bits in it. It was a bit hit and miss getting it from Boots – the website doesn’t seem to be stocking it any more, although some shops still do. So if you want it, it’s cheaper to go to a local boots. If you can’t or don’t want to do that, you can also get it from the Clarins website, which is more expensive because you pay P&P, but you also get free samples, which isn’t guaranteed at Boots. I’d just say if you’re visually impaired, watch out, because it’s quite a thin liquid and the bottle opening is quite large – I think a pump would have been better but ultimately I was just happy to find n exfoliator I could bear to have on my skin!

Bath and shower

As a lover of all things fruity, I decided to try the Radox cherry shower gel. After all, their bubble baths are good and they remind me of being a child! However, I would never buy this again. It does smell of cherries, but it also has an unpleasant synthetic smell and I was glad when the bottle was empty! I will still buy the bath soaks from Radox, and in fact I have enjoyed other shower gels from them, but not this one!

Staying on the theme of shower gels, I used up another of the minis from my Body Shop advent calendar, the rose shower gel. This isn’t one of my favourites, but I liked it more than some of the other floral scents. If you like the smell of roses, then this is a perfectly decent shower gel.

I’ve already reviewed the Almond milk and honey shower cream when I reviewed the almond and honey range and this is something I would particularly recommend for people with dry or sensitive skin. Just don’t be confused by the name – it contains both almond and honey, but smells predominantly of honey. It’s gentle on the skin and I would buy it again.

I don’t tend to stick to one hand soap, and the one I’d really like to review here is the Carex chocolate orange one, but that seems to be out of stock. Still, if you want something a bit light-hearted, they also do a strawberry laces hand wash, which takes me back to my childhood and has a nice, strawberry scent.

<h3 Hair care

I’m switching out my shampoo and conditioner and I’m trying a few new brands, looking for my holy grail!

In terms of shampoo, I tried the Body shop’s banana shampoo. I was a bit worried about going round smelling like a banana, but it wasn’t a really in-your-face banana smell and it lathered up nicely. It’s a gentle, cruelty-free shampoo and I would buy it again, after I’ve tried out the other products that I have my eye on. It says “use daily” and I never wash my hair daily, but at least it’s good to know that it’s gentle enough to do that if you want to.

I bought the Alberto Balsam mango conditioner just because it had mango in it and someone on Youtube had been raving about how great it smelled! It did in fact smell wonderfully of mangos, but I found it very watery and had to use tonnes of it – much more than I would have with the higher end brands. Ok, it’s half the price, but I didn’t really feel I was giving my hair a treat with this. I’m totally up for a bargain, but I think this is a case of you get what you pay for!

Now over to you

So, have you tried any of these products? I’d love to know what you think of them!

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.