15 November empties – lots of hand creams and a disappointing panda!

15 November empties – lots of hand creams and a disappointing panda!

Another month is over and I’ve been trying to use things up because I know that more will be added to the collection when December starts! Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products, what you thought of them, and also what you got through in November!

Hair care

So, the first thing isn’t a new product for me, but I liked it so much that I got another one! It’s the Banana hair mask from the Body Shop. If you want something that’s natural, that smells great, and that gives your hair a pamper session, this is a good thing to go for. It’s not cheap, although you can get a good deal if you wait for it to be on offer, and you do get a generous pot of it. I do intersperse this with cheaper ones sometimes, but overall this is my favourite!

The other haircare products were a sample set of the shampoo and conditioner from the Seaweed Bath Co. The products contain vitamins and nutrients from the ocean to give you strong and healthy hair. It may be ok as a product, but I can’t deal with peppermint in haircare. I don’t want my hair to smell like toothpaste, which means that these products were not for me. Still I was glad to get the chance to try them, and overall I was very pleased with the November Lovelula box, which also contained a lipstick, eye cream from Madara, a face primer and a moisturiser.

Click here for my other hair care reviews.

Bath and shower

I got a mini of the SenSpa sleep therapy bubble bath in my Latest in Beauty box. I’m usually a Radox girl, but I like to try other things, and this bubble bath contains lavender, which is good for a relaxing pamper session at the end of the day. I don’t know that I’d rush out to buy it, but if it shows up in Latest in Beauty again and I’m looking for things to fill my box, I might pick it up again.

I went through an enormous 750 ml of the Pink grapefruit shower gel from the Body Shop. This is my all-time favourite scent, and sometimes these bottles have 1/3 off. Something this size lasts a long time, and unless you’re someone who gets bored with a single scent, I definitely think they’re worth it. Just make sure you like the scent first. I knew I would with this one though because I think I’ve had most of the pink grapefruit products. By the way, I’ll be doing a skincare post for grapefruit lovers in the new year, so do let me know any recommendations that you have for me to include.

Skincare

November was a bumper month for skincare empties! First up is the body lotion from the Seychelles bath and body set. I just love this stuff! The coconut is really refreshing, but it’s offset by the orange, almond, and vanilla. This leaves you moisturised and smelling amazing for hours!

I don’t usually get excited about the little sachets in Latest in Beauty, but the Lavera face cream really got my attention because it smelled sooo good! It was a night cream and I liked the way it left my face afterwards, but I have to say it was the scent that got my attention. This is a brand that I would like to look into more next year.

After I enjoyed the SenSpa bath soak, I also tried the SenSpa relaxing body butter which was being offered as a mini on Latest in Beauty. It’s a thick, rich, butter for anyone who likes something a bit more intense, but this also smelled of lavender, and whilst I don’t mind my bathwater having this scent, I don’t want to walk around with it for the rest of the day. So this was ok, but I probably wouldn’t get it again. That’s why I’m so glad that I get to try minis of these things in Latest in Beauty, rather than buying them full-size.

Next there were a couple of the little handcream tubes from the Body Shop. I had a couple of them open and wanted to use them up. First there was the pink grapefruit hand cream, which is my favourite! I also finished the tube of Almond and honey hand cream which I got when I reviewed the whole almond milk and honey range earlier in the year. I think when I first smelled this range, I was a bit disappointed that you couldn’t smell the almond as much as the honey, but I really enjoyed using this gentle hand cream, and it’s definitely a good one if you’re not up for the more powerful, fruity scents, or if you have sensitive skin that might be irritated by other ingredients.

I haven’t tried much from the Spa of the World range from the Body Shop, but I did get some of their Ethiopian green coffee cream when it was released earlier this year. At first I was a bit surprised because it didn’t smell of coffee, as my other coffee products do, but it’s a creamy lotion with green coffee extract, suitable if you want your skin to feel firmer and smoother. I didn’t really need a skin-firming cream, so I can’t comment on how well it does that, but I did enjoy using it!

The second thing I want to mention from the Lovelula November box was the priming serum from Ren. Ren is a good brand and I was happy to try this out. The little glass bottle, the kind that you get perfume samples in, made it a little annoying to get out, but the serum itself absorbed very quickly, but as I tend to go more for moisturising primers, it wasn’t the texture I’m used to. To be honest, I don’t want to sound cheap, but I couldn’t justify spending £50 on a primer. Not when there are others on the market that I feel do the job just as well. Still, I’m glad it was included because I enjoyed trying it out!

Now something from the May Lovelula box – the Laidbare cleanser and toner that is out of stock at the time of writing. I’m genuinely a little suspicious of two-in-one products. I like the face care ritual with its many steps, and I don’t try to double up, because I think each step has its purpose. However, I did use this up eventually. It had a pleasant, citrus and apple scent, and I had it in the bath for a while. I wouldn’t buy it again, but it’s a decent enough product if you don’t like faffing around with as many products, or if you’re going away and need to save space.

I got the next product because a number of people received it in one of the beauty boxes that I don’t get. I don’t like a lot of them because there would be too many products that I wouldn’t use, but that doesn’t stop me watching the videos and reading the blog posts for inspiration. I was already a fan of the Grumpy Cow range from the Cowshed, so I decided to try out their Cowpat handcream. Such a funny name! One thing that drew me to it was the grapefruit oil listed in the ingredients. It’s quite a thick cream, so I kept it by the bed and put it on last thing at night. This handcream also contains coriander essential oil, which apparently relieves muscular aches, increases circulation and helps you to sleep. It does however smell of coriander – I’m fine with that, but I’ve seen some people saying that they don’t like it. We use coriander quite a lot in cooking, so it doesn’t bother me.

I’ve gone on about the vitamin E cream from the Body Shop before, so I won’t ramble on about it, but if you haven’t tried it, it’s wonderful stuff! I got a mini pot in last year’s advent calendar and was using it in my travel bag. I decided to finish it up and when I’ve got through some of my other creams, I would definitely buy this again!

This was a bit of a disappointment. I wanted to try some things from the Oh K! brand, so I got their cherry blossom panda hand cream. The panda is definitely cute, but I’d rather plain packaging and a good product than cute packaging and an underwhelming product! The product was like a hand butter, a bit greasy, and I didn’t like the scent. I didn’t find it particularly moisturising either. I know there are other things in the range and they might be better, but I felt the product wasn’t really worth it. I guess it would be ok to buy for someone who wants some cute things on their dressing table, but don’t expect big results from it!

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November favourites – bloggers, body lotion, and bunny ears!

It’s not all products this time, but I’m sharing the things that I’ve enjoyed this month!

Well it’s November now and actually I’m already beginning to feel a bit festive! Perhaps that has something to do with buying snowman earrings and planning Blogmas content, but I always enjoy this time of year.

So these are my November favourites. Feel free to share yours in the comments!

The first thing I wanted to do is to mention the Blogs in Bloom group on Facebook. There are loads of blogging groups out there, and this one isn’t for you if you’re looking for some superficial follow for follow game. However it could be for you if you’re looking for a friendly and helpful group of bloggers who get to know each other and provide support through a number of activities throughout the week. You choose the people with whom you interact, but if you get involved in something, you need to give as well as take. Check it out if you’re interested.

One of the reasons I was particularly happy about finding this group is making some new blogger friends with whom I did a blogger swap box. You can find out more about that soon as we’re going to be talking about it at the same time on both blogs, but it was a really lovely opportunity to build a box for other people and see what they picked out for me!

I haven’t opened them yet of course, but I find the whole process of choosing advent calendars is really fun. So many brands are doing them now and I enjoy looking through to see what’s available. I’m really lucky this year as I have two – I had one and then my Mum got me one as well. They will be featured in Blogmas, so keep reading if you’re interested in which ones they are!

Skincare

One of the things on offer in the Latest in Beauty box was the pomegranate lotion from Weleda. previously the only thing I had tried from this brand was the skin food cream, which was ok, but didn’t wow me as it has some other bloggers. So I was really happy with this cream, which is a lightweight body lotion, which smells great, and apparently prevents the premature aging of the skin. I’m not loyal to body lotions and I like variety, so enjoyed trying this one out.

There’s going to be a whole post on serums in January. It all started when I was sent a sample of a really expensive one, which got me thinking about the fact that I don’t have any serums in my skincare regime. This then got me doing some research about why they are used and how they can help. I bought a couple of different ones to test for a blog post, and one that I’m really enjoying is the Nip+Fab Dragon’s blood fix serum which is said to hydrate the skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines. I really don’t know where they get the names but this is my second product from Nip+Fab and I’m really impressed. There will be a more detailed review in the serums post, but if you’re looking for a serum for underneath your moisturiser, this is a good one to start with and it doesn’t break the bank!

After my grumble and moan a couple of months ago, I was really impressed with Lovelula this month. In fact, I’m keeping all the products for myself, which doesn’t usually happen. I was particularly happy to see another Madara product in there. This month we got the Madara eye cream. It’s a deeply hydrating eye cream that is worth more than we paid for the entire November box. I really rate this brand, and although I’m trying to use up a couple of other eye creams first, I couldn’t resist giving this one a try and was suitably impressed!

Perfume

When I was doing my 18 products for mango lovers post, I dug out some of my mango products and rediscovered my Victoria’s Secret mango body mist. I love this stuff – I spritz it in the morning and love the sweet mango scent that really does stay around for hours!

Wolves and owls

This is a present – given to me in time for when we put up the tree in December! It’s an Owl bauble made of glass, and it’s really tactile for anyone who can’t see the owl. His little ears stick up and you can feel his head, pointy nose, eyes, and feathers. I know he came from M&S. As a blind shopper, I hate their site with a passion, which is why there’s no link, but I’m sure you’ll still be able to find him online or in store.

I recently discovered that the wolf sanctuary near Reading has a store, and I got these lovely sitting Wolf earrings. They are well-made and what I enjoy is that the shape of the wolf is clear to feel. I don’t like earrings that just have a picture painted on with no tactile elements. With these, you can feel his head, howling snout, body, legs, and tail, and as well as some of the money going to the wolf sanctuary, I love jewellery where I can really appreciate the design too.

Haircare

I didn’t know where to put this one really, but I decided it could go here because this headband with bunny ears will protect my hair when I’m doing a face mask or having some home spa time. I think there are different ones in the range – I think there’s a mouse and a piggy one, but at the time of writing, the rabbit is sold out on the site. Still, hopefully there will be some left in store if you want to get one.

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18 Products for mango lovers

18 Products for mango lovers
After I did my post on skincare for coffee lovers, I decided to do a mango one as well – because I love mangos so much!
On holiday in Sicily I even got myself the name Miss Mango – they are sooo good!
So here are some of my favourite mango products!

Body Shop

Probably one of the first places that you think of when it comes to mango skincare is the Body Shop, because they have a whole range dedicated to it, and it’s in my favourite top 3! (Pink grapefruit, mango and satsuma in case you were wondering!)

The range covers bath and body as well as skincare. One of my favourite products is the mango whipped body lotion, a smoother alternative to the body butter, and the mango hand cream. There is also a mango shower gel, which I can recommend, and various fragrance options and mango-themed gift bags. You can get them in store, online, or you can check out Heidi’s Facebook group, where there are special deals and offers.

I like this range because the Body Shop is cruelty-free, the products are gentle on the skin, and of course they smell amazing!

Avon

I don’t get many products from Avon, but I found this Avon Magnificent mango crazy hair tamer (2 bottles) and since then, that’s all I’ve been using as a detangler. I’m not usually loyal to products because there is so much out there that I want to try, but I find this works so well at getting the tangles out of my long hair, and I love the scent.

Victoria’s secret

If you like your mango-scented products to be a bit sweeter, I wholeheartedly recommend the Victoria’s Secret mango body lotion, the Victoria’s Secret mango temptation body wash, and the Victoria’s Secret mango body mist.

I found even the body wash was hydrating and I love the way that the scent of these products keep on giving – spreading the mango goodness all through the day!

Burt’s Bees

I have to say my favourite lip balm is the Burt’s Bees mango lip balm. I generally prefer the ones in a stick, which are less messy when you take them out and about with you. This one is super-hydrating and doesn’t disappear after a few seconds, but it doesn’t feel greasy on the lips. And it tastes of mangos, what more could a girl want?!

I wasn’t massively impressed with these next two products, but I’m going to include them because I don’t think they’re bad products as such, I just didn’t like the smell, and that’s a dealbreaker for me.
They were the Burt’s Bees shiny mango shampoo, and the conditioner in the same range.
I think the problem for me was that the mango was mixed with something else, and I didn’t like the smell of that something else.

Sanctuary being

I did a review on the Being by Sanctuary range. One of the lines in this range is the chilli mango. You can get different products with this scent, but I tried the chili mango and tonka bean body lotion, which was fresh and zingy, so a bit of a twist on the usual mango scent. I would say ideal for you if you want it to be a bit refreshing as well and not so sweet. In terms of the performance of the lotion, it was lovely and hydrating and I think this range is great value.

Hive Originals

When I was out at a chilli and cheese festival, I bought the Mango lip balm from Hive originals. You can read more about them in my Hive Originals review. The lip balm comes in a cute little tin, and it’s one of the most natural-smelling and natural-tasting products I’ve tried. These products all contain ingredients from the beehive, and this one has beeswax to protect the lips.

Garnier

This mango body lotion is a good budget-friendly alternative and the scent is not as strong as some of the others. It’s a lotion, so thinner than the whipped lotion. I don’t find the scent as true to mangos as some of the others, but it’s nice enough as an every-day body lotion. It does say for dry skin though, and if you have really dry skin, I think you might need something a bit more moisturising.

I also tried the Garnier mango hand cream. It was a while ago and I don’t actually remember that much about it. I think I liked it more than the lotion, but not as much as the Body Shop one, so I didn’t buy it again. Still, it is cheaper than the Body Shop one, so if you wanted to alternate them, this is another mango option.

Baylis and Harding

If mango on its own isn’t your thing and you like it with other scents, Baylis and Harding do a mango and mandarin hand cream. Actually I think in terms of moisturising properties, these are a bit better than the Garnier ones and they last a bit longer. Still, it depends how you feel about mandarins – although I think the two go well together.

I’ve also tried the shower gel from this range. It’s huge and lasts for ages. My preference is the Victoria’s Secret or the Body Shop one, but if you’re buying for more than yourself, or you want to save the others for a treat, this is a good mango alternative.

There are also body scrubs and body butters in this range, but I can’t comment on them because I haven’t tried them.

Alberto Balsam

I tried the Alberto Balsam mango conditioner, but I won’t be buying it again. It smelled amazing, and if that’s all you need from a conditioner, that’s ok! But I have very thick, very long hair, and I found the conditioner to be quite runny and not very effective on my hair.

What have I missed?

Do you know any other great mango products? Let me know in the comments! Also let me know if you’ve tried any of these and what you think!

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13 products that I finished up in October and what I thought of them!

I’m on a real mission to use stuff up – partly because I don’t want things to go out of date, and also because with December coming up, there’ll be an advent calendar….

Have you tried any of these products? Let me know in the comments, and I’d also be interested to read your empties post if you’ve written one!

Haircare

This Garnier hair mask with Argan oil gives a shine to dry hair. I don’t have really dry hair, but it’s very long, and I like to give it a treat sometimes to make it all soft and shiny, particularly the ends. To be honest, this isn’t my favourite hair mask, but my favourite is about 3 times the price of this one, so I like things like this when I want to swap things out. It smells good to – I can’t bear hair masks that don’t because your hair smells of them for ages afterwards!

I was intrigued by the Main and tale shampoo that some people got in one of the other beauty boxes, so I decided to get myself one of the shampoos.

The picture of a horse on the side would have sold it to 11-year-old Kirsty, whatever the formula was like, but the Kirsty of today is a bit more choosy! The shampoo promises to moisturise and lock in moisture, and it contains vitamins E and botanical protein to strengthen hair. Originally, horse owners started using products from this range, which was originally meant for horses, on themselves. The products became more popular for people, and since then new products have been added to the range. I still prefer my Yes To cucumber shampoo, but I was certainly happy with the Mane ‘n Tail and would buy it again.

I got a sample of the L’Occitane repairing conditioner when I bought my advent calendar. It contains five essential oils – ylang-ylang, sweet orange, lavender, geranium, angelica) and plant-derived amino acids, as well as almond oil and vitamin B5. It was nice enough, but I wasn’t convinced on the scent, and I was a little underwhelmed, particularly when I saw the price. Ok, this is a more expensive brand, but I think there are cheaper products on the market that produce results that are just as good. Still, I didn’t pay for this and I was glad to have the chance to test it out! Generally I’m a big fan of this brand, but realistically you’re not going to love everything that a brand brings out!

Skincare

My Mum gave me a sample of the Kiehls calendula alcohol-free toner that she got with an order. It’s made with whole flowers, so watch out for the petals at the bottom of the bottle! I really enjoyed using this toner. It was soothing to the skin, refreshing, smelled great, and I noticed a positive difference in my skin when using it. This is a more expensive treat, and I’m going to use up some other toners first, but I really enjoyed trying it out!

This Tea tree night lotion from the Body Shop lasted me for ever because it’s for oily skin, which I don’t have! I don’t use it as a night cream, because it wouldn’t give me the moisture that I need, but it’s really good to put a little bit on spots as it takes them down and makes them less angry. If I have a spot, I put a bit of this on there, then moisturise my face with a lotion better suited to my normal to dry skin.

Very random and not something I usually buy, but I got a Sanctuary Spa foot butter mini sample, and I finished it up this month. I should probably take better care of my feet, but it’s not usually something I think of. It was ok as foot butters go, but if I’m buying stuff from Sanctuary, there are other things there that I like more!

I used up my mini Esse sensitive cleanser from Lovelula, but I have to say that mint-scented face care products aren’t for me.

Last year on a whim I bought the Pomegranate firming night cream from the Body Shop. It’s one of the ranges that people don’t seem to talk about as much and I was interested to try it. At first I got it because it made me think of drinking fresh pomegranate juice in Turkey! When it arrived, I realised I’d made a mistake because it’s for mature skin. Well maybe I’m heading that way, but in my mid-30s it’s not the best choice for me. In any event I particularly enjoyed this cream when I was away, especially in hotel rooms that dried out my skin with the aircon and after flights. I didn’t want to waste it, so I decided that I would still get some benefit from it, after all it promised skin that was hydrated, firmed and plumped.

Another product I used up from the Body shop was the almond hand and nail butter. This has a thicker consistency than the hand creams and is good for when your hands are really dry. A little goes a long way, so it lasts longer too. Mine was on my desk for ages!

I also finished up the camomile gentle eye make-up remover from the Body Shop. I love this because it is gentle on the eyes, it’s worked fine on all the make-up I use and it doesn’t sting. I do have another one that I want to use up first, but I would buy this again. Another product that I discovered in the Body Shop advent calendar last year.

I’ve raved about these before, so I won’t go on about them, but I got through a pack of the Glycolic fix cleansing pads . Basically I use these because I don’t like grainy exfoliators, and the glycolic acid acts as an exfoliant instead. The which hazel tones the skin at the same time.

Fragrance

When I got my Charlotte Tilbury lipstick in September, I was also sent a sample of her fragrance, scent of a dream. It’s what you’d expect from CT really – sophisticated and sensual! It is floral, including notes of tuberose, jasmin and violet, but also fruity with lemon, mandarin and peach. I think that’s why I like it – I don’t tend to go for things that are too floral, but the fruity notes offset the flowers in a way that makes them not overpowering.

Now for something a bit less positive! Let’s start by saying I liked the idea of putting a scent set in Lovelula, and including five fragrances increased the chance of people liking some of them. Well it should have anyway! I know a couple of people have said that they liked the Waldon perfumes, but I wasn’t impressed, and I’ve heard a few other people on Youtube saying they weren’t either. I did wear one of them – a little stardust, which contained ylang ylang, iris and jasmin. It was probably the jasmin that drew me to it, and for some reason I thought it smelled nice and festive. There were three that I didn’t particularly like, and one that was just … unpleasant and had to be thrown out straight away! I’m really glad I paid about £3 and not the asking price of £30 for this!

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September empties – lots of mangos

There is a bit of a mango theme going on this month, but that’s to be expected with me.

Most of these are things that I have used up, but there are also a couple of things that I just didn’t like. I’m not a big fan of decluttering, because I think if I bought something, I should use it up, unless it is horrible in some way or really doesn’t suit me. But I did throw out a couple of things this month because I will never use them and they were just taking up space.

Skincare

I thought that all cotton pads were alike, but then I bought some, nice fair trade ones as I thought, but they weren’t well-made at all. They stuck to each other and tore apart in the middle, and they drove me wild! That’s why I was happy to discover the Cottontails oval cotton pads. They are slightly larger than other ones I’ve had because they’re oval, and when you take one out, you don’t get half of the next one along with it! I only get these now.

At the beginning of the month I finished up my Vitamin C glow-boosting moisturiser from the Body Shop. I’ve raved about this before – it’s a lovely, refreshing day cream that wakes your skin up in the morning and smells wonderfully of oranges! It is energising and hydrating, and contains aloe vera and vitamin C rich camu camu from the Amazonian rain forest. It absorbs quickly and my make-up sits well on top of it. I would definitely buy it again if I didn’t have so many other moisturisers to use up!

The other face cream that I finished was from the July Lovelula box. It was the Madara Smart Antioxidants Fine Line Minimising Cream. We got a generous 20ml travel size one, whereas the one behind the link is the full-size 50ml. I was particularly happy about this because firstly I’m a fan of Madara skincare, and secondly, this cream is formulated for dry skin, which is what I have. It’s described as a rich, youth-preserving cream, but I have to admit I also used it as a day cream because it was not so rich that it didn’t absorb quickly. It contains lichen, moss, fern, and archemilla, to give you hydration, reverse the first signs of ageing and smooth out fine lines. I don’t have that many fine lines to worry about, but anything that supressing the formulation of free radicals and repairs skin cells is a good thing. It smells more plant-based, but not in an overpowering or annoying way!

Yes, Miss Mango managed to use up two mango body products this month, although the mango body butter from the Body Shop was only a 50ml mini from a mango gift set. I’ve mentioned before how some of the Body Butters are softer than others, and this is one of the more creamy ones, which makes it glide on easily and spread over the skin. I love anything from this range, and on chilly autumn days, it’s the perfect end to a nice, hot bath!

The second mango product in this section was the chili mango and tonka bean body lotion that I reviewed for the Being by Sanctuary post.

It was probably my favourite scent out of the ones that I tried from that range. The lotion is thinner than the body butter, and the mango scent lasted for ages and ages after use. The chilli made it not quite as sweet as some of the other mango products that you come across.

Bath and shower

This was a lucky find at the back of my drawer. I actually thought I’d already used it – it was a Christmas present – but no! So I got to use it in September. I love the Grumpy Cow range from the Cowshed, and enjoyed using up this Cowshed – grumpy cow uplifting shower gel. I love the refreshing mandarin and grapefruit scent of this range. It’s not the cheapest shower gel you can buy, but I like it for a special treat!

Haircare

Yes, it’s back! I used up another bottle of the Avon Magnificent mango crazy hair tamer (2 bottles) I brush a couple of squirts of this through my hair and as well as smelling of mangos, it helps me to get the tangles out of my long hair. I’m not usually loyal to products because I like to try different things out, but this is the only detangler I use now!

Make-up

One of the things available in the Latest in Beauty edit was a mini version of the Benefit Cosmetics Porefessional primer I do have a full-size one, but I thought this would be nice for going away, and it took up much less space in my make-up bag when we went away for a wedding at the beginning of September. You get a few uses out of it, but it’s all gone now. It leaves your face with a silky smooth base on which to apply your foundation. Again, not the cheapest on the market, and I don’t use it all the time, but I do think it’s worth it!

I have about 5 different eye primers in my collection because I wanted to test some out from different brands. However I got rid of my Wet and Wild only a matter of prime eye primer, because it was just so sticky on my eyelids, which was A. uncomfortable to wear and B. made it harder for me to apply the eyeshadow evenly on top. So it had to go!

Lastly I got rid of my Kiko Velvet Touch Creamy Stick Blush in Hot Pink because it was bright pink and didn’t suit me. I got it in Latest in Beauty because I’d heard conflicting reports about it from “it’s a nice buildable colour” to “it’s Barbie pink!” It was the wrong colour for me and had to go, but if they did anything more subtle I’d be happy to try it because the formula was fine.

How about you?

Have you used any of these products? If so, what did you think?

What did you get through in September?

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

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

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

Haircare

The good, the great, and the somewhat scary!

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

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

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

Bath and body

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

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

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

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

Skincare

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

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

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

Make-up

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

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

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

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September give-away

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

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

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

What you can win

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

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

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

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

What do you have to do to enter?

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

Terms and conditions

  1. The give-away is open until 23:59 on Saturday September 30th 2017 and I’ll draw the winner on Monday 2nd October.
  2. 1 entry per person.
  3. This is a UK only giveaway, so the winner will need to be able to provide an address in the UK for the prize to be sent to..
  4. I will give each person a number and then draw the winner by asking Siri to generate a random number.
  5. I will contact the winner on 2nd October to ask for their address so that I can send the prize. The winner will have 7 days in which to respond. If they haven’t responded after 7 days, I will draw a new winner.
  6. No cash alternatives are available and the winner is responsible for checking product ingredients for any known allergens)