April make-up and skincare empties

So it’s time to talk about rubbish – my rubbish and the empty products that I used up in April!

I always tend to have a lot of these, but the fat that I get subscription boxes means that I can test a lot of things out without committing to the full size, so I hope these reviews are helpful. I also enjoy reading posts like this, so if you’ve done a blog post or video about what you used up, feel free to post it in the comments.

Haircare

I used up a 7th Heaven argan oil single use hair mask and a papaya one from the same range. In terms of the products, I liked it, but I’d say that unless you specifically want to try a product out, or you want a single use one because you’re going away, it’s better value to buy a bigger tub and get more uses out of it. I also think this because I have a lot of very thick hair, and I would have probably used a bit more than was in these single use packs. So, if I come across it as a tub, I would buy it again, especially the papaya one because it smelled amazing! However, I want to try out some other hair masks first.

Skincare

I finished up the last 3 masks in my Innisfree set, which were cucumber, acai berry and Bija. I’ve since removed the link from my site though because it appears that they’re not available any more. It can be a bit hit and miss with sheet masks on Amazon and they’re only available while stocks last – but if I came across these again, I would buy them. They worked out at around £1 or £1.50 a mask and there weren’t any in the pack that I didn’t like.

I’ve talked about these before, but I finished up my Nip+Fab exfoliating pads. They contain glycolic and fruit acids and are great for exfoliating when you want to use chemical rather than physical exfoliators. I hate the texture of the other ones, so these are a perfect find for me!

The strawberry range in the Body Shop is not one that I usually go for, but I had one of their strawberry body butters in my drawer and decided to use it up. This is one of the firmer body butters, for those who want something thick and luxurious, rather than the creamier butters. This isn’t my favourite, but it’s a good product, especially if you love the strawberry scent more than some of the citrus ones.

There would be no point doing this blog if I said I loved everything. You wouldn’t believe me. So I’ll be honest and say I’m not a fan of the Body Shop coconut lip butter. I used about 2/3 of it, but every time I picked it up, I thought of all the other lip products that I have that I like more. I don’t think it’s a bad product, I’m just not a fan of the coconut taste on my lips which I found quite strong and overpowering. But if you’re a coconut fan, you’d probably love it. Also, I’d had it a while and the product had begun to separate. This can happen with more natural products because they’re not packed with preservatives, but some of the other lip balms which I’ve had as long did not do that. I finished up the last bit of my raspberry lip balm, > also from the Body Shop, and I liked this much more. I thought the formula was smoother and the taste was better – which does count when you’ve got something on your lips!

I used up another green tea mask from the Masque Bar. This mask is meant to leave your skin looking more radiant. It’s a nice gentle formula and although I wasn’t trying to hide any dark spots with it, it left my skin feeling soft and looking brighter.

I got a Detox Diva mask from Latest in Beauty. These sound great because you’ve got honey to hydrate, Chinese plum strawberry and lemon to exfoliate. Unfortunately though the scent of the geranium oil is quite strong. I much preferred the pre party prep mask from the same company – the main scent here is the orange, which along with the argan oil, rice and super fruit extracts prepares and hydrates your face for a night out.

I didn’t even know that L’Occitane did lip care products, but we got a teeny tiny tube of their lip balm in the advent calendar last year. Like some of their other skincare products, it is made with shea butter for moisturising chapped lips. The product was definitely good – it kept my lips soft and didn’t really taste of anything. I love the fruity ones, but if you want something a bit more subtle, this could be for you. The tester didn’t have an applicator, but the full size might. I don’t know.

I also finished up the shea butter hand cream from L’Occitane that I reviewed in my L’Occitane post last year. This product was a PR sample, but I would buy it again. It’s the thickest out of the hand creams that I have tried from L’Occitane and I used it as a rich night hand cream. It’s not one for on the go when you don’t have much time, but it really sinks in and moisturises your hands while you sleep!

Korres is a Greek brand that one of my friends introduced me to last year. I like their body milks because they are more lightweight than butters, but still feel your skin feeling as though you’ve moisturised it. I was a bit dubious about the body milks at first, but they do work. I’ve just finished up one in vanilla and cinnamon. I’m going to do a full post on Korres soon, so let me know if you have any favourite products from them.

Make-up

My L’Oréal True Match foundation ran out and I already had another one in the drawer. I don’t tend to try out lots of different foundations – I find one I like and that matches my skin tone and stick with it.

I used up another ELF hydrating primer and I’ve already bought another one! I have a number of primers lying around at the moment because there were a couple in the advent calendar, but I keep coming back to this one because I have dry skin and like a primer with a bit of hydration as well. Also it comes in a pump dispenser, so you just need one pump for the whole face as you do with the foundation. This means I always get the right amount and as I also like the formula, this is one that I will keep repurchasing.

In my M&S Advent calendar last year was a Pur primer. It’s nice to see that M&S have got their accessibility glitch sorted out – when I went to get the link, I could actually read the page, rather than one line of text being repeated, presumably because the page kept refreshing. Anyway – I hadn’t heard of this brand before and I enjoyed using the primer. Still, it is quite expensive and I think there are cheaper ones available that do the job just as well! Still, nice for a Christmas treat!

We got a PHB mascara in Lovelula a few months ago. I don’t get the Lovelula box at the moment, but I was quite happy with this mascara as I haven’t found a cruelty-free one that I liked! I’ve found that getting good cruelty-free skincare is fairly easy, but when it comes to make-up, it’s more difficult. I prefer ones that aren’t waterproof, so I probably wouldn’t get this again, but it did add length and volume to my lashes.

I used up a Makeup Forever liquid highlighter – I can’t find this to link it because it was in the Make-up Forever advent calendar and I got it as part of a swap. I definitely prefer this to powder, but I prefer the cream highlighter sticks, so this isn’t something I’d replace.

I can’t find the link for this on Boots either, but I finished up my Makeup Obsession contour cream. There are also powders in this range in a range of shades, but a friend got me the contour cream, which is in a mini palette of its own. Again, as someone who is blind, I do find the cream products easier to work with. This contour cream is empty, but I still have some other sticks, so I won’t replace it straight away.

Bath and shower

I’ve been trying out some different bath products recently – there’s a lush update to come – but I keep going back to Radox bubble baths. My favourite at the moment is still the Feel Ready one with apple and pomegranate.

Fragrance

I can’t find the exact link to the Indian night jasmin spray that I got from the body shop, but this fragrance mist is from the same line. It’s a lovely, refreshing scent and makes me think of hot summers and refreshing jasmin tea! This is something that I would get again for the summer months.

How about you?

So, finally at the end! Have you tried any of these products? 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.

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You can get £10 off your first Feel Unique 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.

New and favourite things in April

I want to make these posts a bit more than favourites, so from now on I’m going to be talking about new things, things that have made life easier/better, as well as the usual favourites.

Bluetooth headset

My old headset was doing well – it was held together with sellotape on both sides, but one day it refused to charge any more and I knew I had to get a new one. I needed something that’s comfortable, because I wear a headset a lot of the time, something with good sound quality, a microphone, and for it to be wireless. The last headset I got was a gaming one – I’m not a gamer, but a lot of the requirements are the same.
Having a wireless one is good because although I usually sit at my desk, it gives me the freedom to pick up my wireless keyboard and work anywhere in the house without having to take my laptop along. This is also good for Dungeons and Dragons night because my stuff is easily portable and the added bonus is that nobody can see what I’m writing because there is no screen involved!

So, I was complaining about needing a new headset and S ordered one as a surprise – from, a site I hadn’t heard of before – scan.co.uk .
This is the one I got and I’m very happy with it.

a plastic storage box”

I don’t have the link for this, but we were in a craft shop looking for something else, when we came across some large, shallow plastic storage containers and I decided one of them would be perfect for my make-up.

It’s not that I have any embarrassing stories. I didn’t colour my eyes in with the bright red lip crayon because it felt like the eye crayons. I’m careful about knowing what everything is and labelling everything, but having set compartments for eye products, lipsticks, blushers, highlighters etc just makes everything quicker to find, and who doesn’t want to make life easier?

Make-up

Around Easter time I had some time off and I did a bit of make-up shopping.

I got the Clinique highlight and contour sticks for Christmas and discovered that they do a blusher too. There’s a range of colours – I got the plumped up peony. These are quite expensive, but they go on smoothly, are easy to blend, and you get a decent amount in the stick. They all feel the same, so I have marked them, but I think they are a good product and there are about 3 other colours if you want to have a choice.

I also tried one from another brand – Isadora, which is slightly cheaper than the Clinique one. I got the English rose blush stick, and these cream blushers make life so easy, particularly for people who can’t see what they’re doing. I’ve tried sticks, tubes and pots of products, but I always come back to the blusher sticks. You just have to remember to blend them properly!

I’ve already complained about the horrible eye shadow in my March empties, but I did get a couple more that were better.

I’d heard about 3ina make-up and I was interested to see that they did a selection of cream shadows too. I would say these are mid-range in terms of the price, but after applying this for the first time, I was told I needed another coat. Adding another coat did make it look better, but then because it’s cream to powder and there were two coats of it, it was a total pain to get it off again! Maybe in future I just need a thicker coat. This is definitely a formula that I can work with – it’s nice and creamy and goes on easily, but it seems the colour pay-off isn’t great and it’s therefore not as good as some of my similar ones that are cheaper. I’ll definitely use it, but probably won’t get any more.

I also got a Revlon Colorstay crème shadow, which was fine. It’s a bit firmer than some of the other creams, a bit like the Maybelline Color tattoo ones. I prefer the application of the 3ina one, but the Revlon one looked better afterwards and didn’t need a second coat.

Going back to the more high-end products, I picked up a Nars lipstick because I’d read good things about the formula and I like a satin finish that doesn’t dry out your lips. You can see the range here.

Skincare

A while ago I talked about the Body Shop® Oils of Life cream because I got a sample of it in the 2016 calendar. Last year I then got the full size because it’s such a lovely cream, especially in the Winter/early Spring when the weather is cold and your skin gets dried out because of being in heated buildings all the time. It’s not the cheapest night cream that they do, but if you feel that you want to give your face that extra bit of nourishment, I can really recommend this.

Haircare

I try to take good care of my hair, and I don’t use straighteners or other heated stylers on it, but it occurred to me that I could protect it by getting a blow drying spray because even in the Summer, I have to dry it to some extent because it’s so long. So I picked up the Percy and Reed perfect blow dry make-over spray. It’s one of those products where you can’t see the benefits, but protecting my hair from heat damage has to be a good thing.

I’ve never tried any haircare products from Molten Brown before, but I got a couple of samples in a beauty box and I really liked them! This is the <a href="https://www.moltonbrown.co.uk/store/bath-body/shampoo-conditioner-sets/purifying-hair-care-set-with-indian-cress/WBB319/#BVRRContainer&quot; purifying set for all hair types with Indian cress. I only had little 30ml testers and the full size is quite pricy, but this stuff is amazing and my hair was so soft and silky afterwards! Here’s where you can get the full size set.

So, have you tried any of these things? What have you been enjoying this month? Let me know in the comments!

More from Unseen Beauty

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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.

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This post also contains some other affiliate links, but I only promote things that I’ve tried and tested.

New and favourite products in March

So we’re well into March now and rather than talking about Springtime, we’re still talking about snow!

That has to be my first favourite for March – the snowy snowflakes! We’ve had two lots of it now. I know I’m lucky because I work from home. Trekking into London during the snow used to be a whole different story, but even then, Cindy and I had some adventures!

We built a snowman and had some wintry walks, crunching through the fresh snow. As someone who can’t see the patches of ice though, this was more fun because I was with S, who was in charge of finding the best path for us. When travelling around in the snow and ice on my own, I tend to be more careful and only do it when absolutely necessary.

On the subject of weather, I have a new app on my phone – the Weather Gods app. It’s a paid app, although not expensive, and if someone takes the trouble to design a useful and accessible app, I don’t expect them to work for free! Basically the ice god tells you about snow and frost, the water god tells you about rain, the fire god tells you about sunshine, and the air god tells you about the wind. You can also set up notifications to alert you about certain things such as rain and snow, and it gives you information about the sunrise and sunset, as well as the weather forecast. The app wasn’t designed for VoiceOver users, but it has won an award for accessibility and I enjoy using it.

New from the Body Shop

I was already a fan of the banana haircare range from the Body Shop, and was excited when the new strawberry line was added. You can get the shampoo and the conditioner in the strawberry scented range, which has been designed to make dull hair glossy and detangled. It contains strawberries from Italy and if you use these products, your hair smells gorgeous for ages!

Overall, I think I’m still on team banana, but these products are definitely something I’d buy to change up my haircare routine. I’m never entirely faithful to one shampoo and conditioner!

Trip to Boots

I make no secret of the fact that I dislike the Boots website in terms of accessibility, both for finding things and checking out. So I don’t spend much money there! However I was out shopping and we popped into boots, so I thought I’d have a look around. As a fan of cream products, I wanted to see what was available .Very little, as it turned out, but I still left with 3 products!

Firstly I have a bit of a lipstick weakness. Rather than getting a bunch of shades from the same brand, I like to have lipsticks from all different brands, so that they feel different to the touch and I can identify them easily. I do mark make-up as well if there are things that feel similar, but having ones from different brands also lets me try out different formulas.

So, I got one from Sleek, and I swear this smells and tastes of chocolate! I also got one from Bourjois .

Our search for cream highlighters, blushes and contour sticks only came up with one, so I got the L’Oréal strobing stick. Good value for money and you get a lot of it! It’s very much about personal preference and what people feel comfortable with, but as a blind make-up wearer, I find creams much easier to work with than powders.

Glossybox

On the subject of cream highlighters, there was a lot of excitement in blogger and vloggerland about the Laura Geller highlighter that appeared in some people’s glossyboxes. I guess some of it was down to the fact that it was a Laura Geller product, but I was still happy to see the love being shown to a cream highlighter – because then hopefully they will become more popular and show up more often in the boxes!

Alas, it wasn’t in mine, so I decided to pop over to Feelunique, which is very accessible, and treat myself to the illuminating stick in Ballerina.

My favourite product from the March box was my first product from Decléor – the Aromessence Neroli Amara Oil Serum. I know, neroli isn’t my favourite thing in the world, but this is a lovely moisturising oil for the evening. This is a travel size, but a little will go a long way. The bottle is rather annoying – it needs a pipette or dispenser top really, so you just need to be careful.

There was also a lipstick in there – from Aryza Beauty, a brand that I hadn’t heard of before. It’s from the velvet ribbon range and claims to have a satin matte finish, though as someone who loves satin lipsticks, I’d say it’s more matte than satin.

Burt’s Bees

I’m on a mission to end this cuticle biting habit that I actually wanted to stop when I started high school. That didn’t work out so well! Anyway, rather than just relying on hand cream, I’ve also got myself the lemon butter cuticle cream from Burt’s Bees. It smells lovely because of the lemon. Wish me luck!

So, what have you been enjoying this month? Let me know in the comments!

Giveaway and discounts

1. If you see this before 9th April 2018, why not also check out my Spring giveaway?
2. You can get £10 off your first Feel Unique order by going onto the site using my affiliate link. This offer is open to new customers only, and the minimum spend is £30.
3. If you want to give Glossybox a go and get 20% off your first box, you can use my code KIRSTY-RGE when you place your first order on the Glossybox site.

Listen to the podcast episode

I’ve also produced a podcast episode about my March favourites. 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:

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.

Skincare products for grapefruit lovers

After my skincare for coffee lovers and skincare for mango lovers went down well, I decided to do a post about my favourite grapefruit-scented skincare products. So here they are! If you like grapefruit scented products, I hope you find some new favourites here! Also, if you have any to add to the list, please let me know in the comments!

Body Shop

We can’t talk about grapefruit products without mentioning the Body Shop’s pink grapefruit line.

I’ve gone through a jumbo size of the Pink grapefruit shower gel because it smells so good! It’s fruity and refreshing and I always say you can’t go wrong with their shower gels!

The grapefruit hand cream is my favourite hand cream from the body shop, and I also use the body mist for when I want a citrus zing. There is also one of the famous body butters in this scent too.

Burt’s Bees

Burt’s Bees do a range of products, but my personal favourites are the lip balms. I really like the Burt’s Bees pink grapefruit lip balm because apart from smelling amazing, it’s gentle on the lips, leaving them soft and hydrated for a long time.

Cowshed

For anyone who doesn’t know this brand, all the Cowshed products have something to do with cows. I’ve only tried one of their handcreams, and that’s the Cowshed Cow Pat hand cream. Once you get past the idea of covering your hands in a cow pat, it is actually really nourishing, leaving your hands wonderfully soft. As well as grapefruit, there is coriander oil in this handcream, which gives it quite a distinctive scent. I quite like it, but if you think coriander only belongs in food, this might not be the one for you!

In terms of the body products, I like the grumpy cow line because that includes grapefruit. The Cowshed – grumpy cow uplifting body lotion is a fairly thick lotion with mandarin and grapefruit. There are other cows in the cowshed, but this is the one for grapefruit lovers – and for those who want to wake up their inner grumpy cow!

Maybelline

You may already have seen the Baby Lips range of lip balms and tinted lip balms from Maybelline. There is a grapefruit one too – the grapefruit zing! To be honest, I like the Burt’s Bees one more, but this is still a good lip balm and you can taste the grapefruit!

Yes To

The Yes To grapefruit range is for pore perfection and skin tone. I usually go for the dry or sensitive skin ones, but I picked up these grapefruit ones because I saw the word grapefruit and didn’t understand that they were for different skin concerns. Still, these wipes are gentle, and although I don’t generally take off make-up with wipes, they are nice enough for freshening up.

Baylis and Harding

Baylis and Harding also do a grapefruit range which is not quite as strong, because it’s mandarin and grapefruit together. I sometimes buy the Baylis and Harding sweet mandarin and grapefruit hand wash or a big pump bottle of the hand cream in the same scent. The hand cream is not ultra rich, but it’s nice to have in the bathroom for after you’ve washed your hands.

For something less sweet, there is also the pink grapefruit and raspberry range. I’ve had the body mist and the bath and shower cream.

Radox

When I was at the supermarket, I picked up this Radox grapefruit shower gel. It’s a more budget-friendly alternative to the Body Shop one I’d say. I don’t think it smells as grapefruity, but in terms of being a shower gel, it does the job well enough!

Avon

I’ve tried a number of hair masks including this Avon hair treatment mask with grapefruit, passion fruit, and vitamins, which is said to give hair shine and radiance. I have very thick, long hair. It’s not damaged, but I like to give it some love in the form of a mask a couple of times a month, because who doesn’t want some extra shine and radiance? And of course, it’s got grapefruit in it, so it must be good.

So how about you? Do you like grapefruit products? Have you tried any of these?Let me know!

Listen to the podcast episode

I’ve also produced a podcast episode about myfavourite grapefruit products. 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:

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.

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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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.

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February favourites – book club, Balea, and the beauty box I won

It’s time to tell you what I’ve been enjoying this month. Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried any of these things, and if you’ve done a blog or video about what you’ve been enjoying this month, feel free to share it in the comments too.

1. I won a Glossybox – yay!

Do you know about Jamie Gourdon’s Youtube channel? If not, go and check her out! She’s really generous and does subscription box giveaways on her channel! I was lucky enough to win the January Glossybox. Inside there was

  1. Apicia cream blush – this was the thing that excited me the most, as anyone who’s been with me for a while knows that I love cream make-up. I hadn’t seen a blush in a tube before. Neither had I used anything from Apicia. It blends in nicely and it contains bee pollen to nourish the skin.
  2. Green tea primer from Iona Cosmetics – I can’t believe I never used to use a primer! I’ve got a little collection going now. This one absorbs quickly. It doesn’t have that silicone feel like the Porefessional, and it’s not watery, like some of the others I’ve tried recently. It creates a smooth canvas for make-up and contains moisturising ingredients such as green tea and avocado oil. I’ll definitely be using it.
  3. A nail and cuticle energiser from Nail Medic – this is an oil that you paint on with a little brush, which I find easier than the similar products where you have a little pipette thing on the end! I get very dry cuticles, which I then bite and make them worse, so I’ve been enjoying using this blend of oils and plant extracts to strengthen my nails and moisturise the skin around them.
  4. Dr Botanicals superfood facial oil – this is fantastic value and is designed to keep your skin protected and hydrated. It’s infused with Moroccan rose oil which contains vitamins A and C.
  5. Beauty beneath supplements by Boots – I haven’t tried these yet as I’m finishing up some others, but they contain vitamins C and E, as well as nutrients that help produce collagen and reduce fine lines. So it’s looking after your skin from the inside.

After this, I decided to sign up for Glossybox to try it out for myself. If you want to give it a go and get 20% off your first box, you can use my code KIRSTY-RGE when you place your first order on the Glossybox site.

2. Summer is coming – pineapple lip care

This tropical pineapple lip balm from Burt’s Bees was selling out really fast when I got mine! It’s from the flavour crystals range and 100%natural. I was already a fan of Burt’s Bees lip products – I love the mango and grapefruit ones. This range comes in pineapple, orange, and raspberry. They are not as glossy as some lip balms, but I find they need to be reapplied less often and although it’s not why we buy them … it tastes amazing!

3. Grapefruit shower foam

Do you remember my swapbox with Sazzy and Joanie? Well they got me some grapefruit shower foam from Balea and it smells good enough to eat! So fresh and fruity! I hadn’t tried this brand before. I don’t think you can get it in the UK, but if anyone outside of the UK can get Balea products, this is a good one!

4. Online book club

I like the idea of a book club, but having looked around online, there’s not much in my area. In any event, I think I like the idea of an online one more – you can meet more people, and it doesn’t have to interfere with your other commitments because you can just chat about the books online. We haven’t had our February discussion yet, but there are different book-related threads in the book which you can join in with. The actual discussion is set up as a Facebook event and you can take part over a 24-hour period. There will be a different book every month. February’s book was “The husband’s secret” – you can find out what I thought about it in the February round-up.

If that sounds like your kind of thing, visit the online book club on Facebook!

5. Did you know that coffee and sesame seeds go well together?

No? Neither did I until I tried the new dessert from Wagamama! I don’t usually have dessert. If I do, it’s the sorbet, but seriously, if you love coffee, the Wagamama Vietnamese coffee icecream is sooo good!

6. Body Shop Drops of Youth eye concentrate

This drops of youth eye concentrate from the Body Shop is really nice because it massages your skin as you apply it. It’s from the Drops of Youth range, which is aimed at the 25! Range and as well as soothing the area around the eye, it helps to prevent the first signs of aging.
It has a little button that releases the eye cream onto the ball, and then you massage it in with the ball at the end of the container. It’s a bit thicker than the Garnier one that I tried before, and I think the Body Shop one is more nourishing. It doesn’t leave a sticky finish, and another thing I like is that you don’t get too much at a time as you can with some tubes.

7. Ren Beauty shot

I got a little one of these in my advent calendar and I really enjoyed using it. You can get the Ren Beauty shot here. It’s a very lightweight serum that absorbs quickly. It says you can apply it over make-up, although I didn’t. I put it under my moisturiser as you would with any other serum and I loved the way it made my skin so soft. It firms and lifts the skin and claims to give short- and long-term hydration. An expensive treat because it’s Ren, but a lovely product that I enjoyed pampering myself with!

8. New primer

I know I’ve already talked about a primer, but I heard on the Full Coverage podcast (check it out if you love all things beauty and skincare!) that the Maybelline pore eraser primer is just like the Benefit Porefessional, but at about a quarter of the price! So I decided to get some and was not disappointed. I do like the Benefit one, but it is expensive. So if you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, I’d recommend this pore eraser one at around a quarter of the price.

How about you? What have you been trying out this month?

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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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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 deals or discounts that I think my readers might like.

This post contains some affiliate links, but I only promote things that I’ve tried and tested.