New skincare in October – the Lovelula subscription box

It’s November already, but I like to give things a try before I write about them. That’s why I’m talking about the October Lovelula box today. This is not a sponsored post – I paid for the box myself and wanted to talk about its contents with you in case some of you are interested in trying out a new natural and cruelty-free subscription (I don’t receive a commission if you do!)

So, what was in the box this month?

Balmonds Intensive Facial Oil

This facial oil is my favourite product from the box this month. I hadn’t heard of the brand before, and I’m only really just getting back into facial oils. Apart from the ingredients, the packaging really makes or breaks them for me, because I don’t like the ones that have a big old neck and can make a mess because they come out too fast. No chance of that happening here though because it comes with a pipette, so you can get as much as you need in an easy, controlled way.

The product costs £22 at the time of writing, which is more than I paid for the entire box. It says you can use it as an overnight treatment, which is what I’ve been doing.

It contains rosehip oil, lavender, palmarosa, chamomile essential oils, along with cold-pressed sunflower and calendula oils. It doesn’t have an overpowering lavender scent and leaves my face feeling really soft after use.

Dr Botanicals Cocoa & Coconut Superfood Reviving Hydrating Mask

This was my second favourite this month. I’ve tried a couple of products from Dr Botanicals before, but I hadn’t heard of this wash-off mask before.

You apply it to a clean face, leave for five to ten minutes, then wash off. It contains cocoa butter to moisturise, and coconut oil to rehydrate and protect the skin. I really think my skin is enjoying some of these more gentle products and although I usually tend to go for rehydration masks that you leave on overnight, I enjoyed trying something new and will keep this in my skincare routine.

Seascape Island Apothecary Uplift Body Lotion

Laidbare Pac

I was a bit surprised to see another body lotion because we had one in the September box. I don’t mind, because I get through quite a lot of the stuff, but I can imagine some people not being so happy about another one so soon.

To be honest, I ddid prefer last month’s one because it had a citrus scent, whereas for me, this one is predominantly lavender. I do like lavender, but more in my bath than on my skin afterwards.

It’s a nice body lotion though, and something that I’ll definitely use. It also contains lime and eucalyptus, along with beeswax and shea butter to moisturise the skin. Maybe if the lime could be a little more promenant?

Laidbare Pack Your Bags Eye Cream

Laidbare is a budget-friendly brand, and anyone who’s been reading my blog for a while will have seen me raving about their sunflower hand cream! I hadn’t tried their eye cream before, so I was interested to give it a go. It’s a generous size and aims to target dark circles, as well as provide moisture around the delicate eye area.

To be honest, I have more eye creams than a girl could need, but that isn’t Lovelula’s fault, because they didn’t come from these subscription boxes.

Mossa Glow Cocktail Serum

We also got a sample of the glow cocktail serum, but I think you’d really need to try it out for longer to see whether it really works. It is something that I would consider using though, and contains vitamin C for a brighter complexion. I keep seeing cloudberries coming up in ingredients and really should find out more about them.

Overall thoughts

I think it’s another good box. I’ve discovered two new brands, and tried out some products from three that I was already familiar with.

Most of the products came in cardboard boxes, but I took them out so that you can see the products themselves mor clearly.

I wasn’t feeling the love for the plastic wrapping outside the box for the body lotion, but overall there isn’t a lot of excess plastic in this box.

If we add these products to the ones from the September box, that’s 10 products, and 10 that I will use. I don’t expect this run of good fortune to keep going – it’s natural that one or two things will come up that I’ll need to pass along to someone else, but so far I’ve been really pleased that I can, and want to, use everything. These two months have given us a decent number of full-sized products two – which is great when you consider some of the comparibly priced boxes are mainly sample sizes.

Did you get the Lovelula box in October? What did you think of the products? If not, is it a subscription box that you would consider getting? Let me know in the comments.

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Pip Box in September – cruelty-free subscription box

Today I’d like to introduce you to another beauty box – the Pip Box. It’s a cruelty-free box and 50p from each box sold goes to an animal charity. Also, the box was named after its founder’s dog, Pip.

This was gifted because it was a birthday present from my mum, but it’s not a sponsored post.

The Pip Box comes out towards the end of the month. Mine arrived on the 26th September, but I wanted to try out the products before telling you about them. The September box was called the Glow Edit – it isn’t available to buy now, but you’ll get an idea of the kind of things that you might find in the box. You can buy the box monthly, take out a subscription, which works out cheaper, or gift one or more boxes to someone else, which is what my Mum did.

The sign-up process is accessible with a screenreader.

So what was inside?

Bali balm cinnamon and burnt orange lip balm

I’d never heard of Bali balm before, but this cinnamon and burnt orange lip balm turned out to be my favourite thing in the box! I have more lip balms than I probably need, but this one smells and tastes amazing! The orange scent comes from orange peel, and cinnamon is used because it’s a natural anti-inflammatory and can help with blood circulation, therefore giving you plumper lips. Actually I have quite full lips anyway, but I didn’t know that about cinnamon – that’s good to know! Also, it makes me think of Christmas baking, so now I have an excuse when I make my next batch of Zimtsterne (cinnamon star biscuits) – it’s good for your circulation, right?

Seriously though, the lip gloss has a lovely texture and your lips feel soft for ages afterwards. Great for as the weather gets colder.

Nakin cleansing milk

I’ve heard of Nakin before, but had never tried anything from the brand. This advanced cleansing milk is a gentle cleanser that contains hyaluronic acid, seaweed and plant extracts. It removes make-up and environmental toxins/excess oil, stimulates cell turn-over, promising to leave your skin feeling clear, smooth and radiant. According to the website, it’s also suitable for sensitive skin.

My skin can be sensitive at times, so I was hoping to find some gentle products in these boxes. It isn’t fragranced, does remove make-up, and I didn’t have any problems or reactions after using it. It’s basically a nice, gentle cleanser.

Diamond eye pads from vitamasques

This set of eye pads are infused with diamond extract and caffeine. They promise that you’ll feel as relaxed as you do after a great night’s sleep. The formula also promises to brighten up tired eyes, feel cooling, and eliminate fine lines.

I certainly felt relaxed after using them. I’m not sure one treatment can completely eliminate fine lines, but it’s a nice sensation after a long day and I do think this kind of mask helps you to relax. I’ve had sheet masks from this brand before, but never tried any of their eye products.

This Danish brand is another new one for me. Actually that’s one of the things I like about these boxes – the chance to get to know new brands and try new products. If you’ve been around beauty subscription boxes for a while, you can start to see the same things turning up again and again – but I’ve found that the cruelty-free and more natural boxes tend to offer a bit more variety in this respect.

This refreshing scrub mask promises to help you avoid oily and blemished skin. These are my tormentors at certain times of the month, so I was eager to give this a go!
It is a mask that you leave on for 10-15 minutes and then wash off with lukewarm water. I lasted about 10 because what they describe as a “refreshing feeling” from the menthol is actually quite intense! Not unpleasant, but it would wake you up in the morning. If you do have sensitive skin, it’s worth doing a patch test first to make sure it’s ok for you.
The mask contains both chemical and physical exfoliants – salicylic acid and black jojoba beads. There’s also apricot kernel oil and shea butter to soften the skin, and jojoba oil to moisturise.

Once I’d got used to the sensation, I was ok with it and after a while it did actually feel good. This is a purifying mask, so you may see evidence of impurities in the form of spots after using it, but the point of the deep cleansing is to bring out those impurities and dead skin cells so they won’t block your pores.

This is a new product for me, and one that I enjoyed using. Still, I personally would use this once, rather than once or twice a week.

Mineral eye shadow

I can’t review this because I gave it away. I don’t use loose powder eye shadows because as a blind person, I find liquid or cream ones easier to work with. So I gave this to my mum, who said she liked the colour and it was something that she would wear.

Overall thoughts

I would use four out of five of these products, which is not bad for a beauty box. I don’t expect to keep everything in boxes and the thing that I gave away was one of the lower value items. I liked the range of products, was introduced to some new brands, and think these will come in handy for the cooler winter months. It’s also great to have some more cruelty-free products in my skincare regime.

I have two more of these boxes coming and look forward to seeing what else there is.
Have you had anything from the Pip Box? Let me know in the comments. If you want to find out more about them, you can visit the Pip Box website.

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Lovelula review – 15 products from April, May, and June

My review of the products in the April, May, and June boxes from Lovelula.

Do you know about Lovelula? It’s one of the many beauty subscription boxes, but its emphasis is on natural, cruelty-free products. Until now, it was also more skincare based, but the last couple of boxes have made me wonder if this is going to continue. If it doesn’t, that will be a problem for me, but this post is about what I got in my April to June boxes. I like to write my posts after I’ve had a good chance to test out the products, which is why I’m doing it now!

The picture shows 5 of the 15 products reviewed in this post.

April

The April box was a good one for me. There were two products that I really liked, two that were ok although I probably wouldn’t buy them, and one that I gave away, but only because I didn’t like the scent.

My favourite in this box was the FOM London Antioxidant Hydra Plump & Firm Cream. The cream contains an anti-aging silk complex that promotes collagen production and moisture retention. This is combined with antioxidants (rhidiola and ginseng) and shea butter for thirsty skin. This cream is rich, but not greasy, and it does have a fairly strong scent. We received a generous travel size in the box as the full-size is quite expensive! I need to use up some of my other creams before buying any more, but I would recommend this one!

My other favourite was the Madara Brightening AHA Peel Mask. I’m not a fan of grainy exfoliators and I’m naturally drawn to the ones that use natural fruit acids. This one contains vitamin C from quince fruit, lactic acid and soothing elderflower. It smelled good too! Usually I’m a sheet mask kind of girl, but I happily made an exception for this one and I have come to really like the products from Madara. I wouldn’t have found out about them without Lovelula, so that’s another plus point.

Next came the Greenfrog Botanic Soapberry Handwash in Geranium & Peppermint. This was a travel size. I put it in the bathroom and we used it up, but I think peppermint belongs in tea or icecream – I’m not sure I want to go round smelling like polos! It was nice enough, but I wouldn’t go out and buy it.

We also got a sample of the Marlenha Petal Delicate Eye Serum, which I thought was nice enough, but I think there are more affordable products on the market that are just as good, so I wouldn’t buy the full-size. Still, it was nice to try it!

Some people got a little Apple & Bears Pomegranate & Aloe Vera Body Wash. I would have been really happy with that, but I got the honey and hemp one, which I didn’t like. I gave mine away, but if I’d got one of the other scents (they also do a green tea one and a grapefruit one), I would have liked everything in the box.

So overall I was happy with the April box!

May

This box had three haircare products in it, which may have annoyed some people, but I could use all of them, and there hadn’t been much haircare in previous months.

My favourite product in this box was the Agario London Styling mist. Actually I have two of these because I got one from a friend in a beauty product swap! To be fair, I’ve never used this product on its own – I always put on a couple of squirts of my mango detangling spray, and then spray the mist on top. My friend said it made her hair greasy, but I didn’t find this. It does look a bit wet for a couple of minutes, but it dries out. I don’t need a styling spray, but the product contains lemon zest and oats to give your hair shine and strength. It also contains argan oil to target damaged hair and seal split ends. So I’m happy to add these things that I know are natural and good for my hair.

My next favourite was the PHB gentle moisturiser. We got a full-size jar of this product. To be fair, I liked the other moisturiser more, but this is still a good face cream, and particularly good if you have sensitive skin. Someone like me with dry skin should probably go for the hydrating moisturiser from the same range, though I haven’t tried it yet. Anyway, it’s a nice, lightweight moisturiser that would be fine under make-up and it was an interesting addition to the box.

To be fair, I haven’t actually used the Laidbare cleanser and toner yet. I’m a bit suspicious of two-in-one products, and I don’t usually use cleansers that you wash off, but I will give this a go at some point. Not what I’d usually buy, but part of the fun of these boxes is discovering new things to try.

The last two products were mini hair products and I’ll talk about them together. We had the John Masters lavender and rosemary shampoo and the John Masters citrus and neroli detangler, which apparently can also be used as a conditioner. I’ve heard a lot of good things about the brand, and the products themselves worked fine – but if I’m not keen on the scent of something, I won’t buy it again. Lavender is for going to sleep – it’s fine as a bath soak, but I don’t really want my hair to smell of it. The same goes for neroli, I’m just not fond of the stuff. So while I think these were good products, the scent would prevent me from buying them. Still, I’d be happy to try out other products from the range.

So again, even though I haven’t used one of the products yet, I think this was a good box. Maybe a bit top-heavy on the haircare, but overall I was happy with it.

June

This box was a bit disappointing for me with one product I didn’t like because I don’t think it’s a good product, one I won’t use, and one that I will use at some point but which didn’t excite me very much!

But let’s start with the one product I really liked – the Madara daily defence Ultra-rich balm. I’ve already said that I’m becoming a Madara fan and this product didn’t disappoint. I’m not out in extreme weather conditions as described on the page, but I do have dry skin, and this balm was great at moisturising and softening the dry areas. It was gone way too quickly! Apparently this is because the vitamin-rich Northern cloudberry and sea buckthorn oils soothe, hydrate and restore the skin barrier providing softness.

Next was the one I felt was just ok – the John Masters soap. I’ll put this in the kitchen when my other one runs out.

I’m so glad I didn’t spend £20 on the Bellapierre kiss proof lip crème in antique pink. I did not like this product at all! The formula did not dry down and left my lips feeling sticky for ages. I have a job that involves a lot of talking, and I don’t enjoy feeling my lips sticking together all the time. Some people said that they didn’t experience this, but I saw a few Youtube videos where people had the same problem as me. Not happy with this product!

The last things in the box were a Balm Balm face mask and a Muslin cloth. It’s not Lovelula’s fault that I don’t like grainy face masks. This is an interesting idea, because you add water to the powder to make a paste, but it’s not the kind of product that I would use, so the mask and the cloth are going in my September giveaway.

I don’t mind there being one or two make-up products in the box, but I think there’s a difference between products that are just not your thing, and those that for some reason don’t work as they are supposed to. I was a bit disappointed because I will only use two out of the five products from June.

What do you think>

Do you subscribe to Lovelula? What do you think of the box? Is it something that you would consider? Have you tried any of these products? Let me know in the comments!

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Interview with Heidi from the Body Shop at Home

I ask Heidi questions such as why she’s working for the Body Shop, what her favourite products are, what’s new, and which products are good for staying safe in the sun.

Anyone who has been following my blog for a while will know that I am a fan of the Body Shop. I love the products, particularly because they have some of my favourite ranges, such as the mango and the grapefruit range, but also because they are cruelty-free and natural products.

I’m also a fan of online shopping, which is why I joined Heidi’s Facebook group, where she gives advice, tells us about the products, including new releases, and sells the Body Shop products (payment by Paypal or bank transfer).

This week I’ve interviewed Heidi for the blog – this is what she said!

1. What is your favourite Body Shop product and why?

As you can probably imagine I have quite a few favourite products so that is really hard to narrow down! As many as I come up with I always come back to the Oils of Life Sleeping Cream as I was so surprised by how much it helped my skin! It’s one of those products that you wonder whether it’s worth investing in at first but the benefits outweigh that completely. It lasts a long time, it’s amazing for any skin type, but worked brilliantly for my dry skin patches, it feels and smells luxurious, the packaging feels luxurious. I think that will forever be my favourite!

2. What are some of the myths that people believe about skincare? Or what are a couple of skincare facts that you’ve learned since joining the Body Shop?

When I joined The Body Shop at Home I started to realise that I actually didn’t know that much about skincare at all! I thought people washed their face, put a bit of moisturiser on and that was it. I’ve learned how important it is to cleanse, tone, treat and moisturise your skin.
It’s really important to make sure that before moisturising your skin you are regularly exfoliating both face and body. If you don’t exfoliate then the dead skin cells will just sit there and when you’re putting moisturiser on top, it’s not actually sinking into the cells that need the hydration. It’s really important that you take those off first and your skin will be in much better condition.

3. Do you have any recommendations for people with dry skin?

Skincare I’d recommend the Vitamin E range, this range is also never full price which is an added bonus! It’s good for all skin types but is so hydrating and I find sinks so well into dry skin.
Body care I would recommend the coconut or shea. If you’re after intense hydration for body then the Argan Oil Body Butter will be the best one for you! However it also depends on what scents you prefer. There are body lotion versions of these for those people who prefer that way of applying moisturiser.

4. What made you decide to work for the Body Shop at Home?

I had just started on my maternity leave and originally was looking for a way to make some more money, there wasn’t really a lot of information about The Body Shop at Home that I could find so I decided to meet up with the local consultant (now my upline) and have a chat and see what it was all about. Turned out I really liked the idea of getting paid to pamper people, I liked the fact that it would be my own business, it would get me some independence back and I also love the products so I thought why not? I also now love the fact that I can bring people into this business and help them be able to change their lives too!

5. Have you got any tips or favourite products for staying safe in the sun?

One thing I never knew was the difference between UVA and UVB rays which I think is really important. Skincare that contains SPF will only protect you from UVA rays. These are the ones that damage your skin, causing redness. UVB rays are the ones that age your skin and give you wrinkles and discolouration. Protection from UVB rays is only in products that have a PA rating on them. E.g. PA+++ The plus signs indicate just how much of that protection is in there.
The product I would recommend for staying safe in the sun is the Skin Defence. It’s an amazing all rounder product, contains UVA and UVB protection, it contains red algae which will help brighten your skin and help with any uneven skin tone and its SPF 50! By far my favourite product for staying safe in summer!

6. I know you have a little boy. Do you use any of the Body Shop products on him?

I have done! The Almond Milk & Honey range has been specifically designed for sensitive skin so I have put some of the bath milk into a few of his baths. He comes out smelling gorgeous and I know that it hasn’t got any nasties in it and it’s not going to dry his skin out!

7. Are there any interesting new ranges out at the moment?

The newest body care range is the Almond Milk & Honey which contains so many lovely products for sensitive skin! However, there are so many products coming out for July! New Eye Colour sticks, a new formula of foundation, a balm to help improve the appearance of faded tattoos or to help stretch marks etc, new hair care the list goes on!

8. Fruity or floral? What’s your favourite?

It has to be fruity! Although I surprised myself a little bit as the Elixirs of Nature Eau De Parfum have floral notes but I absolutely adore the smell of the one called ‘Swietenia’ which is the sweetest one out of them all.

9. What’s your favourite Body Shop make-up item?

I absolutely love the Instaglow CC Cream! It can be worn alone or underneath foundation to create a gorgeous healthy glow! I wear it under my foundation and I just love the way it makes my skin look. It also has SPF 20 and PA+++ and if that wasn’t enough it moisturises for 24 hours. Amazing product!

10.Where can we find you online?

You can find me in my Facebook group for personalised advice, cheaper offers and competitions! /

How about you?

What is your favourite product from the Body Shop? I find it really hard to narrow it down to one, but at the moment I am enjoying the vitamin e day cream, the mango whipped body lotion and the pink grapefruit hand cream. I’ve also got the sleeping cream that Heidi mentioned and it’s fab!

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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.

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