Blogmas – I stroked a reindeer

It’s the first day of Blogmas!

Today I’d like to share with you a wonderful experience that I had a couple of weeks ago, on a day about as grim as today weatherwise!

S had seen an advert for the Berkshire Christmas Fair, so we decided to go along and maybe start some Christmas shopping.

Fortunately they had some big tents up, because it rained quite heavily. Snow would have been better to make it feel Christmassy, but we managed to stay dry.

My favourite part was my encounter with a reindeer. I think they were there for the children, but you know, adults love reindeer too, and I think for me it was extra special because I’ve only ever been able to touch models of them. When you do that and have never seen a real one, you don’t really get an idea of their size or proportions. So when I stroked that soft muzzle as he munched away on his carrot, it literally brought reindeer to life for me. He was perfectly happy to stand there and be stroked, though to be honest he was more interested in the carrot than his admirers!

There were two reindeer there so that one could have a rest and the experience wasn’t too intense for them. They could also go back away from the people if they wanted to.

I can’t tell you all that I bought because some of it was Christmas presents for people who will be reading this! In terms of things that we got for ourselves, I found a little pewter owl to sit in my office, and we stocked up on fudge (coffee fudge is amazing!), shortbread (white chocolate an lemon shortbread is amazing!) and I munched my way through a selection of sample cheeses before deciding on three favourites to buy.

I found that some home fragrance gives me a headache, but recently I’ve discovered that reed diffusers can work for me as long as they’re not too floral. I got a sweet nectarine and vanilla one from Nostara candles – they have arrange of candles and diffusers on their website including others like linen and gardenia, and bergamotte and black tea.

We also got some cider from Norcotts Cider who are based in Devon and only use locally sourced ingredients. Who knew that pink grapefruit cider was a thing? I didn’t – but took some away with me, along with pear and raspberry.

In the end, we had bags of shopping and tried to make a dash back to the car – as far as you can dash with one person on a crutch and trying extra hard not to go flat on their face in the mud!

This was followed by dinner and an afternoon in Reading, so all in all a fun day!

The Berkshire Christmas Fair was only on for one weekend, but there are other events planned for Cambridge, Staffordshire, and Essex – you can check out the full list here.

Advent calendar unboxing

Throughout Blogmas I’ll be unboxing my two advent calendars from Glossybox and the Body Shop and giving a brief product review.

Body Shop – a 60ml shower gel in the new vanilla marshmallow range. This is one of the Christmas scents (2 out of the 3 are included in the calendar with the fox and fortunately for me, they are the two I like most!) It’s similar to the vanilla pumpkin range, but obviously with marshmallow instead of pumpkin. I’ve already been using a body lotion in this scent, and it’s good to start getting you in the Christmas spirit!

Glossybox – a deluxe sample of a Nars velvet lip glide. This was not my first Nars lip product, but it is my first liquid lip from them. If I’m shopping myself, I still tend to reach for the traditional bullets, but this liquid lipstick doesn’t seem to be one that will really dry out your lips, so I’m happy with that.

21 bath and skincare empties for November

November isn’t over yet, but I wanted to get my empties done before Blogmas starts – and also I have quite a lot of them this month – again mainly down to using up some minis and samples. Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products, and if so, what you thought of them.

1. Sand and Sky clay mask

I was a bit dubious about this because I thought it might have a horrible texture. But I got it in my Urban Jungle box from QVC and I thought I’d give it a go, and was pleasantly surprised. It does dry like a fine clay texture, but it isn’t grainy and came off easily. I still prefer a nice hydrating sheet mask, but the clay did draw out impurities and left my skin feeling better afterwards. I struggled to find this online, but did find one option for the pore refining mask that also gives you a free mask brush.

2. Gorgeous cow body lotion

This Gorgeous Cow body lotion was part of a set that I got for my birthday, which also included the Gorgeous cow shower gel. With Bulgarian rose and French lavender, this is more of an evening scent for me to help relax after an evening pamper session in the bath. The Cowshed has a great range of products and they have cool names – mainly to do with cows, bulls for men, and baby cows for the baby range.
They won’t be for you if you don’t like strong scents, but the scents for each range are very herbal and make me think of nature.

3. Plantscription anti-aging serum

I got this mini of the plantscription serum with bamboo extract from Origins as one of my Latest in Beauty choices. It didn’t push any of my favourite serums off the top of the list, but I enjoyed using it. I chose it because I loved the Origins moisturiser so much. I didn’t enjoy the serum quite as much as the moisturiser, but I would like to try more from this brand and I’m happy that boxes like Latest in Beauty let me do that.

4. Korres shampoo

I wanted to try more of the Korres haircare range, and was very impressed with this almond and linseed shampoo. I got it from Feelunique, where I get a lot of my haircare products. This wasn’t on offer, but there are often really good deals on the site, so it’s worth keeping an eye out to see if any of the products that you buy regularly are on sale.
I see this as a mid-range shampoo – definitely not the cheapest, but not the most expensive either. When your hairdresser remarks on how good your hair looks, you know you’re getting something right!

5. Sugared Violet hand cream

This was another of my (full-size) Latest in Beauty picks. I talked about the cranberry one in my October empties, and got through this sugared violet one in November. I like the formula of all of these hand creams from Patisserie de Bain because they’re rich and nourishing. I’m not so keen on this one because it’s very sweet, but then it is true to the violet scent, so if you like that, or those sweets you used to have as a child, you’ll like this!

6. Chloe perfume sample

I got this Chloe sample as a free sample and quite liked it, although it is very strong, so you don’t need much. I don’t usually go for rose-based perfumes, but having seen the scent description, maybe my nose sniffed out the lychees!

7. Yes to blueberry serum

I wanted to try a serum from the Yes To range, and ended up picking up this blueberry one. It has the strangest consistency – it’s kind of slidy! Not oily, but shiny on your face and then it dries down. It’s not what I expected, but I do prefer it to a more watery serum and I had no problems applying other products on top of it. It is intended to moisturise, reduce fine lines and it’s one that I would pick up again. At the time of writing it has 34% off on Feelunique.

8. Radox watermelon bath bomb

Nice bath bomb, super annoying packaging! I got the watermelon bath bomb in a little Christmas set with a shower gel. It’s wrapped so tightly in cellophane that I ended up with bath bomb down my nails before I got the thing out, but the product itself smelled fun and fruity! I can’t see it as a single product online though so haven’t added a link.

9. Multivitamin mask from Vitamasques

This multi-vitamin mask with vitamins B3, B5, B6, C, and E was something I won from the lovely Sussex Sandra’s channel. Don’t be surprised by the small packaging – it reduces waste and this mask is full of serum and leaves your face feeling fresh and hydrated. There are details on the Vitamasques site about what each ingredient is good for and how it helps the skin. Maybe this interests me more as a blind person who can’t read all the small print herself, but I think it’s a nice touch when a company puts this information up online too.

10. Skimono total conditioning plus mask

I got this from Sandra too and at first thought it was a face mask – but it’s a foot mask. I’m rubbish at looking after my feet or buying products to take care of them, so this mask was a nice pamper treat as I chilled out on the sofa. And, unlike other foot masks that I’ve tried, it wasn’t huge on me. I know they have to fit all sizes, but some masks are enormous and I’m glad this one wasn’t!

11. No old bags aloud eye cream

I don’t like the name of this product. I know it’s supposed to be funny, but words have power and this comes across as ageist to me. Apart from that, I didn’t feel the product did much anyway and was quite thin and watery. I used it up and it was just a little cream from Pink Parcel, but I don’t want to promote it because of the name.

12. Beauticology pink grapefruit and raspberry bath cream

This Beauticology bath cream was enormous and great value because it kept me going for ages. It’s not as strong a grapefruit scent as some of the other grapefruit products that I like – in fact I’d say the raspberry is stronger, but it’s a decent shower gel and a generous size. The pump nozzle could be longer to make it easier when getting the product out, but I’ve seen other 750 ml dispensers with the same issue.

13. Korres Guava body butter

I think I mentioned before that you can get Korres products in Ocado, which makes me happy because I can just pick them up along with my groceries. The guava body butter is in a tube, and like a thick cream, so not like a block that you get in some tub butters. I find this makes it easier to spread. It’s rich and creamy, and leaves you smelling fruity all day.

14. Living Proof hair mask

This mask is something that I got in my Glossybox. It’s marketed as something that will help you extend the time between washes, but I was just interested in the nourishing properties and the way that my hair was all silky and shiny afterwards. I hadn’t heard of this brand before, and although I sometimes get things that I wouldn’t use in subscription boxes, the opportunity to try new brands and products makes it worth it for me.

15. Laura Mercier pink pop lip gloss

I finally finished up a lip product! To be honest I’m more of a lipstick than a lip gloss kind of girl, but this one wasn’t sticky and it was nice enough.

16. Chloe nomade sample

I may have liked this Chloe Nomade sample more if I hadn’t already had a mini of the original Chloe perfume. This was ok, but too musky for my liking. I’m glad we got it as an extra treat in Glossybox, but it’s not something that I would go out and buy.

17. Jasmin body lotion

I don’t tend to go for floral scents, but I’d had things from the Indian night jasmin range before at the Body Shop® so I knew I liked it. That’s why I picked up the jasmin body lotion. It’s not as thick as the body butters, so if you’re in a hurry and need something that smells fresh and will absorb quickly, this is a good choice.

18. Korres hand cream

I use a lot of handcream in the winter! After I was so impressed with the skincare and haircare, I decided to try out the Korres handcream too. I’ve actually got two. This almond one is good if you want something that doesn’t smell too strong. It’s a generous tube (75ml) and does a good job. A little goes a long way though, so don’t use too much!

19. Ceterfil moisturising cream

This was hanging about in my face product drawer for a while because I find it hard to get excited about scent-free moisturisers. It was just a little sample that I got in Latest in Beauty, but it was actually a really nice moisturiser. Moisturising without being oily. Played nicely when layered with other products. I wouldn’t necessarily get it again because there are others that I like more, but I was pleasantly surprised, and if having a gentle and scent-free moisturiser is important to you, I would recommend this one from Ceterfil.

20. What’s in it for me body cleanser

I couldn’t find a link for this, but it’s the first thing that I’ve tried from this brand and it’s got grapefruit in it! So what’s not to like? I was happy that Pink Parcel included it!

21. Antipodes worship serum

I wanted to like this serum. It’s got anti-oxidant rich fruits like blackberry and kiwi in it. It’s good for you! I find some of the products from this brand have odd names, but after having a good experience with one of their lipsticks, I was keen to try some other products from the brand. However, I won’t be finishing this very watery serum. I’m not sure what good it was doing to my skin. It smelled fruity, which is a bonus, but it was so runny and a bit sticky. I didn’t find it easy to work with or that it made my skin feel any better. I can read what the ingredients are meant to do, but it’s so runny, I know all my other serums will always be ahead of the queue and I won’t reach for it. Still, best to find that out with a sample size from my Urban Jungle box than a massive 30ml bottle, which for a serum will last ages!

Discounts and offers

And finally if you’ve made it this far – just a reminder that I have some affiliate discount codes for you:
Feelunique – 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.
Glossybox – you can get 20% off your first box by using my code KIRSTY-RGE when you place your first order on the Glossybox site.
Ocado – if you would like me to send you an invitation to Ocado, just fill out your details using the form below. You will receive a £20 voucher for your first shop, and a free smart pass, which gives you free deliveries for one year (minimum spend applies).

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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12 things I finished and one that I gave away in October

It’s that time of the month again! Time to tell you which products I’ve used up. Let me know if you’ve tried or if you like any of these! A few of the products are in the header image, but as I’m blind, people come to my blog for the writing. The links take you to pages where you can see images and get further information about each product. 

All of the products were bought with my own money, apart from the two free perfume samples. 

There was a lot of good stuff this month, but a couple of misses too. I like to keep things honest! 

Sleeping cream

This sleeping cream from the Body Shop® is something that I’ve mentioned before. It’s part of the Oils of Life range and contains three seed oils from around the world. It’s a thick, nourishing cream, but not greasy, and does really make your skin feel “velvety soft” in the morning. To be honest, I haven’t come across a moisturiser from the Body Shop® that I haven’t enjoyed, but this one is particularly good for the cold winter months, when the central heating and cold weather outside both contribute to drying out our skin.

Chocolate orange bubble bath

‘Tis the season for long baths and pamper evenings! Well actually I like these all year round, but I can lose hours lying in the bubbles and forgetting my day or all the things I need to do. It’s that one thing that makes me stop to unwind.

I swap out my bubble baths a lot, but I fancied going back to my old favourite chocolate orange one. It produces a decent covering of bubbles and makes the whole place smell like Terry’s chocolate orange! What’s not to love?

Coco Mademoiselle

My Nan used to wear Chanel perfume – although not this one. I discovered Coco Mademoiselle because S’ Dad brought me a bunch of samples from Boots to review on the blog!

I liked this one straight away, and when I looked it up, I wasn’t surprised – the top notes are fresh and vibrant orange. It’s floral too, because there is jasmin an rose in it, but it’s not the kind of overly floral scent that I don’t like – probably because of the orange! I have a number of perfumes open, so won’t go straight  out to buy it, but this is something I enjoyed wearing and would get again.

Cranberries and cream hand cream

I got this cranberry hand cream as one of my Latest in Beauty choices, but you can get it in Superdrug as well. I think this scent, or anything to do with cranberries really, is a festive thing to have around this time of year. I like the Patisserie de Bain formula – it feels a bit sticky for about 30 seconds while it’s sinking in, but it doesn’t leave you with a greasy residue, and it is long-lasting. A lot of these scents are quite sweet, so if that’s not your thing, you may not like it, but I’d take these over flowery ones any day! My favourites are still cherry and lemon, but I like this cranberry one and the strawberry one too.

Banana hand cream

I was excited to see that Ocado now sells products from brands like Yes To, Burt’s Bees, and Korres. I recommend all of these brands and like to try new things. Unfortunately the Banana hand cream from Burt’s Bees wasn’t for me. I don’t think it’s a bad product – but it’s more of a solid product, like a balm, and I found it to be quite greasy. I just didn’t like the texture much. But if you are looking for a heavy-duty balm, you might like it. I rehomed it, so it isn’t really an empty, but I thought I’d include it anyway!

Weleda pomegranate firming serum

I’d tried some body lotions from Weleda, which I first discovered through the Lovelula natural beauty boxes. I then decided to try out their pomegranate face serum. It’s not a cheap serum, but you can often expect to pay more fore serums because you really don’t need a lot. This is a product marketed at people over 40, which I didn’t see at the time, but a couple more years and I’ll be there – so no harm done! It contains pomegranate juice, which firms the skin, thus reducing wrinkles. There is also a day and a night cream in the range, though I haven’t tried them yet.

This was a really nice texture to work with – not watery, not greasy, and not annoying when you come to put other products on top. It has a refreshing pomegranate scent too and I’d definitely get it again.

I got mine on Ocado when it was on offer. At the moment it isn’t on offer, and at the time of writing there was a better price on Amazon.

Wild rose sleeping facial cream

I got my Korres wild rose sleeping facial cream in my M&S advent calendar last year. I’m not sure if it’s been discontinued, because it’s out of stock on a couple of sites that I tried, but I tracked it down in M&S.

The cream is rose-scented – not a surprise when you think about the name!

Apart from liking the products that I’ve tried so far, I like the idea behind Korres skincare – using natural active ingredients in the products – so the things that nature has already given us. The cream is basically a night cream that you apply at the end of your night time skincare routine. It is boosted with wild rose oil, vitamin C, and hyaluronic acid – and yay, it’s in a tube to reduce exposure to the air (I don’t like to see vitamin C products in jars!)

Rose toner

Staying on the rose theme, I also got through this refining toner from Weleda. To be honest, I didn’t like this as much as the serum. Despite containing lemon and witch hazel as well, the rose scent was very strong, and the consistency was quite thin. It’s called a refreshing tonic and I guess that’s right – not really like the toners that I’m used to. Probably wouldn’t get this again.

Body Shop® mango bath bomb and pink grapefruit bath bubble

Mango is one of my favourite ranges at the Body Shop, so I was intrigued by the little mango bath bombs. They smell great, make your bathwater turn orange, and are also quite a good deal. However they are also tiny, when you compare them to other bath bombs, and I’d be tempted to drop a couple in, which then doesn’t make them such a good deal. Hmm, I’d take the shower gel instead!

The same goes for the pink grapefruit bath bubble, with the difference that your water becomes pink and smells of grapefruit. It’s more like another bath bomb than a bubble bar though.

Balance me micellar water

People seemed to be complaining about this mini micellar water showing up in beauty boxes. I think I got mine in Pink Parcel. I don’t have a lot to say about it really – it was a nice micellar water that did the job it was meant for. And I’d rather get a staple product of something that I’ll use than something that I don’t want!

Wild garden pure and fabulous lotion

Unfortunately I can’t find a UK link for this, but it’s a body lotion that I got in my Glossybox. It seems a lot of other people got body sprays, but I got this generous size of a body lotion which was fairly lightweight and smelled really nice and refreshing.

Coach

I decided to pick up a perfume sample in my Latest in Beauty, so I got a sample of Coach. I knew it reminded me of something, and when I looked it up, it was the raspberry body spray that I have. So if you like raspberries, you’ll probably like this too. My sample was from LIB, but you can also get it in Superdrug.

Alaía perfume

It just shows how personal a thing scents are! I heard Sussex Sandra and Lady Mawa saying on YouTube how much they liked this scent. I really didn’t! It just didn’t smell good on me! It came as a free sample in LIB, and I’m always happy to try samples, but this really wasn’t for me. If you want to check it out though, it’s available on FeelUnique, but even there the description is a bit odd, so I can’t really tell you what’s in it!

Discounts and offers

And finally if you’ve made it this far – just a reminder that I have some affiliate discount codes for you:

Feelunique – 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.

Glossybox – you can get 20% off your first box by using my code KIRSTY-RGE when you place your first order on the Glossybox site.

Ocado – if you would like me to send you an invitation to Ocado, just fill out your details using the form below. You will receive a £20 voucher for your first shop, and a free smart pass, which gives you free deliveries for one year (minimum spend applies).

More from Unseen Beauty

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

 

 

 

 

21 bath and skincare empties from September

These posts don’t need any introduction now – here are some of the things that I finished in September and what I thought of them. Have you tried any of these? Let me know in the comments!

1. Banana hair mask

I’ve talked about this before, so I won’t ramble on, but this banana hair mask from the Body Shop is one of my favourite masks. It leaves your hair lovely and soft, and I know it’s hard to sell the idea of hair that smells like bananas, but trust me, it’s good!

2. Dragon’s blood serum

I’ve mentioned this before too, but it was last November, so here it is again! This serum from Nip+Fab is one of the most versatile serums I’ve found. It’s fine for daytime and absorbs quickly, so you can apply moisturiser and make-up over it without worrying about it all balling up and peeling off. It smells – kind of manly in a way – but I don’t hate it, and it promises to moisturise skin, plumping and smoothing expression lines. I’m totally down with calling them expression lines, not frown lines or wrinkles. I have some other serums, but this is a good daytime one.

3. bubble mask

I’d seen a lot about bubble masks, but hadn’t tried one until I got one in my Glossybox. I can’t see demonstrations, so I was imagining bigger bubbles. In reality it’s a bit like a foaming micellar water, not like the bubbles you get in your bath. The idea is that it’s a cleansing and detoxifying mask, so you don’t leave it on as long as moisturising ones. As it foams up, it is a bit more messy than other types, so I did mine in the bath! It talks about micromassage from the bubbles, which I didn’t really notice, but my skin did feel better afterwards and maybe it’s one to keep at hand for those wonderful times of the month when the hormonal breakouts come. You can get the BeautyPro detoxifying mask from FeelUnique.

4. scalp treatment

I got this grow gorgeous scalp detox from Glossybox (the link goes to Lookfantastic as Glossybox don’t sell directly). The first time I did a scalp treatment, I thought I was having an allergic reaction to it because of the tingling sensation! I was wiser this time, but I am not a fan of the gritty bits! Aaagh! I have very thick, long hair, and all in all this was just a pain to get anywhere near my scalp and equally annoying to wash out!

5. grapefruit shower gel

One of my all-time Body Shop favourites! I can’t remember why I picked up the pink grapefruit shower gel. I think it was a “buy 2, get 1 free” offer, so I just wanted to stock up on something I would enjoy! Body Shop shower gels are great anyway, and this is one of my favourite scents.

6. Elizabeth Arden 8-hour cream

I hadn’t tried any skincare from Elizabeth Arden before. I’ve tried fragrance, which I liked, so I thought the skincare would smell great too. But I was really glad only to have a little sample of this 8-hour cream that I got as one of my Latest in Beauty products. It was indeed really good at moisturising – my face felt wonderfully soft the next day – but it smelled like something I’d got out of the first aid kit! Almost like an antiseptic. Maybe there was something wrong with my sample, but I’m really glad I didn’t invest in a full-size! That’s one of the great things about a build-your-own beauty box. I did use it up, because it was only tiny, but I’ll be steering clear of it from now on!

7. Cranberry hand cream

I’m a fan of the Patisserie de Bain hand creams, and there have been quite a few of them on Latest in Beauty recently. This was the cranberry one (from Superdrug). These creams feel a bit sticky at first, but they dry right down, leaving your hands feeling great and moisturised for ages. This cranberry one makes me think of Christmas! They are all quite sweet scents, but you’ve got the fruity scent as well, so I don’t find the sweetness overpowering. This is a good handcream for a decent price, and I would definitely buy more of them. My favourites are the cherry and lemon ones, but I would get the cranberry one again too.

8. Green tea primer

I seem to be fussy when it comes to primers! I will try new ones, but I’m hard to please. I ended up with a couple of these green tea primers from Evelyn Iona cosmetics. I think at least two subscription boxes included them (Glossybox and Pink Parcel I believe). I had about half left in this one when I gave up on it. It didn’t play well with some of my other skincare products, and I didn’t find it as moisturising as some of the other moisturising primers that I use, one of which is much cheaper! I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad product, but it wasn’t one for me!

9. Body Shop vitamin E day cream

I know I’ve talked about this before. This was another 3 for 2 when I only had 2, so I picked up a small pot of the Vitamin E day cream. It’s just a good all-rounder! It’s gentle on the skin, leaves your face feeling soft, isn’t greasy, and although I try out lots of different creams, I often come back to the vitamin E range.

10. Korres toner

I picked up this Pomegranate toner from Korres, because I wanted to try out some of their face care. It doesn’t smell much like pomegranate, but I found it to be a decent toner, and even better, you can just pick it up at the supermarket. I got mine from Ocado. It contains pomegranate extract, rich in antioxidants, along with witch hazel and salicylic acid. I’m looking forward to trying out more from the Korres skincare range because so far I’ve mainly used bath and haircare products from them.

11. soaper duper vanilla shower gel

I only had a mini of this body wash that I picked up in Latest in Beauty, but these shower gels smell great, and they’re thick and creamy, with shea butter to moisturise even when you’re still in the bath or shower. It smells of vanilla and somehow that’s just right now that Autumn is here!

12. Grapefruit bubble bath

This is another Ocado find – and ridiculously good value! At the time of writing, it’s just 99p for 750 ml of grapefruity bath bubbling goodness! So I’ve got through another one! I do switch out my bubble baths, but you can’t go wrong with this grapefruit one.

13. Origins moisturiser

I was sad to see the end of this Origins moisturiser that I thought smelled like oranges! I discovered it in the M&S beauty box, but you can also get it in Boots. It’s lightweight and contains ginseng and coffee bean extract (no wonder I like it) to give you a healthy-looking, vibrant glow.

14. Throat cream

I got a small pot of this throat and décolletage cream from Prai in a beauty sample box. It’s nice enough I guess, but the throat doesn’t need specific ingredients that the rest of your face don’t need. Yes, people should moisturise their throat and neck, but having a separate product for it is a bit of a marketing gimmick. So yeah, I’ll use up products like this, but I wouldn’t go out and buy them because my normal moisturiser will do fine!

15. modern muse nuit – Estee Lauder

We even have S’s dad looking for products to be tried out on Unseen Beauty now! He had a voucher in a magazine to get some samples, and he got me a sample of this Modern Muse Nuit, which you can get from Boots among other places. It’s marketed as “exploring the deeper, nocturnal, more addictive side of a Modern Muse. Blends of sophisticated floral with creamy woods for an extraordinary scent that is lushly vibrant yet luxuriously warm.” I think the reason I like it is the jasmin, which is paired with musk and amber.

16. almond milk and honey yoghurt

I just had to buy another one. I surprise myself how much I like the almond milk and honey collection, because it’s not strongly-scented, like some of my other fruity favourites, but it’s just so fresh and gentle on the skin, which I appreciate if my allergies are annoying me or if I just want something a bit more subtle. I love this almond milk and honey body yoghurt – like a body butter, but lighter and faster to absorb.

17. Woman – Ralph Lauren

Another sample from S’s dad – this time Woman from Ralph Lauren – also available at Boots. It’s described as fruity, floral and woody, mixing three very different types of scent together, but somehow it works. I think I’m drawn to the blackcurrant, but it also has tuberose in it. I’ve always thought I don’t like floral scents, but I do, as long as they are not overpoweringly so. Add some fruitiness and I’m a happy girl!

18. Breathless color tattoo

Kirsty finally finished a make-up product! It takes me longer than skincare! Actually this wasn’t finished, but it was beginning to dry up and had probably been around long enough anyway. These Maybelline color tattoo pots are good cream shadows, and they don’t dry out as quickly as some.AT the moment I’m feeling the love for the eye shadow sticks more, but I do still have some of these little pots.

19. Elf hydrating primer

After complaining about the green tea one, this hydrating primer from ELF is one that I like to use. It’s quite thick, and if you don’t like that, you won’t like this product, but I like it because it moisturises and creates a good base. I’m not a fan of watery primers. This wouldn’t be good for someone with oily skin, but then you wouldn’t be looking for a hydrating primer would you? It doesn’t feel greasy though, and doesn’t react badly with any of my other skincare products.

20. Bath fizzer – lemon and green tea

Yes, Ocado does bath fizzers too! This one with lemon oils and pineapple extract smells good enough to drink. But don’t – let it fizz and whizz around your bath instead! It was a birthday gift, but I will be checking out more of the range myself.

21. alpha gold rose

This is something that I got in my advent calendar last year and have only just finished up as I had another exfoliating toner on the go. I love the concept, but if I were buying it again, would probably just go for the normal one, and not the one with rose. Still, I enjoyed using this Alpha gold rose, which promises to “gently resurface skin and improve skin texture and appearance”. Basically an exfoliating toner for those who don’t like physical exfoliants – which I don’t! I still have another similar product to use up, but would get this again!
Wow – that was a lot of products. A lot of them were sample sizes, but that’s a good way to try new things. Let me know if you’ve tried any of them!

Discounts and offers

And finally if you’ve made it this far – just a reminder that I have some affiliate discount codes for you:
Feelunique – 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.
Glossybox – you can get 20% off your first box by using my code KIRSTY-RGE when you place your first order on the Glossybox site.
Ocado – if you would like me to send you an invitation to Ocado, just fill out your details using the form below. You will receive a £20 voucher for your first shop, and a free smart pass, which gives you free deliveries for one year (minimum spend applies).

More from Unseen Beauty

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

14 empty products from June

Before I go into my June 2018 empties, I thought it would be interesting to look back at my June 2017 empties. Of the 18 products I mentioned, 4 of them are still things that I have bought again and am using a year later. The mascara, the foundation, the crazy hair tamer, and the micellar water from Madara are things that I still use. I love to try new things and find new favourites!

So, here are the 14 products that I got through in June this year. Let me know if you’ve tried out any of these products.

Bath and shower

Hot weather and a lot of bath and shower products got finished up – partly due to minis and partly because several things were open and all got finished up.
Lemon bonbon shower gel – this is good for anyone who likes a fresh and citrus scent. It’s lemon bon bon, so a bit sweeter than just lemon on its own, and I like it because there seems to be a trend at the moment to put neroli with lemon things – and I don’t like that! So yes, it’s a good shower gel – not sure why it’s called a crème – and it’s got a zingy lemon scent. I’d get it again.

Original Source mango shower gel – I picked this up purely because it had the word “mango” on it and I love all the mango things. This is a budget-friendly shower gel, slightly thinner and less creamy than the lemon one, but it did the job and smelled deliciously of mangos. I like to swap out my shower gels and rarely use the same one twice in a row, but I would go back to this one, or see what else there is in the range.

Sud the lot of you shower gel – this was a mini sample from Pink Parcel. I love the names that Anatomicals comes up with – they’re quirky and fun, and there are some cool ingredients. I would need to get a bigger one really to say what I thought of it, but it’s got mango and papaya, which are two of my favourite scents, and as a general rule I do like these shower gels. I went on about their coffee one for ages last year. To be honest, I still prefer the coffee one, but the mango and papaya one was good too. It depends what you like!

Amie face wash – I got this as part of a skincare duo in Latest in Beauty. It was nice enough, but I won’t be dashing out to get it again!

Korres bellflower, tangerine, and pink pepper shower gel – I love Korres products. These shower gels contain wheat proteins, which form a protective film on the skin to keep it hydrated. It doesn’t feel sticky or uncomfortable though – I wouldn’t have known that if I hadn’t read the information on the website. It contains bellflower, from Mount Olympus, tangerine, apparently offered as a new year gift and a symbol of prosperity, and sweet pepper. It does smell floral, but the tangerine is there too, so the floral scent is not overpowering if that’s not your thing!

Atlantic Kelp body wash – from my M&S summer beauty box, which is now sold out. This body wash contains Ren’s blend of oils to awaken and revive skin, along with Atlantic kelp extract and energising magnesium. Not what I would usually buy, but good to try out the sample.

Haircare

Maria Nila shampoo and conditioner – this was a set that we got in Glossybox and I was pleased to see decent sized samples. I have very long hair, and a lot of it, and sometimes the tiny samples you get in beauty boxes aren’t really enough even for one wash. Anyway, this was a travel size, so I could put it through its paces. It did leave my hair feeling soft after use, but I like haircare products with a bit more scent to them, so this isn’t something I’d buy again.

Novex hair mask – from the Glossybox French Riviera box. This brand is actually Brazilian, so I’m not sure about the French Riviera connection – maybe it’s that you need to look after your hair after you’ve been out in the sun for ages! Who knows! But this was a decent size of mask and I enjoyed using it because my hair felt soft and tangle-free afterwards. The mask contains baobab oil, which helps to hydrate the hair – so ideal if you’ve been out in the sun and want to give your hair a treat.

Skincare

Vitamin C glow-boosting moisturiser – I’ve talked about this Body Shop product before and I got through another tub of it. It helps to wake up grumpy skin and smells of fresh oranges. It contains vitamin C rich camu camu from the Amazonian rainforest and has a lovely lightweight formula – especially good for the summer when you want something that will absorb quickly. I have read somewhere that vitamin C products become less effective when exposed to the air, so if you open this, I’d use it up before starting any other moisturisers – and don’t leave the lid off! Shame it’s not in a tube or pump bottle really, but I do like the product.

Madara micellar water – this was actually in last June’s empties as well! It’s more expensive than some of the budget micellar waters, and I don’t use it all the time. But I do really like Madara products, and this micellar water also contains hyaluronic acid, which is good for keeping your skin supple and hydrated.

Wonder Hand moisturising hand cream – from the Zoella range. I’ve tried so many handcreams that something has to be pretty amazing to wow me. This will be an unpopular opinion with some, but I just don’t find the Zoella products that I’ve tried provide the level of moisture that I’d want them to. Maybe the younger demographic target audience doesn’t need it, but I do – so this isn’t something I’d get again.

Mango hand cream from Garnier – This is half the price of the one above and I’d say twice as good. Apart from the fact that it contains mango oil and smells great, it’s moisturising and not greasy. It doesn’t smell as strongly of mangos as some that I’ve tried, but it’s got a clean and refreshing scent and it keeps your hands soft for ages. I kept it on my desk and could use a bit, rub it in, then be ready to start typing again. Out of the two that I finished up in June, this was definitely my favourite.

Pink grapefruit body puree – a treat from the Body Shop that I forgot I had! I love the pink grapefruit line anyway, but this is especially good because it’s a lightweight body lotion, which absorbs fast and still leaves your skin hydrated. I have found an issue with some of the fast-absorbing lotions for the Summer is that they do absorb and then do nothing for you, which isn’t the point. That’s not the case here though. It contains grapefruit seed oil and honey from Ethiopia. I’d definitely get it again!

Fragrance

Cherry perfume from L’Occitane – one of my Christmas favourites! The link takes you to the roller perfume – I didn’t actually have this, but they don’t stock the small one that I got in my gift bag. Still, it’s the same scent and it’s lovely – fruity and floral! Makes me think of springtime, but that’s perhaps because I wore it then!

Summer giveaway

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

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 site features some affiliate links, but I only give my honest opinions.

Discounts

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. This is an affiliate link, so I also get a reward – in this case it’s £10 worth of products.

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.

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.

Shopping without sight – my first Glossybox

The next installment in my series about my experiences as a beauty-loving blind woman on a mission to shop online! Could I get my Glossybox to my door without accessibility problems? Read on to find out!

So, I’d heard a lot about Glossybox and if you read my February favourites, you’ll know that I won January’s one in a giveaway. I was really pleased with it and decided to sign up for my own!

When I’m looking at new beauty boxes, there are three main considerations for me:

1. Is there a good range of products, and are they products that I’m likely to use?
2. Does the box get good reviews?
3. How accessible is the site for blind people?

Having already won the January box and watched a lot of unboxing videos, I felt pretty sure about questions 1 and 2. So I just needed to find out if I could access the site without sighted help. If the answer was “no”, it would be a dealbreaker for me!

I needn’t have worried. Using the screenreading software on my laptop, I could set up my account and sign up for my box. Buttons and data entry fields were labelled, and I could do everything with the keyboard as I don’t use a mouse.

What was in the February box>

When the box arrived, I was too excited to wait for S, so I used the Seeing AI app on my phone to scan the products. The app can recognise text on products and reads aloud what it can find. This works better on some types of packaging than others, depending on the size of writing and colour contrast, but I already knew what other people had received and could read some of the information on the card. I then checked out the products with sighted help later.

There are eight possible products and you get a selection of five in your box. I received

  • Studio 10 makeup mist glow-plexion (£14) – this travel-size mini is a multi-purpose mist. You can use it as a primer, hydrating mist or setting spray. I have such a stash of primers at the moment that this will probably be used as a hydrating mist, but I will also give it a go as a primer and I like the fact that it’s a new brand for me. It’s also nice and compact, so would fit in my handbag – presuming of course it’s still around by the time the sun finally makes an appearance!
  • A mini Siate nail varnish (£6) – this brand is cruelty-free. There’s 5ml in the pot and I have tried Siate nail varnishes before, so I know it’s a good one! I’ve already worn it and found it to be quite good in terms of not chipping. I did add a top coat as I always do, but when you can’t touch them up yourself, it’s good to have one that will last at least a few days!
  • Steve Laurent lip gloss (£17) – I’ve never tried anything from this brand before, which is one of the things I like about beauty subscription boxes. It comes in a little glass jar and has a creamy, but not sticky, formula. It says “live your life in colour” on the top, and the glass jar makes it feel quite luxurious! I was thinking it could be used as a cheek tint too and was happy to see that one of the writers on the Glossybox blog agreed!
  • oOlution eye contour cream (£30.99) – I have a couple of eye creams on the go at the moment so this one’s in the queue, but it seems nice and nourishing, and promised to hydrate the area around the eyes, reducing puffiness. It’s also organic and not tested on animals.
  • Sleek makeup palette in Storm (£8.99) – this is the only thing that I won’t use as I’m a cream shadow or shadow stick kind of girl. I don’t use powder products because I can’t see the fall-out and I find them harder to work with. No problem though as I knew someone who wanted it, and I think the product itself is a good one, with a selection of 12 shades to create a number of looks.

The other products I could have received were a face serum and two mascaras.

The only thing I won’t use was the palette, but that’s ok. It’s a random box and there’s bound to be one or two things that you won’t use or that aren’t the right shade. I think the value in the other products definitely makes it worthwhile.

Some people go into Facebook groups where you can sell or swap any unwanted items. I either give them to friends or family, or put them in a blog give-away. On the subject of give-aways, I have one coming up in March, so you can either subscribe or sign up for the email alerts if you want to find out when it goes online!

As I can’t see the box, the products are more important to me than the box design, but it has a colourful design with lollipops and lipsticks on it. These are nice, sturdy boxes, good for storage – or maybe for parcelling up give-away prizes in!

You can get 20% off your first box

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.

How could the Glossybox experience be better for me as a blind shopper?

The only problem I had was in the areas where you personalise your box and give feedback on products. On both screens, there is a list of questions. I move around the screen with my cursor keys and I selected my answer for each of the questions using the keyboard. I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t submit my answers and I asked S to see what was happening.

It turned out that even though I’d been through all the questions and ticked my answer for each one, you need to click “next” so that the next question appears on the screen. I don’t really care what information is visible on the screen, because I don’t look at the screen, but it appears you have to click “next” until all of the questions become visible, even though I had already answered them! No sighted person would have this problem, which is why I guess nobody has noticed it.

What would be really good is if the “submit” button would appear when all of the questions had been answered because I had read and answered questions that my partner couldn’t see yet!

This is the only time I’ve seen a page like this. I wouldn’t say it’s inaccessible, because I know I need to keep clicking that “next” button until “submit” appears, but it was a bit confusing at the beginning as I could already read all of the information unlike my boyfriend, who needed to wait for it to show up on the screen!

The other thing that would be nice is if the information from the card which you receive in your box could also be available in the members’ log-in area. I could ask S to read it to me, and I did try scanning it with the Seeing AI app, but it would be great if we could access it online too.

Other than that I was really happy with the box and I’m looking forward to what will be in the March box!

Listen to the podcast episode

I’ve also produced a podcast episode about my first Glossybox. 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.

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?

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.

Guest post – Amy’s January Glossybox

Find out what was in Amy’s Glossybox in January!

Guest post – Amy reviews her January Glossybox

Today I have another guest post for you from Amy.

The grand unboxing

Hello again internet land. Kirsty has very kindly allowed me back into the metaphorical building, so I can’t have messed up too badly in my first ever post. This is good news because I kind of enjoyed this blogging lark. Although it could be she has kept me around as I have received my Glossybox Beauty Box for January and I promised her an unboxing.

Beauty boxes are something which I started around this time last year. I decided that not only did I need a treat but also a surprise on a monthly basis. After all, I work hard for my money and who doesn’t like surprises. I am pretty sure if I asked my other half to source stuff every month he would forget/get bored/buy the wrong things so beauty boxes were the only way to go. There are a number of these on the market, and I have tried a few over the last year, and its just a nice no ties way to surprise yourself every month and find new and exciting things along the way. I have found a few doozies which are now part of my every day/week/month/routine, which I would have missed otherwise. Obviously you have your flops as well, and some months you have better boxes than others, but none the less after my first box I was hooked.

Originally I started out with Birchbox, as it was top of the google search list and I know a few of my USA buddies get their boxes from here, so I thought that I would be onto a winner here. You fill in some questions about you, your skin and hair types and other bits and bobs so your box can meet your needs (to a point), paid my £10 plus £2.95 P & P and eagerly awaited for Mr Postie to bring my first box, which turned up pretty quickly. You review products from your box for points, which allow you to buy full sized items of your box samples if you wish, although it takes a while to build up the points. They were very good with their marketing, giving you a sneak peek into the next box, or allowing you to have a choice of a certain shade of an item which made it all the more fun. This was until it went wrong. See, I am one for customer service internet land. There is no excuse in todays day and age for shoddy customer service, and unfortunately I found Birchbox to be less than amazing when it came to this.

To save you my tales of woe, I paid my money, waited patiently for my box which never arrived, and the customer service to deal with the matter took forever and was not overly helpful. I ended up getting the promised items squished into a far smaller packaging box, unlike the normally wonderfully presented box you would receive, and that sealed the deal. I cancelled my subscription immediately. Nevertheless, if you wish to try it you can sign up here and hopefully you will have a better experience than me.

Missing my monthly surprise fix I started looking again and quickly found Glossybox. They have been nothing short of amazing and in my honest opinion, the box content is far better than Birchbox. They run the same as Birchbox, fill out some questions, pay your first month, receive a box full of goodies. There marketing is very similar as well in the fact of you get sneak peeks and additional choices of stuff for your box, and if you review your items in surveys each month you get Glossydots, which when you reach 1000 you get a free box. Each survey seems to be worth 20 dots, so again its a waiting game. The price is exactly the same as well, so its pretty much winner winner chicken dinner all round. The only time I have hit problems with Glossybox, and I use the term problem loosely it was more of a first world problem, they solved it super speedy and gave me a free tinted lip balm for my troubles. Have to say, super service all round.

To sign up to these guys click here and get ready to have surprise time every month.

If you want to give Glossybox a go and get 20% off your first box, you can use Kirsty’s code KIRSTY-RGE when you place your first order on the Glossybox site.

I have signed up to a couple more over the year but quickly cancelled as they weren’t worth the money, but I do have a few more to talk about, just not in this post because, well what is it they say, don’t show the dealer all your cards, or something like that! That is saved for another post at another time dear internetlanders.

The January box

Anyhow, onto the good stuff, the stuff I received this month.

So a bit about the box first I guess, Its sent to you in a black and white box, which you open by pulling a small tab to one side which pulls along a perforated line at the front. Essentially it’s like playing grown up pass the parcel. Inside is your box filled with goodies and nothing else like silly bits of advertising paper. The actual goodie box is a sturdy pink box, which has a lid on top. They never have any pesky stickers on the lid to keep it closed. Open this to reveal a message from the editor Evie Leatham, some beauty news and a list of your products in case you are unsure what they are. You always pretty much get a sneak peak of next months box too. Every box is wrapped in pink tissue paper, sealed with a sticker of a G which is the Glossybox logo, which is always to the side and is tied in a bow with black ribbon. It sounds complicated to get into but its really not. You could rip it open if you wish, lord knows that’s what I do on occasion. Remove the pretty packaging and get to your goodies inside. They are always packed with shredded black paper, and arranged as nicely as the jiggling from Royal Mail will allow. The box itself is a great thing to keep and store bits in. If you are of the creative nature you can check out pintrest as people do all sorts of fun things with their boxes.

This month was a good box month. They seemed to have collaborated with an Instagramer called Deliciously Stella and all the items seem to have a food theme.

First out of the box was a Nip and Fab Kale Fix Moisturiser, which also contains watercress and almond oil. The blurb on the leaflet says that it will enrich the skin and I know from other Nip and Fab products that I have used in the past that they never disappoint, so I am excited to try this product out. It has no smell I can detect really other than your typical smell from face creams, and the small amount I tried on my hand seemed to absorb like a dream, but then I would expect nothing less from this brand. Product is a reasonable size, and I should imagine will last a while as a little goes a long way. It is a squeezy tube, which you remove the cap from the bottom and give a good squidge to get the product out. Stands on its cap once replaced for easy storage. It has printed writing on the tub, but its not raised really so you may need to get a trusted sighted friend to read to you if you are interested in what it says. Retail price is listed as £19.95.

Next was Unani Illuminating Milk Cleanser which is a full sized product. It has a cap at the top which you push backwards to open, and the little opening pops up as you push the cap backwards. From what the product says you can use this to remove make up and it also says its gentle enough to be used twice a day. Again it has no perfume which I think is a positive in a cleanser, and not sure I would like the smell of milk on me all day. Bottle is round and the cap is at the top and again has printed font on which is not raised. Retailing at £14, its available to buy at Comprar Cosmetica.

Third thing I pulled out I was super excited with, and I might end up trying right after I finish up with you. Sheet masks seem to be the latest craze from Korean Skincare. No mess or fuss, just beautiful skin. What’s not to love? (Keep your eyes peeled for a post or two about these in the future folks!). This item is Vitamasques’s Manuka Honey Face Mask. Its sealed so I can’t have a smell alas, but the packaging boasts three layers of mask which aid in hydration, so that can only be a good thing. Retailing at £3.99 you can grab them Vitamasques and it looks like they do a whole load more of them, so I shall be stocking up I think. Packing is tear open style, and has a notch at one side to make this easier to do. Its flat as well so you can store lots easily. It has pictures of honeycombe on the front, and again has printed writing on. It looks like a very grand product and you can tell a lot of thought has gone into the images chosen.

Fourth thing is an amazing looking eyeshadow from The Balm, which is a drugstore brand, but is pretty pricey. I don’t actually own anything from this brand, but I have heard good things. Anyway, this Eyeshadow, Meet Matt(e) Trimony shadow is a beautiful aubergine purple with a red base. It can be used wet or dry and looks like it packs a punch, so I can’t wait to try it. Whilst this is full sized I believe it belongs in a pallet of shadows which retail at £34 and you can grab these either at Boots or Superdrug, or direct from The Balm. Its a little flip open box, which is a bit fiddly to get into, but once you do the shadow is safely inside. It would be great to slip into a handbag or take away traveling as it is light and takes up no space.

Last, but by no means least, a box of Hairon Zero crease hair ties in a very light pink, which I won’t use as my hair is way too short. They are a strange sort of hair tie and pretty hard to describe if I am honest! Its like a tightly wound piece of plastic, a but like you used to get on those key rings which you could stretch. They look small, but I guess when pulled they extend pretty far. They are plastic of a sort so I am not sure how long they would stay in your hair, but I think that they are kinder to your hair causing less breakages, so it wins points for that. Anyway, as I say moot point for me as I won’t be able to use them, but that’s what you get with a surprise box, you win some, you lose some. I appreciate I am not doing them justice here, but I am really lost for how to describe them! They retail for £3.99 and you get three in a box. You can pick them up at Hairon. Comes in a little clear plastic box for neat storage when not using them.

I make a disclaimer now, I am not sure how friendly these sites are to navigate for people with screen readers, so I will apologise in advance. If you are having issues and are interested in a product please shout and I will try and find an alternative site for you. I also don’t know if different people get different items in their boxes based on their initial answers, so if you get something else I am sorry, but I am sure it will be equally exciting and wonderful.

Right, so now I have babbled your ear off I am going to leave you in peace. I would highly recommend this box to you, so let me know if you pick one up and what you think of it.
Ciao for now Internetland.
Amy
Xxx

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