September empties – lots of mangos

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

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

Skincare

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bath and shower

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

Haircare

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

Make-up

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

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

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

How about you?

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

What did you get through in September?

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September favourites – owls, fruity chocolates, and a new brush

This month’s favourites post includes owls, wolves, lemon chocolate buttons, fruity chocolates, grapefruit lip care and haircare!

I tried to be a bit more restrained with make-up and skincare purchases this month so that I could use up some of the stuff that I already have. I was pretty successful, although having a week off at the end of September meant a couple of trips to town, which involved buying things!

I won’t include some of the new purchases here because I haven’t had time to try them out, but these are some of the things that I enjoyed in September.

Hair care

I have already been raving about the Yes To Cucumber shampoo, so I decided to see whether the Yes to cucumber volumising conditioner lived up to standard. I was really pleased with it. It’s 280 ml, so a generous size, and it leaves my hair feeling soft and shiny, without smelling of chemicals, one of my pet peeves with conditioners! I would definitely get it again.

I’ve been using my trusty Denman brush for ages, but decided I wanted something different for when I’m blow-drying my hair. I heard that paddle brushes make drying long hair easier, so I got myself a Tangle Teezer blow styling smoothing tool. I’m not sure about the claim that the brush helps your hair to dry faster, but I think that having the rows of bristles more widely spaced helps if you want to get the tangles out of very long hair when you’re blow-drying it.

Skincare

I’ve got 3 things to mention this month in terms of skincare. The first is something I wanted to try because I’ve only just found out that eye roll-on creams are a thing. I like the idea because sometimes, with a cream, you can end up with more than you want, whereas here, you just roll it over the clean skin, the roller has a cooling effect, and there is no excess. I got the Garnier light Eye roll-on. The idea is that you apply in the morning or when your eyes feel tired. The massaging effect stimulates microcirculation around the eye area and helps to reduce puffiness or dark circles. I think this doesn’t replace a more nourishing eye cream in the evening, but first thing it’s a good way to help you feel more awake!

I’m sure I’ve already said on here how much I like the mango lip balm from Burt’s Bees. I didn’t need another lip balm, but I’ve got a good way through the mango one, so I decided to get the Grapefruit lip balm from them. I have a little stash of lip balms and butters to use up, but I have to say that the ones from Burt’s Bees are my favourite. Firstly they come in stick form, which makes them easier to apply on the go than the little pots. Secondly, they’re made from natural ingredients. Thirdly, they taste amazing – ok I know you’re not supposed to eat them, but who wants something that tastes disgusting on their lips? And fourthly, probably most importantly, they do the job and leave your lips feeling moisturised, but not sticky, for a long time. Yay for Burt’s Bees! I’m even happier that they do them in both grapefruit and mango!

I may come on to the main products in Lovelula’s September box, but today I want to talk about the ones that I’ve finished. We received four samples of Kimberly Sayer products (two cleansers and two night creams). Actually I used all of them, but they tend to do products for either dry and normal skin, or combination, oily and blemish-prone skin. The ones best suited to me were the gentle face cleanser and the restore anti-aging cream” The healing light night cream smelled delicious too. It was a bit too light for my dryer skin, but it was still a nice one-off because of the gorgeous tangerine scent!

I thought it was good that Lovelula included a range of samples, both in terms of the product and the skin-type. I didn’t manage to get 3 or 4 uses out of them as some people did, but it was the first time that I’ve tried anything from Kimberley Sayer, and that’s one of the things that I enjoy about Lovelula. I would definitely buy products from this range in the future.

Bath and shower

I’ve mentioned Patisserie De Bain before. I’m not so much of a bath melt kind of girl, but I discovered that they also do things like shower gels and hand creams. I’d already tried the lemon bon bon hand cream, so I decided to get the lemon bon bon shower gel as well. It’s definitely more of a product for the citrus lovers, but it’s slightly sweetened, and not as tart as showering yourself with real lemons! Who remembers lemon bon bons as a child?! As a citrus lover, this one is definitely up my street and I would get it again!

Dogs, owls and wolves

This section is a little random, but as I love dogs, owls, and wolves, pictures or models of them are likely to turn up in my favourites, so I put them all together!

I don’t have a link for this because it was a gift, but we were given an owl to put outside. I just know that he came from a garden centre! He is solar-powered, so he produces his own energy, and provides light in the evening – ideal to put on the table if you’re sitting outside on long, summer evenings. I won’t leave him out during the winter, but I like him firstly because he’s an owl, and secondly because he will never need new batteries as he produces his own energy.

The second thing is a Wolf hoodie that says “A direwolf is for life, not just for winter!” There are different sizes, and they are sized fairly, so you can buy your actual size (I’m always tempted to go one larger on Amazon because some shops are super stingy!) Anyway – as a Game of Thrones fan, I wanted to have this – I was however a bit sad that the wolves didn’t get more of a look-in in the last season. (For my international friends – it’s also a play on words because around Christmas time we get adverts saying “a dog is for life, not just for Christmas” to try and stop people impulsively buying dogs as Christmas presents.)

Sweet treats

Who doesn’t love Hotel Chocolat?!

S and I were drawn in there when we were in town this week. He bought me a box of my favourite chocs from there – the exuberantly fruity box. It includes such delicious treats as raspberry, strawberry cheesecake, lime truffle, mango, passion fruit, apple strudel, and lemon cheesecake! They’re all gone! Sooo good, especially if you like your chocolate to be fruity.

On the way out, S also spotted something we hadn’t tried before – the lemon white tiddly pot! I think these are meant for children, but who cares! They are delicious little white chocolate drops with a drizzle of lemon oil! Adults like chocolate buttons too! They are quite lemony, so not for you if you like super-sweet treats, but I think they’re delicious!

The first time I ever tried lemon chocolate was in Sorrento, where everything seemed to be made with lemon. Lemon sweets, lemon pasta, lemon liqueur, and delicious slabs of lemon chocolate! I was glad to have found some more!

So what about you?

What did you enjoy in September? Have you tried any of these products? Have you written a favourites post? Let me know in the comments!

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May empties – masks and favourites from Latest in Beauty

My thoughts on the products that I used up in May 2017,and whether I’d repurchase them.

Well it’s that time of the month again – time for the May empties! I seem to have a lot this month, partly because of the sample-size products I’m getting in my Latest in Beauty and Lovelula boxes, and partly because I’m making a real effort to finish things up before opening new ones! So here they are – the products I finished up in May and what I thought of them.

Skincare

I only found out about them this year, but I love sheet masks. I finished up a packet of my favourite ones this month, the Skin Food everyday facial masks. The picture is of my favourite one, the orange one, but you get 10 different kinds in there such as tomato, broccoli, green tea, berries and nuts. I’ve since tried out a number of different makes, but I keep coming back to these. They have the right amount of product, which means that there’s a good covering, but they’re not slopping with it, making everything messy. Also, just a small detail, but the little cuts around the edge don’t go far into the centre, making them much easier to unfold and put on the face. I’ve ordered a new pack already and would highly recommend them.

I tend to go for the Body Shop body butters in the winter and reach for the lighter lotions and sorbets in the summer. I used up a pink grapefruit body butter and really enjoyed it, partly because of the grapefruit scent, I love this range, and partly because this one isn’t quite as firm as some of the other butters, so it’s easier to spread over the skin. I would buy this again, but only when I’ve used up some of my other butters and lotions!

I also used up a mini body butter and a shower gel in the spiced apple range, but they were in the Christmas 2016 range, so I can’t link them. Still, if they come back next year, I’ll snap up some more. Also, If you prefer berries to the apples, I used up a spiced berries shower gel, also from the Christmas range, which was nice and wintry!

I’m swimming against the tide of positive reviews, both from Lovelula and Latest in Beauty, when I tell you I was somewhat underwhelmed by the Weleda Skin food that I got in Lovelula, but that was also available recently on Latest in Beauty. Some people are raving about it on Youtube because it helped to clear up skin conditions. Some people have even said that they put it on their face, but I wouldn’t put anything that greasy on my face. I used it up as a foot cream, but wouldn’t think of putting it anywhere else!

I mentioned these wonderful Glycolic fix cleansing pads in my May Favourites as a quick and easy alternative for exfoliating, particularly for those of us who don’t like exfoliators with rough particles and prefer to use natural acids. I finished up the mini pack that I got in Latest in Beauty and ordered a full-size one straight away because I was going to Amsterdam and wanted to take them away with me. This was the first thing that I bought directly as a result of trying on Latest in Beauty. The second was the Benefit Cosmetics Porefessional primer which is fabulous!

I finished up my second Seychelles hand cream from Latest in Beauty. I really should just get the full-sized one from the White Company. The hand cream is brilliant and I love the smell which makes you feel as though you’re on a tropical beach somewhere! This will be my third “Latest in Beauty made me buy it!” product.

On the subject of hand cream, I also used up the Shea hand cream from the Body Shop. It’s not my favourite hand cream from there, but it is a good one if you don’t like some of the stronger scents, because this one just smells clean and fresh.

Bath and shower

If you’re looking for something to wake you up in the morning and you like citrus scents like lemon and lime, I got through a mini citrus blend hand and body wash that I got in my Latest in Beauty. If you don’t want to subscribe to Latest in Beauty, you can also get it directly from Evolve Organic Beauty. Not the cheapest hand and body wash, but a nice alternative if you want something citrusy and refreshing in the shower!

I also used up my Greenfrog botanic body wash – neroli and lime from Lovelula. I think I’ve discovered that I don’t like Neroli very much, which is a shame because it seems to be used in a lot of beauty products. This was ok, and actually I do have a second one as a friend gave me hers. I will use it up, but because of the neroli scent, this isn’t something that I would buy again.

The satsuma range is one of my favourites from the Body shop, and I had a mini satsuma shower gel, probably left over from the advent calendar! I love this stuff, and the minis are great for taking away with you.

If you want something for the bathroom that smells fresh and is great value for money, we just finished up the Baylis & Harding jasmin and apple blossom hand wash. I usually get the grapefruit one, but we fancied a change!

In Latest in Beauty, I got a mini shower gel so that I could try out the Jasmin and Bergamot range from L’Occitane. I like this and would try out more products in the range.

Hair care

I tried out the Avon naturals almond and avocado shampoo I think I prefer the apple one that I mentioned in last month’s empties, but if you like something with less of a fragrance, you may prefer this one.

Fragrance

I got two free fragrance samples in my Latest in Beauty box. One was the Flower by Kenzo but although I used up the sample, this is two floral for me, with the main notes being rose, violet and white musk. I didn’t hate it, it just wasn’t my usual fruity fragrance!

The other one surprised me, because it was also a floral fragrance, but I liked it more, maybe because the top notes were rose and gardenia, and it reminded me of Tuberose Gardenia? No idea, but it was the Narciso Rodriguez Eau de Parfum.

Make-up

Anyone who reads my blog will know that I’m a big fan of the body shop, but I was rather disappointed with the insterblur. I was very close to just binning it, because I hated the way it came out of the tube like little worms, and the way it applied. Heidi from the Body Shop said that you need to warm the product up between your hands first, and this does work better, but I still don’t think it’s as good as my other primers, so although I’ll use it up as an everyday primer, I won’t be buying it again.

One of the products in the Body Shop advent calendar that I hadn’t tried before was the Camomile gentle eye make-up remover. I don’t wear waterproof mascara, so I don’t know how well it deals with that, but for the non-waterproof mascara and cream or crayon shadows that I wear, it does the job well and is gentle on the eyes. I have already replaced it with the full-size version of this product.

How about you?

Which products have you been enjoying, or which ones did you finish up in May? Let me know in the comments. Also, have you tried any of the products I mentioned in this post? If so, I’d love to know your thoughts!

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April empties – grapefruit, strawberries and apples!

Hello again and although it’s a bit later than planned, it’s time for my April empties!

I don’t know about you, but I think that April flew by – probably because I spent one week of it on holiday! It was a skincare and bath and shower kind of month!

These are the products that I used up in April.

Skincare

I’ve mentioned it before, but I love love love the pink grapefruit hand cream from the Body Shop. It only comes in the 30 ml tubes, and I finished up another one!

I reviewed the Soap and Glory hand food (hand cream) in my post about hands, and I finished up a tube of it last month. The marshmallow does make it smell quite sweet, and I wouldn’t buy it for the scent, but the wonderful formula and the way that my hands feel so smooth afterwards would definitely encourage me to buy it again.

Finishing up the Greek skincare products that I bought to try, I was sorry to see the end of the Fresh line Galatea body milk. I’ll definitely be buying that again and I think this kind of thing is particularly good in the summer, when you want something a bit lighter on your skin. Also I couldn’t say “no” to the lovely coconut and almond scent.

I got a sample of the Marlenha Petal Delicate Eye Serum in my Lovelula box, and whilst I did enjoy it, I can’t justify spending 48 Euros on this. I know it’s a luxury brand and although it promises eyes that look brighter, fresher and more rejuvenated, I think there are more affordable alternatives on the market.

I chose a Yes To Grapefruit mask from Latest in Beauty. I didn’t realise they were hard to get hold of in the UK – at least I couldn’t find a link for them, but I’ve just discovered the Yes To range and I enjoyed this mask, which is a correct and repair mask, promising pore perfection! I wouldn’t say this is a problem area of mine, but I don’t think it can do any harm!

When I still got my Love Me Beauty subscription, I got a mini of the Aromatherapy Associates hydrating, renewing rose cleanser. To be honest, I still have loads of my vitamin E cleanser from the Body Shop, but I did enjoy using this delicately rose-scented cleanser. I’m not usually a fan of flowery products, but this one was subtle and it removed all of my make-up. I can’t say how it does on really heavy make-up, but it did what I needed it to, and I would buy this again once I’ve got my cleanser backlog down!

Bath and shower

I mentioned the Korres almond and cherry body lotion in the March empties post. This month I finished up the Korres almond and cherry shower gel as well. I think these are really good quality products and I’m looking forward to trying out more of this Greek skincare range.

When I’m in hotels, I don’t usually bother with the free body washes and hair products because I usually assume that my own are nicer. However, if it says grapefruit on the bottle, I obviously need to give it a go. I would only put hair and body wash on my body, but this smelled really good in the shower and I was impressed at the hotel choosing this for the guests. I haven’t tried to buy it, so I don’t know if you have to be a business, but it looks as if you can just buy the grapefruit and tangerine hair and body wash from this site. There is also a really lovely Mango and honey body lotion that smells good enough to eat!

Can you believe I’m still using up products from my Body Shop advent calendar? I don’t think I’d go out and buy the strawberry shower gel because I’m not a massive fan of the strawberry range, but it was nice enough to have a little bottle of it to try. I’m more of a citrus girl, but if you like the strawberry scent, I think all of the Body Shop’s shower gels are decent in terms of the formula – it just depends on your favourite scents.

If you are in to citrus, you’d also like the verbena foaming bath soak from L’Occitane. Not the cheapest bubble bath on the market, but definitely worth it if you’re looking for a treat with lemony bubbles to sooth and relax you while you soak.

Hair care

As I continue my quest for the best hair mask, I tried out the L’Oreal Paris hair expertise nourishing mask. All of these say they’re for dry hair, and although I don’t have dry hair, I like to do a mask 2 or 3 times a month to give it an extra moisturising and nourishing treat. I liked this one from L’Oreal more than the Tony and Guy one, but I think the Garnier ones are still my favourites so far. This mask contains botanical oils and apricot seed, and it gives nourishment to the hair fibres whilst protecting the hair from dryness. It’s a generous pot and I’d say it’s good value because you get a number of treatments out of it.

Staying on the topic of hair care, I finished up the Schwarzkopf super soft apple shampoo. This is much less than I used to pay for shampoo, but I can’t say that the product was any less affective! I want something that does a good job on my hair, but also smells pleasant, and I find that a lot of the more expensive brands don’t tick the second box. This is apparently for “fine , weak and lifeless hair”, which in a way discourages me from buying it again, but on the other hand, it did a good job! There are products for dry hair, fine hair, damaged hair, coloured hair – what about normal hair? Anyway, it makes my hair super soft and does boost volume, so the chances are I’ll just ignore the packaging and buy it again because I liked the apple scent and the results!

How about you?

So, what have you got through in April? What will you definitely be buying again? Were there any products that you couldn’t stand?! If you have a favourites or an empties post for April, feel free to drop the link in the comments – I love to read them. Here are my April favourites.

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Favourite Body Shop products in December

Find out about my experiences with the advent calendar,a party at home and Body Shop at home.

Well, December was definitely a busy month for me in terms of buying and testing Body Shop products.

I’ve like the Body Shop since I was young (does anyone remember dewberry?!) My introduction to Body Shop parties was when I was in my early twenties and one of the guide dog trainers organised a party for the people on dog training. It was some time before Christmas and I remember buying presents and testing out the products.

At the end of November, I started hearing a lot about beauty advent calendars. I know it’s not the first year that they’ve come out, but somehow more people seemed to be talking about them. I watched a couple of reviews on Youtube, my favourite being the ones on Fashion Mumbler’s channel, and decided to get the Body Shop one.

The box was massive, and it was full of smaller boxes – one for every day from the 1st to the 25th December. Some of the numbers on the boxes were larger and I could read them because they were slightly raised. Others were more faint and smaller, so I asked my boyfriend for help in identifying the right box and also telling me what was inside. Some things were obvious, but the 60 ml bottles of shower gel, body butter and eye make-up remover all feel the same, so it was important for me to label them. It would have been somehow doable when I lived on my own, but it’s more accessible and more fun with sighted assistance. I guess you could get round the problem of identifying new products with an app like be my eyes.

I had a group of friends round for a Body Shop party hosted by Sophie, which was a lovely chance to get together, have a make-over and try out some products.

I also tried out some bits bought from “your Body Shop at home with Heidi” which I’d really recommend if you don’t want to have a party yourself, but you want to benefit from discounts and special offers.

I can’t link to some of my favourite products from December because they were the Christmas lines that are only available at Christmas. My favourite was spiced apple because it was so wintry and Christmassy. I think I must have bought most products in that range, but the vanilla chai and frosted berries were good too. They all appeared nice and early in the calendar so you had the chance to try them out and buy more before the stocks ran out.

My mum bought me the festive tin, which is shaped like an apple, and which I have now filled with make-up!

I passed along a couple of the tools, but will use most things that I got in the calendar. There were actually 3 on offer – I got the cheapest one at £60. Not the cheapest beauty calendar on the market, but there were decent-sized products in there and if you know you like the brand, it was an excellent way to get some more old favourites (for me that’s the mango, satsuma and pink grapefruit ranges), and try out some new ones (for me coconut and strawberry).

I’ve included some links below. These are not affiliate links. Whether you buy in-store, online or through Body Shop at home, the links just give you a bit more information about the products.

I had already been using the vitamin E moisture cream, so I decided to try out the rest of the range, including the the cleanser, the toner, and night cream. I would definitely recommend the range – it leaves your skin feeling smooth and hydrated. I used to have combination skin, but now it sometimes gets really dry, particularly in the winter time, so I want to take good care of it.

The same applies to my hands. My favourite hand cream is the grapefruit one. I just wish that the Body Shop would make these in larger sizes. Still, they’re great to pop in your hand bag, and if you want something bigger for your desk or your bedroom, I recommend the almond hand and nail body butter. I also tried the coconut hand cream – it’s a little overpowering at first, but the smell does wear off and it’s fine if you’re a big fan of coconut!

I wanted to try the vitamin C range too, so I got the glow-boosting moisture. because I wanted that “daily boost of radiance and hydration”! My skin can be as grumpy as me in the morning, so I wanted to try out something that would boost the natural glow. It also smells amazing. Like oranges. Not as sweet as the satsuma range, which I also love, but still distinctly like oranges!

I tried one of the products in the tea tree range, which I can’t link because I can’t find it on the site. I like the pump at the top to regulate the amount, but I have decided I just don’t like this smell, so however good the product is, I’ll use it up, but I won’t buy it again. I’ve since read that it’s more for people with oily skin, so not the best choice for me anyway.

Whilst checking out the other night creams, I came across the pomegranate firming night cream. I don’t know if someone in their mid-30s counts as having “mature skin”, but I liked the idea of the cream moisturising and softening as I slept, so I picked it up as well. I’m not sure I really need this product, but it’s a nice alternative for a night moisturiser. My favourites are still the vitamin e day and night creams and the vitamin c moisturiser.

I watched a number of video tutorials about the Body Shop make-up and I did ask to look at it during my party. In the end, I only bought a couple of bits, which I’ll review in a future make-up post. It’s not that I dislike the make-up, but the things that I’m looking for are not yet in the Body Shop range. If they bring out cream eye shadows or a cream contour kit, I’ll definitely be interested.

There was a big body butter in door 24 of the calendar, but most of the products are travel-size, which is great for going away. In terms of larger products, I used the party host rewards to stock up on some of my bigger all-time favourites, such as the pink grapefruit body sorbet that I like because it gives instant hydration without hanging around on your skin. I like the fact that it’s in a tube as well, so you don’t have to keep dipping your hand into the tub. Ok I wouldn’t do it unless I had clean hands anyway, but I like the tube and would like to see more of them!

As someone who can’t see, I can use the main Body Shop site, Heidi puts text in the descriptions of the pictures that she posts in her group, and when I go into the actual shops, the staff are friendly and will help me find what I’m looking for. That said, there is definitely room for improvement in terms of the Body Shop at Home catalogue. There is an alternative .pdf, but I didn’t find it to be very accessible with a screen-reader, and I was glad that I have a kind boyfriend who was willing to go through the catalogue with me, reading out descriptions for products that interested me so that I could make my shopping list. If this hadn’t been an option, Sophie would have done this at the party too, but I’d like to see a more accessible document or web page in the future so that screenreaders are able to make their choices independently as we can on the store website.

Overall I was really happy with my products and owing to the amount that I bought, including Christmas items, shower gels and body butters that I haven’t named here, I’ll have plenty to keep me going over the coming months!

What are your favourite body shop products? Did you make any new discoveries in December? I’d love to know, so please tell me in the comments!

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Unseen Beauty is also available as a podcast. If you want to listen to it, you can find it on iTunes or Player FM.

The URL for the podcast feed is
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Christmas 2016

My friends and family were so generous this year.

I got this idea from Youtube. At first I wondered why everyone was talking about their Christmas presents. At first it felt a bit like showing off, but I then realised it’s actually a good way to get some ideas about what’s out there, so I decided to do it too. I haven’t listed everything and I’ve included links where I could find things online so that you can read more about the products and sighted readers can see the images.

So, I was really lucky in 2016 and my partner, friends and family gave me some lovely gifts.

Beauty and skin care

Sanctuary spa hand cream

I’d already tried a mini from the Sanctuary Spa hand cream range – I needed something to get me up to my £20 for free Amazon postage 😉

I’d say this is definitely more green lemon than orange blossom, but the Sanctuary Spa products are good quality and this is a long-lasting hand treatment.

Jack Black intense therapy lip balm – grapefruit

This is quite a small tube, but it’s a special treat for the lips which isn’t sticky and which lasts a reasonable amount of time, so you don’t need to keep reapplying it. And of course it’s grapefruit! You’ll see after a while that I love anything that contains mango or grapefruit! Check out the lip balm here.

<Victoria's Secret – mango temptation body wash

We’ve had the grapefruit, now it’s time for the mango. I got the body lotion in this range for my birthday and really liked it. Again, not cheap, but it’s good to indulge yourself with this sweet and fruity mango once in a while. Find out more here!

The Cowshed grumpy cow products

I just love the name! There are all kinds of cow ranges – moody cow, lazy cow, dirty cow (hand wash), but the one with grapefruit in it is the grumpy cow and I have been known to live up to this name, especially in the morning before the third cup of coffee. I haven’t actually used these products yet, but they smell delicious. I got the uplifting body lotion and the uplifting shower gel.

Body Shop – spiced apple tin

I can’t link to this because all of the Christmas ranges at the body shop were seasonal products. I’ll write more about spiced apple in my Body Shop haul post. All I’ll say now is that I’d recommend that you try them if they come back next year. I also got the spiced apple candle, and it makes my office smell nice even when the candle isn’t lit.

Body Shop frosted berries set

This was another seasonal product from the Christmas range with a shower gel and body butter. If the spiced apple is too strong and wintry for you, the frosted berries are a good alternative.

Clothing

Monster slippers – Jack the black wolf

So, as well as my fruit favourites, you will often see wolves and owls in my collections! These slippers are cosy and warm – just what you need when you work from home. My shoe size is between two sizes, but these are definitely on the generous side. They have furry heads, paws and tails, and their eyes even light up if you press the button on the left ear! I’m wearing them as I type and I’m very happy with them! Check out the wolf slippers here.

Wolf fleece

Keeping with the wolf theme, I hate the cold and this is a sure way to keep out the cold this winter. It’s fur-lined, so you can easily wear it as a warm jacket when you’re going out in the winter. This is where you can find it

Mermaid tail blanket

I read about these on a blog, then I heard about them on Youtube. They seem to have been a thing this winter!

Not really clothing, but this mermaid tail blanket is something you can use when you’re snuggled up on the sofa with a mug of hot chocolate and a good book. I was a bit surprised, because it was described as fleece, even though it’s knitted. However it’s a decent size and you can keep your legs and lower body warm as you snuggle down into it. Who said adults can’t be mermaids too?!

Christmas dress

I don’t have a link, but it was a long, satin dress with a full skirt that I wore on Christmas day.

Perfume

Happy Femme by Clinique

This is what Amazon says about this perfume:

“Floral, fruity, green. Created in 1997, Happy perfume by Clinique for women is a refreshing, clean, floral fragrance. It is the result of the following top fragrance Notes: bergamot, boysenberry and honeysuckle. The middle notes are: bushflower, grapefruit and moss and the base of the fragrance is: freesia, lemon and Hawaiian wedding flower. Happy perfume is recommended for daytime and romantic use.”

So, you guessed it, grapefruit again! This is a lovely, fruity fragrance. I took a risk with this because I said I would like it for Christmas without even smelling it, but I wasn’t disappointed and I’m enjoying wearing it. Here’s the link to the Happy perfume.

The other perfume that I was given is an old favourite that was first given to both me and my mum many years ago by a relative from Ireland. It’s called Innisfree and it’s another fruity, floral fragrance, probably heavier than the grapefruit one. It comes from Ireland and was named after a poem about the Isle of Innisfree.

Books

I had no idea what this present was, but when I unwrapped the gift box, there was an Audible subscription in there! This is a great idea for people who love to read, especially if you don’t know exactly what kind of books they like or which ones they already have. The Audible app is fully accessible to blind people who use VoiceOver on the iPhone and there is a really good selection of audio books.

The only slightly annoying thing is that you have to buy the books on the Audible site, and not in the app, but the site is easy to use with a screenreader and I had no trouble redeeming my first book.

I usually read everything for my job, news, and other information using the speech software on my computer, but when it comes to books and reading for pleasure, I like to listen to a real person – so this gift was ideal!

For the home

I’d never seen vases like this before, but I got an owl vase. Apart from being a welcome addition to the owl collection, he is tactile and you can feel his ears, face and feathers. Really cool!

I was also given two smaller, ornament owls, one of which could be hung up, so we put her on the Christmas tree!

Due to my love for all things spicy, I was given a grow-your-own chilli kit. A travel mug was also a welcome gift for this coffee lover!

We also received joint gifts including wine, chocolates and some fruity cheese.

Jewellery

This year I was very lucky and received an adjustable bracelet, a lovely pair of little owls as earrings, a necklace and a pair of cute doggy earrings.

The necklace is very Christmassy, so I probably won’t wear it again until December, but I think you can justify wearing it from the end of November, and as someone who doesn’t do Christmas jumpers, I do like to get out some sparkly Christmas jewellery. This is a tactile piece and you can feel the shape of the Christmas tree and its decorations.

I found the dog earrings in the autumn, then they went out of stock. My mum kept checking and finally snapped some up just before Christmas. They seem to be out of stock again now, so I can’t show you, but they are drop earrings with dogs viewed from the front. I like the Katy Craig collection and will be investigating the rest of the animal jewellery.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you use my links for Amazon and buy something, I will receive a small percentage at no additional cost to you. I only list products that I love or have reviewed.

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Podcast

Unseen Beauty is also available as a podcast. If you want to listen to it, you can find it on iTunes or Player FM.

The URL for the podcast feed is
https://player.fm/series/unseen-beauty