Blogmas 2018 – looking after your hair in Winter

Say hello to Maisie the German Shepherd! She’s not mine, but she’ll be appearing in the header so you have a wintry image to look at, particularly on days when I don’t have a relevant image for the post!

I have very long hair, and although I try to take good care of it all year round, Winter presents its own set of challenges because of wet and windy weather, central heating, and the fact that a lot of us go out more and style our hair more around Christmas time.

So I thought I’d put together some tips for looking after your hair in Winter. I have long, thick, straight hair, so I know more about that than other types of hair, but most of these tips can be applied to any type of hair.

1. Keep your hair from blowing around in the wind and rain

Whether you choose to do this by tying it back, wearing a hat or hood, or using a scarf to keep it down, if you keep your hair from blowing around, it won’t get tangled and you won’t risk snapping the strands when you try to tame it again. This also helps to prevent the scarecrow look – or the medusa look as I sometimes get in the car with the windows open!

You can also carry a travel brush around in your bag so if you do get a bit windswept, you can sort it out rather than walking around with tangles.

If you’re worried about hats and scarves causing frizzy, messy hair, you can carry around a small frizz taming product to tame the unruly bits on the go.

2. Show your hair some love

When it’s exposed to elements that dry out your hair, it’s nice to make time for pamper evenings too, including a nourishing, hydrating hair mask. A couple of my favourites are the banana one from the Body Shop and the oatmeal and honey one from Korres.

I don’t make my own masks, but if you don’t want to buy one, you can use raw honey. Honey is a humectant, which means it seals in the moisture and can help if you have dry or damaged hair.

3. Try to go easy on the styling

It’s easy for me to say as someone who doesn’t straighten their hair, but if you are going to a lot of parties, and want to blow-dry and then style or straighten your hair, try to give your hair a rest on days when you don’t have as much planned.

If you’re going to use heat products, try using a heat protection spray.

4. Hydrate from the inside

I know I don’t drink enough water at the best of times – because all the coffee I drink doesn’t count. But if you are giving your body enough hydration by drinking lots of water, this will be good for your hair too.

5. Don’t go out with wet hair

Apart from increasing your chance of getting a cold, going out in the cold with wet hair can also cause your hair to freeze and break.

6. Don’t forget to have a trim

You might be busier over the Christmas period, but don’t forget to book in for your regular trims. Nobody wants split ends, and if winter weather is making the ends of your hair more dry and brittle than usual, having them tidied up is a good thing.

7. Vary the pressure points

If you’re going to put your hair up, try having your pony tail at different heights, so you don’t put pressure in the same place every time. If you put your hair up in a clip, it’s mainly the sides that are being pushed into the clip, so make sure you remember to condition them well and be gentle with them. Plaits can be good to prevent tangles, but don’t pull them too tight, or you risk breaking the strands.

8. Don’t let the water run too hot

It’s tempting if you’ve been out in the cold and you want a really hot bath or shower to warm you up again, but really hot water doesn’t do your skin or hair any favours because it dries them out.

Have you got any more tips? Let us know in the comments!

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 50ml tub of the Ethiopian green coffee cream. This is part of the Spa of the World® range and it’s enriched with caffeine, known for its stimulating properties (you may have heard of shampoo with caffeine). It promises to leave your skin feeling firmer and smoother. I’ve had this before – it’s a lovely cream if you get past the fact that it doesn’t smell of coffee. I was hoping it would, but if you don’t start with this expectation, it’s a good body moisturiser.

Glossybox – the greater than mascara from MDMFlow (full-size). I haven’t had anything from this brand before and look forward to trying this out once I’ve used up a couple of my other mascaras. #The packaging makes it feel more expensive, and it promises to enhance and volumise lashes. The brush is indented, so it will be interesting to see how that works out because I usually prefer straight ones! I’ll report back on it once I’ve tested it out properly.

Unseen Beauty Blogmas Giveaway

Today you have another chance to enter my Unseen Beauty Blogmas giveaway. There will be a box with 10 prizes from the Glossybox and Body Shop advent calendars, and the prizes will be revealed throughout December. You can enter once on each Blogmas 2018 page, which means you have up to 24 chances of winning. You can enter at any time from when the page goes live to the end of December 2018.

Multiple entries on the same page will not be counted – I have a spreadsheet to log them!

Your answers to the questions will help me to get to know my readers and where they are based. Also, they prove that you’re a real person as I don’t use inaccessible widgets on my site.

The giveaway is international, but if postal restrictions prevent me from sending a product to your country, I will replace it with an alternative.

The form only goes to me.

What’s in the box?

  1. Huda Beauty Winter solstice palate Featuring one pearlescent creamy formula and three icy pressed pearl powders.
  2. Spa of the World® French grapeseed body scrub from the Body Shop.

Products 3-10 coming soon!

Giveaway entry form

     
 

Terms and conditions

  1. The give-away is open until 23:59 on 31st December 2018, and I’ll draw the winner on 2nd January 2019.
  2. I will give each entry a number and then draw the winner by asking Siri to generate a random number. I want to make it as easy and accessible as possible for people to enter.
  3. Your email address is being collected solely for the purpose of contacting you if you win the prize. You are welcome to sign up to my newsletter at the same time, but this isn’t necessary to take part in the give-away. If you do not win the prize, your email address will only be stored if you have signed up to the newsletter or asked for your entry to be carried over to the next give-away.
  4. I will email the winner on 2nd January to ask for their address so that I can send the prize. The winner will have 7 days in which to respond. If they haven’t responded after 7 days, I will draw a new winner.
  5. No cash alternatives are available and the winner is responsible for checking product ingredients for any known allergens)

This post may contain affiliate links.

Late August empties – mainly skincare and haircare this time

After my stupid accident, I kept working, but I’ve been chasing my tail all month. I did put together some August empties though, so I thought Better late than never!”

Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products, and if so, what you thought of them!

Skincare

Products: 8

I’ve talked about the Body Shop® almond milk and honey body yoghurt before but it’s worth mentioning again. This range is so kind to the skin. It’s not as strongly scented as the others, and it’s recommended for those with more sensitive skin. I don’t have sensitive skin, but my allergies to other things can make my skin flair up at times, and this is when I especially enjoy using the almond milk and honey line of products. The body yoghurts are much lighter than the butters, they absorb quickly, and are great for the Summer and Autumn.

I discovered two more hand creams through my Latest in Beauty box –first the orange blossom one. You can’t buy individual products directly from Latest in Beauty, so I’ve included the link to Boots. Not the cheapest out there, but it does a good job, isn’t greasy, and I am a big fan of the citrus scent.

Then there was the Gardeners’ hand therapy from Crabtree and Evelyn. The link is to Feelunique. This was a bigger tube, so more value for money, but I found it a bit greasy, which was a shame because I do like this brand. I’d use this again as a night treatment, just before bed, but after I’ve used a handcream, I don’t want my hands to feel sticky, so for me this one lost points on not being an all-purpose kind of product.

I wanted to link the Body Shop ® vitamin C serum, but it doesn’t seem to be on the site any more. I’m not sure whether it’s been discontinued or is just out of stock, but as someone who likes the vitamin C moisturiser, I decided to try the serum as well. This is an oil-based serum, so I found it better for use in the evening or on no-make-up days. I like the moisturiser more, but as someone who doesn’t like using face oils, an oil-based serum that isn’t so oily that you spend the rest of the night with a shiny face is a good thing to have.

I raved about this Lavera serum in this Latest in Beauty review. You can really get some good finds in there if you are lucky. Of course some boxes are better than others, depending on the products available, but this was a full-size serum and one that I would definitely buy again.

As I loved the serum and the night cream from this range, I decided to try the toner as well. (The link goes to Amazon). I wasn’t as happy with this product though. The product itself was fine, but it smelled like cough mixture, and I can’t deal with that in my morning facial routine. So, it’s a personal preference, and it lives up to the name of being gentle (at least I thought it did), but if there’s an ingredient that I don’t like the smell of, I don’t buy it again!

Another Latest in Beauty product was the Morning Dew moisturiser from Aimie. I think it’s aimed more at people with oily skin, because it does absorb fast, and promises to control excess oil and shine. I don’t think someone like me with normal to dry skin will see the best results from this, because I do like something a bit more moisturising, but that’s more about it not being the right product for me than it being a bad product.

I’ve talked about this Malin and Goetz moisturiser before, but as it was on offer on Latest in Beauty for a while, I picked up a couple of them. They were really generous sizes too, and I had no problems with applying this moisturiser over other products.

Haircare

Products: 5

I’m not even going to link these – I really wasn’t impressed! I was so glad to try some products from Noughtie, especially as a full-size shampoo and conditioner duo counted as only one product in the Latest in Beauty basket. Out of the two sets I tried, I liked the Blondie locks shampoo more than the “to the rescue” duo, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy any of them again. Rather than being super-nourishing, I found the “to the rescue” products quite thin and watery, which meant I ended up getting through them much faster.

Something I did really enjoy though was the Korres sunflower shampoo. I got mine from Feelunique, but it’s available in supermarkets such as Waitrose and Ocado too. I got this because sunflowers are my favourite, and didn’t actually notice that it was for coloured hair – which I don’t have – but even so, it’s a lovely range and definitely one that I’d recommend.

At the same time, I picked up the Korres almond and linseed mask. This is intended for dry and damaged hair, but you can also use it from time to time as a treatment if you want to give your hair some extra moisture and nourishment. I would definitely get this again as my hair felt great afterwards. It’s not damaged, but it’s so long – down to my waist – that I like to give the ends some love once in a while.

Perfume

Products: 1

I loved this Shea and blue, blood oranges perfume that we got in the 2017 M&S advent calendar. It’s so fresh and well – orange-scented! Definitely one for you if you like your citrus scents. Once I’ve used up some other products, I’d definitely buy this again. I think this is one of the great things about advent calendars, especially the non-branded ones – you get to discover some new brands that you’d never heard of before. (See this post for my thoughts on the advent calendars this year).

Bathtime

Products: 2

I actually forgot that I had this Cowshed Gorgeous Cow shower gel – I found it when I was doing the massive tidy-up operation when the new drawers came. It is part of the Cowshed range and contains Madagascan rose and Indian palmorosa oils, along with lavender to relax you. I love the Cowshed and always recommend their products. They are quite strongly-scented, and some of the scents are unique, using plant extracts that other companies don’t, but I think they’re great.

I tried out the ginger and clementine bubble bath from Waitrose. Actually I got mine from Ocado, but it’s available in both stores. I’m not loyal to bubble baths, but this was a refreshing change, had a good deal of bubbles, and is one that I would cycle round to again.

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.

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Finished in July – 15 empty products and what I thought of them

A little later than usual, but I still wanted to let you know about the products I tried out in July. So here we go – let me know if you’ve used any of these, and if so, what you thought of them!

1. Madara serum (Feelunique)

This time miracle serum from Madara is probably something that I got in a Lovelula box, but to be honest, I don’t remember! I haven’t had something that I don’t like from Madara – it’s a natural brand and its products came to be among my favourites in the Lovelula line-up because of their moisturising properties.

It promises to increase the cellular renewal cycle and thus improve the appearance of skin and reduce fine lines. Not sure there’s much that can be done for my frown lines now, but I like the bit about essential moisture and vitality and I enjoyed using this serum.

2. Molton Brown hand cream (Molton Brown)

I picked up this Molton Brown hand cream when I got the hair care products from them a couple of months ago. As I remember, it was to avoid paying P&P, because I’d rather spend the money on something I’d use than the packaging! Also it’s made with oranges, and I like things with a citrus scent.

Yes, it’s luxurious. Yes, it smells great. Yes, it would make a lovely gift. Given the price though, this is more of a luxury, and there are plenty of cheaper brands that do just as well in terms of softening your hands an cuticles!

3. Korres conditioner (Waitrose)

I picked up this Korres sunflower and mountain tea conditioner from the supermarket because I love Korres skincare and wanted to try out a couple of things from their haircare range.

I’m not a specialist, but I noticed too late that this range is for coloured hair. Still, although I don’t have coloured hair, I still used it because as I understand it, the main difference is that the formula is more gentle and doesn’t strip the hair as much. I wouldn’t go out of my way to by products for coloured hair, but I didn’t see any problem with using this one up, especially as I really liked it. My hairdresser even asked what I’d been using because my hair was so soft, silky, and smooth. If anyone knows more about the differences with products for coloured hair, do let me know in the comments.

4. Raspberry body butter (the Body Shop)

I’m a fan of the body butters from the Body Shop® and I had a raspberry one in my drawer. This was more at the beginning of July, before the really hot weather set in and I reached more for the lightweight formulas. Really I’d say this is more of a winter product, but it is good if you have dryer areas that you want to take care of. Raspberry isn’t my personal favourite in terms of the scents, but if it’s yours, then you’ll smell of tangy raspberries all day! I haven’t found one body butter that I don’t like though, so really it’s just a question of personal preference.

If you’re reading this between 14th Aug and 9AM 4th September 2018, there is an online offer at the Body Shop where you can get £10 off when you spend £30. Use code 14671.

5. Body lotion (Lush)

After trying out some Lush products that were kindly sent to me by a reader, I decided to try out some other things from there. I picked up a couple of my favourite bubble bars, and also decided to try out their Sympathy for the Skin body lotion. It comes in a little pot, and is quite thin, a bit like the body yoghurts I’ve talked about from the Body Shop®. It smells really refreshing too – there’s banana in there, but it’s not totally a banana scent. Perhaps it’s the cocoa butter and vanilla blend. In any event, I think this is a good product for the summer – nice and gentle with a refreshing, but not overpowering scent.

In terms of value for money though, it is quite expensive in terms of what you get. If you compare it to the body yoghurts, they are around the same price, but you get twice as much product. So, whilst I liked this, I think there is better value for a similar product elsewhere. Lush is still my go-to place for bubble bars though!

6. I’m forever blowing bubbles (Lush)

This was what I thought would be a bar, but it’s a kind of circular thing on a stick. You’re apparently supposed to use it for blowing bubbles while you’re running your bath. I didn’t – I just used it like a normal bubble bar, but it’s a novel idea, especially for children or children at heart! It’s smaller than the other bubble bars though, so although I enjoyed it, I’d probably just get the normal ones in future.

7. Green lemon and orange blossom body wash (Boots)

I like Sanctuary Spa products, particularly this citrusy range. The green lemon and orange blossom body wash is fresh and good for waking you up in the morning. As I write this, it’s part of a 3-for-2 offer. No idea how long it will last, but I thought it was worth mentioning! I’ve had it before and often come back to this range.

8.Green lemon and orange blossom moisture miracle (Boots)

Something else that’s on 3 for 2 as I write this is the moisture miracle, which is another of the light-weight moisturisers that seem to be everywhere this summer. Put them on damp skin and they’re dry within minutes, whilst still giving you moisture throughout the rest of the day. None of this watery nonsense that I’ve tried with other brands in the past that dry quickly, but make you feel as if there’s nothing there!

If orange and lemon isn’t your thing, there are moisture miracles in their other scents as well!

9. Maybelline pore eraser primer (Amazon)

I got this pore eraser primer because it was recommended as a cheaper alternative to the Porefessional one. It’s quite thick, and if you don’t like silicone-based primers, you probably won’t like it. However, I think it makes a really nice base. You maybe don’t want it on the hottest days, but I like it more than some of the more expensive primers that I’ve received in beauty boxes lately.

10. MUA whipped velvet blush (Amazon)

I finally finished up a make-up product!! I get through my skincare much faster than my make-up, but I came to the end of my cream velvet blush from MUA.

I’m a big fan of products, and I don’t use any powder blushes. I liked this and used it right down to the bottom till there was only a tiny bit smeared around the edges. I do prefer the sticks though because you just draw them on and blend, so I won’t be repurchasing this one.

11. Burt’s Bees tropical pineapple lip balm (Amazon)

I raved about this pineapple lip balm to begin with – because pineapple! It does smell and taste great, but the flavour crystals do feel a bit rough on the lips as you apply it. Great if you want to exfoliate your lips at the same time, but not so great if you keep applying it and want something a bit more gentle on the lips. I do like the Burt’s Bees products, but would pick up the mango or grapefruit smooth ones rather than getting another one with flavour crystals.

12. Mango whipped body lotion (Body Shop®)

I’ve talked about this mango whipped lotion before. It smells amazing. It’s got a creamy light texture – perfect for the summer months. It’s a pump, so a bit more hygienic than the tubs. Ok I had to take it apart to get every last drop out, but you can get most of the product out using the pump. I’ve talked about this before and it’s a firm favourite.

13. Bee Good serum (Amazon)

I won’t go on about this Bee Good serum here because I’ve only just reviewed it in my Latest in Beauty post. It’s something I would get again though.

14. Noughty Blondie Locks shampoo (Amazon)

I got a conditioner and this shampoo as one item in Latest in Beauty, which was really good value because both of them were full-size. I wanted to try out something from Noughty as I’d seen these haircare products around on Feelunique. I don’t want to say anything bad really because I didn’t dislike the shampoo, but having tried out some Korres products at the same time, the Naughty ones just didn’t excite me as much. So there’s nothing wrong with it – I just liked another brand more.

frosted plum shower gel

The last of my Christmas stuff from the Body Shop®. All of their shower gels are nice enough and good quality, but this scent was a bit sweet for me. Bring back the spiced apple!

Update

I realised that I put it in the header image, but forgot to mention the Pixie glow tonic. This is an exfoliating toner that uses glycolic acid to help remove dead skin cells, and is a good alternative for those of us who don’t like physical exfoliants that rub away at the top layer of skin. I’ve tried a few of these and I do prefer the Nip+Fab pads or the Clarins exfoliating toner. This Pixie one is a bit cheaper, but I’m not a fan of the scent.

So, have you used any of these things? Don’t forget to let me know what you think of them!

The shop names in brackets tell you where my link will lead you, but of course you can get the products in other places too. Some of the links are affiliate links. Some are just added to show you more information and pictures for those who want to know what they look like.

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.

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Latest in Beauty subscription box review May 2018

I thought I’d do another Latest in Beauty post. I know it’s August, so three months ago since I got these products, but I like to try them out fully first, rather than just saying “hey this is what I got!” Because I can’t give an honest opinion if I start talking about them as soon as they arrive. Also, things sell out quite quickly on the site, so I’ve linked to the full size products on other sites. But this should give you an idea of what you can put in a Latest in Beauty build-your-own box. There was a lot of haircare this month, but that was also because I keep away from some of the more traditional Summer products like tanning items. I paid £18 for this box, which works out at £2 per item. At the time of writing, you can also get 3 products for £9, or 6 products for £15.

So here’s what I got!

” > Youth Enhancing Hydrate, Smooth & Prime Serum (Amazon) – This was a travel size, whereas I’ve linked to the full-size product. This is a lovely, non-oily serum that uses ingredients from British bees, and every sale helps to protect the bees. Contains honey and anti-oxidant rich propolis. If you buy the full size, you get it in a pump container, which keeps it fresher for longer and reduces waste.

Soften glove masks (Amazon) Something I’ve mentioned before on here, and a good product to use after you’ve applied nail varnish remover or had your hands in water that dries them out. The only slight problem is that these masks are a little big, but I guess they need to make them suitable for all size of hand, and mine are on the small side. There’s no mess with these because all the product is inside the glove.

” > Ooharr single use face mask (Amazon) I’m usually a sheet mask kind of girl, but I like these fruity masks that are packed with natural ingredients, such as orange, lime and cucumber. This is a revitalising mask with vitamin C, intended to nourish and hydrate the face. I don’t use these all the time, but think that they make a nice change.

” > Yes to tomatoes detoxifying charcoal mask (Boots) This is a sheet mask and it’s great for those times when you want to pamper your skin and clean out your pores. My face is more prone to blemishes at certain times and I like something like this as an alternative to my exfoliating toner. I was a bit worried about using this because the yes to cucumber one made my face red and sore, but this one was fine. It contains tomatoes, aloe vera, ginger, witch hazel, and green tea.

Sweet as cherry pie handcream (Amazon) I like Patisserie de Bain products and although they feel slightly sticky when you apply them, these handcreams soon absorb and leave your hands really soft. There are a range of scents, but my favourites are the lemon and cherry ones

” > Bois d’Orange Lait Sorbet Body Lotion (M&S) This was actually quite a small lotion, but I saw it as a way to try something new, and I’m a fan of all citrusy things. This orange fragrance from Roger & Gallet didn’t disappoint!

Tigi Bed head beach bound sun protection spray (Feelunique) I already raved about this in my July favourites and I think it was my favourite product in the box. It smells amazing and I care about protecting my hair from sun damage. It does say specifically formulated for coloured hair, but any protection is good – surely – even if you don’t have coloured hair. And mango scent!

Tigi Bed Head totally Beachin’ conditioner (Lookfantastic) I liked this conditioner, and I got it because I really enjoyed the other Tigi Bed Head samples that I got a couple of months ago. We had hot weather when I used it, but I’m probably not the ideal target audience, because I don’t spend a long time in the sun, and the beach is definitely not my happy place! So I can’t really say how well it worked in terms of nourishing sun-damaged hair, but it was a good conditioner and left my hair feeling soft and silky.

Tigi Bed Head totally beachin’ shampoo (Lookfantastic) Again, I wasn’t really the target audience for this, because it’s meant to remove debris like sand from your hair, but it’s also good for when you’ve been out in the sun generally, and who doesn’t love the smell of mango and tangerine? Not something I would buy, but definitely something I was happy to try.

So all in all, a bit more haircare this time. Nothing I dislike this month, which was great! Also a few things that I would buy again. So all in all I think this was a successful month!

Have you tried any of these products? What did you think of them? Do you get Latest in Beauty? If you’ve done any reviews or Youtube videos, you’re welcome to drop your links in the comments.

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The emails contain news of my new posts, other things that I’ve enjoyed (podcasts, posts from other bloggers, interesting articles etc), and any UK shopping information that I think my readers might like.

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

You can get £10 off your first Feel Unique order by going onto the site using my http://referme.to/n5TLTyo” > 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, which I will use to buy new things to test out on Unseen Beauty.

May favourites – haircare, keeping fit, and fruity chocolates

So it’s time to talk about the things I’ve been enjoying this month. Let me know if you’ve tried any of them, and also what you’ve been enjoying lately.

Haircare

I’ll start with my haircare treat. A couple of weeks ago I got a couple of Molton Brown hair minis in a beauty box and I really liked the quality and the way my hair was so soft and shiny afterwards. I wasn’t too fussed about the floral scent, so I had a look on the website to see what else they had. I picked up this Glossing hair care set with plum-kadu, which is more expensive than the hair products I usually buy, but when I think of what I spend on my make-up or skincare, I decided to give it a go.

To be honest, I am getting through these products more slowly than the others – partly because I don’t want to waste it, but a little of these does go a long way and it doesn’t feel that the product has been watered down at all. I can’t justify using this all the time, but if I want to give my hair a treat, it’s definitely something I would pick up again, and I think it would make a lovely gift for someone (it comes in a presentation box).

Make-up

In my April favourites I mentioned the Clinique blush stick that I’d picked up and someone mentioned that there are sticks for eyes as well. I didn’t know about this, so I decided to try one out. The Clinique chubby sticks for eyes are like crayons and you colour in your eyelid with them. They’re a bit like the ones from the Body Shop. Some eye crayons are more like pencils and they are a pain because they don’t glide on well and you have to keep sharpening them. However these ones are like a crayon, they don’t scratch, and you can get decent coverage with them quickly and easily. As someone who can’t see what I’m doing, these are really easy to use and I get good results every time (apart from the first time when I was a bit sparing with it and it didn’t show up very well – lesson learned!)

I also got a Laura Mercier lipstick, mainly because I’d read that they were really moisturising and kind to lips. I like it and am glad to have a new brand in my collection. However, although it goes on smoothly and is quite creamy, I think it’s not as moisturising as some of my satin lipsticks.

Owls, wolves and dogs

When I was trying out the TILI box from QVC, I also picked up a cute little owl necklace. (Link removed as it sold out). I wasn’t impressed with the ordering process, which is why I haven’t done a post on it. There was an issue with the website which meant that my order couldn’t be submitted and I had to call them to put it through. Kind of annoying, but the owl is sweet and I’ve been wearing him a lot this month.

Bath and shower

I mentioned my bubble bar discovery earlier in the month when I was talking about my lovely gift of Lush products On our week off, I ended up going to the Lush Store to see what other bars they had, and came out with a
Sunny side Bubble bar
that contains orange lemon and tangerine. I think I still prefer the Bright Side to be honest, but this is a bit more of a delicate scent for anyone who doesn’t want to be blasted by oranges! Again, it was a generous amount of bubbles, even with just half a bar.

Lifestyle !

So this is the random category for things that I can’t put anywhere else.

We’ve been Amazon Prime members for a while and mainly use it for the free deliveries, next-day deliveries, selection of free magazines that you can read on the Kindle app, Amazon music app, and occasional things we want to watch on Amazon video. However, I also discovered that there are free books! Every month, the editors select pre-release books from different genres, and you can select one for free. I haven’t actually finished my first one yet, but I like the way that they choose books from a range of genres so that you’re likely to find one or two books that you wouldn’t mind giving a go! The service is called Amazon first reads, and if you’re interested in becoming a Prime member, (the first month is free), you can find out more about Prime here.

The lovely hot weather meant that we went to our first barbecue of the year in May as well and enjoyed some good company, good food (yay chicken with mango marinade and haloumi!), and there’s also something really good about eating outside.

I’ve been doing regular sessions on the running machine and bike, but as Blind Alive had a sale, I got two of their fitness workouts – one for use with weights, and the boot camp, which is the hardest in the cardio series. The good thing about these workouts is that they are made with blind people in mind, which means that all the moves are described in a way that’s easy to follow if you can’t watch a video of someone demonstrating the exercises. It’s so frustrating when you can’t just find something on Youtube and follow along because you have no idea what’s going on. In fact, if you don’t do things properly, you can end up doing more harm than good, which is why I appreciate the fact that someone has taken the time to put together these workouts and describe what you need to do. You can find a full list of the fitness workouts here. Also, if you want to listen to Mel from Blind Alive’s interview with me, you can find it here.

Maybe I shouldn’t be talking about it just after the work-outs, but Hotel Chocolat has brought out a cheesecake selection chocolate box. There’s coffee, lemon, strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, passion fruit – so many good things and no sea salt in sight – which is how all selection boxes should be as far as I’m concerned! I particularly like this selection because there are a lot of fruity chocolates in it – and of course there’s coffee chocolate too! You can find out more about the cheesecake collection here.

Fragrance

I wouldn’t say this has pushed any of my firm favourites out of place, but I was pleasantly surprised when we got a perfume in the Pink Parcel box in April. It’s a risk to put a fragrance in anything, but I liked the Catherine Malandrino Style de Paris Purse Spray because it’s a real summery scent and of course it has one of my favourite ingredients – grapefruit!

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

More from Unseen Beauty

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The emails contain news of my new posts, other things that I’ve enjoyed (podcasts, posts from other bloggers, interesting articles etc), and any UK shopping information that I think my readers might like.

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New and favourite things in April

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

Bluetooth headset

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

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

a plastic storage box”

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

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

Make-up

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Skincare

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

Haircare

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

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

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

More from Unseen Beauty

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.

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

New and favourite products in March

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

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

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

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

New from the Body Shop

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

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

Trip to Boots

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

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

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

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

Glossybox

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

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

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

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

Burt’s Bees

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

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

Giveaway and discounts

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

Listen to the podcast episode

I’ve also produced a podcast episode about my March favourites. You can look for Unseen Beauty on Apple podcasts (previously known as iTunes), or wherever you get your podcasts. Alternatively, you can listen to it here:

More from Unseen Beauty

If you’d like to get my catch-up emails, usually twice a week, you can sign up using this form.

The emails contain news of my new posts, other things that I’ve enjoyed (podcasts, posts from other bloggers, interesting articles etc), and any UK shopping information that I think my readers might like.

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