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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Lovelula March 17

Today I’d like to tell you about my March Lovelula box. I don’t like to write these posts as soon as the box arrives, as I’d rather take some time to test the products and tell you what I think of them.

So now I have one build-your-own beauty box, and one which is a surprise, though out of all the surprise boxes I investigated online, I think this is the one which gives me the most products I’d be likely to use. In addition to that, buying from Lovelula means you are supporting eco-friendly, natural brans, which is something that I want to do.

My favourite product in the box was one of the smaller ones, but it is full-size and a little goes a long way! It’s the Papaya & Pineapple Lip Balm by Hurraw. Ok, I’m like a magpie when I discover things with pineapple and papaya in them, but there are actually benefits to using this too! The papaya seed oil contains moisturising fatty acids and is good for the skin. It has a creamy texture, tastes delicious and does a good job of moisturising my lips.

My next favourite is the PHB Ethical Beauty Brightening Hand Cream. To be honest I’d never thought of a brightening hand cream, but the organic butters soften skin and reduce dryness without leaving a horrible greasy residue – a big dealbreaker for me when it comes to hand cream! The scent is neroli and ylang ylang, something I wouldn’t have known without looking at the website, but it’s a pleasant sent and something I’m happy to have on my hands.

Next up is the Seascape Island Apothecary Unwind Body Wash. This contains soothing lavender oil, and ylang ylang. Perfect for relaxing in the bath at the end of a long day and calming the mind before going to bed. I don’t tend to wear lavender fragrances during the day, but I like to smell it before going to bed.

The box also included a 5ml sample of the Kimberly Sayer Ultra Light Facial Moisturiser. On a positive note, I was glad to get the one for normal to dry skin, and this product does have a lot of good reviews on the site. However, I didn’t like it. Firstly I didn’t like the scent – I don’t know what it was about it – it contains lemon oil, but I like lemons. I have no idea, but I don’t like applying something on my face if I don’t like the scent. Secondly, far from being light, I found this quite greasy – again not something I want in a moisturiser. Thirdly, some sunscreen is better than none I suppose, but spf30 is not enough for me, so I’d need to still use sun block on top of this, which is fine, but it means it’s a bit pointless for me to specifically buy moisturisers with sunscreen.

Finally there was the Laidbare For Richer For Porer Pore Minimiser Facial Mask, which I can’t really tell you about as I gave it to a friend. According to the website: “Kaolin clay draws out impurities and toxins, Japanese seaweed extract detoxifies and smooths the skin. Shea butter gives hydration and conditions skin, whilst liquorice helps minimise inflammation and rose w
ater soothes irritation”. I’m more of a sheet mask kind of girl and I heard that this also contains some kind of exfoliation, which I already have covered because I don’t like anything super gritty on my skin. I don’t know how much exfoliant is in this because as I said, I gave it away. Still, I haven’t read any bad reviews about this.

Overall I was happy with the products in this box. It was another 80% month, i.e. I gave one product away, but that’s ok because I get plenty of stuff from my friends as well. I didn’t like the Kimberly Sayer product, but it was only a sample, and now I know what it’s like before investing in something larger than a sample size!

How about you?

Have you tried any of these products? What do you think of them? Have you tried any other products from these brands?

If you have a Lovelula subscription and wrote a post about the March box, feel free to pop the link in the comments.

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January empties

The products that I used up in January, what I thought of them, and whether I would buy them again.

Today I’m going to talk about the products that I used up in January. There seem to be a lot of skincare and bath products – this is partly because I’m making an effort to use up things that have been opened, and partly because I have quite a lot of minis from the advent calendar.

Skincare

First of all, I’ve used up a number of hand creams. I get dry hands and I like to have a hand cream on my desk, in my bag etc, so I usually have a number of them on the go.

I’m not a big fan of strawberry products because they’re often quite sweet, but I liked this Baylis and Harding strawberry and pomegranate hand cream 75 ml because it moisturised well, wasn’t oily and had a nice scent. It was a decent size to put in the little piggy basket on my desk.

I had to think about the next one – would I actually recommend it? It’s the Patisserie de Bain lemon hand cream 50 ml. This company produces products with wonderful scents, and anyone who likes citrus will probably like this. I love the way my hands feel after using this product – they stay soft for a long time, longer than when I use some more expensive products. However, when you’re applying the hand cream, the hands do feel a bit sticky and I don’t like this very much. If you can put up with it for a couple of minutes, you’ll be ok. Once the product has been absorbed, your hands don’t stay sticky. But if the initial stickiness would put you off, this is probably not the right product for you!

The next thing is the spiced apple hand cream from the Body Shop. This was part of the Christmas 2016 range, so you can’t get it any more, but if it comes back next year, I’ll be buying some more! I only wish the Body Shop would do hand creams that are bigger than 30 ml. 30 ml is fine for your handbag, but for your desk or bedroom, it’s good to have a bit more. I also used up the spiced apple body butter that was part of a Christmas set in the apple tin pictured on this post. They both smelled amazing and I don’t think you can go wrong with the Body Shop body butters!

Next up is something I wouldn’t buy again – the Nivea essential light moisturising cream for normal to combination skin. I’m not even sure how I came to have this product and I wouldn’t get the best out of it because I don’t have normal to combination skin. That’s probably why it didn’t do a great job at giving me the moisture I needed. But even if I got one for dry skin, I think there are better moisturisers on the market than this one.

Now to something I did enjoy, and at the same time, a big shout out to the lovely lady at the Clarins counter! This was a tester, so I didn’t use it on my face over a long period of time, but I really liked the Clarins multi active night cream. I got the one for dry skin and it applied well, leaving my skin feeling smooth and moisturised the next day. This is expensive, and I know cheaper products that I believe would do just as well, so I would see this as more of a special treat or something to tell Santa about than something I would get for every day use. Though if you’re looking for a high-end moisturiser, I’d definitely say “give it a go!”

Next is something I thought was really grim! I’m the kind of girl who uses something up, even if it isn’t my favourite, or I pass it along if it doesn’t suit me. But I couldn’t pass on something which I thought tasted awful, so I just had to bin it.At first I was really happy to have found a chocolate and cherry lip balm, but I can’t have this stuff on my lips. It tastes strange and it’s not smooth. So the Palmers chocolate and cherry tinted lip balm had to go!

Bath and shower products

Firstly something that was so good that I had to repurchase – Avon chocolate orange bubble bath! This made my whole house smell wonderful. Ok, if you don’t like strong scents, this isn’t for you, but if you love the mixture of chocolate and orange as much as I do and want to smell like you’ve been bathing in a tub of Terry’s chocolate oranges, this is the bubble bath for you! There was a decent amount of bubbles too.

On a similar note, I also tried out the Faith in Nature chocolate bubble bath and shower gel – after all, who doesn’t want to soak away the stress of the day in chocolate? However I was a bit disappointed with it – mainly because it smelled delicious when you poured in the bubbles, but the smell didn’t last. So if you want lots of bubbles, it’s ok, but I wanted the chocolatey goodness all the way through bathtime, and that just didn’t happen in the same way as with the chocolate orange. I’m also a little bit suspicious of two-in-ones such as cleanser + toner, shampoo + conditioner or body wash + bubble bath. Maybe that’s just me, but I’d rather have something that does one thing well, than something that does several things to an ok standard.

The next thing I got through was an enormous satsuma shower gel (750 ml) from the Body Shop. I already have another one of these, so that tells you what I think about them!

One of the Body Shop advent calendar surprises was the Polynesian Island Tiare shower gel, which I wouldn’t repurchase because I’m more of a fruity than a floral girl when it comes to bath products and skin care. It did the job well enough though, I just wasn’t that keen on the scent.

We also used up some products from the Baylis and Harding sweet mandarin and grapefruit range. Firstly there was the bubble bath – I got it as part of a gift set and you don’t seem to be able to buy it separately. Secondly we used up the hand wash in the same range, something that I will definitely buy again.

I was sad to see the end of my Victoria’s Secret mango temptation body wash, which I got for Christmas. A must-have for anyone who likes mangos!

Hair products

I’ve been using the same shampoo and conditioner for years now and, although I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the product, I am going to try out some different ones. So I won’t be repurchasing the John Frieda sheer blonde go blonder conditioner, but it served me well!

Food and drink

I munched my way through these delicious milk, dark and white chocolate espresso beans which my boyfriend picked up as a surprise for me on a visit to Whittards. Chocolate and coffee are two of my favourite things, and I think they are flavours that go well together. If you feel the same, go on, treat yourself!!

What do you think?

So, have you tried any of these products? If so, what did you think of them?

If you’re interested in any of the body shop products, I’ve included the links to the shop online, but at the end of the month I’m going to have a virtual Body Shop party for UK readers. More information will be coming soon, so remember to sign up if you want to know how to take part. Also, in March I’m going to be looking at skincare and products for the hands. Do you have any recommendations of things that I should try?

Remember that you can see lists of all the products that I’ve reviewed on the featured products pages.

This post does contain affiliate links, but I only link to things that I own or have tried.

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