New products and old favourites from the Body Shop

I guess the brand that I am most loyal to is the Body Shop. I don’t use their products exclusively, but I buy a lot of stuff from there because the products are great value, they’re kind to my skin (I’ve never had a bad reaction from anything there), I like the brand’s ethics, and the products smell amazing too.

This post is about some things from a recent online order, where I also got to spend the points I earned from recycling my old products, and some things I picked up in a Sale on Facebook. Heidi is a Body Shop at Home consultant and she has a Facebook group where the sale was held.

What I got from Heidi’s sale

The sale was stock clearance, so everyone watching the Facebook live could just say which products they wanted from the selection and buy them if they were still available.

I was happy when the Body Shop started doing sheet masks as I give myself a face mask treatment once or twice a week, and the sheet masks are so much nicer to use than the ones that you paint on. I got two of the vitamin c sheet masks, which are part of the vitamin C range for hydrated and more radiant-looking skin. These masks definitely have enough serum in them, but they are not sopping like some others where you feel that you are wasting serum. I find the Body Shop masks fit my face well (some from other brands are definitely too large, too wide, or go up too far above the eyes. However, they don’t cover the chin and lower jaw area as well as some others do.

Recently a new range of hand washes came out and I was eager to try them, especially as one was my 2nd favourite scent – pink grapefruit! The pink grapefruit hand wash smells amazing, just like the rest of the range. It leaves your hands feeling soft, and although it’s a bit more expensive than other hand washes on the market, the packaging is part of the recycling scheme, so you can earn £1 back in points when you recycle it. You can read more about the recycling scheme here. I probably wouldn’t use these all the time, but I definitely like them as a grapefruity treat!

I hadn’t had anything from the banana range for a while, so I also got a banana shower cream, which is one of the special summer edition shower creams. I like the fruity scent, but I also like the fact that it’s made from bananas that won’t sell to the food industry and presumably would otherwise have gone to waste.This shower cream smells exactly like the banana haircare products.

I don’t usually buy from the strawberry range, but I do like the fast-absorbing body yoghurts, especially in the summer, when it’s hot. So I got a pot of the strawberry body yoghurt as a change from the mango or almond milk and honey ones that I usually get. This body yoghurt is enriched with strawberry juice and almond milk and the strawberry scent really makes you think of summer.

So that’s what I got from the sale – a couple of things I liked already, a new product, and an older product that was new to me.

What I picked up from the Body Shop online

The online store is mostly accessible, although I have had problems applying vouchers using a screenreader.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know that the mango range is my favourite. I had £5 to spend because I returned 5 items of recycling, so I spent them on a mango shower gel because it smells amazing!

I picked up the almond hand wash too, but it doesn’t appear to be on the site any more. If it comes back, it’s a good alternative for you if you aren’t into fruity scents as much. I like it because it has a distinctive almond scent, more so than the almond milk and honey range.

I’ve tried the eye shadow sticks before. They’re certainly easier to use than powder eye shadows. I have a couple from the Body Shop and have recommended them in the past, though now I’ve tried a few other brands, the Body Shop ones aren’t the gentlest on the eyes, and they can dry out and drag a bit. I prefer the formula to be a bit more creamy. Anyway, I’ve recently been investigating liquid eye shadows because even without being able to see what I’m doing, I can paint the liquid eye shadow on where I want it with no worries about fall-out as I’d get with a powder. So I was interested to see the metallic eye shadows, which unfortunately seem to be out of stock at the moment. Not every day will be a metallic eye shadow kind of day, but I was happy with this because it gives me another option that I can feel confident about using without worrying whether it looks ok.

I’ve already mentioned the vitamin C masks. I used something that my skin really didn’t like recently, so I picked up a couple of things from the aloe range because they’re good for soothing and hydrating skin – either because you naturally have sensitive skin, or because you had an experience like I did and justwant to sooth it after irritation.(Of course if you have skin concerns, you should seek advice yourself as this recommendation won’t be suitable for everyone). Anyway, the aloe range has helped me in the past, so I got one aloe sheet mask and one vitamin E sheet mask” because they are good for hydration.

These masks are also good in the really hot weather because they have a cooling effect as the liquid evaporates.

How about you?

Do you like any of these products, or have you tried anything new recently from the Body Shop? Let us know in the comments!

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Trying out new products in July

I’ve collected together another 15 products to tell you about. I’m doing these less regularly now and not featuring repeat products. There’s less make-up now too as I don’t get through it as quickly as the skin care. But I still enjoy trying out new things, so here are 15 more!
Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products and what you thought of them!

Burt’s Bees

I like Burt’s Bees as a brand. I like the ethos behind it and the products. I wanted a new micellar water and saw that Burt’s Bees do one too, so I picked it up when I was doing my grocery shop.
The Burt’s Bees micellar water has a slightly stronger scent than I’m used to – a kind of honey scent. I wasn’t sure if it was going to be a problem for me at first, but I grew to like it, and the product is good and gentle, so I’d get it again.

Gatineau

The next couple of things were from my FeelUnique Pick ‘n Mix samples. I might do another post about these, but basically you can get 5 samples and you just pay the £3.95 P&P. Then you get a voucher back for the £3.95 to spend on your next shop. Conditions apply, only once per month.
Anyway, I really like Gatineau Products, but they’re super expensive. I think that generally they’re worth it, especially the serums, but I can’t justify that price all the time. So I picked up a couple of samples.
There was the advanced rejuvenating cream which I’ve actually before, and liked. It’s aimed at the over 40s, but never mind – I’m not far off!
The second sample was the exfoliating mask – I have to be honest and say I didn’t leave it to set for long enough, so possibly didn’t get the best results. Always read the instructions! Essentially it’s an exfoliator, and anything that does this without grains or horrid micro beads is good in my book, though I’d have to give this another go to say what I really think of it. Having said that, I’m not a big fan of lavender in face products, and the scent of it was quite strong.

Jason

I really wanted to like this Mango shower gel, partly because I had 900 ml of it to use up, but mainly because I’ve heard good things about the brand – and of course it’s mango! There was nothing wrong with it, but the mango scent just didn’t smell like mangos to me – it was like mangos mixed with something else. It did the job, but I think I’ve tried so many mango products that I’m just really fussy now!

L’Occitane

This is an old favourite – I already knew that I liked the Verbena shower gel. I think I got this mini in the M&S advent calendar last year. I was going to save it up for my travel bag, but then decided to use it at home. Anyone who likes a fresh lemon scent will enjoy this.
I used up a perfume from this brand too – a mini from the advent calendar I believe – but as I couldn’t find it again on the site, I haven’t linked it.

Lush

We popped into Lush on our week off and I picked up a few bubble bars that I hadn’t tried before.
The love token bubble bar says “thank you” on it in raised letters. I get very excited about raised letters because I can read them – even when it’s random messages like “pull here” or “do not drink”. Anyway, thank you is a much better message and this bar smells of pine, ginger and clove. It’s sold out at the moment – I think it’s mainly a Valentine’s Day thing, but you could gift it any time you want to thank someone.
Blue skies and fluffy white clouds is one of the bigger bars, so you can snap it in half and get two baths out of it. It makes your bath smell of frankincense and patchouli – not scents I’ve tried before, but it was definitely relaxing.
French Kiss is lavender and rosemary, with coconut oil to moisturise your skin. Lavender on the face is not fine, but in the bath water is actually quite relaxing, particularly at the end of a long day.
I enjoyed all of these bubble bars and always choose the bars over the bath bombs because then you get the lovely scents and don’t have to add extra bubbles. A lot of these bars also contain oils or butters for that bit of extra moisture. It was a blog reader who introduced me to these, so thank you Becky!

Nuxe

I was introduced to Nuxe at Christmas when I got a gift set, so I was interested to see this body milk come up on the sample service. Now I can only find it on the European site though and it appears to be sold out there. I liked the product, but I probably wouldn’t go and chase it down if it weren’t readily available. It smelled good and absorbed quickly, but the sample wasn’t huge, so I’d have to test it some more to give a full review.

Origins

I tried a moisturiser from this brand last year and then decided to get a set of minis to try out some of their other more popular products. I finished a travel size of the drink up mask with avocado, which is a leave-on overnight mask that smells amazingly fruity and leaves your skin feeling great afterwards. Not the cheapest mask around, and I’m not sure how the Swiss glacier water helps, but I think it’s worth it as a treat once in a while!
There was also a mini of the spot cream. This stings like crazy, but it works. Maybe not the best if you have really sensitive skin, but if you want a blemish gone quickly, it does the job!

Sanctuary Spa

My mum introduced me to the Sanctuary spa body soufflé, which is lighter than a body butter and comes in a really big tub. It even lasted me a while, and I’m really generous with it! It feels quite thin and at first you don’t think it will do much, but it does actually keep your skin feeling soft and is good for any dry areas. And it contains mango oil, so what’s not to love?

Superdrug

Unlike the Vitamin E serum from this range, which is really quite thick like a cream, the vitamin C booster is more like what you would think of when using a serum. It’s got a little pipette that almost reaches to the bottom. It smells fresh and fruity, and sits well under moisturiser and make-up. It claims to leave skin softer and brighter. This is a budget range, but you could do a lot worse and I’ve had much more expensive serums that didn’t do as good a job as this. I don’t usually tend to shop in Superdrug, but I think these products are good value for money.

The Body Shop

We couldn’t have an empties post without at least one product from here! I don’t often do repeats, but I did want to mention the vitamin C skin reviver. It’s the only thing I buy now as a primer and I love it for making a smooth base for make-up. Sometimes I even use it on non-make-up days as well.

Yes to

This is not a recommendation! I ended up throwing out my grapefruit snapstick because my skin hated it and I had breakouts and big red blotches after using it. I would still use the Yes To hair products or shower gels, but I’m reluctant to try anything else on my face as this is the second bad reaction I’ve had. The first one was to the cucumber sheet mask.
I like the concept – a mask in stick form, but I was thinking it would be a creamy formula like a satin lipstick or a cream blush stick. It wasn’t, and I didn’t like the way it dragged across the skin. That’s why I just cut my losses and threw it out.
Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products and what you thought of them.

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New products from the Body Shop

I decided to pop into the Body Shop the other day as I had run out of a couple of things, and I’d also heard that there was a new haircare range. I’m a fan of the banana and strawberry ranges, so wanted to try the shea one too. All of these products were bought by me. None were gifted and these are my honest thoughts.

First for the things that I wanted to stock up on. After discovering the Vitamin C skin reviver back in December, it’s now become my new favourite primer! I like the silky smooth finish either on its own or as a base for make-up, and it’s a cruelty-free alternative to some of the other primers I’ve used in the past. It’s slick without being greasy, and it promises to enhance natural radiance and cheer up “dull grumpy skin”. That just about sums up me in the morning!

I’d also run out of the mango body sugar scrub which is the only physical exfoliants that I will use. And it smells amaaazing! Like the rest of the Body Shop mango range.

I’d definitely recommend these two products!

The new shea haircare line

There were some other new shea products, but I just picked up the three haircare ones.

The shea butter shampoo does what it promises in terms of leaving the hair feeling nourished. The range is especially good if you have dry hair or want to give it some love to stop breakages or dry ends. It has a fresh but non-intrusive scent. I’m really fussy about hair products that smell of chemicals, and this range definitely doesn’t.

The shea butter conditioner is for dry to damaged hair and promises to leave hair feeling intensely nourished and richly replenished. I don’t have damaged hair, but because it’s so long, I like to give it nourishing treatments from time to time to stop the ends drying out. It definitely felt in good condition afterwards, and it was nice and silky, but I’m less convinced about the claim that it helps with detangling. I didn’t feel this and I think there are more effective detangling conditioners out there. Still, the community shea butter from Ghana is definitely something that will perk up dry hair.

The shea hair mask is similar to the conditioner, but it’s a thicker treatment to apply for longer. I actually preferred this, both in terms of the nourishment and glossiness factor, but given the choice between this one and the banana, I’d still take the banana!

So, overall, I thought the new line was nice enough, but I do prefer the fruity ones more, so I probably wouldn’t buy these again. If the banana and strawberry are too strong for you though or you’re already a fan of the shea line, you might enjoy something to keep your hair soft and with a less intense fragrance.

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15 products from 2019 – part 1

Well, I haven’t given up on the product reviews entirely, but I’m doing things a bit differently now. There will be posts that each have 15 products in them, and they won’t be monthly any more. If I thought something was just nice enough or ok, I probably won’t spend time talking about it. So the things I’ll write about are either amazing, or there’s some kind of story, or I discovered something new, or maybe I really hated something. Who knows. But I hope you like the new style of product post.

So here are the first 15 – quite a lot of Body Shop in here! Have you tried any of these? Let me know in the comments.

1. Orange moisturiser

I was excited to try something from Dr Botanicals, and even happier that it was something with a citrus scent. This moisturiser comes in a tube, a bit like a hand cream, which I prefer to the tubs, and keeps your cream fresher. It does have an orange scent, but isn’t overly perfumed, and you won’t notice it after a few minutes. I enjoyed using it, would definitely be open to trying more from the range.

2. Mango hand cream

I love this mango hand cream from the Body Shop stuff so much! The only thing is I wish they would do it in bigger tubes, but these ones are fine to go in your handbag. I haven’t found anything in the mango line that I don’t like, and you’ll see some other products from there in this post too. The Body Shop hand creams aren’t the cheapest, but they are good value, and there are often deals, where you can either get money off, or buy multiple products for a reduced price.

3. ELF primer

I’ve mentioned this primer before, and I replaced it again when this one run out. I’ve since started using a different one too, but I like to have a couple on the go just in case one runs out. It’s a silicone-based primer, which is like the marmite of primers – you either like it or you don’t – but I like it for creating a base. I’m feeling the love for my Body Shop one more at the moment, but I’ll definitely use this as well.

4. Vitamin E toner

As toners go, I’ve been more in to the spray on type recently. They are better for the environment because you don’t use cotton wool to apply them, and I think as we move into the Spring and Summer, they’ll be more refreshing too. However, as far as the more traditional toners go, I got through another vitamin E one from the Body Shop. I bought a couple of different ones from there recently to try them out, but overall I still prefer this one because it’s so nourishing, not watery (I hate that!), and it’s gentle on the skin.

5. Yes to cucumbers micellar water

I think the person who designed this packaging needs a D minus and to be sent back to design school! The first cucumber micellar water that came had the top shattered, which meant I had to order a replacement. When the replacement came, it was such a pain to use. Rather than a spray nozzle, it has a kind of circle with a hole in the centre where the product shoots out. I think you maybe press it onto a pad, but then it prevents the product coming out properly. If you hold it slightly away, it goes all over your hands and not on the pad. I got fed up with it and decanted it into an empty bubble bath bottle. The product is fine, but I don’t have time for all that faffing about.

6. Mango shower gel

Love love love this mango shower gel! It was part of a birthday present that included lots of the mango line and I never get tired of smothering myself in the mango scent! My favourite from the Body Shop skincare line!

7. Nail varnish remover pads

I know some people think this is a bit extravagant, but if you’re travelling, or if you don’t want to risk spilling nail varnish remover, these nail varnish remover pads are a good idea. These ones are from Waitrose. Ocado do them too, and the Ocado ones come in a bigger pack, which works out as better value if you will use them regularly, but in terms of performance they’re about the same, so the Waitrose ones are a good one to start with if you want to see whether you like them. They don’t feel as moist as a cotton round covered in traditional nail varnish remover does, but they do work as long as you’re thorough, and they don’t have that traditional strong nail varnish remover scent either. I will keep using the pads now that I’ve discovered them.

8. Clarins exfoliating toner

Of all the exfoliating toners I’ve tried, this is my favourite! It’s similar to the Pixie Glow Tonic, but I can’t bear the smell of the glow tonic unfortunately! So this from Clarins is slightly more expensive, but it’s an ideal solution for someone like me that doesn’t like physical exfoliants for the face. I won’t repurchase straight away as I also have some exfoliating pads from Nip+Fab to get through, but I would definitely buy it again.

9. Mango body yoghurt

You see a theme going on here? Yes, I love the mango body yoghurt too! This is a lightweight body moisturiser and unlike a couple of the other body yoghurts, this one dries down really quickly, without feeling sticky. As with the other products in this range, the mango scent stays around, so the best way to spend the rest of the day smelling of it is to layer a couple of them up!

10. Mango body scrub

Yay for birthday presents – they get you to try things you otherwise wouldn’t have picked up. I hadn’t tried the sugar scrub before, because generally, I don’t like scrubs. I don’t like the texture. I don’t like the way they feel in the bath or shower. But this is sugar, not some kind of ground up or crushed up thing, so it exfoliates your skin and then dissolves in the water – as if it had never been there. Leaving just the mango scent behind. Salt scrubs are harsher and dissolve more slowly – but this is great and I would buy it again.

11. Pink grapefruit spray

I finished up a bottle of this pink grapefruit mist – which is something I tend to use as a body spray. I guess you could use it as a scent on its own, but I usually wear a scent in addition to this. The pink grapefruit line is another one of my favourites from the Body Shop – more zesty and less sweet than the mango.

12. Origins face wash

I got a bunch of Origins minis in a set during the pre-Christmas sale as I wanted to try out some more from the range. My favourite is still the moisturiser – the reason I got the set in the first place. I liked a couple of the other things too, but wasn’t really a fan of the frothy face wash. Face products should not contain mint. Ever! It doesn’t matter how good the product is. If face or hair products contain mint, they’re out of the running for me. Shame though as generally I do like Origins.

13. Troublemaker mascara

I got a mini of the Urban Decay troublemaker mascara in the Feelunique sale. Sexproof lashes? Really? Apparently lasts through snowboarding, saunas and sex! Glad we got that sorted out then! Who even tests these claims out?

I’m generally not a fan of minis, but I did want to give this a try and was glad that I had. It was volumising without being clumpy and didn’t flake off or smudge.

14. Sunflower hand cream

I talked about this a while ago, but it came up on Latest in Beauty, so I got myself another tube of the sunflower hand cream from Laidbare. Originally I got this for the highly technical reason of liking sunflowers, but it is a good hand cream – moisturising, decent price, not greasy, and a generally good all-rounder. I usually go for fruity hand creams, but this made a nice change.

15. Apple micellar water

This is from a regime of products that I bought from Freshly Cosmetics. It’s the best-smelling micellar water I have ever used and contains ingredients such as aloe vera, green apple water, ginger and cucumber extracts. Definitely not the cheapest out there, but these products make good gifts or treats for yourself. Here’s the link to the apple micellar water.

Discounts and offers

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

Feelunique – you can get £10 off your first Feel Unique order by going onto the site using my affiliate link. This offer is open to new customers only, and the minimum spend is £30.

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

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

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Good things in November

I’m trying to get my November favourites in before the end of November because tomorrow is the beginning of Blogmas! It’s a bit shorter this month because some of the things that I’ve been enjoying will get their own post as part of my Christmas content. I’ve been enjoying getting ready for Blogmas over the last couple of weeks, so I suppose that is a kind of favourite before I’ve even started!

1. Mango products!

We went for dinner with some friends who clearly know me very well! We hadn’t seen them for a while and I was given my birthday present – some delicious mango chocolates, which are not in the picture because by the time we got round to taking it, they had already been opened or eaten, and a selection of products from the Body Shop’s mango range. I think someone has been reading my blog!

There were firm favourites such as the mango shower gel, the mango body butter, and the mango body yoghurt – all of which I can definitely recommend. I also got the mango lip butter, which contains mango oil and smells good enough to eat, and the mango body scrub, which I hadn’t tried before, but which is a soluble sugar scrub. I don’t usually use physical scrubs, but if I do, this is the best type because it’s grainy and you get the scrubbing action, but because you’re using sugar particles, they dissolve and don’t stay around.

So all in all I’ve been walking around smelling like a giant mango!

We talk a lot about the Body Shop®’s festive scents, but if you know someone likes a specific line from the Body Shop, you can just as easily put together a lovely gift from that line.

2. Feelunique pick ‘n mix

I won’t talk about this at length because I wrote a post about it, but I enjoyed finding another way to try out some new products to test on the blog!

3. Toffee apple

This is really random and I hope my dentist isn’t reading this – but S brought me home one of these after bonfire night and I was intrigued to try it because I’d never had one before. The sweetness of the sugar and the crunchiness of the apple – I don’t want to think of how many calories were in that, but I’m glad I tried it!

4. New shampoo

I usually try out new shampoos and conditioners together, but on this occasion I just got the Aveda almond cherry shampoo when I was putting through a Lookfantastic order to claim my Glossy points. I thought I’d give it a go and had been meaning to try something from the brand for a while. I should really get the conditioner as well, but I was happy with Its performance and love the cherry scent!

5. Tili Urban Jungle

I don’t usually shop at QVC, but from time to time they bring out beauty boxes. The Urban Jungle box costs £20 and contains 11 products. The shower gel alone can cost £10 when it’s not on offer, so provided you would use most of the things in the box, it’s a good deal. I gave away the dry shampoo and the eye shadow, but even so, it was still worth my while and a chance to discover some new brands.

6. Completing the first part of my first module

I couldn’t bring myself to write that getting my first assignment in was a favourite, but we covered an interesting range of topics in the first module from website design to databases to creating sound media content. Some things weren’t new to me, whereas others really made my brain work (yay for binary and hexadecimal calculations), but all in all it was a good block and I passed my first two assignments!

The current block is not as much fun for me, but I am just focussing on getting it done so that I can move on to something more interesting and relevant.

7. More work on the house complete

It’s a work in progress and we have more plans for things that we want to do, but after my accident in the Summer, getting a bannister for the stairs came higher up the priority list. I didn’t have an accident on the stairs, and I can walk around unaided most of the time, but the leg is weaker and I don’t trust it yet, so having a bannister instead of the open stairwell makes me happy!

8. Shout out to our postman!

I do a lot of my shopping online, which only increases as Christmas approaches. Most of the delivery drivers are fine – apart from the ones that don’t knock even though you’re in, or the ones that leave a card saying “We left your package either on your property or with a neighbour” – very helpful!

I guess our postman sees more of me than many of his customers, but it’s the little things – he knows I have to make a dash down the stairs and also that this is harder for me at the moment, so he doesn’t just drop the parcels and run – or even worse, take them back. Time is money, but he waits. He also knows I’m visually impaired and usually says how many packages there are, rather than just handing me the bottom one and hoping I’ll realise it’s actually a stack of boxes. Just little things that make life easier.

What have you been enjoying this month? Let me know in the comments!

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14 empty products from June

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

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

Bath and shower

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

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

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

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

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

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

Haircare

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

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

Skincare

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

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

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

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

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

Fragrance

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

Summer giveaway

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

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New and favourite things in June – beauty box, Braille ring, body yoghurts, and bedroom furniture

So it’s time for my favourites again, but I want this to not only be about new things I bought, but other random things that made me happy! Let me know yours in the comments, and also whether you’ve tried any of these things.

1. M&S Beauty Box

I saw a post about this box, but I didn’t get it because I wasn’t planning to get anything from M&S. However about a week later, my Mum surprised me with it! I would link it, but it has already sold out. It was the same idea as with the Advent calendar – there is a minimum spend price for M&S, and then you can get the box for a good price.

The first thing I picked out was the Eos pink grapefruit lip balm with SPF, because of course it was grapefruit! I’ve already used a lemon one, but this grapefruit is amazing and it smells and tastes so good if you love grapefruit as much as I do!

I am also enjoying the Sheer Radiance perfume, which is a blend of citrus and floral scents. I think I probably like it because of the mandarin, but there are also notes of gardenia and pink pepper. This is a 30ml perfume, so really good for a beauty box as well.

2. My spinner and Braille rings

My friend Amy has started making her own silver jewellery and after I admired some of her rings, she offered to make me a spinner ring. I didn’t actually know they were a thing, but I like the idea of having a spinner as something to wear. Anyway Amy made the ring and she also made another one as a surprise – my first Braille ring. No pictures yet, but look out for them in an upcoming post where there will be an interview with Amy. The ring says “friend” in Braille. As a non-Braille reader, we were teasing her about maybe writing fried or fiend – but it definitely says friend! Amy looked up the Braille letters online and pushed the dots through with a pointed tool so that they were raised.

3. Body yoghurts

The Body Shop has brought out some new products ready for the Summer. The body yoghurts are like the butters, but a much lighter formula that absorbs into the skin really quickly. They’re moisturising, but you don’t have to wait around for ages! I got the mango one and the almond milk one. I like this concept – they’re a bit more runny than other products I’ve used for the range, but you don’t want to be caking yourself in thick cream when it’s hot outside. I love the mango range anyway, and the almond milk is a nice change – especially good for those who don’t like such a strong scent.

4. Nail varnish remover pads

I know this could be seen as lazy, but I like this idea. Nail varnish remover is by nature thin, and it can come out too fast sometimes. So having preloaded pads is efficient! These pads from Waitrose don’t even smell like nail varnish remover!

5. Sweet as cherry pie hand cream

I got this sweet as cherry pie hand cream from Patisserie de Bain in my Latest in Beauty box, so I’ve linked to it on Amazon. These hand creams are a bit unusual in that they apply like a normal hand cream, go a bit sticky for a few seconds, and then dry completely. So not something if you want to slap it on an run, but if you have a couple of minutes, it is worth it, because they are really moisturising, and as long as you wait that minute or so, they are not sticky at all. I really liked the lemon one, and this one, which smells strongly of cherries, is good too!

6. New furniture

2 weeks ago we took a trip to Ikea for some new bedroom furniture – specifically storage for my make-up, skincare, haircare and bath products. The little desk and drawers I had been using had been around since I was 15, so I decided it was time for an upgrade! We got a little dressing table, that has a draw and a lift-up lid, a pouf and a set of draws with a lift-up lid on top. There was a set of draws with the table, but we found a taller one with more drawers. We spent the rest of the day putting everything together and moving my stuff in. It’s now so much more tidy and easier to find things, which makes me happy! Putting together the flat-pack furniture with my sighted partner although I couldn’t see any of the instructions was also a great team-building experience – and we were still friends afterwards!

7. Lib – great variety this month

I still have my May Latest in Beauty post to write, but I just wanted to mention how pleased I was with the selection for June. There had been a few complaints recently about a lack of good new products in the Latest in Beauty edit. This month I picked up two shampoo and conditioner sets that were full-size. So two full-size products counted as one item, and the plan that I’m on means I get each item for £2. Bargain!

8. Finally got my book finished

June was the month that saw my second book available online. I won’t write much about it here – you can read about it in my post from the beginning of June, but the final stage is always the hardest for me. Writing is fun. Formatting and getting everything ready for uploading and getting the cover done – not so much! So I’m pleased that we got this project completed.

9. Coffee sweets – who knew that was a thing?

We went to a Thai festival in June. Apart from buying a carved wooden horse’s head and trying out mango wafers and green tea Fanta, I also discovered Kopiko coffee treats made with real Java coffee. They are basically like coffee-flavoured boiled sweets – good for those days when you’re out and about and can’t get your usual coffee fix. Or for when you have to do a lot of talking!

So what were your favourites this month?

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Blog reader gift – trying out Lush products

So a couple of weeks ago something happened that has never happened before on Unseen Beauty. I received a parcel from one of my readers! It was such a lovely and kind thing to do. It’s one thing when a brand is kind enough to send you something to try out, but when it’s someone who does it because they read your blog and want to do something nice for you, that’s something else and I was really touched.

So Becky has been supporting Unseen Beauty for ages now by commenting or sharing my posts. She asked me on Facebook whether I had tried any products from Lush, and I said that I hadn’t. She then asked for my address because she wanted to send me something.

When the box arrived, there were actually four things inside! I was really surprised and the box smelled amazing. Becky had clearly been paying attention to my posts as well because she chose things that include my favourite fruity scents – mango and grapefruit!

To be honest, I hadn’t really tried that much from Lush before. It’s partly because I didn’t realise the full range of products that they do, partly because I thought everything would leave the bath really messy, and partly because some bath products I’ve used in the past haven’t dissolved fully and there were gritty bits all over the bottom of the bath, which were a problem for me. More about sensory sensitivity in another post.

So what was in the box from Becky?

Bright side bubble bar

I didn’t know that bubble bars were even a thing. They are flat, like a bar of soap, and you can snap them in half because when dissolved, even half of one will give you a lot of bubbles.

The bright side bubble bar smells amazingly citrusy and contains Bergamotte mandarin and tangerine. You get a thick layer of bubbles on top of the water and they are proper bubbles, not ones that dissolve into nothing if you touch them. It’s like a carpet of bubbles floating on your water and it makes the room smell wonderful! I was definitely a fan of this!

Happy hippy shower gel – grapefruit

I think Becky chose this grapefruit shower gel because she knows I’m a fan of grapefruit! This is the really zingy kind of grapefruit, not the sweeter scent that you sometimes get when it’s pink grapefruit or mixed with other things. The shower gel was moisturising, and the scent stayed around on my skin throughout the rest of the day. I would definitely get this again!

The comforter bubble bar

This is another bubble bar, like the first one, but the Comforter bubble bar contains blackcurrant and bergamotte. I liked this bar too, although not quite as much as the orange one because I liked the citrus scent more. There weren’t quite as many bubbles either, but there were still more than you get with a lot of bubble baths that are more expensive than the bar.

You’ve been mangoed – bath oil

This cute little mango bath oil dissolves away into your bath water. I love the design because it looks like a mini mango, and the mango scent is also one of my favourites. When you get out of the bath, your skin is really soft, and although I always use moisturisers afterwards, this is a good option for people who forget or who don’t like body lotion. The bath water did apparently look a bit cloudy afterwards and there was an oily mark round the bath. Obviously I clean the bath anyway, but this took a bit more to remove, and I would advise anyone using these to watch out because they can make the bath a bit slippery as well. I’d say I’m more a fan of the bars, but I enjoyed testing this bath oil out.

Final thoughts

So, overall I was really glad to get the chance to try out these products because I learned a bit more about the range of things on offer at Lush, I got some grapefruity and mango goodness, and I discovered bubble bars. It was only really the bath oil that made a bit of a mess. In terms of the debris, I put my bars, bath salts, or bath bombs in a small material bag that floats and keeps all the bits inside. The oils come out through the holes, and anything else stays inside. Of course most people don’t do this, but my doing it means I can enjoy these products too – and that has to be a good thing!

Thanks again to Becky for her generous gift. Since I received it, I have made a trip to lush and got a couple more bars and bath bombs – more reviews to come soon!

What is your favourite product from Lush? Let me know in the comments!

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November favourites – bloggers, body lotion, and bunny ears!

It’s not all products this time, but I’m sharing the things that I’ve enjoyed this month!

Well it’s November now and actually I’m already beginning to feel a bit festive! Perhaps that has something to do with buying snowman earrings and planning Blogmas content, but I always enjoy this time of year.

So these are my November favourites. Feel free to share yours in the comments!

The first thing I wanted to do is to mention the Blogs in Bloom group on Facebook. There are loads of blogging groups out there, and this one isn’t for you if you’re looking for some superficial follow for follow game. However it could be for you if you’re looking for a friendly and helpful group of bloggers who get to know each other and provide support through a number of activities throughout the week. You choose the people with whom you interact, but if you get involved in something, you need to give as well as take. Check it out if you’re interested.

One of the reasons I was particularly happy about finding this group is making some new blogger friends with whom I did a blogger swap box. You can find out more about that soon as we’re going to be talking about it at the same time on both blogs, but it was a really lovely opportunity to build a box for other people and see what they picked out for me!

I haven’t opened them yet of course, but I find the whole process of choosing advent calendars is really fun. So many brands are doing them now and I enjoy looking through to see what’s available. I’m really lucky this year as I have two – I had one and then my Mum got me one as well. They will be featured in Blogmas, so keep reading if you’re interested in which ones they are!

Skincare

One of the things on offer in the Latest in Beauty box was the pomegranate lotion from Weleda. previously the only thing I had tried from this brand was the skin food cream, which was ok, but didn’t wow me as it has some other bloggers. So I was really happy with this cream, which is a lightweight body lotion, which smells great, and apparently prevents the premature aging of the skin. I’m not loyal to body lotions and I like variety, so enjoyed trying this one out.

There’s going to be a whole post on serums in January. It all started when I was sent a sample of a really expensive one, which got me thinking about the fact that I don’t have any serums in my skincare regime. This then got me doing some research about why they are used and how they can help. I bought a couple of different ones to test for a blog post, and one that I’m really enjoying is the Nip+Fab Dragon’s blood fix serum which is said to hydrate the skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines. I really don’t know where they get the names but this is my second product from Nip+Fab and I’m really impressed. There will be a more detailed review in the serums post, but if you’re looking for a serum for underneath your moisturiser, this is a good one to start with and it doesn’t break the bank!

After my grumble and moan a couple of months ago, I was really impressed with Lovelula this month. In fact, I’m keeping all the products for myself, which doesn’t usually happen. I was particularly happy to see another Madara product in there. This month we got the Madara eye cream. It’s a deeply hydrating eye cream that is worth more than we paid for the entire November box. I really rate this brand, and although I’m trying to use up a couple of other eye creams first, I couldn’t resist giving this one a try and was suitably impressed!

Perfume

When I was doing my 18 products for mango lovers post, I dug out some of my mango products and rediscovered my Victoria’s Secret mango body mist. I love this stuff – I spritz it in the morning and love the sweet mango scent that really does stay around for hours!

Wolves and owls

This is a present – given to me in time for when we put up the tree in December! It’s an Owl bauble made of glass, and it’s really tactile for anyone who can’t see the owl. His little ears stick up and you can feel his head, pointy nose, eyes, and feathers. I know he came from M&S. As a blind shopper, I hate their site with a passion, which is why there’s no link, but I’m sure you’ll still be able to find him online or in store.

I recently discovered that the wolf sanctuary near Reading has a store, and I got these lovely sitting Wolf earrings. They are well-made and what I enjoy is that the shape of the wolf is clear to feel. I don’t like earrings that just have a picture painted on with no tactile elements. With these, you can feel his head, howling snout, body, legs, and tail, and as well as some of the money going to the wolf sanctuary, I love jewellery where I can really appreciate the design too.

Haircare

I didn’t know where to put this one really, but I decided it could go here because this headband with bunny ears will protect my hair when I’m doing a face mask or having some home spa time. I think there are different ones in the range – I think there’s a mouse and a piggy one, but at the time of writing, the rabbit is sold out on the site. Still, hopefully there will be some left in store if you want to get one.

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18 Products for mango lovers

18 Products for mango lovers
After I did my post on skincare for coffee lovers, I decided to do a mango one as well – because I love mangos so much!
On holiday in Sicily I even got myself the name Miss Mango – they are sooo good!
So here are some of my favourite mango products!

Body Shop

Probably one of the first places that you think of when it comes to mango skincare is the Body Shop, because they have a whole range dedicated to it, and it’s in my favourite top 3! (Pink grapefruit, mango and satsuma in case you were wondering!)

The range covers bath and body as well as skincare. One of my favourite products is the mango whipped body lotion, a smoother alternative to the body butter, and the mango hand cream. There is also a mango shower gel, which I can recommend, and various fragrance options and mango-themed gift bags. You can get them in store, online, or you can check out Heidi’s Facebook group, where there are special deals and offers.

I like this range because the Body Shop is cruelty-free, the products are gentle on the skin, and of course they smell amazing!

Avon

I don’t get many products from Avon, but I found this Avon Magnificent mango crazy hair tamer (2 bottles) and since then, that’s all I’ve been using as a detangler. I’m not usually loyal to products because there is so much out there that I want to try, but I find this works so well at getting the tangles out of my long hair, and I love the scent.

Victoria’s secret

If you like your mango-scented products to be a bit sweeter, I wholeheartedly recommend the Victoria’s Secret mango body lotion, the Victoria’s Secret mango temptation body wash, and the Victoria’s Secret mango body mist.

I found even the body wash was hydrating and I love the way that the scent of these products keep on giving – spreading the mango goodness all through the day!

Burt’s Bees

I have to say my favourite lip balm is the Burt’s Bees mango lip balm. I generally prefer the ones in a stick, which are less messy when you take them out and about with you. This one is super-hydrating and doesn’t disappear after a few seconds, but it doesn’t feel greasy on the lips. And it tastes of mangos, what more could a girl want?!

I wasn’t massively impressed with these next two products, but I’m going to include them because I don’t think they’re bad products as such, I just didn’t like the smell, and that’s a dealbreaker for me.
They were the Burt’s Bees shiny mango shampoo (link removed as it had been discontinued where I bought it), and the conditioner in the same range.
I think the problem for me was that the mango was mixed with something else, and I didn’t like the smell of that something else.

Sanctuary being

I did a review on the Being by Sanctuary range. One of the lines in this range is the chilli mango. You can get different products with this scent, but I tried the chili mango and tonka bean body lotion, which was fresh and zingy, so a bit of a twist on the usual mango scent. I would say ideal for you if you want it to be a bit refreshing as well and not so sweet. In terms of the performance of the lotion, it was lovely and hydrating and I think this range is great value.

Hive Originals

When I was out at a chilli and cheese festival, I bought the Mango lip balm from Hive originals. You can read more about them in my Hive Originals review. The lip balm comes in a cute little tin, and it’s one of the most natural-smelling and natural-tasting products I’ve tried. These products all contain ingredients from the beehive, and this one has beeswax to protect the lips.

Garnier

This mango body lotion is a good budget-friendly alternative and the scent is not as strong as some of the others. It’s a lotion, so thinner than the whipped lotion. I don’t find the scent as true to mangos as some of the others, but it’s nice enough as an every-day body lotion. It does say for dry skin though, and if you have really dry skin, I think you might need something a bit more moisturising.

I also tried the Garnier mango hand cream. It was a while ago and I don’t actually remember that much about it. I think I liked it more than the lotion, but not as much as the Body Shop one, so I didn’t buy it again. Still, it is cheaper than the Body Shop one, so if you wanted to alternate them, this is another mango option.

Baylis and Harding

If mango on its own isn’t your thing and you like it with other scents, Baylis and Harding do a mango and mandarin hand cream. Actually I think in terms of moisturising properties, these are a bit better than the Garnier ones and they last a bit longer. Still, it depends how you feel about mandarins – although I think the two go well together.

I’ve also tried the shower gel from this range. It’s huge and lasts for ages. My preference is the Victoria’s Secret or the Body Shop one, but if you’re buying for more than yourself, or you want to save the others for a treat, this is a good mango alternative.

There are also body scrubs and body butters in this range, but I can’t comment on them because I haven’t tried them.

Alberto Balsam

I tried the Alberto Balsam mango conditioner, but I won’t be buying it again. It smelled amazing, and if that’s all you need from a conditioner, that’s ok! But I have very thick, very long hair, and I found the conditioner to be quite runny and not very effective on my hair.

What have I missed?

Do you know any other great mango products? Let me know in the comments! Also let me know if you’ve tried any of these and what you think!

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