February favourites – book club, Balea, and the beauty box I won

It’s time to tell you what I’ve been enjoying this month. Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried any of these things, and if you’ve done a blog or video about what you’ve been enjoying this month, feel free to share it in the comments too.

1. I won a Glossybox – yay!

Do you know about Jamie Gourdon’s Youtube channel? If not, go and check her out! She’s really generous and does subscription box giveaways on her channel! I was lucky enough to win the January Glossybox. Inside there was

  1. Apicia cream blush – this was the thing that excited me the most, as anyone who’s been with me for a while knows that I love cream make-up. I hadn’t seen a blush in a tube before. Neither had I used anything from Apicia. It blends in nicely and it contains bee pollen to nourish the skin.
  2. Green tea primer from Iona Cosmetics – I can’t believe I never used to use a primer! I’ve got a little collection going now. This one absorbs quickly. It doesn’t have that silicone feel like the Porefessional, and it’s not watery, like some of the others I’ve tried recently. It creates a smooth canvas for make-up and contains moisturising ingredients such as green tea and avocado oil. I’ll definitely be using it.
  3. A nail and cuticle energiser from Nail Medic – this is an oil that you paint on with a little brush, which I find easier than the similar products where you have a little pipette thing on the end! I get very dry cuticles, which I then bite and make them worse, so I’ve been enjoying using this blend of oils and plant extracts to strengthen my nails and moisturise the skin around them.
  4. Dr Botanicals superfood facial oil – this is fantastic value and is designed to keep your skin protected and hydrated. It’s infused with Moroccan rose oil which contains vitamins A and C.
  5. Beauty beneath supplements by Boots – I haven’t tried these yet as I’m finishing up some others, but they contain vitamins C and E, as well as nutrients that help produce collagen and reduce fine lines. So it’s looking after your skin from the inside.

After this, I decided to sign up for Glossybox to try it out for myself. If you want to give it a go and get 20% off your first box, you can use my code KIRSTY-RGE when you place your first order on the Glossybox site.

2. Summer is coming – pineapple lip care

This tropical pineapple lip balm from Burt’s Bees was selling out really fast when I got mine! It’s from the flavour crystals range and 100%natural. I was already a fan of Burt’s Bees lip products – I love the mango and grapefruit ones. This range comes in pineapple, orange, and raspberry. They are not as glossy as some lip balms, but I find they need to be reapplied less often and although it’s not why we buy them … it tastes amazing!

3. Grapefruit shower foam

Do you remember my swapbox with Sazzy and Joanie? Well they got me some grapefruit shower foam from Balea and it smells good enough to eat! So fresh and fruity! I hadn’t tried this brand before. I don’t think you can get it in the UK, but if anyone outside of the UK can get Balea products, this is a good one!

4. Online book club

I like the idea of a book club, but having looked around online, there’s not much in my area. In any event, I think I like the idea of an online one more – you can meet more people, and it doesn’t have to interfere with your other commitments because you can just chat about the books online. We haven’t had our February discussion yet, but there are different book-related threads in the book which you can join in with. The actual discussion is set up as a Facebook event and you can take part over a 24-hour period. There will be a different book every month. February’s book was “The husband’s secret” – you can find out what I thought about it in the February round-up.

If that sounds like your kind of thing, visit the online book club on Facebook!

5. Did you know that coffee and sesame seeds go well together?

No? Neither did I until I tried the new dessert from Wagamama! I don’t usually have dessert. If I do, it’s the sorbet, but seriously, if you love coffee, the Wagamama Vietnamese coffee icecream is sooo good!

6. Body Shop Drops of Youth eye concentrate

This drops of youth eye concentrate from the Body Shop is really nice because it massages your skin as you apply it. It’s from the Drops of Youth range, which is aimed at the 25! Range and as well as soothing the area around the eye, it helps to prevent the first signs of aging.
It has a little button that releases the eye cream onto the ball, and then you massage it in with the ball at the end of the container. It’s a bit thicker than the Garnier one that I tried before, and I think the Body Shop one is more nourishing. It doesn’t leave a sticky finish, and another thing I like is that you don’t get too much at a time as you can with some tubes.

7. Ren Beauty shot

I got a little one of these in my advent calendar and I really enjoyed using it. You can get the Ren Beauty shot here. It’s a very lightweight serum that absorbs quickly. It says you can apply it over make-up, although I didn’t. I put it under my moisturiser as you would with any other serum and I loved the way it made my skin so soft. It firms and lifts the skin and claims to give short- and long-term hydration. An expensive treat because it’s Ren, but a lovely product that I enjoyed pampering myself with!

8. New primer

I know I’ve already talked about a primer, but I heard on the Full Coverage podcast (check it out if you love all things beauty and skincare!) that the Maybelline pore eraser primer is just like the Benefit Porefessional, but at about a quarter of the price! So I decided to get some and was not disappointed. I do like the Benefit one, but it is expensive. So if you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, I’d recommend this pore eraser one at around a quarter of the price.

How about you? What have you been trying out this month?

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18 empty products from June!

The make-up, skincare and haircare products that I used up in June, what I thought of them, and whether I would buy them again!

18 empty products from June
Well, it’s time for the empties post for June, and I have a bumper crop this month – partly because I’ve had some samples to try, and partly because I’m making a serious effort to finish things up that have been open for a while!

Don’t forget to leave me your empties blog or Youtube links in the comments! Also, I’d love to know if you’ve tried any of these products, and what you thought of them.

I have included the link to the Latest in Beauty site, but when I talk about products from there, the links are to Amazon, because you can’t buy individual products on Latest in Beauty.

Bath and shower

As a lover of all things pineapple, I tried the pineapple and lime bubble bath and shower gel from Faith in Nature. When I tried the chocolate one from this range, I was a bit disappointed that the scent disappeared very quickly, but this didn’t happen with the pineapple and lime. You get a decent covering of bubbles, and the zingy fragrance stays around for the duration of the bathtime! I liked this and would buy it again.

Hair care

In the May Lovelula box, we got two hair care minis from John Masters. As someone with very long, very thick hair, I do wish these hair samples could be a bit bigger, but I tried them both out. I like the fact that this is a natural brand, but I’m not too keen on the scents, so I probably wouldn’t buy these again unless I found other scents in the range. The shampoo was the lavender and rosemary shampoo, which was fine as a shampoo, but I didn’t really want my hair smelling of lavender. Fortunately the lavender scent didn’t stay around for long, and I blasted my hair with mango detangler after I’d finished. It was a similar story in terms of the citrus and neroli detangler. Some people were using this as a leave-in treatment, whereas others used it as a conditioner. I love citrus, but I don’t love neroli! It worked fine as a conditioner, but I wouldn’t buy it again.

I’m hard to please, aren’t I? The quest for the best shampoo and conditioner continues, and this month I tried the Schwarzkopf Gliss liquid silk shampoo and conditioner, mainly because I used to use Gliss conditioner as a teenager and loved it. However this wasn’t the same – the bottle wasn’t the same and it didn’t smell the same, which made me sad! I wasn’t that impressed with the way these products smell when you apply them, but I do love the silky, glossy finish, and because of that, I may buy them again. However, there are other things that I want to try first.

On the other hand, I can tell you that my Magnificent mango crazy hair tamer ran out and I already had another one waiting in a drawer! I love this stuff! It smells wonderfully of mangos, and helps me to get the tangles out of my long hair.

Skincare

I’ve already raved about the Skinfood sheet masks in my February favourites, and now I’ve discovered some more! I think the Tonymoly I’m real sheet masks are a little thinner than the Skinfood ones, so you have to be a bit more careful when putting them on, but I like the variety in the range of food bases such as pomegranate and rice masks. I am such a fan of sheet masks and if I’d known about them sooner, I’d have been into the whole face mask thing a lot earlier. I hate the idea of mud masks on my face, but this is something pleasant and relaxing, and there is no horrible mess to clear up afterwards!

I’ve mentioned them before, but I finished up the grapefruit face wipes from Yes To. I was happy enough with them, but I bought them before realising that the different lines were for different types of skin, and these weren’t the best ones for me. Still, I’d recommend them if you’re looking for something to even out your skin tone. I’ll probably go back to the cucumber ones.

One of the samples I picked up when I was still subscribed to Love Me Beauty was the Caudalie eye cream. I enjoyed using this. I don’t really suffer with dark circles, but it was pleasant and soothing on the skin, and not too thick and greasy , as some eye creams can be. I know this is not a cheap brand, but I don’t think I could justify the price of this, when there are other eye creams on the market that in my opinion do an equally good job.

You already know I’m not a fan of neroli, and as such I probably wouldn’t buy the PHB brightening hand cream again, but I have to say that I really liked the formula, which left my hands feeling super-soft for a long time after application. I was glad that Lovelula introduced me to this brand and I’m looking forward to trying new products from PHB. For best results, hold the container on its side and squirt down into the hand, otherwise it can squish out all over the front of the pot!

Staying on the subject of hands, I decided to try the 7th heaven nail and cuticle finger masks that were available on Latest in Beauty. I was not impressed with the first hand mask that I tried, but this one was much better, as there was no product on the outside. The product was only on the inside of the finger gloves, where you put your fingers. The masks come as two sets of 5 and are a bit like gloves, but they only cover your fingers, not your whole hand. I bite my cuticles if I’m stressed out, so this mask was a nice treat for them. I hadn’t seen anything like this before, but I would do it again.

I’m a definite Korres fan, and when a mini of the Bergamot and pear body milk came up on Latest in Beauty, I was eager to try it out. I wasn’t disappointed! I really like these body milks, especially when you want something a bit lighter for the summer, and the only reason I didn’t buy the full size is because there are other Korres ranges that I want to try out first!

Another of my skincare favourites is Sanctuary Spa, and I was pleased to see a mini of their luxurious body balm on Latest in Beauty. It contains cocoa and shea butter, with almond and vitamin E. I like it for night times to give your skin a moisturising pamper before going to bed. I would definitely buy this again, and I can’t stress enough how happy I am with Latest in Beauty, because it allows you to try mini versions of products so you don’t waste money buying full sizes if you don’t like them. Some of the products in the list are even full size.

Now to a moisturiser, and it’s the Vine(active) three in one moisturiser from Caudalie – anti-pollution and anti-wrinkle and brightening. I wanted to like it, and I did finish it up, but it managed to make my dry skin feel greasy, so I wouldn’t buy the full size.

I mentioned the Madara micellar water, back in February when I got it in my Lovelula box. In the past I’ve been a bit dismissive of micellar waters in favour of cleansers, but I really enjoyed using this and finished it all up when I was in France at the end of June. I haven’t replaced it yet because I got another one from a different brand in the meantime, but I would definitely buy this again.

Make-up

Something else that ran out at the end of my time in France was my L’Oréal Paris true match foundation – golden ivory. I do have another foundation on the go, but I like the L’Oréal formula more and will repurchase soon. Also, I can’t tell which shade would be best ffor my skin without help, which is another one why I pick one or two foundations and stick to them.

As I can’t see the brush, I don’t tend to try out lots of new mascaras. I need to learn the shape and length of it, so if I find one I like, I tend to stick to it. I already had a replacement for my L’Oréal million lashes for when it ran out. For me, the size and shape of the brush are as important as the formula, and this one ticks all my boxes!

I didn’t actually finish this product, but I disliked it so much that I didn’t even try to find a new home for it! I’m not really a fan of liquid lipstick, but when one turned up in my Lovelula box, I was willing to give it a go. To be fair, I have seen good reviews on blogs and Youtube for the

Baths, mocktails for the skin, and some citrus sents

Why I have been enjoying baths and caterpillar cakes, and the beauty and skincare products that I’ve been enjoying this month!

Baths, mocktails for the skin, and some citrus scents

These are the things that I’ve been enjoying this month. Have you tried any of these products? Do you like any similar products that you think I should try? Let me know in the comments!

Bath and shower

This first favourite isn’t a product, but it’s always the way – if someone tells you that you can’t have something, you just want it all the more! I wasn’t allowed to have a bath for a couple of weeks at the beginning of the month because I’d had a hospital operation and the wound needed to heal. But when I was allowed to have them again, I appreciated them all the more! I know some people always just hop in the shower, but there is something luxurious about a long, relaxing bath. They really help me to unwind!

I was very excited to discover that the Body Shop has brought out two product lines for the summer. Actually I think they’ve brought them back, but this is the first time I’ve tried them out. The pinita colada line is a fresh and fruity set of products that smell like holidays – pineapple and coconut! It reminds me of drinking pina coladas in Cuba and is definitely a summer scent. I got the shower gel and body sorbet, which is a more lightweight body lotion, perfect for the summer. I also got the shower gel in the virgin mojito range, which is lime and mint. I preferred the pineapple, but both of them are good!

You can look for these products on the Body shop site or, if anyone is interested in buying from a Body Shop at Home consultant, I recommend Heidi’s Facebook group. However, I am a bit late with this review, and due to their popularity, these products have been selling out fast. So if it’s too late, watch out for them next year – I know I will be!

Hair care

I’ve already talked about one Avon hair mask in a previous favourites post. This month I discovered the Avon hair treatment mask with grapefruit, passion fruit, and vitamins, which is said to give hair shine and radiance. I have very thick, long hair. It’s not damaged, but I like to give it some love in the form of a mask a couple of times a month, because who doesn’t want some extra shine and radiance? And of course, it’s got grapefruit in it, so it must be good. I was really happy with this mask and would definitely get it again.

Make-up

As someone who can’t see the colours or read the packaging on my make-up, I like to have lipsticks and eye shadows from different brands, so they’re easier to tell apart. This means I get to try out different brands, and I can quickly identify things by their packaging. Now that my collection is getting bigger, I am starting to need to label some things with Braille or markings on the packaging, but some brands have very distinctive lipstick cases and I know them straight away.

My Rimmel the only one, you’re all mine lipstick has the word Rimmel in embossed letters on it and I like its creamy formula. When I discovered the moisture renew sheer and shine range from the same brand, I decided to try one of those too, so I picked Red-y set go. People have said good things about the colour on me, and I like the formula.

I also got the Wet n Wild raunchy red lipstick because I wanted to try out something from Wet n Wild. I don’t like it as much as the Rimmel one, but I’m still glad that I got it and it’s a good low-cost addition to the collection.

Food and drink

Totally unhealthy, but totally cute! When my mum came to visit me after the operation, she brought, among other things, some mini caterpillar cakes from M&S! I can’t find them online, but seriously you should try them if you haven’t already. Like a mini roll, but with more chocolate and a little caterpillar face! Who remembers the very hungry caterpillar from primary school?!

Perfume

I have decided not to do unboxings for Latest in Beauty and Lovelula, but each month I’m going to pick out my favourite product from each one and talk about the rest in my empties or other posts. My favourite from my Latest in Beauty build your own subscription box was Thé Vert & Bigarade from L’Occitane. This is how the fragrance is described on the website, seeing as I’m not the best at describing scents: “A lively encounter of aromatic and citrusy freshness. Sparking citrus notes burst forth in an accord of sweet and bitter orange while hints of green tea and yerba maté give a softening touch before the aromatic base.”

I think I like it because of the citrus scent. I hadn’t tried any perfumes from this brand before and I love the way that Latest in Beauty gives me the chance to try out new brands and types of products.

Skincare

This was a case of “Twitter made me buy it!” I was reading an article about lip products when I found out about the Lanolips banana lip balm. It’s not the cheapest balm on the market, but it is packed with banana extract, shea butter, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to keep the lips smooth and healthy-looking. It’s a very rich, creamy formula and although it doesn’t say so on the packet, I like to use it at bedtime so it can soak in whilst I’m sleeping.

I watch a lot of unboxings on Youtube. Not really so that I can sign up for all the boxes, but so that I can find out about what’s out there in terms of things I’d like to try. Staying with the lip care theme, I found out about the Baby Lips sweet apple lip care from Maybelline. It is marketed as a winter product, and I think the spicy apple scent is more of a winter thing, but I found out about it in June and didn’t want them to sell out. I like the texture and the scent, but maybe this is something that I’ll get out again in a few months when the nights are getting colder!

My favourite product from Lovelula this month was the daily defence cream from Madara. This seems to be something for protection from the winter weather too, but it can be used anywhere where you have dry skin and something in it smells good enough to eat. It’s a rich, moisturising cream and contains ingredients that I’ve never heard of before such as northern cloudberry and sea buckthorn, which soothe, hydrate and restore the skin in cold or dry weather. I use it anywhere on my hands and body that feels dry.

I mentioned my Sanctuary Spa lemon and orange blossom hand cream a while ago because it was a Christmas present. I had to finish up some other hand creams first, but I’ve really been enjoying this. It’s fairly lightweight, so you don’t have to wait for ever for it to sink in, which means it’s a good one to have out when you don’t have time for a full hand ritual! I love the citrus scent – I haven’t yet smelled anything from the Sanctuary that I don’t like – and my hands are softer too!

What have you been enjoying this month?

Be sure to let me know about your June favourites in the comments, whether that’s a few lines, a link to a blog post or a Youtube video! I’m nosey and I love to hear about new products, or just things that I haven’t tried before.

I’ve got a few things planned for July, such as a skincare post for coffee lovers, the story of my friend Holly the Labrador, and an interview post about a different kind of holiday experience. Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog, or sign up for my emails if you’d like to read any of these posts.

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