Skincare and haircare in January – new discoveries, and mango and grapefruit favourites!

Another month has passed and I wanted to tell you about some new products that I discovered and some old favourites! Let me know in the comments if you have tried any of these.

Andalou Naturals

I got this Nourishing kukui cocoa Body Butter from Latest in Beauty and it’s like covering yourself in a layer of chocolate! It smells amazing! It’s called a body butter, but it’s not the hard type – it’s more like a thick, rich cream! The chocolate scent lessens after a while, and I was sad to see it’s hard to get hold of this in the UK as it appears to be a US brand. It’s available on Amazon, but that works out at about 3 times what I paid for it on Latest in Beauty. So either I got a good deal or there is a lot of mark-up on this product on Amazon!

Body Shop

I got the Strawberry shampoo and conditioner in an advent calendar. My overall favourite haircare from the Body Shop is the banana range, but this strawberry range is good too, leaving your hair smelling as sweet as fresh strawberries. It’s also good for cheering up dull hair and leaving it nice and shiny.

I also finished up a large juicy pear sugar scrub, which was part of last year’s Christmas range. I like the sugar scrubs because they are much less messy than products that don’t dissolve, and this one was my favourite scent from the festive ranges. I haven’t included a link because it was only available at Christmas time. It’s worth trying out some of the other scrubs because the consistency seems to be different – this one was more coarse with bigger sugar crystals than the mango one that I usually use, so I think it’s not just the scents that vary between scrubs.

It’s an old favourite, but a good one! I got one of the mango sets for Christmas, and I’ve already used the mango body butter. This is of the best scent from the Body Shop as far as I’m concerned, and the body butter is rich and nourishing, keeping you hydrated through the winter.

Cowshed

Such a shame they changed all their names! My favourite used to be called grumpy cow and it’s now just called replenish. I thought it was a fab name. Maybe someone bought it for their mother-in-law or their wife and it didn’t go down too well. Who knows!

But anyway this isn’t grumpy cow, but it’s from the Cowshed and still good. It’s what used to be gorgeous cow and is now just called the indulge range. I made us up a Christmas Eve box this year with some pampering treats and other Christmas goodies, and a little set of this was in there for me. This shower gel makes you and your bathroom smell great for ages, and it contains lavender with some floral notes.

Dr Botanicals

The Dr Botanicals pomegranate superfood sleeping mask has been doing the rounds in beauty boxes for the last couple of years, but I hadn’t had one until it showed up in my October Pip Box. I have been trying a few things from Dr Botanicals recently and so far I’ve liked all of them. This one is an overnight mask that you apply at the end of your evening skincare routine. I tend to not put it on directly before I go to bed so it can dry down a bit, but it’s not sticky or oily as some overnight treatments are. It’s marketed as a smoothing and brightening mask, but I find it’s pretty moisturising too.

ELF

In the past I have talked about this Hydrating face primer a lot, but now that I’ve finished this one up, I won’t be buying any more because I’ve found other things that I like more. It is good if you want a hydrating base, but I prefer my Body Shop primer because it’s not quite so thick, but still leaves a smooth base for your make-up.

Madara

So far I’ve liked everything I’ve tried from Madara, from body care to face products. We got samples of the nourish and repair shampoo and conditioner in the January Lovelula box. I didn’t dislike them, but afterwards my hair felt pretty dull and tangled, not like it usually does when I’ve just washed it. It looked ok the next day, but I’ve got products that leave my hair feeling much nicer than that, so I was grateful for the sample so that I now know not to buy it!

Lucky Cloud

This brand was new to me. We got the balancing Cleansing Balm in the December Pip Box. I’m only really just getting into cleansing balms after one that I really didn’t like. I think there’s a lesson in there – if you try a new type of product and don’t like it, it might be that particular product that you don’t like, and not all things in that category – for me, all cleansing balms.

So, this balm is not super sticky and although it has exfoliating green clay in it, it’s not grainy or scratchy. It also has anti inflammatory oils like grapeseed and jojoba and I found it to be a very gentle cleanser. I would buy this again or try other things from the range.

Original Source

I don’t often buy from this brand, but I wanted to try out their mango shower gel – because mangos! It’s a budget-friendly shower gel that smells of mangos! I’m not faithful to shower gels, so like to swap them out and this is something I would use again.

Rituals

One of the things I put in my self-made advent calendar this year was the Ritual of Holi Body Cream from Rituals. I wanted to try out some of their other scents and I thought this one sounded good. I’ve still no idea what a flamingo flower is, but it’s got pink grapefruit in it, which I love. The Rituals products are always a luxurious treat, and this cream was no exception. It’s rich and nourishing, and like pretty much all of the products from this brand, it smells amazing! I would definitely buy this again, as well as other products from the Ritual of Holi range.

So – some new brands, new products from brands I like, something that has been replaced by something better, and a slightly disappointing product that was only a sachet. I think January was a pretty good month for me in trying out new skincare and haircare. Let me know your thoughts on any of these products in the comments!

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This post contains some affiliate links, but I only promote things that I’ve tried and tested. All of the products were bought with my own money, apart from the mango body butter, which was a Christmas present from a friend.

My 2019 – products to talk about – part 2

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

1. Freshly cosmetics serum

This serum from Freshly Cosmetics is part of the skincare set that I bought with a micellar water, a toner, a moisturiser and the serum. It comes in a bottle with a pipette, which is fine till you get right down to the bottom where it doesn’t quite reach. I can’t comment on the technology it mentions – I can’t say I noticed looking radically younger, but who doesn’t want pollution-blocking extracts, especially when they’re derived from natural ingredients such as broccoli and lingonberry? I enjoyed using the serum and felt it was gentle and it was comfortable to wear under my moisturiser and make-up. There are some spelling mistakes on the site, but I received good and speedy service from them.

2. Superdrug vitamin E serum

From the expensive to the budget buy. This vitamin E serum from Superdrug is about hydration, with fruit acids to help retain moisture and stimulate cell renewal. Plus points are the price and the pump bottle, which prevents the air getting in and means that the product stays fresh. It’s described as a lightweight serum, but it’s one of the thickest I’ve used, which isn’t a problem, but if you’re expecting a thinner consistency, you might get a surprise. I tried a couple of products from Superdrug’s own range, and I preferred the vitamin C serum over this one, but you could do a lot worse than this, and it does smell nice and fresh with a coconutty type scent. Despite being a bit thicker, it does absorb well, and it doesn’t sting or feel greasy, so it’s fine to use before other products in the morning.

3. Shampoo – oatmeal honey

This shampoo from Tigi Catwalk was on sale and in fact it’s still on sale as I right this now. The massive 750 ml bottles last a long time and if you like the product, it’s definitely a bargain. This one is for dry and damaged hair. I don’t have that, but as my hair is so long, I like to use moisturising products on it to make sure that the ends are taken care of. This smells like Christmas somehow – like cinnamon baking! I was happy with the shampoo and my hair was soft and silky after using it. I’d get it again.

4. Korres crocus serum

This is incredibly expensive and I only had a tiny tester to use, which isn’t enough to really know how well it works for me. But Korres is a good brand, and saffron is expensive! It’s referred to as a skincare booster, which should be followed by a serum or moisturiser. I enjoyed the couple of uses that I got out of the sample, but I’d probably wait until the crocus serum was on sale before splashing out on it!
If you’re wondering why I have so many serums in this post, I’m on a mission to use things up, and I had several that were nearly empty!

5. Rituals body lotion

I only discovered Rituals last year and I think my favourite so far is the ritual of Sakura with cherry blossom and rice milk. This whipped body cream is light and fluffy, but also rich and nourishing. Nice as a gift or when you want to treat yourself. These products smell amazing, leave your skin feeling soft for ages and make you feel special. I am slowly trying out other ranges, but I think this is going to be the one I like most.

6. Mango shower gel

Could I do a product post without mentioning something from the Body Shop mango range? I don’t think so. Recently I used up their mango shower gel which I got for my birthday and which is my favourite shower gel from the Body Shop. I just love the mango goodness!
If you like Body Shop products, don’t forget that they have a new recycling scheme – I posted about it recently.

7. Madara mask

I got this Madara SOS instant moisture plus radiance hydra mask in a giveaway that Sussex Sandra was doing on her YouTube channel. I mentioned that I liked moisturising masks and she sent me some, which was really nice of her. This one was a multi-use mask in a tube. I really like Madara products, both for the quality and the way that they live up to their promises on moisturising. It says you can leave the mask on or wipe off after 20 minutes. I just left it on and let it soak in overnight. I also like the way that these products are described on the site – they tell you what’s in it without making ridiculous claims. I first discovered this brand in the Lovelula boxes, which was my first venture into more natural products.

8. From dusk till dawn serum

Laidbare is another brand that I discovered in the Lovelula boxes, and I did like a number of their products. However, this serum was not for me. It is a rejuvenating and hydrating vitamin C serum. Oil-based serums are fine, but I found this one felt particularly greasy and although I don’t think it’s a bad product, I didn’t like it very much. You might like it more if you use more oils in your skincare regime.

9. Rêve de Miel cream

I’d heard bout Nuxe products, but I didn’t try any until I got a gift set for Christmas. I think my friends know I like skincare by now, but it’s always great to try something I haven’t had before! My friend got it right too because this product is for dry skin. This is the day cream. It says “treat your skin with the restorative power of honey” and contains honey and precious oils. It’s a luxurious cream and it feels as though you’re giving your face a treat! I’d like to try more from the range!

10. Nuxe hand cream

I also got the hand cream from the same range in the Christmas set. This is a non-greasy handcream with honey and sunflower. I popped mine in my handbag – it’s a good one to use on the go because it is good for moisturising your hands and cuticles, but it absorbs quickly for when you’re out and about.

11. Body Shop rose hand cream

This was one of the products in my advent calendar from last year. I thought the large hand creams were just for Christmas, but you can still get the rose one in the larger size now. It’s fine as hand creams go, but I prefer roses in the garden and not on me. When do we get to see the mango range in this size?

12. Elemis marine cream

I only had a small sample of this, not surprising really when you consider the price, though at the time of writing there is a discount at John Lewis, so I used that link. There has been a lot of hype about the marine cream lately. I like Elemis as a brand and I enjoyed using the sample. However I do think you can get creams that also give good results, but are at a cheaper price point.

13. Body Shop almond milk and honey body lotion

I thought I’d tried everything from the almond milk and honey range, but I hadn’t seen this before I got it in the advent calendar and I’m sold! The body lotion is thinner than the butter and comes in a squeezy tube. I like to use it especially if I’ve had an allergic reaction and I want something kind and gentle on my skin. For me it seems to have soothing properties too. I’ve already bought another tube of it!

14. Pomegranate hand cream from Wileda

I really liked the body lotion from this line, so when I noticed in Ocado that there was a hand cream too, I decided to try that as well. The Wileda pomegranate hand cream smells great and does what it says on the tube. No synthetic chemicals and another brand like the Body Shop that doesn’t test on animals.

15. Lavera night cream

Sometimes those little sachets that people seem to like complaining about actually pay off! I got a sample of this night cream and was so impressed with it that I went and got some! It’s a very lightweight cream – I have used it in the day before too – but leaves your skin feeling really smooth and soft in the morning, so don’t be put off by the light consistency – it is hydrating too. And though this shouldn’t be a key selling point – it smells amazing!
Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products and what you thought of them!

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I tried out the Feelunique sample service

Today I’d like to tell you about a sample service that I discovered recently.

Actually I knew about it, but I thought all the samples you got were teeny tiny and to be honest not really worth it. I don’t mean so much from a money point of view, but in terms of how much you can really get to know a product if you only have 1 ml of it.

However, I was getting ready the other day and just left YouTube on to play, and a Feelunique Pick ‘n’ Mix video came on, so I let it play to see what was in there. And I was really surprised. Some of the samples were bigger, and they were products that I wanted to try.

I’m already a customer of Feelunique. You’ll know if you read my Purple Tuesday post that accessibility for disabled shoppers is a big deal for me, and in terms of Feelunique, I feel that they have taken the time to create a website that I can use.

How does the sample service work?

Each month, you can get up to five samples from the list on their samples page. After I’d done mine, I went back to check some links, and there were a lot of new samples on there, so I think they refresh them regularly.

You don’t pay for the samples themselves, but you do pay the £3.95 P&P. However, you also get a voucher to redeem the £3.95 at Feelunique, but not on the sample service. For me as someone who already shops there, this is great because essentially I get my money back and can try some samples.

There is a range of products on there – from perfumes to foundations, skincare to hair care. I picked up skincare and haircare products, but you can get whatever you want from the selection.

The only slight criticism I had was that some of the products didn’t tell you how much product was in the sample, but many of them did, so I just focussed on the products that included this information. If there was something that I really wanted to try, I would have probably gone for it anyway, but it’s nice to know how much will be in there.

What did I get?

My 5 products were:

  • Rituals – ritual of Ayurveda hand cream (10ml)
  • Rituals – Ritual of Sakura body lotion (10ml)
  • White hot brilliant shampoo and conditioner (30ml)
  • Hello Joe volumising caffeinated shampoo (7ml)
  • Bumble and Bumble thickening shampoo and conditioner (14ml)

The rituals products were the main reason I decided to get the samples. I’ve been wanting to try them out for a while and I had heard a lot of good things.

The Rituals hand cream smells of almond and Indian rose – probably more of the rose than the almond. It’s thick and creamy, but not sticky, and it leaves your hands smelling great and feeling soft for a long time.

The Rituals body cream was my favourite. It contains rice milk and cherry blossom and smells amazing. Out of the two lines, I prefer the Sakura products, which is good to know if I decide to buy any more products from Rituals. Having said that, I wouldn’t say no to the hand cream again either!

I’ll hold off with linking the hair care products because I haven’t tried them out yet.

7ml is quite small, but I did want to try the caffeinated shampoo because it’s said to promote hair growth, and even though it’s down to my waist now, I’m still growing my hair.

I got the Bumble and Bumble product because I’ve heard of the brand, but as yet never tried anything from them.

The last hair product was actually a mistake – I didn’t read it properly. I thought it was a really good size, and a new product to try, but when I read the details, it’s for people who are going grey. Never mind. I can rehome it, or I’ll try it out and just not get the full benefit.

Final thoughts

Overall I was really impressed with the samples. I’ve tried two so far, and they are things that I would buy full-size.

I know some people use this service to check which foundation is right for them if they’re not sure which one will suit them. I know other people use it to try out perfumes before committing to an expensive bottle. I know others who, like me, just want to discover some new brands.

Some samples will be better value than others, and you’re bound not to love everything. But now that I understand a bit more about the service, I definitely think it’s worth it.

Have you used the Feelunique sample service? What products have you discovered through it? Do you like it or think it’s worthwhile?

This isn’t a sponsored post and the links aren’t affiliates. However I do have an introductory code for Feelunique, though not for the sample service.

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

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