Autumn Unseen Beauty giveaway

It’s time for my Autumn giveaway on Unseen Beauty. It’s open internationally, and all you need to do to enter is fill in the form at the bottom of this post.

I know some bloggers wait till they have a huge box of stuff before doing a give-away, but I’d rather do smaller ones and run them more often so that more people have a chance of winning something. I like to show that I appreciate it when people regularly interact with my blog, so if you don’t win this time, you have the chance of carrying your entry forward to the next giveaway.

The winner of my Autumn giveaway will receive:

  • A L’Occitane verbena body lotion mini
  • L’Occitane verbena icy lip balm
  • L’Occitane Verbena soap
  • Trifle cosmetics – praline eye shadow palette
  • A shampoo bar
  • A mini mask from Mudmasky
  • A wipe-out make-up remover cloth
  • A shell make-up brush
  • The Beauty Crop Wing Woman liquid eye liner
  • Palmer’s cocoa oil lip balm
  • Your answers to the questions will help me to get to know what my readers like and where they are. Also, they prove that you’re a real person as I don’t use CAPTCHAs on my site.

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

    It’s one entry per person using the form, but if you’ve entered giveaways before and asked for the entry to be carried forward, I will make sure your additional entries are counted.

    Terms and conditions

    1. The give-away is open until 23:59 on Sunday 8th October 2018 and I’ll draw the winner on Monday 9th October.
    2. I will give each person a number and then draw the winner by asking Siri to generate a random number. I don’t like Rafflecopter and want to make it as easy and accessible as possible for people to enter.
    3. Your email address is being collected solely for the purpose of contacting you if you win the prize. You are welcome to sign up to my newsletter at the same time, but this isn’t necessary to take part in the give-away. If you do not win the prize, your email address will only be stored if you have signed up to the newsletter or asked for your entry to be carried over to the next give-away. Otherwise it will not be retained.
    4. I will email the winner on 9th October to ask for their address so that I can send the prize. The winner will have 7 days in which to respond. If they haven’t responded after 7 days, I will draw a new winner.

    5. No cash alternatives are available and the winner is responsible for checking product ingredients for any known allergens)

Late August empties – mainly skincare and haircare this time

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

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

Skincare

Products: 8

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Haircare

Products: 5

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

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

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

Perfume

Products: 1

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

Bathtime

Products: 2

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

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

Discounts

You can get £10 off your first Feel Unique order by going onto the site using my affiliate link. This offer is open to new customers only, and the minimum spend is £30. So basically you can get £30 of products for £20.

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

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Beauty advent calendars 2018 -what has got my attention so far?

I know, I know, it’s way too early to be talking about anything Christmas-related, but when one of my readers mentioned that they didn’t know beauty advent calendars were a thing, I thought I’d do a quick post about them, and which ones have caught my eye so far this year. The other reason for doing this now is that they can sell out really quickly, so it pays to be on the company’s mailing list if you want to know when something is going to become available.

I’m not planning to do a comprehensive guide – other people do really comprehensive ones, and they are usually the bigger bloggers who have been sent a bunch of them to unbox on their YouTube channels so you can see what’s inside.

I don’t have people beating down my door to give me advent calendars, but I am super-nosey and do watch this kind of videos to find out which one I want to get each year.

Which ones have I had so far?

It all started in December 2016, when I got the Body Shop’s calendar . I’d just got interested in the Body Shop’s products, and thought this would be a really good way to test out a bunch of them. There were a few things that I didn’t use, but overall there was a good selection of skincare, a few make-up bits, and a couple of tools.

Then later in 2017 I came across a Sanctuary Spa one that was being sold at a discount because it hadn’t been sold the previous year. This was shortly after my stay in hospital and I thought it would be a nice treat to do in the summer, especially as there was a good selection of bath products in there for pamper night. There were a couple of random fillers too, such as a pastry cutter, but there were plenty of lotions and body washes, and this one wasn’t as expensive.

In December 2017 I was really lucky and had two – one that I got myself and one that was a gift from my Mum. The L’Occitane one was full of fairly small samples, but then the price of the actual products meant that larger samples of them would have made the calendar even more expensive. I love these products and I had got them hoping that there would be Braille on the packaging, as there is with the full-size ones, but this unfortunately wasn’t the case. Still, I think I’ve used just about everything that was in there and having a one-brand calendar is a good way to check out a lot of products from different lines. L’Occitane usually does multiple calendars, so you can choose your price point. Whenever people are talking about this brand they seem to say “this would be good for your Gran!” but there are some lovely scents in there and I don’t think you have to be a grandma to appreciate them! I’m in my 30s!

The gift that I got was the M&S calendar – really reasonably priced, although you do have to buy a bunch of stuff from M&S to qualify to buy it. My Mum helped out with that! The lovely thing about this was that it had a range of brands in there, and introduced me to skincare brands such as Gatineau and Rodial. I also loved the fragrance in there and kept about 75% of the products for myself.

So what’s available?

Of course you can still get the traditional chocolate calendars. I’ve seen ones for wine, gin or other alcoholic drinks, food ones, ones with toys or other things to collect. Some only have 12 doors, but most have 24 or 25.

In terms of beauty, there is a lot out there, so it’s really important to think about what’s important to you. For example, I do wear make-up, but I go for the ones that are more skincare-heavy, because I know I won’t use the powder eye shadows or baked highlighters. If nails are your thing, there are some specifically for just nail varnishes. There are also ones that lean more towards make-up, with no skincare at all. Good if you have sensitive skin or don’t like to try out a lot of new skincare products. There are other calendars that focus more on bathtime, and I know there are ones for candles too.

They also cover all price points, from £10 to over £300! Obviously if they’re really cheap, like a tenner, the quality isn’t going to be amazing, but you certainly don’t have to pay hundreds of pounds to get a good deal. It can be a lot of money to pay out in advance, but even if you look at one around the £100 mark, it works at around £2.50 for products that would usually cost a lot more, so if you can save the money and would use the products, it’s a good investment.

Some people try to avoid the spoilers all together, but I’d rather forfeit the element of surprise and gain the satisfaction of knowing that I want and would use the things inside.

The other thing to consider is what you want in the end – do you want to really get to know one brand, or do you want something from a beauty subscription or department store that will introduce you to a range of brands?

What has caught my eye this year?

To be honest, I wasn’t that excited about the Body Shop® calendar last year, but I like what they’ve done this year. There are three calendars available at different price points, and they include new products, as well as ones that will be coming out for Christmas 2018. The most expensive one has 14 full-size products, and the most affordable one still contains a lot of the most popular products, such as the body butters and hand creams. You can find all three of the advent calendars here and if you want to see what’s inside, just click on each one to see the list of products.

Something else that I’ll be keeping an eye on is the first calendar from Glossybox, with £300 worth of full-sized products. I’d like to know a bit more about what’s in there, but it will feature products from NARS, Crabtree and Evelyn, Bare Minerals and Real Techniques. It will cost £99, but £75 for subscribers, who receive a monthly beauty box. It’s not available yet, but if you are interested in signing up to become a subscriber and getting 20% off your first box, you can use my code KIRSTY-RGE when you place your first order on the Glossybox site.

Finally, there’s the Feelunique calendar. I’m not actually sure whether they did one last year, but I’ve been using this site more and more because of the good range of products on there, the fact that it’s accessible to me as a screenreader user, and the big sales that they have. The calendar will be worth £250, cost £75, and include brands such as Caudalie, Makeup Forever, and REN. Possibly more of a skincare one? Not sure, but if you’re interested, it’s worth getting on the mailing list to find out when it goes on sale in October.

Also, if you find anything you like before then, you can get £10 off your first Feel Unique order by going onto the site using my affiliate link. This offer is open to new customers only, and the minimum spend is £30.

So, will you be getting an advent calendar this year? If so, which one? Do you have a favourite one from previous years? Let me know in the comments!

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

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

Newly discovered and favourite things in August

So, actually I wanted to put this up earlier in the week, but if you saw my post from Thursday, you’ll know that life didn’t go to plan this week!

Anyway – these are the things that I enjoyed in August – in terms of products, activities and new discoveries.

1. Masktime

This is not a new thing for me, but I wanted to try it out for a couple of months before telling you about it so I could see what kind of things came in the boxes. The picture in the post header is of masks that I got back in the springtime in a subscription called Masktime – masks for sheet mask lovers.

To be fair, the last box contained a couple of other things, such as a gel mask and a bubble mask, but generally you get a selection of sheet masks for different things (rehydration, detoxifying etc.

I used to buy sheet masks regularly, as I find them relaxing, and less hassle than traditional masks, and this subscription gives you the chance to discover some new brands and types of mask.

There are details in English on the masks themselves and on the card that you get with them, so no worries if you don’t speak Korean! The only thing is, if you’re blind and usually identify products by scanning them and reading the information electronically, your app may struggle as there is Korean and English writing on the package. I generally ask for a real person (usually S) to read the information and instructions to me, as the apps don’t work so well on these, particularly if you have a multi-step mask with little sachets of product that have to be applied in a certain order.

It’s a selection, so you don’t choose what you get, but I’ve pretty much tried or I plan to try everything that I’ve received, which I can’t say about all my other subscription boxes. You can find out more on the Masktime website. At the time of writing, there’s 10% off your first box – not an affiliate link. You can also buy one-off boxes for specific skin types and individual products, and within the subscriptions there are different price levels, depending on how many masks you want. I would say it’s good value for money, especially when you consider how much single masks can retail for.

2. Lindt Europe – blueberry, coffee and passion fruit chocolate

So, I’ve done a post before about the chocolate Emporium. I originally found the site when I was looking for mango chocolates, but they do a wide range of stuff on there, particularly good for people like me who like fruity chocolate.
I got an email to say that there were some new things in from Lindt Europe, and in a moment of weakness while waiting for a meeting to start, ordered a couple of things for us to try.
S was a fan of the hello blueberry muffin bar, which did really taste like blueberry muffins. I liked the peach and apricot bar, because I have never had peach and apricot chocolate before. The papaya was good too, and I also found a couple of coffee ones. Here’s the link to the whole Lindt Europe range. These are bars that we do not usually get in the UK, and some of the packaging is in German.

3. Turkish

I used to have Turkish lessons and be reasonably good at it – well the understanding part anyway. Speaking was never really my thing, mainly because I don’t think about how hard it is when I speak German now, and I had forgotten what it’s like to have the vocabulary of a small child when you start a new language. But I could read articles and enjoy podcasts that were meant for a Turkish audience.

Life moved on and I became busy with other things. It’s hard for me when my interests change – I’ll be doing something 100%, and then it’ll go down to nothing. Like when a relationship ends! I don’t think I’ll ever feel as passionate about the hobby as I once did, but I got out my old notes recently and was happy about how much I could still remember and understand. So I’ve subscribed to a short Turkish news magazine podcast and decided to start going through my old class notes again. It seems a shame to throw all that effort and hard work away, especially as most of the time this hobby made me happy.

4. Apple micellar water and lime toner

You know I love fruity things! I heard about a company called Freshly Cosmetics from another blogger, and really liked the sound of some of the products.

To be fair, there are a few spelling mistakes and errors on the site, and I think this may have put me off buying from them if I hadn’t known of someone else who had. So the communications professional in me can’t get away from the message that not checking your texts thoroughly could end up costing you in the long run. In the end I did order, but I certainly went through the thought process of “is this really a serious site?”

Anyway – the products came really quickly and I love the scent of the green apple micellar water. and the lime toner. I’ve never seen a toner in a spray container before, but it does actually mean that you use less, so waste less as a result – and you don’t need to use cotton pads. Both of them smell amazing and fresh.

These are not budget items and I think they would make a nice gift or a special treat for yourself. The brand focusses on natural ingredients and is also involved in a reforestation project.

5. My favourite serum ran out

This is very sad, because it’s expensive. I got it heavily reduced in a post –Christmas sale at Feelunique last year. I think I only paid about 1/3 of the price, but I really like this serum! It’s not oily, it’s not watery, it goes on smoothly, and helps you to build a lovely base for make-up. You can find the smoothing serum on Gatineau’s website.

6. Happy

This is such a lovely, summery fragrance – even better because it contains grapefruit! I’ve talked about Happy from Clinique before, but I wanted to mention it again because I’ve been wearing it all through August and now sadly the bottle is empty. Described as a fruity floral fragrance, and perfect for the summer!

7. Up close and personal with the owls

I had to include my new feathered friends in the August highlights! If you missed the post, here’s what I got up to when I met some owls from Hilltop Birds of Prey.

8. Body Shop club card event

A week ago last Wednesday I was invited to an event at my local Body Shop. It wasn’t a blogger event, but one for anyone with a Love Your Body card, which is a loyalty points programme. If you have a card, you can earn points when you buy things from the Body Shop. You also get £5 to spend on your birthday, and the chance to be invited to Exclusive events.

This was the first one that I’d been to. I could take a guest, and there was free chocolate (yay!), as well as prosecco for those who wanted it, or fizzy mango for those of us who didn’t! The main point of the evening was to launch the new almond milk with oats face mask, and to encourage anyone who hadn’t signed it to sign the petition against animal testing. There was also a free gift for those who attended (a make-up bag containing a body wash and bath lily), as well as another free gift if you spent more than £30 (a grapefruit perfume and a mini grapefruit body butter). I was very happy about the grapefruit. There was also 30% off a lot of the products. My Mum and I had a good evening, and I’m interested to see now what will happen as a result of the petition against animal testing in the cosmetic industry.

Signing up for a Love Your Body card is free, and you can get one here if you’re interested.

9. Grapefruit bubble bath

From the very expensive to something under £1! 750 ml of grapefruity goodness for your bath. Not the biggest bubbles I’ve ever seen, but the scent is amazing, and it will last you ages.
I got mine from Ocado, but as it’s Waitrose own brand, I imagine you can get it there too.

10. Sorbet maker

And finally – something I haven’t tried out yet, but which made me happy when I found it with 70% off in the Ocado clearance sale. I think it’s sold out now, so I can’t add a link, but once I’ve eaten the sorbet I have in the freezer, I’m looking forward to making my own. Mango of course! Have you tried making your own icecream or sorbet? How did it turn out? Any tips that you want to pass on?

So now it’s September and people are talking about autumn, cosy jumpers, and I saw the first advent calendar advert on Facebook. September is my birthday month, and there will also be the Autumn giveaway later in the month – you can follow the blog or sign up for updates if you want to find out what is in the box and how you can take part.

More from Unseen Beauty

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

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

This post contains some affiliate links, but I only promote things that I’ve tried and tested. None of these products are sponsored.

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

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

1. Madara serum (Feelunique)

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

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

2. Molton Brown hand cream (Molton Brown)

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

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

3. Korres conditioner (Waitrose)

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

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

4. Raspberry body butter (the Body Shop)

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

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

5. Body lotion (Lush)

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

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

6. I’m forever blowing bubbles (Lush)

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

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

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

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

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

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

9. Maybelline pore eraser primer (Amazon)

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

10. MUA whipped velvet blush (Amazon)

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

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

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

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

12. Mango whipped body lotion (Body Shop®)

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

13. Bee Good serum (Amazon)

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

14. Noughty Blondie Locks shampoo (Amazon)

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

frosted plum shower gel

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

Update

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

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

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

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

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Latest in Beauty subscription box review May 2018

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

So here’s what I got!

  1. Youth Enhancing Hydrate, Smooth & Prime Serum (Amazon) – This was a travel size, whereas I’ve linked to the full-size product. This is a lovely, non-oily serum that uses ingredients from British bees, and every sale helps to protect the bees. Contains honey and anti-oxidant rich propolis. If you buy the full size, you get it in a pump container, which keeps it fresher for longer and reduces waste.
  2. Soften glove masks (Amazon) Something I’ve mentioned before on here, and a good product to use after you’ve applied nail varnish remover or had your hands in water that dries them out. The only slight problem is that these masks are a little big, but I guess they need to make them suitable for all size of hand, and mine are on the small side. There’s no mess with these because all the product is inside the glove.
  3. Ooharr single use face mask (Amazon) I’m usually a sheet mask kind of girl, but I like these fruity masks that are packed with natural ingredients, such as orange, lime and cucumber. This is a revitalising mask with vitamin C, intended to nourish and hydrate the face. I don’t use these all the time, but think that they make a nice change.
  4. Yes to tomatoes detoxifying charcoal mask (Boots) This is a sheet mask and it’s great for those times when you want to pamper your skin and clean out your pores. My face is more prone to blemishes at certain times and I like something like this as an alternative to my exfoliating toner. I was a bit worried about using this because the yes to cucumber one made my face red and sore, but this one was fine. It contains tomatoes, aloe vera, ginger, witch hazel, and green tea.
  5. Sweet as cherry pie handcream (Amazon) I like Patisserie de Bain products and although they feel slightly sticky when you apply them, these handcreams soon absorb and leave your hands really soft. There are a range of scents, but my favourites are the lemon and cherry ones.
  6. Bois d’Orange Lait Sorbet Body Lotion (M&S) This was actually quite a small lotion, but I saw it as a way to try something new, and I’m a fan of all citrusy things. This orange fragrance from Roger & Gallet didn’t disappoint!
  7. Tigi Bed head beach bound sun protection spray (Feelunique) I already raved about this in my July favourites and I think it was my favourite product in the box. It smells amazing and I care about protecting my hair from sun damage. It does say specifically formulated for coloured hair, but any protection is good – surely – even if you don’t have coloured hair. And mango scent!
  8. Tigi Bed Head totally Beachin’ conditioner (Lookfantastic) I liked this conditioner, and I got it because I really enjoyed the other Tigi Bed Head samples that I got a couple of months ago. We had hot weather when I used it, but I’m probably not the ideal target audience, because I don’t spend a long time in the sun, and the beach is definitely not my happy place! So I can’t really say how well it worked in terms of nourishing sun-damaged hair, but it was a good conditioner and left my hair feeling soft and silky.
  9. Tigi Bed Head totally beachin’ shampoo (Lookfantastic) Again, I wasn’t really the target audience for this, because it’s meant to remove debris like sand from your hair, but it’s also good for when you’ve been out in the sun generally, and who doesn’t love the smell of mango and tangerine? Not something I would buy, but definitely something I was happy to try.

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

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

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

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

You can get £10 off your first Feel Unique order by going onto the site using my affiliate link. This offer is open to new customers only, and the minimum spend is £30. So basically you can get £30 of products for £20. This is an affiliate link, so I also get a reward – in this case it’s £10 worth of products, which I will use to buy new things to test out on Unseen Beauty.

10 things that I’ve enjoyed this month – days out and new products

July has been a hot month here in the UK. In some ways I enjoyed the heat, but by about Thursday this week, I’d had enough of it and was glad to see the rain. The houses here in the UK are generally built for insulation, not for keeping cool. We’ve had some good days out in the sunshine, but the garden is glad of the rain, and so am I because it makes everything cooler. Here are some of the other things that I have been enjoying this month.

1. Chilli and cheese festival

This was actually June, but the end of June, so the June favourites post had already gone out! It happens every year and you can go to an event and buy lots of spicy things such as chilli sauces, marinades and cheese with chilli. We also picked up some different types of cheese, along with some spicy sausages. The bag was actually quite heavy by the time we got it back to the car, but most of the things in the header photo have already gone – certainly all the cheese and sausages. It will take us longer to get through the marinades and sauces, but we use a lot of this kind of stuff in our cooking at home, so the chilli and cheese festival is a good way to stock up, and it also supports not necessarily local, but smaller independent companies.

2. Pretty Animalz masks

Ok so this is also about the packaging, which is a bit lost on a blind user, but it’s kind of cool to have a fox or a penguin mask!

The fox is a brightening mask that contains coffee extract, liquorice and vitamin C. It’s intended to reduce the appearance of dark spots and pigmentation. When I got these, they were on 3 for 2 at Feelunique. They aren’t any more, but there are often sales on there with as much as 60% off at times, so it’s worth a look. Scroll down to the bottom to see how you can get £10 off your first order.

The penguin mask is a nourishing and purifying mask with lily flower, grapefruit and paper mulberry.

I know it’s just a sales technique with the animals, but I’ve had Masquebar masks before and was pleased with their quality, so I didn’t feel I was just buying into the packaging cuteness.

3. My first Lime Crime product

Because who doesn’t love cherries? I read a review of the Lime Crime wet cherry gloss on another blog, not sure where now, and I had some credit to use up on Feelunique! So I got myself one. I am not so much of a lip gloss wearer, but I thought it would be nice for the summer, and it promised not to be heavy and sticky, which is something you don’t want when you have long hair on a windy day! It comes in a range of shades, so you can choose whether you want
“Juicy Sheer with a translucent burst of colour in nudes, reds, berries and peaches.”
or
“Sparkly Sheer packed with iridescent pearls that light up lips.”

4. Hair protection spray

This was one of my Latest in Beauty choices. I do have a sun protection spray, but I thought it would be nice to try a different brand – and I love this one from Tigi Bedhead. It was a full-size product on Latest in Beauty too, which meant a saving, and this stuff smells amazing! Mango! I think we all know about the importance of sun protection for our skin, but sometimes forget the need to protect our hair. This does say it’s specifically for coloured hair, which I don’t have, but I don’t see why this would do any harm. My other one is potentially better, because it specifically mentions protecting against sun rays, rather than just heat, but it’s good to have alternatives. Also the other one appears to be out of stock now!

5. Ocado app

I raved about Ocado before in my online shopping post, but at the time of writing, I hadn’t tried out the app. I wish I had! The app is even easier to use than the site itself! You just have to locate the product that you want, and swiping upwards changes the quantity in your basket. I still tend to check out on the laptop, because it’s less hassle to book a slot or add any voucher codes that I want to use, but certainly for dealing with things that I want to buy, topping up things that have run out, and adding new things to the order while I’m out and about, the app is a great way to make this task easier.

6. Meeting online friends

I spend a lot of my time online, working with people in other parts of Europe. Occasionally I get to meet some, which is what happened 2 weeks ago, when S and I drove to a park in Kent to meet with someone whom I’ve known online for the last few years. I met Alf in an online forum on a German website similar to LinkedIn, and when he said that he was coming on holiday to the UK with his wife and little daughter, we all decided to meet up for a picnic. The internet makes so many new connections possible, and it’s great to meet online friends in real life.

7. Coffee bags

Just like teabags, but for coffee. I’m not sure why nobody thought of this sooner. I’ve got a couple of brands to try and although it would be expensive to do this all the time, it’s a great idea for travelling – you know, in the hotel rooms where you get a kettle but rarely find decent coffee? It’s also good because you don’t have to clear up the coffee grounds – they stay in their bag, so you can just throw away the bag, like a teabag. The ones I tried were nice, if a little weak, so I’ll need to leave them in for a bit longer. I’ve also picked up another brand, because I think they will be more intense. I’ll let you know. These were from Ocado, so I imagine you’ll be able to find them in other supermarkets too.

8. New beginning – back to studying

I was a bit hesitant to write about this, because I wasn’t sure if it was going to happen, but now that I’ve paid for the first module, it feels real! From October I’ll be starting a part-time Open University IT degree. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while, because I always tell my students that we should never stop learning.

My biggest concern was accessibility – whether the materials could be provided in a way that is accessible to a blind student, particularly where they rely on diagrams and graphical information. I’d had some problems with distance learning in the past, but that was a long time ago, so I wanted to explore my options again.

I may do some more university posts once I’ve started the course, but after several discussions about how we can make things work, I’m feeling more positive about giving it a go, so wanted to include this in the good things that happened in July.

I am looking forward to officially developing my skills in areas that I’ve just been researching and learning myself.

9. Going to the zoo

It was S’s birthday this month and we decided to go on a day out to Marwell zoo with another friend. A lot of the animals were hiding because of the heat, but we did see the giraffes, the tiger, the bongos, the penguins, zebras, capybaras, cheetahs, owls, flamingos, and more! There were also some wooden and metal animals around, which I enjoyed “meeting” so I could get an idea of what they looked like – such as the big hippo and the wooden shark. The most vocal of all the creatures were the penguins, and I had no idea that they could make so much noise. S managed to get a video of them, which was a real highlight for me!

10. Moisturiser

My first product from Origins – this GinZing moisturiser contains GinZing and coffee extract to jumpstart hydration levels and leave you with a radiant and glowing complexion. I like this non-greasy moisturiser that I didn’t know about before, and again this is another reason I like the beauty boxes, because you get to discover new brands. This was from my M&S Summer box, which has now sold out.

What have you enjoyed this month?

More from Unseen Beauty

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

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

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

You can get £10 off your first Feel Unique order by going onto the site using my affiliate link. This offer is open to new customers only, and the minimum spend is £30. So basically you can get £30 of products for £20. This is an affiliate link, so I also get a reward – in this case it’s £10 worth of products, which I will use to buy new things to test out on Unseen Beauty. However I only promote things that I enjoy, and I was very happy with the service I received from Feel Unique.