Lovelula subscription box – February 2020

This post is neither sponsored nor gifted.

I’ve written a couple of posts about the Lovelula box before – the last was in October 2019 – so I decided to tell you something about the February box.

I have mine on a rolling monthly subscription, but there are also deals if you want to buy subscriptions for longer periods of time. I like the products because they are all cruelty-free and natural, and they tend to offer different choices than the similar products that tend to crop up in a lot of the other beauty subscription boxes.

Out of the February box, I’d only used one of the products before. I have decided to keep all of the products this month, and I’ve tried four out of the five so far.

Cleanser and toner all-in-one

This DIY cleanser and toner from Laidbare is a handy travel-size, ideal if you’re pushed for space in your suitcase or you can’t take too many products with you. I have reviewed it on the blog before. I don’t generally go for two-in-one products – I like my skincare ritual with all its many steps, and a cleanser and toner do quite different things, so I don’t really understand the science behind something that claims to do both.

Having said that, I’ve already used this up, and it’s the nicest-smelling product in the box (probably due to the apple secret extract, which is nice and fresh). It also contains aloe and liquorice extract, both good for reducing inflammation, cleansing and toning the skin. It’s like a cleansing gel and due to the inflammation-reducing ingredients, I got it out when hormonal breakouts showed their ugly heads!

Face mask

Another product from Laidbare, which if you haven’t heard of it is a budget-friendly brand with some really nice products, is the for richer for porer face mask.

According to the Lovelula site: “Kaolin Clay draws out impurities and toxins, Japanese Seaweed Extract detoxifies and smooths the skin. Shea Butter gives hydration and conditions skin, whilst Liquorish helps minimise inflammation and Rose Water soothes irritation.”

You apply it to cleansed skin and then leave it on for 10 minutes, before rinsing off. It’s unusual because it does have small particles in it that work as a kind of exfoliant, but a gentle one, and at the same time it doesn’t leave your skin feeling dry as some masks with clay can do. I like it!

Face oil

This time we got the new release from OOH (Oils of Heaven), which is the natural raspberry repairing face oil. This is the third face oil since I’ve been getting the box, so they’re averaging at one every couple of months. I don’t mind this as I do use them, but I’ve seen a couple of people saying that they’re not getting through them. Still, I like them, and the value of this product alone is more than I paid for the box. It’s definitely a good way to try out products as they are released, and all of the oils are marketed as doing different things, so you could swap them out, depending on what your skin needs.

There seems to be an anti-inflammatory theme with this box, because the raspberry seed oil also has anti-inflammatory properties, but it’s also good for dehydrated skin. It is absorbed well with no sticky residue. It doesn’t smell of raspberries, because it’s made with raspberry seed oil, not the fruit itself – it just smells of nature, like when you go for a walk in the countryside!

Exfoliator

The final product that I tried was the Ayumi Turmeric & Bergamot Face Scrub. I’ve never heard of this brand before, so it was nice to try something completely new. However, I’m a fan of chemical exfoliants rather than face scrubs, so whilst I’ll use up this travel size, it’s not something I would buy.

It would be nice to see another product from the brand though – they do hair and bath products too.

Shampoo bar

This pollution patrol shampoo bar from Rescue My. Hair™ is the only product that I haven’t tried yet – just because I don’t want to get it wet once and then not finish it off, and I have another shampoo on the go.

I’ve heard mixed reviews about shampoo bars in general, but nothing yet about this one. I definitely like the idea – less waste and something that’s better for the environment. I’m quite fussy about hair products though, so I really need to give it a go and see if the results I get from a bar are as good as my favourite bottled shampoos. I’m definitely glad to have the chance to try it and will let you know what I think in a future empties post.

So, have you tried any of these products? Let me know in the comments!

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Thank you Pip box – beauty subscription box emails product leaflets to blind customers

Before Christmas I emailed a couple of beauty boxes with an idea. The Pip Box responded to me and has now made a change to their process that makes my life much easier as a visually impaired customer who can’t read their printed leaflets.

The Pip Box is a cruelty-free and vegan monthly subscription box. I’m not vegan, but the cruelty-free aspect is important to me, which is why I started getting this box last autumn. 10% of the profits from the box go to the charity Animal Free Research UK, and the box is named after Pip, the owner’s dog.

Anyone who has been following this blog for a while will know that I love trying out new products and discovering new brands, which is why I subscribe to beauty boxes. A lot of the time, you don’t know what will be in the box until it arrives. I have several ways of getting round the problem:

  • If S is around, I’ll just ask him what I’ve got – but he isn’t always around right at the time I want to know, and I don’t expect him to drop everything.
  • I can try scanning the card or leaflet and using an app on my phone to identify the text. This sometimes works, but is less successful if there is shiny paper or if the text is in columns.
  • I can use the same app to scan the products – sometimes this works, but it doesn’t read all of the writing. It might be enough to identify what kind of product it is, the brand, or some random information like what to do if you get it in your eyes. I use this method all the time if I can’t remember what something is, but it’s not so good for finding out about new things. It also depends on the colour and type of writing – the more unusual the packaging is, the harder it is for the scanner to read.
  • Sometimes people talk about their boxes on social media. Sometimes YouTubers and bloggers are fast to get their content up, so I can find out what is in my box too.

But all of these methods are a bit hit and miss for one reason or another.

Leaflet by email

This is why I asked if my Pip Box leaflet could be emailed to me. I can then read the email with the screenreader on my phone or laptop and know exactly what’s in the box. The company websites are also on the leaflet, so I know where to go if I want to blog about one of the products or find out a bit more about it.

This month, Sofi emailed the leaflet to me so I could identify the products when my box arrived. As far as I am aware, the Pip Box is the first beauty box to do this.

As a customer, it makes me happy because it helps me to enjoy the subscription independently without having to rely on others, wait, or use solutions that may or may not work.

As a company, it is one more step to build into the process, but it didn’t cost a lot to add this improved accessibility – only the time to build the new step into the process and the time to send off the email with the information.

Sofi from the Pip Box said “Here at The Pip Box we’re always looking for ways to improve our customer service and subscribers’ experience. When Kirsty got in touch to ask for a digital box leaflet we thought it was a great idea for visually impaired customers. We’ve since added this option to our website, under our FAQ’s section so future customers are aware.”

What was in this month’s box?

In the January, “refresh edit” we had:

  1. A tinted lip balm from Love Byrd (extra points for stating that it’s pink in the description because the name pucker doesn’t really give this away)
  2. 6 shades of nude eye shadow palette from cougar
  3. Black tea body scrub from Delhicious
  4. Face mask and mask brush from May Beauty
  5. Wild rose body lotion from Weleda

I’ve only heard of one of these brands before, so this month’s box was a great way for me to discover some new ones.

Weleda is most often talked about because of its skinfood, but I actually prefer their range of body lotions, so I was pleased to get a mini of one of them in this month’s box.

I’m most interested to try out the mask – I haven’t used it yet, but plan to tonight. I usually apply masks with my fingers, but I can see how a brush would help to get it all even, and this brush is super soft!

A lip balm is a good handbag staple, especially for this time of year when it’s cold and the lips need some extra protection. I like the ones in stick form too because you can easily apply them on the go.

I usually use sugar-based scrubs, but I like to see companies repurposing things such as tea leaves and coffee grounds so that they don’t go to waste.

The palette is something I won’t use because I only use cream and liquid eye shadows, but I’ve passed it on to someone who was really pleased with it, so it didn’t go to waste!

Once I had got my box, I could identify the lip gloss, brush, palette and scrub by touch. I’ve had Weleda lotions before, so was pretty confident that the tube was the lotion and the sachet was the mask, but I scanned them with my app to be sure. It generally won’t read all the information, but generally one or two words are enough to tell things apart, and it helps when you know what you’re looking for.

Final thoughts

I often highlight things that don’t work for me or that make my user experience more difficult, because I want to help educate companies about the often small changes that they can make to improve the accessibility of their websites, products, or user journey. I also like it if I can make people think about things they otherwise wouldn’t have considered.

But I also like to highlight good practice when I come across it because there are good news stories too. Sometimes you just need to ask and the change will be made for you.
So, if you’re looking for a cruelty-free and vegan-friendly subscription box from a company that listens to customers, I can recommend the Pip Box. If you’re visually impaired, now you can ask for a digital copy of the leaflet so you can know what’s in your box.

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Pip box in October – cruelty-free subscription box

At the end of October, I got the 2nd of the three birthday Pip boxes that my mum got for my birthday. So yes, this is gifted, but not by the brand and therefore not sponsored.

These boxes come out at the end of the month, which is why I review them at the beginning of the following month. I thought there was a good range of products again this time, with only one new brand for me, but I’ve been wanting to try some other products from the brands that I new, so this gave me a chance to do that. All the products are cruelty-free and vegan – I’m not vegan, but if you’re specifically looking for a vegan box for yourself or a friend, I’d say this is a good one to try.

I ended up keeping four out of the five products this time, but that’s only because I prefer cream blushes. The person who got the blusher is happy with it, so my not keeping the product is no reflection on its quality.

Skin care for the body

We got a pouch of the sweet orange hand Cream by Sknfed. This is a new brand for me, and I like the packaging – it feels less wasteful because it’s a soft pouch and you can squeeze out every drop. It also takes up less space in your handbag – I just need to make sure I don’t puncture it with anything sharp!

The hand cream has a fairly strong orange scent, which is good because I like anything citrusy. I’m always in need of hand cream, so I thought this was a good thing to put in the November box. The hand cream contains shea butter and cocoa butter, but it’s fairly thin, so you need to watch out that you don’t get too much~!

Skincare for the face

The pomegranate regenerating Sleeping Mask by Dr Botanicals

has been doing the rounds in beauty boxes for a while, but this is the first time that I’ve got one, so I was happy to try it out. As the name suggests, you apply a thin layer to clean skin and leave the mask on overnight, cleansing as usual in the morning.

It doesn’t have a strong scent, and it’s full of antioxidants to smoothen and brighten your skin while you sleep. This was new for me because most of the overnight masks that I use are moisturising ones. I rarely put overnight masks on directly before going to bed because I want to give them a bit of time to sink in – nobody wants mask all over the pillow – but you don’t have to worry with this one as it absorbs fairly quickly and doesn’t leave your face feeling sticky.

Haircare

I’ve used sheet masks from Vitamasques before, but I didn’t know that they do haircare too. We had a reusable sachet of the blossom hair masque, which contains evening primrose and cherry blossom, and is recommended as a deep conditioning hair treatment.

I don’t overdo it with styling or hours in the sunshine, but my hair is very long and that’s why I like to give it a deep conditioning treatment a couple of times a month. I find I can’t use some of the haircare products that you get in boxes, but I can use this and I’m always happy to see hair masks. It’s also a decent size for if you have a lot of hair – some are tiny!

Bathtime

We got a 50ml bottle of the Sensual rose bubble bath and shower gel from Kathleen. It comes in two sizes – 50ml and 150ml.

You can buy me roses, but I’m not usually too fond of rose-scented products. However, this one also contains orange and nutmeg, so the rose isn’t quite as strong, which I think makes it more pleasant. It’s not my favourite from the range, but it was good to try it out and see what other people do to make a rose scent a bit less rosy!

Makeup

I can’t review the paradise Blush from Manna Kadar because I passed it on. It was a little pot of mineral blush, and I didn’t keep it as I don’t use this type of product. Still, it was a nice addition to the box and I know it is being used and enjoyed!

What do you think?

All in all I was pleased with this box. Keeping four of five products isn’t bad, I got to try a new brand, and the other things are products that I will use or have already used. In fact only the handcream is left!

Have you used any of these products before? What did you think of the products? Let me know in the comments and if you want to take a look at the Pip Box, you can check out their website.

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New skincare in October – the Lovelula subscription box

It’s November already, but I like to give things a try before I write about them. That’s why I’m talking about the October Lovelula box today. This is not a sponsored post – I paid for the box myself and wanted to talk about its contents with you in case some of you are interested in trying out a new natural and cruelty-free subscription (I don’t receive a commission if you do!)

So, what was in the box this month?

Balmonds Intensive Facial Oil

This facial oil is my favourite product from the box this month. I hadn’t heard of the brand before, and I’m only really just getting back into facial oils. Apart from the ingredients, the packaging really makes or breaks them for me, because I don’t like the ones that have a big old neck and can make a mess because they come out too fast. No chance of that happening here though because it comes with a pipette, so you can get as much as you need in an easy, controlled way.

The product costs £22 at the time of writing, which is more than I paid for the entire box. It says you can use it as an overnight treatment, which is what I’ve been doing.

It contains rosehip oil, lavender, palmarosa, chamomile essential oils, along with cold-pressed sunflower and calendula oils. It doesn’t have an overpowering lavender scent and leaves my face feeling really soft after use.

Dr Botanicals Cocoa & Coconut Superfood Reviving Hydrating Mask

This was my second favourite this month. I’ve tried a couple of products from Dr Botanicals before, but I hadn’t heard of this wash-off mask before.

You apply it to a clean face, leave for five to ten minutes, then wash off. It contains cocoa butter to moisturise, and coconut oil to rehydrate and protect the skin. I really think my skin is enjoying some of these more gentle products and although I usually tend to go for rehydration masks that you leave on overnight, I enjoyed trying something new and will keep this in my skincare routine.

Seascape Island Apothecary Uplift Body Lotion

Laidbare Pac

I was a bit surprised to see another body lotion because we had one in the September box. I don’t mind, because I get through quite a lot of the stuff, but I can imagine some people not being so happy about another one so soon.

To be honest, I ddid prefer last month’s one because it had a citrus scent, whereas for me, this one is predominantly lavender. I do like lavender, but more in my bath than on my skin afterwards.

It’s a nice body lotion though, and something that I’ll definitely use. It also contains lime and eucalyptus, along with beeswax and shea butter to moisturise the skin. Maybe if the lime could be a little more promenant?

Laidbare Pack Your Bags Eye Cream

Laidbare is a budget-friendly brand, and anyone who’s been reading my blog for a while will have seen me raving about their sunflower hand cream! I hadn’t tried their eye cream before, so I was interested to give it a go. It’s a generous size and aims to target dark circles, as well as provide moisture around the delicate eye area.

To be honest, I have more eye creams than a girl could need, but that isn’t Lovelula’s fault, because they didn’t come from these subscription boxes.

Mossa Glow Cocktail Serum

We also got a sample of the glow cocktail serum, but I think you’d really need to try it out for longer to see whether it really works. It is something that I would consider using though, and contains vitamin C for a brighter complexion. I keep seeing cloudberries coming up in ingredients and really should find out more about them.

Overall thoughts

I think it’s another good box. I’ve discovered two new brands, and tried out some products from three that I was already familiar with.

Most of the products came in cardboard boxes, but I took them out so that you can see the products themselves mor clearly.

I wasn’t feeling the love for the plastic wrapping outside the box for the body lotion, but overall there isn’t a lot of excess plastic in this box.

If we add these products to the ones from the September box, that’s 10 products, and 10 that I will use. I don’t expect this run of good fortune to keep going – it’s natural that one or two things will come up that I’ll need to pass along to someone else, but so far I’ve been really pleased that I can, and want to, use everything. These two months have given us a decent number of full-sized products two – which is great when you consider some of the comparibly priced boxes are mainly sample sizes.

Did you get the Lovelula box in October? What did you think of the products? If not, is it a subscription box that you would consider getting? Let me know in the comments.

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Pip Box in September – cruelty-free subscription box

Today I’d like to introduce you to another beauty box – the Pip Box. It’s a cruelty-free box and 50p from each box sold goes to an animal charity. Also, the box was named after its founder’s dog, Pip.

This was gifted because it was a birthday present from my mum, but it’s not a sponsored post.

The Pip Box comes out towards the end of the month. Mine arrived on the 26th September, but I wanted to try out the products before telling you about them. The September box was called the Glow Edit – it isn’t available to buy now, but you’ll get an idea of the kind of things that you might find in the box. You can buy the box monthly, take out a subscription, which works out cheaper, or gift one or more boxes to someone else, which is what my Mum did.

The sign-up process is accessible with a screenreader.

So what was inside?

Bali balm cinnamon and burnt orange lip balm

I’d never heard of Bali balm before, but this cinnamon and burnt orange lip balm turned out to be my favourite thing in the box! I have more lip balms than I probably need, but this one smells and tastes amazing! The orange scent comes from orange peel, and cinnamon is used because it’s a natural anti-inflammatory and can help with blood circulation, therefore giving you plumper lips. Actually I have quite full lips anyway, but I didn’t know that about cinnamon – that’s good to know! Also, it makes me think of Christmas baking, so now I have an excuse when I make my next batch of Zimtsterne (cinnamon star biscuits) – it’s good for your circulation, right?

Seriously though, the lip gloss has a lovely texture and your lips feel soft for ages afterwards. Great for as the weather gets colder.

Nakin cleansing milk

I’ve heard of Nakin before, but had never tried anything from the brand. This advanced cleansing milk is a gentle cleanser that contains hyaluronic acid, seaweed and plant extracts. It removes make-up and environmental toxins/excess oil, stimulates cell turn-over, promising to leave your skin feeling clear, smooth and radiant. According to the website, it’s also suitable for sensitive skin.

My skin can be sensitive at times, so I was hoping to find some gentle products in these boxes. It isn’t fragranced, does remove make-up, and I didn’t have any problems or reactions after using it. It’s basically a nice, gentle cleanser.

Diamond eye pads from vitamasques

This set of eye pads are infused with diamond extract and caffeine. They promise that you’ll feel as relaxed as you do after a great night’s sleep. The formula also promises to brighten up tired eyes, feel cooling, and eliminate fine lines.

I certainly felt relaxed after using them. I’m not sure one treatment can completely eliminate fine lines, but it’s a nice sensation after a long day and I do think this kind of mask helps you to relax. I’ve had sheet masks from this brand before, but never tried any of their eye products.

This Danish brand is another new one for me. Actually that’s one of the things I like about these boxes – the chance to get to know new brands and try new products. If you’ve been around beauty subscription boxes for a while, you can start to see the same things turning up again and again – but I’ve found that the cruelty-free and more natural boxes tend to offer a bit more variety in this respect.

This refreshing scrub mask promises to help you avoid oily and blemished skin. These are my tormentors at certain times of the month, so I was eager to give this a go!
It is a mask that you leave on for 10-15 minutes and then wash off with lukewarm water. I lasted about 10 because what they describe as a “refreshing feeling” from the menthol is actually quite intense! Not unpleasant, but it would wake you up in the morning. If you do have sensitive skin, it’s worth doing a patch test first to make sure it’s ok for you.
The mask contains both chemical and physical exfoliants – salicylic acid and black jojoba beads. There’s also apricot kernel oil and shea butter to soften the skin, and jojoba oil to moisturise.

Once I’d got used to the sensation, I was ok with it and after a while it did actually feel good. This is a purifying mask, so you may see evidence of impurities in the form of spots after using it, but the point of the deep cleansing is to bring out those impurities and dead skin cells so they won’t block your pores.

This is a new product for me, and one that I enjoyed using. Still, I personally would use this once, rather than once or twice a week.

Mineral eye shadow

I can’t review this because I gave it away. I don’t use loose powder eye shadows because as a blind person, I find liquid or cream ones easier to work with. So I gave this to my mum, who said she liked the colour and it was something that she would wear.

Overall thoughts

I would use four out of five of these products, which is not bad for a beauty box. I don’t expect to keep everything in boxes and the thing that I gave away was one of the lower value items. I liked the range of products, was introduced to some new brands, and think these will come in handy for the cooler winter months. It’s also great to have some more cruelty-free products in my skincare regime.

I have two more of these boxes coming and look forward to seeing what else there is.
Have you had anything from the Pip Box? Let me know in the comments. If you want to find out more about them, you can visit the Pip Box website.

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Lovelula subscription box September 19

Lovelula was the first beauty subscription box I tried. I’ve had a break for a few months, but I decided to re-subscribe last month after seeing some great products from previous months on various blogs and YouTube channels. This is not a sponsored post – I just like the box and wanted to tell you what I got in mine.
Lovelula is a beauty box for natural and cruelty-free skincare and make-up items. There are various plans which mean you can save money the more boxes you sign up for, but a rolling monthly subscription costs £14.95 at the time of writing and the value of the products was around 4 times that.

My favourite product this month

When I got this box before, I was introduced to Madara – a brand that produces a wide range of moisturising face and body products. I didn’t know that they did body creams too, so I was really happy with the Infusion Vert intense anti-oxidant body cream that we got in the September box. It’s a generous size (200ml) and it’s my kind of scent as someone who loves all things citrus. It contains horsetail, thyme and lemon balm, with the main scent being the lemon. The cream absorbs fairly quickly, but your skin is soft all day.

Something for the cold autumn evenings!

Anyone who has been reading this blog for a while will know that I love baths! I love them all year round, but especially when we get to autumn and cosy nights in!
The Kathleen Tranquil fields bubble bath and shower gel was also a generous size – 150ml. It’s more something that I would use as a bubble bath because the main scents are lavender, vanilla and frankincense. I have paid its full price for bubble bath before, but it would have to be a special treat and one that I really liked!
I tend to be a bit more generous with it than the instructions suggest, because I like lots of bubbles. That means I’ll get through it a lot quicker and the price per use will go up – so if you really like your bubbles, this might not be the best thing. Still, I think the lavender will help me to relax when I’m taking time out to soak, particularly if I do it before bed.

Something new to try

My aunt once told me you can only say you don’t like something if you’ve tried it at least once. She had a point!
I don’t usually use oil cleansers and I didn’t think I was going to like the Balm Balm little miracle cleanser, but I wanted to give it a fair chance. The cleanser comes in a little glass bottle with a pump. You apply it with your hands and then remove it with a damp cloth or cotton pad.
The first time I tried it, I thought I’d never get the oil off and it would be greasy for the rest of the day! I also wasn’t sure about the rose scent. But I was pleasantly surprised! It did come off and my face was so soft afterwards. I think this is one of the nice things about the subscription boxes – you may get things that you can’t or won’t use, but it’salso a way to try out new products or types of product that you otherwise wouldn’t have picked up.
So I was happy with this one and am now more open-minded about giving oil cleansers a fair try!

Make-up

I’ve never used a soy mascara before, but this month I got to try one! I’ve never heard of the Brand Imani before either, but we got an full-sized midnight soy mascara..
Plus points were no flaking or clumping and I liked the packaging. Not so sure about the no smudging though and I did apply a second coat. The biggest problem for me is that I’m fussy when it comes to my wands and I like a big fluffy one rather than a curved one. So although I’ll use this, it doesn’t tick all the boxes it would need to for me to buy it again.

Sample

We also received a sample of the UrbanVeda reviving body wash, which I took away with me this week. It was creamy and the product itself was nice enough, but I found the scent a bit too floral. Still, if they have other scents in the range, I’d be interested to try them out.

Overall thoughts

You never know what you’re going to get in a beauty box, and some months you may end up with things to pass along or put in a giveaway. I was happy that I can and will use everything in this box – so that was an automatic win for me and it made me happy!
My clear favourite was the Madara product and I would buy that again. The Balm Balm product was a pleasant surprise – I need to try it out for longer than a couple of days, but I like it more than I thought I would. The Kathleen bubble bath isn’t something that I’d buy, but I will enjoy using it.
What do you think about this box? Have you used any of these products before? Let me know in the comments!

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Latest in Beauty choices – August 2019

I thought I’d let you see what I picked for my Latest in Beauty choices in August.

Latest in Beauty is a subscription box with a difference – you can choose your own products.

I think this can make it a better option because although you can’t guarantee in advance that you’ll love everything, you can definitely make sure that you don’t get products in your box that are the wrong shade or that you will just leave sitting in a drawer for ages because you won’t use them.

I don’t make my choices on the highest value products, although I do try to make sure that they’re good value for money. This works – partly because you do end up paying less than the retail price, but also because I’m not wasting money on things I won’t use.

You can choose a 3, 6 or 9 product box. I get 9 products for £18, which means that the products work out at around £2 each.

Every month there is a star product, which means there is enough of this product for any subscriber who wants one. I didn’t get the August star product because it was an eye liner and I don’t use those, but September’s is a Nars lipstick and I’ll be snapping that up!

I didn’t get any make-up this time, but on the site there is skincare, makeup, haircare, tools, and bath stuff. Products are added all through the month, so you’re not at a disadvantage if you get your box at the end of the month like I do. New products are being added each day, but some of the ones mentioned here are still available.

A quick note about accessibility – as a blind customer I have no problem picking out my items and checking them out each month. This should be the way it is for all sites, but unfortunately this isn’t the case with all beauty boxes, so I like to highlight good practice when I find it!

Face masks

I like to use my LiB subscription to stock up on face masks because there are often new ones in the edit, and it’s a really cost-effective way to buy masks. I have only ever had one bad experience in about 3 years of trying different masks, and that was with a well-known brand. This didn’t put me off trying others – particularly the more natural ones.

  • It’s skin fresh mask avocado – with natural ingredients and over 25 vitamins. I’ve had this one before and it’s a nourishing mask for when your face needs some hydration.
  • It’s skin fresh mask olive – a firming and refreshing mask, again for dry skin. I haven’t tried this one yet, but I liked the avocado one and this is from the same brand.
  • Mitomo soy bean mask – to keep pores clean. I love Korean and Japanese skincare and although I haven’t tried this mask before, I’ve had another one from the brand. I got this because it’s said to reduce irritation and improve skin texture. My skin’s been a bit sensitive lately, so I thought something that was both detoxifying and soothing would be a nice treat!

Hair

  • Jo Hansford intensive hair mask – to be used as a wash-off mask or an overnight treatment. This isn’t strictly for my type of hair because my hair isn’t coloured, but I wanted to try something from the Jo Hansford range and I generally give my hair a mask treatment every one or two weeks because it’s very long and I want the ends to get some tlc! This mask contains Ethically harvested Castanha do Brasil and sunflower extract.

New to try

Every month I like to try a few new things just because they’re there and I can! Sometimes this means full sizes, other times it’s a sample – but even with samples it’s good to try something out first before buying the full size.

  • Sebamed clear face mattifying cream – because hormonal breakouts! Reduces the skin’s oily shine and the formation of pimples, blackheads and skin impurities. I thought this may help, particularly at the times of the month when the hormonal breakouts like to raise their ugly heads!
  • Weleda sea buckthorn body wash – my favourite from Wileda is the pomegranate range, but I thought I’d give this a go too because generally the brand makes things that smell great and that are also gentle on the skin.

General things that I need

Sometimes I pick up general things like deodorant, cotton pads, shower gel etc because they are things that I always use and want to keep topped up.

  • Sure advance protect antiperspirant roll on – not very exciting, but it’s something I use every day, so why not pick one up when they’re here?

Yardley London lily of the valley hand cream – I tend to get through hand creams because I have one on my desk, one in my bag, one by my bed etc. Also, if my hands are covered in hand cream, I’m less likely to bite my cuticles. Well it’s a strategy at least. So I picked this up because I hadn’t tried anything from Yardley and I thought it sounded good. It has a floral, but not overpoweringly floral scent. The cream rubs in well and isn’t greasy.

Fragrance

I don’t often get fragrances, but I will if I think something looks interesting.

  • Kieren NYC perfume bundle – I got this because I thought it would be a good way to get to know the brand as there are four fragrances in the set. They come on cards in a little bag. I am not sure if any of them are going to be my new favourite scent – I need to test them out a bit more. I automatically liked Sunday brunch because of the citrus notes, but I also liked 10 a.m. flirt because it’s fruity.

Have you tried Latest in Beauty? If so, what did you get in August? If not, do you think it’s a good idea?

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21 bath and skincare empties for November

November isn’t over yet, but I wanted to get my empties done before Blogmas starts – and also I have quite a lot of them this month – again mainly down to using up some minis and samples. Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products, and if so, what you thought of them.

1. Sand and Sky clay mask

I was a bit dubious about this because I thought it might have a horrible texture. But I got it in my Urban Jungle box from QVC and I thought I’d give it a go, and was pleasantly surprised. It does dry like a fine clay texture, but it isn’t grainy and came off easily. I still prefer a nice hydrating sheet mask, but the clay did draw out impurities and left my skin feeling better afterwards. I struggled to find this online, but did find one option for the pore refining mask that also gives you a free mask brush.

2. Gorgeous cow body lotion

This Gorgeous Cow body lotion was part of a set that I got for my birthday, which also included the Gorgeous cow shower gel. With Bulgarian rose and French lavender, this is more of an evening scent for me to help relax after an evening pamper session in the bath. The Cowshed has a great range of products and they have cool names – mainly to do with cows, bulls for men, and baby cows for the baby range.
They won’t be for you if you don’t like strong scents, but the scents for each range are very herbal and make me think of nature.

3. Plantscription anti-aging serum

I got this mini of the plantscription serum with bamboo extract from Origins as one of my Latest in Beauty choices. It didn’t push any of my favourite serums off the top of the list, but I enjoyed using it. I chose it because I loved the Origins moisturiser so much. I didn’t enjoy the serum quite as much as the moisturiser, but I would like to try more from this brand and I’m happy that boxes like Latest in Beauty let me do that.

4. Korres shampoo

I wanted to try more of the Korres haircare range, and was very impressed with this almond and linseed shampoo. I got it from Feelunique, where I get a lot of my haircare products. This wasn’t on offer, but there are often really good deals on the site, so it’s worth keeping an eye out to see if any of the products that you buy regularly are on sale.
I see this as a mid-range shampoo – definitely not the cheapest, but not the most expensive either. When your hairdresser remarks on how good your hair looks, you know you’re getting something right!

5. Sugared Violet hand cream

This was another of my (full-size) Latest in Beauty picks. I talked about the cranberry one in my October empties, and got through this sugared violet one in November. I like the formula of all of these hand creams from Patisserie de Bain because they’re rich and nourishing. I’m not so keen on this one because it’s very sweet, but then it is true to the violet scent, so if you like that, or those sweets you used to have as a child, you’ll like this!

6. Chloe perfume sample

I got this Chloe sample as a free sample and quite liked it, although it is very strong, so you don’t need much. I don’t usually go for rose-based perfumes, but having seen the scent description, maybe my nose sniffed out the lychees!

7. Yes to blueberry serum

I wanted to try a serum from the Yes To range, and ended up picking up this blueberry one. It has the strangest consistency – it’s kind of slidy! Not oily, but shiny on your face and then it dries down. It’s not what I expected, but I do prefer it to a more watery serum and I had no problems applying other products on top of it. It is intended to moisturise, reduce fine lines and it’s one that I would pick up again. At the time of writing it has 34% off on Feelunique.

8. Radox watermelon bath bomb

Nice bath bomb, super annoying packaging! I got the watermelon bath bomb in a little Christmas set with a shower gel. It’s wrapped so tightly in cellophane that I ended up with bath bomb down my nails before I got the thing out, but the product itself smelled fun and fruity! I can’t see it as a single product online though so haven’t added a link.

9. Multivitamin mask from Vitamasques

This multi-vitamin mask with vitamins B3, B5, B6, C, and E was something I won from the lovely Sussex Sandra’s channel. Don’t be surprised by the small packaging – it reduces waste and this mask is full of serum and leaves your face feeling fresh and hydrated. There are details on the Vitamasques site about what each ingredient is good for and how it helps the skin. Maybe this interests me more as a blind person who can’t read all the small print herself, but I think it’s a nice touch when a company puts this information up online too.

10. Skimono total conditioning plus mask

I got this from Sandra too and at first thought it was a face mask – but it’s a foot mask. I’m rubbish at looking after my feet or buying products to take care of them, so this mask was a nice pamper treat as I chilled out on the sofa. And, unlike other foot masks that I’ve tried, it wasn’t huge on me. I know they have to fit all sizes, but some masks are enormous and I’m glad this one wasn’t!

11. No old bags aloud eye cream

I don’t like the name of this product. I know it’s supposed to be funny, but words have power and this comes across as ageist to me. Apart from that, I didn’t feel the product did much anyway and was quite thin and watery. I used it up and it was just a little cream from Pink Parcel, but I don’t want to promote it because of the name.

12. Beauticology pink grapefruit and raspberry bath cream

This Beauticology bath cream was enormous and great value because it kept me going for ages. It’s not as strong a grapefruit scent as some of the other grapefruit products that I like – in fact I’d say the raspberry is stronger, but it’s a decent shower gel and a generous size. The pump nozzle could be longer to make it easier when getting the product out, but I’ve seen other 750 ml dispensers with the same issue.

13. Korres Guava body butter

I think I mentioned before that you can get Korres products in Ocado, which makes me happy because I can just pick them up along with my groceries. The guava body butter is in a tube, and like a thick cream, so not like a block that you get in some tub butters. I find this makes it easier to spread. It’s rich and creamy, and leaves you smelling fruity all day.

14. Living Proof hair mask

This mask is something that I got in my Glossybox. It’s marketed as something that will help you extend the time between washes, but I was just interested in the nourishing properties and the way that my hair was all silky and shiny afterwards. I hadn’t heard of this brand before, and although I sometimes get things that I wouldn’t use in subscription boxes, the opportunity to try new brands and products makes it worth it for me.

15. Laura Mercier pink pop lip gloss

I finally finished up a lip product! To be honest I’m more of a lipstick than a lip gloss kind of girl, but this one wasn’t sticky and it was nice enough.

16. Chloe nomade sample

I may have liked this Chloe Nomade sample more if I hadn’t already had a mini of the original Chloe perfume. This was ok, but too musky for my liking. I’m glad we got it as an extra treat in Glossybox, but it’s not something that I would go out and buy.

17. Jasmin body lotion

I don’t tend to go for floral scents, but I’d had things from the Indian night jasmin range before at the Body Shop® so I knew I liked it. That’s why I picked up the jasmin body lotion. It’s not as thick as the body butters, so if you’re in a hurry and need something that smells fresh and will absorb quickly, this is a good choice.

18. Korres hand cream

I use a lot of handcream in the winter! After I was so impressed with the skincare and haircare, I decided to try out the Korres handcream too. I’ve actually got two. This almond one is good if you want something that doesn’t smell too strong. It’s a generous tube (75ml) and does a good job. A little goes a long way though, so don’t use too much!

19. Ceterfil moisturising cream

This was hanging about in my face product drawer for a while because I find it hard to get excited about scent-free moisturisers. It was just a little sample that I got in Latest in Beauty, but it was actually a really nice moisturiser. Moisturising without being oily. Played nicely when layered with other products. I wouldn’t necessarily get it again because there are others that I like more, but I was pleasantly surprised, and if having a gentle and scent-free moisturiser is important to you, I would recommend this one from Ceterfil.

20. What’s in it for me body cleanser

I couldn’t find a link for this, but it’s the first thing that I’ve tried from this brand and it’s got grapefruit in it! So what’s not to like? I was happy that Pink Parcel included it!

21. Antipodes worship serum

I wanted to like this serum. It’s got anti-oxidant rich fruits like blackberry and kiwi in it. It’s good for you! I find some of the products from this brand have odd names, but after having a good experience with one of their lipsticks, I was keen to try some other products from the brand. However, I won’t be finishing this very watery serum. I’m not sure what good it was doing to my skin. It smelled fruity, which is a bonus, but it was so runny and a bit sticky. I didn’t find it easy to work with or that it made my skin feel any better. I can read what the ingredients are meant to do, but it’s so runny, I know all my other serums will always be ahead of the queue and I won’t reach for it. Still, best to find that out with a sample size from my Urban Jungle box than a massive 30ml bottle, which for a serum will last ages!

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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My Latest in Beauty choices for November

I don’t do this every month, but I thought I’d share with you what I got in my Latest in Beauty box for November.

For anyone who doesn’t know, Latest in Beauty is a bit different from other boxes because you get to choose what goes in. So no tanning stuff, eye liners, or powder blushes for me! I like this because you have a higher chance of using the things that you pick up.

The box has different subscription levels – 3 products for £9, 6 for £15, or 9 for £18. So if you get the bigger box, it works out at £2 per product and I think it’s a good way to both get full-size products cheaply, and try out sample sizes of other things to see whether you like them.

The site is accessible for a blind person working with a screenreader, and I can choose my products without any help. The only time I sometimes ask for assistance is when it’s a make-up product and the colour isn’t described very well.

I have linked to full size products, mostly on Boots, Superdrug or Amazon, because you can’t buy individual products from Latest in Beauty, and their selection is changing all the time. So this way you can find out about the product and get it yourself, even if it’s no longer available on Latest in Beauty.

So what did I get?

Here is a list of my 9 products:

  • Soaper Duper tuberose hand cream – full size.
  • Patisserie de Bain sweet as cherry pie hand cream (full size)
  • Yes To tomatoes paper sheet mask
  • Being by Sanctuary comforting cake-on mask
  • Garnier moisture bomb tissue mask
  • Anne Semonin ice cube
  • The make-up club lipstick (full size)
  • Soaper Duper lemon body lotion (full size)
  • Aussie 3 minute miracle (sample size)

Hands

A couple of the products were things that I’ve had before and liked. I am running low on hand cream, and I use it a lot during the winter, so I got the sweet as cherry pie hand cream because I really like it (both for the way it moisturises and the cherry scent), as well as the new tuberose one from Soaper Duper. I’ve had a few Soaper Duper products before, and usually like their scents and good value for money. I can’t find this hand cream as a single product at the moment, possibly because it’s new. It’s a generous size, even big for a hand cream, but I’m not sure about the scent. Maybe it will grow on me. The hand cream formula is fine, but I prefer the lemon range. Still, you don’t know these things till you try them!

Masks

I’ve had the Garnier pomegranate one before and I really like it when my face is feeling dry and in need of a drink! There is a lot of serum in this mask, but your face feels great afterwards. At the moment it’s on offer, but usually adding this mask as a Latest in Beauty choice is cheaper than buying it full price.

The purifying sheet mask is also something I’ve had before. I’m a bit more careful with Yes To sheet masks, because the cucumber one gives me a bad reaction, but this tomato one is fine and good for those times when the blemishes literally raise their ugly heads.

The cake-on mask was a new one for me, which is why I was fine with the sample size. To be honest, for moisturising masks, I do still prefer sheet masks, but this creamy mask did smell amazing. It reminded me of one of my first trips to Germany when I was amazed just how much cake people put away at coffee and cake time. Ok the cakes weren’t as rich as some of the cakes we eat here, but people were served massive slabs that would have easily done two portions! Anyway – the caramel cake scent of this mask reminds me of that, and my face was definitely lovely and soft afterwards. So if cream masks are your thing, go for it!

Skincare

For once I didn’t get a huge load of skincare, although I suppose you could class the masks as skincare. I was interested in trying the Anne Semonin ice cube because it had been included in the Cohorted beauty box, which I don’t get, but I’ve seen people talking about them. Anne Semonin is a luxury skincare brand and I haven’t tried anything from there before. The idea is that you put the small packet of liquid in the freezer for 3 hours until it solidifies into an ice cube, then you put that in a little pouch and hold it onto the under-eye area, a bit like an eye cream.

I did leave it in for the right amount of time, but it froze slightly wonky, which meant I had a thick bit, and a thin bit that broke off on getting it out and dissolved. So that was my fault, but overall I found the cube did dissolve very quickly, and although it was a nice cooling sensation, I’m not sure that was because this product was anything special – it was probably because it had just come out of the freezer.

I’m not saying there weren’t good ingredients in it, but I did find it a bit of a faff and was glad that I hadn’t paid the RRP of £7.50 that I’ve seen online!

I’m torn on luxury skincare. There are some brands that I will save up and pay more for because of the ingredients and because I think it is worth the extra. But I think sometimes you can be paying for a name, and I’m still on the fence with this one.

Make-up

I don’t often get make-up in LiB, but I picked up this red lipstick from the Make-up Club because I wanted to see what the formula would be like. I’m not sure where else these are being sold at the moment – there is a range of matte and shine lipsticks available, and the ones on LiB were in the shine range. It’s a drugstore brand, and a relatively new one at that, but I found the lipstick comfortable to wear. I’d rather a bullet lipstick that you have to reapply than a liquid one that is unforgiving if you make the tiniest mistake, and for £2 you can’t really go wrong. However it’s not the creamiest, most moisturising one that I own!

Body care

Again I couldn’t find a link to this body lotion. Plenty of people are selling the hand cream and body wash, so I’m wondering if this is new too. If it is, I’m happy! I love the citrus scent of the zingy Sicilian lemon line, and this is a very generous 200 ml tube. It’s a fairly thin lotion that absorbs quickly and smells amazing!

Haircare

The Aussie 3 minute miracle reconstructer (basically a hair mask treatment to use in place of your conditioner), is not an expensive product and this was just a trial size. Still, I’d rather try small than get 250ml of something I don’t like! I did like this though! It contains macadamia, jojoba and avocado oils and nourishes dry hair – something especially good to do at this time of year when the central heating tends to dry out our hair more. To be honest I’m used to masks that you leave on  for longer, but this is a nice product and my hair seemed to like it!

Have you tried the Latest in Beauty service? Do you use any of these products? Let me know in the comments!

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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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
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!
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.
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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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.