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Friday, 28 February 2014

February 2014 Empties

                                           Here are all the things I have used up in February.

Peppy Galore Nurse Peppy Hand cream (10g). This is such a lovely hand cream. Has a refreshing citrusy scent and I really enjoyed using it.

Noble Isle Fireside shower gel (30ml). This is my favourite fragrance from the Noble Isle products I have tried. It has a warm and spicy scent, which is almost masculine.

Bareskin Beauty Deep Sleep Bath Soak. I reviewed these bath salts earlier in the month. Another product I would really recommend.

Inner Soul Organics Circulation Boost Skin Oil (30ml). This is a super luxurious body oil with geranium and rosemary. Very moisturising and leaves the skin ever so soft.

Mitchel and Peach English Growers shower gel (50ml). I have had a sample of this before and it is pleasant enough, I just didn't think it was anything special.

Oxygen Purifying Honey Masque (size unknown). This is a lovely little mask, made my skin look brighter.

Faith in Nature Raspberry & Cranberry shower gel & bath foam (100mls). Lovely fruity fragrance which is quite sweet. This is a really gentle shower gel. When used in the bath it gives lots of bubbles. Didn't dry my skin and is also reasonably priced.

Essential Care Gentle Herb Shampoo (30mls) is another product I have used before and really like. It was a very close call between buying a full size of this or of the BiOrganics shampoo.

Cowshed Restoring Hand Cream (50mls). This smells lovely. It is a very light hand cream that I would use on good hand days. It absorbs very quickly.

Gwdihw Smoochy Lips (25g). I really feel like I have had my moneys worth with this, it has lasted ages. Although this is a lip balm, it's great for dry skin anywhere. I have been using it as a foot balm. This really smoothes dry skin.

BiOrganics Perfect Balance shampoo (30mls). I really like this shampoo. It makes my hair nice and shiny. It is the first shampoo I have used in a long time where I can manage to skip a day. I have already bought the full size of this.

Glamglow Youth Mud Tinglexfoliate (15g). I really didn't get on with this and definitely will not be buying the full size.

Gauntlet Hand Salve (30ml). This is absolutely fantastic stuff. Well and truly sorted my sore and chapped hands out.

Konjac Sponge. This is another item that I have had a lot of use from. After nearly 4 months it is time to admit it is past it's best and open a new one. I already have a replacement from a recent Love Lula box.

Shed Your Skin Facial Moisturiser (size unknown). This is a very good moisturiser for dry skin. I liked this a lot.

Weleda Wild Rose Pampering Body Lotion (20mls). This is a nice light body lotion, for dry skin it is probably better in Summer but I did like using it.

This month I seem to have used quite a few things up, and I was feeling a little smug. That was until I had a little tot up of all the things that had come in my beauty boxes and the things I had bought. I have only used up a few more things than I have acquired. For this reason I have only stated which I have replaced rather than ones for the wish list. I really do need to focus on using up my products. I may even have to take drastic action and drop a beauty box. Time for another crackdown, otherwise this stash of mine will never be under control.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Glam Glow Youth Mud Tinglexfoliate.


  One of the products we received in this month's Love Lula beauty box was Glam Glow Youth Mud Tinglexfoliate There is an awful lot of hype around this product. It has won several awards, is marketed as being 100% paraben free, cruelty free and suitable for vegans and all skin types. I thought it was time to share how I found this product.

 There is probably enough product in this tube for a couple of applications. The formula is much softer than I was expecting, so most of it came out in one go. The formula is a soft clay mask with large pieces of leaf to exfoliate. You leave for 10 minutes and then rinse off in circular motions to complete the exfoliating process.

  Before I go too much further, let me remind you of my skin type. My biggest beef with my skin is that it tends to be dry and lack lustre. I am very fortunate that I rarely experience sensitivity. For those with sensitive skin and who do suffer with allergies in particular I think do need to look closely at the ingredients before buying.

Aqua (Water), Montmorillonite (VolcanicMinerals), Kaolin (French Sea Clay), Magnesium Aluminum Silicate (PurifiedClay), Polyethylene, Pumice (Micro Volcanic Rock), Camellia Sinensis Leaf(Green Tea Leaf), Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract (Green Tea), ChamomillaRecutita Flower Extract (Chamomile), Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract(Marigold), Cucumis Sativus Fruit Extract (Cucumber), Hedara Helix Extract(Ivy), Symphytum Officinale Leaf Extract (Comfrey Herb), Lavandula Hybrida Oil(Lavender), Glycerin (Vegetable), Parfum, [Benzyl Benzoate, Hexyl Cinnamal,Limonene, Linalool], Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Caprylyl Glycol,Hexylene Glycol, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone.

 With the words tinglexfoliate in the name I expected there would be some tingling, but didn't think it would be too uncomfortable. I found this painful, and couldn't keep it on my skin for the recommended time. I lasted only a few minutes. I fully expected to look like a lobster after washing my face. Fortunately I just looked like I was having a hot flush and it did settle fairly quickly. Next morning I had quite a few spots. I am very lucky with my skin and I haven't had spots in a long time, so am not a happy camper at all.

 This is obviously not the wonder product for me. If you have sensitive skin or suffer with allergies this probably isn't for you either, and would suggest you try something else. Although I obviously won't be buying the full size of this, I can at least cross it off my list of curiosities. I can also take consolation in the fact that I have not stumped up £50 for something that didn't work for me.

Friday, 21 February 2014

#Frugal February This or That (Battle of The Sonic Cleansing Devices).




                                 This is my wish list with a twist. The Foreo Luna Mini vs the Clarisonic Mia

                                              Clarisonic Mia

 I have heard so many good things about both the Luna and the Clarisonic sonic cleansing devices and am really curious to try them out for myself. I have always been a bit hesitant to take the plunge because of the initial outlay. Priced at just under £100 for the Luna Mini and £155 for the Clarisonic Mia they are what I would consider to be an investment product. I have always worried that I wouldn't use them regularly enough to justify spending that much in one go, that I would use it religiously for a month and then never bother with it again.

 It's my birthday at the end of March, and I was thinking of asking for contributions towards one of the devices. I just can't quite decide which. I have made a quick list of the pros and cons of each device.

   Pros (Luna Mini)
* Rechargeable for up to 300 uses per charge.
* Claims to be more hygienic and feel like getting a facial.
* No need to replace brush heads.

  Cons (Luna Mini)
*Initial Outlay.

 Pros (Clarisonic Aria)
* Patented sonic frequency.
* Most well known device.

Cons (Clarisonic Mia)
* Need to buy replacement heads.
* Only has one setting.

 As you can probably tell, on paper I am leaning more towards the Luna Mini. However much you read up about a product, it can't give you a true feel for it. I was wondering if any of you reading this own one of or even both devices, and what your experience has been. Perhaps most importantly do you use it often enough for it to be worth the splurge.

                                                Any feedback would be gratefully received.


Thursday, 20 February 2014

Bare Skin Beauty Soothing Body Butter.

 Last month Juliette from Bare Skin Beauty was kind enough to send me some of her products to try. Today I thought I would share my thoughts on the Soothing Body Butter.

 Firstly it comes in a really solid jar, that when it is finished would be the perfect size to keep cotton pads in. I am terrible at describing fragrances, so please accept my apologies as I can't do it justice. It has a nice subtle fragrance. The texture is wonderful. It is feather light. You can hear it fizz slightly on your fingers before it melts into the skin. It is an absolute treat to use and makes my skin look super smooth. Even the bumpy bits I would dearly love to pretend I don't have look better, and my skin always feels so soft afterwards. A little goes a long way, I have only had to use this very sparingly. I expect this size jar to last me a couple of months.

As I have told you previously Juliette's products are all made with only natural ingredients and free from nasties. You can see for yourself from the ingredient list.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Sachets #No 2


The most recent samples to have been used up from my stash are as follows.

Bodhi Rosemary Chi  is a blend of rosemary, geranium, petitgrain and cedarwood.I have loved all the Bodhi products I have tried so far. They are a real treat for the senses, and are perfect for when you want to indulge in a spot of pampering, This has a fresh fragrance that is somehow rich and comforting at the same time. I received a couple of the other shower gels for Christmas that I will use first, but I would happily buy the full size of this. Hubby liked the smell of this too, so definitely a unisex product.

John Masters Organics Blood Orange & Vanilla Body Milk. This has a really sweet fragrance, that is more vanilla than orange. I think this is a fragrance you will either love or hate. I absolutely love it. As this is a milk it is a touch light for my dry winter skin, but would be lovely in summer. O have a couple of bigger samples of this that I am looking forward to using.

Apivita Express Gold with Prickly Pear (Face mask). This is simply divine. Rich, creamy and ever so moisturising. It is a great mask for times when the skin is dry and lack lustre. My skin was noticeably brighter and super soft after using this. I have another sachet of this to use. The mask are either sold as a pack of 2 or in a bigger tube. I will definitely be buying the full size of this.

Kimberley Sayer Restore Anti - Aging Cream. This was a lovely light weight cream, that was deceptively moisturising. This was lovely to use. I have a couple more sachets. I don't know that I would buy the full size just yet, simply because I have so many others to use up first.

  Have you tried any of these?

Saturday, 15 February 2014

SoukSouk Beauty Box February 2014.


 Today my little SoukSouk box came. As usual everything is tucked behind the little green magazine, which is always a good read and this month features Natural Diddy

                                                    Here is actually what came in the box.

The first two items are by Conscious Skincare and are 50ml samples of Grapefruit and Cedarwood Body Wash and Body Lotion. I have heard of Conscious Skincare but have yet to try their products. These have a light citrusy fragrance which is absolutely gorgeous. I am really looking forward to trying these.    

 Next are two samples by Living Nature. There is a 5ml sachet of the Deep Cleansing Mask and a 10ml sample of their Vitalising Cleanser. I haven't come across this brand before and am looking forward to trying these.  

A 22g bar of Raw Chocolate with Mint & xylitol by The Raw Chocolate Company. Unfortunately for me, my children were around when I was taking my photos. All 3 of them (who allege not to like dark chocolate) loved it and it disappeared faster than the speed of light. Rude, it would have nice to a least got a sniff of it.

 The final item is the one I am most intrigued by is Bodytox Lavender Sleep Patches. Enclosed are two patches that you put on the soles of your feet (there is a diagram to show you where). These patches supposedly remove waste, promote relaxation and help get a good nights sleep. Very interesting product indeed, and they smell gorgeous too.

 I am really impressed with this month's box. A good selection of products by smaller less well known brands. If you are looking to try more artisan companies SoukSouk could well be the box for you.

Friday, 14 February 2014

#FrugalFebruary Buys.

As part of my cutting back on spending I decided I would allow myself a monthly budget to play with. These are the things I have bought this month.
A huge bottle of BiOrganics Perfect Balance Rebalancing Shampoo. I had a sample of this in January's Love Lula beauty box and it is safe to say I really liked this shampoo. In my defence I am down to my last 30ml samples of Essential Care Gentle Herb Shampoo and would have run out by the end of the month.
I can't claim that about the other two purchases I made, and have to admit that temptation got the better of me. 

 I bought a lovely sample of Bloom Remedies Daily Revive Cream because I couldn't resist a bargain.

I ordered some samples because curiosity got the better of me. I ordered samples of  Kris D'Amour Rejuvenating Facial Treatment Oil, Rejuvenating Body Oil with Stress Relief Effect, and Rejuventaing Body Treatment Butter. Technically the samples were free, but I paid for the postage.
I am looking forward to using all my new goodies and will review them shortly.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Xenca Perfection Lipstick

Xenca Perfection Lipstick

 Xenca's Perfection Lipstick was something I first discovered as a result of January's SoukSouk box. After chatting to Suzie from Xenca on twitter, she very generously sent me some extra items to try. Suzie sent me the cherry lipstick, liquid eyeliner and the facial smoother (reviews coming shortly). Today I thought I would share my thoughts on the lipsticks.

Xenca Perfection Lipstick in Fudge and Cherryo
Xenca are a natural brand that are cruelty free and environmentally friendly. One of the first things that attracted me to the products is that the packaging is completely made of cardboard and so can be recycled. I am very impressed with this and would love to see more brands using this style of packaging.
Xenca Perfection Lipstick Swatches fudge and cherry
The shade I received in my SoukSouk box is Fudge. I would describe this as being a nude pink with brown under tones. I have been wearing this everyday for work as it is a flattering everyday colour. The cardboard packaging is really robust and has not been damaged in the slightest when in my bag or coat pocket.
Cherry is without a doubt my favourite colour. It's a bright vibrant red, and I love it. Not the colour I could get away with wearing at work, but perfect for a night out or just when you want a pop of colour to brighten a miserable day.
The formula's of these lipsticks are rich and nourishing, they don't drag on the lips when applied. They are comfortable to wear and help keep my lips moisturised. I have been pleased with the length of wear time too. Priced at £11.95 each I think these are very good quality lipsticks that are affordably priced. I would happily repurchase and look forward to seeing a larger range of colours becoming available.
You can find the lipsticks here on the Xenca  website alongside a clear ingredients list.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Bare Skin Beauty Deep Sleep Bath Soak.


 A few weeks ago Juliet from Bare Skin Beauty was kind enough to send me some of her products to try. She very generously sent me a bottle of Deep Sleep Bath Soak, a Hydrating Lip Butter, and a jar of Soothing Body Butter.

 Bare Skin Beauty endeavour to only use natural ingredients, which are organic and fair trade where ever possible. Products are not tested on animals and packaging is recyclable or reusable. I have a lot of respect for this brand. I have been lucky enough to test some of the facial skincare products previously and you can see those reviews here, here and here and as you might have guessed have been very impressed so far.

 For today's review I would like to share my thoughts on the Deep Sleep Bath Soak. The ingredients for these bath salts are Himalayan Salt, Organic Hops, Lavender, Rose, Hibiscus, Vitamin C, Tangerine, Elemi and Grapefruit essential oils.
The bath soak has a very fine texture, with little pieces of flower petals, hops, and lavender seeds. To my nose, the fragrance is a nice combination of citrus and lavender. It is strong enough to fragrance the bathroom without being over powering. I found this bath soak to be very calming, especially after a busy day. I love that warming tingle after getting out that the Himalayan salts give. As someone who really feels the cold or who has fish blood as my husband rudely puts it) this is very welcoming. The Deep Sleep Bath Soak is a lovely way of enjoying some me time and has been very relaxing to use.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Love Lula February 2014 Box.


                  Today my Love Lula box came. Here are my initial thoughts on what I got.

Sachet samples of Pure Harmony Cleanser, cream, serum, and mask by MyChelle. These are geared towards sensitive skin. This is a new brand to me, so I am happy to give it a go. I think I would have preferred a larger sample of one product though.

A 15ml sample of Glam Glow Youthmud Face Mask. There is a huge amount of hype around this product and it has won numerous awards. I am very curious to find out what it is really like. It's good to be able to try out products that ordinarily I wouldn't be able to justify the price tag.

 A 50ml sample of Dr Bronner's Rose Magic Soap. I really like Dr Bronner's magic soaps, they are so gentle. This is the perfect size to take to work with me.

 Eos Lip Balm in Strawberry Sorbet (full size). Eos Lip Balms are well loved by beauty bloggers and I am yet to try one. I am really pleased to finally have one. It smells lovely, like strawberry chewits.

 Overall I am happy with my box. I am not completely blown away by it but there are some good staple products that I will get a lot of use from, and a real high end treat to try.

                                                        What did you think to this box?

Friday, 7 February 2014


#NoBuyJanuary was really useful for me in terms of making me look much more closely at all the things I have hoarded. It was never going to be possible to clear all my stash in just one month, so I need to find a way of restricting my spending. Enter #FrugalFebruary. 
 I plan on allowing myself a monthly budget of £30 (excluding beauty box subscriptions) to spend as I please. I am going to create a monthly wishlist (which I will post next week) and from that I will spend up to my budget.
Firstly I really need to get out of the habit of impulse purchases, so hopefully a wishlist that I have to wait a while to purchase from will curb this. The second habit I need to break is stock piling similar products.
My biggest weakness is skincare. The photo shows my collection of cleansers and face washes, and I feel I need to focus my efforts on using up some of my skincare. I need to be much stricter with myself and implement a 3 out 1 in policy. I have also started doing #facialfebruary on instagram as a way of keeping me focused.
How are you following on from #NoBuyJanuary ?

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

January Books

   At the beginning of the year I set myself the Goodreads challenge of reading 50 books for the year. I have taken the pictures from the Goodreads website. Here is how I have been getting on with it.            

                                                                 Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days #1)    
 Angelfall by Susan Ee is set after the apocalypse of angels has hit the planet. This follows Penryn's struggle to find her disabled sister Paige who was captured when Penryn intervened in a group of angels attacking another angel (Raffe). In order to find Paige, Penryn needs Raffe as much as he needs her help. Although this is more of a teen read I really quite enjoyed this and went straight onto the next book.

                                                                 World After (Penryn & the End of Days, #2)

World After by Susan Ee is the sequel to Angelfall. Having found Paige, joy is short lived. Paige is so traumatised by what has been done to her that she is mistaken for a monster by the resistance and flees. Penryn and her mum take up the search for her again and in doing so discover the full horror of what the angels have planned for mankind. Will Raffe come through for them, or will he put his own needs first? This series isn't finished yet, the third book is yet to be written. This left me wanting to know what happens next and I look forward to reading the next book when it is finally released.

                                                               The God King (Heirs of the Fallen, #1)

 The God King by James A West took me forever to read. I found it really longwinded and difficult to get into. Mercenary Kian Valera is tricked by Prince Varis, who thinks he has made a pact with the ruler of demons to gain ultimate control. A horror is unleashed from the thousand hells, the three moons crash and burn and the sacred tower falls down. Kian supported by Ellonlef (the one he comes to love) is the only one that can stop Prince Varis and so leads the battle. This is the first of four books, and I doubt I will be reading the others.

              What have you been reading lately. Do you have any better recommendations?

Monday, 3 February 2014

Gauntlet Hand Salve By Bathing Beauty.


  At the beginning of the year I was offered the opportunity to try Gauntlet, a healing hand salve by George the owner of Bathing Beauty. She very kindly sent me a pot to see what I thought to it.

 George has led rather a busy and interesting life, she is an osteopath, co owner of Well Street Clinic, former model (working on some very impressive beauty campaigns) and now producing her own range of skin care products.

 What I really admire about the Bathing Beauty range is that George uses natural ingredients that she either wild harvests, grows herself or buys from fair trade suppliers. The ingredient lists for each product are small. Preservatives, stabilisers and emulsifiers are not required as the products are not blended with water. The packaging used is either recyclable, reusable or biodegradable.

 George describes Gauntlet Hand Salve as being a natural, antiseptic, skin healing barrier for the skin. I have added the photo to show the ingredients. As I have told you before my job as a nurse means that my hands take a lot of abuse. Constant washing and drying of my hands, not to mention having to use alcohol hand gel frequently takes it's toll. Add into the mix, being in and out of the cold and my hands were a mess. I don't just mean a little bit dry, I mean red raw, blistered, with broken patches of skin. They were incredibly sore and I was really self conscious about how awful they looked.

 Gauntlet Hand Salve is a rich, pale green balm, which melts easily into the skin. It smells of rosemary (as you would expect from the ingredients) but it isn't over powering. To me it is a clean, herbal smell that I like. I have been applying a tiny amount three times a day to my hands and I can honestly say I am really pleased with the results.

 This does need a few moments to absorb, but I don't have a problem with that. When your hands are in the state that mine were, instantly absorbed creams don't give the level of moisture that I need. This can be applied to broken skin, and is one of the few products I have found that does not sting when applied to broken skin. I found this hand salve to be very soothing. I noticed a real difference within a few days, the blistered areas began to dry and the redness started to subside. Nearly a month on my hands look considerably better than they have done for quite some time and they don't feel anywhere near as sore either. I am certainly no as self conscious about them as I was.

 I would highly recommend Gauntlet Hand Salve if you suffer with your hands like I do. You can find it on the Bathing Beauty website