April Favourites (part 1) *

Hello! Just thought I’d write up a cheery post about things I loved using last month. These are a mixture of skin care, beauty and products to improve my quality of life, so there should be a little bit of something for everyone! I was fortunate enough to have received some of these products for review, and as always, I’ll indicate this with an *. I am only ever 100% honest when it comes to reviewing products, and I only ever share my thoughts and opinions with you if I truly, truly mean them. Honesty is the best policy.

There’s a second instalment to come, so keep your eyes peeled!

  1. Greenfrog Botanic Botanical Bodywash*

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I was lucky enough to win these at a recent meet in Leeds, and they are seriously wonderful. Greenfrog Botanic create gorgeously indulgent products that are cruelty-free, vegan, and full of organic products. They ‘live by the four Es: Excellent quality soaps, Environmental and natural products that conserve our planet, Ethically 100% vegan to protect our animals and Exclusive’. Greenfrog’s founders Nick and Julie use Himalayan soap berries in their bodywashes, which have been used for centuries, and are extremely passionate about environmental issues so have done all they can to ensure their products are natural and as environmentally-friendly as possible. I was extremely impressed with these, and particularly loved the Geranium and Peppermint scent. My boyfriend even commented on how soft and less-irritated his skin was after using this, and he never usually takes any notice of anything remotely skincare-related! A definite seal of approval there. I can’t wait to get my hands on more of this.

2. Bee Good Lipbalm*

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I received this at the Leeds meet, and it has become a daily staple! I cycle into uni whenever possible, so this is great for keeping my lips moisturised. It is partly made by British bees, and the scent is just delicious! It reminds me of those drumstick lollies I used to eat when I was a child, and I find myself smiling when I use it. It is colour-free and leaves a glossy sheen.

3. Tangle Therapy

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I bought this to help with my motor skills in my hemi hand (the side affected by cerebral palsy). It is a loop of rubber-coated plastic joints, that can be manipulated and moved with one hand. Not only is it great for working on movement if limited, it’s also really relaxing and ideal if you need something to fiddle with. I also have a Tangle jr. original, which is slightly smaller and not rubberised. Because I have severe anxiety I sometimes find I need something to mess around with in order to focus my attention, or diffuse the anxiety. I keep it in my pocket as the Tangle jr. is discrete enough to take out and about. I love Tangle Therapy one, but it is slightly larger so I tend to keep it at home. As I say, it’s great for working on my right hand. I have also included a picture of the Tangle jr. below, which easily fits into a hand. The Tangle Therapy is chunkier in comparison. The Tangle jr. is really cheap on amazon, and a great thing to try out for the price, whether you’re just wanting a fiddle toy or something to exercise your hand with. They come in all sorts of colours and with all sorts of textures. I think you can also get a smaller Tangle Therapy, but I haven’t tried one yet. I might do!

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4. Loreal Keratin Treatment* (shampoo and hair mask)

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I was kindly gifted this little set by Hays Salon, Hull, and I’m really impressed with it! It smells great, and the mask is luscious and incredibly moisturising which is great for my hair. Hays Salon is really friendly and they always do a great job, and I highly recommend it if you’re near Hull.

5. Viridian Ultimate Beauty Organic Skin Repair Oil*

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I received this in the Leeds’ Meet goodie bag and it’s absolutely fabulous! I already use Viridian’s Organic Ultimate Beauty Face Balm, and this of the same quality and luxury. I used to have terrible acne, so this product is great for softening the scarring. Smells great, too!

6. Kiko Campus Idol Brush*

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I was lucky to receive this at our Hull March Meet, and I’ve been using it ever since! Not only is the face brush brilliant, but it adds a gorgeous pop of colour to my dressing-table. Stunning! There’s no fall-out yet, and it’s lovely and fluffy for picking up product.

I was going to include a colossal 12 items in this one post, but I’ll spilt it up and you’ll get to see the second half later on this week.

What do you think of the products above? Are you keen to try anything?

Have a great week; I’m aiming to get as much dissertation work done as possible…wish me luck!

Heather x

 

 

 

 

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The Body Shop Haul

Hi there! if you’ve been reading recently you may have seen me mentioning some products I recently purchased from The Body Shop. During exam season  neglected myself a bit so thought some pampering goodies were needed. I used to love The Body Shop when I was younger. It was always a place I’d visit with my friends when shopping in Manchester, and we used to love picking up everything and smelling it! As much as I loved doing this, I never really had the funds to treat myself to anything, apart from the odd lip balm or two. Believe me, I used to have a HUGE obsession with lip balm and I did always like the scents and formulas of The Body Shop ones, but now I’m older I can justify spending a little more than the £2 I parted with at the age of fourteen, so I thought I’d diversify a little and try something new. Some of the products here are ones I’ve been using since Christmas. My boyfriend treated me to some products as part of a Christmas present, and ever since I’ve been dying to get my hands on some more products.

The Body ShopMy first visit to The Body Shop resulted in a few purchases to celebrate the end of my assignments. Self indulgent? Perhaps. But that didn’t stop me.

I’ve always had acne prone skin. Acne used to be something i had all the time growing up. It wasn’t just the odd pimple either, but loads and loads of painful, swollen, red bumps all over my face. It wasn’t a nice thing to contend with. I got the usual acne-related insults, the usual advice: ‘well if you stop wearing make up/wash your face it will go away!’ and people feeling the need to point out my acne as if I didn’t know it existed. My acne wasn’t just unsightly (or so i was led to believe) but it was extremely painful. Every time I moved my face it hurt. It was embarrassing and really not something i wanted to deal with. I tried a range of spot creams/washes, but of course my acne was more than just the odd spot so needed medical treatment. I used antibiotics, a vinegary liquid called zineryt, duac, and finally-whennothing else worked, they put me on a contraceptive pill that is usually prescribed for moderate-severe cases of acne called Dianette. I’m so glad to say that my skin is clear now. One of the biggest misconceptions about acne is that it’s caused by lack of cleanliness. This always frustrated me incredibly: believe it or not I had one of the most thorough skincare routines during my acne, and I always made sure i cleansed, toned and moisturised twice a day. My acne was hormonal, and as a result I still get the odd spot or two at certain times. But thankfully, for now at least, it’s under control. With all this in mind I decided to go for a skincare range that helps acne-prone skin, and The Body Shop do just that: their Tea Tree range.

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The first thing I picked up was the Tea Tree skin clearing wash. I was looking for a great, affordable wash to remove make up and keep my skin clear in the process and this really fit the bill. It smells very strongly of tea tree, which is no problem for me because I love the scent, but this is definitely something to keep in mind. It cost £5, but I know that the Body Shop have a lot of deals and voucher codes on so it’s just a case of looking around! I have been using it with a complexion brush, and mine is by a company called Spa Sister and was purchased at TK Maxx for £3.99. The idea is that it exfoliates and buffs the skin while using a cleanser, almost negating the need for a facial scrub which can sometimes be a little harsh. The bristles are soft enough so it’s not uncomfortable to use, yet stiff enough to remove any dirt or make up.

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It almost looks like a big toothbrush for you face, but do not fear; it’s really easy to use, especially with my hemi hand as it can be used mostly one-handed. I tend to wet my face, spread some of the facial wash on my skin, and buff the brush in circular motions upwards and all over my face and neck. I do avoid my eyes though; you’ll want to use a flannel or soft mitt for that. Then I just rinse my face with cool water to remove my make up, rinse the brush and leave to dry, then pat my skin dry.

This technique has really been working. It removes more make up than a standard make up wipe, and the tea tree leaves my skin feeling very refreshed.

Now, when I initially bought this, I didn’t have a toner, so I went on to apply the moisturiser without toning. However, I have now acquired one, so I sweep The Body Shop’s Seaweed Clarifying Toner across my  face before moving onto the moisturiser (I’ll explain my acquisition soon!)

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This moisturiser is very light, and like the wash, it smells very strongly of tea tree. It feels really refreshing on my face and absorbs quickly.

Next in the range is the Tea Tree Pore Minimiser. I bought this in place of a primer as it said it would make a great base for make up. It does feel great under my foundation, however I wouldn’t say It noticeably minimises my pores. It is a great addition to my routine, though. I’m already noticing my skin is less oil and less likely to break out as a result of using this range, which is really great!

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My next visit to the Body Shop was to buy my boyfriend some treats. He struggles with dry skin, so I decided to get him a set of the Seaweed range and this is where the toner comes in!

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I bought the Seaweed Purifying Facial Cleanser, Seaweed Clarifying Toner and Seaweed Day Cream in a set, which saved a total of £8. Drew said he didn’t mind about having the toner, so I decided to try that instead. The toner isn’t harsh on skin, and yet leaves it feeling very refreshing whilst removing the last traces of my make up. Drew is using the cleanser with The Body Shop facial brush, which you can find here: http://www.thebodyshop.co.uk/skincare/accessories/facial-brush-with-lid.aspx . I asked him what he thought of his new goodies, and before now Drew hasn’t really used anything but soap on his face! He said: ‘it’s amazing…smells really fresh and leaves my skin feeling really clean. The brush is a good size to use, it gets everywhere you need to and because of the brush, you don’t need to use lots of cleanser so I can see it lasting. The dryness on my face is also improving and I think using both the cleanser and moisturiser is helping that.’ Result!

I also picked up the Mango Hand Cream. I’ve heard great things about the mango scent and I tried my friend’s Vineyard Peach hand cream and knew I needed to get one!

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This hand cream is very light, absorbs quickly, and has a gorgeous summery scent. It’s perfect for putting in your bag for a burst of freshness during the day. Really impressed!

On the day, The Body Shop was giving 30% off to new members of their Love Your Body scheme. Buying the card cost £5, but you got a 50ml body butter and a free gift that was worth £23 (approximately…I can’t quite remember!). Either way. It was a great deal. Now I’ll get 10% off on every purchase when I present my card which is a  lovely bonus. I chose an olive body butter as the 50ml gift as it’s a scent I haven’t tried before.

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The scent is very subtle, and the texture of this butter is quite thin in comparison to others from the range. It’s quite fresh feeling and very easily absorbed. To compare, I also have the raspberry, coconut, satsuma and grapefruit butters that I’ve purchased previously/been given.

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The grapefruit butter is slightly thicker than the satsuma, and has a really zingy scent that smells fresh on your skin. The satsuma is just delicious-smelling, and is really lovely applied in the morning. It absorbs very quickly, and leaves a subtle scent for most of the day. In comparison, the coconut and raspberry butters are much thicker in consistency and really take time to work in. Raspberry is quite sweet, but not too sweet that it’s overpowering, and the coconut smell reminds me of holidays sat in the sun with a cocktail. Bliss! All of them are extremely moisturising, and I received another 50ml satsuma butter in the free gift which was very well received!

I also love the Body Shop’s beautifying oils. I apply them to my arms and legs for a little added sheen when I’m wearing short sleeved tops or dresses, and I apply a small amount to the ends of my hair when I get out of the shower and before my hair dries. I have the moringa scent, which has subtle floral notes, and the satsuma scent which is lovely and fruity. They absorb far quicker than the body butters, without feeling at all greasy.

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This gift had a fair few products in it, all wrapped up with a lovely shower scrubber, or ‘lily’, as they call it. I received a small bottle of the Rainforest Shine, a small Coconut shower cream, small peppermint foot lotion, 30ml absinthe hand cream, 50ml pot of satsuma body butter and a full size shea butter lip butter. I was amazed that I had so many new things to try!

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All of these products have completely fulfilled my expectations. The Shea butter lip butter is creamy and hydrating, perfect for applying before bed time. The foot lotion smells subtly of peppermint but keeps my feet moisturised and soft after a long day. I haven’t yet tried the shampoo or shower cream, but both smell absolutely lovely and I’m hoping they’ll lather up nicely and leave me feeling fresh and clean. The thing that surprised me the most was the Absinthe Purifying hand cream. The smell is extremely fresh and long lasting. It’s difficult to explain, but if you’re not keen on fruit scented hand creams then I suggest you pick this up. Again, it absorbs quickly leaving my skin hydrated but not greasy.

Overall I’m so incredibly pleased with my purchases. I feel so much better now that I’m taking a little more care of myself. I just have to stop myself from buying any of their Virgin Mojito or Green Tea range…they both smell incredible for summer! I hope this is a useful review, albeit a long one, but let me know if you have anything to say about the Body Shop or their products!

Hope you’ve had a great Monday,

Heather x