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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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raspberry buttercoconut butter

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!

free gift

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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

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Hull Bloggers My Life

I made it

Hello there, lovely reader (yes, you. I’m talking to you, you wonderful person). Happy Friday! Just thought I’d let you know what I’ve been up to since I last posted. On Tuesday I FINALLY handed in my fifth and final assignment. That means my third and final year of my undergraduate degree is over! It’s flown by. This past month has been seriously challenging. My body has been in a lot of pain (it’s aggravated by stress, long periods of sitting/standing etc) and as a result I’m really very tired. I’m currently writing this from my bed if I’m honest (but I am very comfortable here!)

Since my final hand-in I’ve been celebrating in my own little way. Nothing fancy or spectacular, but doing things that have really brought a smile to my face. Today I went out for the day to York, which was beautiful. The weather was glorious and we had some food at Ask Italian. You can currently get two courses for £10.95 (there are exclusions) but it’s seriously worth the money! All you have to do is look for the voucher online. Just type Ask Italian voucher into a search engine and one should come up. It’s really great value. Today I had the calamari to start, and a seafood risotto. It felt so fancy compared to food I’ve been eating during essays and was a real treat. We also went into the most fabulous book shop that had seven rooms stacked wall to wall with beautiful books. I came away with one (how could I resist!) that I think will be great towards my thesis preparation, though this is something I still need to apply for! it’ll get done soon, I’m sure.

I’ve also been buying some lovely pampering goodies to give myself some well-deserved TLC. I bought some things from The Body Shop to try, and I initially purchased a selection from their skin care range. My skin has really flared up due to assignment stress/pain, and I used to suffer with acne fairly badly, particularly when I was younger. It was so bad I was on medication, but thankfully it’s calmed down enormously. I still have acne-prone skin though, so i thought I’d give their tea tree range a go. I’ve never tried this range before, but so far, I’m really impressed. I also ended up buying a gift-set for my boyfriend and got some other little wonderful goodies because i couldn’t help myself. I’m going to write up a review/haul post of all the things I purchased just in case you might want to check them out for yourself. I think I’ve found some really great products that are helping me to look after myself, and unfortunately because of pain – and associated tiredness – there hasn’t been much time to make myself feel good, so I thought I was due a good pampering session. Besides, pampering is always acceptable!

the body shop

the body shop haul

Caffe nero treats

My boyfriend has gone back home today which is sad. I’ve been living with him for the past few weeks and he’s really helped me with managing my pain. He really seems to understand what I need and when, and I’m so grateful for that. We went out to town yesterday and did a little bit of shopping. The Caffe Nero iced drinks were a fabulous little treat. I had the chocolate and coconut frappe creme, and I highly recommend it!

Well, I’m really rather tired so I think it’s time for some painkillers and maybe an early night. The End of Year Ball is tomorrow, which will be very exciting. Here’s hoping for another glorious sunshine-filled day!

Here’s a picture of the Humber Bridge from the train. I just had to include this; there’s something about that view that really fills me with joy.

Humber Bridge

Hope you have a great start to your weekend, whatever you may be up to.

Heather x

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Informative posts My Life Studying at University with Disabilities Things I'm loving

The Importance of Relaxation

I have to admit I’ve always been a stressed out, anxious person. It’s in my nature to worry about everything, and sometimes this worry is completely overwhelming and all-consuming. Coupled with chronic pain, my anxiety can spiral out of control. Being in pain almost constantly is physically exhausting, and can really affect you mentally. When I was younger I acted as if my cerebral palsy and Scheuermann’s didn’t exist. I think this was my ‘coping strategy’, but of course I wasn’t really coping with anything at all, I was just denying the existence of my medical conditions. Since moving to university I’ve recognised this, and during the past year or so I decided I needed to really work out a way of coping with the pain and stress that comes along with chronic medical conditions.

I cannot emphasise how extremely important it is to have rest days and to relax your body and mind if you’re dealing with a health condition such as cerebral palsy. Even if you’re not living with a chronic medical condition, you still need to give yourself time out to truly relax and to forget the worries in your life. When I was younger I thought it was perfectly fine to be completely wiped out from exhaustion after a day shopping, or to be in agonising pain after sitting to eat a meal in a restaurant. Yes, it’s normal for me to be in pain, but my body needs time to recuperate and get back to its normal self. There’s a few ways I do this, and I thought it would be a useful thing to share with you all.

Heat therapy is so relaxing. From a bubbly hot bath, to a hot water bottle and my trusty heat pad, heat therapy is soothing and relaxing for my body. I particularly like the homedics range and I own the shiatsu back massager, shiatsu neck massager and hand held massager with interchangable massaging heads. Below is a link to their products through boots: http://www.boots.com/en/Homedics/

I also love the heat packs that you heat in the microwave. I own a particularly cute one in the shape of a cuddly rabbit! These are relatively cheap compared to the homedics range, and can really help on sore days.

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Having hot baths with some pamper goodies can really help me out, too. The Body Shop stock some gorgeous products and you can always find lots of voucher and discount codes online if you type in ‘body shop codes’ into your search engine. Using high quality pamper goodies doesn’t always have to break the bank, so stock up if there’s a particularly good offer on. Recently my boyfriend purchased £40 worth of products for £20, which is an absolute bargain!

I also love candles. When I’m needing a rest day, I’ll get some reading together and spend the whole day in bed, taking painkillers as and when I need to. Putting a few candles on can really create a lovely soothing atmosphere. I also love my mooncandles, which are flameless and battery operated. You can change the colours of the ‘candles’ using the remote they come with, and they’re really very pretty. I purchased mine from Tesco. You can also purchase them online. I apologise for the picture, but it’s very difficult to capture just how pretty they are on camera!

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Having de-caffeinated drinks is a must when I’m feeling anxious or in a lot of pain. Though I thoroughly enjoy coffee and tea, I find herbal teas are particularly soothing on a stressful, painful day. I love Twinings Camomile and Honey, or the Twinings Peppermint Infusion. I was also introduced to Peanut Hottie at the Hull bloggers meet, and this is becoming a firm favourite. If you’re a fan of peanut butter, I suggest you give it a go!

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For my 21st birthday, I was spoilt rotten by all my wonderful family and friends. My boyfriend did make me a desk top zen garden as one of my gifts, and I’ve found it a really lovely way to relax. I wouldn’t say I’m particularly into the concept of zen or Buddhism, but raking the sand whilst stressed is a great way to relax yourself. Plus, it makes for a very unique object and you can create lovely works of ‘art’ in the sand with a mini rake. Zen gardens are available to purchase ready made online, however my boyfriend made this out of a photo frame. He glued the glass into the frame and turned the frame over. All he had to do then was buy the sand and objects to go into the zen garden, and he let me assemble it myself. It’s such a thoughtful gift, and it’s a true pleasure to own it. For secret Santa, my housemate thoughtfully bought me an oil burner with a selection of essential oils. This is such a fantastic gift for me and the essential oils create a soothing atmosphere in my room. Alongside my zen garden, it creates my very own relaxing space, and it’s really great!

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Buying a bouquet of flowers or a plant for my room instantly brightens up the place and so makes me feel more relaxed. I loved these gorgeous yellow roses. I arranged them in my marmite tea pot, and I thought they looked really lovely.

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I hope I’ve given you some inspiration. Hopefully in no time you’ll have a relaxing place of your very own!

All the best for the rest of the weekend,
Heather