Sunday, 29 November 2020

Press Samples / Unpaid AD - Sleep With Ease With Pukka Herbs*

It's really hard, especially at the moment to overestimate the importance of sleep. We're all feeling a little bit frazzled, stressed out, and a little bit under the weather at the moment, and more often than not life's upsets are reflected in our quality of sleep.

Good sleep plays a huge role in both our physical and mental wellbeing, it's essential for cell regeneration, to recharge our cardiovascular system, and to support our immune system, as well as improving mental clarity, helping with decision making and helping us to cope with stress.

I probably struggle more than most with my sleep. Thanks to my struggles with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / CFS / ME and Fibromyalgia, I alternate between utter exhaustion, I can go without sleep for more than 24 hours, or I can sleep for 18 hours solid and still feel exhausted, there really isn't a lot of middle ground. 

Alongside medical advice and intervention, I'm always looking for new ways to improve my sleep health. I've tried a lot of things from acupuncture, to cognitive behavioural therapy, and various other little things that I'll mention later in this post, but I am always on the look out for new ways to help me sleep.

I was recently contacted by the lovely people at Pukka, and I was invited to take part in their "Sleep With Ease" campaign. If you haven't heard of Pukka, they are a substantial, ethical and organic herbal company that produce a wide range of herbal infusions that aim to benefit the health of people, plants and the planet and they very kindly sent three boxes of caffeine free, herbal blends from their range to help me on my quest for better sleep.


Pukka recognise the importance of sleep for our mental and physical health, and in an attempt to help us improve both our sleep health and our wider health, they have introduced their 7 day Sleep With Ease programme, which is specifically designed to help us create a space, pattern and routine to help us sleep better.

Designed to be used alongside their herbal blends, their website contains a whole load of information and downloads to help you eliminate bad sleeping habits, establish routine, and train both your body and brain to help you sleep better.As I say, I'm up for anything that can send me into the land of nod, so I decided to give the 7 day Sleep With Ease programme a try.  


The website features a downloadable sleep diary that you can fill in, as well as a list of changes that you can can make across the course of a the week to help you improve your sleep.

The idea is that you introduce one new element everyday until all of the tips become a part of your daily sleep routine. Some of the tips as you can see are actually quite simple, and in theory they are, it's just about putting them into practise. 

My biggest issue sleep wise has always been with routine, going to bed late, sleeping late, and then wondering why I can't sleep at night. It makes total sense, go to sleep at roughly the same time of night, and wake up at similar team each morning. It takes a little bit of effort and I'm not going to lie dragging myself out of bed when I'm exhausted is difficult but after a few days it begins to feel normal, and now I can pretty much wake up without having to set an alarm.

Another thing that I have an issue with is technology, I have a tv and a dvd player in my bedroom and whilst I don't usually have my MacBook in my bedroom at night, I do have my phone, and my iPad plugged in, in my room, but the key is to have cut off times, plug things into charge by all means but don't check your phone, or start flicking through Instagram when you're trying to get ready for sleep.

We are all guilty of it, if it's not watching one more episode of a tv show, flicking through Facebook, or getting annoyed with someone on twitter, it's watching the late night news and depressing yourself. Sleep is all about de-stressing, and concentrating on something, or getting stressed and upset just sends your brain into overdrive when you really should be preparing for sleep, so switch off the tv, your computer, and phone for an hour or so before you go to bed and you really will notice a difference in your sleep health.

One of the other tips, that the team from Pukka recommend is to cut down on your caffeine consumption. I'm not a huge tea and coffee drinker compared to lot of people, but my nightly cuppa is definitely a thing, and even though tea usually contains less caffeine than coffee, it is still a stimulant and it could be disrupting your sleep without you realising.


The Pukka Sleep With Ease programme advises that you should try to avoid caffeine after 12pm, so instead of caffeine filled soft drinks, the odd latte, and iced coffees, I've switched to some of Pukka's caffeine free herbal blends including their Elderberry & Echinacea, which has lovely some fresh hedgerow berry, ginger, and liquorice flavours, their Lemon, Ginger and Manuka Honey blend, and their chamomile, fennel, and ginger flavoured Relax blend.


As part of their sleep programme Pukka recommend that you drink a mug of their 'Night Time' tea every night. So instead of my caffeine laden cuppa, at around 8pm, I've been drinking this blend of lime flower, chamomile and lavender flowers, oat flower tops, liquorice root and valerian root instead


Designed to help you unwind before bed, this particular tea is caffeine free and contains 28% fair wild ingredients, and 33% fair trade ingredients, the bags themselves are plastic free, are fully recyclable and compostable, and they also feature organic cotton strings.

All you do is pop your bag into a mug of boiling water, and then let it infuse for around 15 minutes before drinking. Given then floral ingredients such as lavender and chamomile I was expecting the Night Time blend to have more of a floral taste but instead it had a surprisingly sweet, pleasant, herbal liquorice / aniseed type flavour.



Drinking the tea at night immediately sent me into wind down mode. After drinking it I switched off my blue screen electronics, and usually had a warm (but not too hot) shower with a calming lavender based shower gel before settling into bed, and reading a non stressful book for an hour before using some pillow spray, and settling down with either a guided meditation (there is a nice short one on the Pukka website) or some nature sounds on a timer until I fall asleep.


These are things that work for me but you could also add other things to help you sleep including ear plugs, eye masks, a fan, a white noise machine, or a story app. Everyone is different, there are basic things that should help most people fall asleep but you just need to find out what works for you. 

I've now actually been doing the Pukka Sleep With Ease campaign for more than 7 days now and I can safely say that following some of the suggestions in the plan, keeping a sleep diary, and drinking in particular the Night Time tea has made a difference.


I've managed to establish a proper sleep / wake routine and I've tried to eradicate some of my bad sleep habits. As I say drinking the Night Time tea became a real signal to me that the day was coming to an end and that I should start winding down and preparing myself for rest and sleep.

Unfortunately due to medical reasons I potentially am always going to have issues with my sleep but thanks to Pukka I've been reminded that making small differences and creating a workable routine can really help me to get a better and more restful nights sleep.

If you're struggling with your sleep at the moment I would thoroughly recommend that you try Pukka's 7 day Sleep With Ease programme. You can find out more on their website and of course I would really recommend that you try some of Pukka's herbal blends to help you improve your own sleep, mental, and physical health at this stressful time. Pukka Relax, Pukka Night Time, and the Pukka Herbal Collection retail at around £2.79 - £3 for a box of 20 teabags from various retailers including Morrisons, Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda, Waitrose and Holland & Barrett.

 *Press Samples / Unpaid Advertisement / Promotion / Non Affiliate Links 

Thursday, 26 November 2020

A Late Unboxing Of Glossybox UK - September 2020 - Glossy Spa Edition*

Greetings from LouLouLand, or as I'm currently calling it Fibromyalgia hell! Again this post is super late but I'm in the middle of a pretty full on Fibromyalgia flare, pain, exhaustion, insomnia, jaw spasms, and headaches, you name a fibro symptom and in the last month I've probably experienced it with bells on! Thankfully I'm starting to see a tiny chink of light at the end of the tunnel, I'm controlling my pain a bit better, and I'm sleeping better (more on how to come x), so I'm trying to do a bit of work when I can - I really am the obligatory tortoise, it may take me a while but I'll get there in the end x 

So think back a month or two to September and enjoy my thoughts on the September 2020 edition of Glossybox UK. 


After all of the bows and excitement and bows of the August birthday edition, at least packaging wise, the September edition felt a little flat with a return to the traditional pink and black colour way, both inside and outside the box.
 

The first thing that you normally see when you open up your Glossybox is the information leaflet, but myself and many other subscribers didn't actually receive one in September's box. Thankfully though it was available on the Glossybox website, so we could find out more about the theme of the box and the products in September's box. The theme was of course 'Glossy Spa' and the box contained 5 indulgent products to give you that spa experience in your own home.

MineTan Body. Skin Exfoliating Coffee Scrub - 30g - Deluxe Mini - Est. RRP £11


The first product in the box was a body product, and it was a product from Australian owned self tanning brand. MineTan Body Skin. I'm not big on self tanning anymore so I was really pleased to receive a product that I would actually use, a sachet of their Exfoliating Coffee Scrub.

Like all of their products in their range, this scrub is 100% vegan and cruelty free, and it is also paraben, palm oil, mineral oil, and sulphate free. It contains ground coffee, sweet almond oil, walnut shell powder, brown sugar, salt, olive oil, macadamia oil, shea butter, vitamin E, pumice and oatmeal extract.

Designed to smooth and hydrate the skin and target imperfections such as dry and flaky, and uneven skin, and stretch marks, this scrub looks and smells exactly how you would expect it to.

    
Think slightly, damp coffee grounds, combined with smaller grains of salt, brown sugar, and pumice, that smells exactly like your morning cup of coffee.

All you do it massage it over damp skin, and then you rinse if off. Like all of these types of scrub it's pretty messy, and it produces a bitty coffee, coloured liquid in the bottom of the shower, but if you can get past that though it really does work, my skin felt super soft, and smooth, and after a couple of uses my skin looked more even and smooth.

Whilst the particles are quite small, this scrub was scrubby enough, to pass my 'I can feel it working' test but alas it didn't pass Mummy Lou's clean, no mess, shower test :(

Glossybox quote an estimated retail price of £11 for this 30g deluxe mini size, but based on my research that seems to be a mistake. From what I can gather the full 200ml size retails between £9.95 and £9.99 direct from both MineTan and from Look Fantastic, so a better estimation of the price was probably be around a couple of pounds.

Imperial Leather Foamburst Luxury Gel To Foam Body Wash - Lychee & Lotus Flower - 75ml - Deluxe Mini - Est. RRP £2


I've said it before but I really miss my bath, especially when I'm having an aches and pains day. Showers are brilliant for getting clean but when it comes to a luxurious and pampering experience, baths will always win out, or will they?

In the four or so years that have passed since I lost my bath, there has been a huge improvement in shower products - from just the humble shower gel, we now have shower steamers, shower creams, shower butters and shower foams, all designed to make the normal shower experience just a little bit more special.

When it comes to shower products one of my favourite type of products has to be shower foams, and one of my brands of choice has to be Imperial Leather.

I've talked about Imperial Leather's Foamburst before (read my thoughts here) but the September edition of Glossybox gave me the chance to try one of their newest editions, Lychee and Lotus Flower.

With a beautiful exotic, fruity, floral scent, this this pink gel transforms instantly into a lovely, creamy shower foam. A tiny bit goes a long way and leaves the skin soft and clean, and you can also use it shaving foam. I love these foams and they really do make the whole showering experience just a little bit more luxurious.

Glossybox put a price of £2 on this 75ml deluxe mini size. The full 200ml size retails at around £3 - £3.15 from various retailers including Superdrug, Boots, and Tesco.

Avant Skincare Supreme Hyaluronic Acid Antioxidising DUO Moisturiser - 50ml - Full Size - Est. RRP £89


The next item in the box was another product from high end skincare brand, Avant. I've tried quite a few of their products now and I've usually been pretty impressed with both the quality and the results.

Now I'm going to hold my hands up and say that I haven't actually opened this one yet. I currently have a couple of day creams on the go so I thought that I would leave this one sealed up until I was ready to use it. 

Fear not though my dear readers, I have actually already reviewed this particular moisturiser before. I received a mini 10ml size in the September 2019 edition of Pink Parcel, and you can read my review here.

Glossybox put an estimated value of £89 on this full 50ml size but again based on my research the same size also in a tube actually seems to have a retail price of £100 on the official Avant website, and it's also available in slightly different packaging also for around £100 from Look Fantastic and Beauty Expert. Either way it's a pretty expensive so I'm really pleased to have received it in September's box.

Ameliorate Intensive Skin Therapy With Alpha Hydroxy Therapy - 30ml - Full Size - RRP £15


The next item in the box was a product from a new brand to me, Ameliorate. Ameliorate produce a range of products specifically for those people with dry, sensitive or problematic skin, catering for every concern from psoriasis, to ingrown hairs.

The September 2020 edition of Glossybox UK, contained a full 30ml sized tube of the Ameliorate Intensive Skin Therapy, which is a petroleum free balm, which is designed to rejuvenate protect and deeply moisturise the skin.

Containing lactic acid, sweet almond oil, shea butter, beeswax, barley seed extract, and lanolin, it is slightly yellow in colour and it has a rich, creamy texture, and a fresh cream scent.

Despite its creaminess and thickness, it's easy to massage in, it doesn't feel overly greasy or oily and it sinks in quite quickly.


I don't have a lot of problems with dry skin, so I've mainly been using it on my hands, feet and my elbows, and I have to say that I am seriously impressed. I could see a difference in the hydration of my skin, and that look and feeling lasted for a good 24 hours or so.

If you have patches of dry skin, I would definitely recommend that you give this product a try. I'm definitely going to be taking a closer look at the entire Ameliorate range in the future. This balm retails at around £15 from various retailers including Look Fantastic, Feel Unique, Cult Beauty, and Space NK. 

Wishful Yo Glow Enzyme Scrub - 20ml - Deluxe Mini - Est. RRP £9


Although this wasn't the most expensive product in the box, according to most of the subscribers commenting on Glossybox's social media channels, it was the most wanted product in the September box. From Huda Kattan's Wishful skincare range this is a cruelty free, facial exfoliator with a twist.

Containing papaya and pineapple extracts, cellulose, alpha hydroxy acids, and beta hydroxy acids, this paraben free scrub is designed to remove dead skin, and impurities, to help leave the skin smooth, soft and glowing.

Now when you think of facial exfoliators, you immediately think of something rough and grainy - a more physical scrub, but nowadays that isn't necessarily the case. A new generation of facial exfoliators like Ginvera Green Tea Marvel Gel, The Body Shop Drops Of Youth Liquid Peel, and of course this Wishful scrub, are basically enzymatic exfoliators, that don't contain exfoliating particles and instead contain various acids and plant extracts to help smooth and tone the skin.


Containing both pineapple, and papaya, this Wishful exfoliator has a fresh and fruity but slightly astringent scent. 

The product itself us a thin, cloudy / milky white gel. All you do is apply it clean, dry skin and then massage it onto the skin in circular motion. As you begin to massage it onto the skin, the texture starts to change, and it begins to form little balls as it picks up all of the dirt and dead skin. It sounds disgusting but it's actually really satisfying to do!


Then using a muslin cloth or a flannel, and warm water, you just wash the residue away and your skin is left feeling super soft and clean.

Before 

Massaged In 

After Rinsing 


I'm not sure how well you can see it in these pictures, but my skin did look a little bit pink after using this product, probably down to the acids, but thankfully it didn't last, and I didn't experience any tingling or discomfort. If you have sensitive skin you can use it like I did once or twice a week, or if your skin is a bit more hardy, you can use it every day.

I'm a huge fan of enzyme scrubs like this, in fact I think I prefer them to more manual, bitty exfoliators. I've just recently bought The Body Shop Drops Of Youth Liquid Peel, but when I've finished I will definitely consider buying this one, well done Huda, this was definitely worth the hype.

This particular size doesn't appear to be a regular retail size but Glossybox quote a recommended retail price of £9. It usually comes in 2 sizes, a 40ml size that retails at anywhere between £15 and £18, and a 100ml size that retails anywhere between £28 and £34. The Wishful Yo Glow Enzyme Scrub is available from various retailers including Cult Beauty, Feel Unique, Boots, and of course direct from HUDA Beauty.

Since the box was all about pampering and treating yourself, the majority of subscribers also received an extra treat from the lovely people at Glossybox, and it was the best kind of treat, Chocolate!

Lindt Lindor Milk Chocolate Bar - 38g - Est. RRP 75 - 85p


When you think about Swiss chocolate brand, Lindt, probably the first things that comes to mind is probably those fabulously spherical Lindor truffles, but did you know that you can now get that same Lindor taste but in a bar?

Well you can, and in my box I was lucky enough to receive a 38g bar of Lindor Milk Chocolate. Instead of the spheres that we are all used to, the bar contains 6 squares of delicious high quality milk chocolate, with the beautiful smooth, creamy melting chocolate centre, that we've come to expect from Lindor - a yummy and gorgeous treat!


The Lindt Lindor Milk Chocolate 38g Bar retails at around 75p - 85p each from various retailers including Asda, Tesco, and Sainsbury's.

So that was a super late unboxing of the September 2020 edition of Glossybox UK. On the surface it wasn't the most exciting of boxes but the value was insane, and I loved all of the products inside, including the little chocolate surprise. It was a definite winner from Glossybox and I can definitely see myself repurchasing a few of the products again.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments and don't forget to use my link to find out more about Glossybox UK, and course to subscribe for yourself. Thanks for reading and I will see over the weekend with a little self care post x 

*This Post Contains Automatic Affiliate, Added Affiliate And Non Affiliate Links

Saturday, 31 October 2020

Spooky Skincare With Beauty Pro Pumpkin Infused Sheet Mask*


Hi Guys x I hope you're all having a good Halloween (despite the whole potential lockdown thing). It's been a bit of a funny one here x I took a picture for this blog post and then I went to carve my pumpkin only to find a rotting and liquified mess inside, so no sweetcorn and pumpkin soup of me this year, instead I'm making a version with butternut squash so fingers crossed it tastes just as yummy. 

I was originally going to share a Halloween nail post with you but instead I decided to bring two of the key elements of Halloween together, pumpkins and scary masks together in one beauty review post.
 

I've tried quite a few masks and targeted treatments from mask specialist Beauty Pro now, and I've always been pretty impressed so a few weeks ago I decided to add this one on to a NEXT order. 

From their Plant Based, vegan friendly range, this sheet mask is crammed full of plant enzymes, and AHA's and is designed to brighten and soften, and deeply moisturise the skin. 100% plant based, the mask itself is made from biodegradable bamboo fibre and contains a whole host of organic herb and plant extracts including pumpkin, ivy, bergamot, hibiscus, Chinese yam, chia and flaxseed. As I say the mask is suitable for vegans, and as well as being approved by PETA and the Vegan Society, it's also water free.


As you can see from this picture the mask was very, very wet, unlike the mask I talked about yesterday this one definitely had more of viscous serum texture. As it was so wet it was a little bit difficult to pull apart but the bamboo fibre was fairly sturdy so it didn't rip or tear. 

Since pumpkin has so little smell (unless it rotten :() I wasn't really sure how this would smell but it actually had a nice citrus scent, a bit like a cross between lemon bathroom cleaner (in a good way though!) and Earl Grey tea, probably down to the inclusion of the bergamot.

Before 


It initially felt very cool on the skin, but as time went on I did experience a slight tingling sensation, but it wasn't uncomfortable or painful. Also unlike the SUGU Beauty mask that I talked about yesterday, I didn't experience any problems with running or dripping.

On Application


I removed the mask after about 15 minutes and as you see in the picture below my face was still very wet, so I rubbed the excess serum into my face and neck.

Immediately After Removal


It took about 5 minutes to absorb, and as you can see my skin still looked hydrated and moist. There is a tiny bit of pinkness there but my skin didn't feel irritated, sore or dry. It still felt a tiny bit sticky but within half an hour or so that had disappeared and my skin felt a touch smoother

5 Minutes After Removal


I don't know how it obvious it is for these pictures but I definitely felt that my skin looked more awake and more refreshed after using this mask. I used the mask first thing in the morning and I definitely felt that it gave my skin a bit of glow and stopped my looking, and thanks to the scent feeling less tired.

The mask definitely isn't just for Halloween and I'll will potentially buy it again. This particular mask has an RRP of £4.95 but the price does vary slightly depending on where you buy it. It's available from various retailers including direct from Beauty Pro, from Beauty Expert, The Fragrance Shop, Look Fantastic and NEXT Beauty x What ever you doing tonight, whether it's sitting with a face mask on and watching scary movies, or having a social distanced Halloween gathering I hope you all have an enjoyable and safe night x 

*This Post Contains Automatic Affiliate, Added Affiliate And Non Affiliate Links 

Friday, 30 October 2020

Trimming My Stash - September 2020 Edition - Empties And Mini Reviews*


Before I share a little Halloween themed post with you, I thought I'd play catch up again and share my September empties with you x 

SUGU Beauty Refreshing Panda Face Sheet Mask With Apple - 1 x 27ml Mask
Bubble T Restoring Hand Wash - Hibiscus & Acai Berry Tea - 260ml
Primark PS... Love Your Nails Nail Polish Twist Post - 70ml
Living Proof Perfect hair Day Night Cap Overnight Perfector - 30ml
Eyeko London Black Magic Mascara - Drama & Curl - Black - 4ml
Primark PS...It's All Good Oil Balancing Facial Cleansing Wipes x 25 Wipes
AVON Advance Techniques Reconstruction Shampoo - 250ml
The Body Shop Mango Shower Gel - 250ml
Total - 8 Items

After a fairly middle of the road performance in August, I tried really, really hard in September, and as a result I managed to finish 8 items, including a couple of forgotten about bits, a few new discoveries, and believe it or not a make up item!

1. SUGU Beauty Refreshing Panda Face Sheet Mask With Apple - 1 x 27ml Mask


The first product that I finished was a skincare item, and it was a sheet mask from Korean inspired skincare brand SUGU Beauty.

Containing apple, cucumber, lavender, and wild cherry extract, this was a printed face mask that made you look like a pretty scary looking panda, and it was designed to refresh and add radiance to dull, puffy skin.

Made from some sort of fibre, the mask itself was absolutely soaking wet, which initially made it quite difficult to unfold, but the fibre was pretty strong so it didn't tear. If you have ever had a problems with sheet masks like this being too small, this this mask would be perfect for you. I don't have the smallest of heads and this mask actually felt pretty big on me, and the nose hole in particular was huge! which made this poor panda even more terrifying.

Because of all of the fruit and flower extracts, I was really expecting this mask to smell gorgeous but alas not, instead it had a fresh, neutral but slightly chemically scent.

Before 



On application it felt cool, and damp on the skin, as I say it was quite wet and liquidy, so the excess did run down my face, and my neck and into my eyes which was a bit stingy.

On Application


You can leave it on for anywhere between 10 and 20 minutes, so I left it on for about 15 minutes. After I removed the mask my skin still felt quite wet, so I massaged the excess liquid into my skin. It definitely felt more hydrated and cool to the touch, if a little sticky.

After 


I don't know whether or not you can see too much difference between the before and after pictures but my skin definitely felt more hydrated, and cool to the touch. The cool sensation lasted for about the 10 minutes that it took for the excess liquid to fully soak in, my skin was then left looking and feeling smoother and more refreshed.

All in all this wasn't a bad mask for skin that needed a little bit of tlc, and the panda face is either fun or terrifying depending on your point of view. Even better still was the fact that I just paid £1 for it in Poundland. One of my local stores had a whole load of different SUGU Beauty masks in stock, so I bought a few different ones to try. Poundland change their stock all of the time though so there is no guarantee that these masks will still be in stock. A few different places including ASOS, Argos, and The Fragrance Shop sell a small range of SUGU Beauty products but the only places that I can find this particular mask are Amazon and a website called Beauty Goddess, where it retails at around £3.99, so I think I got a bargain.

2. Bubble T Restoring Hand Wash - Hibiscus & Acai Berry Tea - 260ml


Ah, hand wash! We didn't know it way back in January but in 2020 hand wash pretty much became more precious than gold! As I've said on the blog before we're very much soap bar people, but because of COVID we've now become hand wash devotees.

In the deepest, darkest of lockdown way back in March and April hand wash became ridiculously scarce, and the only place that I could be was on the NEXT Beauty website,  and I manage to grab a bottle just days before they went into temporary hibernation.

From fruit and herbal tea inspired brand, Bubble T, this vegan friendly hand wash contained sweet orange extract and goji berries. Just a tiny little bit of this pinky, red gel was enough to produce a creamy, non drying, cleansing foam with a lovely fruity scent.

I really enjoyed using it and I've subsequently gone on to buy a few more for gifts. Specific hand washes are still a bit difficult to track down and this one is currently out of stock on the official Bubble T website but it is still available from NEXT Beauty for £3 and from Boohoo for around £4.

3. Primark PS... Love Your Nails Nail Polish Twist Post - 70ml


More nails of the day posts can only mean one thing - I'm using more nail polish remover! Whilst I swear by favourite Superdrug remover for removing full manicures, these little dippy pots are fabulous for single fingers, and for correcting mistakes without removing your entire manicure, just dip, twist and your done!

I haven't tried any of the more expensive versions but this is the best one of the posts that I've tried. It's cheap, the polish remover is strong enough to remove even the darkest polish, and the sponge is substantial enough that it doesn't fall apart after a single use. Who knows when I'll make it back into Primark again, but when I do I'll definitely be hunting a couple more of these pots down.

4. Living Proof Perfect hair Day Night Cap Overnight Perfector - 30ml


The next item is a travel sized hair product from the brand Living Proof that I received in the May 2020 edition of Pink Parcel. You can read a bit more about it here but basically this was a overnight mask that you apply to damp or dry hair, and then you leave it overnight before washing it out the next morning, leaving your hair shiny, vibrant and manageable.

For a hair mask it quite a thin cream, almost lotion like texture, with a lovely fresh scent that's almost identical to the classic Elizabeth Arden Green Tea fragrance. Whilst initially it feels a tiny bit sticky, it sinks in really quickly leaving no residue or staining on your pillows.

Ideally you should really wash it out first thing in the morning but since it wasn't obvious that I had product in my hair, and tended to leave it in all day, and I washed my hair at night instead, meaning that you could even use it as a styling product for calming frizz and as a general hair fragrance. Whilst the difference in my hair wasn't earth shattering, my hair looked shiny, felt less tangled, and didn't look quite as frizzy. If you have fine hair this would probably be ideal for you, as it provided nourishment without weighing the hair down.

I actually really liked this and I loved the scent so once I've worked my way through my hair product mountain I will definitely be buying the full size. I can't find this travel size for sale on its own, but the full 118ml size retails at around £20 from various retailers including direct from Living Proof, Cult Beauty, ASOS, Look Fantastic, Feel Unique and NEXT Beauty.

5. Eyeko London Black Magic Mascara - Drama & Curl - Black - 4ml


I know it's been a while but shock of horrors in 2020, I finally finished another make up item. Okay it was another mascara but in this upside world I'll take what I can get!!

This particular Eyeko mascara came in the March 2020 edition of Glossybox UK, and you can read a full review here.

I actually surprised myself by really liking this mascara, I loved the curl and the uplift that it gave my lashes, and I initially loved the idea of the squeezy tube. I did find it a touch clumpy, and that actually got worse as it got older. I don't know whether or not that was down to the tube but it did seem to dry out more quickly than my mascaras usually do, but I still liked it and I would definitely consider buying it or using it again.

6. Primark PS...It's All Good Oil Balancing Facial Cleansing Wipes x 25 Wipes


Just when I think I'm out of these another packet miraculously appears. I actually found this packet in a random drawer and as per usual I've been using them for swatch clean up. I couldn't actually find these the last time that I was in Primark, they had all of the other varieties in their new biodegradable wipe format but not the tea tree ones! 

Never mind I've been using micellar water and cotton pads, and some other tea tree wipes, and my mum actually won a huge pack of biodegradable baby wipes (amongst lots of other things I may add) so I've been using those. If I find some I probably will buy them but I don't think that I'll be buying any in the near future.

7. AVON Advance Techniques Reconstruction Shampoo - 250ml


As I've said before there really is nothing worse than when a brand discontinues something that you like. it literally happens to me all of the time. One of the most recent things that's disappeared from my life is the AVON Advance Techniques Anti Hair Fall range. Thankfully I managed to stock up on a few products from the range before it disappeared completely but I thought that it was only fair that I should try some it its replacements, so I bought some products from the Loss Control range and some products from the reconstruction range.

This is the shampoo from the Reconstruction range and it contains keratin, protein, omega 6 and avocado oil, and it's designed to help reduce split ends and breakages, and to help smooth away frizz. Like the Anti Fall products it smells amazing. It had a gorgeous fruity scent, and just a small amount produces a lovely creamy foam. 

I've been using this shampoo alongside a few other products in the Reconstruction range, so I can't really say how well it performs on its own, but my hair generally feels in much better condition, and it doesn't look quite as frizzy and fly away as it normally does. I'm still losing what seems like a tonne of random hairs but it's not noticeable and my hair still looks nice and thick and healthy.

For the price again I'm really impressed with this range, it smells gorgeous and my hair seems to like it. Obviously I have other things to use up (including another bottle of this shampoo) and I still have some bits from the Loss Control line to try but I will definitely be buying this again. As you probably know already, AVON prices and offers (and products!) change all of the time but at the time of writing this size of shampoo currently retails at around £3 with the 400ml size retailing at around £4 online direct from AVON, or from your local AVON representative.

8. The Body Shop Mango Shower Gel - 250ml


The final item in this list is something that has been hanging around in my shower for sometime now, and I was inspired to finish it thanks to a more recent purchase.

The local cat charity from where I got Max frequently hold various raffles and sale on their Facebook page to raise money for the rescue. Well a couple of months ago now one of the members who is a representative for The Body Shop at home, held a sale to raise some much needed funds for the rescue - obviously I bought a few bits and one of the things that I bought was The Body Shop Mango Body Yogurt. 

As much as I love The Body Shop Body Butters, the body yogurts are my new love. Hydrating, yet super light and not greasy or heavy they are perfect for when you're in a rush and you don't have time to stand around waiting for moisturiser to absorb. They do them in a few different scents but the Mango is where it's at, it has the most amazing, mouthwatering, fruity scent, in fact it took my strength not to have a taste.

Since I like to coordinate my shower gels and body moisturisers, I went on to see what other mango, peach and apricot shower products that I could find in my stash and this was the first thing that I grabbed. I'm a huge fan of The Body Shop shower gels, and this one is right up there. Yellow, orange in colour it has the most gorgeous fresh and fruity mango scent.

This particular bottle is as old as the hills now, and obviously the packaging has now changed but this particular shower gel is still available in their core range for around £5.50 for a 250ml bottle. Again I won't be buying this in the near future but I will definitely repurchase it somewhere down the line x 

So there you have it Trimming My Stash - September 2020 edition! I was really pleased to finish 8 items, and whilst I'm not convinced October's total is going to be anywhere near that. I'm going to do my best over the next 24 hours or so and see what happens. As per usual if you have any questions on any of the items in this post then either leave me a comment below, or get in touch with me via email or via any of my social media channels x Thanks for reading and I'll see you tomorrow with a spooky Halloween post x 

*This Post Contains Automatic Affiliate, Added Affiliate And Non Affiliate Links 

Monday, 26 October 2020

Nails Of The Day - China Glaze - Ma-Holo At Me



I know that this is probably going to be be the kiss of death for them, but my nails are currently the longest and nicest that they've been in years - despite all the hand washing and sanitising, my current nail care regime seems to be doing the trick, and at last I have nails that I think are worth showing off, and what better colour to show them off with, than a lovely sparkly holograph.


From their 2019 summer collection, Shades Of Paradise, China Glaze Ma-Holo At Me is a gorgeous pale, denim blue holographic sparkle. That shimmers, sparkles and changes colour as you move your hands. I've taken all of the pictures in this post with the flash so you can see it's true beauty but I think this video just shows how sparkly and beautiful it actually is.


The polish itself came with a long thin brush that was surprisingly easy to paint with. The polish itself was quite runny so you did have to watch out for drips but the brush was quite easy to control so it was pretty easy to be precise with your application.



The first coat was quite sheer, and on most nails 2 coats would probably have been enough, but since I wanted to show off the true wow factor of this polish I went for 3 coats - Because the polish was quite liquidy and the brush was so easy control the coats that I applied were quite thin so the polish actually dried quite quickly.


The finish as you can see was perfect, smooth, shiny, and very glossy. Normally one of the negative aspects of holographic polishes is the wear time but I actually got around 5 days out of this polish, with no top coat and only minimal tip wear, in fact with a couple of touch ups I probably could have gotten another couple of days out of it, but you know more polishes to try and all that..


Even now looking back at these pictures, I don't see how a flat picture of even a short video clip could ever do this polish justice. It really is beautiful, and it's amazing how the multi coloured sparkles just bounce out in the light. Alas like so many polishes in my collection this one is pretty hard to find now. China Glaze just doesn't seem to be that widely available in the UK anymore, so eBay will probably be your best bet. If you're in the US though you're in luck as this particular shade appears to be still available direct from China Glaze and online from Walmart. Don't worry though if you can't get your hands on this particular polish - I am a huge fan of holographic nail polishes and I have a couple more similar shades to share with you over the next few months, that might be a little bit easier to get your hands on, so make sure you stick around to see them x Let me know if you're a fan of holographic polishes in the comments and I will see you soon with my September beauty empties x