Saturday, 27 March 2021

Trimming My Stash - January And February 2021 Edition - Empties, Mini Reviews, And An Update*

Hey everyone, I hope you've all had a good week, I'm still a bit sniffly, and recovering from a dentist visit, but the show must go on, and today I've got a two in one trimming my stash post for you x

AVON Advance Techniques Reconstruction Hair Resuscitation Spray - 100ml
AVON Advance Techniques Reconstruction 3 Magical Minute Hair Mask - 150ml
Sunday Rain Polishing Body Scrub - Mango + Coconut - 265g
AVON Advance Techniques Anti Hair Fall Shampoo - 250ml
Frank Body Original Coffee Scrub - 20g
Eness Exotic Africa Argan Oil Nourishing Hand Cream - 100ml
Total - 6 Items

January and February are normally pretty lean months when it comes to beauty empties, but January especially didn't turn out to be too bad a month. With nowhere to go and nothing really to do 2021 so far has been all about self care, so January's items were all about basic maintenance and pampering, with a mic of intensive hair and body treatments. 

1. AVON Advance Techniques Reconstruction Hair Resuscitation Spray - 100ml

First up a hair product and this is the first of several products in this post from AVON. From their Reconstruction range, which is specifically designed to repair and reconstruct damaged hair and split ends, this spray contains AVON's unique Keratin Panthenol Complex.

Designed to be used alongside the other products in the Reconstruction range, this lightweight spray has been created to make the hair look and feel stronger and healthier. 

You can use it in two ways - you can spray it on to damp hair before styling, and you can also use it on dry hair. It has a lovely fruity scent, and it feels really light and almost water like. It doesn't make the hair greasy, and it doesn't weigh it down or alter the texture in anyway.

Since I've been using it (as instructed) alongside other products in the Reconstruction range, it's difficult to say how well it works, and even whether it actually does anything at all. My hair does seem have responded well to the whole range though, so I've already bought another bottle. I love the scent, which lingers slight on the hair, and it certainly isn't doing my hair any harm, so I'm going to keep using.

The AVON Advance Techniques Reconstruction Hair Resuscitation Spray retails at around £5 direct from the AVON website or direct from your local representative.

2. AVON Advance Techniques Reconstruction 3 Magical Minute Hair Mask - 150ml

Next up another hair product from AVON and it's another product from the Reconstruction range. The 3 Magical Minute Mask again contains the exclusive Keratin Panthenol Complex, as well as avocado oil, and Vitamin E.

Again it is for damaged hair and is designed to restore vitality and strengthen the hair, and again it's designed to be used alongside the regular Reconstruction shampoo and conditioner. This is an intensive weekly treatment, that is white in appearance with a creamy texture, and it has the same fruity scent as the other products in the range.

All you do it apply it to clean, damp hair, and leave it for 3 minutes before rinsing. Whilst it feels nice and creamy, it isn't too thick so it spreads nice and easily through damp hair, even with a comb. It then rinses easily way leaving the hair feeling silky smooth and tangle free.

Since I've been using this alongside the other products in the range, again it's hard to say how affective it actually is on its own, but my hair did look and feel marginally better when I added it into my haircare regime. I loved the scent, it made my hair feel better, and it took no longer than a regular conditioner to use. I have quite a few intensive treatments and hair masks to use up but I would definitely consider buying this one again. The AVON Advance Techniques Reconstruction 3 Magical Minute Hair Mask retails at around £5.50.

3. Sunday Rain Polishing Body Scrub - Mango + Coconut - 265g

From haircare to body care, and next up the first of 2 body scrubs in this post. You should know by now that I love a good body scrub, and whilst I've found some gems over the years, I'm always on the lookout for new brands, and new products.

You may have seen a couple of mentions of the Sunday Rain Scrub Away Charcoal + Bamboo Exfoliating Cubes in previous empties posts, I love them and I love the concept but instead of repurchasing them I fancied a change, and I decided to try something else from the brand instead.

If you aren't familiar with Sunday Rain, they are a US based, vegan friendly body care brand. This is one of their more conventional salt based body scrubs, which contains creamy and softening mango butter, and moisturising coconut oil.

Peachy / orange in colour it has an almost granular, dense paste like texture. The salt particles are fairly fine but it's still a nice, scrubby scrub, that rinses away to an almost milky like lotion.  The really selling point of this scrub though is the scent. When you first open the tub, it's like you opened a carton of mango sorbet! It's fresh, fruity and mouthwatering! As you start using it though the coconut starts to come through, it isn't quite as nice as the initial mango hit, but it's still very pleasant on the nose.

I would definitely consider using this scrub, and other products from the mango and coconut range in the future. This scrub does seem to be out of stock in a lot of places including ASOS and Beauty Bay, but it is currently available for £6 from bubu and Oliver Bonas.

4. AVON Advance Techniques Anti Hair Fall Shampoo - 250ml

Next up, another product from AVON and yes it is another hair product! When brands discontinue or alter products that you love there is always a risk that the you'll hate the replacement. Thankfully though in this particular case I love AVON's Reconstruction range, and I'm really hopeful that the Loss Control range will be equally as good. Despite that though I still have a soft spot from the original Anti Hair Fall range, and I will still be a bit sad when my stash comes to an end.

With arginine, wheat protein, and peppermint, my hair really liked this shampoo, and I love the fresh and fruity, mint tinged scent. This is obviously long gone from both the AVON website, and their catalogues, but as I say the replacements are just as good. I think I have one more bottle of the conditioner and about a half a supersized bottle of the shampoo left, and then it really will be time to say a fond farewell to the Anti Hair Fall range.

5. Frank Body Original Coffee Scrub - 20g

The next empty on the list is a product that came in the 2020 Glossybox advent calendar. Now promises, promises, I had every intention of doing a full unboxing and review of the calendar like I've done in previous years, but since we're now nearly in April, it seems to be a bit pointless.

So instead what I've decided to do is pick out some of the best products, and post in depth reviews as and when, over the next few weeks and months, and I will of course be featuring the odd thing in upcoming empties posts, like this one.

If you want to see the full contents of the calendar, then have a little look at my Instagram highlights to see a full day by day unboxing of goodies from brands including Fenty, The Body Shop, HUDA Beauty, Lime Crime, and Iconic.

In the meantime though, back to my empties and on Day 11 of the 2020 Glossybox advent calendar I received a 20g Deluxe Mini size of the Frank Body Original Coffee Scrub.

Frank Body are an Australian founded beauty company, who base a lot of their products on coffee. Originally just a body care brand, their range now includes coffee based products for the hair, the face, and the lips.

Friday, 19 March 2021

Collaborative / Partnered Post - Tips And Tricks For Dealing With Ageing Skin And Wrinkles*

When I look in the mirror I see a lot of things that I'm not happy with but when you look at sensibly and logically I'm actually pretty pleased with what I see. I am 43 on my next birthday and whilst I'm not keen on my facial paralysis, open pores, the redness or the broken capillaries, my face is still by and large wrinkle free. I have an occasional brow furrow, a few necklace lines, and a few fine lines under my eyes but by and large, thanks to my oilier skin, and some obvious genetic help from Mummy Lou, I'm not doing too badly on the wrinkle front.

At some time in your life though, be it sooner or later, wrinkles, or experience lines as my mam likes to call them, will make their presence felt. The first place that you'll probably notice them, like me, is around the eyes, and as time progresses they will gradually spread towards the outer edges of your face. They aren't that noticeable at first, unless you really look in the mirror but for most of us they will gradually get deeper and more obvious, and spread across your face and neck.

People can be quite self conscious about them at least at first, but what you need to remember is that wrinkles are 100% part of life, it's natural and it's normal and it's nothing to worry about, and you shouldn't let it affect your self confidence in any way.

As much as they are just something that we all have to look forward to, there are little things that we can do to minimise their appearance and to keep our skin looking as youthful as possible. Some of the more obvious things you can try include using sunblock, establishing a good skincare routine, and drinking more water, but there are a few more left field wrinkle busting tricks to try.

Start Eating More Herbs

It goes without saying that a healthy diet can help improve your skin, you know the drill eat less fatty and sugary food and eat more fruit and vegetables but If all the usual creams and serums aren’t working and your skin it ageing faster than you would like then it’s time to turn your attention to herbs and spices.

It sounds a little strange but for hundreds and hundreds of years, if not more, people relied on natural ingredients for their health benefits. Herbs like parsley, rosemary and basil are known for their skincare benefits, and anti-inflammatory properties,

You could start by adding some extra herbs and spices to your diet every day. Sprinkle them into your soups or over your roast vegetables, or better still add some of the leafy herbs, like parsley raw to a salad, and then enjoy all of those extra vitamins. There are are no guarantees obviously but fingers crossed you’ll notice that after a couple of months your body feels lighter and your skin looks better. and even if you don't see any real visual differences, your food will taste better, and you're also adding some extra vitamins and minerals to you diet. There is lots of information online about the benefits of herbs and spices, so do your research and start adding some to your diet today.

Try An Amla Mask

Now, you should know by now that I love a good face mask but have you ever used one made out of Amla? 

I personally haven't but I'm curious - Amla - sometimes called Amalaki or Indian gooseberry is one of the central pillars of Ayurvedic medicine, an ancient approach to health, life and wellbeing. With such a reliance these days on science, it's easy for some people to be cynical about Eastern traditions, treatments and more natural ingredients, but I think we should all keep an open mind and be willing to try new things. Researchers are still discovering the true power of Amla, and its high anti-oxidant and Vitamin C content, and trying to find just exactly what it can do when it comes to its health and skincare benefits. Putting Amla on your face can help you to get some of the benefits of a full-blown facelift without the expense and the recovery time. Apparently it can burns a little (so do a patch test first) but with regular use over the following days and weeks, you should notice that your skin should start to look fresher and smoother. Again do your research, I've seen it both an oil, and in powder format which you can use both to make both a mask, and as an exfoliator x

Use Fillers

Now there is no way that I could write a post about wrinkles without mentioning some form of cosmetic surgery, whilst facelifts normally deal with issues such as sagging, there are a whole range of less invasive injectables that can make a huge difference to the smoothness of your skin.

I've personally not gone down that line yet, because I don't feel I need to too but fillers can be quite amazing things. They’re not just random chemicals that plastic surgeons inject under your skin. They are usually natural compounds that both plump and rejuvenate the skin at the same time. 

Remember, most fillers are mainly hyaluronic acid. When you inject this into the skin, it tells skin cells that they are living in a more youthful environment. This, in turn, tells the skin to produce more collagen - the antidote to deep furrows around eyes, brow, forehead and mouth. 

When done well they can make a real difference to your face, but that's the key when they're done well. If you're thinking about cosmetic surgery, fillers, botox, or any injectable or procedure then do your research. Don't just pick someone on Facebook market place doing fillers in their dinning room, look at their qualifications, their experience, their aftercare policies, and don't just go with the first company you see, get a range of opinions, and quotes before you go ahead. Oh and remember with some thing you get what you pay for.

Eliminate The Stress From Your Life

Did you know that stress is a major reason for wrinkles? Your lifestyle plays a major role in your skin and added stress is no different. Stress creates the stress hormone cortisol which breaks down the collagen fibres that hold your skin together and make it look more youthful. 

In this day and age it's nearly impossible to avoid stress altogether, but try to minimise it as much as possible. There are loads of hints and tips on this blog to deal with stress but in short find ways to escape, try to get as much sleep as possible, and above all talk to someone if you need to x Don't let your worries consume you,

So if you are bothered by ageing skin, then there are definitely things out there to try but if you don't want to do anything about your experience lines then that's fine too. Everything changes as we get older including our skin, and that's perfectly natural, you can't stop the ageing process. Do what you want to do and don't let anyone ever make you feel less than because you have a few character lines here and there x What's your attitude towards wrinkles - leave them be, or obliterate them completely? Let me know in the comments x

*Collaborative / Partnered Post

Thursday, 18 March 2021

Nails Of The Day - OPI - Mod-ern Girl

Greetings, for coughing and spluttering land! Would you believe it? I'm actually ill again, I took a Covid test and thankfully it was negative, but I've been stricken by some other flu like virus. I have no energy to do the physical stuff that I need to do so I'm curled up in bed, listening to podcast, and getting my blog on.

I've been working my way through various computer files, looking at all of the photos that I've taken for various blog posts, and while I was doing that I found some nail pictures that I'd taken and edited but never posted, so whilst my nails are so-so at the moment, lets take a trip back to October time, when my natural claws were still in place.

I think at the time I was looking for orange shades for Halloween but the polishes that I tried were almost that fall / orange shade but they didn't quite cut it.

From OPI's Brights range, Mod-ern Girl is probably more a summer colour, than an autumn one. It's not really an orange at all, it's much more of a bright coral / red.

Despite the fact that this isn't one of the most recent polishes in my collection, it still applied like a dream, the OPI Pro Wide brush ensures excellent coverage, in just one or two strokes. You need to be a little bit careful to avoid the skin, if your nails are like mine and fairly slim, but otherwise the brush and formula is exactly what you would expect from a salon brand like OPI.

The coverage of the first coat was a little bit sheer, and more like a jelly finish than a true cream, so you really did need 2 coats for the full on glossy, almost mirror like, finish that you can see here. As per usual with OPI, it dried quickly and it wore well lasting a good 5 days without chipping.

Even though this wasn't the bright leafy, pumpkin orange that I'd hoped, it was still a beautiful cheery, colour no matter what the season, and I remember receiving several compliments when I wore it. Alas I think that this shade has now been discontinued by OPI, but if you look hard enough it is still out there on auction, and discount sites x Let me know your thoughts on this shade in the comments and I will see you tomorrow with a skin care type post x 

Friday, 12 March 2021

A Late Unboxing Of Glossybox UK - November 2020 Edition - Makeup & Magic*

Right, after a more up to date post, it's time to play catch up again with another belated Glossybox unboxing, and this time we're going back to November 2020.

Although the theme of November's box was all about 'Make Up & Magic', compared to the vintage fairy tale style, book, design of October's box, Novembers box at least design wise, was a little bit underwhelming.

There was so much scope to make another sparkly, or mystical designed box, but in some what of a missed opportunity. November's box saw a return to the traditional pink and black design, and colour way.

Instead, in November Glossybox, seemed to focus purely on the contents, producing a box containing glitter, shimmer, and glow, to get us ready for the, all be it Covid affected, festive season.

LA Splash Cosmetics Magic Eyeshadow Palette - Full Size - RRP £29 / $38

First, up the biggie, and the 'star' product in November's box; An eyeshadow palette from cruelty free US based brand, LA Splash.

I've tried a couple of things from the brand now, thanks to Glossybox, including a glitter eyeliner, and some make up brushes , but this was my first opportunity to try one of their powder products.

Packaged in a matter black and gold cardboard, magnetic fastening palette, with a shiny gold cardboard outer sleeve, their Magic Eyeshadow Palette contains 8, 10p ish sized shades, in a variety of matte, shimmer and almost metallic finishes. 

Perfect for the traditional Autumnal colour palette, the compact contains a nice mixture of neutral tones, and fall inspired, leaf and pumpkin inspired, orange, gold, and bronzes.

From Left To Right - Selenite, Sunstone, Aragonite & Tigers Eye

From Left To Right - Rose Quartz, Citrine, Amber & Onyx

As you can see all of the shades, are soft, creamy and really pigmented. I did find that the darker matte shades, such as Tiger's Eye, and Onyx especially were a touch powdery and prone to a little bit of fallout, but otherwise they were pretty easy to apply and they blended into the skin, and into each other really nicely.

What I really liked about this palette is that you could use it to create both bright, show stopping looks, and more neutral, smokey looks, like I've created here by using Sunstone, Rose Quartz, and Tigers Eye.

This is actually a really wearable palette but with a fashion, seasonal twist. I love all of the shades (especially Rose Quartz), and the quality, including the colour pay off, and the wear time was excellent. I do think that there are definitely cheaper palettes of equal quality on the market but I'm really pleased to have this one in my collection.

Whilst Beauty Bay do sell a small selection of LA Splash products, this particular palette is only available directly from LA Splash where it retails at £29 / $38.

Spectrum Collections Limited Edition Zodiac B07 Tall Crease Blender - Full Size - Est. RRP £7.99

Included to be used alongside your eyeshadow palette, the next item in November's box, was an eyeshadow brush from Spectrum Collections.

I own a few brushes from Spectrum now and I've always been really impressed with both the quality of the products and the brands ethos. All of their products are both vegan and cruelty free and this particular brush is no exception.

In one of their limited edition colour ways, this B07 Tall Crease Blender features a glossy black handle, a shiny gold ferrule, and super soft, and fluffy synthetic hairs.

This isn't really the best all rounder brush for precise application because it's a bit too fluffy, but it's perfect for blending shadow into the crease and even for applying shadow to the brow bone or all over the lid - really useful and another winner from Spectrum!

This particular brush in this colour way doesn't appear to be available to buy, but the B07 does seem to be available in both white and pink for £5.99 direct from Spectrum Collections, and it's also available in various colours, in various sets and kits both direct from Spectrum and from various other retailers including Beauty Bay, Boots, ASOS and NEXT Beauty.

Que Bella Professional Recharge & Restore Purple Moonstone Glitter Gel Mask - 15g - Full Size - RRP £2.49

The next item in the box was the first of two face masks, and this one was a single use sachet from a brand called Que Bella. I've only had one other product from Que Bella but that one is still in my to try pile, this was my first real experience with the brand.

Whilst they're quite new to the UK, Que Bella is currently the best selling face mask brand in the US, and they currently have over 25 different products in their range, catering for all ages and all different skin types.

The mask that I received this time round was the Que Bella Professional Recharge & Restore Moonstone Glitter Gel Mask. Vegan friendly and dermatologically tested, this mask is specifically designed for dull skin that needs a bit of glow. It's both hydrating, rejuvenating, plumping, firming and detoxifying, and it contains a mixture of caffeine, sodium hyaluronate, dead sea mud, charcoal powder, and moonstone extract.

At first glance I actually though that this was a peel off mask, but it's actually a gel textured wash off mask. It did feel a lot like a peel off mask though with a sticky, gel like texture. It was black in colour and full of fabulous iridescent, blue, purple, glittery sparkles.


With a sweet parma violet esq scent, it was really easy to spread out, and to apply to the skin. There was a slight warming, and tingling on application but it subsided fairly quickly. The mask didn't really seem to dry or set, it just needed to be washed off with warm water after around 15 minutes.

On Face

It was a little bit difficult and messy to wash off, but it left my skin looking and feeling refreshed, clean and clear. My skin was a touch pink and there was no real difference in the texture of my skin, but the mask looked fantastic when it was on my skin, it smelled lovely, and my skin definitely looked better after using it, so I would definitely consider using this one again.

After Removal

Face masks from Que Bella are available exclusively from Amazon in the UK, and this particular mask retails at around £2.49.

Generation Clay Ultra Violet Brightening Purple Clay Mask - 50ml -  Est. RRP £19.50

The next item in the box was a bit of an unexpected one. The product listed in the information booklet was the Mudmasky Leave-Me-On Autumn Mask, but instead some Glossybox subscribers, including myself, received another face mask, the Generation Clay Ultra-Violet Brightening Purple Clay Mask.

From cruelty free, Australian based company Generation Clay / Generation Skin, this is another mask that is designed to add radiance to the skin, and to even out the complexion, as well as lightening dark circles and pigmentation.

It contains clay, and a mixture of botanicals and superfoods, including the Australian Davidson Plum, which contains AHA's, Desert Lime to stimulate collagen, Bilberry, a natural enzymic exfoliator, and Aloe Vera to soothe and reduce redness, as well as witch hazel, vitamin E, ylang ylang, and hibiscus extract.


The mask has a slightly runny, but creamy and easy to apply texture. Lilac, grey in colour is has quite a strange scent, with almost bitter almond notes, mixed with plastic and an old fashioned floral scent.

On application, as stated it did feel quite warm and tingly at least for a few minutes before it gradually subsided as the mask started to dry. It took around 15 minutes to set completely, changing to an almost white colour, whilst at the same time feeling quite solid, and tight. 

On Application

After 15 Minutes 

Like all clay masks it took a bit of getting off, but I found the best way to do it was to soak my entire, mask covered face in warm water to soften it a little bit before wiping it off  in circular motions with warm water and a muslin cloth.

My skin did look a little bit red after removal, but it felt super smooth, and looked fresher, brighter, and it had an almost smooth, matte finish.

After Removal

I was a little bit worried about the tingling feeling, and I wasn't a huge fan of the scent. but my skin actually seemed to love this mask. My skin tone looked more radiant and even, and it seemed to improve the texture, leaving it feeling smoother, and it also seemed to help control my oily t-zone as well as drying up the odd blemish more quickly. I probably wouldn't recommend it if your skin was drier or more sensitive but for me it worked.

This particular mask isn't that easy to find. Glossybox place a value of £19.50 on this 50ml half sized tube, but I can't find this size anywhere. Strangely though Beauty Bay sell a 75ml / 100g tube for £19, although it's currently out of stock. Otherwise you can find a 100g tube for around £29.99 on Amazon or for around £49.99 direct from Generation Skin / Clay, so if you do fancy trying this one for yourself then the key is to shop around x 

HASK Argan Oil From Morocco Repairing Deep Conditioner - 50g / 50ml - Full Size - Est. RRP £2

The fifth and final item in November's box is something that as of yet I still haven't managed to try. Yes, I know that November was nearly 5 months ago now, but I've been trying out a few other different hair products, so I haven't managed to slip this one into my routine yet, and scarier still I haven't tried the exact same one that I also received in the January 2019 edition of Glossybox UK - eek!

This is the original Argan oil based deep conditioning mask from American brand, Hask, which is specially designed to strengthen, and hydrate, dry, damaged, colour treated, and processed hair. I promise I will use it and I will definitely talk about it in an upcoming empties post.

This full sized  50g sachet retails at anywhere between £2.49 - £3, and is available from various retailers including Boots, Superdrug, Tesco and Waitrose. 

So that was my very late review of the November 2020 edition of Glossybox UK, and for me it was a good one; The quality of the eyeshadow palette was excellent, the brush was great quality and really useful, and I loved all of the masks, including the hair one that I haven't tried yet ;)

Let me know your thoughts on this box in the comments, and don't forget to check out Glossybox for yourself, and I will see you soon with a mixture of catch up's and more up to date posts x 

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