Sunday, 19 June 2022

Trimming My Stash - March And April 2022 Edition - Empties, Mini Reviews And A Little Personal Update* **

I can hardly believe that it's been nearly two months since I last posted anything on here, and I have to say that even for me that's a pretty long disappearing act, and for that I'm truly sorry!

So, what have I been up to? Well quite a bit, and at the same time not a lot! As well as celebrating my birthday by spending a little bit of quality time with my friends and family, I've also been lost in the hell that is PIP renewal, and yet more unpleasant health stuff! The gist of it is that I have another couple of diagnoses to add to my already long list of medical concerns; Thankfully nothing immediately life threatening, but there is one that I'm actually going to talk about in more detail later in this post, that can be pretty painful, and unpleasant, and the other one is something that my GP is going to have to keep a close eye on. As the old saying goes, it never rains but it pours, but as they also say knowledge is power, and thanks to knowing just exactly what's wrong now, I'm definitely in a much better place at least in my mind than I was say a month ago.

So here I am again, back with a renewed since of purpose and a slightly less messy brain, ready to talk about some fun, escapist stuff. Today I've got an empties post for you, and in the spirit of playing catch up again, I'm doubling up and today you've got a two for one, with both my March and April Trimming My Stash posts all condensed into one beauty filled bundle just for you.

Bath & Body Works Pumpkin Apple Gentle Foaming Hand Soap - 259ml

Vitamasques Pearl Sheet Mask - 1 x Face Mask
Philip Kingsley Elasticizer - Geranium & Neroli - 75ml
L'Oreal Elvive Dream Lengths 8 Second Wonder Water - 200ml
AVON Advance Techniques Anti Hair Fall Conditioner - 250ml
Moksha Beauty Advanced Salicylic Acid & Sulphur Scrub Soap Bar - 100g
Woo Woo Refreshing Wipes - 12 x Wipes
Total - 7 Items 

After a pretty poor start to the year, like in February in March I managed to finish another 7 beauty products. It was quite a hair product focused list this time around, with a couple of other little bits including something which is now one of my bathroom staples, and a product that literally made my mouth water!

1. Bath & Body Works Pumpkin Apple Gentle Foaming Hand Soap - 259ml

Although I still wish that we had stand alone Bath & Body Works stores here in the UK, I'm really enjoying having slightly easier access to at least some of their products in their range via both NEXT online, and my local NEXT Beauty store in the Metrocentre, although I'm not sure my bank manager would agree!

I've bought a couple of things in the last few months from them but my huge Bath & Body Works hauls happened primarily during the latter part of 2021, and I went mad for all of their fall and festive scents!

This particular fragrance, was I believe one of their fall scents, and I literally had to do everything in my power to stop myself from having a taste, it literally smelled so good! As you would probably expect Pumpkin Apple had a gorgeous sweet fruity scent, with just a hint of tartness and warming apple pie spices - mouthwatering!

To the best of my knowledge Bath & Body Works do two different types of hand wash / hand soap, and this is the Gentle Foaming version, so instead of dispensing a gel or liquid soap, this pump action bottle dispense a blob of creamy feeling, dense, whipped foam.

Unlike some hand washes on the market this one was all about luxury and it was surprisingly moisturising. A little went a long way, and it was easy to rinse away leaving the hands clean, soft, smooth and smelling amazing, Not the cheapest hand wash out there but in this case I think you get what you pay for and this one for me was well worth the money.

I don't know if this particular scent was available in anything other than hand care products (I talked about the matching hand cream in my February 2022 empties post x) but I'm really hoping that Bath & Body Works bring back this scent for autumn / winter 2022.

2. Vitamasques Pearl Sheet Mask - 1 x Face Mask

Next up a skincare product that I received in the September 2021 edition of Glossybox UK. Since last year (and maybe even this year - eek!) was a bit of a fail when it came to Glossybox unboxings I'm trying to dig out and use as many of the products as I can and review them for you, and since this one was a nice, quick and easy one to use and review, way back in March I thought I'd give it a try.

From Korean style mask specialist Vitamasques, come their Pearl Sheet Mask. Containing real pearl powder, chamomile, peony, and centella asiatica extract, this is an anti-inflammatory mask that is designed to brighten dull and tired skin, and to protect against redness .

The shell shaped packet contained a good quality, thick, white fibre sheet mask. The mask itself was very wet and despite how wet it was the quality meant that it was pretty easy to unfold. Over the years I've used a lot of sheet masks and let's be honest sometimes they don't always fit that well, sometimes the eye holes, etc. are just too big or small, or they're in the wrong place, but I have to say that for me the fit of this one was pretty much spot on, and I think I have quite a large head, so read into that one what you will ;)


Like most sheet masks, this one initially felt quite cool on application, but it slowly warmed up to body temperature. As I say it was quite wet in the packet, soaked with a water like, liquid serum, but thankfully my skin seemed to absorb quite a lot of the liquid, so there were very few drips.

On Application

As per the instructions I left it on for about 20 minutes before removing it. Despite how much liquid my skin seemed to absorb there was still quite a bit of fluid left on my skin so it took quite a while to massage it in and for my skin to take it all in so my face remained quite sticky and damp for a good 10 to 15 minutes.

Immediately After Removal

After about 10 - 15 minutes my skin felt a touch smoother, and it also looked and felt more hydrated, less red, and it also seemed to have a slight sheen / glow to it. As time progressed my skin did feel a little bit oilier than usual but I love how it felt on my skin and how my skin looked afterwards. Throw in the biggest selling point for me which was the beautiful almost jasmine like white flower scent, and I would definitely consider buying this cruelty free mask again.

About 10 Minutes After Removal 

The Vitamasques Pearl Sheet Mask retails at around £4.99 and is available direct from Vitamasques

3. Philip Kingsley Elasticizer - Geranium & Neroli - 75ml

From something new to something that you've seen me talk about in several posts, Philip Kingsley's famous Elasticizer, and if you either haven't read my previous posts or you haven't heard of this stuff, where have you been?

Originally developed for the goddess that was Audrey Hepburn, Elasticizer to put it simply is an intensive hair conditioner that strengthens and revitalises the hair in just one use.

Apply a generous amount to damp hair, and leave it for at least 20 minutes but you can leave it on for pretty much as long as you want. My mam often leaves it on overnight, and at this time of year you can even pop it on before a beach trip for all day treatment and protection. Then all you do is just shampoo and condition your hair as normal and then voila! instantly softer, stronger better hair! Have a little search on the blog for Philip Kingsley Elasticizer and you'll find loads of posts where I sing its praises, it really is that good, and it's something that I will continue to buy and use.

This particular tube was a limited edition, and had a gorgeous aromatherapy like geranium scent, so it will probably be pretty difficult to find this particular one, but there are loads of other scents and sizes out there both on the high street and online from various retailers including direct from Philip Kingsley, Marks and Spencers, Feel Unique, Boots, Look Fantastic, John Lewis, and QVC UK.

4. L'Oreal Elvive Dream Lengths 8 Second Wonder Water - 200ml

Next up, the second of 3 hair care products in March's countdown and again it's something that you've seen before, and it's something else that you will no doubt get tired of seeing again and again in future posts.

I'm still at a bit of a loss as to how exactly this water like substance works but I know that it does something that my hair appreciates. You can read my thoughts on this one in a bit more detail here, but again it's something that I'll continue to buy and use, in fact I've just finished another bottle. I will definitely continue to buy this one, but I've actually just bought the new Colour Protect version to try, so I've you've already tried it I'd love to hear your thoughts.

5. AVON Advance Techniques Anti Hair Fall Conditioner - 250ml

Well I always knew that this day would come, and in mid March it finally arrived, and I finished my last product from the AVON Anti Hair Fall range!

Admittedly I still have a finishing product left, but still sad times - I've really enjoyed using both the shampoo and conditioner from this range, and whilst I do love the product that AVON replaced it with, I'll never forget that fruity, minty scent.

6. Moksha Beauty Advanced Salicylic Acid & Sulphur Scrub Soap Bar - 100g

Suffering from as many ailments as I do, you reach a point where you actually dread going to see a doctor or nurse about a new symptom or problem for fear of what it may lead to, so you put it to the back of your mind, and try to deal with it the best you can, until it either gets too much or like me in this case you have a few spare minutes at the end of an appointment.

For a few years now I've been getting the very painful spot like lumps mainly on my underarms and on the tops of my legs and thighs. They don't always behave like normal spots in that they don't always burst or come to a head, but they can be really uncomfortable, and embarrassing and they leave behind horrid dark, pigmented type scars when they eventually disappear.

I vaguely remember asking a doctor about them, only to be told it was either down to shaving or ingrown hairs, recently though I mentioned it to my new doctor, and at last I have a proper diagnosis - Hidradenitis Suppurativa. I've linked to the Wikipedia page so you can read a bit more about but it's basically caused by blocked sweat glands / hair follicles.

Alas there is no real cure for it, but there are things that you can do to reduce the lesions and lessen the discomfort. At the moment I have quite a mild case so my GP recommend that I use an acne type wash on the affected areas, and after a little bit of online research a few people talked about salicylic acid soaps.

From a UK based company Moksha Beauty, this cruelty free, vegetable based bar contains sulphur, salicylic acid, vitamin E and exfoliating poppy seeds. It's antibacterial and is designed for use both on the face and body.

It has a herbal like scent mixed up with the scent of freshly struck matches - not amazing but I do think it's helping. It leaves the skin quite taut when you first rinse it off but touch wood I haven't had quite as many spots since I started using it, and the lumps that I have had don't seem to have gotten quite so large or uncomfortable.

As I say nothing can cure it but if I can keep on top of it, without going the antibiotic, steroid or surgery route, that will do me just fine. If anyone has the condition and has any other tips or product recommendations though I'd love to hear them, especially if you've found anything that helps with the pigmentation and scarring!

The Moksha Beauty Advanced Salicylic Acid & Sulphur Scrub Soap Bar 100g retails at around £8.99 on Amazon UK and around £7.97 direct from Moksha Beauty.

7. Woo Woo Refreshing Wipes - 12 x Wipes

The final item that I finished in March, was another one that you've seen before, the Woo Woo Refreshing Wipes. You can read my thoughts on these here and here. I do like these for that yucky time of the month, but they aren't something that I use everyday. They retail at around £2.25 a pack from Superdrug if you fancy trying them for yourself. I actually haven't been to Superdrug for anything in what seems like an age (or a proper shopping centre come to think of it), so I'm actually trying another brand of intimate wipes at the moment, and of course I'll let you know my thoughts on those ones in a future empties post x 

So they were the 7 items that I finished in March, but I said this was a double header, so just how did I do in April...

Jolen Face Wax Strips - 16 Wax Strips
The Body Shop Juicy Pear Shower Gel - 250ml
The Body Shop Juicy Pear Softening Body Butter - 50ml
Berry Nice Body Scrub - 150ml
Bath & Body Works Winter Candy Apple Shea Butter Hand Cream - 29ml
Derma V10 Gonk Printed Foot Pack - 1 x Treatment
Derma V10 Gonk Printed Sheet Mask - 1 x Treatment
The Body Shop Vanilla Brulee Shower Gel - 250ml
Total - 8 Items 

Well in April, I managed to go one better and I managed to finish 8 beauty products, making April my best month of 2022 so far. Again I managed to use up a good assortment of products including some fun things, and a couple of gold standard items.

1. Jolen Face Wax Strips - 16 Wax Strips *

First up on April's list is new ish product to me that's quickly achieved holy grail status in LouLouLand, and it's the second pack of Jolen Face Wax Strips that I was sent a little while ago to review. You can read my full review here, and whilst this was the last pact that I was sent, you will definitely see these again in a future post, because I loved them so much that I went out and bought another 4 boxes! That's commit and dedication for you ;)!

2. The Body Shop Juicy Pear Shower Gel - 250ml
3. The Body Shop Juicy Pear Softening Body Butter - 50ml

Next up a double header, with 2 products from one of my favourite festive ranges from The Body Shop in recent years, Juicy Pear. 

These two products really were the perfect combo, a non drying, gently foaming shower gel, and a lovely creamy, nourishing body butter with an amazing sweet yet tart sugary pear scent - In my opinion this scent wasn't just for Christmas, it was a scent that worked equally well in the summer months. I think I might have a couple of Juicy Pear bits left here and there but I'm not too worried about using them up, because I have a whole load of products from the Christmas 2021 Kindness & Pears range which smells exactly the same and it might be a little bit easier for you to track down either in  The Body Shop outlet stores, or on the secondary market.

4. Berry Nice Body Scrub - 150ml

If you're a regular reader of this blog then you'll know that there are 2 things that I particularly love - body scrubs and bargains, and this next product combines both of those things.

I can't remember exactly how much this particular scrub was but I know it was reduced and I know that I picked it up in Poundland.

Officially described as a blueberry body scrub, this densely packed scrub had a sort of blue raspberry scent. If you've ever had a blue slush puppy then that's exactly what this smelled like, slightly synthetically sweet, with a touch of pleasant sourness to it. I really wish I'd taken a picture of the scrub itself for you because the colour was something else, it was a deep, cool almost turquoise blue colour.

I'm not sure if it was a salt or sugar based or even a combination of the two but it had a nice scrubby feel to it, with the added bonus, that it temporarily made you look like a smurf! Thankfully the scrub and the blue colour rinsed away pretty easily leaving no residue behind just soft and smooth skin. For the price whatever it was, I actually really liked this scrub, I loved the slightly retro scent, it was fun to use, and it did everything that you'd want it to.

Given the high turnover of products in Poundland, I would suspect that this particular product will now be quite difficult to find, but if I did see it again, I'd definitely pick up another pot or two.

5. Bath & Body Works Winter Candy Apple Shea Butter Hand Cream - 29ml

Next up a slightly more expensive product and it's another item from one of Bath & Body Works fall and festive ranges. I've been buying (all be it with difficulty!) products from Bath & Body Works Winter Candy Apple range for well over 15 years now, and there is a reason why this scent keeps coming back year after year.

This scent for me is something special - a spicy, sweet fruity combination of red apples, winter rose, candied orange, cinnamon and maple - it's perfect for the festive season and beyond.

Team that beautiful scent with Bath & Body Works signature shea butter filled hand cream formula, that sinks in really quickly for such a rich product, and leaves the hands super soft and protected, and for me it's a winner.

Seeing as this is a seasonal scent it's probably only available on the secondary market at the moment, but fingers crossed it comes back into stores for the 2022 holiday season.

6. Derma V10 Gonk Printed Foot Pack - 1 x Treatment

Something else that I missed on the blog this year is Easter. I ate way too much chocolate, I made my Creme Egg Cheesecake, and I tried out a couple of Easter themed pampering treats. Both come from Derma V10 and both were bargain £1 from Poundland. First up feet and I tried this pair of Easter themed gonk moisturising socks.

Containing passion flower, sugar cane, pineapple, red grape, lemon and olive oil extracts, these were basically fibre lined plastic bootees, that were filled with a slightly sweet smelling, milky water like serum.

Really simple to use, all you do is pop them onto your feet and chill for around 20 minutes or so, before removing them and massaging the copious amounts of leftover serum into your feet.

Like the Christmas themed socks that I tried way back in December I was pretty impressed with these socks for the price. My feet looked noticeably less dry and they felt really soft and smooth. It's a shame these ones were a limited edition but there are some similar foot packs in the permanent or at least more widely available Derma V10 range so I might give one of those a try in the future.

7. Derma V10 Gonk Printed Sheet Mask - 1 x Treatment

Just like at Christmas Derma V10, and Poundland also did a matching Easter themed sheet mask. Featuring an orange and pink Easter bunny gonk design, this mask contained hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, and prickly pear extract, as well as liquorice root, rosemary and aloe vera, this 20 minute mask was designed to moisturise the skin and to leave it smooth and hydrated.

Immediately on opening the packet you could smell a sweet, but subtle watermelon scent. The mask itself was damp but it wasn't the wettest mask that I've ever used but it was of a decent quality so it was pretty easy to unfold.

Like most sheet masks it initially felt quite cool on the skin but it quickly warmed up to body temperature. The instructions said to leave it on for 20 minutes but I only ended up leaving it on for about 15 minutes, as it started to feel quite dry to the touch.

There was a little bit of excess serum left on my skin, which as per the instructions I massaged into my face. My skin felt a touch tacky at first but after a few minutes my skin felt dewy and hydrated, and it looked fresher and as though I'd just applied some moisturiser. It seemed to be just what my skin needed after copious amounts of chocolate! Alas like the foot mask this one was also a limited edition but as I say I'll definitely be taking a closer look at some of the other products in the Derma V10 range.

8. The Body Shop Vanilla Brulee Shower Gel - 250ml

Finally another product from The Body Shop, and I've got to say that I'm a little bit embarrassed to show you this one, because this product has to be be from at least 7 years ago!

Originally released as part of their Christmas 2014 offerings The Body Shop Vanilla Brulee collection was another one of my all time favourite festive ranges. With fair trade vanilla extract and honey, this gorgeous custard like, creamy, foaming shower gel, had a lovely warm, spicy, almost caramel like sugary vanilla scent, that stayed the same right up to the very last drop in the bottle.

This range is obviously long gone now but I'd love to see a similar scent again this year, fingers crossed.

So all in all 2 pretty good months, and a good mixture of products to boot. Obviously May's already been and gone now (My May empties post will be up soon!) so fingers crossed I can finish June on a high. As per usual if you have any questions or comments please let me know, and thank you again for your patience and your continued support. In my absence I hit 1.8 million all time page views which is totally insane. Thank you so much, you don't know how much it means to me knowing that people still take time out of their day to visit my little spot on the internet, it's still crazy to me and I'm forever grateful xx

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Saturday, 30 April 2022

Luscious Lips - Benefit California Kissin' Moisturising Lip Balms*

Hi Guys x I hope you're all having a nice weekend, although this post is going live a little later than I intended it to, today sees the return of my Luscious Lips series, which is basically a little mini series, when I talk about either some of my favourite lip products, and I try out a lip product that is new to me. Today's post is probably a bit of both, something both new to me, and something that I really like

Let's take little trip back to 2020, No? Okay I don't really blame you if you want to forget that 2020 ever existed, 2020 to put it mildly was a bit rubbish, but when we were eventually set free, and shops and online retailers started opening up again, I ended up picking up a few beauty bits including this Christmas 2020 set from Benefit Cosmetics.

Showcasing one of their most recent introductions, California Kissin' Club contained 5 Mini California Kissin' Moisturising Lip Balms, in 5 of their most popular shades, which were perfect for the festive season. I'm huge fan of kits like this, that give you a chance to try a few mini products for around the same price, or sometimes even less that it would cost for the full size, plus who doesn't love a mini!

Packaged in slightly different packaging to the full sizes, these lip balms come packaged in super cute, mini silver black and clear bullets, with a typical Benefit style girl illustration.

To call these babies just lip balms though is a bit of a disservice - containing hyaluronic and wild mango butter, these balms not only promise softer, more hydrated and smoother lips, but they also claim to give up to 8 hours of vibrant, cushiony soft colour - so no they aren't just lip balms, they are tinted lip balms, and boy do I mean tinted!

From Left To Right - Berry 333, Spiced Red 11, Wine 222, Ruby 22 and Cherry 00

As you can see these certainly aren't one of those wishy, washy tinted balms that you can buy, the pigmentation levels, and colour pay off is insane. Just one swipe produces a swatch of smooth, creamy vibrant colour, that probably more resembles a moisturising lipstick rather than a tinted balm.

With a gorgeous fruity, mango / peach type taste and scent, these balms feel nice and smooth and moisturising on the lips without feeling overtly sticky or slimy. Since these have a slightly curved, flat tip, it is a little difficult to keep these highly pigmented balms within the lip line, so if you want a really precise finish then I would probably apply them with care or with a lip brush.

As you would expect from such moisturising bold colour there was a little bit of movement and transfer. I'm not sure about their 8 hour wear time claim, but for what in essence is a lip balm, the wear time wasn't bad. Whilst the initial sheen wore off in an hour or so, there was still a hint of colour left on the lips and they still felt moisturised and protected.

Berry 333

Spiced Red 11

Wine 222

Ruby 22

Cherry 00

Are these the longest wearing lip colours in the world? no probably not, are these the most moisturising lip balms that you'll ever use? also no. Despite that though I really, really like these, they taste and smell yummy, the quality is superb, the colour payoff is amazing for a tinted balm, and they feel really, really nice on the lips.

The colours in this set are some of the most vibrant and bold within the California Kissin' range, with Berry and Spiced perhaps being the most wearable ones, but if these shades aren't for you there are another 11 shades to try.

This particular kit is no longer available, but there are a couple of other mini kits that you might be able to get your hands on, including Kisses & Wishes, which contains 4 shades including Ruby and Spiced Red, as well as two new shades, Nude Rose, and Rosewood. This kit is probably the hardest to find now as it was a Christmas gift set from last year, but I did manage to get my hands on it in the Boxing Day sales, so I'll be sharing a review of both Nude Rose and Rosewood in a future post.

One mini set that does seem to still be pretty easy to find thought it the Pucker Up, & Peace Out Lip Balm Trio, which contains mini sizes of Spiced Red, Ruby, and Berry, With an RRP of £19.50 it's available from a few retailers including Boots, Feel Unique, Look Fantastic, Debenhams, All Beauty, NEXT, Escentual and Cult Beauty. If you're interested in this particular kit though I would shop around a bit if I were you, and this particular kit does appear to be on sale on a few sites.

If minis aren't your style though or if you've already tried these lips balms and you already love them, then you can get a full 3g full size in one of 16 different shades, packaged in fabulous sculptural packaging for a recommended retail price of £19 from all of the retailers that I've previously mentioned as well as direct from Benefit Cosmetics, John Lewis, and House Of Fraser. Again though being the bargain hunter that I am, I'd shop around as quite a few retailers have some pretty decent discounts either on the whole range or on selected shades.

Are you a fan of tinted lip balms? Let me know your favourites in the comments, and don't forget to contact me either via the comments section, or via social media if you have any questions x

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Monday, 25 April 2022

PR / UNPAID AD - Finding That Perfect Pillow With The Fine Bedding Company*

If you're a regular reader of my blog then you'll know just how important sleep is to me. Amongst other things I have ME / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Fibromyalgia, and sleep issues are a major part of my chronic illness experience.

As well as pain and muscle cramps and spasms that can affect the quality of my sleep, I suffer from bouts of severe insomnia, and then periods of extreme tiredness when I can literally sleep for 18 hours straight, and then still feel exhausted and like something the cat dragged in! I never feel truly rested and I always feel tired even when I'm struggling to sleep!

Whilst not everyone experiences the sleep issues that I do, I can pretty much guarantee that most of you that are reading this post either don't get enough sleep, or you have the occasional sleepless night - that's modern life for you I guess, If you do struggle with your sleep though , I've posted about a lot of things in the past that help me, such as adopting a proper night time routine, avoiding screen time before bed, and partaking in more restful activities before bed such drinking herbal teas, and meditation, but there is something else that you can do, and whilst it seems like such as an obvious, more often than not it's probably a bit of an afterthought. 

Due to the old chronic illness thing I spend quite a lot of time in bed, and it really is my sanctuary and safe space. It sounds obvious but it is so important that your bed itself is welcoming and conducive to sleep, and as well as the bed itself, that starts with your bedding, your comforter or duvet, and your pillows!

If you're having trouble sleeping, or you're waking up and feel headachy, stiff or tired, one of the things that could be affecting your sleep are your pillows! Whether you choose feather or down, fibre fill or memory foam, if it isn't the right type of pillow for you build and your sleeping position, you're opening yourself up to sleepless nights and a world of pain.

For as long as I can remember I've used proper feather and down pillows, (not the same ones obviously, unlike a lot of people, I do try and replace mine every few years or so :), and whilst the constant plumping, and loose feathers can be a pain, up until recently I'd always been fairly happy with them.

Within the last 12 -18 months or so though all of that changed. I bought new allegedly firm, feather and down pillows in that period, and for some reason I felt as though these ones weren't giving enough support, I was waking up with an even stiffer neck than usual, and no matter how much I thumped and plumped them, they kept ending up floppy and flat, and they just didn't feel firm enough.

One day though after a not so great nights sleep, I received an email on behalf of The Fine Bedding Company that was potentially the answer to my prayers.

If you an unfamiliar with them, The Fine Bedding Company are a 4th generation owned, UK based bedding company, that have been producing and retailing, down, feather and innovative fibre bedding for over 100 years. Their top company priorities are sustainability and comfort, and their UK factory works on an eco friendly, zero waste philosophy using only ethically sourced materials. They do a whole range of different bedding products including duvets, pillow and mattress protectors, toppers and enhancers, linens and pillow cases, and of course pillows.

I kindly given the chance to try out a pillow of my choice from the extensive range on their website, but with more than 20 pillows in their range, how earth do you choose one? Well The Fine Bedding Company  make everything simple, and their website features amongst other things a handy guide to help you choose your perfect pillow!

I'm predominantly a side sleeper. so according to their guide I needed a firmer, more high profile pillow, that offered extra support to my head and my neck, and that would help to align my spine. I also wanted to try a firmer pillow so the pillow that was recommended to me was the Dual Support Memory Foam Pillow.

With their first class heritage and quality, a 14 day return policy, and free delivery on all orders over £50, it's no surprise that The Fine Bedding Company supply a whole host of 4 and 5 start hotels, everything about my experience was first class! 

My pillow came via courier service and it came wrapped and then packaged in a good quality reusable storage bag with rubber logo zip fastening and rope handles - great for storing bedding, or even clothes or soft toys. Alongside my lovely pillow the bag also contained a care and a information leaflet to help you to get the best out of your pillow.

Thanks to the winter light these pictures don't really show this pillow off in it's best light but with this particular pillow you really do get the best of both worlds, it's basically two pillows in one, with one side being  made from "ultra fresh microbial treated" temperature controlled memory foam for ultimate support

That piece of memory foam then slips inside a zipped cotton pillowcase, which features an attached, fixed section of sustainable smart fill, soft breathable, light as down microfibres, which is machine washable at 40℃, so you have one side for support or structure, and one side for cloud like snuggly comfort.

Now I like height and support so I normally sleep on two pillows, but to give this pillow a good work out I started off by trying it on it's own, so I cleared all of the rest of the pillows off my bed to ensure that I was just sleeping on this one!

Given the lack of height I was expecting to struggle a little bit, but by lying with my head directly on the foam side I found that it offered more than enough support for both my head and my neck, that being said though I did miss my usual height, so after that little week long experiment I switched out and I've been using this particular pillow on top on one of my usual feather and down pillows, and I all I can say is wow!

I didn't really expect to much of a difference but by using predominantly the memory side (my favourite side by far) up over, I felt supported, and I seemed to less better,  I didn't seem to toss and turn so much, there was no middle of the night pillow plumping, and although I still experience a bit of stiffness in the morning I've definitely been waking up with less neck pain and fewer headaches.

I'm a fairly hot sleeper, and I was a little bit worried, even though that it was designed to be temperature controlled, that the memory foam would retain heat, and I would be too hot, but I needn't have worried, I still experienced that fabulous cool side of the pillow feeling, and I didn't experience any strange rubber or plastic smells, even when the pillow was fresh out of the bag! 

I've been using this pillow since just before Christmas (as you can see from the picture above ;) and I have to say that I'm a total convert to the world of memory foam, and even though I'm still to manage it, I'm definitely going to be picking up a least one more matching pillow for the other side of my bed.

The Fine Bedding Company Dual Support Memory Foam Pillow retails at £47 and it available directly from The Fine Bedding Company as well as from selected retails.

If memory foam isn't for you though don't worry, The Fine Bedding Company stock a while variety of different pillows including traditional feather and down, vegan friendly fill, as well as duvets, mattress toppers, sheets, pillowcases, and duvet covers, in other words pretty much everything that you would need for the perfect nights sleep, bar the bed that is ;)

Please let me know if you have any questions and I hope that your dreams are as sweet as all the chocolate that I've consumed over the last week and a bit was ;) Thanks for reading xx 

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Tuesday, 19 April 2022

Trimming My Stash - February 2022 Edition - Empties And Mini Reviews* **

 Hi Guys x  I hope you all had a good long weekend and I hope that you haven't eaten too much chocolate ;) As well as chilling, spending time with friends and family, watching football and obviously gorging myself on chocolate and cheesecake, over the last few days I've managed to do quite a bit of blog prep, so I've got lots of content coming up for you including some beauty and lifestyle reviews, and the return of my Luscious Lips series! First up though it's time to take a trip back to February for the 2022 edition of Trimming My Stash.

Derma V10 Exfoliating Foot Peel Tea Tree & Peppermint - 1 x Treatment
MAD Beauty Ginger Snap Cranberry Hand Cream - 30ml
AVON Advance Techniques 360 Nourishment Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo - 250ml
Beauty Pie Soul Providers Re-Energizing Dry Oil Sugar Scrub - 475g
Superdrug Nourishing Nail Polish Remover - Acetone Free - 200ml
Bath & Body Works Pumpkin Apple Shea Butter Hand Cream - 29ml
Jolen Face Wax Strips - 16 Wax Strips*
Total - 7 Items

After the disappointment of January's miserly total of 3 products, February was a much more successful month and I managed to finish a pretty respectable 7 items. I didn't really finish anything that exciting though just a few much loved and holy grail products, and a few festive thing, one of which really confused, but more on that later..

1. Derma V10 Exfoliating Foot Peel Tea Tree & Peppermint - 1 x Treatment

Strangely enough the first product in February's countdown was something that I also used and finished in February 2021. Total coincidence and not planned at all, but maybe February is the month when you first look down and see the state of feet that have been incased in socks and boots all winter - bleurgh!

My feet were pretty gross if I'm being honest, very dry, with flaky bits and cracked heels, and whilst my heels still need a bit of extra work, this foot pack has really improved the feel and appearance of my feet without a great deal of effort.

You can read a full review of them here if you're interested x Something to keep in mind though - don't use this immediately before a holiday, an event, or any occasion where you need to have your feet on show, because the dead skin will literally peel off them for WEEKS! This time around the peeling phase lasted for around 6 weeks! It looks disgusting with bits of skin flaking off with every step (sorry if that's a bit TMI), but if you have dry skin on your feet and a bit of spare time to flake and peel, then these socks are a really easy way of getting rid of it.

I've just actually bought a new packet, and the packaging has recently changed but you can usually pick these up for about a £1 from various retailers including Poundland, Savers, Wilko, The Range and Home Bargains.

2. MAD Beauty Ginger Snap Cranberry Hand Cream - 30ml

Next up the product that confused me ! I received this hand cream, and a lovely candy cane shaped nail file from my friend Helen for Christmas, and give the words 'Ginger Snap' printed in large type on the front of the tube, and the pictures of a gingerbread house, I expected this hand cream to smell like gingerbread, but look a bit further down the tube and in smaller type it says "Cranberry Hand Cream". If I'm being honest it doesn't take a lot to confuse me at time but mind blown! LOL!

Anyways despite my initial surprise that it didn't smell of cookies or baking, it did indeed have a lovely, tart, fruity cranberry type scent that reminded of some of The Body Shop's old festive cranberry scents.

Containing shea butter, this slightly off white cream, had a lovely rich and creamy texture. A little went a long way, and it absorbed pretty quickly leaving the hand feeling smooth and hydrated, with a slightly matte finish.

Whilst there are other hand creams in the MAD Beauty range, this one appears to have been a limited edition Christmas product, which is a shame because I love the scent and the texture.

3. AVON Advance Techniques 360 Nourishment Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo - 250ml

One of my biggest gripes with the beauty industry and with AVON in particular is that they keep discontinuing things! There really is nothing worse than when you fall in love with a product or 
a shade and then with no warning the brand or the product that you love disappears into the ether! 

Well I was recently looking for something in my unopened beauty stash, and I discovered several products from the AVON Advance Techniques 360 Nourishment Moroccan Argan Oil range - a line that surprisingly now been discontinued.

The first product that I finished from the range was the shampoo. Designed for all hair types but especially for dry hair, this shampoo contained Argan oil, Pro Vitamin B5 and Vitamin E, and was designed to moisturise the hair and leave it feeling smooth, silky and detangled.

With a gorgeous fresh, fruity scent, this shampoo was pearlised white in colour and had quite a thick rich texture. It foamed up really well, rinsed away easily, and left my hair feeling smoother, and less dry.

Thankfully I love all of the shampoos that I've tried from the AVON Advance Techniques range, and this one was no different. I really can't recommend the Advance Techniques range enough for quality, performance and for value for money and whilst it's great that I like the new products in the range I just wish they would stop discontinuing things.

4. Beauty Pie Soul Providers Re-Energizing Dry Oil Sugar Scrub - 475g

Next up a product that you've seen before and that you'll more than likely continue to keep seeing on this blog! I don't think that I'll ever stop buying and trying new body scrubs, but whilst this one is still available and I can afford it, I'll continue to buy it. It might be a little bit scratchy for some people but for me it's perfect - you can read my full review here. If you're a bit wary about trying Beauty Pie, honestly give it a try, you have nothing to lose. I've been really impressed with most of the stuff that I've tried. I'll be sharing a few reviews with you soon but in the meantime if you're interested in finding out more about Beauty Pie for yourself then please click on my link to find out more x 

5. Superdrug Nourishing Nail Polish Remover - Acetone Free - 200ml

Although the packaging has changed several times in the intervening years this next product itself hasn't really changed at all and it's probably been on my most bought beauty products over the last 10 years or so.

It's acetone free, it contains Vitamin E, and aloe vera, it's cruelty free, and for a nail polish remover it actually doesn't smell too bad, on and it works on even the most stubborn of polishes. You can read a full review here.

For a decent nail polish remover it's also really affordable retailing at just £1.99 for a 200ml bottle, and if you know anything about Superdrug you'll know that they love a special offer, and this particular polish remover is currently on a buy one, get one half price offer. I've already got a couple of bottles on standby and it's another product that I'll continue to use for as long as it's available, even though I seem to spend more time removing nail strengthener, and toe nail polish, than I do the polish on my finger nails.

6. Bath & Body Works Pumpkin Apple Shea Butter Hand Cream - 29ml

Next up another hand and nail related product, and it's another hand cream, this time from Bath & Body Works. From their fall / holiday range, I bought this hand cream, and the matching hand soap from NEXT Beauty and had I known better I would definitely have bought some back ups!

The smell of this hand cream was just so damn mouthwatering, it had a gorgeous spicy fruity scent. With apple and vanilla, and the warm spicy notes and cinnamon and clove , it took all of my willpower not to taste it! 

Containing shea butter, this ivory coloured cream, had a gorgeous thick and buttery texture. Despite the richness and thick feel it actually absorbed into the skin really quickly and left my hands feeling smooth, protected and moisturised, but not sticky or tacky, making it a perfect hand cream for the colder months.

I've only tried a few of the Bath & Body Works hand creams (My Mam loves the Rose one), but I'm so impressed with texture, the moisturising benefits, and the scents. The one drawback is the UK pricing with an average 29ml hand cream retailing at around £8. Alas this fragrance I believe was a limited edition but my fingers are tightly crossed that it will make a triumphant return later on in 2022, and believe me I will be buying a few back ups this time ;)

7. Jolen Face Wax Strips - 16 Wax Strips**

Finally another product that you've seen before, and whilst this one is quite a new one to me it's something that I will definitely be repurchasing.

For the last 12 months or so I've came to rely on the cheap as chips Nair Facial Wax Strips that I used to pick up on every Poundland trip, but then I was kindly sent 2 boxes of these babies, and it was love at first rip! You can read my full review here x I think fate really has played its part here though as my local Poundland no longer seems to stock the Nair strips, so I now have a ready replacement, and since these ones are the same price I have no complaints.

February was a definite improvement on January's pretty dismal total of 3 products, so overall I'm pretty pleased to have finish 7 items in February and maybe in March as well ;) My March empties posts will be up soon, but in the meantime you can keep track of how I'm doing in the sidebar and if you have any questions or any of the products that I've mentioned in this post then please leave me your thoughts in the comments section below x

*This Post Contains Automatic Affiliate, Added Affiliate And Non Affiliate Links.
**Press Sample