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

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

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 

*Press Sample / Unpaid Advertisement / Non Affiliate Links

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 

Friday 15 April 2022

Unboxing The January 2022 Edition Of Glossybox UK - Mindful Mornings*

I'm not going to lie, 2022 hasn't started off too well for me, as well as my own health issues which seem never ending, my mam and several other family members are also struggling at the moment. It's no surprise therefore that alongside more mundane things like hair, and beauty appointments, blogging has also again been pretty low on my list of priorities.

Again I apologise for that, not only to you, my readers, but also to a few PR companies, and brands that are waiting for posts from me. I'm sorry and all I can ask is for you to be be patient, and I'll do my best to get some posts up as soon as I can.

Since my last post was a press sample lead post though, I thought I'd come back today, and make a start of my 2022 Glossybox unboxings, by sharing my thoughts on January's box. I actually shot most of these pictures way back in January and early February, so I've had a really good chance to try all of the products, and write some nice in depth reviews for you!

First up the box itself, and as you can see not much has changed, just the same box with the same classic pink and black colour way that we've all come to know and love.

Whilst the box style and colour remained the same, the big change for 2022 was the disappearance of the box information leaflet. In a bid to save paper and to provide an even better customer with an even better box experience, January's box instead included a tiny piece of paper with a QR code printed on it. 

Open via the camera on your smartphone, and you're directed to a full 20 page, online, interactive digital magazine, with beauty and lifestyle articles, as well as the usual things we've come to expect from the original in box leaflet, such as the story behind the box, more information on the products inside and a sneak peak of the next months box.

The theme of January's box was "Mindful Mornings" and the whole focus of the box and some of the lifestyle articles in the digital magazine, were all about slowing down your morning routine, making it less stressful, and about learning to leave in the hear and now.

Nails Inc Gel Rehab Strengthening Nail Treatment - 10ml - Deluxe Mini - Est. RRP £11

Now you should know by now that I'm a huge nail junkie; My polish collection is literally out of control, and nothing makes me happier than seeing freshly painted finger and toe nails! The only problem though is that my own nails, at least at the moment, are so bad that I can't really justify the time and effort it takes to do a full polish application, let alone a gel mani! As a result I'm always on the look out for things that can improve my natural nails so I was really excited to see a Nails Inc treatment product in the first Glossybox of 2022!

One of their most popular recent launches, the Nails Inc Gel Rehab Strengthening Nail Treatment, is a 10 in 1 intensive nail treatment that is designed to repair, brighten, strengthen, hydrate, and protect dry, and damaged nails.

Containing keratin rich spinach, seaweed, peptides, nitro cellulose and kale, this treatment is perfect for use in between gel manicures, and whilst I haven't used my gel system for a while, my nails before using this product were dry, dehydrated, splitting, cracking and they just wouldn't grow, so this product came at just the perfect time for me.

There are two ways of using this product, you can either use it as a base coat with regular polish, or you can use it like I did as an intensive treatment, applying two coats, twice weekly for two weeks.

On Application

Milky white in the bottle, once applied it looked more like a slightly white translucent, super glossy polish. Immediately on application, as you can see it makes the nails look better, the beds look slightly pinker, and the the lips looked whiter. It was easy to paint and it dried pretty quickly.


On Application 

After Two Weeks Of Use

Despite, that though I've got to say that the wear time wasn't that great. A couple of nails had chipped by the time it came to apply the midweek coats. and as well as the nails achieving a whiter more French manicure look, the more coats that you apply obviously the thicker the polish got, and the more it chipped and flaked. It actually chipped so much that I ended up removing it all after week 1 and starting afresh for week 2,


On Application 

After Two Weeks Of Use

I don't think that you can see a huge amount of difference in all of these before and after pictures, but in real life I think that there was a definite difference in the way my nails felt. They didn't feel as dry and flaky and they definitely felt stronger and more resilient. 

I guess the biggest compliment I can give this treatment is that when I stopped using it for a time when I was feeling pretty stressed and unwell, my nails went to pot again, with even the shortest nails just shearing off! So I'm back on it and I'm going to persevere with till I finish the bottle, and finger crossed ;) it works so I can start posting some nails of the days again.

The treatment that I received came in the old style 10ml Nails Inc bottle and Glossybox placed a value of £11 on this size. Unfortunately I can find this size or this particular packaging anywhere online, but the full 14ml size, in the new style Nails Inc bottle retails at around £15 and is available from various stockists including direct from Nails Inc, Fragrance Direct, Nail Polish Direct, Cult Beauty, Boots, and John Lewis. 

Dr Botanicals CO Cocoa & Coconut Superfood Facial Cleansing Bar - 100g - Full Size - RRP £9.90

Now, how do you cleanse your skin? Do you use a cream, a balm, an oil, or even a micellar water? It's so bizarre to think that even only 30 or 40 years ago, the answer to this question for for most people would have been soap and water.

Looking back on it soap and water was probably the first thing that I ever used to cleanse or wash my face. My mam had grown up using carbolic and coal tar soap on her face and she had never had spots so I honestly thought that soap was the way to go! As skincare moved on though and as my skin and knowledge changed, soap became a thing of the past, and almost a dirty word when it came to skincare, and that's where I thought it would remain, at least that was until I opened this box.

In this era of trying to be more eco friendly, and cutting back on excess plastic, washing your face with a solid bar and water is again becoming common place, but to call this particular product a soap though wouldn't just be wrong, it would be doing it a severe disservice. This product from 'natural' vegan, cruelty free brand Dr. Botanicals is in fact one of a new generation of facial cleansing bars.

Containing nourishing cocoa and coconut extracts, as well as vegan friendly glycerine, and black poppy seeds, this bar is designed to clean and exfoliate away dirt and impurities, whilst at the same time hydrating and moisturising the skin.

With a subtle vanilla, coconut that reminds me of something I used in the my childhood (by Cosmetics To Go?). This solid creamy white bar contains lots of black seeds.

Add a little bit warm water and it creates a very gentle, creamy, milk like foam, with just the odd poppy seed suspended in it.

It felt really nice on the skin, I tried both making a lather in my hands and then applying it to my face, and massaging the bar directly over my face. Both methods worked fine, and either way you still didn't really feel any of the exfoliating particles.


On Application 

It was easy to rinse off, and after patting my skin dry with a towel my face initially felt slightly taut, but within a minute or so it felt clean and smooth. My skin was a touch pink which isn't that unusual for me but it felt really clean and perfectly prepped for the rest of my skincare routine.

After Rinsing 

I've been using this for around 2 months now and i have to say it's really surprised me. I've experienced no extra breakouts, no dry or irritated patches, and no extra oiliness, just pretty happy skin. This bar was a world away from those old, drying antiseptic, or scented soaps that we all used to use on our faces. That being said though if your skin is drier and you like a creamier, or more moisturising cleanser, despite all of the hydrating ingredients, this might not be enough for you. If you're looking for a more eco friendly skin care option though, or if you have a normal to oily skin, or even if you just like the feeling of soap and water on your face, then this particular cleansing bar could be something different to try.

Despite a lot of retailers stocking other products from the Dr Botanicals wider range, the only place that I can find this particular product is direct from Dr Botanicals where it retails at £9.90.

Glow On 5th Lip Dew Tinted Lip Balm - Berry - 12ml - Full Size - RRP £12 / $22

In a box filled with practical products this new item was the only one for me with a bit of glamour to it, whilst at the same time having a practical side to it.

I was pretty disappointed with the first product that I tried from US brand Glow On 5th (you can read my Gua Sha review here) so I was pleased to be able to try another product from the brand brand and to give them a chance to redeem themselves.

Containing shea butter, aloe vera, and apricot kernel oil, this was basically a cruelty free, paraben free, sulfate and phthalate free tinted lip balm, that is designed to soothe and smooth the lips. Boxed and packaged in a duck egg blue tube, this lip balm has a slanted tip for easy application.

The shade that I received was Berry and I have to say that it looked quite scary in the tube, but a little less so in the swatch. For me this is actually less of a berry shade and almost like a bright coral pink, that when applied looked more like a sheer, more natural buildable pink.

It had a lovely almost fruity, floral, rose like taste and scent, and even though I couldn't see any plumping ingredients on the box, it definitely made my lips look a touch fuller. Although it does have a more lip balm like feel, the super glossy finish, scent and taste, and hint of colour reminded me a bit of a Lancome Juicy Tube, only with more moisturising benefits and a lot less stickiness.

My only complaint with this balm is that it had a tendency to migrate over the lip line and it did end up looking a touch messy. Predictably, being so glossy it didn't seem to last too long on the lips, but my lips definitely felt softer, smoother and less bitty - Glow On 5th, you have certainly redeemed yourself with this product - I'm a big fan!

The Glow On 5th Lip Dew Tinted Lip Balm comes in four shades, each retailing at $22 direct from Glow On 5th - Glossybox placed a value of £12 on this full sized product.

Mudmasky Vitamin-A Booster Blue Clay Mask - 60ml - Full Size - RRP £40.50

Something that I've found really interesting about the new digital Glossybox magazine is the fact that instead of just showing you the products that you personally received, it shows you all of the alternative items that you could have got instead.

Every subscriber receives certain core items, and then some random products from a selection and the final two products in January's box were 2 of those random products. Each subscriber received one of 4 full sized face masks from Dutch company, and mask specialist, Mudmasky. I'd tried a few of the options in the past (check out my Beauty Product Directory) so I was particularly happy to receive a new mask to me, the Mudmasky Vitamin-A Booster Blue Clay Mask.

Containing kaolin clay, bentonite clay, lotus flower water, kakadu plum, pomegranate and bakuchiol - a plant extract, and natural version of retinol, this vegan friendly mask aims to refine the pores, smooth the skin, firm and tighten the skin, and brighten even the most sensitive of skins.

Advertised as fragrance free, this pale blue mask has a very subtle fresh scent. It has a thick, creamy feel that reminded me more of a thick moisturiser than a clay mask.


You apply it to clean, dry skin and it was pretty easy to spread out and apply. It felt slightly cool on application but it warmed up to body temperature fairly quickly.

On Application

Like most mud and clay based masks, it hardened and tightened as it set but not uncomfortably so. The instructions on the tube said to leave it on until it turned white up to a maximum of 13 minutes, where as the Mudmasky website instructions were a little bit different, advising different application time for different skin types. After around 13 minutes as you can see below, there was still the odd patch of blue, but I removed it as instructed anyways.

After About 13 Minutes 

To remove it I just used a lot of warm water, and muslin cloth. It was a little bit stubborn in patches but it wasn't too hard to remove. As instructed I then applied a cold water soaked muslin cloth on my face to help tighten the pores.

My skin did look pretty pink after removal and at first it did feel a little bit tight, but after a minute or so my skin felt super smooth and clean. The pores on my nose especially looked clearer and a little bit less obvious, and to me my skin just looked cleaner, smoother, brighter and fresher.

After Rinsing 

Although I liked the other products in the box, this was really the standout for me, I was so impressed with the results and how my skin looked and felt after using it, and if it wasn't for the price I would definitely consider buying it again. This full 60ml size tube equates to an average of 10 applications and retails at around £42 direct from Mudmasky.

Naobay Vit C Body Milk - 200ml - Full Size - Est. RRP £10

Finally another random item, and in January Glossybox subscribers received either an Eyeko Spotlight Highlighter Pencil, or this product the Naobay Vit C Body Milk, definitely not a like for like option, but I would have been happy either way.

From Spanish, vegan friendly brand Naobay, this body milk contains Vitamin C and orange extract as well as aloe vera, shea butter, and avocado and olive oils, and is designed to illuminate dull and dry skin, as well as improving elasticity and firmness. 

Given the name and the ingredients I expected this product to have more of an out and out citrus scent, but instead it had a more subtle citrus scent intermingled with a light coconut fragrance.

Although it's described as a body milk, it wasn't runny or liquidy, instead it had a thicker, creamier lotion type texture.

The amount that you can see here on my hand was more than enough for my whole arm. It sank in really quickly and it left my skin looking and feeling brighter, smoother and more hydrated.

Although it didn't quite smell how I expected it to, it had a lovely summer scent and it's something that I will enjoy using, particularly in the summer months.

As per usual with Naobay products, this is almost impossible to find in the wild. There are a few Naobay stockists in the UK including Ecco Verde and Look Fantastic, but none of them have this in stock, so if you fancy trying it for yourself the secondary market such as eBay is probably your best bet.

So they were my late thoughts on the January 2022 edition of Glossybox UK. Not the most exciting of boxes but it contained lots of practical products that I'll definitely use up as well as a few surprises, mainly the Mudmasky mask and the Dr Botanicals cleansing bar x Let me know your thoughts in the comments and don't forget to check out my link to find out more about Glossybox for yourself x 

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