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 ;)

Before 


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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