Friday 30 September 2022

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

Right, catch up time, now before I post a belated Glossybox unboxing I thought I'd stick up a quick and yes, late empties post for you, and whilst I will be doubling up months in some future trimming my stash catch ups, in honour of it being my birthday month, May the lucky thing gets to have a post all of its own! 

Bath & Body Works Afternoon Apple Picking Gentle Gel Hand Soap - 236ml
Derma V10 Got Buns Hun Boob Mask - 1 x Treatment
Derma V10 Everything's Peachy Booty Mask - 1 x Treatment
Keeome Hydration Therapy Mask - 1 x Mask - 25ml
John Frieda Radiant Red Red Boosting Shampoo - 250ml
Bath & Body Works Winter Candy Apple Whipped Confetti Body Scrub - 175g
Beautaniq Beauty Nourishing Mascara - Black - 8ml
Total - 7 Items

Okay, so I was one product down on April's total of 8 items, but I was still pretty pleased to have consigned another 7 items to the empties pile in the merry month of May! Since I tend to eek my birthdays out for as long as possible, I threw in a few extra self care days, and as a result I added a few unusual pampering products to Mays total. May also saw me finish a few festive ish themed items, and shock of horrors I finished a make up product!

1. Bath & Body Works Afternoon Apple Picking Gentle Gel Hand Soap - 236ml

First up a festive item or should I say a more fall or more autumnal one! As some of you might remember around this time last year, NEXT Beauty became the first official UK retailer of Bath & Body Works, and as a result I officially became a lot poorer!

With the first few items online being more fall related this was one of two hand washes that I purchased, alongside Pumpkin Apple, and just like that one Afternoon Apple Picking smelled good enough to eat.

In the gel like, liquid soap formulation, this hand wash contained aloe vera, shea butter extract, and vitamin E, and had a almost apple pie like scent with notes of apple, pear and cinnamon. The formula was gentle and non drying and a little went a very long way.

As of yet I haven't seen this scent this year on NEXT Beauty but I have already ordered both the Pumpkin Apple, and the Pumpkin Cupcake Gentle Foaming Hand Soaps; They aren't cheap at £9.50 each (although there is currently a 2 for £13 offer!) but as I say they last for ages and the scents are incredible, and I for one can't wait to see what other Bath & Body Works treats are on offer for this years fall and festive seasons.

2. Derma V10 Got Buns Hun Boob Mask - 1 x Treatment

Now as I said in the introduction, since May was my birthday month, I indulged in a little bit of extra pampering, including a hair cut and colour, and a brow wax and tint as well as trying out some new shower and body products, and some masks. As well as face masks (more on that later), on a whim I also decided to try out some...ahem...other masks, to treat some body parts that don't often (if ever!) see the light of day! 

First up boobs, and my next May empty was a boob sheet mask from Derma V10! Alas no pictures of my modelling either this or the next mask - I did take a couple of pictures, but on reflection I decided that I'd like to keep my advertising revenue ;) and I really don't think that anyone would actually like to see that anyways ;), but this or should I say these masks contained hyaluronic acid, collagen, aloe vera, vitamin E and retinol, as well as a whole host of plant extracts including chamomile, rosemary, and liquorice, and is especially designed to hydrate "your perky oar" (their words, not mine!) eek!

The masks themselves had a pink and white cupcake style design, and they had a subtle sweet coconut type scent. Size wise, these babies never stood a cat in hells chance of covering my rather ample chest, so in reality on me they looked more like pasties! 

They were pretty wet to the touch but despite that they were still pretty easy to unfold. Popping them on was a bit of a shock to the system as they were pretty cold and wet but they pretty much stayed put for the full 20 or so minutes that I wore them. After peeling them off there was a little bit of liquidy serum left over, so as per the packet instructions I patted it into the girls!

So were they perkier? Not really, but they definitely felt cooler and more refreshed, which would be perfect for that time of the month. My skin also felt softer and more moisturised. Yes, they are a bit gimmicky, but once I got over the initial dampness and chill, my boobs seemed to enjoy the experience, so you never know I might try either this one or another boob mask again in the future.

3. Derma V10 Everything's Peachy Booty Mask - 1 x Treatment

From boobs to the butt, and did you know that Derma V10 also do a butt mask? Well they do! and in for a penny, in for a pound, in my ongoing quest for a peachier bum, I gave that one a go as well. Again containing collagen, and retinol, as well as extracts of prickly pear and aloe vera, this mask is designed to give you a softer and smoother booty!

The sachet contained two decently sized, peach print sheet masks. Again they were very wet, but they were decent quality so again they were fairly easy to unfold. They had a slight fruity scent but nothing to strong or obvious.

On application they initial felt cool, wet and a touch sticky, there was then a slight tingling sensation that only lasts for a minute or so before disappearing. Unlike the boob masks these ones didn't seem to stick as well so the only real way to keep them on for the full 20-30 minutes was to lie on your stomach!

After peeling them off there wasn't too much leftover serum but I massaged it in anyways. Initially it did feel a bit sticky but it gradually absorbed leaving my derriere feeling cooler and refreshed and maybe a tiny bit smoother, but on the whole they didn't make a huge difference, and my butt definitely didn't feel any peachier. To be honest I think that one was a little bit more of a gimmick and whilst I wouldn't rule out me trying another butt or thigh mask in the future, I'm way more likely to try out another boob mask.

I picked up both of these masks in my local Poundland, but you can also pick them up in stores such as The Range, and Savers.

4. Keeome Hydration Therapy Mask - 1 x Mask - 25ml

Continuing with the mask theme, and for the first time in a while I decided to brave my skincare drawer and try out one of the numerous facial sheet masks in my stash and I found this one from Korean inspired beauty brand, Keeome. 

Alas like so bits and pieces in my extensive beauty stash, this brand and this particular products seem to be long gone, which is a real shame.

This vegan friendly, and paraben free mask contained natural white mulberry extract, a key antioxidant and anti-aging ingredient, as well as a high concentration of hyaluronic acid to combat dryness and fine lines. Designed to replicate a full on spa visit and professional facial experience, this was claimed to smooth, plump and brighten the skin.

Made of 100% natural micro fibre cotton, it was immediately obvious that this was a quality sheet mask. It was very, very wet, and there was a large amount of fruity scented, slightly oily liquid left over in the sachet, but it was still fairly easy to unfold.

On application it was still very wet, and as a result a lot of the excess cool feeling liquid ran down my face and neck and into my eyes, which was slightly stingy. In the 25 minutes or so that it was on my face though it dried out slightly but it still felt quite cold and damp.

When I removed the mask my skin was covered in a layer of lightweight, oily like serum. Unlike a lot of sheet masks that tell you to massage any excess liquid into the skin, the instructions on this sachet said to rinse any excess away with warm water, and to gently pet the skin dry. Afterwards my skin looked a touch pink, but it looked and felt really clean, it felt smoother, more hydrated and it had a real glow to it, perfect for any birthday girl!

I really liked this mask and I think it's a real shame that it no longer seems to be available; the official website appears to be offline, and the brands Facebook page doesn't appear to have been updates since 2018 - I think I originally received this mask in a Birchbox, and I actually found another one in my stash, so I think I'm going to keep it for a special occasion.

5. John Frieda Radiant Red Red Boosting Shampoo - 250ml

Birthday month equals pampering and there is nothing that makes you feel better than a good hair cut and a splash or two of hair dye, and fresh colour means the reintroduction of some colour maintaining and boosting products into my hair care regime.

If you're a blonde, a brunette, or even if you have grey or silver hair, there are a plethora of colour enhancing and maintaining products out there, but if you're on the ginger to red spectrum there isn't really a lot out there, which is strange really when you consider that red hair starts to fade pretty much the minute you step out of the salon!

Anyways this particular product seems to be one of the few 'red' shampoo on the market and it whilst it doesn't really impart any extra red colour on the hair, this shampoo which contains pomegranate and vitamin E, smells lovely and fruity and it leaves the hair looking really healthy and shiny.

I've mentioned this shampoo quite a few times on the blog, so have a little search to find out more. Even though I'm now well overdue both a cut and colour this is something that I will continue to buy and use, that being said though if you know of any other red toned shampoos or if you can recommend anything else to use then please let me know in the comments below x 

The John Frieda Radiant Red Shampoo retails at anywhere between £6 and £7 and is available from various retailers including Boots, Tesco, Ocado, and Feel Unique. They also do a matching conditioner which I also love, but if you want a real red colour boosting conditioner then I may have found something even better, which I will be sharing with you in another upcoming empties post x 

6. Bath & Body Works Winter Candy Apple Whipped Confetti Body Scrub - 175g

Next up another product from Bath & Body Works and alongside Warm Vanilla Sugar, this was the scent that started a whole new and predominantly long distance obsession! I've already mentioned it about a dozen times on the blog especially over the last 12 months or so but Bath & Body Works Winter Candy Apple is probably one of my favourite ever scents - sweet sugary apple, warm rose, sweet yet tart citrus, and cinnamon and maple, leads to something that to me is absolutely mouthwatering .

I was only really that familiar with the body wash, the body cream, and the hand gel, but the launch of the range into NEXT Beauty last year introduced me to a whole load of new products in the Winter Candy Apple scent, and this was one of them!

I do love a good body scrub, and this one looked like a bit of fun for the festive season! Containing shea butter, sugar and vitamin E, this one was predominantly white in colour, and had quite a creamy, fluffy texture. The cream contained small exfoliating particles, and little pink /red and blue / green sprinkles!

It was super pretty and obviously it smelled amazing, it was surprisingly hydrating, and it rinsed away easily, but for me it just wasn't scrubby enough. If you don't like really strong, gritty scrubs, then you would probably like this one but personally I prefer something on the rougher side so I probably wouldn't repurchase this one.

As of yet I haven't seen any Winter Candy Apple products on the NEXT website but fingers crossed they'll be added soon and then I can stock up x

7. Beautaniq Beauty Nourishing Mascara - Black - 8ml

I'm guilty of a lot of things and faux pas when it comes to beauty, probably one of my biggest sins is continuing to use products long after the use by recommendations. If it still works, it hasn't changed texture, and it doesn't smell funky then I'll probably keep using it.

This mascara came in the March 2021 edition of Glossybox, but I didn't actually end up reviewing it until September last year, so when it eventually bit the dust in May, it had been open for around 9 months instead of the recommended 3, whoops! Anyways you can read a full review here, but in short it was a good everyday mascara, nothing spectacular but it didn't clump or dry out the lashes. Like most things the price has now increased and it now retails at £19 direct from Beautaniq.

So they were my very late May empties, as per usual if you have any questions please leave them below and I will see you soon with another catch up post that will probably be a Glossybox unboxing xx 

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

Tuesday 20 September 2022

A Piercing, A Passing, A Primark Fail, And Pain! - 2 Weeks In LouLouLand

Hey peeps, it's been a couple of weeks since I last posted, and what a few weeks they've been! I had every intention of posting sooner but with the events of the last week or so it's been a bit of a balancing act for some of us on social media, wondering whether it's okay to post or whether or not some people might see it as being a bit disrespectful. It all depends on your view of the monarchy I guess - To be honest I'm not a huge fan of the whole institution, and the pomp, and inequality of it all, but even I've shed the odd tear or two. I can completely understand people being indifferent or critical but for me that doesn't mean that you can't be respectful, the same way you should be if anyone has lost a loved one. Thankfully though today a sense of normality seems to have returned and it was nice to see the news readers wearing cheery colours this morning and long may that continue.

Anyways apart from that I've actually had quite a busy couple of weeks. After cancelling god knows how many times, on Monday 5th September I actually made it to the Metro Centre for the first time since December 2021!!

Unlike some people I know, I wasn't there every week, I only ever went to real shops about once a month, but an unenforced 9 month absence is something of a record even for me! It's been a crappy year health wise for both me and Mummy Lou, and it seemed like every time I was well enough to go she wasn't, and vice versa. Finally though the stars aligned and I made a trip to one of my spiritual homes.

I had two main reasons for going  - number 1 to get a birthday pressie for Mummy Lou, and number 2, to spend some of my own birthday money on something that I'd wanted for a long, long time..

No, I didn't get a tattoo, I got a piercing! After debating it for a long. long time, I eventually took the plunge and got my left daith pierced by the lovely Kelly at Doc Black Ink.

I'd been fancying another piercing for quite a while, and I loved the look, and slightly secretive aspect of the daith piercing, and even although there doesn't seem to be a lot of solid evidence, I was also intrigued by the fact that some people find that it helps with headaches and migraines, however I had once been told by someone else that my daith was just too small and tight to pierce, so I decided to pop into the shop, and get a second opinion.

After speaking to someone on the reception desk, and talking to Kelly, she said it should be fine to do, and it was, it was a touch awkward but she was skilled enough to do it without any problems, just one thing though when a piercer tells you that the process might be "a bit nippy" what they're probably trying to tell you is that it might hurt a bit, and I'm not going to lie, it did!

It was a combination of stinging and pressure, and it continued to throb for a good 24 hours or so afterwards, and even the slightest touch maybe me want to jump through the roof, thankfully though (touch wood) just over two weeks later now the pain has pretty much gone, and whilst I still can't sleep on it till it's fully healed, or wear ear pods (I've bought some cheap wireless headphones from Poundland that are actually pretty impressive!), so far so good. My ear seems a touch dry and flaky in patches, but I'm keeping it clean with saline spray, and looking after it so fingers crossed in 6 months or so, it will all be nicely healed and I can start buying some pretty jewellery for it!

I honestly can't recommend Doc Black Ink highly enough, they're are really convenient (they are upstairs in yellow mall opposite Primark), you don't need an appointment for piercings, it was really clean and hygienic, and all of the staff were really nice, and Kelly especially did a really good job of putting me at ease and making sure I was okay, so much so in fact that I'm already planning my next piercing or two, maybe another upper lobe / cartilage piercing, or maybe a helix? Let me know what you think I should get in the comments, and I'd also love your recommendations for places to buy nice daith jewellery x 

I went for my piercing straight away, and thankfully I was okay enough to do a bit of shopping afterwards. I picked up a few things for my mams birthday, and then I headed to another one of my happy places, Primark, and do you know what lovely readers, I left feeling pretty disappointed!

Maybe I just didn't really need anything but it was just an unsuccessful trip all round, the little people hadn't gone back to school so it was still stupidly busy and I'm being serious when I say there was virtually nothing in the entire store over a size 16! Just racks upon racks of 8's, 10's, 12's XS, S, and M's! Talk about a confidence destroyer! I saw a few things I liked but finding anything that I liked enough to buy in my size proved to be an impossible task, so I only ended up spending a massive £13.50, and that included £3 on a t-shirt for Mummy Lou! Disappointing but I thought I'd share my buys with you anyways.

Yes, I had to do it, I continued the ear theme of the day by picking up a set of 6 pairs of celestial style earrings for £3.50. The set contained 3 pairs of studs, including a pair of clear crystal like stars, a pair of plain circular blue crystal studs, and pair of gold tone triangle shaped dots. The set also included 3 hoop style dangly pairs including a pair with beads and blue crystal detail stars, a pair of crystal hoops with beads, and moons, and a pair of plain hoops (which can also be worn alone) with a chain and a star plaque charm.

If you can wear cheaper earrings then to be honest you can't go past Primark. The jewellery section didn't really wow me this time around but I absolutely love sets of earrings like this because if you have multiple piercings it really takes the effort out of deciding what to wear, and who doesn't love moons and stars, just don't try and pierce your eyes with them! I've recently got lost in piercing Tik Tok and I can't believe there are people out there who try and pierce their own ears with Primark earrings! eeek!

The next thing that I bought it something again that I'd wanted for a long time. I used to have one of these years ago but alas it got into a fight with a cat and lost, no I'm not going to say how lol but I'd meant to replace it and I'd just never got round to it.

These things really are a godsend for some many reasons, first up they help you keep your bag more organised, fill it up, pop the things that you reach for most into the pockets, attach your keys to the lanyard, and because of the light colour you can find what ever you want straight away in even the darkest and deepest of bags.

If you're a handbag junkie like me, handbag organisers also make it really easy to move the contents of your bag from one bag to another. I do like to switch my bags up depending on my outfit or mood, and this makes the job so much easier just move the organiser from one bag to another, and you're good to go. This is actually a pretty decent size so if you use smaller bags then it probably wouldn't really work for you, but personally I love a good tote bag, so this one is currently entrenched in my Coach Chelsea Hobo with room to spare.

Finally I had a look through the beauty section, and again nothing really stood out but I did manage to pick up 3 beauty products, and 2 of these were reduced! First up a hair brush, and not just any hair brush, it's a Care Bear hairbrush! It's hard to believe but it's been 40 years since the Care Bears were first introduced, and when I was tiny (ok and maybe still now!) I was obsessed with the Care Bears, I had lots of cuddly bears, the wallpaper, the duvet set, the books, and countless rubber and plastic bears - I loved them! In fact I think I still have some of my collection packed away. 

I was and still am a huge fan, and I've bought quite a few bits to celebrate their 40th anniversary including some jewellery and t-shirts from Shein, but alas I think I missed out on most of Primark's offerings but I did manage to get this Cheer Bear paddle brush that was reduced to just £2.

Sticking with both the reduced and har care theme I also picked up this hair care kit from their Paradiso range that was reduced from £6 to just £3.

The kit included a gorgeous orange and pink marbleised tropical leaf design tangle teezer, wet brush style detangling brush. I have quite a few of these but they never come in wrong as they also make quite good cat brushes, and this is a particular pretty one.

The main reason that I bought this set though was from the hair mask, I am slightly obsessed with hair masks and I'm always on the look out for new ones. Packaged in an Ojon, Sol De Janeiro style tub, this one contains argan oil, as well as jojoba and coconut oil. I've got to be honest and say that on opening the tub I wasn't that impressed, I haven't tried it yet but it just resembles more of a thicker, fresh smelling conditioner rather than having a proper thick mask like texture, but you've never know appearances can be deceptive and it might surprise me, I'll let you know my thoughts in a future empties post x 

The final item that I picked up is something that you've seen before although not in this packaging or under this name. Understandably since I was last in Primark lots of things have changed and that included my favourite tea tree wipes, which are now named Clear + Cool Facial Cleansing Wipes. They are still biodegradable though, they are still just £1 for 2 packs and they still smell the same so it's just the name and packaging that seems to have changed. I don't really use these on my face i just use them as a general freshening wipe and here's a tip, if your NARS rubberised packaging has gone sticky, then these wipes are great for removing the sticky rubber, which is actually pretty scary when you think about it!

Whilst the Primark trip was a bit of a fail, I did manage to get my piercing, and my mams birthday pressie, and I enjoyed a normal shopping trip, which was something that I'd really missed. 

In the days that followed Mummy Lou had a nice birthday and although I had to cancel one family visit, I did manage to see some family members before the pain and exhaustion kicked in again and painkillers once again became my best friend. Alas that's the trade off anyone with chronic illness has, do something fun, good or even something that's considered normal and spend days recovering, that's just the way it is! Thankfully I'm now feeling a little bit more with it so I should hopefully be able to get another post or two up in the next week or so, including a long promised empties post x 

Thanks again for sticking with me and don't forget to leave me your piercing and jewellery recommendations and of course any questions that you have on my daith piercing or on my Primark haul x Thanks for reading and I'll see you soon x 

Saturday 3 September 2022

Nails Of The Day - Orly Color Blast - Rose Chrome Foil

Hi Guys x I hope you are all having a nice weekend, It's raining quite heavily here today so I've been keeping cosy and working on a few blog posts starting off with a nails of the day from the Orly Color Blast range.

Although the regular Orly range is still alive and kicking I can't seem to find many of the Color Blast polishes online bar a few on eBay, and Amazon. From what I remember I think that they were originally on sale in Superdrug in the UK, and I actually remember buying this particular shade because my mam saw someone wearing something similar and kept going on about how nice it was.

I don't think Rose Chrome Foil would ever win any awards for the most creative of names but it's certainly pretty accurate. Described as a rose pink metallic foil, it's an almost cool toned rose gold, crammed full of smooth sparkles.

In a slightly different shaped bottle to the other Orly polishes I own, the polishes in the Color Blast have a ribbed, rubber grip style lid for improved application, and a long medium to thin brush, perfect if you have smaller or shorter nails.

I'm not going to lie if you're a polish perfectionist like me, this particular polish will frustrate the hell out of you. You get a fair bit of coverage with the first coat but for full depth of colour you really need two or three. The trouble with it being a smooth foil is that you can see every single mistake, and brush mark. I'm probably wearing about 3 coats here because I kept trying to perfect but try as I might you can still see the odd imperfection. The temptation is to apply one really thick coat but you'd probably wait an age for it to dry and smudge it in the meantime - so if you have a colour like this go slow, apply thin coats and give it a few minutes to try between each one.

If you aren't as much a perfectionist as I am, then all you'll see is a gorgeous, glossy, smooth finish, metallic foil with just a hint of sparkle. Drying time as I say wasn't bad and the wear time was actually even better. After a few days I noticed some minor tip wear, and it was another few days after that before it started to chip. Bear in mind though it's one of those polishes that once it chips you can't just paint over it and touch it up, as I say polishes like this literally show up any imperfections, so it's easier just remove the polish from the offending finger and repaint it.

I don't think that my issues with this polish are really anything to do with the formulation, the bottle or the brush, I always have similar issues with foil and metallic shades it's just the way that the shades translate, and I think that I am just too much of a perfectionist for them. That being said though, if you don't look too close, and fixate on the brush marks, it's actually a very nice, hardwearing polish, that I've actually worn two or three times now, because it literally goes with any outfit; It's sort of a neutral with a sparkly dressed up twist, and Mummy Lou has always commented about how pretty it is when I've worn it (her own nails are too short for polish, and I'm sorry for saying this but she's also a bit of nail biter!). 

As I say I can't find this particular polish anywhere online now but I'm sure most brands will have a similar rose gold metallic in their inventory, and Orly actually have a shade Rage, in their main line that looks similar, if a little pinker, and there us also a colour in the Orly BREATHABLE range, called Fairy Godmother which also looks similar x Let me know your thoughts on this polish and I'll see you soon with an empties post x