Thursday 25 May 2023

A Very Late Trimming My Stash - August 2022 Edition - Empties And Mini Reviews*

Well looking out of the window today it definitely looks as though summer is here, or at the very least on its way! The sky is blue, the sun's out, it pleasantly warm, the birds are singing, and the ambiance is only being spoilt by the council cutting the grass outside my window!

All of this sunshine is making me think back to last summer, and to say that it was a warm one, with July and August seeing some of the hottest days in the UK since records began. Normally my monthly empties posts reflect either what I've been doing that month, how I've been feeling or the weather, or the temperature, but looking back to August 2022, bar the odd item, all of my empties were pretty much just basics. 

Tresemme Colour Enhancing Mask - Warm Red - 200ml
VEGAN By Happy Skin Original Skin Essence Toner - 100ml
Beauty Pie Renewed Density Anti Hair-Loss Ampules - 14 x 8ml
AVON Advance Techniques 360 Nourishment Moroccan Argan Oil Conditioner - 250ml
AVON Advance Techniques Reconstruction Shampoo - 250ml
MineTan Body. Skin Rapid Recovery After Sun Gel - 50ml
Sunday Rain Scrub Away Exfoliating Cubes Charcoal - 8 Cubes - 150g
Total - 7 Items

Yeah, not the most exciting of months by any stretch of the imagination, but I managed to go one better than I did in July 2022 and I managed to finish 7 items, including a few must haves, a few things that you've seen before, and a couple of newer loves.

1. Tresemme Colour Enhancing Mask - Warm Red - 200ml

First up the first of 4 hair care products in this post, and this one is all about the colour! I've coloured my hair for years now, dabbling with everything from blonde streaks, to the darkest brunette, to red and blonde 'Ginger Spice' streaks, but at the moment I'm loving the red tones, cherry, burgundy, pillar box - if it's red based, bring it on!

The thing about red based colours though is that they have a tendency to fade quite quickly, so in order to keep them looking their best you either need to keep colouring your hair, or you need to integrate some colour care products into your hair regime.

The trouble is though that products for red hair just aren't that easy to find, so when I spot something, i usually end up buying it on the spot. I originally bought this particular product when it was on offer in Superdrug, and I have to say it one of the best colour based hair products that I've ever used.

Made by affordable salon inspired brand Tresemme, this product is basically a colour enhancing deep conditioner / hair mask. Containing colour pigments as well as argan and jojoba oils, you apply it as you would any other conditioner or mask to damp hair after shampooing, and then you can leave it on for anywhere between 3 and 15 minutes before rinsing it off. I always try to leave it on for as long as possible to get the full benefits but you can easily see and feel a difference even after 3 minutes. I usually only use it once a week and that's enough to maintain my colour you can also eek it out by adding a little bit to regular conditioner.

As well as just being a great hair conditioner that leaves the hair feeling, soft, nourishes and detangled, it also gives the hair a great shine and it really seems to enhance the red tones in my hair, so it looks better for longer.

The one drawback if you can call it that is the colour of the product itself, it really us a bright red and it resembles a combination of ketchup and berry compote, so try not to move your head about too much when you're using it or you may have to give your bathroom tiles a clean! It can also leave a bit of residue on your hair, something that you'll probably already be familiar with if you're a fan of red hair dye, so watch what you're wearing, be prepared to stain a towel or turbie twist or two at least temporarily and sleep with your head on an old towel, or invest in some dark pillowcases (I'm currently using the black satin self tan pillowcase protectors from NEXT which are really good!), and enjoy your fruity smelling, glossy red locks!

Alas this stuff isn't that easy to get a hold of now, it's long gone from Superdrug and when I last saw some in Morrisons of all places, I bought the last 3 bottles that they had on the shelf. The blonde and silver shades are still available here and there but the only place that I can still find 'Warm Red' is now on Amazon where it retails at £9.95.

2. VEGAN By Happy Skin Original Skin Essence Toner - 100ml

Next up a skincare product and it's something that you've seen before. This skin tonic came in the February 2022 edition of Glossybox UK, and you can read a full review of it here.

This was a really nice product to use, it was gentle on the skin, and it had the most gorgeous orange blossom like scent and I would definitely have considered repurchasing it if wasn't for the high price tag for what is quite a small bottle. It is another one of those shop around products though and whilst it's still selling for £34.99 for a 100ml bottle on the official VEGAN By Happy Skin website, it's slightly cheaper on Sephora retailing at around £19.99 and I've also found cheaper still on secondary markets such as eBay.

3. Beauty Pie Renewed Density Anti Hair-Loss Ampules - 14 x 8ml

Now, whether or not it's down to chronic illness or medications, I can't really say, but what I can tell you is that I think I lose way more hair on a daily basis than the average person. The shower drain is constantly full of hair, every bobble or scrunchie has a clump or hair wrapped around it, and there is a reason that doesn't involve my two long haired cat that we have an anti hair wrap vacuum cleaner!

I've always used decent products and even though I no longer abuse my hair with Sun In spray and heated hair tools like I did when I was in my teens, it sill falls out! Needless to say I'm not obsessed with, and always on the look out for anti-fall and hair growth products.

If you're a regular reader of my blog then you'll know that I subscribe to Beauty Pie, a scheme where you can either pay a monthly or a yearly subscription, and that allows you to buy their own brand, high quality beauty products for a fraction of what they would cost on the high street, or from a designer or high end beauty brand.

I'm not going to lie it can work out expensive, to justify the cost of the subscription and to not waste it  there is almost an obligation to buy something, but I've been pretty impressed with all of the bits that I've tried and there are some real gems in their inventory.

After seeing the words anti-hair loss on my screen I remember ordering these when they first came out in early summer last year, and it's safe to say I'm a bit of a fan!

Inside the plain but embossed Beauty Pie box you get 14 glass ampoules that are filled with an anti-hair loss solution as well as two plastic nozzles that fit onto the bottles. The colourless, water like serum in the little bottles contains Zinc, to promote healthy hair, arginine to moisturise and condition the hair, Niacinamide to reduce oil and sebum on the scalp, larch tree extract, and Redensyl™, which is an ingredient that has been specially created for thinning hair to condition the scalp, to help reduce hair and help to promote thicker, and denser hair. With an independent study finding that 90% of users agreed that their hair looked and felt thicker after 12 weeks, there was no question that I had to try it for myself.

Unlike a lot of hair growth products and regimes these ampoules were really simple to use. When you first start using them it's best to do a month long intensive treatment, so depending on the length of your hair you apply 1/2 - 1 full ampoule a day, to a dry or towel dried scalp, and then you just massage the liquid into your hair and scalp. Even on my length hair I only used half a vial a day so my box lasted the whole month, it doesn't add any residue, or stickiness to the hair, and the solution does seem to absorb quite quickly so if you wanted to use a full vial then I don't think it would cause any issues bar having to buy another 2 boxes to do a one month treatment. Then after your first month is complete you can then either do another intensive treatment or you can move on to a maintenance programme and use 1 vial a week.

The clear water like liquid does smell a little odd, slightly herbal with a bit Deep Heat thrown in for good measures, and whilst it did tingle a little bit when I first used it, as I say there was no stickiness, and it didn't really alter the feel of my hair.

Since this product looked so innocuous I was pretty sceptical at first but by the end of my first month my hair seemed to have more volume and it definitely felt a bit fuller, so I bought another box and another one, etc. and whilst I personally did another intensive months treatment, I have now switched to using a couple of bottles a week as more of a maintenance programme. I guess if anything that's my one complaint, if something works you really need to keep buying it and using it to see results. I'm currently using yet another box of these treatments but after that I do have a couple of other things to try including something that you may have seen on Tik Tok, but I will more than likely be buying another box of these in the near future.

One box of 14 x 8ml ampoules retails at the non member price of £56, or if you're a Beauty Pie member you can pick up a box for £28 excluding postage and packing.

4. AVON Advance Techniques 360 Nourishment Moroccan Argan Oil Conditioner - 250ml

Next up the first of two hair products from AVON and this one was a rediscovery. It might not really seem like it but I really am trying to use up some of the older products in my stash. I started doing a real deep dive into some long forgotten drawers and boxes last year, and that's something that I'm continuing to do now in 2023.

I finished the matching shampoo back in February 2022, and unlike a lot of people who used way more conditioner than shampoo, it's pretty typical of me that I took another 6 months to finish the conditioner!

From AVON's discontinued Moroccan Argan Oil range, this conditioner as you would expect contained argan oil, as well as vitamin E, and Pro Vitamin B5, and was designed to hydrate the hair and transform the condition of dry hair.

It had a lovely creamy but lightweight texture, and like all of the other AVON conditioners that I've tried, it was easy to apply and rinse out and it left the soft, and detangled, and with a gorgeous fruity scent.

Alas this particular range has been discontinued but there are still some really good hair care products to be found in your brochure including the next item...

5. AVON Advance Techniques Reconstruction Shampoo - 250ml

Yes, you've most definitely seen this particular product in quite a few previous empties posts, and even though I'm now trying to use some of the random shampoos in my beauty stash, you'll definitely see this product again in a future empties post.

From AVON's Reconstruction range which is designed to restore damaged hair and to to prevent breakages and split ends, this shampoo contains keratin and panthenol, vitamin E, and avocado oil, and it does exactly what it says it does. It foams well, it cleans well, and it leaves the hair feeling and look clean and shiny, and on my quite coarse textured hair.

The only thing i would say is that since I first started using the Reconstruction range, the scent recently appears to have changed - the lovely fresh, fruity aroma appears to have been replace with a warm, muskier floral scent, and whilst it's not awful by any means, I do prefer the original scent.

Never mind it's still a really good value shampoo, with this 250ml size retailing at around £3 and the 400ml size retailing at £4.50, but don't forget AVON nearly always have special offers on things like haircare so keep an eye on the website or in you AVON book via your local AVON rep x 

6. MineTan Body. Skin Rapid Recovery After Sun Gel - 50ml

Finally an item more in keeping with the sun and the heat of July and August 2022, and it's another product that you've seen before. Yes it's an aftersun and you hopefully first saw this in early 2022 when I eventually got round to reviewing the contents of the May 2021 edition of Glossybox UK.

You can read a full review of it here, but this combination of aloe vera and niacinamide was perfect to soothe sun exposed skin, even if it did melt a little bit due to the heat!

I can't find this particular size anywhere online but the larger 177ml size is available for £13.99 direct from Mine Tan.

7. Sunday Rain Scrub Away Exfoliating Cubes Charcoal - 8 Cubes - 150g

From moisturising and healing the skin to preparing it for some sun exposure, by giving it a good scrub, and surprise, surprise the final item that I finished in august 2022 was a body scrub. I've talked about these little things from Sunday Rain a few times before but sadly I think that this is going to the last time that I talk about this particular body scrub.

Admittedly a bit gimmicky this tub contained 8 large grey / back sugar cubes, that contained a combination of sugar, shea butter, sweet almond oil, sunflower oil and charcoal powder, that are designed to scrub, soften and purify the skin.

One cube is enough for 1 bath or shower, and all you do is just break up the semi solid cube and massage it on to damp skin like you would any other body scrub, before rinsing it away. With a pleasant fresh scent, and a really lovely scrubby texture, as well as being fun to use these cubes also left my skin feeling super soft, and as a bonus they are also great for travel.

I've had a good search online and unfortunately I can't find these charcoal cubes anywhere, so I've came to the conclusion that they may have been discontinued. You can still get the Rose Water, and the Watermelon cubes though from various retailers including Amazon, Superdrug and Beauty Bay, and I recently spotted a few Sunday Rain bits on my local TK Maxx amongst some other good stuff ;) so it might be worth checking them out x 

If you made it to end thank you x That seemed to be a pretty epic post, but they were my very late August 2022 empties, pretty hair heavy I admit, but another 7 items were added to my 2022 total which is all thay matters. Again if you have any questions on any of the products that I mentioned, or on anything else that you fancy, then please leave me a comment below x 

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

Sunday 21 May 2023

PR / UNPAID AD - Sleepy Showers And Scrubs With The Lush Co-Mingle Body Scrub*

Unlike a lot of bloggers with disabilities and chronic illness I don't actually talk about my health that much - my blog has always been a place to escape rather than dwell on my limitations but every now and then I throw the odd thing into the conversation and today I'm talking again about my issues with sleep! 

As you would probably expect from a condition named 'Chronic Fatigue Syndrome', some of the main symptoms are tiredness, and exhaustion. Even if I've had a real 'lazy' day, I can go to bed and sleep solidly for 12 hours plus, and still wake up feeling just as shattered as I did when I went to bed! It's both annoying and debilitating, but what a lot of people don't realise though is that ME, CFS, or whatever it called this week, can also cause chronic insomnia! If you've ever suffered from the inability to sleep, even if it was just a one off, then you'll know just how frustrating it can be. I regularly have nights when despite being almost delirious with exhaustion, I just don't sleep! If I'm having one of those nights, there isn't always a lot that I can do about it, but I can at least try and prevent it by adopting a good sleep routine.

I've talked quite a lot on the blog in the past about establishing a good sleep routine, so you should know the drill by now - establish a regular bedtime, have a comfortable bed and bedding, cut out the caffeine and have a warm drink, say goodbye to electronic devices, and have a warm but not too hot bath or shower.

I love having a shower just before bed, I don't know whether it's the warmth or the sound of the water, but it really helps me switch off and wind down. Sometimes I'll just grab the first shower product that I come across, but most of the time I'll trigger 'operation sleep' and use something lavender scented. At the moment I'm using the shower gel and the body lotion from the Lush Sleepy range, which has a beautiful relaxing lavender scent. When I'm having a late night, pre bed shower I normally just foam up, rinse, dry and then moisturise - no treatments, extra products or anything that takes too much time or effort, recently though I was sent a product from Lush that works perfectly with the Sleepy range, and amps up your nighttime routine, without too much extra effort, and yes it's one of my favourite ever things, a body scrub!

As much as I love my body exfoliators when you're feeling tired, adding in that extra step is often a bit of a chore, that you could probably do without, but if you love the idea of a body exfoliator without the effort then Lush Co-Mingle could be the answer to your prayers!

Designed to be quick and easy to use, Co-Mingle is the perfect product for that late night shower. It's basically a 3 in 1 product - a gentle body scrub, and a body wash with built in moisturisers, so you can just scrub, wash and go!

Crammed full of shea butter, cupuaco butter, cocoa butter and argan oil, as well as natural exfoliators bamboo stem extract and tagua nut powder, this scrub is pale pink in colour, and has a creamy, almost whipped mousse like texture, permeated with very fine but noticeable exfoliating particles.

Just apply it as you would any other body scrub to damp skin, and massage it on to the skin. In seconds it goes from a creamy exfoliator, to a creamy, milky foam, cleansing and gently exfoliating your skin. Even though the particles are quite small they still rinse away fairly easily and the skin is left feeling clean, smooth and smelling heavenly.

Oh yes, the smell! As you've probably already guessed this scrub has the same beautiful lavender scent as the Sleepy range. This isn't your old fashioned powdery lavender it's has a gorgeous, relaxing aromatherapy like lavender scent that makes this product perfect for those nighttime baths and showers. 

It obviously works perfectly as an accompanying product to the similarly scented Sleepy Shower Gel, or Showder, or even the Sleepy Bubble Bar, or the Deep Sleep Bath Bomb, but if you're extra sleepy then you could just use this use this over your whole body, I'd probably avoid "ahem' certain areas but the particles are fine enough, that it shouldn't cause too many issues elsewhere. So all you really need to do is take this one tub into the shower, and then because of the moisturising ingredients, you can either dry yourself off and pop your PJs straight on, or you can do what I do and team it up either with the Sleepy Body Lotion, or Lush's fabulous Dream Cream, and then you'll be in the land of nod before you know it!

You should know by now that I do love a full on scratchy scrub, and whilst this one is never going to win any awards for its scrubbiness, it should win an award for its convenience, and for it's fabulous scent. When used alone or with some other similarly scented products, it really helps you get in to that bedtime mind set whilst at the same time giving your skin a much needed treat.

Lush Co-Mingle Body Scrub comes in a 225g tun and retails at £20. It's available direct from Lush and from your local Lush store x 

I'd love to know if you have a specific nighttime routine and what products you use to help you get a good nights sleep, so please let me know in the comments and don't forget to let me know if you have any questions x 

*Press Sample / Unpaid Advertisement / Non Affiliate Link