Sunday, 24 November 2013

Empties #13

I seem to have managed to use a different font in the above photo to the last few empties photos... odd...  Anyway, here we are again - 5 items plus a wee sample included too.

Christmas is so soon now, it's scary!  I'm dreading it this year though as it's the first (and hopefully last!) Christmas I'll have spent working full time in retail.  Retail + Christmas = Hell.  Sadly I will be working Boxing Day, I'm so gutted, however I've managed to avoid it for the past few years so it's probably my turn anyway!

St Ives Apricot Scrub
Thoughts: I've literally had this for years so I finally decided to get rid of it.  I've had heard some things said about the particles being too rough for your skin and also Caroline Hirons saying never to use a scrub on your face anyway, use an exfoliating toner instead!  Good riddance!
Cruelty-free?: Unknown, doubtfully.
Repurchase?: No.

Lush Eau Roma Toner Water
Thoughts: I love this stuff, it's so refreshing and because it doesn't contain any alcohol or chemicals it doesn't dry out my skin or make it feel tight.  I use it after an exfoliating toner (REN Clarifying Lotion) to rehydrate my face.  This is my 3rd bottle of Lush's toner water and I've already bought myself a big bottle of Breath of Fresh Air.  £3.95/100g here. Vegan.
Cruelty-free?: Yes.
Repurchase?: Yes.

Neal's Yard Remedies White Tea Enriching Facial Mask
Thoughts: I got this free sample when I bought NYR eye make up remover a few months ago.  I managed to get two uses of of the tiny wee tube which is pretty good, however it really didn't 'wow' me at all.  £25.75/50g here.
Cruelty-free?: Yes.
Repurchase?: No.

ELF Translucent Matte Powder
Thoughts:  I've been trying to finish this for ages actually!  I decided that as it's nearly finished I would use it until the end of the week and then get rid of it.  It was an okay powder but not very translucent - it definitely had some colour to it which is unfortunate.  £3.73 here.
Cruelty-free?: Yes.
Repurchase?: No.

John Frieda Luxurious Volume Dry Shampoo
Thoughts:  I received this as a PR sample along with some other items from the Luxurious Volume collection.  It worked okay but definitely not as good as Batiste and it had a quite a strong aerosol smell to it.  It was as if there wasn't enough powder coming out the the spray as I had to use quite a lot to see any effect.  I don't even know how much this is because I can't find it on the Boots or Superdrug websites...
Cruelty-free?: Yes.
Repurchase?: No.

Dove Beauty Care Body Wash Cream Oil
Thoughts:  I've been trying to use up my large collection of non-CF shower gels and moisturisers that I've collected over the years and I've definitely made a good dent in it!  This came in a set of two where the other one was Silk Glow and it was lovely however this one was nowhere near as nice.
Cruelty-free?: No.
Repurchase?: No.


Wednesday, 20 November 2013

The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil

I discovered The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil on Katie's blog and really wanted to try it as she said it was approved by Caroline Hirons - excellent! - and she was using it as a pre-cleanse, or first step in a double cleanse, to remove make up which is just what I had been looking for.  Shortly after I went onto The Body Shop's website and as usual, they were having a sale so I picked up the cleansing oil for £6.50 instead of the full price of £10 which is for 200ml.

I've been using this almost every night to remove my make up, it even works brilliantly on eye make up.  I have been looking for my 'Holy Grail' eye make up remover for a while now and I think I've found it, even better that it's a normal cleanser so you don't need a separate product!

It has a handy pump on the top which makes it easy to dispense.  I use one pump and rub it over my entire face and eyes - particularly into eyelashes to remove mascara.  If I am feeling a bit lazy and not going to cleanse again afterwards then I will rinse with water - it emulsifies with water unlike a plain oil - and remove the excess with a damp flannel, then finish with toner and moisturiser.  I've had this for about a month now using it most days and I've still got loads left, I would definitely buy this again.

My only real complaint with this product is that the pump is a bit strong and if I don't cup my hand around it it will end up halfway across the bathroom!


Wednesday, 13 November 2013

NOTD: All Hail The Queen

If you remember back to my recent wishlist post I said I would like another Butter London nail varnish to add to my lonely little Disco Biscuit, so the next time I was in Boots I picked up All Hail The Queen!  After quickly swatching it on my finger I was quite disappointed, it was so sheer and streaky, so it put me off trying it properly for a while.  However when I finally did I was quite pleased with how it turned out, after 3 coats that is!  You could probably get away with 2 coats if you are very careful to get them even.  All Hail The Queen is a neutral brown with a slight scattered holo through it which is really pretty.  It is quite similar to China Glaze Fast Track which you can see here which is lighter with gold shimmer instead.


Monday, 11 November 2013

The Vegan Kind Box #1

[via with permission]
As soon as I heard about The Vegan Kind box being launched, I knew I had to sign up!  Even though I am not vegan - more a fussy pescatarian - but the idea of getting a box full of 100% cruelty free items really appealed to me.  I always said, if someone made a cruelty free beauty box I would sign up in a heartbeat so although this is more a lifestyle box, it's good to know if any beauty items are included they will be vegan and cruelty free.  Other than the fact it sounded great, I also found out it was started by one of my Scottish blogger friends Karris, so I wanted to support her in her amazing venture.

My box arrived on Monday which was a pretty quick delivery but I live relatively close to her in comparison to the rest of the UK so that could have been a factor.  Luckily my dad was in to get it off the postman - this bad boy would definitely not fit through your letter box!  The box is enormous compared to any other monthly boxed I've seen!

Inside, at the top there were a few sheets of paper including a lovely little welcome newsletter introducing themselves, a list of all the samples and a recipe card.  Every month there will be a recipe card in the box and on month 3 you get a binder to store them in - so cute!!  Also, since the box is based around helping animals, each month 10p from every box will be donated to a different animal charity which I think is such a lovely gesture.  Then underneath are all the goodies:

  1. Crystal Spring 50g Salt of the Earth Travel Deodorant (unisex) This is applied to damp skin and leaves a thin layer of natural mineral salts on the skin which prevent the formation of body odour.  Personally I prefer antiperspirant rather than deodorant but I am intrigued to try this, perhaps keep it for less busy days though! link
  2. Clearspring Organic Miso Bouillion Paste - Concentrated Vegetable Stock You probably would associate miso with Japanese food but this can be used in the place of any other stock in soups and stews.  I've been making a lot of soups recently so I'm looking forward to trying this out instead of my usual Knorr cubes! link
  3. Living Naturally Soapnut Sample Bag This is probably one of my favourite items from the box simply because of how bizarre they sound!  Soapnut shells can be used instead of detergent in your washing machine even though they are a fruit, what?!  They can be used a few times before being composted and they are 100% natural with no chemicals in them at all.  They are also naturally conditioning so you don't need to use fabric softener either.  I am quite excited to try them actually - how sad am I?? link
  4. Goody Good Stuff Fizzy Sweets 25g One thing I did miss when I stopped eating gelatine (in sweets, not raw... gross) was jelly sweeties!  I can get some from Tesco but I'm quite far away from one and there's only a couple of flavours I like, they're also only suitable vegetarians not vegans.  Needless to say, these did not last long!  They are very sour, and very fizzy!  I didn't love the flavour but only cos I'm not a massive fan of cherry but other than that they were comparable to Haribo!  I'll definitely be looking out for these and hopefully try different flavours, as they're available in places I have nearby like Asda and Waitrose. link
  5. The Vegg 1.56oz This is more for the actual vegans as it's an egg yolk replacer, however I do plan on trying the french toast recipe on the front - I'll need to buy soya milk to make it with first haha!  It's great to know these products are out there. link
  6. QI Tea Samples Unfortunately I don't drink tea so I've passed these onto my parents to try! link
  7. Koolbadges This was added in as a little bonus which is really cute!  Koolbadges is ran by a vegan married couple who are based in England.  They hand make all their badges and source everything from the UK to keep environmental impact to a minimum, and recycle everything where possible.  They supply badges worldwide with 6000 designs to choose from! link
So there you have it!  I won't be doing this for every single month as I know myself how tedious the beauty box type posts can be after a while... but I wanted to share The Vegan Kind's first box with you.  If you're interested in signing up the link to their website is here, and it costs £10 plus £2.99 P&P.


Friday, 8 November 2013

WoodWick Trilogy Candle

[via with permission]
I first saw these mentioned in one of Fleur De Force's monthly favourites videos and loved the sound of them so one was immediately added to my birthday list!  

Woodwick, as the name suggests, are different from other candles in that they have a wooden wick rather than the normal stringy ones.  Also when lit the wick gives off a pleasant crackling noise which  I love!  It's so soothing and sounds just like you've got a lovely wood fire burning away in the fireplace.  I've also noticed that when you blow it out it doesn't have that acrid burning smell that you often get - Yankee, I'm looking at you!

The candle I got is a 10oz Trilogy in Winter Forest which combines Enchanted Evergreen, Velvet Woods and Frasier Fir fragrances.  I wanted some sort of Christmassy scent but as I really dislike cinnamon I went for this one which smells just like a real tree which is what we always get!  The morning after burning it I can come into the living room and still smell it subtly lingering in the air, lovely!

Unfortunately I was so excited to burn it when I first got it I didn't take a photo - hence the stock photo - but below are some photos of it in action.  I think another great feature of the candle which isn't shown in the top photo, is that it comes with a smart wooden lid which then doubles as a mat to protect the surface you're burning it on - such a good idea!

In order to get an even burn you need to have it lit for at least 3 hours to let the wax pool reach the side of the jar to stop it from burrowing down unevenly.  Also you must break off the burnt section of the wick before relighting.

The candles are available here: the 10oz ones are £15.99, and you can also get a bigger 22oz one for £22.99.  They also do lots of other home fragrance products including candles called Ribbonwick which I am very intrigued by!

I would definitely buy another one of of these, I just wish I had somewhere local which stocked them so I could smell before buying as they aren't cheap and it would suck to buy one only to find out you don't like it!


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