Sanctuary Spa Mande Lular Sensuous Foaming Shower Burst

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I was given this for a Christmas by my grandma and I was really intrigued, I’ve never used a foaming or mousse type product in the shower before so I wasn’t sure what to expect.

The Sanctuary Spa Mande Lular Sensuous Foaming Shower Burst has shea butter, jojoba oil and Indonesian spices to give that spa luxury and iconic scent that Sanctuary Spa is known for. I personally really like the smell of Sanctuary’s products. They remind me of relaxing spas and smell exotic without being overpowering. However, I know some people aren’t a fan, so it’s not a universal scent.

The product is really fun to use. You pump a little into your hand and it comes out in a clear gel form. If you then rub it together in your hands or onto your skin, it foams up to become a creamy white mousse. This makes it super easy to massage into the skin, and I find I waste much less than I do when using normal shower gel.

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Overall I’m really impressed by this product. It’s really unique and a lovely addition to my shower experience, I’d definitely recommend it!

Lush Prince Charming Shower Gel

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Prepare yourself, I’m now going to rave to you about a shower gel. The Lush Prince Charming Shower Gel is limited edition for Valentine’s Day. I have a huge drawer full of shower gels I haven’t used yet, but when I smelt Prince Charming, I had to buy it anyway. It’s hard to explain how amazing it smells!

The main scents which combine to make Prince Charming are marshmallow, vanilla and pomegranate. Apparently Lush use pomegranate juice because it is beautifully cleansing on the skin. The finished product is really sweet and sugary smelling, but isn’t as sickly as Snow Fairy. The vanilla gives it a little creaminess and the pomegranate keeps it fresh. The fragrance is perfectly balanced and quite addictive!

I guess there isn’t much else I can say about a shower gel. It lathers well and leaves you feeling clean. So if you like sweet, creamy or fruity scents, head down to Lush to pick this up before its gone!

December/January Empties

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I have gathered quite a stack of empties to share with you over December and January. I’ve been in the mood to use up lots of half empty things basically. As always, any products I have done full reviews of, I will only mention briefly, but the main review will be linked. I hope you enjoy!

Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector – good grief, this product lasted me one entire year! Now that’s what you call value for money. If only it didn’t stink so much.

Soap and Glory Flake Away scrub – I got this travel size pot of Flake Away in my Boots advent calendar and started using it straight away. Like all Soap and Glory products, it smells really sweet (“aromas of leafy greens, bergamot and mandarin, with floral and fruity middle notes, and a soft, sexy, musk, oakmoss, amber and woody drydown” according to the Boots website) which I really like. I’d say it’s more of a luxury product than a heavy duty scrub as the particles are very fine. It won’t revolutionise your skin care, but it will make you smell great!

Lush Catastrophie Cosmetic Fresh Face Mask – I was really pleased with this mask, but unfortunately it’s on the empty list by default. I always forget about the fresh face masks because they live in the fridge not in my bathroom. I think I only ended up using this once or twice. What a waste!

L’Oreal 3 in 1 Purifying Micellar Solution – I bought this product back when everyone in the beauty community started going crazy for it. It is supposed to remove makeup, unclog pores and tone the skin all at the same time. I found it irritated my eyes a little and made the skin of my eyelids quite sore. I also felt like my skin was never truly clean afterwards, so I didn’t rate it much.

Nina by Nina Ricci Perfume – This perfume has lasted me a whole year (my boyfriend bought it for me last Christmas) but I have sadly run out now. I’m sure it won’t be long till I repurchase it though. I really love Nina Ricci’s perfumes, they smell great, and their staying power isn’t too bad.

Rimmel Exaggerate Undercover Shadow Primer – This shadow primer wasn’t too bad actually. It stops the tell tale eyeshadow creasing that shows how long it was since you applied it. However, I don’t like the fact that the wand starts to look dirty after only a couple of uses (picking up the foundation around your eyes). It shows up all the more because it’s white. That makes it feel quite unhygienic and unappealing. I also found that it’s consistency changed towards the end of the tube, so it doesn’t last very long either.

Body Shop Raspberry Shower Gel – This stuff smells absolutely amazing. It’s definitely my favourite Body Shop scent so far; delicious!

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser – I’ve tried a couple of cleansers since finishing this and nothing’s as good, so I’ve already re-ordered it! Enough said!

L’Oreal Ever Riche Nourishing & Taming Shampoo and Conditioner – I really love the smell of these: rich and creamy like shea butter. The conditioner was absolutely fantastic, which surprised me because I am very picky when it comes to conditioner. The shampoo worked really well too but it didn’t knock my socks off.

Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Concentrated Hand Cream – This is the little hand cream that’s been in my hand bag for dry hand ’emergencies’. I really don’t like the formula and I definitely won’t be repurchasing!

Autumn Lush Haul

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Today’s post is one of my favourite types: a haul post! I went a little bit crazy in Lush today, completely on a whim, I just went in to browse. The Autumn/Winter limited edition items are in store now and I couldn’t resist stocking up! Here’s what I bought:

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Tea Tree Toner Tab and Dream Steam Tab – These adorable little tabs are designed to be dropped into a bowl full of hot water to infuse with the steam. The shop assistant told me that the Tea Tree Toner Tab is great for spot prone skin as it delivers a good concentration of tea tree which has antibacterial properties. The Dream Steam Tab is more for relaxing and calming your face at night. It contains a blend of different essential oils like Lavender and Chamomile.

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I picked up three different limited edition Halloween products: Lord of Misrule Bath Bomb, Soot Ball Bath Bomb and Pumpkin Bubble Bar. 

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I also picked up an old favourite, the Dragon’s Egg Bath Bomb. If you don’t know, this bath bomb fizzes away to a really rich, gold centre with glitter inside!

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Cupcake Face Mask – I haven’t tried a Lush face mask before so I decided to start myself off gently by getting this one as it’s sort of their ‘starter’ face mask. It’s designed for young adults and people with oilier skin. I would describe my skin as combination: normal and oily, so this certainly won’t hurt it. It smells incredible, just like a pot full of chocolate mousse!

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Rose Jam Shower Gel – I spotted this limited edition shower gel by the till and I quickly popped it into my basket. I expected it to smell a bit “old granny” like rose scented things often do, but it really doesn’t. It smells like a lovely mix of rose, vanilla and berries with a really fresh hint of lemon. Yum!

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July / August 2013 Empties

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I seem to have got through an excessive amount of products in the last 6-7 weeks so now seems the perfect time for an empties post. As there are so many, I thought I’d group some together. I’d better get started!

Body Products

Firstly, I have used up two little miniature bottles of shower gel – Radox Shower Smoothies Soul Soother and Soap & Glory Clean on Me Creamy Clarifying Shower Gel. I discussed these in more detail in a previous post so I won’t go into too much detail, but you can read more here if you would like.

I also finished my Sanctuary Mande Lular Sensuous Body Scrub. If you read my previous review of this product (here), you’ll know that I didn’t really rate its exfoliating power.  I have to say it grew on me the more I used it, but not enough to persuade me to repurchase it. I think I’d rather try something different. It did however prove to be invaluable when I had a bit of a fake tan disaster a few weeks ago. More on that to come in a future post!

Finally, I used up a Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Wash. I never got round to reviewing this properly so I’ll give you a few thoughts here. I absolutely adore the smell of the Sugar Crush range. It’s incredibly sweet – a mixture of sugar and lime. However, I was disappointed to find that the smell of the body wash really doesn’t linger on your skin at all.  The body wash itself lathers well and I think the pump feature is a clever idea. £6.50 seems a little expensive for a body wash but I have to say this has lasted me absolutely ages – a pump or two goes a really long way, particularly if you use a body puff or exfoliating glove that helps to lather it, rather than applying it with your hand. I wouldn’t repurchase this particular product, but I will definitely try more of the Sugar Crush range.

Hair Products

I managed to finish two different conditioners in the last few weeks because I had two that were half – three quarters empty. The two I finished were the Soap & Glory Glad Hair Day Conditioner which I reviewed here and Pantene Pro V Classic Care Conditioner. The Pantene is my absolute go-to conditioner and I have already repurchased it. I have never found anything which leaves my long, thick hair feeling as smooth, silky and hydrated.

I also finished a bottle of Herbal Essences Beautiful Ends Shampoo. I love this shampoo and, no matter how many different shampoos I try, I always end up going back to this. It smells really delicious and fruity like raspberries and it makes my hair really glossy and leaves the ends in excellent condition.

Face Products

I finished a bottle of Garnier Clean & Fresh Invigorating Toner. I used this toner religiously for a couple of months at the beginning of the year and then I totally forgot about it. When I found it again I realised how much I missed it. It feels so refreshing and clean on your skin. There have been a lot of questions recently in the beauty world about whether toners are necessary any more. I’m no expert, but all I can say is that on occasions, this toner picks up bits of make up which my cleanser has missed, so in my mind it’s worth it just for that. I think I’ll try a couple of different toners out of interest and then probably go back to this one!

The eyelash curlers aren’t exactly ’empty’ but they are on their last legs so I am throwing them out. They were Boots own eyelash curlers which cost £4.50. They were perfectly adequate and lasted me a long time, but I much prefer my Tweezerman curlers which I am using now.

Miscellaneous 

Last but not least I also finished another candle. This is the Glade Warm Orange and Spice candle which I absolutely love. 

Body Shop haul

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I stopped in Body Shop on my way home from work the other day with the intention on stocking up on some of their shower gels which are currently in the sale. I ended up leaving with quite a few other things as well, so I thought I would share them with you all.

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There is a range of different shower gel scents in the Body Shop at the moment which I haven’t tried before – Raspberry, Papaya, Passion Fruit and Blueberry. I don’t know how new they are exactly, but I only started seeing them relatively recently. I picked up Raspberry for myself and Blueberry as a gift for someone. I can’t describe how delicious the Raspberry one in particular smells! You may remember that I included it in my July beauty wishlist here.

I also bought a Lemon shower gel and the Lemon soap to go with it. If you haven’t tried Body Shop shower gels before, you really should. They smell amazing, later really well and are great value for money. At the moment a lot of shower gels are in the sale (the Raspberry and Blueberry shower gels were £3 each). The Lemon shower gel was £4 and the Lemon soap was £2.

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As it is the summer, I decided it’s about time I give my feet some TLC so they look great in sandals and flip flops. First of all I bought the Peppermint Soothing Foot Scrub (£7). The sales assistant in Body Shop told me I should use this once a week to exfoliate my feet and help to smooth down any spots of hard skin. I also bought the Smooth and Soften Foot File (£6) to help remove any hard skin if I have particularly stubborn patches. Finally I bought the Peppermint Intensive Foot Rescue (£9). You can use this after exfoliating your feet to soften any remaining hard skin and rehydrate your skin if your feet are feeling tired and dry after spending a day in the sun. Hopefully I should have lovely smooth, summer-ready feet in no time! I’ll let you know how I get on.

What are your favourite Body Shop products?

My gym bag essentials

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I go to the gym three or four times a week and there are some certain essentials which I always take with me (other than my iPod, towel, padlock etc.)

1. Shower gel, shampoo and conditioner – This is a rather obvious one! To save space, I try and carry small bottles. At the moment I am using up the small travel size Radox shower gel I reviewed in my testing products post. My conditioner is not in this picture as I left it in my shower, but it’s a Pantene Pro V conditioner. The shampoo is Herbal Essences Beautiful Ends which smells of raspberries and makes my hair really glossy. I bought a set of travel bottles from Boots and I squeeze a bit of shampoo at a time into the bottle so I don’t have to carry a huge full size bottle with me. This is far more economical than buying individual mini bottles.

2. Deodorant – The gym is the only time I use roll on deodorant. I know how annoying it can be when people spray their strong deodorant near you, so I use the roll on to be considerate to people around me. I really like the pomegranate and lemon verbena scent of this Dove Go Fresh deodorant. It smells really fruity, fresh and clean.

3. Baby wipes – For the odd occasion that I am running horribly late and don’t have time to shower, I like to carry some baby wipes with me so I can quickly freshen up before I head off.

4. Tangle Teezer – Now that I know how amazing Tangle Teezers are, I wouldn’t ever brush wet hair with anything else! It glides through any knots like they aren’t even there and doesn’t hurt or pull at all. Definitely worth the money. I am considering investing in the smaller fold up travel version to keep in my gym bag permanently.

5. Talcum powder – I find it’s very difficult to thoroughly dry yourself after a shower at the gym, particularly if you are pushed for time, so I like to keep some talcum powder with me just to absorb any excess moisture before I change.

6. De-frizz and heat protect cream – We all know that hair dryers can be very harsh on your hair and I also find that my hair goes very frizzy when I use a hair dryer on it. I like to carry a product like this – the L’Oreal  Professional Tecni Art Thermo-Smoothing Milk which is a styling cream you apply to wet hair to protect it from heat and also prevent it from going frizzy.

The gym bag I am using is from Nike. It has a long strap to wear across your body and two handles so you can carry it on your shoulder if you prefer. It has three separate compartments with zips – two main compartments and a smaller pocket on the side. It isn’t the biggest bag I’ve used for the gym, but it’s more practical for walking around with than a holdall and with some strategic packing, I can fit everything in.

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Testing products – part one

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Ever been really excited to try a new product, only to find you absolutely hate it, but you don’t want to throw it away because you spent so much money on it so you persevere even though you don’t like it? A great solution to this is buying or collecting samples or travel sizes of the products you want to try before you invest in the full size.

I have been doing this a LOT recently. Here are some of the products I have been trying and what I think of them:

Simple Kind to Eyes Eye Make Up Remover – A friend sent me this product in the post to try. You can buy the miniature versions of a lot of Simple’s products in places like Boots, particularly in the summertime, as they are sold as travel sizes. I must say the miniature version of this product is quite useful as you can pop it in your make up bag if you are travelling.

This product is great at removing standard eye make up, but not good at removing waterproof mascara – you need to scrub quite a lot. I personally don’t find that this is “kind to eyes”. My eyes are quite sensitive and are notoriously bad with eye make up removers. When I tried to use this product to remove mascara, my eyes ended up so sore I could hardly open them for at least 5 minutes afterwards. However, I have actually bought the full size bottle now because I find it is excellent for touching up eyeliner. I put a tiny bit on a cotton bud and use it to remove that little bit which might have smudged or not been as perfectly drawn as I’d like. This is far more precise than trying to use a make up remover wipe or pad and I personally think more hygenic than the make up corrector pens you can buy.

Schwarzkopf BC Oil Miracle – My hairdresser gave me a small sample of this oil after my hair cut was finished the other day (I say gave, I actually bought it). It is essentially a finishing oil which you can apply to the main body and ends of your hair to make it look glossy and salon styled. I’d avoid the roots so you don’t make them look greasy.

This product smells quite strongly of roses. It’s really good – so fresh and floral. I wouldn’t say I have seen it make a massive difference to how my hair looks, but I love wearing it as perfume for my hair! I guess my conclusion is, I’m enjoying using this sample, but I won’t be spending £10-15 on a full size because I just don’t think it does enough to justify that price.

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Soap and Glory Clean on Me Creamy Clarifying Shower Gel – I have heard amazing things about Soap and Glory, so I bought several of their products to try. This shower gel has a creamy, slightly fruity scent, although it is nowhere near as sweet as the Sugar Crush range. It lathers well and leaves the skin feeling smooth and clean. So will I be buying the full size version? I’m afraid not. Whilst I don’t have anything particularly bad to say about this shower gel, it didn’t wow me. The full size bottle is £6 which is a fair bit more than your average shower gel. This would have needed to have wowed me for me to justify a spend of £6 when I could buy a product that does the same thing for £2.99.

Radox Shower Smoothies Soul Soother – This is another travel size bottle which is freely available in places like Boots and Superdrug. I really like the scent of this shower gel – it’s really sweet. It contains chamomile, blackcurrant and cranberry, so it’s both creamy and fruity at the same time. It also lathers well and is an easy shower gel to use. However, I absolutely hate the cranberry seeds which are included in the shower gel. I find they get everywhere you don’t want them (!) and are really irritating and also entirely unnecessary! SAM_0187

Elemis Skin Clear Mattifying Moisturiser – This moisturiser came free with a magazine (either Glamour or Cosmo, I can’t remember which) which is another great place you can find samples of products to try. This moisturiser is designed to tackle oily prone skin, reduce redness and minimise blemishes. It absorbs really well and seems to tackle any dry patches quite well, however, I can’t quite express how much I hate the smell – a really strong tea tree scent. I guess some people might like this as it is admittedly a refreshing and clean smell, however, it just smells too overpowering to me and I would prefer something much more subtle on my face all day long!

 

Beauty Wishlist: July

There are so many products I am lusting after at the moment. Here are just a few:

Source: lizearle.com

Source: lizearle.com

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser

So many people absolutely rave about this cleanser. It is designed to firstly cleanse the skin and remove all traces of make up, and secondly dislodge any stubborn dead skin cells. If you are interested in trying this product it is definitely worth ordering off the Liz Earle website as you get a free travel-sized product to try with each order. There are a number of different options for you to choose from, for example, the 100ml starter kit with a muslin cloth is £14.75, 200ml is £26.25, 50ml is £9.25, 30ml is £5.50 and £15ml is £3.25! A product for every budget! This will definitely be the next cleanser I buy.

Source: lush.co.uk

Source: lush.co.uk

Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner

I was given a little tester pot of this body conditioner a few months ago and I have been wanting a full size pot ever since. This product is essentially a moisturiser which you apply to damp skin once you get out the bath or shower. It’s the perfect addition to your routine. It smells amazing – a rich, creamy scent with a hint of rose – and leaves my skin silky smooth. Unfortunately, I have yet to justify the £15.5o price tag!

Source: bodyshop.co.uk

Source: bodyshop.co.uk

Body Shop Raspberry Shower Gel

I smelt this in the Body Shop in London Euston station whilst waiting for a train a couple of days ago. It smells heavenly! Raspberry has always been one of my favourite scents. If you have used a Body Shop shower gel before, you’ll know that they lather really well. This product is just £3 on the Body Shop website at the moment. I think I may have to stock up!

Source: boots.com

Source: boots.com

No 7 Beautiful Skin Night Cream

A friend recently suggested to me that my skin could probably benefit from a good moisturising routine. I am quite bad at moisturising regularly at the moment, but this is something I would like to change, and I think a new product would help me do that. I am currently using up a tester of Elemis Skin Clear Mattifying Moisturiser which I don’t think is right for my skin type and I don’t really like the smell (a proper review will follow). I find my skin gets a little oilier towards the summer time so I think I would like to try this No 7 night cream for normal – oily skin next. I really love No 7 products and I think this could do wonders to hydrate my skin and hopefully help prevent it becoming excessively oily.

What products are currently on your wish list?