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Sonic Chic Urban Sonic powered toothbrush

Today (October 4th - correction, it's actually 6th this year!) is National Smile Day and to celebrate I was sent the Sonic Chic Urban Sonic powered toothbrush* to try out.

Using an electric toothbrush is something I appear to go through stages of. I get one (a cheap-ish one I'm talking here!), I use it until the head needs replacing, I never get round to replacing the head and end up back using a standard manual toothbrush again. I'm really pleased with how straight my teeth are after years of orthodontic work (I still have a permanent retainer on the back of my top teeth) but recently I've been worrying about how yellow my teeth are starting to look. I'm concerned about using any kind of whitening treatment because I suffer with sensitive teeth and I don't think the two mix well. So I've been trying to use whitening toothpaste/mouthwashes and have been thinking about trying an electric toothbrush again. 

Sonic Chic Urban Sonic powered toothbrush

The Sonic Chic Urban toothbrush is a travel friendly toothbrush that comes in it's own case; the lid pulls off to reveal the brush head. The toothbrush features 22,000 strokes per minute and comes with one replacement head and a battery (it takes one AAA battery). The Sonic Chic Urban comes in 12 different designs (mine is Floral Peacock) and there is also a deluxe version available which comes in silver or rose gold. 

Sonic Chic Urban Sonic powered toothbrush
Sonic Chic Urban Sonic powered toothbrush

As is usually the case with electric toothbrushes the head is quite compact but it is shaped like a manual toothbrush head rather than round. I'm aware that I usually press far too hard when using a manual toothbrush, I just can't help it, and recently I've been suffering from quite a lot of bleeding from my gums. I haven't experienced that at all with this, especially as the whole toothbrush really does feel quite dainty, so I tend to go lightly with this because it does feel a little like it might snap if I press too hard (which I'm finding is a good thing). 

I love that it comes in it's own case because it's perfect for travel (I never quite know what to do with my toothbrush when I'm going away) and also at home I haven't really got anywhere to store a toothbrush at the moment that is particularly hygienic. You don't have to worry about the head being able to dry properly once the lid is on because their are three small holes in the lid so air can get in. 

The on/off switch is a little on the stiff side; at first I did actually think mine might be broken because I didn't realise how hard you need to press to turn it on. I do struggle with this sometimes but I do have problems with strength in my hands. I also like that it takes a battery rather than having to be charged via the mains. You just need to remember to have a replacement battery ready for when the battery does run out. The battery can last for 120 days assuming it's used for two minutes twice a day, I don't think that's bad at all. 

For £20 the Sonic Chic Urban is a pretty good basic level brush. If you do want to go for something slightly more advanced as I mentioned there is also a deluxe model for £30. That one vibrates every two minutes to tell you to move to a new section of your mouth, powers off after two minutes and also charges via USB. You can find both models and replacement heads in Boots stores.

Do you use an electric toothbrush?

*PR sample


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Secret Scent Box + Discount code

I might have mentioned before that I've been a bit of a perfume addict in the past; at one point I owned over 30 different perfumes. I put myself on a spending ban and tried to use them up, but in the end I ended up throwing away a lot of them as I know they deteriorate over time.

Now I try to be much more selective when I buy perfume, or ask for it as a gift, but there are so many out there it can be really confusing. I occasionally go and try some new ones in Boots, but often by the time I get home I forget which ones I tried let alone which ones were my favourite.  If you're a big fan of perfume but can feel a little overwhelmed when it comes to choosing a new one then there's a subscription box that might be perfect for you. 

Secret Scent Box

Secret Scent Box* is a designer fragrance discovery box; a monthly subscription where you'll receive three mystery perfume samples each month. You'll receive a 30 day supply, which is enough to take you through until you receive your next box. The box is letter box friendly, so you don't have to worry about being in to receive your box, and you can choose from a perfume or aftershave subscription. 

If you're somebody who likes to mix things up a bit and don't tend to stay loyal to one or two fragrances you can use the subscription to provide you with a few different scents each month. Or if like me you want to find a few new fragrances that you love you can use the subscription to help you discover them.

Secret Scent Box
Secret Scent Box

I was sent the September edition to try out. When you open the box you'll find three little sample sized bottles, the same size as the ones you might be given in department stores. They might be a small size but what I like about the bottles is they do come with a pump spray; I find the ones you have to tip on to your finger really annoying. Each one also comes with a little lid on so you can chuck them in your bag and not have to worry about them getting knocked and accidentally spraying. You'll also find a little card telling you about each scent, including the top, middle and base notes. I think this is a great idea as you can identify notes that are common across fragrances you like and this can then help you identify other fragrances you might like based on the notes they contain.

Secret Scent Box
Secret Scent Box

In my September box I found scents from Armani, Vera Wang and Calvin Klein. I've always wanted to try a Vera Wang fragrance but unfortunately for me one of the top notes in Sheer Veil is lavender; a scent I hate and a plant I'm allergic to. So far I've tried Armani Because It's You, a new scent this year that I'm currently enjoying, and next I'll be trying out Calvin Klein Contradiction. 

If you fancy signing up for your own monthly Secret Scent Box it's £15 a month with free UK & European delivery. The guys over at Secret Scent Box have also kindly given me a discount code so you can get 15% off your first box. just enter code BECKYBLOG15 at the checkout. You can sign up for Secret Scent Box here.

Is Secret Scent Box a subscription box you would try?

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*PR sample. I will receive £2 for every customer that signs up using my unique code

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The Body Shop Vanilla Pumpkin hand cream

If you've followed my blog for any length of time then you're probably aware that I'm a big fan of The Body Shop's hand creams. There are loads of scents to choose from and each year in the run up to Christmas The Body Shop usually release three limited edition Christmas scents. More on this shortly. I recently spotted on social media that there was a new scent on the block, so I headed down to pick up Vanilla Pumpkin. 

The Body Shop Vanilla Pumpkin hand cream

I am a little confused as to what the new scent is for. As I said each year The Body Shop release some limited edition Christmas scents and this does appear to have a little Christmas design on the pumpkin on the packaging. But pumpkin really isn't a Christmas scent, it's way too early to release a Christmas scent yet, and there's only one of them. So maybe The Body Shop thought they'd just jump on the everything pumpkin trend in the run up to Halloween.

These used to be a bargain at £3.50 but then they crept up to a still quite reasonable £4. They've now jumped up to £5, which I'm just about comfortable with, that's not too bad, but I'll be disappointed if they go up any more. 

To be honest, when I'm carving out a pumpkin I really don't like the smell. But when it comes to pumpkin scents I don't personally think they smell anything like raw yucky pumpkin. Actually I am quite new to pumpkin as a scent, but I do have a couple of DW Home candles in pumpkins scents which I love, and this does smell similar. Pumpkin with a creamy vanilla edge. 

As always with these hand creams it sinks in quickly leaving no residue behind and keeps my hands nicely moisturised. You really can't go wrong with these. You can find them in The Body Shop stores and online.

Have you tried any hand creams from The Body Shop?

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Afterspa Exfoliating cleansing tools

When it comes to cleansing both my face and body I do prefer to use some kind of 'tool' over just using my hands. For my face I usually use either my Foreo (which will run out soon as it's only a Luna Play) or Magnitone and for my body I use what I recently discovered is called a bath lily; one of those plastic pom pom like kind of things. I've recently been trying some face and body products from a brand called Afterspa. For my face I've been using the Afterspa Cleaning Puffs* and for my body I've been using the Afterspa Round Dual Texture Scrubber*.

Afterspa Cleansing Puffs & Round Dual Texture Scrubber
Afterspa Cleansing Puffs & Round Dual Texture Scrubber

Both of the products I'm featuring here are from the Exfoliating collection. One of the things that really attracted me to trying out these products is that each one comes in it's own little pouch complete with a suction pad. Once you open the packaging you can remove the lid/flap, attach the suction pad to the hook, pop this on the wall of your shower and this can then be used to store and dry the product. One of the problems I do have with products like this is finding somewhere to let them dry; space and hygiene wise. This will also make it easy to travel with the products.

Afterspa Cleansing Puffs
Afterspa Cleansing Puffs

The first product I tried out was the Cleansing Puffs. For £6 you get two puffs and these are like flat egg shaped pink sponges. Each one should be replaced every 60 days, so with two in the pack that is 120 days worth of use. You can use them just with water or you can use a cleanser. 

I think I've mentioned recently that when it comes to my face I tend to prefer chemical exfoliation because my skin is pretty sensitive and I find it very uncomfortable to use anything that feels at all rough against it. I bought one of the little manual facial brushes The Body Shop does once but it was far too harsh for me to actually use. Unfortunately the Afterspa Cleansing Puffs are also too harsh for me to use as they don't really get any softer when wet and feel a little 'wiry' for me. My skin does appear to be particularly sensitive though so if you don't have any problem with products like this then it might be perfect for you.

Afterspa Round Dual Texture Scrubber
Afterspa Round Dual Texture Scrubber
Afterspa Round Dual Texture Scrubber

The Round Dual Texture Scrubber is double sided with a soft side and a rougher side for deeper exfoliation. This one is £6.50 for one pad in the pack. Although I do like a bit of a rough scrub (although not too rough) on my body I found the 'rough' side of the scrubber a bit too rough for me. The softer side was much better, possibly still slightly too rough, but the issue with this side is this is the side with the handle you can slip your hand in to hold the scrubber. So when using this side you need to try and keep hold of the scrubber in some other way. 

I really like the idea behind both products but unfortunately they're both just too rough for my sensitive, easily aggravated skin. If you have tougher skin than me I would say give them a try, but go gently to begin with. You can find the Afterspa range in your local Boots store.


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Hempz Pomegranate Sugar body scrub

When I moved into my current house just over a year ago I received an email asking if I would like to try out a Hempz body lotion. Hempz wasn't a brand I had come across before in the likes of Boots or online, but I discovered that they are stocked in Sally's stores. As there is a Sally's store 5-10 minutes walk from my house I thought I'd give it a try as I could easily get hold of more if I took a liking to it. I really enjoyed using the body lotion, so when I received an email more recently asking if I'd like to try the Hempz Pomegranate Sugar body scrub* I quickly said yes.

Hempz Pomegranate Sugar body scrub

Hempz products are vegan and are also gluten, paraben and cruelty free and contain 100% pure natural hemp seed oil, which is a rich source of essential fatty acids. This also apparently provides the skin with protein, carbohydrates, nutrients, key minerals and fibre.  Shea butter conditions and rehydrates the skin and stimulating, anti-aging and anti-oxidant ingredients include ginseng, lemon peel, orange peel, grapefruit and ginger root extracts.  

Hempz Pomegranate Sugar body scrub

When it comes to my face I'm not a fan of manual exfoliation as the exfoliating bits can often be quite harsh and the sensitive skin on my face just can't take it. So I much prefer chemical exfoliation. However when it comes to the skin on my body I love a manual exfoliator; I like it to feel like it's doing something, but I still don't want it to be too harsh as that's not good for your skin. This is just the right level of scrubby and I love that as you rub it in to the skin the sugar particles gradually disappear, which I've not experienced before. It's got quite a rich, oily feeling base to it, so while the sugar particles tackle any dry, flaky patches this conditions and moisturises the skin leaving it feeling soft. Also, as you can probably imagine this smells pretty good too.

I'm just as impressed with this product as I was with the Hempz body lotion and I think they'd be amazing products used together. Hempz is not the easiest brand to get hold of but you can find their products online and the Pomegranate Sugar body scrub is £16.99. Although it's currently available from Fragrance Direct for £11.95.

Have you tried any Hempz products?

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*PR sample  

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Lush Just To Clarify Jelly face mask

Earlier this month I bought one of Lush's brand new jelly face masks and I loved it so much I decided I really wanted to try out another one. The first one I bought was Bunny Moon and this time I decided to go for Just To Clarify. 

Lush Just To Clarify Jelly face mask

Bunny Moon is one for calming and soothing and as the name suggests, Just To Clarify is for clarifying the skin. One of my favourite masks is the Elemis Papaya Enzyme peel, so when I spotted that this contains papaya I thought it might be a much cheaper option. Just To Clarify contains papaya juice for brightening, bamboo stem for exfoliation, grapefruit, bergamot and Sicilian lemon oils for a bit of uplifting and refreshing and some orange juice as well. As with Bunny Moon this one does also contain talc and just a touch of perfume, so that's worth bearing in mind if you are sensitive to either ingredient. 

Lush Just To Clarify Jelly face mask

This one works in exactly the same way as Bunny Moon. You pull of a small chunk (again I used my little spatula to make it a bit easier) and rub it between clean, dry hands to form a paste before applying it to your face. Leave for 5 to 10 minutes and then rinse off. As with Bunny Moon I'd recommend using a face cloth of some kind to remove the mask as it does 'set' again on your skin. 

When I tried a small piece in store I was very surprised to find that this is a manual as well as an acid exfoliator, there are some gritty bits in there. Because my skin is sensitive I do tend to prefer acid over manual exfoliation, but the gritty bits are just the right texture; they feel like they're doing something but aren't too harsh. You get the effect of these both when you apply the mask and then when you rinse it away.

I find both jelly masks really nice to wear. You can't smell Just To Clarify as much as you can smell Bunny Moon but they both feel slightly cooling and just feel nice against your skin. After rinsing Just To Clarify away my skin felt smooth and soft, maybe just very slightly red from the manual exfoliation, but that soon settled. Out of the two Bunny Moon is definitely my favourite, but I'm also a big fan of Just To Clarify and can definitely see me repurchasing both when I finish them.

Have you tried any of the new Jelly masks?

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Perfectil Plus Nails

Over the years I've gone through stages of taking different types of vitamins for different reasons. When I was younger I used to get back to back colds through the winter and so my mum thought it might be a good idea if I took vitamin C to see if that would help. I can't remember if it did, but I don't get that many anymore. More recently I started taking vitamin D and calcium tablets because I was concerned (and still am) about my bones and joints. I'm not sure if it helped my bones and joints in any way but one thing I did notice was my nails grew like crazy and were in really good condition. I'm not sure why I stopped taking those, I really should start up again. 

I received an email asking if I would like to try out Perfectil, which is a daily supplement designed to help improve the condition of your skin, hair and nails. There are a few different types available including ones to specifically target either your hair, skin or nails, or a max version to cover all three. There's always room for improvement in my hair and skin but as my nails weren't in the best condition at the time I was sent Perfectil Plus Nails extra support*

Perfectil Plus Nail extra support

Perfectil contains biotin for skin, zinc for hair and selenium for nails and as mine were more targeted towards nails they contained extra selenium. In each pack you get 60 tablets and as you're directed to take two a day that's a 30 day supply. They're to be taken with meals (they should only be taken on a full stomach) and should be swallowed with water rather than chewed (I haven't chewed one but I wouldn't recommend trying it). If you're not good with swallowing tablets then I don't think these will be for you as they are huge! I'm not bad at swallowing tablets at all, in fact I can take some without needing a drink to wash them down, but I struggle with these sometimes.  

Perfectil Plus Nail extra support

One of the first things you notice when you pop one of the tablets out is the smell, which I don't find particularly pleasant. It's definitely a smell that other similar tablets have but I can't really place what it is. I guess it's a natural kind of smell. As I've already mentioned these are pretty big so they're not the easiest to take and you know when you swallow a tablet and then shortly after start burping the taste of it, that can happen with these. They also come in quite large blister packs so they're not really ideal for taking out and about with you if you're eating out and so need to take your tablet then. 

Perfectil Plus Nail extra support

As I mentioned I did struggle taking these at times and along with the smell and the taste if one didn't go down well this meant they certainly weren't the nicest tablets to take. Although I did see an improvement in the condition of my nails it wasn't as big an improvement as I saw taking calcium and vitamin D and as they are also much more pleasant to take (a bit like large citrus refreshers you can chew) I would personally prefer to take those ones over these.

Have you ever taken a beauty supplement like this?

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Carmex Lime Twist lip balm

I'm pretty sure we're all a little bit addicted to lip balm. Is there anybody that doesn't use it at all? I've tried a fair few over the years and I definitely have my favourites, but one brand I haven't tried at all is Carmex. So when I received a message on Instagram asking if they (Carmex) could send me a little something of course I said yes.

What I received was a very sunny little parcel in a bright yellow envelope containing two Carmex Lime Twist lip balms* and some little packs of sweeties. This was in the run up to best friend's day, so there was one for me, one for my best friend and some sweets for us both to share (yeah she never got a look in with the sweets, we do live 100 miles apart now!). I've been giving this a try for a couple of months now so I thought I'd let you know what I think.

Carmex Lime Twist lip balm

The Carmex Lime Twist lip balms come in pretty traditional twist up and down tubs; nice and easy to carry around and don't involve having to stick your finger in a pot. The first thumbs up! The second is that these contain an SPF of 15. I don't know about you but although I do use facial SPF most days (a must if you're using retinol or similar products) I don't apply it to my lips. But yet your lips haven't really got any where to hide; if you're out in the sun they are too, constantly. So having SPF in your lip balm means they're protected. It's not a particularly high level of protection, but if you're anything like me you probably reapply quite frequently.

The primary ingredient in this is petrolatum (what you'll find in Vaseline) which is an ingredient that works as a barrier; sealing in the moisture that is already there rather than adding any. However the next highest ingredient is lanolin, which is the complete opposite of petrolatum. Lanolin is an animal by-product (so no good for vegans I'm afraid) and is what makes sheep (or more specifically, their wool) waterproof. Lanolin is an effective moisturiser that soothes and softens rough, dry skin.

I love the Lime Twist flavour; it's a little different and when you first apply it there's a nice tingle to it, and I do mean a nice tingle, a refreshing tingle. I have a whole load of lip balms (doesn't everyone?!) but this is one of my current go to's and the one (yes just one) in my handbag. I haven't suffered with really sore lips as I don't tend to in summer but it does a good job at keeping my lips soft and hydrated. I also like that there is a best before date on the bottom of each tube. The dates on my two were quite short, but I have no way of knowing how long the samples had been hanging around before being sent out. 

Prices vary but a Google search suggests you can find the Carmex Lime Twist lip balm for around £3.

What is your favourite lip balm?

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New in from Lush - Bunny Moon Jelly face mask

If you're a Lush fan then you may have heard that a few Lush products are shortly going to be retired, or in other words, discontinued. I'm not usually bothered about the Lush products that are leaving us, they're often something I've not used or are not keen on if I have tried it. This time however it is a bit of a blow that The Comforter shower cream will soon no longer be available. Knowing just how popular The Comforter bubble bar is this feels like a strange move to me and every person I've spoken to about it online feels the same. But it is going, and so I've stocked up on a few bottles. I just wish I could afford to spend nearly £30 on 1kg of shower cream...

As is usually the case when old products are discontinued this is to make way for some shiny new products to hit the shelves. So far I'm aware of two new products, and both involve jelly. There's the new jelly bombs that turn your bath water to jelly (I haven't found these in my local store yet) and jelly face masks. 

Lush Bunny Moon Jelly face mask

Lush do like to come up with some quite unique product concepts, but they don't always quite work, like the solid in shower block of sun screen that lasted for I think three uses. Jelly products aren't new to Lush, they already have shower jellies (which are slippery little buggers but do work if you can keep hold of them!) but jelly face masks are new.

There are currently five jelly masks available and they're £6.95 for 65g, so 30p cheaper than their existing masks for 10g less. I suffer with redness across my cheeks and breakouts on my chin, so I decided to go for one called Bunny Moon. This contains antiseptic and moisturising honey, soothing and balancing rose oil, calming chamomile and marigold infusion and a little comforting vanilla absolute. There is some talc in there and a trace of fragrance, so that's worth bearing in mind if you are sensitive.

To use the mask you pinch off a bit (I used a little spatula I got with a hair dye to break some off) work it between clean, dry fingers to make a paste and then apply it to your face. Leave it on for 5 to 10 minutes and then rinse off. 

Lush Bunny Moon Jelly face mask

Before I go any further I want to talk about the scent. It's unusual, but oh it's gorgeous! I think it might be a combination of the rose and vanilla with a little hint of honey. It's difficult to describe but you have to go and have a sniff in store. I don't think it's one that everyone will like, but if you do like it I think you'll love it. It's not hugely easy to break a bit off as it is a jelly so there's that whole almost suction like effect, but it wasn't too difficult using my little spatula. I used a piece probably about the size of a small marble and there was enough, but I would like to use a little more in future. It's only a small tub but I can see it lasting a couple of months if you use it once or twice a week. I thought breaking it down into a paste wouldn't be that easy either but it melts down quite nicely. It then applies easily to the face but you might want to use a mirror to make sure your application is as even as possible. 

I don't know about the other masks but this is a joy to wear. You don't need to store these ones in the fridge as they're self-preserving, but it still had a slight cooling effect and just felt lovely against my skin. You can also smell it as well, which I found very soothing. When it comes to rinsing I would recommend using a facial cloth as it does set again and splashing water on your face is not enough to remove it all. Once rinsed off my skin felt amazing. Smooth and soft and soothed (with a reduction in redness) and I actually didn't do my second cleanse (I'd removed my make-up earlier in the day) because I didn't want to risk loosing how lovely my skin felt. I then applied my evening skincare and that absorbed really well.

One thing I've never been keen on with Lush face masks is having a shelf life of only three weeks, although in general I've always found them to last longer than that. However these ones, or Bunny Moon at least, have four months, so if I do accidentally forget about it for a week or two I'm not risking it having gone off. I can't see me forgetting about this one though as I'm dying to use it again, I love it!

Will you be trying one of Lush's new jelly masks? 

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