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The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing butter

If you read my recent ready for recycling post then you'll know that I recently finished the Pixi Nourishing Cleansing balm. If you read right through to the end then you'll also know that as much as I'd like to purchase the Pixi balm (the one in that post was a sample) £18 is a little expensive for me to spend on just one product at the moment.

As a big fan of The Body Shop and an even bigger fan of the huge discounts they regularly offer I thought I'd instead give the Camomile Sumptuous cleansing butter a try. I've already tried the oil equivalent and really like that one, so I thought chances are I'll like the balm. The balm is usually £10, not a bad price in itself, but I had a 40% discount code and so managed to grab it for £6.50. 

The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing butter

I'm a little bit confused by this one because checking the ingredients I can't actually find camomile in there! I've tried Googling for the scientific name for camomile and I still can't find anything that looks right. I'm also confused because Google and my spell checker are both telling me that it's actually spelt Chamomile, so I have no idea what is going on here! I know The Body Shop can be a little bit naughty naming product after an ingredient that features very low in the list of ingredients (meaning the amounts are almost negligible), but I'd hope there is some in there.  

If this does actually have any camomile in at all then this is great for sensitive skin because camomile is very calming and unlikely to irritate in any way. It also contains olive fruit oil, shea butter and sunflower seed oil, although the latter is pretty low down in the ingredients. This one does contain a few fragrance ingredients (which a product for sensitive skin probably shouldn't really contain) but fragrance isn't usually a problem for me, as far as I'm aware.

The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing butter

When I picked this up in store and spotted it said butter rather balm I did think that this might be more solid than I was used to, but of course butter in the dairy sense is only hard if it's kept cold, so this is actually much softer than I'm used to. I'll touch on this again below.

As with any product of this type you scoop out a small amount (I wish products like this would come with little scoops, or you could at least buy them, as it's a little more hygienic) rub it between your fingers for a few seconds to start breaking it down and apply to dry skin. You can use this to remove make-up and I think this is how most people will probably use a cleansing balm/butter. But as I mentioned in my empties post I struggle to remove cleansing balms from around my eyes, so I much prefer to use products like this as a second cleanse to really give my skin a good massage, 

As I mentioned above this is softer then the balms I've used previously and at first I thought I might prefer that, but actually I don't. The Pixi Nourishing Cleansing balm was a lot thicker and I guess 'tougher' than this so it encouraged me to really massage it into the skin because, well, I had to. This one starts to soften really quickly between my fingers when I'm getting ready to apply it and by the time it has got to my face it's pretty much almost an oil. This means it glides over my skin really easily and so there's not as much massaging going on because it's not required to move the product around. I still enjoy using this, but my face doesn't quite get the massage it does with the Pixi balm. This is also so light and oil-like that it doesn't feel like I need a flannel or cloth to remove it, just a few splashes of water. I usually do use a flannel though just to make sure I am removing it all and for a quick, light bit of exfoliation at the end of the process.

The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing butter

This and the Pixi balm both contain 90ml of product, so they're comparable in terms of the amount of product you get, although they really don't look it. The Pixi pot is almost twice the height of The Body Shop, but I believe the product 'floats' slightly inside the Pixi pot whereas The Body Shop one sits right on the bottom of the tin. So which is my favourite? The Pixi one is definitely my favourite because I like how much firmer it is than The Body Shop's butter. But price wise at the moment The Body Shop wins because it's almost half the price of the Pixi one and with an offer I can get it for pushing closer to a third of the price. 

I didn't really mean for this to end up as a bit of a comparison post, but I might as well set it against what I would consider my current 'holy grail' of cleansing balms. This is definitely a very nice product, it just had quite a lot to live up to for me!

The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing butter is £10 and is available online and in The Body Shop stores. 


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Ready for recycling #2

I have a lot less products ready for recycling this time round so I can include them all in just one post without fear of boring you all to death before you reach the end of the post! When I lived at home it felt like I rarely used up products, but since moving out I appear to be ploughing through them, so I haven't left it as long this time before doing a post.

Ready for recycling #2
Ready for recycling #2

Hempz Original Herbal body moisturizer* £12.98 (post) This is a product I was sent just after I moved into my new house, so just over 9 months ago now. I certainly haven't used it consistently though, so this isn't an indication as to how long this product might last you, but with 500ml in the bottle it should last a good few months. I received the original scent, which is floral and banana, and although it maybe sounds a little weird it smells amazing. Other scents available include Fresh Coconut & Watermelon (how incredible does that sound!) and Vanilla Plum. I really enjoyed using this as it was light enough for my skin to actually absorb it and left my skin feeling soft and moisturised.
Repurchase? It's not really in my price range but for how much you get for the price then yes.

No7 Pampering Dry Oil body spray £11.50 This has been hanging around for a long time now and I'm not sure why as I really like it. I think it was part of a Christmas gift set a few years back that was probably the Boots star gift one week. I do like using dry body oils but I do get a bit frustrated that the bottle gets all oily as you use it and I usually have to wipe it down once I've finished. This has since had a make-over in terms of both the bottle and the actual formula, or at least scent, and the reviews on the Boots website aren't very good. The scent was one of my favourite things about this so I'm not sure I'd buy it if they've changed this.
Repurchase? Maybe with a No7 voucher as £11.50 is quite expensive.

Philip Kingsley One More Day dry shampoo* £14.50 (full size) As you may know I'm not a fan of dry shampoo at all, but I actually did really like this one. It's got quite a nice scent and it helped get rid of some of the oil in my hair making it look more presentable. I'm not quite sure what else to say about it apart from that! I'm a spray in before I go to bed kinda girl when it comes to dry shampoo as I think sleeping on helps it look much better when you wake up in the morning. 
Repurchase? I'd consider it but it is a bit expensive when there's much cheaper options available. 

Ready for recycling #2

Super Facialist by Úna Brennan Rose Hydrate Calming Creamy cleanser £7.99 This is looking a little truncated because I like to snip my tubes in half and try and get as much product out as I can! I think I mentioned recently that I haven't particularly been excited by any cream cleansers I've tried recently and that stand for this product too. There's nothing wrong with it at all, it does the job and does it pretty well, it just doesn't excite me in any way. 
Repurchase? Probably if it's on offer, as it is at the moment (£5.33 in Boots)

Ready for Recycling #2

Merci Handy New Wave Love & hand cream* £4.90 Merci Handy are a French brand that has made an appearance in recent Birchboxes in the form of this hand cream and previously an antibacterial hand gel. I believe there's three different scents available; New Wave, Flower Power and Cherie Cherry. I was a little concerned when I first noticed there are little blue beads in this hand cream (surely not microbeads?!) but they disappear as you apply the cream so I'm not sure what they are. This absorbs quickly and doesn't leave any greasy feeling behind but it's not really the most moisturising product I've used. 
Repurchase? No

Nivea Essential Care lip balm £1.65 I think this came as part of a little Nivea lip balm gift tin my boyfriend got me a few years back. I think this might only be the second lip balm I've ever completely used, so that should say something! I think I usually get bored and just forget about them and eventually chuck them out because I think they'll have probably got a bit yucky. This was my general go to, probably not what I'd reach for if my lips are really dry, but day to day it was what I reached for.
Repurchase? If I didn't have about a billion already then yes. You can't go wrong at £1.65! 

Ready for Recycling #2

Pixi Nourishing Cleansing balm* £18 (post) Oh I adore this product and am gutted it's finished. I was sent this to try along with Glow Tonic and I'm a big fan of both products. I don't use cleansing balms to remove my make-up because I struggle to remove them from around my eyes, but instead I like to use them once my make-up has gone to give my skin a really good massage. 
Repurchase? I would love to but it's currently a bit out of my price range. 

What have you used up recently?

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Some new skincare additions from L'Oreal, The Body Shop and Sanctuary Spa

I've added a few new skincare products to my stash recently, so I thought I'd tell you about them. So here's a little something from L'Oreal, The Body Shop (I'm sure you know by now how much I love The Body Shop!) and Sanctuary Spa.

Some new skincare additions from L'Oreal, The Body Shop and Sanctuary Spa
Some new skincare additions from L'Oreal, The Body Shop and Sanctuary Spa

L'Oreal Extraordinary Oil Facial Cleansing Oil £7.99 (here)

I decided to give this a try when I spotted it was on offer in Boots down from something like £7.99 to just over £5. It wasn't particularly easy for me to get my hands on though. I headed into my local store and found that it was priced at £19.99 down to just over £13; what I believe is actually the price for their facial oil rather than cleansing oil. I didn't want to try buying it in case it did ring up as that price and it was a major hassle, but I did tweet Boots to let them know. Despite Boots telling me they'd contacted the store to tell them to correct it I went in a further 3/4 times and it was still the same price. I ended up picking this up in another store when I was visiting family.

Despite the hassle it took to actually get my hands on this I'm glad I finally managed to. Considering it's a budget to mid-level product (depending on how you personally class the pricing) I wasn't expecting amazing things from it and it has exceeded my expectations. It tells you to use 2-3 drops (I think it means pumps), which is plenty for the not particularly heavy make-up I wear day-to-day and it works really well. It has a pleasant scent, feels really smooth and glides over the skin and gets the job done. I thought it might struggle with more stubborn mascara but it whipped off the one I've been using (a Bobbi Brown one) with ease. It also left my skin feeling soft and smooth and hydrated.

Some new skincare additions from L'Oreal, The Body Shop and Sanctuary Spa

The Body Shop Vitamin E Gentle Facial Wash £7.50 (here)

I appear to be slowly making my way through all of The Body Shop's Vitamin E product range and my latest addition is their Gentle Facial Wash. My product of choice for my second cleanse in the evening and my morning cleanser is a cream cleanser used with water, but I haven't been particularly excited by any I've tried recently. I think this might be because I'm going for more budget options (because they're in my price range right now) and although I'm not opposed to budget cream cleansers I don't think they're quite as enjoyable to use as slightly higher priced ones.

I realised I had a £5 Love Your Body voucher and as I'm a fan of the Vitamin E range and this made this only £2.50 I thought I might as well give it a try. They do a product specifically called a cream cleanser but I believe this is one you use with cotton wool on dry skin and these usually irritate my skin. So I went for the facial wash, which is a creamy product you use with water.  

It's a nice enough product, but as I said it's not hugely exciting. It works fine as a second cleanse and morning cleanse and gets my skin clean. It can strip my skin a little sometimes, but that's a problem I do have with any product used with water as water tends to suck moisture out of my dry and dehydrated skin.

Some new skincare additions from L'Oreal, The Body Shop and Sanctuary Spa

Sanctuary Spa Warming Detox Charcoal Wash £9 (here)

I think it was last year sometime that Boots obviously did a bit of blogger outreach for their Sanctuary Spa brand and subsequently a few of their products made it on to my curiosity/wish list. The two products I particularly wanted to try were their charcoal wash, which I'm talking about here, and their cleansing balm. I picked this up when it was on offer, but held off picking up the cleansing balm yet. I'm glad I did now as I'm not so sure about trying that one anymore based on my thought's on this product. 

I thought this might be similar to the REN ClearCalm 3 Clarifying Cleanser, which is one of my favourite products, but it really isn't. It's a very unusual product. It starts off as a dark grey gel that then becomes a smooth oil as you massage it on your skin and when you add water it foams. This has quite a distinctive and not particularly pleasant smell and it took me a while to place it at first. It smells like paint. Yes, paint! As in painting the walls paint. That really isn't the kind of scent I want when I'm cleansing my skin to be honest. The oil stage isn't too bad, it feels nice, but when you add water it does get quite frothy. As in when you add more water to try and rinse it off it just keeps getting more frothy and can easily end up in your eyes if you're not careful. I find it best to use a flannel to try and remove it as quickly as possible.

I just find this a bit of a strange product. I'm not sure I like the whole gel to oil to foam thing and the smell isn't particularly pleasant. It does cleanse my skin, does help clear my congested chin a little and doesn't strip my skin, despite the foam, but I just don't really enjoy using it. Also I don't think I've actually detected the 'warming' effect at all.

Have you tried any of these products?

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L'Oreal Elvive Colour Protect Low Shampoo Gentle Cleansing Cream

This is the sort of product I would have been over the moon to have discovered when I was (briefly) a red head. A budget colour protecting shampoo that doesn't contain SLS?! You see there are a lot of shampoos around that claim to be colour protecting, but yet they contain sulphates (SLS), which strip colour. So a colour protecting shampoo containing SLS is along the same lines as a freakshake claiming to fat free! To find a shampoo that can actually claim to be colour protecting, i.e. sulphate free, you'd have to look to high-end to the likes of Paul Mitchell, Maria Nila, Bumble & Bumble etc. I think the cheapest one I found was from L'Oreal (round of applause for L'Oreal) in the form of their EverPure range. If you're a £2 bottle of shampoo gal than you might not consider £6/£7 particularly budget, but right now this is apparently the best we can do. 

Just as a quick note, if you've seen the current Head & Shoulders advert there is no way the girl with the orange hair should be using Head & Shoulders. It's a colour stripper, it took my pretty much black hair down to dark brown (used as a stripping mask over several hours) so it would suck out that orange shade no problem at all!

One of the biggest problems I had when my hair was red was that I'm a big time oily hair sufferer and I have to wash my hair quite often, ideally every other day, but I do try to push it further if at all possible. The problem is I'm not a huge dry shampoo fan and nothing feels like properly clean hair, at least for me, and I'm not someone who feels comfortable when my hair feels dirty. Regular washing and coloured hair isn't a great combination, but when I'm using a more natural colour and have found the right dye it's not too bad. I'd still like my colour to last as long as possible though.

L'Oreal Elvive Colour Protecting Low Shampoo Gentle Cleansing cCam

Now, a low shampoo is something that will take some getting used to. Products that don't contain sulphates foam very little (because it's the sulphates that make them foam) and a low shampoo doesn't foam at all. To be honest you don't need the foam to clean your hair, we're just so used to associating a head full of foam with using shampoo and cleaning our hair. This is a cleansing cream, and so is much more like a conditioner than a shampoo, and in fact you use it just like I would use a conditioner, in place of a conditioner. You pump a good amount into your hands, apply it evenly from roots to tips, massage gently (remembering there won't be any foam), leave for three minutes (while you shave those legs etc) and then rinse out while combing through with your fingers. 

You do have to use quite a lot so you might get through it quite quickly, especially if you have long hair, but this covers shampoo and conditioner, so you only have to buy the one product. It's recommended to use 10-15 pumps, but I did find this too much for my shoulder length, thin but a lot of it and oily hair. I would say about 7 pumps appears to be about the right amount for me.

Did it clean my hair? Yes it certainly did. I don't see any difference between using this and a standard SLS containing/foaming shampoo. One thing I was concerned about was that both of the low shampoos currently available (this and an Extraordinary oil one) are designed for dry hair, so I thought they might be too much for my hair. I have used this four times now and 50% of the time I haven't rinsed it all out properly, so that is something I have to be very careful of. It is effectively like a conditioner, so you do have to give it a really good rinse and I really recommend using your fingers to help rinse it out like it tells you to on the bottle. Ideally I would like one designed for oily hair, or at least more for normal hair rather than dry, but because of the type of product this is (effectively a cleansing conditioner) I'm not sure if that's really possible.

As I said I've only used this four times so far, and I'm currently using a colour that doesn't fade really quickly, so I can't really comment on how colour protecting this is long term, but so far it's looking good.

The L'Oreal Elvive Colour Protect Low shampoo is £6.99 and can be found in Boots stores and on the Boots website.

Would you consider trying a low shampoo?

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Accessorize Lovelilly

Last year I tried a fragrance from Monsoon called Rose Gold and when I received an email about trying Lovelilly* I thought 'Oh this must be their spring release'. I then realised that Rose Gold is Monsoon but Lovelilly is actually Accessorize. I'm sure you can understand my little misunderstanding though as Accessorize are the accessories part of Monsoon.

Actually thinking about it this really is quite an unusual set-up isn't it? How many other clothes retailers have separate stand-alone stores for one department from their main stores. I guess now we do see things like M&S and Next home stores, but it doesn't feel like quite the same thing. So this is a fragrance from Accessorize that I'm pretty sure you will also be able to get your hands on in Monsoon stores.

Accessorize Lovelilly
Accessorize Lovelilly

For some reason this one has been an absolute pain in the a*** to get pictures for. You know when you try to take pictures of something on four separate occasions and it's just not happening? Yep, this. So I'm sorry the pictures aren't great. I'm definitely feeling the loss of my dad's amazing camera being 100 miles away now. One day I will finally be able to get myself a decent camera. I have the studio lights, it's just my £79 camera that is the problem!

The outer packaging on this one definitely screams spring/summer and rather hints at it being a floral fragrance. The bottle itself is quite simple with a clear hexagonal design with a metallic pink coloured spritz bit and a rather pretty 3D flower design in the lid. I tried to get a good picture of the lid to show this but as I'm sure you're already aware I kinda failed at this. This is a really quite heavy bottle so it's one that needs to live on your dressing table and go nowhere near your handbag. I find the design of the bottle quite 'young' if you get what I mean? I certainly wouldn't be embarrassed to display it anywhere but it doesn't quite have the sophisticated look or feel you would get from the likes of YSL or Chanel.  

It's also got a good spray on it that distributes evenly. I never realised how important this is to me until I recently bought a Stella Pop fragrance that appears to spray in pretty much one stream, leaving a 'puddle' of perfume, and to be honest it means I don't reach for it as much as I want to.

Accessorize Lovelilly
Accessorize Lovelilly

Fragrance wise it opens with juicy top notes of raspberry and orange with some zesty bergamot, heart notes of lily of the valley and jasmine and base notes of musks and sweet vanilla. It's a very pretty fruity/floral fragrance that is just the sort of thing I'd want to wear in warm weather or while abroad (but I wouldn't go packing it in your case!). It's one I catch wafts off as I'm wearing it and it lasts pretty well too, both things I want in my choice of perfume. 

Lovelily is £19 for 75ml which I think really is a pretty good price and something I'd definitely be willing to pay for this. You can find Lovelily in Accessorize stores and online.

Would you try a fragrance from Accessorize?

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New body and facial skincare products from Vichy

This is another very overdue post! I received these products towards the end of last year and obviously there was testing time and then Christmas rolled round and I was a bit lazy and then now it's February and yeah apparently I'm pretty unorganised. Must do better! But I am here now talking about a few new products from Vichy.

Vichy Ideal body Serum-milk and Quenching mineral & Double Glow Peel masks

As far as I'm aware Vichy have always been a facial skincare brand, but they've now broadened their product base with the Ideal Body range. The Ideal Body range consists of two products; a Serum-milk, which has a lightweight and silky formula and comes in a bottle, and a Balm, which is a rich balm that comes in a pot. My dry skin would suggest the balm would have been the best bet for me, but knowing how much my skin struggles with absorbing anything I apply on it I decided to try out the Serum-milk*. 

The Serum-milk has a lovely light floral fragrance, which I personally think you can only just detect, and it really does have a silky formula that you can feel while applying the product to your skin. This is perfect for my dry but difficult skin and leaves it feeling soft, hydrated and free from any annoying residue. The only thing I was slightly disappointed with was when I discovered that this does appear to contain shimmer. I noticed my hands were covered in shimmer and didn't know where it had come from until I tracked it back to this product. I haven't really been able to detect this on my skin after application though.

Vichy Quenching mineral & Double Glow Peel masks

Vichy have also recently released three new face masks and I received the Quenching Mineral mask* and Double Glow Peel mask* to try. Starting with the Double Glow Peel, this contains volcanic rock and Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) to gently exfoliate and remove dead skin cells to reveal smoother and more luminous skin. This has a lovely cooling gel texture and I like to apply it with a clean make-up brush (I have a flat foundation brush especially for this purpose) as it does come in a pot, which is not as hygienic as other packaging. You only need to leave this on for five minutes before rinsing it away and I find it instantly makes my skin look fresher. I do have to be careful with products like this as I do have quite sensitive and reactive skin, but I haven't had any problems at all with this; at most there's a slight tingle but in general it just feels cooling.

The Quenching Mineral mask contains Vichy's mineralising thermal water and vitamin B3 and has been developed for dry, thirsty and sensitive skin. Like the Double Glow Peel mask this has a lovely cooling, gel texture which is very welcome if your skin is feeling dry, tight and uncomfortable. You only need to leave this on for five minutes before you can then massage in or rinse off any remaining product.

This is the sort of product I would usually apply in the evening and just leave in place over night so my skin can get as much out of it as possible. This one does leave some product behind on the surface of my skin and unfortunately it really does leave my skin feeling quite tacky/sticky. So it's not one I'm happy to leave on over night unless I'm happy to wash my hair and pillow in the morning. The best option for me is to rinse off any remaining product, but as putting my skin in contact with water usually dries it out I feel like this does slightly undo some of the work the product has done.

Despite the stickiness this does leave behind I do really like it as a mask as it feels lovely to apply and wear and does inject some much needed moisture into my skin as it's the perfect consistency for my skin.

The masks are £14 each and the Ideal Body Serum-milk £16 and you can find them all on the shelves in your local Boots.

Have you tried any of Vichy's latest additions?

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Real Techniques Miracle mini eraser sponges

One thing that is really getting me down recently is my dark circles. They never go, no matter how much sleep I get or how much I drink, and on top of that I find them almost impossible to cover. I have got a corrector that I use under my concealer to try and counteract the darkness, but it's a pot one and I think it might be too dry for me to use around the delicate eye area. I apply both and those dark circles just shine right through making me look so tired and just generally pretty awful. 

I do really want to try a liquid corrector and have my eye on the Urban Decay one, but nearly £20 for one product is really not something I can afford right now. I currently use the Real Techniques setting brush to blend out my under eye concealer but did wonder if using this I might be shifting the concealer away from the area rather than setting it down in place. So I wanted to get my hands on some of those little mini blending sponges you can use to under the eye to see if that helped at all. I liked the look of the beautyblender ones, but again they're not a cheap product, so I picked up the Real Techniques version which cost around £5 for two sponges.

Real Techniques Miracle mini eraser sponges
Real Techniques Miracle mini eraser sponges

I am a little confused as to what Sam & Nic Chapman (the founders of Real Techniques) intend these little sponges to be used for. I primarily associate sponges like these with the blending of base products but they're called 'eraser' sponges and the back of the pack talks about using them to help sweep away make-up mishaps and pick up makeup. 

These are just like any other make-up sponges of this type. You wet them, squeeze out the excess and then use a bouncing motion to blend out a product. The small shape of these sponges means you can get them in to the contours of the eye much easier than their larger counterparts. 

I have enjoyed using this sponge, using a bouncing rather than sweeping motion feels kinder to the delicate skin under the eye, but I haven't noticed a huge difference in terms of covering my dark circles. There is an improvement in coverage, but it's not a large improvement.


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Cheshire Wax Company handmade scented soy wax melts

Something I really wanted to do when I moved into my own place was to start burning candles and using scented wax melts regularly, and I really haven't! I've been in my house for eight months now and I think I've burned a candle about three times and used a wax melt once. I have no idea why, I have enough of the things lying around, so I need to change this. 

I was recently contacted by Cheshire Wax Company through Instagram and asked if I'd like to try out a few of their handmade scented soy wax melts. I took a look at the scents available on their website and decided I definitely needed to try a few out. So I was sent Cola bottles*, Bubblegum Pop!*, Strawberry & Mango Smoothie*, Sweat Candied Apple* and Coconut & Lime Slice*.

Cheshire Wax Company handmade scented soy wax melts
Cheshire Wax Company handmade scented soy wax melts

These particular wax melts are not perfectly made but have quite a rustic feel to them. They come in little squares, each in their own little cellophane packet featuring the Cheshire Wax Company logo and the scent of the melt. 

Coconut & Lime Slice 'A rich, creamy coconut fragrance enlivened by fresh lime and verbena'.

I obviously went for this one because it would smell like a Pina Colada and it does indeed smell like a Pina Colada cocktail.

Bubblegum Pop! 'Lots of citrus top notes, middle notes of strawberries, peach and mandarin oranges, resting on base notes of vanilla with a hint of wintergreen'.

I thought this one might smell like the bubblegum I used to like as a teenager (Hubba Bubba?) and it kind of does, very fruity with a creamy base.

Cola Bottles 'This melt is a zesty and refreshing homage to fizzy cola bottle sweets'.

I went for this one out of nostalgia as my brothers favourite sweets were always fizzy cola bottles and it does smell just like them.

Strawberry & Mango 'A luscious fruity floral fragrance, opening with a cocktail of succulent strawberries, rich cassis, mango nectar, crisp red apple, raspberry and invigorating citrus fruits. The floral heart blends precious notes of rose, jasmine, muguet and freesia, all resting on a woody, musky base finished with a trail of amber, sandalwood and dry fruits'.

I went for this one because I'm a fan of anything mango scented, but it is a little difficult to smell through the packaging. With so much packed into it I would have thought it would have quite a scent to it but at the moment I can only really detect light strawberry and mango.

Sweat Candied Apple (just Candied Apple online) 'A sumptuous accord of sweat caramel, apple and pear. Top notes of crisp apple, pineapple, orange, peach and coconut. Sweat caramel, creamy vanilla, and hints of jasmine lie at the heart, with base notes of sweat musk'.   

After the disappointment of the Glazed Apple festive fragrance not making a return to The Body Shop this year I thought this might be a replacement. This is a similar scent of sweat, fruity apples.

Cheshire Wax Company handmade scented soy wax melts
Cheshire Wax Company handmade scented soy wax melts

So far I have only tried one as if I gave them all a try you could be waiting a very long time for this review to come around! It's recommended to cut the melt into quarters and to start by just using one quarter, adding more if required, but I did go for half and it did fit in the existing burner I have. Some are shallower than other so you might need to start with just a quarter. Soy wax has a lower melting point than petroleum-based paraffin wax and I found it started to melt very quickly and was soon all melted. I went for Cola Bottles and it wasn't long at all before I could detect the scent in the air. I left the room once and when I came back the room was filled with the fizzy/sugary scent of cola bottles. I'm not sure that the scent went much further, my housemate didn't comment on it, but I do have my door almost closed anyway (for one because my mirror that hooks on stops it closing) as I'm not sure my male housemate will appreciate my candles/melts!

I have enjoyed using the one I have used so far and am looking forward to giving the others a try. As well as burners to burn your soy wax melts in Cheshire Wax Company also sell candles, with the melts costing £2.99 each, burners £14.49 and candles £12.49 to £13.99. You also get free delivery on orders over £15. You can find all of these over on their website (here). 

Have you tried anything from Cheshire Wax Company? 

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Birchbox x Papier February 2017 - Express Yourself

The first Birchbox of the year was a little bit of a disappointment for me so I was hoping for better things when the February box arrived on my doorstep. For some reason it's always a good sign to me when I like the box design, so when I spotted this months box on Instagram I was definitely hoping for good things.

Birchbox x Papier February 2017 - Express Yourself
Birchbox x Papier February 2017 - Express Yourself

This months box features a collaboration with British stationery brand Papier, I brand I personally haven't heard of before. Taking a look at their website (here) they appear to be a British version of Rifle Paper Co with similar floral patterns, amongst other designs. There are two box designs this month, one that is apprently based on their Palm Leaves notebook design in white and green and an alternative colour scheme of dark blue/purple and pink/red. It's also another drawer this month.

Birchbox x Papier February 2017 - Express Yourself
Birchbox x Papier February 2017 - Express Yourself

The first product I spotted when I pulled out the drawer was a black box containing a SHOW Premier Dry shampoo. SHOW beauty is a brand founded by Tamara Eccleston, model, socialite and daughter of former F1 boss Bernie Eccleston. Although I'm aware of the brand I haven't personally tried any products before. Dry shampoo is something I'm really trying to embrace and I have actually just used one up (I'm talking a sample size though) so I don't mind getting a new one that might be my holy grail.

Birchbox x Papier February 2017 - Express Yourself
Birchbox x Papier February 2017 - Express Yourself

Thanks to January's sneak peak I was aware that this month's box would include a full size (you can't really get samples sizes can you) Spectrum Collections Marbleous Tulip eye contour brush. Spectrum are pretty well known right now for their rose gold/mermaid/marble design brushes, so I think this will be a very popular item this month. I only have one Spectrum brush in my collection (a large fan brush) so I'm very happy to add another one and am pleased it's a type of brush I don't already own. I do see Spectrum as a reasonably expensive brand but actually this is just £5.99, which I think is a pretty good price, especially for such an attractive looking brush.

To accompany this I believe all subscribers will also receive a POP Beauty Bright Up Your Life eye shadow trio in Champagne Mocha. This is three shades from one of POP's 10 shade palettes. Birchbox have popped a little note in this months box to say that these can be a little fragile so if yours do arrive broken, don't panic, you can get them replaced. I haven't actually tried these out on my eyes yet but have tried them on my hand and they feel smooth and soft and appear to have at least reasonable colour payoff. The shades in the trio have been chosen so you have an all over lid shade, crease shade (to use with the Spectrum brush) and outer corner shade for a complete eye look.

I keep thinking there's only four products in the box because the next product pretty much fills up the whole of the bottom of the drawer and keeps blending into my white desk! This is a Keeome Hydration mask, which is a Birchbox exclusive and a Korean product. I'm a little cautious about sheet masks as although I've only tried two one did leave me with a slight red mark (obviously in the shape of the mask!) for a couple of days. But I will go carefully and hopefully I'll enjoy using it.

Birchbox x Papier February 2017 - Express Yourself

The final product in this months box is a Beaver Professional Daily Moisture conditioning spray. This isn't a brand I've come across before and reading the back of the bottle it appears the brand isn't from an English speaking country as it doesn't read well and so has apparently been translated. It appears to be a Polish brand. I am a little disappointed this doesn't appear to offer any kind of heat protection, as I prefer my conditioning products to include that if possible, but I can use a separate heat protection product.

I haven't tried this at all yet but it has quite a nice smell to it and it appears very liquid, almost like water, so this hopefully shouldn't be too heavy for anybody that has fine hair or hair that doesn't need heavy conditioning. I'm looking forward to trying this out.

So this month's box is a hit for me. I like that there are two make-up products that work together, it makes it feel like you're getting really good value from the box, and although there are two make-up products and two hair products I don't mine as they're different enough to feel like separate products.

Birchbox is £10 a month + £2.99 (per month) P&P and you can currently get a free full size Smith & Cult lip lacquer when you subscribe and use the code CULT. You can sign up to Birchbox here.

What do you think of this month's box?

Some similar posts
Birchbox January 2017 - Sprinkle Happiness
Birchbox December 2017 - Merry & Bright
Birchbox x Tatler November 2016 - Shake Your Tail Feather 

*PR sample. Post contains an affiliate link.

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