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Happy Halloween '16

I probably should have posted this before Halloween in case you do want to buy any of the things I've featured here, but as I haven't posted much recently I thought I'd do a Halloween post and you might find some of this stuff in the sale. The reason I haven't posted much recently is because I'm busy making puppets for my boyfriend for a game he's running in November. I have 12 to make and considering he wants proper Muppet type puppets he's not left me much time, especially as we're currently visiting his parents. So I'm elbow deep in card, foam, fleece and things like Ping Pong balls (for eyes!). 

I'm not a fan of Trick or Treat'ing (it's glorified begging really isn't it!) but I love the whole dressing up and decorations thing and after all I am a Parapsychologist (someone who knows a bit about ghosts/poltergeists). Most of the stuff here isn't even for Halloween as we're away on the day, but is for another game (that he's running around the same time as the puppet one) with a Halloween/haunted house/Scooby Doo theme. I've been a bit disappointed with the Halloween decorations in some shops this year but two shops have impressed me; namely Wilkos and Poundland!

Happy Halloween '16
Happy Halloween '16

Zombie warning poster - Poundland £1

This poster immediately caught my attention in Poundland. It's got that old cowboy film wanted poster type effect to it but it's warning you that you're entering a zombie virus infection zone and to mind your brains. The best bit though is that the picture featuring the people is a lenticular; one of those pictures that changes depending on how you look at it. From one angle they're normal Victorian looking people, but from another they become zombies in a graveyard.

Portraits - Poundland £1 for 4

Similarly these four portraits are lenticular images, so you either see a man, woman, child and an older couple, or you see two skulls (the woman and child) and three zombies (the couple and the man). They come in cardboard frames a little like the ones school photos come in and when my boyfriend is running his game they will go on one wall like family portraits.

Happy Halloween '16
Happy Halloween '16


Ceramic pumpkin tealight holder - Poundland £1

I'm not sure I'm going to get time for any pumpkin carving this year unless we do some at the inlaws, so I picked up this little tealight holder in Poundland just because I thought he was quite cute and well made for just £1. He will probably also feature in the boyfriends game, because candlelight is always spooky.

Halloween stickers - Poundland £1 for two sheets

I didn't actually spot these but my boyfriend did. He's apparently been collecting unusual bottles for sticking on some spooky labels like this. You get two sheets for £1, both sheets have the same stickers on, and they say things like Graveyard Juice, Bone Dust, Witches Brew, Zombie Virus Brew and Poison. They look far better on the brown and green bottles but for the clear bottles I'm going to try and make some red and green liquids using washing up liquid/food colouring and flour for thickening. I've been collecting up the glue strings from the glue gun while puppet making for one jar because they look like spider webs and in a little poison jar we're going to put sweets in to see if anybody actually dares eat them!

Happy Halloween '16

Tic Toc Animated clock - Wilkos £40

I love this clock and I think my boyfriend decided to do the Scooby Doo game so he had an excuse to buy it for me! It's motion activated, or you press a button, and the pendulum swings while light flashes behind it and thunder sounds. It also talks to you while the clock hands swing round and then a message flashes on the clock face in red Halloween writing. Finally the clock face swings open and a little ghoul with red eyes leans out pointing his finger and talks to you. It's so good for £40 and is pretty well made. 

We also have the Talking Graveyard Lantern from Wilkos (£10) which I haven't pictured but it's motion activated and a face appears on the latern that talks to you and it plays spooky sounds. We're also considering getting the Dancing Witch Broom from Wilkos (£20) but might see if it goes in the sale!

I thought the old, retro fireplaces in my (rented) house were perfect for some Halloween pictures like this. I have also added a filter and a subtle effect, my house isn't quite that danky and slightly misty!

Happy Halloween!

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Bean Body coffee bean body scrub

Despite the growing popularity of coffee scrubs they're something I haven't actually tried myself yet. As a non coffee drinker, because I don't like the taste rather than a conscious decision not to drink caffeine, they aren't something I felt I needed to try to get my caffeine fix. However, in the back of my mind I have always been curious to give one a try and I'm not against the smell of coffee, in fact I quite like the smell! 

Bean Body coffee bean body scrub
Bean Body coffee bean body scrub

If you're not familiar with coffee scrubs they basically consist of ground up coffee beans, just like you would use to make a cup of coffee. Although these are designed to be used on the body and so won't be for consumption, so please don't try to make a cup of coffee with one. The powder you get is very effective as a scrub but still gentle on the skin, unlike some harsher scrubs made from things like smashed up shell.

The one I've been trying out is the Bean Body coffee bean body scrub*. This comes in a 220g bag, which I believe is a fairly standard size, maybe slightly larger than others, which features a plain black design with white lettering and the only colour on the packaging indicating the scent. I believe there's just once exception, Manuka Honey, which comes in what looks like a gold bag. You rip off the top of the pack to open it but then once open it fastens like a food bag, is that called ziplock?

This obviously contains ground coffee beans but also contains coconut oil, almond oil, jojoba seed oil, vitamin E and sea salt and as well as containing coconut oil mine is also coconut scented. Other scents available include Coco Berry, Manderin. Peppermint, Vanilla and as I mentioned above, Manuka Honey.

Bean Body coffee bean body scrub

The packaging tells you to grab a big handful but I actually used a hell of a lot less than that and it worked just fine. You pop some in your hand and like any body scrub rub in circular motions all over your body. The packaging also says to leave to dry for five minutes and then rinse off but at this time of year I can't really see anybody being happy to stand their freezing extremities off so I'd go for rinsing straight off. 

I thought this would be incredibly messy and while it is pretty messy it's not quite as bad as I thought. Obviously you do need to give your shower a good rinse down once you've finished because it will probably be everywhere. I think you also have to be quite careful trying to get it out of the packet because if you pop your hand in there to get some it will get wet but also if you attempt to tip some out you might accidentally end up with half the pack.

I did really enjoy using this. Although there is a hint of coconut scent it is primarily coffee but it smells amazing and does a really good job of exfoliating my dry skin. At £14.95 for a pack it is quite expensive but I don't think you have to use an awful lot so I can see it lasting well. You can buy Bean Body coffee scrub over on the Bean Body website.

Are you a fan of coffee scrubs?


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A few new spa additions at The Body Shop

There's a few new products at The Body Shop that I've been trying out for the last few weeks and I'm dying to tell you about them. Two products fall into the Spa of the World range and one into the Oil of Life range, but to be honest all three products are perfect for a bit of spa pampering at home. 

New spa additions at The Body Shop
New spa additions at The Body Shop
New spa additions at The Body Shop

I'll start with one of my favourite products; the Spa of the World Atlantic Seaweed cream. I have tried one of the big Spa of the World tubs of body moisturiser before but this one is a little different. Instead of a cream product like most of The Body Shop's other body moisturisers (apart from the sorbets of course) this is a gel-cream. I've recently posted about The Body Shop's body butters and how my skin struggles to absorb the thicker ones. Even though I have now discovered that there are lighter body butters, this gel-cream is much more the sort of consistency my skin loves.

This is more expensive than the body butters, coming in at £23, but you get a large tub containing 100ml so it will last for a while. As the name suggests this contains seaweed from the Atlantic which is full of oceanic minerals. Apparently women have always believed in the reviving power of the sea and it's algae to revitalise the body and actually my boyfriend's dad is Danish and grew up by the sea and he believes sea water is a cure for sky ailments. The Body Shop say this has a water-breaking texture that instantly refreshes the skin with hydration.

I love this stuff! It's just the right texture for my skin to drink it all up almost immediately and it leaves my skin feeling soft and hydrated. The only issue I have is that while I can only really detect the scent in the tub my boyfriend can smell it on my skin and he hates it. Time to get a new boyfriend then...

New spa additions at The Body Shop

When I first discovered the Spa of the World Japanese Camellia candle was on the way to me I thought 'Oh The Body Shop haven't done candles before'. But actually I know they did some at Christmas last year (and I really should have picked up the Glazed Apple one) and there are some (other than the new Spa of the World ones) on the website.

The new Spa of the World candles have quite a simple look to them, featuring a kind of brown/bronze glass jar with just The Body Shop's symbol and the name of the candle printed on the front. It does come in a good quality cardboard box as well (which I'd already recycled before I took these pictures) so would make a good gift. The look of the candle might be quite simple but it's perfectly in keeping with a relaxed, calm spa setting.

The first time I burnt this I tried to get it to burn all the way out to the edge of the glass to avoid it tunnelling but unfortunately it didn't get out far enough after several hours and in the end I had to extinguish it. It's not too far off though so hopefully little will be wasted. I could subtly detect the scent as it burned but it was most noticeable when I left the room and came back in again. I've pulled the label off the bottom so I'm not sure how long this one lasts altogether but I would estimate it might be a 30 hour one.

As well as Japanese Camellia there are also Hawaiian Kukui and Mediterranean Sea Salt scents available and I'm dying to head in store and have a sniff of the sea salt one, which might just end up coming home with me. For £15 each I think they're a bit of a bargain.

New spa additions at The Body Shop
New spa additions at The Body Shop
New spa additions at The Body Shop

Finally there's a new addition to the Oils of Life range in the form of the Oils of Life Intensely Revitalising Eye cream-gel. I don't know why this one is a cream-gel rather than gel-cream as is traditionally the case. The first thing I noticed about this one when I first picked it up was just how pretty it looks in the packaging; like a shimmery golden honey colour. When you remove the lid you do discover that part of this effect is the packaging, as the cream is a much lighter almost clear colour, but the shimmer does come from shimmer in the cream. I was unsure about shimmer being in an eye cream but I do tend to find that this pretty much disappears once applied, there's possibly only a hint of shimmer left behind. 

This contains three precious seed oils known for their revitalising and repairing properties; black cumin oil from Egypt, rosehip oil from Chile and camellia oil from China. The Body Shop claim this intensely revitalises the eye contour and visibly reduces the signs of ageing. I'm lucky that I don't really have any signs of ageing around my eyes but I do have bad dark circles that nothing ever shifts or improves. I haven't been using this that long but I obviously can't comment on any effect on the signs of ageing and I haven't noticed any difference in my dark circles. 

This isn't my favourite eye cream but it is a nice little product and I do like that you can also use it as a weekly eye mask, although I haven't tried that myself. It's £20 for 20ml, which isn't a bad price.

You can find all of these in The Body Shop stores and online.

Some similar posts
The Body Shop body butters - Did you know...?
The Body Shop Fresh Nude Cushion foundation
The Body Shop Vitamin E essence lotion

*PR sample. Post contains an affiliate link.

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Quick meals with Debenhams and NutriBullet

My boyfriend has recently started Slimming World and one thing I've really noticed is just how long pretty much every single meal takes to prepare and cook. I did want to get into cooking more when I finally moved out, but I am a little bit short of space in my kitchen and it can get a little stressful when I've run out of space to even put something down, let alone try and chop anything. As if they knew my troubles I was contacted by Debenhams to see if I'd like to get involved with their 'Quick meals' campaign and try out a NutriBullet*. I immediately thought 'Yes! We can just blend all of his meals and he can drink them'! I'm joking (kind of), but I did think it might help us out with speeding up the preparation time of meals and for things like making our own soups. 

Quick meals with Debenhams and NutriBullet
Quick meals with Debenhams and NutriBullet
Quick meals with Debenhams and NutriBullet
Quick meals with Debenhams and NutriBullet

There are a few slightly different variations of the NutriBullet but I received the eight piece set. I would say calling it an eight piece set is pushing it slightly though as two 'pieces' are a smallish manual/recipe book and a pocket nutritionist booklet. Mainly you get the NutriBullet body, the blades (which are separate from the main body) two 'cups' (a small one and tall one), a screw on handle (to make the 'cups' cups) and a lid (for the cups). The idea is you pop ingredients in one of the cups, screw on the blades to make one sealed unit and then push this down onto the NutriBullet and click left into place for a continuous blend for things like smoothies, or 'pulse' it (pressing down briefly) to chop ingredients up for things like coarsely chopped onions. You can then unscrew the blade and when it comes to liquids either pour into something else, screw on the handle and drink from the cup or pop on the lid to store for later. 

I have to say the recipe/instruction book you receive with this is a little over the top for me. There are sections telling you how using the NutriBullet is going to help you sleep better, look younger and live years longer. The reason for this is that rather than just a blender this is what has been called a nutrition extractor because it breaks down seeds, stalks, skin etc (you pretty much chuck everything in!) so you are apparently getting as much nutrition from the ingredient as possible. Yes this is probably good for you, but it's not necessarily going to make your life perfect and add 10 years to your life. In fact recent research has suggested that your life expectancy might actually be genetically predetermined and lifestyle factors may play little to no part in how long you will live. Sorry to be a bit of a Debbie downer there!

Oh and make sure you do check the booklet though as there are a few things you shouldn't put in there (like apple pips) because they do contain cyanide!

Quick meals with Debenhams and NutriBullet
Quick meals with Debenhams and NutriBullet

On Saturday after a very disappointing Slimming World meal (the first I've been disappointed with actually) I decided to try a smoothie out and picked the Vita-Berry Blast. This includes 
  • 1-2 handfuls of spinach
  • 1 cup of blueberries
  • 1 handful of strawberries
  • 1 banana
  • Water
I did end up adapting the recipe slightly as I was picking up the fruit in Tesco and thought 'Oh raspberries' and then had to put less of the other ingredients in. You pop 50% greens (such as spinach or kale) in the bottom, 50% fruit (of different types) on top, you can then add nuts/seeds or ice or 'super boosts' and then add a liquid (water or something like almond milk).

In the book there's pictures of pretty looking pink, purple or even green smoothies, but my choice came out...brown...with bits floating in it. So it didn't look particularly appetising. I've actually never been a fan of smoothies at all as I've always found them too thick, but I thought I'd give them a try again and despite the dodgy colour I was pleasantly surprised and it was quite nice. It was a bit banana-ery for me (not really a flavour I'm a fan of) but there was a background of berry and a slight hint of spinach.  I have tried another one since then and left the banana out (and exchanged water for milk) and I got a much more aesthetically pleasing purple colour that time. One of the reasons why I accepted the NutriBullet was because I was hoping I might be able to embrace smoothies. I'd like to try and have at least a couple a week and was hoping I might see an improvement in things like my skin and nails, but based on the research I mentioned earlier I'm not so sure now!

I also used the pulse option too a few days ago when we made some homemade burgers. As the book says it does take a bit of getting used to when it comes to 'pulsing' because you have to try and make sure it doesn't slip into locked position where it will blend instead of roughly chop. For a second I did think we were going to end up with burger smoothies (yummy!) but I did manage to get it to chop up the mince into what looked like burger meat and I also successfully chopped up some onions too.

One final thing I will mention, although I'm sure nobody else but me could possibly manage this! Don't accidentally drop the lid into the part where the blades go, or should I saw don't drop it crookedly into that part, or it will get stuck. Thankfully calling on my housemate (who's a painter/decorator), some masking tape and a screwdriver we managed to get it out without inflicting any damage.

The NutriBullet was very quick and easy to use and very easy to clean so it's definitely something I'm going to try and get a lot of use out in the future, especially when I'm bored stiff of Slimming World meals! You can get your own NutriBullet from Debenhams

Have you tried a NutriBullet?

*PR sample


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Selfridges Birmingham Beauty stage event

Yesterday I received an email from the lovely Rose from Mixed Gems who is the beauty personal shopper at Selfridges in Birmingham. Rose wanted to let me know (and now I'm letting you know) that Selfridges Birmingham are holding a pretty exciting week long event starting on Thursday 20th October where a different brand each day will be taking to the stage to host expert masterclasses.


Tickets cost £10 (per day) fully redeemable against purchases made on that day and time slots are 12pm, 2pm, 4pm and 6pm unless otherwise stated below. The line up includes:

20th October - Chanel
Discover what's new at Chanel with masterclasses with international make-up artist Georgina Pratt.

21st October - YSL
YSL's national make-up artist Ffion Caddick shares the latest from YSL beauty.

22nd October - Charlotte Tilbury
Time change of 11am, 1pm, 3pm and 5pm
Charlotte's personal make-up artist Nelson Catarino and her entire backstage team share the latest tips and tricks from Charlotte.

23rd October - Bobbi Brown
Time change of 12pm, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm
National make-up artist Lampros Faslis hosts a Bobbi Brown beauty masterclass.

24th October - The Estee Edit
National make-up artist Melissa Gibbons holds a beauty masterclass along with a special Halloween demonstration with Selfridges' beauty personal shopper Rose.

25th October - Halloween make-up demonstrations
The Beauty Hall team will show you how to create frightfully good Halloween beauty looks with theatrical make-up demonstrations.

26th October - Urban Decay
The latest from Urban Decay with a masterclass from national make-up artist Danielle Roberts.

27th October - Illamasqua
Time change of 11am, 1pm, 3pm and 5pm
Make-up artists Chloe Habachi will present a masterclass showcasing the newest products and tips from Illamasqua.

Estee Lalonde book signing 
Tickets £20 (non-redeemable) include a signed copy of Estee's book, Bloom. 6-7:30pm 
Book signing and Q&A.

Will you be popping along?

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Birchbox October 2016 - What's your sign?

I've been looking forward to October's Birchbox. Birchbox contacted me to ask when my birthday was so I knew it was probably going to be something to do with star signs and horoscopes. Although I'm not really a believer when it comes to astrology I wanted to see how this was going to personalise the box for different people. 

Birchbox always reveal their box design on Instagram at the beginning of the month before they start dispatching them and I was even more excited when I spotted them. Although I like the drawer style boxes they've started doing I haven't been a fan of the designs they've had so far. They've really nailed it for me this month though. This month the box you receive will depend on whether you're a Earth, Air, Water or Fire sign. Each box features the same design but the colours are different with Earth being green, Air a grey blue, Water dark blue and Fire orange. Oh and the stars on the box GLOW IN THE DARK!

Birchbox October 2016 - What's your sign?

I've always classed myself as a Gemini but actually my birthday (21st June) does sometimes fall at the beginning of Cancer instead. Gemini is Air but Cancer is Water and I did receive a Water box. I would have been happy with either of these boxes though as the two blues were my favourite. 

With regard to the products inside I'll make a start with the one that I don't think quite fits in with the rest of the contents of my box. The white packaging of the Doux Me Pure Spring mist doesn't fit with the apparent dark theme of both the other products and the box. It's also a product I would expect to see in spring or summer rather than heading into autumn. A water spray is always handy to have though. The thing that concerns me about this product is the RRP (for the full size product, this is a sample) is apparently £16, for a water spray??

Next up is the second Rituals product I've received in a Birchbox in five months. Both products were also body scrubs but for me the Rituals Hammam Body Mud is different enough to the first scrub that was included that I don't mind the repeat. The first scrub was quite a standard light cream based scrub whereas this one is a clay (containing Rhassoul clay) and featuring eucalyptus. I don't think I've come across a clay scrub before and the eucalyptus makes it a very refreshing, stimulating product. I've already given this a try and I really like it. 

I'm sure by now you know I'm a fan of Lord & Berry's lipstick crayons, but I haven't tried a matte one as of yet, so I was very pleased to see a Lord & Berry 20100 Maxi Matte Crayon lipstick in the shade Intimacy. I haven't tried this yet but it looks like a dark nude shade that I wouldn't usually buy myself so I'm looking forward to trying it. 

Birchbox October 2016 - What's your sign?
Birchbox October 2016 - What's your sign?

Next up is a product I was very excited to see making an appearance, even though I'm not entirely sure how you use it! I don't know if any Oribe products have made an appearance in any Birchboxes before but this month I have the Oribe Dry Texturizing spray. A quick look in the book in the box tells me this is part dry shampoo and part texturizer, so I'm guessing that's where dry texturizing comes from!

Number 4 (or N.4 on the bottle) is a brand I've never heard of before but the next product is a small bottle of Number 4 Fluoro5 Elixir Restore & Repair oil. I'm increasingly trying to use oil on my hair both to nourish it and help smooth my ends as they do tend to go frizzy, so a hair oil is welcome. I've noticed this one is quite a liquid oil, it does actually look more like a liquid than an oil, so hopefully it's one that's difficult to overdue as I do suffer from oily hair and always worry about applying to much oil to it.

Finally I have what I think might be an extra as there's six products this month (although it doesn't say it is) and that's a Birchbox eyebrow brush. Mine is getting a bit old and grubby now so it might be time to replace it so this is a welcome sight. I do need to trim off the extra long bristle that mine appears to have though! It's only worth £1.99, so it's not the most expensive brush you'll find around, but I'm not sure you need to spend much on a brush like this. 

Jumping forward to a little sneak peak of November's box it looks like we're getting another Tatler collaboration. We did have one before but that was a limited edition additional box costing £25. Also if you're a fan of peacock feathers I'm seeing a hint that might be the box design. If you'd like to sign up to get your hands on Octobers box you can do so here.

What do you think of October's products (and the box)?

Some similar posts

*PR sample. Post contains an affiliate link

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Estee Lauder and some mini reviews

When I was first contacted about this little Estee Lauder set it was actually a GWP (Gift with purchase) available at House of Fraser. However when I checked on the website for the details of the offer I discovered it had already finished and was no longer available. So there's not really any point in me telling you about how you can get this little set yourself because you can't anymore. What I thought I'd do instead is a few mini reviews of the products included as this is my first experience of Estee Lauder. These are far from in-depth reviews though, more like casual first impressions.

Estee Lauder

The set comes in a blue kind of zebra print bag and contains seven mini Estee Lauder products; two make-up and then what I would say is two morning products and three evening products. I'll start by saying that I haven't tried either of the make-up products. I don't tend to wear pencil eye liners, although on my hand it doesn't feel hard or scratchy which is always a good start, and I also don't wear lip glosses. To be honest the lip gloss does look like one of the shades that normally end up in things like this because they're really not popular. It does also contain glitter, which I'm not a fan of. Again on my hand this doesn't look too bad so I might give it a shot at one point, when it isn't windy though #LongHairLipglossProblems.

Estee Lauder

I'll start with the product I did try but didn't get along with, the Take It Away Makeup Remover lotion. Although I didn't like this I do have problems with using cream cleansers on dry skin to remove my makeup and this was no different as it made my skin feel sore after use. My make-up removal method of choice is a cleansing oil or a micellar water if I'm being lazy.

The DayWear Advanced Multi-Protection Anti-Oxidant creme contains SPF15 and is for normal/combination skin. My skin tends to be dry/combination but I didn't find that to be an issue. The directions say to apply this AM and PM (after your Repair Serum, which wasn't included in the set) which I find a little strange considering the product is called DayWear and does contain a small amount of SPF protection. I've been applying this in the morning and I have enjoyed using it. It's a reasonably thick cream but does absorb well and doesn't leave a tacky feeling and has what I would describe as a light, fresh fragrance to it. 

Estee Lauder
Estee Lauder

The New Dimensions Shape + Fill Expert serum is a product I have been using in the morning under DayWear. I'd say this is very slightly thicker than other serums I've tried but as is usually the case with serums it absorbs well and leaves my skin feeling soft and smooth. I can't comment on any shape + fill action as I don't really have anything to fill particularly and obviously I haven't been using it long enough.

The two products I have probably enjoyed using the most are the Advanced Night Repair and Advanced Night Repair eye. These were actually the products that made me accept the sample because although I (maybe incorrectly) see Estee Lauder as an 'older' brand I believe Advanced Night Repair is supposed to be very good. 

The eye cream has a very silicone feel to it meaning it glides onto skin so smoothly and doesn't drag at all on the delicate eye area. It feels amazing and absorbs well and I have been using it morning and evening. Again I can't comment on if it has particularly had any effect on my eye area, but I have enjoyed using it. The Advanced Night Repair serum is actually thinner than the Shape + Fill one which did surprise me. Again it absorbs well and leaves my skin feeling gorgeously smooth and silky. I haven't been using this long but I think I can say it is one that I would really enjoy using long term. In general using these products together (along with another moisturiser to cover the evening) my skin has been looking pretty good.

Estee Lauder aren't the cheapest brand, although checking their prices they are cheaper than I thought, but if I could afford to splash out on one of their products I think the one I'd go for would be the Advanced Night Repair, and maybe the eye cream. You can find Estee Lauder at House of Fraser

Have you tried any products from Estee Lauder?


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The Body Shop body butters - Did you know...?

...that there are actually different types of body butters? I had no idea to be honest and thought they were all the same apart from the different scents. One thing I have mentioned several times on my blog is that despite my dry skin I do find their body butters a little too heavy and my skin has trouble absorbing them. When The Body Shop contacted me asking if they could send me a body butter to review they informed me that they do actually have lighter body butters that might work better for me. So I said I'd give one of those a try and they sent me Fuji Green Tea* and Moringa*.

When I accepted I didn't think I had any of their body butters at the moment. I was wrong. I have three!

The Body Shop body butters
The Body Shop body butters

For a start how could I forget I have the Piñita Colada body butter when I featured it on my blog last month! Apologies but this one isn't actually available anymore as it was this years summer limited edition scent.

Next year The Body Shop's body butters will be 25 years old; they were launched in 1992 and were the first body butter product. Since then they have won many awards and are one of The Body Shop's most popular products and it's claimed that several celebrities are a fan including Victoria (and David) Beckham, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Lopez and Serena Williams.

As I said, what I didn't realise was that there are actually different types of body butter for different skin types. To be honest I should have noticed this as my Wild Argan oil body butter is very solid, much more solid than the other two I didn't realise I owned. Also if you look on the side of the tub they also say 'For normal to dry skin' or 'For dry skin'.

The Body Shop body butters

I have body butters from each of three categories of 'Normal to dry', 'Dry' and 'Very dry'. British Rose, Fuji Green Tea and Pinita Colada are all for normal to dry skin types and (along with Satsuma) are the lightest body butters available. British Rose does contain a subtle shimmer and so is categorised as 'Instant Glow'. Fuji Green Tea is categorised as 'Replenishing' but unfortunately I don't how Pinita Colada fits into this because it was limited edition and so doesn't feature on the table. 

Moringa then falls into the next category for dry skin types and is categorised as 'Softening', as are all the butters in this category. Finally Wild Argan oil comes under very dry but is in its own category of 'Sublime Nourishing'; I believe making it the most intense of all the body butters available. 

Looking at the Wild Argan oil one compared to the Fuji Green Tea one you can definitely see this. As I said Wild Argan oil is very solid whereas Fuji Green Tea is more like a thicker cream. I have tried both of the lighter versions I was sent and they definitely are much better for me than the thicker versions. I try not to use too much, because overloading my skin is a good way to stop it absorbing what I've applied to it, and my skin absorbs it all and feels soft and nourished. 

As well as celebrating their iconic body butters The Body Shop are also encouraging their customers to make small changes to their daily routine; whether that's by only taking three minutes in the shower or only boiling enough water in the kettle for the number of drinks you're making. You can take a short quiz here which will let you know if you 'Enrich or Exploit' and make suggestions as to the small changes you can make. Anybody who takes the quiz and tweets @TheBodyShopUK with #INOURHANDS will be entered into a prize draw to visit either a community trade supplier or bio-bridge project in 2017 to see first-hand the difference The Body Shop is making. For each tweet they will also make a donation to the World Land Trust to protect one meter squared of endangered rain forest.

You can buy The Body Shop's body butters in store and online

Are you a fan of The Body Shop's body butters?

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Lush Halloween Pumpkin bath bomb

In general I'm much more of a bubble bar person because growing up mum always used bubble bath, so a bath for me means having a load of frothy bubbles. But when I saw that Lush's Halloween collection this year included a pumpkin bath bomb and a little ghost bath melt I knew I had to grab one of each. In case you're reasonably new to my blog I'm a Dr of Parapsychology (the paranormal) with a PhD in ghosts. I know a pumpkin isn't actually anything paranormal but pumpkins mean Halloween and you can't get much more paranormal than Halloween.

Lush Halloween Pumpkin bath bomb

Pumpkin bath bomb is a pretty standard sized bath bomb that basically looks like a jack-o'-lantern. It's not quite as dark as a pumpkin actually is and my images have lightened him a little, but he is orange complete with the lines that run down a pumpkin and triangle eyes and nose and a not particularly scary toothy open mouth. 

He contains cinnamon, vanilla absolute and pimento berry oil to give him a slightly sweet but mostly spicy scent. I'm not sure if he does smell anything like pumpkin pie as I've never personally tried it. Is pumpkin pie really a thing over here? I'll let you into a little secret, I only carved my first pumpkin two Halloweens back so I'm quite new to them and to be honest I really do find them quite yucky!

Lush Halloween Pumpkin bath bomb

As is the case for me with most bath bombs I found him a little disappointing. He starts fizzing away as soon as he touches the water and to begin with the water turns quite a dark orange shade. I don't think I could really detect any scent coming from him, maybe just a slight aroma of spice, and after about 30 seconds he'd fizzed away and I was left with light orange bath water. At least orange water doesn't look like you've had a widdle in the bath. I don't have a picture I'm afraid because the lighting is far from great in my new bathroom and obviously I can't really take a studio light in there.

As I said bath bombs aren't really my favourite bath product so I am usually disappointed unless they put on an amazing colour show, really do have a strong (pleasant) scent and preferably last a reasonable amount of time. For £3.95 I wouldn't buy him again, but the first picture I put of him on Instagram did break my all time likes record, so he wasn't a complete loss!

Will you be trying out Mr Pumpkin?

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Instagram round-up September 2016

I have no idea if people actually enjoy reading these posts at all but I enjoy putting them together, so I'll carry on with them at least until the end of this year. Growth has been pretty slow on Instagram recently, although since I wrote this post a few days ago it has actually picked up a little again. I've seen an increase in likes recently, but follower growth is taking a bit of a knock. 

Instagram round-up September 2016
T:L This was one of the bareMinerals products I won earlier this year when I won their whole new collection called Lovescape. I really need to get trying/using a few more of these products as they're gorgeous. The packaging was sitting looking all pretty and gold so I snapped a pic.

T:M This picture has now broken my likes record hitting 108 likes so far (it creeps up every-so-often). Lush pictures always go down well (I can't believe there are whole accounts dedicated just to Lush products!). As I'm a Parapsychologist I had to pick up a few Halloween bits!

T:R I received a few products from The Body Shop (I knew they were coming and was so excited about them) and I can't wait to post about them. The picture includes a new Oils of Life eye cream-gel, Seaweed body gel-cream and a Spa of the World candle. I also decided to autumn the picture up a bit!

M:L I don't think you can have failed to notice that Kat Von D make-up has now landed in the UK! I've wanted to try one of the Everlasting liquid lipsticks for ages so I treated myself to the shade Berlin as soon as they launched on the Debenhams website.

M:M This will possibly be one of my last clear blue sky pictures as I'm sure some grotty autumn weather will be settling in soon. This is a balcony just down the road from me and I hadn't noticed the beautiful roses growing on it before.

M:R More Kat Von D! These are the mini products I ordered from Love Me Beauty a couple of weeks before the Debenhams launch. They include a Everlasting liquid lipstick, Studded lipstick and Ink liner.

B:L For me River Island are killing it right now with both their boots and clothing. I won't be buying these because for one I'm broke and the heels are a little too high for just under 6ft tall me, but it doesn't stop me lusting over them.

B:M My Nails Inc Alexa Silk nail varnish is one of my favourites, so when I saw the whole range available in TK Maxx I decided to pick up Sequin to go over the top. A perfect combination for autumn/winter and heading towards Christmas.

B:R Tiger is pretty cool right? If you're lucky enough to have one near you (sorry if you're not!). I found some wire baskets in there and bought a black one as I thought it would be good for storing blankets and things like that and of course as a blog/Instagram picture prop. Plus it was only £3! 

Ok so I've covered cat accounts before and this month I think it should be the turn of the dogs, but not any dogs, Dachshunds. I love Dachshunds, especially miniature ones, and would love one myself but it's not practical right now. So instead I follow several Instagram accounts. If you're a Dachshund fan you need to check out @world.of.willow, @theadventuresofhoney, @dachshund_diaries, and @sailor.the.dachshund. 

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Has social media become selfish?

I've been sat on this post for a while now and I think it's time I let it out!

When I first started using social media, in terms of Twitter and Instagram at least, for me it was all about following people whose posts I wanted to see and whose content I was genuinely interested in. In the days of my personal Twitter (which I do still have but tend to forget to use) I never really imagined that people who didn't know me might want to follow me. When I started my Twitter account for my blog of course I wanted to gain followers, that was kind of the point of it, but following other bloggers and seeing what they post also plays a big part for me.


The reason for this post is because recently I've been thinking about how social media appears to be becoming more and more selfish and this stems from the whole following and unfollowing culture that appears to be common place now. Originally I think this was most prevalent on Twitter, but it now appears to affect the majority of platforms, including Bloglovin. To be honest it drives me mad. I used to worry that my content is rubbish, or I must be really annoying, or I've done something to upset people, but now I do realise that in the majority of cases that isn't the case at all. The only reason they've unfollowed me is because I've not followed them back.

I'm currently working really hard on my Instagram and have been doing so since towards the beginning of this year. I'm really pleased that I've grown well so far this year. I'm far from gaining thousands of followers but what I gained across the whole year last year I have been gaining in about 5/6 weeks. I'm now approaching 900 followers, but if it wasn't for the daily unfollowers I have no doubt I would probably be approaching more like 1500 by now. On a good day I might only lose two followers, but in general it's around 5 or 7 followers, with the record being I think 11. I personally think that is crazy! It's natural to lose a few followers here and there, but losing that amount daily is not down to me having a rubbish account.

I use Crowdfire to see who's unfollowed me, I know some people don't want to know but I find it quite interesting, and as a very rough estimate I'd say at least 95% of the people who unfollow me I haven't followed back and about 75% of the people who follow me will unfollow again. It's now got to the point where I'm pretty good at predicting the accounts that will be unfollowing within a few days, sometimes even within the same day. 

The reason I think following/unfollowing is selfish is because all some people (definitely not everybody) seem to be bothered about is trying to get as many people as possible to follow them. They are basically just using that person (or technically their account) for their own gain and if you don't play ball and follow back, they unfollow. I follow somebody because I want to; if they then follow me back that's great, but if they don't follow back that doesn't matter, I'll only unfollow if I later no longer like the content they post. Unfollowing somebody because they haven't followed you back is just selfish. They're obviously not interested in what the person is posting and have only followed them to try and draw attention to their own account. If somebody only does it to me once then I'll probably just ignore them, but if they do it multiple times then I will now just block them. I'm not going to sit back and let them walk all over me, watching my follower number bounce up and down while they follow and unfollow. Yes you have got my attention, but certainly not in a good way.

What really astounds me is that when I was trying to work out how to use Crowdfire I actually discovered the idea is to mass follow and unfollow people to try and increase your own follower numbers. I've also found several articles online advising you to use this method to increase your following and I find that really disappointing, especially when brands adopt it as a tactic. Several smaller brands have damaged my perception of them because I'm aware they've followed and unfollowed me. I know brands want to grow and make a profit, but I personally don't think that trampling all over possible future customers is the way to do it. 

I'd love to know what your thought's are on this? Am I being over-sensitive or do you agree that social media might have become a bit selfish? I'd also love to hear your thoughts if you do use this method to try and gain followers.

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