Empties June 2017

Another month finished and with this one the moved to the other half of the year. This month it looks a bit like The Body Shop monthūüėč I only have two old sets to finish so wishlist me luckūüėČ

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Skincare

Oh K! Cucumber Sheet Mask was really nice and cooling mask, definitely like this cucumber better than Yes to version but it is one of the pricier for £3.

Oh K! Coconut Water Fibre Face Mask was reasonably fitting and it did smell like coconut. It contains allantoin, lotus flower extract, sodium hyaluronate, liquorice root and lichen extract and aloe. Not bad. I bought it as one of the trio for £8 using my Boots points.

Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Paper Mask is a black tissue mask that did tingle but in better way than the cucumber mask I had tried before and I quite liked it. It contains aloe juice, witch hazel, tomato extract, charcoal powder, finger root, green tea leaf extract and allantoin, and not as the last ingredients, so not nad for a mask I bought at 1/3 off for £2.33.

Mizon Bio Hyaluronic Acid Ampoule Mask is a nice fitting gel sheet well soaked in ampoule essence that felt a bit sliny but once I took the mask off, it soaked in quickly and hydrated brilliantly over two days. I can recommend to all skin types.

Mizon Enjoy Vital-up Time Calming mask was mask I purchased after I was impressed with the hyaluronic mask and Manuka Doctor ApiClear range as this mask contains calming propolis. It is heavier essence that took some time to sink and to be honest, I used The Ordinary Azelaic Acid suspension to mattify after about 10 minutes but it didn’t break me out quite opposite, the breakouts got smaller and calmed by evening (I used this mask on Saturday morning).

Royal Skin The Animalian Mask Sheep was the first animal sheet mask I had ever used and I can say that I had quite low expectations but it did surprised me. It was your standard sheet mask with nice lightweight hydration, didn’t sting at all. I liked it although I think that dry skin types might not find it rich enough. I received this mask as a freebie with my Skin18 order.

Garnier Moisture Bomb Tissue Mask is one of my first and still liked sheet masks but unlike the other masks (if I checked and remember properly), this mask contains paraben.

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Garnier Pure Active Micellar Cleansing Water is good old micellar water, this time for combination to oily and sensitive skin. Definite repurchase after I use up the micellar waters I already have.

L’OR√ČAL Pure Clay Purity Mask is my favourite od the mask trio although it doesn’t have the opacity od the black one but it gave me really nice fresh feeling like all tea tree products and it is a winner for my blemish prone skin.

Manuka Doctor ApiClear Purifying Facial Toner was a good toner but still the least favourite from the range that I tried. And I think for a 100 ml toner quite expensive with almost £18 price tag. I can give this a pass.

Garnier Skin Naturals Miracle Sleeping Cream was good when it was not hot but for the last month or two I really couldn’t wait for it to finish.

Alpha H Liquid Gold was love from the first use. When I started using it, I was using B. essence afterwards and before I applied serum, I checked if the essence sinked in and I felt incredibly smooth skin like the effect if it was amplified and I basically went to Beautybay where I saw duo for the price od one straight away.

Burt’s Bees Orange Essence Facial Cleanser is a great first cleanse that melted my make up in the evening like nothing and when I put slightly warm wet face towel on my face I smelled orange peel and that made removing my make up something I was looking forward to. I wouldn’t use it to remove eye make up though because although it didn’t sting when I tried, it felt kind of uncomfortable. I don’t mind because I always remove eye make up with micellar water or eye make up remover.

Clearly Youthful Retexturising Glycolic Peel Off Mask is good old peel off mask that smoothes out your face but as this one is with glycolic acid, it also makes your face brighten. Unfortunately, Clearly Youthful range was discontinued in Superdrug which is a shame as the products were good, however I have one more of this mask as they were selling them for ridiculous prices like 20p when they were discontinued, so I bought some twice.

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Body

FakeBake Sport Daily Tan. I honestly hate using fake tan, but I do it before the summer starts so that I wouldn’t scare poeple with my pasty white limbs. I do prefer gradual tam and theoretically this could be good but it just smelled as any fake tan once it developed, it left stains if you did sweaty exercise dressed in light colour and of course, I don’t like yellowish tinged self-tanning products give me.

Yves Rocher SOS Detox Slimming Gel is supposed to be a fat-releasing complex with citrus and coriander that I received as a gift with purchase that you can chose every time you shop from YR website. I forgot about for long and when I found it it was just a few months before it expired. I used on mornings when I had time to do dry brushing my body and although I didn’t check whether it is really slimming by measuring but it really made me feel all smooth and citrus mixed with coriander is bonus I liked. I don’t know whether it was discontinued as I cannot find it in sold items anymore.

The Body Shop Smoky Poppy Body Butter. I gave the whole range of smoky poppy away except for body scrub and body buttery because I really hated the smell that even if I tried, I just didn’t want to smell like old man’s cologne. I used the butter for my feet when going to bed so the scent didn’t matter much.

The Body Shop Passion Fruit Body Butter and Shower Gel – your classic TBS body range with lovely passion fruit scent. As usual, shower gel smelled stronger.

The Body Shop Vineyard Peach Body Mist and Body Lotion was leftover from last month to use up and it reminded me of Peach juice. The mist was not very long lasting but with not very got weather we had when I was using it, it didn’t matter much.

Yves Rocher Deodorant with Pomegranate from Spain is clear gel roll-on deodorant without parabens or aluminium salts. I liked it and plan to buy green tea version when the summer finished as it is good in spring or fall, but not strong enough for summer.

Organic Surge Comforting Hand & Nail Cream in Lavender Meadow is a quickly absorbed hand cream packed with essential oils and glycerin. As all Organic Surge products, it smells of essential oils which I really love.

Roger et Gallet is another great smelling company and this osmanthus scent was no exception. It took tiny bit longer to soak in as it contains shea butter and apricot oil.

Yves Rocher Praҕ Caramel Eau de Toilette was another great smelling from YR. I had a shower gel and body lotion from the limited edition and somehow forgot about this mini I had. Lovely scent and 20ml perfect for the handbag.

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Hair

John Frieda Frizz Ease Forever Smooth Anti-Frizz Primer. I loved it, it really controlled frizz on my hair for two days without making it greasy or weighed down. Although I am not gonna repurchase straight away, I definitely will.

Bonacure Repair Rescue Spray Conditioner. Although it was not bad, I didn’t like its heavy alcohol induced scent. But I like cream products from the range.

Avon Naturals Anti-Dandruff Shampoo with Tea Tree  and  Mint is Avon £1 standard. A little bit stripping and I would also prefer if I could feel tea tree and mint more. No repurchase intended.

Garnier Nutrisse Nourishing Conditioner was and will be in my empties numerous times as dark medium brown is the closest to my natural colour and the conditioner is really nourishing.

Natural World Caffeine Power Energising and Stimulating Serum was nice and cooling because of menthol content but I didn’t feel like it really helped my hair growth.

Make up

MUA Out There Plumping Lip Gloss in Buff was my perfect ¬£1 lip gloss – great colour that matched with every make up or even no make up make up, non sticky and plumping. Although as a plumping gloss is felt a bit like I licked pepper but I got used to it. Unfortunately, it was discontinued long time ago, so I will have to find something else I’ll like.

Les Copine nourishing base coat was an old base coat that I like using as a top coat as it dried quickly but now it got too thick to be used so off it goes.

 

Mizon Bio Hyaluronic Acid Ampoule Mask

Some time ago, I noticed in emails I get from Lookfantastic that they started selling Korean cosmetics called Mizon so I immediately started browsing their quite extensive range they had and told myself I have to buy some of their sheet masks. Main reason I like sheet masks is that they are very moisturising without most of them being heavy on my skin, although they do vary in how rich the essence/serum is and how quickly it absorbs into skin. So when I saw set of 6 hyaluronic acid masks for around £12, I decided to go for it. I usually use sheet mask on Saturday morning and by my mood and what I feel my skin needs from the offering in my stash, so it took me a few weeks till I finally decided to try this one.

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Upon opening I noticed that the mask has two protective layers – one thick plastic layer and something like synthetic textile on the other side which meant there wasn’t that much essence left in a bag but still enough to pat on my neck (and I also used the protective layers) and most essence was concentrated on a thin gel sheet, not a fabric or tissue like most other masks. I first took removed the plastic sheet that helped to spread the folded mask without any damage, the applied gel side on face, removed the synthetic textile and smoothed out the mask nicely. It fitted quite well, maybe a bit short on my chin but that is nothing unusual, as my chin is long and a bit pointy.

This is an ampoule mask which means that the essence is not too watery but still not as rich that it would be difficult to absorb. When I massaged the leftover essence into my neck while having the mask on, I was a bit worried that I might not like it because it felt a bit like the mask that take ages to absorb but fortunately, when I removed the mask, after about 6 minutes, it was absorbed without a sticky or tacky residue.

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My skin felt well moisturised and plumped up even the next day. I really think that this mask could suit all skin types. And I was so impressed that after trying this one, I ordered a set of calming mask that contain propolis (I am a converter after a good experience with Manuka Doctor products as well).

Last time I checked, the set of 6 masks was still available on Lookfantastic site for ¬£10.60 but if you make an order of ¬£25 or more and use my referral code¬†DANIELA-R12Q, you can get ¬£5 off (this is not a sponsored post, I bought the mask with my money but I’ll get some credit after my referral code is used).

 

Manuka Doctor ApiClear – Treatment That Worked For My Acne

As I mentioned in probably almost every post about skincare, despite being midthirty, I suffer from oily, blemish prone skin, especially in the warm weather. I had yet another episode of bad breakouts on my jawline despite using The Ordinary Niacinamide and Zinc concoction every morning. Although I had good results with some other serums with niacinamide in the past, sadly, it looks like The Ordinary version doesn’t have full benefits for me. I also used Azelaic Acid in the evening and while this one was effective at fading the redness, gentle smoothing and also mattifying the area, when breakouts started coming out, they just kept coming and some of them didn’t want ho or change for weeks. Then I remembered I bought some Manuka Doctor products from ApiClear range targeted to oily, blemish prone skin last year from Superdrug (hoarding problems) and I finally decided to give them a go besides my trusty Serozinc. The range contains purified bee venom which might seem a bit controversial but modern method of harvesting the venom doesn’t cause dislodging of the stinger so bees don’t die however they need to stimulate the bees to release the venom.

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The products I have are:

ApiClear Foaming Facial Cleanser. I don’t know why this cleanser is called foaming because it is a cream cleanser and in my experience it doesn’t really lather much, it feels very gentle and soothing but still gives that nice fresh feeling. Maybe my skin needs are changing because I used to really like foaming cleansers as cream ones didn’t give me that fresh feeling my oily congested skin was craving but now this facial wash is something I enjoy using in the morning without being harsh or drying. Besides the purified bee venom and honey which are in bottom half on the list of ingredients, it contains also papaya fruit extract that is known for its brightening qualities which I can confirm as after a week of using, my healed breakouts didn’t leave discolouration marks I usually have afterwards. It doesn’t have any strong smell, if it smells of something it is like conventional. However, there is SLS in the middle of the list which is to be noted to someone who avoids it, although I didn’t have any problem with it.

ApiClear Purifying Facial toner. This contains alcohol as a third ingredient and you can feel it, but it is not¬† overdrying like conventional oily skin aimed skin toner. From ingredients actively fighting acne it also contains witch hazel, marigold, rosemary and tea tree leaf extract and also royal jelly, honey and bee venom which probably makes it non drying and my skin doesn’t feel tight.

ApiClear Skin Treatment Serum is together with blemish cream my favourite product from the range. It has a gel consistency, clear in colour, that spreads easily and one pump covers face and neck. It contains sodium hyaluronate which is a kind of hyaluronic acid in layman words, royal jelly, marigold, chamomile that calm skin besides the manuka honey, yeast extract and bee venom.

ApiClear Blemish Cream is really amazing. I love it. Although it is thicker in consistency, it is non greasy and fast absorbing and really calms down my angry breakouts. More over, I didn’t have dry flaking skin over my healing breakouts, so applying make up was a smooth job, if I needed, I could still apply another moisturiser over it. From¬† ingredients¬†I should mention¬†olive oil, witch hazel, propolis, allantoin, sodium hyaluronate which all help healing and smoothing skin and there are no parabens and SLS. This doesn’t contain bee venom either. I am happy with this range overall but if I could choose only one thing to repurchase, I think it would be this cream.

Of course, whole range is on pricier side but there are always some promotions, like 60% off everything that Manuka Doctor had on their website last month, but you can get good price on Amazon, Superdrug, Holland and Barett or Lookfantastic. There is not need to pay full price if you search around, I know I didn’t and since I started using it, I also purchased 2 masks from Manuka Doctor¬†and I am looking forward to trying them.

 

 

Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Paper Mask

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I wrote some time ago about Yes to Cucumbers Paper Mask and that I felt somehow disappointed by it. I bought more masks from them since (you cannot judge a brand based on one product) and today I am going to write about Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Paper Mask.

As with all (as far as I know) Yes To masks, it claims to contain 96% natural ingredients, no parabens, SLS or silicones. Unlike other sheet masks, this one is a black sturdy paper sheet which I can’t help but like.

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I like the ingredients and although there is perfumed mentioned at the end, I detected just smell of old fashioned soap, so really non offensive one.

As for the fit, they are not the worst but the way they cut out the holes for eyes makes me wonder whether they are using Mickey Mouse as a specimen. I would prefer, if the holes finished above my brows.

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Please don’t judge my morning hair, I just wanted to show how the mask looks on face to make a point about eye cutout.

When on face, the mask tingles but is a nice cooling tingle that I like. I removed the mask after recommended 10 minutes leaving my face hydrated but kind of tacky but again, not uncomfortable tacky.

I had a small breakout on my chin and by evening it was a whitehead that  was easily pressed out with all inside coming out without a problem and is now healing nicely.

As you might suspect already, despite the eye holes and odd fit around my chin, I really like this mask and it had my thumbs up. I am glad that after a bit of a disappointment with their cucumber mask I tried this mask.

May 2017 Empties

New month started and I have another bag full of products I used up or disposed of in May. There is quite a lot of haircare simply because I now share hair masks and sometimes conditioners (but they have their shampoo) with my daughters although their hair is mixed raced. I used to buy all their haircare in specialised shops but I didn’t see any special results, some of the products even made their hair smells after a few hours or they were expensive. If you don’t know, mixed race hair soak up oils from products really well so I saturate their hair especially from midlength down and as there are two lovely heads, I cannot afford to finish product costing over ¬£15 in two weeks on regular basis.

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Skin

Nivea Daily Essentials Refreshing Toner with vitamin E and hydrated IQ. I really used to like this toner and a year ago I would tell you that it is a deffinite repurchase but this time it felt a bit drying and not that refreshing, so I don’t really plan on buying again but I will check some other toners from Nivea.

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B. Revealed Glycolic Cleansing Peel. I would say that the name peel is a bit confusing as it is a cream cleanser that can be used up to three times a week. For it to work better as a first cleanse to remove make up, you need to use a bit more than ordinary oil or balm which I didn’t mind as I bought two of these by mistakes. So I am glad that I finished the second now and you can guess I am not gonna repurchase as I got bored with it. But I might in the future if I need something purse friendly.

L’Or√©al Pure Clay Detox Mask is the black charcoal mask that had a creamy opaque consistency that is very easy to spread around the face with flat foundation brush. I liked it but I did found it heavily perfumated with first few uses (my nose probably accustomed to it later) and another warning is that if you remove it with face cloth or towel, use something dark otherwise your white one will permanently stay grey. I would say that 10 applications it says it had is about right as well. Of course, I also always use hydrating mask after clay.

Balance Active Formula Vitamin C Power Serum is a really nice budget serum with light, almost watery consistency that smells like a typical vitamin C product, kind of citrusy. It soaked in quickly and brightened my skin although it didn’t dicrease appearance of age spots. If I need vitamin C serum under a fiver, I’ll happily repurchase.

Boots Ingredients Sheet Face Mask with lotus flower and tiger lily is a brightening mask from Boots offering. It contained milky lotion that took some time to soak into my skin and after 30 minutes from removing the mask I got fed up with waiting and just applied SPF before make up, as I wanted to go out.

Origins Flower Fusion sheet mask in Orange and lavender. Despite higher price (but still not too steep as there are many more expensive ones), I really like these masks as they are right size and good shape on my face, contain a reasonable amount of essence/serum that is not heavy but still hydrating, never stung my face and no parabens. The orange one smells inoffensive and did brighten my skin. Soothing lavender contains squalane in bottom half, but there is also dimethicone right next to it, if you mind things like that but the mask didn’t feel heavy and didn’t aggravate my healing breakouts, so that should still be ok.

Masque Bar Green Tea Sheet Mask. I did a review about it a few weeks back. I liked the scent, light hydration and again, it made my skin radiant but unless you buy a 3-pack where 1 piece comes to £3.33, it is one of more expensive ones with price starting at £4.99 a piece. On the other hand, there is no paraben.

Oskia Renaissance Mask felt luxurious and I can easily imagine someone using it as a cleansing balm or mask but let’s be honest, ¬£50 for a jar is really steep for me and I am yet to see the time I can afford it.

I am not sure whether I should put St Tropez Self Tan Express Bronzing Face Sheet Mask should be in skincare or body care but as I applied it on my face, skin it is. I was considering writing a full review about with my face with masks and how it work on the skin but I am afraid that I am completely anti-selfie and changed my mind. The mask contains thin sheet soaked in non-greasy tanning essence. By your desired effect, you should leave it on for 5 minutes for light, 10 for medium and 15 for dark and it is not advise len to leave it on for more than 15 minutes. It is quite ill-fitting from eyes down, I couldn’t smooth it properly. The effect should work for next 8 hours and I can vouch for that, as I left the mask on for 6 minutes, after the first hour I saw my face a shade darker but after 5 hours it looked like I had yellow fever and started panicking a bit and rubbing it with cotton wool soaked in liquid gold. Plus as with all self-tanning ¬†products, as the tan developed, so did the typical smell. I went to the cinema with children next morning and didn’t have time to put on my make up and before we left, my daughter said: “Mum, you’re orange!” (Word of encouragement is always needed when you go out barefaced.) On the other hand, the face was not streaky (just make sure you massage the serum well after removing the mask, especially around the hairline. I guess what I am trying to say in this paragraph is that self tanning with yellow tinged skin is not for me.

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Body

The Body Shop Vineyard Peach Body Butter, Shower Gel and Body Scrub. As somebody mentioned in their reviews of their body range, shower gel has got the best intensity of the scent which is somehow diluted in other products from the set. Who reads my empties knows I am a sucker for fruity scent so I definitely didn’t mind smelling like a peach. I overindulge in TBS sales last year though so I just really cannot wait to finish them so that I could move on.

The Body Shop Satsuma Beautifying Oil is finally finished. I hate using oils on my body as they make me feel itchy and this was no different so I used it in my Aztec Secret Clay mask and on hair.

Avon City Rush EDP was right up my street with its spicy plum notes. I really loved it, although I am not sure whether Avon still sells it but I saw it on notino.co.uk.

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Hair

Paul Mitchell Kids Taking Spray is for kids but I loved to use it too. For me personally it is one of the nicest (although also most expensive) detangling sprays I’ve used. It keeps hair soft yet lightweight with daily use and it smells like a raspberry compoteūüėč My purse doesn’t allow me to buy on regular basis but will definitely repurchase.

Avlon KeraCare Detangling Conditioning Mist is a really nice detangling spray for daily use. It is a bit more expensive than ordinary detangling sprays you can grab in poundstores or while shopping groceries but I can definitely see and feel the difference and for £7.60 I can still see it as a more regular repurchase.

Lee Stafford Hair Growth Treatment mask was in my empties probably every month since January, as I stock Up every time Boots have them on offer and last t√≠me it was on 3 for ¬£15 so that makes repurchase manageable (I don’t think I would bit for full price). I don’t really have a problem growing my hair and my hair didn’t get thicker as I hoped but I still like using this mask every time I wash my hair (around every 3 days). I wasn’t much sure about the growth efficacies but I realised last month when I looked at a few grey hair I have on the sides of my head that it was 4 weeks since I dyed my hair and I could see around 1 and half inch growth (so maybe I should stop using it -to stave me from frequent dyingūüėč).

Schwarzkopf Bonacure Repair Rescue Mask was quite a good mask, it did nourish hair well but I just didn’t like the artificial fragrance. I might be tempted to buy again for a good price though.

Schwarzkopf Bonacure Repair Rescue Sealed Ends is a leave in treatment cream that I definitely liked for both my (in small amount) and my daughters’ (in higher dose)hair. Not gonna repurchase now but definitely in the future.

Avon Natural Daily Nourishment Superfruit Souffle with acai berry and shea oil. It was nicely smelling and lightweight and yes, it does contain silicone and paraben but for £1-2 probably everything does.

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer was another 40ml sample I had as I would not pay the full price for the full size. However I repurchased a set of 75ml version with some other PK minis, as I saw it for £11 on Lookfantastic outlet.

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Make up

Maybelline The Colossal Go Extreme Volume mascara has a giant wand that took me a bit of getting used to and it is impossible to use on my sparse lower lashes but as mascaras go, it is not bad, it gave me volume and some length although not that extreme as it days on the packaging.

MUA Matte Perfect Primer promised to be complexion balancing and oil controlling but even if I apply my primers sparsely, it just felt like my skin was suffocating. I had it for two years and I just forced myself to use it up to 10 times, so I don’t really feel I should continue this struggle to use it anymore.

Latest in Beauty Cosmopolitan Holiday Edit

I wrote about Latest in Beauty boxes before as a really good choice for a subscription. Although I cancelled my subscription this month as I might be moving house in a few months and I seriously need to reduce my stash now, when I chose content of my last subscription (I am sure I will be back on after 4-5 months), I also decided to order Cosmopolitan Holiday Edit curated box as it was a seriously good deal for £20 and I know I can put almost everything in the box to good use. I am a sucker for deals so 11 items for £20 which means less than £2 per items and many od them in full size was too good to pass.

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I would start with products I was the most excited about.

Wet brush in classic size and colour normally costs from ¬£8 (except for ebay but after some bad experience, I don’t do ebay and I don’t do PayPal). At first I was really not interested because since I started using Tangle Teezer (and some cheaper copies) around 6-7 years ago, I didn’t ever want to go back to something that looks like traditional hair brush. But it fortunately isn’t as the bristles are flexible, not like small nails that are used as a tool of torture. It detangles my Caucasian curls perfect but I still prefer Tangle Teezer (Besides the afro comb) for my daughters’ mixed raced coily curls.

Ladival DNA Repair After Sun in full 200ml size is mostly available in Asda and some pharmacies with price around ¬£14. There is no doubt I will have good use for this now even if I don’t sunbathe. I have children so I spend a lot of time (and several bottles of spf) with them outside (especially if you spend the whole day in open air water park). Bonus is, that now with RRP, the value of these first two products already covers the cost of the box.

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Palmer’s Coconut Oil Formula lip balm SPF15 because we should not forget our lips in the summer and still saving some pennies.

Garnier Moisture Bomb Protect SPF30 Mist. Although I don’t really intend to use it on face much as many people complained in their reviews that it makes their face shiny, I intend to use it as a handbag all over SPF top up on the go. And I am happy to try it for under ¬£2.

Being by Sanctuary Spa Wash bag is really cute and nice travel make up bag. Being is a new body care line by Sanctuary Spa but I am happy that they chose the bag for the box not some shower gel or a lotion as at the moment, I am drowning in them but I needed some cute bag instead.

 

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MUA is a budget brand and although there were some products I didn’t get along ¬†with in the past (base and primers), I like their decorative range and especially their latest releases are great. This ombre highlighter melts into skin beautifully and the ombre effect is gorgeous.

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Collection Speedy Blush Stick is a nice natural pink shade that doesn’t look overwhelming and although it is a stick, does not feel greasy.

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Nails Inc polish is available in Notting Hill Gate and Abbey Road. I had pink Notting Hill Gate. It is classic summer pink with high shine finish that lasts quite well.

St Tropez Self Tan Express Bronzing Sheet Mask is my least favourite product as I don’t like using self tanning products much but I am curious about this sheet mask tanning concept.

Eyeko Sport Waterproof mascara is another (I have one from the Good Housekeeping‚Äč Edit) but I don’t really mind much as I never buy waterproof mascara, so it might come handy.

Merci Handy Lollipop Hand Cleansing Gel is a really handy handbag accsessory to have on the go. I actually am happy to receive one as it is practical.

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water in 125ml is a no brainer although I saw this size in Poundland.

I am happy with this box as I can see myself using all the items soon (and I basically already tried half of them and was not disappointed). What do you think?