Monday 30 September 2013

Monthly Favourites | September

Wahh, September over ..already?! Gosh, it happens like this every time. I can't handle it being only 86 days until Christmas when it feels like we barely even had a summer. Eep! Third and final year of university is into full swing, Halloween and Bonfire Night are around the corner, and I'm even brainstorming plans for my 21st in November!

This does look a pretty boring bundle of favourites, I'll admit that myself (or maybe it's just the lacklustre colours put together that I'm not digging), but there isn't that many new things that I've been using recently and these are the only things that I could include without completely repeating my August Favourites. My love for skincare has been in full force recently, and I even did a post dedicated just to my current skincare favourites earlier in the month. Anywayyy, here are some of my other September loves:

Origins Gin Zing Energy Boosting Moisturiser
I bet you're sitting there thinking 'blahh, Hannah shut up about this moisturiser already!', and I will I will, I promise this will be the last time I rave about it! I reviewed this in full just yesterday, so you can go back and read my full post and more detailed thoughts on that here, but I just want to say for the record - incase it hasn't been made clear enough already - that I really like this moisturiser. It's oil free and light weight with a zesty citrus orange fragrance to it that gives your skin (and your nostrils!) the perfect morning wake up call. It sinks in quickly without a greasy shine, helping to create a great base for make up and perking up the complexion with a caffeine boost! 

Origins Make a Difference+ Rejuvenating Treatment
Please can somebody give me £34 to be able to buy the full size of this treatment? Pleaaase? I love it so much! This treatment was also in my skincare favourites post, but I wanted to mention it again. It's a moisturising treatment that works beyond the top layer of the skin and really penetrates deep down to hydrate deeper layers of the skin and I've seen such dramatic improvements to my skin quality just from this sample tube (sadly, it's all gone now! :( ). It's really made a difference. I've noticed dry patches vanishing, excess oil more controlled, redness subsiding and blemishes fading quicker - it's like magic! I need more.

Caudalie Cleansing Water
Caudalie has knocked Bioderma off my top spot for 'go to make up remover'. In fact, Bioderma rarely even gets a look in anymore! The two micelle waters have the same super powers at effortless removing make up with just a sweep of a cotton pad, but the Caudalie variant feels much more gentle on the skin and doesn't leave my skin dried out or irritated like Bioderma can do with contined use. If you've not yet tried Caudalie Cleansing Water, I would highly recommend it! Perfect refresher for the skin in a morning, and absolutely heaven for taking off make up at the end of the day. 

The Body Shop Tea Tree Blemish Fade Night Lotion
Okay, so even though my skin care routine has been in full force recently, and my skin has drastically improved, I am still prone to a spot or two (or five). It's just the nature of my skin, my hormones and the stack of tablets that I take to try and make my body work properly (don't ask!). Spots are something I'm so used to now that I'm really not bothered by them. However, I've pulled this little gem out of my stash recently and discovered it's super powers. It's basically tea tree oil, but in lotion form to use as a night time treatment and I've been using it since the Make A Difference+ ran out. It's full of antibacterial properties that fight away spots but it also moisturises the skin and helps it to speed up the healing process of the skin, so that not only does the spot disappear quicker but so does the redness and the damaged area of the skin - so fingers crossed no scarring from long term spots! The results aren't immediate or jaw dropping, but with continued use I'm expecting some good changes to my skin from this. 

The Body Shop Coconut Shower Cream
To anybody who is interested in washing their body in a rich, foamy and creamy tropical heaven; this one is for you! The Body Shop's shower creams are thicker, richer and creamier (duh) that their shower gels and they feel amazing. How much more can I really say about a shower gel? They do tend to be pretty standard, but these from TBS combine gorgeous scents, with fantastic quality and a well balanced price (£4). This also contains a little bit of coconut oil and moisturises dry skin - perfect! 

'It's a 10!' Miracle Leave-In Treatment
Earlier in September I posted a full review on this treatment (post here), and I also held a giveaway after buying two bottles of it (recently won by Lauryn from Funfairs and Fairydust). The clue is in the name, but this leave-in spray conditioner treatment has 10 benefits for the hair that include detangling, controlling frizz, protecting hair colour, thermal protection, smoothness, shine and prevention of damage! It sounds pretty amazing, and it is pretty amazing! I've been spritzing this through wet hair after every wash before detangling and it really helps to add extra softness, managability and strength to the hair. I can't see me going back to Redken Radiant-10 now after using this!

Barry M 'Lash Vegas' Mascara*
I just thought I'd bring to your attention a very underrated, but pretty impressive mascara that I've been having a play with recently. I was gifted this at an event when they were being given out by the handful, and currently they are a 'gift with purchase' when you spend a certain amount on Barry M products, so the way that these are being handed out willy nilly you'd expect them to be a bit naff. Well, at least I would anyway, especially as Barry M is hardly reknowned for having great mascaras. But I tried it out nonetheless and here it is as one of my favourite products of the month! It doesn't look like much, and it's cheap and cheerful - but it does a great job! More than anything this is a lengthening mascara, not much volume is added and it does add a considerable curl as well, but the length that this offers to the lashes is pretty wow. It wears quite well but at the end of the day it does start to flake and crumble a little bit, but other than that I am loving this for my every day mascara. Move over, Benefit They're Real!

Thanks for reading!
What have been your favourites this month?
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Sunday 29 September 2013

Review: Origins Gin Zing Energy Boosting Moisturiser

I've said this before, but if you have something promoted on enough blogs that I read and love, then it'll only be a matter of time before I'm splashing the cash and trying it out for myself. Promotion via blogs is definitely product marketing at it's best. I'm a sucker for it

Origins' Gin Zing moisturiser is their newest moisturiser release to go alongside their award-winning eye cream of the same name (as a side note; I'm not a fan of the Gin Zing eye cream - I don't like the tint it has). Gin Zing claims to be an 'energy boosting moisturiser' that 'instantly hydrates' and 'revs up radiance', but it has no silver-y shimmery tint like the eye cream does, so it's not an artificial radiance boost. It's infused with Panax Ginseng and Coffee Bean too, to really give the skin a jump start from the inside out.  It's not a very intense moisturiser, so maybe not a solution for really dry skin, but for normal and oily skin types I'd definitely recommend.

I love that it's oil-free and lightweight too so that it makes the ideal morning moisturiser and base for make up. The fresh, citrus orange scent to it makes it a perfect wake up call for your skin and really zaps some life into you. The light gel-cream sinks into the skin very quickly and leaves no greasy shine either. It adds a little 'zing' to the complexion and just makes you look a whole lot more perky and awake - definitely something that I need with early morning starts.

Although I think the price is a little high (£23), but that's what you get with Origins (and most of their products are impressive), I've found myself to only need a small amount each morning to really make my skin feel hydrated and it looks like the tub will last me quite a while. The amount of freebies I also got with my purchase also made the splash out seem worthwhile!

It's not a moisturiser for night time use as it's not quite rich each enough, and it's definitely not one to use in the depths of winter when the icy chills hit, but for right now when the weather is mild and my skin is 'normal' it really is an ideal morning moisturiser. Love

Origins Gin Zing Moisturiser: £23.00 / 50ml | link

Have you tried Gin Zing yet?

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Friday 27 September 2013

Back to Uni: What's In My Bag?

Bit late to the party (as per) but I wanted in on the 'Back to School' trend, so I thought I'd adapt and do a 'Back to Uni' style post, in the form of a 'What's In My Bag?'. This is my very first ever What's In My Bag post that I've done, so I hope that it goes down well with all you nosy parkers who like to spy into people's bag contents, and for anybody who likes 'Back to *insert educational institution*' posts too. Enjoy!

I'm just starting my 3rd and final year at University, and instead of living in halls or a shared house like I did for my 1st and 2nd years, I am now travelling from home and making a daily commute via train. This was a personal decision, but it is mostly down to this being the cheaper option and it enables me to keep my current part-time job as well. Downside: I have to carry half of my life around in a giant bag all day (including a packed lunch!)

This is what I lug onto a train with me everyday and use to get through a 7am-7pm day *sob*. 

First things first is of course my phone (iPhone 4), a.k.a my lifeline! No, not just because I like to keep up to date with Twitter and Instagram all day, but because I also have my whole life planned out in the calendar, notes, and reminders sections. It's my personal planner for everything related to work, uni, my blog and general life appointments!

Then I've got my purse, that is actually a 'phone case wallet' that I got for just a couple of quid from eBay (link). It took forever to arrive but I love the colours of it and it doubles as a handy phone case complete with slots in the case for chargers/headphones. In my purse are an assortment of essential debit cards, points cards, discount cards and ID for day to day life, plus a bundle of train tickets - and it's only been week one!

I hope nobody reading this is planning to mug me, because I carry around a hefty amount of electronic equipment. Sadly, there's no iPad or other tablet in this bag, but I do carry my Netbook to take lecture notes with (it's a lot more compact than 6 folders of paper), as well as my Kindle to keep me entertained during the 2+ hours of travel time. Plus all of the bits and bobs that I need for uni, like seminar work, pens and an adorable notepad covering in Dolly Mixture! Aw! (It's from Staples and it was flipping expensive, but I just couldn't resist it).

Above, is the damage that occurred when I nipped into Superdrug to buy a bottle of Fanta! Thankfully, I was in a rush so was well restrained, but I did still buy two more lipsticks than I needed! One is a new Deluxe lipstick from Collection in 'Prohibition', and the other is one of the new Little Mix lipsticks (also from Collection). I got Jesy's colour - a bright orangey red. I'm sure you'll see posts on both of these coming up soon!

Then we've got a mix of the essentials, plus the bits that end up lurking around the bottom of any bag! ..My keysheadphones, chewing gum, bobbles, clips, and a couple packets of paracetamol.

Then of course, some handy beauty bits: Bath & Body Works Pocketbac hand sanitiser (Freshly Picked Strawberries), Soap & Glory Hand Food, Burts Bees Mango Lip Balm and Maybelline Baby Lips. Also a few easy lip colours for an emergency top up: Bourjois Color Boost in Orange Punch and Revlon Lip Butter in Berry Smoothie. As well as a freebie mirror from Pandora. And it continues.. mini dry shampooTangle Teezer and a bottle of Soap & Glory Mist You Madly body mist.

And I wonder why my back hurts at the end of the day?

Admittedly, my bag is only this clean, tidy and organised because I have just started back at uni this week and it has all recently been sorted out. Give it a month or so and this bag will be littered with sweet wrappers, Primark receipts, tickets and random sheets of paper that may or may not be important ..but I'll never know.

Thanks for reading!
What's in your bag?

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Wednesday 25 September 2013

The Body Shop 40% Sale Haul (Featuring New: Honeymania)

If you follow me on Instagram (username: HannahRipley1) then chances are that you'll already have seen a sneak peek of the contents of this haul! It arrived on Monday morning after ordering on Saturday evening and I was so excited by all of the wonderful products inside that I couldn't post a picture quick enough! 

To celebrate the release of their new Honeymania range, The Body Shop are running a 40% discount across their whole stock range, both in store and online. At first I thought it was just discount on the Honeymania products so I was going to try their shower gel, until I realised it was on everything and I thought 'hang on, let me get my wishlist out!' and started add, add, adding to that virtual shopping basket!

Here's what I got:

Honeymania Shower Gel £4.00 £2.40 
Vineyard Peach Shower Gel £4.00 £2.40 
Shea Shower Cream £4.00 £2.40 
Satsuma Body Polish £5.00 £3.00
Coconut Body Scrub £12.50 £7.50
Sweet Lemon Body Butter £13.00 £7.80
Pink Grapefruit Hand Cleanse Gel £2.50 £1.50

Total saving: £18.00 Delivery: Free.

Incase you can't tell, I really like their shower gels. They seem to last an absolute eternity, meaning that paying less than £2.50 for the big bottles is pretty good value. The Honeymania is the only one I've used so far and it smells just like a jar of honey - it also looks in the bottle exactly like honey as well! Some of the items I would never consider buying without a discount code, such as the body scrubs - £12.50 for the body scrubs is ridiculously overpriced! Along with £13.00 for the body butters. As lovely as they are, I much prefer buying them with a hefty discount code, or even better when they have them on flash sale for just £5.00!

I'm not sure how long they're having 40% off for, but they regularly have big sales like this, so I save up all the items I'm lusting after and then make the most of big discounts and treat myself to them all at once (within reason).

Current 40% off code: 14395. HONEY (Still running)

Will you / have you made the most of 40% off this time?
Have you tried any new Honeymania products yet?

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Tuesday 24 September 2013

Review: ELF Blush and Bronze Cream Duo | St. Lucia

To anybody else that blogs: do you ever get a product/item that goes on your 'to blog about list', but then things get shuffled around and said item gets pushed further and further down on your agenda, until months have passed and you begin to question whether you'll ever actually get that blog post up? (Hopefully that's not just me!) But anyway, that's what happened with this duo palette and I. And now finally, it can be crossed off my list! Phew.

During one of ELF ('s huge 50% sales in the summer I made an order (see my haul post here) and put this little bargain into my online basket after seeing some lovely pictures of it on Beth (Birds Words)'s blog. Being just £3.75 when full price, this is one of the best quality budget priced make up items that I own. Honestly, can you believe that it costs less than £4?!?! I think that's amazing. We'll give it extra credit for also having a sizeable mirror within the compact, and it also being very sturdy and good quality packaging - no flimsy plastic catches that crack or don't stay shut, this seems very durable.

It's got an incredibly NARS-esque feel to it, both in the style and size of the compact packaging, but also from the shades of product within. I haven't tried either of NARS Laguna or Deep Throat myself, but I have been informed that they are the shades that this is supposed to be a dupe for (in cream form, as opposed to NARS powder).  

L: quite heavily swatched | R: lighter swatches blended out

I'm going to deeply apologise in advance for the photos shown in this post from this point on - I don't feel comfortable at all taking close up pictures of my face so I try to disguise it all by pulling funny faces. Plus, my camera or the lighting isn't good enough quality for you to properly see what the products looks like on my face I don't even know why I bothered! Just take my word for it that it's nice! ;) 

Basically, what I wanted to illustrate with these photos is my main gripe with that product, and that is that, yes, pigmentation is a good thing, but I'm afraid that this product can very easily cross into the territory of too pigmented. Can you believe it? An inexpensive make-up item that has too much colour pay off?! In the first picture below where I have applied the bronzer I used the lightest tap and a gentle hand, but look what still happened! ..And then the blush, well we don't need to say words. 

However, being a cream product, and these are very creamy, it makes them easy to work with and easy to blend. With a lot of buffing into the skin and plenty of blending then a very tiny amount of product can create and absolutely gorgeous and natural result! I use the bronzer shade in the palette almost every day for lightly contouring a shadow into those cheek bones, and any left over product on the brush I sweep around the edges to 'warm up my complexion' (- I hate that phrase, but you know what I mean. Give myself a bit of a tan boost so I don't look like Snow White). The blush I don't reach for as much because it's a very pink shade, and I prefer to opt for more of a coral or peach toned blush, as opposed to pink. But the two shades go very nicely paired together and definitely make an excellent contouring duo.

 ELF Cream Contouring Duo 'St. Lucia'  - £3.75 | link

What do you think?

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Monday 23 September 2013

Current Skincare Favourites

I've recently embarked on a huge skincare overhaul after the bulk of my severe acne clearing up and being left with relatively managable skin that just needed a bit of brushing up and some general tender loving care to keep balanced and under control. After splashing out a fair amount of money, being generously gifted with a few bits and pieces, a whole lot of trial and error, I think I've finally found the perfect bundle of products that's working for me and my face. It's important to bare in mind that everybody's skin is different, so these may all work differently for you than they do for me, but my skin is quite volatile and one application with a product that disagrees with my skin and I'll be still suffering with an angry breakout two weeks later. (Yes,  that is very frustrating!).

Here's what I'm working with at the moment and seeing great results:

Caudalie Cleansing Water Make Up Remover (£9.00 / 100ml)
After hearing from Kayleigh numerous times that this Caudalie Cleansing Water is a superior version of Bioderma and far more gentle on the skin, I decided to give it a try after finding that continuous use of Bioderma was making my skin quite dried out. Well, she was right and this Caudalie version puts Bioderma to shame! It still takes make up off with the same ease (maybe not as good at waterproof eye make up) but it feels nourishing on the skin, as opposed to stripping. This has been my go-to for taking off make up at the end of the day.

N Spa Hot Cloth Cleanser* (£7.00 / 250ml)
I was gifted this mini size hot cloth cleanser by N Spa to help promote their Beauty and Bathing Rituals ranges and this one was an unexpected impressive little gem. I won't be the only person to claim that this is better than the hot cloth cleanser from Liz Earle, and in my eyes it really is. I've sung the praises of Liz Earle C&P before, but I now prefer using this option from N Spa at a fraction of the cost and I definitely reach for it more. I'd highly recommend trying to hunt this brand down in your local Asda store. I use this as my part 2 of a double cleanse in the evenings after removing my make up with the Caudalie Cleansing Water (part 1). It helps to give a deeper and more thorough cleanse of the skin, while adding nourishment from the cocoa butter and removing the cream with a warm muslin cloth also gives the skin a gentle exfoliation too. 

REN ClearCalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser (£18.00 / 150ml)
I use this REN cleanser either as my morning cleanser, or on days when I haven't worn make up (so instead of doing a double cleanse with the above two products, I will use this one alone). This has fast become my favourite cleanser ever, and for anybody who gets oily skin and is quite blemish prone then I would highly recommend this. This creamy clay formula helps to absorb excess oils and impurities that can cause spots, leaving the skin refreshed, purified and balanced. I love how it's targetted for oily/blemished skin but has never caused any drying like a lot of others can do.

St Ives Invigorating Apricot Scrub (£4.29 / 150ml)
Arguably the only budget product in this post, and I'm sorry if it seems like I have expensive taste, it's not intentional (because of course who wouldn't prefer to use cheaper products) but I think that it's better quality ingredients in the higher end brands that are working well for me. St. Ives is an exception, and I actually bought this tube for less than £2 when it was on offer and it is amazing. It has quite large, and fairly abrasive grains within the soft creamy wash and it really scrubs like no other. Around once a week I use this and focus around my nose and chin where the blocked pores are help to shift away any dead skin cell build up.

Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner* (£25.00 / 125ml)
I've been using this exfoliating toner more and more recently as it really finishes off a thorough cleanse. It's quite a thick and gel-like lotion that moisturises the skin as it sweeps away any remaining cleanser on the skin, but it also contains AHAs to chemically exfoliate the top layer of skin. It's a good multi-purpose product that I've been enjoying using a couple times a week. I should be more regimented with using a toner, but for me they're a bit of a 'meh' step and I like to use this to exfoliate as well as tone.

Murad Osmolyte Tonic (£9.95 / 15ml)
A relatively new addition after being one of the contents of my September Love Me Beauty Box but I instantly had a feeling that I'd like this, and I do! One thing I don't like is the spray dispenser isn't very fine and no matter what distance you spritz from it still leaves your skin a bit 'wet' and sometimes dripping! But the tonic itself is very impressive - Imagine simply putting water on your face and it working to hydrate your face to the same extent as your most intense of moisturisers. It soothes, nourishes, plumps and hydrates and works instantly with long lasting effects. A handy quick moisturising spray to use after cleansing/toning and before any treatments.  

Origins Make A Difference+ Rejuvenating Treatment (£34.00 / 50ml)
(15ml sample when purchasing Gin Zing from Origins) Out of all the products in this post (aside from the REN clay cleanser), this is my number one! I'm reaching the last little bits in this sample tube and I'm definitely going to repurchase the full size, despite it being a pretty expensive skincare item. I've never used something and noticed such dramatic results, so quickly. I've really seen a change just from using this small bottle and I'm very, very impressed. This treatment intensely moisturises but also treats the skin deep down through the layers. I've noticed redness reducing, dry patches disappearing, oily patches balancing, spots fading, skin generally looking plumper, clearer and more refreshed.

Origins Gin Zing Energising Moisturiser (£23.00 / 50ml)
Everybody's favourite product of the moment! I described this on my Instagram as 'coffee for your face', and it really is like a wake me up boost to your face. It's oil free and very light on the skin so it sinks right into the skin but adds and instant boost and a glow to your skin, to take you from zombie to 'ready to face the day' in about 30 seconds. Since I got this, there hasn't been a morning when I haven't used this.

Origins Plantscription Eye Cream (£36.50 / 15ml)
(5ml sample when purchasing Gin Zing from Origins) I don't see a great fuss with what's a good eye cream, and what's not a good eye cream, and I doubt I'd even notice a difference if I didn't use one at all. Well, until I'm 40 and it's too late then. This was a sample with an order and I've been using it twice daily and I have to say it gets a thumbs up. I probably wouldn't buy the full size, but I'm liking this at the moment as it's nice and rich but sinks in quickly without any residue so it makes a good base for concealers etc. around the eye.

I hope you enjoyed reading what's working for my skin at the moment.
What's working well for you at the moment?
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Sunday 22 September 2013

Products I've Used Up | Summer Empties (#3)

Good afternoon, you lovely bunch. Today's post is an empties/products I've used up, with a very slight summer theme to it. It's the tubs, tubes, bottles and cans that I reached the bottoms of over the past couple of months of sunshine so there's a few SPF moisturisers and an aftersun, but it's mostly just a mixed bag of bits and bobs! I've split the items into 3 categories: Hair, Skincare and Shower & Body, and have given a quick run down on my final thoughts of each product, and whether or not I'd want to buy them again. Enjoy!


Batiste Dry Shampoo - Dark / Deep Brown
Ah, good ol' Batiste! The most reliable dry shampoo brand, and in my eyes one of the best out there on a budget. If I ever need to replenish my stock of dry shampoo then I'll always go to Batiste first. It helps to give you an extra day between hair washes, mopping up any excess oils creeping in and giving the hair a general refresh and extra breath of life. The brunette tint to this version helps with dark hair too! 
Would I repurchase? - Yes, definitely.

Phil Smith Dry Clean Revitalising Dry Shampoo
A new brand of dry shampoo that I tried with an open mind, but it just fell a little bit short of Batiste standards. It freshened up the hair, but didn't keep it fresh for very long, unfortunately. The can also ran out very quickly! :(
Would I repurchase? - No.

Lee Stafford Hair Growth Treatment Mask
This mask is probably the product I've raved about most on my blog. It's featured in a few favourites posts and probably every single empties post I've done! I get through a fair few of these every few months. I am convinced  that this is what helps to give my hair it's abnormal growth speed, but not only that, it is also one of the best for general deep conditioning and helping the hair to feel soft, smooth and bouncy. My number one all round hair mask!
Would I repurchase? - Yes! I'm waiting for Boots to do their '3 for £12' deal on Lee Stafford again then I'll be running down to buy 6 tubs!!

Moroccanoil Oil Treatment
Boo, I was so sad when I used the last drop of my mini Moroccan oil! :( This is one the best things that I have ever, ever used on my hair and it really is worth the whole craze over it. It's a little bit pricey but it fixed and maintained all of my hair issues and I've never looked back after using this!
Would I repurchase? - Not right now as I'm currently using a lovely bottle of argan oil from Amargan, so don't feel like I 'need' another oil at the moment, but I can guarantee that a super size bottle of Moroccan Oil will definitely be on my Christmas list (I can't wait for it to be back in my life!). 

Macadamia Healing Oil Treatment
You're probably wondering how on earth my hair is coping at the moment without the ultimate duo of hair oils anymore, haha! If you're looking for something to really sort out your locks, then Moroccanoil or Macadamia will be your best moves. They're both equally as amazing; I slightly prefer Moroccanoil, but Macadamia is a little bit cheaper.
Would I repurchase? - I have already bought a larger bottle of this (thanks to BuyAPowa bargains), and it currently lives at my boyfriends house ..for me, not him. 

Neal & Wolf Daily Shampoo and Conditioner (sample sachets)
These samples were gifted in a 'goodie bag' from an event and when I eventually got around to using them I was very pleasantly surprised! They're actually very good and are for 'all hair types'. They left my hair feeling clean and refeshed, but not stripped, and fairly smooth and free from frizz.
Would I repurchase? - They were good, but nothing to shout from the roof tops about. I'd maybe buy them again.


Caudalie Beauty Elixir
Caudalie Beauty Elixir is a funny little one, I have talked about it in full before and explained how it doesn't do a great deal and I'm convinced that it has absolutely zero skincare benefits, but for some reason I still absolutely love using it - it just feels nice and refreshing to use on the skin with a bit of a minty tingle. I use this to give my face a quick spritz in the morning inbetween cleasing and moisturising.
Would I repurchase? - Argh, this a tough one! When I finished my last bottle I said that I wouldn't buy it again, but now I'm feeling the temptation to buy another one just to have it hand for the moments when I feel I need it. I can't decide! Maybe if a 20% Caudalie sale arises and I have pennies to spare, then maybe. 

Caudalie Vinoperfect Day Perfecting Fluid SPF15
A sample bottle I received when I bought the Elixir. This moisturising lotion works like a primer and a treatment in once, helping to correct dark spots when used continuously and also helps to smooth, perfect and protect the skin, while adding radiance. It was really lightweight on the skin and felt like heaven. It left the skin surface looking and feeling so smooth, and was slightly tinted to add a teeny amount of coverage too. Loved this!
Would I repurchase? - As lovely, lovely, lovely as this was.. it is £38 for a 40ml tube, and that's a little bit out of my price range. If I was made of gold, then yes, I'd buy this again.

Alpha H Balancing Cleanser with Aloe Vera
This is the cleanser of a lifetime for me. Is that a thing? It is now. This was what I used at the beginning of my 'let's sort this yucky skin out' overhaul and it was a brilliant place to start. The creamy cleanser is so moisturising on the skin, but effectively cleanses and removes all traces of make up (it's remarkably good at removing eye make up), and also tones and then rebalances the skins natural PH with calming Aloe Vera and softening Vitamin E. This worked absolute wonders at restoring my skin's balance and settling things down - great for creating a blank canvas to start a proper skin care routine. This deserves more praise!
Would I repurchase? - Yes, absolutely and no doubt about it! I have another sample size of this left, but once that is gone I will swiftly be making an order from Alpha H. It's only £23.00 for 200ml which I think is great value for this!

Alpha H Micro Cleanse with Glycolic Acid and Rice Bran (sample)
Part of the 'Radiance and Renewal' set that I bought, this super exfoliating cleanser was a once a week treatment to manually exfoliate with it's tiny rice bran grains, and also chemically exfoliate with it's glycolic acid. Definitely too harsh to use more than once a week and made the skin feel a little bit sensitised, but it created really lovely fresh and bright skin. It reminded me a lot of Origins Modern Friction exfoliator in consistency and results.
Would I repurchase? - It was nice to use, but I can't see me buying it again. 

Alpha H Daily Essential Moisturiser SPF30 (sample)
I thought that I liked this at first, and I'm not disputing the fact that it moisturised the skin and also protected from the sun, but it did also leave a serious shine issue on the face. No amount of powder could blot away the greasy sheen that this moisturiser left behind. 
Would I repurchase? - No. 


Original Source Pink Grapefruit Shower Gel
Okay, we can't talk too much about shower gel because it's boring.. but this one foamed up nicely, kept me clean and fresh, and smelling sweeeet! The zingy but sugary fragrance of pink grapefruit is such a lovely summer scent and this shower gel gets a thumbs up from me.
Would I repurchase? -  Yes. I am keen to try every single scent from Original Source now.

Pampered Shower Smoothies - Berry Exfoliator
Pretty sure this was £1.00 from Home Bargains that my mum got me when I started uni last September, but it's great! It's a soft and creamy shower cream with quite large, but sparse exfoliating grains within it. It lathers up to create a foamy body wash but also gentle exfoliates with the beads in it. Worked great as an every day body wash.
Would I repurchase? -  Yes, I would.

Soap & Glory Flake Away Body Scrub
Comparing this to Soap & Glory's 'Sugar Crush' body scrub, this one is just no where near as good. I just don't feel like it was doing a whole lot of scrubbing on my skin. The beads were soft and gentle, but for me they were just too gentle and trying to give yourself a pre-shave or pre-tan exfoliate with this was like a waste of time!
Would I repurchase? -  I doubt it. If I received one as a gift I would definitely still use it though. 

Piz Buin Tan Intensifier After Sun Lotion
Handed down to me after my mum wasn't getting use from this, I used this as my after sun after sunbathing sessions in the summer. It cooled the skin and kept it hydrated and free from flaking and peeling, but the tan intensifying claims seem like a bit of a fad and I don't think it was anything special.
Would I repurchase? -  No.

L'Occitane Shea Hand Cream
This lovely little mini tube was gone in about 2 days because I loved it so much and just constantly wanted to apply it! L'Occitane hand creams are well known for a reason - because they're amazing! This was fantastic for keeping hands and nail areas nourished and moisturised but not greasy, with a lovely shea scent. One of the best hand creams I've ever used.
Would I repurchase? -  I'd like to, yes. 

Apologies, this post ended up being a little longer than I expected it to be! But, I hope that you're all good, and thanks for reading! 
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