Wednesday, 28 October 2015

The Body Shop Oils Of Life Collection - Review


A short while ago I was given the opportunity to review The Body Shop Oils Of Life skincare collection. It took me a little while to start the regime,  regular readers will know that I am pregnant and have been very poorly with hyperemesis gravidarum, but now I have been able to give it a good month of trying out the products and am ready to give my views.

The Body Shop say 

Give new life to your skin with our new collection infused with black cumin seed oil, rosehip seed oil and camellia seed oil, known for their supreme revitalising and repairing properties on skin. This daily routine has been created to intensely revitalise skin, revive radiance and leave your skin feeling nourished.

My thoughts 

I was really looking forward to trying these products as HG had really taken a toll on my skin and I was in dire need of something that was going to boost and support my skin so that my vitality returned.

Intensely Revitalising Essence Lotion £15 (150ml)

The Body Shop say 

This unique bi-phase oil [oil + water] formula is your essential first step after cleansing to prepare and activate your skin for the next steps of the routine.

My thoughts 

I use this lotion after cleansing and in place of my usual toner. I give the bottle a little shake to mix the oil and water and then apply to the skin. This product has quite a strong spicy scent but I am a fan of those so this doesn't bother me at all. I find the lotion really refreshing and it leaves my skin feeling soft and ready for the next step and not at all oily or tacky. 

Intensely Revitalising Facial Oil £28 (30ml)

The Body Shop say 

By infusing 3 precious seed oils from around the world, known for their revitalising and repairing properties on skin – Black Cumin seed oil from Egypt, Camellia seed oil from China and Rosehip seed oil from Chile – with a powerful blend of essential oils, we created a lightweight daily facial oil to intensely revitalise skin, instantly replenish moisture and revive radiance. Signs of ageing appear visibly reduced. Made from 99% oils of natural origin, this lightweight, quickly-absorbed formula effortlessly melts onto skin leaving a non-sticky, velvety-soft finish.
  • Potent daily facial oil infused with 3 precious seed oils from around the world to give new life to your skin
  • Cold-pressed seed oils to preserve potent properties and ensure the utmost affinity to skin.
  • Made from 99% oils of natural origin
  • Lightweight and quickly-absorbed, non-sticky finish
  • Signs of ageing appear reduced - skin looks revitalised and feels more elastic and firmer*
My thoughts

The facial oil has the same spicy scent as the lotion but this scent doesn't linger on the face from either of the products. One drop does my whole face and I work it in using the massager. Skin is left feeling super soft and radiant. I use this oil twice a day and have noticed a definite change and improvement in the 'glow' of my skin. A few people have mentioned this too and this pleases me a lot :)

Once again as promised this oil does not leave an oily or sticky finish. 

*I was given both moisturisers but I chose to use the Gel Cream version - The cream version is as you would expect a heavier textured cream. 

Intensely Revitalising Gel Cream £25 (50ml )

The Body Shop say

By infusing 3 precious seed oils from around the world, known for their revitalising and repairing properties on skin – Black Cumin seed oil from Egypt, Camellia seed oil from China and Rosehip seed oil from Chile – into a dewy-fresh gel cream with illuminating micro-pearls, we created a lighter alternative to the cream that intensely revitalises skin. Skin feels instantly freshly hydrated and suppler. From the moment it touches the skin, this Intensely Revitalising Gel Cream delicately melts onto the face, leaving a fresh light finish without a greasy feel.

My thoughts 

I find the gel cream to have a lighter scent than the lotion and facial oil, it is cool and jelly like to the touch. When applied to the skin it melts like water and absorbs fast leaving no tacky residue. I really like this gel cream as part of my routine and apply it twice a day. 

The results 

Within a week I had noticed a difference to my skin after using the Oils of Life Collection. After continued use my skin is softer, smoother and more radiant. I also have noticed how much better my foundations glide onto the skin and also that I am needing to use less foundation than I was before. Overall I am really enjoying this routine and can highly recommend it. 

*PR Samples

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Blanx Intensive Stain Removal Whitening Toothpaste Review



As I do suffer from teeth staining I was keen to give Blanx Intensive Stain Removal, I liked the idea that it claimed to whiten teeth whilst removing stains.

Blanx say 

BlanX Intensive Stain Removal with extract of Arctic Lichen.
Combines whitening with anti-staining action.
Its unique formula removes stains and pigmentation due to smoking, food, beverages and plaque deposits.

Contains non abrasive silica for deep and gentle cleaning without damaging enamel.

The Blanx range of products are the only daily cosmetic whitening toothpastes that use lichen, grown naturally in the Artic. Lichen contains active ingredients which attach harmful bacteria involved in the formation of plaque and tooth decay - not the beneficial bacteria found naturally in the mouth.

My thoughts 

The toothpaste comes in a handy pump action tube and taste wise it is nice and minty but not so strong that it almost burns your mouth, I am sure you know the mints that I mean!

The toothpaste is smooth in texture and pure white, most of the whitening toothpastes I have tried have bits or feel gritty.

Now I must admit I was judging the stain removal on a two week timescale and had a particular stain I was aiming to see disappear. I was disappointed to find it was still there after two weeks but I carried on using this toothpaste (the tube is now almost finished) and actually I have been pleasantly surprised.

Whilst using this toothpaste I became pregnant and found it hard to brush my teeth, extreme early pregnancy sickness made me physically unable to contemplate brushing my teeth without gagging or being sick (grim I know!). However I was attending my sister's wedding and I HAD to have beautifully white teeth. I tried my hardest to use it when I could... more recently I have used it religiously twice a day.

The results 

At some point the stains have gone, especially the one that was my control one! My teeth are lovely and white. So I would say that you will achieve stain free, whiter teeth but it will take continued use and a little patience.

I really like this toothpaste and can see the results, especially in photos.

Blanx Intensive Stain Removal Whitening Toothpaste 75ml is currently on special offer in Boots for £4.20

*PR Sample

Weleda Arnica Sports Shower Gel and Sea Buckthorn Creamy Body Wash



I call these 'his and hers' shower gels but obviously they are entirely gender neutral offerings from Weleda and gorgeous to boot.

From the bright and sunny orange packaging,  which instantly zings up the morning shower experience and starts the day in the most perfect way possible,  to the wonderful scents you cannot fail to love these washes.

Arnica Sports Shower Gel £7.95 200ml 

Weleda say 

Weleda Arnica Sports Shower Gel is a perfect exercise partner – the kind that complements your efforts and treats you with satisfaction. Refreshing and energizing essentials oils of rosemary and lavender are perfectly balanced to calm your mind and energize your body. 100% of our surfactants are bio-degradable.

My thoughts 

This is one of the latest product additions to the Weleda family.

Ideal for that morning shower or to add to your sports bag for your post workout shower the Arnica Sports Shower Gel is an ideal companion. The blend of rosemary and lavender is not at all feminine which is why my husband nabbed this as his and soon as he spotted it in the bathroom (lesson learned). Of course those of you who are regular readers of BeautySwot.com will know when it comes to shower gels he is a lather fiend. Therefore I was surprised when he declared his adoration for this one for it has a noticeable absence of SLS, this made me happy thought as I am always telling him how it is drying out his skin. 

The Arnica Sports Shower Gel doesn't just feel like it is doing good to your skin, it IS, wakes you up with its energising scent and leaves skin feeling soft and moisturised.  Big thumbs up from this household. 

Sea Buckthorn Creamy Body Wash £7.95 200ml

Weleda say 

Weleda Sea Buckthorn Body Wash is a revitalising shower cream which is a delicate composition of antioxidant-rich biodynamic Sea Buckthorn Oil, blended with the fresh aroma of sun-blessed oranges, mandarins and grapefruit from pure essential oils. A revitalising fruity fragrance for shower or bath.

My thoughts 

I am a big fan of SLS free body washes as unlike my husband I don't believe more bubbles mean extra clean skin! 

I have to be completely honest, during my early pregnancy days I really struggled with scents and fragrances in practically everything. Luckily the only thing that I found bearable was citrus scents and happily I was able to use the Sea Buckthorn Creamy Body Wash. It features a wonderful citrus orange scent that is really most pleasant. The creamy wash feels so gentle on the skin and leaves it super soft. Of course the major bonus is all its wonderful natural ingredients. 

* In the Summer I was fortunate to visit the Weleda Gardens. I saw where they grow all the wonderful plants used in the Weleda products and I witnessed just how passionate the staff really are about this fantastic natural brand.

Have you discovered Weleda yet? 

*PR Samples 

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Limited Edition Peanuts Carmex Lip Balm Pots


Carmex fans will absolutely adore these super cute, bright yellow pots featuring all your favourite characters from Peanuts. The collaboration is to mark the release of 'Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie' which will be out in cinemas this December.

The pots contain Original Flavour Carmex and each one features one of four well loved characters - Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Sally or Linus (Linus is 'Super Limited Edition'!)

Carmex contains menthol, camphor and beeswax to leave lips tingling, soft, moisturised and soothed.

Limited Edition Peanuts Carmex Pots are out now costing £3.49 each. 

*PR Samples

Friday, 9 October 2015

Win With SEVENTEEN makeup! & The New Blogger Network



In the final post of the my #SEVENTEENSummer series - the first two of which you can read here & here - I am giving the chance for five lucky readers of BeautySwot.com to win a selection of 5 of the following fabulous and highly rated items from SEVENTEEN.

Cheek Stamp

Skin Wow Highlighter/Tan 

Falsifeye HD Mascara

Lip Crayon (not pictured)

Instant Glow Shimmer Brick 

See below for entry details - Please note that the giveaway is only open to UK residents 



a Rafflecopter giveaway Good luck!

In other very exciting news - SEVENTEEN have launched a new Blogger Network.  The new platform gives you exclusive content including the latest beauty news and the lowdown on new product launches. There is also a SEVENTEEN noticeboard which is accessible to those who have signed up to the Blogger Network which will feature exclusive blog posts from special SEVENTEEN partners. In addition there will be loads of tips & content advice to inspire your own posts - I have signed up and you can too by clicking here -SEVENTEEN Blogger Network


*Sponsored post 


Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Pregnancy - My First 3 months (1st Trimester)


I've been umming & ahhing whether to post this or not as believe it or not I am a pretty private person in general, but hey, what the heck. Why not? Caring is sharing right?

I am 38, I already have a 7 year old boy and at the end of July I took a pregnancy test which came back positive. To be honest I knew I was pregnant before I even took the test as I had some little indicators in the weeks before ...

Pregnancy symptoms 

In my first pregnancy I experienced implantation bleeding which this time round I didn't have which made me think that I wasn't pregnant.

This time however I was feeling stretching, odd pains and cramps like my period was due any time soon...but of course it never materialised on the day I was due.

I needed the toilet more than usual, waking frequently in the night.

I was waking up in sweats.

I was on holiday and prior to this I had undertaken a healthy eating and exercise programme so I was a bit disappointed to find that my tummy looked a bit full. This was not due to the fact it was an all inclusive resort and I was eating loads, oh no!

On my return from the holiday unbeknown to me I was actually 5 weeks pregnant. I had an odd feeling on the plane home,  my back hurt & I was overheating. I HAD to get off the plane as soon as I could.

We had an early morning flight and arrived home around 5am - last year when we did this I stayed awake and carried on as usual. This year I went to bed and stayed there for most of the day!

I felt a bit nauseous.

Scents were getting up my nose, my husband wanted to buy an aftershave at Duty Free - things I had previously liked smelt horrid! Oops!

2 days after our return, I was a week late so I got a pregnancy test to confirm my thoughts...

The Test 

I really wanted one of those Clearblue pregnancy tests that says 'pregnant' but all my husband could find in the supermarket was the tests that have the lines, no matter though... the result was unmistakeable - I was pregnant!

Hooray!!

What happened after 

August

Again, I am going to be completely honest, it hasn't been a walk in the park.

Now I think my experience is not too common but I think people should be aware that it can happen to you.

Of course you can be one of the lucky ones who have no symptoms, or you may have a bit of mild morning sickness or nausea but be otherwise able to function pretty much as you were before.

My story is a bit more severe and left me debilitated for weeks. It seemed I was about to embark on a journey of  "hyperemesis gravidarum" - the same condition that the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton suffered from and meant she had to announce her pregnancy far earlier than she probably wanted to.

Within a day or so the hormones really kicked in. I was extremely nauseous and could barely stand up. This then progressed to being sick too many times a day to keep count. I lost interest in food as anything I managed to consume would come right back up, water didn't stay down either.

I tried all the usual things that they recommend for nausea in pregnancy -

Eat little and often
Ginger Biscuits - they make me feel sick!
Nibble on crackers
Suck boiled sweets

but my feelings were off the scale and NOTHING worked. I knew it was so much more than just the odd bit of morning sickness.

In desperation I visited my Doctor.

Now I really, really didn't want to take anything early on in the pregnancy but frankly I had little choice. I was extremely poorly and not functioning as a human being. My jaw hurt from being sick, my throat hurt from the force of the vomit and I spent most of the day in bed. My throat was irritated so much I would see blood in the sick bowl and was left extremely sore. My stomach would literally be throwing food out and the retching was unbearable.

I was given some anti sickness tablets. They didn't stop me being sick altogether but reduced the frequency (down from every half an hour to 5 or 6 times a day) and I could at least keep a bit of water down.

On top of this I was told I also had a urine infection (common in pregnancy) and had to take two sets of antibiotics.

Headaches - The headaches due to dehydration were horrendous.

DO NOT MENTION SCENTS and FRAGRANCES - every scent made me feel ten times worse... I hated my husband's shower gel, aftershave, our handwash.. food, dinner cooking. Anything really! It was all too much.

It was the Summer holidays and my poor boy was missing his usual happy mummy. Luckily I had family who could help and look after him as I was in no state to.

I narrowly avoided being taken into hospital and put on a drip for dehydration. I felt like I couldn't go..

You see at the end of August my one and only little sister was getting married and I didn't want to miss it for the world, call me crazy but I was not going to miss it.

I still don't know how I got through the fabulous day having spent 4 weeks in bed! But I did and it was an amazing day.

I popped on my fancy frock (I was Maid Of Honour), applied Estee Lauder Double Wear & lots of makeup. I tried to fool people into thinking I was just fine but inside I wanted to just go back to bed. I was feeling incredibly sick and was sick on the day - especially just before bed (the hotel neighbouring room must have thought I had got very drunk!!)

HG is a lonely illness, it can leave you feeling isolated and affects you mentally as well as physically.

September - Back to School 

I am trying to get some normality back into my life and I am actually seeing people again.

I do the school run - sick before I go, sick when I get back..All day nausea and sick most evenings.

September has also included my 12 week scan - the one where I came clean and finally confessed to friends & family that I am indeed expecting.

My husband came with me to the scan, we marvelled at this little person inside my tummy. Wriggling around and jumping about, I know! All 6.5cm of it!! Baby at first didn't want to play ball... it was standing on his head when we arrived at the hospital but a walk later and plenty of water to drink and it was in the right position for measuring.

Where am I now?

As I am writing I am 15 weeks tomorrow - still feeling nauseous, still being sick but nowhere near as bad as I was and still exhausted. Yesterday I had my first cup of tea since mid of July.

I am eating food far better now, especially lovely, healthy fruit & veg that I loved so much before pregnancy... Onwards & Upwards.

Part two will follow ...

Bettina x






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