Bath and Body Works True Blue Spa Mango Butter Nourishing Shower Smoothie

I was with my husband (who is now my ex-husband) when we bought this Nourishing Shower Smoothie from the True Blue Spa line at Bath and Body Works (hauled – here). It had a cute and appealing name (shower smoothie), fun packaging, and a gorgeous mango and vanilla scent! I could not get over how amazing it smelled! Every time I’d use it during my daily shower, I’d fall in love with the scent all over again. The scent got to me, every single time! I went to get a back-up but Bath and Body Works had already replaced these with a newer collection. Realizing if I kept using my Mango Butter Nourishing Shower Smoothie daily, I’d run out of it pretty quickly, I decided to switch it out with a different shower gel, only using it every other day. I loved it so much, I even took it with me on my vacation last year. Everyone thought I was crazy for bringing this huge thing of shower gel (295ml/10 fl oz) with me on such a short trip (little over a week) but I didn’t care. I was obsessed!

Back in Kuwait, the unthinkable happened. I wasn’t even reaching for it but my hand accidentally knocked it over. It fell and the cap broke on impact (breaking my heart along with it). I knew I was on borrowed time so I went back to using the Mango Butter Nourishing Shower Smoothie daily, just to finish it up before it turned. Unfortunately, because it wasn’t air-tight anymore, a little after I’d reached the half-way mark, it ended up turning. What I mean by turning is, it started to smell funky. It had gone bad, all because I’d accidentally knocked it over and broken the cap, allowing air to seep into it, which over time affected the product inside. I snapped a few pics to blog about it before trashing it (technically making it count as an Empty). I’ve been craving something similar (sweet mango scent) ever since. Bath and Body Works are always coming out with different Mango scents. In fact, one of my first loves from them was this Bali Mango Body Lotion (which I hauled in the travel-size here and full-size here). My all-time favorite candle of life, Cotton Candy (sweet mangoes and vanilla) also happens to be from Bath and Body Works (hauled – here). Even Orange Creamsicle Swirl Hand Soap (hauled – here) smelled ridiculously good because of the orange sorbet, vanilla bean and mango. I purchased a travel-size Maui Mango Surf Shower Gel and Maui Mango Mai Tai Nourishing Hand Cream (hauled – here) both from Bath and Body Works last year, in the hopes that they would smell like sweet mangoes. Unfortunately, they didn’t. My latest mango purchase was a travel-size Mango Sugar Body Scrub from The Body Shop (hauled – here) which I have yet to use. I really hope that Bath and Body Works releases another sweet mango scent next spring because the mango and vanilla combo smells straight up heavenly!

Trisa Hair Brush

I purchased this Trisa Hair Brush from my local co-op for KD1/310. Apparently, it’s a Swiss brand, so that’s cool. Typically, European products seem to be of super quality and seem more trust-worthy in general, specifically when it comes to personal care tools such as tweezers, pumice stones, nail files, brushes, etc…

My lion’s mane is quite prone to tangles, so I love using a brush like this, in the shower, to de-tangle my hair. I’ll apply some hair conditioner, usually Cream Silk (reviewed – here), work up a lather, and brush my hair with the conditioner still in it. I always apply conditioner from the ears down. I never ever apply it to my roots (scalp), crown, or anywhere above ear-length. Applying conditioner to your scalp can weigh your hair down in addition to being difficult to rinse out, making your hair look flat (no volume) and greasy. Who would want that? The conditioner helps the brush glide through my hair. Even if I hadn’t gone swimming (beach/pool) or back-combed my hair, I usually have at least a tangle or two in my curly-wavy hair. Those little balls at the end of the bristles, are a huge help in de-tangling my hair!

When I was a tween, my mom taught me this trick to de-tangle my hair (granted, she was talking about using a wide-tooth comb, not a brush) to start at the bottom, and work my way up. I tried it her way, at first, parting my hair in half (bringing it to the front), and combing it with a wide-tooth comb. The tangles were too small and the comb just sorta’ skipped over them. I realized then and there that my mom with her silky smooth hair did not suffer from the same hair-related problems that I did, so I improvised. I tried comb after comb but none of them worked. They either skipped over the tangles or in the case of the fine-toothed combs, they literally broke. So I switched to brushes.

Through trial and error, I learned which brushes could withstand water without coming unglued and falling apart. I also learned which bristles could withstand de-tangling my hair without bending or breaking off. Typically, I’d buy something slightly wider than the brush shown above but since I couldn’t find the one I usually purchase, and the cushion had come unglued on my latest brush, I went with the closest alternative. Notice how it’s aerated (the two little holes) which ensures that the brush dries off faster. I could lay it face-down and let it dry off, or I could squeeze the excess water out by applying pressure to the rubber cushion. That way, the brush lasts longer and doesn’t grow any mold. Honestly, if you don’t dry anything off properly (from loofahs and shower puffs to towels), it’ll smell funky, which means it’s already started growing mold. I’m equally both terrified and disgusted by mold, which is why I grab every opportunity I can, to instill the merits of properly drying wet things, by lecturing friends and family, which they think is funny, and even go out of their way to do the opposite of, which drives me nuts!

I’m aware brushing wet hair is a no-no but nothing else can de-tangle my hair. In fact, before I discovered the right type of brush, I used to spend upwards of an hour, in the shower just attempting and failing to de-tangle my hair. Even with all the extra conditioner I used (dollop after dollop), it still took forever! I’d end up tired (my arms would be sore), frustrated, and resentful. I straight up hated dealing with my hair! Discovering the “proper” brush (it was right underneath my nose at my local co-op this whole time) was life-changing! I’ve been repurchasing it over and over again, ever since I was a tween (decades ago). It might seem like an exaggeration but honest to God, hand on heart, finding the right type of brush for my problematic hair, truly was life-changing! De-tangling my hair became less of a challenge, which meant I didn’t have to spend a year in the shower anymore! I didn’t have to weigh the pros and cons before going swimming anymore (if everyone was going swimming for less than 2 hours than I’d opt out, because I’d have to deal with de-tangling my hair for an hour or more in the shower). I could go swimming whenever I wanted! I never got sore arms (from de-tangling my hair) again!

One of the things I prefer in a brush (specifically for de-tangling my hair in-shower) is metal bristles because I find that they are the best at de-tangling my hair and tend to outlast all the other kinds without suffering as much damage (bent bristles or breaking off, etc…). Those little balls at the end of the bristles, as I’ve mentioned earlier, are handy at de-tangling, but only in-shower. I wouldn’t recommend them for brushing through curly or wavy hair when it’s dry, as that can be quite painful. In the shower, they’ll glide through my hair, only getting caught if there’s a tangle (basically alerting me to said tangle) leading me to brush through the tangle a couple of times, and effectively de-tangling it. Last but arguably most important of all is stiffness. If a brush has way too much give, it’ll just skip over the tangles without de-tangling them. That’s why I prefer my hair brush to be extra stiff. I don’t think I need to point this out but I will anyway. If the bristles are too short or too wide, it won’t be able to get caught on the tangles or even de-tangle them, regardless of how stiff the brush is. Those are just some of the things I look for in a “shower brush”.

I’m aware of the Tangle Teezer and I’ve even purchased one of my own (a looong time ago) but I’m so set in my ways when it comes to my hair (and honestly my tangles are no joke) that I haven’t even opened up the Tangle Teezer yet (still in its original packaging, unused). Also, keep in mind that everyone has different hair and what might work for me, might not exactly work for you. For reference, my hair is dry yet soft-to-the-touch, naturally voluminous, textured (dries with a curly/wavy kink), wild and unruly (only certain products combined with extreme heat can tame it), and super-prone to frizz and tangles. Actually, what am I doing? You can check out actual pictures of my hair (this post – here). Lastly, I am in no way advocating the brushing of wet hair!!!! Brushing your hair when wet can and will damage your hair. In fact, when dealing with particularly nasty tangles, my hair has been prone to snapping off. In my case, I don’t really care, since I’ve been dealing with tangles ever since I was a kid and I’m so over it. I truly don’t care about a little breakage or losing a few hairs or any of that. As long as my hair is tangle-free, I’m happy. Getting my hair de-tangled is my top priority. Brushes like the one I just bought are very helpful in that aspect.

Rimmel Nail Polish Remover

I don’t even remember buying this Rimmel Nail Polish Remover (100ml) but it was most probably from Boots. I’m not even sure how much this cost but seeing how it was from Rimmel, it was probably inexpensive. I might have purchased it because I couldn’t find my favorite nail polish remover which happens to be by Boots (reviewed – here).

The fact that is says “strengthening” might also had something to do with why I purchased this because I’ve got ultra-weak nails (read my story – here). It also says “with protein & pro-vitamin B5” so I’m guessing that’s pretty standard for most nail polish removers nowadays to have some form of B5 because even my favorite one from Boots has some form of B5. The packaging isn’t particularly exciting and I find it quite droll. It also has the typical nail polish remover scent which I don’t enjoy. There are plenty of nail polish removers on the market nowadays that have less offensive scents (like fruits, for example) and are just as inexpensive as this one. Overall, this no frills Rimmel Nail Polish Remover was not bad as it sufficiently removed my nail polish as easily as can be expected.

Cleanic Cosmetic Cotton Pads

Cotton pads for the removal of make-up from the face and neck Made of high-quality 100% pure cotton. The convex/concave surface of the Pure Effect pads guarantees even more effective cleansing. The convexities distribute the cosmetic perfectly, while the concavities gather all the impurities. Additional moistening of the pad surface with the Soft Touch ingredient makes them soft and provides comfort while cleansing the face and sensitive areas arond the eyes.

I was with a friend at the local co-op when I spotted these Cleanic Cosmetic Pads, did a doube-take, and quickly snapped them up for KD/625 only. What’s so special about these? I’ll tell you. It’s got 120 pads, meaning it’ll last you forever and a day! Okay, clearly I’m exaggerating because I’ve only got the one pad left to show you. However, these really did last me for a long, long, looong while. Even the pack is extra long!

I also love that its got the draw-string closure to protect it from the elements. I know, I know, at this point it sounds like I’m obsessed with draw-string closure because I keep harping on about it but you guys, it’s just way more sanitary.

I don’t know about all that but that last one is a blatant lie. This is cotton and therefore does leave behind fibres (as cotton tends to do!) and not only separates but also completely comes apart when you drown it in makeup remover or nail polish remover or apply medium force. It’s a cotton pad. That’s just what they do. No need to lie, bruh. At first, I thought Cleanic was a blatant rip-off Clinique but it turns out they’re legit! Cleanic is all about hygienic products for skincare, and is actually pretty well-known in Poland.

I just like these because they aren’t extra-small or extra-large, they’re juuuuust right (now I’m Goldilocks lawl). Usually, I’ll drown it in my favorite makeup remover (reviewed – here), pop one on each eye, and presto off comes the eye-makeup (including brows and concealer). I also like these for removing my nail polish in conjunction with my favorite orange-scented (I know it’s apricot kernel oil but whatevs, it smells like sweet clementines to me) nail polish remover (reviewed – here). I’ve been seeing a lot of Cleanic products in co-ops all over the country. Seeing as how this was so convenient to use, I think I’ll be trying out a handful of their other products as well. If it makes my life easier, why not?

If you’re looking for a regular-sized cotton round, that’s budget-proof, and will last you for a good while, do yourself a favor and give these Cleanic Cosmetic Cotton Pads a try. They’re great for removing your makeup, nail polish, and whatever else you might have in mind. They’re just so handy!

Anna Sui Cotton

Anna Sui’s signature purple cotton is an essential tool in your daily skincare regimen.

Not only does it look pretty, it is designed to function better than ordinary cotton. Each square is super soft yet non-pilling and gentle on even the most delicate skin. The large squares are also able to absorb a large amount of product and cover more surface area making your skincare products more effective.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always longed for something (anything, really) from Anna Sui. Although she’s American (born to Chinese parents) her aesthetic is strongly reminiscent of the Japanese aesthetic (with its whole kawaii-factor). To the extent that without knowing anything about Anna Sui the woman or the brand, I wrongfully assumed Anna Sui was a Japanese brand, after only seeing a few Anna Sui makeup products online (and coveting them). Even if I wanted to purchase anything, I had no way of buying them. For years, I coveted Anna Sui products from afar. I even discovered several items including a mirror, a hairbrush, and some of the smaller storage pieces at Daiso that totally looked “inspired” by Anna Sui, and of course had to purchase them. Finally, about two or so years ago, started selling Anna Sui products. I just about died of happiness! They had a small selection, and it was crazy expensive, but I was happy, because I could finally get my hands on some Anna Sui stuff. Namely, those stunning, stun-ning, breathtakingly beautiful multi-colored roses blush housed in an equally heart-breakingly beautiful intricately-designed crystal compact. One of them (#100) even had roses in white, lilac, lavender, and blue (meant to be used as a highlighter, I’m assuming) way before Anastasia, Makeup Geek, Colourpop, or even Sleek came out with theirs. The only thing that bummed me out was that instead of whimsical names for the different shades, they had numbers, which just bores me. As well as being exceptionally beautiful, these works of art (because, let’s be real, that’s what they are, pure art!) were also very dear (read: expensive). I figured I’d wait until had their next Friends & Family sale where everything site-wide was 20% off, to pick up the Anna Sui Rose Cheek Color, but I purchased the Anna Sui Cotton to tide me over until then (and fulfill my dream of owning something from Anna Sui). As for the Rose Cheek Color, I slept on it (read: took my sweet time) and closed down (read all about it – here) so I never got the chance to purchase any of them.

I was so thankful that I’d at least purchased the Anna Sui Cotton when I’d had the chance! Look at that packaging. It’s so Japanese! It’s all stripe-y and purple with fleur-de-lis all over, and of course the iconic Anna Sui rose. A bit busy but that’s the Japanese aesthetic for ya’, very kawaiii, nonetheless!

I believe this was ten bucks. I’m holding it open in the photo so you can get a better idea of its dimensions. It’s pretty flimsy but even when I accidentally got the box wet (placed it at the bathroom sink) the cotton sheets house inside were completely dry and protected. I’m wearing the Vegan Nail Color in the shade Caring Caramel from The Body Shop (reviewed – here).

I saved the last cotton sheet to show you guys. Ideally, they’re meant to be used in conjunction with skincare. Since I’m not big on skincare, I reserved this for makeup-removal.

Here’s the Anna Suit Cotton Sheet side by side with a cotton round from a random brand, for comparative purposes.

Here’s a close-up of the Anna Suit Cotton Sheet underneath the cotton round. Hopefully, you guys can see the difference in texture and quality.

Basically, these things are huge! I used them in conjunction with my Clean & Clear Makeup Remover (reviewed – here). Together, they completely removed every trace of makeup off my brows, eyes, under-eyes, lashes and cheeks, all in one go. Seeing as how they’re so big, I felt like it would be a waste to use them for removing my nail polish so I only did it once (just to see how they’d perform). I’m not quite sure what I was expecting but I wasn’t mind-blown. They weren’t amazing but they were fine. They weren’t extra-soft or anything like that. However, you could definitely tell they were good quality because they didn’t come apart like the cheaper cotton from generic brands.

Some of you might be thinking $10 for 60 cotton sheets is pretty pricey. However, 1 Kuwaiti Dinar is a little over 3 US Dollars meaning $10 is about KD3/000 which isn’t ideal for 60 cotton sheets but it’s not crazy, either. Overall, I liked them but I didn’t love them. These were nice to try, but I wouldn’t repurchase them (if I ever had that option again). That said, these were definitely superior to any of the other kinds of cotton I’ve used in the past.

My Story: Curved Nails (Warning Graphic Pictures)

As you can see, I’ve got curved nails. However, not all of my nails curve. It’s just the nails on my index finger and the middle finger (that totally just reminded me of Chris Brown’s song, Deuces lawl). If I was to do regular swatches of nail polish on my blog, the above photo would be what they would look like and nobody but nobody needs to be subjected to that.

As you can see, in the first photo (upper left) the nail on my pinky and ring finger (and thumb but it’s not shown) are all normal. The nails on my index finger and middle finger, curve over my fingers. When my nails are a shorter length, they tend to behave. When they get longer, after a certain point those two start to curve. It’s incredibly frustrating because I’ve got chubby hands and it takes me forever to get my nails to reach a certain length (that actually flatters my chubby hands) only to be forced into cutting them. Once they start to curve, they remain that way (never straighten out) so I have to cut them really short and start growing them out, all over again.

All my nails are so thin they’re practically transparent (only the white part). In addition to that, my nails are easily damaged, as they are extremely delicate. Any one of my nails can partially break off, rip, tear, develop ridges, or peel off in layers because they are so brittle. You can sorta’ see that in the first photo (nail on my index finger aside from curving, has uneven edges that have peeled off). It’s not painful at all, because it’s only the free edge (white part), and not the nail body (nail plate?), that does that. Lastly, every single one of my nails is very bend-y and flexible. I’ve tried to “demonstrate” in the photo above, where I am using my thumb to gently apply pressure to the nail on my middle finger. As you can see, the nail is laying flat against my finger, completely bent. As I’ve said before, all my nails are flexible and can do that. However, they usually straighten out immediately as soon as I let go, except for the index and middle finger. Those two curve on their own, naturally. Even when I try my best to protect them (not apply any pressure, at all) so they don’t start curving. After they reach a certain length, both fingers on both hands, just start to curve over the finger itself.

My nails are so weak they are bend-y, so thin they are transparent, so brittle they break easily. Basically, I’ve got absolutely horrible nails. I believe the term is called eggshell nails (yup, that’s a thing). Apparently, there’s a lot of things that can cause eggshell nails. It could be hereditary. It could be a symptom of an underlying disease. It could be a result of stress. It could be a sign of oxygen deficiency or even a vitamin deficiency. Seeing as how I’ve had eggshell nails all my life, I highly doubt it’s something serious that’s causing it. I mean, I’m still alive amn’t I? As for stress, I’m pretty laid back. I guess I’m going to have to start taking vitamins and hope it’ll help.

That said, when I’ve got nail polish on, my nails are considerably stronger, aren’t as bend-y and do not break as easily.

The Body Shop Caring Caramel Nail Color

First of all, I’d like to apologize for the awkward angles, which is also mainly why I prefer using a swatching tool to showcase nail polish. This vegan nail color in the shade Caring Caramel was purchased at The Body Shop for KD2/500 (hauled – here).

As you can see it’s a warm-toned peach-brown with a slightly glossy finish. You can also clearly see the brush-strokes, even though I applied three coats. Please excuse the state of my nails as I’d been wearing Caring Caramel for a few days, before it even occurred to me to snap some pics for my blog.

Frankly, I hate it. Every time I wear Caring Caramel and glance at my nails, I think “blech”. I can see this being a gorgeous pastel-y peach on deeper and darker skintones, and a beautiful orange-y brown on the lighter and fairer skintones but on myself, I absolutely hate it! My cousin even complimented me on it, which made me hate it even more because she and I have very different tastes. She, like my older sister, think French Manicures are chic and classy. Personally, there’s nothing I find tackier than a French Manicure. Glean from that what you will. In any case, I think it’s cool that The Body Shop sell Vegan Nail Colors. I just happened to choose the wrong shade, is all. Since she likes it so much, I’ll probably be passing this along to my cousin.