Madara Insider Box – Spring 2019

2019, April 2019

I actually pre-ordered this box back in September (so it’s still within my no buy rules) and I was really looking forward to receiving it once I knew I wasn’t going to buy anything new this year.

This is the second Madara insider box I’ve purchased and so far they’ve been ok. Really reflective of how I feel about the brand altogether – I like the products, but I’m never really blown away and it’s very rare that I go back and repurchase. I also have a bit of a history with not being able to get on with some of the products purely based on their scents, sometimes to a point that I have had to stop using the products altogether. This time around everything has actually been fine in that regard.


One of the things included this time around is the Grow Volume Conditioner (€19.90/175ml) from their new Boost line designed to aid hair growth. It has chanterelle extracts (yum) and it’s packaged in a plant based plastic tube (I cannot tell you how impressed I am by that alone). It smells like a herby spice cupboard – something I actually quite enjoy, a bit spa like in fact. The smell doesn’t last too long on the hair once rinsed out. Texture wise it’s a thick cream that absorbs very quickly. In terms of the actual performance – as I was rinsing the conditioner out I noticed that my hair felt stronger, if that makes sense. I actually think I will get on with this product quite well.

Beach BB Shimmering Sunscreen SPF15 (€21.95/100ml) – I’m a bit on the fence about this one. It’s not as thick and greasy feeling as the other products from Madara’s sun protection range, but then again, it also has a lot lower SPF than the others. SPF 15 is not going to get you very far especially in the height of the summer which is when you would want to take the most advantage of the included shimmer since the weather is a lot more forgiving to exposing more skin. The shimmer itself is very nice and quite subtle and the cream has nice florally scent. It’s great to add some umph on a night out, but I’m not so sure about the whole SPF thing. I would use it as a body makeup type of product and rely on something else for the actual sun protection if I was to use it during the day.

Fake It Natural Look Self Tan Milk (full size €27.00/150ml) – I haven’t actually tested it out since I’m staying away from the fake tans now that I’m pregnant, but I did apply a bit on my hand just to test out the texture and smell. It’s very light and absorbs quickly, it’s also colourless on application – so far so good. The smell is a bit funky – like a very intense citrus, but I’m not sure whether this lingers or in fact develops in to something even more pungent. I also don’t know how well the actual tan develops and how long it lasts etc. I’ll have to report back on this.

Exfoliating Oil to Milk Scrub (full size €24.95/60ml) – It’s not very clear from the description whether this is to be used on face or body so I assume it can be used on either. However, the actual scrubby particles are very fine and the product is super gentle on the skin to the point that you almost can’t feel it (I used it on my face) so it probably wouldn’t be the most effective body scrub.  I don’t normally use physical exfoliators on my face so I’m not really sure how it compares to other products in this category, but it seemed nice enough and if facial scrubs are your thing it’s probably decent enough to try.


Included also were two 3ml samples – Daily Defence Cream (full size €17.50/60ml) which I have used before and I like as an intensive hand cream. Also the Weightless Sun Milk SPF20 (full size €22.95/150ml) – which I had very high hopes for, but it’s not actually that lightweight and it’s very fragranced. It protects the skin well but there’s nothing exceptional about it compared to other similar products on the market.

All in all – it’s been interesting to test some new products. I won’t buy the next box since I’m on a no buy, but I might get another one at some point in the future. I wouldn’t say it’s a must, though. From the value perspective the boxes work out quite well – it’s €27.95 for one or €37.95 for two so you definitely get your moneys worth.

What are your favourite Madara products?

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My No Buy Year 2019 – Three Month Check In

2019, April 2019

2FB85FB0-E5CE-448C-A2A6-E0AFECAC93C7Last of the no buy posts (have a look at my wishlist HERE and the list of things I have bought HERE) is an overall roundup of my experience so far.

It definitely started on a high – in January it was all fresh and exciting, it was an interesting project to concentrate on. The time flew and the whole thing didn’t seem that difficult at all.

In February I was a little bit more tempted to buy, but I actually had decided not to buy a single beauty or clothing related item for the whole month – including repurchases (since I knew I wasn’t going to run out of anything). Having a dedicated page in my calendar and crossing out days one by one was definitely helpful. And so I kept my ground for another month.

At the beginning of March I felt like I didn’t want to buy anything because I just didn’t want to ruin my perfect record. Until I went through a few emotionally quite taxing days and I was just itching to make a purchase, any purchase! There was that little voice in my head whispering “common on now, you’ve had an absolutely horrendous day, just treat yourself”. This actually made me realise just how closely connected my buying habits and changes in my emotional state are. Thinking back it’s definitely very true – emotionally last year was by far the worst year of my life and coincidentally it was also the year I spent the most money on buying things. I mean – off the charts spending! So that is something I will definitely address in the coming months. Now that I have identified the triggers I just need to come up with a better strategy to deal with these situations. All in all – March has been hard, but I do feel I’m getting back on top of things and I’m hoping for a much better April.

I’ve mentioned wishlists before, but they really do work for me. I am surprised by how quickly things rotate in and out – there are items I would delete just hours after placing them at the top of my must buy list. As a result I have become a bit more selective when it comes to placing things on my wishlist in the first place. I have also become a bit wishlist obsessed spending more time than I would like to on perfecting my selections. Again – something I can improve on.

I do think I have become better at instinctively knowing what I will end up purchasing once my no buy is over and what will just not work for me. If I feel any hesitation or if I have to find reasons to convince myself to like something I know it’s not right and move on. It has also inspired me to declutter my collection because I can now very clearly hone in on things that should never have been there in the first place.

So far I have used up a whopping 26 items across the board, but I haven’t had to repurchase any. I still have at least one item in each category which has made me realise just how unnecessarily big my collection is. I have also discovered some absolute gems in my current collection and most times when I see something new and shiny I go back to the things I already own and I’m able find something very similar.

I have been able to carve out a bit more time to spend on other things like reading and just relaxing but I’m still not where I was hoping to be, but then there’s another nine month to go. And that’s the thing – it will take time to fix something I  have ignored for so long. I just hope a year is enough.

If you are also doing a no buy let me know in the comments below how it’s been going for you.

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