Sunday, 10 December 2017

Powder Beauty Drawer- December 2017 Review


About the box
Powder, part of Time Inc who bring you magazines such as Marie Claire and InStyle, has been around for a couple of years now. At first, it only did seasonal boxes, but nowadays you can get monthly boxes that come in a lovely pink (powder pink, actually!) drawer box. Expect a mix of makeup, skincare and nail products.

Price
£15.00 a month plus £3.50 P&P

What I got


First thing out the box this month was the Brush Works HD Miracle Silicone Tear Drop Sponge (full size, £7.99, find it here). I really haven't had much luck with these silicone sponges in the past- they tend to just smear the makeup around my face, so I'm sceptical about it being a 'miracle' sponge, but I'll try it. Lots of people rave about them, so perhaps I'm using them wrong! These are apparently allergy free, non-sensitive and easy to clean, so very hygienic. Just rinse with some mild soap and leave to dry.


Next, we've got the Skin Chemists 24 Hour Aqua Repair Facial Serum (full size, 30ml, £39.00, find it here). This is a firming, soothing and hydrating serum, free of parabens and containing aloe vera and rose water. It can be used for all skin types. I'm impressed that Powder has included such an expensive item in such an already jam-packed box- on the Skin Chemists own website this actually retails for £64.00! That said, the packaging is not as luxe as the price tag. However, the serum itself smells divine and my skin felt soft and happy after smoothing it on. I might try this on some of my dry, angry patches of facial skin.


Another skincare item now, and it's Cougar Hyaluronic Acid Facial Oil (full size, 30ml, £16.99, find it here). Yet another full size and this is a facial oil containing white truffle, which apparently is good for repairing damage to the skin. You may receive a different variation of oil in your box- Co-enzyme Q10, or Enzyme Rich Protein. The bottle comes with a little dropper which is extra hygienic, and it smells lovely and fruity. It made my skin feel so soft and nourished, it really is lovely.


Next, GlamGlow Supermud Clearing Mask Treatment (sample size, 15g, approx. £12.60, find it here). This is a dinky sample size of one of the famed Glam Glow masks, and I'm so happy it's the clearing mask as pretty much everyone can enjoy that. It contains salicylic acid which is great for treating blemishes and acne, and you can use it as a full face mask or an on the spot treatment.




On to makeup now, and we've got the Smashbox Be Legendary Liquid Lip in 'Crimson Chrome' (sample size???, find it here). There's no size on the packaging, so I suspect this may be a good-sized sample, but I can't say for sure so I can't give you a value but the full 8ml size is £19.00. This really is an absolutely stunning metallic red liquid lipstick, I can't get over how beautiful that swatch is. Barry M actually do a really affordable liner that matches this quite well if you wanted one to go with it. This is definitely a winner for me.



The second makeup item is this Model Launcher Safari Bronzer (full size, 10g, $27.00/approx £20.17, find it here). This is an American brand and I can't find it for sale on a UK website but if you know of a place, do let me know in the comments. This bronzer is leopard print but once you swirl your brush over it, it swatches much lighter, with a hint of shimmer. Handy if you were wanting a new bronzer for a Christmas party look.



We're nearly there now, so thank you for sticking with me! Second to last item is the 3INA Nail Polish The Glitter Top Coat (full size, 11ml, £6.95, find it here). This is an excellent festive nail polish, lots of chunky gold glitter and by a lovely vegan brand as well! I love glitter top coats as I can just wear them on their own for a casual but fun look, and I don't have to worry about smudging with glitter.


The last item (phew!) is a dinky sample of Chloe Eau De Parfum. Normally I'd moan about samples of perfume, but considering the sheer number of products in this box I'm not complaining this time. Plus, it's actually a lovely, sweet, light scent so I might even wear it- bonus!

Final thoughts
Including the perfume sample, there were eight items in this box, so it felt like Christmas come early unboxing it all. Powder really have given good value too- I estimate a total worth of approximately £95 not including the Smashbox Lipstick and the Chloe perfume which I don't really know the value of. Considering the box costs £18.95, that's pretty good. Let's hope that Powder can keep up the good curations into the new year.

Interested in signing up to Powder Beauty Drawer? Take a look here.
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Friday, 8 December 2017

November Favourites

In which I am late, but only by 8 days, so it still counts, right? RIGHT?!


* Indicates PR sample received

Reading

The Woman Who Fooled The World // Beau Donelly & Nick Toscano

Goodreads


This was without a doubt my favourite read of November, it enthralled me from start to finish. I think this was partly because I do, having a blog, occupy the world of bloggers and influencers a little like Belle Gibson did. Belle Gibson, in case you don't know, was a wellness blogger from Australia who for years managed to convince people that she had treated her (fictitious) brain cancer by eating healthily and using alternative therapies. The journalists who wrote this book were the guys who initially broke the story of her tangled web of lies, and have documented her whole story from when she was a kid to the sorry demise of her business and book deal. That she managed to take so many people in with such ridiculous stories baffled me, but it was so interesting and definitely a read I would recommend. The book also probes a little into the 'wellness' industry as a whole, and the awful business practices of people who try and sell terminal cancer sufferers 'cures'.


Watching


I was so many seasons behind Supernatural, but suddenly a few weeks ago I got the urge to start watching it again, and now I'm almost up to date and obsessed! It's the perfect mix of funny, scary, silly and shocking. There really is nothing like Supernatural, and of course, I am particularly fond of Castiel, who isn't? He's everyone's favourite earnest angel.

Beauty



I know, gasp, I don't normally do a beauty section in my favourites, but I was sent some particularly lovely skincare to try out by La Roche Posay last month and I had to share with you how nice it was. Now of course, though it was sent free of charge you guys know me well enough by now to know that doesn't equal automatic fawning review. But I was really happy with what I tried. First, there was the Effaclar Duo*, a fairly cult product by now I think. I have tried it on and off in the past but I really tried to give it a concerted effort this time- my mental health issues mean I don't always take the best care of myself physically, but this is really easy just to smooth onto skin morning and night. It's not stingy (defo a technical term), and it's gentle and perfect for oily and spot prone skin, which is me all over. I have noticed a reduction in redness and general 'angriness' of my poor old skin when I use it, so this is a keeper for me.


Next, I was sent the Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel*, which I had never tried before. Again, for oily, blemish/spot prone skin, this lathers on as a gel with a gentle scent and foams up lovely. Once rinsed my skin felt matte, cleansed and ready for the treatment phase (see above). You get a hefty 200ml in a tube so it will last a good long while, and it's free from alcohol so my sensitive skin was thankful. Anyone else found their skin has got more sensitive as they've got older? Boooo.

Thank you to the lovely lady who contacted me about sending these, and La Roche Posay, I really appreciate it.

If you want to see more about the products, you can find their links below.



Box of the month


Box of the month for November has to go to Powder for their beauty drawer, which had a fantastic makeup sponge (which I always need a new one of) and the sparkliest, happiest nail polish I've ever owned.

Sign up to Powder here.

What do you think of my November favourites? Are you a fan of La Roche Posay? Have you been doing a lot reading? I'd love to hear what you think and what you've been up to in the comments!

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Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Pink Parcel- December 2017 Review


About the box
Pink Parcel is a monthly subscription box that sends all of your period essentials- so sanitary towels, tampons or a mix of both (your choice), as well as a generous serving of beauty products, a snack item and tea.

Price
£12.99 a month, inc. P&P

What I got


The first item I pulled out of the box this month I nearly cried- this is English Laundry Signature Purse Spray (£16.00). This is actually my all time favourite perfume in the world, and last month my cat knocked my bottle of it off my dresser and it smashed, and it was so sad! I can't believe this was included in the box. It really is a lovely, sweet scent. This is meant to be available in the new Pink Parcel shop but I can't actually find it at the moment.




Next is this Maggie Anne Nail Polish in 'Argentina' (full size, 11ml, £10.50, find it here). They have actually sent two shades out this month so you may receive a gold metallic called 'Carmela'. It becomes opaque in one coat, and it's vegan/cruelty free- Maggie Anne polishes really are lovely. They're very Christmas appropriate shades too!




This is The Beauty Crop Eyeshadow Trio in 'Coco Loco' (full size, £8.00, find it here). The Beauty Crop is a company by So Susan, and so is cruelty-free and full of goodness. Unfortunately, mine arrived smashed, but I still managed to get you some fairly good swatches. They're very chocolately themed, which isn't that festive but would make a good brown smokey eye. The packaging is pretty adorable too.


They've managed to sneak another So Susan product in this month, this is Mesmer-Eyes Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner (full size, £18.99, find it here). I'm not a user of liquid eyeliner, or really eyeliner in generally so this will go to a friend. It gives a really sharp black line, so great for eyeliner flicks for parties. Of course, being So Susan it is cruelty free.


I love these little guys so much- Pom Secret Santa Snowflake Earrings (£8.00). I was thinking about festive accessories the other day and what did Pink Parcel do but read my mind again? I already have a Christmas jumper, festooned with happy Christmas dogs, so I'm really set for the big day now! I tried to find you guys a link for these, but couldn't see them on the website anywhere, which is sad.


Final non food item this month is this Sanatio Naturalis Sweet Orange Aromatherapy Oil (full size, 10ml, £15, find it here). I don't normally like orangey scents, but this is actually quite nice and I think would be nice to have in my essential oil diffuser over the festive period. Especially when my neighbour is doing his extra stinky cooking!



The food items this month were the Whittard Earl Grey teabag and the super yummy Fudge Kitchen Orange Caramel Fudge. I'm so glad they haven't sent anything salted caramel finally, this looks so delicious and is going to be eaten as soon as I finish this review!

Final thoughts
I loved this box, such great picks for a December box, almost everything fits the festive theme, and I really enjoyed unboxing it all.

Don't forget, Pink Parcel are doing a special edition festive clutch containing tons of goodies, and it's still on sale- check it out here!

If you would like to sign up to Pink Parcel, find them here.
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Friday, 24 November 2017

VOBeauty- November 2017 Review

Flatlay view of the contents of the VO Beauty November Box

About the box
VOBEAUTY (which stands for Vegan and Organic Beauty) is a subscription which sends 5 travel or full-sized vegan, organic and cruelty-free products every month. You do not have to enter into any sort of rolling contract- you can simply prepay for each month that you want to receive a box.

Price
£15.95/month, plus £3.95 P&P

What I got

The Kandicane False Eyelashes in Caramel

The first item out the box this month were these extremely fluttery lashes, the Kandicane Eyelashes in Karamel (full size, £4.99, find them here). You might also receive the variation 'Frosting', so I'm guessing these lashes are Festive themed possibly? Or just happen to have conveniently tasty names? Either way, they come with a little tube or glue to get you started, and are made from synthetic hair so are cruelty-free (of course!)

Travel size bottle of Eden Perfumes fragrance

This is a product that kind of made me go 'hmm', as this is actually a repeat from last month, and although I absolutely loved it, I wasn't expecting to see it so soon. Luckily, I received the other variation of the scent- this is the Eden Perfume in 'Unisex 475' (travel size, 10ml, approx £6.00, find it here). You may also receive the 'Floral' variation which, hint hint, smells exactly like the popular Daisy fragrance- Eden Perfumes match popular designer fragrances with their own vegan, cruelty-free versions. And it really does match well, with my sister who is a big fan of Daisy, actually requesting it for Christmas! I'm not so keen on this months 'Unisex' scent, but I might find a use for it.

Hand holding a Coco Betty coconut oil wipe, a little pink sachet

Next were these dinky little sachets of Coco Betty Coconut Oil Wipes (sample of 2 sachets, approx. $1.59, find full-size pack here). These wipes, by Australian business Coco Betty, are soft wipes moistened with coconut oil. It's basically a really convenient way to work a cleansing oil into your cleansing routine, or to remove stubborn makeup- oil cleansers are amazing for stubborn stuff. Just tear open the sachet and go, and you can add a little warm water if required. I am sad that these are quite hard to find in this country, but often these products work their way here eventually.

Hand holding tube of cougar beauty lipstick in surprise, a very red shade

Swatch on the back of a hand of cougar beauty lipstick in surprise, quite a red shade

I've seen this brand before in previous boxes and been impressed- this is Cougar Beauty Lipstick in 'Surprise' (full size, £4.00). I couldn't find this lipstick in the Cougar Beauty shop or the VO Beauty shop so I'm unable to link you to it. All the same, it's a lovely soft formula and though the shade looks quite intimidating in solid form, once swatched it's a bit softer and can probably be smoothed down with your finger to make it less in your face- or indeed built up for a true red lip.

Bottle of BWC Kind Strong Nails- a clear bottle of clear liquid with a black lid

This is my favourite item this month, the Beauty Without Cruelty Kind Strong Nails Plant Based Hardener (full size, £9.50, find it here). After the disappointment at finding a nail strengthening product containing animal ingredients in this month's Pink Parcel, I was kind of delighted to see this! It contains spinach, avocado, green tea and pistacia resin (I dunno either) which all help to thicken and strengthen nails. I love this stuff and can't wait to try it.

Final thoughts
Though I wasn't keen on seeing a repeat of the Eden Perfume, this was still a lovely box. I will really enjoy the convenience of the Coco Betty Wipes, and that nail hardener is such a lovely surprise.

In case you didn't know, VO Beauty has joined in the Black Friday fun- running from 24th to 27th November, get 25% off all shop and gift orders (excluding subscription boxes, sorry guys!) by using the code VOBBF25 at the checkout. Most of the items in current and past boxes usually appear in the VO Beauty shop so it's worth having a browse to see what you can snag for that decent discount! Their shop link is here.
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Thursday, 16 November 2017

Quirky & Fun Christmas Gifts Guide 2017

I've never done a Christmas gift guide before, this being my blogs first Christmas. So, I haven't gone all out and done a multi-category, seven hundred entry Boots gift catalogue style guide. I thought I'd pull together a few things from different brands I love, and am hoping I chose things just that little bit odd or obscure enough that you won't have seen them in a million other gift guides.



Anything marked with an asterisk * has been gifted by a brand/PR, but this does not mean I was obligated to include them or express a positive opinion. Anything not marked was bought/provided by me.



Beauty & The Beast Chip Mug, £12.99, Find Me A Gift*

Beauty & The Beast has been all the rage this year after the amazing Emma Watson live-action remake. And nothing is cuter to drink your tea out of than the adorable Chip Mug. This is an officially licensed Disney product, so no shoddy stuff here. He's ceramic, and make sure you don't put him in the microwave or dishwasher, lest your poor buddy suffer a terrible fate. I honestly love this little dude so much, I think all of my other mugs may be a little neglected! He is currently out of stock on the Find Me A Gift website, but according to the product page more stock will arrive on 20th November!


Pride & Prejudice Personalised Book, £14.99, Find Me A Gift*

Ever read a romantic book or watched a period drama and though *sigh*, if only that were me? Well, now it can be. Uhh...sort of. Star in your very own personalised version of Pride and Prejudice! You really can have Mr Darcy for your very own! Ahem. Anyway, there are six characters to personalise, including Elizabeth, Jane and Lydia Bennet, Mr Darcy, Charles Bingley and George Wickham. If you don't want to personalise a particular character, you can leave them as their original selves, and then it all gets printed out, bound up and sent to you! This is definitely a book I'll treasure!


No. 309 Daisy Perfume, £18.00 (30ml), Eden Perfumes

Eden Perfumes are my new favourite cruelty-free company for fragrance- they only use vegan-friendly ingredients, and they match lots of your favourite designer brand scents. I'll let you figure out which famous designer fragrance this one matches, but here's a hint- the bottle has a massive daisy on it. It smells remarkably similar, if not a little better- maybe it's because you know that no animals were harmed making it, and it was such a reasonable price. I've got some of this for my sister for Christmas, and it's worth popping over to browse to see if you can find your favourite scent.



Nail Transfers, £5.00, House of Wonderland*

House of Wonderland is one of my new favourite stores- they stock an abundance of cute jewellery, homeware, gifts, and even things like pet tags. I was so excited when they sent me these nail transfers- I'm not so good at painting my nails, but nail transfers are an easier way of jazzing up my nails that don't really require such steady hands. Just cut out the little design you want, dip in water, then slide the transfer onto your nail. They stock all sorts of designs, my favourite being the cactus ones! My top tip would be to use nail scissors to cut them out as they're dinky designs and kitchen scissor will be too clunky!


Flutter Eye Mask, £3.00 (was £6.00!), Superdrug

I wanted to include something at the very lowest end of the price point, and this seemed like a good range to showcase- the Flutter range from Superdrug is extremely reasonable. Everything seems to be around £15 or less, and includes beauty bits, keyrings and stationery things. This cooling eye mask will be handy if you've overindulged slightly over Christmas and have a bit of a sore head. Pop inside a freezer proof bag, then put in the fridge for about an hour, then place over your eyes and lie back and let it soothe your poor old head and eyes!

So, that's my little selection of gifts and brands I think are worth a look this Christmas! What do you think of my picks? Have you got any you would add? Let me know below in the comments!

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