Friday, 28 April 2017

So Susan Lip Love- April 2017 Review

About the bag
Every month you will receive a bag filled with beauty items from the brand So Susan (typically 3-5 items). Sometimes these items will be So Susan's other brands, Jelly Pong Pong and Trifle Cosmetics. This bag is sent from the U.S.A. Everything So Susan and it's other brands sell is cruelty free!

$20.95 per month (approx £16.20) with free shipping worldwide. You can buy a one off bag for $45.00 (approx £34.79).

What I got

The bag this month was a lovely dark blue with green/blue feathers and the quote 'Be More Of Who You Are' which I really liked. I will definitely use this little pouch.

The first item out the bag was this absolutely gorgeous So Susan Liquid Matte Lipstick in 'Peach Nude' (full size, $14.00/approx £10.82). This is a peachy tending towards bronze (without shimmer) nude, which is smooth and creamy and dries down to a lovely, long wearing matte. So long wearing in fact that the swatch wouldn't come off with a regular wipe and was still there the next day- I had to attack it with proper makeup remover! This is my favourite item in the bag.

Next was the lovely So Suan Buffing Brush ($24.00/approx £18.56). This blue and gold brush has a properly premium feel to it- the handle is weighted, and the (cruelty free, of course) bristles are soft as bunny fur. This will be a great brush for buffing out contour and highlighter.

The third item is the Trifle Cosmetics Sugar Bunny ($18.00/approx £13.92). This is an exfoliating lip scrub, containing sugar to exfoliate, and vanilla and sweet almond oil to soften. It smells lovely and will be useful for my constantly chapped lips.

(L-R, 'High Beam', 'Rose Beam', 'Sweet Beam').
Finally was this Jelly Pong Pong Wonder Gleam Highlighting Palette ($38.00/approx £29.38). The product itself is infused with coffee bean and elderberry extracts, and each shade is quite shimmery, so you couldn't really use this palette to contour with alone. I love the rose shade best, but they're all beautiful. The picture of the swatches really doesn't do them justice.

Final thoughts
I loved everything in this bag, including the bag itself, and my favourites by far were the matte lipstick and the buffing brush. I look forward to next month of Lip Love. I don't mind that you have to wait a week for it to get here from the U.S, it's worth the wait!

If you would like to sign up for the So Susan Lip Love bag, the link is here (not a referral link).

Thank you for reading- if you liked this post, I hope you'll consider supporting my new blog by giving me a quick follow on InstagramTwitter and Bloglovin. Thank you! :)

Sunday, 23 April 2017

DAME Period Essentials Subscription Box Review- UPDATED

About the box
DAME box, formerly Sanitary Owl, is a subscription box that sends you your monthly essentials for your period. That includes things like pads, tampons but also optional extras such as heat pads, chocolate, disposal bags, tea and painkillers like Nurofen.

The price varies greatly depending on what you include in your box. A basic box with no extras- just pads and tampons would be £3.50 plus £2.50 postage.

What I got
Well, this was a weird one. When I signed up the website seemed very different to how it was when I came back to it today. There seems to be more personalisation available now, which when I signed up a few weeks ago there wasn't. I thought maybe it was because I signed up on my phone but I double checked the mobile website and that has improved too. Either that or my browser was playing silly when I signed up? They also made some errors with my box- they sent two different brands of tampons when I asked for one, and they left out one disposal bag, only sending me three.

The box arrives in a long slim flat box, which my postie easily got through the letter box. It still has some owl branding on which I think must be left over from when they were Sanitary Owl. Apparently my dedicated owl was 'Reggie'. :)

There was a little sticker reminding you that they're now known as DAME along with their new web address. I honestly had no idea when  I signed up that they were the same people. I hadn't thought about Sanitary Owl in ages, and I haven't used them before.

According to the card in the box they do some work towards supporting vulnerable women around the UK, which is pretty cool. You can read more about that here.

As well as the mix of tampons and pads I ordered (which the wrong kind, but never mind), they also sent a large cotton drawstring bag, and a little zippy pouch (above). I also picked a Cura-Heat 12 hour Pain Relief Patch. These are those sticky self heating patches that you put on over a t-shirt or vest and they do basically the same thing as a hot water bottle, but in a more portable way. It says it's for period pain but it doesn't do anything special for periods other than heat up, so basically any Cura-Heat patch from the range would do. I think it's just shaped to fit tummies and lower backs better.

They also sent some Fab Little Bags for disposal of used sanitary items. These are biodegradable. They actually didn't send as many as they were supposed to- again, not sure what went wrong there, but never mind.

Final thoughts
Overall, I don't think this is one for me. If you want the little extras, like chocolate and tea, you have to pay a lot more. For example, if I wanted pads, tampons, a bar of Doisy & Dam chocolate, some disposal bags, a face mask, and a heat pad, the price tots up to a whopping £12.50. When you compare this to the likes of Pink Parcel, who will send you something very similar, but different every month, curated and £10.50! Well, I think I'd probably go for Pink Parcel. I also think DAME might be having some teething problems, as they made some errors with my box that aren't disastrous but are a little annoying.

If you want to sign up for DAME, the link is here (not a referral link).

I got in touch with DAME to tell them about my experience and their customer service is actually really amazing. The lady I spoke to was really sorry to hear about the problems I experienced and immediately sent out replacements. I wanted to add this to my review so that people could see how great their customer service is. I think they are working on improvements and indeed you can already see this with the customisation options on their website.

Thank you for reading- if you liked this post, I hope you'll consider supporting my new blog by giving me a quick follow on InstagramTwitter and Bloglovin. Thank you! :)


Friday, 21 April 2017

Love Me Beauty- April 2017 Review

About the box
Love Me Beauty is a bit different to the other boxes- every month you get 60 credits, and get to choose from a menu of items. Each item is assigned a different amount of credits by Love Me Beauty, so you could choose lots of small credit items and get a really full box, or a couple of high value high credit items and get an extra special but more empty box. It's fun to see every month what they've got- they've had some amazing brands in the past like Charlotte Tilbury.


£10 a month + £3.95 postage and packing

What I got

This month there were a lot of make up brushes and sponge type things from Eco Tools, which are a cool brand. There were also some make up bits and hair bits, so there was a lot to choose from. In the end I went for three 20 credit items.

The first item was this EcoTools Contour Perfecting Applicator (20 credits, full size, £5.16 here). It's apparently certified cruelty free by Peta, 100% vegan and uses tree free paper (I assume that refers to the packaging?) This is a sponge applicator on a brush 'stick'. It's for moderate coverage, sculpting cheekbones and highlighting. It's actually smaller than it looks in the packaging. The sponge itself is quite firm. I've only ever used sponges like this in a beauty blender sort of way, so using it like a makeup brush will be weird- I don't know if holding the handle will make it harder or easier. I suppose I can only try it.

Next I chose the Living Proof Style Lab Prime Style Extender (20 credits, sample size, 30ml). This is supposed to be similar to a face primer, but for hair. You apply from roots to ends on damp hair and then style as usual. I think this will be useful if I was going to dry and straighten my hair for an outing and wanted it to last a while. It smells lovely, so I would definitely want my hair smelling of this.

Finally, I chose this Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in shade 'Outlaw' (20 credits, sample, 3ml). I've never tried anything by Kat Von D before but I've read so many people talk about how much they love it and so many Youtubers I watch think the brand is great too, so I thought I'd try something. It's a really bold, smooth formula. However, it's a very out there colour so I'll have to wait until I feel brave enough to wear something like that. I would definitely like to try something else from the brand though.

Final thoughts
This was a cool selection, although I can't help think that the samples are a little small and that with other books you get a lot more for the same amount of money. I love the freedom to choose but with that freedom you don't get much back for your money. I will see what they have for the next edit/menu in May but I don't know if this will be a regular subscription for me. Maybe just one for when I see something I like in the edit.

If you would like to subscribe to Love Me Beauty, the link is here (not a referral link).

Thank you for reading- if you liked this post, I hope you'll consider supporting my new blog by giving me a quick follow on InstagramTwitter and Bloglovin. Thank you! :)


Thursday, 20 April 2017

My Little Box- April 2017 Review

About the box
My Little Box was originally a French subscription, but now they have a UK subscription too, and it contains a selection of beauty, fashion and lifestyle products. Every month there is a theme and the box is decorated to match.

£14.95 a month

What I got
This months theme is 'Garden'. The box itself is really beautiful, so beautiful that I let my mum nab it off me when it was empty!

The box always comes packed up with the My Little Box ribbon, and on top was this Calendar of fruit & veg and when they're in season. If you like to eat seasonally it will be really handy- I think it could be useful if you want to get into growing your own fruit and vegetables as well. It definitely fits with the Garden theme.

Next was this Magnetic List Notepad. It has a few recipes on the first pages, but cooking isn't really something I do a lot of (not serious, from-scratch cooking anyway- does the microwave count?). I will stick it on my fridge and perhaps try and use it for reminders of what I'm running out of. It's cute, but not really something I needed. To be fair, I'm probably in the minority, I imagine lots of people would love this.

There's often a little snack in the box, and this month there was the Ape Crunchy Coconut Bites (sample- full size is £1.49 and also available in Natural, Sesame and Chia Seed). They're high in fibre, gluten free, have no added sugar and are (supposedly) part of your five a day. I tried these, and I really did not like them, but I kind of have a sweet tooth and these are not in the slightest bit sweet. They're kind of like a really crunchy, slightly salty, round bit of dried coconut.

This is my favourite item from the box, the Fruit Shake Water Bottle. This is one of those infuser bottles, where in the middle section you pack it with fruit (or whatever you want), and then slot it in, add water, and let the water be 'infused' with the flavour. I think I will try lemons or apples first. It's a great idea and I really need any help I can get to drink more water as I have ongoing kidney stone problems. The middle part, where you put the fruit, is a little hard to get out but I found if you turn it upside down and give a good hard tap on the bottom it falls out easily.

In every box the beauty bits are packed into a little cloth bag- I always keep these as they are handy for storing things in, not just beauty but snacks and stationery/craft items.

The first beauty type item was the Mixa Restoring Body Lotion (full size, 250ml, £6.49). This is the one thing I actually forgot to photograph (doh) but you can find it here on the Superdrug website if you want to see it! One thing I've not liked about My Little Box lately is the sheer amount of moisturisers and lotions they keep sending. I have never had dry skin, and often if I try and use moisturiser on my arms or legs it just sits there on my skin. I really do not need it most of the time. All the same, this is for ultra dry skin, fast absorbing, non greasy and apparently 'French pharmacy enthusiasts are crazy for it'. I will be passing this on to my mum who has crazy dry skin and will really appreciate it.

Next was the Easy Morning Perfect Face Treatment. There wasn't much information about it but I gathered it was more of a morning primer/moisturiser. Again, not really something I can use, so I gave this to my mum as well. This is one of My Little Box's own beauty products from their My Little Beauty brand.

The last beauty item was the My Little Beauty Vitamin Shot, a scrub containing apricot seeds for the scrubbing part and argan oil to nourish skin. I don't really use scrubs on my face, so this was yet another thing I couldn't use and will be passing on to my mum or sister.

Finally there was this little green and blue printed scarf, with the My Little Box branding printed on it. They packaged it in a little envelope printed with ideas for how to use it- tied in your hair, round your neck (far too small for that!), round your handbag (doesn't match), on your jeans (I don't wear jeans!). I'm not really sure what to do with this, I might just use it for backgrounds for photos or maybe as a decorative item round the house. It's not exactly versatile due to it's size. Hmm.

Final thoughts
As you might have realised from reading this post, I was not keen on this box at all. My Little Box has got obsessed with sending out moisturisers and lotions, and I just do not use them. I also found the paper products kind of fragile- the notepad has already had a few pages tear off accidentally. The bottle is nice, although not the best quality, but I will definitely try it. I hope the next box is better but if it isn't I may be seriously reconsidering my subscription, which is a shame as MLB has long been my refuge from samey samey subscription boxes elsewhere that shall go unnamed.

If you want to subscribe to My Little Box, the subscription page is here (this is not a referral link).

Thank you for reading- if you liked this post, I hope you'll consider supporting my new blog by giving me a quick follow on InstagramTwitter and Bloglovin. Thank you! :)

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Naturisimo Good Hair Day Discovery Box Review

About the box
Naturisimo is an online ethical beauty company, who sell ethical beauty brands and occasionally do 'Discovery Boxes' centred around a certain theme. This particular box is the Good Hair Day Discovery Box.

This box is as usual a one off, with no subscription required- just pay a flat price of £13.95, with free worldwide delivery.

In the box

On opening there was this cute little poem about their recyclable packing and posting materials. My cat tried to eat the packing peanuts so I had to put them in the recycling bin quick sharp! He's a strange beast...

I was really impressed on first glance how much they packed in to such a little box. I have really thick, long hair so it's not like I'm going to run out of hair to test these products on!

The first item was packed in it's own little fishnet stocking which made me laugh- I'm sure there was a more sensible reason behind it but I just had a giggle at how silly it was. :)

The item in question was the Tabitha James Kraan Organic 4 in 1 Golden Citrus Conditioner (60ml, sample size, worth approx £13.50*). This can be used as a traditional rinse out conditioner, a scalp moisturiser, a styling aid (so on wet hair before drying, for example), and as a traditional leave in conditioner. It is vegan, 92% certified organic, made in England and not tested on animals- all great credentials. My long thick hair gets very dry so I am really pleased to have such a versatile conditioner to try. The citrus scent is quite strong just on my hand but I think when it's distributed through my hair it will settle to a nice citrusy background scent. This is definitely a win for me.

The next item in the box is John Masters Organics Sea Mist Sea Salt Spray with Lavender (60ml, travel size, worth $26 (canada), approx £15.66*). I couldn't find this size in many UK stores so I got the values from the Canadia John Masters website. This is made from certified organic lavender, and gluten free (not sure why this would be a good thing unless someone with Coeliac were to want to eat it?!). It creates gentle body and waves, just spray in and go. I love salt sprays, they add body without having to backcomb or anything like that. Apparently it can also absorb oil which is useful. I love lavender scents so I will definitely use this.

Next is the Fushi Really Good Hair Oil, (10ml, sample size, worth approx £1.80*). I am a bit weird about hair oils- they tend to just weigh my hair down, even when I put it on the ends. I do occasionally use it when I leave my hair naturally curly though, to tame it a bit, so I will try this. It may only be 10ml but hair oils seem to last ages so this should give me a good couple of months use. It also smells lovely- it contains Sweet Almond oil which I think is what I'm loving about the scent.

Next there is Balance Me Protect and Shine Shampoo and Conditioner (both 30ml, sample size, worth approx. £1.50-2 each*). These are suitable for all hair types, and are free from parabens and sulphates, as well as many other things (pegs? what are pegs? well they're free of them anyway). They're fairly small, considering I have so much hair, so they won't last long. But I never say no to trying a new shampoo and conditioner, so these will go in my shower.

Finally there were two sets of sachet samples. One from John Masters Organics-  the Rose & Apricot Hair Milk, and Citrus & Neroli Detangler. Also, from Rahua, the Voluminous Shampoo and Conditioner. I'm not really in need of any more volume (!) so I think I'll pass these onto my sister.

Final thoughts
This was a lovely box- I always like the Discovery boxes from Naturismo. It's great to be introduced to some natural/ethical brands that might otherwise be off limits to me due to price or lack of knowing how to find them. My favourite is definitely the 4 in 1 conditioner- it's so versatile and I will definitely use it.

The Good Hair Day Discovery Box is still on sale here if you want your own.

Thank you for reading- if you liked this post, I hope you'll consider supporting my new blog by giving me a quick follow on Instagram, Twitter and Bloglovin. Thank you! :)

* I am not great at maths so the prices I gave for the sample sizes may not be completely accurate! Take them with a small pinch of salt. They're more like a rough guide.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

You Beauty Discovery Box- April 2017 Review

About the box
It's a bit different from most beauty subscriptions. You get a menu at the beginning of every month, and you choose from that what you want to receive that month. You usually get a couple of extra sachet type samples thrown in too.

There are three membership levels.
  • Pick two products a month for £6.95
  • Pick three products a month for £8.95
  • Pick four products a month for £10.95
What I got

This month I chose the four product membership option, or 'gold' membership.

My first choice was the Balm Balm Tea Tree Lip Balm, (£5.50, full size). It comes in a little blue tube with a flat plastic applicator. It's 100% organic, 100% natural and despite the name you can use it on your face and body as well as your lips. I was a bit apprehensive at it being tea tree, in case it tasted gross, but I have such dry lips so I took a chance. I'm glad I did- it's a fairly thick, soft formula that is really soothing on my lips. You can smell the tea tree but it doesn't leave a foul taste if you accidentally lick your lips.

Next I chose Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist, (15ml, sample size- worth approx £5*?). Again, I was nervous as I'm not keen on the scent of rosewater, but I have seen so many people saying they like this stuff so thought I'd try it. It contains rose essential oils and you can spritz it on your face whenever needed to refresh, hydrate and soften. I sprayed a bit on my hand but the rose smell is so, so strong that there's no way I'll be able to put this on my face. My mum loves rose scents so I'll pass this on to her. I did love the dinky glass bottle though, so I'll be checking out the rest of the Jurlique skincare range.

For my third item, I chose AA Skincare Green Tea & Aloe Vera Soothing Cleansing Wipes, (£3.30, full size). I jumped on these as I love wipes for when I'm feeling really down and tired and I don't have the energy to do a ten thousand step cleanse on my face. These wipes are pH balanced, free from alcohol, parabens and fragrance. The aloe vera and green tea is meant to soothe and nourish, which my acne prone skin always needs. They smell fairly unoffensive so I'm looking forward to using these later.

My final choice was the White Rabbit Comfort Cleansing Balm, (15ml, sample size, worth approx £2.75*). I was really pleased when I saw this as I love trying out different cleansing gels and balms with my Magnitone face brush. The instructions say to use it like a hot cloth cleanse- massage on, then wipe gently off with a hot cloth. But I think it would be fine to use this in the shower, which I will try. It contains Shea Butter so I'm hoping it won't aggravate my oily prone skin but it's worth a go!

Sorry for the rubbish photo- the packaging reflected so badly!
This month You Beauty chucked in a special extra gift for all Gold Members- this The Organic Pharmacy Marigold & Comfrey Hand Cream (£21.95, full size 50ml). I was pleasantly surprised by this- I don't normally like hand creams but it has a lovely lemony scent to it. If I knew what Comfrey was I could probably tell you if that was what smelled citrusy. It's quite thick and goes on like a dream. It's a whopper when it comes to price though, so this wouldn't be a purchase I'd make ordinarily.

Finally, there was the usual little extra, which this month was a Pip & Nut Coconut Almond Butter Squeeze Pack (sample size). I'm not really sure what I'm meant to do with it- I mean I know I'm meant to eat it but am I meant to just squeeze it into my mouth or spread it on something? According to the box leaflet you can swirl it into porridge but that's not really a me thing so I might pass this on to my mum or sister.

Final thoughts
I really liked my selection- my favourite are, surprisingly, the cheapest item- the wipes! I am definitely going to give You Beauty another go next month.

Thank you for reading- if you liked this post, I hope you'll consider supporting my new blog by giving me a quick follow on InstagramTwitter and Bloglovin. Thank you! :)

* I am not great at maths so the prices I gave for the sample sizes may not be completely accurate! Take them with a small pinch of salt. They're more like a rough guide.