Monday, 24 July 2017

So Susan Lip Love- July 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

Okay, so first things first, let's talk about this makeup bag. I like the blue and white theme and the art, but that quote. Oh I do not like that. 'Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Boss'? This implies that acting like a 'lady' and thinking like a 'boss' are two things that cannot normally exist together. News flash- there are lots of lady bosses out there, and they are brilliant. Also, I've never taken kindly to being told to 'act like a lady' as normally it's code for 'be quiet, sit down, be meek'. Anyway, rant over, let's look at the contents of the bag!

First thing I pulled out of the bag was this curious little eyeshadow compact. The Nomad Cosmetics Havana Intense Eyeshadow in 'Cachorros' (full size, $12.00/approx. £9.21). So Susan have started adding in a product most months by a different brand to their usual in house ones, and I'm really enjoying it as they always choose unique, cruelty free products that I love. This time is no different- Nomad Cosmetics was started by a husband and wife team two years ago and is certified cruelty free and free from chemical nasties. This beautiful soft green eyeshadow comes in a solid, chunky black compact with a little inset mirror. I absolutely love it and can't wait to try it on my human guinea pigs!

Next is the Trifle Cosmetics Cream Bar in 'Cake Island' (full size, $21.00/approx. £16.12). This is a lipstick crayon which goes on as a smooth and fairly creamy formulation but dries down to a matte finish. I found it non-drying, despite the fact that it's a matte lipstick.The swatch does look very pink and bright, but on my lips it actually suited my complexion quite well and I would go as far as to say this is almost a universal pink (almost).

I was kind of sad about this product, as only a couple of months ago did So Susan send another lip scrub out. This is the Jelly Pong Pong Coffee + Coconut Lip Scrub (full size, $19.00/approx. £14.59). It smells yummy and it works well- my lips felt much smoother after trying it out. You only need a little bit, and you don't need to scrub too hard.

Finally there was a brush, the So Susan Concealer Brush (full size, $21.95/approx. £16.85). I must say I've never seen a concealer brush this big before, but I often don't use brushes for their stated purpose anyway. I love these green and gold So Susan brushes, so I was so happy to receive another one- they are always gratefully received! They're just the right weight, well balanced and the fibres are synthetic and cruelty free.

Final thoughts
Besides the questionable quote on the makeup bag and the appearance of another lip scrub, I actually thought this months offering was pretty awesome. I hope they keep finding amazing brands like Nomad Cosmetics to send as that eyeshadow is so beautiful.

If you want to sign up for So Susan Lip Love, their link is here.

Little Known Box- July 2017 Review

About the box
Little Known Box sends you around 5-6 products every month from brands that may be niche, independent or less known. This includes categories of items such as nails, hair, makeup, skincare, and more.

£14.95/month, plus £3.75 P&P

What I got

This first item I was a bit like 'awww' because I've had this before in a previous box this year, but at least it's a different scent (last one was apple)- this si the Zerreau Towel Off Shampoo Foam in Coconut (travel size, 70ml, £3.99). The scent is very light, as is the foam itself. I like the idea of this but I wouldn't want it to get my hair too wet as I might as well just wash it then.

Unfortunately I just received this in this months You Beauty Discovery Box, this is the Merci Handy Face Mist (full size, 30ml, £4.00). It is a lovely scent and very refreshing on your face, although it's a pain to get it after another box featured it in the same month. Merci Handy seems to be a favourite in subscription box curator circles.

This is the Merumaya Youth Preservation Moisturiser (travel size, 10ml, £14.50). I'm only 27 so I'd like to think my youth is fairly well preserved for a few years yet, and to be honest with my oily acne prone skin this probably isn't a product suited for me. This will no doubt be well received by my mum or sister though. This moisturiser contains SPF 20.

There are two lip products in the box this month, the first being this Cougar Beauty 24 Hour Liquid Lipstick (full size, £6.99). Everyone received the shade Cocoa, as shown in my swatch above. It dries down to a matte finish, and is a pinky brown nude sort of shade. I'm kind of disappointed that the lipliner which they also sent (below) doesn't match as that would have been like a lip kit in a box! Opportunity kind of missed there. Still, this shade and formulation is right up my street and I think the price is excellent.

As I said above, there is another lip product- the Odylique Pink Lip Liner (full size, £12.50). I would have loved if this matched the liquid lipstick, but unfortunately this is a very deep pink and wouldn't really go with it. It's quite a creamy, smooth formula and has the added bonus of being free from chemicals and cruelty free. The price leaves a little to be desired but I would still be interested in checking out their other makeup products.

Final thoughts
This box wasn't a favourite of mine (I think July may not be my month!) but I think that's more personal preference and because I get a lot of different subscription boxes. If this is the only subscription you get, this was actually a pretty good all rounder. Little Known consistently sends full size and larger travel sized items which I think is brilliant value for money and keeps me coming back for more every month.

If you would like to sign up for Little Known Box their link is here, and if you're a new subscriber you can us the code NEW10 for a 10% discount.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

The Blogger Crowd Blogger Pack* Review

Today I'm reviewing something a little bit different to my usual thing. The helpful guys over at The Blogger Crowd were really kind to send me their new Blogger Pack*, which is a set of handy printables to help bloggers get organised.

This includes two pretty blogger themed prints, a full set of monthly overview sheets, a blog post planner sheet and a daily planner sheet.

The prints were my favourite, they really surprised me with how cute they are- the pink and black theme works well and doesn't put too much strain on the poor printer, so they are actually quite good value for those wanting to save printer ink. I can think of several ideas off the top of my head to do with them- I will either peg them onto my photo line, or frame them in a pretty frame for one of my bookcases. They would also look lovely taped on a white wall with washi tape!

The blog post planner has plenty of room for listing post title, websites to link, products to photograph, extra notes and the date the post is going live. These would be especially helpful for those long winded, complicated posts that just make you think 'argh' at the idea of even starting them.

The 'What Am I Doing Today' daily planner sheets can be printed out as many times as you want really, and you can use them to plan blog related things but also day to day life things as well. It has handy tick boxes and space for notes, and again the colour theme is pretty but not so bold that you'll use up all your ink printing them. I really appreciate this, it shows the thought that has been put into the design.

These are the monthly view sheets. There is plenty of room for copious notes, birthday and event reminders, and also a tick box list for your goals. I think I would really like to start setting more monthly goals, both related to my blog and regular life.

Final thoughts
I really enjoyed testing this pack, and I will definitely be using them to plan my blog posts and blog in general now. As I understand it, The Blogger Crowd will soon be selling a Blogger Pack for everyone to be able to use! I will make sure to update this page when it becomes available.

So what about you? Do you use planner sheets or printables in your day to day life? Let me know in the comments, I'd love to hear from you.

*This item was sent to me by The Blogger Crowd for the purposes of a review.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

The Pip Box- July 2017 Review

About the box
The Pip Box is a beauty subscription that sends out only cruelty free products. You can choose from the regular box or vegan box, but both will be cruelty free. For every box they sell, The Pip Box donates 50p to an animal charity.

£14.99/month, plus £3.95 P&P

What I got

First item this box was yet another variation on the rose face mist theme which I have seen so many times in subscription boxes recently- I'm starting to think this is a trend or something haha! This is the Balm Balm Rose Floral Water (travel size, 30ml, £7.50). The floral rose smell isn't too strong so I could see myself using this but as I have about a thousand rose sprays in my stash this may go to a friend or family member. Balm Balm products are 100% natural, leaping bunny certified (cruelty free!), and most (not all) are organic.

The second product, and the second Balm Balm product, was this Balm Balm Organic Muslin Face Cloth (full size, £3). These are fantastic for cleansing, especially the soothing and relaxing joy that is a hot cloth cleanse. These are designed to be lightweight and dry quickly between uses.

This was my least favourite product in the box, by far- the Glisten Cosmetics Primer & Glitter Pot (full size, £8.50). What you get is a soft gel like substance which you use to prime the skin where you want the glitter to stick, then you pop the glitter on top. I got rose gold but you could also receive silver. This stuff sticks to you really hard, and when I tried to wipe it off with cleanser it just sort of...spread. Everywhere. All over my hand, arm, clothes, everything. I definitely wouldn't put it on my face, not least because I'm not into glitter and don't go to festivals, but also because it would stick to me for the rest of my life!

This is another brand I'm seeing in lots of boxes lately- the PHB Ethical Beauty Organic Lip Crayon in Pink (full size, £8.95). Now I think about it, I may have received this exact item in another cruelty free box. I do wish these subscription boxes would look at other subscriptions and see what they're doing so they don't just repeat each other over and over ad infinitum. This is a soft, creamy crayon which will suit most medium pink lipsticks quite well, as well as being cruelty free and vegan friendly.

The final item is a larger version of an item I got in a previous box, and my suspicions have been corrected- the one I got previously was completely liquid, and I thought that couldn't be right. This is much more solid, like a proper mask. It is a 100% natural oil blend, packed with nourishing fruit, seed and leaf oils, as well as being vegan, cruelty free and 'artisan crafted'. I'm hoping this will give me better results than the last one, which was basically juice!

Final thoughts
I have to admit, this wasn't as impressive as their June curation- quite a few repeats of both brands and actual items from previous boxes that I've received. While I get that they aren't responsible for other subscription's contents, I think brands should probably not saturate the subscription market with their products so much that box lovers like me end up receiving loads of the same thing.
I'm currently looking to diversify into other types of boxes other than beauty, so for now I'll be cancelling The Pip Box, but I'll be keeping a close eye on their unboxings as I still love what they stand for and think that their subscription is great value for money.

If you would like to subscribe to The Pip Box, you can find them here.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Liebster Award

Thank you to Rosie over at Rosie Fortune for nominating me to complete the now infamous Liebster Award blog post. It's pretty much a rookie/new blog must do eventually I think. If you think this post isn't gonna get you, just watch out, I bet it will! :)

If you want to read the post in which Rosie nominated me, you can find that here!

The rules of the Liebster Award are simple:

  • Acknowledge the blogger who nominated you
  • Answer 11 question from the blogger who nominated you
  • Nominate 11 blogs
  • Give them 11 questions to answer

1// Do you have any pets? If so what do you have? If not, what would you want?
I have one cat who is the best fur-friend a girl could ask for. He has all black fur and his name is Percy. He is quite naughty and I love him with all my heart.

2// Where are you from?
I am based in the East Midlands in the UK, although I am originally fro the south!

3// Favourite food.
Umm...all of them? Okay if I have to choose probably Kinder Surprise eggs. That chocolate is super addictive. I feel bad for my friend that moved to the USA and can't have them (they're banned there!)

4// Favourite baby names.
I honestly haven't got any! I'm not really planning on kids at this point so that's probably why. I'm happy being an awesome Aunt.

5// If you had all the money in the world, what would you buy?
A humongous house for me and my family and all our assorted pets. It would have to be big so we'd each have our own corners to sulk in when we got fed up with each other!

6// Name your favourite Disney film.
Finding Nemo, without hesitation! Closely followed by Finding Dory.

7// Cats or dogs?
I'm sorry, I can't choose. I love both! My mum has the sweetest little dog and I love him to bits. He's great friends with my cat Percy.

8// What do you order at McDonalds?
I usually order a Dairy Milk McFlurry and some french fries. I am a vegetarian and there's never been much exciting on the menu for vegetarians so that's my go-to.

9// What was your biggest tune when you were younger?
I don't really have one. I have to admit I was usually reading!

10// Mayo, delicious or disgusting?
Delicious, in small amounts with something to dip in it.

11// Do you have a favourite quote? If so what is it?
I've never really had a specific favourite quote!

Now over to you! Here are your 11 questions.

1// What is your favourite book/s?

2// What song/track can you listen to over and over again and not get bored?

3// Do you remember the first blog you ever read? If so, which one?

4// Are you a spender or a saver?

5// Do you have a favourite magazine?

6// What is your favourite font?

7// What social network do you really hate/not get?

8// Do you have a pet? If so, tell us about them. If no, do you want one?

9// Do you prefer holidays somewhere hot or cold?

10// What was the last film you saw at the cinema?

11// If you could go back in time and give 16 year old you some advice, what would it be?

Ok, so now I nominate:

Weronika @ Multicultural Motherhood

Phill @ Corporate Dad

Hayley @ Love Hayley Beth

Claire @ The Frugal Family

Alright, so that isn't 11 people, but I'm hoping you can forgive me! I only managed to find 4 people wanting to be tagged- I didn't want to tag people who hadn't asked in case they felt obligated to do the post.


Wednesday, 12 July 2017

VOBEAUTY Box- July 2017 Review

About the box
VOBEAUTY is a fairly new 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.

£15.95/month, plus £3.95 P&P

What I got
I was kind of confused as when I bought my one month prepaid subscription it was labelled 'August' yet last week I got a dispatch notice. I didn't argue, I just shrugged and assumed they'd mislabelled. But I must admit it made me a little nervous.

The first item I pulled out the box was the dreaded konjac sponge! I say that because if you read my blog regularly you'll know I find them quite slimy and don't like touching them when they're wet. This is a mini version- the Konjac Sponge Co. Mini Sponge (full size, £6.99). This would be great for cleansing around your nose and removing makeup around your eyes. If I could ever bring myself to touch these I'd love them as they're so natural.

This the Young & Pure Soothing Face Mask (full size, 120ml, £5.99). This contains passion flower and green tea and can be used on both your face and neck. This tube will last a really long time even for a face mask, it's a really hefty size. It is free from sulfates, parabens, synthetic fragrance, colours and silicones.

This is one of my favourite items from the box- the Beauty Without Cruelty Everyday Range Lip Gloss (full size, £4.95). It comes out as a lovely metallic, shiny gloss leaning towards a copper colour. You can use it as a lip gloss alone or on top of a lipstick. I found it was very non sticky which is a bonus.

This product smells amazing! This is the White Rabbit Skincare Chocolate Orange Lipbalm (full size, 15ml £4.00). It smells exactly as the description suggests, and it is lovely and softening to the lips. White Rabbit Skincare is a completely cruelty free animal friendly brand.

Finally, my other favourite item is this Maggie Anne Nail Varnish in 'Ruby' (full size, £10.50). This nail varnish is '6 free' and has a gel like finish with a high, glossy shine. This really is a brilliant ruby red, which I think will look great on my toes.

Final thoughts
This was an interesting box, and definitely a good one for a brand new subscription service. They have also just introduced a build your own box option which I think may be the next thing I try.

If you would like to sign up to VOBEAUTY, their link is here.

Dollibox- July 2017 Review

About the box
Dollibox is a beauty subscription where you will receive five full sized or 'deluxe' sized beauty products every month from both well known brands and more niche ones. Everything is a surprise- unlike many subscription boxes they do not reveal any of the contents beforehand.

£10/month, plus £3.90 P&P

What I got
This month was only my second month so I was unsure how it was going to go but I was fairly pleasantly surprised.

First item out of the box was the Yanqina Maxi Black Liquid Eyeliner (full size, £5.00). This is my least favourite item in the box. I can't find really anything substantial about the company online and it was kind of blah when I found the same eyeliner available on eBay for £2.49. I'm not entirely sure how they came to their valuation of the product- I can only assume it's the RRP. All that being said, it is a good eyeliner. It gives a good inky black line. It does bleed slightly but a primer on the lid first would sort that out.

Next is the BioAqua Hydrating Seaweed & Hyaluronic Acid Moisturising Facial Mask (full size, 1 sheet mask, £5.95). I love sheet masks and K Beauty so I am really pleased to see this. The packaging alone is really fun. I'm not in need of a great deal of moisturising but this would be good for after a hot summers day in the sun.

Another beauty box, another silicone sponge! This is the unbranded Silicone Sponge (full size, £3.95). My one came in this adorable panda print, but by the looks of the info leaflet it comes in other designs too. These weird textured 'sponges' are meant to reduce wastage of liquid makeup and also give a blending affect similar to using your fingers to achieve a natural look more hygienically. The reviews on the web have been a mixed bag with these and my opinion is still not decided, but I'm thinking of doing a roundup post soon.

These are a brand I've seen several times before recently, the Seacret Dead Sea Bath Salts (full size, 100g, £12.95). Besides being calming and soothing, these bath salts are useful for polishing and softening the skin. I don't have a bath, only as shower, so these will have to go to a friend.

This is the Buff Up Body Oil in Morning Blend (travel size, 15ml, £4.00). This oil is made with a blend of coconut, apricot kernel, jojoba oil, evening primrose oil, lemon eucalyptus, spearmint and rosemary. Buff donates 2% of the profit from every sale to the Marine Conservation Society. This has a really refreshing, zingy scent that would be lovely for a sunny morning.

The final item is this Manshili Cats Wink BB Cream (full size, 35g, £4.25). This provides a glowy, hydrating base for makeup whilst evening skintone and covering imperfections. This is too dark for my skintone and will doubtless be too light for many others but if you happen to have the right toned skin this will be a dewy, highlighter like base. I will probably pass this on to a friend.

Final thoughts
This one was a bit of a mixed bag. I liked a few of the items a lot, and I really disliked a couple of others. It's not enough to unsubscribe but it certainly won't go down in history as my favourite.

If you would like to sign up to Dollibox you can do so here. Please not this link is my personal referral link.