Friday, 20 October 2017

Resmed S+ Sleep Tracker Review & Final Thoughts

*I received this product free of charge but all opinions are unbiased and completely mine!*



So, I've tested it for a couple of months now (see my 'first few nights' post here)- what do I think and how did I get in?



Cost: £129.95

Buy it here: Resmed here // John Lewis here // Amazon here


What it does:


  • Bluetooth technology connects the tracker base to the smartphone app
  • Tracks motion, light, noise, breathing patterns to understand your sleep quality and patterns
  • Analyses your sleep data and provides reports and tips (S+ Mentor)
  • It can help you get to sleep with relaxing sounds tailored to the rhythm of your breathing (Relax to Sleep)

What I liked best about the S+






I found the sleep insight and S+ Mentor tips mostly really helpful. I could see patterns emerging- for example, the more coffee I drank in the day, the worse I slept at night. The same with naps- if I let myself nap too much in the day, I wouldn't sleep for as long at night.

The tracker is really easy to use. You just pair it with your smartphone while your Bluetooth is switched on, and then open the app. Then you're ready to track. There is nothing to stick under the mattress, wear on the wrist or on the body. It just sits beside the bed tracking quietly.

You get a sleep score (out of 100) every morning which is a really easy and simple way of seeing if you slept well last night.

The Relax To Sleep function is amazing- you can pick from a number of sounds, such as ocean waves, and as you fall asleep you can actually hear the rhythm of the sound match itself to your breathing. Somehow this tricked me into relaxing quicker and going to sleep, and I found it really useful.

What I didn't like so much

I had to prop the tracker up on a box on my bedside table as I have one of the higher mattresses. This is because the bottom of the tracker is meant to be higher than the top of your mattress. This isn't really Resmed's fault, but maybe if they did a newer version they could keep this trend of newer, higher mattresses in mind?

That was pretty much the only problem I had with the tracker! It's so easy to use, it's me-proof!

Final thoughts

I'm definitely going to keep using the S+. It's so easy, it's pretty much a set it and forget it device- or rather, set it and sleep (although that doesn't rhyme so well!) I'm hoping I can try and work on some of my sleep triggers, as they are identified. I have already cut down on caffeinated coffee!

So, have you ever tried a sleep tracker? Do you think you'd enjoy trying the S+? Let me know in the comments!
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Thursday, 19 October 2017

VOBeauty- October 2017 Review


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 first item out of the box this month is some adorable little spooky bath bombs- Unique Creations Soap Company Halloween Inspired Bath Bombs (full size, £1.50, find them here). I think VOBeauty is trying to out me as a bath bomb destroyer as like the box with the unicorn bath bomb I accidentally broke in half, I've smashed this sweet little bat bath bomb into three pieces. NOOO! I really am so clumsy! Never mind, it'll still work, and they smell really sweet.


Next is this little vial of Eden Perfume in 'Floral' (sample size, 10ml, approx. £6.00, find it here). Others may receive the 'Unisex' variation in their box. This is 'Floral 309 Daisy' which is a woody musk perfume. I don't normally like floral perfumes but because this one as a woody sort of spicy background scent to it I actually love it! Eden Perfumes are botanical, vegan and cruelty-free, and also offer to match your favourite mainstream perfume! I actually think I may take them up on that offer.


Next, we have this W7 Very Vegan Liquid Eyeliner in 'Black' (full size, £4.50, find it here). This is an eyeliner from the W7 Very Vegan range, which obviously is cruelty-free. It comes in a dip pot formula with a very stiff brush nib for creating a bold fine line. I don't use liquid eyeliner so I'll probably pass this on.


I'm so pleased to see this in the box, I love these masks so much! These are Spacemasks (£15/box of 5, one full-size mask in the VOBeauty Box, find them here). When you tear open the little foil package, out pops a soft purple mask which instantly starts self-heating. Put the loops over your ears to keep the mask secure over your eyes, then you just need to lie back and relax. They're great if you just want to chill out, also if you suffer from headaches that improve with the application of heat.




Finally, and I really saved the very best for last here, is the Ve Cosmetics Autumn Eyeshadow Palette (full size, £7.99, find it here). We saw Ve Cosmetics last month in VOBeauty and I'm really not upset about a repeat of a brand as their highlighters and eyeshadow palettes are just beautiful! The shades from left to right and top to bottom on the palette photo are Halloween, Zero, Jack, Sally. Obviously, Autumn and Spooky times themed!

Final thoughts
I loved this box, again! Is there ever a box by VOBeauty that I'm not really excited by? It's all cruelty-free, and it's all adorable and sparkly, so I'm happy!

If you want to sign up to VO Beauty, explore their shop or buy a one-off box, their website is here.
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Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Dollibox- October 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.

Price
£10/month, plus £3.90 P&P

What I got



First, this month is this absolutely enormous tube of Patisserie de Bain Cranberries & Cream Hand & Body Lotion (full size, 200ml, £4.99, find it here). This is extremely scented, kind of gloopy textured, and really is a bit like putting food on your body. I'm really not keen and I'm not a dry skinned person but if you like this sort of thing you'll be pleased with the extremely large amount of it!


Another moisturiser in the same month (SIGH), here we have Palmer's Coconut Formula Hand Cream (full size, 60g, £2.49, find it here). This hand cream contains ethically sourced coconut oil, for rough and dry skin, particularly hands, elbows and knees. I don't have dry any of those things, so this will probably go to my mum.


Here we have the OSIS Session Label Hairspray ('travel' size, 100ml, approx. £4.13, find it here). This is a maximum hold, super dry hairspray in a handy travel size which makes it easy to pop in your bag. I like the fancy black can but other than that I don't use hairspray really ever, so this is another one for the donation pile.


Next is this super spooky Montagne Jeunesse Trick or Treat Peel Off Face Mask (full size, £1.00, find it here). This is essentially just a Halloween-ified version of their cucumber peel off face mask. These masks are vegetarian, cruelty-free and British made. I love peel off masks, I find them so satisfying, so I'm definitely keeping this. There's also a competition on the pack involving some sort f spooky selfie thing.


This is a Mermaid Bay Wax Melt (full size, £2.20). I got the scent 'Cotton Candy Carnival', which smells lovely and sweet, but it's my understanding that other people may have got one of a selection in their boxes, so it's more or less a surprise! They are also cruelty-free. I can't actually find a website for these guys so I get the impression they only sell through social media (@mermaidbaywaxmelts)?



The final item this month, which is my favourite, is the Heng Fang Highlight Liquid in '02' (full size, $13.99, find it here). I got the shade '02' which is a classic golden highlight, but I'm not sure if the other two shades are going out in other boxes too? It's quite a watery consistency but I think that's quite good as you can build it up or just use one swipe for a subtle glow. That way, it's harder to make mistakes in just one try.

Final thoughts
This definitely wasn't my favourite box for a long time- two moisturisers, when I am the opposite of a dry skinned person, and hairspray that I don't use. However, I know there are a lot of people out there that suffer very badly with dry skin in the winter months, and use plenty of hairspray every day, so since I am reviewing these for my readers I have to admit that this still passes as a good box- for others. That's the price you pay for subscription boxes- sometimes you will love it, sometimes you will be a bit disappointed. It's kind of fun though, a bit like a lucky dip!

If you would like to sign up to Dollibox, their website is here. This is a referral link- if people sign up through my link it goes towards me getting a free box (eventually!)











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Thursday, 12 October 2017

Giveaway- Powder Beauty Drawer October 2017 To Win!


You may have read my recent review of the Powder Beauty Drawer/Box (if not, you can find it here). In light of accidentally ordering two (it's a very long story!) I thought I'd give the second one away to a lucky reader. Please note: the Nails Inc. Corrector Pen that is listed in the box leaflet is not actually included, Powder have replaced it with a Nails Inc Nail Varnish instead. By entering you are deemed to have agreed to this. If you would like to have a look at the contents, including the replacement nail varnish, take a look at the photos in this post, and follow the link above for the full review!



Enter via the gleam widget below, and make sure you take full note of the included terms and conditions. There are no mandatory entries. Complete as many or as few options as you'd like.

I am always a comper friendly blogger- that means, if you enter competitions as a hobby, or for whatever reason you like, you are perfectly welcome to enter my giveaways. :)


October 2017 Powder Beauty Drawer


Terms & Conditions

  • Entrants must be 18+ and UK residents only.
  • Giveaway runs from 12th October 2017 @ 12.00pm to 31st October 2017 @ 12.00am
  • Winner will be picked at random by the gleam widget
  • Entrants who have not completed entries that they say they have will have those entries removed
  • Winner will be notified by email within 48 hours of end of giveaway
  • Winner will have 28 days to respond to the winning email notification, after which time a new winner will be picked
  • I will make all reasonable efforts to notify a winner
  • Prize will be posted within 7 working days of receipt of address details
  • Prize will be sent via a recorded delivery method
  • Please note: the Nails Inc. Corrector Pen that is listed in the box leaflet is not actually included, Powder have replaced it with a Nails Inc Nail Varnish instead. By entering you are deemed to have agreed to this.
  • Shades often vary from box to box- by entering you agree that your box may not exactly match the photos above.
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Monday, 9 October 2017

Pink Parcel- October 2017 Review


About the box
Pink Parcel is a monthly box that sends you your period essentials (pads & tampons, or just one of either, depending on your preferences), as well as a pretty generous selection of cheery uppy stuff, like snacks, beauty items and lifestyle bits.

Price
Your first box is £6.99 and after that, it is £10.50 £12.99 (see end of post!) a month (incl P&P)

What I got

MUA Luxe Whipped Velvet Blush in Hedonic

MUA Luxe Whipped Velvet Blush in Hedonic

MUA Luxe Whipped Velvet Blush in Hedonic Swatch

First item out of the box this month, is this MUA Luxe Whipped Velvet Blush in Hedonic (full size, 4g, £3.00, find it here). It looks like powder when you first open it, but as the name suggests, it's actually a super smooth, 'whipped' cream texture. As far as I know, everybody is receiving this extremely pink shade, 'Hedonic'. It's not actually as pink when you swipe it onto the skin, but you could probably build it up if you wanted to.

Cougar Mineral Eyeshadow Sample

Cougar Mineral Eyeshadow Sample

Cougar Mineral Eyeshadow Sample Swatch

Next is this teeny tiny pot of Cougar Mineral Eyeshadow (sample size, 1g, unknown value). I have no idea what shade this is as it isn't labelled on the pot- frankly, the pot is so tiny there probably isn't room. It is a very nude coloured shade with the slightest hint of sparkle- I say slight as it doesn't even show up in the photo! I have no idea how to value this either, as they actually don't sell pots of eyeshadow individually, but if you want to look at their range of eyeshadows, you can find them here.

Urban Veda Soothing Exfoliating Facial Polish

This is a brand I'm seeing quite a lot in subscription boxes at the moment. Here we have the Urban Veda Soothing Exfoliating Facial Polish (sample size, 20ml, approx. £1.76, find it here). Some pepole may receive a different variation of facial polish or in fact a facial wash in their box- it seems like there are eight variations being sent out. This polish contains Ayurvedic Sandalwood, palmarosa, geranium, ylang-ylang, organic aloe vera juice, myrhh and clary.

Trifle Cosmetics Lip Parfait Summer Cone

Trifle Cosmetics Lip Parfait Summer Cone Swatch

Another makeup item, this is the Trifle Cosmetics Lip Parfait in Summer Cone (full size, $18.95/approx. £14.40, find it here). You might also receive the Exotic Fruits, Guilty Pug or Raccoon variants. Summer cone is a very bright orangey red, and though it's called a Lip Parfait which makes me think of liquid products, it's actually pretty much a lipstick. Trifle Cosmetics is a sister company to So Susan, who do their own subscription box.

Blank Canvas Face Brush F01

Blank Canvas Face Brush F01

This is my favourite item of the box by far, the Blank Canvas Face Brush F01 (full size, £14.25, find it here). This is a chunky handled brush with dense, synthetic (and therefore cruelty-free) fibres. The fibres are incredibly soft and the brush is multi-purpose for the face. Blank Canvas Cosmetics sells lots of beautiful makeup brushes as well as contour palettes, and customers within the EU do not have to fret about customs charges when ordering!

Raw Halo Mylk + Pink Himalayan Salt Chocolate Bar

Boost Raspberry & Pomegranate Green Tea + Vitamins Teabag

The foodie items this month fit the red/pink theme really well. First is the Raw Halo Chocolate Bar, which unfortunately is milk chocolate with 'pink Himalayan' salt added which completely grosses me out so I will be giving this away to someone, but I'm sure lots of people like sweet and salty things enough to eat this (WHY!)

The tea this month is T+, in the variety A Little Boost Raspberry & Pomegranate Green Tea and Vitamins (try and say that really fast three times).

Final thoughts
This is definitely not one of my favourite boxes for a long time- the only thing that really delighted me was the face brush. But, being Pink Parcel, even their not so good months are still pretty good and I have faith that their selections will suit me better next month. They still provide excellent value- although the price has just gone up to £12.99 a month, those who have had a continuous subscription have been 'grandfathered' into the old £10.50 a month price and it will stay that way until such time as they cancel their subscription.

If you want to sign up to Pink Parcel, you can find them here.
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Friday, 6 October 2017

Powder Beauty Drawer Box- October 2017 Review

Powder Beauty Drawer Box October 2017

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


Urban Veda Daily Purifying Facial Wash

First out the box (or should I say drawer?) this month is the Urban Veda Daily Purifying Facial Wash (sample size, 20ml, approx. £1.73, find it here). This is a vegan, cruelty-free face wash that is made for oil-prone skin so of course, I am really pleased as my skin is very congested. It also has a mattifying and pore refining effect and contains Ayurvedic Neem oil, wild mint, eucalyptus and witch hazel.

Nip + Fab Dragon's Blood Fix Plumping Serum

Next, another skincare item in the form of Nip + Fab Dragon's Blood Fix Plumping Serum (sample size, 20ml, approx. £7.98, find it here). I don't really require any extra plumping to my face (haha), nor do I need any extra hydrating (dear god no more thank you) so this will probably go to a family member with dry skin. This is a serum containing hyaluronic acid and a 'flower blend'. I was kind of relieved to find that in actual fact no dragons were harmed in the making of this serum, phew!

Blaq Face Mask

Okay, so this is the last skincare item out the box, and it's one of those black peel off masks (not another one, I hear you scream). Yes, this is the Blaq Mask (sample size, 15ml, approx. £3.50, find it here). These black face masks, which have taken the internet by storm and are the subject of many a 'hilarious' (hmm) video where someone peels one off whilst screaming in faux agony, are meant to pull out blackheads and eliminate sebum as they go. This one does seem to contain alcohol as only the second ingredient so I imagine it is extremely drying, so definitely be careful if you have dry skin, and most certainly do not put it under your delicate eye areas.

Lottie Blush Crush in Harry

Lottie Blush Crush in Harry

Lottie Blush Crush in Harry Swatch

Oh isn't it just beautiful! This is the Lottie London Blush Crush Powder Blusher in 'Harry' (full size, £4.95, find it here). If you got this box you may have got the alternate shade of 'Nick' which I believe is more of a pink shade. I love this orangey coral colour so much, although I think I'd be inclined to use it as an eyeshadow more than a blush, but for the more adventurous or technically able amongst you, I say go for it! This is vegan-friendly and paraben free.

Look Good Feel Better Sculpting Sponge

Here we have the Look Good Feel Better Sculpting Sponge (full size?, £7.49, find it here). I think this is a regular size, but the photo on Feel Unique makes it look different so I can't be sure. Either way, it's a lovely squidgy makeup sponge, great for patting on your foundation, concealer and contour. Look Good Feel Better is actually a cancer support charity so money from every purchase goes towards their good work!

Calvin Klein Obsessed Sample

This is a teeny tiny sample of Calvin Klein Obsessed. It's meant to be sort of a reimagining of their 1985 cult favourite fragrance 'Obsession'. It's nice, but not quite my cup of tea.

Nails Inc Mindful Manicure Futures Bright

Nails Inc Mindful Manicure Futures Bright

Finally, we have the Nails Inc Mindful Manicure Polish in Futures Bright (full size, £15.00, find it here). This was actually meant to be a Nails Inc Corrector Pen, so I was a bit sad to see that they'd randomly sent this with no explanation, as I really would have loved the pen. All the same, it is a cute polish- the photo doesn't do it justice, as in the light it's very glimmery and actually quite nice.

Final thoughts
Besides the weird item substitution with no explanation given, I really liked this box. There was a good mix of items, and for my first go at a Powder Monthly box, I enjoyed it.

If you would like to sign up to Powder, you can find them here.
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Thursday, 5 October 2017

September Favourites

It's definitely autumn now...brrrrr!

Reading


This book was one of my favourite reads of the month, without a doubt. Set before, during and after World War II (it flits back and forth), this book follows two main characters.  Firstly there is German boy Werner who, trying to escape the shadow of his father, who died in the mines in his hometown and meant he and his sister grew up in an orphanage, falls in with the Hitler Youth. Through him we follow various other characters in Germany and see Hitler's chilling rise to power and Germany's transformation into a brutal fascist state. The other main character is Marie Laure, who has been blind since she was six, and grew up in Paris with her father, a locksmith. We follow her and her father's flight from Paris after it's invasion, and what happens when they move in with her Great Uncle. The way the author weaves everything together, and how he describes things, is just mesmerising and I really couldn't stop reading this obsessively until I had finished it. The ending was really very bittersweet, but I loved this book all the same.

Buy it on Amazon UK


Watching


I have been waiting for Season 2 of The Expanse for SO LONG and I was really excited when it finally came to Netflix in September.  Based on a book by James S A Corey, this is set fairly far in the future where humanity has spread across the solar system and space travel is a pretty regular part of daily life. Settlers have inhabited Mars, which is it's own separate 'nation' to Earth (now run by the UN), and then there are the 'belters', who inhabit settlements on the asteroid belt. There is a very uneasy peace between all three, and there is also a pretty awesome whacky science based conspiracy that has been woven through both season. If it's possible, season 2 was even more amazing than the first season and I absolutely blazed through it. If you've been wanting a decent space drama and don't mind paying for Netflix, I would so so so recommend this.


Listening


For some reason I got all nostalgic for Matt Smith's run as Doctor Who with Amy, Rory and River this month. Actually I know the reason- IT WAS AWESOME! Particularly the soundtrack, by Murray Gold, and particularly the season 6 soundtrack. If you're wondering which specific tracks, I would recommend giving Infinite Potential, Melody Pond, and The Majestic Tale (Of A Madman In A Box) a listen or thousand.

Box of the Month


This months Box of the Month has to go to Rainbow Box Club's first ever box, their September edition which was all about everything tasty, including donut, biscuit and chocolate themed things. I loved it so much and I can't wait to see what they'll do next!

See my review here.
Check out the Rainbow Box Club website here.
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