GlossyBox July

GlossyBox July

Bex Londoner N6 EDT
Full size: £81 for 100ml / Sample size: 2ml (worth approx. £1.60)
I'm not really a fan of fragrance samples in beauty boxes because they don't last long at all and you can get them for free in department stores. Having said that, I like the concept of these fragrances, which aim to capture and reflect the vibe of different areas of London, mine being the elegance of Highgate Village and Hampstead Heath. This is definitely a very androgynous scent, which does smell nice, but I won't be purchasing the full size.

Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Moisture Mist
Full size: £9.35 for 300ml / Sample size: 100ml (worth approx. £3.10)
I am very intrigued and excited by this product, because not only is it a moisture spray for your hair, but for your skin too! I have used this a few times and I must say I can really see the benefits to my hair and skin - they just appear to be a bit more refreshed and moisturised. This is perfect for sunny days to keep you cool and perk up your hair and skin, and the bottle is a really great size to give it a good try. It will definitely be coming on holiday with me!

Monu Night Renewal Complex
Full size: £36.95 for 50ml / Sample size: 20ml (worth approx. £14.80)
A very nice sample to receive, and I'm happy it is tailored to my combination skin. However, I'm not sure I really need an anti-ageing product just yet. I will give it a go overnight and if I don't see any dramatic results or fall in love with it, I will give it to my lovely mum, who is always willing to take off my hands the products I don't want.

Jelly Pong Pong Lip Frosting in Irish Cream Pavlova
Full size: £10 for 15ml
Yes yes yes! I have wanted to try this for so long and it has not disappointed me! I have been wearing this beautiful bright pink creamy gloss all day on my lips and cheeks, and it hasn't been sticky or slippery at all. It smells absolutely delicious and makes your lips look really stunning! I'm not so sure I like it on my cheeks as it is a little too shiny, and I prefer a matte look, but for my lips it is fabulous. I will definitely be repurchasing this once it runs out.

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse
Full size: £17.50 for 50ml / Sample size: 10ml (worth approx. £3.50)
Ahhhh! Like all beauty junkies, I have been wanting to get my hands on one of these babies for a long time! It is a multi-purpose dry oil, which nourishes, repairs and softens your hair and skin. This sample size is really great because you don't need to use a lot at all, so I know I will be able to give it a real trial. After using this in my hair this morning, it was soft, shiny and smooth - very impressive! It also makes your skin super soft and leaves a gorgeous subtle lingering scent. Perfect to take away on holiday!

Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Skin Balancing Regimen
Full size: £17-38 / Sample size: 3 x 2ml (worth average of £0.50 each approx.)
This is a really nice little bonus - 3 sachets of Elizabeth Arden skin products. I would say these each have enough in them to use 2 times. Includes Exfoliating Cleanser, Optimizing Skin Serum and Skin Balancing Lotion (SPF15). I will enjoy giving these a go but it is unlikely that I will buy the full size of any of these products as they are very expensive.

Overal worth: £34.50 approx.
Overall thoughts: A really great box! Love all the multi-purpose products.

Fragrance Direct Makeup and Haircare Haul

Recently, I discovered Fragrance Direct, a website which sells great products at discounted prices. Don't worry, the products aren't defected and I have found absolutely nothing wrong with the products I ordered. Postage is super cheap too, at £1.99 for second class delivery and £2.99 for first class delivery. My first haul included a mixture of makeup and haircare (and one nail product), and so far I am highly impressed.

Active Cosmetics 96 Eyeshadow Compact £6.99
Macadamia Nourishing Leave-In Cream 60ml £2.49
Tigi Foxy Curls Mini Shampoo 75ml 99p
Ciaté 3D Nail Stickers 99p
Calvin Klein Delicious Luxury Creme Lipstick in Clear Rose £1.99
Calvin Klein Long Wear Pressed Powder in Light £2.99
Orlando Professional Backcombing Teasing Brush £1.99

Once I've given them all a good test run, I will be posting reviews on all these products separately. I will definitely be ordering from here again - I think my next order will be a fragrance or a MAC product. Have you ordered from Fragrance Direct before?

Review: Garnier BB Cream

I love the idea of BB Creams - a hybrid of skincare and makeup, with added sun protection. So of course I decided to buy Garnier's BB Cream to see what it's all about. I am coming to the end of the tube now, so I have given it a really good test in order to give a fair review.

Garnier BB Cream

The packaging itself looks nice, and 50ml is quite a good amount - mine has lasted a pretty long time. It costs £9.99, which is an average price for a BB Cream.

However, I have a few problems with this product. With my combination skin, I find that it does not help to combat the oiliness on my t-zone at all, but in fact seems to exacerbate it. After applying, it lasts for a very short time (roughly 2 hours) before going patchy and orange, which is not a great look at all!

The shade I bought is "Light" which, as the name suggests, is the lightest shade, yet even this is slightly too dark and orange for my skin tone. It is unfortunate that there are only 2 shades to choose from, making it highly unlikely that it will match most skintones perfectly. As for the consistency, it is quite thick but still fairly easy to blend in to the skin.

Consistency and shade

I do find that after wearing it, my skin feels quite soft and any blemishes I might have are treated slightly. It certainly doesn't make your skin any worse blemish-wise (but like I said, it does make my skin quite oily). Also, the fact that it contains SPF15 and UVA protection is a real bonus, because I tend to only buy foundations and skin creams with sun protection.

Overall, it has been an okay product to use, but I wouldn't buy this BB Cream again because it just doesn't last as long as I want it to and doesn't work well with my combination skin. I am currently trying out a few different BB Creams to see if they are any better, so the reviews on those should be up soon...

Rating: 6/10
Bottom line: Okay, but not the best.
Do I recommend? Only for those without oily skin.

ELF Haul

Last week, ELF had a 50% off everything offer running, so I couldn't resist a little haul! Everything I bought here, with delivery, came to only £20.61 - amazing!

Soothing Lip Balm in Strawberry Creme - These lip balms are so soft and smell amazing. I always make sure I have one to hand!

Eyeliner & Shadow Stick in Black/Smoke - For taking in my bag on my travels. These can create a gorgeous smokey eye super quick!

Tinted Mineral Booster (Small) - For those days where you don't want much makeup, but feel like you want something on. This has a very light tint which perks your face up a little, and your skin is instantly mattified.

Studio Blush in Tickled Pink - A really beautiful blush! This matches my pale skin beautifully. I'm so glad I bought this - it will be my new everyday blush!

Primer Eyeshadow in Coco Loco - Another great travelling product! These are quite liquidy and when rubbed in they lose quite a bit of pigment, but they are great for doing quick makeup.

Brush Shampoo - An essential in my kit. I don't like using any random shampoo to clean my brushes, I like to use the real thing, and this one is really inexpensive.

Studio Cream Eyeshadow in Pewter - I love these eyshadows (click here to read my rave review on this shadow in the shade Dawn) so I thought it was time to get some new shades. They don't crease or move at all and they apply like a dream - my favourite ever eyeshadows!

Studio Cream Eyeshadow in Natural Glow - This is a beautiful light gold shade which blends in to your eyes perfectly without looking too overdone. Perfect for a sunny day! I am definitely going to collect all the shades of this eyeshadow.

Blush Brush - I wanted to try a new blush brush because the only ones I have are slanted, and I wanted to try something new. This brush is soooo soft and applies blush to the apples of your cheeks amazingly! I am also going to use this to contour from now on. A really great brush, and so inexpensive!

Studio Stipple Brush - I already have one of these but I use it every day, so I needed another one for when one is drying out after being cleaned. These stipple brushes are really great and they apply foundation flawlessly. They are also super cheap, especially for a stipple brush, so I would definitely recommend them!

I think ELF products are all really great quality, and so far I am impressed with everything from my haul! Did you take advantage of the 50% off offer?

P.S. Apologies for the awful quality photos - this will be sorted out soon!

JolieBox July

JolieBox July

Etat Pur Express Purifying Mask
Full size: £7.50 for 50ml
I really love trying out different face masks, and this one looks very interesting indeed. Apparently this is a biomimetic formula - I have no idea what this means, but it sounds impressive! It goes on like a normal face mask, and says it absorbs oil and impurities, leaving your skin clear and soft, which is perfect for my skin. I can't wait to give this a go! We also got a voucher code for free delivery and 3 free samples on the website, but having browsed the website I realised everyone gets that anyway. Oh well, still a great product!

Jane Iredale Tantasia
Full size: £24 for 124ml / Sample size: 5ml approx. (worth approx £1)
A rather disappointingly small sample of tan, but I think if I just use it on the face and neck I will get a few applications out of it. This is a gradual moisturising tan and it smells delicious and citrusy. In general, I really like Jane Iredale products and you can't go wrong with a good tan, so I am looking forward to trying this out.

NailGirls Mini Polish in Gold and Bronze
Full size: £10.50 each / Sample size: 2.5ml each approx. (worth approx. £3.50 each)
These two mini nail polishes are from the NailGirls Medal Collection, which is inspired by the Olympics. The gold shade is a lovely rich shimmery colour which I can definitely see myself using. The bronze, on the other hand, is rather dark and unflattering, not at all like the bright vibrant colours I like to wear on my nails, so I think I will be giving this away. These are quite small sizes, but I've never tried anything from NailGirls before, so at least I get to try out a new brand.

Wen by Chaz Dean Sweet Almond Mint Cleansing Conditioner
Full size: £24.95 for 480ml / Sample size: 60ml (worth approx. £3)
I can't wait to try this out! The packaging makes me think of something out of Twilight, but other than that it is a pretty interesting product. It is a conditioner which doesn't lather, because for a product to lather it uses some harsh ingredients which aren't very good for your hair. This way, your hair is thoroughly cleansed but it won't be stripped of any natural oils - quite impressive! You can also use it as a leave-in conditioner too. The only down side to this product is that you have to "massage vigorously for 1-3 minutes" - sounds painful, no? Ha ha! But other than that, 60ml is a good sample size to really give this a test, and I am looking forward to using it.

Davines Authentic Moisturising Balm
Full size: £17.50 approx for 150ml / Sample size: 75ml (worth approx. £8.75)
I received this as a bonus item to apologise for the inconvenience of our late boxes last month (I didn't even receive mine, but they have refunded me) but I know that other people got different products. I saw this in a previous box before I had subscribed and always thought I wanted to try it out, so I'm glad I got this. This is a really cool multi-purpose balm which can be used as a hair conditioner, makeup remover, or body moisturiser. It is exactly the sort of thing that would be perfect to take away on holiday, and I think I may use it for just that!

Overall worth: £27.25
Overall thoughts: A really good box! Definitely makes up for last month!
(Also, love the little bonus JolieBox toe separators)

6 Step DIY Facial

Who has the money or the time to go and get a professional facial once a month? Certainly not me! But I have found that giving myself a DIY facial once a week or so, despite not feeling quite as luxurious, can be just as beneficial as a professional one. Here are the 6 steps I follow...

1. Cleanse & Massage - Use a cleanser that is suitable for your skin type and apply in circular motions, remembering to include your neck too. Then (my favourite part of the whole facial) massage your face with your cleanser, following the steps in the amazing Oxford Jasmine's facial massage video! Alternatively, you could do this after the mask to wash it off, but I prefer to do it with my cleanser. It feels absolutely amazing, and removes any horrible dirt and grease from your skin!

2. Exfoliate - Lightly apply a good exfoliator to your skin in circular motions to remove dead skin cells and impurities, leaving your skin soft and glowing. Make sure to really get in to the small areas, like the sides of your nose, and avoid the delicate eye area.

3. Steam - Fill a large bowl with boiling water and cover your head with a towel to capture the steam as you lean over the bowl for 5 minutes. You can also add a few drops of essential oil to help with the condition of your skin, for example lemon is great for oily skin. This will soften your skin and open your pores so it is ready for the next step...

4. Mask - Apply a mask to your skin whilst it is still slightly damp. There are so many different masks out there, so use one that suits your skin and will combat any problem areas, for example use a clay mask for oily skin. Leave on for around 5 minutes, or for as long as the instructions suggest. Remove the mask gently with warm water, then splash your face with cold water to close your pores.

5. Tone - Use a cotton wool pad to apply your toner to your face and neck. This will remove any remaining oil, shrink your pores, and purify the skin.

6. Moisturise - Apply a moisturiser suitable for your skin in dabbing motions to ensure you don't drag the skin. If it is the daytime, use a moisturiser with SPF and UVA protection, or if it is nighttime, use a night cream. Remember to also apply a good eye cream gently under the eyes, and a lip balm.

Of course, you can change the steps or products as you see fit. Also, feel free to incorporate your Sonicleanse or other microdermabrasion device in to the facial.

I would recommend doing this facial at night, because not only is it relaxing, but your skin repairs itself as you sleep so it will be much more beneficial. I hope you enjoy this facial, even if it doesn't quite compare to a professional one. Have fun, ladies!

Beauty News: LUSH Emotional Brilliance

To all you LUSH fans out there - it is time to get excited! This morning I received a very excited text from one of my best friends saying she'd been speaking to a saleswoman in LUSH who had let slip about their new collection of lipsticks which is to be released on 21st July! Naturally, my immediate response was, "Aaaahhh!!!", and I set about researching it.

From what I could find on their website, the lipsticks will be from a collection called Emotional Brilliance (see the page and campaign video here), but that is about it. After a little further digging, I found that the collection is soon to be released in the USA too, and that it is not only a lipstick collection (Liquid Lips), but a whole makeup line including eyeshadows, eye liners, skin tints and mascaras!

LUSH Emotional Brilliance Liquid Lips
The idea of the Emotional Brilliance range is to match your mood to your makeup, so the products all have a different name which should correspond to certain moods, for example Ambition and Passionate. I think it is a really great idea and I can't wait to try them out!

Liquid Lips are definitely the products I am most excited about! These are a highly pigmented mix between a lipgloss and lipstick which come in a range of fabulous bright colours! As far as I've read, they are very moisturising and light, but with a good staying power. They come in strange little bottles with the applicators in the caps, which looks really interesting but don't look too practical to pop in your bag.

I will definitely be in my nearest LUSH store on the 21st July to check out these babies!

DIY Beauty Box & Gift Ideas!

It was recently one of my very best friend's birthdays and I wanted a really thoughtful gift. She has always loved looking at what comes in my various Beauty Boxes, so I thought I would try and put together a DIY Beauty Box!

I bought some full size products, but to make it a true sample box, I sourced some amazing samples for her to try too. And to make it even more authentic, I used an empty She Said Beauty box and bought some wrapping paper and some shredded tissues and ribbons to wrap everything in!

Palmer's Cocoa Butter Lip Balm £1.79 (Superdrug)
2x Finishing Touches Nail Stickers in Pink and White £1.99 each (Superdrug)
3x Make Up Academy Nail Polishes in Shade 4, 5 and 16 £1 each (Superdrug)
Montagne Jeunesse Chocolate Face Masque £1 (Superdrug)
AEOS Skincare sample set £3 (Latest In Beauty)
Tresemme Split Remedy Trio sample set 3 for £1.50 (Latest in Beauty)
Bright Eyed by SUPER by Dr Nicholas Perricone sample 3 for £1.50 (Latest in Beauty)
St Tropez SPF 30 Protection with Tan Enhancer sample 3 for £1.50 (Latest in Beauty)
Caudalie Vinoperfect Peel Mask sample £0.65 (Naturisimo)
Fresh Berry Bath Blaster £3.69 (Amazon)

So, altogether that comes to around £18.60 which really isn't too bad at all for a great gift! I would definitely appreciate getting something like this, and I know she will love it. But, being one of my best friends, I could not resist buying a few more cute things that I found...

Cath Kidston Crush Mug £4 (Amazon)
4x Options Hot Chocolate sachets 4 for £1 (Tesco)
Candle £3.70 approx. (F+F at Tesco)

Altogether, that comes to £27.50 - not too bad, huh?

I also advised some of our mutual male friends on what to buy her, and chose a Pomegranate & Raspberry Reed Diffuser £15 (The Body Shop).

I hope this post has given you some inspiration or ideas for your own beauty box! I loved writing this post so much that I think I will be doing a regular feature with gift ideas (I have a ton of them) so be on the look out!

GlossyBox June

GlossyBox June

GlossyBox Serie Exclusiv Pro Beauty Brush
Full size: £15
Hmm...I'm a little disappointed in this fairly unremarkable brush. I feel like it should be the sort of thing you receive as a bonus rather than an actual item. It is quite a sleek looking brush, shiny and black with the GlossyBox logo, and the bristles are soft goat hair. It is a nice size to apply blusher or a contour, which I do like, but on the whole I'm not impressed with this item.

Yves Rocher Sexy Pulp Mascara
Full size: £16.90 for 9ml / Sample size: 2.5ml (worth £4.70 approx.)
Again, I was really quite disappointed in this item. It is a very small sample size, which I suppose is ideal for your handbag on a night out, but I would have preferred a bigger size. Having said that, the brush is absolutely fabulous - a really fat brush with bristles that reach every lash - and the formula is fairly nice. I wouldn't pay full price for this though, as I do feel like there are better mascaras out there for that price.

BM Beauty Summer Warmth Bronzer
Full size: £8 for 4g / Sample size: 1g (worth £2 approx.)
Yet another disappointing sample - it isn't looking good, is it? This bronzer is far too dark, orange, messy and shimmery for my pale skin, so I definitely won't be using it as a bronzer! I will probably use it from time to time as an eyeshadow or a highlight on my collarbone when I have a tan, though. I definitely wouldn't spend £8 on the full size!

Dermalogica Clean Start 3 Step Day and Night Kit
Full size: £12 for 3 x 50ml
Finally! A sample I'm happy with! I had actually been looking at this kit because I thought the products looked great, so I was so pleased to get this. It includes a 50ml cleanser, toner (which is a cool spray!) and moisturiser (with SPF15 - bonus!) for combination skin like mine. I am actually saving this kit for when I'm staying with my friend in a few weeks so I don't have to carry all my bottles on the train, and I have high hopes for it. If it is good, it is definitely something I would consider buying. This product definitely redeems the overall shoddiness of the rest of the box!

Vichy Dermablend Ultra-Corrective Foundation Cream Stick
Full size: £19 for 12g / Sample size: 6g (worth £9.50 approx)
This is a nice little sample which includes 6 different shades of the Vichy Dermablend foundation. I would have been happier with this if I had skin which needed to be covered up and camouflaged, but my skin is fairly clear and even, so it really isn't much use to me. I am going to keep it in my makeup kit to cover the occasional blemish, or if my normal undereye concealer just doesn't cut it after a particularly heavy night out (ha ha!) but other than that I'm a little underwhelmed with it.

Overall worth: £43.20 approx.
Overall thoughts: Unimpressive box, but I do love the Dermalogica kit

She Said Beauty Box July

She Said Beauty Box July

Miners Cosmetics Bronzer and Blusher Blend in Sunblushed
Full size: £4.99 for 7.5g
I've never actually tried anything from Miners Cosmetics so I was really excited to get this in my box. This is a gorgeous mix between a bronzer and blusher, which gives a beautiful sunkissed glow with a flush of pink. It is fairly matte, but there is a very very slight hint of shimmer which just makes you look glowy and gorgeous. I've been using this on my cheekbones, but it looks equally gorgeous as a contour. I'm so pleased with this full size product, and I will definitely use it.

Murad Time Release Blemish Cleanser
Full size: £5.50 for 30ml (and you can also buy 200ml for £29)
At first I was a little disappointed to have received this because I always feel like my 19-year-old skin doesn't need anti-ageing products just yet. However, I decided to give it a go, and boy am I glad I did?! This product contains a good amount of salicylic acid which you can really feel tackling your blemishes. Although I can't really comment on the efficiency of its' anti-ageing benefits, I can definitely say that my skin looks and feels much nicer since using this, especially as I have fewer blemishes. This is a little drying on the skin, but my moisturiser sorts it out instantly so it isn't a problem. This is a great size, so I am very happy with it, but I won't be purchasing it again because it is expensive!

Stylfile S-File
Full size: £4.49
Yay! I have had my eye on this for ages, so I was thrilled that it was in my box. It is an ingenious curved nail file which follows the natural shape of the nail to give you the perfect shape easily! I have used this a few times and it does give your nails a lovely rounded edge, and it is really easy to use. It also claims to last for 12 months! Great product.

Vintage Cosmetic Company Vintage Eyelash Curler
Full size: £7
Normally I just stick to my faithful cheap eyelash curlers which I always thought did the job just fine... until now! Now I'm not claiming these eyelash curlers are on the same league as Shu Uemura (mostly because I don't own any), but I have found them to curl my super-long-and-hard-to-curl lashes amazingly well, which really is a difficult thing to do. I have replaced my old curlers with these, and that is how it will stay for the foreseeable future. Good job, She Said Beauty!

Freeze 247 IceCrystals Anti-Aging Prep and Polish
Full size: £35 for 70g / Sample size: 1.2ml
This skin resurfacer aims to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, which is wonderful...unless you are wrinkle-free like me. As I don't need anti-ageing treatments (just yet!), this has been given to my mum. It is a nice sample idea, but the size of the sample is kind of pointless - you really can't use it enough to see worthwhile results. However, the standard of the rest of the box means I can let my disappointment about this item slide.

Debenhams Beauty Club Reward Card
Although you can pick these up for free, I think this was a great bonus to include in the box! I do buy quite a few of my products from Debenhams, so it will definitely come in handy. Not only does this card get you free delivery online, it also rewards you with points to redeem in future (much like the Boots Advantage Card) as well as great offers. Fabulous!

Overall worth: £23 approx.
Overall thoughts: A really amazing box! Loved getting 4 full size products!

She Said Beauty Box June

She Said Beauty Box June

Elemis Tranquil Touch Indulgent Bath Elixir
Full size: £19 for 300ml / Sample size: 50ml (£3 approx.)
A soothing bath elixir which softens the skin and has a very slight woody scent - how can I complain? I was so excited to see this in my box because I have been wanting to try a few things from the Elemis Sp@Home range. It is a really lovely bath elixir and I am very pleased to have received this, but I wouldn't actually buy it again simply because it's not something I'd use all the time and it is rather expensive for what it is.

Mischa Barton Whipped Shea Body Butter in Lemon Zest
Full size: £10 for 65g (and you can also buy 130g for £16)
I absolutely love this! It smells really strongly of lemon, but not in a bad way at all, and it leaves your skin soft and smooth. The texture is really lovely and buttery, and the packaging is so cute! This is full size too, so I'm very impressed with this product. Overall, it isn't my favourite ever body butter, but I'm certainly happy to use and enjoy it.

St Tropez Perfect Legs Spray
Full size: £10 for 75ml
A full size St Tropez product!! I was gobsmacked when I found this little beauty peeking out at me from my box! I have actually used this before and absolutely loved it then, so I am super pleased with this! It is a gradual tan spray which also gives a gorgeous instant golden colour so there's no waiting around for your tan. It is super easy to apply too, especially since you can hold it upside down to spray! Perfect! Well done, She Said Beauty!

Yardley London Royal Diamond EDT
Full size: £9.99 for 50ml / Sample size: 1ml approx. (20p approx.)
Although I really hate getting perfume samples in boxes, I was pleasantly surprised with this fragrance - so much so that I actually purchased the full size bottle! It isn't a very strong fragrance at all, but lovely and fresh and floral. I like to keep it in my bag to freshen up throughout the day if I need to. Definitely a winner here! And the fact that the rest of the box is so great makes up for the fact that there was a small perfume sample.

Let's Go Lashes in Temptress 3
Full size: £8.95 for one set
Yay for lashes! I love getting lashes in beauty boxes because they are always gorgeous, and this pair is no exception! These are full, thick, winged lashes which look absolutely amazing! Not the most natural looking lashes, but on a night out it doesn't matter anyway, and the certainly look good! Very impressed.

Ginvera Green Tea Nude Cover BB Cream
Full size: £20 for 25ml / Sample size: 3g (£2.50 approx - this is a guess ha ha!)
I was really happy to get the chance to try this, because I am on the market for a new BB Cream at the moment. This is a very watery textured BB Cream which does offer fairly good cover, but unfortunately I found it a little too oily for my skin, despite the claim that it is mattifying. I love that it has green tea in it, because I drink a lot of green tea for my skin so I know how good it is for you, and it also has SPF 30 which is fantastic. However, for me this product is far too pricey for the average results it delivers.

Overall worth: £34.65 approx.
Overall thoughts: Amazing box! Very impressed!
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