Monthly Archives: May 2015

So Susan Lip Love Bag: May 2015

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Well this month’s Lip Love review has been a long time coming because unfortunately my bag went missing in the post! After waiting the maximum recommended 10 days for delivery and checking with my local Royal Mail delivery office to make sure it wasn’t lurking there, I emailed the So Susan customer service department yesterday to tell them it had not been delivered. I received a prompt and courteous reply in which they apologized for the situation and promised to send out a replacement immediately and lo and behold, the new package arrived at my door this morning! I have had experience with the customer services department of this company before and they really are second to none, I can’t praise them highly enough! Since they were good enough to send it to me immediately I thought it only fair that I tried out all the products straight away and give you my verdict!

So, on with the review. This month’s theme is ‘I Love Vacations’ (or ‘Holidays’ to my fellow Brits and I!) and contains 4 make up essentials to get your skin glowing as well as a cute little anchor bracelet as a bonus gift. First up I tried out The Beauty Crop Lighting Crew Highlighting Cream:

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This cream provides a lovely iridescent glow when applied to the cheekbones, browbone or any other area you wish to accentuate. It really helps to perk up your complexion and make your skin look healthy and bright. It looks quite dark in the tube but it creates a lovely natural effect when you put it on.

Next, Jelly Pong Pong Play Paint in ‘Damson’:

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This nourishing lip colour is super pigmented and is a beautiful vibrant pinky-peach colour. Just right for a relaxing holiday in a Tropical climate! It goes on easily with your fingers although you may want to use a lip brush for a more precise result. I really loved the shade and the product has a delicious fruity scent which further adds to it’s charm.

So Susan Light Diffuser Illuminator & Bronzer Duo in ‘Cocoa Dust’:

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I love the fact that every So Susan compact comes with it’s own little mirror built into the lid! I also love the fact that this cocoa coloured bronzer comes complete with a cocoa scent. Delicious! The shade itself is a little dark for my taste although I imagine it would suit those with darker skin tones or who already have a bit of a tan. The illuminator is a lovely gold colour so it works well alongside the bronzer (or your own bronzer if like me this one is the wrong shade for you!). It’s another lovely little product from So Susan, and I am certain that I will get some use out of the illuminator powder side even if I don’t brave the bronzer.

So Susan Crème Couture Soft-Focus Cream Blush:

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This cream blush is in a flattering Terracotta shade which I imagine would suit most skin tones as the colour can be built up as much or as little as you want. It is easy to apply and blend into the skin and leaves you with a fresh faced, rosy glow. The inclusion of a blush as well as a bronzer means that you can chop and change your look according to your mood or the occasion. I personally tend to favour blush for a more natural daytime look and bronzer for evening glamour.

The final item in May’s bag is this adorable bracelet:

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In keeping with the holiday theme this nautically inspired bracelet features a sweet little anchor charm. I love the cheery yellow thread and it is perfect for a casual summer daytime look.

Although not all of the products are to my taste, this is another strong Lip Love bag overall. I love the fact that this subscription focuses mostly on make up, and the brands on board are all of high quality and cruelty free.
As always I am very much looking forward to my next bag!

The So Susan Lip Love bag is a monthly subscription service costing £14.95 per month. For more information or to subscribe visit http://sosusan.com

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Glossybox: May 2015

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So here I go with the review of my May Glossybox! After seeing a few other unboxing pictures on Instagram I became aware that my product line up differs slightly to most other peoples’ and if I’m honest this is the main reason that I’m not quite as enamoured with this month’s box as usual, but I still like a couple of the items inside. Here is a closer look.

Zerreau Beauty Towel Off Shampoo Foam:

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Since Festival season will soon be upon us this product seemed like it would be an absolute godsend. When you spend 2 or 3 nights in a tent its inevitable that your hair is going to suffer and with limited access to water this towel off shampoo foam could be the perfect solution…except that its not actually that good. True, I may have been expecting miracles but this product certainly didn’t impress me as much as I hoped it would. Firstly, by the time you have applied enough of the foam to give it a chance of working your hair is left pretty damp. This certainly poses a problem if you are after a quick fix solution to effortlessly perk up your hair then carry straight on with your day! After aggressively rubbing at my hair with a towel I had to resort to a blast with the hairdryer. Since this would be impossible if you were holed up in a tent in the middle of a field it pretty much renders the foam useless as a ‘festival essential’. By the time I was done it did improve the appearance of my hair a little, alleviating some of the grease and adding a bit more volume but it certainly isn’t the hassle free wonder product that I was expecting.

Être Belle Aloe Vera Moisturizing Gel:

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I am a big fan of the soothing and cooling qualities of Aloe Vera products so I was pretty pleased to see this. It can be used all over but I tried it out on my face. I was relieved to discover that it didn’t have the unpleasant smell of pure Aloe Vera gel but unfortunately there was a sickly, lightly perfumed scent in it’s place. I had been suffering with dry, itchy patches on my face and smoothing this on did help calm them and leave my skin feeling soft, but the gel also left it feeling slightly sticky. All in all the gel was quite effective and I definitely won’t let the rest of the tube go to waste, but I won’t be buying any more of it either.

Philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar Refreshing and Refining Moisturizer:

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I love to receive samples from luxury brands and I also love trying out new moisturisers so I was happy enough to receive this little sample sized tube. My main problem is the fact that its the second moisturiser sample in the same box. A bit of variety would’ve been nice! I am also rather bitter because the product that many other subscribers got in place of this one was a rather nice looking Collection Lipstick which most people have been raving about and I’m a sucker for a make up item!
Still, there is no changing the box you receive so I had to give the moisturiser a try and make the best of the situation. It has quite a thick consistency but it absorbs into the skin quite easily and does leave the skin feeling soft and smooth. I will need to use the whole of the little 7ml tube to determine whether it is worth the £34 price tag of the full sized version though!

Sass Intimate Perfect Skin Concentrate:

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‘Intimate’ grooming is a pretty personal subject so I won’t go into too much detail on this one but I will say that ingrown hairs and shave bumps can be a major pain in the bum and its great to have a product like this to help soothe the area. Its also convenient that this was supplied in a Beauty Box which avoids any of the potential embarrassment that it may cause some people to have to purchase something like this from a shop! I will definitely be putting this sample to use and it is one of the better items from this month’s box for sure.

Me Me Me Enchanted Eyes Duel Ended Eye Wand in ‘Midnight Storm’:

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Me Me Me describes itself as ‘The Affordable Boutique Brand’ and this is a lovely little product at the impressive price of £6.95. There are two attractive shades of blue on either end of the crayon and they glide on easily. The colour is well pigmented and the product lasts well, particularly of you use an eyeshadow primer on your lids beforehand. I love eye pencils like this to provide a quick wash of colour when you don’t have time for intensive blending or want to go for a more playful look and I was really pleased with this one. Definitely the standout product for me this month!

For more information on Glossybox or to subscribe yourself, go to http://glossybox.co.uk. Subscription costs £13.25 a month including P&P.

My Little Box: May 2015

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Yippee my favourite Beauty Box has delivered the goods yet again! As I have mentioned before, I just love the effort that goes into each My Little Box, from the adorable box illustrations to the unique items from the company’s own range ‘My Little Beauty’ and the quirky lifestyle surprises. Each month you also receive a copy of ‘My Little World’ magazine and a special illustrated print to keep. This month it’s the My Little Provence box which includes 4 goodies from L’Occitane as well as a My Little Beauty product, a sheet of cute refrigerator stickers and a striking gold cuff complete with coloured thread so you can get crafty and customise the look of it! Here’s a closer look:

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The box includes L’Occitane Mer & Mistral Fresh Shower Gel as well as a Soap and Body Lotion from the brand’s Verbena range. The Verbena samples have a fresh and zesty fragrance and are in handy sizes to take with you when travelling. The body lotion is light and absorbs easily into the skin leaving it feeling soft and smooth. The shower gel has a clean cucumber scent and makes you feel invigorated when it is applied.

The final L’Occitane product is a Roses et Reines Hand and Nail Cream:

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I have used L’Occitane hand creams before and I can highly recommend them. This one has a delicate rose scent and is great at providing much needed moisture to dry hands and nails. The handy little tube can be popped into your bag so you always have it to hand whenever you need it.

This month’s My Little Beauty product is a gorgeous Eyeshadow Crayon:

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It is in a lovely dark brown/bronze shade, is really easy to apply and lasts well without creasing or sliding. I am very impressed with it and I’ll definitely be using it regularly.

Now onto the lifestyle products:

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The little box within the box contains a gold cuff and two different shades of thread to customise it. You could always use your own thread if you fancied different colours though! I love the idea behind this and the cuff itself is sturdy and good quality. You can follow the tutorial inside My Little World magazine for tips on customisation. I can’t wait to sit down on my next day off and have a go at this!

A cute little box bonus is this sheet of magnets:

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Probably not the most practical item in the world, but cute none the less! It fits in perfectly with the charm of the box.

Possibly not as strong a line up of products overall as previous boxes but the whole package captivated me as always. The Eyeshadow Crayon, Hand Cream and Gold Cuff are the standouts and I am happy to pay the subscription price just for these three items. Everything else is a lovely bonus!

My Little Box is a subscription service costing £14.95 per month. See http://mylittlebox.co.uk for more details.

Birchbox: May 2015

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This month’s Birchbox has a theme that I was very excited about; Free Your Mind. My box arrived all ready to be coloured in and I set about the task with relish! The box even comes with a cute pack of crayons, but I opted to use my coloured fineliners for a brighter and more dramatic effect. It took me about 3 hours to complete the box and I found it a great way to stop boredom snacking! You can put a pic of your completed box on the Birchbox site to be in with a chance of winning £500 to spend in the Birchbox shop!

In spite of the fact that the box itself is awesome this month its really all about the contents so let’s move onto the reviews. First up, the Caudalie Vinoperfect Tinted Moisturiser:

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I am a big fan and regular user of Tinted Moisturiser and I have tried a couple of Caudalie products before and been impressed by them so I was really excited to see this in my box. When I applied it however, I was disappointed. I didn’t use a separate moisturiser beforehand owing to the fact that this is supposed to be one itself, but I found it difficult to blend and absorb into my skin, and it left a slight caked-on look. The consistency is more like a foundation than the more fluid formula that you would usually associate with tinted moisturisers and since I prefer a lighter coverage product, this was definitely not a plus point. Also, the shade that I received was ‘light’ and although this is probably what I would usually go for in the absence of a ‘light-medium’ alternative, I felt that it was a bit too light for me, which added to the chalky, unnatural appearance. I will give the product another go after using a separate moisturiser beforehand, but it certainly didn’t excite me based on first impressions. The sample is a generous size though so if it matches your skin tone well and you are after a little more coverage than your average Tinted Moisturiser you may be delighted with it.

Next up, the Mirenesse Mattfinity Lip Rouge:

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Of the 3 shades that you could’ve received I got ‘Paris’ and I have to say I was very pleased because I had seen this lipstick around and this lovely purpley pink colour is definitely the one I would’ve chosen myself. When I first opened the tube I was a bit concerned by how gloopy the product looked on the applicator brush, but once I wiped off the excess it applied smoothly and evenly and was a beautiful striking shade. The lipstick has a matte texture but is designed to moisturise so it won’t dry your lips out. The packaging boasts of ‘tattoo-like staying power’ and although I certainly wouldn’t go that far, it held up reasonably well as the day progressed. Again, this is a decent sized product so I will be able to get a lot of use out of it before I even have to consider whether I want to shell out the £21 that the full sized product costs!

Next up, the Wah London Nail Art Pen:

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Over the past few months a regular Birchbox feature has been asking subscribers to ‘choose their sample’ from a selection of 3 products by a particular brand. This month you could choose from Wah London’s Nail Polish, Nail Art Pen and Press On Nails. I don’t really have much inclination to wear press ons and I have received several polishes from various boxes lately so I opted for the Nail Art pen. I received a navy blue shade and the design of the pen makes it easy to draw spots and other shapes freestyle, or the cap can be unscrewed to reveal a ‘striping brush’ to make creating a striped nail a breeze. This is a cute little product to add a bit of fun to your weekend or holiday manicure and is a nice addition to the box.

Next I tried the RMK Point Make Up Remover:

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When used with my trusty cotton pads this remover made light work of my everyday nude shadow, brown eyeliner and mascara and didn’t leave my face feeling dry or tight. I have already mentioned that I am a Garnier Micellar devotee and nothing else is likely to make me switch my allegiance but sometimes when you have particularly stubborn or heavy make up you want something with a bit more power and this remover was great. Its also a really handy size for taking on your travels since as much as I love my Micellar, the bottle is huge and most definitely not overnight bag friendly!

The final sample I received was the Parlor Moisturizing Sea Salt Spray:

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I have naturally fine, curly hair but I never wear it that way since it dries in a really strange overall shape and turns to frizz if I so much as hold a comb up to it. Any product that promises to create lovely tousled waves is definitely worth a try in my book! I spritzed it onto my damp hair, scrunched it up a bit, left it to dry naturally and hoped for the best. Well the curls certainly looked a bit tidier and better formed than usual but unfortunately my hair barely touches my shoulders and I think that the beach goddess look can only really be achieved if you have
a bit more of a lustrous mane than I do! It is a nice product though and definitely worth a try!

May’s box also contained a bonus Reconstructing Hair Masque sachet:

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I’m not big on hair products in general but I have tried quite a few intensive treatments recently and it is nice to use something like this weekly to give your hair a bit of extra TLC. It always feels fabulously smooth and silky afterwards and is that bit more compliant when it comes to styling. I am planning to try this after my bath later!

Overall I thought this month’s box was probably the best that I have received since I began my subscription and is definitely a bargain for the £12.95 monthly cost. I welcomed the opportunity to flex my creative muscles by colouring the box and impressed myself with the result!

Birchbox subscription costs £12.95 per month. Details can be found at http://birchbox.co.uk

Look Fantastic Beauty Box: May 2015

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The thing I love about this Beauty Box is the fact that it ships at the beginning of the month so I don’t have to wait so long for it as my subscription boxes! There is always a really varied selection of products in it as well so you could never say that it is predictable! This month’s box contained a mixture of products that I usually use and welcome new samples of, and things that I have never really been all that interested in but in the interests of providing an informed review for the blog I have set about trying each of them out anyway!

First up, the Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm:

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I was immediately struck by how lovely the little pot was (I know looks don’t count for everything but if a product looks pretty on your dressing table that’s a bonus!). Next I was impressed by the box’s claims that the balm enables the absorption of minerals from the healing waters of Budapest by the epidermis for firmer, suppler and younger-looking skin. Sounds good to me! I have never heard of the brand before, in fact I don’t know of any skincare products from Budapest so it was a great opportunity to try something completely new. I have since discovered that the brand is much sought after and respected so I am even happier with the balm’s inclusion in the box. When I opened the pot I was surprised to see that the balm had a really thick texture, so much so that I really had to dig the tip of my finger in to get a decent amount of the product out to smooth onto my face. This consistency does mean that I am sure to get a good few uses out of this sample pot though! As I applied the dark grey balm I got a fresh, earthy aroma. I can only imagine that the mineral filled healing waters of Budapest look pretty murky! I used my Konjac Sponge to ensure that all of this goodness was rubbed deep into my skin, then rinsed. My skin certainly felt soft and smooth after applying this balm but at £46 for a 50ml pot I would really have to fall in love with it in order to purchase the full sized version and I just didn’t feel strongly enough.

Next up I tried out the Erno Laszlo Night Serum:

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I have mentioned before that I have begun to take extra care of my skin since turning 30 so night cream certainly does feature in my skincare routine these days. The problem is that I have already found a couple of products that I adore for this purpose, so anything new would really have to blow me away to take the place of them. This is such a small sample and although it does say in the instructions that you only need to use a small amount, I don’t think it’d last me long enough to get a good enough picture of what it could do for me. Plus, price comes into the equation again here too; this serum costs an eye watering £161.25 on Look Fantastic’s website! While I love the fact that I am getting the opportunity to try luxury brands like this, I can’t realistically expect to be able to afford to treat myself to the full sized version.

Moving on to the Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Or; Multi-Purpose Dry Oil for Face, Body and Hair:

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I LOVE Nuxe products! In fact, their Nuxellence Detox Anti-Ageing Night Cream is the product that I currently use , so I was excited to try out another of their products. The golden shimmer in the product looks a bit off putting in the bottle but once you apply it to your skin it is quite subtle. This would look lovely slathered on your limbs when you have caught a bit of sun to give you a lovely glow. I also like the idea of using it on my hair  since it promises that your locks will become supple, glossy and full of volume. This seems like a great multipurpose product which is a nice way to pep up tired looking skin by providing much needed moisture and sheen. It isn’t horrendously expensive either (£21 for a 50ml bottle). You could also add this product to your regular body lotion or moisturiser for a glowing look which helps the bottle stretch even further. I will definitely consider purchasing this one. If you like the idea of the multi-purpose oil but the shimmer doesn’t float your boat, the regular dry oil is also available for £17 for 50ml.

Next up, the Christophe Robin Regenerating Hair Mask:

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Although I am not a hair product obsessive, I’m a sucker for the occasional intensive treatment whether it be for my face, body or hair so I didn’t mind giving this one a try. I have actually received quite a few hair masks in beauty boxes lately and in spite of the initial disappointment that I always feel when I realise they are hair masks and not face masks, I enjoy using them. This is the full sized 50ml pot which retails for £10 so it definitely adds to my satisfaction about the value for money of this month’s box. You simply apply the product after shampooing, lather, leave for 2-3 minutes then rinse so its not time consuming and it leaves your hair feeling really silky and smooth. A great product to use a couple of times a week, particularly if you use a lot of product on your hair or it is heat damaged from straighteners etc.

Also included in the box is a full sized tube of Tanworx by Monu Self Tanning Lotion:

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I am not a huge fake tan devotee. I simply find things like that too much hassle. That being said though, when the warm weather comes and I want to rock my denim boy shorts or a girly dress I don’t want to be worrying about the state of my pasty legs so I am glad to have a product like this in my arsenal. It provides an instant, natural looking tan and the colour intensifies over a period of 3 hours. It is recommended that you use a tan mitt to apply and although this isn’t included they can be picked up relatively cheaply from places like Superdrug and Boots. I have one already from another tanning same that I received so I am all set once the sun decides to make an appearance again! As with any tanning product, exfoliating any dry skin and moisturising beforehand is crucial but otherwise this lotion seems like it will be pretty hassle free to apply. Even for a novice like me! Monu is a respected skincare brand so I feel safe in their hands.

The final item in this month’s box is a set of Eylure Pre-Glued Lashes:

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I have to admit I have never experimented with false lashes before. Yet another product that is too much hassle for a lazy person like me! I don’t like the ‘fake’ look and when you can get an amazing effect using just mascara these days I don’t really see the point. If I were to experiment though, (and I will for the sake of making use of every item in the box!) I would definitely choose a product like this. Eylure is a tried and trusted lash brand and the natural look and self adhesive strips on these ones make them seem like they’ll be pretty painless to apply.

So that’s the round up of the products included in Look Fantastic’s May Beauty Box. You can get yours now for the one-off price of £15.00 (plus free delivery) at http://lookfantastic.com

Make Up Revolution Mega Haul!

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When I spotted on Instagram that Make Up Revolution were giving shoppers £5 off their orders over £30 during the Bank Holiday Weekend I immediately felt a splurge coming on. This budget brand is great for adding a bit of colour to your make up bag and I was spoilt for choice when I took a look at the site. I had heard about the brand’s new Iconic Pro Lipsticks and I thought that I’d treat myself to one of those and a few other bits and bobs but i’m a sucker for a bargain so when I spotted a half price section on the site menu I set about browsing! Make Up Revolution have produced ‘Collections’ containing key products that are available for just £10, half the price that you would pay when purchasing the products individually. There are four limited edition collections available; Naked to Dusk, Spring, Summer and Go to Heaven. Each collection contained products that appealed to me and I was so torn between which one to go for (and also feeling rather impulsive that day!) that I ended up ordering all four. This does mean that I have a few duplicate products but they will make great little gifts for people, or most likely be donated to one of my lucky sisters! The sets are such incredible value that I don’t mind at all.

Here I will provide a run down of what is included in each collection.

Spring Collection

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The Wonder Palette in ‘Sin’ contains 16 eye shadows in a variety of shades from neon yellow to metallic bronze and is a great way to try out some new colours that you might not usually go for. The ‘Go!’ Palette is a collection of 6 eye shadows, 2 blushes and a highlighter in really wearable natural shades and the ‘Go! to Hell’ Palette contains 18 mean and moody eye shadow shades perfect for creating a dramatic smoky eyed look. The other items included in the collection are an eye primer, an Amazing Lengths mascara, a black Kajal liner and a vivid blush lacquer in ‘Heat’. This is the collection to go for if you really want to focus on playing up your eyes.

Summer Collection

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This collection contains the ‘Go to the City’ Palette featuring 6 eye shadows, 2 blushers and a highlighter in more vivid shades than the ‘Go’ palette from the previous collection. There is also the ‘I am Sexy’ Palette which consists of 6 eye shadows and deep red lipstick. The eye shadow shades are really wearable and the palette is more compact than the others so it will fit easily into most makeup bags. This set also contains 2 shades of the vivid blush lacquer in ‘Heart’ and ‘O’Boy’. I am really excited to try these out as I often don’t bother with blush and I think that liquid blush is a good way to get a naturally flushed look. There is also The One Blush Stick in ‘Pink’, a LipHug Lipstick in ‘She’s up all Night’, an Amazing Care Lipstick in ‘Love Pink!’ and an Eye Dust pot in ‘Levity’. Both lipsticks are nice shades of pink without being too gaudy and its always nice to have a lip product that moisturises your lips as it colours like this amazing care one. The eye dust is a nice shade and loose powder shadows are great for building up a strong colour when applied with an eye shadow brush.

Naked to Dusk Collection

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This collection contains the previously seen ‘Go! to the City’ Palette, the ‘I am Powerful’ Palette which is quite similar to the ‘I am Sexy’ one but has a darker lipstick with it for a different look. Also included is the ‘Go! To Heaven’ Palette which consists of 18 neutrally coloured eye shadows, 2 Eye Dust pots in ‘Indirect’ and ‘Cautious’, a LipHug Lipstick in ‘Save Me From Yourself’, the previously featured vivid blush lacquer in ‘Heat’ and a Wow Stick lip pencil in ‘Heart of Glass’. The LipHug and Wow Stick are in quite natural shades so would work well with the shadows from the Go! To Heaven palette for a fresh daytime look.

Go to Heaven Collection

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Most of the items in this collection feature in the previous ones but there is also a different shade of LipHug, ‘I Wasn’t Mixed Up’, an Eye Dust pot in ‘Starless’ and a Baked Eye shadow in ‘Blue Planet’. I particularly liked the look of the last 3 items which is why I went ahead and ordered this collection even though it contains so many duplicates. ‘Starless’ is a dark grey/black shade so will be perfect for a dramatic smoky eye and the Baked Eye shadow is just gorgeous. The swirls of colour within it create a really nice effect when applied.

Iconic Pro Lipstick in ‘You’re a Star’ – £2.49

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So this is the lipstick that I originally logged on to check out, leading to my splurge! This is one of the nude shades from the collection (it looks darker in this pic than it actually is!) and it provides long lasting coverage and colour whilst being comfortable to wear. There are 20 shades available, including 5 mattes.

I’m sure you will appreciate why I found it so hard to choose just one of these collections and at £10 each they all provide amazing value for money if you fancy adding a bit if colour to your make up collection!

BeautyCrowd Haul Take Two!

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Less than a week after receiving my first BeautyCrowd order I was excitedly unpacking my second box of goodies! There is so much choice on this site that something new is always catching my eye. For instance, I knew I HAD to have one of the gorgeous Nicka K Eye Shadow Quads as soon as I saw them! Let’s start there with my review:

Nicka K New York Quad Eye Shadow in ‘Alpine’ – £4.95

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These Quads offer great value and an incredible choice of colourways including a vibrant neon ‘Napa’ option. I chose to play it relatively safe with this set. All Nicka K products are really sleekly packaged and look far more luxe than their prices would suggest. The powders are well pigmented and with this combo you can choose to go classic with the Purplish Grey or Bronzey Orange shades (interesting descriptions I know!) Or add a bit more drama with the Dark Blue or Deep, Plummy Red. I was really impressed with the whole package, particularly as the Quad is so reasonably priced.

Next up I tried out the Absolute New York Ultra Slick Lipstick in ‘Fantastic’ – £3.95

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I was looking for a nice nude shade and this lipstick certainly fits the bill. It has a buttery consistency and glides on easily leaving an impressively pigmented colour. You also get the scent of sweets when you take off the lid which was a lovely surprise! The colour is not especially long lasting so I will have to pop it into my bag for touch ups but the nude shade suits me well so I am really happy with it. Another great price too!

Next up are the L.A.Colors Jumbo Eye Pencils in ‘Pool Party’ and ‘Summer Love’ – £1.95 each

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These fun, chunky pencils are great for adding a flash of colour fast. They are vibrant and contain a touch of glitter for a really cute summertime look. I use them as liner for the most striking effect, either just adding colour to my lids at the lashline or using them to line underneath my eye as well. Sometimes you just want to have a bit of fun with your eye makeup and that’s where a good nude lipstick like the Absolute one works well when they are combined. At just £1.95 these are an absolute steal and I may well invest in a few more shades for my make up bag. I actually only ordered one on this occasion, the other was the item that was missing from my previous order when it shipped. I had already received an email confirming that it was to be sent in this package. So lucky that I had already made another order so that I could save them a bit of money on shipping costs! Haha.

For the remainder of my order I decided to stock up on some essentials. BeautyCrowd has recently added Barbara Hoffman’s range of make up accessories and since they are all reasonably priced I decided to give a couple of the brushes a go.

Barbara Hoffman Silver Acrylic Lip Brush (pointy), Silver Acrylic Eyelash Brush and Cosmetic Pencil Sharpener – £3.95 each

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I was in need of a new sharpener after misplacing my existing one and having to rely on one built into the lid of my Model Co eyeliner for all of my pencils so purchasing this one was an easy decision. It comes with a plastic dome fitted to the top so you don’t have to worry about making a mess with your sharpenings if you are using it whilst out and about. You can sharpen till your heart’s content then empty it when you get home. I always have to buy one of these dual sharpeners as I own so many chunky eye pencils such as the L.A.Colors ones.

A Lash comb is another essential for me to rescue my mascara if it becomes a bit clumpy upon application. This one is dual sided and provides you with a brush as well which is great for taming your brows.

I have never really seen the need for a lip brush before, preferring to apply my lipstick straight from the tube or use the applicators provided with glosses and stains, but since trying the Colour Hybrid Lip and Cheek Mousse from my April So Susan Lip Love bag, I decided that owning one might be a good idea to help with more precise application of lip products where the consistency means that things could get messy otherwise! This brush is tapered at the end so you can keep things nice and neat. Both brushes look stylish and are comfortable to hold, and the price is once again very reasonable.

So that’s it for my latest little BeautyCrowd splurge. I just love this website! I will try to hold off from placing yet another order so soon but I have already been browsing the site again and placing items in my basket in preparation!

Check out the amazing selection of Brands and Products for yourself at http://beautycrowd.com

Naturisimo Make Up Discovery Box

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So here’s my review of another one-off box that I had the good fortune of snapping up before the website sold out. Naturisimo is a make up and beauty website dedicated to natural and organic beauty products and their limited edition make up discovery box showcases a selection of samples and full sized products for the absolute bargain price of £9.95. Let’s start with the amazing full sized products that are featured in the box. First up is the Bellápierre Cosmetics Kabuki Brush:

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Kabuki brushes are perfect for applying any kind of powder for all over facial coverage, particularly loose mineral powders. I already own an E.L.F Cosmetics one which I use to apply my E.L.F mineral booster daily to mattify my BB cream or tinted moisturiser and keep shine at bay but another will definitely come in handy to apply the Milani Illuminating Face Powder that I reviewed on my previous post! Bellápierre is a quality make up brand known for it’s organic and cruelty-free credentials and this brush alone is worth £23.99 so it’s inclusion in the box makes it an incredible bargain! The brush is made of 100% Taklon and is incredibly good quality. I am so pleased to be able to add it to my make up bag!

Next up is the Inika Ultimate Lip Tint in ‘Candy’:

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I have been trying out quite bold lip colours lately so it was nice to receive something in a girly, natural looking shade in contrast. This lip tint has a nourishing formula so it will keep your lips in tip top condition as it colours, and also has a nice sheen to it which makes a chance to the matte formulas that I have taken to wearing lately. I slicked this on for a day of shopping and lunch with my family along with an understated brown eye shadow, brown eyeliner, black mascara combo for a lovely look that was low key but still made me feel as though I had made a bit of an effort!

The mascara in question was actually another sample from this box, the Jane Iredale Longest Lash Mascara in ‘Black Ice’:

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This diddy little 3g sample tube really impressed me. As you can see the brush is big and full so you only need a few swipes over your lashes and you are good to go. It doesn’t clump or flake and is reasonably easy to remove at the end of the day. Although this is only a sample sized product you would get plenty of uses out of it and a plus point to all sample sizes is that they will fit into even the smallest handbag so your on the go beauty needs are well covered!

Sticking with the same brand, the box also contained a Jane Iredale Just Kissed Lip and Cheek Stain in ‘Forever Pink’:

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It actually looks slightly orangey in the tube and when I applied it in the mirror I was a bit disappointed because in spite of me seemingly putting loads on, no colour seemed to be showing up on my lips! However, when I went into another room with better lighting I saw that my lips were a nice healthy looking pink colour. This is another understated shade and a cute little sample size to travel with. I love the effort that has gone into these particular sample products. They are exact replicas of the full sized products in miniature form, rather than being cheaply packaged. This brand really seems to care about the overall impression that they are giving of their products and for me, it’s a good one.

The remaining samples in the box were single use sachets of Tinting Fluid and Tinted Moisturiser:

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Each sachet provides enough product for full face coverage and there were even two colour variations of the Mádara Tinting Fluid, Sun Flower Golden Beige and Moon Flower Rose Beige (I used the other one before I thought to take a photo!). The Rose Beige is designed to illuminate the face and give a natural pinky glow whilst the Golden Beige provides a healthy tanned look. When I used the Rose Beige I was really impressed with the formula. The fluid glided on and absorbed into the skin easily and was easy to blend. I was so delighted with the smoothing and illuminating effect that it had that I didn’t feel the need for any further product. I just brushed on a bit of mineral powder to keep shine at bay and headed out feeling fresh faced and confident. I will save the Golden Beige sample for a night out where I want a bit more of a ‘done up’ make up look or when the weather gets a bit warmer and a slightly tanned face will look a bit more realistic! I absolutely loved the product though and since these samples are available to buy for 50p each on the site, I may invest in a couple more before I decide whether to take the plunge and splurge £23.00 on the full sized product.

The Green People Age Defy Tinted SPF15 Moisturiser was also pretty impressive. Now I have hit 30 (eek!) I am much more conscious of anything that will damage or age my skin so make up with added SPF is a major draw for me. I have used a few products from Green People before and I like the brand, but at £34.95 for the full sized product I don’t see it becoming part of my beauty routine, particularly since the last Tinted Moisturiser that I purchased was the Olay BB Cream which also contains SPF15 and does a great job for only £3.97 from Asda!

Well that’s it for my Naturisimo Make Up Discovery Box review and I have to say once again that for £9.95 I was seriously impressed. I loved the two full sized products and the two beautifully presented Jane Iredale samples and will definitely be looking into more products from these ranges. I am also pleased to have been introduced to a website which deals exclusively in natural, organic and cruelty free brands. I already know and like products by the likes of Inika, Green People, Balance Me, Caudalie and Cowshed so it is a great place to see all of these brands in one place. They also offer free delivery on all orders which is also a bonus!
Here’s hoping for another Discovery box soon, but in the meantime check out the site for yourself: http://naturisimo.com

British Beauty Blogger: Clinique Edit

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I was lucky to get my hands on this collaboration between Latest in Beauty and British Beauty Blogger. The boxes sold out in record time so I’m glad I made an effort during my break at work to pop online and snap it up. Boxes like this are a great opportunity to get your hands on goodies from luxury brands that you might not normally be able to afford. My budget certainly wouldn’t stretch to purchasing this little lot separately! Jane Cunningham (aka British Beauty Blogger) has chosen her top Clinique make up and beauty picks for the coming summer months and I couldn’t wait to get started trying them out!
First up I spritzed on some of the ‘Happy’ perfume sample.

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I actually can’t believe that I have never smelled a sample of this perfume before but it was completely new to me. It certainly lives up to it’s name though! It is a lovely fresh and uplifting scent perfect for giving you a morning pick me up and leaving you feeling ready to face the day. I love fresh, floral fragrances and this also has a hint of citrus which makes it perfect now the springtime weather is here. The sample comes in a cute 4ml bottle complete with a spray lid so it can be popped into your handbag to freshen up your fragrance effortlessly during the day. I will definitely look out for special offers on this fragrance in the future because I really do like it, though not enough to justify the price right away because I recently purchased a beautiful new daytime scent which I am very happy with for now.

Next up I tried out the make up items:

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I have tried out a lot of new Mascaras lately but I was seriously impressed with Clinique’s High Impact Mascara. It is a full sized tube in black with a long but reasonably slender brush which allows you to get at your smaller lashes as well for an even coating all over. Just one coat gives quite a dramatic effect and although it doesn’t budge throughout the day, I didn’t have a problem removing it in the evening either.

Next, a product which has had a place in my make up bag for quite some time, the Clinique Chubby Stick:

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I already own three of these jumbo lip crayons in varying shades of pink but I was still delighted to receive another. This one is in the shade ‘plumped up pink’ which is a little brighter and bolder than my others. In terms of moisturizing power combined with a variety of pretty colours, Chubby Sticks really are hard to beat. The formula keeps your lips feeling beautifully nourished the whole time you are wearing it and the crayon design makes touch ups a breeze, even if you don’t have access to a mirror. None of the shades that I have tried are bold enough to achieve a really strong, statement lip but they work well for a girly, more low key look. Perfect for the daytime or if you want to focus on a really strong smoky eye and want your lips to be a bit more low key in contrast.

The remainder if this box was comprised of Skincare products.

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The Liquid Facial Soap is part of Clinique’s famous 3 step skincare system and is a mild formula specifically for use on dry/combination skin. Since I have been experiencing some intermittent dry patches on my face lately I suppose I do fall into this category and although I would usually choose to use products suitable for sensitive skin I gave this a try because Clinique are known for their dermatologically tested, fragrance free products and I figured I was in safe hands. Well my skin certainly felt clean, as you would expect with any cleanser but I was a bit disappointed that the whole of the 3 step system wasn’t included in the box. I’m not sure how you are supposed to get an accurate view of how these products can work for you at their best if you’re not able to see the whole picture.

While Step 2 of the skincare system was notably absent, the box did include step 3, Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion + :

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Once again this product is aimed at very dry to dry/combination skin. If my skin is feeling at all starved of moisture my general feeling is the stronger the moisturizing power, the better so once again I was happy to give this a go in spite of not really classing my skin as dry. As with the cleanser, I just felt a bit underwhelmed really. It does a good job of moisturizing but so do many other products. Perhaps it is the fact that my skin is not actually especially dry therefore is not crying out for these products, but I have a pretty good skincare system in place for myself already and trying these samples out have not convinced me to change it in any way. In fact, the only thing missing from my usual routine is a toner, and that is the product that is actually missing from this line up so I haven’t even had chance to discover whether including one would make a difference to my regime!

The next product is the Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief Gel:

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Suitable for all skin types, this is the kind of product that I can get a bit more excited about. I do like the occasional intensive treatment if my skin is feeling particularly dry and taut and this oil free gel is perfect for slathering on overnight so it can work it’s magic as you sleep. The gel formula feels soothing and cooling when applied but it absorbs well deep into your skin. I used this a couple of nights in a row and the dry patches that I have been experiencing lately did seem somewhat improved. My skin also looked and felt clearer and fresher overall. Unsurprisingly this is the most expensive of these skincare products, at £34.00 for a 50ml full sized pot but it is the only one that I would consider purchasing personally. I feel overall that the effects of Clinique’s 3 Step Skincare System could be achieved by any decent combination of Cleanser, Toner and Moisturiser. Buying these products is simply following the basic skincare advice that we have been given for years!

The final product in the box is the Take The Day Off makeup remover for lids, lashes and lips:

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I don’t think anyone would argue with the fact that this is a brilliant makeup remover. It glides onto your face and acts like a magnet, bringing all of the day’s make up off with it. It was particularly good at effortlessly removing stubborn mascara and smudged kohl eyeliner that my trusty Micellar Water sometimes struggles with and I will be keeping this sample bottle around for times when I need to remove particularly heavy makeup after a big night out. My main problem with it though, is that at £17.00 for a 125ml bottle versus £4.99 for 400ml of Garnier Micellar, it’s simply not worth the extra cash in my option. I’d much rather use a second Micellar soaked cotton pad to make sure I got every last trace of makeup off than pay the extra £12 for this.

The box also contained an invitation for a complementary Clinique service, complete with a free treat at your nearest Clinique counter and a voucher for £10 off your order at http://clinique.co.uk (on a minimum £40 spend)

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This is a nice touch but I am not sure that I am willing to part with £40 in order to receive the £10 off anyway because nothing really stood out as a must have for me.

My opinion of this collection of products is pretty mixed really. I loved the Chubby Stick but I am already a fan and feel that the product does justify the £17.00 price tag (although saying that, I received my first one as a gift and my other two are half-size gifts that were free with Glamour magazine last year!). I was also really impressed with the mascara but it is a full sized tube and I have so many other mascaras I won’t be rushing out to buy another. Overall, my impression of the skincare range is that it is good, but over hyped and not really worth the money to me when mid-range brands could do the job just as well.

At £18.50 I am still definitely pleased that I purchased the box as I am now the proud owner of a Chubby Stick and Mascara which would’ve cost me £34.50 from a Clinique counter and I am sure that I will get a lot of use out of them. I am also glad that I have had the chance to try the skincare products for myself so I could decide that they weren’t for me without shelling out over £60 to come to that conclusion. I know that some people swear by these products and if I had different skincare needs maybe I would’ve felt differently about them but as it is, I don’t see myself stocking up at my nearest Clinique counter any time soon.

The British Beauty Blogger Clinique Edit was purchased from http://latestinbeauty.co.uk. Although this box is no longer available, check out their other great value boxes, or select from their exciting product samples and build your own custom box.

Skincare Sunday

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Over the past few months I have been observing ‘Skincare Sunday’ where every Sunday I give my skin a bit of extra pampering with a face mask or other treatment. I have tried out some great products from amazing brands so far such as GlamGlow Youth Mud (I got a free sample with an online purchase) and Nuxe Masque Crème Fraîche de Beauté but this week I am going retro and treating myself to one of these babies:

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I picked them up from Home Bargains yesterday for the measly sum of £2 for all 3 and they are widely available in many local chemists, supermarkets and places like Poundland. It’s a cheap and cheerful way to give your skin a bit of a boost at the end of the week, leaving you feeling fresh for the one ahead.
Since I was feeling like my skin was suffering from a bout of day drinking yesterday and a severe lack of sleep as a result of staying up to watch the Mayweather vs Pacquaio fight on UK pay per view I decided to go for the refreshing sounding Green Tea Peel Off Mask this evening. It had a thick, gloopy texture and I could feel a cooling effect throughout the 20 minutes that I kept it on which was quite nice. It was easy to peel off when the time came and after a quick cleanse with my Konjac sponge to ensure that none of the product remained I did feel quite refreshed. I see these cheap as chips mask as more of a novelty than a serious staple to my skincare routine but I do find that a weekly treatment using a product of a higher quality that is tailored to treating specific skin needs such as deep cleansing, exfoliating, detoxifying or intensive moisturising is great for giving your skin an extra lift and a special glow. I will be hunting down new face masks and treatments to try on Skincare Sunday in the coming weeks, does anyone have any suggestions for me of products that have worked well for them?