Monthly Archives: June 2015

You Beauty Discovery: June 2015

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Soooo in spite of me realising that I should probably cut down on my Beauty Box subscriptions, I found myself signing up to yet another one this month. Oops! You Beauty Discovery is a little different to the rest in that at the beginning of the month you are emailed a shortlist of products and you choose which two you would like to sample. Your choices are then sent to you, along with a few other treats for the very reasonable price of £6.95. I like the fact that you can choose the products that really interest you rather than being completely in the dark about what you might end up with, and the low monthly subscription cost makes this an ideal starter box if you are keen on trying a beauty box subscription service but are unsure whether it is really worth it.
You Beauty also regularly compiles Limited Edition boxes which can be purchased with or without a subscription. I snapped up the most amazing box of CEW Award winning products for just £19.95 when I began my subscription and although it is sadly no longer available, you can purchase a box of Burt’s Bees essentials at the moment for the same price.

Here’s what I chose for my box this month:

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Crown C436 Mini Duo Fibre Blender Brush
This brush is made from a blend of goat and synthetic hair, making it very soft and ideal for use with liquid, cream or powder. It is good for applying foundation and concealer, and also to blend out areas of contour and highlight. I have been expanding my brush collection quite a bit lately and as I recently ordered my very first contouring kit, this will be a useful addition to my make up bag.

Inika Certified Organic Pure Primer
This primer offers protection and hydration for your skin prior to the application of your make up base, helping it to go on smoothly and boosting it’s staying power. I love the fact that Inika is a company that uses mostly organic ingredients, and having tried one of their eyeliners, which I swear by, I am confident that this primer will be effective and good quality. I am only just getting into the habit of applying primer because I don’t very often use heavy foundation on my face, but it is nice to have a product that will help it look flawless and stay in place when I do!

In addition to my two chosen samples, this month’s box contained a yummy pack of Urban Fruit baked Strawberry pieces (which I consumed as soon as I had taken the pic!), two individual bags of Clipper green and red fruits and aronia berry tea and a triple pack of wipes which consisted of a dry tissue, a sanitising wet wipe and a cleansing wet wipe. I enjoy trying a variety of flavoured teas and love keeping little things like the wipes in my handbag for emergencies so I was quite pleased with my little extras. They’re not exactly earth shattering but since you are paying under £7 for the box and the samples you receive are guaranteed to cost more than that, anything else really is just a nice bonus.

You Beauty Discovery is a monthly Beauty Box subscription service costing £6.95 a month. For more information or to subscribe, visit http://youbeautydiscovery.co.uk

Naturisimo Travel Essentials Discovery Box

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Having discovered the Naturisimo website and one off boxes in May when I purchased their fantastic Make Up Discovery box, I excitedly added this box to my basket as soon as it appeared on the site a couple of weeks ago. Sadly, it has now sold out but if you are interested in skincare and make up brands who use natural, cruelty free ingredients in their products be sure to take a look at the site and sign up to their beauty alerts service to make sure that you are notified when their next limited edition box goes on sale! The past two boxes were priced at just £9.99 and they are a great introduction to brands that you might not have heard of or tried before.

Here’s a closer look at the products in this Travel Essentials Box:

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This Giovanni Shampoo and Conditioner Duo are naturally the perfect size to pop into your bag or case when travelling, and the hydrating formula of the conditioner will help to restore moisture in hair that has been suffering from the drying effects of sunnier climes. In spite of being well under the 100ml airline guideline size for liquids which are allowed in cabin baggage, these 60ml bottles are generous enough to see you through a short break or week long trip and will add that extra bit of TLC to your hair.

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This Dr Bronner Magic Soap is a true cleansing multi tasker. It is three times more concentrated than traditional soaps so a little goes a long way. It is also great when you are somewhere where you have minimal access to water such as camping or at a festival. A face cloth, a dash of this and a drop of water are all you need to cleanse your entire body. It’s got a pretty nice rose scent too! I have been to festivals in the past and it would have been lovely to have been able to take a product like this. After a couple of days baby wipes just don’t cut it as a cleansing solution!

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When travelling, whether locally or abroad I never fail to pack some sort of facial moisturiser. My skin is notoriously prone to sudden bouts of dryness and random breakouts and I like to have something to hand to soothe and calm it as soon as I can. All Balance Me products are gentle on the skin and this face cream does a fine job of instantly hydrating the delicate skin on my face. It is suitable for everyday use so your skin always feels in tip top condition and visible signs of ageing are kept at bay. Bonus!

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While the Balance Me Face Cream is a great regular moisturiser, sometimes you need something a little bit more heavy duty, particularly if you are abroad and your skin is suffering from too much sun. This Barefoot SOS Face & Body Cream will help cool and soothe the skin whilst deeply moisturising and restoring it. This wonder cream is also suitable for skin prone to Eczema and Psoriasis so travelling aside, this might be worth looking into if you are looking for an everyday moisturising cream to help soothe and control either of these skin conditions.

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I received another of these Caudalie Divine Oil samples in a previous box and it is the perfect multipurpose oil to pop into your travel bag to keep your face, body and hair in great condition when they are in danger of becoming parched from sun exposure. It makes your skin feel silky soft and has a lovely, heady scent too. The sachet of Divine Legs Tinted Body Lotion would be great as a finishing touch to make sure your holiday pins look perfect in your shorts or sundress!

As with their last box, I loved this offering from Naturisimo and thought that it was great value for money. All of the brands on board are great and I look forward to the next limited edition box!

Visit http://naturisimo.com to browse their incredible range of natural, cruelty free products and sign up to the Beauty Alerts service.

Cohorted Beauty Box: June 2015

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Yippee! June was the month that I FINALLY got my hands on one of the legendary Cohorted Beauty Boxes and I am so excited to share my thoughts on the contents with you! I have placed several orders from the Cohorted site in the past and they always include one or two little treats with your purchase such as skincare samples and even bonus make up items so I knew I could expect great value for money with their Beauty Box. Well it certainly is £19.99 well spent and knowing that I have already secured July’s box as well makes me incredibly happy!
Without further ado, here’s a closer look at the contents of June’s amazing box:

Cargo Cosmetics Eyeshadow Palette in “Let’s Meet in Paris”:

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Worth £35.00 at RRP and available from the site for £20.00 I have already got my money’s worth from the box with the first item! I have actually lusted over these palettes on the site previously and I liked this shade selection best, although I eventually plumped for a cheaper Sleek palette so I was thrilled when I opened up the box and saw this. It is beautifully packaged and contains 12 gorgeous highly pigmented, shimmery shades that are really wearable, some for everyday use and some to create dramatic evening looks. Even the brush that’s included is decent quality!

Cargo Cosmetics Bronzer in ‘Light’:

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Another lovely Cargo pick. I didn’t own anything from the brand before receiving the box but I am now seriously impressed and on the lookout for other bits and bobs. This light shade provides a natural looking glow so is ideal for all skin types. Since my skin is naturally quite fair I would look ridiculous if I attempted to pull off a bronzer shade much darker so I was very happy with this. When applied over my usual BB Cream it made my skin look healthy and glowing. With an RRP of £20.00 you can once again see what great value for money this box represents.

Essie Summer 2014 Collection Nail Polish in ‘Haute in the Heat’:

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This is a deep fushia shade from quality Nail Polish brand Essie. I love to paint my toenails in a vivid shades during the summer months and I wasn’t expecting this polish to be as dark as it turned out to be. Never the less it is an extremely rich shade and is easy to apply, giving complete coverage with just one coat so it could definitely save you some time if you are in a bit of a rush!

Every June box contained those 3 items as well as a bonus treat which varied from box to box. Mine contained this Dolce & Gabbana Eyeliner Pencil:

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I actually decided to purchase a white eyeliner a couple of weeks ago and added a budget one to an online order that I was making. Now I have this baby however, I don’t think the other pencil will be getting much use! If I’m honest when I spotted this in the box my first thought was one of lust for the brand rather than what I thought of the product itself but I am happy to report that it is also a great liner! I used it on the lower rims of my eyes and in the inner corners to create a wide awake look. It glided on effortlessly and was easy to blend with my fingers. There is a smudging tool on the other end although I didn’t use that as I wouldn’t have been comfortable putting it that close to my eyeballs! I imagine it would be great when using other shades of the pencil though.

Well there you have it, arguably the most impressive Beauty Box on the market at the moment. The main reason that I first got into Beauty Boxes was the opportunity to try products from brands that I wouldn’t usually go for, either because they were relatively unknown or out of my usual price range and Cohorted have delivered in both areas here. These 3 brands are completely new to my make up bag and there is every chance that I would never have splurged on the products individually. Now however, I see what great quality they all are and I am interested in checking out what other products Cargo, Essie and Dolce & Gabbana Cosmetics have to offer.

Cohorted Beauty Boxes are available on a first-come-first-served basis and have recently been selling out in minutes! I managed to secure my June and July boxes on preorder but if you’d like to be in with a shot at bagging the July box yourself, more will be available at 6pm on 1st July so set your alarm for 5.55pm, log on and cross your fingers!

Boxes cost £19.99. For more information visit http://cohorted.co.uk

Latest in Beauty: Glamour Summer Edit

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This month saw the release of another great one off box from Latest in Beauty, this time a collaboration with Glamour Magazine to create a collection of summer must haves. Latest in Beauty boxes always offer great value for money so when a new one is released I can never resist.
This box contains some great products which I will definitely be getting a lot of use out of. Here’s a closer look at the contents.

Nails Inc Gel Effect Polish in ‘Kensington Passage’:

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I was thrilled to receive another of these gel polishes since I was so impressed with the last one I tried. This shade is a vibrant pinky-orange which is just perfect for summer. Two coats give a smooth and even finish and this time it had impressive staying power after I remembered to apply a gel top coat as well. If you fancy giving this polish a try at a discounted price enter the code GLAMOUR5 at the checkout at http://nailsinc.com for £5 off your order.

Bourjois Color Boost Glossy Finish Lipstick in ‘Peach on the Beach’:

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An easy to apply lipstick crayon in another beautiful summery shade. The pale peach is really subtle for a daytime holiday look and the formula feels comfortable on your lips. I am really impressed with this crayon and am eager to check out other colour options.

Balance Me Super Toning Body Polish:

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Yet another great product from Balance Me. This body polish contains walnut shells and is designed to firm, plump and smooth as it cleanses and exfoliates. In spite of it’s exfoliating properties, the 99% natural ingredients used ensure that this polish is still kind to your skin. You apply it to wet skin so it is ideal to use at the end of your morning shower, helping to slough off any dead skin and leaving your skin smooth and super clean as it dries. I was really impressed with this product as its always nice to get a little help in improving the appearance of your skin when you will inevitably be displaying more of it during the warmer weather. The full sized polish costs £18.00 for 150ml and you can get £5 off your purchase by entering the promotional code SUMMERGLAMOUR5 at the checkout when you buy from http://balanceme.co.uk.

Vita Liberata Trystal Minerals Self Tanning Bronzer and full size brush:

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This is the world’s first self tanning bronzer! Simply dust the powder across your face and a natural looking tan will develop, and last for up to five days. I was really excited by this product but slightly worried that I would suddenly discover that I had turned a wildly unnatural and unflattering colour whilst out and about! I decided to try it out on a day off to be on the safe side. After going about doing some housework for a couple of hours I checked my face in the mirror and I detected a subtle glow. Basically my face just looked quite healthy. I may be brave and try a bit more product next time but I can see this being a great alternative to heavy make up during warm weather when paired with a skin perfecting primer or face cream. I’m going to give the combo a go for work tomorrow!

Eucerin Sun Creme for Face, SPF 30:

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I have acquired a few suncare samples through my beauty boxes now. It may just save me from forking out for pricey full sized bottles for a while! It’s always a good idea to use a face-specific sun cream to avoid a greasy look and spare your skin from blocked pores and spots so I was happy with this addition to the box. I have fair skin and hair so I rarely use lower than SPF 30, particularly on my face so this cream was a perfect fit. It is suitable for dry and sensitive skin and is also water resistant.

Caudalie Divine Oil and Pixi Glow Tonic:

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I would recommend both of these products. The Caudalie Oil is great for using on your face and body to combat any dry patches ensuring your skin is always ready for that extra exposure when the warm weather hits and the shorts and t shirts come out! It has a nice scent too and feels luxurious on your skin. I received another 15ml bottle like this one in the Naturisimo Travel Essentials Box which I will be reviewing soon so I have enough to keep me going for a while without having to purchase the full sized product and I can assess whether it will become a big enough part of my life to justify a £27.00 spend. You can use the code GLAM20 at the checkout at http://caudalie.com to bag yourself 20% off if you’re interested though!

The Pixi Glow Tonic is to be used on your face after cleansing to exfoliate, tone and tighten, creating a bright and radiant complexion. I used it for a few days straight and my skin did appear brighter but I have also been trying to improve my diet and drink more water so that might be responsible too! Either way it is a nice little product and since I don’t currently have a toner in my skincare regime I will definitely use up this little sample. You can get £5 off orders over £30 at http://pixibeauty.co.uk by entering GLAMOURBOX5 at the checkout. They have an impressive make up range so have a browse!

L’Occitane Shampoo and Conditioner:

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I like L’Occitane products but an abundance of samples and gifts from other people have meant that I have never actually purchased anything from the brand myself. To me essential products such as Shampoo and Conditioner, Shower Gel, Soap etc are not worth paying premium prices for, simply because I would spend a fortune having to regularly restock them! So truthfully I wouldn’t consider buying full sized versions of this duo although I am happy to make use of the samples. They have a pleasant scent and contain essential oils to give your hair a bit of extra TLC if it becomes sun frazzled and brittle whilst on holiday.

The final product in the box is a Seekers of the Sun Luxury Temporary Tattoos sheet. I haven’t even bothered with a close up pic of this one because I am so tired of seeing them everywhere. I would never let the inclusion of these things put me off buying a box but I do think enough is enough now. I’m looking forward to the change in the seasons so they won’t seem relevant to anyone anymore!

Well that’s it for my review of another great Latest in Beauty offering. I really was excited by several of the products showcased and more than satisfied that the £17.99 cost of the box was money well spent.

For more information or to order your own box check out http://latestinbeauty.com

Glossybox: June 2015

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Well its review time for June’s Glossybox and its another slightly underwhelming one unfortunately. I have gotten a bit tired of seeing the same sort of thing in all of my boxes at the moment. Probably a sign that I should give one or two of them up! Oh well that’s a dilemma for another time, here’s a closer look at this month’s offerings:

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The Kueshi Anticellulite Booster Lotion was one of the more impressive items. The full sized cream is quite rich and has a pleasant, delicate scent. It is supposed to improve the appearance of existing cellulite and prevent the formulation of new dimples so I was certainly excited to try it. I am sceptical of most products like this since they appear to be promising miracles but after a few days of applying it all over my legs, thighs and bottom they were soft and smooth and seemed a little more toned looking although that could easily just be wishful thinking! I will continue using the cream alongside my dry body brush to further help stimulate blood circulation but a healthy diet and plenty of water play the biggest part in keeping cellulite in check so I will be sure to try a little harder in these areas too otherwise using this lotion is pretty pointless.

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The MONU Spa Rosewood Reviving Mist is a product that I had seen around before and was excited to try. Great for spraying on in the morning to wake yourself up a bit, spritzing when you’re feeling hot and bothered to help you feel refreshed and even for setting make up, this spray has many uses. It smells beautiful and the sample is a handy size to keep in your handbag or desk to whip out when you need it. I used it to cool me down during some of the warmer weather last week and I was pretty impressed. Its a lovely product to have a round and I will certainly get use out of this sample but I am unsure whether I will deem it essential enough to purchase the full sized product once this runs out.

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The Essence Gel Nail Polish is in the beautiful green shade ‘Prince Charming’ and it immediately appealed to me. I love the finish of the new gel polishes that are around at the moment so I was happy to give it a try. Essence is a budget Drugstore brand and the difference in quality between this and the Nails Inc gel polish that I received in my Heart Beauty Essentials box earlier in the month was immediately obvious. The polish had a thick, gloopy consistency and it was hard to get an even finish when applied. It looked awful at first though as it dried it did look a little better. Essence advise using a base coat and gel top coat for the best results and although these were not included for me to try myself on this occasion, the base and top coats cost £2.50 each and the polish just £1.60 at Wilko stores in the UK so it wouldn’t exactly break the bank to buy them all and give them a try. There are a number of shades in the range so it is a good way of trying out the gel polish look without having to pay Nails Inc prices.

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I have lumped the final two products in the box together since neither of them especially impressed me! Travel packs of facial wipes are always handy so I have no doubt that I will use these Halo ones but I wasn’t particularly excited to see them in a box of beauty surprises meant to showcase new and exciting products and brands! Tattoos like these ones have found their way into many of my boxes lately and as I said in my Birchbox review post, they’re not really my thing so I just can’t see myself using them. I might see if my young niece is interested in taking them off my hands!

So all in all I wasn’t exactly blown away this month. Whilst the products inside the box were still worth more than the monthly subscription price, the box didn’t represent such value for money as it has on previous months. I will still be getting use out of most of the products though so I suppose I can’t complain too much! I’m curious to see what next month’s box brings because if I do decide to cancel a subscription or two I fear that Glossybox just might be on the chopping block…

Birchbox: June 2015

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This month Birchbox subscribers were allowed to choose from 3 beautiful box designs from a collaboration with shoe brand French Sole. I chose this chic striped design and was delighted when it arrived. French Sole have also thrown in a handy shoe bag to match the box which is a lovely touch and handy for safe storage of that special pair of shoes either at home or while travelling.
Read on for the contents of June’s box…

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First up is a full sized Gorgeous Cow Blissful Body Lotion from Cowshed. I have received a Cowshed body lotion in one of my previous boxes so I was pleased to see that I had received a different one this time. It has a lovely floral scent and the lotion absorbs easily into the skin without any stickiness so it is perfect to slather on if you’re in a hurry. It leaves skin feeling soft and moisturised. Love it.

Next up, Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm in ‘Ripe Raspberry’:

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Lip Balms is a handbag essential and a tinted one is especially nice to have to hand if you want to keep your lips in tip top condition whilst providing a flush of colour. This pretty pink shade is perfect for daytime wear, particularly at work where you may want to keep your look subtle but still brighten your face with a bit of colour. The formula of the balm feels really nourishing and if you build up the colour you can actually get quite a bold result if you want it. Another winner for me!

Next up is Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle Spray:

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I have received quite a few similar products lately and whilst they don’t immediately excite me, having tried them I can certainly see their good points. My damp hair is not particularly troublesome but I know many people struggle with tangled hair after a shower so the detangling properties of the spray would be beneficial! In addition to this the spray provides heat protection from your hairdryer and straighteners, minimises frizz and adds shine. It also has a gorgeous scent! I was impressed with this product and I will be using this as well as the Label. M Protein Spray which I received in this month’s Look Fantastic box. Now I have both it will be a while until I need to purchase another!

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The REN Keep Young and Beautiful Instant Firming Beauty Shot is another exciting addition. I haven’t actually tried it yet because I am saving it for a special occasion but if REN’s reputation is anything to go by I am expecting great things! The idea is to apply before moisturiser for an instant firming and plumping effect, which can be replicated throughout the day by adding more of the product over your make up if needed.

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The final two products from the box are a Penhalgon’s Iris Prima Eau De Parfum sample and a sheet of STYLondon Temporary Tattoos. When I first sprayed the perfume I was convinced that the scent was too heavy for me but over time it mellowed and was really quite lovely. I can’t allow myself to like it too much knowing the price of Penhalgon fragrances though! I haven’t tried the tattoos yet because despite them being everywhere at the moment (including in a number of my other boxes!) I really don’t think they are for me. They would make a fun festival or holiday look though and I do like the idea of using them on my nails instead of my skin as I have seen some do on Instagram so I may try that at some point.

When I first opened this box I wasn’t overly impressed but by the time I had tried everything out for the post I was won over. I love the Cowshed lotion, The Pixi tinted balm and the Beauty Protection spray so my subscription money was well spent this month!

Subscribe to Birchbox for £12.95 a month. For more information visit http://birchbox.co.uk

Look Fantastic Beauty Box: June 2015

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This month’s Look Fantastic box brought a major feeling of déjà vu. I knew that I had received the Balance Me Hand and Body Wash before but I was hoping that it was from one of my other subscriptions. Sadly no, I did indeed receive the very same product just two months ago in my April Look Fantastic box! Upon closer inspection of the information card supplied within the box I discovered that this was one of a few options that could’ve been included so it was bad luck that this is the one that I received, but it is obvious from the review comments on the website that many customers were in the same boat. I think it is a bit lazy of the company to churn out the same product again so soon. Could they not have used another product by the brand at least?
Anyway, rant over, let’s get on to the contents of the box. I will start with a brief few words about the Balance Me Hand and Body Wash in case you weren’t a visitor to my blog two months ago!

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Don’t get me wrong, Balance Me is a great brand and is a regular feature in many of my Beauty Boxes. This product is great, especially since it is a generous 100ml full sized tube. It has a lovely citrus scent, foams well and is kind to the skin. Balance Me use predominantly natural ingredients too and their products are cruelty free. Win.

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Next up is the Nuxe Crème Prodigieuse Anti-Fatigue Moisturizing Cream. First things first, I love Nuxe so I was expecting great things from this moisturiser. It is formulated for normal to combination skin but it didn’t cause my often sensitive skin any problems. It is quite a luxurious cream yet it absorbs well into the skin without leaving any greasy residue and it has a pleasant fragrance. All in all I was pretty impressed but I am not really in the market for a new moisturiser at the moment so I won’t be rushing to purchase it just yet. Let’s say I’ll keep it in mind for when I am!

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I have used a few products by Caudalie before, including this Complexion Correcting Radiance Serum. I applied before moisturiser as instructed and it did appear to give my tired looking skin a bit more life. My main problem is that I’m not really sold on the use of any serum as an essential part of my skincare regime so I just can’t bring myself to spend £45 on one.

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I was pleased to see this REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask sample since I have seen the product around and was interested in trying it. I do love a good face mask to refresh my skin at the end of the week! The problem was, when I read the instructions on the back of the tube they stated that it wasn’t suitable for sensitive skin and as someone who has experienced quite a few annoying flare ups from skincare which didn’t agree with me, I decided it just wasn’t worth the risk. I will be passing this one on to my mom to try!

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As someone with fair skin and naturally fair hair, the sun is not exactly my best friend and I am prone to sunburn and sun stroke unless I am really careful. It goes without saying that I use protection on my skin when out in the sun but I’ve got to admit that I don’t always take as much care with my hair. Amongst other things, this Label. M Protein Spray provides your hair with UV Protection. It also provides protection from the heat of styling products and can help to detangle your hair post-shower, leaving it more manageable. Its really quick and easy to spritz a bit of this spray onto damp hair before styling as normal and I will definitely be adding it to my routine for it’s protective benefits. The generous 50ml sample should last me a while but when I am ready to restock, £13.25 for 250ml on http://lookfantastic.com seems reasonable to me.

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The final product in this month’s box is the Murad Rapid Collagen Infusion. I was intrigued by the promise of a reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in 2 hours. Since I turned 30 I have certainly thought about the ageing process a bit more and started seeking out various anti-ageing skincare and make up products but I am still in the preventative phase at the moment since I am lucky that I don’t have that many wrinkles yet. Still, I gave this a go and it really did have a plumping effects, making my laughter lines and the creases on my forehead seem less pronounced. The full sized product isn’t cheap though at £65 for 30ml and in light of the fact that my slight lines and wrinkles can be disguised quite effectively with my minimal everyday make up I don’t feel the need to invest just yet. I will stick with the preventative creams for now.

Overall I did feel a bit let down by this month’s box. In spite of the fact that I welcome trying new skincare products and brands, I don’t get the same thrill seeing those as I do make up items, and sadly this box contained none. I was also disappointed with the fact that the REN mask was unsuitable for my skin type and by the duplicate Balance Me body wash. I did love the Label. M and Nuxe samples though so there’s a silver lining somewhere!

The Look Fantastic Beauty Box can be purchased at the beginning of each month as a one-off purchase costing £15 with free delivery. You can also choose to take out a 3 month plan for £35, saving yourself £10. For more details or to get your box, check out http://lookfantastic.com

My Top Products: May

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So once again I thought I’d do a little round up of the Beauty Box products and other purchases that really delighted me over the past month. Here goes!

I ❤ Make Up Palette in ‘I am Powerful’ (from my Make Up Revolution haul, RRP £5.99)

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This was one of my favourites from the mound of stuff that I received when I went crazy on http://makeuprevolutionstore.com
The lipstick is a bit naff but the eye shadow shades are great for creating sultry, smoky effects. If you fancy getting one for yourself the palettes are reduced to just £2.99 on the website at the moment. Go, go, go!

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Or Dry Oil (as featured in my May Look Fantastic Box, RRP £21.00)

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This was a lovely little addition to May’s Look Fantastic box. It will be great to moisturise and nourish the skin during the summer months whilst adding a gorgeous subtle golden sheen.

Mirenesse Mattfinity Lip Rouge in ‘Paris’ (featured in my May Birchbox, RRP £21.00)

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I’m all about bold matte lip colours at the moment and this shade by Mirenesse is particularly striking. The formula is moisturising so it feels comfortable on your lips and it stays put for a while as well. I’m not sure if I would be willing to part with £21.00 for the full sized version but I am really happy with the sample that I received!

Me Me Me Enchanted Eyes Dual Ended Eye Wand in ‘Midnight Storm’ (featured in the May Glossybox, RRP £6.95)

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I was really impressed with the pretty blue shades featured in this no-fuss eye pencil. It is great used as a liner to create a maximum impact look that is a bit more interesting than your average black liner.

The Beauty Crop Lighting Crew Highlighting Cream (featured in the May Lip Love Bag, RRP £12.00)

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This silky smooth cream adds a lovely sheen to cheekbones and other areas you wish to highlight.

Nails Inc Gel Effect Nail Polish in ‘Hyde Park Place’ (featured in the Latest in Beauty Heart Essentials box, RRP £14.00)

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I was really impressed with the professional finish of this polish, particularly since I am a novice at polish application. The shade I received in the box was great but there are plenty more to choose from in the range. I definitely may need to invest in one or two more!

Michael Kors Lip Lacquer in ‘Dame’ (from http://cohorted.co.uk, £18.00)

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I had been coveting this stunning lipstick for some time and the fact that it was included in May’s Cohorted Beauty Box made me all the more bitter that I had failed to secure one! I decided to splurge on the lipstick anyway and it really is just gorgeous. Aside from the amazing packaging, the shade is actually a lot more wearable than it looks. It has a semi sheer finish so you can gradually build up the colour to your taste and it feels so luxurious on your lips. I am definitely in love!

Kneipp Herbal Bath Back Comfort Oil (featured in the Latest in Beauty Heart Essentials box, RRP £9.95)

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Perhaps an unusual product to find in a Beauty Box, this oil worked wonders for soothing and calming my back pain and tense muscles on both occasions that I used it. I can really see this becoming a bathroom essential for me since I love taking baths to unwind and forget the stresses of the day.

Well those were the products that really impressed me over the past month, although my Beauty Box subscriptions have provided many more products that I am sure I will get ample use out of. I can’t see myself giving them up just yet!

Latest in Beauty: Heart Beauty Essentials Box

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I love the Latest in Beauty site for great one-off boxes and this collaboration with Heart FM is their latest. It is jam packed with Make Up, Beauty and Skincare picks from a wide range of well known brands and is great value at just £15.00. Take a look at the contents then if you fancy a box for yourself visit http://latestinbeauty.com. Alternatively if you like the look of any of the individual products feel free to make use of the discounts that I have detailed below when purchasing for yourselves!

The first product that I was dying to try out was the Nails Inc Gel Effect Nail Polish in ‘Hyde Park Place’:

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This is a gorgeously on-trend Grey polish which really does give a professional looking gel effect at home. As you can see it goes on evenly and looks really glossy. My only quibble with this polish is the fact that I wore it to a spa day at the weekend and I ended up with a few chips so I’ll definitely be using a top coat next time.

For 15% off all purchases at http://nailsinc.com use the code HEART15 at the checkout!

Next up I tried the Philosophy Purity Made Simple 3 in 1 Cleanser for Face and Eyes:

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I have heard good things about the Philosophy brand and am always happy to try out new cleansers so I was pleased to see this in the box. It is suitable for all skin types and did a good job of removing my light everyday make up. My skin felt soft afterwards and not at all tight, which is an effect that I sometimes get with harsher cleansers. Its a decent price too at £8.00 for 90ml so I would consider buying the full sized version though at the moment I am happy flitting between my samples and my default Hot Cloth Cleanser routine.

For £5 off the 240ml or 480ml bottle at http://boots.com enter the code PURITYSAVE5 at the checkout.

I followed up my cleanse with the Vichy Idéalia Life Serum:

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I have tried a few Vichy products before (including this one!) and quite liked them. I have also tried quite a few products similar to this one lately but none of them have wowed me enough to stray from my regular products and make a purchase. This serum is suitable for all skin types and claims to help improve the appearance of skin quality effected by factors such as pollution, overexposure to the sun and an unbalanced diet. While I am all for wonder cream to disguise the effects of my all too regular pizza and red wine binges, this serum hasn’t managed to prove itself to me yet. The tiny 3ml tube just about provided enough product for 2 applications and that just wasn’t enough time to see if it could change my life longterm. I’m not prepared to fork out £31.00 to see if the full sized bottle will either unfortunately!

Next up is the Kneipp Herbal Bath Back Comfort Oil:

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It was great to see something a bit different in the box, especially since it would be useful to so many people. Who hasn’t suffered from the odd back twinge on occasion? I decided to try the oil out after the hangover proceeding my friend’s recent Hen ‘Do left me feeling generally run down and achy all over. After adding roughly half the bottle to the running hot water in my bath (the bottle states that it is for 1-2 full baths) I lay down and relaxed for the recommended 20 minutes. The oil has quite a potent scent and you can really feel a heating sensation as it works on soothing and releasing tension. I felt much better afterwards and used the remainder of the bottle after a particularly tough day at work when a lot of heavy lifting had left me with tension in my neck and slight lower back pain. The RRP for this oil is £9.95 for 100ml which would do for around 10 uses. I found it to be really effective and I will definitely be making a purchase.

Next I gave the Balance Me Radiance Face Mask a try:

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I have tried many Balance Me products and have loved them all. I’ve actually used this mask previously having received a sample with a magazine a while back and it is great to give your skin a bit of a pick me up if it is looking a bit dull halfway through the week. It’s aim is to cleanse, exfoliate and brighten skin and it manages to deliver. Use once or twice a week followed by a good moisturiser and you’ll feel revitalised and refreshed.

For £5 off your next order at http://balanceme.co.uk enter the code HEARTFM5 at the checkout.

Also in the box was a full sized Amie Morning Light Hydrating Daily Moisturiser:

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This is an inexpensive but effective facial moisturiser which is dermatologically tested, pH-balanced, free from parabens and chemical nasties and suitable for vegetarians and vegans so if you like your skincare all natural this is a good investment. The whole Amie Skincare range looks great and I will certainly be making use of this, as well as purchasing one or two of the other products. Check them out at http://amieskincare.com.

You can receive 30% off your order by entering HEART30 at the checkout. There is also free p&p on orders over £10!

Up next is the Dove Youthful Vitality Shampoo and Conditioner:

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I received this duo in another box a few months ago and my mom was the recipient of the handy travel sized bottles so she could take them on holiday with her. I thought I’d try them out for myself this time. Although they are formulated primarily for ageing hair, the promise of soft and shiny hair with visible fullness is also appealing to someone with fine, flyaway locks like myself and I did find them to be effective in adding a bit of oomph. Dove is a well known and respected haircare brand and their products are widely available so these products might appeal to you, particularly if you spot them on offer in the supermarket or Chemist next time you are browsing! I’ll be keeping hold of the remainder of these samples for my next short break. I love my space saving products!

The Le Couvent des Minimes Cloisters Hand Cream is up next:

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I’m a bit indifferent towards hand cream to be honest. It’s certainly an essential, i’m just not particularly fussed what brand it is. This one does have a lovely Rose and Berries scent though and is a bargain at £3.00 so if you are in the market for a new hand cream I would recommend it!

Get 20% off your first order at http://lecouventdesminimes.co.uk by entering HEART at the checkout. Spend over £20 for free p&p.

Another product that I was particularly pleased to see was the Green People Sun Lotion:

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Obviously, Sun Protection is a complete essential but it can often clog up your pores and leave you with a greasy sheen. Green People is an organic brand and its natural ingredients are kind to your skin. This lotion has a 15 SPF so is great for everyday use or if you get caught out by unexpectedly warm and sunny weather whilst out and about! You can pop this 20ml tube into most handbags so you are always prepared!

For 20% off all products on http://greenpeople.co.uk enter HEART at the checkout.

Nearing the end of the box now! Next is the Wild About Beauty Powder Eye shadow:

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I already own one of these eye shadows though thankfully in a different colour. This one is the beautiful ‘Heather’. It is highly pigmented, glides on easily and is long lasting. Wild About Beauty is another brand whose products are free from chemicals and aren’t tested on animals so that is another major plus.

Check out the full product range for yourself at http://wildaboutbeauty.com

Two bareMinerals Complexion Rescue samples were also included:

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I have actually been coveting this product so I was thrilled to get the chance to try it out! Both of the shades supplied look to be on the fairer end of the spectrum but they worked well for my skin tone. I love lightweight, multitasking make up and its great to know that you have a product that is actually doing your skin good at the same time as providing a healthy looking glow. I am definitely considering purchasing this product when I have a bit of money spare and if you have purchased this box yourself you can take the leaflet inside with you to your nearest bareMinerals stockist to receive a deluxe sample in your perfect shade to make absolutely sure that the product is tailored to you completely.

The last couple of items in the box are the Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels and the cute heart shaped Face Cloth:

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As with Face Masks, soothing eye products are great every once in a while when you are feeling particularly ‘blah’ and want to give yourself a bit of extra pampering. I used these gels pads whilst relaxing in my Herbal Bath and in 10 minutes I really did feel revived. They help to reduce puffiness and even the appearance of wrinkles so they would be great before a night out or equally good the morning after!

The face cloth is just your bog standard face cloth with the added gimmick of being initially packed into a heart shape so it can magically expand when placed in water. It made me laugh since it is the kind of thing that I genuinely found quite impressive as a child and an extra face cloth is always handy!

Well that’s everything folks. As I said it really is a jam packed box and even though the majority of products inside are sample sizes it still represents great value for money. I could take or leave a couple of the products but I did find some gems amongst them too and the main draw with this and indeed all Beauty Boxes is the ‘Try Before You Buy’ element!