Tag Archives: pop beauty

Birchbox ‘Birchbag’: July 2015

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There’s nothing like some fresh new make up and skincare products to shake up your routine during the warmer months and with Birchbox’s latest offering they’ve gone one step further and even given their traditional box a revamp! July sees your samples displayed in a lovely bright ‘Birchbag’, perfect for toting around your holiday essentials. Overall I am quite happy with my samples this month, although I am envious of a couple of things that I have missed out on after looking at pics of other peoples’ bags on Instagram! Oh well, here’s a closer look at what I received:

Soigné Nail Lacquer in ‘Menthe’

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I have been receiving a lot of nail polishes in my boxes lately, though most have been bright shades so I was pleased to see this dreamy pastel one in the bag. At first glance it looked blue but when applied it looks more of a duck egg bluey green. This may be the perfect shade to complement my dress at my friend’s Lake Garda wedding next month! The polish itself is easy to apply due to a quite large, quite flat brush, although you definitely need two coats to build up a decent colour and even coverage. It really is a pretty shade though!

Unani Aloe Vera Gel

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Aloe Vera gel in it’s purest form is known for it’s soothing properties and while I suspect this is far from it’s purest form, there are still benefits of using products such as this one. Great as an after sun treatment to soothe and moisturise skin after a little too much UV exposure, it can also be used to alleviate the itching caused from eczema or as an after shave balm. I have a big tube of pure Aloe Vera Jelly which I use for these things so I don’t see myself needing this product as an essential part of my life, but the tube is much more portable so I will keep it around for when I go on my travels.

Benefit Cosmetics Dream Screen

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Quite honestly I didn’t want to like this product as much as I did. Sun Protection is essential, especially on your face, and Benefit have come up with a lightweight but heavy duty sunscreen formula with SPF 45 that also manages to look and feel invisible on your skin! This means no waiting around for ages for your cream to sink in and no walking around with a greasy looking face for the sake of protecting your delicate skin from the sun’s harmful rays! Although the product is excellent, I have to pick and choose what I spend significant money on and where I can cut costs and in this case I don’t feel like I can justify £25 on a 45ml bottle of this stuff when the Eucerin cream that I received in the Glamour Summer Edit box was great and costs £10 less for 50ml.

POP Beauty Eyeshadow Trio in ‘Peach Parfait’

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Summer is definitely a great time to experiment with a lighter make up look, particularly when your go-to smokey eye will more than likely end up halfway down your face if you attempt to stick with it whilst abroad! These three shades are perfect for creating a softer and more subtle look, whilst really opening up and brightening your eyes. They have a slight shimmer but are not too full on so they are great for both daytime and evening wear. The dinky little pallette is very portable too so you can sneak it in anywhere, even if you are short on space. All in all, a nice little product.

Indemne Eau de Genie Spritz

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This spritz is intended to be used alongside your usual cleanser to give it an extra boost and leave your skin clean, soft and glowing. A facial spritz certainly helps to leave your skin feeling soothed and refreshed, although if you are using a good cleanser and moisturiser anyway, I’m not completely sold on the fact that you would need this product as well. It is suitable for all skin types and I always welcome the opportunity to try things that I wouldn’t usually, but on this occasion it hasn’t really left a lasting impression on me and I won’t be rushing out to spend £11.20 on the full sized product!

Spa to You Nail Buffer

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Here is where my bag envy comes in, having seen countless pictures of people displaying the beauty sponges that they received in place of this nail buffer. Don’t get me wrong, these are useful little things, but so much so doesn’t everyone already own one? They can be picked up in just about any budget chemist for a couple of pounds so it just didn’t feel very special to me. I have been wanting to try out a beauty sponge for applying my make up for some time but I wasn’t sure that I wanted to splash out on an original Beauty Blender so receiving an alternative in my bag would’ve been great. Oh well I’ll just have to keep an eye out for a cheaper alternative to purchase myself!

So there you have it, my July ‘Birchbag’. I love both make up products and the bag itself and I welcomed the opportunity to try the Benefit Dream Screen so all in all I’m still a happy bunny! I am also excited that once I complete my reviews for this month’s offerings on the Birchbox site, I will have amassed points worth £20 to spend in the Birchbox shop! Maybe I could treat myself to the Dream Screen after all…

Birchbox is a monthly subscription service which costs £12.95 per month. For more information or to subscribe yourself visit http://birchbox.co.uk

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Glossybox: April 2015

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April’s Glossybox is a special Iconic Hollywood Edition, featuring a beautifully designed box (complete with an inspiring quote inside the lid) and a line up of products which promise to help you feel confident, glamourous and basically just all-round awesome.

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Firstly I have to say that the box really is very pretty and the quote by Elizabeth Taylor really made me smile. Did the products inside give me something to smile about too? Read on…

The first product I was drawn to was the Lord and Berry crayon lipstick:

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This is a nice chunky lip crayon in the suitably Hollywood shade ‘Kiss’ which is a bold orangey red. As soon as I began applying it I was struck by how strong the colour was. I expected a pencil to be quite easy to apply but I found myself having to take extra care to stay within my natural lip line and then fill in the rest of my lips evenly because the colour was so powerful. Mistakes are going to show up! I am used to using lip products with applicators that allow the product to glide on quite effortlessly so this was an eye opener for me. Never the less, I was really impressed with the end result and the colour lasted impressively through a mid afternoon nap, several glasses of water and the homemade burger that I ate for dinner so in terms of longevity this pencil is definitely a winner! I have seen Lord and Berry products popping up in quite a few Beauty Boxes lately and based on this product I would welcome the opportunity to see what else the brand offers.

I decided to go for full-on glamour and trial the Pop Beauty Kajal Pen at the same time as the lip crayon:

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This eyeliner is in a universally useful ‘Sooty Black’ shade and comes complete with it’s own smudger on the end for an effortless smoky eye effect. I had much more success with this liner than the others that I have tried recently due to the softer, creaminess of the Kajal pencil. It glides on easily in a strong, smooth line for a simple but striking effect or can easily be smudged and blended to add dramatic colour to your entire lid. I layered an old grey e.l.f cream eyeshadow on top to create a bold wet-look smoky effect which I will definitely replicate for my next big night out.

Next up is the Color Club Nail Lacquer in ‘Barely There’:

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This really is a true nude shade and would make a lovely speedy alternative to a French manicure for everyday understated nails. You could use one coat for a nice transparent sheen if you are a pro with nail polish application but I had to apply a second coat just to neaten mine up since i’m far from an expert! The second coat resulted in a more matte look and a nice beige colour. Still nice and natural but a little more noticeable. I will definitely try a full application of this lacquer soon once I have buffed and filed my nails in preparation. The shade might just be subtle enough to get away with at work!

Next up I gave the Nougat London Soothing Bath Pearls a whirl:

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They looked adorable in their sweet little organza bag and as a lover of a long soak, I was looking forward to the luxurious and pampering experienced that was promised on the label. However, after following the instructions and sprinkling a handful into my warm bath they just dissolved into nothing and I couldn’t really tell they were there! In hindsight I realise that my interpretation of a ‘handful’ was probably a bit stingy (the instruction card within the Glossybox suggests a tablespoon full) so it was probably entirely my fault that they didn’t have the desired effect! I will just have to try them again this evening to get a better idea! Either way though, bath pearls are more of a gift item in my opinion so I probably wouldn’t rush out to buy any more for myself anyway.

The final item in my box was Darphin Exquisage Beauty Revealing Cream:

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I have noticed that many of my latest Beauty Boxes have contained anti-ageing skincare products which may be due to the fact that many of the box companies ask you to complete surveys in order to determine what kind of products you would be most interested in then tailor your box selections to your responses. Having turned 30 last year it is actually quite sweet that they are trying to help me grow old as gracefully as possible! Anyhow, I am always grateful for the opportunity to try a sample from a luxury brand whatever it may be, so I was excited to try this out. I slathered it on before bed last night and again this morning underneath my BB cream eagerly waiting for my beauty to be revealed. Unfortunately as the morning progressed all that was revealed to me was a slightly blotchy, uneven looking skin tone and patches of irritation. To add insult to injury the wrinkles around my mouth looked more pronounced than ever! Granted, I had a rubbish night’s sleep and did a bit of a rush job of my minimal make up at 6.20am before I left for work but I still expected more promising results than this. My skin is quite sensitive and I think that I just reacted badly to it personally, it may work miracles on other people! The cream was lovely and thick but it did absorb really well into my skin so if you do get hold of one of these samples and you don’t have sensitive skin yourself I think it’d definitely be worth a try!

Glossybox is a monthly subscription service that costs £13.25 a month including P&P. If you are unhappy with the product or service you are free to unsubscribe at any time. Check them out at http://glossybox.co.uk