Tuesday 28 February 2012

NOTD: Cashmere Cupcake Sprinkles

I bought this Tesco nail polish ages ago for something like £2, and I thought I’d give it a go. Although the bottles are small (7ml), the quality is really great and lasted a week without chipping with the glitter topcoat. The glitter topcoat is from the 2True range at Superdrug and cost £5 for 3 products. As you can see, it has tiny silver speckles in it inside an iridescent almost shiny blue polish. The bottles are 9ml and promise 5 days wear and a High Gloss Finish.

I actually wore the pinky nude colour alone for work and with a topcoat for the weekend. Talk about double duty! Love the colour on it's own, it's a perfect nude whilst the two together look quite subtle but pretty I think.

Tuesday 21 February 2012

February Glossybox review

I’ve heard so much about beauty boxes and Glossyboxes, that when I saw a code for a half price box last month I decided to give it a go. I thought I'd do a real step by step for anyone who hasn't had a beauty box before to show you exactly what you get!

Seeing this little beauty arrive made my day. For one thing, you can’t fault the packaging; even the exterior box is gorgeous.

I tentatively opened it up to reveal the pale pink box inside and nearly squealed with delight. Lifting it out, I opened the lid to see the black tissue paper inside containing the products sealed with a sticker and pink ribbon.  Inside this are the products themselves as well as a little card explaining each product, with it's value and a discount code (you're all welcome to mine, just comment if you'd like them!)

Having seen everybody else’s Glossyboxes, I have to say I was expecting to see some bigger products inside. Previous contents have included the Eyeko Skinny Liner, Fab Gentle Body Wash, Orly Nail Lacquer, Leighton Denny Nail Polish, Dermalogica MultiVitamin Thermofoliant and Power Recovery Masque, L’Oreal Mythic Oil, Cargo Lip Gloss, Clarins Day and Night Creams, Weleda, Illamasqua, Ciate, Deborah Lippmann Razzle Dazzle nail polish, Nail Wraps and HD Brows.  Had I received any of those items in my box, I feel it would have made it worth it as each one would probably cover the cost of one box.

In my box I received: Duwop Venom Gloss in Buttercup (sample size), Dr Bronner Magic Liquid Soap Tea Tree (smallest full sized item available), Paul Mitchell Round Trip (sample size), BM Beauty Pure Mineral Eyeshadow in Dusty Road (sample size), and Como Shambhala Invigorate Body Lotion (sample size).

None of these are what I would call full sized items, which was an instant let down. At least a full sized luxury shower gel, for example, would be a welcome treat.   

I was glad to see this as it is meant to be a great plumping lipgloss so I will be trying this out. The colour isn’t bad; at least it’s neutral although I would have preferred a pinky shade. The full sized item is 10.4ml and the one in the box is 5ml.

Dr Bronner
This is a bit of weird one! It says that it has 18 different uses and the packaging is very old fashioned, as if for a product in an apothecary 100 years ago. I don’t personally mind that, but if you read the bottle alone it’s really unclear! I had to go online to research its uses and you can use it as a shower gel, shampoo or face wash.  It also smells quite like something you’d rub on your chest if you were ill, which I don’t personally like. Not bad, but it seems a bit out of place in a beauty box and isn’t really a luxury beauty item, especially as the RRP on this is $2.99 or £1.99 here.

Paul Mitchell
This is more like it. I think I will actually try this the next time I feel brave enough to rock my natural curls! This liquid curl definer is meant to define and protect your curls when applied to damp hair.  The full sized 200ml of this is £12.95 and we got 25ml.

BM Beauty
I once had an eyeshadow like this from a set in Superdrug years ago. It was such a messy product to use that I eventually just threw it out, even though the product itself was really good. I can’t even bring myself to open this as I know this will do the exact same thing and ruin the carpet.  Don’t breathe too near to this guys! The full sized product is 2g, we got 1g.

Como Shambhala
Although this does seem like quite a luxury product, the smell reminds me too much of Vicks because of the Eucalyptus in it. It does go on smoothly, sink in quickly, and is a light consistency. The scent isn’t so strong after a while, but it’s not to my taste and a different scent would have been better. It is a useful size so good for handbags etc, but the top is screw off which can make it difficult to reach the contents at the end.  Full size is 300ml, we got 50ml.

Glossybox does a great job on packaging and general luxury feel of these boxes, as well as building up anticipation online through Twitter etc. It is a lovely thing to get through the door every month. If you don't mind spending the £12.95 every month as a treat to yourself, it is definitely worth getting. I understand that contents vary from month to month and some months will be better than others, I just feel I didn’t get the best month!

I was pretty disappointed with this particular box, mainly because it didn’t really have any full sized products, or nail polish, nail wraps, false eyelashes etc! Considering the value that previous boxes have offered, I didn’t feel that this lived up to them in terms of quality of products and size of products. I worked out the value of this box is £18.13, which considering that a previous box had a full sized HD Brows kit which retails at £19.99, that isn’t great.

If you'd like to take a look at the website for yourself or sign up, click here.

I do have a Carmine box coming soon so I’ll be sure to share my thoughts. 

Sunday 19 February 2012

Bourjois Beach Blanket Babylon

After seeing this on A Daisy Chain Dream's blog, serendipity brought me to London on Friday 17th February. One gorgeous lunch at Ping Pong Southbank later, we were off the Shoreditch to see what Bourjois was up to. Although we were too late for the goodie bags, we did get to explore what resembled a Bourjois candy shop! 

The downstairs restaurant was selling cocktails and hot food, you can see the menu in one of the many pictures above! We headed upstairs into the main room for our makeovers and had a choice of hair, make up or nails. There was a bit of a wait, so we had a look around and started picking out make up, which was on 4 for £14! It was so much fun getting hands on with the products and you can see that everything was really well laid out. I eventually got a super quick makeover by a fantastic make up artist who used No 10 blusher, Smoky Eyes 4104 eyeshadow and Volume Clubbing mascara. I added the coral lipstick, Sweet Kiss Shine in no 74, Juicy tangerine. You can see the result!! 

We were also treated to a VitaCoco drink and I gave myself a manicure with So Lacque Ultra Shine Nail Polish in Orange Creation. 

I headed home with: Bourjois Blush in 10 Chataigne Doree, Sweet Kiss Shine in 74 Juicy Tangerine, Smoky Eyes in 4104 (brown) and Healthy Mix Correcting Concealer in 52.

There were a few teething problems on the day however. Mainly, it was because although there was a waiting list, we were told to grab a MUA rather than being put on it, meaning we had to watch like a hawk for a place and were usurped a few times! My friend also didn't get a manicure because the wait was so long but I gave her one instead!! 

If you're in London it's definitely worth a visit and it's a great fun concept.  Bourjois Beach Blanket Babylon is on until 20th February, for more info visit the Bourjous website here.

Wednesday 15 February 2012

This is how I Graze...

Some people might think that the Graze boxes are full of nuts and seeds, but they’re not; they’re full of some seriously tasty and pretty low calories treats too. I don’t know many people who get them everyday, most people have them once a week as a bit of a pick me up. First off, here's the box. So far, so natural. I love a bit of good branding.

In case you were wondering, here are the contents of mine from last week: Super Berry Detox, Apple & Cinnamon Flapjack, Korean Chilli Rice Crackers and Toffee Apple. This was probably the best box I’ve ever had (notice the lack of seeds). The berries were really nice, way more interesting than raisins. The flapjacks are all gorgeous and I’ve never seen the flavours they do in the supermarkets. The rice crackers weren’t too spicy and were so good I went and bought some more from my local Holland & Barrett. Lastly, the Toffee Apple is just inspired. It’s actually not too unhealthy and is just dehydrating apple with a tiny bit of toffee sauce. All in all, really tasty! It's worth noting that the packaging is gorgeous, recycled paper, very cute descriptions and a handy leaflet with the nutritional information on it make for a really well thought out box.

If you are thinking of signing up, I'd definitely recommend that you take the time to rate the products to make sure you don't get anything you're really going to hate. For me, that's coconut, it has been slated and that means I won't ever get any in my boxes! If I'm honest, it is a bit much to have all the time. If I could I'd love to have one a week but as it is, I stop and start quite a lot depending on when  think I'll be around to use it. That's another big bonus, that you can cancel your deliveries at any time and restart them too. With me, it even kept all my details the next time I started my deliveries.

Verdict: Give it a try! It's free (well one is!), pretty healthy, super tasty, and if it stops you snacking on a bar of Cadburys it must be a good thing!

What's inside? 

Do you guys subscribe? What are your favourites?!

P.S – If you’d like to try a Graze Box for yourself, why not use the code N267HY6 to get a FREE box! Before anyone says anything, then yes, if you do use the code I get a discount on mine.

Sunday 12 February 2012

Beauty Haul - Collection 2000, Technic and MUA

Finally got my hands on two lip creams from the Collection 2000 Cream Puff range. I got Fairy Cake and Cotton Candy. I’ve been wearing Fairy Cake with my Benefit Coralista and they go really well together. As long as you use a lipbalm first (I’ve been using Carmex) they look really good and don’t sit in ridges you may have.  These are currently on offer for two for £5 in Superdrug, Boots and Wilkinsons.

Technic Cherry Boom Boom and Carnival, MUA Lip Gloss and Liquid Eyeliner, Collection 2000 Cream Puffs

I’ve been dying to get my hands on Technic Carnival (The OPI Rainbow Connection from The Muppets Collection Dupe). If you don’t have a stockist near you, there are some going on ebay here. I bought this and a pastel pink called Cherry Boom Boom from the Technic Pretty Pastels collection. I’ve just tried it on and I think that it’ll look great with two coats. I’ll do a NOTD on that later.

Collection 2000 Cream Puffs in Fairy Cake and Cotton Candy, MUA Lip Gloss in Shade 5

Last but not least is MUA or Make Up Academy. I’ve seen a lot of people talking about this on other blogs and I’d never heard of it before. I walked past the stand in Superdrug and found a small selection though and everything is a pound!  I just bought a lipgloss in shade 5, a pale peachy pink and a black liquid eyeliner. I haven’t tried the eyeliner but the gloss is a pretty good. The colour is a very glossy pale pink when it’s on with some very subtle small bits of shimmer. The consistency is good, it smells very strongly like artificial vanilla but it tastes horrible so be warned! However, for a pound it’s pretty good!

Have you bought anything from MUA or Technic? What did you think? 

Wednesday 8 February 2012

Food love: Peanut Butter Fudge

I know this isn’t strictly about fashion or beauty, but I did warn you there would be some lifestyle thrown in! It may not look like much but I can assure you it tastes amazing.

The recipe is from Sophie Dahl and is available on the BBC Food website, but it’s really simple just peanut butter, dark brown sugar, icing sugar and butter. Even if you don’t like peanuts, I’d urge you to try it as it doesn’t taste that peanutty.  It’s a great sweet treat and you can only have a few pieces at a time!

Happy baking! Let me know if you’ve tried it or have any other great recipes to share.

Sunday 5 February 2012

Product Review: Soap & Glory body products

I’m sure you’re all completely au fait with Soap & Glory, but that’s not going to stop me posting it! It’s all about how you use it, or something like that, and I’ve come up with a pretty good routine that leaves my skin smelling so scrummy that it seems a shame to cover it up with perfume.

First up, Clean On Me, (described as a creamy clarifying shower gel). This was actually the first product I ever tried from Soap & Glory when I borrowed some from a housemate (sorry!) but I did buy my own immediately! It feels so luxurious on, lathers moderately well (could do better) but smells gorgeous (apparently that’s their own Original Pink fragrance).

Next is Pulp Friction (foamy fruity body scrub).  Although I do think this is really good for general areas and backs of arms, it isn’t as effective on tougher areas such as thighs. It foams up really well and has different sized grains inside which aren't too harsh. It does work however but I’m still looking for my Holy Gail scrub and I’ve bought The Breakfast Scrub (also Soap & Glory) to try out as  it was recommended in the Look Beauty Awards 2011.

I’ve previously used Scrub Actually which is full of sugar grains and really feels like it’s buffing away dead skin cells as it’s quite tough. I prefer the smell of Scrub Actually (more sugary) although Pulp Fiction is lovely too (more fruity).

Last but not least is The Righteous Butter (body butter).  I’m a big fan of body butters and usually use The Body Shop’s Shea Body Butter for the long lasting moisturising effects and gorgeous scent, which is almost cocoa but not as sickly.  I prefer to use body lotions in summer though as they’re lighter but never perfumed body lotions as they usually smell so synthetic and the ones you get free with perfume sets are rarely good quality.

This however is possibly better depending on what fragrance I feel like using! It’s soft, sumptuous, tick like triple whipped cream and goes on really easily. It’s absorbed quite quickly (I usually wait about 5 minutes before getting dressed) and is the last stage of my three stage Soap & Glory body routine.

What do you guys think of Soap & Glory? What are your favourite products? I’d love to hear your recommendations and try them out too!