Sunday, 29 January 2012

GlossyBox | January "Valentines Edition"

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This months GlossyBox has been eagerly anticipated as it's hot pink box was flashed about the twittersphere. I for one, was really looking forward to peeling back the paper to reveal what was inside. The Box itself is super pretty, I love that GlossyBox are changing the colour schemes with different themes, it keeps everything a lot more interesting and exciting. Who doesn't love a hot pink box?

The theme for this month is Valentines Day. Whether you are single and fancy a night of preening or meeting your fella for a night of romance, this box offers you the ultimate pampering experience. The first thing that caught my eye was the Murad primer, as a primer is something I always leave out of my face routine, so I was looking forward to trying that. I also loved the look of the moisturising balm. I wasn't mad-keen on the body washes though.

Contents & Thoughts:
  • Murad Hybrids Skin Perfecting Primer - Dewy Finish - As I just said, primers are something I always forget & so I was chuffed to have one to try out. I also love that it gives a dewy finish. A lot of primers are for mattifying the face, which is something that has always put me off as I have quite dry skin sometimes.
  • Davines Moisturising Balm - This balm is all purpose and can be used on the face, on the body and in your hair. When I first got it, I was under the pretense that it was like a moisturiser, but after reading up about it, it says it needs to be rinsed off. When using on the face, it's more like a cleanser, which when rubbed in with cotton wool, removes makeup. It's then used the same way on your body, and like a conditioner for your hair. I'm not overly keen on the scent of this, it smells faintly of hair dye.
  • Davines Cleansing Nectar - Again, although it appears that this product is more of a shower gel, it's mainly for cleansing your hair (shampoo). It contains lots of natural oils, so I'm looking forward to trying this and seeing the results. Unfortunately is does bare the same natural-with-a-hint-of-hair-dye smell that the balm does although it's definitely the sort of scent that could grow on you.
  • FAB Gentle Body Wash - A moisturising, irritant free everday cleanser ideal for sensitive skin. This body wash is aimed towards those with dry, irritated or sensitive skin. It feels really lovely on the skin and does leave you feeling squeaky clean. I'm a big fan of shower gels that moisturise aswell as clean your skin. Again, not really too sure of the scent of this one, it's a lot more fresh and not a very strong scent but still a little strange. I can't quite put my finger on it. I'm not sure if my nose is just being fussy...
  • Eyeko Skinny Eyeliner - This is the first time I have come across these eyeliners from Eyeko since they re-branded. The formulation is lovely. Creamy, easy to use and pigmented. The colour I received is a light pink, which dissapointed me at first, as I was unsure of where or when I could wear a colour like this. Then I realised that it was the perfect shade for lining the waterline to make you appear more awake, and to brighten your eyes. I even think it would be great to add a little shape and definition to the arch of your brow or lighten the inner corners of the eye. I'm unsure I like the long silver handle on the liner, as I feel it's a bit of a waste of product & therefore means the actual liner is a lot small than your average. However it does feel lovely to hold, and is good for precision.
Last months Christmas edition GlossyBox was my favourite so far, so I knew it would be a tough one to follow. I do still think last months box just pipped the top spot. Although I will use all the things in this GlossyBox, I'm not the biggest fan of body washes & shampoo's as I own SO many. I'm definitely more of a makeup and skincare enthusiast. I have noticed that the contents of some other boxes have included some Clarins skincare, which I think would have been best suited to me, but that's the joy of not knowing what you will receive. Overall, a very pretty, well thought out box!

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Makeup & Jewellery Storage Ideas/Alternatives

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I like to think of myself as quite a creative person, always looking for new ways to store things and pretty things to add to my bedroom. I'm a firm believer of the fact that a girls bedroom is very much a personal space, to dress up as she chooses, with whichever soft furnishings and bits and bobs take her fancy. Everyone has different tastes, but I think it's refreshing to see a variety of ideas and solutions. As most of you will know, I'm a huge fan of searching out unique and vintage items for my bedroom from charity shops, bootsales and home clearance shops, so it may not come as much of a surprise to you that I don't store my jewellery or makeup in a modern glass jar. The selection of things I have pictured here were all under £5. Unlike buying a plastic box for my makeup from a shop on the high street, I get such satisfaction out of finding pretty little trinkets that I know will make my room slightly more interesting. They really aren't that difficult to find either, you just need to open your eyes a bit more. Charity shops are always stocked with cute little plates and saucers & bootsales are absolutely FILLED with vintage, one off items.

Each of the plates you see above, cost me 20p. The tins are a more recent find. I got them from a house clearance shop, which if you ask me, is an amazing idea. It's like a permanent bootsale stand & everything is so reasonably priced. Each tin cost me £2.95. I used the Alice in Wonderland tin to store all my tiny studs and small stacking rings and the Typhoo Tea tin has all my cotton wool pads and cotton buds in it. The Jacobs Cream Cracker tin, as you can see, is used to store all my lipsticks, so simple & so effective. The Mrs Tiggywinkle tin, I have used to store more earrings & the tin beneath that, has my necklaces in it. The mirror on the wall cost me £3 from a bootsale & the cup & saucer candle was also from a bootsale for £2. The retro "Annual for Girls" book was bought on a day out with Louise in Market Harbourough Oxfam for £1.

You don't have to spend a lot of money to store your jewellery or makeup or to add a touch of personality to your bedroom, you just need a creative eye & the ability to make nothing into something.

How do you store things in your bedroom? Have you found any vintage gems?

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Carmine Beauty Box Review | December Box

If you are familiar with the Beauty Box concept, then you will know there are more than a few different ones to sign up to. Although I am a GlossyBox Ambassador and receive beauty boxes for free, this won't affect any judgement I have over any boxes available, or GlossyBox boxes for that matter. I know that a lot of you are interested in beauty boxes, and which may be the most suitable for you to sign up to, so for those of you who want an insight into another box, then I hope this post helps. I do apologise to those of you who may have seen enough in the blogsphere on beauty boxes, but I'd like to add my two cents for those of you who may be interested. :)

Carmine is another box available to beauty enthusiasts, or alternatively, beauty newbies in need of a little inspiration. This box costs £10 + Postage & Packaging each month (P&P is £2.75) So essentially £12.75 which compared with other beauty boxes, is around the same price bracket.

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On first impressions, I wasn't massively enthralled, as it arrives in a box that is clearly too small for the beauty box inside, and is buckling and being held down by a strong piece of tape. This doesn't affect me, or the contents of the box, but as presentation is so important with things like this, I feel it's probably something that should be rectified. The box itself is really quite large compared with other beauty boxes, and the products inside are left sort of "floating about" in a sea of shredded paper. I definitely don't think the box needs to be this size. I much prefer the small, more compact boxes, which when opened, everything is packed in a lot more neatly. One other possibly more "shallow" aspect, is the colour scheme. Again, no reflection on the products inside but as a believer of presentation being a main factor, I was not so keen on the colour scheme of this box. I much prefer the softer, more girly schemes. Obviously, that is just my personal taste, some people may like the black, red and bright green theme.

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The products inside the box, were definitely a lot more exciting. There are typically 5 hand picked deluxe samples each month, a mixture of skincare, fragrance and makeup. I think the December box had a great mixture of all of the above. It also including a little extra voucher, entitling you to a eyebrow threading treatment, which is a nice added bonus.

Samples included in the box were:
  • Welda Pomegranate creamy body wash - Smells amazing, and left my skin feeling very moisturised.
  • Freeshape Quick Blowdry Spray - I absolutely loved the idea of this since I have so much hair, something that cuts drying time by half. However when I used it, it took me the same amount of time to dry my hair. Although I felt a little disappointed, it did leave my hair super soft.
  • Time Technology Cream - I've not used this yet, but it does sound promising. A cream to give you a flawless, radiant complexion that will transform tired looking skin.
  • Japonesque Smudger Brush - A cute little travel sized brush that would be ideal for your handbag on the go
  • MyFace.Cosmetics Blingtone Eyeshadow - I got this in a gorgeous golden shade, and although the packaging isn't totally up my street (I always think clear casing seems a little cheap) the eyeshadow is very highly pigmented and very smooth to apply.

Like other Beauty Boxes, Carmine include a little card stating which items are included in your box & a brief description. One thing I would have liked for them to include on this card, is an RRP price. If a product sample had an RRP of £90 a pot, it would give you an idea of the type of expectation you should have of the product (It better be bloody good at that price) but also I'd like to know if these products are within my price range before I start using them and fall in love with them or subsequently be disappointed by them. It also gives you a little guideline of how much the beauty box you've received at £12.75 is really worth, and saves you having to google them.

Overall, I was impressed by the contents of the carmine box, and there are definitely a few items in the December box that I was really excited to try, but I think the presentation lets it down slightly. Would I subscribe the to Carmine box personally? I'm not too sure. There are some great brands appearing in the Carmine boxes, and I enjoy the whole "receiving and not knowing what's going to be inside", but ultimately I don't think it's my favourite of the Beauty Boxes I've received.

What do you think of Carmine? Are you easily put off by little things like presentation and colour schemes or is that just me?

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Ice Skating & Tower Bridge

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1. Getting off the tube at Tower Hill 2. Tower Bridge 3. Louise 4. The ice rink 5. Superdrug Products 6. Superdrug Products 7. Zoe finding out which parts of her face and hands are hot or cold 8. Me 9. Me and Zoe 10. Walking onto Tower Bridge

I have been meaning to post about this for a good few weeks, but it appeared to have got lost amongst hundreds of Christmas time photographs and I had completely forgotten about it (along with some other back dated posts). I hope you don't mind me posting about it now, but I thought you might want to see some of the photographs I had taken and it's better late than never eh?

Louise and I hot footed it along to an event held by Superdrug, where they had rented the whole ice rink out for us to use. I can't say i'm much of an ice skater, in fact, think bambi on ice, Louise on the other hand, was quite speedy. She put me to shame. Although I use the term "event", it was more just a showcasing of some of Superdrugs products. We also met Zoe there of TheLondonLipgloss who then accompanied us for a stroll along to Tower Bridge before Lousie & I headed back to her house in Northampton for fun and frolicks. How beautiful are the buildings? You wouldn't expect something like this to be in London would you? When you think of a City, you think of tall glass buildings surrounded in other offices and plenty of shops. It looked particularly gorgeous all lit up at night.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Introduction to Sisley

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Sisley isn't really a brand I'd ever looked into before. I've seen it stocked in Space NK but never considered it to buy, or even look into with more depth. The main reason being the price tag. This is a high end brand, and this is reflected not only in the pricing, but the quality of the products. I was approached by a lovely member of their PR and asked if I'd try out some of the products for consideration for review, and of course I said yes. Being an absolute beauty enthusiast, finding and trying new products, high end or high street, is all part of the fun. Seeking to find that permanent staple in our regime.

After trying these skincare and makeup items for a good few weeks, I wanted to give you my feedback. She'd picked out some of Sisley's most popular items and things she thought I'd like (PR's take note - know the blogger's taste & skin type) She got everything spot on, as there was not one product I didn't like. I was secretly hoping to be disappointed with one if not a few of the products, as I knew that falling in love with them, could leave me with quite an empty purse in the long run.

The first two products are the makeup items. I had no idea Sisley had a makeup range as they focus mainly on skincare. When I unboxed the first item, I was like an excited little girl as I pulled the gorgeous animal print compact from the sleek black velvet slip. How gorgeous is it? This is the "Phyto-Poudre Compacte", a finishing powder to set foundation. The main thing I like about this is that it is very natural and has a transparent finish. It also has very finely milled shimmer, which when applied, leaves your skin looking glowing and very healthy, as well keeping makeup looking perfect all day. I keep this in my handbag for touch ups, and although it comes with a puff, I prefer to use a powder brush for a less concentrated application. The price of this is around the £60-£70 mark, depending on where you purchase it from, and this is pretty steep in my opinion. I know not all of you will agree, as everyone's budgets are different.
The second makeup item is the "Phyto-Khol Star Liner". Available in 7 shades, which are all extremely wearable, and most of which I now NEED to own. Again, this has it's own velvet pouch, but as well as this, it's own little diamante on the end. Cute. These liners all contain glitter/shimmer. The glitter in the pencil I received is silver, although I'm not sure that silver is contained in all other colours. This is what I would describe as the "Ultimate pencil for smokey eye". It blends SO easily, it's so creamy yet stays put for absolutely hours. One of my favourite khol liners for a smokey eye, is Mac's Carbon, but I don't use it because it smudges and falls beneath my eyes and takes "panda eyes" to a whole other level. Now I have been introduced to this, I can now see how USELESS the black khol liners are that I have previously used. The pigmentation is also amazing and priced at £37-£40 you wouldn't expect it to be anything less than perfect. Can I personally afford to be buying all 7 of these at £37 a pop? No, but if I could, I would.

Now onto the skincare. If you look on the Sisley or Space NK websites, you will notice that some of the skincare rockets in price (I'm talking between the £100-£200 mark) but thankfully I wasn't sent anything in this price range, as quite frankly, I'd be terrified to use it up, or enjoy it. The first is the "Radiant Glow Express Mask". This mask claims to gently cleanse the skins surface for a quick beauty boost. It contains both red and white clays combined with plenty of botanical extracts. In just 5 minutes, this mask absorbs excess sebum to provide radiance and clarity on the skin. This mask retails at £66.50 on the Space NK website, definitely being the most expensive face mask I've ever used. I used this when my skin was looking particularly lack-lustre and dull, and it did everything it claimed to do. My skin looked a million times better after leaving this on for a mere 5 minutes. It was like magic. I'm going to save this for special occasions or for nights out, and I can see this being used on the morning of wedding days or photoshoots.
I saved my favourite for last. The "Gentle Facial Buffing Cream". This cream is supposed to be used as a mask, and then "rolled" off to reveal a brighter complexion. It gets rid of dead skin cells and literally pulls away a dull complexion. I have also used this as just a simple exfoliator, and I can honestly say my skin has never felt so clean and soft in all my life. I have A LOT of dead skin cells on my face, I find I have to exfoliate quite regularly as a great deal of the skin on my face can become very dry and flaky, and spots leave terrible redness and blemishes which can take months to dissapear. This creams promises that with frequent use, it can refine the skin and be rid of any impurities, and I agree with this statement whole heartedly. My skin has recently been going a little haywire, and it calmed down SO much since I started using this. The texture of this is very creamy but also gritty (not BIG gritty, but very finely milled). This product is £50, and although expensive to most, I think this is slightly more reasonable and I would certainly treat myself to this after trying it out.

Overall, I was thouroughly impressed with Sisley as a brand and their products certainly didn't dissapoint me, I just wish that it was slightly more in my budget so I could splash out on other things from the website.

Have you ever bought anything from Sisley? Would you ever consider it?