Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Mini Topshop Makeup Splurge

It may not come as much of a surprise to most of you that recently I have fallen in love with Topshop Makeup. I'm starting a series of review posts about each of the things I have tried from the whole range. I've already done one on the lipsticks which you can read HERE.

I recently popped into Topshop to have a little mooch around at the clothes, but ended up buying more of the makeup. Maybe, if I actually go there for makeup, i'll walk out with some clothing? It was the new "Sisters of the New Moon" collection that caught my eye. Topshop often bring out little collections alongside their permanent range, which I think is refreshing, and keeps you interested. I picked up a lip tint in "Crystal" which is absolutely amazing to look at. I feel like it's almost too pretty to use. It adjusts in shade when it comes into contact with your skin, which I thought was pretty cool. The second was a lipstick, which as you can see, is orange in colour, which therefor means I must have it. It's a lot less intense on the lips than my beloved Infared, but I love it. Both lip products were £9. I then also picked up a blush in "Flush" from the permanent line which is a pretty shade of fushia pink for £6. The last two items were nail polishes, also from the permanent line, "Hidden Treasure" (right) and "Gypsy Night" (left) which are both gorgeous colours. Who doesn't love a multi coloured glitter black & blue bottle? Both £5!

Overall, a pretty successful trip to Topshop, even if I didn't intend on leaving with makeup ;)

Saturday, 17 March 2012

JolieBox UK | An Introduction

So I'm sure most of you are aware of the beauty box trend that has taken the beauty community by storm over the past 6 months? A some what controversial idea, loved by many but also dismissed by plenty too. I absolutely love the concept, not just for me, but as a great gift idea for someone you know who either loves to experiment with new and exciting brands, or in contrast, someone who has no clue! There are plenty of different boxes you can choose from. I have featured both GlossyBox and Carmine on my blog, but now i'm going to talk about another one, JolieBox UK*.

JolieBox was formerly known as "Boudoir Prive", but they then teamed up with the french beauty box brand JolieBox & the JolieBox UK baby was born. I like that the team have been changing and growing and making improvements from feedback from their customers along the way, as now there have been 3 variations of the box. The most recent being my favourite.

December JolieBox

I was actually sent a box back in December, but this was around the time my laptop & camera didn't really get along and I lost a huge batch of photos, and so I never managed to post about it. After rescuing the photo's, I thought I'd include it in this post as, since December, there have only been 2 boxes (I believe the break was to ensure that new ideas and designs were developed). The December box was the first box after the two brands combined, and it had a total makeover from the old baby pink design. I loved the new, sleek, black and white boxes, as I felt that Boudoir Prive & GlossyBox were almost too similar at this time.

The items included in the first JolieBox were fab. There was a full sized OPI crackle polish, a mineral eye shadow, a JolieBox concealer brush, a New CID lipgloss, Mitchell & Peach shower wash, Yonka intense hydration & some Kusmi tea. There were 7 products included (there will be 5 from here on in) in the first box, as the tea and the concealer brush were little extras, a "hello" if you will. I won't go into depth about each of these products as I don't want to make this blog post too long, but as you can see, the standard of the products is really good. A great first box!

* JolieBox UK is priced at £10 per month, plus £2.95 P&P

In February, after their one month break, JolieBox released their second box. As you can see, the way it's packed inside the box is somewhat different. All the products are stored inside a little drawstring bag! I absolutely love this idea, and it makes a nice change from the little bits of shredded paper the other boxes contain. There are also so many uses for this AS WELL AS the actual box itself. I used mine as a bit of a handbag divider. I popped my phone, my purse and my keys in it, to make finding them in my huge mary poppins handbag less of a time waster. The February box was based around combatting the winter blues, a selection of products to replenish and nourish to ensure we are all set for the Spring.

The box included:

Macadamia Deep Repair Hair Masque - Anything Macadamia is an instant winner for me. This mask is designed to rebuild damaged hair for improved shine and elasticity. I can't wait to use this, but i'm saving it for a special occasion, as one sachet will probably do my whole head, I can't get away with two uses with all this hair!

Lavera Basis Sensitive Organic Hand Cream - This hand cream contains shea butter and almond extracts. If you read my previous blog post, you will know that I am somewhat fussy with hand creams. If it takes too long to sink in, and leaves my fingertips sticky and greasy, it's a no no. This however, does neither of those things, and smells so lovely. I looked on their website, and this hand cream is only £4.45 for 75ml (the sample received in the box was 20ml - worth £1) So I think for the price, this hand cream is a total winner.

Jane Iredale "Just Kissed" Lip & Cheek Stain - How darn cute is this? It's like a teeny tiny lip balm. It's an all natural, all purpose stain that adjusts it's colour to your mood (I'm guessing it's a heat thing) Although very cute, and a great idea, I'm not sure i'd use it anywhere but the lips.

KIMIA Rejuvenating Facial System - This looked really interesting. It's a facial oil and a hydra-activator which heal and nourish the skin. They are used in conjunction with one another. You pat the oil onto your face, then follow up with the spray. I've yet to use this, but it promises to quickly penetrate deep into the skin for a glowing, youthful exuberance. Apparently Victoria Beckham describes it as perfect. You would hope so with a hefty £74 price tag.

TAAJ Himalaya Micellar Water - This is described as an antioxidant and tonic makeup remover that will revitalise and purify skin. After hearing all the hype surrounding Bio-derma cleanser, this appears to be a similar concept. No water, just cotton pads. There isn't an awful lot of information on the actual bottle (well there is but it's in a different language), so I went onto their site. It says it's great for sensitive skin and is extremely gentle. After using this, my skin feels SO fresh & clean. I've not yet put it to the test with a full face of makeup, but it's a lovely cleanser for the mornings.

So, I'm guessing you're all itching to find out what I think of JolieBox UK as a brand and would I recommend the box? I think JolieBox is a great box, so many great high end brand samples, although I'd say most of the brands, to me, are unheard of. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, but I think in some people's case, It's nice to see a few familiar brands. I actually like that there are brands I've never come across before, personally, that's the whole reason beauty boxes excite me. It's nice to find something new you may not have found yourself. I love the design of the box, and the little drawstring bag, I'm hoping that they stick to this and it doesn't change again next month haha. I still think we have yet to see the best of JolieBox UK, I think now that they have come together with JolieBox there will lots more exciting brands and products as the months go on.

What do you all think of JolieBox UK? Are you pleased with the new design?

Friday, 16 March 2012

Burt's Bee's "Tips & Toes" Kit

Bur'ts Bee's "Tips & Toes" Kit - £12.95 *

With mothers day fast approaching (Sunday for those of you who are useless with dates or have an awful memory), there have been an abundance of amazing little gift sets floating around which would make the perfect present, not only for your mum, but for any birthdays coming up, or even if you're interested in trying a brand for the first time. I have always been a huge fan of Burt's Bees, their lipbalm in particular is a firm favourite but I hadn't ever tried any of their hand creams or balms so this kit looked exciting. I was certainly not disappointed. I suffer with EXCEPTIONALLY dry hands, in fact even in the summer they aren't clammy like normal people. haha. Oh how I long for normal, clammy hands...

After the winter months, my hands are usually left quite parched and not all that nice to hold (sorry boyfriend). After trying out all 4 of the products above, I have come to the conclusion that dry hands are now a thing of the past. I'm not even exaggerating. I've tried endless amounts of hand creams, and the one thing that really puts me off them is that horrid, greasy feeling after applying it, and the amount of time it takes to sink in. I HAVE THINGS TO DO AND JARS TO UNSCREW YANNO? The hand cream in the tube (Thoroughly Therapeutic) sinks in really quickly, almost so quickly, you forget you just applied it, and no greasy mitts. It's perfect, and now it goes everywhere with me. The almond milk hand cream (the absolutely adorable one with the cow on it) is not so quickly absorbed and possibly best before bed, or for popping on tiny dry patches rather than your whole hand. I have also found the balms to be very beneficial. I've been applying the lemon cuticle balm around my nails for the past few days and i've noticed a great deal of improvement in that area too. I'm yet to try out the foot cream, as my feet are not really all that dry at the moment (thankfully they aren't like my hands in that aspect). Monkey feet anyone?

Such a cute little kit, very reasonably priced, amazing products, cute packaging & smell devine.
I'll leave you now to imagine me unscrewing jars with greasy hands and monkey feet! ;)

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

GlossyBox | February

I know I'm a little late on the scene with this one, and you've most probably seen the contents of this box as well as the new limited edition Harrods box for March (blog post to follow), but I wanted to let you know my opinion on the contents, and which products I liked best.

February's box was a "Fashion Week" edition. It contained 5 products all designed to help you look and feel your best throughout the most fashion oriented week of the year.

DuWop Venom Gloss - I've tried a few products from the brand DuWop, and I have yet to be dissapointed by any. This gloss is a lip plumping gloss, designed to make your lips appear fuller and even came with it's own little warning "may cause a light tingling sensation upon application". I always feel as though a lip plumping gloss is really getting to work if I can feel it tingling away. I received the colour "buttercup", which is a gorgeous peachy pink shade. I expected it to be quite sticky, but actually I was pleasantly surprised. Did it plump my lips? well, that's debatable & I can't say I noticed any major difference, but it did make my lips look juicy and "healthy" (if you can even use that word to describe lips). I'm not a massive fan of squeezy tubes and would probably prefer this in a tube with doe-foot applicator.

Impress press-on manicure - Now this really excited me. I love press on nails, I think they're fab for a quick fix and can instantly make you look more polished. What made these even more amazing, was that there was no glue needed as they have an adhesive which you simply pull off and stick the nail on. No glue = no mess and no hard finger tips for a couple of days. I also think the packaging is genius!

Paul Mitchell "Awapuhi" Treatment Oil - This product really surprised me. I'm a huge fan of hair oils at the moment and i've been using a L'oreal one and an Ojon one, which have both been fab. This says it has wild ginger in it, which you can definitely smell when you apply it to your hair. It smells absolutely amazing, I love it, by far my favourite scent of any hair oils i've tried. Not only does this smells great, it really does leave my hair feeling so silky soft. I apply it once my hair has been towel dried but still damp, just before blow drying. It says on the bottle that it's "ultra light", and I love this concept, as oils can obviously be very thick and it's very easy to put a little too much on and ruin your freshly washed hair, but as this is an ultra light formula, i've not had that problem.

BM Beauty Pure Mineral Eyeshadow - This is a loose pigment eyeshadow which is cruelty free and is suitable for vegetarians and vegans. I know that a lot of people are very specific when it comes to makeup and those factors, so it's nice that GlossyBox included something like this. I personally don't use loose eyeshadow very much, as I find they can be quite messy, but the colour I received was right up my street and ever so pretty, so i'm definitely going to be wearing it. I can imagine that these eyshadows would last you an absolute lifetime as you only need to use a tiny amount each time.

Como Shambhala Invigorate Shower Gel - I've actually heard of this brand before but never tried anything from their range. Although my least favourite item in the box (I have too many shower gels as it is), this smells very fresh and natural and is full of essential oils, which left my skin feeling very moisturised and smelt delish. Would I pay £20 for a full size bottle? Probably not no.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Shell Lip Balm

I'm one of these girls, who must always have a lip balm everywhere I go, sometimes even a couple. (I currently have about 3 in my handbag). Lip balms, I think, are an absolute essential. Especially for me as I tend to always have dry lips during both winter and summer months. It's annoying, but nothing that a good lip balm won't sort out.

When I was offered to try out one of these gorgeous shell lip balms by the lovely brand owner, I was extremely excited. Not only is it such a lovely, unique idea, but look how adorable it is! Each shell is individually sourced from the beach, and the lip balm itself is handmade from all the most beneficial and organic ingredients. The balm contains coconut oil, rosehip oil, beeswax, lanolin wax, jojoba oil, macadamia oil and mango seed butter. As well as containing everything that a good lip balm requires, it also DOES everything a good lip balm should. It's not a lot of good having a gorgeous shiny shell balm sitting pretty on your dressing table, or being elegantly pulled from your handbag if it's not actually going to nourish or moisturize your lips. The scent and flavour of the balm is mostly unscented, although it does have that slight beeswaxy scent to it. I think it would be amazing if they branched out and offered various different flavours to choose from, as I personally prefer something a little more fruity.

I think these shell lip balms are such a cute idea. Every girls needs a lip balm, and why not a high quality one inside a naturally sourced shell WITH mini mirror? If not for yourself, I think they'd make the perfect gift. There are 4 shell styles to choose from, and they each cost £12.99 and are shipped in their own little grey drawstring bag. There is currently an offer on the website where you can buy 2 for £22, so that's one for you, and a present for someone else (then you don't have to feel as guilty treating yourself ;))

Friday, 2 March 2012

Fringe Dilemma | To cut? or not to cut?

Lipstick: Mac's Impassioned | Shirt: Primark

First off, I used my webcam to take these photos, so I apologise to any of you who need HD photos in order to read a blog post (I'm hoping you will still read, even if the picture quality is not at it's bestest) :)

Anyway, moving onto the purpose of this post. My fringe (or bangs as americans like to say). Funnily enough one of my most popular and frequently asked about subjects, is in fact about that bit of hair that sits across my face. Although I know a lot of people may prefer my fringe short, and swept to the side, there are also a lot of people who found my "messy middle parting" to be the better fringe option. I'm torn between the two. When I say "middle", I have actually discovered my hair doesn't sit properly down the middle, so I do have to have it a fraction away from the center, but it's middle enough for me :)
When my fringe is freshly cut, it usually sits nicely and I don't have to style it or faff around with it all that much. However, when it gets to this length, although I think it makes me look slightly older (I'll never actually look my age, let's face it haha) and flatters my small round face a little more, it takes a lot more work to make it look good. I have naturally very flat hair if I was to leave it in a middle parting and just go. To achieve a somewhat "flattering" middle parting, I do have to do a bit of backcombing & curl my hair a little. I'm thinking that there is some special way of blowdrying a middle parting to give it that Holly Willoughby bouncy vibe that I just don't know about? If there is, and you have a middle parting, do spill the beans. At the moment, i'm enjoying my longer fringe, although slightly more of a pain to style, and not cut correctly (A grown out side swept fringe doesn't sit as well as it would if I had my hair cut properly in a middle parting), but I am still considering getting out the scissors and giving it a snip back to my comfortable sidey. What do you reckon?