Sample Sampling | October

Samples

The risk of being addicted to beauty boxes and glossy magazines is that you inevitably end up with a crap ton of samples that you never use. So I’m on a mission to use mine! I have a large cabinet crammed full of skin care stuff (and a box of sachets) but because they’re “tidied away” i.e. out of sight, I do forget to use them. To tackle this I now keep a selection on my dressing table to force me to put them on my face. I’ll also be sharing my thoughts on them – mostly in a bid to help me decide if I want to buy them.

Samples

First up, something I’ve had for an embarrassingly long time – the Soap & Glory Peaches and Clean  Deep Cleansing Milk. This is the kind of cleanser you can really feel working. I can also see it working as it gives me a red face. My face flushes easily so this doesn’t worry me but I do think that they’ve reformulated it to be a bit gentler. It smells like peaches and menthol – very odd but strangely quite nice. Would I repurchase? Yes I would, or I’d at least be happy to see it in the obligatory S&G Christmas gift.

Samples

I actually used up two Vichy products – the Liftactiv Serum 10 Eyes and Lashes and the Liftactiv Serum 10 Youth Enhancing Serum. I didn’t really like either of these. I found that the eye serum balled up on your skin if you applied the teeniest amount too much and took a while to sink in. The Youth Enhancing Serum was better but I didn’t think it was anything special. They’re also really expensive (£24.50 for 15ml of the eye cream and £34.50 for 50ml of the serum) and I don’t think they justify the price tag so I won’t be adding them to the wishlist.

I also had a sample of the Malin + Goetz Vitamin E Moisturiser. Now this I did like. It was light, hydrating, with a pleasant soft fragrance and made my skin feel fab. It definitely lived up to it’s claims of calming sensitive skin as well. However, it is a tad pricey (£36.00 for 118ml) and I must say that I get the same result with The Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture Cream which you can usually get at half price. So I won’t be repurchasing immediately, but it’s staying in my mind in case I go crazy and fancy treating myself one day.

Samples

The Elemis Spa Treat Your Feet Foot Cream was included in the British Beauty Blogger Dream Box with Latest in Beauty. This stuff is lovely, it’s thick and pampering and it smells like eucalyptus and lavender so it’s perfect for a little indulgence a the end of the day. I’d definitely pick this up again. It sends me to sleep-town.

Samples

So I only had one sachet of the L’Oreal Skin Perfection Day Moisturiser so I don’t have a lot to say about it, except that I want more! Seemed lovely.

Lastly, a perfume sample. This is the Lacoste Eau de Lacoste Sensuelle. I would have never picked up this perfume as I don’t love the bottle design (I know, I’m a snob) but I actually love it. It’s a slightly spicy evening fragrance but still very sweet, which I like. Would buy this for sure.

And that’s my samples for this month. Let me know if you like this post and what samples you’ve been using up lately. I’ve got some good ones on the go at the moment, but you’ll have to wait ’til next month to find out what they are now!

 

In Other News | October

Cute Kitten Sleeping

What’s been happening | what’s the plan | and all that other shizz

So I don’t really have much news to share other than that we got a kitten! Which to be fair, is pretty big news. Tilly has been with us a month now and she’s settling in nicely. We adopted her from the SSPCA when she was 9 weeks old so she’s still really young and needs a lot of attention. I had planned to do lots of Halloween related posts, but trying to do anything with a playful/cuddly/demanding kitty climbing up you is pretty much impossible. Still, it’s a good problem to have. I might do a full “Meet Tilly” post with how we adopted her and what having a kitten is like soon if you would be interested in seeing more kitty pictures?

And that is all I have to report… I really need to get out more. Well, only 6 days left of October then we can officially start making Christmas plans, right?! What’s been happening in your month?

Book Review | The Humans

Book review the humans matt haig

Just a quick note today to let you know that I have a guest post up over on Blogger’s Bookshelf. I’m reviewing The Humans by Matt Haig, a book best described as a body-snatching comedy.

Pop over there to read the review in full. Stay a while, have a look around, there’s lots of great content on there for book lovers.

Glossybox | October Pop Art Edition

Glossybox UK October Pop Art Edition

I’ve been trying a variety of beauty boxes this year and there are still a few I haven’t given a go yet, but this month I was tempted back to Glossybox. By the box alone. Yep, I’m a sucker for some pretty packaging. When I saw the Lichtenstein inspired pop art edition I knew it had to be mine, no matter what the contents.

Glossybox UK October Pop Art Edition

Luckily, the contents were also pretty good so I’m happy with my impulse buy on this occasion. Glossybox costs £10 with £3.25 delivery – not too bad considering that this month you got 6 products with 4 being full size.

Glossybox UK October Pop Art Edition

The star of the show this month is the Nuxe moisturising face mask. My skin loves this kind of mask so this is a definite winner for me. It doesn’t smell that pleasant (a bit like Savlon actually) but it feels really soft and hydrating so I can forgive it for the scent.

Glossybox UK October Pop Art Edition

My next favourite is the Ciate nail polish in ‘Talent Scout’. It’s a bold, dark purple creme. Not bluey, not reddish, just purple. Ace. I like Ciate’s formula so although I haven’t tried this yet, I’m sure it won’t be disappointing.

Glossybox UK October Pop Art Edition

Next is the Etre Belle lip exfoliant. I suffer really chapped lips in the winter so I was happy to receive this. It’s a very fine scrub – I usually use the much more heavy duty sugar lip scrubs from Lush so will probably be best used as a gentle alternative in between proper buffing sessions.

Glossybox UK October Pop Art Edition

The last full size product is the So Susan Flutter mascara. I haven’t opened this yet so I’m not sure what it’ll be like, although I have read some negative reviews. I always have numerous mascaras on the go so I’m happy to try it and I’m not too worried if it turns out to be a dud. It’s cruelty free and there is a hummingbird on the lid which is nice!

Glossybox UK October Pop Art Edition

This is the Yves Rocher Quelques Notes d’Amour perfume. It’s nice that although it’s a sample, it’s a mini bottle instead of one of those small vials and it has a rubber stopper on the lid that you can use to apply the perfume. It’s quite a mature fragrance but not overly so, I think it’s rose-based so probably will go down well with floral fans. I might not buy this full size but I will use this up.

Glossybox UK October Pop Art Edition

Lastly, a good sized Rimmel BB Cream. This is in the shade ‘light’ but it’s not what you would describe as pale as it leans on the orange side. It’s a bit of a shame but I’m sure I can pass this on to someone. As you usually get 5 products per box, this is an extra to me so I don’t mind that I won’t get any use out of it personally.

Glossybox UK October Pop Art Edition

I’ll admit that some of the photos in this post are dull and out of focus but I’m blaming Tilly. She was also very excited by the arrival of the October Glossybox so I was a wee bit distracted by her trying to eat the packaging – not good for kitten tummies!

What do you think of this month’s Glossybox?

Lush Halloween Products 2014

Lush Halloween 2014

It’s bath season guys. I love Lush at any time of the year, but it absolutely can’t be beaten in autumn and winter. Last week when it started to get really cold I took myself along to the Princes Street branch to stock up on the new in Halloween goodies. I was seriously tempted by the Christmas stuff but I showed restraint – I’ll pick them up next month. With the exception of the Lord of Misrule bath bomb, these are all new products for this year. I’ve already used a few of these so I shall tell you what I think as we go.

Lush Halloween 2014

This is the Sparkler bath bomb (£3.50) which, as the name suggests, has been created with Bonfire Night in mind. I love this as Bonfire Night is an occasion which is often overlooked by brands as it is a purely British tradition. It is an odd night to celebrate – the capture of a treasonist who was about to blow up Parliament and his subsequent execution – but let’s move swiftly on. This is a fun new shape from Lush and I think it’s a winner. It’s much easier to break in half if you want to get two baths out of it so adds value for money.

Lush Halloween 2014 Lush Halloween 2014

Sparkler has the Rose Jam scent which is rose (obviously) but with just a hint of lemon to keep it fresh and modern. The centre of the bath bomb is filled with extremely fine bronze and gold glitter particles which explode out of the middle like fireworks. The glitter in this is fantastic – it distributes itself evenly through the bath so your bathing in shimmery water but doesn’t really show up on our skin when you get out and rinses away very easily. Sparkler is also studded with popping candy but unfortunately I didn’t hear any of it popping which would have added a lovely effect to the ‘firework’ show. I was disappointed with this as I always get the Cinders bath bomb and always get the crackling effect with that one so I don’t know if they’ve changed what kind they use or if I was just unlucky. Still, a great bath bomb. The effect lasted a good amount of time – 5 mins or so – and afterwards I was left with a yellow-gold shimmering bath which softened my skin and smelt divine.

Lush Halloween 2014

Next I tried the Sparkly Pumpkin bubble bar (£3.50). It’s a good size and could do you for at least three baths. It is a vibrant orange covered in gold glitter and a little piece of cinnamon stick for the pumpkin stem. I think it looks really cute.

Lush Halloween 2014 Lush Halloween 2014

Sparkly Pumpkin is very soft so easy to crumble under the running water. The gold glitter does come off in your hands, but like the glitter in the Sparkler, is easy to rinse away. It smells very citrusy and zest as it has both lime and grapefruit oil and I really like the scent. It creates a good amount of bubbles which last for your entire bath – something that I think the bubble bars do much better than the bubble wands that Lush make do. I actually prefer Sparkly Pumpkin to last year’s Pumkin as I think it’s softer, creates more bubbles and I prefer the smell, so even if you weren’t keen on last year’s, do check this one out.

Lush Halloween 2014

This is the Northern Lights bath bomb (£3.50) and I would describe it as the showstopper of the collection. Again, this is one you could break in half if you wanted to but I think that you would lose some of the effect that it produces.

Lush Halloween 2014 Lush Halloween 2014

 

As you can see, it’s a bit spectacular. The purple outer explodes and releases swirls of vibrant yellow and blue. The effect lasts around 5-8 minutes and afterwards you are left with a bright purple bath scattered with white stars. The stars eventually dissolve so if you’re a fan of long baths like me, you don’t need to worry about scraping them off your tub. Northern Lights is scented with jasmine and ylang ylang so it’s a really nice soft floral, soothing fragrance, perfect for a relaxing evening bath. It also makes the water super soft and your skin feels great afterwards. Definitely my favourite of this selection of bath bombs, and possibly in my top few of all.

Lush Halloween 2014

This guy is the Wizard bubble bar (£3.25). I’ve not used him yet but the texture is the same as the Sparkly Pumpkin so I’m sure it’ll create lots of bubbles in the bath. He is covered in a very fine silver shimmer so I’m expecting the bath to turn a pale purple with a slight sparkle. He is scented with juniperberry, fennel,orange and ylang ylang. The smell is sweet but with a slight spiciness to it and really reminds me of something that I can’t quite put my finger on. I find the fragrance unexpected but weirdly pleasant. This bubble bar is the same size and shape as Candy Mountain and the Penguin bubble bar so I know I can get three baths out of it.

Lush Halloween 2014

Lastly, a returner from last year – the Lord of Misrule bath bomb (£3.50). Again, I haven’t used this particular one yet, but I did buy it last year and I love it. To me, it has that typical Lush smell – y’know that mixture of scents mingling so you can’t pull out just one but you know it smells good. It’s fragranced with patchouli, black pepper and vanilla, an eclectic combination by anyone’s standards so I think that it explains it! The green outer foams up slowly then cracks open to reveal the fast fizzing purple inner to leave you with an indulgent wine coloured bath. There’s also popping candy in this one so hopefully it’ll be noticeable this time.

I really like the entire collection this Halloween. I didn’t get the Fairy Ring soap that goes with it as I don’t use soap bars, but I’m sure it’s also lovely. If you can only get one product I’d say go for the Northern Lights bath bomb, I’ll definitely be getting a couple more before they disappear and I already hope that it comes back next year!

So what is your favourite thing from Lush? Any Christmas products I just have to try?

Latest in Beauty | Build Your Own Beauty Box

Latest in Beauty Build Your Own Beauty Box

As I’m a bit obsessed with beauty boxes, I was really intrigued to try the Latest in Beauty service that allows you to build your own box. Their menu has a mixture of make up, skin care and hair products and there are a selection of full size and deluxe samples available. Prices range from £1 – £8 depending on size and brand so you can tailor your box to your budget.

Latest in Beauty Build Your Own Beauty Box

I went for a mix of face, body and hair stuff:

Sanctuary Resurface and Refine Ultra Polish (£1)
Percy & Reed Abundantly Bouncy Volumising Mousse (£2)
Dr Nick Lowe Sebum Control Cleanser (£3)
Murad Osmolyte Tonic (£3)
Jurlique Calendula Redness Rescue Soothing Moisturising Cream (£3.50)

When my box first arrived the Jurlique product was missing and in its place was the Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation (not totally sure what that even is). However, the LIB customer service team were very helpful and sent me my missing product within in a few days which was good. I was a bit disappointed in the state of the original box when it arrived though! Not the fault of LIB, Yodel had squished it through the letter box, completely bursting it open. Luckily, none of the contents were damaged. I really, really, really wish companies would stop using Yodel, they are simply atrocious.  I’ve had nothing but bad experiences with deliveries from them and I know a lot of other people have the same complaints.

Moving on, my box came to a grand total of £12.50 plus £3.95 for delivery (a bit pricey considering the service!). There’s no minimum order so you could spend less than this is you only wanted a couple of items.

Latest in Beauty also do collection boxes such as collaborations with Glamour or British Beauty Blogger so when I’m looking at theses, I’ll definitely be checking out what’s in their BYOB section too.

This month I’ll also be getting Glossybox and my first Memebox should be arriving – exciting times! What beauty boxes do you like?

 

Save The Children Volunteering

Save the Children Volunteering

Last week I blogged about my experience with the Save the Children Visual Merchandise team. I also spent a few days with the shop-floor team as well so this post is all about my time there for anyone who is interested in what volunteering in a charity shop might entail.

The shop I was based in was their Mary’s Living and Giving Shop in Stockbridge – a unique shop in Scotland based on the idea of creating a community hub/shopping destination hybrid. This shop is also part of Save the Children‘s community store branches which are entirely run by volunteers – no paid managers. This allows volunteers to really take ownership of the store and of course allows Save the Children to funnel more of the money raised into their work. The Stockbridge store prides itself on selling quality materials (in the few days I was in I saw items from Mulberry, Tommy Hilfiger and Louboutin amongst others) and standing out in a crowded high street.

Save the Children Volunteering

My shifts were four hours on Saturday afternoons. I learned that most volunteers, including the shift leaders, did four hours per week meaning that they could fit volunteering around their busy schedules. This is perfect for people who study, have day jobs or family to look after and worry that they can’t commit to a full day. Saturday afternoon (1:30pm – 5:30pm) suited me fine as I didn’t have to face another early morning – get enough of those Mon-Fri, and I also had my whole evening free.

Save the Children Volunteering

The first day I was there turned out to be their busiest day for months so talk about trial by fire! Still, the shift leader took the time to tell me about how the shop works and train me on the till. I was busy keeping the shop floor tidy and chatting to customers. The till is very easy to learn and there is always another volunteer there to help you if you get stuck. All the customers were lovely too, and I was happy when I help one woman choose a Burberry coat. Alongside this, there are cleaning duties, changing the wall displays, replacing clothes or other items bought from display and taking in and sorting donations. The four hours flies by!

Save the Children Volunteering Save the Children Volunteering

The shop floor has lots of individual touches such as the awesome Nessie chalk drawing to photos of all of the volunteers in the changing rooms. (They’re watching you, so don’t steal like!)

Save the Children Volunteering Save the Children Volunteering

One of my favourite features is the clothes that are hung colour coded. Aesthetically, it’s very pleasing. Behind the scenes, I saw the processing of the donations that becomes the shop’s stock. Every item is examined for damage and, if it passes quality control, priced according to a set structure, hung, and steamed before being taking out to the shop floor. If the donor signed up for Gift Aid the label is also coded so that Save the Children can claim the tax back.

Save the Children Volunteering Save the Children Volunteering

Above are two of my favourite items – pink glitter heels (sadly not in my size) and two of the funkiest ties I have seen in my life! I also bought two jumpers for David – a Penguin one and a Pringle one in perfect condition, but forgot to take a snap of them – sorry!

Again, I found the experience enjoyable and rewarding. They have a really nice team in the Stockbridge store, everyone works hard but there is a relaxed, stress-free atmosphere which contributes to it being a pleasant experience for both staff and customers. And now I know what kind of gems are hidden in the rails, it’ll definitely become a regular shopping haunt for me.

To find out more about Save the Children and the work that they do, please visit their website here.