Tag Archives: Skincare

Sample Samplin’ | December

Sample Samplin December

I’ve got a big stack of empty samples to go through this month. Moving has meant that I’ve had to downsize my collection to only the ones I really want to try so hopefully the next few editions of this post will throw up lots of positives. This month, however, well… it’s a bit of a mixed bag.

Sample Samplin December

First up, a couple of face masks, one I loved and one I hated. Despite it being only 15ml (and me loving a face mask session as well), I couldn’t even finish the Aromatherapy Associates Hydrating Rose Face Mask. I’m not a big rose scent fan, but I can bear it if it’s a good product or diluted with other fragrances, but this was neither. Full on ROSE. And full on crap. It does the opposite of what it’s meant to. I found that far from being hydrating, it was extremely drying and actually exacerbated flakiness on my forehead. I also was not a fan of the gel texture. Just wouldn’t recommend it at all.

What I would recommend is the Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask. This is brilliant. It smells like chocolate oranges and comes out of the pump bottle an orange gel which turns into a foam as you massage it onto damp skin. You wait for 5 – 10 minutes while it fizzes up into a full froth on your skin. This fizzing action wakes up the skin and leaves it looking refreshed, healthy and glowing. After I used this I happened to call David on Skype and even he said my skin looked great – unprompted! On Skype! So yeah, everyone needs this wonder product. The full size is £42 though, so, er, sorry ‘bout it.

Sample Samplin December

On to moisturisers and I used up the Julique Calendula Redness Rescue Soothing Moisturising Cream. This was a thick yellow cream with a botanical scent. I didn’t love it, it was just slightly too thick for me and I ddn’t find that it made any effect on my red patches. However, I think it could be good for very dry patches overnight, just probably not your whole face.

Secondly, I used the Urban Veda Purifying Day Cream. This has a strong tea-tree scent so I was worried it would be too drying on my already dehydrated skin. However, it turned out to be great. For a mattifying cream, it was actually quite light. I don’t think that this will be for everyone, but I liked it. And I didn’t get a single spot while I was using it.

Sample Samplin December

Another winner was the Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream. It sinks in quickly and instantly brightens dark shadows. I had a good sized sample (7ml lasts ages for the eyes) and I found that it did feel smoothing as well as being hydrating. I also really liked the tube with the thin nozzle for ease of use and control. I would definitely consider buying the full size of this once I’ve used up existing products.

I didn’t get on so well with the Ren Active 7 Eye Gel. The gel formula was nice and cooling on the skin, so great for tired eyes early in the morning. It also has a refreshing scent. But it was a little tacky as it was sinking in. Overall though, it wasn’t unpleasant I just didn’t get a strong impression of it.

Sample Samplin December

Next up, the Origins Modern Friction facial exfoliator. I really liked this as first, but I actually changed my mind half way through. It’s just a little too scratchy for me. But, if you don’t have sensitive skin, it a great option for a good thorough scrub as the granules are densely packed.

Lastly, a wee pod from Paris. Sephora has a rainbow of shower gels and I picked up the Blueberry Creamy Body Wash tester. It was indeed creamy, and lathered up nicely. Wasn’t a huge fan of the blueberry scent as this one was very artificial, but I would be up for trying different scents. I think they’re just a bit of fun but also useful if you’re going to a hotel for one or two nights and want to take something tiny. I’m sure I won’t be able to resist them next time I’m in Sephora.

‘Til next time, happy samplin’.

Christmas Gift Guide | Beauty Lover

Welcome to the first instalment of my Christmas Gift Guides for 2014. The the next week I’ll be posting guide daily themed around the following categories: Beauty Lover; Foodies; For Her; For Him; For the Kids; Secret Santa/Stocking Fillers; and finally Etsy Favourites. I hope it’ll give you a few idea for your loved ones, or if you’re super organised already, maybe a wee treat for yourself.

To kick things off, here are my beauty picks:

Beauty Gift Guide 1

Top row, left to right: Lush Father Christmas (£3.50), Snow Fairy (from £3.75), Candy Mountain (£2.75); Benefit Sweet Tintations (£19.50); Sali Hughes, Pretty Honest:The Straight Talking Beauty Companion (£22).

I’m sure that Lush have something for every beauty lover. The pre-boxed sets are awesome, but if you’re on a bit of a budget I think it’s a really nice idea to go in and pick up a few bits you think will appeal to your giftee. The three I have picked are ace for someone who loves sweet scents and enjoys both baths and showers. Or you might want to go for just shower stuff, or a spicier scent – just ask, the staff will keep you right! I love the Benefit sets this year and I think the Sweet Tintations is my absolute fave. I love the balms, they feel great, look great and I think will have mass appeal, while the tints are absolute classics. If you’re not sure about what product someone might like I absolutely recommend a beauty book. Pretty Honest has a lot of content, unlike many beauty books which are mainly pictures, so a great choice for a beauty obsessive.

Bottom row, left to right: Hourglass Ambient Blush Palette (£56); The Body Shop Glazed Apple Tin of Treasures (£17); Real Techniques Nic’s Picks (£30).

The Hourglass palette is just beautiful and a truly luxurious treat for someone special. It’s pricey but does offer good value in terms of Hourglass products. The Body Shop have some great gifts this year and as I’ve mentioned before, for every set they sell, they’ll donate a lesson to a child in need with War Child, so definitely worth checking out. The Glazed Apple is my favourite of their limited edition Christmas scents, it’s sweet and sour, like a Granny Smith! If nothing else, you can’t beat the presentation of the apple shaped tin. Real Techniques produce fabulous brushes at a reasonable price and I am a fan of this new set. It feature three new shapes and a combination of eye and face brushes, as well as one being a duo fibre brush. It’s currently on offer with £10 off at Superdrug, so snap it up!

Christmas Gift Guide Beauty 2Top row, left to right: Alphabet Bags ‘Ta-Da!’ Canvas Pouch (£18); Bliss Triple Oxygen Treatment Kit (£30); DKNY Gold Delicious Sparkling Apple (£36.50).

Another good option if you want to steer away from a product is a makeup bag. Alphabet Bags do a amazing range of bags with fun slogans, the hardest part will be choosing which one to go for! The Bliss Triple Oxygen range is at the top of my own wishlist, it really is so effective. So, the apple theme is entirely coincidental, but I do love an apple fragrance. I think the DKNY Sparkling Apple perfumes are a great choice for Christmas, ’tis the season to add some glitter!

Bottom row, left to right: Emma Kisstina 7 Red Nail Polishes Fashion Illustration Art Poster (£21.93); OPI Nail Lacquer Coca Cola Collection: Trio Pack (£29.95) and The Bearest of Them All with Polar Bear Gift Set (£11.95); Paul & Joe Sister Dress in Lipstick Print (£195).

I love collecting art prints and I am really keen on the nail polish and lipstick collection prints by Emma Kisstina. This would make a really unique gift. To me, Coca Cola and Christmas go hand in hand, so I love this collaboration with OPI. That polar bear is so cute! Lastly, a lipstick print dress, the ultimate fashion statement for a beauty lover.

See you tomorrow for some delicious treats for foodies!

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?

My Little Box | My Little Parisienne Box

My Little Parisienne Box

So you may have heard the exciting news about a new subscription box on the scene. This one has a French accent, shipping over from Paris with the trademark , effortless je nais se quoi the ladies of France possess. My Little Box offers beauty and lifestyle treats, delivered monthly to your door for £14.95 including postage. Each month is themed and in France past boxes have included “My Little Party Box”, “My Little Weekend Box” and even “My Little London Box”. For the UK launch, the theme was, appropriately enough, “My Little Parisienne Box”.

My Little Parisienne Box My Little Parisienne Box

The outer box opened to reveal a quote from Ms Hepburn, a very nice touch I thought. The box itself reveals the theme. Daytime, Parisienne chic. Perfect.

My Little Parisienne Box

If you’re a fan of quality wrapping and presentation then you’re sure to love the attention to the finishing touches with My Little Box. Everything from the ribbon to the order of the goods in the box is thought out carefully to elicit delight in the lucky recipient. I’ll show you what I got in the box in the order in which I saw them.

My Little Parisienne Box

A lovely A5 art card by the company’s resident illustrator and a quote from the author Maureen Johnson. I love things like this and regularly change the cards I have on display in my room so this will go into the rotation.

My Little Parisienne Box

Some Paris themed stickers to brighten up a notebook, mirror, or whatever you fancy. I love the Metro sign and the Eiffel Tower, reminds me of my trip to Paris last March.

My Little Parisienne Box

The next item was an A5 notebook with blank pages and an elastic closing. The first few pages also told the story of My Little Box.

My Little Parisienne Box My Little Parisienne Box

I thought that this was a really lovely addition to the very first UK box and it’s lovely that it is incorporated into one of the items instead of a throwaway leaflet.

My Little Parisienne Box My Little Parisienne Box My Little Parisienne Box

The next item is a padded tablet case. This is actually perfect for me as I can slip my Nexus in one side and my Kindle in the other and fold it in half. I’ll be doing quite a bit of travelling over the next year so this will come in really handy.

My Little Parisienne Box

Lastly, a drawstring bag. It can only be one thing… the beauty products!

My Little Parisienne Box

Every box will contain one item from the companies own range. This time it is a full size illuminating highlighter pen. I’m happy with this as I don’t actually have one at the moment. I can’t report on the quality as I haven’t tried it yet, but I will report back. There is also a deluxe sample (30ml) of the Laura Mercier foundation primer which I have used before and love. This size will last me ages so again, very happy. Finally a sample of Nuxe multi-purpose dry oil. This is a dinky 10ml bottle, but I imagine that a little will go a long way. It smells really good and I’m looking forward to giving it a whirl. I love that they’ve chosen a French skin care brand that they know us UK girls will go crazy over.

My Little Parisienne Box

Overall, I’m really impressed with this box. My Little Box clearly has a very strong brand identity which I think greatly contributes to the success of the box. They are able to pick a theme and a couple of beauty products which complement their style, creating a sense of cohesion that is often missing from other subscription boxes.

I want to see what the next few boxes are like, but I will definitely be considering becoming a long term subscriber.

Are you tempted by My Little Box?


Face Mask Fandom | Lush Brazened Honey

Lush Brazened Honey

Despite the fact that I am a big fan of Lush, I had never tried one of their fresh face masks until recently. I popped in on something of a whim and explained to one of the assistants there that I was after a mask that was exfoliating without being stripping. Brazened Honey was recommended and I eagerly tried it that night.

Lush Brazened Honey

Brazened Honey has a thick consistency with ground almonds that provide the exfoliation and honey to moisturise and soothe. I don’t love the smell, it’s very herby but it definitely feels like you’re doing some good for your skin. The exfoliation may be a little to harsh for sensitive skin but for those who don’t have to worry about that, it’s great. My skin felt fresh, clean and soft after using this.

Lush Brazened Honey

The pot is £6.25 for 75g and easily does five applications. I think I spread it a little thin in the above photo but it still did the same job and didn’t overwhelm my skin. You do need to keep this in the fridge and it only has a shelf life of about one month, but if you’re using once of twice a week it works out to be £1.25 per application (5 applications), pretty comparable to the Juenesse Montange sachets.

Overall, I’m happy with my little foray into the world of Lush skincare. I’ve been taking more time to treat my skin recently and it’s looking all the better for it and it feels great too. I really want to try Oatifix and maybe Cupcake too – I’m a sucker for a chocolate scented anything!

Want face masks would you recommend? Lush or otherwise!

British Beauty Blogger Dream Box

British Beauty Blogger Latest in Beauty Dream Box

Recently Jane of British Beauty Blogger released her third beauty box. She wanted to offer something different to the normal subscription boxes and create carefully curated boxes packed with items that she has used and recommends. Jane comes across as extremely honest so to say that she recommends an item is a big accolade. This time around Latest in Beauty were on board to fulfil the orders. This was the first of the BBB boxes that I have got, having missed out on the first two and been gutted about it. It was only £19.95 with free postage and mine arrived within a few days of it being released.

BBB LIB Beauty Box

Look how packed this is! There’s no way they could have fit anymore in this. It’s like a beauty jigsaw. There was a great mix of make up, skin care and body care items.

BBB LIB Beauty Box Makeup

Here are the make-up items. First up the Lola Kubuki Brush. This feels really lovely, soft and dense – how you want a brush to be really! I don’t have a kabuki brush so happy about this.

An eyeshadow and brow palette from Makeup Revolution in the shade ‘Make Believe’. I like that this is a mix of a few neutrals, a couple of brights and some darker, wearable colours. I’m sure I’ll get a few looks out of this.

A full size Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara. This mascara is around the £20 mark alone! The packaging is very luxe – rose gold, matte metallic with a good weight. I’ve used this and it is very good. The brush is huge and you only need one coat for thick, black lashes. Look at the size of the brush:Too Faced Better than Sex Mascara

Back to the box. There was a selection of full size Essie nail polishes – I received the pink ‘Style Hunter’ and was pleased and surprised to discover that this (and the other shades in the boxes) were from the brand new summer collection. It is from the diffusion line so has a nice thick, flat brush.

Next up is a Charlotte Tilbury Lipstick Kisses lipstick sample. I got the classic red ‘So Marilyn’ shade. I expected to find this a bit gimmicky and a waste but actually the packaging won me over – I’m a sucker for presentation it seems and these are super cute. I haven’t used this yet, waiting for an occasion that calls for a red lip.

Lastly on the make up selection is the Bourjois Cream Blush in the shade ‘Nude Velvet’. I already have this and I can’t see myself running out of it anytime soon (although I do love it) so I’ll give this to a friend, I’ll be happy to share the love for this.

BBB LIB Beauty Box Skin care

La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water Spray! What is it? I have no idea but apparently softens and refreshes you skin with a quick, cooling spray. It’s one of these French pharmacy brands that everyone raves about so I’m looking forward to trying it out.

We also got a small sample of Benefit’s It’s Potent! Eye Cream. The thing I love about this is that it is a proper mini – same packaging, just smaller. I have one of these already and the small size lasts me a good few weeks, and I definitely need to keep putting cream on my crows feet!

I love that Bee Good have been included with their Honey & Wild Water Mint Cleansing Water. Honey has amazing healing and cleansing benefits and I’m excited to incorporate this into my routine. Yey for bee-keepers!

I’ve not opened the Ren Satin Perfection BB Cream yet as I’ve heard it’s quite dark so probably wouldn’t suit me. I’ll probably give this to a friend with a warmer complexion to me to try.

BB LIB Beauty Box Body Care

There was a few different scents in the Kneipp Herbal Bath Oil and I received ‘Enjoy Life’ which is a really lovely floral lemon scent. It’s very strong so if you’re not a fan of lemon it may be on the overpowering side for you but I love it.

I thought the Janjira Hand Wash was a bit strange. The idea is good – everyone uses handwash but I think the screw cap is a bit of a faff. It would definitely be useful for someone travelling though as a just in case.

I’ve never heard of Roger & Gallet before but a sample of their Gingembre Rogue fragrance was included. Oh my word, it smells amazing. Very sweet and fresh so right up my street. I think I’ll be buying this and checking out their other fragrances very soon.

So I assumed that the L’Occitane Immortelle Divine Lotion was for the body so I included it in this photo but turns out that you use it after toner so it must be for the face. Oops!

Lastly, we received a small, but decent sized sample of Elemis Treat Your Feet Foot Cream. This is great for the summer, everyone need to pamper their feet when it’s warm and you’re going to be getting them out on show. It should be a law or something.

BBB LIB Beauty Box

When you see all the products together you realise what a great box this has been. This is worth well over £100 for under £20. Insane! Can’t wait until Jane’s next box. When it’s announced, make sure you mark your calendars, if this one is anything to go by I’m sure it will sell out in a snap.

Did you get your hands on one of thee? Were you pleased with it?

#BEDM | TBS Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter

Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter

As today is World Fair Trade Day I thought it would be a good time to finally write a review of the Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter from The Body Shop. As well as being advocates of cruelty free testing, The Body Shop is committed to sourcing as many of their ingredients through fair and ethical trade as possible. The camomile in this range of products comes from nine family run farms in England and TBS have been buying from them since 2001. More information can be found here. This costs £12 for a 90ml tin – quite a good price, but I recommend signing up for The Body Shop e-newsletter as they have online sales of 40% off all the time, making them very affordable.

The Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Balm

The cleansing butter itself is in a solid form that quickly melts under your fingers. I find that the easiest was to use it is to rub (clean) fingers over it and apply directly to the face, where it melts off make up in no time. This is suitable for eye make up and does not sting if it gets in your eyes. I personally prefer to take eye make up off first sing the L’Oreal Gentle Eye Make Up Remover (I do wear a lot of eye liner) and then use this to clean the rest of my face and remove any final scraps around my eyes. I then remove with a flannel cloth and rinse with plenty of water.

It smells exactly like you think it would – a soft camomile scent that reminds me of baby products – so if you like that, you’ll like this.

I find that this is really effective at removing make up but you do need to ensure that you also has an effective way of removing it from your face. It is oily in a way that would clog pores so don’t leave it sitting on your skin if you want to avoid breakouts. That said, the flannel and water method is really simple and works for me. I definitely don’t feel like my skin has been stripped after using this, just lovely and soft and fresh. I often skip the moisturiser after this.

So there is my World Fair Trade Day contribution – a fair trade product I really rate. The Body Shop has many other fair and ethical trade products, and while their parent company might not be as white as they are, at least they are still flying the flag for ethical beauty on the high street.