beauty, beauty boxes, haircare, latest in beauty, make up, reviews

Latest in Beauty Build Your Own Box*

9 items Beauty Guru £18 a month or £25 one off (+ P&P)

A little while ago the lovely team at Latest in Beauty invited me to create my own Beauty Guru box from their line up of beauty goodies, with new additions coming regularly I can see why this would make a great monthly subscription.

I think a lot of people’s issues with subscription boxes revolve around the lack of choice and being unable to decide what items you receive. LiB have worked out how to change this. There are three levels of subscription from 3 items to 9 – prices ranging from £9 to £18, cancel anytime. Or you can opt for the slightly pricier one off option if you’re not sure about making the commitment.

The items in my box are a mix of sample and full size, and high street to high end, online only brands.

As a natural blonde summer is when my hair comes into its own, picking up extra radiance from the sun and shining in a way it struggles to do in winter. However it does need a bit of TLC, swimming pools turn it green, and it can end up bleached and dry. So I chose Charles Worthington’s Colourplex Enhancing & Restoring Blonde shampoo and conditioner (full size). Sulphate and paraben free, not tested on animals, ticking all the boxes. It contains honey and lemon, two things blonde hair loves too.

I am always in search for my perfect red lip, and to help keep it on my lips and not on my teeth I picked a little tube of original Lipcote (fullsize) With vegetarian and cruelty free ingredients, this is one handbag stalwart that has more than earned its legacy.

Merci Handy is a brand I know from their scented hand gels, but this Refreshing Face Mist is designed to refresh tired and overheated skin, with a gentle, cruelty free formula. I keep something similar in my bag, but since it’s almost used up, this is very much essential.

This Works Sleep + hair elixir is my current night time go-to. I credit it for helping me sleep and giving me happier hair (although that might be some other haircare changes, but whatevs) so another item from this range was always going to please me. The Trouble Shooter is designed to “help reclaim sleep and de-age skin” and is recommended for trouble spots like knees and elbows. Now my knees are not looking their best, a tumble up some concrete stairs a while ago has left me with some very slow healing bruises, so maybe this will be the key to getting them up to scratch.

I am a sucker for a palette, seriously who needs so many eyeshadow options, I have one pair of eyelids! Well, clearly I don’t agree with myself, as yes, I picked another palette. But this is a dinky handbag, great for jazzing up your day look on your way to dinner or drinks, palette. With a mix of glittery gold shimmer and matte tones, Sleek have created a clever tiny pocket sized fix. There’s no brush, because let’s be honest who actually uses the palette brush, but there is an all important mirror.

Amie Morning Dew Matte-Finish Moisturiser is one of those products that I keep meaning to buy but never remember to. It’s a great daily moisturiser, designed for sensitive skin like mine, with natural extracts, it smells inoffensive, it dries matte, why don’t I buy this regularly, I just don’t know.

Occasionally I like to try new products, ones I can’t entirely say I know much about, and Bali Balm falls firmly into this category. I picked it by scent from two options – this ones contains bergamot, a citrus fruit whose scent really appeals to me and pops up in several of my favourite go to products.

A lip balm in possibly the fanciest packaging for this kind of product, this vegan and natural ingredient new kid on the block comes in four varieties and is £20 to buy, which seems a little pricey for such a small product in a somewhat overflowing market.

Finally, I have never really stopped being a glitter queen and this little pot of eco-glitter from Glitterlution in Superfly Unicorn speaks directly to the girl who owned every shade of Barry M’s dazzle dust back in the day. The only downside is that this has leaked all over the inside of the box and over the other products, so I’m not exactly getting every flake (it’s also all over my laptop now). I am really pleased to see more and more ecologically designed glitter, as it’s not normally biodegradable and I don’t want my habit of making things sparkle to make sealife sick.

The box itself was a bit of a surprise, in that there isn’t a separate box inside the packaging, so if you like to keep the box to store your bits and bobs in you will be disappointed, however the packaging is all recyclable being paper and cardboard (but do check local restrictions), which is good news.

Overall I think this is a great idea, I managed to pick all cruelty free products (which is very important to me) and items I will actually use, as opposed to the contents of other beauty boxes, which vary so wildly. They were dispatched super quickly too, and arrived intact, which I’ve also had a moan about with some of the boxes I’ve received before. If I was going to sign up to a new monthly box, this one would definitely be high on my list. You can check it out for yourself here along with LiB’s other pre-selected boxes.

*This item was gifted to me in exchange for a review but all words and opinions are my own.

beauty, beauty boxes, cruelty free, haircare, latest in beauty, make up, reviews, skincare

Beauty Box Review: Winter Glamour by Latest in Beauty*

One of the worst things about winter is once Christmas is over the glamour quotient disappears. The velvet, glitter, sequins all gone.

But when Latest in Beauty sent me their Winter Glamour box it brought back a little sparkle.

This box is rammed with treats – and I’ve already played around with a lot of it.

Max Factor Creme Bronzer in Light Gold – I’m not great with bronzer, I think I get a bit confused about whether it should be like blusher or highlighter in terms of application but this is very pretty and shimmery.

This Works Plus Hair Elixer – this spray goes on your hair at night to improve its quality. It smells quite herbal and I definitely want to see if it helps my grumpy hair.

Nude by Nature Radiant Loose Powder Foundation – I’ve never used a powder foundation before – my bad skin as a teenager required thick cream/liquid and I’ve mostly used various liquid bases since then. I think this is lovely and silky and could work quite nicely over the worst patches when my liquid foundation isn’t enough.

Rodial XXL Lip Liner in Nude – I don’t really use lip liner as the lipsticks I wear don’t really seem to bleed but some of the newer ones I’ve bought are a bit feathery so this might be useful. And as a nude tone I reckon it’ll work under most shades.

Charles Worthington Moisture Seal Leave in Conditioner – I haven’t used this yet because I haven’t washed my hair this week, and it says it should be smoothed through damp hair but having used a similar CW product before I know it was quite nice on my hair.

Moroccoanoil Treatment – argan oil is my hair’s best friend so this will get used quickly.

Ecotools Perfecting Blender Duo – I have these sponges so extra are always welcome. I love a blending sponge.

Kitsch Hair Ties – these are so sparkly and cute. Sometimes I feel like I collect hair ties, I have so many.

The Vintage Cosmetic Co. Duo Pencil Sharpener – this is very helpful, I don’t know what happened to my last sharpener.

Most of the items are from cruelty free brands, with one or two exceptions (I like to check on this website and via Google before I buy).

This is a really nice mix of products, some boxes can be heavily weighted to certain types of products, and I like the inclusion of the beauty tools and hair ties.

*I was gifted this item for review but all words and opinions are my own.

beauty, giveaway, haircare, reviews

Product Review: Xtiva Twist Curling Wand & Giveaway

My hair has a life of its own, doing whatever it pleases. Styling it is an uphill struggle as its preferred style is dragged through a hedge backwards. 

So when I was offered the opportunity to review the Xtiva Twist Curling Wand, I said yes, hey anything’s worth a try. 

I wasn’t expecting the rather glamorous box that arrived, complete with the blogger fave, rose gold. 

Inside the box is, well, another box. But this one opens to ta-da! A handy carry case containing the magic curling wand itself. 

It’s matt black and looks very professional. So far so good. But how does it do on rebellious hair? 

Well, according to the user guide I need about 160° to curl my hair – you literally set the temp you want with these handy buttons. 

Now, vitally and not included in the user guide is this glove. Use the glove and avoid burnt fingers! I did not. Use me as a lesson. 

Now I have limited patience, especially with technology, but this heats up nice and quick. Word to the wise – do your make up after as your face gets quite hot with this wand. 

It’s super easy to use but unfortunately my hair decided not to play ball and the curls dropped out fast. But that’s my hair for you. I also tested this on my sister’s thick hair and they held beautifully. She refused to let me take any photos and wouldn’t accept bribes. 

I really think this is a clever tool with its easy to use buttons, the glove that stops your hand from burning  (I’ve never seen this included in the box before and my past is littered with curlers of all kinds). 

It doesn’t take hours to heat and on better behaved hair creates gorgeous curls. If my sister lets me curl her hair again I will get some Insta pics for you. 

And now  – Win the xtava Twist Curling Wand  

Good luck! 

beauty, beauty boxes, glossybox, haircare, make up, reviews, skincare

Glossybox November 

There’s a lot of gold in this box. 

Ruby Professional Large Tapered Blending Brush – cruelty free and soft, this brush is a versatile eye make up tool. A new brush is always handy. 

Nuskin Bio Cellulose Facial Treatment Mask – a sheet mask full of skin loving, cell stimulating ingredients. 20 minutes to happier skin. 

Wilkinson Sword Quattro for Women  Raspberry Rain Disposable Razors – as when they include a razor every February – why?? 

Nanogen Root Boost Hair Thickening Spray – I’ve had this before and wasn’t too impressed  with its ability to make my hair a bit more volumnised. However this does contain keratin and other ingredients that look after hair. 

De Bruyere Beaute Jumbo Eye Pencil in Bubble 07 – this is a chunky gold eye pencil and my favourite thing in the box. It goes on smooth and soft, with lovely coverage. 

Shiny

Raffaello- a little coconut coated and almond chocolate treat from the people who provide ambassadors with their Ferraro Rocher. 

Nom



 

beauty, beauty boxes, birchbox, haircare, make up, nail polish, skincare

Never-ending Summer with Birchbox 

This month’s  Birchbox arrived today, all pink and purple, in collaboration with Millie Mackintosh (one of those famous for being famous types it seems). 

This month’s selection contains five items, three full-size. 

LOC x Millie Ultra Gloss Lip Pencil in Bohemian Rose – Birchbox in-house brand Love of Colour lip pencil in a glossy soft pink. 

John Frieda 7 Days Luxurious Volume – this was my pick between two products from John Freida. This is designed to boost volume from the next time you wash your hair with this in-shower treatment. 

Nails Inc in Abbey Road – a teeny bottle of baby pink polish.

High Definition Brow Define in Bombshell – enriched with waxes to boost the long-lasting brow pencil. 
Indeed Labs Hydraluron Moisture Boosting Mask – sheet masks are a big thing at the moment and this one promises intense moisture for dry, tired skin. 

It’s an ok box, not the most exciting to come out of Birchbox and really the Nails Inc polish could be in a bigger size, I will probably lose this bottle at some point. It doesn’t feel hugely summery either – last month’s pineapple print was more so, some summer specific goodies like suncream would be more appreciated, all this pink feels Spring not Summer. 

Thoughts? Are you a Birchbox subscriber? What did you think about this month’s box? Let me know in the comments. 

beauty, beauty boxes, haircare, make up, nail polish, perfume, reviews, skincare

M&S Best of British Beauty Box

Good ol’ M&S jumping on the beauty box wagon with their Best of British box. It’s priced at £120, which is a lot but Sparks card holders can get it for £25 delivered free to your nearest store. Check out the Sparks app or the website for details.

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I had a gift voucher to use and since I only really buy underwear and Club sandwiches (except when my local shop stops stocking them :'() in M&S it seemed worth spending it on this box rather than more pants.

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The box has 13 products from British brands, and seems to have been launched to celebrate the new M&S beauty halls, stocking brands like Pixi, REN and Nuxe.

🌹M&S Pure Super Grape Day Cream

🌹Leighton Denny Britz & Glitz Nail Colour

🌹Pixi LipLift Glossy Lip Plumper

🌹Eyeko Black Magic Mini Mascara

🌹REN Wake Wonderful Night time Facial

🌹Percy & Reed Perfectly Perfecting Wonder Balm

🌹M&S Rosie for Autograph Amazing Radiance Cream

🌹M&S Rosie for Autograph Nuit Parfum Eau de Parfum

🌹Joan Collins Timeless Beauty Class Act Lash Growth Treatment

🌹Rodial Stemcell Super Food Cleanser

🌹Look Good Feel Better Eye Shading Brush

🌹Nails Inc 45 Second Top Coat with Kensington Caviar

🌹Studio 10 Age Reverse Perfecting Lipliner

There’s a great assortment of products from haircare to nails, skincare to make up. It’s a rather packed box, but I don’t know if it’s worth the full £120. Most of the products are full size, which is nice as so many boxes have the tiniest possible sachets, which aren’t exactly worth getting a lot of the time.

Will you be indulging yourself in M&S Best of British beauty box?

beauty, beauty boxes, birchbox, haircare, make up, reviews, skincare

Birchbox x Rifle Paper Co.

This month subscribers could pick their preference for the box design – a collaboration with stationary firm Rifle Paper Co.

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There is a Benefit product in every box, one guess what I got? Yes, mascara, again. Very disappointing considering all the options out there.

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Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Mascara in Beyond Black – RRP £19.50.

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So Susan Lip Dome in Melon – RRP £10. This is a full size lipstick crayon in a pinky red, packed with hyaluronic acid and goji berries to nourish and protect.

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse facial oil – RRP £17. Six essential oils, plant oils and vitamin E to add hydration and a glow to skin.

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Parlor by Jeff Chastain Detangling Leave-in Conditioner – RRP £17. Spray evenly onto damp hair, comb through to give hair an extra layer of shine and heat protection.

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Kueshi Foot Care Cream – RRP £12. Sweet almond oil, royal jelly, tea tree oil, a luxurious mix for dry, tired feet.

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As annoying as getting another mascara is, this box has a nice mix of products, and a bonus discount from Rifle Paper Co.

If you want to sign up – click here and get £5 of points for the Birchbox shop.