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, cruelty free, make up, reviews, skincare

Sey-Beaute Naturelle Lipsticks*

Sey-Beaute is an independent, cruelty free, vegan beauty range designed by an incredibly talented lady called Meghan who was inspired to start her line while studying in China and struggling with her hair health. Hailing originally from the Seychelles, but now based in the UK, Meghan went back to basics – coconut butter and other natural ingredients that have been used for years.

I was gifted a selection of gorgeous soy based lipsticks to test as well as a tub of delicious smelling watermelon body butter.

Sey-Chic is a gorgeous purple-pink, a warm toned lipstick that brings a pop of colour to my pale winter skin.

Sey-Shea is already a favourite, a rich golden nude that I wasn’t sure would work on my skintone at first, but imparts a slight shimmer in place of my more usual matte nudes.

I also have three of the Sey-slick lipsticks in purple, brown/red and dark pink. All rich, but not overwhelming shades, and you know I love a dramatic lip.

The use of shea and coconut oils mean these lipsticks are moisturising as well as pretty, taking care of my lips while looking good.

The watermelon body butter smells like summer and is made of all natural ingredients that my thirsty skin loves.

The use of natural ingredients and the cruelty free nature of these gorgeous products mean I can see Sey-Beaute becoming a firm favourite and one more people should be aware of.

Currently you can only purchase products directly from Sey-Beaute but I’m sure that will soon change and you’ll see these beauties stocked on the high street.

*this post contains gifted or sponsored items 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, cruelty free, make up, reviews

Product Review: Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner Matte Gel Eye Crayons*

The team at Influenster UK sent me their latest Vox Box which contained two of these new Marc Jacobs Beauty Matte Gel Eye Crayons.

These super soft eyeliner pencils in (Earth)quake and Pink Of Me.

(Earth)quake is a soft brown which works as a great alternative to a black liner for a softer look.

Pink of Me is a pale pink which initially I really wasn’t sure about as it doesn’t really show up well on my skin. However smudged across my lids it makes a nice light wash of colour.

These liners are incredibly waterproof, I tested it on my hand and it wouldn’t budge when I washed my hand. It takes a good splash of make up remover to take it off my hand and my eyelids.

Marc Jacobs Beauty is cruelty free, which means I can add these to my collection happily.

You can buy Marc Jacobs Beauty in John Lewis online and in store.

*This post includes items that are gifted or sponsored but all opinions and words are my own.

beauty, Christmas, cruelty free, lifestyle, make up, skincare

A Very Soap & Glory Christmas…

This Christmas I didn’t do too well on the beauty gifts but I did receive a lot of Soap & Glory gift sets, which after missing out on their Advent Calendar, was pretty nice. 2018 I’m going to be squeaky clean. 

The Hello Soaper Spa set was probably the most wasteful in terms of packaging with a cardboard cover over a plastic, non-recyclable, tray inside. It contained Sexy Mother Pucker lip gloss, Face Soap & Clarity Vitamin C face wash, The Righteous Butter body wash, The Scrub of Your Life body buffer, The Righteous Butter body butter & Sugar Crush body wash. 

Glow Ball is housed in a round tin, that if you had an enormous tree could be a bauble. It was a bit tricky to open and I had to get C to help me. Inside was a shower puff, Smoothie Star Breakfast Star body polish, Smoothie Star body buttercream, Hand Food hand cream & Rich and Foamous body wash. 

The Lime of Your Life is also in a reusable tin, full of travel sized goodies. Sugar Crush body wash, Clean On Me and Rich & Foamous body wash pods, Sugar Crush body scrub, Sugar Crush body buttercream and Hand Food hand cream. 

 
Spa of Wonder is a reinforced cardboard hamper with a clever holographic lid. Inside it is absolutely packed full of Soap & Glory. Bright & Beautiful mask, The Scrub of Your Life body scrub, The Righteous Butter 3-in-1 body wash, Clean On Me shower gel, Smoothie Star body milk, Thick & Fast mascara, Sexy Mother Pucker lip gloss, Supercat liquid eyeliner, The Righteous Butter body butter, Face Soap & Clarity Vitamin C face wash. You might be thinking, good grief that’s a lot of shower gels but they will all get used. I love a nice hot shower with a moisturizing skin friendly body wash. 

The only product that won’t get used is the two lip glosses – something in them triggers an allergic reaction. 

Soap & Glory is a cruelty free brand so that’s an added bonus and I have it on good authority (aka I asked them) that the microbeads in the face wash are biodegradable and don’t cause any harm to the environment. 

If you know me irl then I recommend going to Boots and sniffing a few products so you will know 2018’s signature scent – my Soap & Glory Christmas obsession.  

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

Glossybox – not a special edition this month

So we’re back to the pink and black livery of the box after several fancier ones. 

But the contents can still be special I hear you cry. Well you’re wrong – it’s just ok. 

Between promoting the £59 Glossy drawer and changing all your Glossydots (which used to get you a free box) to points for lookfantastic’s website  (They do their own box so we’ll see how that pans out) it seems the team at Glossy HQ didn’t quite find 5 awesome things this month. 

One of them is actually from Boots own brand range – something I’ve never seen before in a beauty box. As Alice said of Wonderland “curiouser and curiouser”. 

Green Frog Botanic Natural Body Wash in Relaxing Geranium & Peppermint (RRP £8.95) – I’m never entirely sure what’s supposed to be relaxing about washing. It’s pretty much something we do so people don’t sniff on public transport and stare pointedly. 

Sportfx Candy Floss Moisturising Lip Balm (RRP £ 4.99) – this tastes like Lush’s candy floss lip scrub, which is basically sugar. What do you mean I’m not supposed to eat it? What are you, my dentist? (If you are and you’re reading this, I’m sorry). 

Boots Ingredients Charcoal & Willow Bark Sheet Mask (RRP £2.50) – I like my sheet masks on the slightly ridiculous side price wise especially in a beauty box, y’know, a bit exclusive. Not one I can chuck in a basket with deodorant and hairspray. Also my skin hates all charcoal based products  (based on a not remotely scientific experiment with charcoal facewash) – one for human guinea pig and fiance then. 

Beauty UK Cosmetics Contour/Powder Brush (RRP £6.99) – it’s a make up brush for blending and buffing. I have about a million, mostly from beauty boxes, mostly for the same reason. And yet I cannot find another of my perfect-for-eyes Lottie London brushes anywhere (I think it’s been discontinued). 

Collection Cosmetics Define & Perfect Eyebrow Powder in Blonde (RRP £4.19) – dirty blonde to be precise. And it seems to have dried up as I couldn’t seem to locate any powder in the tune or on the pointy brush thing  (not a spoolie just a plastic nib). 

There you have it, an ok box, I will eat (I mean use) the lipbalm and the body wash, the brush will move in with all the other brushes in my life, C will get another face mask (sheet masks on bearded men are hilarious, trust me) and the eyebrow thing will move to the bin.  

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

Birchbox October 

This month’s Birchbox just got dropped off, it’s a pretty box too. 

There are five beauty products in this box – two are fullsize. 

ModelCo Contour Stick RRP £8 – this is way too dark for me – it just makes me look like I haven’t washed. Shame as I picked it as my choice of ModelCo product this month.

 

Balance Me Pure Skin Face Wash RRP £16 – this has a bit of a strange a scent probably because grapefruit and frankincense don’t really go. However it’s a good facewash – not too astringent but does leave skin nice and clean. 

Anatomical Grab Your Melons Shower Gel *Fullsize* RRP £1.50 – nice zesty morning shower gel. In collaboration with charity CoppaFeel this shower gel reminds you to check your boobs with a handy shower sticker. 

EcoTools Contour Perfecting Applicator *Fullsize* RRP £5 – essentially a beauty blender on a stick. Nice soft sponge designed to create and blend your contour. 

Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner RRP £16 – essentially a skinny felt pen eyeliner in a nice solid black. Another way for me to end up with it smeared all over my face. 

A nice balance of products from the skincare and make up options. While I don’t think I’ll get much use out of the contour stick the rest will be handy.