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, reviews, skincare

Tili Beauty Box from QVC

Tili is a beauty box from home shopping network QVC but it’s not a subscription box. You can purchase it as a one off for £20 including postage. I ordered mine on Monday and it arrived Thursday – which is super fast. 

While most of the items are sample size, all of them can be purchased on the QVC website full size which makes this more of a test it and see box than some others. Till actually stands for Try It Love It – something I only just got from the box’s inside lid, duh. 

Tula Exfoliating Treatment Mask 

Taya Red Clay Naturals Miracle Balm

Pixi Glow Booster 

Korres Water Lily Blossom Shower Gel

Erno Laszlo Firmarine Hydrogel Mask

Decleor Aroma Cleanse 1000 Grain Body Exfoliator 

Bio-Extracts Glow Boost

Laura Gellar Lash Boss Mascara 

Philosophy Purity Cleanser

Nails Inc. Nail Polish 

I really like this concept and can’t wait to test out all these goodies – although obviously I have to be careful with my sensitive skin (and winter is kicking my arse in terms of skin issues) but hopefully I will find some new favourites. 

Have any of you tried a Tili box? What did you think? 

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, reviews, Uncategorized

Birchbox x Vogue

Underwhelming. That’s all I can think of to describe this box. 


From the rather ‘meh’ design (I couldn’t decide between the two rubbish designs so let Birchbox decide) – it’s y’know, pink. 

Then there’s the unoriginal content. Which considering that it’s in collab with a magazine at which there have been some big chances in line up and ideas, I expected more from. 


Inside is just not exciting me. 

Shall we…

In haircare, Bumble and bumble Prep (RRP £18)- not even remotely sure what I’m prepping for…oh it’s expensive leave-in conditioner. 

Then there’s Klorane’s dry shampoo (RRP £8) – could not be more excited *eyeroll emoji here*

Onto make up and first up it’s Benefit’s Hoola (RRP £24.50) a bronzer that makes it look like I haven’t washed my face (that’s all bronzers fyi – I am really pale). 

Now skincare – L’Occitane’s Shea Butter Hand Cream  (RRP £8 and up) which ok, I do actually like but good grief this sample is tiny. 

Finally, and in case you don’t believe that beauty boxes copy each other, a brush cleaner (Birchbox branded £5) just like last month’s Glossybox. Wow. This is the only full size item – I got mine for 99p on eBay. 

Next month we get to choose a lipstick shade but for 2018 I think I’m going to be choosing a new beauty box. 

If I were Vogue’s Lifestyle and Beauty Editor I’d be tidying up my CV right about now. If someone could direct Edward Enninful or Anna Wintour my way, that’d be dandy *wink emoji here* 

Now where’s my intern?? 

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. 

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

Glossybox October – Unicorn vs Mermaid 

This month’s Glossybox is about those two Instagram faves Unicorns and Mermaids. 

I received the Mermaid box which is a pretty greeny/purple colour. 

Inside there is matching paper and ribbon which is lovely, and will be very recognisable in the photos I’ve taken. 

The beauty products inside are very much in keeping with the theme starting with the Make Up Revolution Mermaids vs Unicorns eyeshadow palette. This is lovely, with shades covering something of a rainbow from greens to blues, purples to pinks. 

Sleek Creme to Powder Blush in Amaryllis – this is really pink but I have been told I can pull off a bright pink blush. It feels very soft and silky, gliding onto skin. 

Lord & Berry Magic Brow in Brunette – once again a brow product I can’t use, way too blonde for this. 

Bang Beauty Dolce Pink Cream Colour – at first I couldn’t work out what this was, the packaging gave nothing away – it could be a lip gloss, blusher, highlighter, who knows. However it seems to be an eyeshadow, a bright cream eyeshadow. Which is a bit of a random item. 

Kawaii Brush Cleanser – I have a cheap eBay version of this and it is brilliant for getting my make up brushes super clean. 

I really liked this box – something of a return to form for Glossybox, which as you know, I have occasionally been furious with for their choice of products. 

You can also purchase a unicorn or mermaid jumper from Glossybox to go with the box. Unfortunately they’re a) £30 and b) the large is still quite small. So I won’t be partaking. 

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

Birchbox x Oliver Bonas 

September’s Birchbox is in collaboration with lifestyle brand Oliver Bonas. 

There was an option to select your box design and to add a candle as an upgrade. 

Inside the box are 4 sample size items and one full size, as well as some stickers and a discount voucher for Oliver Bonas.
R+Co High Dive Moisture & Shine Cream sample size (full size RRP £23) – this is designed to smooth flyaway hair and add shine. It can also be used as a leave-in conditioner. I like a double duty product and this smells pretty inoffensive. 
Manna Kadar Fantasy 3 in 1 Blush, Highlighter, Eyeshadow full size (RRP £15) – this is way too dark for me to use as a blush or highlighter but I think it would make a nice eyeshadow. 

Polaar IcyMagic Instant Eye Contour Energiser sample size (full size RRP £22) – roll on eye gel to refresh and revive tired eyes, bags and dark shadows. 

Dr PawPaw Original Clear Balm sample size (full size RRP £6.95) – this is a handbag hero – lipbalm, hand cream, split end soother, dry skin moisturiser. Shame they didn’t put a full size tube in the box, it’s not exactly pricey. 

Rouge Bunny Rouge Bronzing Glow Liquid sample size (full size RRP  £51) – this should be an added extra not a product, it’s piddly. This is way too dark for me too, although the suggested use is mixed with a little moisturiser or lotion, which presumably dilutes it. 

The candle is bergamot and mint and matches the box, I like the drawer design. It smells quite nice but the bergamot isn’t particularly distinct, which is a shame as I really like bergamot and buy perfumes that contain it. 

Overall this box was a bit uneven, good mix of products but too many tiny samples, which makes it feel less like a treat and more like I wandered around the beauty department and got given some handouts. The candle was a nice add on but it costs an extra £8, which seems excessive as Oliver Bonas isn’t exactly hard up as a company and could have been more generous.