Saturday, 11 September 2021

Sample Saturday - Luscious Lips - Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick - 420 Rebellious Rose*

Hey everyone, I hope you've all had a good week x I had planned to be a little bit more active on the blog this week but since it was my mam's 80th birthday on Tuesday instead I devoted the week to her, and to family time, so I hope that you'll forgive me. I've got a couple of post planned for next week so I'm going to do my best to try and get back on track.

Today I've really got a 2 for 1 for you, and today's post represents two of my regular features Sample Saturday, and my new Luscious Lips series. Today I'm sharing my thoughts with you on an an Estee Lauder lipstick that I got a few months ago now in a beauty bag from Feel Unique. They've replaced the beauty bag with a beauty box now but it's still a great way to try new things, or to stock up for holidays and nights out.

For as long as I can remember Estee Lauder has been a fixture in my life, I remember my Grandmas dressing table vividly, in it's ornate French style adorned beautiful collectable glass jars of Estee Lauder loose powder, and later on in life my mam's obsession with their Pink Parfait lip colour. Bar a few skincare bits, and the odd perfume (I'm a Beautiful girl ;) though I personally haven't tried that much from the brand. I guess I always associated it with the older women in my life, and whilst it was a reliable, classic heritage brand, maybe I thought it was just a bit boring, and instead I flocked to the bright colours and innovations of its brand mates like MAC, and Bobbi Brown.

For a brand to have been around since 1946 though they must be doing something right, so in an attempt to break down my beauty prejudices and expand my make up horizons, I thought I try one of their lipsticks. 

Estee Lauder have quite a few different lipstick ranges, but this particular one is from their Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick range, and unusually for a sample size the packaging is almost identical to the full size, with the same dark blue, and gold colour way, and the same angular shape.

Every lipstick in this formulation contains multi faceted pigments that create definition, add shape, and fullness, as well as a unique Time Release Moisture Complex which is designed to seal in hydration and keep lips moisturised throughout the day, leading to creamy, smooth coverage, and an 8 hour wear time.

The shade that I got was a colour called Rebellious Rose, which is one of Estee Lauder's worldwide best sellers, described as part rose, part rebel it's a universally flattering, muted rosy coral, with warm undertones. 

As you can see from the swatch the pigmentation is excellent. With a slightly waxy, vanilla scent, it's lovely and smooth, and creamy, with out being too soft, or smooshy, meaning that you can achieve precise application direct from the all be it mini bullet!

It didn't feel drying on the lips at all, and whilst it didn't feel overtly moisturising, it left the lips feeling comfortable and sufficiently hydrated. The coverage was excellent and it had a lovely glossy sheen like finish.

The glossy finish meant that it did transfer a bit onto mugs, food and people, but once the initial sheen had faded, the almost stain like, colour underneath lasted for a good few hours, before fading away completely. I wouldn't say I got the full 8 hours that Estee Lauder claim, but I was still pretty impressed with the wear time, and how it left my lips afterwards.

Despite it being one of their most popular colours, up until a few years this shade would have been a real no no for me. I was super self conscious of the effect of my facial paralysis on my lip shape, and I used to stick to nudes, and unassuming colours to avoid drawing attention to their unevenness. As I say though things change, and I'm trying harder to love what I see in the mirror by embracing darker and brighter lips, and whilst this lipstick isn't crazily bright, it's a lovely universally wearable shade, and I can definitely see why it's one of Estee Lauder's best sellers. Apart from the colour, it felt super comfortable on the lips and the wear time was excellent - definitely a winner in my book!

Estee Lauder lipsticks aren't the cheapest but I definitely think it's a rare case of you get what you pay for, the packaging is classy, and the formulations are first class. Seeing as it's so popular the full size Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick in 420 Rebellious Rose comes in a variety of different limited edition packaging options, as well as in the traditional navy blue, and gold, and it is usually priced between £27 and £28.50. You can find it at your nearest Estee Lauder counter, as well as direct from Estee Lauder, Boots, House Of Fraser, John Lewis, and NEXT Beauty. Have you ever tried any make up from Estee Lauder? Let me know your recommendations in the comments x

*This Post Contains Added Automatic Affiliate, Added Affiliate And Non Affiliate Links

Friday, 3 September 2021

Collaborative / Partnered Post - 4 Trendy Gift Ideas for the Fashion Lover

My name is Louise and I have a confession to make - We're only 3 days into September, and today I bought my first Christmas present. It's never too early to get organised, and to start thinking about presents, be that for Christmas, or for any birthday or for any other occasion.

Getting a gift for your loved one can be challenging if you don’t plan ahead or know what they like; It's all too easy to just go down the generic toiletry set or gift card, instead of getting them something they would really appreciate. Thankfully, if your friend or loved one is a fashion lover, it can make things a little bit easier, and there are lots of things at all price points that you can buy to add a little of interest to their existing wardrobe, whilst at the same time showing them much you care about them.

Whilst it's scarily true that around one-third of women would rather buy something new once they've worn it once or twice, if you gift a friend or a family member a piece of jewellery, an accessory or an item of clothing no matter what the price point, then they'll more than likely hang on to it, because it came from you and it will remind them of your relationship, and the good times that you've shared.
So if you’re thinking already thinking about gifts from Christmas, birthday's or any other occasion, then here are a few classic, and on trend suggestions to fit all budgets, and most relationships.

1. A Personalised Necklace

When it comes to buying a gift for someone who loves fashion, then a necklace is usually a pretty good choice. You don't need a size, just a vague idea of what type of jewellery your recipient likes. Whilst they go in and out of fashion, one great way to show the fashion enthusiast in your life that you’re thinking about them is by gifting them a personalised necklace.When it comes to fashion There is nobody more stylish than the character of Carrie from Sex In The City, and something she was famous for was her name necklace. You can get name necklaces in all sorts of materials from precious metals, to wood and acrylic at prices to suit all budgets and if you're lucky enough to have a common name, you can sometimes buy them straight off the peg. A classic buy something you can wear all of the time, and people will never have an excuse for not remembering your name!

If you're buying a present for a child, or if you don't like the idea of sharing your name with everyone that you meet, then you could go for an initial pendant. I obsessed with anything with my initial on and I have it on everything from cushions to lightening, wall art and coasters, as well as numerous initial jewellery pieces including earrings and necklaces. Again they come at all different price points, it super easy to buy cheaper pieces, and again you can get initial pendants in all different types of material and styles.

Pick something in a style that they like and it could be something that could literally wear every day, not matter what the occasion, and it’ll also remind them that they’re extra special, and who doesn't want to think that x

2. Fashion Rings

Now this one requires just a little bit more thought, as for the majority of rings you do need to have an idea of a size, but if you know that, and again roughly what your recipient likes, the world is your oyster. From dainty fashion rings, to statement cocktail rings, precious metal, and gemstones, there are rings to suit all tastes, this versatile gift comes in so many different colours and styles, hopefully making it easy for you to choose one that reflects your loved one’s personality. If you want to go beyond fashion rings, and you want a more investment type piece for that special person in your life then you can try a gold Irish Claddagh ring. These traditional rings are a great way to symbolise the friendship, love, or bond you share, with their signature heart surrounded by two hearts, and they can aren't just for women either. They’re also ideal for special occasions or to just express how you feel about your loved one x

3. Slouchy Beanies

Looking out of the window at dull and grey skies today, it hard to believe that we're supposedly going to be having a heatwave next week. Whether we like it or not though autumn is on its way, and whilst I love summer and warmth, there is something about autumn that I love, I love the freshness of the air, and I love digging out my cosy jumpers, scarves, and hats.

I really wish I looked better in hats but I'm just not one of those effortlessly cool people that can wear anything on their heads and still look amazing. As much as I've persevered with berets and the likes, I'm probably a beanie girl. Beanies are a great gift for fashion enthusiasts because they serve several purposes. Aside from adding a casual touch to your overall look, beanies also help keep you warm during the cold weather and are also great for protecting or covering your hair if you’re not having the best hair day.
Like most of the items on the list beanies come at loads of different price points, and you can get them in a huge variety of colours, knits and style, ranging from super soft cashmere, to man made fibres, and do you know what's good about that, You can build your own little collection of multi coloured hats, and beanies, so that you can coordinate them with loads of different outfits.

Admittedly a beanie the most exciting of gift but it's useful and get the style and colour right, and your friend or relative, could be wearing it every day for the next few months, which is a super nice feeling for any present giver.

4. Jeans

Now the last thing on this little list is another one where your going to need to know your recipient pretty well but get this gift right and they'll love you forever!

Aside from joggers and leggings, jeans are a great must-have for any wardrobe. They've gone in and out of style but in the end the classics will always win out. I don't need to tell you how to style a pair of jeans but they are the perfect partner for so many different fashion pieces, including jackets, crop tops, and like what I'm wearing in the picture, a plain t-shirt, or even with what I'm wearing today - a lightweight jumper. Jeans come in various colours and styles, whether baggy, skinny, mom, straight legged, or boot flare, so you can choose the perfect pair depending on your fashion lover’s preferences. It’s best to be sure of their size beforehand, and if in doubt ask them, it's so hard to find the perfect pair of jeans, and if they've already found them, then you know what to do, buy them a pair that you know they love, in the right size, and you know that they'll wear them forever and a day, and if you want to be really generous you could also team them up with a nice belt.

I know a couple of these items are only for people who you know very well, but there are so many different fashion and accessory pieces out there that make fabulous gifts for the fashion lover in your life, my own personal favourites are jewellery of any type, both light and heavyweight scarves, cute socks, gloves, and hair accessories. Whatever you choose - think about what your buying and the person you're buying it for, don't buy for buying sake. try and buy them something you know they'll love, not everything has to be expensive to be cherished, and if in doubt ask them! Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? Let me know in the comments x

*Collaborative / Partnered Post

Tuesday, 17 August 2021

Trimming My Stash - June 2021 Edition - Empties And Mini Reviews*

Before I start playing catch up again and posting some other reviews and hauls, I thought that I'd at least try and get my empties posts back on track with my June Trimming My Stash post.
The Body Shop Glazed Apple Shower Gel - 250ml
Avant Skincare Deluxe Hyaluronic Acid Vivifying Face & Eye Night Cream - 50ml
The Body Shop Juicy Pear Exfoliating Sugar Body Scrub - 250ml
The Body Shop Juicy Pear Body Yogurt - 200ml
Steve Laurant Total Repair Lip Mask - 1 x 8g Mask
Patchology Mood Mask The Good Fight Clear Skin Sheet Mask - 1 x 20ml Mask
L'Oreal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths 8 Second Wonder Water - 200ml
Cussons Carex Moisture Derma Care Antibacterial Hand Wash - 250ml
Elysium Spa Epsom Salts Bath & Shower Gel - Lavender - 300ml
Nair Wax Strips - Face - 12 Wax Strips
Total - 10 Items

After a couple of decent months, June was the standout month of 2021 so far, at least empties wise, and I managed to finish 10 items! No make up yet again (I definitely need to try a little bit harder on that one), but lots of skincare, and body products, a few much loved items, and a few bargain buys.

1. The Body Shop Glazed Apple Shower Gel - 250ml

I'm starting June's list I guess on a bit of a sad note, and unless a miracle happens, I'm saying goodbye to my last product from The Body Shop's Glazed Apple range.

From circa 2014, Glazed Apple is probably my favourite ever festive collection from The Body Shop. With just a slight hint of apple, this had a lovely sweet and sugary fruity scent, reminiscent of candy apples, or even candy floss. I absolutely loved it, it lingered on the skin, and it was one of those fragrances that you could smell all over the house, after you'd used it in the shower.

Whilst I do have a couple of apple and pear based products from different Christmas collections from The Body Shop to use up, I believe that this was the last Glazed Apple product that I has, I'm probably over egging the pudding a bit here but farewell and I'll miss you :(

2. Avant Skincare Deluxe Hyaluronic Acid Vivifying Face & Eye Night Cream - 50ml

When it comes to skincare, I don't always use the same products everyday, I tend to switch it up depending on how my skin feels, what I think it needs, and what I'm trying out at that moment in time.

I normally have a few different moisturisers on the go at once and that's probably why I don't seem to finish them that often. For example at bedtime I tend to alternate between a night cream, a night oil, and a sleep mask, with the occasional application of Alpha H Liquid Gold thrown in for good measure. Lately though my skin has needed a bit of a boost, and this particular product has made a real difference. 

I received this product in the January 2019 edition of Glossybox UK, and you can read a full review of it here

I really enjoyed using this moisturiser, I loved the fact that it doubled up as an eye cream, and I loved how smooth and even it left my combination skin, without leaving it oily or greasy or causing breakouts.

I would definitely have considered buying this again but with an RRP of £98 it is just a bit too price prohibitive.

3. The Body Shop Juicy Pear Exfoliating Sugar Body Scrub - 250ml
4. The Body Shop Juicy Pear Body Yogurt - 200ml

Next up another product from The Body Shop, and it's the first of two products in this post from the 2019 Juicy Pear festive range.

I do love a good body scrub and I'm a huge fan of The Body Shop's sugar based scrubs. They have just the right amount of scrubbiness, and the sugar dissolves away leaving no mess behind in the bath or the shower.

Made of community trade organic sugar from Paraguay and Italian pear extract, this scrub had a gorgeous sweet, yet tart, fruity pear scent which complemented the next product on June's list perfectly.

Yes, item number 4, is another product from The Body Shop's Juicy Pear range, and this time it's a body moisturiser.

Now I'm sure you are already familiar with The Body Shop body butters but have you heard of their body yogurts? I love my body butters but if I am being honest they do take a little while to sink in. If you're hot or if you're in a rush then body yogurts are the answer to your prayers. Whilst they aren't quite as moisturising as body butters, they have a lovely cooling, cream gel texture that melts almost immediately on contact with the skin. They are really quick to absorb and although they can leave the skin just a touch sticky at first, especially if you use too much, the leave the skin hydrated and beautifully scented.

With the same sweet, tart, fruity pear scent, again this product contains Italian pear extract, as well as community trade organic almond milk from Spain.

Alas like the Glazed Apple range, Juicy Pear is no more, but a little birdie has told me that there will be a pear based scent in the 2021 Christmas range, and I can't wait to see what it smells like, but in the meantime I'll happily use up the remaining products that I have from the Juicy Pear range.

5. Steve Laurant Total Repair Lip Mask - 1 x 8g Mask

The next item on the list is something that you've seen quite recently on the blog, the Steve Laurant Total Repair Lip Care Mask, and you can read a full review of it here

6. Patchology Mood Mask The Good Fight Clear Skin Sheet Mask - 1 x 20ml Mask

From a lip mask to a face mask, and a sheet mask from a brand called Patchology. If you aren't familiar with them, Patchology are a skin and body care brand that started off initially by developing patches and stick on dressings for the medical profession, before moving on to produce a range of patches, and masks for the body and face as well as some more conventional moisturiser and eye products.

From a subscription box (possibly Pink Parcel) this mask contains a whole host of antibacterial and good for you ingredients including Tea Tree, Willow Bark, Peppermint, amino acids, and allantoin. It is specially designed for younger skin, and skin that is more problematic and blemish prone. Patchology claim that this mask will help to destroy skin clogging bacteria, whilst at the same time soothing inflammation and slowing down oil production.

The sheet mask itself felt very wet, and a touch slimy, and it was coated an almost a clear gel like serum. It was a nice, good quality mask though so it was pretty easy to unfold despite it being so wet. To be honest I was expecting it to have a stronger tea tree or mint scent but instead it had a more subtle almost disinfectant like, slightly herbal scent.

It felt quite cool and wet on application but like most sheet masks it gradually warmed up to body temperature on contact with the skin.
On Application

I left it on for the recommended 10 minutes before peeling it off. There was a lot of excess serum left on my face so it felt very wet. I massaged as much as I could of it into my skin but it still felt pretty wet, and it took a good 10 minutes or so for it to absorb, and even then my skin still felt slightly tacky, and I felt as though I had product on my skin, but overall I think my skin looked cleaner and a touch clearer.


Now apart from the odd hormonal spot, large pores, and an oily t-zone, my skin really isn't that problematic any more, but I tried this mask out around the time that my mum was rushed into hospital - the weather warm, and I was pretty stressed out, so I ended up with a few spots on my chin, my cheeks and on my nose.

To be honest I expected this mask to tingle, and to cause a bit of redness, but bar a tiny bit of barely noticeable extra pinkness, this mask caused no irritation whatsoever, and it may be a coincidence but the spots that I did have definitely seemed to disappear more quickly that usual.

Whilst I'm not sure I would personally buy this mask again, purely because my skin just doesn't really need it at the moment, if you have a more blemish prone skin then this could be something to try.

The Patchology Moodmask The Good Fight Clear Skin Sheet Mask retails at around £5 for 1 x 20ml sheet mask both direct from Patchology and from Cult Beauty.

7. L'Oreal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths 8 Second Wonder Water - 200ml

From the moment that I started posting on forums, going on social media, reading blogs and ultimately starting my own blog, I started buying into something called hype! The minute I saw someone raving about a product, or anytime that something new came out, I wanted it! Yes, I am weak, and I am an advertisers dream, or at least I used to be! I honestly have gotten better, I still love trying new products, and I always have a wish list of products that I want to try, but at least now I try and be a bit more discerning, and a bit more selective over what I do buy.

Something that I did buy recently that was hyped up from all corners was the L'Oreal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths 8 Second Wonder Water! If you haven't already heard about this stuff, where have you been??

I can't say I really understand the technology that well (have a look at the L'Oreal website for an explanation) but this rinse out liquid conditioner claims to work in just 8 second, and it claims to give you 10 x smoother hair, with a silky touch and a glossy shine.

Designed for dry, frizzy, longer hair (yup, that's me!) you apply it to the lengths of your hair after shampooing, then you leave it for 8 second before rinsing it out and applying your usual condition (tbh I just apply it and then stick my conditioner on top before rinsing it all off at once). For best result you then need to blow dry your hair, and then voila!

I admit I was cynical, it looks and feels like water, all be it lovely fresh, fruity, floral smelling water (the scent of which lingers on your hair even after rinsing) but immediately when you apply it you feel a slight warming sensation, so you know that it is doing something!

So did it make a difference? well despite my cynicism yes, yes it did! My hair looked smoother, less frizzy, a lot shinier and it smelled fantastic! For something that looks so innocuous, and that's so quick, I was so surprised to be able to see the difference. I have seen the odd bad review but for me the hype is justified, and I'm already half way through another bottle, and I've just bought another bottle.

You can buy this product from most larger L'Oreal Paris stockists including Superdrug, Look Fantastic, Boots and Amazon, where it has a recommended retail price of £9.99 but my advice is to shop around because you can usually find it on offer for around £4.99.

8. Cussons Carex Moisture Derma Care Antibacterial Hand Wash - 250ml

The next item on the list isn't the most exciting thing ever but it's an essential. I've talked about this particular product before, but thanks to COVID, its lovely fruity scent, and the fact that it isn't drying, it's something that I will continue to buy and use.

9. Elysium Spa Epsom Salts Bath & Shower Gel - Lavender - 300ml

You should hopefully know by now that I love a bargain, and the final two products on this list are some super cheap beauty buys that I picked up on one of my frequent trips to Poundland.

I'm a member of a few Poundland fan groups on Facebook, and this first product was something that I'd seen recommended quite a few times.

I've talked about it quite a few times on the blog but I have quite an interesting relationship with sleep, I can either sleep for 14 hours straight, or I can experience severe insomnia and not sleep properly for days. As as result I am always on the lookout for things to get me in the right mindset for sleep.

I saw a few good reviews of this, and since I usually respond well to lavender I thought I'd give it a try. It's basically a lavender and epsom salt based shower gel which aims to cleanse, soothe, and relax the body and mind.

Clear in appearance and with a runny gel like consistency, you didn't need a lot to produce a good amount of foam. It had a nice but maybe slightly old fashioned, lavender scent, which whilst not the astringent lavender scent that I usually prefer, was gentle and perfect for getting you in the mood for bedtime. It was really easy to rinse off and whilst I wasn't really expecting that much from it, my skin felt really soft and not at all tight or dry.

For just £1, I was actually really impressed with this product, and it's something that I would definitely consider buying again, and I am also now on the hunt for the elusive Eucalyptus version. As I say you can pick this up for just £1 from various stores including Poundland, B&M, and The Range.

10. Nair Wax Strips - Face - 12 Wax Strips

Like all parents and grandparents my mam has some funny sayings in her repertoire, and one of her favourites and something that she said many times to me when I was younger is "you can't have hair in one place, and not the other", and although it's a touch weird she is actually right. Dark, thick hair on your head, means that you'll usually have dark thick hair everywhere else!

I know it's a social construct, and hair on your face and body is 100% normal, but for me personally the tache has to go. I'll happily grow out my body hair at times, but my upper lip and chin hairs, are just a step too far.

Over the years I've used lots of different products to trim my tache so to speak, including bleaching, epilating and hair removal creams, but I've never really been a facial waxer. I don't know whether it's down to age or changes in my skin but lately even my usual brands of hair removal cream have left my upper lip looking super red and sore, so I came to the conclusion that I needed to try something different.

I don't wax my legs that often anymore (I normally use something that I really should have shared with you ages ago - me bad!), but when I do I just pick up a packet of Nair wax strips in Poundland, so when I saw these facial strips, I thought I'd give them a go, and do you know what? I am super pleased that I did.

For just £1 you get 12 facial wax strips, and they actually work. Wax strips have come such a long way since I first started using them, and for the price these ones are excellent, they stick and they remove even the most stubborn, thick, dark hairs by the root! Yes it stings a but, and your face is left a bit red but instead of having to use creams at least once a week. My dark tache hairs are gone for around 3 weeks, and even better still after using these for nearly 3 months now, they are already getting finer and less bristle like.

I'm now kicking myself and wondering just why I didn't persevere with wax in the beginning. I've learnt my lesson now though and you can buy fancier and more expensive Nair facial wax strips, I'll be sticking to these Poundland beauties!

So that was a bit of an epic one, but they were my June empties, all 10 of them, and as you can see in the side bar --> July was just as successful (post coming soon!), and hopefully I'll end up there or thereabouts in August as well.

If you have any questions on any of the products on June's list, then let me know, and please also let me know if you've spotted the Elysium Spa Epsom Salt Bath & Shower Gel in Eucalyptus on your travels, I can't find it anywhere near me and I am desperate to track it down in a bricks and mortar store.

Thanks as per usual for your support and I will see you soon with another post which will either be a Glossybox catch up, or a beauty review x 

*This Post Contains Added Automatic Affiliate, Added Affiliate And Non Affiliate Links

Monday, 26 July 2021

A Late Unboxing Of Glossybox UK - February 2021 Edition - Sing, Dance, Love, Repeat*

Hi Guys, I hope you have all had a good start to the week, thankfully it's cooled down a little bit here, so I can actually think straight again! Today I'm playing catch up and I'm sharing my thoughts on the February edition of Glossybox UK with you. 

In some senses February seems like a lifetime ago, but for me this year seems to have flown by, and it's very much a case of stop the world I want to get off!

So, February, the month of love, and in 2021's case the month of lockdown! Despite that though the limited edition February box seemed to be perfectly designed to lift our spirits, and for some of us to trigger a little bit of nostalgia.

Way back when I was a lass (LOL) there was no such thing as Spotify, iTunes, or downloads, in fact even CD's were just becoming popular, it was all about vinyl records, and cassette tapes.

I grew up in a very music loving household, and I still remember my first ghetto blaster, and my personal stereo, and later my Walkman's, and I still remember having to fix or rewind my tapes with a pin or a pencil.

Needless to say the brightly coloured, cassette tape design took me right back, to listening A-HA tapes in the car on the way to Scotland.

Instead of the usual pale pink tissue paper, the contents of the February box were wrapped in a sheet of creamy yellow tissue paper featuring a yellow cassette, and blue headphone design, the box also contained toning light blue paper shred, all secured together with a pink and white Glossybox logo sticker, and a pink ribbon.

The first thing as per usual in the box was the product information leaflet, which told you a little bit more about all of the products in the box, and talked a little bit more about the "Sing, Dance, Love, Repeat!" theme.

Avant Skincare Velvet Perfecting Rose Sugar Lip Scrub - 10ml - Full Size - RRP £58

The first product in the box was the product that was teased in January, and it was another product from high end skincare brand Avant.

I've tried quite a few items from Avant skincare now (Check out my Beauty Product Directory to see which ones), and by and large I've been pretty impressed but this is the first opportunity that I've had to try one of their lip products.

Now like most people I regularly use lip balm, but like with skincare, and body care there isn't a lot of point in applying any moisturiser if you aren't using an exfoliator. Whilst I probably don't exfoliate my lips as often as I should with a specific product (although I am trying to get better at it - more in that in a future post!), I usually use a cloth or a flannel on my lips when I'm doing my skincare, so at least I guess I'm doing something!

Containing hyaluronic acid, sugar, jojoba oil, argan extract, sweet almond oil, and rose, and peony extracts, this lip scrub aims to soothe, soften and revitalise the lips, as well as protecting them against environmental aggressors, leaving them radiant and brighter.

Unboxed and packaged in a plastic lip gloss like tube, with a slanted tip, the product itself is a very sticky pale pink, translucent gel, containing a fairly sparse smattering of white, sugar grains, and larger red /. brown particles. Given the name I was expecting it to have more of a rose, floral scent, but instead it has a sweet, vanilla based scent.

To use it all you do is apply a small amount to clean, dry lips. Although it's sticky it's quite easy to massage, and whilst it is abrasive, it isn't rough or scratchy. The one thing that I did notice though is how warm and slightly tingly it felt on the lips. I didn't find it uncomfortable but it was noticeable especially since you need to leave the scrub on for between 1- 2 minutes. 

Despite its sweet taste, unlike a lot of lip scrubs you can't lick this one off, so you need to wash it off with warm water, and a flannel or a muslin cloth, before patting them dry with a towel.

Alas I didn't manage to take any before and after pictures, but this product did what it promised, my lips were noticeably more even in tone, all of the dry, flaky bits were gone, and probably down to the self heating element, my lips actually looked a little bit fuller. They did feel softer as well but I still felt as though I needed to apply a lip balm.

I've got to say that this product did exactly what I wanted it to, and whilst I will happily use it up, even with the small amount you use each time, it is quite price prohibitive. 

The Avant Velvet Perfecting Rose Sugar Lip Scrub comes in a 10ml tube which retails at around £58 direct from Avant Skincare. It is also available in a 10ml jar also with a recommended retail price of £58 from Look Fantastic, and Beauty Expert.

NUDESTIX Gel Color Lip + Cheek Balm - Siren - 2.5g - Full Size - RRP £20

Next up the only make up item in February's  box, and it was a multi purpose product from a brand called NUDESTIX. I've only tried one other product from the brand, a Lip + Cheek Pencil in the shade Mystic, which I received in the 2019 Glossybox Advent Calendar, and I was pretty impressed. As much as I love beauty, and make up, most of the time I want a quick fix and multipurpose products like this are the way forward, so I was thrilled to get a chance to try another product from NUDESTIX, this time in a different formulation.

Preservative, paraben, gluten and cruelty free, this pencil contains over 30% ultra hydrating and protective plant oils including sunflower, cottonseed, and soybean oils, as well as Vitamin E.

In their Gel Colour Formulation this pencil promises rich pigment and a wet gloss like finish, as well as protecting, nourishing and hydrating the lips. So it's basically a lip balm, a lip colour, and a gloss all in one, and you can use it on your cheeks as well, what's not to love!

The shade that subscribers received in February was Siren, a deep glossy, cherry red that was perfect for Valentines Day (even though we should have been fist bumping rather than snogging in 2021 ;)

The pencil itself had a lovely, creamy texture, but it wasn't so soft that it lost it's shape and went smooshy.

The pigmentation, and gloss as you can see is superb, so you did need to be a little bit careful when you were applying to stay within the lines. That said though it was really easy to put on, it felt comfortable, moisturising and there was no dragging, or pulling. The coverage was excellent and I loved the rich, glossy finish.

Understandably given the finish it did transfer quite easily but it still lasted well and it gradually faded down to a more natural looking stain.

I don't know how well you can see it in these pictures but I'm also wearing it on my cheeks as a blush. Just pop a couple of dots or stripes on your cheeks, and then blend it out with a brush, sponge or even with your fingers, for a nice "pinch your cheeks" look. On and I used it on top of foundation and powder, and it blended out really easily with pilling or clumping.

A couple of years ago, I would have probably ran a mile from the shade of lip colour, and whilst it does look super bright against my pale skin, I love it for a statement look, and I love both the finish and the formulation.

Glossybox claim that this 2.5g size is a full size that retails at £20, but based on what I can find though the full size is 2.8g and that size also comes in a tin and with a pencil sharpener from £20 from Look Fantastic and for $26 direct from NUDESTIX.

Bubble T Peach Bellini Restoring Hand Cream - 90ml - Full Size - RRP £4.99

As you can see from my latest beauty empties posts and updates I'm still going through hand cream as though it's going out of fashion, and this particular one will probably be the next one that I will be adding to the that list.

From tea inspired beauty brand Bubble T this cocktail themed hand cream contains aloe vera and shea butter.

White in appearance, it has a thick, almost cream / gel texture and a slightly oily feel. Despite that it absorbed into the skin really quickly leaving the skin with a slightly matte finish, but looking immediately more hydrated and feeling a lot smoother.

Probably the biggest selling point for this hand cream is it's fabulous sweet, peach based fruity scent. If you've ever had a Peach Bellini or any form of tropical fruit cocktail then that's exactly what this hand cream smells like. The scent does tend to linger on the skin and if I'm being hyper critical I think that some people could find it a touch sickly, but that is obviously very much a personal thing.

Whilst this wasn't the most intense hand cream that I've ever used, it was quick to absorb, and it made an immediate difference making it a great everyday hand cream.

From what I gather this was a special limited edition Valentines's product but there are several other hand creams in the Bubble T range, some of which I already have to try, that are available from around £1.99 - £4.99, from various retailers including direct from Bubble T, NEXT Beauty, Look Fantastic, and HQ Hair.

Steve Laurant Total Repair Lip Mask - 1 x 8g Mask - Full Size - RRP £5

Next up another lip product this time from Glossybox championed, US based brand Steve Laurant. So far the February edition of Glossybox has given us a lip balm / lip colour, and a lip scrub, and now they've given us a real treat, a lip mask.

This cruelty free, lip mask contains Irish moss powder, rose extract, and hydrolysed collagen, and is designed to hydrate and sooth the lips, whilst at the same time reducing the appearance of fine lines.

The sachet contains a plastic tray which holds a little bit of excess liquid, and a translucent hot pink, wet, hydrogel like mask in the shape of an exaggerated pair of lips. The mask is quite thin but it feels quite substantial so there doesn't seem to be any danger of it splitting.


It was quite easy to stick to the lips and whilst there was no real taste, it did have a slight floral scent.

On Application

The mask initially felt quite cool on the lips, but it gradually warmed up to body temperature. It felt fairly comfortable and secure on the lips, and the slit did mean it was possible to talk and move your face but it did move a bit so it was safer to stay put, lie down and take some silly selfies!

There was no indication either or on the packaging, from Glossybox or even on the Steve Laurant website about how long to leave on for, so I left on for about 15 minutes.


After peeling it off the skin above my upper lip did look a bit pink, and it felt a bit tingly but I think that was because I'd had a facial wax the day before. I don't think you can see too much difference in these pictures, there was no outward impression of extra moisture, but my lips definitely felt less dry and a touch more defined.

Glossybox place a value of £5 on this one single use mask. The only retailer seems to be Steve Laurant themselves where one mask retails at $10.

Glow On 5th Rose Gua Sha - Full Size - RRP £10

The final product in February's box was an item that subscribers were supposed to get in January's box, but due to import issues subscribers ended up getting it a month late, but was it really worth waiting for?

From US based brand Glow On 5th Beauty, the product in question was a Rose Gua Sha facial massage tool. These facial massagers are everywhere, and when I first saw that subscribers were getting one I was pretty excited -I was hoping to receive a lovely piece of rose quartz, instead I received a piece of all be it recyclable plastic / resin!

So obviously no crystal or stone benefits, but never mind I gave it a go anyways. Basically you massage your face and neck either with or without products, in an upward motion using the different angles, and nodules to contour your face for 4-6 minutes a day, to help firm the skin and to flush out toxins.

I've watched a few You Tube videos on techniques, and so on, and I've got to say I don't get it! For a start a lot of people don't have the time to do this every day, but not only that I also found it pretty uncomfortable to use even with barely any pressure. Is it supposed to hurt or am I doing it wrong? I'm sorry Gua Sha devotees on this experience give me a facial roller any day!

Glossybox place a price of £10 on this product, it's available exclusively from Glow On 5th Beauty where it retails at $12.

So that was a very late review of the February 2021 edition of Glossybox UK. Given the fact that it was the Valentines Day edition, it's no surprise just how lip heavy it was, even though I wasn't kissing anyone this year though, I loved all of the lip products in the box, with the NUDESTIX lip colour being a particular favourite. I also love the hand cream, and although the Gua Sha tool was a bit of a disappointment, I loved the box design and the majority of the contents.

I'd love to know your thoughts on the products in this box, so let me know your thoughts in the comments and don't forget to check out Glossybox for yourself x 

I hope you all have a good week, and I'll see you soon with another post x 

*This Post Contains Added Automatic Affiliate, Added Affiliate And Non Affiliate Links

Wednesday, 21 July 2021

Trimming My Stash - May 2021 Edition - Empties And Mini Reviews* **

 Hey Everyone, I hope you've all had a lovely start to the week. I've got to be honest and say that the heat in the UK over the last few days has knocked me for 6. Give me a sunny beach in the Med and I'm great but in the UK it's a whole different story! 

Despite the heat, and so called 'freedom day', I dragged my hot, masked and weary self to the Metro Centre for a couple of hours. A lot of people were still wearing masks but by the time I left it was getting just a bit too busy for me to feel truly comfortable. I mainly went for an eyebrow wax and tint, and although I did have little look on a few shops I didn't honestly buy that much, even in Primark, so alas no haul post but if you want to see what I did buy then take a look at my Instagram Stories today, or under the Instahaul 4 highlights tab x 

I really meant to upload this post yesterday but I was so zonked out after my few hours out of the house and the heat that I just spent the day trying to keep cool. Today is supposed to be a little bit cooler but I thought I'd make an early start anyways and get this post uploaded. Before I play Glossybox catch up later in the week again, I thought I'd play empties catch up and share my May beauty empties post with you x 

Neals Yard Remedies Bee Lovely To Your Hands Hand Cream - 50ml
Gwidhw Goody Hoo Muscle Soother - 250ml**
The Body Shop Frosted Berries Shower Gel - 250ml
Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula With Vitamin E Original Solid Formula - 30g
L'Occitane Shea Butter Frangipani Hand Cream - 30ml
Beauty Pro Avocado Infused Sheet Mask - 1 x 22ml Sheet Mask
The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask - 15ml
Total - 7 Items

Just like in April, in May I managed to finish another 7 beauty products. Unlike most of my 2021 empties posts so far, May's total contained no hair products, instead I finished a nice mix of body and skincare items. Again it's going to be one of those posts when you've probably seen fairly in depth reviews of most of the products before but as I say it can't be helped, and you never know there maybe a product or two that you've probably forgotten about x 

1. Neals Yard Remedies Bee Lovely To Your Hands Hand Cream - 50ml

First up a hand cream, and it's something that I've talked about quite a few times on the blog. The Neals Yard Remedies Bee Lovely To Your Hands Hand Cream is crammed full of moisturising oils and butters, as well as honey and sweet orange oil, and has lovely warm, sweet, citrus scent. You can read a full review of it here, but I really love it, and it's something that I would definitely consider repurchasing. 

2. Gwidhw Goody Hoo Muscle Soother - 250ml**

The next product is the first of what will be several ancient, so old it's quite embarrassing products that I've recently rediscovered. A few years ago now we had our bath taken out, and our bathroom was converted into a wet room / shower room. That involved us having to pack the entire contents of the bathroom up into boxes, and guess who has just rediscovered a box of old skin and body bits? Well, me of course, and since I'm a bit stingy, I'm trying to finish everything that's still usable, and hasn't changed texture and that doesn't smell funky. Well this product looked, and smelled the same as it used to, so after a period of fibromyalgia related neck and shoulder pain, I decided to finish it off.

I was originally sent this to review from natural beauty site My Pure, and you can read a full review here. Whilst My Pure, and sites such as Ecco Verde, and Celtic Herbal still sell a range of Gwdihw balms, this camphor and menthol scented gel appears to have been discontinued which is a huge shame, as it was a nice, 'natural' alternative to some of the more mass market high street muscle ease products.

3. The Body Shop Frosted Berries Shower Gel - 250ml

It wouldn't be an empties post with a product from The Body Shop, and today I've got two for you, and the first one is a festive item.

From the 2016 (maybe?) Frosted Berries range, this berry, red shower gel, has a lovely fruity, slightly tart, raspberry, cranberry, and blackcurrant based scent. I love The Body Shop shower gel formulations , and this shower gel was a delight to use no matter what the season. Alas this was a Christmas limited edition so it's now long gone bar on eBay, thankfully though I still have a few products from the range to use up so I can enjoy some berry bliss for a bit longer.

4. Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula With Vitamin E Original Solid Formula - 30g

The next product on May's list is something that came in the December 2020 edition of Glossybox UK, but it's a product that I didn't get round to both reviewing and using up until May, and it was one of those products that from the first minute that I tried it, I knew I would buy it again, and I already have. You can read a full review of the Palmers Cocoa Butter With Vitamin E Original Solid Formula here

This was just a little pot but I've gone on to buy the full big daddy, 100g size, and I still love it, and I'm still using it mainly as a hand and cuticle moisturiser, but every now and then I can't resist popping a bit on my lips to try and combat the chocolate cravings!

5. L'Occitane Shea Butter Frangipani Hand Cream - 30ml

Next, up another fairly old product, and it's something from French brand L'Occitane. I'm a huge fan of L'Occitane, and their hand creams are easily some of the best that I've ever used. As well as the original shea butter, they also come in a range of both core, and limited edition formulations and scents.

This frangipani fragranced hand cream was a limited edition product, and I believe that I got this particular one in a set from QVC UK. Containing 20% shea butter, this thick white cream was surprisingly easy to massage into the skin. It did take a little while to absorb though so I mainly used this one as an overnight hand cream with cotton gloves. It left the skin feeling really smooth, hydrated, and protected, making it and the other shea butter based hand creams in the L'Occitane range ideal for anyone with drier skin.

As I say all of the L'Occitane hand creams are amazing but this one was probably one of my all time favourites thanks to the beautiful summery, coconut, and white flower scent.

6. Beauty Pro Avocado Infused Sheet Mask - 1 x 22ml Sheet Mask

The next product on the list is the first of 2 skincare items on May's list and it's the first of 2 face masks. This was another Glossybox item, and it was something that came in the January 2021 box that I didn't get round to using until May.

You can read a full review of this mask here, but in brief it was a good one, it was soothing, cooling, and hydrating, and it was great for drier (or sun exposed!) skin. In fact I liked it so much that I went on to buy one for a friend.

7. The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask - 15ml

Finally another face mask, and it's another product from The Body Shop. I received this particular mask in the 2020 Glossybox advent calendar, and you can read a full review of it in this Sample Saturday post here

As I get older my skin is starting to dry out a little bit, and I definitely don't get as many spots as I used to (although I do have 2 at the moment - what the hell?), but for the occasional hormonal breakout I would definitely consider buying this mask again.

So there you have it, quite a few products that you've seen before, some recommendations, and a blast from the past. I already know that June was a better month than May trimming my stash wise, but fingers crossed I can end July on a high and beat that total.

As per usual if you have any questions then please let me know, and I will see you soon with another belated Glossybox unboxing and review x 

*This Post Contains Added Automatic Affiliate, Added Affiliate And Non Affiliate Link
** Press Sample