Friday, 23 October 2020

A Late Unboxing Of Glossybox UK - August 2020 - Birthday Edition*

 One of the things that I love about Glossybox is the fact that every month you feel as though you're getting a present! I really look forward to receiving all of my boxes, but over the course of a year 2 boxes in particular always stand out, the December Christmas box, and the August birthday edition.

I know I'm super late with this post, but since Glossybox went all out to celebrate their 9th birthday with a special box design, and some pretty special products inside, I thought that it was still worth sharing my reviews and my thoughts with you.

First up the box itself, and as you can see it really was a show stopper. Hot pink in colour, the box lid featured a tone on tone glossy and matte geometric design, and if the that wasn't enough the box lid was festooned with a huge black and white chevron design, fabric bow.

The pink, black and white colour palette continued on inside of the box with a pink, and white lining,  a sheet of black tissue paper, and hot pink paper shred.

The first item inside the box as per usual was the information booklet. August's booklet was a little bit thicker than usual, but I'll talk more about that later in this post ;) As always the booklet contained a full list and more information on the bits inside the box, as well as talking a little a bit of the whole birthday theme.

Glossybox Skincare Eye Boost Cream - 15ml - Full Size - RRP £16 - £20

The first official item in the box was actually a exclusive sneak preview product, and it was something from Glossybox's new skincare range. Whilst we've seen a few Glossybox branded products over the years, this is their very first official product line.

Created on the back of Glossybox customer comments and feedback, Glossybox have produce a simple, effective and non nonsense skincare range, this is vegan, cruelty free, and nasty free. All of the products contain at least 87% natural ingredients and their packaging is predominantly made from 100% recyclable sugar cane.

The product that subscribers received in the August box was the Glossybox Skincare Eye Boost Cream. Containing ingredients such as eyebright, elderberry flower extract, and red seaweed, this cream is designed to reduce the appearance of dark circles and puffiness.

The pink and black colour palette of the packaging just screams Glossybox, the product comes boxed and it's packaged in a pink, plastic feeling tube.

The cream inside is white in colour, and whilst the texture initially appears to be quite light, it actually feels quite creamy but not heavy or sticky.

It's quite simple to apply you can use it both morning and night, and you just apply 3 small dots to your under eye area and then you just gently pat it in until it absorbs.

As I say it feels creamy, and slightly cool on application, it sinks into the skin quite quickly, and it leaves the eye area feeling hydrated, with a matte feel and a more radiant appearance.


On Application


I don't think you can see too much difference between the before and after pictures, but I do think that my eye area looks a little bit more fresher and a bit more hydrated in the after picture - what do you think?

For someone in their early 40's I don't think that my eyes look too bad, I can see a few more fine lines, and a little bit of darkness coming though, so I think I do need to start using products like this and the Sebamed eye product that came in the March 2020 edition of Glossybox on a more regular basis.

Apart for the slightly oily scent I actually really liked this eye cream and I will definitely try and use it up. This eye cream is available exclusively from Glossybox UK where it retails at £16 for Glossybox subscribers and at £20 for non subscribers. As I said earlier the August information booklet was a little bit thicker than normal, and that was because it included more information of their new skincare range, which includes several different cleansers, moisturisers, as well as specialist products such as mist and scrubs, all of which are available individually and in sets exclusively on the Glossybox website. My first experience was a good one so I will definitely consider trying some of the other bits from the brand in the future.

HUDA Beauty Demi Matte Lipstick - Day Slayer - 3.6ml - Full Size - RRP £18

If getting the opportunity to be one of the first people to try a new skincare range wasn't exciting enough, August's birthday edition also included another product from must have make up brand, HUDA Beauty.

Every subscriber received a full size of one of 10 different shades of the HUDA Beauty Demi Matte Lipstick. Containing menthol to plump, the lips, and the exclusive maxi lip complex, which stimulates collagen and hydrates the lips, according to HUDA Beauty this is apparently a creamy long wearing liquid lipstick, with a velvet, satin finish.

Like a lot of the HUDA Beauty products that I've had in the past from Glossybox, this lip colour came unboxed. The product itself is packaged in a plastic tube, with a slanted, doe foot applicator.

Considering some of the other shades that were available, I've got to say that I was pretty disappointed to receive the shade Day Slayer, a brown toned, nude, but I guess that's the look of the draw.

Application was a breeze, this lip colour felt beautifully smooth and creamy on the lips. The pigmentation was superb and the applicator made it really easy to stay within the lip line and even to reshape your lips. With a pleasant coconut scent and taste. it did feel slightly tingly on the lips at first as the menthol did its thing, but it wasn't painful and the tingly feeling gradually disappeared.

Whilst the finish did highlight the lines on my lips, at least at first it had quite a glossy, creamy finish, but it as it faded down it left more of a matter stain, which lingered on the lips for quite some time.

I'm still not convinced on the colour especially since it went on darker than it appeared in the tube, but I do like the formulation. You really do have the best of both worlds, a shiny and creamy without been overly glossy, that you can either blot it down to take away the shine or just let it fade down to a matte stain of it own accord.

It feels pretty moisturising on the lips and it doesn't leave your lips feeling parched or dry. I'm definitely considering buying another shade in the future - I'm thinking Bonnie or SHEro x HUDA Beauty Demi Matte Lipsticks comes in a wide variety of shades and retail at around £18 from various retailers including direct from HUDA Beauty, Feel Unique, Boots, Selfridges and Cult Beauty.

brushworks HD Wonder Sponge - Full Size - RRP £5.49

I don't know about you but I don't really buy expensive make up sponges anymore. I did invest in an official Beauty Blender initially, but ever since then I've bought mainly cheap to mid range sponges and I've been pretty pleased with the money that I've saved. I've had a few different ones from beauty boxes too, so it was nice to get another one in the August box from beauty tool specialist, brushworks.

Their latex free, vegan friendly HD Wonder Sponge really is a multi use product. It can be used damp for liquids, and dry for powders. The large rounded side is great for stippling and applying liquid foundation, you can use the flat side for applying contour creams, liquids and powders, and the pointed tip for precision application blending in smaller areas such as around the eyes and nose.

I've tried a lot of good sponges and this one is a good one - it's a really nice quality sponge, I've used it quite a bit since I got it and I've washed it a few times already and it's still in perfect condition with no splits, cracks or tears.

This sponge has a retail price of around £5.49 from various retailers including Look Fantastic, Beauty Bay, Feel Unique, Beauty Expert and HQ Hair.

Molton Brown Delicious Rhubarb & Rose Bath & Shower Gel - 100ml - Deluxe Mini - Est. RRP £7.33

I've been a huge fan of British beauty brand Molton Brown for many years now. I love their brightly coloured, easy on the eye products, their use of exotic ingredients, the fact that their products are paraben and gluten free, and the fact that since their inception in 1971 they have never tested their products on animals.

I don't buy their products as often as I used to (purely for financial reasons) so I was really pleased to get the opportunity to try a product that I'd wanted to try for a long time, their Delicious Rhubarb & Rose Bath & Shower Gel.

With the aromas of grapefruit, yuzu and lemongrass, as well as vanilla and spearmint, and of course rhubarb and rose, this shower gel comes packaged in Molton Brown's famous and often imitated, understated and stylish, clear plastic bottle topped with a shiny silver top.

The bottle contains a gorgeous, slightly runny, pale pink gel. Mix a tiny bit with water and you get a lovely, softening, creamy foam, that cleanses without stripping or drying, and leaves both your skin and the bathroom smelling amazing.

This shower gel has a gorgeous, revitalising, fruity, zesty rhubarb scent, with a splash of citrus and just the tiniest hint of rose. This definitely more of a refreshing fruity scent, rather than the floral scent that I was expecting but I actually think I love it even more than I expected to and I'm now going to be trying to hunt down the mini travel size bottle that exists somewhere in my stash to keep on enjoying the fragrance.

This isn't the cheapest shower and bath product that you will ever use but a little goes a very long way. This 100ml size doesn't appear to be available on its own, although it does come in a few different gift sets, Glossybox though place an estimated retail price of around £7.33 on this size bottle. The full 300ml size retails at around £22 from various retailers including direct from Molton Brown, as well as Look Fantastic, John Lewis, and Cult Beauty.

Steve Laurant Lip Liner - Vogue - 1g - Full Size - RRP £12.09 / $15

The final item in August's birthday box was another make up item and it was a product from a Glossybox favourite brand, Steve Laurant. 

I'm fairly lazy when it comes to my everyday make up, and one of the items that I tend to skip is the humble lip pencil, but when ever I use one, it always makes look better and I end up wondering why I don't use one all of the time.

I know they had a bad rep over the years and I know it's an extra step to slot into your make up routine but they really can make a huge difference to the appearance of your lips. They can stop your lipstick bleeding, you can use them underneath your lip colour to make it last longer, and if you're feeling super lazy, you can even fill in your whole lips with them and wear them on their own or under a clear gloss.

This cruelty free, and gluten free lip pencil came boxed in a gorgeous, metallic, rose gold tone box, which looked super fancy. Unfortunately the pencil inside wasn't quite as fancy looking with a brown toned barrel and plastic cap.

The shade that I received was Vogue, a pink, wine shade, that looks a little bit lighter on the skin than it does in the pencil.

It wasn't the softest or creamiest pencil that I've ever used but the pigmentation was decent and you didn't have to press too hard to get any colour payoff.

Obviously you can use it as a liner, but since it was a different colour to the other lip product in the box, I decided to fill in my whole lip area with it. It was a touch dry and a little bit patchy but the coverage was decent and it wore well. 

Steve Laurant claim that it's waterproof, and that it lasts up to 7 hours, and whilst I wouldn't quite go that far it did stay put while I had a shower and it also passed the face mask test, with only minimal transfer.

This pencil is available in various shades exclusively from Steve Laurant, where it retails at around £12.09 / $15

So that was the August Birthday edition of Glossybox UK, and in my eyes (and Max's ;) it was a win. I liked all of the products in the box, and whilst I wasn't the biggest fan of the colour of the HUDA Beauty lipstick, I really liked the formulation. As per usual the value was there and I particularly loved the box design and of course the bow. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this box so please let me know what you think in the comments, and don't forget to check out Glossybox UK, to find out how to subscribe for yourself, and to find out more about Glossybox Skincare. Thanks for reading and sticking with me, and I'll see you soon with another post x 

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

Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Nails Of The Day - Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure - 409 Good To Grape

Think of high street nail brands, and more than likely one of the first brands that will probably come to mind will be Sally Hansen. A chemist and even supermarket staple Sally Hansen was one of the first nail brands that I ever used, over the years I've tried quite a few of their treatments, but I haven't tried that many of their polishes. They do a few different polish ranges and the polish that I am going to share with you today comes from their Complete Salon Manicure range.

Shade 409 Good To Grape, is a gorgeous, slightly dusky purple, it's darker than I expected to be but it's still a beautiful almost deep lilac shade. This is the first polish that I've actually tried from the Complete Salon Manicure range and I have to say it was a winner.

First up the bottle, a nice shape, easy to hold in the hands and it looks quite striking. The black stripe that you can see at the base of the cap is actually rubberised so the handle is really easy to grip. Compared to the length of the handle the brush inside is really easy to control and to paint with, it's quite short and stubby, but it's quite wide so you only to paint one of two stripes on each nail.

The coverage after the first quite was decent, but in order to achieve the rich and glossy finish that you can here I went for a second coat. The polish was really quite drying though so adding another coat was no real hardship.

As I've told you on many occasions I'm pretty rough on my nail polish, and especially when I wear it without a top coat, I can barely manage two full days of wear, this polish though really surprised me. Even though it was quite a deep shade, it went on and on and on, with only a tiny bit of tip wear. In fact it was still going strong 8 days later when I removed it.

I love, love, love everything about this polish. I love purple nail polishes anyway but this one applies really easily, dries quickly and it also wear incredibly well. I only own one other Sally Hansen polish from this line, which I really need to try but based purely on this particular polish I'm definitely going to be buying a few more. I think I bought this polish from a discount retailer so I think this particular shade has now been discontinued, you still might be able to find either in discount type stores, or market stalls or on the secondary market, but even if you can't I'm sure that there will be a dupe out there somewhere x

Monday, 28 September 2020

Trimming My Stash - August 2020 Edition - Empties, Mini Reviews And A Life Update*

I've been reading a few bits online lately about how to write a blog post, well if you're me start with an apology! I've been trying to practise a little bit more self care recently and cut down on the apologies and the guilt trips, but again I'm sorry for the lack of posts but I've been taking a little bit of time out to work on that self care thing.

Seeing as though another lockdown seems to be increasing likely, I decided to bite the bullet and go and get my eyebrows done, and do a little bit of shopping. Despite the inability of some people  to wear a face mask correctly (COVER YOUR NOSE!!!) I felt pretty safe, but I've got to say that some of the joy that I usually experience when I head to somewhere like Intu Metrocentre seemed to be pretty much non existent, hence I didn't got too crazy and I only bought a few treats and a few essentials (check out the highlights section on my Instagram page, and click into Instahaul 3 and scroll through to see some of the bits that I bought x)

The fun aspect though just wasn't there, and I very much doubt that the carefree experience is going to return in the near future. With local restriction in Co Durham increasing on almost a daily basis, and a ban on meeting people outside of your household, it's a stressful and scary time. My beloved godmother is 90 next month and the thought of not being able to help her celebrate, or even not being able to spend Christmas with her, fills me full of so many emotions that I really don't want to think about it. My fingers are tightly crossed that people stick to the new rules and that things will hopefully get better.

So my eyebrows look great, but like so many people I'm worried about the future, and the what if's, cue lots of self care, and some distraction techniques, including plenty of cat cuddles, some sorting, some decorating, and some blogging.

Before I continue on with my late Glossybox unboxing's and reviews, I thought that I would share a couple of other posts with you including a really interesting nail polish brand discovery, and my August beauty empties.

Cuccio Naturale White Limetta & Aloe Vera Cuticle Revitalising Oil - 3.7ml
Neals Yard Remedies Bee Lovely To Your Hands Hand Cream - 50ml
John Frieda Radiant Red Red Boosting Conditioner - 250ml
Kiehl's Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque -125ml
Kocostar Slice Mask Sheet - Watermelon - 12 Slices - 20ml
Total - 5 Items 

After the highs of June and July, August's total of 5 items was a bit of a disappointment, but with only 4 months of 2020 left, I'm still in with a chance of equalling or even bettering last years total of 67 items. No make up yet again (I haven't been wearing it that often) but I still managed to finish a good assortment of skin, body, and hair care items.

1. Cuccio Naturale White Limetta & Aloe Vera Cuticle Revitalising Oil - 3.7ml

As the mini glut of nail posts will probably tell you (including another one scheduled for tomorrow), my nails are actually pretty decent at the moment. To combat all of that washing and sanitising, I've been applying OPI Nail Envy regularly, as well as copious amounts of cuticle oil and hand cream.

Like I mentioned in my July empties post, I've been trying out a few different cuticle oils from US born, professional nail brand, Cuccio. In July I finished a mini bottle of their Pomegranate and Fig Cuticle Revitalising Oil, and in August I finished a mini bottle of their White Limetta & Aloe Cuticle Revitalising Oil.

In the same mini glass bottle with a brush applicator, this runny green / yellow oil contains a variety of natural plant oils including safflower, sunflower see, cotton seed and vegetable oils, as well as aloe vera, lime, lemon peel, and bergamot extract.

It has a lovely green, slightly citrus scent that reminds me a bit of a mojito! It's a really nice oil to use, it's lovely and hydrating, without sticky, heavy or overtly greasy. I really enjoyed using both of the oils that I tried from Cuccio, but this one was my favourite, so I actually went out and bought it in the 75ml salon size. If this scent isn't for you Cuccio produce a wide variety of scents in this formulation, and they also come in several different sizes from various retailers including direct from Cuccio, and Nail Polish Direct. This particular size is great for both the product and the scent, it comes in a few different sets but you can also buy it on it's own for between £2.95 - £3.95.

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

Next up another product that I mentioned in my July empties posts, and as well as being another hand and nail product, it's also fitting in National Honey Month to talk about the Neals Yard Remedies Bee Lovely To Your Hands Hand Cream.

As I've said before I'm not the biggest fan of the smell of honey, but if you feel the same as I do, don't let that stop you trying out this honey hand cream. Containing around 76% organic ingredients, including sunflower seed oil, Brazil nut oil, sweet orange oil, vitamin E, camellia extract, propolis extract and honey, this hand cream is also paraben, and GMO free. It also contains synthetic fragrances or colour, and it's both cruelty free and vegan.

Slightly off white in colour, it has a thick and creamy but slightly greasy texture. It has a nice workable texture and it's easy to apply and to massage into the skin.

It takes a little while to absorb though, so it's great for overnight use. I've been slathering it all over my hands and popping a pair of gloves on for a really intense treatment, but if you only apply a small amount you could use it during the day if your hands are especially dry. After it's completely absorbed, the skin feels silky smooth and the hands look noticeably more hydrated.

As I say if you're not a fan of honey based scents then don't worry, I doesn't smell at all sickly, there is warm background sweetness to it, but the more noticeable scent for me is a citrus, sweet orange juice scent.

Not only is this a really nice hand cream to use, but with every purchase you're also helping to protect the humble bee. Without the bee it would be almost impossible for humans to survive, so for every purchase from Neal's Yard Remedies Bee Lovely range, they will donate 3% of all of their sales to various bee charities who help protect bee populations across the world, including Bees For Development which is based in Ghana.

The packaging has changed slightly since I acquired this particular tube but it's still the same product inside, and a 50ml tube retails at around £10. The hand cream and all of the other products in the Bee Lovely range are available from a variety of retailers including direct from Neals Yard Remedies, John Lewis, Waitrose, and Look Fantastic.

3. John Frieda Radiant Red Red Boosting Conditioner - 250ml

Now would you believe that the next product is yet another item that's related to something that appeared in July's list? Well it is, and it did - it's the matching conditioner to the John Frieda shampoo that appears in July's countdown.

Designed to enhance the appearance and prolong the life of red tones in the hair, the shampoo was nice but it's the conditioner that really makes the difference. Again containing pomegranate extract and Vitamin E, as well as European plum extract, the conditioner is designed to infuse red tones into the hair and hold in moisture.

After washing with the Radiant Red shampoo, you apply the dark, pinky red cream to wet hair. My hair is a few inches longer than shoulder length, so I've been using a good sized glob (technical term ;). All you do is massage it through the hair and then you leave it for anywhere between 3 and 10 minuted depending on the desired affect before rinsing it out.

It has the same fruity, floral scent as the shampoo, and it has a lovely creamy, easy to apply texture. It takes a little bit of rinsing but it leaves the hair smooth and shiny. It doesn't make a huge difference to the red tones in my hair as it's currently quite a dark red, but I definitely think that it's helped my colour to last a little bit longer, especially when my full head of hair was coloured in a red tone.

I've already repurchased both the shampoo and conditioner and I'll continue to do so as long as I have red tones in my hair. Like the shampoo it's not that widely available but the best places to find it seem to be Boots, Amazon and in larger Tesco stores where it retails between £6 - £6.99.

4. Kiehl's Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque -125ml

This next item was a recent rediscovery - I was sorting out some of the bathroom drawers, and I found this tube of face mask at the back, and I decided to create some space by using up the dregs in the bottom.

I first purchased this face mask in 2016, after being invited along for a complimentary Kiehl's skin consultation and facial treatment, after an Intu Metrocentre Style Garden event. I subsequently bought a few of the products that were used during my treatment and this was one them.

I've had a real issue with visible pores and an oily t-zone, and this mask really helped to control my oily patches and to make my skin look smoother and my pores less visible. You can read a full review of it here but it's something I would definitely consider repurchasing. Understandably since 2016, the price has gone up, by nearly £6 in fact, and a 125ml tub now retails at £27.50 from various retailers including Kiehls, House Of Fraser, Feel Unique, Debenhams, and Space NK.

5. Kocostar Slice Mask Sheet - Watermelon - 12 Slices - 20ml

Finally another mask, and this time it was a more recent acquisition, and it was a sheet mask from Kocostar. This quirky mini watermelon mask came in the July 2020 edition of Glossybox UK, and you can read my full review here.

It was a fun mask, and it had a lovely fruity scent but I just don't think my skin liked it that much so I probably wouldn't repurchased.

So there you have it, a very late August empties post. With only a few days left of September I've already beaten August's total but fingers crossed I can maybe add another couple of items before Wednesday ends. As per usual if you have any comments on any of the products that I finished then please let me know xx

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

Saturday, 12 September 2020

Nails Of The Day - Nails Inc - Poolside Paradise


Although it's a little bit cloudy today, here in Co Durham, apparently we have a mini heatwave on the way at the beginning of next week, so in celebration of all of that potential sunshine, I thought I'd share a little nails of the day with you, from a couple of weeks ago.

Nails Inc are without a doubt one of my favourite nail polish brands, and I get a lot of my Nails Inc polishes from QVC UK. They do a lot of limited edition shades and great value bundles, and this particular shade, Poolside Paradise came in a set called Saved By The Beach which was a Today's Special Value from July 2019.

Poolside Paradise is a gorgeous summery, creamy coral shade, but it's one of those shades that just doesn't work that well on camera. These pictures are a pretty close representation of the colour but in real life it's probably a touch more orange toned and maybe a little bit darker but again it all depends on the lighting.

As per usual with Nails Inc, this polish features, a pull off lid, and a textured cap. The brush itself is quite wide which makes nail painting super easy on the majority of nails. I have chunky fingers and skinny nails though so I need to be a little bit careful with wide brushes to avoid overspill but otherwise this polish was a dream to apply. 

The coverage was so good that I probably could have got away with one coat, but I went with two for a deeper, shinier, full coverage finish. It dried really quickly and it wore incredibly well even without a top coat. I did notice a bit of tip wear after about 3 days and a lot of typing, but it was still going strong when I finally removed it a week later.

There is a reason why I buy so many Nails Inc polishes and this polish sums it up perfectly, they're usually really easy to apply, the finish is usually spot on and they wear well. I think that this particular shade was either a limited edition or a QVC UK exclusive, so it will probably be pretty hard to find now, but it's definitely still out there I actually saw it on the TK Maxx website a few weeks ago, so maybe the discount and secondary market is the place to look. If you can't find this particular polish though and you love the colour, don't worry, I am sure that are plenty of similar coral colours out there. Are you still embracing summery polish colours? Let me know in the comments x