Saturday, 12 October 2019

Collaborative / Partnered Post - Taking Your Summer Wardrobe Into Autumn*

I don't know what the weather's been like where you are today, but here in my little corner of Co Durham the sun has been shining, but there has been a definite nip in the air. With pumpkins in the shops, and fallen leaves on the ground there is no doubt that we're now well into Autumn, and Summer is nothing more than a distant memory.

When it comes to Autumn in the UK the change in temperature can often be a gradual one, so in this era of cutting back, buying less, and wearing more, there are often ways and means of wearing at least some of those summer favourites, well into October and November. In this post I'm going to share with you just some of the clothing items that you can adapt for the slightly colder months, and if you can't resist the lure of the shops I'm going to talk about some the key items you could add to take you summer wardrobe into October, November and beyond.

1. Maxi Dresses

Now I've got to say that the only maxi dresses I own are very, very summery but if you have something in a warmer, toned plain colour, or in one of this summers popular nature and leaf designs, or even something in an animal print, then there is no reason why you couldn't continue wearing it into the autumn months, it's all about how you style it. By wearing a top underneath it or by pairing a maxi dress with a short, chunky cardigan or even with a leather jacket and boots, you'll definitely be able to get a few more wears out of it before the year is out.

2. Add Tights

Tights are a secret weapon for transitioning weather, and you can use them to make almost any summer outfit suited to the season. If you have a dress you still want to wear, adding tights will bring some warmth and also will allow you to add an autumn twist to a summer dress. There are so many colours and patterns in tights now that there really are no rules and no boundaries. Team a short floral patterned skirt with tights and boots, or even team up a denim skirt with tights and a chunky knit, for a cosy take on Autumn style. As well as tights, don't forget about leggings, yes you can wear them on their own but if a dress is too short to wear on its own in the colder months, add a pair of leggings to create another look, and to add an extra layer of warmth.

3. Layer Up

Speaking of layers, adding extra layers is the easiest way to turn a summer outfit into an Autumn and Winter one. As a curvy girl, especially, I'm a huge fan of layering, I don't really separate my wardrobe into seasons, I wear certain things like t-shirts and vests all year round, I just add an extra layer, be it a cardigan or a scarf or even another t-shirt. Layering is definitely something to think about when you're thinking about your outfits for autumn, you can layer a shorter dress with a chunky cardigan or a thicker jacket, and create a look that is in keeping with both new season trends, and the changing temperatures. As well as other clothing items like cardigans, and jumpers, also think about your accessories when it comes to layering and making an old item of clothing more relevant. I am a huge scarf fan, and they are great for layering and of course for providing a much needed layer of warmth when the weather turns. I have a lot of different ones in different fabrics, patterns and thicknesses and they can really add the finishing touch to any outfit

4. Get a statement jacket

Layering is such a huge part of autumn fashion and it is something you always want to consider in that transitional warm / cold period. Chunky cardigans and even coatigans are all well and good but sometimes only a jacket will do. Now sometimes a waterproof jacket is the only way to go, but on those bright but chilly days, you need a good jacket or coat to not only keep you warm but also to pull your outfit together Choosing a statement jacket or coat isn't easy though there are so many different style to choose from, but there are a few fail safes, that never seem to go out of style

A military jacket to layer over skinny jeans and vests
A leather jacket which will go over dresses, Tops and jeans, and skirts
A trench coat to layer over a simple outfit for a protective layer
A bomber jacket to layer over jeans and sporty outfits
A cropped blazer - A twist on the classic for a formal look or perfect for the office

I can pretty much guarantee that you'll have at least a couple of these options already in your wardrobe, I know I do, but if you don't shop around, charity shops, and resellers are great for more classic styles, and you'll definitely find something suitable on the high street no matter what your budget. Even if you're trying to cut back and cut down on the amount of clothes that you buy, a good coat in a classic style, and colour is always a worthwhile investment.

5. Use deep colours 

When transitioning from summer to autumn style, the biggest difference that you will normally see on the high street is colour. Whilst, there will always be exceptions what was once a sea of yellows, pinks, greens, and blues, pastels and neons, is now a world of reds, oranges, browns, and purples. Yes, you can wear what ever colour you like when you like, but there is no denying that the traditional Autumn colour palette, that reflects the changing leaves, just makes you feel warm and cosy. Colour wise I'm a real Autumn girl, there are so many beautiful colours around at the moment ranging from mustard's, to terracotta, and wines, that adding even a tiny splash to any outfit will definitely give it that fall vibe. If deeper, warmer toned shades in clothing aren't for you though, don't worry, switch up your colours in another way, and add some warm bronzes, and coppers to your eye make up routine, and add a berry, or a warmer toned lip, and you're Autumn ready in a flash

Like so many people now I'm trying to buy less and wear more. Clothes don't have to be a one wear or one season wonder, it's all about how you style it and how you wear it. Treat your own wardrobe like you would a shop, pull out an item wear it differently, and experiment with your style. If you feel that your wardrobe is lacking something, go out and buy it, but think about what you're buying, how often you're going to wear it, and how you're going to wear it. I've bought a few items in Autumnal colours lately (outfit posts coming soon eek), that fit in with lots of other items in my wardrobe, I know I'll wear them, and they are different from lots of things that I already own. A change in season doesn't necessarily mean that you need a whole new wardrobe, add the odd piece and restyle pieces that you already own x What are your favourite fashion pieces for Autumn? Let me know in the comments x

*Collaborative / Partnered Post

Unboxing Pink Parcel UK - September 2019 Edition - Urban Tribe Edit*

I've had so many good intentions lately when it comes to blogging, but as per usual nothing has gone to plan, so I'm playing catch up again. I've got a couple of posts that should have been up last month to do and then 'hopefully' I can get myself back on track.

My first catch up post is a very later review and unboxing of September's Pink Parcel. Septembers box came in the traditional grey and pink outer packaging, and again the boxes inside were a combination of old style Pink Parcel, and Betty Box boxes, with a nice pink leaf design fabric pouch.

Apparently this is the last time that we're going to see any of the old style packaging. I haven't received my October box yet but apparently October's box will be all shiny and new, with a new design, and more environmentally friendly packaging. I haven't seen any October unboxings so far, and I haven't see any hint so I excited to see what Pink Parcel have came up with.

Now I mentioned in my review of August's box that I'd received an email from Pink Parcel telling me that my chosen sanitary products were being discontinued, so I had to go onto the website and reselect another product. In the last few boxes I've received a mixture of brands which probably down the my chosen items been discontinued but in this box, everything that I got was what I'd requested from Bodyform, and again I received 24 items in total.

Before I get into the contents of my "For You" box in one of the pictures above you have noticed something extra in my box, now I don't know if this was just a randomly picked extra, or if it was something that every subscriber received because it wasn't mentioned in the official contents email, but whatever the circumstances it was something that I was happy to get, and happy to try.

Hairflick Hair Vitamins - 1 Week Travel Pack

Although I think that I eat a fairly balanced diet, thanks to illness and medications, I don't always think that it reflects that well in my hair, skin, nails, and in my general appearance. My hair in particular always seems to bear the brunt of my flares, and as a result I'm always on the look out for treatments, shampoos, and conditioners to help tame, and heal my tresses, but lately I've actually been thinking about whether topical treatments really are the only solution, and I've been looking into whether or not food supplements or vitamins could help.

The trouble is though a lot of these supplements contain either animal or fish gelatine, or collagen from shellfish neither of which I eat as a lacto ovo vegetarian. Thankfully though these hair gummies from model and reality star Amy Willerton are cruelty free, gluten free and they are suitable for both vegetarians and vegans.

Containing biotin, folic acid and essential vitamins, they have been extensively third party tested and claim to improve hair growth, strength and health, and to help repair damage and breakage.

All you need to do is just chew two of these super cute star shaped gummy, chews a day. They have a lovely fruity blue raspberry flavour so it's really no hardship - they are so nice you honestly wouldn't realise that they were vitamins.

It's really hard to tell whether or not they work for just one weeks supply but my curiosity has been sparked, and I'm definitely considering trying at least a month's course in the future. One months supply has a recommended retail price of £19.99 direct from Hairflick.

So that was a nice little extra but there were also some pretty nice things in the "For You" box. the theme of September's box was the Urban Tribe Edit, which was all about leaving summer, and holidays behind, and getting back to basics and back to the grind stone.

So Susan Cosmetics Dream Maker Light-Shifting Highlighting Cream - Private Jet - 10ml - Full Size - RRP $29

The first official item in the September box was an item from subscription box favourite brand, So Susan. They used to be pretty much a mainstay brand but I actually haven't had anything from them in a while so it was nice to receive a new item from them.

The brand tag line for So Susan is "where colour meets science" and all of their products all contain some form of skincare grade ingredients. They are  also a cruelty free, and vegan brand that is PETA certified, their products also contain no mineral oil no parabens, no gluten, and no phthalates, and they are also hypoallergenic and non comedogenic.

I do love a highlighter and this one is just that little bit special - according to So Susan, this is a cream - gel hybrid, that contains an ultra concentrated mix of mica and holographic rainbow particles, that adapt to the skin tone for that finish shade and finish. As well as that this product also contains Bioactive Tetrapeptide 21, and edelweiss but of which are antioxidants and help to brighten the skin and fight the appearance of fatigue.

Sound good but what does it look like? Well the shade I received was Private Jet, which is officially described as a Champagne Sparkle. 

I must admit I doesn't look too much here, but apply this ivory coloured, cream highlighter where ever you would normally apply your highlighter or even mix it in to your moisturiser and foundation and then see the magic happen.

The result is a gorgeous lit from within, brightening multi dimensional shimmer, that adds not only a beautiful highlight but it almost seems to enliven and waken up the skin.

In the pictures below I've used it over a foundation and a loose powder, which probably wasn't the best idea as it did separate and go slightly patchy. As I say it has a creamy texture, but it isn't too wet or sticky but I still think that it would probably work best over just foundation or tinted moisturiser, or even just on top of your skin care or even on your bare skin.

Natural Light

With Flash

I am slightly irritated by the fact that I just can't seem to do this stuff justice in any of my photographs, it really does have an almost holographic, multi dimensional radiance tonight, that I really can't capture. I'm a huge highlighter fan and this is a really pretty one. You can buy it and the several other shades that it comes in directly from So Susan for around $29.

BLUE IRON Liquid Iron Supplement - 30ml

As I said earlier as a vegetarian I'm always conscious about what I eat and my vitamin and mineral intake - a lot of vegetarians can lack vitamin B12 or Iron but touch wood I've never had any issues with either of those, sometimes though especially at that TOTM I do feel a bit more sluggish, and tired than normal, so I usually try and up my vegetable and pulse intake. A lot of people though take some sort of supplement and the next item in the box is a perfect boost for when your feeling tired and under the weather.

BLUE IRON is a liquid iron supplement that combines nordic blueberries, which are full of vitamins and antioxidants. with a liquid Fe3+ Iron Supplement. The addition of the blueberries apparently makes it taste better than a lot of iron supplements, and it also apparently has no gastrointestinal side effects. Adding a bit of extra iron to your diet can reduce tiredness and fatigue, and boost energy.

This sample contained 30ml - As an adult BLUE IRON recommend a daily serving on 10ml, so that was 3 days worth. It had quite a pleasant fruity taste at first but it did have quite a metallic aftertaste which I wasn't as keen on.

If I did need an iron supplement I would definitely consider taking something like this as opposed to take yet more tablets. I also like the idea of the extra vitamins from the blueberries. A full 330ml bottle retails at around £14.99 direct from BLUE IRON.

Natura Potato & Parsley Infused Under Eye Mask - 1 x Pair - 3g

Beauty Pro are another subscription box favourite, and this particular product comes from their Natura line. It isn't a face mask this time though it's another eye mask. I've has a couple in various subscription boxes lately but this is the first one that I've actually managed to try. 

From the Natura line which is suitable for vegans, these under eye masks are designed to brighten and rejuvenate the under eye area, and to reduce darkness and puffiness. They contain potato and parsley, as well as aloe vera and eucalyptus extract. 

This sachet contained a single pair of hydro gel masks, the masks were sandwiched between two thing sheets of plastic but unfortunately my masks had slipped out and were actually stuck to the inside of the packet!

I do love the feel of a hydro gel mask and these were no exception - They were nice and wet, and they actually stuck to the skin quite easily and they stayed put. They felt nice and cool when they were initially applied, but they gradually warmed up, and dried out slightly on contact with the skin. They had a nice slightly herbal, eucalyptus based scent but it wasn't too strong, and it didn't cause my eyes to water or sting.

Natura advise that you leave the masks in place for around 20 minutes, I probably left mine on for nearly 30 and it didn't cause any problems. They were really easy to peel off and there was very little if any visible residue remaining on the skin, the skin did feel tacky for a couple of minutes afterwards though.

I'm kind of annoyed that I didn't take any before pictures so you can't see a true comparison. You can still see a bit of darkness and puffiness in the after picture but it was a definite improvement. My eye area looked and felt more refreshed and I definitely didn't look as tired. I can't give a price estimate on these as they are normally sold in packs of 3 but if you fancy trying them yourselves a pack of 3 retails at around £5.95 direct from Beauty Pro, and from Feel Unique.

Mane Club Cha Ching 5 In 1 Deep Conditioner - Scent Berry Rich - 50g - Full Size - RRP £2.99

Something else that seems to be a pretty regular item in the beauty based subscription box is the hair mask, I've had so many lately but I love trying new ones. Alas I'm in the middle of trying out some new products for a future review so I haven't tried this one yet but I'll let you know my thoughts on this one when I do x Every Pink Parcel subscriber received one of 6 hair masks from Mane Club in their September box, and the one that I got was Cha Ching  - Berry Rich Scent. 

Mane Club are a New York City based indie, haircare brand. As well as being fun and affordable their products are also cruelty free and junk free. Not tested on animals, all of their products are free from parabens, sulfates, phthalates, drying alcohol, and artificial colours.

This 5 in 1 hair mask that claims to condition, tame frizz, strengthen, to repair and to add shine, has a rose, raspberry and vanilla scent, and contains plum and pomegranate extract, grape seed oil, and wine extract. As I say I haven't tried this yet but I'll let you know my thoughts in a future empties post. Mane Club products are available in Boots and this particular sachet retails at £2.99

Avant Skincare Supreme Hyaluronic Acid Antioxidising Duo Moisturiser - 10ml

Next up a product from a brand that I've discovered in a big way this year, Avant Skincare. I've received a couple of their products in various editions of Glossybox including the Avant Skincare Pro Perfecting Collagen Primer Touche Eclat that I got in the June edition, and the Avant Skincare Deluxe Hyaluronic Acid Vivifying Face & Eye Night Cream, that I received in the January edition, and I have to say my opinions have been pretty favourable. I like the products but the price tag puts me off. For that reason though I'm really pleased that Pink Parcel have jumped on the Avant bandwagon all be it with a pretty small sample size.

Containing hyaluronic acid, and vitamin C to help plump, moisturise and restore the skins natural glow, and avocado to hydrate and soothe, this moisturiser aims to prevent the signs of ageing and nourish the skin from within whilst at the same time combating enlarged pores, fine lines, and an uneven skin tone.

Designed to be used morning and evening after the corresponding serum, this product is pale blue in colour, has a fresh green smell, and it has a cream / gel texture. It's not the most moisturising cream that I've ever used and it doesn't have the most slip to it but it's perfect if you have an oilier skin, it sinks in quickly, and it leaves the skin smooth and with a nice matte finish that would be an ideal base for make up. If you have a drier skin or if you like a heavier, more moisturised feel then I don't think that this would be enough for you, Avant recommend that you use it alongside the corresponding serum, which may make a difference. If you have an oilier skin though and you want a moisturiser that's hydrating, without being oily or heavy then this could be worth trying.

I can't find a price for this sample size but as you've probably gathered this product is a little bit on the pricey side the full 50ml size retails at £100 from various retailers including direct from Avant, and also Fragrance Direct, Beauty Expert and Look Fantastic.

Doisy & Dom Dark Chocolate 70% Cocoa, Maca, Vanilla, & Cacoa Nibs - 25g

Mmmm chocolate, I don't whether it's down to vitamin deficiencies or just a general mehhh mood, but I always want chocolate when I have my period - any old chocolate will do but good quality stuff just seems to hit the spot just that little bit better.

Doisy & Dam pride themselves on their high quality, ethical and sustainable chocolate creations. They produce "healthier" chocolate that contains no more than 8 ingredients in every bar as well less sugar and fat, and every bar contains some form of super food.

All of their dark bars are vegan including this one which combines slightly bitter dark chocolate, with crunchy cacao nibs,  a hint of sweet vanilla and the kick of maca root.

It was a nice rich, quality chocolate, it was slightly bitter but it was balance out with the merest hint of vanilla, and some slightly fruity notes. The cacao nibs were a nice addition, and added a nice crunch and a slight nuttiness - kind of like fruit and nut but better for you!

I can't find a price for this size bar on its own but a pack of 7, 25g bars in all of their flavours retails at £8 direct from Doisy & Dam. The range is also available from selected retailers including Amazon, and Holland & Barrett.

Offblak Generation T Future Is Pink - Earl Grey & Rose - 1 x 2.5g Whole Leaf Pyramid Tea Bag 

As well as containing a £5 off voucher to join the Offblak T-Club subscription box scheme, September's Pink Parcel also gave you a chance to try one of Offblak's signature tea blends.

Offblak's have a no BS approach to healthy lifestyle tea, and their whole brand aims is to inspire creativity, and a creative lifestyle. It's not just tea it's about a lifestyle so it's basically trendy, tea for the Instagram generation. 

As well as the newly launched tea subscription box that I've just mentioned Offblak also sell a good range of teas and infusions including this high caffeine black tea, that combines the traditional flavours of Earl Grey, with lemon peel, lemon grass and rose petals.

Now Mummy Lou is a huge Earl Grey fan so instead of having to steal this I'm actually going to be a good daughter and I'm going to give it to her. A one off pack of 12 pyramid tea bags retails at £4.99, but can also sign up for subscriptions are regular deliveries on the Offblak website.

Although I'm really late in talking about it I'm actually really pleased with the September 2019 edition of Pink Parcel. The contents was well thought out and it was perfect for recharging, reviving and regrouping. The stand out products for me were the Hairflick gummies, and of course the So Susan highlighter. Hopefully I'll be a bit quicker in posting Octobers contents than I was with this one, and with the new box design, and make up items from Cougar and Laritzy. I'm already looking forward to it. If you fancy trying Pink Parcel for yourself, have a look at their website via this link to find out more, and to subscribe x Thanks for reading and I'll see you soon with another post x

*This Post Contains Both Affiliate And Non Affiliate Links 

Saturday, 5 October 2019

Nails Of The Day - OPI Infinite Shine 2 Gel Lacquer - Show Us Your Tips

To break a few samey type of catch up posts, I thought I'd throw in a little nails of the day post for you. A lot of my nails of the day post so far this year have been re shoots, and have a featured a few polishes that you may have seen before, this one is a relatively new one, I'm not sure how long I've had but it's definitely one of my newer additions.

When it comes to nail polish, OPI are definitely one of my favourite brand, they move with the trends, they're always introducing new formula's, and I don't know how they don't but always seem to create new and fresh colours. Now this polish is the first OPI lacquer that I've tried in their Infinite Shine formulation. Basically this is OPI's gel effect nail polish line. They promise an HD gel like formulation, that lasts up to 10 days, but without the fuss of an LED or UV light, or with all of that soaking and time that it takes to remove a real manicure.

The shade is the quirky named, slightly double entendre ridden "Show Us Your Tips" and it's a shade that was originally release as part of 2016 New Orleans collection. Officially described as a periwinkle shimmer, it's a gorgeous, blue, lilac shade, packed full of silver sparkle, it was actually quite a hard colour to capture, in real life it's a touch less blue and bit more lilac, but like any polish with sparkle, there is a slight amount of colour shift.

Despite the fact that the formulation is slightly different the iconic, and much copied OPI bottle remains the same, only instead of the traditional black textured cap, you have a smooth, mirrored silver top. The bottle contains the familiar Pro Wide blush - I'm a huge fan of this brush, it's so easy to paint with, if you have thin nails like I do, one stripe is usually enough.

I was expecting this polish to be a bit thicker than normal but that wasn't the case. The first coat was quite patchy, as was the second on some nails so I needed 3 coats to achieve the finish that you can see here. The formulation dried fairly quickly so I had no problem with applying multiple coats.

Even though it includes a lot of sparkle, it has a super smooth feel, and an ultra glossy finish. Normal OPI's are usually pretty glossy but this seemed to have a bit of extra shine. Unfortunately the up to10 day wear claim didn't really pan out. Admittedly I am pretty harsh on my polishes, but I only managed around 3 to 4 days without a top coat, which about the same a regular OPI colour.

Despite that though I'm still pretty pleased with this polish, although I didn't experience much of a difference in way wear time, I definitely saw a slight difference in the shine and the finish. I'm not sure I'd buy this formulation ahead of OPI's original and iconic polish but I would definitely consider trying it again. As I say this shade was part of the 2016 New Orleans collection but it's still widely available in both the original formulation (which I also own in a mini), and in the Infinite Shine formula. The full 15ml size of OPI Infinite Shine Show Us Your Tips retails at £14.50 direct from OPI but it's worth shopping around as I have seen it cheaper elsewhere x Are you a fan of this shade? Let me know in the comments x

Thursday, 3 October 2019

Unboxing Glossybox UK - September 2019 Edition - Delicious Beauty*

After all of the excitement of August's birthday box, the September edition of Glossybox UK, was always going to be a little bit of a letdown. This post is pretty late but it's given me the opportunity to read a lot of other posts, and comments on September's box, and I've got to be honest and say that a lot them won't have made very pleasant reading for the team at Glossybox.

As much as I enjoy reading other peoples opinions though I always try to make my own mind up, and I always try to be as objective, and as open minded as possible, and I know that's why people like you keep on reading my blog, so without further ado I'm going to get right on with my review.

After all of the sparkles and gloss of August's birthday edit, Septembers box saw a return to the traditional Glossybox packaging of a pale pink and black box, pink tissue paper, a black ribbon, and black shred.

As per usual the box contained a little leaflet telling you a little bit about the theme of the box and about the products inside. The theme of September's box was "Delicious Beauty" and all of the products inside were in some way connected to food

Now normally you only get 5 products in every Glossybox but September's box officially contained 6 items, but from the pictures and reviews that I've seen, most boxes actually contained 7 things.

After looking more closely at the contents though I think that the extra items are in there purely to push up the value. There were a couple of more budget friendly products in this box, and I think that Glossybox probably added the extra items, to give us more value for money- Did they succeed though?

Mayy Banana Setting Powder - 4.5g - Full Size - RRP £15

The first item in the box, is the most expensive item, and it's a product from a brand that I haven't heard of before, Mayy Beauty / Mayy Cosmetics. I can't find out too much about the brand, but from what I can gather they are based in the UK and this is the only product that they appear to sell.

As the name would suggest Banana Setting Powder, is a yellow toned face powder. It's hypoallergenic, paraben free, cruelty free, mineral based and vegan and it contains added hyaluronic acid, and it's also suitable for all skin types.

It's designed to set make up and to mattify the skin, and to diffuse redness and skin imperfections. Mayy also claim that it's smudge proof, water resistant and it extends the life of your make up.

Like the STYLondon Banana Setting Powder, that I received in July's Pink Parcel, it has a slight baby powder scent. It's a nice fine, textured powder which is super easy to blend. Although it looks quite yellow in the the tub, on my skin tone it doesn't look yellow at all, it just blends in to my foundation and my skin tone. If your skin is darker than mine it could potentially look a little bit chalky.

I swear by face powder to tone down oil on my t-zone, and to make my foundation last longer, and this definitely did that, I'm not sure about their water resistance claim though, after a bracing walk along the seafront I'd sweated off a lot of my make up, and I needed to reapply it especially on my t-zone.

In the before pictures I'm just wearing my new favourite foundation (The Ordinary Coverage Foundation in 1.1P), and the only difference in the second picture is an added layer of the Mayy Banana Setting Powder. You can't see too much of a difference but my skin does a little bit more even, and even a bit glowy in the after picture.



I've had a little look online and the only place I've found this powder is on the Mayy website where it retails at £15.

Palmers Coconut Oil Deep Conditioning Protein Pack - 60g - Full Size RRP £2.09

I think I'm probably the only person on this planet that doesn't love the scent of coconut. Don't get me wrong I don't hate it but it can often be too much, too sweet, too sickly or too synthetic. There is no denying though, that for the majority people coconut definitely falls into the delicious category, and coconut is one the main ingredients in the next item.

Designed especially for dry, damaged, and colour treated hair, this hair mask contains ethically, and sustainably sourced coconut oil, and coconut milk, as well as Tahitian monoi (coconut oil infused with tiare flower petals), and silk and keratin proteins.

It's a conditioning mask that you apply after shampooing, for 10-15 minutes or even overnight before rinsing. It claims to help repair weak, fragile, and damaged hair, giving it incredible shine, and condition.

I'm actually in the middle of testing out some new hair products for the blog at the moment, so I haven't tried this yet but I'll let you know my thoughts in a future empties post. The product is available from various retailers including Superdrug, Boots, and Tesco.

Colgate Max White Charcoal Toothpaste - 75ml - Full Size - Est. Price £2 - £3.99

In the last year or so one of the biggest ingredients in just about everything from cheese and crackers, to ice cream, and to skincare, has been charcoal.

From their whitening "Max White" range, this toothpaste from iconic dental care brand Colgate contains activated charcoal and gentle mineral scrubbing particles. It is clinically proven to remove 100% of surface stains as well as fighting cavities, and cleansing your whole mouth.

I'd always been a bit scared of charcoal toothpastes, how can something that looks so dirty, clean your teeth, but I bit the bullet so to speak, and gave this a go, and wow I have to say I am really impressed! 

Once you get over the colour, and the fact that your mouth goes temporarily grey / black, you realise that this is actually a pretty decent toothpaste. I don't know how well you can see the texture from the picture below but it actually has a slightly grainy, slightly abrasive mouth / tooth feel which definitely helps your teeth to feel super clean, and since I've been using it I've definitely seen a improvement in the colour. I don't have the whitest teeth naturally but I'm going to persevere with this and fingers crossed my teeth will get a little bit whiter. Oh and it also has a lovely strong mint flavour so it helps keep your breath and your mouth nice and fresh.

This seems to be quite a new edition to the Colgate Max White range, so it only seems to available in a few retailers including Superdrug and Morrisons. Prices do seem to vary between retailers, so I would definitely shop around if you're interested in trying this.

Cussons Carex Fun Edition Love Heart Cleansing Gel - 50ml - RRP £1.55

In September, Glossybox subscribers received one of two Carex Hand Gels, Strawberry Laces, or the one I got Love Hearts. I'm not a huge public transport user now, so I don't use as much hand sanitiser as I used to, but it's still one of my handbag essentials, so this was a useful addition.

Claiming to clean, care for and protect hands, this pale pink gel, has a lovely fruity, slightly sherbet scent. Due to the alcohol content it immediately feels cooling on the skin, and you have just enough time to rub yours hands together before it starts to absorb. it dries really quickly, and your hands just feel clean and dry, without any stickiness or tackiness. 

Hand sanitisers are a real must have product, and this one smells nice and I like how it feels on my skin. Again if you're interested in trying this one I'd shop around, it's currently available from various retailers including Boots, Superdrug, Asda, Sainsburys and Morrisons, but the price varies quite a bit and you don't want to pay more than you have to x 

Mitchell And Peach Flora No. 1 Fine Edition Eau de Parfum - 15ml

I said in my rather lengthy introduction to this post that the September edition of Glossybox received a lot of criticism, and unfortunately this was the products that bore the brunt of that criticism. 

Fragrance is such a personal thing, ask 100 different people what their favourite fragrance is and you'll probably get 100 different answers. It's such an individual thing that I always think that it's a bit of a risk to put perfume in a subscription box. Personally though I don't mind getting a fragrance in a subscription box, I love trying new things and I've discovered quite a few favourites in various boxes over the years, but it's a dodgy one.

I'm sure I've tried something from this brand before, but if you haven't heard of them, Mitchell and Peach are an English based perfume and toiletry company that not only make all of their products in the UK, but they also grow all of the plants and flowers that they use in their products on their own country estate.

Now I know your probably wondering how a fragrance falls into the delicious theme, well one of the key ingredients in this fragrance is the aniseed scented sweet fennel. It also contains lots of floral notes including rose, lavender, ylang ylang, peony and larkspur.

I'm not good at describing fragrances so with this one I'm not even going to try other than to say that it's a green, floral, with a hint of warmth. I found it a very complex scent, every time I smelled it I smelled something different within it. On first sniff I liked it, second sniff I hated it, and then I loved it! Yup it's one of those x 

It it horrible? Is it gross? No not to me it isn't. It's not something I would go out and buy but I can definitely appreciate just how unusual it is. If you like sweet, bubblegum, generic florals, then this won't be for you but if you want something that's just that little bit different, natural yet long lasting, then this could be worth trying. I'm sure you'll be able to find a bottle or 2 on ebay if you're interested. I can't find a price for this particular size but Glossybox quote a price of £29.75 for 17.5ml deluxe mini size, and the full 50ml size retails at £85 direct from Mitchell and Peach.

Delhicious Hello Beau-Tea-Ful Exfoliate & Glow Original Black Tea Body Scrub - 100g - Full Size - RRP £7.95

This final official product couldn't have arrived at a better time - I'd just finished the last body scrub in my stash when this baby turned up. From a UK based company this 100% natural, vegan and cruelty free scrub is designed to get rid of dry skin, and flush away toxins.

The key ingredient in this scrub is black Assam tea, which contains caffeine and natural antioxidants, to perk up the skin and to reduce cellulite. It also contains brown sugar, and Himalayan Pink Salt which is rich in minerals and deep cleansing. Other ingredients include sweet almond oil, essential oils, and Vitamin E.

The pouch contains a relatively dry scrub mix, look closely and you can see the tea leaves, and even the salt and sugar grains. You massage it into damp skin, and it you have time you can leave it for a couple of minutes to let the ingredients do their thing. You only need a tiny amount and the citrus and tea scent is mouthwatering. It's pretty easy to rinse off and even when your skin is still wet you can feel a difference to the skin. Even after just one use my skin felt firmer and super smooth. 

I'm so happy with this product I love both the smell and the results but I'm going to be honest with you it is a bit messy, the grains get everywhere, and when they're added to water, the liquid does go a little tea like, so make sure that you give your bath tub or your shower cubicle a good rinse.

Alas this product failed Mummy Lou's mess test but despite that I would still consider using this product again. It's available directly from Delhicious where 10% of all of their profits go to Stop The Traffic, a charity that is committed to ending human trafficking, and from Fragrance Direct.

As I said earlier the September box contained 6 items instead of the usual 5 but most people were lucky enough to get a 7th item in their box, and it certainly was delicious x 

Godiva Masterpieces Ganache Heart With Belgian Dark Chocolate 

Yes, the final item was a bar of chocolate from internationally renowned Belgian chocolate company Godiva. Whilst milk chocolate is always my go to, when I need a real chocolate hit or an energy boost, dark chocolate is the one.

This was a lovely bar with heart shaped segments. It was a really rich, dark chocolate, with a creamy chocolate ganache filling. Even Mummy Lou who isn't a plain chocolate fan enjoyed the little piece that I gave her. 

Stupidly I threw the packaging away without noting down the size but this is a small, regular sized bar. The larger 83g bar retails between £1.50 and £2 and is available from most major supermarkets. This was a my first Godiva experience and it certainly won't be my last x

Okay final thoughts! Was this the best Glossybox ever? I'll hold my hands up no in my opinion it wasn't - a lot of the items were at a lower price point which as I say was probably the reason for the extra items but the products weren't bad products. A lot of the things weren't very exciting but they are products that the majority of people will use after all who doesn't need toothpaste, hand sanitiser or hair conditioner? If you don't like an item aka the perfume, find someone who does, gift it or even sell it, and don't forget that the Banana Setting Powder is worth more than the cost of the box, so whether you like the items or not the box is definitely value for money.

Subscription boxes like Glossybox are a risk and if you can't accept the fact that you might not always get products that you love in every box, then maybe the concept isn't for you. Am I being fair? or am I being too generous? Let me know your thoughts in the comments x 

If you fancy trying Glossybox for yourself then sign up now via this link to get October's Angel or Devil themed box, which contains one of 2 STYLondon eye shadows palettes. According to my Glossybox account I'm getting the Angel box, which I think means that I'm getting the pink toned palette. It shouldn't be too long before I get it now so I'll hopefully try and get that post up a bit quicker than this one x 

*This Post Contains Both Affiliate And Non Affiliate Links