Saturday, 16 November 2019

Unboxing Pink Parcel - October 2019 Edition - Fall Back Edit*

So after months of teasing us with promises of new ideas and a new box design, October's Pink Parcel finally saw all of those promises come true.

From the very first moment that I saw the mailing bag I could tell that it was all change. Long gone was the flat pink and grey box, instead I received a smaller but deeper and chunkier brown cardboard box, with the Pink Parcel logo embossed on the under side of the lid.The box still opens with a tear off strip but it feels a lot sturdier, and if could potentially be re used for gift or postal packaging, or storage.

The box itself contained the familiar fabric pouch, and 2 grey boxes. Both the pouch and one of the boxes contained sanitary protection. Again I went for the sanitary towel option and again I received 23 of the Bodyform products that I'd selected.

The theme of October's box was Fall and it contained products to keep you looking gorgeous and Autumn ready.

Now as per usual all of the fun goodies were packed under a mountain of pink / red shredded paper in the "Wants" box, but the eagle eyed readers amongst you may have spotted something else that was just a little bit too big to fit into the box

Coconut Lane Tropical Toucan Notebook - RRP £4.50

Returning to their more lifestyle based roots, the first "Wants" item in October's box was a notebook from UK based, home, beauty, and accessories retailer Coconut Lane who are particularly famous in the online community for their #Girlboss range. This tropical toucan design notebook has much of a summer, tropical feel than the autumnal theme of the box, but I love stationery so I'm not complaining.

The soft back notebook contains 36 plain, blank pages, all of which are made from 100% recycled paper which is made from eucalyptus pulp. It's a good size so it would be useful for notes, doodles and just about anything else that you would use a notebook for. This particular notebook retails at £4.50 direct from Coconut Lane. You can also find other items in their beauty range from retailers including ASOS and Beauty Bay.

Laritzy Liquid Beam Multipurpose Liquid Illuminator - Pearl - 3.1g - Full Size - RRP $22

The first item in the "Wants" box itself, was a make up item from a brand called Laritzy. 
Hailing from the other side of the Atlantic, Laritzy are a cruelty free, paraben free, and vegan cosmetic brand, who produce a wide range of make up items.I've tried quite a few products from them now thanks to the odd subscription box including a Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Tidal in the April edition of Pink Parcel, and one of their Dew Pots in Utopia in the March 2019 of Glossybox (You can read my thoughts here and here), and I've got to say I've been very impressed with the things that I've tried.

At first glance I actually thought that this was a lip colour, it comes in the same type of long tube an and it comes with a sponge, doe foot applicator, but in fact it's actually a liquid illuminator highlighter. It can be used just like any other highlighter, for example on the cheek bones or the brow bone, and it can also be used  on its on as a cream eye colour, or you can even mix with a matte eyeshadow to create, a crease less, metallic eyeshadow.

The shade that I received was Pearl, which is described as an icy white packed full of multi dimensional sparkle.

I'm going to be honest and say that as per usual none of my pictures actually do this product justice - it isn't quite as beautiful as the So Susan Highlighting Cream in September's box, but it's pretty close. You really do need bright sunlight, iridescent light or a camera flash to see it's real beauty - I've taken the first picture in natural light, and the second picture with the flash so you can hopefully see the difference that the light makes.

Taken In Natural Light

Taken With The Flash

I love highlighters and this is a nice addition to my collection, and it will be perfect for the party season It's available in several different colour and it's available direct from Laritzy for around $22.

Cougar Eyeshadow Contour Set - 6 Shades Of Nude - 6g Full Size - RRP £12

The next item in the box was a product from another brand that I discovered thanks to subscription boxes, Cougar Beauty. I only have a couple of pieces from them including a liquid lipstick and a face mask, that I received in the May edition of Pink Parcel (read my post here) but so far so good.

Boxed and packaged in a slightly boring, but sturdy, practical and recyclable, clear and black plastic packaging, the compact contains a large round, almost face powder size pan.

The pan contains 6 stripes of cruelty free, shimmery, metallic colour, featuring nudes, coppers, reds, browns, and bronzers. 

The packaging might be a bit dull but the shadows inside are anything but, the pigmentation and depth of colour is amazing on all of the shades. The shadows are silky smooth, and very blendable.

I shot a quick look using some of  a these colours that you can see below. They don't just look and feel good though the wear time is also excellent, being shimmers you do get a tiny bit of fallout, but these shadow easily survived an unusually busy day, and some serious onion chopping!

Another subscription box review and another eyeshadow palette that I really can't get enough of! I would thoroughly recommend this palette - the quality is superb and the shades are simply perfect for this time of year. 

You can normally buy Cougar Beauty from a variety of retailers including Fragrance Direct, but I can't find this particular palette anyway bar Cougar Beauty direct where it retails at £12.

Unwined By Hask Pinot Noir Inspired Repair & Moisturise Deep Conditioner - 50g - Full Size - RRP £3.99

I already have a hair mask from this range from the June 2019 edition of Glossybox which I'm yet to try, but this is actually a different one. From US brand Hask again this mask isn't tested on animals and it's also free from sulfates, parabens, and artificial colours.

As the name would suggest this mask contains wine! It also contains plum and pomegranate extract, and it's designed to smooth, repair and moisturise dry and damaged hair. I haven't managed to try this mask yet because I'm currently testing out some hair products for a review that should be up in a couple of weeks, so I'm popping this particular mask into my massive 'to use' pile and I'll let you know my thoughts in a future empties post. In the meantime if you fancy trying this particular mask for yourself then you can get it in Superdrug for around £3.99

Miss Patisserie Rose Bath Melt - 80g - Full Size - RRP £5

Argh! another bath product! Thankfully I don't seem to get too many bath products in beauty subscription boxes, but there was in both the October edition of Glossybox and the October edition of Pink Parcel - never mind!

This one is a beautifully packaged cupcake shaped bath melt, from vegan friendly brand Miss Patisserie. I received the Rose option which features a lovely natural rose scent, as well as cocoa butter, shea butter and detoxifying salts - super moisturising, it is full of antioxidants, moisturisers and minerals. You can be really indulgent and use the whole thing at once, or you can take it out of the bath after a minute or two, to make it last up to 3 baths.

Unfortunately I don't have a bath so I can't use it myself, so I only took it out of the box to smell it and photograph it, and I will be passing it on to my friend Dawn. This retails at £5 directly from Miss Patisserie.

Baru Milk Chocolate Wrapped Marshmallow - 13.5g

Mmm Chocolate.. Alas though I couldn't eat this yummy treat from Belgian Chocolate brand Baru. because it wasn't suitable for vegetarians due to the gelatine content, so like the good daughter that I am, I passed it on to Mummy Lou.It was basically a marshmallow containing real vanilla bean extract, coated in rich milk chocolate.

According to Mummy Lou herself is was a gorgeous, soft, cloud like marshmallow, but she couldn't taste the marshmallow too well, as the delicious chocolate apparently dominated. She said it was very sweet so you wouldn't be able to eat too many at once but it was a nice treat. These marshmallows retail at €6.45, direct from Baru and at around £6.95 for 9 from Harvey Nichols.

Offblak Generation T Sleep Breezy Camomile & Peach Flavour - 1 x 2.5g Whole Leaf Pyramid Tea Bag 

Finally Pink Parcel gave subscribers another chance to try something from funky tea brand Offblak. I've already talked a lot about Offblak in September's unboxing which you can read here. The tea bag that I received this time round was Sleep Breezy, which has a peach and chamomile flavours. This caffeine free blend contains chamomile, rose hip, apple pieces, and blackberry leaves.

For the first time, I think ever in a Pink Parcel review I've actually managed to try one of drinks properly. Designed to relax you, this blend is perfect to drink before bed. My sleep goes from one extreme to the other so I'm always looking at ways to chill before bed so I thought I'd grab this before any one else did. 

All you do is pop the bag into a mug of boiling water and leave it to brew for around 5 minutes before drinking. The first thing I noticed was the scent this tea has a gorgeous peach scent, you can really taste the peach notes which slightly over powers the greenness of the chamomile, and I also picked up a little bit of citrus from the lemongrass. I'm not always big on herbal and fruit teas, and infusions but I actually really enjoyed this one, the taste was nice and clean and fresh, there was no bitterness and I didn't need to add any sugar or sweetener. I'm definitely considering buying a box of this because, it might just be a coincidence but I seemed to sleep a lot better after drinking it . A box of 12 bags retails at around £4.99 for a one off purchase but there are also several auto delivery and subscription offers available direct from Offblak.

Although two of the items in the box were no good to me I'm still pretty pleased with the October edition of Pink Parcel. I like the new slightly sturdier box, and I was pretty pleased the contents. The stand out for me is obviously the eyeshadow palette, with combines both quality and fabulous seasonal colours. Let me know what you think in the comments and don't forget to check out the Pink Parcel website, to find out more about the box, and of course about how to subscribe.

*This Post Contains Both Affiliate And Non Affiliate Links

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Trimming My Stash - October 2019 Edition - Empties And Mini Reviews*

Right, only two catch up posts to go and then we can finally say goodbye to October x First up October's beauty empties

Elemis Pro Collagen Cleansing Balm - 105g
Kueshi Double Effect Make Up Remover - 100ml
Woo Woo Cranberry Wipes pH Balance For Intimate Use - 12 Wipes
Natura Potato & Parsley Infused Under Eye Mask - 1 x 3g Pair
The Body Shop Vanilla Pumpkin Shower Gel - 250ml

Total - 5 Items 

To be fair after the highs of finishing 11 items in September (read my post here), October was nearly always going to be a disappointing month, but I've got to say that I'm actually not that disappointed. 5 items is still a pretty respectable total, and even if you ignore a few recent buys,  I still have 5 less skincare, and body care items to use up, so I guess it still counts as a win.

1. Elemis Pro Collagen Cleansing Balm - 105g

First up one of my favourite cleansers of all time, from one of my favourite British brands of all time. I am a huge fan of British brand Elemis, and this award winning product is without a doubt one of the best products that they, and believe me they make a lot of fabulous things so that's a pretty high accolade.

This semi solid balm contains a whole load of good for your skin ingredients including mimosa, and rose waxes, starflower oil, elderberry, coconut oil, Shea butter, sweet almond oil, vitamin E, as well as the key ingredient in Elemis Pro Collagen range, Padina Pavonica which is a type of seaweed. It also contains some gorgeous botanicals including orange, clove, eucalyptus, lavandin, mint, and chamomile, which give it a beautiful, if slightly strong, spa like, aromatherapy based scent. 

Massage a tiny bit into dry skin, and the balm melts down into a oil, add a touch of water, and it turns into a milky cream, remove your make up with a warm muslin cloth, or flannel, rinse and dry and your skin is left feeling clean, soft and hydrated.

If you have an oily or combination skin like I do, don't worry this will still work for you, it doesn't leave my skin feeling oily or greasy, in fact it almost seems to help balance the oil production, and help with dry patches. I only use it at night, as I prefer something a bit lighter in the morning, and with the texture, ritual and scent, I think it makes a lovely pre bedtime treat.

As I say the scent can sometimes be a little bit strong for me and I because of the aromatherapy oils I don't use it on my eyes, but other than that it's a fabulous product that I will continue to use, and I already have a pot or two in back up.

This particular size retails at around £44 direct from Elemis, but it's also available on it's own and in sets from various other retailers including Look Fantastic. Feel Unique, Debenhams, John Lewis, and from where I get most of my Elemis products from, QVC UK.

2. Kueshi Double Effect Make Up Remover - 100ml

This was the first of three items, that I received in subscription boxes. It was so long ago now that I can't really remember but I think that this came in a Glossybox.

I can't find too much online about them but I believe that Kueshi are / were a Spanish brand. Containing Aloe Vera and Chamomile this was a dual phase eye make remover comprising of a blue, and a clear liquid. The blue liquid was a gentle, refreshing lotion, and the clear liquid contained oils that were designed to remove even the toughest eye make up. All you do is give the bottle a good shake to combine the two phases, then as usual you apply it to a cotton pad.

I have quite sensitive dry, but watery eyes, and I'm wary about trying new eye make up removers but this actually wasn't bad. It removed everything that I threw at it from notoriously hard to remove mascara and water resistant liner, with no irritation and no rubbing. My one issue was that despite non greasy claim I did find that it left a slightly oily residue on the eyes, that you had to rinse away, other than though it was decent and it did the job.

I can't find this particular product on any UK based websites, and I can only find it on a few European sites such as ekosmetik all be it in a slightly larger size, and slightly different packaging for around €15.99.

3. Woo Woo Cranberry Wipes pH Balance For Intimate Use - 12 Wipes

Next up another subscription box item, and something that I received the July 2019 edition of Pink Parcel. You can read my initial thoughts here, but basically what they were, were intimate wipes, containing Aloe Vera, and cranberry extract. With a lovely fresh, fruity scent they weren't the thickest wipes that I've ever used but I don't particularly mind that because they are biodegradable and flushable.

As I've said before I can take or leave specific intimate products, I wouldn't buy these all the time but these wipes are good for that time of the month, or for when you're on holiday or on the go, and you went to freshen up a bit. This pack of 12 retails at around £2.25 from Superdrug

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

We've reached product number 4, and that was another product that I received in a Pink Parcel. This cooling mask came in the September 2019 edition of Pink Parcel, and you can read my full review here. They did what they promised and cooled and soothed the eye area, my skin felt refreshed, and looked less puffy, and felt more hydrated, and moisturised. A pack of 3 pairs retails at around £5.95 direct from Beauty Pro and from various retailers including Feel Unique.

5. The Body Shop Vanilla Pumpkin Shower Gel - 250ml

Finally an autumnal limited edition from The Body Shop's Vanilla Pumpkin range. Containing Madagascan vanilla extract and pumpkin fragrance, this is a rich and creamy shower gel, that I would personally describe as a shower cream. You only need a tiny amount to produce loads and loads of soft creamy, moisturising bubbles. It leaves my skin feeling soft with a light warm, sweet, vanilla based scent that smells good enough to eat.

I absolutely love this scent and I was fully intending to stock up on it this year but by the time I made it into The Body Shop, a couple of weeks ago, they only had the new festive scents and Vanilla Pumpkin was long gone. A sensible person would have left the shop but old habits die hard, and I ended up picking up a few Juicy Pear products instead, which after such high hopes is the only Christmas limited edition that I actually like this year ho hum! Anyways I have a scraping of Vanilla Pumpkin Body Butter left, and about 2/3 bottle of shower gel remaining which I'm going to really enjoy using, before moving onto some of the older festive limited editions from The Body Shop that I still have in my stash.

So they were my 5 items, despite a couple of beauty buys this month so far, I've already finished a couple of items already in November, so here's hoping that I can punish on over the next two months and finish 2019 Trimming My Stash on a high! Any questions as per usual, leave me a comment and let me know xx 

*This Post Contains Both Affiliate And Non Affiliate Links

Saturday, 9 November 2019

Unboxing Glossybox - October 2019 Edition - Angel Or Devil*

There is nothing more annoying than "a while you were out" card from Royal Mail - I mean I don't go out that often but when I do, I usually return home to a little red card on the doormat. The parcel that I missed on Friday was my November Glossybox, and whilst I'm a little bit annoyed that I haven't been able to have a play with it this weekend - it's given me some time to get October's unboxing out of the way.

The October 2019, sell out edition of Glossybox, came in two different variations that were sent out randomly to subscribers. The options were Angel or Devil, and each box contained basically the same contents only with slight colour, and flavour variations.

Of course I received the Angel box, I mean can you really see me as a devil? No sweet and pure are my middle names ;) The box was predominately pale blue, and it featured a blue eye design, with silver metallic accents, and a halo.

Inside the box the contents was wrapped in white tissue paper, and white shred, which will be really useful come Christmas time

As per usual the box included an information booklet to tell you a little bit more about the contents and of course the theme of the box. The theory behind the Angel box is that an angels beauty never fades, and the contents was designed to make you look and feel divine!

STYLondon Velvet Eyeshadow Palette - Angel - 4.5g - Full Size - RRP £15

The first item was September's sneak peek item, and it was an eyeshadow palette from British brand STYLondon. I've a few things from STYLondon now including a different style of  eyeshadow palette in Eaton Square which I received in the November 2018 edition of Glossybox (You can watch my unboxing video here), a gorgeous lipstick that I got in June's Pink Parcel, and a a face powder that I received in the July edition of Pink Parcel (You can read my thoughts here and here) and I have I've been really impressed with both the quality and performance of everything that I've tried up to now.

As I say STYLondon are a UK company, all of their make up products are mineral based, cruelty free, and paraben free.

The eyeshadow palette that you received depended on the box that you got, so the eyeshadow palette I got was the appropriately named Angel. There isn't really anything special about the the black and clear plastic packaging, it's practical, sturdy and it does the job, don't let the slightly dull packaging fool you though, the shadows inside are more than a little bit special!

Angel features 9  matte, shimmer and almost sparkle and glitter based eyeshadow colours, in a variety of pink based shades, ranging from almost peachy, nudes, to pinks, burgundies and corals. 

Formulated with added vitamins, all of the shadows are smooth, and buttery and they blend literally like a dream. The pigmentation even on the matte shades is excellent, they don't feel chalky or gritty, just soft and creamy

Being as soft as they are you do get a bit of fallout especially on the shimmery, and sparkly shades, but the finish is so worth it, and the wear time was excellent - even on my notoriously oily lids there was very little fading and no creasing. I've done a quick eye look using a few of the shades so you can see just how well they blend. 

Pink eye colours seem to be really on trend at the moment, and even though a bit scared of them, and I'm frightened that I'll look as though I've got conjunctivitis, this palette is so wearable, and the quality is so good it makes experimenting with a new look a piece of cake. I really can't recommend this palette enough, and I'm so pleased that this was the one that I received instead of the slightly safer browns and bronzes in the Devil option. If you fancy trying it for yourself, you can buy it for around £15 directly from STYLondon.

Lord & Berry 20100 Maximatte Lipstick Crayon - #3407 Angel Pink - 1.6g - Full Size - Est. RRP £15

Although I can't find any reference to Lord & Berry, or these pencils on the blog, I do actually own a different shade, Here-and-Now, a coral, red, that I think I must have got in a previous subscription box.

Formulated with vitamins, Lord & Berry's Maximatte formulation promises intensely long lasting colour, and smooth and comfortable application.

Angel or Angelic Pink as Glossybox describe it, is a very pale, almost 60's Brigitte Bardot esq pink. As you can see from the swatch below, it swatches well, nice pigmentation, no problems, put it on the lips though and everything changes.

It didn't feel creamy or soft, it felt dry and it dragged across the lips. The super pale colour accented every line and every crack and imperfection on the lips - not good! The only plus side of the product is that it actually lasted quite a while on the lips. The only way that I will ever wear this again is with a load of gloss or balm on the top, or a base for a similar coloured more hydrating and moisturising lip colour.

I definitely think that the fact that the colour looks so draining on me at the moment has altered my judgement as I definitely don't seem to have the same dry, dragging problem with Here-and-Now, which just seems to be an all around better product.

I can't find this specific shade online but other shades in the Maximatte formula are available from various retailers including directly from Lord & Berry, and Fragrance Direct for around £15.

Bubble T Cosmetics Angel Dust Foaming Bath Powder - 90g - Est. RRP £4.99

Now there are many interpretations of the term Angel Dust, including a pretty decent Faith No More album, but the Angel Dust in the case refers to Bubble t Shimmering Angel Dust Foaming Bath Powder. If you're a long term reader then you'll know that I don't actually have a bath a the moment so I haven't tried this product and I will passing it on to a friend that does.

I think this particular product was something that was exclusive to this kit but you can buy various varieties of bath salts, and bath powders, direct from Bubble t for around £3.99 - £4.99, and from various other retailers including Superdrug, Fragrance Direct, and Look Fantastic.

MCo Beauty Eye Define Crayon Liner - Black - 0.3g - Full Size - RRP £14

Next up another eyeliner, why are subscription boxes so obsessed with eyeliner?? Never mind this is my first product from Australian, cruelty free, and gluten free brand MCo - From what I gather the brand is from the same stable is Model Co hence the similar name.

Packaged in a very Mean Girls esq, pink twist up dispenser, MCo claim that this semi matte eyeliner, has a waterproof, waterline safe formula, that won't smear, budge or flake. 

It's not the blackest, black eyeliner that I've tried but it felt nice and smooth when I swatched it, and the pen itself was nice and easy to control.

Now I'm notoriously untalented and pretty useless when it comes to eyeliner application, and even wearing eyeliner but I actually had a bit of a play with this one and I took some pictures to prove it.

Although the swatch applied quite smoothly on my wrist, I did find it dragged a bit on my slightly crepey eye lids, especially when I applied it over the top of existing make up. I'm not great at applying liner but to be honest I don't think I did too bad a job here, maybe I should have applied it a bit closer to my lashes, but with the slight dragging, I think it's passable.

 As well as application issues, one of the other reasons why I tend to avoid eyeliner is that it doesn't usually wear that well on my oily, hooded, eye lids. Well shock of horrors this one actually stayed on! I had about 30 second to a minute to clean up any mistakes, and then it seemed to set and it stayed put, even during a pretty epic onion chopping session, until I removed it.

I'm not completely converted to the ways of eyeliner just yet, but this was decent enough to make me want to wear it again, after all practise makes perfect! If you fancy trying it, it retails at around £14 directly from MCo.

Que Bella Beauty Illuminating Holographic Peel Off Mask - 10ml - Full Size - RRP £2.49 / $2.49

Something else that you seem to get quite regularly in subscription boxes are face masks, and this particular mask is currently one of the best selling face masks at US retail chain Target. The company que bella are US based, and the brand will be launching in the UK soon, so Glossybox subscribers really had a sneak peek of what is to come.

I haven't had a chance to try this yet but I'm pretty excited about it - it looks gorgeous in the packaging - all sparkly and iridescent and it contains two of my favourite things Jasmine and Violet extracts, and Hyaluronic Acid Salts, and it promises to hydrate, nourish and remove dead skin, to leave the skin dewy and radiant.

I'll let you my thoughts in a future empties post but if want to find out more in the meantime then you will be able to buy it soon from £2.49 direct from que bella.

Whittard Of Chelsea Luxury White Hot Chocolate - 20g Sachet - Est. RRP £2

Glossybox as you know usually contains 5 items but lately subscribers have been receiving the odd extra treat, and October's certainly was a delicious one. My box contained a single serve sachet of Whittard Of Chelsea Luxury White Hot Chocolate.

I love Whittard and this just so happens to be my favourite hot chocolate that they do, there simply isn't enough white hot chocolate around. In keeping with the Angel theme this stuff really is heavenly, mix the contents of the sachet with 200ml warm milk, and you have a mug of sweet, creamy, rich, white, milky heaven (squirty cream and white chocolate buttons are of course options additions but even angels can be naughty at times!)

Glossybox place a value of £2 on this 20g sachet, but the full 350g size tub retails at around £8 directly from Whittards Of Chelsea and from various other retailers - Go on treat yourself, you know you want, I certainly will be ;)

So late it maybe, and despite the Lord & Berry fail, this was another good box from Glossybox. It was pretty make up heavy which I don't mind and my obvious highlight was the eyeshadow palette but all in all it was an excellent value, treat yourself kind of box. You can still get your hands on November's box which contains a full size Kandi Cosmetics Pro Glow Mist so have a click of my link if you would like to find out more x Fingers crossed my November box will be redelivered without a hitch and I can get a review up within the next week or so, in the meantime though I've got a couple more catch up posts from October and then I've got some reviews and more bits and pieces to come next week so make sure you're following my blog so you don't miss anything x 

*This Post Contains Both Affiliate And Non Affiliate Links