Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Glossybox "All I Want" Advent Calendar - Part 2 - Days 13 - 25

Okay this post, like so many over the last 12, or even 24 month is late but as the saying goes better late than never. I've promised you this post a few times over the last few weeks but eventually the starts have aligned, the creeks haven't risen and it's now ready for you to read!

Although Christmas does seem like a lifetime ago, let's take a little look back to those hectic days in the run up to Christmas and of course to the big day itself as I share the contents of days 13 - 25 of the 2018 Glossybox All I Want Advent Calendar.

Day 13 - Karmameju Charcoal Age Defence Konjac Sponge 03 - Balance / Combination Skin - Full Size

First up we had a full size Konjac sponge, from Danish company Karmameju. Made with fibres from the Amorphophallus Konjac plant, and Bamboo Charcoal, this sponge is perfect for oily, combination and hormonal skin, is designed to exfoliate and purify the skin. 

I've used a few different Konjac sponges in the past and I've particularly enjoyed using them for my morning cleanse. You can use them both with and without cleanser, and surprisingly even without cleanser your skin feels super soft, and very clean afterwards. To be honest every time I've used one I've always been really pleased with how clear my skin has looked after a few days use but despite following the instructions thoroughly, they never seem to last very long, they either dry out to much or they just seem to disintegrate and fall apart. I haven't used this one yet but I'm looking forward to giving it a go and fingers crossed I can make it last for more than a week x The full size Karmameju Charcoal Age Defence Konjac Sponge 03 - Balance / Combination Skin has a recommended retail price of £11.44 / €12.

Day 14 - Elgon Refibra Haircare Concentrated Restoring Mask  - 100ml - Full Size

On Day 14 it was a hair mask from professional Italian salon brand, Elgon. Now I do love a hair mask or any hair product come to think of it and this sounds like a good one! Especially formulated for dry, brittle, and unruly hair, this mask containing guarana and glycerin, promises, soft, smooth, full bodies shiny hair. Bring it on is what I say x This is a full size tube and I've seen this same size online retailing at various price points between £6.49 and £13.42.

Day 15 - INC.redible Jelly Shot  - _Ex Revenge - 4.4g - Full Size

Next up, a lip product from Nails Inc's make up line which is now called INC.redible. I've tried a couple of things from the brand so far ( you can read my reviews here and here) and I've been pretty impressed with both the formulations and the overall performance. Whilst the packaging isn't that exciting immediately on opening box number 15, the appearance of this product certainly gave it that wow factor. 

How pretty is that?? This lip product definitely falls into the nearly too pretty to use category but that would be a waste. Formulated with a blend of avocado, vitamin E and rice brand oil, this clear jelly balm, which contains real 24 carat gold flakes, and a pretty little flower, is designed to nourish, moisturise and repair the lips, and to give them a subtle sheen

There has been a bit of trend for balms and lip colours with glitter, gold, and flowers suspended in them and believe me I'm here for it - this is without a doubt one of the prettiest beauty products that I've ever used, but for me that is pretty much where it ends. I'm actually at a bit of a loss as to what it's actually supposed to do. Obviously it's some sort of lip balm, with a sort of gel like texture but it doesn't appear to add any colour to the lips and as yet I've encountered no gold flakes; it does add a bit of a sheen but in my experience it doesn't seem to last that long, and unfortunately it doesn't seem to add that much moisture. It's very pretty to look at and I'm glad I've tried it, but personally looks aren't everything are there are more hydrating lip products on the market still the recommend retail price for the full 4.4g size of INC.redible Jelly Shot  in _Ex Revenge is £8 so price wise this wasn't a bad inclusion.

Day 16 - POP Beauty Pure Pigment - Metallic Copper - 4g - Full Size

On day 16 it was a full size pigment powder from Pop Beauty. Now I've had trouble find these in the UK but they are available for around $4 for Amazon, and from various US retailers.

I used to use a lot of Dazzle Dusts, pigments and loose eyeshadows but in the last few years I've kind of fallen out of love with them, after having a play with this though, I can see myself shopping my loose shadow stash a little bit more in 2019. This is one beautiful pigment, it's in a gorgeous deep, metallic, copper shade. Yes, they can be a bit difficult to apply and of course there is the fallout issue, but this one in particular is so beautiful, and they are so economical to use that they are definitely worth the extra effort. Obviously this makes an amazing eye colour, either used as a shadow or even mixed with a bit of mixing medium as an eyeliner, but I also think that it would make a fabulous lip colour mixed with either a little bit of clear gloss or a some lip balm.

Day 17 - Luxie 522 Dreamcatcher Tapered Highlighter Brush - Full Size

Now I do love my make up brushes and no matter how many that I own, and how many brands that I've seen and lusted after, there are still more beautiful brushes, and beautiful brands that I haven't heard of, and Luxie were one of those.

All of Luxie's brushes are handcrafted, made of high quality, soft synthetic bristles and are hypoallergenic, vegan and cruelty free. This is their tapered highlighter brush that is specifically designed to deposit highlighting powder on the cheekbones, nose, forehead and Cupid's bow.

Despite the fact that my brush head had got a little bit crushed in it calendar box, this brush was a pleasure to use, I've used it alongside the HUDA Beauty palette (keep on reading ;) and a few other cheek, and highlighter powders in my collection, and I've been really impressed with how well it's performed. The bristle are lovely and soft, yet dense and it's the perfect shape to get into the contours of your cheeks so you could use it as a general cheek and contour brush, as well as a highlighting brush. This particular brush is from Luxie's limited edition Dreamcatcher range, which means that it looks fab as well with a periwinkle blue handle, and a rose gold ferrule. Retailing at around £19 this isn't the cheapest brush but I think it well worth and again it's a great value inclusion in the calendar.

Day 18 - Lollipops Fluid Glowy Liquid Highlighter - 10ml- Travel Size

One of the things that I love about beauty boxes and of course beauty advent calendars is that they give you the chance to try new things and new and unusual brands, and seeing as Glossybox is an international brand you do got a lot of overseas brands maybe you haven't heard of before.

Case in point day 18 of the calendar and it's a make up product from French Parisian brand Lollipops. Fluid Glowy is a gorgeous paraben and cruelty free highlighter. I do love a highlighter and there were a few in this calendar, in different formulations and textures, and this one has a creamy, liquid consistency. It's in a gorgeous warm gold colour, that will work equally will in the summer months, as it will in these colder months. This one is perfect as a cheek highlighter but I also think that it would make a lovely brow highlight, and a lovely liquid eye colour. A nice versatile product, and the travel size means that it's great for your handbag or for holidays. Again not easy to get hold of in the UK but it retails for around €4.

Day 19 - Crabtree & Evelyn Rosewater & Pink Peppercorn Hand Therapy - 25ml - Travel Size 

Now I don't know about you but when the weather turns cold you can really see it in my hands, my fingers look red, my hands look and feel dry, and my cuticles feel sore and peel, not nice! Hence I'm a prolific cuticle oil, and hand cream user. I normally have a couple of tubes on the go at once, and this one went straight into use.

Made with macadamia seed oil, shea butter, glycerine, ceramides, and rosewater, this cream has a thick and creamy feel but it actually absorbs really quickly leaving the skin super soft, and protected. I've really enjoyed using this one and I've fallen in love with the scent - a soft rose aroma with a warm and spicy hit. I have a load of hand cream to use up but I can already that this one is a potential repurchase. Because you need so little this is a very generous travel size which retails at around £8.

Day 20 - Steve Laurant Lip Gloss - Eggplant - 3.2g - Full Size

On Day 20 Glossybox gave to me a Steve Laurant Lip Gloss, or should that be Steve Lavrant as my tube says, I'm not saying that's why it's in the calendar, but having a misspelling on the packaging would make it quite hard to sell, or am I just being cynical?

Anyways thanks to various beauty boxes I've tried a few products from Steve Laurant and at the risk of repeating myself I've been fairly impressed. Steve Laurant seems to be one of those brands that you only ever seem to see in the UK in beauty subscription boxes, but apparently it's a US based luxury make up brand that only uses high end cruelty free ingredients.

Packaged in an eye catching tube with a rose gold toned lid, and sponge doe foot applicator, this lipgloss is apparently a hybrid gel, oil mix that moisturises and hydrates that lips and provides highly pigmented long lasting colour in a lightweight formulation
gorgeous berry red - 

With a slight coconut, the formula does feel quite moisturising, and unlike a lot of lip glosses it didn't feel that sticky. Eggplant is a very rich, dark berry red, the pigmentation is superb but personally for me it looked a little bit too much when you applied it straight out of the tube. Given the fact that it was so lightweight, and moisturising, it did have a tendency to travel out of the lip line, and as a result it was hard to maintain that perfect deep berry finish. I've worn this a few times though, and how I've got round it, is to blot it down slightly which gives you a much more wearable, long lasting, pink, berry stain with just a hint of gloss. This is the shade that I'm wearing in my December Pink Parcel video which you can watch here x This is a full sized product and it has retail price of around $22.

Day 21 - PIXI By Petra Fresh Face Blush - Beach Rose - 4.5g - Mini

If you're a fan of cheek products then I think that this calendar will have been right up your street - I love highlighters and blushers so I was really pleased to find this PIXI blush in box number 21.

I've tried a few things from PIXI already (including a few bits from last years look fantastic advent that I still need to review - whoops!) and although a few of the lip things have been a bit hit and miss, the skin care, eyeshadow, and cheeks products that I've tried so far have definitely been on point so I had high for this blusher and I wasn't disappointed.

Containing natural minerals, Vitamin E and mica, this blush is gorgeous neutral, brown toned peach, it feels silky smooth and the pigmentation is excellent. It's a good neutral shade and I think that the colour would work on a lot of skin tones. At this time of year it's just a touch too dark for me so I've just been applying it very lightly but come the summer I can see myself wearing this an awful lot.
I have had a bit of trouble finding this shade anywhere else bar directly from PIXI, I'm not sure if it is the same size that they are selling but they describe it as a mini and sell it around £6, where as Glossybox value this size and shade at £8.80. What is the correct price? I have no idea!

Day 22 - Zelens Transformer Instant Renewal Mask - 10ml - Travel Size 

Next up a travel size product from top, scientific, skincare brand Zelens, I haven't tried anything from the brand before but this sounds like an interesting starting point.

It's basically a face mask that promises to hydrate, smooth and firm the complexion, leading to noticeable younger looking skin. It contains sesame protein which is designed to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, hyaluronic acid to increase skin elasticity and erase fine lines, a blend of Vitamin C, yeast extract and marine glycogen to regenerate skin, as well as magnesium, brown sea algae, enzymes, and lactobionic acid.

Lots of ingredients and lots of science and a high price tag to match, the full 50ml size retails at £100, so if you do the maths, this 10ml travel size retails at £19, still a lot of money for such a small tube but a good to try a high end product.
Day 23 - Eyeko London Fat Eye Stick - Satin  - 4g - Full Size

Now I'm the first to admit that I have a love hate relationship with Eyeko, I remember them in the first incarnation, slightly manga inspired and super cheap, then almost overnight the prices flew up and they adopted a more mid to higher end image. I haven't bought anything from them since then but I've acquired quite a few of their products from beauty boxes, and as magazine freebies - well I guess that's one way to get your products known! 

Anyways I've tried a few of their products now but I've never tried one of these shadow sticks before. I do love the convenience and ease of a shadow stick so I couldn't wait to give this one a go. The colour Satin is beautiful silvery, taupe shade, that you could literally wear every day, or you could add some lashes and liner for an evening look, super versatile and wearable. Love the colour but unfortunately that pretty much the only thing that I loved.

The pen itself is quite chunky so if you're applying it straight from the tube it has a tendency to where you don't want it to, so if you want perfection, you need to have a cotton bud at the ready for touch ups. I can deal with that but what I had real issues with was the wear time, I have quite oily eye lids and as result it faded quite quickly and after a few hours it had almost completely disappeared :( I'm not giving up with this yet though, the colour is really me, and I going to try and use it over a eyeshadow base, or even as a base for powder shadows. I love the colour so I'm really hoping I can make it work. The full size eyeshadow stick is cruelty free and has a retail price of £12.

Day 24 - Mitchell And Peach - Fine Radiance Face Oil - 20ml - Full Size

Despite now being in my early 40's I still have quite oily skin, I can deal with that though, I don't have too many wrinkles and fine lines, and dry patches thankfully are few and far between. I know that won't last for ever though, so I'm starting to introduce a few anti ageing products into my regime. Something that I was always quite scared of were facial oils. It's a common belief that you shouldn't use facial oils if your skin is oily, rubbish, you need to find the right oils for you and when you do you won't believe the difference in the feel and texture of your skin.

That's why I was delighted to see this beautiful facial oil from British brand Mitchell And Peach in box number 24. Designed to leave the skin feeling plumper, firmer, and glowing with radiance, it contains cobnut oil, which contains vitamin E and B, as well as apricot kernel oil, coconut oil and wheat germ oil. It is scented with Mitchell & Peach's own Flora 1 natural fragrance blend containing rose, ylang ylang and lavender.

I haven't managed to try this on my face yet but I did try a little bit on the back of my hand, the oil itself is quite runny so it was easy to massage into the skin, it absorbed really quickly, and the scent was beautiful, you could really smell the essential especially the lavender but it wasn't too strong or too overpowering. This is a full sized bottle and has a retail price of £40.
    Day 25 - HUDA Beauty Winter Highlighter Palette - Winter Solstice Edition

    At last the big one! When I was little I definitely don't remember advent calendars going up to day 25, but hey I'm not complaining. When I first received the press release about this calendar, this was the clincher and this was the reason why I decided to go for the Glossybox calendar, what was it?  a full size highlighting palette from one of the brands of the moment HUDA Beauty of course!

    Now I am going to be honest with you this palette was a limited edition and as a result it's no longer that easy to get your hands on - is that why it was in the box? I don't know but in the interests of fairness I thought it was worth mentioned. Now I'm quite new to HUDA Beauty and before receiving November's Glossybox (click here to watch the unboxing) I hasn't actually tried anything from the brand. Like most beauty lovers though I'd lusted after the entire range for the longest time and when I win the lottery this weekend (haha) my first purchases will definitely be Huda Kattan's rose gold, and nude palettes! drool! then again though I love all of her highlighter palettes too so maybe a few of them? Hell I guess if I win the lottery I can buy it all!                                                                                 

    As I say this highlighter palette was a limited edition but as a relative newbie to the range it gave me a good opportunity to get a feel for it, to try some of the textures, and to see if the brand really lives up to the hype.

    The palette contains four good size highlighting shades in two different formulations. Frosted Kiss is in a cream formulation, and can either be used alone, as a pale pink / champagne cream highlighter or as a base colour to intensify the other powder shades. Arctic Glow is probably the most left field of the shades, it's a beautiful iridescent lilac, blue coloured powder. Although it looks a touch green in the picture Northern Lights is in fact a beautiful gold, and Winter Rose is a beautiful shimmery pink, coral, with copper and rose gold undertones. I've taken the swatches in both natural light and with the flash so you can the full effect and how the shades can look in different lighting conditions.
    Frosted Kiss (Left) And Arctic Glow (Right) Taken In Natural Light 

    And Frosted Kiss And Arctic Glow Taken With Flash

    Northern Lights (Left) And Winter Rose (Right) Taken In Natural Light

    And Northern Lights And Winter Rose Taken With Flash

    The creamy product Frosted Kiss, feels lovely and smooth and creamy to the touch but not too oily or greasy, it gives the skin a lovely sheen when you wear it on its own. All of the powder shades are silky smooth, and buttery and have an almost creamy feel. On my skin tone Frosted Kiss, Artic Glow and Northern Lights all make fabulous highlight shades, but you could easily use them as eye colours and for highlighting different parts of the face such as the brow bone, where as Winter Rose on the other hand would made a fabulous shimmery blush on my pale pink toned skin.
    As I say this was my first opportunity to have a proper play with some cream and powder textures from HUDA beauty and I have to say I'm really impressed, the pigmentation and the effects are superb and everything feels so soft and dreamy, I'm now even more convinced than I ever was that I need some more products from the HUDA Beauty line. The stated retail price for the HUDA Beauty Winter Highlighter Palette - Winter Solstice Edition is £40.
    So they you have it - days 13 -25 of the Glossybox All I Want Advent Calendar, you can also read days 1 - 12 here if you haven't already x What's the verdict then? Well by and large I'm pretty pleased, I will use the majority of products, and the ones that I won't I can easily pass on. Although Glossybox's pricing on some items was questionable after doing my research the value definitely seemed to be there. Obviously there were a few big brand, high end items that stood out but there were quite a few smaller items and of course there were a few lesser known brands in there but the products and quality seemed decent and I've said before I love trying new things and new brands.so I definitely had no complaints. Like beauty boxes, beauty advent calendars can be hit and miss, if you want full sizes, high end brands, and big names, then the likelihood is that you will always be disappointed no how much you spend on a box or a calendar, if you're like me though and you don't mind taking the odd risk and you don't mind the odd travel size and you love trying new things. and new brands then you'll be fine and you'll look forward to and be pretty happy with every box - At the end of the day you pays your money, you makes your choice. I love the surprise of a beauty advent calendar and I'm going to try and get another one this year. What are your thoughts on beauty advents?  and have you tried any of the product that I've talked about in this post? Let me know in the comments and don't forget from this week I'll now be doing my regular beauty box unboxings right here on the blog, starting later this week with the January edition of Glossybox UK. You can find out more about Glossybox here
    *Post Contains Affiliate And Non Affiliate Links

Friday, 11 January 2019

And Then There Were Two...

I said in one of my previous posts (you can read it here) that things tend to happen in threes, well that statement has certainly come back to haunt me. After a broken phone, and a broken tooth I asked the questions what else could go wrong so early in the year, well how about you throw a broken heart into the mix as well.

Jake, my chubby, stripy, spotty, soft, and lovable tabby - if you followed me on Twitter for a while, then you'll know that for the last few years my beautiful boy has had a few health problems which every now and then need a little bit of surgical intervention. If you're a pet owner then you'll know that, it can be pretty stressful when your fluff ball is unwell but with this one he always seemed to come out the other side as right as rain and clamouring for cuddles and food, so when he had to go to the vets yesterday for the usual procedure we weren't any more worried then normal. We left him at the surgery and we were told to ring up after 4 if we hadn't heard anything, as I say we weren't too worried so we just got on with our day, I did some editing and early in the afternoon, Mummy Lou went to the hairdressers, she'd barely been back in the house 5 minutes and the phone rang..

To put it bluntly when they'd sedated him for his surgery Jake's breathing hadn't been right, so they examined him and then gave him a scan and found that his lungs were full of fluid, and there was a large tumour in his chest. We then had to make the hardest decision that a pet owner has to make, but in the end there wasn't really a choice, draining his lungs would have given him a week at most, and ultimately he may have ended up being in pain, so we made the decision to let him slip away peacefully and without pain.

To say our hearts are broken is an understatement, and at the moment the 11 and a half years that we spent with him seems nowhere near long enough, he was a beautiful boy to look at his marking were symmetrical, and perfect, and his personality was damn near perfect too, he was a touch stubborn, be he loved strokes, snuggles, and snuffles but his real love wasn't us it was food, from luncheon meat, to sausages to chicken you name it and he would eat it, and he would steal it (that's why we have child locks on our fridge!)

The last few years with him were hard at times (and dare I say it a bit smelly) and I can't say I didn't always fear the worst every time he went to the vets but the fact that the tumour wasn't in any way related to the health problems that he'd been having, makes it a little bit more unexpected. but at the same time just as painful.

Animals are perceptive beings - from the minute the phone rang it was almost as if these two knew that something was wrong, in a strange way I think they realised that he'd gone but they're still wandering around the house looking lost, almost as if they're looking for him. I'm sure they will both be a great comfort to both each other though, and us in the weeks and months ahead.

So many people say that they're just animals but they're not- they really do become part of the family and yesterday I lost a little part of mine and a little bit of my heart too - Rest in peace Jake xxx

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

An Announcement On My You Tube Future, And An Unboxing Video

Next month my blog celebrates it's 12th birthday - sometimes it's hard to believe that I've been blogging for so long, I've seen some many amazing bloggers come and go in that time, but some how I've managed to keep at it and stick it out.

It hasn't always been an easy ride, in the last few years especially I've found it hard to stay motivated, and sometimes I've started to wonder if it's all worth while. Life and my health really have started to get in the way at times, and my blog has definitely suffered, posting has been sporadic at best and as a result, my blog hasn't grown in quite the way that I wanted it to. It's a vicious circle I guess, you don't post, you don't get views, you miss out on opportunities and you feel as though you've let people down, and as result you wonder if it's all worthwhile, and if it's worth ploughing energy that you don't really have into something that's on a downhill slide, so you don't post, and the circle continues.

The easiest option would be to give it up, but I don't want to do that, I've worked too damn hard to get as far as I have, and unlike a lot of people who've say they've fallen out of love with writing, I haven't, I still enjoy writing, using my brain a bit, and the whole blogging process, I want to keep going and despite the likelihood that life is still going to get in the way, in 2019 I want to be a better blogger and I want to push my blog on, like I know that I can. In order to do that though, I'm going to have to make some sacrifices, and unfortunately one of them is going to be my You Tube channel.

For 9 years now, I've regularly posted videos to my You Tube channel, I've posted everything from cat videos, to holiday snapshots, to unboxing's and hauls, and it's something that I've really enjoyed doing. Despite the odd nasty comment, I've really found that it's boosted my confidence, and it's given me another way to express myself. For whatever reason though my channel never really hit the heights that I wanted it too, and I found it incredibly difficult to grow any sort of following on You Tube, despite my own perceived failings in that sense though, I achieved enough views to earn a little bit of money from my videos, which was an added incentive to keep at it. Alas like so many small You Tubers policy changes meant that I lost the ability to monetise my videos, I wasn't earning a lot by any means but it as I say it gave me a reason to continue; Around the same time coincidental or not my views dropped like a stone and any form of interaction pretty much dried up.

I've gave it the benefit of the doubt for quite a few months now and I've kept at it, but given the time and the energy (that I don't really have) that it takes me to film, edit and upload even a short video, I've came to the conclusion that I could put both my time and my energy to better use. So after 9 years, I've decided at least in the short term to call it quits on You Tube. I've given it my best shot but at the end of the day I think the odds were always against me. I won't be deleting my You Tube channel so by all means stay subscribed and watch a few of my videos if you haven't already but for the foreseeable future I won't be posting any new videos.

So now that my You Tube channel is officially on hold, hopefully now I can give my blog all the love, time, attention and energy that it deserves. A lot of the content that I produced for my You Tube channel such as favourites videos, and unboxings will translate pretty well into blog posts, so you can look forward to lots of new posts and different types of content, including some unboxing posts, the first of which should be live next week x In the meantime though don't forget to watch my You Tube back catalogue, and please have a little watch of my last video where I'm unboxing the December 2018 edition of Pink Parcel x You can watch below or via this link x

Thank you as per usual for watching, reading and for all your support x

Monday, 7 January 2019

Trimming My Stash - December 2018 Edition - Empties, Mini Reviews, A 2018 Round Up And A Life Update

Since this is my first post of 2019, I'd like to start it off by wishing you all a very Happy New Year x I had originally intended to keep on posting right through the Christmas and New Year holiday, but I changed my plans slightly and decided to take a bit of extra time out, for me and mine, and do you know what? I'm glad I did! Coping with chronic illness at the best of times is a struggle, but at Christmas time, that struggle seems to be amped right up, and even though I didn't do a lot of extra work or socialising by some peoples standards, by Boxing Day all I wanted was my bed, so I took a few unplanned days off to recharge my batteries enough to enjoy a bit of extra rest and a bit of extra family time.

I'm not a fan of going out on New Years Eve, it's hard when you can't drink much, and you don't have the energy to stand or dance all night, so I saw 2019 in, in front of the TV, in my PJ's with Mummy Lou, some fizz and some nibbles - simple pleasures! Despite the usual optimism at midnight, 2019 hasn't actually started off that well if I'm being honest - case in point, 2 days into the new year, and thanks to a jar of marmalade I managed to shatter my iPhone screen in several dozen pieces! My poor phone didn't look pretty at all and within a couple of seconds it became pretty much useless. The obvious option was to get it fixed but after being blessed with some Christmas money, and being able to upgrade my mobile phone contract, I took the plunge and got myself a shiny new iPhone X. It has a few quirks that I'm not quite used to yet but I'm getting there and I'm slowly falling in love with an inanimate object! Is that wrong? LOL probably but the battery lasts longer, everything seems quicker, and the camera is well on point, oh and I even managed to sell on my poor little 6S, so bar my bank balance being a little depleted, and a couple of stressful moments, I dealt with it and moved on.

I wish I could say the same thing about my poor little tooth though - For a change I had a really productive day on Friday I took some photos, did some editing, and sorted out the music on my new phone, by the time it got to 4pm though I was a bit tired so in true spoonie style I went for a quick Nana nap, or should that be a spoonie siesta? You know the story though my hours rest turned into a six and a half hour, full on sleep, I woke up about quarter to 12 at night, and I was hungry. I'd missed dinner, no problem though, we have still have plenty of food leftover from the holidays so I made myself a cheese sandwich and had a few posh crisps on the side. All good, good sandwich, good crisps, but then suddenly it all went wrong! I put a couple of crisps in my mouth and crunch I bit down on something hard, it felt like cat litter, it gets everywhere, but how did it get in my crisps? - I'll spare you the graphic details but it wasn't actually cat litter it was much worse than that, I'd taken a chunk out of one of my bottom teeth - sob - I care for my teeth, I do everything I'm supposed to, and then this happens - one of the perils of taking medication that leaves your eyes and mouth as dry as the Sahara Desert, can be dental problems - woohoo! Thankfully at the moment it doesn't really hurt bar a bit of irritation where the jagged edge is scraping my cheek and tongue, but obviously I'm going to have to be really careful about what I eat until I can see my dentist on Wednesday, so no nuts or toffees for me, and lots of gentle brushing, water flossing, and antibacterial mouthwash - oh the joys! -

So there we go, two things that have gone wrong already in 2019; They say that things come in 3's so can the third thing, if and when it comes, be equally minor and relatively easy to deal with, and then please can the year get better from then? I certainly hope so! 2018 wasn't the best of years for me for a lot of reasons but I came out of it a stronger, and hopefully a better person, and hopefully that will put me in good stead for whatever 2019 has to offer. I'm not big on resolutions, maybe because I'm not big on failing, but probably more so, I don't always feel that you should change who you are. Like my new diary suggest I don't really want to change the essence of who I am because the date on a calendar changes, I just want to be the best person that I can and do things for me and not for anyone else. What does that mean? well it basically means that you aren't going to get any life changing or world changing new years resolutions from me in 2019, I'm just going to try and make a few small changes to make my life easier, and hopefully even better. I am going to talk about a few changes that I'm going to make that may impact the blog in my next post, but other than that it's just the usual aims, and goals - to try and concentrate on the important things and the important people, try to save a bit of money and think about what I buy a bit more, and of course to try and be a bit more organised.

I seem to say the same thing pretty much every year but I'm hoping that 2019 will be the year that I wear more, and use more, and buy less. I'm already planning a huge clothing and accessory purge, and I am of course going to keep on tackling a significantly reduced beauty mountain. I didn't make a what I got for Christmas video this year but I was really blessed and received some lovely things (check out my Instagram if you want to see some of the things that I got x). Compared to previous years though I didn't get that many beauty products, I got quite a few nail polishes, and a few make up kits, but I didn't get a lot of skin care or body care bits, and since I've avoided the sales, I haven't added to my stash too much over the festive period, and since I'm only going to try and buy what I need in 2019, I don't intend to add too much more to it over the next 12 months or so. It therefore goes without saying that Trimming My Stash will be an ongoing thing in 2019, but before we get started and focus on the here and now, lets take a little look back and see what I managed to finish in December 2018..

Lush Snow Fairy Body Conditioner - 100g
Skin Republic X Olivia Buckland Prep + Glow Face Mask Sheet - 25ml - 1 x Sheet Mask
Superdrug Nourishing Nail Polish Remover - 250ml
The Body 
Shop Merry Cranberry Bath & Shower Gel - 250ml
NIVEA Caring Shower Gel Love Sunshine - 250ml
Primark PS Cuticle Oil
Primark PS... Micellar Facial Cleansing Wipes x 25 Wipes

Total - 7 Items 

Well I ended the year by finishing a pretty solid 7 items, which seems to be a little bit better than my average monthly performance. I finished a nice assortment of items including lots of body care, products and a few skincare items, a couple of new things, and a couple of old favourites. In fact the only thing that would have made it better would have been to finish a make up item or two - pretty much the story of my year - I've managed to finish loads of everything else but hardly any make up, so that's definitely an area I need to focus on in 2019.

1. Lush Snow Fairy Body Conditioner - 100g

Ah Snow Fairy, would Christmas really be Christmas without that sweet bubblegum, candy floss like scent - I don't think so. Now you're probably familiar with the original Snow Fairy shower cream but have you tried this? Originally released in 2016, Snow Fairy Body Conditioner almost resembles pink blancmange, it's has a creamy buttery texture, and it contains organic cocoa, mango and avocado butters, and almond and jojoba oils as well as a smattering of iridescent shimmer.

Now despite the suggestion that this is a body moisturiser, Lush actually promote this as a shower product and they advise that you smooth a layer of the cream all over your body before rinsing it off in the bath or shower. As well as cleansing the skin it gives it a much bigger moisture boost than just using a conventional shower product, and because it's so creamy it's also brilliant to shave with. It is a really indulgent shower product but it does seem a bit of a waste to just wash it off, so what I and a lot of other Lushies tend to do it to use a small amount either as a body moisturiser, or to add a bit of shimmer to the skin. It takes a little while to absorb but it leaves the skin feel really smooth and deliciously scented.

I think that this is a lovely product but I think you have a tendency to overuse it so it doesn't seem to last that long. That said if you love Snow Fairy and you want a really indulgent and pampering product, and you want to fully immerse yourself in that sugary sweet scent then this is the product for you. Alas I did manage to get any more of this, this Christmas but I do have a large bottle of Snow Fairy to indulge all of my pick 'n' mix and candy floss fantasies in 2019 without all of the calories and the sugar.

2. Skin Republic X Olivia Buckland Prep + Glow Face Mask Sheet - 25ml - 1 x Sheet Mask

Now when I received this in November's Pink Parcel I openly admitted that I had no idea who Olivia Buckland is - what can I say I'm not a fan of Love Island or reality TV in general, and whilst I still don't know much about her what I can say is that this is without a doubt one of the nicest sheet masks that I've ever used!

High praise from moi! but just why did I like this so much well, for a start it did exactly what it promised - it promised me bright, hydrated and flawless skin and that's exactly what I got! This spun lace / paper feel mask contains plumping collagen, pomegranate extract and hydrating hyaluronic acid.

The first thing I noticed when I took the mask out of the packet was just how wet it was, it wasn't watery wet though, it felt thicker then that and almost slightly gel like. After doing my best Phantom Of The Opera impression for around 15 minute I removed the mask to find a layer of almost serum like liquid on my face. It was pretty easy to massage into the skin though and it didn't take too long to absorb. In fact there was so much extra liquid left over both on the mask itself and in the packet that I massaged the excess over my neck, decolletage, and even on my hands. Once it had absorbed my skin looked brighter, and felt smoother, plumper, and crammed full of moisture without feeling oily. I've tried quite a few sheet masks now and this is before the best I've tried in terms of feel and in terms of noticeable results. It may be a coincidence but in the days after I'd used it a few people commented on just how clear my skin looked, and how well rested I looked, despite the fact that I certainly didn't feel it! It's not the cheapest mask at £5.49 for one application but I was so pleased with the results that I'm definitely considering buying this one again, if you fancy giving it ago yourself, you can get it in Superdrug.

3. Superdrug Nourishing Nail Polish Remover - 250ml

Now nail polish remover isn't the most exciting of beauty products, but if you love your nail polish as much as I do it's an essential x It's acetone free, it's not drying on the nails, it doesn't smell horrible, it's cheap and it works, in fact I love it so much that I actually class it as one of my holy grail products - you can find out exactly why I love it so much in this post from 2011! The product is still exactly the same and it's still just £1.39 for 250ml - what is not to love?
4. The Body Shop Merry Cranberry Bath & Shower Gel - 250ml

Right I have no idea how old this product is but I'm sad to have finished - Every year I look forward to the Christmas collections from The Body Shop, and every year I pray that there will be something apple scented and something cranberry scented - in 2018 none of the scents made an appearance so for the first time in many, many years I didn't buy anything festive from The Body Shop. To be fair I didn't need anything but still it was a slightly strange feeling. Merry Cranberry was one of my favourite festive scents in recent (or maybe not so recent) years, the sweet, tart fruity scent was a delight to the senses and this was a shower gel that I really enjoyed using - Something makes me thing I have a few more cranberry inspired bottles tucked away so I'm going to dig those out and enjoy using them, and again I live in hope that 2019 will see the return of some of my favourite festive scents from The Body Shop 

5. NIVEA Caring Shower Gel Love Sunshine - 250ml*

From something old to something a lot more recent, and this summer scented shower gel from NIVEA. I was sent this product last summer to try and it really was summer in a bottle x You can read my full review here

6. Primark PS Cuticle Oil - 10ml

Yawn, you're probably sick of hearing about this stuff - I seem to have talked about in pretty much every other Trimming My Stash post in 2017 and 2018. Briefly it's cheap, and it works wonders, for just £1 a bottle it's a skin and nail saviour at this time of year buy it you will not be disappointed!!

7. Primark PS... Micellar Facial Cleansing Wipes x 25 Wipes

Since I bought these Primark's face wipe range has been completely overhauled and repackaged so I honestly don't know if these wipes are still in existence. I think I picked these up once when I couldn't get the tea tree ones, and I have to say they weren't half bad - Yes I know cleansing wipes aren't good for you but in an emergency, be that a real one or laziness these were decent, they weren't quite wet enough for me but they removed make up, and grime without leaving the skin red or dry or irritated - you can't ask for anymore than that.
So all in all, not too bad an end to 2018, but how did I do over the course of the whole year? and just how many beauty products did I manage to finish? Well let's see...

January - 4 Items
February - 6 Items
March - 6 Items
April - 5 Items
May - 11 Items
June - 4 Items
July - 3 Items
August - 6 Items
September - 7 Items
October - 10 Items
November - 3 Items
December - 7 Items

Total - 72 Items 

Over the course of 2018, I managed to finish 72 beauty products, which isn't too bad. Although I'm a long way off matching 2016's total of 91, I managed to finish 2 items more than I did in 2017, so any improvement has to be seen as a win. I'm not resting on my laurels though, this is an ongoing thing, and like everything else I'm learning a few lessons on the way. The first one of course being, why on earth did I buy so much stuff in the first place!!! Whether I was trying to keeping up with Jones's or other bloggers, or I thought that I was getting a bargain, or was it because I needed a little treat to cheer myself up? Who knows? It's taken a while but I've definitely realised that I either need to be a little bit more selective in my shopping, or I need to cut down on the shopping thing altogether - hmmm a tough one that but as needs and bathroom cupboards must I guess - so for 2019 my mantra is buy less, and wear and use more x Again I'll be documenting all my trimming my stash ups and downs for you right here on my blog and if you're doing something similar I'd love to hear why, what your motivations are ? and any hints, tips or suggestions that you have for making 2019 the best year yet. I'd also love to hear from you if you're are doing Project 10 Pan this year, I've been debating for quite some time over whether or not to do it again, and I'm starting to think that this that it may be time x Let me know your thoughts, and I will see you soon with a video and a little announcement,  and a very late post sharing days 13 - 25 of the Glossybox All I Want Advent Calendar x 

*Press Sample