Sunday 16 December 2018

Glossybox "All I Want" Advent Calendar - Part 1 - Days 1 - 12

Now I know that some people don't like them but personally I love a luxury advent calendar. I've always had an advent calendar ever since was a child, and even though we've now come a long way since the cardboard and glitter calendars of my childhood, opening a box or a door every morning in the run up to Christmas still gives me that hint of childhood excitement.

We're well advented out in the house, between 2 people and 3 cats, we seem to have acquired 6 advent calendars. The cats have one with kitty heart shaped treats inside, my mum has a Lindt chocolate one, and a NEXT home fragrance calendar, and somehow I've ended up with 3. I have a traditional Cadbury's one, a lovely Moo Free chocolate one which was a gift from a friends parents and I also have a luxury beauty advent calendar, which this year is from Glossybox.

Pretty much every brand and store this seemed to be doing their own advent calendar this year, and there were so many that I could have chosen or gone for, but after receiving a press release, I decided to go for the Glossybox UK All I Want Advent Calendar. This to the best of my knowledge is Glossybox UK's first advent calendar, and as expected it proved to be extremely successful and it did in fact sell out. I'm super grateful that Mummy Lou ordered it for me as part of my Christmas present, the retail price was originally £99 for non subscribers, but subscribers like me got the chance to pre order it for just £75. I also had some Glossy Credits which you could redeem against it, so we paid a little bit less in the end.

The designs itself is beautiful, wrapped in a pink ribbon, it's predominately in shades of pink, rose gold, and grey. Open the door and you're greeted with 24 different sized boxes all filled with goodies and shred, the boxes themselves are stacked on 4 little shelves within the box. That's not all though adhered to the inside of the left hand door is another box, with a 25 on it which is just the icing on the cake in my opinion, it's really nice to have an extra gift on Christmas Day itself.

Unlike the calendar that I got last year, this one probably isn't quite as reusable, but I'm definitely going to think of a way to reuse it, obviously you could refill it as it is, or you can use the individual boxes either for gift wrapping or for storing decorations. I'm definitely going to try and resuse it even if I just put something on the little shelves, we'll see, but it's definitely too pretty to just recycle.

Even though I had a few hints (okay a full contents list!) it's still exciting opening the boxes every morning and seeing what's inside! I've been posting day by day pics on Instagram but like in previous years I thought I'd share some initial impressions about the products inside on the blog, some of them will be full reviews with swatches and so on and with some products I'll just be telling you about more about what it is, what does, and an idea of the retail price so you make your own mind up as to whether or this calendar was worth the money - so a little but here are days 1 - 12.

Day 1 - NARS Velvet Lip Glide - 3.4ml - Immoral

Ah, NARS, who doesn't love a bit of NARS. They're one of those brands that I would happily buy everything from, providing I had unlimited funds that is,  I love their products, and thanks to the Glossbox All I Want Advent Calendar I've been able to try another one.

Lip colours are the one area where NARS and I haven't really got on, but this one thankfully was a winner. NARS Velvet Lip Glide is the perfect mix of a lipstick and a gloss, they apply with the smoothness of a gloss but with the intensity and pigmentation of a lipstick. Containing waterlily and white tea they are moisturising on the lips and have a smooth satin to semi matte finish.

Immoral is a beautiful creamy, cool fuchsia pink shade, it's extremely pigmented and it feels smooth and nourishing on the lips. I am officially in love with both this colour and this formulation. You can see a quick pic of it below and I am also wearing it in upcoming December 2018 Glossybox Unboxing Video x The one pity is that this shade appears to be a limited edition and quite hard to find, if you're in the USA though you can be this shade in this deluxe mini size as part of duo for around $16. Glossybox estimate this deluxe mini size at around £13.72 - a full 5.7ml Velvet Lip Glide retails at around £23. Although it might be quite difficult to get your hands on this particular shade, there are lots and lots of other shades to try, and I'm definitely going to be splashing out on a few more of these in the future x

Day 2 - Nip + Fab Hydrate Dragon's Blood Fix Plumping Serum - 30ml

I've tried a few products from Nip + Fab, mainly from the Glycolic and Kale ranges but I've never tried anything from their Dragon's Blood range before. A few people have told me how much they like this product and apparently Kylie Jenner is a fan too.

The idea of dragons blood sounds a little bit scary, but no komodo dragons, Smaugs, or Drogons have been harmed in the making of this product, dragons blood is in fact the sap from the Croton Lechleri tree, which when teamed up with velvet flower extract and hyaluronic acid provides intense moisture, plumpness  and comfort to all skin types but especially dehydrated and sensitive skin that is prone to redness. My skin is strange at the moment I have a few hormonal spots on my chin but at the same time, it feels quite dry, so I might give this ago in the run up to Christmas to see if it can perform a festive miracle or two x This is a good 30ml size which Glossybox value at around £11.97, the regular 50ml size retails at around £19.85

Day 3 - Yankee Candle Small Jar Candle - Berry Trifle 104g

I do love a candle especially when it's cold and dark outside, there is something so warming and soothing about candlelight, especially when it smells as good as this one does. Apparently there were two different scents but the one I got was Berry Trifle. I love food and fruit scents so this one is right up my street. It has a mouthwatering warm, fruity, berry scent with just a hint of vanilla and creaminess. Between us, me and Mummy Lou could probably own our own candle store and we I first smelled this I thought we already owned this one, but the one we actually have is the similar smelling Berry Jam, so Berry Trifle is a welcome addition to our extensive candle library. This is a Yankee Candle Small Jar Candle, which burns for 20-30 hours, they retail at £8.99 so this was a nice item to receive.

Day 4 - Philip Kingsley Body Building Conditioner - 60ml

Now, I'm a huge Philip Kingsley fan, Elasticizer is a must have and I regularly use the brands shampoos and conditioners and I have a few other bits to try. I've tried a couple of their conditioners before but I've never tried this one before. I've reviewed the corresponding shampoo before (read my review here) but this is new to me. I haven't had a chance to try it yet but once I've cleared a few more products out of the shower I'll be giving this ago.

According to Philip Kingsley (who are a professional trichology brand) this is an ultra lightweight conditioner that's ideal for fine hair types, it's designed to add moisture without weight, and it's designed to thicken the appearance of each individual hair strange, and detangling the hair as well as combating frizz and fly aways. Sounds good? I'll probably let you know what I think in a future empties post x This 60ml size is quite hard to find but it retails at around £7.00, the 75ml size retails at £10 if you fancy giving this a go.

Day 5 - MDM Flow Greater Than Mascara - 6.5ml

I've tried a couple of lip products from this UK, cruelty free brand before, but I've never tried any of their eye or face products. Now I haven't opened this that because I've already got a couple of mascaras on the go but it sounds pretty promising. According to everything that I've read this is a highly pigmented black volumising mascara, with a indented brush designed for increased volume and clump free application. It's also apparently long wearing but it contains a unique Easy-Off formulation that makes it easy to remove with either water or a water based eye make up remover. Sounds good and I can't wait to give it ago - I'll let you in a future post what I think about it if you're interested. This full 6.5ml size of the MDM Flow Greater Than Mascara retails at around £18.

Day 6 - 3INA The Lip Primer - 10ml

I've used a few bits from 3INA in the past but this is new to me x I've never much of a fan of lip primers if I'm honest - the majority either seem to dry your lips out or they just look like you've covered your lips in concealer, this is a little bit different. As well as being paraben free, vegan, and cruelty free, it's also water based. It's basically just a slightly iridescent pink, liquid cream. It matiffies the lips without making them dry or sore. I've mainly be using this under both lipsticks and glosses and it definitely makes the majority of them that I've tried last a little bit longer. You can also use it as a lip nourishing produce and on top of lipstick to give a more mattifying effect. This is a full size and retails at around £9.95.

Day 7 - Patisserie De Bain Strawberry Cupcake Bath & Shower Creme - 50ml

I was a little bit excited when I saw this, I do love fruity smelling shower products and this is the scent of summer in a tube just what you want when it's freezing outside! Patisserie De Bain are the sister brand of Yorkshire based company Rose & Co. I've tried a few Rose & Co products, and my mum is already a huge fan of Patisserie De Bain's Sugared Violet range, but this is a new scent to us both. This vegan friendly shower product apparently smells exactly like strawberries and cream, yummy! I'm in a wintry and warming mood at the moment when it comes to shower products so I'm going to hang on to this one and keep for when it quite so vile outside x This product has an estimated RRP of £2.99.

Day 8 - Real Techniques 200 Expert Foundation / Face Brush

I do love a make up brush and I was thrilled to open one of my little boxes, and see a make up brush from Real Techniques. If you haven't heard of Real Techniques where have you been?? It is an excellent, and affordable make up brush for make up artists and You Tuber's Sam and Nic aka Pixiwoo. I love their brushes and this is a limited edition version of one of their most popular brushes, their foundation / face brush. Their brushes are cruelty free, soft, durable and silky, and in this case in particular they look amazing. This brush which perfect for applying both cream and liquid foundations has super soft, densely packed duo fibre hairs. The body of the brush in a gorgeous almost rose gold, pink metal, and a almost rubberised feel plastic. I can't actually find this brush for sale on it's own so it's definitely a limited edition, a comparable brush would retail for around £9.99 but if this one has taken your fancy then it is available as part of the newly released Everyday Essentials Set which retails at around £19.99 and contains 4 brushes including this one and a Miracle Complexion Sponge.

Day 9 - Charles Worthington Take Aways Volume & Bounce Body Booster Mousse - 50ml

Now I've got to be honest I don't really use hair mousse, my hairdressers occasionally uses it before she blow drys my hair but it isn't something that I use at home. My mam on the other hand has crazy curly hair, and as a result she loves her mousse, so she's already nabbed this, and fingers crossed she likes it. From celebrity hairdresser Charles Worthington's line this mousse contains collagen is designed to boost volume, and give body, bounce, and lasting volume x This is a travel sized mini and has a retail price of around £2.49.

Day 10 - Bare Minerals Skinlongevity Vital Power Infusion - 7.5ml 

I actually have a tube or two of this but as yet I haven't tried it. You may be familiar with bare minerals as a make up brand but did you know that they've now branched out into skincare. It's a natural progression I guess for a natural brand that already produced make up with so many skincare benefits. This sounds amazing and I'm actually going to try it out tonight. Containing Bare Minerals patented Long Life Herb Extract. this is basically an all round skin replenisher, which is designed to promote a more youthful appearance, by adding moisture, and diminishing the appearance of fine lines, pores, wrinkles and uneven skin texture. You simply apply it to the face and neck after cleansing both morning and evening. You can either use on it's own or under your normal moisturiser for extra boost. According to Glossybox this 7.5ml size retails at around £7.29.

Day 11 - Bellapierre Cosmetics Kiss Proof Lip Finish - 3.8g

Bellapierre are another mineral based make up brand, all of their products are toxin, paraben free, and cruelty free, and contain only naturally derived ingredients, I own a few of their products already including some of their pigments and I've been pretty impressed with the things that I have tried but this is something new!

Now this product has flummoxed me a bit - At first I wasn't sure exactly what it was - was it a lip gloss or was it a lip sealer like Lipcote, designed to keep your lipstick in place no matter who many people you kiss under the mistletoe, it turns out it's probably a combination of the two. Kiss Proof Lip Finish is a hydrating clear lip gloss that is designed specifically to be worn on top of Bellapierre's Kiss Proof Lips Cremes, transfer what is in essence a matte product to a long lasting glossy one

Obviously you can use over any lip colour and I actually tried it over NARS Immoral and wow the difference in appearance was phenomenal, for a pretty satin finish to a full on almost mirror like gloss finish in one sweep. The gloss is a bit runny but it gave a fabulous almost mirror like finish to the lips and believe it or not it improved the wear time of something that was already pretty long lasting. This is a full size and retails at £15.

Day 12 - MUA Make Up Academy Eyeshadow Palette - Cosmic Vixen 

and on day 12 my true love, or Glossybox in this case, gave to me a full size MUA Make Up Academy Eyeshadow Palette. Although they are definitely at the lower end of the price spectrum, Make Up Academy Eyeshadow Palettes are pretty amazing and I already own quite a few of them but I didn't have thankfully I didn't have this one.

This palette is both talc and cruelty free and contains 15 fabulous shades in a mixture of textures, mattes, shimmers and high pearl finishes, this palette isn't for the faint hearted, there are some pretty out there shades in it. From pinks, almost reds and corals, to mauve's, purples and plums, there are some bright colours in this palette. Fear not that because it also has a few gold, taupe's and bronzes so it isn't all scary. If you like the idea of Urban Decay Naked Cherry with just a touch of Naked Heat thrown in then this palette is a fab budget alternative.

All of the shades feel soft and silly and the shimmers and pearls almost have a creamy feel to them. As you would expect pigmentation wise it's the shimmers and pearls that will blow your socks off, smooth shimmery, buttery and delicious colour payoff. The mattes on the other hand whilst feeling soft and silky vary slightly, the pay off on the darker colours in fine, but some of the paler shades are a bit chalky.

In reality I probably wouldn't have bought this palette, a lot of the colours are just slightly too bold for me but even though I've just managed to swatch it I'm really thinking that I could make more of the colours work for me than what I first thought. It's definitely going to be one that I'm to experiment with in the new year. This is a full size palette and retails at a pretty fabulous £5.

So 12 days down, (well more like 16 now) and a week and a bit to go before the big day - Verdict? So far, so good - A good assortment of products, full sizes and prices, and a few fabulous new discoveries - Highlights? too many but NARS, 3INA, Yankee Candles, and Real Techniques are the things that excited my most, we'll see though when I've had a proper play. Don't forget you can keep track of the days and the boxes on my Instagram and I'll be posting days 13 - 24, hopefully on Christmas Eve. In the meantime if you have any questions on any of the products in the calendar so far, I'd love to hear them so leave me a comment below xx

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