Thursday, 19 September 2019

Collaborative / Partnered Post - Self Care And Self Healing - How To Deal With Stress And Trauma*

Coping with the negative emotions that come after experiencing some kind of stress or trauma can be really difficult. Whilst physical pain can often be controlled quite quickly, dealing with your emotions takes time, and whilst some feelings, especially those you experience after bereavement, never truly go away, the first step towards any sort of healing is to properly acknowledge and deal with what's happened. If you’ve recently found yourself in a distressing or stressful situation and are looking for ways to achieve a more confident and positive outlook, here are a few tips and ideas to help you deal with what ever the world throws at you.

Professional Support Through Therapy

One of the biggest ways I've always found to deal with stressful and traumatic events is to talk about it -  I'm lucky to have supportive family and friend but sometimes that either isn't possible or it isn't appropriate. If the stress and emotion that you feel is getting out of hand and you feel as though you simply cannot deal with it alone, then it may be an idea to seek professional support through therapy with a counsellor or psychologist. There is so much stigma around seeking medical help for mental health issues, but there shouldn't be. Don't be frightened to consider seeking professional help - I've had CBT, and bereavement counselling in the past and for me it really was a lifesaver. Talking to a someone openly and without judgement can really help you to deal with any problems that you may have - it really helped me put things into perspective and it helped me to find way to manage and deal with my issues. Even if you do have family and peer support around you having a therapist will also add another friendly, helpful and unbiased face to your support network, and even things like attending appointments can play an important role in establishing a routine, which is something that can often go out the window after a bereavement or any other traumatic incident .

Try Your Hand At Meditation

Life is so busy now, and so stressful that it's important that we all take a bit of time out and do something to help us switch off from the world. From having a nap, to having a nice long bath, to even going to the gym there are so many ways in which individuals distress, but probably the most popular worldwide has to be the practise of meditation. Meditation can help you to pull yourself away from the past and live more in the present moment, which can improve the way you deal with your trauma and stress dramatically. It can also really help just to take your mind off things, as the main point of the experience is to clear your head of all thoughts to focus on calm and tranquillity. Though mastering the practise may be a little difficult, having something else that's so positive to focus on and put your efforts into can lift your mood noticeably. There are lots of apps and so on to help you meditate now, so it's worth having a look around to see what you can find. Many years ago now, when I was fit and healthy I used to practise yoga, and a key part of that was meditation. Meditation can be as simple as emptying your mind and staring into a candle flame (one of my favourite methods), or using your mind to take you to your happy place - control your breathing, imagine yourself on that tropical island and you can literally feel the tension melt away.

Research Alternative Ideas

When you stressed out or hurting emotionally there are lots of different methods and things that you can try, just to make life that little bit better. Depending on the kind of stress or trauma you experienced and the emotions that you feel, there are many different alternative methods that you can try. From psychic readings to guide you spiritually and to try and set your mind at rest, to special diets that are said to eliminate ‘negative’ foods that may cause more emotional pain, the possibilities are endless when it comes to seeking out something less traditional to help you deal with your troubles. It might sound a little bit cranky or a bit left field but it's all about what works for you and what makes you feel better x From crystal healing, to yoga, to art therapy, and aromatherapy, whatever method you choose, just make sure that you are completely comfortable throughout the process, if you find something too distressing then try something else, the aim of whatever you do is to make you feel better not worse.

Whilst some things and emotions never truly go way, there are ways and means to make them more manageable, and to help you cope better with what lies ahead. Believe me I've been in some pretty dark places throughout my life, and I just want all of you to know that things can get better, they don't get better overnight but lots of self care, and lots of talking can certainly help you along the way. If you don’t think you can handle it all on your own don't worry, there is no shame in talking to a stranger and asking for help, there are lots of people out there who can offer you all of the support that you need, no matter what the issue x Always remember that you are not alone x

*Collaborative / Partnered Post

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

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

I'm late again but it's empties time! The never ending house sort out continues, and as result I've found a few bags and boxes of beauty things that I'd forgotten about. I've found some press samples, so I've got lots of new reviews coming up, and I also found another box of shower and body products, so I've got more products to use up than I thought - argh!

The Body Shop Frosted Berries Exfoliating Sugar Scrub - 250ml
Femfresh Ultimate Care Soothing Wash - 250ml**
Superdrug Shower Foam - Orange & Satsuma - 150ml
Patisserie De Bain Caramel Whip Hand Cream - 50ml
Dr.Organic Bioactive Skincare Tea Tree Wet Wipes x 20 Wipes
AVON Naturals Kids Bursting Berry Body Wash & Bubble Bath - 250ml
Primark PS... Cuticle Oil - 10ml
Boots Tea Tree & Witch Hazel Peel Off Mask - 10ml

Total - 8 Items

Never mind, I've found a few interesting products, and I had my joint best month of the year so far, when it comes to trimming my stash. In August I managed to finish 8 items, which puts August on par, with both March and April. Although I didn't manage any nail or make up products again, I did manage to finish quite a few body products and a couple of skincare items, and a few things that had been hanging around in the bathroom for some time.

1. The Body Shop Frosted Berries Exfoliating Sugar Scrub - 250ml

First up a long gone, Christmas edition from The Body Shop, and would you believe the last body scrub in my beauty stash bar something that you'll see in an upcoming Glossybox unboxing. I can't believe it, I've actually used up every single scrub in my collection, and considering I had about 7 or 8 at some point, I think I've done bloody well, the only problem is I'm now going to have to go out and buy a body scrub too, so if you have any recommendations for something then please let me know x

I'm quite sorry to say goodbye to this one actually, The Body Shop Exfoliating Sugar Scrub is probably one of my favourite formulations when it comes to body scrub. If I'm being really picky, I prefer a slightly grittier formulation but I still like it, I'll definitely repurchase this particular products in either a permanent scent, or in a limited edition scent.

Frosted Berry, as I say was a festive scent from a few years ago. It had a lovely, slightly tart, fruity, berry scent. It won't be long now before we find out what the 2019 festive scents from The Body Shop are going to be. I'm hoping beyond hope that we're going to get another apple based scent, but I've heard whispers that there might be a pear based scent that I'm already super excited to smell, but I guess we'll have to wait and see. 

2. Femfresh Ultimate Care Soothing Wash - 250ml**

Talking of rediscovered press samples, I've just discovered a few more products from Femfresh in a box I'd forgotten about - me bad! Quite a while ago now I was sent a package of washes and wipes including this one.

Now as you know I can take or leave, specific feminine washes, and wipes, but at certain times of the month they can be really useful especially when you've got some highly scented or sparkly products in the shower.

This pH balanced product is both dermatologically and gynaecologically tested, and contains probiotics, and cranberry extract, and is designed to soothe and cleanse the intimate area.

Texture wise it's a cross between a lotion, and a cream wash, it doesn't have any really scent, and it doesn't really foam that much. It felt comfortable, and non drying, and it's something that I would feel comfortable using all over the body.

The packaging seems to have changed slightly since I received mine but the product and the ingredients seem to be the same. This product retails at around £3.65 from various retailers including Superdrug and Boots.

3. Superdrug Shower Foam - Orange & Satsuma - 150ml

When I first lost my bathtub I went on a quest to find products that made showering a more pleasant, and pampering experience, and one of the products that I've come to love is a shower foam. It doesn't matter what the brand is, loads of foam and bubbles just makes showering a more pleasurable experience.

This one was from Superdrug's fruity range. The dispenser was a little bit stiff so it wasn't the easiest product to dispense but a little bit of pressure produced a lovely moisturising, creamy foam, with a lovely citrus scent that transported back to eating orange ice lollies, when I was a child. It was nice and easy to rinse off, and since you could also use it as a shaving foam it's a real time saver.

Alas this product appears to have been discontinued but Superdrug still seem to do a Fruity Orange & Satsuma Shower Gel that has an RRP of 99p for 250ml. So I'm assuming and hoping, that it smells the same, and it's something that I'm definitely going to pick up in the near future.

4. Patisserie De Bain Caramel Whip Hand Cream - 50ml

Apologies for the photo, but in between finishing this product and photographing it, I lost the other half of the tube! Now I've had a little look through the blog, and I can't find any previous reference to this hand cream, so whilst I originally thought that I got this in an advent calendar, I must have received it in a subscription box.

If I'm honest I'm not quite sure what's going on with Patisserie De Bain as a brand at the moment. It's the little sister brand of Yorkshire based beauty company Rose & Co but recently it seems to have disappeared from their website, and with products from Patisserie De Bain recently appearing in Poundland, it does make you wonder if at least some of the range has been discontinued .You can still find the odd thing on various websites including Superdrug and Fragrance Direct but I can't find anything in the Caramel Whip scent.

This was a really good night time hand cream, it had a slightly sticky, thick, rich and creamy texture, that took a while to absorb and as a result worked perfectly with cotton gloves as an overnight treatment. It had a lovely sweet, slightly sickly, burnt caramel, sugar scent.

As I say I've had a quick look online and I can't find this particular product anywhere, so if you fancy trying it, ebay might be your best bet.

5. Dr.Organic Bioactive Skincare Tea Tree Wet Wipes x 20 Wipes

Next up an item that I received in the April 2019 edition of Pink Parcel. You can read my full review here x They were decent wipes, all be it with a slightly odd tea tree, and fragrance free scent but for what I use wipes for I probably wouldn't repurchase. I'm actually trying to cut down on the amount of wipes that I use anyways so I will just stick to my favourite Primark wipes for now.

6. AVON Naturals Kids Bursting Berry Body Wash & Bubble Bath - 250ml

Even though I'm in my forties now I can't resist cute, and I also can't resist anything fruity or berry scented, so no I don't have a secret child I just occasionally use products from the AVON kids range.

This was a thin translucent, blue purple gel, that you could use either as a bubble bath or as a shower gel. I don't have a bath so I just used this as a shower gel, and it produces loads of creamy bubbles. I'm not sure what berry it was supposed to smell of but it definitely had more of a grape like scent that reminded me a bit of grape bubblegum!

AVON are always discontinuing products and scents so it's not really that surprising that I can't find this particular scent in the latest brochure or online. There are still plenty of other fragrances available though including Playful Pear, Groovy Grape, and Swirling Strawberry. They are retail at a very pocket friendly £1.50 for 250ml so you can afford to treat the little ones or yourself.

7. Primark PS... Cuticle Oil - 10ml

I think that this cuticle oil is probably one of my most finished beauty products over the last couple of years. It's super cheap (£1 a bottle!) and it does the same job as some of the more expensive brands. It's a product that I will definitely continue to repurchase - I've only got about half a bottle left so I think I'm due a Primark trip to stock up - watch this space!

8. Boots Tea Tree & Witch Hazel Peel Off Mask - 10ml

Finally another product from a subscription box, and this time a face mask from the July 2019 'Holiday Haul' edition of Glossybox. I've already written a full review of this mask which you can read here x It was a nice mask and it's definitely something that I would consider repurchasing.

So there we have it my August empties x If you have any questions on any of the products that I've finished please let me know in the comments x August was a good month for empties so here's hoping that I can do even better in September x

*This Post Contains Both Affiliate And Non Affiliate Links 
**Press Sample

Friday, 13 September 2019

Unboxing Pink Parcel UK - August 2019 Edition - Midnight Garden Edit*

I know this post is a little bit late but I'm not going to apologise for that - I took a bit of time out for some family and friend time - I helped my mam celebrate her birthday and I spent a lovely day with my bestie, that unfortunately I'm still recovering from, walking along the sea front, eating ice cream, playing mini golf, and shopping.

Even though I haven't managed to get a post up, I've still being posting on Instagram and I've been photographing products, and make up looks for some upcoming posts. The first few posts that I've got coming up are quite long and in depth so I'm going to get down to it straight away, and do some catch ups starting with August's Pink Parcel unboxing x

After a few up and down months with Pink Parcel, like July's box , August's arrived bang on time and its arrival coincided perfectly with the arrival of my period. My August box was packaged in the old style grey and pink outer box, and inside it contained the familiar pouch and a mixture of Pink Parcel, and Betty Box cardboard boxes.

Again I chose a pads only box, and this time round I received 24 items, which was one more than last month. Like last month, and the month before, and the month before that I got a mixture of different brands rather than the brand and product type that I requested. As I've said before I don't really mind a mixture of brands but I actually received an email from Pink Parcel last month telling me that the items I'd selected were being discontinued, so maybe that's why I've been getting a mixture of different products. I've selected another product now so it should be interesting to see what I get in September's box.

Now on to the fun stuff and the theme of August's box was Midnight Garden, and the theory behind the box was products that would take from day to night. It contains products that would be great for festivals and summer days, and pampering products that would help you wind down at the end of the day.

Floss My New Favourite Lip Gloss - Yul - 15g - Full Size - RRP £16 / $16

The first item in the 'Wants' box is from a new brand to me, Floss. Hailing from Canada, their products are cruelty and paraben free, are specifically designed to enhance your natural beauty.

Packaged in a squeezy plastic tube, with a doe foot applicator, Floss claim that this gloss is smooth, hydrating and long lasting, and that it will quickly become your new favourite lip gloss, a big claim indeed!

I received the shade Yul, which I believe is the code name for Montreal International Airport. It looks translucent pink in the tube but as you can see from the swatch below it actually comes out clear.

It's not the thickest gloss that I've ever used but it feels comfortable on the lips, and it doesn't feel too sticky or tacky. I used to be a real lip gloss fiend when I was younger, but now I'm not a huge fan of the gloopy or tacky feel. This isn't bad though it adds a nice subtle gloss to the lips, without too much of the goo. Obviously you can wear it over another lip colour but I like the slightly glossy, natural look that you get from wearing it alone. 

If you're not a huge fan of full on thick, sticky glosses then this one might be worth trying. It looks nice and wears well, but personally I'm not a huge fan of the taste or scent which more often than not is a pretty big deal for me. It has a slightly synthetic, and dare I say it plastic like vanilla / coconut scent. It's not crazily strong so I will probably use this up but I can't see myself repurchasing it. If you fancy trying it for yourself though, then you can buy it directly from Floss.

Minus -417 Time Control Firming Radiant Mud Mask - 20ml -Est. RRP £8

Next up another brand that you may not have heard of Minus -417. Apart from featuring occasionally as potential prizes on the Clawee app (my invite code code is WCLLZER if you fancy playing), the first time I heard about the range was when I received a face wash in the January edition of Glossybox UK.

You can read my thoughts on it here, but I really enjoyed using it so I was really pleased to receive another product from this Dead Sea based skincare range in August's Pink Parcel. 

Pink Parcel are famous for including face masks, and this one is a 2 in 1 exfoliating and nourishing mud mask, that is designed to deeply cleanse, exfoliate, and nourish the skin, whilst at the same time drawing out impurities and absorbing excess oil. It contains Dead Sea mud, red and white clay, avocado, and olive oils, verbena extract, honey, titanium dioxide, and vitamins A, B, E, and F.

With a mild, slightly earthy, aquatic scent, it has a creamy clay mask type consistency, and it contains small exfoliating particles. -417 recommend that you apply it to cleansed skin, avoiding the eye area. It was nice and easy to spread, and to apply evenly. On application there was a slightly warming sensation that gradually disappeared after a few minutes. 

On Application

The advice was that it should dry in about 7-10 minutes, but given the humidity when I tried it out, it probably took around 10 or 11 minutes to dry completely. It dries like any other clay mask, and you do experience a slightly tightening sensation as it sets but it wasn't uncomfortable.

After Around 10 Minutes 

Clay masks can often be quite stubborn and quite difficult to remove, but this particular one was quite easy to remove with warm water, and a muslin cloth. My skin was a little bit pink after removal but that quickly disappeared. Unusually for a clay mask my skin didn't feel tight, it felt comfortable and supple, and it looked clearer, cleaner and smoother.

After Removal

I am a bit of a maskaholic and this was a nice one, I liked the warming sensation, and the exfoliating aspect and I liked how supple my skin felt when I'd removed it. I'm not sure I'd go out of my way to repurchase it but I'll happily use it up. Pink Parcel value this 20ml size at £8, the full 10ml size retails at around $39 direct from Minus -417.

Mudmasky Hair Mask, Scalp Treatment & Miracle Shampoo - Full Size - RRP £26-£29

The next item is a product from Pink Parcel favourite brand Mudmasky. Over the years I've recieved quite a few products from Mudmasky but this time it isn't a face mask, it's a hair product.

Now I haven't had a chance to try this yet but it sounds really interesting. It's basically a paraben and sulfate free, 3 in 1 hair mask, scalp treatment, and shampoo. Like all of the Mudmasky products it isn't tested on animals and based on the theory that healthy hair starts from the scalp, it's designed to repair and strengthen the hair,  and to moisturise and to prevent an itchy scalp and to control dandruff. It's suitable for all hair types but it's especially good for damaged hair.

As I say I haven't tried this yet, but it sounds like it could be a real time saver, you need to leave it on the hair for 1 minute, and it could replace up to at least 3 products, so I can't wait to give it a try. As per usual I'll let you know what I think in a future empties post x This is a full size tube and retails at around £29 / €29 direct from Mudmasky

Anatomicals Tanatomicals The Stick It Where The Sun Does Shine Stick SPF 30 Lip Protector - 5.5g - Full Size - RRP £3

It's been a little while since I've had an Anatomicals product in a subscription box, so it's nice to see them again and it's nice to receive a product that I haven't tried before x 

From their sun care, and fake tanning diffusion line Tanatomicals, this is basically a twist up, stick lip balm that contains an SPF 30. 

I'm not a huge fan of the slightly cardboard, synthetic plastic taste but it's actually a pretty decent lip balm. It has a nice moisturising feel, it adds a nice bit of gloss to the lips, and it actually absorbs into the lips, rather than just sitting on the top.

The addition of the SPF also means that you could also use it on the tops of the ears, on the nose, and on other exposed bits that catch the sun in an emergency. 

Even though the Anatomicals range still seems pretty widely available, the Tanatomicals website doesn't seem to exist any more, and I can't seem to find this product anywhere online, so it may have been discontinued. 

Moonface Fan Brush - Full Size - RRP £8

I do love a make up brush, as I'm sure my rather crowded dressing table would testify to, if it could talk that is, so I'm always pleased to see a brush in a subscription box, and in particular I'm always pleased to see a fan brush.

My first ever fan brush was from Ruby and Millie and would you believe that I still have it x Look after your brushes and they really will last a lifetime. Fan brushes are just so useful, you can use them for removing eye shadow fall out from under the eyes or on the cheeks, or to apply loose powder to the t-zone, or even to apply a bit of highlighter or cheek colour. 

This is a particular nice example, I love the pink and purple ombre handle, and the pink hairs are super soft.

I can't actually find out anything about this brand though, the website that Pink Parcel gave doesn't seem to exist and a web search proved equally fruitless. So if you know anything about Moonface then I'd love to hear from you so please leave me a comment below, or contact me via my email or via my other social media channels x 

Cocoba Milk Hot Chocolate Spoon - 33g - Est. RRP £2.75

I'm going to start off by saying that technically this is a stick not a spoon, but that in no way affected my enjoyment of this product ;) Why would it, gorgeous Belgian milk chocolate, that you melt into a mug of warm milk, or if you're greedy you can just eat it as it is.

I'm not going to lie that's what I did, when I got my Pink Parcel it was way too warm for hot chocolate, so I just ate it off the stick like a yummy chocolate lollipop. A huge chunk of good quality chocolate, what is not to love about that! 

I can't put an exact price on this product because all of the similar products on Cocoba actually contained a wooden spoon, but they looked almost identical so I would imagine that this product would retail at around £2.75. 

Lyons No3 Rich & Full Bodied 100% Fresh Ground Coffee In A Bag - 1 x Bag 

I honestly don't know why these bags aren't everywhere - the whole idea of ground coffee in a bag is just such an amazing, time saving concept. I've received a few of these in the past, most recently in March's Pink Parcel, and as yet I still haven't managed to try one - Mummy Lou drinks a lot more coffee than I do, and she always manages to get there first, so fingers crossed I get a chance to try one of these at some point in the future x 

I don't think was the most exciting box that I've ever received but as per usual there was a decent range of products, and most probably products that I'll use - the standouts for me was definitely the mask, and the chocolate spoon but I'm also excited to try the Mudmasky hair product. Let me know your thoughts on this box, and don't forget to check out the Pink Parcel website if you're interested in signing up for your own box x 

*This Post Contains Both Affiliate And Non Affiliate Links 

Saturday, 31 August 2019

Nails Of The Day - China Glaze - 625 For Audrey - Reshot And Rewritten

Hi Guys, I hope you're all having a nice weekend, before I get into a couple of pretty long posts, I thought I'd share another blast from the past nails of the day with you.

I first talked about this polish way back in 2010, but after re reading the original post and hating everything about it, I thought I'd dig it out and re shoot it, and rewrite it.

The bottle is showing its age now but don't let that detract you from just how beautiful this colour actually is. China Glaze For Audrey, is a beautiful turquoise, blue, green cream, very reminiscent of a certain posh jewellery companies packaging, and as result intrinsically linked to iconic, and legendary actress Audrey Hepburn. Thanks to the online nail and manicure community this polish has reached almost legendary status in it's own right, and it still remains one of China Glaze's top sellers, 9 years after I bought my bottle.

Even though this is an old polishes, China Glaze's varnishes still have quite a thin brush. Fine if you have short or thin nails like mine, but it isn't the best if you have wider or longer nails. Coat number 1 was very, very streaky. 2 coats was enough on most nails but if you look really closely you can still see a few streaks and a few brush marks and even a few bubbles!

Given it's age it was pretty quick drying but I think I was a little bit impatient when I applied it and I was guilty of not waiting long enough for it to dry in between coats, hence the bubbling. I applied it with a base coat of OPI Nail Envy, and no top coat, and it started to chip with 24 hours, which isn't that unusual for me.

I don't whether it's down to its age or my memory playing tricks on me, but I definitely remember being more impressed with this polish when I first got it. Don't get me wrong I love the colour, but in this case I just wasn't that impressed with the application, the finish or the wear time.

Despite the fact that For Audrey comes from one of my favourite colour families when it comes to polishes, and I probably have lots of similar shades, this particular polish is so iconic, that I'm going to hang on it. I actually took these pictures about a month ago now, and since then I've used it a couple of times, and by applying thinner coats, giving them longer to dry, and paring it with a decent top coat, I definitely achieved a nicer finish and a longer lasting manicure. It just shows you that with a little bit of extra care, and attention, you can bring an old polish back to life

If you fancy trying For Audrey for yourself, it's still widely available for around £5.95 for a 14ml bottle, from various retailers including Amazon, ebay, and Nail Polish Direct.

Saturday, 24 August 2019

Unboxing Glossybox UK - August 2019 - The Birthday Edition*

No matter what kind of subscription box you subscribe to, I think it goes without saying the Christmas box is probably the most eagerly anticipated box of the year. I always look forward to the Christmas editions of all of the boxes that I subscribe to, I love the limited edition box designs and the special, and often higher priced items, that brands often include in their December boxes. If you are a Glossybox subscriber though you don't have to wait until December for a bit of sparkle, and a bit of excitement, you can get it all now courtesy of the August edition of Glossybox UK, otherwise known as "The Birthday Edition".

Yes, August is Glossybox's birthday month and they're celebrating the only way they know how, with a limited edition box adorned with sparkles. I am a huge fan of holographic and foil sparkles and the special limited edition birthday box, features the usual pink box with a fabulous holographic, pink sparkle drip design on the lid.

The sparkle themes carries on inside the box with pink tissue, white ribbon, and silver foil shred. I'm definitely going to be keeping both the box and the shred and the ribbon, for storage, and also for wrapping gifts later in the year.

Now as I've mentioned in several previous unboxing posts, I don't really take a lot of notice of the bits of paper that come both in the box itself, and in the outer box or bag, but I'm starting to because you never know what you might find. As per usual you get a booklet from Glossybox telling you about the theme of the box and a bit more about the items in the box, but in this particular box I also received two other pieces of paper both of which made for interesting reading.

One of which was a leaflet from Bodyform advertising their Pure Sensitive intimate care range. As well as containing a 50p off coupon for any pack of Bodyform sanitary towels or panty liner, it also included another two coupons, one for a full size bottle of the Pure Sensitive Wash and one for a pack of the Pure Sensitive intimate wipes. Now as you know I can take or leave "intimate products" but I'm definitely going to use the coupons if I can and give the range a try. I think these coupons must be doing the rounds as I also received some in a recent Feel Unique Pick 'n' Mix order, so if you can get your hands on a leaflet it's a good offer.

I'm so sorry for mentioning Christmas again, but lets be honest we're nearly in September now, and the way that this year is flying buying, Santa will be here before we know it! Now I normally wouldn't talk about Christmas just yet, but the August edition of Glossybox included a sneak peek of the 2019 Glossybox advent calendar. Now I haven't been lucky enough to receive any press releases on this years calendar, but according to this leaflet, it's going to be bigger and better than ever, and the contents which includes items from the likes of Chloe, Dermalogica, Tarte Cosmetics, and NYX, is worth over £370!

If you're interested then it really pays to be a Glossybox subscriber. Priority access for subscribers begins on the 6th September, and subscribers can buy the calendar for a special price of just £70.I know it's a little bit early to be thinking about Christmas and advent calendars but I was really impressed with last years offering (read my unboxing posts here and here) so I think I'm either going to treat myself to this years calendar, or I'm going to try and persuade someone else to buy me it ;)

Now as excited as I am about the advent calendar, and about the December edition of Glossybox, I was also pretty excited about the August, birthday edition.

HUDA Beauty Lip Strobe - Ritzy - 4ml - Full Size - RRP £17

First we have the biggie, the sneak peek for July's box, and probably the one reason why this box has now sold out. It's another product from the much loved and much hyped brand, HUDA Beauty. As much as I'd like to try every product from the brand it's quite price prohibitive so the only HUDA Beauty items that I own are a the Winter Solstice Winter Highlighter Palette from last years Glossybox advent calendar, and a lip pencil, and a matte lip colour, both of which came in previous editions of Glossybox. Whilst I would have loved to try an eye or another cheek product, the HUDA Beauty product in August's box was another lip product.

The August edition of Glossybox, contained one of four shades of the HUDA Beauty Lip Strobe. Lip Strobe's are basically metallic lip glosses that you can wear alone, or on top of other lip colours. Designed to have a comfortable, non sticky cushion like feel, they are designed to add volume and to sculpt the lips.

Packaged in a chunky tube, they have a slanted, almost heart shaped foam applicator for easy application whether you're applying the colour all over the lips, or just in the areas that you want to emphasise or draw attention to. 

As I say every subscriber received one of 4 shades, and I've got to be honest my heart sank a little bit when I saw this one. I got Ritzy, which is officially described as a champagne or a rose champagne, which is a pretty accurate description, it's a very pale almost golden, nude shade.

It looks gorgeous swatched, I love the vanilla scent and taste, and it felt really comfortable on the lips, but and here's the big but I don't think the colour works on me at all. Applied on its own it looked slightly patchy, and way too pale and sparkly, so I've mainly been wearing it over the top of other colours. In these pictures I'm wearing it over the HUDA Beauty Liquid Matte Lipstick in Girlfriend, which is a nude shade, that I received in the November 2018 edition of Glossybox (You can watch my unboxing video here).

I don't think it looks horrible by any means, there is no chunky glitter just a gold, champagne gloss, I'm just not convinced that it does anything for me, it just looks to pale, more so in real life.

I can't fault the texture, the longevity or the taste, I just think I would have got more use out of one of the pink shades. Never mind even though it didn't come with an outer box it's still a full size that retails at £17 from various retailers including Selfridges, Cult Beauty and Feel Unique.

Furr Rose Gold Lash Curler - RRP £15

As you know I love trying new brands and the next product is from a new brand to me, Furr Lashes, who are a vegan friendly beauty brand who specialise in false lashes, and lash accessories.

I'm pretty useless with false lashes so you'd think that I'd be happier with a set of eyelash colours, well I guess I am but I've got to admit it that I don't use lash curlers that often. I own enough of them but it's a step that I always seem to forget about, I use a lot of lengthening and curling mascaras, so it's normally a step that I can do without. 

These are pretty nice curlers though, they're made of rose gold tone metal, and they have a nice soft, but secure rubber pad. Since I got these I've made a real effort to try and use them, and I have to say I've been pretty happy with the results. I have quite hooded eyes so it's sometimes difficult to see any real difference on my bare lashes, but when I've used these alongside a decent mascara I looked more wide eyed and as a result more awake!

These are decent curlers, and I'm definitely going to try and slot them into my regular lash routine. These retail at £15 and are available direct from Furr Lashes.

Wilkinson Sword Quattro For Women Razor - RRP £6 - £7.99

When it comes to hair removal, I'm not a huge razor user, I prefer longer lasting methods, but I do usually keep a packet of disposables on stand by in case of hair removal emergencies. 

I know we're all thinking about the environment at the moment, and if you think about it razors aren't really the best things to use if you're thinking about plastic waste, but if you're going to use them, then replacing blades is probably a slightly better option, so I was pretty happy to receive this one in August's box.

Wilkinson Sword are probably one of the biggest brands and names when it comes to razors, and this one has been specially designed with a pivoting head, and four wire wrapped blades infused with aloe, and vitamin E, for a smooth, contoured, and nick free shave. This particular razor comes with one head and it includes a shower hanger.

I am currently testing out another hair removal product so I haven't had an opportunity to try this out yet, but I'm sure I'll give it a try at some point. Prices vary quite a bit with this one so I would definitely shop around but you buy it at a number of retailers including Boots and Superdrug for between £6 - £7.99, and a pack of 6 replacement blades retails at around £12.29

Bang Beauty Felt Tip Eyeliner - 1.8g - Full Size - RRP £15.75 / $20

My name is Louise, and I'm useless at applying eyeliner. I can just about cope with creams and gels, and brushes, but give me a liquid or a pen, and I look like a cross between a three year old playing with their mothers make up, and a member of Kiss!

My hands just aren't steady enough, I have hooded, oily lids, oh, and I have facial nerve paralysis, forget a flick or a cat eye, I just want a straight line!

I guess the only way to improve though is to practise, and even though you aren't going to see any of my fails in this post I've practising with this product from subscription box favourite brand, Bang Beauty.

I own a couple of Bang Beauty bits already but this is my first eyeliner. With a super slim tip, Bang Beauty claim that this is a waterproof, quick drying, non smudging, non pulling felt tip eyeliner.

It's not the blackest, black that I've ever seen but it is definitely black, and although the tip is quite fine it's easy enough to create both thick and thin lines. I have tried this on my eyes, and it does seem to do what they say, you have a little while to clear up mistakes before it sets, and it actually lasted pretty well all be it on some dry eye days.

This wasn't actually bad, I'm just useless at applying it, I'm going to persevere though, and fingers crossed one day I might create an eyeliner look worth photographing. This is a full size product and it's available exclusively from Bang Beauty.

Beauty Pro Eye Therapy Under Eye Mask - 3.5g - 1 x Pair

Finally another brand that you see a lot in subscription boxes, Beauty Pro, but this time it isn't a face mask, instead it's an under eye mask.

The pack contains 1 pair of hydro gel under eye patches, which contain collagen and green tea. They are designed to diminish fine line, and improve skin clarity, tone and elasticity, and like all eye masks they are also designed to be relaxing and cooling. They are free from mineral oil, lanolin, petroleum, and parabens. I haven't managed to try these yet but I'm sure that I will fairly soon if this heat keeps up. This 3.5g, single pair pack is described as by Glossybox as a deluxe mini with an estimated RRP of £1.65. I can't this single pack online but various retailers including direct from Beauty Pro, NEXT and Fragrance Direct all sell a pack of 3 pairs which retails between £4.50 and £5.

Okay, so did this box live up to the hype? Well the despite the fact that the colour didn't really work on me the standout product was definitely the HUDA Beauty Lip Strobe. I would have preferred one of the pink shades, but even though this product was unboxed, it was still worth more than the value of the box. Whilst the other items in the box are all decent value useful items, and things that I will use, I can't help but feel a touch disappointed that they didn't really seem to fit in with the fun, celebratory and sparkly theme. Let me know your thoughts in the comments, and if you fancy getting your hands on September's Delicious Beauty edit, which contains a black tea based body scrub, and of course priority access on the advent calendar, then please use my link to sign up for yourself.

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