Friday 29 March 2019

All About Feelunique Pick 'n' Mix - March 2019 Selection*

Over the last few months or so I've been sharing my thoughts on the various subscription boxes that I subscribe to, and bar a few dodgy items, and a few hiccups here and there I'm still a huge fan of the concept, I love trying new things and I love the whole surprise element. Given the financial outlay and the risk element though, I can completely understand why some people don't like them. If you like the idea of trying new things but you aren't keen on the surprise element though there are a now a few options that able you to enjoy the beauty box experience without as much of a risk.

A lot of the beauty box companies such as Glossybox, Cohorted and Latest In Beauty do a lot of limited edition one off boxes, as do various beauty retailers including QVC UK, Debenhams, and even ASOS. The contents of these boxes is either clearly listed so you know exactly what you're buying or in some cases you can even choose what you want in your box. The fact that you know exactly what's in the box takes away that surprise element but since you can choose whether or not to buy it, it definitely takes away some of the risk. One thing it doesn't tackle though is the price issue, and if anything some of these one off boxes can actually work out more expensive than a regular subscription box, just having a quick look online the cheapest one off box I can find at the moment is £20 for QVC UK's TILI, not cheap and potentially still a pricey way to try something new. Fear for those of you who are watching the pennies but you fancy trying something new beauty wise, then there is another option.

Now if you read my February empties post or if you've ever watched any of my You Tube videos, and then you'll already have heard about the Feelunique UK Pick 'n' Mix. I don't know about you but I love Feelunique UK, their site features beauty products from over 500 brands including Clarins, Charlotte Tilbury, HUDA Beauty and Anastasia Beverley Hills, it really is a beauty junkies paradise. Apart from the sheer amount of choice on the website one of the reasons that I really love Feelunique is because of their fabulously proactive sampling policy. As well as the popular "try me" policy on certain items, you also get 2 samples on every order over £40, and they offer a fabulous Pick 'n" Mix service.

It's exactly the same as buying some Pick 'n' Mix at the cinema only without the terrifying price tag. Feelunique UK allows you to pick 5 samples a month, from an extensive and ever changing list of everything from perfumes, to make up, and skincare products from all of their most popular brands for only £3.95 shipping and handling. It sounds a lot but after your samples have been dispatched you then receive an email from Feelunique containing a code, which entitles you to £3.95 off your next purchase, so it's pretty much risk free.

Now I'm going to be honest some of the samples are quite small, they usually have not for sale printed on the packaging, and they are often samples that you could get on counter if the assistant was feeling generous that day. The website clearly indicates though the type of sample that you're requesting for example, a vial, a tube, a sachet or a card, and the size.

I'd the first to admit that I don't get a Pick 'n' Mix every month but if I see something that I've wanted to try for a while, or even smaller or mini of products that I already love then I'll go for it. Now by looking at the sizes and so on you can often really good sized products such as the Sol de Janeiro Body Buff Smoothing Scrub 'N' Mask that I talked about in February's post. I've had all sorts from mini eye pencils, to decent size fake tan sachets and mini lip glosses, it really it worth keeping an eye on it to say what's new. If you have a look at my You Tube channel then you can see some of my previous samples but today I thought I'd share this month's selection with you. I haven't had a chance to try anything yet but I thought it might give you an idea of what was on offer.

Now you don't get any fancy boxes with these, your samples will either come in a padded envelope or in a cardboard box / envelope like what you can see in the picture above. It's not about the packaging it's all about the contents and this is what I chose in March 2019.

RMS Beauty Living Luminizer - 0.04g

Even if you're a relatively new reader than you'll probably know that I have a bit of a thing for highlighters, so when I saw this one from RMS Beauty, I thought that I'd give it a try.

Now I've tried anything from RMS Beauty before but I'm really liking their philosophy, their aim is to transform the way that women use make up, their products are made from organic, non toxic ingredients and designed to heal and nourish the skin.

Containing almost skin care like ingredients such as castor seed oil, coconut oil, beeswax and rosemary leaf extract, this product apparently has a cult following, and promises a translucent, sheer, dewy, satin pearl finish.

It's a carded sample so you don't get a lot, but there should be enough for a couple of uses on the cheekbones and maybe on the brow bone. The full 4.8g size retails at £36.

Glamglow Glowstarter Mega Illuminating Moisturiser - Pearl Glow - 1.5ml

From an out and out highlighter to a multi use product that can add glow and luminosity in all sorts of different ways.

Founded in 2010 Glamglow are famous for their face masks, but this is something a bit different, it's a moisturiser and illuminator in one.

It contains a mixture of botanicals including jojoba, Shea butter, and green tea ceramides, and hyaluronic acid, to add moisture, hydration and radiance to the skin. It comes in 3 different shades and this one, Pearl Glow appears to be the lightest shade and in swatches online it appears to be a shimmery creamy, white.  You can use it as a moisturiser, and use it under the rest of your make up or you can wear it on its own, or you can use it as a highlighter and apply it to the cheekbones and where ever else you want to glow.

This is a decent size sachet so hopefully I'll be able to get a few uses out of it. The full 50g size again retails at £36.

Clarins Instant Poreless Mattifying Primer - 3 x 1.5ml

Next up an item from Clarins - I used to use a lot of Clarins products but bar a few products, it's a brand that I don't really pay that much attention to any more, so I thought that this might be a nice way to try a new product, and to try and tackle a few issues that I have with my skin and make up at the same time.

Despite being now in my early 40's (cry!), my skin can still pump oil out like it's going out of fashion, and you could still on occasions drive a truck through my pores, so if a product promises to the matte the complexion down, and minimise visual pores and imperfections, I'm all over it .Containing organic strawberry tree fruit extract, this cream gel primer, apparently turns into a powder on contact with the skin and absorbs oil and sebum to minimise shine.

Bring it on I say, and with 3 sachets, I've got plenty of product and time to see if it lives up to all of its promises. A full size 20ml tube retails at £24.

Benefit Gimme Brow + Brow Volumising Fibre Gel - 3 Neutral Light Brown - 1g

As much as I like trying new things, I've sometimes used Pick 'n' Mix to pick up minis and travel sizes of products that I already love, and I do love a bit of Gimme Brow. It's the perfect lazy girl (or shattered, time pushed girl!) product, it add a hint of colour, thickness, and definition to the brows, as well as taming the strays, and stragglers and covering the occasional white hair!

I'm usually a 4 / 4.5 in Gimme Brow now but this colour is perfect for when I don't want and obvious or full on brow or for adding a bit of definition and highlight. This is a good size tube and it would be ideal for trying the product for the first time, without too much of a risk. The full 3g size retails at £21.50.

Guerlain Cild D'Enfer Maxi Lash So Volume Mascara - 01 Noir - 1.5ml

Finally a product from Guerlain, now despite the fame and cult status of their Meteorites, I think I've only ever owned one of their products and that was a lipstick, so when I saw this, being the mascara junkie that I am I added it to my sample selection.

Again it sounds really impressive, it's designed to intensify and enhance the eyes, by adding condition, thickness, and volume, and all without running or smudging.

I can't wait to give this a go and whilst mini tubes like this don't always give you a true picture of the wand, it will definitely give me some idea of the formulation. The full 8.5ml size retails at £28.

As I say I haven't had the opportunity to try any of these products, bar the Gimme Brow yet, so keep an eye on my Instagram, and my future empties posts to hear my thoughts x I hope that this has given you at least some idea of some of the items that you try with Feelunique Pick 'n' Mix. The selection is constantly changing and every day there seems to be something new, so it's well worth keeping tabs on the website. I know this post probably sounds like a bit of a ad but I promise you I just love the concept x If you want to find out more about Feelunique and the Pick 'n' Mix service, then check out their website to find out more x Are you a fan of samples? Let me know xx

*This Post Contains Both Affiliate And Non Affiliate Links

Saturday 23 March 2019

Unboxing Pink Parcel - March 2019 Edition - Spring Clean Edit*

Well it's that time of the month again, you know the one, sleepy, pained, and craving chocolate time - great just what I needed, but since I'm trying to have a more positive outlook on life, that time of the month also mean that it's Pink Parcel time.

Maybe it's because I'm a bit down and a bit grouchy at the moment but this box didn't bring the joy that I'd hoped. I've never done this before but after receiving the box I had a few, not exactly complaints but a few concerns that I needed addressing. When you've sung the praises of something and recommended it to as many people as what I have, you feel responsible I guess, and I felt that I needed to share a few of my concerns with Pink Parcel - They responded and they've apologised and they've taken my comments on board and promised changes. I'm pleased with their response and we'll just have to see what if anything changes in the months to come.

Like February's box , March's box is the new compact, brighter and fresher version, the box is noticeably smaller than it used to be and as a result the contents has changed, instead of the 3 boxes and one pouch, you know only get two boxes and one pouch. I know I mentioned last month that I'd received a mixture of brands and a few less pads than I had done in previous months, and this was something that unfortunately continued on in to March's box. Last month I received 25 pads of varying absorbency's, and 5 pantie liners, but this month I only got 23 items in total, and I only received 5 "normal" pads! Now Pink Parcel have apologised and offered to send me some more products if I needed them, thankfully I have plenty spare, so I didn't take them up on their offer. Apparently the new compact box is to blame, and we should be receiving slightly fewer items than normal but there should still be enough. They are going to look into this though and hopefully brands and amounts should be sorted in the next month or so.

As I said last month I don't mind the mixture of brands but if you're not receiving enough products to last your period then it kind of makes the whole box a bit pointless. Fingers crossed that this issue get sorted out sooner rather than later.

Anyway as much as I love Pink Parcel, for the convenience of having sanitary products delivered to my door, it's the the little "Wants" box that I really look forward to. This month it's the Spring Clean Edit, and it's all about cleaning out the beauty cupboard, and introducing some cleaner ingredients into our beauty routines. Sounds good? and by and large it's a good one this month but I again I was left feeling a little bit disappointed. Why? well out of the 8 items in the "Wants' box I've had 5 of them before in previous Pink Parcels. I can't complain about the quality of the products but like January's box most it all felt like a bit of an afterthought, Am I being too harsh? Let's see...

Dr. Botanicals Cr Charcoal Superfood Mattifying Face Mask - 30ml - Travel Size - £12

Now the first item in the box, thankfully was one that I hadn't tried before. Each box contained 1 of 3 products from Dr Botanicals, Since I already tried the other options of the exfoliating body bar, and the rose facial oil, I was really pleased to receive something different.

Dr. Botanicals are a UK based natural skincare brand, that are PETA certified, and are vegan, and toxin and paraben free. Containing active charcoal powder to buff away the dead skin cells, this mask also contains shea butter, sweet almond and grape seed oil, jojoba and sunflower seed wax to nourish, and hydrate the skin, and to leave a smoother, even, and more mattified complexion. 

I do love a face mask and since my skin is pretty oily, I thought I'd give this a go straight away. Now given my all be it limited experience of the brand I thought that this would smell amazing, unfortunately it didn't - it had quite an oily scent, you could definitely smell the sunflower oil! I also expected it to have a thick clay mask type texture, but it actually felt more like a cream mask feel. It was pretty easy to apply but the key is to apply a thin even layer. After applying it to cleansed skin you then left it for 5 -10 minute, there was a slight warming sensation but it wasn't uncomfortable or irritating. If you aren't a fan of masks that dry hard, and crack then this one might be worth a try, it didn't crack, set solid or feel uncomfortable, it just seemed to set particularly in areas where it was applied more thinly. I used a muslin cloth and warm water, and washed it off in circular motions, at this point I could feel a slight grittiness to the mask but it was easy to remove and it didn't cause any irritation. My skin was left looking slightly pink but it felt very clean and hydrated. As time progressed my skin just got softer, and softer, it looked and felt moisturised, and my skin looked fresher and more even. Did my oiliness disappear? Well no not really but my skin definitely felt and looked better. I've used this mask about 3 times now and my skin definitely looks a lot clearer.

Despite the creature from the black lagoon impression, the first item in the box was a huge win as far as I'm concerned. I'm not the biggest fan of the scent, and I'm not sure my flannels or muslin cloths will ever full recover, but I can see a definite improvement in my skin so I'm going to keep using, and then "I may" even consider repurchasing - high praise indeed! This is a generous travel size which retails at £12 from various retailers including Beauty Expert, and Look Fantastic.

Phase Zero Make Up Shimmer Eye Shadow - Mush-a-boom - 1.8g - Full Size - RRP £3.50

Next up another new item, and it was a make item. I'm always pleased to see a make up item in a subscription box, and especially an item from a new to me brand. I don't know too much about Phase Zero but from what I can gather they are cruelty free seem to be associated with former subscription box site Love Me Beauty. I've had a little look at the range online and it seems to be pretty affordable and they seem to have some nice looking products.

March's Pink Parcel contained an eyeshadow from the range in one of two formulations, and the one I received was one of their shimmer eye shadows in the shade Mush-a-boom.

It's a loose pan shadow, and the Love Me Beauty site sell palettes to store your shadows in but if you have a MAC palette with a spare slot like I have, stick a magnet on the back and you're good to go, if not it should be safe enough in the moulded plastic packaging.

The colour I received is the fabulously names Mush-a-boom, which describes it perfectly. It's one of those gorgeous mushroomy, silvery taupe shades. If you love shades like MAC Satin Taupe or even  Smoke And Diamonds, then you'll love this, and I love this! The shade is so, so wearable, and it feels absolutely gorgeous, smooth, creamy, velvety and very pigmented.

Not the best picture of it on my face as per usual, but it's a dream shadow to work with it applies really easily and it's easy to blend, a touch of fall out but nothing to serious. Obviously you can team this up with other shades but I've been wearing it on it's own for the last week and for the price I am so impressed with the feel and the wear time. I'm definitely going to be having a closer look at this brand in the near future. If you fancy trying this shadow out (seriously why wouldn't you), then you can buy it directly from the Love Me Beauty website.

Skin Chemists London Rose Quartz Youth Defence Lip Plump - 8ml - Full Size - RRP £29.99

Next an item that appeared in the September 2018 edition of Pink Parcel (watch my unboxing here), and I'm not going to lie it's something that I'd completely forgotten about!

From a UK based brand with over 50 years of skincare research and knowledge, this product promises a fuller lip, without the pain. Designed to hydrate the lips and boost fullness, it's a lip gloss, a lip plumper, and a balm all in one. 

It contains Volulip a unique ingredients that is designed to stimulate the production of Hyaluronic Acid, which has a plumping effect and peppermint oil to boost circulation.

With a sponge, doe foot applicator, it has an almost liquidy, balm like, gloss texture. The first thing you notice though when you open the tube is the scent, and ultimately the taste, it has really distinctive smell and taste that reminds me a bit of peppermint mixed with Germolene or any other antiseptic - not great but it would certainly hide it if your breath didn't smell too sweet!

As you would expect from a lip plumper you do experience a little bit of a tingling sensation but it isn't too much and unlike some products it certainly isn't painful. It looks like a translucent pink in the tube but it hardly adds any colour to the lips themselves. 

I don't know if I can see too much change in the volume of my lips but what I can see if a really pretty slightly glossy. my lips but better look. It has the look of a gloss but with a bit more hydration and hardly any stickiness. Obviously you could wear this over a lip colour but personally I like it on it's own, and even though I already owned this, I am pretty pleased to have rediscovered it thanks to March's Pink Parcel

What's In It For Me Body Cleanser - 50ml

From September to October and an item that I received in October's Pink Parcel (click here to watch my unboxing) x Again I don't know too much about this brand but from what I'm managed to find out, What's In It For Me is part of the Anatomicals stable.

This shower gel promises to enliven and invigorate and contains aloe Vera, witch hazel, grapefruit, peppermint and rosemary. 

I'm not big on morning shower, so I normally stay away from invigorating scents but I thought I give this ago and have a nice shower to try and wake myself up a bit! If you love citrus scents but you want something a little bit different I'd definitely recommend that you give this a go. There is no orange or lemon in it, instead you get a huge hit of citrusy, tangy grapefruit! I'm not a fan of eating grapefruit, and a bit of the juice mixed up with a bit of vodka is about all that I can manage but I do love the smell of it, and this stuff smelled pretty good! I can't find this particular size anywhere online but you can buy the full 250ml size from various retailers including Fragrance Direct. 

Magnitone Wipe Out The Amazing Microfibre Cleansing Cloth - Est. RRP £7.50

Next up something that I've tried quite a few times already, from July 2018's Pink Parcel, and from the 2017 Look Fantastic advent calendar, the pretty fabulous Magnitone cleansing cloth.

The idea is pretty simple, but very clever, these cloths remove make up with just water, no cleanser, no balms or creams, just warm water! I have no idea how they work but they do, and if you want to remove your make up in a greener way then these cloths could be something to try. They are machine washable, and reusable. These cloths retail at around £14.99 for a pack of 2, so I would estimate the price of this cloth at around £7.50,

Bandzee Suffragettes Edition Hair Bands - Full Size - £6.95

Now apparently this is a bonus item,  read into that what you will,  did they have some leftover from June's box when they first appeared? Who knows but the product is decent and their message is an important one.

Basically Bandzees are gentle, no snag, no break, elastic hair ties, made from the same type of elastic that goes in your undies! I've had a few sets of these now and whilst I prefer a tighter ponytail for daytime, I love these for sleeping in they are really comfortable to wear, they don't knot the hair, and you can also use them as wristbands.

This was a limited edition set that celebrated the anniversary of Women's suffrage in the UK. I can't find this particular set online anymore but the Pink Shop sells sets of plain Bandzee's for £6.95

Squirrel Sisters Natural Energy Bar - Raspberry Ripple - 2 x 20g - Full Size - Est. RRP £1.20 - £2.49

You always get something to eat in every Pink Parcel, and whilst I was initially disappointed at the lack of chocolate, these certainly hit the spot.

Founded by two sisters, Squirrel Sisters is a health and wellness company that produces yummy treats like this. Containing dates, sultanas, cashew nuts, almonds, goji berries, and raspberry powder, the packets contains two chewy, nutty and fruity bars, that are raw, vegan, gluten free, and contain no added sugar.

Bars like this are never the most appetising things to look at but the taste more than made for it. Packed in a squirrel designed, cardboard tray, the packet contained 2 soft yet dense fruit and nut bars. They weren't too sweet and they just tasted really natural, you could taste the nuts and the sweetness and tartness of the fruit. They were really good and unlike a lot of snacks they were really filling. You can buy these in packs of 16 from the Squirrel Sisters website, and you also buy individual bars from various retailers including Morrisons, Ocado, Amazon, and Holland and Barrett x My advice though would be to shop around I've a found a huge variation on prices on these x They are currently on offer in Morrisons for just £1 if you fancy giving them a try.

Lyons No.3 Rich & Full Bodied - 100% Fresh Ground Coffee In A Bag - 1 x Bag

Finally the tea bag or in this case the coffee bag. Now I've definitely had one of these in a box before but surprise, surprise it wasn't me that used it! The idea is brilliant though instead of tea, your bag contains ground coffee, simply brew as normal and you get a steaming cup of fresh coffee. If I put this in the kitchen I may never see it again, so I think I'll keep it safe so I can give it a go. I've had a look online and I can only find these on Amazon where 18 bags retails at around £7.97.

Okay, on reflection I probably was a touch harsh, yes I received fewer sanitary products, and a lot of the products were repeats but the value was certainly there and the products inside were decent and I've definitely discover a few new loves. People and companies make mistakes, but it's how they put them right that matters, I've brought up a few concerns with Pink Parcel, and hopefully they'll take those concerns on board and make things better, they've already told me that April's box will be their best ever so I guess we'll have to wait and see x Let me know your thoughts on this box in the comments and don't forget to check the Pink Parcel website for more information x 

*This Post Contains Both Affiliate And Non Affiliate Links 

Monday 18 March 2019

Mothers Day At Poundland - Stationery, Homeware, And High End Make Up Dupes

When I was younger, like so many of peers I wouldn't have been seen dead in a so called discount stores, whether it was down to naivety, delusions of grandeur, just trying to fit in or just plain stupidity, I look back on the Louise of the 1990's and I cringe, I was such an idiot, discount and bargain stores rock and they probably always did.

It's simple really, why pay more for something when you don't need to, I am a huge fan of the so called discounter supermarkets like Aldi and Lidl, I love a good market stall, and of course I love bargain retailers like B&M and Home Bargains. My real love though is Poundland, you do sometimes need to watch their prices, as you can occasionally get things cheaper elsewhere but it's one of the few shops that I can never leave empty handed.

What do I buy in Poundland? well anything and everything, you name it and I've probably bought it in Poundland, nail varnish - check, CD's - check, cleaning products - check, yeah, you get the idea. I'm lucky enough to live quite close to one of their larger stores so I can't resist popping in every week or so, to see their latest arrivals.

Like so many stores now, Poundland is a buy it when you see it shop, if you don't get it when you see it there is no guarantee that it will be there the next time, I think that fear of missing out is probably one of the reasons that I buy so much on every trip.

Now I don't post as many hauls on the blog as I used to instead I tend to upload pictures to Instagram,  and save them to highlights but I thought that today I'd share some of my most recent Poundland buys with you, and they all have a bit of a theme.

If you are still lucky enough to have either your own mum in your life or if you're a mum yourself then you'll already know that it's now less than two weeks till Mothers Day. I think I'm just about sorted now but if you aren't and you either want some little things to add to a main present or you just want some cheaper or token items, or even if you fancy treating yourself on a budget, than Poundland really should be your first port of call.

On my last couple of trips I've noticed more and more items appearing in the their Mothers Day collection. With 90% of the range priced at just £1, this years offerings are perfect if you're are a fan of pinks and marble prints. With items ranging from these fabulous tea light holders, to travel mugs, coupon books, coasters, and trinket boxes, there really is something for every type of mum

Now my mam, is a bit of a puzzle book fan so I've picked up a cute set of pens that are shaped like cooking utensils for her (not pictured), and you know how it goes, I couldn't resist picking up a few stationery bits for me. The pack of  marble print washi tape wasn't in the Mothers Day range but everything else in this picture was. I love anything in gold, pink and marble, and I do love a notebook, so for just a £1 this one was a must, and I love the quotes like "Write Your Own Future" on the pencils.

As well as stationery Poundland's Mothers Day range also contains quite a few beauty items, I'd already picked up one of the marble Blending Sponges when they first appeared with the Valentines / Galentines range, and after a few uses I decided to get a back up. It works just as well as my Beauty Blender and I love the grey and white marble print. As well as the blending sponges, there are perfume dupes, nail polish and nail files sets, bath bombs and some pretty decent make up products.

For Mothers Day 2019, Poundland have released 3 cheek different products inspired by Revolution / Make Up Revolution's, popular Blushing Hearts line which retail at around £4.99 and were themselves inspired by Too Faced's £24 Sweethearts. I don't own any of the Too Faced originals but I'm pretty happy with the Revolution dupes that I do own, and £4.99 is a lot easier to spend then £24. What about a pound though, can make up that cheap really be any good? well I decided to find out and I managed to get my hands on two of Poundland's "heart" make up items.

The first item I picked up was the Bronzing Powder Triple Baked Bronzer. Sticking with the the pink, Mother's Day theme, it comes packaged in pink and white cardboard box. The box itself comes wrapped in a plastic seal so you can't actually see what you're buying, slightly risky but it was only a pound and there is nothing worse than getting a product home and finding someone else's fingerprints in it, so at least you've escaped that!

Open the box and you're greeted with your product adhered to a plastic insert, and boy does it look the part. The domed, chunky, heart shaped bronzer contains 3 shades, a deep warm gold, a deep brown bronze, and a slightly lighter nude bronze.

With the baked texture that you we've come to expect from this type of product, the payoff and pigmentation is superb, all of the shades are strong, and smooth, and I didn't have to do any of that scraping that your sometimes have to do with baked products to get to the colour - just warmth and shimmer in just one light swipe.

Unfortunately I haven't managed to take any pictures of these actually on my face yet, but I have used this bronzer for an all over look, swirling the colours together to warm my cheeks up, and then individually as eye colours. The shades aren't quite as dark as they appear in the pan but I definitely think that this will be more of a summer palette for me, it definitely adds a real glow and a bit of shimmer, which I think will work better on me when I'm not quite as pasty.

Now the other item I got is something that I can definitely wear all year round, it's the Triple Baked Highlighter. Yes, yes I have a ridiculous amount of highlighters but they make me happy, I mean look at it, it's so pretty!

Obviously it comes in the same packaging as the bronzer, only this time you're getting an altogether lighter, cooler toned glow. Again you get three shades in your chunky, domed heart, a true champagne, a more golden champagne tone and a bronze nude. Again I can't fault the colour payoff, or the texture, the pigmentation is there and it's definitely a case of shimmer rather than glitter.

Whilst the bronzer palette worked best for me on the eyes, this is more of a put it everywhere type palette, you can use each shade individually or swirl them together and use them on your cheek bones, brow bones, and again you could even create a full eye look with just this one heart.

I wasn't expecting a lot from these two palettes but I'm so, so impressed for the price. They feel nice, the colour payoff is superb and they were really easy to apply and blend, oh and did I mention that they aren't tested on animals? Yes you get a little bit of fallout, and they create a bit of dust, and I can imagine that the packaging will get a bit grubby after a while but hey I can live with that, they are a £1 each what's not to love! I can't really justify buying any more cheek products at the moment but I'm so tempted to go on a hunt for the as yet elusive, Blushing Hearts Blusher to complete my trio, if that is even half as good as these then for just £1 it will still be well worth picking up. If you've tried it though let me know your thoughts As I say when you see things in Poundland you should buy them, everything that I've seen and read seems to suggest that there were made specifically for Mothers Day so if you fancy a real make up bargain or anything else that I've mentioned then I'd get yourself down to Poundland sooner rather than later x Are you like me and a fan of bargain and discount stores? Share you best finds with me in the comments x

Saturday 9 March 2019

Unboxing Glossybox UK - March 2019 - The Empowerment Edition*

After the special Valentines Day, heart theme of the February box, the March edition of Glossybox has gone back to basics with a return to the traditional box colour palette of pink and black. The box itself is in the trademark dusky pink, the lining is black and pink, the paper shred is black, and the products inside are wrapped in pink tissue paper tied with a black ribbon. I love the limited editions that Glossybox often have but at the same time there is something quite stylish about their original black and pink design.

Underneath the ribbon, as per usual you find an information card, telling you about the box and the products inside, normally it's just a double side piece of card but in this box it's changed to a four page fold out booklet x

The theme of March's Glossybox is Empowerment and the box contains 5 product that are created by innovative and go getting entrepreneurs, sounds good doesn't it? but what is inside? well let's pull back the ribbon, and see...

Bellapierre Kiss Proof Lip Creme - Incognito - 3.6ml - Full Size - RRP £20

The first product is a full size item from Bellapierre. I've tried a few products for Bellapierre over the years, and my first product was one of their fabulous multi purpose, mineral pigment stacks. In the early days they were known just as a toxin, paraben and cruelty free, mineral make up brand, but nowadays they offer so much much more than just pigments and powders.

In March's Glossybox every subscriber received a full sized Kiss Proof Lip Creme. These are full coverage, long wear, liquid lipsticks, that go like a cream and have a matte finish. Glossybox customers were randomly sent one of 4 shades and the one I received was Incognito which is officially described as a "muted peach nude".

As you can see from the swatch below the pigmentation is superb, you only need a small amount of product for full coverage. Thanks to the slanted doe foot style sponge, applicator it's really easy to apply and it's easy to accentuate and stay within the lines of your lips. At first it looks quite creamy, but give it a minute or so to dry(the colour darkens slightly as it dries), and you are left with a matte, but not flat finish. Like all matte products it is slightly drying, and it does tend to cling to any dry bits that you have on your lips but it certainly isn't the most moisture sapping product that I've ever used. 

What about wear time, well it's pretty fantastic as it turns out. I've only managed to wear this twice so far but it's survived mashed potato, vegetable stew, and ice cream, and it still stayed put. It's pretty easy to reapply but if you don't bother to touch up it gradually fades and eventually it goes a little bit bitty. When I took my make up off last night there was still a bit colour of coming off my lips so yeah this is pretty long wearing. Obviously the matte look isn't for everyone though so if you wanted to put a gloss on over the top you could change the look and the finish. If you read any of my Glossybox Advent Calendar unboxing posts then you might have seen me mention a product called the Bellapierre Kiss Proof Lip Finish (You can have a read here if you haven't seen it). That product is specifically designed to be used alongside these lip cremes to add gloss, and prolong the life of your lip colour. I haven't tried the two together yet but it's definitely something that I'm going to be trying soon.

So nice colour, super long wearing, it should be love, and it very nearly is bar one thing! In application it doesn't smell too bad, a slight synthetic fruity scent but nothing too nasty, as it dries though it develops a not very pleasant plastic, newspaper, rubbery scent and taste, which lingers for as long as the colour does. To be honest I'm quite devastated about it, I love the product and I would happily buy more based on my initial impressions if it wasn't for the taste and scent. I'm hoping some flavoured balm or gloss while eradicate it, but only time will tell.

Bellapierre Kiss Proof Lip Cremes retail at £20, and are available from various retailers including Bellapierre direct, Look Fantastic, and Beauty Expert.

BYBI Plumper Lip Balm - 10ml - Full Size - RRP £9 

Next up the product that was trailed in last months box from 100% natural, cruelty free, and vegan company BYBI. Available from both ASOS and their own website, this full size, plumping lip balm is designed to soften, restore and protect the lips. It contains Shea butter, orange and grape seed oil, peppermint, cinnamon and chilli. 

At first glance the tube looks like it's made out of plastic, but it's actually an eco tube made out of sugar cane rather than plastic, so it's 100% biodegradable, and recyclable. The tube itself is quite hard to squeeze, not because of what it's made of but because of the thick consistency of the balm. The yellowish, waxy balm is really thick so you only need a really small amount. Despite it's thickness it melts on contact with the lips and its quite easy to massage in. With a a cinnamon and mint flavour and scent, it leaves a nice sheen on the lips. I did experience a slight tingling sensation, but it definitely wasn't painful or uncomfortable. Unfortunately I didn't manage to take any pictures of it on  but I didn't really notice any real change in their volume, I definitely noticed a change in the smoothness of my lips though and I like how it looked and how it felt so I'm definitely going to keep at and see if makes any difference to the condition of my lips in the long term.

Laritzy Cosmetics Dew Pot - Utopia - 3.5g - Full Size - RRP $20 / £15.30 - £20

Next up another make up item, and this is an item from one of those brands that you only ever seem to see in subscription boxed. I've tried a few bits from this Candian /US based, 100% cruelty free and vegan brand before, and I've always been pretty impressed. In fact I've already tried one of the Dew Pots before after receiving in August 2018's Pink Parcel (click here to watch my unboxing). The colour I received then was Wonder, an icy white, but in this edition of Glossybox I received Utopia, a warm rose gold. I know it looks as though there is more than one colour in the put here but I think it's just a slight separation of the pigment - now that I've swatched it, the whole pot looks the same colour

Dew Pots are basically smooth and creamy blend able highlighters, that suit all skin tones and all skin types. Because they are so creamy, you only need a small amount to add a subtle, dewy glow to the skin, but you can add more for a more dramatic effect. 

I've just applied a bit to my cheekbones here to add a bit of a glow. because it's so smooth and creamy it's really easy to apply it with your fingers, just pot a few dots on and then blend it in. You could use a brush or a sponge, but fingers do the job just fine. You can use it on top of make up or directly onto bare skin but I've used it on top of a face powder here, and it still blends in pretty well without too much caking.

I do love a highlighter so I'm always happy to add new ones to my collection, and this one is super pretty. This isn't the easiest of brand to get in the UK but you can buy this product direct from Laritzy and you can also buy it from the Pink Parcel Shop.

Essence Instant Matte Make Up Setting Spray - 50ml - Full Size - RRP £3

The fourth product in this months Glossybox, is from one of my favourite budget brands, the female founded Essence. I've been lucky enough to have worked with Essence in the past and I've bought products from them for years both Europe and now from in the UK. 

I have to say I'm a tiny bit cynical when it comes to facial sprays, and setting mists, do they actually work or is it just the quality of the make up underneath? I'm not sure but I still continue to buy them and use them. This is a new one to me though, it's oil free, lightweight and non sticky and it aims to mattify the skin, set make up and make it last longer.

I haven't had too much of a chance to use this yet, but based on a couple of squirts, it feels cooling on the skin  and it doesn't really have any scent bar that synthetic scent that fragrance free products often have. It did make my eyes water a little bit but I like the mattifying idea so I'm going to try integrate this product into my make up routine over the next few weeks to see how it performs. This is a full 50ml size which is valued at £3 and it's perfect for both your handbag and you dressing table.

The Body Shop Coconut Body Butter - 50ml - RRP £6

If you've been reading my blog for a while now then you'll know that I'm a bit of a fan of The Body Shop. I've been lucky enough to work with them on several occasions. I love a lot of their products but one of my long term favourites has to be their body butters. 

I've lost count of how many different scents that I've tried over the years, and March's Glossybox contained a 50ml size in either Shea, Coconut or Wild Argan. The one I received was their Coconut Body Butter. I would be the first to admit that coconut isn't my favourite scent but there is something about this particular product that I love. Containing virgin coconut oil from Samoa and Polynesia, this stuff has a real, fresh coconut scent, that a million miles away from the synthetic scent of so many coconut based body products. This is one of their ultra creamy body butters that is designed for dry to extra dry skin. It takes a while to absorb but it's worth the wait.

Because you need so little this 50ml size which retails at £6.00 will last you for ages, and give you that summer feeling even when it's snowing outside!!

So those 5 products made up March's Glossybox, and despite the odd quirk I'm very happy with the contents. I'll use all of the products, and all of the products bar the body butter are full sized, and even that is a decent, retail size. Considering the Bellapierre Lip Creme retails at £20, and the whole box on my plan retails at £13.25, again March's Glossybox is excellent value for money. The sneaky peek for April's Fruity and Floral themed box, is a Pomegranate Superfood Regenerating Sleeping Mask from Dr Botanicals, so if you're interested in getting your own box with a bit of a discount, then click my link to find out more x Let me know your thoughts on this box in the comments below, and if you have any questions please let me know xx