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.

*This Post Contains Both Affiliate And Non Affiliate Link

Thursday 15 August 2019

A Blast From The Past - Rimmel 60 Seconds Nail Polish - 640 Twinkle

I first blogged about Rimmel 60 Seconds Nail Polish in Twinkle, way back in 2010, after purchasing it on a whim in my small village chemists. Although I wasn't really that happy with the post or the photographs, I had no plans to rewrite it or re shoot it. Then of course Photobucket started charging for their services and a lot of my old pictures disappeared, so I deleted the post and to be honest I forgot all about it.

Recently though I was having a sort through my extensive nail polish collection and I rediscovered quite a few polishes that I'd forgotten about. Time hasn't been kind to some of them and even on first glance the bin was the best place for them, but this one looked okay in the bottle so I thought I'd give it a go.

Rimmel Twinkle is a fabulous pink, lilac shade, packed full of tiny specks of silver and multicoloured sparkle. In some lights it looks warmer and more pink toned, and in others the sparkle really comes into its own and it looks cooler, with more lilac tones.

My memory isn't that great but it doesn't apply quite as well as I remember it, but the brush is decent and that always makes a big difference. Given it's age I think the consistency is a little bit thicker than what I remember, but at the same time the coverage wasn't quite as good. The first coat was a bit streaky and a bit patchy, but I found that two coats were enough to give full coverage on most nails.

Now this is one of Rimmel's 60 Seconds polishes, which are designed to dry in believe it or not, 60 seconds or less, but I found that it took a couple of minutes, again probably down to age.

The finish wasn't quite as nice as I remembered either, without a top coat it had quite a rough feel, which was a bit surprising considering the fineness of the sparkle; You could also see a few visible brushstrokes which is one of my biggest pet hates when it comes to nail polish.

Given its age, I was actually really impressed with the wear time, I know polishes with sparkle usually last a bit longer and this one was no exception. I always skip top coat when I'm trying out a polish, and even without it this lasted for nearly 3 days without any chips or wear. I'm notoriously hard on my hands so that was pretty decent by my standards. Again down to the glitter content I was expecting it to be quite hard to remove but because the glitter is so fine it actually wasn't too bad, with just the odd bit of sparkle hanging around on the nails and transferring onto the skin.

This isn't the easiest colour or finish to capture on camera, it's hard to capture a uniform colour in all of the pictures, and as always it's hard to show off the true sparkle on camera. I had a few goes and the eagle eyed Instagram watchers amongst you may have have already seen, a since deleted picture of this polish. I've had a play though and whilst I still don't think my pictures do the sparkle justice, these shot taken at night with the flash, give you a better idea of what it actually looks like on the nails.

Given that I first talked about this polish around 9 years ago now, it's not really any surprise that the formulations seems to have changed slightly, and whilst  Twinkle appears to have been discontinued by Rimmel, my bottle certainly isn't ready for the bin just yet. Despite a few drawbacks, it's a really pretty, wearable shade, that's perfect for when you want a safe colour, but with a bit of glamour at the same time x I'm now off to see what else I can rediscover so I'd love to know if you've rediscovered any beauty products recently? Let me know you rediscoveries in the comments  - I'd love to hear from you x

Tuesday 13 August 2019

Unboxing Papergang Box - No. 42 - August 2019 Edition - Hit The Town*

In my previous Papergang post I spoke of how much I loved the idea and the concept, but that I wasn't sure whether it was something that I could justify in the long term, will I stuck with it and I have to say that August's box is probably my favourite one so far.

The theme is "Hit The Town" and the box and its contents have a New York City theme. The outer box sleeve features a brightly coloured, line drawn, cityscape design, combined with quirky cartoons of things that we would associate with The Big Apple, including landmarks like the Empire State Building, the Statue Of Liberty, and the Chrysler Building, combined with drawings of pizza, pretzels, and even King Kong, and Godzilla!

The outer sleeve features the usual cut out, Papergang logo, and the reverse of the box features a "cut out and craft" washi tape dispenser.

When you remove the sleeve, you're greeted by the usual, brown cardboard box, open the box and the contents of August's box is wrapped in a sheet of pale pink tissue paper.

The first item in the box as per usual is the little paper information booklet, which in this case tells you exactly what's in the box, and it also includes instructions on how to make you your washi tape dispenser. As well as that it also tells you about the designer that created the August box, artist and illustrator Jacqueline Colley, and about some of her inspirations and ideas. As well as designing for Ohh Deer and Papergang, Jacqueline has also worked with companies such as Twitter, Mollie Makes, and Kate Spade.

A4 ish Desk Pad

The first item in the box, is a brightly coloured desk pad / organiser pad / to do list. Featuring the same design as the outer box, it features quirky cartoon like drawings of Godzilla and King Kong, as well as New York City landmarks, and things that we would associate with New York such as Brownstones, cocktails and apples.

This slightly smaller than A4 desk pad features 3 sections, one for days of the week and the weekend, a to do list, and a notes section. Printed using eco toners and vegetable inks, it's a nice quality, thick pad, and whilst  I haven't counted the pages there is easily enough sheets for at least 5 or 6 months, if not more.

I've already received a desk pad in a previous Papergang post (you can read it here) but I actually prefer this one, it's a bit bigger, the quality is excellent and I love the cartoon like illustrations. Like last months box there are no recommended retail prices on any of the items but similar desk pads retails at around £7.95 on Ohh Deer.

1 x Sheet Gift Wrap 

Next up a sheet of gift wrap, which features the same colourful illustration as the outer sleeve - I'm only showing you a small section of the sheet, I haven't measured it but it's probably around 8 times this size. It seems a shame to use it but you could wrap a decent size present in it. Again it's a nice quality item, a lot of wrapping paper is a bit flimsy but this is actually more like a heavy weight paper than what would you would normally expect from a sheet of gift wrap. Again environmentally conscious throughout, the factory that makes this gift wrap recycles more than 95% of their waste. As always everything in this box is exclusive and unavailable elsewhere but similar sheets of gift wrap retail between £1.75 and £1.95 on Ohh Deer.

1 x Greetings Card

The next item is what Ohh Deer are really famous for - a greetings card. If you're one of those people who likes things to coordinate, then this card works perfectly with the gift wrap. It features the same Jacqueline Colley design, the line drawn city scape, and icons that symbolise New York City, only with the words "HIT THE TOWN" embossed in a hot pink typeface. The card is blank inside so you can use it for any occasion or even just to say Hello or Bon Voyage and it contains a natural, brown envelope.

Again the quality is excellent, it's a nice sturdy card that will stand up and won't fall down with a the tiniest draft of air. The card is printed onto card stock which is FSC certified which means that is made from card sourced from responsible sources, through recycling or well managed, sustainable forest. Greeting cards are probably one of Ohh Deer's biggest sellers, and cards retail between, £2.75 and £2,95.

A5 Art Print

The NYC design also features on the next item in August's box, an A5 Art Print. The print again features a version of the fun cityscape design, on a pink background with the words "NEW YORK"printed on it in a darker shade of pink.

Like the previous print that I received in the June, Under The Sea box (read my post here), it isn't made of the thickest card, but you could easily put it in a frame or stick it up with washi tape ;) There aren't many A5 prints on the Ohh Deer website but the ones that there are retail between £4.95 and £5.95.

Enamel Pin

As well as greetings cards, and stationery, Ohh Deer and Papergang also sell a variety of enamel pins and iron patches. As I've said previously I'm not really a patch girl but I do love badges, brooches, and enamel pins. This months box features a fabulous Pretzel shaped pin. Made of metal with a rubberised fastening, it's a warm almost rose gold tone in colour, and it features tiny white / silver dots, which I guess represent sesame seeds. It super cute and I absolutely love it. Again this is a box exclusive but similar enamel pins and pin badges retail at around £5.95.

Washi Tape

I've probably dropped enough hints in this post as to what the next item is but in case you haven't caught on, it's a roll of washi tape. I used to be one of these people who didn't see what the fuss was with washi tape, it's coloured or patterned sticky tape after all but after buying a few rolls, I quickly became a bit of a collector, and I now store my rolls in a large Ferrero Rocher box, so I can see all of the pretty colours and patterns - I guess it makes sense I love stickers and if you think about it a roll of  tape is just a giant roll of stickers!

This is particular nice roll, in a bright turquoise blue, it features big yellow taxis, apples, hot dogs, pizza slices, apples, pretzels, and the letters NYC. It's a paper based tape so it tears nice and easily. I use washi tape for all sorts of things, but this would be a particularly nice one for scrapbooking or journalling particularly if you've got an trip to NYC to record. Alas I don't but I'm sure I'll find a use for it. Rolls of coloured and patterned tape retail between £2.50 and £2.95 on Ohh Deer.

Universal Calendar Card 

The final item in the August box is an ever present in the Papergang box, the Universal Calendar Card. These seem to appear in every box, and they always complement the box theme perfectly. This month the card is a pale pink colour and it features the same line drawn city design as the rest of the box but this time in grey and black.

As much as I loved last months In Bloom box, I think this is definitely my all round favourite box, I love New York, and I love Jacqueline Colley's fun, and cheerful, cartoon like illustrations. I love all of the products but the standouts for me have to be the pin, the desk pad, and of course the washi tape! Since the boxes just keep getting better and better I'm going to stick with Papergang for now, and fingers crossed that they keep up the standard. Let me know your thoughts on this box and don't forget check out the Papergang website to find out more about the box, and of course to shop from Ohh Deer.

*This Post Contains Affiliate Links