Monday 9 December 2019

Unboxing Glossybox UK - November 2019 Edition - Winter Warmers*

Despite many promises to get this post up nice and early, it's ended up going live on the  same day that December box has been dispatched. Basically life has got in the way again, I haven't been well, my mam's been poorly, things have gone wrong in the house, and unfortunately on Saturday we suffered a family bereavement. So what am I going to do? Well I'm not going to make any promises about when I'm going to post anything in the run up to Christmas, I've got some posts I'd like to get up but it's going to be a case of if not when x I always find blogging a distraction from real life though, so fingers crossed I should be able to get a few posts up and you won't notice too much of a difference x

If there is one thing that's guaranteed to put me on a downer it's the weather, after what seems like months and months of rain, the weather has at last taken a more wintry turn, with overnights frosts, and with snow potentially making an appearance in my little part of County Durham this week. The arrival of the November edition of Glossybox almost seemed to coincide with the change in the weather, and with its Winter Warmers theme it was perfect timing.

After the the specially designed Angel box, that I received in October (read my post here), November's box saw a return to the traditional black and pink colourway, and it contained a variety of enriching, nourishing and warming treats.

Mudmasky Leave-Me-On Winter Mask - 40ml - Full Size - RRP £41.75

I've received quite a few skin and haircare products from Dutch company, Mudmasky in various subscription boxes but this is a completely new product and it's quite unlike any other skin care product that I've ever tried.

Like all Mudmasky products this mask is both cruelty free and PETA certified. It contains a whole host of moisturising ingredients including soybean, safflower, macadamia seed oil, squalene, Moroccan cold pressed argan. as well as jojoba, and Moroccan lava clay.

Basically what it is, is a leave on, no rinse face mask, that is designed to protect the skin from the harsh winter weather, whilst at the same time, moisturising, nourishing, and repairing dry and flaky skin, all without clogging the pores, and causing oiliness or breakouts.

Texture wise, this thick cream, has more of a rich moisturiser feel, than some of the cream masks that I've used in the past, and I couldn't detect any real scent.

To use you it you just apply a thin layer to cleansed skin. Having more of an oily / combination skin I was a little bit worried that it would too thick, and too heavy, and that it wouldn't absorb, but it actually started to absorb pretty much on application. The first picture was taken just after application, and the second picture was taken about 3 minutes later.

Just After Application

Around 3 Minutes After Application

It took about 5 minutes to completely absorb, and surprisingly it dried down to an almost matte finish. My skin felt very smooth, and it's hard to explain but protected, like there was something on my skin, but it was invisible, and I certainly couldn't feel anything heavy or sticky. As the day went on my t-zone did start to look a little bit shiny, but that is quite normal for me no matter what moisturiser I use.

I have to say this product really surprised me, I loved the concept, but I really thought that I was going to hate, but I actually really liked it. My biggest worry was that it would make my skin feel greasy, and sticky but it didn't, my skin just felt smooth, hydrated, and protected. This mask is simply perfect for this time of year, I sometimes experience cold weather related redness and sensitivity but I haven't experienced anything yet whilst using this product. If you have a face, and you need to go outdoors in the winter months, then I can't recommend this product enough. The one thing that would probably prevent a repurchase would be the price, all though this tube is a full size, it is quite small, and it has a recommended retail price of around £41.25,  direct from Mudmasky, although it is currently on special for £29.47.

Rituals The Ritual Of Ayurveda Indian Rose & Sweet Almond Oil Soothing Hand Balm - 70ml - Full Size - RRP £9.90

Thanks to several subscription boxes and several press, and blogger events I've been lucky enough to try quite a few products from Rituals. If you aren't familiar with them, they are a UK based brand that are inspired by the ancient traditions of Asian cultures, producing a range of affordable spa like body products using only the finest fragrances and ingredients.

From their Ritual Of Ayurveda range, this hand cream contains sweet almond oil, Indian rose, and shea butter. This softening, relaxing, and non greasy formulation is also mineral oil, paraben and cruelty free.

It has a lovely rich, thick and creamy texture, but just like the Mudmasky product it actually seemed to absorb quite quickly, leaving the skin feel silky, smooth and protected but not greasy or sticky.

I would describe the scent as a warm, sensual floral, it might be a bit too strong for some people, as I does tend to linger on the skin but personally I really liked it, and the spa like memories that it evoked.

This is a really nice everyday hand cream, that again is perfect for these colder months. This is a full size tube that retails at around £9.90 from various retailers including direct from Rituals, Look Fantastic, Debenhams and John Lewis.

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser - 29ml - Deluxe Mini

Now, many moons ago along with Noxema, and Queen Helene Mint Julep Mask, Cetaphil was one of the must have drugstore beauty products if you were lucky enough to be heading stateside. Once hard to find in the UK, there is a reason why this product still developed such a cult following.

Although it now comes in several different variants, this is the original which is formulated especially for dry, sensitive or compromised skin including conditions such eczema, psoriasis, and acne.

Designed for use both on the face and the body, it's gentle, soap free, fragrance free, and non comedogenic. It cleanses, and moisturises whilst maintaining the skins natural pH.

Although you can use it to remove make up, and as a body wash, I've been using this as my morning cleanser. To use it, all you do is mix a little bit of this pearlised white, gel like, cleanser with some warm water then you massage it onto the skin. You can just remove it with dry cotton wool or tissues, but since I love the feeling of water on my face I've been removing it with warm water and a muslin cloth. 

If you don't like the idea of heavy cream cleanser, but at the same time you find face washes, and foams to drying and stripping then this is a perfect compromise. My skin didn't feel dry or tight, and there was no increase in oiliness or breakouts, my skin just felt smooth and clean, and it's really quick and easy to use, when you are time poor. Glossybox value this deluxe mini size at £1.10, but you can buy the full 236ml for between £8.99 and £9.50 from chemists and from Boots and Superdrug.

Kandi Cosmetics Pre Glow Up Mist - 120ml - Full Size - RRP £20

Next up the product that Glossybox teased in the October box. I can't find out too much about Kandi Cosmetics other than that they are a UK based cosmetics company who have a large range of products including, brushes, eye palettes, pigments, beauty tools, and make up bags.

Containing cucumber, Camellia, and Vitamin E, this is basically a cruelty free, 2 in one, primer and setting spray, that's designed to hydrate your skin, and to give it it's glow back.

Boxed, and packaged in a pump action dispenser, you need to give it a good shake, as the lovely golden particles that it contains have a tendency to settle. Then you just spray the fine mist directly onto your skin, or on top of make up.

The spray is very fine but it's quite substantial so you only need a couple of squirts for your whole face. It doesn't have any real scent, and it dries down pretty quickly. Personally I couldn't see too much difference on my face, but you can see an ever so slight sheen on my hand.

I do like setting sprays and whilst the increase in radiance was pretty subtle, I think that makes this spray a little bit more versatile - Because it isn't full of glitter and shimmer it means that you could use it as an everyday product, especially in the winter months when your skin has a tendency to look a little bit dull. This is the full 120ml size which retails at £20 and is available directly from Kandi Cosmetics.

Hask Monoi Coconut Oil Nourishing Shine Hair Oil - 18ml - Full Size - RRP £2.49

In November's box, every Glossybox subscriber received one of 3 oils from subscription box favourite, US hair brand, Hask. I've tried quite a few Hask problems and a few of their hair oil, so I was really pleased to get one in my box that I hadn't tried before, Monoi Coconut.

Containing monoi flower extract. coconut oil, linseed, soybean and vitamin E, this particular oil is designed to be moisturising and revitalising. It comes in slightly awkward vial like dispenser, and the first thing you notice when you take off the top is the warm coconut scent, I can take or leave coconut as a scent but this was actually quite nice and not too strong.

Despite the thickness of the oil, again it absorbed quite quickly into the hair without making it look oily, or feel greasy or weighed down. You can use it on damp hair as a leave in treatment and as a styling product or on dry hair as a finisher, an anti frizz treatment, and as a shine treatment.

Out of all of the Hask hair oils that I've tried I think this one has to be my favourite so far.
I've been using this for a couple of weeks now and I've barely put a dent into the bottle, you really don't need a lot, so this tiny but full sized bottle should last quite a while. You can buy Hask products from various retailers including Superdrug, Boots, Tesco, Waitrose, and Cloud 10 Beauty.

Finally November's Glossybox featured another extra, 2 tea bags from trendy tea company Offblak. I've already talked about a few of Offblak's teas (read my posts here and here) but these were two new ones, that were perfect for a cold and frosty day.

Offblak Generation T You're Golden - Spicy Orange & Ginger Black Tea - 1 x 2.5g Whole Leaf Pyramid Bag

From Offblak's Face The Day range, this tea has a high caffeine content and combines warm and spicy orange, and ginger. It contains black tea, ginger, cinnamon, clove buds, orange peel, orange flowers and lemon grass.

Mummy Lou is very partial to ginger in her tea, so I let her try this amber coloured brew. After brewing with boiling water for around three minutes, even I could smell the contents of her mug, it really was Christmas in a mug, according to Mummy Lou the cloves, ginger and cinnamon dominated with a tiny hint of citrus, but you still taste the black tea base. She sad it would be perfect for a cold winters morning, or even after a day out Christmas shopping.

Offblak Generation T Brighten Up - Forest Fruits & Ginger Fruit Tea - 1 x 2.5g Whole Leaf Pyramid Bag

Now I'm not the biggest fan of black tea, so I went I decided to try this fruit tea which contains zero caffeine and is designed to detox and refresh. Containing hibiscus, apple, ginger pieces, rose hip, blackberry leaves, blackcurrant leaves, and raspberry pieces, my infusion was a fabulous berry purple in colour, and has a gorgeous fruity scent. The taste definitely reminded me of forest fruits, or even blackberry pie, it was very fruity, and unusually in my experience for a fruit tea, it was sweet enough to not need any added sugar or sweetener. I really enjoyed this and I'm seriously debating whether or not buy myself a box in the new year.

Various subscription options, and regular delivery options are available at Offblak but you can get a box of 12 tea bags for around £4.99.

Okay, I've got to be honest and say that at first glance this wasn't the most exciting of boxes, but it did contain some really good work horse like, products, and things that I will definitely use. There was no real stand out product it was just a generally good and useful box. As I say my December box has now been dispatched, and with it being the Christmas box it's usually a good one, and it will certainly be a sparkly one if this sneak peek is anything to go by. It looks as though we are getting another product from beauty box favourite brand Steve Laurant and it is a multi purpose, radiance boost loose pigment. Hopefully I'll manage to get my post before Decembers out but in the meantime I do have a Glossybox Advent Calendar post coming up that should be live either at the end of this week or at the beginning of next week so make sure you don't miss it x If you fancy trying Glossybox for yourself, you still have time to get your hands on December's Merry Metallics box, so have a click through using my link to find out more xx

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