Saturday 27 June 2020

Trimming My Stash - May 2020 Edition - Empties And Mini Reviews*

The hot weather in the UK this week has kind of messed up my plans a bit - Although it's currently chucking it down with rain, on the whole it's been way to hot to shoot the make up looks that I need for my next two Glossybox unboxing posts so I've decided to post my May empties this weekend instead.

Primark PS...It's All Good Oil Balancing Facial Cleansing Wipes x 25 Wipes
Delhicious Hello Beau-Tea-Ful Exfoliate & Glow Original Black Tea Body Scrub - 100g
AVON Foot Works Expert Exfoliating Foot Mask 1 x Pair - 2 x 20ml
Poundland #6 Limited Edition Gold Anti-Ageing Woven Face Mask - 1 x Woven Sheet Mask
L'Oreal Paris Nutri Oil Nails & Cuticles - 5ml

Total - 5 Items 

I was really pleased to finish 8 items in April, and I was hoping for a similar result in May, but alas it wasn't to be and I only managed to finish 5 items. Still it was better than nothing and I did manage to finish quite and interesting mix of products, including one bottle, a few packets, a few sachets, a few wins and one big fat fail

1. Primark PS...It's All Good Oil Balancing Facial Cleansing Wipes x 25 Wipes

If you were to look back through all of my previous trimming my stash posts, I've probably finished more packets of these wipes, in their various incarnations, than any other product. As I've said on many occasions I don't use them that often on my face, but I find the tea tree scent and tea tree in general very clean, and refreshing, so I've mainly used this pack for general freshening up, and also for cleaning up my hands and arms in between swatch photographs.

I only have one more packet of these wipes left, and as useful as I find them, I don't think I'm going to be rushing off to Primark to buy some more. They are really handy for when you're on the go and for holidays, and I'd definitely consider buying some more in those circumstances, but at home I could just as easily use a muslin cloth, or a reusable cotton pad rather than use a wipe that has to go into landfill. 

2. Delhicious Hello Beau-Tea-Ful Exfoliate & Glow Original Black Tea Body Scrub - 100g

Next up a sachet, and this was a lovely natural, vegan and cruelty free body scrub that I received in the September 2019 edition of Glossybox UK. You can read a full review here but I really like this scrub. it contained black tea, brown sugar, Himalayan pink salt, almond oil and Vitamin E. I loved the citrus scent and the grittiness of this scrub. It left my skin feel super soft, smooth and toned but it was very messy and the tiny tea particles seemed to get everywhere, so if like me you have a wet room, then be prepared to do a bit of extra cleaning. If you can deal with that though this is a really nice scrub, and even though Mummy Lou wouldn't necessarily approve I would definitely consider buying it again. This scrub retails at around £7.95, and it's available direct from Delhicious and from Fragrance Direct.

3. AVON Foot Works Expert Exfoliating Foot Mask 1 x Pair - 2 x 20ml

From something that I loved to my fail of the month. I love foot masks, not quite as much as I love a good body scrub but yeah I like them a lot. Thanks to some nice inherited thyroid problems my feet always feel and look dry. I have to scrub them with scrubs, pumice stones, and foot files, and slather them in moisturiser, just to keep them looking even vaguely presentable. Every now and then though I like to give them a bit of an extra treat, and treat them to some sort of foot mask.

There are two different types of foot mask on the market, plastic booties that are designed purely to add moisture to the feet, and socks that contain some sort of acid based solution, to literally make the dry skin on your feet just peel off.

These AVON socks fall into the latter category, they contain glycolic acid, and aloe vera and promise a salon like 'foot peel' callus treatment, which is designed to exfoliate soften and smooth the skin on the feet.

The packet contains 2 plastic socks and 2 adhesive strips to hold them in place. The socks are sealed so you need to carefully cut along the line so you can put your feet inside. Each sock contains a fibre lining and liquid solution. They are very wet and you need to be super careful not to spill the liquid. The liquid itself has a clean, fresh, slightly astringent scent.

They are really simple to use you just pop the socks onto clean, dry feet, and then you seal them securely with the adhesive strips. I take a size 8 in shoes, and I found the booties very loose, so I could really have done with a few more adhesive strips to tighten them and to hold them in place - I should really have put a pair of socks or slippers over the top to keep them in place and to be able to move around a bit more easily.

The socks feel exactly like you think they would, slippy, cold, soggy and wet, but after a few minutes they did seem to warm up slightly and you could feel a slight tingling sensation especially on the tops of the feet. As I say you could put some socks or slippers on over the top if you wanted to walk around a bit but I took the opportunity to sit down and rest for an hour.

After an hour you take the socks off and rinse your feet in the warm water. The tops of my feet did look slightly red, and the soles of my feet did look slightly wrinkled as though they'd been soaking in water. 

There were no real instructions as to what to do next so I just did what I've done in the past with similar socks, no moisturiser, no picking, and lots of foot soaking, and then I just waited, and waited, and waited, but nothing happened! There was difference in the moisture levels of my feet, and unlike every other pair of similar socks that I've tried there was no drying and no peeling! I used these socks nearly 2 months ago now and I'm still waiting for something to happen!

The skin on my heels especially is still very dry, so there was definitely skin to come off so that definitely wasn't the problem - I just don't think that the solution in these socks was strong enough to make any real difference. I've a look at the small print on the packet and apparently you can use these socks every 1-2 weeks, compared to once every few months with similar products so I definitely think that the strength of the glycolic / AHA's has something to do with it. These socks are available from your local AVON representative or online for around £5 but take my advice and give them a miss, and try another brand instead.

4. Poundland #6 Limited Edition Gold Anti-Ageing Woven Face Mask - 1 x Woven Sheet Mask

From a foot mask, to a face mask, and this one is from Poundland's high end inspired #6 skincare line. This limited edition gold anti-aging woven sheet mask, is suitable for all skin types, and it's suitable for vegans. Designed to fight visible signs of ageing, it contains Vitamin E, aloe vera, and a special blend of herbal extracts including rose geranium, bamboo lily, and golden camomile.

The first thing I noticed was just how wet this mask was, the sachet was nearly half full of a clear, barely scented, viscous liquid, there was so much of it that I actually rubbed it all over my body and my next. The mask was quite tightly folded but it felt pretty sturdy, one side was comprised of a gold plasti feeling foil, and the other side was made of a white fibre. As well as the obvious holes for the eyes, nose and mouth, there were also some folds, which I think could have been there to help the mask contour to the fact. It's a good idea in theory but it actually meant that I couldn't get the mask to lie flat.

Like most sheet masks, it feel very cool on the skin, and it also felt and looked very wet. The excess fluid from the mask ran down my neck, and into my eyes and nose for the full 15 - 20 minutes.

As you can see from the picture below my skin was left both feeling and looking very wet. I rubbed as much of the excess liquid as I could into my skin, but it still took around 10 minutes for it all to absorb, and even then it still felt a touch sticky.

Although there wasn't too much of visual difference, my skin felt a little bit plumper, and a bit more hydrated. It did feel nice and refreshing on the skin and it would be a really nice treat if you were on a budget - This mask is a limited edition so I'm not sure if it's still available but if you can find it, it is just £1.

5. L'Oreal Paris LA Manicure Nutri Oil Nails & Cuticles - 5ml

Finally another Poundland purchase, and it was a nail and cuticle oil from L'Oreal Paris. I don't always have time to look through the purple packets containing branded make up that Poundland often sell, but every now and then you can really find a gem. There is no real writing on the bottle and to be honest I can't find out too much about it. Apparently it contains a blend of 11 nutritive oils and vitamin derivatives - I've no idea which ones though, and it was designed to improve the appearance of the nails, and leave nails and cuticles nourished and more elastic and to help prevent breakages and flaking.

It was a nice cuticle oil, with no real scent, it was hydrating and moisturising, but it wasn't too heavy or greasy.

I can't find this oil on either the Boots or the Superdrug websites so I think it has possible been discontinued. I can only find it on eBay and Amazon, and on discount beauty sites like Fragrance Direct and Beauty Outlet. It has an RRP of £5.99 but it seems to be selling for around £2.99 so I think that I got a bargain.

So I didn't finish that many products in May but I did finish a few interesting bits. I've already finished 7 products so far in June, and fingers crossed I might be able to add one or two more in the next few days x If you have any questions on any of the products that I've mentioned then leave me a comment below, and don't forget to link me up to your empties posts or videos x 

*This Post Contains Both Affiliate And Non Affiliate Links

Saturday 20 June 2020

A Late Unboxing Of Glossybox UK - April 2020 Edition - Blossom, And A Nails Of The Day*

Hi guys, I hope you've all had a good weekend x I've got another unboxing post for you today, and today I'm unboxing the April 2020 edition of Glossybox UK.

I have to admit that I was a little bit disappointed when the traditional pink and black box turned up on my doorstep. I really love getting my Glossybox every month but to coincide with the Blossom theme of April's box I was hoping to receive a lovely floral designed box but alas it was just the traditional pink and black box with pink tissue paper, and black paper shred, all tied together with a black ribbon. 

Ah well, at least the information leaflet in its gorgeous, pastel floral design, lived up to my flowery expectations. The purpose of the information booklet as per usual was to tell you just exactly what's in the box (more on that later), and it's also there to tell you a little bit more about the box theme.

The theme of April's box was obviously Blossom, and the box contained 5 products designed to help you "bloom into a beautiful flower" including floral scented skincare, lip care that's full of botanical extracts, and perfectly seasonal pastel coloured cosmetics.

Nails Inc Nail Polish  - Blossom Kisses - 14ml - Full Size - Est. RRP £11 

Speaking of pastel coloured cosmetics, the first item in the box was a full sized Nails Inc nail polish in the shade Blossom Kisses.

Pink is one of the classic nail polish shades and Blossom Kisses is a gorgeous slightly dusky, cool toned pink shade. There is no shimmer, and no sparkle it's just a classic cream polish.

As per usual with full sized Nails Inc polishes, Blossom Kisses, has a lovely, wide, slightly curved brush. Perfect designed to fit to the contours of the cuticle, depending on the width of your nails, you can paint most nails in just one swipe. I have chunky fingers but quite slim nails, so the brush is actually slightly wider than my pinkie finger, so I did need to be a little bit careful with my application technique on that one.

I own a lot of Nails Inc polishes, and I did actually find this polish a little thicker and gloopier than normal. The coverage even after 1 coat was pretty decent, you could still see the odd brush stroke but it was pretty self levelling. With careful application I probably could have got away with just one coat on most nails but in these pictures I'm wearing two coats.

From a distance I think it looks pretty good and very glossy but look more closely and you can see a little bit of bubbling. I know that bubbles can sometimes occur when you don't give your polish enough time to dry between coats but I don't really know what wrong here it did seem to dry quite quickly, and I left nearly 10 minutes between coats, so who knows. 

The wear time to be honest wasn't amazing either, it had started to chip in less than 2 days, and after 3 days I was missing 4 whole nails worth. As per usual when testing or reviewing a polish I didn't use a top coat which more than likely would have improved the wear time.

I really loved the colour, it's a perfect Spring / Summer colour but for some reason I just don't think that the formulation was up to Nails Inc's usual standard, it seemed thicker and it didn't seem to wear that well. I can't find this particular shade online bar on eBay so I think it was exclusive to the April edition of Glossybox which may explain the difference in quality, so I can only give an estimated value of around £11 which is the usual retail price for a basic full sized Nails Inc polishes.

Avant Skincare Gentle Rose Beautifying Face Exfoliant - 50ml - Est. £92

Next up the product that was teased in the March edition of Glossybox UK, and it's another product from high end skincare brand Avant.

Thanks to various subscription boxes I've managed to try quite a few products from Avant now (have a look at my Beauty Product Directory above to read some reviews), and so far so good, I've liked pretty much everything that I've tried so far.

Under their tagline 'combining nature with science', this is a product from their Age Nutri Revive range. It is a facial exfoliant which is designed for all skin types, it's designed to nourish the skin from within, and to combat imperfections, including large pores, uneven skin tone, fine lines and dryness. Designed to gently slough away dead skin, according to Avant it leaves the skin smoother, healthier looking and with an improved texture.

As well as being cruelty free, it's also paraben free, and carbomer free, it contains rose extract, which is an anti oxidant to help calm the skin, and minimise redness, as well as softening and smoothing, and Vitamin B5 which helps the skin to retail moisture.

It has a gel like texture, and it's white in colour with a slight iridescence and shimmer, and it contains lots of tiny, fine white particles.

It quite simple to use all you do is massage it in to damp, cleansed skin. The first thing you actually notice is the smell, it has a gorgeous real rose scent, and then you notice just how well those tiny little particles do their thing. After adding a little bit of water and massaging your face in circular motions, it produces a gentle foam, it isn't scratchy or uncomfortable but you can feel a the exfoliating action.


On Application


You could just splash your face with warm water to remove it, but I used a muslin cloth or a flannel, and warm water. The exfoliating particles as I say are quite small so they do tend to hang around a bit even after rinsing, so you probably see a few stray ones in the after picture.

My skin is quite easily sensitised and it does go pink quite easily no matter what the product, and this one was no different. There was no soreness, dryness or irritation, my skin just felt really clean, soft and smooth, and it almost felt as though I'd used a moisturiser or a serum.

So my Avant love in continues, this was another lovely product from them, it smells beautiful, and it leave the skin super soft and smooth. I've been using this about 3 times a week but it's definitely gentle enough for even me to use once a day. The only drawback as per usual with Avant is the price, Glossybox quote a pretty spendy £92 for this size. I can't actually find this 50ml tube anywhere online, I can only find a slightly larger 60ml size but it's actually packaged in a jar rather than a tube, for the same RRP of £92. If you fancy trying this one for yourself it's available from various retailers including direct from Avant, Look Fantastic, and Beauty Expert.

SPORTFX Raspberry And Rhubarb Recovery Lip Balm SPF 15 - 8g - Full Size - RRP £4.99

When you think about beauty must haves, lip balm has to be pretty high up there on most people's lists. I own loads of them but the weird thing is I very rarely seem to finish them, so either I don't use them as often as I think I do, or I just use so many at once that I just have a load of half finished ones that ultimately end up in the bin.

Anyways in case you haven't already realised the next item in April's box was a lip balm from a brand called SPORTFX.

SPORTFX is a make up, skincare, activewear and lifestyle brand that is specifically designed for the active woman, be that in the gym, the office or on the dance floor. All of the beauty products in the range are paraben free, and contain vitamins and SPF.

This lip balm is also dermatologically tested, it contains SPF 15, natural oils including almond oil, as well as shea butter, aloe vera, and vitamins C, E, and F.

The balm comes boxed, and it comes in slightly odd looking, almost a chunky T shape, style container. It features a clear, twist off lid, and inside is a large round dome shaped, deep pink sold balm.

It has a lovely slightly perfume based, fruity scent and taste. It feels hydrating and softening on the lips but it isn't greasy, sticky, or slimy. 

As well as adding moisture to the lips it also add a lovely, subtle rose pink tint, that you could easily wear as a more subtle alternative to lipstick or gloss.

I did find it a little bit awkward to apply, the dome was quite chunky, so you do need to be a bit careful especially if you have thinner lips, it wouldn't be as bad if it was a clear balm but being slightly tinted you are in danger of getting it onto the skin. I actually found the easiest way to apply it was to apply it with my mouth open - not a good look but it works.

If your lips are super dry and flakey, this particular balm probably won't be quite enough for you, but if you are after a lovely, moisturising non greasy, balm with a slight tint, that's perfect for everyday wear then this could be one to try. Like most lip balms I can't guarantee that I'll end up finishing this one but I'm definitely going to try and do my level best to try and use this one on a more regular basis. If you don't like the idea of the Rhubarb and Raspberry scent, this particular balm is also available in two other varieties Peach Bellini, and White Coconut for around £4.99 from various retailers including House Of Fraser, USC, Sports Direct and of course directly from SPORTFX.

Rituals The Ritual Of Sakura Softening Rice Scrub - Organic Rice Milk & Cherry Blossom - 70ml - Deluxe Mini - Est. RRP £4.60

Now, if you are a regular reader of LouLouLand, then you should know by now that I'm a bit of a body scrub junkie, I love a good scrub, so for that reason I was really pleased to receive a shower scrub from Rituals in April's box.

I'm a huge, huge fan of Rituals entire range of Far Eastern inspired body care range but far my favourite range from them is without a doubt, The Ritual Of Sakura..

I've tried quite a few products from the line now, including the Magic Touch Body Cream, and the Shower Foam, and I've fallen in love with the heady, almost sexy fruity, floral scent. There are actually 2 different body exfoliators in the Sakura range, and this one is officially described by Rituals as a shower scrub.

Containing cherry flower, and rice extracts, and volcanic pumice, this product has a clear gel base, with tiny white and black particles suspended within it. This is product is really a 2 in 1 shower gel, and exfoliator. When you massage it into damp skin, it produces a light foam crammed full of tiny exfoliating particles. 

It isn't the roughest of scrubs but the inclusion of the natural pumice gives it a nice scrubby feel. The foam rinses away fairly easily but like with the Avant scrub, because the particles are so small, they have a tendency to hang around a bit, but it's nothing that a good blast of the shower won't fix.

Despite my own personal preference for chunkier sugar and salt scrubs, this one actually really surprised me. The scrub particles are quite small but I did actually feel as though I'd used a grittier scrub, my skin felt smoother, and softer. The smell might be a little bit too strong for some people (you could smell it the minute you opened the box) but I personally love it, and I've been using it alongside my other Sakura products for a full immersive, scented experience.

As I say there are two scrubs in the Sakura range, the other one which has a slightly different texture and comes in a tub is a little bit more widely available than this particular one. The only place that I can find this shower scrub is direct from Rituals where the full 150ml size retails at £9.90. Glossybox quote a price of £4.60 for this 70ml size.

Hask Orchid & White Truffle Moisture Rich Deep Conditioner - 50g - Full Size - Est. RRP £3

As I said earlier in this post, one of the main purposes of the information leaflet is to give you a little bit more information about the products in the box. Apart from a few odd price estimates I've always found the leaflet to be really useful and fairly accurate, April's though did contain a bit of an error. According to the leaflet I should have received a Sanctuary Spa Nourishing Rose Petal Hydrogel Face Mask, but I didn't, instead I got a Hask hair mask. These things happen and I know I'm not the only one to have received something different over the last few months, I can imagine it's been very difficult for Glossybox containing to pack and deliver boxes during the pandemic so even though I'm a bit miffed because I'm loving hydrogel masks at the minute, I'll let them off this time.

I've had a few Hask products from various subscription boxes over the years, but I haven't actually managed to use that many of them, but since I thought that my poor hair deserved a little bit of a treat, I thought I'd try it out.

I think that Hask are a US based hair brand, all of their products are 100% cruelty free (although not vegan) and they are also free from sulfates, parabens, phthalates, gluten, aluminium starch, drying alcohol, artificial colours, and silicones.

This particular mask is from their Orchid & White Truffle range for dry, and damaged hair. It contains amino acids, orchid extract, white truffle extract, lanolin, and pea proteins, and is designed to soften, and replenish extremely dry hair, and to control frizz.

The sachet contains a fairly thick but not dense or heavy, white cream, with a strong warm, sweet, almost musky floral scent.

You apply it to clean, wet hair, so I used it after shampooing. It was easy to apply to spread and work  through the hair even with fingers, but you can also comb it through for more precise application and even distribution. The instructions advise to leave it for around 10 minutes before rinsing it away with warm water. It was pretty easy to rinse it away under the shower, and my hair immediately felt smoother, and almost slick to the touch.

After towel drying it seemed easier to comb, there were less tangles and it felt smoother. I left my hair to dry naturally as I do 90% of the time, and when it was dry it definitely felt softer, and less tangled, but because it was so soft it did look a touch fluffier and frizzier.

It was actually a really nice treatment it felt luxurious, and the scent lingered on the hair for a good few hours afterwards. It was also surprisingly economical, the tendency with a sachet is always to use it all but even on my well below shoulder length hair, I managed to get 3 generous uses out of one 50g sachet.

I've had a little look online at usual Hask stockists including Superdrug, Waitrose, and Cloud 10, and none of them seem to stock this product. The only place that I can find it online is on eBay and on a website called British Online Supermarket, where it retails for £4.75 which is a little bit steep, when you consider that Hask hair masks usually sell at around £3.

So what did I think about April's box? Well compared to March's and February's boxes, I've got to say that at first glance it didn't look that exciting but personally for me it was one of the best all round boxes that I've had in a long time. I pretty much liked everything in it - I loved the scrubs, the lip balm smelled and tasted lovely, I loved the colour of the nail polish, and even though I didn't get the face mask that should have been in my box, I really liked the Hask hair mask. I'll definitely use all of the products again and everything in the box also fitted in perfectly with the fruity, floral blossom theme.

Let me know your thoughts on this box in the comments, and don't forget to click my link to find out more about Glossybox UK. Thanks for reading, don't forget to enter my giveaway, and I'll see you soon with my May empties post x

*This Post Contains Both Affiliate And Non Affiliate Links

Monday 8 June 2020

A Late Unboxing Of Glossybox UK - March 2020 Edition - All Eyes On Me And A Giveaway* - CLOSED

Right it's time for another Glossybox unboxing catch up, and get comfy because is a pretty long and photo heavy one, so apologies for the lockdown hair and eyebrows and welcome to my my thoughts on the March 2020 edition of Glossybox UK.

After the special 'Love' design of the February box, March saw a return to the traditional black and pink box design, with pink tissue, and black ribbon, and black paper shred.

The first thing in the box as per usual was the information leaflet which tells you a little bit more about the products in the box, and it talks a little bit about the theme of the box which in March was "All Eyes On Me'. According to Glossybox the box contained 5 items including 4 make up items that were designed to create show stopping eyes, to give the skin healthy radiant finish. Did they achieve what they set out to do though? Let's take a look inside the box and see...

Eyeko London Black Magic Mascara - Drama & Curl - Black - 4ml - Travel Size - RRP £10

The first product in the box was the item was that teased in February's box, a 4ml travel sized version of the Eyeko Black Magic Mascara.

I have a bit of a love / hate relationship with Eyeko. They've actually being around since 1999 and I used to be a huge fan of the brand in their early days with their manga / kawaii style cartoon like, packaging, and products like shimmer creams and great little nail polishes but almost overnight all of their originally products were discontinued and the brand introduced a new range of eye products in sleeker packaging and at a much high price point.

At that point I drifted away from the brand and I've never really bought anything from them since. I have acquired a few bits from subscription boxes, and even as magazine freebies, including another one of these mascaras but I've got to say that I haven't tried and it's all sat there unloved.

Eyeko are a paraben and cruelty free brand, but because this particular product contains Beeswax it isn't suitable for vegans. Also containing conditioning shea butter, and keratin, this mascara has a fibre free formulation and a deep carbon black colour. Its tube like formulation is designed to create defined lashes with volume and curl that lasts. It's apparently water resistant, easy to remove, and it apparently doesn't crumble, fade or flake.

This mascara comes boxed, and it's packaged in a pretty innovative squeezy, paint style tube. I know a few brands have have packaged their mascaras like this, but even in their early days Eyeko used this type of packaging so they were definitely one of the first. The tube style packaging can be a touch messy, especially if you squeeze it too hard, but it definitely has it's benefits, it doesn't dry out as much and you can also ultimately get less product wastage because all you need to do is give at a squeeze and your brush will be coated. The brush itself I think makes all of the difference, the fibres are in a helix design and the brush is slightly curved which lifts the lashes up and aids curling.

Bare Lashes

The first coat applied nicely, you can see the curl and uplift straight way. There was the odd little clump but by and large it separated, and defined the lashes pretty well.

One Coat 

To be honest for everyday wear, one coat would probably be enough, but to really see how well it performed I added a second coat. The second felt a little bit draggy, it definitely added more, curl, and a lot more thickness and volume, but at the same time it made the lashes feel drier, and I definitely noticed some more clumps and a bit of clogging, so if I was actually wearing this to go out, I would give it a comb though
Two Coats

I really don't you would need any more than two coats but I did add another, even though I didn't photograph it, and predictably there were more clump, the the lashes went very spidery, and heavy looking, and they literally cried out for a lash comb!

I did experience the odd dot and smudge on application but by and large the application especially on the first coat was pretty decent, and the mascara dried down quite quickly. I did notice a tiny bit of smudging and flaking after around 3 hours but other than that it lasted really well, and it was also unusually for a long wear mascara pretty easy to remove with eye make up remover, and weirdly enough, even with it being water resistant, it came off really well with just a reusable cotton pad and warm water.

I'll admit it, I actually liked this mascara way more than I thought I would, although it's a touch messy I love the idea of the squeezy tube and the lack of waste element really appeals. I also loved the curl and the uplift that it gave my lashes, and the overall finish. I definitely wouldn't apply more than one or two coats though, because I did find that that with every additional coat it got clumpier and my lashes seemed to dry out but other than that it wore well and the overall effect lasted. This is a decent mascara that I been wearing for the last month or so now (I'm also wearing it in all of the photos in this post), and I am definitely going to finish this tube, and then I might dig out the spare one that I have somewhere in my mascara stash as well. I've got quite a few mascaras in my to use pile so I won't be going out of my way to buy one in the near future, but I would definitely consider buying this one again.

This 4ml size travel size is half the normal size and retail at £10 direct from Eyeko and from Look Fantastic, the full 8ml size retails at £19 and is also available from John Lewis and Marks and Spencer.

Ciate London Stamp & Drag Liner Duo - 3.56ml - Full Size - RRP £15 

Now the next item in the box filled me with both excitement and horror in equal measure. My experience with Ciate, like most peoples, began with their nail polishes, but now the nail polish range, is more of an afterthought, as the brand seems to now concentrate primarily on make up. I'm a huge, huge fan of their Glow To Illuminating Blushers but despite acquiring a few other bits, I haven't really tried a their eye products.

You should now by now that I'm pretty useless when it comes to eyeliner but the fact that this one is designed to be easy to use really appealed to me.

This eyeliner is suitable for vegans and it's also gluten free and PETA certified. It comes boxed and inside the box is basically a chunky looking double ended black marker pen. One end features a conventional felt tip style eyeliner nib, and the other end features a triangle shaped stamp which is designed to create the perfect wing.

This product in theory is basically a tool to create winged eyeliner for dummies - All you do is press the triangle wing shaped stamp onto the corner of your eye and then using the pen end you draw a line and join it up creating the perfect cat eye or flick.

Does it really work like that though? Well for someone who is severely lacking in eyeliner skills, unfortunately I don't think it's quite as easy as it sounds. The stamp itself is easy enough to use, all you need to do is to apply an even pressure, and make sure that you've put in in the right place for the look that you're trying to create. You can see two different ways that I used in the pictures below, flicked up and flicked down.

So the stamp itself was fairly easy to use, but the problems started when I came to draw the line, I found the chunky pen very thick and unwieldy - I found it really really difficult to create a thin or precise line, it was much to easier to go all out and create a thick and chunky line. Apologies that some of the photo's aren't the best but I hope it gives you just some idea of how this pen works.

Flicked Up

Flicked Down

Whilst they definitely aren't editorial standard, I'm still pretty proud of my efforts here, but look carefully and despite my best clean and concealer attempts, you can probably see a few smudges and smears. I found it hard enough to apply it cleanly and neatly as it was, but for me I just didn't find the formulation that long lasting. Within an hour or so my decentish lines were nothing more than smears, and my both my eyelids and underneath my eyes were a delightful greasy grey!

I really wanted to love this but I just can't. There is not doubt that the stamp makes drawing a even wing a doddle, but for me the pen itself was just too chunky, you need a really steady hand, and I found it hard to draw a neat, precise line. Throw in the fact that the wear time was also awful on me and this liner was a bit of an all round fail. If the barrel was a little bit thinner, and the formulation was as good as say the KVD Vegan Beauty Tattoo Liner, then this would be perfect, but for me in it's current state this a long way off being something that I would repurchase.

I can only find the Ciate Stamp & Drag Liner Duo on a couple of sites including Ciate direct, and ASOS for around £15 but the packaging is slightly different and the barrel itself is gold rather than black.

Sebamed Anti-Ageing Q10 Lifting Eye Cream - 15ml - Full Size - RRP £7.29 

Next up, the only non make up item box, and it's a skincare item from specialist medicinal skincare company, Sebamed. Using the tagline 'Science For Healthy Skin' the brand has developed in conjunction with dermatologists, pharmacists, and hospitals, to create skin care products that actually work.

All of their products are dermatologically, and clinically tested, and they all have a pH of 5.5 which is the same pH as healthy skin.

Part of their anti-aging range this Q10 lifting eye cream is especially designed for sensitive skin, and contains natural lipids including shea butter, avocado, and almond oils to smooth the skin, as well as natural bisabolol to soothe and prevent irritation, as well as phyto peptides, and hyaluron for intense moisture.

The words Q10 is used a lot in skincare but what does it mean, well coenzyme Q10 is something that occurs naturally in the skin, and it gradually starts to decrease for around the age of 30. It prevents damage to collagen and elastin in the skin and helps cell rejuvenation. The ingredients in this cream help to increase those Q10 levels by maintaining energy production in the skin cells to help main smoothness and elasticity. I hope I haven't lost you off their but in it simplest terms this cream aims to protect the eye area, and smooth and hydrate the skin, and prevent ageing, and according to research by Sebamed daily use of this cream will reduce visible wrinkles around the eyes in just 28 days.

The cream itself comes boxed, and the box also contains an instruction and information leaflet. The packaging isn't too exciting, just a white squeezy tube with a long nozzle like tip.  The white cream inside has a fresh, almost floral scent. It isn't the thickest of creams but it does have a bit of substance.

It's pretty simple to use, just pat a few drops into the skin until it absorbs. I've probably used a too much in the pictures below, it doesn't actually tell you how much to use, but a couple of dots on each eye would probably be enough. It pats into the skin quite easily, and initially it does feel a little bit tacky, but it's not heavy or uncomfortable, and it doesn't pill or roll off.

On Application

Gently Patted In 

After Application 

I don't have a huge problem with dryness or with deep lines under my eyes, but I am starting to see a few fine lines here and there, which isn't too bad for someone in their early 40's! The fact that I am starting to see the odd line though, shows that I probably need to get better with the whole eye cream thing! 

I haven't been using this long enough to see any real difference but I like scent, and the creamy but not heavy texture, so I'm going to keep using it and hopefully it might stop those fine lines in their tracks, so make sure you keep an eye out for this one in a future empties post.

I've had a little look online and whilst a few online chemists and pharmacies seem to stock some products from the Sebamed, the only place that I can find that sells this particular product is direct from Sebamed where it retails at around £7.29 for a 15ml tube.

Sleek Make Up Highlighting Palette - Solstice - 9g - Full Size - RRP £9.99

The next item is another make up item, and for me it's probably the most exciting product in March's box.

Depending on their beauty profile, Glossybox subscribers received one of two beautiful highlighting palettes from Sleek - Copperplate, which is designed for slightly darker skins, and Solstice which contains slightly paler tones.

Having a paler skin tone, I received Solstice, the only trouble is I already own it, so I photographed the box, and all of the other photographs that I've taken in this post are taken using my own, lightly used palette so I'm sorry it doesn't look quite as pristine as it should.

The palette comes boxed, and the colours are contained in a gorgeous chunky, good quality, gold tone plastic compact, with a magnetic fastening. The compact contains an built in mirror, a small cheek / blusher brush, and 4 beautiful highlighter shades in 3 different formulations - you get two baked powders, one silk shimmer powder, and 1 cream highlighter in pale nude, golden yellow, ice pink, and light copper / bronze shades.

From Left To Right - Ecliptic (Cream Formula) and Hemisphere (Baked Powder)

From Left To Right - Subsolar (Silky Shimmer Powder) And Equinox (Baked Powder)

The powders are lovely and smooth, and pigmented, Subsolar in particular has a very buttery almost creamy feel. Ecliptic the only cream product in the palette, has a nice creamy but not too soft feel, it does feel a tiny bit greasy to the touch but it doesn't look oily on the skin.All of the shades are nice to apply and very blendable, even Ecliptic blends and applies beautifully into the skin, even on top of face powder, without pilling or becoming bitty. 

The palette really is a multi use product, you can use it on the cheeks or on other areas of the face as a highlighter, and you can also use all of the shades as a brow bone highlight or even as a full on shimmery eye colour, which you can see in all of the eye pictures in this post.

Equinox On Cheeks 

Hemisphere On Cheeks 

Ecliptic On Cheeks

Ecliptic And Subsolar On Eyes

Equinox And Subsolar On Eyes

When it comes to wear time, both the powders and the cream wear really nicely on the cheeks with a gradual fade down. Understandably being a cream, Ecliptic doesn't wear quite as well on the eyes but it still lasted pretty well in comparison to a lot of cream based products.

Despite the fact that the colours are pale, some of the shades don't look that natural but they are still really pretty on paler skin tones like mine, if your skin is any darker then they could potentially look a bit too ashy or obvious, compared to Copperplate that has a lot of deeper bronzes, golds and copper, but I guess it's down to personal taste and the look you're going for.

I really, really like this palette, and it's slightly cult reputation amongst a lot of bloggers and You Tubers is entirely justified! The only complaint that I really have is the brush! Whilst you could maybe use it on the brow bone, or on the nose, for me it too small to really use anywhere else, the quality also isn't that great, so take my advice and bin it and use this palette with some decent brushes, or even your fingers instead.

The Sleek Highlighting Palette in Solstice retails at £9.99 from various retailers including Boots, Feel Unique and Look Fantastic.

As I said though I already own this palette, and whilst I'm so pleased this box has given me the chance to rediscover something that was lying there unloved, it does mean that I now have a spare palette, so instead of having to buy one, I'm going to give one of you guys the chance to win a new and unopened Solstice palette, and a few other new and unopened beauty bits from my stash, in a bit of a belated birthday giveaway.

It's really simple to enter all you need to do is fill in the form below x This giveaway is open worldwide, I'm going to leave it open for around month to allow the postal service, and life to get a bit more back to normal so it will close on the 6th July. You must be a Bloglovin follower to enter  and you must fulfil all of the entry conditions - I will be checking! If you are under 18 please ask your parent or guardians permission before entering and please read both my and Rafflecopter's privacy policies, regarding giveaway entries, as I will need your address details if you win. So get filling in the form and get entering x Good Luck
MCo Beauty Long Lasting Lipstick - Flawless - 3.6g - Full Size - Est. RRP £15

The final item in the March 2020 edition of Glossybox, was unsurprisingly a make up item, and whilst it didn't really go very well with the skin and eyes theme, for me it was a welcome addition, and it was something that helped complete the look that the box was trying to create.

This is the second product that I've tried now from cruelty and gluten free, Australian beauty brand MCo after the MCo Beauty Eye Definite Crayon Liner in Black that I received in the October 2019 edition of Glossybox UK.

Although MCo and sister brand Model Co have their own websites unfortunately I can't find anything else out about this particular product apart from what I can glean from the box, and the Glossybox information leaflet, as this doesn't appear to be a current, retail product.

According the box, this is a long lasting lipstick, ultra creamy and hydrating formula. It comes in a MAC Cosmetics esq, bullet shaped tube, which has a matte look and is a similar colour to the lipstick inside, with the brand logo printed on the cap.

The lipstick inside is a lovely peach / nude in colour and it has a lovely almost peachy / apricot scent and flavour. The pigmentation is excellent, and it's nice and creamy and easy to apply. It feels comfortable and non drying on the lips but it does seem to emphasise the lines on the lips slightly. The wear time was decent and it gradually faded down to nothing.

I really liked this lipstick, I found the shade really wearable, and I loved the taste and the scent. The only official retailer for this range is MCo Beauty themselves, but as I say I can't find this particular product or range on their website. Glossybox quote a retail price of £15 for this particular lipstick, which does seem slightly steep when you consider that other lipsticks on the website seem to retail at around £8.

If you aren't a big make up wearer, then the March edition of Glossybox definitely wasn't for you - it was a very make up heavy but with four of the five items being make up items. Thankfully though I love make up so it was right up my street. Despite my less than positive opinion on the Ciate liner and the fact that I already owned the Sleek palette, I was still pretty pleased with this box, and the mascara in particular really surprised me in a good way, so I really don't have too much to complain about. If you fancy trying Glossybox for yourself then you can find out more via my link here. If you have any questions then please leave me a comment below and of course don't forget to enter my Sleek giveaway x Thanks for reading and I'll see you soon with another post x 

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