Monday, 28 September 2020

Trimming My Stash - August 2020 Edition - Empties, Mini Reviews And A Life Update*

I've been reading a few bits online lately about how to write a blog post, well if you're me start with an apology! I've been trying to practise a little bit more self care recently and cut down on the apologies and the guilt trips, but again I'm sorry for the lack of posts but I've been taking a little bit of time out to work on that self care thing.

Seeing as though another lockdown seems to be increasing likely, I decided to bite the bullet and go and get my eyebrows done, and do a little bit of shopping. Despite the inability of some people  to wear a face mask correctly (COVER YOUR NOSE!!!) I felt pretty safe, but I've got to say that some of the joy that I usually experience when I head to somewhere like Intu Metrocentre seemed to be pretty much non existent, hence I didn't got too crazy and I only bought a few treats and a few essentials (check out the highlights section on my Instagram page, and click into Instahaul 3 and scroll through to see some of the bits that I bought x)

The fun aspect though just wasn't there, and I very much doubt that the carefree experience is going to return in the near future. With local restriction in Co Durham increasing on almost a daily basis, and a ban on meeting people outside of your household, it's a stressful and scary time. My beloved godmother is 90 next month and the thought of not being able to help her celebrate, or even not being able to spend Christmas with her, fills me full of so many emotions that I really don't want to think about it. My fingers are tightly crossed that people stick to the new rules and that things will hopefully get better.

So my eyebrows look great, but like so many people I'm worried about the future, and the what if's, cue lots of self care, and some distraction techniques, including plenty of cat cuddles, some sorting, some decorating, and some blogging.

Before I continue on with my late Glossybox unboxing's and reviews, I thought that I would share a couple of other posts with you including a really interesting nail polish brand discovery, and my August beauty empties.

Cuccio Naturale White Limetta & Aloe Vera Cuticle Revitalising Oil - 3.7ml
Neals Yard Remedies Bee Lovely To Your Hands Hand Cream - 50ml
John Frieda Radiant Red Red Boosting Conditioner - 250ml
Kiehl's Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque -125ml
Kocostar Slice Mask Sheet - Watermelon - 12 Slices - 20ml
Total - 5 Items 

After the highs of June and July, August's total of 5 items was a bit of a disappointment, but with only 4 months of 2020 left, I'm still in with a chance of equalling or even bettering last years total of 67 items. No make up yet again (I haven't been wearing it that often) but I still managed to finish a good assortment of skin, body, and hair care items.

1. Cuccio Naturale White Limetta & Aloe Vera Cuticle Revitalising Oil - 3.7ml


As the mini glut of nail posts will probably tell you (including another one scheduled for tomorrow), my nails are actually pretty decent at the moment. To combat all of that washing and sanitising, I've been applying OPI Nail Envy regularly, as well as copious amounts of cuticle oil and hand cream.

Like I mentioned in my July empties post, I've been trying out a few different cuticle oils from US born, professional nail brand, Cuccio. In July I finished a mini bottle of their Pomegranate and Fig Cuticle Revitalising Oil, and in August I finished a mini bottle of their White Limetta & Aloe Cuticle Revitalising Oil.

In the same mini glass bottle with a brush applicator, this runny green / yellow oil contains a variety of natural plant oils including safflower, sunflower see, cotton seed and vegetable oils, as well as aloe vera, lime, lemon peel, and bergamot extract.

It has a lovely green, slightly citrus scent that reminds me a bit of a mojito! It's a really nice oil to use, it's lovely and hydrating, without sticky, heavy or overtly greasy. I really enjoyed using both of the oils that I tried from Cuccio, but this one was my favourite, so I actually went out and bought it in the 75ml salon size. If this scent isn't for you Cuccio produce a wide variety of scents in this formulation, and they also come in several different sizes from various retailers including direct from Cuccio, and Nail Polish Direct. This particular size is great for both the product and the scent, it comes in a few different sets but you can also buy it on it's own for between £2.95 - £3.95.

2. Neals Yard Remedies Bee Lovely To Your Hands Hand Cream - 50ml


Next up another product that I mentioned in my July empties posts, and as well as being another hand and nail product, it's also fitting in National Honey Month to talk about the Neals Yard Remedies Bee Lovely To Your Hands Hand Cream.

As I've said before I'm not the biggest fan of the smell of honey, but if you feel the same as I do, don't let that stop you trying out this honey hand cream. Containing around 76% organic ingredients, including sunflower seed oil, Brazil nut oil, sweet orange oil, vitamin E, camellia extract, propolis extract and honey, this hand cream is also paraben, and GMO free. It also contains synthetic fragrances or colour, and it's both cruelty free and vegan.


Slightly off white in colour, it has a thick and creamy but slightly greasy texture. It has a nice workable texture and it's easy to apply and to massage into the skin.


It takes a little while to absorb though, so it's great for overnight use. I've been slathering it all over my hands and popping a pair of gloves on for a really intense treatment, but if you only apply a small amount you could use it during the day if your hands are especially dry. After it's completely absorbed, the skin feels silky smooth and the hands look noticeably more hydrated.


As I say if you're not a fan of honey based scents then don't worry, I doesn't smell at all sickly, there is warm background sweetness to it, but the more noticeable scent for me is a citrus, sweet orange juice scent.

Not only is this a really nice hand cream to use, but with every purchase you're also helping to protect the humble bee. Without the bee it would be almost impossible for humans to survive, so for every purchase from Neal's Yard Remedies Bee Lovely range, they will donate 3% of all of their sales to various bee charities who help protect bee populations across the world, including Bees For Development which is based in Ghana.

The packaging has changed slightly since I acquired this particular tube but it's still the same product inside, and a 50ml tube retails at around £10. The hand cream and all of the other products in the Bee Lovely range are available from a variety of retailers including direct from Neals Yard Remedies, John Lewis, Waitrose, and Look Fantastic.

3. John Frieda Radiant Red Red Boosting Conditioner - 250ml


Now would you believe that the next product is yet another item that's related to something that appeared in July's list? Well it is, and it did - it's the matching conditioner to the John Frieda shampoo that appears in July's countdown.

Designed to enhance the appearance and prolong the life of red tones in the hair, the shampoo was nice but it's the conditioner that really makes the difference. Again containing pomegranate extract and Vitamin E, as well as European plum extract, the conditioner is designed to infuse red tones into the hair and hold in moisture.

After washing with the Radiant Red shampoo, you apply the dark, pinky red cream to wet hair. My hair is a few inches longer than shoulder length, so I've been using a good sized glob (technical term ;). All you do is massage it through the hair and then you leave it for anywhere between 3 and 10 minuted depending on the desired affect before rinsing it out.

It has the same fruity, floral scent as the shampoo, and it has a lovely creamy, easy to apply texture. It takes a little bit of rinsing but it leaves the hair smooth and shiny. It doesn't make a huge difference to the red tones in my hair as it's currently quite a dark red, but I definitely think that it's helped my colour to last a little bit longer, especially when my full head of hair was coloured in a red tone.

I've already repurchased both the shampoo and conditioner and I'll continue to do so as long as I have red tones in my hair. Like the shampoo it's not that widely available but the best places to find it seem to be Boots, Amazon and in larger Tesco stores where it retails between £6 - £6.99.

4. Kiehl's Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque -125ml


This next item was a recent rediscovery - I was sorting out some of the bathroom drawers, and I found this tube of face mask at the back, and I decided to create some space by using up the dregs in the bottom.

I first purchased this face mask in 2016, after being invited along for a complimentary Kiehl's skin consultation and facial treatment, after an Intu Metrocentre Style Garden event. I subsequently bought a few of the products that were used during my treatment and this was one them.

I've had a real issue with visible pores and an oily t-zone, and this mask really helped to control my oily patches and to make my skin look smoother and my pores less visible. You can read a full review of it here but it's something I would definitely consider repurchasing. Understandably since 2016, the price has gone up, by nearly £6 in fact, and a 125ml tub now retails at £27.50 from various retailers including Kiehls, House Of Fraser, Feel Unique, Debenhams, and Space NK.

5. Kocostar Slice Mask Sheet - Watermelon - 12 Slices - 20ml


Finally another mask, and this time it was a more recent acquisition, and it was a sheet mask from Kocostar. This quirky mini watermelon mask came in the July 2020 edition of Glossybox UK, and you can read my full review here.

It was a fun mask, and it had a lovely fruity scent but I just don't think my skin liked it that much so I probably wouldn't repurchased.


So there you have it, a very late August empties post. With only a few days left of September I've already beaten August's total but fingers crossed I can maybe add another couple of items before Wednesday ends. As per usual if you have any comments on any of the products that I finished then please let me know xx

*This Post Contains Automatic Affiliate, Added Affiliate And Non Affiliate Links

Saturday, 12 September 2020

Nails Of The Day - Nails Inc - Poolside Paradise

 

Although it's a little bit cloudy today, here in Co Durham, apparently we have a mini heatwave on the way at the beginning of next week, so in celebration of all of that potential sunshine, I thought I'd share a little nails of the day with you, from a couple of weeks ago.

Nails Inc are without a doubt one of my favourite nail polish brands, and I get a lot of my Nails Inc polishes from QVC UK. They do a lot of limited edition shades and great value bundles, and this particular shade, Poolside Paradise came in a set called Saved By The Beach which was a Today's Special Value from July 2019.


Poolside Paradise is a gorgeous summery, creamy coral shade, but it's one of those shades that just doesn't work that well on camera. These pictures are a pretty close representation of the colour but in real life it's probably a touch more orange toned and maybe a little bit darker but again it all depends on the lighting.


As per usual with Nails Inc, this polish features, a pull off lid, and a textured cap. The brush itself is quite wide which makes nail painting super easy on the majority of nails. I have chunky fingers and skinny nails though so I need to be a little bit careful with wide brushes to avoid overspill but otherwise this polish was a dream to apply. 

The coverage was so good that I probably could have got away with one coat, but I went with two for a deeper, shinier, full coverage finish. It dried really quickly and it wore incredibly well even without a top coat. I did notice a bit of tip wear after about 3 days and a lot of typing, but it was still going strong when I finally removed it a week later.

There is a reason why I buy so many Nails Inc polishes and this polish sums it up perfectly, they're usually really easy to apply, the finish is usually spot on and they wear well. I think that this particular shade was either a limited edition or a QVC UK exclusive, so it will probably be pretty hard to find now, but it's definitely still out there I actually saw it on the TK Maxx website a few weeks ago, so maybe the discount and secondary market is the place to look. If you can't find this particular polish though and you love the colour, don't worry, I am sure that are plenty of similar coral colours out there. Are you still embracing summery polish colours? Let me know in the comments x

Tuesday, 8 September 2020

A Late Unboxing Of Glossybox UK - July 2020 Edition - Aloha*


After the relatively plain pink and black design of the June 2020 edition of Glossybox UK, July's box was a breath of tropical fresh air. The pale turquoise, ocean blue tones of the box base, coordinated perfectly with the bright and cheery, tropical leaf and flower design of the lid. The box also featured an embossed gold foil dotted lattice design. The word "aloha' was also embossed onto the lid in a gold foil, as were the words "A MOMENT OF PARADISE" on the side of the box lid.


The turquoise and aqua theme carried on inside of the box with the lining of the box and the paper shred, resembling perfect turquoise seas. The box contents were wrapped in a sheet of peach / coral tissue paper, and a pink ribbon, a colour palette that reminded me a little bit of tropical sunsets and exotic flowers - a lovely and cheerful box design perfect for bringing a little bit of sunshine into an up and down British summer.


As you should know by now the first thing in the box is the information leaflet. Again brightly coloured, the colour way of June's leaflet was reminiscent of a sandy beach and a beautiful blue sea, The theme of June's box was obviously 'Aloha' and it was all about those tropical summer vibes. Containing a mix of refreshing and hydrating skincare, and products to give you a flush or colour and a sun kissed glow, the box was designed to make you feel as though were on the tropical beaches of somewhere like Hawaii.



Jecca Blac Glow Drops Highlighting Primer For Face - Rose Pearl - 20ml - Full Size - RRP £16 


The first product in the box was all about the, and it was a product from a new brand to me, Jecca Blac, or as it's often known as just Jecca.

Jecc Blac is a gender free make up brand thats focus is inclusivity. They whole brand philosophy is "beauty for all genders, identities, expressions, sexualities, abilities, ethnicities, shapes and sizes". All of their products are vegan and cruelty free, and are made right here in the UK.

This product is basically a make up primer, but it's a primer with a twist! As well as doing all of the things that a primer normally does such as making your make up last longer, and evening up your skin tone, this particular primer is also designed to give your skin a healthy, natural glow.


The primer comes boxed and is packaged in plastic, paint style, squeezy tube, The primer itself has quite a fluid feel. It doesn't feel greasy or sticky, and it dries and sets down pretty quickly, so have to blend it out quite quickly. The colour itself is described as Rose Pearl, but in real life it's probably more of a warm copper / rose gold.





It's not very clear in the pictures below but it definitely adds a noticeable shimmer and warmth to the skin. I've just photographed it on bare skin here but when you use it under foundation, you don't really see a lot of the shimmer, it just warms the skin tone up and make the skin look a bit brighter and has a bit more of a glow.

Before 


On Application


After Blending


Unfortunately though as nice as the glow was, this just didn't really work for me as a primer. My skin looked shiny quite quickly and foundation didn't seem to last that long especially on my t-zone. If your skin is dull or dry, or it needs a bit of a boost though then this would be ideal for you. Jecca Blac say you can also use this on the cheekbones, on top of foundation, and on the collarbones, as a liquid / cream highlighter, so I think that's how I'll be using this in the future.

Even though this didn't really work for me as a primer, it has definitely made me want to try more from the Jecca Blac range, so if you have any recommendation I'd love to hear them x Whilst Look Fantastic, HQ Hair, and NEXT Beauty all sell a small range of Jecca Black products, the only retailer that I can find for this product is direct from Jecca Blac, where this full 20ml size retails at £16.

Naobay Orange Juice Hand Cream - 100ml - Full Size - Est. RRP £11.50


The next item in July's box came from Spanish natural skin and body care brand Naobay. I've tried a few bits from them now including the Naobay Detox Illuminating Micellar Water, that I received in the January 2020 edition of Glossybox UK, but this is the first opportunity that I've had to try a body product.

I love a good hand cream, and as operation nail growth continues, I'm pretty much going through a tube a month at the moment, so I was really pleased to receive one in July's box.

Like all of the products in the Naobay range, this hand cream is paraben free, certified organic (ECO CERT) and cruelty free, and it's also suitable for vegans. Designed to moisturise and hydrate the hands, and revitalise and regenerate the skin, 99.279% of the ingredients are natural in origin, and include aloe vera, olive and avocado oils, shea butter, and chamomile and orange extracts.

The hand cream comes in a plastic tube, and it features an eye catching wood and plastic lid. The hand cream itself is white in colour, and has a creamy but not sticky or heavy texture. 


It was really easy to massage into the skin, it absorbs into the skin really quickly, without feeling oily or sticky, and it leaves the skin feeling silky soft, and smooth, and hydrated. 


As expected it has an obvious citrus scent, I was expecting something sweet and juicy, but instead it was more of a tart, tangy almost orange pith type scent


I'm a huge fan of citrus based hand creams, and this is another good one, and I've used more than half of it already. I've been using it as an overnight treatment with loads of cuticle oil and cotton gloves, but the fact that it's non greasy, and it absorbs into the skin so quickly, means that it's perfect for using during the day, after hand washing or sanitising, Again it's not the easiest product to find, in fact the only places that I can find it are on Amazon or on Ecco Verde. Glossybox quote an RRP of £11.50 but around £7.30 seems to be a more realistic price.

#GIVE THEM LALA BEAUTY Aloha Bronzer - Ibiza - 7.5g Full Size - RRP $26 / £19.80


Nothing screams summer beauty more than a bronzer, and the next item in July's box was a full sized bronzing powder from another new brand to me #GIVE THEM LALA BEAUTY. Founded by US reality TV star Lala Kent, #GIVE THEM LALA BEAUTY is a high quality, cruelty free, cosmetic range, that features a large range of lip and cheek products.

This powder bronzer came boxed in a special Glossybox themed "Aloha" themed box. The powder inside was packaged in a round matte black compact. Again this seemed to be special packaging that was exclusive to Glossybox, because the same powder on the official website comes in a white compact.



The compact contains a mirror and a full sized bronzing powder in the shade Ibiza. Officially described as a light milk chocolate tone, perfect for light to medium skin tones. it feels really smooth and as you can see the pigmentation is superb, with just a hint of visible shimmer.



I'm not going to lie though, it is a touch orangey on me, and despite the fact that it blends really well, it still looks a tiny bit dark and a bit muddy on my skin, but it definitely adds a bit of welcome warmth to my skin.



It's definitely not the worst bronzer (colour wise) that I've ever used but it's just a bit to orange toned for my paler, pink toned skin. If you have a warmer complexion this would probably work a little bit better for you than it does on me, and if not there are several other shades available on the #GIVE THEM LA LA BEAUTY website where this full sized bronzer retails at around $26 / £19.80.

The Beauty Crop Palm Balm Lip & Cheek Balm & Color - Mauve Wave - 4g - Full Size - RRP £17-18 / $22 


The next item in the box was another make up product and it was something from natural ingredient, cosmetic brand, The Beauty Crop. The Beauty Crop produce a large range of products made from natural, plant based, ingredients. All of their products are cruelty, paraben and mineral oil free.

This product really is a multi use product that you can use on your eyes, lips and cheeks. It's made of 90% natural plant oils including coconut oil, pomegranate seed extract, grapeseed oil, and apricot kernel oil.


It comes boxed and it's packaged in a small clear, glass pot, with an oceanic, turquoise twist off plastic lid. The balm itself has a semi solid texture, that softens on contact with the skin. The shade I received was Mauve Wave. The surface was a just a touch darker, and warmer, compared to the mid toned, cooler pink underneath.


With a slightly oily taste and scent, the pigmentation as you can see is decent. A lot of balms are soft and creamy but this one really wasn't, it had an almost dry feel. It was pretty also pretty quick drying, and the fact that it didn't feel that greasy or creamy meant that it wasn't that easy to blend.


The colour though was spot on, I used it below to create a really natural pink flush to my cheeks, and a soft pink tint to my lips even though it wasn't that moisturising. I didn't manage to photograph an example for you but you can also use on the eyes for an on trend pink eye look.



Although this wasn't perfect by any means, it's a really nice multi use product. and the shade Mauve Wave works really well on my skin tone. I would have maybe liked it to be a bit creamier in texture but the fact that it isn't greasy meant that it actually lasted really well especially on the lips and cheeks.

From what I can gather this product is exclusive to The Beauty Crop where it retails at £17 for this full sized pot.

Kocostar Slice Mask Sheet - Watermelon - 12 Slices - 20ml - Full Size - Est. RRP £2.99 - £4


The final item in the July's box was a skincare item and it was from another new brand to me, Kocostar, who retail a nice range of quirky, yet high performance Korean skincare products. All of their products are vegan and cruelty free.This particular sheet mask is designed to be moisturising and refreshing, and it contains watermelon fruit extract, acai extract, plum blossom, anise, and thyme.

Now I do love a sheet mask but this was something just that little bit difference. Immediately on opening the packet I was hit a lovely, mouthwatering, fruity scent. I was expecting a normal sheet mask but instead the packet contained a plastic sheet with 12, wet, fibre circles, in two different sizes, that looked exactly like mini watermelons. 

You really just use it like you would any other sheet mask, you just apply the mini melons to clean, dry skin and you leave them on for around 15 minutes. I wasn't sure how well they would stick, but they were actually quite secure. They initially felt quite cooling on the skin but they gradually warmed up to skin temperature, and they actually started to feel quite tingly as time went on. After around 15 minutes the stickers felt quite dry, but there was a little bit of liquid still left on my skin, which felt slight sticky when I massaged it into my skin, and even after it had completely absorbed. My skin looked slightly pink and felt a little bit warm to the touch, but it definitely looked plumper and brighter.

Before


On Application


After


I'm not 100% sure that I would repurchase this particular mask, my skin definitely felt more hydrated but with the tingling and warmth, I'm not sure that my skin particularly liked it. Kocostar products are available from various retailers including ASOS, but I can only find this specific mask on The Fragrance Shop website, on the Danielle Creations website and on Notino. Glossybox quote a RRP of £4 for this mask but for what I've found the price seems to vary between £2.99 - £3.90.

So that was the July 2020 edition of Glossybox UK. The quality and value was definitely there but I can't help feeling a bit mehhh about some of the products, that just didn't work that well on my skin type and skin tone. I'm definitely going to try using the Jecca Blac primer as a highlighter, and I might try using the bronzer on my eyes, and I might have a bit more of a play with it on my face to see if I can make it work better. The balm for me makes a better cheek product and I love the hand cream. Boxes like this are always a risk so you can't really complain about a few duds. I've had a chance to try some new products and new brands and for me that is what it is all about. Let me know your thoughts on this box in the comments, and don't forget to use my link to find out more about Glossybox for yourself and to find out more about this years advent calendar, that went on sale to subscribers today x Thanks for reading and I'll see you soon with a nails of the day post x 

*This Post Contains Affiliate And Non Affiliate Links