Tuesday 19 January 2021

A Very Late Unboxing Of Glossybox UK - October 2020 Edition - The Beauty Tales - Midnight Fantasy*

Hi guys, and welcome to operation catch up part 1 zillion! Today I want to take you back to October, a time of falling leaves, Halloween,  pumpkin spice lattes, and The Beauty Tales edition of Glossybox UK.

There were two different versions of October's box, Enchanted Spirit and the version that I received, Midnight Fantasy. Glossybox are well know for their beautiful limited edition boxes, but I think that October's box is by far one of the best designs that I've ever seen from them.

In keeping with the whole mystical, fairytale, Beauty Tales theme, the Midnight Fantasy box was designed to look exactly like an old fashion book. Made of a gorgeous old book cover like, dark blue textured cardboard, the box lid features gold  foil embossed lettering, and a fairytale like illustration of a wolf howling at the moon, an owl, a fox, a tree, and mystical floral design.  The design carries on, onto the side of the lid which was designed to look like the spine of a book with the title "A Very Glossy Fairytale" embossed in gold.

The blue and gold theme carried on inside the box with a blue and gold interior, navy blue paper shred, a blue ribbon, and gold tissue paper.

As per usual the first thing in the box is the product information leaflet with contains a list of the box contents and a little bit about each of the products. It also tells you a little bit about the theme and the ideas behind the box, which in this case is all about the beauty tales, and the mystical ideas of eternal beauty, and as a result the box contains a mixture of products that were chosen to help relax and soothe the mind, and to transform the look and feel of the skin. 

AHC Essential Real Eye Cream For Face - 10ml - Deluxe Mini - Est. RRP £8.66

Now I'm going to be honest here, although I've had several months to try this product, I haven't actually opened it yet! To be fair this is something that is going to pop up more and more in these posts as time goes on. The plain and simple fact is that I have way too many skincare products to justify opening any more, so in future, if I don't need to open something skincare related, I won't. I currently have 3 eye products on the go as it is, so I'm adding this one to my to try pile

Just a bit of background on this one though, it's from Koreas's number 1 aesthetic skincare brand AHC. This is an eye cream but it can also be used all over the face as a hydrating and rejuvenating, vitamin and peptide filled facial moisturiser. 

I'm actually quite curious about this one because I love 2 in 1 products, and anything that can save a bit of time. I'm also pretty lazy when it comes to eye products, so applying 1 product rather than 2 sounds perfect. I'll definitely let you know how I get on with this in a future empties post. Glossybox quote a price of £8.66 for this 10ml deluxe mini size, the full 30ml size though is available for £26 exclusively from Look Fantastic.

Bubble T Bath & Body Star Dust Foaming Bath Powder In Rose - 100g - Full Size - RRP £5.99

Next up another product that I didn't / couldn't use. If you're a regular reader you should know by now that I don't have a bath tub in my house, so unfortunately I couldn't use this gorgeous rose scented foaming bath powder :( Don't worry though it didn't go to waste, I passed it on to one of my friends as a little extra in their Christmas pressie.

I think this scent may have been exclusive to Glossybox because I can't find it anywhere online. if you like the idea of a foaming bath powder though, you can buy the Fairy Dust Foaming Bath Powder In Lavender on various websites including Urban Outfitters, and direct from Bubble T where 100g pouch retails between £5 - £5.99.

Luna By Luna Lipstick - Pixie - 3.5g - Full Size - RRP $15 / £15

From something that I couldn't use to something that I most definitely can (at least when I'm not wearing a mask - wear a mask!), a lipstick! From New Jersey based company Luna By Luna, this is one of their bullet lipsticks in the shade Pixie.

The lipstick comes boxed and is packaged in a plain, navy blue, plastic tube with the brand name printed on the outside in gold.

The shade Pixie is a lovely bright coral shade, that to be honest if much more of a summer colour, then something that you would wear in October, but if you need cheering up no what time of year, it's a perfect happy colour.

With a slight vanilla scent and taste, this lipstick is super creamy and moisturising, and as you can it's very pigmented.

Being so creamy it did transfer slightly but the wear time wasn't bad, and it did leave a slight stain on my all be it very dry lips, when the initial glossy, creamy finish disappeared.

After having a look at the Luna By Luna website I'm pretty sure that I've tried something from the brand before (maybe a loose powder?, but I can't find anything in my stash or even a reference to the the brand on my blog, so if this "was" my first impression of the brand, then it was a good one. Pigmented, and super creamy, and moisturising,  and okay wear time, you can't really ask for more in a lipstick.

The only stockist that I can find for this lipstick is direct from Luna By Luna, where this full sized lipstick retails at $15 / around £15.

Illamasqua Hydra Veil Primer - 7ml - Deluxe Mini - Est. RRP £10

The next item is another make up item, or is it a skincare product? I'm never sure but I guess that depends on the primer itself. This is one of several primers that are available from cruelty free, top end cosmetic brand Illamasqua.

This is their iconic Hydra Veil Primer which is part hydrator, part primer. It contains micro algae, and vitamins C and B3, and it is designed to calm sensitive skin and reduce redness, in order to produce a calm and refreshed complexion, and a smooth and balanced base for make up.

Boxed and packaged in a small, plastic pot, this primer was quite unlike any other primer that I'd ever tried. Translucent in appearance it has a fresh clean scent, and it has a texture that very similar to jelly, that melts on contact with the skin.

On Application

Immediately After Application

After A Few Minutes

It immediately felt quite cooling on the skin but it quickly warms up to body temperature on application. It takes a minute or two to absorb into the skin, but when it does it almost feels as though there is nothing on your skin. My skin was left looking smoother, and more event, and unlike a lot of other cream and silicone based primers, it didn't leave me skin feeling greasy, heavy or sticky, it was just smooth and even.


On Application


I have to say that over the last month or so I've really enjoyed using this little pot of brilliance. Thanks to the cold weather, central heating, and the obligatory face mask, my skin has felt a little bit drier lately, and this has definitely helped add a much wanted burst of hydration to my skin. I haven't worn a lot of make up lately but I've been using a little bit of this without foundation too, and when I have worn make up alongside this primer, I've noticed a more even finish and less patchiness of my drier areas such as the edge of my cheeks, and above my eyebrows.

I usually shy away from hydrating primers, preferring products with pore minimising and mattifying properties, but I was actually really impressed with this primer, and how well it actually worked on my skin, and I will definitely consider using this again, and trying out some of their other primers in the wider Illamasqua range.

Glossybox place a value of £10 on this 7ml deluxe mini size. I can't find this specific size anywhere online but both Look Fantastic and Illamasqua sell a 6ml size for £10, and NEXT Beauty also sell a mini pot with no size given for £8. The full 30ml size is available from various retailers for £34.

The Beauty Crop Stargazing Blush Duo - Orion Glow - 4g - Full Size - RRP £18

The final official item in the October's box was another make up item, and it was a product from another one of Glossybox's favourite make up brands, The Beauty Crop. I've already tried a few bits from this clean and animal friendly beauty brand including The Palm Balm Lip & Cheek Balm & Color in Mauve Wave, so I was pleased to have the opportunity to try another type of product.

Packaged in a beautiful celestial design, blue and gold cardboard box, this product is a powder blush duo that comes in pretty, but not very expensive feeling, star patterned octagon shaped compact.

The compact contains 2 talc and paraben free, cruelty free and vegan, star embossed shades of powder blush. You get a more matte warm, champagne, bronze peach shade, and a lovely, shimmery peach, coral shade.

Both of the shades are super soft, and silky, and as you can see the colour pay off is superb.

I'm wearing the shade on the right, the more coral shade (alongside the Luna By Luna lipstick) in the picture below x 

It blended really nicely into the skin and it wore well, it was a touch powdery and there was a little bit of fallout but for such a pretty and wearable colour, I can deal with that x 

Although selected items from The Beauty Crop are now available in Superdrug, the Stargazing Blush Duo only seems to be available direct from The Beauty Crop where it retails at £18.

Now normally that would be it, but like in the September box, the October edition of Glossybox also included a very welcome sweet treat.

Cadbury Darkmilk - 13.5g

Yes, the October box contained chocolate, and it was a 13.5g, not for resale sized bar of Cadbury Darkmilk.

All chocolate to me is good chocolate, but I must admit that I'm much more of a milk chocolate girl, but every now and then I do want something that little bit more grown up, but I don't quite want the full richness and bitterness of a bar of dark chocolate. If you feel like that too then Darkmilk is for you, you still get the creaminess that you would expect from a bar of Dairy Milk, but you also get more of that rich chocolatey taste due to the higher cocoa content - perfection!

This size of bar was marked not for resale which is a bit of shame because I do love mini bars of chocolate, but the normal 35g sized bar retails at around 60p

So that was a very, late unboxing of the October box. I loved the fairy tale, book style packaging, and whilst I'm not sure all of the contents stuck to the whole beauty tales ethic I was pretty happy with everything in the box. I was a tiny bit disappointed to receive yet another eye cream, but that was tempered slightly by that you can use it all over your face, and again I was a little bit disappointed to get a bath product that I couldn't use, but the primer was a real revelation, and I was really impressed with both the lipstick and the blush duo, and of course the chocolate! All in all for me it was a pretty decent box x 

If you're interested in trying Glossybox for yourself, then you find out more via my link x Please let me know if you have any questions on any of the items in this box, and I will see you soon with probably another catch up post x Thanks for reading x 

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

Friday 8 January 2021

Collaborative / Partnered Post - Perfect Your Make Up By Reducing Shine*

As well as my obvious lack of skill when it comes to make up, one of my biggest challenges is hiding my sinkhole like pores and covering up that oil slick like shine. Sometimes you do want a bit of shine and sparkle in your look, and as you know I do love my highlighters but I want it where I want it, and I want to be able to control just which bits shimmer and shine, cheekbones - yes! nose and forehead - no! If like me you struggle to keep your oily skin under control and your make up just slides off or looks shiny in minutes, then you might need to start doing a few things to get that insta perfect look that you want. There are lots of tips and tricks that you might find useful if you want to perfect your makeup and at get rid of that shiny finish.

Image from Pexels - CC0 License

Use Products Designed for Oily Skin

It goes without saying that you should use skincare that's designed specifically for your skin type but you should also take a look at the make up that you're using. There are plenty of makeup products that are designed specifically for oily skin, so you don't have to continue using products that don't work for you. Colorescience is one brand that offers a range of products for oily skin, such as powder foundation, and more. You can find out more here about what they have on offer. Try out some new products to find what works for you, look at the textures, and finishes of your base products, and don't be scared to try products with a matte finish, you can always a bit of glow later on, where you want it. It's always worth having a look online and reading some reviews, and if you can try and get your hands on some samples especially if you're trying a new brands or a different type of product to what you normally use.

Prepare Your Skin with a Face Scrub

Preparing your skin before you put on your makeup can be a big help when you're trying to reduce shine. So if you're having problems with shine or your make up sliding off then get back to basics and reassess your skincare routine. As I said before, use products that will suit your skin and deal with your skincare concerns, don't just buy something because it's the it product of the moment. Although it can sound a little bit scary something worth looking at is a good face scrub which will help to ensure your skin is clean while also providing a gentle exfoliation. Face scrubs don't have to be harsh and scratchy, Enzyme scrubs feel more like a gel without any obvious exfoliating particles, and you can find various face scrub products that have natural ingredients and will help to rebalance your skin and control oils. Although I personally haven't tried it, you can also make your own scrub at home there are loads of different recipes online, so if you're into clean beauty or you want to know just exactly what's in your products then have a search, and let me know how your own natural skincare recipes x

Image from Pexels - CC0 License

Use a Primer

Many moons ago I used to go straight from skincare into foundation and concealer, but in my fight against the grease I realised I was missing quite an important step - primer! If you don't already use a primer, I think it's definitely worth adding one to your makeup routine. It prepares your skin so you're ready to put your makeup on, especially if you're someone who struggles with oily skin. Primer gives you a smooth base for your foundation so that you have a smooth canvas to apply your makeup too. It will make it easier to apply your makeup and make sure it stays there for longer too. If you choose a primer with a matte finish both your skin and your make up will look smoother and more even, and it will help keep the shine at bay. It may seem like an extra step but find a decent primer that works for you be it a cream, a liquid, or a gel, honestly you won't look back.

Set Your Makeup with a Face Powder

Now I know that it goes in and out of fashion, and that it doesn't work for everyone but personally I'm a bit of a face powder junkie, and I couldn't do my make up without it. When you have finished applying your makeup, you can help prevent shine by finishing it off with a face powder . This will help to set your makeup so that it holds for longer and will minimise shine at the same time. Even if you just pop a little bit of translucent face powder on your t-zone, it will help you to set your makeup look so that it stays in place for the day and won't come off until you're ready to take it off.

If you're looking for that insta perfect make up look, shiny and greasy skin just doesn't fit the bill, but there are ways and means and products to help you to minimise that shine, and to look glowy rather than shiny, but even if that oil continues to make an appearance don't worry, we are the lucky ones, oily skin doesn't age quite as quickly as dry skin does, so love the skin you are in, and if you do have an oilier skin type, make sure your following my blog to find out exactly what products works for me and my skin x

*Collaborative / Partnered Post

A Late Happy New Year And A Little Blogging And Life Update*

Hi Guys x I know it's a little bit late but since this is my first post of 2021, I guess I can still say an albeit snowy,  Happy New Year x Like most people I couldn't wait to see the back of 2020 but with another lockdown in place here in the 2021 hasn't started out the way that most people wanted, but without putting a jinx on it, surely it can only get better from here on in!?

2020 was a fail on so many counts but on a personal level I don't think I've had such an unproductive year. After a viral infection at the start of the year that didn't seem to want to go away, I struggled with my physical health for most of the year, which is bad enough, but the combination of illness, and lockdowns meant that my mental health reached rock bottom. My personal relationships suffered, I felt my self worth diminishing, and my enthusiasm for life pretty much disappeared. I spent a lot of 2020 trying to put on a happy face and pretending that I was coping, after all being at home for the majority of the time wasn't that strange to me, but in truth like so many people I was struggling.

It's no surprise therefore that yet again my blog suffered, my 2020 content when I did manage to post anything was pretty samey. I'm fighting the urge to apologise for that but at least I tried to keep posting and keep a sense of normality, which was a huge plus point, when you consider that deleting the whole thing crossed my mind more than once.

As I've said before my blog has always been my safe place, but at times last year, it made me feel anxious as though I could and should have done more, I became hypercritical of everything that I did manage to write, and I felt as though the whole thing was just a massive disaster, and a complete waste of time.
Looking back with clearer eyes, I don't think anything that I wrote or product was that bad, it was just symptomatic of the negative mindset that seemed to overtake so many of us in 2020.

Despite hitting over 1,500,000 all time page views last year, I still think 2021 is going to be a make or break year for me when it comes to the blog, even before Covid, I've struggled to maintain my niche and fell out of love with blogging, so hopefully this will be the year when I get my mojo back.

So what are my plans for LouLouLand in 2021, will first up I'm going to catch up, I have loads of  backdated Glossybox unboxings, and Glossybox advent calendar reviews for you, that I'm still planning on writing, as well as lots of new beauty reviews, hopefully some more fashion and lifestyle posts, as well as the return of some old favourites like empties posts and maybe the odd foodie Friday post.

I can't promise that I won't disappear again, after all my physical and mental health, and the health and wellbeing of those I love comes first but no matter what 2021 throws at us, I'm still going to be here x So thank you for sticking with me, I hope you're all doing as well as can be expected (don't forget about the helpline numbers in my previous post if you need someone to talk to), and I hope that 2021 is a better year for all of us xx 

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