Thursday 20 May 2021

Luscious Lips - HUDA Beauty Power Bullet Matte Lipstick - Wedding Day*

I know, I know, I promised you this post last week, but thanks to the busy week that I'd had planned things didn't quite go to plan. As well as seeing both friends and family over the course of this week, and last week, I had a very successful shopping, and I also had my second COVID vaccine last week.

Thankfully compared to my mams reaction to the AZ vaccine, my own experience with the Pfizer jab was a breeze. I was tired and a little sore after both jabs, and a felt a little heady after the second one but it was way better than my experience with COVID, so when you're invited - go get that vaccination!

Anyways, I know it seems like I'm just posting a constant stream of unboxing catch ups, and empties posts at the minute, so as I say, I've decided to try and break them up a bit with some hauls, some product first impressions, and some reviews, and today I've got the first post in what I hope will be a regular feature on the blog, Luscious Lips. I have an insane amount of lips products in my collection, the majority of which, I've never shared with you. So in this ongoing mini series I'm going to share some reviews of both some of the newest products in my collection, and some of my favourite products with you.

The first product I'm going to share with you, I guess falls into both of those categories, it's relatively new, and I love it! This full size lipstick from high end, influencer lead brand, HUDA Beauty, came in box number 20 of the 2020 Glossybox Advent Calendar.

From the Power Bullet Matte Lipstick range, this cruelty free lipstick contains sweet almond oil, and promises a highly pigment, smooth, cushion like, non drying formula, that lasts.

The lipstick comes in a clear plastic box, and is packaged in a matte, ombre patterned tube, in black and in the colour of the lipstick, which in this case is Wedding Day. The tube is engraved with the brand name 'HUDA Beauty', and it's magnetic so the cap doesn't fall off in your bag.

Wedding Day is described as a "super soft caramelised pink (cool toned)". I can see where they are coming from but for me it's more of a brown toned, pink, nude. It looks quite dark on me but as HUDA Beauty claim, it's a shade that I expect would work well on most skin tones.

The lipstick itself has an almost velvet, mousse like appearance, and rather than the usual smooth bullet shape, it has a very geometric shape, with lots of angles, and sharp lines. 

Lightly scented. and with an almost coconut and vanilla taste, the pigmentation and coverage is superb. The geometric, angular shape makes it really easy to apply all over the lips, as well as making it easier to line, and even the exaggerate the lip line.

For a matte lipstick it's actually very comfortable on the lips. My lips didn't feel dry or parched, and they actually initially felt even more hydrated.

The finish was definitely matte, but it didn't feel flat, cakey or one dimensional. It did transfer especially at first onto both cups, and people! but by and large it stayed on the lips, and the colour remained there intact for a good few hours.

Although I wasn't too sure about the colour at first (it was a darker nude then I would normally wear) I've actually grown to love it. It felt comfortable on the lips and it wore well. If you're not traditionally a fan of matte lipsticks then this could be a good place to start, as for me other than the finish it doesn't really behave like a typical matte lip colour.

This colour as I say is Wedding Day, but the HUDA Beauty Power Bullet Matte Lipstick comes in at least 23 other shades, and they retail at around £22 each. As well as purchasing them directly from HUDA Beauty you can also buy these lipsticks from Feel Unique, Cult Beauty, Boots and Harrods, and a small selection of HUDA Beauty Power Bullet Matte Lipsticks is also available on ASOS.

I have a couple of HUDA Beauty eyeshadow palette reviews to come (including a little giveaway) but if you have any lipstick recommendations I'd love to hear them x 

Thanks for reading and if you have any questions then please leave me a comment below and I will see you soon with another Glossybox unboxings x 

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

Monday 10 May 2021

Trimming My Stash - March 2021 Edition - Empties And Mini Reviews And An Update *

Hi Everyone, I hope you all had a good weekend, I'd set myself a to do list, and I can safely say that I only managed to complete 2 of the 6 things on the list! Frustrating, but sometimes we just need to celebrate what we do achieve, rather than dwelling on what we don't, so I'm not going to worry about it, things will get done when, they get done!

I've got a bit of a busy week ahead, with an eyebrow appointment, a planned shopping trip, and my second COVID vaccine, and it's my birthday on Saturday but I am going to try and get a couple of posts up this week for you, but first of all I'm going to share a late March empties post with you.
AVON Care Nourishing With Cocoa Butter Hand Cream - 75ml
The Body Shop Juicy Pear Hand Cream - 30ml
The Body Shop Vanilla Pumpkin Shower Gel - 250ml
Land Of Nod Salt Body Scrub Relaxing & Calming Lavender - 100g
Philip Kingsley Elasticizer - Elderflower & Rhubarb - 150ml
Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask - 100ml
Wander Beauty Baggage Claim Gold Eye Mask - 1 x Pair - 4g
AVON Advance Techniques Reconstruction Conditioner - 250ml
Total - 8 Items 

Okay, I know that March is only the third month of the year but trimming my stash wise March was my best month of the year so far. I managed to finish a very respectable 8 items including a nice mixture of skincare, hair care, and body care items.

1. AVON Care Nourishing With Cocoa Butter Hand Cream - 75ml

Following my recent Palmer's Cocoa Butter love in, I've become re obsessed with that sweet and creamy scent. Whilst operation nail growth continues in earnest (although not very successfully at the moment) I'm going through hand cream like it's going out of fashion, and this particular one from AVON was one of my most recent buys.

My mam is already a huge fan of the AVON Care Nourishing Cocoa Butter Multi Purpose Cream, and in my quest for a sweeter cocoa butter scented life, it made sense to try this hand cream.

Designed for dry to extra dry skin this hand cream contains both cocoa seed butter, and vitamin E, It has a creamy texture, without being too heavy, and it absorbs into the skin fairly quickly, leaving my hands soft and hydrated for a good few hours. Scent wise it's lovely and sweet, and creamy with both vanilla and surprisingly coconut notes.

The one drawback is that I did seem to use it up quite quickly, it isn't the thickest hand cream that I've ever used, and I think that I had a tendency for some reason to overuse it.

I would potentially buy it again, but I think I might heed the wisdom of Mummy Lou and buy my own pot of the multipurpose cream to use on my hands - it seems to be a little bit thicker, and I think it would probably be better value for money x 

AVON Care Nourishing With Cocoa Butter Hand Cream comes in a 75ml tube and has an RRP of £2.

2. The Body Shop Juicy Pear Hand Cream - 30ml

Next up another hand cream, and this time it's a festive one from The Body Shop 2019 Juicy Pear range. From one of their sack gift sets, this hand cream contains Italian pear extract, sweet almond oil and shea butter. Light green in colour, it had a dense almost cream gel like appearance and texture.

It was surprisingly hydrating and it absorbed into the skin quickly leaving my hands feeling super smooth and smelling like sweet, yet tart, fresh juicy pears.

Juicy Pear is definitely one of my favourite ever festive scents from The Body Shop, and I really wish that they would bring it back, because the scent of the Pear Bath Blend just isn't the same!

3. The Body Shop Vanilla Pumpkin Shower Gel - 250ml

From Christmas to Autumn, and my next March empty was another seasonal item from The Body Shop. Like Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte you can always tell that Autumn is on its way, when The Body Shop's Vanilla Pumpkin range makes it's hopefully annual appearance in store.

Thankfully I'd stocked up in 2019, but what with COVID and whatever else, the Vanilla Pumpkin range seemed to be in pretty short supply in 2020, and I only managed to get my hands on one body butter.

Containing Madagascan vanilla, honey, anise, and pumpkin fragrance, this was a gorgeous creamy shower gel, with a lovely nutty, vanilla, slightly fruity and spicy scent - delicious!

Alas this was my last bottle of Vanilla Pumpkin Shower Gel, so until Autumn comes around again I'll be teaming up my remaining body butter, with a variety and sweet and spicy shower products.

4. Land Of Nod Salt Body Scrub Relaxing & Calming Lavender - 100g

Now I've never made any secret of the fact that I love a bargain, and as a result one of my favourite shops to go to is Poundland. I don't think I've ever been into a Poundland store without buying something. As well as selling a varying range of branded beauty products, they've also recently started selling their own one off ranges of products including some Lush dupes.

Packaged in a Lush alike little black pot, this product is from their much talked about Land Of Nod range, that's designed to relax and calm, and to help you to sleep. I picked up 2 products from the range a shower gel, and this body scrub which contains walnut shells, sea salt, sugar, and lavender oil. It had quite an olde world smell, I personally prefer the cleaner, fresher, more astringent scent of French lavender, but this had quite a strong but powdery, slightly old fashion English lavender type scent.

The tub contained what initially looked like a pale blue / lilac liquidy gel. It was only when you looked more closely that you could actually see a mixture of very fine, dark and light particles. It was very, very runny and if I'm completely honest I could barely feel the grains. Admittedly I like a quite aggressive, gritty scrub, but the grains in this scrub was just too fine to make any real difference, they should have just altered the packaging and labelled this as a shower gel. I love you Poundland but even at just £1 this wasn't for me x

5. Philip Kingsley Elasticizer - Elderflower & Rhubarb - 150ml

Next up, the first of two hair care products in this post, and this one is one of favourite ever hair products from trichology based hair care range, Philip Kingsley.

Although I don't use it all the time, it's one of those products that makes a huge difference to your hair, whether you use it once, or whether you use it every week.

Containing olive oil, glycerine and castor seed oil, Elasticizer is basically a pre wash, intensive conditioning treatment, that's designed to condition, repair, hydrate and strengthen the hair. All you do is apply the rich cream to damp hair, and then leave it to do it's thing for anywhere between 20 or so minutes to overnight before shampooing and conditioning the hair as normal.

It leaves my hair feeling smoother, and more manageable and it's something that I'll continue to use. I've used quite a few different scents of Elasticizer over the years (just search Elasticizer to see just a few of them) but this super fresh and fruity, Rhubarb and Elderflower version from around 2016 or so is probably one of my favourites. Alas this particular scent has now been discontinued but there are always new limited edition scents been released and the original, which was originally created for Audrey Hepburn is still widely available. A 150ml tub of Philip Kingsley Elasticizer retails at around £35 from various retailers including direct from Philip Kingsley, as well as from Look Fantastic, Feel Unique, Marks & Spencer, John Lewis and Boots.

6. Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask - 100ml

The next product on the list has a little bit of a cult reputation, and it's something that I bought on a whim a few years ago, after spending too long on social media! Apparently now huge on Tik Tok, there was a time that you couldn't go on You Tube or Instagram without seeing people with cloud like faces after using this mask.

From South Korean brand Elizavecca this mask contains charcoal, clay, collagen, green tea, plant extracts, and carbonated water. It's designed to clean out the pores, and get rid of blackheads as well as leaving the skin smooth and moist.

Open the box and inside you'll find a tub of face mask with a super cute cartoon like design on the label, and a tiny little plastic application scoop. 

The mask itself is grey in colour, and it has a creamy, clay like texture. Despite all of the plant ingredients I still found that it has a sort of clay like, strange slightly plastic scent.

I personally didn't use the spatula to apply it because it was a bit small, instead I used a face mask brush, you could obviously use your fingers but it is a bit gloopy, and it's one of those masks that you seem to almost wipe off as you're applying it. 

As tempting as it is to over apply it from the full cloud like, comedic effect that you often see online, it's probably best to try and apply a thin even layer.

It immediately feels cool on the skin, with just a slight tingle but almost as soon as you apply it you start to experience a tickly, tingly, popping feeling as the mask begins to bubble and foam. It's not uncomfortable but it is quite a strange sensation.

On Application

After A Couple Of Minutes 

It takes about 5 or so minutes to full foam up, and to create that cloud like effect, then all you do is just wet your hands and massage the bubbles over your face before rinsing off the mask with warm water.

After Removal

It doesn't set solid so it's quite easy to rinse off. After rinsing my skin did look a touch pink, but it felt super smooth and it looked really clean, clear and fresh.

I really did buy this mask on a bit of a whim but apart from the funny selfie opportunities, and the cute packaging, I can really see why this mask is so popular, my skin felt smoother and it looked clearer even after one application, and it really did improve the appearance of my pores.

Despite its popularity it isn't the easiest mask to find, so eBay and Amazon are probably your best options, but have a little search online before you commit. Prices do vary but you should expect to pay around £8.99 for your own cloud like selfie opportunity, and you can look forward to a few from me because I have another tub currently on route from eBay.

7. Wander Beauty Baggage Claim Gold Eye Mask - 1 x Pair - 4g

From a face mask to an eye mask and the next product in March's list is this set of eye mask patches from Wander Beauty.

I don't think I've really got too much else to say about these so you can read my full review in my last post here

8. AVON Advance Techniques Reconstruction Conditioner - 250ml

Finally another hair product and it's another favourite, and again it's something that you've seen before. From their Reconstruction range, this conditioner contains AVON's unique Keratin Panthenol Complex and is designed to help reduce split ends and breakages. It leaves my hair feeling soft, smooth, and healthy and it has a delicious fruity scent.

Although I'm currently alternating the John Frieda Radiant Red Conditioner with another AVON product, I've already repurchased this conditioner, and I'm going to keep using all of the products in the Reconstruction range.

AVON seem to have had another revamp of their Advance Techniques range, and whilst the packaging has changed on this one it seems to have escaped the cull - the 250ml size retails at around £3 either from the AVON website or via your local AVON representative. 

So there you have it, a slightly late March empties post. All in all a very successful month, alas as you'll see in a week or so April wasn't quite as successful, but I'm going at it with all guns blazing in May. In the meantime though if you have any questions on any of the products that I finished in March then please leave me a comment below, and I'll try and get back to you. Thank you as per usual for all of your support and I will see you later this week with a make up review x 

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

Sunday 2 May 2021

A Very Late Unboxing Of Glossybox UK - December 2020 - Best Time Of The Year Edition*

Over the course of a year there are usually 2 editions of Glossybox that I look forward to just a little bit more than the rest, the August, Birthday edition, and the December Christmas edition.

Visually stunning, December 2020's Christmas themed box wasn't quite as traditional as in previous years, there were no golds, reds or green, instead the box featured various shades of pink, and white, with pink, and white glitter, and embossed white lettering, and trees.

The inside of the box was a very pale nude, beige in colour with a white repeating pattern of the Glossybox logo / monogram. Carrying on with the pink vibe, the contents were wrapped in a sheet of deep pink, almost burgundy tissue paper, surrounded by lighter pink paper shred, all tied together with a white ribbon with the words "Best Time of the Year" printed on it in a matching deep pink, burgundy shade.

The first thing in the box as per usual, was the product information leaflet, which as well as telling you a little bit about all of the products in the box, tells you a little bit about the theme and the inspiration behind the product choices.

The theme of December's box was as you may have guessed "Best Time Of The Year", and according to Glossybox the box contained a mixture of pampering skincare products and festive season inspired cosmetics to help you feel glam throughout the festive season. but did they really achieve that? Let's take a look inside and see...

Symbiosis Glycolic Acid + R.N.A. Overnight Rejuvenating Eye Serum - 15ml - Full Size - RRP £102

If anything summed up my experience with Glossybox in 2020, it probably had to be their obsession with eye products, and in particular eye creams, gels and serums. Although I am quite lazy when it comes to eye products, you would have to be pretty obsessed with them to go through as many as I've received from Glossybox over the last 12 months or so. Needless to say this particular one remains unopened, unused and it's been added to my 'to use' pile.

From luxury, scientific and cruelty free UK brand, Symbiosis, this particular product is one of 11 different eye products in their range.

Containing glycolic acid, RNA, collagen, seawater, and mica, this overnight serum is specially designed to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes, as well as relieving puffy and tired eyes.

From what I gather this particular product is only available direct from Symbiosis where it retails at a pretty hefty £102.

I've got to say that this particular products does sound pretty interesting, and given the rather astronomical price tag I think I'm going to be trying this one sooner rather than later.

Nailberry L'Oxygene Oxygenated Nail Lacquer - Strawberry Jam - 15ml - Full Size - RRP £15

Next up a little nails of the day for you courtesy of the next product in the box, a full sized nail polish from Nailberry. I only own one other polish from Nailberry, also courtesy of Glossybox, but since I haven't tried that on my nails yet, this was my first real Nailberry experience.

Nailberry are probably one of the most cleanest and greenest nail brands out there. All of their polishes are 12 free, vegan, cruelty free, gluten free and Halal. The polishes like this one in their L' Oxygene range are also breathable, oxygenated, and water permeable.

The shade that I received was Strawberry Jam, a gorgeous vivid, berry red. Packaged in a rectangular, block like, glass bottle, the polish comes with a wide, slightly curved brush. The polish wasn't particularly runny but at the same time it did feel slightly drippy.

The coverage was fantastic, the polish itself was really smooth and pigmented and whilst I probably could have got away with one coat, as per usual I went with 2.

It wasn't the quickest drying polish that I've ever used, but it dried down to a lovely glossy finish, that lasted a good 4 without a top coat, and without chipping.

I did struggle a little bit with the application but that was only because of my super short, and narrow nails, the vibrance of the colour and the width of the brush, but other than that this polish was a winner.

It was glossy, vibrant, and it wore well. I didn't actually wear nail polish on Christmas Day, but I was rocking this particular polish on my toe nails, and it was the perfect colour for the festive season. Although I don't particularly need any more nail polish, I would definitely consider trying more polishes from Nailberry in the future. 

Nailberry polishes retail at around £14.50 - £15, and this particular shade, Strawberry Jam, is available from various retailers including direct from Nailberry as well as from John Lewis, and Space NK.

Wander Beauty Baggage Claim Gold Eye Mask - 1 Pair - 4g - Est. RRP £4

I know that Christmas is a stressful time, and Christmas 2020 with its bubbles, and lockdown weirdness was certainly that for most us. Not getting enough sleep, drinking more alcohol, and eating lots of fatty, salty, and sugary foods can all reflect our skin and in our eyes, so I guess that's why Glossybox included not one but two eye products in their December box.

I wasn't quite as put out by this one as I was by the serum because masks are always useful, and I've always got time for a bit of pamper session.

Wander Beauty is a 'clean' beauty range that specialises in creating a minimalist routine with multi tasking products with clean, skin loving ingredients. All of their products are cruelty free, as well as paraben, mineral oil, phthalate, and synthetic fragrance free.

Containing hyaluronic acid, aloe leaf, shea butter, calendula, camu camu, peptides and amino acids, this triple layered eye mask is apparently a real multi tasker. According to Wander Beauty they de puff the eyes, and brighten the appearance of dark circles, as well as being cooling and soothing on the eye area

The eye patches themselves come sandwiched between 2 thing circles of plastic, they were very wet, and there was a lot of excess serum in the packet, which had a pleasant green, herbal scent.

The patches feature 3 different layers, one side is white and is comprised of an elastic layer, and a layer of cellulose fibre that helps the patches stay in place, and helps the serum to absorb, and the other side of the patch has a gold, plastic like, foil finish which helps to stop the serum evaporating too quickly.

You apply the patches with the gold side facing outwards onto clean, dry skin. The patches stuck down really easily and they felt really secure. They initially felt quite cool and damp on the skin but they gradually warmed up to body temperature. The foil side of the patch dried quite quickly so if you wanted to you could pop your glasses on over the top of them but I just kept them off and took the opportunity to have a sneaky 5 minute cat nap :)


On Application

I left them on for about 15 minutes before peeling them off. What surprised me the most was just how little serum there was left on my face. There was just a tiny little bit which I massaged into my skin. My under eye area did initially feel a little bit tacky but the small amount of serum that remained absorbed pretty quickly. My eyes were left feeling cool, refreshed and less tired. There wasn't a huge difference appearance wise but I do think that my skin looked a bit plumper and more hydrated.


My skin seemed to really like these, and based on how much liquid they took in I think that my eyes really needed them. I think that these patches are perfect if your feeling a little under the weather and in need of a quick pamper session, they are a lovely treat that made a real difference to the feel of my eye area and I would definitely consider using them again.

Glossybox placed a price estimate of £4 on this one pair of patches. You can buy a single pair for around $5 direct from Wander Beauty, who also sell a pack of 6 pairs for $25. You can also buy a 6 pack from Cult Beauty and net-a-porter for £24.

SPORTFX Blend And Go Make Up Sponge - Full Size - RRP £4.99

The next product in the box was something functional and practical but not necessarily glamorous, it was a make up sponge from Sport FX.

Packaged in an almost clear plastic pyramid, the Sport FX Blend & Go Make Up Blending Sponge is a deep red in colour, and rather than being like the traditional rounded, Beauty Blender style sponge, this one has a rounded base, and an angular, geometric like form which culminated in a slanted, pointy tip. 

This isn't the biggest sponge I've ever tried so I probably won't be using it for a full face of foundation, instead I've found that the tip is perfect for small areas around the eyes and nose, and for blending out say concealer, and the rounded part of the sponge is probably better for blending out a highlighter, a bronzer or a contour than it is for foundation.

It might not be one of the most eye catching or exciting products that you'll ever find in a Glossybox but it's nice quality and it's useful. The Sport FX Blend & Go Make Up Blending Sponge retails at around £4.99 direct from Sport FX, as well as from House Of Fraser and Sports Direct.

Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula With Vitamin E Original Solid Formula - 30g Deluxe Mini - Est. RRP £1.50

The final item in December's box was one of 2 mini products from Palmer's famous Cocoa Butter Formula range. Every subscriber received either a bottle of body lotion or the product that I received a small jar of their original solid cocoa butter.

I love the vanilla, creamy scent of cocoa butter but I always preferred The Body Shops interpretation over the Palmer's offering but since that entire range was discontinued I'll take what I can get!

Containing cocoa extract, cocoa butter, vitamin E, and mineral oil (?!?), this product has a semi solid balm like texture, that melts down to a creamy, oil on contact with the skin.

On Application

Suitable for every skin type from normal to extra, extra dry, this product again is a real multi tasker, bar eating which sounds tempting! you can pretty much use it anywhere, from on patches of dry skin, to the ends of you hair, to on your lips, and on your cuticles.

My hands and nails have been super dry lately so I've mainly been using it on my cuticles, hands and nails as an overnight treatment, but i've also popped a little bit onto my lips, and onto my dry feet and heels.

Lightly Massaged In

It is a touch oily, and a bit sticky but it still absorbs quite quickly into the skin, leaving it looking instantly more hydrated and glowy, and feeling smoother, less dry and smelling like freshly baked cookies!


I've enjoyed using this little pot so much that I've actually nearly finished it, which is saying a lot when you consider just how little you actually need to use at once. I love it so much in fact that I've gone on to buy the full size so I can enjoy both the smell and the benefits for just a little bit longer.

I can't find this particular 30g size anywhere but the full 100g size is available for anywhere between £3.50 and £4.50 from a variety of retailers including Superdrug, Boots, and Morrisons.

So they were my thoughts on the eagerly anticipated December 2020 edition of Glossybox, and I don't know whether it's because I'd looked forward to it so much and hyped it up in my mind before it arrived, but it did leave me feeling just a touch disappointed.

It just didn't seem to live up to all of the glamorous and pampering claims that Glossybox made. Another all be it very expensive eye cream - mehh, a nail polish that definitely did fit in with the festive glamour feel, and an eye mask - pampering? yes but a make up sponge and multi purpose balm? not so much..

Don't get me wrong the value was definitely there in the eye serum alone, and I did like the products and the box design, it just didn't really wow me and much as I'd hoped. Did I expect too much with it being the Christmas box? Let me know your thoughts in the comment and don't forget to use my link to find out more about and about Glossybox and to subscribe x 

I've probably got an empties post for you next but make sure your subscribed for more upcoming content including some more unboxings, some product reviews, some first impressions on some Beauty Pie products and all of the details of my first Colourpop haul x Thanks for reading and I will see you soon with another post x 

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