Tuesday 28 December 2021

A Quick Overview Of The Glossybox 2021 Advent Calendar - Surprise Me - Days 1 - 12*

Hey all x I hope that you've all had a good long weekend, and a fabulous Christmas if you were celebrating. It was a really weird one this year, with just me and Mummy Lou. She still wasn't feeling too great so I cooked and cleaned, and we spent the day in each others company watching films and opening pressies. It actually went better than I thought it would and I guess this year really made it obvious to me what Christmas is really all about.

Thankfully, fingers crossed, my mam seems to be feeling a lot better now, so we've just had a lazy few days, losing track of time, and date, and enjoying each others company.Today though I thought I'd give her a little bit of space and I thought I'd try and stick a blog post up for you guys.

In the past I've done a variety of different types of advent calendar posts for you, ranging from full products reviews, to just sharing the contents of whatever calendar that I was lucky enough to receive that year. This year I guess it's going to be quite similar to that, I haven't a chance to try anything in this years calendar yet, so this year I'm just going to share two basic unboxing posts with you - showing you what I got, and giving you some sort of idea of the value of the items in the calendar, and then later on whether in stand alone posts, or in empties posts I can share my thoughts and reviews with you x 

First up the calendar itself, and I have to say I really wasn't sure whether or not I was going to get one this year, but after seeing a few sneak peaks from some of this years offerings for the fourth year in a row, Mummy Lou treat me to the Glossybox calendar.

With a subscriber price of £85 and a regular retail price of £105, this was their most expensive calendar to date, but with an apparent value of over £465 it still seemed like decent value for money.

Like 2020's calendar, I was pleased to see that the 2021 calendar took the same reusable format. In a gorgeous marble like print, in shades of white, pink, grey and gold, this calendar comprised of a sturdy cardboard outer box, with magnetic fastening doors, that opened to reveal four deep, strong cardboard drawers with pink ribbon handles.

Each drawer contained several numbered boxes, again in the pink, white, gold, grey, and a taupe like colour way.

Every numbered box contained a small amount of black paper shred and a lovely beauty product,

Day 1 - Elemis Pro-Collagen Energising Marine Cleanser - 30ml - Deluxe Mini - RRP £9.70

First up a deluxe mini size product from one of my favourite skincare brands, Elemis. For their famous Pro Collagen Marine range, this is one of their newest products, the Pro Collagen Energising Marine Cleanser, and it's something that I've been wanting to try for sometime. 

Glossybox placed a price of £16 on this 30ml size but the only place that I can find this particular size is direct from Elemis where it retails at £9.70.

Day 2 - Wander Beauty - Trip For Two Blush And Bronzer Duo - Bellini And Costa Rei - 8g - Full Size - Est. RRP £25.50 

In box number 2, there was the first of several make up items in this years calendar, and it was a blush and bronzer duo from 'clean' beauty brand Wander Beauty. Now I've only tried an eye mask from the brand before (read my post here) so it's nice to get the opportunity to try something else. The sturdy cardboard palette contains a pale peach matte blusher, and a light toned matter bronzer.

Glossybox placed a value of around £25.50 on this palette but I could only find this particular shade paring at the slightly higher price of £35 from Net-A-Porter, and for $36 direct from Wander Beauty.

Day 3 - GLOV Satin Sleeping Mask - Full Size - Est. RRP £6.90

Now as you know I do love my sleep, and if you aren't getting the quality of sleep that you need there are a few different things that you can try, I've got a post coming up the in the new year that might help you, but in the meantime have you ever tried a sleeping masks? I know they do give you some classic movie glamour, Breakfast At Tiffany's vibes, but they really can help especially if you are disturbed by bright lights, or if for whatever reason you need to sleep during the day.

Box number 3 contained a super soft satin sleeping mask from Polish brand GLOV. With a comfortable elastic band, and a padded, silky smooth finish, this mask is so light you barely feel like you're wearing anything at all. I personally have a love hate relationship with sleep masks, but this one is dream to wear, it isn't tight or uncomfortable and it's isn't scratchy or uncomfortable.

Although I have found a couple of retailers of GLOV's beauty tools in the UK, none of them seem to stock this specific item, so the only place where you might find it is on the secondary market.

Day 4 - Sarah Chapman The Facialift Sculpting Facial Massager - Full Size - Est. RRP £30 

Next up is something that I actually already owned after receiving it in a NEXT beauty box, so this particular one was passed on to a friend. Basically what this is, is a sculpting facial massager from top facialist Sarah Chapman. With 8 rubberised head, this roller designed to brighten, lift, drain toxins, and get rid of puffiness on the face and neck. Bar a basic roller, I tend to find a lot of facial massage tools a little bit uncomfortable but I've read a lot of good things about it so i'm going to try and keep using it 

Glossybox place a value of £30 on this particular tool and it's available at that price from Space NK, Feel Unique, Look Fantastic, NEXT Beauty and Beauty Expert, and for around £32 direct from Sarah Chapman and from John Lewis,

Day 5 - Avant Skincare Eight-Hour Retexturing & Anti-Oxidising Hyaluronic Facial Serum - 30ml - Full Size - RRP £89

Something that I'm eternally grateful to Glossybox for is for introducing me to Avant Skincare  - the range is just so expensive that I would never have tried it otherwise and I was super excited to get a chance to try another product from the range on day 5. Something that I've discovered and loved over the last year and a half or so, is the miracle of hyaluronic acid! I used it as least once a day under my moisturiser, and I've really noticed a difference in the feel and texture of my skin. I've been using and loving one from The Ordinary but it's going to be nice to try a higher priced product to compare.

Glossybox placed a price of £89 on this full, 30ml size. It's available at that price in the same packaging direct from Avant Skincare, as well as in the same size, but in slightly different packaging direct from Avant Skincare as well as from Look Fantastic, and Beauty Expert.

Day 6 - Molton Brown Heavenly Gingerlily Bath & Shower Gel - 100ml - Deluxe Mini - Est. RRP £10

In box number 6, I received a 100ml, deluxe mini size shower gel from one of my favourite shower brands, Molton Brown, and it was actually one of the first shower gels I ever used from them, Heavenly Gingerlily! Despite the name I think that this is definitely a unisex product, it warm and spicy and just a little bit floral. Molton Brown make great shower gels and I'm definitely going to enjoy using this one.

I can only find this particular size in gifts and sets but the full 300ml size retails at around £22 direct from Molton Brown, and from various other retailers including Feel Unique, and Look Fantastic.

Day 7 - Grow Gorgeous Intense Thickening And Scalp Mask - 30ml - Deluxe Mini - Est. RRP £9

From the body to the hair, and on day 7 I received a 30ml tube of the Grow Gorgeous Intense Thickening Hair and Scalp Mask. I don't know whether it's down to stress or the weather, or diet, but my hair is going though one of it's regular falling out phases, and believe me I'll try anything to hang on to it - so this mask which claims to increase hair thickness, and nourish the scalp is going straight into my shower!

I can't find this particular size on its own online but the full 200ml size has an RRP of £25 and its available direct from Grow Gorgeous, as well as from Look Fantastic, and Boots.

Day 8 - W7 Cosmetics Super Brows Super Definition Eyebrow Pencil - Brown - 1.5g - Full Size - RRP £2.95

Next up more make up and this time it's eyebrows. Although I didn't manage to get my hair done before Christmas I did manage to get my brows waxed and dyed, and instead of going to a Benefit counter - I decided to try someone local and I have to say I was pretty pleased with the results, so I'll be saving my cash and keeping it local! 

To be honest my own brows have been so good since I got them done that I haven't reached for anything rather than a bit of clear gel but a good brow pencil never comes in one, and this is a nice dark brown which I think should look pretty natural on me.

This is definitely one of the more budget friendly products in this years calendar with a retail price of £2.95, look hard enough though and you might be able to find it for even less than that. 

You can buy W7 direct from their own website, as well as from various other discount cosmetic retailers including some B&M Stores, and you can even now find W7 stands in some larger Tesco stores.

Day 9 - Eyeko Black Magic Liquid Eyeliner - 0.4ml - Full Size - Est. RRP £16

From eyebrows to eyeliner, and it wouldn't be an advent calendar without an eyeliner, and this one is a full size felt tip style liner from Eyeko. I've got a few liners from Eyeko in my collection but as you can probably guess I don't really get one with them. I don't think it's particularly the fault of the liners, more my shaky hands, and lack of talent. I think my relationship with eyeliner will go one of two ways in 2022, I'll either master it, or I'll give up on it completely - what will it be?

This pink packaging appears to be exclusive to Glossybox or this calendar but this eyeliner is available in the normal black packing for £16 from Marks and Spencers, Look Fantastic and direct from Eyeko.

Day 10 - James Read Gradual Tan Sleep Mask Face Retinol - 25ml - Deluxe Mini - Est. RRP £15

Now I don't know about you but thanks to the season and life in general, and I look as pale and peaky as they come. I guess this was product was included to help you get ready for the party season, but even if the furthest you going is from the sofa to the fridge, I'm sure this product will make you look a little bit healthier. From celebrity tan specialist James Read, this is an overnight facial gradual tan with anti-aging and skincare benefits.

I can't find this particular retinol sleep mask tanner formulation anywhere but this size of the original sleep mask retails at £15 directly from James Read.

Day 11 - Pixi Glow Tonic - 100ml - Full Size - RRP £10

On day number 11, I received a product that I love, the Pixi Glow Tonic, I love acid toners like this for clearing up blemishes and for improving the texture of my skin. You can read a full review of it here

This particular size retails at £10, and is available from a variety of retailers including Look Fantastic, Marks and Spencers, Boots, Cult Beauty and direct from Pixi Beauty.

Day 12 - Vitamasques Lip Mask Plump And Repair - 1 Mask - Full Size - RRP £4.99

The final item I'm going to share with you in this post was in box number 12 and it was another skincare item, this time from Vitamasques, and it was a lip plumping and moisture mask. My lips are as dry as sticks at the moment, so I will be using this one sooner rather than later.

The Vitamasques Lip Mask - Plump and Repair has a retail price of around £4.99 and it available direct from Vitamasques.

So that was days 1 - 12 of the 2021 Glossybox advent calendar and so far so good, a few bargain buys and a few really good, high end products, and a lot of things that I'm eager to try. As I say I will feature as many items as I can in future posts, and I will see you soon with either another general unboxing or days 13 - 25, so in the meantime if you have questions on any of the products so far then please leave me a comment and I'll try and get back to you xx

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

Friday 24 December 2021

Twas The Night Before Christmas And Things Really Haven't Gone To Plan...

So here we are x There is only one more sleep till the big day, and I have to say for the first time in a really long time I don't feel that festive. If you follow me on Instagram or if you're a fan of my Facebook page, then you'll already know that my Mam was rushed to hospital earlier this week thankfully she was discharged last night but she's still on a lot of medication and she's still feeling exhausted and pretty under the weather. Unfortunately we've made to decision to have a much more low key Christmas Day celebration with just the two of us, and a scaled back vegetarian Christmas dinner cooked by yours truly!

I love tradition and routine at Christmas time, so I'm feeling a little bit emotional and uneasy with all of the changes, and I'm really going to miss spending the day with my godmother, I did see her today though which was nice but It can't be helped these things happen, my Mam's health is more important and I'm going to try and make it as nice as possible for her tomorrow x 

I know Christmas is going to be another strange one for a lot of people this year, so please do what I'm doing and try to remember that it's just a day, and a very hyped day at that. Things don't have to be perfect, and you don't have to force yourself to be happy - life doesn't change just because it's Christmas Day - So if you're on your own - head to Twitter where Sarah Millican is doing her annual #JoinIn, I'll probably be floating around on social media for most of the day - probably sharing my culinary stresses, and if you really do need someone to talk to, don't forget there is always someone out there to listen, it's okay not to be okay so reach out if you need to x 

So although it won't be the Christmas that so many of us had planned this year, if you're celebrating this year I hope you have the best day possible x  I will hopefully see you sometime over the festive season with an overview of this years Glossybox Advent Calendar, and maybe another post or two, so from me to you, I hope you have a very Merry Christmas x

*This Post Contains An Affiliate Link

Monday 13 December 2021

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

Bonjour mes amis! I disappeared again didn't I! Sorry! My COVID booster knocked me for 6 for a few days, and then I came down with a stinking cold! Urgh! Never mind though, although I haven't been that visible on social media, and on the blog lately, I have been busy prepping blog posts for you, so fingers crossed you'll have lots of content to keep you busy in the run up to Christmas and beyond! 

Today I've got a little empties post for you, and after a pretty amazing 4 months, in October I came back down to earth with a bit of a bump!

The Body Shop Drops Of Youth - Youth Concentrate Sheet Mask - 1 x 21ml Sheet Mask
Sunday Rain Rejuvenating Body Scrub Acai Berry - 265g
Primark Alex Steinherr Pore Balance Blemish Rescue Stickers - 22 Stickers
John Frieda Radiant Red Red Boosting Conditioner - 250ml
Total - 4 Items

Yes, after four months of finishing 10 or more items in a month, in October I only managed to finish a pretty measly 4 products, but hey they all count don't they. Not a very exciting mix this time round but a few nice bits, and some things that I will definitely repurchase.

1. The Body Shop Drops Of Youth - Youth Concentrate Sheet Mask - 1 x 21ml Sheet Mask

First up a face mask, and this one was a free gift that came with my autumnal Vanilla Pumpkin haul from The Body Shop.

From their popular Drops Of Youth range, this biodegradable sheet mask contains a high concentration of their trademarked Drops of Youth ingredient. 99% of the ingredients in this mask are of natural origin, and include edelweiss, criste marine, and sea holly plant stem cells, as well as community fair trade moringa oil from Rwanda.

Designed to fresh, smooth, awaken and plump the skin, this was a really good quality mask, it was nice and thick and as a result it was really easy to unfold.

It felt really wet, but instead of a thin water like texture it felt more like a slightly oily serum, with a sweet, green herbal scent, that reminded me a bit of geranium or rose geranium essential oil.


On application the mask immediately felt quite cooling on the skin, but like most sheet masks it warmed up on contact with the skin and it gradually seemed to dry out as my skin started to absorb the serum. I did feel a slight tingling sensation at first but it wasn't extreme or uncomfortable.

On Application

My skin really seemed to like this mask, and it seemed to really absorb the serum, so when I took it off there wasn't too much excess product left on my face, but as per the instructions I massaged the odd patch of leftover serum into my skin. My face felt a touch sticky but that quickly subsided leaving my skin just a touch softer and smoother.

To be fair though this mask isn't really about changing the texture of your skin, this mask is really about changing how it looks, and although you can't really see much in these pictures, in real life my skin definitely looked more hydrated and refreshed, which was exactly what that mask promised to do.


I have to say I really liked this mask, although I don't think it's something that I would use all the time, I would definitely use it again if I felt my skin needed a boost.

The Body Shop Drops Of Youth Concentrate Sheet Mask retails at around £5

2. Sunday Rain Rejuvenating Body Scrub Acai Berry - 265g

Next up a body scrub, and it's another one from Sunday Rain. I've used a few different scrubs from vegan body care brand Sunday Rain now and so far so good. Their body exfoliators seem to fall into two categories, their exfoliating cubes (You can read my thoughts on the charcoal ones here), and their more traditional style scrubs like the Mango + Coconut Polishing Scrub.

This Rejuvenating Acai Berry Body Scrub falls into the second category. Containing acai berry extract which is rich in Vitamin C, and natural sugar, this pale pink scrub is very similar texture wise to the Mango + Coconut scrub. It felt quite damp, and it contained small but present grains of sugar. It wasn't the scrubbiest or strongest of scrubs, but it did the job, it was easy to massage into the skin, and even though it's pretty gentle, you can really feel it working.

What I liked most about this scrub thought, was the fact that it turns into almost a creamy milk on contact with water, it was really easy to rinse away, mess free and it left my skin feeling lovely and soft and smooth.

As much as I liked the Mango + Coconut scrub, I think I actually like this one more, I loved the subtle, sweet fruity scent and who doesn't love a bit of pink in their bathroom! I will definitely consider buying this one again. If you fancy trying it for yourself then you can buy if from a variety of retailers including ASOS, Superdrug and Beauty Bay for around £6.

3. Primark Alex Steinherr Pore Balance Blemish Rescue Stickers - 22 Stickers

When it comes to Primark hauls this year has been a pretty barren one. Thanks to lockdown and ill health, I can count the number of times that I've been to Primark this year on one hand!

Have I missed it? Well yes and no! I've missed the freedom of real shops, and hunting for gems amongst the racks, but again it's really showed me that I can live without buying so much stuff. I have more than enough shoes and clothes, and more than enough beauty and make up products to last me a life time!

My buying and spending habits have got to change, and in 2022, they're going to with the return of Project 10 Pan, and the introduction of a spending diet or two. Obviously more on that to come, but before that I actually have a Primark visit planned for this week, so it's going to be one last hurrah, and whilst I'm there I'm definitely going to see if I can find another packet of these.

It's been so long since I've been to Primark that I don't even know whether or not they still stock the Alex Steinherr beauty collaboration, but if they do these are well worth picking up. Yes, you can get cuter shaped ones, but since you wear that overnight who really sees you wearing them? These were basically circular, velum like stickers that were infused with tea tree and salicylic acid, and were designed to help clear redness, reduce inflammation, and fight blemishes.

Perfect for individual and one off spots, making sure your skin is clean and dry, you stick a patch to the offending spot, head to bed and let it do its thing overnight. The next morning it will have gone one of two ways, your spot will be less red, and less obvious, or in some cases it may actually by bigger, and I'm sorry if this is too much information, it may have already burst or it may be ready to burst or to pop. You might need to apply them a couple of nights in a row for really stubborn spots, but either way my spots definitely didn't last as long and didn't look as angry when I used these patches. They really did what they promised and unlike some other similar patches that I've tried they didn't sting and they actually stayed put over night.

Obviously these patches aren't really for you if you have a lot of spots or acne, but if like me you get the odd hormonal spot, these patches can really help clear them up more quickly.

For just £3 for 22 patches I would definitely buy these ones again if I could, in the meantime though I have some similar patches from Korean inspired skincare brand Oh K! to use, so I'll keep you posted as to how I get one with those ones.

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

First up an apology, I'm sorry that you can only see half of an empty tube here but Mummy Lou got to it first, and I only just managed to retrieve half of it from the recycling bin!

A couple of months ago now I changed my hair colour again, going for a slightly more natural looking brown shade at the roots, and going from a redder shade from the mid lengths to the ends.

I love red on my hair but it fades so quickly that you really need to use some specialist products to give it a fighting chance of sticking around. One of my favourite specialist red hair ranges is the John Frieda Radiant Red range, and you can read my thoughts on this particular product here. I really like this conditioner and I will definitely repurchase it again in the future, even though I'm currently loving the TREsemme Colour Enhancing Hair Mask in Warm Red, which in my opinion is even better for enhancing red hair.

The John Frieda Radiant Red Red Boosting Conditioner has an RRP of around £6.99 for 250ml tube, and is available from various retailers including Boots, Feel Unique, Tesco and ASDA.

So they were my October empties, there weren't many of them but November's total as you can see 👉 (post coming soon!) was a little bit better, and here's hoping I can end 2021 on a high and boost my yearly total in December. Again if you have any questions please leave me a comment below, and if you've left me a comment in the last month, all comments (not spam though!) will be approved and responded to later this week x 

Thanks for reading and I'll see you later this week with a Glossybox unboxing x 

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