Monday 20 February 2023

My Last Glossybox Unboxing - A Late Unboxing Of The March 2022 Edition Of Glossybox UK - Glossy Wonderland*

So I guess this post signals an end of an era, I've been subscribed to Glossybox for quite a while now, and over the years, I've regularly shared my unboxings and thoughts on the latest box both on my You Tube channel and latterly, here on my blog. Today's post though will be the last unboxing that I'll be sharing with you. 

As I said in a recent post I'm just too far behind with my Glossybox unboxings to carry on with them, not only that but I've also put my notice in to cancel my box. I've really enjoyed the surprise element and getting to try so many new things, but I just can't justify spending money on beauty bits when I have so many products that are practically untouched. I've been feeling a bit overwhelmed by my beauty stash for a little while now but it feels good to be making some positive moves to get it a bit more under control.

Although I won't be doing any more unboxing posts I will probably still end up sharing my thoughts on some of the items in all of last years boxes, and of course in the 3 boxes that I've received this year, either in separate review posts, faces of the day, or in empties posts so you shouldn't miss out. If you see anything in any of these pics that you'd like to see reviews of though, let me know and I'll get on it ASAP x The same also applies to last years Glossybox advent calendar, I'm not going to do a post on it now but if you are interested in the contents, you can take a look at the relevant tab on my Instagram, and of course if there are any products that you're particularly interested in reading reviews on, then please either leave me a comment on Instagram or here on the the blog x

Why then, after all that, am I bother to share this unboxing with you, well to put it simply it was prepped and ready, and it relates to another review post that I've got prepped and ready to go, so here for your reading pleasure are my thoughts on the March 2022 edition of Glossybox UK.

Can you remember what you were doing back in March of last year? Believe it or not whilst I can't always remember what I was doing yesterday, I can actually remember snippets of March last year. I had a horrid chest and sinus infection that just wouldn't shift. I guess that should have been an early sign that the rest of 2022 would be a bit of a fail but for most of you, I guess you were probably still full of hope that 2022 was going to be a better than the previous 2 years at least - All I'll say is that life comes at you hard sometimes, doesn't it? 

Despite the fact that I was snotting and sniffing, something that probably cheered me up at the time, was the arrival of the March 2022 edition of Glossybox UK.

Packaged in the familiar black and pink packaging, the theme of March's box was "Glossy Wonderland" and according to the online magazine, the box was all about exploring your fun and playful side, and all about learning to love "the person you see through the looking glass".

I have to say that I really loved the online Glossybox magazine that now accompanies every box. As well as saving on paper and resources, the extra articles are all really interesting. March's magazine included several short easy to read articles on new blush trends, as well as an explanation on just how pH changing make up works, and as per usual it also gave subscribers a full breakdown of all of the products in the box, and according to Glossybox, March's box contained "four magical beauty buys, one of two shower essentials, and one of two chocolatey treats". It all sounds good, but what exactly did I get, and what did I think of the contents? Well let's take a look inside and see....

Elikya Beauty Rose Liquid Highlighter - 15ml - Full Size - Est. RRP £12.80

First up, the first of 2 make up items in March's box, and it was a product from a new brand to me, Elikya Beauty. Elikya Beauty are a Parisian based beauty brand who produce a wide range of natural, vegan, organic, cruelty free and eco responsible cosmetics, featuring everything from skincare products, to make up for the eyes, lips and cheeks.

The product that all subscribers received in their March box was a cheek product and more specifically a liquid highlighter or illuminator. Enriched with natural soybean oil, as well as hibiscus extract, which is crammed full of skincare benefits, this product is perfect for creating that pinch your cheeks rosy glow, whilst at the same time leaving the skin with an on trend dewy finish.


Packaged in a frosted glass bottle, this illuminator comes with a dropper style dispenser / applicator. Although it's officially described as a rose gold toned highlighter, I think it's actually more of a slightly metallic rose pink. 

Whilst it appears quite dense it actually has quite a lightweight liquidy feel. A small amount goes a very long way and whilst it looks quite scary, and pigmented, it actually blends down to a lovely sheer rose pink

It's definitely one of those products where you should start out with less. and apply a little bit more if you need to. The first time that I tried it, I just applied a few dots here and there and then blended it in, only to end up looking like Aunt Sally (Ask your Mum if you don't know who that is ;) Apply a small amount and build it up, you can alway add more but you can't really tone it down!

I personally think that calling this just a highlighter or an illuminator is a bit of a disservice. Despite how it appears both in the bottle and in the initial swatch, it isn't that sparkly or shimmery, in fact I can barely see any shimmer on my skin. Instead for me I think this works better on my naturally quite rosy cheeks as a lovely, sheer, light bringing, dewy liquid blush. Whatever you use it for, it's super pretty and its something that I will happily use up.

Glossybox placed a value of £12.80 on this unboxed, full 15ml sized product. The only retailer that I can find for Elikya Beauty is their own French based, French language website. I can't find this particular product but their Illuminateur in Pink Glowy which retails at €14.90 looks pretty similar.

KNDR Beauty Mood Stick PH Changing Lipstick - Never Blue - 3.5g - Full Size - Est. RRP £17

Although I don't watch it anywhere near as often as I used to I'm a huge fan of QVC UK, and in particular QCV Beauty. I'be bought so many things from them over the last 30 years or so, and when it comes to beauty they've always been at the head of the queue when it comes to selling new and innovative beauty products.

One of my earliest purchases was a set of lipsticks from a brand that I believe was called Ultraglow. They weren't just any lipsticks though, they were blue, yellow, and green lipsticks that reacted with your own pH to create your own unique, and more conventional lipstick colour.

Once pretty unique colour changing make up products are now fairly easy to find, with brand such as Smashbox, Lipstick Queen, Charlotte Tilbury and Barry M, all producing pH changing lip colours.

From US based vegan and cruelty free brand, KNDR, the next item in March's box was a paraben and mineral oil free, Mood Stick pH Changing Lipstick in the shade, Never Blue.

The lipstick comes boxed and comes in a turquoise / blue, white and gold cardboard tube. Officially described as a sheer, hydrating tint, the lipstick inside is light blue in colour, and for me it has more of a lip balm type appearance and texture.

Whilst it's definitely a blue colour in the bullet, swatch it or apply it to the lips, and the magic happens! Instead of the baby blue shade, at least on me you get a gorgeous cool pink toned lip colour.

For me it definitely has more of a non greasy, hydrating lip balm feel. It feels smooth and moisturising on the lips without feeling too heavy or sticky. It initially has quite a nice sheen to it but once that disappears, you're left with a matte but not flat almost stain that lasts surprisingly well, not unlike those long gone Ultraglow lipsticks of my teens.

Yes, the pH thing is a bit gimmicky but the colour it ended up turning on me was nice, and the lipstick itself texture wise was nice, and the wear time was really impressive. From what I can gather you can only officially buy KNDR products from their own US based website but they do ship worldwide, and there is the odd thing on Amazon. Again I can't find this exact product on their website but they do have a colour shifting lip balm, their Mood Balm, in the same shade, Never Blue, which looks very similar and retails at $16.

James Read - Gradual Tan -  Sleep Mask Tan Body - 100ml - Full Size? - Est. RRP £21

I've got to be honest with you, yet again, when it comes to self tab, I'm pretty lazy. I'm not one of those people that needs to be perma tanned, I only really tan now when I'm going away, going out, or sometimes just on a whim.

When it comes to self tan though I want something quick and easy, so more often than not if I do want to perk myself up a bit I'll reach for a gradual tanner, so when I opened the March 2022 box I was really pleased to get the chance to try a "gradual tan" from celebrity tan expert, James Read's range.

Containing hyaluronic acid, red algae, and 100% naturally derived DHA, this product is designed to work overnight with you own skin tone to give you a subtle golden glow.

Packaged in a flip top bottle, the tanner itself looks milky white in the bottle but it's actually colourless when you come to apply it onto the skin.

As with all self tans, I exfoliated first and I'm a regular moisturiser, so I had a smooth clean canvas to work with and I applied it using my own velour tanning mitt. Seeing as there was no guide colour it was a bit difficult to see where you'd applied it, but thanks to the light gel texture, the product did leave a slight sheen on the skin which lasted for a minute or so. It actually absorbed into the skin quite quickly, leaving a smooth, non sticky finish.

Now I know when it comes to comes to self tan one major question always comes up and no it's not what's the colour like, or how messy is it? It's what does it smell like? Well initially it smells a bit plasticy, and then when your massaging it in you get quite a subtle fresh scent, but I'm sad to say that after an hour or so, that digestive biscuit, traditional fake tan scent comes through, so if you're not a fan sorry guys this product reeks of it!

So what about the colour? Well in theory you would apply this product before you go to bed, but since I wanted to try it out properly and monitor any changes I tried it out during the day. It took a couple of hours before I noticed any difference but after that the colour got deeper and deeper until about 6-8 hours in when it looked to be full developed, and then I realised what a mess I'd made!

2 Applications On My Left Leg

To put it bluntly it was a big fat fail, it was pretty streaky with darker patches on my shin and calf. I'm not going to show you just how bad it was instead in the picture that you can see above I'm doing the one leg challenge  after I'd desperately applied another coat to try and even it out!

With one very tanned leg and one pasty blue one I decided to apply a single coat on my right leg, and this time I took a bit more time over the application, applying less, and buffing more, and it didn't actually turn out too bad, so patience and practise really does make perfect.

2 Applications On My Left Leg, 1 Application On My Right Leg 

Colour wise this actually looked fairly natural on me, all be it at the darker end of the spectrum. It lasted for a good few days before fading, all be it a little bit unevenly in parts.

Although I was initially less than impressed with this product, in all honesty it wasn't actually that bad. In my opinion it's not a gradual tanner in the traditional sense in that you can slap a but of lotion on and leave it, and then do the same the next day to gradually give you a little bit of colour, this is much more like a proper fake tan. It needs careful application, buffing and blending, because the colour is pretty strong or at least it was on my skin tone. On the plus side the colour as I say was decent, and the lack of guide colour meant that it wasn't messy to use, and it also absorbed and dried quickly and it didn't transfer onto bedding, towels or clothing. That being said I probably wouldn't buy the full size of this one but I may be tempted to try another product from the wider James Read tanning range in the future.

Glossybox placed a value of £21 on this 100ml, alleged full size but I personally can't find this size anywhere. All I can find is a 200ml size which retails at around £37 direct from James Read as well as from Look Fantastic, and Sephora.

Magnitone WIPE OUT! Microfibre Cleansing Cloth - 1 x Cloth - Full Size - Est. RRP £8

Next up something that I was convinced that I'd showed you before, all be it in another incarnation, a Magnitone Wipe Out Microfibre Cleansing Cloth. I have quite a few of these cloths now for various advent calendar and beauty boxes but surprisingly I don't think I've ever actual reviewed one of them before. If you haven't came across these before though then where have you been? They really are something special because they can remove even the toughest make up with just warm water.

All you do is just soak one of these super soft and fluffy cloths in warm water, and then gently wipe it over your face melting all of your make up away with just some plain tap water, and the power of microfibre - if you don't believe me check out these picture and take a look for yourself...


What I'm Wearing 

Primark PS..."Skin Balm" Blurring Pore Smoothener Face Primer
Maybelline Fit Me! Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation - 102 Fair Ivory
Mally Beauty Cancellation Concealer - Light / Medium 
Mally Beauty Eye Light Setting Powder - Lighter
AVON MagiX HD Finish Powder
Benefit Brow Zings Total Taming & Shaping Kit For Brows- 4 
PIXI By Petra Brow Tamer 
e.l.f. Bite-Size Eyeshadow - Berry Bad
Soap & Glory Thick & Fast High Definition Collagen-Coat Mascara - Film Noir
 Elikya Beauty Rose Liquid Highlighter
KNDR Beauty Mood Stick PH Changing Lipstick - Never Blue


Voila! A full face of make up dissolved away in an instant with no product, no residue, and no irritation, just clean skin and very dirty and make up covered cloth.

It sounds crazy but they really do work. Admittedly I don't usually use waterproof mascaras but they've pretty much removed everything I've ever thrown at them. If you can't live without your cleanser though, you can also use them as a conventional cleansing cloth and then all you do is just pop them into the washing machine (remember no fabric conditioner with microfibre type products), leave them to dry and they're good to go again.

These cloths are brilliant for travel, if your trying to be a bit more eco friendly, or if your skin is sensitive and you have issues with skincare products. As I say I have quite a few of these now and they are something that I will continue to use both on their own and with my skincare products.

Glossybox placed a value of £8 on this full sized cloth, but they are available in a wide variety of sizes and colours from various retailers including direct from Magnitone as well as from Sephora, Look Fantastic and Beauty Expert. ,

Bilou Creamy Shower Foam - Coco Cocktail - 200ml - Full Size - Est. RRP £3.99

From cleansing your face to cleansing your body, and the next item in March's box was one of my favourite types of shower product, a shower foam. These products just make showering a more decedent experience, there is just something about slathering my body in deliciously scented foam that I really enjoy :)

From German brand, Bilou, this shower foam contains aloe vera, almond oil, and avocado oil, and has a rich and creamy texture, and as you would expect from a foam a little goes a long way. it's easy to rinse away and it leaves the skin feeling clean and not dry or tight, and it also makes an excellent shaving foam.

The real selling point though of this particular product though has to be the smell. It has a delicious creamy vanilla and coconut scent that just makes your mouth water.

Alas this product isn't that easy to find in the UK anymore, it used to be available in Superdrug, but they no longer stock it, so if you're interested in trying it you'll need to have a little search online or navigate their German website.

Ferrero Raffaello - 4 Pieces - 40g - Est. RRP £1

Sticking with the coconut / vanilla theme, the March 2022 edition of Glossybox also included an extra little sweet treat, subscribers either received a Mallow & Marsh Marshmallow Bar, or a 3 pack of Ferrero Raffaello's, and seeing as the Mallow & Marsh bars aren't suitable for vegetarians, I was delighted to the Raffaello's.

It might be a slightly controversial opinion but I actually prefer Raffaello's to Ferrero Rochers, but then again, I am partial to a Bounty too!

There is something about the white chocolate goo combined with the coconut, the crisp wafer, and the whole blanched almond in the middle that just works, these things are just so easy to eat - I absolutely love them!

They can be pretty pricey, so I would definitely recommend that you shop around a bit especially if you want a big box but 3 and 4 packs are readily available in most major supermarkets as well as Poundland, and selected Boots and Superdrug stores, and newsagents x 

So there you have it my last ever Glossybox unboxing post, and all in all it was a pretty decent box to end on. As I say the March box will be my last one so if you're interested in what I receive in that one, and what I got in my February box then keep an eye on my Instagram account, and again if you so anything in those posts or in the pictures at the start of this post that you'd like to see a review of, then please let me know x I love reading your comments so if you have any questions on anything in this post then please let me know x Thanks as always for reading and I'll see you later in the week with a make up review xx

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

Sunday 12 February 2023

Sweet Sixteen - Happy Birthday LouLouLand, And Life Lately

It wouldn't be a birthday in the UK without a caterpillar cake, and whilst it's not my birthday, my baby aka my blog celebrates it's 16th birthday today eeek. When I clicked publish on that first post, I never thought that I would outlast so many of my favourite blogs, and still be churning out posts (all be it sporadically!) 16 years later, and what a 16 years it's been!

So much has changed in that time, not only in my own life but also in the worlds of fashion, beauty and of course social media. Blogging to be honest now is a bit passe, people, advertisers and brands, now seem to want faster, simpler content like Instagram and Tik Tok which I can completely understand, but whilst I do dabble in other mediums (check out the links in my sidebar), blogging is the place where I feel really at home, using all be it rambling words to express my feelings, views and frustrations, as I muddle through life. 

I'm not going to lie the last few years have been rough not only personally but also blogging wise. Although I am partially to blame, lack of engagement and lack of progression has all made me wonder if it's all worth while, but I still love writing and creating content, and blogging gives me an outlet and a place I can escape to when life gets a little bit too much. Not only that but my stats show that there are still some of you out there that continue to read my blog even when I haven't posted for an age, which is still pretty amazing to me and I really can't thank you enough.

So I guess the gist of this is that I'm not going away anytime soon, I'm trying not to look too far into the future (one of my very bad habits!) instead focusing more on the here and now, and despite several blips at the start of this year, LouLouLand will continue into 2023 and hopefully beyond that.

This year has had a slightly delayed start because, and yes this is the main reason, my mam ordered me a new bed as part of my Christmas present. My old one as you can see was well past it's best, and it was starting to interfere with my sleep, and my pain levels, so I asked for something practical from Santa. We managed to get a really good price on one in the after Christmas sales but we couldn't get it delivered till the end of January - annoying but on reflection it was the best thing that could have happened. My room had to basically be gutted, to get the old bed out and the new one in, and believe me it was hard work, especially for two people with chronic illness but the room was cleared, the bed base was removed and yes I ended up sleeping on a pretty wrecked mattress on the floor for about a week which did nothing for my back.

Eventually we got both the mattress and the bed frame outside for council collection, the new one arrived, and thankfully the fabulous delivery guys took it upstairs for us so it just needed minimal assembly, and voila, new Orla Kiely bedding, and a new duvet, and already my sleep had improved at least 90%, and my back feels less achey when I wake up - result!

Getting the bed back in was the main thing, but we're still unpacking boxes and try to find homes for all the shoe boxes that were under my bed, the furniture is all back in now but since I've decided to go through my belongings with a charity bag in hand as I'm bringing things back in, I've still got quite a way to go before every is back in and in it's correct place - arghhhhh! why is nothing in my world ever simple?

There is no question that I've been doing too much physical stuff so I'm seriously lacking in spoons at the moment hence I haven't really had the energy to do much of anything else, including blogging. That been said I do actually have a couple of posts that are just about ready to go up, so you'll hopefully see both of those next week and I can actually start 2023 properly.

I have no idea in all honesty what direction the blog is really going to go in this year but I'm going to try and live a bit more in the moment and post about what I want, when I want. I have lots of ideas flying around in my head about things that I want to do but as per usual it's about putting them into practise x So Happy Sweet Sixteen LouLouLand, it's been a journey and thanks to your support, and my own bloody mindedness, it's not over yet x