beauty bloggers

July 2017 GlossyBox Review

Oh look! I finally found some motivation to write a blog post!

Good day beautiful people and welcome back to my fave type of post: the one where I can just play with new products and boast/complain about them!

If you read my last Glossy review, you’ll have seen that I was really impressed with my last box, and this time isn’t going to be any different either. I really feel like GlossyBox have been hitting the nail on the head with their products recently, and the balance provided with the range in the boxes. So let’s look at this one together!

Once again we have a special box this month (or what I would call special just because the box is slightly different) and I looooove it. I might have mentioned before that although I love Glossy, I’m not all too keen on their pale pink and black colour scheme, and so I’m always excited to get a box that’s a little different. Especially because I end up using them for other things so they don’t go to waste (seriously, I have about nine in my bedroom being utilised right now).

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This month’s box is coral pink with metallic gold writing on the lid, and inside the Glossy logos, the ribbon and tissue paper are all white. Just a much nicer colour combo (in my humble opinion).

But if you thought the box was gorgeous, wait until you see what’s inside it.

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Once again, the balance of products is great, in my eyes. Last month, we had 3 skincare, 2 makeup and one hair. This month, we have 1 skincare, 2 makeup, 1 hair and 1 brush.
So without further ado, let’s get into it.

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MonuSpa First Defence Soothing After Sun (RRP £19.95; approx. £11.08 for this size)

The good: soothing, smells beautiful, cruelty-free
The bad: none so far

As you may have seen from my Edinburgh post, I went and got myself a little bit burnt. On holiday. In Scotland. Crazy right? So aftersun is probably just what I need right now.

So far I’ve encountered no problems with this. It’s really nice. It feels nice, it smells nice, lots of natural ingredients and cruelty free, and I also discovered from the website that it was formulated down the road from me at Cheltenham Spa… so it’s local too.

I wouldn’t buy it again, simply because of the price point, but it’s a nice product.


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Bella Pierre Banana Setting Powder (RRP £25)

The good: lightweight, non-cakey
The bad: the size

I’ll be real: I’ve only used this once so far so my review of it may not be entirely accurate. I’m gonna have to give it a few more tries before I can truly say.

However, so far I really like this. I had been looking for a loose setting powder for a while, and as if by magic, GlossyBox sends me one. Hurrah!
This banana setting powder is really really lightweight, and after my first try, I really like it. I have a bad problem with powders caking my makeup no matter how I apply them, especially on my little under-eye wrinkles and my nose. This one didn’t, and it feels really lightweight on my face.
It’s a yellow-toned powder so it’s good at combating redness, however I would watch what foundations you put it over, as if you’re really pale like me and use too much, it will just look yellow.

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The only complaint I have with this product so far is that it’s a small amount of product for the price. This is the full size and it’s 4g, which is not much at all for the price.


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Cute Balms Strawberry Tinted Lip Balm (RRP £3.99)

The good: cute packaging, smells and looks nice
The bad: no product info, more like a tint/lipstick

I never know what to say about products like this. There are so many on the market and they all tend to retail at low price points, so there’s rarely things that are distinguishable about them.

This is a cute item to throw in your handbag just in case you want a little colour for your lips or cheeks, but I personally don’t find it moisturising enough to be considered a balm. If I was using it for that purpose, I would need to reapply frequently.

It is however, a nice little product with cute packaging that I’ll keep.


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Papanga Spiral Hairbands (RRP £4.99)

The good: hardwearing, cute
The bad: I won’t get any use out of them

I won’t be able to say much about these, as I really don’t like these spiral headbands. I have some already which I received in a beauty box before, so I already know they don’t work very well on my hair and I just much prefer normal hair bobbles.

The clear one is really cute though and I can see why people wear them as bracelets when they’re not using them! These won’t go to waste though, as I’ll be passing them on to my partner who uses them 🙂


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Spectrum Collections small fan brush A10 (RRP £4.99)

The good: pretty, soft 🙂
The bad: none

Yay! I’m always so excited to get brushes in my beauty boxes, and I like that the three I’ve gotten from Glossy over the past year have all been different. But this one is particularly exciting because it’s by a brand I already know and love!

I actually purchased some brushes from Spectrum a while back, which I wrote a review on you can find here (hint hint read it hint hint) and I’m still enjoying the ones I purchases! One of them did break, but I do suspect that’s due to my terrible brush washing skills and allowing the water to reach the glue on the handle.

I don’t have another fan brush, so I was a little skeptical about the application, however after using it today, I can attest to how good it is 😀 It’s pretty great and well worth the price!


Total worth: £50.05

Overall thoughts: This was a fantastic box month! I’m really happy with it and will only not get use out of one of the products, which will happily go live with someone else anyway 😀

So what did the rest of you think about your GlossyBoxes this month? Would you get one if you don’t already? Let me know!

Until next time ❤

kirsten-xo

MAY 2017 GLOSSYBOX REVIEW

Goooooood morning, good morning, good morning and welcome back to my corner of the internet. Today I have my first GlossyBox review since November! Yes, there have been five whole GlossyBoxes I have received without documenting. And do you know what? I really miss this. In fact, even in the time I haven’t been blogging, sometimes I would search for other peoples’ reviews of these boxes, because sometimes it’s nice to see if other people agree with you on a specific product, or whether they’re having the same problems you are. This might even be something that comes up with one of these products, so watch out!

As you can see, yes, I am receiving GlossyBox. GlossyBox has been going for years. I don’t know specifically how long, but I do remember I had friends getting it years before I even considered it. I was late on the bandwagon, but I actually prefer it this way.
GlossyBox received a lot of flack about 6 years ago; there were a lot of product problems, numerous customer complaints and cancellations, and overall terrible service. I have not found this. I have been with a few subscription boxes: I used to receive Wantable Beauty, Wantable Accessories, Birchbox, GlossyBox and the Marzia box. Out of all of them, GlossyBox is the one that consistently delivers on time, and actually provides products I like. (I will note here that Wantable was pretty great, too, but I was paying a fortune in the UK as it’s a US company and shipments would often be suuuuper delayed.)
I know that my opinion is subjective, and that lots of you would have had problems with this, but to me, it’s the most cost-efficient and consistent beauty subscription in the UK.

No, I’m not an ambassador for Glossy, I just wanted to put that out there!
So, without further ado, let’s get on with it! This time, I’m gonna be doing this like an unboxing, so I’ve literally seen what I’m showing you through photos maybe a second before they’re snapped 🙂

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So, as soon as we open the box this time, we have the usual card with the products listed on it, and a promo card as well for a company called Mockberg, which I’ve never heard of. The card is actually a gift card, which I was confused about, as usually you’ll receive offers on these things, not actual money to spend.
I’ve checked out the company, and they actually sell watches… pretty nice ones. They start at €129, which is about £100… so you’d be getting about 50% off if you chose to purchase. That’s not too bad in my eyes. I don’t know if I’ll be taking advantage of it, but hey, you never know.

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Oh, how excited I always am to open these boxes. One of the reasons I get these boxes is because it feels like getting a present every month! Yeah, sometimes I don’t particularly like one or two of the products, but for the most part I enjoy what Glossy provides!

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One of the other things I think this box gets right is the variety of products. They seem to really try to get the balance between makeup, hair, skincare, etc. This box in particular seems to have that down.

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Scrub Love Detoxifying Activated Charcoal Body Scrub – Cucumber & Bamboo (RRP £13.95; approx £6.98 for this size)

The good: Vegan, natural ingredients, no parabens, no microbeads.
The bad: We’ll get to that below! Also, seems a little redundant to brag about “no plastic microbeads” when your packaging appears to be non-recyclable plastic.

I’m gonna start with this one because it’s the one I have the most to say about.
I actually saw that we would be receiving this on the Sneak Peek on the GlossyBox website, and I was so, so excited about it. Exfoliating is one of those things I used to hate doing, and more so because there’s not really that many exciting products on the market. But recently, there seems to be a resurgence in more natural and vegan scrubs, and I am buying into it completely.

I mentioned before about not particularly liking the winter Marzia box I received, which I didn’t blog about, but there were a couple of things in there of note, and one of them was the original Frank Body scrub. This is a scrub whose base ingredient is coffee, and I saw a lot of people promo-ing on the internet. I thought I would hate it re: the hating exfoliating thing mentioned above… but it totally converted me. It’s got coffee, brown sugar, almond oil, orange oil and vitamin E in it, and after you’ve used it your skin smells and feels amazing. Sure, you probably won’t like it if you really can’t stand coffee, but other than that I recommend giving it a go!

This is why I was so excited to be receiving a product from a company who seems to have had the same idea regarding their ingredients (they also do coffee scrubs), and their packaging. And I was super excited to see a charcoal scrub as I know how good it is for skin, particularly problematic skin like my own. I couldn’t wait to get it open.

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It’s not a particularly attractive looking scrub… but that’s not the problem.

The problem was that it stank. And I don’t mean a good stank. I mean a stank where even half an hour after I had opened and closed it I was looking around my house thinking there was a piece of gone-off food somewhere. I mean a stank of I cleaned out my fridge because I thought it might have been coming from there.
Okay, sometimes you get products you don’t like the smell of. That I understand. This is not that. This is something I actually am debating whether I’ll even be able to use the smell is that terrible. You can definitely smell the bamboo, but the problem is it smells like rancid, gone-off, week-old Chinese takeaway leftover bamboo.

I thought maybe I was being paranoid, so I waited until my husband got home. His reaction was the same. This morning, I showed my four year-old daughter. Her face scrunched up and declared the smell “not good” because “it smells like farts”.

Whether we are all collectively overreacting, or whether there’s something gone wrong with the product, I can’t tell you. The only thing I can tell you is that I don’t want this stuff anywhere near my face or body. Which is a damn shame for a product I was so excited about 😦

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Daily Concepts Exfoliating Body Scrubber (RRP $5; approx. £3.89)

The good: Cruelty free, mostly environmentally-friendly materials, will get a lot of use, good price point
The bad: none to note so far

From a lengthy treatise on the last product to a quick review on this one!
When I first saw this, I thought it might be a Konjac sponge due to the way it was packaged. I don’t know if there is a need for packaging a sponge in this way, but I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt on this occasion because it’s not too excessive.
It’s actually just a nice little exfoliating sponge, with the usual nylon-hooped cotton on the “scrubby” side, and towelling on the other where the holder is.

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The inside of it is apparently a “soy-based sponge”. I don’t know what that is but meh.
It’s a nice little thing, and like I said, I’ll probably get a good amount of use from it.

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Dr. PAWPAW Original Balm (RRP £6.95)

The good: It’s an upmarked petroleum jelly.
The bad: It’s an upmarked petroleum jelly.

My good and bad stance here is exactly the same because there’s only one thing I can say about this: it’s an upmarked petroleum jelly.

I had heard of this “balm” before, and a lot of celebrities seem to like it (as they proudly display all over the front page of their website), and so when I first saw it, I was excited to check out the hype. As soon as I tried squeezing the tube I was shocked, because the opening is a small hole and the product had a little difficulty getting out of it. I actually even got a pin and stuck it in the top in case the product had clumped. But no, you have to give it a hard squeeze. I then got some out onto my hand, and it felt like Vaseline. There was so smell to it or colour, and so I thought maybe the product had separated.

I turned the tube over and checked the ingredients: sure enough the first one listed is petrolatum. It lists all the wonderful stuff it can do and can be used on, and instead, it’s a very expensive tube of Vaseline. Even on the website they talk about how it’s the fermented papaya that makes this product shine, but there’s no telling how much of that is actually in this stuff, because as I said before, it’s fragrance and colour free. Even of natural stuff you’d expect (e.g. if they called the company Dr. PawPaw and kept speaking about papaya… oh, wait…)

So I guess the good and bad of this product all comes down to whether or not you like/find use for petroleum jelly. I’m not gonna give you a bunch of links because you should make up your own minds on this stuff, but my personal preference is not to put this stuff anywhere near my face (especially not using it as a bloody primer as it suggests on their youtube) as petroleum basically works as a barrier on your skin allowing no good stuff in and no bad stuff out. I definitely also don’t put petroleum anywhere near my lips, as lots of people do with vaseline, as the jury’s still out on whether in contains carcinogens.

However, I will use this stuff on my nails. My anxiety has recently caused me to be wolf-biting my fingers (dermatophagia). This isn’t a major thing I suffer with, but it happens every so often, and due to a recent bout, my fingers are incredibly painful right now, and I suspect two are infected. So, I’m gonna try using this stuff on there and seeing if it can get rid of some of the dryness and callouses. If it works, I’ll hand it over to my husband, who suffers with severe dermatophagia.

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Caudalié Vinosource Moisturising Sorbet (RRP £23; for this size approx. £5.75)

The good: smells amazing, great on combination and dry skin
The bad: the cruelty-free debate

Okay, so to be fair, the “bad” isn’t about the product, but the company itself. I do however like to include that in my discussion of things, though, as it will influence whether or not I go on to buy a product and so deserves a mention.
I’ll talk about that first then.

So, Caudalié are one of those companies that are on the ethical border when it comes to a cruelty-free status. They talk on their website about being cruelty free, and how they donate 1% of profits to saving the planet, lah-dee-lah, but they do sell in China. And as we know, in China, products are tested on animals. This has caused a lot of companies (such as Benefit) to lose custom and their leaping bunny logos.
I don’t like to support companies anymore that aren’t cruelty-free, and unfortunately I think Caudalié is gonna have to fall into this bracket, and is why I steer clear from actually purchasing from them.

The problem is, I really love Caudalié’s products. They always smell amazing, are fresh, and really work with my skin. This moisturiser is no different. It’s really moisturing, smells amazing, and absorbs quickly. My skin is terrible at the minute and it feels very soothing. Unfortunately, this isn’t enough for me. I’m gonna enjoy using this tester for however long it lasts, and then I say goodbye to yet another Caudalié product.

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Ruby Professional Blush in Coral (RRP €14.99; approx. £12.67)

The good: Nice consistency and colour
The bad: Overpriced, not sure of colour pay-off.

This is a nice little blush by the same company as the blender brush I received in the last GlossyBox review I had up on here of November 2016. It’s got a really nice coral colour which will be nice for the summer.

The only thing that I have to say that’s somewhat negative is that its price point seems a little high compared to the rest of what they have on their site in terms of makeup (not much), and that this is only available in one colour. I’ve swatched it as well, and I couldn’t even get a decent picture to show you as the colour was so faint, but hopefully it will work better with proper application on my pale face 🙂


Total worth: approx. £36.24 (plus the £50 gift card)

Overall: Now, my overall opinion is that this is a good box. There’s a good range of products to get use out of. I do have a lot of negative comments here, but they might just be my problems – the smell of the scrub, the fact I don’t use petroleum or cruelty-free products. I am really disappointed by the scrub. I probably won’t let that one go. But overall, I’d say it’s alright.

What do you think? Did any of you get the same box and have different opinions?

kirsten-xo

CutiePieMarzia Floral Box – Spring 2017

So let’s kick off getting back into the blogging swing of things with a good old subscription box!

This is the CutiePieMarzia subscription box by YouTuber/Author/Designer Marzia Bisognin and you can get it here! This is the standard subscription, not the VIM. It’s on the expensive side for a subscription, especially for shipping outside the US, but you do get a lot of products for your money. This box is quarterly, and I’ve just received the Spring edition in late April (it seems to arrive with me about a month after shipping from US > UK).

I will note now that I have just cancelled this box, as I just don’t have the revenue to continue getting a more expensive box like this, but I might restart it again in the future because I do enjoy receiving it!
This will be the third box I have received, the previous being the Snow box I didn’t review as I was on my blog break, and I was pretty disappointed with. The upside to that one was that I actually won a competition with Reel Style so I received that box for free. You can read the review of my first one here.

So let’s get right into it.

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The first thing I noticed when receiving this box was that it was much smaller than the others I had received. This makes me happy because it seems that there was a conscious choice to reduce packaging (yay for environment!).

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The box features original designs by Marzia, and they’re pretty cute I guess.

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Alongside less packaging, there was also less annoying filer stuff. None of my products were damaged, so A+ there.

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Sewing Kit by Marzia

Okay, obviously I can’t put a price on this because it’s just a lil sewing kit. You could probably pick it up for pennies anywhere, really. However, I do think it’s a cute idea, especially with the mirror in it. I’m not sure why you’d need a mirror in a sewing kit, but it’s good that it doubles up a sewing kit and compact… I guess? It is something to pop in the handbag. You never know.

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KENRA Platinum Blow-Dry Spray (no specific RRP but found on Amazon for £24.25)

Haven’t had the opportunity to use this yet, but it promises a lot:
“dramatically reduces blow-dry time up to 50%, provides intense thermal defence up to 428 degreesF, and resists humidity for up to 20 hours. This lightweight formulation detangles, smooths, and increases shine.”

Wow. One can only hope.

The only thing I can tell you then, is that this smells… just… absolutely phenomenal. I haven’t sniffed at something this much since I received a Du Buyere After Sun lotion in a Glossybox last June! In fact, I went and dug that out to compare the scents, and it is definitely very, very similar. So I guess the scent this is meant to be is Monoï. Damn, I need to buy some of that stuff!

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Kate Aspen In Bloom Salt and Pepper Shakers (no RRP found but on Amazon for £8.37)

These are cute. Very small, but I like the design of them. Would probably keep if I didn’t have salt and pepper shakers my heart absolutely belonged to, and thus will probably end up gifting to someone. It was nice to receive a home item in the box, though!

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Yes To Cucumbers Soothing Calming Micellar Water (RRP approx. £3.09)

At first I was excited to see this in the box. I love a good Micellar water, and I was excited by the unusual design of this. It actually has a pump with a flat top, and the idea is you place your cotton pad or ball on top of it, pump a couple of times, and that’s it. I mean, it’s a cute idea, but it seems kinda unnecessary? Unless you’re one of those people who has real concerns of knocking your micellar water over when the cap’s off, that is.

Anyway. I always get excited by Yes To, because it seems like such a cool idea for a brand. I spoke about this a lot when I received a Yes To Cucumbers mask in my first Marzia box.
….And then I remembered. See, that mask promised to be soothing, and in fact, it felt like it was burning my face off. So now I’m not so sure about this product. To give it its due, I haven’t tried it yet, but my skin is very sensitive. I looked it up on Beautypedia to see if they had tried it, and unfortunately, the results of that don’t look too promising either.

Bummer.

If you’re looking for a great Micellar water, you might want to try the Caudalié one I raved about here, or my good old fave, Garnier (though please note: these products do test on animals and I am moving away from them).

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Winky Lux x Marzia Kitten Shadow in Sole (RRP approx. £6.97)

I had a feeling this might be in the box, and I was happy to see it was! Marzia has just done a collab with Winky Lux and released a palette which you can find on there website here. Lots of people were complaining about the colours, but I actually really liked them, and I think the packaging is super pretty.

I can say the same for this one which was included in the box, in the shade Sole. It’s a very yellow-gold colour, and a quick swatch on my hand is very promising! It seems super pigmented and really soft and blendable at the same time.

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This was one swipe of it over my hand with my finger, and the picture was taken in natural daylight.

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And this is is with flash.

I’m looking forward to using this properly.

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Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Face Cream (Full size RRP $40/approx. £30.95; for this size approx. £5.60)

I’d never heard of this brand before, and a cursory glance over their website proves it to look pretty cool. I like the look of the body scrubs in particular. This face cream doesn’t have much to it, with only a teeny tester size of 7ml, but it does feel like that will spread quite far. As suggested by the name, it smells of roses. Not that artificial essential oil smell either, but more fresh, like rosewater. A nice little product to try.

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derma e Purifying Daily Detox Scrub (Full Size RRP $15.50/approx. £12; for this size approx. £1.50)

This was another product I was excited to see in here, as derma e is a company which do products I always love. There was a derma e product in the previous box as well, which I went on to absolutely love, despite being unsure of it when I received it.

Face scrubs are something I’m always happy to receive, as I like trying new ones out to see if I can actually find something that will settle my terrible skin! No luck so far. But hey, I always live in hope.

This company is completely cruelty free, which is a massive plus in my book, and they’ve also had quite an attractive rebrand recently. I recommend checking them out!

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White Wire Headband by Marzia

Another one I can’t really put a price on because I could get something like this from Primark for about a quid. That said, it’s a nice little extra to receive, especially for this girl who’s trying to grow out a stubborn fringe right now!

 

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Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer (Full Size £26; for this size approx. £6.15)

I left the best for last! This has received rave reviews most everywhere, and has been dubbed the best primer there is, so I am so excited to finally get to try it!

I can’t say much else right now as I haven’t tested it yet. I did use a tiny bit on my finger, but seeing as this sample is so small and expensive, I’m loathe to waste it. I enjoyed the Paul & Joe primer included in a previous box immensely, so it will be nice to compare!


 

Price I paid for the box inc. shipping: approx. £37.93
Worth of products: approx. £55.93

If you’ve read my previous blog post on the Marzia box, you will note that there is a big dip in the worth of products here. Like, a £20 drop. That’s significant. Some of the products I received in the fall box were lasting things I could continue using (and still do!) such as the pin, pop socket, earrings, necklace… and some of the products have lasted too. I don’t feel like I’m gonna get that from this box, and the ones that are not products which will run out (sewing kit, shakers, headband) are not of the same quality as the stuff received beforehand.

As I said at the beginning of this, I was disappointed by the Snow box too for the same kind of reasons, and this has cemented my decision to cancel, at least for right now. But as also stated, I would consider looking into it again if the quality improved back up to the Fall 2016 box. Because of the way the business runs as well, you pay for the next box around the same time the current box ships, so my last one will actually be the next one, and that will be my last review for these boxes.

Have any of you guys subscribed to this box? What did you think?

Until next time 🙂

Kirsten xo