glossyboxUK

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

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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

OCTOBER 2016 GLOSSYBOX REVIEW

So this is coming in a bit late, for which I apologise. The reason why is because I’ve actually lost one of the items which I had in this box and was trying to find it, but it seems to have located to another plane on which it will never be found.

Anyway, I’m just gonna crack on with it.

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This month’s GlossyBox was a collaboration with Esteé Lalonde. I don’t really have much to say on that front as there’s no special items or anything as there would be with a collaboration with a designer (for example), but she’s got some good product choices in here.

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When received this was a secret product, however due to my laziness in getting around to this post I can reveal that it is (drumroll)…

Head and Shoulders (RRP approx. £1 for this size)

The good: the smell
The bad: everything else

Okay, I love the idea of a mystery product. The fact that you don’t know what it is and then they email you or you find out via the website later… it’s cute. And I can totally get why they did it for this as it would be the last thing you’d expect to get, ya know, subverting expectations in making it out to be a luxury beauty product and all that.

The problem is, I just didn’t like it. And to be honest, I was more surprised when I found out the brand, as I’ve gotten on with Head and Shoulders in the past.
It smells absolutely gorgeous, but it is really, really thick and I need a couple of uses of it each time to feel like my hair is actually washed. I do have psoriasis on my scalp, which you’d think this brand would help with, but it doesn’t. My head is a fragile landscape, and one which this shampoo just ain’t working with.

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Bee Good Honey & Camelina Facial Exfoliator (RRP £10.50)

The good: gentle exfoliator, smells amazing, supports British bees, works
The bad: none so far

Now we have my favourite product in this month’s box.

To be honest, I don’t have much to say on it except for what I’ve written for this good points listed above. It smells lovely, the exfoliator is creamy and gentle – no scratchy bits – and it doesn’t make your face feel red raw after use. It’s just a really nice product and I appreciate that we have the full size of it :]

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Rituals the Ritual of Sakura Body Cream (RRP approx. £6.21 for this size)

No good and bad to be written here as I haven’t used this product yet.

I received the Ritual of Sakura shower foam as a freebie from Sephora as noted in this post, but unfortunately I’m out of that now so won’t have the opportunity to use them together! I did like the shower foam though, so hopefully this will prove nice too.

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Universal Beauty Secret Flush Cream Blusher and Lip Stain in 004 Nectar (RRP approx. £16.41)

The good: beautiful shade, applies nicely
The bad: probably won’t get much use from me

I actually didn’t realise how expensive this product was until I just looked :O
This is a really nice cream blusher, though. The shade is peachy with a gold duochrome, and it does look nice on both cheeks and lips.

Here’s a couple of unedited photos of it in natural light and direct sunlight.

The only problem with this is the fact that I probably won’t get much use out of it, as I don’t tend to use cream blush. Maybe I should branch out?

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Trifle Cosmetics Lip Parfait in Exotic Fruits (RRP £12.95)

The good: super cute packaging
The bad: it’s pretty meh…

First off, can we talk about how fricking cute that packaging is?? It’s a cardboard tube, which I’m sure lots of people will hate, but I love because it’s eco friendly.

The lipstick itself is pretty meh. The colour, the application and staying power is no different to a pharmacy lipstick, so tbh I can’t recommend paying this price for it. In fact, I think this company has a cool idea with its quirky and cute packaging on its products, which you can see on the website, but a lot of it has quite a high price point. Staying on the fence here!

As with the blush, here are swatches of the colour. On my hand it looks very peachy, however on my face it looks very light.

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PS Lip Pen (I think it was like £1)

The last product is the one I couldn’t find and so the image is not my own (credit to The Daily Edge for this image). This also has no website as I think in the UK it retails out of Primark.

The good: being an actual pen like an eyeliner is a cool idea, price point, nice colour
The bad: patchy, not long-lasting as promised

The pen I received is that bottom colour, the really dark plum. I actually only have worn this on one occasion before I lost it (I suspect I left it in my mum’s handbag which I borrowed). It was really interesting and unexpected to have what looked like a felt eyeliner but for your lips, and I quite liked it! The pen made the application around the lips really easy, however it meant it was a bit more difficult and took a while to apply to the rest of the lips. It also went on patchy, but this might be the darker colours?

The only thing was that this wasn’t long lasting. It did last for a few hours, but as soon as I started drinking/eating it was gone. Overall, an okay product for the price, but not one I’d revisit.

 

Total worth of products: £48.07*

Overall thoughts: An okay box. Some hits, some misses. I’m not blown away.

See you in a couple of weeks with November’s box!

Kirsten xo

SEPTEMBER 2016 GLOSSYBOX REVIEW

Yes, I hear your cries! I am doing a beauty post again! My blog hasn’t reverted to a jumbled mishmash of cakes and clothes and random posts… well, perhaps it has… but I still do beauty stuff too, from time to time.

Before we get into all of this, I’m going to do something that every blog you’ve ever read about blogging tells you not to do, and that’s apologise for my absence in the blogosphere. I only started doing this in April, and it was something I tried to do at least weekly, and sometimes I was doing it daily. As every blogger [probably] does, I had visions of life not getting in the way of my blog, and me happily churning out two posts a day.

I have had a blog before, actually, and that lasted less than a year before it fizzled out, when I was disappointed in myself at not being able to keep on keeping on at an alarming rate. This time around, this is something I’m looking to sustain, and sustainability is about balance. So sometimes there will be things happening in my life which puts me in a place where I don’t have opportunity or will to write, and sometimes it will put me somewhere else where I’m spamming you on the daily.
I don’t have any plan to my posts. I don’t schedule them. I don’t have them timed out for when people around the world are looking at my blog and stuff, I simply write when I feel like it, edit it quickly, and post it.

So anyway, sometimes I’m here and sometimes I’m not. I haven’t been gone for any long period of time – I know that – but my anxiety makes me feel like a week is a month in some cases, particularly with this.

And on another note, I just want to say THANK YOU to my nearly 100 followers! I try to check all of you out, and it’s really cool that even though I know it only takes a sec to click that follow button, that you’ve liked what you’ve seen enough to do that. You’re some cool cats.

So, do you want to hear about the GlossyBox now? Of course you do.

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This month’s GlossyBox is in collaboration with Red magazine, and thus is sporting this gorgeous colour. There’s an offer on with this box which allows you to subscribe to Red for 6 months for £9.99, and the little card thing has been written by their editor.

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I’m really preferring the red and white box over the usual pink and black. I know that is obviously just personal preference, but I think it looks really classy and fresh at the same time. It’s also got me thinking a lot about Christmas, which is just 12 weeks away, people!

I digress.

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This month’s box felt like it was absolutely packed with stuff… excuse the pun.

I looked through my posts on my previous boxes, and there’s usually 5 products, and on a couple of occasions you might get a little sample which brings it up to 6, so this is one of those months where the sample has given you a little bit extra.
I’m not even mad that it’s two face masks, because damn, my skin is bad and I love face masks.

So, the product run down, as per usual:

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Vitamasques Hydro Face Mask (RRP £7.99)

A heads up: I haven’t used this yet. My good bits and bad bits are going to be speculative.

The good: The things this mask promises make me hopeful for its use.
The bad: I haven’t gotten on with sheet masks yet.

You might remember from this post back in June that I had never tried sheet masks until I bought the Tony Moly ones when I was in Barcelona. I hadn’t tried them when I wrote that post, however I have had the opportunity to try them now, and let me tell you, I don’t like them. I had such high hopes, however having it on my face made it feel really, really weird, and they were sliding about because they were so wet, and I just couldn’t really get to grips with them.

I do realise however, that this is not the same brand, and maybe I will love this. I do still hold out hope for sheet masks. I’ll keep you posted.

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philosophy amazing grace firming body emulsion (full size RRP £29; this size approx. £1.81)

The good: nice smell, dries quickly, non-sticky.
The bad: tiny sample!

Last month I had a similar product in my GlossyBox, which was the Cowshed body lotion, and I loved it. It was a small sample and I tried to limit my use to after every other shower so I could keep it longer, but it still only lasted a couple of weeks.
This month we have another body lotion in the same size, this time by philosophy. It’s just, put simply, too small of a sample for a body lotion.

It smells nice. I’m nowhere near as enchanted by it as the Cowshed one, personally, but this one has a lovely smell for people who are more into that subtle, musky, baby-powdery kind of smell. It also feels amazing on my skin. It’s meant to be firming, but really who could use a sample this small for long enough to be able to tell?
It’s a really nice product, I’d just like when receiving body lotions, to receive a bit more of them 🙂

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Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy Diamond Top Coat (RRP £7.99)

Another one I’ve not had enough time with to get use out of.

The good: full size product, nice packaging, dries quickly.
The bad: black bottle for clear polish; how will I see how much is left?

Okay, so that bad one is a bit picky. The nice packaging thing probably negates that, however I do like to be able to see how much I have left of a product. It helps you analyse when you need to buy new stuff. Surely?

Anyway. It would have been nice to receive a colour, as nail polish is something that I actually don’t end up buying myself that much, however a top coat is also appreciated as I have some rubbish nail polishes I can try it out with. It does say on the boots website that it is “specifically designed to activate” their corresponding gel colours, but it’s going to work with other surely just as a top coat?

I don’t want to sound like I’m being negative. This is a great item to receive.

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Rodial Smokey Eye Pen Black (RRP £17)

The good: seems to be a decent kohl black eyeliner.
The bad: I don’t need another kohl eyeliner, but that’s not Glossy’s fault.

I have never heard of this brand, but clearly I need to get myself acquainted if they’re endorsed by Wayne Goss and have these kinda prices.

Got to be honest though: I don’t use many kohl eyeliners. You will see from my looks that I mainly use eyeliner on my upper lash line and use felt tip eyeliners. I do occasionally wear kohl ones to tightline, but because this is so rare I think I have about 4 sat in my drawer right now. As I said above though, this isn’t GlossyBox’s fault, and it does seem to be a good kohl liner.

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The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Face Mask (Full size RRP £15; this size approx. £1)

This was the sample product for this month… apparently. I’m being cheeky when I say this simply because she sample of this product is 1/15th of the full size, whereas that philosophy body lotion is 1/16th of the full size. See what I mean?

The good: it’s an absolute dupe for Mudmasky at 1/4 of the price!
The bad: nothing I found in this small sample.

If you cast your minds back to last month, GlossyBox sent me a face mask sample I fell in love with. My sample of Mudmasky is nearly finished now, and I was disappointed because it was the best face mask I’d used but there was no way I was going to pay £59 for the full size… then this little sample came along.

It is honestly an absolute dupe. The only thing that is different is the tightening sensation: this one doesn’t tighten as much and feels a lot drier. However, consistency-wise, looks-wise, colour-wise, hell, even smell-wise, they are very similar. Why on earth would you pay £59 when you could have it for £15. Sorry, Mudmasky.

A great sample.

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And now what you’ve all been waiting for: Too Faced Better Than Sex Waterproof Mascara (Full size RRP £19; this size approx. £11.40)

The good: It does volumise and thicken lashes, great brush, beautiful packaging.
The bad: It’s not better than sex.

This was a product I had been wanting to try for a long time. It has rave reviews with a lot of people, and is by all-round admired and cute-as-shit-packaging people, Too Faced. It’s always interesting to me to see how high-end products rate compared to budget or drugstore ones, and one of the reasons why I love GlossyBox so much is because it allows for that comparison.

First off I’ll talk about the packaging. The tube is soooooo cute. It’s a metallic duck egg blue colour (which is my favourite colour), and it looks like it’s covered with realistic-looking water droplets, which makes the tube feel braille-like. The tube is small, but there’s more than half the amount of the full size, so it’s a decent sample.
There’s no way it needs to come in that big cardboard thing, though.

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Now product.
This is a good mascara. The brush is an hourglass shape and thick-bristled, which is something I personally like, because I have difficulty using those spiky plastic mascara brushes which are usually to separate the lashes. I will say however, that I would need at least two coats of this, and when applying my second coat my lashes started to feel “spidery”. The formula seems to have that same problem I’ve talked about numerous times before where, as a waterproof formula, it feels a bit thick and harder to apply.

Basically, I would say, it is a good mascara, but I can get as good for way less money. In fact, I did a little test for you. Please note that I’m wearing no other makeup so fair warning in case you fall back aghast:

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Here is my mascara-free eye. As you can see, I have pretty diddy blonde eyelashes which are also very fine.

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Here are my lashes with one coat of Better than Sex on.

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Now in this picture, I have Better than Sex on my left eye [so right eye for you looking at this picture], and my go-to No7 Intense Volume on my right.

The difference in the picture in minimal, but my right eyelashes -wearing the No7 – were actually thicker and longer than the left, and that difference was much more noticeable in person. That mascara is only £9.95, and a tenner is a big difference for something which actually seems to be performing even better.

So all in, good mascara, not a great one, and definitely not “better than sex”.

 

Kirsten xo

August 2016 Glossy Box Review

So, directly on the back of a not-so-great beauty subscription box review, we have a lovely one.

Four months after first subscribing to my beauty subscriptions, and I’m surprised. I honestly thought that Birchbox would win out in the “battle of the boxes”. Birchbox is quirky and cute, and Glossy is very sleek and pretty. Birchbox just seemed to fit my personality more. But no. I’m cancelling it. I’ve made up my mind, and to be honest, I think receiving this GlossyBox was the final nail in the coffin, because to me, between Glossy and Birch this month, Glossy wins… no contest.

But enough of pitting these boxes against each other. Let’s talk solely about the August 2016 edition of Glossy Box.

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This month’s box is their fifth anniversary box, and they are working in collaboration with designer Rae Feather for the different grey and pink box design, and for one of the items within the box. I had never heard of this designer before, but I do like this grey and pink design, and after checking the stuff on her site, have concluded that she’s pretty cool (if a bit expensive).

So let’s get into what’s inside this box (you can probably see from the previous photo that it’s a good ‘un):

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Spa To You Deep Pore Cleansing Facial Brush and Massager (RRP £6.99)

Please note, this doesn’t seem to be available quite yet through the website, which obviously makes me feel very special in receiving an exclusive item 😛

The good: Exciting product, cool massaging bits in between bristles, been wanting to try for a while.
The bad: slightly abrasive on sensitive skin.

I was SOOOO excited when I opened the box and saw this in here. I have been looking at face cleansing brushes for a while now, but can’t afford the fancy rotating battery powered ones with different heads and stuff (the most popular seeming to be Clarisonic). This handheld manual one seems like a perfect introduction to the world of facial brushes for a newb; this way I can test it out and see if it’s right for me before investing in something bigger.

In the interests of giving a fair review, I’ve tested this out today for you. I used it with warm water and a gentle cleanser and was a bit surprised about how exfoliating it is. That might seem silly, I mean, it is a brush. But the bristles were so soft when I felt them dry, that I was surprised at the abrasiveness on my skin.
I don’t want that to seem like I don’t like this product, in fact, I love it. But I have sensitive skin, and so have discovered that I can’t use this at the tops of my cheeks. It’s actually fine everywhere else, and doesn’t feel that abrasive at all, so I must just have particularly sensitive cheeks. Which I never knew. I’m looking forward to using this more and seeing if it makes a difference in my skin, which is particularly bad right now.

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MUA Professional Starry Night Eyeshadow Palette (RRP £4)

The good: Highly pigmented shimmery shadows in cool tones
The bad: Bad applicator, similar shades

Picking out the “bad” bits of this palette were a bit nitpicky, to be honest with you. MUA are a budget makeup brand, but I have had good success in the past with their lipsticks and nail polishes; all in all, they seem alright for the money. However, I have never tried any eyeshadows of theirs. I haven’t actually used this palette yet, but I did swatch it on my arm. The shades are highly pigmented and soft, reminding me of Urban Decay shadows.
The only things I could pick that were bad about these were that some of the shades were similar to each other (the lightest greys, pinks and blues). It also comes with a dual ended sponge applicator, which I just won’t use. But like I said, that’s a bit nitpicky for a product that seems overall pretty good.

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Cowshed Wild Cow Invigorating Body Lotion (RRP £20 for 300ml; approx. £2 worth of product here)

The good: all-natural ingredients, smells divine
The bad: I’ll get back to you

Cowshed is a brand I’ve been hearing nothing but good things about, particularly their spas which offer a variety of treatments using their products (check out this beautiful one in Carnaby, for example). I’m really into the simplistic, rustic yet pretty designs of both their products and their spas. I’d definitely love to go to one, one day. So, I was super excited to see this in my Glossy Box this month.

I used this this morning just over my arms and hands to check it out, and it’s really, really nice. The smell is just divine: it contains lemongrass, ginger and rosemary and makes it so you look a bit weird, as you’ll want to keep sniffing at your skin! It’s made using cocoa and shea butters, too, so it’s not greasy or runny at all, just smooths onto your skin really nicely, and dries quickly while still leaving it feeling nourished.

I’m not a big body lotion person, but I can definitely see myself using this on the daily, and I even mentioned it to my husband this morning (a week before my birthday), so maybe I’ll have some goodies coming my way? 😉

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Mudmasky Facial Detox Purifying Recovery Mask (RRP £59; approx. £19.67 worth of product here)

The good: paraben free, cruelty free, all-natural ingredients, perfect product, the list goes on…
The bad: some may not like the sensation, and holy price tag!

I saw this product in the box and was instantly happy. I love a mud mask. I don’t have oily skin – it’s actually very dry – but mud masks seem to work really well on me in balancing my skin and removing impurities (I have a lot of spots). My favourites include the 7th Heaven Dead Sea Mud Pac (which has been around for years – I remember my Mum using the heat one when I was little!) and Lush’s BB Seaweed. However, there’s a new kid on the block, and goddamnit he’s cool.

I have used this product a grand total of ONE time, and I’m already in love. The directions tell you to apply a thin layer, but given the consistency of the product, it’s quite difficult to apply a thick one. I was a little confused, as obviously mud masks are usually very thick, but I went with it. And let me tell you, a little goes a long way.
It feels like there’s some form of exfoliant in there, and also what looks like seaweed. It dries very quickly. The directions give an oh-so-accurate time scale of 7 minutes for dry skin, 9 minutes for normal, and 11 for oily. Normally I’ll leave a mask on for wayyyy longer than I should, but I thought I’d better follow the instructions on this.
I applied, then sat down to do some editing at my computer, and felt it tightening right away. And it was really tightening (I love this sensation, but if you don’t, this might not be good for you, hence the “bad” I have pointed out). Because it dried and tightened so quickly, I didn’t feel like I needed to exceed the time at all. I went to wash it off and could physically see all the pores it was drawing impurities out of. It washed off fairly easily for a mask, and after rinsing my face and dabbing dry, it felt soooo smooth. I followed up with an intensive moisturiser, and am actually having a hard time typing this and resisting the urge to touch my face.

The one disappointment that I personally have here is the price, however if you’ve got a product that you don’t need to use much of and works that well on your skin… you’re gonna have to fork out. As much as it pains me and my tiny budget to say, maybe some things just are worth the price tag.

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Rae Feather Canvas ‘Pochette’ (RRP £20)

Gonna come out and say it: I don’t know why Glossy have put an RRP on something that’s an exclusive to the box. If it can’t be sold anywhere then how can it be priced? But I dunno. I’m not a marketing or sales expert.

Anyway. This is – in my opinion – a super cute freebie of a makeup pouch, and just completely outshines the shitshow of a bag Birchbox have offered up this month.
As I said in the intro, I had never heard of Rae Feather before, but her products are cute, albeit out of my price range, so it is nice to have a little something special and exclusive from a designer.

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[And look at how it fits my products – it’s almost as if it were planned or something?]
Total value of products: £52.66

Overall Opinion:
I am very aware that these reviews are subjective. I am likely to rave about something if it fits my personal tastes. To lots, this box may have been a total flop. But to me, it’s the best one I have received so far. It ticks all the boxes of what I want a beauty subscription to do: give me something I’m lacking, give me something new to try, give me something usually out of my price range, give me something a little extra/special. A very big thumbs up for Glossy from me this month.

What did you guys think of this month’s box? Did you have a completely different experience to me?

Kirsten xo

July GlossyBox Review

It’s that time of the month again when subscriptions are rolling out, and I have now received both my Birchbox and my Glossybox subs! Sometimes I will get a post up on these straightaway, and sometimes I will wait a few days to a week to put up a post like this, dependent on how busy I am or whether I want to test out some of the products first. In this case, I received my Birchbox about a week ago, and my GlossyBox two days ago.

So anyway, Glossybox this month seems to have no particular theme to it, however all the products received this month are full sized. I’ll be doing as I did last month and linking you to the products and letting you know the prices of the products, so let’s get on with it!

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It’s a pretty good looking box.

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Hairon Detangling Brush (RRP £6.99)

So this essentially looks like a cheaper version of a tangle teaser. I actually very nearly bought a Tangle Teaser the day I came home to my GlossyBox. As I’ve mentioned before, my hair is really damaged, and sometimes it’s physically painful to try and brush my hair, particularly when wet. It’s also really useful for my daughter Emmie, who has thick curly hair. I don’t usually brush her hair except when wet, or if she gets one of those dreadlock-like knots that curly hair usually gets. Anyway. Pretty happy with this, particularly that it’s duck egg blue, which is one of my favourite colours :]

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Blank Canvas Cosmetics F20 Buffer Brush (£12.51)

Makeup Brushes are something I reallllly need more of, so super happy with this. The brush is synthetic/vegan which I’m super happy about, however the bristles are still super soft, which some synthetic brushes aren’t. I haven’t tested it out yet, but I look forward to seeing how it compares to my Real Techniques buffer brush.

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Utan & Tone Nourishing Night Cream (RRP £25, £12.50 for this size)

This isn’t something I’ll be using as I don’t use fake tan at all. I just don’t use it because I don’t like the smell of it, and fake tan looks very obviously fake on me, which I don’t like. However, I’m impressed with this as the trial size of this product, which is quite expensive, is half of the actual product if you buy it online, which is pretty good.

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Hawaiian Tropic Lip Gloss in Island Berry (RRP £6.99 reduced to £3.49)

I’m not usually into lipglosses, but I have been trying to get into them more recently instead of just wearing my liquid lipsticks all the time. This one smells amazing. It reminds me of my teenage years when these kind of Juicy Tubes lipglosses were all the rage, but there is a big difference with this one: it isn’t sticky at all. It doesn’t seem like it will have a bunch of lasting power, however it smells and tastes so delightful I wouldn’t mind reapplying several times… lol

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Icona Milano Waterproof Mascara (RRP £13.04)

Couldn’t find a linkable webpage for this. A new waterproof mascara! Maybe this will finally be the one that works for me!

Total worth of products: £48.53*

Overall thoughts:
A pretty good box. Only one item I’m not likely to use from the bunch. It hasn’t blown me away, but the items that are there are pretty useful, and the price of the box to me is justified in particular if I like that makeup brush, as I would pay £10+ for a good makeup brush. Thumbs up.

Kirsten xo

*price of the products is calculated by the price I can find it for either on the products’ website, or at a popular retailer such as Boots. If I cannot find the item/price, I will use Glossy’s RRP from the leaflet. The amount calculated is the full price for fullsize products, and calculated down by amount for trial sizes.

What Is a Konjac Sponge?

– That’s the question I posed when I pulled the large moist-looking package out of my GlossyBox a couple of weeks ago.

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That was my first time seeing or hearing of a Konjac sponge. Saying the name just keeps me thinking of the sickly french brandy my Dad kept in a fancy bottle in our glass cabinet when I was young.

After doing a little bit of research I have discovered that this Konjac is a plant from Eastern Asia, which has been used for foods and other supposed health-benefiting purposes.

The roots of these plants are especially porous, and retain water really well (which makes sense given that it’s, well, a root). Their spongy texture means that the beauty industry has particularly started getting use out of them and marketing them as a gentle exfoliating sponge.

As you may have picked up on by now, I’m the kind of person who will give anything a go once, and as I stated in my Glossy review, I was excited to use it due to being a completely natural product – something that won’t damage our reefs by harvesting coral, or by being a non-biodegradable synthetic product. Utilising these plants in this way just seems like a good idea, generally.

That must be why when you do a quick Google search into Konjac sponges, you will find numerous websites marketing them, and praising them for their cleansing and exfoliating purposes. The one I will be discussing is the one received through the June GlossyBox, which is from Spa to You.

The first time I used this product I was in the bath. I removed it from its packaging and did as directed straight away – soaked it in water for a few minutes, then squeezed to rinse it before use.

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The sponge itself is very, very light and a nice size and shape for use on the face. I particularly like that this one is tapered at one end, which a lot of others don’t seem to be, which would make it easer to use around eye and nose areas.

But the thing that I concerned myself with straight away was the texture.
When wet, it feels quite soft, which surprised me as it is often used as an exfoliator. I would say this is softer than most synthetic sponges I use. The pores are very small, but you can see that they are very close together, which is probably why you get a great absorbency from these are opposed to a sea sponge.
It almost feels a bit rubbery. But in a very strange way. So naturally, I called my husband up to feel it. He held it and squeezed it for a bit but he was at a loss for a comparison. Then it hit me:

“A wet prawn cracker!”

Okay, so to anyone else this probably would be one of the weirdest things you could think of to shout, but he got me straight away: “Yes! That’s it!” he shouted back. I can’t even recall a circumstance where we would have knowledge of what a wet prawn cracker feels like, but that’s what we came up with ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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I even took a closeup of the surface in the hopes that someone else out there will understand what we meant by looks alone.

I used this initially with just water and no cleanser. There was no discernible smell to it, and overall it just felt like a soft, kind of rubbery, sponge. I can see where a slight exfoliating quality might come into it, and if you want to exfoliate using a sponge I would certainly recommend using this over sea or synthetic sponges which will just be way too harsh on your face.
The shape of this particular Konjac sponge is nice, as suspected, as you can work it round the creases of your face with ease.

One of the other things I noted about the sponge was the way in which it holds water.
Now, you know when you use a sea or synthetic sponge it goes darker when it absorbs water, then when you lift it out of water it “drains” and loses that darkness? This did not do that. It was difficult to find a photo of this, but I will try and describe it.

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When submerged in water, the konjac sponge does go darker, or in the case of this white one, a kind of translucent jellyfish-like color and texture, however it continues to hold water once taken out of it. I submerged my sponge and then took it out of the water, holding it by the thread and there was no dripping or draining of water. So it certainly is a very absorbent sponge.

Since its first use I have used my sponge with cleansers, and also my gentle Vasanti exfoliating cleanser, which I think it works a treat with.  It foams the cleansers I have used, which gives them a nice texture to apply with this sponge.

When you have finished with the sponge, you should rinse with clean water, squeeze out any excess, and hang to dry naturally. It goes a bit smaller and hardens, and actually supports my prawn cracker theory even more by actually turning into one? lol

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I’ve really enjoyed using this sponge, although I have to say, I don’t think I’ve noted any marked differences in my skin since using it. It just works as a really nice sponge for using your cleansers, and I suspect will give you a deeper, gently exfoliating clean than just using your fingers alone. For that I find it useful.

The nearest comparison currently on the market I can think of for a konjac sponge is a Ramer sponge, which I remember my Mum using on her and my sensitive skin when I was a kid.

Ramer sponges, like konjac sponges, are small-holed, gentle, rubbery-textured sponged which come packaged moist and harden when air-dried.

The Konjac sponge from Spa to You retails at £7.99, but due to it being a natural product, they advise chucking it after 8 weeks of use. Which is a bit poop.

However, I do think it has a purpose, it works well for cleansing, and I would definitely purchase again should they start stocking Konjac sponges in my local drugstore, though I don’t think I will end up paying the money and P&P to order it online.

Kirsten xo