Thursday, 31 January 2013

Budget Beauty Blogger Swap


I decided to take part in a Budget Blogger Beauty Swap which was set up by Naomi at Bewitchery. The budget was £10/$16/€12 so great for those of us on a constant budget.

It was such a fab idea and you know I love trying new things, so of course I had to get in on it.

I got paired with the lovely Katrina over at Carousel Diary and we set about telling each other about what we disliked. Which tbh, from both of us, wasn't much.

We posted at the beginning of the week and it was quite exciting waiting for the package to come. What would Katrina have chosen for me.

It finally came, and like a child I ripped into the package. It was all wrapped really nicely but because my excitement took over, I didn't take a picture......

The majority of items were things I had never used before. So here is what I received.



Bourjois Paris Dissolvant Nail polish remover pot. I would never have bought one of these mainly because last time I strayed from the usual Nail polish remover with cotton pads was to try the nail polish remover pads and they were pants, but this is amazing. Of course I tried it, it took the polish off with 2 motions and even polish down the sides of the nails had gone. Very Impressed.

Here is a shot of my nail after I used it.


 Next up was Mineral Bronzer Naturally Suntan.


  I have honestly never bought bronzer. I'm very pale so have never been sure on it at all. I'm going to try it though.
Here is a photo of a little bit on my skin to show you just how pale I am in comparison, sunglasses at the ready.


See what I mean?


Now these little beauties are the JINNYlash strip eyelashes. I have always wanted to try fake eyelashes but have never quite plucked up the courage, but now I can. I did try to apply one earlier to take a picture of the difference, but my application skills are somewhat...... embarrassingly rubbish. So no pictures. Also, credit to all you ladies out there that manage to apply and wear these all day everyday. They're quite heavy aren't they? I will attempt them again maybe for a night out or something.


Another item in the package of pretties was MUA eXtreme curl mascara. Who doesn't love mascara. I love mascara, its one of my make up bag staples and this will come in very handy.


The final beauty item is Blemish Blitz cotton buds. I have never heard of these before and they look really good. When I get a breakout, I really get a breakout so this will be kept near in case it happens. This may become a love of mine if they work.

Katrina also sent me some cute little extras.



These 2 rings came in this pretty organza bag (how lush is that colour of green?)


And there was also this barbed wire bracelet, which reminded me of my teenager years. I used to wear these all the way up my arm, I was a little grungy but still look back on my clothes and jewellery quite fondly. 

This experience wasn't quite as daunting as I was expecting, and I would love to take part in future swaps. the worst bit is trying to pick items for your swap partner.

I'd like to say thank you to Naomi for setting this up and letting me take part and Katrina for swapping with me. 

If you want to see how Katrina got on with the items I sent her head over to Carousel diary now.

:)x





Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Cheeky Summer Collection- Yes, more stamping plates.


You may have noticed by now, that I'm rather a fan of stamping. So keeping in line with my last post of the Bundle Monster 2012 collection, I wanted to show you a new addition to my stamping plate family, the Cheeky Summer Collection.  This is another picture heavy post.

I received an Amazon voucher for Christmas from my Brother in Law and of course, I went straight to the nail section. And that is where I found these beauties, here. At £12.99, for 26 stamping plates, this was a proper bargain. I'm slightly ashamed to say, that the main reason I bought this whole collection, was because of 2 plates, CH45 and CH47, but I fell in love with the whole collection as soon as it arrived.

They come in this cute little pink and white checked box. Which is excellent for storing plates rather than having them all over the place.


On the side of the box, it has a QR code to scan with your mobile phone which will take you here, to the Cheeky website for more products.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Bundle Monster 25pc 2012 collection, finally.


Yay. I finally got my hands on the Bundle Monster 25pc 2012 Collection. I spent the last few months of 2012 leaving subtle hints on the laptop for Hubby to find, in the form of open pages, bookmarks, even bookmarks called 'what I want for Christmas'. He didn't take the hint so in the end I had to tell him.

We actually bought this after Christmas, so I had to wait a little while because Bundle Monster is based in Hawaii. Saying that though, I was very surprised at how quickly they made it to the UK. I had to wait less than 2 weeks. Fantastic.

Talking about fantastic, we actually bought this during the Bundle Monster sale, so instead of costing me $21.99 (about £14) it cost me $17.99 (about £12). To the UK, Bundle monster charge $4 (about £2.52) for postage/delivery costs. In total my order should have cost me £14.55, but my stupid bank added on a £1.39 charge. Still fantastic prices though.

Yes this was my first ever item from Bundle Monster and you may have noticed that I really like stamping, so  how obvious is it that I am super excited? Take it down a notch? Ok, yup. Sorry :(.




Because I ordered around Christmas and New years eve, I also received this Hawaiian Christmas themed special edition plate for free. Who doesn't love freebies.

On the subject of the SE plate and freebies, Once Bundle Monster's Facebook reaches 12,000 likes, 12 lucky fans will be chosen to receive a free special edition plate. So head over and give them a like to be in with a chance.

Ok back to these plates, bear with me on this one as it is slightly picture heavy but there is a mani at the end so stay tuned.

BM-301
BM-302



BM-303

Click in to view more plates after the jump.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

What's in my January 2013 GlossyBox?


Right, back on track with GlossyBox posts for the new year. I'm quite excited to see what's happening with GlossyBox this year. They are promising brighter and better things. And I believe them.
So as you can see, we are back to the baby pink boxes, black tissue paper and pink bow. I'm glad there are no changes here, I like them, they're very pretty and I like the special boxes on special occasions.





And it looks like they are sticking with the paper pamphlet thingy as seen in the December box. Not sure how keen I am on this. What I do like about it, is the more personal touch. I mentioned this in the December box, as the second info card shows, you get a little letter from the GlossyBox team and the product descriptions have a more personal touch too.


So, onto the products. Everytime I open a GlossyBox, excite mode engages. I love the anticipation of seeing what we get each month. Then, when it's open, it looks so so pretty.

This months box is Detox themed. Perfect for the after holidays hangover and most of us will need that little pamper.


First up- Elemis Fresh Skin: Skin Glow Facial Exfoliator- Developed by Elemis to accompany you from your teens to mid-twenties, the FreshSkin range aims to nurture skin and help prevent premature ageing. With a deep pore cleansing action, this exfoliating facial wash combines cherry powder and jojoba beads to gently polish away dead skin cells and help refine skin texture. Enriched with mandarin and aniseed, your skin will appear brighter and more radiant and left feeling soft and smooth.
RRP: £12 for 100ml. I received 30ml.

Go to timetospa.co.uk/elemis-freshskin to find more Elemis products.

I haven't tried this yet but I've smelt it (obvs) and the scent isn't very strong, I did struggle to smell it with my winter nose. Its quite a sweet, fruity smell, its not that bad really. I also put a little dollop on to my hand and it has little orange exfoliating beads in it. They're not too big and when I rubbed it in, it didn't feel too scratchy.


Duck Island Limited: Body lotion- Stimulating the sense while capturing the aromas of the East (a fragrant combination of mandarin and bergamot), this indulgent body lotion will help you relax, while simultaneously stimulating your senses. For centuries, Eastern cultures have recognised the benefits of natural extracts- a tradition embodied by Dick Island's paraben and mineral oil free formulations.
RRP: £24.95 for 2x250ml. I received 30ml.

Go to duckisland.co.uk to find out about this product and more.

This lotion has quite a strong scent, you can definitely smell the mandarin. I think with this and the LEMON eau de parfum from December box, I have decided that I'm not really a fan of citrus fruits smell in beauty products. It just reminds me of washing up liquid. But ignoring the smell, the lotion is actually very nice and effective. Its a light lotion and settles well into the skin. You do have to be quite careful not to apply too much though or it may end up greasy.


Jason: Lips Bee Healthier- The Jason brand name means 'healer' in Greek. The results-driven therapeutic blends of their formula's and wholesome, natural ingredients reflect this. Alongside the under-eye skin, the skin on our lips shows signs of dehydration fastest.. This is due to the fact that the lips only have thin surface layers of skin, which dry out faster than other areas and are exposed to dry, cold air outdoors and low humidity indoors. To prevent parched and cracked lips, this rich, natural lip balm stick combines moisture-trapping Beeswax, Vitamin E and Green Tea Extract. Organic Aloe Vera Gel helps heal, soothe and protect chapped lips, while Shea Butter and sweet almond oil moisturise.
RRP: £1.99 for 4.6g. I received 4.5g.

Go to jasonnaturalcare.co.uk for more on this product and others.

I love this lip balm. I'm a big fan of honey and beeswax products. This was perfect for me this month, with it getting colder in the UK, my lips have been very dry and I've been flying through lip balms and Vaseline like there is no tomorrow, and none of them have been working. This lip balm is great. Its smooth and has a strong smell of Aloe Vera, also perfect for blocked noses.


Monu: Aromatic Mask- This warming facial mask helps increase vitamin and mineral absorption, instantly renewing and invigorating your skin. Natural clay provides a deep cleanse, while stimulating and renewing cell health. Beeswax and coconut oil soften, nourish and hydrate the skin, leaving it looking boosted and radiant.
RRP: £24.95 for 100ml. I received 30ml.

Go to monushop.co.uk for more info and other Monu products.

Wow, when they say aromatic they mean it. This has an incredibly strong scent, annnd its not a smell I'm a fan of. I haven't tried it as a mask yet but the monu products I have tried in the past have been very good so I expect this one would be very good too. I'll just have to get past that smell. 


Paul Mitchell: Super Strong Daily Shampoo- Super Strong Daily Shampoo was designed to help strengthen and repair hair that has been damaged by chemical, environmental or heat styling abuse by rebuilding the hair's internal structure leaving a natural feel and intensified shine.
RRP: £11.50 for 300ml. I received 100ml.

Go to paul-mitchell.co.uk for more info and other products.

If I'm honest, I've never heard of this brand before. I'm going to try this as soon as poss. With my frizzy, dry hair, I often struggle with shampoos, so fingers crossed this one is good.


And finally, as a bonus item, we received this cute Glossy Dreams eye/sleep mask. Its got a satin-y feel to it. Sadly, its not the highest of qualities so probably wont last very long but it is very cute. Its the same baby pink colour as the GlossyBox boxes and the double elastic is quite stretchy so should fit most heads.

The box value this month works out at around £18.38 by my calculations. Which, is a little bit disappointing tbh, but the products were quite good so I'll let it slide. It's still more than I paid for the box.

Well that's it for this month. Did you get any different products? Have you tried any of these products before and what did you think of them?

:)x













Thursday, 10 January 2013

What was in my December GlossyBox?


Right, yes, I'm late again. I want to get this one up before the next one arrives which by my calculations should be pretty soon, and the next one will not be late, I promise.

Sooooo, Christmas is always a very exciting time but I was so much more excited  at an earlier date because of the anticipation of what might be coming in the Christmas GlossyBox and I was not disappointed by this box (one product did disappoint though, much further down).

As you can see from above, the box was a gorgeous, shiny silver, with the usual black GlossyBox symbol. Yes, that is the reflection of me taking the photo. Hellloooo


Inside, was black tissue paper but with silver stars all over it, and a shiny silver and black GlossyBox sticker. They had also done the ribbon in a silvery colour.


Then further inside, the shredded tissue paper was a silvery colour as well. Not as much shredded paper as usual so possibly scrimping a little bit.

The info 'card' was a bit different this month as well, mainly because it wasn't a card, it was about an A3 sized piece of paper folded a few times, like a pamphlet type thingy. More scrimping maybe? Hmmmm.


When you first open it (picture above) it has what I would describe as little newsletter section on the left, with online community info to the left hand side of that. And on the right, there is a subscriber Christmas shopping perks section.


Then when you open it up fully, it has all the products listed. Some of the product descriptions seem a lot more 'personal' rather than the standard product descriptions which was quite refreshing.


Then on the back, it is just basically an advert for GlosyBox and their subscription.


Seche Nail Lacquer- This is Seche's first colour line and has a highly pigmented colour for one coat coverage, satin smooth application and dries quickly. It is available in 33 stunning and fashion forward shades. 
RRP: £9.95 for 14ml. I received a 14ml which makes it a full size sample.

I was most excited by this product when I got my box. I love receiving nail polishes in my boxes and so the fact that not only was it a nail polish but it was a Seche. And not only was it a Seche but it was their first ever colour line and we get it. The shade I got was Debutant, which is a shimmery baby pink. I haven't tried this yet because I'm not a very pinky person (even though I have 9/10 in my stash already) but I must admit, it's very pretty isn't it. I did apply it to a nail wheel however, and I can confirm that you could get quite nice coverage with one thick coat, but I personally would recommend a few thin coats to get a nice even application.


Milk_Shake Conditioning Whipped Cream- Leave-in conditioning foam with milk, wheat germ and casein proteins which will treat, protect and strengthen you hair for smoothness and shine.
RRP: £14.79 for 200ml. I received 100ml.

This is an award wining product and I can see why. This is the product I have used the most from this months box. I was so impressed by this. I have had bad experiences with leave in conditioners in the past, often they left my hair feeling really sticky or greasy no matter how much/ how little product I applied. This applied easily and well, and once dry, my hair felt soft and had less frizz. And it smells divine. It says that it has the smell of whipped cream, but I would describe the smell more like a sweet, nutty smell. Either way, it's lush and left my hair feeling and smelling lush for a few days.


Sleek Make-up True Colour Lipstick- With shades that brighten and flatter your skin tone (essential during winter months when complexions can be dull) and vitamin E enriched formulas, Sleek Make-up's True Colour Lipstick range is a party season essential. Perfect for when you want to make a bold statement.

RRP: £4.99 for 3.5g. I received 3.5g which makes this a full sized sample.


I've mentioned before that I'm not really a lipstick person, but I don't mind getting these in the box. I have had somewhat of a dilemma with this one though because it's a matte lipstick. I find the whole matte lipstick and nail polish thing yummy and so am still debating whether or not I'm going to try it. If I use it then I cant re-home it, so it needs to be a clear decision. (first world dilemmas). This one is also a darker shade (see above) called Cherry as opposed to the usual bright pinks and super bright reds. I did try to get a picture of the actual lipstick but it wouldn't capture the colour properly.



Sebamed Anti-Dry Night Intensive Cream- Sebamed Night intensive cream calms flare-ups, irritation and tension. Relieves itching sensations and replenishes lipid deficiency.
RRP: £9.99 for 50ml. I received 10ml.

This is another one I haven't tried, I really should though, as I get really itchy skin, especially in the winter months so this should be the perfect cream for me. 




LEMON by Mary Greenwell Eau de Parfum- One of the most sought after and influential make-up artists, Mary Greenwell is a true British icon of style and beauty with a loyal following of celebrity clients. LEMON is Mary's second fragrance and has fresh citrus notes that last on the skin.
RRP: £90 for 100ml, £60 for 50ml and £30 for a purse spray (no size but possibly 30ml). i received 1.5ml.

Have you guessed it yet? You would be right. This is the product I was disappointed in. Not only because it's a perfume sample (which you can get for free) and that it was one of our main products but also because personally I thought the perfume was horrible. It reminded me of washing up liquid or a cleaning solution. Other people may like it but it's just not for me.

This is why, when I realised that the next product was a bonus item, and much better than the perfume sample, in my head, I swapped them. The next item was the 5th item in my box and the perfume sample was just an extra.


Bonus item- GlossyBox Blusher in Glossy Pink- A colour intensive powder blush, velvety feeling with long lasting colour that flatters all skintones.

RRP: Glossybox product so has no listed price, but, having looked on Superdrug website, I found a B.Cheeky Blusher which looks similar in packaging and size which is currently £3.99 as an introductory price and £5.99 will be the actual price. Now, I know quality can differ but for the purpose of this box, I'm going to price this blusher at £4.50 which is an inbetweeny price.

*UPDATE* one of the lovelies over at GlossyBox Twitter has informed me that the GlossyBox blusher was made by Kryolan and the price I have found this for is £6.17.


 I really like getting the GlossyBox products, they're cute and often good quality, although I have seen a few people who have said their compact lid fell off straight away. The colour is pretty is a product I will definitely use.

Overall, I am really impressed with this box and I'm pondering whether the little bits scrimping on things like the info card and the amount of tissue paper (it all adds up), might be the start of new things for GlossyBox this year. I could be wrong and it could just be the path they took to make Christmas box different.

The value of this box by my estimations would be around £30.17, so that's basically triple the value of what I paid for it. Very nice.

*Update- with the above update regarding the blusher the value of the box has gone up to £31.64.

Did you receive anything different in your December box? What shade of Seche nail lacquer did you get. Would love to see your posts on this box.

Hope you're having a lovely week, and are prepared for the forecasted snow if you are in the UK this weekend.

:)x





Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Polish Days-Something New

It's that time of the month again, Polish Days. This is now my second Polish Days  and the theme this month kind of pushed me to attempt a mani that I had been putting off, the water marble mani. eeeeekkk. This is one that I have been considering for ages but I knew that for 'Something New' it had to be this one to give me the challenge.

I have heard a few people say that they have had trouble with this one and looking at other bloggers gorgeous water marble mani's was really daunting, but I went for it anyway. And this is what I got.

Left Hand
In any other mani, this would have been a complete nail fail, but I have to admit, I'm somewhat in love with this. It didn't go completely to plan and the nails don't match at all but it was actually a successful first time in my eyes.

I like that the thumb and middle finger kind of look like smoke, I like the smokey looking ones the best. 

Then, when I was going through the pictures to see if any of them were any good, I realised that the pinkie finger on my left hand looks like an ocean scene with what looks like a dolphin swimming in it.  I wish I could say that this was on purpose but alas, I am not that talented.

Lets not mention the ring finger, this was the second attempt for that finger and I have no idea what happened here. Bit of an abomination.

Right Hand
My right hand was a bit more disappointing, but then, my right hand never looks as good as the left. However, the pinkie on my right hand, was my favourite of all. It came out looking more like smoke than all the others and even with only a small amount of detail it looked stunning. Unfortunately the light made it impossible to capture how good it really looked.







So these are just close ups of my two favourite nails from this mani.

I used Barry M Matt white for the base and for the water marbling I used Barry m Matt white, Barry M cyan blue and Barry M Grey.

I did learn a few things whilst doing it, the main one is that the polish spreads much better in warm water (should have realised this) and that I need to moisturise my hands more often.

I'm going to try water marbling again some time and maybe have a little more patience with it and try a more uniformed design.
What did you think of my first attempt? Did you have any more luck with your first water marble mani?

Check out below for all the other lovelies taking part in this months Polish Days and if you want to enter yourself, you can check out how here.

:)x