Monday, 27 February 2012

Carmine Beauty Box - February edition

Beauty boxes have been blogged about/reviewed/acclaimed/criticised for the best part of a year now so I finally took the leap, and jumped into the beauty box subscription pool at the end of last year.

I researched a little and decided to opt into the Glossybox and Carmine offerings, followed shortly by a dabble in the Feel Unique beauty box which was cancelled earlier this month (see my previous post - link). So far, the Carmine and Glossybox have impressed me the most, and dare I say, Carmine far more so than Glossybox!

So I was pleased to find my latest Carmine beauty box, waiting for me when I returned from work this evening. After a long day of lessons and revision classes until 7pm (yep, 7pm!!!!!!) a little beauty treat is exactly what I needed!
Of all the Carmine boxes I have received since my first in November, every single one has had at least 2 or 3 (out of 5) products which make me glad I got the box. Not one box has disappointed (unlike the others) and I genuinely feel I have had great value for money.

This month, of course, was no exception... I had already sneaked a peek at Milly's post (most month's I try to keep the surprise alive, but what can I say, I'm weak-willed!) so was literally tearing at the stubborn lid to get my hands on the samples!

(Oh, and I think I may have just about managed to master the art of opening these stupid boxes! I do seem to improve with each new box - you should have seen me with the first one, it took like half an hour!)

Carmine February Box

February's box really is exceptional value for money as you get three full size products - but maybe this is to make up for the ridiculously small lipstick!!! And it's also the first time I have seen Carmine do a 6th 'bonus' sample. So what did I get:

Andrea Fulerton Nail Varnish in Naomi - 5.5ml full size RRP £4.99 available in Superdrug
A lovely deep red colour that went on smooth and was opaque in around 2-3 coats. I have tried some of Andrea Fulerton's products before, mostly for nail art, so am looking forward to really testing out her polishes too. I already have a similar colour to this in my varnish collection, so would have preferred a different shade, but am happy with this none-the-less.

Balance Me Super Moisturising Body Wash - 125ml full size RRP £8.00 available at Balance Me
I have never tried Balance Me products before, so am eager to test this in the bath tomorrow. Balance Me sell themselves on their ingredients being '99% natural origin' with no added yuck (parabens, sulphates, artificial colours etc.) I got the super moisturising body wash which is packed with Shea butter - so apparently no further moisturising needed! And is also a fab size and packaging for travel too.

Steamcream in Jane - 75ml full size RRP £10.50 available at Steamcream
I literally let out a 'Yes!' when I opened the box to discover I had the leopard print tin! Oh yeah! (I think I am borderline obsessed with this animal design....) I have heard of Steamcream before, but never tried it, it sounds to me like a kind of 'everything' cream - it says it will moisturise face, body and hands. I think it will be too heavy on my very oily face, so will probably stick to the neck down, but it has a lovely scent (lavender oil) and sinks in really well. 

White Glo Toothpaste - 24g sample size - 100ml £4.07 available at Boots
Toothpaste? Really? Not really a beauty product in my mind, but definitely a staple toiletry item that will get used. I do yearn for pearly whites, and have contemplated teeth whitening before, so maybe this will stop my to-ing and fro-ing between whatever toothpaste is on offer in Boots and get me to settle down on one that may even do what it says on the tube. Exciting? No. Useful? Oh yes.

Diego Dalla Palma The Lipstick in 47 - sample size - 4.7ml £14 available at Tesco
This has to be the most excitable item for me, although it is small, and I truly mean tiny, I have been so keen to try Diego Dalla Palma for ages that this got me swatching straight away. It is a lovely shimmery coral tone that is quite sheer but a great Spring/Summer shade. I don't have a Tesco beauty hall near me, so quite a lot of this brand may end up falling into my online shopping basket soon, oh dear... :)

Yardley London Peony Eau de Toilette - 1ml sample size - 50ml £4.99 available at Fragrance Direct
A lovely little bonus from Carmine, but I wish it was a more contemporary perfume brand though. A nice enough scent, of Peonies funnily enough! But it reminds me a bit of my Granny's bathroom. However, it is in addition to the other products, so I can't complain!
Diego Dalla Palma swatch

Favourite product(s) in the February box - Diego Dalla Palma Lipstick and Steamcream tin.

Overall I am really impressed with this month's box from Carmine and Carmine's beauty box service in general actually. I totally buy into the gimmick of a mystery beauty package delivered straight to your door every month, and I am happy to pay £12.95 for the privilege. I love trying out new brands and products that I wouldn't normally think to sample and the box adds up as a great make-up storage box too!

I have yet to review any of the previous boxes, and probably won't (other than individual loved products). I didn't really want to until I felt I had received the service for long enough to give a true opinion on it's offerings. But I have loved using some of the make-up products in particular, so expect reviews and looks created with them at some point in the future.

Out of the four boxes I have bought so far, February is hands down my favourite of them all.

Carmine January Box
Carmine December Box
Carmine November Box

If you love the idea of the Carmine Beauty box 
then use this referral link to get free P&P 
for the first month if you subscribe now :) 


Monday, 13 February 2012

Freedom @ Topshop Sale Bargains

Last month I picked up some lovely jewellery bargains from my local Outfit store, all of which I completely forgot about until I found the little bag with them in the other day!

I had been browsing the new Topshop concession in store and happened upon a few nice sale pieces on the jewellery stand, I picked up a few necklaces all £3.50 or less! Oh, and a pair of diva earrings from Miss Selfridge for a £1 - yes, a £1!!

From Left to Right:
Frog long necklace - £3.50, Gold Chain long necklace - £3.50, Gold Coin two layer necklace - £2.50, Star three layer necklace - £3.50 (all Freedom @ Topshop), Gold Ball drop earrings - £1 (diva @ Miss Selfridge)

So far I've worn the gold chain necklace, doubled up under a blouse, and the gold coin necklace over a green blouse with my silver Topshop blazer.

(I really must start doing some OOTDs to show you!)

My favourite has to be this cute little green frog though, with green diamantés along its back.

Did you grab any jewellery finds on the sale rails?

Debenhams Beauty Club awards 2012 - vote now and win!

Debenhams have launched their 2012 Beauty Club Awards and want all beauty addicts to vote for their favourite make-up, skincare and fragrance products.

Better still, when you vote, you get entered into their prize draw to win all of 2011's winners worth a whopping £1000! And ten runners up will get a beauty and fragrance goody bag - definitely worth a few clicks of your mouse!

In order to vote, you have to first 'like' Debenhams Beauty Club's Facebook page - link - then vote for your favourites and finally enter your details at the end to be entered into the prize draws.

I like the fact that if there isn't one product that you consider to be your 'favourite', you can either skip that category or (in some categories) enter your own preference if it's not listed.

So what are you waiting for? Go and vote now as voting closes on 14th February 2012!

Did you vote? What were your favourites?

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Farewell Beauty Box.... for now!

Sadly we have to bid goodbye to's gorgeous little Beauty Box. have announced that they are closing the service indefinitely as of February 2012 as they (and I quote) "believe there's a better way of delivering a bespoke, high quality sampling service based on your individual needs".... hmmmm I wonder how?

I was relieved to receive my last one in the post yesterday - they had sent me an email on Thursday to tell me they were closing the service so I was a little worried that I may not get the February box I had paid for. But all was calm when the little box arrived in the post the next day...

February's Beauty Box from
I prefer this one a little more to January's offerings as there is a perfume sample and nail polish - but generally I find this brand of Beauty Boxes to be very skincare heavy and if I'm honest I'm more of a make-up magpie!

February's box contained: 
Elemis Exotic Lime and Ginger Hand & Body Wash 100ml
Decleor  Phytopeel Natural Exfoliating Cream 15ml
Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Multi-usage Dry Oil 10ml
Philip Kingsley Elasticizer 40ml
Leighton Denny High Performance Nail colour in Viva la diva 4.6ml
Jean Paul Gaultier Kokorico Eau de Toilette 1ml

January's Beauty Box from
January's offerings were much less exciting for me and I probably won't end up using all of the samples!

I was planning on doing a review of the products from these two boxes, but as the service has closed I will do them on an individual brand basis in the future rather than linked with the subscription.

Call me sad, but the thing I will most from this brand of Beauty Box is the box that it comes in! These serve as brilliant little storage drawers for my ever expanding make-up collection. So in all honesty, if that's what I'll miss most, I have to wonder if they were ever worth the £9.95 monthly subscription in the first place!!

I subscribe to a few other Beauty Box services and on the whole I am far more impressed with Carmine's and Glossybox's offerings and am very intrigued to receive my first She Said Beauty box in March - reviews of all these services will appear at some point on here I'm sure, so stay posted.

If you subscribe to's Beauty Box and would like some more information on their closure of the Beauty Box service then go to

Which Beauty Box services do you subscribe to? I'd love to hear your thoughts on your favourite.

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