Monday, 25 June 2012

Perfect Pumps...

If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen a little pic I posted a while back of these Next Jewelled Pumps. They were a splurge purchase, along with the Dorothy Perkins Black Snake ones above, on a supposed shoe-shopping-free month! Anyway, they seem to have both been my go-to shoes for the last month or two so I guess that means they were a splurge well spent...

Dorothy Perkins Black Snake Metal Trim Pumps £23

Next Nude Jewelled Flower Ballerinas £25

The snakeskin pumps are a perfect go to work shoe, for days when I just can't be bothered to heel it up. They kind of have a certain 'Tory Burch-ness' about them with the gold coloured metal trim to the toe but with a much smaller price tag! And the nude suede pumps glam up a pair of denim skinnies perfectly when strolling around the city for a little light shopping. Oh, and both are super comfy too - bonus!

The Dorothy Perkins Black Snake Metail Trim Pumps are now out of stock but you can get the nude version here for £23.

The Next Nude Suede Jewelled Flower Ballerinas were still in stock when I last checked here for £25 and they also come in black and silver.

P.S. If you want to follow me on Instagram, just search for me under brushupandmakeup

Disclaimer - I have not been paid in any way for this review, I just wanted to share these little beauties with you :)

Saturday, 16 June 2012

SheSaidBeauty Box - June Edition

Following my last SheSaidBeauty post on May's box I am pleased to now also bring you their June box too!

Having been quite behind on blog posts, I am desperately trying to catch up and am already counting down until almost six uninterrupted weeks of blogging bliss.... a.k.a the Summer holidays! Oh how I love being a teacher :)

Anyway, enough of the gloating, did this month's SheSaidBeauty box improve upon the last?

Balance Me Super Moisturising Hand Cream - full size 30ml £6.00 (100ml £14.50)

With my current nail obsession, hand cream has become a firm ritual every time I change my nail colour. So I'm always on the look out for new products that do the job without the grease factor and this has impressed me. It's quite thick, so more suitable for dry hands but it sinks in well and has quite a strong scent of essential oils like patchouli and bergamot. I like trying Balance Me samples as their products are paraben/sulphate etc. free and the ingredients sourced from natural origins. Overall a nice item to receive.

Elemis Tranquil Touch Indulgent Bath Elixir - 50ml sample size - full size 300ml £19.00

Oh dammit! A bath product.... well that will have to wait until Winter. Why? Well my house is old, I mean falling down type of old, and the winter months are bitter cold which means I rely on baths to warm up. So in the Summer, I jump at the chance to have showers again without freezing my bits off! And thus, this will not be used until probably later this year when I can no longer stand in my shower without shivering. On a positive note it smells goooooood, so I will have this to look forward to!

Ginvera green Tea Nude Cover BB Cream - sample sachet 3g - full size 25ml £20.00

So this was the bonus sample for this month, a little small but it is a bonus I suppose so I shouldn't complain. I've actually yet to open this as I am so sceptical about BB creams and my oily skin. They just don't keep me matte for long enough! Well this one, I have to say, looks like it may do a better job than many UK BB creams - Ginvera is from Singapore so hopefully this will have all the goodness of Asian BB creams. I love that it is SPF30 and has a non greasy formula... I'll let you know how I get on.

Let's Go Lashes in Tease 1 - full size £8.95

OK, I can maybe forgive the fact that it's two months in a row now that we've had false lashes. But to receive the SAME ONES that I got in another beauty box only a couple of weeks before.... grrrrrrr indeed! This put a huge dampener on this whole box for me if I'm honest. I don't mind false lashes but that's now three beauty boxes in a row that I've got a set in, so the next few months better be false-lash-free or I will be more than a little peeved! Oh, I received Tease by the way - a long and fluttery design but I'm too annoyed to care right now....

St. Tropez Gradual Tan Everyday Body Moisturiser in Med/Dark - 75ml sample size - full size 200ml £14.30

Oh thank god for that! In one lone product the box has redeemed itself! I bloody LOVE St. Tropez, especially their gradual tan! I have been a loyal fan of this for over a year now and will not buy any other brand, despite the hefty price tag. As mentioned before, I am really fair skinned, so rely on fake tan for a nice glow, and this is the best developing gradual tan I have found on the market. It does smell a little iffy but I can put up with that and 75ml is the perfect travel size to top up with whilst on holiday!

Yardley London Royal Diamond Eau de Toilette - 1ml sample size - full size 50ml £9.99

Hmmm, Yardley, as pleasant as this fruity-floral scent is, I can't get over the 'Granny' thoughts when I spot a Yardley product. I think they must be on a mission at the moment to appeal to a younger market but I'm afraid they just don't do it for me. Royal Diamond is the nicest fragrance from Yardley that I have tried, but I doubt I will finish the sample and can guarantee that I will probably never purchase it full size either. Oh and I'm not happy that this was passed off as one of the products this month... tut tut! 1ml is a not a sample it's a dribble!!!

So how did June's box fair? Well, for me, this one is a mixture of loathing and love. This seemed to be the first beauty box where SheSaid Beauty skimped a little on the samples - the box just didn't look as full as previous months - and don't even get me started on the bloody false lashes! But saying that, thanks to St. Tropez, almost all is forgiven. It hasn't put me off completely and I certainly won't be stopping my subscription anytime soon but I still think SheSaidBeauty need to do something to step up to the mark of GlossyBox and Carmine - RIP :(

If you like the idea of the SheSaidBeauty box then use this referral link to start your subscription now!
Disclaimer - I have subscribed to the SheSaidBeauty box out of my own choice and money (damn the fanciful idea of mystery beauty products delivered every month). It was my choice to review the products above and I have done so in a 100% honest manner. I am not compensated for my reviews but if you use my referral link to start a subscription then I can get a free box next time... well who doesn't want free beauty stuff?!!

Saturday, 9 June 2012

GlossyBox - May - First Anniversary Edition

So after the rather late postage of the April GlossyBox, the May one seemed to come round even sooner! In fact I've just been billed for my June one, so I better get my arse in gear and write my review of May's box before it no longer matters.

May 2012 meant only one thing for GlossyBox - their First Anniversary! And what better way to celebrate than with another special edition box, although we welcome back the soft pink packaging with a slight twist this time round...

Wow! I think this is the first time I've struggled to fit everything in my GlossyBox for a photo! Another impressive box was delivered this month although I have one small moan - no make-up! Ah well, it's not I like I need anymore make-up anyway!

This month's packaging was back to the good old soft pink box, but with a little twist of printed tissue paper and first anniversary ribbon - subtle, but I like it. As it's the first birthday, we also received a pink balloon and a little handbag mirror. But more importantly, what products did I get?

Let's Go Lashes in Temptress - full size product worth £8.95

False lashes, a great item to get, but after my SheSaidBeauty box for May also had some lashes, I was less excited about these than I would have normally been. In fact, the last time I got lashes in a beauty box was Carmine's January box so we've had none for ages and then two come along at once! As I've said before, I'm an avid collector of false lashes so I was pleased to receive a brand I've never heard of, or tried before. Let's Go Lashes come in 40 different style... yes 4-0! and they are 100% human hair. They also come with glue and are re-usable. Perfect! The 'Temptress' ones I received are quite long and add volume to give a glamorous look. Maybe I will bite the bullet and actually wear some this Summer on one of many hen parties I've been invited too... we'll see! (Psst! Let's Go Lashes are actually Blink & Go lashes in disguise - they've been renamed... cheeky GlossyBox!)
Lolita Lempicka Fragrance Samples in L'Eau en Blanc and Si Lolita - both 0.8ml sample size - full size 100ml L'Eau en Blanc £65 and 100ml Si Lolita £63

Uh oh, perfume samples! Normally, I would have been a little peeved to receive a sample that I could have gotten from a department store myself, but all was forgiven when I smelt Si Lolita! Oh my god, I love it! L'Eau en Blanc is nice, but too musk-y for my liking. However, Si Lolita is to die for, with it's Sweet Pea freshness, it's top of my next purchases list from House of Fraser. And the bottles... oh the bottles!

Noble Isle Summer Rising Bath and Shower Gel - 75ml sample size - full size 250ml £20.00

I've not heard of Noble Isle before but I'm sure this is going to be the start of a long and happy relationship... I received a bottle of the Summer Rising Bath & Shower gel and it's just too good to save for travel, I'm halfway through it already and it smells divine! Noble Isle is a relatively new British brand on the market (est. 2011) and their product collection features quintessentially British natural extracts sourced from the UK. I can't wait to try out some of their other products...
Uniqone All In One Hair Treatment - 9ml sample size - full size 150ml £13.99

It's been a while since I got a hair product in a Beauty Box and I've surprised myself in realising that hair samples seem to be the thing that I use up most - more than make-up in fact!!! I loved the Paul Mitchell sample from February's GlossyBox, the Philip Kingsley from February's's box and the Aveda samples from March's SheSaidBeauty box. Now I have one more to add to my collection, the Uniqone All In One Hair Treatment! It claims to be the first leave-on mask on the market that offers 10 benefits to satisfy all your hair needs. It apparently (deep breath)... repairs damaged hair, controls shine and frizz, protects from heat, makes hair silky smooth, protects coloured hair, makes brushing and styling easier, helps with detangling, keeps hair styles lasting longer, prevents split-ends, and adds body.... whoa! Well I can vouch that my hair feels amazing with this in and smells gorgeous! Repurchase? Hell yeah!

Weleda Iris Hydrating Day Cream - 7ml sample size - full size 30ml £10.95

This was probably my least favourite product from this month's GlossyBox. I have very oily skin and this Iris Hydrating Day Cream is aimed at dry to very dry skin. So I won't be trying it out on my face. I was a little annoyed that the packaging is not in English, not even the info leaflet inside! So I had to trawl the internet to find out about it Weleda and thankfully their website was quite helpful. I already own the Weleda Pomegranate Creamy body Wash from the January Carmine Box, and honestly, haven't touched that yet! So I fear that this will end up much the same way. Weleda did win in the 2012 CEW Beauty Awards for some of their products, so maybe I need to give them a chance, but frankly, I have more exciting products to be trying out at the moment.

In all, great box from GlossyBox this month. Still not my favourite box, but it's definitely up there! Once again, I'm now super eager to see what June's will bring, roll on the 18th June...

 If you love the idea of the GlossyBox beauty box and want to sign up too, then use this referral link to subscribe now.

Disclaimer - I have subscribed to GlossyBox out of my own choice and money (damn the fanciful idea of mystery beauty products delivered every month). It was my choice to review the products above and I have done so in a 100% honest manner. I am not compensated for my reviews but if you use my referral link to start a subscription then I can get points towards a free box next time... well who doesn't want free beauty stuff?!!

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

SheSaidBeauty Box - May Edition

OK, so I'm a little late on this one. My June box has already arrived and I've yet to post about my May boxes from either GossyBox or SheSaidBeauty! But as it's half term, I can do some serious blog post catch ups. So stay tuned for more beauty box reviews.

First up is SheSaidBeauty's May Beauty Box, and they do seem to be slowly improving...

Immediately, I was more impressed with this box than the last - 1) no comfort zone products 2) no nail varnish and 3) no lip balm! Also, out of the 5 products, 2 were full size and of course in true SheSaidBeauty style, an extra little freebie too. So what exactly did I get?

Green People SPF 15 with Tan Accelerator - 20ml sample size - full size 100ml £12.99 or 200ml £17.95

Being fair skinned and lacking in ability to tan (it's fake all the way for me I'm afraid!) SPF is always welcome in my world! So I was pleased to see an SPF product in a beauty box for once. I've heard of Green People somewhere before, but not tried their products. This sun lotion is SPF 15, so I'd only really use it in the UK, but is water resistant, has broad spectrum UV protection, tan accelerator and doesn't contain added chemicals like SLS etc. As an added bonus, it isn't tested on animals and 10% net profit is donated to charity! This certainly ticks all the ethics boxes!
I like the fact that it is scent free - in fact it strongly resembles the scent of Sudocrem! Oh the childhood memories... All in all a great product that I will strongly consider repurchasing.

Inika Certified Vegan Lip Whip in Apricot - 8ml full size £14.30

Now Inika must be on a beauty box mission - last month's GlossyBox had the eye/lip liner and now SheSaidBeauty has the lip whip! Well I'm not complaining as I'm new to the brand and am eager to try a few of their offerings but I can see how some may get a little annoyed with repeating brands. I received the lip whip in Apricot - a lovely soft champagne/beige shimmer, almost bronze - and comes as a gloriously creamy formula. It's not quite a gloss, nor a lip balm, but somewhere in between. It has the softness of a balm but without the stickiness of a gloss and it suited me perfectly! It doesn't last particularly long - well few lip products do on me - but it smells gorgeous - very citrus... orange maybe??? and looks fantastic. For a full size product, I'm very happy with it but at £14.30 it's a little pricey for a repurchase.
Kim Kardashian Eau De Parfum - 3ml sample size - full size 30/50/100ml £22.95-£39.95

I know a few people are against perfume samples in beauty boxes, but when they are a little bigger than two sprays worth I don't mind so much. I was extremely sceptical however when I realised is was Kim Kardashian's debut fragrance... oh yay!! Well, I tried it anyway and I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised to say that I quite like it - a pleasant sweet, floral smell that lasts quite well on the skin. Don't get me wrong, I won't be rushing out to buy the full size, but as a travel sized sample it will do.
Natio Lotus Soap Trio in Blue Lotus - 150g sample size - 3x150g full size £8.50

OK, now please don't call it a 'trio' if there is only one item! I get that this soap is part of a trio, but I would have preferred three smaller sizes of the whole trio instead of one large soap. Saying that, it is a soap and not much to rave about. I prefer liquid soaps so I've put this beside my sink to use it up, but after that, will most likely go back to my normal pumps. It smells quite strong, but not unpleasant. I would have preferred to try a different Natio product in the box as I think this has gotten me less interested in the brand now.

The Vintage Cosmetic Company False Lashes in Kitty - full size £6.00

Ooh I do love a good pair of falsies! Although I am truly crap at applying them, I seem to have an obsession with collecting false lashes! I've not tried these before but was pleased with the look of the set that I got in my box. They are perfect for creating volume and a real 'glamour puss' look. I love that they are tapered to get longer towards the outer corner of the eye. I haven't tried the glue yet, but will probably resort to my duo glue as always. Overall a nice product to receive.

Snowberry Nourishing Lite Day Cream, Bright Defence Day Cream No.1 and Bright Defence Face Serum - 3ml sample sizes - see for details

So this month's freebie sachets were some skincare samples from Snowberry. I've not heard of the brand before and the products were nice, but not enough to make me purchase the full size versions. I was most impressed by the Bright Defence Day Cream No.1 for oily skin, but I think I still love my Clinique DDMG more. Is it a little sad that I was more happy with the little pink mesh bag??? A great way to store jewellery for travelling!

In all I was quite pleased with May's SheSaidBeauty box - there were some great new brands to sample and they finally got out of the lip balm/nail varnish rut that I moaned about disliked from the previous boxes.

Here's to hoping that the future boxes continue to be as good!

If you like the idea of the SheSaidBeauty box then use this referral link to start your subscription now!
Disclaimer - I have subscribed to the SheSaidBeauty box out of my own choice and money (damn the fanciful idea of mystery beauty products delivered every month). It was my choice to review the products above and I have done so in a 100% honest manner. I am not compensated for my reviews but if you use my referral link to start a subscription then I can get a free box next time... well who doesn't want free beauty stuff?!!

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