Tuesday, 27 November 2012

SheSaidBeauty Box - September Edition

Ah, the mysterious case of the missing beauty box! Apologies for the late posting of this beauty box review, but as some may be aware, there was an admin error in the address labels of the SheSaidBeauty September boxes. This eventually resulted in mine not being delivered until this month, following a couple of emails to chase it up. Well at least it's here now so I can move on and get my little stash of beauty boxes cleared!

So what did September offer us? A mixed bag on first inspection, of some good and some bad - yep, you guessed it, another bloody repeat product!! Damn SheSaidBeauty, can someone please liaise with GlossyBox so you don't keep picking up their discarded seconds??!

Ginvera Green Tea Whitening Marvel Gel - 10g sample - full size 60ml £22.00
Now this was the first thing to draw my attention in the box. Having read Fiona's review on Makeup Savvy I was keen to try this out, but at over £20 the sensible me decided it was too much money to spend on something that may not do as it claimed. Now I've had the chance to try the sample I am so far pleased with the results - my skin is soft, looks clear and my, ahem, 'dirty pores' are looking more cleansed and less visible. It really is a strange product to use as the gel almost absorbs into the skin like a moisturiser and you can really feel the little balls of dead skin cells being collected up under your fingertips. I'm now getting low on my sample and am desperately hoping that someone spots the underlining/asterisked/highlighted hints on my Christmas list!

Collection Primed and Ready Smoothing Make-Up Primer - 18ml full size £5.99
So the old Collection 2000 is now simply Collection... I'm not normally a fan of rebranding but I think this has been a wise move for the company which had started to become quite dated. The products still have a somewhat 'teen' look about them but then that is their target market after all. Anyway, onto the primer. Well I was a little dubious to start with as so many cheaper end cosmetics really aren't ideal for my oily skin but I thought I'd give it a go. The primer comes out as a thick clear gel and the first thought that popped into my mind was a cheaper alternative to Lancôme's La Base. I used a very small pea-sized amount and applied it to cleansed skin before foundation. It certainly made my makeup application smoother and I have to say, shine was almost but not completely kept at bay. So far, I'm impressed but will continue to try this out before deciding if I really want to buy another. 

Collection Fix Me Up Long Lasting Make-Up Fixer - 18ml full size £5.99
Now I don't normally like receiving multiple products from the same brand in my beauty boxes, but I thought that this was a nice little pairing to match the primer. I already own the Urban Decay De-Slick spray so was keen to see how this would compare. After application the spray leaves the skin feeling a little tight - a fact that I like although drier skin types may not, but I'm not overly keen on the scent which is a bit too 'rose' for my taste. I have used it around three or four times and my main conclusion so far is that this felt like it had no effect when used without the primer as a base. With the primer, my makeup seemed to hold well and shine wasn't a huge issue but without the primer, my makeup didn't stay put long enough and the inevitable reflection appeared on my forehead by lunch time. Repurchase? With the primer, yes, otherwise I'll stick to my Urban Decay.

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil - 30ml full size £3.50
Damn bloody repeat products!!! Aaaahh!! I literally only just received this in the (disappointing) International GlossyBox so was miffed to see it nestled amongst the straw. However, once I'd calmed, I figured that I probably should give it a proper trial, and oh how surprised I was! In the past cleansing oils haven't really sparked my interest and a couple that I tried didn't wow me at all, but this little beauty was different. Applying to dry skin, you massage the oil all over the face - even over heavy/waterproof eye makeup - and it gently lifts your makeup off whilst deep cleaning the skin. Once rinsed away it left my skin soft, smooth and without any trace of oily residue at all. There was a little hint of panda eye after, but nothing a quick bit of Chanel Démaquillant Yeux Intense couldn't sort out. I think this dinky bottle of oil may have completely reformed by cleansing routine!

Amie Spring Clean Cooling Clay Mask - 15ml full size sachet £4.95
I probably should have split this into two applications and decanted some into a pot, but in my haste to try out a new clay mask, my overeager self decided to plaster the whole lot on at once! Well I am a massive fan of clay masks and was due a little pamper so I thought, what the heck. This one in particular was thicker that ones I've tried before, was green in colour and had a menthol/cooling effect on the skin. After the first minute of application, my cheeks felt hot and started to burn - I wasn't sure if I was reacting to the mask or if the menthol effect just didn't agree with me. I went with the latter and figured that I'd ride it out hoping it would subside. After another 3 or 4 minutes it did and so the mask remained for the full 10 minutes recommended. After I rinsed it off with warm water (and it was a little difficult to remove so a flannel was essential) my skin felt thoroughly cleansed and very smooth. Overall I liked the effect of the mask but I'm not sure I can withstand the menthol.

Popchips Barbeque - 23g full size bag £0.79 
Ooh I love a little edible goody treat! I passed these to the boyfriend to sample. He liked them but then again there's not many crisps/savoury snacks he doesn't. He seemed most intrigued with how they were made - not fried or baked - a bit like popcorn. I like that they are less than 100 calories per bag, but as I don't eat crisps much anyway I doubt they'll get added to the weekly shopping list.

So September's box became a real turn up for the books in the end, it completely overtook GlossyBox which is a first for me! Some fantastic products, some OK ones and all seemed very suitable for my oily skin! I can even forgive the repeat DHC product as I found a new cleansing love as a result. Roll on October SheSaidBeauty :)

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, 3 November 2012

GlossyBox - August - International Edition

So August was International month for GlossyBox and they changed up the normal selection of samples to bring us some "hero products from around the world". What did I get? Well, not very exciting on first look but lets see them in a bit more detail:

Alessandro Pro White Nail Polish - sample size (roughly 3ml??) - full size 10ml £7.85
This nail brightening polish comes from Germany. It has a slight blue/purple tinge to the clear polish that gives it a slight UV look and it claims to be an anti-yellowing formula. Well, it's a clear polish, there's not much more to say. It does brighten the nails and makes them look a little healthier but too many applications will make your talons look a little blue so be careful. I have used a similar product by Seche in the past so wasn't overly 'wowed' by this and doubt I'll repurchase.

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil - 30ml sample size - full size 200ml £18.50
Over to Japan now, for this water-soluble cleanser. Much like many of the oil cleansers on the market now, apply to dry skin and then rinse off. It dissolves makeup effortlessly but I can't seem to rid my mental block of using a cleansing oil on my oily skin. It just doesn't seem right and thus I prefer a cleansing wash instead. I don't think it's particularly "revolutionary" but I guess that the idea of a cleansing oil may have originated in Japan before we saw them over here.

All For Eve for the Eve Appeal Eve's Balm - full size 7g £4.95
Now this doesn't seem to have a particular country associated with it but this balm has been created in support of 'The Eve Appeal' - a gynaecology cancer research fund founded in the UK. Eve's balm is a great all purpose skin balm that nourishes dry or chapped skin. It seems to absorb well and has a pleasant scent, a perfect handbag essential.

Vera Valenti L'Ombre à Paupière Margarita - full size palette 8.5g £3.85
Next is an eyeshadow palette of 10 different colours from the Spanish brand Vera Valenti. I've never heard of the brand before and I have to say, the packaging and presentation hasn't done much to spark my interest either. The colours are bland, the packaging looks cheap and generally unappealing. The colours aren't particularly flattering on my skin tone so will probably give this to my friend's little girl for her 'dressing up' box.

Lipcote - full size 7ml £3.99
The original lipstick sealer. So this is the UK offering for international products. Iconic yes, but relevant nowadays, less so I would guess. In an age of lipgloss I personally have no need for a lipstick sealer anymore. I will most likely try it out when I next wear a bright red lip, but as that's once in a blue moon I doubt it will be any time soon.

GlossyBox Lipstick in Glossy Pink - full size 4g £9.50
Ah, I wondered how long it would take before another 'GlossyBox' special slipped into a box. Unfortuantely my lipstick arrived broken so I had to fix it back into it's holder. A nice enough soft pink tone that's not too strong when on but as a I said before, I'm more of a gloss girl so not sure I'll get much wear out of this one.

So in summary, how did the International box fair in comparison to others? Well, pretty poor in my opinion. There were only three products from other countries, I'd like to have seen all 5 from somewhere other that the UK. Something like Bioderma from France would have been an absolute winner. Here's to hoping September's box is a better offering of goodies!

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?!!

SheSaidBeauty Box - August Edition

Oh dear oh dear oh dear.... I feel I have neglected Brush up and Make-up! somewhat over the last couple of months for all the nail posts over at Brush up and Polish up! - it's November for heaven's sake and I've yet to post about some August beauty boxes!

Well anyways, the next few posts will be a little boring I'm afraid with all the boxes, but I still have some other stuff in store so stay posted.

July's box was a very much love-hate thing with repeated brands and that ridiculous Debenhams Beauty Card as a bonus (it still riles me every time I think about it.. grrr!) but the Freeze 24-7 was a turn up for the books. So I dreaded August's box for fear of more disappointment and if I'm honest it was much the same as the last.

White Glo Professional Choice toothpaste - 2.4g sample - full size 150g £4.07
Uh oh, SheSaidBeauty are at it again! Another repeat product from another beauty box - I received this exact product sample back in February in a Carmine box (link). Now I can forgive this a little, because I was really impressed with the toothpaste when I tried it out before. But still, SheSaidBeauty you are letting us down! More original ideas for samples please and soon!!

Papier Poudré Rachel Powdered Paper - 1 booklet of 20 sheets - 6 pack of booklets £7.95
Wow, this was a different sample to receive. These absorbent powdered sheets remind me of the oil blotting sheets that Clearasil used to do. If I'm honest, I love the idea of these products for my oily skin but in reality I never get round to using them. The powdered finish on the sheets help to give an instantly mattified appearance to the skin and don't seem to cake it on too heavily. Here's hoping they don't sit in my handbag for months on end unused!

Redken Color Extend Radiant-10 - 30ml sample - full size 170ml £19.99 introductory price
Now this made the box really feel like it was meant for me?! I LOVE Redken products and currently use the Color Extend Shampoo and Conditioner, so this treatment spray was a great product to get. It smells amazing and can be used on both damp or dry hair. It is supposed to make the hair... (deep breath)... stronger, protected, moisturised, detangled, softened, nourished, vibrant, manageable, frizz-free and shiny. It does make my hair feel soft and smooth without the added heaviness of a styling cream so it will be a definite repurchase for me I think.

Balance Me Rose Otto Intensive Lip Salve - 10ml full size worth £12.00
Oh I do love a lip balm. Balance me is a brand that was first introduced to me by Carmine (here) and then again in the June SheSaidBeauty box (here) so it's starting to get a little repetitive. But I do like the brand and it's paraben/sulphate etc. free ingredients that are sourced from natural origins. This balm feels lovely on and softens my lips well but I'm just not overly keen on the Rose scent. It gives me a bit of a headache I'm afraid, aside from that, a lovely product.

Absolutely Flawless Nail Foils in SNF021  - 16 foil sample pack - full size 32 foils £1.90
Oh how I dislike nail foils! Having said that, I hadn't actually tried any out until this sample but I have decided as a result, that these are definitley not for me. Ok so there's no drying time but easy to apply they are not. No chipping perhaps not, but peeling edges are bloody annoying and the designs aren't the best. But for £1.90 a pack, I'm not sure if I should expect anything better. I won't let these rule out nail foils compeltely for me but hand me a nail art brush any day!

4711 Eau de Cologne - 3ml sample - full size 100ml £17.00
The wonder water. Classic it may be but for me it is not. I did not like this at all, too chemically smelling (is that even a word??) for my liking.

So, what do we think of August's box? Well, I have to admit, some of the products were very me indeed - Redken spray, Lip balm and Powder Sheets. Even the naff nail foils were something I'd been wanting to try, even if they were utterly useless. A slight turn up for the books in my eyes, well done SheSaidBeauty :)

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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