Saturday, 8 December 2012

GlossyBox - November Edition




After the bland appearance of last month's GlossyBox I was keen to see if we were back on track for November. Once I'd got the box out of its shipping packaging, there was a slight flutter when I realised how heavy it was. Now heavy must be a good sign, or so I figured. I eagerly opened it up and was met with.... blah.... Oh, no not again?! Well we shouldn't judge a book by it's cover should we? So I took a closer look and actually this box was far more promising than I first thought....

Ayuuri Sandalwood Face Cream - full size 200ml £4.99
Now I'll start with the least favourite item of mine this month, Ayuuri's Sandalwood face cream. This big ol' tube was the culprit of the heavy issue. Now I assumed it was a body cream or wash at first look but then I realised it was a face cream. Bloody hell! That's one massive tube of moisturiser! I have to admit, I knew instantly that I was unlikely to use it, you guys know how careful I am with my oily skin, but I thought I'd give it a sniff. And woah! that's one strong scent! I'm not sure why someone decided Sandalwood would be a suitable fragrance for a facial product but it gave me an instant ache of the head. There's no way I can bear to use this on my face but as a general body moisturiser I'll give it a go.

Burberry Body Eau de Parfum - 4.5ml sample size - full size 85ml £75
Oooh, this me like very much! I was very impressed with the Burberry lipstick in the special edition Harrods box so when I saw a perfume sample this month, you can bet it was the first thing to be yanked from the box for sampling! I am most pleased that it isn't a dribble of fragrance either, Burberry have gifted us with quite a sizeable 4.5ml glass vial of Burberry Body. The scent is actually really very nice and very me - the contents card says that it is an effortlessly sensual, feminine fragrance with an eclectic combination of green absinthe, rose and cashmeran - now I don't claim to know anything about perfumes, except that I love it! You're best bet is to pop to Boots and try it out, each to their own and all that, but this is definitely a winner for me.

Alison Claire Natural Beauty Mango Body Butter - 50ml sample size - full size 200ml £15
This is a new brand on the market and is part of the reason these beauty boxes exist - to bring us brands that we otherwise wouldn't have heard of. The Alison Claire range consists of products that are irritant free, over 70% organic and not tested on animals. So far so good. At first I thought it was a face product, but opposite to the Ayuuri assumption, I soon found it was actually a body product. Now this mango body butter smells amazing, skin-licking sort of amazing-ness to be exact, but my favourite aspect has to be the easy pump dispenser. I like body butters but I loathe using them - I just can't cope with the mess of scooping it from a tub and getting it all under my nails. Fussy I know. If I'm to compare this another well known body butter tub (Body Shop's) it is a tad more expensive for the 200ml size but the 200ml is in a tub and I like the pump. So my interest would lie in the smaller 50ml travel size. However £7.99 for 50ml is a tad pricey for a body butter don't you think?

Nails Inc. Kensington Caviar Top Coat - 4ml sample size - full size 10ml £11-12
You can't go wrong with a bit of Nails Inc., fact. Other bloggers were disappointed to not get a colour but out of the three options available the Caviar Top Coat would be the one I would have chosen. I have a few favourite Nails Inc. polishes in my collection so was keen to see how their top coat fared to my favoured Seche Vite or Jessica Brilliance. It is most similar to the Jessica - it dries fairly quickly but doesn't leave the finish all that glossy. A nice little product to receive and try out.

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant - 13g sample size - full size 75g £38.50
Dermalogica is a brand I've been recommended by so many but have yet to dip into to. So when I saw this little shaker of brilliance I was very excited. Of all the types of products to try, an exfoliant is probably the most suitable for me. And Dermalogica's Daily Microfoliant is no ordinary scrub. It is a very fine rice-based powder that you dispense into wet hands and lather into a creamy paste. You then massage this paste onto the face and rinse off after about a minute. It left my skin feeling soft, smooth and very clean. The large sized sample will take me a little while to work through, which is good, but if I am to repurchase nearly £40 seems quite steep for an exfoliator. We'll see how this goes I guess and how hooked I get will ultimately depend on whether there will be a small Dermologica sized hole in my purse...

In all, a fab month from GlossyBox don't you think? I can't wait to see what samples they accumulate for December and especially because I've got enough GlossyDots to redeem the Christmas edition for free :) yay, freebies!


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 - November Edition



I'm finally catching up... onto my November beauty boxes now, then I can finally get stuck into December's. Phew!

So November's box from SheSaidBeauty felt like a little beauty prep box, ready for the festive season. And I have to admit, they did a pretty good job of covering all bases. A bit of haircare, fragrance, make-up, skincare and nail care

So...? Brit Body Spray - 50ml full size worth £1.99
Oh my God I instantly feel 12 years old again! This was certainly a blast from the past to find in this month's box. I don't think I've bought a body spray for well over 10 years and after a quick sniff of this patriotic edition of So...? I remembered why. They just smell of 'girl' don't they? You know what I mean, there's nothing woman or lady about it, body spray's literally scream teenager. It's every girl's introduction to perfume before she can afford the decent stuff in glass bottles. I like my current fragrance collection just fine thank you, so this just wasn't really for me... just a nice, but brief, wander down memory lane.

Weleda Wild Rose Smoothing Night Cream - 5ml sample size - full size 30ml £14.95
Uh, bloody Weleda. I got the Iris day cream in a past GlossyBox and really wasn't that fussed about it. The fact that this is a night cream *sigh* and a Wild Rose one at that *double sigh* really didn't spark my interest. As I've moaned many a time before, I just don't do night creams and Rose scents seems to give me a thick head. So I already anticipate that this will end up in my 'samples to give away' box, along with the Iris Day Cream and Pomegranate body wash from an old Carmine Box. Sorry Weleda, I'm just not that into you.

Redken Smooth Lock Shampoo & Conditioner - 2x 10ml sample sachets - full size 300ml shampoo £11.85 250ml conditioner £13.40
Ooh yes, I love me some Redken. Now I know I like to hate upon repeated brands across beauty boxes, let alone within the same brand beauty box but I can forgive SheSaidBeauty for this one (Redken also appeared in the August edition here). My hair salon uses Redken and I have used/currently use a few of their products for well over a year or two. My usual hair washing duo is the red colour protect formulae but the Smooth Lock sachets sound appealing as my ends look a bit unruly at the moment! I can't say how effective these are long term, as I got at most two trials out of these samples. But the after effect was smooth, frizz free and shiny. I think for now I will stick with my colour protection bottles though as I'd fear the repercussions of the almond oil in these on my greasy roots. It's nice to try other ranges though from time to time.

Makebelieve enhance Sunbeam Bronzer and Brush - full size 6g worth £15.00
What a beautifully boxed bronzer and it comes with it's own kabuki brush! I've heard good things about the Makebelieve self tan range so was very pleased to see this bronzer in my box. I don't currently have any bronzer loyalty, I've tried a few on the market and none of them have wowed me yet, so I'm open to influence! On closer inspection, the brush is just a soft as I'd hoped and the perfect little travel size, but the inner packaging, holding the brush and bronzer itself, is not ideal. It's big and clumsy, and looks quite shoddily made. I was hoping for more of an HD brows kind of quality but ah well, I'll try it out regardless. The bronzer isn't shimmery and gives a nice golden glow that blends well. It's doesn't wow me, but I will definitely use it up. It's just a pity that it's not really makeup bag sized, so this will have to remain on the dressing table.

Yardley Royal English Daisy Eau de Toilette - 1ml sample size - full size 50ml £9.99 125ml £14.95
Oh for pity sake! SheSaidBeauty... Yardley? Again? Really?! I wasn't all that impressed after Yardley was inlcuded in the June box and now we have it again in November. That's three times I've got one of these fragrance samples in the last year, including the one in the February Carmine box. On the plus side, this one is the nicest scent of them all - fresh and slightly sweet but not overpowering - but I'm just not a Yardley sort of gal I'm afraid.

Murray's Manicure Matchbook Nail Files - full size worth £1.99
Mini nail files, what a nice little bonus. There's not much I can say about these really; it's a match book, of 15 mini emery boards in a candy stripe pink design. Perfect for the handbag and those little nail emergencies.

So an interesting bunch for November, kind of average in my opinion, I hope they pull out all the stops for December's box. It is Christmas after all :)

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?!!

Thursday, 6 December 2012

GlossyBox - October Edition



Oh GlossyBox I believe you have lost your mojo.... October's box really doesn't look up to much on first sight, it's missing that instant "Ooooh!" when you prise the box open but at least on closer inspection it promises some goodies.

A nice little added extra is that some of the proceeds from October's box will go towards Breast Cancer Care as October was of course Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It's a shame that they didn't go to town with that though - think pink box, pink products, pink, pink, more pink....

Anyway, October did offer some 'DIY Beauty' treats as GlossyBox put it, to 'help make the transition into winter that little bit easier' - hmmm we'll see if that really is the case:

Anatomicals - Don't Just Clean It Woman, Scrub It Body Scrub - 75ml sample - full size 200ml £3.49
Can you believe it? This is my first Anatomicals product! I often see this brand on ASOS.com and am always intrigued by their quirky names for products but have, until now, yet to try out any of them. So 'Don't just clean it woman, scrub it' seems like the perfect start - I received a pretty hefty sample size too at 75ml which will make for a great travel size. This body scrub is a clear gel that has the most delicious scent of pink grapefruit (should I be embarrassed to admit that I was salivating whilst using this?!) and uses apricot seed for the exfoliating particles. It lathers up a little and leaves skin smooth after use, I would like it to have a bit more 'grit' to it though as I don't feel I get quite a full enough exfoliation.

Olay - Regenerist 3-point Treatment Cream Fragrance Free - 7ml sample - full size 50ml £29.99
Oh. That's pretty much my reaction to any Olay product. Is it just me or is the brand a bit of a bore? Oil of Ulay, Oil of Olay, Olay... whatever it's called, it just screams old and dated to me. I don't think my skin is in need of much (if any) anti-ageing products right now so I guess I'm just not enthused by what they offer. I tried the cream out however, to be a good sport and all that, but it was as I suspected - too thick and creamy on my oily skin and left me feeling to 'sticky'. Just not one for me I'm afraid.

Skinetica - Anti-Blemish Solution - sample size - full size 100ml £6.99
Two spot treatments in October beauty boxes??? What are they trying to tell us?! Well Skinetica is not a brand I've heard of before but this medicinal looking bottle intrigued me. The packaging is not all that attractive but the statement on the front that claims to quickly clear skin of blemishes without side effects, left me grabbling to try it out. Now I'm no spotty oik, but my chin area in recent months has become more problematic, hence my excitement over the B.liv in the Ocotober SheSaidBeauty Box and now my curiosity for this solution. It's best described as a clear water like product - in fact it has only four ingredients - purified water, ethyl alcohol, fragrance and quaternary ammonium chloride. The best comparison I can think of is that it is a lot like the Clinique Clarifying Lotions, but with less noticeable alcohol. So I used it instead of my Clarifying lotion on my chin area twice a day. So far, so good, a repurchase may well be on the horizon.

Yves Rocher France - Moisturising Cream Lipstick 106 Mauve - full size 3.7g £14.50
Oh this was not a good shade for my skin tone! I can't even bear to post a photo of what it looks like when applied, I'm just not a solid lip colour sort of gal. The first thing that springs to mind is Halloween so from that little hint, I won't be wearing this very often, probably only ever for fancy dress - that gothic sort of look - and I doubt that will be anytime soon, if ever!

Dr. Jart+ - Premium Beauty Balm - 15ml sample - full size 40ml £24.00
Ah Dr Jart+ is a brand that I've seen on many beauty blogs but have yet to take the plunge and try out. It's not the cheapest of brands so I have been hesitant at making any purchases. I was both happy and a little frustrated to get the Dr.Jart+ Beauty Balm - happy as I seem to have an obsession with BB creams and will try out any that I can get my hands on, frustrated because I have too many BB creams and they just don't suit my skin type at all, no matter how hard I try to convince myself. I dutifully tried this one out though and I had mixed thoughts on whether I loved or hated it. Firstly the shade is a little too grey-ing on me, hopefully it may be better in the Summer with a bit of a tan. Secondly it has SPF40, excellent for my pale skin but bad for shine which leads me onto thirdly, shine seeped through after only 1-2 hours. Lastly, it applied really well, smoothed into the skin and didn't look like foundation (which many cheap BB creams do). It was one of the best beauty balms I've tried but without powder, it's just impossible to wear on my skin type.

So, GlossyBox, October was not a great month really for me. Everything was just a bit 'blah'. The only slight exception is the Skinetica, which still intrigues me and will probably be my one and only repurchase. Here's to (hopefully!) better offerings in the lead up to Christmas!


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 - October Edition



Oh sweet Jesus! I MUST get my butt in gear! Right, new pact to myself - get all my beauty box reviews done before the end of 2012 or scrap them completely. Deal! I have toyed with bothering to do my October, November and December reviews but in the end decided that I have too much I want to share with you from them so I'm going to plod on regardless.

Anyways, let's get back to it, SheSaidBeauty's October box so what did we get here?....

Amy Child's Fragrance by Jigsaw ESL - sample size - full size 30ml £14.99 50ml £19.99
Oh there's nothing quite like a tacky celebrity fragrance sample is there?! Sorry, I sound like a right snob! But I'm just not a fan. Amy Child's contribution to the world of perfumery is pleasant but far from elegant - it's sweet and fruity but doesn't last particularly long on the skin. Repurchase? I think I'll give this one a miss...

Cellnique Advanced Bio Renewal Masque - 3g sample - 50g full size $51.00
Now Cellnique is not a brand I've heard of before and after looking through my contents card for this month's box, I notice a few products with an RRP in $ - including this masque. I wish it had been a bigger sample size, but I made use of every drop in the sample pot - all in one go of course! This is best described as a cross between a clay mask and scrub. I applied it like a clay mask, let it dry and then rinsed it off with warm water and by rubbing my fingertips in a circular motion to get the exfoliant benefits. I have to point out that this masque smells A-MAZ-ING it's probably the fruit acids and enzymes and if I could, I would have tried licking my face clean! It left my face feeling smooth and soft and I'm seriously considering a repurchase.

B.liv Off With Those Heads - 3ml sample - full size 30ml $49.00 45ml $63.00
B.liv is actually part of the Cellnique brand and this little sample tube was the big winner in the October box for me. And don't you just the love the slightly gross but catchy name? It's a clear blackhead sebum gel that you apply daily to areas with blemishes and it promises to clear up skin and keep it blemish free in 14 days. I applied this at night and definitely started to notice my skin clearing - but alas the sample was not enough to see the benefits past two weeks. This gel really reminded me of something too and it took me a long while, racking my brain, to try and work out what it was - and then it hit me one night - Bonjela! this gel has a scent and texture not unlike the ulcer treatment product. Weird, but not enough to put me off. Repurchase? hell yes!

Biao Beauty Rejuvenating Night Crème 2x 2g sample sachet - 118ml full size $24.50
Nope. Didn't like this one at all! I'm not a fan of night creams, preferring instead to just use a little blob of Estée Lauder's Advanced Night Repair, but I thought I'd try it out. And yep, I'm more convinced I don't like night creams! It was heavy on my skin, had a strong floral (rose maybe?) scent that went straight to my head and my face felt very greasy on the morning. I daren't use it a second time for fear of overloading my skin and breaking out. It's a no from me I'm afraid.

Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Travel Size Lotion - full size 50ml £1.19 - 250ml £3.85
Ah, good old Palmer's Cocoa Butter. My sister swears by this stuff and I have many friends attesting to it's smoothing properties for helping to avoid/reduce the appearance of stretch marks. I have tried out the brand before and I like the product but haven't used it since my teens. I'm tempted to keep hold of this little sample size for holidays but will look to pick up a bigger bottle on my next trip to Boots.

Myvitamins Total Green Tea Extract - 30 tablets full size £2.49
Hmmm, I wasn't quite sure what to do when I saw that we got some vitamins to try out. I think my initial thought was Ooo, these will be nice to try quickly followed by Who are you kidding? You'll never take them! And of course, I tried out one and they have sat on my side table ever since. Damn! I'm not a huge lover of vitamin supplements and instead prefer to try and eat a balanced diet. So as for effectiveness? I haven't the foggiest! But if you're into these health kick diet thingys then I guess a new brand would be interesting to try out.

So in summary... well October's box is not as 'wow' as September's but SheSaidBeauty have really impressed me by looking further afield to find some alternative brands. The Cellnique and B.liv products have impressed me the most and well, I'll leave you to guess which one I could have done without!

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?!!

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

GlossyBox - September - The Maggie Li Edition




So back in September, GlossyBox teamed up with Maggie Li for a limited edition illustrated box and provided us with some samples of new product launches all in time for London Fashion Week. Let's see what GlossyBox have spoilt us with this time....

Lady Gaga Fame Fragrance - 1.2ml sample size - full size 30ml £25 50ml £32 100ml £61
This was an exclusive preview of Gaga's new fragrance, something that I was actually glad to receive as I doubt I'd get round to sniffing it in Boots anytime soon. Normally I'm a big hater of perfume samples but this one I can forgive. 'Fame' is a little bit special because it's actually a black liquid that turns transparent once airborne- not that you'd notice. As for smell, well this ticks all the boxes in floral and fruity, in fact it smells quite blackcurrant like to me. I love it, but not sure if I'll make a purchase yet.

Rodial 5 Minute Facial - 2 x 1ml sample sachets - full size 10 x 1ml £10.95
1ml sample size?? Really?! It was almost impossible to try out this facial because there was so little of the product available. I had to use both sachets in order to cover more of my face than not! Having said that, it was effective in leaving my skin soft, smooth and looking brighter. I like the way that it dries tight like a clay mask, but then you rub off the residue in an exfoliating action. Reminds me of the Clinique Turnaround 15-Minute Facial mask....

Rodial Glamoxy Snake Serum - 2 x 1ml sample sachets - full size 10 x 1ml £29
Bloody hell, more minuscule sample sizes. Unlike the facial, at least I could get two uses out of this one. I applied the snake serum to clean skin and it sunk in really well. My skin felt smooth and refreshed after application but I didn't notice any of the instant wrinkle-filling/plumping effects. I'll stick to my Estee Lauder concentrates I think.

Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream - 7ml sample size - full size 15ml £20
Oh my God! Will the beauty boxes quit it with the Balance Me samples already!!! This is the now the fifth or sixth sample I've received from the brand - and I'm getting quite bored now. I tried it out nonetheless and what can I say, it's an eye cream. It certainly doesn't rival my La Prairie but it will make a perfect little travel size I suppose.

Vichy Idealia Day Care Cream Normal to Combination Skin - 15ml sample size - full size 50ml £25
Ah, Vichy has creeped into a couple of the GlossyBoxes now and I have to say this French brand intrigues me. I was very pleased to see a cream for normal to combination skin too - normally I end up with dry skin formulations that I daren't try out on my greaseball face for fear of breaking out. This cream is quite thick like most pot moisturisers can be, but it sank in very well and left my skin soft without residue. After a few hours though, my face felt quite greasy so I'll probably save this for skin saviour days in the winter, not every day wear.

Maghrabian Hair Oil - 10ml sample size - full size 50ml £13 100ml £24
I've tried and tried to get into hair oils but I'm just so scared of overloading and just looking greasy. This Argan oil from Maghrabian is very similar to most others out there. It smells and feels very similar and has the same effect. I know for a fact that after trying this once I'm unlikely to ever use it again. Oh well, I'm just not a  hair oil type of girl I guess!

In all, a fairly average GlossyBox for me. Dare I say it, this month SheSaidBeauty box (here) was actually more appealing, a first I think for me! Of course, it's not going to stop me subscribing anytime soon :)


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?!!
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