Sunday, 22 December 2013

GlossyBox - December - The Christmas Edition





Free? For me?! Why thank you GlossyBox :)

I have been hoarding those GlossyDots again and have bagged myself (yet another) free GlossyBox. And what better time than right before Christmas when the purse strings are a little tighter than the rest of the year. And you lucky readers you! Not just one, but two Glossyboxes this month. Following my last post on the Limited Edition Christmas Box let's take a look at the 'normal' December Glossybox - The Christmas Edition:

Beautiful Movements Cosmetics Lip Gloss in Nude - 4ml sample size - full size 8ml £12.00 
First up is a lovely little lip gloss from Beautiful Movements - the brand founded by ex-Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt - which I also came across in the May 2nd Anniversary box. I love the ethos behind this brand as it is free from parabens and other additives as well as priding itself on being BUAV/PETA approved and vegetarian friendly. The lip gloss is one of only 6 colours that they offer but all of their colours can be custom mixed with their mineral pigments to create unique shades of your choosing. I got the Nude shade which is a soft natural beige tone (and nothing like the colour you see in the photo above - sorry the lighting makes it look coral and it really isn't). It applies well and is rich in jojoba oil to keep your pout moisturised. It's a non-sticky formula that lasts much the same as other lip glosses - essentially as long as it takes for me to chew/lick it off!

Wilkinson Sword Intuition Naturals Razor - full size £6.49
Now this was a slightly odd thing to come across in my box. I've never really considered hair removal to be part of 'beauty' and think of it as more of a chore but I can't deny that I like to be hair-free in certain areas and a razor certainly comes in handy for that exact job! As someone who regularly frequents my local wax bar (would a wax customer be a waxee...?) a razor has limited use in my shower routine, but in the name of being a good blogger I tried this out. I stuck to using it on my underarms and the built in creamy soap made the job ten times easier and much less irritating for my sensitive pits. The conditioning solid as it's called, contains natural aloe and vitamin E to smooth and moisturise and it is also paraben and fragrance free as well as being hypo-allergenic and dermatologically tested. I may actually consider a repurchase of the razor heads... but only when they're on offer. Man can they get expensive!

Maybelline New York Color Tattoo 24hr Eye Shadow in 20 Turquoise Forever - full size £4.99
Ooh first time Maybelline's appeared for me in a Glossybox. I like the color tattoo eyeshadows so was quite pleased with this selection but admittedly I would have preferred a different shade like Pink Gold or Permanent Taupe. I'm not really a bright eyes kinda gal so this will mostly be used to give a flash of colour to my lashline. I've found that the color tattoos do pretty much what they say on the tub - they're highly pigmented and as long as you don't overload your lid with product, they are crease free and smudge resistant. I have to be honest though, I've not tested the 24hr claim - I tend to remove my make up before I get to that point! I was a little disappointed that I didn't get BROWdrama like a few other subscribers but I guess that'll be another one for the shopping list when I'm next in Boots.

Seche Nail Lacquer in Take Chances - full size 14ml £8.00
This must be an ongoing theme with the Christmas edition boxes. In the 2012 box I got a not-so-lovely shade of brown of Seche Nail Lacquer so I was pleased to see a more palatable colour. I got a lovely creme darker-lilac shade called Take Chances, the website describes it as royal purple but I wouldn't say it's deep enough or rich enough to be classed as 'royal'. Seche nail colours are very smooth in formula, they apply quite easily and this particular shade is fully opaque with two coats (almost one, but not quite). I would like a slightly bigger brush but that's just me being picky. In all a nice, quick drying nail colour. 

Lipsy London Glam fragrance - 2ml sample size - full size 50ml £25
Uh oh, another controversial fragrance sample. Well as I'm sure you know by now I'm not adverse to these samples but I am a little snobbish when it comes to the brands that they send. This is pleasant but not a scent I would ever consider buying. As I could have guessed before a little test spray it's a fairly heady-fruity-sweet scent, synonymous with these typical styles of perfume (yes I'm referring to you Juicy Couture and celebrity scents). Nice, but not really me I'm afraid.

Not a bad Christmas box GlossyBox, a good selection of brands and three full items plus one good sized lip gloss - I would say that's money well spent! Just sort out those fragrance samples please... And if you want free GlossyBoxes too, you know what you have to do - get subscribing using my link below:


If you like the idea of subscribing to the normal GlossyBox, then use this referral link to sign up today.

Disclaimer - I subscribe to GlossyBox out of my own choice and money because I'm a sucker for random surprise beauty packages delivered on a monthly basis. I have reviewed the listed products in a 100% honest manner and I am not compensated for my reviews. But if you use the referral link above to start a subscription then I can get points towards a free box next time... get in!

Friday, 20 December 2013

astrid & miyu December Secret Box





Is it that time again? December means Christmas isn't far away and of course also brings round the latest offerings from the astrid & miyu Secret box - with a few little festive extras thrown in. If you haven't heard of this fab jewellery subscription service then you can check out their website or my previous posts (DecemberMarch, June and September). 

In a nutshell though:
  • Subscribe for £39 per box (with free UK and EU delivery) and cancel whenever
  • Every 3 months you will receive a box filled with astrid & miyu jewellery worth twice the value
  • Items are handpicked for you based on your likes from a style survey completed on sign-up 

This month astrid & miyu collaborated with two other brands to provide us with a couple of little extras. A Jelly Pong Pong 2-in-1 shadow/liner in Bronze and some Ubuntu chocolate (yum!) I got the Lime and Chilli flavour. They also included some little Christmassy recipe cards to get us into the festive spirit. So let's see what sparkly goodies I got in this box...


Charm It In Pink bracelet £19
First up, is the Charm It In Pink bracelet. This delicate woven cotton bracelet is part of the friendship and charms collection. It features a small gold plated cubic zirconia charm and small branded tag on the clasp. I actually already own this bracelet in black, so was a little disappointed to receive it in my box, but I am pleased to see that it now includes a little chain so that the size can be adjusted. On my Charm It In Black bracelet, I find it can be a little too tight on my wrist, so the adjustable length of this one will make it more wearable.


Dickie Bow earrings £29
Next up are these gorgeous little Dickie Bow earrings which are the perfect mix of girly and masculine in one. The picture above hopefully shows how delicate and tiny these are and I have to say astrid & miyu have got my taste spot on with this pick. They are made up of 18k rose gold plated brass and cubic zirconias shaped like a bow tie. If rose gold isn't your thing then these are also available in silver and gold and if you want to go for the matching duo then they also do the Dickie Bow ring. I think I'll be adding that one to my wishlist...

Tight Rope In Blue necklace £39
And last up is my favourite piece of this box, another gorgeous statement necklace to add to my collection. The Tight Rope In Blue necklace is also available in Red but I think they got it spot on for me with the Blue. The tribal-like necklace mixes up casual and glam perfectly with the chunky blue/black rope chain and the luxurious gold and sparkling crystal details. It is the perfect length to layer over a casual plain tee, or to jazz up a little black dress and sits nicely under the collar bone - not too short or too long. 


Overall, I'm quite pleased with this month's box. At £87 it's definitely been great value for money but I do wish that I didn't get an item I already own - even if it is in a different colour. 

At the moment I'm unsure as to whether to continue my subscription though; I've been subscribing now since the very start and have received some amazing pieces over the last year. With having built quite a large astrid & miyu collection in my jewellery box my purse strings could probably do with a little break for 2014! 

Disclaimer - I have not been sponsored for this post and I purchased the Secret Box out of my own monies. For the terms and conditions or further information about astrid & miyu's Secret box then please check out their site here.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

GlossyBox - Limited Edition Christmas Box 2013

Last month I had the opportunity to buy a limited edition GlossyBox, namely the Christmas edition. First let me clarify that this is different to, and an additional charge, to the Christmas December box for normal subscribers. Now I've been tempted by these in the past - especially the Dr. Nick Lowe one - but I have always had my reservations that I'm paying a lot more for a box (usually around £30-40) that I may not like the contents of. Don't get me wrong, you get great value for money, but I can only just about cope with the normal boxes at £12.95 a month without throwing more into the mix!






I did find this limited edition Christmas box tempting though... it was only £25 for existing subscribers (£30 if not) but I was good and I managed to hold off for most of November. And then I got an email offering 20% off and 'BAM!' Sold to the lady with the ever-loosening purse strings....

The box in question arrived last week and let's see if my moment of weakness was worth it:

Absolute! Perfume Stick in Affair 102 - full size 8.3g $14.99
I've never heard of Absolute! perfumes and I have to say that a solid perfume stick has never really appealed to me. But being a good beauty blogger, I gave this a go and I almost immediately wished I hadn't. Affair 102 is 'infused with sheer undertones of rose' - well no bloody wonder I'm not a fan! This 'delicate scent' is anything but in my opinion, so not one I'll be wearing again. And even if I liked the scent I'm not sure I'd wear a perfume that wasn't a spray, I much prefer a generous and overzealous spritzing!

Be A Bombshell Cosmetics Blush Bronzer in Tanorexic - full size 4g $16.00
I first came across Be a... bombshell in the September London Edition GlossyBox (here) and wasn't disappointed in my first experience of the brand. This time I've got a blusher/bronzer to try out in the shade Tanorexic - sounds scary but it isn't - which is a warm sunkissed bronze with a shimmer. It's a little to heavy on the brown-side of colour for me to wear as a blush, however it works great as a bronzer. If you're not a fan of shimmer bronzers though I'd stay clear. It's highly pigmented, so a little goes far and it's long lasting too which is great for my oily skin. The downside is that the brand isn't easily purchased in the UK yet.

Butter London 3 Free Nail Lacquer-Vernis in Teetotal - full size 11ml £12.00
After much dabbling in nail art, Butter London is a nail polish brand I've yet to try out. So this was a welcome product in my box. I've heard many a good thing about this brand of 3 Free polish and its abundant colour collection, and for my first try I wasn't disappointed. If I'm honest, initially I was sceptical about the colour, Teetotal is a rich, mocha brown cream colour. In the bottle it looks a little 'yucky brown' and not one I'd pick out to wear, but once swatched, it does something with my skin tone and becomes the perfect dark taupe on my nails. The brush is a teeny bit on the small side and the consistency of the lacquer is slightly wetter than I'm used to, but I really am nitpicking now. In all a very good polish that I would look to expand my collection in.

EuPhidra Pearly Lip Gloss in MP04 ruby - full size 6.5ml €14.90
I have never heard of EuPhidra before now and have struggled to find much about the company. But from what I gather they are an Italian company that specialise in products and cosmetics for sensitive skins. This pearly lip gloss for example is paraben, lanolin, fragrance and gluten free - so there should be minimal reactions for even the most sensitive of skin types! I got the shade Ruby which is a lovely shimmery pink-red shade and its glides on like a smooth balm with very little 'stickiness'. It's not a particularly gloppy style gloss which I like and the packaging is sturdy with a nice sized doe-foot applicator. Overall a lovely product in a lovely colour. It's again a pity that this brand isn't easily purchased in the UK as I'd like to see what else they have to offer.

Philip B African Shea Butter Gentle & Conditioning Shampoo - full size 60ml $8.00
I quite like trying out new shampoo/conditioner products but don't often seem to get them in GlossyBoxes, so this Shampoo from Philip B is a welcome product to trial. It is a mild and moisture-rich cleanser that is designed to protect hair colour as well as strengthen the hair against damage - perfect for me! It left my hair feeling soft and smooth but I couldn't really say much about added volume as I didn't notice any extra oomph. It's a great shampoo for daily use, suitable for all hair types and I also like that the formula is paraben & phthalate free. I'll see how this bottle goes before I decide whether to purchase the bigger size. So far so good but it will have to go above and beyond what my BedHead does for me before I consider switching up my regular haircare routine.

So Susan Cosmetics Water-based Pore Luminizer - full size 15g £25.00
And the final item is from a brand called So Susan. It comes from the founder/creator of Jelly Pong Pong, Susan Chyi, and the brand philosophy is to make your makeup work twice as hard for you. She does this by making colour meet science and offers a line of peptide-loaded colour cosmetics that regenerate your skin, solve skin dilemmas and also give great coverage and colour. Now the highlighter, or pore luminizer, is water based (a whopping 82%) and it works to provide an 'ethereal' glow and luminescence to your skin. All I can say is whoa is it shimmery - a little goes a long way with this liquid illuminator! It is loaded with micronized pearlescent pigments so you will only need to dab on a tiny amount with your ring finger and blend out with a brush. For oily skins, this is perfect for creating a gorgeous dewy glow but without overloading the skin and making it look shiny - no one likes the 'sweaty betty' look. It feels amazing on the skin and I love that it's cruelty-free as well as containing no sulphates/mineral oils/phthalates/triclosan/animal by-products. Of the entire box, this is the stand out one for me.

In all I was a little sceptical at getting my money's worth from this limited edition box, but now I can honestly say there's plenty in the box that I am going to use and I don't begrudge paying extra for it. If anything this box has introduced me to some fabulous brands and I now have a few more amazing products to add to my stash :)

If you like the idea of subscribing to the normal GlossyBox, then use this referral link to sign up today.

Disclaimer - I bought this limited edition GlossyBox out of my own choice and money after a particularly weak-willed moment reading my emails. 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 to the normal box then I can get points towards a free monthly box next time... well who doesn't want free beauty stuff?!!

Sunday, 24 November 2013

GlossyBox - November Edition



It's getting closer to that time of year again.....!! November's box is all about that Christmas Wishlist and the Glossy Magazine features some handy little hints to add to that list for Father Christmas... (I want that Marc Jacobs gold foil iphone case in my life!) So did anything from the box tempt its way onto my wishlist? Let's see what I got this month:

Vichy Idéalia Life Serum - 2x 3ml sample sizes - full size 30ml £29.50 at Boots.com
Vichy Idéalia cream for normal to combination skin - 3ml sample size - full size 50ml £22.00 Boots.com
Now this little wonder has created a little bit of hype amongst GlossyBox subscribers this month. Not only have they treated us to a sample of the raved about Idéalia serum, but they've given us two of the serum plus one of the moisturiser in a pretty pink organza drawstring bag. This was definitely hailed to be the star of the box, so what is all the hype about? Well Idéalia is Vichy's first skin idealiser - a serum that helps to transform your skin's appearance and protect it from pollutants, stress and other factors. It is easily absorbed into the skin, gives a subtle glow and is suitable for even sensitive skins as it is allergy tested. The moisturiser cream I have already tried in a previous GlossyBox (Maggie Li edition) so wasn't as bothered with testing this one out. So far I like what I see with the serum though and will continue to trial it before considering purchasing the bigger size.

Emite Make Up Micronized Eyeshadow in Nect - full size 1.48g approximately £16.80
We were first introduced to Emite Make Up by GlossyBox in the August box with their eyelash curlers. I am pleased to see that this month though we get to try some of their make up. Although my product cards says I got the black shadow, I actually received the shade Nect which I would describe as a pale 'biscuit' colour. It has a soft shimmer to it that isn't too glittery and it glides on like a dream. These eyeshadows are oil, nickel, parabens and perfume free making them suitable for sensitive eyes, and the colour pigment is micronized (what ever that means) which helps with application and a smooth finish. There's nothing negative I can say about this really, I just wish there was a UK stockist, I'd love to get my hands on their foundations and blushers...

Yves Rocher France Hand Cream in Cocoa & Raspberry - full size 75ml £1.95
Wow this smells gooooood! Chocolate. Raspberry. Delicious.
This doesn't just smell amazing, it actually does the job too. It's quite lightweight so spreads really well and sinks in nicely without residue. I just put some on and 30 seconds later I'm typing away again with no fear of leaving greasy fingerprints all over the computer. I loathe hand creams that still feel sticky after application and this doesn't do that at all. I have heard great things about the Cocoa & Orange one as well but if I go down that line I might actually be at risk of absent-mindedly nibbling on my hands! Excellent value for money, I highly recommend purchasing.

Elegant Touch Nail Polish Remover Pads - full size 20 pads £2.00 at Boots, Superdrug or Missguided.
Um, these are nail polish remover pads, acetone-free, but they just remove nail polish. That's it. After the pleasing contents of the rest of the box these are a bit of a downer to be honest. It's not that I don't like them or they don't work because they do, but I'm just not sure how or why these even relate to a Christmas wishlist. Surely these are a staple beauty item in most people's dressing tables? Most people have used nail polish remover at some point in their life haven't they?...

Connock London Kukui Eau de Parfum - 1.5ml sample size - full size 100ml £75.00
Now this is a better perfume trial than previous boxes. It's nice to see a non-mainstream brand for a change. Kukui is Connock London's signature scent and has been blended to reflect the beauty and soul of Hawaii. It is a floriental fragrance (floral-oriental) which essentially means fresh floral notes with a woody base - Gardenia, Calla Lily, Jasmine, Sandalwood, Vetiver to name but a few. It wasn't my cup of tea on first spritz but as it's settled it's grown on me a little. I will have a couple more wears before I decide for sure though as this only comes in one size - 100ml - and that's a lot to pay if I'm not sure.

Overall I really liked this month's Glossybox, I'm still a little confused over the nail polish remover pads but meh, never mind. I can't complain really, as there were some really nice items that I've discovered in this box. Fancy getting yourself a little beauty indulgence every month too? Then check out my link below:

If you like the idea of subscribing to GlossyBox, then use this referral link to sign up today.

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?!!

Sunday, 20 October 2013

GlossyBox - October Edition



Another month, another GlossyBox, and unfortunately this one seems to be a little of a comedown from the fabulous September box (see previous post). Glossybox have continued with their GlossyBox magazine - which I quite like actually - but they have redesigned it slightly to become the 'Glossy' magazine. It offers some great reviews into other brands that are not featured in the box (but I wish they were) and some interviews with industry experts or upcoming brands. I don't know if it's just me but does anyone else wish it was a little smaller? So it would fit inside the beauty box. Maybe it's just me. Overall though, it's a nice little injection of info to keep you up-to-date in the beauty world. 

So why was this box a comedown from last month? Well, upon opening there was just nothing hugely exciting that jumped out at me, and don't even get me started on the 'celebrity' fragrance...

MeMeMe Cherub's Blush Cheek and Lip Tint - full size 12ml £5.50
I see these multi-purpose tint products and can't help but think Benefit have been there done that with Benetint. I tried that out many moons ago and it's a product that doesn't really suit my makeup routine. I'm all for the matte finish and a liquid blush just doesn't really work in that way. I've tried this out on my hand and lips though, and I have to say I see very little difference between this and the Benefit version. So if you're a fan of Benetint then I'd definitely give this a go - it's a fraction of the price too! If you don't want to order MeMeMe products online, they are also available in some Superdrug stores in the UK.  

Katy Perry Killer Queen Fragrance - 1.5ml sample size - full size 50ml £29.50 RRP
Hmph. A teeny tiny fragrance vial. And a celebrity fragrance at that. I don't have anything against Katy Perry, or celebrities in general, I just find that it's rare I ever like their fragrance launches. Maybe it reminds me too much of 13yr old me, with a collection of Britney Spears' fragrances big enough to start my own shop, and the frequent headaches from the sweet sickly scent of spritzing overkill. I don't hate this one from Katy Perry either, it's just not one that I'd wear. The product card describes it as 'floriental' which I guess means floral/oriental and I don't disagree. It's not really sweet, but is slightly floral and a little heady. I think I can pick out the liquid praline - an interesting choice for a fragrance ingredients don't you think? And come on GlossyBox, we want decent fragrance samples likes last month... If you want to try it out, Killer Queen is available from Boots, Superdrug, The Perfume Shop or The Fragrance Shop as well as many other stores.

Monu Illuminating Primer SPF 15 - 20ml sample size - full size 50ml £24.95
Another Monu product... come on GlossyBox! Seriously?! I don't mind their products but I would like to try some newer brands please. It was pleasing to see a makeup product though compared to the normal skincare samples I've received in the past and I've found myself getting into primers a lot more of recent weeks so I'm keen to give this one a go. It is illuminating which does leave me skeptical for suitability to my oily skin, but I like that it has sun protection and soft focus technology to even out skintone. It has a lovely subtle vitamin E fragrance to it, absorbs really well into the skin, and so far, my makeup has applied smoothly over the top. I could be onto a winner here but I want to keep trying it out for a little longer to be sure.

Premae Multi-Vit Smoothie Serum -20ml sample size - full size 50ml £22.50 
We've seen Premae before in the January box and I was pleasantly surprised by the unassuming bottle of tonique. So although the brand could do with jolly good packaging update (sorry Premae but it's not exactly 'pretty' to have on the shelf) I tried to not let that detract from the product. The serum is packed full with multi-vitamins to nourish the skin but it is also designed for combination/blemish skin to soothe redness, hydrate and keep skin matte and shine-free. On the first couple of trials I have to say I like what I see so far. The serum isn't too heavy, has very little scent to it and it absorbs beautifully into my skin without residue. And I can't wait to try their tip of mixing it with a liquid foundation to create a shine-control BB cream...

Broadway Nails imPress Press-On Manicure in Red Carpet - full size £7.99
Oh boy, I took a little double take when I saw these and cringed. If you follow me on instagram then you'll know of my gel polish obsession and the fact that I need little help if any in the growing nails department. False nails do not feature in my life at all but I would be willing to try these and see how they fair if only I hadn't been sent such a horrible design. These are called Red Carpet and there is nothing remotely glamorous about them at all! It's hard to see from the picture above, but they are a French manicure style, with a very pink nail bed and iridescent glitter on the white tip. Dare I say it... they are rather chavtastic! When I can bring myself to try them out, I will do so - but only in the name of giving a fair review - and to cope with their hideousness I will probably paint right over the top. These are available at Boots in the UK and thankfully in some better designs than the one you see here.

An ok-ish box from Glossybox then this month. A couple of disappointments but overall not really seeing how the 'dark romance' theme fits in here... 

If you like the idea of subscribing to GlossyBox, then use this referral link to sign up today.

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?!!

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Beautifully British - Anna Lou of London

If you've read my previous post about the Handpicked Media suite for London Fashion Week, you will know that last month I got to meet the gorgeous and very talented Anna, founder of the cult jewellery brand Anna Lou of London. Anna was showcasing the new Luxe range of jewellery and excitingly, their recently launched bespoke jewellery service.

Anna started the brand back in 2004, selling her designs at Portobello Market. Within months Harvey Nichols had snapped them up and the recognition of Anna Lou of London rapidly went international. Anna Lou of London is now available in most major department stores across the UK as well as online at www.AnnaLouofLondon.com and online at notonthehighstreet.com. I love that all of Anna's designs are handmade in her London studio, so you really are getting a 'Beautifully British' piece of jewellery.

At the Handpicked Media suite, Anna very generously offered us lucky bloggers a chance to design our own personalised necklace. From all of the amazing, bespoke designs she had on show, I chose to order a simple gold disc necklace, engraved with an intricate monogram and a week ago, a beautifully wrapped package dropped through my letterbox...







Nestled in a soft velvet pouch was my very own personalised necklace, engraved with my initials 'JP'. Isn't it gorgeous? I absolutely love it!

The exact design I chose was the 'Monogram Disc Necklace' in yellow gold - my preferred metal choice for jewellery - but you can chose any of the bespoke jewellery in rose gold or silver depending on you own personal preference. Unless you choose to go for solid gold (which Anna Lou of London does offer) the yellow or rose gold designs are all 18k plated sterling silver.

The necklace is beautifully made and I love the contrast between the simplicity of the disc and the detail of the monogram. The rollo chain is the perfect thickness to not outweigh the necklace or be too delicate that it gets lost. And although I went for the 16 inch chain, this and all the other bespoke necklaces come with five different choices of chain length, from 14 to 22 inches.

For this design I could have up to 3 characters to be monogrammed, but if you want to go for your full name, you can get the Name Jewellery that allows for up to 9 characters.


Gold Monogram Disc Necklace 16in chain £52
As well as necklaces, there are bracelets and rings that can be customised too. Prices range from £45 to £105 for bespoke jewellery. And if you want to splash out on solid gold, you can get the name necklace or monogram necklace from £275 to £575.

 
*****    Exclusive Reader Offer    *****
 
If you want to get your own beautiful piece of British jewellery with one of Anna Lou of London's bespoke services, or even any of the other great pieces on offer (don't even get me started on the amazing Luxe collection... I'm like a magpie!) then I have managed to secure my fabulous readers a discount code - aren't you lucky!

To get 10% off your order before 31/12/13 use the code BRUSHUP10 at the checkout. Just remember, if you order any bespoke jewellery it can take around 2 weeks to be delivered as pieces are (obviously) made to order.

The best way to check out the full collection is online at www.AnnaLouofLondon.com and you can also follow Anna on Twitter and Instagram. 

Happy shopping :)
Disclaimer - This product was given to me as a PR sample for my consideration and review. The above review is 100% honest and of my own, unbiased opinion.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Superdry Bento Beauty-Box




Make-up and Sushi in one neat little package - what more could a girl need? OK, well it's not exactly sushi, but the idea behind the Japanese cuisine container has certainly inspired this little box of goodies. Let me introduce the new Bento Beauty-Box from Superdry. 

Superdry is known for it's boldly branded clothing lines but this year saw them expand their range even further with the launch of Superdry Beauty. Boasting products like branded make-up bags and tools, to nail varnish and colour cosmetics, the collection seems to have covered most bases.

And the Bento Beauty-Box (launched late October 2013) contains a little bit of everything. I think it nicely sums up all that a girl might need in her daily make-up routine - in other words those essential go-to products that rattle around in the bottom of your handbag! So what does this fabulous little set contain...

Watermelon LipFix 10g, EyeMarker (black) 3ml
Ooh I love a good lip balm and this LipFix works a treat! The consistency reminds me of Elizabeth Arden's Eight hour cream (but with a much nicer scent) and a little goes a very long way. It easily coats your lips giving a subtle glossy finish and is a great overnight treatment as it literally stays put all night long. I can see this tube lasting me through a Winter of sore chapped lips and well into next year.

The EyeMarker is exactly as it sounds, it's like a marker pen for the eyes. The thick to thin fibre tip smoothly delivers a jet black line along the lashline and allows you to create a perfect 'flick'. If like me you prefer a softer smokier edge, you can soften the line with a smudger - just be quick because once set it's hard to budge without eye make-up remover.

Nail Paint 'Punk Pink' 4.5ml, Highlighter 4.5ml
Usually normal nail polish doesn't get much interest from me, well you know my gel polish obsession, but I just can't resist this pink. This cute shade is called Punk Pink and is pretty opaque after only one coat. Check out Brush Up and Polish Up! for a little post on this lovely little Nail Paint soon...

The highlighter is exactly what I hoped (and expected) it to be - very Benefit High Beam - I'm not a big wearer of highlighter so larger bottles are wasted on me, but this dinky little package is perfect. The consistency is thicker than some highlighters which I prefer and is easily blended onto the cheekbones, cupids bow or brow bone to give a soft pale pearlescent pink sheen. It doesn't seem to pull off already applied makeup too which is an added bonus!

Mascara (black) 9ml, NailPlane, Mirror
Yep, that is mascara in a cardboard tube, not something you see every day but I kind of like it. I'm always drawn to bristled brushes so when I saw that this was a plastic brush I was initially quite disappointed. Then I looked a little closer and the curve to the brush intrigued me, plus the 'suction' at the top of the bottle allowed for just enough mascara to coat it - oh how I loathe a wet mascara - that I dutifully gave this a thorough trial before I passed final judgement. And oh how glad I am that I did! Stay posted for a review just for this little beauty on here soon...

And no make-up gift set is complete without a couple of handy accessories. A mirror and nail file are pretty self explanatory but I like the cute 'badge' like appearance of the mirror and it's just the right make-up bag size.


In all a great little set that will make a fab present for the upcoming festive season for both existing lovers of the Superdry brand and those who just love a bit of make-up.

Keep an eye out for the launch of the Bento Beauty-Box later this month, in Superdry Stores and online.
It will retail at £25.

Disclaimer - This product was given to me as a PR sample for my consideration and review. The above review is 100% honest and of my own, unbiased opinion.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Handpicked Media's London Fashion Week Suite 2013

Earlier this month I was invited along to the Handpicked Media London Fashion Week event at the luxurious One Aldwych in London. Each year, Handpicked Media host a suite during London Fashion Week for their lucky bloggers to meet with lots of brands and try out new products and launches.

Having never attended any blogger events prior to this, I was a little unsure as to whether to go and if I could fit it in amongst being back to school. But I took the plunge, and trained it down to London early on the Saturday morning for a fantastic day of meet and greets with a whole load of pampering thrown in too.

After meeting the lovely Krista (@beautyanthedirt), founder of Handpicked Media, I explored the rooms and met with some amazing brands and fellow bloggers.




The magpie in me was drawn to the Anna Lou of London stand immediately. An abundance of shiny jewels were laid out for our perusal, showcasing the new Luxe collection - I am in LOVE with the Jade Bracelet - and the gorgeous Anna herself (@annalouoflondon) was there chatting to us about their unique personalisation service. They offered bloggers a chance to design own own piece of personalised jewellery and I can't wait to show you the necklace I ordered...


Photo courtesy of Handpicked Media Facebook

The wonderful Superdry PR girls (@SuperdryPR) were there too to talk us through the new Superdry Beauty launches for 2013 and their amazing new collaboration with Timothy Everest. I used the mobile mirror (above) to try a few of the coats on and I loved the luxurious feel of all the fabrics and small attention to details of each piece. The shorter blazers were my favourite and there will be a post very soon dedicated to this collection...


Photo courtesy of Handpicked Media Facebook

Bourjois (@bourjois_uk) was also on hand, fresh from doing the make-up for the Zoe Jordan show, recreating the look for us bloggers. Lisa gave me the lowdown on some amazing new Bourjois products and touched up my make-up with the theme 'skater girl grown up, with a cyber glow' from the runway show. And after Karen glammed up my Shellac manicure with one of the new nail polish launches for Halloween, Rachael (@Rachie_22) gave me a little goodie bag crammed with Bourjois that I can't wait to share with you all!



I was extremely honoured to have the talented Errol Douglas (@ErrolDouglas1) squeeze me in for a quick Moroccan Oil (@MoroccanOil) hair makeover too. As I enviously watched Errol work his magic on fellow bloggers Alice (@Super_Gorgeous), Helena (@Beaut_Chic) and Hannah (@lippyinlondon) I chatted to the lovely Natalie (@NataliJaconelli) and she talked me through some of the products. When it was my turn in the hot seat, Errol decided to volumise my hair with some bouncy curls. He used straighteners to create the curls, carefully pinning them to my head as he went, to let them cool and hold their shape for longer. He liberally sprayed some Moroccan Oil hairspray to hold the style and add some shine.


I also found some time to fit in a super relaxing hot stone massage with the talented therapists from Mandara Spa and a chat with the HD Brows girls who gave me some of their new make-up launches to take away.

Along with the brands that I have already mentioned, there was a whole host of other products that I hope to share with you guys over the next few months so stay posted because there's so much to share and so little time...



Disclaimer - this event was organised for bloggers by Handpicked Media and I was gifted products from various brands from the day. Any future posts that share these items with you will clearly state that they are PR products given to me for my review and consideration and thus not purchased by myself.. And trust me, there's a lot of free stuff to share with you!
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