Monday, 28 January 2013

Cath Kidston Crystal Bow Necklace

I meant to show you all this little beauty a bit sooner but time truly disappeared on me over the New Year! This was a surprise Birthday gift from the boy, chosen all by himself.... awww, I'm so proud!

Nestled inside the cute packaging, amongst the red tissue paper, was this glorious necklace. He knows I have a bit of a bow obsession when it comes to jewellery, especially necklaces, so he thought to add to my collection with this glittery number from Cath Kidston.

It's such a pretty but simple necklace with that burnished, almost antique look that I prefer to clean shiny silver. The bow is just over an inch wide and is encrusted with crystal diamantés of different sizes. And the chain is 21 inches long so the bow sits on my breast bone comfortably - medium length in my terms.

I love it and it's now a bit of a good old 'go-to' necklace when I'm accessorising with silver. He bought mine from House of Fraser in Norwich but I've found it online at Accessories Online and the Cath Kidston website.

Disclaimer - As mentioned, this was a gift, so I have paid no monies for this loveliness nor have I been sponsored for this post. You are all more than welcome to buy me some jewellery too if you fancy... No??? Worth a try I guess. 

Sunday, 13 January 2013

GlossyBox - December - Christmas Edition

Ooh Christmas goodies!! I can't believe it's taken me this long to get round to the December box from GlossyBox but here we are, 2013 already! Where does the time go??!

December's box was made even more fabulous because it was free! Yup, it cost me nada, I'd saved up enough 'GlossyDots' (1000 to be precise) to redeem a box for free and here it is. Not bad eh?

So what did my little stash of points earn me... 

milk_shake conditioning whipped cream -100ml sample size - full size 250ml £14.79
Oh wow this smells gooooooooood! Very coconut-ty, it reminds me of expensive sun lotion and beach holidays...... I've not tried any products from milk_shake before so I am looking forward to giving this leave in conditioner a go. It is 'formulated to condition the hair keeping moisture balance and preserving the hair colour integrity'. Sounds perfect! 

Rituals Magic Touch body cream - 70ml sample size £5 - full size 200ml £15 
And this one smells amazing too! Is this box trying to win me over in scent alone?! I last tried a Rituals product in one of my first ever GlossyBoxes - I think it was the red Christmas 2012 one - and really liked it. This rich body cream has natural ingredients of cherry blossom and rice milk that give it a sweet and creamy fragrance and the whipped texture makes it really easy to apply. 

Seche Nail Lacquer Chocolat - full size 14ml £9.95
Now I love the famous Seche Vite quick drying top coat but haven't tried any of their nail varnish colours. So I was pleased to see this in my box, but honestly, quite disgusted with the colour! I got Chocolat which I can only describe as a pooey brown... it doesn't suit my skin tone at all but it may well suit a more tanned person than myself. Definitely a colour for the nail art pile. 

Sleek makeup i-Divine True ultra mattes v2 darks palette - full size 12 x 1.1g £7.99
Oh what a little beauty!! I love a bit of Sleek makeup and couldn't wait to crack open this palette to see what colours I got. I was impressed to see such a large makeup item in a beauty box and more impressed to see that it was the exact size and item you could buy from the shop. The colours are perfectly me - very autumnal - lots of greens, brown and purple hues, and I love that they are matte. I have so many shimmer eyeshadows that it's nice to change it up sometimes. 

Anatomicals what a complete and utter glosser i never fake strawberry milkshake fruity lipgloss - full size 10ml £3.49
You've gotta admire anatomicals for their inventive product names! This was a fab little product to receive and the smell (again, GlossyBox!!) reminds me of old scented cupcake dolls you used to get as a kid... This is the second anatomicals product I've got from GlossyBox in as many months, but I have to say I don't mind in the slightest. This clear, pink, (oh so fake) strawberry scented gloss will probably sit in my desk drawer as a quick and simple beauty fix. 

GlossyBox blusher Glossy Rosewood - 2.5g bonus product   
Hmmm, I'm not so keen on these GlossyBox 'freebies'. The last one I got was the broken lipstick in the international box. At least this one is a colour that I can wear but if I'm honest, it will probably never get touched. 

Overall a fabulous Christmas box GlossyBox, well done! The Sleek makeup palette and milk_shake conditioner are the highlights for me - I can't wait to give them a try! 

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's Last Box - December Edition

So December was the last ever instalment of the SheSaid Beauty box. First it was the box to disappear, closely followed by Carmine and now SheSaidBeauty have joined the graveyard of beauty boxes been and gone.

So what did the last box offer? Well it was a nice mix of products with a couple of treats thrown in for good measure and Christmas cheer...

MesmerEyez Coloured Contact Lenses  RRP £6.99
I have never tried contacts before, let alone coloured ones. So these little lovelies were a really nice surprise. I'd always wanted to try them, but had never wanted to fork out for something I might not feel comfortable in. Turns out they were tricky to put in but once they were in, they were rather comfortable to wear. I have a full review coming up soon so stay posted...

Jamela 24k gold Under Eye Mask SheSaidBeauty Box December 2012 RRP £32.50 for 16 pairs
Now don't these look fancy?! These Jamela eye masks are 24k gold infused to help with the rejuvenation of collagen in the skin. It's a little frustrating that they don't seem to come with any instructions on how long they should be applied for, but I'm saving them for a special occasion to treat myself - I highly doubt I'll be investing in 'gold' skincare treats on a regular basis.

Dr Duve Anti-Ageing & Firming Eye Cream RRP £115 for 30ml and Dr Duve Skin Boosting Cream RRP £129 for 50ml
It's a little frustrating when a tiny sample sachet get passed off as a product in these boxes, even more so when it's two! But I can forgive this when I look at the price tag... *whistle*... that's a lot of pennies for some cream! These anti ageing potions are for mature skin though and luckily, mature I am not. I will be passing these onto Mother dearest.

Technic Nail Varnish in Tawny Port RRP £1.25 12ml
I've seen this brand popping up a little on instagram but have yet to try their polishes, when my current Shellac mani wears out, I'll pop this on and give it a go. It reminds me of a favourite No7 polish of mine, I think it's called Blackberry, but this doesn't have the subtle metallic shimmer.

Amie Spring Clean Cooling Clay Mask RRP £1.60 per sachet
Uh! Another repeat sample. I got one of these clay masks back in the SheSaidBeauty September box and it was really menthol heavy - it made my skin burn and sting quite a bit. I prefer my Clinique pore minimizing refining clay mask so will pass this onto someone else to try out.

Jing Whole Leaf Teabags RRP £5.40 for 15 teabags
Ooh I love me some posh tea! I got some tasty flowering dragon eye tea in my first ever SheSaidBeauty March box and LOVED it. I got two little sachets in this one - a Jasmine Silver Needle and a Jade Sword. I actually gave these two samples to a friend who is a big fan of herbal and loose leaf teas, and she consumed these pretty quick - I guess that was an indication that she liked them!

So, it's a farewell to SheSaidBeauty boxes and I have to say, this was a fairly nice box to finish with. Ah well, at least my bank balance will thank me for only one beauty box subscription per month now!!

Disclaimer - I subscribed to the SheSaidBeauty box out of my own choice and money, but alas that is to be no more. It was my choice to review the products above and I have done so in a 100% honest manner,  I am also not compensated for my reviews.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

The astrid & miyu Secret Box


A while back in 2012 (wow it still sounds a little weird saying that?!) I saw a post on Tali's blog, Glossy's Wardrobe about a brand called astrid & miyu - a new online design jewellery brand based in London. I checked out their website, and oh boy did I fall in love... Hopelessly in love, with their beautiful, unique pieces in gold, silver and rose gold, adourned with crystals, diamantés and semi-precious stones....sigh

Astrid & miyu means "exceptionally beautiful" in Swedish and Japanese and their mission is to make every woman feel just that. Connie and Jenny are the co-founders and masterminds behind the brand which was launched in 2011. They believe in subtle, classic, effortless style with a subtle twist. So their jewellery pieces are designed by teams in England, South Korea and Italy; are ethically made and only in limited quantity because 'everyone deserves to be unique'.

Anyhow, I was unusually restrained and didn't make a purchase. In the coming months I dutifully checked their website to see what new stock they got in from time-to-time and to also gaze longingly at the Love At First Sight ring in rose gold, with the intention of putting it on my Christmas list (if I didn't cave first).

Then in November I received an email about astrid & miyu's new jewellery concept - the Secret Box. For £39 (one-off or every quarter) you can sign up to receive a Secret Box of astrid & miyu jewellery up to the value of £200. Well, you all know my love affair with beauty boxes, so naturally I signed up immediately! Astrid & miyu send out a survey to all their subscribers so they can tailor the contents of your box to you and your tastes - that way, hopefully you don't receive products that you already own or products you can't wear.

Then just before Christmas my first box arrived.... eeek! (cue some dodgy iPhone photos as I was too eager to get this beauty open, I didn't have time to set up a proper camera!) Warning: this post is very photo heavy.


Wrapped inside some colourful geometric paper was the typical astrid & miyu packaging - a cream box stamped with the branding. Inside which was two astrid & miyu jewellery pouches and some exclusive offers for Secret Box subscribers from Jemima Vine, The Fold, ABO and of course, astrid & miyu.

The pouches themselves are beautiful - cream canvas, edged with lace and a cream drawstring bow to tie up - but inside the pouches were two gorgeous glittering pairs of earrings. Astrid & miyu sent me the rose gold Puppy Love and the Tiny Lucky Charm earrings. Just feast your eyes on these little beauties...

These Puppy Love earrings were designed following the success of astrid & miyu's signature Puppy Love ring. They are made up of three rose gold plated brass flowers, encrusted with glittering white Swarovski crystals. And at £59 that's the cost of the Secret Box covered already! They are slightly heavier than I'm used to wearing, but not so much that they don't hang right in the ear. I love how sparkly the crystals are, even with my hair down you notice these babies instantly.

The Tiny Lucky Charm studs though are my favourite. These four-leaf clover floral earrings are made from brass with glittery white onyx and are so simpe yet elegant, I know I'm going to get loads of wear out of these everyday. And at £29 they are an added bonus.

I am so impressed with my earrings, they are both beautiful and such qood quality. My £39 box was worth nearly £90 in the end - which is fantastic value for money! I had the initial intention of subscribing for only the first box and cancelling after that, but I don't think I can now... I'm so desperate to see what they'll send me next!

I'm hoping that next time I get a bracelet and/or ring... oooh if I got the Love At First Sight ring I'd be in heaven :)

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.
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