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.
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