Saturday, 21 December 2013

Monthly subscription boxes are increasingly popular and have been for the past few years. I am familiar with all of the beauty boxes, such as Glossybox and its contemporaries. However I am slightly less aware of monthly food subscription boxes, and as a HUGE fan of food (what girls not?!) I can say that I was incredibly excited to open my Degustabox and see all the goodies waiting for me!

Inside I found:
- Belvita Breakfast Cocoa with Chocolate Chip Biscuits (x6)
- Belvita Breakfast Duo Crunch Biscuits (Apricot & Live Yoghurt) (x5)
- Bavaria Premium Original Non-Alcholic Beer
- Bavaria Lager Shandy
- Bavaria Radler with a Hint of Lemon
- Bisto Chicken Stock Melts (x6)
- Green & Blacks Dark Chocolate with a Hint of Chilli
- OXO Shake & Flavour Garlic & Herb Seasoning Granules
- Bisto Chefs Special Gravy Granules: Caramelised Onion Gravy, Rich Beef with Cracked Black Pepper, Chicken with Sage & Onion, Lamb with a Twist of Mint
- Levi Roots Smoky Jerk Cooking Sauce
- Levi Roots Jerk Chicken Paste
- Drink Me Chai Spiced Chair Latte 
- Yu! Granola & Mango (x6)
- Yu! Granola & Strawberry (x6)

I was impressed by the variety that this box had to offer. There were options for breakfast, supper, snacks and beverages. Obviously not every item in the box appealed to me, mainly due to the fact that I am quite fussy when it comes to food. However, even the things that I wasn't ecstatic about I have plans for (for example, the chilli dark chocolate will taste delicious in brownies!). Its simply a case of trying to be more creative with the things you have! 

This box would be ideal for those at uni, its under the £10 mark, and you get a box packed with goodies that will last you weeks. The products in this box were all easy to use, for example, the Levi Roots cooking sauces; its simple to pop some sauce in a pan alongside some chicken and create a quick and easy meal. Other products, such as the gravy granules and stock melts, which are handy essentials to have stored away for those spontaneous cooking moments! Sunday roast anybody?! The beers may be perfect for any male housemates, or for yourself! And the chocolate is certainly a winner to treat yourself to, or make brownies with? 

What do you think of Degustabox?
I think its fantastic value, and perfect for uni students on a low budget, who wish to get the most out of their money!

NARS Eyeshadow in Ondine

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

In recent months I have become a big fan or NARS cosmetics. Perhaps its because NARS was the first high-end brand that I indulged in, then again it may be the amazing quality and the fact that its worth every penny. I convinced myself that I needed to invest in more NARS eyeshadows, due to my love for my duo that I received for Christmas. The quality is far above that of any other eyeshadows I own from drugstore brands, and now that I have branched out into the higher end eyeshadows, such as NARS, I will not be going back!

Ondine immediately caught my eye when I was last at the NARS counter in Space NK. Its a beautiful light dusty rose shade, with a shimmery undertone, which is hardly noticeable. When worn I find it to be only a few shades darker than my natural eyelids, and its therefore an incredibly subtle colour to wear, perfect for natural makeup looks. As custom with NARS eyeshadow, the shadow is highly pigmented and it is long lasting. 

If you're thinking of branching out into the more expensive makeup brands, then NARS really is the place to begin. The prices are justifiable when you realise hoe superior the quality is. 

Lush 'Butterball' Bath Bomb Review

Monday, 16 December 2013

The winter months have arrived, and it is customary that when the winter rolls in, the bath products roll out. I go slightly overboard on bathbombs when the weather gets colder, I find that there is something comforting about a warm bath and colourful bubbles!

I recently decided to try 'Butterball', a low fuss bathbomb. Its not the most exciting, there are no colours too it, no confetti that pops out, no masses of bubbles, no glitter, no loud fizzing, all in all its quite the boring bathbomb. However, it has other qualities that make it equally worth it. Firstly, its not called 'Butterball' for nothing, it leaves your skin feeling as if you've soaked in butter, and there is certainly no need to use body butter after popping this in your bath. It leaves your skin feeling thoroughly moisturised, and baby soft. It almost feels that there is a layer of the bath bomb still clinging to your skin for days afterwards.

It doesn't have a scent, that I could determine. Just a slight hint of cocoa butter. It fizzes marginally, (in the photos, I added the bath bomb into an already bubble filled bath), but it generally goes quite undetected after the bathbomb has completely disintegrated. 

Its one of Lush's cheaper bath bombs, at only £2.50. But it certainly is packed with all the goodness, and not worth missing out on!

MAC Eyeshadow in Sumptuous Olive

Friday, 13 December 2013

I very rarely shop at MAC, purely because my nearest counter is over an hour away and I dont trust buying makeup online. So, you can imagine how excited I was when I came across a MAC store on my travels in London last week. I could have spent hours, and hours deliberating over what I wanted, and I really could have bought a big bundle of items, but I am trying to be restrained and so I went in with the idea of picking up an eyeshadow. Initially I wanted Woodwinked, but it is incredibly similar to all the other eyeshadows I own, so I decided to go for something a little different. So, thats how I came to own Sumptuous Olive, which is a shade I have heard mentioned frequently in videos by Tanya Burr and Pixiwoo. Having green eyes, I felt that the olive toned shadow would suit my eyes and just be a better alternative to my go-to neutrals.

Sumptuous Olive is a gold toned olive shade, with a deep green undertone, it is ideal for green eyes. Its highly pigmented, and long lasting, as custom with MAC shadows. It is understandable as to why Sumptuous Olive is mentioned frequently on blogs and YouTube as it is a very different and unique shade. It also blends alongside brown shadows and works to create a beautiful smokey eye for green eyes.

Mini Chanel Haul

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

A few weeks ago, as I was meant to be buying gifts for other people, I made a few sound investments for myself. I intended on buying a lipgloss to wear throughout the festive period, something shimmery and luxurious, so naturally I went for Chanel. I then got caught up in the experience and also indulged in one of the creamy Illusion De Ombres eyeshadows. The quality of both is incredible, as you'd naturally expect from Chanel. The packaging is luxurious and classy, again something that is a given when buying from Chanel.

Firstly, the lipgloss. The shade is almost clear, there is little colour to it even though in the tube it appears quite coral with hints of pink. Due to the colouring it means that it enhances my natural lip colour, there is a hint of pink amongst the shimmer and glitter. It has purple undertone, purely because of the shimmer which has an almost holographic quality. It looks natural and subtle just worn on its own, and adds a special quality when worn over the top of lipstick. Its not 'sticky' or unbearable on the lips, its almost unnoticeable, which is exactly what is desired from any lipgloss! It lasts for hours and even when the gloss wears off, the shimmer is left, so it takes a lot to fully remove this lipgloss.

The eyeshadow, was a spontaneous purchase. Its not ideally the colour I would usually opt for, being a neutral, brown eyeshadow kind of girl! I dont own anything remotely similar, and I did wonder how much use I would get out  of it. I have always been a fan of cream based eyeshadows, they're so easy to use and look incredibly natural. The Chanel Illusion De Ombres however are not incredibly easy to blend, it is almost impossible to use a brush with this product as the colour payoff is poor. It is easier to blend and apply with fingers, and then I find that the product blends more evenly and the pigment is richer. The product is strongly pigmented and a little goes a long way. Ebloui is a rich cranberry colour with a dark brown tone to it, there is also a subtle underlying gold shimmer. Typically with Chanel, every detail is thought of, and along with the Illusion De Ombres, you receive a tiny little eyeshadow brush, which if you already own eyeshadow brushes, is pretty useless. But, for those that don't have brushes, its an ideal offering. 

What do you think of these products?
are they worth the price tag?

Spot Prone/Oily Skin Essentials

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Veteran followers of this blog will be aware of my battle in regards to my skin. I have, for many years now, 'struggled' with spot breakouts and oily skin and over these years I have tried and tested many, many products. A majority have been to no avail, leaving my skin irritated and angry, however I have discovered a few gems and I thought it only fair to share my secrets!

St Ives Apricot Scrub (Dry/Sensitive Skin)
A facial scrub that is packed with tiny little beads of natural exfoliants, that are gently abrasive on your skin. A pea-sized amount is all you need as the scrub is crammed with exfoliating particles. I have never used a facial scrub before that leaves my skin so squeaky clean afterwards, and I can always see a difference in the natural radiance of my usually dull and oily skin after use. I always buy the 'Dry/Sensitive Skin' version, as I dont want it to strip too much oil out of my face, as I dont wish for my skin to then overcompensate. 

Soap & Glory Hocus Focus 
Hocus Focus is an 'instant visual flaw-softening lotion', which highlights and gives radiance to the skin. I generally tend to apply it to the tops of my cheekbones and down my nose for a glowing, highlighted look. It has an almost iridescent quality which makes its glow look natural and fresh, whilst also allowing it to counterbalance any dark areas and almost subtly conceal them. I have incredibly oily skin and usually stay well away from highlighters, believing them to make my face look more shiny. However the qualities of hocus focus, not only give you a natural glow but also hides blemishes and flaws.

Lush 'Cupcake' Fresh Face Mask
Cupcake is specifically made for problematic skin, which was my original motive for buying it. It claims to sooth troublesome skin and remove dirt and grime that lead to spots and blackheads. I use this mask around once weekly or fortnightly (careful not to overdo it on the rich ingredients that may be a little too much for my sensitive skin) and I truly do see how my skin transforms and becomes slightly tighter and clean. Its quite thick and not the most pleasant smelling product out there, but in terms of results, it really is a winner.

Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer
Without doubt the best concelear I have ever tried (and I have tried Benefits Erase Paste), it is affordable and truly a miracle worker. Its fantastic on dark circles, and suits any skin type in that respect, and it is also a dream blemish concealer. It does exactly as it says, conceals and is long lasting, even on my oily skin. 

Soap & Glory Dr Spot
I have tried, what seems like a million spot treatments, that have all claimed to clear spots in 24hours, and I have always been disappointed. However I recently purchased Dr Spot, which is not a product I have heard of before and the rest is history. I can honestly say that I do see quite a dramatic difference over 24hrs, it doesnt completely remove blemishes but it reduces the redness and the angry appearance that spots can have. Its a gel like consistency and slightly stings when applied to any 'open' blemishes. It retails at £8, which is quite reasonable when you consider that most similar products are around the £10-£15 mark, so I am incredibly impressed by such a little tube!!

What are your skincare essentials?
Do you suffer with oily/spot prone skin too?

Said No More Counting Dollars, We'll Be Counting Stars

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Blouse: Primark
Cardigan: Marks & Spencers
Jeans: New Look
Bracelets: Tiffany's & Thomas Sabo
Watch: Longines
Rings: Vintage
Nails: Barry M in 'Lychee'

I apologise that this is infact an outfit that I wore a few weeks ago, I recently found the photos on my camera and decided that I would share it anyway. If you follow me on twitter, you will potentially be familiar with the ensemble as I posted a cheeky twit pic of myself as part of the 'Super Gorgeous September' photo project, (which I only managed to do for 5 days, committed, I know!). Thats about it for today, short and sweet! Dont forget to check my YouTube channel for new videos!

(I currently have this song on repeat!)

The Best Shampoo Ever?

Its very rare that I rave solely about one product, however I couldn't resist sharing the miracle worker that is Lush's 'I Love Juicy' Shampoo. This is a product I have been familiar with for a few years now, however, I stopped using it as I couldn't justify spending around £10 a week on shampoo alone (as I end up using two of these little bottles!). But after a particularly bad hair week, I decided to re-purchase it to see if it could re-vitalise my hair. 

I discovered it whilst watching Ingrid from Miss Glamorazzi's 'Favourite Lush Products' video, where she mentioned that its a wonder product for anyone with oily hair. I have incredibly oily hair, and ever since the age of fourteen, I have washed it practically every day to try and rid the grease. (I am aware that washing it daily doesnt overly help the situation but I really cannot leave it any more than one day). So, when I heard that it would help keep your hair cleaner for longer, I was incredibly curious. I absolutely cannot recommend this product enough. Firstly it smells incredible, and the scent lingers in your hair all day, which is something I personally love. The scent is claimed to be 'Mango, Papaya, Kiwi and Pineapple', however my scent detection isnt that fantastic and to me it just smells fruity and musky, which is quite unusual. When I use I Love Juicy, I can leave my hair two days without washing it, which is quite a refreshing feeling. The oil seems to completely disappear from my hair, which is more than I can say for most dry shampoos that I try! 

As I said, my only gripe with this otherwise fantastic product is the price. I have always thought that Lush was a little ambitious with their prices, I understand that they offer premium, handmade, fresh products, but I don't understand how a 100g bottle of shampoo can cost 5.25?! Especially if I am using it frequently, it ends up costing around £10 a week, which is difficult to justify. Which is why, I only use this when my hair is feeling particularly in need of a 'pick me up', which is around once a week.

What do you think? Do you think its a little on the pricey side?
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