UK Beauty and Lifestyle Blog

January 31, 2013

January Flavrbox 2013

As a little treat to myself I signed up for a Flavrbox subscription last month, Flavrbox is a monthly food-box that works along similar lines to beauty boxes. Each month, Flavrbox package up a selection of food items (there are two choices of box: normal and vegetarian) and then they send them off and you recieve a random selection of gorgeous food goodies. I've been keen to try Flavrbox out in the past, but as a monthly box weighs in at £18 (plus £2 p&p) the element of not knowing if I'd like the box's contents made splashing out  £20 too hard for me to do! However, last month I found a voucher where you could try a Flavrbox for £10  (I do believe this has expired now) and I thought, you know what, I'd quite like a nice food-related surprise. And what I really want to stress today is that I wasn't even a little bit disappointed, in my eyes the contents of this box are just lovely. I'm a  big lover of oatcakes and these spelt oatcakes are some of the most delicious I've ever tasted. I ate about a third of them dunked in Pink's Empire Chutney... that is a combination I can only love. Everything else looks exciting too, the inclusion of Bacon Jam means I'm going to have to make some burgers soon and the other items are all lovely for snacks or treats. 

Take a closer look at the box's contents below.

So yeah, if you're a bit of a foodie, of if you know someone else who's a bit of a food lover, then this sort of subscription really is something lovely both to give or to receive  The box comes packaged in cardboard but looks very gift appropriate as it isn't flimsy or cheap looking in any way. As I mentioned before, there is a choice between a 'regular' and a 'vegetarian' and both boxes always have a value of at last £18 so you'll definitely get your money's worth.There are also exciting new 'tea', 'coffee' and 'gluten free' themed boxes coming up soon, so if those interest you I'd definitely keep an eye out.

Have you tried Flavrbox before? What do you make of this month's contents?


January 28, 2013

REVIEW: L'Oreal Rouge Caresse Lipsticks in Sweet Berry and Aphrodite Scarlet

sheer drugstore lipstick review and swatches
sheer drugstore lipstick review and swatches
sheer drugstore lipstick review and swatches
Currently available from Boots for £8.19 or  Superdrug for £6.99

I know I'm pretty late to this bandwagon, but I've been loving sheer lip colours lately so I went ahead and bought these a week or so ago, you might have noticed them in my haul post. I know a lot of people have reviewed these and there is a lot of hype surrounding them but baby, believe it all, these lipsticks are just beautiful. They are worthy of a review, even if it makes me seem incredibly late to the scene. 

I picked up Sweet Berry and then loved it so much that I went back to buy Aphrodite Scarlet too. I tend to wear either nude/MLBB shades or vibrant pink shades the most so these two colours seemed like perfect choices for me. They are both quite pigmented, but don't be put off by their colours in the bullet as they swatch quite sheer and on the lips they give a beautiful sweep of colour which is quite glossy. They don't feel drying on the lips which is great as my lips aren't in the best condition right now and get irritated when they feel too dry. The wear time of these lipsticks isn't amazing but it isn't awful either, on me they lasted about two hours before I felt I needed to reapply. However, given the nature of the colours there was no rush to reapply as they fade quite subtly and evenly and I could just about reapply without a mirror if I was in a bit of a daring mood. 

All in all I would strongly recommend these lipsticks to lipstick lovers and lipstick newbies alike. They're easy to wear, pretty and they come in a great range of colours. If I go back to buy more (which I'd like to in the future) I would pick up Rebel Red, Dating Coral or Tempting Lilac. All three are also gorgeous shades that look very easy to wear and I can see them complimenting a range of skin tones. Of the two I own I've actually worn Sweet Berry the most as it looks quite natural on me (not at all like the shade it looks in the bullet) but Aphrodite Scarlet is a colour that I've fallen in love with. I can see both being lipstick staples from here on out. 

top: sweet berry bottom: aphrodite scarlet

top: sweet berry  bottom: aphrodite scarlet

Do you own any L'Oreal Rouge Caresse Lipsticks? Do you have any sheer lipstick recommendations?


January 27, 2013

No Foundation Challenge Update #2: ending my challenge early...

Totally make-up free. (I really need to re-henna my hair! Sorry about my terrible roots.)

This second update is really late! There's two reasons really, first off I've been quite busy getting myself ready for my last ever term as an undergraduate (typing that is oh so scary). Third year is really pretty hectic, every other student out there who is in a similar position- I send you all the good feelings, we may not sleep as much as we'd like but we can totally manage this!  My second reason/excuse is that my skin has seriously been acting up lately and I had a relatively bad break out on my chin that I just couldn't bring myself to share with the world. I've been good and have remained 'foundation free' but I did use a dab of concealer on one of the nastier spots the other day. I felt bad about it but at the same time I was just like 'these challenges are meant to be positive things', and having a big ol' red thing on my chin exposed to the world was not making me feel positive. But that was still a cheat. So once I knew that I'd cheated I felt pretty bad to be honest because it sort of meant I'd failed.

I have to say that on the whole my skin has been really good this month. My cheeks were less rosy, my pores smaller and my break outs fewer. However, I don't think this is solely make-up related. After my crazy little break out I finally accepted, once and for all, that my skin's health is almost totally dependent on two factors: my skin care regime and my diet. If I eat refined sugar (most notably in the form of sweets/chocolate) I will get a break out. It may not be an army of spots but one little monster will almost undoubtedly rear its head. Similarly, if I don't cleanse, tone and moisturise religiously my skin will evidence this. This month I've eaten pretty cleanly (minus the bag of chocolate I scoffed at the cinema last week which led me into break out hell) and I think that this made the biggest difference to my skin, especially early on in the month.

Overall, as far as I'm concerned this month has been a great experience for my skin. I've found some skincare products which work really nicely and I'm able to give them very thorough reviews as a result as I know that make-up hasn't interfered with what they were intending to do.Although, I'm gonna admit right now that going au naturel skin-wise for 4 weeks now has not been easy. I love wearing make-up. I love the process of application, I love feeling 'made up'. When you don't wear a base it really affects what other products you can wear and how they last on your skin. I miss blush! I miss highlighters! I found they just didn't work on bare skin in a way that I liked.

I know it might disappoint some of you but I'm gonna call it quits tomorrow and start my week wearing foundation. I know, I know, I only have four days left. But you know what, I really want to wear more make-up. I now know that make-up isn't the thing making my skin not its best so I don't feel like I need to stay clear of it. I'm certainly going to look into wearing more light weight coverage from now on as the foundation I used to wear I just couldn't conceive wearing on a daily basis anymore, it feels far too heavy. But BB creams, tinted moisturisers, light foundation- these products are definitely my friends! I just have to make sure I choose them as carefully as I would my skin care because like skin care they'll come into contact with my skin very often. I don't mean to disappoint anyone by stopping this challenge early, I just feel like this is a nice place for it to end as I feel pretty happy about the experience right now.

How are your New Year's Resolutions / Challenges getting along? 


January 25, 2013

January Birchbox 2013

After the success of my Glossybox I was really excited for my Birchbox to arrive, and I really did have to wait! Nearly everyone else seemed to have received their Birchbox last week but mine didn't arrive until yesterday (I'm going to put this down to the snow but it was still frustrating). Anyway, I did have a sneaky peak at other people's boxes and they all seemed very good. The products in everyone's box this month are really high quality, my only concern was that this meant that some of the samples were quite small- it all depended on what you got sent.

In my box I received four products and a 'lifestyle extra', if I'm totally honest I'm only completely happy about one of these items which is the fresh Sugar Rose Lip Treatment as it is a product I've wanted to try for a long time now. The other products were disappointing in one way or another (apart from the 'lifestyle extra' which I actually really like).

First up is fresh's Sugar Rose Lip Treatment. I have only good things to say about this product. The packaging is sleek and modern, the product is sheer but not colourless, it applies effortlessly to the lips and it is quite thick without being sticky. It is just lovely, gorgeous even, and I know the fullsize seems pretty expensive at £14.50 but I would definitely repurchase this, I'd also highly recommend it to lovers of sheer lip colours as the quality of this is great. 

The second product is KMS California's Add Volume Volumizing Spray. In theory I wouldn't have been disappointed with a product from this brand as I have heard so many good things about them in the past, however, I am really not one to use volumizing products on a regular basis. It's also a product that you need to use with a hair dryer and I really don't use heat on my hair very often nowadays so I don't see myself getting much use out of this to be honest. Such a shame really!

The third product I received was Reverence de Bastien's Unguent for Nails and Cuticles. Is there a worse word than the word 'unguent'? I really dislike it! But the product itself is quite cute really, it's a pink nail and cuticle balm. I don't show my nails and cuticles much love so this is something that will fill a void in my beauty routine. It certainly isn't something I'd have chosen for myself but I'd glad to try it. I've used it once so far and it was pleasant to use. The results weren't out of this world but with regular use I can see myself coming to like this... unguent (shuddershudder). 

The last beauty product in the box was Wei's Royal Ming firming and hydrating cream. The sample size is absolutely tiny so I won't get much use out of it and I won't really be able to work out if I even really like it or not! Not all that happy about such a tiny sample, even if the product itself is from a luxury brand. I think I'd have preferred a sample size I could use for about a week to actually see if the product worked for my skin. This is another disappointing product in my opinion.

The 'lifestyle extra' product was a teapigs tea bag. I am a big fan of herbal teas and haven't tried teapigs' tea before so the inclusion of this was a pleasant bonus, although it doesn't alter the fact that in terms of beauty products, for me this month's box wasn't as exciting as I thought it might be.

So, all in all I didn't love this box. I'm going to stay subscribed to see what next month's box is like but if I'm similarly disappointed I'll be unsubscribing! If any of you are Birchbox subscribers, how did you feel about this month's box? 


January 23, 2013

REVIEW: L'Occitane Cherry Blossom Solid Perfume

natural perfume cheap great quality

I picked up this solid perfume a couple of months ago and I've been using it on and off ever since. The scent of it is absolutely gorgeous, as you can probably imagine it smells like Cherry Blossom - a very light, floral scent - but (I think because of the solid nature of the perfume) it really lingers on the skin. So although it is quite light it lasts really well throughout the day. How you use it is really easy, you just run your finger across the surface of the perfume and a small amount will transfer onto your finger and then you apply this wherever you like to wear your perfume. I've found that if you wear this behind your ears, which I like to do, the fragrance tends to linger about your hair which I think is quite nice. I personally think this product is a gem as it's really handbag and travel friendly as it takes up no room whatsoever and there is no chance of it leaking everywhere. My only concern would be if it could withstand summer temperatures and remain solid, but that is something I'll have to wait and see about! I'll update this post when I can comment on that but  it won't be for a while yet.

tin travel friendly perfume review

Overall, this is a really lovely product and I think the fragrance is gorgeous so I'd highly recommend it. If Cherry Blossom doesn't interest you L'Occitane also do a limited edition Rose fragrance as well as a Green Tea fragrance (which sounds quite interesting but isn't my cup of tea, harhar). These solid perfumes cost £7.50 which I think is quite a good deal as mine is lasting me very well. I couldn't find the Cherry Blossom Solid Perfume online but I don't see why it wouldn't still be in stores.

Have you ever tried a perfume like this before?


January 22, 2013

REVIEW: Soap and Glory Sugar Crush Body Scrub

exfoliater suitable for all skin smells like lime

This little beauty was part of the 'Best of All' kit that I got for Christmas and I'm really glad it was as this is not something that I'd have picked up otherwise. Soap and Glory's Sugar Crush Body Scrub is a big pot of exfoliating goodness and it might surprise some of you but I've never used a product like this before! The exfoliaters I've used before have all been in solid form (like in soaps or exfoliating bars) so using something in a pot like this was quite a novel experience, and I really liked it!

lime scented exfoliating review

This sugar scrub has the most delicious zesty lime scent to it but remains quite sweet because of the sugar content. I can't get enough of the fragrance, I literally opened it earlier just to sniff it (I'm such a weirdo sometimes, haha!) and in the shower, especially in the morning, it is just such a pleasure to use. 

The consistency of it is quite gel-like and the sugar granules are really fine (you can see this in the photo below). What this means is that you can get a great exfoliation without it feeling at all rough, which if you have sensitive skin like me is essential. I've used this about five or six times and after every use my skin is left really smooth and soft without being irritated. It doesn't moisturise the skin as it exfoliates which might be an issue for those of you with really dry skin or who don't like moisturising after they shower. I do always have to moisturise after using this or my skin feels a little bit taught but those of you with normal skin might be fine.

lime scented body exfoliater

All I have to say really is that I'm a convert! I'll definitely still be using my trusty exfoliating soaps (especially L'Occitane's Almond Delicious Soap) but this Sugar Scrub is really fantastic for all over body exfoliation and the fragrance has me hooked. I can see myself using this up relatively quickly and I will definitely consider repurchasing this, although I do have my eye on Soap and Glory's other sugar scrub, the Breakfast Scrub.  It's worth noting though that if you like the sound of the lime scent but aren't a fan of body scrubs, Soap and Glory have just released a body butter with the same fragrance. I'm seriously tempted to try it as the scent is just so good.

If you want to get your hands on Soap and Glory's Sugar Crush Body Scrub you can find it in Boots for £8*. I'd highly recommend it!

What's your favourite body scrub?

January 21, 2013

BEAUTY BARGAIN: Weleda £10 Lucky Dip

A couple of days ago I noticed that Weleda were offering a Lucky Dip selection of their 'soon to be expired' products. All that was promised was a range of products from their skin care, body care and hair care lines whose value would be about £50. Being a big Weleda fan (I can't recommend their Almond skin care line more strongly for those of you with sensitive skin) I thought £10 would be a small price to pay to sample some of their other products, even if I did have to use them up quite quickly. However, what I received far exceeded my expectations! I received 18 products, 14 of which were sample sizes but 4 of which were full size (or 3 if you don't want to count the soap). When I saw how many products there were I immediately worried that it would be impossible to finish them all before they expired. However, when I checked only 2 of the products were set to expire before the end of January, a couple more by March but the majority expired in June or September with the Skin Food and two of the oils not expiring until next year! Taking all of this into consideration I am seriously pleased with this little bargain and now have a good few new products to try out. Weleda were sold out of the Lucky Dip selections when I last checked their website but it's always worth keeping your eyes peeled for bargains like these.

Do you have a favourite Weleda product? 


January 20, 2013

REVIEW: Lush's Oatifix Face Mask

fresh natural oat face mask

I picked up a hefty sample of Lush's Oatifix Face Mask as a freebie when I went into Lush to purchase some of their '13' soap. It's a face mask that I've had my eye on for a while as I'm a massive fan of Lush's Porridge Soap (I'm just in love with that oat-y scent!) and was hoping this face mask would smell similar. What I found was that it doesn't exactly have the same scent to it, but this turned out to be a good thing in its own way as Oatifix smells incredible. It still has an oat-y smell to it but it is incredibly sweet, like porridge with lashings of maple syrup stirred into it.

fresh natural face mask for dry skin

Initially, especially given how sweet this smells, I was a little skeptical about putting this on my face! It looks so much like baby food! I tried it in the end though, and so did my friend Tom; I have combination skin and Tom has dry skin which is prone to blemishes. After using Oatifix (not straight away but the morning after) my skin was super soft and I woke up with absolutely baby soft skin and a slightly more even skin tone. Tom's skin was really smooth afterwards,  his dry skin really benefited from Oatifix which makes sense as it is definitely more for his skin type than mine. I've now used this product three times and I experienced the same effects every time, plus it didn't break me out (which I was a little bit worried about) or aggravate my sensitive skin at all.

fresh natural face mask for dry skin review

So, although this isn't a product specifically targeting my skin type it wouldn't stop me from repurchasing Oatifix in the future. I really really enjoyed using it, and I think it was nice for my skin to have a bit of a different face mask experience as a lot of the products for oily/combination skin are quite drying. So yeah,  what am I getting at here, basically, don't be afraid of giving Oatifix a try if you have oily/combination skin! And definitely consider it if you have dry skin as it is lovely and moisturising, and it also has great brightening properties which you will definitely notice the day after use.

Oatifix is available online or instore for £5.95*.

Do you have a favourite Lush face mask?


January 18, 2013

Soap, Glorious Soap!

If you didn't already know this about me then it is definitely time to find out. I, Angelica, am a soapaholic. I absolutely love soap. I use solid soap in place of liquid soaps wherever I can, my only exception is that I'm still hooked on my L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil which even my lovely soaps can't replace. Today (other than celebrating soap) I'm going to show you the soaps I've got on the go at the moment, the ones lurking in my stash and the ones on my endless beauty wishlist.

Soaps On the Go

There are five, yes that's right, five little beauties currently in use and I'll just do a little breakdown of what they are and what they get used for. (I've linked all their names below to websites where you can read more about them or to blog posts I've written on them in case you like the look of something and want to read more.)

Lush's Miranda Soap: This is a relatively new addition to my collection but I've really fallen in love with it. It  is absolutely perfect for regular use as it is creamy and not at all drying. It also has a gorgeous fruity scent as it is full of kiwi as well as essential oils. I use this soap on my hands and it replaces liquid hand wash when I'm at home. Available from Lush for £3.40/100g.

Lush Porridge Soap: This is one of my all time favourite Lush products. The scent of this is one of my favourites ever, I could happily sit and sniff this soap for ages. Sounds really weird but if you like oaty smells then you'll fall in love with this too. I used to use this as my hand soap but in the winter months the exfoliating element of it has been a little bit too much for regular use. It is now reserved for exfoliation, I do use this on my hands periodically but I also like using this on my body when I'm in the bath or shower. I've nearly run out but I'll be repurchasing this soon no doubt about it. Available from Lush for £2.95/100g.

Lush's Snowglobe Soap: This is a winter collection product so isn't currently available but I've included the link to the blog post I wrote about it. I like this soap but don't love it as it isn't particularly moisturising and isn't at all creamy like Porridge and Miranda. The scent is really nice, it's a sort of citrussy lemongrass smell, but sadly this product is often sidelined in favour of my others. Probably wouldn't repurchase this!

L'Occitane's Almond Soap: This is a gorgeous soap, it lathers beautifully (really really beautifully) and it is rich so moisturises whilst it exfoliates. It feels like a luxury product and it really delivers excellent exfoliation. I love it and would definitely recommend it, I have another one in my stash which I'll be using when I finish this one. This is definitely on par (or better) than Lush's Porridge soap so if you like that then this is definitely worth a try. Available from L'Occitane for £4.

Lush's 13 Soap: This soap is actually being discontinued as you read this. So now is the time to try this out if you haven't already and hate missing out on things! It is a gorgeous rose scented soap that sort of reminds me (just a little bit) or turkish delight. It has a similar consistency to Snow Globe as 13 similarly isn't a creamy soap. However, I do find that it is easier to use than Snow Globe, and 13 leaves my hands feeling very clean with its scent lingering for a while. It's nice but like Snow Globe I wouldn't repurchase, worth a try though perhaps as it is 50% off until Lush run out so my block cost me about £2.

Soaps in my Stash

I currently have 4 full size soaps in my stash (and one sample size L'Occitane Verbena soap which I couldn't find anywhere so it isn't in the photo- sorry!) All of these appeal to me although I don't know much about the Natio soap which I received in the #bbloggersxmas goody bag, the scent sounds appealing though! 

Soaps on my Wishlist

I have three soaps/soap selections currently on my wishlist although I'm trying to hold off buying any more until I've powered through what I've already got. I did get bought the Read the Label collection for Christmas but is still hasn't arrived so I can't really comment on it at this time. A shame really! Anyway, the three wonderful soaps/selections are:

Lush's Rock Star Soap
Lush's Honey I Washed the Kids Soap

As you can probably tell, Lush and L'Occitane are the places that I tend to go to buy my soap, I just really like the ethos of both the brands and I love their high quality ingredients. But I would love to hear some recommendations if anyone else is a bit of a soap fiend like me as I'd love to try some new brands. I do feel like I'm stuck in a little bit a soap rut. Not that I'm complaining too much though, I love the products I'm using and I'm looking forward to trying the soaps that I've got hoarded away in my stash.

I hope you guys enjoyed this post! I know it might seem a little crazy to non soap obsessives but hopefully it'll have at least been informative. Do let me know how you feel about solid soap as I know some people really don't like using it.


January 17, 2013

January Glossybox 2013

I resubscribed to Glossybox about a week ago and this is my first box from them in about 6 months. I only unsubscribed for financial reasons not because I didn't enjoy their boxes although admittedly they weren't my favourite beauty box. If you don't already know, beauty boxes are a subscription service where you receive a monthly box with a number of sample size products in it. The samples in Glossyboxes are unknown at the time of purchase so it can be a little bit of a lottery but for £10 plus p&p it can be quite a fun monthly surprise! You can find out more about Glossybox here.

This month's Glossybox was a detox themed one and the value of my Gossybox this month is £31.06. (This is based on the RRP of the products as informed by the leaflet which was included in this month's Glossybox.) It is, however, worth noting that nearly HALF of my 'Balance Rose Face Tonique' had leaked out in transit. This substantially lowers the value of the box as it is the most expensive item in it.

First up is Jason's Lips Bee Healthier Aloe & Beeswax lip balm. I haven't tried this before and it is just lovely, really lovely. I didn't need another lip balm but I am glad that it was in the box as otherwise I wouldn't have tried it.

Full size price: £1.99     Value of Sample: £1.99

The second product is Duck Island Limited Body Lotion. Some of the people I've spoken to who got this in their Glossybox were a little but unhappy with it but I actually really like it. Granted, it isn't really 'detoxing' and it isn't the best of samples as 30ml is really enough of a body moisturiser to get much use but the scent! My goodness do I like the scent! It's called 'Mandarin and Bergamot' but it's mainly quite a heavy scent with the undertones being the sweeter element to it. I like it but I can see that a lot of people might not.

Full size price: £24.95     Value of Sample: £1.49 

The next product in the box is Elemis' Skin Glow Exfoliating Face Wash. I haven't tried any of Elemis' skincare before so I'm quite pleased with the inclusion of this, I also don't have a stash of exfoliaters like I do with other face products so I'll actually get some use out of this in the near future!

Full size price: £12  Value of Sample: £3.60

Next, the infamous toner! This is Balance Rescue Face Tonique, a 'refreshing face toner for combination skin'. The inclusion of this is nice as it shows that Glossybox have sent me a box catered specifically for my skin type. I love rose water toners so I'll definitely be using this, it's just a shame so much of it was wasted in transit! I have emailed Glossybox about it so hopefully they can offer me a replacement- we'll see!

Full size price: £27.50  Value of Sample: £16.50

The last sample product is Monu's Warming Aromatic Mask, a warming clay face mask aimed at deep cleansing and invigorating the skin. I love face masks, I love self-heating products so I am doubly happy with this. I'll definitely be using this soon as my T-Zone could use some deep cleansing!

Full size price: £24.95      Value of Sample: £7.49

Glossybox also through in an extra this month, a Glossybox eye mask. This isn't something I'd get regular use out of but I do occasionally get migraines and this will no doubt be helpful at keeping light away from my sensitive eyes! A nice little extra but nothing to write home about.

Overall, I'm pleased with the box. I was worried about resubscribing because I have been disappointed by beauty boxes but this one was really quite nice. I know that it will seem a bit skincare heavy but I'm a real lover of skincare products and enjoy trying new things so for me this is just perfect! I'm going to stay subscribed so look out for a similar post next month!

Did you subscribe to Glossybox this month? What did you think of your box? I'd love it if you left links to any posts you've done on yours!


January 16, 2013

HAUL: I came. I saw. I bought it all.

I know a lot of people are on spending bans (and I think I might try and start one next month) but for now I'm indulging in some shopping. I had a wishlist the length of my arm and when I narrowed it down I realised that I could afford to get a lot of it. I know it may seem excessive but I don't usually do BIG hauls, this is actually the first haul post I've ever written! Everything below is make-up or skin care, I did also buy a t-shirt  in the Gap sale while I was out shopping but I didn't photograph it so what doesn't get photographed sadly doesn't get blogged about! (It's a lovely, albeit very bright, pink colour which I was instantly drawn to for pyjama/gym purposes. Worth checking out the Gap sale if like me you're a lover of really good cotton t-shirts, Gap's cotton is softer than soft and in the sale the t-shirt was only £4!) But, I digress. On with all the haulin' goodness.


January 15, 2013

My New Love: Bare Minerals Ready 4.0 Eye Shadow Palette 'The Soundtrack'

Available from Feel Unique for £24.65.

It was in a moment of weakness that I gave in to temptation and bought this eye shadow palette but since it arrived it has brought nothing but joy into my daily make-up routine. I absolutely love the shades and they're different enough from shades that I already own to get some good use. I'm normally very much into neutral and brown eye shadows, I find they do the most for my eyes, and certainly this palette has a gorgeous bronze shade ('Louder'), but it also has a lovely light cream ('Rhythm'), a fabulously shimmery gold ('Remix') and a beautiful deep green with flecks of gold in it ('Speakerbox'). 'Speakerbox' makes for the most beautiful liner and the 'Rhythm' and 'Remix' are both truly lovely in the corner of the eye or across the lid. They also all work fantastically together and are a dream to blend. 

Top: 'Rhythm' , 'Remix'.
Bottom: 'Louder' , 'Speakerbox'.

All the eye shadows are buttery soft, you can just feel the quality of them as you run your brush over them. The palette comes with an applicator which is what I used for the swatches, however, I wouldn't apply any of the shadows with the applicator normally except for the cream shade when I'm using it just in the corner of my eyes to brighten them. I've swatched them below, once was in bright day light and the other set of swatches was in darker 'indoor' daylight, I've included both so that you can get a true feel for the colours. I really think they are gorgeous when applied and it's worth noting that they last all day on my eye lids which is almost unheard of for me.

This was definitely a bit of a splurge as I wouldn't normally pay so much for a palette but I always swatch Bare Minerals eye shadows when I see them in department stores and I couldn't resist any longer! Initially I was going to buy the palette 'The Truth' as it has some gorgeous brown shades, but I was really drawn to the gold and green shades in this one. I think my choice paid off though because now have some really lovely new shades to play around with. I also love the packaging, it feels sturdy and the mirror is lovely and large and although I won't be keeping this in my handbag on a day to day basis when I do take this out I'm sure the mirror will come in handy.

Overall, I love it and I would highly recommend both the eye shadows and the palette itself. I bought mine from Feel Unique because it was about £5 cheaper than in department stores, but you can always check out these eye shadows at Bare Minerals' counters to get a feel of their quality.

Have you splurged on anything new lately? 

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January 13, 2013

Lush Tutti Fruity Gift Set

natural gift set review

This is a lovely little gift set that I was very kindly gifted for Christmas (thanks Alex!) which has two gorgeous Lush products which I was really excited about as I hadn't tried either of them before- Miranda Soap and Happy Hippy Shower Gel. These products are both very fruity, Miranda being full of Kiwi and whilst Happy Hippy is gloriously grapefruit-y (a scent I really adore).

Both the products fit nicely in the box, they aren't crammed in or anything like that and there was a whole bunch of coloured foam pieces cushioning them (although a little sparsely perhaps if these were to be sent in the post anywhere).

The Miranda soap isn't the most glamorous looking product but is smells oh so lovely. It also lathers up really well under running water so is great for both washing your hands or in place of a shower gel. It's quite milky when it lathers and I tried seeing if it could be used instead of a shaving foam/oil but alas it isn't quite thick enough to do a good enough job. However, it's consistency does suggest that it won't be at all drying meaning that I would be happy using this regularly as my hand soap. I think this will be my summer alternative to Lush's Porridge Soap which is my autumn/winter soap favourite.

The second product is Happy Hippy which is a really thick shower gel. It isn't runny like I initially expected to be and it doesn't lather amazingly when used on the body (not badly but not amazingly) but when you use this in your hair it really really lathers up, I think maybe it would work well on an exfoliating mitt. I'll have to try that at some point. It is lovely and fresh smelling, just really light and fruity. I think I'll save this for the summer and take it travelling with me because as a multi-purpose product it is a great space saver.  I'd definitely recommend trying this when the weather gets warmer, it gets my full approval as both a shower and hair product.

So there you have it! Two gorgeous Lush products that I would definitely recommend to those who like light, fresh, fruity scents. These will be especially nice in the Summer when the weather gets warmer and showers become more about refreshment. I also think it is an excellent little gift, it certainly was nice for me to receive anyway! You can find the Tutti Fruity Gift Set in Lush stores or online for £7.95*.

Have you tried Happy Hippy? What's your favourite Lush shower product?


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