07/07/2016

Birchbox - Paradise Found.

I'm a little late in getting this post up as my new Birchbox is already winging it's way to me. But I thought I'd still pop it up anyway.

For June Birchbox ditched the regular lid topped box and bag, replacing it with a draw. Which I have to say would look quite nice if the future boxes were like this and you could stack them. Would save a lot of space.


Absolution - Le Nettoyant Pureté
£26 / 150ml
Have you ever had that feeling when your face feels tight after cleansing? Apparently this cleanser makes this a thing of the past. It contains natural ingredients such as chamomile and oats that help remove dirt but prevent skin irritation. It works perfectly with a konjac sponge, which it just so happens I got in my last Glossybox. So I'm definitely going to be trying that.

Monu Professional Skincare - MONUSpa Enriched Body Cream
£24 / 200ml
I've tried quite a number of Monu products in the past and they've always impressed me. This is a light cream that my skin seems to just drink up. It's packed full of orange, lemon, geranium and rose essential oils. They hydrate the skin and leave behind a fresh citrusy scent. It also has vitamins, cocoa butter and chamomile to make sure you're not left with any dry patches.

Percy & Reed - Reassuringly Firm Session Hold Hairspray
£12 / 250ml
Having just got a fringe, hairspray is something I've definitely been in need of just to make sure everything stays where it's supposed to. This spray is ultra fine and doesn't come with that crispy feeling. It's also great in humidity with a super strong hold that just easily brushes away.


Cynthia Rowley Beauty - Brightening Illuminator
£19 / 3.25ml
Highlighting is one of those things that's really big at the moment. It used to be brows but I feel like we've moved on from that and everything is all about the highlight. This is a creamy formula and a little bit really does a long way. It's the perfect way to warm up your complexion and brighten up certain parts of your face with a golden pearlescent sheen.

Aïny - Pure Lumière Gommage Pureté Eclat Visage
£29 / 50ml
I only tend to use acid exfoliators but this claims to be extremly gentle. Turning into a nourishing milk on contact with water, releasing a burst of jojoba packed microspheres to exfoliate. It shall be interesting to see if it's as good as I hope it to be.
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Price:
£10 (plus p&p) per month
Subscriptions also available with discounts

Get £5 worth of Birchbox points when you sign up here

Where to buy:
www.birchbox.co.uk
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05/07/2016

Sugarpill Cold Chemistry Palette.

If Sugarpill is known for anything it's their brightly coloured matte shadows and their stunning metallic pigments. When they decided to put them both together and create metallic eyeshadows I couldn't wait to try them.

The Cold Chemistry palette contains four pressed shadows in a range of cooler tones. The shades are available in a palette for £24.95 or as single shadows at £8.95 each so buying them in the palette gives you quite a significant discount. Both the palette and the singles are part of Sugarpill's permanent lineup. 


Soot & Stars is a deepened charcoal, that isn't quite black. It's packed full of micro glitters and has a pearly finish to it. It reminds me of Dagger from the Urban Decay Smoky palette.

Diamond Eyes is a bright white with a frosty finish. It can look a little sheer but it's buildable. If you're going for a strong metallic white it would work well over Sugarpill's Tako, which is a matte white.

Elemental Chaos is a medium purple with a frosty finish.

Subterranean is probably my favourite shade in the palette. It's a smoky green shade with teal shimmer that makes the colour stand out when the light hits it.

As I expected the shades are buttery soft, being that they are metallics they're somewhat softer than Sugarpill's regular matte finish. They blend out with very little effort, perfect if you're looking for something that can create a quick eye look that makes a statement. On the flipside I feel like you could lightly dab these on to create something a little less intense.

I love Sugarpill as a brand and this is a palette that really doesn't dissapoint. It's slightly different from their vivid matte shades so if those are not something you feel you can wear, I really recommend the Cold Chemistry colours. Either as singles or as a quad, the shades go really well together and create the most beautiful smoky eyes.
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Price:
£24.95 / 4 x 3.5g
£8.95 / 3.5g single shadow

Where to buy:
www.cocktailcosmetics.co.uk
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03/07/2016

Real Techniques Powder Brush.

Real Techniques are one of those brands that are easily accessible on the high street nowadays, either from Boots or Superdrug. I tend to see which has the better offers like 3-4-2, though I definitely favour Boots.

I've amassed quite the collection of Real Techniques brushes now, due to their great price point and how ridiculously soft they are. Today I have the newest addition to my collection, the  Real Techniques Powder Brush*. 


The brush comes with a large, plush head that's packed full of synthetic bristles. They are super soft, whilst they aren't Hakuhodu soft they are for their drugstore price point. The bristles don't hold a build up of product and are easy to clean.

The brush seems to pick up just the right amount of powder, giving a sheer finish without being cakey. It can be used for powder and mineral foundations along with finising powders.

It's not the most exciting or innonative brush but it's one I've used daily to set my makeup and I couldn't be without it now. If you're in the market for a new powder brush I can highly suggest this.
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Price:
£12.99

Where to buy:
www.boots.com
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01/07/2016

Crown & Glory Bobby Pin Club - June.

Ever since my Jammy Dodger pin landed on my doorstep last month, I've been super excited about getting my next one.

For the June pin Crown & Glory teamed up with Anne Knispel from Pony People. Anne is a Netherlands based illustrator who has a penchant for animal based designs, especially cats. Cats? That's right up my street!


I was so excited when I opened this kitty pin. It features two kitty heads, enamelled with pastel shades in lilac and pink. With one of them featuring red, glittery heart eyes. It reminds me of the heart eye cat emoji. All finished up on a silver toned pin.

Compared to last months pin it has a little less height but quite a bit more width. As these are made completely of metal, they feel extremely well made and durable.

I really like the idea behind the Bobby Pin Club. Each month Crown & Glory team up with illustrators and designers from around the globe to design and create an exclusive pin for the monthly subscription. It's a nice wear to jazz up a simple hairstyle and I can't wait to see what next month brings us.
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Price:
£5 per month

Where to buy:
www.crownandglory.co.uk
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23/06/2016

Glossybox - June.

Are we really in June? I mean, as I type this I can hear the rain hammering down outside, through the slight open crack in my window. I feel like we're still much earlier in the year.

Besides the atrocious weather, the summer products are out in force. This month Glossybox brings us a 'new discoveries' box*. Full of bits to help get you ready for the warmer weather, along with a cheeky extra.


Ladival - Sun Protection Spray SPF 15
£13.50 / 200ml
I usually go for the highest SPF I can but this is an interesting spray. It's waterproof, non greasy and perfume free. It claims to protect against infrared-A rays and protects against 4x more of the sun's rays. I might get a chance to try this if the sun ever reappears.


De Bruyère - After Sun Lotion - Monoï
£9.48 / 50ml
After spending time in the sun my skin tends to feel incredibly itchy. This is perfect for sensitive skin. Enriched with Monoï (gardenia petals soaked in coconut oil) and vitamin E it hydrates, nourishes and calms the skin. It sinks into the skin quickly leaving behind a floral coconut scent.

Origins - GinZing Energy Boosting Moisturizer
£24 / 50ml
If you want to smell like the inside of a Jaffa Cake, this is for you. It's lightweight, oil free and contains skin boosters such as ginseng and coffee bean. It helps skin become more hydrated and refreshed, leaving behind a healthy glow.

Emité Makeup - Lip & Cheek Tint
£12.50 / 6ml
This is the one product I was a bit eh on. The packaging looks rather nice but I find the stain much too watery. Due to my pale complexion I prefer more pink tones, this is rather red and I don't feel it suits me at all.


Spa To You - Konjac Sponge
£6.99
Apparently konjac sponges are a big thing in the Asian beauty market. The sponges are made from all natural vegetable fibres from the konjac plant. Making for a super soft sponge that is gentle on the skin, whilst helping to lightly exfoliate. Hang it up to dry and it'll be ready for your next use.

Aussie Hair Care - 3 Minute Miracle Reconstructor Deep Conditioner
£4.99 / 250ml
I've used this conditioner before and though this sample is nowhere near enough to cover my hair, it'll help when I start to get those dry ends. I tend to leave it on for longer than the stated time. After rinsing my hair feels soft, manageable and looks a whole lot shinier.
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Price:
£10 (plus p&p) per month
Subscriptions also available with discounts

Where to buy:
www.glossybox.co.uk
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21/06/2016

How To Fix A Broken Pressed Powder.

I'm sure it's happened to us all at some point. That horrifying moment when you drop a compact, you can almost feel it break and you know what it's going to look like when you open it ...


Well it happened to me recently with my Mary Lou-Manizer from The Balm. It's buttery soft in texture so it's no surprise that it gave up the ghost. I continued to use it for a little while after but it just became too messy, especially when travelling. So I set about learning how to fix and thought I would share how I did it.


You're going to need your broken powder of choice, rubbing alcohol (surgical spirit if like me and you're in the UK), a small pot to mix your powder in, a small spoon, plenty of kitchen roll and something the same size as your pan - I used a lid from a powder pot.


First up you're going to want to decant the entire powder into your pot, using your spoon to crush it up as finely as you can.

Using a little alcohol clean out the pan so that it's read to be repressed.


You're going to want to start adding the alcohol a little at a time to your powder mixture. Too little and it won't bind together, too much and it won't set properly.

This is where things can get a little messy, hence the lack of photos.

After you've got the right consistency it's time to move it into the empty pan. I scooped as much as I could into the spoon and popped it in, going back to scrap what was left in the pot. Then you'll need to shape and flatten it out with the back of the spoon.

Next taking some folded kitchen roll and something flat that is around the same size of your pan (mine was a powder lid), you want to put the kitchen roll over the mixture and pressed down on it with the powder lid. This helps to draw out any excess alcohol and make sure it's firmly pressed into the pan. Repeat the process until your paper is mostly dry after pressing.


Clean up the edges and leave the compact open for 24-48 hours to dry.

And voila! Once the alcohol evaporates all you're left with is a repressed powder that works exactly the same as it did before.

I wish I had done this before and I don't know why I didn't. But at least I know how to fix them now should any break on me in the future. It's also a great way to press powdered pigments which I'm curious to try.
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