Monday, 29 September 2014

A Brief Announcement

Hey guys!

Sorry to break the usual routine in here with a personal post but I just wanted to let you know that my boyfriend and I are no longer together.  I'm fine, it's all okay, it was sort of expected...  so he won't be getting mentioned anymore!  I try to involve my private life a little to give the blog a more personal feel, and I guess I wanted you guys to know what was going on for me.

That's all :)  Hope you're having a lovely day!

Sunday, 28 September 2014

You Beauty Discovery Box - September 2014

Hi everyone!  Even though I've been a beauty blogger for a good while now, I'd never tried a beauty subscription box.  I am so very picky with what shades I wear and what I use on my hair and skin so the idea of getting a box of stuff I'd end up not using just didn't appeal.  As someone who finds the idea of wearing a neutral eye more scary than neon greens, a box that would please most people would probably make me sad!

However, recently I was made aware of an offer by You Beauty Discovery; there was a code that would get me 1 free box!  It did mean I'd have to pay for the next 2 boxes before I could opt out, but as the box costs just £6.95 anyway, I figured it was about time to give the whole monthly box thing a go.  You also get the option to choose some of the items in your box, which takes away some of the worry about getting something you'll hate!

Let's have a look at what's inside September's box...

You Beauty Discovery Box September 2014

The box arrived around a week after I placed my order and I was surprised at how small it was - however, it's packed with goodies!

You Beauty Discovery Box September 2014

Toni & Guy Glamour Volume Plumping Whip - full size (around £6-7 depending on the shop/postage)

  I've never tried anything from Toni & Guy before, but unfortunately for me this isn't really a match for my hair type.  My hair is thick and too full, so I don't need more volume!  However, I gave it a go in the interests of writing a mini review

You Beauty Discovery Box September 2014

You apply the whip to towel dried hair, working a small amount into the roots, and then blow dry.  The product had a pleasant smell that reminded me of Dove's range.  It felt a little tacky, which I suppose is what gives the roots texture and therefore volume.  It did plump up my roots a little (sorry for the crap phone photo) but I didn't like the feel of it in my hair, plus the fact that I had to blow dry.  I'll be passing this on to someone with fine hair!

You Beauty Discovery Box September 2014

Mavadry 918 - 5ml (around £5-11 depending on the shop/postage)

This is one of the items I requested to be sent... and I'm so glad I did, because the entire box was worth it for this!  This is hands down the best quick dry topcoat I've ever had the pleasure of trying. Dry time is literally around 15 seconds and it leaves a glossy shine and it also keeps my chip-prone nails neat for longer too.  Instant HG product!

You Beauty Discovery Box September 2014

Wild About Beauty Nutrilips Colour SPF 15 in Maddy - full size (£15)

This was another item I requested to be sent.  I'd not heard of this brand before, but the look of the lipstick seems to justify the price tag.  I love that it has SPF 15!

You Beauty Discovery Box September 2014
You Beauty Discovery Box September 2014

Unfortunately, the colour isn't for me - it's quite a deep, brown-toned nude and I prefer pinks or corals.  I've swapped this for another lipstick I'm in love with, so it wasn't a total loss!  I must admit, the texture of the lipstick was lovely and balmy and it would have been great if the shade had worked out

You Beauty Discovery Box September 2014

This random little makeup pouffe was a bit of a strange inclusion I thought, but I'll use it for blending out cream products!

You Beauty Discovery Box September 2014

I'm a poor excuse for a British person as I actually hate tea, so these were a swing and a miss.  I did try the Blackberry Green Tea in the hope it would be fruity, and although it smelled amazing it just tasted gross - often my experience with fruit tea!

You Beauty Discovery Box September 2014

Hello Fresh £25 Gift Card

This is a pretty generous inclusion - £25 off Hello Fresh for first time subscribers!  However, the boxes are still quite expensive even with the money off, and as someone who isn't a particularly keen chef it won't end up getting used

Even though a few of the items in the box didn't work for me, I really enjoyed the experience and am looking forward to my next box.  The Mavadry made it all worth it, and for just £6.95 including postage it really is a great deal.  I'm still undecided about whether I'll continue my subscription once I've received my third box though - I'm just a bit too fussy!

Do you subscribe to You Beauty Discovery Box?  What subscription boxes are you a fan of?

Lush of the Week: Rub Rub Rub

Hi everyone!  Every time I think my Lush feature is properly retired, I find something new to try.  The Halloween and Christmas ranges are also due to be released soon, so it's going to get quite Lush heavy up in here as I want to review everything new for you guys :)  However, before we get all seasonal, let's talk about their Rub Rub Rub Shower Scrub.

Lush Rub Rub Rub Shower Scrub Review

Rub Rub Rub comes in Lush's trademark recycled black tub with white writing.  You get 330g of product for £8.50, making it comparable in price to brands like Soap & Glory

Lush Rub Rub Rub Shower Scrub Review

Rub Rub Rub is an exfoliating scrub you can use in the shower or bath on damp skin.  You can also really amp up the exfoliation by using it on dry skin before stepping into the water.  In terms of ingredients, the main exfoliation comes from the Fine Sea Salt.  This also acts as a natural antiseptic and keeps the product self-preserving - it has a shelf life of over a year!  Fresh Organic Lemon Juice and Lemon Oil refresh and rejuvenate the skin, Mimosa Absolute is cleansing and calming, plus Jasmine Flower Infusion, Jasmine Absolute and Orange Flower Absolute give the product its lovely scent

Lush Rub Rub Rub Shower Scrub Review

The scrub itself looks exactly like a Blue Slush Puppy!  It has a heady floral scent that I really enjoy - I believe it's identical to their Sakura bath bomb.  I don't usually like strong florals, but this one is really lovely!

Lush Rub Rub Rub Shower Scrub Review

It does have quite a wet consistency, but is absolutely packed with salt meaning it gives great exfoliation.  Once I've scrubbed everywhere, I find the running water makes the scrub go really silky as it washes away, leaving my skin beautifully soft and smooth - and that divine scent sticks around too!

I really like Lush's body scrubs, but I'd previously only tried their solid ones that don't come in a tub.  Those are frankly quite annoying to use as they melt and get messy.  I know where I stand with a tub and I intend to pick up Ocean Salt once this is finished.  However, there are 4 different versions of it (original, original without alcohol, self-preserving, self-preserving without alcohol) and I have no idea which to go for.  It would be fun to compare them all (but expensive!)  Which one should I pick up?

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Soap & Glory Hand Dream - Review

Hi everyone!  I'm a huge fan of Soap & Glory - their skincare, cosmetics and bath products are all pretty much a hit with me.  However, today I'll be reviewing an item that fell a little flat - their Hand Dream 5-in-1 Hand Treatment.  This is the third and newest hand cream in their repertoire.

Soap and Glory Hand Dream Review

Hand Dream comes in a tall, thin, matte pink tube.  I like Soap & Glory's packaging - it's instantly recognisable and fun!  You get 100ml for £7 - I don't think this is available in travel size yet

Soap and Glory Hand Dream Review

Hand Dream contains AHAs and botanicals to stimulate cell renewal and target age spots plus ultra-nourishing oils and a clinically proven moisture complex to soften skin.  It's meant to be an intensive, hard-working cream for even the driest hands!

Soap and Glory Hand Dream Review

The cream is a pale yellow colour and has the same Original Pink fragrance as Hand Food, their first hand cream.  However, it's much more highly fragranced - so much so that if I apply this before bed, I can't sleep with my hands near my face as the scent gives me a headache!

In terms of how it works, this does really soften the skin and makes my hands look smooth and brighter.  However, it doesn't feel like there's any proper nourishment happening - I'd liken it to rubbing a silicone primer on your hands rather than an intensive hand cream.  I much prefer the feel of Endless Glove or Hand Food - they actually feel like they're doing good and delivering moisture deep down.  I do seem to be the exception to the rule as reviews of Hand Dream have been very positive, but that's just the way the cream feels to me!  Maybe my hands aren't dry enough to reap the benefits?

I've realised I never reviewed Hand Food - would you guys like to see that?  What hand cream are you using at the moment?

Black Heart Creatives Fiiiiiineapple Pineapple Brooch - Review

Hi everyone!  I mentioned that I met Charlotte of Black Heart Creatives at the Neal's Yard Remedies event I attended at the start of September.  As someone who loves supporting independent jewellery companies, I'd always been aware of BHC, so it was really exciting to actually put a face to the name! 

Black Heart Creatives specialise in laser cut acrylic jewellery and have a number of different collections with amazing names such as Palm Bling and Live Fast Die Yum.  They also make name necklaces and are quite well known for their necklaces celebrating plus size women, using words such as 'Fat Babe' and 'Fat Bitch'.  I love their attitude!  On top of everything else, Black Heart Creatives also take custom orders, so if there's something you fancy but can't see on the website just shoot Charlotte an email and I'm sure she can help you with your vision.

 She very kindly offered to send me something to review, and I obviously jumped at the chance.  I opted for the Fiiiiiineapple Pineapple Brooch because of the awesome name, and because it's fruit-themed (of course).

Black Heart Creatives Review

My brooch arrived in a white recycled box featuring a Black Heart Creatives sticker and a business card.  It all looks very sleek and professional, and is so much more satisfying than buying from the high street!

Black Heart Creatives Review

My brooch is pineapple shaped, as you'd expect from the name!  I went for the Mirrored Gold option, but it's also available in Neon Orange, Neon Yellow and Gold.  Black Heart Creatives have a huge range of different acrylic colours and finishes, and so it's possible to order an item in a different colour than listed if you like.  They can also change chain lengths and the metal used if required 

Black Heart Creatives Review

This is a really striking brooch - I'm wearing it on my dress here, but I plan to pin it onto my winter coat so I have it on whenever I go out!  Thanks so much for sending this to me Charlotte - I love it :)

If you like the look of Black Heart Creatives, you can use my discount code MALI20 to receive 20% off your order!  If that doesn't tempt you, I don't know what will :)  Everything is really reasonably priced and I'm sure you can find something for yourself.

What do you like best from the website?