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Category Archives: birchbox

Five Friday Favourites #19

Dobble

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My friend Lucie came to stay last weekend and brought this highly addictive card game with her. It’s a really simple concept but is really fun to play and you can’t help but get really competitive…a definite for family gatherings!

Coffee and Tonic

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Yep, you read that correctly. Apparently the new hipster drink is a shot of espresso over ice topped up with tonic water. I was fully expecting to hate this but there is something really tasty and refreshing about the combination of the two drinks.

Rose Serum

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I received this Aromatica serum in a Birchbox and have been using it for about a week. It’s really lovely and hydrating and sinks in quickly. I wish it had a pump as it’s a bit of a pain tipping the gel-like liquid onto my hands but that’s the only criticism I have.

Red Shoes

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I love a red accessory and I have been slowly breaking in these red leather sandals my mum brought me back from Spain. They are smart enough for work and really comfortable but…they have dyed my feet red the first few times of wearing them!

Toronto

Finally, Ian and I have booked another holiday! We are off to Toronto and Niagara Falls for a week in October. I found a really good deal with BA and am really looking forward to my first visit to Canada,

Beauty Review – March and April Birchboxes

I’m not sure how I managed to miss a month’s review but I thought I would do a condensed double-whammy of beauty products that I received over the past two months plus an extra purchase I made.

March’s Box

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This box was rather plain and uninspiring when I opened it but there were some gems hidden inside.

First up is the Batiste 2-in-1 Dry Shampoo and Conditioner. This seems like a great idea but I just don’t use dry shampoos. I will however pass this onto my husband who does.

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I was surprised to see an inclusion from Bobbi Brown. Although the product sizes are quite tiny, it is still quite a high-end brand and I am really looking forward to trying out these three mini face masks.

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Next, a Balance Me Instant Lift Primer which I was pleased with as I love the brand and am always keen on testing out new primers. This smells nice and isn’t too silicone-y upon first use.

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Given that summer is fast-approaching, it was good to include a tanning lotion. This one from Vita Liberata is their Ten Minute Tan and I will use this as soon as it gets warm enough to contemplate getting my bare legs out!

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Finally, from Benefit I received a Double The Lip in the shade Pink Thrills. This is a lipstick and lipliner in one and although I can see the idea behind it, I just don’t think it quite works. Firstly, the two colours don’t really complement each other – I just wouldn’t use a dark purple lip liner with a bright pink lipstick! Secondly, it doesn’t really blend out very well and is quite a dry formula. With enough priming and blending I can just about make this work for me but for a product that was created to speed up application, it seems to have done the opposite!

April’s Box

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This was a much prettier offering in collaboration with Boden who included a £10 voucher.

The first item I received was a Baïja Paris body lotion in Fleur De Tiaré. I know some people moan that these products are ‘filler’ but I take these mini moisturisers with me whenever I go away and this one will be coming with me to Croatia in June.

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I also received Polaar’s face scrub with Arctic Cotton – an ingredient I don’t think I have used before. It’s meant to be moisturising but I’m usually quite wary of scrubs being too harsh on my skin.

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Next, a bronzer and highlighter duo from Manna Kadar Cosmetics. I haven’t heard of this brand before and on first impressions, the packaging feels very cheap and flimsy. However, the formula of the products aren’t bad. The bronzer is too dark for my skin tone so I will probably try using this as an eyeshadow but the highlighter is a nice peachy colour and looks quite natural.

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I think ModelCo are quite an underrated brand and I have really liked everything I’ve tried from them and use their brow gel and bronzer on a daily basis. This black eyeliner is another great product. My only niggle would be that it feels like I’ve received quite a few black eyeliners from Birchbox now so a different colour would have been nice.

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Finally, a Keratin conditioner from Luseta Beauty. This looks right up my street and will be going straight in my travel make-up bag to use on holiday.

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If you are a Birchbox customer, you will know they are making a few changes to their membership (free delivery, money off your orders, more opportunities to personalise your monthly box) and I realised some of my Birchbox points were about to expire so I put in an emergency order so I didn’t lose them!

An old faithful, Seche Vite, which I use on a weekly basis to give that gel finish to a manicure.

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My absolute favourite foaming shower gel from Rituals. This is quite expensive compared to what I would normally pay for a shower gel but it really is amazing stuff.

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I also bought a mini nail varnish remover pot from Ciate which is chocolate orange scented. These are so handy for removing nail varnish and I was in need of a new one too.

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Phew – that was a mammoth post but it has left me feeling really excited about testing out all these new products!

Beauty Review – February Birchbox

I thought Spring was here today as I walked into Bath in the sunshine wearing a white shirt and my sunnies. Fast-forward a few hours and I was caught in torrential rain proving you can never trust the British weather! I did however find some time for a spot of shopping so it wasn’t a complete wash-out.

I loved the design of February’s Birchbox. I got the green leaf print box which is kind of the look and colour scheme I’m going for in our bedroom. Here was my first look inside:

First up, a shaving cream by Whish. I have tried another product by this brand (a coconut body lotion) and it both smelt lovely and was really moisturising so I am looking forward to using this.

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Next, a product by Beaver (snigger – yes, I’m a child). This is their Daily Moisture Conditioning Spray which will be perfect for me. Again, I have used some things from this brand before in previous Birchboxes and found them to be quite pleasant.

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I was really impressed by this next item – Rose Absolute First Serum by Aromatica. This is a Korean beauty item and I love trying these. They are said to be seven years ahead of the rest of the world in terms of beauty innovation and are responsible for such trends as sheet masks, serums, BB creams, cushion foundations and more recently essence waters. I am actually going to South Korea this summer and plan to buy a load of beauty bits to try out. This item is a rose serum and is a really generous size too.

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Next, an Eye Contour brush from Spectrum. This is super soft and is a beautiful white and rose gold design. I like Spectrum brushes – I use another of theirs for highlighter – and find they wash well and stay soft. I may use my Birchbox points to buy a few more of these.

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Finally, a POP Eye shadow Trio in Champagne Mocha. I was a bit unimpressed by this inclusion as I received an almost identical one from the same brand less than a year ago. The quality of the eye shadows aren’t great and they are quite crumbly so not great to travel with. This was my least favourite product this month.

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So, not a bad box this month. The serum and Spectrum brush were both excellent inclusions and also the items I am most excited about using.

Five Friday Favourites #4

A much less busy week for us and we are looking forward to a weekend with our besties. It has been freezing here in the UK so I’ve spent a fair amount of time defrosting the car as well as wrapping myself up in the largest scarf I can find!

Mini Eggs

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Yes, it’s only January and we have months until Easter but Mini Eggs are one of my favourite chocolates and I’ve already bought and eaten two bags!

Caitlin Moran

I listened to Caitlin on Desert Island Discs this week and, despite her talking so fast I thought I had accidentally sped up the podcast, she was really interesting. I don’t agree with everything she says but I do think she has a strong voice and her passion for writing, people and music really came across well.

New Bins

I did wonder whether or not to add bins to this week’s list. It’s hardly the most glamorous of items but this is my list so I’ll put them in! I bought some new bins for our bedroom and bathroom this week and I think they’re great, especially the pale leopard print one.

The Women’s March

More precisely, the amazing placards! I wasn’t able to go last weekend but it was inspiring to see so many men and women coming together to march for something they believed passionately in with a sense of humour alongside.

Kueshi Foot Cream

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I got this decent-sized sample bottle in a Birchbox last year and have been using it almost daily for a few weeks now. It really has left my feet feeling so much softer and smells nice too. I have saved up a few Birchbox points so think this will be the next thing I order.

Beauty Review – January Birchbox

Hello and happy Saturday. I have had a relaxed yet productive weekend so far (the best type in my opinion) and am now sat with a bowl of sweet and salty popcorn, candles are lit and we have lined up a film to watch later on.

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My first Birchbox of the year arrived this week full of products meant to get 2017 off to a great start. I like the design on the box and was keen to see what was inside.

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The first item was a Nails Inc polish in a pretty pale pastel blue. Now, I love Nails Inc as a brand and would normally be chuffed to receive something for my nails but I already have this exact colour! I have seen on social media that there were a range of colours included so I obviously was a bit unlucky with the one I received.

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Next was a handcream from French brand Merci Handy. I received the scent Flower Power and it is a sweet-smelling, rich cream that I will use to try and counteract this harsh weather.

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An interesting product next from Lord and Berry. I own a couple of lip items from this brand and at first thought this was another nude shade. However, I received their Conceal-It Crayon in the shade Beige. It is a pencil concealer which, at first, I really wasn’t sure of. I thought it would be too dry to blend well and almost made my mind up not to like it. After testing it out, I was impressed to see it was a great colour match for me and was actually quite creamy when applied and blended with my fingertips. I have put it with my current foundation to test out a bit more next week but I actually quite like this.

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A brand I have been wanting to try out for a while now – Yes To. I got the Yes to Carrots Moisturising Eye Cream and I was really impressed that this was a full-sized product. This is a nourishing eye cream that I have swatched and am looking forward to using. I was just coming to the end of my Benefit eye cream so this was perfect timing.

Finally, I received a good-sized sample of Monu’s Rosewood Reviving Mist. I love rose-scents and I enjoy a good facial spritz so this was a good inclusion for me. It is refreshing and smells great but I probably wouldn’t spend the £20 to repurchase it.

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Overall, this was actually quite a good box but I can’t help but feel a bit ‘over’ beauty boxes. I have so many samples now, I struggle to use them all and I just don’t get as excited anymore when my Birchbox arrives. Saying that, I think I would miss it if I cancelled my subscription as it pushes you out of your make-up comfort zone and almost forces you to try products you might not try but end up loving.

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Beauty Review – Nuxe Rêve de Miel Lip Balms

One of my biggest regrets this Christmas is not being able to rock a statement lip colour. I love a deep berry shade or a bright festive red but the state of my lips has meant I have been reaching for lip balms instead.

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I have a pretty decent collection of lip balms but when my lips are sore and chapped I reach for the Rêve de Miel balms from Nuxe. They are bestsellers and I use both the balm and the stick formula.

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The little pot of balm comes in pretty frosted glass packaging and I tend to keep this on my bedside table. I’m not usually a fan of lip balm pots as I don’t think it is overly hygienic to keep dipping fingers in but I use this before bed and it really does work. It is a nice matte texture that doesn’t disappear but equally doesn’t feel sticky or greasy on the lips.

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The lip balm in stick form is much more convenient for when I’m on the go and has the same moisturising qualities. The formula is slightly greasier than the pot of balm but both have the lovely honey and citrus scent.

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The lip balm is about £10 but I bought my most recent pot with my Birchbox points. The stick balms are about half the price and if you buy them from the Nuxe website they are currently doing a buy-one-get-one-free deal plus they always send a load of nice samples.

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The only other high-end lip balm I want to try is the By Terry Baume De Rose but at almost £40 it would need to be pretty amazing stuff! In the meantime, this duo from Nuxe does the job for me.

Beauty Review – November Birchbox

Hello! Apologies for the radio silence this weekend. I caught a particularly nasty sickness bug which left me feeling rough all weekend and hardly eating for days…if you know me, you’ll know how rare this is! I’m particularly annoyed as I missed seeing my best friends but I am grateful to be back on my feet and slowly getting my appetite back.

I received this month’s Birchbox a few weeks ago and the first thing that made me smile was the beautiful box design. I love peacock feathers and will definitely be keeping this one. This month’s collaboration was with Tatler, which isn’t a magazine I read but does make you think of the finer things in life.

I have had mixed feelings on my Birchbox subscription over the last few months so I was slightly apprehensive of what I would be sent this time. Luckily, I was pretty chuffed with the contents…although they do seem to be diminishing from the 6 or so items you used to receive in the past.

First of all, I saw a bottle of Blonde Toning Shampoo from Beauty Protector. I use purple shampoos weekly to keep my hair from going too brassy-coloured so this was a perfect addition for me. It smells great and is a good size too.

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Next, a Lip Tar Primer from Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics. This was a small tube but you don’t need much. I wear matte lipsticks which can be drying so a product that will prime my lips as well as offering some hydration sounds fab. I haven’t tried this yet but it will come in handy over the festive period when I like to rock a red lip.

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This next gold tube caught my eye: a BB Cream Golden Glow Illuminator by Marcelle. I am always after dewy, glowing skin and will try anything to help me get it. This BB cream makes a lot of claims but does have a good luminosity to it.

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I switch between using a powder, gel and pencil on my brows and really like trying new products. I am quite fussy – it is tricky to find the right colour as a blonde and I don’t have the best eyebrows to work with anyway. I was pleased to see an eyebrow pencil from bbrowbar and the shade Cinammon Spice was a decent match for me. The formula is quite waxy and it shapes as well as adding a good amount of colour. I think I would repurchase this.

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Finally, a moisturiser from Nuxe, one of my favourite skincare brands. This is a good-sized sample and I like the fact that this is moisturising yet slightly matte, making it great underneath makeup. Another one I would repurchase with my Birchbox points.

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A really good selection of items in this month’s box which was very much needed after a poor one in October. I’m hoping for a festive offering next month…33 sleeps!