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Category Archives: make up

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 – December Birchbox

An early Christmas present arrived in the form of the latest Birchbox. I had just got used to the new little trays the products were coming in and Birchbox have changed things up again with this new style box. The colours are festive and the idea is that the box can be used a desk tidy afterwards which is handy.

 

The ‘Merry and Bright’ box contains a selection of beauty treats to use over the Christmas period and up to New Year’s Eve.

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Firstly, I received a full size Ciaté Fierce Flicks Eyeliner, worth £15. I love these types of eyeliners – my favourite being the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner – so I cannot wait to try this out for some serious flicks. I have tested it out on the back of my hand and my first impression are good – it is a true black, very pigmented and applies beautifully. I hope it has good longevity too.

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Next, a Benefit POREfessional: Matte Rescue. This is a mattifying gel to minimise pores and create a smooth base for make-up. I used to love the original POREfessional primer but kind of went off silicone-based primers. However, I am keen to try this gel version and see if it works any better.

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I received a hair product from Percy and Reed. The Wonder Balm is a leave-in hair primer that claims to do an awful lot of things with one application! I am so fussy with hair products but will give this a go and see if it does anything for my curls.

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Next, a New Leaf Deep Pore Exfoliating Polish from Amie Skincare. This is a good sized sample and smells amazing – like peaches. I try not to use harsh exfoliators on my skin too often so I will try this one with caution.

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Finally, the product I was most excited about receiving – a Caviar Stick in the shade Amethyst by Laura Mercier. These creamy eye shadow sticks are fab. I have one other colour already and find the product to be well-pigmented and it really does last with minimal creasing. This colour is beautiful and exactly what I would have chosen myself. It is a mauve/ taupe shade with a touch of sparkle making it perfect for Christmas and New Year parties.

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I read a blog post this week about how beauty boxes need to up their game if they want to survive in 2017. I agree with this and I think this month’s Birchbox is definitely a step in the right direction after a few average boxes. I think the inclusion of Ciaté and Laura Mercier products are great and it is higher end products like these which will keep me subscribing.

Sunday Summary #51

Life

It has been a pretty quiet week for me but I am in full Christmas mode now and am counting down until the end of term (5 more get-ups!)

We watched Home Alone 2 through the week which is making me want to visit New York in December next year to see all the beautiful window displays. We have also been watching Billions this week – such good dialogue and actors in it.

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I also spent yesterday putting up the final Christmas decorations so the house is looking so festive and cosy.

Food

I made mince-pie pastries which I will try and write the (very simple!) recipe for this week.

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We went out for a roast dinner today at a nearby pub for my brother’s girlfriend’s birthday. I had rare roast beef which was delicious!

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I bought a little blast from the past this week – Fry’s Turkish Delight…as good as I remembered.

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Fashion

I have tried to avoid buying anything in the run-up to Christmas but I am obsessing with pleated midi skirts at the moment, especially slightly metallic ones.

Beauty

I have been enjoying my L’Occitane en Provence advent calendar each morning.

With the constant cold weather and central heating, I have pulled out the big guns with a new body butter from The Body Shop. This is the green olive scent and is so rich and moisturising.

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Finally, a duo from Eyeko that I have been loving. The FAT liquid eyeliner is a great product, and you can create either a thick or thin line with the felt tip-style applicator.

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The Black Magic mascara is also really good. It has a curved brush which helps to curl my eyelashes slightly.

 

Sunday Summary #48 and #49

Life

I have been a bit MIA on the blog recently so what better time to start afresh than the start of the month and the start of the most magical month at that! Yes, it’s December today which means all Christmas activities are now entirely appropriate and I don’t have to hide the fact my Christmas tree has been up for almost a week now – I even had the bands on my braces replaced with red and green ones!

I was shocked to hear the news that Fidel Castro had died and it made me so happy that we had managed to get to Cuba and see Havana earlier this year before things really start to change.

For my book club, I started reading The Versions of Us. It has good reviews and I’m enjoying it so far.

I’m not usually a huge fan of reality TV but Ian and I are loving I’m a Celeb this year. I find Ant and Dec hilarious (and so camp!) and the contestants seem a really nice group this year.

It has started to feel like winter this week with ice on the ground and having to spend ages de-icing my car in the morning. I’m overcompensating with extra blankets, cosy knitwear and lots of candles! Talking of candles, I made a few purchases at Bath and Body Works when we were in Boston and am enjoying starting to burn them.

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The cold weather has meant I have been drinking tea non-stop and tea addicts will appreciate the importance of a good mug. I love using this glass cup I bought in St. Petersburg this summer – something about holding it in both hands makes it feel so warming and comforting.

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Food

I headed up to London last weekend to catch up with several friends. I had the most delicious brunch with my friends Cat and Lucie at Jam in a Jar. I could have ordered most of the menu but instead opted for a healthy-ish breakfast plate with eggs, sourdough, smoked salmon, avocado amongst the contents…heaven!

I also met up with my friends from uni for our annual Thanksgiving meal. The food was delicious, especially the slice of pumpkin pie.

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We had an amazing meal recently at a local pub, The Longs Arms. It is probably my favourite place to eat at the moment and I am yet to enjoy a meal there I haven’t raved about! This time, I had lamb scrumpets followed by brill and cockled and a lemon crème brûlée and they were all divine.

Fashion

I made a little ASOS order this week for a couple of items. Firstly, a pair of Christmas cacti socks!

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I also picked up this striped jumper with suede elbow patches. I love the split sides on it and plan on wearing it non-stop.

Beauty

Despite telling Ian not to bother this year, he bought me this L’Occitane en Provence beauty advent calendar. The illustrations are beautiful and I love the hand cream I received today.

I was a little bit blasé about all the Black Friday deal that kept appearing in my inbox but I did put an order in at Organic Surge which I will share soon. I bought a bundle of their bestsellers and cannot wait to start using them as they smell amazing, are all organic and the company has a really great ethos too.

Finally, I have been really enjoying rediscovering the Maybelline Color Tattoo cream eyeshadows. I used them years ago and recently bought Bad to the Bronze and forgot how pigmented and long lasting they are.

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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!

Latest Purchases #101 – US Drugstore Haul

The pound-dollar exchange rate was pretty poor when we were in Boston (thanks Brexit!) so we didn’t do a whole lot of shopping. I tried to only buy things that we couldn’t get in the UK and one afternoon, I had a browse around our local CVS store and came away with this little pile of goodies.

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First up, the base products. I am always on the hunt for a new foundation and I got these two from the Maybelline ‘Fit Me’ range. I went for the Dewy and Smooth and the Matte and Poreless foundations which cater for dry to oily skin. I have tried both and like them but I don’t like the fact that you have to pour the product out – I would much prefer a pump.

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I also bought this BB Cream from ELF. I liked the fact this had SPF 20 in it and will be great for those days where you just want to wear a light base. This also has a pump in the lid!

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Another ELF face product was this Illuminating Face Primer. This is very golden and definitely needs a light touch! You could actually use this as a highlighter on the cheekbones or, as it recommends, mix a little into your foundation for a bit of extra glow.

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Onto lip products now and with the colder weather, mine are already suffering! I really like the EOS lip balms and I bought the Blackberry Nectar flavour.

I also picked up a bumper pack of Carmex lip balms in Cherry and Winter Mint flavours which should keep my chapped lips at bay.

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I bought a new Maybelline mascara. I have used their Great Lash version for years but haven’t seen the Blackest Black colour before.

I also got an ELF mascara with a regular and waterproof end.

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I broke my spending ban on nail varnish with a new bottle from Essie. Metallic nails seem to be having a moment and I love this shade, Good as Gold…expect a post on Monday!

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I am a fan of the Milani blushers and picked up another one in the colour Berry Amore. This is a dusky pink shade baked with swirls of gold.

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Also from Milani is this Color Statement Lipstick in Teddy Bare. I don’t have a colour like this dark nude and I think it is quite seasonal. I have tried it a few times and it is creamy, well-pigmented and smells like watermelon.

From ELF, I bought a Matte Lip Colour in Tea Rose. It isn’t a drying matte formula and I like the long, thin ‘pen’ it comes in.

I think I was having a bit of a moment by the ELF stand as I also got an eyebrow kit. This is a gel and powder duo which I haven’t used before but will enjoy experimenting with!

Finally, I bought a Maybelline Color Tattoo cream eye shadow in Bad to the Bronze. This is quite a warm, taupe bronze as opposed to an orange-toned one and the pigmentation and staying power is excellent. I wear these eye shadows on their own or as a base colour and they don’t crease like many other cream products.

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I was really happy unpacking this selection of items and now comes the fun bit of testing them all out!

Sunday Summary #44 and #45

Life

I’m back after a packed week in Boston! We had such a good time there and I am already writing up some blog posts from the trip and reliving the food and fun times. A big thank you to my parents who popped up while we were away and finished laying the tiles in our porch, put fresh sheets on the bed, left flowers and a huge vat of homemade soup for us…just what you want after a night of no sleep! It is back to reality today though as I am back to work tomorrow (no idea how I am going to get up in the morning #jetlag) and need to unpack but first, my Sunday Summary from the past two weeks.

Finally, the new series of Black Mirror is here! Ian and I love this show and it is such a cutting, dark look at society today. So far, we have seen the first three episodes and cannot wait to watch more.

I just can’t sleep on an aeroplane so I tend to binge-watch films. On this trip I managed to watch six: Finding Dory, The Shallows, The Boss, Money Monster, The Jungle Book and the new Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb. I mostly picked easy-to-watch/ children’s films but Money Monster was really good (and has George Clooney in!)

Sadly I missed the final of GBBO but have now caught up and had a little cry when Candice won. I’m also still enjoying The Apprentice too.

Food

I have most definitely indulged this week! America just goes so over the top for Autumn and put pumpkin and spices in everything…beer, doughnuts, cheesecake, pancakes.

Ian bought me a bottle of the new Pumpkin-spiced Baileys which I have enjoyed on ice, in coffee and as a milkshake. If you like the Starbucks drink, you will love this.

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You can’t go to Boston and not indulge in seafood. We had great clam chowder and lobster when we were away which we just don’t really do in the UK.

We visited a couple of breweries in America and enjoyed some lovely craft beers. My favourites were a pumpkin-spiced beer from the Octoberfest beer festival we visited and a blueberry wheat beer from Salem Beer Works which came with a handful of fresh blueberries floating in it.

Finally, I tried my first ever cronut and it was goooooooood!

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Fashion

While we had lovely, sunny weather in Boston, there was a definite chill in the air so I lived in my ASOS parker, my tartan scarf (River Island) and my Wolf Academy beanie hat.

I have been looking at leather backpacks for ages and finally bought one when we were away. I like that it is practical yet still smart and I think it will be great for future city breaks.

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Beauty

I did my first autumnal manicure using this lovely deep, berry shade from Nails Inc which actually lasted the whole week with only one chip.

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I suffer with dry skin after a flight so I decided to try and combat that by slathering my skin in Weleda’s Skin Food which I love. I am adamant it smells just like gin and tonic but it really works and gives your skin a real moisture boost.

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I also gave myself a mini facial when I got home yesterday using REN’s Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask which I find revitalises dull, tired skin.

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Finally, one of my highlights of our trip was a visit to Sephora. I actually went twice as got so overwhelmed the first time I left with nothing! I did get a bit spendy but I had budgeted for a few treats and will share them soon! Sidenote – I know we are meant to be getting Sephora in the UK soon and I kind of have mixed feelings about it. Yes, it will be great to have all the brands here but it will take away that excitement you get at visiting a store when on holiday.

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Beauty Review – October Birchbox

Another monthly treat to enjoy in the form of my October Birchbox. It seems they are sticking with the drawer format and I really look forward to seeing the design. This month was focused around star signs and seeing as I am a Leo, a fire sign, I received the FIRE box. It’s another fab design and I thought it was pretty cool that the stars on the box glow in the dark…did anyone else used to have the footprint stickers all over their ceiling that glowed in the dark?!

Onto the contents…

My first item was a Doux Me Spring Water Spray. I’m not joking when I saw that this is just a can of water. Yes, a can of water. I love facial spritzes but this is a joke! I also think the timing is odd…who needs a cooling face spray in October?! Not a great start.

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Another spray now from Oribe. Their Dry Texturizing Spray is well-loved but I don’t use hairspray or dry shampoo in my curls so sadly will have to pass this on.

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Something else for the hair from No4. This hair oil (with a really long name!) is much more up my street. Having coloured hair, I do use treatments to keep it from drying out so this hair oil will be a welcome addition.

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Next, a body cream from Rituals. I love the products from this brand (their foaming shower gel is my favourite!) and the cherry blossom scent sounds divine.

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I also received a matte lip crayon from Lord and Berry. I quite like their make-up and despite being a matte finish, this lip pencil is also quite creamy so doesn’t feel too drying on the lips. The colour is a lovely pinky-brown which I think is a great colour for autumn.

Finally, a very cheap-looking plastic eyebrow brush. I use these very rarely and this one does not scream quality at all.

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Overall I have to say I’m a little disappointed by this month’s box. The eyebrow brush and water spray are some of the worst items I have received in a Birchbox however the hair oil, lip pencil and body lotion are lovely. A friend of mine was so unimpressed with this month’s offerings that she is cancelling her subscription. I’m going to keep the faith for a little longer and hope this was just a poor month.

Despite not being completely enthralled by October’s box, I did discover that I had accumulated enough points to order a Nuxe Rêve de Miel which is a Holy Grail lip balm item that is constantly out of stock.

This will be my last post for a week or so as Ian and I are flying to Boston tomorrow for a week of sightseeing, lobster rolls and my first ever basketball game!

Sunday Summary #42

Life

It has been one tiring week with 4am bedtimes and 6am wake-up calls on my school’s residential trip. It was great fun but I have spent most of this weekend napping!

Ian got tickets to watch England play at Wembley yesterday so I made the most of it and enjoyed a few hours in Bath shopping, spent some time on my blog, cooked myself a lovely dinner and binge-watched Greys Anatomy. I’m on series 12 now and every single episode makes me cry – it’s such a sobfest!

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Today we went for a walk through the woods and the autumn leaves which was lovely.

I started a new course at work this week which is going to be a challenge but hopefully rewarding. It will involve losing a few weekends so I can keep on top of the reading list so I am back to list-making in a bid to manage my time better.

Finally, it seems as though every sunrise lately has been Instagram-worthy so I have been snapping away out of our bedroom window each morning.

Food

Someone at work brought in the new Cherry Bakewell Shredded Wheats and I had to try a bowl. They were delicious and I am now trying to hunt down a box for myself.

I was in M&S buying myself a nice healthy dinner when I saw my favourite dessert and just couldn’t resist it. This Key Lime Pie is delicious and worth the calories!

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Beauty

I had a new set of brackets put on my back teeth today which means I am getting to the end of this brace but also that my mouth is really aching. I opted for bright pink bands this time and am planning on writing a post about it all when they eventually come off.

I am having a real moment with this Laura Mercier palette. It was an impulse purchase from Space NK but the shades are just perfect for this time of year. The blusher in the middle is a lovely colour and I love the mix of shimmer and matte eyeshadows. I wear the lighter shades in the day and use the darker shades for a smokier eye.

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Fashion

Not strictly something to wear, but kind of fashion-related. I was in need of a new suitcase to take to Boston in a couple of weeks. We are planning on a spot of shopping when we are there and I want to buy some Christmas presents too so this should come in handy.

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Sadly this week has not been my most stylish as I have been mainly outside in the woods wearing my trusty Hunters and beanie hat.

Finally, I stocked up on another Autumn/ Winter staple today – Primark’s thick black tights.

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Beauty Review – September Birchbox

You know you are busy when it gets to the 28th of the month and you only just get around to opening your Birchbox parcel! Mine has been sat in the hallway in a beautiful pastel box for weeks so I feel it is about time I delved inside and had a good nosy…

This month sees another little drawer which I really like. The print is a pretty, geometric pattern but obviously it’s what’s inside that matters – here was my first peek at the contents.

I was firstly drawn to the Nuxe product – I love the rose skincare range from this brand but I’m not so sure about this item. I received the Precious Scented Shower Gel  and I have to say I’m not a fan. The scent just isn’t for me. I much prefer fresh, fruity scents in the shower and this is very heavy and musky. It also contains a golden shimmer which to me seems a much more summery product.

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Next, a Facial Primer and Brightener from Jane Iredale. I love testing out new primers so this is a very welcome addition. It smells good and seems to leave skin very smooth and foundation-ready.

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I have heard of this Polaar Lapland Cream – it is quite a cult product akin to Elizabeth Arden’s 8-Hour Cream. I like a rich, heavy cream as it starts to get colder so will enjoy using this. The packaging also gets a thumbs-up from me.

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It may just be me, but I really can’t get that excited about hair products. I don’t really style my hair so any sprays/ gels/ waxes/ spritzes are a bit of a waste of time. I received Amika’s Bombshell Bowout Spray which is meant to be applied before blowdrying…seeing as I don’t even own a hairdryer (much to my friend Cat’s surprise every time she comes to stay!) this will be passed on to a friend.

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Finally, a product I sort of knew about as I had pre-selected it earlier in the month. This Highlighting Trio from ModelCo is a full-size item and one I quite like on first impressions. I like this brand and regularly use their eyebrow fibre gel and their bronzer so I was pleased to see them included. This trio contains a silver, peach and bronze cream highlighter which can be used on cheekbones or eyelids for a bit of glow. The formula is pigmented and creamy and I look forward to using this.

Apart from the hairspray and the shower gel, this was a pretty good box for me. I tend to start switching up my skincare routine as Autumn arrives so shall slot these new items in to trial them.