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Latest Purchases #92 – A Birchbox Haul

I was looking to up my skincare routine now that the weather is getting colder and the heating is on. I suffer from quite dry skin in the winter so looked to the Birchbox website for a couple of new items to try out. Of course, my search for skincare soon led to other things and before I knew it, a large box had arrived on my doorstep full of goodies, followed by a second order using the free shopping points I had earned from the first one!

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First up, the two items I actually needed: moisturising cream.

I bought this jar of Aquaporin Plus by Bluemandarínes, a 24-hour hydrating cream. I always think a glass jar adds a little bit of luxury and this cream is rich yet sinks into the skin quickly and has a beautiful, delicate floral scent. I think this would work as a day or night cream.

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I also picked up a jar of Melting Moisturising Cream by Akane. Upon further reading, this brand uses the Akane red apple tree from Japan which has antioxidant properties and is perfect for normal to dehydrated skin. Whilst also quite a thick, rich cream, this has an almost matte finish which I think makes it perfect for use in the morning before makeup.

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On the few occasions that I wear my hair straight, I have been struggling with some fine, wispy pieces of hair that seem to want to curl up again so I was after some light hairspray that would hold these flyaway hairs down without a heavy, sticky feeling. Montibel·lo is a good haircare brand and I bought their Flexible Hold Finishing Spray. It sounds like exactly what I’m looking for and this huge bottle should last me a while!

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I really like the brand Weleda and their all-natural approach but I had a few hit and miss products from them this time. The one I loved was the Wild Rose Creamy Body Wash which smells amazing and is just a really lovely shower gel.

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I also picked up the Oat Replenishing Shampoo and Conditioner which I’m just not a fan of. The shampoo was fine and I will use that up but the conditioner was so thick and heavy and it left my hair really matted and unmanageable.

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Finally, I earned enough points to splurge on a luxury product I just love. At £28 for a little 30ml bottle it isn’t cheap but the Make Up Base by RMK is amazing. This milky formula sinks into the skin so quickly and leaves you with a soft, flawless base. I use this base with glowy and matte foundations and it really helps them last. I first tried this as a sample through Birchbox and it was only when it ran out that I realised how much I love it and it has actually replaced my silicone-based primers like Benefit POREfesstional as it feels much kinder to my skin.

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Overall, a pretty successful haul and I’m hoping my skin thanks me for it! x

Beauty Review – November Birchbox

I am officially in cosy-mode now. Candles are burning, sofas have soft blankets draped over them and huge pies are being made and devoured!

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So, when I saw this month’s Birchbox theme was ‘Cosy at Home’ I knew I would love it and I have to say the contents were pretty damn great.

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Here was my first peek:

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I couldn’t help but notice the whopping great bottle of Dr Jart’s Turnover Booster, a lightweight serum that promises a hit of moisture. I really like this brand and was surprised to see this full-sized product which is worth £32! Now that it has got colder and the central heating is blasting, I am using a serum most nights and this will find a home on my bedside table.

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A funny item next, some Drinkwel mutlivitamins designed to help with the dreaded hangover. I think I will save this for the festive period when I overdo the mulled cider and champers! I’m not sure I’d ever buy this but I will report back if these capsules are any good.

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Next another brand I love: Weleda. There all-natural products always smell amazing and this Sea-Buckthorn Body Oil is no exception. I don’t use body oils regularly but I do sometimes put a few drops in a bath to up the moisture-factor.

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Another unusual inclusion comes in the form of this Lash Extender and Conditioner from Jane Iredale. This product will help lengthen and strengthen lashes before the application of mascara. I already think mascara is pretty amazing and I am loathe to add unnecessary steps to my morning beauty regime but I am always on the lookout for my next wonder product so will give it a whirl.

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There are some brands that keep popping up in my Birchboxes and Beauty Protector is one of them. I quite like their hair products and this hair mask is right up my street, especially as there were two of them in the box in very cute tubs.

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Finally, one more ‘wow’ item – a full sized OPI nail varnish (worth £12!) in a gorgeous vampy, deep purple shade. Part of a limited Coca Cola collection from one of my favourite nail brands, I gave a little squeal of excitement when I saw this!

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I know there is a move away from beauty boxes towards more ‘lifestyle’ boxes but I think Birchbox is going from strength to strength and this one in particular was amazing value.

Right, I’m off for a second helping of pie!

Latest Purchases #58 – Birchbox Freebies

I have been receiving my monthly Birchbox for over a year now and filling out the occasional questionnaire on the products they send. All of these have earned me Birchbox ‘points’ which had been piling up in my account and a big chunk of them were due to expire so I thought it was time to cash them in!

I had a quick browse through the Birchbox shop and picked enough goodies to get free delivery which meant I only had to contribute 84p for over £30 worth of stuff.

Here are the four things I picked:

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First up an old favourite that was on my repurchase list anyway: Weleda Skin Food. I first tried this in a Birchbox and loved it. This whole body cream is a bit of a wonder product, kind of like Elizabeth Arden’s 8 Hour Cream but with a better smell! I have used this on dry skin patches, my lips and mostly as a night cream when my skin needed a moisture boost. Weleda uses lots of natural ingredients and plant extracts so it’s a bonus to know you aren’t piling on the chemicals.

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Next, I was in the market for a new face scrub and this one popped up on the Bestsellers page which persuaded me! I bought the Radiance Exfoliating Face Polish by Urban Veda which claims to brighten and balance your skin tone whilst exfoliating. It smells amazing too, containing superfruits such as Goji berries and papaya.

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Next, I wanted a new bronzer to keep my holiday glow going for as long as possible and I had heard good things about the Model Co one. This comes in a sleek pink palette with a mirror which is always handy. The powder has a lovely gold shimmer and isn’t too dark for my pale complexion. Although it is a pressed powder, there is almost something creamy about it when I ran my fingers across it which makes me think it could be good for an eyeshadow too. I really like this bronzer and am keen to try a few more things from the brand.

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Finally, I was about 20p short of free delivery so I popped a packet of this popcorn into my bag by ProperCorn. I had this flavour (Sweet Coconut and Vanilla) in a Birchbox a few months ago and thought it was delicious so I will enjoy this larger bag even more!

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I know some people think beauty boxes such as Birchbox have had their day, and there always seems to be a new company coming on to the market, but for me I still love my monthly Birchbox and the fact that they reward loyalty in this way is pretty fab too.

 

Beauty Review – July Birchbox (and yes I know it’s August!)

We have booked a holiday woooooooohoooooooo! In super last-minute and disorganised fashion, Ian and I leave for sunny Spain (well, Majorca!) on Thursday for a week of sun, sea and sangria. I cannot wait and can now stop the arduous task of spending hours scrolling through holiday websites then checking the good deals against tripadvisor! We seem to have booked a great hotel with lots of nice facilities, no kids(!), a pool overlooking the beach and close to the capital Palma which I have heard is beautiful. We are going All Inclusive meaning I can eat and drink nonstop all week and justify it by ‘getting our money’s worth’! hehe

I now need to spend the next few days packing and in order to keep my luggage light enough for some booze on the way home, I will be raiding my recent Birchboxes for some samples to take with me.

(What a seamless link to today’s post…maybe nobody will notice I am almost two weeks late reviewing July’s Birchbox?!)

I was quite excited to open this month’s box as it was much heavier than usual! Here is my first peek inside:

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The reason for the extra weight was this carton of Vita Coco which came in a lemon flavour. There’s no denying coconut water is the trendy drink to be seen with now and I know it is meant to have wonderful hydrating qualities but the plain version just tastes like sweat to me (I have also heard it compared to ‘the taste of bad breath’!) I popped this version in the fridge and I have to say that the addition of the lemon flavour made it much more palatable and it was definitely refreshing on a hot day.

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Next was a body butter by Whish. I haven’t heard of this brand before but lavender is one of my least favourite scents so this will be passed on to my Mum.

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I like Weleda products so will probably take this nourishing shampoo with me on holiday. It is a non-lathering formula which I’m not used to but I like the fact that this is a completely organic and natural product.

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I was very excited to see this eye cream by Balance Me too. I have tried a couple of products from this brand and really loved them so look forward to trying this out.

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Next, a Gilchrist and Soames mineral bath with sea kelp extract. This recent spell of rainy weather has got me craving hot chocolates and bubble baths so I will definitely add some of this to my next bath.

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Finally, a Laqa & Co chunky lip pencil in Menatour worth £14. When I first saw this I really wasn’t sure. It is a colour I would never choose but once I out it on I realised it is much more sheer than it looks. It feels lovely and soft to apply and the blue-pink tint is always flattering, making your teeth appear whiter.

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To me, this final product sums up why I get Birchbox. As well as being a lovely monthly treat, it does push me out of my comfort zone with products and often I find things that I love but would never have thought of buying in a shop.

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After a bit of a disappointing Birchbox in June, it seems they are back on top with July’s offering. I am sure that August’s box will arrive any day now too…I promise I will be much better at getting around to reviewing it this month! x

 

Beauty Review – November Birchbox

I’m a bit late with this month’s Birchbox review but it has meant I have had an extra few days to trial these products.

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The theme of this month’s box is ‘icons’. I like that the team behind this brand put some effort into their choices each month but I don’t really see anything ‘iconic’ about the contents of the box and I think some of the articles and links are slightly tentative.

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There was however a card to fill in and share on social media which was quite fun to do and I found it interesting reading what other people had put.

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Anyway, onto the contents…

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An interesting mix this month – not one of my favourite deliveries if I’m honest but some nice products I will definitely use.

First up is a perfume sample, always a welcome addition for the handbag and this scent by English Laundry is perfect for me. I’m not keen on anything too heavy or musky and this is light, sweet and fruity. For a second, I thought ‘English Laundry’ was the scent which got me rather excited as I love the smell of fresh laundry but alas…I need to get out more!

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Next, three teabags from Pukka Herbs. I like this brand and have some of their teabags in my cupboards. I treated myself to the earl grey straight away and I think the cinnamon one sounds perfect for these cold evenings.

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A hair product next – Weleda’s Replenishing Oat Shampoo. I love this brand for skincare and didn’t realise they had hair products too. This one has gone into my ‘weekend away’ box as it is such a handy size.

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I’m really not too sure about this next product – a highlighter pencil by Chella worth almost £16. I am used to using powder or cream highlighters in a palette and I find this pencil doesn’t apply as well. You really need to blend it in well to remove the pencil lines which can be a bit of a faff. Saying that, it is a lovely creamy consistency and the ‘ivory lace’ shade is good for my pale colourings.

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Birchbox included their own double pencil sharpener. Nothing ground-breaking but always useful.

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A real skincare treat next with Matriskin’s Collagen Serum. I love that it comes with a pipette and I have been using it morning and night although it is slightly on the sticky side if I’m in a rush in the morning! Having read a few reviews of this serum, it seems to be good stuff but at £80 for a full-sized bottle I don’t think I will repurchasing it.

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Finally, a make-up item from one of my new favourite brands, Laura Mercia. I’m always trying out new mascaras and this one really lengthens my lashes and is a good size for travelling with.

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Upon reflection, this is actually a pretty good box – two make-up items, shampoo, tea and skincare but there just isn’t much to get really excited about, especially after I loved last month’s box so much…maybe I’m getting a little complacent with these beauty boxes?!