Glossybox: September 2014

Posted 30 September 2014 By kimberly

I feel pretty good because I’m actually getting caught up on all of my beauty box reviews by the end of September.  Okay, just barely, but it still counts.  I’ve even had a chance to use most of the products in my September box.  I used some of my Glossydots (1,000) to get this box for free, which is always excellent.  As a result of that, my box came pretty early in the month, probably a week before it normally would have, I think.  Sadly, I got an email from Glossybox the other day saying that they were revamping some things, including how many Glossydots you get for filling in the surveys.  That is going from 50 points to a measly 20 points, but to get a free Glossybox you still need 1,000 Glossydots.  So, I feel a disappointed by that, since it more than doubles the amount of surveys you need to fill out to get a free box.

In honour of London Fashion Week, the September Glossybox was a partnership with Karen Millen.  The box featured a sketched version of the London skyline with all the iconic architectural highlights, like St. Paul’s and the Gherkin.  In addition, there was a voucher for £25.00 off a purchase from the Karen Millen Autum 2014 collection totalling more than £150.00, as long as you make your purchase by the end of September.  Aside from that, there were some nice products in this month’s Glossybox, but just two full sized ones (and one of those is pretty tiny and not great).  However, there were two decent sized samples too.  This wasn’t my favourite Glossybox I’ve ever received but it wasn’t a total loser either; somewhere in between.

Nails Inc Matte Top Coat

Nails Inc Matte Top Coat

Nails Inc Westminster Bridge Matte Top Coat, full size 10ml bottle.  This is probably my favourite product in the September Glossybox.  This allows you to give any of your existing nail polishes a completely different non-glossy look with just one coat.  I’ve found that this not only gives your polish a matte finish but also does a good job at toning down really vibrant colours.  I have a couple of polishes that are just a little too bright for me, so this has worked really well to make them more wearable by just taking the brightness  down just a notch or two.  Plus, the matte finish is kind of cool.  I like the polishes from Nails Inc because they always go on very smoothly and dry super quick, and this one is no exception.  When you put it on initially, it looks shiny just like any other clear coat, but when it dries it turns matte, and is completely shine free.  It dries really quickly too, in less than a minute I’d say.  I’ve put this over OPI and Ciaté polishes and haven’t had any problems with bubbling or peeling or anything weird like that.  The other way this product works really well is as a single coat right on naked nails for a healthier, more finished look to your non-colour manicure.  It keeps your nails looking nice and healthy but without the shine or colour in other polishes.  This would be perfect for men who want to have decent looking nails but don’t want to have shiny “girlie” looking nails.  It could put the “man” in manicure, really.

You can buy your Matte Top Coat directly from Nails Inc for £12.00.  Even though they have Nails Inc products at FeelUnique, I couldn’t find the matte top coat.   I really like this and think that this is a a great way to add a little something different to your normal nail look.

ModelCo More Brows

ModelCo More Brows

ModelCo More Brows, full size 3.5ml tube.  This is an interesting brush on fibre gel that gives you the look of fuller brows with the sweep of a brush.  Well, that is how Glossybox describes it at least.  I would say that it isn’t as good as other brow gels that I have tried, like the ones from Anastasia Beverly Hills, because it is seems thick and glumpy rather than going on smoothly and adding to your brows in a natural way.  Plus, the Medium/Dark colour that I received way comically dark for my brows, which are quite dark actually.  I have dark brown hair naturally, and my brows are pretty full and pretty dark, so I just need something to add a bit of control and fill in a bit.  But the More Brows made my eyebrows look like they should be attached to my glasses and a funny nose.  Not good.  If you’re trying to use this to fill in where you have less hair than you would like, it totally doesn’t work at all.  It just kind of sits on skin and looks messy.  I haven’t been impressed.  I was going to give this to my mom because she is always looking for something to help fill in her brows that are thinning as she ages, but this will certainly not work for her.  Or for anyone else I know.  I think some of the problem might be the brush that they use.  The tube is like a mascara tube with the same type of brush, but it has very wide gaps in between the twists so I think that makes the gel go on clumpy and look less natural than if the brush had a finer bristle pattern.  But that’s a moot point, because it is what it is, and what it is isn’t very good.  Really, I looked like I was getting ready to do a Groucho Marx impersonation.

You can buy More Brows from ModelCo’s website for £14.95 for this quite small 3.5ml/0.12 ounce tube.  I’m just not impressed at all with this product though and I would suggest that a better use of your money would be to add a couple of Pounds and get the Anastasia Beverly Hills tinted gels at Net-A-Porter that are better quality and are even bigger tubes at 9 grams/0.32 ounces.  There’s just no reason to get a product this bad and overpay this much for it.

Origins Plantscriptions Anti-Aging Power Serum

Origins Plantscriptions Anti-Aging Power Serum

Origins Plantscription Anti-Aging Power Serum, 15ml tube.  Even though this isn’t a full size tube, it is a half size sample and that is great because it means that I’ll have enough of this to really test out their claims.  Their claim is that in just two weeks, I’ll be able to see a visible reduction in lines and wrinkles.  So far I’ve only been using it for a couple of days and I don’t look like I’m 20 yet, but my skin does look nice and this isn’t causing me any issues. I’m hopeful.  The feeling is quite nice and leaves my skin feeling really soft and smooth, but so far it works as well as most of the other serums that I have tried without anything exceptional.  Origins is all about the natural stuff and this serum is made from several plant extracts, such as Anogeissus from Ghana, Africa, Bamboo and Pea Extract from Australia, Crithmum from France, and Commiphora from India.  When it first goes on it is more fragrant than my other serums that I use regularly, but that doesn’t really bother me because it isn’t a bad smell or even that strong.  I do like that just by itself my skin feels really nice, but of course, I always follow up with a moisturizer because I’m a good kid.  The other thing I really like is that it absorbs rather quickly and doesn’t leave behind a tacky feeling, just smooth skin.

If you want a full size tube of the Anti-Aging Power Serum, I’m sure you can find it anywhere Origins is sold or online at their store.  You can get two sizes, a 30ml size for £48.00 and a 50ml size for £62.00.  I’m not sure if I’ll see any visible changes to lines or wrinkles, but I am hoping that it at least makes my skin look great.  So, I’m not sure if I’ll buy it again yet because I haven’t had long enough to see any results that are going to sway me away from products that I already use.

L'Oreal Mythic Oil

L’Oreal Mythic Oil

L’Oreal Professionnel Mythic Oil, 45ml bottle.  Mythic Oil sounds so grand for a hair oil, huh?  I might have liked this more if I hadn’t tried the Agave Healing Oil Hair Treatment in my September Birchbox.  The L’Oreal version is very lightweight, which is good, but something seems to have been lost in it because it doesn’t seem to leave my hair in as good shape as the Agave oil.  The Mythic Oil is made with a mixture of avocado and grape seed oil, which explains how they can make such a lightweight oil.  Both of those oils are great for your hair, and skin, because they contain a variety of vitamins, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and Omega 3, 6,and 9.  The bottle has a nice little pump on it that is good and bad.  Good because it dispenses the oil without a mess, but bad because it is almost impossible to just get a partial pump.  So, if you have short or very fine hair like I do, it is difficult to get the right amount without having too much in your hand.  The one bad thing with any hair oil treatment is that it is so imperative to remember to not get it on your roots and that is harder to do than I would have thought.  I think I’m just too used to adding products to my hair all over, so I always have to try really hard to remember not to get too carried away when applying the oil.  The L’Oreal Mythic Oil made my hair soft, but didn’t help combat any of the frizz the way the Agave oil seems to have been able to do.  But I’m still experimenting with the right amount to use.  The sample package is a good size and I like the pump bottle for the most part, but the lack of information or instructions on the bottle is annoying and obviously unhelpful.  At the FeelUnique site they talk about using it before you blow dry, so it might be that I would feel like I am getting better results if I use it when I am going to blow out my hair instead of when I’m leaving it curly and letting it air dry.  I’ll have to mess around with it more to figure out the right combination of amount of styling choice.

You can get the 125ml full size Mythic Oil at FeelUnique for £13.60.  That seems like a really big bottle since you don’t really use that much at a time.  Although, I guess how much you use depends on your hair.  Despite what I think about it not helping with my frizz, the Mythic Oil actually won the Your Hair Awards 2012 Winner – Best for Frizz Styling Product.  This gets great reviews, especially by people with curly hair, at FeelUnique, so I’m going to keep trying it because I feel like I must be missing a trick if everyone loves it and finds it useful in fighting frizz.  And that’s why instructions would have been super helpful, L’Oreal.

SkinPep Brightening Peel & Dark Circle Eraser

SkinPep Brightening Peel & Dark Circle Eraser

SkinPep Brightening Enzyme & Acid Peel and Dark Circle Eraser Eye Cream, 2, 3.5ml sachets and 2ml sachet.  In my last Glossybox I received a bottle of the SkinPep C15 Serum and used it a number of times and thought it was great, so I was excited to see these two items from SkinPep in my box this month.  I use all kinds of masks and exfoliators but I will definitely admit that the term “acid peel” has me a little apprehensive about trying the Brightening Peel.  It just sounds so much deeper than a regular exfoliation product.  And we’ve all seen people with bright red faces from peels gone too far and too wrong.  I’m sure this isn’t going to do that to me, but I’m just going to have to get my courage up and try it out.  I received two sachets of this with what they say is the right amount for a single application for face, neck and décolletage.  The peel is made using pineapple and papaya extracts, which I’ve had in products before, as well as Alpha Hydroxy Acids, Glycolic acid and Lactic acid, that they say will create a gentle exfoliation experience that will target dark spots and dead skin.  All you have to do is spread it on freshly washed, slightly wet face or skin, then massage it into your skin for a couple of minutes, then leave it on for a one to two minutes more, up to five if you want a deeper peel, before you remove it with water.  Simple.  So, I’m going to give this a try, but I have been putting it off.  I don’t have to go anywhere in public for a few days this week so I’ll probably try it out tonight.

I haven’t had a chance to try out the Dark Circle Eraser either.  This has all kinds of active ingredients, 38 to be exact, and is supposed to use the power of antioxidants to boost collagen in the delicate under eye area.  Here are just some of the ingredients in this eye cream: Red Ginseng, Witch-Hazel & Cucumber, Japanese Sea Algae, Collagen, Hyaluronic Acid, Grape Seed Extract, Padina Pavonica Extract, Green Tea Extract, Ferulic Acid, Resveratrol, Vitamin E, C, K, B5 & Retinol.  All of this stuff combines to make the eye cream really effective at targeting puffiness and bags, while increasing moisture and activating healthy circulation for the under eye area.  You use this like any other eye cream, you just pat it on under the eye and hope that it works some magic.  If you have the full size bottle it has a special applicator tip that you are supposed to use to massage your eye area once you have put the cream on to increase the effects of the eye cream.  Unfortunately, the little sachet doesn’t have that, so I’ll just have to use my fingertips to lightly massage the area.  The SkinPep site has just five reviews of this and they are all really positive, so I’m expecting some good results.  I should probably try it today since I barely slept last night and my eyes are looking less than spectacular.

You can buy all of the SkinPep products through their website and you even get free samples and free shipping on orders over £10.00.  There are full size versions of the peel and the eye cream, but you can also buy the same little packets that I got in my Glossybox if you just want to try them out or maybe to take with you when you travel.  The Brightening Enzyme and Acid Peel comes in four different sizes, so you have plenty of options.  You can buy the 3.5ml sachet, like I received from Glossybox, for £3.99, you can buy a 15ml tube for £14.99, a 30ml tube for £29.99, or a big 180ml tube for £89.99.  If you absolutely love this and use it twice a week, then the big tube is definitely the best deal.  The Dark Circle Eraser Eye Cream can be purchased as a 2ml sachet, like I have, for £6.49.  Or, you can buy the full size 15ml bottle with the cool applicator for £44.99.  So, I need to give these both a try, but I’m hoping that they are as great as the C15 Serum that really did make my skin look lovely when I used it for several days in a row.

September Glossybox Value:

  • Nails Inc Westminster Bridge Matte Top Coat, full size 10ml bottle: £12.00 value.
  • ModelCo More Brows, full size 3.5ml tube: £14.95 value.
  • Origins Plantscription Anti-Aging Power Serum, 15ml tube: £24.00 value.
  • L’Oreal Professionnel Mythic Oil, 45ml bottle: £4.90 value.
  • SkinPep Brightening Enzyme & Acid Peel, 2, 3.5ml sachets: £7.98 value.
  • SkinPep Dark Circle Eraser Eye Cream,  2ml sachet: £6.49 value.
  • Total Value: £70.32

That is an outstanding value for this month’s box and the best value I’ve gotten out of either my Birchbox or Glossybox subscriptions in the last couple of months.  Even if I discount the really lousy ModelCo More Brows, the value is still a nice £55.37.  Since I like, or think I’ll like, all of the other products this month I feel like I’ve gotten a really good deal on my Glossybox this month, even more so since it was free!

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New Beauty Products to Check Out

Posted 26 September 2014 By kimberly

It feels like this has been a really long week and I know, I am totally in need of a little retail therapy.  I totally shouldn’t because after moving and having to reorganize everything, I realize that I have way too many makeup, skin care, and hair care products hanging around waiting for me to try them out.  But I don’t think that will stop me.  Especially not when there are so many great new things to try!  So, if you’re planning on doing a bit of shopping this weekend, you might want to take a look at Sheerluxe’s take on the best of the recent beauty product releases.  They have a list of 28 different products across makeup, skin care, perfume, and tools.  There is certainly something for everyone and every budget on their list.

Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush

Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush

I can always find a few things on their monthly new beauty list that get me in the mood to go shopping.  This month, I’m really intrigued by the Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush which you can get at FeelUnique for £79.00.  Here’s what they say about it:

Developed by dermatologists, the first sonic movement cleansing brush has two bristle types for targeting those hard-to-reach, contoured areas of the face where dirt hides. Gentle. yet oh-so effective.

Who doesn’t want their face to be clean and free of all the residues from sunscreen or pollutants?  To me this seems like a good alternative to the really expensive Clarisonic sonic cleansers.  The Clarisonic definitely gets great reviews but they are so pricey I just can’t convince myself that they are worth it.  But the much smaller price (like almost half the price)  for the Clinique brush, seems more tolerable to me.  I also like that the Clinique version comes with a USB charger to make it easy to charge when you’re traveling.  Of course, I’m still kind of wondering if these cleansing brushes are worth the money at all.  Can I just get essentially the same results using a washcloth with my cleanser?  I’m just not quite sure yet.

The other things that caught my eye in the Sheerluxe roundup this month, are also, nicely, the cheapest things on the list.  I definitely want a pair each of the Kiko Intensive Hand Gloves and Intensive Foot Socks, either for £4.90.  I have dry skin anyway, and all the moving stuff has left my hands looking pretty dismal.  I think these gloves and socks are just what I need to get my hands back to soft and lovely shape.  These are really like a spa treatment for your hands and feet because the gloves and socks are impregnated with creams that work to moisturize your hands and feet and leave them feeling soft and looking their best.  Unfortunately, they are single use items, kind of like a mask for your hands or feet, really.  This price is small enough that I’d be willing to give these a try.

Youthmud Mask....miracle in a jar?

Youthmud Mask….miracle in a jar?

If the list of new products isn’t enough to consider for the weekend, or maybe you’re just in need of a relaxing at home spa day, check out the Sheerluxe list of at home masks.  I’m a big fan of the GLAMGLOW Youth Mud mask and use it to give my skin a real boost for a special occasion or just anytime I need a bit of a pick me up for my skin.  It feels all tingly going on and leaves your skin looking fresher and smoother.  And it the effects on your skin really do last for a few days too.  I also find the DHC Alpha-Arbutin White Mask really effective at brightening the skin.  It’s made with alpha-arbutin, mulberry, serine and peony, as well as sodium hyaluronate to keep your face really nicely hydrated and to make the most of the alpha-arbutin.  I find the cloth masks the ultimate in a relaxation treat since they force you to lay still for 20 minutes or so, it makes it so much more pampering.

Now I’m torn between wanting to go shopping and sitting around relaxing with a mask on and deep moisturizing treatments on my hands and feet.  So many choices.  Or, maybe I’ll do both.

 

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Birchbox: September 2014

Posted 23 September 2014 By kimberly

I hadn’t even had a chance to really open my August Birchbox when I received my September box because I got it early in September.  I am hoping that I will warm to the Birchboxes with the next couple of boxes, because so far I feel kind of ‘meh’ about it. Though I do like that they include some “lifestyle” items each month too because it’s nice to get the other little treats and to sample things over than beauty products.

The September Birchbox was all about reminiscing about happy times and memories in honour of back to school time.  It’s funny that even when it has been years and years since starting school in September was a thing I worried about, I still feel like it is the start of something new.  Since obviously, I’m not headed back to school (thankfully), Birchbox is looking more towards the “you’re never too old to learn” end of things.  The one thing that really got me excited in this month’s box is the Beauty Blender sponge.  I’ve been hearing about this makeup sponge for a while now but I’ve been too cheap to buy one to try.  The other items in the box were just okay, other than the sponge there was nothing that made me really thrilled.  Unfortunately, I’ve only had a chance to try a couple of these out so far, and neither of those was the Beauty Blender.

Beauty Blender & Solkid Cleanser

Beauty Blender & Solkid Cleanser

Beauty Blender and BlenderCleanser Solid, full size sponge and 0.558 ounce cleanser.  I guess I’ll start with the best item first.  Seriously, I think I did a little dance when I saw this in my box this month.  I have been hearing about this sponge and how wonderful it is for a long time now but the steep price put me off buying one.  I don’t use a makeup sponge to apply my foundation now, so I was reluctant to splash out more than £15.00 on trying something out that I didn’t even sort of know if I would like or not.  So I’m thrilled that now I get to try it out for no additional money out of my pocket.  I would have felt better paying that if I used sponges and loved them but wanted something that would last longer.  Apparently, the beauty of the Beauty Blender is that it has this cool elliptical shape (patent pending) which is supposed to make applying your foundation effortless and so easy that even I can do it with spectacular results.  To use this you just wet the sponge, then squeeze it out so it is damp but not soaking wet, dot on your foundation and then use the sponge to stipple your foundation across your face, then once you’re done rinse and clean the sponge.  For the full information on how to use this, you can check out the Beauty Blender website.  I’m not sure if this really works all that differently than a regular makeup sponge but I’m looking forward to giving it a try.  I normally use either my fingers or a brush to apply my foundation, and can get really good results that way.  But I’m always open to trying something new, especially if it could give my foundation a better finish.  The reviews for the Beauty Blender are fantastic, everyone seems to love it and think that it works miracles.  There are 98 reviews for it at Amazon UK and 76 of them are five star reviews and 10 are four star reviews.  Plus, it is always being mentioned as the miracle tool on makeup blogs and videos and in magazines.  This little sponge has a lot to live up to, so I’ll be interested to see the results for myself.

In the Birchbox you get not just the Beauty Blender but also a 0.558 ounce solid round of cleanser to use with your sponge.  The has a super clean, lavender scent and is about half the size of the full sized bar that you can buy for £11.50.  You can buy the same package with the sponge and cleanser for £26.00 at Beauty Blender’s website.  On the Beauty Blender website their kit includes a full sized solid cleanser, so it’s a bit better than the kit that I received from Birchbox.  Of course, for just a wee bit more, you can buy the two separately at Amazon UK; the sponge is £15.50 and the cleanser is £11.50, so £27.00 total.  I’m guessing the cleanser is not really worth that price, so I think I would be tempted to buy just the sponge and use any type of decent soap to clean it.  But you’ve definitely got to use something to clean it because there’s a lot of icky stuff that hangs around on stuff like this and you don’t want that to be transferred to your skin and give you a nasty breakout.

Korres Citrus Shower Gel

Korres Citrus Shower Gel

Korres Citrus Shower Gel, 50ml bottle.  This has a great deep citrusy lemon scent that will definitely give you a wake up during your morning shower.  I’ve tried a bunch of Korres bath and shower products not too long ago during a hotel stay and found the shower gel to be quite nice.  The hotel had the citrus shower gel, but when they replenished they gave us the basil lemon shower gel that I think I liked even better.  There are a bunch of different scents, so whatever kind of mood you are in, they probably have a scent for you.  Korres is a Greek brand that was developed by a homeopathic pharmacy with the goal of using their knowledge and research to create formulations using natural ingredients.  The Korres shower gels are good because they do a little more than just clean your skin because they leave it nicely moisturized throughout the day.  Here’s a bit about the ingredients that leave your skin feeling great:

Wheat proteins form a protective film on the skin, thus maintaining its natural moisture levels. Active aloe juice, rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc and antioxidant enzymes, enhances the immune system of the skin. Furthermore, due to its ability to stimulate collagen and elastin synthesis, aloe vera gel retards skin ageing.

I’ll be honest, when I first tried these products at the hotel I didn’t know anything about the brand and figured it was just some hotel thing.  The soaps and gels were so lovely smelling though that I’m glad to find out that you can actually buy them and I don’t have to keep staying at hotels and collecting the little bottles.  The full sized 250ml shower gels can be found at Amazon UK for varying prices ranging from £6.00 to £8.00 depending on the scent.  The citrus shower gel is just £6.49 at Amazon, which seems a reasonable price since it isn’t just your average run of the mill shower gel or soap.  Alternatively, you can get any of the 250ml shower gels for £8.00 at FeelUnique.

Benefit It's Potent Eye Cream

Benefit It’s Potent Eye Cream

Benefit It’s Potent Eye Cream, 0.1 ounce pot.  This is part of Benefit’s Radiant Skincare collection.  I’ve tried a couple of the other products in the lineup before and wasn’t overwhelmed with the results.  The packaging is cute though, but there’s only so far that can get a product.  The It’s Potent Eye Cream is supposed to be good for fading dark circles, as well as smoothing fine lines because it contains a peptide complex known to help restore elasticity & firmness, as well as a blend of hydrating botanical extracts and loquat extract, known to help protect the skin from free radical damage.  I like a lot of Benefit products, but I’m not that impressed with their skin care and this isn’t an exception.  I’ve used this a couple of times and it hasn’t stunned me with fabulous results at this point.  Not to mention, the little sample jar is so small that I find it annoying to try to use it.  I’ve been using a cotton bud instead (more hygienic that way too) so that I can actually get some out reasonably easily now.  My eyes seem to find this a bit irritating but that might just be in comparison to the Vichy Liftactiv product that I use now that is completely eye friendly.  The Benefit eye cream takes a minute or so to absorb after you apply it, but once it does you’re not left with a sticky feeling or anything bad like that, you can’t really tell it’s there at all.  It has made my eyes feel a little stingy or irritated though, but they were at least well hydrated while being irritated.  It hydrates well but doesn’t seem to have much impact on dark circles or lines, at least not after a few days of use.  I might just need to use it for a bit longer though to get the full results.

You can buy the full 0.5 ounce pot at Benefit for £25.50 through their website, or at their stores or in department stores I’m guessing.  The price is probably about average for eye creams from a decent skin care brand.  I wouldn’t buy this because I don’t think it is as good or as effective as other eye creams that I’ve used though.

Agave Hair Oil Treatment

Agave Hair Oil Treatment

Agave Healing Oil Hair Treatment, 4ml vial.  I’m planning to try this sometime this week, but haven’t had a chance to do so yet.  I should have taken this with me on our holiday this weekend because the shampoo at the hotel was horrible.  As a result of using lousy shampoo for the last four days my hair is in need of some love, and I think this agave oil could be just the thing.  This is a very lightweight oil that is supposed to smooth and hydrate your hair while boosting colour and shine.  I think it is especially good for those with colour treated or processed hair resulting in dry, damaged hair, as well as those of us with a tendency towards frizzy hair (like me).  At this time of year when the amount of rain we’re having seems to be on the rise, I really need something that can keep my frizziness in check so that I don’t look like a human version of a chia pet.  I’ve used hair oils before to varying results.  My hair texture is very fine so it can get weighed down with things like this, but I’m hoping that from my very quick test on a little bit of hair that I won’t have that problem with this oil.  Here’s a bit about how the Agave oil does its thing:

Unlike heavy nut oils, Agave oil with it’s plant extract conditions hair without the weight, building strength and resiliency, while helping boost vibrancy and color. Amino sugars lock moisture inside of the hair, adding strength, resiliency and elasticity. Beneficial botanicals coconut, vanilla, sunflower, and safflower are blended with Madagascar baobab seed oil to nourish and transform hair’s outer layer. Ideal for all types of hair: fine, medium and course textures.  And it’s free of the stuff that’s not so good for your locks: parabens, sulfates, and phthalates.

I’m really looking forward to trying this out and seeing if it can tame my frizzy hair while still leaving it shiny.  The good thing is that you can use this on either damp or dry hair, so you don’t have to decide when your hair is still wet if you want to use it or not.  I like products that give me the opportunity to style my hair before I determine if I need a little help.  The only place I’ve found to purchase this in the UK is through Birchbox, but you can at least get this in two different sizes from them.  You can get a 120ml pump bottle for £27.00 or a 60ml pump for £16.00.  Since a little bit of this (or any oil) goes a long, long way, the 60 ml bottle is probably a size that can keep your hair soft and lovely for a very long time.

 

ModelCo Power Lash Mascara

ModelCo Power Lash Mascara

ModelCo Power Lash Mascara, 5ml tube. I believe this is a a sample size product, though I can’t verify that because they don’t list the product amounts on the ModelCo website, which is annoying and less than helpful.  I had heard of this brand before but I’ve never tried any of the products though.  I had actually thought it was a cheap, low end brand, if I’m honest.  With all of that negative stuff said, I will say that this mascara is really nice if you’re going for a long lashed but natural look.  The formula is nice and goes on without clumping or sticking together.  And that, combined with the brush that has rather a lot of thick, chunky looking bristles means that each lash gets a nice coating of mascara that separates the lashes but adds a lot of length.  You could easily put this on and not look like you were wearing mascara at all, just like you have enviably long lashes.  The brush also works well for the very small, delicate lower lashes too.  I’m impressed that they look so natural and long.  It is really like your lashes have just grown.  The only place I have found does get clumpy is the lip of the tube when you pull the brush out or push it back in.  For some reason when you do that it makes a huge mess and you end up having a build up of mascara around the lip of the tube which is wasteful.

And you are going to be worried about the waste because this isn’t a very big tube since it is just 5 grams, which is smaller than any other mascara that I have right now (from a variety of brands from L’Oreal to Lancome).  And at £24.00 for a tube of this, I want to not waste a smidgen of it!  I think the price is pretty steep considering that you’re not getting as much as you would from other mascaras that are about the same price.  Of course, that is all predicated on this 5ml tube being full sized.  If this is indeed a half size sample, then it is pretty much the same price as other quality mascaras and a fair value considering how nicely it goes on and how super it makes your lashes look.  The only place I could find this was at the ModelCo website where it sells for £24.00 for a tube of unknown size.

Urban Fruit Magnificent Mango

Urban Fruit Magnificent Mango

Urban Fruit Magnificent Mango Snack Pack, 35 gram bag.  I love mango anything.  I love mango nectar or ice cream or drinks or just the fruit or mango scented lotions.  Really, mango is my favourite fruit and I eat it all the time dried or fresh or as nectar or juice.  I’m a big fan, as you can probably tell.  What I’m not a big fan of was what the Urban Fruit people did to this mango.  They say it is “just fruit, gently baked”.  But I’m not sure about that gently part.  The fruit was really tough and had lost any semblance of moisture or juiciness and as a result, good flavour.  And I know that just because you dry fruit doesn’t mean it needs to turn into something resembling wood.  I eat dried mango all the time and it still has a lot of softness and moisture to it.  So, that made me very sad.  What is good though is that they don’t use preservatives or added sugars when they make this.  If they could just get down how to bake it without killing the flavour and goodness of it, I think they’d be on to something.

You can get a 100 gram bag of this at your favourite local supermarket like Tesco, Ocado, Waitrose, or ASDA for £1.97 regularly, though right now everyone but Waitrose has it on sale for two bags for £3.50 or £1.75 for a 100 gram bag.  If mango isn’t your obsession like me, then you’ll be glad to hear that Urban Fruit is made with a number of different fruit options, including strawberries and pineapple.

Birchbox Photo Clip

Birchbox Photo Clip

Birchbox Happy Days Photo Clip.  This is a cute little way to hold a photo, or even just notes or cards, on your desk, table or mantle.  And what’s nice is this means that you don’t have to worry about getting a frame that is the right size or anything like that.  I’ve been using this to hold notes to myself on my desk because otherwise I tend to not notice them.  I don’t usually print out pictures now because I have them all on my computer.  However, since getting this cute little photo clip I’ve thought I should get a nice picture of Dave and me to put on my desk.  Maybe I should make a note about that.

How does this Birchbox stack up on value:

  • Beauty Blender and BlenderCleanser Solid, full size sponge and 0.558 ounce cleanser: £26.00 value.
  • Benefit It’s Potent Eye Cream, 0.1 ounce pot:  £5.10 value.
  • Korres Citrus Shower Gel, 50ml bottle:  £1.30 value.
  • ModelCo Power Lash Mascara, 5ml tube: £12.00 value.
  • Agave Healing Oil Hair Treatment, 4ml vial: £0.90 value.
  • Urban Fruit Magnificent Mango Snack Pack, 35 gram bag: £0.61 value.
  • Birchbox Happy Days Photo Clip: £1.00 value.
  • Total Value: £46.91

Thanks to the value of the Beauty Blender, the value of the September Birchbox more than covered the subscription fee.  I am most surprised by the value of that little teeny tiny pot of Benefit It’s Potent Eye cream.  I look at that little tub and can’t imagine it is worth that amount because it just seems so so small.  I feel like the value of the box was good, but for some reason I’ve just not been that enthused overall by my Birchboxes.  Maybe it was just the craziness of moving and all of that leaving feeling not that energetic about anything in a box.  I’m hoping that by the time my October box gets here I’m able to get excited by unpacking a box full of little treats.

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Glossybox: August 2014

Posted 18 September 2014 By kimberly

I received my August Glossybox right as we were moving too.  I think I got it the day before we actually were moving all of our junk to our new flat.  It’s amazing that it didn’t get lost in the chaos of moving.  The August box marks the three year anniversary of Glossybox.  It is amazing to think that they’ve only been around three years but have already delivered 6 million Glossyboxes all around the world.  They have subscribers in the US, UK, Germany, France, Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Austria, Korea, and Japan.  And what is maybe even more amazing is that the founder and CEO is a man.  You’d totally think that a woman came up with this idea, wouldn’t you?

The actual box also had a bit of an update in August.  It’s still pink, but a slightly lighter shade, and isn’t actually glossy anymore.  The dimensions are slightly different as well, giving it a more compact size overall.  But there’s still plenty of space inside for big products, though the August box only had three full sized products and two good sized samples, and of course a tiny perfume sample too.  And to be honest, the full sized products were teeny tiny, so it’s not like we’re talking a full sized hair product or something that can be quite sizeable.  Overall, this seemed like a good box to me because I like all of the products in it and will definitely use them all.

Figs & Rouge Rose Berry Hand Cream

Figs & Rouge Rose Berry Hand Cream

Figs & Rouge Mini Rose Berry Hand Cream, 20ml tube.  This isn’t full sized, but is the perfect size for travel, in your desk at work, or in your bag.  The scent is rose and berry and smells great with a fresh and slightly fruit scent.  If you don’t like the smell at all, you’ll be happy to know that it fades to nothingness after you’ve had it on about 30 minutes maybe.  What is really great about this hand cream is the unique light texture that absorbs pretty quickly into the skin.  Once it is absorbed fully, like 30 seconds probably but feels like maybe a minute, your skin feels silky smooth and soft.  And best of all, there’s no greasy residue or feeling left on your skin.  This hand cream is made with shea butter which is really great at hydrating and nourishing your skin, without greasiness and without using a large amount.  I like that it feels so nice and lasts really well too, not like some hand lotions that absorb and then totally vanish leaving your hands feeling just as dry.  The shea butter in this will also help keep your cuticles in good shape and looking pretty.  All of which is great for this time of year when the weather is transitioning and your skin is often left paying the price.

I really love L’Occitane’s shea butter hand cream, but this little tube is making me think about trying a big tube of this when I run out.  And I will definitely be buying the small tubes of Figs & Rouge hand cream to keep in my handbag, travel kit, and anywhere else I want a small sized tube of hand cream.  The 20ml sized tubes are just £3.95 at FeelUnique (they claim that is a FeelUnique exclusive), which is a rather good deal for something that works so well with just a little amount.  If you want the full sized 80ml tube instead, those are £6.95 at FeelUnique, unfortunately they don’t have the same Rose Berry in the big tube, but do have lots of other nice sounding scent options.

Yves Rocher Nail Polish

Yves Rocher Nail Polish

Yves Rocher Pink Mini Nail Polish in Rose, full sized 3 ml bottle.  To look at this little, itty bitty bottle you would not, even for a second, entertain the thought that this was a full sized product.  It is petite.  Minute, really.  But it is full sized.  I kind of like the small bottles because it lets you try lots of different colours without feeling like you’ll need to use it for the next three years before the bottle is even near finished.  The colour that I received was “Rose” and it is a nice neutral pink colour that would work for day or night or with any colour of clothing.  If you were justing wanting a quick polish, not something to last for several days, you could probably get by with just a single coat because it covers really well.  Plus, you can apply it quickly right before you go out because it dries super quick, like within a minute my single coat was dry enough that I could touch things without any fear of it smudging or getting ruined.  However, if you want it to be durable and look its best, you need two coats for sure.  The quick drying, single coat ability of this polish teamed with the baby bottle make it perfect for your bag.  The only problem I have with this little bottle of polish is that it is a bit more difficult to hold the brush because there’s just not that much handle on the applicator, also it is a really slippery plastic so can slip around a bit while you are trying to apply polish.

You can buy your teeny bottles of nail polish on the Yves Rocher site.  Currently, the little 3ml bottles run from £1.95 to £3.60 because they are having some sales.  If you buy from the selection of polishes that are £3.60, you get a free one, so they really end up being £1.80 per bottle then.  They have a pretty wide selection of colours too with everything from clear to bright to neutral to dark choices.

Kryolan Highlighter Cashmere

Kryolan Highlighter Cashmere

Kryolan Highlighter Cashmere, 4.5 gram full sized pot.  I believe this is the same formulation as Kryolan’s Illusion highlighter, which has a similar looking colour called “Cashmere”.  It’s a bit hard to tell though because the Glossybox card says this is “Kryolan for Glossybox” but I think that is just because the little pot has the Glossybox logo on the lid.  In any case, the highlighter is terrific.  The creamy texture is light which means that you can put it on just where you want it.  The creaminess also makes it very effortless to blend in to your skin to give you a very subtle highlighting.  I’m used to either powder or liquid highlighters that can be tricky to blend or go on to heavily and then look too obvious.  I like the colour of this too which is a kind of a pinkish champagne colour with a subtle hint of shimmer.  All of that means that if you are really pale, like me, this blends and looks natural, giving you that lit from within appearance.  The little pot is really nicely compact too which makes it easy to take with you on a trip or on a night out.

The full sized 4.5 gram pot is £12.95 at the Kryolan website.  You might think that’s a bit dear but since you’re not using that much of this at a time, it will take you a while to work through even this small amount.  I find a little smidge of highlighter on my cheekbones and across my brow bone make for a fresh look that doesn’t look shiny, just healthy.  I also occasionally put a dab at the inner corner of my eye to brighten the whole area up a bit.  That’s a trick that works especially well if I haven’t slept so well or I’m feeling less than chipper.  I think you could probably also use this to add a bit of shimmer to a matt eye shadow since the colour of the highlighter is so light.

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer, 40ml tube.  Elasticizer makes me think of a styling product, though I can’t put my finger on exactly what I think it would be doing.  But in reality, Elasticizer is a pre-shampoo treatment to make your hair more bouncy by improving its elasticity while leaving it shiny, all without weighing it down.  I didn’t know my hair was elastic, honestly.  Basically, this is a hair mask that you use before you shampoo to help your hair be stronger and look better, which of course is even more important if your hair is colour treated or damaged from styling or whatever.  I colour my hair so I try to use a few different products to keep my hair looking healthy and I’m certainly looking forward to trying this out.  However, the Elasticizer gets fabulous reviews everywhere I look, plus it is an InStyle Best Beauty Buys winner for 2013 for Best Deep Conditioning Mask.  Here’s what they say about it at FeelUnique, where incidentally it has a 5 star rating from 163 reviews:

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer was originally created by Philip Kingsley specifically for Audrey Hepburn, who wanted a super-moisturising treatment that would repair her hair and keep it in great condition throughout the frequent colouring and styling done to her hair on movie sets. This is a pre-shampoo intensive moisturising treatment that delivers elasticity, bounce and shine to hair. Also provides UV protection even after washing, helping prolong the life of colour treated hair.

To apply this you just dampen your hair and then get a bit of this and work it through your hair from roots to tips and then let it do its magic for about 20 minutes.  If you’ve got fine hair that is coloured, like I do, the suggestion is to only use this once per week and to go light on the middle and end sections of your hair.  If you’ve got a coarse texture or heavier hair, you can use it twice per week.  And you shouldn’t use this for a few days before or after chemical processing.

This isn’t a full sized product, however, the sample size is big enough that you’ll be able to use it a number of times probably (depending on how much hair you have) and get a feel for how well the product works for you.  There are a number of different sizes available at FeelUnique, a 75ml tube for £15.00, a 150ml tub for £27.50, and even a giant 1000ml bottle for £74.00.  I have generally had very good luck with the Philip Kingsley products that I’ve used, and have several of them in my bathroom right now, so I’m sure I will like this too.

SkinPep Super C15 Serum

SkinPep Super C15 Serum

SkinPep Cosmeceuticals Super C15 Serum, full sized 7ml bottle.  This is a Vitamin C based serum, along with a few other things, that will work to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots. So, it sounds like a bit of magic in a little tiny bottle.  This is a really hard working serum though because it has a lot of science behind it and isn’t just sitting there doing nothing much.  The serum is made up of (15%) L-Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Hyaluronic Acid, Ferulic Acid (0.5%), Alpha-Tocopherol (Vitamin E) (1%), and Matrixyl (Palmitoyl-Pentapepde-3); you’ll need a chemistry degree to get through some of those words.  But all of these have a proven benefit to your skin and can help to improve how it looks.  To get the full story on what all this serum can do for you, you’ll have to check out the SkinPep website.  This has a lot of good stuff in it and doesn’t have any of the stuff we all try to avoid: alcohol, artificial dyes, paraben, and perfume.

I haven’t had a chance to give this a big try, just tried it enough to know that it has a nice lightweight texture that feels nice on and doesn’t make my skin feel greasy or like I’ve got something heavy on.  You only need about 3 drops of this to cover your face and neck, which means even a seemingly small 7ml bottle will last a while.  Also, once absorbed, Super C15 can’t be washed or rubbed off and will remain effective for a minimum of 72 hours.  At the SkinPep website you can get two different sizes of the Super C15 serum, either the 7ml bottle for £13.99 or a big 30ml bottle for £49.99.  That big size seems like it would last you a long time since you don’t need to use very much of it.  After reading about this, I’m really looking forward to giving it a good try because who wouldn’t want their skin to look this improved.

Lalique L'Amour Perfume

Lalique L’Amour Perfume

Lalique L’Amour Perfume, 2ml vial.  This perfume has a big floral scent with a bit of a musky note too.  I definitely cannot put it into words as fancily as the description the Boots website:

The fragrance offers an olfactory declaration of love. It targets a woman with a radiant personality, eager to discover the world and enchanting people around her.The citrus freshness of bergamot, the elegant tenderness of a rosebud and the softness of neroli deliciously burst forth at the top. The heart, crucial in a love story, enriches the fragrance with a bouquet of sumptuous white flowers: tuberose, gardenia and jasmine petals. The base highlights dry, warm cedar. The creamy softness of luscious sandalwood rests on a bed of addictive musks.

It’s not my kind of fragrance.  It’s got a lot of floral that makes it have a kind of overwhelming scent that I don’t really enjoy.  I like a very light scent and this is definitely not fitting into that at all.  I do like the little sample vial that the perfume came in though.  Instead of it just having a spray or being open on the end, there’s a little series of holes that allows you to dab it on quite precisely.  I think that’s great for any perfume, but especially with something so potent.  You can buy the 50ml size of this for £67.00 at Boots, but clearly, I won’t be rushing out to buy it.

August Glossybox Value:

  • Figs & Rouge Mini Rose Berry Hand Cream, 20ml tube: £3.95 value.
  • Yves Rocher Pink Mini Nail Polish in Rose, full sized 3 ml bottle: £1.95 value.
  • Kryolan Highlighter Cashmere, 4.5 gram full sized pot: £12.95 value.
  • Philip Kingsley Elasticizer, 40ml tube: £7.33 value.
  • SkinPep Cosmeceuticals Super C15 Serum, full sized 7ml bottle: £13.99 value.
  • Lalique L’Amour Perfume, 2ml vial: £2.68 value.
  • Total Value: £42.85

That is a whole lot of value in one little box and definitely is way more than the monthly subscription fee.  I feel like I got a lot of great products this month that I’m really going to enjoy using, aside from the perfume which is going in the bin.  I would definitely say that Glossybox sent out a great box to celebrate their third birthday.  So, happy birthday, Glossybox and thanks for all the goodies!

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Birchbox: August 2014

Posted 16 September 2014 By kimberly

I got my first Birchbox in August, right before we moved.  I have to say, I wasn’t overwhelmingly impressed with my first foray into Birchbox.  I was thinking they would have more full sized products but they seem all about the small sample sizes instead (that’s what was in my second box too).  So that is a bit disappointing and definitely makes me glad that I was able to get a good deal through LivingSocial now.  I’m thinking of it as a good way to get to try new things and brands.

The August 2014 Birchbox was themed “Away We Go” to celebrate summer getaways.  The box had five beauty items, I think one of them might have been full sized, plus there was a single chapter of a book.  And it came packaged in a clear plastic pouch that you could take with you on a plane without security going nuts.  The pouch is kind of handy but probably smaller than full airline security needs it to be, but it does have a handy zip top closure to keep all of your stuff secure without a big hassle.  I’ll probably use it for short weekend trips since I never take as much products then.  The products are all geared toward travel too, not just because of the small size, but because of what they do, so they worked with their theme well I would say.  There’s only one product that is a total “no” for me (the first review below), so that is really good.  I haven’t read the book and doubt I will and I’m not reviewing it here.  If I want to sample a book chapter, I can do that on my Kindle without wasting paper (hint, hint Birchbox).

Dead Sea Spa Magik Refreshing Bath Shower Gel

Dead Sea Spa Magik Refreshing Bath Shower Gel

Dead Sea Spa Magik Refreshing Bath Shower Gel, 25ml tube.  You can add this to a bath or apply it in the shower to get nicely moisturized skin.  The moisturizing part it does do well, but it’s got a bit of a scent issue, in my opinion.  In the tube it smells like old fashioned Oil of Olay or maybe makeup remover.  Whatever it is, it doesn’t smell good and definitely smells like my grandma’s bathroom.  So, I’m not a huge fan of the scent straight on the tube and unfortunately, you are left with a trace of that smell on your skin once you’ve used it.  It certainly isn’t as potent after I’ve washed with it, but definitely I can still smell it.  But hey, at least it is allergen-free fragrance.  Let’s talk about the good stuff.  The good thing is that it does make your skin feel soft and lovely after you’ve used it.  Here’s all the ways Finders Health (the maker) says it will help your skin:  Helps to prevent dryness, Helps maintain skin’s elasticity and texture, Makes you feel revitalised and relaxed, Leaves body refreshed and moisturised, Rejuvenates appearance of skin, Relaxes your body and mind.  I will point out that they are a bit repetitive with their list, but I won’t dwell on that.  They use something called harmonised water which they don’t really explain but has something to do with using Dead Sea water as the base.  But that doesn’t really say much about how it is going to be helpful or beneficial to my skin.  The shower gel is paraben free, so that’s a point in their favour.

Somehow it does make my skin feel soft but overall, it isn’t something I’d be likely to buy a full size of because of the scent which I just can’t get past.  You can buy it on the high street at places like Holland & Barrett, Debenhams and John Lewis.  The full size is 350ml bottle that you can pick up for £7.15, and judging from the reviews at John Lewis, I am the only person that doesn’t like the smell.  For something that does pretty much the same thing for my skin, I prefer La Roche-Posay Lipikar Surgras even if it is more expensive.

Wild About Beauty Eyeshadow

Wild About Beauty Eyeshadow

Wild About Beauty Powder Eyeshadow, 2.5 gram full size compact.  This isn’t that big but is a regular full size compact, and is actually a perfect size for popping in your bag or taking with you on a trip.  The colour I received was “Aine” which is a great neutral golden colour with a bit of an orange undertone.  The shadow looks really nice on and has great colour that lasts really well.  The shadow is highly pigmented and fortified with good things like aloe vera and vitamins E and C, all of which will keep your skin healthy and looking good.  There are five colours in this same formulation and they all look really wearable for a neutral eye look.  I love the deep purple that they have called “Heather” and might consider picking it up after I give this one a few more tries to see how it holds up to a really long day or night out.  The colour I received is great for taking with you on a trip if you want to pack super light and have just a single colour of eyeshadow because it is neutral and could work for either a day or night look, though you’d definitely want to jazz it up a bit for night with more eye liner and mascara.

You can apply this eyeshadow with a brush or your finger, though I prefer the control of a brush.  They also suggest you can apply it with a wet brush to create a more dramatic look; I’ve not tried that though.  You can pick this eyeshadow up at FeelUnique for £13.00.  Since it seems like a nice eyeshadow, plus it is free of nasty things like parabens and petrochemicals, I think the price is probably reasonable.

No 4 Super Comb Prep & Protect

No 4 Super Comb Prep & Protect

Number 4 Super Comb Prep & Protect, 30ml spray bottle.  This is a leave-in conditioner that is designed to protect your hair against heat and sun.  Naturally, that makes it perfect for a holiday.  I love stuff like this when I’m going to the beach because sun can be really hard on your hair, as can the salt water or pool water.  And if you colour your hair, you definitely need something to give you some help with the sun which can really zap your colour.  And if you’re not hanging at the beach or pool, you can always use it just to keep your hair tangle free and nice.  Of course, things like this are perfect for protecting your hair from heat styling tools like blowdryers or straighteners too.  I’ve only used this once but thought it worked pretty well even on my very fine hair.  I tried it on a day when it was humid and my hair usually gets a bit frizzy but it seemed to keep the frizz down to a minimum.  The smell is also really nice with a bit of a florally thing going on, but isn’t that overly fragranced.

Super Comb Prep and Protect is easy to use too.  All you need to do is spritz it onto your damp hair and comb through, then just style like normal.  It is that easy!  The results are good too, so you can’t really ask for more than that.  But if you could you might want it to be free of nasties, and this totally is: it is 100% vegan, as well as free of gluten, sulfate, parabens, and sodium chloride.  The full size 200ml spray bottle seems to only be available through Birchbox in the UK, which I find a bit annoying.  You can buy it at Birchbox for £20.00 though.  The price might seem a bit steep, but it is about the same as the Phyto leave-in conditioner and protectant product that I use (I don’t think I’ve done a review of this yet but I love it).  I’ll have to try the No. 4 product more before I can judge if it is better than the Phyto product for my hair.  I might take it on my upcoming holiday to give it a good try.

Vasanti Brighten Up!

Vasanti Brighten Up!

Vasanti Brighten Up! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator, 20ml tube.  This is an exfoliating face wash that is designed to refine your skin texture while leading to a brighter appearance to your skin too.  Vasanti uses papaya extracts along with micro-crystals to help you get a better texture to your skin and rejuvenate your skin’s appearance.  They also have added in some other things to help your skin too:  aloe vera, coconut and panthenol.  The micro-crystals mean that unlike some exfoliation products for you face this one has a really fine texture so you don’t feel like you are scrubbing the top three layers of your skin off.  It does leave you with a soft feeling to your skin that doesn’t feel irritated and too scrubbed.  Here’s what they say about how this product works on the Vasanti website:

Triple Action Formula:
1. Powerful papaya enzymes break down dead skin cells to help progressively smooth your skin’s surface and uncover a healthy radiant glow.
2. Dermatologist-grade Microderm Crystals at 25%, work to stimulate and exfoliate your skin to help smooth and reduce the appearance of fine lines, scars and blemishes. Many dermatologists use these same crystals for their microdermabrasion treatments.
3. Aloe vera, coconut, panthenol along with a mild cleansing gel keeps your skin hydrated and refreshed and helps soothe the skin during the exfoliation process

I’ve only used this once so far, so I don’t feel like I have really tried it enough to know how it will work for my skin with regular use.  However, based on my initial try I think it is something I’m going to like.  Though, how well it will work to brighten up my skin’s appearance is still to be seen.  I have a couple of different facial exfoliants that I use, and generally I do think your skin looks best if you use a gentle exfoliator three times per week.

Along with being 100% vegan and 99% natural, Brighten Up! is free of gluten, parabens, mineral oil and petrolatum, sulfates, GMO’s, and Triclosan.  This is a North American brand, so it seems sort of hard to find in the UK.  You can get it through the Birchbox shop or through Amazon UK though.  Each place sells it for £26.00 for the full sized 120ml tube.  The reviews at both places, as well as the Vasanti website, are all really positive and everyone seems to rave about this product, so I’m looking forward to fully trying it out.

NUDE ProGenius Treatment Oil

NUDE ProGenius Treatment Oil

NUDE ProGenius Treatment Oil, 5ml pump bottle.  This is seemingly the perfect thing to keep your face hydrated either on the plane or when you are actually on holiday.  This oil has all kinds of good things for your skin, like omegas 3,6,7 and 9 to reduce the signs of aging, as well as 10 carefully selected plant oils that hydrate and smooth your skin.  I really like facial oils because they seems to deliver the good stuff right to your skin in a more efficient way than creams and they absorb quickly too.  I also think they are often lighten in texture so you can easily wear them under your foundation or regular products and get all the benefits without feeling like you have a bunch of heavy layers on your skin.   The ProGenius oil is really lightweight but very nourishing and on a regular day around the house, has managed to keep my skin feeling soft and well great all day long.  I’ve tried this a couple of times and think I will definitely use it for my next plane ride to keep my skin extra hydrated.

You just need a tiny, tiny amount of this for it to be useful to your skin, so two drops should be all you need.  After you’ve cleansed your skin, put a couple of drops onto your skin and rub it in.  I’ve sometimes found with facial oils that if my skin is feeling particularly dehydrated that an extra drop is needed.  This works so well under makeup or my regular moisturizer that I’m a fan.  But the price is pretty steep, so I’m not sure if I’ll splurge on getting the full sized version of this.  You can find the full sized 30ml bottle at Birchbox or SpaceNK for £58.00.

So, how does my first Birchbox stack up on value:

  • Dead Sea Spa Magik Refreshing Bath Shower Gel, 25ml tube:  £0.51 value.
  • Wild About Beauty Powder Eyeshadow, 2.5 gram full size compact: £13.00 value.
  • Number 4 Super Comb Prep & Protect, 30ml spray bottle: £3.00 value.
  • Vasanti Brighten Up! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator, 20ml tube: £4.33 value.
  • NUDE ProGenius Treatment Oil, 5ml pump bottle: £9.67 value.
  • Total Value: £30.51

I’ll be honest, this box didn’t seem to have that much value in it, but it did pretty well when I actually tallied it up.  I paid £38.00 for a six month Birchbox subscription, including the shipping, which means £6.33 per month.  So, I think I came out surprisingly well overall with £24.18 worth of product value over the cost of the box.  Luckily there was just the one product, the shower gel, that I don’t like and probably won’t want to really use, and it was even the cheapest one in the box.  I must say, I am pleasantly surprised because I didn’t really think the Birchbox subscription was going to prove to be worth it when I first opened the little tiny box.

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