Glossybox: June 2014

I took a bit of a holiday right at the end of June, beginning of July, so I’m a bit late posting about my June Glossybox.  The June box is all about Summer, as you might expect.  The items in the box have all been selected to help you get that gorgeous, effortless Summer glow quickly and without a lot of products involved.  June is also the last month that there will be a printed magazine in the box because they switched to an online version instead.  This switch is kind of nice because it allows them to add videos and more information than in the print version.  And unlike the print version, they’ll be able to update it and add information all month long.

The June box had four full sized products, which I think it great and the other product was a decent sized sample too.  I love it when they include the full sized stuff because I really feel like I’m getting good value, plus, you have enough of something to actually see if it works and you like it.  Since I’ve been Glossyboxing for about a year now, I also got a special little treat: a Green & Black’s Organic Dark Chocolate Bar.  The bar was not full size, but big enough to enjoy and have a little treat.  I like or at least can use all of the items this month, so this seemed like a decent box to me.

So Susan Cosmetics Universal Blush
So Susan Cosmetics Universal Blush

So Susan Cosmetics, Universal Blush, 4 gram full size container.  I love this blush!  It is the perfect colour for me, even now that I might have a hint of summer colour on my face (probably not, but it’s possible).   The blush works with your skin’s natural chemistry to create a colour that will give you that perfect glow.  Here’s what they say about the blush on the So Susan website:

A micronized, jet-milled blush that works with your skin’s natural chemistry to create a universal healthy flush that is flattering on all skintones. Made with Buriti Fruit Oil to repair the epidermis and improve skin elasticity.

I like how it goes on and looks just right on my skin without any need to break out a second colour for contouring or highlighting.  There’s just a touch of shimmer in the blush, so it gives you just a nice subtle glow that doesn’t look over the top or too shiny.  I also like that it is free from mineral oil, phthalates, and fragrance.  Plus, no animal testing.  They’ve added Pink Kaolin Clay into the blush, so that you can use it if you have sensitive skins or dry skin, since the clay doesn’t draw oils from the skin.  And if that all wasn’t enough, it is also made with Buriti Fruit Oil to nourish and repair the epidermis as well as improve the skin’s elasticity, plus it is also known to reduce redness and offer sun protection from harmful UV rays.  It’s obviously a hard working blush. And of course, it looks great on too.  I’ve found myself reaching for this all the time now because the colour is so nice.

You can buy this directly from So Susan Cosmetics via their website for  £17.95; free shipping on orders over £50.00.  I’m not positive, but I think you can only buy it directly from So Susan actually.  I haven’t been able to find it at Amazon, FeelUnique, Boots, or anyplace else either.  I would say that the Universal Blush is comparable to the Stila Custom Colour Blush (5 grams) that you can buy at FeelUnique for £13.00, which I also have.  The So Susan blush is a bit more expensive, but I like the formulation better and the colour and result on your cheek is just more flattering.  While I was on the So Susan website, I did a quick look around and have to say that they have a great selection of gift sets and products at pretty reasonable prices too. I will definitely have to check out the website in more detail next time I’m looking for some cosmetics.

QV Skin Lotion
QV Skin Lotion

QV Skin Lotion, 15ml sample bottle.  As I’ve mentioned a number of times on here, I’ve got a bit of a picky skin situation.  I have a little problem with eczema on my hands especially, and my skin usually flips out and gets a nasty outbreak (red, scaly, gross looking rashy type thing) when I change lotion or use certain products, but luckily not with the QV Lotion.  The QV line of skincare products was created by dermatologists for everyday use by everyone, even those with skin issues.  The QV products are all suitable, and gentle enough, for people with eczema, psorisis, or dermatitis, as well as babies.  Their products are free from sodium lauryl sulphate, fragrance, colour, lanolin, and propylene glycol.  

I have been using a combination of Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream and L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream for a while now to keep my hands from having eczema issues and that combo has been great.  However, neither of those are exactly low cost and they are both creams which means they have a very thick texture which can take a while to absorb and the Eight Hour Cream can sometimes leave you feeling a bit sticky if you don’t let it absorb or you put too much on.  Plus, I can’t really use either of those for other areas on my body either without it costing a fortune.  So, the QV Lotion is a great alternative to find.  It is a lotion, not a cream, so the texture is pretty light, especially in comparison to the other two products.  It is especially nice for summer because of that lightness since you don’t feel like you have anything on your skin after it absorbs.  And it absorbs into the skin easily and quickly and just leaves you skin feeling soft and well moisturized.  I’ve also read that you can use this to remove makeup but I haven’t tried that since I have plenty of great products for that purpose.  However, if you have really sensitive skin on your face you might want to try this out as a makeup remover.

I’m thrilled that this hasn’t caused my skin an issue, especially after I saw how reasonably priced it is.  I can buy a big 500ml pump bottle of this at Amazon for just £9.45, and it is a Prime item, so if you have Amazon Prime you can get it shipped to your front door by the next day for free.  Glossybox directs you to purchase it from Crawford Healthcare, where the 500ml bottle is a bit higher at £9.61 or you can get a 250ml bottle for £6.06, but you’ll have to pay around £5.00 for shipping, so it’s definitely more pricey than Amazon when that is included.

Schwarzkopf go2b Rise 'n Shine Soufflé
Schwarzkopf go2b Rise ‘n Shine Soufflé

Schwarzkopf got2b Rise ‘n Shine Soufflé, 100ml full size container.  Rise n’ Shine is a new line from got2b that is supposed to give you lots of textured volume while still allowing your hair to be sleek and shiny.  The texture of the soufflé is light, as you would expect, and it has a nice fruity kind of smell.  The product is a little sticky feeling on your hands but doesn’t seem to feel that way on your hair.  I have curly hair, unless I blow it out, and I have used it to give my curl a bit more volume while keeping the flyaways at bay.  That flyaway, furry look can happen quite a bit here in London because of the humidity, so I’m always looking for something that will help my hair stay shiny and tame that frizzy humidity look.  I’d say that this had okay results, it isn’t great but it isn’t horrible either.  It did work much better/effectively when I blew my hair out.  The Rise ‘n Shine managed to give it some extra oomph while still keeping my hair shiny.  If you want really big volume you can work a bit into your roots too.  I have found that this works really great if you want to put your hair up because you can keep it still really natural looking but the texturizing properties of this product makes your hair stay put much better that shellacking it into place using hairspray.  I do like that you can get good volume, but still have some shine, and not have to involve hairspray.  I’m not a huge fan of hairspray in summer, it just seems to get sticky or weird feeling.

This is a pretty inexpensive hair product that you can pick up at places like Boots or Superdrug.  Right now you can get the Rise ‘n Shine Soufflé at Boots for just £2.00 for the 100ml tub; they’re having a 1/3 off sale so it is normally £3.00.  At Superdrug it is £3.99 regularly, but right now you can get two selected Schwarzkopf products for £5.00.  Seems like a better deal at Boots.  I doubt I’ll buy this again, but it is nice to have a little variety in my hair product lineup.

Nip+Fab CC Eye Fix
Nip+Fab CC Eye Fix

Nip+Fab CC Eye Fix, 1.8ml full size dispenser.  I’ve heard a lot about how great Nip+Fab products are, so I was really looking forward to trying this out.  And what woman my age, doesn’t want something that will make their eye area look better?  Unfortunately, my relationship with this product didn’t start off on a good foot.  This is one of those pen type dispensers with a little brush on one end, where the product comes out, and you twist the other end to get the product to actually come out.  Well, I don’t know if I got a bum applicator or what but I twisted and twisted and twisted and twisted and kept doing it for way more twists than I should have needed before anything came out.  And even then, barely any product made its way into the brush area; I could just see the barest hint of colour.  So, I twisted some more and even shook it a bit.  I was holding it with the bristles pointing down too, to try to get some help from gravity.  I finally managed to get some of it out but it was at the point where I was ready to just chuck it right into the bin.  I’ve had a couple of other products with this same type of pen applicator that you twist or click to get the product to come out, and none of them has worked so poorly.  So, yeah, not an auspicious start.

The actual product, once I could get any out, is pretty good but not outstanding.  CC Eye Fix is an eye cream and concealer in one.  It’s  made with oat extract and light diffusing pigments which are supposed to brighten and lift the appearance of the eye area.  It also contains beeswax to help protect the delicate, thin skin under the eyes.  I think it does do the brightening and refreshing part but where I think it falls down is in longevity.  Something about the formulation starts to settle into the fine lines that we all have under our eyes (unless you’re super young, but then you are probably not using this), after a couple of hours, which doesn’t look so great.  I tried it with a very light powder over it to see if that would help and it did seem to stop the settling a bit.  I’ll try a few different methods of application to see if I can get better results though.  Unfortuantely, the product doesn’t really work so spectacularly that it can overcome the truly annoying packaging issues for me.

You can find Nip+Fab directly through their own website.  The CC Eye Fix is £9.95 from them.  However, you can also get it at Superdrug for that same price normally, though right now you can get it for 50% off, so £4.97.  You can also find it at Boots and Amazon, but it is a better deal at Superdrug.

Teeez Trend Cosmetics Flat Eyeshadow Brush
Teeez Trend Cosmetics Flat Eyeshadow Brush

Teeez Trend Cosmetics, Beautiful Flat Stiff Brush, full size.  Um, yeah, I’m not really a fan of the decorative motif on the handle of this brush.  At all.  The brush is nice enough, but the design is not.  I think it is the disembodied eyes that freak me out and make it unappealing to me.  The bristles on the end of the brush are quite soft and made from natural hair.  The bristles are short enough that they don’t have a lot of fluff to them, so this is great for putting your eye shadow just where you want it.  I think this is a little more gentle feeling than the other eye shadow brushes that I have with this same flat and stiff (ish) design.  I would like it better if the handle were a either shorter or longer though because at least for me it is a bit of an awkward length.  Of course, if it were longer there’d be more of the ugly, creepy design, so I guess shorter would be my preference.

Glossybox says that you can find this brush at Nelly.com for €19.00, however, I wasn’t able to find it at all.  Nelly.com does have a lot of other products from Teeez, so maybe I’m just somehow not looking in the right place or something.  I also haven’t been able to track it down anyplace else either, so I’m at a bit of a loss on where to tell people to look if they want this brush.  I think you can find makeup brushes that are just as good, or better, at a host of places from a wide range of brands, and they won’t have the ugly design on them.

Glossybox Anniversary Treat: Green & Black's Organic Dark Chocolate
Glossybox Anniversary Treat: Green & Black’s Organic Dark Chocolate

How do the numbers stack up for the box this month?  Here is the breakdown:

  • So Susan Cosmetics, Universal Blush, 4 gram full size container: £17.95 value.
  • QV Skin Lotion, 15ml sample bottle: £0.29 value.
  • Schwarzkopf got2b Rise ‘n Shine Soufflé, 100ml full size container: £3.oo value.
  • Nip+Fab CC Eye Fix, 1.8ml full size dispenser: £9.95 value.
  • Teeez Trend Cosmetics, Beautiful Flat Stiff Brush, full size: £15.08 value.
  • Total Value: £46.27

Overall this was a pretty good Glossybox, like every month there are some hits and some misses.  Thankfully, this month was much more hit than miss in my opinion.  The price of the So Susan blush that I really love, more than covers the price of my Glossybox subscription for the month, so I’m really happy with the value of the June box.   Plus, I got an extra little chocolate treat.

I think I’m going to post a little review of how well the Glossybox subscription has worked out for me this past year.  I know that there are several new products that have been introduced to me through my Glossybox subscription that I have gone on to buy, so that is great.  I just want to be a little more exacting about it all.

Orlando Pita Argan Restoring Treatment Hair Mask at Costco US

In the last couple of years, Costco has been trying to get a wider, and better, selection of makeup, skin and hair care products.  They’ve always had stuff in kind of a hit or miss fashion, but now they are starting to get a much stronger selection at their locations in the US.  Of course, they used to carry the really great Kirkland Signature Borghese line of skin care products, that people loved.  For some reason though, they have decided to discontinue the line, which has a lot of people upset or angry.  However, now they’ve got the Beauty’s Most Wanted collection, a selection of cosmetics from well known stylemakers for makeup, skin and hair care.  Perhaps this will take a bit of the sting out of getting rid of their own KS Borghese products.

Orlando Pita has been a hairstylist for more than 20 years and has quite the list of accomplishments.  Along with creating innovative styles for runway shows in New York and Paris, his hair styles have been featured on the covers of more than 500 magazine covers, including Vogue, W, and Allure.  Plus, in 2007 W magazine named him one of the most influential people in the world.  And of course, he works with celebrities such as Madonna, Jennifer Aniston, Anne Hathaway, and Sarah Jessica Parker to create trendsetting hairstyles.  Considering he’s done all of that, I feel a bit bad that I had never heard of him until I tried this hair mask.  Of course, much like the majority of makeup artists, I think hairstylists are the unsung heroes of the beauty world and certainly don’t get enough credit for their artistry.

Orlando Pita Argan Restoring Treatment Hair Mask Now at Costco
Orlando Pita Argan Restoring Treatment Hair Mask Now at Costco

The Orlando Pita Argan Restoring Treatment Hair Mask is a conditioning mask that will hydrate and treat your hair through a unique blend of restorative proteins, it will also provide much needed nourishment through a combination of vitamins and minerals.  Everyone’s hair gets a little sad looking, especially if you colour it or process it in some way with chemicals, or even just blow dry it a lot.  So something like this is perfect for reviving your hair and making it look its best.  I think this is even more important when the weather has been harsh like during a nasty winter or a hot hot summer.  As you can guess from the name of the product, there is argan oil in it, which will help restore shine and glossiness to your hair.  The mask also contains shea butter to help revive and soften dry and heat damaged hair.  The pure wheat proteins in the mask help to hydrate your hair and make it stronger.  So, all of that sounds lovely but what does it actually translate into for your hair.  Since it is a conditioning mask, it will do the obvious bit of detangling and moisturizing your hair, but it will also help with fly-aways, frizz, and split ends, all while making it look shinier and healthier too.

Can this mask really live up to all the claims?
Can this mask really live up to all the claims?

When I first got this I was a bit concerned that it might actually make my hair turn out over-conditioned and flat looking, which is a problem that I have with almost all of these types of deep conditioning masks.  My hair is very fine in texture with a lot of natural curl, but because of the fine texture I have to be kind of careful about what products I use.  If I don’t use the right types of products my hair will end up looking flat or greasy because the products can easily overwhelm the fine texture.  However, since I colour it and take some very hair-unfriendly medication, my hair could definitely use a boost now and then to keep it looking healthy and shiny.  I’ve tried a few things that have left my curly hair looking like Marcia Brady’s super straight hair, only more like if Marcia hadn’t washed her hair for a week or so and worked at McDonald’s manning the fry machine.  That’s really not a look I try to cultivate.  So, it was with a bit of trepidation that I tried the Argan Restoring Treatment Hair Mask, I just made sure it was when I knew I wouldn’t have to go anywhere for a couple of days.  You know, just in case.

To use the mask, I washed my hair as normal (with the Kirkland Signature shampoo, of course) and then instead of using my normal conditioner, I applied the Argan Restoring Treatment Hair Mask.  The mask is much thicker than a normal conditioner, I would say, but not so thick that it does not work into the hair easily.  To make sure it was well distributed throughout my hair from root to tip, I used a wide-toothed comb, as suggested by the instructions on the package.  After that, I left it on my hair for a full 15 minutes; the directions say to leave it on for 5 – 15 minutes depending on the condition of your hair.  That might seem like a long time but if you’re doing stuff like shaving your legs or exfoliating, you can get through that amount of time without even noticing.  After the 15 minutes were up, I rinsed my hair thoroughly and waited to see how my hair would look when it dried.  Even when rinsing it though, you can tell your hair has been well moisturized because it feels super soft and definitely free of any tangles.  I went styling product free to see how it really would deal with fly-aways and frizz because I have that problem a lot with my curly hair.

I have to admit, I was super skeptical that this mask would live up to the claims, but I was actually impressed by my results.  Once my hair had dried it was very soft, but had great curl and tons of shine and gloss.  Plus, even without my usual styling products, I didn’t have a problem with frizz or fly-aways.  The frizz situation was even more impressive because it was rather humid the day that I tried this out, which usual makes my hair get crazy without the right styling products.  The healthy hair look doesn’t just last for a day or two, or until your next shampoo, either, my hair seems to have truly benefitted from the mask.  I’ve now started using it once per week, and while the results aren’t as dramatic to me as they were that first time, my hair is now looking much better all the time.  I’ve even had other people comment on how nice my hair was looking.  I think I might be most impressed with the effect that the mask has had on my curl, which has really seen the benefits of being more nourished.  And wow, when I blow it out, my hair looks gorgeous and fluffy (in a good way) now, like magazine hair.  The other benefit I have noticed is that my colour looks better, more vibrant, and doesn’t seem to have faded as quickly.

Orlando Pita Argan Restoring Treatment Hair Mask
Orlando Pita Argan Restoring Treatment Hair Mask

The 10 ounce jar of Orlando Pita Argan Restoring Treatment Hair Mask is available at various Costco locations around the US, though it is not available at all warehouse locations.  If you can buy the mask in your local warehouse it is selling for around $29.00.  However, if you can’t find it at a physical store you can get it through Costco.com for $28.99 plus $3.99 shipping and handling, $32.98 total. The 10 ounce jar might not sound like you are getting too much for that price, since it would be $2.90 per ounce, but you don’t use all that much.  The first time I applied the mask I used a big blob of it but after that initial time, I found I used much less.  After using it for a month, or four applications, I have just barely made a noticeable dent in the product.  Granted my hair is fine and only to the base of my neck in length, but it isn’t like you’re only going to be able to get a month or two of applications out of the jar.  Judging by how much I’ve used to this point, I would guess this could last me four to six months.  I feel like I need less now that my hair is in better shape too and could even possibly use it only once every 10 days or two weeks.   I think it is worth the price, because it has really made such a difference in my hair.  Plus, if I can colour my hair even one less time per year, as a result of using this mask, then it has more than paid for itself.

Unfortunately, for all of us beauty lovers in the UK, Australia, Korea, or Japan, our selections just aren’t as wide as Costco US.  However, I am definitely hoping that changes in the next year or so (hint, hint Costco).  We all love beauty and bargains too, Costco!  So, since this isn’t available through Costco UK locations or online, I will certainly be picking this up when we’re next in the US or I’ll have my mom bring me some when she visits.

I have some other products from the Beauty’s Most Wanted lineup at Costco that I’ll be reviewing in the next couple of weeks, like the Dr. Jessica Wu Vivid Intense 15% Vitamin C Serum (which, as a quick review, I totally love) and the Patti Dubroff makeup (love some of it, less so for others). Until then, if you want to find out more about the products you should check out the Beauty’s Most Wanted website.  Or, you can find the cosmetics at various Costco US locations, as well as on the Beauty’s Most Wanted page at Costco.com.   There are a couple of other Orland Pita hair care products available through Costco as well now, a volume boosting shampoo and conditioner, and dry shampoo.  I won’t be reviewing those, but I would guess that they are great too.

Even though I did receive my jar of Orlando Pita Argan Restoring Treatment Hair Mask for free from Hatch Beauty (the company behind Beauty’s Most Wanted), my opinions are still my own and I still feel like my biggest obligation is to be honest and open with everyone here about my experience with the product.  When I say I liked the mask and was impressed with my results, that is the truth and not something I was paid to say.

Glossybox: April 2014

The theme for the April Glossybox is “Sweet Treats”.  The box is supposed to be filled with items to get your ready for Summer.  I don’t know about how successful they were in getting products that matched the theme, but there are some decent items at least.  This is the first time I used my Glossydots to pay for my monthly box.  You can get Glossydots by filling out surveys on the products you get in your box each month.  You can also get dots for referring friends too.  For 1,000 Glossydots I got my box for free this month.  I think that’s not a bad deal really.  You get 50 dots for each survey, so I give quick and easy feedback on 20 products and I get a free box.  My box came earlier this month too, which might be due to paying with my Glossydots; whatever the reason it was a nice surprise.

I was hoping for a cute floral box or something Easter-y perhaps, but it was just the regular pink box this month.  This month was all about “Sweet Treats” to get ready for Spring and Summer.  I don’t know about that, but at least everything in the box was interesting and something I’ll try.  In this box, I got two full sized products, two good sized samples, and one kind of small but adequate sample.  One of the full sized products is a makeup tool, a lip brush, so I guess that counts as full sized since there’s really no way to have a sample size of that.  I’m looking forward to trying everything, which is pretty nice and definitely far different from the lousy March box.

Emite Makeup Lip Brush L312
Emite Makeup Lip Brush L312

Emite Make up Lip Brush L312, full size tool.   The Emite lip brush has a long handle and is very soft but densely packed so it can make a nice straight line, for things like lip liner or just making sure you don’t get lipstick where you didn’t want it.  Plus, the head is slightly tapered which makes getting a nice edge much easier.  I have a nice lip brush already that is retractable and thus highly portable.  However, this one from Emite is nice for just keeping in my regular stash of brushes so that I can keep my other one either in my purse or travel makeup kit.  Or, I might just re-purpose this from a lip brush into something for eye shadow or liner or for use on my brows.  It is a nice quality brush though.  I love my Emite Makeup Eye Lash Curler that I received in one of my previous Glossyboxes, so I know that their tools are really nice.  I’m sure whatever purpose I put this brush to, I will like it just as much as the other items from Emite that I have tried.

Emite is a Swedish company started by makeup artists, so they’ve put together a full selection of cosmetics and tools that are up to professional standards but are still accessible to regular people as well; you can find out more about the brand through their website.  According to Glossybox, you can buy this lip brush for £17.00 at Emite Makeup’s website.  However, I couldn’t actually find it when I went to grab a link to it.  And I can’t find anything from Emite at Amazon or any other place online.  So, I don’t know where you can really get this lip brush, I guess you could just keep checking the Emite website.  Since they are a Swedish company, so all of the prices are in SEK/Swedish Krona, however, I do believe they will ship to the UK.

MeMeMe Beat The Blues Pearl Pink Highlighter
MeMeMe Beat The Blues Pearl Pink Highlighter

MeMeMe Beat the Blues Pearl Pink Highlighter, 12 ml full size bottle.  This is quite a bit like High Beam from Benefit, I think.  Beat the Blues is a pearly light pink liquid highlighter that comes in a bottle like nail polish, with that same kind of brush applicator too.  You can use this to brighten up and highlight your cheeks, right under the arch of your eyebrow, or on your cupid’s bow (by your lips).  You can also add a dab to your foundation, primer, or moisturizer to create an all over kind of glow and brighten your whole face.  I have found that this can be a little obvious if you put it on over makeup, but sometimes like for a party or something, that is the look you are going for.  However, if you want a more subtle effect, still the glow but not quite as bright, I have found that it is great to put it on and then put my blush over the top of it.  I get a nice subtle glow that is like fresh, young skin and not quite so in your face highlighter shiny.  I’ve also used a very teeny amount of this at the inside corner of my eye (closest to my nose), to just brighten up the area a bit.  It works great for any place you just want to lighten up a bit like that.  This is really almost exactly the same as Benefit’s High Beam, though, maybe a little more subtle overall.  I think the texture might be a tad more fluid (or watery) so it goes on a bit lighter.  I think it is best to always give the liquid highlighter a few good shakes before you use it though, to avoid any clumps or settling of anything.

You can buy MeMeMe’s Beat the Blues at their website for £5.50 for a 12 ml bottle (the same size I received in my Glossybox).  That price is really great and highlights (no pun intended) the other big difference with High Beam, in that the MeMeMe is way cheaper.  If you are looking for that same type of highlighter effect, MeMeMe is less than a third of the price of High Beam (£19.50 for 13 ml).  With that savings of £14.00 you can buy more makeup!

Tresemmé Instant Refresh Cleansing Dry Shampoo
Tresemmé Instant Refresh Cleansing Dry Shampoo

Tresemmé Instant Refresh Dry Shampoo, 100 ml travel size can.  My curly hair doesn’t always lend itself to using a dry shampoo for anything other than getting some volume.  Curly hair, at least mine, doesn’t really look so great the day after I wash it, no matter how much dry shampoo I use.  Of course, if I have a day where I’m not lazy and actually blow it out, then I can get a second day out of my style by breaking out a good dry shampoo.  More often though, I use my dry shampoo to give my rather fine hair a bit of oomph, especially when I blow it out.  If you use dry shampoo to get more volume, as opposed to hair spray, you can avoid that crunchy helmet head look and have a more natural style too.  The thing I found kind of interesting about the Tresemmeé dry shampoo is that they specifically say it is for normal and oily hair; I’ve not seen anything like that on other dry shampoos before.  I’m wondering why they point that out.  To use this, or any dry shampoo, shake the can and then section your hair and give the roots a quick spray.  Once you’ve sprayed all of your hair, let it sit for a minute and then massage into the roots and brush through and style as you normally would.   I think this seems really good at getting rid of the oily build up that can accumulate (as if by magic or curse) overnight.  This works as well as my current favourite dry shampoo from Inecto made with coconut oil that I received in my very first Glossybox in July.

I received a 100 ml travel sized can, but you can get the full sized 200 ml can at Boots for £5.25 or £4.99 at Ocado.  Of course, you can add this to any Amazon UK order over £10.00 for the low low price of just £2.35 for a 200 ml can, so if you’re going to order it clearly Amazon is the way to go.  I’m going to give this one a try a few more times before I decide which I like best though, but both this dry shampoo from Tresemmé and the one from Inecto (£4.73 for 150ml at Amazon UK) are way better than Batiste.

MONU Spa Warming Ginger Massage & Body Oil
MONU Spa Warming Ginger Massage & Body Oil

MONU Spa Warming Ginger Massage and Body Oil, 30 ml sample size bottle.  I had never heard of Monu before I received my October 2013 Glossybox that included the wonderful Monu Illuminating Primer.  I loved that primer sample so much that I bought the full sized product already.  So, despite the fact that I’m not really a bath oil kind of girl, I’m looking forward to trying this body oil.  This oil is supposed to leave skin smooth and lovely, and all in the time it takes you to bathe or shower.  The body oil is made from a mixture of ginger, lemongrass, and orange essential oils and active ingredients such as calendula, jojoba seed oil and vitamins A and E.  Unlike a lot of oils like this, they say that you can use it when you shower too.  To use it in the shower, you just need to massage the oil into your skin before you hop in a warm shower or you can put it on while in the shower just before you rinse off.  I always prefer a shower to a bath, so this is the method I’ll be using.  Of course, they also make it sound like you can just put it on and leave it on, no bath or shower necessary even.  The oil has that great ginger smell too, which even the smell seems refreshing so I’ve got high hopes for the oil.  The smell is reminiscint of a freshly cut slice of real ginger, and at least when you smell it direct in the bottle is really powerful.   I tried a bit on my hands, just to see what it would be like, and the smell is just as lovely on, of course, I guess you need to like the smell of ginger to feel like that.  The good thing is that it did leave my hands feeling silky soft after washing them.  I’ve been having some annoyance with dry skin on my legs lately, so I’m definitely going to try this on my legs the next time I shower.

You can buy the full sized 100 ml bottle of Warming Ginger Massage and Body Oil directly from Monu for £26.00.  It’s about the same price at Amazon UK, so you could get it from there too if you are ordering other stuff.  But Monu has so many other great products to try as well that you might just want to order directly from them.  I’m a total fan of Monu now because of the primer and can’t wait to see if this oil is as good a product.

Vichy Liftactive Advanced Filler
Vichy Liftactive Advanced Filler

Vichy Liftactive Advanced Filler and Serum 10 for Eyes, 5 ml and 3 ml sample tubes.  This is a new product from Vichy to combat deep and/or vertical wrinkles.  Apparently, it is supposed to be so good that your wrinkles will appear so reduced it will be like you had cosmetic procedure done to fill your wrinkles.  That seems like an amazing claim, doesn’t it?  That dramatic effect is courtesy of pure retinol and LR2412.  They say that it is hypoallergenic, contains no parabens, and has been tested for use on sensitive skin.  And like all Vichy skincare products it also has been enriched with the Vichy thermal water too.  Here’s what they say about it on the Vichy website:

As we age our facial features become less defined and the face can look more sad and tired. This ‘sad look’  can be attributed to the appearance of deep & vertical wrinkles. Vertical wrinkles can be particularly resistant and hard to correct.
Following 10 years of research, Vichy combines for the first time two ingredients: pure Retinol, in very high concentration and LR2412 to:
-Visibly diminish the look of deep and vertical wrinkles as if corrected.
-Give you a happier look.
-Give you a complete moisturiser, suitable for sensitive skin.

The other sample from Vichy is for the Liftactive Serum 10 for Eyes and Lashes.  As you might have guessed from the name, this is a serum for that very delicate and wrinkle prone under eye area, but it is also a lash fortifying serum.  Pretty much everyone I know would like to have fewer under eye wrinkles and lines, and I am no exception.  This serum is supposed to illuminate and lift the look of the eye contours to give you a younger appearance, as well as make your lashes stronger.  The serum contains Rhamnose (whatever that is), ceramides, and instant light reflectors, plus it is hypoallergenic, paraben free, and able to be used with sensitive eyes and skin.  This serum is on the Good Housekeeping’s reader recommendation list for 2013.

I don’t really have deep or vertical wrinkles (yet), but I’m definitely going to try this on my so far very subtle lines I’m getting between my brows.  You can buy the Liftactive Advanced Filler from Boots for £31.00 for a 30 ml tube.  It gets pretty great reviews on the Boots website too. But what I am really looking forward to trying is the Serum 10 for Eyes.  I’ve been looking for a good eye cream again, especially something that actually works and is good for my apparently sensitive eyes.  Plus, it makes your eye lashes healthier and thicker; from reviews I read this does actually seem to happen too.   You can buy the Liftactive Serum 10 for Eyes at Boots for £24.50 for a 15 ml tube.  As with all Vichy products, you can also buy it in their Vichy Pharmacy stores; use their website to find one near you.

How do the numbers stack up for the box this month?  Here is the breakdown:

  • Emite Make up Lip Brush L312: £17.00 value
  • MeMeMe Beat the Blues Pearl Pink Highlighter, 12 ml full size bottle: £5.50 value.
  • Tresemmé Instant Refresh Dry Shampoo, 100 ml travel size can: £2.35 value.
  • MONU Spa Warming Ginger Massage and Body Oil, 30 ml sample size bottle: £7.80 value.
  • Vichy Liftactive Advanced Filler, 5 ml sample tubes: £5.17 value.
  • Vichy Liftactive Serum 10 for Eyes, 3 ml sample tubes: £4.90 value.
  • Total Value: £42.72

I can honestly say that I didn’t see that total coming at all!  I guess the brush is quite a bit of the value, plus it more than pays for the Glossybox monthly subscription price of £12.95 (with shipping) all on its own.  That small little bottle of Monu body oil is quite pricey too.  I guess it all adds up.  In any case, this box was a really good deal and has six products that I can and will actually use.  This box is way, way better than the lousy March 2014 box, so Glossybox has redeemed itself in my eyes a bit.  But we’ll have to see what May holds.  I’m just a few months away from having a full received the Glossybox for a year, so I will have to evaluate at the end of that period and see how good a deal it really is for me

Great Product Suggestions from FeelUnique and PopSugar

It’s getting to be that time of year when you might be looking to try some new products, or you’ve got to get into the Spring and Summer swing of things with different needs for your skin and look.  Or, maybe you’re going on a trip for Easter, Spring Break, or just your yearly Summer holiday.  Well, I’ve got a couple of good articles for you to check out today for advice on what travel sized items to take on your next trip, as well as some recommendations from the FeelUnique staff on self tanner, mascara, and face peels.

FeelUnique’s Beauty All Access “We’ve Been Testing” Feature

I buy quite a bit of my makeup, hair and skin care products from FeelUnique.  I like how quickly they deliver – for free – and what a wide selection they have on their site.  And they are always adding new brands to choose from too, just recently they added Urban Decay and coming soon is Aveda.  The other thing I like about them is that they have a lot of resources for tips on how to do makeup and hair, or what products to buy for what need, they also host a lot of Facebook question and answer chats with top stylists, designers, doctors, and the names behind a lot of excellent brands. Recently, they’ve started to include a section in their Beauty All Access area about products they have been trying out, which I find super helpful.  First off though, I have to say that the Beauty All Access ezine (or whatever you want to call it), is full of great tips and has all of the latest seasonal style updates to keep you up to date and looking great in all areas, from makeup and hair, to fitness and nutrition.  It’s one of my top beauty reads each month.  They have a feature called “This Works for Me” that is nice because they interview celebs and stylists about their beauty product essentials and tips, as well as fashion looks.  I always find them interesting and it’s a good place to get suggestions for new products too.

The section I really wanted to point out though, was the “This Month We’ve Been Testing…” feature.  They have three different product types that they are testing this month: self tanner, lengthening mascara, and facial peels.  Self tanner and facial peels are a the perfect way to get a head start on your Spring and Summer skin.  Definitely after winter, we could all use a bit of a boost for our skin, so these might work for you.  They have a little bit of reasoning behind each product on the list, as well as a tip for each of the three product types.  I also like that everything they test isn’t crazy expensive, they have stuff that should be good for just about any budget. Also, each category they have broken down the products into things that are best for a particular situation or desired result as well as the best overall, for instance they self tan is broken down into best for light skin, best for deep skin, and best all around.  It’s nice that they don’t just act like one product will be great for everyone in every situation.  But definitely give it a quick look.  It’s very short and sweet with just like a bullet point for the nine products that they suggest and the three tips.

PopSugar’s “10 Travel-Sized Essentials Under $10” Article

Obviously, this one is geared toward US readers because all of the product prices are listed in dollars, but even if you’re not in the US, the suggestions are great for getting the most out of your travel beauty kit.  There is nothing worse than going on holiday and having your skin and hair suffer because you don’t want/can’t bring your full-sized products with you and don’t really have great substitutes.  Or, worse yet, you just totally let your standards slip and end up with horrible hair and skin as a result.  I will also point out that there are great travel sized containers for just about every type of product now too that you can get at places like Boots or Walgreen’s.  I even use these little miniature zip top bags that you can find in craft stores for a lot of my travel things now because they are flat and resalable, but do work pretty well for semi-liquid things moisturizer or hair conditioner.  Also, you can sometimes get sample sizes of your favourite brands and products from department stores, but this is definitely hit or miss.  I really wish that everyone would let you buy small sizes of their products so you’d know that you can have the same great products on holiday that you do every other day.  I’m sure everyone’s hair and skin would be very happy with that.

The PopSugar article covers ten travel sized necessities for the important travel issues of keeping your hair and skin happy, from dry shampoo to a body exfoliator.  And the best part is that they are all things that you can easily fit in your allowed Ziploc of liquids and they won’t break the bank because they are all under $10.00 too.  It’s nice that so many good things can be found, for reasonable prices, that fit the requirement of being less than 100 ml/3 oz for all of us that like to have decent products when we travel. They even have a travel sized hairbrush that it wouldn’t be too much of a space hog in comparison to your regular, full-sized one.  The Klorane Oat Milk Dry Shampoo ($9.00 for 50 ml can) is on their list and I think I’m going to have to try this, even if not on a trip, because it gets mentioned all over the place and people just rave about it.  Much like the FeelUnique article, this one is short and sweet with just a brief description of the product, as well as pricing information, so there’s no excuse to not at least give it is quick perusal.

Bielenda Precious Avocado Oil 3 in 1

I’ve never used Bielenda before, haven’t even heard of them actually, though they seem to have a very wide range of products made with lots of lovely organic ingredients.  I decided to give them a try when I was looking for an avocado oil to use on my skin and hair.  Naturally, I went to Amazon and the Bielenda Precious Avocado Oil 3 in 1 popped up in my search and looked like it had potential.  I also liked the under £10 price.

So, who is Bielenda?  They are a Polish cosmetics company that makes creams, masks, scrubs, balms, slimming cosmetics, sun care products, intimate hygiene preparations, hair care and hairstyling preparations and aromatherapy bath oils.  And they do it all with nice ingredients like avocado, argan, and other things your skin will love.  Here’s what they have to say about themselves on their website:

Bielenda Kosmetyki Naturalne was established in 1990. Since the beginning of its operation our company has been distinguished by the innovative use of natural, high value cosmetic ingredients. Having an exceptional approach to beauty care, we have gained a significant position in the Polish cosmetics market and we strive towards the same strong presence in foreign markets.Our company’s range is comprehensive and includes over 250 cosmetic products for face, body and hair care.

I just can’t believe that they have over 250 products and I’ve never heard of them before; not even a peep.  While they are apparently quite big in the Polish market, they are also sold in Europe, the US, Asia, and Africa.

Bielenda Avocado Oil 3 in 1
Bielenda Avocado Oil 3 in 1

Avocado oil is lovely for skin and hair because it contains high concentrations of all of the things your skin needs the most to look its best.  It is very high in antioxidants  with lots of good vitamin A, C, D, and E.  Antioxidants are very helpful in lessening the affects of aging.  As if that weren’t enough, avocado oil is also very high in fatty acids.  It has high levels of Omega 3 and Omega 9 fatty acids which work to maintain hydration and elasticity in your skin.  Avocado oil also contains sterolins, which are natural plant steroids that may prove effective in boosting natural collagen production and in treating age spots.  Avocado oil also contains lecithin and potassium, which are all highly beneficial for the skin as well as the hair.  Since avocado oil is a light or thin oil, it absorbs into the skin quite well and quickly too.  This quick absorption makes it great for putting on your skin because it doesn’t leave you feeling greasy or oily.   It absorbs quickly but does leave your skin feeling well moisturized and apparently, is also doing a lot under the surface to keep your skin lovely as well.

The Bielenda Precious Avocado Oil 3 in 1 seems really nice so far, though I was a bit sad that it wasn’t just pure avocado oil.  Aside from avocado oil there is soybean oil, macadamia seed oil, palm oil, and some other stuff such as a fragrance.  The fragrance is actually kind of nice and has a berry smell, much like strawberries I would say.  Despite the other oils, the oil feels pretty much like what I used previously which was just pure avocado oil.  It comes in a bottle with a pump on it, but since it is oil it doesn’t really but comes out in a bit of a stream instead.

I use a pump or two on my hands and arms depending on how dry I’m feeling and it leaves me well hydrated and maybe just a slight bit of an oily sheen (I blame that on something other than the avocado oil, probably the palm oil).  The thing that I like about the oil is that it absorbs quite well and manages to leave a longer lasting protective layer on my skin than most other hand creams or lotions.  In the past I have used avocado oil on my hair to tame fly aways and give it a bit of shine.  But you do have to be quite careful that you only use the smallest amount of you’ll end up looking like you just walked away from the french fryer after a long shift at McDonald’s.  The avocado oil is really great on your face too.  I use a little bit, probably not even a full pump that I rub between my palms and then press to my face before I put on my nighttime moisturizer.  Depending on what makeup I’m wearing during the day I might do the same thing before I put on my daytime moisturizer, as well.  The oil just gives me that little bit of extra oomph that my skin needs sometimes.

So far so good though I would say with the Bielenda Avocado Oil 3 in 1.  The pump is nice on the bottle, the fragrance is nice, and it works well too.  Plus, it is only £9.99 at Amazon.  While it is kind of a shame that they mixed in other things, I still find it nice to use and it seems as good to use as just plain avocado oil.  There’s some other great sounding products that I’m interested in trying from Bielenda too.  They have an eye cream that sounds like it might be worth a try, and it is less than £10.00 at Amazon too.

If you’re interested in finding out more about how great avocado oil is for your skin, I found a great webpage that has excellent information on all of the wonderful effects of avocado oil on your hair and skin.  On there they also have information about how to use avocado oil for various treatments like a moisturizer, a scalp treatment, and even a mask.