Glossybox: September 2014

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!

My Favourite Travel Sized Companions

We take a lot of weekend trips, so over the last few years I’ve tried to get a good selection of travel sized beauty products.  If we’re not going on a super long trip, I only carry hand luggage, which means I have to comply with airline regulations that I have all of my liquids in a clear quart sized bag and none of the items can be over 100ml.  This is pretty annoying and restrictive, but I’ve found some really great multi-purpose products that fit into the small size requirements perfectly.  Sometimes, I even have room left over in my quart sized bag.

Some of my favourite travel companions
Some of my favourite travel companions

1. DHC Deep Cleansing Oil, 70ml – I’ve written about this before because it is my daily facial cleanser of choice.  It’s an ideal travel companion though because it does the work of two products but isn’t a space hog.  It removes makeup and leaves your skin looking and feeling super clean but since it doesn’t strip it of its natural oils your skin still feels soft and not at all tight.    I always use it to remove my makeup because it works so well on even really stubborn mascara.  Plus, the oil texture means that you don’t have to worry about scrubbing at the delicate skin around your eye area to get your eye makeup off.  You can only find this at the DHC website, but you can get it in two travel sizes now: 70ml for £11.00 or the really tiny 30ml version for £4.50.

2. La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense Light, 50ml – This is another great multi-purpose item.  Depending on how heavy you put this on it is equally good as a day or night cream.  It doesn’t have an SPF in it, but I’ve got another product for that, so it can be used to keep you skin hydrated and lovely all day and night.  It has a nice light texture that works well under foundation because it isn’t too heavy feeling, and really, the lack of SPF means that you won’t get any of that shine in your holiday snaps either.  At night I put this on a bit heavier and it works to keep my skin hydrated.  You can get La Roche-Posay products at a number of chemists, but I get mine from FeelUnique for £16.50.  They also have a formula that is thicker called Hydraphase Intense Rich for people with really dry skin, they sell a version of that with SPF too, both for £16.50 as well.

3. Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet, 30ml – I am loving this foundation.  I haven’t had a chance to write my full review of this yet, but the condensed version is that I am a huge fan.  This gives your skin a beautiful smooth, matt finish with an incredibly light texture even with its SPF15.  It goes on as a liquid but dries to a powdery type finish, and that’s how it makes your skin look so great.  It is light enough that you can use it under your eye area too without it settling into all of the fine lines and looking like a hot mess.  This is great for travel because of the packaging, but also because you’ll look gorgeous on holiday.  The packaging is very slim, flat, and compact so it fits in your little bag of liquids really well.  This is the best liquid foundation packaging I think I’ve come across for traveling.  Also, you don’t need to use a lot of it so this little bottle has good longevity.   You can get this at Boots or Harrods for £33.00.

4. Lancôme Définicils High Definition Mascara, 6.5g –  I’ve used this mascara for years and love it.  It will always have a place in my mascara collection because of how you can use it to either get a very light coating or layer it up for a more dramatic look.  The small brush is the key I think because it is can easily coat all of your lashes, upper and lower, without clumping.  It’s nice for travel because of the slim packaging, which I’m sure they can achieve because of the small brush.  Also, I never have a problem with this flaking after a long day, which is great since I wear contact lenses.  Lately I’ve been getting my Définicils Mascara from FeelUnique for £22.50.  You can use this without an eyelash curler because it will actually give your lashes a bit of curl it seems, or you can pack the very compact Muji Portable Eyelash Curler (£3.95) which takes up way less space in your travel bag than your traditional eyelash curler.

5. Aveda brilliant Retexturing Gel, 25ml – Dave and I have both been using this for years in our travel kit.  It works really well to give your hair body and control without making it look dry or dull.  I like it because I can use it to bring out my curl or to keep my hair sleek and smooth when I blow it out straight.  This has all kinds of reasons for being in my travel bag really, not the least of which is that both Dave and I can use it and it works for curly or straight hair.  It’s quite good for hold too, so sometimes I don’t even need to bother with hairspray, which means I can save that much more room.  I’ve only had luck finding the travel sized version of the brilliant Gel from Aveda for £5.50.

6. L’Oreal Elnett Flexible Extra Hairspray, 75ml – Even though I just got through saying that I don’t always need hairspray with the Aveda gel, sometimes I do, it just depends on where we are traveling too.  I like the L’Oreal Elnett Flexible Extra because it keeps my hair soft to the touch, and to the eye, but still manages to have great holding powers.  I find this to be really useful when it is humid too because it doesn’t ever seem to get sticky like a lot of hairsprays.  I normally get mine when I order from my groceries from Ocado for £2.50 because it seems to be less expensive than other places I’ve found it. It is kind of expensive for this little can, but I haven’t found a good replacement that is less expensive for a travel size.

7. bareMinerals Natural Sunscreen SPF 30, 4g – Okay, this doesn’t need to go into your clear baggie of liquids, but is something you should always take when you’re traveling.  I’ve only been using this for about a month now, but I love it.  The powder sunscreen works so well to protect my skin, but doesn’t feel heavy or make my face feel greasy or sweaty.  I like that this does double duty as a way to protect my skin from the sun, but also as a light finishing powder to set my makeup.  The packaging is nice because it comes with its own retractable brush so you don’t have to worry about bringing one along with you but is still really compact.  This can easily tuck away in your carry on luggage or even your handbag.  I got mine from FeelUnique for  £21.95.

So, that’s not an exhaustive list of what’s in my travel bag, but these are the things that are always going to be in there.  If you are looking for some other travel sized suggestions, Vogue recently had a great article with 20 petite products that they think are tops for travel.

Glossybox: May 2014

The theme for the May Glossybox was a celebration of 50 years of Superdrug.  I don’t shop at Superdrug all that often, but they did put together a nice box, so I certainly like that.  The Glossy magazine this month, has teamed up with Superdrug’s DARE magazine to present the history of Superdrug, complete with lots of interesting pictures of previous ad campaigns (what was going on in the 80s?).  The most amazing fact, I think, is that Superdrug serves 4.5 million customers each week.  Go Superdrug!

The box this month was specially decorated for Superdrug with a big 5-0 on it and was cute for the occasion but this isn’t one of them that I will end up keeping.  The box was curated with Superdrug so it is filled with things that you can find in their stores or at their website.  They included five full sized products and two additional samples.  I love getting the full sized items because it definitely means that you will have enough of a chance to really try something out and find out if you love it or hate it.  Unfortunately for me, one of the full sized items in my box was something I will never, ever end up using as it was a facial self tan bronzing cream.  I’m super pale and I wear it proudly.  So, I don’t know what I’ll end up doing with that because I’m not even sure I know anyone that would want it.  If anyone wants it, let me know!  Overall though, I’d say this was a really good selection of items.

Scholl Velvet Smooth Night Mask
Scholl Velvet Smooth Night Mask

Scholl Velvet Smooth Night Mask for Feet, 60 ml full size tube.  Summer can be really hard on your feet because you want to wear sandals and walk around barefoot inside and out or at the beach or pool, and that can be really drying on your feet.  But, of course, you still want them to look sandal worthy, right?  I’ve tried a lot of different masks and lotions for feet because my feet are really dry as a result of a medication I take (all of my skin is actually).  So far I think the best things I’ve tried are Bliss Foot Patrol and Palmer’s Foot Magic.  I’ve not tried the Scholl product before so I am very interested to see how it turns out.  I put a bit on this morning, so it is too soon to tell about the results yet.  I do like that the consistency is just like a really concentrated, heavy cream or lotion, with no stickiness and it absorbs into the skin really easily.  That’s the one thing I don’t like about the Bliss or Palmer’s stuff that I use now, both of them require you to put socks on and keep them on for quite some time because they are kind of sticky and don’t absorb quickly enough.  But even though the Scholl’s Night Mask, as you can guess from the name, is supposed to be put on at bedtime, I think it absorbs so well that you could probably put it on your feet during the day too.  My feet don’t feel sticky or weird now but the skin does look well moisturized and that is definitely a better look than dry skin.  The other nice thing is that this has almost no scent at all, there is a very, very faint smell but not really noticeable at all and not bad in any case.   This Velvet Smooth Night Mask is perfect to keep feet soft and pretty for Summer.  I find that the feet creams or masks are really great for applying to the cuticle area on your hands to keep them looking their best too.  Since the foot creams are so thick they really do a good job moisturizing and you only need a tiny bit on your cuticles to keep them from looking dry, plus I swear my nails are in better shape when I do this too.

Obviously, you can find the Scholl Velvet Smooth Night Mask at Superdrug, and I’m sure you can get it from all of their competitors too.  At Superdrug the 60 ml tube is £7.99 normally, but right now they have it on sale for £5.99; all of the other retailers have it for £7.99.  Or, you can get it for slightly less, £5.99, at Amazon UK.  If you end up really liking this, they have a whole lineup of Velvet Smooth products for your feet: a soak, a serum, and a cream.  Surely, all of that can keep your feet looking gorgeous for Summer.

Vaseline Spray & Go Body Moisturiser
Vaseline Spray & Go Body Moisturiser

Vaseline Spray & Go Coco Body Moisturiser, 190 ml full size can.  Believe it or not, this is actually a body lotion that you can spray on.  You just spray it on, rub it into your skin, and you are good to go.  I have the cocoa radiant version, but there’s one with aloe and they call essential moisture which is made with oat extract.  I like that they say it won’t leave you feeling sticky or greasy.  And when I tried it out, I liked it even more because it doesn’t leave you feeling anything but moisturized.  As you might expect, because it is a spray lotion, the texture is super light even before you rub it in, but after doing that, it’s like you just have nice skin without a trace of lotion on it.  It absorbs very well but does leave your skin feeling really soft and lovely.  I’m impressed.  The formula I have is made with cocoa butter and the Vaseline Stratys 3 multi-layer moisture (whatever that is) and does seem really effective for leaving your skin feeling soft and smooth but not sticky like a regular lotion.  The only other spray product like a lotion that I have tried was sunscreen and that was an unmitigated disaster.  It seemed to go everywhere but on my skin and left with my a very low level of protection, and a great burn as a result.  But this seems to have just enough weight to make it actually end up on your skin and not just flying around on the air.  Since the one I have has cocoa butter, it has that nice smell too, which seems super appropriate for Summer.   The can is easy to hold in your hand and has a matt finish for better grip.  The spray function is nice because it is continuous, like hair spray, which means this is easier to apply than if it were a pump and allows you to put a thin layer on all over before you rub it in.  The other nice thing about the bottle is that you can really easily lock the sprayer so that if you put it in your bag or a suitcase, you’re not going to have to worry about it spritzing everything inside.  One word of warning though, be careful about where you spray it just in case it gets on the floor and turns it into a scary slick deathtrap.

At Superdrug you can get the full 190ml spray can for £4.99, as you can at every other retailer I checked, including Amazon.  As I mentioned, they have three versions of this Spray & Go moisturizer if cocoa scent isn’t your thing.  No matter what key ingredient – cocoa, aloe, oat extract – that you choose, they all are the same price.  I don’t know how long this will last but if it doesn’t break me out I think I will definitely be getting this again.  I like something light but moisturizing in Summer and this seems the best thing I’ve tried so far.

Garnier Oil Beauty Lotion
Garnier Oil Beauty Lotion

Garnier Oil Beauty Lotion, 10 ml sample.  Keeping with the moisturizing theme, they’ve also included a sample of the new Garnier Body Oil Beauty Lotion that contains argan, macadamia, almond, and rose oil.  I haven’t tried this at all since it is a little sample envelope.  However, I really like the mix of oils as those are all of the big players in skin care right now because they all have such great properties for keeping your skin healthy and moisturized.  This isn’t an oil though, but rather an oil infused lotion.  So, it goes on like a cream or lotion, but has all of the nourishing capabilities of an oil.  They say it absorbs quickly and leaves your skin feeling soft and looking radiant, not sticky or greasy.  I’ve had hit or miss results with Garnier products, though generally I do like their lotions and body products.  I’m looking forward to trying this because with Summer here, my skin could definitely use a little something to perk it up and make it look radiant.

You can buy the full sized 250 ml bottle, with a pump dispenser, for £4.99 at Superdrug or the retailer of your choice (Tesco, Boots, or Sainsbury’s).  I’ve been looking for a good lotion, so hopefully either this one from Garnier or the Vaseline Spray & Go will do the trick.

L'Oreal Paris Volume Million Lashes
L’Oreal Paris Volume Million Lashes

L’Oreal Paris Volume Million Lashes, Black, 10.5 ml full size tube.  I think this is the first L’Oreal mascara that I have ever used, and I really like it.  Well, I think what I really like are the new brush and the anti-clump wiper that they have which means that you can get really great length but not that weird clumpy look.  I like to have my lashes look longer and thicker than normal, but still very separated, because that makes them look great but natural.  The brush, which they say on the tube is a new design, is a bunch of little spiky ends that really keep your lashes separated.  I think the brush seems like it is plastic and not actually bristles too, so they are maybe stiffer.  Plus, the wiper at the mouth of the tube really works well to get off all of the excess mascara, except at the small end of the brush, and means you don’t have an excess of mascara coming off on your lashes and causing them to stick together.  It doesn’t say anything about being waterproof, so I’m going to guess that this formula isn’t, though I know they do have one.  I haven’t taken it for a full day trial but I do like the initial results.  The brush is fabulous, so hopefully the actual mascara formula is as good.  I usually use Benefit, Lancome, and Ellis Faas mascaras and love the formulas and find them to last well without flaking or smudging, so I’m hoping this one will work as well.  It would be nice to find a cheaper mascara that worked well too.  I was thinking this might work well for layer with another mascara too because of how nice and separated the lashes stay.  Since I put it on before my workout today, I guess that will be a good test of its staying power.

L’Oreal is a pretty popular high street brand, so you can find it at lots and lots of places.  At Superdrug this mascara is £10.99, and that seems to be the same price as Ocado and Boots. It looks like you can find it for around £1 – 1.50 less at Amazon though.

B. Sheer Conditioning Lipstick
B. Sheer Conditioning Lipstick

B. Sheer Conditioning Lipstick 033 Coral, full size tube.  The Sheer Conditioning Lipstick is enriched with Vitamin E, Shea Butter, and Aloe Vera to keep your lips looking healthy, well moisturized, and pretty. They have several different colours available but I got the Coral colour in my Glossybox.  This colour is fairly good for me with just a bit more of an orange tint to it than my usual choices, but luckily it still works nicely with my skintone though does have a bit of an old lady look to it.  They have seven different colours of this available on the Superdrug website, so you can definitely find one that will work for you.  They have everything from a bright red to a nude colour.  Normally, I would have probably gone for the Petal, which is a rose colour, but the Coral is an okay choice for Summer.  As the name implies, it is a sheer coverage.  It is somewhere between lipstick and gloss or balm, I think, as far as the depth of coverage goes.  The colour is fairly deep, with just the tiniest bit of sparkle or sheen, but there is still a sheerness to it overall which makes it a nice choice for Summer.  It has a smooth texture going on and doesn’t feel sticky after application.  The downside to the sheerness is that if you’re lips are even a bit chapped or flaky looking this just emphasises that and makes it look not so great.  My lips were a bit dry this morning when I put it on to try it out and it just really points out all the dry areas.  I had thought that it felt really moisturizing on my lips initially, but after about 45 minutes they started to feel dry and after about an hour, they looked pretty bad.  So, if you’re lips are in good shape to start with great, otherwise, you might want to use something else.  I always feel like some added moisture for my lips is really important in Summer because it can be a really drying time of year with all of the heat and sun.  I do wish that this had an SPF of 15 at least though.  Not enough lip products have sun protection in them, but it is just as important for your lips to be protected as any of your other skin.  The one thing that I do not like about this product, isn’t the product itself, but rather the applicator or tube.  The tube feel really cheaply made and loose and flimsy.  It kind of feels like the next twist could be the one that breaks it, or like the lipstick itself might break off or get damaged.  My lipstick already has a big scrape up one side from the twisting/raising mechanism, I’m guessing.  Of course, for the price, it’s not bad at all.

This brand, B.,  is exclusive to Superdrug, so there’s only really no price comparison here.  A tube of this is normally £6.99 but right now they have it on sale for £3.49. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a size on the tube or the Superdrug website but it doesn’t seem too big, certainly smaller/less than my regular lipsticks or balms.  That price makes it perfect for getting a couple of your favourite colour or more than one colour even.  Certainly at that price, you wouldn’t be gutted if you took it with you on holiday or to the beach and it got damaged or lost either.

GHOST Eclipse Perfume
GHOST Eclipse Perfume

GHOST Frangrances Eclipse, 2 ml sample sprayer.  Despite the fact that I did just get some perfume from Connock London, perfume really isn’t something I wear all the time.  I have a really excellent sense of smell, which means that mostly I find perfumes to be too overwhelming.  This one has a nice smell, but is a bit strong for me.  I will reiterate though, it does smell nice.  Here’s what they say about it:

A fresh fruity floral with a sensual amber base. Romantic Top: lemon, bergamot, mandarin, blackcurrant, apple.  Captivating Heart: freesia, lotus blossom, rose wood and blond wood.  Sensual base: Amber crystals and powdery musk.

I think maybe the musk base is what I’m smelling a lot of and while it doesn’t work for me or my nose, it isn’t bad just a bit strong to me.  You can buy this, and hopefully try before you do so, at Superdrug.  The full size bottle is 50 ml for £33.00.

Solait Illuminating Facial Bronzing Cream
Solait Illuminating Facial Bronzing Cream

Solait Illuminating Facial Bronzing Cream, 100 ml full size tub.  Yeah, I’m not into self tan or “bronzers” like this, it just isn’t my thing.  I’m really quite pale and it just never looks right on my.  And definitely something that is just for my face would be a real problem because my Casper the Friendly Ghost neck and body would definitely not match it.  Not to mention, I just don’t want to hassle with the whole ordeal of putting on a self tan product with the mitt and the worry about it being streaky or looking gross around my hairline or eyebrows.  Nope, just not worth it to me.  It does say that you develop an intensified natural colour over a 2 to 4 hour timespan, so at least it doesn’t sound like you’re full on TOWIE orange or brown but still not really for me. This is why I have powder bronzers, so I can decide to have a sun-kissed glow one day and then be back to my normal pale colour the next.  This has a kind of strong scent too that smells a bit like fresh paint to me.  I really don’t know what I’m going to do with this, but I’m glad that I got plenty of other good stuff in my Glossybox this month or I would have been really disappointed and annoyed.

You can find Solait only at Superdrug and the 100 ml tub of this will be £2.99 there.  If this works and gives you a nice colour, and you like that sort of thing, then the price is really great.  And a self-tanned face is better than really tanning your face which just isn’t worth the long-term damage done to your skin.

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

  • Scholl Velvet Smooth Night Mask for Feet, 60 ml full size tube: £5.99 value
  • Vaseline Spray & Go Coco Body Moisturiser, 190 ml full size can: £4.99 value
  • Garnier Oil Beauty Lotion, 10 ml sample: £0.20 value.
  • L’Oreal Paris Volume Million Lashes, Black, 10.5 ml full size tube: £10.99 value.
  • B. Sheer Conditioning Lipstick 033 Coral, full size tube: £3.49 value.
  • Solait Illuminating Facial Bronzing Cream, 100 ml full size tub: £2.99 value.
  • GHOST Frangrances Eclipse, 2 ml sample sprayer: £1.32 value.
  • Total Value: £29.97

Overall this was a pretty good Glossybox, like every month there are some hits and some misses.  Luckily, this month was more hit than miss I would say.  Even if I discount the value of the items that I won’t use, the value of the products was still enough to pay for the cost of the box this month.  The L’Oreal Volume Million Lashes mascara was enough to cover the cost of the box, though not with the shipping.

L’Oreal Elnett Extra Hold Hairspray from Costco

I admit it, I am the “f” word….yes, frugal.  I shop at Costco and have for years and like it so much that it’s the topic of my other blog, AddictedToCostco.com.  So naturally I end up buying lots of household staples and health and beauty from there, basics like toothpaste, shampoo, and hairspray.  I do it because it is convenient and the prices are so so much better.  My recent great buy was for L’Oreal Elnett hairspray and I wanted to share that with everyone here, in case you’ve never thought about getting things like this at Costco.

L'Oreal Elnett Extra Strong Hairspray
L’Oreal Elnett Extra Strong Hairspray

When we were in Austin, I pretty much never used hairspray.  I didn’t need to as much because I always drove everywhere and my hair didn’t have to stand up to wind or anything drastic.  Plus, I don’t really like that stiff Aquanet kind of feeling on my hair.  However, since we’ve moved to London and I now walk pretty much everywhere, and it is often windy or rainy or mostly both, I need a little help keeping my hair looking like something other the bus driver from South Park.   So, I’ve tried a few different brands of hairspray to see which I can use that won’t make me feel like I’ve got a helmet of hair, but does still exhibit some control.  I have tried some cheaper stuff which felt gross and I’ve tried some far more expensive stuff which felt wonderful and made my hair look really nice but still soft.  However, the Elnett is a great middle of the road price but still with the feeling and control that I got from the more expensive hairspray.  It is really amazing that you can get such good hold now but still have your hair feel soft.  Apparently, they achieve that through a “unique micro-diffuser” that “sprays ultra-fine”, which does actually seem to be true.  The cheaper stuff comes out in bigger droplets and sometimes just sort of sits on your hair, which isn’t a look that anyone wants to cultivate.  The Elnett is so fine that you can’t see it or feel it on your hair.  Their big thing is that it “disappears at the stroke of a brush” and that is definitely true.  If you put it on, even quite a lot for an evening out, and then come home and brush your hair it is immediately back to just being hair.  I love that!  I’ve also found that it seems to offer some level of protection against humidity, which as you can imagine, can be a bit of an issue here in London.  My hair is naturally curly but I like to straighten it quite often, so it is nice to have a hairspray that will hold off the effects of humidity fairly well.  It isn’t as good as staying inside but is probably the best result I’ve gotten from any hair product to keep my straightened hair from getting curly at the first sign of a bit of humidity.

Now for the good pricing bit.  Sometimes you can get it at Boot’s or Tesco for about the same price as you’ll find it at Costco, however, more often I find that it is about £6.00 per can (for the large 400 ml size like you get at Costco).  I normally get my groceries delivered from Ocado and the price there is a whopping £6.60 for a single can, so I avoid buying it there for sure.  But at Costco, you get two 400 ml cans for just £8.89 or just £4.45 per can!  That is a remarkably good deal and one that you can always count on since it is their everyday price.  It’s like getting more than half can of hairspray for free.  And every bit that I save on stuff like this, is just more that I have to spend on nicer makeup or shoes or whatever.  How can you not like a deal like that?  So, if you haven’t thought about checking out Costco for your standard health and  beauty products, you should definitely give them a try.