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.

Elizabeth Arden Original Eight Hour Cream at Costco

As you may know, I have a bit of a love for shopping at Costco, so I end up getting quite a bit of stuff there.  And sometimes, I happen on things that are amazing bargains, especially in the pricey health and beauty products.  I had been reading a lot about the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream and how amazing it was and how it has won all of these awards, but I couldn’t convince myself to pay the money for it.  So I totally felt that I lucked out when I saw it at Costco for half the price I had seen it anywhere else.

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream
Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream

Whenever I have super dry skin problems I used to turn to Mary Kay Extra Emollient Night Cream, however, it has a scent (I’ll call it that but really I mean bad odour) that is intrusive and doesn’t seem to dissipate, not to mention it kind of sits on your skin and leaves you feeling more greasy than soft, it’s kind of like Vaseline in that respect.  I’ve also tried other things like YuBe cream, but that’s also got an unpleasant smell due to the camphor, though it does absorb well in the skin and the smell dissipates after a bit.  However, both of them work really well on dry skin, cuts and scrapes, and all kinds of skin needs.   But now, I’ve found the lovely Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream and I won’t be going back.

The Eight Hour Cream works just as well or better than anything else I’ve tried but it absorbs into the skin much better because of its lightweight formula.  Though the scent is pretty potent right out of the tube, it dissipates quicker than the other things I’ve tried that have a strong smell.  The thing that I really like is how quickly it absorbs into the skin and leaves your skin feeling soft and lovely, not sticky and greasy.  Plus, it really does keep your skin protected and happy for the whole day, even after you wash your hands.  I usually put some on in the morning and that works for the whole day and then at bedtime I put some more on to keep my hands moisturized all night too.  Most of the time now, especially at night, I put the Eight Hour Cream on and then follow it up with the L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream.  This combination seems to give me a real boost of extra moisturizing power that makes my hands feel great.

You can use this for all types of skin problems from dry or chapped skin or lips, to burns, or even things like shaping your brows, adding a bit of shine to your hair, and keeping your nails and cuticles in top shape.  This is also the perfect companion for long flights (or short ones) to keep your skin hydrated and happy despite the dry airplane air.  It is also great for your lips during flights which always seem to chap, at least mine do.  The small 50 ml tube is perfect too because it is within flight regulations.  I have also heard that this is great to use when skin is really irritated with anything from bug bites to sunburn to post-waxing hair removal.

I’ve been using this on my hands for a few weeks now and they have never felt or looked so well hydrated.  I have a little rash problem with a lot of lotions and creams due to a touch of eczema on my hands, but this hasn’t irritated my skin at all and has actually worked to heal it very nicely and keep me from needing to use the topical steroid cream.  And anything that keeps steroids out of life and off of my skin is a winner in my book.  I also think this works great as a lip balm to keep my lips protected and chap-free (a constant goal of mine) or just to give them a bit of shine with natural colour.  The tube seems really small since it is just 50 ml, however, I find that I need just a little tiny dab to keep my hands good for the day, like not even a pea sized amount, probably about 1/3 of that size.

The price of this is really amazing at Costco because it is just £11.99, but at most places I’ve seen this it is £22 – 26.00 for the same size tube.  It’s pretty much half price at Costco!  So that is awesome!  And at that price it is reasonable enough that I will always keep some of this on hand (no pun intended).

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.

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

Glossybox: January 2014

A new year, and  a new Glossybox.  They did a redesign of the standard Glossybox box, and it is actually glossy now and a little different in size, plus they have added their logo to their ribbon.  I like the new box because the little magazine that they include now actually fits fully in the box, which is nice.  This new size might make it a little easier to use for storage too.

The Glossybox theme this month was “Back To Basics”.  The products were selected to help you start off 2014 with a fresh beauty regime.  It’s all about helping you get your skin moisturised, tones, and lovely with great eyebrows to frame your new healthy skin look too.  It seems like a great selection of products this month to go with their theme and get your new year started off right (well, a little bit of a late start).  I just got the box so I haven’t had a chance to try any of the items out though.  The only item that I could have done without is the tweezers, but maybe I can find someone else that would like them.

Yu-Be Moisturising Skin Cream
Yu-Be Moisturising Skin Cream

Yu-Be Moisturising Skin Cream, 2, 3 gram sample tubes.  I’ve not tried this before, however, I have heard really great things about it.  Yu-Be is a Japanese company that created this cream way back in 1957.  It is a glycerin based moisturiser that is enriched with vitamins B2, C, and E and it also contains sodium hyaluronate, and camphor.  And you can use it on skin from head to toe, including your lips and cuticles.  It doesn’t contain fragrances, artificial colours, or petroleum products.  Plus, it isn’t tested on animals either.

I have a huge problem with dry skin, especially this time of year, and can’t wait to give this a try.  My elbows and feet are really dry right now, so I hope this works as well as everyone says.  I also hope that this doesn’t irritate my crazy skin rash problems on my hands; it would be even better if it would fix it up so I wouldn’t need to use a steroid cream anymore.  The camphor smell is the only off-putting thing about this cream so far as I can tell from a quick test.  It smells sort of like Vicks Vapo-Rub.  Luckily, the smell dissipates in a couple of minutes.  The cream has a very smooth texture and feels instantly soft on your skin, but not at all greasy.  If it doesn’t cause me a problem, I imagine that I will pick it up since you can use it on everything, it gets great reviews, and it isn’t shockingly pricey either.

In my Glossybox I received two tubes of 3 grams each, therefore, each tube is about 9% of the full sized 33 gram tube that costs £10.13 at Amazon UK.  If you’re really a Yu-Be fan, you can get their other products through Amazon UK too, such as the body lotion with the pump top, lip balm and their foaming body scrub.  I’m going to try out one tube of this to see how it works and if I like it I’ll keep the other one for travel and buy a bigger tube at Amazon.

Balance Me Super Toning Body Wash
Balance Me Super Toning Body Wash

Balance Me Super Toning Body Wash, 50 ml sample.  I’m not at all familiar with Balance Me but I do like that they’ve got lots of lovely essential oils in this body wash.  It’s got a mix of juniper, bergamot, geranium, and lavender essential oils to help give you a morning boost in the shower.  It smells really lovely with that mix of essential oils too, with a perky fresh scent almost citrusy really.  What is good is that there are no parabens, sulfates, petroleum products, mineral oils, silicones, dyes.  Plus, there’s no artificial colours or fragrances.  But you don’t need added fragrances when you have all of those great essential oils.  Here’s what they have to say about it on the Balance Me website:

Our uplifting super toning body wash has been designed to improve skin tone, soften, smooth and encourage good circulation thanks to the unique blend of natural active ingredients found in juniper, bergamot, geranium and lavender.
Use as frequently as desired as the gentle formulation will cleanse without striping the skin of it’s natural oils.

They make it sound so great that I want to run and take another shower.  So, I will definitely be giving this a try in the next week.  The good thing is that the sample is big enough that you can actually try it for quite some time to really see how it works and how your skin reacts to it.  The 50 ml sample bottle that was included in my Glossybox is about 20% of the full sized 260 ml bottle that you can buy through the Balance Me website for £10.25 (shipping extra, unless you buy £75 or more).  They also have a body oil and cream in this same line.

Vintage Cosmetic Company Slanted Tweezers
Vintage Cosmetic Company Slanted Tweezers

The Vintage Cosmetic Company Floral Slanted Tweezers, full size.  These are cute in that very girly flowery way, which isn’t really me.  Plus, I have a pair of tweezers that I love love love and find to be so much better than anything else that I can’t even imagine trying something else.  Though, these are very nicely made stainless steel tweezers that have a nice slant on the end so that you can get a nice level of precision in your tweezing.  Unfortunately, I think that the coating that they have put on the tweezers to give them the cutesy vintage look makes them sort of slippery and less than easy to use as a result.  As I said, they wouldn’t be my choice so I’m hoping I can find someone to give them to that will like them.

You can buy these for £8.00 through Amazon UK, should you like the look of them.  I noticed that they also have a pair that is just pale pink; I would have liked those much better.

Anatomicals Puffy The Eye Bag Slayer Under Eye Patches
Anatomicals Puffy The Eye Bag Slayer Under Eye Patches

Anatomicals Puffy The Eye Bag Slayer Wake-Up Under Eye Patches, 2 sample packs of 2 patches each.  I don’t use things like this very often, but might if I found something that was comfortable and had some benefit.  These are supposed to help alleviate the appearance of dark circles and puffiness, as well as helping to prevent the signs of under eye aging.  Well, they sound like a little miracle in a foil pouch, huh?  These eye patches are enriched with moisturising agents like sodium hyaluronate, glycerin, witch hazel, and vitamins B3, C, and E, as well as collagen.

To use these you are supposed to put them on your clean under eye area for 30 minutes and then gently remove them.  And just like that your eyes will look better, at least that is their claim.  I’ve only seen a couple of reviews for these and they aren’t that positive.  But I’ll give them a try to see if they do anything for me or not.  Normally, I am fortunate enough to not have bags actually but do have dark circles sometimes.

The sample in the Glossybox was actually almost full sized since they included two sets of the patches and when you buy it you only get one more patch; so that’s 66% of the full sized product.  You can find the full sized box of three sets of under eye patches for £6.00 at Asos.

Montagne Jeunesse Masques
Montagne Jeunesse Masques

Montagne Jeunesse Passion Peel Off Masque and Blemish Mud Masque, 2, full sized masques.  I love masks like this because they can give your skin that extra oomph that it needs sometimes.  The Passion Peel Off masque is supposed to provide a deep cleanse, purification as well as protection with a combination of pomegranate and passion flower.  The masque is apparently made from pulped pomegranate seeds, passion flower, raspberry, grape,  cranberry, evening primrose, lotus blossom, aloe vera, and vitamin E.  This mixture provides you with lots of antioxidants that protect your skin, while your pores get a nice deep cleaning.  The Blemish Mud masque is a blend of aloe vera, willow, rosemary, green tea leaf, evening primrose, witch hazel and natural clay.  Both masks have the same instructions to put them on clean skin and keep them on for 15 – 20 minutes until they have set enough to just peel off.  And with it, apparently, you will peel away all of the bad stuff to leave your skin clean and happy.

I’m looking forward to trying these and seeing what kind of results they bring.  I might have to have a little spa at home day this week.  The masques come in individually packaged sachets, one use per sachet, and the size depends on the type of masque.  You can get packs of six masks at Amazon UK for under £5.00, the prices vary depending on the masques that you want.  Or, you can get a single mask for £1.09 also at Amazon.  The reviews are quite good at Amazon, so I’m hoping for good results.

So, how do the numbers stack up for the box this month?  Here is the breakdown:

  • Yu-Be Moisturising Skin Cream, 6 g sample: £1.82 value
  • Balance Me Super Toning Body Wash, 50 ml sample: £2.05 value
  • The Vintage Cosmetic Company Floral Slanted Tweezers, full size: £8.00 value
  • Anatomicals Puffy The Eye Bag Slayer Wake-Up Under Eye Patches, 2 sets of 2 patches: £4.00 value
  • Montagne Jeunesse Masques; 2 full sized masques: £2.18 value
  • Total Value: £18.05

I think this is the lowest valued Glossybox I’ve received since I began getting them in August 2013.  The value of that box is just £5.10 over the £12.95 price; it’s rather disappointing, especially since the highest valued item was the pair of tweezers I don’t want.  I might have to re-evaluate my Glossybox description if this trend continues.  I’ve been thinking about getting a Birchbox subscription, so maybe this will be the push that I need to make that decision.