Friday 24 January 2014

Love Me Beauty Box | January 2014

After taking a subscription break from Love Me Beauty for a couple of months (saving the pennies for Christmas presents), I've resubbed again just in time to receive their January box. If you're unfamiliar with Love Me Beauty, they are one of the best beauty box subscription services around at the moment. For £10 a month, plus postage costs (£2.95), you receive a mininum of five high quality beauty products delivered to your door but with none of the 'one use sample sachets' nonsense - a lot of the products in the boxes are full size, frequently make up items and are worth a high value (mostly). Even when it's not a full size product, the sample/mini/travel size is a generous size, e.g. the Pureology mousse in this box isn't full size, but is still 60ml. 

As an extra bonus, and a huge plus point for these boxes is that they offer a choice of boxes for each month (with only a slight variation between them but it's nice to have the options there) and you can select your preferred box in their boutique on the Love Me Beauty website ..but if there's nothing that's taking your fancy and you don't want a box for that month you can simply choose to 'skip' and resume as normal the following month. No nasty surprises or unwanted items!

So, what's in the January box.. (I selected box #3)

Pureology Silk Bodifier | 65ml. £15.00 for 250ml
'Infuses hair with volume, shine and softness while protecting and maximising the vibrancy of colour-treated hair. This 100% vegan conditioning mousse adds fullness and volume without feeling heavy and leaves hair beautifully soft and shiny'.

The only non-full sized item in the box is the Silk Bodifier from Pureology - a brand I've always been curious to try so I'm happy to see it included in the box. If I'm understanding the description of this right, it's a conditioning style mousse. It's also got added benefits for colour treated hair which doesn't apply to me but it's nice to know there's some extra nourishment within it. I look forward to trying this - I'll keep you all posted on my thoughts.

Arran Aromatics Wheatgerm & Vitamin E Soap | £2.75 (full size)
'Exfoliate and polish with this Wheatgerm and Vitamin E soap. It contains natural oatmeal to give your skin a gentle wake up call and cleanse without drying out skin'.

As far as I'm concerned, soap is soap. I don't think I've had enough trial of different soaps to be able to tell a bad soap from a good soap.. But it's a useful item to have and I'll happily place it in my shower to use. I like the idea of it being exfoliating too so that I can scrub and clean in double quick time

Cosmetics a la Carte Divine Lash Mascara in 'Black' | £23.00 (full size)
'Divine Lash comes with a slim tapered flexible brush, perfect for reaching every lash from corners to bottom lashes. This mascara gives a lovely even coating of mascara upon application. With a precise brush, the mascara combs through lashes to create length and definition with the advantage of no clumps'.

A pricey item from A La Carte Cosmetics, and if it's your sort of thing then you've already made your money back on the whole box by receiving this mascara. Personally, it's not for me because it offers a whole lot of length to the lashes, but I'm a volume kinda girl so I'll be passing this onto my mum. The packaging of the tube is gorgeous though and I'm sure she'll love it - If you like lengthening mascaras then you'll love this!

Lord & Berry Eye Pencil in 'Sparkle Black' | £8.95 (full size)
'Add a touch of sparkle to your eyes. Silky and smooth, this creates a glittery and glamorous look, whilst the highly pigmented formula gives a rich colour for ultimate definition. Creates long-lasting dramatic lines, or blend for a sexy, smudged look'.
I think that somewhere along the line I missed out on getting a Weleda product due to substitions, but it's okay because I like Lord & Berry. I'd prefer this if it wasn't sparkley.. but the sparkle is subtle within it so it's still wearable. I found it to be quite smudgy, which can be a good thing if you're going for a smokey kinda look, but hopefully this won't be smudgy enough that it'll end up half way down my cheeks!

NYX Single Eyeshadow in 'Earthy Shimmer' | £5.00 (full size)
'NYX pressed mineral eyeshadows are packed with colour, easy to blend and will last for hours. Go edgy or understated effortlessly when enjoying these luscious long-wearing colours from sunrise to sunset. Use this shimmery champagne gold toned eyeshadow as the perfect base to a smokey eye. Alternatively use on its own or as a highlight'.
My menu card is telling me I have the shade 'Sahara', but this is 'Earthy Shimmer' ..with 'shimmer' being the operative word. SHIMMER TASTIC. I found this to be a very dusty shadow, still buttery soft but just crumbley with a huge amount of fall out - it's definitely not a neat and tidy eyeshadow to use. If there's an occasion that calls for heavily glittered eyes then I'll be pulling out Earthy Shimmer.. but otherwise it can just sit quitely and keep all that messy sparkle to itself.

There's five items in the box, four of which are full size and total the value of just under £40, plus one generous sample size can which has a value of £5.70 (..if my maths is correct, which is probably isn't!). I like the size of the small can of mousse; it's pretty much to perfect size to get a feel for a product without having a giant can cluttering up my room (and obviously anything bigger wouldn't fit in the box). I've always been curious about the brand Pureology, but it's a bit out of my price range! Anddd.. brownie points for the colour scheme of this January Box being my favourite colour and for matching my nails! 
Love Me Beauty Subscription Box - £10.00 /month (plus £2.95 p&p) - LINK

In theory, it is a good box and contains good products making it a good value for money box and a nice treat, with quality and useable products inside. However, for me and my preferences it does fall a little bit short and I think that everything just seems 'okay'. This would probably only be because I'm comparing it to the contents of past Love Me Beauty boxes where I've adored every product inside. Examples of past boxes:

If I was to compare this to the standard of Glossy Box at the moment, then this one totally blows it out of the water! Sorry, but if I was subbed to Glossy Box at the moment I'd be utterly devastated!

Would you / have you subbed to Love Me Beauty?
Thanks for reading!
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Thursday 23 January 2014

Honey Love.

After a little shuffle and sort out of everything in my beauty stash to fit it all into some new storage, I came to realise that I had accumulated a number of honey products. From lip balms and hand creams, to shower gels and conditioners, all the way to Marc Jacobs' new fragrance release, it seems that many of my favourites of the moment, are all about they honey, honey. So, I thought I'd share..

Marc Jacobs 'Honey' Eau de Parfum - link
Top of the list is the newest fragrance release from Mr Jacobs: Honey, and in true Marc Jacobs style, the packaging is so perfectly cute and adorable, part of you wants to own it just for display purposes of the pretty bottle. It doesn't come cheap, around £50 for a 50ml bottle, but I love it so much and would say it's definitely a must have. There's a lot of buzz around this perfume (haha, get it?) but there's a reason for that - it's gorgeous! Despite the name, it doesn't actually smell like honey and it's not overly sweet at all; it's more of a clean, floral scent. Feel Unique are promoting this as a perfect Valentines Day gift at the moment, so boys if you're reading.. take a hint!

The Body Shop 'Honeymania' Shower Gel - link
Next up is a shower gel from one of the newer collections from The Body Shop: Honeymania. I have two bottles of this because my boyfriend knows how much I love this and I bite his head off if he takes a shower and uses it, so he bought me a back up bottle so that I chill out a bit whenever he pinches some! Like with the fragrance above, this doesn't smell typically like a jar of honey would do and it's definitely much more floral and it's a very subtle scent. It's still sweet, but not sickly and I'm a huge fan. TBS shower gels are normally £4 but they have sales on all the time - like now.. 40% off online and instore makes this just £2.40! 

Herbal Essences 'Bee Strong' Conditioner - link
Put Scherzy on a bottle of something and you'll reel any hair fanatic in. I'm a bit of a hair snob when it comes to my conditioners and I try not to stray from Redken or Philip Kingsley usually, but after hearing such good reports on this new Herbal Essences range I thought I'd give it a whirl. I got the shampoo too and it's good/I like it, but the conditioner deserves an honorary mention for being so amazing! No, it's not just because of Nicole on the bottle or that it smells like sweet honey and apricot, but it actually makes my hair instantly so soft and smooth - without a doubt one of the best 'budget conditioners' I've used in a really long time. This 400ml is usually around £3-4 but is on offer frequently in supermarkets, so look out for deals on it. 

Caudalie Grapevine Honey Hand and Nail Cream - link
I really don't want to start an obsession with higher priced hand creams, but I really am impressed with the quality of this Caudalie one. It costs £5.70 a tube, which isn't bank breaking, but it is only a 30ml tube and I've been using it sparingly to make it last. The scent of this hand cream is the most subtle of all the products in the post and is the one that smells least like honey.. but it has the name 'Grapevine Honey' and I love it, so of course I had to include it! The consistency is rich enough to make the skin feel nourished and softened, but when I say it's 'not greasy', I really mean it - not greasy, at all!

Burt's Bees Honey Lip Balm - link
Last but definitely not least, is good old Burts Bees and their lip balms. Packed with honey and beeswax, this is honey love right down to the core. With a super sweet scent and other ingredients like cocoa butter, shea butter and almond oil, this is one of the yummiest and most nourishing lip balms that I have. If you like honey scents, and you want a lip balm that will make your lips soft and smooth then Burt's Bees has to be your first port of call!

P.S.. if you keep typing 'honey' again and again, it starts to stop looking like a real word.

So, are you loving honey too?

Which of these honey products would you most like to try?
The two I'd recommend most would be the conditioner and the hand cream.

Thanks for reading! 
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Wednesday 22 January 2014

Muji and Ikea Storage! | Make Up and Beauty Set Up

I just wanted to start off and say that preparing this post quite literally drove me to the very brink of sanity. It also invoked quite a bit of hoarders guilt as I shuffled through my 15 concealers and wondered what the hell I was doing with all of them, let alone the stack of eyeshadow palettes that I wear about one shade from once a month. Oops. Anyone else who's ever tried to put together a 'make up collection' style post/video or even just rearranged their stash will probably have experienced the same frustrations, and I just simply can't find a set up that I feel completely satisfied with. Even after a full morning of rearranging I'm now sat starting the display of acrylic and picturing ways that I could make it look better. This could be an ongoing saga. 

Anyway, for today at least, I've given up on the switching, shuffling and slotting into the little plastic drawers and I invite you to browse my partially completed make up set up..

The big rearrange and this post were both spurred on by a trip to Ikea (my first one, ever!) to update some furniture and I did stand for a long time looking at the Ikea Alex tower which seems to be a 'blogger favourite' but settled on the much more practical Malm Chest instead which has 4 hugee and extremely spacious drawers that can fit so much inside - plus it was half the price of the Alex tower. 

Ikea Chest of 4 Drawers | White - £45 LINK

Inside the first of the two drawers are some of the Skubb drawer separators that are dotted literally everywhere around the Ikea store. A set of 6 boxes was only £6 which I thought was pretty reasonable and helps to be able to store smaller items of make up/beauty products in the drawers without them rolling around everywhere and it becoming a huge big make up mess!

Skubb Box, Set of 6 | White - £6 LINK

Next up is the cult make up storage favourite - Muji drawers! I already have some acrylic drawers (shown further down in the post) but there just wasn't enough space and I needed some more room.. but even now I'm thinking hmm, should I have got the 5 drawer and 2 drawer too??  Quite a pricey box of plastic really but none of the competitors live up to the quality and I just couldn't find what I wanted from anywhere else, especially not for any cheaper! Personally, I'd just say to save yourself the search because there's no cheaper alternatives for the quality, and just go for Muji :) ..and yes, my YSL products stay in their boxes. They're precious.

Muji Acrylic 5 Drawer Box - £24.95 LINK


As you can see, the drawer filling process has been left abandoned. Even though the top drawer is still empty, there's not a lot of space left in the 'eye make up' drawer and it's missing a whole lot of eye products, namely mascara and other single shadows so I feel frustrated, and it looks like I underestimated the amount of make up that I had lying around. 

My old storage how now been demoted to holding the 'odds and ends' that don't seem to fit in any other place. These drawers are a lot smaller than the Muji drawers; they're similar in drawer height but a lot narrower in width so I've managed to dedicate a whole drawer to 'brow products' and one just for Baby Lips and Burts Bees lipbalms because they're my favourites, and the rest are just bits and pieces that don't seem to fit in the other side with the Muji. 

Ryman, via eBay - Osco Acrylic 3 Drawer Storage - £9.99 each LINK

There's 2 x 3 drawers stacked on top of each other here and this is an example of what I mean with Muji being good value, because if you were to buy two of these 3 drawers and add on the postage, you'll be paying nearly £23 and yes you'll have 6 drawers of storage, they're half the width of the Muji drawers, so realistically you can only fit in half the contents. Whereas, 5 big, wide drawers from Muji would cost £25.. you do the maths!

Sorry for the unclear picture on this next one, but I was almost about to forget to include it! On top of the Muji drawers is an organiser called 'Glam Cosmetic Organiser'. I can't remember if I bought it from eBay or Amazon but I've included a link below to a very similar price I bought mine for, however, feel free to search around for it because it will probably be available from another seller a bit cheaper. 

Sadly it looks very sparse at the moment, but this used to be the predominant organiser for my make up as it has slots to hold up to 12 lipsticks, 2 small, shallow compartments behind the lipsticks, one large compartment to the left, and then two tall ones behind that, i.e. for mascaras, eyeliner etc. If you have a small (and reasonable) make up collection you could probably fit everything into the Glam Organiser. ..I wish I still could! :( But it's good for the 'everyday reachables'. 

eBay, Acrylic Glam Cosmetic Organiser - £8.49 LINK

For lipstick holders I've got two separate ones and I think that they are both slightly different sizes too but they were both bought from eBay quite a long time ago. eBay is absolutely riddled with cheap acrylic storage like this for lipsticks  (not so good on the drawers front, but good for lipstick holders). I'm not fully in love with it and think it looks a bit messy but it's one of the best ways for me to keep all my high street lipsticks together and by storing them upside down I can instantly see what shade I'm looking for.

Acrylic 24 Lipstick Holder - £3.19 with free postage from Hong Kong LINK
Similar for £2.98 LINK

In the office and desk accessories section of the Muji site I found this 3 partition holder that just screams out to you 'I'm perfect for your brushes!'. I don't have many make up brushes so they all fit in just fine (except the RT Blush brush, that's a bit big so stands at the side) and I use the three compartments for: eye make up brushes, base application (foundation, concealer brushes), and then blush, bronzer etc in the final compartment. 

Muji Acrylic 3 Partition Desk Pot - £5.50 LINK

Andd, in not so great quality pictures, I also got two more office accessories from Muji - a round pen pot, and a rectangular pen pot. As of yet, I don't have specific purposes in mind for them, but my current thought is that it might end up being 'most reached for mascara and eyeliner and brow spoolie' in the rectangular one, and brushes in urgent need of a wash to go in the round pot.  

Muji Acrylic Round Pen Pot - £2.25 LINK
Muji Acrylic Rectangular Pen Pot - £1.95 LINK

Phew, now I've finished this post I'm off to rearrange and sort out my hair care, skin care, and body products - fun evening! I fully intend to do a complete and more thorough set up /collection post of my make up in a couple of months when there's more time on my hands and I feel a bit more satisfied with the layout of everything. 

What do you think so far?
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Sunday 19 January 2014

Michael Kors Navy Selma Tote Bag

So, shall we address how Christmas Day on Instagram was like a fully complete brochure for the Michael Kors collection of watches? Or, just skim past that little point of the fact that I am the only female in the country without a MK watch on my wrist? But it's okay, I can get past this absence in my life because thanks to a little trip to New York, Mikey now hangs on my arm instead.

If you have read either of my New York or American Shopping blog posts, then you might know that I made a hugely impulsive and spontaneous decision one evening while sightseeing in Rockefeller Plaza. And, it really was spontaneous because before visiting New York I hadn't even seen this bag before and had no idea that it existed (I don't really keep up with designer fashion trends at all). I just strolled innocently into the shop and the magnetism between my heart and the bag just kind of.. happened. I laid eyes on it and I couldn't walk out without it.

I knew I was going to have a little bit of Christmas money coming my way and although I had planned on using the money to buy myself an iPad (mini) in January, I had a change of heart and decided that this bag would be more appropriate. The bag cost $358 (plus tax), which according to the salesman's currency converter would translate to £242-244, and the bag costs £315 to buy in the UK so I couldn't say no to a bargain like that! (Even if it was a nightmare to travel home with because I hadn't left any space in my suitcase!).


I'm seeing Mikey as an investment, in a classic (albeit, plain) design and in a colour that should theoretically never go out of fashion. It makes a statement and is very smart and sophisticated with it's structured body and strong gold coloured hardwear. He's not very heavy, despite his strong and sturdy leather material, and inside the bag is spacious with a total of five small pocket compartments to stop bits and bobs scattering everywhere (one zip, four open).

It has the removable and adjustable shoulder strap to switch up the appearance, and also the side parts (sorry for lack of technical terminology) can be displayed outwards, or inwards, to also give the illusion of a fresh new design ( - see above collage picture). Hopefully the quality of the bag will withstand the test of time and still be with me for a lot of my life and help with a professional image and to be taken seriously when it comes to crunch time and job interview phase (arh!). Who wants to hire a wannabe lawyer that walks into a room with a floppy, crumbling New Look bag tucked under their arm? Please be my secret weapon for life, Mikey! I love you.

Michael Kors Large Selma Top-Zip Satchel - Michael Kors $358

Other links:

Thanks for reading! 
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Sunday 12 January 2014

KIKO Colour Impact Eyeshadow Palette | 01 Lounge Warm Tones

As I mentioned in my Kiko Make Up Haul post a couple of days ago, the very influential Laura from Belle's Boutique showcased this lovely looking eyeshadow palette from Kiko on her blog and her Instagram (here and here), and it was love at first sight for me - as soon as I laid eyes on the first picture of the palette I knew that I wanted needed it! 


When I purchased this palette it was £16.90, which is a pretty good price for 6 amazing quality eyeshadows, but even better is that it has now been reduced in Kiko's 50% off sale and is only £8.40! I'm convinced I read somewhere once upon a time that this was limited edition, but there's nothing saying that at moment. However, I'm not positive it'll be around forever so if you like the sight of this then don't miss your chance with it.

Kiko Colour Impact Eyeshadow Palette - 01 Lounge Warm Tones | £16.90 £8.40

The shades and their beauty speak for themselves in the pictures and although the purple shade on the top middle draws me in the most, it's not that wearable for me and I really struggle to make it work that well because it's far from subtle and I just don't think it suits me. It is pretty to stare at though! The other 5 shades, however, are absolutely amazing and can work really, really well. The top right and bottom left shades are my favourites and are really intense neutral shimmer shades.

The shades are crazy pigmented and the dream formula that everybody loves to work with; soft and smooth like butter and easy to blend. The Kiko website also states that these can be used wet to create an even more intense colour pay off, but I've not tried that yet because they work more than well enough for me when used dry. 

 Top Row Swatches: Left - Right

 Bottom Row Swatches: Right - Left

First three swatches: Bottom Row, Left - Right
Second three swatches: Top Row, Right - Left

Sorry with the confusion for how I've ordered these swatches; I know it's an illogical order, but start in the bottom left corner of the palette, and work anti-clockwise back round up to the top. Just because the lighter shades don't show up as intensely as the others doesn't mean at all that they're lacking in pigment because that's far from the case, they just don't contrast very well with my milky white skin!

[Picture taken in direct sunlight]

Overall, I think it's an incredibly gorgeous palette and quite unique because I've never seen these 6 shades put together in any other palette before - I think you'd struggle to find something similar! Three shades are shimmery with a subtle trace of glitter, and the other three are satin matte shades, but if these particularly warm toned shades don't take your fancy then Kiko does also have 3 other variations which I'm sure will be the same gorgeous quality: 02 Street Taupe Variation, 03 Bright Night Lights, and 04 Rain Smoky Shades. 

What do you think of this palette from Kiko?
(Remember, it's currently in their 50% off sale!)
| link |

If you want to see what else I ordered from Kiko at the same time then you can check out my Kiko Make Up Haul post from a few days ago.

Thanks for reading!
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