Glossybox Reviews and Thoughts

I promised a full review of the products contained in my July Glossybox. This might seem a little late but I didn’t want to let my initial disappointment about what I received cloud my judgement of the products, plus you need a couple weeks to break them in before drawing any conclusions. If you’d like to read more about the service and my first thoughts on July’s Glossy box, click here.

So this is what I got and this is what I think of it…

Weleda P0megranate Body Oil (100ml RRP £19.50)

Despite looking like a bottle of cough medicine, this is undoubtedly the jewel in this Glossyboxes crown, and probably the product that’s saved my subscription. Glossybox promises luxury products and this is certainly LUXURIOUS. The rich body oil smells divine! It’s best used straight out of the bath/shower and applied to moist skin. I’ve been using it twice a week for three weeks now and I really think my skin’s softer, plus a little goes a long way. It’s not sticky either and it absorbs well, although I wouldn’t recommend wearing good clothes after application. I normally use it before bed or on a duvet day (which there’s been a lot of lately). Body oils have never been a product that feature in my beauty routine, until now! And that’s the whole point of Glossybox, to allow you to try products you wouldn’t necessarily choose. Yes this one is expensive, but depending how long it lasts, I’d probably buy it.

Illamasqua Powdered Metal in Ether (15g RRP £22)

Ok, this multi use powder is very nice BUT it’s not for me. The loose powder is a shimmering yellowy gold and can be used on the face and body as an all over highlighter, or concentrated to smaller areas such as the eyes and used as a shadow. The intensity is buildible and the colour is flattering but I have many products that already do that job, but better, such as Mac’s Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft and Gentle.

Ciate Nail Enamel in Mohito (13.5ml RRP £9)

I tried, I really did, but SHREK green isn’t very wearable. I’ll probably give this to my teenage sister.

Orla Kiely Eau de Parfum (5ml sample)

It’s not offensive, nice to try but not a fragrance for me.

Ultra Sun Face SPF (15ml sample)

I haven’t used this yet, I’m saving it for my holidays in two weeks (can’t wait) but I expect it’ll be good and the 15ml size is a pretty handy handbag size.

Glossybox thoughts

So much has already been said about the service, so I won’t got on… too much. The question of whether or not this service is a good one and value for money is completely up to the individual. At face value this is a lot of products for ten pounds, but it’s only good value if they’re products you’ll actually use. In my glossybox this month I will use both the Weleda body oil and the suncream, so I’d say it’s worth it, still I’m left with three products I’ll not use. My main problem with Glossybox is the randomness of the products you receive. Each month there’s a pool of around ten products, of which you’ll get five. These five are apparently based on your preferences, although to me, it appears to be random. A lot of other Glossybox recipient got a Xen tan product and false eyelashes this monthly, which I would have been really happy with – GLOSSYBOX ENVY! Another huge problem I have with the service is that the price has gone up. When I signed up in May, the service was £10 per month the FREE delivery. Glossybox quickly realised that wasn’t viable and therefore increased the cost by £2.95 to include postage costs. To me this was a BIG mistake, I signed up to a “ten pounds all in” service!

I guess the best thing to do is balance up the pros and cons.

Positives

  • You get five “luxury” products for £10 per month, plus postage costs
  • Try before you buy and discover new products you wouldn’t necessarily choose
  • GORGEOUS packaging and handy, reusable box
  • It’s like a surprise present being delivered to the door
  • No minimum subscription

Negatives

  • You don’t know what you’re going to get
  • GLOSSYBOX ENVY – from the pool of monthly products, you might not receive the products you’d have liked
  • You might not like or use the products you receive
  • The monthly price has increased from £10 to £12.95

I think I’m still undecided on this one, so I’m planning to keep my subscription on for another month or so. On the one hand, I’m obsessed by all things beauty and this is a new and innovative way to satisfy that need, but I also like control over what I buy and £13 per month might be better spent on products I know I want, rather than gambling on ones I might not???

Glossybox lives on, for now at least.

I’d love to hear you thoughts?

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September Magazine Freebies

September’s glossies are out already, packed with Autumn/Winter trends – browns, furs and boots. NOOOOOOOOO IT CAN’T BE THAT TIME ALREADY! I’m sure I say this every year but is 2011 the fastest year yet?

As I hang on to the last days of summer (i know, what summer) these fab magazine freebies might just help cusion the blow.

First up, pick up a copy of September’s edition of Cosmopolitan magazine £3.50, with Fergie on the front and bag some free eyelure false lashes.  The special edition flasies were designed exclusively for the magazine and would retail for £5. They’re long, full and sex kitten esque, can’t wait to try them.

With this month’s Marie Claire magazine with Anne Hathway on the cover you get a choice of Ciate Nail Pots. There’s two colours to collect, a nudey beige and a dark plummy purple, worth £9 each. I love the Ciate nail pots, they’re really good quality, but I must admit I’m not overly excited about the shades, who knows they might look better in the flesh. Marie Claire, £3.60 is out now.

If Ciate ain’t your bag, grab a copy of Elle Magazine £3.80 with Kirsten Dunst on the front and choose from three free Mavala nail polishes. The shades are – The Elle Red, The Elle grey and The Elle Orange BUT be warned these areonly 5ml bottles.

Finally, with this month’s issue of Red magazine £3.80, you can get your hands on a bottle of Balance Me body wash, worth £8. There are two to collect – rose otto and super moisturising.

Holiday Beauty Essentials

Whether you’re going abroad or just kicking back in your garden, we all love a bit of sun! But with the sun also comes frizz, burns and melting make up. Here are my top tips and beauty products to help you channel your inner beach babe.

Skincare

 Suncream (Obviously!)

Suncream is sooo important – if you want to tan you’ve got to do it carefully and gradually – the lobster look looks good on no one when you’re older, who wants to look like Donatella Versace?

If you’re going abroad go armed with a range of factors. I normally start on 30, then drop to 15 where I can (gone are the days of, oh I’ll just use a factor 6 oil). I use a separate, non-greasy high factor on my face.

Boots’ Soltan family collection is really good value offering 3 factors and an aftersun for £12.99. I love a high factor sun lotion that is non-greasy, absorbs quickly and doesn’t block pores like Piz Buin In Sun Lotion SPF 30, available from Cheapsmells

Lipbalm, preferably with SPF

So many people forget to protect their lips, but if you want to rock that colour popping lipstick at night you need to protect against chapped, burnt lips – SIMPLE!

Moisturiser

After a days sunbathing you need a great moisturiser to lock that tan in! I’ve never know if it’s better to use after sun or a regular body moisturiser, but I’ve tried both and got the same results. I’ve always been a big fan of Palmer’s Cocoa Butter and Soap & Glory’s Righteous Butter – unfortunately so are FLIES! In Egypt last year I stuck to Soltan aftersun with insect repellent, which was still very moisturising. AVOID aftersuns that market themselves as a tan prolonger. If it contains self tanning ingredient, I find it doesn’t mix well with the natural tan and leads to premature pealing.

And I’d never go on holiday without Elizabeth Arden’s Eight hour cream – for burns, dry skin and chapped lips. Keep it close during the flight – it’s the perfect antidote to the moisture zapping, dehydrating aeroplanes. 

Make Up

I love holiday make up. You can take all your current routines and rules and throw them out the window cos if you can’t experiment in a foreign country where no one knows you, when can you! Even if you’re not feeling so daring, the heat and humidity forces you to change it up anyway.

I do think holiday make up should be kept to a minimum, not least because those pesky airlines get stingier on luggage allowance every year, but who wants to waste their time applying the wall paint (only for it to slide off during that first cocktail) and with your bronzed holiday glow you shouldn’t need as much, right??? I wouldn’t bother with it during the day, but if you have to make sure it’s waterproof and opt for cream products over powder.

Cream Blush – my number one holiday hero!

A cream blush is great for adding a pop of colour on the cheeks without clogging the pores. In the heat they last longer and look fresher. I love Mac Blushcreme in LadyBlush (read review) and Stila’s Convertible colours – both can be used on the lips too.  Tip – keep them in the fridge so avoid theit textured becoming too liquefied.

A Multiple Stick

Multi taskers are really all you need for beach glamour.  I love Topshop’s Cheeks in Prism, an all-in-one shimmer stick, which is super-easy to apply and looks lush on any skin tone. It can be used on checks, lips and eyes or apply in a ‘C’ shape around the temples to lift the face and complement a tan.

HOT nail varnish and lipstick

Holidays are the perfect opportunity to sport that bright lipstick you’ve been wanting to try but were too scared to. Try a bright fushia or coral – perfect compliment for a tan. I love Mac’s Girl About Town and Cost Chic.

The same goes for the nails, step out your pale pink comfort zone and reach for something eye popping or sparkly! I might even unlease the Ciate Mohita (aka shrek green) that I received in my Glossybox.

Waterproof mascara

If you can go without, do! If not, whether there’s water involved or not, better make it waterproof. The heat and humidity can be just as damaging – panda eyes is never a good look, especially on a hot summers day… or night.

Hair

A salty/touselled/ texturising type spray

You’re on holiday, frizz and waves are inevitable so save time and effort blowdrying, straightening and trying to combat the kink and ride those beach waves. Some type of saltly/touselled/texturising spray will help you look all beachy and fabulous.

I like Umberto Giannini’s grunge glamour tousled salt spray or make your own DIY spray with actual sea water!

Tangle Teezer

I don’t know how I coped without this for so long, home or away. Great for teasing out those sea salty tangles without breaking hair.

And don’t forget your toothbrush!

July’s GlossyBox has arrived…..

And I’m initially disappointed!

The concept I love (read more about GlossyBox)

The excitement and anticipation I love

The packaging I love

 

 

But the products…

 

 

Not so much?!?!

Ciate Nail Enamel (13.5ml RRP £9)

Illamasqua Powdered Metal in Ether (15g RRP £22)

Orla Kiely Eau de Parfum (5ml sample)

Ultra Sun Face SPF (15ml sample)

Weleda Pmegranate Body Oil (100ml RRP £19.50)

I’m not going to let my initial disappointment cloud my judgement. A full review of the products and service will follow, let’s just say my expectations haven’t been fulfilled.

I would have been really happy with the Ciate nail enamel – but Shrek green aint my style

I realise at face value this looks like a lot of products for £10 – but it’s only worth it if they’re products you’ll actually use.

Whatsmore – such is the power of the beauty blog, a quick search and you can find out what other people received in their box = GlossyBox envy. Variations on the products this month includes Xen-Tan self tanning product, False Eyelashes and Illamasqua Lipgloss – all of which I would have been very happy with, oh and Ciate Nail colours that are much more wearable than SHREK GREEN!

Perhaps we can start a GlossyBox swap service?

Something for the Weekend – Nail Polishes from 99p

Following the trend for Summer savings, I had to share with you some bargainous nail treats I found on a website called Fragrance Direct. I’ve used the site before for perfume but never gave their cosmetics a glance… until now. They have a great collection of nail polishes from 99p including Revlon, Bourjois, Ciate and Rimmel.

Ciate Nail Paint £0.99 Saving £8.01

My first Ciate nail polish – certainly not my last. These are cracking products and a steal at that price. There’s a good, but not extensive range of colours on offer, all with girls names – Pamela, Patsy, Victoria, Elizabeth and Kate, which I opted for. Kate’s a perfect bright pink – not fuchsia, not Barbie, I’d say somewhere in the middle. What I love about it is it’s super glossy. I was really impressed with the quality and texture of the formula – similar to OPI’s I thought. I applied two coats plus an under coat and it lasted for 5 days.  It’s a very wearable colour – day or night.

Revlon Nail Enamel £1.50 Saving £3.49

Blue nails intrigue me. On the one hand (pardon the pun) they’re just wrong – nails aren’t meant to be blue unless they’ve been trapped in the door. On the other, blue’s a colour I really like and the right shade, with the right outfit can look fab. Surely for £1,50 it’s worth a go? YES! I chose a colour called Rock. Firstly I love the formula – really impressed by Revlon’s quality. Not too thick, not too thin, not glupey –just right. Only took 2 coats to achieve the bottle colour. On to the colour – I’m really disappointed by the pics, they’re not an accurate representation of the true colour, which I’d describe more as a purple-blue. It’s very flattering and not too garish. I’m glad I chose it, I’ll definitely wear it again. If you’re feeling brave, it has a glitter top coat called “Star” to go with it, also £1.50.

Also check out Bourjois 1 second Nail Polish £0.99, Sally Henson’s Nail Lacquer £1.25 and Rimmel’s 60 second Nail Polish £0.99.

Now that I know I’m on to a good thing, I’ll no doubt be back for more. The only down side is that there’s a £1.99 UK delivery charge but delivery was super fast and it’s not much if you’re buying a few products.