Sunday, 1 March 2015

Bella Box February 2015!

Bella Box, as I near the end of my relationship with you, I find myself dragging my feet, particularly after getting a good box like this month's! Bella Box is a monthly beauty box subscription that tends to run on time, mostly, and is the cheapest of all the monthly beauty boxes, at only $15 per month.

That said, it is usually valued at the smallest amount compared to all the other boxes on the market, and there was the December Discrepancy, when a lot of members received full sized Fuse or Kora products, while everyone else had small samples. That was pretty unfair.

This month, Bella Box teamed up with a few different magazines, and while we were given the choice to pick the box of our choice, I didn't get it my choice in on time - but I got the one I wanted anyway! Yay! It's the Harper's Bazaar version of the box.

Here's everything that I received this month.

1) ZK'in Line Smoothing Serum - Anything that might help smooth out lines is fine by me!

2) Soak Superfood Skincare Skin Booster Body Lotion - This sounds lovely, although I'm not sure I
 need all of this in a body lotion! It's said to contain calcium, vitamin B3 and magnesium.

3) Essie Nail Colour in Take It Outside (full size) - A very grown up grey, I'm not certain I'd get much use out of this, and may end up giving this to one of my sisters. I do like Essie polishes, though.

4 and 5) Aveda:
Tourmaline Charged Hydrating Creme - I like the Aveda samples, as they tend to come in tubes. This would be a great long weekend trip away creme. This has plant extracts and antioxidants in it.

Intensive Hydrating Masque - I've received one of these previously and while I haven't had a chance to use it yet, I do have it packed away in my away bag for my upcoming trip!
$12.59 + $3.73

6 and 7) Transformulas:
Lip Volume - I did receive one of these a while back in a different box, and I haven't had the chance to use it yet. More for me if I do!

Marine Miracle - Ditto as above!

8) Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream - Yay for cuticle cream! I do quite like this one - I wouldn't recommend it to people who aren't big on citrus scents, however.

And that's everything this time! This box is valued around $50, and it looks like the boxes are coming to more than what they used to. March will mark my last BB, sadly - let's see how long I hold out before I sign back up!

Have you received your Bella Box? What's your favourite bit of it?

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Review: Paula's Choice - Part Two *

While I knew that Paula's Choice had a great range of skincare products, I wasn't aware that they had make up/beauty products!

I was sent a small selection (and I mean small selection, because Paula's Choice has an amazing range of products!) of beauty items and I really got into it! Here's what I got:

I received:
1) Brow/Hair Tint
2) Cuticle and Hair Treatment
3) Lip and Body Treatment Balm

As someone who does her brows on a daily basis, this was an exciting introduction! The shade itself is quite dark, closer to brown than black, and takes a little bit to dry down, and I've found it best to just place it on before doing my eye make up, so that it would have enough time to dry. The formula, while still thick, is a little more watery than I'm used to.

The brush is quite long, and wide, which can make it a little problematic when you're trying not to go too wild with the brows. With this particular brush, brushing the brows in an up/down motion is best, and going length-wise would almost certainly result with caterpillars!

As an alternative, you can always use a spoolie, which can give you thinner brows. Overall, I like the effect I get with this, given that the tint is quite dark.

This treatment balm comes in a screw top jar, which can be a little annoying, given that I would then be trying to put it back on with 'balmy' hands. That said, this isn't a very slippery formula. This is a very hard balm, and you have to move your fingers around a little bit to get some out. At this rate, it could last me just about forever.

As far as it goes, this is pleasant on the lips. I have been using it as my bedtime lip balm, and I've woken up with nice, soft lips. This is, as with all the products I've tried so far, fragrance free.

It's quite a travel friendly container, seeing as you can slip it into your bag, and you couldn't squish it, like you would a tube. Don't be fooled by this picture, incidentally - it's not a small jar, so you'd get your money's worth.

I love this travel friendly cuticle pen! This has a little brush, which makes application easy, and the formula is thick enough to be rich, but not greasy, which means that this is also mess-free! This tackles the problem of dehydrated cuticles and keep things hygienic. I think you can tell just how much I love this cuticle pen - it's amazing!

I hope this gives you some idea of how exciting things are getting over at Paula's Choice! Check them out here for more details. Fragrance free, cruelty free... What more could you want? This certainly has me more excited about their make up products. I really want to try out their eye shadow palette!

Are you interested in any of these products? Have you tried any Paula's Choice make up items before?

* These products were provided, but in no way influenced my opinion.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Bella Box January 2015!

Hello my sugars!
This review is a little later than when I initially received the box, given that the main item in it arrived broken, and I had to wait for the replacement to show up, which it did, just last week!

Without further ado, here's everything that I received in my box:

That looks like a pretty decent box. Here's the breakdown.

1) Wen by Chaz Dean Sweet Almond Mint Cleansing Conditioner - This is an oddly generous sachet of condiioner. I still have another packet left over from a previous box, so I'm hoping I like it!

2) Bella Box Makeup Pouch - A cute small make up pouch with believable RRP.

3) Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid - I liked this one when I got it in a different box, so yay!

4) Laqa & Co Lip Lube Menatour in  Beezlebub (full size) - This is the replacement! I initially got a purple version, but this is certainly nicer! Love me a lippie, so this is a welcome addition to the lippie family. 

5) Skinnymint 28 Day Ultimate Teatox - Weight loss tea? Certainly sounds interesting!

6) Natralus Paw Paw Pure Gel - This is honestly a little too small to do anything - I know, I've tried.

It's a good one in terms of introducing new products. This has come to about $57.32 on value, and I'm excited to crack into the lippie!

How long have you had to wait for a replacement item? Are you currently signed up to Bella Box?

Saturday, 21 February 2015

January Binned Things!

Empties! There's such a feeling of accomplishment when you're done with something - projects, cleaning, and finishing products - it's so great to do an end of month round up of everything that I used up.

1) Schwarkopf Moisture Gloss Shampoo - A pretty decent shampoo. I thought my hair looked a little shinier, but I liked it more due to it doing a good job cleaning my hair.
Repurchase? Yes

2) Schwarkopf Moisture Gloss Conditioner - A decent, but not overly strong, conditioner.
Repurchase? Maybe

3) Essenzza Fuss Free Natural Citrus & Pineapple Wipes - It has a really fresh, pineapple-y scent to it, which makes it quite refreshing!
Repurchase? Yes

4) Wotnot Facial Wipes - Staple, staple, staple!
Repurchase? Yes!

5) Clearasil Vitamin & Extracts Scrub - A nice scrub as part of my daily routine.
Repurchase? Yes

6) Dirty Works Body Scrub - I wasn't very keen on this scrub at first, due to getting different amounts of granules at each wash, but I quite liked it towards the end, given that I figured out that I had to shake it to get all the bits out.
Repurchase? Maybe

7) Natio Recovery Hand Scrub - Moisturising and scrubby! I really enjoyed using this one!
Repurchase? Yes

8) BX Earth A Bit Of Soft Touch Nourishing Bodywash - Very peachy! Bit of a watery formula, but a good wash, nevertheless.
Repurchase? Maybe

9) Sanctuary Spa Deep Cleanse Mask - Loved this mask! A 5 minute deep cleanse mask for people low on time and great for drawing out impurities! It also warms up when it's applied.
Repurchase? Yes!

10) Sanctuary Spa Firming Youth Serum - I liked how quickly it got absorbed by the skin, and while I liked that it had a great pump bottle and was hygienic to use, it was a good serum, but not amazing. 
Repurchase?  Maybe

11) Original Minerals 7 Day Miracle Moisture Masque - One of my absolute favourite hair masks! Highly recommend this to, like, everyone. 
Repurchase? OMG, yes!

12) L'Oreal False Lash Wings Mascara - A great mascara! It just got a tad dried out and gloopy.
Repurchase? Yes

13) Schwarkopf Normal Balance Leave-In Treatment - A pretty decent and affordable leave in treatment for the hair.
Repurchase? Likely

14) The Jojoba Company Cucumber and Guava Firming Eye Balm - I loved this! I felt like it really did make a difference in term of decreasing the darkness of my under eye circles.
Repurchase? Yes!

15) Scholl Velvet Smooth Essential Moisture Cream - I liked that it got absorbed very quickly by my feet skin and didn't feel sticky. 
Repurchase? Yes

16) L'Oreal True Match Foundation in Honey N6 - This is a 'melt into the skin' foundation - true match is right! My classic Summer shade.
Repurchase? Yes!

17) Designer Brands Volume Mascara - Not a bad mascara, certainly for that price!
Repurchase? Maybe

As for the little/travel/sample sized products, they were mostly winners last month! I wasn't hugely keen on the Pond's cream, or the Savi Organics hand cream. 

What did you enjoy using up last month? Any repeats in your trash?

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Violet Box January 2015

When all the Christmas specials were happening, I hopped on board and grabbed a six month subscription at Violet Box, given that one of my box subscriptions was running out.

And ta da! While this is the January box and it's now February, they actually did make the cut off for January (I believe it arrived a few days before the end of the month), but it was missing one product! It finally arrived a couple of days back, and I now get to share it with you!

Violet Box is a monthly beauty box that goes for $22.95 and you can find more information over here.

Here's everything that I received in the January box! A few full size products in this lot!

Here's the information card that came in the box.

1) The Cosmetic Kitchen Raw Chocolate Clay Mask (full size) - I received this is a different beauty box a couple of months ago, and haven't had the chance to use it yet, but it sounds yummy!

2) Mellow Cosmetics Blush (full size) - This is a pretty blush that is free from parabens and from a brand that I've never heard of before.

3) Distilled Restore Treatment Serum - This is meant to be used on the skin, nails and cuticles. It's for hydration and to help with strengthening the nails. It's a new one for me, and I'm looking forward to using it.

4) Emite Make Up Precision Eye Pencil (full size) - This is a cream pencil, and will be handy for making my eyes look a little bigger.

5) Lonvitalite 24K Active Gold Yulan Eye Mask - I've used this before, and quite liked it. Yay for an excellent repeat!

And that's everything for January! It's excellent value, standing at around $70! I can't wait to see what they have in store for February!

Are you subscribed to Violet Box? Does this interest you?

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Valentine's Day Nails

I don't dabble in nail art very often, but I thought I'd do something a little different, having been inspired by all the Valentine's Day nails floating around out in the blogosphere! 

Here's what I did for one of my friends recently and it turned out pretty well, actually.

From thumb to pinkie (Geddit? It's all pink?):
1) Thumb: Base coat by OPI, Fruit Tingle by Ulta3, top coat by Seche Vite
2) Index finger: Cardshark by Revlon (Gel Envy range), Blackjack and Double Down by Revlon (Gel Envy range) for the leopard print, top coat by Revlon (Gel Envy range)
3) Middle finger: Cardshark by Revlon (Gel Envy range), top coat by Revlon (Gel Envy range)
4) Fourth fnger: Base coat by OPI, Fire Rose by Illamasqua, top coat by Seche Vite
5) Pinkie: Cardshark by Revlon, Effect nail polish in Glitz and Glam by Essence, top coat by Revlon (Gel Envy range)

Are you doing themed nails? What's your preferred colour palette?

Friday, 13 February 2015

Review: Tresemme 7 Day Keratin Smooth Range *

I've been using the 7 Day Keratin Smooth range by Tresemme for over a week now, and I have my verdict - it's a winner!

First off, what is it? Tresemme aims to deliver keratin straight hair without the price tag, and this can be done at home without anything fancier than a hair dryer and straightener. Basically, you use all three products, then blow dry your hair, followed by straightening the hair and you've got strands that will behave themselves. Do this whole cycle seven times, and you're meant to get similar results for up to four washes without needing to go through it all.

Having straight Asian hair, I didn't think this would really do much for me, so it was a pleasant surprise when I found my hair being more manageable, with a bit of bounce and body to it. I get a whiff of vanilla, magnolia and musk every time I flip the lid off the shampoo and conditioner.

Conditioner; Shampoo; Treatment

Sadly, the scents don't linger. All three products have a thick consistency, and are all a creamy shade. I will say that the first day after use, my hair felt like it had a bit of residue left in it, but that disappeared overnight, and I also ended up reducing the amount of treatment I was putting through my hair, which really helped, and didn't reduce the efficiency of the range.

While the tresses have been tamed sufficiently by the range, the biggest difference has been with my ponytail. As a daily ponytail wearer, I have noticed less frizz, as well as less of a bump when removing my hair tie. It has also taken less time, as well as less brushing, to get rid of the kink left behind by having my hair up all day.

As my hair is quite thick and heavy, having more body as well certainly is a bonus.

My tip is to use less of the treatment than recommended on the box. 8 to 10 pumps just end up being too rich. I would suggest 4 pumps, which has worked remarkably well, not to mention that this is also a case of a little going a long way!

The products all retail for $10.99, and the shampoo and conditioner both come in a flip lid tube of 250 ml, and the treatment is a pump bottle of 120 ml, which can also be locked in place so that you can take it travelling with you.

Straight hair

GHD curls - done WITHOUT using other styling products AND those curls actually held for once!

Overall, I've been very satisfied with these products, and I'm now tempted to try them out on someone else's hair, just to see how it would perform.

Have you tried this range before? Are you interested in trying it?

* These products were provided, but has in no way influenced my opinion