Wednesday, 30 July 2014

July Bella Box Review 2014!

Sometimes, being a beauty blogger can get tricky - waiting for sunlight to take pictures, setting it up only to have lipsticks roll away from you, or getting it all right, only to have your furry nemesis take over! I love my cat, and he makes me laugh, but he gets so pushy sometimes, playing up to the camera!

To be fair, I was as eager to get it as he was to interrupt me! Bella Box is a monthly beauty box subscription and for $15 a month, it's also the cheapest. For more information, head over here. This month's theme is 'American Beauty', presumably due to it being the 4th of July earlier in the month.

This month, I received a total of 6 items! Not only that, I also got a couple of full sized ones.

Curious to see exactly what I got this month and to assess the value? Here goes!

1) StriVectin-EV Get Even Brightening Serum - I've tried some small samples from this brand before, and perhaps it's because the samples were too small to really appreciate, but I haven't been overwhelmed by them in the past. Still, I'm curious about this.

2) Designer Brands Paw Paw Plus Hand Cream (full size) - This has cocoa and shea butter in it (are those the pluses?), as well as jojoba oil and vitamin E, all the good stuff that your skin needs. Certainly, at $4.99, it wouldn't break the bank to find out.

3) Designer Brands Lip Butter in Mango - YAY! Something that I got in a flavour that I LOVE, and not coconut, for the first time in, like, forever. This sounds yummy - can't wait to use it!

4) Nicole by OPI Nail Lacquer in You Can! (full size) - I love this! It's like a pearly, creamy shade, and I don't have anything like this yet, so this is awesome. This was also impossible to photograph.

5) Anastasia Beverly Hills Lash Genius Waterproof Topcoat - Pretty much what it says it is! Waterproof ANY mascara? Yes, please!

6) Yu-Be Moisturising Skin Cream - Another odd little disappointment, having received this in a previous BB box. While I liked it enough, I would have preferred a new product to trial.

Overall, a delightful box from Bella Box, even with the inclusion of number 6. Bella Box has definitely been raising their game, being the one company that sends them out earlier than the others, and generally getting their act together and being brilliant! Valued around $49.75, it's worth it for $15!

Have you received your box yet? Which Bella Box has been your favourite over the last few months?

Monday, 28 July 2014

July Her Fashion Box Review 2014!

Her Fashion Box! You are a gorgeous, gorgeous creature, and I love seeing that little box pop up in the mail! July's offerings turned up within the month (yay!), but missing the little gift that I was meant to get by filling out the survey... because they didn't send out the survey BEFORE the box was posted, so that the boxes could get to us on time! 

Excellent job, HFB! So much happier to have received my box, than to have waited for them to get the surveys in to add an extra gift.

For those who haven't heard, Her Fashion Box is a monthly fashion and beauty box that arrives at your doorstep for $39.95 per box. You can pick from one of three options - Classic, Feminine or Trendy. I'm currently subscribed to Feminine.

1) French Navy 'Kisses, darling' card - This company has some simple stationery pieces that add a little something. You can also apparently order customisable pieces through them.

2) Ulta3 Colour Me Pretty Lipstick Crayons in Pretty Peach - Ulta3, you continue to surprise me! This used to be one of those brands that I was never quite impressed by, not enough to pick up anything by them. However, since my initial introduction to this brand (by Her Fashion Box, no less), I've been impressed by the budget buys I've found, so I'm plenty excited about this!

3) Appelles Rosemary Body Bar - I received this in both BellaBox and Lust Have It previously, and while it's not bad, I'm just not a bar soap person, so the man is going to get this instead.

4) CoconutRevolution Coconut Lip Balm in Cherry - Yay! I'm glad I didn't get this in the original flavour, because I just plain old like cherry!

5) Rosy glow Watch - You can't really appreciate it from this particular shot, but the background of this gorgeous watch is a dragon. It's really pretty! It's also incredibly feminine and I can't wait to wear this on date night!

6) Shade Of Infinity Scarf - THIS! No, seriously, this is easily the best thing I've ever received from Her Fashion Box. I do love, love, love their scarves in generally, and this snood is no different. It's hard to tell what this looks like from this picture alone, but you'll be seeing it on Instagram soon enough! 

7) Revitanail Nail Strengthener - I've never needed to use nail strengthener before, and I don't know if I'll be getting any use out of this, but we'll see!

An excellent box from HFB this round! I'm so pleased with it, honestly, it's just gorgeous! I can't wait to use that infinity scarf!

Have you received your box yet? What's your favourite part?

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Review: NYX Butt Naked Eyes Palette

I love palettes, I really do! They can be so travel friendly, I just enjoy the choice - I can pick whichever colour I feel like for that day. What I really like is when they are super travel friendly in that aside from eye shadows, they may also contain cheek products, like blush and bronzer, but without lip stuff, because honestly, there's nothing worse than opening up your palette and finding bits of eye shadow stuck in it! First world problems!

I was ecstatic when I first got my hands on this little set by NYX, boasting 15 eye shadow shades, 3 blushes, 2 highlighters and a bronzer. There are 7 matte shades and 8 shimmery ones, so aside from having different colours to choose from, you can also decide on the finish you prefer. 

While it may not show up terribly well here, the first blush on the left and the two highlighters are quite sparkly. 

The shadows themselves get picked up by brushes quite well, and while I would like for them to be a little more blendable, they do well enough. They certainly perform better with a primer beneath them, and there are enough colours to go from day to night.

The blushes are gorgeous and easy to use, although I do find the surface area a little small. The illuminators may be a little sparkly for some, but they are really pretty!

Overall, this has been an excellent purchase for me! I'll be doing a follow up with the second version of this very soon, so stay tuned! 

Have you tried this palette before? What's your favourite kind of palette?

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Binned Things June 2014!

Empties! They just seem to sprout and grow and spread! Here's everything I finished in the month of June - I should probably use LESS stuff, so there's less for me to write up, because, man, it's exhausting!

1) Dove Antiperspirant Invisible Dry Deodorant - Staple, staple, staple. Did I mention - staple?
Repurchase? Heck yes!

2) Sanctuary Spa Body Scrub - This has a bit of a strong scent, but nice big granules for when a small granule scrub just wouldn't do. Not the best, but quite enjoyable all the same.
Repurchase? Maybe

3) Dove Clinical Protection Deodorant - LOVE this. Can see myself using this for ages!
Repurchase? Yes 

4) Listerine Total Care Mouthwash - Yet another staple!
Repurchase? Done!

5) Nude by Nature 24 Hour Anti-ageing Moisturiser - I didn't enjoy this on my face at all - it got all ball-y and weird on my skin, but worked well on my body.
Repurchase? No

6) Puretopia Smooth and Renew Gentle Exfoliating Face Scrub - Really liked using this! I was sad when I finished it. Thank goodness I got another one in this year's Priceline bag!
Repurchase? Yes!

7) Nude by Nature Anti-oxidant Foaming Cleanser - A bit of a nothing special cleanser.
Repurchase? No

8) Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus - This serum is amazing! Really enjoyed using this - I thought this made my skin glow.
Repurchase? Would love to!

9) Polished London Dry Shampoo in Blighty Brunette - Read full review here.
Repurchase? Already have!

10) Lonvitalite Collagen Firming and Moisturising Facial Mask - read full review here.
Repurchase? No

11) The Face Shop Real Nature Mask Blueberry - read full review here.
Repurchase? Maybe

12) Montagne Jeunesse Dry Skin Mask - This is an interesting one! Souffle texture, berry scented and it left my face feeling all sorts of soft and lovely! Definitely my favourite from the entire range!
Repurchase? Yes!

13) Appelles Rosemary Body Bar - It's a nice bar of soap, but I'm not a bar soap kinda gal.
Repurchase? No

14) So...? Kiss Me - see full review here. In short, my favourite of the lot!
Repurchase? Yes

15) Indeed Labs Hydraluron - One word: AMAZING. See full review here.
Repurchase? Already done!

16) Etude House Hand Cream - Seriously adorable hand cream with a lovely fruity scent, but not quite hydrating enough.
Repurchase? Don't think so

17) Manicare Nail Polish Remover - Fairly standard nail polish remover, does a good enough job.
Repurchase? Yes

18) La Mav Jojoba Beads and Argan Oil Exfoliating Scrub - For a scrub, I just didn't find this exfoliating enough, but it was pleasant.
Repurchase? No

19) Essence Cosmetics 50's Girl Translucent Powder - A cute little packaging for their matte powder, I liked using this to seal my makeup. From a limited edition range, but there was something similar in their regular range. 
Repurchase? Yes!

24) Lush Immaculate Eggception Bath Bomb - A limited edition item from Lush for Easter, I really liked this. It was a gorgeous, fruity explosion in my bath tub!
Repurchase? Would love to!

25) Woolworth's Homebrand Makeup Remover Pads - Excellent staple! Not too thin, and thick enough to be effective.
Repurchase? Always!

26) Biore Pore Strip - I really should be using more of them! Great for getting rid of blackheads - I just need to use it more often!
Repurchase? Yes

27) Etude House I need you, honey! and I need you, yoghurt! masks - fun masks to use. I do prefer the yoghurt one over the honey mask, though. It's softer on my skin.
Repurchase? Yoghurt, yes. Honey, maybe.

As for the not quite empties, but the 'too old to try and keep despite feeling sentimental towards it', I have:
1) Revlon Palette - Not old - just plain old not good. 

2) Chanel Palette containing two eye shadows and a gel liner - An old one from my sister.

3) Duwop Lip Venom Lip Gloss - One of my first Sephora purchases!

4) MAC lip gloss - Loved this colour, but couldn't hang on to the dregs of it anymore.

Stand out products for the sample sizes would include the Lapurete cleanser and night cream, both obtained through BeautyHeaven during their last Beautorium.

And that's all, folks! What did you get through last month? What made you sad to see it go?

Monday, 21 July 2014

Review: L'Oreal Infallible 24 HR Stay Fresh Foundation, Powder and Concealer *

I will be the first to admit that foundation scares me. No, really, it does. All those times I've witnessed women wearing a totally wrong shade to what they should have put on instead, mismatching necks and faces, the change in seasons resulting in wearing a different colour to what you happen to be then, not to mention powdery brows and occasional moments of trying on clothes only to find a swatch of foundation around the neckline inches away from your own face... Foundation is something that shouldn't be treated lightly! 

That said, I've been very lucky with my skin in that I haven't had much need for coverage, and as such, haven't had to worry for many years.

At a recent BeautyHeaven event, I was colour matched to the L'Oreal Infallible Foundation, thus taking a lot of variables out of 'THE FEAR', and I'm here to talk about a few products from the range - most importantly, do they live up to the hype?

This little concealer is in the form of a stick, and winds up out of the stick. This isn't as creamy as I'd like it to be, but it does warm up a little when using fingertips to help spread it, and as such, this is quite suitable for helping with covering up my dark circles under the eyes.

This ends up blending quite well, and being relatively efficient.

This... THIS! While not as blendable as some of the other foundations from L'Oreal (True Match, I'm looking at you, you little beauty, you!), this has, by far, been one of the best foundations for holding power. I've been using this over primer, warming up the formula with my fingertips before dotting it all over my face, then wearing it for at least 16 hours sometimes, and on a few occasions, 9 hours of work, followed by 3 hours of exercise - AND IT'S STILL ALL THERE!

This provides a matte finish and full coverage. I find that this doesn't have a terrible, pancakey effect. This ends up being flawless and while not pancake-like, this can be a little heavier on the face. This lasts for hours, however, and is as budge proof as it gets.

Yes, I know infallible is spelled wrongly on this! For that final touch, I place a light dusting of this over the top of my liquid foundation, and this sets it really, really well. This also provides a matte finish, and is perfect for long days at work.

Have you tried any of them before? Are you interested in the range?

*These products were kindly sent to me via Beauty Heaven for my consideration

Saturday, 19 July 2014

What's In My Bag: Going to New Zealand

So this weekend, I'm leaving the safety and comfort of my home (and all the recent sunshine!) and trading it for the snowy landscape of Queenstown!

What's in the bag, you ask? It's my mostly non-beauty toiletries. The beauty part is hard, because I have so many things to choose from. What if it doesn't suit my mood that day? Or, perish forbid, my outfit?

This is where all my handy little samples from beauty boxes come into play! I even have a few masks to help with the super dry plane air and all the Wintry madness in New Zealand.

Can you spot anything here that you've taken away before? Do you have any recommendations for travel size products?

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Blogiversary Winner Announced!

Hi everyone! Thanks to all those who entered my blogiversary giveaway! I'm happy to announce that the winner is:


The winner has been contacted. For those who missed out, you can try your hand at the next giveaway, which will be coming up soon, so stay tuned!