Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Love Me Beauty Box April 14

I gotta admit I wasn't too keen on this month's Love Me Beauty Box when I first saw the options. Two repeat brands and products I'll use but wasn't overly excited about meant that for the first time I seriously considered just skipping the month altogether. But after opening it and having a proper look at all the products I can honestly say I'm glad I didn't. Let's crack on, shall we?

Full size: £6.25

At first I thought I wouldn't have any use for this rollerball. It's recommended for stretch marks and scarring and I don't have any stretch marks and all the various little scars all over my body (what can I say, I'm clumsy) have already faded. I couldn't really think of any dry skin areas either other than my legs and I could imagine it being a right pain trying to apply oil in a rollerball to such a large area. 
After doing a bit of research I found out that you can also use this on the face, so I might try it in place of my overnight serum or moisturiser. If that doesn't work, it's also meant to be really good for sunburn, so I might try that if I spend a little too much time in the sunshine.

Full size: £6

Models Own is a repeat brand for Love Me Beauty and you could choose from either another nail polish or this nail art pen. In all honesty it was mainly this product that drew me towards this particular menu. I've never really tried my hand at nail art as I didn't expect to be any good at it, but it's about time I at least gave it a go.
Sadly I managed to break off all but three of my nails last week, so it's going to be a little while until I can try this out properly.

Full size: £9.50

Neal & Wolf is another repeat brand, but while I've tried quite a lot of their products almost every single one was a hit, so I don't mind getting another one. At first I thought this was a sample size, as it is more on the smaller side, but it's actually a full sized product. I've not had a shine spray for years - it's one of those things I always considered buying but never got round to it, so I'm happy to finally have one in my stash. And who knows, a little might go a long way.

Full size: £9.99 for 250ml / Sample value: £1.20

I'm not overly sure what to think of this product just yet. I much prefer to use the same brand shampoo and conditioner and as a matter of fact I don't even use normal conditioner, as I tend to alternate between purple shampoo/conditioner combo and a deep repair hair mask. I'm sure I'll find a way to use it anyway and on my long hair the sample size should be enough for about two washes.

5) Various Bonus Items
Value: £30.72

This month Love Me Beauty included a few items in their box that weren't on the menu listings or on the card that accompanied the box. I actually received the Melvita Extraordinary Water in last month's box and I still have about a quarter of the bottle left, but I'm actually really happy that I got another one, as I love it to pieces and was looking at getting a full sized one.
The Hello Fresh voucher also got me very, very excited. I've been thinking about trying this food delivery service (they deliver fresh ingredients and recipe cards and then you get to cook the food from scratch) for a while, but I've been put off by the price. Now I've got the perfect excuse to give it a go!
The two sachets of the Weleda Stretch Mark Massage oil weren't such a great hit. As I've already explained above I don't have any stretch marks or any scarring that could be helped, so I tried to use it on my dry legs. Not only did the oil in a sachet make a huge mess, but it also left me feeling very sticky and made it almost impossible to put on some leggings.

Total value: £53.67

Even though I originally thought there would only be four items in this box I ended up with a total of six (seven if you want to count the gift card which will most definitely be used) and the value is among the highest that I've seen in these boxes. None of the items are hugely exciting, but I'll find a way of using everything, so it's another hit from Love Me Beauty!

Friday, 11 April 2014

Review: Stila Lip Glaze in Holly

The Stila Lip Glaze is basically a lip gloss with a fancy name and rather fancy packaging. Instead of a classic doe foot applicator, it comes in a tube with an in-buit brush. Product is dispensed onto the brush by twisting the clicking mechanism at the end. The brush allows for more precise application while you're on the go. I think one click is meant to be enough for one application, though I usually find myself using at least four or five for an even finish.

The shade Holly is actually rather gorgeous. It's what I'd describe as a slightly muted candy apple red which instantly brightens up the complexion. It's bold, but the glossy finish makes it casual enough to wear during the day time as well.

The pigmentation is spot on for a strong colour, though it won't completely blot out the natural colour of your lips. As far as glossy lip products go, however, it's definitely on the stronger side.

Stila Lip Glaze in Holly lip swatch
My one criticism is that you really don't get a lot of product in one stick. Like I said above it does take four or five clicks to get an even finish and I'm already more than halfway through mine even though I've barely used it.

The Stila Lip Glazes cost £15 each and are available in a huge array of colours. I can't seem to find this particular one on the Stila website, but the shades strawberry and cranberry look fairly similar.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Face of the Day #04

This was originally meant to be a light, natural spring type FOTD, but then I dipped my fingers back into my Naked 2 palette (which I haven't used in over a month) and couldn't help but go overboard just a tiny little bit. Whoops! I tried balancing things up with a very light, nude and glossy lip and also used a very light base, so you gotta give me credit for at least trying!


I started out with a nice and light base this time around, as I didn't want too much coverage. The Simple Kind To Skin Perfecting Beauty Balm looks quite scarily orange as it comes out of the tube, but fortunately it blends out rather nicely and gives a very natural, slightly perfected finish. I then applied my old faithfuls, the Seventeen Phwoarr Paint and the Rimmel Stay Matte Powder - I don't think I'll ever buy another powder or a different concealer! On my cheeks I applied the MUA Powder Blush in Shade 1. It's a very bright, blue based candy pink which I find looks very natural on my cool skin tone.


For my brows I switched it up from my usual HD Brows palette and dug out an old friend - the Benefit Brow Zings in Medium. The powder in this due has hardly been touched as I was always a little scared of how pigmented it is, but these days I find it to be a perfect match for my brows!
I used my trusted MAC Paint Pot in Painterly as a primer all over the lid and then went a little crazy with my Urban Decay Naked 2 palette. Using a big fluffy brush I applied Suspect all over the lid, then buffed in Snakebite into the outer corners and the crease using a MAC 217. Using another, clean 217 I blended out the edges before lining the upper lash line with Blackout using a small angled brush. Finally, I dipped my ring finger in Bootycall and patted a small highlight into the inner corner and under the brow bone of each eye.
To top it off I applied one coat of the Bourjois Elastic Mascara - though looking back a second coat probably wouldn't have hurt.


When I finally got to the lips I realised that I'd probably used a touch too much eye shadow to call this a natural make-up look, so to take the edge off a little I used a nude, creamy lipgloss. I received the Artdeco Hydro Lip Booster in Translucent Rosewood in a beauty box and I really like it for the colour and its creamy, non-sticky formula.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Review: Moroccanoil Hydrating Shampoo

Remember when years ago Moroccanoil suddenly came onto the beauty scene and revolutionised hair care? Before that I would have never dreamed of using oil on my hair, but these days I cannot imagine living without it! Anyway, that's not what this review is about. It's about Moroccanoil's lesser known other products, in particular the hydrating shampoo.

There are some people who might argue that buying a high end shampoo is literally money down the drain, but I do beg to differ. A good shampoo can make a hell of a difference to the condition of your hair and also make any conditioners and/or treatments that you apply afterwards work a lot more effectively.
Unfortunately, it seems like I got my hopes up a little too high in this particular case.

It provided a rather mediocre lather at best and it also doesn't live up to its "hydrating" promises. As a matter of fact, I'd say that there are a lot of products that work way better at less than half the price. Sorry, Moroccanoil. Thanks for bringing us argan oil, but I think I'll pass on your shampoo.

Moroccanoil Hydrating Shampoo retails at £16.55 per bottle.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Book review: Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder

I thought I'd mix it up a little on here, as I was getting a little tired and bored of my typical Week in Instagram type posts. Instead, I thought it would be nice to have a non-beauty related, lifestyle post on here every Sunday. This can be anything relating to entertainment, recipes, DIYs, health and fitness related posts or anything else really that I think might be interesting. We're starting out this week with a review of a book that I read a while ago.

Title: Sophie's World

Author: Jostein Gaarder

Price: £8.99

Type: Fiction and Non-fiction

Pages: 427

I read a book by Jostein Gaarder when I was little called "The Christmas Mystery". It was like an advent calendar in book form in that you were meant to read a chapter each day and then on Christmas the big mystery was revealed. I have very fond memories of that book and those memories are essentially what drove me to pick up Sophie's World - a book about philosophy - even though I had no interest in philosophy whatsoever.

The book follows the story of 14-year old Norwegian girl Sophie, who one day starts receiving mysterious letters taking her on a course of philosophy, starting from its very early days in Ancient Greek history and going all the way up to the modern days.

The story itself is more of a sort of vehicle for the actual letters. There is an awful lot of information in each chapter and though I found it very fascinating and interesting, I found that it was best to read only one or two chapters a day, in order to really let everything I've just read sink in. It's certainly not a book you'd pick up to race through on one particularly stormy evening.

Eventually, the story becomes more interesting and absorbing and even though I found the characters to be rather flat and the style of dialogue a tad exhausting at times, I soon longed to know what happens next to Sophie and her ... erm, world. Upon finishing the book I was left with a sense of awe and curiosity regarding the world around me, which very few other books have ever done.

Upon reading some online reviews I noticed that the book has received quite a few negative reviews based upon the fact that several big names and were omitted, but I don't think it's fair to judge Sophie's World on that. It never claimed to be an encyclopaedia containing the whole history of philosophy. It's not like it's going to replace a university degree in philosophy, either.

As a whole, I feel that if you're really, really interested in philosophy you'll be disappointed by this book. It won't tell you anything you don't already know and you will probably see the plot twist coming from miles away. But if you're someone like me, who never really spared a thought for philosophy, but are after a leisurely read that might just teach you something you didn't know, then (just like me) you may end up enjoying this book a lot more than you originally thought you would.