Tuesday, 28 October 2014

October Glossybox | Review

Hello lovelies,

yet another beauty box landed on my door step last week and this time it was the Glossybox! 

Unfortunately for me, this month was more of a miss than a hit, but I guess they tried their best!

First of all, I received a mini tester of the Rimmel BB cream ( £6.99 / 30ml for the original size). The formula of this BB cream contains Kaolin, Witch Hazel and Salicylic acid for a flawless Matte look. So if your skin is on the oily side and you are not looking for a lot of coverage, then this is something that you should check out, especially because the price is very rather purse-friendly. Personally, I prefer medium-to-full coverage products, so unfortunately I will be giving this BB cream a miss.

The next product that caught my eye was the Ciate Paint Pot ( £9.00 / 13.5ml for the full size) in minty green shade. The packaging is super sweet and girly, but for me that's where my admiration for this product ends. As a beauty therapist myself, I can't remember the last time I used nail polish, as I tend to use Gelish by Nail Harmony (gel polish) which lasts almost 3 weeks chip-free. The colour I received is probably more summery than autumnal, but I'm sure it will make a lovely present for my 11-year old daughter (I will sneak it in her Christmas Stocking!).

To date I have received a few makeup items by So Susan with the latest one being Flutter Mascara ( £14.95 / 4ml Original size). The packaging states that this is an intense carbon-black mascara formulated with hyaluronic (what?!?) spheres to help you achieve the darkest, curviest lashes possible. I don't really have much to say about it yet, as I have not tried it as I already have a gazzilion of other mascaras that are already open. So I will be putting this one to one side in my "spare" stash.

Next I have the Etre Belle Liplift Peel ( £12.95 / 15ml (Original size). This moisturising lip exfoliator claims to define and replenish your lips. The gentle formula removes dead cells refining the skin's surface for perfectly soft lips.This was the product I was delighted to receive, as I am a big fan of dark lipsticks - especially at this time of the year - and I exfoliate my lips on a regular basis. It really is a gentle lip scrub. In fact, it's so gentle that I could hardly notice any visible result on my lips after using it. Truthfully, I'm totally hooked on the organic lip scrubs by Lush. Not only they do a much better job, taste amazing and cost a lot less, but if a tiny bit of it gets into your mouth, you don't feel like you are munching on chemicals. That's my personal opinion, of course.

Everyone who knows me will tell you right away how obsessed I am with perfumes, body mists, body butters and every other product that will make you smell delicious. Although I'm not a big fan of receiving perfume testers in my boxes, I was intrigued to see this tiny bottle in my Glossybox this month. The Yves Rocher Quelques D'Amour fragrance (£33 for 30ml) has left me a little disappointed.  In the heart of this perfume is Damascus rose, guaiac wood and patchouli. So if you are fan of flowery scents then this one is for you. I prefer more sweet, fruity and fresh fragrances (my current favourite is Black Opium by YSL, so you get the drift of my taste..). The lid on this bottle is also a little fiddly, so you have to be careful when opening it, otherwise you will get it everywhere. I did give this perfume a go and applied it as described - on my neck and wrists - but after a little while I couldn't smell it on me at all. So if longevity of the fragrance is important to you, then you may want to look elsewhere.

Nuxe Creme Fraiche de Beaute Mask (£19.50 / 50ml (Original size). "This is a 24hr moisturising mask which hydrates and soothes the skin, instantly reducing discomfort or redness. Skin is left looking radiant and relaxed".
Unfortunately I haven't yet tried this mask as I have a couple of other masks open and needing used, up so I will pop it in the fridge (suggested storage option!) until later.

Overall, the October Glossybox is an OK box: some hits and some misses, but I love the element of surprise in each box, so I will keep my subscription going for now.

What about you? Are you happy with your Glossybox this month? I can't wait until November, as some of the goodies to be included in every subscribers box look great!

Until next time,

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Sigma Brilliant and Spellbinding Eyeshadow Palette | Review and swatches

Sigma Brilliant and Spellbinding Eyeshadow Palette
Hey lovelies,

I was very much looking forward to reviewing this palette. It took me a few weeks to figure out my favourite shades and try out different looks. Now I can safely say I love this palette so much! The Brilliant  and Spellbinding Eyeshadow palette is my second eyeshadow palette by Sigma. As always, the eyeshadows are very pigmented, buttery and very easy to blend. They do have a little fallout, so you may want to consider using a good eyeshadow primer. My personal favourite is MAC Pro-longwear paintpots in Soft Ocre and Painterly.

Sigma Brilliant and Spellbinding Eyeshadow Palette

Sigma Brilliant and Spellbinding Eyeshadow Palette

Sigma Brilliant and Spellbinding Eyeshadow Palette
Sigma Brilliant and Spellbinding Eyeshadow Palette

Sigma Brilliant and Spellbinding Eyeshadow Palette
Sigma Brilliant and Spellbinding Eyeshadow Palette
I have 3 favourite eyeshadows in this palette that I just can't get enough of!

Firstly, it is Hiatus. This cool-toned fuchsia pink colour is not the obvious choice for most girls, but I love using it for a spotlight blending and just for adding a touch of brightness to any makeup look.

Secondly, I absolutely love the Sensational shade. It's quite an unusual warm matte shade which could be described as "mustardy", but if placed alongside some other shades like Bloom and Balmy, it creates a lovely finish for a subtle smokey-eye look.

Initially, it was the Bloom that I caught my eye. It's such a beautiful peachy-pink colour which is just lovely and super pretty!

Overall this palette is lacking a very dark brown or black shade, therefore it's not quite self-sufficient to create a full-blown smokey-eye. Highlighter shades Solstice and Healthy are lovely and pigmented too, but Spellbinding is not likely to be everyone's cup of tea. It's a cool yellow shade which is quite pale and therefore not bright enough to create much of a colour splash, but at the same time too yellow to be used as a highlighter under the brow. I love it though, especially when  I create a very soft brown smokes with bright inner corners.

This little palette is a nice addition to my Warm Neutrals palette by Sigma. The case is made of hard cardboard and is fairly slim making it perfectly compact for travelling.

What do you think about this palette? Do you love it or hate it?

Until next time,
Anna x

Friday, 24 October 2014

Body Shop Pomegranate Range

Hey lovelies,

today I want to review the Pomegranate range by the Body Shop which I have been using for a couple of months. 


I first heard about the range from one of the other beauty bloggers who wrote a very nice review and the effects the products deliver. In my previous skincare posts, I wrote that very soon I will be turning the big "3-0" and now more than ever I feel that I should be taking good care of my skin and minimise the appearance of the odd line on my forehead and around my eyes and lips. 

I don't have the complete range. Those products that I do have, however, are very relevant to my skin needs.

Pomegranate Softening Cream Cleanser (200ml £11) is really good at removing any left-over makeup and impurities found on the skin leaving you skin soft, refreshed and supple. I like the fragrance too which is not overpowering but rather pleasant and fresh. 

Pomegranate Facial Toner (200ml £11) is used after the cream cleanser and will remove all traces of toner on the skin as well as any other impurities that cleanser didn't pick up. It has slightly strong alcohol smell. At this stage my skin feels rather tight and dry. I'm more inclined to believe that it is due to the alcohol rather than anti-aging properties of this product.

When the skin is nice I clean, I follow up with Pomegranate Firming Serum (30ml £19). This daily pre-moisturiser hydrates the skin and makes the skin appear softer. Personally I find it very watery and not that easy to apply. It absorbs very quickly but I definitely feel that the skin needs more moisture after this step.

Applying my Pomegranate Firming Day (59ml £17) & Night Cream (50ml £19) is my final step depending on the time of the day. The Night cream is definitely richer than the day cream however I don't feel that is leaves my skin feeling greasy. It absorbs fairly quick and even  in the morning I find my skin feeling firmer and well moisturised. The day cream is slightly less rich but I find that although it absorbs fast, it kind of sits on my skin creating a very thin film. This literally makes applying foundation impossible as even after a few strokes with the brush the cream starts to "curdle" and peel off. I am definitely keeping this one for my makeup-free days. However, if you are blush and eyeliner kind of gal then I don't see this being a problem.

Overall it's a great range. I can't say that I exactly look 10 years younger, but my skin definitely feels well-hydrated and little firmer too.

Have you tried any of the products? Which one is your favourite?

Until net time,
Anna x

Thursday, 23 October 2014

October Birchbox

My October Borchbox
Hey lovelies, 

So last week was all about the beauty boxes for me and I must admit I'm loving this month's Birchbox!

I'm more than happy with every single product in my box which makes it a pleasure to review the box this month.

My absolute favourite is Pixi by Petra shea butter lip balm. The packaging is very cute, it smells and tastes delicious and has a lovely rosey tint to it. Needless to say, this little guy went straight into my handbag!

Shaveworks The Cool Fix shaving gel is another favourite of mine this month. It's supposed to combat the unwanted ingrowing hair and razor bumps as well as minimise the redness after hair removal. I love how it leaves my skin fresh and gives me that cooling sensation.

Cattier Pink Clay Face Mask contains aloe vera and therefore softens the skin and illuminates your complexion after only 10 minute long application to your face and neck.

KMS California FREE SHAPE Hot Flex Creme smells amazing. KMS is one of my favourite hair care brands so I was delighted to see this product in my October's box. It's fairly lightweight and aids hair styling using hot tools.

Another product in my box is Meaningful Beauty Anti-Aging Wrinkle Smoothing Capsules. I am very careful with these kind of products and, to be truthful, I'm not entirely sure if they even work. The packaging is very cute. Each capsule from Dr Sebaagh and Cindy Crawford is supposed to target fine lines for firmer, plumper, younger-looking skin. I don't think that the amount provided would make a considerable difference but at £39.95 for a full size pack, I don't think I will be re-purchasing.

Lifestyle Extra this month is Birchbox Lipstick Pen which went straight into my 11-year old's pencil case and she is happy to have a new funky pen.

Overall, this box is great, and I already look forward to my next one!

Until next time,
Anna x

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Yankee Candle Favourites

Hey lovelies,

now that we are well and truly into Autumn, it is safe to say that most of us are turning the heating on, getting out cosy socks and snuggling up on the long Autumn evenings with a nice cup of hot chocolate (or a glass of wine); not forgetting to light up a lovely candle to add to the atmosphere.

From my previous posts you have probably figured out that candles are something that I love burning in my house all year round. I absolutely adore Yankee Candles, and therefore own 'quite a few'! Today I wanted to tell you about my favourite Yankee Candles.

Yankee Candle Simply Home range | Cherry Vanilla
Yankee Candle Simply Home range | Cherry Vanilla
For years I was convinced that the Yankee Candles were very overpriced and were not worth the money, so I opted for various cheaper alternatives which smelled lovely in the jar, but hardly filled the room with any aroma. One day whilst shopping in Asda, I decided to bite the bullet and get one of the Yankee Candles from their Simply Home range. The fragrance was "Cherry Vanilla". I was immediately smitten by the fragrance, but when I started burning it at home, I kind of wished I went for the "Vanilla Frosting". I was too lazy going back to Asda, so decided to order one online. This is how my very first original Yankee Candle "Vanilla Cupcake" has entered my home. From that moment on, there was no going back to cheaper candles for me. The fragrance was so amazing, and very quickly filled the whole house with delicious vanilla fragrance. I guess you could call it my first Yankee Candle love!

Yankee Candle | Vanilla Cupcake
Yankee Candle | Vanilla Cupcake
I'm always drawn to either sweet or fruity aromas, so from then on I had a few hits and misses.

Yankee Candle | Summer Scoop
My second favourite has to be the Summer Scoop fragrance. The wax is pink so it looks very cute and smells like fruity/vanilla ice cream - and who doesn't like ice cream??? So I love love love it! I would say it is probably a more summery fragrance, but I still burn it from time to time, even during the cold autumn and winter months, as it reminds me of sunshine, beach holidays and ice cream on a hot day of course!

Yankee Candle | Honey & Spice
Yankee Candle | Honey & Spice
One of my recent purchases - which happened completely out of the blue - is their "Honey and Spice" candle. Before buying it online, I hadn't even sniffed it, but purchased it purely because the reviews sounded good. Usually I carefully research things before I buy them, so this was a sort of gamble. Needless to say, I loved it, hence it made my Yankee Favourite's list! I was worried that the honey in it may be very overpowering, but it's actually a lovely subtle sweet aroma with hint of spices - a perfect autumnal fragrance!

Yankee Candle | Mango Peach Salsa
Yankee Candle | Mango Peach Salsa
My next favourite is "Mango Peach Salsa", which has a sweet, fruity aroma - what's not to like? I guess, this candle is also slightly on the summery side, but even in winter we have sunny days, so why not?

Yankee Candle | Snowflake Cookie
Yankee Candle | Snowflake Cookie
The last candle that I love and can't get enough of is "Snowflake Cookie". Now that the word "Christmas" doesn't sound as ridiculous as it did only a few weeks back, I can well and truly enjoy this delicious candle. If you love Christmas cookies, Christmas atmosphere and very sweet dusty pink design, then definitely check this candle out. It doesn't have that plasticky "fake" smell. My guests actually ask if I have been baking when I burn this candle!

What's your favourite Yankee Candle? I'd love to check them out too!

Until next time,
Anna x

Friday, 10 October 2014

September Favourites

Hi beauties,

I can't believe that we are now well into Autumn. Days are definitely shorter than nights but I'm actually OK with that, because with darker evenings and cold weather I can cook nice comforting meals like homemade soups and stews! Oh, and not forgetting long hot baths with yummy smelling bathbombs! Anyway, back to our topic - September favourites!

In September I was really getting into my skincare and some of my favourites reflect that.

One of my recent purchases (full review is coming up soon!) is Vitamin E Overnight Serum-In-Oil by The Body Shop. To be honest I never quite understood the purpose of serums, but what sold it for me is that is is actually a serum in oil form with a fast drying non-greasy formula. I'm not a fan of very heavy night-creams, so this oil absorbs very fast and in the morning my skin feels lovely: soft, fresh and moisturised. Personally, I don't use it during the day, but if your skin is very dry, you may give this little guy a shot. The bottle has 28ml of product, and it comes with a handy pipette for easy dispersion.

Another favourite of mine (and in the past few months too!) which I keep re-purchasing is Garnier Micellar Water. It's amazing at removing even waterproof makeup without leaving your skin oily or tacky. This is an amazing dupe for Bioderma micellar water, so if you don't want to splash your cash then check this makeup remover out!

Red Cherry Lashes #48 has also made my favourites list this month as I've been wearing them the most. They give additional length, but still look fairly natural - perfect if you don't want a very heavy eye look. I've repurchased these lashes a LOT of times in the last few months and my makeup clients love them too.

Snowflake Cookie by Yankee Candle was also one of my big favourites in the month of September as it is such a yummy smell! It reminds me of Christmas cookies and Vanilla but the smell is not as overpowering as some other candles. It definitely makes me wish that the Christmas would come round sooner!

Another Anastasia Beverly Hills product yet again made My Favourite's list, and this time I'm absolutely in love with her #12 Eyebrow brush! It's an absolutely amazing, double-ended brush, and is all your need for perfect brows! One side features a spooley, and the other is a super precise angle brush. This tool is great for the Dipbrow pomade (also by Anastasia Beverly Hills) and other gel or cream products. I don't think this brush is particularly suitable to be used as an eyeliner brush as it is quite stiff and may be to harsh for the delicate eye area.

Until next time,
Anna x

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Tamanna Palette by Anastasia Beverly Hills | Swatches

Hey lovelies,

I've been so excited about all the collaborations that Anastasia Beverly Hills recently had with world-famous makeup artists. Personally I already own the Amrezy Palette and Maya Mia palette and love them both.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Tamanna Palette

Tamanna Palette is the perfect palette for Autumn and the holiday season, and can make a perfect palette for an everyday use too if you prefer more subtle looks. For those of you who don't know, this palette was created by ABH with LA-based makeup artist Tamanna Roashan, aka @dressyourface on Instagram (go give her a follow!).

Anastasia Beverly Hills Tamanna Palette

The palette combines both cool and warm shades, and therefore will work on most skin tones. There's a huge variety of looks that can be created using these eyeshadows, so whether you are a fan of smokey eye or a cut crease queen - this palette has it all.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Tamanna Palette

All eyeshadows are very pigmented and have hardly any fall-out. Shades themselves are very similar to those in the Maya-Mia palette, but at the same time they are ever-so-slightly different.

It has a nice mix of shimmer and matte eyeshadows. My personal favourites are Sangria, Bengal and China Rose. These are such a lovely shades! I'm very much into my warm tones now, and these are just perfect for adding that little something extra to your look.

With regard to the black eyeshadow (Noir), it's not the darkest black I have come across before. It is buildable, and would work better with an eyeshadow base, but I don't think it could even compare to Makeup Geek's "Corrupt" which is truly a blackest-black shadow.

Venezia is a lovely blue-turquoise shade which will brighten up any look.

Other shades are fairly standard for a day-to-day use. I like that the "Fresh" is a nice matte shade - perfect for highlighting underneath your brow area. It will be especially useful if the rest of the shades you used were shimmery.

Did you treat yourself to the Tamanna Palette? What are your favourite shades?

Until next time,
Anna x

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

September Birchbox Review


Hey lovelies,

finally I have received my September Birchbox. The reason it was a little late is because I took a break from this subscription box, and after about 9 months "away", I renewed my subscription. Truthfully, I was tempted back with 3 extra items and a Beauty Blender that every subscriber was due to receive. So far I got only the box itself but fingers crossed the rest of the goodies will follow shortly!

So here's the first impressions.

I'm a massive foodie, so the first thing I spotted was actually a Pineapple snack bag by Urban Fruit, which was demolished very quickly! And let me tell you it was YUMMY! Although quite pricey, this healthy snack will make a great addition to you packed lunch or a quick bite in between meals. A pack of 6 retails at £13.50

Premae Mild Pro Dermabrasion is a lovely face and body scrub that contains olive granules. According to the leaflet, it would be very useful to those suffering from blemishes, congested pores and dull looking skin. I am likely to keep it in my "travel" stash, as the 20ml sample will be enough for a couple of uses, so why not use it when you are away from home? The full size (100ml) retails for around £25, so our 20ml pot is worth around £5.

The next hing I received was the ModelCo's lipgloss which has a long-wearing, highly pigmented formula delivering a luxe, glossy pout. Although the gloss is advertised as non-sticky, I can't 100% agree on this. It's a litttle on the sticky side, but not as sticky as, for example, MAC's pro-longwear glosses. Same goes for the pigmentation: it's not sheer and gives you a lovely touch of colour, but certainly no opaque coverage. Viva is a great everyday colour, and a 3ml sample size will come handy for your purse.

The Jane Iredale PureLash Extender and Conditioner is a lovely addition to my collection of lash primers. Some of them work better than others, but the good thing about this little guy is that it also conditions your lashes, whilst at the same time making your mascara easier to apply. The formula is nice and creamy too, I really look forward to using it. However, I am a little concerned about how it will affect how well my mascara will stay on, and whether by the end of the day I will end up with panda eyes!

Agave Healing Oil Treatment is a lightweight oil that could help hair build resiliency, as it boosts vibrancy, shine and colour. It’s also free of the stuff that’s not so good for your locks. I'm glad to receive it, as at the moment I'm going through an obsessive hair care stage and very soon I will be writing a post on hair oil treatments.

Birchbox Happy Days Photo Clip has already come in handy, as I've already used it in the photo above to hold an empty packet of the yummy Urban Fruit snack that I also received in this Birchbox.

Benefit It's Potent Eye Cream is my favourite thing this month! The packaging is cute and the cream is definitely a nice little addition to my travel skincare collection.

Overall, I enjoyed this box, and here's to the next one!

What's your favourite product in September's Birchbox?

Until next time,
Anna x