Build your own Birchbox at Selfridges



Last weekend I was in London for a couple of days as we had tickets to see Pete Tong at the O2 (which was amazing!) and whilst in town we spent a couple of hours shopping. First stop was on of my favourite department stores – Selfridges and whilst exploring the beauty department, I came across the ‘Build your own Birchbox’ stand. Well, I couldn’t resist…!

After choosing a birchbox box colour – light blue or metallic along with letter stickers to be able to personalise your box with your name, you are then able to walk around the stand picking up samples from each category. For a £15, you are able to pick 2x makeup samples and one sample of haircare, bodycare and skincare plus a beauty bonus. 

For my samples, I picked up; Laura Mercier Foundation Primer, Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray, Nuxe Multi-Purpose Dry Oil, Yes To Charcoal Paper Mask and Mirenesse Secret Weapon iCurl 24Hr Mascara. And for my beauty bonus, I picked up a #Nofilter Birchbox mirror – perfect for keeping in your handbag. I was really excited to find samples of Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray and the Yes To face mask as I’ve heard a lot of good things about these products. 

Birchbox are offering this service at Selfridge will 28th December. So if you find yourselves in Selfridge whilst out doing your Christmas shopping, why not treat yourself to your own Birchbox? It’s a great introduction into the world of Birchbox if you haven’t subscribed to their service yet. 

Have you built your own Birchbox yet at Selfridges? What samples did you select?

An Unexpected Revlon Haul

On Friday I popped into Boots as I wanted a new lip-shade and matching nail polish for a wedding I was attending at the weekend. I headed over to the Revlon counter as I’ve previously loved their Ultra HD Matte Lipstick range, and I wanted to see what they had to offer in red. I ended up picking up the Ultra HD Matte Lipstick in Passion and picked up Revlon nail polish in Valentine to match. As I paid for them, the lovely lady at the till explained that because I’d spent £15 – I got a free gift!  Not expecting much (as these promotions tend to be full of sample sized products which I would never use), I was surprised to be handed a small box with 4x full-sized Revlon products inside…

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Included in the box was; a Dramatic Definition Mascara, Photoready Insta-Fix Highlighting Stick, Super Lustrous Lipstick in Sassy Mauve and a Nail Polish in Vixen along with money off voucher for a foundation or primer – all worth £34. The think the idea of the promotion, in association with Michelle Keegan, was to have your full make-up look covered for the season.

I think you will have to agree that Revlon are offering quite a fabulous free gift. It’s a great chance to be able to test out some Revlon products which you might of not even considered before. I’ve actualy been wanting to try their mascara for a while, so it was a nice surprise to receive a full size-bottle. Plus the nail and lip shades are really nice classic shades which I think will suit nearly everyone. 

So, what was just treating myself to a new lipstick and nail polish, turned into a mini Revlon haul with 6 products! Thought it was worth posting, because if you were planning on making a Revlon purchase it might be worth heading to Boots to lay your hands of some beauty freebies!

 
Are you a fan of Revlon? Have you tried any of these products before?

My First Birchbox – Nov Tatler Edition

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Birchbox have been around for a couple of years now but I’d never given the subscription a go myself. If you have never heard of Birchbox before, it’s a monthly beauty box subscription which comes with 5 beauty samples for you to try for £10 per month (plus £2.96 P&P).

I was a Glossybox subscribers when they were first released but when I moved house, I ended up cancelling my subscription rather than carrying it over to my new address. Not because I didn’t like the concept (I loved it!), I just needed to save the extra money for rent! It’s taken me a while to try another similar subscription but when I saw how pretty the Tatler Edition box was, I decided it was time to sign up again.

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November’s Birchbox is in collaboration with Tatler magazine and comes in this beautiful peacock design. In my box I received; Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar Primer, Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle Leave-in Conditioner, Marcelle BB Cream Golden Gold Illumintor, Nuxe Creme Prodigieuse Anti-Fatigur Moisturising Cream and a Brow Shaping Set from Ecotools. For signing-up to Birchbox this month, I also got a free sample of the bbrowbar Drama Mascara. I really excited to start using these samples as these are actually type of products I will use.

I have already used the Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle Leave-in Conditioner and I love it! It you a previous reader of mine (A Little Bit of Lippy) you know I used to post Sample Sunday reviews – these might need to back a come back as I continue my subscription with Birchbox!

Are you a subscriber to Birchbox – What are your thoughts? Have you discovered any new beauty favourites? Would love to hear your thoughts!

Bath Fizzer by The Body Shop

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Recently when I popped into The Body Shop, these sweet-like bath treats caught me eye. The Body Shop have now released their own take on the bath-bomb craze – Bath Fizzers. I believe these are fairly new as I haven’t seen these before, but for one £1 each, I picked all four scents to try.

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First of of all, I love the packaging theme. In a sweet-style, these fizzers come individually wrapped in bright colours and you pop them in a little stripy paper-bag like you’re having a pick-and-mix. Currently there are four scents to chose from; Frosted Flower, Candied Plum, Berry Bliss and Vanilla Delight and they all smell really lovely. When you open up your little sweet paper bag, the smell strangely reminds me of Pez Sweets (anyone else remember these!). I wouldn’t recommend eating them though!

The first one I’ve tried was the Vanilla Delight. After running a nice, warm bubble bath, I dropped the fizzy cube in the tub. These are obviously not going change your bath water a magical colours like a Lush bath bomb, but they do however have a slightly fizz in the water as they dissolve plus they make your bath smell amazing! Controversially, I’m not always in the mood for a Lush bath bomb. The aftermath is sometimes a little messy – leaving your bath stained with bright colours or glitter which you have the scrub clean and not really able to wash your hair (well I tend to avoid it) due to the oils they put in them. I really like the no fuss of these Bath Fizzers, they make a perfect additional to a warm bath. 

Have you tried The Body Shop Bath Fizzers?

This Works Sleeping Partners Duo

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It’s becoming a quite regular occurrence to browse Homesense during my lunch break, as my office is situated 2 minutes from the Brighton store. Apart from becoming an expensive habit, I actually discovered a few bargains recently in their beauty department. My most recent find is This Works Sleeping Partners Duo containing the Deep Sleep Pillow Spray and Deep Sleep Night Oil. This set was already a bargain at £30 (rrp) when the products inside was worth £41, however Homesense were selling this set at £20(!!) so I just had to pick it up!

I’ve heard a lot of good things about This Works products, but the one product that kept catching my eye was the Deep Sleep range so I was thrilled to find this set and try it out. Anyone who knows me personally, knows I love my sleep generally falling asleep on the sofa most nights but my trouble is staying asleep. I’m that kinda of person, who will wake up in the middle of night stressing about all the things I need to do at work or for the wedding, or thinking about the most randomest things. The thought of having something that will calm me at night, sounds like the perfect remedy.

What actually is it? Both these this works products contain provencal lavender, vetiver and wild chamomile scents to help soothe and calm the mind before having a peaceful, deep sleep. The Deep Sleep Pillow Spray can be used to spray around the room or on your pillow to help you relax before going to sleep. The Deep Sleep Night Oil nourishing body oil which absorbs into the skin with the same calming scents to help you feel relaxed.

Does it work? I actually think it does. I love the scent of lavender as it instantly reminds me of being in my nan’s garden – she was was florist and a very keen gardener. Plus her favourite colour was mauve,  so her garden was always full of lavender – so I’m a little bias when it comes to thinking lavender is quite a relaxing scent. I first of all tried the spray before I went to sleep. The scent was quite strong, so there is no need to over spray with this product but it was quite nice to be able to smell it throughout the night in case if I did wake up. The fiancé however, is not a fan of lavender so actually hates me using it as a room spray before going to sleep, so I tend to just use one spray on my pillow (on the side furthest away from him…) but it still does the job. I’ve only used the oil twice, both times when I’ve had a pamper evening. After having a relaxing bath, I would use the oil mainly over my pulse points (where you would usually wear perfume) and I found myself so relaxed that when I tucked myself in bed to read a book, I was actually asleep within 15 minutes.

So apart from the fiancé not loving the smell so I’m needing to use sparingly, I really love both of these products. If you’re looking to add something into your night-time/pamper-routine, I would definitely recommending trying these.

Have you tried any of the This Works Deep Sleep products yet? What did you think?

Beauty Miniatures- My Handbag Essentials

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Doesn’t everyone love a beauty miniature? Yes, they are very cute and perfect for travelling but for me, a beauty mini isn’t just for your holiday, they’re for my handbag too!

I’ll admit, I like to carry a large handbag but that’s only because I like to be prepared. Whist working in London (although I’ve recently move jobs – more on that another day!), I was out of the house for 13+ hours and there might be occasions when I would go out after work for the evening too. You usually don’t have the luxury of heading home to freshen up, so these minis come in really handy.

OK, so it’s not that sexy talking about needing to spray deodorant during the day – maybe it’s been a hot day, or you’ve just sprinted across town for a meeting, but it’s definitely not sexy smelling funky throughout the day! I keep this mini can of Nivea anti-perspirant in my handbag at all times and it’s been a real life saver when I’ve been a little hot or want to freshen up before an unexpected night out. And those unexpectant nights out generally always come up when I should of really washed my hair the night before – enter in the mini can of Batiste! I would rather cancel going out after work, than go out with greasy roots, so a couple of sprays of dry shampoo has also saved me of few times recently.

I also quite like travelling with makeup wipes too. They come in handy when tidying up makeup mistakes when you freshening up your makeup but I actually also like these when I’ve got a long commute home. After a long day at work, the best feeling in the world it taking off my makeup at the end of the day but when there is another 2hr on a train to get home, I’ve been known to take my makeup whilst I’m on the train. Admittedly, I would only do it when I’m having a good skin day, but I love having a couple of extra hours break from wearing my full face of makeup. Then all I have to do when I get home is do a full cleanse.

See, beauty minis are great for everyday use! And it’s worth remembering that most high-street beauty stores (Boots or Superdrug) will generally offer mini on a 3 for 2 deal.

What beauty minis do you love? Do you keep them in your handbag too?

My Perfume Collection

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I’ll admit I’ve never been a big collector of perfumes, this is generally a collection I’ve built from gifts at Christmas and Birthdays. I tend not to buy perfume myself, because the ones I usually like are too expensive – I just can’t bring myself to spend £50 – £75 on myself just for perfume. I have however started to really enjoy more of the high-street perfumes (generally falling in the £10 to £20 range).

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Two of my favourite high-street perfumes are Body Shop’s Italian Summer Fig and Rosie For Autograph. These are great for wearing every day and not needing to worry about using up an expensive perfume for everyday use. The Body Shop make really nice perfumes and this Italian Summer Fig perfume is a gorgeous summer scent. The scent notes being, of course Fig but it also has notes of oak and amber which makes this perfume wearable but not too sweet. Rosie For Autograph perfume is one I’ve already talked about (see it here) so I won’t go into too much detail but this is a really nice everyday perfume to wear to work. The scent is floral and sweet with notes of vanilla but its toned down with the scent of sandalwood and musk – I really like this one!

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I do of course love a high-end perfume like every girl does. My current top favourites are; Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb, Stella McCartney Original and Daisy By Marc Jacobs. Daisy by Marc Jacobs is more of a summer scent to me with scent notes such; Violet, Strawberry, Jasmine and White Wood so it makes it fresh and sweet. Stella McCartney, however is more of a warmer, floral scent with notes such as Amber, Mandarin Orange, Rose and Peony. This is actually an old bottle of Stella McCartney from her print collection range but I’ve still got a couple of uses left and saving them for a special occasion. It is one of my all-time favourite perfumes and one I’ll definitely being asking Santa for this year ;). Viktor & Rolf’s Flowerbomb is a close second favourite! A couple of years ago, this was ‘my scent’ as everyone used to recognise the scent and know I was nearby.   It’s quite a strong perfume with notes of Bergamot, Jasmine, Orange Flower but I love it. I will always have a bottle of this in my collection!

What is your favourite perfume? Do you have any recommendations?

Top 5 Beauty Tools

IMG_0077(Starting with the orange sponge, going anti-clockwise:  Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge, Cotton Buds, MAC Eyelash Curlers, MAC 217 and Real Technique Contour brush)

Generally, you can’t use makeup without the beauty tools, so today I thought I would share with you my top 5 beauty tools –

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge – I’ve recently spoken about the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge, so I won’t go into too much detail on how these sponges work but check out my ‘Battle of the Beauty Blenders’ to find out more.  I’ve only been using beauty blenders for the past couple of years, and I now struggle to live without them – my favourite being the Real Technique’s sponge. They are great for either applying foundation or just bouncing over the skin to give you a more flawless look. I just find my foundation doesn’t quite sit right without using one.

Cotton Buds – The most simple/cheapest tool in my makeup bag but I wouldn’t be without cotton buds! They come in useful for soooo many things; cleaning up mascara or eyeliner mistakes, soaked in nail polish remover can help neaten the edges of your manicure and even holding as a straight line to draw on your winged eyeliner or contour. The possibilities are endless…!

MAC Eyelash Curlers  – My lashes are so straight and stubborn, so I cannot live without my eyelash curlers. I’ve tried and tested a lot of different curlers in my time and my two favourite brands for eyelash curlers are MAC and Shu Uemura.  Shu Uemura Eyelash Curlers are amazing but often a little harder to find, which is why I generally opt for the MAC eyelash curlers plus these are a little cheaper at £16 (Shu Uemura rrp. £20). I’ve had these for a couple of year now and they’re stilling going strong!

MAC 217 – Any eyeshadow look is incomplete without using a fluffy brush like the MAC 217 to blend out the edges.  Even if you’re a newbie to wearing eyeshadow, your look is instantly better as soon as you blend the edges of your eyeshadow as it makes the shadow look less harsh on the eye. Perfect for also blending different colours together as well on your lid. Its definitely a brush I couldn’t live without!

Real Technique Contour Brush – This brush comes in the Real Techniques Core Collection set, and to be fair all the brushes in this collection are great so I would recommend buying the set. The contour brush however, is a brush I’ve not ever come across from other makeup brush brands. The head of the brush perfect size for tracing out your contour lines but the right amount of density/fluffy ratio to blend the lines out evenly whether your using powder or cream contour products.  A lot of brushes I’ve tried for contouring are either to fluffy and don’t blend cream products very well lot or they have been far too big that end up using the brush more for bronzer. This brush is the perfect companion with the Kevyn Aucoin sculpting powder (or any contour products!)

Have you used any of these beauty tools before? What are your favourite beauty tools?

The Sleek Face Form Contouring & Blush Palette

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If you saw my Boots Haul (link here) a couple of weeks ago, you will know that I picked up the Sleek Face Form Contouring & Blush Palette along with the Sleek Cream Contour Kit (review coming soon!). I picked it up because I thought it was a nice little palette for everything you need for your cheeks – blush, bronzer/contour and highlight!

First of all, I really like the packaging. It’s a really nice sized palette which is compact enough to keep in your makeup bag whilst the pans for all three products are big enough to dab a makeup brush in. Another big bonus as well, is that is comes with a full sized mirror in the lid of the palette.

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As for the products inside, the bronzer is matte, so it’s perfect to use as a contour or as a bronzer. The shade is ok too as it’s not too dark or muddying looking. The highlight and blush however is quite shimmery. To begin with the highlight, I like a good highlight to add definition to your cheek bones but I would prefer more of glow rather than a streak of glitter on the tops of my cheeks. It’s too bad however if you use this highlight with a high hand. The blush again is quite shimmery so another one to use with a light hand but it is a lovely coral shade, so perfect for these summer months.

Overall, I’m impressed with the Sleek Face Form Contouring & Blush Palette. Although can be quite shimmery, it a good little companion to have in your makeup bag if you’re going on holiday because it will save packing three separate products. At only £10 , it’s a bargain too!

Have you tried the Sleek Face Form Contouring & Blush Palette yet?  What are your favourite cheek palettes?

Powder – A website for beauty junkies!

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So last week I came across an amazing websites which I wanted to share with you all – www.thisispowder.co.uk. Powder is beauty recommendations website, brought to you by amazing brands such as Marie Claire, InStyle, Wallpaper and Look. It’s a website that allows you to answer questions about your beauty regime and needs, then it matches you with best beauty products for your skin type, hair type, colouring etc.

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Once you join Powder, you can head over to your beauty drawer and there you will find every beauty product imaginable, whether it be; foundation, lipstick, cleanser, shampoo, facial oil – you name it, it’s probably on there. As you click on each beauty product, you will be asked a series of questions from your skin type, skin colour, problem areas, personal style, etc and then it will generate a list of recommendations based on your answers – clever right?! And the best bit I think, is that you can set a budget of how much you want to spend on said product. Generally they will offer 5x spend brackets depending on the type of product – under £10, £10 to £20, up to a large bracket of £80+ (for example). There are so many times where I don’t want to spend £30+ on a new cleanser, but I still want a cleanser which will help my problem areas – Powder can give their best recommendation whilst keeping in your budget – how great is that?!

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From there you can then store all of your personal tailored recommendations in one place and you have a shopping list ready for when you want to try something new. It means you now don’t have to spend hours going through tons of beauty blogs, reading magazines, trawling the beauty aisle and also wasting money (hopefully!) to find a product that you can afford and that will do the job you are looking for it to do. The website will also update your personal feed, based on your tailored recommendations, to keep you up to date on all the latest beauty launches, trends and tips.

Powder have also extended their service from the website and now offer a physical beauty drawer. Similar to a beauty box, it’s a box full of the latest and highly recommended beauty products. It comes with 12 beauty products, 6 of which are full sized, worth £120+ and all yours for £35. I’m a little tempted…!

So next time you’re on lunch break and flicking through the Daily Mail celeb gossip (admit it, we all do it!), why not start building your personalised, beauty recommendation list on www.thisispowder.co.uk

Sign-up (it’s free!) and let me know what you think!