Beauty- my first ever Glossybox

I think pretty much every blogger out there has heard of Glossybox. It was the first subscription box I was ever aware of and tempted by, yet for some reason I had never got around to it.
It would appear that August 2017 was a great month to finally get acquainted with Glossybox as I was pretty impressed with every product inside it. The box itself was pretty special too- a gorgeous pale blue and emblazoned with “girls just wanna have sun” (so very true, I’m so tired of grey skies and rain) which just added to the experience.
As with any kind of subscription box I think it’s pot luck each month as to the actual value of the products included. I haven’t done the maths on this one but I’m pretty certain it exceeds the price paid for the box- and to be honest, the box could be packed through of high value products that were frankly rubbish, just as much as it could contain cheaper items that make a big impact. Although this box was sent to me free of charge I can hand on heart say I would have happily paid for this one.
I was very excited to see Essence products included in the box having already given their my must haves palette a rave review. I love the pretty packaging on this one and the shades included just so happen to be right up my street- for me this was the star product of the August Glossybox and it’s been in near constant use since.
Other highlights included the suede lips pencils from Rodial- again the shade is right up my street and this gives an amazing, soft looking matte lip that lasts.
I’m also a big fan of the safari sun bronzer from model launcher cosmetics. Obviously bronzer is a pretty essential summer product for many and this one is up there with the best I’ve tried in terms of being a good suits everyone shade, and it has a great texture.

I’m yet to try the hair care products- I’m intrigued by the 2in1 shampoo and conditioner from Batiste, it’s designed to shampoo the roots and condition the lengths which sounds perfect for my thick and often unruly hair. I’ll be packing this for my holiday next month as a week in a caravan in the Highlands means dry shampoo is going to be 100% necessary.

Probably the most intriguing product in the box is the ice hair mask from Total Repair- this apparently has a cooling effect which powers up the macadamia oil it contains making even more efficient at hydrating the hair. My hair is in dire need of a cut and colour, it’s long overdue which also means the ends are somewhat fried right now…I’ll be giving this a try next time I was it and will report back if anyone is interested…

Anyone here a Glossybox subscriber? After the success of my first ever box I am sorely tempted to sign up and make it a more regular thing but I do worry that it won’t consistently live up to the hype, I’d love to hear other people’s experiences in the comments.

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Glossybox sent me this box for blog consideration, I was under no obligation to post and all opinions are my own.

Beauty: Slay the Eyeshadow and Eyeliner Game with These 4 Tips*

Making your eyes pop is probably one of the most challenging parts of putting on makeup. This step requires an eye for detail, a steady hand and mastery of different brushes and liners. Of course, slaying the eyeliner and eyeshadow game also entails a bit of research. Fortunately a lot of makeup enthusiasts and artists have made a plethora of information available through social media. But if you want to join the ranks of the pros you have to go beyond just watching. You will also need to put these 4 tips into practice:

(Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash)

1. Choose a Brand That Fits You
Although high-end makeup brands do claim to be the best in the industry you don’t always have to purchase expensive products to look good. Brands like ABBAMART offer a variety of long-lasting eyeshadow and eyeliner items that won’t put a dent in your budget. Don’t be afraid to explore eye makeup brands that are easy to apply and feel free to try out different types of eyeshadow and eyeliners to see which looks great on your skin type. Eyeliners for example come in different forms like pencil, pen, liquid, felt-tip and gel or cream. The application method for each kind of eyeliner slightly differs so choose one that feels comfortable in your hand and fits the manner of your strokes.

2. Remember the Do’s and Don’ts
Beauty gurus didn’t just arrive at their killer eyeshadow and eyeliner game; they honed it. In addition to interest and talent people get better at something because they experiment, set guidelines and find methods that work incredibly well for them. It takes tons of practice to apply eye makeup perfectly and that includes making a lot of mistakes too. If you’re new to the eye makeup scene here are some standard practices that work well for most people, followed by a list of practices that don’t:

The Do’s
Always apply primer first. Primer conceals the unevenness and blemishes of your eyelids. It also holds the makeup together, giving you a clean, flawless makeup job.

Adding a transition shade makes it easier to blend the colors. When using transition shades go from light to dark.
Be slow and gentle when blending the colors.

When connecting the shades to the crease bring it upwards to lift your eyes.

If you have monolids use gel or cream eyeliners and draw an arched line above your lash line. The line has to be thicker than you think so when you open your eyes you’ll get perfect-sized eyeliner.

Remember to smudge-proof your eyeliner to make it last the entire day.

The Don’ts
Don’t use dark shades for transition colors. They’re difficult to remove and blend.

Don’t use hard brushes as they don’t blend well.

Never bring the dark shade up to the space between your eye and your nose.

Don’t be heavy on the eyeliner, particularly at the bottom lid of your eyes. Putting too much eyeliner on that area can make your eyes look smaller.

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Use Hacks
Surprisingly, makeup hacks are welcomed in the beauty world. Hacks are often used by beginner and expert makeup artists alike because they allow fast and easy makeup applications without the hassles of doing things the ‘traditional’ way. Some of these hacks include:

Using the edges and curves of a spoon and the edge of a business card to master the cat-eye flick

Using a pencil liner as a guide for tricky liquid eyeliner applications

Applying white eyeliner first to create a less pigmented eyeshadow

Freezing crumbling eyeliner for 10 minutes before applying it on your eyes

4. Practice, Practice, Practice
Finally, if you want to slay your eyeshadow and eyeliner game you have to keep practicing. Becoming a queen doesn’t happen overnight. You’ll probably spend several hours looking at yourself in the mirror with bad eye makeup on before you see signs of progress. With lots of practice and determination however you’ll earn your crown and start seeing your face as a canvas for works of art. Who knows? Maybe the next time you post your look on Snapchat or Instagram it’ll be your turn to serve as an inspiration and a guru to other makeup lovers.

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Your summer beauty regime, sorted!*

Whether you’re jetting off on holiday or prepping for a summer wedding perfecting your skin will be high on your list of priorities. After all, there’s no place for tired, dull skin — or worse still, spots in the wedding photos or holiday snaps!
To help, Dermalogica retailer Pure Beauty has shared these tips for perfecting your summer skincare routine.

(Photo by Isabell Winter on Unsplash)

Silky smooth skin
Getting your legs ready for summer is important. To ensure your pins are perfectly polished exfoliate before you shave or get waxed. Use an exfoliating scrub across your legs, moving in circular motions. This helps to open pores and remove dead skin minimising the chances of in-growing hairs.

Swap your moisturiser

In the winter, it’s all about thick nourishing creams that protect your skin from low temperatures. However, in the summer a lighter moisturiser is much more suitable. This doesn’t mean that your skin will be any less hydrated —it just makes absorption easier.
It’s worth choosing a moisturiser with an SPF factor to protect your skin as you go about your day-to-day activities.

Sip a shiraz
Even with precautions in place sunburn can happen to the best of us (says the girl who burns through factor 50!). It sounds too good to be true but drinking red wine can help to reduce redness in acute sunburn. It’s all to do with resveratol, a naturally occurring phenol found in red grapes that are known to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Of course, take it easy with this tip — always drink responsibly!

Take cold showers
The thought of taking a cold shower may send shivers down your spine but they can be really beneficial after a day in the sun. Hot showers can further damage and dry your skin after a long hot day, so soothe your skin with a cold shower.
They’re especially important if you have been sweating a lot as they unclog pores and decrease the risk of those dreaded acne breakouts!

Don’t forget your pout
While the cold leaves your lips dry and chapped in the winter the summer sun can also can dry out our lips leaving them sore. Thankfully lip sun protection products are available with a built in SPF factor — look for SPF 15 as a minimum although a higher factor will offer greater levels of protection.

Do you have any top Summer beauty tips to add? Leave them in the comments below.

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Festival Fun with Essence

Festivals are a real excuse to go wild with your makeup- not that I’ve been to any festivals in the last few years but that doesn’t mean I can’t embrace the spirit a bit and brighten up my look for the Summer. Especially not when you have a brand like Essence who not only excel at bright and bold products but also are so reasonably priced you won’t mind if you end up losing them in the inevitable mud bath of a camp site.
I was recently sent a selection of new and cult Essence products and I’ve popped together a little guide to some of my favourite festival essentials.
There were a few products in this selection I was especially excited for- that highlighter? I had such high hopes…and prismatic lipgloss is exactly what I’ve been craving in my lip product arsenal.
Coloured eyeliners are such an easy way to add a pop of colour to your look and Essence’s kajal range costs just £1 each. I’m loving the shade “beach bum” at the moment, it’s great for jazzing up my usually subtle every day makeup and for such a cheap product it applies, and lasts so well.

Waterproof mascara isn’t a product I’ve ever really rated but even I’ll concede it’s been incredibly useful lately with this crazy humid weather we’ve been experiencing here in the UK. I’m already a fan of Essence’s “all eyes on me mascara” so the waterproof version was never going to let me down. You really can’t beat a multi-effect mascara at just £2.

Essence nail products are one of the highlights of the entire brand in my opinion. I was particularly excited by the “out of space stories” polish with it’s amazing iridescent effect. The range also includes holographic and metallic polishes and I can’t wait to try them all.

Other highlights include these cut out manicure stencils. I’m hopeless at nail art so to have such a fool proof way to achieve it is great. This is a 51 piece set, amazing for £1 and the design potential is endless. Major motivation to a) grow my nails and b) actually paint them more often right there!

I have a real weak spot for prismatic effect makeup at the moment so both the lip gloss and highlighter were the products I was most desperate to try. The lipgloss in the shade “smile, sparkle, shine” is a gorgeous wet look baby pink with just enough prismatic effect to add a little something extra but still be wearable enough for every day.

The highlighter looks a bit daunting in it’s packaging with it’s bright and bold packaging, but applied with a light hand the shades blend together seamlessly to provide a gorgeous, prismatic glow. I’m really impressed with this, especially as it only costs £3.50- the quality and finish it provides would have you believe it’s from a much more high-end brand.

So there we have it. As ever Essence have bowled me over with their clever combination of high fashion makeup and crazy low prices.
This is a brand that really excites me, I’m always looking forward to seeing what they come out with next.

Available in selected Wilko stores and from Wilko.com . Products sent to me for blog consideration but opinions are my own. Let me know if you decide to give any of these a go or if you’ve discovered any gems lately.

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The Ultimate Summer Glow with Rimmel London

I’m not usually a bronzer kind of girl- for 11 months of the year at least. And then we get that rare window of time, as we creep in to July and everyone around me looks golden and gorgeous and I still give skimmed milk a run for it’s money in the translucent stakes.

It’s then I frantically start my search for the perfect army of glow givers- the products that will make it look like my skin has actually seen sunlight and reacted to it rather than stubbornly refuse to acknowledge those rays. I’m yet to find my “go-to” products so I was pretty excited when a selection from Rimmel popped through my door, just in time for that yearly mission.

*products c/o Rimmel*

My main bugbear with bronzer type products is that they are almost always too dark for my skin, and near impossible to blend so I approached this selection with some caution…there’s a fine line between a bit of colour on your cheeks and just looking, well, a bit grubby.
The Insta Duo Contour Stick is a great addition to your holiday makeup bag as it contains a highlighter and contour shade in one handy stick. I don’t get on with contouring as a rule so probably wouldn’t have purchased this product myself, but the highlighter shade (in light) is wonderful especially blended in to where the sun would naturally hit.
I already own one of these Kate Moss Sculpting Palette (in coral) and love it so I was keen to try the Golden Bronze version. Again I skipped over the darkest shade, but the highlighter and blushers are wonderful and blend nicely to give a great Summer hint of colour. This is another product that would be perfect to take on holiday due to it’s three in one nature and at £6.99 for what is effectively three products it’s a bit of a bargain.
My first thought on this Radiance Shimmer Brick was that it would be far too dark for me, but applied with a light hand and some careful blending it’s actually really not. This is probably my favourite bronzing product I have tried to date and it gives some serious radiance with it’s multiple tones. I’ll be using this all through the Summer months- and probably stocking up whilst the Rimmel range is on offer in Superdrug.
I didn’t actually try the Sunshimmer Instant Tan as I was sent the medium matte shade which I just knew would be far too dark. I really like the idea of an instant matte tan though, and at £6.99 I might pick up the light version to see what’s what. I’ve only ever fake tanned a handful of times in my life as, well, frankly I’m too impatient…but with instant results and a shower off formula I don’t see a reason not to give this a go if I get any special invites over the Summer months.
What are your go to bronzing products? I’m especially interested in hearing from fellow pale people.

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Post contains press samples and affiliate links. All opinions are my own.