All things beauty, inside and out. Written by Mrs Byrom

Why A Glossybox Subscription is a Good Idea



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Every month for the past 18 months I've been getting a lovely little box of goodies from Glossybox.  At first I wasn't sure how it was going to go, you know, you read reviews and some people love them and others don't.  For me, Glossybox has worked out really well because I'm trying products and brands I probably wouldn't have bought before and what's more I'm actually using them rather than them sitting in a drawer doing nothing.  The box usually contains more full size products than not and on the odd occasion where something arrives that doesn't suit my colouring, like a very deep coloured blusher I've been able to give it away to friends or family I think would like it and would be able to use it.  You can also subscribe as a gift, so if you've got a family member or a friend who loves make up just as much as you do this could be a good gift (see what I did there, Christmas present idea!)

Today I thought I'd share with you some of my recent Glossybox favourites from the past few months.  I haven't done a review on a Glossybox 'box' for ages so I thought I'd mix them all together and pull out a few of the products I've been really impressed with.

Manna Kadar Lash Primer

So here we have the Manna Kadar Lash Primer which came in the August box.  Manna Kadar are a US cosmetics company that I'd never heard of before but after a bit of Google research found out that the company had been in production since January 2012 and is going strong, in fact Kim Kardashian champions their Sheer Glo Shimmer Lotion, can't say fairer than that!  This lash primer is an odourless white cream, it surprised me as I assumed it would sink in but it doesn't, it colours your lashes white which looks a bit odd!  I use it as an eyelash primer prior to applying my mascara.  The cream dries on and separates and smoothes the eyelashes and helps make the lashes look longer, it also stopped my mascara from flaking during the day.  I'm really into priming everything at the moment so this was great for me.  If you want to find out more about Manna Kadar you can go to the website www.mannakadarcosmetics.com





So Susan Haute Light Highlighting Pencil

One from the October box, the girls at Glossy are big fans of So Susan so I've accumulated quite a few of their products over the last 18 months.  As a packaging person I usually drool over the packaging, never mind the product, this cute pencil crayon comes in a box and is a highlighter.  At first I wasn't sure which part of my face I was supposed to highlight but you can pretty much use it anywhere.  I use it mainly on my eyes to give a bit of highlight in the corners and on the brow bone and I have tried it in the inner rim of my eyes too (as suggested by Glossybox).  This was a full size product, costing £5.00 and the website is www.sosusan.com/en





Talika Photo-Hydra Day

Talika Photo-Hydra Day arrived in the October box and can best be described as a moisturiser/primer, the consistency is more primer than moisturiser and sinks right in leaving skin really smooth.  It's a great pre-make up primer, as I said before I'm all about the priming right now, so I'm using this a lot.  It is an extremely lovely product but if I'm being fair it does the same thing as the No7 Lift & Luminate Face Serum, there isn't really a lot of difference in the consistency or the outcome, both leave my skin smooth and prepared for moisturiser and make up. 




Jelly Pong Pong Play Paint

The Jelly Pong Pong Play Paint is one of their best selling products and is very versatile, you can use it on your lips and your cheeks but be warned, it's very highly pigmented so use sparingly, a little bit goes a long way!  When I tested it on my hand I used too much and it was pink for ages!  It does say on the tube that it is supposed to last 10 hours and I can verify that it does last a really long while. I use it alone or as an undercoat for another colour lipstick, it's also really good if you use it and put a gloss over the top.  When you put it on your cheeks it gives a healthy glow, a bit like a flush but again, use sparingly and put it on in good light.  This little tube costs £8.95 and can be bought from www.jellypongpong.com, their website is worth checking out, it's really cool.





Maybelline Dream Flawless Nude Foundation


I have to tell you about this because this is the first time I've been super impressed with a foundation since I wrote a post on No7 Lift & Luminate about two years ago. 

Recently I have had a bit of a make up overhaul, I've watched quite a few YouTube videos by the make up artist Lisa Eldridge (my new go-to make up person), in particular I've focussed on foundation and from her I've learned how to choose the right shade for my skin colour and how to apply.  I've even used a foundation brush! 

Maybelline Dream Flawless Nude

I'll be honest, I don't really know why I chose this one, I hadn't seen any reviews, nor any adverts on TV or even in magazines.  I just happened to be browsing the Maybelline products in Boots and came across it.  As it's a foundation fluid and the consistency is light I thought it would be a good one to try with my foundation brush and I was right.  There's a sort of little spatula attached to the top where you can put a bit on your hand then dip your brush in, or dab a bit here and there on your face (this is my preferred way as I find it blends easier if it's not been on my hand first). 



As I said the consistency is very light and once blended does give a flawless appearance, even on the worst skin days.  The key to it is to blend, blend, blend (I'm quoting Lisa Eldridge here) that way you can make sure that it's really sunk into your skin and if there's a bit that needs more coverage you can go over that area separately.  I'm using number 10, Ivory which is the lightest colour but there are six other shades to choose from, Nude, Sand, Fawn, Sun Beige, Cameo and Natural Beige

Result?

What I like about it is that even though it does smooth out my skin, it doesn't look cakey or unnatural and it doesn't feel thick, my skin can still breathe.  It reminds me very much of a foundation I used to wear a long time ago by Cover Girl, in the days when Cover Girl was still sold in shops in the UK but this is better, I guess foundations have come a long way since then!  I think I'll be using this for a while as it's definitely becoming a fast favourite and at £8.99 the price is really good too.

This is the link to Lisa's YouTube channel in case you want to check it out.  I subscribed, there's some great stuff on there and she produces new videos all the time.  www.youtube.com/lisaeldridge

W7 In the Buff eye colour palette

Ever since I discovered the W7 palettes my eye make up has really been given a new lease of life.  My favourite at the moment is a W7  eye shadow collection called "In the Buff" and there's a few reasons it's become my best friend.


I bought it from Amazon a few months ago, I'd been searching for a good deal on a Naked Basics as mine was running out and I wanted to replace it.  When I read the reviews for this almost everyone said how good it was, how long it lasted on your eyelids and how they thought it was as good as everyone's favourite Urban Decay palette.  Given that there was a £30.00 price difference between the two I decided to try the W7 (incidentally it cost £6.00 - definitely worth a try).

Colours

There's a selection of really good colours and you get a double ended applicator as well but I've managed to lose that which is why I popped in a Real Techniques brush for the photo.  The colours are a mixture of matte and shimmery shades and a couple that can be used as highlighters or on their own for a more natural look.



How to Use

I found the shadows easy to apply, no fall out off the brush but be careful with the black as it's very pigmented, I use it as a liner and the first time I did it the line was all over the place, and I couldn't wipe it off easily.  It's better to start off with a little bit and build up which is what I do now.  The consistency is lovely and I haven't had any issues with the colours disappearing into my creases during the day, I do use a primer though as I find it gives a good base and tends to help all eye shadows to last longer.  I thought priming my eyelids was a faff at first, just one more thing to put on but it's well worth it and it only takes a couple of seconds. 

What a Result!

All in all this is a great palette for the price, so bravo to W7 I say!  It's just one of many eye shadow palettes they have on offer, Amazon keep recommending the others to me since I bought this one so I imagine another one will be added to my collection fairly soon, probably in January when I am broke after Christmas but am desperate to buy something nice for myself to get me out of the post festivities slump!  I'm partial to a blusher or two and I keep seeing the pretty W7 blusher palettes everywhere and I've read a few blog reviews on them recently and they've all been positive.  Maybe I'll get a blush instead?

Lipstick Love ... Barbara Daly Bloom



Time for another Lipstick Love ... or rather A Lipstick That I Love. 

This one is by the make up artist Barbara Daly and was purchased from the cosmetic range she created for Tescos.  It's called Bloom and is a lovely fresh pink colour.  I have to be careful with pink because not all pinks like me but this one is great because the colour veers towards a deeper pink rather than a pale one.  I usually reel it out in the Spring and Summer months mostly because it goes with the lighter colours that I tend to wear but it does also look good with black, which is a bonus because there are weeks when I wear nothing but black (I'm a lazy dresser). 

This lipstick glides on and is not tacky or drying, moreover it is moisturising but not in a sticky balm kind of way and I love it because it fades rather than leaving a delightful outline round the lips.  Having said that, I've just remembered that I did buy another one in this Barbara Daly range called Spice, nice neutral pale brown but it literally lasted five minutes on my lips and then was gone, which I was disappointed about because I really wanted to love it as much as Bloom.  I don't know where it is now, probably at the bottom of a handbag like most of my other lipsticks!

I've actually got two of these in the same colour because I lost one (scatty) so I bought a replacement, then found the original in a handbag I hardly ever use.  It's actually good that I've got two because as far as I can see this range has been discontinued in favour of Barbara's newer range Bd Trade Secrets.  If you go online www.tesco.com and search 'beauty' you can check out all the colours and of course, they are also sold the beauty section of the larger Tesco stores.  There are a couple of colours that I think I might try and the price is good too at £5.99.   While I'm sorry I won't be able to replace this one I do have two so it will take me a while to use them up and I definitely will try the Bd Trade Secrets ones.

Time for a Bloom close up

The Barbara Daly Bloom lipstick ... and me

Yep, here we are again, me and the lippy.  Must have been a good photo day.  Nails are Rita Ora for Rimmel

Love, Maria
xxx

Curly Hair & Bendy Rollers

As someone with curly hair you'd think that I wouldn't have to buy products to make it curly wouldn't you?  No, if I want a more structured curl rather than my own windswept mass I have to use rollers, or a curling wand.  I'm OK with the curling wand but I find bendy rollers much easier and less time consuming.  I buy my bendy rollers from Sainsburys or Superdrug, they are really not expensive and a great way to get a bouncy curl.  You get about 8 or so in a packet and they last quite a while (but don't let the dog get hold of them though, I made this mistake once, he enjoyed chewing them but they weren't exactly useable afterwards! 😂)

Putting The Rollers In

I'm sure there is a scientific way of actually putting these rollers in and I should probably see if I can find someone on YouTube to teach me, but I do it in a kind of haphazard way and it seems to work for my hair. I blow dry it first and put some curl cream in it, or a little bit of beach wave spray before I put the rollers in.  It helps my hair if it's slightly damp and I leave them in for fifteen minutes or so.  





Result!

The result is a nice structured curl rather than my usual bed-hair-even-when-its-just-been-washed type style.   What I like about these curlers is:

a) they don't snag my hair, or get tangled in it
b) they aren't hot so I don't burn my fingers which does happen sometimes with my heated rollers 
c) I can pop them in really quickly so if I'm in a rush and having one of those mornings where I really need to multi task a lot its perfect, I can whip them out just before I leave the house, grabbing the kids, school bags and PE kits at the same time.  

I go through phases with rollers, I won't use them for months then I'll use them all the time.  It's nice to have a choice of heated or these bendy ones and the curling wand too (though I burn myself a LOT with that I must admit).

The bendy rollers I use are from Sainsburys for £3.00 and there are 8 in a packet.  You can also get them from Tescos and Superdrug.  Leo Bancroft the celebrity hair stylist also does some for Sainsbury's they are black and a little bit thicker so the curls are a bit wider (which is nice if you want a change).

As they are basically a bit of sponge with a wire in the middle they do tend to poke through after a while and then you have to chuck them away but they are easily replaceable and I don't mind as they are inexpensive.  I've also taken them on holiday and used them on damp hair and let it dry.  They aren't heavy or cumbersome so good for travel.

Win win!

Hawaiian Tropic SPF 15 with added Tan

At last a sun cream with a tanning tint included, thank you Hawaiian Tropic!  I spied this in Boots and bought it out of curiosity, because even if the golden tint hadn't been all that good I wouldn't have cared, because I love the smell of Hawaiian Tropic.  Happily I was impressed with the tanning results too. 

For a start it sinks in almost straight away and dries quickly and unlike some others I've tried isn't slimy, it's a spray which I prefer as it's more accurate and there is less waste.  I used this mostly on my legs and was really pleased with the results.  As a red head my skin is very pale and I found this product made them look sun kissed and healthy for my colouring rather than too dark or orange as some of them tend to do on me.  I mentioned in the title that it's SPF 15 this means it can't be classed as a sunblock so please don't use this instead of a higher factor cream if that's what you need on holiday.  I found this perfect for me in the UK but on holiday I just put my usual SPF 30 or the kids factor 50 over the top and voila, no burning. 

It isn't a gradual tanner, it's a put on then wash off one so if that's what you're after you're better going for the usual Dove, Garnier, Johnsons etc, however if you're looking for a really nice "day" tan with the added bonus of an SPF then this ones for you.  The price is £14.99 which is quite a lot, having said that the price is in line with that of your usual sun creams so I guess it's fair enough.  As I said before I bought this in Boots but I know you can get it in Superdrug and I've seen it online as well, more recently on www.thesuncareshop.com and it was on sale there too (bargain). 

Let me know if you've tried this and what you think.

Happy Holidays!

Maria xx




Noxzema Classic Clean Deep Cleansing Cream

Whilst on holiday in the US recently and having a browse at the beauty products in a CVS pharmacy, I happened upon one of my most favourite products ever.  It's called Noxzema.  I was first introduced to Noxzema in 1995 when my sister spent three months studying in Canada and she bought some and decided I would like it too so she brought some back for me.  While it's not something that's in the shops here in the UK you can get it from Amazon, so it's worth a search there if you want to try it.   Or you could put a order in with the next nice friend who's taking a trip across the Atlantic, I've done that before! 

I'm currently using two other cleansers/face washes at the moment (Nivea and a really nice cleansing foam from Tesco) and this is now on my bathroom shelf too.  I don't use the same ones every day as my skin tends to change regularly so I just pick the one I think will suit it best at the time.  I tend to use Noxzema in the mornings on a make up free face before I get in the shower, it really helps wake me up!

How to Use

Noxzema is a face cleanser that goes really deep into the pores so you do feel like ALL the dirt and make up is completely gone, although be careful round the eye area as it'll sting if you scrub too hard at your mascara, it's perhaps best to take off eye make up with remover as we all know the eye area is delicate and worth preserving.  It's quite a funny texture, it has a sort of solid cream consistency but when you rub it into your face it sinks straight in, then you have to rinse it off which leaves your face feeling tingly fresh, it's also got an added moisturiser which is good if your skin can be a bit dry.  The scent I can only describe as slightly medicated, to me it smells a bit like it's got tea tree oil in it though I don't know if it has, like everything it won't be everybody's cup of tea but I like it and don't find it offensive.  

I got a huge tub for $5.99 and the prices on Amazon are just as impressive, about £3.00 (not sure if that includes postage or not). 

Has anyone else tried this? What do you think of it?


Noxzema Classic Clean Deep Cleansing Cream

Rimmel nail polish - Sweet Retreat

Well this is my absolute favourite nail varnish of the moment.  I'm a fan of Rimmel as they are really good value and there's always a huge range of colours.

I picked up this Rita Ora for Rimmel nail varnish when I was out shopping the other day.  This review is about the pink one, I also tried a blue one which looks gorgeous in the bottle, alas did not suit me at all though it was a beautiful colour, my pale hands couldn't carry off that shade. 

The reason I am wearing this one all the time at the moment is partly due the colour, it's a nice fresh Spring pink called Sweet Retreat which seems to go with everything and also it's a base coat, polish and a top coat all in one so this means that chipping is reduced.  When I've been in a hurry I've just popped one coat on and it's been really good for a day or so but obviously two coats is better.  It doesn't dry very quickly so you do need to remember to leave it to dry properly, it's not a 60 second drier.  One of the best things about this product is that when you take it off you don't need to scrub away at your nails in order to get it to come off, it slides off really easily with polish remover which is great if you're in a hurry.

I'm on the look out for another couple of these as I'm going on holiday soon and they would be perfect to pack and take along.

I'd love to know if you've tried any of the Rita Ora nail varnishes and what you thought of them.


Jelly Pong Pong All Over Glow Highlighter

The official title of this little cutie is  Jelly Pong Pong All Over Glow (Illuminating Gel).  

I got it from a Glossybox beauty box quite a while ago and didn't use it until quite recently.  I'm sometimes wary of highlighter because some of them aren't very subtle and can accentuate things like lines that I'd rather keep in the background ;-)

I do like this little tube of product though I must admit.  You don't need very much, a little goes a long way.  I use it as a highlighter on my cheek bones after I've put on my blusher, it seems to help the blusher to last a little bit longer which is great.  It's got a very light feel to it, I think because it's oil free, and it's very easily blendable, I used my ring finger but if you prefer a brush that would work as well.  What I liked about it most is that it doesn't show up any imperfections, in fact just the opposite, it seems to give the skin a lovely smooth appearance, what's not to love about that?

Once this runs out I would definitely buy it, that's the beauty of beauty boxes, you can test and see which products you like and write them down on a wish list if you like them!  I've been on the Jelly Pong Pong website and I think I could probably spend quite a lot of money there. 

This lovely highlighter can be bought from jellypongpong.com and is £10.00.  Well worth it and nice to use a slightly different brand from the mainstream for a change.  


Bodywash Review - Right Guard Women

Time for another bodywash review, as you can see these two are by Right Guard, I usually equate Right Guard with deodorant but these leapt off the shelf in Boots at me the other day, particularly as they were either on special offer (or one was free I can't quite remember.  Of course, you'll notice that one of them has got Argan Oil in it so as a self-confessed Argan Oil obsessive, I couldn't resist it.

 
The first one was Shower & Oils and included Argan, Marula and Almond Oil and says for Dull Skin on the packaging.  I don't know if my skin was dull or not but this was certainly a lovely bodywash, very moisturising and a beautiful smell, of course I didn't expect anything less because it had Argan Oil in it and I would definitely buy this one again.
 
The other one was Shower & Nutrients and is for Normal Skin and includes Acai Berry.  Whilst it was moisturising I didn't find it as nice as the Shower & Oil and I found the Acai Berry smell a bit overpowering, I'm not really keen on fruit scents and this was really strong.  So I probably wouldn't buy this one again. 
 
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