Monday, 30 January 2012

Glossybox January 2012 Contents

I was just about to head out for a run (I'm being good again despite the fact that I get out of breath after about 30 seconds), when the doorbell rang and the postman handed me a familiar looking package. It's Glossybox time again!
I filmed a video of me unpacking the box again with completely honest reactions, which is particularly clear when it comes to the last product of this month's box. Watch the January 2012 Glossybox Unboxing video here.

This month's box took forever to come, considering this is supposed to be the January box and we've only got two days of January left! In all fairness, though, anyone who's been subscribed to Glossybox before got a warning on last month's card that it would take a little longer, as this box was supposed to be "extra special". Needless to mention, my hopes were high, also taking into consideration that this is yet another limited edition box and the last limited edition one was pretty amazing!

As usual I can't fault Glossybox for its packaging. The box is a hot pink to keep in line with its Valentine's Day theme, with pretty pink ribbon paper inside cushioning all the samples, a heart sticker on the tissue paper and even a little Glossybox sweet! But on to the products.

There's one full sized product in this month's box and it's the Eyeko Skinny Eyeliner in the shade Midnight Blue (though I first thought it was a dark green, whoops!). I don't really get the weird pointy handle. After a bit of reading up I found out that it's there to make application easier when it's sharpened down to the bottom, but I can just see myself taking someone's eye out with this and if you ignore the long silver pointy bit, it's actually a lot shorter than standard eye liners.
Having said that I'm very glad I didn't get a black eye liner, which I've certainly got enough of already. I'm also very much in love with the make-up models were wearing at Chanel's last couture show, so this will come in very handy to recreate that look!
Sample value: £9.50

Moving on to sample sized products I got this 15ml tube of Clarins Extra Firming Night Cream. I like Clarins and even though I've only tried a few of their products I've been impressed with every single one so far. I was a bit disappointed to get more skin care, just because I've got loads of samples to get through at the moment, so it's going to take a while until I'll be able to use this, but generally speaking, I think skin care samples are brilliant in beauty boxes, as they're exactly the type of product that you want to try out before committing to a full sized product.
This is aimed at every skin type, so my skin should get along fine with it. At age 23 I doubt my skin needs a lot of firming, though I've been positively surprised by anti ageing products before, so I wouldn't write it off from the start.
Sample value: £14.40

To go with the night cream the Glossybox team have also included the Clarins Extra Firming Day Cream. While I can see some people getting annoyed that two of the samples are of the same brand, I actually think this is a brilliant idea! This tube also contains 15ml, so should last as long as the night cream which means I can try both products in conjunction to see what they really do to my skin.
Sample value: £13.95

The card I got with my box claimed that I got the FAB Gentle Body Wash, though what I actually received was the Body Moisturizer. The texture of this seems to be very thick which is a plus for me, as I just can't do with runny lotions that just sit on top of your skin. It says on the packaging that this is fragrance free and boy do they mean it! This really doesn't smell of anything, which is fantastic for people who don't like strong scents.
Sample value: £2.50

Lastly I got a sample of the Murad Hybrids Skin Perfecting primer with Dewy finish (as opposed to the matte one). I wanted to try something from this brand for ages, but for this product I only have one word: Eww. Ewwww eww eww. I recommend watching the video if you want to see my face drop as I swatch this product.
The website claims that this "Restore[s] smoothness while a universal shade provides the perfect skin tone match" - maybe if you're an Oompa Loompa. Just swatched this made my hand a patchy orange colour and I'm a bit frightened to put this anywhere near my face. It's very rare that I have no use for a product, as I'm willing to try pretty much anything, but this is seriously testing my limits.
Sample value: £4.83

And let's not forget the little Glossybox sweetie they packed in as a cute little bonus!

This month's overall value comes to £45.18, so even though I'm not overly impressed with its contents you certainly get your money's worth! Calling it a "Limited Edition" box is a clever marketing ploy which in my honest opinion has completely backfired. December's box was fantastic and telling us this edition would be particularly special and also limited edition only got my hopes up very high. In reality, all they did was change the packaging whereas the contents are very, very average.

As usual I shall put these to the test (yes, even the Murad primer, even though I'm very reluctant with this one) and let you know what I think of all the products in another post towards the end of next month.

(The reviews are up now, you can find them here.)

Friday, 27 January 2012

ELF High Definition Powder Review

I never thought I'd be doing a review on a face powder, after all powder is just powder, right? Well, while doing a bit of online shopping I ended up on the e.l.f. website and this just sort of "fell" into my shopping basket and now I have to admit that my once ever so trusty Rimmel Stay Matte has been banished into my handbag for on-the-go touch-ups, whereas this has become my go-to face powder.

Let's start with the packaging, shall we?

The powder costs £6.00 for which you get a generous 28oz of product. The packaging is black and sleek and belies the low price tag, as it looks a lot more high end. The thing I love the most about the casing is that it has a screw top lid, which means no accidental product spillage if you want to transport it in a bag or case.

Inside you get a powder puff which I personally don't use, but it's great if you want to carry this powder around with you and touch up on the go. Underneath is a classic plastic grid that prevents too much powder from spilling out at once.
The one issue I have with the packaging is that it is the kind of rubbery matte material that seems to attract dirt and fluff like a magnet, as you can probably see on the above pictures!

You can apply the powder with the powder puff included, but I prefer to use a kabuki brush. It applies very, very evenly and gives a wonderful matte, almost air-brushed look. It doesn't clog pores or highlight dry patches or that peachy fuzz you get on your face like some powders do.

It lasts for ages and ages and I only need to touch up after about 6-7 hours, which beats the shit out of having to powder up every 1-2 hours like I used to! I do recommend using a highlighter with this, as skin can look a little too airbrushed sometimes and a bit flat. Either dust a powder highlighter over the top on places such as cheekbones, cupid's bow and brow bones, or apply a cream product underneath. However, if you opt for the second option be prepared to be generous with the glow - when I say this product is mattifying I really mean it!

The powder is a clear white, which is meant to be translucent, though I can see it giving off a bit of a white sheen, so I'm not sure if this would work as well on dark complexions without making them look ashy.

I've heard a lot about people having trouble with HD powders showing up as white patches in flash photography, but I had no issues with that whatsoever. On the contrary, it seems to be a lot more forgiving than other powders which seem to disappear as soon as a flash goes off.

My only bugbear is that this is only available online from the ELF website (you can find it here) and though I'm sure I will repurchase this powder once I run out, chances are it won't be the only thing I order.

EDIT: This product had a nasty little surprise in store for me right after I reviewed it. Read all about it in this post.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Collection 2000 Pump Up The Volume Mascara Review

I picked up this mascara from Superdrug a while ago, mainly because I didn't want to spend an awful lot of money and I'd also been quite impressed with a lot of Collection 2000 products, such as their infamous Lasting Perfection Concealer and their Cream Puffs.

The packaging of this mascara is actually quite nice. I like the transparent tip and the yellow on black colour scheme. It doesn't exactly look high-end, but it's not tacky either.

This retails at £4.99, though I find that there are often offers on Collection 2000 products and I got mine for a pound less. Unfortunately these do not come sealed, so it took me a while to pick a tube that hadn't already been opened by somebody else.

The brush is curved and very large. Together with the fairly wet formula of this mascara that spells disaster. Application is very tricky and you can pretty much forget about applying this on bottom lashes. I still haven't managed to use it once without getting marks under my eyes. The curve of the wand does not match the curve of my eye which can be one of the main problems with this type of mascara wands. It either fits or it doesn't and unfortunately this one is just too huge and bulky for me!

On my lashes this product gives a fair bit of volume, though it doesn't do a lot to lengthen or curl. Colour-wise it does a really great job, as my lashes are truly deep black after just one swipe. The effect overall doesn't blow me away, but it does make my make-up look more polished and pulled together.

I won't be repurchasing this mascara and the main reason for that is that it just won't stay on. As I already said the formula is quite wet and the first smudges start to appear after about two hours of wear. At the end of the day I end up with the worst panda eyes I've ever had - if I don't wipe up and reapply concealer constantly it even ends up on my nose.

I wouldn't say it's hard to remove at night, as you don't have to rub it to get it off, but be prepared to use up a lot of cotton pads or face wipes - this is something I put down to the mascara's high pigmentation.

It seems that my lucky streak with Collection 2000 products has ended here, though of course that hasn't put me off the brand forever!

Monday, 23 January 2012

FOTD: Peachy Bronze Look

I've been stuck in a bit of a make-up rut lately, so it was about time to shake things up a little bit. This is one of my favourite make-up looks, as it's so easy to do and is incredibly versatile.

Excuse the cheesy smile, I still have a lot to learn when it comes to posing for a camera!
Products used for this look are:

Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua in B10 Beige Pastel
Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer in Medium
E.L.F. High Definition Powder
Illamasqua Powder Blusher in Lover
HD Brows Kit in Foxy
Sephora Makeup Studio Blockbuster Palette
Rimmel Eyeshadow in Spicy Bronze
Collection 2000 Pump Up The Volume Mascara in Black

If you want to see me apply those products there's a video below. Unfortunately I had to cut out the bit where I apply foundation, concealer and powder, as it would have been too long otherwise.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Elizabeth Arden Lip Swatches

As mentioned in a haul post last month (click here to see it) I treated myself to a big Elizabeth Arden make-up kit while on holiday in America. I didn't even know that Elizabeth Arden did proper make-up - while being a big fan of the 8 hour cream skin protectant I wasn't really aware of much else apart from the hugely expensive Prevage skincare range and a couple of tinted lip balms. For that reason I thought it would be great to try out a few of their make-up items, which at $40 were a complete bargain!

I've worn most of those now and thought I'd bring you a run-down on the lip products I got to try.

The set contained three Exceptional Lipsticks and two High Shine Lip Glosses. From left to right, the colours are: Soft Red, Red Door Red, Smooth Mauve, Golden Pearl and Sparkling Ruby.

From top to bottom: Sparkling Ruby, Golden Pearl, Smooth Mauve, Red Door Red, Soft Red
I have to say I'm not overly impressed with the lipsticks. The packaging looks elegant, but the lids keep popping open all the time, which is anything but practical and I've also noticed a white coating on the Red Door Red shade, which is a bit off-putting. They apply very sheer, more like a tinted lipbalm and though you can build up the colour on your lips the results tend to be a bit patchy.
On the plus side they are very soft and smooth to apply, don't dry out my lips and do not feather or bleed.

Exceptional Lipstick in Red Door Red
I had high hopes for this colour seeing as the famous red door has been a symbol for Elizabeth Arden products for so long. It is a true red in bullet form, but applied on lips shows pink and blue undertones. It also has the tiniest amount of shimmer in it and dries to a velvety finish.

Exceptional Lipstick in Smooth Mauve
This shade I was very scared of, as it is a dusky purple in the tube. It applies quite patchy and has a large amount of golden shimmer in it, though it is by no means gritty. This colour looks hideous on my pale skin, though I imagine that someone with a darker skin tone would probably be able to carry it off much better.

Exceptional Lipstick in Soft Red
This colour is my favourite out of the three. In bullet form it doesn't look red at all, more of a dusky pink, though applied on lips it takes on a very flattering shade. This one can get quite patchy as well if you're not careful.

What the lipsticks lack in pigmentation the glosses more than make up for.

High Shine Lipgloss in Golden Pearl
This one is not quite as pigmented, but I find that it's just perfect for a nude gloss. It tones down the natural colour of my lips and gives them a lovely hint of shine and sparkle without making them look like "concealer lips". The formula is non-sticky and comfortable and lasts an average amount of time for a gloss.

High Shine Lip Gloss in Sparkling Ruby
Now this one simply blew me away. It is the most pigmented product out of the whole set and a gorgeous deep cherry red with golden shimmer (notice a pattern emerging here?) and pink undertones. You do have to be careful with this one though, as it's easy to smudge and get everywhere.

The Elizabeth Arden "Where Beauty Begins Colour Collection" is still available from FeelUnique for £39.95 (take a look at it here), though I wouldn't necessarily recommend getting the whole set. The lip glosses are available separately and they are the highest quality products in the kit apart from the case which is fantastic.
As for the lipsticks they are probably better suited to those who prefer a sheer wash of colour to a highly pigmented product and that's just a matter of personal taste. I do however feel that the packaging devalues the product and that you could find a better lipstick for less money.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

No7 BB Cream Review

After so much hype over BB creams, first in Asia and now with several beauty brands jumping on the bandwagon over here as well, I knew I'd had to try one eventually. When Boots reintroduced their £5 No7 vouchers shortly before this came out I knew this was the one to try.

The No7 BB cream is unique in that it comes in three different formulations catering for various skin types. They are normal/oily, normal/dry and dry/very dry. I went for the normal/oily variety, hoping that it would be lighter in texture, as I really can't bear anything sticky and heavy on my skin at the moment.

Apart from the different skin formulations this product also comes in two different shades, namely fair and medium. I find that the shade descriptions are a bit misleading - the fair shade is way too dark for my skin when it comes out of the tube. Now I know that I have a ghostly pale complexion, but I still think that medium and dark would have been better descriptions.

The product comes in a 40ml tube which makes application very hygienic and minimises wastage. It's the perfect size to get a decent amount of cream, but it's still easy to transport and can just be popped into a handbag.

Despite the fact that this is a few shades too dark for me, I still bought it as it blended extremely well on my hand. At home it was no different: the cream glides onto my face like silk and blends like a dream. Coverage is quite light; stronger than a tinted moisturiser, but lighter than foundation, which sounds about right from what I've read about BB creams so far. Surprisingly, it feels quite heavy on the skin for the amount of coverage it gives, but I did get used to the feeling after a few applications.

No7 BB cream straight out of the tube

No7 BB cream lightly blended
No7 BB cream fully blended

Due to the level of coverage I do need to use concealer with this to cover up dark circles and blemishes. Depending on how my skin is doing I may or may not use powder - on very oily days I definitely need to dust some powder over the top, as my skin is still shiny after application, but when my skin has a good day I can skip this step. It may sound odd, but I found that this cream actually looks better once it's had a bit of time (about 30 minutes) to work on my skin than straight after application.

I bought this to wear on my "off days" when I'm just running errands or doing nothing at all, but still want to look decent. However, it works well enough to be worn to work or out shopping, though I'd still need something with more coverage for a night out. It lasts really well for most of the day and only needs some topping up with powder after about 8 hours of wear. 

It has an added SPF of 15, which is a nice bonus, though I wouldn't rely on it in the warmer seasons. As for any long lasting skin benefits this may bring I cannot really comment, as I've only been using this for about a week and I've been changing up my skincare regime so much my skin is getting a bit confused. All in all, I'm quite happy with my purchase. It's the perfect product to smack on when I want to look like I'm not wearing foundation, but just have naturally radiant skin.

No7 BB cream is available for 12.95 here or in-store.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Soap&Glory The Greatest Scrub Of All Review

I'm quite fond of Soap&Glory products - I haven't tried that many of them yet, but everything I've bought I've been very happy with. I couldn't wait for my Origins Modern Friction to run out (find out why I hate it here), so I could give this one a go.

This scrub is intended for all skin types and I would definitely say this is one of the more gentle scrubs I've tried recently. I usually exfoliate in the shower as products aren't as harsh on the skin when it's slightly damp or wet and it makes it a lot easier to wash off the product. This one, however, is the first one I've used in a long time which I had to apply on dry skin, as it would just slide off my face otherwise.

The product itself is very smooth and creamy and has a pearlescent sheen to it. The exfoliating beads are few and far between, but it also contains "smooth-boost spheres" which are supposed to pop open when you press on them - and they do! It's a strangely satisfying feeling, a bit like popping a sheet of bubble wrap. This product is to be massaged into skin and then left on for about 30 seconds during which you will experience a tingling sensation on your skin. This is not inherently unpleasant, but be careful around any damaged or sunburnt skin - the beads are too big to cause any damage, but if you don't wash it off straight away it will sting.

I use this scrub about 2-3 times a week and though it doesn't bring on any dramatic changes to my skin it seems to wake it up and refresh it a little bit. Nevertheless I feel like this product isn't grainy enough for me and I miss the squeaky clean feeling you get from a rougher product.

This product retails for £9.00 (you can buy it here or from any Boots in-store) and for that you get a generous tube containing 125ml, which will last a long time. Is it really the greatest scrub of all? I wouldn't go that far, but it's a very decent option considering the price.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

NOTD #04 Barry M Silver Glitter

A bit of a belated Nail of the Day post, this is the nail polish I decided to wear on New Years Eve. Apologies up front, as this is a limited edition shade which was available either for £3.99 or as a free gift with any two Barry M products just before Christmas.

It took four coats to get the finish on the pictures and as you can see it's still not opaque, but I just couldn't handle any more waiting around. The finish was shockingly ungritty for a glitter polish which I thought was great, as grittiness is one of the main reasons I don't normally wear glitter nail polish. I didn't get any chips, but because I had to apply so many layers the varnish dried into a thick hard crust which started to lift at the edges after a day or two.
All in all, I'm not complaining because I got this nail polish for free on the offer, but I'd be a bit gutted if I spent money on it. Maybe I'll try using it as a top coat next time.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Beauty Haul

I spent almost all of yesterday out and about in town and treated myself to quite a few beauty purchases, so here's a haul video featuring all the lovely items I came back home with. I hope you enjoy!

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Barry M Glitter Liquid Eyeliner Review

I recently picked up three Barry M Glitter eyeliners on a trip to Boots which I also featured in a haul post here. These usually retail at £4.99 each but were on a 3 for £10 offer and I also got a free silver glitter polish for free, so it was hard to resist. I really wanted a golden one, but they were sold out apart from one dried out tube, so I chose black, blue and lavender instead.
They were a bit of a fun impulse buy for the festive season, but from what I've seen on the spring/summer catwalks a pop of colour on the eyes is going to be a big trend this year. (Okay, I had no idea about this at first, I admit I got lucky)

L-R: Blue, Lavender, Black
The brush on this product is great: thin, stiff enough not to spread product out everywhere and the perfect length for easy application in one swoop. The colours are lusciously bright, but one major flaw in this product is that it has a clear base. This means it's practically impossible to spread the glitter out evenly and get a clean line on your eye. In order to remedy this I used different products as a base and then applied the liners on top.

On the top picture I used a black kohl before applying glitter eyeliner, on the middle picture I used a blue gel liner as a base and for the bottom picture I applied purple eye shadow with a thin wet brush. I found that using eye shadow as a base did the best job at prolonging the liner's longevity, followed by kohl, whereas gel liner made it smudge very quickly.
You can see on some of the pictures that bits of the glitter have transferred onto my eyelids and this is the main problem with these liners - they have a very, very long drying time and you need to keep your eyes closed for a good two minutes before it's safe to blink without getting glitter everywhere. Not a great product if you're in a rush!
Nevertheless I thought they were great for adding a pop of colour onto the face as apart from the fact you need a base they are extremely easy to use once you've got the hang of using liquid liner.

However, I've also discovered an alternative use for these which offers a more subtle hint of colour if you don't want to go all out with a glitter line. Applied on the tips of eye lashes they give a great sparkle to the eyes but are much less in-your-face. It's also a lot easier using one of these liners than to fiddle around with loose glitter and the drying time is no longer a problem unless you have ridiculously long and curly lashes!

Make sure you apply the liner from both sides (inside and outside) for a hint of shimmer every time you blink.

You can buy these for £4.99 from the Barry M website, but to be honest I wouldn't pay full price for them as I don't feel they perform well enough for that. Barry M often run offers such as 3 for 2 in Superdrug or Boots, so if you're after one of these I'd thoroughly recommend waiting till one of those deals is on again.

Friday, 6 January 2012

November & December Glossybox Tried and Tested

I've finally had enough time to play around with the latest Glossybox contents so that I can bring you an honest review on all the products that I received. You can find my contents post for December's Glossybox here or alternatively you can watch me unboxing it here. I did not make a post or video about the November box because I was on holiday when it came and only got round to opening it a month ago.

The first item I received in November's box was the Arbonne FC5 Cooling Foot Creme. Arbonne's website is anything but a treasure trove of information and I really would have appreciated a description of some sort. The texture of the cream is dense, but pleasant on application. However, it has an extremely strong herbal scent which reminds me an awful lot of Vicks VapoRub. And the scent is not where the similarities end. On application you get a weird tingly cooling sensation that anyone who's been rubbed with Vicks as a child will recognise. However, it does not eventually warm up but it stays cooling and tingly for about an hour. It's a nice product to put on your feet after a long day (though I do recommend a foot bath beforehand, you don't want to rub anything on smelly, sweaty feet), but I don't think it's wowed me enough for me to repurchase. At £19 for a full sized tube containing 118ml it's not exactly cheap either.
Next up was a little sachet of  Dead Sea Spa Magik Dead Sea Bath Salts. The sample size was decent, as I got a good three or four (don't remember, sorry!) baths out of it, but that doesn't change the fact that they're, well... bath salts. Plain mineral bath salts at that. It didn't smell of anything, it didn't visibly do anything to the bath water and it didn't do anything to my skin either. I know that dead sea salt can be great at alleviating any kind of skin infections and also some skin conditions, but seeing as I don't have any of them, this was anything but impressive for me. The packaging also made it quite difficult to store once opened, as I has to make sure it was constantly propped against something to avoid spillages.

I was happy to find that I received a full sized product in my box, which was the Monu Skin Perfector. It's a daily moisturiser which claims to smooth out your complexion and form a protective barrier on your skin. It comes out really sticky, but once rubbed onto skin the stickiness subsides. I have two major issues with this product.
First of all, the scent. It's probably just me being a giant weirdo, but it smells very herby to me - not the kind of herbs you bathe in, but the kind of herbs you put in a pasta dish. I swear I can even make out some paprika in there. It makes me feel like I'm preparing a chicken fillet for dinner rather than pampering my skin.
Secondly (and this is probably a more important point) it does to an extent deliver on what it promises, BUT it does so by leaving quite a thick layer of product on your face. This screams blocked pores to me, but surprisingly it didn't lead to any breakouts until I tried layering it with a primer. Not a problem I thought, I'll use it instead of a primer. But here's the other problem: When used with a water-based and light foundation I did not have any trouble at all. However, when I tried to use a harder to blend foundation I bumped into trouble. As it leaves a film on your skin any sort of buffing motion will lead to the Skin Perfector just rolling off in sticky little balls and the end result is just patchy and hideous.
On its own it would be a great moisturiser, but then it doesn't have any SPF so you'd have to layer sunscreen over it, ergo blocked pores, ergo I don't like this at all.

Sorry about the terrible quality; I had to take this picture with my phone.
Another full sized product were these Nail Rock Designer Nail Wraps. I'd never tried nail wraps before and dying to try them out but secretly hoped to get the leopard print design, but NO, I had to get black and white stripes. At first I was disappointed, but once applied, these actually looked a lot nicer than in the packaging. Application was a little fiddly, but then again it was my first ever attempt at nail wraps, so nothing else was to be expected. They looked great on my nails and lasted three days without any damage. They probably would have lasted longer, but I had to take them off because the edges kept catching on everything and annoyed the hell out of me. I don't know if it was just the way I applied them, but I just couldn't get the edges smooth whether I used crystal, paper or metal files. I still really like the effect, so I might buy these again in a different design to see if I can get them smoothed out this time.

Finally, I got two perfume samples, L'Eau Serge Lutens and Vitriol d'Oeillet, both by Serge Lutens. I've already made my point clear about perfume samples in beauty boxes as have a lot of other bloggers, so I'm not going to repeat myself here. So what can I say about the fragrances? The first one (the silver one on the picture) was alright, but nothing special and I didn't like the second one (black), because it was too spicy for me.

Overall a lot of disappointing products, more like a box of "What not to buy" products apart from the nail wraps which I'm still undecided about.

Fortunately Glossybox managed to redeem themselves with the December box contents.

Some people got palettes, some people got mascaras and I was really hoping for a mascara as I'd just bought two big eyeshadow and lip palettes, so I didn't need any more. Seems like this time my prayers were heard and I got the Blink+Go Hi-Definition Mascara. Now, this mascara breaks my heart. When I first tried it I was absolutely amazed and thought I'd just found the best mascara in the world. The formula is quite wet, surprisingly so considering it's a waterproof product, but that didn't bother me at all, because it didn't smudge one bit. This little beauty managed to curl, lengthen and separate my lashes like nothing I'd ever tried. It was like a little magic wand that I only had to wave around somewhere near my eye area to make lashes magically appear.

Eyes before mascara

Eyes after mascara
The packaging is weighted, sturdy and elegant and the only downside to this mascara was that it was a bit of a pain to remove, but I was willing to look past that and spend an extra 5 minutes every night soaking my make-up off for this stunning effect. Then, after about a week, I noticed that it didn't seem to work that well anymore and it came off much easier at night. Three weeks after opening the tube it had completely dried out. Has this happened to anyone else or just me? I love this product to bits but if I'm going to repurchase it I'm going to need it to last for more than a week!

This Cargo Classic Lipgloss in Serengeti (a shade, which, according to their website, doesn't exist) turned out to be my least favourite product from this box. It looked like a lovely shade in the tube, a warm peachy coral, which is right up my alley, but on lips it just turned out to be so, so sheer.

My lips are naturally quite pink, so all you're seeing there is my normal lip colour with a bit of shine. I know it's only a gloss, but seriously, I've had body lotions with more pigment than this. The formula was sticky as you'd expect from a gloss, but it was on the tolerable side. The size of the sample wasn't great either - I got about 20 applications out of it and then the tube was empty. I definitely won't be rushing to buy a full size of this.

The next item (or two) was this Deborah Lippmann nail polish in Razzle Dazzle and a Stripper to Go sachet. I cannot find this shade online, so I consider myself very, very lucky to have got this, as it is just stunning. That's me talking about glitter nail polish when I don't even like glitter nails.
The finger mitt that came with it I didn't get on with at all, unfortunately. It didn't come with any instructions, so I just figured that you put your finger in, wait for a little bit so it can soak through and the pull it out. That worked fine on two fingers, but then the mitt dried out, so I had to resort to the tin foil trick which was a lot more effective as I could do all of my nails at once rather than soaking them one by one. I'd also like to mention that it smells so strongly it feels like you're inhaling poison.
But on to more positive things: the nail polish!

Apart from the rather obvious fact that the shade is absolutely gorgeous the formula of this polish is also fantastic. I achieved the above finish with just two coats which lasted for 4 days without the tiniest chip - and that's without topcoat. It felt quite gritty, but not so much that it would get stuck on my clothes and it's certainly something that could have been remedied by applying a top coat if only I hadn't been too lazy for that! Absolutely everybody has been commenting on my nails when I wore this and it has single-handedly turned me into a glitter nail convert.

Next up is the MeMeMe Seventh Heaven, a moisturising face base, or primer to you and me. I adore the fruity citrus smell of this product, as well as the light creamy texture. Everything about this primer is just refreshing and it doesn't sit on my skin at all which makes it a pleasure to use. You're supposed to leave this on for 2 to 3 minutes before applying foundation, but I've noticed that my skin drinks it up a lot quicker than that.
Unfortunately its lightness compromises its functionality quite a lot. In other words, it doesn't really work. I can notice barely any difference in how long my make-up lasts with or without this. Such a shame!

It's been quite an emotional roller coaster with me and the Rituals Foaming Shower Gel. First I saw the huge tube in my Glossybox and got all excited. Then I noticed it was shower gel and got disappointed. I always get a bit annoyed when I get shower gel as a present, because it's... well, just shower gel. The most it's ever going to do is get you clean and smell nice, and a lot of supermarket shower gels do that just fine. Not even the concept of foam is particularly new. It smells great, a lot more of mandarin than of mint which is a bonus for me, but I just couldn't get excited about this anymore.
Then I tried it in the shower. The mechanism on the bottle is not ideal, as it's hard to push only a little bit out rather than half a hand full. It comes out as a gel but then quickly grows into foam. Soft foam. I didn't think I'd ever say it, but this is just velvety soft foam. It feels luxurious and nourishing on my skin and feels like a little treat every time I shower. Finally, I realised that they don't sell this product online, but only in shops. Will I venture out to repurchase this? No, but I'll make sure I make this one last as long as I can and enjoy myself while I'm at it.

Have you tried any of these products? What were your experiences?