26 January 2018

Product Empties #7

I haven't done an empties post for 10 months, which means this is gunna be a long one so get comfy! I've already repurchased some of these and I still need to get replacements for others as a lot of these empties are favourites of mine.

Batiste Dry Shampoo in Coconut & Exotic Tropical
I mean, I don't think it's obvious what my favourite Batiste scent is... I go through dry shampoo like it's going out of fashion. I suffer from oily hair so I always have to have a can ready. I've tried different dry shampoos over the years but Batiste is my holy grail.

Soap & Glory The Rushover Scent-Sational Dry Shampoo
Speaking of trying other dry shampoos! When this launched, I knew I had to try it. This is the Signature Pink scent which I love but it didn't even come close to overtaking Batiste.

Pantene 2 in 1 Shampoo & Conditioner Classic Clean

I'm sure I've read somewhere that you should always use shampoo and conditioners seperately instead of of 2in1s but if I can laze out with my shower ritual, I will.

Alberto Balsam Coconut & Lychee Nourishing Shampoo
If it isn't obvious by now, I really love the smell of coconut. I definitely want to repurchase this just for the scent alone.

Lush Think Pink Bath Bomb
This was the old version of the Think Pink Bath Bomb. I'm gunna miss those confetti hearts. One of my favourites but I'm yet to try the new version.

Soap & Glory Clean On Me Shower Jelly
Another S&G product in my favourite scent of theirs. I really enjoyed using this but I do prefer the Clean on Me creamy shower gel over this.

Sanex Zero% Shower Gel
Over the past few months, my skin has been a lot drier than usual so I tried this out as it is designed especially for dry skin. It definitely made it feel better and I would pick it up again.

Lush Snow Fairy Shower Gel
Snow Fairy is my favourite Lush scent so I'm sad to see this used up. I do have the body conditioner to keep me sweetly scented for a while yet.

Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes
I tend to only use wipes when travelling as their just easier to pack than a bottle of micellar water but if I am going to use them, Simple is my brand of choice.

Simple Smoothing Facial Scrub

My favourite face scrub, I desperately need to pick up another! 

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water
I'm already halfway through the even bigger bottle of this. I really like this but I'm a big fan of L'oreal's too. 

Nivea Pearl & Beauty Anti-Perspirant
Nivea Sensitive & Pure Anti-Perspirant

I don't have a deodourant I stick to, I tend to just buy whatever is on offer at the time!

Makeup Revolution Pro Prime Aqua Priming Base
I'm a big fan of this spray primer just because it's so quick and easy to use. I won't be rushing out to buy as I've got so many other primers to work my way through.

Makeup Academy Undress Your Skin Illumination Foundation
This foundation has been discontinued so that should give you a vague idea about how long I've had this! I had this in the lightest shade and it looked quite orange on me but I used it when I stayed at my boyfriend's just because the packaging was ideal for fitting in a makeup bag.

Rimmel Wake Me Up Anti-Fatigue Foundation
I wasn't overly impressed with this foundation. It was okay but I don't think it lives up to the anti-fatigue claims. Won't be buying again.
PS Pro Longwear Mineralized FoundationI love this foundation. I'm already making my way through a new bottle, but I'm going to use it sparingly as Primark have now discontinued this and I am GUTTED.

Nyx HD Finishing Powder
I'm definitely more into loose powders than pressed powders these days and this Nyx one is really good.

Rimmel Match Perfection 2 in 1 Skintone Adapting Concealer & HighlighterThis is my go to everyday concealer  but I wouldn't say I love it. I should probably explain? I've had allergic reactions to concealers in the past, the skin under my eyes goes dry & itchy and the day after it'll be hella puffy and swollen. Not the best look. Rimmel is a brand I trust as I've used their concealers religiously with no reactions. The coverage on this isn't great but the shade is spot on. But now, this has been discontinued?! I need to get my hands on the Last Finish Breathable Concealer as I haven't tried that yet. It seems like the best replacement for me as I hate the Wake Me Up Concealer.

Eyeko Black Magic Mascara 
I'm really fussy with mascaras so if I try one and don't like it, I just get rid of it. So any Mascaras featured in these posts are gunna be ones that worked for my lashes. This was just a sample size but I'd buy the full size of this.

No 7 Exceptional Definition Mascara
I really like the wand of this mascara. It gave my lashes length and volume without being too much for an everyday mascara.

Benefit Goof Proof Brow PencilI really like this but I don't think I'd repurchase as I'm enoying using powders and pomades at the moment.

Benefit Gimme Brow
The same goes for this!

Taylor Swift Wonderstruck Eau De Parfum"Top notes: Raspberry, Dewberry, Green Tea, Freesia, Apple Blossom
Heart notes: Vanilla, Honeysuckle, White Hibiscus
Base notes: Golden Amber, Musk, Sandalwood, Peach." 

This isn't actually empty but the spray tube thing (you know the part I mean, what is it actually called?!) doesn't reach the bottom of the bottle. I'm not impressed. This isn't one of my favourite scents so it could be worse!

Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh Eau De Toilette
"Top notes: Grapefruit, Raspberry, Pear
Heart notes: Jasmine, Rose, Violet, Litchi 
Base notes: Musk, Cedar, Plum."

This was my go to everyday scent for ages. It's quite a different scent for me as I don't gravitate to fresh scents often. I much prefer sweeter scents usually. That being said, I probably won't repurchase this as it isn't one of my faves.

Guerlain Insolence Eau De Parfum
"Top notes: Red berries
Heart notes: Violet, Iris
Base notes: Sandalwood, Tonka Bean."

This is my all time favourite perfume and the one which is my signature scent as I wear it the most. I just love it! If you've never smelt it before, give it a sniff next time you're at a perfume counter. Already halfway through another bottle.

Anna Sui Forbidden Affair Eau De Toilette
"Top notes: Lemon, Blackcurrant, Redcurrant
Heart notes: Raspberry, Rose, Pomegranate
Base notes: Violet, Musk, Cedar."

Another one of my faves, you can get this at quite a discounted price! It's a fragrance not many people have heard which is a shame as it smells gorgeous. I'm definitely going to look online to see where I can get the biggest bottle for the best price.

One Direction Between Us Eau De Parfum
"Top notes: Mandarin Essence, Italian Nutmeg, Apricot
Heart notes: Freesia, Gardenia, Solar Jasmine
Base notes: Indonesian Patchouli, Madagascan Vanilla, Golden Amber Accord."

This is the perfume I get complimented on most, everyone always comments how nice it is and are usually pretty shock when I tell them it's a One Direction perfume! It's much more of a grown up scent than their previous perfumes. Another one to give a sniff if you haven't smell it before!

One Direction Our Moment Eau De Parfum
"Top notes: Pink Grapefruit, Forest Fruits, Redcurrant
Heart notes: Freesia, Jasmine, Frangipani 
Base notes: Woodsy Notes, Patchouli, Musk."

The other One Direction scent I love, though not as much as Between Us. I'm not a big fan of the other two scents; That Moment and You &I, but these two are always repurchases.

Have you used any of these products before?

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15 January 2018

Glossybox VS. Birchbox, January 2018.

The start of a new year, the start of new beauty box subscriptions. I'd originally looked at Birchbox back in December but decided that Glossybox was going to be the box for me. Then after christmas I spotted a Groupon deal for £45 off a year subscription to Birchbox... I mean, it would be rude not to, wouldn't it?

So now, I'm subscribed to two beauty boxes with similar price points. (Glossybox is £10 per month plus £3.25 delivery while Birchbox is £10 per month plus £2.95 delivery.) So why not pit the boxes against each other every month and see which one comes out on top?

There are things I like about each specific one which won't change month to month. I like that Birchbox tailors each box to you based on the beauty profile you fill in when you subscribe, meaning there's less chance of a dud product that you won't like. However, Birchbox send their boxes out with Hermes, who despite the tracking saying the box was left "securely in porch" (We don't even have a porch!), they left it sat outside the front door where anyone could have taken it. Glossybox send theirs with Royal Mail and I know that if noone is in, it'll be left with a neighbour or taken back to the delivery office, which isn't a hassle for me to collect it from.

But onto the actual boxes. I love that their both different styles. I've been using Glossyboxes to make compartments in my drawers to seperate my make up. I like Birchboxes drawer style too, I want to use the sleeve part as eyeshadow palette holders.

Glossybox contains 5 products, 4 of which are full size. The overall value of the full size products comes to £89.98, not bad for £10!

Boots Beauty Beneath Supplements (Full size RRP £39.99)
While the idea of these intrigue me, I'm going to be passing these on. I'm not the best at swallowing normal tablets and these beasts are 'effing massive! The box contains a months supply so it is a generous addition to the box, just not for me.

Apicia Cream Blush (Full Size RRP £22)
Let's get the other product I won't be keeping out the way. I'm not a fan of cream blushes but the colour seems nice. It looks quite strong at first but sheers out easily.

Nail Medic Nail and Cuticle Energizer (Full Size RRP £5.99)
I'll be getting use of out this, maybe not as often as I should as I tend to slack when it comes to my nails. This is a good addition.

Evelyn Iona Cosmetics Green Tea Primer (Full Size RRP £22)
This is my favourite thing from this month's box. It's really tacky and definitely made my makeup last longer. It's vegan and cruelty free too.

Dr Botanicals Moroccan Rose Superfood Facial Oil (Travel Size)
This was the sneak peak on December's card and I like this as I've only just gotten into using facial oils. It doesn't have a strong scent, which is good as I'm not keen on rose fragrances.

So out of 5 products, I'll be keeping 3 and giving 2 away.

Birchbox also contains 5 products, only 1 of which is full size.

AfterSpa Amazing Makeup Remover
This is tiny! I've already got 2 big versions of this from Primark. I keep one at home and the other at my boyfriend's so I'm not sure when this mini version will be used. Maybe for a weekend away? It is a lot softer than Primark's version but 2 days and it'll need washing.

Oribe Dry Texturising Spray
I'm looking forward to giving this a try. It'll be interesting to see how it compares to my trusty bastiste. Another one that will be coming on holiday, it's the perfect little travel size.

Lord & Berry Blusher Crayon in Peach (Full Size RRP £15)
This was the product we got to choose this month. There were two shades to choose from, Peach and a pink shade called Carnelia. I really like this, I've never tried blusher in a crayon before. It's super creamy and easy to blend out.

Marcelle Waterproof Eyeliner in Charcoal
I really like this too, I don't have any grey eyeliners and this one has a slight shimmer to it. The staying power is really impressive as well.

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer in Radiance
This is my favourite product from Birchbox this month. So my favourite from each box was a primer, but this one is my favourite out of the two! I love the glow it gives, so much that I'm considering purchasing the full size when this runs out.

The winner has to be Birchbox! There wasn't a product I didn't like or won't get any use out of.

What are the sneak peaks for next month? I'm really excited about one of them, the other not so much. The one that will probably be a miss for me is the Keeome Silicone Buff Make-Up Applicator which will be in February's Birchbox. I just don't like silicone applicators. I like the sound of the Studio 10 Makeup Mist Glow-Plexion in February's Glossybox. It's a primer, spritz and setting spray all in 1. Yes Please!

Which do you prefer out of these boxes?


12 January 2018

Makeup Revolution Mint Chocolate Eyeshadow Palette.

When my boyfriend's mum asked me what I wanted for christmas, I knew the answer had to be an eyeshadow palette. But which one? I didn't want to ask for something that was going to break the bank so Makeup Revolution is always a go to, especially after falling in love with their shadows through the Soph palette.

Their chocolate bar palettes were obviously started as dupes for the Too Faced chocolate bar palettes but now outnumber the originals. I definitely prefer the packaging of Too Faced but Makeup Revolution wins for the variety. I almost asked for the newly released Chocolate Orange palette but in the end I had to go for the Mint Chocolate palette.

I love the shade range in this palette and the shadows themselves are highly pigmented. There is a little fall out but nothing overwhelming. I just wish the shade names were actually on the packaging instead of on a clear sheet that I'm obviously going to lose at some point in the near future! It includes a big mirror (bigger than the ones in the Too Faced versions) so this would be a good palette to travel with.

These swatches are just one swipe, no dipping back in to built it up here! The shimmers are the real star of the show for me. Distorted and Commotion are my favourite shades. (Can I just take a moment to express my disappointed that the shade names have nothing to do with mint or chocolate?!) This is easily going to become one of my most used palettes for this year.

The Mint Chocolate palette is available at the TAM beauty website here and it only costs £8.99.

Have you tried any of these palettes? Which chocolate palette is your favourite?


6 January 2018

What I've Been Reading: December 2017.

Another month, another lot of books. Despite the month, I didn't delve into any festive novels and the majority are thrillers. Apart from one author who I'm a big fan of, the rest were all new to me and I was really impressed. I'll definitely be adding  some other novels by the same authors to my to read list! December was a month dedicated to British authors, in fact the whole of 2017 was a year where I discovered some great authors from my home country.

"She's a friendly voice on the phone. But can you trust her? The people who call End of the Line need hope. They need reassurance that life if worth living. But some are unlucky enough to get through to Laura. Laura doesn't want them to hope. She wants them to die. Laura hasn't had it easy: She's survived sickness and a difficult marriage only to find herself heading for forty, unsettled and angry. She doesn't love talking to people worse off than she is. She craves it. But now someone's on to her- Ryan, whose world falls apart when his pregnant wife ends her life, hand in hand with a stranger. Who was this man, and why did they choose to die together? The sinister truth is within Ryan's grasp, but he has no idea of the desperate lengths Laura will go to... Because the best thing about being a good samaritan is that you can get away with murder."

This was such a good introduction to John Marrs. I'll admit it took me about a week to get through this as I did need a few breaks from it. This is one effed up book, but in a good way! Laura is a character that everyone will love to hate but the ending was a little unsatisfying for me, I wanted to see her suffer more!

"'My boyfriend could get into trouble if he gets caught. He could go to jail.' I moan softly. 'So could I.' 'Anything you tell me is completely confidential.' I sigh deeply. What have I got to lose? 'I wouldn't know where to begin.' 'At the beginning?' she says. 'In your own words.' So that's what I do. I start at the beginning like she says. The day I met Suzie. 

Indigo (Indie) rings the samaritans. She is frightenedd and desperate with on one to turn to. Over the course of one long night, Indie tells her story to the person on the end of the phone. She realises that her friend Suzie has taken over her home, her friends, her work, her boyfriend- and her life. After every few chapters, we are brought back to the present moment, and see how piecing the story together helps Indie progress towards resolution."

This was good but probably my least favourite of December. I think I'm too old for this book, but obviously I'm not the target audience. This would be best for early teens rather than young adult but the writing was good and the way the story is told through Indie's phone call to the samaritans is executed very well.

"Your husband goes out to buy a newspaper. He never comes back. Months later, an unexpected phone call puts you and your daughter in unimaginable daughter. Even if he were still alive, your husband can't save you now. He yold you way too many lies for that."

I like that the synopsis on this is short and sweet. I went into this with almost no expectations and ended up loving it. It was easy to see where this was heading plot wise but there were twists and turns along the way and the conclusion made the journey worth it. On the back of this, Samantha Hayes is an author I definitely want to read more of.

"The perfect daughter. The perfect girlfriend. The perfect murder? Jenna is given another shot at life when she receives a donor heart from a girl called Callie. Eternally grateful to Callie and her family, Jenna gets closer to them, but she soon discovers that Callie's perfect family is hiding some very dark secrets... Callie's parents are grieving, yet Jenna knows they're only teller her half the story. Where is Callie's sister Sophie? She's been 'abroad' since her sister's death but something about her absence doesn't add up. And when Jenna meets Callie's boyfriend Nathan, she makes a shocking discovery. Jenna knows that Callie didn't die in an accident. But how did she die? Jenna is determined to discover the truth but it could cost her everything; her loved ones, her sanity, even her life."

Louise Jensen is an author who has appeared fairly regularly. I'd already read The Sister and The Surrogate, so reading The Gift was a no brainer. This is probably my second favourite after The Sister and was a rollercoaster read. Louise Jensen is up there with my favourite authors now, any future book releases of hers will always to on my to read and if you haven't read any of the three books I've mentioned, I recommend you get your mitts on them!

"Maria Weston wants to be friends. But Maria Weston is dead. Isn't she? 

1989. When Louise first notices the new girl who has mysteriously transferred late into their senior year, Maria seems to be everything the girls Louise hangs out with aren't. Authentic. Funny. Brash. Withing just a few days, Maria and Louise are on their way to becoming fast friends.

2016. Louise receives a heart-stopping email: Maria Weston wants to be friends on Facebook. Long-buried memories quickly rise to the surface: those first days of their budding friendship; cruel decisions made and dark secrets kept; the night that would change all their lives forever. Louise has always known that if the truth ever came out, she could stand to lose everything. Her job. Her son. Her freedom. Maria's sudden reappearance threatens it all, and forces Louise to reconnect with everyone she'd severed ties with to escape the past. But as she tries to piece together what happened that night, Louise discovers more to the story than she ever knew. To keep her secret, Louise must first uncover the whole truth, before what's known to Maria- or whoever's pretending to be her- is known to all."

This is Laura Marshall's debut novel and also my favourite novel I read in December. The novel flips between 2016 and flashbacks to Louise's schooldays in 1989. This was such a great read one I can't recommend highly enough. I didn't see the twist at the end coming at all, it was such a surprise. What a book to finish 2017 on!

You can check out my previous What I've Been Reading posts by clicking here.
What were you reading in December? Have you read any of these before?
If you have any recommendation, be sure to pop a comment on this post so I can check them out.
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