9 February 2018

Glossybox VS. Birchbox, February 2018.

Another month, another lot of beauty boxes. I was really impressed with my first ever Birchbox last month, so much that I preferred the contents over January's Glossybox. So how do February's offerings compare?

I love both box designs this month. Birchbox offered a choice of 3 designs. I went for the '80s design over the '70s and '90s, however the choice of box doesn't affect the choice of products inside. Glossybox have a special Galentines Day design rather than the usual pastel pink box. I'm going to be keeping both to use as extra makeup storage.

Birchbox products are supposed to be tailored to the beauty profile to fill in when joining, so I have a few niggles this month. I received a couple of hair products for the complete opposite of my hair type! What is the point of the profile if I'm going to get products I won't use? I did tweet Birchbox to voice my concerns and they've said this is something they'll look into I won't have the same outcome next month.

The Beauty Crop Eyeshadow Trio in Love You So Latte (Full Size RRP £7)This will definitely be a handy trio for travelling and the shadows themselves are pretty pigmented. This is a birchbox exclusive but I'm not exactly blown away by it (especially compared to the eyeshadow in Glossybox but we'll get to that later!)

Model Co Green Concealer (Full Size £14)This is a product that actually targets one of my skin concerns as I did mark on my profile that I suffer from redness. I'll give this a go but I have a green liquid concealer and I much prefer that over cream products.

Percy & Reed Quite Frankly Flawless Finishing PolishI'm going to be giving this product a miss. This was included in everyone's box so I knew I was getting this but it just isn't something I'll use.

Luseta Coconut Milk Hair MaskMy hair gets oily quite quickly and I go through dry shampoo like noone's business so I really don't want to be adding more moisture to my hair! Hard pass and the product that lead to me tweeting Birchbox.

Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm in Pixi Pink (Full Size RRP £8)I'll always use any lip balm that come my way, my lips need all the help they can get in this weather.

Pixi Lip Balm, Model Co Green Concealer & The Beauty Crop Eyeshadow Trio.

Glossybox's lineup is much more makeup heavy, which is my favourite kind of box! The card has changed slightly, so instead of showing exactly what's inside your box, you'll receive 5 selected products of the 8 mentioned on the card. I'm not sure how they work out who gets what but I'm very happy with what I got.

Ciate Paint Pot in Goal Digger (Mini Size RRP £6)
This shade is described as a metallic rose-gold topped with a silver shimmery finish. Yes, yes to everything about this shade! There are various shades in this month's Glossybox but I don't think I could of gotten a better shade than this. Very happy.

Studio10 Beauty Makeup Mist Glow-Plexion (Travel Size £14)
I have high hopes for this little thing, just based on the price alone. There's 15ml of product with an RRP of £14, yet Urban Decay's travel size of All Nighter Setting Spray is £9 for 30ml. It'll be interesting to see how the two compare. This can also be used as a primer spray, so a good multitasker for a travel makeup bag.

Steve Laurant Nude Pop Lip Tint (Full Size RRP £17)
I'm going to say this is a tinted lip balm, though the box it comes in says it's a lip gloss?! I'm much more excited about this than the lip balm in Birchbox. It's a subtle peachy colour and comes in a glass pot with a rose gold lid. As lip balms go, the packaging is very luxurious. This is the second Steve Laurant product over 3 months with Glossybox and I'm a big fan of what I've tried so far.

Icona Milano Emotion Allowed Waterproof Mascara (Full Size RRP £15)
I'm very picky with mascaras as my lashes are utter crap. Getting mascaras in beauty boxes means I don't have to spend money on them to find out it doesn't work for me at all. If I find one I like this way, I can always repurchase it and if I don't like it, I haven't spent a lot for nothing! I'm a big fan of waterproof mascaras as my lashes tend to hold a curl for longer so I'm looking forward to giving this a try.

Sleek Makeup i-Divine Eyeshadow Palette in Storm (Full Size RRP £8.99)
Those colours! This palette puts the little trio in Birchbox to shame. Sleek is one of my favourite brands but I've never tried any of their eyeshadows before. Now I'm kicking myself for not trying them sooner. These shadows are very pigmented without being chalky and the shimmers are absolutely stunning.

So which box is the best this month?
Well, it has to be Glossybox. Considering both boxes cost £10, Glossybox gives you more bang for your buck and I'm just overall more impressed with their lineup this month. If I was subscribed to Birchbox on a month to month basis, I'd be considering cancelling but I got a Groupon deal for a years subscription so I'm hoping they up their game for March.

There's no sneak peek for March on the Glossybox card but I'm intrigued by Birchbox's. Subscribers will be getting a choice between a Blaq Hydrogel Eye Mask or a Blaq Peel Off Mask. I'll be going for the mask!

What do you think to February's boxes? Are you subscribed to either of these?

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6 February 2018

Kat Von D Saint & Sinner Eyeshadow Palette.

I've been meaning to do a post about this palette since christmas, as this was one of my presents. I was going to buy this myself using Debenhams vouchers I'd had for my birthday but they'd already sold out by that time. Lucky for me, my boyfriend ordered it from America as he knew I wanted it!

In the lead up to christmas day, he actually kept dropping hints about how well he'd done this year and how much I would love it. When I asked if it was the Saint & Sinner palette, his poker face didn't slip at all! When he started filming on his phone when I was unwrapping it, my immediate thought was that it was some elaborate proposal! It obviously wasn't but theres always next year...

It's such a beautiful palette that I just wanted to keep it pristine a while longer before getting swatch happy for a blog post. I've seen online a few people have been depotting the shadows so they can arrange them in an order that makes more sense to them but I would never want to do that as the packaging is gorgeous.

I'm really impressed with the quality of the shadows. These are the first eyeshadows I've tried by Kat Von D and they're probably some of the most pigmented shadows I've ever used.

I definitely prefer the right side of the palette, I'm all about the bright colours recently.

L-R: Amen, Sacred Heart, Chalice, Immaculate, Worship, Absolution.

L-R: Baptism, Rosary, Cathedral, Crucifix, Heaven, Sanctuary.

L-R: Revelation, Devil, Martyr, Ashes, Sabbath, Rapture.

L-R: Stigmata, Relic, Exorcism, Exodus, Ministry, Vestment.

Those last 6 shades though! How stunning are those shimmer shades?
I love Kat Von D as a brand, I've been impressed with everything I've tried so far and I definitely need some more KVD in my life!

Have you tried any KVD eyeshadow palettes?

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3 February 2018

What I've Been Reading: January 2018.

This year is the first time ever that I'll be participating in Goodread's reading challenge. I've set myself a goal of reading 96 books over the course of 2018. Last year, I read about 6 books average per month so I'll have to make it 8 per month this year to reach my goal. Did I read 8 this month? No. I'm still on my usual 6 so not the best start to my challenge! I'm gunna start with the books I liked least and end with my favourites of the month.

"Nolan Lennox had things figured out. Named after a baseball legend, she enjoyed being the tomboy, her closet filled with her brother's hand-me-downs, cut-off jeans and socccer shorts. But when her first trip to high school results in a broken heart from the first boy to ever make her heart flutter and cruel words from an older girl she once thought a family friend, Nolan starts to question the very person she thought she was and wonders if her humble upbringing can compete with the afforded luxuries of her privileged peers. Throughout the next four years, Nolan struggles to maintain herself throughout her path of discovery, learning just how cruel teenagers can be through the pressures of underage drinking, sexuality and class. And despite how life seems to continue to work against her, she still manages to listen to her heart, falling  deeper and deeper for the guy the entire town adores, even if her only sees her as a friend. Can Nolan strike a compromise between her own integrity and the boy she loves? And can she make him notice her before it's too late? Reed Johnson came to Coolidge High School with a lot of fanfare. The son of a hometown football legend and the brother of a local football hero, Reed wore all the pressures of carrying a town without hope into the spotlight. Thankfully, he had the talent to back it up. But when he meets a girl who makes him think twice about exactly what being a hero means, he starts to wonder if following in his brother's footsteps might be all wrong. Nolan Lennox was everything that was the opposite of expected. She didn't flirt, she didn't drink and she didn't sleep around. Nothing about her was easy, but something about her made Reed want to try harder. Though she didn't look the part, she seemed to be spending a lot of time in Reed's thoughts, and he wondered if she could be the one who made it all worthwhile. But could Reed handle letting her down? And would breaking her heart break him beyond repair?"

I was not a fan of this at all. The writing itself wasn't bad but the story dragged on and on. I loved the first book in the Harper Boys series by Ginger Scott but the other books by the same author just don't cut it with me, this one included. It's set over four years, four years worth of young adult by numbers. All pretty predictable and the characters themselves aren't even that likable. Hard pass.

"Della's over the moon when she kisses her long-standing crush at a party- but the she discovers her diary has disappeared... When scans of embarrassing pages are sent to her mobile and appear on Facebook, Della's distraught- how can she enjoy her first proper romance when someone, somewhere, knows all her deepest, darkest secrets?"

This was a quick, easy read that in all honestly, I'm probably a little too old for. I really like Keris Stainton as an author, Counting Stars was one of my favourite books of last year so I'd recommend skipping Della Says OMG and going straight for Counting Stars!

"When Jena Leigh is in a near fatal car crash, she wakes to find her younger brother close to death. Jena soon realises that the crash was no accident but a deliberate attempt to kill her and her brother. But why would a complete stranger want Jena dead? Seeking answers from a mysterious young man named Cary, Jena finds herself on a terrifying journey in search of the truth while trying to avoid those who chase life."

I really liked this. The idea behind it is very original but that isn't surprising considering the author. Lynda O'rourke is also the author behind the Kassidy Bell series, which is a series I love! I definitely prefer that series over this one but I'll be continuing the Chasing Life series when the next book is released.

"For popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12- "Cupid Day"- should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is... until she dies in a terrible accident that night. However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she ever imagined. "

I really thought this was going to be my favourite book of the month as I devoured this pretty quickly. Unfortunately there were 2 other books this month that I read after that also blew me away. I watched the movie on Netflix after finishing this and honestly, the film was good but the book is better! There are slight changes in the movies that I didn't like so if you do want to watch the film, read the book first. I'm shocked that this is a debut novel as it's amazing. A book you should definitely read!

"Bo Luxton has it all- a loving family, a beautiful home in the Lake District, and a clutch of bestselling books to her name. Enter Alice Dark, an aspiring writer who is drifting through life, with a series of dead-end jobs and a freeloading boyfriend. When they meet at a writers' retreat, the chemistry is instant, and a sinister relationship develops. Or does it? Breathlessly pacey, taut and terrifying, Exquisite is a startlingly original and unbalancing psychological thriller that will keep you guessing until the very last page."

Wow. I'd never heard of Sarah Stovell before but this popped up in my recommendations.  I'm really glad it did! It kept me guessing and the ending was satisfying to read. There's a reason the book description is so vague, with no idea where this book was going to go, I couldn't put it down. Also, how gorgeous is that cover?!

"Natasha's sure that her friends love her. But does that mean they didn't tryto killer her? Natasha is the most popular girl in school. So why was she pulled out of a freezing river after being dead for thirteen minutes? She doesn't remember how she ended up in the icy water that night, but she does know this- it wasn't an accident, and she wasn't suicidal. Now Natasha's two closest friends, who are usually her loyal sidekicks, are acting strangely. Natasha turns to Becca, the best friends she dumped years before, to help her figure out the mystery. At first Becca isn't sure that she even wants to help Natasha. But as she is drawn back into Natasha's orbit, Becca starts putting the pieces together. As an outsider, Becca believes she may be the only one who can uncover the truth... which is far more twisted than she ever imagined."

Hands down, the best book I read in January! In fact, Netflix have already bought the rights to this. The creator's behind CW's Gossip Girl are on board to write the adaption and produce it. I'm a little disappointed the film adaption will be made by an American company as the setting of the book is something I loved. Brit authors really are smashing it right now! It's a shame the BBC or ITV didn't pick up the rights to this but I'm still excited to see the Netflix movie whenever it does come out. As usual, I'm sure the book will still be better!
There are so many twists and turns in this, I was definitely put through the wringer. I thought the book was winding down, tying up the loose ends, reaching it's conclusion when I noticed the time left in book at the bottom of my Kindle told me I was only halfway through. What?! Just when I thought one thing, this massive curveball comes along and shatters everything I thought I knew. If you take anything away from this blog post, please let it be that you need to read this book! I promise you won't regret it.

What have you been reading over the past month? Have you read any of these?

If you wantt to see previous posts of What I've Been Reading, just click here.
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