18 March 2018

Glossybox VS Birchbox, March 2018.

After being less than impressed with February's Birchbox, I was looking forward to receiving March's box. The sneak peek for it was a new product that's only recently launched.

Birchbox costs £10 on a month to month basis, plus £2.95 postage but if you buy a three month, six month or yearly subscription, the overall price per box works out cheaper. I'm currently have 9 months left of a years subscription thanks to a new year Groupon deal.

But what was in the box?
Benefit BADgal Bang! Volumising Mascara (Travel Size)
Let's start with that sneak peek! Everyone subscriber received a travel size of the new Benefit mascara. I was really excited to try this as it hasn't been on the market long but there's such a big hype around it already. I'm on the fence with it though. It didn't live up to my expectations but it's not a horrible mascara either. I have long, straight lashes that can barely hold a curl and this looked nice when I first applied it, I don't mind a bit of clumpiness, but my lashes looked messy after a couple of hours wear.

Blaq Peel Off Mask
This was the product we got to choose this month. Either this or a set of eye masks. I choose the peel off mask, just because peeling it off and inspecting the mask afterwards is disgustingly satisfying. I haven't tried it yet but if it does a good job, the full size tube will be something I'll be investing in.

Glamglow Supermud Clearing Mask Treatment
Two charcoal masks in the same box? It's a little bit overkill, I would have preferred something else for a little variety but I'll still use this.

Amika Bombshell Blowout Spray
I prefer to not receive hair products in beauty boxes but this is just a small sample. If I don't like it I can just pass it on. It does have heat protection though which I'll always say yes to.

Rituals The Ritual of Sakura Foaming Shower Gel (Full travel size RRP £4.50)
This smells gorgeous! I'm really pleased with this addition to the box. I haven't tried any Rituals products before so this is a great introduction.

Glossybox costs £10 on a month to month basis, plus £3.25 postage. The overall size and value of the products inside tend to be greater than the products inside Birchbox, with Glossy box having three full size products that total around the £65 mark.

Mudmasky Sleep Repair Renewal Nourishing Mask
Another face mask, but this time it's an overnight mask. I really like the sound of this, it's one of products I'm most excited about. The card even says  it helps to enduce a more restful sleep after a long day. Yes please!

Oryza Beauty Warm Nude Lipstick (Full Size RRP £15.95)
I'm not a fan of this, I'm going to pass it on to my mum. It feels very drying and the colour washes me out. I saw someone's comment on Instagram that they thought it smelt like tarmac, and having sniffed it since, it doesn't have the most pleasant scent.

Figs & Rouge Soft Focus Pore Perfect HD+ (Full Size £35)
A full sized primer than costs £35? Good job, Glossybox. This is the star of the box for me, I love trying new primers and this seems to be a very new launch so it's amazing to find this in the March box!

Decleor Aromessence Neroli Hydrating Oil Serum
I've tried the night balm of this before and hated it, but I'll ignore my previous thoughts on that while trying this out. It's only a small sample so even if I end up not liking it, it isn't that much of a waste.

Makeup Drop Silicone Sponge (Full Size RRP £14.50)
I'm not a massive fan of silicone beauty tools, but the only ones i've tried have been cheap ones from Primark. This has a hefty pricetag in comparison so maybe I'll get on better with this. Beauty tools in beauty boxes will always be a yes for me!

So, for similarly priced boxes, Glossybox has the highest overall value with more full sized products. The variety was better in Glossybox than Birchbox. For the second month in a row, Glossybox is my winner!

But what about next month? I'm more excited about Birchbox's sneak peek.

I used to live in eyeliner but I barely reach for it anymore so Glossybox's sneak peek of the Eyeko Fat Liquid Eyeliner doesn't excite me but it will be a handy product to have in my collection as a just-in-case. Birchbox, on the other hand, excites me greatly! Being a pale girl, I'll be choosing the Frose shade of the Model Co Baked Highlighter. It looks stunning!

What do you think of this month's boxes? Which contents do you prefer?


2 March 2018

What I've Been Reading: February 2018.

I should not have set myself a reading challenge for 2018! I'm reading less books a month since the new year, so I'm calling it now, I'm not going to reach my 96 target by the end of 2018.

Far From The Tree
Robin Benway
Current Kindle price: £4.99

"When 16-year-old Grace gives up her baby for adoption, she decides that the time has come to find out more about her own biological mother. Although her biological mum proves elusive, her search leads her to two half-siblings she never knew existed.
Maya, 15, has been adopted by wealthy parents and seems to have the picture-perfect family- that is, if you look past her alcoholic mother and the fact that Maya stands out like a sore thumb.
Older brother Joaquin hasn't been so lucky. At 18, he's shuffled between foster home after foster home, always careful never to get attached to anyone or anything, because it always gets taken away.
When these three siblings come together, they find in themselves the place they can belong, while the secrets they guard threaten to explode."

I really enjoyed this, I hadn't read anything by Robin Benway before so this was a nice introduction. Grace was my favourite of the three siblings and I loved their journey together. The point of view switches between Grace, Maya and Joaquin, which works really well. A definite recommend.

Torn Away
Jennifer Brown
Current kindle price: 99p

"Jersey Cameron has always loved a good storm. Watching the clouds roll in and the wind pick up. Smelling the electricity in the air. Dancing barefoot in the rain. She lives in the midwest, after all, where the weather is sure to keep you guessing. Jersey knows what to do when the tornado sirens sound. But she never could have been prepared for this. 
When her town is devastated by a tornado, Jersey loses everything. As she struggles to overcome her grief, she's sent to live with relatives she hardly knows- family who might as well be strangers. In an unfamiliar place, can Jersey discover that even on the darkest of days, there are some things no tornado can destroy?"

This is the second novel by Jennifer Brown I've read, and the second one I've loved. And for 99p, this is a brilliant read! This and Hate List, the other novel I've read, have such powerful storylines, it's impossible not to get worked up into an emotional wreck! There were characters in this I hated with a passion, if there was an award for most dead beat dad, then I think this book has the winner. I definitely want to read some more books by Jennifer Brown.

When It's Real
Erin Watt
Current kindle price: £2.99

"Under ordinary circumstances, Oakley Ford and Vaughn Bennett would never even cross paths.
There's nothing ordinary about Oakley. This bad-boy popstar's got grammy awards, millions of fangirls and a reputation as a restless, too-charming troublemaker. But with his home life disintegrating, his music well suddenly running dry and the tabloids having a field day over his outrageous exploits, Oakley needs to show the world he's settling down- and who better to help than Vaughn, a part-time waitress trying to help her family get by? The very definition of ordinary.
Posing as his girlfriend, Vaughn will overhaul Oakley's image from troublemaker to serious artist. In return for enough money to put her brothers through college, she can endure outlandish Hollywood parties and carefully orchestrated Twitter exchanges. She'll fool the paparazzi and the groupies. She might even start fooling herself a little.
Because when ordinary rules no longer apply, there's no telling what your heart will do."

This was a cute read, but it didn't blow me away. You know what you're getting with a book like this. The story was a little predictable but it was well written.

The Foster Child
Jenny Blackhurst
Current kindle price: £1.99

"When child psychologist Imogen Reid takes on the case of 11-year-old Ellie Atkinson, she refuses to listen to the warnings that the girl is dangerous. Ellie was the only survivor of a fire that killed her family. Imogen is convinced that she's just a sad and angry child struggling to cope with her loss. But Ellie's foster parents and teachers are starting to fear her. When she gets upset, bad things seem to happen. And as Imogen gets closer to Ellie, she may be putting herself in danger..."

This was one of my favourites this month. I couldn't figure out where this story was going and I'm really glad it kept me guessing. This is probably one of the most original thrillers I've read in a while, which is quite a feat considering how many pop up in my amazon recommendations.

The Last Mrs. Parrish
Liv Constantine
Current kindle price: 99p

"Amber Patterson is fed up. She's tired of being a nobody: a plain, invisible woman who blends into the background. She deserves more- a life of money and power like the one blond-haired, blue-eyed Daphne Parrish takes for granted. To everyone in the exclusive town of Bishops Harbor, Connecticut, Daphne and her husband, Jackson- the beautiful philanthropist and real estate mogul- are a golden couple straight out of a fairytale, blessed with two lovely young daughters. Amber's envy could eat her alive- if she didn't have a plan. Amber uses Daphne's compassion and caring yo insinuate herself into the family's life, the first step in a meticulous scheme to undermine her. Before long, Amber is Daphne's closest confidante, traveling to Europe with the family, and growing closer to Jackson. But a skeleton from her past may undermine everything that Amber has worked towards, and if it is discovered, her well-laid plan may fall to pieces."

If I had to only recommend one book I read this month, it would be this one. I can't say too much without giving anything away but oh, this was such a ride! It's split into three parts, the first from Amber's point of view, the second from Daphne's and the third is shared between the two. The ending was completely satisfying and tied everything up nicely. It wouldn't come as a surprise if someone picked up the rights to this soon, especially with Reese Witherspoon having this as one of the picks of her book club. I'd be first in line to see this on the big screen, someone please make it happen!

What have you been reading the past month? Have you read any of these before?
You can check out previous month's of What I've Been Reading by clicking here.