31 July 2018

New Beauty Box Subscription: Mopbox.

There is definitely an influx of beauty subscriptions on the market right and if you're looking into what box to get, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed. One new launch is Mopbox*, which stands for Makeup Only Please. The box costs £24 per month and boxes are sent second class signed for.

The box it comes in is in a really fun, quirky print which is instagram worthy. As well as the products, you also get a mini magazine which details who to use the items. Each box will include one of these, up to four makeup items, a makeup tool and one brush.

The makeup products in this box are Lord & Berry Scuba Pro Mascara (RRP £16), So Susan Liquid Powder Eyeshadow Palette (RRP £11.50), Model Co On The Glow Cream Highlighter (RRP £14.95) and The Glitter Army Glitter Bag (RRP £4.50). There's also an eyelash curler and a Mopbox branded small blending brush.

The mascara is waterproof, just how I like 'em. The glitter and highlighter I probably won't use but the curler and brush will always come in handy.

I was disappointed when I tried swatching the eyeshadow palette. The formula feels very chalky and the pigmentation isn't great.

The idea behind this box is great, if you read my other beauty box reviews, you'll know I love it when they're very makeup heavy. However the execution behind the idea falls a little flat. The price of the box is something that I feel needs looking at. I can think of another very popular beauty subscription around the same price point that comes across as much better value for your money.

It will be interesting to see how the second box fares as I don't think you can properly judge a subscription on one box alone. If you want to learn more about this box, just click here.

What do you think of this new launch?


*I was gifted this box for review purposes but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

17 July 2018

Glossybox VS. Birchbox, July 2018.

I think I've made my feelings on these two subscription boxes pretty clear. Glossybox is my favourite and Birchbox never seems to measure up. But could this be it, could this be the month that all changes?

So, Birchbox costs £10 a month plus £2.95 delivery with hermes (who as always are crap. Why bother ringing the doorbell when you can just throw it through an open window?! Is it any wonder so many people have complained about the powder being broken this month!) The box has changed from this month, so instead of a drawer style, it's now the same style as Glossybox, only smaller. There's 5 products inside, one full size.

The only full size product is the Manna Kadar Long-Wear Powder in the shade Paradise (RRP £15). This was the product subscribers got to choose this month, but I picked the suprise me option. This is a dark coral blush with a hint of gold shimmer, it reminds me of Sleek's rose gold blusher. Being totally honest, this is one of two products I'm happy with.

Next up if a sample of R + Co Badlands Dry Shampoo Paste. Kudos here to Birchbox finally sending me a hair product I'll get some use out of! Usually they send me ones for dry hair, when my profile is marked as oily hair so this was nice for a change. But it's such a tiny little tub, it just isn't enough to try it properly.

The only body product comes in the form of the What's in it for me..?  Shower Scrub. This is another product I'm happy with as I love a good shower scrub. This would be an ideal travel friendly size too.

The first of the two skincare items is Klorane Floral Water Makeup Remover. I'll probably get two uses out of this tops but again, I'll use this when travelling.

The last product is the Balance Me Congested Skin Serum. This is the product I'm most annoyed about. As this is a sample, it doesn't say what skin it's suited for but it you look on Birchbox's website, the fullsize bottle says its for oily acne prone skin. My profile is marked as dry skin so I'm annoyed that I've even been sent this.

I've had items sent for the complete opposite of my beauty profile on multiple occasions now and it's getting a joke now. I'm not happy with Birchbox and without a doubt, once my year subscription comes to an end, I won't be renewing.

Glossybox also costs £10 a month plus £3.25 tracked delivery with Royal Mail. There's five products this month plus an extra sample.

The first product is the Senhor Do Bonfim Sea Water Hair Spray (full size RRP £16). While I'm not a big fan of receiving hair products in beauty boxes, this one is a welcome addition. I've never used a saltwater spray before but I'm looking forward to trying it out.

Next up is Crabtree & Evelyn La Source Hand Therapy (full size RRP £8). I always need more hand cream as my hands are so dry and this is an ideal size to throw in a handbag. It smells really nice and fresh too.

We've got a make up product with the Oriflame THE ONE 5-in-1 Wonder Lash Mascara (full size RRP £9). This sounds ideal as it's supposed to lift, curl, volumise, lengthen and seperate lashes. I haven't tried it out yet as I have a few other mascaras to get few first before opening another.

That cute brush is the Inuwet Cheek Shell Brush (RRP £13.20). I'll be using this to contour with.

There's also a deluxe mini of Regenerate Enamel Science Advanced Toothpaste. This is the first toothpaste of it's kind as it regenerates enamel and reverses erosion. Sounds good to me!

The extra treat is a sachet of Hawaiian Tropic Duo Defence Sun Lotion SPF30. This provides an anti-pollution layer as well as UV protection but I'm more of an SPF50 girl myself! I'll keep this as a backup as I'm going through sun lotion like nobodies business.

Surprise, surprise, I prefer Glossybox over Birchbox again. I like the sneak peek for both boxes as Glossybox will have an eyeshadow paint next month and Birchbox will have an eyeshadow crayon.

Do you get either of these? Which do you prefer?


10 July 2018

A Weekend in Norfolk.

Me and Glenn took our yearly trip to Norfolk recently. We spent a day on the Broads and stayed three nights in Great Yarmouth. If you think GY is just a tacky seaside resort, I'm here to tell you how wrong you are!

We always stay at the same B&B which is The White Lodge. This is our fourth year in a row staying here and it's easy to see why it's the number one rated B&B in GY on Tripadvisor. It's perfectly placed on the seafront away from the main hustle and bustle of the town but will only take a 15 minute walk to get to Britannia Pier. The White Lodge is in a residential area so it's nice and quiet and has plenty of street parking that doesn't require pay & display.

We stayed in the superior king room with seaview and this will be our go to room from now on. The bed was massive and I loved the art deco feel of the room. The owner Jean does an amazing job and makes you feel at home straightaway. You'll also be greeted by Diesel, the B&B's resident doggo, who is so adorable and probably Glenn's favourite part of our stay!

We ate at a couple of our favourite restaurants during our visit. The Courtyard is a fab hidden gem with only five tables so booking is essential. The food is more on the italian side with our favourite being the homemade lasagne but you'll also find seafood on the menu.

Fish & chips are a necessity at the seaside and while there are a plethora of places to get some, our reccommendation is HMS Hinchinbrook. While they do the usual battered cod, if that's not your style you can have it grilled with a garlic and cream sauce. They also do salmon fillet, lemon sole goujons and panko coated squid rings to you've got plenty of seafood to choose from. I usually go for the grilled tuna steak or the homemade battered smoked haddock fishcakes. Also on the menu are steaks, burgers, pies and chicken.

While we didn't get to go this visit, another favourite is Champagne Charlies. For a set price you get all you can eat tapas. You really need to work up an appetite before eating here to really make the most of it!

Walking back to the B&B in the evening after eating out was the perfect way to burn off the dessert calories. The north part of Yarmouth has a more relaxed vibe with the waterways and the boating lake, both of which are going through restoration work. It should be completed by Summer 2019 and I can't wait to see it.

Are you a fan of Great Yarmouth? Where have you been on a getaway recently?


6 July 2018

What I've Been Reading: June 2018.

I love the weather we're having in the UK right now, sitting outside with a good book sounds like the ideal way to spend a couple of hours. So, that's what I've been doing. I finished six novels this month, all by authors I've never read before but some of these books have been on my to read list for a while!

All The Bright Places
Jennifer Niven
Current Kindle price: £4.99

"Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the suture, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister's recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it's unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the 'natural wonders' of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It's only with Violet that Finch can be himself- a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who's not such a freak after all. And it's only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet's world grows, Finch's begins to shrink. How far will Violet go to save the boy she has come to love?"

This has been on my to read list for ages, since Zoella started her book club but I only just got round to reading it. It fell flat for me, it didn't live up to the hype I've heard but it was a decent read and I definitely want to read more by Jennifer Niven in the future.

13 Reasons Why
Jay Asher
Current Kindle Price: £4.99

"Clay Jensen comes home from school to find outside his front door a mysterious boc with his name on it.

Inside he discovers a series of cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker- his classmate and crush. Only, she committed suicide two weeks earlier.

On the first tape, Hannah explains that there are 13 reasons why she did what she did- and Clay is one of them.

If he listens, Clay will find out how he got onto the list- what he hears will change his life forever."

I mean, who hasn't of this book right now?! I read this after finishing the second season of the netflix show so I wasn't expecting any surprises here. This is one of my sister's favourite books and she hasn't watched the show (but I have told her to!) and I was curious to see if there were any differences to the show. There are a few, Sherri is Jenny in the book, clay listens to the tapes in one night and he gets the tapes before Jenny. Overall I prefer the show, the timeline of Clay listening to the tapes so you have more time to see how all the characters are coping is more interesting. Probably the most important change is the fact that Clay is number 11 on the tapes in the show and that he skips Bryce and passes the tapes on to Mr Porter. In the book, Clay mails the tapes to Jenny so the assumption is that Bryce does get the tapes in the books. So that means, there is no side B to the last tape, book Clay doesn't get a recording of Bryce confessing to raping Hannah. Obviously the differences set up the first season to carry on the story, and with no source material to work from, I was really impressed with season 2. Bring on season 3!

Final Girls
Riley Sager
Current Kindle price: £1.99
"The media calls them the Final Girls- Quincy, Sam, Lisa- the infamous group that no one wants to be a part of. The sole survivors of three separate killing sprees, they are linked by their shared trauma.

But when Lisa dies in mysterious circumstances and Sam shows up unannounced on her doorstep, Quincy must admit that she doesn't really know anything about the other Final Girls. Can she trust them? Or can there only ever be one?
All Quincy knows is one thing: she is next."

I really enjoyed reading this. It kept me guessing, I thought I had it all figured out then the reveal threw me through a loop. I wasn't expecting that ending! If you're into thrillers, then this is a must read, it's one of the best I've read this year.

Doll Hearts 
Colleen Clayton
Current Kindle price: £3.73

"17-year-old Julianne Bell's life is caving in on her. Literally. Her mother is a hoarder and shopping addict whose retail drug of choice is collectible dolls. Their house is not a home but more a bizarro game of garage sale tetris in which flea markets finds, amazon boxes, and QVC shipments are puzzled together in a labyrinth of consumer excess and looming bankruptcy. It's a situation Julianne has grown adept at hiding. That is, until the day her school cafeteria account slips into the red. Meal skipping is not an option for someone with Type 1 Diabetes, so when Julianne has a seizure in class, her father claims custody.

Living two hours from her home, with her dad and annoyingly perfect step-mom, is not how Julianne planned to spend her summer, let alone her senior year. Needing fast cash to help her mom avoid foreclosure, Julianne takes a job at an amusement park, and as luck would have it, her former classmate- heartthrob Brandon Wright- also works there. Between sweeping up cigarette butts at the park, racing to solve her mother's financial crisis, managing her diabetes, and navigating a budding romance, Julianne Bell's life just got a whole lot messier."

I had two favourites this month, and this is the first one. I really enjoyed Colleen's writing style, I was sucked into the story straight away. The romance side of the story was a bit of a miss, I just didn't like Brandon much. It was Julianne's relationships with both of her parents that made the book for me.

Ericka Waller
Current Kindle price: £1.99

" Four friends, one year.
Sex, drugs, rock n roll.
What can possibly go wrong?

1997- somewhere dull on the outskirts of London (think middle-class home counties dull as dishwater suburbia.) School oddities, April, Jamie and tom, are trying to work out how to be 15.

April is battling anxiety, is obsessed with Sylvia Plath and has a crush on Tom.

Tom's dad died 18 months ago. His mum had turned into a ghost and his little sister his become his big responsibility. His life is held together by secrets and Critpop, and oh yeah- Tom is in love with April.

Jamie is angry, and she wants everyone to know it. There's more to her story, but Jamie won't tell.

Yuki, Tom's weird neighbour thinks he has life sorted and imparts his pearls of wisdom by channelling Jim Morrison, leather trousers and all."

This was my other favourite of the month. Any book set in the 90s is onto a winner with getting me invested. I feel like I've discovered a hidden gem here as it only had 2 ratings on Goodreads when I bought it! It's such a good YA book, but if you're older like me, don't let that put you off reading it. This is going on my reread pile!

Before I Let You Go
Kelly Rimmer
Current Kindle price: £1.99

"As children, Lexie and Annie were incredibly close. Bonded by the death of their beloved father, they weathered the storms of life together. When Lexie leaves home to follow her dream, Annie is forced to turn to her leatherbound journal as the only place she can confide her deepesr secrets and fears...

As adults, sisters Lexie and Annie could not be more different. Lexie is a successful doctor and happily engaged. Annie is an addict- a thief, a liar and unable to remain clean. When Annie's newborn baby is in danger of being placed in foster care, Annie picks up the phone to beg her sister for help. Will Lexie agree to take in her young niece? And how will Annie survive, losing the only thing in her life worth living for?"

I had tears running down my face while reading this. This is such a good novel, it toyed with my emotions a lot. I want to read When I lost you by same author, as I have high expectations after reading this.

What were you reading in June? Have you read any of these before?