Sprinkle Happiness – Brought to you by Birchbox (Jan 17 edition)

img_1171Last week I got home to a lovely treat on my doorstep – my January Birchbox.It was a much needed surprise after such a manic day – or rather week – at work. In between the gym, making healthy lunches to take to work and back to back meetings all day, everyday last week, I was starting to go a little insane. So believe me when I say that I was delighted to receive this little gift “to me, from me”.

A little ray of sunshine on a rainy day.

This month’s box really is a like a little ray of sunshine on a rainy day. Just look at the design of this month’s box. That cute little yellow pattern and the “Sprinkle Happiness” quote on the front of the drawer is sure to brighten up anybody’s day, no matter how crap it’s been so far.

Enough of me ranting, let’s delve into the detail.

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This month, I received 2 full sized products! My first full sized product is the Lord & Berry Conceal-It Crayon in beige. This product is actually a Birchbox exclusive and retails for £12. It’s like Birchbox have read my mind as through my detox this month, I seem to be having horrendous breakouts so this will come in really useful I’m sure. This crayon has a lovely creamy texture and is so easy to apply as you are essentially just drawing over your problem areas and then using your fingertips to blend it in. Birchbox also suggest using it to highlight particular features like beneath your brow bone so I’ll give it a try – I much prefer to use a highlighter to do this usually for that added dewy look but this might be ideal for wearing to work as it’s a bit more subtle.

img_1176The second full sized product in this box is the Merci Handy hand cream in the Chérie Cherry fragrance. It’s quite a cheap product at only £4.50 and is the perfect size to pop in your handbag. I’ve taken it with me in my workbag since receiving it. I’m not overly keen on the scent that I have received as it’s a bit sickly sweet but it’s a nice, thick hand cream so is great for keeping your hands in good nick in this awful weather we are having at the moment. It also has tiny beads inside it which dissolve when you apply the cream to help keep them nourished, which is a nice touch.

img_1180The next product that I got was a mini Nails inc. nail polish in the shade Bourne Street. I’ve not had chance to use this just yet but the shade looks gorgeous and is perfect for a night out. I was a little bit disappointed by the size of this product as it’s so small and will probably only last for 1 or 2 manicures. The full sized product retails for £15 so I’ll give it a try and let you know whether it’s worth adding it to your nail polish collection. Nails inc. also have a nail polish in a spray can which is on my hit list of products to try out so keep a look out for this review.

img_1173I also got a Clarifying Shampoo by Kebelo – the full sized version retails for £13.95. The guide suggests that you should only use it once or twice a month as a detox for your hair to help get rid of product build-up. I actually used this product yesterday and I’m not sure whether I would recommend it as it left my hair feeling so dry that I had to apply a conditioning mask to combat the effect.

img_1174Lastly, I received the Shave Crave Shaving Cream by Whish in the Acai Grapefruit scent. This one retails for £14.80. First of all, this product smells absolutely gorgeous but I’m not sure that I’m a fan of the non-foaming formula. It’s good for getting a close shave but not so great for my sensitive skin. If you prefer a less foamy shaving cream then this is definitely for you as it smells gorgeous and contains shea butter and coconut oil in the formula to protect your skin and keep them super soft and smooth.

My overall thoughts:

I wasn’t overwhelmed by all of the products in this month’s box sadly, but absolutely loved the packaging – it’s very apt for the January blues and is great timing ahead of the dreaded Blue Monday today. Overall I’d give this month’s box a 7/10.

If you’re looking to subscribe then you can do so here and get £5 off your first box. Now’s the time to reward yourself for all the effort that goes into January and to make up for giving up alcohol, chocolate and your social life whilst you snuggle inside and avoid the wet, rainy days.

-Em

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Previous Birchbox reviews:

December 2016 – Merry and Bright

November 2016 – Shake your tail feather

 

 

Merry and Bright – December 2016 Birchbox

img_0840It’s been such a busy couple of weeks that I totally forgot to share my December Birchbox with you guys… better late than never I suppose.

This box beats the November box by a mile in my opinion, although I pretty much use last month’s wet hair brush everyday and highly recommend it to get through your tangled knots after a shower.

So what’s in the box?

The full size product for this month was the Fierce Flicks Eyeliner by Ciaté London. I’ve used this product everyday since getting this box. I always prefer to use a felt tip liner and this one is the perfect thickness to allow you to get a precise finish and it’s a lovely dark black shade and looks great. The only downside is that it does tend to smudge a little so you will need to make sure you use some finishing spray or powder after applying to help it last longer and check it out every now and again to make sure it doesn’t look like you’ve had a mini meltdown at work! But all in all I’d give this product an 8 out of 10 – one of the better felt tip eyeliners that I’ve used.

Next up is the Cavier Stick by Laura Mercier in the Amethyst shade. This is an absolutely stunning colour and has a lovely creamy texture. It’s got a lovely sparkle to it which makes it perfect for the Christmas season and is a great addition to your Christmas or New Year’s party outfits. 10 out of 10.

This box also contains a travel sized Benefit product. My box came with the Benefit POREFessional Matte Rescue Primer but just note that it might vary as my boyfriend’s mum got a Cheek and Lip tint – which she already had and so donated to me #DoubleWin. This primer is fantastic and a great base for your makeup. I’ve heard lots of good reviews about this primer from various people and, after using it myself, I totally agree. This primer is a must-have and I’m definitely going to be purchasing the full sized product as a key feature of my beauty bag. 10 out of 10. 

img_0842December also brought the Perfectly Perfecting Wonder Balm by Percy and Reed. I’d never heard of this brand before and was a bit dubious as it doesn’t really smell of anything and I wasn’t sure on the consistency as it feels a little thin. All in all, it’s okay but I’m not sure that I’d purchase it again – especially at an £18 price tag. I prefer the texture and the smell of the Aussie leave in conditioners and last month’s protect and detangle spray by Beauty Protector personally. I’d give this product a 3 out of 10. 

Last but not least is the New Leaf Deep Pore Exfoliating Polish by amie skincare. I will put my hands up and say that I haven’t yet had chance to use this product so will let you know how I get on with it, but from taking a look, it seems to be quite a creamy texture and I’m not sure how abrasive it will be at first glance. Usually I use St Ives Apricot Scrub as an exfoliator, purely because it’s one of the more effective ones and this product looks to be the other end of the spectrum so I’ll give it a go and see what I think. Product rating TBC. img_0847

I love the packaging of this box. It’s nice and simple and would look lovely under the tree with a bow on top. The various leaflets that come with the box have a beautiful candy cane design and it made me feel instantly festive as it came to the door.

As an added bonus, this box has a cute gift voucher which you can use to share a Birchbox subscription code for a last minute gift. I thought this was a lovely touch and it’s perfect for those friends and family members who love to img_0849try out new brands.

With only a few weeks left of December – scary I know – there’s still time to place an order for the Merry and Bright Birchbox whether that’s for a friend or for yourself. Christmas shopping is hard, remember to treat yourself too! You deserve it.

Use this link to get your first box at half the price.

For those of you that already have a subscription, I’d love to hear what you thought of this month’s box and which full size products you are looking to purchase as a result of trying them.

In case you missed my review of the November edition of the Birchbox, you can catch up here. I’d love to know what you thought of your November beauty gifts!

-Em

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The 99p moisture restoring facial 

Okay, so last week I took the Friday off work to have a pamper day to myself. I struggle to find time just for myself – I’m either working, visiting family and friends or my boyfriend is with me, so it’s rare that I actually get some me time. 

I’d taken the day off and scheduled in a microdermabrasion facial and a back, neck and shoulder massage and couldn’t wait to get some chill time. Now imagine my disappointment when the salon had messed up my appointment – not only the date but also the time. Oh and they didn’t note my phone number down correctly either so couldn’t contact me to confirm the timings like they said they would do a few days before. 

As angry as I was, I really didn’t want to waste my day off. I’d purposely booked the appointments for 1pm so I could have a nice lay in – a luxury that I rarely get – so there wasn’t much time to find a substitute. 

After calling around I managed to find a salon that could squeeze me in for a back,neck and shoulder massage luckily but unfortunately they couldn’t fit me in for a facial too. 

I ended up taking a little trip around the shopping centre and looking at the offers that Boots had on at the moment which is when I stumbled upon this 99p mousturing mask by Garnier. 

Now, I’m fully aware that this doesn’t come anywhere close to having a facial which is tailored to your skin type but I was curious as to how good this could be for such a small price. 

So I got home, put on some relaxing acoustic music to take me back to the chilled vibe in Ibiza earlier this year and blocked out the suggested 15 minutes to let this mask do it’s magic. 

What’s the verdict? 

Upon first try, this mask definitely delivered. It’s a very thin mask made of tissue so can be hard to apply but once it’s on it’s great. 

It smells absolutely amazing and is soaked in moisturing lotion with pomegranate extract so it sinks straight into your skin. Garnier recommend using this mask once a week for maximum results and it’s definitely something that I’ll now be bringing into my skincare regime going forward. 

Give it a try and let me know what you think. 

-Em

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My first Birchbox – Shake your tail feather, November box

Having spent the last week a bit down in the dumps, tucked up in bed with the flu, I decided that now was a good time to finally order the Birchbox subscription that I’ve been thinking about for a while. I was a bit dubious at first, having heard a few people who weren’t fussed by it and ended up cancelling their subscription but I thought I may as well give it a go and rule it out instead of sitting there thinking about it.

I, personally, have a bit of an obsession with buying beauty products and trying out new brands, shades and trends – you only have to look at my giant makeup bag that it bursting at the seams, much to my partner’s dismay, to see that. The Birchbox is a great way of trying those new products that you wouldn’t necessarily think to try if you were to purchase the products yourself.

Now, for the unboxing.

I have to say that the delivery was very prompt. I ordered it on the Sunday night and expected not to receive it until the following Monday but sure enough, it arrived that Friday afternoon and brightened up my pretty dull day cooped up in bed.

The packaging is absolutely stunning and they do a different theme each month when they partner up with various brands. This month’s box was a partnership with Tatler and featured a gorgeous peacock designed box – to say I LOVE it is an understatement.

Cut to the chase – What were the products?!

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This month’s box included 6 products – one of which was a bbrowbar mascara as a free gift for subscribing.

  • Black mascara by the bbrowbar free gift for subscribing
  • Lip tar/ primer by Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics
  • Golden Glow Illuminator BB cream by Marcelle
  • Anti-fatigue moisturing cream by NUXE Paris
  • Protect and detangle spray by Beauty Protector
  • Midi brush by the Wet Brush Pro

So… what was the verdict?

I absolutely love the Birchbox and will definitely be keeping my subscription – for now at least. It’s a lovely idea and a great way to reward yourself for all the hard work you do throughout the week.

I haven’t yet managed to try out all the products just yet, I just got so excited that this arrived that I wanted to share it with you all. Look out for my reviews on each of these products as I give them and keep your eyes peeled for a December box opening.

If, like I was, you are toying with the idea of getting a subscription, just go for it. Use this code to get 50% off your first box and do share which products you get in yours and what you think of them.

Anyway – here’s to a good weekend and wishing I was back in Ibiza sipping this gorgeous cocktail!

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-Em

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