February Beauty Favourites

It’s a new month which means, February beauty favourites blog post! The time where I gather up my favourite products of the month and share them all with you lovely people, so let’s get started!

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Face

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1. Benefit Hoola Bronzer

I’ve never been much of a bronzer girl, I always contour to slim my chubby cheeks down but It’s just not something I’ve ever felt like buying a high-end version of. It’s a lovely colour, not too orange but not to brown toned. Whether you’re a bronzer girl, contour girl or both, this is perfect for all.

2. Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer

If you haven’t heard of this concealer yet, then you’re clearly not a blog reader or avid YouTube watcher like me. It’s probably one of the most talked about drugstore concealers ever. I stopped using this for a while and I don’t know why, It gives such good coverage and not only that its super affordable. I don’t use this under my eyes because I think it’s a bit too heavy for such a delicate area. Why spend out when you can find such an amazing drugstore concealer.

3. Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder

Another very talked about product on blogs and Youtube. This is a lovely drugstore powder, I have the shade ‘Sandstorm’ which is perfect for me. This powder can look really natural on the skin, it gives you a little coverage, is super affordable and sets your make up in place. Job well done.

4. L’Oreal Lumi Magique Concealer

Another amazing drugstore product. This is my favourite under eye concealer at the moment, It’s not too heavy for the delicate under eye area,  gives coverage and highlights. This can also be used to highlight cheek bones, brow bones and the cupids bow.

5. Mac Mebla Blush

This is my go to blusher. Its one of MACs very well-known blushes and I can see why. I think it’s a shade that would suit many skin tones, it’s a soft coral peach. It’s such a wearable shade and gives you a warm peachy complexion to your cheeks.


Eyes

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1. Maybelline Falsies Mascara

This is one of my favourite drugstore mascaras ever. It’s so easy to work with, you don’t have to apply layers and layers to get full long lashes. Two coats and my lashes have a lot of volume and length. I can’t speak highly enough about this mascara, try it!

2. & 4. Max Factor Excess Shimmer Eyeshadow

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The thing that I was most drawn to about these eyeshadows where the fact they reminded me of the Maybelline Colour Tattoo Eyeshadows, not only that but these two gorgeous shades Bronze and Copper. They are a strange mousse-like creamy consistency and I love these used all over the eyelid paired with other shadows in the crease or used together. I have noticed some creasing after a long time wearing these alone on the eye lid, but all in all I really do love the shades and look of these on the eyes.

3. MAC Quad & Eyeshadows

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From left to right, Shroom, Woodwinked, Wedge and Swiss Chocolate.

These are my first ever eyeshadows by MAC and I love creating looks with this quad. MAC describes shroom as a soft beige with shimmer, woodwinked as a warm antiqued gold, Wedge as a soft muted beige taupe and Swiss Chocolate as a muted reddish-brown. They all work together so well to create different looks, from day time natural looks to smokey looks. Although, I’m really unimpressed with Wedge, getting the swatch above was nearly impossible, I’m not sure if I just got a dodgy one.

Lips

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1. & 2. MAC Lip Pencil (Stripdown) & MAC Lipstick (Honey Love)

 This has been currently favourite nude lip pencil and lipstick combo. In the picture above Stripdown looks a lot browner than it is and it looks very different on the lips. MAC describes Stripdown lip pencil as a creamy brown-beige, and Honey Love lipstick as a matte light beige tone with rose. It’s a very different shade nude to what I’ve had before as its more beige toned rather peachy toned, but it’s really grown on me and it’s quite moisturising for a matte lipstick.

2. Nuxe Reve De Miel Lipbalm

This is my all time favourite lip balm. Its one of the best lip balms you will ever try, it is a pricey £9.50 but I think it’s worth every penny. I apply this once before I do my makeup and once before bed and I never need to re apply it through out the day, unless my lips are particularly dry. I find some lip balms are moisturising whilst sitting on your lips, but once its worn off you need to re apply it. This is a thick, citrus scented and extremely hydrating lip balm. If you have chapped lips, this is your new best friend, you wont regret it.

3. MAC Lipstick (Crosswires)

Crosswires and Honey Love have both been my go to lipsticks in the month of February and I don’t see that changing any time soon. MAC describes this as a clean pinky orange. The formula of this is a creme sheen, which is MACS creamiest and most moisturising formula, which is why this lipstick is so comfortable to wear. It’s the perfect in-between bright and nude shade. Perfect for everyday wear.

Have tried any of these products?

Let me know in the comments one of your February favourites!

Anna

January 2015 Birchbox Review

 I was typing the title to this blog post, when I began typing 2014, it then dawned on me this is my first blog post of 2015 and my first Birchbox review in a new year, where did the time go?! I hope all of your new years have started well and continue to do so!

Right, on to the reason I’m doing this blog post, my January Birchbox. This month Birchbox teamed up with ‘Womens Health’ (the magazine company) to create this New Year inspired box of goodies. I think it’s the perfect choice of theme considering a large amount of people’s new years resolutions will be to shift the pounds piled on over Christmas and to become fit and healthy by exercising more and eating healthier! Along with all the products I received in my box, came a little booklet containing challenges all aimed at promoting better health! If you want to find out more about Birchbox’s beauty box subscription or want to receive your own January Birchbox, check out birchbox.co.uk.


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Activbod Cooling Finish Lotion, RRP: £12

The first product I received was a cooling lotion, This product contains a menthol formula to help cool you down after a work out. It contains scents such as pepper, zesty lemon and refreshing eucalyptus, it also contains vitamin E to repair and hydrate the skin. I can’t wait to work out, have a shower and try this out, it sounds really refreshing, which is exactly want you want after a hot and sweaty work out!

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Green People Intensive Repair Shampoo, RRP: £11.95

Hair care is something I don’t get very excited about, I tend to just use a shampoo on offer from the supermarket such as Tresemme or Herbal Essences. That being said it is still nice have a change and try a higher end shampoo. This shampoo is for repairing dry, damaged and coloured hair, which is perfect considering I dye my hair.  Its free from parabans, chemicals and artificial nasties, containing ingredients like green tea, yucca, aloe vera, sandalwood and orange. I hope this product isn’t so hydrating it makes my hair limp and lifeless, I will definitely be popping this in the shower and giving it ago.

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Korres Cirtus Shower Gel  RRP: £8

You can’t go wrong with receiving shower gel samples, you’re always going to need it, this one is in a lovely zesty citrus scent. The only problem is, I think Birchbox has sent me this in a previous box, which I don’t mind as it’s a lovely product but I’d prefer to receive something different. None the less this will get enjoyed and used.

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Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum, RRP: £45

The problem with me receiving skin care samples is I am often afraid to use them as I have such sensitive skin and blemish prone skin. I stick to the same skin care and don’t like to switch it about too much, that being said this product does sound perfect for my skin. You apply this before moisturising as you do with most serums, It’s for all skin types, oil free and free from irritating chemicals etc.

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Stila Lip Glaze in the shade Kitten, RRP: £15

Ah a make up item, my favourite. I always love receiving make up items in my Birchbox’s as I am make up obsessed. I hear so much about Stila but have yet to try something from the brand, so I can’t wait to use this. It’s in a lovely nudey peach shade with gold shimmer running through it, it’s a very wearable shade and think it would look lovely over a nude lip. Very pleased with this.

Lifestyle Products

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Embrace Matcha Green Tea (30 Servings), RPP: £24.99

The first lifestyle item I received is a sachet of green tea. I think this is a powder not a tea bag and it contains up 10 times more nutrients than a regular cup of green tea! Green tea is known for its health benefits and this one can not only be drank like a cup of tea, it can be blended into smoothies, juices and served hot or cold. I wish I could get used to the unusual taste of green tea but I have yet to be able to enjoy a cup, I will definitely give this one a go though. I love trying new teas and other healthy drinks or snacks.

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Birchbox & Womens Health Exclusive Pilates Band

At first I thought this was a weird, rubbery over sized head band but after reading the card with the list of items in my Bichbox, I realised it was infact a resistance band used for exercising. I’m not sure whether this will get any use but it’s definitely something I might consider.

I don’t think this months box was my favourite but I’m never ungrateful as you can’t always love everything you receive in subscription boxes. Did you receive a Birchbox this month, what were your thoughts?

Anna

1st Of December | Count Down To Christmas

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So it’s the 1st of December, which means it’s officially the count down to Christmas. I know what you’re thinking ‘another over excited Christmas lover’ well its true! I could not help but write a blog post relating to Christmas, now I think it’s officially acceptable to get excited for it. For those of you shouting ‘bah humbug’ well you’ll either loath this blog post or maybe it will get you in the festive mood and you’ll love it. My blog from now until Christmas is going to be filled with blog posts such as gift guides, stocking fillers, party fashion, Christmas jumpers and festive make up looks!

As a start to my Christmassy blog posts, I thought why not share all the reasons I am looking forward to about this festive month.

Putting up the Christmas tree and decorating the house

Cute Christmas decorations

Log fires

♥ Mince pies

♥ Wrapping presents

Drinking mulled wine

♥ Family

Christmas shopping

 Cosy, cute PJ’s

 Slippers and cosy socks

 Giving presents

Receiving presents

Christmas lights

♥ Pigs in blankets

Christmas dinner

♥ Candles, candles and more candles

♥ Festive fashion and festive make up

♥ Baths with, Christmas Lush Cosmetics bath bombs

My dog in her Christmas Santa jumper

♥ Christmas blog posts

Scarves, hats, gloves, boots and coats

Costa Coffee, black forest hot chocolates and chai tea lattes

Listening to my favourite Christmas song ‘The Pogues – Fairytale Of New York’

 

What are you most looking forward to this Christmas? and what would you add to the list? Let me know in the comments!

Anna

November 2014 Birchbox Review

Another Birchbox review and let me tell you this month is a gooden! Birchbox says ‘The November 2014 Cosy at Home Birchbox has come to the rescue with a selection of beauty fixes and pick me ups, perfect for the cold wintery days and nights ahead’. Sounds perfect, the winter air can really play havoc with our skin and hair! If you want to find out more about what Birchbox is or even want to order your own, head on over to the website HERE.

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Dr. Jart+ V7 Relief Vita Drop, Full Size – £26

The first and big item I saw in the box was this Dr Jart+ moisturiser, for sensitive and stressed skin, this is like a cooling gel consistency which feels very light but is still meant to be super hydrating for your skin. I have been using this for past week and I must say I’m not that keen. It is just too light for me, I don’t feel like I’ve moisturised my skin properly. However it isn’t terrible I just prefer my current moisturiser and will be going back to it. I was very grateful and pleased to receive this full size product by a brand I’ve heard lots about but never tried. I think this might work for some people but it just didn’t for me.

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Beauty Protector Protect & Treat Hair Mask, Full size – £16

I remember getting a sample of the shampoo and conditioner by this brand in a previous Birchbox and I really liked it. I love the smell of this brands products. I’m not an avid hair mask user as my hair is very already very soft but I will defintely give these a go and hopefully they wont weigh my hair down. I think this is another generous sample size from Birchbox and I love that they come in little pots, which are easy to store in the shower (unlike little packet samples).


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Lord & Berry Bronzer, Full Size £19

I’m not sure which shade the bronzer I received was as there were two you could have received. I’ve been using this cute sample size bronzer non stop for the past week and I really like it. It’s a perfect matte bronze shade for my skin, and I love contouring with it. I think it’s a decent sample size as although it looks small, it will last quite a while. Make up items are my favourite things to receive and I was very pleased with this item, so much so I might buy the full size!

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OPI Coca-Cola Red, Full Size £11.95

This is possibly one of the products I was most excited to see in my box . I’ve never owned an OPI nail polish but know they are mean’t to be amazing, so I can’t wait to try this one! I love how christmassy this shade is, it’s a bright ‘coca-cola’ cherry red as the name suggests and its another full size product. The nail varnish alone is almost the cost of the Birchbox itself!

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Weleda Almond Soothing Facial Oil, Full Size £14.95

I have never used a facial oil in fear it will make my skin greasy and cause a huge breakout. Birchbox says this facial oil is ‘Designed with sensitive and unbalanced skin types in mind and perfect protection against the elements for your skin’. I was pleased with the size of the sample as it means I can give it a good try. It isn’t the consistency I expected its more of a dry oil than a greasy oil which is great for someone like me who’s worried about making their skin too greasy. My skins been rubbish at the moment so its hard to tell if my skin liked this or not. It has definitely opened my mind to facial oils so I’m going to keep using it when my skin is extra dry!

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Drinkwel Capsule Bottle, Full Size £32.99

This months lifestyle sample was something a little different. These are multi vitamin tablets with a difference, they are specifically designed to help with hangovers. You take 3 a day with food then after you’ve had a big night out, take 3 before you go to bed and apparently these will help you shift that hangover you’d normally get the next day! I’m not a big drinker so I will either let someone else try these or maybe I will give them ago next time I’m planning on getting drunk. I think it’s quite nice to receive something a little different!

That is everything I received in this months box and all and all I was very pleased.  What did you guys receive in your Birchbox and which product was your favourite?

Anna

Nail Polish Shades | Perfect For The Colder Months

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One thing I love about winter is all the seasonal colours. People tend to gravitate to warm berry and burgundy tones, deep navy blues, greys and blacks etc, whether it be clothes, make up or nails! As much as I love corals, pinks and pastel colours in the spring/summer, there is something I love about the darker shades that appear during the winter. I have been loving painting my nails with wintry shades, so I thought I would share some of my current favourites that I have been wearing throughout autumn and now winter. I may be keeping an eye out for some other shades such a dark forest green shade or a nice grey, because I clearly need more nail polishes (I don’t). You may see a theme with me and nail polishes, I love Barry M they are so affordable, they do an amazing range of shades and finishes and the formula and quality is amazing.

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I love this purple shade called ‘Plum’, it’s a lovely dark plum that almost looks black. Nail polishes like this are perfect if you don’t want to go for completely black nails but still want something fairly dark. Very deep burgundys are also great for that to, such as Barry M’s ‘Black Red’.

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This red shade is called ‘Red Wine’. What would my winter nail polish favourites be without a seasonal red within it! Red is such a timeless colour and is seen everywhere during christmas. If you fancy something a little deeper than a classic cherry red, this is a great choice.

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I am in love with this colour. The shade is called ‘Blue Grape’ and its a perfect true cobalt blue shade. I love how this looks on the nails, it’s so eye-catching and it’s not like any other blue I own. Its bright but I think its still very winter appropriate shade.

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This is my first ever matte nail polish and I was pleasantly surprised with the finish and colour, I wasn’t sure how I felt about matte nails before hand. This is in the shade ‘Crush’. Although it looks very similar in the bottle to the shade red wine mentioned earlier, it’s very different on the nails. It’s a lovely deep burgundy/maroon shade. This might be my favourite out of them all!

What are your favourite nail polish colours during the colder months? if you have any recommendations, feel free to leave them in the comments!

Anna

Haunting, Gothic Vampire Halloween Make Up

 Halloween is nearly here and its the perfect opportunity to get creative with your makeup. Dramatic smokey eyes, dark lips and other things its hard to pull off on a normal day-to-day basis. I decided I wanted to do a step by step gothic/vampire make up look, which can be created using make up products, without the fuss of blood and face paints. I edited my eyes in the pictures to give them a more vampire esc feel, as my blue eyes didn’t really look the part! By adding contacts, fangs and even some fake blood if you wanted, I think this is an easy, pretty but haunting look for Halloween. I think I was trying to be mysterious and haunting in my photos, but came off as grumpy, so I do apologize (haha).

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First of all you want to prep your skin with your usual moisturizer. Priming the skin will help your make up last longer and smooth out your skin. I used the MAC Prep And Prime primer. In films like twilight the vampires skin always looks pale and flawless. If you have a foundation a couple of shades paler than your normal skin tone then use that, to give you vampire pale skin. I applied a generous amount of the Mac Studio Fix Fluid in NC15 which is my usual shade, so I then used the Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer in the lightest shade they do to make my skin paler and cover up any redness or blemishes.

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Next you want to fill out your brows, making them fuller, stronger and exaggerating the shape of them unlike you normally would. I used my usual Sleek Brow Kit in the shade dark. After that you want to prime your eye lids to make sure your eyeshadow lasts for as long as possible. I used the  Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion. Then apply the Maybelline EyeStudio Colour Tattoo Gel Eyeshadow in the shade vintage plum all your eyelid, don’t worry about applying this too neatly. This just gives a good base for the eye shadows your going to apply over the top and make them more opaque.

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Unfortuanly the sleek palettes don’t have the name of each eye shadow on them so I’m going to do my best to describe which ones I used, all eyeshadow’s mentioned are from the Sleek, Oh So Special Palette. Firstly using the last eyeshadow on the second row which is a black eyeshadow you want to mark out a line on the outer corner of your eyes, almost like you would with winged eye liner. This creates a guide of where you want your eye shadow to stop, giving it a very harsh winged line. Then take the second eyeshadow on the second row,  which is a lovely lavender, purple colour with gold shimmer running through it, apply this all over the eye lid, making sure you don’t go past the guide line you drew.

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Next using the last eyeshadow on the first row, which is a very deep gothic purple with brown undertones and gold shimmer running through it Apply this to the crease of your eye, slightly winging it out with your guide line focusing on making the outer corner darker but also taking it  deep into the inner socket of your eye towards your tear ducts, gently blending it out as you go.

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Using the same black eyeshadow you created your guide line with, you want to take a small detailer brush and draw a darker line over the top of your earlier guideline, then following this all the way round above your crease colour, creating a harsh black line around the outside of your eyeshadow, stopping about 3/4 away across the eye. Next blend gently blend this line out so it doesn’t look quite as harsh, but still keeping the intensity of the black and the strong winged shape as you don’t want to make your self look like you’ve got two panda eyes. You can reapply the black line and blend until your happy with the intensity of the black and the shape. Take the lighter lavender shade you used all over your eyelids earlier and apply this on your lower lash line in the inner corners of your eyes. Then blend the darker purple along the lash line, also adding some of the black eyeshadow on the outer corner of your lower lash and blend.

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Next you want to set your makeup into place, I used the  Rimmel Stay Matte Powder in the shade pink blossom.  Using the same Maybeline Gel Eyeshadow you used at the beginning, contour your cheek bones. Using this cool, greyish plum colour will give you a strong, harsh contour and give your pale skin a greyish, purple tone, like dead vampire skin. You can also apply this to the temples of your forehead and along your jaw line. Those of you with strong cheek bones can go to town with this and make your face really chiselled and creepy.

BLOG6BLOG7To make your eyes even more intense and dark apply gel liner in your waterline, I used the Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner. Then take your favourite mascara and apply generous amounts to make your eyelashes thick and fluttery. The mascara I used was the Maybelline The Falsies Mascara, you could also apply dramatic false eye lashes to make your eyes lashes even bigger.

Last but not least line your lips with the same black gel eyeliner, creating a semi thick black line. Then apply red lipstick or stain on the areas left and slighty over the black to blend it in. I used the Rimmel Provocalips Lip Colour in the shade play with fire. I’m not sure I would recommend this, it was my first time using it so I’m not sure if it was the gel eyeliner or the lip product which was drying. As a last-minute touch you can either drip fake blood out of the corners of your mouth, or use some lip liner blended with some black gel eyeliner to create less messy blood drips.

Dress in your vampire costume and style your hair, add your fangs, contacts and accessories and you are good to go, pretty but haunting.

I hope you like this look as much as I do, let me know in the comments what you are going as this Halloween?

Anna

October 2014 Birchbox Review

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It’s October which means it’s also Autumn, which also means we’re nearing the festive seasons. This months Birchbox is all going about gearing up ready for end of year goals, Birchbox says ‘we’re here to help you work it through your 9 to 5 and beyond – everything from your signature look to your to-do list’. Birchbox have also got involved with breast cancer awareness charity ‘Coppafeel’ informing us ladies on how to check and notice early symptoms of breast cancer as its breast cancer awareness month. This months little leaflet contained a helpful guide on how to check and what to look for when checking your breasts, it important, so get to it girls!! If you want to order your very own Birchbox or find out more about this subscription box, head on over to the website and October’s box is still available if your quick (https://birchbox.co.uk/).

To see what I got in my box.. keep reading!

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This months Birchbox contents came in a cute baby pink case, rather than the usual little Birchbox bag!

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Shaveworks The Cool Fix

The first sample I received was Shaveworks The Cool Fix. This product is perfect for any of you girls or men who shave/wax and suffer with redness, soreness, razor bumps or ingrown hairs. My skin is very sensitive and unfortunately I suffer with all of the above. Birchbox says ‘It contains a moisturising medicalm complex that immediately soothes irritated skin’. It contains natural exfoliating properties with things like glycolic and salicylic acid, removing dead skin cells which can cause ingrown hairs and infections! I was delighted to receive this, I already use a product like this, so It will be really nice to try something new and see which is more effective for this pesky problem. Also another generous sample size by Birchbox!

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KMS California Hair Play Playable Texture

KMS is a brand I’ve seen used in many salons, so its nice to receive a generous hair sample form a well-known high quality brand!  I’ve said before I’m not an avid hair product user but hairspray is something I do use! Birchbox says, this product builds texture and volume with repeated applications but without the stickiness and build up! I am looking forward to curling or styling my hair and using this non-sticky formula to hold it in place!

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Balance Me Cleanse & Smooth Face Balm

I have recently bought a new cleanser and face cream, so I’m not sure I will use this, I will either give it to someone who would like to use it or use it when I run out of the my others, as this does sound like a lovely product. It’s a face cleanser for all ages and skin types, even dry and sensitive skin! It contains a huge list of beneficial ingredients and it even contains tiny grains oatmeal that gently buff away dead skin cells, but gentle enough to remove make up daily. Again really impressed with the size of the sample, which is important when trying out a product to decide if you want to go a head and purchase it!

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Pixi By Petra Shea Butter Lip Balm (Honey Nectar)

This was the product I wanted to receive the most, so I was pretty happy when I saw it hiding in my little pink Birchbox case! I have been using this product a lot as you may be able to tell, by it not looking quite as perfect as it did when I first received it. I often find with tinted lip balms they have hardly any colour pay of and are never THAT moiturising. This lip balm on the other hand is lovely and creamy on the lips and smells like sweet shea butter. The colour pay off really surprised me and I love the peachy, nude shade I received, its something I would pick out for myself!  I really love this product a lot and would definitely purchase it when It runs out.

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Cattier Pink Clay Mask For Sensitive Skin

Face masks are a big love of mine, perfect to pamper yourself with, especially during a warm bath in these colder months! Birchbox says that it contains things like shea Butter and peppermint which restore, refresh and nourish the skin. It also says this clay mask  is formulated for even the most reactive skin, so you can be sure that any skin type will stay calm, which is reassuring considering the state my skin has been in lately! I used this once and it did feel lovely on the skin, but after one go its hard to say if it does everything it says, but none the less I was very pleased to received these sachet’s, you could easily get two uses out of each one!

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Birchbox Pink Lipstick Pen

This months lifestyle product was this cute lipstick Birchbox pen. Of course in the baby pink shade for breast cancer awareness, pens are always handy so I can’t complain about receiving this!

I really loved this months Birchbox, what did you receive in yours and were you as happy as I was with mine? and if you’re not subscribed, are thinking about subscribing after seeing the goodies I received?

Anna