birchbox

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At the Stylist Live event which I mentioned last week, Birchbox had a stand where you could create a unique beauty box, including five products of various size to give a go. The walls were adorned with different products and to fill the box was £15; slightly more than a box with the subscription service but you did have the luxury of hand selceting products rather than having them chosen for you. Here’s the lowdown of what came home with me…

WHEN Travel Mate Sheet Face Mask (£25 for four): You can see from that oh so flattering image that I’ve given this a go. This as my first time using a sheet mask and I loved the no fuss application and removal. It felt very strange on but when removed the packet suggests that you massage the remaining oils into the skin. Following this my skin did feel soft and well nourished and didn’t scream out for moisturiser like it usually does.

Rituals Foaming Shower Gel (£8.50 full size, £4 for mini): I haven’t yet tried this because I have a million and one shower gels on the go. I picked this up because I’ve always wanted to try something from rituals and the idea of a foaming shower gel floats my boat. It smells divine and i’m quite looking forward to slathering it all over my body when the time comes.

Percy & Reed No Oil Oil (£14 full size): This no oil oil is a product designed for application on dry hair. This isn’t something I’m used to doing as I usually apply a nourishing oil or serum to wet hair before going in with my blow dry but this is more of a styling product. It promises to provide volume while keeping the hair sleek and frizz free. I’m interested to give this a go when I remember to, it can’t just be me who’s always in a rush with the hair styling process?

Eyeko Fat Stick (£16 for a trio): Eye crayons are my favourite product of this year, and this offering by Eyeko is a goodie. It feels a little bit more plasticy (good word) than my Charlotte Tilbury and By Terry ones but applies colour in a similar way and is just as long lasting. My shade is a sort of Khaki which is lovely against my green eyes and looks great with bronzed up skin. I also think that for the price the quality of this is exceptional and definitely one to try if you’re on more of a budget.

Stila Lip Glaze (£15): I’m not really a lip gloss girl and I’m not sure what made me pick this up but it is a full size product and retails for the same price as I got all of the products for. Girl loves a bargain! This applies in a similar way to concealer highlighter pens in that its a clicky stick with a brush at the end. I do like the brush as opposed to a doe foot applicator and the colour is nice however I’m not sure I’d be in a rush to buy another one of these.

Overall the build your own Birchbox experience was a great one and i’m really happy that I got to try a few things from brands I wouldn’t usually go for. I think that the Birchbox is a great beauty box and a subscription is one lot of post which I wouldn’t dread getting every month…

 

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Sound the monthly favourites klaxon, I’m here with the best beauty products from July.

July was a no money month, I didn’t buy more than a handful of new beauty bits due to working full time and because of this I have very few products to talk about which I haven’t mentioned before. I’ve been pretty uniform in my makeup application, with the NARS Tinted Moisturiser, Max Factor False Lash Effect Mascara and a pinky nude lip so this months selection isn’t really one to write home about, but i’ll proceed anyway…

As you know this month saw the purchase of my first ever Charlotte Tilbury makeup item, in the form of the Matte Revolution lipstick in Miss Kensington; a limited edition shade from the Norman Parkinson Collection. This hasn’t come off my lips since I first got my hands on it, it’s creamy, it’s long lasting, it’s a perfect pink shade and the square tip makes application a breeze.

The Muji Toning Lotion has been somewhat revolutionary for my skin this month. Since running out of my Pixi Glow Tonic a number of months ago (read: too long ago) my skin had been suffering and in need of a good toner. This one has fit the bill perfectly. I’m going to do a post on why I love toner shortly.

Finally for beauty bits, I have been loving the Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray since going for the chop. This has given my shoulder length hair much needed volume and texture, meaning I’ve spent more days fab than drab.

A non-beauty favourite but a favourite none the less is Yes Please by Amy Pohler. This book is hilarious as well as being insightful. I’d definitely suggest you pick it up if you’re looking for a holiday read.

   
 

The other day, I was strolling around Boots in an attempt to waste time (never a good idea) and ended up being sucked in by one of the ladies on the Bumble and bumble counter. I’ve never tried any of their products before due to never really being too bothered about my hair (oops) but recently my locks have been a little lack lustre and I’ve craved texture and height like never before.

I basically conducted a thorough interview with the poor lady and asked more questions than was entirely necessary. She wowed me with her words and convinced me with a demonstration that I couldn’t leave the store without the Surf Spray and their Thickening Dry Spun Finish spray.

I opted for minature sizes because 1. they’re really cute and 2. I like to try out little bits before splashing out.

The Thickening Dry Spun Finish spray is another of those products which somehow lifts the hair offering insane amounts of volume without the hair feeling crispy or like it has a lot of product in. A spritz of this through the top of the hair and you’re looking at sky high roots and an airy texture throughout the rest. This product gives second day life to first day flat hair without sacrificing cleanliness. What amazed me the most is that the day after this had been spritzed in by the lovely Boots lady, i just had to puff my hair up a little bit with my hands and yesterdays volume was restored. I’ve never tried the Oribe Dry Texturising Spray but I’d imagine that this performs in a very similar way and I already regret not picking up the big one.

The surf spray is what I always think of when I hear the name Bumble and bumble. This is a salt water spray which offers beach waves without having to actually go in the sea and get cold. Bb say that you can apply this to either wet or dry hair. I personally find it better on dry hair, because it goes less crunchy and because I like to use quite nourishing products before I blow dry – and this is definitely not one of those. Obviously spraying salt on your hair is going to be quite drying, but you don’t need to use a lot of this nor do you need to use it everyday. Similarly to the aforementioned spray, this one stays put and means you barely have to lift a finger when you’re dealing with second day hair.

Have you tried these? What are your favourite Bumble and bumble products?

      While I often part with pennies on high end makeup items or go crazy for skincare, I rarely really bother with my hair. I have it coloured, sometimes by the hairdresser, sometimes by my unwilling boyfriend but as soon as i’ve left the salon my tresses become part of a boring routine.

Despite my lack lustre approach, I do use products on my hair which I find work for me and I don’t completely leave my hair once it’s shampoo’d. My main aims are to nourish it and reduce frizz. My hair is naturally wavy when rough blow dried and curly when left to air dry and so frizz quickly becomes an issue. As well as this, years of bleach and yo-yo-ing between blonde and brunette (see below) have left me with dry, damaged hair, so hydrating and caring is another key thing I hope to read on product packaging.

 I begin my routine with washing my hair, and I do this every two to three days depending on what i’m doing/if I can get away with leaving it. For this I use L’Oreal Elvive full restore five shampoo and conditioner, which aim to provide a solution for all hair problems. I do really like using L’Oreal products, I find that despite being on the high street they are great quality and feel a little bit more luxurious than the very budget brands.

Next I brush through my hair and depending on how I want to style it I might apply some of the Toni and Guy Glamour Mousse at the root to give some lift. I then apply the L’Oreal Elvive Anti-Frizz Serum to the ends of my hair and run any excess through the mid-lengths, completely avoiding the roots as they are a greasy nightmare. Before blow-drying I always spritz on the Vo5 Cherish My Colour heat defence blow dry spray to protect my hair from the hairdryer and from any other heated appliances I might use. To finish off I style my hair using my straighteners (for straight or curly) and then add some of the Charles Worthington Salon at Home Volume and Bounce spray to the roots to add lift and give a tousled, beachy textured finish.

So all of that and not one of the products costs more than ten pounds! What are your hair care picks?

    

Created and launched by Ruth Crilly from A Model Recommends, Co Lab dry shampoo was surrounded by a big song and dance come launch day. With everyone and their mother keen to try out the latest youtube/blogger product Co Lab was pretty difficult to get our hands on. Hence me only posting about it now.

I picked up a miniature size of the New York fragrance because having done my research I figured it was the one most suited to me. A fresh floral fragrance that isn’t artificial like other between wash pick me ups and does actually smell as close to freshly washed hair as the real deal.

A month or so ago I picked up big mama and I haven’t looked back since. However, for some reason it looks better the day after its original spritz? I can’t quite put my finger on it but something about rolling around on a pillow and going out in the wind gives Co Lab a new lease of life.

So, not one for emergencies but great for prolonging time between washes. A thumbs up from me.

Have you tried Co Lab?