Friday, 16 June 2017

Review: My Little Box - June 2017

Hey everyone,

Today I'm writing a review on the June edition of My Little Box.  I missed last month's as it arrived whilst I was away but I'm back on schedule now.  Just in case you are reading this for the first time, My Little Box is a monthly subscription box and contains a selection of lifestyle and beauty items.  I will link my very first review post from July 2016 here and at the end of this blog if you want to catch up on any information on how the box works.
The (as always) amazing artwork, with the words "Los Angeles", gives a definite hint that the theme could be along the lines of a beach/surfer girl type vibe and I love the pastel pinks and greens in the colour scheme. 

The first item I pulled out of the bundle is a fold-out leaflet/poster/pull-out. I think it's advertising a blog under the name "Fringe & Frame" and gives a little bit of information about the lady behind the blog and things to do in L.A.  On the back is a hand-drawn map of L.A.  I'm not sure what to do with this so it may end up in recycling which is a real shame.

Next up is a cute pack of stickers.  I like stickers (I have a fair few) and they can jazz up a plain notebook so I'm ok about that.
Rolled up was a really cute little tote bag with a gorgeous leaf print and the words "Take Me Away" printed on it.  I will definitely get some use out of this as I don't always want to carry my handbag around with me so this is a lighter option.
The last lifestyle item is a cute beaded bracelet.  I love these in the summer time and the colours are striking and bright.  This item has actually inspired me to start beading again (that's something for another blog) but this was a pleasant addition.
On to the beauty items and this is where it all gets a little disappointing.  I really like the fact they are packaged in a little pink paper bag (almost like a pick "n" mix bag) but I do miss the tote bags as they are so useful.
Inside are the usual three beauty items but of the three, two are body lotions/oils.  Don't get me wrong, I really like body lotions and oils but I don't really expect two in one box and over my subscription, I have had a LOT of body creams.
The Coco Sunrise hair and body oil is by My Little Beauty.  It smells of coconut but I haven't tried it yet so I can't pass any judgement on this.  I may take it away with me but I don't tend to take oils away with me as I find sand just sticks straight to it. I'm sure I will use this at some point though.
The second body product is the Palmers Coconut Oil Body Lotion.  Personally I'm not a huge fan of Palmers.  It's a brand I used a long time ago and since then I have found other products I like better.  I will put this into my giveaway box as I probably won't use it.
The last beauty item surprised me as it's a travel-sized Soap Bark and Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream by Burt Bee's.  I didn't know Burt Bee's did facial skincare so I will give this a try and it's a handy size to try out.**
I really think that My Little Box could have tied in the L.A./Surfer vibe so much better than these beauty items.  I would have loved to have seen something like a tinted moisturiser with SPF, an SPF hair protector or a waterproof cream blush - all things that you can take to the beach and use and as that's how I perceive the theme of this box to be, I really think they missed a trick.

Having said that, this is how I have felt with this subscription box for most of 2017 and a lot of the boxes have been OK but I want more than that... I want WOW!

I have decided to give the box one more month but in the meantime I am looking into different subscriptions for around the same price so expect one more My Little Box Review next month and then maybe it will be onto something new.

Have any of you tried a subscription box before?

Love Katherine xxx

**Before posting this I had a quick bath and tried out the Burt Bee's Cleansing Cream.  The smell is really sweet, which surprised me.  I thought it may smell of ferns or woodland because of the "Soap Bark" but it's almost like Refreshers.  But then it gets super menthol.  If you don't like that zingy feeling on your skin I would say this probably isn't for you.  It did leave my skin nice and clean but was so zingy it made my eyes water.  I will give this another go and see how I go but so far, I think it's a no from me on this one.

Useful links:

Previous blog posts: May Favourites!, IT Cosmetics "Your Skin But Better" CC+ Cream with SPF50
First My Little Box Post: Review: My Little Box - July 2016
Latest YouTube videos: New York Haul and New York Haul Part 2
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*All pictures and opinions are entirely my own.  All products featured on my blog have been purchased by myself unless otherwise stated*



Saturday, 3 June 2017

May Favourites!

Hey everyone,

I hope everyone has been enjoying this gorgeous weather we've been having here in the UK.  A little bit of warmth and sunshine really does make me feel happier and healthier.

It's May Favourites time so below are the things I've been relying on to get me through this month.  I will put it out there that make-up wise, everything is pretty much as it was in April and I haven't really changed anything up at all.  I'm still obsessed with the Tanya Burr palette and lipstick I mentioned in my April Favourites so instead of repeating everything I said about them I will pop the link to that blog post here so you can go and take a look but they were staples in my make-up when I went away.
My Little Beauty Vitamin Shot Facial Scrub
I'll start with skincare and the first thing I've been using over and over is the My Little Beauty Vitamin Shot facial scrub that I received in my April box (click here to read my full review).  It's permanently in the shower and I use it twice a week to give my face a little extra TLC.  It has a lovely scent and feels really gentle on my skin.  It lathers easily and leaves my skin feeling nourished.
The Body Shop Skin Defence Multi-Protection Essence SPF50 - £20.00
An essential part of my skincare routine is applying an SPF to my face and I can't rave highly enough about the Body Shop SPF50 multi-protection cream.  It has a lovely thin texture (I hate the feeling of thick creams on my face) and blends in beautifully.  Most importantly though it doesn't leave my face looking pale and with a white film that some facial sunscreens can.  I also use this on my youngest little boy who is allergic to most sunscreens and he has had no reactions to this at all.  It may seem a pricey option but it lasts both of us the entire summer and well into autumn so I think that's pretty good value.
IT Cosmetics "Your Skin But Better" CC+ Cream with SPF50 - £30
I picked this CC Cream up from Sephora whilst I was in New York and I haven't put it down.  I recently put up an entire blog post dedicated to my thoughts on this so I will link that here if you want to have more of an in-depth read about it (**spoiler alert - I absolutely love it and think it's a fantastic cream).  IT Cosmetics have just launched in the UK too via Selfridges so I will definitely be picking up a few more of their products.
Argan Oil Heat Defence Leave In Spray (with Moroccan Argan Oil) - £1
I bought this from Savers and I have to say this is fast becoming my favourite high street drug store.  My hair seemed to be looking a little dry so I thought I would give it an extra bit of love and use an oil of some description.  I tend to find that oils that you apply onto your hand and smooth in are always too heavy for my fine hair so I went with this as it was a spray and as it's heat defence and a leave-in I can just spray it onto damp hair and style as usual.  This is an absolute bargain at £1 and I love it.  It leaves my hair feeling healthy and shiny and at a fraction of the price of some other high street brands.  This has now become a must-have in my daily hair care routine and is a definite holy-grail product.
Zoella "Hand On Heart" Antibacterial Hand Gel - £3.50
I popped one of these into my pre-holiday shop basket whilst I was in Superdrug as I love a good hand gel.  I did think this one was a little pricey at £3.50 but actually, after having used it hundreds of times on holiday, hardly any of it has disappeared so this is going to last ages.  It has a really nice subtle "Zoella" summery trademark scent that isn't too overpowering and most importantly isn't the usual strong antibacterial smell that some hand gels can be.  I love the Zoella beauty range and this has made me want to try her original hand cream too.
New York City
I was lucky enough to spend six days in New York in May which was a 40th birthday present from my mum and dad.  It took a while to plan but I wanted to go before I turned 41 so spent the week before my birthday there.  I think I may do a whole blog post on my trip as there was just so much to see and do but I honestly couldn't recommend a trip there enough.  The memories we made will stay with me forever and I know for certain I will go back.  New York City definitely stole my heart.

What things have you all been loving in the month of May?

Love Katherine xxx



Useful links:

Previous blog post: IT Cosmetics "Your Skin But Better" CC+ Cream With SPF50
Previous "Favourites" blog post: April Favourites!
Latest YouTube videos: New York Haul and New York Haul Part 2
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*All pictures and opinions are entirely my own.  All products featured on my blog have been purchased by myself unless otherwise stated*








Thursday, 1 June 2017

IT Cosmetics "Your Skin But Better" CC+ Cream With SPF50

Hey everyone,

Firstly I want to start with an apology as I feel like I have been really off the blogging game lately.

I think with a very busy few months and in light of recent events in the UK, I've just felt unmotivated when it's come to blogging.  It's hard to get excited about what appears to be trivial things when so much hurt and evil is going on all around us but as the saying goes "life goes on" and without getting too in-depth, I guess we have to take a deep breath and go back to doing the things we love and make us happy so I'm back and today I'm going to be talking about the It Cosmetics "Your Skin But Better" CC+ Cream with SPF50 (the longest name for a product ever)😊
Recently I spent an amazing six days in New York and along with a lot of sightseeing there was also a lot of Sephora shopping! For some reason though I didn't take a list with me and when I walked into the first one in Union Square I was just completely overwhelmed with the sheer amount of beautiful-ness that was inside!  I floated over to the IT Cosmetics stand in a dream but knew I wanted to try out the CC+ Cream as it had come highly recommended from various beauty bloggers on YouTube.  IT Cosmetics have been unavailable in the UK but last week launched online at Selfridges which is great news.

I will give a brief description of the company before I dive into my thoughts on the cream.

The "IT" in IT Cosmetics stands for Innovative Technology and has been developed with leading plastic surgeons to create "clinically-proven, innovative problem-solving make-up and skin care products that harness cutting edge, anti-ageing technologies and high performance, skin-loving ingredients to provide you with serious beauty solutions that help you look and feel your most beautiful".  I have taken that straight from the IT Cosmetics website (which I will link here if you would like to have a look) but as you can see, it's claims are quite high.

So onto the "Your Skin But Better" CC+ Cream (full description is Colour Correcting Full Coverage Cream + Anti Ageing Hydrating Serum  SPF50 UVA/UVB Broad Spectrum Physical Sunscreen).  There are seven shades in the range-the lightest being Fair to the darkest being Deep.  I have a medium/olive skin tone so I swatched both the Medium and Medium Tan and decided on the Medium as my skin is still slightly fairer than normal due to the awful UK weather we've been having (although I'm writing this in 28 degree heat so things might be looking up)!  I paid $38 for the 32ml tube (roughly £29) so fairly pricey but not extortionate. 

I wanted to try this as soon as I bought it so the very next day I used it in my everyday make up.  First things first, I pumped a full pump and I definitely did not need a full pump, a half pump would have done just fine.  I also used my Real Techniques Buffing Brush to blend it in.  This worked ok and after a good five minutes buffing all the product had blended in.  I was quite happy to see the Medium shade is the perfect match for me.  Secondly, although this is described as "full coverage" personally, on me, I didn't feel this was full.  I do think however you could totally build this up and definitely get a higher coverage with more product.  I couldn't feel I had any product on my face and it was comfortable to wear and most importantly left my skin with a great dewy glow which I love in a face product.  I wore this all day and it remained comfortable and glowy until I took it off in the evening.

Since returning home and having all of my beauty tools to hand I've actually found I prefer to apply it with a damp Beauty Blender.  I don't think it gives any better finish but it just seems to blend quicker which is what I need everyday.

I have also used this for a night-out make up look and applied primer beforehand and powder to set and I love the finish it gives my skin.

I should point out that my skin condition is good and I'm lucky enough to not suffer with age spots, blemishes or enlarged pores so my review is based purely on how the products feels on my skin and the finish it gives.

So to sum up, I definitely think this cream has lived up to the hype.  I'm really pleased I bought it and I haven't used anything else since.  Although a little on the pricey side, with only needing to use a half-pump, the tube will last ages and is a great all-rounder product that can be used for various occasions.  I worry a lot about sun protection too so to know I have an added SPF50 is a great bonus.  IT Cosmetics are 100% cruelty free and suitable for sensitive skin types (although it's always worth checking the ingredients list if you do have sensitive skin, before purchasing).

I'd love to know if you have you tried anything from this brand before?

Love Katherine xxx

Useful links:

Previous blog post: Review: Lee Stafford Hair Growth Range "Scalp Scrub"
Lee Stafford Hair Growth blog posts: First Impressions and Update
Latest YouTube video: "Spring" Inspired Make Up Look

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*All pictures and opinions are entirely my own.  All products featured on my blog have been purchased by myself unless otherwise stated*










Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Review: Lee Stafford Hair Growth Range "Scalp Scrub"

Hey everyone,

I wanted to do a very quick post on the Lee Stafford Scalp Scrub I picked up a few months ago.  I never even knew "scalp scrubs" were a thing so when I saw this on the 3 for £15 offer on the Hair Growth Range I had to give it a go.
As you all know I've been using the Lee Stafford Hair Growth Range for about six months or so and I absolutely love it.  My hair has changed so much in that time and growing it has definitely been painless and easy. 
This scalp scrub is described as:

"A nourishing pre-wash scalp treatment with PRO-GROWTH™ complex and gentle pink exfoliating beads to stimulate the scalp and encourage hair to grow."

I apply a small amount to wet hair before my shampoo and massage it around my hairline, paying particular attention to my forehead area as this is where I use hairspray.  The exfoliating beads feel very fine and it's a strange sensation to get used to as it feels like the product isn't going anywhere or doing anything, but I massage it in and leave for a few minutes.  I then rinse it off and carry on with my shampoo and conditioner. 
I have definitely noticed that the roots of my hair feel much more cleaner and have more volume since using this. 

This product also has the same scent as the other products in the range, which isn't too overpowering but just enough to leave a nice lasting smell to my hair.

Now that my hair has grown enough for me to tie it back I've tried to scale down the use of this range and have gone back to my regular shampoo and conditioner on a daily basis and use the Hair Growth range about once or twice a week.  I've done this mainly for saving money (the only negative I have with this range is it doesn't last very long and when not on offer is expensive) and also to save time as applying four things to my hair every morning was taking forever.  The scalp scrub has become a staple in that routine though for when I want to give my hair a treat and bit more of a "deep-clean".

You can buy the full range in Boots and I will link it here if you'd like to take a look.

Have you tried any of this range and if you have, what did you think?

Love Katherine xxx



Useful links:

Previous blog post:  April Favourites!
Lee Stafford Hair Growth blog posts: First Impressions and Update
Latest YouTube video: "Spring" Inspired Make Up Look

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Instagram
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*All pictures and opinions are entirely my own.  All products featured on my blog have been purchased by myself unless otherwise stated*




Saturday, 29 April 2017

April Favourites!

Hey everyone,

This month there has been quite a few things that I've been loving.  My March Favourites was quite short as I'd bought some things but hadn't formed an opinion on them so I knew that meant my April Favourites could be a little bit longer.  I will link my March Favourites here if you'd like to have a read but below are all the things I have loved using this month.
The first two things I've loved were received in the April My Little Box (I will put the link to my review on this here) and these are a Vitamin Boost Face Scrub and the Mixa Restoring Body Lotion.  I've really enjoyed the face scrub.  It's for use 1-2 times a week and foams up when in contact with water.  The particles feel gentle on my skin and not scratchy or harsh like some face scrubs can be.
The Mixa Restoring Body Lotion has been an absolute game-changer for me.  I suffer terribly with dry skin on my legs and they get so irritated when I shave so I was so excited to try this.  It's a full size bottle and has a pump.  Just one pump is enough to leave one leg feeling moisturised and it sinks in almost immediately with no greasy residue.  The consistency of the cream is thinner than I expected too but I love this cream and will definitely be repurchasing.

No surprises on the next items which are from the L'Oreal Fine Flowers Skincare range.  I have a whole blog post on these which I will link here but I think these have to be my most exciting find this month.  The fragrance and quality of the products are fantastic and I can't imagine using anything else to cleanse and tone my skin.
The next items were bought in a mini-haul around the middle of March and have been used constantly ever since.  The first is the L'Oréal Nude Magique Cushion Foundation in the shade "Golden Beige".  I use a damp beauty blender to apply and a little of this really does go a long way.  Just one or two dabs with the blender will easily cover half of my face.  I love the dewy, glowy look it leaves and it lasts really well too.  I will definitely be repurchasing this as I absolutely love it.  It also contains SPF25 which is very reassuring.  This foundation is slightly pricier for a high-street foundation at £14.99 but the quality is fantastic.
 
The L'Oréal Nude Magique BB Cream in the shade "Medium to Dark" is L'Oréal's first self-adjusting BB cream.  The liquid is quite runny and a white colour in the tube but once on your skin transforms into a lightweight foundation.  When blended out it leaves a lovely dewy glow to my skin.  I love this product for those days when I don't want to wear foundation but need just a slight amount of coverage on my skin and this also contains SPF20 as an added bonus. 
The last L'Oréal product I picked up was the Infallible Blush Paints in the shade range "Pinks".  This is a palette of 5 blushes that range from subtle to shimmery and there are some neutral shades and some more daring brights.  I have used it non-stop since I got it.  These also have such a lovely scent like sherbert sweets, which is a bit strange for blushes but I really like it.  Priced at £14.99 I think these are great value for money considering you get five good sized blushes and I will be picking up the "Ambers" when they are back in stock in my local Boots.

I wanted to up my eyebrow game this year and after hearing such good things about it I picked up the NYX Micro Brow pencil and have fallen in love.  I find it so easy to use and helps me feel more confident with my scar-covered brows.  At only £6.00 I think this is a real bargain.  I got the shade Espresso and this blends perfectly with my natural colour.
The last two things I haven't put down this month are from Tanya Burr Cosmetics.  I watched a tutorial where she used her bronzer palette and lipstick to complete a Spring look and loved how easy it was so ordered both products.  The palette is in the shade "Peachy Glow" and contains a bronzer, blusher and highlight and all three products are super wearable.  I haven't put this down all month and think it's a real bargain at £8.00.

The last thing from Tanya is her lipstick in the shade Wild Safari.  This is a super bright orange but glides on effortlessly and has some serious staying power without leaving my lips dry.  I have to say this isn't for the faint-hearted as it is really bright but I love it and have worn it loads and it will definitely be my go-to summer shade.
 

I hope you've managed to make it to the bottom and thank you so much if you have.  April has been a great month of finding some new products that I really love and I always get excited about that anticipation of summer being around the corner. 

Have you tried any of the products I've mentioned above?

Love Katherine xxx

Useful links:

Previous blog post: Review: My Little Box - April 2017 
Latest YouTube video: "Spring" Inspired Make Up Look

You can follow me on social media below:

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*All pictures and opinions are entirely my own.  All products featured on my blog have been purchased by myself unless otherwise stated*



 
 

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Review: My Little Box - April 2017

 Hey everyone,

Apologies for the lateness in my review of the April My Little Box - my delivery was really late this month and I only received it a few days ago. 
The name of the box this month is "Garden" and fits in perfectly with the time of year.  I love the artwork on the outside.  As My Little Box have changed things up a little this year, this is only the second box out of four and as much as I love the bags and variety of containers, I do also love the artwork that comes with having an original "box".

This month it seems jam-packed and was literally bursting at the seams when I opened it up.
As I've said before, I love how everything is always so nicely presented and tied up using the My Little Box ribbon.

The first thing I spotted was a "Garden To Table" planting guide.  It's a fold-out piece of paper listing each month and what fruit and vegetable you can expect to be harvesting at that time.  I'm not a gardener (although I love the idea of being one) so this isn't much use to me but I'll be passing it over to my sister-in-law who has her own allotment and can honestly grow anything.
Underneath that was a magnetic shopping list.  This is perfect as I always have something like this in my kitchen to jot notes on or things I need in the shopping.  The front also has the recipe for a detox water drink which I think is really helpful (especially after all the chocolate eating of Easter).  The colour is a lovely green and has the same pretty floral pattern on it as the Garden To Table list.
I love the next item which is a really pretty water bottle.  I have loads of these but I really like the colour-way with greens and blues and the pattern is really cute (almost like a wave pattern).  It has a diffuser inside in which you can put your chopped up fruit or vegetables (or both) to flavour your water.  It doesn't have a spout to drink from and instead has a screw-cap lid but with the diffuser in place it's easy enough to drink out of. 
Carrying on the lifestyle items I came across a little square envelope which contains a gorgeous green and blue printed scarf/bandana.  On the back of the envelope are ideas on how to wear it - personally I don't wear bandanas and if I have a scarf I like it to be huge and oversized but I like the idea of using it as a belt or tying it to my handbag as something a little more quirky.  The quality of the fabric is also really good.
As a little bonus extra there is a small packet of Ape Coconut Bites.  This is a brand I've never heard of and I don't often snack on dried fruit but I had these with my lunch and they were delicious.  
So, finally we make it to the beauty products.  As always I am pleased to see the little drawstring bag and I love the palm leaf print (but I think if it was in green it would have tied in perfectly).
I could see something peeping out of the top so pulled that out first to see a huge bottle of moisturising body lotion.  It's by a brand called Mixa and I've never heard of them before but the fact it's for "very dry skin" had me excited straight away.  I suffer terribly with dry skin on my legs and after my trusted brand for body lotion discontinued my favourite product I've really struggled to find anything as good.  I tried this straight away and after just one use I absolutely love it.  I honestly can't be happier with it.  It has a lovely subtle floral scent and a couple of pumps was enough to make my legs feel super hydrated and happy.  I'm hoping with continued use it will really sort out my seriously unhappy legs in time for summer.  I have to say the bottle doesn't look that amazing but in this instance, definitely don't judge a product by it's branding as I will be stocking up on this as it's fantastic.
As always there are the My Little Beauty products and this month I was surprised to see I had two.  The first is an Early Morning Face Perfector which is something I received in my very first box so I've decided not to open this and put it into my Instagram Giveaway box. I'm still using the original one and I do really like it but it's a bit of a shame it's a repeat of something I've had before as I think there must be loads of things I haven't tried from My Little Beauty (especially make up products which I'd love to try more of). 

The last My Little Beauty item is again skincare, and is a Vitamin Shot Face Scrub.  I'm excited to give this a try as I love facial exfoliators (especially at this time of year) and I do rate the My Little Beauty skincare as being one of my favourites. 

All in all I have to say I really love this month's box.  I've felt this year there have been a few I haven't been as excited about but with this one I really think My Little Box have their mojo back.  I love the theme and the products and items fit well into this.  I think the telling thing for me is I've already started using some items straight away like the water bottle, magnetic list and the body moisturiser so I always think that's the sign of a good box.
I would love to know if you have any favourite subscription boxes that you really rate or if you've tried any of the things mentioned?

Love Katherine xxx

Useful links:

Previous blog post: Review: L'Oreal Fine Flowers Skincare
Latest YouTube video: "Spring" Inspired Make Up Look

You can follow me on social media below:

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Instagram
Twitter
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*All pictures and opinions are entirely my own.  All products featured on my blog have been purchased by myself unless otherwise stated*