My Little Box – Review

I’ve previously posted about Glossybox, a monthly beauty sample box, which I have generally found to be good value and has introduced me to some new products. But, at the end of the day I’m not that much of a beauty product fanatic and I just don’t get through (or use) everything I was being sent via Glossybox.

So, I was pretty excited to hear about a new monthly box concept, My Little Box. Like many cool et chic things, it’s a French import – and in fact when I got my first box I was chuffed to see it was dispatched from the town where I did my year abroad !

Each box has a theme or is guest edited, and contains more of a variety of goodies than the purely beauty based Glossybox.

Box 1 – Diane von Furstenburg

Well, what a first box! Guest edited by designer heavyweight Diane von Furstenburg, the mini-zine was full of features surrounding the brand and the woman, and I was actually quite impressed with the amount of content in such a tiny zine.

The contents of the box didn’t disappoint either – the star of the show for me was a full sized DvF print scarf, but also included were a DvF lips logo brooch, Kerastase Laque Noire hairspray (well used with my new style, more on that soon…), My Little Beauty Eau Micellaire, Occitane hand cream miniature, inspirational postcard – all contained in a useful cloth bag.

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Box 2 – My Little COSY Box

I guess this second box is the usual type – rather than guest edited it’s based on a theme. Lots of cute things here – a ceramic espresso mug, cloth heat pouch, and once again a few beauty essentials – My Little Beauty Mascara ‘Soin et Volume’, Arcancil waterproof eyeliner, Yves Rocher eyeshadow, and another postcard in another little cloth bag.

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At £13.95 per month delivered, these boxes are equivalent cost to Glossybox but I much prefer the concept and feel like the contents are much more interesting and value for money!

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Brighton Lovelies

My friend Sophie (of discoveryfoyer) and I had a lovely long weekend in Brighton for the bank holiday. She’d been before so got to show me the sights, and we seemed to spend the weekend mooching from lanes to cafe to lanes to cafe… Not half bad!

On the Friday night we went to a ‘retro jazz electroswing speakeasy’ club night hosted by White Mink at The Old Market (TOM for short). Basically, think 1920s dress code, a mix of live performance and DJ, jazz/swing with a twist. A thoroughly enjoyable night I would highly recommend – they currently have no future dates posted but I suggest joining the mailing list and keeping an eye out.

Apart from that, we took it easy for the rest of the weekend and enjoyed some lovely food from classic cuisine at Hotel du Vin (although I did not get what I was expecting, it was very nice), vintage brunch at Blackbird tearooms, proper British fish n chips from The Daily Catch on St James’ Street, and impressive tapas at Bellota.

As for shopping, we dropped in at Collectif‘s opening bash of their new store on Bond street after I picked up a mailing list invite. Sadly I didn’t find any gems in my size but Sophie nabbed some shirts and a dress for her summer workwear.

However, I absolutely fell in love with the fabrics at Get Cutie and came out with the Bow skirt in Fantastic Mr Fox. I love their online shop – you pick the pattern, the fabric and the size and they make it! I also picked up a cute and versatile clutch purse from Ollie & Nic:

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A World Map glasses case for my new glasses (more on that later) – I think it was from Berts Homestore:

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A get-lost-in-it canvas block triptych from Zoing Image:

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And a Fragonard ‘Pois de Senteur’ perfume from Cologne & Cotton:

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Everything except the print was on sale as well!

 

Scarf Season

Has it really been over a month since I last posted? Where does the time go… well part of it was spent in Croatia at least, on a surprisingly amazing holiday.

The Gatsby dress from my last post has not made an enormous amount of progress, it has to be said… but although I was feeling uninspired by my wardrobe a month ago, we’re now well and truly into a new season and with that the favourite boots, tights, winter combinations and SCARVES are back in.

I love my scarves (I think I’ve said this before) and have made a vow to wear my scarves more – minimum 1 a week, as this is the only way I can justify buying more. Normally I keep them piled in a faux-vintage suitcase, but I think this means I just never quite know how many I have….

Scarves on paradeTop row, L-R:

Grey cotton snood | Black & floral cotton scarf | Purple floral cotton scarf | Green cotton pashmina (from Florence) | Turquoise crochet scarf | Grey/blue butterfly snood | Grey, green, red umbrella print scarf | Green/multi ruched scarf.

Middle row, L-R:

Large silk face-print, Desigual | Grey silk geometric, vintage | Blue/Green windowpane pattern, “Hermes” | White/multi Japanese print, vintage | White/pink/brown floral, vintage | Purple/Pink leaf print, vintage | White / Hot pink polka dot, vintage | Grey/black patterned | Turquoise Venice silk, vintage.

Bottom row, L-R:

Purple hearts & roses, vintage | Purple/multi cotton beaded, Desigual | Turquoise/beige geometric (from Croatia) | Green silk, vintage | Yellow/grey polka dots, vintage.

 

22 scarves…that’s not too bad, right? I’m sure I can fit a few more in – and as you can tell, most are picked up from vintage and charity shops and markets!

Today I wore my large Desigual silk scarf, which can be tricky to wear because it’s so big and also slippy. A good time to download the new Hermes app, a beautifully designed (of course!) guide to some classic scarf knots. I’ve fallen in love with most of the scarves being modelled, and would love to try out one or two of the ‘scarf as garment’ styles sometime, but there was one that just seemed ideal for today, ‘Criss-Cross’….

Desigual double knot

Glossybox Goodies

A while back I reviewed some products that I received from Glossybox, I haven’t had any boxes for months due to moving and budgeting a bit more tightly, but this month they had an offer for the July box + the August box for £15 + p&p (£17.95 total) – normal monthly price is £10 + p&p. So that seemed like really good value – I was sold!

I have yet to try out any of the products (watch this space) but here’s what I got:

Glossybox JulyJuly Box “Seaside Splash”: From left to right: Anatomicals Spray Mist Facial Spritz / Alterna Bamboo Style Boho Waves Tousled Texture Mist / Sleek Pout Paint in Rosette and Cloud 9 / Coola Organic Mineral SPF 20 Face moisturiser / Essie Sleek sticks nail stickers.

Total value of products in box: £34.77

Most excited about: Anatomicals facial spray, Alterna tousled hair mist.

August boxAugust Box “High Flyers”: From left to right: Emite eyelash curler / Jelly Pong Pong 2-in-1 shadow/liner / Urban Veda Turmeric & Botanic Radiance Day Cream / Tresemmé Keratin Smooth Concentrated Treatment / Oceane Makeup remover pen.

Total value of products in box: £34.98 – not including Oceane product which is pre-launch.

Most looking forward to: Oceane Makeup remover, Urban Veda Day Cream.

So, £17.95 paid, and £70 of product received…. even if I’m not crazy about some of them, it’s massively good value. Ok, month to month it’s a bit of a lottery and there have been some boxes I was disappointed in, but I have been impressed by the fact that often the products are full size, and the range tends to be high end.

Watch this space for the reviews…

 

Vintage and upcycling

Oh dear, I have been lacking again. Life is just too busy to blog at the moment! The telling factor is that in the last post I wrote about the monthly Village Market at Beaconsfield, and today I went again. This time though, I came away with a cute liberty button brooch, and a gorgeous Art Nouveau style vintage face powder tin. The lid’s not too stiff and it even still smells of cosmetics inside! I haven’t decided what to keep in it yet. art nouveau tinThis bank holiday weekend I have decided to make no plans other than to finish all my half-done and intended projects! I went to a big car boot at West Wycombe last bank holiday, and picked up some patterned Ikea bedding, which I have started to make a skirt out of using a SisterMag pattern. It’s been in pieces for a fortnight but I’m determined it will become fully formed by Monday evening!

Today though I made a necklace from a watch face I got from the carboot, inspired by Sarah Drew‘s work and one of her pieces I have which has featured on this blog. I also made use of some of her tips from her book ‘Junk Box Jewellery’. All the watch’s side fastenings were still present so it was easy to wrap some wire and connect the chain.

watch necklaceFinally, I was inspired to take the plunge and do something with a pair of tiny amber dice that I have been carrying from house to house with me since 2007. I bought them in the amber markets in the main square in Krakow, Poland, and loved them, even though I had no idea what to do with them. In truth I still had no idea until about 6 months ago when I got my books on upcycling vintage treasures. These were a bit trickier as I had to bend a fiddly wire cage around the dice, but then threading and twisting the hooks on was straightforward.

earringsSo there we are, that’s my start to the bank holiday weekend! What will you do?

 

Jewelled nails

An oddbits post tonight, as I haven’t particularly been feeling the outfit inspiration this week. That said, I have had several lovely things turn up in the post this week, some expected, some not – more about that soon no doubt.

However, one of the things on my crafting to-do list for some time has been a jewellery roll. Whenever I travel I always take many rings, necklaces and earrings and they always end up in such a mess. I once spent an hour on my return from holiday untangling a ball of jewellery – longer than it took to unpack everything else!

Ages ago I bought a fat quarter of pale turquoise paisley print fabric, which I used to make a phone sleeve but still had loads left. Then I picked up a remnant of blue & white floral print fabric in the charity shop, and the idea was born for a contrasting fabric jewellery roll.

To make this I used:

  • Two coordinating but contrasting fabrics
  • A piece of medium thickness felt
  • A ribbon (reused from my Glossyboxes)
  • Blue bias binding
  • White and pink cotton
  • Press studs

Firstly I cut out the felt and fabrics to size, then a small rectangle & two thin strips of the outer fabric (the turquoise), and a rectangle of felt. These I used to make the earring flap, and the ring and necklace keeper (by rolling up the strips and then sewing down one edge). The two keepers were stitched to the inner and felt layers at one end, and the press-stud attached at the other end. The earring flap was also stitched in along the top side. Then I added the outer face, stitched all round the edge, trimmed and sewed the outer edge of the bias binding. The final edge stitch to finish the binding I hand stitched in pink thread to match the pink tie-ribbon. This was doubled up and stitched in place in the centre of the outer end when the roll is folded up. Ta -dah!

inner jewellery roll

 

 

 

 

 

The other bit of this post relates to nails – I had another splurge on my favourite nailcare brand. When I last when on holiday to Barcelona I discovered two European stores that I wish we had over here – SIX Jewellery and KIKO Cosmetics. KIKO do absolutely amazing nail colours, I have never seen so much choice, and some great nailcare products like a cuticle exfoliating pen and nail polish thinners that I’ve never come across elsewhere for such great value.

You can order online – there’s a minimum £25 order, but delivery is free. It’s just more of an excuse to stock up on great stuff! Here’s my loot:

279 Yellow; 310 Golden Orange; 209 French Baby Pink; 389 Mint Milk; 325 Gray Green; 323 Milk Chocolate; Nail Cuticle Scrub Pen; French Manicure White Nail Pencil
279 Yellow; 310 Golden Orange; 209 French Baby Pink; 389 Mint Milk; 325 Gray Green; 323 Milk Chocolate; Nail Cuticle Scrub Pen; French Manicure White Nail Pencil

A thousand apologies…

I have been severely lacking, in fact it’s been a month since my last post. However, there has been quite a bit going on not least of which a new job and a relocation in the pipeline for me (more on that soon!)

To make a start again, here’s the fruits of my labours earlier this month for the St Piran’s Day Ball. St Piran being the Cornish saint, the theme of the evening was Cornish dress. Lots of people went with accessories in Cornish tartan both traditional and hunting, black and white outfits, or official outfits with kilts and sashes.

I decided to go a little more creative, and picked up a dark turquoise cocktail dress from the second-hand dress shop in town – it’s one of those throw-it-on and go dresses that’s just really comfortable to wear. The beads round the neckline were knackered but that gave me the idea to replace them – you can see the stages of this in the photo collage below. Big square turquoise glass beads broken up by flat glossy black discs and gold glass barrels, with some turquoise faceted beads on the shoulder straps gave a nice Cornish twist (black and gold) without making it a 100% theme dress.

st piran dress

As you can see I also themed my nails with gold and a St Piran flag thumb.

Then I set to work on a brooch/corsage – made of a black flower hair clip I never wear, a St Piran brooch centrepiece, some gold ribbon and some feathers that I dropped on in Hobbycraft while I was looking for beads. I popped the centre out of the flower and worked out the clip from the back, pinned in the brooch and then glued the feathers in place and held with the clip until it had dried. The next night I looped the ribbon and put a stitch in to hold in place, then glued and clipped as with the feathers. Not bad at all!

st piran brooch

They were taking professional photos on the night, sadly the end results were not full length but you can see how I finished the outfit off with a gold shrug, and bronze Cornish St Justin jewellery.

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