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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Recent beauty buys

It’s been nearly two months since I last posted! Whoops… I’ve been sticking with the gel nails since then, experimenting and refining technique. I’m convinced it’s the way to go, but I do think the quality of the polish you use has a massive impact.

Anyway I’ve been up to all sorts lately in the beauty, craft and vintage departments so I’d better start catching up.

Firstly, a round-up of some of my latest beauty buys. A few weeks ago we convened in Birmingham for Sophie’s birthday and before we all dispersed again a few of us went shopping, including a trip to Selfridges beauty department. I blame Sophie entirely for the fact that I blew £70! But hopefully on things which have made a difference.

Skin

As the summer heat hits I’ve been loving the weather, not so much what it does to my skin. I’d really been suffering from shine and my UrbanVeda products just didn’t seem to be up to the job any more. So when I saw this Dermalogica rescue kit for normal/oily skin I jumped on it.

I’ve used Dermalogica products before and in fact have the full size mask of one of the sample products included in this. For full size products, this kit contain a foam wash (I use in the morning), toner (in the morning after wash and before moisturiser), and polishing scrub (I use in the evening) and a matte moisturiser (I use in the evening after scrub). There’s also some eye cream I haven’t used yet. So far this routine seems to be keeping the skin under control, along with the following…

Kiko Mat Fluid is a moisturiser and matifying solution in one – to me this seemed to be a contradiction in terms but it was what I needed, so I gave it a shot (thanks Kiko for opening a new store on Oxford Circus!), and it seems to work. I certainly get less shine over the course of the day than if I use regular moisturiser.

Makeup

Now I’ve never been one for spending much on makeup and here again I blame Sophie’s influence for spending more! But then again, I had two problems I needed to fix and the theory that cost and quality are aligned has hopefully paid off. In both cases, Bobbi Brown had the products that appealed the most.

They had a great range of BB cream shades, and I liked the way that it disappeared and blended quickly. Plus it’s SPF 35 which should hopefully stop my poor nose from burning at the slightest bit of sun! I don’t normally burn but I think I’ve caught my nose too many times, and now it’s sensitized.

Then, since I’ve had glasses I have had a nightmare with mascara smudging on the lenses. So Bobbi Brown’s ‘No Smudge’ mascara seemed to be just the ticket, and sure enough I can vouch that it doesn’t smudge at all! It has a great brush, goes on nicely without clumping, and doesn’t smudge even though it doesn’t dry hard like some mascara.

So that’s that for now, more crafting and fashion coming up soon…

 

Paris Beauty Haul

So I popped over to Paris on the Eurostar the other week for a long weekend – as you do!

Overall I was quite restrained with the shopping but I did pick up some things from my favourite European beauty store, Sephora. I am still gutted that they have no stores in the UK, I’m sure they would be really popular. They stock a lot of the same brands as the high street department stores in terms of makeup, perfume and skincare ranges, but they also have their own range which is really good quality and good value.

First up, Mavala Cuticle cream.

Mavala cuticle creamYou can get Mavala online and from select department stores (I’ve found it in the larger House of Fraser sometimes, and in Selfridges) but generally it’s hard to track down in the UK. I have used a number of their products in the past including nail strengtheners, but this time it was the cuticle cream I nabbed.

It’s quite a gel-like cream, and doesn’t smell all that marvellous – a little bit medicinal. But it soaks in nicely and doesn’t leave too much residue, and seems to be doing the job for me so far.

My cuticles were getting quite dry and were prone to peeling, and this seems to be happening less now I’ve been using this cream.

€9.50 [£7.80] / 15ml

Sephora nail polish

Now I’m not one to pass up a good nail polish, and Sephora had three for two on their cute little ‘Colour Hit’ bottles, and a great range of colours. In the end I went for ‘Have u Ever‘ (matte pink), ‘Be a Millionaire‘ (matte teal) and ‘Flash Me!‘ (acid gold). The pink nail polish was the first I tried and I loved the colour and cover, but was disappointed in the wear, as it needed retouching after just 24 hours. However, Flash Me! seemed to have much more durability and lasted several days without any noticeable chipping or fading. I haven’t tried Be a Millionaire yet, that’s next!

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€4.95 [£4.06] / 5ml bottle – 3 for 2 offer

Finally, Sephora Blemish-fighting roll-on gel

image_4I’ve been prone to a few breakouts recently so decided to pick up this handy looking product. It’s got a metal rollerball applicator and is actually more of a liquid than a gel.

It feels cool and fresh when you apply it over the blemish area and it seems to be working. I applied it over the area where I’d recently had a spot and it noticeably reduced the redness.Even better, I applied it when I felt a spot coming up on my cheek and it cleared that up before it got a chance to break. This product definitely gets my thumbs up!

€9.95 [£8.17] / 10ml

 

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…

 

Stepping back to the 1940s

Now I’m not normally one for costumes, I never really did fancy dress properly at uni and always preferred to concoct an outfit that actually looked genuine, something you would plausibly wear out to a non-theme event.

On the day we got back from Italy last week we also had a party to go to – ’40s in 404′ at the Classic Air Force Trust at Newquay Airport. The event was held in their hangar containing vintage aircraft in various stages of restoration, and there was a swing band and dance group that came to really rack up the atmosphere. Everyone made a great effort with outfits and there were one or two genuine uniforms out of mothballs I think!

So this was my outfit, which I was really chuffed with – the centrepiece being the wartime green ‘Amelie dress’ which was in the sale from Collectif. I paired this with a vintage gold bag I had already, and my cream/gold Ruby Shoo O’haras. The neckline of the dress negates a necklace, so it was just a cream/gold pair of vintage style earrings and my green/gold ring.

1940s Green & Gold Vintage style
We also went and got our hair done and upped the makeup – for a start I wore lipstick which I never do! There were a few aircraft outside the hangar so we braved the cold (still acclimatising backwards from 35C) and snapped some photos too.