Tuesday, 29 April 2014

'Above All Things'* by Tanis Rideout - A Book Review

I love book clubs because it gives you the chance to read things which might not, ordinarily, be something you'd pick up - sometimes you'll like it, sometimes you'll love it and sometime you won't be so sure. But one thing you can be sure of is that you've discovered a new book and even if it wasn't the type of book you already go for there's a good chance you'll be able to enjoy it!

'Above All Things'* by Tanis Rideout is a perfect example of a book that I wouldn't have read otherwise - It's not the type of story I would normally be drawn to but I got stuck right in as I tend to like most books, regardless of the genre (even if I do still have favourites!)


Part romance, part adventure and part history, this book looks at two people who're very much in love but always seem to be kept apart. That is, it tells of George Mallory who, in 1924, tried to be the first man to reach the top of Everest after several failed attempts, and it also tells us about his wife, Ruth, and her life back home, waiting for him to return.

The story works rather well, splitting between focusing on the two different sides to the story; you see the contrast between the slow, simplicity of Ruth's day (which is sometimes interrupted with turbulence) whilst she waits for news of George's return and then the slow, complexity of George's adventure up the mountain. As someone who has never much looked in to the past of Everest I decided not to look in to it before reading because, although I had a feeling it was based upon factual events, it meant that I could stay ignorant of the ending (even if I do tend to work out the ending to things anyway).

I don't read historical books a lot, or romance so I wasn't sure how I'd find these aspects of the book but they weren't issues for me and I enjoyed this story quite well. Flashbacks to when Ruth and George met or snippets of their life together help to give more of a back story and let the reader really know who these characters are together, as well as apart.

Having read a little more since finishing the book I know that this story was based upon fact (as I had expected) but that the author decided to base a fiction, around what fact she could unearth about George Mallory and his wise and the combination of the genres two worked really well for this story. A really enjoyable book that's easy to get in to once you get going and where you'll really want to know 'Does he come home this time?'.

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*I was sent this book, for the purpose of review, as part of the BritMums book club*

Another Bing book! Review of 'Bing - Something for Daddy'* by Ted Dewan

Every day I am grateful that my boy loves books. I love books, always have done, and I think that's rubbed off on him which I am just so so pleased about. He has a Lot of books but there's always going to be space for more, even when there isn't space for more we'll find space because you just can't have enough books!

We reviewed one of the Bing books a while back, 'Bing - Get Dressed' and I think both Ethan and I quite loved Bing bunny - Ethan thought he was funny, I thought he was cute - A rather good impression all round, really! I do remember being surprised when the book veered away from the getting dressed theme and ended up with poor Bing having an accident and needing to get dressed again but, actually, I think it's a fantastic idea. When the narrator assures Bing 'it's no big thing' I suddenly knew we were really going to need this book when Ethan started potty training - Sometimes we all need to be reminded 'it's no big thing'.

Anyway, I digress (as I always do)! The Bing book that we were sent, this time, is 'Something for Daddy'.


The vibrant blue of the cover was a really nice starting point for this book, it just felt very fun before you've even opened it up. You can probably get the gist of the story just by looking at the front cover, there's glue, there's feathers, there's stars and there's sparkles... You got it, Bing is making something veeery pretty for his, very very lucky Daddy!

Bing attacks the activity with the excitement and vigour you'd expect from a young, fun loving character like him but, unfortunately this results in a bit of an accident (Yes, it's definitely a theme in Dewan's Bing books, it's never plain sailing for poor old Bing)


And, of course, when things go wrong for Bing they go Really wrong! At this point Ethan was a bit worried as he knows it'd definitely be a bad idea for him to explode glue all over the place; what on earth was going to happen to Bing, especially as his glue pot had suddenly become bigger than his head! And... of course, Daddy's picture has been buried underneath the glue avalanche, poor Daddy, poor Bing.


But, all is not lost, this incredibly crazy page gives us hope that Bings' art is salvageable as long as he drowns it all in sparkles which, being the very clever bunny that he is, Bing does in no time and this psychedelic explosion is what Daddy's picture turns in to!

Ok so ignore my sarcastic commentary - It's clear that these stories are simple but with that repeatable catchphrase 'It's no big thing Bing' there's a much deeper lesson behind them - I think parents and children alike can take heed in that reminder, that sometimes accidents happen and it Really is ok! (Admittedly, when it's not an accident and your 4-year-old redecorates the living room with blue powder paint... well yes)

I think these lovely stories take a pressure from little ones and Mummies and Daddies alike. As such we definitely like Bing, and his stories, and think this would be a lovely one to read with your little one, especially if they're prone to making messes, having accidents or just getting a bit covered in sticky stuff! - Let's up the amount of sparkly pictures made for Daddy's all over the country And let's make ourselves, and our little ones, see the truth in the fact that it is 'no big thing' - This is a charming story, with a lovable character and that, always necessary, disco ball effect page just to make sure you're still paying attention!

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*This book was sent to me for for purpose of review but everything I say is in total honesty*

Monday, 28 April 2014

Reviewing Steam Cream* in the new limited edition 'Vanity' tin by Maki Kahori

I expect that a majority of you have heard of Steam Cream - The freshly made, multi purpose, cream which is fused by steam. It's definitely a product that captures the attention and I've often wondered if it lived up to it's interesting concept!


As well as the different way in which it's made, there's another big appeal to this intriguing cream, and that's the beautifully designed tins that it is packaged in. I've seen various tins which have captured my attention over the past couple of years and I can see why people could end up with more than one of these as there's going to always be another new tin which you just have to have!

When I first saw the limited edition Vanity tin  I loved it; it has a real 'wow factor' and it is just gorgeous, a work of art. The design is by the Japanese artist Maki Kahori and I was instantly intrigued and had to go off to google her other work (I am now a Big big fan!)

 

I can assure you that even once the cream is gone I will be finding every excuse to keep using this tin, I'm thinking it'll be fab for keeping bits and bobs safe on my bedside table or something of the sort... It has to be out on show as it's just so so pretty! That beautiful bright blue bloom is likely to brighten up any vanity or be a real feature of your beauty collection.

But of course  you'll be wanting to know what the cream inside the tin is like, too, if you've not tried it yourself already. I think, even from the picture above, you can actually See how light this cream is; it's unbelievably light! The cream is hand made with fresh ingredients including lavender, orange flower, cocoa butter, oatmeal and rose - for me the scent of lavender is what I smell to begin with but after the cream has settled I get a more citrus scent from it (I worked this out before I looked at the ingredients so I can assure you that I wasn't swayed by knowing what's in it) 


I'm definitely a big fan of the fact that there's so many natural ingredients in this cream, definitely, and the idea that the steam process allows the ingredients to infuse without using lots of extra emulsifying ingredients is a big bonus. I'm not a big fan of the lavender scent, and I know many others aren't either, but if you can put up with it for a short while it really does pass quickly, leaving that much more pleasant scent behind before disappearing at all.


I think that this picture further illustrates how light that this cream is, you can see how it sits on my skin, before being rubbed in, it's just so different from it's more dense and heavy counterparts. When the cream is rubbed in you do feel it on the surface of your skin for a little while but in a very short time it's totally absorbed and it leaves your skin feeling very very soft and supple.

The cream is said to be suitable for all skin types, due to its light formula, and I can definitely see why that claim seems possible. It can be used as a multi-purpose cream, for the face, hands and body but I prefer to keep it to the hands and body as I prefer to use face creams which are more specifically designed for the face. That said, the fact that this product comes in the handy little tin means that I'll definitely consider this for travel, or for keeping in my bag and for the sake of saving space and time I'd definitely use it as an all over cream when I was staying over somewhere.

All in all I'm a Steam cream fan, now, and I am definitely a Maki Kahori fan too as that tin is just stunning! I look forward to seeing what other beautiful designs are released in the future!



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*This product was sent to me for the purpose of review but all opinions are entirely my own, based on my own experiences*

Nail Wheel swatches - Makeup Revolution polishes - 'Cupid in Disguise', 'Boy Needs a girl', 'Love for Sale', 'License to Love' and 'Lover Boy'

I've got some gorgeous nail wheel swatches to show you today, I've got 5 Makeup Revolution polishes, plus their top coat and I've really been impressed with them so far. I really like the brush, it's just the right amount of give whilst staying quite firm. The polishes go on nicely, some of the paler shades need an extra coat, but they dry with remarkable speed.

The shades I have are 'Cupid in Disguise' (which can be won in my giveaway HERE but only until tomorrow, 29/04/14), 'Boy Needs a Girl', 'Love for Sale', 'License to Love' and 'Lover Boy' - Three of which are glitters and two are standard formula. The normal formulas cost £1 and the glitters £1.50 which is an amazing price.

'Cupid in Disguise'
'Boy Needs a Girl'
'Love For Sale'
'License to Love'
'Lover Boy'*

 As you can see, they all look beautiful in the bottle, but you want to see how they look swatched, so here's some nail wheels to give you an idea of how they look. I gave them all two coats but the glitters would definitely have taken more to be opaque (apart from License to Love) - I definitely find that 'Love for Sale' works better over the top of another colour.



As you can see they decrease in opacity as you go from left to right, 'License to Love' is a beautiful multi-glitter which is predominantly silver but with hits of other colours running through it, and it's opaque within two coats, it's a very nice, fun shade.

The deep turquoise/teal glitter of 'Lover Boy' is equally as beautiful but would have needed a third coat to become opaque or, if it had been over a deep blue/green shade would have been great as a top coat. Lastly 'Love For Sale' takes a lot more coverage to be opaque but it's one where you'd probably forgo the opacity in order to make it a beautiful top coat - I absolutely love it over a gold, neutral or dusky pink shades as each of these work along side the shades in this glitter polish as well as allowing the opposite colours to come out. The mix of gold and pink glitters are just beautiful.


It's difficult to photograph but I think this one shows how the pink shades come out in shadow but the gold shines in the light, isn't this look just beautiful?!

The shade in the centre of this image is 'Cupid in disguise' - It's an absolutely stunning rose gold shade in which the pink tones are more subtle and the gold more prevalent. This turns it into an almost neutral/gold shade but with pink hints shining through in certain lights, I Love it.

And lastly, we have the creamy pale pink of 'Boy needs a girl' - I'm sure you appreciate how difficult it is to get a colour this pale which doesn't streak so this is a great shade. Upon the nails it does streak a little but by the time you layer it up it can end up looking lovely and smooth like on the wheel.

These are all fantastic polishes which apply really nicely. I like the brush on them, too, sometimes a less expensive polish will have a brush that's really awkward to use but in these the brushes are very very usable.

All in all, there are SO many shades and So many options considering you're looking at £1 or £1.50 for these polishes, very impressed.

To keep up-to-date don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin and Twitter @petitmoi_bigworld

*The shade 'Lover boy' was given to me in my goody bag but I bought the rest of these shades myself*

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Swatches of Sleek's Limited Edition 'Showstoppers' palette -

I was very pleased to see a new Sleek palette coming out to celebrate 50 years of Superdrug and I was even more pleased to see that the shades in there made me go 'oooooh!' - I loved the idea of all new shades, all being named after previous Sleek palettes; really making this a celebratory palette, for Sleek as well as Superdrug!


Really pleased to have got the ltd edition box, this time, I know the box doesn't matter but I Loved the limited edition box for the Vintage romance palette and was gutted to just get the standard black box. Isn;t this pink, feathery design just stunning!

Just teasing you now, those of you who've not seen the palette yet are going to be wanting me to just hurry up and show those shades! So here they come!

A really nice balance of shimmer shades, mattes and a couple of sparkle shades. Every one of them is beautifully pigmented and there's a really exciting balance between safe shades and more exciting, different shades. Just from the picture in the pans I Know I'm going to have a Lot of fun with this palette. And, let me just tell you, the swatches do Not disappoint.


A couple of photos just so that you can see the shades from different angles, you can see how different they look in different lights. From L-R we have 'Paraguaya', 'Sunset' and 'Me, Myself and Eye' - Three beautiful shades with 'Sunset' being my favourite of the three, so so pretty. 




Next up we have 'Bad Girl', 'Noir' and 'Ultramattes V2' - I really love 'Bad Girl', it's just stunning with that green/gold edge and I really can't wait to play with it. The other two shades are fantastically strong shades and incredibly pigmented.

Only one shot of 'Oh So Special', 'Bohemian' and 'Storm' with them all being matte. I really really like all three of these, that soft matte grey is something that I think will be invaluable and the peachy/coral shade and navy aren't the sort of shades I normally use but I'm Really really looking forward to giving them a go. Very well pigmented for matte shades, love them. 



The last three, stunning shades are 'Sparkle', 'Au Naturel' and 'Graphite'. The first and third shades are both shimmers but if you can see the top photo the central shade is a glitter shade and it's Stunning! I love it, so so much. Then again, 'Graphite' is a bit beautiful too.

I can't really make my mind up as to which shades are my favourites in this palette, there are some which are nice but quite normal but there's also a Lot of really stand out shades. I'm going to have a whole lot of fun playing with this palette and I'll try and get some photographs taken as I do so maybe I can even try to share with you all too!

You can get the 'Showstopper' palette from Superdrug for the standard price of £7.99 - Don't let it slip past if you like it, it won't be around forever!







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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Makeup Revolution's 'Acid Brights' palette - Swatches

Still getting those swatch posts written up and I know this isn't one that's been overly requested But I know a friend of mine has been intrigued by the neon's so I thought she'd quite like to see this one - So this is for her! (And the rest of you, of course!)


As with all of the other palettes in this range the 'Acid Brights' palette is £4 - Unlike most of the other palettes, though, this one really isn't going to be for everyone, let's be honest here; not everyone wants neon eye shadow.

On the flip side, though, if you want to have some fun and experiment with colour, play with doing some fashion looks or something alternative then this is the way to do it, for £4 you can really go all out and have a ball with these bold and striking shades.

Not all of the shades are super pigmented but a lot of them are, and the ones that aren't are definitely buildable, I haven't built them up in my swatches because I want to be fair so they all got the same amount of application.

I really quite like the first shade, that bright yet deep pink. It's very pigmented and very bold plus is has a pretty sheen to it, as you can see towards the bottom of the swatch - It actually reminds me of a pink shadow I used to have back in my teens; when I used to wear baggy jeans and band tees as well as very little makeup I did go through a phase of neon pink eye liner and bold pink shadow. It wasn't the best look, especially the eye liner, but that shade is definitely a statement (and I could definitely do something better with it now than I did back then!)

The white, yellow and orange are some of the less pigmented shades But there's some payoff from them all and you could definitely build them all up to a much better colour if that's what you wanted, not to mention using a primer. That orange is rather striking and I don't think it'd take much at all to get a pretty dense colour from it.

These four shades are, without a doubt, the most pigmented of the lot - And all rather beautiful to boot. I love both of those blues, with that gorgeous shimmer that you can see at the bottom I can really picture them both as fabulous water shades, oceans, mermaids something like that.

A very true purple with a lean towards neon, is how I'd describe the third shade, it's a matte shade so not as dense as the first two but a good colour payoff none the less, and yet again easily buildable. Purple's my favourite colour but not something I have a Lot of makeup wise (apart from plum and berry toned lip shades of course) so I am drawn to the idea of doing something crazy and bright with this shade, especially against my blue eyes... could make something rather striking.

I was expecting the green to be an almost khaki shade but, as you can see, it's Really bright! I have no idea what I'd do with that shade but I'm sure it could be fun to try out.

Neon pink and neon green were obviously going to need to be part of this set and the shades are matte, again, so sheer but definitely workable (especially that pink) - You've definitely got a good set of neons amongst these other super bold tones.

That silver shade is gorgeous - I don't know how when or why I might want such a bright, metallic silver but if I do this would definitely be where I'd come for it. One of the most densely pigmented shades in the palette it's got a gorgeous shimmer to it. The black isn't the most opaque I've ever seen but with a couple more swipes it probably could be.

A lot of fun to be had here - And I look forward to trying this out, throwing my neutral sensibility to the wind and making something different. I can harken back to the years when bright makeup was more my sort of thing, even if I didn't get very far with it back then!

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Love Me Beauty box - Unboxing / Review - April 2014

The last of the beauty boxes for this month is the Love Me Beauty box - I didn't get it last month as I didn't feel entirely inspired by what was up for offer but that didn't stop me checking out the options for this month and I'm glad that I did as I was impressed and definitely wanted to get a box for this month!



And what a box! Just look at that! There was four items on the menus this month but we also got a £25 voucher for 'Hello Fresh' and I got some Weleda samples too!

I'm rather chuffed with the Hello Fresh voucher, I've taken a look at the site and, although it's not a subscription we could afford long term, we're going to use it towards a box for one week and enjoy some tasty, fresh meals which will, hopefully, help me get back in to cooking!

The Weleda samples, I'm not sure why I got these, but not complaining. The stretch mark massage oil sounds like something I could Really do with so I'll definitely give that a quick go!

The fist item which was from the menu I chose, which was Menu 2, is the Redken 'Color Extend Conditioner' - Redken is a brand that I hear So much about but just haven't been able to invest in yet so I was more than happy to get hold of this. I can imagine this'll be a bit useless for anyone who doesn't colour their hair but I'm sure they'll know someone who does even if they don't themselves. I Do colour my hair, though I haven't for a while, so I'll save this for next time that I do. This is a pretty nice sized sample at 25ml, the full size is 250ml and is worth £9.99.

Sticking with hair care, the next item I got is from Neal & Wolf - This is one of the items which differed between the menus and this was something which helped my decision. I quite like the idea of a 'Super Shine Spray' and I do have a good experience of this brand; I've only tried them through this box service but have really enjoyed their products. This is a full sized, 100ml, bottle of spray which is worth £9.50 so we've got the cost of the box covered, pretty much, already!

Next up is the only item that is from a brand I've not heard of before and that's Betty Hula - This is their full sized roller ball of the 'Secret Wonder Oil' which is worth £6.25. This moisturising oil smells Amazing so I can't wait to try it out (though I'd rather not have to have dry skin but it's pretty much an inevitability). That said, the little leaflet says that this little multi-use product can be used for sun burn, stretch marks and scarring as well as dry skin! The little roller ball is a fantastic idea as you can carry it around with you and use it as and when you need to get moisturised! Great potential for travelling, especially with use for sun burn too.

This is the last of the four items from my box and is another that made the decision of which menu to pick, for me. I love Models Own polishes and I've not tried any of their 'Artstix - Nail art pens' so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to get one! This pastel pink shade is perfectly seasonally appropriate and I can't wait to try out some designs with it. This is worth £6.

A fab box, this month, really - Great value, three full sized products and the remainder is a big sample plus a fantastic range of products. Very happy with what I've got this month and looking forward to trying each and every product.






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Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Makeup Revolution swatches - Cream blush in 'Peach cream' and 'Rose Cream' and Blush lacquer in 'Desire'

I've got So many swatch posts to do for the Makeup Revolution products that I've bought, the reason I didn't swatch them in the haul posts was that they were already really photo heavy and that's also why I'm breaking things down in to sections - I don't want to do All of my cheek products in one post because, even then, I'd be over doing it on the photos. I don't want to stretch things out too far, but I also don't want to just do posts full to the brim with photos so that you end up missing one that would, otherwise, really draw you to a product - If you're going to love something I don't want you to miss out on that opportunity.

I've seen a Really big interest in the Cream blushes and the Vivid Blush Lacquers from the range so I thought I'd show you some swatches of those (You can win the same Blush lacquer, that I'll be swatching, in my giveaway HERE) first of all!


These 'Vivid Blush Lacquers' have created quite the stir from the responses I've seen, a Lot of people have been intrigued and looking forward to trying these out. I swatched one at the launch event and was really pleased that I'd already ordered one in the order I'd made before attending, they are nice. I opted for the shade 'Desire' because it seemed quite a mid tone but with a depth to it and I thought that it would work as a nice, natural, 'walking in the cold' sort of flush.

As you can see I tried to get the absolute Tiniest amount on my hand (that second spot isn't another drop of colour, it's just where I wiped the excess from the nozzle on to my hand) - I wanted to show how pigmented these are.

I didn't pat it in very evenly (my apologies) but you can definitely see how pigmented that colour is considering I had an amount smaller than the head of a pin on my hand - I should have tried to have my hand the same distance away from the camera to help with seeing how small that spot of product really was, but I promise it was tiny - Blended in to the cheeks this shade gives exactly the look that I want and I can't imagine Ever having to re-purchase this product because it goes Such a long way! The Blush lacquers cost a tiny £3!

I really quite like cream blushes and I don't have loads so I picked up two from the Makeup Revolution range, in my second haul. I went for 'Peach Cream' and 'Rose Cream', nice simple names which fit the products rather well I think you'll agree. These products are an absolute steal at £1.50 each.

'Peach cream', first, this will be an obvious choice for the spring and summer months, I've missed peachy toned looks and this is going to be my go-to when I start doing them again! In fact this has excited me so much I may do a look with this tomorrow!



Even just looking at this swatch you can see how beautiful and creamy these blushes are - and that shade... ooh I want to go and do my makeup now! (I won't tell you what stupidly late hour this is being written at but I Will tell you that it's definitely not a good time for makeup application!)


The surface of this looks a little different to the other one but it's nothing to worry about, it's not a fault in the blush by any means, I've had various cream formulas look like this before but it's never been an issue when I'm using them. This shade is 'Rose cream' and I've worn it a couple of times already and I Love it!

Similarly to the liquid blush that I swatched above, this is a 'flushed' sort of look but it's a bit more 'English rose' if that makes any sense - To be honest I'm not even sure anyone knows why these descriptions are as they are, but they do kinda work!

Again, the formula is evident and the pigmentation beautiful. I really recommend these, and the lacquer blushes (which I definitely want more shades of) - All very beautiful and great to work with (not to mention crazily affordable!)

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Glossybox UK - Unboxing / Review - April 2014

Beauty box week is still in full swing and, yesterday, my Glossybox came! I normally try to do my Glossybox posts on the day but I had two posts already up by the time it came and I really thought three posts in one day was too much, paranoia? Perhaps.


This months theme was Sweet Treats which, to be honest, I really didn't see reflected in the items - I was hoping for something candy coloured? Foody themed scents? Fruity themed products? Hrm.


First up I saw the 'Face & Body Tanning Gel' from He-Shi  medium - I'm not big on tanning but I quite want to try something this year so I can contemplate leaving the house with bare legs (Yes, they are THAT pale), but I'm not sure that medium would be the right shade for me, it might be too big a step. But the instructions from this say that you need to avoid water when wearing it so it sounds very temporary so, maybe it'd be worth a try to just wash it off again if it's awful. This 50ml tube is worth £7.99 which is a nice size and priced sample.

I like Mememe but that means that I already own their 'Beat the blues' multi-use highlighter in 'Pearl pink' - The applicator in mine is a bit dodgy but it doesn't bother me too much so I may swap it out for this one but I'm more likely to pass it on to someone else or pop it in a giveaway, we'll see. It's a nice product, though, and lovely to start playing with in the spring/summer months. This is full sized and sells at £5.50.

Woo dry shampoo! I'm getting quite a collection, now, but I love the stuff so I Really don't mind! This is one from TRESemme and it's a 100ml can which is a nice size and will last for a good while. The full size of this is 200ml and is worth £4.99.

This lovely little lip brush from Emite Make up is worth £17! Now I normally pop the price in at the end but I thought this was worth a more prime position in the ramble for this item... £17 for a lip brush?! I know I wouldn't normally pay that but I'm not going to complain at getting one in my box. I have a variety of products that I prefer to apply with a lip brush so I'll definitely get a lot of use out of this as it's quite clear that this soft, angled little brush will be superior to the other lip brushes that I have! (Also about 5 times the cost haha!)

Last but, most definitely not least, is the Monu Spa 'Warming Ginger Massage and body oil' - Now this seems to be more of a cold weather product, to me, but soft moisturised skin is an all round thing so I'll overlook that! This does sound lovely, though, I love body oils and this smells just like ginger bread! This is a 30ml bottle and oils last soo long that this should be around for a while for many of us! Another impressively sized and priced sample as the full size of this is 100ml for £25 so we're looking at about £7.50 worth of product in there.

Initially this box didn't excite me much but now that I've really looked at the products and seen what they do, what they offer etc I'm rather pleased. I think I'd have been happier, sooner, had I got a makeup product that I don't already have but that's hardly the fault of Glossybox is it now! I love the oil, the makeup brush will be useful (love getting brushes in boxes!) and the dry shampoo will be a great essential. I'm definitely going to try the tanning gel, though I'm not sure it'll be for me and the Mememe product is nice as I'll be able to share a lovely product with someone else even though I can't use it myself.

The theme was a bit daft compared to what was in the box but a theme isn't everything - Nicely done, Glossybox, thanks for an enjoyable month! 






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