If you’re a regular reader, here, you’ll know I used to post multiple posts, a month, for beauty box subscription unboxes but, more recently, the posts just haven’t been forthcoming. I’ve, vastly, reduced the amount of boxes I get and even the ones I do get haven’t been making me want to grab my camera and get snapping. But this month has been quite the exception – This month I opened my Birchbox and instantly tweeted them, the box really is the best one I’ve had in a long time. 

Obviously not everyone will get the exact same box but the two items which are my favourites are the two that everyone will get so I am quite confident a lot of people will be happy with this one. If you aren’t a member but decide to sign up after reading this I’d really appreciate if you used my referral link as that’ll get both you, and I, points to spend in the Birchbox shop (and those points do add up quite quickly so I’m sure it wouldn’t be long before you were making a sneaky purchase). My link is – https://www.birchbox.co.uk/invite/m6bv3

I do quite like that Birchbox are doing special box designs even more regularly, now, I keep some boxes and ones like this one instantly go in to my collection. I love the pattern, the purple stripes, the colour in the diamonds and even the phrase on the front – All in all, even the box is a bit lovely this month. 
The diamond references are linked to a wee collaboration for this month – There are two ways to win yourself some diamonds! One person (sadly not me) will open their box to discover a £200 diamond necklace inside, this month, and then there’s a more standard competition for all subscribers to enter as well. 
I have to show you this, first, because this is the most exciting thing in the box, for me – I’ve wanted to try some Spectrum brushes for a while now but I do have rather a lot of brushes so I’ve been very good and not bought any. The moment I opened the bag, this month, the first thing I saw was this brush and I was over the moon. It’s a ‘Tapered Powder brush’ which lends itself to being used for applying a setting powder to specific areas (if you aren’t someone who wants a full face of powder) or maybe for blush, contour or highlight. I can’t, quite, decide what to try it with first but I can’t wait. It’s SO soft, I keep touching it, I can’t help myself, and So pretty and they’re cruelty free and not bank breakingly expensive. This brush is worth £7.99. 
Next up we have the Ayres body butter in ‘Patagonia’. Listed as a Birchbox exclusive this light, creamy body butter smells really rather lovely. The jar says that it contains essential oils of jasmine and rosemary and that balance of floral and savoury works really well. Floral scents tend to be a bit much for me, these days, but the rosemary really balances this out. It disappears in to the skin almost instantly, unlike other body butters, and the shea butter and vitamin e, that it contains, clearly do a good job as it leaves the skin feeling really, really soft. The jar is a 1oz/28g jar which will give you a good chance to experience the product before deciding upon whether or not you want to try the full size (which costs £19.50 from the BB shop). 
Next up we have an interesting item from the brand LOC which is a new, in house, brand brought to you by Birchbox themselves. I’m very intrigued to see how this little eyeshadow stick stands up against other brands, considering it’s from BB. There were two shades available, which I believe some people were able to pick, but I didn’t get the email for that option. I have got the shade ‘Perfect Cents’ which is a very pretty copper (picture and swatches a bit further down the post), the other shade is ‘Champagne Problems’ which, as you may have guessed, is a champagne shade. I’d have much preferred the champagne shade and may pick it up if I make a Birchbox order any time soon. 
These sticks need to be sharpened to get to more product (I do prefer a twisty end but that’s just me being picky) but the pigmentation seems pretty good, swatch wise. I am a little surprised that this tiny 1.35g stick is the full size, especially as they’re £8, but I am definitely intrigued by the product and it’s something I’m very glad to have got in the box. 
The other cosmetics product from this box is this wee sample of The Balm’s ‘Frat Boy’ blush/shadow (Though I’m instantly going to say this is much more of a blush shade, in my opinion). I really like these little samples from The Balm as they’re a great way to try out a higher value item, but get a decent use out of it. I’ve got a picture of the shade, and a swatch to show you in just a moment. A full size of this blush is £15.50.
And here we have the LOC pencil and the blush from The Balm. As I said, above, the pencil is a nice copper shade, not much more you can say other than that. I really like the shade of the blush, it’s a light, slightly dusky shade with a hint of peach, it’s the sort of shade I love for spring/summer. 
And here’s swatches of them both. You can see they both have a good level of pigmentation, but I can’t say anything about their staying power or application as I’ve not used them yet. But, so far so good. 
This month’s ‘beauty bonus’ is a single make-up remover wipe from Derm Eyes – This, probably, isn’t something I’d normally use but I’m planning on slipping it in to my hospital bag in case the need arises. I haven’t worn a lot of make up recently, but if I do happen to be wearing it on the day I go in to the hospital, I think this’d be a good way to get it off. The price for a full pack of these is £9.50 so I’m interested to see how good they are. 
Lastly, for this month, we have a ‘3-in-1 cleansing emulsion’ from Korres. Cleansers from beauty boxes is something I often pass on to other people because I know that, even if I love it, I won’t be able to afford to buy a full size. But I really do have a soft spot for Korres so I’m going to be keeping hold of this one. It’s a 16ml tube so I can imagine getting a few uses out of it and I’m looking forward to giving it a go. A full size of this is worth £15. 

And that’s the box. With most boxes I keep some products but instantly find myself allocating other’s to friends and family because I know I won’t use them (hence cutting down how many boxes I get) but, this box, I genuinely am going to use every single product and am excited about them all too. The brush is the stand out item, for me, I keep just rubbing it on my skin, as we weird beauty addicts do, as it’s So soft. I definitely need more! 

Again, if you decide to subscribe to this box, I’d really appreciate you using my referral link, it’ll benefit us both so it’s a real win win situation – https://www.birchbox.co.uk/invite/m6bv3 
Hope anyone who Does sign up gets a fantastic box, and hope those of you who’re already subscribers have had boxes as good as mine, too. What’s the stand out item for you, this month? Either from my box, your own. or other box contents you’ve seen.

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If you’ve already seen my Freedom Makeup first haul post you’ll know I’ve got a number of great products to share with you over the coming week. I decided that I’d show you some more detailed pictures, and some swatches, of the lip products that I picked up in my order as I thought you’d like to see the formulas and the shades.

If you saw my Pro Red Lipstick collection post then you’ll know I really liked the formula of the Freedom Makeup lipsticks but that I wanted some shades which were a little more me. So, in step, ‘Whispers’ and ‘Sooner or Later’ (L-R)
These lipsticks are an astonishing £1 each, so it’s easy to end up finding yourself adding more and more to the basket. I have a scary lip product collection, though, so am very proud of myself for only sticking to two! 
‘Whispers’ is a gorgeous rosy pink shade and it’s just the sort of pink I enjoy to wear, I can’t wear pinks that are too bubble gum, or too barbie pink, but this one is just right. 

This one is ‘Sooner or Later’ which is the perfect nude shade for me. I have a few nudes which are almost concealer coloured and I just can’t wear them, but this pinky nude sort of shade is really flattering on my skin tone. 

And here they, both, are swatched – Same order as a above. ‘Whispers’ is the slightly more pigmented of the two but ‘Sooner or Later’ still has plenty of colour and works really nicely along side the natural tone of your lips. For £1 these are great. 

You might see a, slight, theme with shades in this post. I, really, am trying to push myself to go back to reds and corals, peaches and plums but I keep being drawn to those rose-pinks and pinky nudes, I just can’t seem to help myself! This is so bad that I ended up getting the same shade in the two different lip lacquer formulas because it was the one I liked the most, even though logic would say I should’ve got different shades in each of them, oops!
I really, really, like the packaging of these. There’s something about the simplicity of the white lid and the gold text, it looks really classy and high quality. These are both in the shade ‘D-Ream’ but one is a Butters lip gloss and the other a Melts,
The Pro Butters in ‘D-Ream’ first – As you’d expect this has a lighter, slightly more sheer formula of the two, and the shades actually have a slightly different tone to them but I like both. 

And here’s the swatch – Although it’s slightly sheer there’s no doubting it’s got a great level of pigmentation for something that’s meant to be a buttery formula. I’ve worn this one and was amazed at the way it felt on the lips. I was expecting something glossy and light but, instead, it almost felt like there was nothing on my lips as it dried. I was very, very impressed. These are £3 each. 

This one is ‘D-Ream’ in the Pro Melts Lipgloss formula – As I expected this has a much thicker formula and it goes on much more like a lipstick. I was expecting it to dry matte, but it looks much more like a lipstick. I’ve not worn it for long do don’t know how long it’ll last, just yet.

And here’s the shade, you can see how much denser the shade is for this one and it’s definitely the bolder of the two when worn. I really like both of these formulas. These ones are also £3 each. 
So that’s my lip products, so far. I do look forward to seeing what other lip products they bring out, and I’m sure I’ll be tempted by more shades in the future. I want to wear the lipsticks for a bit longer to see how they hold out, it’ll  be tough to decide which shade I’ll go for. 
Which formula do you think you’d go for? 

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I’m looking out the window and I can’t help but smile, Summer is well and truly breaking through the grey. I never used to be a summer person, hayfever and super pale skin made me want to hide in the house all of the time but, these days, I love the warmth that comes with Summer, the feeling of sunlight on my skin (though I still can’t cope when it gets too hot). I think most of us are, totally, aware of how dangerous that feeling of sun on your skin is, though.
Sun care products are so, so important at this time of year, and when we have such fantastic beauty products that can give us a gorgeous tan rather than risking the sun exposure, it seems crazy to not invest in some products that’ll keep you skin safe. I have some favourite body and facial skin care products, already, so when I was asked to look at beauty products that House of Fraser offer which have sun care in them I couldn’t wait to look in to what cosmetics could give us that extra layer of protection.

One of the obvious beauty products to contain spf are foundations, tinted moisturisers and BB creams but it’s easy to forget about concealers. The eye area, and damaged skin (such as blemishes) are such sensitive places so it makes perfect sense to add even more sun care protection to them and, with some concealers, that’s exactly what you can do.

 

I hadn’t even thought about concealers, until I started looking at products, so I was thrilled to see that the Mac ‘Studio Finish Concealer’ has an spf of 35!

 

It’s a thick, high coverage concealer so it’ll help cover up those under eye bags and blemishes, as well as protecting from the sun. It might be a little too thick if you have a dry under eye area but if you pamper your eyes with a good eye cream (maybe one with an spf!) then that’ll help keep the area more suitable for a heavier duty concealer. I do find that most concealers settle in the lines under my eyes but I am trying to remember to use a setting powder and often find that patting product back in helps settle those lines.
It’s not the cheapest concealer on the market but for £15.50 you’re getting a high quality concealer that’ll also protect your skin from the sun!

 

Lip balm is another product which contains spf and the lips are something we really need to protect as they’re such a sensitive area of the body. This Kiehl’s lip balm is clear and thick, you might not want to wear it under lipstick but it’d be a great base under a lip gloss or if you were having a no makeup day. It feels fantastic on the lips and is really, really moisturising. It doesn’t have the highest spf ever but it has an spf of 4, and every little helps when it comes to these things. This lip balm is £9.50 and you only need the tiniest amount so it should last for ages.
Lastly, I wanted to find a product that adds to the finish of a look, rather than a base product, which had an spf. And in steps the Clinique ‘High Impact Lip Colour’ which has an spf of 15.

 

I struggled to find online swatches of the shades I liked the sound of, with these, so I had to go by faith in the website’s colour blocks. I went for ‘Honey Blush’ neutral but with the orangey tones that make it spring/summer worthy as well as a slight autumnal feel to it. I know that’s massively contradictory but I feel like this fits all of those seasons.

 

I’ve never owned a lipstick that’s quite this attractive, and sleek. Just look at that brushed metal tube! It feels amazing in the hands and there’s no doubting the quality, which I think you’d expect for a £17.50 lipstick.

 

One thing I hadn’t expected, when I picked the lipstick, was that it’d have a really fine glittery/shimmer in it. I have to admit, initially I was concerned. But look at that stunning colour!

 

 

As you can see the colour is a fantastic balance between a coral/orange nude and an autumnal orange nude – I think it’s the golden shimmer that gives it that autumnal feel. It’s so so beautiful. You can still see the glitter in the bottom swatch but it’s less obvious than in the tube and, rather than making it look glittery, it gives it a real light.

 

And here’s some on lip swatches (I’m not wearing any other make up in the photos so please forgive the red splodges and the pores). I used a couple of the photos as one shows the warmer tones and the other shows it in more of a neutral light.
You can see that the shimmer doesn’t show up as shimmer, at all, once on the lips, it just adds a radiance which is stunning. This isn’t a moisturising lipstick and it does take a little work to get it to sit perfectly on the lips but to balance that out this Is a Very long lasting lipstick. This is probably the most long lasting lipstick that I have (that isn’t a stain or a matte), it just stays and stays. I love the shade, I love the longevity and I love that it keeps my lips safe from the sun too!
So, I hope the post has helped you consider some more ‘out of the box’ ideas for sun protection. Skin care is, obviously, the perfect start at keeping your skin safe, foundation and something that covers your whole face is a great second step but there’s other little details, finishing steps, which add an extra layer of protection between you, and the damaging sun.

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This post contains press samples – See disclaimer here. 

Would I like to post about an 8 shade, cream blush palette that’s made to the Makeup Revolution quality that we already know and love? Well, why yes, I would! And would I like it the day before it’s released? Oh my goodness you’re spoiling me!

When the offer arrived there was no doubt about what my answer would be – Makeup Revolution make good cream blushes, 8 of them in a palette together is dream come true material, I love cream blushes.

The palette comes in the standard black, matte effect box, that I have a good number of inhabiting my makeup space – The packaging always looks lovely but, sadly, the boxes do have a tendency to attract scuffs and dust, naughty matte black!

 

You’re probably, already, used to the shiny casing inside (even if just from my previous posts and not your own experiences) but I included this picture because I manage to make it all pretty and festive with the reflection (yup, easily pleased)

This palette costs £6 which means that you’re getting these blushes for less than £1 a piece, inside this strong, good quality palette, with a large mirror – Can anyone say win win?

Ahh yes, you might be wondering about the shades? We’re definitely running on a more pink toned theme with these, though so many different shades, not to mention those gorgeous left hand shades with their hit of red and a couple with a little hint of orange/coral with them elsewhere. There’s a really nice mix of shades, which would make this a good all rounder for a lot of people – Imagine being able to go on holiday and take All of these with you, without the fiddly individual packaging for each one.
But none of it matters without those all important swatches and just look at them! I’m not going to try to describe each individual colour as a lot of them are on a similar tonal scale with just a few differences in brightness and shade. But aren’t they beautiful?!

These are, obviously, the top row – I’m already thinking that the far left shade may well be a go to ‘just stepped in from the cold shade’ and I’m already itching to see how all four of them look when stippled on to the cheeks.

The two pinks on this, second, row are very pink and will be great for brightening the complexion come summer. The far left does look a little daunting but I think that if stippled lightly it’ll be gorgeous and I love the coral shade on the right, a great depth with a lovely balance of pink and that hint of orange.

All 8 shades are amazingly pigmented, it takes only a little to make them as pigmented as above, but equally once you’re using a lighter touch, or using a stippling brush I think they’ll be able to go on much more lightly or be built up if that’s the look you’re going for.

They all glide on to the skin so so smoothly, I almost couldn’t believe Quite how creamy these are. For £6 this is an absolute steal and I think I’ll be breaking out the stippling brushes to start playing with these asap.

This palette will be available on http://www.makeuprevolutionstore.com/ on the 5th December, I’m predicting a lot of excitement over this one.

 

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I was sent this for my consideration for review – All opinions are entirely honest and are my own.

I definitely wasn’t planning to have another big giveaway so soon after my Summer Beauty Giveaway ended but it looks like it’s not up to me! When the fab team over at Makeup Revolution sent me out a massive bundle of their base products to try out there was a bit of a mix up at the warehouse and it all got sent out Twice!! As such I have a huge bundle of base products that I don’t need and it was suggested I run a giveaway with it which is a rather awesome idea.

I know not everyone will be able to use every item of the bundle due to shades and the likes so I bought a few extra bits to add to it so that it’d be nicer for more of you (and if you won you could share the bits you couldn’t use with friends etc) so here’s what’s up for grabs.
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