Birchbox UK – November 2017

Birchbox UK November 2017

Birchbox UK November 2017 is a big one – with a BIG collaborator -namely Vogue, having found out last month as a teaser on the back of the sample booklet.  (Oh, and my Birchbox is ON time this month.)

I doubt there’s ever been as big collaborator as Vogue and considering the iconic magazine works with hundreds of big brands, this surely means we’ll get some big names in our box too, right?

Birchbox UK November 2017 Unboxing

The theme this month is… THERE IS NO THEME!  I had to read the leaflet twice to check this, but yep, there is no theme mentioned.  But who needs a theme when you’re collaborating with Vogue? (Honestly, I can’t get over how big this is.)

Vogue celebrated its centenary last year and created their edit of 100 greatest beauty products of all time – and some of these items will appear in our box too!  *claps hands excitedly*  How exciting!  So, let’s get to the good stuff…

Samples

Birchbox UK November 2017

We had the choice of two box designs this month – I chose the one above, obviously, just because it looks more ‘Vogue’ to me, darling.  There were no teasers of which products may surprise us inside from last month’s box, which built anticipation!  (For me, anyway.)  Here’s what I got:

Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk
Percy & Reed Smooth, Sealed & Sensational Volumising No Oil Oil
L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream
Benefit Hoola Bronzer
Birchbox Brush Cleaner (FULL SIZE!)

Wow, okay, where to begin?  I hadn’t heard of Klorane before, but from only trying the dry shampoo, quickly and whilst filming my unboxing, I’m already considering buying it full size.  Many dry shampoos can leave my scalp feeling a bit itchy, but this really felt like it was gentle to my skin whilst soaking up unwanted grease too.  (Sorry if that’s TMI.)

I was very happy to see the L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream as it is tipped to be one of the best in the industry.  I’m receiving this at a perfect time of year too, my hands are at their driest when the temperature drops, so it’s brilliant I’ll now be equipped with this.

Whilst Benefit is a brand that isn’t a stranger to Birchbox subscribers, it’s still a pretty big deal to receive the praised cult Hoola Bronzer.  (Even if it is sample size.)

Added Little Extras…

Birchbox UK November 2017

With all big collaborations, Birchbox are good to us and usually slip us another little offer.  This month, Birchbox subscribers have been given 6 complimentary issues of Vogue magazine, when buying a one-year or two-year subscription.

Box Round Up

Well wasn’t this a very exciting box?  And there was even the comeback of a Birchbox lifestyle item too!  Although I didn’t receive it in my Birchbox UK November 2017, I was quite impressed to see other subscribers getting a Clarins hand cream too.  (I love Clarins, you lucky devils.)

December is always a strong box and the only teaser Birchbox have given us so far is on the back of this month’s leaflet.  In the next few weeks we’ll have to make choice out of a festive lipstick; a classic party red, or a nicely natural tint?  Decisions, decisions…

Not a Birchbox subscriber? Subscribe here and get 50% off your first box!

FOLLOW ME:
    

I have not been paid by, sponsored by or asked by Birchbox to make this blog post or video in any way – I just do it for the love!

Continue Reading

New Purchases Show & Tell – October 2017

New Purchases Show & Tell October 2017

With buying (and moving into) a new house, you’d think my spending would slow up and I’d be spending more of my money on cleaning products and household items.  But, my New Purchases Show & Tell October 2017 is here to prove you and I wrong!  (Although, I admit I didn’t plan it this way and being this close to Christmas, I am feeling the sting.)

With a trip to Paris this month (which is where most of my money was spent), I have many exciting things that I’ve been buying and loving, to show you. Which is what’s most important, right?  Oh and this is the first video I’ve filmed in our new house!

New Purchases Show & Tell October 2017 video

A textual break down…

Purelogy Hydrate Shampoo & Conditioner – 28 seconds in
Just before we get onto my trip in the city of love, light and baguettes – I needed a shampoo and conditioner top-up.  Having seen a few of my favourite YouTuber’s using Purelogy, I caught an offer on lookfantastic.com and I’m giving them a whirl as we speak; so far, so good.

Paris by Lonely Planet (11th Revised Edition) – 1:17 minutes in
I bought this in preparation for my trip to the French capital and as always, Lonely Planet guides prove to be so helpful, and fun to read.  Ever since taking a gap year to travel, I hardly go away without first getting my nose deep within at least one guide book.  I’m a fan of Rough Guides too.

New Purchases Show & Tell October 2017 flatlay

Sephora Sheet Face Masks – 2:45 minutes in
Every beauty junkie out there knows about Sephora and if that beauty junkie is British, he/she will know the ache to visit a store, as there are none in the UK.  So, when I was strolling down Champs Elysees in Paris I finally took my first step inside one!  I was so overwhelmed by the abundance of brands they had on offer, but knew my bank account wouldn’t forgive me for splurging.  So, I came out with some Sephora sheet masks instead.  I’m still as happy as a clam and can’t wait to try them!

Customised Birchbox Box – 4:17 minutes in
I don’t want to give too much away, but of course I did drop by the Birchbox shop in Paris.  I mentioned in my video it was the only one in Europe at the time, but now they’ve opened a pop-up store in London too.  A separate video and post on my visit will be coming soon!

Ikea Trysil Wardrobe review

Ikea Trysil Wardrobres – 5:29 minutes in
The relief to not be living out of suitcases and bags is real – we finally have wardrobes in our new home!  When looking for wardrobes we wanted something we could store a lot of clothes in (obviously), but we were also looking to save room (not so easy).  The slidable doors have definitely provided room and along with the accompanying drawers underneath, I now doubt if we’ll need another chest of drawers.  Ikea, you are a life saver!

Next month…

I’ve not learned my lessons from this New Purchases Show & Tell October 2017, in fact next month (now this month) I will be off on my travels again.  David and I will be popping over to Belgium for a few days to mostly take in some historic sights, and some chocolate, beer and maybe a quick visit to Bruges.

Then after that, it’ll be ticking off my list for Christmas gifts in the lead up to the big blobbing-out day of the year.  (I’m trying to pretend it’s not only a few weeks away.) 😬

I have not been asked, sponsored or paid to review any of these products.  I just like to shop!

FOLLOW ME:
    

Continue Reading

Birchbox UK – October 2017

Birchbox UK October 2017 unboxing

I know, I know… this Birchbox UK October 2017 unboxing is embarrassingly late.  But, it isn’t actually my fault.  In fact I dutifully waited for my Birchbox to arrive at the start of this month (I’d set aside time to film my unboxing too!), but it didn’t.  (Cue the violin…)

After 5 working days had passed (to allow for delivery), I contacted the Customer Support team at Birchbox.  I received a reply within a day to say there’d been a ‘warehouse issue’, I assume with the delivery company (?), but was assured this wouldn’t happen again.

Eventually, I received my Birchbox roughly two weeks late, so despite being annoyed I didn’t want to skip writing and filming my unboxing (especially as it wasn’t my fault!  Ahem…).  So, my apologies, but here it is – a shamefully late Birchbox unboxing for October 2017!

Birchbox UK October 2017 unboxing

We all know October is a month to ‘think pink’ and raise awareness for breast cancer.  Birchbox UK have collaborated with ‘CoppaFeel!’ for this month’s Feeling Good theme, which is a charity fighting to prevent the late detection of breast cancer.  (Okay, so you were disastrously late Birchbox, but I nod my head in approval at this.)

Inspired by the theme, a shower sticker was also included in this month’s box that shows how to look for signs of breast cancer.  Although we didn’t have a choice of box designs, we did get a pick of a ModelCo product.

Birchbox UK October 2017 CoppaFeel

Samples

You’ve probably all seen the selection of samples that subscribers have been receiving by now, but here’s my Birchbox UK October 2017 pick to keep me ‘Feeling Good‘:

Anatomicals Grab Your Melons Shower Gel (FULL SIZE!)
ModelCo Megalash Mascara
Balance Me Pure Skin Face Wash
Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner
Grounded Body Scrub

So sadly the ModelCo item, where Birchbox subscribers had the lovely choice from either a mascara or a contour stick, wasn’t full size, but wasn’t exactly stingy either.  Top tip from me here; when trying to decide which sample to opt for, I researched which was the most expensive out of the two, to get my money’s worth.  (It was the mascara, by £3 full size price!)  Although, I only done this because neither jumped out in front of me at first.

Birchbox UK October 2017 samples

The Anatomicals shower gel was a nice link to the theme and was this month’s only full size item (that was cheap and cheerful at £1.50!).  I’ve actually used most of this now and despite its low value, the fruity melon scent has not been compromised!

Eyeko and Balance Me are familiar brands to receive in my Birchbox, but I’m happy to see them nonetheless.  Eyeko’s Skinny Eyeliner is particularly well suited to me, as I never leave the house without using a skinny eyeliner first.

Box Round Up

Receiving the box late was a bit of a peeve, although I did receive a mascara and eyeliner sample – two products I definitely use the most everyday!  I wouldn’t say this box is as strong as last month’s.  Although, raising awareness for breast cancer detection as a theme, and a campaign, is something I can’t argue with.

Next month promises to be the bomb, if only because Birchbox are collaborating with Vogue magazine!  Big, BIG news people.  To celebrate the Vogue 100 Beauty Hall of Fame,  which is 100 products chosen by Vogue beauty editors past and present, we’ll be receiving a handpicked edit of these!  I’m keeping a look out for the white delivery van already…

Don’t want to miss out on the Birchbox and Vogue collaboration?  Subscribe here and get 50% off the box!

FOLLOW ME:
    

I have not been paid by, sponsored by or asked by Birchbox to make this blog post or video in any way – I just do it for the love!

Continue Reading

GHD Curve Soft Curl Tong (Review & Tutorial)

GHD Curve Soft Curl Tong review

My GHD straighteners have never done me wrong.  They’ve been with me through thick and thin; I first purchased them in my heavy-partying uni days, when my hair length was down to my elbows.  A haircut to a short bob then lob later, I’m now growing my hair just-a-bit longer and my GHD’s have been here every step of way.

Straight hair is my go-to during the week, then I make a little more effort with some curls at the weekend.  But I started to grow tired of the GHD curls I’d mastered with a straightener.  I was hunkering after that cool curl/wave which is so seriously trendy right now.  Picking up a number of cheap (around or under £30) curlers I found they just weren’t cutting it.  But, my GHD’s straighteners had never let me down…

Queue my lightbulb moment to go with the GHD Curve Soft Curl Tong out of sheer brand loyalty.

GHD Curve Soft Curl Tong: What you need to know

GHD Curve Soft Curl Tong review

  • 32mm barrel
    If you’re looking for soft, beachy waves then you’re probably attracted to the GHD Soft Curl tong because of it’s barrel size.  It’s slightly thicker than a usual curl tong in order to achieve a looser curl/wave.
  • Temperature
    What’s not usual with these tongs is the heat setting; the GHD Soft Curl tong goes up to 185 degrees and no higher.  Many other tongs push past 200, or allow you to choose a heat setting.  It’s 185 or nothing with the GHD Curve Soft Curl Tong, which GHD says is the optimum styling temperature and will protect your hair from heat.  But this also means you’ll need to choose hair products wisely for prep and finishing.  (More on that in a bit.)
  • Spring activated lever
    A lever in the way might put some off these tongs, but I quite often leave the lever open when styling – you’ll see in the video.)
  • Quick to heat
    Just like my GHD straighteners, the soft curl tong takes no time at all to heat up and is ready to go in under a minute!  What’s rather smart too is the ‘sleep mode’ – if you don’t use these GHD tongs for 30 minutes then they’re turn off automatically.

Prep & Finish

Prepping your hair to use GHD Curve Soft Curl Tong

As I mentioned, it’s important which products to use to prep and finish your hair when using the GHD Soft Curl Tong.  When I first starting using the tongs I grew disheartened that my curl wasn’t lasting long.  Then when I discovered the heat was only 185 degrees (I say only as if 185 degrees is a heat to be laughed at; warning, it is not) and understood why.

This heat is perfectly fine for some hair types and the curl will have staying power. For me and my thick hair, which can usually take the heat (and hotter) I need extra help, namely from a few products.

On freshly washed hair, I spray and comb in Bumble & Bumble’s Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil.  This really smooths my hair that is prone to dryness, it’s a primer too which is the first step in keeping the style locked in.

After styling I lightly spray Aussie’s Shine & Hold Hairspray then leave to set for at least 10 minutes.  After my hair has cooled, I go in with the Bumble & Bumble Surf Infusion Spray – again, a godsend for thick, dry hair that needs gloss and not texturising, and then I scrunch in some TIGI Bedhead Manipulator.

How to use GHD Soft Curl Tong

How to use GHD Soft Curl Tong video

I’ve seen a number of a ways you can use the GHD Soft Curl Tong, which is good for versatility.  But, for this tutorial I’ll focus on how I’ve been using it recently:

  1. After combing in a hair primer, I curl by section due to my hair’s thickness.  Whilst this wouldn’t be compulsory for thinner hair, it’ll create a ‘layered’ look.
  2. I’m not too regimental in sizing up the strands of hair I curl, as you’ll see in the video at the bottom of this post, I usually take strands that 2-3cm long.
  3. I curl each strand away from my face and point the tongs vertically down the best I can.
  4. I hold the curl a little longer  (up to 10 seconds) in my hair than GHD advise to (5-7 seconds), because of my thicker hair and to achieve a more defined curl which has less chance of falling out!
  5. When I first started using this tong the curls would drop out fairly soon after I’d brushed my hair.  So, after a few tries I now leave my curls to ‘set’ for around 10 minutes, before going in with my fingers to gently brush them out.
  6. I then use extra ‘holding’ products to make sure the curl is ‘locked in’.

GHD Curve Soft Curl Tong results

GHD Soft Curl Tong results

GHD Curve Soft Curl Tong results

GHD Soft Curl Tong results

Video

Although it’s taken me a while to get to grips with these tongs, it’s taught me how versatile they could be.  I’ve seen other blog posts and video tutorials to use these tongs in a different way completely, so I have a lot of different tips and tricks to try.  (Something I’m looking forward to!)

Check out my video on the GHD Curve Soft Curl Tong below and let me know if you’ve tried it yet in the comments section!

This post is NOT sponsored, it’s not an AD and I’ve not been paid in anyway – honestly, I just wanted to review the GHD Soft Curl Tong.

FOLLOW ME:
    

Continue Reading

Finding out I didn’t get a place in the London Marathon (again!)

London marathon

In the past few weeks I’ve been stopping in my tracks and thinking; why, oh why did I apply for the London Marathon?

A number of reasons why I thought it was a stupid time for me to apply bubbled up in my mind whenever I was reminded of receiving the result soon.  I’ve just bought a house with my partner, meaning all of my spare money and time will be invested in that, do I even have time and money to invest in training for a marathon?  Training in those dark, cold nights will be hard.  Really hard, I thought.  Despite the fact I haven’t ran for a fair few months now, not properly, and I’ve definitely never ran anything over 10K.

And so my doubtful mind went on… and I thought, I bet this is the year I get in on a ballot entry. I could actually feel the dread growing as I visualised seeing an acceptance into the ballot letter.  “SHIT” would probably be my first reaction.  Or something stronger.

When the time came and I saw that packaged fleece and magazine near to my door, I was nervous.  It was facing down, as it always seems to be, and my heart was beating when I started to peel it over to reveal to myself either the ‘Sorry’ or ‘You’re In!’ message plastered over the magazine.  I felt very tense.

The first thing I saw was yellow.  ‘Sorry’.  A glum looking female runner.  Typical, I huffed and threw down the magazine back on the table.

Nike Womens Pegasus Running Shoes
Back in more motivating times (when I was running)

Bloody Ballot…

This year was the third year I’d applied for the London Marathon, and the third year I’d failed to get in.  In previous years I hyped myself up with ideas of vlogging my marathon progress, seeing myself going out on long scenic runs in the countryside and racking up the miles on the Nike Running app.

Although I felt this year didn’t feel like a good time, I thought I’d feel relief if I saw that ‘Sorry’ magazine again.  I was wrong, what I actually felt was the same as I did the previous two years when I saw that five lettered word; determination.

London marathon fleece and magazine

Applying for the London Marathon (again)

I’m determined to apply for the London Marathon once again again (when the ballot opens next year).  My determinations was/is mixed in with the images of me training, talking about training, researching about training, buying a whole new running wardrobe, figuring out which foods to eat, when to run, where to run.  But most of all, seeing images flash into my mind of marathon day, feeling like I’m bricking it before starting the race, the tears I might cry when I felt I couldn’t go on, to the visualisation of running that last mile with Buckingham Palace in my sights.

Because that’s really why I apply for the London Marathon, not because I’m fanatical about running – I’m not a great runner!  I hated it in school and I’ve only really taken it up in the past 3/4 years.  But there’s something about the London marathon which would feel like a great achievement I’d want to complete in my life, even if it’s just once.  Why London?  I’m British and it’s my capital, I’ve also lived within it and loved it dearly (and still do).  And it’s supposed to be the best.

So well done to all the lucky ballot entrants who got themselves a place.  I hope you laugh, cry, love and hate every minute of training to make getting past that finishing line a memory you’ll certainly never forget.

This year, I’ll have to lump for a 10k race instead.

FOLLOW ME:
    

Continue Reading