Friday, 30 December 2011

VIDEO | December Beauty Boxes

So, as I've managed to test out all the December products from the four beauty boxes that I subscribe to, I figured now was the time to cast my verdict on my favourite and least favourite items and boxes.


If you missed the posts and would like to have a look at what each box had to offer this month, the links are below:

Which was your favourite box? Which items did you love? Which did you dislike? Please leave a comment below.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Sleek Brow Kit

I first used the Sleek Brow Kit in 'Dark' two weeks ago and was really impressed, so much so that it's now part of my regular makeup routine. It's great for filling in the brows and gives a really lovely, natural finish.

The kit comes with an angled brush to use with the pigmented wax, a blending brush to apply the setting powder and tweezers to pluck out any stray hairs. 


There isn't a huge difference. I've just lengthened it a little and tidied it up. Luckily, I don't have really sparse eyebrows so I don't have to spend ages on them. Here's what I do:


1. I use an eyebrow brush in gentle upward, diagonal motions to neaten the hairs;
2. With an eyebrow pencil, I give them shape, then use the pigmented wax to soften the line;
3. I fill in my brows using the setting powder;
4. I use a spool brush to fade the beginning of the brows to prevent them from looking harsh and blocky. This gives a more natural look;
5. Finally, I neaten it all up and give them added definition by applying a little bit of concealer using an angled brush. 

I think it's a handy little kit. It's also available in 'Light' which would suit blondes ('Dark' is better suited to brunettes and darker hair shades). The kit retails for £7.99 and can be purchased from www.sleekmakeup.com and Superdrug

Have you tried the Sleek Brow Kit? How do you do your brows? Please leave a comment below.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

My Ensemble (OOTD) : Christmas Day

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas yesterday. Mine involved peeling loads of potatoes and wrestling a very large chicken. Good times. Here's what I wore to the mid-day service at church:
Dress: ASOS
Jacket: New Look
Silk Scarf: Tie Rack
Shoes: ALDO

So, that's another Christmas done and gone. Belly fuller than full (*burp*), presents exchanged, washing up done, laugher galore. Spending time with loved ones puts so much into perspective and forces you to remember just how blessed you are, something we should acknowledge all year round. Seasons greetings, everyone.

Did you do anything special yesterday? Who did you spend it with? What prezzies did you get?


Friday, 23 December 2011

The December Carmine Beauty Box

This is the last of the beauty boxes. I promise! Am I the only one that finds this box a pain to open? By the way, apologies for thinking the last one was December's; I received it at the middle of this month, you see. Anyway, here it is. It's interesting *stokes chin* and came with six goodies. 

1. JAPONESQUE Smudger Brush;
2. WELEDA Pomegranate Creamy Body Wash;
3. MYFACE COSMETICS Blingtone in Sp"ice"y;
4. INSTITUT ESTHEDERM Time Technology Cream; 
5. BENITO BROW BAR Free Brow Threading;
6. KMS CALIFORNIA Freeshape Quick Blow Dry. 
I haven't got a smudger brush and this looks nice and densely packed so will come in handy when creating different eye looks. I had a peek at the Japonseque website and they have some pretty nice makeup accessories. 
This smells so nice. I've heard that pomegranate is good for the skin and like the fact this is a creamy wash, so I'll try this tonight. Oh, excuse the glitter in the swatch photo. The product below is to blame. 
Indeed this will bling up the eyes. A little goes a long way but It's slightly too shimmery and messy for my liking.
This cream promises to give my skin "instant glow" and provide "deep moisturisation". Nice. Very 'Ooh là là' website. Had to mute the music. 
I don't thread my eyebrows. Never have done. I've heard it's very painful. I'm sure one of my friends would appreciate the voucher though. 

 This will "reduce you blowdrying time by up to 50%", which is good because that means you're exposing your hair to less heat. I'll try this on my extensions but not my natural hair because I only use selected products on my real locks and something tells me this product may dry out my natural tresses. 

It's not a particularly festive box, but there are some very nice products inside.

What do you think of this month's box? Have you tried any of the products or brands before? Please leave a comment below.  

NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss

I've become more of a lipstick wearer of late but I still like a little bit of gloss every so often. I bought four NYX glosses on eBay about three weeks ago. As they were coming from The States they only arrived today. All of them smell really nice - plum-like actually- and glide on really well with a very high-shine finish (as you would expect). 

Here's what they look like on my lips. Bear in mind that I'm not wearing any lip pencil or foundation and haven't muted out my top lip (which is much darker in pigmentation compared to my bottom lip) with a foundation or concealer, for example. 
I only really like two of them. My favourite is 'Garnet'. It's a gorgeous cherry red, the most pigmented of the four glosses, and suits me the best. I like 'Tanned' too; it's a lovely nude. 'Pink Rose' is VERY bright, even though it looks quite subtle in the photo. Great if I was going for a modern black Barbie look but that's not my thing so erm, nah. I didn't like the way 'Taupe' came out. It was frosty-looking, and I hate frosty lip gloss. I think they can look cheap. Just as well that I only paid £2.50 for each of them. 

Which is your favourite of the swatched glosses? Have you tried NYX lip glosses before? Which ones and in which shades/colours? Please leave a comment below. 

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Black Radiance Shine Control Primer Review

I've been using the 'Black Radiance Complexion Perfection - Shine Control Primer' (*draws breath in*...now breathe) for the last month and I'm astonished at how effective it is. My face is quite oily, particularly on my T-zone area and more so when I put on makeup. I hate looking like I've just been chased down the road by a vicious bulldog or just come out of the sauna at the gym. 
It's an American brand so it's not readily available in stores here in the UK but you can purchase it on >> Amazon << in packs of three for roughly £17 (You'll have to go onto the US version because when I checked earlier today, I found that it's currently unavailable on the UK one).
I first heard about it when I was watching a YouTube video by user 'lipSH0CK' (I love viewing her tutorials because I find it fascinating to see how makeup can transform the way a person can look) titled "Beauty Blurb / Control Those Oilies". This product was her number one recommended drug store primer and now I know why. 

I completely trusted her judgement, bought it and totally agree with her for these reasons:

  • APPLICATION is a dream- it's a clean cream that can be put on effortlessly by dabbing and blending. It absorbs really well too, making applying makeup on top a breeze;
  • The FORMULA is perfect. As a water-based cream it isn't sticky, hasn't got an offensive odour, and doesn't leave your skin looking dry or ashy; 
  • The shine control is ridiculously LONG-LASTING (at least 8 hours, I would say);
  • It leaves a lovely flawless FINISH to your look. 

The Black Radiance Complexion Perfection Shine Control Primer gets 5 out of 5 pearls from me!

What face primer(s) do you swear by? Please leave a comment below. 

Monday, 19 December 2011

NOTD: Barry M & Bourjois Simple Christmas-Themed Nails

As it's the week running up to Christmas Day (I still can't believe it), I thought I'd paint my nails red and green. After all, no other colours scream X-mas like these two. I applied two coats of Bourjois' 'Rouge Escarpin' on the ring finger of each hand and then two coats of Barry M's 'Spring Green' on the other fingers. Using my eBay dotting tools (post >>here<<), I put green dots on top of the red polish. Ah, I feel Christmassy already. 

What Christmas-themed nails are you/ will you be rocking this week? Please leave a comment below.

MIZANI In-Control Workable Holding Spritz Review

I'm fairly new to using MIZANI products and hadn't heard much about the hair brand before a friend mentioned it to me a couple of years ago. 
It's a high-end American brand that was developed by Soft Sheen and Redken in 1991 but today, it's a division of L'Oreal Professional USA.  
The products are quite pricey but very high in quality. I've been using the 'In-Control Workable Holding Spritz' for the past week (particularly on my fringe because I hate it looking flat) and like it A LOT. It retails at £17.50 but is a great product. 
The very few MIZANI products I've tried in the past have always smelt pleasant and this spritz is no exception. I like the fact that MIZANI products are for all hair types so I can use it on my natural hair and my hair extensions. Once applied, this is light and doesn't feel sticky like a lot of holding sprays do, so I can use it with my straighteners or curling irons without burning or drying out my hair. It's not called 'workable' for nothing. It's just as effective to use before, during or after styling. It doesn't leave my locks stiff  and doesn't clump up the hairs in noticeable chunks so I can still brush through the strands if I need to re-style or neaten up the look. I have nothing bad to say about this product really. As it's more expensive compared to my other hair products, I wouldn't use it daily but definitely for when I'm getting ready to go 'out out'.

So I'd say buy this product if you want a holding spritz that....
  • ...provides very long-lasting hold;
  • ...helps prevent breakage and split ends;
  • ...is alcohol-free; 
  • ...provides heat protection for your hair;
  • ...is frizz resistant. 
Don't buy this product if...
  • ...you think £17.25 is too expensive for a holding spritz. 
MIZANI In-Control Workable Holding Spritz gets 4 pearls out of 5 from me!

For more information on the products available by MIZANI click >> HERE <<

Have you tried this particular product or the MIZANI brand before? Let me know your thoughts. Please leave a comment below.  


*This MIZANI product was sent by Unleashed Potential for review and consideration. All opinions expressed in this post are 100% honest and that of my own. 

Winter 2011 GlossyBox For Men

OK, so this is one for the fellas. There's a beauty box for you lot too and here it is: the GlossyBox for MEN! It's quarterly-so you get one every three months- and comes with seven product samples. The box costs £15 plus £2.98 p&p.
I got this for my husband- who was very adamant about it because he's not into beauty products at all- because despite the fact he's a simply guy when it comes the cosmetics, I was curious to see how he'd respond to the products inside.
It's a grey-ish/ browny coloured box, which is a good, safe masculine colour. Normal, nice presentation inside i.e. ribbon tied into a bow (my husband didn't really care about that detail. Ha!)
1. YVES SAINT LAURENT La Nuit de L'Homme and L'Homme (£43 / 60ml);
2. MONU Vitru Conditioning Body Wash (£12.25 / 200ml);
3. MONU Vitru Energy Rub (£15 / 150ml);
4. GOLDWELL StyleSign Roughman - Matte Cream Paste (£9 / 100ml);
5 GOLDWELL Dualsenses FOR MEN Hair & Body Shampoo (£7.60 / 300ml);
 6. MURAD Clarifying Mask (£35 / 75g);
7. SHAVEWORKS The Cool Fix (£31 /156ml)

My hubby doesn't really like YSL fragrances so wasn't excited when he saw these samples in the box. To me they smell OK but OK as in just standard, typical male smelling perfumes. Both smell really similar. The only difference is that the eau de toilette (L'Homme) is milder. 
Body wash is usable. He's tried energy rubs before and reckons they're a waste of money. 
 Yep, he could use the hair and body shampoo but as for the hair gel? Well, he's black and has short hair so erm, no. 
 This is the only product that he seemed remotely happy with, even though he hardly ever breaks out in spots and already has lovely skin. 
 My husband luckily doesn't suffer from any of these things so this product is irrelevant to him but I suppose it seems like a promising solution if he did. 

My verdict on the box is that you'd pretty much have to be a hardcore metrosexual to appreciate its contents otherwise you'll find it to be a bit of a disappointment. However, it's a good way of discovering cosmetics brands. Overall, my husband was far from impressed and no way will he spend that much money on for the full sized products. He's not fazed by the marketing spiels or what super-rare ingredient is inside a product. Let's just say I'll be hitting that 'unsubscribe' button. 

For more information, visit: www.glossybox.co.uk/men 

Ladies, did you get a GlossyBox for Men for your brother, dad, uncle, other half? I'd love to know their thoughts on it. 

Sunday, 18 December 2011

November Carmine Beauty Box

Here's November's Carmine box. I thought it was December's one because I've only recently started  subscribing and it arrived yesterday (mid- December!) Anyway, it's a good'un.

1. NEW CID COSMETICS i-Pout Lipstick;
2. DAINTY DOLL Eyeliner Pencil; 
3.COSMETICS À LA CARTE Brow Ink;
4. LULU'S TIME BOMB Flasback Night Cream;
5. NEOM ORGANICS Real Luxury: Body Lotion.


This is my second New CID product (I got my first in my December JolieBox-- read >> here), and I'm not complaining. I love that the lipsticks and glosses light up and have a mini mirror on the lid. Great for doing a touch up in dark settings. Even though I have quite a collection of cherry/plum red lipsticks, at least this suits my skin tone so yaaay. 
Didn't realise that Nicola Roberts from Girls Aloud had a makeup range. I'll check it out. This eyeliner is OK. Would have preferred it in black though (it's in 'Goody Two Shoes' << basically brown), but I can work with it. Might be more useful and look better on than I think. Will most likely use it on my brows.  

Ah. Perfect for filling in the brows and it also doubles as an eyeliner (if you want to use a brown one). It's in 'Taupe' but is much darker than a taupe.  
Out of curiosity, I've wanted to try a night cream for a while now so was chuffed this was inside. Will use this tonight. 
This is OK but I don't want to smell of it. Reminds me of incense.  

Good stuff. I'm happy.

For more information, head over to www.carmine.co.uk/box


Do you subscribe to the Carmine beauty box as well? What do you think of the products inside this month's box? Have you used any of these products or brands before? Please comment below.  

Saturday, 17 December 2011

December JolieBox (Formerly Boudoir Privé)

It's here! Boudoir Privé is now JolieBox. They've teamed up with France's leading beauty box subscription service which has worked with top brands such as Benefit, Essie and Lancôme .Weh-heh-heh-heh-hell! Let me tell you ladies, this month's box is a scorcher!

The dimensions of the box are slightly smaller, but what it may lack in size, it definitely makes up for in contents.

1. OPI Gold Shatter Nail Lacquer;
2. NEW CID COSMETICS i-Gloss;
3. JANE IREDALE 24-Karat Gold Dust;
4. MITCHELL AND PEACH Shower Wash;
5. YON-KA Vital Defence;
*BONUS 1* KUSMI Detox Tea;
*BONUS 2* (Hidden under wrapping paper) JOLIEBOX Concealer Brush.

Although I've already got a few shatter effect nail polishes, I love OPI so whey-hey! Aaaannd, it's the full size *does cartwheel*  
 This is a new brand to me and I'm already in love with. Yay. The item not only has a mini mirror on the side (sorry, forgot to photograph it), but it also lights up, which is perfect for when you're out clubbing or partying and need apply some gloss in the dark. When I looked at the colour ('Coconut Ice'), I thought: "No way will that suit me", but it does. It's a nude, which is loverly!
This shimmer powder is great. It's in 'Rose Gold' and even though it can be applied all over e.g. "eyes, lips, body and even hair" (<< what? seriously? no thanks), I reckon it's best on the cheeks. 
Nothing particularly wow-smelling about this but I shall try it when I shower tonight before bed. 
This sample came in a little tube. I'm not into anti-ageing products but the anti-pollution element is selling this to me. London is ridiculously congested with toxic fumes we don't notice so even though I'll have to use it over time to notice it's effects, I'll give it a go. 
 Bonuuuuusss! Whooop! I love tea, and with all the X-mas grub I'l be stuffing my face with, this will surely come in handy for my post-Christmas detox regime. 
Bonuuussss number two. Whooop whooop! It was hidden underneath the wrapping paper as a surprise. Good thing I read the email I was sent earlier this week about looking out for the additional item, otherwise I may have chucked it away with the box, unknowingly. I have a few concealer brushes but another one won't hurt. This brush is nice and soft so thumbs up. 

Oh JolieBox. Oh JoliBox. How lovely are your items?! I love it. I love it....Did I mention that I love it?

For more information, visit www.boudoirprive.co.uk

Do you subscribe to JoileBox too? What do you think of the first ever UK one? Have you used any of these products or brands before? Please comment below.