Are Sub Boxes Worthwhile?

I’m sure that we’ve all heard a lot about subscription boxes, whether good or bad, we all know what they are, and it seems like everyone has at least tried one out at some point. Unfortunately, recently all of the reviews I’ve seen surrounding sub boxes have been negative, as the receiver seems to be disappointed with the products included.

I managed to get May’s Birchbox to review, but today I’m also going to be weighing up whether or not I feel that subscription boxes are worthwhile.IMG_7760

May Birchbox

Products Included:

Spectrum Collection’s Unicorn Tears Wonder Sponge RRP £4.99

theBalm cosmetics Stainiac in Beauty Queen RRP £10

Philip Kingsley PK Prep Polishing Balm RRP £18.50

Caudalie Vinosource Moisturising Sorbet RRP £23

Rituals Tao Wai Wang Mild Exfoliating Body Scrub RRP £19.50

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Wonder Sponge | The sponge is cruelty free, which is a great aspect, as I think that we are all gradually becoming aware of cruelty and non-cruelty free companies and products, and this is beginning to affect our buying habits. This sponge is just as easy to use as any other sponge or the famous beauty blender, and comes in roughly a pound cheaper. However I do think that this is a product that people either already have, or don’t have it because they prefer using brushes. It’s not necessarily a worthwhile product to ‘try out’ in a sub box. It is also, as Birchbox boast, a full size product, but it would be difficult to dispatch these sponges in smaller, tester size.

Stainiac | I was actually nicely surprised by this lip and cheek tint. The deep blood-red colour of the tube made me weary of trying it, as I thought it’d be far too pigmented, and perhaps sticky and uncomfortable on the face or lips. However when I did try it, it just added a light touch of a pink-red hue to the lips, and dried to the point that I couldn’t even feel it, not sticky or uncomfortable at all. I would probably look into repurchasing this if I wanted a tint.

However, this product showcases how I think sub boxes are misleading. The stated RRP for this product is £10, showcasing that you’re getting a great deal, as the box itself is £12.95. However that RRP is for the 0.3oz stain, and in the box, you get a 0.04oz product. This might sound confusing and like it doesn’t matter, but what it means is that you’re getting 1/12th of the product that is worth that £10. So technically, this product is worth 83p. Or you can get it free as a tester HERE.

Polishing Balm | As I’ve spoken about my love for them before, I was actually really excited to try this out. I was really impressed by the consistency of this product, it isn’t quite a balm, but it is similar in consistency to that of a conditioner. It distributes easily throughout the ends of the hair, and does leave it smelling delicious, while it also smooths down any flyaways and frizz.

However again, the impressive RRP of £18.50 is for the 75ml product, and you receive a 20ml product. So this tester is actually worth £4.93. Although this is again, misleading, I do still find almost £5 worth of product to be impressive.IMG_7755Moisturising Sorbet | It takes some time to work out what this product is for, as it explains that it’s a moisturising sorbet, but it doesn’t say where it is to be applied. Fortunately on the back of the product, underneath the French usage instructions, it says that it’s for the face and neck. It is a somewhat moisturising product, but I found it to be like applying cold water to your face, at first you feel moisturised, but then your face is just wet, not actually moisturised. It took a lot of working this product in for it to completely be absorbed into the skin. I did find that it left an incredibly light and flowery scent, but nothing overpowering at all.

This product is clearly the most expensive included in the box, an insane RRP of £23. I know, more boring maths coming your way, but please bear with me. The product that you receive is actually worth just under £6. Again, this is insane for a 10ml product, so it’s better to have it included in a sub box than it is for you to buy it alone, but I don’t think this is the type of product that anyone is going to fall so madly in love with, that when this tester is empty, they buy the £23 version.

Body Scrub | As I’ve spoken about Rituals recently, you can see my review of their hand cream HERE, you know that I love everything about their products, so when I saw that this body scrub was included in the box, I was pleasantly surprised. Obviously I loved this product, and am impressed to say that you can get 2 uses out of this sized product. I also think that this particular size is good for a tester, as it gives you a good sense of whether or not you want to repurchase the full £19.50 tub version at 325ml.


Ultimately I think that sub boxes are a really good idea, you get to try out new products each month, and you don’t have to shop around for them. However I do think that people can be mislead into think that they are getting more than the box is actually worth, for example, if you took the RRPs as gospel for this Birchbox, you’d think you’re getting £76 worth of products, when in fact you get £19.83. (Assuming you paid for the lip and cheek tint, and didn’t get it free as you can elsewhere.)

Please don’t get me wrong, I’m obviously not just talking about Birchbox here, this is true of all sub boxes. I’m not dismissing the fact that the company need to make a profit, while still paying some companies to feature their products, but I do feel that sub boxes need to be more inventive with what they include. I’ve seen many people complain about receiving toothpaste and clear nail polishes. To me, the key to a good sub box is, getting to try products that you either don’t already have, or wouldn’t buy yourself, either because it’s slightly more luxurious, or a brand you haven’t heard of.

I also am aware that you pay £12.95 a month for these boxes, so even if it is worth £19, you’re still up by £6. But to me, I think that the prices of sub boxes can come down drastically and perhaps feature less, but full sized products. Or the prices can be increased slightly, but you’re guaranteed full sized products, and you can input preferences. (i.e. no toothpastes)


Thank you so much for reading this post, it really means a lot to me as I know it’s really long, but this felt important to me. Also don’t forget that I am daily blogging for this entire month, and you have a brand new podcast series that starts THIS FRIDAY!

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Superdrug Haul

I’ve only ever shared Lush hauls on my blog, so today I wanted to share a little haul from a different shop, and what’s better right now than Superdrug, with their incredible 3 for 2 offer across all cosmetics!?

I recently picked up some handbag essentials, alongside some other beauty treats for myself, so here’s what I picked up!IMG_2208Essentials

Maybelline Baby Lips Chap Stick | I’ve just ran out of all of my various lip balms, so I did need to pick another one up. I’ve definitely found that Baby Lips are by far the best to use, because they keep your lips moisturised for so much longer than any other lip balm. I decided this time to pick up an unscented and colour-free one because they are much more versatile, so I can wear this with anything.

Cuticura Antibacterial Hand Gel | In order to take full advantage of the 3 for 2 offer at Superdrug, I thought I’d pick up this because it is always so handy to have in your bag, and it can keep you from getting unwell! This particular one is ‘Fresh and Fruity’ and it does smell quite nice, still like an anti-bacterial hand gel, but nice.

Halo Hand Wipes | Similarly to the hand gel, I’ve found that hand wipes are so perfect to keep in your bag (especially if you’re a beauty blogger and you can’t go into any Boots, Superdrug, or any shop that sells makeup without swatching lipsticks, highlights, eye shadows, blushes etc all over your hands, only to step out of the shop looking insane and running the risk of staining your clothes.)

Dual Pencil Sharpener | Recently I’ve also bought some new lip liners and waterline eyeliners, and I realised that while they are perfect right now, at some point I am going to need to sharpen them! So this was another obvious essential for me. I also like that as a dual sharpener, you can sharpen bigger things too, like eyeshadow pencils.

IMG_2209Nails

Maybelline Colour Show Blushed Nudes Varnish | Maybelline have just released their Blushed Nudes collection, so when I saw this particular colour ‘Dusty Rose’ I really liked it, as it seemed like another perfect neutral colour for me to wear.

Maybelline Colour Show 60 Seconds Clear Shine | I’m currently running a test to find the best top coat/gel coat for avid nail varnish wearers, so I thought this particular top coat sounded like a promising contender. Don’t worry, I’ll let you know how it goes and which ones comes out best!

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B. Blending Sponge | I recently had my eyes opened with makeup sponges. I found that no matter how much or how regularly I cleaned my makeup sponges, I could never remove what appeared to be tiny black dots, speckled in random places on the sponge. Like most people who own these sponges, I assumed it was just waterproof makeup that maybe I couldn’t remove. But it turns out, it’s actually mould. Doesn’t that freak you out?! So obviously, as soon as I found that out, I threw my sponges away, hence the new sponge.

Collection Lasting Colour Gel Eyeliner | I’ve loved wearing winged liner for so many years now, and I’ve used liquid liner, pencils, and felt pens, but never a gel eyeliner. So because of it’s incredibly affordable price, followed by Superdrug’s amazing 3 for 2 offer, I thought I’d pick up a gel eyeliner, and see how I get on!

Makeup Revolution Pro Fix Makeup Setting Spray | Just like the gel liner, I have heard lots of things, both good and bad, about makeup setting sprays, so I thought it’d be a good idea to test out a drugstore one, and if I like it, I might try out one of the Urban Decay ones.

Makeup Revolution Salvation Velvet Lip Lacquer | I’ll always be a sucker for various shades of pink lipsticks, so after swatching a fair few shades from Makeup Revolution, I decided that this shade, ‘What I Believe’, was a lot more vibrant than any shades I already own, and I really like it, especially for Spring and Summer looks.

Collection Colour Lash Colour Mascara | One of my very fabulous best pals (sneaky shoutout, you know who you are) told me that she actually uses a clear mascara to keep her brows tame throughout the day, and I thought this was a freaking genius idea! I know that you can buy clear brow gels, but this mascara is 3 times as big as those, so I thought this is definitely a better value for money.


That’s everything for my Superdrug haul! I hope you guys enjoyed this post, and that you take advantage of the 3 for 2 deal that Superdrug are currently holding, it’s definitely one you don’t want to miss!

Is there anything I’ve talked about that you’ve tried? Let me know how you got on with it!

Beauty Products I Can’t Live Without

We’ve all got them, our ‘go-tos’, our ‘staples’, well today I’m calling them ‘Beauty products I can’t live without’ (simply because “Beauty Products That I Really Adore But Could Probably Live Without But I Would Rather Not Imagine That Existence” isn’t the catchiest of titles, so here we are.) and I’m sharing my most used and favourite products with you all!

IMG_1734Basics

Obviously a primer is a a sensible staple for everyone, because without a good base, your makeup just isn’t going to last. I consider this particular primer from Makeup Revolution a staple because it’s light, does the job for your entire face, and it’s incredibly affordable.

This Stay Matte pressed powder has also become a staple for me, because it’s perfect for matte-ifying any foundation or concealer, and it works wonders for oily areas, keeping them matte for up to 12 hours!

Collection’s Illuminating Touch Concealer is the only concealer for me, it’s so easy to use, and it has the perfect amount of coverage for me, it’s definitely a medium coverage, but it can be built up or worn very sparingly.

I also can’t imagine applying my makeup with anything but a beauty blender now. I know a lot of people rave about them, and there is this insane amount of hype around them, but they really do live up to it all. Whether you like to use it wet or dry, applying your foundation with this tool makes your base look so much more flawless and ‘airbrushed’.

If I could only use one tool and absolutely no makeup, I would choose an eyelash curler, without question. I think that if you’re having a lazy day or you just don’t want to do your makeup, just curling your lashes really adds something to your eyes, making you feel and look fluttery and gorgeous.

IMG_1737Hair & Body

For my hair my holy grail products are this Salon Professional hairspray, and Vitapointe leave-in conditioner. This hairspray is a perfect mix between being lightweight and still having an incredible hold, and it actually smells really nice, which is rare to find in hairsprays. I also really like this leave-in conditioner because it’s perfect for smoothing dry ends and adding a sleekness and shine to straightened hair.

I’ve spoken about this body butter very recently, and it definitely lives up to the hype behind it. It’s softening and light, so it doesn’t leave you feeling greasy. Perfect for all over your entire body.

I also really like using any and all Babylips chapsticks, not only because they are highly moisturising and keep chapped lips at bay, but there are so many tinted options available now, that the possibilities are endless!

 

IMG_1740Lips

I thought I’d just quickly share my ‘go-to’ red and pink lip, because I feel like I’ve finally found my all time favourites. Rimmel’s Kate Moss 107 is is a perfect dark red shade, that I’ve found is suitable for all skin tones, and you know that it suits you well enough for you to wear it with confidence. I also really love this shade from Chanel, and I know it’s a lot pricier than your average drugstore lipstick, but this lipstick is definitely worth investing in because the formula is really moisturising and creamy, so it feels really nice to wear, but also, this particular shade ‘432’ is a beautiful and natural looking pink, so again it’s highly wearable.

 

IMG_1742Makeup

I’ve mentioned all three of these products before, so we all already know that I love them and find myself reaching for them constantly, so I’ll quickly run through them all. Collection’s Extreme 24 hour felt liner is my favourite liner on the market. The fact that I know its name without having to read it off of the product itself is telling of how often I not only use it, but talk about it. It’s everything anyone looks for in an eyeliner, and it’s only £2.99, foolproof. Maybelline’s Lash Sensational, I’ve been using this mascara for a long time now, and even recently I’ve been getting comments on how it looks like I’m wearing false eyelashes, only for me to emphasise to everyone that I really don’t have time/can’t be bothered with applying false eyelashes daily, and my look is entirely down to this mascara, I’d recommend it to everyone.

Finally, there’s the Estee Lauder All Over Face Compact, I use this compact in most of my makeup looks, because it contains everything that I need to put a look together, with a nicely pigmented bronzer, and three varying shades of blush, no matter what tone of look I’m going for, I can incorporate this palette.


That’s it for my beauty staples, let me know in the comments what makeup items/tools you can’t live without!

BLOGMAS Day 17 // Festive Makeup Look

Hey guys! Can you believe that today is exactly a week until Christmas eve?!

So today I thought I’d show you guys one of my favourite makeup looks for the festive season, with a little video!

I really love seeing everyone’s favourite festive looks, so that’s why I shared mine with you today, I hope you enjoyed it!

Drop me a little comment on the video if you did enjoy it, and let me know what kinds of videos you’d like to see from me in the coming year!


What are your go-to products/looks when it comes to the party season?

Highlight Your Natural Beauty

When I started out this blog, I enjoyed wearing makeup, but as I have continued on with it for many months now, I’ve fallen in love with it. Now this means that I very quickly had to learn how to take better care of my skin, so that when I was wearing makeup, I was wearing it to have fun and accentuate my features and skin, not hide them.

So today I’m sharing with you guys my go to essentials for how I take care of my skin.Highlight Your Natural Beauty

Cleansing | I’ve said it many times before, but with wearing makeup, comes the responsibility of properly removing it and cleansing your skin of impurities. I don’t have a particular strenuous and crippling cleansing routine, because one of my essentials is the Nivea 3 in 1 Micellar Water, which makes the whole process easy and quick.

I also like to use the Nivea Soft Moisturiser, which as I have also mentioned before, is very light and gentle on the skin, and not greasy and heavy like many moisturisers. 

I also make sure I’m taking care of my skin from the inside out. Ensuring I drink as much water as possible. It really does have an unbelievable effect on your skin, that you wouldn’t believe until you’ve committed yourself to drinking more.Highlight Your Natural BeautySkin Treat | In and out I also like to give my skin a little treat with a face mask. I feel like this really helps my skin on a much deeper level than simple cleansing. I definitely feel like an occasional skin treat like this ensures my skin is clear and feels amazing. This leads me to feel more confident in it, and not like I need to cover it up.

I think another product that is absolutely perfectly suited for a skin treat such as this is Glossier’s Moisturising Moon mask it does every little thing that I like to do for my skin. It “dives beneath the surface to instantly plump skin up with hydration, helping to smooth fine lines and restore elasticity.” And “works quietly behind the scenes to gently brighten and even out your complexion, while honey and aloe act as soothing agents.”Highlight Your Natural BeautyFlawless Finish | Now obviously some days you can feel a little unhappy with your skin. You might be having a random breakout, or suffer with a little redness, it happens to us all. So these products are my handbag essentials for those times. I like to wear a BB Cream as opposed to a foundation because they feel much lighter on the skin, and they have so many more skin benefits, rather than just clogging up your pores. I also like a light concealer because it’s perfect for if you’ve just got a touch of darkness under your eyes, or a little pesky red spot. With a light concealer, you can cover those tiny things, but still allow the rest of your naturally skin shine.

Finally, when I do chose to wear these products, I like to apply them with a beauty blender, because the product is tapped onto the skin, not smeared into your pores, leaving you with a naturally flawless finish.


Those are my essentials for highlighting, not hiding your natural beauty. Thank you to Glossier.com for working with me on this post. Let me know in the comments below what your go to skincare products/essentials are!

And, as they say at Glossier, I leave you with a great motto:Highlight Your Natural Beauty