Friday, 26 February 2016

Did Birchbox Shine Bright Like A Diamond?! February Review

On the 1st of February beauty lovers in Ireland finally got to subscribe to Birchbox. A subscription box founded by two friends in 2010, that brings a surprise to our door each month. The theme this month is to "shine bright like a diamond", to remind us how brilliant we are. 

I subscribed on the 1st of February with great excitement signing up for the recurring monthly charge of £12.95 (including p&p) which worked out at €17.60. I knew from the beginning that the Spectrum Collection Tapered brush was going to be in the box so that was a winner straight off, it's something I've been eyeing up for awhile and dying to try. Also the first 500 Irish subscribers received Benefit They're Real Tinted Primer. Unfortunately for everyone involved shipping did not go smoothly and boxes were only received Wednesday 24th of February in Ireland (some did receive a little earlier and some are still currently waiting). With a lot of Twitter conversations happening with Birchbox it did take a long time to get answers that were acceptable. With money gone from our accounts and no boxes to be seen it was very frustrating. We did finally receive emails with a few answers and boxes are on the way. We will just have to see next month if the same thing happens again, so if you are thinking of signing up it's something to take note of.

Your goodies come in a handy little drawstring bag.......look what's inside!

Spectrum Collection Tapered Powder Brush:  A fun, colourful brush worthy of unicorns and mermaids. The brush is super soft, and it picks up powder beautifully. No bristles came loose during the wash or during application this morning. It felt amazing on my face! I really want to add more of these to my collection. This really was the star in this box.

LOC; Love of Colour One and Done Shadow Stick in Perfect Cents: This is Birchbox's first in-house makeup brand. I've worn this all day today and the colour is very sparkly and pretty. I found it hard to blend out the edges without losing complete pigmentation and my eyes felt really dry by the end of the day. Also it's pretty tiny for full size.

Benefit They're Real Tinted Lash Primer: A great mascara for no makeup days when you really want something more natural on your eyes for framing. It does make a difference. To amp up the volume and drama just add your favourite mascara on top! This was a special gift for the first 500 Irish subscribers.

Number 4 Lumiere d'Hiver Super Comb Prep & Protect: This was a brand I'd never heard of but a welcomed little product to my haircare routine. Spray evenly through towel dried hair to detangle. This is meant to strengthen and repair tired strands and my hair did look healthier this morning, and I also noticed my hair was less static today as well.

Doux me Comforting Face Mask & Exfoliator: Oh, a 2 in 1 this sounds intriguing! I haven't tried this yet but it's a nice little sample size and meant to be great on sensitive skin. It contains apricot oil, camomile, and marshmallow extract.

Cochine Water Hyacinth & Lime Blossom Hand & Body Lotion: I tried this last night and it just lay on top of my skin and didn't absorb so this was a fail for me. Didn't help that a big blob came out, but when I tried to use it as a hand cream this morning I ended up washing it off because it just didn't absorb. It smelt nice and it contains shea butter and aloe vera.

L. Erickson Grab & Go Ponytail Hair-Tie: What can I's a bobble and a little bonus item in the box. I'm using it until I lose it along with my other million bobbles I've lost. It's not snagging my hair so that's great!

Overall the box is a bit of a mixed bag for me and I'm not totally sold on this particular subscription box. The excitement was killed off by the frustration of the delivery issue. The Spectrum brush did cheer me up and I really love the Number 4 Lumiere d'Hiver Super Comb Prep & Protect. I'm going to try one more box and see how things go. I do enjoy trying out new products and subscription boxes are great for that, but it can with any box be hit or miss. 

 Would you be tempted to sign up or wait and see?

*No samples contained within this post

Monday, 22 February 2016

REN Vita Mineral Omega 3 Optimum Skin Oil

Well over a month ago I came across Beauty Boutique on Instagram; a new(ish) online beauty store. Through conversation, the lovely Ciara sent me the REN Vita Mineral Omega 3 Optimum Skin Oil (€28) to try out. For the last 5 weeks I've been putting this oil through its paces as part of my skincare routine.

I've never tried anything from the REN range so I was excited to get stuck in and introduce this new oil into my routine. First off I love the packaging. We all know if you are a long time reader, I love simple packaging, no frills but pretty and does the job. This has a pump action top which produces just the right amount that you need. I usually go for 1 pump in the morning, and 2 at night. It has a lovely light citrus smell to it, but nothing overpowering and disappears once on the face.

The oil feels great on the skin, with quick absorption and no greasy feeling to it. I don't have to wait around too long before putting on my moisturiser so it hasn't really added much in terms of the length of my routine.

The skin oil encourages skin renewal, reduce signs of wrinkles and replenishes the moisture barrier. I've noticed my skin looks plumper, hydrated and really glowy using this serum, but not in an oily way.

The Omega 3 promotes the cell renewal and restoration of moisture in our skin plus increases the firmness.

Omega 6 and 9 reduces skin sensitivity and soothes the skin. Vitamin A included from the Rose Hip Seed to stimulate natural metabolism of the skin cells. Also contains Vitamin E  to fight free radicals and protect from oxidative damage.

 Since using this I have picked up a few other REN products to try up after loving the Oil so much, so that's a good indication of how much I liked it.

Pop on over to BeautyBoutique for brands like REN, Essie, Orla Kiely, Pestle & Mortar and so much more.

*Sample contained within this post, all opinions are mine.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Lush Haul and Review

It has been a long time since I've had a little Lush Haul here on the blog!! I have two Shower Gels, a bath bomb and a bubble bar to tell you about.......

I'll start with Brightside Bubble bar, a beautiful swirl of orange and yellow (looks just like the perfect sunset). I broke this in half as it was so big so I'll also get two baths out of this. Crumble under the hot water for frothy bubbles that just keep on coming. This smells absolutely wonderful with its Sicilian mandarin, tangerine and bergamot oils. It smells uplifting and transports you to summer holidays that we are probably all wishing for in this Irish weather. This also as a bonus didn't stain my bath or me. I mention this as the last bubble bar I got left my bath stained really badly as well as my skin. I definitely would pick this one up again.

This big blue bomb is my now my all time favourite out of all the bath bombs I have tried. Meet Lush Frozen Bath Bomb! A shimmering bath is awaiting for you with the most enjoyable scent. It contains Neroli, rose oil, and grapefruit oil. My skin was left so soft after this and a mood was really uplifted. The silver lustre is mesmerising in the bath. This didn't stain the bath but I was left with pretty shimmers at the bottom. I'll be picking up a few of these next time.

Rose Jam Shower Gel straight up reminds me of turkish delight (so good, you could almost eat it). I haven't used a shower gel from Lush in a long long time, but this really did make my showers a nicer experience of late. It smells so luxurious and rich and really didn't dry out my skin. My skin felt clean and moisturised with the scent lasting with me until next shower. It makes a lovely lather and little goes a long way. It contains vanilla pods infusion, gogi berry juice, and argan oil. The lemon added takes the kick out of the Rose so it leaves a balanced fragrance that makes me happy.

Okay I know I know Lush every Christmas brings out Snow Fairy and everyone seems to love it.... except me. This was my first time to try it and the scent wasn't for me at all, it's candy scented and it's just too heavy. I ended up having to go for another shower because the smell was giving me a headache. I tried it a few more times just to see and same thing happened again. Now I'm slating this at all, it's just not for me or my nostrils. It does lather up lovely, and has a nice shimmer to it. The scent will stay with you, and I could even smell this under a heavenly scented moisturiser, so that annoyed me. The shimmering lustre is biodegradable and know as the fairy dust of this shower gel. The scent is of bubblegum and vanilla giving the heavy sweet scent to it. I also found that the Jam Rose was more moisturising than the Snow Fairy.

So tell me what are you loving from Lush at the moment and leave your recommendations in the comments below.

*No samples contained within this post

Friday, 5 February 2016

Ciaté London - Olivia Palermo Review

We may all know and love Ciate for their amazing nail polishes but this is my first time to try any of the makeup from Ciaté London. I'm going to first put my hand up to say I had to google Olivia Palermo (the shame)!

Olivia Palermo x Ciate London The Cheekbone Cheat Blusher Bronzer Duo (€28): I picked this up in the shade Bluff-Point. First off the packaging is amazing with a perfect size mirror for on the go touch ups, and has a gold finish with textured leather lid. Top points for the packaging because I think it's super cute. The powder is so finely milled and it feels like silk to touch. When I first swatched it though I wasn't too impressed as it came out very patchy but of course I had to see if this was the case when applying to my face!

The duo is infused with bamboo extract to give oil control and to give a smooth fine finish. The bronzer I found to be a little muddy on my skin tone and had to take my time to really work this on to my skin. The dusky pink blush went on with ease but it started to disappear within just a few hours. The duo has a demi matte finish which just fell flat on my skin. For €28 I think this was just too expensive for me, especially as it didn't wow me. This duo is also available in one other shade Seaside Park which looks to be more on the peachy side.

Olivia Palermo x Ciate London Satin Kiss Lipstick (€22) in the shade Velveteen, is a beautiful berry red. The formula is so comfortable and long lasting on the lips and bonus it feels really hydrating. There are 3 other shades in the range which are nudes, but of course I went for the red (I'm obsessed with reds lately).

One swipe of the lipstick gives great pigmented colour to the lips, and as it wears throughout the day it leaves a little stain. With any red I would recommend a lipliner but I did get away without using one. It leaves my lips looking smooth and I really enjoy the satin texture of this lipstick, so it gets a big thumbs up from me. On the bullet itself you will find the Ciate bow and OP for Olivia Palermo embossed which another added detail I like to the overall finish and packaging. 

Swatches Left to right: Olivia Palermo x Ciate London Satin Kiss Lipstick in Velveteen & The Cheekbone Cheat Blusher Bronzer Duo in Bluff-Point.

Products available on Cloud 10 Beauty.

So what do you think, would either of these products be something you would be tempted to splurge on?

*No samples contained within this post
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