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Wednesday, 31 December 2014

2015 goals


Get fitter and eat healthier. Don't eat skittles for breakfast (i'm pretending this didn't happen)
I definitely want to carry on working out and improve my diet. I do exercise quite frequently so I just want to carry on with that when I can and make sure I eat a lot healthier than I have done over the Christmas period (oooppss).

Travel as much as possible
 I need to stop spending money on clothes or 10 foundations and save for travelling. I want to cut back on the amount of money I spend on makeup so I can save up to go travelling! I am planning on going to America in summer so need to save for that. I would also LOVE to go to New York in 2016 for my 21st so need to save for that!

Have fun
I feel like I don't have as much fun as I should have and compared to others that I know, I want to visit more places and do as many things that I haven't done before.

Blog more
This year has been difficult, I have two jobs and university full time so it has been hard to juggle them all! But next year will include better content and photography, I promise!

Take more photos and buy a Polaroid camera.
I want to take even more photos than I already do and get a poloroid camera so that I have more photos that I can keep and have to scrapbook.


What are your New Years goals?



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Monday, 22 December 2014

Mello Juices


I was super excited when I was contacted by Mello and asked whether I wanted to try their Melon and Cantaloupe juices, firstly watermelon is my all time favourite flavour, I love it. I was also really impressed with all the benefits that the juices offer, the Watermelon juice is great for rehydrating as it has a high water content and is packed with antioxidants! It also aids weight loss and helps the metabolism work quicker and cleanses and detoxifies the body! These juices are perfect to have before or after a workout, they are rich in natural sugars so help boost your energy, they can prevent muscle cramps and soreness (something I ALWAYS get when I workout) and helps the removal of lactic acid in the muscles which builds up as you workout. 
The Cantaloupe juice is one that is great if you want glowing, healthy looking skin. It contains vitamin A and C so is brilliant for your immune system and will make your skin look healthier, like the Watermelon juice it is also fabulous for your metabolism and weight loss! The reason it is brilliant for your skin is because it is very high in vitamin A and something called Beta-Carotine which is found in many topical acne medicines and makes your skin look rejuvenated and very youthful! The juices are high in fibre and more filling than other juices and contain very few calories and zero fat! Score!

They retail for £2.49 (Ocado currently have them on offer for 2 for £4!) which I think is very reasonable for the 250ml bottles, especially considering how many benefits there are to drinking the juices. I really love how both of them taste, they are so refreshing and sweet. I think these are great even if you don't workout as they are tasty and sweet but still good for you! 

You can check out their website here or purchase online here. You can also purchase from Harvey Nichols, Whole Foods and Planet Organic. 



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Saturday, 20 December 2014

Birchbox Gift-with-Gift

Birchbox gift-with-gift*

Birchbox are currently offering a gift-with-gift pack when you buy a subscription as a gift! This makes their christmas present even more special as they receive this cute Birchbox makeup/washbag and some extra goodies too! The bag is super cute and perfect for a travel makeup or wash-bag as it can fit so many products in it. In the bag you also get a full size Models Own Nail Polish, I love this wintery deep berry colour, it is perfect for the festive season! Also included is the Pixi Shea Butter Lipbalm in Honey Nectar, I already have this in another shade and I love it so I was so excited to receive it. This shade is a natural nude pink and is so pretty, the reason I love the Pixi Lipbalms is that they are so moisturising on my incredibly dry lips! Finally you receive another full sized item, the Benefit face lotion. Benefit skincare is relatively new to me but I recently got a few of their products so am excited to try them out! I think this gift-with-gift is just an extra reason to purchase a Birchbox subscription for someone, I am always so impressed with Birchbox's and so to get a few extra treats on top is brilliant! 

Check out the Birchbox website here to check out the subscriptions!

 




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Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Perfect Party Makeup With BlanxUK


It's Christmas party season so I thought I would do a post on the perfect party makeup, this post is in collaboration with BlanxUK on how to achieve a beautiful makeup look for any events you have! Blanx have teamed up with makeup artist Cassie Lomas to create a number of youtube videos to help achieve whiter teeth. There's videos on how to change your makeup from night to day, enhance the whiteness in your teeth and the most recent, party season beauty tips!


I thought I would share a few of the products I would use to create my makeup look great when I'm going out. For foundation Nars Sheer Glow is the perfect choice, it makes skin look healthy and contains no SPF so is perfect if there will be flash photography, you could also mix it with Nars Illuminator to get an even more radiant complexion which looks lovely in photographs. You can also highlight with the Nars Illuminator, as Cassie says in the video, applying it to the forehead and cheekbones gives your skin a very glowy and radiant look. Soleil Tan de Chanel is my favourite bronzer, it is very natural looking on the skin and can be used either before or after foundation, I love using the mousse formula rather than powder bronzers as I find it works a lot better on my slightly dryer skin. When I apply it before foundation, I use the Sephora Mineral Powder Brush and apply it to areas that the sun would usually hit, to get natural, bronzed skin. For brows, Anastasia Dipbrow is perfect for getting statement brows that still look natural, I absolutely love this product as I find it so difficult to find brow shades to match my fair hair! For eyes, the Charlotte Tilbury Dolce Vita eyeshadow palette is a great choice for party eyes, particularly the bottom left shade, which is perfect! This palette is lovely for a smokey eyes and it worked amazingly at making my bluey/green eyes stand out! When I'm going out anywhere I love to do winged eyeliner, my favourite gel eyeliner is the Bobbi Brown Gel Liner. After mascara, the perfect lashes are the Ardell Demi Wispies, they are my favourite lashes and are perfect when going out, they are the perfect mix or volume and length. Finally, for lips, the YSL Fuchsia in Rage lipstick which is my favourite for when I'm going out anywhere. The formula is SO moisturising which helps as I have very dry lips, the shade is a beautiful blue toned berry shade which as Cassie says in the video, is perfect for making your teeth look whiter.

If you want any more party season beauty tips, check out this video on the BlanxUK Youtube channel with makeup artist Cassie Lomas. She shares her top tips on how to look your best for the party season and also how to make your teeth look whiter using makeup! She has some great tips so definitely check out the video below!





*This is a sponsored post

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Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Current Makeup


I've started using a lot of new products recently so thought I would do a "What's on my face" style post as I haven't done one in a while, well, I haven't blogged regularly for ages but we'll skim past that.. My new favourite foundation is Mac Studio Fix Fluid, I have done a full review here so you can read my thoughts on it in full. I absolutely love this foundation, it checks every box in terms of the perfect foundation for me: High coverage, long lasting, good range of shades and covers redness/scarring/blemishes. I have the shade NC15 which matches my skin exactly, this is a very rare occurrence when it comes to foundations as they NEVER match my skin and I always end up with an obvious foundation line. Under my eyes I use the Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer, this stuff just doesn't seem to finish, I've had it for so long! As the name suggests, it's so creamy and not drying under the eyes, it covers all my dark circles but doesn't crease or look heavy. For blemishes I use the Collection Lasting Perfection concealer, when it's in stock I also use the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer but I can never get hold of my shade! The Collection one is brilliant and so so affordable! For powder I've been using the Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder, I bought a few things from Charlotte Tilbury and this was probably my favourite, (if I'm being honest, I was slightly disappointed with the items I purchased. Reviews coming soon..) it is very finely milled so it is a really lovely powder, although very very very very expensive. I then set my makeup by spritzing Mac Fix+ all over my face, this smells lovely and it's such a brilliant product! 

For my brows, Anastasia Beverly Hills is the queen. I would recommend both Brow Wiz and Dip Brow Pomade as they are both amazing products and by far the best products for brows, in my opinion. I currently use the Dip Brow with the Large Synthetic Brush (number 12 I think) also from Anastasia. On my eyes, I have recently started using my Mac eyeshadows again, I still think Mac eyeshadows are my favourite, I start with All That Glitters over the lid, Omega in my crease and a mixture of Mulch and Woodwinked on the outer corner, those all together are so pretty! I then apply the Soap and Glory Supercat Liquid Liner and finish with the Charlotte Tilbury Full Fat Lashes Mascara which is very good, although it has dried out very quickly!


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Monday, 8 December 2014

Mac Studio Fix Fluid and Fix+


I am constantly on the hunt for the perfect foundation, I have had issues with my skin for about six years now so having a perfect base is very important to me as I need to cover up uneven skin tone, blemishes and acne scarring! I have wanted to try Mac's Studio Fix Fluid foundation for a while now, the only things that put me off were that I had heard it wasn't good at all for dry skin and that it breaks a lot of people out. I have very sensitive skin so I was pretty much determined that it would break me out badly, luckily it didn't! As for how it fairs on dry skin, it wasn't bad at all! Yes, it would work better on oilier skin and I need to moisturise well and apply the Fix Plus, but it doesn't look dry! When I don't powder, my skin just looks naturally healthy and glowy, which I wasn't expecting, I thought it would be very dry and matte. I bought the shade NC15 which is perfect for my fair skin, I love Mac shades as I think they have a shade for every undertone and have fair and darker shades. I personally find it very difficult to find a foundation that isn't too orange or too pink and doesn't leave me with an obvious foundation line between my face and neck! The way that I like to apply this is with my Real Techniques Buffing Brush and it blends in really well, the coverage is medium to full (more on the full side). As I said, I have a lot of acne scarring so I need a foundation to cover up redness which this definitely does.

A lot of people compare this foundation to Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation, personally I prefer this one. The shade range is SO much better, it lasts longer and it works better on dry skin. The consistency is very very similar to Estee Lauder and the two foundations are almost identical, I just prefer the coverage and finish of the Mac one a bit more! The smell is something that people always mention, as I said, I've used Estee Lauder Double Wear which also has a strong smell and Revlon Colourstay. However this foundation smells exactly like children's paint! Genuinely, the paint that you used in pre-school for finger painting. It was strange at first but after a while, I got used to it, strong smells in makeup don't really bother me but if you're more sensitive then it may bother you! Personally, I find £21.50 in the mid point in terms of price, as I have used Estee Lauder, Nars, Giorgio Armani and Laura Mercier foundations which retail for a lot more! I think it may be slightly pricey for some but I am happy to pay this for a foundation, especially as I love it as much as I do.

 Mac Fix+ is a Mac product I have always wanted to try, I have been using this after moisturiser and before foundation, as well as after I have powdered (I also just spray it on my face randomly as I love the smell). I really love using it, it is very refreshing and sets makeup really well. I have used it instead of powder a few times (in the above photo I only have the foundation and fix+ on) and my skin looks lovely! As I said, I adore the smell of this, Mac really need to bring out a perfume like this! It's not an overpowering scent but just fresh and lovely!

What are your favourite Mac products?


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Friday, 5 December 2014

Christmas Gift Guide: For Her

This year I really struggled to find gifts for my friends and family so I thought I would do a little gift guide of presents you could get!

I found Thomas Sabo rings last week and now want them all! They are so pretty, especially this Glam and Soul ring, it comes in three different colours, I absolutely love the rose gold and pink colour. 

Every Christmas and birthday I ask for a Pandora ring as I love them! I think this one is a really simple pretty one.

This is actually on my christmas list, I have seen Olivia Burton watches around for a while, particularly on Instagram and love them! I think this one is really pretty and simple, they have lots of different designs and colours! 

I think this is a great gift, especially for someone who travels a lot. This kit contains shower gel, body lotion, shampoo, conditioner, a 2-in1 shampoo and conditioner and some soap. They all contain Rosemary and Mint, the mint makes it very fresh and refreshing and the body lotion is lovely and makes the skin feel so soft! 

I have bought this set for one of my friends, I think the Benefit gift sets are really great one as the packaging is so pretty and christmassy! This one is really affordable too and John Lewis currently have 10% off too! 

This is another gift I have bought someone, in person it looks a lot more expensive than it actually is! There are a lot of different designs and they have necklaces as well as bracelets, I have my eye on the sausage dog one! 


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Wednesday, 3 December 2014

November Birchbox


November's Birchbox contains a great selection of products as well as a full sized one! There is one particular product I am in love with in this box and I think the fact that you get a full sized item makes the box worth the money!

Weleda Pomegranate Creamy Body Wash £8.95
I love receiving body washes and shower gels as I use them all the time! This one is pomegranate scented which is one of my favourite scents!

Beauty Protector Protect and Treat Hair Mask £16
This is a hair mask which has argan oil, honey, amber and crushed pearls! I normally use masks on wet hair, leave it on for about five minute while in the shower and then rinse off, because I have oily hair, I usually apply this on the end of my hair so from my ears downwards!

LipGlam Lip Balm £9.99
I am 100% in love with this lip balm! I always find that lip balms either dry my lips out even more, or I end up with a white residue! This is a lovely product that really moisturises my lips for ages!

Lord and Berry Bronzer £19
Many bronzers are very orange which leaves them looking unnatural, as our skin goes more red toned when we naturally tan, you need a bronzer that had red tones in it. This bronzer is red toned so it looks very natural on the skin! 

Dr Jart+ Skin Mist £18
This is a full sized product, yay! It's a face mist which you can apply after you've cleansed. I generally apply this before I go to bed, it's very cool and refreshing on the skin and it's especially lovely as I have dry skin! 

Montezuma Milk Chocolate 
I consumed this almost immediately after taking this photo, oops! It's chocolate so what's not to love?


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Friday, 14 November 2014

How to get thick and healthy hair


Previously whenever my hair grew past my shoulders it would get really thin and straggly but recently I've found a few ways of taking care of it, keeping it healthy and looking thick and as a result, it feels so much better. In terms of the health of my hair, I love using Coconut Oil. This makes it super shiny and also helps it grow a little bit quicker than usual, I use this about once a week and just apply it onto dry hair, leave it for about half an hour and then wash it out. You can purchase it here for £8.99*. Another treatment product I use is the Simon and Tom Moroccan Oil Treatment. I use this every three days or so after I have washed my hair, I apply it on the bottom section of my hair (from around my ears downwards) and then dry and style my hair as usual. This is great for keeping your hair soft, to stop frizz and protect it from heat and any damage! You can buy it here and here for £29.99*. In terms of making my hair look thicker my favourite two products are the Charles Worthington Body Booster Mousse and the Umberto Giannini Backcomb in a Bottle. The mousse is great for creating volume and it makes it slightly easier to style my hair, it also smells amazing! Available here for £5.99. Finally is a product I've used and relied on for years, the Umberto Giannini Backcomb in a Bottle. This product is incredible, I backcomb my hair and two minutes later it is flat again so this product is a godsend for making my hair look thicker than it is, it just adds volume and gives my hair more life! It is available here for just £6.00!

As I said, these products have really improved the health of my hair and help create more volume in my naturally lifeless hair!


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Monday, 10 November 2014

How To Start A Beauty Blog


I think when people see blogs that have a lovely design, great photographs and a large following, they think "I could never have a blog like that." Even now when I see those blogs, I think that to myself however you have to remember that every successful blogger started with nothing, everyone has had 0 followers at some point and a blank website staring back at them. It's going to take work, you don't get 10,000 followers overnight or PR emails flooding in as soon as you start. Don't expect to be handed products to review as soon as you start, just because you're a blogger doesn't mean you are entitled to anything.

I frequently receive emails from people asking "how do I start a blog?" I thought it would be easier to write a post all about it so all my advice is in one place (still feel free to email me if you do have questions though.) I have written advice posts before but I thought that today, I would start from the basics. Obviously this is my advice, you could think I'm talking absolute rubbish but this is what I've learnt over the two and a half years of running a blog.

Platform
Firstly you have to choose where you want your blog to be hosted, the two choices people generally go for are Blogger and Wordpress. I personally use Blogger as this is the one most people generally start on, I know a lot of people start on Blogger and move over to Wordpress. I haven't looked into doing this as I'm pretty happy with Blogger and Wordpress confused me. I know that Wordpress is better if you want to add more things and change your design and layout around a bit whereas Blogger has more of a layout that you stick to. I have no problem using Blogger and am very happy with it so I think it just depends on which you get on better with.

Layout
When starting a blog you obviously need some sort of layout. Although many people won't admit it, you instantly get am impression of a blog when you go on it and see the layout. I didn't find it too difficult to get to grips with, google really is your friend when it comes to working out how to make blog headers and add things but if you really struggle you can pay someone to do it all for you. I recommend Abby and Pigdig. In terms of your layout, don't make it look cluttered, make it look clean and make sure your don't have your text in a colour that is difficult to read. I personally think simple is better, it is very distracting to try and read a post when there's fifty different pictures and fonts. 

Photography
Photography is also incredible important when starting a blog, you don't need a fancy expensive camera, just understand the basics and you'll be fine. I did write a Blog Photography post so you can read that here. In summary, lighting is very important, take your photos using natural light, (so in the middle of the day) make sure you take your photos away from the light rather than into the light. Edit your photos, I use Picmonkey and occasionally Photoshop but Picmonkey is free so I would recommend that! When it comes to taking product photos, don't over edit, make sure you can see the true colour of the product. If you're reviewing an eyeshadow palette or a lipstick, show a swatch as otherwise how are people meant to see the true colour of the product? I think photography is something that you will naturally improve on as time goes on, when I first started, my photography was terrible. To be honest I'm still not 100% happy with my photography at the moment so it's something I'm working on; you can't expect everything to be perfect.

Content
Obviously content is key because that's the main gist of your blog, my advice is to write content that you would want to read. I think posting about what you love and enjoy is important otherwise you probably won't want to blog anymore. Recently I decided to include more lifestyle posts and baking because I had been feeling slightly de-motivated to blog and wasn't enjoying it as much. So remember that yes, other people are reading your blog but you need to enjoy it too. I think the quality of your writing is important too, your readers need to understand what you're trying to get across to them. Read through your posts at least three times to double check that it all makes sense, there's nothing worse than not understanding a post and trying to piece together what the blogger was trying to say.

Social Media
Another important factor, if you don't have twitter, you're missing out. This is a great way to promote your blog and new posts, also it's great to chat to other bloggers and interact with PR's, you can also get involved with all the different chats that go on which allows you to talk to bloggers and share your blogs with each other. Instagram is another way to promote your blog and update people when you have published a new post, I have also found SO many new blogs to read just from Instagram so it really is a helpful tool.

Don't take it too seriously
Don't stress yourself out about little things, sometimes you get caught up in "ohh, only one person commented on that post." Instead of reflecting on the bad, remember that one person took their time to write you a nice comment. To me, blogging is my hobby so I try to make it as fun as I possibly can, if I take it seriously and stress out about it, it probably won't be fun anymore.






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Tuesday, 4 November 2014

My University Bag


I've never been someone who can pack light, ever. Even at school I had massive tote bags as I carry everything in my bags, I think it's because I panic that at some point I will need that useless item at some point and it will be a disaster if I don't have it. I think this Jenna Marbles video sums me up perfectly. For university I decided that I needed a new bag, I saw this backpack from Fiorelli and instantly fell in love! Because I pack so much, my bags weigh about fifty tonnes, with back packs it means that the weight isn't all on one shoulder so it's a lot more comfortable than a shoulder bag. This one holds so much even though it doesn't look very large, there is a zipper on the front which usually holds my keys, phone and pens. There's also another little zip and compartment on the back which I keep more pens in. (as I said, always prepared) Inside, there is another compartment, so there's plenty of room for the junk that I take with me. This also comes in black so you can choose which colour you prefer, I went with the tan colour as I already have quite a few black bags!


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Thursday, 30 October 2014

Frank Coffee Body Scrub


About ten minutes after I heard about Frank Coffee Body Scrub, I had placed an order. I had heard 100% positive reviews about it and decided I needed to try it out! They currently make three different versions of the scrub, I chose the original version which contains almond, orange and lots of vitamins and minerals. I really love the packaging, I think it's simplistic yet unique and you get a lot of product (200g) for your money. The scrub smells like coffee which I personally love although some people may find it too strong, I use this 1-2 times a week and I am absolutely in love with it! You just use this like a normal body scrub but you leave it on to dry for 5-10 minutes as this helps the minerals to soak in and help to target cellulite, stretch marks and psoriosis. I've never used a scrub that has made my skin as soft and smooth as this one does, my skin feels baby soft, it's incredible! I can't really comment on it getting rid of stretch marks as I don't have any, I do however have a lot of cellulite! If I'm being honest, I didn't notice too much difference in my cellulite (although I have been exercising and eating better recently and it's so much better!) however I still think it is an amazing product. At first I was apprehensive about using this on my face as it is slightly rougher than other face scrubs, however it makes my skin feel incredible and removes any dry skin I have on my face! This retails for £11.95 which I think is reasonable considering how much product you get and how long it lasts.

Overall I would really recommend this, it's the best scrub I've ever used.
You can buy it here!


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Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Iconemesis Phone Case


Iconemesis are a brand I've followed for quite a while now so I was excited when they asked me whether I would like to try one of their cases! They have so many different artists that design their cases, like Gemma Correll, who I absolutely adore, I have lots of her pug t-shirts! The case that stood out for me was this Sacha Kreeger Leopard case, I love the colours and think it is so pretty! The case itself is made from a really sturdy plastic, which hasn't chipped or cracked yet (despite the fact that I drop my phone quite a lot!) so I'm really impressed. The case retails for £9.99 which I think is a fair price for a phone case, especially one as pretty as this one. I've seen lots of other cases retailed a lot higher so think you do get your moneys worth with this one!  

Check out the website here and make sure to have a look at all the different cases they do, they also do free UK standard shipping!


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Friday, 24 October 2014

Anjolee Jewellery


I was recently introduced to Anjolee,  a beautiful jewellery website where you can customise all the pieces featured on the site. You can choose the metal you would like, diamond size, gemstone quality and the length and size of the jewellery. You can also pick a design and personalise it with your birthstone which I think makes a really lovely and thoughtful gift! I picked out four of my favourite items from the website, the Round Diamond Four Prongs earrings are very simple but elegant, I love how classic they are. The Surrounded by sparkle Diamond Pendent is probably my favourite item, I absolutely love it! I think it's a perfect statement piece of jewellery and would go with any outfit. I don't wear bracelets too often but I love the look of all of the bracelets on their website especially the bangle bracelets and in particular the Square Link Diamond Bracelet. Finally is the Eternally Yours Diamond Eternity Band, I have a lot of simple rings like this and I love them, I usually stack them with other rings!

I think Anjolee is a really great idea for a company, the prices are below retail prices and they work to give customers the best value for money while still ensuring the jewellery is still the highest quality. It is such a great idea to be able to customise the pieces, I think this makes them unlike other companies as if you love a design but aren't sure about the metal, you can change it and you can make jewellery to suit you!






*This is a sponsored post


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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

October Birchbox



Birchbox have partnered up with Coppafeel for Breast Cancer Awareness month to give some advice and information on the signs and symptoms of breast cancer! The box comes with a handy guide of how to check yourself for any lumps and some useful information on Breast Cancer. You also get some guidance on how to use the products in the box! So, here's the contents..

KMS - California Free Shape Hot Flex Creme £15.50
This product is used to "transform coarse and unruly hair" so it is easier to manage and smoother. You simply apply on towel-dried hair, comb through and then blow dry as usual. This also protects your hair against heat so your hair stays nice and healthy!

Shaveworks - The Cool Fix £11
This is one of my favourite products in the box and the one I was most excited about trying as I constantly get razor bumps but it also works for ingrown hairs, razor burn and redness! You just apply this after you have shaved.

Pixi by Petra - Shea Butter Lip Balm £8
This is a tinted lip balm, it comes out a really lovely raspberry colour which I love! I have extremely dry lips and this is a really great moisturising product and I love that you can add moisture to your lips and get a really pretty lip colour too!

Balance Me - Cleanse and Smooth Face Balm £20
This is a cleanser that I use after I have removed my makeup, the consistency is quite thick and it's great on my dry skin as it feels so moisturising and makes my skin feel soft and smooth too. It contains oatmeal powder which acts as a gentle exfoliant so it's great to get rid of any dead skin cells.

Meaningful Beauty - Glowing Serum £30.95
This is a really lovely serum which you apply before moisturiser, it smells lovely and doesn't have a really strong scent so it's not overpowering. It makes my skin feel really soft too!

Lipstick Pen £2.50
I remember having one of these at school! This is the "lifestyle" item in the box, I think it's really cute and my two-year old niece loved it too!

Overall I really like this box, each item is something I will definitely use and so far I love the Balance Me Cleanser and the Pixi Lip Balm!


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