Soap and Glory Cosmetics

I was recently informed of the new Soap and Glory venture into cosmetics via some fellow beauty queens here on blogger. I have always been a fan of S&G, their body products and bath ranges have allowed me many a clean bath and shower. I love the packaging, the quirky design and little comments they include on the boxes and tubes, and of course, I love how it's all pink! I was quite excited about the possibility of their make-up range purely because I had always been curious to try the concealer they always offered in Boots, along with their lip glosses and cupids bow pencil. However I never actually picked any of these products up and now that the range is available exclusively in Boots stores, I thought I'd branch out and have a go with their mascara and eye pencil.  

The packaging of these two fabulous products are simple yet still retain the appeal of all of the other S&G items in their range we are so used to. There's a certain charm about the simple pink on black letting which tells you exactly what each product sets out to achieve. The mascara prides itself on being 'thick and fast', now to me this sounds like it wants to lather on thickly to the lashes when you apply fast movements of your hands to do so. I really was hoping to get lashes like the lucky lady on the outer packaging (see left) but alas not. I do agree that it lengthens and makes your lashes thicker, but I guess my expectation of fan like lashes was just that, an expectation and not a reality.
This definitely has something to do with the brush. Like all mascaras the shape, length and thickness of the brush is crucial in the application of the product and I have seen this type of brush before. I'm going to liken it to Benefit's Bad Gal, of which I own a mini version, and although that particular mascara may work well for some, I could never get on that well with the brush. The S&G brush is a similar story, it's 'fat', but does hold a lot of product and allows an easier application that Bad Gal. My only particular qualm is the fact that the mascara itself keeps getting all over the neck of the tube when I put the brush back in, is a wider the needed perhaps? Anyone else having this problem?
I picked up my Soap and Glory mascara in Boots for £10 and while it's not been my favourite mascara to date, I do agree that it does like it says on the box, except for provide me with the slight false hope of a wide eyed fan like look.

The other product I picked up is the S&G Smoulder Kohl eye pencil. I really like this pencil, it applies easily, smoothly and fluidly, it's a lovely rich black colour with the added bonus of being waterproof, which it definitely is as I ended up with watery eyes from the wind today and it didn't budge for me! Another significant plus point is the built in sharpener in the lid, very handy for those times when you can't find your pencil sharpener in your make-up bag, simply pop off the cap keeping dust and whatnot out of the sharpener and voila, there you have a nice sharp pencil.
I picked up my Soap and Glory pencil for £5 in Boots and it's definitely beaten my Topshop Kohl eye pencil  to the top spot for usage in my make-up bag.
Have you seen the Soap and Glory cosmetics range yet? What do you think? Take a peek here.


Mid-Morning Musings (accompanied by Love Heart sweets)

Tuesday, mid morning and I cannot seem to release myself out into the cold world from under my covers. There is so much I seem to feel the need to be doing, workbooks for work, uni notes and reading etc but on days like today I just cannot stay warm and feel I have to pour sympathy on myself to compensate.
Consequently, it gives me lots of time to think about all of the excitement to be coming my way in the next year or so, which I can boil down to a few bullet points:

  • Christmas with my mama and my brother in our new house. 
  • Christmas presents from J, I'm excited to see what he'll choose for me considering I gave him a list of inspiration consisting of: UGG boots with the button on, a pink camera, MAC make-up, Kim Kardashian's body, diamonds, Jack Wills perfume, love, and hugs and cuddles!
  • New Year with J, our second one together.
  • My 21st birthday - I really ought to think about what I want to do! 
  • Finishing 2nd year in Durham and passing all exams.
  • Getting promoted twice at work having worked my socks off for them.
  • And, finally, DISNEYWORLD! September 7th 2012. When you wish upon a star your dreams do come true! 
I am also eagerly awaiting the post lady. She has my GlossyBox, as I asked for it to be redelivered today. I couldn't help myself and ended up looking at various people's blog posts about what is in the box this month and it looks very exciting indeed! 

I also had a packet of giant love hearts the other day, about 60p from Tesco and couldn't help but fall back in love with their ultimate cuteness! Ah, I was sitting at my desk (working, of course!) and ended up attempting to construct flattering sentences for myself to eat, like 'Hello, Guess Who, I Love You' or 'Hello,  It's True, I Want You'. 

I think I shall go on the hunt for some Soap and Glory Cosmetics today, I still have no bank cards, what with having had my purse stolen, so it'll be a trip to the bank for some cash and then to the retail park to look in Next Home and Boots. I need to get started on the ole yuletide shopping too! 


L'Oreal Studio Secrets Universal Lip Glow

I was perusing Boots today in search of something nice to cheer myself up after realising that I will never see my purse again ( I left it in a Chinese restaurant and someone stole it, when I asked them to check the CCTV apparently it wasn't working and had no tape - what kind of respectable establishment has CCTV but no tape?!). I am an emotional shopper, like an emotional eater I tell myself it's ok to part with however many pounds for that selfish gain one receives from rewarding your own emotions. Like when I take an exam I buy myself something to get over the shock of the exam and when I pass the exam I buy myself a congratulatory present. Anyway, I decided that I would be allowed to treat myself more on this occasion as I was feeling blue about having to fork out to replace my driving licence (still green, thanks for asking), my bank cards, my ID and so on. And this is how I stumbled upon this little beauty:

L'Oreal are best known for hair products and their make-up and I believe that they're a brand at the forefront of make-up innovation. Take their Studio Secrets face primer for example, a product of wonder! Still what some would call a 'drugstore' brand, L'Oreal are a little bit more expensive than your Maybelline, Rimmel and Collection 2000 which sit alongside it in the store. I like to think that L'Oreal are on par with Maxfactor, for the woman who likes expensive cosmetics, but doesn't want to endure the sometimes pushy and over made up sales girls at Estee Lauder, Lancome and Clinique.

What formally attracted me to this lip product was the fact that it was orangey pink, looked a little like jelly and appeared to be a cross between a lip gloss, lip balm and lipstick upon first glance. I now know that it's a 'universal lip glow', as explained on the L'Oreal website, 'L'OrĂ©al Paris' first lipstick that adapts uniquely to the moisture of your lips to form a bespoke, individual colour. The result: a tailor-made shade of pink with a subtle finish.' Read the rest of the information here. I really like the idea of tailor made lip colour as not everyone suits a variety of lip shades. I find, for example, that I look ridiculous in red lip colour and so tend to stick to nudes and pale pinks. This lipstick is not only exciting (who doesn't want a unique lip colour?) but it stands out a completely new product entirely and suits me perfectly. It provides just the right amount of shine without becoming too gummy and stick and retains the elegance and appeal of any other L'Oreal product. 

I found my universal lip colour in Boots for the introductory price £6.49, normal retail price of £8.99, and I absolutely love it, well done L'Oreal! What do you think?


Lancome Hypnose Doll Eyes Mascara

Armed with my student loan on a recent quest into my local Boots I decided to aim to include some more high end make-up products into my beauty collection. I own my fair share of products from a variety of price tags, mainly Benefit and some Mac, but never had I decided to splash out on a pricey mascara and thought I'd give Lancome' Hypnose Doll Eyes a try. I'd seen their advert for this mascara in a magazine and was amazed at how the model's lashes looked and although I know that most of the time lash inserts are used, or the lashes are enchanted in post production, I seemed fairly confident that I could aim to recreate that wide eyed cute and girly look myself.


The packaging is so sophisticated and pretty, the outer box the mascara comes in is silver, and the tube is black with a floral design that wraps delicately all away around. The tube itself is what I would describe as 'curvy', it's not a straight tube and feels like it's been designed to sit snuggly in your hand when you apply the mascara. I always believe that the shape of the mascara tube helps in the application of the product because without the right grip and comfort you might not find yourself at the right angle to completely perfect the look of the lashes that you had intended. Lancome have got this right and it makes the application much better and easier.

The brush is something I rather like and it allows you to give your lashes a sort of fanned out look, like you've just opened your eyes and your lashes have expanded to keep you cool. The brush is fatter and one end and then thins out, so that when you're applying the mascara the fatter end makes the lashes on the outer corner of your eye more fanned out than the inner lashes as they are only reached by the thinner end of the brush. This is a very clever brush in my opinion and works really very well. I am blessed to have naturally long lashes anyway and this mascara enhances them beautifully. The picture on the left shows my lashes without any product and the right depicts only one coat of the mascara. See how my lashes look all fanned out and gorgeous?

Doll Eyes is currently my mascara of choice, it has surpassed all others in my make-up bag and will continue to do so until I branch out to try another high end replica. I will definitely be repurchasing this mascara and really do love the way it makes my lashes look and believe it adds another dimension to my made up face in the mornings. I found my Doll Eyes in Boots for £20.50, a definite must have for your make-up bag and the fact that I chose to purchase this mascara as the first product into my journey of high end items gives me high hope for whatever else I chose to purchase.


New In Today

Burt's Bees Banana Hand Cream,
Dove Hair Therapy Intensive Conditioner,
Sugar Striptease Hair Removal Wax
Garnier BB Cream in 'Light'
With the arrival of my student loan, and my current obsession with beauty products and trying to grow my hair and make it look super sleek and shiny, I have been going a bit crazy on the purchasing and receiving of items that I have seen reviewed or simply on the offer shelves in my local Boots and Superdrug. My wicker baskets are overflowing on my dressing table, and I think I must have yet another clear out soon enough, who wants to put ages old products on their skin anyway, certainly not me!
Having only received these products today I cannot offer a suitable review but I did briefly try out the products in terms of smell and visual impact.

Burt's Bees hand cream does, as it says on the jar, smell very strongly of bananas, sort of like those foam banana sweets you get in the Candy King Pic N' Mixes at the cinema or in Tesco. I personally enjoy the smell of bananas but not the taste and so this appealed to me a lot. It's a solid creamy texture until you rub it onto your hands when it turns a little more fluid and soaks in nicely and leaves you all soft and smooth. The only downside was that the banana smell wears away on first use and in its place comes a more waxy aroma. The packaging is simple and true to the Burt's Bees brand. This is my first Burt's Bees purchase and it has definitely made me want to source out more. I got my hand cream for around £8 from feelunique.com.

The Dove conditioner looks incredibly exciting as I have been searching for a reasonably priced hair mask for a while and low and behold I come across this product which is not only a mask like conditioner, but it claims to be 3x more conditioning than normal. I'm excited to try this out because it has a two tone colour effect, white and a honey yellow colour. It smells very clean and fresh and will hopefully provide me with healthy hair when I manage to try it out. I am always conscious however of using a conditioner that is different to my shampoo, I don't know why, but something in my head tells me that by not using the same brand or type of conditioner as the shampoo it just won't work. Perhaps to combat this, I'll shampoo and condition first and then use this as a mask treatment afterwards. I managed to buy this for £1.60 in Superdrug as Dove is currently on offer.

The Sugar Striptease hair removal product was a bit of a novelty to me. I have to hold my hands up here and admit that yes, I am a waxing virgin, I have never done it myself or had it professionally done and while I hold myself out to have a high pain threshold I would like to put myself in the right frame of mind before I embark on any waxing journey. I was drawn to this product because of the fact that you have to put the tub in the microwave before use, to heat up to solution in order to lather it on. This, I can imagine might be rather fiddly, and difficult but I can't wait to have a go all the same! I bought this little kit for around £10 from feelunique.com.

My final buy for today was Garnier's BB cream in the 'light' colour. This product has had mixed reviews from what I have seen and to be honest I am not really sure what I am supposed to do with it. To me it's a bit like a tinted moisturiser come foundation base but we'll see what happens when I apply it to my face tomorrow morning. I did a little tester on my hand and it did brighten my skin and fill in some of the lines on my hand so I have high hopes for my face. Superdrug are offering £2 off this cream at the moment and I picked this up for £7.99.

I am sure that once I familiarise myself with these goodies I will be able to say more about how they work and what they do, but for now I shall look forward to using them properly!


Feel Unique Beauty Box: October

I heard about feelunique.com offering their version of a beauty box around about the same time I got involved in Glossybox and immediately fell in love with the concept of being sent a box of beauty goodies for me to play with. Feel Unique offer their box at £9.95 per month, which is just about £3 cheaper than Glossybox's £12.95, also per month. Glossybox and Feel Unique's Beauty Box have fast become my two favourites. Whilst I found myself signing up to receive Boudoir Prive and Amarya too, I have now since cancelled both subscriptions on receipt of my first two boxes, trying to justify spending over £40 a month on these services was a little too much, so I chose to stay subscribed to the two boxes I was most excited to receive.

October's Feel Unique box is my first from their company and I have to admit that I am most impressed with service, speed and most of all my level of excitement to receive my little package this morning. I received an e-mail from the company yesterday to say that my box had been dispatched and here it is this morning, all the way from Jersey!

First of all, the packaging. The outer box is a simple brown cardboard with 'feelunique.com Beauty Box' on it in simple, yet stylish black lettering. Unlike Glossybox or Boudoir Prive you might not know immediately, especially if you've never had a box before, what this package might contain. Both Glossybox and Boudoir Prive have their own distinctive packaging with their logos on each box. When I was handed my little brown box I turned it over to reveal the lettering and my excitement heightened, my box was here!

Once you tear off the packing tape the sophistication and style of what you're about to receive really reaches out to you, especially, if you're like me and love the design of the product's packaging almost as much as the product itself! Like Glossybox, FeelUnique send your beauty goodies in a sturdy little box, however FeelUnique's packaging is more of a 'pull the drawer by the ribbon handle to reveal' rather than a 'lift the lid' type of box. I really like the sleek and simple design of this box, the drawers will pile up in the months to come to make a perfect little stacking tower, perfect to keep bits and pieces in. There's no tissue and ribbon with the box, but the simple act of opening the drawer to reveal what you've been sent is just the same type of feeling you get when you carefully peal off the Glossybox sticker and unravel the ribbon. The shredded springy pieces of black paper are included to keep all of your products from slipping and sliding around in transit, and I rather like the nest effect, especially when you find yourself digging around in the paper to see if there's anything you've missed!

Onto the products themselves. I received 5 products in total, and a perfume sample, as pictured here. I love the fact that they're included something for every part of your body and these set of products are themed around the idea of 'Pre-Winter Warmers. The perfect solutions to ease those pre winter blues'. As I said that I have only just received my box this morning, I have yet to try any of these products but will, no doubt about it, in the very near future. Here I have chosen to show the products how I received them in the box, all nestled in lovely, and then in more detail. I received (Clockwise) Burberry body perfume sample, Bliss fabulous foaming face wash, Orly nail Lacqquer, TIGI Catwalk blow out balm, Caudalie day fluid, and Crabtree & Evelyn moisturising hand therapy - all of which I am very happy with and cannot wait to try out!

 The products are all good sizes, no sachets, or teeny tiny amounts so that you can't get a good feel for how they work and what they do so this is a good way for me to see how well they work with my skin/body and whether of not I would like to purchase. One of the great things about FeelUnique.com is that they offer free P&P and included in the box is a discount code for 10% off the brands featured in this months box that you can purchase from the website. Although I have not offered any type of review for the products yet, I wanted to offer my my first impressions of FeelUnique's Beauty Box and I can safely say that I am one very happy customer indeed. The products featured in this month's box certainly offer a way to beat that pre winter feeling when you've left your summer glow behind and need to shake up the routine in time to protect your skin and hair from the harsh weather (especially if you're like me, and living in the North East of England!). 
So go on, what are you waiting for? Sign up for november: here