A colleague at work got me interested in monthly beauty boxes again and the one she recommended was Birchbox.

I previously subscribed to other beauty boxes, such as Glossybox, but discontinued since I realised 1) I have more than enough skincare and makeup to last me a lifetime, 2) I already get sample sized products from beauty companies from blogging and dermatology reps that my excuse for 'travel-sized' products became redundant and 3) The samples I was usually provided ended up unused and less loved compared to the HG products I already purchased.

But there are also good things about the monthly boxes such as 1) As technology evolves, so does skincare and makeup and it is always useful to discover new products, 2) Beauty boxes tend to give a mix of makeup and skincare and boxes such as Birchbox takes into account your personal preferences, and 3) Receiving a new mystery beauty box every month makes it feel like its Christmas all year round!

There were three things that lured me into trying out Birchbox for May 2017. Undoubtedly these included the beautiful marble printed box that also doubles up as a drawer, the full sized Spectrum Collections C06 Tulip Eye Contour Brush with a white handle and gorgeous rose gold ferrule, and also that they had an offer for another box free. Bargain!

Here's a run through of the individual products and my initial thoughts on them.



Doucce Punk Volumizer Mascara RRP £18

This mascara has a jumbo fibre wand to add volume and thickness to lashes. I must say I am very impressed with this mascara. At first I was scared that the giant jumbo wand would smear my eyelids, but with a light hand, it avoids that, applies so easily and holds a curl on my stubborn straight lashes. This one's a winner for me!

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray RRP £19

I love this season-appropriate and trendy addition to the May Birchbox. Part dry shampoo and part texturiser, this sample travel-friendly size will save many holidays for lifted beachy hair.

Caudalie Vine Activ Glow Activating Anti-Wrinkle Serum RRP £36

This serum targets tiredness, stress and pollution. It contains an anti-cell burn-out complex to brighten dull skin and smooth fine lines.

Spectrum Collections Marbleous C06 Tulip Eye Contour Brush RRP £4.99

I love fluffy yet firm synthetic brushes for my eye contour and concealer. I think this brush will work for both. And I must say I am inlove with the rose gold ferrule!



Marsk Mineral Eyeshadow in Fifty Shades RRP £14.49

This shimmery gunmetal grey smokey loose mineral eyeshadow is paraben-free. Disaster always strikes when I use loose pigmented powders so this will find another home.

Manna Kadar Cosmetics High Definition Powder RRP £27

This pale vanilla powder has a velvety finish. Its an excellent travel size for the mobile makeup bag for touch ups through the day. I am likely to apply this on my oily T-zone which are also my 'highlight' areas so the paler shade wouldn't be much of a problem.

Baija Paris Creme Moana in Fleur de Tiare RRP £15.90

I had a silent squeal when I read the label. This is what I would expect a Disney's 'Moana' inspired moisturiser to smell like - shea butter and coconut oil - to smoothen parched skin. Of course this is in no way related to the Disney film, maybe just a coincidence.

Elemis Hydra-Boost Day Cream RRP £39

Everyone loves Elemis. This day cream has hyaluronic acid to improve the skin's hydration and texture. I would actually apply this for the day and night after cleansing. It makes your skin feel so smooth, I love it.

Polaar IcePure Gentle Scrub with Arctic Cotton RRP £23.50

Here's a skin smoothing body scrub that contains Arctic cotton for its moisturising properties. I would recommend limiting body scrubs to twice a week and following with moisturisers to avoid harsh effects on the skin.

ModelCo Eye Define Crayon Liner RRP £11

I am always on the look out for a HG eyeliner as despite these many years of beauty blogging, I still have not found it. ModelCo's offering is a twist-up pencil, so sharpening is not required. The formula is water-resistant but not as smudge or budge-proof as it claims. The formula isn't as creamy as one would hope, so there is a bit of tugging on application. It deposits a rich black matte colour that lasts long, with a thin tip that works well for my Asian eyelids.

Overall, while there are still some products I feel may go unloved from this set, I've enjoyed trying out my new products and my subscription will continue (for now). I look forward to the Birchbox in June!

Love it or Leave It? Leave a comment below!

Livia
| The Skin and Beauty Blog

SHOP THE POST


08/06/2017

Trying Out Birchbox

Sleek Makeup Matte Me Metallic Lip Creams & Distorted Dreams Highlighter Palette Review Swatches
Sleek Makeup Matte Me Metallic Lip Creams & Distorted Dreams Highlighter Palette

We are so excited to share with you the new Sleek Makeup shades for the spring and summer.

Sleek Makeup Distorted Dreams Highlighter palette review swatches
Sleek Makeup Distorted Dreams Highlighter Palette

Following the unicorn highlighter trend, the Sleek Makeup Distorted Dreams Highlighter palette is full of duochrome shades for your highlighting needs. There are 3 cream highlighters in this palette: cream with green glitters, cream with blue glitters, and a gold pink duochrome. There are also two powder highlighters: a shimmery gold and a purple with pink-purple glitters (reminiscent of the Becca Prismatic Amethyst Shimmering Skin Perfector highlighter. I think the shades make for good eyelid shades, but as for cheekbone highlighters, it would take a bit of courage to pull these off. They do easily smudge off so use a setting spray and refrain from touching your face when you wear this.

Sleek Makeup Matte Me Metallic Lip Creams Roman Copper, Volcanic, Rusted Rose Review Swatches
Sleek Makeup Matte Me Metallic Lip Creams Roman Copper, Volcanic, Rusted Rose

Combining the 90's revival metallic lip and the current liquid lipstick trend are Sleek Makeup Matte Me Metallic Lip Creams. The three new shades swatched are Roman Copper (a frosty red-tinged shimmery amber), Volcanic (a frosty muted purple rose), and Rusted Rose (a frosty pink rose). The latter two could be used as lip toppers. They apply like normal liquid lipsticks - dry and long wearing. Make sure to use lip balm underneath for extra comfort.

Sleek Makeup Matte Me Metallic Lip Creams Roman Copper, Volcanic, Rusted Rose & Sleek Makeup Distorted Dreams Highlighter Palette Review Swatches
Sleek Makeup Matte Me Metallic Lip Creams Roman Copper, Volcanic, Rusted Rose & Sleek Makeup Distorted Dreams Highlighter Palette Review Swatches
Sleek Makeup Matte Me Metallic Lip Creams Roman Copper, Volcanic, Rusted Rose & Sleek Makeup Distorted Dreams Highlighter Palette Review Swatches
Sleek Makeup Matte Me Metallic Lip Creams Roman Copper, Volcanic, Rusted Rose & Sleek Makeup Distorted Dreams Highlighter Palette

Overall we are impressed by these new shade additions to the Sleek Makeup range. Definitely try the affordable metallic lip creams if you'd like to dip into the metallic lip trend.

Love it or Leave It? Leave a comment below!

Livia
| The Skin and Beauty Blog


*Press sample. All views are my own.

27/04/2017

Sleek Makeup Matte Me Metallic Lip Creams & Distorted Dreams Highlighter Palette

Odylique Organic Coconut Candy Scrub Review
Odylique Organic Coconut Candy Scrub
Odylique Organic Coconut Candy Scrub Review
Odylique Organic Coconut Candy Scrub

Odylique Organic Coconut Candy Scrub* is a moisturising hydrating exfoliating scrub. It was awarded the Best Body Scrub in the Natural Health Awards 2016 -, and rightly so!

This Vegan-friendly scrub is composed of poppy seeds and Fairtrade sugar cane, on a base of moisturising virgin coconut and cocoa bean butter. It smells absolutely delicious and feels like a treat to the skin. I would apply this as moisturising alternative to usual soaps in the shower. Pat dry and apply your moisturiser of choice for super soft skin.

Odylique Organic Coconut Candy Scrub is 100% natural and kind to the environment. It does not contain harmful plastic microbeads therefore avoiding sea and ocean pollution.

Overall I do love Odylique Organic Coconut Candy Scrub (£25). It can be purchased online from Odylique website and from one of my favourites - Feelunique. I would recommend this anyone who loves coconut scented body products. It also works well for those who have dry or sensitive skin who need to exfoliate their skin prior to applying fake tans.

Love it or Leave It? Leave a comment below!

Livia
| The Skin and Beauty Blog
*Press sample. All views are my own.

17/04/2017

Odylique Organic Coconut Candy Scrub

MAC Next To Nothing Foundation & Powder Review Swatches NC30
MAC Next To Nothing Foundation & Powder Review Swatches

The selfie generation has inspired MAC's latest line of face bases, notably MAC Next To Nothing Powder and Foundation. Aimed at giving you an Instagram-worthy complexion, I eagerly tubed my way to my nearest MAC store at St Pancras Station to find my perfect shade.

As a MAC veteran, I know my usual foundation colours: NC25-30, C3 or Medium Plus. I'm glad I personally went to swatch these as the shades seem to vary quite a bit.

MAC Next to Nothing Face Colour Foundation. This is a sheer runny tint-like formula that gives a dewy shiny look, but with a comfortable non-sticky natural finish. It feels weightless on the skin. You will still need to prep with moisturiser beforehand as unexpectedly, it is not particularly moisturising. I expected to walk away with Medium Plus, but the shades leaned a bit orange so I came away with Medium instead. It doesn't cover much in the way of blemishes and so its probably one to use on good-skin-days. I've swatched it below compared to MAC Pro Longwear NC25, and you can tell its a lot darker, shinier and sheerer.

MAC Pro Longwear Foundation NC25 & MAC Next to Nothing Foundation Medium Review Swatches
MAC Pro Longwear Foundation NC25 & MAC Next to Nothing Foundation Medium

MAC Next To Nothing Powder Medium Plus Review, Swatches NC30
MAC Next To Nothing Powder Medium Plus Review, Swatches

MAC Next To Nothing Powder Pressed.
This is a sheer to medium coverage powder with a soft light-reflective sheen. If you look closely, you can see fine sparkles reminiscent of the Revlon Photoready Foundation. I would liken this to a skin-toned MAC Beauty Powder. I've picked out the shade in Medium Plus as Medium looked too ashy. It looks great with foundation, but alone you can tell on swatches below compared to MAC NC41 Studio Fix Powder Plus that it can still lean a bit cool-toned. It lasts quite well for a sheer powder, about three hours before I need a top up. It adds a beautiful glow to the skin and I do love it.

MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation NC41 & MAC Next To Nothing Powder Medium Plus Review, Swatches
MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation NC41 & MAC Next To Nothing Powder Medium Plus Review, Swatches

Overall, I recommend MAC Next To Nothing Powder as it adds something new to my collection. Most of my face powders are quite matte so a face base with a subtle glowy sheen is welcomed. MAC Next To Nothing Foundation on the otherhand is sheer much like a tinted non-moisturiser and its glowy effects are similar to one of my favourite primers, Laura Mercier Tinted moisturiser SPF 20, but without the SPF; so its something that's nice to have but not essential to my personal collection.

Have you tried MAC Next To Nothing Powder or Foundation? 
Leave a comment below!

Livia
| The Skin and Beauty Blog

02/04/2017

MAC Next To Nothing Powder & Foundation

Latest Instagrams

© The Skin and Beauty Blog. Design by Fearne.