Monthly Archives

October 2014

Beauty Boxes

Glossybox October 2014 Review

October 29, 2014


It’s not secret that Glossybox and I have had our ups and downs over the last 6 months and despite cancelling my box I’ve somehow still ended up subscribing. Thankfully they’ve managed to win me over with this month’s Pop Art theme which has been absolutely fantastic and well worth my monthly sub.

This first thing that’s a little different about this month’s box, is that the product card you usually receive is now online. Great if you can keep your crummy hands off opening the e-mail until your box arrives, but unfortunately I peeked because I couldn’t help myself. There was also no glossy mag but I’m all up for saving the environment so I don’t mind.


NUXE – CRÈME FRAÎCHE® DE BEAUTÉ MASK – £19.50 for 50ml – Full Size Received

The first thing I checked was whether this was cruelty free and it seems to be after confirming with their FAQs. This is billed as a 24 hour moisturising mask which helps to soothe and reduce redness. The instructions say to leave the mask on for 10 minutes and then either rub it into the skin or wipe off with toner, so I’m quite excited to try this out. After trying a little on my hand although the smell is a little less than desirable my hand did feel quite soft afterwards, although I opted for rinsing it off under the sink. I’ll definitely be giving this a go sometime next week to see how my face gets on with it.




ÊTRE BELLE COSMETICS – LIPLIFT PEEL – €12.95 for 15ml – Full Size Received

Again my research tells me this is not tested on animals and should be cruelty free. Brilliant news because I’m super excited to give this a whirl. I often get dried lips, especially in Summer and Winter so have a quick fix like this will really help. Simply massage onto the lip area and rinse. No nonsense, no fuss and hopefully lovely smooth lips!



SO SUSAN COSMETICS – FLUTTER MASCARA – £14.95 for 4ml – Full Size

I do already own this mascara I have to admit and it’s been sat unopened in my “mascara” drawer (issues I know!). I’ve enjoyed all the So Susan products I’ve acquired over the past few months so I’m hoping this one will be no exception. The price is a little steep and I’m pretty good at avoiding paying full price for pretty much everything so I’m not sure that this is something I would actively seek out to buy but it’s been bumped up my “mascara to open next” list by quite a few so I’ll see how it goes!



CIATÉ LONDON – PAINT POT – £9 for 13.5ml – Full Size

One of the reasons this month’s box was so appealing was definitely this full size beauty. Both Gem and I have quite a collection (obsession) of these and they are definitely one of our favorite brands of nail varnish. The finish and look is so perfect and the longevity of the colours beats a lot of other products I’ve used in the past. I’d not owned a nice blue from Ciate so this gorgeous bright and bold colour named “Skinny Jeans” was a more than welcome addition to my collection. I’ve had it on my nails since it arrived and I’ll be hard pushed if I’m going to change it for another few days I’m so in love. Gem received a lovely green in hers which I also want!



YVES ROCHER FRANCE – QUELQUES NOTES D’AMOUR – £33 for 30ml – 5ml Sample Received

I’m always pretty so so about receiving fragrance samples. The reality is that even though they may smell nice, I never really repurchase them with the exception of Katy Perry which I instead asked for as a gift. Still, providing they smell nice, they are quite handy for when I go away, for festivals and gigs. This fragrance is quite pretty though and is a pretty great Autumnal smell with notes of damascus rose, guaiac wood and patchoul it’s not too heavy and very wearable for the day.  £33 seems pretty reasonable for this though and it might be something I’d think about repurchasing at some point when I can justify it.


RIMMEL LONDON – BB CREAM MATTE – £6.99 for 30ml – 8ml  Sample Received

This is probably the least exciting out of the box. I’ve not really got on with BB creams since they became such a trend. Mostly because even when opting for the lightest shade, they still turn out a tad orange. Although I received a sample in “light” it’s still a little too dark for my skin but there is less of an orange undertone to this one. I reckon this is destined for my summer skin drawer where it should give me better coverage when I become a victim of tanned when daring to brave the sun for more than 5 minutes. In terms of application, I’m not sure how impressed I am with this. It’s a little heavy and I have the feeling it may dry my skin out if I use too much of it. Having tested it on my hand, it does give a pretty nice matte finish so a good dose of moisturiser may help with the heaviness when applying – unfortunately they only have this in Light and Medium, but a shade or two lighter would have been perfect for my skin!


This month’s box has definitely made up for a bunch of bad ones and I love the theme, the box and the contents to go with it. I’ll still be subscribing for now and crossing my fingers that the next few month’s are equally as good.

You can subscribe to Glossybox for just £10 per month plus postage and packaging here. You can also buy 3, 6 and 12 month subscriptions which are perfect for gifts especially around this time of year!

Have you received the Pop Art Edition yet? If so, I’d love to know what you received and what you thought!

Totally hellbent for a little art with my makeup

– Pants


Hershey’s and Pepsi Flavoured Lotta Love Lip Balms

October 28, 2014

Hersheys Lip Balms 1 Hersheys Lip balms 2 Hersheys Lip balms 3

I’m an avid collector of flavoured lip-balms, I think it’s because it reminds me of being a pre-teen and spending my hard earned pocket money on the little tubs from The Body Shop, so when I saw this set of four Hersheys balms for only £2.99 in my local B&M  I snapped it up right away!

I thought at first they were import Lipsmackers, but they are made by a company called Lotta Luv who actually license lip balms from quite a few famous brands.

I’ll admit to only trying three of the four as not only am I allergic to peanuts but I hate the smell of them , so the Reeces Pieces balm will be finding a home with my boyfriend who loves the stuff (and stealing all my lip balms!)

Now the three I have used are marvellous Hershey’s, Hershey’s Kisses and Hershey’s caramel are all very sweet chocolate scents, yet they all do smell different and like they products they emulate! I became a huge fan of Hershey’s chocolate when I visited New York, it doesn’t quite taste like anything we have here in England, and though you can find it here occasionally it’s quite difficult to track down unless you go to a dedicated imported sweets shop. Well now I can save my waistline and still indulge in Americana nostalgia!

Hershey’s and Hershey’s Kisses are lightly tinted, which I love for adding a touch of colour on lazy days. All three have a lovely buttery texture, and though novelty flavoured lip-balms never quite seem to have the moisturizing power of other less interesting balms, they make up for it with the fun factor!

H Pepsi Lip Balm

As great as the little box set is, though, this Pepsi Wild Cherry balm is my absolute new favourite in the whole world and it only cost me 59p! As with the Hershey’s this is made by Lotta Love and has a similar texture, but the tint is much stronger making it a perfect contender for a casual day lip.

Unfortunately I  haven’t seen any on-line stores stocking these lip balms, but both can be found on Amazon and Ebay with a little luck, else you can try and track them down in a local B&M store.

What’s your favourite flavoured lip balm?

Totally hellbent for all the yummy flavours with none of the yucky calories!

– Gem



Adventures in Rotterdam

October 27, 2014

Rotterdam Adventures51Rotterdam Adventures21Rotterdam Adventures11Rotterdam Adventures111Rotterdam Adventures101Rotterdam Adventures81Rotterdam Adventures61Rotterdam Adventures41Rotterdam Adventures31Rotterdam Adventures131Rotterdam Adventures121


I’m finally back and recovered from my latest trip to the mainland to see my other half, and thought I’d share some of my favourite moments from the trip to cheer me up.

Considering how many times I’ve been to Rotterdam now I realised that I’d not seen quite a few of it’s more famous landmarks, so we took a stroll through the north of the city centre where you can find the famous floating cube houses. Just across the way is the new market with it’s gorgeous foodie mural and delicacies of all kind (including my favourite stroopwaffel ice-cream <3).

On the other side of the city I finally got a good look at the Maas river, including the olde docks and striking Erasmus bridge. The sun was shining with bright blue skies for most of the week, but it was especially enjoyable along the riverside when we stopped to nibble on some frites special – chips with Dutch mayonnaise, shoarma sauce and tiny chopped raw onions – yummy!

Most yummy of all though was our adventure to Bij Resteraunt Spirit. A vegan buffet restaurant that satisfied all the cravings of my deepest dreams! As you can see from my plate I just had to try lots of things including risotto balls, chilli setain, gourmet cabbage and rocket ravioli – what a mix! I’ll definitely be taking another trip there next time I’m in the Netherlands, and in the mean time will be crossing all my fingers that someone in the UK catches on to this awesome idea!

Finally here is an obligatory selfie from our adventures!


Totally hellbent for Rotterdam!

– Gem

Vegan, Vegetarian

The Vegan Kind #TVK12 October Box Review

October 19, 2014


I have a slight confession to make in that I actually received this box about a week and a half ago and I’m afraid that I can’t keep using the “puppy” as a good enough excuse for not blogging more frequently! (Although that is totally the truth) I’ve had a busy month so far in terms of work which is great, but unfortunately this means a few late nights and my inability to want to sit in front of the computer for a minute longer once I’m done, favoring sitting in bed with an early grey and a biscuit. Still, it’s the weekend and I’m so enthused by this month’s box that I have to get this blog out so I devour whats left of the contents!

It’s hard to believe that this is the 12th box and The Vegan Kind have corrected me in saying their official birthday is actually November, but this is still my favorite monthly box and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Each month I receive delicious Vegan treats and a lifestyle extra and not to mention the 10p donation to a good animal charity from each box. This month’s is the Manchester and Cheshire dogs home which is a very worthy cause and I’d already donated a little something a few months ago after the horrific tragedy. So here’s to the twelfth box and many many more and since next month is apparently the official birthday, I hope they have something special planned!



Angelic Gluten Free Double Chocolate Cookies – 125g (RRP £2.60)

What’s that you say? Reduced fat, gluten free, dairy free, wheat free and 75 calories per cookie? YES!!! I’ll admit, after I took my photos (which were pretty rushed due to the bad weather/lighting/work commitments and my inability to contain my hunger) I indulged in one of these. Now we aren’t talking a Millies scrumptiously gooey, warm cookie here, but my gods this is pretty darn good. I would have no qualms eating these for the rest of eternity and by passing all other cookies if I had to. I’ve also been following weight watchers the past four weeks (preemptive Christmas strategy is probably something to do with that too) and I can confirm that each cookie is only 2 Pro Points for those that are interested.

You can get down with some guilt free face stuffing cookies here.


Howdah Onion Bhajis – 100g (RRP £2.39)

Another delicious snack on this month’s menu are these “Onion Bhaji” snacks. Packing quite a punch with each bite, they are a wonderful bit of savory style nom when you are in the mood for … well … “something”. My only downside is the pretty high calories and fat content per 25g serving. (3 Pro Points per 25g serving) so not a packet to devour all in one go and definitely one to measure out in the kitchen instead of taking the whole thing with you.

Check out their range here.


Premae Skincare Triumph Creme Balm – 10ml sample (RRP £33.66)

I am a fan of no nonsense moisturisers, so a cruelty free moisturiser is right up my street. With added anti-ageing Vitamin A, C and K, I couldn’t ask for more. The sample is a pretty decent size too although I’m not sure I would spend £51 on the full size 15ml version. It feels quite luxurious on the skin and I didn’t react to it at all which is a good thing, so I guess I’ll see how it holds when used on a regular basis.

For more of the premae skin care range, visit their website.


Landgarten Organic Dark Chocolate Covered Raspberries – 90g (RRP £1.99)

I’ve tried some of Landgarten products before – chocolate covered soya beans to be exact and they were very scrummy. I’m therefore holding high hopes for these chocolate covered raspberries. Another snack bound for a workout day but exciting none the less!

To see their yummy chocolate covered treats, visit their site here.


Nom Organic Oat Bar – 52g (RRP £1.49)

This seems a perfect breakfast substitute (pre gym of course again due to the high calories!). Being vegan, organic and having a low GI I’m going to enjoy nibbling on this before a intensive workout – although I may indulge in only half of the bar! You can pick these up in a few places including Ocado so I’m bound to see these around.


As always with each month’s box, you get a recipe card for your beautiful Vegan Kind ring binder which you now receive on month 6 of your subscription. This month is from Little Miss Meat Free and is a scrumptious looking Ombre Vanilla Dream Cake – definitely something I’ll be making nearer the festive season.

Read more about their product here.

I really take my invisible hat off to The Vegan Kind for successfully delivering such a great box over the past year (almost), each month has been as exciting as the last and I’ve been opened up to so many amazing Vegan products, including the lifestyle items that I never imagined could exist – deodorant, washing powder, washing up liquid and moisturiser to name a few. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for them as I hope they only get bigger and better.

If you’d like to try this box out, you can do so for just £10 plus p&p per month via their website here.

Totally hellbent for supporting such a great box!

– Pants


Summer Empties 2014 – Body

October 15, 2014


Since I’ve been away from blogging for what seems like almost all of Summer, I’ve had a whole host of empties collecting dust in my craft room waiting to be photographed and reviewed, so instead of your typical May, June, July empty post, I’ll be posting the products I’ve used up over this summer over the next few weeks as we move into those horrible dark evenings and frosty mornings.

  1. Molton Brown Ylang Ylang Shower Gel & Body Lotion Impressions: I picked these up in one of my earlier Birchbox’s, I was pretty excited to discover that a few month’s after receiving the Shower Gel and I also had the matching Body Lotion. I’ve only recently used these in a bid to try and use up some of my vast and frankly quite worrying collection.  My overall impression was that the smell was absolutely gorgeous, although I seemed to need a lot of the Shower Gel to feel clean, even though I was using my trusty shower puff. The lotion went on better but was a little thin and “drippy”, meaning I ended up dropping some on the carpet instead of on my body. Despite that my body was left with a beautiful light fragrance all day which I was pretty happy about
    Cost: £18 for 300ml of the Body Wash £25 for 300ml of the Body Lotion £42 for 300ml of both the Body Wash & Body Lotion
    Where can I buy this: Molton Brown Website
    Repurchase: Probably not – I mean it smelt nice – but so does almost everything at The Body Shop. For such an expensive brand I wasn’t -that- blown away. I think this is more a of a status buy – you know – something you have on display in your bathroom to make you look more upperclass.

  3. Avon Planet Spa Fantastically Firming Body Polisher Impressions: I wasn’t expecting much as I’ve never been a massive fan of Avon’s shower range, but I was pretty blown away by this. It smelt gorgeous and was really exfoliating, unlike some of their products I’ve tried before which hasn’t really had that “sand paper” effect I so desire. The fragrance didn’t really last as I always use body wash after exfoliating anyway, but I felt lovely and clean!
    Cost: I picked this up at a discounted rate in my demo book, but it was available for less than £3
    Where can I buy this: Unfortunately it’s no longer on sale for the next few campagins, but keep checking the the Avon online shop or your local representitive for details of it’s return.
    Repurchase: Maybe – there are other exfoliating scrubs I have on my “to try” and “rebuy” lists before this one, but if I see it around at a fair price again I’ll definitely be picking some more up.

  5. The Body Shop Strawberry Body Polish Impressions: This is still from my Christmas stash (which is still going may I add) and I have used this before. It’s full of seeds and grains which is a nice touch but it’s not rough enough for me. Alas it smells nice, especially when layered with the other products in the range and it didn’t leave me skin too dry which it has done previously.
    Cost: £5.00
    Where can I buy this: The Body Shop UK
    Repurchase: Probably not, unless I receive this for Christmas (which I won’t complain about) I’m probably not going to be buying it myself.

  7. Rituals Zensation Organic Rice Millk & Cherry Blosson Foaming Shower Gel Impressions: This has been absolutely amazing! It’s kind of like a shaving foam so this little can went a very long way. The great thing about it dispensing this way is you can control how much product you want, it’s really foamy and doesn’t drip everywhere and is small enough to just leave in your hand bag. (Great if you are having a few unexpected nights away and needs to freshen up in an unfamilar shower!) I actually took this away with me to Scotland and ended up using it as a hand wash as well as shower gel. The scent is also gorgeous and stuck with me throughout most of the day.
    Cost: £8.50
    Where can I buy this: Rituals UK Website
    Repurchase: I’ll definitely be looking out for this come Summer time next year and stocking up.

  9. The Body Shop Strawberry Shower Gel Impressions: As with the body polish, I’ve used this before. It’s pretty pleasant to use and similar to their the rest of their Body Wash range. The scent is a light but not overly chemically or synthetic Strawberry which makes layering these products very nice indeed.These big bottles seem to last me a fair while too, especially if I’m using a “shower-puff”.
    Cost: £2
    Where to buy: The Body Shop UK
    Repurchase: As with the body polish, probably not but I wont be disapointed if it turns up under my tree this year.

  11. The Body Shop Olive Oil Shower Gel Impressions: This was actually my second bottle of this. I’d bought it to try as my skin is quite sensitive and can become very dry and Olive based products is supposed to help. Having said that I didn’t notice much different, although it didn’t dry my skin out. I wasn’t too keen on the scent though.
    Cost: From £2
    Where to buy: Currently unavailable via the website, but check out the rest of the Olive range at The Body Shop UK
    Repurchase: Probably not. I tried it, it was Okay but not that great so not something I’ll be buying again.

  13. Gilchrist & Soames Shower Gel Impressions: I actually reviewed this not so long ago and was incredibly disappointed with it. Hotel tat comes to mind – you know the stuff you are left you find in your room when you go to a cheap European hotel? You can read my full review here.
    Cost: From £11 (How do people spend this much money on this?)
    Where can I buy this: The Gilchrist & Soames UK site
    Repurchase: Definitely not. I’ll wait until the next time I end up in a3 star hotel in Holland to get my fill of cheap “hand wash” shower gel thankyou very much.

  15. Noble Isle Bath & Body Wash Impressions: Hmm again, this struck me as the sort of thing you’d find in a hotel room but it was at least much nicer than Gilchrist & Soames. I managed to get a few washes out of it, it lathered well and it smelt quite nice. I can’t really say any more on it so it couldn’t have had the “wow” factor.
    Cost: £20
    Where can I buy this: Noble Isle website
    Repurchase: No. Although after taking a nosy at their website, I am very much in love with some of their packaging for Christmas Gifts.


Thus concludes my first ever empties post! Finally! Keep your eyes peeled for my next installments of Summer empties. Have you tried any of the products above? If so I’d love to know your thoughts below.

Totally hellbent for remembering the glory of summer by reviewing all of the empties

– Pants


Free L’Occitane Hand Cream with Marie Claire

October 14, 2014


It’s delicious freebie time and this month you can pick up a free L’Occitane Hand Cream with any copy of Marie Claire. If you’ve not tried any of their hand creams, now is probably the time. They are absolutely gorgeous and leave hands feeling wonderfully soft without the sticky residue of most creams.

This month there will be four to choose from, classic Shea Butter and the limited edition scents: Vanilla Bouquet, Delightful Rose and Zesty Lime each worth an amazing £8. I’ve so far managed to find Vanilla and Rose and after testing our the Zesty Lime, I’m definitely going to be on the hunt for it!

Make sure you keep an eye out for them in your local supermarkets, corner shops and newsagents!

Have you picked any of these up yet? If so, let us know what you think in the comments below.

Totally hellbent for free L’Occitane any day of the week



The Make-up Addict Tag

October 8, 2014

The Make-up addict tag

We were tagged by the lovely Jaq at Lazy Days Beauty (you can read her answers here) and we have to say we’re feeling quite guilty at admitting to quite how much make-up we have accumulated and just how deep the cosmetic addiction goes. Not guilty enough to stop us buying more though!


What product do you still keep buying more of despite having plenty in your collection?

Gem: Er. Everything? Lipsticks and palettes are probably the products I find hardest to resist. 

Pants: Yeah again – everything, but mostly red lipsticks :oS.

What’s the one product you can’t live without?

Gem: Eyebrow pencil/powder. I think it’s the one thing that makes me look well put together even if I’m having a bad skin day or have bags under my eyes. If I could stretch it to two though I’d definitely throw a good concealer in there!

Pants: I’d have to say eyebrow powder/pencil and gel. Gem and I were discussing this on the way back from the gym yesterday actually. If we had to go without all our makeup, we could definitely survive providing we had good eyebrows.

Favourite makeup brand?

Gem: Benefit, I’m well aware that I can only wear one blusher at a time but that doesn’t mean I don’t need them all! 

Pants: Hmm I’m also a massive fan of Benefit, but theBalm is also definitely on par for me.

How big is your makeup collection?

Gem: Far too big.

Pants: Problematic.

And how do you like to store it?

Gem: I have a four drawer dressing table with a three drawer unit next to it that houses things that I don’t reach for very often with acrylic storage on top for my lipsticks and everyday essentials. Then I have a work make-up bag and a gigging day make-up bag and two zebra print hard cosmetics cases. Plus the piles that accumulate all over my office. God it’s just everywhere…

Pants: Well, I have a dressing table next to my bed with one drawer and plenty of items on top, but I also have a Malm unit with the mirror on the top, three little drawers and three big ones. Unfortunately I tend to hoard a lot of my makeup in my craft room where it’s out of sight when I’m yet to review it, so I’d say it pretty much takes over everywhere!

How many items of makeup have you got in your handbag at the moment?

Gem: Six lipsticks, three lip-balms, a concealer and an eyebrow pencil. That wouldn’t be too bad if I didn’t tote a separate make-up bag around with me usually too! 

Pants: Hmm not too many actually. My current hand bag has a lipstick, a lipbalm, some headache balm, three hand creams (why!!!!) and a blusher. Although usually I take a little makeup bag with me too so these are just bottom of the bag products.

If you could raid another blogger’s stash, who would it be?

Gem: Lets go right for the big dogs and say Pixiwoo as I’m pretty sure they have everything I’ve ever wanted ever plus an unending stash of Real Technique brushes!

Pants: Hmm this is hard. I might go for Miss Makeup Magpie – her collection seems to range from budget to the more expensive end of the market which gives a nice variety.

How long does your usual makeup routine take and how many products do you use?

Gem: I can do my daytime make-up in about fifteen minutes, but I do like to take a bit longer if I have the time! I use primer, PoreFessional, foundation, concealer, power, blusher, highlighter, brow powder, eye primer, some combination of shades from Naked 3, eye-liner, mascara, lipstick and lipcote so that’s fourteen. Gosh that’s quite a lot isn’t it. Stage make-up can take a lot longer with a much bigger list! 

Pants: I guess it depends where I’m going. If I’m just popping out for 5 minutes, then 10 minutes of mascara and eyebrow application will do me. If we are going on stage, I like to spend longer perfecting my base and even longer playing around with my face at the venue. If I’m having a can’t be bothered kind of day, then I generally just moisturise and if I want to make a bit more effort I’ll add in some eyebrow powder and gel, primer, face powder and mascara. Anything over this usually involves concealer, eye primer, highlighter, bronzer (for a little contour), eyeshadow, eyeliner, blusher, lipstick and lipcote if I’m not using a stain oh and makeup setting spray.

Have you ever bought makeup knowing you wouldn’t use it?

Gem: I can’t resist any sort of bargain, so I’ve definitely picked up things I knew I probably wouldn’t use just because it was on offer. This is why I am both poor and drowning in make-up!

Pants: Probably 60% of the time, of which I blame Gemma entirely.

Tag a few other makeup addicts to do the tag!

We’re tagging:

Simone of 30 Something OAP
Aimee of Aimee Belle Blogs
& Mish of MishMreow

Totally hellbent for waaaay too  much make-up!
– Gem & Pants


Pretty Budget Stationary by Wilkinsons – Balance Collection

October 3, 2014
Wilkinsons Budget Pretty Stationary

Wilkinsons Budget Pretty Stationary

Wilkinsons Budget Pretty Stationary

Wilkinsons Budget Pretty Stationary Notepad

Wilkinsons Budget Pretty Stationary Notepad

Balance Weekly Planner Pad [£1.00]

Balance  A5 Notebook [£1.50]

Balance A5 Ring-bound Notebook [£1.50 – not available online]

Balance Set of Three Shopping List Notebooks [£0.75]

Balance Handbag Pen [£2.00]

Just when I thought I had successfully navigated September’s “Back to School” without a massive and unnecessary stationary haul…

I get a lot of my stationary from Wilkinsons, they always have office necessities and lovely non-necessities at much lower prices than WH Smiths, Paperchase and Staples. I found this whole pretty set for under a tenner, and with lovely birds and a colour scheme that almost matches my hair, -and- a new work project to make a thousand notes about I just had to have them!

The full collection has a whole array of items including a nail file and a compact mirror and starts at only 25p, but I stuck to the bits and pieces I actually-sort-of-needed….this time!

They are all lovely quality for the price, and now I feel ready to get organised and fill them all with millions of ideas! I think the planner pad is going to be perfect for plotting out blog posts and keeping me on track in general, and I just love handwriting when it comes to both brainstorming and lyric writing so I always have to have a notebook on hand.

You can check out the whole collection online  here, or find them in Wilkinsons stores.

Totally hellbent for new stationary meaning more productivity!

– Gem