Browsing Tag

Beauty Boxes

Beauty Boxes

Why I’m cancelling my beauty boxes

January 19, 2015

Glossybox January 2014

After what feels like forever, I’ve finally decided to cancel my Glossybox.

Glossybox was my first subscription box, and to be honest I’ve had a good run, but lately I’ve found myself getting less and less excited by the service, and after one too many disappointing boxes I’ve decided to take a break from not only Glossybox, but also Birchbox, Love me Beauty and You Beauty Discovery.

One of the main reasons is that my subscription beauty boxes were racking up to nearly £50 a month, and although you generally get far more for your money how often do you really end up with things that you actually want or need? That £50 is a new Urban Decay palette with change left over for the MUA counter, or a half-decent trip to MAC.

I think there has just been one too many lipstick shades I’ll never wear, far too much by way of skincare samples that I’ll never get around to using, and worst of all a stash of dreaded perfume vials.

Unfortunately (or fortunately?) my last Glossybox was actually pretty good, five full size products that all look very nice, however I would never have gone out and purchased any of them individually, so really I’m just bulking up my already overwhelming cosmetic stash with things I could probably live without.

There have been plenty of times where I’ve found wonderful products and brands that I now absolutely couldn’t live without – Laura Mercier Primer, HD Brows powder and Ciate nail polishes all come to mind right away – but they’ve certainly been outnumbered by perfume and skincare samples that I’ve got absolutely no interest in.

I don’t think I’m off the subscription box bug completely though, I’ve decided to keep my Pink Parcel subscription (mostly because of how handy it is – check out my review of this month’s PMT busting box here) and I might order the odd one-off box here and there, but having five or six boxes a month has really taken away the fun of it for me.

When I first started blogging about beauty products, it seemed that I could never get enough new things to try out but in truth it’s all just gathering dust (hypothetically…it’s all organised meticulously in Alex drawers of course…!) and taking up space that I could have filled with things I really really wanted.

If money and storage space weren’t an issue I’d probably keep them all, but both need a serious overhaul in truth so for now it’s bye bye boxes.

How do you feel about beauty subscription boxes? Have they become a bit jaded for you, or do you still wait by the postbox eagerly for your monthy surprise box of treats?

Totally hellbent for deciding what to spend the saved money on!

– Gem

Beauty Boxes

Birchbox Review June 2014 – Global Strikers

June 15, 2014
Birchbox June 2014

Birchbox June 2014Birchbox June 2014

With a cheerful nod towards World Cup season, the June Birchbox has a “Global Strikers” theme and a cute bag emblazoned with the Brazil flag colours. I’m a huge fan of the World Cup, and in fact delayed writing this very blog post so that I could enjoy the England V Italy match fully (IE prepare many beers!). Unfortunately it was a loss for England, but I enjoyed every moment of it none the less!

Before kicking off (hur hur) the first impressions of what was in my box, I have to do a tiny whine and say that some people received a Beauty Blender in their boxes, which is a very desirable find in any box at £26! I didn’t get one, and of course that is the luck of the draw with beauty boxes, and it sort of took away from an otherwise great box knowing I -could- have received such a great item and didn’t!

Birchbox June 2014 - Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre

Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre

First up is a moisturiser from French brand Embryolisse (who I will admit I haven’t heard of before!). It contains shea butter, beeswax, aloe vera and soy proteins and can be used as make-up remover, repairing mask, after-shave care and as a baby-care product as well as being a moisturiser, so a very handy product! A quick swatch has left me with high expectations as it make my skin feel very soft!

5ml Sample

£12.99 from


Birchbox June 2014 - Shea Butter Hair Mask

Silk + Honey Shea Butter Hair Mask

The constant bleach/dye cycle I put my hair through means I need to use this sort of thing quite often to stop it going brittle and keep it in good condition, so I will definitely be giving this a try soon.  When I looked this up on the Birchbox webstore I realised that this is the end product of a kit where you make this hair mask yourself, how awesome! I’m really into home-made beauty treatments so I think I’d definitely enjoy whipping up a batch.


£55 for the set from



O.P.I – Next Stop The Bikini Zone

I was very excited about possibly getting a mini-OPI polish when I saw the June Birchbox spoiler posts, I love the formula and I adore the tiny bottles (which look very cute lined up on display!). I got Next Stop The Bikini Zone from the Brazil Collection, a metallic purple with flecks of shimmer. It looks lovely in the bottle, but unfortunately I found it quite sheer and hard to build up colour on the nail.

In honesty it’s unlikely I will get much wear out of this particular shade as I tend to favour solid colours.

3.75ml Mini

£11.95 for 15ml from


Birchbox June 2014 - Yves Rocher Sheer Botanical Lipstick in Marron Glace

Yves Rocher Sheer Botanical Lipstick  in Marron Glace

Lipsticks are one of my favourite make-up items to find in beauty boxes as I rarely seem to end up with shades that I won’t wear! I actually adore this lipstick already, Marron Glace is a brown toned nude, very my-lips-but-better! It has a gorgeous scent from the infusion of cherry oil, and left my lips feeling amazingly soft and moisturised. Will definitely be looking for a few more shades from this line!

Full Size

£9.90 from


Birchbox June 2014 - Naobay Body Radiance Lotion

Naobay Body Radiance Lotion

Finally an organic body lotion from Spanish brand Naobay. Full of natural ingredients and with a lovely light lemon scent this will definitely be making it into my festival mini-products bag.

30ml Sample

£14.00 from


Birchbox June 2014

LIFESTYLE EXTRA: Birchbox Brazil Inspired Keyring

I do like the little lifestyle extras you get with Birchbox (but I totes like it best when it’s food!). This very summery keyring is quite cute and very fitting for a summer filled with World Cup excitement!

Overall I’d say this -is- a pretty good box, but I can’t shake being miffed that some people got a £26 Beauty Blender and I didn’t! If you’d like to get one of your very own, a monthly subscription costs £10 (+P&P) from!

Totally not hellbent for being green with envy!

– Gem





Beauty Boxes

Glossybox December 2013

December 16, 2013

In some sort of strange parallel Universe, this month Gemma received her Birchbox but not her Glossybox and I, the other way round.

Fortunately, the arrival of my Glossybox was enough to momentarily distract me from my missing box and my excitement at the red theme for this month sent me giddy with joy.






With a beautifully festive red box complete with candy cane tissue paper inside, this months products included the follow:


Wilkinson Sword Intuition – Naturals Razor

The morning this arrived, I was just thinking to myself as I showered – I think it’s time for a new razor. Unlike Gem, I resist the urge to sneak a peek at the contents of my beauty boxes before they arrive so this was a nice surprise. Allegedly you do not need to use shaving foam or soap with this razor, you just wet and go. I’ve had friends who have praised this one, so I will give it a good go!

A bargain full size product at £6.49 which can be bought here.


Bee Nature – Bee Nature Soap

I’m not really a soap person, I find it dries out my skin and it’s a little unhygienic. That aside, I have been known to buy a few handmade soaps to keep small business’ ticking over and because they looked and smelt adorable. This one has a base of honey and poppy seeds and promises to deliver a gentle exfoliating wash for both face and body. Alas it’s cute and quirky so I’m willing to try it out and see how it fares.

A reasonable €5.50 for 100g and can be bought direct from their website.



Maybelline New York – Brow Drama Scultping Mascara

Now I am a fan of my eyebrow products since I currently favour the Elf and MUA Eyebrow kits. I am not sure about Brow Mascara though. I tried something similar a few years back and it never stuck and I’m also a little cautious about this product being a “Dark Brown” shade which may be a tad too dark. Hopefully it will surprise me and I’ll have a new Brow Product to add to my daily routine.

This was full size and is £4.99 for 7.6mls from Boots.


Seche – Nail Lacquer in “Empress”

I’ll admit I’ve never heard of this brand, but I always love a full size nail varnish product to add to my already ridiculous collection. This one is a dark purple colour which is nice, because I usually end up with neutrals or pinks from beauty boxes. When I tried this out, it’s a little darker than I expected and one coat seemed to do the trick! Once my festive fever is over, I will be trying this out in the new year.

This was full size at 14mls and is £9.95 from Liberty.


And finally:

Beautiful Movements Cosmetics – Nude Lip Gloss

Although I purchase lip gloss’ on a fairly regular basis, I’m not a huge fan and I would rather put a nice lipstain or lipstick on. I reluctantly tried this out the yesterday when doing a spot of Christmas shopping and actually it was quite nice. A slight nude tint and non sticky as promised I’m pretty impressed and will probably make an effort to wear this more often!

A half size product at 4mls but still plenty to last a while! The full size 8ml is £12 and available from Beautiful Movement Cosmetics.

So there we have the final Glossybox of the year. I like all the contents, but I’m not sure if I was expecting something a little more … well … festive? Still another box full of reasonably priced cosmetics which I won’t hesitate to repurchase if I fall in love.

You can subscribe to Glossybox here for just for £10 (+ P&P) per month. Glossybox also have giftcards available in 3,6 or 12 month subscriptions. Perfect for a last minute Christmas prezzie!

Totally hellbent for all things seasonally red