Friday, 19 July 2013

July 2013 Glossybox Review

Glossybox is a monthly subscription of 5 high-end beauty product samples (with some full-size products sometimes, too) for £10 + £2.95 p+p)

You can earn Glossydots by reviewing the products in a quick survey, or by inviting friends, and redeem points for a free box.  Each survey is worth 50 points, so if you review 5 products a month, every 5th Glossybox should be free.  You get 200 Glossydots for every friend that signs up and places an order (1000 Glossydots = 1 free box) 

The June Glossybox theme is 'Seaside Splash' - the all-in-one pamper package that won't leave you high and dry.  The box is bright blue with seashells etc, and makes a nice change from the usual pink.

The first product in the box was Bamboo Style Boho Waves Tousled Texture Mist by Alterna Haircare.  It claims to add texture, volume and healthy shine to all hair types to create that 'just back from the beach' look.  

The bottle says that it can be applied to either damp or dry hair, and should be sprayed from roots to tips then shaped with fingers to create a loose, tousled style.  It basically works like any other sea salt type stray, and gives a really nice end result.  I used it when I was going out for a long day and didn't have time to dry my hair before I left, it ended up really nice and thick and shiny and didn't get too matted or tangled.

It contains Organic Bamboo Extract - to boost hair's strength, flexability and sustainability for stronger, healthier hair and also Blue Yucca Root, a natural fixative which is high in starch to create long-lasting style and hold.  The organic ingredients are grown responsibly and traded ethically, with their production and sales helping to support local communities whilst remaining ethically friendly.

It is also free from Sulphates, Sodium Chloride, Parabens, Gluten, TEA and Phthalates.

Although I enjoy using the product, I think that at £23/125ml, it is way overpriced, however, if they brought out say, a 50ml bottle for £5, I would definitely buy it.

Available to buy from for £18.40 with free shipping.

The second product in the box was Coola Mineral face SPF20 Unscented, a mineral sunscreen with a Titanium Dioxide formula for those who are Zinc sensitive.  it contains 98% natural ingredients, including:

Organic Acai Oil - high in Omegas 3, 6 & 9, Vitamins B1,2&3 plus antioxidant Vitamins C and E.

Organic Sunflower Seed Extract - promotes elasticity.

Organic Linseed Oil - contains Alpha-Linolenic Acids, which reduce redness and irritation.

Plankton Extract - rejuvinating phyto-protector.

Organic Cucumber Extract - calms skin.

It is also hypoallergenic, paraben free, ultra sheer, anti-aging, water resistant for upto 40 minutes, and contains no nano-sized particles, which aren't absorbed properly by the skin.

The directions say to apply evenly over the face in upwards strokes, and you'll have SPF protection in 30 minutes.  It also says to reapply every 2 hours (sooner if in water).

I used this on my long day in the sun, and only caught a bit of colour on my nose, but to be fair, I didn't reapply at all because I had it on underneath my makeup (which also had SPF).

Although I like the idea of this sunscreen being organic and mainly natural, I don;t feel that the price accurately reflects the value of the product.  You can buy face sunscreens from Boots or superdrug or Tesco etc for about £6/75ml, but this costs a whopping £29.99/50ml.  And it's only SPF 20!

Next up is Anatomicals Spray Misty For Me Facial Spritz - for normal, dry or sensitive skin.  It is a mix of lavander and peppermint extracts to refresh and rehydrate skin.  It can be used after cleansing to refresh the face, or after makeup to set your look.

This will definitely be a summer staple as it does exactly what it says on the tin (or bottle...) and is perfect for this sticky, humid, freak of nature weather we're having in the UK at the moment.

The packaging is pretty cute, with a lilac bottle and yellow spray pump, complete with Clint Eastwood on the back (Play Misty For Me), and it is a pretty decent size for the price, as with most Anatomicals Products - £6/100ml.

Unfortunately, I can't find this product available to buy ANYWHERE.  If you know where I can find it, please leave a comment below!

Number 4 in the July box is Pout Paint from Sleek - A range of intensive, long-lasting lip pigments that are made to be mixed to create your perfect shade.  I received 2 shades - Milkshake - a coral pink, and Peek a Bloo, a bright blue used to darken/cool the other shades.

I'm not going to lie, I wish I'd received a red and a blue, or a red and a pink, because mixing these two together gives you a lilac colour similar to the Anatomicals bottle, and that doesn't look at all good on my skin tone.  The pink on its own looks fine, though.

They last a good amount of time and don't dry your lips, which is great when you're super dehydrated from this heat.  I found the best way to apply them was to put a TINY dot on the back of my hand and use a lip brush to get it exactly where I want it and not let it feather outside my lips etc.

The colours are super pigmented, and I've read a lot of reviews comparing them to OCC Lip Tars, they seem pretty similar from swatches, and are half the price at £4.99/8ml

Available to buy from and Superdrug

The final product in the box was a pack of Sleek Sticks Nail Stickers from Essie.  I haven't had chance to try them myself yet, as I have been doing way too much stuff with my hands and don't want to risk ruining them!

'Discover a whole new way to essie with our sleek stick nail wraps.  Now you can re-create chic looks fresh from the runway without picking up a brush. Essie’s UV-cured nail wraps mimic the feel of handcrafted nail art and last up to 10 days.'

I got a pack in crocodile print, although I prefer to think of it as giraffe print because I have a slight obsession.  They look great and very high quality.

The instructions say to make sure your nails are clean, pick a strip closest to the size of your nail, apply and buff off the excess with a nail file - simple!

One pack costs £9.99, and is enough for one application - quite expensive, but I'll write another blog when I have tried them to let you know if they're worth it!

Overall, the July 2013 box was a vast improvement on the past few boxes, but there were still a couple of the other items that I quite liked the look of - Ciaté Paint Pots and the other colours of Pout Paints.  Let's hope the August box is just as good!

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Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Review: Clearasil Ultra Seal To Clear Spot Treatment Gel

Have you ever had one of those days where you wake up and you can feel a spot just waiting under your skin, preparing to ruin your day?  Unless you have been blessed by some higher power, the answer is probably yes.  And unfortunately, at 22 and a half years old, I still get them at least once a week.

Over the past... 10+ years, I've tried all the home 'treatments' for spots - toothpaste, ice, lemon juice, tea tree, face washes, face scrubs, face masks, and always ended up with it staying exactly the same or getting worse - one bad face mask left me with a red, burning face and the spots looking angrier than ever.

In March I had a bit of time on my lunch break and went into Home Bargains looking at the beauty products.  I saw Clearasil Ultra Rapid Action Seal To Clear Gel and figured I could give it a shot.  I didn't expect it to work but at least I would feel like I was being proactive.

The packaging claims that it will 'visibly reduce spot size and redness in 4 hours. The seal helps hold the spot-fighting ingredients on the spot as it clears.'  It forms an invisible barrier to help protect spots and attacks them with Salicylic Acid 2%.  

Salicylic acid acts as an exoliant, and helps encourage the shedding of skin cells - which occurs less in acne-prone skin.  2% is the highest concentration of Salicylic acid which can be purchased over the counter.

As it is a chemical exfoliant, you may experience a slight burning sensation (if this persists, discontinue use) or dry, peeling skin (a good, oil-free moisturiser can sort that out).

The directions say to apply a drop of the gel onto spots morning and night, but if I'm not going anywhere, I will reapply every 4 hours or so, and it really does make a big difference in the size of my spots - breakouts that would usually last a few days to over a week now last 1-2 days.  

I do experience dryness and some flaking of the skin around the areas I apply it to, but I use a good water based moisturiser and Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant and it usually gets back to normal pretty quickly.

One of my favourite things about the gel is that, because it creates an invisible barrier and dries pretty quickly, I can apply my makeup over the top and I'm still getting the benefits of the spot treatment when I'm out - I don't have to sit inside for 4 hours and wait to wash it off.

The packaging is great, as it comes in a little tube like a lipgloss - perfect for your makeup bag or handbag.  You get 12ml of product, and mine has lasted 3 months so far and doesn't look like it's set to run out any time soon.

The gel is currently on offer from 7 Day Cosmetics, at £2.45 down from £6.50, and I would highly recommend taking advantage of the deal.

It is also available from a variety of shops on ebay (check the seller's rating before purchasing!), for £3.74 on Amazon, for £5.37 at ChemistDirect or for £6 at Tesco.

There are a lot of Salicylic Acid products on the market, including face washes, scrubs, lotions and creams, but I feel that this is an excellent place to start.

If you try it, let me know what you think of it in the comments below!

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