Friday, 23 June 2017

Dear Old Friend...

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It's been a while since we last spoke - well over a month since our last brief text exchange. Isn't that strange? For years, I spoke to you every day. I couldn't have imagined this is where we'd end up.


Thursday, 22 June 2017

Birchbox June 2017.

I'm Scottish. I can't cope with heat. June has had my brain melting into a puddle of unproductivity, and I'd apologise but let's be real, you're feeling it too aren't you? I feel like a bit of a summertime Scrooge, but bring back rain - please!

This month's Birchbox was a Birchbag. I am a big fan of the drawer style boxes, especially when they are super cute like this one, but I'm not mad about this bag. I'm (hopefully) going on holiday in the next few months, and this will be pretty handy to carry all the essentials in. I also really like the stripey design, it feels very summery, like beach huts at the seaside. That makes sense, seeing as this month's theme is 'Daytripping'. These items are supposed to be travel-friendly, so let's see what was inside.

MeechNMia Brow Liner in #22, RRP £12.99, full-size sample.

This sample was pretty welcome in my life, as I have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to brows and can use all the help I can get. This pencil is alright, it's not too hard which is the absolute worst when it comes to brow pencils. It's easy to get a good definition with, but it manages to look really natural at the same time. However, the colour I got doesn't really match me, and there are very limited options which is so frustrating to me. Overall I'd say this is okay, but there are probably better cheaper products.

Ecotools Perfecting Blender Duo, RRP £9.99, full-size sample.

I bloody love a blending sponge. I used to struggle with foundation as it always looked streaky, so when Beauty Blenders took over the world I was singing with joy. This little duo was by far the most exciting thing in this box in my opinion! I love the unique shape of these, with both long and short flat sides and a rounded bottom, which makes applying foundation and concealer a dream. The longer side is great for coverage over an expanse of skin and the short is perfect for precision application. I also love that these are made from 70% plant-based materials and that you get both for half the price of one Beauty Blender. They also have a lovely texture and don't absorb loads of product. I'm obsessed.

Cowshed Cow Pat Hand Cream, RRP £8, full-size sample.

I'd usually be pretty disappointed with a hand cream, but I love Cowshed so I wanted to give this a fair chance. And as hand creams go, it's not bad. It sinks in really quickly and doesn't leave you feeling slimy and gross, and it definitely softens the skin. The one thing I can't get over, though, is the smell. It's not necessarily horrible, but it's so bloody strong that it's all I can focus on. The ingredients are a weird mix: there's grapefruit, bitter orange, cinnamon and lavender, which is probably an explanation for the herbally-floral-citrusy weirdness that's attacking my nose. It's a shame because it does its job well, but the perfume is overpowering in the process.

Scrub Love Hydrating Coconut Oil Body Scrub in Coconut Mango, RRP £12.95, sample size worth £3.24 (50g).

I received a Scrub Love product in last month's Glossybox, but I wasn't mad to see another (although it's half the size of the Glossybox sample, just sayin'...) This scrub was actually quite different from that one though, as it was aimed at hydrating the skin instead of cleansing. I actually loved it - the mango butter, coconut and macadamia nut oils left me feeling baby soft, while the coconut flake, shell and sugars gave me a gentle but effective exfoliation. I also loved the smell of this, it's so sweet and fruity that it's almost like using a cocktail as a scrub. I could bathe in that scent, it's so summery and tropical. Great product, and I'm learning that I love this brand!

Origins Original Skin Renewal Serum, RRP £32.50, sample size worth £16.25 (15ml).

I'll admit I wasn't thrilled with how tiny this sample looked until I realised it was half of a full-size product. I gave it a shot for about ten days, and I have to admit I really liked it. I like Origins as a brand anyway, and their products really do seem to make my skin look a little nicer. In this case, I felt like this was half-serum, half-primer, as when I used it underneath makeup I was impressed with how reduced my pores appeared. I personally didn't really see any brightening from it, but it did sink in quickly and left my face feeling smooth to the touch, without any stickiness. It also smells really nice, a slightly floral aroma that isn't overpowering. I just think I could easily use a full-size product in a month, and shelling out £32.50 that regularly is a bit too expensive for me!

Total Box Worth: £50.47
Total Box Price: £13.25 (£10 + £2.95 p&p)
Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Wow. I'm really impressed with this month's bag - it's very, very rare that I find one five star product, never mind two. But I know that these are things that I will definitely buy again, so I'm very pleased with that! 

One little point I need to make that I'd not actually noticed (whoops) is that Birchbox has now stopped their Birchbox Points scheme. In the past, if you reviewed the box and its contents on their website you earned points, and every 100 points = £10 free to use in the Birchbox shop. Now they're offering free delivery and 10% off the items from that month's box (15% off anything in the shop if you've been subscribed for 6+ months). I'm really not impressed with this - after years of being a subscriber, sometimes the only thing stopping me from cancelling my subscription was the benefit of having those points to use in the shop. I'm massively disappointed they've taken this route, as it doesn't really feel like a reward at all. I mean, what would you pick - free item or 10-15% off an item? Hmm.

What did you make of this month's selection? What's your favourite item? 

Monday, 5 June 2017

Mental Health + Relationships - with Charlene McElhinney!

In blogging, there are some faces that stand out and really make their mark. People that others naturally gravitate to, who really make an impact and who everyone knows. For instance, I'm sure you all know who Charlene is. She is one of those amazing people who not only blog so beautifully that everyone pays attention, but she has created her own little community that is just growing in strength and members. She's one of the friendliest faces online and has time for everyone. In fact, she's one of the first friends I made on Twitter, and I have always been so thankful for the kindness she's always shown me.

Friday, 2 June 2017

I Don't Need You To Fix Me.

A couple of weeks ago, I had one of my annual "Awkward Mental Health Discussions" with a close relative. Bless them, every so often they make an effort to try to understand me, to ask relevant questions and find out a bit more about my current mental state. But there's always the moment when the questions turn into a blundering, artless attempt to offer a 'cure'. And while I do appreciate it comes from a place of love, it doesn't half frustrate me.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Glossybox May 2017.

I'm really pushing it now, aren't I? Uploading about a beauty box on the last day of the month... I am definitely not fulfilling my aim to stop leaving everything till the last minute. On the other hand, I've used these products a fair amount over the last 3+ weeks, so I feel like I can make some pretty informed reviews.


Monday, 29 May 2017

Birchbox May 2017.

I'm just going to start this by apologising in advance for the weird pink background. Oh, and the fact I'm yet again posting this right at the end of the month when I've had these products for about three weeks. I'm a terrible blogger for many reasons, but I'm sure you already knew that.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Mental Health + Relationships - with Life Through TSG!

I have always believed that it is only in your worst moments that you find out other people's true personalities. It's only when you're at rock bottom that you can look around, see who is still by your side, and count them as a good person and a great friend. It was actually in this very situation that my friendship with Hayley, the blogger behind LifeThroughTSG really began. She reached out to me when I felt the worst I've felt about myself in years, and for that, I am unbelievably grateful. 
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