30/06/2014

A Little Birchbox Treat

I've been picking and choosing between beauty boxes for just under a year now, and after hearing so many good things, last November I decided to take the plunge and set up a monthly subscription to Birchbox. The thing I love about Birchbox is that by completing little surveys on the products you receive, you can collect up loyalty points which you can then spend in the online store. Being the little committed nugget that I am, I completed every single survey and managed to rack up 300 'Birchbox points', which is equivalent to £30 to spend in store. I picked up a few things from the online store, and with free delivery I got them for absolutely NOTHING! A steal if I ever did see one. 


First of all I picked out this TAAJ Himalayan Micellar Water, which would have normally cost me £15.00 or 150 points. I've been curious to try this water ever since the ever-so-lovely Zoe mentioned it in a favourites video (I think?) quite a while ago. L'Oreal got me into the micellar water hype last year with their offering, but I don't know if they've slightly changed the formula because it really does not agree with my eyes any more. Every time I use it my under eyes sting, turn red and end up very dry and flaky, boooo. :(


Since I heard Zoe singing it's praises I decided to give the TAAJ offering a try and so far, so good! It's a little more scented than other water's I've tried which made me wary at first, however it's so light on the skin and quenches my dry patches really nicely. Most importantly, it's SO much gentler on the skin around my eyes and very soothing too. WIN.

To make up my £30 I chose theBalm's Mary-Lou Manizer highlighter which would normally cost £15.00 or 150 points. I've been using up the highlighter in the Sleek Contour Palette and wanted a change, so decided to treat myself to a new one. I was having kittens at the thought that the powder was coming through the post and could potentially turn up broken, but it arrived in one piece in all its beautiful glory! It's a gorgeously pigmented gold(ish) coloured highlight and I think I've just found my new favourite thing in the world. Helloooooo glowing summer goddess. 


I'm so so impressed with what I was able to pick up for nothing through the points program! If you have a Birchbox subscription I suggest you try it too, it takes 5 minutes of your time and doesn't take long to build up a decent amount of points. Definitely a winner. 

If you're not subscribed to Birchbox and my post has gotten you interested, sign up using my unique referral link http://birchbox.co.uk/?raf=24403 to receive 50 Birchbox points (which is equivalent to £5) to get you started on the online store. You'll also be entered to win a Benefit Beauty hamper which includes all their best-sellers, worth £250! 

Big love, 



*Just a little disclaimer, I know I mention Birchbox a LOT in this post, however I'm not sponsored or backed by them to write this post in any way. I was just super impressed with the points system and what I managed to pick up just for completing little surveys every month - just throwing it out there! x*
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19/06/2014

e.l.f. Cosmetics Haul


I've always wanted give e.l.f. cosmetics a try, but I'm a very wary buyer when it comes to finding accurate colour matches over the internet. It was an overcast horrible day (much like today, in the UK anyway), I was stressed about my final major and college grades and decided to do a bit of retail therapy. That's when I came across a free postage offer e.l.f. were running and boom, I was sold. I apologise in advance for a particularly 'photo-heavy' post.

Studio Cream Blush - £3.25
 What strikes me about e.l.f. cosmetics is how they manage to keep their prices so low for how much product you receive. I bought this Studio Cream Blush in the shade 'Tease' expecting to get a small pot. Nope, the pot takes up the whole palm of my hand. I've always wanted to try a proper cream blush, however with the hot(ish) weather approaching, I know I'd end up being 'that girl' with cream blush slipping halfway down my face in a matter of minutes. 
This particular blush caught my eye for it's cream-to-powder finish. In theory, it sounded brilliant for warm weather as it doesn't keep it's creamy consistency and turns to a long-lasting, oil free powder after applying. The colour itself is a gorgeous matte, muted pink/coral, which matches my skin tone at the moment very nicely. 

I'll admit, the pigmentation of this blush isn't major, and this swatch took a few layers of product to build up the colour. I know this kind of pigmentation won't be everyone's cup of tea, but I personally prefer having to build up layers of colour, especially with a blush. I'm always scared I'll overdo it and end up looking like a Barbie doll otherwise!

Mineral Lipstick - £2.00
 Next I picked this Sheer Mineral Lipstick in the shade 'Runway Pink' for the very cheap price of £2.00. Given, this looked a slightly lighter pink in the online swatch, but I can forgive and forget because this shade matches the 'Tease' blush almost perfectly. Yay for colour co-ordinated makeup! Even considering the cheap price tag, the packaging itself doesn't feel cheap at all - the thick matte black plastic casing makes it feel really sturdy.

L: One layer R: 3 layers
The lippy itself glides on really smoothly and is a dream to apply. As described, one layer turns out sheer and semi-transparent, but can easily be built up to create a more opaque, glossy finish. As for staying power I can't comment just yet, but I will say the swatches were quite difficult to remove first time which should be a good sign!

Mineral Concealer - £5.95
Moving swiftly on to the priciest of my purchases and something I've not previously ever tried - a powder concealer. Now, my complexion is far too dodgy and my under eye circles are way too dark to ever use this alone, but I bought this for a slightly different reason. In hotter weather, even the best of my concealers (Collection Lasting Perfection, I'm looking at you) tend to slip around my face or crease under my eyes, so I thought I could use this powder concealer to set my liquid concealer, while providing that extra bit of coverage. 

When I swatched this, I was extremely surprised at how pigmented it was, even after blending it in. I bought the colour 'Warm' and instantly regretted it, expecting it to be slightly too dark but it turned out to be the perfect colour. The colouring of this is more yellow than fleshy, but I'm assuming it'll help to cancel out purpley-black tones under my eyes, a-la 'Benefit's Lemon Aid'. 

Tinted Moisturiser SPF 15 - £1.95
I received a Laura Mercier tinted moisturiser in a Glossybox a while back, and I've been hooked ever since. However as you all probably know, Laura Mercier products aren't the cheapest in the world, so I'm trying e.l.f.'s offering as a cheap alternative. For just £1.95 I'm pretty sure it won't give exactly the same effect, but with a price like that I'm willing to compromise. 
It claims to 'hydrate, illuminate and protect', and just by blending in the swatch, I could feel a moisturising effect going on. I personally like to wear lighter products on my face throughout summer and don't like to be caked in makeup, and this gives me just that. The effect it gives is quite glowy and dewy without being shimmery and Edward Cullen-esque, and with a built in SPF 15 my face definitely isn't going to burn either. 

The first time I swatched this moisturiser I panicked and thought it'd be way too orange, however swatching it onto the back of my hand (which is slightly more tanned, as is my face) made me feel slightly better about the colour match. I think I'll need to catch a little bit more colour on my face before I use this, but with the SPF and moisture included, I feel this'll be perfect for the summertime. 

Studio Stipple Brush - £3.95 Small Angled Brush - £3.95
 Finally, I picked up a couple of much-needed makeup brushes. On a student budget, I struggle to keep my brush collection up to scratch, so I was fairly surprised when I was greeted with the low prices of e.l.f.'s brushes. I've always wanted to try a stippling brush, and after purchasing the cream blush and tinted moisturiser I felt this would e perfect to try out alongside them. It's a duo-fibre brush with Taklon bristles and reminded me a lot of a MAC 187. 
Actually holding this brush is a lot different to holding a 187, it's nowhere near as dense, a lot more 'floppy' and quite a bit smaller than I expected. Having never had a stippling brush before, I'm not sure on whether it's meant to be that dense or not but hey ho, we'll see. Comments on this are appreciated! 

Last but not least, my angled liner brush was on it's deathbed and I desperately needed a new one so I picked up this little dude. The bristles are lovely and soft without being too flimsy and short enough to give me a lot of control and precision. Winner. 

Oh, and did I mention all this only came to £20?! It almost seems too good to be true, and only time will tell whether these products are really worth getting excited about, but I'm eager to give them a try! Have you ever tried anything from e.l.f. before?








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