Saturday, 31 August 2013

Our First Ever Vlog!

In the future we plan to do some videos about our monthly favourites, what's going on in our lives and just general vloggy stuff, however we decided that for our first video we would let you see a little bit of what we are like when we're together and so here is our first ever vlog, all about;

How Smekah Met!

Although we are aware this isn't the most professional video, we hope it gives you the tiniest insight into who is behind the blog, so give us a thumbs up, leave us a comment telling us we're idiots, whatever.

Keep an eye out for future videos, give us a subscribe if you're feeling kind!

Sammy xo (and Bek)
Friday, 30 August 2013

A little update !

So some of you may have heard that tomorrow me and Bek plan on recording our first ever vlog (I don't know whether the nausea is due to excitement or nerves...) so that's the first exciting piece of news for this weekend.

Some more (perhaps slightly less exciting news) is that this week we will have a fair few reviews going up about everything from Nars (blusher, powder and foundation) to Soap and Glory (have any of you ever tried Sit Tight? SO WEIRD.)

Last but not least, I know normally this would be the weekend that I posted my monthly favourites but granted everything goes well with our vlog tomorrow, I'm actually hoping to do my monthly favourites as a video later on in the week, eek.

Just a few little things so keep your eyes peeled :)
Sammy xo
Thursday, 29 August 2013

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

So we got nominated for an award, which makes us very happy girlies !

Big thanks to Kammi who nominated us for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award :

 The rules for this award are very simple: Display the logo on your blog and link back to the lovely person who nominated you/your blog, you then share 7 facts about yourself, nominate 10 other blogs you enjoy reading, and then inform them you have nominated them! Simple as that! 

So 7 facts…
1: Last year I had a dye disaster with my naturally blonde hair and had to dye it black for a year
2: I keep my diary key tied around my ankle
3: I don't really watch TV shows, but when I do I watch every season available in a matter of weeks
4: I have an older brother
5: In the last two years I've lost nearly 4 stone
6: I work as a waitress
7: I have a tattoo hardly anyone knows about (so keep it schtum) 

The bloggers and blogs I'm nominating ; (Some of these blogs may have been nominated before) 

A genuinely lovely, down to earth person with a sweet, informative blog (also, her nail tutorials on her youtube channel are amazing)

One of my favourite blog layouts at the minute, a nice mixture of just everything pretty.

Rebecca (Ohkalukalay)
A lovely blogger who always seems to be doing something different (in a good way, to clarify) and always seems to be just ahead of a trend.

A really lovely, clean blog with gorgeously crisp photographs.

A blog that reviews ready available products, things I can genuinely see myself buying (and seriously, check out her latest green tea post because I guarantee she can make you a convert)

Concise, to-the-point reviews. Her photo's have a lovely old timey tinge to them, too, which really sets them apart.

A really personalised blog with a friendly tone. Getting opinions from this blog makes you feel like you're chatting to a friend.

Helen (Treasure Every Moment)
A blog that gives you a peek into every day life, as well as some lovely little diy crafty things, all done with an amazingly positive view.

Hannah (Cosmetic Crave)
A blog that makes me feel like I'm getting really honest reviews, plain and simple.

Vanessa (Circle of Chaos)
A lovely , well put together blog. Also, Vanessa was our first ever follower, so for us she was definitely very inspiring ! 

Thanks, Kammi, for nominating us and thanks to all the blogs above for inspiring us!

Sammy xo

Catching Up.

Hola bloggies!

In contrast with recent post, this isn’t actually a review, more of a catchy uppy kind of post. There is a lot going on currently, life and product wise, that I really need to get round to telling you about in detail. If you follow us on twitter you may know that me and S took a trip to the Trafford center a few weekends ago, where we each purchased a few looooovely bits. I am currently getting to grips with real techniques stippling and blusher brushes that I bought, as well as some more Aussie Miracle products, a Nars blusher and some soap and glory goodies. As well as this, I had my birthday on Monday. This meant that I was treated to some lovely bits, and I also treated myself (naughty, I know!). I was lucky enough to receive YSL touch√© √©clat (highlighter, not foundation), something I have been lusting after for a loooong time now. As well as this, I bought myself a Liz Earle cleanse and polish starter kit as I have heard so many people raving about this. A little sneak preview of a review I will be writing on these shortly – I LOVE THEM. So once I’ve had chance to get a real feel of all of these products, there will be a haul style review post going up, I promise!
As well as this, me and S are planning our very first ever vlog, so that will be coming at you soon – exciting!

If you’ve taken the time to read this, if you follow us here, or anywhere else – thank you. We really appreciate it and we seeing that you guys are interested in what we have to say. 

 B xxo

Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Cleanser

My love for Nip + Fab knows pretty much no bounds, I went shopping to buy their Sheer Make Up Fix (has this been discontinued, does anyone know? I can't seem to find it anywhere...) and came away with this cleanser, something I didn't particularly need in any way at all. Having said that, I've fallen in love with this Glycolic Fix Cleanser.

This is definitely an in shower cleanser as opposed to a removing make-up cleanser. It's a cloudy gel that smells like grapefruit (absolutely lush) and foams up literally the minute that it hits water. I've swapped my OXY for this, and in terms of having major breakouts (touch wood) this seems to be keeping them at bay just as much as the OXY was, only it's much softer feeling on my skin. According to Nip + Fab this cleanser contains glycolic acid to exfoliate and retexture, apple amino acid to cleanse and purify and olive oil to hydrate and smooth. I literally have no idea if all that is true, but it does definitely leave my skin feeling smoother, cleaner and just as exfoliated as if I had used a much more gritty product.

This isn't the cheapest face wash in the world, I bought it from Sainsbury's for £7.99 (/150ml) but I'd definitely say it's a nice smelling, softer feeling alternative to much harsher spot reducing products on the market and, for me at least, it seems to give a similar effect.

Have you used glycolic fix? What products do you use to prevent breakouts?

Sammy xo
Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Bourjois Cream Blush

I know, I know, like you haven't seen enough of these reviews already. I'm sorry, but I feel like after trying it I have to review Bourjois Cream Blush.

It's no secret that I'm often dubious about cult products, but this is one I feel like I'm right to be dubious about. I have this blush in 002 which is called "Healthy Glow". The packaging for this is adorable, it's in a little round pink pot (each shade is in a different coloured compact) which open to reveal a tiny mirror and the blush itself. This is a really odd texture, I'm not sure that I would have used the word "cream" I'd say it was actually almost balm like in it's texture, but that's all technicalities. 

This isn't a colour I'd normally go for, it's a lot more coral looking that the usual flush of pink that I choose, but regardless I was willing to give it a go. Applied without blending, the colour is amazing (the swatch to the right above), a rosy coral colour that's exactly how it's described, a healthy glow. However, when it's blended in (the left swatch) it's literally barely noticeable on my skin, and to get the healthy glow look it takes a lot of building up.

This blush isn't one I'd ever repurchase, I'm not a huge fan of the colour once it's blended or of the texture. For a similar colour, I'd definitely stick with The Balm's Instain in "Swiss Dot".

Have you used Bourjois cream blush? What did you think? Any nice alternatives?

Sammy xo.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Soap and Glory Archery

Behold; I'm about to talk about a skincare brand who have done beauty, and done it well. That's right, I'm about to delve into the make-up range presented to us by Soap and Glory.

Although I own a couple of different pieces of make-up from their brand, today I'm going to talk about their Archery brow tint and precision pencil. Before this I used Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil which I liked but was far too dark for my newly lightened hair. Colour choice is one of the reasons that I picked Archery, they do a colour really close to my (artificially) light blonde hair called "Love is Blonde". This is a product that isn't actually similar to any other on the market that I'm aware of, one end is an almost paintbrush looking eyebrow tint and the other is a slightly darker pencil tip.

The tint is to be used first. I draw around the shape of my eyebrows using the precision tip that it offers, then fill them in as a base. This gives precise shape and an all over colour, so far so good.

Then step two is the pencil. This is to fill in spaces and build up the colour to the level that you need it at. After both steps my eyebrows are neat, fairly precisely shaped and still a natural colour that is fairly close to my own.

I do think that for an eyebrow pencil this is quite expensive (£10 just seems a little steep for what it is) and I have to say, if I still had my dark hair I think I'd still favour my rimmel pencil over archery, but for those of you out there with lighter hair using pencils too dark because that's the lightest pencil you can find, I highly recommend swapping over to Archery for a much neater, much more natural look.

Have you ever tried Archery? What eyebrow pencils have worked for you in the past?

Sammy xo

Monday, 26 August 2013

Happy Birthday To My Favourite Prinny

When we set up this blog we struggled to know how to write it, we wanted enough of our personalities to shine through that you didn't think we were boring clones, but obviously we didn't really want to clutter it up with what we were doing (especially as we work. A lot. So that's yawn anyway). As such, we haven't really been ones to write about our personal life on here, but today I am changing all that. Not forever, obviously, just for today.

Because today, my favourite half of Smekah turns a whopping 19 years old. That's right guys, today, Bek enters her last year of being a teenager.

So happy birthday my favourite little Prin, have a fantastic day, continue being fabulous, don't ever change and lets make your nineteenth year one to remember.

Lots of love,
your best friend/sister from another mister/favourite prinny/person who convinces you to buy stuff/fellow daytripper/wifey/coffee provider,
S xx

p.s. I'm not sure if the word Prinny/Prin is a nationwide thing? For those of you who may be confused in Liverpool it's a really common word that means Princess.

Elemis Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing Gel Mask

After me sending them an email Elemis sent me some sample sachets through the post, including two sachets of their Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing Gel Mask. I tried it and absolutely loved it and was devastated when I used both sachets up. I always meant to get a bottle and completely forgot, but then in an odd turn of events when I was cleaning my wardrobe out this weekend I found a tube in the bottom I'd obviously acquired somewhere along the way and thrown at the bottom of a pile without trying. Yay for unexpected surprises!

Finding this has had me falling in love with it all over again. It comes out as a clear gel that smells sweet and almost citrus-ey. You need very little to cover your entire face (excluding mouth and eyes) then you leave it on for ten to fifteen minutes (consider this time an excuse to lie back in the bath and flick through our blog...). When on the skin this has a really weird feeling, it tingles as it dries and it feels for all the world like when you breathe in cold air after eating a mint, which isn't a bad thing given that it really reassure me that it's working. After this simply wash off (use a flannel, if you use your hands it seems to just re-moisten the mask), then do whatever you normally would do.

I'm usually pretty dubious about face masks, I've had ones that make me break out, ones that smell horrible and ones that literally just don't work, but this smells lovely and seems to leave me with clean, shiny, fresh skin. At £48 this isn't a cheap product, but given that it's a once a week ritual I'd say it's definitely worth the money, I'll be repurchasing when I've used up all the samples I can get my hands on!

Sammy xo

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Purity Made Simple Cleanser

I'm not entirely sure how I came across this cleanser, I think perhaps it was in my British Beauty Blogger edit box, but I was aware of it as a product before hand. Philosophy Purity Made Simple is a cult cleanser which seems to have no limits, it's a cleanser that is - in my opinion - for beginners.

I'll be the first to admit that cleansers aren't really something that I'm well versed in, I use them (obviously) but I've always gone back to my very cheap, very basic Garnier. I really wanted this to change my mind, having heard a lot about philosophy as a brand, and actually it really has swayed me. It's a yellow lotion that borders on being a cream, which struck me as odd from the very beginning. I'm adverse to using cold creams to take my make up off and that's exactly what this felt like. It's a personal choice but for me, I always feel like I should have taken my make up off with something else prior to using anything that comes out with a texture like Purity does. It does smell amazing though, like an old fashioned lavender (actually, not unlike STEAMCREAM), and it's applied to damp skin so I hoped that the lotion-ey feel wouldn't last too long, so even though I was put off by the consistency I decided to give it a chance.

Applied onto a damp face you really don't need much at all, the website suggests "the size of a twenty pence piece" and that's probably more than enough. It needs to be massaged in for a while and then washed off with warm water and patted dry. I was impressed in its ability to remove my eye make-up, and although it didn't take all of my foundation off first time around, I'm yet to find a cleanser that does.

All the above sold me on the product but there was one thing that made sure it beat out any competitors ; the lazy girl factor. This is a 3-in-1 so not only is it cleansing, but toning and moisturising too, so in one easy step you're set for a full skincare regime. For 240ml this is around £17.50 which is about average for a higher end product and I'd say that it's definitely worth it, especially for beginners and lazy girls because this is a one stop product that gives you the benefits of a three step system.

Sammy xo
Sunday, 18 August 2013

MUA Heaven and Earth Palette

This is a palette that needs very little in the way of introduction, I'm sure many of you have read review up on review of the brand (their undressed palettes are particularly popular) even if you haven't stumbled across one of these palettes yourself. Having said that, I'm going to give you a quick review of their Heaven and Earth Palette because it's my favourite nude palette at the moment by far.

I haven't swatched these because there are thousands upon thousands of swatch photographs if you google the palette. I have to say I bought this at the same time as my Sleek "Oh So Special" palette (I commented on that in my July/August favourites) and the packaging on this MUA palette just seems cheap in comparison. There's no mirror like in Sleek's palette and the outside is a clear panel showing the colours of the shadows inside, as opposed to the matte black front of Sleek. Although it doesn't stand up quite as tall next to my Sleek palette I have to say, you get what you pay for on packaging here.

If the packaging let me down next to Sleek, it was more than made up for by the colours themselves. In my opinion, the top left palest colour is a dud, I can swatch over and over and literally it seems like I'm getting no colour at all, however the rest are lovely and really blendable. The range of colours itself is really pleasant, and they blend perfectly together to create new colours to suit anyone. It's not a top of the range palette and the packaging lets it down, but I have to say, whilst you're saving up for an Urban Decay palette (and nearly everyone is saving up for Naked) buy one of these, because for £4 the quality of the colours is outstanding, you really can't go wrong. 

Sammy xo
Saturday, 17 August 2013

Dainty Doll Powder Blush

Recently I stumbled across Dainty Doll powder blush in 001 "Hippy Shake" on fragrance direct. Although it wasn't a colour I'd normally go for (a light, barbie pink) I decided I'd buy it seeing as it was £1.99. When I arrived I have to say, I was excited, but when I opened it... I don't even know where to begin. The packaging is gorgeous, really classic a black compact with the brand name printed in gold across the top. I don't like that underneath Dainty Doll it declares "Nicola Roberts". I'm not saying don't be proud of what you've done by any means, but it just makes me feel like the whole brand is a little less serious than I might like, her name blazoned across the front makes me think of cheap celebrity make up brands in the past (Mary Kate and Ashley, anyone?). I absolutely love that it has a full sized compact mirror insider though, instead of me struggling over a tiny one trying to inconspicuously reapply blusher halfway through my work day.

For those of you who don't know Dainty Doll is a make up brand by Nicola Roberts (as mentioned above) from Girls Aloud. It's specifically targeted at pale skin, although some of their eye shadows and lipsticks are gorgeous and definitely suited to a much wider audience.

I struggled to take, or find, a picture that really does the colour of this blush justice, but I guess this is pretty close. The colour is, in a word, repulsive. It's a pastel fluorescent pink (if you don't think this is possible, you've never seen this blush) and in some lights it literally looks almost violet-ey. I put off using it forever because I couldn't imagine the colour ever suiting me (or anyone). However, I have to say on skin this blends to a really subtle, close to translucent pink with gives almost a shine rather than colour, which is actually really lovely, and will make a nice blush for winter when my natural red cheeks are shining through and need little help. The texture of this is beautiful, it's a really clean powder that goes on with as little fallout as you're going to get from a powder blush and leaves the skin really soft, it feels a lot more luxurious than I had imagined.

I wasn't expecting to like this blush at all, but having given it a fair chance I have to say it really is a lovely colour, definitely more suited to pale skin than tanned and so Nicola Roberts, to give her all the respect due, has done a really good job (some of her other products are to die for too, lipsticks being the top of that list). I've heard a rumour these are getting harder to get hold of so if you see any around, they're definitely worth snapping up.

Sammy xo
Friday, 16 August 2013

Garnier Moisture Match

Sorry about the lack of posts lately, I've taken on extra shifts at work and so finding the time has been a little bit tricky, but I'm trying to plan ahead so hopefully the blog won't go so long without a post again any time soon!

Onto the product(s) in hand, Garnier Moisture Match moisturisers. If you haven't heard about these (seriously? Their advertising campaign was massive, to have missed it you must literally not own a television) this is an assortment of moisturisers- 5 in total - that are each tailor made to suit a certain skin type. The five tubes are really similar to look at, but each a different colour. When I picked these up a few weeks ago they were on offer in Asda, so I managed to pick up three out of the range "Wake Me Up" for dull skin (the orange tube), "Protect and Glow" for normal skin (the yellow tube) and "Shine Be Gone" for combination to oily skin (the green tube). You'd be forgiven for thinking that these would contain similar products, each matching the colour of the tube, but I was surprised when I tried them out because this actually isn't the case. Wake me up is a sheer slightly peach tinged gel, Protect and glow is a glossy yellow cream and Shine be gone is a lovely matte green lotion.

As their marketing campaign promised, it seems like each really is tailored to a different skin type, and perhaps more surprisingly each one genuinely seems to do a brilliant job or at least certainly in the three that I picked I can't find a dud. Wake Me Up is for dull skin, and I can see how this would work really well for someone targeting that specifically. It goes on as a gel and settles as a sheen on the skin, too much for my oily skin but for someone who lacks moisture and natural shine, this would almost definitely give a lovely dewy finish. Protect and Glow is a weird one, it's a standard moisturiser as far as I can tell and it's smell is identical to wake me up. It's not unpleasant, and it's nice that it has an spf 20 but I'm just not as blown away with it as I feel like I am with the other two. Having said that, I'd still happily repurchase it as a Summer moisturiser.

My favourite out of the three is by far Shine Be Gone, though. This is a personal preference definitely, a dewy glow is something I will take off running from and I would always pick a matte finish. This is lovely, you only need a tiny bit for your whole face and although it has the texture of some primers (l'oreal studio secrets resurfacing primer springs to mind as the closest comparison for texture) I feel like it doesn't sit uncomfortably on top of the skin but sinks in nicely instead, and it does keep shine away for a decent length of time.

I'd recommend these three moisturisers in a heart beat, but if you're not sure which one is right for you and you're not willing to pay out for a few, you can do a quiz to find out which is probably the closest match to your skin. I'll definitely be trying out the other two when I get the chance, especially at £3.99/50ml.

Sammy xo
Thursday, 15 August 2013

Nars Sheer Glow

Hi guys! Let me please start of by saying I’m really sorry for the lack of blogging on my part lately…It’s been a crazy few weeks! What with starting a new job and some other things going on I’ve barely had time to blink. But I’m back on this now, I promise. If I slip up again, no doubt Sam will let me know about it!

Right, now we’ve got that out of the way, let’s kick off with what we’re here for. Nars Sheer Glow. I had heard an awful lot about this product lately. As a big fan of youtubers Tanya Burr and Zoella, along with many more, there really has been no escape from people raving about how good Sheer Glow is. I, of course, made a mental note to look into this more. And the more I heard about it, the more I wanted to try it out. I’ve never had a nars product before. As I’ve previously mentioned, I’ve only recently got back into high end makeup, so the whole Nars craze is new to me. I did a bit of research online, and found out that contrary to what I thought, there actually is a Nars counter not far from me. This, of course, is extremely dangerous (sorry, bank balance!). So when I went into the Harvey Nichols Beauty Bazaar, I made a beeline straight for Nars. My intention was to just have a little look around, get a feel for it all, and enquire about samples. This didn’t exactly pan out.

Everything on their counter looked sooo beautiful, and the sales assistant was super lovely. She told me that the only way they could give me a little sample would be if I took my only little bottle in for them to give me some. Not knowing this, I obviously didn’t have a sample bottle with me. I asked the lovely sales assistant about colour matching, and she told me that she could match me then, and try it out on me if I wanted. This was when the real trouble started. The lady told me that at Nars, they don’t tell you what shade to wear, it’s all about what you actually want to wear. If you don’t know anything about Nars: they split their foundation shades into 4 catagories. So the lady sat me down and showed me a card with the 4 colour categories on it, and asked me which one I thought would best suite me. I originally said number 2, so she showed me all of the colours in that group. I looked at the lightest shade, but when the sales assistant put it on my skin, we both agreed this was too dark, and ended up in the lightest category. I asked to look at mont blanc (I believe this is the shade that Zoella uses).
The lady tried it on my forehead – and I can honestly say that I have never had such a good colour match, in any make of foundation. She applied it to a large area of my forehead, and powdered it for me. Of course, I fell in love with it straight away. Yes, I did end up buying it there and then, oops! It must be said, I didn’t take much persuading. My experience at the nars counter was really lovely. The sales assistant was so helpful and I came out of there feeling like I’d bought the perfect product. Since then, I have used the foundation, a lot. It is amazing. Definitely the best foundation I have ever had. It is so so nice to finally have a foundation that is the right colour for my skin. As someone with combination skin, I admit that I was worried about how the “glow” element would sit with my skin. I had no need to be. The lady at Nars said they recommend the foundation be applied with fingers. This, of course, depends on what kind of finish you would like. I tend to put it on  my skin with my fingers, and then use a real techniques expert face brush to blend it in. Using small, circular motions with this brush gives an absolutely flawless finish.

This foundation really does apply so nicely. You don’t need a lot of product (always good when something is £30.50!) The finish is really beautiful. It really does make your skin look as though it is glowly. However, magically, it doesn’t make you look oily, and it sits really well on patches of your face that get oily anyway. I also have some dry areas and it glides over them really well. The staying power is also good. If you prime and powder it lasts all day with no need for top up. If you don’t prime and powder, it will still stay, but by 5pm the finish won’t be as gorgeous as when you left the house. I really cannot recommend this product enough. I absolutely love it, and there is no doubt in my mind that it is worth the high end price tag. Will definitely be repurchasing when I run out. Happy girl!

Friday, 2 August 2013

July Glossybox vs. July Birchbox

This month I couldn't resist, I was getting the Birchbox anyway (as some of your might know I'm attempting to try and find the best beauty box by trying each, our June Glossybox post is here) but when I saw this month was a limited edition Glossybox the shopaholic in me took over and I was entering my paypal password before I had the chance to box her back up. This does allow me, however, to pit the boxes against each other (baring in mind this is based on one month, on the products that I received, and so results and opinions may obviously vary). This is quite a long post, I'll write about the Glossybox and it's stand out products, then do the same for Birchbox then pit them against eachother properly, feel free to skip to the bottom.

 I'm going to start with the Glossybox

First of all, the packaging. I'm a sucker for pretty things and I have to say that I really think Glossybox nailed it with this month's box. It's summery without being in your face girly, and it's nice enough (and most importantly subtle enough) to use again. I also liked the fact that even the tissue paper inside was coral themed, and it was nice to see the trademark black paper/pink ribbon combo swapped for a much more suitable white paper/blue ribbon. Inside, I received a Ciate paint pot in "Island hopping", Coola Rose essence tinted moisturised (mineral sunscreen), Bamboo Style Boho Waves tousled texture mist, Anatomicals "spray misty for me" facial spritz and Nip+Fab Shine Fix. I have to say, I was really disappointed to not be amongst the lucky lot that got two Sleek pout paints to play with this month, but beggars can't be choosers. 

I definitely didn't like this box as much as my June Glossybox, however I do think the Ciate and Nip+Fab are lovely stand out items. The Ciate paint pot is a gorgeous red/orange shimmer that is lovely and eye catching in the sun, but will transfer really nicely into Autumn too. It's exactly the quality I've had from ciate in the past, lovely sheen, no bubbling and stands the test of time without chipping, cracking or flaking off. Nip+Fab never seem to let me down, and shine fix is a mattifying gel that does exactly as it promises (it also doesn't have a horrible chemical smell like some gel fixes I've had in the past) and I've been using it as a primer to tone down a shiny T-zone in this hot weather.

Onto the Birchbox

This is my first Birchbox but my, oh my, am I impressed. The packaging is much more basic than the glossybox and I was uninspired to look at it at first, but the classic design has come to grow on me, and I absolutely love their inclusion of a lovely little drawstring bag inside instead of the crumpled up paper and tissue that Glossybox have opted for. The whole box feels a little bit more grown up than the Glossybox, and I feel like that might just give it the edge in terms of design. I received all manner of delightful little treats in this box.I got Blanc Cachemire Creme De Jour Protectrice, Beauty Protector Protect and Detangle, theBalm cosmetics InStain Powder Staining Brush, Weleda Skin Food, Laura Geller Inkwell Gel Eyeliner and Some Chia Seeds from The Chia Co. I absolutely loved the inclusion of the chia shots, which just seemed like an extra added little bonus. I also like that you can find most things in their boxes in their online shop.

Standout products in this box were definitely theBalm cosmetics inStain, Laura Geller Inkwell Gel Eyeliner and (of course) Weleda Skin Food. theBalm inStain is one of my favourite products of the year, no exaggeration. I got "swiss dot", which is a quite deep pinky coral and suits my skin perfectly. This is a powder stain, which I struggled to get used to but have found quite easy to blend out even though it stays put all day. This gives a lovely flush of colour that doesn't need reapplying throughout the day and it has adorable packaging (a magazine cover that you open to reveal the blush). I've already ordered a full sized one of these, I honestly can't recommend it enough. The Laura Geller Gel Eyeliner I received is actually a deep shimmery purple, it applies really neatly using the brush and stays put, or can be smudged out gently for a softer look. The colour is a really nice change to black and doesn't look as harsh, and the texture of the gel is much better than quite dry ones I've tried in the past. When my own liquid eyeliner runs out I'll be considering buying the black as well. Finally Weleda Skin Food... There's not much to say about this, it's a product that speaks for itself (and has celebrities speaking for it). It's amazing, literally a miracle cure - as long as you can get past the...ahem...distinctive smell.

So which is better?
This is a really hard one. Although I really enjoyed the special edition Glossybox box, I still think the Birchbox has a sophisticated edge, and is also more size appropriate for what's inside, plus their use of a reusable bag instead of paper and tissue just seems to be a more practical idea, and saves me throwing the insides of the box out every month. I also love the amount of literature that comes with the Birchbox, I feel much more supported through my use of the products than I do with the Glossybox.

For exactly the same price (£10 + £2.95 p&p) I feel like the Birchbox is just beating Glossybox to the post. It seems more grown up overall, and although both have stand out items, I feel like there are some things in my Glossybox I won't ever use again, something I don't feel with my Birchbox. It's definitely a toss up, and it's all about preference of course, but I would definitely recommend the Birchbox over the Glossybox (sorry, Glossy), although I will be continuing to get both !

If you actually read through this whole thing, give yourself a pat on the back (and go and order yourself a Birchbox... or a Glossybox)

Sammy xo

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