Tesco beauty advent calendar

Every year I have an advent calendar though I think this is the first where I don’t have a chocolate one. There were so many beauty ones around I wasn’t sure which to go for, I was tempted by the you beauty because of the brands and different products but it was mainly the discount and I realised there were quite a few things I didn’t want. I did order a Ciaté mani manor but it was out of stock when my Asos order was dispatched so I didn’t get it. The third one I found within my budget was the Tesco one and I’m so excited to open the doors. This was for sale in Tesco for £49.99 and was available on the Tesco club card boost scheme if you have a club card. I’m not sure how long this will be available once advent has actually started but it appears to be in stock on Tesco direct. Sorry in advance for photo quality, my camera is still broken so I’m having to use the iPad.
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I was surprised when my order arrived and the advent calendar had its own bag, a nice detail not that I’m likely to use it again. The bag has the same front as the advent calendar; a simple white background with silver writing on it. It was bigger than I expected though I think is mainly due to the fact the others I’ve seen fold in half an open like a book whereas this has two single layer card doors on the front that open and have a ribbon loop to use as a handle, they’re held closed with a small piece what looks like double sided tape or something sticky that sticks just enough to hold it closed but doesn’t leave residue on the part with the doors.

IMG_1298.JPG When opening the doors I really like the design they’ve chosen for inside with the frozen forest look in white and blues. The doors are all different sizes depending on the product behind them and like most advent calendars the numbers are all dotted around in no particular order. On the back is a list of each of the items though not in the correct order, at least that I know of as I haven’t opened them all.
IMG_1296.JPG I am planning on doing a blog post for each day’s product with a short first impression type post and photos unless they’re something I’ve used before where they’ll get a better review.

First impressions: Pokemon alpha sapphire

Processed with Moldiv Pokémon was the first game I really got into, I got Pokémon yellow with a gameboy color one Christmas and since then I’ve bought one from each of the different releases. Although this is a remake and rerelease of the sapphire and ruby series I wanted to see what they’d do with it and be able to play the game on a 3DS. I have the emerald game so have already played the general storyline and do have some favourite pokémon from then but I haven’t reached them yet so haven’t seen how they’ve made them in this new style.

I pre-ordered this from Amazon.co.uk and it arrived today so I started playing it right away. Today is the official release date in Europe so it’s available in stores and costs around £30 – £35, on Amazon at the moment it’s £31.85.

The box and game image themselves are pretty standard for the Pokémon franchise; the background colour that goes with the name and a big picture of whatever the main or legendary pokémon is. Nothing that different but nice enough packaging for a game. I do quite like the way they’ve given the hint of it being underwater with the bubbles and pattern on the game cartridge itself and the font they’ve used for ‘alpha sapphire’ does stand out.

Photos taken on the screen while playing the game so sorry about the poor quality and lines. Characters and game created and owned by Nintendo.

The game menus and screens look pretty much the same as in the latest releases with the more 3D look and the less square worlds where you can move however you want. The pokémon themselves are pretty true to the original ruby and sapphire versions from what I’ve encountered so far, just smoother and some of the colours are slightly different but that’s to be expected when you compare the range of colours available on the 3DS with those available on the gameboy advance which the previous version was released on.

One new feature I really like in this game is the DexNav which can replace the map on the bottom screen with a map of the route you are on and shows which pokemon are in the area. If you have caught them they show up on the screen but any you don’t have are greyed out silhouettes which means you can tell when you’ve got everything in the area rather than referring to the Pokedex for each pokemon or having to look them up online. Switching between this and the map is really easy with it being a tab to the right of the map on the touch screen and switching back you touch the map icon that appears to the right of the DexNav. Having these two as the defaults is really useful and I think it uses the bottom screen well as well as helping you work out where you are. There is also a tab (not in the picture) for the PlayNav features including playing with your pokémon playing online with others and training your pokémon. So far I’ve only done the play with Pokémon one which is the same as with the last Pokémon game and you can feed them pokepuffs or play mini games; bouncing balls of wool, picking berries to match your Pokémon’s thoughts and a switching puzzle. These are ok as mini games but don’t really add anything to the whole Pokémon game for me.

The character animation seems good to me and I like the cut scenes and different angles though they do last longer because of this which may become annoying if they happen too frequently later in the game. I don’t mind them so much at the beginning, there’s always a lot of pressing A to get through the beginning of any Pokémon game if you’ve played previous titles before and know the basics. I really like the attack animations, they actually move in a way that an animal would so a pokémon might rather than just jumping forwards and the damage suddenly appearing.

So far I really like this game and although it’s a remake of an older title it still seems new enough and it’s been long enough ago since I played the old version that I’m enjoying it. I’m looking forward to seeing what they do with the secret base as I quite liked that in the original and seeing all the different gym bosses in this new style.

It’s a pretty standard Pokémon game style so if you like the other traditional style Pokemon games and either haven’t played this one before or want to try a remake then it might be worth a look, if you don’t like previous Pokémon titles then this probably isn’t for you.

Review: OPI Coca-Cola and Gwen Stefani gift sets

opi1I recently made an order from asos.com and bought a couple of the OPI winter 2014 gift sets; the Coca Cola ‘Icons of happiness’ set and the Gwen Stefani ‘Rollin’ in cashmere’ nail effects trio set. These are both available on other sites, I know they’re on amazon and John Lewis but as there was a 20% student discount at the time asos had the best price for me.

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The Gwen Stefani set has three full sized varnishes in; rollin’ in cashmere (gold), snow globetrotter (white and iridescent glitter in various sizes) and comet in the sky (black and iridescent glitter). The rollin’ in cashmere varnish to me looks like opi6a gold foil effect with a bit of shimmer in it which gives it a bit of extra sparkle, a great Christmas colour and one I’ll use all year round. It appears to be fairly thin though it does give quite good coverage. Snow globetrotter has a variety of sizes in both white and iridescent glitter which work really well together and go with the snow theme. It was originally bought to replace an old one that I finished and it turned out as a nice surprise that it has the white glitter in as well as the iridescent. I didn’t realise it had but it definitely stands out more as a top coat with it included than a purely iridescent glitter top coat. Comet in the sky is my favourite out of the three, it’s just so different from any other top coat I have. The black glitter with a hint of smaller iridescent pieces in it stands out a lot on the gold that comes in the set and it’s definitely a colour I’ll be wearing the rest of the year with a bright colour underneath. It’s a great contrast top coat for brighter colours.op12 Both of these top coats have a good amount of glitter though I did have to have a bit of a poke around with the brush to get much on with snow globetrooter and it was more of a case of placing the glitter, comet in the sky didn’t have that problem and it doesn’t seem to have settled in the bottle like the other has. This set sells for £29.95 on asos but the price seems to vary site to site.

I used snow globetrotter as a top coat for this look with a couple of layers of iced frappe by Ciate from last year’s advent calendar. I used the Nails Inc caviar top coat and it smoothed the edges with the glitter. SO far no catches but it’s only been a couple of days, the glitter seemed to set pretty well in the colour I used beneath it though.

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The Coca Cola collection also has three full sized varnishes in; Coca-Cola red (red), turn on the haute light (silver) and a grape affair (dark purple). The stand out colour for me in this set is the silver, it caught my eye straight away even with the bright red next to it. The silver is another varnish that has a foil like finish to me but quite a bit of shimmer to it which make it more reflective and stand out more than the gold in the other set. It was quite hard to get a photo of this opi5to show the colour how it actually looks as it kept reflecting any light in the room. The Coca-Cola red is a standard bright red varnish, it goes on well and I think it would only take two coats to get a good finish. I’ve found in the past reds seem to take three coats quite often and can be a bit streaky though this may just be the brands I’ve tried but this one is smooth and fairly opaque considering how thin it appears. A grape affair is a lot darker than I expected it to be seeing it in the bottle. The photograph is true to life in colour and I really like this one as purple varnishes are a bit of a weakness for me and this is different to any others I have at the moment. The formula for this is like the red and nice and smooth and easy to use. This set also sells for £29.95 on asos at the moment.

Although I do love the colours in both of the sets I think the Gwen Stefani set stands out as the top coats are so easy to wear on any colour and they’re different to anything I have at the moment. I really like the finish of the two creamier varnishes in the Coca-Cola set and they’re nice colours but they’re colours that I would like to own anyway and as they were in the Coca-Cola collection released earlier in the year people may already have them. The ‘rollin’ in cashmere’ set includes colours that are a bit more unusual and snow globetrotter especially is a nice wintery colour that would work as an icy look throughout the cold months even if you didn’t want to wear it in the summer. If you only want to buy one nail varnish then I would recommend either snow globetrotter or comet in the sky depending on whether you prefer black or white as the contrasting colour for a top coat.

My Geek Box November 2014

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This is the first time I have got a My Geek Box and I was so excited, especially with the couple of hints about the T-shirt and I guessed right. Not sure there could have been a better first box to get for me.

My Geek Box is a subscription box based in the UK full of geeky and sci-fi things, similar to Loot Crate in the US. You can subscribe to the service to receive a box once a month but they also have the option of a one off box for the next month. I went for the one off option after seeing unboxing videos of the October box and seeing that this month’s theme was the best of British. Their website also sells some items from past boxes so if you missed out on something you’d have wanted then there is the possibility they have it there. Their website is www.mygeekbox.co.uk . Buying these one off is £14.99 but this price does go down per box when you subscribe for longer. This box is not available any more but you can buy the December one if you want.

Every month there’s a mini magazine with a couple of articles in. The magazine in this box has Simon Pegg on the front and includes a review of Alien: Isolation, a page on the new George R. R. Martin’s new book on Westeros and a couple of pages on Hellbound Media.

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The first thing I looked at was the box of Dennis the Menace ‘weirds’ sweets which are basically nerds. The packaging opens the same as nerds and the sweets themselves look like nerds in grape and strawberry flavours. They don’t taste very strong, there’s a hint of something strawberryish with the strawberry ones though it’s not obvious which berry it should be, it’s a bit of a generic summer fruits kind of flavour. The grape ones taste of a very weak fake grape candy flavour, I normally love grape sweets and you don’t get them very often in the UK but these aren’t that good. The texture of them is also a bit weird, I expected them to be crunchy like nerds but they’re kind of soft and melt a bit when you bite them rather than crunching. Not something I’d ever buy but as a small part of this box they’re ok.

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The comic book looks good, I’ve never read any of the 2000 AD series before and I’m probably not going to read more as I don’t really read comic books but it seems ok. I’ll keep it with the few others I have but not something I’d buy on its own.

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Fans of any Sherlock Holmes will probably like the Baker Street sign. I’m a big fan of the Arthur Conan Doyle books and my favourite incarnation is definitely the Jeremy Brett Holmes from the 80s and 90s but do still like the new one. This would appeal to fans of different versions, not just the recent Benedict Cumberbatch one as this is used in a lot of them. It’s a nice metal sign that feels a good quality though I haven’t taken it out of the packaging. The holes in the corners should make it easy to mount on a wall and I’ll probably put it on my desk rather than on a wall at the moment and it seems to stay stood up pretty well when leant against something.

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The biggest thing in this box is the set of Thunderbirds shot glasses, there are 5 to go with the 5 Thunderbird vehicles. My favourite was always 2 as it could carry the others and I used to watch Thunderbirds a lot as it was on at tea time in the evening. I don’t drink so won’t really use the shot glasses but the designs are nice and I might use them for something else if I can think of anything. At the moment they’ll just sit in the box until I have something to do with them as I don’t really have space to have them out on the side though they would be a nice display item as something purely decorative with the different designs. The glasses seem good quality and heavy, they feel like they shouldn’t get knocked over easily as they have a nice heavy base.

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As a big fan of Doctor Who I like the small cyberman stuffed toy keyring thing though it’s bigger than any I use so it’ll probably sit on the side or in with a lot of my other little doctor who collectible bits. It’s one of those toys where it says set phrases when you press the certain point on it’s chest and when this thing talks it’s a lot louder than I expected. It seems pretty sensitive as it keeps on talking when it gets dropped, not sure if that’s a good thing if you did decide to use it on a bag or something as it’ll start talking unexpectedly. It’s another thing I wouldn’t buy myself but it’s a nice enough small toy and might make a good stocking filler for a Doctor Who fan if you don’t like it yourself.

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Saving the best till last: the T-shirt. On the My Geek Box twitter account there were a couple of clues ‘A-star’ and ‘bugging’ in different tweets. After reading these I was crossing my fingers for a Red Dwarf T-shirt and that’s what we got! I love this t-shirt and the colours they chose for it. It’s a schematical report of Star Bug with a bird’s eye view of the spaceship and with points around the edges containing details like the crew and weapons on board. Size wise it seems like the women’s sizes are pretty accurate, the size 12 in this fits me as well as size 12 t-shirts in most high street stores I buy from. The T-shirt material feels good quality and the print seems like it’ll last well so this is definitely going to be a T-shirt I wear a lot. I finally have a Red Dwarf T-shirt, I don’t really have any Red Dwarf merchandise just the DVDs and a couple of videos. This is definitely my favourite thing in this box.

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Overall I really liked a lot of the things in this box and it was nice to have a broad range of British things from the past as well rather than just focussing on current popular British geeky things. I don’t think I’ll be subscribing but if there’s a box with a theme I think I’d like then I will definitely be buying another in the future though probably sticking to one off boxes.

Review: Dandelion – Wishes brought to you

 

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Image for steam taken from the official website http://dl.cheritz.com/en/home

I’m not sure why I like dating sim games so much, the storylines are normally cheesy and there are always characters that seem too perfect and annoy me but I complete their storylines anyway because I just want them all to be done to get all the images or achievements or whatever it is the game gives you. I know this isn’t a new game, it was released in 2012 in Korean and then later that year in English, so it’s 2 years old now but I saw the playthrough that Dodger is currently doing on her channel in this playlist Dandelion with Cry the first few episodes didn’t sell me and the ‘animals that turn into humans’ aspect didn’t help but later on it just gets so much better and kind of weirder and the character they’re playing through at the moment isn’t too perfect nor is the heroine. I found it on steam and read the reviews and felt like I had to try it, though it is the most expensive dating sim I’ve ever bought at £22.99, it’s $29.99 in the US.

The story of the game itself is that that the ‘heroine’ (the word the game uses, not me) Heejung moved out from living with her mother who criticized her and pushed her too hard with her studies and now she lives on her own. At the beginning of the game a mysterious voice appears when she is asleep and when she wakes up there is a basket with 5 animals in. From then on you have to make a choice about which character you want to start because at least one (Jisoo the black cat) apparently can’t get a good end if you have stars with any of the other characters. I’m not sure how true that is but I did find his storyline hard and had numerous bad ends part way through. After a couple of months these then turn into the more human characters and the actual relationship starts. Each has certain interactions that increase their feelings towards you, for example staring at or poking a certain part. There are also set boundaries for you to reach before you can have a relationship with one, Jisoo’s being the highest in beauty, the rest are fairly easy to achieve before they become human. This makes it different from a lot of dating sims in that you have stats to raise and ensure that pressure and stress don’t become too high, rather than the normal decision making that influences the outcome in these games.

So far I have only played the two routes; Jisoo the black cat and Jihae the silver rabbit. I’m glad I played Jihae’s first as it was a lot easier and gave me the chance of working out which activites helped raise which stats and I’m not sure Jisoo’s route would have been as forgiving. I also didn’t find how to get to the store or how to give presents until about half way through the Jisoo route so I managed Jihae without either of those and while getting hearts on a couple of other characters so he may be a good first one to try.

I’m not going to give away any spoilers but here are some general hints I’ve found helped me:

  • Buy the vision pills as soon as possible, they mean that when you look around for items on a date you see more items and this helps a lot when trying to find stamps. You should be aiming for 30 stamps for each character to unlock the special things and I only got 8 for Jihae and it doesn’t seem to matter if I start part way through to find more so I’ll have to replay his route from the beginning to get them.
  • Presents don’t seem to help much,.I didn’t gain much from them, I think it was the same as a positive interaction, and it’s better to save your money for other things that boost stats or the vision pills.
  • When the heart meter thing has become full buy the boosts for stress and pressure resistance first. The more activities there are it seems the harder it is to find some characters.
  • To get more money go to the beach and search for pearls. They’re worth $50 each and you get more hearts from the character you’re after quicker going on a date than wasting this time going to work.

In Jihae’s route it was pretty simple, I managed it without many quick saves and it was a good introduction to the stats raising aspect though I did get a bad end pretty quickly when I didn’t realise studying reduced pressure and the pressure seemed to make me faint. You do have to make sure you pay attention to Jieun, I had 2 hearts on him at the end, otherwise you can’t progress with Jihae. From what I’ve read while still avoiding most spoilers it seems his is probably the happiest ending and I definitely found it happy compared to Jisoo’s good ending so maybe save this till last if you want a happy ending to end the game on.

Jisoo’s route was harder and I had the bad ending with Heejea (the male friend with a secret crush these stories always have) a few times on November 24th even when I went back to the beginning of October for a restart so I hard to start again from the beginning and this ending happened a few times quite late in the game for me as well. The main thing I found with Jisoo is do not get any hearts with any others and don’t let your stress levels get to the point where Heejung goes out drinking with Heejea, that seemed to be my main difference between my failed attempts and the successful ones. Also quick save all the time, any time you see him in the house quick save and try to interact with him, if you don’t find him then use the quick load and try again. If he’s in the kitchen then 90% of the time even after unlocking cooking he was at the fridge and in the bedroom he’s normally at the desk when you sketch, the living room he seems to be 50/50 between the infomercial channel when you unlock it and relaxing on the sofa.

I like this game as, for a dating game, so far I am yet to find a ‘perfect’ character, they all have a backstory and their own problems and reasons for being in the situation. There are a few unanswered questions I have like who the wizard character is which makes me want to know more about the story and I think that’s a pretty good sign for a game. The art is nice and has the anime/manga style a lot of these games have and the music is fairly calm though this can get a bit repetitive sometimes.

My main problem with it has been how frustrating finding some of the characters can be, Jisoo especially, and having to do the quick save then quick load can be a bit repetitive. Some may find the fact that every time you change character you have to replay the whole beginning before they’re human though the skip feature makes this go a lot quicker and you kind of need this section to make the choice between which storyline you’re going to play. Some may find the stat building annoying and at times it can be repetitive but I liked this aspect and thought it made it a bit different to a lot of the dating sims out there. I do wish they’d made Heejea a datable character as it would have been someone different and also as he’s the only properly human male in the story so far for me it would have been good to see how the house of ‘animals’ would react to him.

If you like dating sims, enjoy this kind of art and want one with good storylines, characters that aren’t perfect, and a long play time (I’ve been playing for nearly 10 hours and only done the 2) then this would be a good one to try.  I think it’s good value given the amount of time I’ve already spent on it and the fact that I will be replaying each of them at least part way to get the bad ending just to have them all, even though I think only Jisoo’s actually gives you something more than memories. There is also a free demo which may be worth checking out first and starts part way through the storyline. This can be found on steam when you search dandelion.

Fortune Cookie Soap: Old Fashioned Family Christmas Soap Box

fcsxmas9 Fortune Cookie Soap is a company in America who make bath and body products that aren’t tested on animals and their signature product is a soap shaped like a fortune cookie that contains a ‘fortune’ inside. They do collections inspired by themes such as Harry Potter or Beetlejuice and both the products and the fortunes inside them are based around these. They release large collections 4 times a year; Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter and they have a subscription service where you get a Soap Box full of samples of products in the new scents before they’re released. These boxes include 2 full size products as well; a fortune cookie soap and an OCD hand sanitizer. fcsxmas11

The soap box itself is a small cardboard box and inside you get a piece of card with descriptions of the products and scents and a code on the back with a voucher for $10. The majority of products are the same but there is normally one product, often a whipped cream, that has different varieties within the boxes so people will get different scents bbut you only get the one to try. Click on the thumbnail on the right to see this in full size and read the official descriptions of the products I got and the alternative scents in the whipped creams. fcsxmas9

This Christmas Soap Box is based around the movie franchise of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and the names are all quotes or associated with it. The packaging on this theme is the snowy outline of a roof with lights on and along the top there’s a garland of green fake pine with gold baubles and some old fashioned bulb lights dangling from each side so a very traditional looking Christmas decoration theme that goes with the name and the movie. fcsxmas8Moose mug cuticle butter is meant to smell of egg nog, not a scent I particularly enjoy normally, and I think this is probably true to the egg nog scent. I haven’t actually smelled egg nog that I can remember so I can only say the description is spot on for me; it’s a creamy rich scent with a hint of alcohol that isn’t mentioned. I’ve liked their cuticle creams in the past; they sink in well though can leave my skin feeling a bit greasy for a bit though they work really well at keeping my nails nice. I won’t be using this because I really don’t like the smell but mum will probably get it. FCSxmas1Mele Kelekimaka OCD is a hand sanitizer that’s a bright blue colour which does go with the name and scent as it’s a tropical coconut. To me it just smells of straight coconut, it’s not a very festive scent and another one I’m not a fan of, though I will be using this one as I like their hand sanitizers and this isn’t as strongly scented as the cuticle cream. These OCDs are full size as they sell these smaller sizes, and last a long time, I haven’t had to buy another hand sanitizer since I’ve been getting the soap boxes though I don’t use them that often. fcsxmas4‘Tis the season to be Mary is another full size product in the shape of a fortune cookie soap. This one is described as sweet almond with a hint of tobacco and to be honest I don’t really smell either of these in it. To me it’s a fairly light scent and seems almost floral or fresh like a cotton or fresh laundry type smell. I like this though I think it works best as a soap, not sure I’d buy it in a product that left the scent for longer. fcsxmas3Sparky is a really buttery bakery scent to me, though I’m not sure I smell any pumpkin in it it’s a fairly subtle smell to me. The hydrate me products are meant to be used in the shower as a moisturiser which is left on rather than washed off and soaks into your skin. I like the idea but the colour of this one didn’t really work with it in my opinion as I ended up with green legs. fcsxmas5The whipped cream I got was in ‘bend over & I’ll show you’ which I like a lot more than I expected to reading the description. In the past I’ve found products with pine in it tends to be the overpowering scent to me but in this the cranberry, clove and orange seem to be stronger and there’s a hint of something fresh rather than being able to tell it’s pine. The whipped creams I always love though they don’t sink into my skin very well so I use them at night so it doesn’t matter if it’s a bit greasy as I have my pyjamas on. The other scents all sound good too, I think they sound like the ones that appeal to me the most of all of them in the box so I was a bit disappointed to not be able to smell them too but I might make a Christmas order with them in anyway. fcsxmas2I pledge allegiance, Amen! Is a shower steamer which looks like a small bath bomb that you put on the floor of the shower so it dissolves as you wash and the scent surrounds you. This is definitely a strong scent and a good Winter one as it had the head clearing effect of eucalyptus or mint when I used it. I could definitely smell the mint but again not a huge amount of pine to my nose. fcsxmas6Fried pussycat is a whipped soap which I think is a new product. There have been problems with this product I think reading their facebook page about some becoming deflated rather than having the whipped appearance. I think mine may have deflated in transit as it seems to be less than a third full but the scent is amazing so I’ll forgive this teething problem and it worked well for me. I’m not sure if it was more concentrated because there was less air but the amount I had was enough for more than one shower when using a shower puff thing. I get the plum scent in this, it has a sweet and fruity scent with vanilla though I really don’t smell any jasmine and that’s something that normally stands out to me and goes a bit off on my skin so this was a nice surprise after reading the description. fcsxmas7Christmas bonus is a deep conditioner which I think is another new type of product. I haven’t used this yet but it does feel very thick and conditioning. At the moment I’m not sure there’s enough for my hair, I’m guessing it’s for hair anyway, as it’s very thick but I will be trying it when my hair has been cut. The scent is a mystery and there is a prize for guessing it so I’ll leave it a mystery in here.

For me this box is great, there are only the two products that I don’t like which is good for me in a Christmas range as there always seem to be a lot of bakery and foody scents at Christmas time which are not my favourites. I like the idea of the soap box as it reduces the chance of getting something you don’t like if you’re planning an order of the seasonal products and you can try the whole range and product types you may not normally buy, the steamers would not go on my list normally for example.

Everything in the Christmas range is going to be released on 21st November with a launch video, I think if you’re in the UK it’s in the middle of the night though so the 22nd is when it’ll be online if you’re not staying up to watch. Their products can be found on www.fortunecookiesoap.com and their permanent line has a good range of scents and products as well.

Memebox: CutiePieMarzia collaboration 2

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For anyone who hasn’t heard of memebox it includes products from Korea and can be shipped internationally. Rather than the normal subscription services where you pay once a month and have to unsubscribe they sell it one box at a time and they have a lot of boxes to choose from on their site including boxes released in the past if there is any stock left. A lot boxes sell out quickly and it’s a good idea to buy it as far in advance as possible to avoid disappointment. Most of the time there is a spoiler for one product though the rest are all a surprise and they’re normally based around a theme of some kind. They also do a lot of collaborations and this box was made with CutiePieMarzia from youtube. These boxes are available on http://us.memebox.com/ and they add more regularly.

I decided to get this box as they had a preview of all of the products in advance, I’d liked the idea of the subscription box without a subscription style but after seeing some unboxings and reviews always worried I’d end up with a box that had nothing I’d want in. The preview video I saw was this one over on her channel on youtube.

I got these products a couple of week ago now though so this review is after I’ve tried them all and used them multiple times.

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Inside the pink bubblewrap envelope was this box which is pretty sturdy and definitely one I’ll be keeping to store other things in. I really like the colour and design on this box and the way it shows it’s different than the other non-collaboration boxes. Inside the box is a lot of pink tissue paper so the products survive the long journey and it’s all tightly packed in so no chance of them bumping around on their way here. I like the way the little booklet has a description of who CutiePieMarzia is as, to be honest, I hadn’t heard of her before and it’s nice to get a little paragraph on who chose the products. It also gives the prices of each product and all of them included in this box are full size so it’s a good way to work out the value of the box if bought separately.

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The first thing that stood out to me was the apple, which is sat out on my side and looks nice as a decorative thing as well as having the product inside. It is the ‘red appletox honey cream’ by Tonymoly and the packaging definitely fits with the product name. It does seem a bit bulky for the amount of product you get but I like it so much I’m prepared to forgive the extra packaging. The product itself is a bit of a strange consistency and reminds me a bit of a gooey paste rather than a face cream but it does work really well when you do as it says and pat the product on rather than trying to rub it in, at least for me. A little goes a long way and I didn’t need a whole spatula full for my entire face, though the spatula definitely helps when getting this product out of the pot as otherwise it’s a bit messy and you can end up with too much when just using a finger. The scent of this is amazing, I love fresh apple scented products and this definitely fits the packaging and it’s nice and refreshing and not the overly sweet fake apple smell you can sometimes get in products. This product is 80ml and costs $12.

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The Cheek Room ‘lip balm clover’ in 05 cherry clover is nice though the product itself to me is nothing all that special. The packaging is pretty and the green clover in the middle of the clear jelly like balm does stand out. I’m always happy to get lip balms though as my lips dry out a lot and it’s a pretty tin to go in my bag so it’s a nice product to have. It’s fairly moisturising but not as good as some I’ve had, probably I’d say level with an average lip balm for me. The cherry scent is nice and it doesn’t sit on the lips too much so it wouldn’t be a problem if you don’t like that sticky feeling you can get with some products. Buying this product in stores would cost $12.

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The Shara Shara ‘petit friend matte lip crayon’ I got was in pure pink which is a nice sheer pink colour that just gives a bit of sheen to lips rather than changing the colour of them. The packaging is nice and it’s the twist up chunky pencil style that a lot of companies are doing at the moment. It doesn’t have a scent which could be a positive or negative thing depending on how you feel about lip products and scents and it’s definitely nice and smooth when applying it. I did try to photograph the colour on my hand but I don’t think it’s really shown as it’s so sheer but it does make my lips feel soft and it’s convenient to have in my bag. This would cost $11 buying it separately.

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Another product from Shara Shara, the ‘triple colour shine shadow’ was included and I got the trio in 01 pink violet. The packaging is nice, small enough to fit easily into a bag to carry with you for touch ups if you wanted and the girl’s face on the front is a cute and cartoon style. The colours are nice enough, not ones I really wear though the peach is nice and would work for me as a highlight colour. They are definitely shimmery and stay true to the colour in the packaging when applied and the pigmentation is alright, probably around the level of the mid-range products available in the UK. They were easy to apply and blend well together though the shimmer does tend to spread a bit unless you just pat the product on. I would definitely have preferred the yellow brown palette but I might get some use out of this if I feel like doing a purple look. These would cost $15 if bought separately.

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The biggest box inside the memebox was this serum, the ‘jeju hallabong energy mild all-in-one serum’ made by The Yeon. The bottle of this is nice, a simple design that’s easy to use and the pump doesn’t seem to get blocked up with the product between uses which can be a problem with pumps I’ve found in the past. The product smells amazing, like fresh oranges, and definitely makes me feel more awake when using it which is probably due to this. This is great in the mornings though it isn’t so good in the evenings so I’ve either not used it in the evening or done it a while before I got ready for bed. It’s fairly runny for a serum though sinks in really well and leaves my skin feeling nice and soft and so far my skin hasn’t reacted with it which has been a problem in the past with the few serums I’ve tried before. This product is 100ml and would cost $20 if bought separately.

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The final product in the booklet is the Revecen ‘face control foundation’ in violet. This seems like a nice enough product but does not work for my skin as mine has a more pink base than yellow and this is aimed at ‘controlling dull, yellow skin tone’. It also didn’t help me with reducing any redness though I’ve never really found that purple based ones do for me. I couldn’t do a proper review as it did nothing colour wise but it did seem nice and was easily applied. It’s easily warmed up enough to apply with fingers though I didn’t try a brush so not sure if too much product may be picked up if you did use one. It doesn’t have a strong scent unlike some foundations and doesn’t feel like it adds a layer to your skin which is good for me as I don’t like the feeling you often get with foundations. This was 17g and costs $22.

memebox9There was another product in my box, I’m not sure if this was an extra or if it just wasn’t included in the leaflet so I don’t know the actual price of it full size as it seems to cost different amounts on different sites when I put it into google. It’s the ‘bee tox control cream’ by Dr. MJ. I like the outer packaging on this one, the hexagon shape is unusual and reminds me of honeycombs which I guess it what it was designed to look like. The jar inside is nice as well and doesn’t appear to have a fake bottom inside like many do so looks like it’s full of the cream and it’ll last a long time with the amount of cream I normally use on my face. I was a bit wary about using this as it says it contains bee venom though I didn’t seem to get a reaction on my hand. I haven’t used it on my face yet but will do now I’ve tried it a few times on my hand. The cream itself is fairly thin and sinks in nice and quickly and doesn’t leave a sticky residue. The scent is light and smells like a few other face creams I’ve tried which isn’t unpleasant but doesn’t have an obvious scent either. I’m not sure if this is full size but it’s 55ml and a good size jar so I think it might be, I have no idea of the price though.

I would say in this box my favourite is the apple cream though I’m not sure I’d repurchase any of them full price. They’re all products I’ll use and enjoy apart from the violet foundation so it’s a good box for me. It is no longer available but I’d definitely recommend looking on the site to see if there’s anything you want to try and looking in the sale section of the store for individual products as they have some good reductions. I bought a set of eyeliners at the same time that are really good so will be looking in their sale section for more bits in previous boxes I missed.

Review: Soap and Glory makeup Christmas gift sets

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I have been a fan of Soap and Glory bath products for a while as they last a long time and I like the scents though I hadn’t tried the makeup range until last year when they had a set for half price in boots in the pre-Christmas ‘better than half price’ weekly offers they do. This year I decided that I would buy a couple of their makeup gift sets before Christmas rather than, as I have done the past couple of years, wait until they’re in the half price sale after Christmas and miss out because they’re all sold out.

This year Soap and Glory have again released a range of makeup gift sets as well as their bath product sets. I bought two of these sets in the Boots 3 for 2 gifts offer; the crazy sexy kohl set of smoulder kohl eyeliners and the perfect ten palette for eyes.

The first thing about the crazy sexy kohl set that I noticed when my order arrived was the size of the packaging around the set; it’s a lot bigger than I expected it to be given that it’s just 4 eyeliner pencils. Inside the box was a silver bag, which although it’s got a nice pattern and appears to be well made I’m probably not going to use as I already have a lot of bags this size from various free giveaways and other sets. It’s a nice silver colour and seems like it would be easily wiped clean so would work well as a makeup bag when travelling though it seems a bit small to fit some larger products in. The pull detail on the zip is a nice detail with the Soap and Glory logo on and is a good size to hold to open the bag with the logo providing some grip.

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The eyeliners themselves were wrapped in a stripy tissue paper, which I am definitely going to be reusing for Christmas presents, so were well protected and haven’t been damaged in the journey. The colours included in the set are; superblack (black), cocoa bean (brown), blue my mind (deep navy/black with blue shimmer) and aquabat (green shimmer).

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They’re very soft and easy to use and do create a good smudge effect when use with a smudge brush or sponge, though they do dry fairly quickly and once they’re set they’re there until you remove them with makeup remover so can’t be smudged easily at this stage. It took me 3 washes with soap to get the swatches off my hand so they seem like they’d be waterproof as it says on the pencil. sandg4The black is a very dark black and only took one stroke to get a good, dark colour rather than the two or three that some need. The cocoa bean brown is darker than I expected, as I swatched this first I almost thought I’d picked up the black instead going on past experience with some black eyeliners. It’s darker than the end of the pencil and seems a bluey brown rather than the orangey brown I’d expected. The blue your mind pencil is also darker than the end with it appearing a dark navy, almost black base and a blue shimmer on top of this rather than the metallic blue colour the end has. Aquabat is exactly as you’d expect looking at the pencil and I think this is my favourite, it’s a green metallic shade and a lot brighter than the other three in the set. Overall this set is definitely worth the £14.00 it retails for in Boots and even better if you get it in the 3 for 2 offer on at the moment.

sandg8The perfect 10 palette, which is sold for £16.00 in Boots, has 10 neutral shades including 3 matte shades and 7 shimmers and also includes a double ended brush. The packaging itself is nice and bold, the black, white and pink colour scheme fits with the soap and glory look and the palette is slim enough that it can fit in a bag even if it is fairly long. The picture on the back has a fairly accurate representation of each of the colours though as it is printed on a matte background and does not contain any shimmer then it uses a grainy type effect to show which are the shimmery shades compared to the flat print of the mattes. sandg5The mirror inside is fairly large though as the entire packaging is cardboard the hinge does not hold the mirror up so to use it you either have to hold it or prop it up with something so the mirror doesn’t just fall flat. The brush isn’t too bad, it’s better than the sponge applicators a lot of companies give you in eyeshadow sets but it’s a bit too fluffy and holds a lot of the product without actually having much apply to your skin so the eyeshadow itself appears less pigmented. I’m not going to use it but it might be a good travel brush or for people who don’t normally use brushes to try them out. The swatches show the colours in indirect sunlight without a flash though it is hard to see pink T as it is fairly close to my skin tone. The shimmer colours had good colour payoff and I only had to do one layer to get a good amount of colour to show. They were nice and soft and went on easily though smokin’ was less pigmented and seemed to have more glitter fall out than the others. They blended well and seemed to stay well even without a primer like I would normally use. The matte colours, however, were less impressive as it took a few layers to get any colour, especially with black gold which appeared patchy and brown with the first layer, though when built up they gave good coverage. They were a lot dryer and harder to blend though vanilla would be a good highlight colour and as pink T is a good match for my skin tone that would probably work well for blending for people with paler skin.

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I think my favourite colours in this palette are gold coast and brownie as the gold colour of gold coast is really nice and appears almost metallic in person and brownie has a similar effect though darker.

These are both on sale in Boots in the UK at the moment, the ‘crazy sexy kohl’ set is £14.00 and the ‘perfect 10’ eyeshadow palette is £16.00. Both are available online and in store and are in the 3 for 2 gift offer leading up to Christmas. They may be available after Christmas in a sale if Boots do the normal half price offer but if you want to buy these I would suggest getting them before as in the past the Soap and Glory makeup sets have sold out quickly once the sale starts.