Review: Smashbox Shooting Star Gift Set

Smashbox Shooting Star set title image. Behind the text box is a photo of the three palettes on a wooden surface

Until this time last year I hadn’t tried anything Smashbox, their Christmas gift sets are a great way to try things for yourself as the price is so good compared to their permanent range. The Covershot palettes are £24 normally, this set of three is £42, or £35.70 in the sale at the moment. In the Smashbox Shooting Star Gift Set is a limited edition eyeshadow palette called Supernova, Minimilast which is a permanent one, and a small face palette with a highlighter, blush and matte bronzer.

As with all Covershot palettes these are small, they’re a great travel sized palette or to throw in your bag, so for the price they are still expensive and it seems they can be a bit hit or miss when it comes to pigmentation, I tend to do research before getting them but as this only has one permanent product in there I risked it.

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Review: No7 Nude to Night Palette

I got the No7 Nude to Night Palette as a free gift with purchase a while ago, it’s an all in one face palette with six eyeshadows, a bronzer, a highlighter and a blusher. It seemed like the perfect travel palette so I took it away on holiday with me to try out, then didn’t actually wear any makeup. I’ve been playing around with it quite a bit since to see how well they last.

If you buy this full price it’s £25, which isn’t a bad price when it comes to No7, their standard blushes come in a 3g pan and cost £9, this one has 3.2g of the bronzer and blush and a 3.8g pan for the highlighter so those three alone would probably cost more than this. It’s also nice and compact and would actually work for travel without being so small that it’s hard to use the face products with a standard brush.

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Advent 2017: Day 4!

Today’s gift in the Marks and Spencer’s beauty advent calendar is the Gatineau Melatogenine Advanced Rejuvenating Cream and is a 15 ml sample tube which is a decent size for a face moisturiser. I normally find this is more than enough to get an idea of what it’ll be like. This one had probiotics in it and is definitely at the high end of the skin care products price wise at £86 for a full sized 50ml pot, it means this small sample is probably worth around £28! Definitely one of those brands that is outside my budget but that I love to find in these kinds of sets as I wouldn’t buy them myself.

The fourth day of advent and I’m adding in the second of my advent calendars, not that it’s meant to be but I bought a Twelve Scents of Christmas set of wax tarts from an Etsy store so thought I’d open one every other day in the lead up to Christmas. They didn’t arrive until just as we were leaving on Friday but I’ll include them in my advent from now on. I do love having some Christmas scents and went for these rather than the Yankee advent calendar I normally go for. It’s the 12 Scents of Christmas natural wax melts box and costs £15 on the Scented Seasons Shop on Etsy. I’m just picking them out at random and the first is Mulled Wine.
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Review: Boots Essentials Cucumber Moisturiser

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This Cucumber Moisturising Cream is part of the Boots Essentials range. It comes in a 100ml tub and costs £1.50 so it’s very much a budget beauty product. Although it’s cheap and cheerful and not the best looking pot out there it’s one that I’ve used in the past and thought was discontinued so when I saw a post on some other products in the range on Mrs Strawberry Blonde’s blog I had to give it a go and see if it was as good as I remembered.

It claims to be soothing with cucumber and vitamins and is suitable as both a day and night cream. It’s definitely on the thick side for a cream and I was recommended it years ago when one of the medications we tried for my skin made it dry and cracked and it was one of the few that had an effect so I was definitely expecting it to be really moisturising and calming.

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Review: Ultrasun Face SPF30

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As we’re in the middle of a heat wave in the UK it seemed like the perfect time to do a review of a sun cream I’ve had since December. I got this mini sized tube of Ultrasun Face in SPF 30 in the Marks and Spencer Advent Calendar and have been keeping it in case we had some sun this summer. I’ve been using it the past week and it’s still going so, although it’s a mini size, it has a fair amount of product in it.

This is a 25ml mini tube, the size you find in quite a few of their sets, but it’s also available in full sized 50ml (£16 – £20) and 100ml (£25 – £30). I’ve found it on a few sites so the prices may vary slightly. This is also the 30 SPF version, it’s the one I got but the one I’d probably choose anyway, though it’s also available in both 15 SPF and 50 SPF, some also seem to have a 50+ but I’m not sure if that’s the same as the 50 SPF. There are also anti pigmentation varieties and tinted ones so they pretty much cater for everything I can think of in the range of face sun protection.

Ultrasun isn’t available in many physical stores in the UK, online it’s available in a lot of places, the two I’ve bought from in the past are Marks and Spencer (though they don’t stock the SPF 30 at the moment) and QVC. Continue reading

Advent 2016: Day 8!

Today’s calendars had a blue nail varnish I called Pool Party in the Ciate Mini Mani Month, I think it may have been released as part of a summer range buts it’s a permanent product, the Yankee Candle had my second tea light with the Winter Glow scent and the Marks and Soencers advent calendar had a bottle of Alpha H Liquid Gold which sounds interesting and not one I’ve heard of, or remember at least.

Day eight and it’s surprising how empty the Marks and Soencer advent calendar is looking. I’ve been putting the Ciate empty boxes back in for some reason, I guess I like the look of them more, so it’s less obvious on that one. We finally finished the decorating today and have been writing Christmas cards. It always makes me feel more Christmassy when we’re writing Christmas cards and it’s always interesting to see how many people’s handwriting you see every year only at Christmas. Or maybe it’s just me that finds it interesting. 
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Advent 2016: Day 7!

This may sound an odd thing to be the most excited about considering the other products in the beauty advent calendar but today’s Marks and Spencer calendar present of the Ultrasun Face SPF 30 sun cream is one of the ones I was most looking forward to trying. I’ve seen this make around for a while but never actually tried anything from them, having been told recently I need to wear sun cream, or SPF anyway, because of medication I was waiting for this one to try and sticking with one I already had from summer. 

The Ciate today was a nail topper, a glitter called All That Jazz, which is really pretty and sparkly but these are so messy to use. The Yankee Candle tea light today is actually hard to tell which one it is, I’ve got a cold now and I can’t seem to tell if this is Christmas Cookie or Winter Glow but I think it’s Christmas Cookie. It’s such a subtle scent and I think the others in the calendar may have affected the scent of it when it’s not burnt, or maybe it’s just my nose playing up and adding other scents to it.
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Review: Boots Ingredients Lotus Flower and Tiger Lily Radiance and Brightening Sheet Mask

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I haven’t seen these Boots Ingredients sheet masks in Boots until recently so I bought a couple to try out as I do love sheet masks, they’re just so convenient and a lot less messy as you don’t need to wash it off afterwards. There are three available in this range, I tried the Charcoal and Willowbark Cleansing and Purifying one, you can find the review here, and this time It’s the turn of the Lotus Flower and Tiger Lily Radiance and Brightening Sheet Mask.

These masks are all £2.50 each in Boots though they do have offers and at the moment it’s 50p off certain Boots Ingredients masks. These packs each contain one mask and are one use, though from my experience with the two there’s quite a lot of the moisturising formula in there so you can use it on the rest of your body as well.

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Review: Soap and Glory Face, Soap and Clarity Vitamin C Facial Wash

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With the weather changing here in the UK I’m starting to change my skin care routine to a more autumnal or winter one as my skin tends to need more moisturising products in the winter time. One that I have used in the past, years ago now, and I thought I’d try again is the Soap and Glory Face, Soap and Clarity Vitamin C Facial Wash. As I got this one in a set it isn’t a full sized product and this one has 50ml of the face wash. A full sized version holds 350ml and costs £8 and can be found on the Boots website. It’s one of the products that I’ve seen in every Boots store I’ve been into though so I’d think they’d have it near you if you can get to a Boots.

According to the website this is suitable for all skin types and is a 3-in-1 face wash that smoothes, cleans and purifies, which sounds like most face washes to me. One thing that makes this one different to a lot of other slightly scrubby products is that, although it does have scrubby beads in it these are jojoba beads, not plastic microbeads. This does mean they’re softer and it’s not a scrub so it doesn’t give you the exfoliation of a scrub or exfoliator but if you have sensitive skin, like mine, then you don’t want something that has the harsh scrub effect anyway. They are also a cruelty free company but I don’t think this is a vegan or vegetarian friendly product, it would be best for you to check out the ingredients as a lot are the scientific names and chemicals so I don’t know where they come from.

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Review: Earth Kiss Million Year Clay Facial Revitalise Bamboo Sheet Mask

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Ever since seeing all these reviews on sheet masks I’ve been on the lookout for good ones that are easy to get in the UK. I have tried a couple of the Superdrug ones and really liked them and found some in a recent look on the online store for Holland and Barrett so I ordered a couple of the different types to see how they compare. Most of the sheet masks I’ve seen are fairly similar in that they don’t have too much of the actual liquid on them and I’ve definitely not seen any clay based ones before so these intrigued me.

The one I tried the other day is the Million Year Clay Facial Revitalise Bamboo Sheet Mask by Earth Kiss, it sells for £1.99 for each sheet mask but they’re often in the offers, they were in a buy one get one half price offer when I made the order, as was everything on the site. It says there are 85 plant nutrients and it’s vegetarian friendly and cruelty free. The main two ingredients are rhassoul clay and juniper, I’ve not heard of juniper as great for skin care but I know clay tends to have a lot of benefits for skin.

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