Beauty – hair and makeup treatments, reviews and wishlists!

October Glossybox Review

Hard to believe that my six-month Glossybox subscription has come to an end – how did that happen?!

October Glossybox review

I’ve absolutely loved having these packages arrive at the beginning of each month – its given me something to look forward to. As my subscription has coming to an end, I was really excited for this box- especially as Glossybox have recently changed their rules. Although I’ve managed to accumulate the 1,000 points you need to get your free box, you need to have a rolling subscription, so now I’ve got 1,000 glossybox points worth of feedback that I’ve given – but will get nothing to show for it.

I don’t like writing negative reviews of any kind – in fact, this is my first on my blog. As my last box, I was probably holding it to a high standard, but I feel as though this month I was let down.

First of all – the packaging. I know other beauty bloggers have raved about it, but I find it garish. I’ve used my past boxes to store makeup (or cables…) but I am not a fan of this at all, which is such a shame because they’ve been so spot on with their packaging previously.

Secondly, the contents. I’ve always found something I’ve liked but this was so unexciting!

ciate paint pot black

The first product was the Ciate paint pot. The formula goes on smoothly, and has a nice glossy effect. Unfortunately my nail polish was black – and as a girl who owns very few items of clothing in colours other than black, I don’t tend to wear black nail polish as I think it’s overkill. I know, however, that it works on others – but given the fashion and style choices I’d made on my Glossybox account, I’m surprised that this was the colour I ended up with.

rimmelYves Rocher perfume

Next was the Rimmel London BB Cream Matte, and Yves Rocher France Quelques Notes d’Amour perfume. While I like both of these products, the size of the products were really disappointing.

Basically my reaction to the teeny tiny samples.

They’ll be good for travelling, I guess?

My favourite product in the box was the Nuxe Masque Creme Fraiche de Beaute. I’m a massive fan of Nuxe (see my French pharmacy post for proof), and have used this previously, and I really like it. So perhaps I’m being unfair, especially as this was a full sized product, but it was the only redeeming product for me this month, and the only one I would buy myself.

Nuxe maskNuxe face mask

The other full sized product was the Etre Belle Cosmetics Liplift Peel. Practical, does the job – nothing special.

etre belle

The product that really let the box down in my opinion was, surprisingly, from So Susan. I really liked the Universal Blush that came in my June Glossybox, so I had high hopes for the So Susan Cosmetics Flutter Mascara – especially as I liked the packaging so much! I tried the mascara for a week, and every day without fail, I ended up a work with panda eyes. The brush seemed to scrape against my eyelashes, which made me cringe. The formula also smeared really easily and was unbelievably messy.

So Susan mascara

It’s really a shame that this month’s box was such a dud for me – but I think the team behind it must have a tough job choosing the products to appeal to a wide audience.

All in all, I love the subscription format – and I’d definitely consider trying another subscription box service in the future. Any recommendations? What did you think of October’s Glossybox?

Gorgeous made easy: KS Ultimate Treatment

The weekend before last, I was invited down to Salon International to try out KeraStraight’s KS Ultimate Treatment. For those of you who might not know, keratin treatments eliminate hair frizz, make your hair shine and reduce blow drying time by up to half. What’s not to like?

KeraStraight KeraStraightErin Longhurst  KerastraightErin Longhurst - Kerastraight

My hair is thick, wavy and unruly. The look in the pictures above takes me about an hour – and that is an attempt to blowdry it straight (which lasts about five minutes!) I’d had a similar treatment done years ago in Japan, so when the opportunity came to try KeraStraight I was really excited! I have never dyed my hair, and I don’t tend to be particularly experimental with it – so for me, this was a big step.

I placed my hair in the expert care of some stylists from Trevor Sorbie. They began with washing my hair in a pre-treatment cleanser twice, leaving the second shampoo in for five minutes. During this time your hair is put into a plastic cap, before having pre-treatment spray combed through towel-dried hair.

Kerastraight application

Then the treatment is applied. I’ve lived in several girl-dominated houses, and was fully prepared to endure an overly powerful chemical smell, but found that the treatment doesn’t have it at all. In fact, it just smelled like really nice shampoo, which was quite nice as you leave it on for 45 minutes (and doesn’t give you a headache).

Kerastraight application Kerastraight application Kerastraight application

While I was waiting, I got to see some of the others who had the treatment done. Can you guess which side has had the treatment here? The results were crazy, and her hair was so smooth on the treated side.

KeraStraightKeraStraight

After the waiting time, your hair is given another quick rinse before the moisture lock is applied. The moisture lock is left in your hair for two minutes before your hair is rinsed out. Then you can start blow-drying and ironing your frizz-free and manageable hair!

The stylists were absolutely brilliant – even with the treatment, blowdrying my hair turns out to be a three-man job! I felt like Beyonce. I was absolutely thrilled with the results, and it felt so silky and smooth and I thought they did great.

Kerastraight

However, I think the real mark of a hair treatment is when you go home and style it yourself. Unfortunately having the stylists on retainer doesn’t fit into my budget, but I was intrigued to see whether the treatment works after the stylists have done their bit.

KeraStraightKeraStraight

I left my hair as is for three days, even though you could wash it almost immediately. My hair has been shinier, and has cut the blowdrying time in half. This is great, as I usually spend around an hour blowdrying my hair for it to get the look I want. Using some of the oils and shampoos I was given by KeraStraight, my hair has been looking great and I am absolutely thrilled with the results!

KeraStraightKeraStraightKeraStraight

I had the KS Ultimate treatment, but there are other treatments available. Treatments are available at salons for around £250. It’s great for saving time, and protecting your hair as you don’t using as much heat on it.

KeraStraight

Thank you KeraStraight for my lovely new hair – I’m a big fan!

The French Pharmacy Haul

Although I wasn’t able to go to Paris a few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to get a French pharmacy haul brought back for me. I love going into pharmacies and supermarkets when I’m abroad, and I’ve had my eye on a lot of these products for a while.

Nuxe huile prodigieues and reve de miel

First up was the Huile Prodigieuse from Nuxe. It’s a scented oil that can be used on your face, body and hair, and I am absolutely loving it. I’ve put a couple of drops in the bathwater too – it smells amazing, and makes a regular bath seem that much more luxurious. This bottle also came with the sample of the perfume, which has the same scent – and I’ve already run out of it, I’m enjoying it so much! I’d definitely repurchase the oil, but I definitely need to get my hands on the bottle of perfume first.

Nuxe

Also from Nuxe was the Reve de Miel face cream. It’s a thick, lightly honey-scented day cream that is really moisturising. The only downside is that I like my day creams to have SPF in it – when Mr. A mocks me about my day/night face cream routine, I can’t justify the difference between day and night cream without SPF! Otherwise, it ticks all the boxes for me.

la roche posay

Next is the La Roche-Posay Serozinc toner and Effaclar Duo Anti-Imperfections cream. I like the toner, although I don’t get why toners need to come in spray form – I like to put some on a cotton pad, as I feel I’m wasting a lot of product through the spray (and that it’s ‘toning’ my hair, too). The Effaclar Duo cream really smooths over blemishes and feels great.

Bioderma

I’m a big fan of the Garnier micellar water, and when I tried the L’Oreal version I really didn’t think it compared. The makeup didn’t melt away, and it left my skin feeling tight – which is why I love the Garnier micellar water, because it doesn’t do that. I think the Bioderma is of an even higher standard. Colourless, odorless, a few drops of this on a cotton pad and my makeup is swept away. I love!

If this is standard for all French personal care products, I think I’m going to have to make trips over the channel more often!

For those of you who have favourite French products – what do you recommend?

French pharmacy haul

September Glossybox Review!

This month’s Glossybox is my fourth so far. I really look forward to the arrival of my Glossybox each month: I was given a six-month subscription as a birthday present, and that birthday feeling still keeps coming with this! This is probably not the case for everyone, but my boxes always seem to be delivered at the most convenient time – usually around 7, when I haven’t left for work yet. It’s brilliant!

Karen Millen Glossybox

I love the different boxes: they are the perfect size to store items like makeup, or cables/adaptors in and they look nice, too. The design of the box this month was lovely: designed by Karen Millen, presumably to tie it in with fashion week, it shows the London skyline. Not surprising, then, that one of the first things in the box is a £25 off any £150 purchase at Karen Millen until late September. I’m trying to save money this month, so I won’t have a chance to redeem it but I’m very tempted by this!

Karen Millen Glossybox Karen Millen GlossyboxKaren Millen Glossybox

In terms of products that have the potential to be incorporated into my daily makeup routine, this Glossybox has been the best yet. When it comes to makeup and hair I am definitely a creature of habit, so I was happy to see this month that the products were often higher end variations of current staples.

Kiss eyelashes Glossybox

The first item that caught my attention were the Kiss Haute Couture Lashes. When I was a student up in Manchester, false eyelashes were often part of my look on a night out, but since I’ve moved down south I don’t think I’ve used any at all! I’m not sure if it is because now I’m working, I tend to go out straight from the office, or because of the differences in style. Regardless, I’m really looking forward to trying these out!

Skin Pep Glossybox Samples

Next up were some SkinPep samples: a dark circle eraser eye cream, and a couple of sachets of Enzyme and Acid Peeling Gel. Containing extracts of pineapple and papaya, these gels are meant to gently exfoliate and reveal soft, bright skin. I haven’t heard of SkinPep before, and while I’m not a massive fan of sachets I’m looking forward to trying these out as I love a peel-off mask.  The ‘Enzyme and Acid Peel’ part is slightly daunting: the last time I used anything similar was rather unpleasant, but I was around 15 and didn’t have a clue what I was doing so that might have been a factor, hmm…

Loreal Mythic Oil Masque

The hair product this month was a 75ml pot of L’Oreal Professionnel Mythic Masque. I love the L’Oreal Professionnel hair oils, and I absolutely adore masques for my thick, sometimes unmanageable hair so I’m really pleased with this little pot. Smells nice, too! The last few products were my favorites for this month: a peachy cream blusher from GOSH cosmetics and ModelCo’s More Brows fibre gel.

GOSH cosmetics stick cream blush ModelCo More Brows fibre gel

The peachy blusher stick from GOSH is the first time I’ve tried blush in this form, and I really liked the tone and texture. I usually tend to go for pink blushes, but this color might suit me more – and would be great for traveling as the product won’t run the risk of crumbling all over your suitcase.

The only brow gel I’ve used previously was Maybelline’s Brow Drama gel. Up until yesterday, I was perfectly content with it, but now I’ve discovered this the difference is astounding: it’s been like going from grape juice to champagne. With the brow drama, I’d have to apply powder, and run the brush through my brows, often making them slightly clumpy (attractive). With this, you just apply in short, upward strokes, nothing underneath, and you get the same visual result as it dries to a natural finish. It’s so simple and makes the brows look neat and more full. If any product can reduce anything to one step, I’m interested.

In the image below, I’m wearing some Urban Decay BB cream, liquid eyeliner, mascara with the GOSH blush and ModelCo brow gel.

FOTD Glossybox

The products this month will definitely work their way into my day-to-day routine, so I’m really pleased. It’s the best part about Glossybox: trying out new products you wouldn’t necessarily pick yourself! The Glossydots system also allows you to earn points but filling out surveys on products from the previous boxes. By earning 1000, you can get a free Glossybox. You also get points for inviting people, so I’ve included my referral code below.

http://www.glossybox.co.uk/referal?CI=MTY3ODgx

Do you have a subscription box? What’s your favorite?

What I loved in August

September already?! The time has just flown by recently, and I wanted to do a quick update about products I really enjoyed in August. I’ve also been experimenting with gluten free baking and cooking – recipes to follow!

August haul: naked 2, lush products, misfit

My sister went to visit my mom in New York earlier this month, and I got brought home a Naked 2 palette which I’ve been coveting for ages. The colours are perfect for blending, and I’ve been a fan of Urban Decay eyeshadow for ages (anyone else remember the early noughties midnight cowboy craze?) so I am absolutely over the moon with this!

Naked 2 Palette I’ve also been accumulating more Lush products. This toner might be the best one I’ve ever used: my skin has never looked better and it feels so refreshing (and smells great, too!). I’ve been looking for a sunscreen lotion that doesn’t end up looking too cake-y, or like something out of Memoirs of a Geisha under makeup, and this might be it. It’s definitely not for you if you aren’t a fan of sesame – the scent is really strong but it provides enough sun protection for me (SPF 10) while not messing up my base too much. I’d only really use this in England though, it won’t provide enough protection for holiday wear.

The Lush toothy tabs have really exceeded my expectations. Marketed as ‘natural, solid toothpaste’ I was a bit skeptical, as it seems quite gimmicky. You grind the tablet with your front teeth, and then start brushing. A foam develops, and it makes your mouth feel like you’ve just been to see a dental hygienist (minus the awkward chats with the receptionist).

I’ve included my Misfit Shine (which I reviewed here) because they recently did an upgrade, and now it syncs to My Fitness Pal which made me more happy than it should have.

2014-09-10 11.22.37

Compact tangle teezer

I’ve succumbed to the charms of a compact, travel version of my tangle teezer. If your hair is as monstrously thick as mine, I definitely suggest one of these for travel, or for your handbag: it’s kept me presentable!

One of these is a freebie, and the other is from my latest Glossybox. I’m definitely going to have to invest in the full-size version of the Too Faced Bronzer because IT SMELLS LIKE CHOCOLATE! If that’s not a reason to buy bronzer then I don’t know what is. (It’s also great for contouring). The Glossybox branded Kryolan highlighter also made it in to this list because it’s the first Kryolan product I’ve tried. I’d only ever heard of the brand before because I have an unhealthy obsession with RuPaul’s Drag Race, and they were once a sponsor. This highlighter has been great, and I can’t wait to see what else they have to offer!