beauty, cruelty free, make up, reviews, skincare

Review: Arbonne Cosmetics 

As you may be mildly sick of me mentioning, I went to the Allergy & Free From Show recently. 

One of the brands I discovered there is Arbonne – a Swiss beauty company that makes cruelty free, vegan friendly make up and skincare. 

After a little test session with friendly make up artist and rep Sarah my lovely mum bought me a foundation and a blush. Sarah kindly threw in a primer for me too.

I love make up but the combination of sensitive skin, eczema and rosacea means I have to be super careful with what I use on my face to avoid breakouts and flare ups. 

Sarah explained the ingredients and ethos used by Arbonne – from their website; 

Ingredient Policy

Transparency and honesty. For over 35 years, this has been the hallmark of our product integrity. From the beginning, Arbonne has developed products by combining the best of nature with leading science. Our mission is to always improve and evaluate our ingredient policy as an ever-evolving standard of excellence. This means we continuously challenge ourselves to do better and better.

We formulate without

animal products or by-products | artificial flavors | artificial sweeteners | benzene | bisphenol-a | carbon black | formaldehyde-donating preservatives | hydroquinone | mineral oil | parabens | petrolatum | phthalates | sodium laureth sulfates (SLES) | sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) | synthetic dyes | talc | triclosan | triethanolamine (TEA) And so much more …

A lot of the things I avoid are absent from these products which is great for me. 

The foundation I chose is in the lightest shade of the range, quelle surprise, Alabaster, a gentle medium coverage liquid foundation that sinks in without looking chalky or leaving a residue. 

The blusher is in a light shade called Ballet – it seems a little pale in the pot but once on its peach undertones appear, making my skin look warm. 

The primer is quite gel like but blends down smoothly leaving my skin even and ready to apply my make up. 

I am definitely going to keep using these products and potentially re-purchase, although I also have my eye on some of the skincare Arbonne produces. 

If anything catches your eye – do contact Sarah and check out her Instagram too for some amazing make up looks. 

beauty, beauty boxes, glossybox, make up, reviews

Glossybox – Hello Summer

I know, I know, I said I was done with Glossybox but I kept seeing increasingly good boxes on other blogs and I just couldn’t resist. If they kept this gorgeous sunburnt pink as well it would be so good.

Inside are five summery beauty bits, four of which are fullsize. 

☉Bellapierre Cosmetics Banana Setting Powder – I am so fascinated by this, the yellow powder is designed to offset redness and discoloration on pale skin and add highlights to darker skins. 

☉Spectrum Collections Small Fan Brush – partnered with the setting powder, this brush evenly distributes the powder with cruelty free, synthetic bristles that are super soft. 

☉Monu Professional Skincare – Monuspa Soothing After Sun Lotion – a generous 100ml ‘sample’ of this summer essential. Try as I might I always get burnt somewhere. 

☉Cute Balms Macaroon Tint Balm in Crushed Berry – a fruity smelling balm for lips and cheeks. This is most likely going to be added to my collection of lipbalms I keep forgetting I have and then I buy more. 

☉Papanga Spiral Hairbands (pack of 3) – try as I might I can’t seem to get on board with these, they may not tangle other people’s hair but they snare up might like nobody’s business. 

I rather liked this box – but I will only be sticking with this subscription if the quality remains high. I cannot afford more crappy boxes of cheap and unwanted make up. 

beauty, beauty boxes, birchbox, make up, reviews, skincare

Birchbox Merry & Bright 

This month’s Birchbox has arrived. Instead of the classic box they’ve sent a pop top style box, which they claim can be used as a keepsake box. However it is smaller than the usual box and I can’t really work out what I’d keep in it. 

Inside are five beauty items – they tie into the colour scheme rather neatly. 
💋Ciatè London Fierce Flicks Eyeliner (fullsize RRP  £15) – felt tip style eyeliners are my preferred kind, mostly because I can’t quite handle gel and I have never managed to get a decent line from a kohl pencil. 

💋Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara (RRP £23) – I’m not entirely sure what makes this specifically a smokey eye mascara but there you go. 

💋Benefit Cosmetics Benetint  (RRP £24.50) – teeny tiny Benefit samples I’ve had a few. I used to love benetint but I haven’t used it in years. 

💋Leighton Denny Nail Polish in Just Perfect (fullsize RRP  £12) – this is a really baby pink polish which I really don’t see getting used. Which is a shame as these are good quality polishes. 

💋Amie Skincare New Leaf Deep Pore Exfoliating Polish (RRP £5.95) – this uses rice proteins to exfoliate away dead skin cells rather than nasty plastic beads so yay. Plus this range gets on well with sensitive skin – I just wish it was a bigger bottle. 

This box was a bit mixed, it’s nice that the colours all tie together and I will definitely get some use out of most of the contents which is nice, especially considering the very hit and miss year Birchbox has had. 

beauty, make up, reviews

Doing the Dupe Shoop…

For a while I was a bit of a snob about buying dupes, thinking it was always better to buy the fancy, expensive version. 

But buying dupes allows you to try the product before spending your hard earned pennies on the premium version. 

EBay and Amazon marketplace are a dream for dupe hunters – ok so the quality isn’t 100% but at these bargain basement prices it’s hard to argue.  

Shipping is often from China and pretty cheap or even free so while it does take a whole to arrive, it doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg just in postage. 

These are some of my favourite dupes so far. 

Kabuki brush – Sal Ummbaby mentioned this a while ago and I had to give it a go. It’s probably my favourite dupe item ever – and despite being cheap as chips it’s lasted really well and washed nicely, holding its shape and not shedding much – better than some of my pricier brushes have. 

Beauty Sponge – I wanted to try a sponge but didn’t fancy paying 10 quid for one so these beauties were a great alternative. They last a while and wash ok, although be gentle when washing them as the sponge shreds if you’re too vigorous. 

Brush Egg – I saw a very expensive brush washing mat on a blog post somewhere and wanted something a bit less pricey to get my brushes properly clean and this little gadget does the trick. You swirl the brush over the ridges and the grime shifts (I use a little blob of gentle shampoo and warm water too). 

Oval brush – these seemed to be a big thing and once again a bit pricier than I was willing to pay to try it out.  I don’t think they’re for me.  And it didn’t cost much to find that out. This was OK as cheap brushes go, fairly soft and stiff, washed well without too much shedding. I just prefer my sponge blender. 

Rainbow highlighter – I think it’s wanting to be a mermaid/unicorn/pirate/spacewoman/superhero/princess that attracted me to the idea of a rainbow highlighter. Swooshing colour across my cheeks. I blame Rainbow Brite. Again this was expensive and almost impossible to find. But this cheap and cheerful knockoff was easy and simple to buy and while it isn’t the fanciest packaging ever, it’s good for a bit of the ol’ I’m a rainbow shimmy. 

Nail Polish holder – this is pretty ingenious, although the original is more than some of my nail polishes. It sits on your fingers and holds the polish bottle so if you haven’t got a flat surface (or surprisingly firm and well balanced thighs) it keeps the polish from spilling. 

I haven’t written about high street dupes because they’re everywhere and I think most of you know about them, but feel free to suggest them, or any other clever alternatives in the comments. 

beauty, beauty boxes, love me beauty, make up, reviews, skincare

Love Me Beauty – The Sundown Edit

I haven’t done an order from Love Me Beauty for a while. But I heard they had a few of the soon to be in Debenham Kat Von D products, so I thought it was time to have a look at their boutique again. 

Every month you get 60 credits to use and you pick your products. Recently they’ve scaled back the options and shrunk everything down to sample size, which is a bit disappointing when everything used to be fullsize. 

You can buy top up credits if you want more treats from the selection. 

I picked five items which arrived in a stripy make up pouch. Gone are the boxes. 

Omorovicza Budapest Copper Peel – this two part at home facial uses minerals from the healing waters of Hungary. Combining a blue copper paste and a lactic acid activator. My skin’s not too happy at the moment, between commuting on London’s Underground and the cold brewing in my head, so hopefully this will strip out some of the gunk and cheer it up. 

Aromatherapy Associates Hydrating Rose Skin Toner – refreshing and cooling to tone the skin after cleansing. I haven’t been using toner recently but I read a few articles recently from beauty writers I trust and look up to saying it’s a good step to look after skin so using this tiny bottle for a bit to see the difference before committing. 

Omorovicza Budapest Deep Cleansing Mask – this Hungarian brand seems to be the pick of the boutique and this clay mud mask is full of minerals to deep cleaning skin. 

Kat Von D Studded Lipstick in  Magick – a pinky nude tone with a hint of sparkle, this is quite a nice everyday shade. The tube is studded and looks quite fun in my collection. 

Kat Von D Ink! Liner – I am so rubbish with eyeliner but this superfine pen is supposed to be one of the best on the market and easy peasy to use.  


I really liked this selection and the new edit style of options in the boutique. 

It will be interesting to see what the next selection is and whether they bring back full size items. 

Do you subscribe to Love Me Beauty?? Thoughts? Let me know in the comments below. 

beauty, beauty boxes, make up, reviews

Little Known Box – Face Firsts

This month’s box is all about trying new things as it’s a new season (autumn!)

Peeks Cosmetics Matte Lipstick in shade Quick Sand. This is a matte brown-y colour which to be quite honest is not really my thing. It would probably be good on someone with a darker skin tone but not on my ridiculously pale face. 

Lash Unlimited Strip Lashes – another dud for me, I have naturally long, very pale lashes, so I’ve never bothered with falsies, but I do think they can look amazing.  

Nanshy 4-in-1 Marvel Blender – this is more my speed, I’ve really got into using a sponge blender so a spare is always welcome. 

Siskyn Skincare Oils Frankincense & Jasmine Night Facial Oil – this scented oil is a blend of 18 botanical oils to soothe, replenish and rejuvenate skin while you sleep. I am starting to get quite into oils – especially the new generation that neither dry you out or leave you looking like an oil slick. 

Epic Blend Vegan Lip Balm in Wild Berry – petroleum and gluten free lip balm. Added to my stash already. 

beauty, fun stuff, make up, questions

The Beauty Knowledge Tag

I’ve seen this popping up on lots of different blogs and Twitter feeds. The answers are often pretty hilarious. 

For this tag you need a partner or friend who doesn’t use make up or know much about it. I am using the Mr as my guinea pig. He doesn’t get my interest in make up at all. Let’s see what knowledge he has absorbed. 
💋What are these different beauty products and techniques? 

💋Bronzer – giving a tanned appearance 

💋Blusher – making your cheeks pink like a doll

💋Mascara – making eyelashes black and curly 

💋Eyeliner – making your eyes look more Egyptian 

💋Strobing – something to do with disco

💋Eyeshadow – colouring your eyes in 

💋Powder – do you put that on your face? Is it like manual photoshop?

💋Foundation – like a base coat 

💋Concealer – covers spots and blemishes

💋Setting Spray – like varnish or hairspray for your face?

💋Contouring – using your make up to give your face different shapes?

💋Primer – another base coat

💋Lip liner – makes lips look happy 

💋Brow pencil – drawing on your eyebrows after you stupidly shaved them off. 

💋Serum – watering down make up to apply an even coat

💋Cleanser – taking your make up off

💋Micellar Water – no idea, is it for cleaning your face?

💋Toner- matching your make up to your skin tone

💋Was this test hard? Not really, I think I knew a lot. 

💋Why? You didn’t ask for an essay and I had no idea about some of them. Did I win something? Is there a prize? 

I then had to explain what everything was, he still doesn’t get the point of most of these products. He still wants a prize. Bless him. 

If you want to do this tag, go for it. Let me know in the comments, I’d love to see if your partners and friends do any better. 

beauty, make up, reviews

Product Review: Make Up Revolution’s Fortune Favours the Brave Palette

Designed in collaboration with Jane aka British Beauty Blogger, this palette was almost impossible to get hold of. It was available from Superdrug and Make Up Revolution’s website, occasionally.

However, I was browsing palettes recently in Superdrug and it now seems to be readily available.

I’d admired the other Make Up Revolution palettes for a while, especially the Mermaids one but since I am really lazy about remembering to use them, I rarely buy palettes.

Having seen this gorgeous palette all over social media I decided to splash out (it’s a very affordable £10) and treat myself to it.


The gold embossed packaging is very nice, and as with other Make Up Revolution packaging, it looks more expensive than it was, making it a nice addition to any make up shelf or countertop.

Let’s have a look at the colours within.



I like the marble glitters, and the range of 30 shades is great, I can definitely see some that’ll get a lot of use.

Swatch selection

The brush isn’t the best ever, but palette brushes rarely are so I’ll be using my trusty eyeshadow brushes, currently these ones.

The swatches don’t really do the colours justice and while some of the colours aren’t really me, this is a solid collection and worth the investment.

beauty, make up, reviews

Make Up Menu – Revlon Ultra HD Matte Liquid Lipstick

I like a bold matte lip, gloss just sticks my hair to my mouth and recently I swatched the new Revlon liquid lipsticks (a product I love btw, much easier to apply and slides on easy).

Revlon seems to be reformatting a lot of their products and streamlining their range and I think these beauties are here to stay.

Despite being blonde with very pale skin, I don’t really go for pale lip colours, preferring a bold purple or red, so I made a beeline for the purple hued one, sadly Superdrug were out of stock, but I will return for it.

Instead I went for the deep pink of Obsession (one of my personal bugbears – the terrible names given to make up shades), which, while it could be punchier, is great for every day wear.

Devotion (top), Obsession (bottom)

In my Glamour Summer Edit from Latest in Beauty there was the nude/pink shade Devotion – which they reckon is the perfect shade for anyone, which I’m not 100% sure about as different skin tones suit different shades, even before you take personality and taste into consideration.

To be honest I don’t think you need to build up the colour as they’re quite pigmented, perhaps if you were using the paler shades you might want to.

It lasted fairly well, although I’m not the best judge as I have a terrible habit of licking and chewing on my bottom lip, having to reapply lip balm all the time, so I probably eat more lip products than anything else. 

If you prefer a glossy lip, slick a clear gloss over the top for added shimmer.

Have you tried Revlon’s new liquid lipsticks? Thoughts? Let me know in the comments.

beauty boxes, make up, reviews, skincare

Beauty box round up

You may have noticed a slight lull in May’s beauty box breakdowns. To be honest May, as Shania Twain once sang ‘that don’t impress me much’. It was pretty underwhelming.

Glossybox was frustrating as usual – so much potential, so much empty box space and ‘meh’ products.


The highlight of the box for me was the random nail repair gel, my brittle nails need it. The Mr ate the popcorn and my mum made off with the hand cream.

Birchbox wasn’t a great deal better, the ladies of the WhatsApp swap group did quite well out of my lack of love.


The sachet of coconut oil was the biggest ‘why?’ of the box. Seemed like an unnecessary addition and the promo card with it was about three times the sample’s size.

I did like the My Little Box offering this month, but mostly for the lifestyle items, a shiny ring is almost guaranteed to catch my magpie eye. I can’t remember what the beauty items even were, a definite sign of ‘eh’ as a reaction.


I was happier with the one-off and quarterly boxes this month.

The Vegan Kind‘s beauty box had a hairmask that smelt like pancakes and a yummy lip scrub. You’re welcome to pop round any time TVK.


Latest in Beauty scored another sparkler in collaboration with the lovely Jane of British Beauty Blogger fame in their Precious Petals box with products from the L’Occitane family. Very Spring.


Powder launched their second beauty drawer, hope they do a third. Brilliant products, even if they did forget two of mine (sent separately with a gift card as an apology).


I think part of the problem for monthly boxes is that they run out of steam some months and just can’t get it together. What’s worrying (for them) is that much smaller groups, like the lovely ladies behind The Blogger Beauty Box, are doing it better than these big name brands with all the contacts, firms and knowledge at their disposal.


I’ve skipped over the worst boxes (You Beauty and Look Incredible) and of the monthly ones, Look Fantastic did a reasonable job, but still a little weak (yet another hairbrush that is defeated by the stubborn hair on my head).


So, June has now arrived. And with it a fresh crop of boxes is due to arrive. Fingers crossed I like them a wee bit more.