Tuesday 28 May 2013

WIMH Discovery Kit: Welcome Back To Korres

Welcome Back To Korres Discovery Kit* - £15 (Worth £27)

I've got another one of the amazing Discovery Kits from What's In My Handbag for you today. As well as their Ole Henriksen kit I've been trying out their Welcome Back To Korres Kit. Again like Ole Henriksen, Korres are a brand who heavily promote the use of natural, botanical ingredients. The brand originates from Greece so they utilise the Greek flora in all of their products. The result is a wonderful range of skincare, haircare & makeup. I'm sure most people have heard of their lovely Lip Butters and this kit offers you the chance to try a full size one along with two shower gels, a serum, a moisturiser and a nail polish all for just £15.

The Wild Rose Brightening & Line Smoothing Serum is packed full of Vitamin C which really brightens your skin and helps to fade scarring. It's a very light yet hydrating serum that's great for both day and night as it doesn't have any stickiness to it. I only managed to get one application of out of the Wild Rose Moisturising & Brightening Cream sample but from what I could tell it's a very nice moisturiser which would be great for anyone with dry skin. Both of these products have a very pleasant light rose scent so they're lovely to use. I only wish the samples were a bit bigger so I could try them out properly.

These shower gels smell absolutely divine! The Basil Lemon one is my fave because it's super citrusy and invigorating. They make your skin smell really nice too. The only downside is that they do contain SLS which I find to be too harsh on my eczema-prone skin.

The Baby Pink Nail Colour is a lovely sheer milky pink shade. Fellows fans of Essie Fiji & Model's Own Utopia will love this one too. It took about three coats to stop it looking streaky but the finish is really nice - high-shine and very long lasting. It contains myrrh extract, oligoelements and provitamin b5 to help keep your nails strong which is always a bonus.

My favourite item from the kit by far is the Wild Rose Lip Butter. I've heard so much hype about Korres' Lip Butters but never tried one until now and they are incredible! I'm really fussy about lip balms but this one hydrates my lips so well, feels very light to wear and has great pigmentation. I love the deep berry stain of this Wild Rose shade. Both the balm and colour last so well, my lips still looked great even after eating my lunch. I really wish I'd bought one of these sooner! Let me know your favourite shades of these because I'm pretty sure I'll end up buying another.

This kit is well worth the money for the lip balm and nail polish alone, the other bits would be perfect for travelling with or taking to the gym. I don't know how I went so long without trying one of those Lip Butters though!

And don't forget you've got until May 31st to get 20% off any order over £10 at the What's In My Handbag shop with the code SPARKLY20.

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Monday 27 May 2013

ELF Studio Matte Lip Colours

ELF Studio Matte Lip Colour - £2.50

Recently I've been getting into matte lip products as I love the more natural finish they provide. I know everyone loves the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencils but they cost £17.50 each! Another option for a matte lip pencil are the Topshop Lip Crayons which come in at £7. The Topshop ones are available in some gorgeous colours but they leave my lips looking dry & flaky no matter how much lip balm I chuck at them beforehand. Enter the ELF Studio Matte Lip Colours. These twist-up crayons offer incredibly pigmented matte lip colour that doesn't dry out your lips at all. And the best part? They cost just £2.50 each. Incredible! I can't say that ELF are a brand I buy from very often but I do really like everything that I have bought from them. I really need to try some more of their stuff because their prices are just too good! Anyway the shades I have are Coral, Natural & Tea Rose.


When I normally go for orange lips I like to choose reddy oranges such as MAC Morange. Peachy tones tend to make me look a bit dead but I think Coral actually looks quite nice on me. It's so rare to find a peachy option that actually works for us pale girls. I think this is a great colour for Spring and would look especially lovely if you've got a bit of a tan.


This is definitely my favourite of the three. It kinda reminds me of a matte version of Estee Lauder's Crystal Baby lipstick in that it's one of those 'my lips but better' shades. I wear this lip colour a lot as it's a good option for daytime. I would generally say that glossy lip products are the ones to go for if you want your lips to look fuller but because this matches my natural lip colour so well my lips look bigger than they really are. So this is perfect if you're looking for a naturally plumper pout.

Tea Rose

Swatched on my hand Tea Rose looks quite similar to Natural but it comes out a lot darker on my lips. It's actually a very dark plummy pink. I think this colour looks slightly gothic on me so Tea Rose is definitely more of an Autumnal shade. I only bought this one because it appears as a bright candy pink on the ELF website which is why it's always a good idea to look for lip swatches before you order stuff (doh!). I'd say that this is my least favourite out of the three because I do generally prefer brighter colours but I can imagine this shade looking amazing on some people.

I would really recommend these crayons if you're a fan of matte lip products. The colours on offer might not be as exciting as the Topshop or NARS matte lip pencils but for the price you really can't go wrong with these ones from ELF. I think I'm gonna have to order the Rich Red shade next time!

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Friday 24 May 2013


Dress - Chi Chi* / Tights - www.tightstightstights.co.uk* / Flatforms - ASOS
Necklace - Claire's Accessories / Bracelet - Pretty Little Things*

I'm off out tonight for my friend's engagement party so I thought I'd take a couple of pics before I leave the house. It's gonna be a fairly swanky affair so all of us are dressing up a bit. Just a shame it's been raining all day, hope my hair & outfit don't get ruined wahh! I don't have many posh dresses in my wardrobe so it's a good thing I was sent this dress by Chi Chi. They make some absolutely stunning dresses! They've currently got a sale on with some crazily cheap prices. Definitely worth a look if you're after a nice new cocktail dress. How pretty is all the gold lace detailing?! I feel like a princess in this haha.

My Jonathan Aston starburst sequin tights are from www.tightstightstights.co.uk. I've developed a real thing for patterned tights lately. I love these ones because they add a nice bit of sparkle to my legs. They're such brilliant quality too. They've lasted me a few nights out now without any ladders which has to be some kind of record. Again I'm wearing my beloved ASOS flatforms because I literally can't stand or dance all night long in any other heels, especially after I've had a few drinks! Bring on the cocktails ;)

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Tuesday 21 May 2013

BeautecoBox May 2013

BeautecoBox* - £10 + £2.95 Delivery

The beginning of May saw the launch of a brand new beauty subscription box in the UK - BeautecoBox. The name stems from them being an eco friendly company with 100% recyclable packaging. The main advantage of this box over any other beauty box on the market is that you get to choose which set of products you'll be sent. When I used to be subscribed to a certain other beauty box I always hated seeing what other people had received and feeling left out because I'd been sent a tiny sachet when they'd gotten a full size product. This style of box completely eliminates that risk as you know exactly which products will be delivered to your door. Some people might prefer the surprise of opening up their box without knowing what is inside but I think this process is a lot fairer and only you know what kind of stuff you'd want to try. Every month there are three sets of boxes available. I went for box 3 and this is what was inside:

Melvita Milky Cleansing Oil
The main reason I chose box 3 was because I really wanted to try this cleansing oil. After falling in love with the Superfacialist Rose Miracle Makeover Facial Oil I knew this would be something I'd like using too. This is a really lovely cleanser & the rose scent isn't too overpowering. It's brilliant at removing makeup without stripping the skin. It's very fluid so a little goes a long way & it's perfect for facial massage. It turns slightly milky on contact with water so no film is left on the skin & it doesn't give me foggy eyes either. The full size bottle of this actually works out to be a lot cheaper than the Superfacialist one so I think I might actually buy this when I run out of my other cleansing oils.

Mitchell & Peach Body Cream
I'm not a big fan of the scent of this cream, it's far too masculine for my liking & smells strongly of lavender. Having said that the cream itself is quite moisturising. It's packed full of goodies like honey, shea butter, cocoa butter, Vitamin E and sweet almond oil. Plus it gets a thumbs up for having 100% natural fragrance. It's just a shame that I dislike the scent so I don't think I'll be using this again.

Anatomicals Body Scrub
While I appreciate the witty names of Anatomicals' products I couldn't help but be slightly disappointed with this scrub. I like my scrubs to have a lot more grit to them and this texture of this was far too fluid to exfoliate my skin properly. I do love the grapefruit scent & I will use it up but I won't be repurchasing this.

Anatomicals Vitamin Rich Hand Cream
This is really really moisturising. My cuticles are ridiculously dry but this manages to sort them out nicely. It's not greasy & sinks in fairly fast. My only gripe is that it smells a bit plasticky.

Dr Bragi Age Management Moisturiser
This is a lovely light gel moisturiser featuring marine enzymes and hyaluronic acid to deeply hydrate and plump the skin. It firms up my skin & adds a healthy glow to my face. You need the tiniest amount, even a pea sized blob is a bit much or it'll end up feeling quite sticky. This is a really cool product because it's kinda like Hydraluron, a moisturiser and an eye gel in one. It claims to brighten the complexion, reduce blemishes & eliminate dark circles but the sample I received wasn't really enough to notice the full effects. The full size 60ml tube of this moisturiser retails at a whopping £120! It is very expensive but I can see why it is so expensive as it's basically three products in one. I do really like this stuff but it might be a while before I ever feel the need to splash out 120 quid on a moisturiser.

For me the Melvita & Dr Bragi products were the best samples in the box. I loved being able to choose which products I received. I also really like the design of their packaging & branding. Again as with pretty much every other beauty subscription box I've tried the products were very hit and miss. But I do feel like this BeautecoBox has the ideal ratio of full size products & samples. Even the smaller samples are quite generous ones. If they can keep up the quantity of products in the boxes every month then this box could be well worth the money.

You can subscribe to BeautecoBox for £10 a month plus £2.95 delivery with no minimum subscription term. Visit the BeautecoBox website to find out more.

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Monday 20 May 2013

Organic Surge Citrus Mint Shower Gel

Organic Surge Citrus Mint Shower Gel* - £4.75

Fragrance is a big mood enhancer for me when it comes to bathing. I like my products to smell either sickly sweet or citrus fresh. One problem I continually seem to run into when buying shower gel is that some ingredient in them is far too harsh on my skin resulting in dry elbows and patches of eczema on my body. It really sucks when you find something that smells incredible, feels great in the shower but you later have a reaction to. So recently I've been looking for more natural products in the hopes of reducing my eczema flare ups. Luckily this Citrus Mint shower gel from Organic Surge ticks both the boxes when it comes to having an awesome scent & being kind to my skin. It contains organic peppermint, lemon and orange essential oils which result in a very refreshing shower experience. The scent doesn’t linger on my skin at all but it'll fill your bathroom with those lovely invigorating oils. Natural glycerine, aloe vera and Vitamin E are also included to keep your skin feeling soft & perfectly moisturised. I love how tingly it feels on the skin and I definitely feel more awake after showering with this stuff.

What I really like about Organic Surge is that their products are untouched by harsh chemicals. They don't contain any parabens, SLS, synthetic perfumes or colours. These ingredients are something I'm becoming increasingly concerned about in my beauty products. I'm pretty sure they're what I've been having reactions to. So I really think that natural, organic products are the way to go if you have sensitive skin. I'd really recommend this if you're looking for something to give you a bit more pep in the morning!

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Thursday 16 May 2013

WIMH Discovery Kit: The Best Of Ole Henriksen

The Best Of Ole Henriksen Discovery Kit* - £19.50 (Worth £54.00)

What's In My Handbag is one of my favourite online beauty destinations. Their online magazine is a fantastic way of finding out about new products. They even offer free product samples on occasion including things like the Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm & the new REN BB cream. Recently I've been testing out one of the sample kits they sell in their shop - The Best Of Ole Henriksen Discovery Kit. Ole Henriksen are one of those brands I hear so much about but have never delved into myself. Mainly because a) individually the products are fairly expensive and b) I had no idea where to start. This kit solves both of those problems because it gives you very generous samples of some of their most loved products at a low price. Every item included in the kit is designed to be used on all skin types and the brand has a strong focus on natural, botanical ingredients.

I gave up using wipes as a makeup remover a long time ago. They never got my face clean enough & I had to use about 4 to get rid of all my eye makeup. But these Truth To Go Wipes are probably the best ones I've ever tried. You only get 10 wipes in the packet but just one wipe manages to remove every trace of makeup from my face, even waterproof mascara. I would normally only advocate using a balm, oil or micellar water to remove your makeup but if you ever find yourself in a situation where wipes are the only answer like a festival, plane or you're a drunken mess, then these are perfect. The ingredient list is very impressive, they're full of Vitamin C, micro algae & fruit extracts designed to brighten & firm your skin so you don't have to feel guilty about taking a cleansing shortcut. The wipes themselves are very soft & don't strip the skin at all. Plus they smell like orange sherbet!

The African Red Tea Foaming Cleanser is another product with a delicious citrus scent. This is due to the grapefruit, orange and tangerine extracts that help to purify & brighten skin. Such a light foam might seem like it wouldn't do a good job of cleansing but this actually works really well. You only need one or two pumps before massaging it onto your damp face. As you massage it becomes quite creamy & feels luxurious on the skin. The foam did get up my nose a bit so less is definitely more with this cleanser. It completely melts away makeup and leaves my skin feeling very clean & not dried out. It's very gentle so it's ideal for those with sensitive skin. I've noticed that this product helps to minimise my pores a lot. African Red Tea is one of the ingredients that Ole Henriksen is known for championing as it contains 50 times more antioxidants than green tea. It's apparently great for anti-aging so this could be a good one to try if you're starting to get worried about the appearance of fine lines.

This is the Ole Henriksen product that I hear the most rave reviews about and therefore have been most eager to try out. The Truth Serum Collagen Booster is a potent Vitamin C serum that plumps up the skin, firms and helps to reverse the signs of ageing. Vitamin C is brilliant at brightening the skin and fading freckles. This stuff seriously makes your skin glow. Being so pale its a struggle to find products that make me look healthy but this definitely does it. I've really noticed the brightening effect & it's helped to reduce my post-blemish scarring. The consistency is quite thick for a serum & I find it to be a bit on the sticky side so I've only been using it at night. It does leave my skin feeling silky & soft once it's absorbed properly though. I'd say that buying this kit is well worth it for this serum alone, this really is a star product.

Sheer Transformation is an oil-free moisturiser with a super light consistency. It hydrates my skin nicely & dries down to a semi-matte finish. I think it's a great choice as a base for makeup. It kinda reminds me of a lighter version of the Origins Make A Difference Plus+ Rejuvenating Moisturiser as it contains natural extracts that help to fade discolouration in the skin.

The Ultimate Lift Eye Gel has a really thick consistency, almost like a balm. It's very cooling, hydrating and instantly firms the under eye area. I don't really have fine lines around my eyes yet but even I can notice the smoothing effect this provides. The cucumber extract in it works as a decongestant which really refreshes my tired & puffy eyes. As this is such a thick product it is only recommended for night time because something like this might be too heavy during the day. After using this at night, I find I don't look so tired in the morning anymore. This might be a keeper.

Overall I think this kit is a really great buy. It's the perfect set if you want some miniature products for travelling with or just want to try out some new products from a less easily accessible range. The What's In My Handbag shop is full of wonderful discovery kits just like this one & they have some fab deals on individual cult products too. WIMH are kindly offering all of you an exclusive 20% off voucher code to spend in their shop which is valid until 31st May on all orders over £10. Just enter SPARKLY20 at the checkout. I'm sure you all know that I'd recommend buying Alpha-H Liquid Gold & if you order it from WIMH you get a risk-free 4ml sample with it. That way if you don't get on with the sample product you can return the full size item for a full refund. Bargain!

What do you think of this Ole Henriksen discovery kit? Which kit would you like to try out?

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Thursday 9 May 2013

Zalando Home Haul

I'm forever complaining about the decoration of my house. Orange and yellow walls just don't do it for me. But I can't really redecorate much as it is rented. Instead I've been trying to buy little bits now and then to help spruce up the place and organise my things better. Zalando recently came to my rescue by kindly gifting me a voucher to spend in their homeware section. Zalando are a big online shop known for having a huge selection of clothes and shoes from some big brands but their homeware section is probably the best part of the website. It's full of quirky pieces and great storage solutions. Here's some of the things I chose:

CALANDO Heart Tray

I love this white heart shaped tray. It's perfect for keeping all kinds of bits & bobs in. I've decided to house all my perfumes in it. They look a lot neater in here than just scattered on my dresser. I kinda wish I'd bought two of these as they're just so cute & you can fit so many things in them. Might have to make another order in the near future!

Sass & Belle Heart Picture Frame

I bought this with the intention of putting a nice photo in here but I actually really like the floral canvas inside the frame. So I think I'll keep it like this for the minute. Again this is something I wish I'd bought more than one of as it looks so sweet. Sass & Belle are one of my favourite brands for home goods. I have quite a few things by them in bedroom such as my jewellery hanger. There's a great range of Sass & Belle products available on Zalando.

Zak! New Gallery Tray

This probably seems like quite a boring purchase but I think this is a great versatile piece. It's very large and sturdy despite being made of melamine. I bought this for a few reasons. My bedside tables are tiny so this will help me organise the stuff on them a bit better. It's also a great blank canvas for taking product shots. Sometimes I get a bit bored of laying all my products down on my floral pillows so this will make a nice change for my blog photos. Plus my lunch of avocado on toast, jazz apples and mango & lychee green tea fits on it perfectly. Maybe I need to buy another of these too, eek! The white one has sold out but you can get them in a couple of other colours.

Hello Kitty By Camomilla Washbag

Even at my age I'm such a sucker for anything with Hello Kitty on it. How cute are the sticky out ears & bow?! I'm using this to organise all the little bits that normally just float around in the bottom of my handbag such as lip products, gum & hand cream. My everyday makeup bag is far too big to take out with me so this is good for things I need to top up with. The washbag has sold out now but you can still get a similar looking wallet.

I'm so happy with all my purchases & the customer service I received has been brilliant. Delivery was free & fast too! Have you ever bought anything from Zalando before? Definitely check out the homeware section if you haven't already as they do have some rather lovely pieces available.

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