Birchbox UK February 2014 - Love Your Style

Hi guys!

I mentioned on Twitter last month that January's Birchbox had disappointed me and I had no inspiration to blog its contents to you guys, so I was hoping that for February, Birchbox would pull it out of the bag and draw me back in. And pull it out of the bag they did.

This month's theme is 'Love Your Style', in line with London Fashion Week kicking off this weekend (and probably a hint at Valentine's Day too). There were notelets with awesome 'style' sayings on ("Being Happy Never Goes Out Of Style" being my personal favourite), and also a truly helpful liquid liner masterclass for the less steady-handed of us out there! Also a spoiler for March - Birchbox are partnering with Lulu Guiness, excited to see what this will mean for next month!

Right, onto the contents! Six items this month, two of which are full size(ish).



Eyeko London Skinny Mini Liquid Eyeliner in Black - I am classifying this as a full size product, although it's branded as a 'mini' version, it's definitely more than sample size and is one of my highlights this month. The black is very intense and the brush pen applicator leaves a really crisp line. I definitely need to work on my skills, but this is all the more incentive to! Based on £12 for the regular size product, I work out this mini version to be worth £6.84 - not bad!

Green & Blacks's Organic Dark Chocolate with 70% Cocoa Solids - a totally delicious little mouthful of dark chocolate, from a brand I already know and love. No problems here with this lifestyle extra!

Beauty Protector Protect & Oil - this is an exclusive launch to Birchbox, and claims to nourish hair whilst battling UV rays, heat and breakage. I am slightly cautious about using oils in my hair, because it can be prone to oiliness already, however I think this will be a perfect sample to take away on a warm holiday later in the year to protect my hair from the sun, heat and replenish moisture after swimming etc. Full size worth £16, I'd say this is only around 10ml but 1-3 drops used each time means this little bottle will last a while!

Leighton Denny Nail Polish in Coconutty - this is another product I'm excited about. It's a full size nail polish in a beautiful mink colour with flecks of gold sparkle. Claims to be 'high perfomance', so once I've finished this manufacturing placement and can get girly with nail polish again, I'll be putting it to the test! Worth £11 - more than the price of the Birchbox alone!

Gilchrist & Soames Shower Gel - a handy-sized sample of shower gel, perfect for when I have to suitcase-hop with work for training. Smells fresh and claims to refresh and hydrate skin (don't all shower gels claim that.?!). Not overwhelmed with this one but happy all the same. At £13.75 for full size, this 45ml sample works out at worth £2.61.

Urbanveda Radiance Exfoliating Facial Polish - I'm always happy to try out face cleansers and scrubs so was interested to find this product in my box. I quite like the botanical fragrance to this product and the exfoliating beads are small so not too brutal on the skin. Nice to have a product that's very natural, made in the UK, not tested on animals; guilt-free cleansing! This 20ml sample is worth £1.44.

Overall I'm really pleased with this box, looking forward to trying out the eyeliner and the nail polish, and the chocolate has already been successfully 'sampled' #sorrynotsorry.

Anyone with oil-prone hair, would love to hear if you've tried out the Protect & Oil and your thoughts please!


Valentine's Day Cupcake Disaster

Hi guys!

Not a conventional post from me today... As we all know, Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and in honour I thought I would get my creative on in the kitchen and bake up some adorable Valentine's cupcakes. I even found a gorgeous plate with hearts on it and heart-shaped silicone baking moulds. 

£2.99 for 12 from HomeSense - bargain!
It started well, with a simple vanilla cupcake mixture - standard two eggs, 110g each of SF flour, sugar & butter and a teaspoon of vanilla extract. 

They went in the oven in their cute little moulds and came out golden-brown, risen (albeit a little on the lumpy side) and ready for some icing. 

I had even bought marshmallows and glitter to make a marshmallow buttercream frosting (which also didn't go too disastrously, although did get a bit thin and runny on the lumpy cakes...). 

Regular buttercream with 100g of marshmallows melted slightly in the microwave all stirred together - yum!

So, with my cupcakes iced and ready for decorative finishing, I had big ideas. Card stencils of lovehearts to leave pink glittery shapes on the top, marshmallow heart shapes, maybe even stripes of glitter...

What I actually achieved was no better than a four-year-old could do. In fact, I'd argue a four-year-old could likely do better. The card stencil stuck to the icing. The glitter did not stick to the icing. The glitter went everywhere. The decorative marshmallows do not look remotely heart shaped. The only redeeming quality here is the plate. The 99p plate. BUT I TRIED!

I was going to scrap this whole post and just quietly mourn my cupcake disaster. But having made the effort and bought the supplies, I decided I might as well give you all a little light Sunday evening amusement. And if it's any consolation, they do taste pretty good. 

Fingers crossed my next adventure with baking goes a little better than this...


MAC Crèmesheen Lipstick in Lickable- My First MAC!

Hi guys!

MAC. The MAC. Everyone wears MAC. Except me. UNTIL NOW! I could never quite justify a MAC lipstick (what if the colour doesn't suit me, what if it dries my lips out, what if what if what if) but for Christmas this year my sister surprised me with a lovely little black box, and inside the little black box was the Lickable Crèmesheen lipstick and I was one very happy girl!

The shade is less berry, more hot pink in real life...
It's a bold, bright, beautiful colour and will be especially perfect for spring and summer, particularly with a nude face/eye. In terms of texture, I've been really impressed so far - it feels like a lip balm, moisturises for what feels like hours and goes on really smoothly. Bonus points for MAC awarded for the smell!! Vanilla cupcake deliciousness!

So me and MAC have struck up a pretty good relationship so far. I am excited to investigate more of their range so please please send me your TOP 3 MAC products either on Twitter or below - I am a total newbie so need all the suggestions I can get!

Thanks for reading,