Getting Crafty – See What I Made at the #HillarysCrafternoon in Leeds!

Hey everyone

I was lucky enough to attend an event recently, which was arranged by Joe Blogs, along with Hillarys and The Crafty Hen.  It was hosted at The Riverside in Leeds city centre, and it was one of the best afternoons I’ve had in a long time!  I had so much fun.

Crafternoon Sign  Table of fabrics

Hillarys have launched a new range called Jewel: The Edit.  As the name suggests, the range is inspired by the rich tones of four precious jewels; Amber, Ruby, Sapphire and Jade.  Hillarys brought along lots of samples of their new fabrics, which we used to get crafty with!

Fabric close up     Scissors and card

The Crafty Hen’s Jana (who is great fun by the way!) talked us through our first project – making a jewellery box.  We were well stocked with everything we could need and had a sheet of instructions, with two Crafty Hens on hand if we got stuck!  We had a choice of fabrics from the Jewel range, so I chose a pretty watercolour floral style of fabric in muted cream and duck-egg blue shades.

Firstly we covered our box lids in fabric, then chose from an array of buttons and ribbons which we could use to decorate them.  We then moved on to making a divider for the inside of the box.

Box in progress   Box in progress 2

Some people also made ring holders, but I ran out of time so mine is just divided into two areas (which I think will be handy to separate rings and earrings from larger items like bracelets and necklaces).  Once our boxes were complete, we had a quick coffee break before moving onto our next project… accessories!

First we were taught how to make a ‘suffolk puff’ (yes, really!).  You basically cut a circle from your chosen fabric, do a loose running stitch around the outside edge and then pull the thread tightly, which gathers in the fabric, forming the suffolk puff!  I was amazed at how easy they were, and also how very satisfying the pulling part was!

suffolk puff in progress     ribbons

You can use a suffolk puff either way around, so the smooth side of the fabric is showing, or so that the ruffled side shows (which I prefer as I think it looks prettier).  You can then add buttons, to cover the thread and the very centre of the puff.  I made a large and a medium suffolk puff, placing the medium one on top, and then added two stacked buttons.  Finally, I secured them to a large hair clip and added some gold netting, to create a fascinator!  I didn’t like the silver end of the clip showing through the net, so I also added some red and grey ribbon, to conceal it.  What do you think?

Finished fascinator

As I’m often stuck in bed due to my chronic illnesses, I don’t get chance to do things like this very often.  I was extremely relieved to wake up feeling well enough to go, and thoroughly enjoyed myself!  Sadly, when I got home I felt extremely nauseous and almost passed out from exhaustion – typical.  But I’m pleased I managed it, and will happily take the payback I got from my body as a result!  Here’s a few more photos of the finished results, as I’m very proud of myself!

finished both

finished jewellery box

jewellery box bow close up    jewellery box buttons close up

Hillarys Crafternoon

Hillarys have also blogged about the series of events here!


What do you think of my jewellery box and fascinator?  Have you ever made (or even heard of) a suffolk puff?!  Let me know in the comments or on social media!

Benefit – Operation Pore-Proof (Pore Kit) Unboxing and Review!

Hi peeps

I found this cute little kit when I was browsing in Harvey Nichols recently.  I generally find Benefit products hit and miss for me – some I really like and some I just don’t feel were worth the price.  That’s why I really like this Pore Kit – it contains 5 mini products, so you can try them and see what you think before committing to buying the full-sized product.  At just £25 for this kit, you get really decent sizes for around the same price as just one or two products full-sized that you may or may not like!

I found a little surprise a bit later on, when reading the Tips and Tricks booklet in the lid – behind it is a mirror!

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Here’s what this little box of pore-reducing wonder contains:


The POREfessional – License to Blot

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License to Blot is described as an ‘instant blotting stick’.  Instructions are to lightly dab the stick on your face using short, swift strokes, targeting your shiny areas (T-Zone etc).  Benefit claim that this can be used over makeup, but it really doesn’t work well that way for me (or for others who have tried this product).  I do like the idea of having a little stick in your handbag for touch-ups but realistically it’s definitely better used under makeup.

I personally use this after my primer, and just lightly go over my oily areas (nose and chin for me) to give extra oil protection.  I have combination skin, though if you have dry skin this might not be a product you need at all.  The design is good, it just twists up like a lip balm, with a secure cap to stop it getting damaged in your makeup bag.  I don’t think I would repurchase this as it’s not really necessary, but I will happily use this one (and the mini one I got with my recent Birchbox too).


The POREfessional – Agent Zero Shine

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Now this product I really like already!  It is a powder which can be used over your makeup or just onto bare skin if you’re not wearing makeup that day.  Instructions are to tap powder into the lid (it has little holes in the pot, so it’s not open) and then dip your brush in.  The idea is that the powder mattifies your skin and eliminates oil and shine.  They also recommend wearing it over their POREfessional primer for maximum results (which of course they would, although I imagine it is fine over any primer of your choice!)

I absolutely love this powder.  I really hate shiny skin – I like my makeup to be nice and matte (it may not be what’s in fashion, but it’s what I like – no dewy foundations for me!!)  I don’t leave the house that much due to my illnesses but sometimes I go for hospital or doctors appointments and don’t feel well enough to put any makeup on.  I always feel self-conscious of my shiny complexion, so this is perfect for me.  I can sweep the powder on in two seconds and it leaves a natural but matte finish.  It really lasts too, I get many hours wear out of this.  I would definitely repurchase it as it’s definitely better than any standard powders I’ve ever tried.


Dr. Feelgood

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Dr Feelgood is a complexion balm cased in a little metal tub.  It is basically like a balm version of the POREfessional primer.  This balm primes and leaves a matte finish, but is also quite nourishing as it contains vitamins A, C and E, meaning it is probably quite good with those who have dry skin but want matte makeup.

The balm has a slight skin-colour to it but nothing that really shows up once you apply it (although I don’t know if that would be the case for darker skin tones).  The tin contains a little sponge to apply the balm with, or you can just apply with your fingers if you prefer.  It has quite a nice scent to it, which I can’t really describe but it’s pleasant!  If you choose to use this without any makeup, you can reapply later in the day.

I wouldn’t repurchase this as I think the basic POREfessional primer (or other cheaper primers) suit my skin better, but I will happily finish off the tub.


The POREfessional (Pro Balm)

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To my knowledge (which admittedly is limited when it comes to Benefit products) I think this is the product that has been around the longest in this range.  Apparently it was the No.1 selling primer in the UK for at least three years.  I already owned the full-sized primer so I’m happy to have a little one for when that runs out or to take if I ever go anywhere.  Instructions are to apply from the centre of the face outwards, patting lightly with your fingers.

This primer feels really velvety when you apply it and sort of coats your skin in a soft, velvety matte layer.  This is likely due to it containing silicone, which isn’t for everyone (some people find it breaks them out, but I have no issues with it).  Obviously it is meant to make your pores appear smaller, and I really do think it does, combined with makeup.  It works fairly well at keeping makeup on longer and I would say it prolongs wear by an hour or two.  Combined with the Agent Zero Shine, or any other good matte powder, it works very effectively.

I would probably buy this again in the future, but as it’s quite expensive (£24.50).  I will probably try some more drugstore primers first, to see if there is anything else that I like more at a much cheaper price!


Shy Beam (Highlighter)

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At the moment, this product is exclusive to the Pore Proof Kit.  There is no news yet on whether it will become a permanent product.  Shy Beam is a nude pink matte radiance highlighter in liquid form.  It comes in a bottle similar to nail polish, with a dip-in brush.  The liquid itself is quite thick; I tend to put a bit on the back of my hand and work with it from there, but you can use the brush straight onto your face if you prefer.

The idea is that this non-shiny highlighter gives you radiance without emphasising big pores or looking oily.  You wouldn’t think a matte highlighter could work, but it actually does!  I think this product is best suited to pale skin tones as it would stand out a lot on darker skin.  It actually gives a really nice, subtle finish – making you look like you have a healthy glow rather than just looking very made up!  Perfect if you want subtle makeup for everyday or work.  I probably wouldn’t use this for nights out as I would want a highlighter with more impact, but I will definitely use it on other occasions.

Durability wise, this highlighter lasts around 6-8 hours, but it can easily be reapplied over your makeup without any worries of looking OTT as it’s so natural and subtle.  I’m not sure yet whether I would repurchase this product… although I have to say, there is nothing really like it on the market at the moment.  I will no doubt have decided by the time I finish this mini bottle!


I am really happy with the Operation Pore Proof Pore Kit as there isn’t a single product I won’t get use out of (oh well maybe the little brush but let’s face it, nobody uses those!)  I think at £25, it is incredible value and such a good way to properly trial a product and decide if you like it before investing.  The only thing that sometimes puts me off buying Benefit products is the price; I don’t want to be stuck with a product I don’t like.  Kits like this are perfect if you want to try before you invest!

I’m definitely intrigued to try more of their kits now, and may ask Santa for one!


What do you think of this kit?  Have you tried any of the products, and if so, did you like them?  Let me know!

Budget Beauty // Mini Drugstore Makeup Haul // Max Factor and L’Oreal

Hi guys (I really should think of something more original to start with!)

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Today I’m bringing you a little budget/drugstore makeup haul.  I was browsing on the Superdrug website for some boring essentials (cotton pads etc) and had to add in some items to make the delivery a little more exciting!  I use the Superdrug website quite a bit as I can find it hard to actually get into the store itself due to my M.E. The website is usually pretty good and contains all the same offers and discounts that the store does.

I picked up three Max Factor products as there was a 3-for-2 offer on.  I already knew I wanted the lipstick, the gloss caught my eye and I’ve been on the look out for a good liquid liner, so it was fate!

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The first thing I got was this gorgeous Max Factor Rosewood (833) lipstick.  I had seen it on someone online and thought it looked lovely, but I’ll  be honest… it was mostly the name that attracted me!  If you’re a Pretty Little Liars fan like me, you will know that Rosewood is the town where PLL is based.  I don’t think there is actually any connection but it still made me happy!

This turned out to be a really nice product.  It is very opaque (not like my bad swatch above, sorry guys!  I’ll post a picture on my Instagram next time I wear it!).  It is smooth and applies really nicely, leaving a finish similar to Mac Cremesheen.  It lasts pretty well alone, but on top of a lip liner it has great staying power.  It’s also a really flattering which I imagine would suit most people.  Very happy with this one!

Full price: £7.99 (currently reduced to £5.99 here, but I bought it as part of a 3-for-2 offer).


Next up from Max Factor’s 3-for-2 deal was this Colour X-Pert Waterproof Eyeliner.

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Now – I have trouble with liquid liners.  It’s a mixture of having really shaky hands (thanks M.E!) and just not having that much skill with liquid liners!  I’m fine with kohl and felt tip liners but keep trying different liquid ones to see if I can find one I like.

I got this waterproof liner in Deep Black, a lovely opaque black.  The tip is made of stiff sponge, shaped into a point, theoretically giving you more control over the application.  Obviously as it’s waterproof, it should survive any running eyes or rain!  Now my problem with this was the same as most of the other liquid liners I’ve tried – it just flooded my eyes!  The liquid seems to immediately run down from my eyelid into my eyeballs and tear ducts and then I just get left with lots of black mess to clear up!  Is this just me?  Tell me it’s not just me!!

Once I had it on and looking half decent (which took a long time and a lot of cotton buds), it did indeed last really well with no smudging (once dry, which took quite a few minutes).  Overall I’m sure this is a pretty good liquid liner, but it has just reinforced the fact that I should stick to kohl and felt tip liners until my hands stop shaking or I level-up with my skills haha!

You can find it here for £6.99.


The final Max Factor item I got in the offer was this Excess Shimmer in 20 Copper.

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These little pots of shimmery cream eyeshadow come in several shades, but I chose Copper as some of the others looked way too subtle for me.  They claim to have a high pigment formula with lasting power.

This looks very pretty in the pot and feels very light and creamy to the touch.  Unfortunately, one layer really doesn’t make much impression – it leaves a slight shimmer to the lids but definitely doesn’t have any impact, liked I’d hoped it might.  However it does layer fairly well (probably as it dries down so quickly).  I’ve found that three thin layers is much more visible, leaving a foil-looking shimmer look to the lid.  The colour is actually quite pinky, which is fine by me as it still looks pretty.

I think this would be something I’d use during the day for popping out to the shops, but not on a night out.  However if you’re into very subtle, natural makeup, you might really like this as a quick eye look.

Find it here for £7.99.


My final purchase was this gorgeous L’Oreal Dazzle Gloss in 202 Gloss Me I’m Gorgeous.

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I haven’t seen L’Oreal’s dazzle glosses before, but they’re really pretty – very sparkly and glossy!  The colour I chose is a beautiful deep purple with gold glitter flecked through it.  Although it’s glittery, it doesn’t look too over the top once it’s on.  It has one of those ‘lip hug’ shaped doe-foot wands which I find quite annoying, but I just use the tip to apply it and it’s fine.

The texture is nice, the glitter doesn’t make it feel gritty or irritate your lips at all.  You can feel it on your lips when wearing it, but I personally don’t mind that (I quite like it actually, is that weird?)  Overall, I really like this gloss and will probably get a lot of use out of it over Autumn (or Fall if you’re in the US/Canada!)

Find it here for £6.99.


What do you think of my mini haul?  Is there anything you’ve tried or fancy trying?  Let me know!

Birchbox Beauty Box – September 2015: Review and Unboxing!

This is my fifth Birchbox beauty box review.  As usual, I won’t talk too much about how the Birchbox subscription works, to avoid boring regular readers!  If you want more information, you can find it in this post.

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This month’s box was a bit of a special one, as Birchbox turns 5!  They were the first beauty subscription box on the market, started in America, so they have put together a box of products which hail from the USA to celebrate that fact.  I thought the box was really pretty this month – mint green on the bottom with a white lid, covered in watercolour style floating balloons.  I usually keep my boxes if they are nice, so I’ll be re-using this one for makeup storage!

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Here’s what we got in our birthday box!


Birchbox Accessories – Best Hair Day Hair Brush (£5.99)

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This brush is made by Birchbox themselves.  It is very similar to the popular Tangle Teezer brushes – a sort of half-egg shaped palm sized brush.  Mine is a pretty powder blue colour, but I think people were sent different colours.  I thought I would like this as I used to have a Tangle Teezer when my hair was longer, but I’m not actually very keen on it.  It’s ok for smoothing the top layer of your hair (for example into a ponytail) but not very good at giving the hair a proper, full brush through.  The bristles don’t seem to go deeply into my hair, leaving knots on the underneath layer.  I might pop this in my handbag, for hair tidy-ups on the go.


Laqa & Co – Cheeky Lip in Cray-Cray (£17 for full size)

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I was quite pleased when I saw this lip crayon in my box.  Lip products are always my favourite, and I liked the look of the bright coral colour.  Sadly the texture isn’t great – it applies quite unevenly and is quite waxy.  Once applied, it highlights any slight bits of dry skin on your lips and sort of breaks up.  I may try it again over a layer of lip balm, but on first impressions I don’t think I’ll use this.  It’s a shame, as I generally do like lip crayons, and the colour is lovely.


Laura Mercier – Flawless Skin Face Polish (£22 for 100g, we received 11.3g)

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Firstly, can I just get this off my chest… 11.3g?  What a random sample size!  I’ve never seen anything like that before, they always round it up or down!  Anyway… moving on.  I was excited to see some Laura Mercier, as it’s a brand I have heard a lot about on YouTube but have never tried (mainly due to prices).  It’s a shame it wasn’t a cosmetic item, but I’m not complaining.

This is a facial exfoliator from the Flawless Skin range.  Directions are to place a small amount (0.3g maybe? Haha!) onto fingertips and gently massage into damp skin, then rinse with warm water.  I regularly use exfoliators, so I will definitely get use out of this.  It has a very mild, almost undetectable scent – just like a generic ‘lotion’ smell.  It also has nice fine exfoliating bits, which is great as I hate chunky exfoliators – they just don’t work as well.


Beauty Protector – Beauty Wash (Body Cleanser) (£8 full size, no size stated on our sample)

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I was really pleased when I saw a Beauty Protector brand sample, as I absolutely loved the last thing Birchbox sent from that brand (a hair oil, which has converted me to hair oils!)  This is a ‘beauty wash’ body cleanser, which I think is just a fancy way of saying shower gel.  It claims to have a rich lather that leaves skin fresh and revitalised without drying it out.

This product smells lovely – which came as no surprise, as the hair oil smelt amazing too!  This has a similar caramel/toffee scent to the hair oil, but also has a slight floral edge.  I haven’t used it in the shower yet as I have too many things open, but it certainly seems like I will enjoy using it.


John Masters Organics – Citrus & Neroli Detangler (£16 full size, we received 30ml)

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I have never heard of this brand before, so I did a little Googling!  Their belief is that we only get one body and we only get one planet, so we should treat them both with the utmost care.  This means that John Masters Organics avoid chemicals and synthetic ingredients, opting instead for natural products which are safer for us and for the environment.

This is a hair detangler, but has no instructions on the bottle.  Back on the website, it says the product can be left in or rinsed out.  It has a lightweight formula, containing soy proteins and borage oil, which replenish lipid content.  It is safe for coloured hair.  Directions are to apply to wet, clean hair and leave in for 1 – 3 minutes.  Then either rinse well, or leave in and dry hair as usual.  I will probably try it rinsed out to start with, as my hair is fine and straight, tending towards oiliness if I use too many products.

The detangler has a very light, pleasant grapefruit scent and is very rich and creamy to the touch.  I’m hoping my hair will respond well to it, as it did with another product I tried which similarly contains soy proteins.

[Edited to Add: after using this product for a few weeks, I really like it!  I now use this and the hair oil on alternate hair washes, and this is a really nice, light detangler that conditions the hair but leaves no discernible ‘product’ feeling – it’s not sticky or greasy at all, which I really like].


Benefit POREfessional – License to Blot, Blotting Stick (£15.50 for 4.3g, we received 1.4g)

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I was excited to receive a Benefit product in this month’s box.  You don’t always receive samples from cult/well-loved brands, as it is generally brands looking for more publicity who work with sample services.

POREfessional is an oil-blotting stick in a twist-up tube.  It contains ‘tiny invisible blotting spheres’ which mattify shine for up to 6 hours after application, and can be used under or over makeup.  To use it, you lightly apply the product onto the face using short, swift strokes, either before applying base makeup, or to touch up on the go.

I thought I would probably like this product as I already own the POREfessional primer and really like that.  This stick obviously feels more balm-y when applying it, but does leave a similar velvety feeling on the skin once it soaks in.  I have tried it both under and over makeup and find it fairly effective.  I would never use it in place of a primer, but alongside it, it works well to keep my makeup looking matte (which I like – I’m definitely not a dewy base kinda girl!)


I was fairly pleased with this box – a few items aren’t great but overall I will use most of the samples.  I’m definitely still happy with the service – especially if more Laura Mercier and Benefit samples are coming in the future!


Do you get Birchbox?  If so, what did you think of your box this month?  If not, do you like the look of what I received?  Let me know in the comments box or follow me on social media!  Twitter // Instagram // Facebook

SOS: Send Cough Sweets and Soup!!

Hi guys (cough, cough splutter, etc!)

Just popping on for a little moan… You don’t even have to read it, I’ll just imagine that you’re sending healing thoughts my way, haha!

I’m normal ill again.  I know I constantly wish to be ‘normal’ again, but this isn’t what I meant, world!!!  I have a really painful throat with swollen glands and a temperature, and feel a new depth of awful.  This picture sums up how I’m feeling, but I don’t have a bump on my head and I’m nowhere near as cute!

Poorly teddy

I know everyone feels awful when they have a cold or a bug, but dealing with a regular illness on top of already being chronically ill is just horrible.  It’s hard enough to deal with being exhausted and in pain every day as it is, without extra coughing, sneezing and a temperature thrown in!  I have to say though, my family and husband have been taking extra good care of me over the weekend – I’ve been brought a constant supply of tea in bed and my husband has provided food and sympathy!  Thank god for family 😀

My coping strategy is just going to be as must rest and sleep as possible, lots of water and hot drinks and not much talking (as it kills my throat!)  My husband has also been making me his magic, sore-throat healing, hot honey and lemon drinks.  I hate honey (yes, really, this seems to surprise people!) but this drink really does soothe your throat and lessen the soreness, so I will drink it.

Stay healthy, stay warm and have your flu jab peeps!  See you on the other side of winter, lol.

Prairie Charms – Pizzazz Toppings // Luau Party Edition Box!

Hi guys – I’m bringing you an exciting one today!  Some of you may remember this post in June, when I had first heard of the company Prairie Charms.  I reviewed one of their mystery bags and really liked it.  Since then, I have stayed in touch with them on Twitter and have been involved in their blogger team during the creation of the exciting box I’m reviewing for you now!

If you didn’t read my post back in June, I’ll just tell you a little about the company.  Prairie Charms describe themselves as “a completely handmade accessories boutique specialising in all things girly, floral, quirky and whimsical”.  One of the things I really like about them is that 10% of all profit proceeds are donated to the Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital Charity and the, ‘Kiss it Better Campaign,’ which provides funding to pioneering, world-class treatment for complex medical conditions including pediatric cancers.  I love ethical companies who like to give something back to the world.

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Prairie Charms have created a themed accessory subscription box called Prairie Pizzazz.  Each box will have a different theme, and can be slightly customised to your likes and dislikes (think favourite colours etc).  I missed out on their first box, which had a festival theme, but this month’s box more than made up for it!  This month’s theme was a luau party – think tropical, bright colours, pineapples and lots of flowers! The goodies came packaged in a brown pizza-style box.  The first thing I was hit with when I opened it was pink tissue paper, super-bright tropical confetti and lots of colour!

I’ll take you through everything I received in the pizza-style box:


Eda Bespoke Floral Lei (Flower Crown) (£50)

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First, and most excitingly, was this beautiful flower crown.  I received a pink and purple one, as they know they are my favourite colours.  The flowers are bold, bright gerberas with yellow centres.  They fill a fairly solid ring, which meets at the back in a bit where you can undo the matching pink and purple ribbons.  This makes it adjustable to different head sizes or different ways of wearing it.  The ribbons can then be tied up into bows.

This crown is absolutely stunning.  I probably won’t get chance to wear it now until next spring/summer, but it will look amazing adorning my makeup table until then!  Bright, feminine, pretty hair accessories are one of the main things that sum up Prairie Charms.


Hana Bow Tie Scrunchie (£7.50)

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This is a really pretty wine-coloured scrunchie with gold glitter flecks all over the fabric.  It has a little bow at the front.  Now, I really don’t do scrunchies, so I probably won’t wear this but that is only because of my personal taste.  Anyone cooler than me could probably rock a scrunchie, but for me, it takes me back to my high school days and having my hair scraped high on my head with a big scrunchie wrapped around it!  I will probably give it to a friend.

To their absolute credit, I spoke to Prairie Charms about the fact that I wouldn’t use scrunchies and they have added that to my list of likes/dislikes.  They are already adapting a future mystery bag to replace the scrunchie with an elastic headband for me, which most companies wouldn’t do.  They are so accommodating, and reply to messages on Twitter almost instantly!


Caterina No Snag Knot Ties (£7)

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I received two different elastic hair ties (the type you can use to tie up your hair and they don’t really leave marks).  One is hot pink with lots of pale pink glitter and the other is a teal/green with gold flamingos printed on it.  I absolutely love both – I like anything pink and sparkly and I also love flamingos!  Another hit for me.  I will definitely use both of these.


Paloma Vintage Bead Drop Anklet (£12)

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This is a silver chain anklet with a drop bead made from vintage Japanese glass.  The glass is really pretty, in shades of white, red and turquoise.  When I first saw this, I thought it would be way too big for my ankle, but I realised that as it’s a chain, it can be fastened anywhere – so it should pretty much fit anyone.

I only recently got into anklets as I was sent a lucky charm one by a friend, so this was good timing.  I find this anklet really pretty and delicate and will definitely wear it next summer, once it’s warm enough to get my ankles out again!


Acadia Tropical Punch Drink Set (£5)

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We received all we needed to make some tropical punch, to go with the luau party theme!  There was a sachet of Peach Mango Kool-Aid, which is quite good because I’ve never tried Kool-Aid.  I see it on all the American shows and have never had chance to try it.  We also received bamboo style paper straws and a pink flamingo stirrer to brighten up the punch.  All that was missing was the vodka… haha!  I will have to add my own 😉


Dakota Custom Nail Glitter (£6.50)

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We also received a generously sized packet of nail glitter – I think people were sent different colours, but mine is a pretty baby pink colour.  This can be used over nail varnish for a glittery finish.  I’m a big fan of glitter nails so will definitely make use of this.  It might be slightly difficult to use out of this packaging, but I will probably pour some out onto a little mixing tray and use it from there.  Excuse the messy packet but I had to rip the label off so that you could actually see the glitter!


Faryn Hair Clips (£5)

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Again, I think people received different colours of this shell hair clip.  I’m not totally sure, but it looked like an actual real shell to me!  It comes mounted on a sturdy hair clip, so that you can secure it into your hair.  My clip is full on gold, and looks really nice against my dark hair.  I have already worn this to liven up and up-do, and really like it!


Una Coconut S’more Snack Pack (£3.50)

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Like the tropical drink set, this was another little kit to get us in the luau party spirit.  Imagine you’re standing around a beach fire in your floral lei… now what’s missing?  If you’re American, then the answer was probably s’mores!  We don’t really have them in England but I don’t know why because they sound yummy!

We received a packet of teddy bear shaped honey graham crackers, a mini Hersheys milk chocolate bar and two toasted coconut marshmallows.  Sadly I couldn’t eat the marshmallows as they contained gelatine (I’m vegetarian) but my husband tells me they were very tasty!  Be assured, I’ll be eating the rest myself haha.


Sweet as Honey Studio – Make a Mess Tropical Confetti (£3.95)

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Finally, we received a little party pack – a white balloon and a packet bursting with tropical coloured paper confetti.  The instructions were to use the confetti to jazz up your photos, or to make a confetti balloon.  I have never heard of a confetti balloon before but it sounds fun, so I’ll be saving mine to do that next time I go to a party!  (Sorry to whoever has to vacuum it up…!)  I don’t really think this is worth £3.95 as it could be made yourself for next to nothing, but it went with the theme and the idea of a luau party, so I can definitely see why it was included.


One of the best things about this subscription box is the value for money.  I paid £22.50 (inc delivery) and received around £100 worth of contents.  Now with some subscriptions, you may not want to pay that much as you often receive things you won’t use.  As Prairie Charms build up a customer profile and take really careful note of your likes and dislikes, you are unlikely to receive anything you don’t like from them.  I know I’m not keen on the scrunchie, but they have already offered to swap that out for something else in my next order.  Not many companies are so collaborative in that way.

I am looking forward to my next mystery bag (which has a unicorn theme…squeeeee!) and will let you know what’s inside.


What do you think of this box?  Do you like any of the items I received?  Let me know what you like best, in the comments box or on social media!

You Beauty Subscription Box – September 2015: Review and Unboxing!

Hi guys

I’m back with my fifth You Beauty subscription box.  Like my previous reviews, I won’t go into too much detail about the subscription and how it all works, but everything can be found in my original March post.  In case you don’t read it, this box is just £6.95 including postage!

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Here’s what came this month:


Emma Bridgewater – Feels Like Home Hand Cream

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This was the first of two items I chose for this box (you choose two items, the rest are chosen for you).  I get through quite a bit of hand cream and always keep one on my bedside table, so I knew I would get use from this.

Emma Bridgewater is a brand I was aware of, for her really pretty homeware (mugs, dinner sets, tea towels etc).  I was vaguely aware she did hand cream but have never tried any before.  I was initially really attracted to the pretty packaging – everything about this brand is really pretty; very Cath Kidston style, with polka dots and pretty colours.  Inside the polka dot box is a pretty cornflower blue tube with white flower patterns on it.

The cream contains camomile, lavender and orange blossom, together with highly moisturising sweet almond oil and beeswax.  We received a really generous size at 75ml.  Be aware that although this is not tested on animals, it contains beeswax so would not be suitable for vegans.  The scent was a little bit disappointing – it just smells like any generic cream, no particular notes of lavender or orange blossom came through.  I will still enjoy using it though, as it is thick and creamy, leaving hands nice and soft.

Find it here for £8.


Earth Kiss – Miracle Clay Facial Hydrate Bamboo Sheet Mask; and
Million Year Clay Revitalise Bamboo Sheet Mask

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These were the second choice I made for this box.  I have heard a lot about sheet face masks but have never tried one, so it was a good chance to give them a go without spending any money!  These face masks are made of 100% natural bamboo, infused with clay.  They are meant to provide a relaxing experience whilst deep cleansing and nourishing your face.

Both masks contain 85 micro nutrients (!) to purify your skin in just 15/20 minutes.  The Hydrate Mask contains Argile Clay and Baobab, along with mandarin oil.  The Revitalise Mask contains Rhassoul Clay and Juniper, together with Lavender.  Both state to cleanse your face, apply and leave on for 15 to 20 minutes, before removing and rinsing your face.

I hadn’t heard of the brand Earth Kiss before but their packaging states that they are vegetarian and animal welfare is central to their philosophy.  They are also PETA approved.  It’s nice to be provided with that information up front, without having to Google research it!

Find them here for £1.99 each.


The Body Shop – Oils of Life Revitalising Facial Oil

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This was one of the randomly selected products.  It is a little 7ml bottle of Intensely Revitalising Facial Oil which comes with a little pipette in the lid, so you can suck up the oil and just squeeze a few drops into your hand.  This facial oil can be used daily and contains a blend of 99% natural oils which claim to visibly reduce the signs of ageing.

The oil has a pleasant herbal type smell and contains black cumin seed oil, Camellia seed oil and rosehip seed oil (lots of seed oil!)  Although it doesn’t actually say how to use it, I assume I will use it the same as other facial oils I own – personally I usually cleanse, tone and use serum.  I then mix a few drops of the oil into my nighttime moisturiser, although you could actually just use the oil as a moisturiser, depending how oily or dry your skin is.

Although the product claims to absorb quickly, leaving a non-sticky finish, I personally would only use this at night.  It absorbs fairly well, but does leave a slight oily sheen and you can feel it to the touch.  I would not personally want to use this under makeup, as I like a matte finish to my skin.

You can find the full sized 30ml bottle for £28 here.  I think this is a little expensive, as I have used great oils at less than half the price, however if you do like this one, it should last a long time as you need so little per use.


Linwoods – Milled Chia Seed

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This is a little 15g pouch of milled chia seed, which is gluten free and contains no added sugar.  It is vegan, dairy free and GMO free, and is also a rich source of fibre.

The packaging suggests sprinkling the seed on cereal, yoghurt and fruit, salad or even a stirfry.  I have tried a few of the Linwoods milled blends (usually flaxseed) and tend to use them on top of cereal or porridge, and blended into smoothies.  They don’t really taste of much, but add a fairly pleasant little crunch.  I personally find they are mainly eaten for their health benefits rather than the taste.

This pouch contains one serving, at 74 calories.  Find a 200g pouch here for £5.50.


Makeup Sponge

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The final item is a little round makeup sponge, with a pink ribbon handle.  You Beauty say they have included this so we can start afresh this September (I suppose for most, September is the start of the new school/college/university year).  They don’t give any information about who made this sponge or what it would cost, so I’m afraid that’s all I can say about this one!  I will definitely make use of this, to replace a used makeup sponge in the powder compact I carry in my bag.


Overall, I am really happy with this box.  I never fail to be amazed at how much you get for less than £7!  I still think this is a fabulous option for people who don’t have much to spend, but enjoy trying new products and brands.  I will use every item in the box this month.


What do you think of this month’s treats?  Have you tried any of the products?  Let me know in the comments box or follow me on social media!