Saturday, September 19, 2015

Beauty Awards Winners Box from Latest in Beauty

Not Sponsored/No Samples


Yesterday, I showed you the most recent Glamour collaboration with Latest in Beauty, a company who provide really great one-off beauty boxes throughout the year as opposed to a subscription service. I wanted to show you this one today while both are still available to buy, so let's get to it:

My first thought upon opening this box was "how the hell did they fit all that in there?" - I tried to put everything back in afterwards and I couldn't get it closed, it is FULL of products.

As usual, pricing info and links to buy are under the pictures.

Cult Classic: La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo + 

Full or Sample: Full Size, 40ml | Price: €17.99 | Available: Boots

Definitely worthy of its cult status, this is an anti-blemish cream that really works wonders on the appearance of spots and blemishes. This is the sole reason I bought the box - a brilliant, brilliant product. 

Skincare Saviour: Burt's Bees Soap Bark & Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream

Full or Sample: Full Size, 170g | Price: €13.99 | Available: Boots

The only Burt's Bees products that I've ever tried are their lip balms, so I was really happy to see this cleanser in the box. I love trying new cleansers and makeup removers, so will be using this after I finish my Nia balm. It smells gorgeous and it has the consistency of a thick hand cream, which is unusual for a cleanser.

Hottest Haircare: Philip Kingsley Elasticizer

Full or Sample: Sample 20ml | Price: €5.37 approx | Available: Feel Unique

There was a limited edition of the Philip Kingsley Elasticizer in the Glamour box from yesterday, this is a smaller size and it's the original version. It's an intensive pre-shampoo treatment for hair that promises an improvement in elasticity and appearance.

Green Award: Dr. Organic Snail Gel Facial Serum

Full or Sample: Full Size, 30ml | Price: €15.00 | Available: Holland and Barrett

Snail secretion has been around in the skincare business in Asia for a while now. Some people are really queasy at the the thought of putting snail slime on their faces, but I have no issue with it - I've already reviewed Nature Republic's Snail Therapy BB Cream, one of my favourites. The process of how the secretion is collected is explained in the video below. The product itself feels like a light runny moisturiser, smells like lemongrass, and promises an improvement in the appearance and hydration of skin over 4 weeks.

Best Newcomer - Zoella Beauty Fresh Fizz Fragranced Bath Fizzer

Full or Sample:  Full Size, 200g | Price: €6.35 | Available: Meaghers

I'm not familiar with Zoella but her range seems to be very fresh and young, this bath fizzer is no different - I'm sure my eldest son will love it, he's a big fan of bath bombs. This is divided into chunks like a bar of chocolate which I thought was a great idea, you can break off a chunk or two and save the rest for the next time. Smells gorgeous too.

Must-Have Makeup: Burt's Bees Lip Crayon

Sample or Full: Full Size, 3.11g. | Price: €14 | Available: Littlewoods

This is a matte lip crayon that's infused with Shea Butter. I got the shade 'Sedona Sands', a really wearable 90s brown nude. It feels slightly waxy on the lips but it's not drying. Not entirely sure how I feel about it but it does give great payoff so I'll probably wear it but maybe not in the winter months when my lips are less puckered pout and more puckered arse.

Body Beautiful: The Body Shop Wild Argan Oil Miracle Solid Oil for Body & Hair 

 Sample or Full: Full Size, 50g | Price: €15 | Available: The Body Shop (instore)

This was a real treat to get because The Body Shop products are so expensive over here. This miracle solid oil can be used all over - on lips, rough skin, hair - wherever you want to stick it. Within reason. It smells lovely and it's a very welcome addition at this time of year!

Blogger's Choice Award: COLAB Sheer & Invisible Dry Shampoo in Monaco

Full or Sample: Mini, 50ml | Price: €1 approx | Available: Simply Foxy

I was so happy when I saw this would be in the box as I've only ever been able to find one travel size before (the one with the black lid) and I just finished it the other day. I love dry shampoo, and this one doesn't leave a residue. I just discovered while looking for a price that Simply Foxy have some of the full sizes so I'll definitely be grabbing some in my next order!

Best Eye Makeup: Eye of Horus Brown Liquid Define

Full or Sample: Full Size, 0.55ml | Price: €18.92 | Available: Eye of Horus

Eye of Horus are a brand I've reviewed here before. They've also popped up in another beauty box and I don't know how I ended up with two Bronze Amulet Goddess pencils but anyway - I'm waffling - this eyeliner is a pen-style liner and it is unbelievable. It's just so pigmented, so easy to use, and so flattering. Keep an eye out for some Eye of Horus news among the Irish Blogging Community over the next week or so - it's good news. 

Here's a quick swatch of the Burts Bees crayon and one swipe of the Eye of Horus liner: 

The LIB Beauty Awards Winners 2015 box is still available, it costs £21.95 + £3.95 postage, for a total of £25.90 or €35.50 - I bought both of my beauty boxes together so only had to pay one postage charge. The complete euro value of all the products in this box is a massive €107.62. 

If you want to order, you can do so here. Remember if you're ordering from Ireland, you'll need to use Parcel Motel. I have a post about how Parcel Motel works here


Friday, September 18, 2015

Latest in Beauty Glamour Beauty Power List 2015.

Not Sponsored/No Samples


I've spoken about the Latest in Beauty boxes here before - I genuinely think they are the very best beauty boxes out there - or at least the very best ones available to us here in Ireland. A bit of housekeeping out of the way first - you will need to use Parcel Motel to order them, they don't post to Ireland. I have a post explaining how Parcel Motel works here.

I bought two boxes recently - The Latest in Beauty Award Winners 2015 box, and the Glamour Beauty Power List 2015.

Today I thought I'd show you the Glamour one, and I'll show you the Award Winners one tomorrow. As with all my beauty box reviews, details of pricing and links to where you can find the products are under each photo.

Garnier Miracle Sleeping Cream

Full or Sample: Full, 50ml | Price: Currently €10.99 (as of September 18th) | Available at: Boots

This was what prompted me to buy this box. Much loved by Lorraine from John It's Only Makeup, I've wanted to try this for ages and I was delighted to see it here. I'm currently using up a Trilogy night cream that I bought because Caroline Hirons recommended it (hang on, are you jumping off a cliff? Wait for me!) and it's just not for me, so when it's finished I'll be dipping into this.

Nails Inc Nailkale Superfood Base Coat

Full or Sample: Full, 14ml | Price: €18 | Available: Brown Thomas

While I'm not a huge fan of Nails Inc polishes - I think they're overpriced - I love trying new nail treatments and I'm really glad this was in here. Infused with Kale protein, this apparently helps to strengthen the nails. Could be a total gimmick but the worst thing that could happen is nothing, right?

Vita Liberata Self Tanning Night Moisture Mask

Full or Sample: Sample, 10ml | Price: €5.61 approx | Available: Cloud Ten Beauty

This is a hydrating night mask that also provides a buildable, natural tan. I haven't tried this yet because I'm so afraid of tan on my face, but I will give it a go.

Eyeko Black Magic Mascara - Midnight Blue

Full or Sample: Sample, 4ml | Price: €8.71 approx | Available: ASOS

Available in a choice of blue or black, I got the blue one in my box. I've had a few Eyeko bits in beauty boxes before, and they've always been good quality. I'm not sure if I can pull blue mascara off but we'll see! The black version of this is much loved by celebs the world over, so I'm hopeful for this one.

Rimmel 60 Seconds Supershine Nail Polish

Full or Sample: Full, 8ml | Price: €4.99 | Available: Boots

Available in a number of different shades, I got the shade 'Glaston-Berry' from the Rita Ora range. This is a cherry red cream with a high shine - I never buy red nail polish so this is a welcome addition to the stash for nail art purposes. I already have a couple of the Rita Ora polishes and they're brilliant (except the yellow one).

Philip Kingsley Geranium & Neroli Elasticizer

Full or Sample: Sample, 40ml | Price: €11.67 approx | Available: Feel Unique

This is a pre-shampoo treatment for hair. It improves manageability and adds shine. This scent is gorgeous - a mix of geranium, neroli, rose, lavender and orange, it's inspired by holidays in Italy. For very dry hair, it's recommended to lightly dampen your hair, massage the product in, and leave in overnight. Really, really looking forward to trying this!

Kiko Velvet Touch Creamy Stick Blush

Full or Sample: Full, 10g | Price: €7.90 | Available: KIKO

KIKO is a brand that often crops up in these Glamour boxes. I got shade number 07, 'Natural Rose' - it's a light mauve colour with great payoff (I'll show you a swatch further down the page). I'm still a bit scared of creamy blushes, but this isn't too scary. I still wouldn't wallop it on straight out of the stick without blending, but it's a nice alternative to powder blushers. 

Revlon Ultra HD Lipstick

Full or Sample: Full, 3g | Price: €10.99 | Available: Boots

I received the shade 'Gladiolus', a bright blue-based red. These lipsticks are a gel consistency, and they are true to the shade in the bullet. One coat gives a bright, vibrant, really pigmented lip. Unfortunately I don't wear red lipstick but I love how this feels and it's almost worth buying one just so you can hear the click when you twist the lipstick back down. The definition of satisfaction... This is very fragranced, it's kind of a perfumey smell, not off-putting to me but some may not like it. 

Here's a quick swatch of the Revlon lippie and the KIKO blush:

And that's it - the box costs £18.99 + £3.95 postage, which works out at £22.94 or one thousand euro with the current exchange rate. Ah no, it's just over €30. You can order it here but you'll need to use Parcel Motel. I do think it's good value - if I were to order everything seperately today I'd be paying €78.86 - not a bad deal there at all for some genuinely great brands. If I had to change one thing I'd stop putting red lip products in any beauty boxes, there are so many people who don't wear red.

Anything tempting you? Check back tomorrow for the Award Winners one!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Books I Read in August, Book Haul & Booktube-a-thon 2015 Results


August kicked off with the Booktube-a-thon (previous post about that here) - out of the 7 books I hoped to read, I managed to get through 5. I could have read all 7 but I completely lost my reading mojo after getting stuck on a book that was really boring (more about that in a bit). Apart from that, I read 5 others - bringing my August total to 10.

It was a poor reading month for me (considering I read 7 of these books in the first ten days of the month) - when I lose interest in reading I really lose it and don't want to go near books for weeks. It happens a few times a year so hopefully it's full steam ahead now for September!

As always with these round up posts, if you want to read my original Goodreads review for each or any book, visit the Books 2015 page and click on an individual book cover to go to that review.

Rick O'Shea Book Club Pick

This month it was a choice between Paul Murray's The Mark and the Void or Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time. I chose the latter, and I just finished it at the start of September. The protagonist, Christopher, is fifteen years old and has Aspergers Syndrome. The book is told from Christopher's POV. His neighbour's dog has been murdered - this is the catalyst for a chain of events that leads Christopher to discover all is not as it seems within his family. This is a fantastic portrayal of someone with Aspergers - not something I'm familiar with, I was fascinated by the way Christopher's brain worked. I liked the book a lot.

Booktube-a-thon 2015

Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
This classic coming-of-age tale has been around for decades, but I'm only getting to it at the grand old age of 32. Margaret Simon, aged 12, recently moved to a new town and is shocked by the way the other girls talk about boys, boobs and periods. Feeling a bit lost, Margaret turns to God for the chats. This was okay - it was a bit rushed and nobody was particularly well developed (pardon the pun) apart from Margaret. But it's worth a read - I mean, it's Judy.

Memoirs of a Fruitcake by Chris Evans
This is the book that killed my mojo. Having had such an enjoyable reading experience with Chris' earlier autobiography It's Not What You Think, I had high hopes for the follow-up - what I got was a mind-numbingly boring account of how a very rich man spent all his money. I just didn't like this at all - it was pretentious and it wasn't enjoyable. Chris himself seems to be a lovely man, this was just at a period in his life where he was flinging money around, forgetting he bought houses, and it didn't make for a relateable or entertaining read. This took me the guts of a week to read, and considering this was during a week-long challenge, it wasn't ideal. I'd recommend the first book but you don't need to read this.

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
The premise for this was brilliant - a teenage girl with a disease that means she could be infected by anything outside of her own house. Inside her home is sterilised, it's safe - but Madeline has never been outside. When a new boy moves in next door they begin connecting via Instant Message but when things look like they're progressing, what can Madeline do about it when she can't even leave her home? I didn't like the direction this book took towards the end, it seemed to turn from an inventive, new concept to a typical YA romance but it was worth a read and it was enjoyable.

The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan
If you haven't read anything by Donal Ryan I'd very much encourage you to go and rectify that as soon as possible. His writing is edible, especially if you grew up in small-town Ireland. His descriptions, his turn of phrase, his characters - this tale about a community of people in post-recession Ireland connected in various ways had a real Pure Mule feel about it and I wanted to read it again the minute I put it down.

172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad
Set in the near future, NASA decide to boost popularity for a new lunar expedition by selecting three teenagers to join the astronauts on the mission to moon base DARLAH 2. They want to investigate something under the guise of a 50th moon landing anniversary - when the teenagers get there, they realise that NASA have not been entirely honest with them, and that something very sinister is going on. I liked this a lot - it's definitely a YA book but it's a great concept and was written really well. I got vibes of Hugh Howey's Wool or Marcus Sedgwick's The Ghosts of Heaven from it so if either of those floated your boat, give this a go.


Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix
This is such a clever little book - set in an Orsk store that sells knock-offs of IKEA products, Amy is an employee that gets roped into doing an all-night spying exercise with some other employees and her horrible manager after some items in the store have been damaged. Perfect black comedy for those who have ever worked in retail, this takes a really dark twist in the middle and goes down the horror/gore route. No issue with that, but I do wish it had retained some of the comedy. Great social commentary, brilliant illustrations, fantastic concept, but the quality of the horror let it down.

You by Caroline Kepnes
Joe works at a book shop. One day, he notices a woman named Guinevere Beck in the shop and becomes fascinated with her - his obsession reaches dangerous levels as he begins to slowly make sure that Guinevere is dependent on him. This is written from Joe's POV - a brave choice, but I just didn't like it that much. There's a lot of swearing (the C word - not the Santa one, the BAD one is used to describe both female genitalia and as a swear word), plus the whole thing left me with a nasty feeling. Was I supposed to feel sympathy for Joe at any point? Because I didn't. I felt like Guinevere (or Beck, as she's known) was made out to be a slut, a tramp, therefore had all this coming to her. Probably (and hopefully) not the intention but I just didn't like it. It definitely made me more aware of what I put on social media, it's frightening how easy it is for strangers to track your every move even from a few seemingly harmless tweets. This just didn't hit the spot for me thriller-wise.

The Boy Between by Susan Stairs
This is Susan's second book, it's the tale of a daughter trying to uncover a family secret. Set in modern day Ireland, Orla can't make it home for Christmas because of the Big Freeze of 2010. When she finally gets home, her mother is even more dejected than she feared - the second half of the year has always been hard for Orla's mother, but nobody will tell her why. In a moment of desperation, her father hands her a photograph of her parents the year Orla was born - in the photograph, there's a teenage boy with white-blonde curly hair. Orla has never seen him before, but when her father clams up, she sets off on a journey to discover more about the boy and whether or not his identity will prove to be the key that unlocks the sadness within her mother. We get the boy's story here, revealed in every second chapter. It's a beautiful, sad tale about love, loss, grief, and hope. Really good and recommended.
Book Haul

I visited Amazon to get the Mark Haddon book for Book Club, and saw that it was in the 3 for £10 deal. Now - here is my logic for this next photo. Amazon offer free shipping over £25. So that's the 3 for £10 deal twice. There's still £5 to make up - but for another £5, you can have THREE more. So I got three more. And a single one. I won't be doing that again for a while until the exchange rate improves, but for now I'm happy with my shiny new books! Also in the photo there are some beautiful books from ROADS publishing that I received for review, but they'll get their own post soon. I placed a small Book Depository order earlier in the month as well, so those two books are in the picture too. Most of the ones I ordered from Amazon are Richard & Judy Summer Reads. I've only read two so far but I'll give a brief synopsis of each one in case you want to take advantage of the offer.

The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Joel Dicker
15 year old Nola Kerrigan disappears in New Hampshire in 1975. 33 years later, her body is dug up from the yard of author Harry Quebert, along with a copy of his manuscript. It's up to his student, Marcus Goldman, to clear Harry's name and find out what really happened.

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
Adapted from a Russain fairytale, this is set in the 1920s in remote Alaska where a couple have moved to the wilderness after suffering a loss. One night, the wife makes a child from snow - the next day, the child is gone, but they begin to see a little girl around the farm.

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Bachman
Ove is an incredibly grumpy man who passes his time doing "rounds" of the neighbourhood to point out the stupididy of his neighbours, but is there more to Ove than meets the eye?

Her by Harriet Lane
A tale of two very different women with two very different lifestyles - but their paths have crossed before, and though one may not remember.........the other does.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt
An epic modern classic about a group of eccentric classmates studying classics at a New England college and how their lives are changed by a terrible secret.

The Children Act by Ian McEwan
A novel about a 17 year old boy refusing life-saving medical treatment and the Judge who must decide on the case.

The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham
The book upon which The Village of the Damned was based. A silver object falls from the sky one day and all the town residents fall unconscious. The next day, the object is gone, but every woman in the town is pregnant with a blonde, blue-eyed child. I ordered this from Book Depository.

The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan
Set in a small rural town in the aftermath of Celtic Tiger Ireland, tensions and tempers are high and  violence is inevitable. When an incident occurs, several different people connected in some way are given a voice and given their say. Nobody gets a second chapter, but the truth gradually comes to light. If you've read Ryan's The Thing About December, Johnsey's story is mentioned and we find out what happened afterwards. Also ordered from Book Depository.

The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters
Set in London in 1922, an impoverished widow and her spinster daughter take in lodgers that change their lives in unforseen ways.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon
A fifteen year old boy with Asperger's Syndrome sets out to solve the mystery of how his neighbour's dog was murdered.

The Humans by Matt Haig
Professor Andrew Martin is not feeling himself after an incident one Friday night - he appears to be annoyed, irritated, and frustrated with every aspect of the human race. What could have changed him so much?

A Song for Issy Bradley by Carys Bray
The Bradleys are, in every respect, a normal family. The 16 year old is in love, the 13 year old dreams of playing football professionally, the 7 year old believes in miracles. His Dad does too - but the Mum finds it hard to believe in anything after losing Issy, in fact she finds it hard to get out of bed.

I'll cover the ROADS books in a post of their own, they deserve their own post.

So - spot anything you like, or have you read any of these?

Where the hell do I start?!