Wednesday, 26 October 2016

RECENT READS #1

Reading is one of my favourite ways to spend my time. I've always loved getting completely engrossed in a good book. I will often read countless books over the summer months however when I return to uni, it takes a backseat as the deadlines take over.
There's still been a couple of good'uns lately though that I wanted to share and hopefully I will be able to (or, at least attempt to) juggle fictional reading with my course textbooks to keep updating you in the future with the books I have been loving.

1. Behind Closed Doors
I downloaded this on my Kindle as it was a suggested read after I finished What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty. Between May and September I was commuting daily on public transport to my job so it gave me a good 30 minutes every day to read. 
I loved this book. The plot may be a little predictable at times yet it is also completely shocking. It kept me hooked but didn't confuse me, it was simple yet brilliant. This was a book of extremes and I would highly recommend it - many people have said if you liked The Girl on the Train, then you'll enjoy Behind Closed Doors - and I would definitely echo that. I do agree it isn't the best written book and for the most part, quite unbelievable in it's storyline. However, I didn't mind that at all in this instance.

2. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

I guess this is slightly cheating as I'm only just over half way through but boy is it good. J K Rowling, the woman can do no wrong. I was just so excited at the news of a new Harry Potter book, I didn't even realise it was a play script but I am really enjoying this aspect. I'm imagining how the stage looks and how the actors are performing their lines. I just wish I had more time to read because it would be done and dusted in a matter of hours.

3. Lonely Planet

I got this little book for my birthday as I plan on doing a little travel adventure next summer after university. I've enjoyed just flicking through this on my odd essay break, there's definitely some useful tips and tricks that I'll be using when planning my trip. I absolutely love Lonely Planet books and it would make a perfect present for any travel enthusiast. 

I hope you enjoyed this post. What have you been reading recently? I'd love to hear your book recommendations!

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

BIRCHBOX REVIEW | 3 Month Subscription

For my 22nd birthday I was gifted a 3 Month Subscription to Birchbox by my boyfriend, having now received my third and final box and tested the majority of the products, I thought I'd share my review on the brand for others considering signing up to this luxury beauty service.

The first box that got sent my way was the August 'Dive in Birchbag' which included five products plus an extra full-size make up product and exclusive scuba Birchbag.
The products I received were the Balance Me Radiance Face Mask, the Philip Kingsley One More Day Dry Shampoo, the Yes To Coconut Hydrating Cleansing Wipes, Anatomicals Smoother Butts Love Coconuts Coconut and Mango Body Lotion, the Rituals Hammam Body Mud and the Marcelle Waterproof Eyeliner in Mulberry.

Three of the six products stood out to me from August, the Anatomicals Coconut Body Lotion, the Philip Kingsley Dry Shampoo and the Marcelle Eyeliner. I am yet to try the Rituals Body Mud but if it is of the same quality as the other products, it should be a really lovely item. 

Next up was the September 'Heroes' box which included five products, one of which was again a full-size makeup product. I had updated my profile before I was sent my September box in order to receive items that were picked for your skin, hair and preferences.



The products I received in September were the Polaar The Genuine Lapland Cream, the amika Bombshell Blowout Spray, the Jane Iredale Smooth Affair Facial Primer & Brightener, the NUXE Prodigieux Shower Oil and the ModelCo Highlighting Trio.


I have tried every product except the Lapland Cream however the product that really stood out immediately was the ModelCo Highlighter and it is my favourite of the month - purely for the highlighter shade, its gorgeous! I also like the blush shade however I wouldn't wear all three shades at once because of how shimmery they are. I also love the NUXE shower oil and the amika Blowout Spray, I've been using it as a heat protection spray before straightening/curling my hair however it also makes my hair super smooth and adds volume.

The final box *sobs* that turned up at my door was the October 'What's Your Sign?' box - unfortunately my birthday didn't seem to be registered in my profile so I received an 'Air' box rather than an 'Earth' box which was linked to my sign.

My 'Air' box included the Number 4 Fluoro5 Elixer Restore & Repair Oil, the Whish Renewing Mud Mask, the Doux Me Pure Spring Mist, the Aromotherapy Associates Body Gel, the Birchbox Eyebrow Brush and the free full-size makeup product which was the LOC One & Done Shadow Stick.


So far I have tried the Aromotherapy Associates Body Gel and the LOC One & Done Shadow Stick but I am also really excited to try the Number 4 Restore & Repair Oil and see how it compares to my Moroccan Oil. I would probably say this was my least favourite of all three boxes (my favourite being September's) however this may be purely because I haven't got round to trying the other items yet.

Overall, I absolutely loved having a little box full of amazing products delivered each month and whether it be a present for someone or a treat for yourself, it's a brilliant concept that would suit any beauty product enthusiast. I think if I weren't now back to uni and living off my student budget, I would have considered carrying on with Birchbox however I would definitely recommend to my friends and will most likely treat some of them to one for their birthday. 

For £10 per month (+ postage) I think it is value for money, however two out of the three months there was a budget/cheaper product included yet this didn't downgrade the quality or standard of the service, in my opinion. It's the perfect opportunity for people to try out and test expensive, luxury beauty products that they otherwise wouldn't be able to afford or splurging on a full-size item without knowing what it's like. I was also super impressed with the size of the products, I wouldn't call them samples or testers as you get a lot of product, often around 1/4 or 1/3 the size of the full-sized version.

Have you ever tried Birchbox? What do you think to the brand and service they offer?