GlossyBox February 2016: Love is in the Air

My GlossyBox was once again hot on the heels of the BirchBox, the poor postman looked very wet this morning but at least he bothered to knock!

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24275089414_f872921c7e_mThey’ve done a special box design for February and frankly, judging by the contents you can tell they spent quite a bit of budget on doing that. It’s a lovely box design it really is but I do prefer content over style, substance rather than a veneer.  Even the colour of the shredded packing material is different, it’s white instead of the usual black as is the ribbon and the little sticker that keeps the tissue paper closed is a coordinating shade.

“So, what was in the box then missus? Get on with it!” I hear you say. There are 4 full size products and 1 ‘luxury size’ inside this month:

Nicka K, 24H Waterproof Eyeliner in shade ‘Dark Brown’, RRP £3.99
Very dark brown kohl type eye liner with a twist up mechanism and what I think is supposed to be a smudger on the opposite end but which in practice seems to work more like an eraser. Ignoring the smudger/eraser it’s a very nice liner, perfect for a more authentic Marilyn-esque look. Contrary to popular belief she never worse black liquid liner, always a dark brown pencil.

MUA, Power Pout Glaze in shade ‘Serenity’, RRP £3.50
24276690294_937e63b5ba_mI really like this shade of gloss – yes that’s right it’s a gloss with a shade that actually shows up (and shows up well) on the lips without a pencil or lipstick underneath it. Not too sheer but too opaque either they’ve got this one (or at least this shade) just right. The formula doesn’t feel too ‘jammy’ on the lips either. I don’t often wear gloss unless it’s a special occasion or there is literally zero breeze as I cannot stand the way loose strands of hair tend to stick in many formulas, I think I’ll be pulling this one out when the weather gets a bit sunnier though. I really do love the colour.

The Vintage Cosmetic Company, Floral Slanted Tweezers, RRP £8
You can never have enough sets of tweezers really can you, they come in handy for loads of things including non-beauty related tasks. These are nowhere near as good as a set of Tweezerman’s but you could probably work that out by the RRP, they are quite stiff and the slanted edges are very chunky and not at all sharp – you’re not getting any very short hairs out with these. After using a good sharp set you do find cheaper, chunkier ones hard to use – you feel like you’re wielding a cricket bat compared to a tooth pick, it’s really quite bizarre. They would be good for tasks such as holding false lashes, picking up small items for nail art or fishing things out of small holes. If you want a set for plucking your brows save your cash for a better set, you won’t regret it.

Naobay, Protective Hair Mask Volume Conditioner, luxury sized
GlossyBox seem fond of Naobay and I’ve received a few of their products this way, and I can honestly say I haven’t been disappointed by any of the ones I’ve tried so far. This conditioning hair mask has a lemony scent which is not something I find particularly appealing personally but based on good past experiences with this brand I’m looking forward to giving this a proper try.

Wilkinson Sword, Intuition (razor) in ‘Sensitive Care’, RRP £6.99
24809288971_7571ccdc26_mOh dear, I have to admit my heart sank when I saw this in the box. What on Earth do I want this for? I only ever a single bladed men’s razor or a double bladed men’s razor at the most as more blades always means more skin irritation and quite frankly razors marketed at women are pants. I’m not sure whether to risk trying this or if I’ll just give it away.
I’m also on the fence about the fact that the inclusion of this product is reinforcing the idea that women ought to shave/be hairless/conform to standards of hairlessness as set by society and in particular by men. Razors do not need to be gendered items kids and women do not need to be paying more for them than men and getting a substandard product. There are a lot of issues here that I’m not sure GlossyBox really thought about.

Overall some ups and some downs this month, I feel like pretty much all of the products were quite cheap and more effort and budget went into the box design which is really not my cup of tea. I’m considering trying out one of the more expensive beauty boxes, maybe for a month maybe for longer, any suggestions? ‘Look Incredible’ is one that I’ve been hearing about as is ‘Cohorted’.

L’Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Clay Bundle Review

L'Oreal Elvive Clay

Extraordinary ClayI don’t normally foray into hair care products on my blog but since I had these new products to try out I thought “why the heck not?”
The Extraordinary Clay Re-Balancing range is designed “to break the cycle and put an end to oily roots and dry ends, giving you 72 hours of purified roots and hydrated ends.” Sounds brilliant, so how does it work?

First you apply the hair masque to your dry, unwashed roots and scalp and massage it in well. Yes, that’s right the masque goes on first! Very unusual I thought but it works very well at absorbing all of that grease from your scalp. The product has an unusual but not unpleasant mild fragrance and is, surprisingly, quite a bright blue colour – I was expecting a more obvious ‘clay’ colour. My only real complaint about the masque was that its blue colouring stained my hands so I had to use quite a bit of exfoliator to get them back to normal again afterwards – I’ll be using some disposable gloves in future for this part. The masque is left on the roots for 5 minutes to do its work – during this time I was freaking out about my blue hands not washing clean but if you avoid that fate do sit and relax!

masqueAfter your five minutes are up it’s time to rinse out the clay masque. Despite my concerns I found the masque rinsed out of my hair really easily and my roots were already feeling so much cleaner than at the start.
The re-balancing shampoo, which blissfully doesn’t contain any silicones (which can build up on your hair over time) lathered up straight away – no need to “rinse and repeat” here. I also noticed from the ingredients list on the back of the bottle that it contains hyaluronic acid (sodium hyaluronate) which is a great beauty workhorse and will help your dry ends hold on to moisture until you wash it again. I’m surprised they aren’t shouting about this on the front. The matching conditioner has the same (no silicones, and more hyaluronic acid than the shampoo) good points. The fragrance of the shampoo conditioner is very similar to the masque, maybe a slighter milder version of the same scent.

So how is my hair looking now it’s dry? It’s very clean feeling and quite shiny and seems fuller than usual – I guess the deep clean at the roots has enabled them to get a bit more natural volume! My hair has a lovely clean smell to it, a nicer version of the shampoo’s own smell. I’ll certainly be continuing to use this hair care system as I’m quite impressed with the extra volume, my hair is usually naturally very flat without a lot of blow drying and styling but blow drying is not something I can often manage (not enough spoons and keeping my arms raised makes them vulnerable to dislocation).

Did it last 72 hours without going greasy? That’s a big fat yes! Some of the volume had disappeared by then but I had spent my time outdoors wearing a hat due to cold and rainy weather which will have helped flatten my hair down significantly. I do think overall it was a little more flyaway in the lengths but that’s probably a result of washing away all the silicones from my previous shampoo. I will keep an eye on it as I continue using this product and I will update you all if anything dramatic happens (good or bad! I’m beholden to no one here.)

All three products are available together as a bundle from Boots.com for £10 or can be purchased individually online only. ETA: All three are now available widely, I hope you have as much success with the masque as I do.

Kath x