Are Sub Boxes Worthwhile?

I’m sure that we’ve all heard a lot about subscription boxes, whether good or bad, we all know what they are, and it seems like everyone has at least tried one out at some point. Unfortunately, recently all of the reviews I’ve seen surrounding sub boxes have been negative, as the receiver seems to be disappointed with the products included.

I managed to get May’s Birchbox to review, but today I’m also going to be weighing up whether or not I feel that subscription boxes are worthwhile.IMG_7760

May Birchbox

Products Included:

Spectrum Collection’s Unicorn Tears Wonder Sponge RRP £4.99

theBalm cosmetics Stainiac in Beauty Queen RRP £10

Philip Kingsley PK Prep Polishing Balm RRP £18.50

Caudalie Vinosource Moisturising Sorbet RRP £23

Rituals Tao Wai Wang Mild Exfoliating Body Scrub RRP £19.50

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Wonder Sponge | The sponge is cruelty free, which is a great aspect, as I think that we are all gradually becoming aware of cruelty and non-cruelty free companies and products, and this is beginning to affect our buying habits. This sponge is just as easy to use as any other sponge or the famous beauty blender, and comes in roughly a pound cheaper. However I do think that this is a product that people either already have, or don’t have it because they prefer using brushes. It’s not necessarily a worthwhile product to ‘try out’ in a sub box. It is also, as Birchbox boast, a full size product, but it would be difficult to dispatch these sponges in smaller, tester size.

Stainiac | I was actually nicely surprised by this lip and cheek tint. The deep blood-red colour of the tube made me weary of trying it, as I thought it’d be far too pigmented, and perhaps sticky and uncomfortable on the face or lips. However when I did try it, it just added a light touch of a pink-red hue to the lips, and dried to the point that I couldn’t even feel it, not sticky or uncomfortable at all. I would probably look into repurchasing this if I wanted a tint.

However, this product showcases how I think sub boxes are misleading. The stated RRP for this product is £10, showcasing that you’re getting a great deal, as the box itself is £12.95. However that RRP is for the 0.3oz stain, and in the box, you get a 0.04oz product. This might sound confusing and like it doesn’t matter, but what it means is that you’re getting 1/12th of the product that is worth that £10. So technically, this product is worth 83p. Or you can get it free as a tester HERE.

Polishing Balm | As I’ve spoken about my love for them before, I was actually really excited to try this out. I was really impressed by the consistency of this product, it isn’t quite a balm, but it is similar in consistency to that of a conditioner. It distributes easily throughout the ends of the hair, and does leave it smelling delicious, while it also smooths down any flyaways and frizz.

However again, the impressive RRP of £18.50 is for the 75ml product, and you receive a 20ml product. So this tester is actually worth £4.93. Although this is again, misleading, I do still find almost £5 worth of product to be impressive.IMG_7755Moisturising Sorbet | It takes some time to work out what this product is for, as it explains that it’s a moisturising sorbet, but it doesn’t say where it is to be applied. Fortunately on the back of the product, underneath the French usage instructions, it says that it’s for the face and neck. It is a somewhat moisturising product, but I found it to be like applying cold water to your face, at first you feel moisturised, but then your face is just wet, not actually moisturised. It took a lot of working this product in for it to completely be absorbed into the skin. I did find that it left an incredibly light and flowery scent, but nothing overpowering at all.

This product is clearly the most expensive included in the box, an insane RRP of £23. I know, more boring maths coming your way, but please bear with me. The product that you receive is actually worth just under £6. Again, this is insane for a 10ml product, so it’s better to have it included in a sub box than it is for you to buy it alone, but I don’t think this is the type of product that anyone is going to fall so madly in love with, that when this tester is empty, they buy the £23 version.

Body Scrub | As I’ve spoken about Rituals recently, you can see my review of their hand cream HERE, you know that I love everything about their products, so when I saw that this body scrub was included in the box, I was pleasantly surprised. Obviously I loved this product, and am impressed to say that you can get 2 uses out of this sized product. I also think that this particular size is good for a tester, as it gives you a good sense of whether or not you want to repurchase the full £19.50 tub version at 325ml.


Ultimately I think that sub boxes are a really good idea, you get to try out new products each month, and you don’t have to shop around for them. However I do think that people can be mislead into think that they are getting more than the box is actually worth, for example, if you took the RRPs as gospel for this Birchbox, you’d think you’re getting £76 worth of products, when in fact you get £19.83. (Assuming you paid for the lip and cheek tint, and didn’t get it free as you can elsewhere.)

Please don’t get me wrong, I’m obviously not just talking about Birchbox here, this is true of all sub boxes. I’m not dismissing the fact that the company need to make a profit, while still paying some companies to feature their products, but I do feel that sub boxes need to be more inventive with what they include. I’ve seen many people complain about receiving toothpaste and clear nail polishes. To me, the key to a good sub box is, getting to try products that you either don’t already have, or wouldn’t buy yourself, either because it’s slightly more luxurious, or a brand you haven’t heard of.

I also am aware that you pay £12.95 a month for these boxes, so even if it is worth £19, you’re still up by £6. But to me, I think that the prices of sub boxes can come down drastically and perhaps feature less, but full sized products. Or the prices can be increased slightly, but you’re guaranteed full sized products, and you can input preferences. (i.e. no toothpastes)


Thank you so much for reading this post, it really means a lot to me as I know it’s really long, but this felt important to me. Also don’t forget that I am daily blogging for this entire month, and you have a brand new podcast series that starts THIS FRIDAY!

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Damaged Hair Tips

Hey guys! As some of you may know, over the past few months, I’ve dyed my hair ombre, then pink, then ombre again, and finally back to dark brown. Obviously this excessive amount of bleaching meant that the ends of my hair were pretty fried, so I had to alter my haircare routine to help revive it.

So today I’m sharing my tips on how to combat and assist damaged hair.

Trims | I know, it’s something of a taboo to mention nowadays, but honestly, after you’ve bleached your hair, I think it’s so beneficial to cut the ends off. It helps seal the ends of your hair, especially if they are split and particularly fried. I also think that it keeps your style fresh and feeling super-soft.

Washing | After the second time bleaching my hair in just over one month, I knew that I’d need to change my shampoo and conditioner from a colour protecting focus, to a duo that focussed on hydrating. I really recommend this John Frieda duo, because the formula of the conditioner is slightly thicker than most conditioners, so you really feel like it’s repairing your hair.DAMAGED HAIR TIPS 2Post-Washing | Another tip that we’ve all heard all too often in regards to improving the condition of our hair; stay away from heat. Now I have learnt that I can’t really let my hair air dry, as it turns all too frizzy, all too quickly. So now I make sure to use a cream heat protectant, and then leave it to air dry, but once its completely dry, I straighten it, as I find that the cream heat protectant, combined with heat, actually improves the shininess and sleekness of my hair.

Touch Ups | This is actually what inspired me to share this post, because I’ve only recently learnt about these products, and the condition of my hair has been drastically improved ever since. Touch up cremes and leave-in conditioners have been around for a long time now, but I never really understood how to use them. My favourites are John Frieda’s Perfect Finish polishing serum, which is an oil, and Secret Agent touch up creme, which is like a leave-in conditioner. I love both of these products because they are applied to dried hair. This means that even if you’ve washed, air dried and styled your hair, and it’s still looking dull and dry, these products bring shine and smoothness to your hair.


That’s it for my damaged hair tips, I hope these tips help you out if you’re struggling with the condition of your hair, if not, drop me a comment and I’ll try and help you out!

Ariana Grande Dangerous Woman Makeup Tutorial

Hey guys! As Ariana Grande’s latest album, Dangerous Woman, was released today, I thought it’d be fun to recreate the makeup look that she wore in the Dangerous Woman music video.

It’s actually a surprisingly easy look to do yourself, as it’s a mix of nicely blended brown shades on the lid, light contouring, and a pink/brown toned nude lip.

Products used:

Collection Illuminating Touch Concealer
Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder
Makeup Revolution Fortune Favours The Brave Eyeshadow Palette
Rimmel Brow This Way Brow Gel
Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara
Fleur De Force False Lashes ‘Fleur Loves’
MAC Lipliner in ‘Edge To Edge’
Soap & Glory Smoulder Kohl Eyeliner
Makeup Revolution ‘Golden Sugar’ Blush & Contour Palette

Here’s the tutorial! Hope you guys enjoy it!

Battle Of The Hair Mousse

When it comes to having long hair, you seem to encounter a daily battle: limpness. Since I grew my hair longer, I realised that the weight of it had started weighing it down, and that meant that the roots didn’t have any lift, and my hair just looked pretty lifeless.

So naturally I wanted to try out some volume-boosting mousse to boost my roots and give my hair some more lift and movement. Mousse Comparison 2Nicky Clarke Texture Rebuild Volume Mousse | This mousse boasts having ‘kerastrength’, which means that it contains keratin, a fibrous protein that constitutes the main structure of hair. This means that when applied to the hair, this product boosts the roots of the hair with the very protein that would otherwise naturally occur in hair, to create thickness and strength.

I found that this product worked incredibly well the first time I used it, it gave me a really impressive lift at the roots, and the hold was incredible, although it did give my roots quite a rough texture that meant it was difficult to pass a hand or brush through it, but I half expected and understood that because of the impressive hold it had.

But after using this product every other day for about a week, I found that it had lost that lift that I initially had, and instead it was just weighing down my hair, and making my roots greasy, a really annoying by-product of applying a hair product directly to your roots. Therefore I stopped using it, and I’ve been weary of using it ever since.Wella Shockwaves Volume Mousse | Since I became nervous of using the Nicky Clarke mousse, I wanted to try a cheaper alternative because I’d already splurged on the Nicky Clarke one, and I didn’t want to be disappointed again. So I decided to pick this one up because it usually retails for a maximum price of £2.99, and it had some pretty decent reviews.

Once again, the first time I used this mousse, it gave me an incredible lift, but the hold was significantly less strong, it was still incredibly soft, but the lack of hold was really apparent, as halfway through the day my hair did start to loose volume. I also noticed that this mousse didn’t smell as nice as the Nicky Clarke one, but I did kind of expect that because it is a much more affordable alternative to higher end other mousse products.

I think I’ve realised that any product that is intended to be applied directly to the roots is bound to cause slight greasiness if it isn’t fully washed away, or if it’s applied too frequently, your hair may become accustomed to it, meaning that the same amount of product just won’t do the job any more.


That’s everything for my comparison of these hair mousses, let me know if you’ve tried either of these products out before, and what you thought of them!

Batiste Dry Shampoo

I recently was in desperate need for some dry shampoo, so when I was out, I scoured the shelves, looking for the perfect product. I’ve used dry shampoos before, and I did like the various scents that Batiste offered, but I did find that with my dark hair, it took far too much ‘working’ into my hair, for it to not look powdery, and by the time I’d finished working the product into my hair, it look just as greasy as it did when I started out.

So when I saw this particular can offered a ‘hint of colour’ geared towards brunette hair, I thought I should give it a go.IMG_2095So the other day when I was styling my hair, I decided to finally give this product a go. I made sure to thoroughly shake the can, then lift sections of my hair and spray this directly at the roots, from roughly 30cm away, as instructed.

I was really pleased with the results, I didn’t even have to work the product into my hair, because as soon as I had sprayed it and let go of the section of hair, it looked fresh, and perfectly blended in.

I can honestly say that this is my new favourite dry shampoo, because it takes the least amount of effort to create a finished look, and it’s a reasonably sized can, so it’s definitely worth picking up, because it’ll last you, and it’s affordable.


I am so glad I finally found a suitable dry shampoo for darker hair, let me know if you have used this dry shampoo before, or if you’re going to try it out now!

I want to change up what I’m posting in the future, so be sure to let me know in the comments if you’d like to see more beauty, cooking, lifestyle or fashion posts, I’ll be sure to listen!

John Frieda’s Frizz Ease Serum

Hey guys! The other day I was wondering what kind of blog post I wanted to write, and I was trawling through my makeup while crying over how I couldn’t do an OOTD post because the weather was so awful, when I realised that for quite a while now, I had kept a secret from you all.

That’s right, I know.

I saw a product that I’ve come to adore, because it was everything I was looking for, and it delivered so much more than I expected from it, and I realised that I’d never even mentioned it. It hadn’t appeared in a favourites post, I hadn’t even mentioned how awesome it is on Twitter. It had sat, on my bedside table, helping me out every day. Almost like something so perfect, I didn’t want anyone else to know.IMG_1869Enough of this mushy love story, I am of course, as you can tell by the title of this post, talking about John Frieda’s Frizz Ease ‘Perfect Finish’ Polishing Serum.

I had been suffering from dry hair (especially on the very ends) for quite a while, as the lack of humidity during the winter months might be good for keeping my curls from going out of control, it’s actually really damaging to the lengths of my hair.

I had previously tried Vitapointe Leave-In Conditioner, and gotten on with it quite well, but I knew that I still wanted to try out an oil treatment that I could use for both a quick fix of moisture once I’d finished styling my hair, and an actual treatment on my hair.IMG_1870I actually found this Polishing Serum when I was picking up hair dye a few months ago because I thought it sounded like the perfect thing to put onto my hair once I’d dyed and blow dried it, as it might need a little moisture rescue.

To be honest, it was everything I expected when I first used it, but I highly overestimated the amount that I’d require. And as my hair is reasonably long now, that’s definitely saying something. I used two pumps (as the directions recommended adjusting the amount used for longer/thicker hair) but when running it through the ends of my hair, I realised it was too much because it started to sit and make them look a little bit greasy.

Overall, this product is ridiculously hydrating, and like I mentioned before, perfect for a finishing touch to your styled look, or for a hydrating mask before washing your hair. I also really like that it’s an affordable product because it’s recommend to be used ‘sparingly’, it lasts for much longer than other leave-in conditioners.


That’s it for my quick review of John Frieda’s Frizz Ease Serum, have you tried this product before? Let me know in the comments!

BLOGMAS Day 22 // Christmas Hairstyles

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVE EVE EVE EVERYONE! Ok, maybe that’s a bit of a long shot, but I can definitely feel the Christmas spirit in the air now (never has a sentence reminded me so vividly of Phil Collins…) but today I thought I’d show you guys some of my favourite hairstyles for the festive/party season!

xmas hairstyles 2Cute Half Up | This hairstyle is so cute, and one of my favourites. It’s so simple to achieve, especially if you have naturally curly hair! All you have to do is part your bangs to one side, and take the top section of your hair and secure it in a ponytail, then tie a ribbon around the hairband and you’re done!xmas hairstyles 3Messy Pony | This hairstyle is another one of my favourites, and again, perfect for if you’ve got naturally curly hair. Instead of a typically sleek and ‘perfect’ ponytail, this one is messy and playful. Just throw your head upside down and collect all of you hair into a very high ponytail, then tie a piece of ribbon around it.xmas hairstyles 1Half Up | This style is my most-worn hairstyle, but to make it fitting for Christmas, I’ve paired it with my antler headband from New Look! Again, just part the top section of your hair, going diagonally up from behind your ear, gathering all of the top section of your hair, including your bangs this time, and secure it in a ponytail, and you’re done!xmas hairstyles 4Fishtail | This style is really pretty, and once you’ve learned the technique, you can actually achieve it in almost no time at all! I’ve actually got an entire post on how to fishtail braid HERE and a quick ‘Faux-fishtail’ hack HERE. All I’ve done here is a regular fishtail, and secured it with a pink ribbon which I’ve tied into a bow!


Those are my top 4 hairstyles for the festive season, I hope you guys enjoyed them, let me know which one is your favourite in the comments!

 

BLOGMAS Day 3 // Winter Hair Care With Aussie

Hey guys! As we near Christmas, and gradually Winter, we all know that the change in temperature and humidity can be tough on our hair, so today I partnered up with Aussie to talk to you about Winter haircare!

During Winter, the cold air causes the follicles in hair to shrink and close, which can cause hair to become dry and brittle, leading it to break off when you brush/wash it.

So the geniuses at Aussie have brought out their famous blend, ‘Miracle Shine’, in a gorgeous, limited edition Winter Miracle packaging!Limited Edition Aussie Winter Miracle (1)This shampoo and conditioner heavily moisturises your hair, from root to tip, meaning it’s stronger and shinier than ever. Even in the Winter months!

This formula is so long lasting and powerful, that you don’t even need to use it every time you wash your hair, you can use it only once a week, and it’s still just as effective. This also means that the bottles will last longer than any other shampoo and conditioner you use, because you won’t be using it as often!Limited Edition Aussie Winter Miracle (2)


That’s everything about Aussies Winter Miracle shampoo & conditioner. Let me know if you’re going to try this out, I really do recommend it because you won’t believe the results after just the first use!

//YESTERDAYS POST//

How To: Achieve Volume With Long Hair

Hey guys! Since I stepped back from having short/mid length hair, and decided to let it grow out, I very quickly realised that long hair does come with cons. Many of us may dream of how amazing it would be to have long, flowing hair, but we rarely think about it’s upkeep and management.Fotor1127223841So today I’m sharing with you guys how I keep volume in my hair, because the length and weight of it nowadays can tend to make it limp and lifeless.IMG_0556So here are my tips and tricks for keeping your hair bouncy and full of life, even if it’s really long, and even during the harsher winter months!

Back-Combing Brush | Yes. Any and all volume-increasing/inducing products will last so much longer and give you much better results if you have already lightly back-combed your roots. You don’t have to go overboard, just lightly back-comb them, them smooth over the top of your hair so it’s not messy.

Mousse | Volume starts in your hair from the moment you wash it, to when you’ve finally set it into place. So after using a light/voluminsing shampoo and conditioner, (I recommend Herbals Essences Naked shampoo and conditioners!) after you’ve towel dried your hair, I recommend using a mousse. This gives lift to your roots, making back-combing much easier and long-lasting.

Dry Shampoo | Finally, if you’re working with 2/3 day old hair, and your mousse has worn out, dry shampoo can be your saviour. Not only does it refresh your hair without needing to wash it, but dry shampoo actually gives a bit of grip to your hair, meaning it is fuller and looks thicker.


And that’s it! I hope you guys enjoyed this post, and these tips help you out if you’re currently struggling with limp and lifeless hair, if it id, be sure to let me know in the comments.

(Also, 3 DAYS UNTIL BLOGMAS!!)

How To: Dutch Headband Braid

Fotor0922164846Here’s another really easy (once you’ve mastered the way of passing the hair around) and cute hairstyle , that once you’re confident doing it, you can perfect in 5 minutes! Like most braids, you start out with three strands.

I’ve taken a small section from my part, and parted it into three strands.The key to this braid is passing the hair underneath the other strands you have, unlike other braids where you go over. This makes the braid stand out from the rest of your hair.Fotor0922163623So obviously I have started out the braid by regularly braiding, but passing the hair underneath. Then, like a french braid, you grab an extra small section of hair and add it in with the piece you are about to move over. Then you bring it into the middle.

Once you’ve started adding little sections of hair and moving them underneath the other two strands, the braid will start to form and be 3D.

Once you’ve braided as much as you’d like, or for as long as your hair is, you can stop adding sections and simply finish the braid off like a simple three strand braid.DSCN2301 (2)Then you just have to secure the braid with a hair elastic, and bobby pin it underneath the rest of your hair. If you’d like your hair to look a little bit thicker you can just lightly pull at the strands, and it immediately looks so much thicker. You can also choose to pull out and random strands around your face if you prefer a more undone look. Once you’ve perfected it to how you’d like to wear it, you’re done!


I hope you guys enjoyed this tutorial and it helped you out! Let me know if you’d like me to do any other hair tutorials in the comments below!