Glossybox UK – June 2017

With summer in full swing, Glossybox subscribers are this month being treated to all manner of glowy products for the skin and hair – including a bonus sixth item in addition to the usual five (and a sneak peek of something from Louise Pentland).

111SKIN Space Defence Bright Eye Lift Gel

Holy expensive skincare! This itsy-bitsy bottle of eye gel is the travel-size edition of the Space Defence (ok?) Bright Eye Lift Gel from luxury brand 111SKIN. I prefer a light and cooling gel formula for under the eyes, as I find them more refreshing than creams, so this is right up my street. The claims from 111SKIN for this product include:

  • reducing the appearance of dark circles
  • minimising puffiness
  • softening the visibility of fine lines
  • hydrating the eye area

So, pretty standard claims, covering everything you could want from your eye care.

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Firstly, it took me ages to get the pump to work, so I had to unscrew the itty bitty bottle and swipe the straw thing under my eyes. Luckily, a small amount of this cooling gel goes a long way, so I only needed about 1/2 a pea-sized amount for both eyes, spreading it under the eye and around the lid. It has a thicker texture than a lot of eye gels that I’ve used, and took a while to settle and absorb in. However, once absorbed it felt nice and soft, providing a perfect base for foundation and concealer.

The only thing really putting me off this is the price tag – the full size bottle is £110 for 15ml (!!!), which is crazy expensive, even for luxury skincare. I honestly don’t think that you need to spend that much on eye products unless you really want to – Simple have some fantastic options, and the caffeine solution from The Ordinary is a much-hyped alternative. If you are interested in splashing out on this gel in particular, it’s available for purchase here at Space NK.

Noughty Intensive Care Leave-in Conditioner

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Glossybox always come through with the full-sized products! This one is a large bottle of leave-in conditioner from natural brand Noughty, intended for use on damp, freshly washed hair. One of the USP’s for this brand is that most of the ingredients (97%) are “natural”, and that they’re free from a lot of the nasties that can be found in haircare today – such as parabens and sulphates – all good stuff.

It struck me as odd that such a thick product could be used after washing the hair, as a leave-in conditioner – most of those types of product are lightweight spritzes or non-greasy oils. As someone with fairly oily hair that isn’t too dried out or damaged, I did find this a bit cloying, and my hair felt quite heavy and not particularly clean the next day. Also, I couldn’t really place the scent of this – it wasn’t perfume -like, but rather more on the botanical/plant side of things – regardless, it wasn’t hugely pleasant.

I’m keeping this in the bathroom to see if anyone else in my family would like this, however it’s not for me – I’ll be sticking to minimal, lightweight products for my hair. This full-sized bottle/tube (150ml) retails for £6.99, a fairly good drugstore price point akin to products from OGX etc.

Batiste Stylist Hydrating Oil

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Another product for dry hair! This came with a little note about how Batiste are revamping their brand and packaging, so I suspect that these have been given out to clear old stock (hmm). Anyway, this full-size spray is part of the Stylist range, intended more for finishing and adding to the hair. This spray is a blend of non-greasy oils (Inca Inchi and Abyssinian, whatever that means) intended to hydrate and add shine to the hair. Again, I usually steer clear of these types of product, although I do have the Luxe Shine spray from COLAB (which I think is a similar concept).

You have to be careful with this, and make sure to hold the can a decent distance from your head to avoid risking applying too much product too the roots – it may actually be better to spray this onto the hands and run your fingertips through the ends of the hair. Spraying this on, I found that I had to brush through my hair afterwards because it clumped up and stuck together somewhat. After this, I didn’t feel particularly greasy, although my hair did feel a little bit smoother. This also added a nice fragrance to my hair, a kind of expensive-smelling oil scent. If you’re looking to reinvigorate dry and dull-looking hair, this could be a good drugstore alternative to more expensive hair oils (the full-size can retails here for £$.49 – the spray function also makes it easier to apply than a standard oil. I’m going to continue using this, albeit on damp hair to help it absorb more.

Sleek Makeup Power Plump Lip Crayon

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ALWAYS READ THE PACKAGING – I decided to throw this next product on the day my Glossybox arrived, just before I was due to catch a train to London. Sweet, I thought – this should be a nice opaque and easy-to-use lip crayon! Unfortunately, I didn’t read the words “Power Plump” and connect the dots until my lips started burning like crazy. The lip crayon is infused with ingredients that promote blood flow to the lips, supposedly helping them to look more plump – I’ve never seen this kind of formula in a crayon before, only in glosses and balms, hence why I was caught out so easily.

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The colour itself (Colossal Coral) is a deep peachy-orange tone, which looked a little odd on my lips, as the formula is creamy and not completely matte and opaque. It did settle into my lip lines a bit, which wasn’t particularly flattering – I don’t think these kinds of shades are really for me, as I’m pale with fairly naturally dark lips anyway and the patchy orange tone was at odds with my lip colour (some of the darker and more red shades look quite nice, however). The pigment is definitely there, though, and this crayon swatched really well – see below.

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The tingling effect was there for sure – if you have super-dry or sensitive lips I would steer clear of this, as the burning sensation does last a fair while. Also, while these are supposed to be sharpened, they’re not a traditional pencil/crayon with a wooden casing. The packaging is actually plastic, so you need a sturdy sharpener and a good amount of patience to get this back to a pointed crayon shape. Available from either Boots or Superdrug, Sleek offer six different shades of crayon, ranging from traditional reds, through pinks and to nude colours – available for £5.49 each (but keep an eye out for 3 for 2 offers and the like).

Beauty Pro Black Diamond Mask

I have no doubt that everyone’s seen those charcoal peel-off masks – you know, the ones that pull all the gross stuff out of your pores/rip your skin off. This little sachet  from Beauty Pro is one of those, intended to purify the skin and leave it detoxified. I tried this out last week when I decided to have a go at multi-masking for the first time – applying this black mask to my nose, cheeks and forehead.

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It has a pretty strong, almost medicinal smell that caused my eyes to sting and water a little at first, but this subsided not long after application. Spreading this on the face was odd, as it starts to set fast and get quite thick and sticky. After about 15-20 minutes, my face was basically paralysed by the mask, with it starting to peel around the nose. I dived right in and began to pull it from the edges – ouch. I’ve done peel-off masks before, but none that were this stubborn (I may have shed a tear) – it did come off after five minutes of careful peeling, but sadly there wasn’t much pore-gunk visible (although maybe that was a good sign?). My skin did feel really super-smooth and tight afterwards, but surprisingly hydrated. I wouldn’t recommend this mask for the faint-hearted, but it’s an effective and well-priced option if you do want to go down the charcoal peel-off route – sold in packs of three here, for £4.95 – Beauty Pro is also a cruelty-free brand that routinely uses natural ingredients in their products (always good to know!).

Manna Kadar Cosmetics Sheer Glo

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I feel like I’m drowning in highlighter and “glow” these days – while I love slapping it on as much as the next person, I have to be careful with liquid or cream formulas so that they don’t make me oily or disrupt my (typically matte and full-coverage) foundation base.  The brand actually recommends this for more mature or drier complexions, so I was cautious to only tap this onto my cheekbones and use a very light hand.

The formula is a fairly thick (thicker than Benefit’s High Beam) cream in a tube, packed with shimmer and a pink-gold tinge for a dewy effect. While Manna Kadar suggest that the shade is universally flattering for all skin tones, I would only use this as a blush topper, and not mix it into foundation for fear of making my already red face even more tomato-like. It is however, a very pretty incandescent glow that this product gives, so any die-hard fans of cream highlight will be impressed (it’s also paraben-free, according to the brand’s website). It’s perfect for summer, and could also be used on the collarbones and shoulders for an all-over body glow. The full-size 20ml tube (which Glossybox included) retails for £22.50, so it’s definitely up there in price.

So, it’s been a fairly bumper month for June – Glossybox have teased that we’ll be getting a fan brush next month, from mermaid/unicorn overlords Spectrum Collections (yasss). This month’s box also included an extract from vlogger Louise Pentland’s debut novel, Wilde Like Me – I’m a long-time viewer of her channel, so fans and keen readers alike will be excited to read a bit of the novel before its release.

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As usual, Glossybox UK is available here for £10 + Shipping per month.

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