You Beauty Limited Edition Box

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Until recently I hadn’t heard of the You Beauty Discovery Box subscription but I am glad now that I looked them up. In addition to You Beauty Discovery Boxes they also do You Beauty Limited Edition Boxes and this month’s special edition box gathers up products from brands that have won CEW awards in 2015. The CEW (Cosmetic Executive Women) awards are prestigious awards that acclaim the most effective products as chosen by industry experts. I was drawn immediately to this box as I quickly eyed one of my all-time favourite products Elemis’ Pro Collagen Marine Cream.

The Pro Collagen Marine cream is a premium product with a premium price point and I’ve only ever been able to afford it when it is a part of a set and at a special price. In slightly more comfortable times I would buy Elemis and Liz Earle when they were part of QVC Today Special Values and stock pile them for a later date. The 30ml Pro Collagen Marine Cream retails on QVC UK for £50. The size of the cream in the You Beauty box is also 30ml and the box contains many other products – so what on earth must this box cost? The answer is £19.99! I was slowly processing that if I buy Elemis’ Pro Collagen Marine Cream on its own I would pay £50 but if I buy a beauty box that has the same product in the same size I would pay £19.99 and get extra beauty goodies from established and up-and-coming brands? No brainer!

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I have been looking forward to getting this box as I am currently using my last Elemis Pro Collagen Marine Cream and now I feel relieved that I will have a spare. I love the Marine Cream and use it all year round; in winter I use it as a day cream and in summer I use it as a night cream. It has a gorgeous light, gel-like texture but looks and acts like a cream. It’s high on hydration and incredibly calming and boasts of high-powered anti-ageing benefits due it’s marine ingredient Padina Pavonica. I’ve used this for three years now and it’s made such a difference to it’s look and feel and I also like that it is light enough to use round the eye area as I can get eczema there and most other things can aggravate it.

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I was also intrigued at the dr. organic Snail Gel (also full-size) as dr. organics is a brand I’ve used before and you can get excellent natural ingredients for a fraction of the price that named brands charge. It’s a brand that can be found in Holland and Barrett stores. I think we’ve all heard about snail gel but most of us think ‘ucky!’ when we think snails but this gel (totally clear) contains the key extract that snails use for regeneration and repair and claim it will have the same effects on the skin of us humans (no live snails on the face required). The gel is quite dryer in texture than I first thought (probably still have snails quite prominent in my mind) and I didn’t feel a lot of moisturisation from the gel but did feel a slight tightening, though it wasn’t uncomfortable. I think it could be quite effective on areas on the body that could do with some TLC or areas on the face that you think could do with a little lift and pull.

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The box also includes:

  • Philip Kingsley Elasticizer 40ml
  • Two Faced Better Than Sex Mascara
  • Benefit They’re Real Push-Up Liner sample
  • Bee Good Honey and Propolis 2 in 1 Cream Cleanser 30ml
  • Vita Liberata Luxury Tan 20ml
  • Aurelia Probiotic Skincare Miracle Cleanser sachet

I will review some of the other products at a later date as I’ve had a bad few days and my medication is affecting me quite a bit but I wanted to share what great value this box is. This limited edition box is available to non- You Beauty Discovery Box members but you will need to pay £4.95 p&p. However, if you join and buy the Discovery box for £6.99 and then order the Limited Edition box you get the postage for free!

Here’s a link to the You Beauty Discovery Box site.

http://www.youbeautydiscovery.co.uk/luxury-boxesWP_20150616_20_38_15_Pro      WP_20150616_20_39_06_Pro Keats is an Elemis fan and has to be kept away from the pot of cream as he has been known to lick the cream out of the pot on more than one occasion – that’s one reason why I need a stockpile! x

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Birchbox Review – June Drop

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After my stresses and strains this week I’m pleased that I can share some of favourite things again. I have been receiving Birchbox beauty boxes for over six months but I have never shared their contents before as by the time I remembered to photograph it all I have already ripped apart the box and devoured the contents. Birchbox is a beauty box subscription service that sends out a box of beauty goodies every month. You receive five personalised beauty samples every month for the monthly subscription price of £10 (plus £2.95 postage). You can save more if you buy 3, 6 or 12 month packages but I do it monthly so I can cancel whenever.

I am a little addicted to beauty boxes and I also receive Glossybox at the moment and have just ordered the You Beauty discovery member’s box and their limited edition CEW 2015 box and I am also looking into the Latest In Beauty boxes. I know, it’s absurd to have so many and I am not going to be doing this every month! This is purely in the name of research (wink) and a bit of a tonic to get myself through this tricky month. I love parcels – even when I have to buy them myself – and when they are beauty parcels, even the better!

So here are the contents of this month’s Birchbox:

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  • Cynthia Rowley Creamy Lip Stain in Poppy
  • Cowshed Body Lotion in Gorgeous Cow
  • HIP Ultra Shine Shampoo
  • Penhaligon’s Iris Prima Eau de Parfum
  • Premae Mild Dermabrasion Face and Body Scrub

Also included as a bonus is STYLondon Temporary Metallic Tattoos amnd a Shoe Bag that is part of the French Sole and Birchbox collaboration that has inspired this month’s box. My Breton stripe design box is one design of three that you could choose. Some months you may be able to choose a shade of a product before the box is sent out but mostly the contents of the box are a complete surprise! Although Birchbox do try to match the products to your needs and wants if you fill in your beauty profile when you subscribe.

My favourite in this box has to be the Penhaligon’s Iris Prima eau de parfum and whilst it’s only 1.5 ml the starting price of the full size perfume is £85. It’s lovely for summer in that it has a gentle clean freshness in it’s bergamot top notes but holds as a sunkissed warmth and balminess in it’s sandalwood and vanilla base. It was apparently inspired by the English National Ballet. I much prefer this to Prada’s Infusion D’Iris. I have some Penhaligon’s miniatures but unfortunately no full sizes at the moment.

The Cowshed Gorgeous Cow Body Lotion is lovely but don’t go near this if you don’t like Rose – it is very heady in it’s fragrance. The consistency and moisture is pleasant but I wasn’t as wowed by this as I hoped but my skin is going for a bad patch at the moment due to the Sjogren’s flare-up.

The Cynthia Rowley Lip Stain is a gorgeous shade (Poppy) but is a little on the greasy side and only lasted a couple of hours and I usually expect more for something called ‘stain’.

The HIP Shampoo and the Premae scrub are two brands and two products I haven’t heard about before and as my skin is very sensitive at the moment I am going to wait a little before I test these fully. I did try the scrub on the back of my hand and is relatively gentle and the small patch I tested did feel soft. It does say that the Premae scrub 100% natural so it should be fine but I’ll still wait a bit. The scrub does not appear to have a fragrance and seems a little strange because of this (usually a product smells of something), maybe the tiniest hint of it’s natural coconut oil but it’s so non-descript it shouldn’t affect if you want a ‘clean’ base that won’t interfere with your favourite perfume.

As for the Temporary Metallic Tattoos? I must be getting old as I can not fathom the lure of such things. I know that they seem to be everywhere this festival season but I think I’ll let this mini-trend pass me by!

All in all a mixed bag but part of the fun of these boxes is the surprise element and in being prompted to try new brands and products and I always enjoy that!

If you were tempted to subscribe or just nose around their site the UK link is below. If you subscribe on this link you can get 50 Birchbox points to start you off (earn 100 points and get £10 to spend on beauty products in their shop).

https://www.birchbox.co.uk/invite/snwj3

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Contact

I’ve only just realised that I haven’t properly written on my about page – duh! I really thought that I had written one but it only shows my Gravatar and not one specific to The Modern Girl’s Guide. As I haven’t I will do. But until I write one properly if anyone would like to contact me my email is elliesimaginaryfriend@gmail.com

I will sort myself out one of these days! x

£1 Glamour Magazine and ModelCo Freebie – Amazing!

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Glancing at the magazine racks a magazine quickly caught my eye. I do tend to buy Glamour Magazine most months as it has a great price (usual price £2), good content and often has freebies, but this month Glamour surpassed themselves. I believe that as a way of celebrating The Glamour Women of the Year Awards conducted by Glamour magazine the magazine’s cover price is just £1 and to spoil us further the magazine has one of four ModelCo beauty products attached for free. You can choose from a ModelCo mascara, a black eyeliner, a blue eyeliner and a lip gloss. The ModelCo products that you get free are all full size and retail for over £10 each. An absolute bargain! I bought two copies and chose the blue eyeliner and the lip gloss.

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I have used ModelCo’s lip glosses before and true to form this lip gloss in a shade called ‘Striptease’, gave a subtle, natural tone to the lips with its sheer coverage. The shade is very versatile and could tone with any other makeup and outfit easily and the gloss isn’t tacky either so it’s fuss free. The lip gloss also has a handy mirror attached to the side of its tube which is very handy and pocket/clutch friendly.

I chose the blue eyeliner as I only have a very dark navy (almost black) and was hoping for a more true blue colour but the ModelCo eyeliner in the box was more of a French Navy. Despite being a little surprised by the shade of the eyeliner it is still a lovely colour (and probably more wearable than a true blue). The pencil is soft (which is so important!) and although I only wore it for a lazy afternoon it stayed put quite well.

If you like a good read, a good product and a good bargain you can’t go wrong with this month’s UK edition of Glamour; after all, who can argue with Glamour for a pound?

Bright Eyes

Due to my Sjogren’s Syndrome I have a very sensitive eyes. I struggle using some eye makeup and when it’s really bad I can’t wear any makeup around my eyes at all. Everything in and around my eyes can get sore. I have zero tear production so I need to use drops daily and I get eczema around my eyes. As well as this I have concerns over dark circles and redness from the fatigue. I have been given loads of different medical ointments from steroid creams to E45 but the only immediate relief I can get comes from Liz Earle’s Eyebright Soothing Eye Lotion. The lotion uses natural ingredients, the main ingredient being a tiny used in old remedies that was called eyebright (in this instance the old wives new best). The ingredients also include witch hazel water, aloe vera and cornflower extract. It is cooling without stinging and calms any puffiness whilst the eyebright does seem to reflect away any darkness. It is really relaxing when put on cotton wool and laid over closed eyes for 10 or so minutes. I have used it to take off light makeup as it’s very gentle but it wouldn’t take off anything heavy. I am grateful for this modest hero.

http://uk.lizearle.com/eye-treatments/eyebright-soothing-eye-lotion.html?ingredients

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I wish I could be quite so effusive about an eye cream but I am still searching for an eye cream that I can use that gives great results. I have tried creams ranging from a few pounds to £50 and whilst some have been ok I’ve never found anything that makes me go ‘wow!’. I’m using Balance Me’s Wonder Eye Cream at the moment due to having found a deluxe sample in one of my reserves drawers and so far so pleasant. The cream is light to use but keeps the area moisturised all day, I can’t say that I’ve noticed much lift but I have only just started using it. Dark circles are being managed well by the cream so far and it is kind to the skin. The Wonder Eye Cream boasts 99% of it’s ingredients are from natural origin which is something I do try to look for nowadays as I do seem less sensitive to products that are more organic. This is certainly a good cream and one of the best I’ve used but I still can’t find myself able to rave about it – but I can’t really criticise it either. Perhaps I am asking too much from one cream? Most likely my weird symptoms are just too much.

https://www.balanceme.co.uk/face/product-family/extra-care/extra-care-wonder-eye-cream-7ml/wonder eye cream

Nails Inc. Freebie with In Style Magazine

Free with this month’s In Style magazine is a Nails Inc. Polish worth £11. There are 4 special edition colours to choose from. I love Nails Inc. most of my nail collection is from Nails Inc. due to the enormous choice of colours that they have, their on-trend colours and there special effects style polishes. I chose the light bluey-green colour that’s called The Tide is High. I loved the colour in the bottle and it’s even better on the nail. It’s a great summer colour and good pick-me-up. England may not be summer ready (cold, wet and damp despite being June!) but at least my nails are.

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The nails tones perfectly with my new poodle scarf that Keats is modelling (I really need a girl dog!).

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I’m chuffed, so thank you x

200 Likes

I know people don’t often post their ‘reward stickers’ for how many likes they get but for a blog that’s only been going 4-5 months I’m really grateful for all the support people have given me. I started the blog as a way to connect and share experiences with others and as a means of giving me something positive to focus on. Chronic illness cruelly isolate people and I’ve found blogging a great way to fend off this isolation. So a huge thank you to those of you that have taken the time to click ‘like’.  x

likes = smiles

Elemis Treats Free with Marie Claire UK

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In this month’s edition of Marie Claire UK you get one of these two Elemis goodies for free. I love Elemis products. Elemis is a British brand that blends science with nature harmoniously to create effective but pure products. With Marie Claire you get either the Papaya Enzyme Peel or the Illuminating Flash Balm.

I ran out of The Papaya Enzyme Peel a few months back and haven’t yet replaced it as I’ve been distracted with new things courtesy of my BirchBox and GlossyBox subscriptions but I’m so glad to see it with Marie Claire as it made me remember how much I loved it. Firstly, it smells divine and conjures up an image of tropical sunsets (always appreciated in damp and grey England). It is gentle but invigorating, pepping up the skin by kindly buffing the surface leaving behind clean, supple skin with a fresh-faced can-do attitude.

I’m still using my first full-size Elemis Illuminating Flash Balm but I have to say that I can take it or leave it. It is pleasant enough to use and has a similar fresh and peppy approach to the skin but I’ve found I’ve used other products more, such as: Benefits Porefessional, Clinique’s Smart Custom Serum (reviewed in an earlier post), Liz Earle’s Skin Tonic, even Ultrasun’s 30 Face which is a sun screen acts as a pretty good pre-foundation perk-up. It can sometimes make my skin a little too pink and flushed but this is probably due to my Lupus and Sjogren’s sensitivities which can make me prone to blotches and redness.

Elemis’ Pro-Collagen Marine Cream and Elemis’ Cleanisng Balm are in my first division of skincare essentials. Elemis’s Pro-Collagen Marine Cream is my summer moisturiser, it’s light, gel-like texture make ideal for summer skin unburdened by winter blights but its moisturising and anti-aging credentials mean that although light to touch still deliver powerful effects.

Clinique Smart Custom Repair Serum

I LOVE magazine freebies. I’m a sucker for anything free in the title especially when it’s a beauty freebie. Not only is this month’s UK issue of In Style magazine giving away a beauty freebie but it’s a new launch beauty freebie – Clinique’s Smart Custom Repair Serum. I have been trialling the serum for over a week now. The product claims to ‘respond to skin’s individual needs. Visibly repairs lines and wrinkles, dark spots, uneven tone, firms, imparts radiance.’ There is not much written information regarding the product’s ingredients so I’ll just mention a few that are named on the box: grapefruit, mulberry, grape, barley and cucumber. I have to say I have never heard of barley being used before, does anyone know what it’s benefits are?

The sample is a generous size for a serum (10ml). It’s pretty costly in it’s full-size form the retail starting price is over £40. The serum’s texture is not like any other serum I know in that it’s thicker and creamier as most other serums are oil-based. It’s texture is similar to that of a primer such as Benefit’s Porefessional and I think the link between primers and this serum extends in the airbrushing effect that this serum has had on my skin. The serum has evened-out my skin-tone and redness and, most notably for me, reduced the look of my pores – just like a primer would. Except the serum is skincare not makeup, so the effects stay and improve over time. I’ve seen an improvement in tone and radiance over just seven days. As for its effects on wrinkles I confess that due to my age I’m probably not the best person to test that line of the product on.

As those of you with chronic conditions may attest my skin will never be stable, even if I had all the creams in the world so I have learnt to build up an arsenal of skincare weaponry to fight any battle conditions. I have my rosehip oil for extreme dryness, my Liz Earle oil for calm, for example but if I can get over the price of this serum I would very much like to add it to my skin care arsenal to fight uneven terrain.

N.B. On the box it says apply morning and night so it may be viable for some to forgo a primer and use this serum instead in the mornings.

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The one-stop pick-me-up

I was supposed to have had my first visit to the pain clinic yesterday but the doctor’s secretary called to say that he was sick. It is strange to think of a doctor being sick I know they’re only human (though some doctors would have you believe otherwise) but still. It was a relief really that it was cancelled as I was feeling quite rough – I was in too much pain to go to the pain clinic – so I tried to rest up. I got a little too fed up of rest as the day went on so I wanted to go on a magazine haul to cheer myself up. If film and T.V. has taught us anything it is that sick people must have magazines and grapes (I do actually have both beside me right now in bed). Too tired to bother about much make-up I reached for my quick fix -Benefit’s Fine One One.

Fine One One has been around a while but as I’ve only just started the blog I have a bit of catching up to do. It is a multi-purpose cosmetic stick that uses three distinct colours to highlight, contour and colour. With one swipe across the cheekbones you’ve highlighted, contoured and blushed your cheeks (just blend lightly with fingertips). Each colour can be used separately as a highlighter or colour on lips and eyes. I find swiping the pale pink highlighting colour on your eyelids and brow arches swipes away any redness or other signs of fatigue. It has a creamy texture that keeps its hydration throughout the day.The other colours give a natural healthy flush to lips too. This one product is a great weapon against fatigue that can be deployed in a swipe.

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As you can see from the packaging its well-used! I like keeping packaging – helps to find things in your make-up bag.