Sunday, May 27, 2012

U.S.A. beauty haul

So, a couple of weeks ago my mummy and I embarked on an adventure together...12 days at Disneyworld Florida. The longest amount of time we've spent together since I moved out of her flat and the country 10 years ago so I was curious to see how we'd get along.

We did just fine but were both ready to get back home.

I very much enjoyed the sunshine, everything Disney, the pool, THE FOOD, the shopping and just being back in America :)

So of course we had to go shopping a couple of times, 12 days at Disney could get a bit too much if you don't get a little break every now and then.

Because we like to complicate things a little bit, we decided not to rent a car and rely entirely on public transport. I should have timed the amount of time we spent on Disney buses while we were there...or maybe it's better that I didn't.
It took us a good 2 hours door to door to get to the Florida Mall and the Outlets, even Target and Walmart weren't much closer because you always had to take 2 buses or a bus and a Monorail to the Main car park first, where you could catch the public buses.

Anyway, let's get to the good stuff-the pictures:

First the food, OMG I love American Junk ;-)
We were on one of the dining plans(free with our booking) so all of our food during the stay was FREE, at the end we still had a ton of snack credits leftover so we went to town and I brought 4 packs of cheesey Mickey head crackers, 2 packs of Disney gummy sweets, 2 boxes of Nutter Butter cookies and one piece of Tiki Toffee, which I got at the Polynesian Resort.
The rest is from our 3 trips to Target and Walmart, chewing gum, about 60 sticks of Crystal Light Ice Tea, peanutbutter/Raspberry/Mint M&Ms, Goldfish Crackers, various other crackers and pretzel...

I am ashamed to admit that most of this stuff(apart from the gum, some of the crackers and icetea) has already been eaten and I've only been back 2 weeks. No wonder I have gained 4 lbs since my return ;-)
Best purchase? Peanutbutter M&Ms!

Next, Beauty stuff:
*2 bottles of Aussie 3 Minute Miracle(a bargain at 2 for $5, when I usually pay 2 for £7 here) The heat, sun and chlorine quickly messed with my hair so I needed more than just the conditioner I had brought.
I will definitely be stocking up on Aussie stuff as this is what I am using here and if I had known that my suitcase would be almost 5kg/10lbs under the weight limit on departure day I would have picked up one of the massive shampoo bottles with the pump which has enough for up to 100 washes!
*Aussie smoothing serum, housekeeping must have thrown my Frizzease serum out, so for a couple of days I was sporting afro-like hairstyles until we managed to get back to a shop and buy a replacement. Florida humidity and my hair aren't friends!
*Banana Boat Sun Protection Spray SPF30. I love this stuff and buy a bottle whenever I'm in the States. I paid $5, it's closer to £9 over here. It's invisible and doesn't need to be rubbed in. Use in a ventilated room! Earlier this year my friend and I used this stuff in a tiny cruise ship cabin and could hardly breathe afterwards ;-)
*4 Bath & Bodyworks Foaming Handsoaps, they're amazing and I've been buying these for a couple of years now. It may sound a bit naff that I buy soap when I go to the States but I really love them and it's sort of like and 'all year round' souvenir because they last ages(since it's just me using them) I got 4 for $20 and bought them in 'caribbean escape', 'coconut lime verbena', vanilla berry sorbet' and 'sea island cotton' which is part of a birthday present for my friend next month. Sadly my favourite scent had been discontinued
*A small 'caribbean escape' scented candle, also from Bath & Bodyworks, which was a free gift that day as they were holding a Mother's Day event(Mother's Day is the second Sunday of May over there)
*2 frangrance mists, one in 'Be Enchanted'[quote: frosted florals sweetend with sparkling, sugared pomegranate inspired by all that glitters] and one if 'sea island cotton(fresh linen type scent), which also is a part of my friend's birthday present. The 'Be Enchanted' mist is for me and I love using it because it is so much lighter that a perfume or eau de toilette
*3x Secret Deodorant, I love this stuff and it lasts ages. It's an invisible gel and I thought the bottle would be finished really quickly as you're supposed to use 2 'clicks' under each arm but they end up lasting about 3 months for me, good stuff for $4 each. This time I got two in summerberry and one pear scented because they didn't seem to stock my usual peach scented one anymore. Pear deodorant sounds a bit strange, we will see what I think of it.

And last but not least, my nail polishes, a slight addiction of mine.[right to left in the picture below]
As well as the free food, our booking also included a Disney gift card for $150, which my mum and I split. This was valid in any shop or restaurant on Disney property but we were having a really hard time spending the money because we didn't feel the need to buy Disney merchandise like tshirts or teddies. I was so happy when I found that one of the shops in Downtown Disney stocked the Muppets range OPI nail polishes, so I got three for $8 each.
I got:
*Designer De Better a silver foil nail colour with little specks of bronze/copper in it. It looks amazing. So far I have only tried it on one nail but can't wait to try a full set of nails. I envision removal to be a pain though.
*Meep Meep Meep, a shimmery fuchsia, more glittery than the next one...
*Wocka Wocka! A shimmery red, I actually took this to the nail salon to be used for my pedicure yesterday and I love it. I don't normally wear red polish so it's a bit something new for me :)

We did two trips to Target and 1 trip to Walmart and my mum was laughing that she would always find me in front of the nail polish shelf, I got
*Essie turquoise&caicos. I don't think these kind of shades particularly suit me but it just looked so pretty and I have read many positive things about Essie polishes. A bargain at $7.75, when they're about £8-10 here
*Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in 'Hidden Treasure', I don't like wearing bright nail polish on my finger nails, so this will be perfect, just the right amount of shimmer $6
*Sally Hansen Xtreme wear in Posh Plum, it's quite similar to my go-to Pedicure colour of Nails Inc 'Paris' but this one is shimmery, so quite looking forward to trying it out $2.49
*Seche Vite Dry fast Top Coat $10, I have read many raving reviews about this and can't wait to try it since I am a little bit impatient when it comes to lettin nail polish dry

There you have it, my little beauty haul, nothing too exciting but I enjoy having little souvenirs I get to use all year round. I'm already looking forward to my next trip out there, hopefully before January 2013, when I'm going on a cruise.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

April 2012 LUX Box beauty box review

I'm a bit of a novice when it comes to Make Up and despite being dangerously close to turning 30 I don't really experiment with skincare at all and still use my trusty £4 Nivea Moisturiser on my face, I have been for about 10 years now.

But reading blogs and watching youtube vlogs have made me become aware of all the wonderful products available out there, including these curious things called 'beauty boxes'
I remember that as a child my parents would sometimes buy us what was called a 'wundertuete'(surprise bag) at the toystore or newsagent. For roughly 50p you'd get a little bag of treasures like stickers, colouring books, useless pencils and assorted plastic toys that never lasted more than a day, yet we still loved them.
Beauty Boxes are a similar idea. Every month you get a little box containing roughly 5 items to try out, some are samples, some are full size items.
So the more I started reading about beauty boxes, the more I wanted to give them a try.
The problem was that there were just too many for me to chose from and I kept reading bad things about every single one of them, mostly preferred treatment for the big beauty bloggers, which just isn't fair.
A couple of weeks ago I came across 'Lux Box', who were due to bring out their first box in April and to get customers interested, they were offering an introductionary price of £7.50(plus postage) instead of £10 for the first box.
I decided to give it a go and received mine this morning at 9am :)

Let's have a look:

It all came in a brown box without a logo, but I wasn't expecting any other parcels and had been stalking my postie all weekend so I knew what it was:

lovely champagne/dusky pink box, my straighteners are exactly the same colour, a shame my camera didn't pick it up properly

ooooh, the suspense:

So this is what the box includes:

*A full size steam cream(~£10-£13)
*Eldora false Lashes in H101, made from human hair, £4.25
*2 1g eyeshadows by BMbeauty, in the colours 'wolf howl' and 'her majesty', original sizes are 2g pots so these two are wirth £9 combined
*10ml Balance Me wonder eye cream(£14)
*a tiny pot of MOA The Green Balm, based on a full size product I estimate this to be worth £1
=total value £38.25(I paid £10.45)

To be honest I have to say at first I was a bit disappointed because to me these were all no name products and I expected there to be at least one product I would recognize.
But when I actually read up on the items that were sent I was a bit happier and will continue my subscription for one more month and then re-evaluate.

I have never used false lashes and the ones I received are quite 'thick', I think I will need to start off with a little more natural looking ones.

The MOA green balm is a good size for my handbag. I have the most horrendous cuticles so I will be using it to treat them a little bit.

I've been meaning to start using an eyecream, like I said...I'm getting older ;-)

The eyeshadows are fun colours, I'm going to buy a eye shadow base soon and try them out but here are some swatches on my hand, the pinky one is 'her majesty' and the blue/purple one is 'wolf howl':

The steam cream is the star item of the box, I had never heard of it before and I will say that I will probably not use this on my face but use it as a handcream instead. It does feel lovely on my skin but I think it may just be too rich for my face and make me break out in spots, also it's lavendar scented, which isn't something I would ever chose.

All in all a good first beauty box after getting over my inital disappoinment of not knowing a single item in the box.

I have another one coming soon(she said beauty box), so stay tuned for that one :)

If you want to find out more about the Lux Box and maybe even subscribe, this is the link:
Lux Box