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Avene Hydrance Rehydrating Routine | The ONLY thing to clear my dry skin

It's a known fact that we both have the extremely dry, sensitive skin, especially in winter, which has always been really hard for us to tackle (one of the numerous things I bet Emily wishes she didn't have to share with me, haha). I've tried all the tips and tricks, even drinking enough to share around my whole village, and, although it helps, it has never before got rid of my dryness completely. 

This year for our birthday, our lovely Mum bought us both an Avene Hydrance Rehydrating Routine set, probably praying to goodness that it worked to stop my incessant moaning. The set comes with a micellar water, serum, and cream, which claim to rehydrate your routine, targeting visible signs of skin dehydration, smoothing lines and softening skin. In their words, the products are said to contain an ingredient called Cohederm, derived from thermal spings, which forms water reservoirs in dehydrated skin for long lasting moisturisation, which sounds very interesting if you ask me. 

Since implementing this into my routine, I wanted to let you know my thoughts as I have seen a difference, and not just in a personal sense of me feeling like Caroline Hirons every night ;) 

Avene Hydrance Micellar Lotion 
I use Micellar water every day to remove my makeup, so was excited about this one. This promises to remove makeup and leave skin feeling fresh and soothed, and, having used this a few times, I can agree. I will however say that I don't think that this is any better than my Garnier Micellar which I use everyday, especially the oil-infused one that I have now moved on to. It is still a great micellar, but I don't think it is any better than the everyday brand, and is a little bougie when I can get a product that performs the same from a lower cost brand. 

Avene Hydrance Intense Serum 
I'm pretty low maintenance with my skin, normally just using a micellar water or cleanser (but lets face it, usually micellar as I'm laaaaazy), along with a toner and a cream, so have never really ventured into the world of serums before. The kit recommends to use this before cream to leave skin plump and soft, so I have been doing just that. Although I can't give a definite answer as to whether this alone has resulted in the changes to my skin, as I have used it in combination with the cream, I can say that I have definitely spotted a difference. The serum is really nice and light to apply, and as a result my skin looks a lot more glowy and hydrated than it used too, which I have been loving. 10/10 would recommend. 

Avene hydrating cream. 
Again, I haven't used this independently of the serum so cannot comment on it's personal performance, but, together with the serum, it makes the dream team. This cream states to reinforce the skin's natural moisture barrier, making skin supple and comfortable. I love the thickness of this moisturiser too, as it definitely feels as though it is pumping a lot of moisture back in, so much so that I would describe my skin as normal now. 

Though the micellar water was a little average, the serum and cream have been a game changer for me, just further confirming that my mother is indeed a legend. 

Have you tried Avene? Or do you have any other recommendations for dry/sensitive skin? Let me know :)

Natasha x 






Thoughts on the Colourpop x Zoella Brunch Date collection

When Zoella announced that she was collaborating with Colourpop cosmetics, AND that it was coming out two days after our birthday, we decided that there was no better excuse to order the whole collection and give colourpop a try for the first time as a bithday gift from us to us. Completely rational of course, since we definitely need more nude matte lips and neutral shadows...haha. 

As colourpop is an American brand, the shipping does take a little longer. For some perspective, we ordered on the 27th Feb, it was dispatched on the 8th March and then it arrived to us on 13th March. To make sure that we didn't receive a customs charge colourpop also adds 20% onto the total and, since we spent over $50, shipping was free, so overall it wasn't too bad as the makeup is affordable anyway. The full PR kit costs $89 and we ended up paying $100.80 (£75.83) after the 20% customs charge, which isn't bad as you do get a lot of products which I know I will use to death. 



The Brunch Date palette - $18 or £13.55


Swatch of 'Brunch Club' 
Swatches from left to right - Sundae Funday, Mimosa, Skinny Latte. 

This palette comes with 5 mattes and 7 shimmers (if I can count), which have INCREDIBLE pigmentation and blend gorgeously. I know that some reviews have slated it for not having a very adventurous colour range, which I do understand, but I actually love the range of neutrals that are really wearable, with the pop of colour in the shade 'brunch club'. I can imagine this looking gorgeous underneath the eye with some of the golds on the lid, for example. Especially in summer. 


Look using 'Brunch Club' with 'Mimosa' and 'French Toast' in the crease. I also added 'Hello' from the James x Morphe palette on top to add shimmer. ft. unruly brows

Supernova liquid shadows in 'OG' and 'Bellini' (can be bought together in the group hug set here) - $7 each or £5.27.

Left - OG, Right - Bellini 

Being big lovers of the Stila Magnificent Metals I was really looking forward to trying these, and let me say that, for $7, I was SHOOK. Both are really glittery and easy to use, either being great for a night look or a day look, just using less and blending out with your finger. Honestly, these probably will be replacing my Stila ones, and, given that they cost me £23 EACH, that is a revelation. These look absolutely gorge over the top of a neutral smoky brown look, and are a really easy way to create a cut crease. 

Creme Gel Liners - Sincerely Yours and XOXO: $5 each or £3.77

XOXO - Black  // Sincerely yours - Brown 

I'm not generally an eye liner wearer and I generally blame it on me 'having the wrong shaped eyes', yet I'm certain that it's probably just my bad skills. I either end up looking like an Amy Winehouse tribute or Superluv Shane Dawson, so generally give it a miss. (No offense to those two legends of course). These two liners perform really nicely though, and are a great consistency to smoke out. 

Lip kits in 'My day ones' and 'Give us the goss' - $11.50 or £8.66. 

 'My day ones' 
'Give us the goss'

These lip kits come with a lip liner and a liquid lip, as the original Kylie ones did that kicked off the lip kit craze. Both perform amazingly, and are really lightweight and non drying, so are comfortable. Honestly, this is probably the best liquid lip formula I have EVER used, up there with the Jeffree Star liquid lips, so I will definitely order some more shades off colourpop. They are so nice that it is worth paying a bit more to get them over here, trust me. 

Though we ordered the full PR kit, which also comes with the highlighter, blush and another lip kit, we decided not to swatch these as the colours didn't look like something we would like. This way, we were able to pass these on to someone brand new and that is why they didn't feature in this post. <3. 

Have you tried colourpop? Do you like the look of the Brunch Date collection? Let us know x 

Natasha & Emily x 

The Beauty Crop Espresso Yourself Eyeshadow Palette - Free with your first February Birchbox x

The Beauty Crop is a 100% cruelty free cosmetic brand that before this month's Birchbox, I hadn't heard of before. If you order your first box this month you will receive this palette for free, meaning that you get 5 beauty products and a palette for  just £12.95. Baring in mind the palette retails for £23 alone, it's an absolute steal. Therefore, even though we already have a subscription to the box and don't need any more makeup, we made the entirely rational decision to make another account just to get the bargain...obviously. Valentines present from me to me <3




(The brush above was also part of the February Birchbox, and is the Luxie 205 tapered blending dreamcatcher)

The palette comes with 21 shades which are made of caffeine, antioxidants and coffee extract which claim to reduce puffiness and dark circles, whilst brightening and tightening the skin. These are bold claims for an eye shadow, making it even more intriguing. The coffee extract also makes the palette scented, reminding me of the Too Faced Chocolate Bar palettes, and, even though I don't like coffee (shock horror), I love it. The scent is enough to notice without being too over powering, which I'm all there for.

The above shades left to right are: Chai, Cinnamon Cream, Gold Roast and Java Chip. 

All the shades are wearable, and, from swatching, they are highly pigmented and smooth. There didn't seem to be much fall out either, which is a win win. One downfall in my opinion though is that the individual pans are quite small, but with the amount of eye shadows we own I don't think there is a concern of us hitting pan any time soon.

Have you tried this palette? Are you subscribed to Birchbox? Let us know!

Natasha & Emily xx



October Birchbox Product Reviews 2018

If you are new here, then you may not know that every month we like to do a review of the previous month's Birchbox, after having tried and tested all of the products. This month it is a tad late though (I mean, so late that we have already receieved November's subscription haha), but we still really wanted to make sure we got it up as we think the products were too lovely not to share! When we recieved October's Birchbox, I was honestly so excited - I think the packaging is the best yet and the products are all brands that are completely new to me. Last months box contained 6 products all for £12.95 - a complete bargain if you ask me!



October's box contained the Amika soulfood nourishing hair maskWinky Lux strobing balm in 'Radiant Pink', a Calvin Klein 'Women Eau de Parfum' sample, the Doucce luscious lip stain in 'Amber Rose', a Multi-functional charcoal soap sponge by Daily Concepts, and finally a Thermotherapy warming silver foil mask by BeautyPro, which comes in at a total of £106.95 for all of the full size products! When you consider that we paid £12.95, that really is amazing, even if some of them are travel size. 


I was really intrigued by this one, since hair masks aren't really something I tend to do very often. However, after using this, I totally loved it! Aiming to 'fight split ends and dryness', this product left my hair feeling soft and light, in a way that no conditioner ever could. My hair is in desperate need of a trim and at the minute it constantly feels horrible, but this helped to fight that feeling. Definitely something I would consider buying again if I wanted to treat myself!



Winky Lux strobing balm in 'Radiant Pink' - £15 full size: 

Personally, this has to be one of my favourite products in the whole box - who doesn't love a good highlight ay!? However, liquid highlighters are not something I would usually go far, as I find them quite hard to work with over the top of foundation. I found this to be perfect though - I just dabbed a bit onto my finger and then onto my cheekbones, and it left the most gorgeous 'wet-looking' highlight. Unlike other highlighters I have tried like this one, it blended like a dream and lasted well. Amazing, and not actually that expensive if you were to buy full size.






This claims to be a 'pigmented liquid formula' that 'applies matte and dries fast', and I can agree with that. It's pigmentation is amazing and it quickly dries down to a matte finish, but for me I just wasn't thrilled with the formula. My lips are naturally quite dry during these winter months, and so I did find it to be uncomfortable and it cracked within a few minutes of wearing it. However, that's not to say it's bad - when my lips are a bit less dry in the spring and summer I'll probably love it - it's just not really my cup of tea for this season. That being said, I'm not mad with this as I think the colour is gorgeous and I got it at a massively discounted price, but it is just something to consider if you also suffer with dry lips in the winter. 







Calvin Klein 'Women Eau de Parfum' sample - £39 full size: 

Again, I was shocked when I saw this in the box, as the brand is considered high end and it is not something I was expecting to find in a box that cost me so little! After trying this, I must admit I do get the hype about the brand now - the scent is unlike anything I have ever smelt before and it actually lasted all day, unlike most other cheaper fragrances I have tried. I won't try and describe the scent as that really isn't my strong point, but it claims to be a 'multi-layered fragrance with fresh eucalyptus' that has notes of 'sparkling orange flower' and a 'seductive cedarwood finish'. Like I said, like nothing I have ever smelt before!




BeautyPro is a brand I have honestly never heard of nor tried before, and so again this really intrigued me as I am a sucker for a good face mask! I must admit, though, I'm not usually a lover of warming face masks as I just think the heat on the face can just be quite uncomfortable, but even so I gave this the benefit of the doubt and gave it a go. When I opened it up I was quite surprised by the look of it - one side was foil and the other was just the standard sheet mask material, but the foil aspect is really unique and something I have never seen in a mask before. I found to really like this - it left my skin feeling amazing afterwards and it didn't actually heat up as much as I expected it to (which is a good thing if you don't really like heating masks, like me, but I guess it's not so great it you had bought it hoping for more). This isn't too out of my price range either, so I would definitely consider buying this one again. 



Daily Concepts Multi-Functional Charcoal Soap Sponge - £6:

This one really confused me, as I have never seen anything like this before. It is essentially a hard cube with exfoliating balls in, that you wet and use in replacement for a soap and sponge. At first, I used this on my face thinking it was a facial cleanser, but after rubbing my face with this I soon realised it must be for the body as the exfoliating aspect practically rubbed off the top layer of my sensitive face haha! Just something to note if you try it - don't put it on your face as it really does hurt haha. That being said though, I do like the concept of this as a body cleanser, as it is really easy and takes the chore out of using a separate soap and sponge. It also left my body feeling really smooth due to the 2 in 1 exfoliating aspect, so overall I would definitely consider using this again.  



Did you have the October  Birchbox? What did you think of the products? I would love to know!

Natasha & Emily xx 


Boohoo nude lustre lipstick set | Review

Clothing brands releasing makeup is a fairly new but suddenly common concept, with Boohoo being one of many to introduce a highly affordable range on their website. Even Boohoo itself is a new concept to me, as in the past, before their curve range, I haven't had any success with their clothes. Then, when aimlessly scrolling the other day for new autumn clothes, I came across this gorgeous set of 4 nude lipsticks for just six pounds, so they went straight into my bag, especially as they resemble the KKW nude range. Having never tried any boohoo makeup (you know how we are always late on the trends!) I was so excited to see what these were all about. 



The set comes with 4 gorgeous nude lustre lippies, which have beautiful matte nude packaging which makes them look really expensive. Every man and his dog also has a Boohoo discount code too at the moment, so if you want 20% off like we did just head to any love islanders instagram and you'll probably find one. You're welcome. 


 Sorry about my gross nails. 


Although a couple of the shades look the same they all swatch differently, meaning the set provides a lovely range of nude tones. In the picture above, the swatch on the left actually really reminds me of MAC Brave, one of my fave lipsticks, so the set is definitely worth the money.

The only  thing I will mention is that these don't have shade names, which makes  it impossible to know which one you are picking up, with all packaging looking the same. Besides that, these are gorgeous and for the bargain price tag, I cannot complain! 

We also thought that you would appreciate us sharing these pics of our needy pup interfering when we were getting pictures, haha! She's always wanting to steal the show! I think the lipsticks have her approval too ;)






Have you tried any Boohoo makeup? Or any other makeup from clothing brands? Let us know. 

Natasha & Emily x 

Operation Christmas Child Boxes | A way to give a little bit more this Christmas

I know what you're all saying, 'It's only October, why are you mentioning Christmas!?' Well, for starters I believe that it is NEVER too early to think about the best (in my eyes) time of the year, and what I am about to share is definitely something that takes planning ahead. Ever since I was about 12, it has been an annual tradition of ours to put together shoe boxes containing a variety of items which will be sent away to children who are less fortunate than ourselves, of a selected gender and age. Through the 'The Samaritan's Purse', you can send items to a boy or girl of either of the 3 age ranges:  2-4, 5-9 or 10-14. This year we will be doing 3 shoe boxes, one for a boy aged 5-9 (the one that I have photographed for this post), one for a girl aged 5-9 and another for a girl, aged 10-14.  For years I have wanted to blog about this amazing charity, but the early November deadline always creeps up on us and we never get the chance to put the post together before that year's deadline. So without further ado, here is what we are packing in our boxes this year.




Toiletries:

I think that toiletries are a vital to include, since a lot of the children will not have access to simple essential items such as soap and toothbrushes. Therefore I like to make sure I include these sorts of things every year. A good tip with this is to buy multipacks and then spread them across the boxes - for example, I bought a 5 pack of Primark toothbrushes for 75p, which I have then distributed across the boxes. It works out so cheap, yet to a child who has the bare minimum it will feel like they have won a small fortune! I also collect the little freebies from hotels that I visit throughout the year too - for example, the two packaged toothbrushes you can see at the top of the picture were from a hotel I visited earlier this year. Again, it will mean the world to these kids and you have literally paid nothing!



Sweets:

Another thing that I always make sure to include is a packet of sweets, as they are the only item of food that they actually allow you to ship away in the boxes. One thing to note though, if you are to do any boxes yourselves, is that the best before date must be at least the March of the following year, just to account for the shipping time. I have also just seen on the website that this is actually the last year of being allowed to send sweets out, so just a warning in case you were hoping to pack a box next year!



School supplies:

I think that school supplies has to be one of the most important things to consider when packing these boxes, because at the end of the day we'd be nothing without education. With this, I again bring out the multipack trick; I will tend to buy a big bag of pens and pencils, and then split them across each child's box. These exercise books were also only about 30p from a local bargain store, and the pencil case also came with some stationery inside it, again for only about 30p! It will make all the difference, and hopefully leave you feeling good, without even slightly breaking the bank. 



Fun stuff:

Amongst all of the essentials, it is also important that you include something the child will really thoroughly enjoy, and so usually I like to make sure I include some crayons and a colouring book. The charity also recommends that each box contains a 'wow' item, which would be anything from a stuffed toy or a barbie doll. This year my Grandma has actually knitted a few items for me to include, including this little snowman, which they will hopefully love.




To pack your own shoe box, all you have to do is simply fill a medium sized shoe box with any of the recommended items (click here to see them), wrap up the box with some Christmas wrapping paper, and then download and print off a label from online (click here) to select the gender and age you wish to send your box to. You can then pay for the shipping online here and print and insert the barcode they supply, and then drop off to your most local drop off station (find your local drop-off here). It really is as simple as that! You will also receive an email at the start of the year informing you about where the box has been sent, which I always find makes me super happy.

I hope you enjoyed this different post today, and I hope to have inspired some of you about how you can make a difference without spending tonnes. Please let us know if you are doing a box this year - I would love to chat to you all! 

Thank you,

Natasha & Emily x  

September Birchbox Product Reviews 2018

It is a common thing over here now that at the end of every month we review our Birchbox products that we have been enjoying, rather than doing an unboxing post, as this way we are able to share our thoughts on all the brands that we have been sent. Last month we did this over on Believe In Bumble's blog (here) as part of our monthly collaborations, but this month we are back, and ready to share our thoughts on everything we've received.

This month our box contained the NUXE multi purpose dry oil, the Eyeko brow liner in Medium, the Benefit Gold Rush, Marcelle City Anti pollution moisturiser and the Klorane Mango conditioner, which we have tried over the month. Before getting into the reviews of each products, I must say that this one was probably the best Birchbox yet for us, as it had a variety of skincare and makeup, unlike some previous ones that have mainly been skincare.

NUXE Huile Prodigieuse Dry Oil: 


When I first opened the Birchbox at the start of the month this product immediately intrigued me, since I'm not really a user of oils or anything like them. This is meant to be applied to either the skin or hair to add a sheen and make them look healthier and stronger. They claim 'Six essential oils, plus Vitamin E, leave face, body, and hair soft and silky' and 'microscopic flecks of golden shimmer deliver a subtle glow', which I would agree with. The reason I usually avoid oils is because they can leave a horrible sticky residue, which this doesn't at all. After striaghtening my hair I have been applying this to the ends and it makes it look immediately smoother and less dry and dead, something I really need right now as I haven't had a cut in weeks! Overall, this one was a win win. 

Eyeko Brow Liner in 'Medium': 



This one also had me really excited, especially since eyebrow products are quite rare in Birchboxes. Straight up though, this is the complete wrong shade for me, and in fact probably anyone. As you can see from the swatch below it looks almost khaki green...and I'm unsure who has khaki brows? No judgement though. 


I appreciate that this probably could work for maybe blonde or silver hair colours, but for me as a brunette it was unfortunately a miss. Such a shame, as Eyeko is a great brand. I did apply this though to see how easy it was and it is a great product which was really easy to apply, but the shade was just wrong unfortunately.

Benefit Gold Rush



This is probably my favourite from the box, as it is something I've wanted to try for a while. As a poor student spending 20+ pounds on a blusher is something that is quite unattainable, so having this sample was perfect. As usual, Benefit didn't disappoint; this smells gorgeous, looks gorgeous, and is the perfect colour. As it is a sample it didn't come with the gold sheen spray over the top like the full size, but this isn't and issue for me as I've heard that this makes no difference and is purely for decorative reasons anyway. Love love love.

Marcelle City 24hr Anti-Pollution day and nigh cream: 


This claims to 'shield skin from pollution and environmental stressors, while repairing, hydrating and reviving the complexion for a bright and radiant glow', which is really interesting to me, having never really thought about the effect of pollution and such on my skin. To be honest, though I find it really interesting, I cannot comment on whether this does do that, as I didn't really find that pollution as such effected my skin anyway, but it definitely does give the complexion a radiance. This also has a gorgeous consistency, and for someone use to using Nivea, Garnier or Simple, I can definitely tell that this has a more luxury price point. The consistency reminds me of the Body Shop body sorbets, sinking in IMMEDIATELY which I stan. Again, this was amazing!

Klorane Nourishing Conditioner with Mango Butter:


This is 'rich in fatty acids that replenish and moisturize dry, brittle hair' which sounds dreamy if you ask me. Got to love some enticing science haven't you. Or maybe I'm just nerdy.
After using this, my hair did indeed feel amazing and the scent is gorgeous. Anything Mango scented is going straight in my baaaa-sket. One of our other Birchboxes had a Klorane dry shampoo in which we also loved, so it looks like this brand might be a new favourite for hair care! 


Did you have a Birchbox this September? What did you think of the products this month? Let us know! :) 

Natasha & Emily xx