, by Cassandra Thompson
Yesterday I shared my end of month review for the May Violet Box, which had some hits but also a couple of misses so I am excited to see what this June box will bring. If you are new to these parts, Violet Box is a monthly subscription box service based in NZ and Australia where you pay $25 plus $4.50 a month to receive at least 5 deluxe samples. Often times there is at least 1 full sized product; in this box there are 3 full sized products, 2 deluxe samples and 1 sample sachet, so on first impressions I am pretty pleased!
The June Violet Box just arrived, so that means it is time to wrap up and review last months box. If you are unfamiliar with Violet Box then I suggest you go over to the May Unboxing + Initial Thoughts post here as that gives a bit of background to the subscription service and also swatches and close-ups of all the products. This service is NZD $29.50 [including postage] a month and the May box was packed with 6 items; 4 full sized and two samples at a value of approx. $77. There were a few hits and a couple of misses unfortunately, so here is the run down for each item.
I am brow obsessed at the moment, I feel like I have seen the light and realised how important they are to the face and how much they just help to frame it and complete any kind of make up look - minimal or full face. When Benefit released the 'Gimme Brow' late last year, it was an instant order from me, as I was in the market for some kind of brow gel to set all the hairs down. But this little brow product is that, plus some!
Essiebutton has got to be one of the biggest enablers out there in the Youtube/beauty blogging world, everything she talks about I instantly feel the need to buy right then and there, and this purchase was all down to her...
Sometimes it just takes a good rummage around the bargain bins to find some great steals, these three lipsticks from Lollipops Paris were just that. While cruising the aisles of Farmers last month I came across a whole area of red stickered products that were seriously reduced and I also noticed these lippies in wee bundles together. They were marked down to only $3, yes, $3! I had never actually heard of the brand before and there were no testers for them so I had to do a bit of quick Google action whilst standing in Farmers to look up some reviews and swatches of the shades. There was hardly anything about them, but I managed to find the website and the shades looked nice, so I went for three out of, I think five, that they had on sale. And do you wanna know the best part? These originally were $29.99 each - utter craziness, and such a great deal.
In my Brands Exclusive haul featuring L'Oreal and Maybelline (here) I mentioned that I bought a few nail polishes as well. I initially bought three, but then as a bonus a free one got thrown in. As well as the four from Brands Exclusive, I also got two other around the same time (Pinkalicious + Twilight Rays), so have decided to lump them all into one big nail polish filled post.
advanced cleansing system
I've been thinking about the Clarisonic for a while, but was not prepared to fork out about $200 for one, so when this offering from Olay came out I brought it almost instantly. It is called the Olay Regenerist in NZ and the Olay Pro-X in America, but they are the exact same product. Ultimately it is an advanced cleansing system helped to thoroughly deep cleanse your face, more effectively then traditional cleansing with your hands or a flannel. I've been using this for almost 4 months now and it has been an absolutely amazing step in my cleansing routine.
After reading a few posts about various face rollers and massagers, from the like of Caroline Hirons (The Skincare Whisperer), Lily Pebbles and Vivanna Does Makeup, I was pretty intrigued by the whole idea. In Anna's post she referred to the Ying Yu Jade Face Roller, which retails for a whooping £28, or NZD $50! Now this one does look beautifully made (hand carved apparently) and is likely to be immaculate quality, but I thought there has to be a cheaper option around, so off to eBay I went and I managed to find this particular offering here for $4, with free shipping.
To say these were heavily coveted by me is an understatement. These blushes have been at the top of my want/need list for a very long time and I just wasn't sure when or how I was going to get them into my hot little hands. Luckily my Dad did a business trip over to the US, so naturally a list and instructions to go to Sephora to pick these up for me, went along with him.
Beauty Joint is easily one of my favourite places for 'drugstore' makeup shopping, it stocks all the cheap brands like NYX, e.l.f., Jordana, Wet N Wild, Milani etc, as well as Lime Crime, Revlon and Maybelline (among others!) It is a great place for us NZ gals to get all the good cheap American brands, unavailable to us here. There are a few Beauty Joint hauls on my blog (here, here + here for the latest one) and lately I have actually been ordering through their eBay store, which results in slightly cheaper shipping than buying through the website, and also the option to use PayPal. This time around I ordered quite a a few things, but it was all so cheap I could not resist!
here and Spring here.
You've taken a squizz into my travel makeup bag a few times before, so it was about time to show you inside someone elses. That someone being my lovely younger sister, Emily. While we were both up in Auckland a few weeks ago, I thought it would be the perfect time to riffle through and see what makeup items she brought along with her (i.e. the Full Exposure palette, it's beautiful) and got her thoughts and opinions on a few of the products.
After getting the Mini Mani Month Advent Calender from NZ Sale a couple of months a go, I have been hooked on these cute bow bottles of polishes. They are great quality and have an amazing range of shades and are always innovators when it comes to finishes, such as the caviar and feather manicures. NZ Sale had Ciaté on once again so I had to grab some more (prices included are what I paid via. the sale and what they are worth in the UK) and you can expect some fun NOTD posts coming soon.
When I was lucky enough to receive my MAC palette for my birthday (blog posts; Part 001 + Part 002), I had to also order a couple of lipsticks that have been at the top of my wishlist for a very long time. I had never owned, nor tried a MAC lipstick before these two, but now I am on a MAC lipstick mission - gotta catch 'em all!
Sometimes a creamy, neutral nail colour is all you need, in this case, the Formula X for Sephora polish in the shade Invincible fit the bill. This mini bottle came in the Sephora Favorites Meet Your Match set (full blog post here) and I have been wanting to get my hands on some of the Formula X brand since it was first released, but living in NZ made that a little difficult, until my Dad came back from the States with this in tow.
Snatch-A-Deal is a sale website here in NZ, and the other day someone on the Makeup Obsessives FB page posted some of the amazing bargains they scored off the site. Naturally I can't resist a bargain, and they had a whole bunch of makeup items starting from $1, with the most expensive things being only $6! The sale is still going on right now here. So if you wanna score some sweet deals, I suggest heading over there and taking a look!
Art Deco is a fairly new brand that is available at Farmers across the country. I'd walked past the stand many times and always had a wee nosy but never thought much of it. One day I decided to do a bit of a swatch and actually take a closer look at the products. The one thing I was drawn to was these refillable magnetic cases, which you can fill with eyeshadows, blushes or eyebrow powders and build your own custom collection.
Only recently I shared an installment of my New Additions #005 and as a bit of a bonus post today, I have a whole bunch more gemstones and minerals to share that I have added into my collection. This is a bit of a collective one, over a couple of shopping trips but I thought I would lump them all together as they just look so darn pretty all in a big group.
Gracie Lou, a NZ based online store who are official stockists of the Z Palettes and got to work. I'll warn you now; it's messy, time consuming and you come away with a few burnt fingertips and chipped nails, but it is a great way to declutter the makeup stash.
Brands Exclusive* is a site, pretty much like NZ Sale - they have a variety of different sales with new ones added on the daily and range from fashion, homeware, beauty, accessories etc. I have been signed up with the site for a while but none of the sales had really grabbed me, until they had a huge L'Oreal and Maybelline one a few months back. The prices weren't ridiculously cheap (well the nail polishes were $4 each and I may have ordered a few of those!), but they were cheaper than what you would pay for in store. I ended up ordering 8 items, plus got a free nail polish thrown in and the shipping ended up at $12.60 - which I have to admit is on the steep side, so I've been hesitant to order from them again. But I did get some good products, which I just had to share.
This little palette from Stila has been long awaiting to have its time on my blog as I actually received this for Christmas from my lovely sister! Despite the long wait, here is it getting the spotlight it deserves, because this is a great little palette. Retailing at only AUD $17.10 here (via. Beauty Bay, with free international shipping), I think it is crazy good value of money considering the quality of the shadows and the blushes housed inside. I absolutely love the Stila In The Light Palette so I knew this was not going to disappoint.
Apologies that this is technically a few days late, but here is the May installment of all the products I have used up. Obviously these were not all used over the course of the month (if that was happening, my bank account would not be looking to happy!) Many of these items I really liked and will repurchase, or already brought a replacement.
Here's something you might not know about me, I have big feet. Big feet, that often result in a lot of shoes not fitting me or just looking super duper wrong, hence why I am very dubious about buying shoes online as more often than not, it always results in a mega fail. But despite all that, whilst browsing on ASOS (a common occurrence) I came across the New Look shoe section to find they stock UK 9 [NZ 11] in the majority of their shoes. I do own a pair of ASOS brand flats that are a UK9 and they fit really well, so I took the leap and initially ordered the boots, and then the heels not long after that. It is safe to say I love these shoes very much, and they fit like a dream.
At the beginning of May, I thought it was going to be a long month, but the next thing I knew it was the end of May and quite a lot had happened! See my Instagram Round Up for all the pictures I took, that gives a general overview of some of the things I got up to. Beauty wise I definitely stuck to some old faithfuls and didn't branch out too much in what I was using, but a few things stood out.