Monday, 17 August 2015

Selfridges Summer Beauty Box 2015.

Surprise, surprise! New beauty box post from me?! ;) This time I'm here with Selfridges Summer 2015. Beauty Box!

Selfridges, also known as Selfridge & Co., is a chain of high end department stores in the United Kingdom, which also has a web site for "locals" and us, international shoppers. To be honest, until recently I had no idea that they also ship to Croatia but then I stumbled upon them, saw an amazing offer of beauty products, checked their shipping information and the rest is history. Since they carry brands which aren't easy accessible in Croatia, like Laura Mercier, Origins, Tom Ford, Nars, Charlotte Tilbury..., I am sure that you understand my new found love for this site.

Their Summer Beauty Box was my first purchase and it is so summery, fresh and happy, even by the way it looks, that I haven't regret it. It is white and bright yellow and holds 13 cosmetic products and an Alphabet Bags cosmetic case/bag.

Since the bag is big enough to hold all of the products that you get, and they are mostly nicely sized travel and full size products, this is not a small makeup bag for your purse. It is better for traveling, preferably to warm and sunny destinations, since the sign on the bag says "I'VE GOT 99 PROBLEMS BUT A BEACH AIN'T ONE".

The box will cost you 40 GBP, and by the claims of Selfridges, its worth is about 176 GBP. For Croatia, shipping will cost you additional 15 GBP, but if you order something with your friends, and share the shipping costs, it will naturally be less, and if you are from the EU, those will be all the costs (no custom).

My box came to Zagreb, Croatia, in about 4 days after my purchase.

The Box contains:
  • Alphabet Bags cosmetic case/bag
  • STARSKIN Instaglam foam peel perfect (some kind of sponge)
  • STARSKIN After Party Brightening (face mask)
  • RIBBAND Ribband Sorbet (elastic hair ties)
  • JAMES READ Day Tan SPF 15 (face self tan cream)
  • EYEKO Fat Eyeliner
  • NAILS INC Gel Nail Varnish Pink
  • ILLAMASQUA Lipstick Luster
  • NARS Mini Orgasm Lipgloss
  • RODIAL Dragons Blood Sculpting Gel 15ml
  • URBAN DECAY Setting Spray
  • CAUDALIE Grape Water 75ml
  • TANGLE TEEZER Original Blue with Pink
  • and a 10 GBP gift voucher (interesting for UK residents or those who will visit UK until 30th of August 2015)

Since there are lots of full sized products in the box, with pretty high prices, like Tangle Teezer (about 11 GBP), Eyeko eyeliner (about 12 GBP), Nails INC polish (about 10 GBP) and Illamasqua lipstick (about 19 GBP), in my opinion this was a great deal!

Illamasqua Luster lipstick, Nars Orgasm lipgloss, Eyeko Fat Liquid Eyeliner

Selfridges Summer Beauty Box is currently sold out but I wanted to tell you about it nevertheless, and perhaps, inform you that Selfridges ships to many countries and carries brands like Laura Mercier and Tom Ford which, for instance, aren't available in Croatia. I am in no way connected with Selfridges. I bought my box with my own money.

What do you say? Is this box something for you? Do you buy at Selfridges?

Tell me....

Love, beautyandbrains007

For Croatian version of this post click here

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

I've been busy... My July 2015. empties

Pictures can sometimes be deceiving... For instance, it seems that I have been really busy in July but in reality, I decided to finish up some products which were on their last legs in my bathroom for some time now.

Then again, since I did use them up in the end, they earned their right to be a part od today's post.

Heat is in its full bloom in Croatia. And it has been like that for a while. Temperatures above 35 degrees Celsius mean that we all sweat more. My usually very nice, long hair is no exception.

Some of the hair products that I used up in July are EMIBO Argan Silk shampoo and conditioner. These are natural products made by Croatian brand which are not easy available. At least I didn't see them around. I first tried them at my hairdresser's and was thrilled! I immediately took some generous samples home and was even more excited. So much, that I bought a bottle of each next time. But then, I was kind of confused because the quality of my products was different from the ones that my hairdresser used on me. In the end I wasn't sure how I felt about them, so my review never saw the light of day. Now, I think that I will finish and publish that post so you could know exactly how I feel about them and to learn a little more about the products themselves.

I also used up a bottle of Nivea Long Repair conditioner with liquid keratin, which promises triple action on your roots, lenghts and tips. I bought it because of a very positive review of the one minute treatman/hair mask, which anaviglam raved about. I couldn't find the mask, so I decided to try this conditioner from the same line. My experience was also very positive. It is a nourishing conditioner which smells very nice (like a more toned down version of Nivea's hand cream) and makes your hair silky smooth. It can be heavy on your hair if you use too much product or don't wash your hair thoroughly enough after applying it, but when you find a perfect formula for yourself (my hair is fine but I have a lot of it, it is long and coloured), I think that you will be very happy with this product. Another thing that I must mention is that it also makes combing out your hair super easy, especially if you use it with Macadamia No Tangle brush.

And my last hair care empties are two used up bottles of Batiste XXL Volume dry shampoos. Although Batiste dry shampoo is a staple in my bathroom, I can't really say that I used it a lot during July. To be honest, I found these two bottles almost empty in my bathroom cupboards and decided to finish them. There was just enough in both bottles for one application. Since I constantly write about them I really have to write a review... For those of you who maybe don't know about these kind of products, they aren't a complete substitute for normal shampooing. You still have to wash your hair. These are for those days when you haven't had the time to wash your hair or to add some volume to your roots. They work amazingly for that! The only minus is that your hair will look clean but will also be a little dry and won't be as soft as it would be if you washed it in an old fashioned way. Like you have some hair spray in it but without so much crunchiness.

In my July favourites I told you that I am not into heavy body creams or butters during hot summer months. I used my Balea In Shower Body milk almost exclusively, with something more nourishing now and then on drier parts of my body, like elbows. Yet, here you see two empty pots of body creams. No, I didn't lie. Both of these were also almost empty in my bathroom. Avon's Dazzling Moments body cream was a part of a set with the perfume, and like the body scrub I already mentioned in my empties post, I wasn't crazy about its scent. Perfume went to a friend of mine and body cream and scrub were already opened so I decided to finish them up. This cream isn't too heavy, it has sort of a whipped cream consistency and isn't crazy nourishing. I wouldn't buy it again or recommend it.

The other empty pot is a completely different story. Alba Botanica is available in Croatia only in DM stores. But last summer I heard that they are not going to carry their products anymore, so I bought couple of them while they were still on the shelves. On that note, I don't know why, but they are still on their shelves? To make a long story shorter, one of the products that I bought was Alba Botanica Hawaiian body cream with coconut milk. In my opinion the best product from the bunch that I bought! I didn't finish it completely because I wanted to write a review and I didn't want to be without it, but then I saw it on the shelves again and bought myself a new pot. This is not a greasy cream but it nourishes my skin perfectly. After it, my skin feels healthy and soft to the touch... It smells like raw coconut, not at all like coconut sun creams, so if that is what you are looking for, you might not like this. But the smell is so natural that I don't think many would mind it. I highly recommend this product!

I also finished two deodorants. One was a natural version and the other one is a tipical drugstore roll-on from Nivea, which is not as natural.
I talked about Nivea's roll-ons so many times before and mentioned them in my Favourites that it is not a secret how I feel about them. For me they are great and anyone could find a scent for their taste. They promise a 48 hour protection, which claim I can't confirm or dispute because I can't imagine a scenario (in normal life) in which I wouldn't shower for that long. But, it really carries me through my work day smelling nice. My current choice is Nivea Powder Touch roll-on and yes, I do recommend it.

And then there is a natural version that I couldn't wait to get my hands on. Everyone on YouTube raves about these deodorants so I had to try at least two. My choices were Fresh Vanilla Lemon and Vanilla Lavender, and if you still don't know what I am talking about, it is Lavanila deodorants that I got my hands on. More exactly, this time I am mentioning the Fresh Vanilla Lemon version. I must be fair and say that I haven't tried the Lavender version yet but my lemony kind is done. Firstly, I expected this scent to be really lemony with a hint of vanilla, but in reality, this is a boyfriend scent. And then its mojo... Well, how can I say it politely? It stinks! Literally! And this comes from a person who thought she didn't have stinky armpits. Wrong. It wasn't me. It was my Nivea. As you can probably guess I wouldn't recommend this product or buy it again but I am planning to write a full review after I try the Lavender version. Who knows? Maybe it is much better?!

My effervescent magnesium is also gone. I used it when I had a feeling that my body was exhausted and that I don't have any energy left. I don't have a favourite brand but I do urge you to buy things like this from serious and known stores or pharmacies.

And finally, we are in the empty make-up part. I used up only two items, one of which is mascara which isn't uncommon to be seen in empties post, and the other one is a blush that was very loved, lasted me for a very long time and in the end used up to its last particle.
EYEKO Black Magic waterproof drama & curl mascara, as you can imagine, promises dramatic black and curled lashes. I got mine in one of the beauty boxes that I am obsessed with and have another one unopened. No, that doesn't mean that I love it, it only means that I got two in my boxes. Let us start with positive thoughts. It is waterproof mascara which will stay on your lashes even on 40 degrees Celsius but is also easily removed with micellar water in the evening (currently I'm using Garnier's micellar water). But, for someone who loves dramatic lashes, this is just to conservative, polite and not dramatic enough. If you are into natural look of your lashes with just a little pop of black, you will love this. If you are into dramatic and full lashes, I say look away!

My ARTDECO LE blush in a various but mostly peachy colour was very much loved and as you can see, I used it up completely...

Those were all of mine July empties!

So, what do you think? Have you tried any of these products? What did you go through in July?

Tell me...

Love, beautyandbrains007

For Croatian version of this post click here

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

My July 2015. Favourites

As far as I am concerned, July was an extremely hot month! Temperatures were just below 40 degrees Celsius and I had to work in a room without air conditioning...

In translation... In order to stay looking somewhat polished, I used very few products which helped me to resist the heat.

I have only three favourites in body care "department".

L'Occitane Verbena/verveine shower gel with fresh citrus scent has its own review on my blog so you can look it up if you want to know more about it, but it is a great and refreshing shower gel that will bring you back to life in high temperatures with its citrus scent of organic and freshly picked lemons, which is also good for your skin and not drying at all. In even less words, you need it! ;)

I already wrote about my love for Balea In Shower body milk, but I couldn't decide which one of them was my absolute favourite and now I know. For me the "dry skin" one in orange packaging  is the best! During heat I don't like to apply thick or too oily body butters/lotions on my skin. They just sit on the skin which can then sweat even more. Not my cup of tea. But then again, I don't want to stop nourishing my skin completely. Well, that is where this "baby" comes to the rescue. It is light but nourishing, it will fight away dry skin but you will forget that you even applied it. Definitely a great summer choice which I recommend you to try.

One more hot weather option was my Victoria's Secret Sunset Flower fragrance mist. Since I bought mine in Dubai when it was released (in spring 2013.), I am not sure if it is still available?! But, if you are like me and don't enjoy wearing perfume in high temperatures but still want to have some kind of signature scent, try a  lighter version of fragrance mist or body splash. It doesn't have to be VS, many widely available brands, like Avon, have them.

Although Caudalie Beauty Elixir is still my favourite and saviour in the morning, since I already included it in my June favourites, I decided to mention just one skincare/also a sun care product in my July favourites- La Roche Posay Anthelios XL tinted fluid with spf 50. I am a year late with my excitement, because everyone was raving about it last year, but I used something else then and made a mental note that I'll buy it next. And here we are, a year later I too am loving it. It is tinted but so lightly that I think it suits everyone. Since I am planning to write its own review, that is all that I will say for now. In any case, a great product which I highly recommend!

And, then there is makeup...which was very basic but I shopped my stash and played with some "new" products very successfully.

Nars palette is my go to travel choice. It contains a blush, a bronzer and four eyeshadow colours one of which is a good enough choice for my eyebrows. But, during July I played with Nars Orgasm blush especially. It is a beutiful coral colour with a hint of pink with a slightly satin finish which is so subtle that it will not emphasise your oily skin or large pores. Perfect! I know that it is a cult product which is well known in beauty community for years, but up until now I wasn't crazy about it. Liked it but didn't experience the wow factor. In July the two of us connected on a much deaper level and now we are in love... <3 + <3= :)

Another "I can't believe I didn't notice you earlier" product is my Chanel (Glossimer) lip gloss in the shade number 87. It was a gift for my birthday from a friend of mine. A nice peachy nude colour with golden shimmer didn't seem very innovative to me, so it lived inside of my makeup drawer for a while. But then, while I was shopping my stash again, I decided to try it out and man was I wrong... This one is so subtle but perfect, especially in the evening. It is an amazing choice for romantic candlelight diners or evening walks at the beach. Your lips will get a whole new dimension. Beautiful! Of course, it looks great during the day, too, but in the evening it becomes almost magical.

Lastly, I have to mention my new born love for avocado. I always loved guacamole sauce but never really ate raw avocado by itself. Well, that changed in July and now I am its true lover... When I read all the benefits avocado has to offer I became even more happy about my new choice. Try it, it might surprise you!

Those were my July Favourites. Which were yours? Do we share some?

Tell me...

Love, beautyandbrains007

For Croatian version of this post click here