Juliette's Dressing Table

"A woman who doesn't wear perfume has no future" Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel

Tag: Freebie

Glossybox December 2012 – Bejewelled.

Hello everyone.

I seem to receive my subscription boxes later than anyone else, and only just got the Glossybox one (Saturday 15th), still waiting on Joliebox… Odd. Anyway, this article is about Glossybox and the December 2012 box, ‘Bejewelled’.

The box arrived in the usual cardboard box but it wasn’t the pink Glossybox we know… I like the fact that it has a festive design this month. I am very pleased with the silver and stars theme, well thought Glossybox, well thought. Not too impressed however, with the leaflet… It looks like it’s been printed at home, the ink is faint and the quality of the paper is mediocre. What happened there?

GlossyboxDecember2012-1

This is the last box of the year and I think it isn’t unreasonable to expect it to be the best box of the year or at least be a little special, and be relevant to the end of the year festive period especially after seeing that they thought about a festive design and called the box ‘Bejewelled‘.

So what did I get this month? A lipstick, a body moisturizer, a nail polish, a blush, a moisturizer and a fragrance.

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As always, I will list the products below and give you my first impressions.

Argentum La Potion Infinie – 2x 5ml. I am still looking at different brands as I will be changing my current skincare routine when I finish the products I’m using at the moment,  The Potion Infinie is a white cream, it has a herbal scent and isn’t too strong, I can live with that. I’ve used it today under my foundation, it is very sticky as it dries on the skin, very unpleasant in fact. I did however keep it on and applied my foundation and concealer as usual and nothing move  during the twelves hours I had makeup on.

This is a high-end moisturizer for face, eyes and neck moisturizer, and I excepted it to be pretty good. I am very pleased with how the first day went and I will definitely use up the two samples but I very much doubt I’ll be purchasing the full size product, at £147/70ml it is a little excessive.

Seche Vite Nail Lacquer in Portobello – 14ml (full size). Finally a full size product! I use the Seche Vite top coat, and I’m very pleased to be able to try a nail polish from the brand. I received the colour Portobello which is a browny-taupe shade. It’s a dark nude, my kinda thing. I’ve only tried it on one nail and so far I can say that it is highly pigmented (only one coat required), not streaky and promising. I’d like to add that I am glad that I didn’t get any crazy colour for once.

Sleek True Colour Lipstick in Stiletto – full size. First product I ever own from Sleek, though I’ve heard of their affordable blushes and palettes. This is a matte lipstick, the packaging is matte and compact, the colour looks atrocious on me. It’s just a very bright orangey-red I would have never bought, even at £4.99. I would have loved to receive the colour Cherry, which is a dark berry colour. Another disappointment for me I’m afraid.

Rituals Magic Touch, Cherry Blossom & Rice Milk – 70ml. Oh… Another body moisturizer, I bet it smells funny… Not! This is absolutely amazing! The fragrance and so feminine and fresh. I don’t know how to describe it but I am absolutely amazed at how gorgeous it is, I just kept reapplying it all day long, I had so much on that my bedding smelt of it this morning. Not sure about the moisturizing power as I was too busy sniffing my arm. I am considering buying the full size product if I still enjoy this product as much as I have for the past twenty four hours.

Lemon by Mary Greenwell – 1.5ml. This is not a fragrance for me., at all. But more to the point, I am really, really, really, really annoyed to once again, get a fragrance sample in a beauty box I paid for. I understand that a tiny perfume sample is added as a bonus but it seems like one of the samples I pay £10 (plus P&P) for is always a perfume, which I (or anyone) can get many of free and often of my choice any department store. This is the third time I get a sample in three boxes (and I know Joliebox will be sending me one too, because ‘why not?’) and I only find it acceptable if the product is a deluxe sample like the Burberry fragrance in the November 2012 Glossybox.

As a bonus product, a Kryolan for Glossybox Blusher was included in the box. I’m not sure if this comes in only one colour but I received the shade Glossy Rosewood, a very pale pink, my kind of colour and I love cheek colours.

KryolanBlusherGlossyRosewood

So what do I think of the December 2012 Glossybox? This is not a very festive beauty box and I am very disappointed actually. Products like fragrances or just the fact that I often get unwearable colours made me cancel all my subscriptions months ago and this is the second month and I have not been dazzled. I’m glad that they included the blush colour as a bonus product but I am very unimpressed with the fragrance samples and the random colours I get. This is and has always been one of my biggest complaints, beauty boxes are really random selections of not so exclusive products…

All in all this is an average Glossybox box when it really should be a Christmas special one…

What do you think? Shall I just unsubscribe?

Juliette

Selfridges’ Lucky Bag – It’s “Okay”…

Hello everyone.

As promised yesterday, here is my follow up article on the Selfridges’ Lucky Bag. So? Was it worth it?

First of all, I’ve got to say that I am fairly unimpressed with the overall content of the Lucky Bag. I’ve looked around on other blogs and whilst I knew it was a lottery and so every bag was filled randomly, I feel like the content of some of the bags was pretty poor. I feel like I’m in the middle really, mine isn’t terrible but it isn’t great either.

The following products were in my Lucky Bag, only two of them are available on the Selfridges‘ website :

Beauty Junky  Aromatherapy Face Mask, RRP £1.99. Everyone likes a face mask so I am happy to have a new one to try, I am disappointed that this isn’t a high-end brand’s one though, this is a Selfridges‘ pick after all!

Nail Art Correction Pen, £4.99.  It’s okay, I will use it but yeah, I wasn’t expecting this in the Lucky Bag

O.C.C. Lip Tar in Pennyroyal, £10. I actually wanted to try one of these so glad I’ve got one now. I wouldn’t have gone for this brown muddy colour myself but I actually like it very much. Plus I think this has its place in a Lucky Bag.

Anatomicals Cypress and Thyme Body Cleanser, £3.  I’m not sure how to put this but this shower gel smells horrendous, it smells like hair dye. Won’t be using it.

Anatomicals Snog Me Senseless Lip Balm, £2.55.  It’s a full size, it’s nice on the lips, I like the tingling, but again, what is this doing in a Selfridges Lucky Bag?

Blink Gift Card, Eyebrow Shape, £17. Either £17 on an eyebrow shape or £17 worth of products from Blink, I can live with that.

– Tissues, 99p. Yes, tissues, worth 99p…

Total for my bag is £39.53. The bag was £15 with £4.95 P&P so I suppose I did alright. I can’t help but feel cheated, I feel like more thought should have been put in when it came to putting the content of the bag together. I don’t understand why the Selfridges Beauty Workshop would send some of these products to customers. It does feel like a standard subscription box only £5 more expensive and with £4.95 of P&P.

It wasn’t all bag but definitely not what I was expecting from a store like Selfridges. I think this bag should have been filled full size high-end products just like the Beauty Box was. Never mind!

So, it’s ‘okay‘ but I think I’ll keep an eye out for the Selfridges Beauty Box instead, at least I’ll know what’s in the box before purchasing it.

Juliette

Selfridges’ Lucky Bag – First look.

Hello everyone.

I do apologize for not having brought you new articles for a little while but I have been working on my university project and it is taking quite a lot of my time. I’ve received two packages today which brought a smile to my face and they are a great excuse to take a break from studying and write on my blog a little bit. I think you’d like to take a peek at what I’ve bought.

Selfridges has many exclusive products available throughout the year but some are just so special that they come in limited numbers. I’ve missed out on the previous limited Selfridges‘ beauty goodie (I can’t remember exactly how it was called for the life of me!) but I was one of the lucky few to get my hands on one of the Lucky Bags. These bags were put together by The Beauty Workshop and were randomly filled with makeup, skin, hair and body products, a handful of them had a £150 voucher for a day of pampering at Selfridges. Now that’s some serious bonus considering that every single bag was sold for £15, which is less than the value of the products you get in every bag anyway.

I’ve started ripping the seal off before taking the following picture as I was just too excited to find out if I’d gotten a voucher!

And here are the goodies! I received two lip products, some tissues, a shower gel, a facial mask and… a voucher! Not the voucher but I’m very happy with my voucher.

I’ll write another post with name and products and first impressions soon my friends. Until then, I’d like to thank the British Beauty Blogger, who was kind enough to alert her followers of the availability of the Lucky Bags on Twitter. She writes an amazing blog and has new content and exclusive news daily.

Juliette

Samples, more samples!

Hello everyone.

This is a very quick post on freebies. I have written an article about free samples and freebies a little while back, ‘May I have a sample please?‘, and this is just another one.

I got a sample of L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream with an online purchase in August, I did absolutely love it and I was actually going to go and a full size tube this week-end. Well, I didn’t have to! There is a free sample of that exact product in the November 2012 Marie-Claire issue.

Now, I do buy this magazine every month so this wasn’t a one off buy so I could get the freebie, I guess we could call it a bonus. The magazine also comes with a Dove hair conditioner + treatment sample, which I don’t care for but will definitely try.

Coming back to the sample that interests me personally, it comes in a rather generous size, the first one I got back in August was 10ml, this one is 30ml.

Another thing to note is that they are four versions of this hand cream being given away with the magazine, I just went for the classic one, because that’s the one I like, but maybe some of you would like to get a different scent.

Juliette

Naked Skin anyone?

Hello everyone.

If there is something you should know about me when it comes to makeup, it’s that I am a firm believer that the skin is what makes or break a makeup look. If you wear the wrong colour of foundation, the wrong formula for your skin, then the rest of your makeup will look rubbish. There’s nothing I enjoy more than trying out new foundations, BB creams and tinted moisturizers. Though I’ve came across a pretty brilliant one recently (YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat, review here), I am always up for trying more!

I’ve mentioned a little while back that I went to an Urban Decay counter and I was tempted to try their new foundation out. The makeup artist applied the Naked Skin foundation my face and it did look okay, but I wasn’t going to buy it without a sample, which she unfortunately wasn’t giving away. I am glad I waited as few weeks later I received a sample with an online order, it came in four shades and I was lucky enough that the shade 4.0 was included in the selection.

Now I don’t own this foundation but here’s some additional information that might be helpful.

– Packaging (I’ve seen and held the bottles): it looks quite similar to the YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat foundation bottle but is a little ‘cheap’ looking if I’m honest. It’s made out of plastic rather than glass and isn’t very heavy. I was very disappointed with it but at least it does come with a pump, which is very handy and hygienic.

– Shades: they are eighteen shades on total, ranging from 0.5 (the lightest) up to shade 12.0 (the darkest). Shade numbers ending  with .5 have a pink undertone whilst the ones ending by .0 have a yellow undertone. I have a yellow undertone so haven’t really looked into the .5 shades but I must say that the .0 are rather yellow. The colour range is pretty good actually, you should be able to find a match wether you’re very pale or of a dark complexion. If you want to find out which shade you are, have a look on Urban Decay‘s American website, just be aware that the foundation looks quite dark in the bottles.

– Price: pretty good really. It retails for £27 in the UK and this is a very good price for a high-end foundation. I just can’t help comparing it to my YSL one which is an excellent foundation and has a gorgeous packaging and retails for only one pound more…

I’m afraid the first application didn’t go too well. As I mentioned above, the Urban Decay lady applied the foundation to my skin at the counter. I was very surprised with how much coverage it gave, actually no, I was shocked! After months of avoiding high coverage foundations it was weird to not see my skin peeking through. I wasn’t impressed but also thought she might have applied a bit too much and she actually didn’t bother taking my makeup off first, or prepping my skin. She also applied it under my eyes, which I avoid as I find foundation can sit in some of the fine lines I have there. I couldn’t wait to get it off to be honest.

Now for my first application at home, I prepped my skin like I would with any other foundation (see here) and though the product is actually quite liquid, I found it quite hard to blend in, I actually had to buff it in quite hard and quickly. After a few minutes, my face started to feel itchy and I actually ended up taking the foundation off after a couple of hours (I’m surprised I lasted that long!).

I was still determined to make it work so I applied it again a few days later and I’m glad to report that it did go a lot better. Though I did find it a little hard to blend still, it did look good. I think it’s a bit too matte for me, my partner (who doesn’t usually comment on my makeup) said that my skin looked powdery, I suppose it could be that he’s used to seeing me sans makeup or wearing foundations with a dewy finish.

I was led to believe that this foundation would be invisible. It isn’t. I’d say it has a medium to full coverage and I could definitely see I was wearing foundation, it honestly did feel like a step backward to when I was wearing Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation. My partner hadn’t commented on my foundation for months…

The foundation lasted quite well, but it did cling on dry patches, around my nose and the middle of my forehead were the most obvious places. I think this proves that it doesn’t suit my dry skin.

I think this foundation would be a lot more suitable for people with combination to oily skin. If you are looking for a higher coverage, it should also do the job. I personally won’t be buying it, not because it isn’t a good product, but just because it doesn’t work for me.

Have you tried this foundation? If so did your experience mirror mine or do you have another story?

Juliette

On the road to better nails?

Hello everyone.

As I said in my ‘Late-August/not-quite-September-yet purchases’ article, I’m trying to get my nails in better shape. This is a short post to show you what my nails look like right now. I’d say they are very dry, especially the cuticles, and they are brittle and bendy; not how I’d want my nails to be. I understand that diet is another big factor to take into consideration when trying to get better nails but I won’t include anything that isn’t nail care related.

So here is a quick list of the products I am trying out, again, they were all in the article I mentioned above.

1. Leighton Denny Crystal Nail File.

2. Leighton Denny Quatro, 4 in 1 Nail File & Buffer.

3. O.P.I. Original Nail Envy used as a base coat.

4. Seche Vite used as a top coat.

5. Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream to soften my cuticles.

I will probably write articles about these products, when the trial is over. Until then, here is a picture of my nails this evening, just before I manicured them.

Before I end this post, here is a picture of my nails after a manicure and with a nude nail polish on. The polish is Ciate ‘My fair Lady’ and guess what? It is a full size bottle, and came free with the September 2011 issue of Marie Claire. The colour on the picture is pretty close to the one in real life, only a little pinker, I’d say it is a perfect nude for fair to light-medium skin tones, that’s not saying you shouldn’t try it if you are of a darker complexion.

What condition would you say your nails are in? Do you know of any ‘miracle’ products that could help me get healthier nails?

Juliette

May I have a sample please?

Hello everyone.

Sorry, this is going to be me rambling again, I’ll try to make it short. It won’t be short.

I just wanted to go more in depth on a subject I touched on in my last article, The Perfect Canvas?, asking for a sample before buying beauty products. Please bear in mind this article applies primarily to high end brands.

While in the US it seems like customers can return unwanted products for a refund, it isn’t the same here in the UK and so I think it would be wise to ask for samples so you get a chance to try the products before buying them.

So, how do I get samples?

1. The ladies at beauty counters are generally happy to help and to ‘demo’ de product on you. Just ask ‘May I have a sample please?’ when you feel like you might want to buy a foundation straight away. They should give you a sample and write down the shade and the name of the product on a card.

And because it doesn’t always go that way, here is an example of what shouldn’t happen :

I was doing some shopping with a friend a few weeks back, we walked by an Urban Decay counter. The lady stopped us and insisted on applying their new Naked Skin foundation on me. I was curious, I agreed. When she finished, she handed me a mirror so I could have a look all that while asking if I’d like to buy the foundation there and then. I asked for a sample, she said they didn’t give any out, she lost a sale right there and then.

I’m sure she was a very lovely lady, and she wasn’t rude at all, maybe she genuinely hadn’t been given any samples for her customers, the trouble is I really don’t think I (or anyone else) should be forced to buy a product after only having it on for a few minutes.

2. When you are buying some products at a beauty counter, ask for samples if they haven’t given you any. They always have moisturizers, perfumes, etc. to give out to customers.

3. High end brands often have deals, ‘spend £40 on skincare and get a free gift!’, generally a makeup bag with larger samples of makeup and skincare products. These free gifts do come at a price but I managed to avoid buying eye cream for a while that way!

4. There are always perfume and shampoo adverts with samples in magazines! And of course the monthly freebie.

5. Some online stores do have sell/give samples. I recently found zuneta.com, they have free samples that you can order for free, you will only need to pay the delivery charges. Just be aware that it is £3 for the delivery (if you spend less than £30)and each order can have up to three samples.

6. I’m sure many of you have heard of sample boxes like Glossy Box and Jolie Box, these are excellent ways to get to try new products. I would however point out that while they are good schemes, you still need to pay for them and you don’t get to pick which samples you get.

Below are samples I’ve picked up in the last few week. And yes, I did get my hands on a Naked Skin sample in the end, it came free with an  order I placed online. Ha!

Where do you get samples from? Can you think of any other way to get samples?

Juliette