Juliette's Dressing Table

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

Tag: Samples

Benefit Sugarlicious – How Sweet The Kit?

Hello everyone.

I didn’t get many beauty/makeup related presents this Christmas but I thought I’d write a short article about one them, as it is rather nice set from Benefit.

I only own a few products from Benefit (eye pencil, mascaras and a couple of samples), which I love very much, so you can imagine how excited I was to receive a set from the brand.

Benefit Sugarlicious is a “deliciously nude…lip & cheek kit“, why, this sounds good to me. We all know how Benefit presents their products by now (cardboard packaging with retro design and cheesy messages) and this set is no exception. It comes in a sweet little box.

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The box contains the products (which I’ll get onto in a second) but also has a bit of “paperwork“, detachable cards with “tips & tricks“, nice touch, can be helpful for those who never used Benefit‘s products.

Like in any set/palette, there is a mirror on the top part of the box, this one isn’t fantastic, and I’ll probably never use it, but it isn;t one of these poor quality ones that distort your reflexion.

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Here is a shot of the products. All four are some of the brand’s bestselling products.

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I’ve done some swatches on my arm. All applied heavily then blended in by finger, on bare skin.

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From left to right, as presented in the kit and on the swatches:

Deluxe Benetint Mini – 4ml. This is one product I sure wanted to try. It’s a very dark pink/red liquid that can be applied as a stain on the lips or on the cheeks. It doesn’t dry as dark as I thought it would. I am a bit disappointed that the stain didn’t go on too well on my lips actually, it just wouldn’t stay on whilst it clearly stained my arm and it took me some serious scrubbing to remove it.

Deluxe High Beam Mini – 4ml. The famous highlighter, glad I finally get to try it out. It is a lot pinker than I would go for but at least it is nothing like anything else in my collection. It looks very good on the skin and I like it so far.

Sugarbomb blush – 3g. This is a four colours blush, mix all four to get the blush. Well, I have to say I am quite surprised with the swatch. It is a lot more orange than anything I expected from mixing the four colours. And, it is has a lot more shimmer than I thought it would! It’s just as shimmery as High Beam. I’ve got to see how it works out on my cheeks.

Ultra Plush Sugarbomb Lip Gloss – 6.5ml. I’m not one to wear lipgloss, I just find them sticky and I’m not too keen on glossy lips. The colour is sort of a coral/pink, a very nice colour really, but I’m just not a fan of lipgloss.

All in all, this is a very nice little set. It has bestselling products that work together or separately, and is a nice way to discover the brand. I’m looking forward to use those products in the future and see if I can make Benetint leave a deeper stain on my lips.

Find the kit here, for £24.50.

Have you tried any of these products?

Juliette

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?

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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.

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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

Advent Calendar – Day 1 to 12.

Hello everyone.

You may wonder what the title of this article means, let me explain. Back in October, I was thinking of getting a beauty Advent calendar this year as they were some good offers available. I missed out on the Ciate Advent Calendar, now thinking about it, I really don’t need twenty four new nail polishes. Also missed out on the Selfridges one… I looked at  the Liz Earle one, but then thought I’d rather not as the only product I really want to try is the Cleanse & Polish. I just decided to stick with a good old chocolate Advent calendar in the end… Until I saw all the UK YouTubers open theirs on Vlogmas…

The YOU Advent Beauty Calendar caught my attention and I had to track one down, funnily enough, whilst it was already days into December, it is still in stock, and I was pleased to see how affordable it was compared to other beauty Advent calendars I looked at. It costs £59.95 plus £2.95 P&P (though I didn’t pay any delivery charges for some reason) and is actually worth over £210.

I’ve received it today and I am so impressed. The calendar is quite big and heavy, it has an enormous fuchsia bow at the front and when you open it, you see all the windows, some small some big, all very exciting.

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Because I’ve obviously opened twelve windows today, I won’t be writing an article for each product but I will list them in this post and tell you what are my first impressions. I may write individual reviews for some of the products, when I’ve actually tried and tested them.

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Day 1 – Mavala Nail Color in 385 Rouge Rubis.

I have never heard of this brand. The nail  polish came in a very sweet winged packaging, it can actually be hung on the Christmas tree as a decoration. It’s quite a small bottle (5ml) and the colour is festive red with a lot of tiny red sparkles, it applied quite well but doesn’t have a smooth finish. It is a nice colour for the Christmas season I suppose, but nothing I would personally buy or wear it as I generally stick to more conservative colours.

Day 2 –  The Vintage Cosmetic Company Eyelash Curler.

I was thinking of getting a new eyelash curler as my Number 7 one is on its last leg. I had my eyes on the Shu Uemura one as it gets rave reviews and I like the look of the Karl Lagerfeld Mon Shu one. I’m quite pleased to get to try the The Vintage Cosmetic Company one as I never owned anything from that company but my first impressions are not to good if I’m honest. The product seems a little flimsy and I think the pad has to be readjusted as it seems to have come out of the ridge, the good thing is though it comes with two replacement pads. I’ll still try it, who knows, it might be an amazing product?

Day 3 – Benefit They’re Real! mascara.

I love love love my Benefit mascaras, I own both the black and the brown BADgal ones and I’m pretty chuffed to get this one to try out. Really looking forward to trying it and see if it’s as good as the ones I have.

Day 4 – L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream.

If you read my blog for a little while, you know I loved this product when I first tried it as a sample and loved it even more when I got an even bigger sample of it just before I was going to buy the full size product. Well this is pretty much the third sample in as many months and it doesn’t look like I’ll ever have to buy it full size. Good good good.

Day 5 – Richard Ward Couture Hair Volumiser Root Booster.

Never heard of the brand but I recently changed my entire hair care products (article to follow soon) and was thinking of adding a volumising product so yes, very good timing there and it does smell very nice.

Day 6 – Espa Super Active Lift & Firm Intensive Eye Serum and Moisturizer.

These two samples come in a nice box that slides open like a matchbox. I think these products are targeted at maturing skin, I’m not quite there yet so might give it to someone who could benefit from it. Bt again, I do like trying out samples so I might end up using it…

Day 7 – Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation.

No Foundation Foundation‘, I like the sound of that. So… the colour looks good, I like the texture on the back of my hand, but it smells like smoked salmon, you read that right, ‘it smells like smoked salmon’. I am aware of the enormity of what I just stated but I asked my partner to smell it and he does agree with me… I will still try it out as it does look very promising but I really hope the ‘scent‘ doesn’t linger too long on my skin.

Day 8 – Philosophy Purity 3-in-1 Cleanser for Face and Eyes.

I wanted to try this cleanser out so I was excited to see it behind the window number 8. I am not too keen on the scent if I’m honest, but this shouldn’t matter too much, I will obviously rinse it off anyway.

Day 9 – BioEffect EGF Serum.

This serum comes in such a cute tiny glass bottle with a little pipette, this only won me over (weird I know…). I mentioned in earlier articles that I was going to change my entire skincare routine as soon as I finish the products I’m currently using, I’m glad to have a serum to try out.

Day 10 – Dermalogica Starter Kit.

So many skincare products to try! This one is a full system, cleansing gel, daily microfoliant, smoothing cream and eye cream. The samples are not too big and i think i only have enough for a couple of days but hopefully this would be enough to help me make up my mind. The spa I go to uses Dermalogica and I never had a bad reaction to these products so it should go fairly smoothly.

Day 11 – Jo Hansford Intensive Masque.

Very citrusy hair mask for coloured hair. I will definitely try it out even if my hair isn’t coloured.

Day 12 – balance Me Radiance Face Oil.

I’ve got pretty dry skin and it’s just gotten worth with the sudden drop in temperature so I hope this will help as a targeted treatment. I’ll let you know if it’s anything worth writing about.

And there you have it, twelve first days of the YOU Advent Beauty Calendar! I am pleased with most products and I am really looking forward to opening the twelve remaining windows. I will post a daily article with my first impressions so check my blog daily (or maybe subscribe via email?) to see what I get next.

If you want your own YOU Advent Beauty Calendar, it s still available here. I’ve personally decided to try to avoid looking at what’s in the calendar but if you want to see before buying to avoid disappointment, the full content is shown on the website.

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

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