DANI DOES a review: Birchbox April 2017 & 1-week update review

Hello, readers!

Here is my belated review of my April Birchbox that I received, and I have had a good few weeks to test out the products I received so I can give you my honest opinions on what I thought 🙂

So in the month of April Birchbox subscribers got to pick between a face powder, or a highlight/bronzer combo from the brand Manna Kadar Cosmetics. I personally was using the NYX HD Studio Finishing Powder at the time and owned 0 highlighters (I know). So I picked the highlight and bronzer combo and I was super excited to get my glow on!

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1. Baija Paris Creme Moana. This is a 30ml body cream that has a lovely summery floral scent that reminds me a bit of my nan (in a good way). It boasts ingredients like coconut oil, shea butter, and jojoba wax, so it’s awesome on dry skin.

Birchbox link to Baija Paris Creme Moana

UPDATE 1 WEEK LATER: I only use a little bit as it super thick, and even now in May I still have some left! It’s really nice, but if you are sensitive to scents then I don’t think you will like this one as the smell lingers for a long time. 

2. Manna Kadar Cosmetics Radiance Split Pan Bronzer and Highlighter Duo. When I received my little pan, I was surprised at the level of shimmer used in the bronzer formula. I am a Hula type of girl, so I always edge towards a matte bronzer but I was excited to try something new. The highlight shade is pretty, and I think it would work really well on really pale skin tones, but after watching all the NikkieTutorials videos on YouTube, its level of blinding was ok but a little lacklustre.

Birchbox link to Manna Kadar duo

UPDATE 1 WEEK LATER: I have been using the highlighter most days on the tops of my cheekbones, inner corners of my eyes, and on my brow bone. I do like the highlighter when it’s first applied as it’s very natural, but come lunch time it has disappeared from my face completely. I didn’t like the bronzer on my cheeks as it’s shimmery formula just picked up on all my dry patches, but it is a lovely eyeshadow shade that sticks around all day! 

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3. Nip + Fab Colour Corrector in Green. I can only assume that I added my red pigmentation problem onto my Birchbox profile when I signed up, or they lucked out when sending me the only colour correcting colour that I would ever use! I do have red colouration across my naked cheeks, and it is the only reason that I don’t feel comfortable not wearing foundation day to day. This was a full-size product this month which was much appreciated 🙂 It claims to be crease resistant, fast drying, and highly pigmented so you don’t need to use a lot.

! Other colours available are: Banana – a good all rounder for multiple problem areas, Terracotta, – to brighten under eye circles, and Lavender – to cancel out any yellow tones in your skin. 

Birchbox link to Nip + Fab Colour Correctors

UPDATE 1 WEEK LATER: I find that this works best for me on any spots that I get that still show through my foundation. At the moment I am using NARS Sheerglow in Montblanc which is a great medium coverage foundation, but little red bumps still show through without this concealer. It’s a great concealer to keep in my makeup bag for when I have some red nasties creeping up under my skin – I definitely recommend checking this out 🙂 

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4. PARLOR by Jeff Chastain Volumizing Lifting Spray. I was pretty stoked when I got this spray in my box as I have pretty thick hair that has a decent amount of bounce and volume in the lengths and ends, but the top normally falls flat and has no sexy oomph. It recommends that you apply the spray when your hair is semi-dry and then to blow dry and style as normal.

Birchbox link to PARLOR Lifting Spray

UPDATE 1 WEEK LATER: Unfortunately this spray hasn’t really worked out for me, and after reading the Birchbox page for this product it does mention that it’s perfect for ‘fine hair’, so alas it seems my hair is just too damn heavy for this spray to keep it lifted at the root. Dang, onto the next one! 

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5. Polaar IcePure Gentle Scrub with Arctic Cotton. If there is one product that you can guarantee to find in my bathroom, it’s a body scrub. I love me some sandpaper rough scrubbing in the shower! Nothing feels cleaner than removing a few layers of skin, so I love a really grainy scrub that feels like it’s doing something magical.

Birchbox link to Polaar IcePure Gentle Scrub

UPDATE 1 WEEK LATER: This scrub was about 70% rough enough for me, it had very fine grains in it which still did a good job, but I only got 2 uses out of it. I did like how moisturising it was, and I liked the scent. If I was sunburnt then this would be a good gentle alternative to my Rituals scrub that I normally use. 

My favourite product in this months Birchbox was the Nip + Fab concealer, I didn’t know that I needed a green concealer until I was sent this, now its always in my makeup bag ready to back me up. This was closely followed by the Polaar Scrub, and although it didn’t last long, I was sad when I used it all up!

Have you tried out any of these products, what did you think?

If you’ve taken the time to read this – thanks for hanging out with me today, you’re awesome.

 

DANI DOES her 26th birthday! Woo!

Hello, readers!

Yes, it has in fact been that magical time of year where I have celebrated another birthday, and how best to spend a birthday? By taking an entire week off, of course – woop woop!

My birthday actually fell on a Saturday this year, which is always very exciting 🙂 I woke up to be taken to Nottingham for some awesome food and some retail treats.

Nottingham is my absolutely most favourite place to go, the local bars and rock joints always draw me in, plus you only need to walk around a corner to find a live band playing somewhere.

As I was lucky enough to have an entire week off, I thought it would be more interesting to see what I got up to, so here’s the low down…

The main: I went to Nottingham! Yes, I was whisked away to the magical land of Nottingham so that I could splurge and indulge in lots of naughty things. I managed to treat myself to a new coat, some new jeans, some new makeup, and some other nick nacks. But let’s move onto the important part – The Food! Dang, does Nottingham have some delicious dishes. We had Taco Bell for lunch (I had a grilled stuft burrito with chicken) and then Yo Sushi! for dinner, and we ate nearly every dish in the place. It was my first time to both, and I was not disappointed! My favourite dish at Yo Sushi! was their apple gyoza which were mini deep fried dumplings filled with hot apple sauce, with a salted caramel dip – awesome! Of course, as we were in Nottingham we also had to visit the Nottingham Donut Company – Best. Doughnuts. Ever. Way better than Krispy Kreme, all doughnuts are huge and made fresh, and once they’re gone they’re gone, I love their lemon curd doughnut 🙂 It’s a giant doughnut with a big hole cut out the centre, which is then filled with fresh lemon curd. The whole thing is then dusted with sugar, and you break off massive chunks of the soft and fluffy doughnut and dunk it in the gooey middle. It’s pretty special.

I was so happy with how easy Nottingham felt, as it was the first place that I had my most severe anxiety attack and so I was expectantly a little nervous. I guess making myself face it has helped as I have been back a couple of times before now. I can’t hide away from the world, especially somewhere as close to my heart as Nottingham. I had been many times before my anxiety started, which is why I think it was the worst attack I have had. I just didn’t understand how I could feel so strongly, so out of the blue, when I have always been so happy and normal there. But persistence and self-assurance has helped me on my journey so far, I still have a little way to go 🙂

The rest of my birthday was captured in some pictures. some of which are rather mundane, and others are more exciting, but I hope you enjoy sharing them with me!

 

What have you been up to this week so far?

If you’ve taken the time to read this – thanks for hanging out with me today, you’re awesome.

DANI DOES 7 mildly interesting facts about me

Hello, readers!

Let’s get a little personal, and let’s get to know each other a smidge better.

I would like to share with you 7 mildly interesting facts about me so that you can get a better idea of me as a person, and what I surround myself with in my life.

I practice pole fitness – for fun and to build up my strength. Yep, I do what is incorrectly believed to be a very sexy form of fitness. Do you think that body bruises and unexpected toots in a room full of scantily dressed ladies is sexy? If so, then yes pole fitness is pretty damn sexy. I personally love it because I feel like I am always progressing, nearly every week I manage to achieve a move that I have struggled with in the past. I’ll be sure to write up a post about it in the future, maybe throw in some pics too if I’m having a skinny day 😉

I love to game. I spend so much of my spare time in front of my Xbox or laptop playing RPG’s and simulation games, or watching YouTubers playthroughs. Some of my favourite YouTubers are MrKravin, Christopher Odd, and John Wolfe – so check them out! Plus we have a tabletop night once a week to play whatever Stef has backed on Kickstarter, along with our group favourites of Catan, Sheriff of Nottingham, Sushi Go, and Arcadia Quest.

I like to arm knit snoods, so much so that I started to sell them on Etsy. It started from finding a quirky guide that I stumbled across on Pinterest, and then it snowballed into me running into a Hobbycraft as fast as I could and buying all the colourful yarn! It is so therapeutic to just let my arms go back and forth as I chill out listening to some music or stand-up comedy.

I need positivity. I always try to surround myself with things that I love and things that make me feel great. I love to spend time on myself with a pamper night once a week, and a nice calming wind-down routine before bed. I have also been trying to focus on my sketching as it always makes me feel really proud of myself when I complete a piece. I have also just popped my Instagram cherry so I can publish some sketches and happy places on there too!

I am a virgin veggie grower. I have always wanted to grow my own food, I love to buy fresh and organic produce, so the idea of growing my own vegetables has always been super appealing to me. I was a very lucky scallywag this week (as it was my birthday – woop woop!) and Sam’s mum went above and beyond in buying me a small greenhouse along with everything I could ever need to start growing some veggies. Once the rain stops, I am setting it all up and I will be sure to blog about how my first attempt went.

I adore horror. I love horror video games, I love horror movies, and I love horror novels. The genre just always draws me in, I always pick it on movie night, and I always wind up in the horror section at Waterstones. Sam actually bought me a new horror novel for my birthday called The Loney, so I will update you on that once I have finished it. My ideal night in is watching Sam play through a horror game whilst we drink some ales and eat some nachos – no I don’t play. I am waaaaaaay too much of a scaredy cat! I like to sit back, hide behind a cushion, and point at the screen whilst stating the obvious, like ”holy shit, what was that?!” and ”RUN AWAY!”. Sam’s a lucky dude.

Makeup is magic to me. If I am not watching MrKravin do an enraged walkthrough on a crappy new horror release, then I will be glued to my screen watching way more talented people play with makeup on YouTube. I will pine over makeup that I can’t afford, and I will pine over their flawless complexions and on point highlight that I can’t achieve. I tend to watch a lot of Kathleen Lights, and Safiya Nygaard. Kathleen has some more serious tutorials, and Saf has more quirky and fun content. Also, check out NikkieTutorials and grav3yardgirl as they’re also pretty special 🙂 

So how about you? What passions do you have, do you share some of mine? Let me know of anything that you think that I should check out, I would love to discover something new!

If you’ve taken the time to read this – thanks for hanging out with me today, you’re awesome.

 

 

 

 

DANI DOES a review: Birchbox March 2017 & 1-week update review

Hello, readers!

I have been an on/off subscriber to Birchbox for the last 18 months or so, and I know that people are unsure whether this subscription is something for them. So I thought that I would share my latest delivery with you so you can check out the type of goodies you can get with Birchbox. Each month you get 5 products that are tailored to your beauty profile that you fill out when you join, and you get a mix of mainly mini’s and normally 1 full-size product.

This month every subscriber got a Benefit lipstick, and we were given the chance to select which shade we wanted. There was 2 to chose from, one being a nude tone and the other a bright pink.

Now I am all about the nude shades, I love me some NYX Lip Lingeries with their neutral palette. However I also like to shake it up sometimes and step out of my comfort zone with a sky blue or dark purple shade. So I decided to leave this decision up to the Birchbox gods, and so I move onto the first product in my box this month:

1. Benefit They’re Real! Double The Lip in the shade Pink Thrills. This product claims to give you fuller looking lips with its unique dual colour formula in a teardrop-shaped lipstick. The top of the teardrop is darker than the rest of the lipstick, and this acts as the lip liner, making application super quick and easy.  I will say that the product feels really nourishing on my lips, it is very easy to apply, and it smells like sherbert. It’s also a decent size for a mini sample, giving you plenty of time to test it out and see if this is worth your hard earned coins. My only huff is that I don’t agree that my lips look fuller after application, check out my photo’s and let me know what you think. Would I buy this? No, I think that there are other lipsticks out there that are just as nourishing and half the cost. If this did make my lips look fuller then maybe I would reconsider.

Birchbox link to Benefit They’re Real! Double The Lip

UPDATE 1 WEEK LATER: So I decided to wear this vivid lippy to work and see how it held up, I blended the liner into the lip colour a little with my finger and it looked much better. I was at work for about an hour and a half, went to the toilet and the inner lip colour had crumbled and cracked everywhere 😦 The liner was still set, looking good, but considering this boasts an 8 hour wear time, I was super disappointed. 

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2. Marcelle Gentle Make Up Remover For Sensitive Eyes. I tested this product out last night after I had a fun playtime with my Urban Decay Full Spectrum palette, and I used the darkest blue shade EVERYWHERE. I also put on some liquid liner and some fibre lash mascara, and to my pleasant surprise, this magical potion removed it all. No fuss, no arguments, it just got on with what it was there to do. It’s a typical eye makeup remover in that it has 2 liquids that are separated that you have to shake up to activate. And my only niggle is that it left quite an oily residue on my skin, but my toner washed that away very easily. Would I buy this? Yes, I would. I love experimenting with makeup and wacky colours, so a decent eye makeup remover is always welcome in my arsenal.

Birchbox link to Marcelle Gentle Make Up Remover For Sensitive Eyes

UPDATE 1 WEEK LATER: Still using this product and its great, easily removes my makeup, no stinging, and a little goes far.

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3. balanceme Instant Lift Primer. I got excited when I saw that I got a primer in this months delivery, I have tried out a few and I am always up for falling in love with something new, especially when they say that they are 99% natural! This primer is a milky white, light gel and it says that it is a complexion perfecting primer, smoothing and lifting skin to look more youthful and virtually poreless. I would be jumping to try out this primer if it didn’t smell just like nit lotion. I rubbed a little on my hand yesterday morning and the memories of a raw scalp and sharp nit combs all came flooding back, and I kept smelling it during the day. I honestly don’t know if I could wear this on my face all day, but I will certainly give it a go and report back. Who knows, maybe that’s just the price you pay for something awesome, right?

Birchbox link to balanceme Instant Lift Primer

UPDATE 1 WEEK LATER: I tried this out, and although the nit lotion smell isn’t quite as potent on my face, it made me SO oily. Like I was shocked, my boyfriend was shocked, my cats were shocked. I do suffer combination skin (yay me) but I do not recommend this for anyone with oily prone skin. Nuh uh.

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4. Korres Santorini Vine Shower Gel. Another product that boasts a high natural ingredients content, this time of 86.7%. This shower gel smells fruity and slightly medicinal, which I like when I’m scrubbing away the dirty doughnut shame from earlier in the day. Again, it’s a decent sized mini allowing you a good 3-4 showers before deciding if you need to make this a regular in your routine, or if it makes you want to just throw in the towel. Would I buy it? Unfortunately not, as Birchbox has already made me fall deeply in love with the Rituals shower range, but this is certainly a good product and worth checking out!

Birchbox link to Korres Santorini Vine Shower Gel

UPDATE 1 WEEK LATER: I like this, I like the way it smells and I like the way it moisturises my skin. It’s quite a thin consistency so I don’t know how long it would last, but it gets a thumbs up.

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5. Batiste 2 in 1 Invisible Dry Shampoo and Conditioner. Now if there’s anything that gets me excited, it’s a product that allows me to be super duper lazy and skip washing my hair to carry on playing The Sims for another 4 hours. I have always adored the Batiste Dry Shampoo’s, and my favourite so far has been the cherry scent. But I only use dry shampoo to buy myself 1 extra day, as the white residue tends to build up and start to look a bit too much like dandruff. So this new invisible formula has got me VERY intrigued. I also have bleached hair, so I get a crappy combo of greasy and dry all at the same time, so their additional conditioning element has me signed up. Would I buy this? You bet your butt I will! The vanilla & passion flower smell will become my new scent.

Birchbox link to Batiste 2 in 1 Invisible Dry Shampoo

UPDATE 1 WEEK LATER: Man, I was so excited for this product. So excited. But you can bet your butt that I will not be purchasing this product *sigh*. I think the conditioning element of the spray is a little too strong, as my roots continued to separate after I sprayed them. They felt soft but looked greasy still, and then at about 2pm I had huge chunks of what looked like dandruff down my parting, so ‘invisible’ it is not. Total bummer. 

All in all, I’m pretty happy with this months Birchbox. I got a good mix of products, with a bit of makeup, haircare, and skincare. I have purchased a number of products that I have tested out in my Birchbox subscription before, so I would recommend that you give this a try if you are considering it. I mentioned that I have been an on/off subscriber previously, and that was because I had not taken the time to use up my products before my next box arrived and I started to hoard beauty minis… I hope you enjoyed the read! I will be uploading again next month 🙂

Have you tried out any of these products, what did you think?

If you’ve taken the time to read this – thanks for hanging out with me today, you’re awesome.