Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Birchbox at Selfridges

So a few weeks ago in November, I unintentionally dragged my boyfriend down Oxford Street in London. I already knew it was going to be heaving, what with Christmas around the corner, and the fact that I had to park in another car park at the train station, and the queue for the ticket office was ridiculous.

When I say unintentionally, we went to Bodeans for lunch in Poland Street and I thought we’d just have a quick browse in the shops. That turned into both of us being stressy because it was so busy, so we ended up walking parallel behind Oxford Street which was much more pleasant and peaceful.

I went into Selfridges, which I haven’t done for at least seven years now I’d say. I’m well aware of how behind with the times I am saying this, but I was amazed by how much they’d upped their beauty game. The usual big names were still there in the same places, although this time Illamasqua’s counter had halved in size, and a huge Charlotte Tilbury stand had appeared in all it’s shining red and gold glory. I wandered through to the back of the beauty area to look at all the niche brands, when I stumbled upon Birchbox at Selfridges.

I’m sure you’re well aware of Birchbox - it’s a beauty subscription box, whereby you fill in a few questions about you (e.g. hair colour, skin tone etc), and each month you receive 5 samples of different types of beauty products to try. I’ve dabbled in beauty subscription boxes before; To be honest, I was never particularly enamoured by them. There was always one product I liked in the box, but the rest were always ‘meh’ or I just wouldn’t use them at all, and thereby my subscriptions were cancelled.

Birchbox at Selfridges was a little different though. For £15, all you did was ask for a box, and you were free to pick 6 samples from the little trays in the stand. I picked up the following products:

Oribe Dry Texturising Spray (37ml)

Korres Santorini Vine shower gel (40ml)

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer (14.7ml)

Dr Brandt PoreDermabrasion (7.5g)

OCC Lip Tar Primer (2.5ml)

Spectrum Angled eyeliner brush

birchbox at selfridges


I won’t give a full run down of all the products, but I will say that all 6 I love, and I will at some point re-purchase in a full size in the future. All I will say is… Oribe Dry Texturising Spray is a cult product, and provides some pretty impressive texture and volume to the hair; the Korres shower gel smelled delicious; I now understand the glowing reviews of the Laura Mercier foundation primer and works pretty well on my oily skin; The Dr Brandt PoreDermabrasion gave me such smooth skin that it looked like I had a ‘real life’ airbrush filter on me; and the OCC Lip Tar Primer and Spectrum Angled eyeliner brush are pretty nice too. I definitely want to try more Spectrum brushes!

I must say, I think it’s a pretty damn awesome idea. I got to try some products I’d debated trying before, but never wanted to purchase a full size in case I didn’t like it, and it’s all for a reasonable £15, too.

Unfortunately, Birchbox at Selfridges has now ended, but I really hope they bring it back.

Caroline.x

Monday, 2 January 2017

Tarte - Tartelette In Bloom Palette Review

I’ve debated getting this palette for a long time. I convinced myself ‘no’ as a) I have a lot of palettes already and b) to be honest, it just looked like a load of nude eyeshadows I probably already had. Of course, once I had convinced myself not to buy it, I start seeing reviews of how great it is and that it’s a must buy even if you think you don’t need it… Naturally being the makeup fiend I am, once I saw this it went on my Christmas list and Father Christmas AKA my boyfriend bought it for me.
tarte tartelette in bloom palette
One of my biggest gripes about eyeshadow palettes is that I never find out that does it all - highlight, transition, darken, lighten - and I usually end up having to reach for a different palette or other eyeshadows. However, I think my all in one eyeshadow prayers have been answered by this little baby.
tarte tartelette in bloom palette
Filled with 12 eyeshadows (9 matte and 3 lustre), this palette has it all. Top row L-R is charmer (off white - matte), jetsetter (warm taupe - matte), rocker (shimmering taupe - lustre), smokeshow (black brown - matte), middle row L-R is flower child (peachy nude - matte), smarty pants (tan - matte), firecracker (bronze copper - lustre), activist (dark brown - matte), bottom row L-R is funny girl (champagne - lustre), sweetheart (peach - matte), rebel (chestnut brown - matte), and leader (aubergine - matte).

tarte tartelette in bloom palette
I really don’t have much to say about this palette, other than it’s bloody amazing. All the eyeshadows are buttery with excellent pay off, minimal fallout, and a great versatile selection of colours. I’ve been using smarty pants as my transition colour, funny girl as an inner corner highlight, rocker and a bit of firecracker as a crease colour, and a combination of rebel and leader as my crease colours. I think it’s definitely going to be an everyday staple for me.
tarte tartelette in bloom palette
Now onto some awful swatches, do you realise how bloody hard it is to photograph your own arm for swatches?!

tarte tartelette in bloom palette swatches
How bad are they?! I know, I’m sorry… L-R charmer (barely shows up on my inner arm which is super pasty, sorry!), jetsetter, rocker, smokeshow, flower child, smarty pants, firecracker, activist, funny girl, sweetheart, rebel, leader.
Now… The rubbish part is that Tarte isn’t readily available in the UK. Some of the range is available on QVC, but not all. You have to order from the US from either Tarte themselves or Sephora and pay some quite heavy shipping fees. But, I assure you, it’s worth it. And Tarte, please please come to the UK!
I also have the Tarte Amazonian Clay foundation to review too, look out for it!
Caroline.x