BH Cosmetics – Carli Bybel Palette // Guest Beauty Post!

Hey guys

Filipa of A Very Fashionable Blog kindly invited me to guest blog over on her bi-lingual blog.  I have written two posts for her about my favourite makeup palette, the BH Cosmetics Carli Bybel palette.  My first post is a review and my second is what makeup looks I have created using the palette, with some simple to follow instructions.

BH Cosmetics Carli Bybel Palette

BH Cosmetics Carli Bybel Palette

The second post will be going live soon, but for now, you can catch the first one here!

Let me know what you think.  If you have the palette, I’d love to know how you find it, and see what looks you’ve created with it!  Tweet me!

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Lip Monthly Review - Customer Issues

Lip Monthly Subscription // November 2015 // Review and Unboxing (My Last One!)

Hey guys

This will be my last Lip Monthly subscription bag for the time being.  I need to save some money and decided to get rid of this one as I already have so many lip products.  I have really enjoyed the subscription and haven’t had any issues with it (a lot of people online seem to have had payment and customer service issues but mine has always been totally fine), so I would definitely re-subscribe again in the future.

If you haven’t read any of my past posts, these are the full details on the subscription.

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So here’s what I got in my last bag!


 

Mirabella Velvet Lip Pencil in Red Velvet

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I was so excited to see this in the bag!  We have received the same pencil before, in a vivid orangey-red shade called Pop, which you can see reviewed and on my lips here.  I really love the quality, finish and pigmentation of these pencils.  They are really bright and opaque.

Mirabella claim this lip pencil is creamy and moisturizing with a fluid-like texture that glides on, creating a flawless satin finish with intense, long-wearing color.  I agree with all of that.  It applies smoothly and is easy to apply from the tube, with no need for a brush.  It leaves a satin finish – not glossy but not fully matte.  As with the Pop shade, once this was on, it did NOT BUDGE!  It was indestructible!  I again applied a bit of lipbalm over it later in the day as it dried out a little, but the colour was still vibrant.  I love this and am really pleased to have two shades.

This is a little expensive in my view, at $25 (around £16) but probably worth it for the quality and staying power.  Buy it here.


Beauty For Real Light Up Lip Gloss in Kiss Me

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This is a really cute little product.  I haven’t unsealed or swatched it as I am planning to give it to a friend as a present, as I don’t really wear lipgloss at the moment (it’s all about the liquid lipstick) and if I do, it would usually be a bolder colour.

The gloss comes in a cardboard outer packaging.  The gloss tube itself is cool – I’ve seen this around before, but I do think it’s a fun idea for a present (especially for someone who likes going out a lot).  The tube has a mirror on one side, that you can look in to apply your lip gloss.  Then on the top is a little button you press which lights up the tube (you can turn it on and off)!  This means you can touch your gloss up in the dark in a club or bar.

You can find it here (they don’t have the same shade but I’ve linked a very similar one, for $22.


Ofra Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Mina

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Another product I was really pleased to see!  Again, we have received this product in a previous bag, but in the bright pink shade Palm Beach – see it here on my lips.  I was excited to see it again, as it’s a really pigmented and comfortable liquid lipstick.

It lasts well on the lips and is fairly comfortable.  I feel like the shade is spot on for the Autumn and Winter.  It’s a really deep, dark purple-berry shade which is exactly the sort of colour I would have chosen. It’s worth noting that it doesn’t dry completely on the lips, it almost leaves a velvety texture.  It is still fairly long lasting though.

I think Lip Monthly are ahead of the game with including liquid lipsticks in their bags too – they have been a strong trend for a while now and pretty much all people have been wearing, yet none of the other beauty boxes seem to have featured one yet!

You can find this (plus loooads of other shades) here for $19.90.


 

ChapStick Hydration Lock Day & Night Lip Balm

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This is something a bit different for the Lip Monthly subscription, as we usually get more ‘pretty’ lip products like lipsticks, stains etc.  However it’s useful to get something so practical that everyone can make use of!

This is a double ended ChapStick, one end for daytime and one end for night.  The daytime end has SPF12, is unflavoured, and it has an ultra-conditioning formula.  The nighttime end is ‘calming chamomile’ flavour, and is intended to replenish overnight, as it contains tamanu oil, natural bbutters and antioxidants.

You can find it here for $3.29.


This was a great bag for me to end my subscription on!  I’m especially pleased with the Ofra liquid lipstick and the Mirabella lip pencil. I will definitely consider going back to Lip Monthly in the future, after a bit of a break to save money.


What do you think of this month’s bag?  Have you tried any of the products?  Let me know in the comments or on social media!

Beauty // My Top 5 Autumn Picks // Nails!

Hi guys!

As you’ve probably already realised, I’m doing a series of Top 5 beauty picks throughout Autumn (or fall!).  My first one was picks for lips, which you can see here.  Eyes came next.  Today it’s nails!

I love this selection of darker polishes for Autumn.  There’s a colour for everyone here, from warm berry tones, dusty purples to deep matt blacks.  I hope you enjoy the series!

Top 5 Autumn Nail Picks


What are your favourite nail shades for Autumn?  Let me know in the comments or on social media!

Birchbox November 2015 // Beauty Subscription Box // Review and Unboxing!

Hi guys

I can’t believe another Birchbox has arrived already… this last month has absolutely flown by!  November’s Birchbox is in collaboration with lifestyle brand Skinnydip London.  I had never heard of them, so I had a read around.  Apparently they are a London-based company, launched in 2011.  They are now stocked in Selfridges, Nordstorm, ASOS & Topshop.  Their signature style seems to be fun, young and kitsch.  Apparently Zoella is a fun, which is always good by me!

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This box is themed around the much-loved current phrase ‘squad goals’…described as an inspirational term for what you’d like your group of friends to be or accomplish.  The idea is that this box will contain tips and tutorials which you can share with your friends, together with a chance to win Skinnydip London prizes by sharing photos of you and your best friends.  At 30 and spending most of my time in bed ill, this is not exactly relevant to me, but I’m sure some of the younger subscribers will like this month’s theme.

Let’s get into the good stuff – what was in this month’s box!


REN – Wake Wonderful Night-Time Facial

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I have heard of REN but don’t think I’ve ever tried any of their products until now.  This nighttime treatment contains a blend of glycolic and lactic acids to trigger cell renewal whilst you sleep.  Use once or twice a week, applying straight onto clean skin.  Due to the acids, it may tingle a bit at first but that is normal and nothing to be worried about (although it is not suitable for sensitive skin).  My skin tends to respond well to acids, so I think I’ll enjoy this product.

Value: £32 full size, we received deluxe sample size of 10ml.


Lord & Berry- Silhouette Neutral Lip Liner

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I love Lord & Berry lip products and am always happy to see them in my beauty boxes, however I’ll be swapping this with a friend as I already have several similar products.  If you don’t already have something similar though, this is great.  Invisible lip liners seemed to start appearing on the market a few years ago, and are a great idea.  They are basically translucent lip pencils, meaning they line the lips and stop smuding/increase wear, but are not coloured – so you can use them with any colour of lipstick!  Genius.

Value: £9.


Cowshed – Cow Pat Hand Cream

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Reeeeallly not the nicest name for a hand cream, but I get that they’re sticking with a theme!  Cowshed make lots of body products which contain botanical blends, which are naturally paraben and sulphate free.  I’ve had this exact hand cream in the past before and it’s really nice.

Made with rejuvenating essential oils, this cream contains grapefruit to uplift and coriander to soothe.  I’m really not a fan of coriander but I don’t think you can really smell it specifically in this blend (luckily!)

Value: £8.


Number 4 – Lumiere d’hiver Super Comb Prep & Protect

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Ooh I was so excited to see this!!  Birchbox first introduced me to the brand Number 4 when I received a sample of the Lumiere d’hiver conditioning masque, which I absolutely adored, and featured in this everyday heroes post.

This time, we’ve received a leave in conditioner spray, which not only detangles but also strengthens and repairs the hair.  I believe the claims, because their masque is a miracle worker and has improved the condition of my hair no end!  The smell is a bit odd when you spray it, but settles down to be fairly light and unobtrusive.  You just spray into towel dried hair, before drying and styling as normal.

Value: £20 full size – we received a deluxe sample size of 30ml.


Delarom – Creme Acquaconfort

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This is a rejuvenating face cream, containing almond, apricot oils and Vitamin E to nourish and soothe dehydrated skin.  My skin tends to respond well to Vitamin E (I use a lot of the Vit E range from Superdrug) so hopefully this will work well for me.  My skin does have a tendency to be a bit dehydrated due to all the medications I take so hopefully this will help!

You just use this cream like any other moisturiser, after cleansing.  It smells really nice, a bit like a banana milkshake (random, I know!)

Value: £34 full size – we received a deluxe sample size of 15ml.


L.Erickson – Grab & Go Ponytail Holder

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This month’s bonus ‘beauty treat’ item is a metal free hair tie.  Designed to be carried around on the go, allowing you to put your hair up at any time, without risk of snagging it.  I’ll definitely use this, as I wear my hair up a lot.  I don’t think I would ever repurchase though, as they cost over £11.50 for a set of 15, which I think is quite a lot considering how quickly I manage to lose them!

Value: £11.50 for 15 – we received one.


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I’m a bit confused about the overall feel of this box – the design and some of the contents have a really summery feel to me, but of course we’re now in November!  The design is really bright and beachy, and the label on the hair tie says, “it’s hot outside, keep your hair up”…!  Saying that, I absolutely love the look of the box, it’s beautiful.  This photo doesn’t do it justice, but the colours are really pretty and the gold foiled text is gorgeous.  Definitely one of the boxes I’ll be keeping on my vanity!  Overall, another box I’m happy with.  Good work, Birchbox!


What did you think of this month’s box?  Were you feeling the summer vibes?  Let me know in the comments or on social media!

Why I Put On a Full Face of Makeup as a Spoonie // Chronic Illness and Beauty!

Hi guys!  Happy Friday 13th – hope it hasn’t been unlucky for you!

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This is a subject I’ve been meaning to talk about for a while.  I think people often wonder why I would do a full face of makeup if I’m not leaving the house, or if I’m feeling really ill and struggling with it.  Firstly, if I’m really unwell (with my ME and fibromyalgia), then I’m generally stuck in bed in my PJs, not going anywhere or doing anything.  I remember when a PJ day watching TV in bed used to be really fun and relaxing…but that was when it was a choice, not a result of physically being unable to do anything else!

After a long time of being very unwell and often bedbound (it’s been almost a year for me since I got much worse), you begin to almost lose your identity and everything that used to make up who you were.  I used to think of myself as reliable, efficient, hardworking, always there for others.  Chronic illness takes away a lot of your personal attributes…  Reliable?  Not a chance!  I have to cancel about 90% of any plans I make because I’m simply too unwell to go.  Efficient?  Nope.  I spend most of my time doing nothing more useful than watching TV or sleeping.  Again, no choice – ME makes even standing difficult, never mind getting something like cleaning or work done.

Hardworking?  I’d love to be… sadly I am on long term sick leave from work as my body simply can’t get out of bed reliably every day, never mind get to an office, sit upright all day and actually do something useful that requires concentration!  Always there for others?  Another thing that has changed.  I can still be there over the phone or in supportive texts, but can’t meet a friend for a post-work chat and a glass of wine.  I can’t invite them over for a relaxing dinner to cheer them up.  Sometimes I can’t even reply to their texts until several days later, when I’m actually awake and ‘with it’.

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Now that I’ve lost many of the qualities I prided myself on as a person, it’s up to me to figure out who I am.  What can I offer others?  What is left that I can still enjoy?  What hobbies am I still capable of indulging in, or challenging myself to get better at?  At the moment, the answer is sadly not much.  But one thing that has consistently sparked my interest, cheered me up, made me feel better and sometimes even inspired me is makeup.  Something so frivolous…unneccessary…a luxury… but something I can still enjoy, something I can still DO!

On my worst days, I can still scroll through Instagram and see what’s new in the beauty world.  What trends are going round, what people are loving.  On good days, I can take the chance to sit and do my own makeup; trying new applications, new looks, doing something that ultimately makes me feel and LOOK better!  With makeup, applying it can take as long as I need.  There’s no rush, there’s usually nowhere I have to be.  It’s time I can spend feeling like the old me.  The ‘real’ me.  I often take breaks throughout doing my makeup, sitting or lying down for a few minutes between each step.  Although it’s not easy, and it tires me out, the end result is worth it.  I look in the mirror and see someone who can still DO something, still create something!  I can see a glimpse of the girl I used to be.

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That was one of the main inspirations behind starting this blog.  Although I’m honest about my illnesses on here, I spend much more time talking about what I’m passionate about, makeup and beauty.  I like to think that you readers don’t just see me as ‘that girl who’s chronically ill’, but as a fellow makeup junkie who will tell you about new products and let you know which beauty box is worth subscribing to!

Wearing makeup for me personally is not about hiding anything.  It’s not about pretending I’m not ill or putting a fake front on for people.  It’s about doing one of the few things I can still do for myself, and feeling good about myself in the process.  Makeup makes me happy, pure and simple.  I have a lot of spoonie friends who also love anything beauty related and I know they feel the same.  We’re not trying to hide our pain and disability, we’re trying to let the old us shine through, even if just for a short while.

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One thing that makes me sad is that so often, fellow chronically ill girls will wear makeup or do their hair for a medical appointment, and will instantly be dismissed as being ok just because ‘they look fine’.  I know girls who have turned up at A&E or emergency care wearing cosmetics (sometimes because they just happened to already have it on before getting bad enough for hospital), and have been told ‘well you look ok, you can’t feel that bad’.  If you ever see someone looking great, in perfectly applied makeup, don’t jump to assumptions – listen to what they say instead of just how they look.

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[I saw this t-shirt on an online friend the other week and it just sums me up perfectly!!]

For those of you who are not chronically ill, I really hope this helps you understand why I spend my preciously small amount of energy applying makeup.  For those who are, I hope I’ve helped convey some of what you think and feel.  If you have different reasons and motivations, do please let us all know in the comments box!  I’d love to hear what makeup and beauty mean to you!

Personal Life // House Move // Be Back Soon…!

Hi guys

I just wanted to let you know that my husband and I have very recently moved into our new house.  Although there is no real work to be done on the house, apart from unpacking, it’s likely we won’t have internet for a few months (yep, that long, according to the site manager!!)

I will continue to blog as often as I can, but probably won’t be online that much as we’ll be using an expensive dongle until we have the internet installed.  Being stuck at home alone all day with no internet is not something I’m looking forward to!  No Netflix, no Facebook, no Twitter… how will I survive?  I’ll have to get back to some gold old fashioned reading.

KClifewithME is moving house!

So if I’m not around, or I’m posting less, this is why.  Don’t forget me whilst I’m gone 😀