The Vegan Kind Beauty Box

I tried out The Vegan Kind's food boxes a while ago, vegan snacks and treats delivered to your door? Yes please! But now that they have released their first beauty box instalment, I knew I had to try it.

I noticed their instagram account was hinting with pictures of Lush items, and then revealing a whole new instagram account especially for their beauty boxes, which suggests this is definitely a whole hearted venture from this company, and that there is plenty more to come.

The beauty boxes cost more than the food ones, costing £15 plus P&P instead of the snack boxes £10 plus P&P but is currently running, according to their website, as a one off box subscription.
With this blog regularly championing vegan and cruelty free products, and of course having reviewed them before I put in an order straight away.

Unlike other beauty boxes from places such as Glossybox and Birchbox, the outer box doesn't contain another one inside, which although not great for presentation, is better for the planet.
I was a little disappointed that it didn't look wholly exciting when I had opened it up, and I was kind of expecting a bit more for my £17.00.

With so many available companies and brands that offer cruelty free, and a majority of vegan friendly products, I was again disappointed not to see any familiar brands, or even more exciting brands than those inside. I was also disappointed that despite all the photographs including Lush on their page, there weren't actually any Lush products involved in the box.
Although I'm a big fan of independent companies, a mix would have been a much nicer collection to team well known brands with new and up and coming brands.

There is a guide inside the box that will tell you all about the products inside, so I shall list the products in the same order as they have! 
I'll start with the Inkina kohl eyeliner, I'm not a big user of kohl as it tends to go everywhere but the neatly drawn line I started out with at the beginning of the day.
This claims to be anti smudge, but when testing on the back of my hand it did indeed smudge when tested. I shall try it out for a day, but will keep an emergency liquid liner at the ready, as experience tells me that this is a necessary back up.

Any regular readers will know that I've recently invested in some new make up brushes, but I suppose one more couldn't hurt.
This is a stippling brush from Australian company Furless, best used to set powders which I don't actually wear but might work as a new primer brush, tho I'm rare to use primers these days as well!
Furless have a very interesting looking range of brushes, but as they are shipping from australia you would be waiting forever for them to arrive, and may be stung by customs charges. 
The makeup brush brand Zoeva, who I have lately been championing have a range of vegan brush sets, and ship efficiently and quickly from Germany, maybe TVK should look into them for next time?

I've never been a fan of any products that claim to be skin 'water', I've tried now from TVK before and although the smell was lovely, it had no effect on my skin.
I fear that this will be the same, but the smell is delicious so I'm hoping it's actually good for the skin.
I may opt to use this not to take off make up, as I wouldn't want make up reside left on my skin, but to use at the end of a make up free day to cool my skin.

Sorry guys, but I just can't get excited by eyeshadows! Especially loose shadows as I'm that super accident prone girl that will spill it all over my other make up and be trying to get rid of all traces of it for months...!
This however is the only product in the box that is readily available on the high street, but from Holland and Barretts rather than a Boots or Superdrug.

The colours of them are very metallic so would be a little much for everyday, and I know that once I resealed these up and put them back into the box, I probably won't get them out again.
If you are a fan of loose shadows, they may be worth a shot as the colour does come out strong, but for me I shall stick to my Urban Decay palettes for vegan eyeshadows.

This product had me rather excited, that was until I realised it wasn't actually a white chocolate bar, but a bath melt.
As a full on Lush addict, my bathroom is bursting with bubble bars, bath bombs, and loads more so I would have been much happier to have actually received another Lush item, as the instagram account lead me to think would be inside, than this melt which I know I'll never use when I have so many options that seem so much better.
I think the initial disappointment from the first peek into the box stayed with me throughout, so I wasn't very excited by any of these products.
The idea itself is fantastic but with brands such as Lush, Barry M, Urban Decay and so many more having vegan make up products readily available, the boxes should really host a mix of more accessible products that people may want to buy more of offline.
Most of the brands have discount codes on the info sheet too if people do decide to try out anymore of their products.
The contents of this box amounts to £37.50 in all, so considering the £17.00 cost it isn't a bad deal, it's just not a deal I think I would make again.
I'm off to Lush....

Lucky Dip Club - Pet Parade...!

My regular readers will know that I'm a big fan of independent companies, and champion them as regularly as possible, they'll also know I love surprise boxes that feel like a little christmas coming to your door every month, so a combination of the two had me oh so ridiculously excited.
It wasn't the first time I had tried to nab a Lucky Dip Club box, as they are a one woman company there is a limited amount available, and they have usually sold out before I've managed to order.

Luckily this time I managed to get my order in for the Pet Parade box, and some are still currently available on their online store.
If you are a fan of crafting and handmade, you may have heard of Leona Thrift-ola before. 
She has ran crafty blogs, and set up her company Lady Luck Rules OK, a company who's jewellery I have been coveting and buying since they launched in 2002.

This is Leona's latest business, launching in April this year but already taking off very quickly!
Each month on the 1st a new box is launched with a completely different theme, and filled with handmade, quirky, and kitsch items.
If you manage to nab one before they sell out, from the 1st to the 7th they are a bargain £15, after the 7th if any are left (and thats a big if...!) they will be available in the store for £25, which is still a very reasonable price for all the items inside.

The boxes are packed with such care and attention to detail that they really feel special when opening them.
Every item is individually wrapped but in a way that just screams cuteness overload.
I couldn't wait to tear everything open, but felt like I should take just as much care opening them, that I was a bit upset when I accidentally ripped one of the paper bags!

Each package is personalised, and there were two options for the Pet Parade box, one for cat lovers, and one for rabbit lovers. You are asked to specify, but also if you had any pets, to give their names for handmade personalised items.
Each box also contains a hand written personal note from Leona, which is a lovely touch, especially when you consider how many have been made and sent each month!
If you follow Lucky Dip Club on instagram you can see the updates of the boxes about to be sent and there's huge piles and piles of these boxes, I wonder if she ever gets to sleep!

As I don't have any pets (soon I hope..!!) the brooch that could be set as customised for pet names was set to Cats are Ace, which I do agree with so works perfectly for me! It's also very sweet and I have become somewhat a fan of a good brooch recently.

As well as the brooch there are these kitten necklaces, which caused much amusement for me as I'm always telling people they have to supply me with a 'Basket of Kittens' whenever asked, so now someone has kind of delivered!
There was also puppies in baskets for those who are not kitten inclined.

I'm not too sure what I will use these gift tags for as of yet, but I do now hold the belief that all gift tags should from now on be kitten, or at least, animal shapes.

By far my favourite item in this box was these valentines kitten socks, which I have since been wearing around the house, and have already posted a quick snapshot of over on my Instagram page, along with loads of other sneak peeks from this box.
I need more socks just like these, but with different patterns and prints as it may make me actually start to wear socks outside of winter!

All of the items are handmade or designed by Leona, but as well as all the lovely items inside the box ready for you, there is also some crafting for you to do yourself!
I would like to think I'm crafty but haven't been particularly in recent months so this was a lovely nudge to get back to crafting.
After making these I did actually order myself some cross stitching kits so I'm hoping to get back into crafting as a lovely little hobby.

This months crafting project was for some budgie bunting, and with a new office to decorate I was pretty happy to have something new to put on my otherwise new bare walls.
It was a little tricky cutting around the budgies well, if I had these at my parents house I would have been passing them over to my dad to cut out using his scalpel and graphic designer eye, but alas I got to work using some not very sharp nail scissors and hoped for the best.

There was also miniature pegs and butchers string to attach them too, but as I also have loads of the polaroids I talked about in last Thursdays blog I had the idea to break up the budgies with my favourite snapshots, which I actually really like the final look of.
I've even ordered some butchers string and mini pegs to make more rows of, and the two final budgies will be added in with those rows too to really display everything in a fun and colourful way.

As well as the budgie cut outs there were some bow ties and sticky dots to add some bows to them, tho one seems to have got their bow stuck in the wrong place......uh oh!
The bunting really sets my colourful desk space off perfectly and given me the idea of how to display more so I'm really happy for that as well as all the lovely items I received in my box.
I can't wait till the next instalment when I hope I'll manage to nab another as I'm a bit gutted I couldn't get my hands on the Sundae Girl box, and seeing all the picture of them on instagram have made me jealous!

Fingers crossed for me come September 1st!

Zoeva Brushes and Gel Eyeliner...

After my Rose Gold Zoeva set, I just needed to buy some more and with the amount of choice available from the Zoeva website, my wish list was and still is growing.
I decided to only get three items in this order, but I just know I'll be back again ordering more as soon as my bank balance allows it.

As the only brushes I had previously came in a set which included a makeup bag I had not seen how the brushes actually turn up for individual orders, so I was quite pleased to see how well and hygienically packaged they are, in individual sealed zip locked packages, and with the same care and perfection as the sets.

After trying the Gel Eyeliner brush that came with the Rose Gold set, I decided I had to get another for thinner barely there gel liner, and also for eyeliner flicks with perfect precision. 
I was a bit fed up of my current eyebrow brush, I'd spent a lot of money on it as it was a really thin precise brush, but it has lost it's shape completely, so I decided to get another for a more bargain price  of €6.80.

The gel liner brush is made from nylon bristles, so are easy to clean whenever required. It is also priced at €6.80 so are very reasonably priced of such high quality brushes.
The eyebrow brush however is made from vegan taklon which is used to make high quality make up brushes that are vegan, cruelty free, and also allergy free while still giving the highest quality.
All of their brushes are clearly labelled on their website for vegan friendly, and also what the brush bristles have been made from.

The gel liner is called Black Lace, and is a deep black matte, with the slightest hint of blue to give a more striking look. I found it's better to apply only if wearing eyeshadow, otherwise the natural eyelid oils makes it transfer and fade, whereas using with an eyeshadow makes it stay put and look fresher for longer.

The liner and brush give the cleanest and sharpest lines, so is quite easy to manipulate into the right place on the lid, and with some practise if you (like me) aren't used to using gel liners.
You can see the brush is teeny tiny too so I'm hoping I can perfect using this new technique for grown up and subtle flicks.

I used both of these brushes in Sundays Vlog too, just click to view the next blog or scroll down to see them in action!
I'm a complete Zoeva convert, with so so many brushes for so many things, plus cruelty free and vegan options so readily available at reasonable prices they may become my new addiction.

Have you tried them yet?
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Zoeva Rose Gold Brushes in Video...

Read the original review of these make up brushes by clicking here.
More info will be coming on this Tuesdays blog about the brushes that have been bought separately from the Rose Gold Set.

Polagram and Polaroids!

I love pictures, I enjoy taking them for this blog, I like posting pictures to instagram, sharing them on Facebook and twitter for maximum appreciation of a good shot, whether it's a beautifully lined up carefully executed and edited shot of some painstakingly baked and prepared cupcakes, or if it's a very well angled selfie with flattering light I will share it with the world!
If you read on the regs you'll know I treated myself, rather shamelessly, to a baby blue Instax Polaroid camera, and have been taking lots of snapshots of me with my nearest and dearest that always make a conversation flow while awaiting the picture to develop to share the results.
I had loads of these mini snapshots in piles or loose around my flat everywhere, till I finally stumbled on the perfect way to display them!

Hanging plastic albums especially designed for all your mini instax photo's to slot into and display!
I found these on the magical site of eBay and had to get four of these, due to already having so many photo's, but also because I decided these would look lovely on the wall of my office where I can see loads of lovely happy moments with my friends and family.
I also thought they would look more effective lined up as four straight albums next to each other to make a photograph filled section.

I'm glad I found these on a hunt for more film for the camera, it's given me so many reasons to keep carrying my camera around with me and getting more amazing shots to display.
As well as buying these I finally examined the new trend of having your uploaded snaps turned into real life photos!

I downloaded an app called Polagram where you can link your instagram, Facebook, or twitter account to choose your preferred photos, before choosing how you would like them to be printed.
I opted for polaroid style photo's to match my mini ones, and also because they're just way more fun and kitsch! 
I chose my 20 favourite instagram snapshots, some you may recognise from my feed, of my favourite moments and photo's from the past six months to add them onto my office wall to make me feel happy and inspired when writing new posts.

It cost all of 29p per photo, no matter which style of print you opt for, the options are polaroid, classic which are squarer shots without the border, and regular old fashioned photos your parents may have loads of.
As well as these styles of picture, you can also choose to get large prints (8"x8" or 8"x10") for £1.99 each, a poster with a collection of 35 pictures for £16.90 which I'm tempted to get at some point, it actually looks quite cool, a photo book album for £19.90, or even more amazingly, your favourite ever photo (selfie!) on an iPhone case (either 4 or 5) for £19.90.
These would all make amazing gifts, you could if someone very special to you trusts you with their passwords, get one of these made for them as an amazing surprise gift.

It costs extra for the shipping, and you can easily go overboard on ordering way too many of your most loved shots, but I'm really happy with these and will most likely order again, I just don't know what just yet....!!
Polagram also works on a points system, where you can share codes with friends they gain points with too, and these can then be used to pay for more prints, if you want to try them out my personal code is PGN33CHP .
They turned up after a few days, and I was so excited to get them pinned up to my walls, as they just make me smile oh so much, I love my friends a lot so having all of these lovely memories and reminders was too sweet not to share! <3
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