Latest In Beauty - February 2020

Tuesday, February 18, 2020
It's that time of the month again for my review of the new Latest In Beauty edit! I'm lucky enough to be sent their boxes to review but I have bought their boxes in the past. As well as their monthly edits, they have limited edition collections available as well such as the new 2020 Beauty Resolutions Box (£28, worth over £152) which I've already reviewed on my blog.

*Latest In Beauty February Box - Brush Crush Edit
If you're not familiar with Latest In Beauty, they release a new selection of products every month and there's a new theme each month. Unlike most subscription boxes, you can choose every single item in the box from their selection (don't worry as there are almost 150 products to choose from) with new items added everyday. You can choose the number of items in your box as well, from the 'beauty novice' box at £16, the 'beauty enthusiast' box at £22 and the 'beauty guru' box at £25 all of which are the one off boxes but you can opt for the cheaper monthly subscription instead.
*MAC Cosmetics Lipstick in Chilli 
Each month there are a couple of 'hall of fame' and star products and for the month of February there's an extra special 'hall of fame' product and it's a MAC lipstick! I was very excited to see a MAC Cosmetics lipstick within the selection for February as it's such a famous and coveted brand. I have a few MAC products including their lipsticks and out of the products I've tried, the eyeshadows and lipsticks are the ones worth purchasing. The shade available on Latest In Beauty is Chilli which is a beautiful brick red shade which is something I usually wouldn't buy as it isn't the most flattering in terms of the colour of your teeth; however it is such a beautiful shade!
*Hairflick Vegan Hair Vitamins 
One of my favourite things about the Latest In Beauty Boxes is the wide range of items that include in their selection each month and the inclusion of products I never would have heard about otherwise, such as these vegan hair vitamins. I'm always on the look out for vegan vitamins as I don't love the taste of the ones I have been using for a while so I had to give these a go. Firstly, I love the packaging and thankfully they taste delicious! They have a 'blue raspberry' flavour which is very unusual but I love it and I will be picking up more of these vitamins in the future.
*SportFX Eyelash Curler
If you've been following my blog since last summer then you might remember that back in July I had laser eye surgery and because of that I had to throw away all of my old eye makeup as well as a few tools such as my very worn and beloved Tweezerman Eyelash Curler so I was happy to find one on Latest In Beauty as I hadn't purchased a replacement. The Tweezerman eyelash curler was fantastic and probably the best I've ever used but this one is a great second as unlike most eyelash curlers, this one fits the deep set shape of my eye really well. It doesn't pinch the skin, it is easy to use and I'd definitely recommend it.

*Erborian CC Cream 
I've been a little obsessed with Japanese and Korean food and culture recently and I wanted to try more Korean beauty products too so I added the Erborian CC Cream to my box. I've heard great things about this brand but sadly this CC cream just isn't for me. It is an off white cream that when blended into the skin becomes a skin tone shade (I have the shade Clair) but it isn't hydrating or quite light enough for my skin unfortunately.
*SportFX Body Build Dry Shampoo 
The final Sport FX product I wanted to try was their volumising dry shampoo which claims to be perfect for all hair types and is specifically formulated for active lifestyles. I do like this dry shampoo, it helps my hair to look a little fresher in-between washes but it isn't the best dry shampoo I've tried - I'm still on the hunt for the best so if you have any recommendations, leave them in the comments.

*Pure Essentiel Rest and Relax Air Spray 
I love using room sprays, candles and diffusers, especially if they contain relaxing ingredients or scents such as lavender so I had to try this mini 'air spray'. It contains twelve essential oils and is 100% natural. The scent is very strong but I love it and I will be looking out for this brand and product in the future.

Have you tried any of these products or the Latest In Beauty boxes?

*gifted

DegustaBox - January 2020

Sunday, February 16, 2020
My first DegustaBox of 2020 is here and it's a little late but I'm trying to post my reviews within the month instead of leaving it so late - fingers crossed I can stick to that for the next box! I've been lucky enough to receive many DegustaBox packages and I always love receiving the boxes as they contain so many delicious snacks, drinks and cooking ingredients. If that is something you're interested in then check out DegustaBox and use the code DTPL4 to get £5 off your box.

*DegustaBox - January 2020 
The theme for the first box of 2020 is 'breakfast and on the go' which is a great theme for the start of the year! There's a great selection of items in the January box, from vegan lattes, snack bars and chocolate to porridge, lunch pots and more. There are quite a few vegan items in the box and I've found a few new favourites from this box that I'll definitely be buying in the future.
*PrepCo Thai Green Curry and Indian Spiced Lentils (£2)
Let's start with the lunch items from the box including these delicious sounding instant lunch pots from PrepCo, which is a brand I haven't heard of before. I received the Thai Green Curry and the Indian Spiced Lentil pots but you should have received one of the four flavour options in your box. One of them is vegan but the other is vegetarian. I haven't been able to try them yet but I think they'd make great work lunches.

*Kallo Organic Honey Rice and Corn Cakes (£1.89)
Another option to add to your work or school lunch are these cutely packaged honey rice and corn cakes from Kallo (I love their vegan stock cubes). They contain organic honey and can be purchased from Waitrose and Sainsburys. Items like this aren't something I eat but I know my mum loves them for a quick work lunch!
*Nescafe Vegan Almond Latte (£2.98)
My favourite item from the box and one that I've purchased multiple items before receiving it in the January DegustaBox are the relatively new vegan lattes from Nescafe. I have bought so many of the oat latte sachets but I have only tried a box or two of the almond option. I love both and I cannot recommend them enough. I think the oat flavour is my favourite but I'm very happy with both flavours and now I just need to try the coconut one!

*Crafted Blueberry and Blackberry Fruit Drink (£1.50)
The second and final drink item is a fruit drink from Crafted which is a brand that has been included in previous boxes. This drink is certified by the Vegan Society and it is one of your five a day. Additionally it doesn't contain sweeteners, preservatives or any added sugar which is great. I love fruit drinks and this one is delicious.
*Sun-Pat Peanut Butter (£1.79)
Another of my favourite items from the box are the two tubs of peanut butter from Sun-Pat. I received both the smooth and crunchy varieties as I'm lucky enough to be a DegustaBox ambassador but you'll have received one of the two. I love both options but I think that the smooth peanut butter is my favourite - I love having it on toast with raspberry jam!

*Eat Natural Simply Vegan Peanut, Coconut and Chocolate Bar (£1)
Yet another item from the box that I love is this delicious snack bar from Eat Natural which is a brand I love - it's been included in a previous box and I've purchased their items myself. Snack bars are some of my favourite on the go items as they are quick, easy and healthy snack options. Snack bars that contain chocolate and nuts are my favourite so naturally I love this one and I'd definitely buy it in the future.
*Bounce Energy Ball - Peanut (£1.79)
Sticking with the theme of on the go snacks, the next is a peanut protein ball from Bounce. It contains a whopping 13g of protein as well as healthy fats and antioxidants. I love peanut butter so this snack sounds perfect for me but sadly it isn't vegan but I'm sure so many people would love this addition to the January box.

*KitKat Chunky More and Yorkie More (£1.29 per bar)
Next up for snacks are two chocolate bars by KitKit and Yorkie which aren't your usual chocolate bars as they come in strange flavours - raspberry and hazelnut (which sounds incredible) and apple, oats and cinnamon'. Also, both bars contains more protein and fibre than regular chocolate bars but sadly again they aren't vegan. I hopefully assumed when I opened the box that they would be vegan as vegan products tend to focus on protein but I have my fingers crossed for vegan versions in the future.
*Chescots Supergut Porridge (£1.99)
I have already mentioned a few of my favourite items from the box but I think my absolute favourite from the January box are the two porridge pots from Chescots, which is a brand I've never heard of. Each porridge pot contains half of your daily fibre and prebiotic fibre to support your gut. There are two flavours (raspberry and blackcurrant and coconut) and both are gluten free, dairy free and vegan which is fantastic. The raspberry option is my favourite but I love both of them and I already have a couple of the raspberry pots in my basket on Ocado!

*Whitworths Berry and White Chocolate Shots (£1.60 for four pack)
We're coming to the final few products and the last sweet snack is this box of mixed fruit, nuts and chocolate from Whitworths. I received another variation of this snack in a previous DesgustaBox and this one also isn't vegan so I've passed them onto my mum as she liked the previous flavour opinion and she liked these too.
*Wholesums Fresh Veg Popped Chips (£1.75)
The last snack is a packet of veggie chips which are made from whole potatoes, peas and carrots. They contain all of the nutrients from the veggies and they're only 86 calories per packet - they are also vegan. As well as snack bars, I like snacks like this which are quick, easy and healthy. I tried the salted version and loved them!

*Zest Vegan Basil Pesto (£2.20)
Last but definitely not least is another vegan item (it makes me very happy to see vegan items in the boxes) and it's a vegan pesto! I love pesto and I typically make my own but add in vegan cheese and spinach (which isn't a usual pesto ingredient) to bulk it out. I cannot wait to try this pesto as making it can be delicious but also a little messy.

Don't forget to use the code DTPL4 to get £5 off your box!

Have you tried any of these products? What do you think of the January DegustaBox? 

*gifted

Valentine's Day Gifts With TrendHim

Thursday, February 13, 2020
Valentine's Day is only a few days away but thankfully there is still time to buy a treat for yourself or a loved one before the big day! As we all know by now, I love the give beautifully designed but practical gifts and I think a bag or backpack would make a great gift for your partner or friends this year.

*Lazy Bear Lewis Backpack (£59)
I was very kindly sent the Lazy Bear 'Lewis' Backpack from Trendhim, an online store specialising in mens accessories and jewellery, from cufflinks, neckties, belts, grooming products and pocket squares to jewellery, watches and bags. If you are looking for a Valentine's Day for your husband or partner, look no further as they have such a wide range of accessories and gifts for a variety of styles and budgets.
I opted for the 'Lewis' backpack as I think it is a great unisex backpack and I personally love the combination of the navy fabric alongside the tan faux leather straps and detailing - I think it looks a little retro! It has a large zipped compartment with dividers including a section for a laptop (with a maximum size of 15.4"). Additionally, it has front and side zipped pockets and adjustable straps.

Backpacks are a great practical gift idea for those who love hiking, camping, festivals, travelling or as a commuting backpack. It is an ideal size with all of the pockets and space you could want! I personally find that most backpacks can be quite uncomfortable or too large but this one is comfortable and the dimensions are ideal for me!
There are so many backpacks to choose from on Trendhim including a few variations of this backpack from Lazy Bear. I opted for the 'Lewis' design but I also love the 'Lucas' backpack, 'Logan' laptop bag and the 'Lermont' foldable backpack, all of which are from lazy bear. If you are looking for a gift for your husband or partner then check out Trendhim for a huge range of gift ideas from beard grooming kits, laptop bags, hats, jewellery and more. They also have gift wrapping, gift packaging and boxes available which is a great option for those, like me, who cannot wrap presents!

What do you think of this gift idea? Will you be checking out the Trendhim website for gift ideas?

*Gifted

Latest In Beauty 2020 Beauty Resolutions Box

Wednesday, February 12, 2020
We all know by now how much I love beauty subscription boxes (and subscription boxes in general) but I think some of my favourites have to be not only the monthly boxes from Latest In Beauty but there incredible value limited edition boxes! I've been lucky enough receive a few of their limited edition boxes in the past and I'm very happy with their latest offering as it contains so many amazing (and a few unusual products) but it is also fantastic value for money.

*Latest In Beauty 2020 Beauty Resolutions Box (£28)
The box, as you can decipher from the name, is all about beauty resolutions and being more conscious in terms of using high quality products that work effectively and take time for ourselves; the latter is something we all need to do more of in 2020. The box contains a selection of mini and full sized items ranging from higher end brands such as Kiehls to more affordable options including Kind Natured and Burt's Bees.
*Kiehls Deep Pore Masque 
Let's start with one of the items I was most excited about from the box as Kiehls is a brand I've wanted to try more from for a while - I adore their hand salve! The mask is a great trial or travel size and it claims to eliminate debris and clear pores to leave the skin looking clearer and brighter. I cannot wait to try this mask as I've heard nothing but great things about Kiehls skincare.

*Patchology Moodpatch Keep Smiling Lip Gel 
Sticking with the skincare theme, of sorts, with the lip mask included in the box. I've trie a couple of lip mask from previous subscription boxes and they seem to work well although they are very bizarre products to use, if I'm honest!
*Kind Natured Shea and Aloe Cleansing Face Wash 
The box has a fantastic range of skincare items to create a new skincare line up for the upcoming months! The face wash included in the box is huge at 200ml and contains natural ingredients such as shea butter and aloe to gently cleanse the skin without being harsh. I think this cleanser would have been perfect when I has eczema as it is very gentle and ideal for sensitive skin.

*Ashanti Cosmetics 15 Shades of Pomegranate Face Cream 
Ashanti Cosmetics is a brand I haven't heard of before which is one of the reasons I love using beauty subscription boxes as it's a great way of trying new brands and products at an affordable price. The face cream is beautifully packaged and it's another full sized product at 60ml. It is a very rich cream so it's perfect for the remaining winter days especially if you have dry skin as I do.
*Burt's Bees Lip Balm
I have used so many Burt's Bees lip balms (and many of their other products, including their lipsticks) in the past and I cannot recommend their lip balms enough. I used their classic beeswax lip balm for a couple of years when I first started blogging but I haven't tried many of their other flavours - there are so many to choose from. I love their packaging and the inclusion of all natural ingredients.

*Slow Ageing Essentials Facial Essence 
Next up for the skincare items is an award winning product. The facial essence contains a mix of active ingredients to add radiance to your complexion which I definitely need after the dull cold winter we've had in England!

*Murad Renewing Eye Cream
I like to think that I have a good skincare routine and thanks to my blog I'm able to try many wonderful beauty products but there's one aspect of my routine and collection that is lacking - eye creams. I'm always lazy when it comes to eye cream as I think my regular moisturiser does a great job on it's own but I am interested to try this eye cream to see if it makes a difference to puffiness or my rather horrendous dark circles.
*Living Proof Restore Mask Treatment 
There are two haircare items in the box (I would have loved to see more or a few more makeup items) and the first is from a brand I need to try more from, Living Proof. Living Proof products have received so many rave reviews and I cannot wait to try this mask as it sounds fantastic. It claims to repair dry and damaged hair whole also protecting it from future damage and strengthening the hair to become 20x more resistant to breakage - that sounds very impressive! If you have any product recommendation from Living Proof then I'd love to know in the comment below!
*Senspa Sleep Therapy Bath Soak 
The final few items are an eclectic mix of body care, baby friendly products, haircare, dental products and a pillow mist but the first is a heavenly scented bath soak from another brand I haven't heard of before. The bath soak contains lavender, bergamot, patchouli and geranium which sounds like the perfect fragrance to me! I can't wait for a pamper night so I can use this product along with the Kiehls and the Living Proof masks.

*Little Butterfly London Dewdrops At Dawn Body Lotion
The final body product is a slightly unusual one but also a product that is so beautifully packaged! The brand is aimed at those with very sensitive skin such as that of a newborn and individuals with eczema. It contains organic certified ingredients and is dermatologist-approved so it's a fantastic addition to the box for those with highly sensitive skin. I used to have eczema on my hands and I think this lotion would have been a fantastic hand lotion for my desk (thankfully I don't have eczema at all anymore)!
*Lebon Whitening Toothpaste 
When I first opened the box, one of the first products to catch my attention was this toothpaste which has to have the most luxurious packaging for a toothpaste ever! It contains a mix of mint, ylang ylang and yuzu which is another unusual aspect of this product but a flavour that I definitely prefer to traditionally mint flavoured toothpastes. I find that mint toothpastes can taste and feel very harsh on my sensitive teeth but thankfully that isn't as much of an issue with this one.

*Sport FX Blend and Go Sponge 
One of the products I've been using the most from the box is the Sport FX sponge which is what I've been using since I received the box to apply my base products. I have used so many makeup sponges but none with a shape like this - it is the best shape for apply and blending base products around the eyes and corner of the nose! I'll definitely be buying another when this one is worn out!
*Biovene Barcelona Shampoo Bar 
The penultimate product is a shampoo bar which is a great addition to the box as I am trying to be more eco-friendly and I think shampoo bars are an easy switch to reduce plastic. I have the 'citrus dream' bar but you could have received the 'pink heaven' option instead - the one I have smells amazing and so refreshing! I love the Lush shampoo bars I've tried so hopefully this one is just as good.

*Feather and Down Pillow Mist
Last but not least is one of my favourite pillow mists ever! I've been lucky enough to receive a couple of bottles of this mist over the years and it never fails to help me unwind and fall asleep. I love the scent as it is a very heady mix of relaxing florals including lavender which is one of my favourite scents ever! I cannot recommend this pillow mist enough!

Have you tried any of these products? Will you be buying the 2020 Beauty Resolutions box? 

*gifted

Honestly Good Smoothie Company

Monday, February 10, 2020
Today's post is a little late as I planned to publish it during Veganuary but I've been struggling with motivation so much recently; however I am excited about today's post as it's something I haven't tried before - smoothie deliveries! Since I purchased my Nutribullet about five years ago, I have been using it constantly and the first couple of years I used it mainly for making smoothies but I have fallen out of the habit. Thankfully The Honestly Good Smoothie Co have a great solution for those, like me, who struggle to think of interesting smoothie ingredient combinations or who prefer the convenience of frozen fruit and pre-prepared ingredients.

*Honestly Good Smoothie Co 
The Honestly Good Smoothie Company very kindly sent me a range of their smoothie selections to try out and I'm impressed! They have a range of box options to choose from all of which are 100% natural and organic. You can choose between the fruity box, veggie box, green box or the variety box, the latter would be great if you haven't tried many smoothies or if you want to sample their range. The delivery options vary from one week, fortnightly or monthly and you can choose the number of smoothies in the box, either five or ten. Additionally, you can choose the delivery day (delivery is free!).
All of the smoothie kits, as well as the glass and straw, came well packaged and protected within sustainable packaging. Their kits also only use seasonal ingredients making them better for the environment. The smoothies arrive frozen with dry ice (which is very fun to dissolve but be careful) and they are all pre-portioned which is ideal for someone like me as I do keep track of the protein, fat and calories I eat each day - it's always very handy to have something I can scan the barcode of instead of weighing each ingredient.

I love the packaging for all of the kits, especially as you can see all of the ingredients and I just love how convenient they are, particularly for a super healthy and quick lunch or breakfast. To use the kits, all you have to do is add them to a blender (I use my Nutribullet and I cannot recommend it enough for everything from soup and sauces to smoothies and dips) then add in the stated amount of liquid and blend. I have been using orange juice for the fruit smoothies and almond milk for the others which works well for me but you can experiment adding different juices and plant milks to your smoothies.
The first smoothie kit I tried was the 'Good Morning Sunshine' combination which contains banana, strawberries, oats, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds and almonds which is the closest combination to the smoothies I would make years ago. I love banana and strawberry smoothies and I liked the addition of the nuts and seeds, although it make the smoothie a little less smooth - it was still one of my favourites though!

My second favourite of the five I was sent has to be 'Cheer Me Up' which contains pineapple, apple, acai berry, cucumber, seeds, oats and dates as well as 'The Almond Tart One' which contains an unusual mix of pear, butternut squash, apple, avocado, prunes, almonds and cinnamon - it's surprisingly good. There are still two smoothies I have tried yet and those include: 'The Cacaonut One' (banana, sweet potato, courgette, blueberry, hazelnut, cacao nibs, pumpkin seeds and salt) and 'The Fitness Fuel One' (banana, apple, cannellini beans, dates, seeds, peanuts and tofu) which again is another very unusual combination. I'll be sure to update today's post when I've tried the last two.

Overall, from the packaging, unusual flavour combinations, convenience, organic ingredients and the option of a very nutritious breakfast or lunch, I cannot recommend The Honestly Good Smoothie Company enough. The kits are very convenient, handy for those who are always busy and ideal for quick and delicious smoothies within a couple of minutes.

Have you tried any of The Honestly Good Smoothie Company kits? 

*gifted

Valentines Day: Blossoming Gifts

Friday, February 07, 2020
Valentine's Day (or Galentine's day, if you prefer) is just around the corner! I've already published a few posts featuring Valentine's Day and Galentine's day gift ideas including special personalised gifts. Today's post is all about one of the most quintessential gifts for Valentine's Day, flowers. I personally love to receive flowers and not just because they are perfect photography props...

*Blossoming Gifts Valentine's Day Bouquet 
I was very kindly sent a beautiful bouquet from the lovely people over at Blossoming Gifts. I've been lucky enough to receive lots of lovely bouquets to review on my blog over the past few years but there's something extra special about receiving a simple bouquet of red roses - they have to be the symbol of Valentine's Day! They came well packaged and presented with no damage, thankfully.
Roses are such beautiful flowers and I think red roses are ideal for Valentine's or Galentine's Day! Even though red roses are my favourite kind of roses to buy and receive, there are so many other options to choose from too including a very unusual bouquet of black roses (£34.99 - sale), colourful rainbow roses (£34.99 - sale) and classic white roses (£29.99), among many others.

There are so many bouquets to choose from as well as the option to purchase a single red rose (£14.99 - sale) and even a 'forever' rose (£29.99) which is supposed to last for one year - I have tried forever roses before and I think they're amazing! All of the rose options would make ideal romantic Valentine's Day gifts this year.
If you're looking for a bouquet for Galentine's Day, then you'll be spoilt for choice on the Blossoming Gifts website as there are plenty to choose from. My favourites have to include the: letterbox champagne, sky and the scented lavender bouquets, the latter especially as we all know by now how much I adore lavender!

They also offer a range of gifts too that you can gift with a bouquet such as personalised gifts (including books, home decor and keepsakes), potted plants, gift sets and a selection of gorgeous hampers - they even have a vegan hamper! Check out their site for product information and offers.

Do you celebrate Valentine's or Galentine's Day? What do you think of this bouquet? 

*gifted