12 Sept 2013

BBBBB: British Beauty Blogger Beauty Box - review (part I)

BBB Beauty Box Contents
Image Courtesy of BBB site

This review was kindly provided by MontyC, who has guest posted a number of times in the past.  Thanks MontyC!  It's quite a long review and this is the first part of two...

MontyC:  I've never bought a beauty box before.  Never wanted to.  To me, they were inventions that would only serve to fill an already full bathroom cabinet/heaving makeup collection.  So I gave them a wide berth.  However, this all changed when the legend that is British Beauty Blogger (Jane Cunningham) announced that she had put a beauty box together and that it was ready to buy.  It took me all of half a second to decide that I had to have one (there were only 500 boxes on sale).  Why?  Because BBB is one of the best beauty bloggers out there.  She's been in the beauty/blogging industry for years.  Want to know the low-down on what's coming up in the next while?  Then get to know her blog.

So now that my colours have been firmly nailed to her mast, let's turn our attention to the box itself.

(Editor's note: I have used a few of these products, and I've added my comment to the ones I've used myself in the past underneath MontyC's reviews below).

What do you see when you open it

Lots.  There were thirteen products in the box, all very carefully chosen.  The reason I bought this box at all is because every single product in it is one I genuinely wanted to get my hands on and try for myself.  You also get a booklet detailing each product and discount codes in case you want to buy anything you've tried from the box. 

So on to the individual product reviews...

Neom Organics Hand Cream

FIRST IMPRESSIONS This is nice!  And so is the smell.
AFTER A FEW USES This was one of the first products I used from the box and it was love at first sight.  And smell.  This stuff smells divine.  More importantly, it's a bloody good hand cream too.  When you rub it in, it sinks in really quickly so no fear of greasy hands with this one.  I already know I'm going to buy this myself.
UPDATE Love.  Love.  Love.
EDITOR'S COMMENTS Totally agree with MontyC.  I love Neom's candles and the handcream is gorgeous.  I have only a sample size of it but would consider purchase (if I didn't have about a dozen other hand creams to get through first that is).

Lanolips Lip Balm

AFTER A FEW USESBBB swears by this lip balm.  It's gorgeous and the colour of the one in the box is beautiful, but I really don't like the fact that it doesn't have an applicator at the end of the tube.  You either apply with your finger or straight from the tube.  Not exactly the end of the world and I appreciate this is a very small gripe but if it had an applicator (similar to the one on the Clarins Lip Perfectors), then it would be a keeper for me.
UPDATEreally don't like the taste of this stuff.  I thought I'd get used to it but I can't.  It's awful (well to me anyway).  Sorry Jane, I know you love it but this is definitely not for me.
EDITOR'S COMMENTSIt's good, it's not CDLM good, and I also don't like the smell - or taste, I guess, as it's on your lips, up your nose, in your mouth; it's just too cloying for my personal liking.  It's a great value lip balm, I think it's only around the €7-8 mark, but I am not too bothered with it.

Melvita Body Balm

FIRST IMPRESSIONSThis is nice, as is the smell.
AFTER A FEW USESLike the Neom hand cream, this was love at first use.  This stuff is amazing.  As the name suggests, it's a really thick body cream (body butter would be another good description).  My skin could give the Sahara desert a good run for its money in the dry stakes, so rich thick creams are always on my radar.  It has a gorgeous smell (yep, how something smells is really important to me) and applies really easily and dries quickly.  My skin has happily lapped this up.  I'm going to buy this in the biggest size they sell.
UPDATEHmmmm... sometimes when I rub it in, it can come off again in my hands in little balls.  I'd like to buy more of it as it is a fantastic body cream and deserves long term use, however, if it keeps doing this little balling-up trick, then it's going to another home or to the bin.  I'll keep trying it until it's used up...
EDITOR'S COMMENTSI haven't used this

Melvita Face Spray

FIRST IMPRESSIONSI like the size of this - it'll fit nicely in my handbag.
AFTER A FEW USESFace sprays are a mixed bag - some would say they're a gimmick, others swear by them and how refreshing they are.  It really does depend on which side of that fence you're on.  Personally, I like them, so I looked forward to trying this one out.  I can't decide whether I like it or not; it's got a fragrance that I like when I spray it first, but don't like when it settles.  It's most definitely a spray and not a mist, so I ended up soaking myself the first time I used it.  But once I started to dry it, it was nice.  This jury is still out on this one.
UPDATEI gave to a very good friend of mine and she loves it.
EDITOR'S COMMENTSI haven't used this, but I love MAC Fix+ and am unlikely to bother changing from it :-)

Benefit PoreFessional

FIRST IMPRESSIONSOoookay... let's be open minded here...
AFTER A FEW USESBefore I go any further, I've got a confession to make:  I'm not that interested in Benefit Cosmetics.  I own one product from them and even that I don't use much.  I don't hate their products or anything like that, I'm just not interested in them - they seem to me (rightly or wrongly) very gimmicky.  But I know they have a very loyal fan base so they must be doing something right!  So this supposedly cult product was completely unknown to me.  Fast-forward to me using it: for starters, lets talk about the colour of the product itself.  It's horrible.  I can't be the only person who thinks that Benefit could've come up with more appealing colour.  But I kept using it in the hopes that the quality of the product would compensate for its rubbish colour.  It didn't.  I know what it's supposed to do, but it doesn't want to do it for me.  In fact, it doesn't do anything at all for me.
UPDATEHave passed it on to my sister to see if she likes it - she was thrilled to get it.  I'm beginning to think it's just me.
EDITOR'S COMMENTSA little of this goes a very long way.  I also don't like it.  Not much more to say.  I've tried using it a few times, and like MontyC, gave it away!

B Mascara

FIRST IMPRESSIONSI like the look of that wand.
AFTER A FEW USESAs a life-long glasses wearer, I know the right mascara can make a huge difference.  I love mascara and I don't care what brand it is as long as it gives me what I want.  One of my all time favourites has been Rimmel's Sexy Curves mascara, but it's getting harder to find in stores, so I've been on the hunt for a replacement, and with this mascara I've found a serious contender.  It is absolutely gorgeous.  For daytime, I want my mascara to give my lashes enough ooomph so they can be seen and also to look defined and this delivers.  This won't give you laa-shiz baby like Dior Iconic Curl or YSL Faux Cils (two of my favourites) will but then that's not what this mascara is all about.  This is the mascara you wear and everyday and that's exactly what I've been doing since it arrived.  For me, this is a no-brainer repurchase the next time I'm in London.
UPDATEStill love it.
EDITOR'S COMMENTSI haven't used this.

As this is quite a long post, I've broken it up into two parts.  The second part of the review follows tomorrow... look here.

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