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Weekly Book Round Up #56 and a Blogging Hiatus...

05 September 2014

After really enjoying Eleanor and Park, I couldn't resist downloading another Rainbow Rowell book for my Kindle! Fangirl is the story of Cath, a girl who has recently left home to go to college with her twin sister. Cath is incredibly shy and writes fan fiction, while her sister is outgoing and sociable. This book is very much a coming of age story, with Cath realising that real life can be just as good as her fictional worlds. Rainbow Rowell's novels have a very distinct writing style which I absolutely love, I just wish her endings were a bit more rounded. I was quite surprised that this ended where it did, but it did tie in nicely with what Cath says about fan fiction, the ending is up to the reader!

Nicola's rating: 4/5

Also, you read correctly, I am taking a blogging hiatus! Next week Luke and I are off to Norfolk and the week after I will be starting my degree with the Open University, so now seems like as good a time as any to make my announcement. I will be sporadically posting in the week before I start studying, but after that there probably won't be any new content for a while. I'm really sad to be leaving my blog, I started it up not really knowing what I was doing and I feel like I've learned a lot! 

See you around, internets!

Memebox Superbox #43 2014 F/W Colors

03 September 2014

I spent pretty much all of last week desperately waiting for my latest Memebox to arrive, and when it did finally get here I was super excited! This is the first make up based box that I have ordered from Memebox, all the others have been skincare.

The theme of this box is 2014 fall/winter colours, and the box contains a mix of gorgeous berry shades and shimmery greens. Not the easiest colours to wear, but I'll definitely be experimenting!

One of the first items I picked out was this gorgeous blush ($14) from Witch's Pouch. This blush was listed on the website as a spoiler, but I was still pretty excited to try it out. I love a good blush, and this shade (which is called Sexy Swan by the way...) is great for my skintone. The blush pan lifts up to reveal a cute brush underneath as well which I always appreciate.

 Below I've swatched it twice, to show you what the colour looks like when it's been built up. It's a lovely shimmery coral pink.

We also received a second Witch's Pouch product in the form of a super creamy lipstick ($12). I can't remember the name of the shade I received, but it's a very deep burgundy colour. I'm not entirely sure that it suits me, but It's definitely a gorgeous colour for winter.

Also, how cute is the packaging? It's so Tim Burton, I love it!

Everyone knows I'm a sucker for a shimmery eye, but green isn't the easiest colour to wear! Having swatched this though, I am definitely going to have to find a way to wear this gorgeous colour. This is the first of three items from DD'ell in this box and is worth $11.

Below, we have a lighter swatch on the bottom, and the top swatch is more built up. As you can see, even the lighter swatch is super pigmented!

We also received two of the Stay Forever Gel Eye Pencils (£14 each) from DD'ell. Initially, I was super impressed with these. They apply incredibly easily and softly, and have a gorgeous shimmer to them. They also really do last forever. The only way I could remove the swatches from my hand was by scrubbing at them in the shower. All very impressive. However, I had thought that these would twist up at the ends to reveal more product but they don't. Either my eye liners are broken, or these are a total rip off!

Beautiful colours though, I'm sure you'll agree!

This cute Angel Liptint ($8) is such a perfect addition to the box. Nothing says autumn like a berry red lip but I do tend to find tints very drying. This one is also quite difficult to work with. You end up with a lot of product on the wand so I had to try and blot a lot of the excess away. It also tastes terrible! The remaining colour is really nice though, it's just whether you're prepared to go through the faff of applying it in the first place!

I am absolutely in love with this ridiculous nail polish! I've never seen a polish with a lid like this before, but I actually found that it made the application much easier. The colour is a sort of muted glittery purple, it's lovely! At $4, it's not the most expensive item in the box but I still think it's great.

Overall, the value of this box is $77. I paid $29.99 for it (including postage) so it's another fantastic value for money box from Memebox. I'm definitely going to be keeping my eye out for more make up based boxes in the future, even though some of products in this box weren't for me.

Have you tried Memebox yet?

August Empties

01 September 2014

Once again, I can't believe that another month has flown by! August has been a busy one for me, and as a result I haven't managed to get through as many products as I would normally, but there's still some lovely things to talk about!

This Vineyard peach shower gel has been so lovely to use! It's such a gorgeous summery scent and my skin has loved using it. Body Shop shower gels are a bit of a treat for me, I don't tend to buy them very often but I've loved this one so much I can easily see myself buying it again!

Urban Veda are one of my favourite skincare brands, and I loved using this exfoliating face wash. It has tiny exfoliating particles in it that gently buffed my skin so that it was silky smooth. I can definitely see myself purchasing a full size tube of this at some point.

I also finished up this tube of Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre. This was such a fantastic moisturiser to use. It felt really light on my skin and was a dream to apply make up over. I have a lot of moisturisers to use up at the moment but I will definitely consider repurchasing this when I eventually get through them all!

This sample of the Vasanti exfoliating cleanser came with this month's Birchbox, and I was really excited to try it out. I did find that this was a bit rougher on my skin than the Urban Veda face wash, and much thicker too. I also didn't find that it was fantastic at removing my make up so it's unlikely that I'll be buying this in the near future!

Have you tried any of my August empties before? What did you think to them?

Weekly Book Round Up #55

29 August 2014

Kelley Armstrong is one of my favourite supernatural authors. Her young adult stuff can be a bit hit and miss but I always love her adult novels. This is the second book in her new Cainsville series, and if you were left with lots of questions after the first book (Omens), then Visions goes someway to explaining all of the strange goings on in Cainsville. Olivia and Gabriel are back, and when the dead body of a girl who looks very similar to Olivia is left in her car, it can only be a threat. Meanwhile, Olivia has issues in her personal life to deal with, following the reappearance of her ex-fiance, James. I was hooked from start to finish by this book, I'm really hoping that this series isn't just going to be a trilogy!

Nicola's rating: 5/5

Clinique Chubby Stick in Roomiest Rose

26 August 2014

I've recently been introduced to Cohorted which is website that encourages 'social shopping'. Every week they introduce four new cohorts for high end products, and the more people buy them, the cheaper they get! The other week I was having a little browse when I noticed that they still had a cohort open for a Clinique Chubby Stick. I've been lusting after these for ages but hadn't been able to justify buying one for myself, so I decided to go for it!

The shade is Roomiest Rose, and it's a gorgeous dark pink that really suits my pale skin tone! There is a slight shimmer to it, but nothing too overbearing. It's incredibly easy to apply and wear. It feels very comfortable on my lips, but I have to say, I didn't find it to be intensely moisturising. If you suffer from overly dry lips like I do, it might be best to wear a decent lip balm underneath.

I had heard that these have a bit of a mint flavour to them but I couldn't detect it. Nor was there any of that tingling sensation you sometimes get with these lip crayons. I'm definitely looking at expanding my collection of these now, hopefully Cohorted will have some new colours up in the coming weeks!

Have you tried any of the Clinique Chubby Sticks? 

Which colour is your favourite?

Weekly Book Round Up #54

22 August 2014

I don't know what I was expecting from this book, but it certainly surprised me. Having absolutely loved The Shining Girls, which was at once terrifying and insanely compelling, I knew I was going to have to read Lauren Beukes's new novel. Based in Detroit, the story begins with Gabi investigating a serial killer who leaves behind disturbing half-animal, half-human corpses, while her daughter has launched her own vigilante project of hunting down paedophiles. I didn't find this book as scary or compelling as The Shining Girls, but I still really enjoyed it. The ending was really not what I was expecting, mixing in an almost supernatural element to what I had thought was a standard crime/thriller. 

Nicola's rating: 4/5

Birchbox - August 2014

20 August 2014

Another month, another Birchbox and this month the theme is Away We Go! Having already been on my holiday this year, I'm a bit jealous of everyone else that's jetting off!

We've got a really good selection of products in this month's box, with lots of holiday sized samples to take away with you. I like that my box came with samples for hair, beauty and skincare, but some of them will definitely be more useful than others!

The first product I wasn't too pleased to see in my box was this leave-in conditioning spray from Number 4. I don't tend to use this sort of thing as my hair can get very greasy, so I shall be looking to rehome this with someone who actually uses hair products!

I've already tried this treatment oil from Nude. I decided to use it as an overnight treatment but it didn't sink into my skin at all and left it feeling really greasy. I won't be using this again!

One of the better products from this box is this exfoliating cleanser from Vasanti. I've already tried this and I love it. It's not a rough exfoliator at all, it has very small exfoliating particles in it that gently buff your skin to leave it shiny and resfreshed.

Sadly, this is another product that I will be looking to rehome! While I'd have loved to try this CC cream, the shade 'light to medium' is too dark for my skin tone. I wonder how many people can actually use samples like this. I'm sure there are lots of people out there who subscribe to Birchbox that are either too pale for it or their skin tone is too dark for it.

I also received the Chella Ivory Lace Highlighter. I've unfortunately yet to get the hang of highlighting, but I've already managed to swap this with someone for one of the Wild About Beauty eyeshadows so at least it's going to someone who will use it!

This month, the lifestyle extra was the first chapter of a book by Tasmina Perry. I think that this is a really good idea, lots of people read on their holidays and I'd definitely like to see more books in the Birchbox shop!

This month's box was a bit hit and miss for me. Not many of the products are ones that I'll actually use, but I'm hoping to do some swapping to get the ones I do want! Hopefully the September box will see Birchbox back on form again.

What did you think to this month's Birchbox?

You Beauty Discovery Box - August 2014

18 August 2014

Another month, another You Beauty Discovery box! I was pretty excited to see the options for this month's box and it didn't disappoint!

The box came jam-packed with goodies, there were lots of extra little samples this month as well as the items I picked out from the shortlist.

The first item I picked was this cute little lipbalm from Rose and Co. I love anything with a cherry scent so I knew I would want this in my box! The balm itself doesn't have an overpoweringly cherry scent, it's more a hint than anything else. There isn't a lot of colour to the balm either.

I also picked out this Louise Galvin Sacred Locks Masque. I had a go with this yesterday and even though I didn't leave it in for the full 10 minutes they recommend, it has made my hair so shiny and soft! This is definitely going to become a weekly treat for my hair!

We also received two Jimmy Choo perfume samples, one for her and one for him. I didn't like either of them so they went straight in the bin unfortunately.

I tried out this Face D 3-Luronics serum this morning and it's probably the weirdest thing I've ever put on my face! It sinks in ever so quickly, you hardly have to rub it in at all, but it leaves a sort of rubbery layer on your skin. I found that it was quite difficult to layer my make up over as well. Not so keen on this really!

We also received a four-sided nail file. I don't tend to file my nails at all so this might be the incentive I need to start taking better care of them!

Another great value box for the £6.95 a month price tag! I can't wait to see what's on next month's shortlist.

Do you subscribe to You Beauty Discovery? What did you pick from this month's choices?