The Sam & Nic Edit: A Beauty Box You Need In Your Life

Hi, loves! Beauty boxes are one of my favourite things; they’re an opportunity to try various brands and products without committing to a full size product, they’re often very good value for money and you could find a new holy grail product! When I found out that Sam and Nic had launched their own beauty box with Estee Lauder I immediately ordered! Aside from the fact I love Sam and Nic, the box truly is such good value for money, and filled with so many brands/products I already know and love. There are NINE products in this box, which is crazy!

I have watched Sam and Nic on Youtube for so many years, and truly have admired them not just as incredible makeup artists but as entrepreneurs, mums, and quite literally, #girlbosses. They paved the way for so many content creators through the years, and were truly the first ‘beauty gurus’ I ever came across on YouTube. Having said that, you’d think I’d be a hell of a lot better at doing my own makeup from watching them… hah! I also wanted to note this box is cruelty free, which makes it even more of a winner and inclusive to everyone. I’m sharing a mini review and first impressions on each of the products in the box, spoiler alert… it’s amazing.

Clinique Take The Day Off Makeup Remover
An oldie but a goodie, I’m such a huge fan of Clinique’s Take The Day Off range. The cleansing balm is an OG favourite of mine (and many, many others) but this product is fantastic especially for removing eye makeup, even if I’ve gone a little heavy on that particular day. I love this for travelling as one swipe removes almost all of my eye makeup, and it doesn’t irritate my sensitive eyes at all. The packaging is very chic and cute, and it looks so pretty in your skincare bag or on your vanity table!

Estee Lauder Sumptuous Rebel Length and Lift Mascara
A new addition to Estee Lauder’s makeup range, I was so excited to see this included in the box. I love love love Estee Lauder mascaras, although I don’t buy them very often as let’s be real, drugstore mascaras are a fraction of the price and generally just as good. I’ve used this for a few days now and I really love how long it makes my lashes. I’ve not found it to be clumpy and it’s super black – one of my biggest pet hates is mascara that leaves your lashes with a grey tinge!

MAC Strobe Cream
This is a product I have used on and off since I first properly got into makeup and I really really love it. I received a sample last year during a time I did not have a full sized product in my collection, then I re-purchased when the sample ran out and have used it ever since. I like to use this on days I’m doing my makeup ‘properly’ as it adds a beautiful glow that doesn’t make my face look like a greaseball* and leaves my makeup looking fresh and glowy. Strobe cream is a makeup artist favourite and for good reason, it’s so versatile! Speaking of which… have you seen Sam doing her makeup in this video? The applications of strobe cream? That looks so easy and effortless? How the F does she do that? WOW.
*My skin has changed a lot in recent years and it’s nowhere near as oily as it used to be. Super oily skins might not love this all over the face!

Bobbi Brown Crushed Lip Colour in Ruby
I love love love Bobbi Brown’s crushed lip colours! I recently talked about Cali Rose which is my favourite shade; it’s just such a beautiful formula. One of my favourite things about these lipsticks is that they can be worn super sheer which looks effortless and more daytime appropriate, or you can apply to be super opaque. I have previously owned Ruby and I loved it then, but I never re-purchased for some reason. I wore this yesterday and I really liked how it looked on, and Matt also complimented me… I always know it’s a good product when my boyfriend notices!

Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder in Golden Light
On first look I thought this seemed a little too dark for my fair skin tone, but after using it a few times it’s not, and I love love love this bronzer! I’ve never tried a bronzing powder from Bobbi Brown before, and honestly I’ve been on the lookout for something new for a while. Benefit Hoola lost it’s appeal to me, I’m kinda bored of The Body Shop Honey Bronzer and as much as I love Physician’s Formula’s Butter Bronzer, I can’t bare the cheap childish packaging. This bronzer is also my perfect ‘all over the lid’ eyeshadow colour on days I don’t have much time, or it would be great as a blending shade for travel. It’s so rare for me to find a makeup product I love immediately (except for lipsticks/lip glosses) but holy smokes, this is incredible. I’m pretty sure I’ll be buying the full size!

Smashbox Cover Shot Eyeshadow Palette in Ablaze
Confession time: this baby was the product I was most excited for, and I’m happy to say it did not disappoint. I trust Sam and Nic’s opinion and judgement, and I knew if they were including this in their beauty box it was because it was a fantastic product, and it is! Warm, earthy eyeshadows speak to my soul and this is a palette that’s been on my radar for a while. I really like these tones because I have greenish blue eyes and they make my eyes pop! Every shade is usable and something I’d opt for on an everyday basis, whether I was heading to work, running errands or getting a little bit glam for date night. The pigmentation is amazing, there’s not a lot of fall out from the shadows at all and I really appreciate having larger sizes for the base/blending shades as those are the shades in a palette I always use up first. Bravo choice girls, bravo!

Real Techniques Rebel Edge Fine Brush
Okay, so setting aside my admiration for Sam and Nic for a second, I am a HUGE fan of Real Techniques brushes. I use several every day; they apply your makeup incredibly easily, they don’t hold too much product in the brush, they wash very well and I have had some for well over five years that are in immaculate condition. This brush makes what I do almost every day SO freaking easy – I was using a Zoeva 322 (which is technically for eyebrows) to run a darker eyeshadow along my lash line to create a faux eyeliner look, but it is a little fiddly. This brush literally does the work for me! I have hooded eyes and I’ve never been able to flick out eyeshadow or eyeliner and make it look even both sides, but with this I did it in seconds.

Bumble & Bumble Thickening Dryspun Texture Spray
A tried and tested favourite… I really like this texture spray. Bumble and Bumble products are so highly loved in the blogging world, and for very good reason. I have a full size of this product that I’m using right now so will be keeping this to one side for travelling. I use this every time I curl my hair, or when I’m going for a big messy bun as it adds so much texture but doesn’t leave residue or colour in my hair. Other texture sprays I’ve used leave a weird residue so I was super happy to find this didn’t on first application, and that’s what made me stick with it.

Glamglow Oxygenating Deep Cleanse Mask
I’m SO very excited to use this mask. Glamglow is a brand I used to use A LOT – literally every week when I had really bad skin I would use their Supermud Clearing Treatment which worked wonders for me – but it’s a brand in which I kinda stick to what I know. I’m less likely to pick up new products on a whim these days, so trying out this mask as part of the box is so good for me! I’ve seen all of the promo for this product since it was released and it looks so interesting. I can’t wait to stick it on and surprise Matt when he’s least expecting it, HA!

Disclaimer: I paid for this box with my own money and I’m so happy to see 10% of sales from every box purchased are being split between two charities; Look Good Feel Better and Breast Cancer Haven. This box would make a wonderful treat for yourself or any beauty loving lady in your life, I couldn’t recommend it enough! It would also be a great Christmas present, although I believe it’s only available for a limited time only so don’t be shy about purchasing if it’s something you want.

Thank you so much for reading! I’m so happy with the contents of this box and I’m really enjoying using the products I hadn’t tried before. My favourites are Smashbox eyeshadow palette in Ablaze, MAC’s strobe cream and I really love the Real Techniques brush! Will you be picking up this limited edition box? Or maybe you already have…? What’s your favourite product from the selection?

-G x

Best Of: The Body Shop

Happy Wednesday, loves! Today I’m sharing with you my best of the best, holy-grail status, creme-da-la-creme products from one of my favourite stores, The Body Shop. I’ve purchased from The Body Shop since I was around 12 years old and as I’ve got older, my love for the company has only grew stronger! They’re always doing so much good for the world and have brilliant ethics, that’s the kind of company I’ll always support. The Body Shop are of course a cruelty free brand, and they’re making huge waves in becoming more sustainable, and educating their customers too. They’ve been campaigning tirelessly for years, on incredibly important topics such as ending animal cruelty and animal testing, speaking out against domestic violence and partnering with Greenpeace to promote renewable energy.

I’ve tried so many products from The Body Shop over the years, and I’m forever impressed by the quality and the price point. The Spa Of The World collection is my personal favourite, and there are so many products from all different categories that I swear by. Prices range throughout their product ranges, and although I think they’re generally very fairly priced there are always amazing deals to take advantage of (£10 off a £30 spend and 3 for 2 are the offers I see most) so you can work a few treats easily into your budget. I’d recommend joining their rewards program – it’s called Love Your Body and I’m linking it here if you want to sign up – as I’m often emailed great discount codes, and they always work both in store and online! I really do love shopping in store though as the staff are always so friendly and knowledgeable, and you can feel a genuine love and excitement from them about the products they’re discussing.

All of the products featured in this post are perfect for a pamper evening, which is one of my very favourite things to do! (Especially when I can rope Matt in…) Also, I really really love the sheet masks from The Body Shop, but I used my last one prior to taking the photos for this post. #bloggingfail. Just know they’re incredible – they’re also biodegradable which is amazing! My favourites are the Vitamin E (Quench) and the Seaweed (Balance) options and I highly recommend picking those up next time you’re in store. So, this is your cue to head straight to the nearest store, and I’ve got your shopping list ready for you…

Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask
I absolutely adore this mask, it works so dang well with my skin. I’ve used this mask for over two years, and it’s one I always re-purchase, I literally couldn’t imagine not having this. Matt loves this mask too, he says it’s the most effective mask in terms of immediate results and it doesn’t cause spots like many charcoal masks, I definitely agree with him! This mask smells super fresh and is a little tingly on the skin, but the good kind that just makes it feel like it’s working. I have very sensitive skin but this doesn’t irritate it at all, my skin always looks fresh and glowy after application. It somehow draws out blackheads we didn’t even know were there, and it works wonders on large pores and those horrible under the skin spots that I seem to be prone to. I always apply my mask with this face mask brush, which may seem like an unnecessary purchase but I swear it makes your face mask experience so much better; no mess and a super quick application. I always make sure to take the mask off with their soft facial sponge to ensure I’m not dragging the product across my skin, and it means you don’t have to scrub your face at all. I’d recommend checking out this article if you’re not already sold, one of these masks is sold worldwide every fifteen seconds, that is just crazy!

Vitamin E Overnight Serum-in-Oil
I’ve praised this serum so many times on my blog, most recently here. I use the Vitamin E serum every night, and it makes my skin so glowy and fresh. The serum is a wonderfully light texture and sinks into the skin quickly, so never leaves me looking or feeling greasy, which I really love. I tend to leave this on for a few minutes before I apply my overnight moisturiser, and I love how it makes my skin feel. I know a lot of people with oily skin are scared to products like this due to it having ‘oil’ in the name, but I promise it won’t make you more oily! Oils are good for your skin, no matter what your skin type is. I used to suffer with random dry patches on my cheeks and since I began using this they’re seriously a thing of the past. I also love that this is a great product for every season – it nourishes my skin whether it’s sunny or snowing, and never feels too heavy.

Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter
If you wanted to introduce one new product into your skincare routine, this would be my number one recommendation! It’s my go-to cleanser; it leaves my skin clean, fresh and prepped for the rest of my skincare routine, and it feels very calming and spa like which is amazing. It’s one of those products I truly look forward to using at the end of a long day, and I never need to double cleanse, although sometimes I do like to. I massage the teeniest bit of this into my makeup with dry hands, then add a little water to break down the oil before removing with a muslin cloth. My friend Jess was looking for a new cleanser a few months ago and I told her she had to pick this up during our shopping trip, she also loves it and uses it every day! This cleanser even removes waterproof mascara, and it’s a great way to remove makeup without having to use cotton pads. I’m trying to do my bit to save the planet, guys! I talked recently about this cleanser in lots more detail in a post about my favourite picks, just trust me when I say you need it in your life!

Vitamin E Gel Moisture Cream
This moisturiser is formulated for combination/oily skin, and it’s quickly become one of my must-have products. I originally started using this last year, but I completely forgot I had it. When Matt and I went on a trip to Belfast I switched out my moisturisers (I do this a lot when we’re travelling somewhere) and I left it in the back of my skincare drawer. There was very little left in the pot (which was probably why I stopped using it) but I re-purchased again a few months ago and I’ve really been loving it. I’ve used this every day the past month or two and found it’s such a great base for my makeup. It doesn’t break me out, it helps control shine a little more than what I was previously using, and I love how cooling it is when I apply each morning.

Drops of Youth Bouncy Eye Mask
Regular readers will know this is my favourite ever eye cream, and one I’ve used religiously every evening for over a year. This eye cream is so cooling and nourishing when applied, and recently I’ve been massaging it in with my face roller each night instead of my fingers. It is the weirdest texture as it really does have some kind of ‘bounce’ to it, and a little goes a long way. I’m pretty sure each teeny tub lasts me around six to eight months, and I probably use too much. I never find it irritating around my sensitive eyes, and my dark circles are pretty much non-existent since I started using this. I can’t say much on how it works with fine lines yet as I’m 25 and thankfully don’t really have any, but I’m hoping this product will help any that do appear!

Banana Truly Nourishing Hair Mask
This is hands down my favourite hair mask, and a product I literally tell people ALL the time they need to buy, ha! It smells like banana pancakes in the tub, but the smell is a little fresher once applied on your hair, and it doesn’t linger once rinsed out. I’m onto my second or third tub since I first purchased, it’s truly incredible – my mum is always ‘borrowing’ it because she loves it too! I used to use this once or twice per week, but recently I’ve been using it instead of conditioner almost every night that I wash my hair. I switched it up a little because over the past few months I’ve been getting my hair lightened, and I now have brown/blonde balayage, which needs a lot of love and TLC to help my hair with the bleaching process. To use, I wash my hair as normal, then apply this mask from just below my roots through to the ends, and leave on whilst I enjoy my bath or shower. At least a few times per week I’ll clip my hair up and read my book for up to an hour in the bath, and my hair never feels gross or greasy when I leave it longer than the advised ten minutes!

Spa Of The World Hawaiian Kukui Cream
This moisturiser is the most indulgent, luxurious I’ve ever used and it’s worth every penny! As it’s from the Spa Of The World collection, it’s a little pricier than the other ranges, but hear me out. It’s worth it. Matt actually just bought this tub for me last month as part of my birthday present (he’s so dang sweet to me :)) and I’m so happy to have it back in my routine. I’ve already gone through a whole tub of this last year and I can’t quite explain how good it feels to apply, it’s nicer than any other moisturiser I’ve ever tried! It’s a very thick texture and thankfully a little goes a long way, which makes the price point a little easier, although it is important to remember the tub is huge at 350ml. The smell is second to none, it’s the most beautiful serene scent that I can’t describe and do it justice, so I really would recommend popping into the store and having a peek yourself! I have a mini tub that I always take on weekends away, and you can easily decant from the larger tub to the small one. I also highly recommend the Japanese Camelia Cream, it smells so beautiful and is a little lighter, yet still as luxurious. Their body butters from the regular range are just as incredible and at a slightly more affordable price point, I love their coconut scent the most and always take it on holiday to apply along with after sun!

Spa Of The World Tahitan Tiaré Bath & Shower Gel-in-Oil
This feels like the most luxurious shower gel, and I still can’t believe it’s only £7 for the 250ml size! It is a little more expensive than your bog standard shower gel (I was a Dove girl before I discovered it) but it’s so worth the extra few pounds. It feels like it could be a £30 shower gel, seriously! I really love that this shower gel lathers up so much, and the beautiful scent fills the bathroom. Every time I use this I feel like I’m on holiday (Matt and I will be in two and a half weeks!! We’re so excited!) because it smells so good, and it’s super moisturising. It’s like having a little mini pamper session even during the quickest of showers! Matt always says I smell so good when I step out of the shower, and this little gem is 100% why! It doesn’t leave an oily residue or film on the skin like some shower gels, but it is super moisturising. The shower can get a little slippy from the oily suds, so be extra careful if you pick this up, and make sure you rinse the bottom of your bath/shower after use! I also love the Adriatic Peony Bath & Shower Cream which I keep at Matt’s parents house, so I get to use beautiful shower gels each night no matter where we’re staying!

Spa Of The World Brazilian Cupuaçu Scrub-in-Oil
Matt also bought this for me for my birthday and I’m so happy to finally have it! I got a few samples from the store and I so badly wanted the full size, but I had just never got round to purchasing. (It kind of sucks but the Spa Of The World collection isn’t always included in the offers!) Real talk: this is like no other scrub I’ve tried; it’s effective without being harsh or coarse, and my skin has felt beyond soft after every use, it’s the perfect pre-shave scrub. The oil forms a layer on the top so you have to dig deep to grab the scrub, and I always try not to take too much oil when I apply it to my skin. I have dry legs that somehow seem to get worse in the Summer (usually dry skin is way worse in the Winter) and this product is going to be so amazing to use throughout the season, I’m so excited! Exfoliating your skin is also so good for your circulation, and as someone with bad circulation I need any excuse to do it more often! Again, this can be a little slippy in the tub or shower, so please be careful if you pick this up. Oh, and it smells delicious.

Thank you so much for reading! I hope you enjoyed seeing my favourite products from one of my favourite brands, and I (kinda) apologise in advance if you’re now ready to dash to your nearest store to pick up all of the things! You won’t regret it though, I promise! What are your must-haves from The Body Shop? Is there anything I need to try? Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m off for a pamper evening…

-G x