Lookfantastic Beauty Box Review – April 2018:
It’s hard to believe that I’ve received my 3rd Lookfantastic Beauty Box already! It seems like just a couple of weeks ago that I signed up! April’s box was a little later in arriving than it’s predecessors, but seeing as we began the month with Easter and the associated bank holidays, I’m willing to cut some slack. I was away when the box was delivered so it was a real treat to come home to and unwrap the goodies inside. I got to work, testing them all out straightaway so here is the lowdown on this month’s contents:
Pür Cosmetics – Fully Charged Magnetic Mascara (Sample)
This is the second Pür Cosmetics product which I’ve tried out – the first was the Illuminating Primer – an inclusion in last year’s M&S beauty calendar. While some of Pür’s other mascaras are Vegan, this one isn’t, however, it is cruelty-free.
On application, the product gave my lashes lift & separation while making them look thicker, helped by the pleasingly dark colour. Despite not being waterproof, I had no issues with flaking or ‘panda eyes’ even after hours of wear. Removing some mascaras can be a chore but this came off with a couple of swipes of Clarins Instant Eye Make-Up Remover.
The mascara contains pro-vitamin B5 & other ingredients to condition while wearing and prevent lash fall. I don’t think this is a big issue for me at present so I couldn’t say how successfully it’s working.
Emma Hardie – Moringa Cleansing Balm (Sample)
Speaking of the M&S beauty calendar, that had the same sample of Moringa Cleansing Balm as included here! However, it’s no disappointment to have extra of this lovely product – it’s a cult favourite with good reason. The balm is an effective cleanser without drying out the skin and is gentle enough for use in the eye area.
To use, I scoop out a small amount (it’s soft but solid at room temperature) and add some water to create an emulsion on the back of my hand, then massage it onto my face and neck. Removal is with a warm, moist cloth. All the grime and make-up of the day seems to melt away with gentle patting of the skin. The full-size version is packaged with a removal cloth but I’ve just been using a regular piece of muslin. My face feels smooth and hydrated immediately after use.
I haven’t tried this yet, but the balm can be left on overnight as a deep hydration mask. I might give it a go in the winter. For summer, a lengthy application might prove too much for my skin and I’d be concerned about pore clogging. The cleansing balm is oily in texture, unsurprising as it contains grape seed, sweet almond, orange, neroli & mandarin oils. These work on keeping the skin plump, soft and rejuvenated, while the moringa is for purifying. It does all make for a luxurious feeling during use.
The balm has a light floral fragrance, think a calming pre-sleep scent rather than an invigorating one for the morning. I personally find it pleasant.
I recently discovered that this product can be used topically to calm skin breakouts and as the occasional victim of hormonal chin eruptions, I’m testing that out. It hasn’t had magical results so far, but there has definitely been a reduction in redness and the area seems to be clearing up quicker than normal.
Nip + Fab – Glycolic Fix Daily Cleansing Pads (Sample – 10 x Pads)
I hadn’t tried anything by Nip + Fab previously, though some of you might remember that I received their colour corrector in my first Birchbox but was unable to use it because the shade sent was ‘terracotta’ and I’m very much not.
The sample included 10 pads thoroughly soaked in the glycolic acid (for resurfacing), hyaluronic acid (for moisturising) & blue daisy (to soothe) solution. While they can be used morning and evening, I chose to only use them in the AM immediately after cleansing. As each pad was so well saturated I was able to cover my face, neck and decolletage with ease.
Immediately after application, there was the lightest of tingling sensations but this soon dissipated and I found my skin feeling a little tighter and slightly ‘tacky’ to the touch – easily alleviated by moisturising.
My skin did seem a touch brighter after usage but it wasn’t a dramatic result. Nip + Fab offer a stronger version of this product – Glycolic Fix Extreme Night Pads with a higher acid content and as my skin isn’t over sensitive that could be a better choice.
Nuxe – Crème Fraiche De Beauté 48HR Moisturising Cream (Sample)
Nuxe products seem to be a beauty box staple & while I love their Huile Prodiguese, I’m yet to truly hit it off with any other skincare items. The 48HR Moisturising Cream is no exception. This product is designed for those with ‘normal’ skin – as it’s quite highly fragranced with an orange blossom scent, it probably isn’t a great choice for those prone to sensitivity. I found the fragrance cloying and cheap smelling. A combination of various nut milk and algae extract are amongst the active ingredients. The cream itself is rich in texture and I found that it took a couple of minutes to fully sink into my skin on application, but once absorbed I wasn’t left with any greasy residue.
While my face felt soft and hydrated for several hours after use, I didn’t notice any other benefits, no extra plumpness to the skin or radiance. If you’re looking for something purely to hydrate and have no other skin concerns then maybe this would be an ok option but for me, it offered nothing special.
Glamglow – Supermud Clearing Treatment (Sample)
This is an item that I’ve been hoping to try out for years, so I was thrilled when I opened up the box to find a sample! I was less thrilled to discover that unfortunately, Glamglow isn’t a cruelty-free brand as they sell their products in China.
The mask is designed to give the pores a good clean out and you can pop it on individual zits as a topical treatment if you don’t have time for, or need a full application. I don’t think my pores are horrifying but there is room for improvement.
The Supermud Clearing Treatment is a kaolin clay-based mask, it spreads smoothly over the skin on application and has a cooling sensation. I focused on my t-zone and aforementioned chin outbreak when applying. While the product comes out of the tube a dark grey colour, as it dries, the shade swiftly transforms into a silvery grey and small black dots appear – those are the gunked up pores. It’s vile yet strangely compelling to see them standing out against the light colour of the treatment.
As with most clay-based masks, the skin starts feeling tight as the product dries. You can leave it on for up to 20 minutes but I’ve chosen to wash it off at around the 10-minute mark with warm water. Pore size seems reduced immediately after removal and my skin felt super smooth & incredibly clean if a touch dehydrated. The results really shine when applying serums & moisturisers afterwards, they sink in instantly and the pores are further diffused.
The Supermud Clearing Treatment is pricey but I’d love to have a full size to use a couple of times a week to keep the pores under control if it were not for the animal testing issue.
One thing to consider is that the mask has a strong liquorice scent, not a problem for me as I’m used to eating Finnish salmiakki but I could see that others might find it off-putting.
Dr Botanicals – Bergamot & Poppy Seed Smoothing Body Exfoliating Bar (Full Size)
Dr Botanicals is a London based skincare brand specialising in products which are all cruelty-free and vegan. I’d passed by their stand in Westfield Shepherd’s Bush several times recently without stopping – not because I wasn’t intrigued but because I had the suspicion that I’d end up spending far too much money there!
I’m sure I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, exfoliating is my favourite part of my beauty routine both for face and body and I love finding new products to scrub with.
First off the Exfoliating Bar smells delicious, it’s pungent without being synthetic. The scent was seeping through the box before I even got it open. I liked the minimalist cardboard packaging and was glad to see the brand following through with their natural ethos by not using any plastic wrap.
I used the bar in the bath and it produces a lovely creamy lather while the exposed poppy seeds gently scrub. This isn’t abrasive at all so would be suitable for sensitive skin. I found the lather itself perfect for shaving my legs and because of the exfoliation, I haven’t been plagued by any ingrown hairs or bumpiness that you can find post razor use. This is going to be my saviour this summer, I only wish that they did a travel size!
Post use, I found my skin better hydrated than usual after a bath, my legs felt soft and smooth to the point where I could have gotten away without using any other lotion over the top. I will be repurchasing!
Overall a decent selection this month with the Bergamot & Poppy Seed Exfoliating Bar being my star product. I’d been thinking of picking up some Nip+Fab Glycolic Pads, so testing them was helpful as I’ve been able to rule them out and look for another product instead. One of the joys of beauty boxes is not just finding great new items but also discovering which ones are duds and not worth the money.
Also, this was the first time that I’ve reviewed just one box on its own for the blog! I finally caught up!
That said, I do have a second beauty box this month, from Latest in Beauty – their collab with the Sunday Times Style Beauty Awards 2018. With this one, I got to pick what I wanted from a selection so look out for a review coming soon!