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September Degustabox, monthly food box
September Degustabox, monthly food box

Here I am with another Degustabox review! It really feels like these monthly boxes come around so fast! I’m really enjoying these boxes, I love receiving the package at work and seeing what exciting goodies I get each month. I love trying out all the new stuff even if my cupboards are now overflowing with food! So onto this month’s box and I wasn’t disappointed, in fact I feel like I really got a lot for my money this month. I definitely will use each item I received – perhaps not straight away- and there isn’t anything in there that I don’t think I’ll like, in fact I use the word delicious quite a lot…

Burts Lentil Waves
I’m really excited to try these, in fact I’m going to be popping these in my lunchbox for work hence why I’ve not tried them yet. I received three flavours – Lightly Salted, Thai Sweet Chilli and Sour Cream and Chive which are all really traditional crisp flavours. They’re only 99 calories a packet and free from MSG, hydrogenated fat, artificial flavourings and colourings. I’m really excited to try these as I’m not a big fan of lentils so I’m hoping this new way of eating them might just appeal to me.

Jordan’s Simply Granola
I’ve not had chance to try this yet as I’ve just made a bumper box of my own granola and want to use that up first but I’m really pleased with this addition in my box. I love Jordan’s cereal in general, I think their Strawberry Country Crisp has to be one of my all time favourite cereals – behind Clusters, Clusters will always be my favourite- so I reckon these are going to be good. The only drawback to the Simply Granola, like Clusters and Strawberry Country Crisp is it contains quite a lot of sugar, which I do avoid in cereals (I usually eat plain Shredded Wheat, plain Weetabix or Porridge and sweeten with either almond milk or blueberries- think what you will!) so this might have to be a treat rather than a regular addition to my shopping basket.

Pick Up! Biscuit Bars
Having almost devoured the packet of the milk chocolate ones and half a packet of the black n white ones I can safely say these are delicious. Seriously they should be called pick me up because they definitely pick you up. They’re so tasty and although I was a bit wary about how they would taste -especially the black ‘n’ white ones which I thought would be quite chalky and dry like Oreo’s or cheap Bourbon biscuits- I can safely say they aren’t! the biscuits are really tasty and not dry at all and the chocolate is good quality. These are really really nice biscuits and I definitely will be picking these up again as they’re not too expensive either at £1.69 a pack.

Crabbie’s Alcoholic Fruits – Raspberry and Rhubarb
I received the Raspberry and Rhubarb one which although I wasn’t disappointed with, I would have preferred the Cherry one. Nonetheless this one is very tasty and you can’t really taste the rhubarb I don’t think, but the raspberry comes through really strongly. It’s not very alcoholic either, I think this would be a really nice drink for the summer or one to try if you’re into your fruity ciders like Kopparberg et al. I think I might try the Black Cherry one but as I’m more of a vodka and soda kinda gal I don’t know whether I’ll really be repurchasing. Also at £5.99 a pop for a couple of bottles they’re not really one for if you’re a student looking for a good time if you get me?

Little Miracles Lemongrass Tea
I know Degustabox have sent a lot of healthy organic drinks in the last few boxes but I personally really enjoy receiving them. I’ve not tried this one out yet I’m hoping it’ll be as good as the green tea one which is lovely. This one contains orange juice, ginger, ginseng, lemongrass tea and agave so I think it’ll be punchier than the Green Tea one.

Little Miracles Green Tea
I’ve had a sneaky few swigs of this already and it’s really delicious. It contains Green Tea, ginseng, acai, pomegranate and agave so it’s definitely one of those super anti-oxidant drinks and really worth a go if you like those sorts of things. They’re currently £1 at Asda so I definitely think I might pick up the others in the range to give those a try as well.

Carnation Cook with it!
I was really intrigued with this item, as I obviously knew Carnation did condensed milk and the caramel as well which I’ve used before but a cook in cream type thing is quite different. I tend to shy away from creamy sauces for weight related reasons but having had a look online it’s kind of like a lighter version of cream (something I never use, apart from if I’m making pie or eating it, you get my drift) so I’m open to the idea of it. Also Carnation give you a load of recipe ideas you can use it in so I might have to pop this in my next macaroni cheese, fish pie or carbonara. Also the other really good thing is it’s UHT so it can sit in the cupboard for a while and I don’t have to worry about it going funny. This really isn’t an item I’d normally pick up so I’m quite interested to try it out.

Elizabeth Shaw Mint Thins
I love Elizabeth Shaw products, they always remind me of Christmas and my dad always gets the Mint Crisps which I definitely eat more than my fair share of. These mint thins are delicious, really minty and moreish with crunchy sprinkles on top and I think I might have to convince my dad to get some of these this Christmas.

Righteous Salad Dressings
I hate salad! There I said it, I really don’t like it I find it boring and I don’t know how people can eat it. Saying that salad’s with a dressing I do like (mainly because the dressing gives them some flavour!) I’ve received three tubs of salad dressings this month – Raspberry and Sweet Basil, Lemon and Mustard Seed and English Blue Cheese and Cider. I have to say the one I’m looking forward to the most is the English Blue Cheese- I do love a bit of blue cheese! I’m also quite looking forward to trying the Raspberry and Sweet Basil, I think it sounds quite gourmet and posh! The only drawback I can see to these is they’ve not come in very suitable tubs. I can see though that the full size comes in a proper bottle so I’ll let them off!
They’ve no preservatives or artificial ingredients, gluten free*, vegan* so if you’re really conscious about those things these are probably ones to pick up. They’re a bit more expensive than your bog standard Tesco Vinaigrette but if you are feeling a bit flushed then these will be a great addition to your salad. This is the one I’d say I’m unlikely to buy because it’s not an item I buy often and the price is a bit steep. Saying that if I decide I really like one of them I may pick some up.

*only applies to some of the dressings

I’ve had some really great items this month, everything I’ve received I’ve never heard of before or in the case of Carnation and Elizabeth Shaw something I never knew they made so wouldn’t have thought to pick them up on a weekly shop. It’s been a really great box this month and I’m so glad I carried on subscribing. I can’t wait for next month and I really hope the quality doesn’t decline as the months go on a la Glossybox. I’d definitely say subscribe if you’re a bit of a foodie and like trying new things!

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Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation
Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation
Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation swatch
Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation on face

Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation – £34

Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation has been on my wishlist for a very long time. I’ve seen rave reviews and been desperate to purchase it but at £34 it’s a little on the expensive side. With an impending wedding (not mine!) and a little extra in my paypacket I finally decided to take the plunge. I went to get colour matched and the MUA recommended soft ivory, which I agreed with.

It comes in a squeezy plastic bottle which is really handy for when you’re getting the last dregs out and it advises you to shake it well before each use, which -believe me- you shouldn’t ignore as I found out to my cost!

The foundation itself is quite thick, but -despite that- is very soft, light and easily blendable, a bit like double cream. The benefit of it being so thick as well is that it’s extremely pigmented and you only need the tiniest amount to cover your whole face (which does make you feel a little less guilty for spending so much). It’s a medium coverage foundation but it’s buildable so you can add more to areas that need extra coverage without looking cakey which I really love as I always need more coverage around my jaw and chin.

What I do like, probably most about the Laura Mercier Silk Creme though is the finish. It’s such a luminous natural finish that isn’t too matte and isn’t too dewy. It gives such a wonderful finish that you don’t need powder and you just look radiant. I usually do add a little bit of powder in though as my skin likes to make it’s own dewiness.

Another good thing (or perhaps bad, depends on how you look at it) is that it doesn’t contain SPF so it’s a good choice for nights out when you don’t want flashback, but if you’re wearing this during the day you’re going to need an SPF underneath.

One thing I have noticed with the Silk Creme Foundation is it’s interaction with different primers. It doesn’t sit well at all with a water based primer. I found with my Bobbi Brown CC cream underneath it just slid right off, so it’s definitely best to use this with a silicone primer. One of my best rediscovered favourites to pair with it is Benefit’s The Porefessional.

The biggest complaint I have with this foundation is the colour range. I was matched to Soft Ivory but I feel that it’s just a little on the pale side. All my concealers are way too dark with this foundation and as it does such a great job of generally evening out and covering up the red tones in my skin, ironically, I feel I’m left looking a little pale and in need of some bronzer to warm my complexion. What’s more is that going up a shade to cream ivory or rose ivory are too dark or too yellow toned for my skin.

It’s definitely up there but I have to say I don’t reach for it as much as my other foundations, purely because of the shade issue. If Laura Mercier came out with a shade between soft ivory and cream ivory then it would be perfection. I like everything else about the foundation apart from the colour. The finish is amazing, it’s so pigmented (much more than some of my others) so it really does tackle blemishes and redness with ease and you only need a tiny amount. That being said I’ll probably be reaching for it more come winter and it’s nothing a little bronzer can’t fix. It’s definitely one to try out!

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autumn winter 2014 fashion
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

We are officially into September, summer is practically over, shops are displaying new stock and I’m starting to think about new items of clothing to keep me warm this upcoming season.
There’s lots of new trends for Autumn/Winter and some of them are already being reflected on the high street, so I’ve picked a few on trend pieces and a few staples to get you through.

1. New Look Cape
The Blanket cape style cardigans are going to be hot this A/W season. I quite like the length of this one as longer styles can drown me with being so small but this looks just right. Also it’ll be great to wrap up in once the nights start getting cooler and you’re huddled around a bonfire sipping hot chocolate and watching the fireworks- bliss!

2. Topshop Rose Texture Midi Skirt
I love midi skirts I think they look so chic. Also with this bright floral one it’ll definitely be on trend this Autumn/Winter. I have to be quite careful with midi pieces as because I’m so petite, often midi skirts end up being much much longer so if you’re looking for a midi skirt and you’re not blessed with enviously long legs it’s worth checking out the petite section.

3. Topshop Leigh Jeans
I said a few months back that I wasn’t a jeans person, until I fell in love with the Tile Print Leigh jeans from Topshop. Now that the days are getting cooler, I’ll be wanting to cover my legs up more and I think these will look cute with some winter boots.

4. Topshop Lace Collar Top
I love lace tops so this one was right up my street, it’s really girly but it’s also quite different as it’s grey, which is right on trend for this season.

5. Miss Selfridge Leather Jacket
A leather jacket is one I’m particularly interested in as I need a replacement for my current one. This one looks so comfy and will definitely add some toughness so would be great with a girly outfit.

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Lush Blackberry Bath Bomb
Lush Blackberry Bath Bomb

Lush Blackberry Bath Bomb

Lush Blackberry Bath Bomb – £2.95

It’s been a while since I bought a new bath bomb from Lush but while I was in for some more of their tea tree water I decided to pick up the Lush Blackberry bath bomb.

I’m not sure what drew me to the Blackberry bath bomb- perhaps it’s colour- seeing as purple is my favourite. It smells heavenly, containing bergamot and frankincense which is used in aromatherapy for anxiety and depression. I didn’t pick the bath bomb up knowing this but it’s definitely a useful nugget of information for when I’m choosing my next bath bomb.

As far as Lush’s bath bombs go, it’s probably one of the more ‘boring’ ones. It fizzes on contact with the water and makes it a beautiful violet colour which slowly fades. You also do get a little surprise once it has all dissolved.

Like a lot of Lush’s bath bomb the oils it contains leave your skin silky soft afterwards and I have to say I did feel quite chilled after my bath although I don’t know if I can attribute it to the essential oils or just having a warm bath in general. Nonetheless I did very much enjoy this bath bomb and I’ll be picking it up again as it is one of the slightly cheaper bath bombs that they offer. Bonus!

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Rimmel Kate Moss 107 Lipstick
Rimmel Kate Moss 107 Lipstick
Rimmel Kate Moss 107 Lipstick swatch
Rimmel Kate Moss 107 Lipstick

Kate Moss Matte Lipstick in 107 – £5.49

Lots of people have been raving about this drugstore lipstick but I’ve never got around to posting my two cents worth despite me owning this for nearly two years now. It’s always one I crack out during the Autumn months as it’s a gorgeous berry toned lipstick which is suitable for when the nights are drawing in and the temperatures are dropping.

As mentioned earlier the Kate Moss 107 lipstick is a deep berry red-wine like colour and can be dialled up or down intensity wise depending on how daring you are. I’m not very daring and owning this colour is already out of my comfort zone so blotting my lips with a tissue gives me the perfect colour.
Despite being a matte lipstick it glides on in more of a satin velvety fashion and isn’t drying at all! I definitely would recommend prepping the lips beforehand as despite it’s forgiving nature it still does show up any imperfections on your lips, but it’s nothing my trusty Nuxe Reve de Miel Lipbalm won’t fix.

Wear time is reasonable too, if I’m not eating or drinking it lasts a good few hours no problem. I wore it to a meal a couple of weeks ago and it lasted about 3 hours until I inevitably wiped it off with my napkin. It also fades evenly too which is great, leaving a subtle stain rather than patchy horrid lipstick.

There’s a reason I crack this lippie out year after year, I just love it. It’s friendly on the purse strings and it’s long lasting, non-drying and you can control the intensity, if you don’t own this lipstick then it’s definitely one to check out this upcoming Autumn/Winter season.

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Super Facialist by Una Brennan Anti Blemish Clay Mask
Super Facialist by Una Brennan Anti Blemish Clay Mask swatch

Super Facialist by Una Brennan Salicylic Acid Anti Blemish Clay Mask – £ 8.99

After trying out the Super Facialist Rose Intense Moisture Mask and loving it (you can read my review here) I was keen to try out more from the range and the ones that particularly interested me were the Anti-Blemish line, due to it being my main skin concern. So on one of my oh-so-regular trips to Boots I spotted this little gem and without a second thought picked it up.

The Super Facialist Anti Blemish clay mask contains Salicylic acid and Vitamin B3 to help unclog pores. It also contains Acacia Honey and Avocado oil to help soothe the skin.
The mask itself is a pale grey colour and it’s probably about the same consistency as the Origins Clear Improvements mask. It tingles a little bit whilst it’s on your face and dries down drawing out all those nasties. It says to leave on for five minutes but I usually end up leaving it on longer whilst I have a nice relaxing soak in the bath.

I have really sensitive skin as well as oily blemish prone, so I find a lot of face masks are far too irritating and I end up looking like I’ve burnt my face- not good! This one is tingly, but in a good way but doesn’t irritate my skin at all!

After using the mask my skin is soft and smooth without feeling like it’s had all the moisture sucked out of it. In terms of blemish control, I find it’s more of a preventative than a solution. It doesn’t really do much for existing spots but it does help stop my pores from getting clogged up leading to those horrible spots.

The one thing that lets this otherwise fabulous mask down is the scent. It’s quite floral- think walking into a florist’s shop- and for me it can be quite overpowering at times.

What do I think? It’s pretty darn good for a budget face mask! It’s got everything you need: draws out impurities – check, leaves your skin feeling silky soft- check, doesn’t irritate my skin – check! It’s definitely one to check out if you’re in the market for a purse friendly clay mask.

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