An embarrassingly long time ago (hey, I've had no internet, okay?), my blogger pal Angelica (who blogs over at One Little Vice) made me my very own beauty box. When she presented it to me, I nearly cried in the middle of the tropical luau-themed bar where we were attending a Bloggers Love event. Not half an hour before, I'd accidentally strode into the middle of a catwalk scenario where lean, sparkly women were gliding up and down a makeshift runway. My hair was a wild wintery mass of windswept fuzz, I had three bags with me, and I was bundled up in an enormous duffle coat. Some guy shouted at me and I retreated into the first secluded spot I could find, which happened to be the behind-the-bar area. Someone was wiping a crate of glasses, and shot an accusatory glance at me as if to say, "Trespasser!"
I found Angelica and Charlotte (better known online as Ch-ARGH-ley) and we became a three musketeers (or perhaps three Macbethian witches) kind of gang, setting up camp in the far corner of the event. Charley got her hair done by the lovely folks at Umberto Giannini (who gave us some great styling products to test out, which really came in handy over the holiday period), and Angelica gave me this little black box...
The box itself was recycled from a subscription beauty box she'd received in the past, but instead of the customary couple of sample products you normally get in this kind of box, this one was completely stuffed with amazing treats. Some of them were makeup bits she no longer wanted, such as the Body Shop Honey Bronzer, or the NYX blush (which I think looks more like an eyeshadow, personally). Other products were samples she had acquired over time. I was especially excited to try out the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery serum, and I squealed with delight when I saw the Demeter Fragrance Library perfume. I've wanted to own one of these for years now. These days, you can buy a selection of them in Boots, but back in the day, you had to ship them from America without ever having smelled them.
It was such a treat to be given so many lovely products, especially by someone who REALLY knows their shizz when it comes to cosmetics. Angelica is the kind of person whose opinion I trust a lot when it comes to beauty stuff. Yeah, a couple of the products are second hand, which might gross some people out, but it's all stuff that can be cleaned and it's not like she's a stranger off the street, offering me a gummy old eyeliner. A lot of beauty and fashion bloggers end up with way more products than they can feasibly wear, and often a really good quality product won't agree with a particular person, so I think that gifts among friends are a fantastic way to sort this out. I'm thinking of planning some kind of clothes swap party at some point, to get rid of a lot of clothes and accessories that I don't wear anymore. I'd much rather see my friends enjoying my old things than feel guilty when I see bundles of my unloved clothes in the bottom of my wardrobe.
As predicted, I loved the Demeter perfume (which smells fresh and grown up), and the Midnight Recovery oil was super luxurious to use, although the jury's out on the skin benefits. I found it quite difficult to tell which products have been working for my skin lately, as I've changed up my whole routine (which is another post for another day, I think). The Korres lip butter has a gorgeous pinkish tint to it, and the cherry blossom l'Occitane shower gel has an addictive fragrance. I've had an excellent time trying all of these products out, and I'm so grateful to Angelica for giving me the chance to try out being a beauty blogger for a brief moment. I'm definitely not turning this blog into a beauty blog - I don't think I'd be able to do this full time, but I'm sure there's room for a leeeetle bit more beauty chat here. After all, messing about with makeup and fun moisturisers can actually be quite enjoyable. My teenage self would be very confused if she heard me say that, but there you go - character development.