H O M E .      A B O U T .      C O N T A C T .      T U M B L R .      T H E   B O O K   J O U R N A L .      sailorjennie [at] gmail [dot] com

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Beauty Box Comparison | September Edition

It probably won't come as much of a surprise that the My Little Parisienne box* was my favourite. I suppose it just feels like there's so much thought that has gone into every single thing that's included and it feels more like a gift from a friend than a subscription service.

I also think that Glossybox* really upped their game with their beautifully designed box and I'm hoping that they continue getting better for the final few months of the year too. The Benefit eye cream totally prevented Birchbox* from having a bad month (in my opinion), but even then I thought everything else was just okay.

And finally Love Me Beauty* have completely revamped their service and I think it's a positive change. I don't think I'll be receiving any more of their boxes this year, but do keep an eye on their selection of products because if that improves it might prove to be the service that provides the best value for money long term.

I'll leave you with a quick rundown of everything that was in each of the boxes I received this month:

My Little Box | Parisienne Edition

  • Paris Stickers - adorable!
  • Sweet Eiffel Tower Illustration - awaiting a frame!
  • A Notebook - will live on my desk when it arrives!
  • Macbook Sleeve - so cute!
  • Laura Mercier Foundation Primer - really lovely so far.
  • Nuxe Dry Oil - an all time favourite product!
  • Golden Highlighting Pen - a little too golden for my skin tone.

Glossybox | Karen Millen Edition

  • ModelCo More Brows - really like this so far!
  • Nails Inc Matte Top Coat - a lovely product.
  • L'Oreal Mythic Oil Masque - I haven't tried this yet.
  • Origins Plantscription Serum - feels quite nice but the full size is crazy expensive.
  • 2x sachet Skin Pep Brightening Peeling Gel - felt very tingly but I didn't notice a huge difference
  • 1x sachet Skin Pep Dark Circle Eraser - I haven't used this yet.

Birchbox | Happy Days Edition

  • Agave Healing Oil Treatment - hydrating without being too heavy.
  • Premae Mild Dermabrasion Face & Body Scrub - not as scrubby as I was expecting!
  • ModelCo Power Lash Mascara - way too gloopy!
  • Jane Iredale Just Kissed Lip Plumper in 'Rio' - not a fan.
  • Benefit It's Potent Eye Cream - really like!
  • Birchbox Photo Clip - I probably won't use this.
  • Urban Fruit Smashing Strawberry Snack Pack - yummy!

Love Me Beauty | The Relaunch

  • Percy & Reed Shine and Fragrance Spray - I don't notice much shine, but it smells lovely
  • Oriflame Ecollagen Eye Cream - one of my favourite day time eye creams
  • Malin + Goetz Grapefruit Face Cleanser - a nice, pretty basic feeling, face wash
  • Murad Acne & Wrinkle Reducer - I haven't used this yet
* * *
Are you subscribed to any beauty boxes?
Which was your favourite this month?

- xo

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Monday, 29 September 2014

A Few Favourites #9

Last week was a bit of an odd one. A mixture of good and bad news. Moments of complete delight and moments of just needing to have a good old cry. Sunshine filled days reminiscent of summer and days when it just rained non-stop.

The weekend disappeared far too quickly for my liking and instead of embracing this Monday morning, I'm going to ignore it as best I can and instead talk about some of my favourite things...  

A serum that's proven to boost moisture levels in your skin. It's strange because it really does feel like nothing on my skin and if you were to ask me to describe what difference it makes, I'm not sure I'd be able to tell you. I suppose it just makes my skin feel different in a good way. I'm going to keep using it and I'll keep you updated as to whether I think it's really worth investing in if you'd like to know!

Benefit It's Potent Eye Cream
I've almost finished this little sample and it's something that has been a pleasant surprise. Despite hearing really good things about the range I had written off Benefit's skincare because I thought of them as a make up brand only. I may be beginning to change my mind though!

ELF Lip Balm
I'm easing myself into autumnal lip colours gently with tinted lip balms. There's nothing too special when it comes to being a super hydrating balm, but I really love this sheer red colour that can be built up to something a little more intense if desired. The minty scent also adds to the loveliness.

Enhance for water*
At first I wasn't totally sure when I would use this little container of flavour enhancer for water because when I'm at home I'm a big coffee fan and when I'm out, well.... I'm also a big coffee fan then too. I have been trying to drink more water though (since upping my intake I've noticed a huge difference in the way I feel!) so I've been keeping this in my bag and adding it to bottles of water and honestly I credit it entirely to me actually drinking more water.

Howl A Graphic Novel
I watched Howl earlier this month, a film exploring the obscenity trial of Allen Ginsberg's poem of the same name, and I loved it. This graphic novel features the animation by Eric Drooker that is included in the film and it's one of those books I'm really happy to have on my shelf so I can have a leaf through every now and again. It almost makes the poem more accessible, I think there should be more similar things out there.

The Perks of being a Wallflower
Will I ever get tired of watching this film? Probably not! I don't know how many times I've seen it already but it's just so lovely. And I cry every single time too even though I know what's coming - especially when Charlie says he didn't think anyone noticed him. Oh gosh. It's a story that I think I'll always adore.
Fairy lights
I officially can't walk into a shop without looking at their selection of fairy lights. One day my entire house is going to be covered in them. And that's fine by me. There's definitely no such thing as too many! 

Now I'm going to go back to my Perks of being a Wallflower Spotify playlist and try and make it though the day without too many mishaps.

How are you spending your Monday?

- xo

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Friday, 26 September 2014

Wishing #2 | Office Edition

100 Artists & Writers in a box // Ikea Letter Tray // Kate Spade Notebook // Sticky Tabs // Kate Spade Pen Pot // Albus Dumbledore Quote Print // Bunny Hole Punch // Birds // Lamp

* * *

I haven't had my own dedicated work space for a long time. Usually the kitchen table/sofa/coffee table is covered with books, notes and stationery until it's time for dinner when it all gets stacked in a pile on the floor ready for the next day. Strangely I hadn't even contemplated getting my own work desk until a couple of weeks ago, but now it's all I can think about & I well and truly have everything office related on my mind.


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Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Love Me Beauty: Relaunch Edition

Love Me Beauty* have had a bit of a relaunch. Instead of providing three 'menu's' to choose from, subscribers are free to browse the boutique and redeem the six credits assigned each month against the products that appeal the most.

+ Percy & Reed Shine & Fragrance Spray (2 credits)
+ Malin + Goetz Grapefruit Face Cleanser (1 credit)
+ Oriflame Ecollagen Eye Cream (2 credits)
+ Murad Acne & Wrinkle Reducer (1 credit)

The selection wasn't enormous but I have a feeling this is something that will be improved over time. Firstly I opted for another Oriflame eye cream, which I've received before and loved. If there were something else that had caught my eye I probably would have opted for that, but I'm quite content with having a back up of this regardless. The Murad treatment sounds interesting - I'm not sure I've come across something that promises to reduce acne and wrinkles at the same time before. The grapefruit cleanser and shine spray were both added on a bit of a whim. I'm looking forward to giving them a try properly though because they're things I wouldn't ordinarily pick up otherwise & it's good to experiment I think.

I'm more excited by the new way of presenting a beauty box Love Me Beauty are offering than the selection of products but I think they'll be a company to watch over the coming months. There's no surprise element but you can be completely sure that you'll receive things that you would really like to try.

As always I'll be back next week with a beauty box comparison post, showing the four I received side by side. I think I already know which was my favourite but it'll be interesting to see if that's the one that I also got the most use out of too.

Are you subscribed to Love Me Beauty?

- xo

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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

So, I have absolutely NO idea what I'm doing!

'I am a blank page waiting for life to start' - Sia

I've been trying to ignore a particular niggling thought and I think I've been doing a pretty good job so far - if ignoring things were a profession I'd be all over that. However I'm seemingly losing the ability I've grown so fond of... totally against my will I might add, I'd quite happily ignore it forever. But now it's becoming sort of all-consuming and that can't be healthy.

So the thing is I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing in almost every part of my life. Nope. Not a clue. I've mostly been pretending that I've got my shit together to the point of actually almost convincing myself. The problem is it's now getting to the point where I should actually have my shit together and I'm nowhere close. My degree is coming to an end and an MA is a little out of my budget right now, so I need to figure things out. But I don't even know if figuring things out is a thing that can be figured out.

Will there come a time when I know exactly what I want and that I'm making the right decisions? Does making the 'right' decision even matter, or is it the decision making process itself that offers the vital life lessons we learn from? Does it happen at a particular age? When I'm 30, or 40, or 50 will I know what I'm doing? How will I even know when things are figured out? Does it end when/if I find a career that I don't loathe? Or will there always be something that's uncertain? In reality I know that I already know the answers to these questions, that it's just not that simple. But knowing some questions don't have definitive answers is pretty scary because it means I need to find my own answers somewhere.

I'm pretty set on some things I don't want to do, but some of the things I would like to do seem wildly impossible without either taking a huge leap into the unknown, winning the lottery, or finding someone who's willing to give it a try with me. Here's a glimpse into some of the things that are currently floating around inside my head:
  • Ultimate dream: opening an independent bookstore that hosts poetry slams in the evenings and creative writing/art/homework clubs for children in the afternoons. It would also have a little cafe/bar attached with cake, a million varieties of tea and something a little stronger for night time events. Oh and maybe a gallery space too. Being realistic I know this is a dream potentially only possible in another universe. Certainly not the sleepy village I live in anyway.
  • Renovating an old caravan, turning it into a pop up shop and rolling up to various fairs throughout the year.
  • Establishing a publishing house that shares beautiful editions of wonderfully obscure work.
  • Professional bunny-sitter - I will cuddle your bunnies when you're on holiday, at work, or away on business.
  • Carve out some kind of writing career. No idea what, or how, or if I'd even ever be good enough but you know, it's good to dream.

I don't know, I suppose I'm just a little...overwhelmed? I mean, in theory I could do anything I can think of - obviously minus the things I'll never be qualified to do (be an astronaut) and the things that I'm just not good at (singing!). I've held the belief that everyone is destined to do something great in their lives for as long as I can remember. I don't think it's the scale of greatness that matters, it's the act of greatness itself that does. So it could be anything from raising babies to be wonderful adults, to writing a novel whose story stays with someone throughout their entire life, to standing up for something so passionately that goes on to make a positive difference to society.

The niggling thoughts aren't so much about wanting to achieve something huge, or because I'm in my mid-twenties so I should have done this or that by now. Neither is it because someone else holds a certain expectation of what they think I should do, or because other people are out achieving amazing things right now whilst I'm sat here in a penguin onesie eating a plate of custard creams! I've never been hugely ambitious and honestly I don't really mind what anyone thinks of what I'm doing or how I choose to move forwards. It's more the 'I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing' thing. Equally though I think it's completely okay to feel this way because in a world where almost anything is possible, how does one even begin to decide what to focus on? Some options seem infinitely easier than others, but very often the things that take more effort, love, and perseverance are the ones that are more than worth the time.

So much has changed over the last twelve months; floral dresses have disappeared from my wardrobe, bold lipsticks have drifted towards the back of the drawers, I'm generally more secure in my own mind, and I have completely fallen head over heels in love with books again - it's not just a crush, it's a forever kind of commitment - I've taken the unbreakable vow if you will. Maybe I'll need this next year to find my way on to the path that I'm supposed to find. The one that will show me what I should do with my time now, and that will lead me on to the things I'm supposed to do in the future.

I guess the running theme here is that I have absolutely no idea.
And maybe that's the point. No one said this was easy, right?

- xo

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Thursday, 18 September 2014

My Little Box | Parisienne Edition

September My Little Box* (£11 + £3.95 p&p)

Sheer excitement hits whenever my postman hands me a parcel from My Little Box* because I know that it's going to be a real treat to open. They have just launched in the UK and I was keeping my fingers firmly crossed that the boxes for us would be as good as the previous French boxes I've been lucky enough to have a look through over the past couple of months.

I shouldn't have even entertained the thought that it would be anything less than delightful though because it's so clear that a lot of love and thought goes into putting the boxes together. It almost feels like opening a surprise parcel from a best friend who you've known for years.

+ Paris inspired stickers - adorable!
+ A sweet illustration - I'll be finding a frame for this asap!
+ A notebook with a few pages of information about how My Little Box started & a whole bunch of plain pages - I'm going to use it as my new blogging notebook.

+ A laptop sleeve - it's the perfect size for a macbook, but not so great if you have a bigger/no laptop. I should be getting a real workspace soon & I think that this will look incredibly cute on my desk. So excited!

+ Laura Mercier Foundation Primer - I've heard rave reviews from so many people!
+ Nuxe Dry Oil - one of my all time favourite oils!
+ Stylo Lumiere - adds a hit of a golden glow. I think I'm going to try using this on my cheekbones underneath my foundation for an added bit of warmth.

Over the last couple of months these boxes, in my opinion, have really raised the bar for subscription services. There's something special about the things they choose to put inside, from the carefully chosen products to the beautifully illustrated little extras. At £14.95 it's a little more expensive than many of the others around, but it's also cheaper than I expected it would be.

Recap: July My Little Box
Recap: August My Little Box

What do you think of My Little Box?


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