Love Me Beauty – my first impressions

What I thought about my first subscription box from Love Me Beauty. What I liked and the change that I would like to see.

Love Me Beauty my first order

Back at the end of last year, I started looking at beauty boxes. There are so many. In the end, I bought myself an advent calendar and put the idea of beauty boxes to one side.

Then I got talking to a friend about them, and I decided to take the plunge.

The first one that I signed up for was Love Me Beauty. This is what I thought.

The concept

Unlike many of the beauty subscription boxes on the market, with Love Me Beauty, you decide what you want in your box. So on one hand there’s no element of surprise, but on the other hand, you know that you are getting products that you genuinely want to try, and you won’t feel like you wasted money on products that you know you’ll never use.

This is a big plus point for me. In terms of skin care, I’m quite flexible and happy to try new things. However I’m quite fussy about make-up, I don’t use nail varnish and my visual impairment means that I intentionally buy specific types of make-up products because I know they are easier for me to use. This meant that I was really happy to have found a build-your-own box.

Basically you get a set number of credits each month, and you can choose how you spend them – each product has a price in credits.

The products

So, I had 60 credits for my first month, and I decided to get 3 products. I chose:

1. Laura Mercier pink pop lip glace
2. Make up for ever skin equaliser primer
3. Make-up for ever artist Rouge m401 (lipstick)

The products came presented in a make-up bag, which is useful for storing products in afterwards.

I thought my favourite was going to be the lipstick, but no, it was actually the primer. It gives really good coverage, has a silky texture when you’re applying it and doesn’t leave your face feeling greasy. I will be purchasing this again!

I think I’ll use the lip gloss more in the spring/summer, so I’ll be using that up in the next few months.

I tend to go for creamier lipsticks, but I’m told the colour looks good and as long as I moisturise my lips before using it, I’ll be ok!

These were my first products from both Make-up Forever and Laura Mercier. I will use all of them and repurchase at least one, so I think that was a good result. I like the way that this box gives me the opportunity to try new brands before buying the full-size products.

The website

Unfortunately, this is the potential deal breaker for me. As someone who cannot see, I do a lot of shopping online because it is easier than negotiating stores, but in order for this to work, the website needs to be accessible. Unfortunately this isn’t the case with Love Me Beauty.

I only have a basic level of web design knowledge and I’m not sure exactly what is happening on this site, but when I click the log-in link, I’m unable to navigate to the email address and password fields without the use of a mouse. I don’t use a mouse and can usually navigate websites using the keyboard, but unfortunately this doesn’t work on the Love Me Beauty site. A few people have tried this with other assistive technology software used by blind people, and they couldn’t access the site either.

Once logged into the site, I can read the product descriptions and add things to my bag, but it’s also difficult for me to click through to the next page of results without a mouse, which means that I don’t have access to all the items on offer each time.

Normally this would make me not want to use a site. In this case, I am interested in the products, so I’ll give it a bit longer and hope that the company will take this feedback into account and look into making the site more accessible.

However, at the moment, I can’t honestly recommend it to any blind readers using screenreading software, as you are likely to be unable to access your account and make purchases without assistance.

My conclusion

I love the idea, I’m really happy with the products, but I find some of the issues on the website very disappointing as they prevent me from having a good user experience on the site. I hope that this can be fixed so that I and other blind users will be able to use the site fully.

What do you think?

Do you use this beauty box service? If so, what do you think of it and what did you put in your January box?

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High Street make-up haul

Find out which make-up products I got on a recent trip to the High Street!

If you can’t see how you look, there is a certain degree of trust needed when you go shopping. Some shop assistants are great. Others just want to sell you stuff. Even well-meaning friends can get it wrong when they pick out things that would look really good on them, or don’t pick out things because they wouldn’t dare to wear them.

Clothes shopping is slightly easier because I know what I definitely wouldn’t wear – if I don’t like the material, the length or the cut, it goes back on the rack, even if it would have looked “amaaazing”!

Make-up is different. I have to find people to trust when it comes to what looks good on me. I make choices about the type of products I want, but I can’t say what colours I like because I have never seen them and therefore have no framework of reference. I understand the concept of light and dark because I can see whether the light is on, but I have no concept of colours, and therefore it’s sometimes hard to decide which ones I want to wear.

Good friends are important – if you can’t look in the mirror, you do sometimes need someone who will tell you that you don’t look your best or that something doesn’t suit you. That goes for make-up too – you need people that you can trust.

So, that’s why I decided to go shopping with Amy!

First of all I showed her my make-up collection so that she could see what I already had and we could make a list of what we wanted to get.

We went to Superdrug and Boots a couple of weeks ago and this is what we got!

Face

First we went on the hunt for a new foundation. I made the quest harder by saying I wanted a foundation with a pump, but eventually we came up with the Max Factor Face Finity All Day Flawless. It has the same consistency as my L’Oréal one and applies well. The pump makes sure you get the same amount each time and I can usually cover my face with one squirt, so there is no wastage.

Amy persuaded me that I really did need to bother with powder on top of my foundation, so I got the Max Factor X Creme Puff Pressed Powder. This is something that I haven’t bothered with in the past, but if it keeps the foundation in place, I guess it’s worth it!

Cheeks

I don’t like powder blushers, so I was after something creamy. We found the MUA LUXE Whipped Velvet Blush This is much easier for me to apply and to get it where I want it!

I have a liquid highlighter, but I wanted to see whether there was a cream version of that as well – because creams are cool and there is no fall-out or spillage! We found the Maybelline New York Master Strobing Stick Illuminating Highlighter which is good because you can just draw the line on where you want it and blend it in afterwards.

Lips

A girl can never have too many lipsticks, can she? So I got a couple more! Firstly the Maybelline Colour Sensational Lipstick – 740 Coffee Craze, it wasn’t just because of the name that this coffee-lover had to have it, and also my first Make-up Revolution lipstick, “you’re a star”, which seems to be out of stock everywhere, so I can’t share the link with you.

Eyes

My mascara was running out, so I got another one. I’m a bit fussy with mascara, so if I find one that I like, I tend to repurchase rather than look for something else to try. So I picked up the L’Oréal volume million lashes mascara again.

Also, as I was so impressed with the Max Factor XS Shimmer cream shadow that I had already bought, I got another one in crystal.

If you want to find out more about these eye products, I talked about them more in my post about how I do my eye make-up as someone who can’t see.

So, that’s what we got! Virtually a whole face of make-up, so it was definitely a successful trip. Have you tried any of these products? Let me know what you think in the comments!

If you want to see all of the make-up that has been featured on Unseen Beauty, visit the Make-up product page.

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Guest post – Amy’s January Glossybox

Find out what was in Amy’s Glossybox in January!

Guest post – Amy reviews her January Glossybox

Today I have another guest post for you from Amy.

The grand unboxing

Hello again internet land. Kirsty has very kindly allowed me back into the metaphorical building, so I can’t have messed up too badly in my first ever post. This is good news because I kind of enjoyed this blogging lark. Although it could be she has kept me around as I have received my Glossybox Beauty Box for January and I promised her an unboxing.

Beauty boxes are something which I started around this time last year. I decided that not only did I need a treat but also a surprise on a monthly basis. After all, I work hard for my money and who doesn’t like surprises. I am pretty sure if I asked my other half to source stuff every month he would forget/get bored/buy the wrong things so beauty boxes were the only way to go. There are a number of these on the market, and I have tried a few over the last year, and its just a nice no ties way to surprise yourself every month and find new and exciting things along the way. I have found a few doozies which are now part of my every day/week/month/routine, which I would have missed otherwise. Obviously you have your flops as well, and some months you have better boxes than others, but none the less after my first box I was hooked.

Originally I started out with Birchbox, as it was top of the google search list and I know a few of my USA buddies get their boxes from here, so I thought that I would be onto a winner here. You fill in some questions about you, your skin and hair types and other bits and bobs so your box can meet your needs (to a point), paid my £10 plus £2.95 P & P and eagerly awaited for Mr Postie to bring my first box, which turned up pretty quickly. You review products from your box for points, which allow you to buy full sized items of your box samples if you wish, although it takes a while to build up the points. They were very good with their marketing, giving you a sneak peek into the next box, or allowing you to have a choice of a certain shade of an item which made it all the more fun. This was until it went wrong. See, I am one for customer service internet land. There is no excuse in todays day and age for shoddy customer service, and unfortunately I found Birchbox to be less than amazing when it came to this.

To save you my tales of woe, I paid my money, waited patiently for my box which never arrived, and the customer service to deal with the matter took forever and was not overly helpful. I ended up getting the promised items squished into a far smaller packaging box, unlike the normally wonderfully presented box you would receive, and that sealed the deal. I cancelled my subscription immediately. Nevertheless, if you wish to try it you can sign up here and hopefully you will have a better experience than me.

Missing my monthly surprise fix I started looking again and quickly found Glossybox. They have been nothing short of amazing and in my honest opinion, the box content is far better than Birchbox. They run the same as Birchbox, fill out some questions, pay your first month, receive a box full of goodies. There marketing is very similar as well in the fact of you get sneak peeks and additional choices of stuff for your box, and if you review your items in surveys each month you get Glossydots, which when you reach 1000 you get a free box. Each survey seems to be worth 20 dots, so again its a waiting game. The price is exactly the same as well, so its pretty much winner winner chicken dinner all round. The only time I have hit problems with Glossybox, and I use the term problem loosely it was more of a first world problem, they solved it super speedy and gave me a free tinted lip balm for my troubles. Have to say, super service all round.

To sign up to these guys click here and get ready to have surprise time every month.

If you want to give Glossybox a go and get 20% off your first box, you can use Kirsty’s code KIRSTY-RGE when you place your first order on the Glossybox site.

I have signed up to a couple more over the year but quickly cancelled as they weren’t worth the money, but I do have a few more to talk about, just not in this post because, well what is it they say, don’t show the dealer all your cards, or something like that! That is saved for another post at another time dear internetlanders.

The January box

Anyhow, onto the good stuff, the stuff I received this month.

So a bit about the box first I guess, Its sent to you in a black and white box, which you open by pulling a small tab to one side which pulls along a perforated line at the front. Essentially it’s like playing grown up pass the parcel. Inside is your box filled with goodies and nothing else like silly bits of advertising paper. The actual goodie box is a sturdy pink box, which has a lid on top. They never have any pesky stickers on the lid to keep it closed. Open this to reveal a message from the editor Evie Leatham, some beauty news and a list of your products in case you are unsure what they are. You always pretty much get a sneak peak of next months box too. Every box is wrapped in pink tissue paper, sealed with a sticker of a G which is the Glossybox logo, which is always to the side and is tied in a bow with black ribbon. It sounds complicated to get into but its really not. You could rip it open if you wish, lord knows that’s what I do on occasion. Remove the pretty packaging and get to your goodies inside. They are always packed with shredded black paper, and arranged as nicely as the jiggling from Royal Mail will allow. The box itself is a great thing to keep and store bits in. If you are of the creative nature you can check out pintrest as people do all sorts of fun things with their boxes.

This month was a good box month. They seemed to have collaborated with an Instagramer called Deliciously Stella and all the items seem to have a food theme.

First out of the box was a Nip and Fab Kale Fix Moisturiser, which also contains watercress and almond oil. The blurb on the leaflet says that it will enrich the skin and I know from other Nip and Fab products that I have used in the past that they never disappoint, so I am excited to try this product out. It has no smell I can detect really other than your typical smell from face creams, and the small amount I tried on my hand seemed to absorb like a dream, but then I would expect nothing less from this brand. Product is a reasonable size, and I should imagine will last a while as a little goes a long way. It is a squeezy tube, which you remove the cap from the bottom and give a good squidge to get the product out. Stands on its cap once replaced for easy storage. It has printed writing on the tub, but its not raised really so you may need to get a trusted sighted friend to read to you if you are interested in what it says. Retail price is listed as £19.95.

Next was Unani Illuminating Milk Cleanser which is a full sized product. It has a cap at the top which you push backwards to open, and the little opening pops up as you push the cap backwards. From what the product says you can use this to remove make up and it also says its gentle enough to be used twice a day. Again it has no perfume which I think is a positive in a cleanser, and not sure I would like the smell of milk on me all day. Bottle is round and the cap is at the top and again has printed font on which is not raised. Retailing at £14, its available to buy at Comprar Cosmetica.

Third thing I pulled out I was super excited with, and I might end up trying right after I finish up with you. Sheet masks seem to be the latest craze from Korean Skincare. No mess or fuss, just beautiful skin. What’s not to love? (Keep your eyes peeled for a post or two about these in the future folks!). This item is Vitamasques’s Manuka Honey Face Mask. Its sealed so I can’t have a smell alas, but the packaging boasts three layers of mask which aid in hydration, so that can only be a good thing. Retailing at £3.99 you can grab them Vitamasques and it looks like they do a whole load more of them, so I shall be stocking up I think. Packing is tear open style, and has a notch at one side to make this easier to do. Its flat as well so you can store lots easily. It has pictures of honeycombe on the front, and again has printed writing on. It looks like a very grand product and you can tell a lot of thought has gone into the images chosen.

Fourth thing is an amazing looking eyeshadow from The Balm, which is a drugstore brand, but is pretty pricey. I don’t actually own anything from this brand, but I have heard good things. Anyway, this Eyeshadow, Meet Matt(e) Trimony shadow is a beautiful aubergine purple with a red base. It can be used wet or dry and looks like it packs a punch, so I can’t wait to try it. Whilst this is full sized I believe it belongs in a pallet of shadows which retail at £34 and you can grab these either at Boots or Superdrug, or direct from The Balm. Its a little flip open box, which is a bit fiddly to get into, but once you do the shadow is safely inside. It would be great to slip into a handbag or take away traveling as it is light and takes up no space.

Last, but by no means least, a box of Hairon Zero crease hair ties in a very light pink, which I won’t use as my hair is way too short. They are a strange sort of hair tie and pretty hard to describe if I am honest! Its like a tightly wound piece of plastic, a but like you used to get on those key rings which you could stretch. They look small, but I guess when pulled they extend pretty far. They are plastic of a sort so I am not sure how long they would stay in your hair, but I think that they are kinder to your hair causing less breakages, so it wins points for that. Anyway, as I say moot point for me as I won’t be able to use them, but that’s what you get with a surprise box, you win some, you lose some. I appreciate I am not doing them justice here, but I am really lost for how to describe them! They retail for £3.99 and you get three in a box. You can pick them up at Hairon. Comes in a little clear plastic box for neat storage when not using them.

I make a disclaimer now, I am not sure how friendly these sites are to navigate for people with screen readers, so I will apologise in advance. If you are having issues and are interested in a product please shout and I will try and find an alternative site for you. I also don’t know if different people get different items in their boxes based on their initial answers, so if you get something else I am sorry, but I am sure it will be equally exciting and wonderful.

Right, so now I have babbled your ear off I am going to leave you in peace. I would highly recommend this box to you, so let me know if you pick one up and what you think of it.
Ciao for now Internetland.
Amy
Xxx

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January 2017 favourites

My favourite products in January 2017!

I’m going to do monthly favourites posts on my blog. The things are either new in January, or something that I’ve rediscovered or have really been enjoying. The categories on these favourites posts are the same as on my featured products pages, so if you want to see what else has had a good review, check out the featured products pages. I only include things on those pages that have had a good review.

Make-up

When my mum heard about my cream eye shadow discovery, she bought me two more! The first one was from a range that I already have, but a different colour. I now have the Maybelline Color Tattoo in pink gold.

We also discovered that Max Factor does cream shadows, so we got the Max Factor excess shimmer cream eye shadow. You can see the whole range of colours on the Boots website – I got the copper one.

These are a different consistency to the Maybelline ones – in fact I think they are easier to apply, because they are more like a liquid face cream than a solid product. A little goes a long way, and you do need an eye primer underneath – otherwise it will crease. I like these so much that I got another one, but that will be featured in my drug store haul!

Skincare

You have probably worked out by now that I love everything mango! I mentioned the Victoria’s Secret mango shower gel in my Christmas post, but this month I’ve also been using the Victoria’s Secret mango body lotion, which has the same sweet mango scent and in fact stays on your skin even longer.

My Christmas Day treat from the Body Shop advent calendar was the Oils of Life sleeping cream. It was a generous mini and I would say that this night cream measures up well to others in a higher price range. My skin felt lovely and smooth in the morning, and the cream didn’t feel greasy when I applied it. I’m not a fan of scentless face creams so I was pleased that this one has a faint scent, though I couldn’t actually describe what it is – definitely something natural and something that I’m happy to have on my face. I’m trying out some of the other night creams from the Body Shop, but I would definitely get this one again in a larger size.

Hair care

Carrying on with the mango theme, the Avon Magnificent mango crazy hair tamer has become part of my daily hair care routine. I don’t care that it’s supposed to be for children – it does the job and helps me to get the knots out of my long, thick hair, and it leaves the hair with a faint mango smell. Not as sweet as the body lotion, but still distinctively mango! This link is for two bottles, but you can buy single ones or packs of 3. It’s cheaper to bulk buy, but of course you first need to work out whether you like the product. I will definitely be replacing it, but as I only use 2 or 3 squirts each time, it will last for a while yet.

I wanted to give my hair a treat, so I bought a range of hair masks to see which one I liked most. The first one I tried was the Garnier hair mask with avocado and shea butter    which, according to the manufacturer gives your hair supple bounce and shine. I would definitely say that my hair is softer and more silky after using this product, and I  love the smell – for some reason it reminds me of holidays! The description says that it is for dry, damaged hair, which is not what I have, so maybe there is a better product on the market for me – although I have to say that I’m pleased with the results, and with 300 ml, it’s a generous size.

Jewellery

This isn’t new, but I’ve been wearing it a lot this month. I don’t have a dog any more, but this lovely pewter golden retriever necklace reminds me of my golden guiding girl, and unlike some necklaces that are available, the shape of the dog is easy to feel, from the end of its snout to the tip of its waggy tail!

I like my jewellery to express something about my likes or personality, and this definitely shows that I’m a golden retriever fan.

The picture is of the necklace, but I don’t have the original box.

Food and drink

I talk a lot as part of my job, and I always have something to drink next to me. Although I could drink coffee till the cows come home, I do try to swap it out with other things, and as the weather is still cold, I tend to reach more for hot drinks. After having lychees at a Chinese restaurant recently, I remembered my old favourite Twinings mango and lychee green tea. As a child, I thought I didn’t like tea. The truth is, I don’t like the traditional English tea with milk – because I think it’s grim – but fruit teas, jasmin tea, rice tea – anything like that is fine and a good winter warmer.

If you’re looking for something cool and refreshing, I recently discovered Bottle Green mango and coconut presse.

Clothing

I love owls and when I found this    studded owl top, I had to get it! Actually it was going to be for New Year, but I didn’t get round to buying it. I made up for this in January and I was really pleased with the way that I could feel all the detail on the owl – his face, ears and the detail on his body. I’ve been disappointed by Amazon t-shirt stinginess before, but in terms of this, I’d say it’s fine to get your actual size, and I can confirm that it stayed intact in the wash. Still, I’d recommend that you wash it inside out to protect the owl.

How about you?

So, what are your favourite products this month? Do let me know in the comments – 1. Because I’m nosey and 2. Because I’m always looking for inspiration when it comes to new things to review!

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How do you apply eye make up if you can’t see?

My tips on applying eye make-up when you can’t check in the mirror.

How do you apply eye make-up if you can’t see?

I’ve been using eye make-up since I was about 15, but I’ve only recently discovered some products that make it a lot easier and reduce the chances of things going wrong. When you can’t see, avoiding mistakes is even more important because you can’t look to see whether you’ve done a good job. If my boyfriend or a trusted sighted friend is around, I usually check to make sure everything looks ok, but I am also confident enough to go out or go on a video call with one of my English learners without first getting my make-up checked.

Eye shadow

In the past, I used to use powder eye shadows. I labelled them all up in Braille with a friend so that I knew which colours were where on the palate. (Braille is a tactile writing system used by blind people). We printed the words out onto plastic sheets and stuck them on the lid of the palate above each colour.

The problem with powder eye shadows is that, even if you get good coverage on the eye, if you can’t look in a mirror, you can’t tell if there was any fall-out under your eyes or on your cheeks. This definitely isn’t the look I was going for, but sometimes the powder went in places where I didn’t want it, and this was annoying.

Then I discovered the whole idea of eye crayons. I first heard about them on my friend Joanna’s blog MyPinkRambles. You can look at some of the crayons that Joanna bought here.

Joanna makes a good point about brands and their names – sometimes it’s really hard to work out what colour things are if you go by the product names. I understand it’s all part of the marketing, but I wish that brands would includemore information in their product descriptions sometimes.

Anyway, I now have a few eye shadow crayons, and colouring in my eyes with them is much easier than using the powder, with the additional bonus that there is no chance of fall-out because the colour goes only where you put it.

When I was telling my friend Amy about this – you’ll get to meet her on the blog soon – she suggested that I try the paint pots as well. They are cream eye shadows that you can apply with a brush or your fingers, and, like the crayons, the colour only goes where you put it. At the moment I have two cream eye shadows:

1. MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot – chilled on ice.
2. Maybelline color tattoo veils – breathless.

Both of them go on well and last well. I prefer the packaging on the MAC one because it doesn’t have such a high lip around the product, which means it’s easy to access it. The MAC one does feel more luxurious, but if you are looking for a cheaper alternative, the Maybelline one works fine.

Mascara

Applying mascara is an art and it’s best to learn when you’re not in a hurry. I prefer non-waterproof ones, because it’s easier to be sure that I really have got rid of it all when I take it off.

I usually bring the wand up to my face and blink gently until my eye lashes make contact with the brush. This is a good way to avoid getting poked in the eye with it. I prefer the big, fat brushes, because they give you more surface area to work with. At the moment I am using L’oreal volume million lashes.

Eye liner

I haven’t done much with eye liner in the past, but I got a pencil in my Body Shop calendar, and it’s easy enough to draw on the line because I can feel where the tip of the pencil is and where the line needs to go.

Primer

This is something that I hadn’t tried before, but my friend Amy gave me the Make-Up Revolution eye primer, to lay a foundation for the eye shadow. As long as there isn’t too much product on the applicator, this can just be painted on to the eye, using the fingers on the other hand to initially position or guide the applicator if necessary.

What about you?

If you’re visually impaired, what are your favourite products? Do you have any tips to add to this list?

I’m not an expert – I’m just sharing my experiences and what has worked for me. I’m still learning! In fact, I don’t think we should ever stop learning.

If you haven’t tried any of these things before, the best advice I can give is to try out a few products and get some feedback on how you look. Just because something works for me, it doesn’t mean it will be the best choice for you. When I was a child, something that I hated with a passion was the one-size-fits-all this-is-how-blind-people-do-things-idea! So if it’s something that interests you, I’d encourage you to just give it a go.

Also, if sighted readers have any tips or products to recommend, let me know. If I’d known that cream eye shadows were on the market, I would have snapped them up years ago!

More from Unseen Beauty

If you’d like to get my catch-up emails, usually twice a week, you can sign up using this form.

The emails contain news of my new posts, other things that I’ve enjoyed (podcasts, posts from other bloggers, interesting articles etc), and any UK shopping information that I think my readers might like.

This post contains some affiliate links, but I only promote things that I’ve tried and tested.