Friday, 11 January 2013

Liebster Award

Thank you to Elise Chapman from Beauty and The Breast for nominating me for a Liebster Award!

The rules:

  • Post 11 facts about yourself
  • Answer the 11 questions asked by the person who nominated you
  • Ask 11 questions
  • Nominate 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers
  • No tag backs

11 facts about myself:

  1. I am a mother of three  
  2. I have been married to my lovely hubby for 10 years
  3. I am owner/founder of Beauty Box Swaps the website is still under development  
  4. I am a Benebabe
  5. I am at college studying for a level 3 Diploma in Hair & Media Make up  
  6. I am a 'dampathlete' having significantly reduced but not fully given up alcohol intake for January
  7. Sting is my 3rd Cousin   
  8. I used to keep pet rats and would love to again one day...
  9. I own far too much make up
  10. I took a leading role in an Amateur Dramatics production in 2011
  11. I have only been driving for 3 years. My car is an automatic called Scarlett O'Cara

Where did you grow up and was it a nice area? I grew up in Marple, Stockport, Cheshire it was a nice area.  
What are the best and worst parts about where you grew up? Marple had lots of great places to explore including 2 canals, woods & a quarry (in them days you could explore). Rose tinted nostalgia specs mean I can't thing of any worst parts. 
Where do you live now and it is a good, bad or indifferent place to live, and why? I live in Bury now it's a great place to live especially now we have THE ROCK however I do wish I lived nearer to my parents as I don't see them as often as I would like. 
Why do you blog and how did you start? I blog because I enjoy writing, I started with encouragement from my sister aka nyssapod.  
What is your all-time favourite blog and why? Three Little Buhos by Annie John is my all-time favourite blog she helped me discover matt top coat for nails and her posts always make me smile :)
If you had to move and live in another country, where would you love to go? Greece, because I love the scenery, the food, the climate & the people. 
Why are you interested in blogging? I am a very sociable person who enjoys writing and I like sharing.  
Do you have a party trick and if so, what is it?  I can open bottles with my teeth but I've realised now I'm older that I value my teeth more than entertaining people with this foolhardy trick.
What is your proudest achievement to date? My family. 
What is your biggest and most humorous fail? Too many to choose from I am Mrs Bean 
Do you have a favourite TV program, and what is it? Mount Pleasant

The 11 questions I would like my selected bloggers to answer are:

  1. Why do you blog?
  2. What are the advantages of being a blogger?
  3. What are the disadvantages of being a blogger?
  4. Are you a Beauty Box Swapper?
  5. Do you receive any monthly subscription beauty boxes? Which ones?
  6. What is your favourite beauty brand?
  7. What is your favourite beauty product?
  8. Are you low, medium or high maintenance?
  9. Do you have any tattoos? Where & what are they?
  10. Do you have a favourite blog?
  11. How old were you when you first started to get interested in make up & beauty? 

The 11 blogs I would like to recognise with a Leibster Award are:

British, Bargains, and Beauty
Raindrops & Roses
Itzybitzy's Beauty Musings
Writing & Rambling
Life Through a Number of Lenses
Glitter and Mud
Life, Love and a Beauty Obsession
Beauty & the Boxes
The Beautiful Butterfly
Boxed, Bagged and Bidded
Curiouser and Curiouser

Yeah I know there's 13, I didn't want to leave anybody out.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

desperately seeking sponsorship for Cybher 2013

If you are considering sponsoring an attendee of Cybher 2013, then here is some more information as to why I would be ideal to represent your company

I am the owner/founder/manager of Beauty Box Swaps a popular Facebook Community established July 2011 with 2000 members. Recently featured in The New York Times. 2013 will see the launch of a project that has been in development for the last 12 months.

I am a mother of 3 Children aged 19, 9 & 7. I work part-time for Benefit cosmetics at Boots. Alongside this I am studying for a level 3 diploma in Hair & Media Make up & I have appeared as a background artist in films and on TV including: Emmerdale, Hollyoaks & Shameless.

I am a social media devotee, who has over 615 active followers on twitter and I actively promote Beauty Box Swaps with them at every opportunity, they often retweet to their followers. I have also recently taken on the role of social media maven for work.

I am enthusiastic, professional, creative and enterprising! I am really excited about the future of Beauty Box Swaps and see this as a great opportunity for a sponsor/s particularly in the beauty/beauty box industries.

About Cybher :

Cybher 2012 was THE blogger event of the year.
1 day, 300 bloggers, over 4500 tweets, 5.2 million people reached via the #Cybher tag in just 48 hours.
If your brand is of interest to social savvy women then you should be represented at Cybher

What can I offer:

I will represent your company at the event itself.
This may include wearing a T-shirt or badge with your company logo on.
I will include your company logo on the business cards that I will be handing out at the event.
I will include your company name and that you are sponsoring me, on any posts that I write either post or prior to the event. Including twitter, and Facebook.
I will place your company logo and a link to your website on my site for the whole of 2013.
If you would like me to review your product/s. I will write a full and complete review with photographs and links to your site.

I am requesting you reciprocate by providing funding for:

My Cybher Ticket (already booked) £100
Two nights of accommodation (to be arranged) £160 approx
Travel expenses (public transport including tram & train from Bury to London)

I would love to have a relationship with your company and be sponsored for this exciting event. So if you would like to discuss this with me, please email me on

Please also get in touch on the above email if you wish to discuss other opportunities for mutually beneficial possibilities in 2013 with the advent of

Thanks for your consideration and time.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Beauty Box Swaps Sunday 4

Sorry I'm a tad late with my Beauty Box Swaps Sunday post this week. I either seem to be at college or work these days and squeezing in a smattering of socialising in any rare time off.
However even though I really ought to be writing assignments for college (with another two due in this week) I wanted to make the effort to keep the momentum going and participate in Beauty Box Swaps Sunday.
Also as something pretty momentous happened this week in Beauty Box Swaps history I wanted to document this in a blog post.
Yay we got mentioned in the press, not my local paper The Bury Times and not by a national paper/magazine. Omg we only went and got mentioned in The New York Times!!!
Wow :-D

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Beauty Box Swaps Sunday 3

First of all apologies for missing Beauty Box Swaps Sunday week 2. I had every intention of joining in but then we decided to go on our family holiday a day early.
Which brings me nicely to the subject of this post. I am sharing my four holiday FOTD looks and sharing the products I used to achieve them.
How does this relate to Beauty Box Swaps you may wonder? On a superficial level all four looks include products I discovered in beauty boxes & on a deeper level if it wasn't for beauty boxes I would not have founded Beauty Box Swaps. I would not have had the confidence to audition as a Benebabe. I would not have ended up studying Hair & Media Make-up at college & I would not have been motivated to experiment with four different make-up looks on holiday.

Look 1: Charalista lips
Look 2: 1950s
Look 3: Peek a Bright Eyes 
Look 4: Lazy Liner

Which is your favourite look?
Let me know if you are interested in any more information on the products I used &/or how I used them?
Will you be joining in with Beauty Box Swaps Sunday this week?

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Beauty Box Swaps Sunday

Today is the first Sunday of our fledgling linky Beauty Box Swaps Sunday.

Sarah Louise Bailey of Life in a Breakdown fame has kindly agree to create and look after this for us.

You are invited to write blog posts inspired by Beauty Box Swaps for example a BBShaul,or an offer you've discovered through or shared with Beauty Box Swaps, or in fact any beauty &/or Beauty Box Swaps related post.

The linky means that all the Beauty Box Swaps Sunday blog posts will be listed in one place to make it easier to read and share each others blog posts.

I am also hoping this will encourage me to post a blog post at least once a week... will it encourage you too?

Happy Beauty Box Blogging lovelies xx

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Selfridges Beauty Box

As owner/founder of Beauty Box Swaps it's fair to say I have I thing for beauty boxes. Having said that I am very choosy about which boxes I succumb to especially when they are one off boxes. However on this occasion I was smitten with the Selfridges Beauty Box offer from the off (they had me from the BIOeffect) & signed up to register my interest.
I found out on Monday the boxes were to be available to buy on Tuesday. I was reluctant to go to bed in case I missed the launch and I stayed up until 2am. Then hoped it wouldn't be launched until a civilised time in the morning. Around 5am my daughter awoke with a nosebleed and I checked my emails. Narrowly missing Selfridges notification email sent to me at 5:54am. When I got up the next morning I, along with many of the Beauty Box Swaps community was heartbroken to find they had already sold out. I was gutted I'd missed out on such a #amazeballs collection of goodies. I felt really cross that Selfridges hadn't limited the boxes to one per customer. I also think they should have considered having a pre-order system so that the boxes would have genuinely be distributed in order of expression of interest. I also felt disappointed in myself for not being a good enough beauty blogger/beauty box ambassador to get a PR box and save myself all the worry. After sitting dazed and bereft on the settee for too long I dragged myself upstairs to wail and rant at my hubby and he persuaded me to get on with our day and run myself a bath. While the bath was running I checked Beauty Box Swaps and spotted (thanks to my lovely swapping sisters many of whom had tagged/messaged me) that more boxes had been released. I turned off the taps pronto and dashed back downstairs. However like many others I then experienced the frustration of trying to order a box from Selfridges website which could not cope with the demand. Lovely Mr Brown could see how frustrated and upset I was getting, as could the very patient Selfridges man when I decided to ring for help. Hubi offered to takeover with the seemingly impossible task of getting the box out of the basket & getting it checked out. Fifteen minutes later he informed me mission had been accomplished and in the chaos he'd inadvertently bought two boxes. He had also fortunately been able to use the £50 giftcard I'd received from What's In My Handbag. Whilst I was relieved to have got my mitts on the must have box, I felt really uncomfortable we'd accidentally deprived someone else of their box. I wasn't concerned there would be demand for the second box and actually realised there would be lots of ways I could profit from this error. But it didn't feel right doing so when so many of my swapping sisters had missed out. So I have decided to sell the second box using Rafflecopter to decide the buyer. The cost will be £15 +actual postage cost, method of posting to be chosen by the 'winner'. I would respectfully ask people not to enter this lottery if they already own a Selfridges Beauty Box.
I am fairly certain most readers know what's in the box. However here are my impressions of the contents:
Philip B Katira Hair Mask (60ml)
Not a brand I am familiar with but I am looking forward to trying this out on my newly high-lighted hair.

Antipodes Avocado and Rosehip Face Oil (30ml)
This brand is also new to me. Since discovering BIOeffect in the June 2011 Glossy Box I have been reluctant to try an alternative products because BIOeffect works for me. However on reflection I rotate face washes from Beauty Boxes so I perhaps should try other oils and serums before rejecting them. I am going to test now on my left hand. I'm not sure about the strong organic smell but it has absorbed easily into the back of my hand leaving only the slightest hint of a residue.
Stila One Step Correct (30ml)
Aside from the BIOeffect this was the product I most desired. I first spotted this intriguing looking product in Boots Trafford Centre where I work for Benefit cosmetics. I can't wait to try it. In fact I am not going to wait I am going to try it right now...
... tried it on one side of my face, saw a subtle improvement so asked hubi's opinion and he complimented the correct side so that's an initial positive indicator. I will test this out again with foundation another day. I can also report that the sponge I used to blend the product has been left an interesting shade of sludge, it's not pretty but no worries if it leaves me looking prettier;-)
Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask (5ml)
I have only recently heard of this brand. When WIMH sent me a Omorovicza Correcting Pencil as part of my £25 beauty gift. I rate the pencil and use it to tone down the redness on my nose and cheeks when I wear make-up outside of work. So I am looking forward to testing this out. I can't remember the last time a used a face mask because I am normally too impatient to have something on my face for any length of time. However because I trust the brand I will definitely give this a go. I was a bit concerned this product did not include directions but I found the information needed including a helpful video here. I think the 5ml provided will be sufficient for 2/3 applications using the suggested almond sized amount.
Estelle & Thild Lip Balm (15ml)
A third introduction to a brand, new to me. I love the product and the packaging. The balm feels plush on my lips. I can personally never have too many lip balms as my lips are prone to dryness and chappedness.
Aesop Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Serum (15ml)
Another brand previously unfamiliar to me. Just tested this product on my right hand. It absorbed easily and fully leaving a mild fragrance not dissimilar to Fairy washing up liquid. Testing this product and the oil on my hands this evening has given me an idea. I may use both these products on my hands over the next couple of weeks and compare results. I don't enjoy using hand cream as I don't like feeling lotion-ey but I am concerned about my ageing hands perhaps in future I will use serums and oils I acquire as hand treatments and if the results are sufficiently impressive promote them to my face.
BIOeffect EGF Serum (5ml)
I've certainly heard of this brand before. I love this product. I have never used botox or fillers and as it stands I would not consider it necessary. I feel this product to be my botox in a bottle. I have been using this product for over 12 months now. I am not even very good at applying it more than 3-4 times a week. I am 40 and I often get mistaken for younger, one customer was even convinced I was still in my 20s a couple of weeks ago :-)I should definitely get round to doing a blog post dedicated to this product after all it did inspire me to create Beauty Box Swaps, read all about how here. I am really keen to try BIOeffect Daytime but sadly don't have £55 to spare. I was getting to the point where I'd exhausted all swap opportunities to replenish my BIOeffect supplies. I was weighing up the possibility of *shockhorror* buying some somehow. However I am now hoping that there may be a few more opportunities for swaps and to purchase with the influx from the Selfridges Beauty Boxes. As I am aware not everyone gets on with this product and some consider it's anti ageing benefits unnecessary (lucky them). If you have any to spare please comment on this post ;-)
I only have one small and very minor criticism of this box and that is that although it contained a fabulous mix of brands, including 4 I am not familiar with, there was a bit of repetition in product type with the Aesop, Antipodes and BIOeffect all promising to do a similar job. That observation aside, what's my overall verdict on the Selfridges Beauty Box?


Tuesday, 7 August 2012

TK Maxx Haul, NOTD, Essie Matte Top Coat (the educational value of Beauty Box Swaps)

I seem to have become rather addicted to the cosmetics section in TK Maxx. At first I was just content to mooch just to see what was there. However in my last 2 out of 3 visits in the space of one week, I have succumbed to making purchases. My most recent purchase was my Tardis like Thirty-one make-up bag. However just a couple of days before that I had my first TK Maxx beauty haul:
new cid i-powder extra light £7.99
Tk Maxx Essie 3 pack assorted £9.99

Currently celebrating the first anniversary of my Facebook page Beauty Box Swaps, and it's associated groups Beauty Box Swaps (open) & Beauty Box Swappers (closed), I have once again been reminded of it's educational value.
Since monthly subscription beauty boxes were invented (and shortly when I created Beauty Box Swaps) both my enthusiasm for and knowledge of Beauty has steeply increased. 
I love the fact that you can one day not know that Matte Top Coats exist, then read an informative, Three Little Buhos, blog post by lovely Annie John who shared her post (including Elf matte top coat) to Beauty Box Swaps educating myself that such a marvel has been created. Inspiring me to do some some 'research' on google & unearth several further options including: Ciate, Essie, Nails Inc, Rimmel. Leading to further investigations when out in Bury, the home of Beauty Box Swaps, on a mini birthday meet up. Selflessly Introducing, Beauty Box Swaps Biker Chick Carol Harris, to Bury TK Maxx to spot a set of 3 Essie items including their 'matte about you' top coat. Well I'm sure you'll agree this purchase was meant to be :)
I initially tried the top coat on my existing polish which at the time was Leighton Denny Porcelain Doll on just one nail *restrained*. Then because I am lazy I waited patiently until my nails needed doing again before having a proper experiment. 
I decided to kill to birds with one stone and also test out E-NUFF is E-NUFF. Being mainly a fan of candy pinks this is not a colour I would normally have chosen. However I do quite like this colour especially with the addition of a genius matte top coat. It looks somehow kind of vintagey 1950sey.
glossy nails compared to matte
Essie E-NUFF is E-NUFF with two
coats of Essie Matte about you

Have you tried matte top coat? Where did you discover it? What have you learnt through Beauty Box Swaps?