Saturday, 28 July 2012

Beauty Box Swaps Birthday

29th July 2012 was Beauty Box Swap's first birthday. I feel very proud we have reached our first anniversary.
Here is our story so far...
Once upon a time there was a girl called Lucy Brown. Lucy discovered Glossy Box when her friend Eileen shared it on Facebook.  Although Lucy was low maintenance and not a big fan of beauty products she loved receiving presents and was instantly captivated by the concept of being sent a box of surprise gifts every month. Lucy was too late to sign up for the legendary May 2011 Glossy Box but was lucky enough to subscribe from June onwards. 
It was through Glossy Box that she discovered BIOeffect a magical serum that turned back time on her frown lines and other signs of aging. Lucy soon realised that BIOeffect was her 'Stardust' and if she did not use this enchanted elixir she would revert to her previous deeply wizened appearance. Unfortunately her Glossy Box only contained a tiny vial of the potion. Lucy pondered how she could get her hands on more of this vital dew. At first she tried posting on Glossy Box's Facebook page sadly this did not prove fruitful.
Then she realised that she needed to come up with a better idea. Eventually she realised it would be easier for herself and others to swap if there was a dedicated Facebook page for swapping Glossy Box products. And so it came to pass that Glossy Swaps was born. However her excitement was short lived when the rulers of the Glossy Box kingdom determined that they would prefer not to have a lowly swaps page associated with their name. 
Lucy was in despair she loved Glossy Swaps but realised that it would be unfair and unjust of her to use the Glossy Box branding without their approval and consent. Fortunately Lucy  had a beautiful and wise sister called Ruthy aka Minibreak Mummy and she came up with a new name for the page: Beauty Box Swaps. Lucy soon realised this new name was even better because other monthly boxes of treasure were becoming available to subscribe to. The next box in the kingdom was Boudoir Prive (now Jolie Box) and other boxes then came to be including: Amarya, Carmine, Feel Unique, She Said, Amitee, Lux Box & Betrousse also Latest in Beauty periodically offered exciting one off boxes too.
In time as the popularity of Beauty Box Swaps grew she realised that it was time to develop a brand identity, again lucky Lucy was able to turn to a beautiful and talented sister for help. Her sister Alice used her artistry to conjure up a logo exactly in the image that Lucy had dreamed of. And to this day this logo is in use to reinforce the Beauty Box Swaps brand.
Along the journey of the first year of Beauty Box Swaps a fair and beautiful princess Sarah of Southampton provided gracious and wise assistance to Lucy and she soon realised that Beauty Box Swaps would not thrive to it's full potential without Sarah's practical and spiritual guidance. Never had Lucy come across a maiden so stunning and yet so spectacularly sage.  
As Beauty Box Swaps approached it's first birthday Lucy decided that it would be lovely to be in a position to gift her swapping sisters with treasures to mark the occasion, as her own means are unfortunately meagre. She called upon the Beauty Boxes for help. Much to her delight one by one they came forward with offerings for the celebration. Lucy danced with joy as Amarya, Amitee, Betrousse, Latest in Beauty, Lux Box and She Said all rewarded her audaciousness with gifts.
These gifts can now be won by fair maidens of the Beauty Box Swaps community on the original Beauty Box Swaps page where this story began twelve short months ago...
What adventures do the next twelve months have in store for Beauty Box Swaps... ?

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Diary of my Pink Hair by Lucy Brown aged 40 & a half

On Monday 9th July I decided the time had come when I needed to dye my hair pink. This was not a popular decision with either my best friend or with my hairdresser. But It was just something I felt compelled to do.
I realised if I didn't do it now, I probably never would. The timing was right. Benefit are fundraising for Refuge and I hoped I could raise some extra funds for their campaign. I was also planning to attend a pink and black themed birthday party on Saturday 14th and had no pink accessories so a radical change of hair colour was my only option wasn't it?
I am concious that at 40 I am not getting any younger. I recently had a crisis over some very silly shoes from TopShop which I realised if I did buy them they would have to be my last hurrah of silly shoes as it turned out I resisted them and I am coming to terms with the fact that I just may just not buy any more silly shoes, although it must be still ok to wear the ones I already own, right?
So I think the pink hair decision is rolled into the whole I'm getting to old to wear silly shoes and have pink hair mid-life crisis.
On reflection as potential mistakes go I re-assured my bessie & my hairdresser that if it was a disaster I could always go brunette or it could be bleached out. I also realised that if it didn't work out well I wouldn't feel as self concious/miserable as I did when I had alopecia areta 2010/2011.
My hairdresser reluctantly booked me in for an appt. on Thursday 12th. I took the picture below while I was waiting for her to arrive. The look I was aiming for was a pale pastel dirty pink colour.
Before being pinked
This is the dye she used
In progress...
After Being Pinked
The next day ready for work
How it looked that evening
How it looked at the Pink & Black themed 
Birthday party
How it looked this morning one week on
excuse the make-up free morning face
I am pleased with the result. I have received lots of lovely compliments. I am now just seeing how it continues to look over the next couple of weeks. Although I am glad that I went ahead with pink hair on this occasion I have no plans to repeat the experience... but you never know

If you would like to make a donation to Benefit's Mascarathon in aid of Refuge please use the link below:

Sunday, 1 July 2012

What's In my Handbag

A few weeks ago on the wall of Beauty Box Swappers, the group that runs alongside my Facebook page Beauty Box Swaps, I spotted a link to What's in My Handbag. I was curious to see what this website is all about and clicked the link without hesitation.
The concept is an appealing one: 'Peek inside beauty, fashion and creative insiders' handbags and discover the beauty products they really use and love.'
You can upload pictures of your own handbags. I am finding this challenging to do I have lots of favourite products and cherished items I want to share but I am struggling to make them look good together in a photo. I have so far only uploaded this handbag.
There is also a weekly opportunity to register to try 'the beauty products everyone else loves'. I have so far been lucky enough to receive one 'Try': the Percy & Reed Dry Conditioner. It arrived as delightfully packaged as the referral reward gift featured above.
WIMH are currently operating a referral scheme with rewards. I am very fortunate to be able to reach lots of lovely beauty minded ladies through Beauty Box Swaps. Thanks to my swapping sisters using my referral link to join the site I have received two reward gifts from WIMH this week.
For referring 25 people they sent me a £25 gift of beauty products and for referring 50 people they sent me a £50 gift card from Selfridges (I believe they have since amended this gift to £25). I am so grateful to my fellow Beauty Box Swappers for helping me to receive these much appreciated treats.
Having £50 to spend on myself at Selfridges is something that has only occurred once before in my lifetime and that was when my in laws treated me and my sister in law to Mac make-overs with £50 each to spend a couple of years ago. I am beyond thrilled and also slightly overwhelmed at the prospect and the possibilities offered by this exciting plastic card. I can't express how delighted I am with this gift and how thankful I am to WIMH and everyone who clicked my referral link. You may have to wait a while to see what I spend this on as I am planning on spending it, in my imagination, several times over.
For those of you who are interested to see what I received in my beauty products gift, here it is:

I am ashamed to say when I first opened the box I thought 'is that it?' But I quickly admonished myself as I realised monthly subscription beauty boxes have given me a distorted perception of what to expect for £25, after all you would get 5 times as many products in beauty box currency, unrealistic in the real world.
I received a Filthy Gorgeous Polish in Noelle and a Omorovicza Correcting Pencil including sharpener.  Being a big fan of candy pink polishes I've not made my mind up yet about the polish. However I am wowed by the correcting pencil :) My 40 year old skin has many imperfections to correct especially redness. I have quickly tested this pencil on one side of my face and it left it looking relatively flawless. I am personally not a fan of concealing under my eyes as in my opinion it can sometimes make me look worse. But this wonder pencil definitely improved the look of this area.
I have never previously heard of this premium brand. WIMH also thoughtfully included a 43 page Omorovicza catalogue so I can read about their product range. However their products are rather beyond my means, it's a shame you can't buy Omorovicza in Selfridges or I may have been tempted to point my gift card their way.
To those who hoped I would use these prizes in a give away. I am very sorry to disappoint but I personally appreciate and value these gifts too much to give them away. Those who know me well will know this isn't through any lack of generosity on my part but for other valid personal reasons.