So many wonderful brands contributed to the goody bags for the #LDNBloggersParty I organised recently (post here), that I felt I couldn’t possibly review them all efficiently in the same post as the event. I appreciate goody bags are not the main function of the event, but as stated previously – I love going home with a treat to try out and review on my own blog, so inevitably, at any event I organise – goody bags were obligatory.
As you can see from the photographs, the spare room in my boyfriend’s house has been largely taken up by the goody bags – and the various packaging’s that the goodies arrived in. It will be nice to have a little more room to move about now, but I absolutely loved putting them together and I hope you all love them too.
The 95 goody bags I prepared were very mixed, as some brands sent 20 products, some 30 and some 90, so hopefully everyone got a nice variety of products to try out. I quite often find that the mini versions I get in goody bags are one of the main ways I discover new products, and since many of the products featured are favourites of mine (purposefully, I contacted brands that I personally love) – I can’t wait to hear what you all think!
St Moriz is honestly, my go-to brand for all things fake tan. They are very affordable (everything is under £10) and they provide a gorgeous golden glow, that is anything but orange. The products rarely streak, and I’m always asked ‘have you been away, you’re a lovely colour’, which is always a plus point! I was extremely happy that they agreed to donate several of their instant face tanning products for the goody bags, as it’s one of my personal must haves – and I don’t think St Moriz is given enough credit on the internet.
The medium matte colour is very blend-able and you can build up the colour without it going streaky, so it suits the majority of skin tones and since it’s instant (and wash off), it is perfect for a night out (where you’ve forgotten to fake tan the night before) or pre-holiday for that golden sun-kissed glow. It is primarily a ‘face’ product, but the colour looks lovely on legs too (again – if you’ve forgotten to tan the night before) and it is water resistant, so if it rains (UK – I’m talking to you), you won’t end up with an undesirable stripy complexion.
Again, Oriflame is another favourite brand of mine that I feel isn’t given enough credit for its fabulous products. Similar to Avon (in a way), the brand itself is mainly bought from catalogues and online, but their products are affordable price-wise, but high end product-wise. I find this product to be very similar to mac’s false lashes mascara, which is very easy to build volume with but at the same time – very lightweight. The wand is quite thick, but it builds up the volume and length of lashes without leaving that horrid clumpy look.
I think the majority of goody bags were given one of these gorgeous mascaras, so I look forward to hearing what you all think of the coverage and thickness. If you are looking for a new make-up brand to try out – you really can find some fantastic beauty bargains with Oriflame (and the products really are amazing).
I love false lashes. I won’t lie. I wear them for the majority of major events that I attend – and I probably own about 40 sets (at present). However, very rarely do people actually notice that they are false, as I am always complimented (I sound like I’m blowing my own trumpet here I know) on how naturally long my lashes are. Whilst this is lovely, I can never actually keep the secret and just accept the compliment, instead I enter into conversation about which lashes I find to be most natural, and how I attach them to the lash line so they look as realistic as possible. The two things I look for in falsies is that they are lightweight (because, really and truly – who wants to feel like they are balancing two dumbbells on their lids all night?) and they are flexible.
One brand that ticks both boxes is Haute Couture, whose ‘Kiss’ lashes are lightweight, natural looking and very flexible – which means they can be applied easily, without them pinging off at either corner. Although they maintain a great level of thickness to them, building up the length and volume of your lashes times ten, they look very real and they attach to your lash-line quickly and easily without much trouble. The handy little applicator that is included helps to attach them without fuss (and without worry of stabbing yourself in the eye with tweezers). I usually run a line of liquid black eyeliner over where the false lash meets my lash line to keep them looking as natural and as seamless as possible.
I absolutely adore independent jewellery and accessory companies, because you tend to find gorgeous little gems (and at much more affordable prices) in them then in high street stores or chain brands. Gypsy Rose Vintage is one of my all time favourites for earrings and headbands, because everything is handmade so delicately that each piece is really special looking. I was delighted when they agreed to work with us for the goody bags, and was even more so when a box of 30 sets of earrings popped through my letterbox.
Immediately, I was instagramming each pair and popping them into the goody bags (although I will admit, I did keep a set for myself as they really are gorgeous). You all seemed to love them too, so I can’t wait to see what outfits you team them with and what you think of them. If you do get a chance, have a little look at their site, especially if you’re heading off to a festival this summer, as they do gorgeous headwear and accessories perfect for summer wear!
Again, Bekl is another company that I have worked with before and absolutely love their jewellery, so I couldn’t wait to work with them for the goody bags. Each aptly emblazoned with a tiny ‘b’ (for Bekl, but also for – bloggers!), the mix of bracelets are very versatile to wear, make perfect gifts for friends – and also are the perfect accessory for any summer festival. Bekl hand make a variety of cute bracelets, some of which have inspirational quotes printed across the front (keeping up your motivation throughout the day, whenever you need it most).
I’m sure we’ve all found our perfect dress in the past which we can’t wait to wear, but then discover that the only possible way you can actually wear it is to go braless? I have that problem with at least 5 of my favourite summer dresses, but unfortunately, that’s just not an option (I’d probably knock someone out). Wonderlifts, are basically the new, easier and much simpler ‘stick on bra’, which lift your boobs (so even if the dress is cleavage bearing, you’re in luck), provide support and fits cup sizes A-D. It’s strapless, backless, transparent and waterproof, providing invisible support for those braless moments.
Stick on, I will agree, initially sounds a little uncomfortable – but I promise you, within 15 minutes of wearing, you hardly notice it’s there and they really do lift your boobs to heights even bras can’t (perfect for halter neck dresses or strapless). I’ve tried them out once since I first discovered them – and I honestly wouldn’t recommend anything else!
I love a shortcut, especially when it comes to nails – as I honestly find waiting for your nails to dry is the single most boring and time consuming thing ever. I regularly avoid changing the nail polish I have on, because I simply can’t be bothered to wait for the new colour to dry (lazy, I know), so when I discovered nail wraps a little while ago, it was like the gods had created a product just for me. Okay, okay, little over exaggeration there – but it seemed like my perfect product!
However, the nail wraps I tried out the first few times tended to peel off within a few days, which irritated me – so for awhile I was on the hunt for something a little more ‘Scarlett-proof’ but still just as simple and easy to use. KIKO’s Ready-To-Go Fluo is the ideal nail wrap, quick, easy and ready to go in minutes – in a variety of gorgeous summery shades. The neon, fluorescent trend is going to be huge this summer so luckily, KIKO have created the ‘Fluo Orange’ shade, perfect for teaming with a summery dress and golden bronzed skin. In five easy steps, you have perfectly manicured nails with a bright, bold colour that doesn’t chip – nor does it need any drying time!
Since the ‘hair oil boom’ a few years back, where everyone discovered natural oils properties in nourishing and moisturising hair, Macadamia have been the brand that everyone has been raving about. One of my all time favourite products is the Macadamia hair oil rinse, which leaves your hair so silky and soft – it’s unreal. I haven’t yet found a product to rival it. So, I was over the moon when they agreed to contribute to the goody bags!
Tucked safely in a cute little pouch, each blogger received a 30ml bottle of Healing Oil Treatment, which is perfect for rubbing into the ends of towel dried hair for silky soft waves, or for styling/protecting when blow drying. If you struggle to keep your hair under control on holiday (the humidity HATES my hair), I found that Macadamia oil really kept the frizz at bay – which is worth considering if you’re jetting off somewhere exotic but would rather your hair stay calm! Also included is a little sachet of the Deep Repair Masque which I tried the other day and absolutely LOVED! If you apply it to wet hair after shampooing and wrap your hair in a towel (leaving for 7-10 minutes), the effect you get afterwards is amazing!
Dirty Works were kind enough to send over a selection of their products to include in the goody bags, so I know that different goody bags may have contained slightly different products. One of my favourites is the kitsch little emery boards (or nail files, as I refer to them as – is this the technical term?), as they are decorated with little cats, fish and birds. Perfect for keeping in your handbag for those emergency moments (and come on – we all have them), these are an absolute must for (in Dirty Works’ own words) ‘tidy paws’. I absolutely love the packaging of the Dirty Works products – and although I hadn’t previously come across them before – they certainly stand out for me in terms of affordability, design and quality.
Nail wraps are the world’s easiest manicures, and I can’t believe I hadn’t discovered them sooner. When you’re in a hurry, you’ve forgotten to paint your nails before a night out – or you simply hate waiting for your nails to dry (join the club!), these are the ideal solution, as they take a matter of minutes and need no drying time at all. Kiss kindly donated lots of Zebra Print nail wraps for the goody bags, perfect for teaming with a LBD to jazz up your outfit – or for your holiday, for ‘by the beach’ relaxation!
I don’t know what it is about holiday humidity, but it always manages to leave my hair looking like a startled mess. I’ve been on the lookout for an anti-frizz leave in spray for quite awhile now, having tired of my Aussie 3-minute miracle version. YUKO is the perfect alternative, in a spray bottle for easy application, with a light, yet fresh scent and a no greasy or sticky residue. It soothes hair after a long day in the sun, and leaves it feeling just as soft and silky as it is at home!
Palmer’s is one of my all time favourite brands, primarily (I won’t lie) because of the gorgeous cocoa butter scent that each one of their products maintains, but also because of how soft and silky it leaves your skin feeling. I was delighted to hear that Palmer’s were eager to come on board and donate samples of their Palmer’s Natural Bronze body lotion, which has a little hint of fake tan in – meaning you can build up a very subtle, but golden tan. During the summer months, when you’re building up your perfect glowing tan, this is ideal to put on every night – not only to act as a moisturizing after-sun, but also to boost your skin’s natural tan and give some added shimmer for the evening. If you haven’t yet tried it, it’s an absolute must have!
Make-up storage is honestly one of my favourite things to browse the web for, and I know I’m not alone (the number of posts I’ve read on this topic is telling!). So when beauty storage brand Roo Beauty said they would be happy to donate some of their nail polish storage bags for the goody bags, I was beyond excited.
Perfect for taking your nail polishes with you on the move (it stores them all upright, so there’s no worries of a leak) or for displaying them on your dressing table, the gorgeous leopard print bag can hold up to 20 of your favourite shades, and even has a removable insert so that you can use it for storing other smaller make-up items if necessary. It’s lightweight, has a mesh top (so you can see all of your polishes when the bag is closed and has a handle for easy on the move travel. I love it!
Milk_shake haircare is an all time favourite of mine, as I’m sure you can tell from this review here. They kindly supplied us with samples of their milk hair masque, which I have been using for the past few weeks – and can personally vouch for. With a smooth, creamy texture and a refreshing scent, it leaves your locks silky smooth without that heavy weighty feeling a lot of similar products give. Since changing up my hair routine and adding milk_shake into the mix, my hair has honestly never looked or felt better!
As well as some of the bigger brands who contributed, I was delighted that Fashion Cosmetics wanted to be a part of the goody bags, especially as each of their products is handmade with natural ingredients and packaged together lovingly by hand too. With organic olive oil and calendula oil whipped into the mix, this creamy body butter not only smells gorgeous, but leaves your skin feeling gorgeous too. It’s one of my personal favourites – so I can’t wait to hear what you think!
When you’re on the move, commuting to work in the morning, or travelling around the world – there comes a time when you wish you’d packed two things. A nail file and a compact. In our family, they tops the charts as the most ‘asked for’ and they always to miraculously disappear when you need them most. So luckily, Miss Luxe have a fantastic two-in-one nail file and compact kit to keep in your handbag, perfect for those emergency beauty moments!
Any Which Way kindly made 90 ‘Blogger’ necklaces for the #LDNBloggersParty, in an assortment of bold colours. They are exclusive for the event themselves, so if you received one – they are one of a kind, however Any Which Way design and make creative colourful jewellery specially for the customer – depending on their interests, taste and style. I personally love the ‘blogger’ necklace as it’s really funky and perfect for casual summer wear, but I can’t wait to hear what you all think and see how you style them!
With festival season nearly upon us, the dry shampoo market has never been so popular. The mini samples of this So…? version is perfect to pop into your festival luggage (however compact) and the added boost of volume it gives mean that just because you’re without the luxuries of home, you can still look and feel your very best!
You may remember the brand So…? for their body sprays and fragrances, so in keeping with their fragrant roots – this product also smells amazing, unlike a lot of dry shampoos which leave your hair smelling rather strange.
If you’ve read my beauty section, you’ll probably already know how much of a fan I am of Rouge Bunny Rouge, so as you can imagine – I was unbelievably happy that they decided to contribute to the goody bags. Sent in the shades ‘Bejewelled Skylark’ and ‘Tantalising Lovebird’ (don’t you just love the names of these products), the iridescent eyeshadows are creamy in texture, yet dries and seals matte. Once set, it lasts a good 8 hours, without smudging, sliding or fading. The Bejewelled Skylark is a rich chocolate brown with shimmers of deep red (my favourite) and looks gorgeous with an evening outfit or a LBD.
Tantalising Lovebird is more of a frosty coral pink and the kind of colour that I would normally use as a base, before using a darker shade for the creaseline. I can’t wait for all you #LDNBloggersParty girls to try these out for yourselves, as they are fantastic eye shadows – far superior to even some high end make-up brand shadows.
Thanks also to Kate Fearnley Boutique, Miss Luxe, Compeed, What’s About Town, Mania Mia, Neal & Wolf and Laurence Dumont for the great vouchers and mini samples! After wearing 6 inch heels for the entirety of the event, I definitely needed the Compeed blister plasters that’s for sure!
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Thanks again to all of the wonderful brands who contributed to the goody bags, I for one am a huge fan of all of the products and can vouch for how wonderful they are first hand. Again, goody bags aren’t the primary function of events – but it was run for beauty and fashion bloggers after all – who share the same passion for trying out new products as I do!