You may have noticed a new addition to my bar on the right- I'm super excited to announce that I'm an Official Manchester Fashion Week Blogger!
I'm stoked to be a part of the proceedings this year. I find Manchester such a fashionable and inspirational city with such great design talent and established companies; it's only right that we have our own fashion week!
As a perk of being a Manchester Fashion Week blogger, I will receive monthly gift boxes of treats and products to try out from some of the partner brands.
So without further ado, here are my thoughts on box number one.
Fashion & Beauty
Lancome Hypnôse Drama Mascara: I love a good volumising mascara; for me, it's probably the most important item in my makeup bag. I'd actually never tried this one so was really pleased to receive this sample in my box. FYI, some of my past favourites are Dior's Diorshow, Max Factor's False Lash Effect, Yves Saint Laurent's (or should I say Saint Laurent?) Volume Effet Faux Cils and currently Benefit's They're Real! I've been using this for a few days now and am quite impressed! I'd say that it's main effect is thickening. It provided good volume and length but wasn't as great on separation (something I find my Benefit mascara gives well). The brush is a curious curved shape as opposed to the original Hypnôse version and I've heard there's a correct application method to get the effect right with this one so it may just require more practice.
Lancome Génifique Yeux Youth Activating Eye Concentrate: While I can't comment on the anti-ageing effects of this, I've applied it on a few mornings before putting on my make-up and found it really nice to use. It has a velvety texture but feels light on the skin. It's slightly cooling on application and made my eye area softer and appear brightened.
Redken Velvet Gelatine (07) Cushioning Blow-Dry Gel: I love my hair products and was very happy to hear that Redken were to be a partner brand for Manchester Fashion Week as I'm a big fan of their products of which I have many (almost as many as Tigi's). I've used this on several occasions in place of my usual Tigi Bed Head Superstar Thickening Spray on wet hair before blow-drying. Though a 'gel', it feels really silky and absorbed really easily and left no residue on my hands. Even without my usual thickening spray, it left my hair volumised and bouncy with plenty of body. My hair looked shiny and healthy after blow-drying so it's a thumbs up from me!
Gift Voucher from Hair 1 UK: I received a £10 voucher from the team at Hair 1 UK. I've never been to the salon before but looking forward to going!
Inner Me Lustrous Locks Vitamin Complex: These girly vitamins contain MSM and Silica and promise to give healthier looking hair in two-weeks. The first thing I noticed about these is the packaging- it's so pretty! I love the illustration, it reminds me of a blogger profile portrait. These are marked with the days of the week to remind you when you need to take them which I found really useful (though I've still managed to miss a few). So far I can say my hair is looking good!
Multi-pearl Ring from Accessoryo: I'd heard of Accessoryo before but never really had a look at their jewellery collection. While the ring in my box probably isn't something I'd pick myself, they've got a good range of fashion jewellery on the site at reasonable prices.
Hotel Chocolat Milk Oblivion Sleekster Selection: Who doesn't love a nice box of choccies and they don't come much better than Hotel Chocolat. These were scoffed by Chris and I within two days (oops). My faves were the cinnamon praline and sea salted caramel chocolate.
Megaload Sweet & Salty Peanut Butter Cups: I love American sweets and chocolates but sadly hate peanut butter! That didn't stop me from having one (and a half...) of these though and they were actually really yummy!
PopChips Sour Cream and Onion Potato Chips: I've heard a bit about Popchips recently having done the rounds at London Fashion Week (the new Vitamin Water??) but haven't seen them on the supermarket shelves anywhere. These are made from potatoes like regular crisps but are 'popped' like popcorn so they're healthier than fried crisps and tastier than baked ones. I would be inclined to agree and at 95 cals a bag I think I'll be buying these in the future!
Teapigs Darjeeling Earl Grey Tea: I'd heard good things about Teapigs from various tea enthusiasts but it wasn't until I went to a conference with work a couple of weeks ago that I actually tried one of their teas; I can honestly say it was the best peppermint tea I've had! After this I was pleased to receive another in my box to taste but being the uncultured northerner that I am, I think I probably spoilt it by adding a glug of milk. It probably would have been nicer without but it was really fragrant and I enjoyed it nevertheless.
I've really loved trying out everything in my box and can't wait for the next one to arrive.
Have you had the chance to try anything new recently?