Birchbox August Box Reveal and Review

Having taken note of several Birchbox reviews and recent boxes I have been waiting for the right time to sign up and I chose this month for two reasons. The first is because they had a fabulous deal on with free gifts, and the box also contains a Spectrum Brush that is only usually available inside the set of its colour…

So I have had delivered a one off Birchbox to Reveal its contents and Review honestly for you all this week. This unboxing is the contents of the August Box, which has a theme of Mermaids. The box itself is beautiful, a detailed scales design of Blues, Greens and Purples, with a golden trim.

I will tell you honestly why I wanted this box, and it’s more for the Spectrum Brush than any of the other items. Though I was pleasantly surprised by the actual box design quality and the other contents, and I will of course try any product once, and plan to do so with what Birchbox have chosen to send me.

The Birchbox measures 18.2cm in Length, by 12cm Wide and 5cm Deep. The design really stands out against my white backdrop as I begin to photograph the unopened contents.

Now it’s time for the Reveal! Let’s open my Mermaid themed box!

The free gift that I managed to get with my order was a fabulous summery and rather stripey makeup bag, and a Nails Inc Nail Polish. The bag is lilac and yellow and measures 22cm by 16cm. It is adorned with a yellow rope and pink trim that includes zip and the word Birchbox in a clear plastic. The Nails Inc Nail Kale Polish is in the colour of Regal Close and is a nude shade.

Nails Inc is a good brand that I have tried and tested before. I was happy that I was receiving something that was well known. The makeup bag reminds me of Summer with the shades of its stripes. They are two free gifts that I will certainly enjoy.

Here is the full list of the items that I received in my Birchbox. I will be looking at them individually, and photographically, in just a moment.

Spectrum Clam Brush A05

Seba Med Clear Face Mattifying Cream

Oribe Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray

LOC Eye Shadow Stick

Merci Handy New Wave Love & Hand Gel


Spectrum Clam Brush A05

The A05 Brush by Spectrum Collections is designed for applying blusher or bronzer with precision. It is a beautiful brush that is part of the Spectrum Atlantis Collection, usually only supplied inside the Glam Clam. A turquoise handle and a brush end with bristles of lilac and pink, this makeup brush is finished with a rose gold ferrule.


Seba Med Clear Face Mattifying Cream

This Seba Med Clear Face Cream is designed to be free from oils, it is the ideal PH for the skin at 5.5. A non-greasy and shine-reducing cream, this is meant to be moisturising for oily skin. Containing Aloe Vera and Hyaluronic Acid to keep your skin hydrated and smooth, without clogging pores. This travel size at 10ml is great for a handbag or for travelling.

Oribe Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray

The Oribe Spray can add texture and shine by adding a tousled waves to the hair. It has added proteins and vitamins to give the hair a boost, and can be applied to wet or dry locks. It contains ingredients that have a natural dose of UV protection and natural oils like sunflower and others such as marigolds and amber, to ensure the hair gets nourished. This can is a 37ml size, ideal for going away but be aware this might not be allowed in aeroplane luggage due to being an aerosol.

LOC Eye Shadow Stick

A Birchbox Exclusive, the LOC stick is a precise eye liner shadow pencil which claims to have 11 hours of crease free staying power. It is a compact size but I think from the swatch that I did it will go a long way. In my opinion it is an ideal base for other eye shadow colours to be built up on. Mine was named “Out of your Shell”. The One and Done Eye Shadow Stick is supposed to be easy to apply and comes in a travel size at 1.35g.


Merci Handy New Wave Love & Hand Cleansing Gel

A handy sized sanitiser which is great for handbags or travelling. A simple item but a rather useful one. I received this blue one, called New Wave. I like that it smells nice, it even has glitter inside it for a touch of glam, and it is also supposed to nourish your skin while killing bacteria because it contains Vitamin E and emollient beads. It smells like fruity and clean all at the same time, and is a ‘handy’ 30ml size.

My favourite items from the box are the LOC Eye Shadow Stick and the Spectrum Collections Glam Clam A05 Brush.

My reasons are because I will definitely use these pieces. I wanted the brush so badly to use in blogging and in my makeup. The other items I will all use and/or test, so I just see them as a bonus. I quietly hope that I can use them all despite my sensitive skin.

Here is another image of my items that were inside my August Birchbox.

And below is another shot of the free nail polish and the makeup bag.


Overall I am pleased that I did this Reveal, If I am very happy with any of the individual products then you will no doubt see individual reviews of the items.

Thank you very much for reading this blog post today, I really hope you’ve enjoyed this reveal and of course all of my detailed photography.

If you’re interested in some Birchbox products then please check out their website, they have a shop and you can subscribe to the boxes if you wish to.

Birchbox

If you liked this but want to ‘See’ more then check out my unboxing video, reveal and honest review of the box over on my YouTube Channel.

Thanks Severn Wishes followers, until next time!

✩ Sabrina ✩

Barry M Gelly Hi Shine Nail Paint Review

BarryMNailPaint1I recently purchased some BarryM Nail Paint, something I had never used before. If anyone entered my recent giveaway you’ll remember I gave one of them away, a lush pink colour. But another of the shades that I kept for myself was this incredibly bright turquoise colour. Like the shade that the sea is in faraway climates. I adore these sorts of colours; in fact the majority of my nail varnish collection is a mixture of blues, greens and reds.

Having read the packaging attached to the bottle I noticed that it said to apply a base coat underneath this polish. So I prepared my nails, filed and buffed, before applying two coats of my usual top coat, Rimmel London’s clear 60 seconds polish. I felt I was ready to apply the nail paint and braced myself for what the brush would be like. It was a regular size brush (I have quite slim nails) and the bristles seemed firm and durable as I applied the first brush stroke to my left thumb.

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When I initially began to apply the BarryM Gelly Hi Shine Nail Paint the first thing I noticed was how thick and shiny the polish was. It looked good inside the glass bottle, but sometimes the look of nail varnish can differ once applied. However with this the colour was not only accurate but it was bright and super glossy.

After I applied two coats of the nail paint I allowed my hands to dry for around 10 minutes, when I lightly touched the polish it still wasn’t completely dry in places. So I would recommend that you stay in a ventilated room or wave your hands up and down to dry out your nails. Honestly, I am used to the quicker nail polishes so I wasn’t sure what else to do. I have since read that sunlight or warmth helps, however it was a grey day when I applied it, so waving my arms around like a lunatic was my solution.

Once dry I attempted to remove the excess that almost always spills over on my small dainty finger nails. My hack for you (if you have the same issue) is to gently use the pointed end of a toothpick to nudge the dried varnish away from the skin. It can then be gently pulled off without disturbing the manicure.

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So how impressed am I by this nail paint? Well I will begin by saying it looks amazing, the quality of it once fully dried is impressive because it is so shiny and smooth. When I tried to take photographs of my nails there were reflections on almost all images. This simply enhances the fact that I think my nails were the shiniest they have ever been with any kind of polish or paint! Another wonderful thing is the colour, it was vibrant and what you see in the bottle is a matte version of the shiny shade you’ll receive on the nail itself. I am more than happy with the experience that I have had with this new purchase, and I would definitely consider getting more colours of this type of nail paint, in my opinion the quality is worth the price in this case. My only criticism is how long it takes to dry, I did have to redo one nail because I thought it was dry, only to crease it and have to reapply the nail paint to the ruined nail and then wait again for it to dry completely. You of course cannot do anything during this time in fear of damaging the fresh manicure. So this type of nail paint is only good if you have the time and patience to apply and allow for it to dry.

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Comparing this nail paint to the reviews I did of Rimmel London’s Super Gel and the Essie nail lacquer I would say that BarryM Gelly Hi Shine stayed shiny for longer. The initial application of all these polishes made my nails smooth and shiny, but the BarryM seems harder wearing. I didn’t wear it for anywhere near as long as I did the Rimmel London however, so I cannot review this on a length of time versus quality comparison. What I can tell you is that the BarryM took a lot more effort to remove than any of the other polishes I have reviewed. And I feel that the glossy and vibrant look of this nail paint speaks for itself in both quality and appearance.

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My final review on this BarryM Gelly Hi Shine Nail Paint is;
Quality 5/5
Value 5/5
Appearance 5/5
Durability 4/5
Convenience 3/5

I hope you have enjoyed this review, if you use Barry M I would love to hear your recommendations, leave me a comment.

If you haven’t read my other nail varnish reviews perhaps you can take a look at the photography on them and decide for yourself which brand looks better http://severnwishes.co.uk/category/nail-varnish/

✩ Sabrina

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Essie Nail Varnish Review

Essie is a brand from the US who specialise in nail varnish/lacquer with a huge range of shades, they have been supplying salons since 1981 with their fabulous nail polishes and now gels.

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As some of you might know Diet Coke were running a promotion at Boots stores in May where you could purchase an Essie Nail Polish with a Diet Coke for a special price. Before now I hadn’t ever tried the Essie brand, and I wanted to take advantage of this promotion and reach out of my normal brand comfort zone, and try something new.

I popped down to my local boots and out of the three shades that qualified with the promotion I liked the pale pink one the best. It was called Fiji and I hoped that it would go better with my skin-tone. I own a lot of dark reds and blues, and one of the shades was a deep red colour, and I wanted to try something new and out of my usual choice range.

EssieOneI was pleasantly surprised with the quality, the nail polish applied smoothly and had a lovely shine to it. The colour I chose suited my skin tone and looked very flattering with a range of outfits as I wore it over the weekend.

It was a fairly thick lacquer, which was great because you could wear it with just one coat if you changed the colour regularly anyway. I could only wear mine for a couple of days before needing to remove it due to work commitments, so when I came to take it off I was surprised how much remover I needed. I think the quality is excellent and would have remained on my nails a long time without many chips if I had let it. I may test this theory with another essie purchase in the future to see how it stands up to other brands I have reviewed recently.

Light shades seem to be on trend this year, and I don’t own many bright colours, so I think I definitely made the right decision by choosing this one. I hope to get more in the near future because there are so many shades available to try! Especially if you go to larger boots stores, I found the range very good in my local.

Overall I think I have been converted to the essie brand, mainly because of how impressed I have been with the quality of this product. I find that it is obviously more expensive than what I am used to purchasing, but I am hoping to save up some boots points and when I fancy trying another shade use them to treat myself on this. Maybe I will review more in the near future – watch this space!

EssieTwoSWDo you have any essie shades that you’ve purchased this year that you can recommend? I would love to hear other peoples experiences too.

★ Sabrina ★

Rimmel London Super Gel Nail Varnish Review

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I will start by saying that Rimmel London are my go-to brand for nail varnishes, I love all of the wonderful shades they release and buy several of them each year. So when I heard about their new Super Gel I was intrigued how you could get the salon quality yourself at home.

After a few weeks of watching the bottles land on the shelves and seeing other people writing reviews I really wanted to try this product for myself. By the time I purchased this one I had read a mixture of reviews. I knew that I could do the 14 day test required, coinciding with what it says on each bottle about the varnish lasting up to 14 days. I was doubtful it would if I am honest (from what others had written about it) and I made no attempts to prevent the chipping on my nails, just going about my daily routines as normal.

For this review I have simply followed all of the instructions on the bottles, I took nail pictures every few days to show the progression of the quality that remained, and I was actually very pleasantly surprised by the result. This review outlines my application and subsequent photographic evidence of the condition of my nails after the 14 days. The base coat colour I chose is called 043 Venus.

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Day 1. Application time! My nails are shiny and smooth and honestly look great, not that professional because I’m not as neat as a nail technician, but I do okay. This involved me applying the nail varnish one coat at a time and I did wait for 5 minutes in between applications to ensure each was thoroughly dried. I followed the instructions on the bottles to the letter and once finished with applying I made sure that they were 100% dry before I went about any daily duties.

Nails3Day 3. Today I began to notice a few very tiny chips at the edge of my thumb and first finger. Not that noticeable though unless you were up close. This was bound to happen to me because of all the things that my hands go through every day. But it’s not bad enough to ruin the manicure. My nails are still a wonderful shade and are shiny, I have been both cooking and cleaning and typing the past 48 hours, so I am surprised they are in such good condition. So far so good!

Nails8 Day 5. Other than a few minor chips my nails look great. The look and feel of he polish is still smooth and shiny which is what I would expect to see from a successful manicure. So far the quality of both the polish and the gel top coat is excellent.

Nails6Day 7. It’s been a week since the application and overall my nails look fabulous! The shine, colour and smoothness is still apparent and other than my thumb and first finger loosing some polish at the tips the manicure is still in a very good condition. When looking at them not close up you wouldn’t notice the chips.

Nails7Day 9.  Today I inspected my nails and as you can imagine they are beginning to grow out now at the backs. Their pink lines stand out against the dark red colour painted upon them. Saying that though the look of my nail varnish is still very good. My first finger, thumb and middle finger are now beginning to look worse for wear, but from a distance you can’t tell very much.

Nails5Day 11. Not much difference in two days despite my daily duties. All of the nails are beginning to grow out now and most are chipped at the edges. Saying that I have never known a nail polish to last this long without me needing to remove and re-apply at least one of the finger nails.

Nails4Day 12. More growing out and a tiny bit more chipping, but otherwise my nails look great for having been applied 12 days ago! I’m starting to really like the quality of this product. It goes to show that when you apply things correctly it can really work in your favour, no wasting time reapplying polish every day or so.

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Day 13. The fortnight is almost up, and my nails aren’t looking too shabby all things considered.

Nails 11Day 14. Time to remove the nail varnish, but I’m impressed with how well it’s lasted. My daily routine involves cooking and cleaning and I would’ve expected more chips than I have. As you can see in my photograph my nails have lasted reasonably well overall and I think if I were applying this nail polish long term it would be very useful investment knowing that when applied correctly it will last a minimum of a week, almost 14 days if looked after.

It would be a rarity if I got to wear the same nail varnish for two weeks unless I was going away, but it’s great to know that at least some of my nails remained almost intact during that time in the test. I have reviewed this product because I like to see whether or not the product lives up to the expectation. Obviously if you do any kind of manual labour the polish won’t last as long. However I have still done work, including typing and around the home. I have washed up, cooked, cleaned and been shopping using my hands a great deal throughout the fortnight. I think overall the nail varnish has lasted very well and I am very impressed to be honest with you!

i would love to try some varying colours in these gel nail polishes because I think they look great when applied properly. Having never had any false nails manicures or gel ones before I had nothing to compare the look and feel to. I’ve always been lucky enough to be able to grow my nails, and every time I’ve had a manicure my original nail has been used, I’ve never had any tips or false ones attached. But just how silky smooth and shiny my nails were with this Super Gel varnish has made me want to get more colours. I love how the overall look and feel of this polish was.

So my final review for this product is;
Appearance 5/5
Quality 5/5
Value 5/5

The appearance I have given a 5/5 because the polish lasted very well for the ‘up to’ 14 days as advertised. Overall I thought the product as a whole was fantastic. The quality of the colour and smoothness as well as the ease of application is why I gave the quality a 5/5. And finally the value for money, you can wear the same top coat for all base colours therefore saving yourself money. And for the quality you achieve I think the price is reasonable. I cannot wait to try some other shades now during the summer months!

I hope you have enjoyed reading my review, and feel free to send me a photograph on Twitter or Instagram with your pictures if you decide to try out Rimmel London Super Gel for yourself!