I've wanted to try the TheBalm Mary-Lou Manizer since seeing Shannon Harris rave about it quite a while ago. The packaging is really fun and has a 50s style illustration on the outer box and compact showing poor Mary-Lou's mugshot after being arrested for being too pretty and too popular, which definitely makes it stand out among other products.
Inside, the silver compact is a large mirror and 8.5g of silky slightly textured highlighter. The shade is a very peachy golden colour and, although much less yellow than other golden highlighters, it makes the rest of my highlighter collection look frosty silver or very pink.
The powder is very fine and blends out into a lighter but very flattering colour that sits really well on my skintone. Only a small amount of the fine shimmer is needed on the face as too much can look a little too glossy, so with my heavy-handedness I use a stippling brush (my favourite for highlighters is from MUA) to create a perfectly blended sheen. You can see the powder in action in the photos above of me and my sister!
As the Mary-Lou Manizer can also be used as an eyeshadow, it can be packed onto the lid to create quite a strong colour that is definitely 'there', and I've been loving it patted onto the centre of the lid over other colours to create some lightness and dimension. It also makes a really gorgeous inner corner highlight that puts most of my other eyeshadows to shame!
TheBalm Mary Lou-Manizer can be purchased from the Birchbox website for £15.
September 'Happy Days' Birchbox
I like the brown Birchbox boxes but this lively green and pink affair would be really nice to use as storage or to make into something (I've seen ideas floating around Pinterest). The theme of this box is Happy Days and the card insert describes 5 'happy day hacks' which I think is sweet. The box also came with a Birchbox Happy Days Photo Clip (£10 for a set of 5) in a bright green colour which is currently sitting out of reach of my cats who like to play with (read: destroy) little pretty things when they get their paws/teeth on them!
Urban Fruit Magnificent Mango 100g (£13.20 for a pack of 6)
I was really hungry when I found this box behind my plant pot (thanks postman) so I ripped into this packet straight away. Then threw the empty packet in the bin because I forgot I'm a blogger and immaculate photos must be taken! While the packet is sitting in a landfill site I'm reminiscing about those big dried chunks of mango. I love dried fruit and they were soo good, especially as I'm not really allowed mango on the low FODMAP diet (boo!).
Benefit It's Potent! Eye Cream Mini (full size £25.50)
I've tried this eye cream in the past and liked it but it started to break me out around my eyes. I already have a couple of milia that look annoyingly like sleepy dust under concealer so I think I might pass on trying this one again. However this is generous sample for eye cream and the little pot is so cute!
Premae Mild Dermabrasion Face & Body Scrub Mini (full size £25)
This dermabrasion scrub is meant to be used for the face and body, but I think I'd stick to the body with this one. This is natural, vegan and allergy-friendly so doesn't have much scent about it which I actually quite like for shower products. It doesn't feel overly grainy but which is probably why it's called a mild scrub but it's good for removing those final bits of patchy fake tan.
Agave Healing Oil Treatment Mini (£16 for 60ml)
There are two things I know about agave- you make tequila from it, and bats use the crops to navigate in the night. Hair oil however has nothing to do with tequila or bats and instead it aims to smooth and restore hair through hydrating agave plant sugars. The oil is apparently based on a centuries old mixtec indian recipe! I thought this would smell a quiteearthy but actually it's quite fragrant and smells a bit like melon sweets, it's also not a pure oil like I was expecting but contains silicones along with fragrance and other ingredients. So far this has made my locks feel nice and smooth, plus made my hair dry quicker than normal as silicone based products tend to do.
ModelCo PowerLash Black Mascara Mini (full size £24)
I'm a big mascara lover but this brush really scares me! It's very loaded up with product and I'm not sure how it will look on my lashes as they're easily weighed down. I haven't had the courage to try this yet but I will do soon. I'm a fan of bristle brushes but I like dry formulas so I think this mascara would be good for shorter lashes.
Jane Iredale Just Kissed Lip Plumper in Rio Mini (full size £22)
When I opened the tube the first thing I thought was chocolate- this really is quite a melted chocolate colour with just a hint of red. On its own, the shade washes me out a bit and makes me look like nothing but dark lips, eyeliner and eyebrows. But with a lighter colour layered on top, it's transformed into a more wearable shade- think Rimmel 101, Mac Snob or even Sleek Minx Pout Polish to knock the brown down a little.
I've worn this a couple of times and the formula is smooth, creamy and has a satin finish. I didn't see any noticeable size difference in my lips but it does have that mild minty feeling similar to old school plumping glosses.
Birchbox have been kind enough to provide a discount code which will give £5 off your first box- use code BBX5PEARL until 6th October to take advantage of this great offer!