The Amazon Beauty Sample Box Review

After recently joining Amazon Prime I came across this amazing beauty sample box which was exclusively available to Prime members. Priced at £14.99 with free shipping I couldn’t say no and purchased this box ,which contained 9 beauty products. Additionally there was a deal available for prime members which meant if they purchased this box they were given £14.99 in credit making it practically free!

Unlike standard beauty box subscriptions, you were told what you were receiving within this one off box, which included:

  • Rimmel London Insta Fix and Go Setting Spray 100ml (Full Size)
  • WUNDER2 Dual Precision Brush (Full Size)
  • Bourjois Rouge Laque Liquid Lipstick (Full Size)
  • Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure (Full Size)
  • L’Oréal Paris 3 Pure Clays Multi-Masking Face Mark Play Kit (Full Size)
  • NIP+FAB Glycolic Fix Cleansing Pads (Sample Size)
  • Yardley London Floral Fragrance Collection (Sample Size)
  • Bio-Oil Specialist Skin Care Oil (Sample Size)
  • Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser (Sample Size)

Rimmel London Insta Fix and Go Setting Spray 100ml

This was probably my favourite product out of the box as I hadn’t used a setting spray before. The Insta Fix and Go Setting Spray can be used as both a primer and a setting spray so it saves you money as you don’t have to buy two products. It also has a beautiful watermelon scent that I absolutely adore! I’ve always had issues with my makeup going patchy a few hours after application or my skin becoming ‘shiny’ which is because of my oily skin type. However I found this product definitely helped to keep my makeup intact and controlled the oil so I stayed shine free for longer. I will definitely be re-buying this product when it runs out.

WUNDER2 Dual Precision Brush (Full Size)

I was pretty thankful for this product being in the box, as I had just lost my favourite Zoeva brush which I used to apply my brow pomade! Overall it’s a great quality angled brush, it’s just the right firmness to give you a smooth and precise application of brow product, although it could do with being a little thinner. The spooly on the other end is an added bonus and allows you to brush your brows into shape before application.

Bourjois Rouge Laque Liquid Lipstick

I’m a massive fan of high end liquid lipsticks, and hadn’t used a drug store brand liquid lipstick before so was excited to see the results. It came in shade 08 Bloody Berry which is a beautiful deep red colour that I loved. The formulation had a satin finish, and was very pigmented but didn’t seem to dry as well as other liquid lipsticks I have used before. I was willing to look past this fault until I tried to remove the lipstick and found it nearly impossible to do so! It stained my lips pretty badly, so I sadly won’t be reaching for this product again.

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure

In the past I haven’t been too impressed with Sally Hansen nail varnishes so didn’t have high expectations for this product. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it has great pigmentation unlike the product I tried before (Sally Hansen Salon Nail Lacquer). I’m a massive fan of nude nail varnish so I fell in love with this shade 230 Nude Now and found that it chipped less than my trusted OPI nail varnishes, so I was extremely pleased overall with this product!

L’Oréal Paris 3 Pure Clays Multi-Masking Face Mark Play Kit

People could barely get enough of L’Oréal’s clay masks when they first came out, and I didn’t actually purchase any myself due to them always being sold out when I looked. The hype has dyed down a bit now but it’s still a popular product and I soon found out why! This set is perfect if you want to try out the masks but don’t want to buy the full jars. It also allows you to see which mask suits you best, and I really like the concept of it. You get around 2-3 applications out of each tub because a little goes a long way. Overall the masks left my skin feeling soft and looking clearer. I also noticed the amount of spots I got seemed to decrease which is always a plus!

NIP+FAB Glycolic Fix Cleansing Pads

I was excited to try these pads as I’ve heard great things about NIP+FAB skincare products. The first thing I noticed was the sickly orange scent they had, which I wasn’t a massive fan of, however I didn’t let that put me off. In the sample you receive 5 pads, which I used each night for 5 nights consecutively. I found my face felt sticky after each use which I wasn’t a fan off, but I have to admit my skin was looking smoother and brighter by the end of the 5 uses, so these pads do actually work.

Yardley London Floral Fragrance Collection

This collection contained four 1.5ml samples of different eau de toilette fragrances; English lavender, English rose, lily of the valley, and English Bluebell. I’m not a massive fan of lavender or rose, but I was surprised to find these two were my favourite out of the collection! The lily of the valley fragrance was my least favourite and had a very weak smell, and I found the English Bluebell smelt almost like men’s cologne.

Bio-Oil Specialist Skin Care Oil

Bio-Oil is something I’ve used before and I’m sure everyone has heard of. I have to say I’m a massive fan of Bio-Oil because I’ve had great results using it on stretch marks which were caused by a weight gain. In the box your given a small sample bottle which has enough for 2-3 uses on small areas.

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

I’ve heard of this brand before but didn’t know a lot about their products. They’re products are aimed at people with dry and sensitive skin, especially people who have eczema, acne, rosacea and psoriasis. Having sensitive, spot prone skin I was interesting about trying this and the results I would get. In the box there was a 29ml sample bottle which was enough for 4-6 uses depending on how much you use. I found that it left my skin feeling soft and clean, and was also good at removing makeup. It hasn’t caused a massive improvement with my skin, but it’s a nice gentle cleanser which I would recommend to people with sensitive skin who are struggling to find a facial wash that is gentle enough.

Overall, I thought this box was an amazing deal! The cost of the full sized product alone was RRP £37. I’m a massive fan of beauty boxes and had never heard of amazon sample boxes until this month, but it is definitely one of the best boxes I have bought. I find a lot of times with beauty boxes that it can be hit and miss with the items you receive, but the amazon beauty sample box was bang on with its range of products and really proved to be worth the price!

Have you heard of #AmazonBeauty before?

Laura 

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MUA Silent Disco Eyeshadow Palette 


I love eyeshadow as much as the next girl, but when you look at my current collection there are two main trends; high end eyeshadow palettes, and palettes with nude/copper tones. So I decided to go out of my comfort zone and try some drugstore brand eyeshadow, consisting of colours that I had NEVER experimented with before, and this is when I came across the MUA Silent Disco Palette. Priced at £4 for 12 shades, I wasn’t expecting much for pigmentation and quality, but oh was I wrong.


The shades have a mix of finishes, with some being satin, some matte and some shimmery and for £4 the pigmentation was great! I have paid a lot more for eyeshadow palettes that were less pigmentated that the Silent Disco Palette. With the array of colours in this palette you can create many looks, with my faveouite eyeshadow look being ‘the sunset look’.


For this look I used my trusted Zoeva rose gold brush set, and applied techno (yellow), which I found to be the least pigmented out of all the shadows, followed by go ape and just dance (both orange), and lastly freak out (red). The eyeshadow were surprisingly easy to blend and created a subtle look which I loved.

Since buying the Silent Disco Palette, I have put down my trusted Urban Decay Naked palettes and have been experimenting more with vibrant colours, and I have to say I’m loving it! I never thought that such a cheap eyeshadow palette could be so good, or so easy to use. It has made be an MUA convert and I’m enjoying experimenting with other products in their range. At £4 for 12 shades, you can’t go wrong with this palette, and it’s cruelty free. So if you’re ever wanting to expand your eyeshadow colour range, then I highly reccomend taking a look at the Silent Disco palette, it’s definitely a great place to start!

Do you have any MUA products that you love?

Laura 

Jeju Volcanic Lava 3-Step Blackhead Remover Nose Strips


So whilst I was browsing my local TK Maxx store the other week I noticed something in the reduced section that caught my eye, ‘The Face Shop Jeju Volcanic Lava 3-Step Blackhead Remover Nose Strips’. I’ve tried many different pore strips in the past, but these strips really stood out to me as it was 3 step process which is not something I’ve come across before. I’ve always suffered from blackheads, meaning I’ve pretty much tried every product on the market! But priced at only £2 (reduced from £5), I couldn’t resist and purchased them. The Face Shop is a Korean brand, and in the past I’ve had many good experiences trying Korean makeup and beauty products, with many products on the Korean market being superior to those available on the western market, so I had high expectations for the Jeju Volcanic Lava 3-Step Blackhead Remover Nose Strips.

Step 1 

This step involves a soft wet nose patch, which softens the sebum on your nose and allows you to remove it. The patch had a pleasant mint smell, and felt quite tingly and cold after application. Once the patch had been applied for 20 minutes I removed it to find that all the sebum had been lifted up and it was quite gross to see the amount that had actually been lifted from your pores! I washed off the exposed sebum and proceeded to the next step, excited to see the end results, due to how successful the first step was. 

Step 2

This step is the same as your standard blackhead removal strips, where you wet your nose and apply the patch, which after 15 minutes becomes hard and you peel it off. The strip for this step was no different to others I have purchased in the past, however after waiting 15 minutes for the strip to harden and carefully removing it, I was disappointed that it didn’t really pull out any blackheads. 

Step 3

Hoping that after the disappointment with step 2, that in this next step, step 3, the product would be able to redeem itself. Step 3 was a similar patch to step 1, however this step is for tightening your pores. The patch itself had a nice floral smell and felt very moisturising, soothing any redness that occurred from step 2. Once I waited 15 minutes and removed this patch my nose felt incredibly soft, but my pores did not look any smaller.

Was it worth it?

I was very disappointed that after spending 50 minutes carrying out this 3 step process that my pores looked no different afterwards. I took a before and after picture to compare the results, but my pores looked exactly the same. This product boasted to remove blackheads and tighten pores, and it did neither. I’m glad that I brought this product at the reduced price of £2 instead of paying £5. Although the first step did seem to lift the sebum, the overall results were disappointing and the whole process was time consuming. There are definitely many more products on the market that are a lot cheaper and considerably less time consuming which I’ve had better results with.

What’s your favourite product for blackhead removal?

Laura 

Staying Safe in Summer 

If your anywhere near as pale as me then you’ve probably had your fair share of sunburn. As I’ve grown older I’ve realised how important it is to look after you skin, and that ‘bright red lobster’ look is definitely not ok. Whether your a beach bum, or just enjoy soaking up the lovely British sun (on the rare days we get it), follow my tips to stay protected and keep your skin on top form! 


Check Your Rays

Most people buy suncream only in regards to the level of SPF it contains, however it is important to also check if it protects against UVA and UVB rays. Not all suncreams protect against UVB rays, which can also cause skin cancer. So to make sure your protected get a suncream that covers both. 


Don’t Get Star Struck

Only recently I discovered that two suncreams with the same SPF may not have the same protection level. All suncreams should have a UVA star rating on the back, however two suncreams of the same SPF level may have very different UVA star ratings. Some well known brands have been shown to have a lower UVA star rating than supermarket own brands so it’s important to check the back of the bottle before you buy! 


Scorching Scalp

One problem I have always faced on holiday due to my fair skin is getting a sunburnt scalp. This issue is easily avoided by wearing a hat, but if you’re like me and prefer to show off your beachy waves then you may end up with a seriously sore head. I’ve always suffered with this issue on holiday, until recently when I discovered Malibu Clear Hair and Scalp Protector SPF30. At only £3.49 it’s an absolute steal, and I will no longer have to suffer from my sore scalp on holiday! A few sprays on your hair parting and your all set to go and enjoy the sun safely. 


Acne Aggro

Most conventional sun creams don’t suit acne prone skin, and can cause breakouts which is the last thing you want when you’re on holiday! However suncreams are evolving from their thick, white, pore clogging past and there are now many ranges that offer lightweight non-comedogenic suncreams which will leave your skin feeling fab. One of my favourites is La Roche-Posay Anthelios Clear Skin Dry Touch Sunscreen SPF 60, which contains perlite silica to absorb oil throughout the day, keeping your skin fresh and matte; it also works brilliantly under foundation. In addition it is also important to use a good cleanser to remove all sunscreen residue every night regardless of whether they’re are non-comedogenic or not. 


Moisturise, Moisturise, Moisturise. 

You can’t undo damage, but you can assist your skins repairing process by stepping up your after sun care. Being in the sun can dehydrate you, but products that contain Aloe Vera are perfect to help rehydrate your skin after sun exposure, and soothe any sun burn that may have occurred. It’s important to reapply products up to three times a day because not only does this help your skin retain its integrity and moisture, but also helps prevent the dreaded skin peeling. After-sun should be an essential part essential part of your sun care routine as it delivers antioxidants which help combat free radicals that are caused from UV exposure, and will also help your tan to last longer. 

Just because you want to be a bronzed goddess does not mean you should permanent damage your skin in the process. Sun exposure causes premature aging and many well known celebrities, such as Madonna, will not leave the house without slapping on the SPF. The best way to stop photoaging is prevention, and the best anti-aging cream is SPF moisturiser! So if you want to remain youthful, then be proactive with your sun care routine and reach for bottle of Fake Bake instead. 

What’s your favourite tips to stay safe in the sun?

Laura 

10 Things To Do Whilst in Dublin

Dublin, the capital of the emerald isles that just oozes charm. I’ve been lucky to visit Dublin many times due to my father being born there, but never had chance to see all the main tourist attractions because as you can imagine, my dad had already seen it all hundreds of times and didn’t want to be a tourist in his own city. On an off chance in November I managed to blag some return flights to Dublin with Ryanair for £4 in total. Yes you heard right…four whole British pounds! So me and my friend packed our bags and headed to the airport, and this time I was determined to see ALL that Dublin had to offer.

1. The Guinness Storehouse
A trip to Dublin wouldn’t be complete without visiting the famous Guinness storehouse located at St. James Gate. A visit here will teach you everything you need to know about Guinness, from the history of it, to the fermentation process. The tour begins at the bottom of the worlds largest pint glass and continues up through its 7 floors which are full interactive experiences. Upon reaching the top floor you enter the Gravity Bar, where you receive a complementary pint of Guinness to enjoy the panoramic 360 degree views of Dublin City. With adult ticket prices starting at €14 this is not one to miss!

2. Temple Bar
This thriving cultural hub is the area in Dublin which is most popular with tourists. Temple Bar is a maze of cobbled streets that are full of life and vibrancy. You can find anything here, with many traditional pubs, clubs, art galleries, and restaurants; not to forget a fair share of quirky shops. If you want to expand your cultural horizon, or just have a good old drink then this is the place to go.

3. National Museum of Ireland – Natural History and Archeology
If your on a budget then look no further! Located not far from each other are two museums run by the National Museum of Ireland; the natural history museum and the archeology museum. The archeology museum hosts an array of treasures from Ireland’s prehistoric times, with Celtic, Gaelic, and Viking artefacts on display. The most popular exhibition is the famous ‘bog bodies’, which are mummified bodies from the Bronze Age which were found preserved in bogs; definitely not for the faint hearted! In contrast the natural history museum is almost like a dead zoo. The attraction is filled with 10,000 specimens of species from Ireland and all over the world. Admission is free to both of these attractions so are worth a visit.

4. Phoenix Park
Although Dublin is relatively small for a capital city, it hosts Europe’s largest urban park at 1750 acres. The park is a short bus journey from Dublin City centre and hosts Dublin zoo, the official residency of the president of Ireland, the residency of the US ambassador but best of all a large herd of deer which are tame enough to come up to you if you have food! If walking isn’t your think, bikes can be hired from the main entrance to Phoenix park which is located on Parkgate street which allows you to enjoy the 14km of cycle paths found within the park.

5. Ha’penny Bridge
When I think of Dublin I think of the Ha’penny bridge. Built as a pedestrian bridge over the River Liffey, this bridge has become one of the most iconic spots in Dublin. An average of 30,000 people cross it each day, so why not pop down as well and get your perfect tourist shot for Instagram.

6. The Gravedigger Ghost Bus
Why not hop onto the worlds first ghost bus? This hair raising tour takes you around Dublin’s ghostly past, from the chilling Kilmainham Jail, to the passage tomb known as the hellfire club, where Satan himself is said to have appeared. The tour costs €25 and lasts around 2 hours that are packed full of laughs, frights and interesting stories. The live actors definitely make sure you’ve screamed at least once by the end of this tour, and you even get a free drink included at one of the oldest pubs in Dublin, The Gravediggers pub!

7. Trinity College
Located in the heart of the city, Trinity College is the oldest and most prestige university in Ireland. The university hosts over 40 acres of rich architecture and green open space, with notable alumni including Courtney Love, Niall Horan, Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde. The university often hosts exhibitions, including the science gallery and the Book of Kels. The 9th century illuminated manuscript known as the Book of Kels is regarded as one of Ireland’s finest treasures and can be seen inside the university for a small entrance fee.

8. St. Michans Mummies
This is one of the lesser known tourist attractions in Dublin but is still worth a visit. Underneath this 1095 Protestant church lies vaults which contain many mummified remains, that have been uniquely preserved by the dry, limestone conditions within the vaults. As you walk down the eerie cobweb lined stairs you will be greeted by a passageway with several rooms off it, all containing coffins and mummified remains. The tour guide gives you information on the people who are found there, as well as letting you get up close and personal with the mummified body of ‘the crusader’ inviting you to touch it! This is definitely not one for the screamish.

9. Grafton Street
No trip to Dublin is complete without visiting the renowned shopping strips. Just a short walk from Trinity College, Grafton street is usually the first choice for shopping due to its vast array of shops and a multitude of street performers. The famous Brown Thomas department store is located here and is definitely worth a visit; it is often frequented by celebrities so you never know who you’ll bump into! St Stephens green park is located at the top of Grafton Street allowing you to escape the hustle and bustle of the inner city for some peace and tranquility. In addition Henry street is another principle location where you will find a great choice of shops including Arnotts, the oldest department store in Dublin.

10. Have a drink at one of the 751 pubs in Dublin
You’re never far from a pub when you’re in Dublin, with the city hosting over 751 pubs! You’ll find everything from the old traditional pubs, to swanky cocktail bars, but in my opinion you can’t experience Dublin fully if you don’t try and soak up some of the culture, so leave those cocktails bars for now and get yourself through the doors of those little old pubs, for a good pint of Guinness and some Irish music.

Have you been to any great places in Dublin that I didn’t manage to visit?

Laura 

Korean BB Creams – Are they worth the hype? 

Bb creams may have been a recent development in the western beauty industry, but in South Korea these wonder creams have been around for decades. 
Bb creams revolutionised the makeup industry when they were first brought out, and the marrying of skin care benefits and makeup proved a great success. Having the benefits of a moisturiser, anti-ageing cream, SPF, primer and foundation all in one allowed makeup addicts young and old alike to save money and buy one product instead of 5 different products. 

This all sounds amazing right? Well on personal experiences I never found a BB cream that was perfect for me. Either the coverage was too light for my spot prone skin, it didn’t last all day, or the colour was too orange. I had given up on UK drugstore BB creams for a while until I read about Korean BB creams. 

After some research I purchased Lioele -Triple the Solution BB Cream, and I have never adored a BB cream as much as this one! 



Packaging

It comes in a long, pink and white tube with a pump dispenser. The pump is brilliant because not only is it hygienic, but the lid allowed you stand the tube upside down so all the product moves down to the pump so you can get the most out of it. I’ve found most UK BB creams come in the standard size of 30ml, however Lioele Triple the Solution comes in 50ml, so you get more product. 

Application

I found that this was BB cream easier to apply with my fingers, rather than using a brush or beauty blender. It blended really well and did a great job at hiding my pores. On the first application it is a medium coverage, but a great thing about this BB cream is that you can layer it up, and apply another layer to give a full coverage look. A small amount of product goes a long way, and I found one pump was sometimes too much for one facial application. My skin tends to be oily, but I do get occasional dry patches, and this BB cream did not cling to them like some of my other foundations do. One down side to Lioele Triple the Solution is that it only comes in one colour, so it’s not suitable for everyone. 

Left to right: Mac NC15, Mac NC20, Lioele Triple the Solution BB Cream


Lasting Power

With all other BB creams I’ve tried, the lasting power was a big disadvantage for me. I have very oily skin and found that the BB creams I have previously purchased from UK brands seemed to go patchy after a few hours, but I was pleasantly surprised that Lioele Triple the Solution had far superior staying power. For a BB cream I was really impressed with how long it lasted, and I only needed to touch it up once in 7 hours, where as with the other BB creams I was blotting excess oil every hour or so. 

The Benefits

Lioele Triple the Solution boasts to ‘make your skin moist as yoghurt’, which is something I’ve definitely not heard before, and has ‘hyaluronic acid supply moisture and nutrition’. I think with this statement there was a slight translation error as you can see the statement doesn’t sound right, but my skin certainly does feel more moisturised after wearing this BB cream. The Triple benefits it contains are anti-wrinkle, whitening, and SPF 30. I was a bit concerned about the whitening benefit at first, but this is not a product that bleaches your skin or makes it lighter. The whitening refers to how the hyaluronic acid and tangerine extracts helps to fade acne scars to give you an all over even skin tone. I did not notice any change in my skin tone, but the SPF in this BB cream did work perfectly and protected my skin.

So what is my parting view on this product?

Lioele Triple the Solution BB cream is a winner for me! It’s constancy is far superior too any UK makeup brand BB cream I have tried so far, and it is also better than some high end foundations I have tried too. The only bad thing about this product is it’s availability in the UK; I found it difficult to get, and purchased it via amazon for £22.00. Buying this BB cream has opened me up to trying makeup products from the Asian market. I always presumed that makeup from Asian would be lower quality compared to western brands but oh how I was wrong! Next on my list to try is the Korean IOPE XP Air Cushion, which is a BB cream in a compact form, with claims that one sells every 30 seconds in Asia. Can’t wait to try it and see how it lives up to Lioele Triple the Solution! 

Have you found a BB cream that you love?

Laura 

March 2017 Glossybox Review

I’m a big fan of subscription beauty boxes, and Glossybox is one of my favourite brands. I absolutely love receiving these boxes each month; it’s almost like giving yourself a present! This month’s Glossybox has impressed me, featuring an edit of five samples, one of which is a full size Sleek palette. This box contains a range of hair care, skin care and makeup, giving your beauty routine a nice refresh for spring.

Sleek Eye & Cheek Palette  ‘All Day Soiree’ – RRP £10

This month Glossybox allowed their subscribers to pick from four different Sleek palettes, which I was too late for. However I received the one I would have chosen anyway so I was over the moon! The palette contained 4 eyeshadows, a blusher and a highlighter and for me it was love at first sight. This palette definitely had a spring feel to it with the orange tones and baby pink blush. The pigmentation of this palette was brilliant; it’s great to create everyday looks or something subtle for a night out. Another bonus is that champagne eyeshadow can also be used as a highlighter.



oOlution Eye Love – 15ml (full size RRP £30)

I have never brought eye cream so this was something new to me. The great thing about monthly subscription boxes is that they introduce you to products you wouldn’t normally purchase. This cream states it reduces dark circles and puffiness, but I have neither so I cannot judge the effectiveness of the cream. This cream did make the skin under my eyes very smooth which was nice, and made concealer easier to apply.

This Works In Transit Camera Close-up Primer – 20ml (full size RRP £30)

This is great for skin that’s been left a little dull from the winter months! You can use this as a primer, moisturiser and a mask to give your skin the hydration it needs. Most primers I have used in the past dry out my skin a little from the silicon they contain, but this primer actually made my face feel hydrated. My foundation application was a lot smoother using the primer, and it seems to have more staying power when I use it with the primer.

Figs & Rouge Hydra-Activ Smart Nutrient Vital Moisture Day Cream  – 20ml (full size RRP £28)

This cream is lightweight and has a luxurious feel to it. I’m not a big fan of heavy moisturisers due to have oily/spot prone skin, but I really loved this sample. I only used it on the few dry patches I had, but it worked seemingly better than my current body shop vitamin E moisturiser and smelt amazing too! I couldn’t stop touching my skin because of how soft it felt and I will be 100% purchasing the full sized product.

Schwarzkopf BC Bonacure Oil Miracle Brazilnut Oil Pulp Treatment – 30ml (full sized £3.95)

I am obsessed with hair products so I was pleased to see one in the box this month. The first thing I noticed about this mask was how incredible it smelt and I couldn’t wait to try it so my hair would smell nice all day. This mask is for all hair types and claims to remove impurities whilst intensely nourishing and protecting from UV rays. I applied this mask to hair and left it on for 10 minutes. The result was my hair felt super soft and silky, and I can’t forget the amazing smell it left! I was impressed with this mask and would recommend it as a weekly treatment to give your hair the nourishment it needs.

Sometimes beauty boxes can be a hit or miss, but I really liked this months Glossybox. The sleek palette was a big winner for me, as you can’t beat the beautiful spring colours and great pigmentation. You can’t go wrong with this box with it being priced at only £10 + p&p per month; I’d recommend giving it a try if you fancy testing new products but don’t want to purchase the full size. Overall I really enjoyed trying the products in this box and can’t wait for next months!

What did you like best about this months box?

Laura