TV Review: This Old Thing

I don't often review TV series on the blog, but I had to make an exception for Dawn O'Porter's new show, This Old Thing. It seemed like the perfect show for me as I'm dipping my toe into vintage - I love the look of vintage clothes and am constantly drawn to 1950s-style shapes when I go shopping, but still find vintage shops a little bit overwhelming - so was interested to see what it would be like.

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The premise of the show is that Dawn takes a young woman who loves high street shopping but wants to have a more individual style, and introduces her to the wonderful world of vintage clothes. In this episode it was Chevonne, who was bored with her high street wardrobe and fed up of seeing other people wearing her clothes (which can be so annoying!) but was a bit concerned about vintage clothes. Dawn took her to vintage shops and worked like a really honest friend or older sister, pulling out clothes and combining outfits that looked awesome. I particularly loved the first final outfit, an amazing kind of 50s beach chic look that I would definitely try and emulate myself.

Dawn is a big fan of the 60s and it shows - both in her amazing outfits (there was a beautiful willow pattern dress she wore that I absolutely loved) and in the styling of the show's graphics, which are all flowery fade-outs and psychedelic swirls. That said, she did also cover some other eras, with a whistle-stop tour of the invention of the shift dress and 1930s fashions. I found the latter really interesting as it's not one I know much about, especially the link between what was going on in the world - economic crisis, the threat of war - and how that was reflected in the clothes with a return to fitted waists and long hemlines.

I also really liked the extra little segments in Dawn's workshop where her crack team of tailors and designers tweaked and transformed unloved vintage clothes. Not only did the workshop look amazing, it was also good to see the different things you could do to give your clothes a new lease of life - I may well end up trying the galaxy dip-dye method out if I can find the right dress or skirt - and has definitely made me think about getting back into sewing again.

There were a couple of things I wasn't so keen on - the opening segment which was essentially a stripped-back, one-day version of the main show and consequently I was briefly confused when we were introduced to Chevonne, and the slightly knowing turns to camera. But overall the show stayed on the right side of parodying its genre and conveyed a real message that vintage is fun, not too scary and one of the best ways to find unique things to wear.

So did watching it inspire me to go vintage shopping? I'm pleased to say it did! There's a vintage shop called 360 Degrees Vintage near me that I popped into this weekend and had a look, and I found the loveliest ice blue 50s scoop neck three-quarter sleeve Grace Kelly-esque dress. Sadly it wouldn't do up and there wasn't enough fabric to let it out, so I had to leave it behind, but it's definitely given me the confidence to try other vintage shops in London. After all, you never know what you might find...

This Old Thing episode 2 is on Channel 4 on Wednesday 2nd July at 8 PM, or catch up on the first episode on 4oD. I'm just hoping there's going to be a second series - I might even try out for it!

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June Favourites

Image sources: Estee Lauder Clear Difference Advanced Blemish Serum, This Old Thing, The Bone Season, X
It's another new series from me today - monthly favourites. I've wanted to do a post like this for a little while as I love watching favourites videos on YouTube, but thought I'd adapt it for my blog whilst I'm in the process of purchasing a few bits to help me with filming videos. This is my first attempt so please let me know what you think - any feedback is very much appreciated!

Favourite piece of clothing: Hoi An green polka dot dress
I absolutely adore this dress. I had it made when we were in Hoi An in Vietnam - essentially it's a town full of fabric shops and they will make you pretty much any item of clothing you want, in any fabric, perfectly tailored to you for a ridiculously small amount of money. I actually bought two dresses when I was there but this is the one I always reach for on warm days. It just cries out to be paired with massive sunglasses and a 50s-style ponytail for walking through a town square in Italy eating gelato before you hop on your vintage Vespa and speed off through the cobbled streets.

Favourite beauty product: Estee Lauder Clear Difference Advanced Blemish Serum
I recently changed up my skincare routine and this was one of the products I added - and, if I could only buy one of them again, this would be it. It's really light but incredibly moisturising, sinks in quickly, has the most beautiful citrusy scent (I am a sucker for anything citrus) and is doing wonders for clearing my current blemishes as well as reducing any new ones. There is a full review of this coming soon so make sure you keep an eye out!

Favourite book: The Bone Season
I first heard about The Bone Season a few months ago, and when it popped up on Amazon for 50p I thought I'd give it a go. It's set in a dystopian alternate future where clairvoyants like heroine Paige Mahoney are seen as outcasts, hunted down and taken to the Tower of London... or worse (I can't say any more for fear of spoilers). Whilst it seems like a slightly formulaic plot for those of us who've read far much too fantasy fiction in our lives, the world-building involved is amazing. I found myself completely immersed in the book and would often find myself looking out of the window on the bus and doing a double take. Plus Paige is one of the most rounded heroines I've read in a long time. Look out for the full review coming soon!

Favourite music: Ed Sheeran - X
Ed Sheeran's first album, +, was one I played constantly when I was backpacking - it was ideal for long bus rides and watching the world (literally) go by. So I was really excited for X, and was pleasantly surprised. There's definitely more of the urban edge that occasionally popped up on +, but it's still the sing-along choruses, driving melodies and tongue-twister lyrics that we know and love.

Favourite TV programme: This Old Thing
I'm a big fan of Dawn O'Porter and, as someone starting out on her vintage journey, was really excited for This Old Thing. Essentially it's Dawn taking women and men who want a unique style but have never shopped in vintage stores before and helping them discover these beautiful old clothes. I found it really inspiring to watch with loads of great tips both on how to shop for vintage clothes and how to rework things you might find in a vintage shop and love but that aren't quite right. I will be posting a full review of the first episode tomorrow so make sure you look out for that!

Favourite food: Everything at Lewisham Model Market
I blogged about this last week and oh my word it is amazing. The Model Market is a former 1950s covered market which has been taken over by the guys behind Street Feast to set up an amazing food market which also preserves the character of the original buildings. You could literally eat your way through the entire place but my favourites were Yum Bun, Rola Wala and the South East Brownie Bar (though I'm eyeing up Dogtown and Sambal Shiok for next time!). Definitely recommended if you're in this neck of the woods and want an awesome dinner on a Friday or Saturday night.

Favourite thing I've done this month: Hello, My Name is Paul Smith at the Design Museum
I mainly knew Paul Smith from his stripes, but this exhibition gave me a brilliant insight into his other designs and inspirations. You can read my post on the exhibition here, but my highlights were the amazing wall of buttons, the gallery of artwork that inspires Paul and the row of pieces that sum up his design philosophy. It was a really interesting and different exhibition and I loved all the little personal touches.

What's been on your favourites list this month?

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Rockalily Cuts

As some of you might have noticed, there's been a bit of a change on my blog recently. I'm trying to blog more regularly (four days a week rather than two or three) and also to stick to certain posts on certain days - fashion on Monday, beauty on Wednesday, lifestyle on Friday and random stuff on Sunday, though there will of course be some flexibility. Do let me know what you think of the changes in the comments, feedback is always much appreciated!

I also have a couple of ideas for new series, one of which is my journey into all things vintage. I've always dabbled in it a little - I love 50s-style dresses and one of my earliest memories is listening to Elvis on a loop - but it's only in the last couple of months that I've got really into it. I'm struggling to think of a name for the series though; all I can come up with is 'Vintage Virgin' but not sure that'll work so well in searches! If you have any ideas I'd love to hear them :)

One of the few vintage-inspired things I do do at the moment is get my hair cut at the amazing Rockalily Cuts. I've been going to see Emma there for a few months now and it is utterly fabulous. I really like going to the hairdressers anyway - there's something about it I find very relaxing - but this place is something else. Put it like this, it is the only time I have ever got dressed up for the hairdressers!
Emma and I had a really good chat as I hadn't seen her for a while because I'd been putting off getting a haircut due to trying to save money (I know, bad Laura!). In particular we were discussing the options for what to do with my fringe as it's currently quite full and heavy but I'm not sure that'll work for the hairstyle I want for the wedding so am thinking of growing it longer. I also love that because the salon is so small the stylists all chat to each other all the time, it creates a really fun and relaxed atmosphere and feels a lot less formal than many other hairdressers.

Sadly I didn't take as many photos as I wanted to inside, but I think this one sums up the Rockalily vibe - fabulous retro pictures on the wall and Emma's amazing vintage dresser (is it bad to admit I want one for our house?) with all the products and tools on it. And how cool is the amazing kimono-style print robe?!

You have to love a hairdresser that gives you a cup of tea in a vintage mug on a proper plate and an old-school biscuit on the side. (Sidenote: the eagle-eyed amongst you will notice that is not the same as the photo above, but I didn't have a chance to take a close up so you'll have to settle for this one from a previous visit...)

I don't get anything fancy done to my hair - just a trim and taking the weight out of my layers as I'm growing my hair for the wedding - but Emma very kindly curled it for me (though I also loved the super-sleek straight style she gave me when she dried it - with my long fringe it was very 60s model at Woodstock). I'm thinking of doing something similar to this for the wedding as my hair's got a slight natural wave anyway so hopefully should hold the style well.

And here it is! Apologies for the slight Bitchy Resting Face and the hideous spots but all my other pictures came out a bit rubbish...

Overall I love Rockalily Cuts - great relaxed vibe, amazing decor and lovely friendly staff who will give you a gorgeous retro look as much as a regular haircut. It is a little more expensive than some other hairdressers at £52 a time but you definitely get what you pay for. Plus they also do a loyalty card where you get 50% off every fifth haircut, so it works out fairly reasonably once you factor that in. If you want to do something a bit different with your hair in an atmosphere that allows you to dip a toe into the vintage look or fully take the plunge then I'd definitely recommend it. They've also just opened a new blow dry bar a few doors down so I'll definitely be popping in there to get my hair done next time I have a big event!

June 2014 Empties

To help me keep track of the products I'm using up, I'm starting a new empties series. I've seen these types of posts on quite a few other blogs and they always seem like a good way to do quick reviews of products and keep track of what I've been using and loving - or not, as the case may be. So here are my empties for June!

Soap & Glory Clean On Me Creamy Clarifying Shower Gel
I blogged about this a couple of weeks ago but to recap, it's a creamy shower gel with a soft, slightly floral scent. Whilst it lathers up really nicely and the bottle is huge so it lasts for ages, I'd recommend that you use a body lotion with it, especially if your skin is dry. Love the packaging too - I'm a sucker for Soap & Glory's mix of vintage photographs and ridiculous puns.

Estee Lauder Clear Difference Targeted Blemish Treatment
I was very kindly sent this by the Guardian's wonderful beauty writer Sali Hughes after meeting her at an event last month and it worked so well for clearing up my spots - I haven't bought anything to replace it since it ran out and I'm definitely noticing a difference in terms of how long my spots take to clear up. It feels really cooling on the skin and I like the rollerball as well. That said it did dry my skin out a little and I ran out of it within about a month. Plus it's a bit on the expensive side so I'm going to try some other products so will decided whether to go back to it. I will be reviewing this in full soon alongside the Clear Difference serum so make sure you keep an eye out for that post!

Burt's Bees Almond Milk Beeswax Hand Cream
This was in a kit Nick's sister bought me as a present a few years ago but I've only just got round to finishing it. It's a very solid feeling glass jar which adds a lovely sense of luxury to the product, and the smell is amazing - if you like marzipan-type smells then you will love this. However it is quite thick and takes a little while to sink in so I'd suggest it's probably better as a night-time hand cream rather than for your work bag or by the sink.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion
This is the classic eyeshadow primer that everyone raves about, and I'm also a fan! I got this with my original Naked palette (long story short: bought it, barely used it, sold it when I went backpacking, missed it so much I asked for it for Christmas last year) and it has been really good. I use it every day for my work make-up and my eyeshadow definitely stays on for longer when I use it. There are other eyeshadow primers I want to try but I have another Urban Decay one in this size which I got with my current Naked palette so will use that first.

I've really enjoyed writing this post - it feels like a weird sense of achievement to see myself actually using up things! I'm pretty happy with this month's products though as there's nothing I wouldn't repurchase if I had the money. However I have plenty more to use up so I think it will be a while before I buy anything else...

What's your favourite product that you've used up this month?

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My Shoe Collection

Do you ever get that thing where you think you're not into something, and then suddenly you start thinking about it and realise you are? Before doing this post - inspired by last week's #fbloggers chat - I'd never thought of myself as a shoes person. I will coo over a pretty pair of shoes as much as the next girl, but I very rarely part with money for them unless they're needed. However, when I was taking the pictures for this post, I actually realised that I have considerably more than I thought!

These are my most-worn shoes - my Mary Janes from Schuh. They're really comfortable for a day in the office but also look cute with my vintage-style dresses so are a really easy shoe to wear if I'm going out after work.

More work shoes - these mainly come out in summer as I don't feel the Mary Janes go so well with bare legs. The brown ballet pumps are from H&M and are my most recent shoe purchase, the dolly shoes are M&S (love the zip off the back which means no faffing with buckles) and the black ballet pumps are from Accessorize.

When the weather gets warm, I tend to swap into my ballet flats or Birkenstocks for the weekend. The Birkies are the most versatile (especially with the current 'ugly shoes' trend), but depending on my outfit I'm also partial to my Rocket Dog camouflage print shoes, Primark white ballet pumps for girlier outfits, or my blue sequin Office pumps. The latter are very much a sentimental shoe for me as I wore them on my first date with Nick (awww or gag here depending on your nostalgia level).

Once the weather gets cold, however, I'll be back to my boots. These are the Topshop version of the Acne Pistol boots that were all the rage a little while ago, and they're surprisingly comfortable! I'll wear these if I'm going shopping with friends or on a nice but not too fancy night out.

A slightly more glamorous evenings means glitter, so I'll tend to opt for one of these two. The & Other Stories shoes are a little higher than I'd normally wear, but I couldn't resist their amazing silver/red/gold sparkle; it also means they're really versatile. For something a bit more classic, I'll wear my black glittery Schuh kitten heels - love the bow on the front!

My running shoes are from Asics and after a year they're starting to fall apart and give me blisters, but I'm not sure I'll be able to part with them - they got me through my first race after all! I love the yellow accents on them as well.

These walking boots are my most expensive shoes, and whilst they're not the prettiest they're another pair that are packed with memories. I bought them for backpacking when they were absolutely invaluable, whether that was hiking the Inca Trail or acting as a support after I stuffed my ankle in Adelaide.

I don't often get shoes as presents but my mum bought me my Havaianas before we went backpacking and I loved them - the silver straps meant they worked well for evenings out as well as walking around during the daytime. They're also a great holiday shoe especially if you're walking on a beach as they don't fill up with sand as much as the Birkenstocks and dry a lot quicker.

And finally, my favourite shoes at the moment - my amazing Wonder Woman Converse. I am a massive Converse fan but I really love these ones because they go with lots of different stuff due to all the colours in them. Plus I get loads of compliments when I wear them which is always nice!

I do have one more pair of shoes (well two as one is on order) but I can't show you them because they're my wedding shoes, and I don't want Nick to see too much of my wedding outfit before the day! But suffice to say both pairs - yes, both, I couldn't pick! - are amazing.

So all in all, that's 15 pairs of shoes, which I don't think is too bad, especially considering the majority of them were bought for practical reasons and they're all pretty multi-tasking. I do need some new running shoes soon though, and will start shopping for some long brown boots in the autumn - ideally ones that are reasonably waterproof and smart enough for work as well as weekends. And then I'll finally be done! (Well, for now at least...)

What's your favourite pair of shoes?

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Charles Dickens Challenge: Barnaby Rudge

Barnaby Rudge is probably one of Dickens' least well-known books, and one of his only two historical novels (the other being A Tale of Two Cities). Consequently, that made it a weirdly refreshing experience - I'd been getting a bit of fatigue with the Charles Dickens Challenge as I felt the books were becoming a bit formulaic, so it was nice to come to one with no prior knowledge of it whatsoever.

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Set amid the 1780 Gordon riots, which centred on the extension of certain rights to Catholics after centuries of their oppression, Barnaby Rudge is a novel of two halves. The first section focuses on the village of Chigwell, including Joe Willett (the son of the pub landlord who resents his father treating him like a child), villainous hostler Hugh, and the star-crossed lovers Emma Haredale and Edward Chester, whose families are sworn enemies. The titular Barnaby, who is described by other characters as an 'idiot' and is very attached to his pet raven Grip, also lives in the village with his widowed mother.

I have to admit that this section frustrated me quite a lot as there didn't seem to be an enormous amount happening - instead things moved quite slowly and there wasn't an awful amount going on, mainly because a lot of the focus was on recounting the history of the village and the events which led to the characters' current situation. That said, there is one particularly shocking incident which is dark even for Dickens, and which has a huge bearing on the rest of the action. However, in the second half of the book, the action shifts to London and the riots themselves, which Hugh and the unwitting Barnaby have been swept up in. Consequently, it feels like all the action is crammed into the last third of the novel and everything happens far too quickly - regular readers will know I bang on about this but I like my books to have a decent pace rather than feeling rushed.

The name of the book struck me as a bit odd, as Barnaby is very much a peripheral character especially in the first section - things happen to him rather than his driving the action. However, whilst in the case of Oliver Twist I lacked sympathy for the lead character, I was very much on Barnaby's side and desperately wanted him and his mother to have a happy ending. Once again though, many of my favourite characters were those in peripheral roles, particularly Grip the raven (supposedly the inspiration for Edgar Allen Poe's poem) and Mrs Miggs, housekeeper for the Varden family whose daughter Dolly is in love with Joe Willett. And Dickens keeps up his excellent line in villains, with Hugh's combination of brute force and a knack for cunning plans making him the most chilling antagonist so far.

Overall, whilst Barnaby Rudge was a bit of a slog at times, it was actually quite good to read something a bit different from Dickens and to learn more about this period of history. There were also plenty of the Dickens tropes we've come to know - innocent hero surrounded by conflict, villains trying to scupper everyone's happy ever after, and a big dose of social commentary on top. I certainly now feel refreshed and ready to tackle the next book, one of Dickens' more unusual novels - Martin Chuzzlewit.

What's the most surprising book you've read recently?

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#2014BloggerChallenge: Lewisham #ModelMarket

As regular readers of the blog will know, I am a massive foodie. I'm constantly looking out for new restaurants to try and have endless lists of things I want to cook and bake at home. So when the latest edition of the #2014BloggerChallenge dropped into my inbox with the theme of meals, I was struggling to decide what to go for. Then I found out about the new Model Market, and everything came together.

For those of you who might not have heard about the Model Market, it's essentially a former 1950s partially covered market at the top of Lewisham High Street that's been derelict for years, but has now been transformed into a street market selling all kinds of utterly amazing food. Tonight was the opening night, and Nick and I decided to pop down for some dinner as it's only a short walk from our flat.

Also I apologise for the awful pictures - the combination of terrible phone and not the best lighting meant they didn't come out so well. But hopefully it gives you a sense of just how much fun the market was. I'm also sorry there are so many pictures but I wanted to capture everything!

Not only are the decorations outside Breddo's Tacos amazingly colourful, I love that I managed to snap this waitress (and her awesome purple hair) in a pensive mood.

Dogtown was one of my favourite stalls - all graffiti-style text and customising pretty much everything they could get their hands on. Nick got a couple of their 'puppy dogs' but none of them really appealed to me, though I'm definitely getting their regular hot dog with beer cheese sauce (yes, that is a thing) and tater tots next time we come here.

 Life advice I think we can all get behind from South East Cakery there...

Bless Nick, he very kindly put up with me wanting to photograph everything - including his dinner! These are Cajun crayfish balls from Hank's and they are amazing; if you like seafood and don't mind a bit of spice I'd really recommend these.

My first pick, on the other hand, was the amazing Yum Bun. I have a slight addiction to Chinese barbecue pork buns and, whilst it was hoi sin rather than barbecue sauce, this definitely hit the spot - crispy yet succulent pork, crunchy vegetables and a roll just the right side of doughy. Love it.

I love these amazing painted walls in the market - the colours in the poppy one in particular are just incredibly vibrant.

The amazing Rola Wala. If you like Indian food but aren't too big on spice, then I really recommend their BBQ chicken tikka. I love the decor as well - the walls are papered with a 1975 edition of The Times newspaper!

Rum Shack is one of the five bars at the Model Market, and the cheapest for cocktails (though we opted for beer instead). In fact that's my one gripe with the market - the food is pretty reasonably priced but the drinks are quite expensive, which might knock my plans to make this a regular thing on the head...

Sambal Shiok is the Model Market's Malyasian food stall, and is top of my list to try next time I come down here. Three words: chicken satay slider. Mmmm.

On Nick's list, meanwhile, is Smokestack, which serves up barbecue and ribs. I have to admit that in terms of the smell, this was probably one of my favourite stalls too - I was practically dribbling over the grill every time we walked past it!

I really love that the stalls have kept so much of the original decor and signs from when the shops were unloved - as well as the slightly 'rough and ready' element that's still very much a part of Lewisham despite attempts at gentrification, it also creates a sense of continuity that the market is preserving the history of the area.

My favourite stall, however, was the quirky-kitschy-vintage awesomness that is South East Brownie Bar, an offshoot of South East Cakery. From the distressed striped signs on the wall to the beautifully painted garden furniture and the candles stuck into Sailor Jerry and Bombay Sapphire bottles, I was absolutely hooked.

Well I had to buy a bag to take home didn't I? I've only had one so far (trying to save them!) which was peanut butter and absolutely delicious - crunchy top and gooey in the middle - so really excited to try the others, especially the mojito cocknie!

Overall I really liked the Model Market. It's a great mix of stalls with something to suit every taste (though admittedly I'd like to have seen more desserts but they're apparently opening an ice cream parlour soon) and isn't too horrifically expensive - sliders are in the £3.50-£4.50 range and there are quite a few 'two for £7/three for £9' type deals, though obviously some things like the ribs are more expensive. My one tip though is get there early - we arrived at around 6.30 and got straight in, yet when Nick's mum turned up about 45 minutes later it was one in one out.

What's your favourite street food?

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Beauty Review: June 2014 Birchbox

Despite the fact that England lost their opening game, I am really enjoying this World Cup. Compared to the snooze-fest in South Africa for years ago it's far more lively, with goals and controversy aplenty. To tie in with this sporting event that brings the world together, this month's Birchbox is called 'Global Strikers' and is themed around a range of products from all over the world.

As this year's World Cup is in Brazil, the June Birchbox bag is in the Brazilian national colours of green and yellow. I actually really like this - it's a bit different from the usual Birchbox bags, and I'd like to see it more often. Maybe a patterned bag in a signature print for the next designer collaboration?

Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentrate 5ml (sample value: £1.33)
This has been on my to try list for ages after Sali Hughes recommended it in her 50 essential beauty products a little while ago, so I was very excited to get this! It's billed as a multi-tasking product, with its main uses being as a primer, moisturiser and make-up remover, which is a bonus for me as I'm always keen on products that mean I can skip a step in my routine and save some time. This is definitely a product where a little goes a long way, but it sinks in really quickly and, despite its thick consistency, doesn't feel heavy or like it's clogging my pores.

Flip flop keyring
Reminiscent of the Havaiana sandals that are everywhere in Brazil, this flip flop keyring in the Brazilian national colours is a decent little lifestyle extra. It's not something I'd have picked out myself but it's a reasonable enough addition to this month's Birchbox.

Naobay Body Radiance Lotion (sample value: £1.68)
Naobay is a Spanish brand which I hadn't heard of before, but I actually really like this body lotion. It's got quite a 'green' scent (probably from the olive and avocado oils) but it's not too overpowering, and the lotion sinks in really quickly - again, a little goes a long way. That said, this is the third box on the run where I've got a body lotion and it's getting a little ridiculous. Some different options would be nice next time Birchbox!

OPI Nail Lacquer in Kiss Me I'm Brazilian (sample value: £2.98)
I'm a big fan of OPI nail polishes and had been eyeing up their Brazil collection for a few weeks now, so was pleased to get one in this month's box. Whilst Kiss Me I'm Brazilian, a bright Barbie pink, isn't the most original colour, it's a good summery shade that would work on fingers and toes. I haven't tested this one for durability yet but most OPI polishes are pretty good so I will report back and let you know how I get on.

Silk + Honey Shea Butter Conditioning Mask (sample value: £8.25)
I'm always on the lookout for a good nourishing hair product and this mask from Silk + Honey has a lovely texture, as well as feeling really moisturising for my hair but not weighing it down too much - vital at the moment as I'm growing it for the wedding. It has a lovely soft scent that doesn't clash too much with perfumes or body lotions and makes my hair feel lovely and smooth.

Yves Rocher Sheer Botanical Lipstick in Rouge Groseille (sample value: £9.90)
I hadn't tried any Yves Rocher products before this lipstick, but I really like it. The swatch here is with three layers and it still looks really sheer, which is great for the summer when you don't want heavy lipstick but still want to look 'done'. I can definitely see myself reaching for this a lot in the warm weather. And it's a full size too!

Overall this Birchbox was a bit mixed. Whilst I love the Embryolisse and am impressed by the lipstick, I'm less wowed by some of the other products as they're quite standard - I would have liked something that wasn't another body lotion and a more unusual nail polish, and could take or leave the keyring. That said, I think they've definitely upped the value of the box with the full size lipstick and the hair mask (although I'm not sure I'd pay £55 for the full size of that!). I think it would be good for them to offer something similar to the menus other beauty boxes offer, or perhaps asking customers what kind of colours they like to make the boxes a bit more varied.

Did you get the June 2014 Birchbox? What was your favourite product?

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