lilah b.: With Less, You Are More

I've always been a fan of heavy makeup looks. Give me a smokey eye, full coverage foundation, and winged liner any day. Yet, I'm also on the other side of the spectrum with appreciating a more natural look. This didn't use to be the case even 5 years ago, I've always felt more comfortable and 'me' with a full face of makeup (weird, I know). Since I've invested more in skincare, I've tried to cut back on caking it on so much. I've really been focusing on getting my skin to a good place where I can wear lighter coverage.

lilah b. is a luxury brand that's been on my radar for quite some time now. They focus on a simplistic and minimalist look when it comes to beauty by using fewer products, with a concept of 'with less, you are more.' Cheryl Yannotti Foland, the founder of lilah b., drew inspiration from her new healthier lifestyle after moving from New York to Northern California. She created lilah b. as a "luxury minimalistic collection of color for a simplified beauty routine." lilah b. has a very unique charm and characteristic that is so organic, everything is so effortless. The stone packaging aesthetic creates a very chic look that adds to the sophistication of the products and overall high quality of the brand. I love that they feel and look so luxurious and classy.  What's even better about these products are their formulations. They are combined with nourishing and moisturizing botanical ingredients, and are free of parabens, phthalates, sulfates, and synthetic ingredients. They are a vegan friendly brand and are cruelty free.

For the holidays they came out with their b. unique Set*, which allows you to choose three pieces from their permanent line as a product combination. Their holiday set retails for $152 and comes with a complimentary white vegan makeup bag/clutch. You are not saving money buying the set versus buying the products individually but you are getting the free makeup/clutch with it. This is a beautiful set and I'm in love with the clutch, it's so gorgeous. This set is only customizable on their website, but they are available to buy on Net-A-Porter, Barneys, and Neiman Marcus already customized.

Palette Perfection Eye Quad in b. stunning

9 g | $58 | (Buy here)

I was really happy to see an eyeshadow palette included in the package I received from lilah b.! I've been wanting to try their eyeshadow palettes and this one especially stood out to me. This is described as a long-wearing, buildable, and blendable palette that offers subtle to bold looks with wet or dry application. It has both matte and shimmer eyeshadows: a light warm camel brown matte transition shade, a cool darker brown matte smoke shade, a light warm cream champagne shimmer shade, and a light copper shimmer shade.

The thing I find interesting about this palette is the colors shown in the pan don't transfer as the same in the swatch. I thought I would see more of a light copper shade in the far left corner but it ends up looking a bit of a mixture of bronze and copper. The dark brown looks deeper in the pan but it actually isn't that dark at all. This really shows the simplicity in lilah b.'s aesthetic as a brand, by staying true to a very minimalist style. I think lilah b. as a brand is for the kind of person who enjoys aesthetics like Bobbi Brown, etc.

The palette has beautiful colors, especially the shimmer shades (the champagne cream color is wonderful as a highlight and on the lid!). The mattes applied very soft and I had no trouble blending them out. I found that these were easier to use with my brush that they were swatching with my fingers. Focusing on the palette and how it performed, I will say that these are buildable opaque colors. Unless you layer these a few times, they will have a very soft look. They are very complimentary colors and you can create both a natural and dramatic look from them.

I do, however, also want to bring attention to the fact that these might not show up too well on darker skin tones. On lighter skin tones like mine it will be easier to get away with less pigmentation, but darker skin tones might have a harder time getting these shades to work.

b. stunning eye palette, colors layered once; far left camel matte transition shade I had trouble swatching the most

 Divine Duo Lip & Cheek in b. true

2.2 g | $46 | (Buy here)

Divine Duo Lip & Cheek is a creamy, long-wearing, and moisturizing product that provides healthy, buildable color. It comes in eight shades, ranging from a deep red to a bright orange. b. true is described as a mauve/pink on the website but I would rather say it's a bright coral. On my skin tone it comes off super red toned, very in line with my natural red pigmentation, which put me off at first. I buffed it in using my Teri Miyahira 05 synthetic brush and it blended really well to look like a natural flush on my cheeks. I'm so in love with these pebble shapes, it's so chic and the slide openings are really so classy. They are magnetic and very sturdy, so they won't easily come open if you happen to take them with you in your makeup bag, if you're concerned about that. The size of the pan is perfect for your finger to dip into, which is how I apply the product first onto my cheeks and then use my brush. There is no smell to the product, either, so that's not a problem if you happen to be sensitive to fragrances.

In regards to how this product performed, it did pretty well both with and without layering on top of foundation. Since I have oily skin, I usually powder my foundation to set it but decided not to when I used this product. I was noticeably oilier on those days, as I expected, but this didn't really move from where I placed it. It dries as a matte but it's not streaky or anything, it's very soft and natural looking. This really impressed me and gave me a lot of confidence to start using it more and hopefully invest in other cream cheek products, too. I definitely would love to try a different color, maybe b. real since it's described as a light pink. As a lip product, this dries more a matte (even with the moisturizing botanical ingredients) and I really need to make sure that my lips are properly exfoliated and hydrated before applying it. I don't think this is my favorite to use on my lips, but I think this might be better during a time when my lips are in a better condition. This definitely looks very coral on me, not as red toned compared to when I apply it on my cheeks, but still not anything close to mauve.

b. true swatch, left side is one layer and right side is two layers

Aglow Face Mist

1 oz | $48 | (Buy here)

Aglow Face Mist is a hydrating, lightweight mist that has nourishing botanical plant extracts and minerals to refresh and soothe skin. It includes lavender oil, prickly pear cactus extract, brown algae ("oarweed"), knotgrass extract, dandelion extract, and mineral rich water. This mist can be used as a toner, makeup setting spray, or whenever you feel the need for a refresh or light hydration.

I really enjoy this mist, it makes my skin feel so soft and plump. The scent reminds me of the ocean mixed with the calming and relaxing lavender. It's a very soft, light scent. I don't necessarily like using this as a toner, as I really am picky with what I like to use in my routines, but I enjoy spraying this on my skin throughout the day when I don't wear makeup or even to prep my skin before I apply foundation. The times when my skin has felt really dry during the day, I've simply sprayed this on and it helped a lot to bring back moisture. I'm not sure if I've seen any brightening effects but my skin has felt so refreshed and soothed.

This is such a lovely product and I'm so glad that lilah b. has created it, I definitely would be interested to see other skincare products added to their line.

Ingredients: Water, Propanediol, PVP, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Opuntia Ficus-indica Stem Extract, Taraxacum Officinale (Dandelion) Extract, Laminaria Digitata Extract, Polygonum Aviculare Extract, Hydrolyzed Jojoba Esters, Glycerin, Sodium Glycerophosphate, Potassium Magnesium Aspartate, Calcium Glucoheptonate, Magnesium Gluconate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Linalool, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, PPG-26-buteth-26

These products are honestly such high quality and I'm so in love with lilah b. as a brand. I'd love to try their foundation and cruelty-free vegan brushes next. You can purchase lilah b. products on their website or at Space NK, Neiman Marcus, Barneys, and Net-A-Porter.

Have you tried anything from lilah b. before? Which product interests you the most?

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*This product has kindly been PR gifted. All opinions are my own. See my disclaimer for more information.


Lush Seasonal Treats

One of my favorite things about this season is all of the limited edition items that brands come out with. Lush is one that consistently comes out with a range of products in their seasonal holiday collection. I always love how creative everything looks, especially the bath bombs. This year there are some wonderful new additions as well as re-introduced favorites (with a new look!). Unfortunately some of the items contained in this post are already sold out online, but you might be able to get them in a store nearest to you.

This year not only features new and old favorites, but also a lot of gift sets. If you're crunched on time, they would be a great quick gift to get for someone who loves Lush products. Going in person to a store nearest to you would be a good opportunity to see the sets themselves. They would make fabulous New Year's gifts or late holiday gifts. Since they are already pre-wrapped, you don't need to worry about the extra time needed to wrap them.

A favorite product of mine from the holiday collection is Bubbly*, it's one of the three Shower Gels featured and is brand new (the other two being Snow Fairy and Rose Jam). It is an orange colored gel that smells like a light blended mix of sweet orange candy and grapefruit, which is actually a really nice smell in the morning to wake up to. The fresh citrus-y scent is reminiscent to Celebrate Hand/Body Lotion and Golden Wonder Bath Bomb, as it does share similar ingredients. This doesn't evoke any festive feelings for me personally, but I do think it's a great addition to the collection. I really enjoy the smell since it's not very overpowering and it's not too sweet. It's very moisturizing and lathers well, I love how soft my skin feels after. I do find that the smell doesn't hold very long afterwards, but that's not a make-or-break deal for me.

Another new addition this year is Santasaurus*, a reusable bubble bar scented with Lush's Honey I Washed The Kids perfume. It has that caramel, sweet honey fragrance with brazilian orange oil and bergamot oil being key ingredients. What I love about this specific bubble bar is not only is it super cute (I mean c'mon, it's a dino with a santa hat?) but you get a good couple uses out of it, too! Running it straight under the water creates such big, wonderful bubbles that smell so freaking amazing. The water will turn a light forest green, making it truly a festive product. Due to it being reusable, it is quite tough but you can easily break apart pieces and swirl it in the tub as the water is running (I like to hold it about 3/4 up on the stick). It's really moisturizing, which is exactly what's needed during this month.

Ingredients (Bubbly): Vine Leaf Infusion (Vitis Vinifera), Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Glycerine , Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Lauryl Betaine, Fragrance, *Limonene, Sweet Wild Orange Oil (Citrus Sinensis), Lime Oil (Citrus Aurantifolia), Fresh Grape Juice (Vitis Vinifera), Lactic Acid, Carrageenan Extract (Chondrus Crispus), *Citral, Citronellol, *Linalool, Orange 4.
Ingredients (Santasaurus): Sodium Carbonate, Cream of Tartar (Potassium Bitartrate), Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Glycerine, Lauryl Betaine, Fragrance, Brazilian Orange Oil (Citrus sinensis), Bergamot Oil (Citrus Aurantium Bergamia), Amyl Cinnamal, Lilial, Citronellol, *Limonene, *Linalool, Yellow 10, Green 5, Red 4.

I cannot get enough of these cute characters that Lush comes out with during the holidays. The Christmas Penguin* bubble bar returns this year and I'm so happy to have it. It has a light and fresh citrusy scent that is so relaxing, with bergamot oil, Sicilian lemon and mandarin oil, and orange flower absolute. They use the same scent that's featured in their shower gel, The Olive Branch. I love holding it in my hand under the running water and applying pressure to help it crumble. It turns the bath water a really pretty blue/aqua color. I think not everybody will enjoy how light this scent is, but I really think it's nice to have for the times when you just want a little something to help uplift your spirits. The holiday season is very difficult for a lot of people for many different reasons and anything that can uplift moods, thoughts, or feelings, I think is very beneficial. The bubbles in this also were a lot and my skin felt really soft afterwards. The best way to get a few uses out of this would be to cut it into a few pieces and save them for later, and I especially would advise doing so if you're unable to get your hands on more than one of this product.

Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Cream of Tartar (Potassium bitartrate), Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Lauryl Betaine , Corn Starch (Zea Mays), Fragrance, Bergamot Oil (Citrus Aurantium bergamia), Sicilian Lemon Oil (Citrus limonum), Orange Flower Absolute (Citrus Aurantium amara), Sicilian Mandarin Oil (Citrus Nobilis), Water (Aqua), Citric Acid, Glyceryl Stearate SE, PVP, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Titanium Dioxide, *Limonene, *Linalool, Hydroxycitronellal, Lilial, Blue 1, Green 3, Yellow 5 Lake, Iron Oxides, Cola Pip (Sugar, Glucose, Citric Acid, Flavour, Red 40).

Papa Noel Face Jelly* was a product that I kind of had to warm up to. I didn't really enjoy it at first nor did I really understand what it was. Essentially it's a jelly paste that resembles Santa Claus' beard that's used as a facial cleanser. It includes ingredients like kaolin clay, carrageenan seaweed, organic jojoba oil, and multiple citrus oils. The scent is a bit overwhelming at first, to be honest, smells a lot like tangerine (there is tangerine oil in this). My first try of this product was cutting little pieces off and adding water to get a lather and then applying it onto my face. It has very minimal lather ability and it felt like I was pushing around chunks of jelly mixed in with dissolved portions of the product. After that seemed to not work, I then tried getting bigger pieces and adding water, which worked a bit better. The kaolin and carrageenan seaweed ingredients are not going to give you much lather ability with this product, so do keep that in mind, and you really need to run it well under water and massage the piece in your palm before applying it on your face. You also could just take the whole product itself and wipe it over your whole face, but I have not tried that and I'm not sure how well that would fair out (do tell me if you do this, however!).

I do feel like this cleanser did well to clean my face and provide moisturizing properties, but the citrus ingredients might be irritating to some who have sensitive skin. I would keep this in mind if you are looking into trying this (as it not only contains tangerine, orange, lime, and lemon, but also limonene, citral, linalool).

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Glycerine, Kaolin, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Carrageenan Extract (Chondrus crispus), Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Fragrance, Lilial, Organic Jojoba Oil (Simmondsia chinensis), Tangerine Oil (Citrus reticulata), Lime Oil (Citrus aurantifolia), Whole Fresh Organic Orange (Citrus Aurantium Dulcis), Whole Fresh Organic Lemon (Citrus Limon), Titanium Dioxide, *Citral, *Limonene, *Linalool.

I've previously used one of Lush's lip scrubs but I never had tried one with a flavor. Sugar Plum Fairy* is a swirl of purple and blue that reminds me of a galaxy, it's a new sugar scrub that will exfoliate and soften dry winter lips. It contains ingredients like organic jojoba oil and sweet wild orange oil, and smells like bubblegum. This is a must-have from the collection, I'm not even joking. Run out to your nearest Lush and grab it before it sells out. It not only smells amazing but makes my lips feel so good after scrubbing it, I also apply the accompanying Sugar Plum Fairy Lip Tint* afterwards and it is like heaven. The Lip Tint contains organic jojoba oil and sweet wild orange oil like the sugar scrub, but it also includes kalahari melon and sunflower wax to add more hydration. Both smell so amazing. Contrary to the stock picture, the Lip Tint actually shows up pink rather than purple on me.

Reindeer Rock* is a returning soap to this year's collection but has a brand new look. This is a pebble shaped soap that's specifically been individually made to fit into the shape of your hand. It is made with a 100% palm-free soap base and is dusted with plastic-free mineral-based luster over the golden reindeer design. The color and design of this soap is totally something else. It has a vibrant blue color and depicts an image of a reindeer that is reminiscent of cave paintings (my years of Art History courses flash before my eyes). I'm really glad that Lush not only brought back this product but totally changed the look and shape of it, block soaps are such a pain to use and this has been so user friendly to have in the shower. The scent is so refreshing, it's a mixture of a sweet blend of aromatic jasmine, rose oil, and neroli oil, with fruity lingonberry. There's also a bit of heaviness to it, which really balances it out. It lathers very well and I love that I can still smell the fragrance well after I've used it. I usually like using shower gels since I find that soap bars dry my skin out, but this did the complete opposite. My skin felt so moisturized and soft, I really was super impressed. This really should be available all year round, the scent is very universal and I'd love to be able to get more of it when I run out.

Ingredients (Sugar Plum Fairy): Castor Sugar, Organic Jojoba Oil (Simmondsia chinensis), Sweet Wild Orange Oil (Citrus sinensis), *Citral, *Limonene, Flavor, Lustre Dust (Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Red 28, Blue 1).
Ingredients (Reindeer Rock): Lingonberry Infusion (Vaccinium Vitis-Idaea), Glycerine, Rapeseed Oil; Coconut Oil (Brassica napus; Cocos nucifera), Sorbitol, Water (Aqua), Fragrance, Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (Cocos nucifera), Jasmine Absolute (Jasminum grandiflorum), Neroli Oil (Citrus Aurantium amara), Rose Oil (Rosa damascena), Sodium Chloride, Citric Acid, Sodium Bicarbonate, EDTA, Tetrasodium Editronate, Sodium Hydroxide, *Citral, Citronellol, Geraniol, Hydroxycitronellal, *Limonene, *Linalool, Glacier Blue; Radiant Gold (Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxide, Blue 1) Blue 1.

Northern Lights* and Shoot For The Stars* bath bombs have both returned for this year's holiday collection but have debuted new looks! I've always wanted to try Shoot For The Stars so I was super excited to be able to try it.

Shoot For The Stars is a beautiful vibrant blue color with three golden stars decorated on the outside. It is such a cute design and I really prefer it over the original. This bath bomb has the most luscious scent I've ever smelled, I want to dunk my head into a pool of it and never come out. It is so wonderfully uplifting and delicious, it has a strong aromatic scent of Brazilian orange and bergamot oil with a very sweet caramel honey fragrance. This doesn't exactly exemplify a festive spirit but I think the scent definitely can be attributed to this season (and really all year round, too). This creates the most beautiful blue artwork once you place it in your tub, as it spirals and unleashes layers of blue hue. As it gets smaller, the stars break away to reveal their true identity: they actually are bath melts! There are six in total and they add such a high moisturizing factor with their buttery and oily base. They also contain glitter particles that will get on you and will need to be cleaned up afterwards, so do keep that in mind. I do not recommend using this bath bomb if you are wanting to wash your hair, otherwise it will be a greaseball (and did I mention glitter?). The colors swirling together are very reminiscent of Van Gogh's The Starry Night, which makes this extra special to me. I love that the scent was still very present on me hours after my bath. This is such a superb product and truly I believe it's a must have.

Northern Lights is a bath bomb that similarly has an intoxicating and sensual scent, it's infused with ylang ylang and jasmine to calm, uplift spirits, and provide relaxation. It is quite a strong, aromatic scent that some may not like but I really do enjoy it. The bath bomb is a vivid purple color with yellow and blue sandwiched in the middle on either side. Compared to its design previously, it's much shorter and a lot bigger in width. This bath bomb's art is truly one so creative, it's an explosion of purple, blue, and yellow from all sides that blend so vividly. It's almost like I'm watching the scene of Sleeping Beauty's fairy godmother's using their wands to change her dress different colors! Once the colors begin to mix more, it becomes more of a deep green color, which I thought is kind of interesting. I think some people will be disappointed since they will expect to have purple water and not this kind of murky green, but I didn't really mind since I enjoyed the 'show.'  Watching the bath bomb dissolve in the water was also such a calming activity itself, and the northern lights are predominantly this kind of green color so I think Lush did a great job. I did notice that the scent of the bath bomb wasn't as strong as before but I think I prefer that since it provides such a calming atmosphere once you're in the tub.

Ingredients (Shoot For The Stars): Sodium Bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Fair Trade Organic Cocoa Butter (Theobroma Cacao), Brazilian Orange Oil (Citrus sinensis), Bergamot Oil (Citrus Aurantium bergamia), Cream of Tartar (Potassium bitartrate), Corn Starch (Zea Mays), Gardenia Extract (Gardenia jasminoides), Coconut Cream (Cocos nucifera), Water (Aqua), Almond Oil (Prunus dulcis), Sodium Laureth Sulfate, PEG-6 Caprylic / Capric Glycerides & PEG60 Almond Glycerides, Lauryl Betaine, Lilial , Citronellol, *Limonene, *Linalool, Fragrance, Gold Glimmer Lustre; Radiant Gold Lustre; Ice Blue Lustre (Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Iron Oxides, Silica, Mica, Blue 1 Lake, Corn Starch (Zea Mays)), Yellow 5, Yellow 5 Lake, Blue 1.
Ingredients (Northern Lights): Sodium Bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Jasmine Absolute (Jasminum grandiflorum), Ylang Ylang Oil (Cananga odorata), Cream of Tartar (Potassium bitartrate), Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Dipropylene Glycol, Lauryl Betaine, Amyl Cinnamal, Lilial, Hydroxycitronellal, *Linalool, *Limonene, Fragrance, Blue 1, Yellow 8, Red 28, Green 8.

I definitely recommend picking up some of these items before they are gone! A good amount are still online to purchase and it wouldn't hurt to check your closest Lush location for ones you want that are sold out.

Have you tried any of Lush's holiday collection items? What have been your favorites if you have? 

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*This product has kindly been PR gifted. All opinions are my own. See my disclaimer for more information.



Well, here we are. It's our final month and we're a mere two weeks to finishing up 2016. Gosh, that's just mind boggling isn't it? I feel like this year went by so slow in the moment but looking back it really just flew by. Personally it was one of the hardest years of my life, and so much has happened in the world that has and will change so much. I think what's important right now is to enjoy the time we have with our loved ones in this season and continue to make cherished memories that we can hold onto, especially when things may look so dark. 

Traditionally, this is a time for people to buy presents and prep for their gatherings that will take place this holiday season. It's also a time to celebrate the love you have for others, the friendships you have, and honor those who are so dear to you in your life. Even if you don't celebrate any holidays that take place this month, it's still such a cheery time to enjoy the lights, baking, and everybody's favorite movies (I'm quite upset that I have yet to watch Elf or The Holiday as I've been so busy!). 

It's been a wonderful couple of months with MINTD Box but alas, here is our last box of the year. Last month's box (review here) revolved around Winter skincare hydration, and this follows a similar theme. MINTD's December 2016 box is themed The Christmas Edit*, with 5 full sized and 1 travel sized products to ensure you're prepared for parties and given a pampering session throughout the holiday season. The products are revolved around hydrating, plumping, and overall giving you a pampering experience. 

If you don't know who MINTD Box are, they are a UK luxury monthly/bi-monthly subscription box service that offers only the highest quality luxury brands at value price with full sized products in every box. The concept is that you are getting more than what you are putting into it money-wise, while also trying out products from a variety of luxury brands from trusted retailers and ones currently globally on trend. They feature high end products from stores like Harrods, Space NK, Selfridges, Sephora, and more. I have four posts about their boxes from November (here), October (here), September (here), and August (here). You can read more in-depth about them in my August post.

The products included in this month's box are:

This box retails for over £175/$217.75 but you only will need to pay the price of £65/$80.88, giving you a savings of £110/$136.87. You also can take 10% off your first box with a non-affiliated code: 10FF1ST. MINTD Box offers monthly/bi-monthly plans. They ship to the UK, W. Europe, N. America, Australia, and New Zealand.

As I've pointed out before, this is not a cheap subscription box. It's a very personal decision where we choose to spend our hard earned money, and it's understandable if this sub is out of people's budget. Consumerism is more and more important to understand, and what businesses we choose to support should always be at the forefront of our minds. Overall, the presentation and hard work put into MINTD truly shows, and the numerous new brands I've fallen in love with through their curations have been so outstanding. I've gushed about them with every post I've done and they truly are a sub that deserves high praise. 

Wildheart Organics Sanctuary Travel Candle

90g | £12.00 | (Buy here)

If you've been following my MINTD unboxing posts, then you'll remember that Wildheart Organics was a brand featured in October's Essential Beauty Sleep Kit box. I absolutely loved the Tranquil aromatherapy candle and have been wanting to get it ever since I used it up. Unfortunately Wildheart Organics doesn't ship international but they do have a stockist (Sulis & Thermae) that has a very small assortment of their full-sized candles. If you are not familiar with the UK brand, they are a candle and home fragrance company that uses organic and natural essential oils to create luxurious treatment products with the ultimate therapeutic benefits. Founder Emma Hoult uses 100% essentials oils in her products to enhance and improve your mood and wellbeing. They hand-make their products at their barn in Edinburgh, Scotland. Their aromatherapy candles are made with natural plant ingredients and they do not test on animals.

Their Sanctuary aromatherapy candle is part of their Stress Relief series, with a lush blend of jasmine, chamomile, floral geranium, rosewood, and patchouli. This aromatherapy candle promotes anxiety relief and stress relief with its calming and soothing essential oils. In similarity to Tranquil, this also works very well to release tension. The patchouli adds a spark to the otherwise light fragrance and I think that was a nice addition. I've really enjoyed using this in the mornings when I'm just starting my day and getting into doing some work. I do prefer Tranquil over this but Sanctuary is a nice, light fragranced candle that I think many would enjoy.

I really like this candle but something just feels kind of off about it? I'm all for anything that can help me relieve stress, that's not the problem I have with the candle at all. It's beautifully made, no doubt about it. I really think for the theme of the box that other candles they have would have been better maybe, like their Christmas Peace (literally described as "Christmas in a jar") or Winter candles. Christmas Peace is a blend of mandarin, clove, cinnamon, cedarwood, and juniper berry, the ultimate Christmas-y fragrance. Winter is a forest-y scent with white pine, mint, and cedarwood, made for helping your mental wellbeing, calming your mood, and reducing anxiety. Winter especially I think would be a great pick, as S.A.D. is something that affects so many people at this time and anything that could help with moods and mental wellbeing would be so beneficial.

For those who are unaware, S.A.D. (seasonal affective disorder) is a type of depression that occurs during specific parts of the year, usually during these later months. Many people equate S.A.D. for being "winter blues" but that's an ignorance society has adopted with the stigma attached to mental illness. It's not just "winter blues" as symptoms should be taken with the utmost seriousness, they can be mild or severe and shouldn't be left untreated. It can deeply affect your life on all aspects. Here is more information on S.A.D., if you think you or someone you know may suffer from it then definitely try to get some help.

I really think this Sanctuary candle is beautiful but I'd love to see a fragrance like this in a future box for Spring, it would definitely fit a lot better then with its lighter scent. I'd also love to see bigger sizes, I go through these candles soooooo quickly! The bigger sizes would be really lovely but I could see how the weight might be a problem shipping-wise.

Siskyn Skincare Oils Organic Frankincense & Jasmine Night Facial Oil

30ml | £58.00 | (Buy here)

Another item featured in October's Essential Beauty Sleep Kit was Siskyn's Organic Camellia & Safflower Hot Cloth Cleansing Oil, a product that truly is the epitome of luxury and a lush cleansing oil. I really love using it when my skin is very dry, and I was looking forward to trying another product from them. If you are not familiar with Siskyn Skincare Oils, they are a UK luxury skincare brand created by two sisters that focuses on using highly effective and 100% natural, vegan ingredients (not even water is included). Their oils have no synthetics, derivatives, fillers, artificial preservatives or fragrances, silicones, parabens, dyes, petrochemicals, or added preservatives (you can see their ingredient list and breakdown here). Their stance has always been to create true and pure botanical oil sourced products. I've really been impressed with their authenticity as a brand.

Organic Frankincense & Jasmine Night Facial Oil is a nourishing night oil that hydrates, repairs, and rejuvenates skin. It is an overnight facial oil that combines a blend of 17 certified organic botanical oils that work as an intensive treatment for your skin. This includes ingredients like Rosehip (antioxidant that helps with hyperpigmentation), Camellia (helps maintain acid balance of skin, rich in Omegas), Evening Primrose (anti-inflammatory, calming, and anti-irritation), and Frankincense (astringent and skin boosting properties for cell renewal). This facial oil has a high content of linoleic acid, which may work especially well for those who suffer from acne. It's been studied that there is decreased linoleic acid in skin surface lipids of those with acne. Low linoleic acid content also impairs the epidermal barrier function, it allows increased permeability of inflammatory substances to the comedonal wall. Therefore it might be good to use some products that have high linoleic acid content.

Due to how heavy this night oil is and how slow it takes to absorb, I really am picky when I want to use this. With my usage, I have not seen any real significant difference with my acne that I can account to this oil. It's very rich and you only need about one pump or so for the whole face, which means this will last me for quite a long while. I have not seen any brightening or other benefits besides hydration, I'm hoping with longer usage I will see more results. I don't think my skin does well with the mixture of heavier oils in this, as no matter if I used less or blotted some off that wouldn't absorb all the way, I still would wake up on the oily side. This does fit well in my overall routine as I follow the thin to thicker method, but I just can't mesh with the heavier feeling. I feel like the cleansing oil's heaviness was workable since I was able to wash it off afterwards, while this stays on. I'm not writing off this product just yet, I want to give it more time to see results and also how else I can apply it that feels best.

I think I might save this oil for days when my skin needs a lot of hydration. I'm worried about it going bad since it has a 6 month expiration, so hopefully I will figure out the best way to use this. I think this would work especially well for those with drier or dehydrated skin types.

Ingredients: Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Linum Usitatissimum (Flax) Seed Oil, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Borago Officinalis (Borage) Seed Oil, Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Fruit Oil, Triticum Vulgare (Wheatgerm) Oil, Adansonia Digitata (Baobab) Seed Oil, Camellia Sinensis (Camellia) Leaf Oil, Calendula Officinalis (Calendula) Flower Oil, Santalum Album (Sandalwood), Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine) Flower extract, Helichrysum Angustifolium (Helichrysum) Oil, Boswellia Carterii (Frankincense) Oil, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Pogostemon Cablin (Patchouli) Oil, Benzyl Alcohol*, Eugenol*, Geraniol*, Farnesol*, Linalool*, Benzyl Benzoate*, Benzyl Cinnamate*, Limonene*, Citral* (* Naturally occurring in essential oils). May contain nut oil traces. 100% certified organic ingredients.

IOMA Paris Fresh Gel Eye Makeup Remover

3.75fl oz | £20 | (Buy here)

IOMA's Expert Ritual Tabs were featured in MINTD's September box (review here) and I overall had a positive experience. IOMA Paris is a French skincare brand that is scientific-based, using their own dedicated research and customer personalization to create high quality products. You can read more about the brand in my September post.

Nowadays I use cleansing oils and balms as my first cleanse, so I rarely have a separate product like this. I'm also really careful what I put on my eyes because they are very sensitive and I suffered through a long time of using products that caused a lot of irritation. I wasn't looking forward to using this at all if I'm honest. But I did want to give it a chance, so I first started to apply this on a cotton pad and wiped it only on my eye lids and around my eyebrow area. It does a pretty good job at getting makeup off, and I like how cool the gel feels against my skin. I did use it a bit under my eye but really have yet to use it on my lashes or anywhere very close to my eye area. This supposedly works to increase volume and length of your lashes and strengthen them, so I guess I am missing out on the possibility of getting those benefits, but I'm not sure if I want to risk any irritation with how sensitive my eyes are.

This is an 'okay' product to include in the box this month, it didn't impress me but it wasn't totally bad either. I think I would have liked to have seen follow up products like their Brightening Cosmetic Water or Brightening Moisturizing Serum, these really would have shown the strength in the scientific components of IOMA Paris and I would really love to test how that lives up to their name.

Ingredients: Aqua/Water, Poloxamer 184, Glycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Pentylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Chlorphenesin, Sodium Nitrate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Disodium EDTA, Panthenol, Biotinoyl Tripeptide-1

Anne Semonin Cream Mask + Face Mask Brush

75 ml | £42 (Mask)/£20 (Brush) | (Buy Mask) (Buy Brush)

As much as I have enjoyed Anne Semonin being featured in two MINTD boxes previously, I'm a bit Anne-Semonin'd-out. I've reviewed the other two products featured in the August (review here) and September boxes (review here). Anne Semonin is a luxury French skincare brand that focuses on using essential oils, minerals, and marine active ingredients to enhance skin's radiance and vitality, and reverse signs of aging.

I'm going to make this review kind of short as I don't have much to say about these two products. These were a disappointment for me, there's really no easy way to put it. 

I did enjoy the Exfoliating Mask in the September box but I think my oily skin does not do well with cream masks, especially if they are on the thicker side. It's not only the consistency that I did not like but also how it felt, I really didn't like how it just 'sat' on my skin. I do think it hydrated my skin to an extent but I can't see myself using this much at all due to how uncomfortable it was to have on. The fragrance is pretty strong as well but it was honestly the only thing I liked about it. The mask brush is very irritating to my skin, even with adding water it didn't make it softer. It feels very dry and coarse, I can't imagine how people with dry or sensitive skin must feel when using it. 

Unfortunately these were both a miss for me but I'm hoping the next Anne Semonin product I try will be a better experience.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water) / Eau, Caprylic/capric Triglyceride, Dipropylene Glycol, Glycerin, Zea Mays (Corn) Oil, Glycereth-26, Cetyl Alcohol, Jojoba Esters, Glyceryl Stearate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Wax, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Panthenol, Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate, Phenoxyethanol, Peg-75 Stearate, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Carbomer, Peg-150, Ppg-12/smdi Copolymer, Lactose, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Chlorphenesin, Ceteth-20, Polyacrylate-13, Steareth-20, Parfum (Fragrance), Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Hydroxide, Polyisobutene, Caprylyl Glycol, Disodium Edta, Maris Sal (Sea Salt) / Sel Marin, Acacia Decurrens Flower Wax, Polyglycerin-3, Papain, Sodium Phytate, Sorbitol, Tocopherol, Hydrolyzed Algin, Lecithin, Glyceryl Acrylate / Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Undaria Pinnatifida Extract, Polysorbate 20, Salicornia Herbacea Extract, Sorbitan Isostearate, Maris Aqua (Sea Water) / Eau De Mer, Chlorella Vulgaris Extract, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Metabisulfite, Alcohol, Ulex Europaeus Leaf/root/stem Extract, Ci 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Ci 77491 (Iron Oxides).

ELLIS FAAS Milky Lips L202 Dark Blood

2.8ml | £23 | (Buy here) or (Buy here)

I was pleasantly surprised to see a makeup product included in this month's box, especially a product from a brand I've never heard of before. I loved the Smith & Cult lip lacquer from the August box so I'm happy to see another lip product. After doing some research online, I feel like I've been living under some rock because it seems like everybody knows about this brand except for me?? Ellis Faas is a Dutch avant garde makeup artist who has her own makeup line, it's available in stores like Net-A-Porter, Beautylish, Selfridges, Dermstore, and more. Lisa Eldridge has reviewed her makeup, too. 

Milky Lips is a long-wear fluid lipstick that provides high pigmented color with a glossy finish. It has plumping actives that improve hydration and smooth your lips, with a light texture. The color included in this month's box is L202 Dark Blood, which really does look like real blood. It's on the warm brown/red side, less 'Christmas red' than some might be expecting from it. I think maybe L201 Ellis Red would have been a better choice of color for the box, it's a real rich red. I know for my skin tone, L202 runs a bit too warm and brown for me to pull off, and possibly for darker skin tones it might work better. I did have some trouble getting the product to come out at first, it took at least like 20+ clicks? The applicator was easy to use and I didn't have any problems getting the product where I wanted it. It did apply a bit patchy, though. I think it also might be a problem if I wanted to take this with me in my bag, it's kind of long but the top is tightly secured so it won't come off easily. I kind of wish the color was the same as what was on the applicator, that darker color looks really pretty.

Ellis Faas' aesthetic is really unique, from the bullet packaging, product artwork and imagery from the website, everything has a lot of detail in line with Faas' artistry. I'll have to look at more of her products.

Ingredients: Hydrogenated Polydecene, Isododecane, Hydrogenated Styrene/Isoprene Copolymer, Dicalcium Phosphate, Hdi/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Polyethylene, Propylene Carbonate, Octyldodecanol, Candelilla Cera, Prunus Domestica Seed Extract, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Silica, Tribehenin, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Sorbitan Isostearate, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide. +/- May Contain: Mica, CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 77491/77492/77499 (Iron Oxides), CI 75470 (Carmine), Red 7, CI 15850 (Red 6/Red 7 Lake), CI 73360 (Red 30 Lake), CI 45410 (Red 28 Lake), CI 45380 (Red 22 Lake), CI 42090 (Blue 1 Lake), CI 19140 (Yellow 5 Lake), CI 15985 (Yellow 6 Lake).

Well, like last month, this was not a favorite of mine. Seeing as this was the last box of the year, I was expecting to kind of 'go out with a bang.' This felt like a recycled brand box instead and it really didn't have that spark that I've loved so much from MINTD. I really think the repeated brands have been way too much. As I've said in my last post, 2017 is going to be a great new year and I'm really looking forward to seeing what new curations that MINTD will be including in their future boxes. They are such a hardworking, passionate team and truly put their all into what they do. I know that they will be doing their best to introduce fresh new brands to MINTD and doing their utmost to give you their highest quality possible.

What have been your favorites from MINTD Box? 

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*This product has kindly been PR gifted. All opinions are my own. See my disclaimer for more information.
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