Good Green Box: March 2017 First Impressions

I love trying out subscription boxes, although there aren't many that have proved to impress me. Since finding the Look Fantastic Beauty Box I have been pretty satisfied, as this is the best one that I have been able to find that primarily focuses on beauty (read my thoughts here). A few weeks ago, I was given the opportunity to try the Good Green Box*, which is a monthly subscription box that has a focus on more environmentally friendly, cruelty-free, and vegan products. I have consciously been making an effort over the past few months to start moving towards a greener, less damaging beauty regime, so this box definitely tweaked my interests as I am not aware of many local Australian brands that are also natural, organic and cruelty-free.

March Raves and Rejects

For something new and different this month, I have taken inspiration from one of my favourite YouTubers ThaTaylaa and I am starting a new series on the blog called Raves & Rejects. This will certainly be similar to my normal Monthly Favourites, however I also wanted to more regularly include products that didn't work for me more so you can get a sense of things I didn't like and a more holistic view of my preferences, which might be helpful for you as well! I hope you like this idea to mix things up a bit more on the blog. So, let's get into it! 

5 Tips for Surviving a Makeup Spending Ban

The two words that every beauty junkie is dreading ......... SPENDING BAN! It can be a scary idea and often one that we dismiss as being ridiculous or too difficult. Last year I participated in a Project Pan with Melissa from Loads of Lifestyle (blog post here and 6 month update here) and we also wrote about 5 Ways to Spend Less if You're a Beauty Junkie, these tips are also great to consider if you are thinking about reducing your makeup spending or taking on the challenge of a full spending ban. Today I'm taking you through the top 5 tips I would suggest if you are wanting to start a makeup spending ban and stick with it! 

February Monthly Favourites: 2017

I'm sorry this post is a little late getting to you but life has been hectic for me this month! I have started my Postgrad course, work has picked up and in general life has just been filled with lots of appointments, activities and excitement. My makeup routine has pretty much retained pretty status quo, with my spending ban being well and truly in place but I have a few new skincare, haircare and other bits to share with you this month. I have also rediscovered some old beauty favourites. If you haven't read my January Monthly Favourites, you can read them here.

This month has been all about finding products that work for me without having to try too hard or without taking up too much. Quick and easy for the win! A skincare brand that I have used and loved previously is Medik8, which are an innovative and scientific UK brand. Recently, I was sent two new products to try from the brand including their Medik8 poreCleanse Gel Cleanser* which contains L-Mandelic Acid, L-Lactic Acid, and Salicylic Acid. It works so well for my combination skin and leaves my skin feeling fresh, without being tight or dry. In combination with this cleanser, I have been loving the Medik8 White Balance Cleanse* which is a brightening micro-exfoliator. It comes in a powder form so you shake out some powder and mix it with a tiny amount of water and it creates a foaming mixture that exfoliates the skin so well. I love how gentle it is but is still really effective in removing all my dead skin cells. My skin has honestly not looked better in a long time! 

Another skincare product I have been loving is this trial size of the La Neige Multiberry Yogurt Mask, I can't remember where I got this from but it is a deluxe sample size and I am dreading when I run out. I think it may have come in a previous monthly beauty box but I'm not sure. This mask is absolutely beautiful. It is a hydrating mask, very similar to the Origins Drink Up Overnight Intensive Mask but it smells like strawberry yogurt and feels amazing on the skin. It is full of antioxidants. exfoliating properties as well as a fluffy texture, almost a whipped cream formula that feels so nice on the skin. I pop this on before bed and leave it overnight and wake up with the most hydrated, healthy-looking skin.

A makeup item I have been using each and every day for something a little different is the Tarte Brighter Days Highlighting Moisturiser. I use this after my normal moisturiser and it takes the place of my primer. If I want my makeup to really last long, I would probably still pair this with a more silicone-based primer, but for casual days this makes a perfect base for makeup and adds a beautiful glow to the skin. It hasn't broken me out at all and adds a dewy finish to any matte foundation.

Next up, if you have been following me on my other social media platforms, you would know I have been loving the BH Cosmetics Warm Stone Eyeshadow Palette, which is a gorgeous 12 pan eyeshadow palette with mattes and shimmers. It is super pigmented and has such a nice range of shades from light pinks, to oranges, rusts to burgundys. I love this palette. It is so affordable at $14 USD and it is great quality!!! I don't need any more eyeshadow palettes but maybe you do. This is a great one, and it is so compact and portable.

Another product I have been trialling for a while now is the Grow Gorgeous Cleaning Conditioner Brunette*. When I went to the Priceline opening at James Street, we were given vouchers to spend in store and this item was highly recommended by the staff there. Although it claims to be a shampoo and conditioner in one, when I tried that I found my hair retained a little too much product. This product doesn't have any harsh detergents and doesn't lather but it does an amazing job at conditioning the hair. I prefer to use it as a conditioner only and it is a fantastic product. I believe it has made my hair smoother, shinier, as well as grow a lot faster. I would definitely repurchase this product. As you can see I don't have much left!!

Since I've started my spending ban in mid February, I have been trying hard to rediscover my makeup collection. A post is coming soon with my tips and tricks about how to successfully remain on a spending ban! One item I just cannot put down is the NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream* in Abu Dhabi, it glides on as a cream so you can easily build it up and layer it and then dries matte. It isn't the most long-lasting so I have to reapply within 4 hours but it is extremely comfortable for a matte lipstick and the shade is stunning. A perfect warm matte that doesn't feel too warm, or too brown. At $12.95 AUD, you just really can't go wrong! 

Finally, one last beauty bit to talk to you about is an old product in my collection that I have rediscovered. The Physicians Formula Happy Booster Glow & Mood Boosting Blush in the shade Natural. I can't seem to find if this product has been discontinued but it wasn't on the Priceline or Physician's Formula websites. I've been loving a more dewy, glowy look lately and this blush just really adds a healthy glow and warmth to the cheeks. I love it!!! I think Physician's Formula is a really underrated brand.

Well, that's my roundup for February - I have been a good girl and have really tried to stick to my spending ban and explore the products I already own. It's hard at first but if you are a blogger, it definitely encourages you to try out new products you may have been sent and forgotten to use or test out. It also encourages you to rummage through old drawers and bags for products you haven't used in a while and further discover your collection.

I hope you all enjoyed this post and I will be back to you again next week!
What products have you been loving this month?

*This product was sent to Bows & Pleats for consideration. All opinions are 100% honest and my own. For more information please read my 

A Beauty Box Monthly Subscription that is Worth the Money

I have tried so many beauty monthly subscription boxes! I feel like I have spent years trying to find one that I really enjoy. In my experience, a lot of them start off quite good, but gradually decline in quality as the months go by. Some of them only include 1-2 full sized products and the rest of the box consists of sachets or tiny samples. I have also found that some beauty boxes include mainly skincare, haircare or general items that I may not put to use, and found it difficult to find a true beauty box that regularly included makeup items in every box. Today I'm chatting about an awesome monthly beauty box that I have found. I have paid for these boxes myself and this post is not sponsored in any way! I just wanted to share an awesome find with you all in case you are interested! Make sure you keep reading to find out the details.

January + February Coffee Break

It's time for another coffee break! Sit down, relax and catch up on my life over the past two months. If you haven't read some of my other Coffee Break posts you can read them here. These were some of my favourite posts to write throughout 2016, and it's been great to share more of my personal life with you all. Today I've got updates regarding my kitty, what's happening with my blog, as well as going back to uni, so make sure you keep reading!

A Hidden Gem: The Avon Luxe Range Review & Swatches

It has been a long time since I have tried any products from Avon, a very well-known global beauty company, who primarily sell beauty and skincare products through independent Avon sales representatives. In general. I am not a fan of brands who hire pushy team members and pressure people to buy their products to boost sales and commission (this hasn't been my experience of Avon) but some may have had this experience. For this reason, I can understand anyone's hesitation when looking to purchase products from brands who have this structure and rely heavily on sales through individual consultants. However, it seems Avon have come a long way since I used to scroll through their beauty catalogues when I was just a teenager, and you can buy any of these products mentioned on my blog on your own accord through their online website, without having to make an order with any sales reps. Today, I am talking exclusively about the Avon Luxe Range, which I hadn't heard of before until I was approached by the company regarding their products. The Luxe range is marketed as a higher-end makeup range from Avon and comes with gorgeous gold packaging that certainly is several steps up from previous makeup products I have used from the brand.

January Monthly Favourites: 2017

Well, it's that time again!!! Monthly favourites time! I struggled a little bit to get an assortment of goodies together to share with you this month. I feel like I have kept things very streamlined with my makeup and skincare, and my skin has been loving me for it! *knock on wood* I did manage to pull out a few highlights to chat with you about, including some stationery! Hopefully my organisation lovers will appreciate it. Keep reading to find out what I've been loving in January.

Best in Skincare, Haircare and Body Products: 2016

My apologies that this is late hitting your inboxes and feeds, but I still really wanted to go ahead and publish this post. I thought some of you might find my recommendations helpful after such great feedback on my Best in Beauty Products 2016 post. I wanted to highlight my favourite skincare products, as well as miscellaneous products within haircare, tanning and body categories that I thought are worth knowing about! I have stuck to products I have not talked about before on my blog or which were new discoveries for the year. These are the best of the best and I have really narrowed it down for you so you can get to know my absolute must-have products!

Best in Beauty Products: 2016

A highly requested post from many of you is my Best in Beauty Products for 2016. Last year I produced my My 2015 Beauty Favourites and pretty much all of these products are still favourites of mine or regularly on rotation here at Bows & Pleats. For this post, I am including only new discoveries and beauty favourites. Be sure to read last year's favourites, as I am still enjoying so many of those products which is why they didn't need replacing! It seemed to me that 2016 was the year for more contouring and highlighting than ever before, matte liquid lipsticks and as many layers of concealer as possible. I discovered quite a few new products, both drugstore and high-end so I have included my favourites throughout the entire year for you all in one post! Make sure you have a notebook ready to scribble your wishlst and maybe a snack because this is another long one!

My Goals for 2017

So I know the whole goals and resolutions thing is super cliché, but I do love January and the feeling of a blank canvas to begin your year. I have been thinking a lot about the things I want to change and accomplish, how I want to challenge myself and tackle the things I have been putting on the back burner that are really important to me. If you are into goal planning and getting to know a little more about me, keep reading!

2016 Reflections: Personal + Blog

It's already 2017 and naturally I have spent some of my Christmas break thinking about the past year and all that has happened. I feel like this year definitely had many ups and downs for me so I wanted to take the chance to reflect with you all, in lieu of my normal Coffee Break post. Please grab a tea or coffee, maybe even a snack - because this one is a long one!

What I Got for Christmas: Collective Haul 2016

Christmas is one of my absolute favourite times of the year! Since moving to Australia, it can be one of the hardest as I am most often away from my immediate family, however I am lucky to have an amazing family through my husband as well as some great friendships I have made here. Of course, presents are the last thing on my mind when it comes to the holiday season, but I love reading posts about other people's gifts/Christmas hauls so I thought I would share mine with you as well in case it may be interesting for some of you. If you would like reviews of any of these items, please just let me know!