Sunday, 20 November 2016

Beauty Swap From Bulgaria! | With BeautyAndTheNature

My lovely friend Lily recently sent me a few items in what is known as a Beauty Swap. If you'd like more information about the Beauty Swap and how to successfully be part of one, read all about it here. I've been waiting to post this for ages as I really love all of the effort Lily went through. Some of these products I requested and others she surprised me with, such as the skincare items and delicious vegan snacks! Here's what I received when I opened the parcel:

 Alverde Sun Kissed Highlighter
Lily knows how much I love highlighters and liquid highlighters are my absolute favourite. The highlighter is packaged in a small glass bottle that looks similar to a nail polish bottle, but the applicator is a wand. I like using this product as an every day highlighter as it leaves a dewy finish. Sometimes I mix it with my Kiko Milano Universal Fit Foundation for a radiant glow. It's long-lasting, pigmented and smells oh so good!

essence Lights of Orient Lipstick in 'Belly Dancing Queen'
The Lights of Orients collection by essence was not available in the Netherlands for a long time, so I was super chuffed when I received this lipstick in the mail. It's matt, incredibly pigmented and perfect for the fall season. I personally like pairing it with the essence 'femme fatale' lipliner for a fuller effect, but it looks great on its own!

 Ebelin Konjac Sponge
I have never tried a konjac sponge before, so I was super excited to receive this product. The only thing I really knew about the konjac sponge was that it has been used in Japanese facial and body cleansing routines for over 100 years because of the soft texture. When I tried it, I was super pleased with the results. I used it to clean my face and it's super easy to use with amazing results. First, you place the konjac sponge in warm water until it expands. This could take up to 15 minutes to become completely soft. Next, I combined it with my favourite cleanser (The Body Shop's Tea Tree Facial Wash) and gently massaged my face with the konjac sponge. After, I just rinsed the sponge by gently squeezing the water out. You have to be gentle otherwise it can break. I highly reccommend a konjac sponge - you'll see a difference in your skin within two weeks.

essence Lights of Orient Eyeshadow Palette 
This palette has shades which I wear on the daily, so I was super happy to receive it. As you can tell from the picture above, there are 6 gorgeous eyeshadows. All of them are warm, shimmery shadows. The packaging is a small acrylic palette, with an intricate design on the lid (I forgot to take a picture of it - nice one, Miah) I love that there is a mirror inside of the palette, and it comes with a duo applicator. The only thing I'd prefer is if the applicator was a brush and not a sponge, but otherwise I love it as it's great for day to night looks.

H&M Eyeshadows in 'Aventurine' and 'Blueberry Swirl'
Purple and green eyeshadows are so out of my comfort zone, but lately I've really been warming up to using colour in my makeup looks. The shadows are packaged in luxurious white and gold acrylic packaging. This makes the product appear expensive, though H&M is affordable. I was sceptical about the launch of the H&M Beauty Department, and as most of us know, my thoughts on clothes shopping at H&M are strong after a Norwegian documentary about sweatshops that exposed H&M. Though I woulnd't repurchase these shadows because of that reason, meaning I'd be supporting H&M, I do really like the quality of the eyeshadows, the variety in colours in the collection as well as the fact that they are cruelty-free! 

Alverde Nothing But Volume Mascara
I had never heard of Alverde until I did the beauty swap with Lily. researched them and discovered that they are an organic drugstore makeup brand. I tried the mascara a few days ago for the first time and I fell in love. It really gave me a lot of volume, almost a false lash effect. It is long-lasting and it doesn't smudge or clump. The only thing I'm not too crazy about is the applicator as I love skinny brushes that can give you the same result but this product would definitely be on my makeup shopping list. 

 Collagen Crystal Eye Mask
The Lord (and Lily) know how much I struggle with dark circles underneath my eyes. Maybe it's from watching too many episodes of Gilmore Girls at night when I really should be sleeping, or maybe it's just genetics. (Thanks, family) Either way, I tried the Collagen Crystal Eye Mask for the very first time two nights ago. The instructions said to apply the eye mask for 5-10 minutes and I did so. It was tricky to get the masks out of the packaging as they're very delicate and you have to be careful not to break them. Once they were on though, they stuck and worked their magic! Of course I didn't see instant results as I took them off, but they definitely decreased the appearance of dark circles by brightening up my undereyes. 

Rosewater has been an essential in the beauty regime for decades upon decades. Many woman have used it in the bath, as a face or body mist and to cool the skin. Other uses include maintaining the skin's pH levels, fighting acne and other skin irritations, and hydrating. I like using it to tone my skin by simply applying it on a cotton round and patting the rosewater into my skin. Another good way to use it is a body mist before bed and after a shower. The scent is subtle, sweet and super calming.

Zido Vegan Tomato Crackers
I definitely wasn't expecting delicious snacks when I opened my parcel, so I was pleasantly surprised. Lily was so thoughtful as to send me a few vegan snacks too. I'm going to be honest with you, it was difficult to get used to the taste sometimes, as many use natural sugars. Though reccommended as a snack, I preferred using tomato crackers with soup and in salads.

Zido Vegan Carob Cookies
These were one of my favourite snacks to receive - they're absolutely delicious. They have a rich, chocolatey taste and are extremely high in fiber. I like that the sweetness is subtle - you can still taste that you're eating healthy, haha! Perfect as a snack with a cup of tea (or coffee) and after a workout.

I'm so pleased with the items I received! My  absolute favourites are the essence Lipstick and the vegan chocolate chip cookie (not pictured here because I already ate it - oops!)

                    What did you like about this beauty swap?
                        Let me know in the comments!

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