Falling out of Love with Beauty Boxes… From addiction to recovery

They were once a wonderful thing, filled with discoveries and unknown territories. But I now look around the remnants of what was, and I feel almost regretful…

No, this is not a love affair (although it could be mistaken as one). I’m talking about my relationship with beauty subscription boxes.

A year ago I was a paying subscriber to all mainstream beauty boxes and now I’ve reduced that total to only one. And that lone survivor only remains as I signed up for a year’s commitment to reduce costs!

The excitement of the postman knocking and handing me a box! The moment I opened it to see that eye palette or new launch from Revlon I was lusting over on the Boots website! It was almost an addiction.


Why the change of heart? Read on.

Too many samples have built up. They were coming to me at an unsustainable rate. There was no way I could use all this… stuff. My bathroom still resembles a shelf at the Body Shop and no one seems to be shopping there. I am trying my hardest to use them all up, but it’s going to take a LONG while.

Money! I actually paid for this stuff. Yes, it’s great to receive a miniature of a luxury product, but what about the things I have no use for? I paid for the privilege of receiving them only to keep them buried in a drawer or pass them onto friends. This is not only costly but also wasteful.

Now I can spend money on what want. When I first began my love affair with beauty boxes, I didn’t know which products suited me. It was all in prep for my wedding and I needed experience, STAT. 18 months ago I didn’t know a BB cream from a tinted moisturiser. I loved sampling products and believe these boxes were an integral part of my journey.

I now have it all figured out: mattifying foundations dry me out. I don’t have a need to play with my already defined brows.  Yet, I’d love to treat myself to a fancy tinted moisturiser or volumising mascara.

In fact, that’s exactly what I’ll do with the money I’ve saved…



Superdrug B. Confident Moisture Gel 

Hmmm… So far I have loved everything I’ve tried in the B. range from Superdrug, however my feelings are somewhat muted compared to those of the essence and micellar make-up wipes from the same brand.

The philosophy behind the range is that with each decade you reach another “skin phase” and Superdrug have developed products tailored to each stage of your skincare journey. I’m in my late 20s and so am in the first phase, to which this product is directed.

According to the Superdrug site it, “replenishes tired skin” and “smooths and softens” – but as far as I can tell it has the about the same effectiveness as water itself. Ok, for the first few mins my face feels slightly hydrated but after that it’s business as usual and I feel the need to use a product that is, well, moisturising.

Before you say, “but it’s drugstore, it will never have the potency of higher end products” I can tell you there are many drugstore moisturisers that make similar claims and can deliver on those promises.

I say save a few quid and stick with your regular moisturiser, or go with something from Nivea or Simple instead. If you can afford to splash over a tenner try the offerings from Nip + Fab or Olay.


Primark “High Shine” Lip Gloss 

I’m a bit of a Primark addict; just ask my bank balance and it would tell you the same. I think I can expect an intervention in the near future…

On my last escapade into the wilderness that is Primark at 11am on a Sunday morning, I picked up this impulse purchase. It was £2 (although the label was in € it was definitely GBP) and I thought, “how bad can it be?”… And the answer is, not bad at all.

Look, this isn’t the Kylie lip kit. Neither does it have the pigmentation of MAC. But for two hundred pennies, what can you expect? It is certainly up there with drugstore buys for about half the price of the Rimmel equivalent.

What shade is it? I couldn’t tell you. It doesn’t have a cutesy colour name, this isn’t Urban Decay.

Comfortable on the lips whilst adding a hint of muted pink, this is a fine lipgloss for the everyday. In fact, it would be perfect for visiting Primark at 11am on a Sunday morning.

I’ll see you there…


New Season Resolutions: Autumn/Fall

Autumn is by far my favourite season…


The dazzling colours and crisp air bring a feeling of new beginnings and fresh hope. It’s no secret amongst those who know me that I am not that keen on Summer (purely because I burn and tend to feel the heat excessively), so I am very much excited to whip out those scarves and leather jackets.

Like any new season, it’s also the perfect time for personal reflection and so here are my Autumnal resolutions:

  1. Blog more!

    I know, I know, I’ve said it hundreds of times before but I promise this time I will follow through. VIVIFY has been neglected amongst my honeymoon and those constant work stresses, but there will be no more excuses.The very premise of this blog is to celebrate the mundane and appreciate the brilliance of the everyday.

    Plus, I am yet to try out my micro-review concept (regular single products reviews offered in small bursts that can be consumed whenever & wherever). There will still be lifestyle posts but I have concluded from previous experience that this mode of blogging suits my life best. We shall see, but in whatever form, expect more posts here. I promise.

  2. Stress less!

    I have been doing a pretty good job of late not to let things get to me so much. For example, I hate my job but I come to realise that it does not define me and I’m just ruining my time outside the office by stressing about it constantly.It pays the bills and allows me to fulfil other parts of my life I very much enjoy. The people are nice and the atmosphere is casual. There are many positives amongst the very real negatives. Now I just show up and get on with it, leaving office politics behind me when I walk out at half five.

    Life is very much about the five to nine and not the nine to five.

  3. Get back to healthy ways!

    I did tremendously well last year by exceeding my weight loss goals and losing 24 lbs before my wedding. Slowly, but surely, the weight is gradually creeping back and I intend to nip it in the bud. And I’m not just doing this for aesthetics, it’s more about health for me.See the point above. My bad eating and drinking habits were all linked with my ability to turn literally anything into a soul-sucking negative. My newly found positive thinking goes hand in hand with my healthier lifestyle. And I’ve never felt better.


I really do have a good feeling about the future and cannot wait for all the wonderful things Autumn and Winter bring. This is why I am now fully committed to sharing such things with you on VIVIFY. From my new layout to a new attitude to blogging, it’s all gravy (especially alongside those roast dinners the colder nights bring!).

What are your feelings toward to the change of season? Are you excited to get cosy like me or will you be mourning the sun? Let me know in the comments below.


Full credit to MakeupSavvy for these brilliant Autumnal stock photos!