Friday, 9 November 2018


In case you missed it, I unboxed and reviewed this year's vegan and cruelty free advent calendar by The Pip Box - you can click here to watch me blundering my way through opening the box. This is the first year they have released an advent calendar and the first ever 'product' advent calendar I've had. If you don't want spoilers of the content, be sure to follow my insta where I'll be unboxing it on my stories day by day during December. 

After posting my video, I received a request from a viewer to update you guys with my thoughts on the brands featured, which I think is totally reasonable and could be very useful for anyone toying with the idea of making a purchase. So this post is a recap of my thoughts as I filmed that unboxing in October, so I've been using some of the products for a couple of weeks...

♡ best new brands I discovered 
Evolve Organic Beauty 
Okay so I technically didn't DISCOVER this brand through The Pip Box because prior to opening the calendar I had very recently picked up their Multi-Peptide 360º Moisture Cream from a health store in London. However, this was the product I was probably most excited about because of how clean and nourishing the ingredients are. Evolve products are handmade in Hertfordshire in the UK and their products are packaged in glass jars and bottles. I have since also tried their Daily Defence Mist which is really good quality. The day cream we got in the calendar is pleasant so far - although I haven't used it regularly because I've been trying out sooo much skincare recently that I'm scared I'm going to overload my skin. But so far, so good. 

FRUU Colour Balm in Mulberry ★ 
I love that this is a strongly tinted lip balm. So much so that it's pretty much a lip colour to be honest. The lilacy-pink shade is a little bit different to my typical choices, but I really quite like it! It wears nicely under my Dusty Girls Pacific Ocean Shimmer Lip Gloss and pairs really well with the 100% Pure Pretty Naked Palette that I've rediscovered in my collection recently. 

Medusa's Makeup Eyedust in Chrysador 
Again, I had tried some products from this brand prior to opening the calendar but this is really beautiful so I thought I'd mention it. It reminds me of the BarryM Dazzle Dusts which I used to use allllll the time. I love the strong glitter in it - I'm a sucker for glitter and the carrier shade really makes green/blue eyes pop.

Elate Cosmetics Muse Lipstick ★ 
I'm usually not a fan of metallic shades on the lips but this is not too intense and looks nice just patted into the lip. I love that it comes in a wooden package and I have always wanted to try this brand so I'm really happy this came in the calendar!

OKKO Skincare Organic Rose Geranium Face Balm 
If you follow me on insta you may know, I'm somewhat obsessed with face balms at the moment. I've been using a rotation of this, Papaya Pure's Ointment, Tropic's Tamanu Healing Balm and Bybi's Babe Balm.

products I'm not all-that bothered about... 
I'm always very honest with recommendations and I have to be real with you, there were some products in the box that were misses for me. These are all personal opinion and preference but I think important to mention:

Vintage Cosmetics Powder Puff ★ 
Yeah... I didn't really get this when I opened the calendar and I still don't understand the point in it now. It was a pretty useless addition in my opinion :-( Especially when you consider that most people use brushes and sponges to apply powder these days. It's pretty but impractical and I think it's a bit young/gimmicky.

Goddess Flutter Mascara ★ 
I really don't like how this mascara comes off. It seems to pull my eyelashes out and the volumising/lengthening of the lashes is nothing like the Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara as I was hoping. Bit of a let down.

Lucky Cloud Chocolate Lip Butter ★ 
This is just not nourishing enough for a lip balm. I am VERY picky when it comes to lip balms - there are only a small selection of formulas I standby and recommend and this is not one of them. Still smells amazing though.

Dr Botanicals Coffee Superfood Exfoliator ★ 
This is a bit too harsh on my skin. The exfoliating particles feel like sand... if you want something similar, I prefer Lush's Cup o' Coffee Scrub/Mask.

Globee Glory Semi Matte Liquid Lipstick ★ 
I don't really wear liquid lips too often - I'll only ever wear one for a special occasion or sometimes under a gloss and I only really reach for the Superdrug liquid lips. A random side note but my FAV ever formula of liquid lipsticks are the Smashbox Always On Liquid Lipsticks - which are cruelty free but unfortunately not vegan as I think they have beeswax in. I DREAM of the day they reformulate these to make them vegan because I would purchase the whole range (and I'm not even a matte lip gal..).

products I'm yet to try 
Vitamasques Sheet Mask ★ No reason why I haven't tried this yet other than I haven't had a chance too because I've been inundated with skincare to test recently.

Honey Pie Minerals Black Loose Eyeshadow  OK so this product continues to confuses me... if I'm going to go to the effort of using a loose eyeshadow (often a messy and arduous process for me) it will be to get a strong pigment from a glittery shadow as loose shadows ften offer a lot of pigment. I haven't used this black loose shadow yet but I'm not sold on the concept to be honest...

Creamy Body Wash by Weleda 

Conscious Skincare Sweet Orange + Frangipani Body Oil ★ 

Tisserand Sleep Better Pulse Point Roller Ball ★  Look forward to using this! I'm currently using Tropic's sleep spray, so when that's out I will try this next.

Cougar Copper Loose Eyeshadow ★ 

Human and Kind Shampoo + Conditioner ★ 

Human and Kind Body Souffle ★ 

BAO Bath Salts ★ 

Runway Ready Base Primer ★ 

Mannakadar Dream Palette ★ 

notes for next year's box... 
I think overall this year was a good effort for a first year of an advent calendar. Saying this, there are some suggestions I have for 2019's calendar. Although I think they got a good balance of skincare and makeup, next year I would like to see some more makeup products included. Lip liners, kohl pencils, lip glosses, blushes, translucent powders - there are loads of makeup products that aren't specific to a certain skin colour or tone. This is obviously personal preference - I just find makeup so much more exciting !!

Secondly, although I love discovering smaller brands, I would have loved to have seen some more mainstream or well known cruelty free brands. Whenever I come across an unknown brand that claims to be cruelty free I'm always a little bit dubious... certified brands like Gosh Copenhagen, Barry M, Lottie London may have been on board for something like this in order to get their name out as vegan-friendly brands.

Also, I would love to see this calendar involve less plastic. Especially as 2018's word of the year was recently announced as 'single-use'. A low waste calendar would be pretty groundbreaking in the beauty industry and I think it would sell really well. Just give a little bit of context, inside the cardboard of the outer packaging was a plastic structure. This was pretty big and I felt so bad putting it in the recycling as I know a lot of plastic in this country doesn't end up being recycled.

Lastly, I'd like to see more natural products featured in future calendars. Although some of these skincare brands prioritise using natural ingredients, I would have liked more of the makeup to have been cleaner. I imagine this would possibly bump the price of the box up... and I acknowledge that this is totally personal preference.

To be honest, all of this has just made me want to make my own advent calendar lol I think it would be sooo much fun to curate a selection of beauty and skincare products! Who'd buy a vegan cruelty free and low waste advent calendar ey?! Market research for next year....

Has anyone picked this Pip Box calendar up? What were your thoughts?
And what would be in your ideal vegan advent calendar? Let me know, I'm curious now!!


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