Review: Violet Voss Holy Grail Eyeshadow Palette

I’ve had the Violet Voss Holy Grail Eyeshadow Palette for over half a year now and it’s quickly becoming the palette I reach for most, so I though it was about time I reviewed it!

The palette contains 20 eyeshadows in the most gorgeous holographic burgundy, black and oil-slick-rainbow packaging. The packaging is sturdy cardboard, with a wipe clean surface – thank goodness! It’s light and compact for the number of shades, ideal for travelling if you still want plenty of options.

The eyeshadows are largely warm toned neutrals with enough different shades that you can create so many different looks – from the relatively dramatic cranberry and orange looks I loved over the festive season, to completely neutral looks that are entirely work appropriate (not that I wear work appropriate makeup to work the large majority of the time…).

The matte shadows are absolutely stunning. They are really pigmented, they don’t have much fallout or kickback and they basically blend themselves. If I’m getting ready and I don’t have much time, this is the palette I’ll reach for as it’s so easy. If you’re looking to buy a neutral palette (with a few pops of colour) for a makeup beginner or for travelling, this palette would be perfect.

I don’t love the shimmer/metallic shades as much. I find them a little harder to get onto a brush, then onto my eye. Even using fingers they can be a little hit or miss at times depending on the shade. They may work well wet but I haven’t tried that – I don’t really like using eyeshadow wet! They are definitely great for a halo eyeshadow look or on the lower lashline though, just not necessarily as a larger wash of colour.

You can really see how gorgeous the shimmers are when you get them to work!

Violet Voss say that they are cruelty free and Phyrra has several items from Violet Voss, so I’m going with them being CF but I’m not 100%. I was gifted this palette for my birthday before I went cruelty free. So if you are CF I’d recommend trying to find out more, I haven’t found anything super conclusive – sorry.

They also say that the palette is vegan, which is great – especially considering all the red toned shades!

I haven’t swatched every shade because I took these photos forever ago and was clearly too lazy then and now the light is too bad to get decent photos most of the time! YAY haha.

You can get this palette for £43, which I think is a great price for a great product. I’ve found it in stock via Cult Beauty but I’m sure there are many other places where you can find it!

What is your current favourite eyeshadow palette? Have you tried anything from Violet Voss?

xo Fleur xo

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Book Review: The Big Event

If you saw my post revealing the cover for The Big Event by Anne John-Ligali* you’ll have known I was going to be reviewing it! So it’s exciting to be able to do that now.

The Big Event follows Constance as she heads to the (fictional) blogger event the book is named after – The Big Event. Throughout the opening of the story you can tell that Constance is really excited to meet all her friends from social media in real life – she’s even brought them all presents, which is so sweet!

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I feel like The Big Event is such a relatable story for anyone who blogs or spends a significant amount of time on social media talking to essentially, strangers. Not only does the story cover how Constance’s relationships have developed online and the problems she has encountered but also how they translate to real life relationships. I know I’ve seen plenty of sub-tweets after events about how people weren’t as expected or even rude! Though I’ve also seen many more people meeting up and having the best time.

I absolutely loved the ending of the story, it was so uplifting! I particularly enjoyed the quote about how you never know ‘who you’re inspiring’ – I think that’s so true. There are people who inspire me and genuinely make my life better on a daily basis, who I don’t even know beyond social media.

The only downside to the story is that it’s only 28 pages long! I could definitely have read more of Anne’s writing BUT if you’re looking for a lovely short story or have kindle unlimited this could definitely be for you. Or indeed if you need a quick read to help you reach your Goodreads target!

xo Fleur xo

*This book was sent to me for review but all opinions are my own

FairyLoot Unboxing and Review – December Box

I’ve had four FairyLoot boxes now and I thought it was remiss of me that I hadn’t reviewed one yet, considering quite how much I love getting them!

FairyLoot is a bookish subscription box, where each month you get a recently published book (or even one that hasn’t been published yet!) and loads of book related items that follow a theme. The box costs £26 plus postage and packaging, with shipping in the UK, it costs me £32.95. Considering this always includes a hardback book, I think that’s a really decent price!

The theme in December was ‘Oh So Regal’ – so based around a theme of royals.

In the box was the book Everless by Sara Holland, which I’ll review below. It came with a signed bookplate and letter from the author. I LOVE having the letter, it’s so nice and I’ve kept all the letters from past boxes folded into their respective books.

It also contained a chapter sampler of Rosemarked by Livia Blackburne, I haven’t read this yet but it’s something I like receiving. It means I’ll know if I want to buy that book!

There was also a cute little pencil case with a Shakespeare quote on it. It isn’t of the best finish and I don’t really need a pencil case so I’ll probably take it to the charity shop – unless you’re reading this and want it? Let me know if you do and you’re in the UK.

Then there was this amazing notebook with a Victoria Aveyard quote, I love the design. I’ve only just read the Red Queen series, so it was nice to receive this at the same time! The box also contained a promotional bookmark for that series which was good timing – is anyone else waiting with baited breath for War Storm?

Next up was the Books Rule! key-ring. I find key-rings so useful – I like having my keys separated out on their own rings, so I don’t have to take them all with me, I can just choose the ones I need.

There was also a cute, little Aladdin candle. I enjoy candles so much, partly because they smell gorgeous and I just love fire but also they look so good in Instagram posts… I’m sure this one will be making a few appearances!

I’m so happy that I got the Pocohontas funko pop as it was one I had been considering getting. As always the detail on funko pops is just incredible and she’s going to look gorgeous on my book shelf!

I also love the FairyLoot bookmarks that come with each box. They always have the theme artwork on them and I like to keep them with the book they came with, as a little reminder. I don’t know if I’ll continue doing that as it does seem a shame not to use them…

The box also comes with a larger A5 print of the theme design (which has the contents of the box listed on the back), as well as a leaflet that includes an interview with the author.

Everless by Sara Holland

As always, I will try to give as spoiler free a review as possible. I’m someone who hates reading blurbs, I hate having even the first 10 pages spoilt!

Everless is set in a country where the currency is time. That time is bound in the form of blood iron coins, these coins represent anything from an hour to tens of years. So, for example, to pay rent if they haven’t earned enough, people go and turn their blood into coins – so the rent is taken off their lifespan. Those coins can also be consumed, so the wealthy live for years whilst the poor count their hours.

I think this is an awesome concept but I must admit I struggled with the first few chapters with the amount the book talks about blood. Some of the descriptions made me a little faint. It does improve after the whole blood-money-time concept has been explained though!

The book follows Jules who just wants to help her father make ends meet, and to make sure he doesn’t die trying to pay rent. I did groan when Jules was introduced, as she was out hunting in the forest… Sound familiar? The story didn’t go that way though, which I was very thankful about.

Overall, I think it’s a solid book with a decent concept and plenty of gripping moments to keep you interested. I didn’t love it though, potentially because it was the set-up book. The book where you spend the whole time waiting for something to drop, rather than just getting into the story. I definitely want to read the next book in the series already though!

Have you tried a book subscription box? I’m so happy with the FairyLoot ones I’ve receieved!

xo Fleur xo

The Tell Me More Tag

I started writing this in June last year but put it down and never picked it up again because I’m clearly a terrible blogger! I was tagged to do this by the creator of this tag, the lovely Lyd from What Lyd Did ❤️ I’ll link you to her post because honestly it shows how wonderful a person she is (if you’re not following her, you really should).

What’s the story behind your blog name?

To start with my blog was called ‘Pink Posies and Cupcakes’ UGHH. I hate and cringe about it so much now. It was inspired by the blogs I was reading at the time, just popped into my head and I went with it. I chose Fleur’s Makeup Box when I moved to WordPress as I mainly wanted to talk about makeup and I store my makeup in boxes… creative!

What’s your real reason for blogging?

Initially I fell in love with reading beauty blogs and wanted to join in and share my views on the makeup I loved. I then discovered how much I enjoyed sharing the makeup looks I created. I still love doing both but I also want to talk about the things that are important to me. I focused on weight a lot last year and I’ve started talking about books more recently but I’d like to start including posts about my journey with metal health.

Best thing about blogging?

The community. I know it’s been a little tumultuous recently but getting to talk to people who love makeup and books as much as I do is SO wonderful! It’s also been really educational following people who raise awareness of so many different issues I’d never considered. I’d say blogging and the community is genuinely making me a better person.

Worst thing about blogging?

I think the pressure I put on myself at the start was way too high, which is how I ended up taking time away from blogging. Now I just post when I want or when I feel inspired and I love it so much more.

I think the constant feeling that you have to buy things is another issue for me. I no longer feel that way but when I started, it felt like it was so essential to be buying all the new releases…

Proudest moment so far?

I think whenever someone says they found a post helpful! Especially my ‘conversations about weight‘ series of posts, they do take a lot of time and energy and getting lovely feedback means so much.

What are your ultimate blogging goals? Don’t be shy!

I don’t know that I have any goals for my blog as such BUT I’d love to meet some of the amazing people I talk to all the time online. That’s a goal right? I’ve ‘met’ so many awesome people and it’d be great to actually meet 😂

If you released a book, what genre would it be?

I don’t know if I’d actually enjoy writing a book but it would have to be fantasy. I would love to build a whole fantasy world, it’s been a dream of mine for so long. Fantasy is the genre I live in. I don’t know that this is something I’ll ever do and if I did, it would probably be just be for myself and my own enjoyment rather than with the hope of having it published. I might even just do the world building, rather than the writing…

If you released products, what would they be? Homeware, beauty or something unexpected?

Definitely beauty, if I could go back in time I’d take cosmetic chemistry at uni and go into product development. I’d love to create a line of makeup inspired by the fantasy books I love most.

What would you name the products and why?

I know there would be so many issues with copyright etc but I’d love to name them after characters from my favourite books. There needs to be a Siuan Sanche eyeshadow palette in the world already and 100% a red lipstick named Skilgannon.

What has blogging taught you?

Probably quite how much I love makeup! That sound silly and I’ve worn makeup most days since I was 12 but it’s really shown how much it means to me. I think it’s also shown me how productive I can be when I put my mind to it!

Sum up your blog in three words!

1. Makeup – it is my main topic after all, in particular FOTD posts – they’re my favourite!

2. Books – I’m pretty sure this is on the verge of becoming my new main topic on my blog… to the point where I might need a second blog or to change my blog name again!

3. Colourful. I love bright colours and flicking through my blog posts all the photos are pretty bright and colourful. Whilst I’m slowly learning to appreciate neutral shades, colourful ones will always have my heart. Give me the rainbow!

 

I hope you enjoyed reading this! If you’d like to do it, do! I’d love to read your answers so do link me if you do the tag.

xo Fleur xo

Blogger Book Nook: Judging a Book by its Cover

I absolutely LOVE this months Blogger Book Nook prompt – picking up a book purely based on the cover! The Blogger Book Nook is a lovely Facebook group where we talk about books and every month we read a book based on a prompt. If you like books, you should definitely join in! You can find last months post here.

Ink by Alice Broadway

Just looking at the cover, you can tell why I picked this book up, can’t you. It’s utterly gorgeous and it has a lovely texture. It needed a place on my bookshelf! Luckily it didn’t disappoint either.

Ink follows Leora as she tries to find her way after her father has died and in a way both her and her story remind me of Clary Fray from The Mortal Instruments.

In Leora’s world, everyone has their actions tattooed on their skin forever. There are compulsory tattoos – for example one for each birthday, for any crimes you may have committed and to show your education. There are also tattoos each person chooses to tell the story of themselves. Leora struggles throughout the book to choose her first personal tattoo, she wants something significant and meaningful and I certainly found that quite relatable.

I think it’s such a unique concept for a book and some of the imagery is stunning. There’s also some parts which I think are designed to make us stop and think. The book does very much build slowly towards the ending and goes out with a bang ready for the next book. It is very much a youg adult dystopian future and it does have a few of the generic themes that run through those books. I don’t feel like this holds this book back though and it’s only in retrospect that I even noticed it – whilst reading it I absolutely loved it!

Q&A

1. Which book currently on your shelf has the most beautiful cover?

All of them? I really don’t know, potentially this one because it is truly gorgeous but I also love the cover of The Language of Thorns.

2. Is picking a book based on its cover something you do regularly?

It really is. As I’m sure I’ve said on my blog before, I hate reading blurbs as I find they spoil far too much of the story. Especially now I follow a lot of Bookstagrammers, I very much pick books based on the cover! Other books I’ve read recently based purely on their cover were Warcross and The Essex Serpent and I adored both of them.

I find as long as I know the genre the book is in, I’ll know roughly whether I’ll like it. I also read fast enough that if I truly hate a book that I’ve picked up without knowing anything about it, I won’t be reading it for too long.

3. If a book was written about your life, what would be on the cover?

I’m really not sure, that’s such a hard question! Definitely flowers, preferably peonies… Probably lots of books and makeup too. Maybe something scientific would get a look in too. Actually. Maybe the photograph of myself doing a titration on a glacier, with illustrations of flowers, books and makeup around me! That’d be good.

4. Do you prefer hardback or paperback covers? Why?

Um, I mean, I’d kind of choose the kindle option… Especially now I have the kindle oasis and can see the covers in my ‘library’! Between paperback and hardback though I’d choose hardback. Not because I enjoy reading from a hardback but because they look so lovely on a bookshelf.

5. What draws you in most to a book cover? Stunning illustrations? Pretty lettering? Interesting textures?

I think the colours play a large part for me, I love a colourful book. Illustrations that instantly take you into the book also help! I particularly like the Terry Pratchett covers for knowing instantly what the book is about and being drawn straight in.

Do you ever choose a book based purely on the cover? Or do you like to know what you’re picking up?

xo Fleur xo

Review: The Body Shop Matte Clay Skin Clarifying Foundation

Almost a year ago I fell head over heels in love with the Maybelline Fit Me Matte & Poreless foundation. Unfortunately, Maybelline isn’t cruelty free – so I needed to find a new foundation…

I saw The Body Shop Matte Clay Skin Clarifying Foundation on their Twitter account and immediately knew I needed to try it! When you have oily skin, the words matte and clay tend to jump out as good things. At £10 it is a little on the pricier side for a ‘drugstore’ equivalent foundation but considering The Body Shop regularly has sales, it’s quite easy to get for less. Also, I feel like £10 is a perfectly decent price?

The Body Shop claim that it offers a full coverage, matte finish and I largely agree. I’d say it’s more of a medium-full coverage but it’s certainly build-able to reach full coverage. I would also say that how matte the finish is very much depends on how I apply it but it does keep the oil at bay well with just a bit of blotting. If you have normal/dry skin it would definitely be a matte foundation and it might not work for you.

It contains tea tree oil and I would say that it has improved my skin since starting using it. It For such a decent coverage foundation, it doesn’t feel heavy and doesn’t seem to clog my pores. Also, once it’s on, it’s barely budging – even when I’ve worked out wearing it, it manages to stick around and look awesome. It doesn’t break down, it doesn’t go patchy or weird… It’s great! I did feel like it slightly oxidised on me, so it might be worth trying a sample on your skin and seeing if that happens before buying.

My only complaint is the shade range. There are only 10 shades total and as always they’re basically all for white people. For example my summer shade only has three shades darker than it… wtf? I know The Body Shop do the shade adjusting drops but ehhh no.

Overall though, if you can get a shade that matches you, this is a gorgeous cruelty free foundation for oily skin.

What’s your favourite foundation? I know there’s a Sleek foundation that I’ve seen a few people recommend now that I’m tempted to try next.

xo Fleur xo

Book Review: Aaru

I don’t know why but I always find it difficult knowing what to say to start a book review! Unlike makeup where I tend to fall in love with something and have to buy it, my reasons for picking up a book are a lot more varied. So I can’t just start with ‘I saw this and needed it’ I’ll figure it out at some point!

Aaru by David Meredith* is a fascinating book where the theme running through it reminds me very much of Tad Williams Otherland series – a series I absolutely loved. It also, in a way, reminds me of Ready Player One. In both the Otherland series and Ready Player One, people are able to enter a very real virtual reality. In Aaru the idea is to save people, download their essence as it were, so they can remain living in a virtual reality.

I will say from the start that I don’t think the cover suits the book brilliantly well. Certainly it’s not what I would have chosen and had I not read the blurb I wouldn’t have read it.

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Aaru centers around two sisters Rose and Koren. Rose is hospitalised and dying from leukaemia when a new doctor offers one last treatment that Koren convinces her to take a chance on. Neither Rose nor Koren know what this treatment involves and Koren is heartbroken when Rose dies soon after. I don’t want to go into much more detail as I think it spoils the story to an extent!

Overall I thought this was such an exciting book, especially as someone who has studied biophysics. The idea that there’s the potential to save people from death, that they can go on living in a virtual reality but also all the problems inherent with that. I think David Meredith does an excellent job of bringing all of this together whilst keeping an exciting storyline.

There is only one plot line that I struggled with and that may have more to do with me. I don’t enjoy reading about stalking and violence towards women, particularly sexual violence. If you also struggle reading about that I would avoid this book. I also don’t think it added much to the story and takes the book from being perfect for teens to potentially being quite disturbing for that younger audience.

Back on a more positive note, I just love the imagination authors can have when setting stories in virtual reality and David Meredith’s creativity shone through in so many of those scenes.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves young adult books and virtual reality/science fiction. If you do struggle, like I mentioned above, I might avoid it and I would consider reading it before giving it to anyone from a younger audience.

It is available through Kindle Unlimited (which I’m definitely debating getting – if anyone has it, do let me know what you think!) or for purchase on Amazon.

xo Fleur xo

*This book was sent to me for review but all opinions are my own. I also can’t get my nofollow links to work – hence why there are no links in this post… YAY