Swap Talk: Bath & Body Works and sweet treats from Canada!

Last week I had the pleasure of receiving the most wonderful, enormous parcel arriving at my door. I knew it was on its way, sprinted downstairs and may have slightly terrified the Parcelforce man with my sheer excitement at receiving such a wonderful box of goodies that I’d been waiting on for the longest time! Seriously, if this parcel was a person it would definitely be getting a medal for what it’s been through – bad weather in Canada in January delayed shipments on their end, and the abysmal UK weather in the last few weeks must have slowed it down as well. So that’s nearly 2 months of battling its way across the ocean to get itself into my hands!

This parcel was from the lovely Victoria, fellow makeup addict and Youtuber at Pink Barbie XO. If you want to see the goodies I chose for her, check out her unboxing video here!

Living in Canada, I asked Victoria to choose some of the best Bath & Body Works products for me, as well as a selection of her most recommended sweet treats that can’t be found anywhere else. She was extremely generous and sent more than expected – I really should have taken a photo of my face whilst opening all of it up! Imagine childlike squeals of excitement with combinations of “oh my gosh!” and “holy **** this smells good!”

It’s Christmas..again!

Here’s a run-down of my first impressions and thoughts on all of the wonderful items Victoria picked out for me:

1. Golden Oreos, Gingerbread Oreos & an Oreo Brownie – I looove Golden Oreos! I actually received a huge pack in a Secret Santa box at Christmas, though of course they have long since been devoured and I’m thrilled to have more to snack on, since as far as I know they aren’t officially distributed & sold in the UK. Meaning if you want to get your hands on some, be prepared to pay a premium online! They taste very similar to Custard Creams, but better and more addictive. The gingerbread flavour reminds me of gingerbread men I used to get from the supermarket bakery as a kid, and a little similar to chai lattes – unusual & delicious! I totally kid myself that because the packaging features French translations, I’m still classy whilst stuffing my face with them. I’ve never tried the Oreo Brownie but be assured it will soon be scoffed.

Victoria also sent me a Coffee Crisp bar, which was promptly devoured shortly after its discovery. Usually I’m not a fan of anything coffee-flavoured, but it was significantly better than I’d expected. My boyfriend, the coffee addict, loved this. Needless to say, it wasn’t around for long.

2. Bath & Body Works Twisted Peppermint PocketBac – I’m a huge fan of the mega-handy PocketBacs. They’re the perfect tiny size for keeping in even the smallest of handbags, or in the car, and come in literally hundreds of different scents. They’re incredibly cheap in North America, and not too expensive on Ebay either, so naturally I have something of a collection of these. I can’t say much more other than that this does have quite a strong peppermint-y scent, and no doubt will be very useful!

3. Bath & Body Works Forever Red Vanilla Rum Fine Fragrance Mist – I’m mad about the Forever Red scent – to me, it’s one of B&BW’s more grown-up, sophisticated scents. I believe this variation was exclusively for the festive season, so it may be difficult to get your hands on. It’s described as an oh-so-delicious blend of “vanilla rum & black lily drenched in decadent crΓ©me de cassis”. The fragrance mists are ideal for those more casual days when you don’t want to wear perfume but still want to smell wonderful. I can’t wait to try this! Victoria also included a mini version of the classic Forever Red, ideal for travelling & keeping in my bag.

4. Bath & Body Works ‘Sweet on Paris’ and ‘Be Enchanted’ Shower Gels – I’m thrilled with these – I’ll be using them after I finish up my current Lush shower gels. They’re definitely more stronger scented than most shower gels and work well to complement a perfume in a similar or the same scent. ‘Sweet on Paris’ smells so fabulously edible – like a box full of cupcakes! ‘Be Enchanted’ is probably my most favourite B&BW scent ever, since my wonderful auntie uses the lotion which reminded me of spending time with her. I heard this scent was being discontinued, so I stocked up on the EDT and fragrance mist. I’m very grateful to have this so I can enjoy the scent for even longer!

5. Bath & Body Works Antibacterial Foaming Hand Soap in Iced Gingerbread, Vanilla Bean Noel, Sugar Plum Dream and Winter Candy Apple – I’m thrilled to have an entire selection of these! I’d never tried the foaming formula, always going for the more moisturising lotion option since my hands dry out in the cold weather, but I love it already. I’m already using Vanilla Bean Noel and I actually prefer it to B&BW’s popular Warm Vanilla Sugar scent, as this is more like a true delicious gourmand vanilla – it makes my hands smell sweet and delicious! I’ve yet to try the others but I’m a fan of all the scents already.

6. Bath & Body Works Medium Candle in Cinnamon Sugared Donut (not pictured) – Anyone who knows me at all knows that I’m a sucker for scented candles, especially these. I’d put this one with my candle collection so it got left out of the group photo. An absolute must-have for lovers of sweet gourmand scents – this one features vanilla as well as cinnamon, so it really does smell like a bakery. Just don’t burn it when you’re hungry. Check it out here if you’re interested!

I was blown away by Victoria’s generosity and thoughtfulness, choosing such lovely items for me! I love every single one and will thoroughly enjoy using them. Now I just need to wait til after a big meal to burn that candle, or I’ll be craving cinnamon doughnuts! Thanks again to Victoria to being a brilliant swap partner!

Hope you enjoyed! Have you ever done a makeup or beauty swap before? Should I post more ‘swap hauls’ in future?

First Impressions: Too Faced Chocolate Bar vs Lorac Pro

This week I decided to treat myself, a lot. So far this month I’ve already had two dental procedures, neither of which were a great deal of fun, so needless to say I needed something (or two things) to distract me from my tooth pain!

I bought myself the brand new Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette via Debenhams – it doesn’t seem to be available anywhere else in the UK, online or otherwise. I also spotted it at the Oxford Circus London store (though I bought mine online with free delivery plus an extra discount code – hurray for even more money off), so if you want to check it out in person I’d highly recommend it! The Chocolate Bar seems to be the palette of the moment in the beauty world, especially since Valentine’s Day is so soon. I mean, who wants flowers that’ll just die in a few weeks, or yet another box of calorie-stuffed chocolates? If any men happen to be reading this, what are you doing hereΒ  the Chocolate Bar palette would no doubt make a stunning last-minute gift that won’t die and end up in the bin in a fortnight!

The Lorac Pro palette I actually bought via a lovely Canadian lady on Reddit, who happened to have a brand new, boxed palette and wanted to find a new home for it. I ended up paying just under Β£30, including international postage, which wasn’t too bad at all considering it arrived just four days later! I hear this raved about on Youtube non-stop as a go-to, top-quality everyday palette, yet since Lorac is not sold in the UK it’s quite hard to get hold of their products.

Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette

How perfect is this packaging? If I hadn’t just devoured a Creme Egg I’d be hungry right now. Also included is a mega-useful paper fold-out featuring different looks you can use this palette for if you’re in need of some inspiration.

Undoubtledly the Chocolate Bar has huge shelf appeal – gorgeous packaging coupled with delicious-sounding names. Stop, I’m hungry again. The shades feature a good few wearable neutrals as well as a purple and pink in there for when you want to create something a bit more colourful.

The stunning shadows inside! My cousin asked me via Instagram if this really does smell like chocolate..and yes, yes it does. I was worried it would have a strong synthetic waft to it every time I opened the palette, not the most appetising thing first thing in the morning, but I could only smell it faintly when I put my nose right above the shadows. According to Too Faced, there is actual cocoa in the product, which gives it that very subtle, realistic chocolatey scent. Divine. How’s that for creative marketing?

Here are the three pre-made looks included – this would be very useful if you’re not familiar with creating different eyeshadow looks, or if you’re like me and stick to pretty much the same products every day. I’m excited to try these out on mornings when I have a bit more time on my hands.

The palette itself feels quite heavy and bulky in my hands – it definitely feels like a durable, expensive product. Maybe not the best palette to travel with if you’re tight on packing space. I really hope this isn’t too big to fit in my palette holder.

The Lorac Pro Palette

The Lorac Pro boasts a wide selection of ultra-wearable neutral shades – ideal for everyday looks. I’ve heard the quality is excellent, even better than Urban Decay, so of course I can’t wait to start using this.

Love a good neutral shadow! I shy away from anything overly orange-toned. This selection of neutrals all work well together and there are plenty of shadows in here that would complement anyone.

One of the first things I noticed when I opened the box is that the Pro is like the Motorola Razr of the makeup palettes: it’s super-skinny despite housing so many shades. I don’t know how solid the matte cardboard packaging would be for travel, especially if you have cheap suitcases like I do, so I might not be over-confident about throwing this in my suitcase straight away.

It also comes with a mini-sized eyeshadow primer! The packaging got a little battered in the post, so some of the writing has rubbed off. I’m quite happy using my cheap E.L.F. Mineral Eyeshadow Primer but I’m happy to try this too.

What would you prefer – the Too Faced Chocolate Bar or the Lorac Pro? I have nothing particularly negative to say about them: I think they’re both stunning palettes that would work as a favourite in anyone’s collection. I can’t imagine anyone hating either one of them! I’m yet to swatch them or try them out on myself, so I’m curious to personally see what the quality is like.

Fellow UK makeup addicts can get hold of the Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette here and the Lorac Pro here.