When it comes to beauty boxes, I think that Latest In Beauty have got it spot on. With a choice of several different boxes on their website in different price ranges, you can see exactly what's in the box before handing over your money. Although I do like the more traditional monthly beauty boxes, committing to boxes every month works out pretty pricy, and the feeling of disappointment when a box doesn't quite seem worth your money is really disheartening. I was already a fan of Latest In Beauty after receiving their beauty advent calendar last Christmas (which was completely wonderful, by the way!), so when I spied this, frankly amazing, box on their website, temptation took over. At under a tenner (plus p&p) it's incredible value for money. The collection is inspired by the Cosmetic Executive Women UK Beauty Awards - known as "the Oscars of the beauty industry" - and every item included is a finalist in it's category, so it's no surprise that there's some fabulous products in there.
Here's what I got and my first impressions of the products:
Dr Organic Virgin Coconut Oil Moisture Melt Body Oil (Best New Bath and Body Product)
This is a full sized product which has a real quality feel to it, mostly due to the luxurious glass bottle it comes in. Dr Organic is a natural brand and this body oil contains all bioactive, natural and organic ingredients - along with the coconut oil, there's mango butter, orange fruit extract, lemon peel oil and vitamin E (among others), so it's good for you and, as you can imagine, smells lovely. Like pure coconut oil, this is solid at room temperature and the bottle needs to be submerged in warm water until it becomes a liquid. Then, it can be used not only as a body oil, but as a nourishing hair treatment or on your nails during a manicure. I'm so excited to start using this!
Melvita Rose Floral Water (The Eco Beauty Award)
I've wanted to try some products from Melvita for a while so I'm excited about this. I really love the packaging - it has a real old-school, retro charm to it. The product itself is a face mist, something which I am totally obsessed with at the moment. It hydrates and refreshes, and is said to help reduce any fine lines or wrinkles. It also smells like rose (one of my all-time favourite scents), which pretty much has me sold instantly.
Balance Me Intensive Wrinkle Repair Cream (Best British Brand)
I already own some Balance Me products and really like the brand, but I've never tried their Wrinkle Repair Cream, largely due to the fact that I don't have wrinkles. Still, it can't be a bad thing to start prevention early! This cream is very rich and is therefore aimed at mature and very dry skin, so I'll be saving it for dry periods and using it sparingly, or using it as an intensive night cream.
Nails Inc Nail Varnish in Notting Hill Gate (Best British Brand)
I love Nails Inc polishes and this colour is really gorgeous - a bright pink which is advertised as a neon but is definitely not too intense or in-your-face. The shade probably isn't something I would have picked for myself (I tend to stay away from bright colours), but now that I own it I can see myself wearing it a lot through summer.
Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream (Best Classic Beauty Product)
Again, I already have some Elemis products so this was nice to see. This is also an anti-aging moisturiser, but claims to improve firmness, suppleness and elasticity of the skin, which I can get behind! The Marine Cream is a bit of a cult product, so I'm looking forward to trying it out.
Weleda Sea Buckthorn Replenishing Body Lotion (Best New Certified Organic Skincare)
I'm testing the notorious Skin Food by Weleda at the moment and enjoying it, but on first impressions I actually think I prefer this. This body lotion is thinner in consistency which I find allows it to spread and sink in much more easily and quickly. I've found it to be really moisturising without being at all heavy or greasy - it just melts into the skin leaving it beautifully soft and supple. It has a strong orange scent which lingers for a while. I like it, but if you're not a fan of strong scents or scents that don't fade away quickly, you probably won't be a fan.
Essential Care Mineral Mascara (The Eco Beauty Award)
I've never tried anything from Essential Care before, and this mascara sounds good - it's 100% natural and is said to condition and care for your eyelashes. However, I am slightly dubious simply because I have a rocky relationship with mascaras - I have light, thin lashes that need a high impact mascara, and I'm worried that this won't give me the definition I want. It might surprise me though! If not then it'll probably be saved for those very natural, "I'm wearing no makeup" days.
Elie Saab Le Parfum Eau De Toilette (Best New Women's Fragrance)
Despite arriving in a little box, this is just a standard sample vial of perfume. However, it smells lovely - a fruity, floral smell with orange blossom and a slight hint of rose and honey. Definitely one to go on the wishlist.
Montblanc Legend Eau De Toilette (Best New Men's Fragrance)
As this is a men's fragrance, I gave it to my boyfriend who said, and I quote, "it's alright, yeah." He then asked me to buy him it for our anniversary. So there you go, I think he likes it!
There's not a single product in the box that I dislike and won't get use out of, which is incredible. There's a lovely mix of products from skincare to makeup and perfume, and there's some really impressive and respected brands included. I already have my eye on the full sized versions of some of the products (Elie Saab Perfume and Weleda Body Lotion, I'm looking at you!) and will thoroughly enjoy using the rest of them. I'm really pleased to receive a sample box that actually inspires me to buy the product, something that I feel often lacks in other beauty boxes. I have unfortunately recently cancelled my monthly beauty box subscriptions, mainly due to the cost of them, so I'm definitely going to be keeping an eye on the Latest in Beauty website for their future collections in order to get the occasional sample box fix - if their future boxes are anything near the level of this one then I can't wait!