I used to be a fiend for buying makeup, particularly when I first started blogging back in 2011. It was all ‘treat yo self!’ before Tom from Parks and Recreation ever uttered those words. If there was a new release, I had to have it. If I could finish an entire collection by picking up three more lipstick shades, I was doing it.
Now, I have a fifteen week old baby hanging over my head reminding me, like a ticking time bomb, that I need to save for a mortgage. However, being a new mammy is hard and when the ad for this Cloud 10 Beauty offer popped up on my Instagram ads, I decided that I deserved to treat myself.
The offer for the Hottest Summer Bag was simple. Spend €100 and receive this free gift which is said to be worth over €100. I started off just nosy at first, perusing the contents of the bag which were pretty inviting. Then I decided to browse the website and see if I could even fill my cart to a €100 value. Turns out that was pretty easy! It had been a few years since I had ordered from Cloud 10 Beauty and because I had never ordered from my current email address, I could use the code HELLO15 to get 15% off my first order too. (Although the contents of your cart had to be €100 AFTER discounts to receive the gift bag.) There is free shipping to Ireland and you can choose some free samples with your order to boot. I mean, it seemed silly NOT to place an order…
Today I want to share some mini reviews of the products in the bag and whether or not I would repurchase them. I tried to get this post up as soon as possible but sadly the Hottest Summer Bag is no longer available. However, all of these products are available on the Cloud 10 Beauty website and so the reviews may still be of interest to you.
If you move right now, Cloud 10 currently have a sale on where every item on the site is discounted (so the prices are lower than I have them listed for here.)
The bag contained (around) thirteen products (depending on how you count them). All are minis or travel sizes except for the lashes (obviously). I didn’t read too much into the offer before my purchase as I got a little overexcited so I didn’t even realise that they were all minis. Honestly, these are the most generous travel sizes I have ever seen. No sample sachets or single use testers in sight. These are all tasters in the hopes of getting you hooked and luring you into buying the full size – something made apparent by the fact that you also got a 15% off code to use on one full size product of your choice from the selection in the bag.
Now let me break down what I got inside…
The Cloud 10 Beauty Travel Bag Trio (Worth €15)
Often in subscription boxes or gifts with purchase, you may receive an own brand makeup bag. These are usually poor quality and akin to something you would find on Wish or Ali Express. I would be lying if I said I had any interest in this trio of bags. That is until I actually saw them in real life. I was so impressed with the quality of them and while the smallest wouldn’t fit too much inside, I can imagine I will find a use for all three of these when I head away in September.
I never buy cosmetics bags but have an array of them that I got in gift sets over the years. Receiving this trio has definitely inspired me to dump some of my lesser quality ones.
I was surprised to see that this trio are actually available to purchase on the website and not just some random things thrown in to fill up the bag and raise the value. If cosmetic bags are something you are in the market for, I recommend you give these a look.
You can purchase them here.
Alpha-H Liquid Gold Rose (Limited Edition)
50ml Travel Size (Worth €21). Full size 100ml is €42.
This is a limited edition of the cult-favourite Alpha-H Liquid Gold, infused with rose.
It has a lot of claims so bear with me.
Taken from the Alpha-H site, it promises:
– to be a concentrated, active skin treatment.
– to combine rose, lotus and orchid petal extracts, as well as hyaluronic acid and moisture binding ingredients to offer instant hydration
– to resurface and smooth like the original Liquid Gold formula.
– to give anti-inflammatory and anti-redness benefits through a special blend of botanicals.
– to clarify and brighten the complexion.
– to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles to leave skin looking more youthful, plump and energised.
– to minimise open pores, acne scarring, sun damage and pigmentation.
Obviously skin care takes quite a few uses to yield any results so while I haven’t seen an incredible difference in my skin just yet, this was one of the products in the bag I was most excited to try. I actually purchased a full size of the original Liquid Gold as one the products to qualify for this bag. This one has an overpowering rose scent which sticks around and that I am not a huge fan of. The brand claim that you should use it every other night and that it acts as a toner, exfoliator, serum and moisturiser in one. I pop some on a cotton pad and swipe it all over my face, simplifying my skin care routine completely. Afterwards, my skin feels a little tight and tingly – like after using a particularly astringent toner -but after a little while it feels soft, plump and hydrated. I don’t suffer from dry skin but I definitely don’t feel the need to add a moisturiser after this.
I’m going to use this up before moving on to the original Liquid Gold and I plan to write an in-depth, stand alone review after that but for now, I have really been enjoying using this. The Rose is limited edition and the Alpha-H website claims it is no longer available but they still have it on Cloud 10. I wouldn’t repurchase the Rose, simply because the scent really turns me off but if I get on with the original formula as well as I get on with this, I would definitely repurchase it.
You can buy it here.
Eye of Horus Goddess Mascara in Black.
4g Travel Size (Worth €9.50). Full size 8g is €18.95.
Vegan and cruelty free.
This mascara is said to lengthen, strengthen and add volume to lashes with the deepest jet black pigments. They claim it has a non smudge and clump proof formula, and is made with plant based ingredients such as organic moringa oil, beeswax rice, bran wax and candelilla wax, said to be ideal for sensitive eyes. It has a volumising hourglass silicon brush and a flexible wand.
The first thing that struck me when I applied this mascara was how incredibly jet black it is. I found the brush easy to use and didn’t blob it all over my lid and under my eye as I have a tendency to do with some other brushes. It didn’t wow me in terms of length or curl or volume. Looking at the before and after pictures I think you can tell that there isn’t a huge difference between the two.
A few minutes after applying it, I squeezed my eyes shut (unintentionally) and found that my lashes felt tacky and like they were sticking together. It was unusual and not something I can remember experiencing with any other mascara.
The few times I have worn this I found that you need to use an eye makeup remover to take it off and that it won’t dissolve completely with just cream cleanser and micellar water. The remaining mascara on my lashes felt sort of gummy and came off in little balls, almost like lash glue.
Overall the mascara was fine and I will use it up. I doubt I would repurchase it though as it didn’t wow me and the price is a little steep for a pretty standard mascara. If you suffer with sensitive eyes, however, this may be worth trialling.
SOSU by Suzanne Jackson Premium Lashes in Sara
The SOSU Sara Lashes are said to be versatile and voluminous with just the right amount of natural. They claim to be feather-light with an invisible band, easy to apply, undetectable and handmade with 100% human hair.
Full disclosure, I am not a fan of So Sue Me so despite hearing amazing things about her lash range and often asking people what lashes they were wearing when they had them on, I had never sprung for a pair myself. However, as I received these in the bag, I, naturally, was going to give them a go. While the price point is quite reasonable (is it just me or are lashes from the likes of Eylure creeping ever closer to the ten euro pricepoint?!), there is no lash glue included. SOSU sell their own at an extra cost. I just used an Eylure one I had already.
I was impressed with the weightless feel of the lashes and found them very easy to apply. Not only that, but when I posted a picture online, I instantly got asked what lashes they were. I didn’t want to be the one to admit it but I adore these lashes and would actually toy with the idea of repurchasing them in future.
You can buy a pair here.
Trilogy Make-Up Be Gone Cleansing Balm
10ml Travel Size (Worth €3.50). Full size 80ml is €25.95 with organic cloth included.
Cruelty free. Ethical.
This cleansing balm is said to melt away makeup with mango butter, and rosehip and coconut oils, including long wear and waterproof formulations. It claims to dissolve impurities, leaving skin cleansed, supple and silky smooth. It claims to have anti-inflammatory properties as well as ingredients to help prevent breakouts, and nourish, hydrate and restore the skin.
This is simple to use. You rub it in on top of your makeup and it melts on contact with your warm skin. You are then supposed to pay special attention to things like eye makeup to ensure they really break down. The first time I tried this, I was having a minimal makeup day with just base makeup and a little mascara. It melted away easily. However, on a day when I went full glam with lashes and everything, I found it had a tougher job and the black from my eyes just seemed to spread further and further around my face.
The photo on the left shows a particularly colourful look after I massaged the balm in. The one on the right shows how it looked when I washed it off.
When you purchase the full size jar, it comes with an organic cloth to remove the balm but this mini didn’t have one so I just used a facial mitt I picked up in Penneys/Primark. My skin looked clean afterwards (with the exception of the eyeliner on the heavy makeup day) but I followed up with a cream cleanser, a micellar water and the Alpha-H Liquid Gold Rose and the cotton pads were still coming away with makeup on them. This is definitely only one step in a cleansing routine and not a single solution. However I did like it and it left my skin feeling nourished but not greasy afterwards.
I don’t think I would repurchase this simply because I’m not generally a fan of cleansing balms but if you are, I would definitely recommend trying this one.
You can purchase it here.
Spotlight Whitening Toothpaste
25ml Travel Size (Worth €2). Full size 125ml is €9.50.
This toothpaste is said to whiten and strengthen teeth. It contains 0.1% hydrogen peroxide and is said to have been specifically formulated to maintain the results of the Spotlight Whitening Teeth Whitening Strips.
I used this once with the intention of giving a first impression-type review and then taking the little tube on holiday. However, after my first use, I did some research on its promises and found that it is not recommended for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding. It would never have crossed my mind to check if a toothpaste was suitable but as I am breastfeeding, I won’t be using it again until I’m done. It has a minty taste that is slightly unusual but not unpleasant. I wonder about the whitening effects of it because it seems to be marketed as an accompaniment to the whitening strips which I don’t have. I will obviously use it up but I don’t think I will have high hopes for super glowy teeth.
This could prove me wrong but I have used so many different toothpastes over the years – all with different promises – and I have never noticed a difference in my teeth. The reality is I am way too cheap to pay a tenner for a toothpaste so unless this absolutely blows me away, I won’t be repurchasing it.
You can pick it up here.
Nuxe Nuxellence Eclat Youth and Radiance Revealing Anti-Ageing Care
15ml Travel Size (Worth €14.95). Full size 50ml is €49.
This cream is said to contain powerful flower extracts to reduce fine lines and wrinkles while repairing damaged skin. It has a fondant texture which they claim leaves skin soft, velvety and radiant. It is said to be the first anti-ageing cream to repair mitochondrial DNA, allowing the optimum function of cells.
Again, I believe you need to use skin care for a while before seeing results and this little 15ml sample won’t last too long so I doubt I will see a major difference in my skin before it is gone. However, purely based on first impressions, I really enjoyed using this. It has quite a floral fragrance to it which I wasn’t a huge fan of but it felt lovely on the skin, absorbed quickly and left my skin feeling velvety and soft for hours after application.
Nuxe is a brand that I have heard a lot of good things about but this was my first time trying anything by them. I feel like I need to do some more research on Nuxe in general before splashing out on a full size of this, but I wouldn’t rule it out completely.
You can purchase it here.
Benefit Hoola Lite Bronzer
2.6g Fun Size (Worth €6). Full size 8g is €34.
Hoola Lite is said to be a light toned matte bronzing powder perfect for pale skin. They claim it is a soft finely milled powder that sweeps on and blends like a breeze.
I have never been a huge fan of Benefit products. I find that they are often all packaging and no substance. However, this is the first product of theirs that has really piqued my interest. As a pale girl, it can be really difficult to find a bronzing powder that won’t turn out orange against my skin. The colour of this really caught my eye and so I was delighted to get this really cute mini to try. I love the cool tone of it and find it both easy to apply and blend.
As I have been trying out some tans for the sake of this post, the photo above shows I am a little darker than usual. In this case, I found Hoola Lite built up easily on the skin while still looking natural and flattering. I have a drawer full of bronzers and contour products so realistically I won’t be running out to repurchase this. However, I have been using it daily and will be sad when it’s gone. If I were to use up all of the bronzers in my stash (which could take years!) I would definitely contemplate picking one of these up.
You can purchase it here.
Vita Liberata Invisi Foaming Tan Water in Medium/Dark
25ml (Worth €3.95). Full size 200ml is €28.95.
Cruelty free and vegan.
This tanning water is said to be a completely clear tanning mousse for zero risk of transfer, with a super fast drying formula. It is said to give a natural looking tan that develops over 4-8 hours and lasts up to 7 days. It is suitable for face and body, and they claim it is full of organic botanicals for the most hydrating and anti-ageing skin treatment as you glow. It is said to have zero self tan smell.
I haven’t used a false tan in years so when I am trying one out, I always think that if I have a good experience, it means the tan is fool proof as I have no idea what I am doing! I didn’t even own a tanning mitt so I used a plastic glove to lash this on the top half of my body. I left it on for the full eight hours despite being ghostly pale and this being the ‘Medium/Dark’ shade. Despite it being invisible as you apply it, once it developed I didn’t notice any obvious streaks or patches that I missed. I found it felt slightly tacky until I washed it off, not enough to be irritating but enough so that I remembered I had applied it. It also did have a slight tan smell despite its promises. I have a crazy aversion to fake tan smell, it absolutely turns my stomach and I swear I can smell it five miles away but I didn’t find the stench of this too much to bear even though it hung around two showers later.
I took before and after photos but the sunshine on the second day washed out the picture meaning you couldn’t tell the difference between them so instead I’ve posted a picture from Instagram (with no filter or editing) to show the gorgeous golden colour my skin went. I have foundation on though, obviously, so only judge my body! I adore the shade of the tan – it wasn’t orange in the slightest nor too dark. It just gave me a lovely healthy glow.
While I am far too lazy to tan on the regular, I can see myself throwing some of this on again as it was so easy to use and I was so pleased with the results. I can’t see myself converted enough to run out and buy it but if, for some reason, I decided to buy some tan in future, I could definitely see it being this one!
You can pick it up here.
Vita Liberata Body Blur HD Skin Finish in 03 Latte
10ml (Worth €3). Full size 100ml is €30.95.
Cruelty free and vegan.
Vita Liberata call this the ultimate skin perfector. It is said to minimise blemishes, give a natural wash-off tint and reflect light for a photo-ready finish. They claim it is like a BB cream for face and body. It contains shea butter, is said to hydrate, repair and soothe skin, and contain vitamin E to protect against free radical damage, as well as fight the signs of ageing. It is said to be longwearing for up to twenty four hours, and water resistant. I received the shade Latte which is the middle of five shades, two lighter and two darker.
This is quite an unusual product. As I mentioned, I’m not a tanning aficionado by any means but I have never used a product like this before. It is basically makeup for your body which washes off after use.
I applied it to one leg to show you the difference. As it isn’t a developing tan, you don’t need to wear gloves so I just used my hand to apply it. I found you really had to work it in and that it looked a little patchy in places but it could have been my own fault because I didn’t exfoliate, moisturise or prep my skin in any way before hand. I also wasn’t crazy about the colour; I thought it turned very orange on me however this is the third shade in the range and perhaps, with my pale skin, I would have been better suited to a lighter option.
Personally, I would have very little use for a product like this, however, I could definitely see how someone could benefit from it; if you missed a bit when tanning, or decided last minute you needed to instantly tan your legs before going out, or even better, just your ankles or something! I tanned my leg in the morning and noticed no obvious fading by evening. I was actually showering the Invisi tan off the top half of my body and forgot to wash this off my leg. It looked almost exactly the same when I got out of the shower as it did before so I can testify that this is water-resistant and doesn’t run or streak.
I wouldn’t repurchase it because it’s just not my thing but if it sounds like something you would like, I wouldn’t turn you off buying it!
You can purchase it here.
theBalm Voyage Vol. II Kuwakaribisha Shadow/Luminizer Mini
Full palette is €43.95.
This is a single eyeshadow/luminiser from the Voyage Volume II Face Palette. The full palette contains nine single eyeshadows that can be used wet or dry, two blushes, a bronzer, this luminiser and two lip-and-cheek creams. It is said to be the perfect palette for travelling as it contains almost an entire face. However, because of its different contents, it is almost impossible to work out the value of this mini highlighter alone.
It is a pearlescent golden shade which I found a little too yellow to wear as an eyeshadow against my fair skin but looks stunning on the cheek. In the photo above I have it on my cheekbones and on the inner corners of my eyes. It is also what I am wearing in the Vita Liberata tan photo from Instagram. It makes for quite the blinding highlight but I didn’t find it too chunky or glittery.
It is hard to decide whether or not I would purchase a palette based on trying one shade from it but the consistency is nice and I will definitely get use out of this sample.
You can buy the palette here.
James Read Sleep Mask Tan Body
50ml Travel Size (Worth €10.50). Full size 200ml is €42.
This is a gradual tan that is said to be super fast drying with a colourless formula to protect clothing and bed linen. It is fragrance free, suitable for all skin tones and infused with aloe vera, hyaluronic acid and algae extract to leave skin moisturised and hydrated, while ensuring tan lasts longer and fades evenly.
After the disaster of getting a before and after photo of the Vita Liberata tan, I decided the best thing to do with this was tan one leg so you could see a good comparison. Again, I know very little about tan but I just used a plastic glove and worked this into one leg before going asleep. They mention that you should take care to buff it in well and not to get it wet for 6-8 hours after application. As it is a gradual tan, you don’t need to wash it off. The only gradual tan I have tried in my life is the Johnson’s Touch of Sun which I used to pop on while I was still in school and which very slowly turned my skin a shade of yellow. I was very surprised to wake up after one application with an obviously tanned leg. It looked even and my skin felt nourished, it didn’t catch around my ankles or knees so I was very impressed even if it was a little dark for my tastes. (I’m probably just not used to it!)
However, the second evening, I applied some more before going asleep and was a little sloppier with it. It showed! It was very patchy and very dark in some areas while streaky in others.
The following day, I exfoliated my leg as much as I could in the shower before applying some more and found it turned out more even. After my third application, I decided to read the small print on the bottle where it states that you need only apply this 2-3 times a week, depending on how dark you want to go. I had accidentally applied it three days in a row. I told you I knew nothing about tan. At least it shows that you can build it up to quite a dark colour!
Again, the sun played me on the third day so apologies! This was not as foolproof as the Vita Liberata tan but if you tan quite frequently or have an idea of what you are doing (unlike me), I think this is brilliant for popping on before bed and waking up with a lovely dark result. I was really impressed with how dark one application went and it was my own stupidity and the fact that I didn’t put in as much effort on the second day, that led to the disastrous result. I doubt I will repurchase this because I am simply not good enough at tan but I do think this is a lovely product for those with more experience.
First Aid Beauty Hello Fab Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturiser
10ml Travel Size (Worth €4.95). Full size 50ml is €24.95.
Cruelty free and vegan.
This is said to be the perfect fusion between skin care and makeup and is another product with a lot of promises.
They claim it:
– is an oil-free, brightening multi-tasker.
– hydrates and perfects the skin for the ideal makeup base.
– ensures makeup lasts longer.
– uses light-reflecting micro-pearls to add luminosity
– blurs the appearance of fine lines, pores and imperfections.
– contains coconut water which is packed with nutrients including amino acids and electrolytes to hydrate and revive skin.
– contains quinoa extract works to protect and repair the skin’s surface.
– includes a special blend of minerals such as zinc, copper and magnesium to help boost skin’s health and provide regenerative powers.
– features a range of botanical extracts to deliver an antioxidant boost.
Despite the name, the scent of this is not overwhelmingly coconutty (much to my dismay) so if coconut isn’t your thing, don’t let the label put you off. The texture is quite unusual and “smoothie” is definitely a good word to describe it. I found this melted into my skin easily and quickly, leaving it feeling really nourished and ready for makeup application straight away. It doesn’t have any sort of silicone feel to it which is usually quite obvious in primers that blur imperfections but I can’t say that I noticed a great blurring effect anyway.
I have enjoyed using this primer and will continue to use it up but it definitely didn’t blow me away. It is nice for a hit of moisture if you feel your skin is a little dry or you want to add some hydration underneath your foundation, but other than that, I didn’t find it fulfilled that whole range of promises they mention. I doubt I would repurchase it.
You can purchase it here.
Overall the total worth of the gift was €100.30 not including the theBalm eyeshadow and to be honest, I thought it was completely worth spending €100 for. I got to try so many brands that have been on my radar for a while and found some surprising favourites. My top picks that I recommend you check out are the Alpha-H Liquid Gold Rose, the Vita Liberata Tanning Water, the Benefit Hoola Lite Bronzer and yeah, the SOSU Lashes.
Sadly the offer is now over but I will definitely be keeping my eye on Cloud 10 Beauty for similar in the future as I honestly think this was the best gift with purchase I have ever seen.
Let me know if you availed of the Cloud 10 offer or have tried any of these products. Anything on your wish list now?
Nothing to declare. I spent €100 in order to receive this gift with purchase. No affiliate links were used.