December 24, 2014

merry christmas

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a great New Year, I will be spending my time feasting on lots of cheese and drinking more sloe gin than I probably should be doing. That and filling the entire day watching Disney films. I must now divert my attention to the mountain of presents that I've yet still to wrap, hot chocolate at the ready. 

December 21, 2014

christmas scented candles

The best part about Christmas? Festive scented candles of course. I love nothing more than drawing the curtains, turning on the fairy lights around the tree and lighting a scented candle of two. I'm usually not such a fan of cinnamon scents as a rule, but Christmas Wish by Neom has become my favourite candle as of late just because it's simply so christmassy without being too strong. I also love the little sampler candles from Yankee Candle and find they are the best way to discover new scents without investing in the huge jars. If you're after a fresh scent then check out 2ème Arrondissement by & Other Stories, or 7:e Våningen if you prefer smoky, woody fragrances. Let me know what your favourite scented candles are, I'm a complete addict so would love some suggestions.

| Neom Christmas Wish | £30
| Yankee Candle Samplers | £1.75 each

| & Other Stories 2ème Arrondissement and 7:e Våningen Candles | £17 each

December 20, 2014

the christmas gift guide | lush

I think we can all agree that nothing beats receiving a couple of Lush products under the Christmas tree, though you can usually guess that you've got some bath treats days before you open up the wrapping paper down to the yummy scents. I always stock up on a huge bottle of snow fairy shower gel each year and tend to treat myself to the Christmas eve bubble bar too. The golden wonder bath bomb (the one shaped like a present) is another one of my favourites, this would definitely make for a lovely stocking filler. I'm going to embrace my inner child soon and have a go with the snowman fun kit, let's hope he turns out half decent.

| The Christmas Penguin Bubble Bar | £3.25
| Snowman Fun Kit | £5
Santa's Lip Scrub | £5.50
| Dashing Santa Bath Bomb | £2.95
| Holly Golightly Bubble Bar | £4.75
| Golden Wonder Bath Bomb | £3.75
| Holly and Ivy Knot-Wrap | £3.25

Delivery in time for Christmas is still available on the Lush website up until 11am on 23rd December.

December 19, 2014

the christmas gift guide | last minute ideas

I had planned to split my Christmas gift guides up into four different posts but unfortunately as I've been very ill and in hospital in the lead up to the festive period I've only just managed to be well enough to put this post together. Even though it's super last minute, I hope you find it useful and that some of the ideas come in handy if you're stuck for inspiration. Most websites are still offering delivery in time for Christmas so there's no need to panic if you haven't got everything sorted yet either. 

| Korres Beautiful Blooms | £18
| Party Survival Kit | £19

Korres always have wonderful gift sets filled with both mini and full sized products, I'm yet to come across a product of theirs that I haven't absolutely loved. Check out their shower gels if you haven't already, they come in beautiful scents and are super soft on the skin too.

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| Ren Moroccan Rose Otto Gift Set | £17

If you know of anyone who loves the scent of rose then you absolutely must consider giving them this as a gift, included is a bath oil, body wash and lotion, all in mini sizes making them ideal to have a try with. 

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| Percy & Reed Voluptuous Volume | £15

I'm yet to ever try a product from Percy & Reed *shock horror* so can't wait to give this little set a go. Packaging wise, it's definitely one of the best looking sets that I've come across so far. 

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| The Body Shop Jingle Gels Sleigh | £8

I can't resist products that already come wrapped up sweetly in Christmas themed packaging, it's definitely half the charm of a gift set. The Body Shop are also making a donation to the charity War Child for every gift purchased, have a browse on their website for more information.

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| Caudalie Hand Cream Trio | £11

Who doesn't love a good hand cream? Caudalie have it covered with this box that includes not one but three different versions to find your favourite from. You could open up the set and wrap each hand cream up separately for different people and keep one back for yourself too.

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| Lanolips Artists Tin | £15

Giving the gift of skincare to help with parched and dry skin in the wintertime tends to be my line of thinking when it comes to Christmas time, this little tin by Lanolips includes two products to do just that; a multipurpose balm and an intense hand balm for protection and hydration to comfort very dry hands.

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| Tweezerman Holly Mirror and Tweezer Duo | £24

Being an absolute sucker for pretty packaging and also a firm fan of Tweezerman, I swooned big time when this arrived through my door. The zoomy mirrors are super handy and mean that you can get precise as possible with plucking and they're great to help with eyeliner application too. 

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| Bare Minerals Kissing Booth | £24

I'm not typically a gloss girl but love the look of this set from Bare Minerals, it includes pretty much every shade of gloss that you should ever desire all in mini sizes. 

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| Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Crayon Set | £16

This Soap & Glory set is a great alternative to the Nars Lip Pencil Coffret that I featured in my previous gift guide. Included are bright pink, baby pink and berry shades that are all full sized and would be a lovely addition to anyone's lip product collection. 
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| & Other Stories Fragrance | £26 each

I'm absolutely obsessed with these scents from & other stories, Punk Bouquet being my favourite of the bunch. They are all individual to anything else you can find in a perfume shop by mainstream brands and have their own unique flare, making them the perfect alternative gift. 

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| Burt's Bees a Bit of Burt's Bees | £6
| The Collectable Decoration | £6

A little set from Burt's Bees makes an idea stocking filler for any beauty lover, there's not a person around who won't be in need of a good lip balm and cuticle cream around this cold time of year. 

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I have another Christmas themed post or two coming up in the next few days, keep a look out!

December 01, 2014

party season prep | smooth legs

With party season just around the corner, I thought that I'd put together a series of blog posts including a few tips and tricks along with my favourite products to make sure you're looking fabulous come Christmas time. At this time of year I think you will all know what I mean when I say that shaving can tend to go a little downhill, without tanned legs and denim shorts on a hot beach there seems to be not so much need for perfect pins. The time soon comes when enough is enough and it's time to shine with beautiful legs once again and this time paired with a little black dress or a sparkly sequinned number. 

I've always preferred Wilkinson over any other brand when it comes to shaving, I find the razors to give the closest shave and that they also last much longer before needing replacing. The bikini version is genius too, it comes with a regular razor on one end and an electric trimmer on the other for that area. It's one of those products that you soon start to wonder how you ever lived without it before. If you struggle with super sensitive skin and find that shaving can often leave your skin feeling dry and damaged then give the sensitive care version a go, it's enriched with Aloe and Vitamin E so will truly take care of your skin.  

All of the products mentioned above are currently half price at both Superdrug and Boots in store and online, making it the best time of all to stock up. 

Quattro for Women Razor | £3.48 (was £6.99)
Quattro for Women Bikini Razor | £5.48 (was £10.99)

November 04, 2014

recent buys | mac

Recently I ventured into Mac which only ever ends up in spending far more dollar than I should be doing. I haven't bought from there in absolutely ages, in all honesty I'm completely uninspired by their collections and think they should just stop doing them as they always seem to be tacky and pointless. On another note, I can't get enough of their lipsticks and probably own about 40 of them. I picked up the shade Fashion Revival which is an absolutely beautiful deep raspberry red which I can safely say I have nothing similar already, along with Flamingo which is a lovely pink coral colour. I also went for a cremeblend blush in Brit Wit which has turned out to be my favourite purchase, it's absolutely perfect for my olive skintone and is so flattering worn with a red lip. If you buy just one new blush this autumn/winter I'd say make it this. Plus with it being a cream and not powder blush it lasts much longer on the skin and gives a healthy glow. Last but not least, I opted for Vanilla pigment. While it is a little messy and easy to spill it does give the most perfect highlight for cheekbones and on the brow bone, it's great to blend out a smokey eye with too.

October 30, 2014

spa guide | maison talbooth

Last weekend I had the pleasure of staying at Maison Talbooth in Dedham, Colchester. If you're a regular reader of my lifestyle blog then you may have already seen my blog posts on The Pier in Harwich and Kesgrave Hall in Ipswich, all of which are a group run by the same company. Unlike the other hotels, Maison Talbooth has spa facilities including a heated outdoor pool and jacuzzi which are situated in a pool house area down a short gravel path away from the hotel itself. 

After becoming well acquainted with the pool and almost having to be dragged away it was time for my hot stones massage. I'd never had a hot stones massage before so had no idea what to expect, and it had been a couple of years since I'd had any form of massage for that matter so I was well in need of one. I can honestly say that it was by far the best massage I've ever had, and since it covered pretty much every area of my body I felt completely revived afterwards. There are tons of wonderful treatments to choose from, including gel nail manicures and mud wraps to facials and waxing. 

The rooms are the ultimate combination of both luxury and comfort and are all kept looking immaculate. There are lots of different styles and sizes to choose from with varied price points meaning you can go as fancy as your budget allows for. I had a snoop around all of the rooms whilst the hotel was empty and preparing for a wedding later on in the day.

The room we stayed in was named Betjamin and on the second floor overlooking the beautiful countryside. I really loved the cosy and tucked away feeling that the room had, making it perfect for an Autumn weekend break. Not to mention the incredibly comfy bed which is what I see to be a trademark of the Milsom hotels, it's so fluffy and soft that it actually feels as if the bed is giving you a cuddle. The bathroom is stocked with Ren products too which is of course a beauty blogger's dream come true. 

As sun was setting it was the perfect excuse for another trip down to the pool, we had it all to ourselves once again which made for the most wonderful evening. Inside the pool house is lots of seating along with sofas and a flat screen television and a fully stocked bar which you can help yourself to. I often just hopped out of the pool and chilled by the fire to warm up.

Food wise, there's a transfer service in a fancy range rover that takes you to and from the restaurant (Le Talbooth) which is a two minute drive away and you can be taken back again whenever you feel like it. The food at Le Talbooth is absolutely sublime and the setting next to the river is beautiful, my starter was gnocchi with truffles and was in the top five of tastiest dishes that I've ever had. The cocktail menu is well worth a good look at too, I always go for a cosmopolitan. The next morning was time for breakfast in bed which came in the form of full english breakfast along with croissants (spot the cinnamon whirl) and a huge pot of tea. Breakfast finishes at 9.30am which is something I couldn't get my head around, in my head it should most definitely go on until 11 or at least 10.30. That all being said, if the only flaw I could find with the whole experience was breakfast finishing too early then the hotel is doing a damn good job at everything else. 

Maison Talbooth is currently offering a Sunday night stay including a three course dinner at Le Talbooth, a full english breakfast the next morning along with full use of the spa facilities and a £45 spa voucher each at £175 per person. Alternatively, you can opt for a spa day package which includes a full body and face polish, facial drainage massage, full hot stone massage and a two course lunch along with use of all the spa facilities for £115. 

October 27, 2014

french pharmacy skincare favourites

This month I jetted off to France twice (yes, twice!) and wrote all about it on my lifestyle blog. It would be criminal of me to have not stocked up on French skincare while out there so I made sure to make the best of it by searching on google maps for the largest pharmacie around and proceeded to walk a mile to get there. All in the name of skincare of course. I picked up two bottles of Vichy Normaderm face wash, one for me and one for a friend who I will be making sure is as converted to it as I am. I opted for the Sébium version of Bioderma rather than the regular Sensibio which I usually go for as my mum has oily skin and I picked this up for her, I hear that it's working really well on her skin. Embryloisse is my ultimate holy grail, can't possibly live without, skincare product that I will use for the rest of my life. I'm not exaggerating, this stuff is insanely good. I suffer with dry skin which looks dull and results in cakey looking foundation but whenever I use Embryolisse as both a night and day cream my skin looks dewy and five years younger. It's quite hard to track down, even in France, but if you aren't fussed about having it at a low price then you can get hold of it online in the UK for around double the cost which is still well worth it. I also got myself some Vichy Normaderm Hyaluspot as I had a breakout whilst away and it somehow magically cleared away a rather large spot overnight, if you struggle with blemishes I'd strongly advise you to give this one a go. 

If you're interested in trying out some French pharmacy brands then check out Escentual as they currently have 1/3 off brands throughout October, plus they have the best range of products that you can find online. 

September 28, 2014

jo malone earl grey and cucumber cologne

Earl Grey has always been the variety of tea we go for in my household, I've literally been drinking it since I was around 10 years old, so it makes perfect sense that I have to have it in perfume form too, right? Paired with cucumber, this Earl Grey cologne from Jo Malone has become one of my new favourite scents. It's light and fresh but in the most sophisticated way and has such a unique edge to it that it makes a lovely change to a more typical fragrance. Although I'd say it's probably more suited for Summer wear, it's actually just as nice to wear as a way of freshening up dreary Winter days too. 


August 27, 2014

back to the 90's with impulse

Recently I was set the challenge by Impulse to create a 90's inspired look to coincide with the the revamped version of the 90's Vanilla Kisses fragrance. Never one to turn down an opportunity to have some fun, and being a 90's baby myself, I created what always comes to my mind when I think of 90's make up which is a brownish red lip along with ash toned brows and a lot of orangey bronzer. Of course I just had to use a velvet scrunchie and a plastic tattoo choker too, I even went as far as using a pearlescent nail polish shade which is about as 90's as it gets. I had so much fun putting this post together, it definitely made me wish that I could go back in time to before smartphones and when beanie babies were all the rage.

I'd definitely recommend checking out the Vanilla Kisses fragrance, as a girl who isn't a fan of overly sweet scents I love how this is a musky yet sweet vanilla rather than being sickly and unwearable. Selected Impulse fragrances are currently half price at Superdrug, although this one won't be around for long as it's limited edition to celebrate Superdrug's 50th anniversary. 

August 26, 2014

tweezerman gear men's essential grooming kit

As we all know, there are trillions of beauty products for the girls, but male grooming products are still few and far between. Tweezerman have set out to give male grooming tools the shake up that they so desperately needed and have newly launched their Gear range aimed at the modern man. I'm a big fan of the products and the fuss free simplistic designs of the products, they have a complete masculine feel meaning that no man should ever have an excuse for stray brow hairs or bitten down nails again. There's also no room for excuses of losing any parts of the kit either as it comes with a handy pouch to keep everything inside of. Push the man in your life in the right direction of becoming perfectly groomed by giving him the gift of this kit and treat him to a nail filing and eyebrow plucking session. The set includes; pointed tweezers for ingrown hair or splinter removal, facial hair scissors, fingernail clippers and nail file tool with a cuticle pusher edge.