Beauty / Lifestyle / Interiors

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

DECEMBER'S RED FAVOURITES

December flashed me by in a whirl of tinsel and Christmas chocolates, It feels like this whole year has just flown by! The mild December days were disappointingly quite un-festive and I found myself buying cooler satin pyjamas to pair with my warm winter duvet. Christmas brought a well needed break with good food, family visits and festivities.
Our engagement anniversary (is that even a thing?) popped up with Alex surprising me with this beautiful new ring box and another pair of dreamy Asos Satin pj's!

Beauty:

Essie's Leading Lady seems a fitting favourite for this festive month, It's a gorgeous sparkly deep red with flecks of raspberry glitter running through it. I've been pairing it with soft grey knits, leggings, cosy jumpers, hot chocolates - everything! It's practically the only nail polish Ive been wearing this month!

For my hair, I've been using the Denman Grooming Brush to smooth out curls, it gives you effortless soft curls leaving you with silky tresses.

On my lips, I've been reaching for L'Oreal Exclusives Lipstick in Blake, it's such a festive, flattering red. With jojoba oil it keeps my lips soft which is ideal in winter. Nars Velvet Lip Pencil in Cruella is another favourite this month, it's creamy on application, long lasting and so festive.
With all the matte lipsticks, central heating and (slightly) colder weather my lips have been a little dry lately, EOS lip balms have been my top lip balm pick this month, they're so handy to pop in your bag and as they're packed with shea butter, vitamin e and jojoba oil they keep my lips supple and soft.

This faux fur pom pom keyring is a fairly new addition to my bag and adds a little colour to my otherwise mainly black outfit choices! It's so cute and fluffy, I have my eye on these Dune ones next, those ears!

Space NK sent me the Prismologie The Red Hour Foaming Body Scrub as a little Ndulge birthday gift in November, I'm not sure that I would have tried this otherwise but I'm so glad I have. It's a divine body scrub that polishes the skin non abrasive particles to gently exfoliate, with micro ruby crystals, coconut extract and volcanic spring powder it's such a luxe treat!

Lastly I switched back to Bioderma this month after finishing up my Garnier micellar water, Bioderma feels less stripping, it leaves my skin feeling soft, clear and removes make up with ease.

What were your favourite products in December?
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Sunday, 27 December 2015

FAVOURITE DISCOVERIES OF 2015

I've had quite a few new favourites this year ranging from beauty to food, there's been so many great discoveries!

Starting with the food category, I made so many great dairy free finds this year. From salted caramel ice-cream to vegan mac and cheese I've found an alternative to all of my favourites this year. I also got a little obsessed with sauerkraut this year, packed with vitamins and with incredible probiotic properties I guess its not the worst thing to be addicted to!

Another great discovery for me this year was Netflix (I'm a little late to the game). I've watched some unbelievable series this year, Once Upon a Time is one of my top picks, with Disney, magic and enchanted forests for me there's nothing not to love! Me and Alex binge watched all 7 series of Sons Of Anarchy in autumn, one for the Breaking Bad/Sopranos fan this gem is not to be missed. Lastly, Merlin stole my heart, almost harry potter-eque, witty and charming this series was a great little find.

With H&M home, Anthropologie and Homebase producing some cult/sort after pieces this year 2015 saw my love for homewares rocket. Diptyque candles also started to make an appearance in my home, their dreamy scents and packaging seriously upping my shelfie game.

My favourite album this year surprisingly goes to Justin Bieber's Purpose, after having it on repeat throughout the past couple of months I'm pretty sure I know all of the words backwards by now!

There's been some great cruelty free make up and skincare finds this year, with brands like Becca, Charlotte Tilbury, Nars, Hourglass, Oskia and By Terry I've had a great range of options to choose from.
The Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel has completely boosted my skincare regime, it's changed my lacklustre skin into a soft, radiant complexion. I also finally took the plunge and ordered the Hourglass Ambient Lighting blusher in Mood Exposure last autumn, this finely milled, silky soft blusher is one of my top picks - I'm already saving my Space NK points up for another!
I also have to note the Nars lip pencils, although they were a discovery in late December last year, their dreamy formula has pushed them to the top of my favourite lip products. I'm waiting patiently for Torres Del Paine, a limited edition, dreamy peach coral to come back so that I can snap up a full sized one!

Lastly, I have to give a little mention to ASOS who have saved me on a number of occasions in 2015 with last minute/next day Wedding Guest dress options, events pieces and gift options! These Satin Cami Pyjamas were a great discovery for me, I also found a the perfect wedding guest dress (similar here) that saved me from a wardrobe disaster in April!

What were your favourite discoveries of 2015?
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Saturday, 26 December 2015

BOXING DAY SALE PICKS

I decided not to brave the sales this year, instead I'm tucked up under a pile of billowy blankets, a mug of hot chocolate in hand and rosemary potatoes roasting in the oven in preparation for my another Christmas dinner.

With Christmas money to be spent, reduced items that I've had my eye on for ages and absolute steals cropping up on twitter, I've taken to my laptop to browse the sales.

Asos is always worthwhile a visit to browse their offerings, Space NK have some incredible beauty deals, along with Net A Porter and Topshop too! Here are my picks of the online sales today - happy browsing/shopping!

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Wednesday, 23 December 2015

A PAMPERING CHRISTMAS EVE ROUTINE

For me, Christmas Eve is a time to pamper, watch films, indulge on chocolates and prepare for Christmas day. After frantically finishing off any last minute wrapping, packing up gifts and baking gingerbread men I breathe a sigh of relief and have a little pamper.

I start off my Christmas Eve pampering routine by melting into an early afternoon Lush bath. This year I'm saving the Lush Father Christmas bath bomb especially for the occasion, with a sweet candyfloss scent and swirls of festive red and green clouds in the bath it sounds like the perfect treat!

To prep my skin, the Oskia Renaissance Cleaning Gel really does it all for me. The cleansing and restoring combination of vitamins and pumpkin enzymes leave me with a radiant and smooth complexion that's ready for Christmas Day.

For my body, I'm planning on slathering myself in the Origins Ginger Souffle Whipped Body Cream, this ultra rich, nourishing cream is ideal for winter, it leaves skin silky soft and smells divine, like sweet spiced ginger.

After climbing into the most Christmassy set of pyjamas that I can find, I'm planning on winding down by watching a Christmas film or two with a cinnamon hot chocolate to hand whilst I get to work on my glittery Christmas mani. I normally reach for Essie Leading Lady or Essie Toggle to the Top which are sparkly reds but this year I'm tempted to switch it up a little and try Essie Fashion Flares, a raspberry/ magenta glitter with black glitter which looks gorgeous as a light layer sprinkled over the nails.

I'm then planning on packing up my Charlotte Tilbury make up bag with all my Christmas day make up (red lips and glittery eyeshadows are a must!), before gathering up the presents and driving home to stay with family ready for Christmas Day!

What are you plans on Christmas Eve?

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Sunday, 20 December 2015

FIVE FESTIVE RED LIPSTICKS

It's the time of year that leaves me reaching for a red lipstick on a daily basis. Paired with winged liner and highlighted skin a red lip gives a classic look that's also oh so festive. I've pulled together a little list of my favourite picks below for winter and the festive season.

The newest addition to my lipstick stash is Clinique Cherry Pop, a bright flattering blue toned red. Inbuilt with a primer, this long-lasting lipstick packs a punch with it's fresh, bold pigments. This lipstick is so perky and festive - one to pair with a LBD and bouncy curls for Christmas parties.

It's no surprise that a Nars lip pencil is among my top picks, everything from the creamy formula to the incredible pigmentation make these lip products divine. Nars Velvet Matte lipstick in Cruella is a deep scarlet red that's creamy on application, super long lasting and gives a gorgeous velvet matte finish on the lips.

When my lips are feeling a little dry I reach for L'Oreal Exclusive Reds in Blake. Despite being a matte formula it keeps lips soft and hydrated thanks to the addition of jojoba oil. The most sophisticated red I own, this cool toned red gives an effortless polished look that's perfect for winter.

Similar to Ruby Woo, MAC RiRi Woo is a gorgeous deep matte red with cool undertones. The pigmented formula means that you just need one swipe for lasting colour. This is the shade I'm wearing in the photo above, it's such a christmassy shade!

Lastly, Sleek Matte me in Rioja Red is normally my Christmas day lipstick. It has the most incredible staying power, lasting for hours before fading to a stain. As it's a liquid lipstick it can be quite tricky to apply, but once set in place it's completely budge-proof meaning that I can eat and drink as much as I like without having to worry about touching up my lipstick!

What's your favourite red lipstick?
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Friday, 18 December 2015

10 THINGS TO DO OVER CHRISTMAS

With Christmas week fast approaching, I've pulled together a little list of all things festive to do over the Christmas period. It feels like December is flying past and so I want to cram in as much Christmassy things as possible next week, these are the 10 things that I'm planning to do over the festive period:

1. Pick up a copy of the Radio Times and circle the best TV picks over Christmas.

2. Get any last minute Christmas presents, I always wrap up a couple of big bars of chocolate and put them under the tree for any surprise visitors. I've got my gift guides here for last minute inspiration too!

3. Pull out all of the glittery, sparkly, shimmery Christmassy make up to wear.

4. Make festive popcorn - drizzle melted white chocolate over popcorn, sprinkle red and green sugar strands over and add a dash of ground ginger/cinnamon. Then have a Christmas film marathon!

5. Put on the Christmas bedding - you know the kind, the soft, cosy nordic printed brushed cotton type like this dreamy set.

6. Pick up that Christmas jumper that you've had your eye on (I love this one) or keep an eye out for a steal in the sales!

7. Make Star Wars snowflakes, they're fun to make and look so impressive! Tie them around gifts wrapped in brown paper (like this) for a cute gift wrap idea for the boys!

8. Wear your favourite red lipstick and paint your nails with a festive glittery shade like Essie Tassel Shaker.

9. Visit a Christmas market for mulled wine, cute decorations and carols.

10. Relax. Christmas is a time to unwind, eat good food, visit family and indulge a little!

What are your plans over the festive period?
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Wednesday, 16 December 2015

CHRISTMAS WISHING

wrapping ideas
I can't believe that we're so close to Christmas already - it's Christmas week next week! I thought I would share what's on my Christmas list this year as I love reading these types of posts, I find them so useful for last minute ideas or inspiration for boxing day sale buys! Here's a little list of what I'm wishing for this year:

A spiralizer is on the top of my Christmas wishlist this year, with so many great recipes available like Rosie's Haystack sweet potato chips, courgette with homemade pesto and cucumber and carrot ribbon salads, I know I'll get so much use from it!

A pair of warm pyjama's have crept their way onto my list recently as the days are slowly getting colder, I love this Solar System pair from Asos. I've also asked for these cute glittery fairy lights socks, they're so festive!

Another pick goes to these gorgeous West Elm Coasters, although ridiculously expensive, they're the prettiest that I've seen, there's been a few 20% off vouchers floating around too which makes them a little more affordable. I'm hoping that 2016 will be the year that I clear out a lot of my clutter and only keep things that I love, that are useful and that make my home look nice and these seem like the perfect coaster set to keep forever.

Essie polishes are always on my wishlist and this Bridal set is so dreamy. It's the perfect set for wedding planning - plus it contains Allure, the shade that Kate Middleton wore on her wedding day - fit for a princess!

I love this beautiful Kate Spade Contacts Book, something to note down addresses and contacts in. Also for the home, I love the idea of a Lumie light. The dark winter mornings leave me feeling so groggy and tired and the lumie light is supposed to help you to wake up feeling refreshed and energised. It seems like the ideal solution to early, dark mornings!

Here's some more of my picks, whats on your Christmas list this year?

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Sunday, 13 December 2015

FESTIVE HOME UPDATES

dressing table

blogger christmas
make up blogdiptyque baies
lush christmas haul
I'm not ashamed to admit that each year, as soon as December 1st hits I turn my home into a winter wonderland. With tinsel draped over the doors, candles flickering, fairy lights twinkling, SmoothXmas playing in the background and the Christmas tree heavy under the weight of as many baubles, lights and bead garlands as I can manage, it truly feels like Christmas for me.

I've even decorated my dressing table for the occasion with silvers and golds and have pulled out festive red lipsticks and glittery eyeshadows to wear over December. My new Charlotte Tilbury Make up bag has taken pride of place on my dressing table, it's so festive and holds my everyday make up perfectly!

My bathroom is currently full of Lush treats, making it smell incredible. My favourites from the festive selection so far have been these dreamy Lush wands. The Magic Wand creates a heavenly bath full of pink bubbles, with swirling glitter and the sweet scent of candyfloss, it's the perfect winter treat. I'm saving my The Magic of Christmas Wand for Christmas week, with orange, cinnamon and clove it smells divine and just like Christmas to me! 

With my home feeling so festive and with plans to watch Elf, The Holiday and Arthur Christmas with cinnamon hot chocolate in my favourite Harry Potter mug, it's definitely my favourite time of the year!

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Friday, 11 December 2015

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ME, FROM ME

With some incredible discounts floating around on Black Friday, things got a little spendy around here and I just couldn't resist picking up a few things for myself. I seem to spend a little more around autumn/winter, with fluffy slippers, soft PJ's and autumnal shades it's my favourite time to shop.

I've had my eye on these Frends Layla Rose Gold Headphones for the longest time and with 40% off I couldn't resist picking up a pair. They're so comfortable, the sound quality is good and they look so pretty on. I've had a couple of issues with my pair as they arrived damaged in the post and the Frends team have been super helpful, I'm hoping that once replaced, these will last me a long time - I'm so in love with them!

From ASOS, I took full advantage of their 20% off code and ordered as many kinds of these gorgeous Satin Cami and Short Pyjama Sets as I could. It's been fairly mild in my home and so I wanted some new lightweight pj's to pair with my warm winter duvet. I made the mistake of thinking that I would simply choose my favourite colour and then return the rest but I completely fell in love with these and in the end narrowed it down to two pairs, this beautiful burgundy shade and a white pair that Alex has tucked away for me until Christmas. The material is divine, floaty, satin soft and so comfortable. A new firm favourite!

Armed with a voucher and 10% off, I spent far too long procrastinating about which Charlotte Tilbury make up to splurge on. In the end, I couldn't decide and so settled for this beautiful burgundy and rose gold make up bag, it's the ideal size for my everyday make up.

I also picked up these adorable Topshop Unicorn Slippers which unfortunately weren't in the sale. However the soft, fluffy lining and cute embellishments make these my perfect slippers, I know i'll get a ton of wear from them in winter as they keep my feet so toasty warm!

Lastly, to start my new years resolutions off a little early, I invested in an exercise bike. Argos has a great discount on this still and along with my nectar points I got this for a fairly good price. The seat is a little uncomfortable but I'm used to it now, I've been cycling away and even having a go at some Youtube spinning videos, I'm starting to see the benefits already!

Did you buy anything in the sales?
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Wednesday, 9 December 2015

GIFT GUIDE: FOR HER

One to help you pick for the girls, this list is packed full of ideas for the interior, stationary, beauty and style lovers. I've pulled together a list of my picks along with a few more ideas below too!

These Unicorn slippers are adorable and the perfect gift to tuck under the tree for Christmas day to keep cosy and warm. Wrap up an Essie polish and Soap and Glory's Heel Genius with them for a cute gift for pampered feet!

For the interior and beauty lover, a scented candle is the ideal gift. Opt for a wintry scent like Diptyque Pomander to fit in with the festive theme. With orange, cinnamon and clove it's a divine, warming fragrance, perfect for the cold months ahead.
Another gift that you can't really go wrong with is this gold and white monogrammed mug. Pop in a packet of hot chocolate and marshmallows (I love these veggie ones) for a tasty treat!

Space NK is a great destination to visit for the beauty lovers, with incredible gift sets like this Becca Glow On The Glow Set, (which contains two iridescent, shimmering golden peach highlighter shades), dreamy Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushers and creamy By Terry Ombre Blackstar eyeshadow sticks, there are so many great options available to choose from!

For a luxe jewellery treat, Monica Vinader is the one. The dainty Riva ring comes in rose gold and is scattered with sparkling diamonds which makes this the ultimate swoon-worthy gift. It's also available in necklace form too - dreamy!

Boxsets make a great gift for the Netflix/TV lover, my pick this year would have to be Once Upon A Time, Parks and Rec is on the top of my Mum's Christmas wishlist and the Friends boxset always makes a great gift!

Here's a few more of my top picks for us girls!


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Sunday, 6 December 2015

FESTIVE BEAUTY

With Christmas parties and festive gatherings on the horizon, I've pulled out the most sparkly & glittery, Christmas appropriate make up that I own. I've lined up my favourite festive red lipsticks, pulled out all of my glittery nail polishes and decorated my dressing table ready for the occasion.

To keep my skin in top condition I've been reaching for nourishing serums, rich moisturisers and enriching oils. The Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel is a staple for me this month to combat dull, uneven skin. The pink, turkish delight scented gel transforms into an oil as you massage it onto your skin whilst the pumpkin enzymes and vitamins work to cleanse, soften and restore leaving you with a radiant and smooth complexion. 
I've also been using my Estee lauder Advanced Night Repair II again, pairing it with the Origins Make a Difference Overnight Hydrating Repair Cream, together they make a dreamy combination and leave me with plump, glowing, hydrated skin.

On my nails, I'm planning on wearing as much glitter as possible throughout December. Whether it's gilded tips courtesy of Essie Rock At The Top or full on Christmas Nails thanks to Essie Leading Lady, a sparkly festive, deep red I'm planning on keep my fingers and toes pretty festive all month!

I've noted a run down of my favourite festive eyeshadow shades here and whilst most of these shimmery shades are well suited for the party season, Topshop Shuffle the cards, a sparkly iridescent rose gold and L'oreal Sable Lame, a gel infused, buttery soft shimmery gold are my top picks this month for every day wear. 

It's not really Christmas for me without rocking a bright red lip at least once during December. L'Oreal Color Riche Lipstick in Blake is a flattering, cool toned red that when applied gives a polished, classic look. My second pick, Nars Cruella is a gorgeous Christmassy red lip it's creamy on application, dries to a matte finish and lasts for hours on the lips.

Lastly, on my cheeks, I've pulled out my favourite festive rosy wine blusher MAC Mineralised Blush in Gleeful for shimmery, flushed cheeks. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Mood Exposure is perfect to pair with a red lip as it sculpts the cheeks effortlessly whilst leaving a subtle pink radiant sheen. For highlighter, Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal, an iridescent, shimmering golden peach highlighter is my top choice to give me that candlelit, luminous glow. 

What are your festive beauty picks this month?
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Friday, 4 December 2015

DECEMBER TO DO LIST



1. Decorate! Evenings are made magical with twinkling fairy lights, sparkly decorations and tinsel draped around the doors, it gives the home such a festive feel!

2. Make gingerbread men, salted caramel apple crumbles and orange spiced hot chocolates.

3. Buy some wintry Pj's, I love these blush coloured satin ones.

4. Wear glittery nail polish as often as possible, Essie's Toggle to the Top is my ultimate festive pick, it's a shimmery, glittery, sparkling garnet red that's just perfect for Christmas.

5. Watch The Holiday whilst eating my favourite picks from the Roses selection box - it's all about the purple one, orange cremes and golden barrels for me!

6. Invest in a Christmas Candle. I normally love the Sainsbury's Christmas Spice candle but this year I may have to treat myself to the Space NK Shimmering Spice candle, full of cinnamon, citrus, cedar and vanilla - it sounds divine!

7. Pick up some new Christmas Decorations, I have my eye on this gold pineapple one and this gilded pretzel decoration.

8. Indulge in all of the festive foods and drinks; crackers & cheese (violife is a great dairy free option), maple roasted cashews, Christmas chocolates and plenty of Belvoir (non alcoholic) Mulled Wine!

9. Perfect my gift wrapping technique, Pinterest has some great simple gift wrap ideas, I love the idea of making these and then sticking them on top of brown paper wrap!

10. Give. With everything that's been going on in the world lately I feel like now more than ever I need to look for more ways to give. Whether it's to food banks, Crisis at Christmas or to animal shelters, I want to give a little more this Christmas.

What's on your December to do list?
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Wednesday, 2 December 2015

GIFT GUIDE: STOCKING FILLERS

Stocking Fillers! One of my favourite things to buy at Christmas, the excitement of stuffing a bag or stocking full to the brim with treats and gifts is one of my favourite parts of Christmas prep.
I've pulled together a few little gift ideas that are perfect stocking fillers or even well suited for a Secret Santa gift!

Lush is a great option for cute pampering gifts. Their little shower gels are a real treat, the scents are divine and there's something for everyone. One of my favourite picks is The Comforter Shower Cream, a bright, warming and comforting vanilla and blackcurrant scent. Lush's Salted Coconut Hand Scrub is another good find, this heavenly hand scrub leaves hands silky smooth and would be great paired with a hand cream like this Rose & Co one for a Secret Santa gift.

One of my favourite things to get in my stocking is an Essie polish. For a festive treat for beauty lovers pop a glittery shade in like Essie Tassel Shaker, a coppery bronze glitter or Essie Fashion Flares, a magenta glitter. For the perfect luxe gift for beauty lovers, Nars lip pencil in Cruella would make the ultimate find tucked into a Christmas stocking!

For the stationary lovers, this Metallic Sharpie Set with bronze, gold and silver would make the perfect stocking treat. Also I'm sure that anything from Rifle paper Co or Kate Spade would make a welcome addition to their stocking!

I've pulled together a list below of some more gift ideas too:
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