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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Victoria Beckham x Nails Inc.






When it comes to a manicure, it's very rare that I'll opt for anything other than a red or a nude.. so obviously the new Nails Inc. collab is totally my thing! Dubbed the 'chicest beauty launch of the year', Nails Inc. and Victoria Beckham have created a limited edition duo to coincide with Victoria's SS15 collection. The new bottle design has also been customised for the collaboration - matte black and white, with the shades only visible from the clear glass on the sides of the packaging. So pleasing on the eye, especially for when the contents are running low. The combination of the perfect brush size, 'stretch to fit' technology and bamboo extract ensure the polish glides onto the nail effortlessly, with a satisfyingly smooth high-gloss finish. Can you tell I really like them?

For the past couple of weeks I've been wearing Judo Red, a juicy orange-toned rouge that brightens the skin and doesn't look or feel out of place amongst the wave of more festive cherry and plum shades we're seeing at the moment. I haven't tested out Bamboo White for quite as long, but I'm seriously impressed. It's a beautiful creamy pink-nude hue that reminds me of one of my favourite shades from Essie, Ballet Slippers.

As far as nail polish goes, they're more of an investment coming in at £25 each or £45 for a set of both shades, but they genuinely are shades I'll be using constantly and I'd absolutely recommend checking them out. Obviously I am sent products to review, but in the same vein it's not Louboutin level and you're still getting the fashion element here. And would you just look at the presentation? A perfectly packaged gift for a particularly close friend.. or maybe you'll want to start dropping those hints, hard. The Nails Inc. x VVB collaboration is available at Selfridges and feelunique now.

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This post contains press samples. For more information, check out my full disclaimer policy.

Friday, December 19, 2014

A Last Minute Christmas Gift Guide..

I know I'm cutting it fine for a gift guide.. but if you're anything like me, you haven't started your shopping yet either. I was supposed to be braving Westfield tonight but it looks like I'll probably be doing a frantic rush for a few bits over the weekend and over-ordering online! Why break the habit of a lifetime?



UNDER £20


Ahhh, the under £20 budget - perfect for Secret Santa gifts, stocking fillers and treating yourself with the trusty 'one for you, one for me' rule.. I'll keep quiet if you do.

Soap & Glory have basically everything covered this year, Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Crayons gift set (£16) which has three shades - a pretty nude pink, a more daring fuchsia and a beautiful berry - to see you through the party season and beyond. I love their tree decoration offerings too, just look at the Santa Gloss (£6) in its pretty candy cane packaging!

LUSH are a failsafe option for anything like this too, whether you're wanting to pick and choose different seasonal items and gift them together if one of the bigger bundles doesn't take your fancy, or just for a little side treat. I've gone for the more glittery options, naturally.. because if you can't do sparkle at Christmas, when can you? The Star Light, Star Bright bath melt (£3.50) contains skin-loving oils and has an uplifting lime and ginger scent. Holly Golightly (£4.75), a huuuuge bubble bar, is the epitome of Christmas cheer and the Gold Fun (£5) is something a little different but my inner magpie is drawn to its glittery goodness! The Fun bars are multi-use and obviously great for kids - especially this Snowman kit!

I wouldn't feel right without including a good mug in this category - I'd be a shell of the human I am currently without the endless hot drinks in this weather. One of my favourites is my gold monogrammed Anthropologie number (£8), but they have a monochrome version if that's more your thing. And what better accompaniment than a Chocolate Frog (£7.95)? If you're feeling especially fancy you could plant a couple of tickets to the Studio Tour inside the box!

The Shu Uemura Lash Curler is one of those tools I can't be without, and I think it'd make a great present for any beauty lovers out there who haven't tried it (anyone left?). Rifle Paper Co. are one of my favourite brands and stationery always makes for lovely gifts - especially with a whole new year just around the corner. Their Botanical notebook trio (£14.50) is ridiculously pretty! Got a friend into her manicures? Topshop's Mini Matte Nail Trio (£12) is a great pick. And when all else fails.. go for the champagne. This Moët & Chandon miniature bottle (£14.99) just speaks to me. Hic.



UNDER £50


Want to buy something a little more extravagant without having to involuntarily take part in Dry January? Under £50 covers all bases, whether it's a close relative or one of your best friends in mind.

Firstly, can we just talk palettes? The beauty scene has been BLESSED with a plethora of pretty palettes this festive season. Illamasqua recently released their Multi Facet Palette (£45) in two shades - pictured is Aura - and contains pretty much everything you could need for an everyday look. It'd look especially pretty gifted in their limited edition makeup pouch (£20). In the same vein, Urban Decay bring it with the Naked on the Run Palette (£37), containing a whole host of brand new shades as well as liner, gloss and even mascara. Topshop Smokey Eye Set (£22) has your party eye covered, but as far as cheeks go, look no further than the NARS Virtual Domination Cheek Palette (£45). Be still my heart.

Home bits are perfect for seasonal gifting - candles work well year-round but the festive offerings this year are divine! NEOM have returned with their Christmas Wish candle (£32) as well as new scent, Perfect Peace. They're also available together in a duo set (£50) which would be adorable for anyone who's just settling in somewhere new. Diptyque have been spoiling us with a trio of new smells for winter, too - I've been loving Epice (£26) especially. Aromatherapy Associates' Bath Jewels (£28) are the perfect try-me miniatures for workaholics, and new brand Kiss the Moon offer the 'gift of sleep' to even the most stressed recipient - I need to talk about these properly soon as they're simply magical. The After Dark Bath Oils (£38) and After Dark Face Oil (£48) come in three scents and have your slumber sorted.

Beauty obsessives will be all over the Charlotte Tilbury Mini Lipstick Charms (£29) like a rash. A trio of gorgeous miniature lipstick shades - Bitch Perfect, Penelope Pink and So Marilyn - so great for popping into your holiday clutch and a nice way to try out a few shades before finding a favourite. NARS' Digital World Lip Pencil Coffret (£32) is just as special; with five shades of Velvet Matte and Satin Lip Pencils and the most beautiful keepsake box to house them in. Serious heart-eyed going on here! Another great shout would be a Birchbox subscription - the gift that keeps on giving! This month's box was created in collaboration with accessory goddess Sophia Webster; I don't want to completely spoil the contents but you can have a nose on the website. There's also a free gift worth £45 up for grabs..



AND BEYOND..


Let's be honest with ourselves, this is the wishlist category. If you're really wanting to spoil someone this year (or hoping someone will do the same for you!), look no further. Luxe loveliness. Go big or go home. You know the drill!

I'm besotted with the offerings from Jo Malone this year. Everything is so beautiful - take a look for yourself here - but my favourite would have to be the Cologne Collection (£68). Five baby bottles of their most popular scents - Lime Basil & Mandarin, Amber & Lavender, Blackberry & Bay, Wood Sage & Sea Salt and Peony & Blush Suede (my number one!). The Travel Candle Collection (£62) is equally wonderful, with festive favourite Pomegranate Noir, Pine & Eucalyptus and one of my favourite scents for the home, Incense & Embers. Divine!

The YSL Wildly Gold Palette (£69) is almost too pretty to use. Looks like a chic black leather notebook, reveals the eye, lip and cheek shades of dreams. As good as LUSH are for their little gifts here and there, their Christmas selection this year is incredible. I have the Nightingale (£82) - a huge selection of seasonal and permanent products housed in a beautiful box inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's tale of the same name.

Now for the pièce de résistance - the Charlotte Tilbury Supermodel Video Box (£200). A whopper of a present. Charlotte's eleventh look is based on the 'DNA' behind the Supermodel look - think the perfect smoky eye, sculpted cheeks and a suits-all nude lip. My favourite product from the look would have to be the Fallen Angel palette, which I'm going to show more in-depth very soon! The big sell with the box is that Charlotte talks to you through creating the Supermodel look with a rechargeable player inside. Like nothing I've ever seen before! Vive la révolution.

Lastly, a Vogue subscription (from £20) is something I asked for last year and I'm now looking to renew, but for my birthday a few years ago I received the issue that would have been on shelves when I was born, which remains one of my most prized possessions and I think it's a really thoughtful gift anyone will treasure. Prices vary, but if you shop around you should be able to find the one you're looking for!

SO - have you finished (or even started) your shopping yet? What's on your list?

This post contains press samples. For more information, check out my full disclaimer policy.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Here We Go Again






I feel like I'm shuffling quietly to the back of the class, avoiding eye contact with the teacher because I haven't done any homework and I'm embarrassed about it. Things have been.. hectic, and the longer I've been quiet on here, the harder it felt to suddenly speak up and get back into it all again. 2014 has basically been a write-off in any given situation. I've probably been hesitating over what to put in a post like this for a matter of weeks now. There's not really much for me to say other than what I've said in about six different posts this year, vaguely waffling and promising my return only to not see it through. I honestly even started to forget what I looked like in high definition. Mildly horrifying.

Something like this should probably have waited another fortnight for a new year post, but I didn't want to jump back into daily (HA! Here's hoping!) posts without breaking radio silence properly. Again, no concrete reasoning other than things like me not having a real place to work or even think to myself, then not having a laptop amongst other things going awry.. honestly, my luck has been hilariously AWOL this year. That's not to say I'm feeling sorry for myself - I'm back in my room, in my own bed and so pleased about it. I'm pretty much raring to go, but it'll probably take a little time to grease the engine and get to full speed. Hopefully you didn't expect this post to be terribly elegant!

PS. Sorry I posted four photos of myself for no reason. It's been ages and I was feeling my look! Can I live?!?!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Braun Face Beauty Edition





Braun have recently launched somewhat of a revolution in terms of travelling beauty. The Braun Face Beauty Edition offers both a facial cleansing brush to remove impurities at pore level, and a dinky epilator to remove hairs on the face. The different heads save on space and within the pouch you also get a handy light-up mirror. My only problem? It shows absolutely everything.. So whilst good for spotting any stray hairs, it's pretty terrifying!

I've been using this handy little gadget for a week now and it has fit into my routine with ease. The epilator attachment is really easy to use - of course hair removal is rarely, if ever, pain free, but using the gentle tapping motion I was shown it's very bearable! I had my brows tidied up slightly on the day by the lovely MUA and I didn't even notice she'd removed the baby hairs on my temples/forehead until she told me it was done. Obviously it's not quite so easy to go straight in on the upper lip but it's still relatively simple to do - just make sure to pull the skin taut to minimise pain.

As for the brush, I'm no stranger to this sort of thing. Without mentioning the C word (which I'm sure we can all figure out just fine!), they're a tool I flit in and out with, especially in the colder months when my skin is drier and a little more sensitive. I try. To to let myself depend on them too much but the Braun offering is very gentle and I like the option of changing directions with the buttons. The head itself is a good size for my face and lets me focus on the t-zone instead of going in too heavy with a flannel after applying cleanser. I like to use it after a long day of wearing makeup and my skin feels seriously soft afterwards! I don't use it every single day as for me it can get too addictive, but a few times a week is plenty.

The Braun Face Beauty Edition comes in at £89.99 which I think is pretty reasonable as far as a 2-in-1 tool goes. I've really enjoyed trialling it and will definitely be keeping it in my beautifying routine for the foreseeable future!

This post is sponsored by Braun. For more information, check out my full disclaimer policy.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

If it Ain't Little Old Me



Yoooo. Well, that hiatus went on a little longer than planned, didn't it?! Speaking as if anyone's noticed makes me feel better.. or perhaps worse, I'm not quite sure yet. Things have been pretty quiet on the online front for a while now - I've tried to let it take a back seat whilst I try to get things together (but that could well take forever) so before I end up disappearing for good I wanted to say hi!

I'm currently having some home improvement things done and.. you know how that goes. Here's a wall that looks how I feel:



JOY. It's taking a lot longer than expected and I've been sleeping on my sofa for the best part of a month now! Hopefully it'll all be sorted soon so I'm just trying not to stress about it too much. I could really do with a massage though.

Apart from that, my MacBook battery has decided to take a bow and it needs replacing so I'm without a proper blogging machine (currently getting very frustrated with the iPad) for the time being. Again, hopefully not too long but there doesn't seem to be an end this rubbish luck at the moment!

Lastly, I just wanted to update you on something really cool I'm getting up to this week. On Wednesday I'll be taking part in the first ever TIGI Bed Head Google Hangout. You can check out more about it here - it should be really good fun! I'm really keen to start YouTube again too so it'll help to ease any worries about being in motion again. Keep an eye out for my Twitter and Instagram updates and behind-the-scenes sneak peeks too!

So to recap, I want to say a big thank you to anyone and everyone that's got in touch and asked after me - in the least self-important way it's really nice to know that my absence has been noticed. I'm so sorry for being so quiet and I really want to get back into doing things properly so fingers crossed it won't be too long. Big love!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A Gift with Purpose



Whenever I amble through department store beauty halls, money burning a hole in my pocket, I'm always drawn towards the counters offering a good GWP - or gift with purchase - offer going on. I don't think I'm alone on that one! Until October 4th, Clarins are giving away a cosmetic bag full of goodies as the first ever gift with purpose, with every purchase of two Clarins products - one to be skincare. Each FEED 10 cosmetics bag provides ten healthy, nutritious meals to children living in developing countries, though the UN World Food Programme.

Each pouch contains five of Clarins' skin and body icons - Moisture-Rich Body Lotion, Gentle Refiner Exfoliating Cream, HydraQuench Cream Mask, Hand and Nail Treatment Cream and the Relax Bath & Shower Concentrate.

My top recommendations for skincare would have to be the Instant Eye Make-Up Remover, Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner and the Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil. As for makeup and other beauty bits, I love the Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector balms, Truly Waterproof Mascara and the Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster.

You can read more about the FEED Projects here. If ever there was a good excuse to have a splurge, the time is now!

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This post contains press samples. For more information, check out my full disclaimer policy.


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