Archive | December, 2013

Stocking Filler Ideas For Her

20 Dec

It’s now 5 sleeps to go until Christmas day! Ahhh! Where has the year gone? Time to scurry around the shops with dedication, ruthlessness and focus to finish up your Christmas gifts and get those stockings bulging full of gorgeous little treats that she’ll love.

I’ve scoured high and low for some great little stocking fillers so you’re last minute dash around town is as calm as can be.

Stocking fillers for girls

1. Santa iPhone 5 case – Cath Kidston
Father Christmas meets Cath Kidston – finally! I love the Christmas range from CK (Move over Calvin Klein we’ve got a new CK in town!). It’s full of gorgeous little reindeer and Santa treats that are cute, kitsch and super festive.  If she has an iPhone 5 – this is a guaranteed winner.

2. Detox pamper pack – Fashion Union
Come January, the detox starts again, yikes! Get her ready with this gorgeous little pamper pack. Don’t worry it hasn’t got dried fruit, protein powder or rabbit food seeds in – just good, hearty, natural products to beautify her and leave her feeling relaxed and calm. The package includes a hair mask, face mask, foot cream and eye pads. You know that dull January day when everybody is back to work and feeling a little sorry for themselves? The pamper pack will be her saviour so she keeps perky and pretty.

3. Knitted snowman socks – Topshop
Socks as stocking fillers will never, ever grow old. Everybody will always need socks. These sweet little snowman socks are knitted with thick wool to keep her tootsies toasty this winter.

4. 2014 vintage butterfly diary – WHSmith
Along with the obligatory socks, a diary is also a must-have gift to fill up her stocking. This cute little butterfly one is vintage looking; adopting that good old-fashion shabby chic look. With a week to view layout, as well as some useful added-extras such as travel info, addresses and phone numbers, she can keep well organised for the year ahead.

5. Soap & Glory mini hand food – Boots
The scent of this stuff is amazing. I know not of anybody who hasn’t fallen in love with hand food. This mini version is only £2.50 so is a cheap and cheerful way to pack out her stocking with a beauty essential.

6. Best of Benefit set – Boots
If she likes Benefit then she’ll love this. And if she hasn’t ever used Benefit then she’ll also love this. With all the best-selling, award-winning products in one set, she can try out the number one items and see what all the fuss is about. For only £24.50 this is unbelievable value so grab it if you still can!

7. Cath Kidston compact mirror – Got to have it
Every girl needs a small compact mirror to keep in her handbag. Whether out shopping or on a date, if you don’t have a mirror to hand – you’ll regret it. Whether you need to re-apply your lippy, volumise your hair or check your teeth for any cling-ons, a compact mirror is your best friend. I love this Cath Kidston one is simple yet chic and the perfect size for beauty checks on the go.

8. Neom travel candle – John Lewis
Neom candles smell incredible. Ok, so they are on the more expensive side, but they are fully worth every penny. It will fill the room with a gorgeous aroma and lasts for far longer than the cheaper alternatives! This small one (unsure as to why they’re called ‘travel candles’ – I prefer just ‘small’) are ideal for her to indulge in a preview of the luxury brand.

9. Santa’s lip scrub – Lush
I’ve recently reviewed this product and loved it! Ideal for winter months when lips can take a battering, Santa’s lip scrub uses caster sugar and coconut oil to reveal gorgeous kissable lips perfect for puckering up under the mistletoe. 

10. Lip crayon – Topshop
Topshop’s range of make-up is surprisingly good. This chubby lip crayon is great for applying on-the-go. Its matte finish is ideal for during the day and keeps your lips soft and well moisturised. Simply apply some lip gloss over the top and you have instant night-time makeup.

11. Tweezerman tweezers – Feel Unique
The God of all tweezers is Tweezerman. With a slanted edge you’re sure to catch all the difficult-to-reach eyebrow hairs. They grip precisely even the shortest of hairs because the tips are hand-filed and perfectly aligned to grab the hair every time. They also come in a range of gorgeous colours!

12. Heart coin purse – Not on the high street
Finish off her stocking with love. This heart print purse is perfect for keeping all her shrapnel in tow. The cotton has been laminated to protect against scuffs and stains and comes with this eye-catching red heart design and a vintage style gold clip frame.

~x~

Beauty Review: Santa’s Lip Scrub

17 Dec

My lips get awfully dry and tight in the winter. With dead skin falling off likes leaves from the trees, it’s certainly not a good look as you pucker up under the mistletoe. However, yanking it off just results in more pain, blood and an unruly stinging sensation – not so good for mistletoe fun either. With my lips taking a battering from the cold and bitter winds, applying lipstick also becomes a nigh-on impossibility as it just highlights my crackling lips even more *sob*. Then, as I was attempting to start my Christmas shopping earlier this month, I found this little miracle – Santa’s Lip Scrub by Lush Cosmetics.

Santa's Lip Scrub

You dab a teeny amount of the sugar scrub on your lips and rub generously to exfoliate and smooth away any dry bits. Made with caster sugar, coconut oil and extracts of cherries and dates, you scrub and soften to reveal truly kissable Christmas lips.

The coarse sugar works to buff away dry skin on and around your lips and smooth out any lumps and bumps on the softer parts, perfect for treating areas where the weather has dehydrated them and leaving a perfect base for a thick layer of hydrating lip balm before you go to bed or just before you put on your lipstick so you don’t have any straggly bits for it to cling to.

The fizzy cola flavour tastes just like the sweet shop favourite and liking it off your lips is just as fun as applying it. It also comes topped with a few edible sugar hearts, which is a really cute addition.

Santa's Lip Scrub Hearts

This festive treat is a perfect stocking filler for all beauty junkies out there, or just the dry-lip-types too. I happen to be both so I think I’ll keep this as a little Christmas present for myself! At £5.50 a tub, it comes in at a reasonable price and, as you only need a teeny bit per use, it will last you for ages!

With Lush, you know you’re getting a reliable product that isn’t filled with any harsh chemicals or artificial crap. It’s all natural goodness. I can’t step foot in that shop without sniffing and ooing at all the amazing, innovative stuff they have on offer.

They also have a limited edition ‘Santa Baby’ – a gorgeous cherry red lip tint. It dries a nice matte shade meaning minimal smudging or wearing off. It is the ideal partnership to go with your new scrub or a great little gift set for a friend for just over £10.

Lush also do an array of other flavours too such as, Popcorn, Bubblegum and Mint Julips. They all smell good enough to eat and do a great job in creating soft, kissable lips. Time to pucker up!

~x~

Fashion: Christmas Gifts for Him

11 Dec

Men are a nuisance. Fact. Especially at Christmas time. Present-buying for a man should come with a warning tag – the warning being ‘substantial stress endured.’

With women, we have options. From the endless make-up, hair and nail stuff to a whole host of clothing attire, we’d be happy with a cute little pair of earrings to a gorgeous new handbag or a pair of patterned tights. The list is literally endless.

With men, not so much. The list is literally limited.

So, in a bid to help my fellow ladies out with curing Christmas stresses caused by man-shopping, I have come up with a few great Christmas ideas for every man in your life.

Note: I’ve bought all these gifts for previous Christmases (and all have had a high success rating) so if my boyfriend does happen to stumble across my blog, he won’t know what I’ve actually got him this year. See, women really are always one step ahead.

Christmas Ideas for a man

1. Fred Perry polo shirt – Fred Perry
Young or old, a Fred Perry polo shirt is a guaranteed winner. Cool enough for your boyfriend but smart enough for your dad. The fabric is good quality, the brand is à la mode and the style is versatile. They also have loads, and I mean loads, of colours and designs of different polo shirts to choose from so you can literally buy him a new one every year! – Sorted.

2. Skagen black label watch – Creative Watches
Watches are the go-to gift when you need something special to give your man at Christmas.  The Danish brand, Skagen, offer simple and sleek designs which are classic, smart and stylish. Ticking all the boxes; you can’t go wrong with a Skagen.

3. Beats by Dr Dre – John Lewis
If he’s a music fan – Beats are perfect. They are a tad expensivo but they look cool and, more importantly, sound a-mazing!

4. The North Face nuptse vest – Blacks
The best way to keep warm this winter is with a North Face. This vest is snuggly, stylish and a true sound investment – I can guarantee he’ll be wearing it for years to come.

5. American Crew Fiber – Feel Unique
For a spot of beauty luxury this Christmas why not treat him to some American Crew? Fiber gives a high hold for his short (sorry, stereotyping!) hair without that greasy, wet-look gel appearance. It smells good and will make his hair look good.*

6. Diesel Only the Brave – Boots
There’s nothing I like more than when my boyfriend smells good. It’s alluring, enticing and can make any man look that little bit more attractive**. There are an infinite number of aftershaves out there; the most recent one I got my boyfriend was Only the Brave Tattoo by Diesel and I love it! (…so does he – bonus!)

7. Fairisle bobble beanie hat – Asos
The accessory department in men’s stores is sparse so it’s good to get them in while you can. This Christmassy hat is perfect for wintery days out and comes with a sprinkle of festive charm. A great stocking filler!

8. Adidas Originals holdall – Asos
Ok, so he might not be into man bags yet but this retro Adidas holdall is masculine and functional. No longer will he ask you to put his keys, and wallet, and phone, and anything else he may have with him he doesn’t want to carry, in your handbag because he now has a bag of his own! Hurrah!

9. Burgundy Vans – Schuh
Metrosexual man? This Clinique serum is ideal. The packaging, merchandising and wording are all carefully crafted so he doesn’t feel too effeminate whilst applying ‘face lotion’ or ‘moisturiser’ as it’s more widely known. I’ve tried it and happily sneak it into my beauty regime when he’s not looking. His skin will be soft and glowing…and so will yours!

*not guaranteed
** my boyfriend is just as attractive (very) with or without aftershave.

~x~

Beauty Review: E.l.f

8 Dec

Eyes lips face, or Elf cosmetics as it’s known, is an affordable online make-up brand. Although it’s based in New York, it has now reached international success, largely due to their website.

The inexpensive cosmetics line claims to sell high-quality products for a fraction of the price. So I put it to the test.

Benefit’s She Laq is a make-up miracle. I included it as one of my fashion and beauty essentials because I can literally not live without it.  If I didn’t have this beauty wonder, I would simply, point-blank refuse to put eye shadow on. You brush the magic little potion onto your eye-lids, leave to dry, and then apply your eye shadow. And that’s it, you are set for the day knowing at no point will your eye shadow run, fade, crease or disappear. It’ll be with you ’til the bitter end. Sadly, for some profound reason they have decided to discontinue this genius product. So, after hunting high and low for a replacement, I found this. And at £3.75 it’s more than £15 cheaper than Benefit’s so I gave it a go.

Elf Makeup Lock & Seal

True to word, this elf number is eye shadows’ little helper.

Unlike She Laq you apply the Makeup Lock and Seal on top of your eye shadow (alternatively, you can mix it in with the eye shadow but I prefer the former). When I first applied the product it stung – it really, really stung – so beware not to get it into your eye. It is a lot more watery and a lot less sticky than She Laq. I applied it onto black eye shadow first thing in the morning to monitor the staying power easily. It did keep my eye shadow on all day without much creasing, smudging or fading. However, because you apply it on top, or with, your eye shadow, it is a lot harder to use multiple colours. Although it’s certainly not as good as She Laq, it’s a very good alternative, and comes at a bargain price. Unlike She Laq it also increases the intensity of your makeup colours. Black eye shadow sometimes becomes a lot greyer when applied to the skin. Once you brush this over the top it instantly becomes jet black again, more exaggerated, defined and extreme. It dries really quickly and makes my eye shadow stay put. I’m so happy I’ve found an alternative, now I can wear eye shadows again!

Elf Contouring Blush and Bronzing Cream

One thing I hate about bronzers is that most contain shimmer/glitter which isn’t needed when you’re trying to create a contouring effect and only attracts unwanted attention to something that is meant to be an illusion. When I saw this contouring set I immediately hit the purchase button. They have two palette options; I went for the St. Lucia colour.

The bronzer is completely matte and creates that perfect shadowiness you need to create the effect of more defined cheekbones.  The cream is so much better than any other powders I’ve used. As you apply it with your fingers you can actually feel precisely where the hallows of cheeks are and therefore where best to apply it. It’s also so much easier to blend and build coverage, and you only need a smidgen to create a big effect – so this will last forever! The pinkier blush is to be applied on the apples of your cheeks and it subtly brightens up your face, creates further dimensions, and develops a healthier glow. For just £3.75, this is a makeup must-have – I love it!

Elf All Over Cover Stick

This All Over Cover-Stick is a lot smaller than I thought it would be. It only costs £1.50 so it’s still a true budget buy.  It’s way too thick to be used all-over as a foundation but it’s not light enough to conceal and highlight the under-eye area (I went for the lightest shade too). It’s more for larger problematic areas of the face you want to camouflage. It smells gorgeous and is really smooth and creamy but doesn’t blend too well and can stick to blemishes rather than hide them. It looks quite cakey and sits on the skin rather than sinks into it. For a better effect mix it with a serum or moisturiser on your hand and then apply for a silkier finish.

Overall, elf is full of gorgeous little creatures that give a great helping hand in your makeup routine. To visit the website just click here.

~x~

Fashion: The Best Christmas Jumpers

1 Dec

The first day of December means we are officially allowed to go Christmas crazy. We can delve into our advent calendars, munch on mince pies, decorate our homes with sparkles and glitter, play our favourite Christmas songs (mine include Mariah (obviously), The Pogues and Bing Crosby, among many) and wear our Christmas jumpers with pride, excitement and honour.

The Christmas jumper used to be feared. Your nan’s knitting skills were put to the test and your fake smile was endured throughout Christmas day whilst you wore your garish ensemble. Now though, they are a fashion statement in their own right. Instead of hiding with embarrassment and fear, we’ve learnt to relish, cherish and flaunt our festive knits and treat Christmas day as an entire fashion season in itself for us to parade around the house modelling our new Chrsitmassy getups.

From the tacky to the triumphant, every designer is dibble-dabbling in Christmas Jumpers this year. So, rather than adding to your December shopping stresses, I’ve picked out some of the best Christmas jumpers around – all available in just a click of a button…

best christmas jumpers

1. Pale blue polka dot Christmas pudding jumper, £27.99 – New Look 

2. Red knitted jumper, £14.99 – H&M

3. Reindeer jumper, £35 – Phix

4. Father Christmas sweatshirt, £32 – Cath Kidston

5. Kana reindeer Christmas jumper, £16.99 – Missguided

6. Unisex blue reindeer knitted jumper, £39.99 – TruffleShuffle

7. Pink sequin snowflake sweater, £17.99 – New Look

8. Knitted stag crest jumper, £42 – Topshop

9. Roxy reindeer fairisle jumper, £15 – Boohoo

10. Mint green fluffy fairisle jumper, £27.99 – New Look

11. Knitted gingerbread man jumper, £42 – Topshop

12. Green reindeer print Christmas sweatshirt, £15 – Rokit

~x~