The Life Post | Christmas Round Up











So yes, New Years Eve is here which means Christmas is officially over. Boo! I always feel like post holiday blues when this day comes around. Then I remember it's NYE and I'm meant to be happy. Tonight I will be spending the evening with Adam, Amber and her boyfriend Sam. I'm sure there will be pictures to show, so until then I wanted to post about my lovely Christmas.

The Friday before Christmas I headed around Amber's for her Mum's Christmas party. A lot of wine was consumed, unfortunately not enough food which made for some interesting moments. One of my favourites being teaching the other ladies at the party our routines for Zumba. Interesting...

Christmas day was very chilled, as was Boxing Day. Mum was desperate for a Christmas jumper photo as well with the whole family so here you go. Enjoy!

Then on the 27th we had an annual Christmas dinner with friends, a really lovely evening with good food, good friends, and good old fashioned drawing games... GIRLS TEAM WON!

I hope your Christmas was as good as mine, and have an amazing New Year!

What's your New Years plans?

The Life | Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

 

 
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE! I hope you all had a great time over the festive season and Santa bought you everything you wanted and more!
 
I've been a bit quiet on the ole blog lately, I've been a bit ridiculously busy and had pretty much no time for myself whatsoever. Plus weather has been a bit shocking for photos!
However, from the New Year I am making a resolution to myself and you guys that I will be way more organised and sort it out! I'm getting myself a little blog schedule and everything (wow!). I have a lot of new ideas so keep an eye out!
 
Anywho, I wanna say a big thanks to everyone who has supported and followed the blog over the past year (and more). It means the world to me and I wouldn't still be going if it wasn't for you guys. I will be going a giveaway in the New Year as a big thank you.
 
You won't hear from me again until New Years day so - HAPPY NEW YEAR! Have an amazing evening and enjoy yourself!!
 


The Review | Barry M Berry Cosmo



Nails at Christmas. This is something that is very important to me. At this moment in time I am rocking deep Christmas Tree green, however one alternative that I love is this gorgeous berry offering from Barry M. Berry Cosmo is a beautiful deep plum colour, perfect for the winter and a nice alternative to the usual Christmas reds, greens and blues.

Barry M is a great alternative to the more expensive nail brands. At £2.99 it's purse friendly for this penny skrimping time of year. It's good quality, lasts for a good few days and really is gorgeous. Although I'm not a huge fan of the thin brushes from Barry M, this has been my go to at the moment.

You can find this in most Boots & Superdrug stores. Find it online here at Boots or or pop onto the Barry M website here.

What's your festive nail this evening?

The Review | Pure Colour Raisins




This product has been raved about continually about over blogs, yes it's Estee Lauder Raisins palette. I blame Tanya Burr and Zoella - they are where I first saw it and from there it seems to have spiralled. So much so it's ridiculously hard to get hold of. I was lucky enough to get it for my birthday last month. My Mum raves about the quality of Estee Lauder's products, and while I've tried a couple I've never been overly overwhelmed by them. This was a game changer.

The powder shadows are buttery soft, apply with ease and grace and stay for hours. These two colours are slightly different from my usual nude. They add an extra winter plum to the mix and change it up, yet still feel incredibly everyday and neutral. I use the paler colour as a base over my entire lid, and then the darker plum to contour by brushing through the crease and blending in the outer corner. It creates a beautiful look.

I've been turned into an eyeshadow gal. Mixed with my usual winged liner this is beautiful. If you can track this down I would get it. It's a tad pricey at £23.00, hence why it was on my birthday list. But it really is a beautiful, luxury product. You can by Estee Lauder Pure Colour Eyeshadow Duo in most Boots store, online here and Debenhams stores.

What's your luxury pick for the Christmas season?

The Review | Santa's Lip Scrub



This is definitely the most perfect Secret Santa gift of all time. It just screams it! Well, if you're buying for a girl anyway, not sure how much the boys will appreciate this. I will admit I actually bought this for my Secret Santa, then decided I wanted it for myself so got my SS something else so I could treat me. Whoops!

I have the Bubblegum version of this Lip Scrub and use it religiously. I get very dry lips, and I bite them as well which doesn't help, so I need all the help I can get. This isn't as coarse as the Bubblegum version, so basically it doesn't have as big bits for those with confused faces. It's a lot smoother so I've found it's better for everyday use rather than a proper scrub. It tastes of those cola bottle sweets (yum!) and is the same as the others, you can lick them straight off after use. I also love the little hearts on the top. Obviously after use they are gone but such a sweet little extra.

Stocking filler or Secret Santa, this is the perfect mini gift this Christmas. You can find the Santa's Lip Scrub in Lush stores and online here for £5.50.

What's keeping your lips supple this winter?

Gift Guide | Christmas Daddy


Carrying on with my little gift guide series we have the gifts for your Dad. If you're Dad is like mine he is pretty impossible to buy for. Men! Not easy, but here are a couple of fool proof ideas to take you through the festive season.

A recent brand for me, however I've since been told Seth from the OC wore this all the time. Now I love it! Really cool designs and great quality as well I would highly recommend a browse. We have an outlet shop near us and Dad received a couple of discounted tees for his birthday last Friday and loved them.

Most men love Ted Baker. They do professional style goodies and lets face it - you can never go wrong with some funky socks! These are presented in a lovely little gift box and come in lots of different designs. A great brand for the older gentleman.

Dad came home the other day to me watchig this and immediately sat down and starting singing along. It's one of his favourites, and one we've had on video but never gone over to DVD. It's the same with most classic older films so jump on Amazon and track down his fave.

Again, most men love Paul Smith. My Dad included. They do some really funky, signature designs and who can go wrong with a good quality notebook for work. It's a necessity for any professional man or if they just like a bit of a funky pattern.

Men always need another set of cufflinks so why not give them something a little bit special. Give them some initial cufflinks, personal but simple. You can choose the font and the letters you want and it's really not breaking the bank.

Hope this helps for the Dad, it's getting so close now - just over a week away! I hope you're enjoying the run up as much as I am.

What are you getting your Dad for Christmas?

The Comparison | Boots v Bourjois Nail Polish Remover



When Bourjois released their Magic Nail Varnish Remover the entire blogging world went a bit crazy for it. Myself included - you can see my initial review here. Personally I loved it, raved about it and recommend to all of my friends and family. It really is a great little product and I've repurchased a few times since. However, when I went into a small Boots store the other day to get another one they didn't have it, just this little Boots number. If I'm honest I didn't read the bottle properly. I saw "Nail" and "Remover" and just assumed it was the same thing. However it was an artificial nail remover, but works amazingly as a nail varnish remover as well.


The main difference is the inside of the pot. The Bourjois version has a foam inside soaked in remover. You pop your finger in, swish it around and out your finger pops. The Boots version has soft plastic spikes pointing inward with a pool of remover. Again, put your finger in for a couple of seconds and the rub around the spokes and voila, all gone. Both work great a varnish remover. The Bourjois version is easier for transport, with the Boots one I'm worried the liquid will come out. However, the Bourjois foam holds darker colours which then goes onto your own finger. 

One big plus I've found with Boots version comes when taking off glitter nail varnish and top coats. The Bourjois version isn't the best, which I'm sure most people will tell you. However the Boots version is amazing. Th e spokes really help to dislodge the glitter from the nail and comes off within seconds.



As you can see! It really dislodges the glitter and is perfect for it. I would say the liquid is a lot harsher than the Bourjois one, but you can pop your own remover inside when this is used up/dirty. You can get both from Boots, the Bourjois Magic Nail Polish Remover for £4.99 and Boots Perfect Finish Artificial Nail Remover for £3 I believe. I haven't been able to find it online but it was in the section of the false nails in Boots so if you look there you should find it.

Which would you choose?


Gift Guide | Christmas Mum


I love buying for my Mum, it's like buying for myself! She has great taste and I would love to steal half her cosmetics, and wardrobe come to that! So what do you buy the woman who seemingly has everything?

Again (like yesterday) a smaller size than the usual so more likely to be used and in gorgeous packaging. Kenzo is a beautiful fragrance and very sophisticated. I love the bottle, it looks ever so pretty on the shelf and is perfect for the older lady.

My Mum has recently discovered Nails Inc and is loving the quality so far, so this little gift set would be perfect. On the pricier side, however it has one colour for every month to suit the stereotype. There are some gorgeous colours in here.

Probably one of my Mum's favourite films. It's classic Christmas, old school and perfect in every way. It reminds me of being in New York with her as well so it's reminiscent and means something to us. It was always one of my favourite childhood films as well.

You cannot go wrong with Yankee Candle when it comes to my Mum, or any Mum I know for that matter. They do some gorgeous candle holders as well as some lovely scented candles to pop inside. I would definitely recommend popping into your local seller to take a peek.

I love the diaries in Paperchase. The collections are incredibly pretty and there is a lot of butterfly patterns, which my Mum happens to love as much as me. A diary is nearly always essential at Christmas for the New Year, so why not have one of style!

So there you have it. A gift guide basically based on my own Mother, but I'm sure it's adaptable to your own!

What will you be getting your Mum for Christmas?

Gift Guide | Christmas Boyfriend


I know a lot of couples that go all out for Christmas, spending hundreds. Me and Adam always tend to spend a lot less. Both our birthdays are in November, as is our anniversary so it's a bit of a strain money wise so we try to keep costs down. But here are some great gift ideas for anyones budget!

I haven't met a guy yet that doesn't love this series. Me and Adam watch it religiously when it comes out and I've already bought him both series so I would definitely recommend popping this in his stocking. Just be warned - it's not for the faint hearted!

Boys can never have enough scarfs. Let's face it, they are always loosing them. A simple warm scarf is definitely the way to go, and navy is one of the easiest colours to style for a guy - I know it goes with most of Adam's wardrobe anyway!

As with yesterday's guide, a phone case is a nice easy present to get. A lovely little stocking filler/tree present and is usually really easy to find one that suits your guy. In my case a pokeball design. Maybe the most manly of pokemon cases available!

I love Diesel's scents and this is one of my favourites, a gift set is always handy when it comes to fragrances and it's always a nice gift. This is a smaller version, I'm usually inundated with fragrance gift sets so a smaller one is perfect for giving a new scent a try.

I've bought Adam a couple of these over the years. Definitely a great present, simple, yet so useful and very comfy when you accidentally steal them! They are very durable and hello, Calvin Klein?! What guy is ever really going to say no to CK.

Guys are traditionally very hard work to buy for. I'm quite lucky that Adam is usually quite easy, maybe because I know him so well now, but still. I wish anyone luck for buying for a guy so I hope my little list has helped!

What do you suggest for your boyfriend?

Gift Guide | Christmas Best Friend

So, I've been a bit quiet this past week. I've had a couple of really hectic weeks but I'm back this week with a series of gift guides leading up to the festive season and then back next week with a whole load of reviews! So let's get started...


So me and my bff Amber don't actually do Christmas presents. My birthday is in November and hers is January so it's just a bit hectic and too much weight on money issues. However, one day (when we win the lottery) we will do this so here are some of my picks for gifts for your bff.

I got this for my birthday and I love it. I loved Lauren in The Hills and this book is full of all of her little tips and tricks with beauty. It contains some amazing techniques actually and it's a lot better than I thought it could be. It exceeded my expectations and I think every girl should have a book like this.

Accessorize do some extremely pretty and wearable friendship bracelets. I got some for my birthday (again) but these ones are gorgeous. Some lovely colours and flowers are just a no brainer. What better gift to give then friendship bracelets to a great friend!

I love cute little phone cases. They are super sweet and owls are everywhere at the moment. I'm falling for everything owl so it would be my first choice. A bit kooky but one for everyone I believe. Most cases are for iphones and luckily that is exactly the phone my bestie has.

Topshop have some really great gift sets at the moment and my personal favourite is the smokey eye kit. It comes in both brown and black, I've chosen the brown one here as it's more subtle and has some very pretty shades in the eyeshadow palette.

How cute is this? You can choose what colour background you have and you also put your own friendship definition at the bottom as well, making it more personal to you and your friend. This is definitely one to tug on the heart strings and I love it.

A best friend is definitely not someone you should take for granted. Show them you care this Christmas. I may not be doing pressies with mine but we are going for lunch on Christmas Eve - her idea as she knows that's a hard day to stay at home for me (long story). A best friend is for life, mine certainly is anyway!

What are you buying your best friend for Christmas?



Make Up | Luv It Up

  




Benefit have some amazing little kits at the moment - perfect for Christmas, and for me it was perfect timing for my birthday. I received this gorgeous little neutrals kit for my birthday from Adam's grandparents and the shadows haven't really left my face since.

This kit comes with three powder shadows, one cream shadow and a lip gloss. It also comes with a little leaflet on how best to apply these products. I apply the cream eyeshadow, R.S.V.P, all over the lids and up to the brows. I then apply Nude Swings over the lid up to the crease. I love this colour, it's a gorgeous pinky nude with a very subtle hint of shimmer. Next up I pop Thanks a Latte in the corners and blend into the crease for contour. Call My Bluff is then used along the brow line as a highlighter. Perfect nude eyes!

The lipgloss in the kit is Dandelion, I'm not usually one for lip gloss however this could quite easily change my mind. This is the first lip gloss from Benefit I've tried and I will be going back for more. It's a gorgeous nude colour with a hint of gloss, not sticky, and very long lasting.

If you're looking for a little beauty gift for someone this Christmas I would definitely recommend hitting a Benefit stand and taking a look at their sets. It's the perfect present for any make up lover. The kit "Let's Make Lovely" is definitely going on my Christmas list!

What Benefit make up kit is on your Christmas List?

Nails | Essie Lux Collection

 





Happy December everyone! Who can believe we are here already? How quick has 2013 gone? I'm quite excited as I cannot wait to do my 2013 favourites at the end of the month, and I have a few days off over Christmas this year so I cannot wait. Now... back to the post!

For my birthday I was very kindly gifted three gorgeous pieces from the new Essie Lux Collection - a little winter exclusive full of glitter, sequined top coats. Gorgeous and perfect for the Christmas party season. So let's take a look at them in more detail...

A Cut Above ---
A gorgeous metallic pink top coat, filled with different sized glitter that adds a very cute dimension. Perfect over a dark grey for a seriously cute girly look with edge or a deep berry.

Pure Pearlfection ---
I had to pop this over a dark colour to really show you. It's a really pretty iridescent white, pearl colour (hence the name) and is perfect on its own for a touch of sheen or over another colour.

Stroke of Brilliance ---
The same as A Cut Above, but the most perfect beautiful blues, a mix of different sizes adds dimension and I personally love the colours. Perfect over a deep navy blue or a pearly white.

These are definitely my favourites out of the entire collection, there are five in total but these are my picks. As will all Essie nail polishes they are really long lasting and good quality. 

What's your pick from the Lux Collection?

Outfit | Winter Exercise

I have been getting a lot more serious about exercise lately - I have a a gym membership and a sudden desire to go running (if it wasn't dark everytime I wanted to go that is). The only this I lack is a good gym wardrobe.
At the moment I am popping on some old leggings, a baggy tshirt and a jumper. Comfy yes, but looking good?
Not a chance... I've popped together three looks here to inspire me into sorting out my exercise wardrobe and yours... And let's face it. Who doesn't love pink? These types of outfits are great and inspire me to get fit and healthy - what about you?


Tshirt: Footlocker | Shorts: Dance Direct | Shoes: Footlocker | Towel: Sports Direct
I LOVE Zumba. I took part in a Zumbathon a couple of years back and although hard, it was so much fun. Now I go every week with my bestie Amber and we love it. I always feel like I've had a good work out but I enjoy it so I always want to go back. A good airy outfit is perfect for a hot work out studio.


Hoodie: Dance Direct | Leggings: JD Sports | Bottle: Sports Direct
When I push myself, I really do enjoy going for a good run. I pop in my ipod and just zone out for an hour. It's getting colder so popping on a hoodie and leggings will help to me that bit warmer! Running is so good for working every part of your body, and helping clear your mind if it's in need of a breeze through.


Top: Footlocker | Bra: Footlocker | Bag: Sports Direct | Leggings: JD Sports
When it's just too darn dark outside I like going to the gym itself. Have a go on the treadmill for a good half an hour and working it out on the cross trainer. I really do need a sports bra - normal bra's really just aren't good enough! Like running I just pop my ipod in and go for it, head cleared and body healthier - well, it's getting there!

I usually go in waves of trying to be healthy and do exercise, such as before holiday or after Christmas, but really I want to stay this way all year round and everyday. I'm not going to pretend I'm the expert - but I am getting there with staying fit. 

What do you wear to stay fit?

*This post is written in association with Dance Direct.





Make Up | Super-Colour Fabu Lipstick






SOAPY & GLORY SUPER-COLOUR FABU LIPSTICK IN BLUSH PINK

My second foray into S&G cosmetics and I am officially hooked. Why did I not try them before?! I felt the need to buy myself a new natural lip colour, but one with a hint of mauve to it and this fits the bill perfectly. I think lipsticks for more mauve/purple tones are perfect for winter and actually really suit my complexion.

This is a blush pink, as the name suggests, and glides on effortlessly. It's an incredibly comfortable lipstick to wear. It was in their matte lipstick range, bt this isn't very matte at all, it's more of a satin finish which I actually prefer. Staying power is about 4/5 hours without eating or drinking anything.

I also LOVE the packaging. It's a gorgeous matte black that screams quality to me and I love the S&G carved into the bullet. Not exatly needed but I like it.

I will definitely be picking more of these up. They are on the slighlty more pricey side of the drugstore brands, which is possibly why I've not tried them sooner, but they are gorgeous, good quality lipsticks. I can't wait to try my next one!

What's your favourite S&G make up product?



Outfit | Birthday Suit






cardigan: h&M | dress: topshop | necklace: lola rose | boots: schuh

So, it may be nearly two weeks later but this is what I wore on my birthday - hence the name. No, I'm not naked - sorry to disappoint! This outfit is made up of three pieces I got for my birthday as well.

Firstly the dress, one I have been coveting for a while. It's so different in terms of patterns, mixing it up is very not me, but I wanted to be daring and I love this. It fits so perfectly and is the epitome of a gorgeous shift dress.
I always look forward to getting Lola Rose for my birthday. This is one of their new pieces and I love it. It's big and long and versatile. It'll go with absolutely everything. And the boots, you've probably seen them in black on here but tan is awesome as well. I blame Miss Paige for these completely. So comfortable and really the only shoes my foot feels comfortable in at the moment.

I love this outfit, it was so comfortable on my birthday and perfect for a relaxed lunch with the fam. I can just imagine wearing a jumper over this dress for when it gets colder, or even popping a shirt underneath to have a collar sticking out the top. Who knows!

Also, today is my six year anniversary with my lovely boyfriend. Six years eek! It's gone so quickly and I cannot wait for the next six...!



Do you love this dress? How would you mix patterns?


Make Up | ELF All Over Colour Stick





I love the concept of these. One product that you can use on your eyes, cheeks and lips. Great concept but does it live up to it?

Personally I'm going to have to say no. I love these on my cheeks. A quick sweep, blend and voila. Done and looking great, natural and understated. Lips aren't too bad either, I just find it a bit harder to apply as it's a rather large face, but it can be done and again, looks really nice. Eyes on the other hand was just a disaster for me. Sorry but it just didn't work.

Really I did get these for the cheeks mainly so I'm not too disheartened. Lilac Petal is the lighter of the too, not very lilac at all I don't think, just a very pale yellow toned pink with a touch of shimmer to it. Very pretty but not too pigmented. Pink Lemonade wins it for me. It's a gorgeous rose pink that has just the right amount of pigmentation for a gorgeous glow on your cheeks.

For the price they are really nice little products. I've not used Lilac Petal an awful lot as I don't really think it does a lot, but Pink Lemonade is really cute.

Have you tried any all over make up products before?


Skin Care | Spot Busting Treatments


I am one of those people that is highly sceptical of anything that promises to get rid of your spots. From experience very little actually delivers on that promise and I've spend so much money trying different things with little success. However, there are two products I've discovered that I always go to when my skin decides to play up. What rebellious skin I have!

Both of these are treatments, so an addition to your cleanse, tone and moisturise routine. I use either one of these, depending on my mood, after toning and before moisturising. La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo is the first of the two that I tried. Very gel like in consistency I've found this is really good at calming redness and spots down, reducing them. It's quite drying so tends to dehydrate the spots so I guess that's why they shrink. The second of the two is the Origins Make a Difference Plus + which is amazing when you're having just really bad skin weeks. It just clears the skin up and keeps them at bay. Whereas the Effaclar Duo is good at diffusing them once they are here, the Make A Difference Plus + is good at keeping them away. I use this most days and then the Effaclar Duo for days when the Origins is losing it's battle against my naughty skin.

Either of these two is definitely worth getting. Effaclar Duo I would recommend if you're one a bit of a budget, however if you want to dish out a bit more then grab the Make a Difference Plus+ as it's definitely worth it.

What spot busters work for you?

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