Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Three Winter Nail Polish Looks

Today I thought I would share with you three of my recent nail polish looks. They all feature glitter but all in a different way.

First up (top left) is Essie's Toggle To The Top, a beautiful red garnet shade with glitter inside the polish. It's a fabulous pigmented shade which is so easy to apply and easy to wear. 

Next (top right) is Essie's After School Boy Blazer, this a beautiful navy polish which looks great on it's own. However, I decided to top it with Stroke of Brilliance, which is also by Essie. I applied the glitter in an ombre effect, so it builds to be more pigmented at the top of the nail.

Last but not least (bottom right) we have Barry M's Fashion Icon, which is from the Glitterati collection. This is a beautiful gel based polish, the glitter is a gorgeous purple shade which is really impressive on the nails.

What is your favourite nail polish look for winter?

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

It's Not Too Late To Pick Up A Bargain...

Boxing Day Sales

I know what you're thinking; "Stephanie is a bit late with a Boxing Day sales blog post"! However, you'd be wrong! If you're still sitting on some Christmas money and fancy picking up a bargain, you're not too late. In fact there are still some pretty good bargains to be had! 

Bargain Polishes
Let me first run you through the items I've treated myself to in the sale! I had my eyes on the Alexa Chung nail polish sets from Nails Inc since they launched. So when I spotted the 'Be Gelous' collection when I was out shopping, I couldn't resist. You can pick it up from John Lewis and ASOS (here). I also spotted the little individual polishes from Nails Inc also in the sale, I love 'Whitechapel Snowflake' which is now only £10 (here). If like me you're a fan of Topshop makeup, you'll be pleased to hear you can pick up their Christmas tree decorations for £2! Click here to shop.

Pretty Palettes
Then I paid a visit to Illamasqua and it went downhill rapidly! The Semblance Palette (buy here) had actually featured on my Christmas wish list, so when it was marked down with 50% off my heart literally skipped a beat. I actually placed a second order yesterday afternoon because I spotted the Reflection Palette for £10?! That's a saving of 70%, wow! You can buy that here.

A Little 'Me Time'
The Deep Sleep range from thisworks is heavenly and you can grab a lot of items in the sale now. I'm personally finding it hard to resist the thisworks deep sleep candle which is now only £16 (here). Frosted Cranberry was my favourite scent from the Body Shop this year. I actually relieved a gift set under the Christmas Tree, but I cannot resist the 'Tin of Delights' for much longer!

P.S you can click the link to view this list on Polyvore

Monday, 29 December 2014

Party Prep with You Beauty

If you don't know how You Beauty works, every month You Beauty select products and send you a list. You then pick two products that you want to try and you get a few little samples too. It only costs £6.95, which includes postage and packaging. It's such a bargain and you can subscribe here. 

This month You Beauty was all about Party Prep, providing everything you need for the party season. There were a lot of great products to choose from and it's was tough to pick what I wanted. However, I narrowed it down to two items that I'm really excited about! First up is the Colab Dry Shampoo (available here) which I already have and LOVE! This is the brand new dry shampoo from Ruth Crilly and it's just fantastic. I have a full sized can but I figured these would be great for travelling, as I'm actually off to America again in January. 

The second product I went for was the Teeez Head Over Heels nail polish. I opted for Frosted Gleam which is a clear polish with silver glitter. It's bound to be perfect for glittery manicures!

Did you get the You Beauty Discovery Box this month? What did you pick?

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Roger & Gallet Lait Sorbet

Lait Sorbet is the latest in body care innovation from Roger & Gallet. Lait Sorbet are body lotions, but they have been created with hydration in mind. They aim to work in harmony with your skin with the use of botanical oils. The oils are then blended with Aloe Vera, Avocado Oil, Meadowfoam Oil and Micro-Pearls to create the Lait Sorbet formula.

There are a collection of four products in the Lait Sorbet collection and the one I have here is Bois D'orange*. Each of the Lait Sorbets have a specific benefit and Bois D'orange is 'feel invigorated' - it has a really uplifting scent which aims to revive you. 

The lotion has a quite light texture which turns into liquid when it contacts the skin. I press the pump a few times and then rub my hands together. This warms the lotion and turns it into it's more liquid form. I apply it like any other moisturiser, taking time to rub it in upward motions. It's not greasy and absorbs into the skin pretty darn quickly. You can get dressed almost straight away after application, which is always a plus! 

Bois D'orange is created with 95% of natural ingredients with are free with parabens, silicones, artificial colourings and mineral oils. They retail for £14 and you can pick them from M&S (here) and Escentual (here). 

Saturday, 27 December 2014

ESPA Refining Skin Polish

This is one of those products that I've had in my stash for a long time! I actually won this in an advent competition in 2013 and I never got around to trying it. I've been quite interested in skincare recently and I figured it was time to try this out.

The ESPA Refining Skin Polish is a exfoliator that aims to deeply cleanse and renew. The formula itself is a cream which has little exfoliating beads inside of it. It's got quite a rough texture to it when you touch it but it feels nice on the skin. To use the polish you make your skin damn and apply the cream to your skin. You then massage it around your face in circular motions. You then have to rinse it off thoroughly, really throughly! Otherwise you apply your foundation and you end up finding little beads.

I started using this while my skin was having some weird breakouts. I was getting spots that were really deep under the skin but really painful and huge. ESPA say that if you're skin is oily you should only use this every 7-10 days. So, I started using this once a week on a Sunday and I saw a good difference in my skin. It's definitely left my skin feeling brighter and it's made my skin more of an even texture. 

You have to spare a moment to talk about the packaging - it's gorgeous! It's a heavy glass jar with a marble effect lid. It looks impressive on the countertop! 

If you fancy giving this a try you can pick it up for £26 here at Liberty London

Friday, 26 December 2014

Bronzed and Blushing

Sephora Bronzed and Blushing Face Palette, $15

The best thing about Sephora shipping to the UK, is that I no longer feel bad for reviewing things on here, because you can all get hold of things! This is the Sephora Bronzed and Blushing Face Palette. The palette features two blushers; one classic pink and one bright pink. It also has a bronzer shade which is perfect for my pale skin! The three powders come packaged in a gorgeous black sleek palette with rose gold Sephora branding. There's also a great mirror for applying on-the-go!

Moving left to right the shades are officially called Los Cabos Bronzer, Blushing Pink and Coral Punch. The blushers are fantastically pigmented and they are easy to apply, I've used a variety of brushes with them all they all work wonderfully! The bronzer is less pigmented and requires some building. This is great for a contour newbie like me as it means you're less likely to make mistakes.

I cannot believe that this little palette costs a tiny $15?! It's amazing value for money! 

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Christmas Chaos

Today I was planning to show you pictures of my new home and my festive decorations.  I imagined cute pictures of the Christmas Tree set up in place, with the presents all around it on the floor. However, the truth is I don’t have a Christmas Tree yet and I don’t have a single room finished to show off.

If you follow me on Twitter you probably know that on Saturday Chris and I moved home. We bought our first place in February and since then we’ve been renovating every single room. We decided in October that we would host Christmas the race began to get everything finished. It’s safe to say we went down to the wire, in fact many things are not finished. However, we still decided to work around it all and host Christmas anyway.

As I type we have 20-odd boxes dotted all around the house and unbuilt furniture waiting in every room. We even have a washing machine in the middle of our living room – it’s total chaos. The stress of this is unexplainable, I’m running on very little sleep and I’m feeling very under the weather.

The PLAN is today that we will make some good progress and tonight I’ll be frantically decorating our tree. Who knows what tomorrow will bring, but what I do know is that there will be turkey, pigs in blankets and mince pies!

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and I’ll be back with another blog post on Boxing Day!

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Newgate Clock From Coggles

In my last Look Fantastic Beauty Box, I got a little voucher for £10 off at Coggles. Coggles is a online designer shopping store, which was founded in 1974. Coggles had a lot of gorgeous items, but I did not have a lot of pennies to spare, so I opted for this clock.

I have a bit of a soft spot for Newgate Clocks, there's something very classic and classy about them. I obviously opted for a white one, it's official name is the 'Covent Garden Small Alarm Clock'. It's going to match our new bedroom beautifully. The good news is - it's not just pretty, it's practical too as it has a built in alarm clock! 

This little clock retails for £12 and it's just very simple but very pretty. I'm a big fan of it, I cannot wait to unpack this and put it on my dressing table. If this little clock catches your eye, you can pick it up from Coggles (here) or from John Lewis (here).

Monday, 22 December 2014

Stay Matte With Liquid Mousse From Rimmel

The Stay Matte Liquid Mousse foundation from Rimmel London, is definitely something different for your makeup bag. 

This foundation aims to give you matte flawless finish, with a feather light texture. As normal with mousse foundations, it's best to use your fingers. However, I have used both the Expert Face Brush and the Buffing Brush from Real Techniques and you get a great finish. You just tend to gunk up your brushes fairly quickly, so you need to wash them regularly! The texture is fairly thick, I don't think that you can describe it as 'lightweight' but I don't find it OTT. It doesn't have a scent and it applies smooth to the skin. 

I picked up the shade that I always pick from Rimmel, which is 'ivory'. It tends to be the lightest from Rimmel and it always suits my skin perfectly. Of course the packaging for this is opaque, so it does not let you see the shade through the bottle. The formula does cover a whole multitude of sins, it covered dark circles and redness. It's probably not buildable, because of how thick it is I don't think you'd want to wear more than one layer.

This is definitely one if you have oily skin, with dry skin I think that this foundation would cling to your dry patches. I really love this foundation, it gives a good coverage and I love the finish on my skin. It lasts well too, I've worn this to work, I've worn it commuting and it stays put!

The Stay Matte Liquid Mousse foundation from Rimmel London retails for £5.99, you can pick it up here

Sunday, 21 December 2014

A Christmas Manicure

If you're still looking for a Christmas manicure, I have a suggestion. I'm a bit of a wimp when it comes to red nails! I rarely rock red on my nails as I just don't think it suits me. However, when it comes to Christmas I cannot resist slicking red on and rocking it (at least until boxing day).

For this Christmas manicure, I went for a tale of two parts. I started with Ciate's 'Mistress' - I slicked on three coats as it takes quite a few to become opaque. I'm a big fan of this colour as it's got an orange undertone, but you can choose any red you like!

I topped the red with the limited edition glitter from Barry M. This shade is called 'Jingle Bells' and it's just gorgeous. It is packed with gold dots, lines and stars with red flecks too. Paired together these make a perfect Christmas manicure!

Jingle Bells is available for £3.99 here.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Puffy The Eye Bag Slayer

One for the party season today as I'm talking about the Puffy The Eye Bag Slayer eye patches from Anatomicals. I've actually had these in my stash since January waiting to be tested out! Puffy The Eye Bag Slayer are pairs of eye patches that aim to reduce dark circles and signs of ageing.

This is actually the first product I've tried from Anatomicals, their packaging always catches my eye. They are very 'tongue-in-cheek' and always use bright colours. You get little sachets that are filled with liquid with two gel patches. 

You take the patches out of the packet (watching for the liquid escaping) and place them under your eyes. This is a bit of a fiddly process - they are prone to falling off, so you have to be a bit patient. The gel patches have a really nice cooling effect on the skin, so it's nice and relaxing. For best results they advise you to leave these on for 30 minutes, I only managed to keep them on for 15 minutes but I did see a big difference. My eyes felt really hydrated and the skin felt nice and soft.

For me these are a bit of a gimmick, but they are a great addition to a pamper night. £6 gets you three sets, so they hardly break the bank! You can pick them up from ASOS here.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Clarins Ombre Matte Collection

Now this is a new eyeshadow from Clarins and it's from the Ombre Matte collection. It's a texture that had me completely confused! Looking at it in the pan it just looks like a matt eyeshadow, but it's actually a new cream-to-powder texture. It has the smoothness of a cream shadow, but with the hold of a powder. Sounds perfect right?

The Ombre Matte shadows are part of the autumn collection for Clarins and they come in brown and nude shades. Here I have is Nude Pink, which is exactly what it says on the tin! The best way I've found to apply this is with my fingers, I just use this lovely shadow as a base. Then I top it with other shadows to create whatever look I'm going for. It's really creamy and it applies really easily and it holds in place too, it's the perfect base!

I cannot leave without giving the packing a mention. It comes in the classic red Clarins box and opening the box reveals a gorgeous gold lid. It's got an angle on one side with a 'C' embossed on the edge. 

You can pick up the Ombre Matte Eyeshadows from Escentual for £19 (here).

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Glossybox December

It's December, which naturally means Christmas themed beauty boxes. This year Glossybox have gone for a red, white and green theme. It has super cute green snowflakes all over the box and the tissue paper.

Inside the box I've got five products, which for once are a mixture of skincare, haircare, makeup and nail products! It's nice and refreshing to have a bit of a varied box. First up is the Renewal Hair & Scalp tonic by TRESemme (£5.50 here). I actually picked this up for my mother-in-law and she's a big fan. It's a great product if you suffer which an itchy scalp as it soothes the itch. Next in the box is a Cheek and Lip Stain from Bellapierre
 (£12.99 here) which is actually a cream texture! We've had lots of Bellapierre products in Glossybox in the past but they've all been powders. 

Next in the box is 'Zap! Zap! Zap! Gets That Chap' from Anatomicals (£3 here). In english this is a Day and Night Spot Stick. This is a dual ended stick which has two different spot fighting solutions. For the nails we have a polish from 'All That Jazz' (£9.98 here) it's red and it's glittery what else do you need for the festive season?! I've never used this brand before so I'm really excited to try it out. The last item in the box is the SKINPEP Hydra-Boost Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum (£8.99 here). We actually got some products from Skin PEP in the September box which I haven't tried them yet. This sounds fabulous and perfect for the winter time!

All in all, it's not a horrendous box, but I'm not sure if it's good enough to stop me unsubscribing. What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Teeez Eyeshadow Brush

Teeez Flat Stiff Eyeshadow Brush

I got this little eyeshadow brush in a Glossybox not long ago and I've been meaning to try it out for ages! I remember seeing the box straight away, it was bold and colourful. I actually thought it was going to be a liquid eyeliner, so when it was an eyeshadow brush, I was pleasantly surprised.

The brush comes decorated with the same pattern which is on the box, which moves into a gold top with white bristles. The hairs on the brush are densely packed which allows you to really pack on the shadow. This means it is great for packing on the glitter for a festive look! It's fairly soft but I'd recommend using another brush for blending out the shadow as it's very stiff. Overall though it's really easy to use, and with it's bright packaging, you're certainly unlikely to lose it! 

I googled to find out a bit more about this brush, but weirdly it's pretty hard to find. I can't seem to find it anywhere in the UK to buy, which is a bit odd! Maybe it's a brand that is on it's way to the UK? If anyone knows more about the brand do let me know! 

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Alana By Wild About Beauty

Don't you just love it when you find something fantastic in a beauty box? I picked this little eyeshadow out in a past You Beauty Discovery Box. This is the Wild About Beauty Eyeshadow in Alana, which is a gorgeous brown shade with some subtle shimmer.

I can quite openly say that I'm very much a palette girl, so single eyeshadows do not normally do it for me. However, there is something about this that I just love. The packaging is gorgeous, I love the purple colour scheme and the little bee embossed in the shadow is lovely. 

The pigmentation of this eyeshadow is really commendable! You barely have to touch your brush in the shadow and you get a full wash of colour. I've been wearing this in the crease and it's so easy to blend out! I just had to tell you all about this eyeshadow as I'm now a big fan! These shadows cost £13 and you can pick them up on the Wild About Beauty website (here). 

Monday, 15 December 2014

Ciatè Mini Mani Manor Week Two

You guys seemed to really like my Ciatè roundup last week, where I showed you the contents of my advent calendar! So I'm back again with my roundup of week two! I won't waste time blabbering, lets just get stuck straight in to the contents shall we?

Day Eight: Big Yellow Taxi
Big Yellow Taxi is the bright yellow polish on the wheel. I know what you're thinking, a yellow nail polish? I definitely thought the same! I have no idea when I'm ever going to use this but it actually swatches really nicely. It needs a couple of coats though as it's a bit streaky in one coat.

Day Nine: Prima Ballerina 
Prime Ballerina is a bright pink loose glitter! I need to get some kind of brush or something to apply this with, I haven't tried it yet but I fear it might be messy!

Day Ten: Mineral Clarity
Now this is my favourite polish of the whole week! This is a gorgeous deep blue textured glitter. This looks so impressive when I swatched it, so I cannot wait to wear this as a full manicure. It reminds me of the Essie textured polishes which are some of my favourites.

Day Eleven: Strawberry Milkshake
Day eleven revealed Strawberry Milkshake, which looks exactly like it's name. It's formula is similar to 'Big Yellow Taxi' it's creamy and looks beautiful. It's quite streaky again so it needs a couple of coats! It's actually unlike colours I normally buy, so it's good to have one in my collection.

Day Twelve: Let It Snow
Let It Snow is another gorgeous glitter, but this one is holographic! It's absolutely beautiful and I cannot wait to get this on my nails! 

Day Thirteen: Silhouette
Silhouette is a deep burngandy shade which has some glitter running through it. It's like 'Toggle To The Top' by Essie, only with a lot less glitter. I thought this was going to be my favourite polish of the whole week. However, I actually used this polish on Saturday and it was a little disappointing. Although its a gorgeous colour, it look a lot of coats to get a full coverage and I got tip wear straight away! 

Day Fourteen: Unrestricted Glam
Last buy not least this week is Unrestricted Glam, which is apparently a glossy jet black. I will say that it's more grey in two coats, but maybe it gets darker with a third coat. It's a good basic shade to have, I don't own any black shades! 

So that concludes the contents for my second week of the Ciatè Mini Mani Manor. What is your favourite shade?


Sunday, 14 December 2014

GOSH Giant Blush

There is something ever so handy about this cheek stick concept! It's definitely nothing new, but it's not yet something I've tried until I got my hands on this. The GOSH Giant Blush was released in the summer and ever since I'd been itching to try them! I cannot think of any products that I've tried from GOSH in the past, they are definitely a new brand for me. 

I have the shade 'Passion' which is a gorgeous deep pink, it's a lovely rose shade. You can probably see by the swatch that the formula of these is really creamy. They glide on to the skin with ease without dragging and blend out to a powder finish. They are really pigmented too, this swatch is just a light touch and you get a strong colour with ease. They do dry quite quickly though, so you need to be quick! 

I know that everyone applies these kinds of things differently. I've been applying a stripe of this to my cheeks and then blending out with my brushes. I've tried a few different ones, but I've found my Real Techniques Expert Face Brush to be the most successful. They leave a really strong colour on your cheeks, which is really dewy and pretty. Probably not a for you if you happen to be a fan of matte finishes. For me however, they are perfect, they will definitely be coming with me on my travels in January!

These are really affordable, they are only £6.99 and you can pick them up in Superdrug (here).

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Look Fantastic Beauty Box | December

Look Fantastic have held the 'Best Beauty Box' title since it's launch and they are still going strong this month. This box just does it for me, although sometimes I get an odd item that is a bit of a dud, it's normally pretty good! December is no exception, so I thought I'd share the contents with you!

First up we have the Macadamia Oil Infused Comb
I've always been interested by these combs so I'm excited to finally have one of these in my collection. The Macadamia Oil Infused Comb is a detangling comb which treats your hair with oil as you style. The comb itself is made of resin and the oil is distributed evenly inside. (£6 here

Next up is this super handy Lord & Berry Couture Kohl Kajal Eye Pencil
I tweeted not to long ago that I didn't have any basic black eyeliners and now they seem to be popping up everywhere. This is a travel friendly option, which claims silky, smooth and semi matte rich colour. It's gentle enough to use on the upper or inner lid, so I'll definitely be experimenting. By the looks of it people got a variety of different Lord and Berry items, some people got a full sized eyeliner and some have lipglosses. (£12 here)

Another makeup up item in the box is the Bourjois Intense Smokey Eyeshadow Trio
I love the look of this little trio! They colours are all purple hues which is perfect for me as I have green eyes. You get two eyeshadows and an eyeliner which is really handy! These retail for £7.99.

Moving onto skincare items now and we have the Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel
I've not tried this but it sounds amazing! It's a natural exfoliator packed with Papaya and Pineapple! You apply this to your face 20 minutes and then rinse it off to reveal a smooth and bright complexion. You get 15ml which is a pretty decent size for testing! (£29.50 for 50ml here

I've heard a lot about Ole Henriksen but I've never tried anything. So I'm super excited to have a sample of the Pure Truth Youth Activating Oil. This is a lightweight citrus scented oil which penetrates deeply to heal, nourish and hydrate! (£23.50 here)

Another skincare product is the Murad Essential C Cleanser. I love Murad products and they seem to crop up quite a lot in beauty boxes. The cleanser aims to improve moisture in your skin, soothes environmentally damaged skin and remove impurities. (The full sized bottle of this retails for £34 here)

There's a lifestyle item in the box too, which is the only item I'm not so keen on. This is the Pure Gold Collagen Drink. I actually got one of these in my You Beauty Discovery Box not too long ago and I haven't yet tried it! You pick these up in a box of ten and it's a ten day course. The drink is peach and passionfruit flavoured and it aims to improve your skins appearance from within! (£35.99 here

I'm really impressed with this box, Look Fantastic seem to pick things out that really interest me. Beauty boxes are so personal, so I'd love to know what you think of the product selection! The Look Fantastic boxes retail for £15 which includes free delivery. I think it's incredible value for what you tend to get inside! If you like the look of the Look Fantastic box, you can by them here.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Jingle Bells

Jingle Bells is a limited edition nail polish from Barry M for Christmas. I can never resist a glitter polish from Barry M at Christmas time. They are always fabulous and worth every penny! Jingle Bells is a clear nail polish with red and gold glitter specks. There are also some super cute stars which I love! It's the perfect combination of colour and style for Christmas time! I've layered this over a whole host of coloured bases and it looks fabulous! The polish is really easy to apply, the formula is fantastic (as always for Barry M) and it dries really quickly!

This polish is only £3.99, which is a really good price. It's exclusive to Superdrug, you can buy it online here. Even Santa approves! 


Thursday, 11 December 2014

Serozinc Launches in the UK

On Monday night I was invited along to a Christmas celebration from La Roche-Posay. Where they also announced the launch of Serozinc. That’s right La Roche-Posay have finally decided to bring Serozinc to the UK! Serozinc is famous product amongst beauty bloggers and until now you had to hop over to France to get it!

Just in case you’ve missed the Serozinc hype in the past, I’ll give you a quick rundown. Serozinc is toner, which you spritz on your face. You use it after cleansing and before moisturising. Serozinc contains Zinc Sulphate and its designed to target signs of oily blemished skin. It aims to make your skin feel less greasy and also look mattified.

Serozinc launches in the UK on January 1st 2015, it’s exclusive to Escentual. If you want to get your hands on it you should join the wait list by clicking here.

Thanks to La Roche-Posay for having me on Monday, I had such a lovely evening and it was amazing to be a part of such an exciting event! I was kindly gifted with my own can of Serozinc, so I’m going to be testing it in the coming weeks! Expect a full review soon!


Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Roger & Gallet Hand Cream Trios

Weirdly hand cream was something that never really interested me. However, in the last couple of weeks I've tried a lot of lovely products that have me hooked. This Christmas Roger & Gallet have collaborated with Italian duo 'Artists Carnovsky' to design parisian collections. The Hand and Nail Trios* come in a gorgeous box and feature three delicious hand creams. There are two trios that you can choose from; a hydration collection and a floral collection. The two different collections means there is something for everyone, no matter their scent tastes. 

I have the Hydration Trio which I've been loving using over the last week. Inside the box you get 'Fleur de Figuier' and 'Bienfaits' which are both brand new, Hand & Nail Balms. You also get the Bois d'Orange which is a Hand & Nail Creme Sublime. Each hand cream is 30ml which is a decent size but perfect for your handbag!

All the products are enriched with shea butter which makes them intensely hydrating. The best bit for me is that they are not greasy at all. You rub them in and the cream gets instantly absorbed, which means you don't end up with sticky hand prints everywhere! I can literally apply these and then jump straight back on my Macbook straight away. They have quite a thick texture and a little goes a long way. 

They all smell incredible, but for me my favourite is 'Fleur de Figuier' it's deliciously fruity with a woody base - it's gorgeous for this time of year! 'Bois d'Orange' is exactly what it says; a blend of Orange Blossom, Mandarin and Amber. 'Eau de Bienfaits' is a more refreshing as it's packed with Aloe Vera, Kiwi and Lemon! 

These gift boxes are so lovely, the colours are gorgeous and you can smell the products instantly. They would make a perfect gift, or better yet, a perfect treat to yourself! They retail for £17, which I think is really reasonable. You can pick them up at Escentual (here).


Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Dinner At Strada - The Review

It's becoming a bit of yearly tradition to head to Strada for Chris' mums birthday! I had actually forgotten how good the food is at Strada, it's completely underrated! I thought I'd share some pictures with you along with our thoughts on the food. Just incase you're looking for somewhere to go for a Christmas outing.

To start Chris and I shared the 'BURRATA E PROSCIUTTO DI PARMA'. We always tend to go for some kind of Antipasti if it's available when we eat out. This was a bit of a twist on the normal antipasti. It was a 'fresh mozzarella parcel filled with shredded mozzarella and cream' which they then served with Parma ham, artichokes and toasted ciabatta. This was right up my street, I have cheese and ham. Chris found it a bit too creamy for his liking, but still enjoyed it. Other people at the table went for different flatbreads, which were HUGE portions. We all ended up trying them and passing them around! 

For main we both went for 'BISTECCA DI MANZO' which in simple terms is sirloin steak and potatoes which peppercorn chips. The steak was cooked to perfection and the sauce was gorgeous. You could probably do with a few extra potatoes if I'm honest, but it just means you save room for dessert.

Speaking of dessert, I went for 'TIRAMISU' which tends to be my dessert of choice, especially when there is no cheesecake on offer. It was really yummy, packed with coffee and cream and drizzled in a chocolate coffee sauce. Chris went for 'PANNACOTTA' which comes with raspberries and couli. Lots of people went for this option at the table and although they liked the taste, the texture was a bit off. It was a lot thicker than traditional Pannacotta.

We really enjoy going to Strada, it's a bit more pricey than places like Prezzo and Zaza, but the food is a bit more upmarket and definitely yummy!

Monday, 8 December 2014

Ciate Mini Mani Manor | Week 1

Yep, a whole December week has passed. Not only are we a whole week closer to Christmas, but I've whizzed through my first week of my advent calander. This year I opted for the Ciate Mini Mani Manor. Lets see what was inside...

Day One: Headliner
I loved the fact that the first polish was something bright and exciting. This is a turquoise polish which Ciate describe as "an extraordinary cocktail of blue and green". I actually painted this on my nails on Monday night. I expected a shiny finish but this was actually matte, which is not my cup of tea - nothing a glossy top coat doesn't fix! It took a few coats to become opaque but it's a really nice shade.

Day Two: Sharp TailoringThis is a 'shimmering oyster beige' - it looks pretty boring in the bottle but when you swatch it - it's gorgeous! I actually have nothing like this in my collection - I'm looking forward to experimenting with it!

Day Three: Girl With A PearlI won't lie, when I saw this behind the door I was pretty disappointed. However, now I'm really excited to try it out! I thought it was a caviar beads polish, but these are little individual pearls that you can use for embellishment.

Day Four: Members OnlyThis is a nude polish that is super shimmery. It swatches really easily as it applies like a dream and dries really quickly. I'm not sure when or how i'll use this, it's a completely new style for my collection.

Day Five: Sloaney, Sweetie This is definitely the most exciting polish from the whole week. This is the first glitter polish and it's a mixture of pastel pinks and silver strands! I'm putting this on my nails at the first opportunity!

Day Six: Runway Ribbon
Runway Ribbon is a bright, festive glitter! It's a loose glitter which you apply on top of wet polish. I have never used dry glitter before and the thought of it worries me a bit! I fear I'll be getting very messy!

Day Seven: Tuxedo Yet another polish which is completely new to the collection, I do not have anything like this! I love the gunmetal finish of this polish, I really want to try this with the pearls from day three! I think it would look really nice!

Wheel swatches left to right: Tuxedo, Sloaney Sweetie, Members Only, Sharp Tailoring and Headliner.

Did you get an advent calendar this year? What was hiding behind the doors? What is your favourite colour from this collection?


Sunday, 7 December 2014

Feeling Flush with Urban Decay

Yes this was a bit of a naughty present so close to Christmas, but I just couldn't resist. I've had my eye on the Urban Decay Flushed palettes for quite a long time. I loved the original option, but when Urban Decay released lots of variants, my love was amplified. I opted for 'Streak' as I felt like it was the best colour combination for me. Inside the palette you get a pale matte bronzer, a peachy shimmer highlighter and a bright coral blusher. 

I've been using every single part of this little palette for two weeks and I've been using it every single day! I take my Real Techniques brushes, using the Duo-Fibre Face Brush to contour my cheekbones with the bronzer. I then use my Cheek Brush to apply the blusher and finish with my Contour Brush to add in the highlighter. From the minute I first used this it was true love, the textures are buttery and they blend like a dream! The pigmentation is incredible too, you don't need much as a little goes a long way. I can see this palette lasting ages! 

It's quite rare to love every single part of a palette but this has be hooked. I did not think the bronzer would beat my Honey Bronzer from The Body Shop but this is so easy to use. The highlighter has even left my Mary-Lou Manizer from The Balm gathering dust. 

The packaging is great too! It comes in a gorgeous matt box with the famous gold lettering. It closes with a magnetic strip and it has a huge mirror inside too! There is no part of this palette that disappoints, I truly I think I've found the dream travel companion!

The 'Streak' palette retails for £22 which I think is a blooming bargain! Click here to buy

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Frosted Cranberry Hand Cream

I cannot believe this is the first ever hand cream that I’ve tried from The Body Shop. I bought it on a complete whim as I liked the sound of the Frosted Cranberry scent. Let me tell you one thing; this stuff is gorgeous!

The Body Shop hand cream range until now has been pretty limited. However, they have been reinvented and they now come in a whopping nine fragrances. The new nine ‘flavours’ are in ‘miniture’ 30ml form and come in a gorgeous metal tube. The tube is decorated in the corresponding colour of the fragrance range. It has a little lid, which you screw off to then squeeze out the hand cream. It’s actually a really easy packaging combination; I chuck it in my bag and have the confidence that it’s not going to make a mess.

The formula of the hand cream is really nice too! It’s a really nice texture and it absorbs into the skin with ease. It disappears quickly but leaves you with a scent that lingers all day. When I say all day, I mean all day! I applied this at 7am and at 6pm I could still smell it, it was lovely! It leaves your hands soft and smooth for a good 24 hours; I’ve got into the habit of applying it every morning when I get into work.

The best part about these hand creams you ask? They only cost £3.50, which is an absolute bargain! I’m so impressed! Youcan buy the Frosted Cranberry Hand Cream here.

Friday, 5 December 2014

30% off Beauty at M&S

30% off Beauty at M&S

This weekend is ‘Gifting Weekend’ at M&S, which means they are have slashed prices off tons of items. Most exciting for me of course is the fact that they have 30% off loads of beauty gift sets. I’m supposed to be Christmas shopping but if I’m honest, I’m more shopping for myself. They have loads of things that I’ve had my eye on for ages – 30% off makes it very tempting.

I love the fact that M&S have teamed up with Emma Bridgewater this year. There are quite a few cute sets, but the hand cream trio is really sweet and it’s now only £7 (link). 

If hair is more your thing Philip Kingsley have lots of little sets, I love the crackers, they make great stocking fillers. (£7 here)

I’m  a huge fan of Leighton Denny, so with 30% off it’s safe to say I have a basket full! I love the little baubles, for £7 (link here) you get a full sized 12ml glitter polish. They also have a super cute miniature set which is full of lovely pink hues. It’s now only £12 which is a total bargain! (link here)

I love Roger & Gallet and they too have a whole host of gifts available. I could easily spend a fortune! However, if I had to pick one thing it would be the hand cream trio – these smell INCREDIBLE! For £12 (here) it’s a bargain!

Other items I’ve picked out is the Nuxe Rêve de Miel® Must Haves Set (here for £10.50), the Moroccan Rose Otto Gift Set from REN (which is here for £11.90) and the Stila Merry & Bright Make Up Set (now only £14 here).If you’re after something different I LOVE the sound of the Rituals Candle ‘Sweet Sunrise’ which is orange and cedarwood. (£13.65 here)

Now I've got a basket of beauty goodies on M&S and no idea what to choose! What would you pick?
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