Thursday, 27 November 2014

Yankee Candle Advent Calendar

If you've got a sweet tooth like me then I am sure you will be sharing in the same excitement of opening your Christmas Advent Calendar every morning come the 1st December and unveiling a new chocolate-y treat each time. However if a chunk of Dairy Milk doesn't float your boat then never fear as I think this particular advent calendar might just be the perfect alternative. Yankee Candle has released two stunning advent calendars this year to tantalise you with 23 gorgeous, festively-scented tea lights and a special votive candle treat behind door 24. There is the Yankee Calendar House* (£29) and also a Christmas wreath (£25) - both packed full of sweet Yankee Candle tea lights to twinkle and fragrance your home with the scent of Christmas this winter. The different scents include Christmas Garland, Candy Cane Lane, Christmas Cookie, Sugared Apple, Christmas Memories, Spiced Orange and Snowflake Cookie. I literally cannot wait for next week to come round so I can dim the lights, snuggle up with a festive film (Home Alone being my personal favourite!) and light the first tea light candle. All the fragrances sound absolutely amazing but I think I am most excited to give Christmas Cookie a whirl!

So, chocolate or candles this Christmas? Which scent do you like the sound of to get you in the festive spirit?

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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

A Festive Phone Cover

I do love a novelty phone case and am always on the lookout for something a little bit different, something fun and sweet to keep my phone safe and scratch-free whilst jiggling around in my handbag. Earlier this year I stumbled across Hello Floral on Etsy, a shop run by second year graphic design student Charley, who sells a whole host of hand-designed, adorable and unique phone covers for the iPhone and so many other models too! I purchased this super-sweet personalised Starbucks Strawberry Frappuccino case back in January this year and it has barely left my phone ever since. This Christmas Charley has created some fabulous festive designs to give your phone a flourish of Christmas spirit including a sausage dog in ear muffs, a pug in reindeer antlers* and of course, the bloggers' favourite Starbucks red cup which can be personalised with your name! I think they are all so lovely and would make such a perfect present or stocking filler for a friend or family member this Christmas, don't you think?

Which design would you pick?
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Sunday, 23 November 2014

Claudia Louch Botanical Cleansing Lotion & Night Cream

Ever since I tried a selection of the Claudia Louch natural skincare range a few months ago I have been hooked! Aesthetically I love the simplicity of their modern design and packaging and within those black and white bottles and tubes are some great skincare products designed by Claudia Louch herself, a Harley Street skin specialist.

Recently I have been trying out two products from her botanical skincare range - the Botanical Cleansing Lotion (£37.40) and the Botanical Night Cream with Deep Line Complex (£61.50) The Cleansing Lotion* is suitable for all skin types and is a gentle, mild foaming cleanser derived from coconut and sugar beets. It also contains chamomile, aloe, cucumber and Japanese green tea to tighten, soothe and deliver antioxidants to the skin. Simply wet your face and dispense a small amount of the cleansing lotion into the palm of your hands before gently massaging it over your entire face. The lotion has a beautifully creamy, almost gel-like formula and despite being incredibly mild and gentle on your eyes or any dry skin, it is so effective at removing all your makeup even stubborn waterproof mascara. After using my Emma Hardie Amazing Face balm faithfully for the last month or so I was worried that these much looser, cleansing lotion wouldn't be as effective but I was pleasantly surprised and love how it really soothes the skin and leaves it feeling extremely clean and free of every last scrap of makeup. The 240ml sized tube is huge and I think it is going to last me months and months, making this actually very good value for money.

The other product I have been using recently is the Botanical Night Cream with Deep Line Complex* which is ideal for normal to dry/sensitive skin. This emollient cream is incredibly velvety and contains a mixture of premium natural ingredients for intensive daily care with a non-greasy residue. The concentrated formula contains aloe vera, jojoba, avocado oil, green tea, shea butter and vitamin E  so is perfect for sensitive skin and has fantastic properties to help soothe, tighten, hydrate and tone overnight. I love the light feel of this night cream and have enjoyed applying it as my last step during my evening routine after cleansing and toning. This is definitely quite a luxury addition to your skincare and I wouldn't say it is a must-have but it is very lovely and has kept my skin feeling hydrated and soothed during the colder, winter weeks recently.

Have you tried anything from the Claudia Louch skincare range?

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Thursday, 20 November 2014

Max Factor Skin Luminizer Foundation

This new foundation product from Max Factor promises radiance for a modern "lit from within" look with a simple pump of the unique swirled formula. Caroline Barnes, Max Factor's Makeup Artist describes the Skin Luminizer Foundation as the perfect compromise between natural looking skin and good coverage with the foundation concealing imperfections whilst leaving the complexion beautifully natural. The innovative swirled formula is packed with subtle skin luminizers that give the skin a luminous finish with added skincare benefits. The pearl pigments brighten skin tone for an instant yet subtle glow while the foundation offers a medium coverage to help even out your complexion and correct imperfections. As well as acting as a great base product, the Skin Luminizer Foundation offers hydration through the VitaNiacin complex including vitamins B3 and E which replenishes skins natural moisture balance.

Max Factor's Skin Luminizer Foundation* (£11.99) is available from Boots and comes in six various shades from fairly pale to warm and bronzed. I was at first a bit dubious about this product as I am not the biggest fan of dewy foundations and prefer to add luminosity and radiance through highlighting powders and creams after I have applied my foundation. However I was pleasantly surprised by the subtleness of this foundation and pleased to see that it wasn't heavily ladened with glitter or shimmer. The coverage is a lot lighter than I expected and is a little closer to a tinted moisturiser than a heavier foundation but it certainly adds a natural glow to the skin and cover imperfections well. I really like using this product when I want a easy, light base to even out my complexion and give my skin a quick pick-me-up! I lightly powdered over the foundation above with MAC's Mineralise Skinfinish powder and I was good to go after a quick slick of Bourjois' Pink Pong Rouge Velvet lipstick and lashings of mascara!

Have you tried this new swirled foundation from Max Factor?
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Monday, 17 November 2014

Ebay Shop The World Collections

autumn image
"Inspiration is all around you, and whatever inspires you can be found on eBay."

You may remember that earlier this year I worked alongside that very well-known online auction site to create my very own eBay collections. I researched and put together a variety of storyboards inspired by a number of my favourite things - much like your average Pinterest board but with direct links to the items on eBay, allowing your wish list become reality within a simple few clicks. The world of eBay can be a bit overwhelming so I though the ideas of these individual collections was a genius way to make your online browsing a whole lot easier and for you to update your wardrobe or makeover your home a fun, interactive experience.

I am now excited to announce that eBay have recently launched a simple campaign called "Shop the World" which hopes to demonstrate to shoppers that whatever inspires them can be found on eBay and that inspiration is all around you. With over 800 million listings worldwide, whether it is a new Winter wardrobe or those last few Christmas stocking fillers, eBay have got it covered! I have been invited to share in this new campaign and take an iconic moment, such a late afternoon Autumn walk, and turn it into a 'shoppable' moment on eBay and share my inspirations and must-have items with you all - just as we all turn our thoughts to writing those Christmas shopping lists!

I simply love this image of burnt umber, golden and rich brown fallen leaves begging to be crunched underfoot and walked through whilst you breathe in the crisp, November air. I love being outdoors, whether it is walking, running or just taking in the scenery and enjoying the scent of bonfires in the distance, and though I would create a collection of all your outdoor winter essentials to keep you warm and prepared for those November leafy walks. You can take a look at and follow my November Shop The World collection right here, and the great news is that you can get involved too. As part of this new campaign eBay is offering one of my readers a £20 eBay voucher - all you need to do is follow my collection to be in with a chance of winning this so please do pop over to my collection if you fancy getting some inspiration and winning this eBay voucher. Next month I will also be sharing with you my December, festive-inpsired collection which I hope will give you lots of fun and novel ideas for Christmas present shopping so stay tuned for that!

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Caudalie Vine Body Butter Luxury Set

With only five odd weeks now until Christmas Day, I have no doubt that many of you are slowing turning your thoughts to present time and will be starting to write out your festive shopping lists. When it comes to gift sets, there are certain brands that treat us every year with great collections of beauty must-haves and this season Caudalie have a few lovely, luxury gift sets, from cleansing, moisturising, revitalising and indulging, which will sit perfectly under the tree this Christmas.

The Vine Body Butter Luxury Set (£22) available online is a real delight for the skin with a trio of treats to moisture and pamper yourself this season. It is an essential kit to quench your body, lips and hands with a delicate scent and natural formula with no parabens, mineral oils or animal ingredients. First up is the Vine Body Butter which nourishes and repairs the skin. It is a gorgeously thick, buttery consistency rich in grape and shea butters which helps keep skin supple and comfortable and relieves any dry areas. It also works perfectly as an after-sun product so is a great addition to your beauty table during Winter and Summer. Next up is the hand and nail cream which is an absolute must during the colder months to help keep your hands moisturised, smooth and nourished. Made from orange pulp, almond powder and rosewater it is a luxuriously treatment that quickly sinks in without leaving a greasy film on your skin, great for when you are on the go. It has a very faint sweet, zesty scent and has become a staple in my handbag over the past few weeks to keep my cuticles and hands soft and hydrated. Finally there is the Caudalie lip conditioner described as a nourishing, anti-ageing product which repairs damaged lips after each application. It contains a light vanilla scent with anti-oxidant properties to deliver nutrition and protection all day long. It really soothes and softens my lips and banishes any dryness whilst protecting them from the cold bite of the Winter months. It definitely is a lip-salve-lip-saver!

What do you think of this luxury gift set from Caudalie? Which of their other collections have caught your eye?
*sponsored post
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Monday, 10 November 2014

Illamasqua Multi Facet Palette in Aura

Last month Illamasqua launched their Facets Collection which celebrates beauty in all its dimensions.   It takes you on a creative journey throughout the season with alternate sides to the same story, portraying the many sides and moods of the individual. The stars of this new collection are the two limited edition Multi Facet palettes which include a stunning selection of eye and cheek colours to create a range of looks for any occasion and have the addition of a cream highlighter, cream pigment to contour and an eye brow cake as well as a powder blush and four complimentary eyeshadow shades. Alex Box, Illamasqua's Creative Director, describes these new multi-functional products as the palettes of possibilities and I was very keen to give them a whirl.

The Multi Facet Palette* in Aura (above) is available online for £45 and is housed is a sleek, black compact with a handy mirror and double ended angled and blending brush. It contains eight of Illamasqua's "must-have" shades to create a variety of looks for your cheeks and eyes. For the cheeks there is Powder Blusher in Tremble, Gleam highlighter in Aurora and Cream Pigment in Hollow to contour. Then there is the Eyebrow Cake in Thunder to define and colour your brows to perfection. Finally there are four beautiful eyeshadow shades in Vision, Servant, Feint and Machine to add a base  to your lid, then to colour, define and line your eyes. I love the fact that this palette contains a mixture of cream and powder products and has all bases covered including a product for your brows and to add radiance to your makeup as well as a pigment to fake those cheekbones perfectly! It really is the perfect item to pop in your makeup bag for a weekend away or when you really don't want to pack a plethora of different palettes and products - simply throw in a foundation, mascara and your favourite lippie and you are good to go!

Have you seen anything from the Illamasqua Facets Collection that has taken your fancy?

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