Wednesday, 23 December 2015

(EXTREMELY) LAST MINUTE GIFT IDEAS: FOR HER


If you're like me, and still haven't brought any Christmas presents for anyone, then it's most likely, you need some ideas. Whenever Christmas rolls around, I get really confused as to what to buy others, so I have decided to share a few items that I normally opt for..

Palettes. I feel like this is pretty much my go to. Which brands releasing new Christmas palettes out every year, it is pretty simple to pick one up. The new Urban Decay x Gwen Stefani palette was the stand out for me this year. Packed with a ton of neutrals and a few pops of colour, this is a fail safe palette. Plus, the fact that it is limited edition, would mean that the person who you are gifting it to, would most likely not have it! Charlotte Tilbury is another brand that I know any girl would be over the moon to receive for Christmas! Her Filmstar Bronze and Glow palette, is absolutely stunning and her Christmas gift sets are a great way to try out a handful of her products.

Perfumes. Whilst this may be a tricky area to get right, because perfumes are so personal. I tend to buy a perfume bottle that I know that person already loves. For example, for my mum, she loves Nina Ricci - Nina perfume, so every year I buy a bottle for her because she goes through them like crazy! My stand out favourites this year have been both by Marc Jacobs. The Daisy Dream and Decadence perfumes are very different to each other, and they lasts for ages on the skin!

Candles. Spending money on candles is not something I would prefer to do. So receiving them as gifts is probably the best thing ever. You can never go wrong with Diptyque candles, they have a wide range of scents and they are so potent that sometimes you do not even need to burn it! Other candle favourites are from The White Company and Jo Malone.

Accessories. If you have no idea what scent she would like, then picking up an accessory is a great option too! I tend to pick a few scarves, jewellery pieces and bags, every year for my friends and family, and you can never really go wrong with it! If you're stuck for ideas, then ASOS have a huge selection!

Sunday, 20 December 2015

GINGERBREAD BISCUITS

In the run up to Christmas, things get a little bit more hectic, and the one thing that I like to do is bake. What better way to spend the holidays, than baking little treats for everyone to enjoy during the month. So I have decided to share my favourite Gingerbread recipe.

This is a very easy recipe to follow and is a great way to get everyone involved!
Ingredients:
  • 350g/12oz plain flour
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 175g/6oz dark soft brown sugar
  • 125g/4½oz butter (room temperature) 
  • 1 medium sized egg
  • 4 tbsp golden syrup
  • Decorations i.e. icing sugar, nuts, sweets (optional)

Method:
  1. Mix and sift all of the dry ingredients (plain flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon) into a food processor. Then add the soften butter and blend until it starts to look like breadcrumbs. Stir in the dark soft brown sugar.
  2. In a bowl, beat the egg and golden syrup together. Add this to the mixture and then pulse until the mixture starts to clump together. 
  3. Tip the dough out onto a surface and knead until it is smooth. Then wrap the dough in clingfilm and leave to chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.
  5. After 15 minutes, roll out the dough and start to cut out your shapes. I went for circles because it was easier/I couldn't find my cutters. 
  6. Place on the baking tray and make sure you leave a gap between each piece.
  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until it is lightly golden brown. Then leave on a wire rack to cool before you start to decorate.
This mixture would make around 25 gingerbread men, or if you are just going to use simple shapes like myself then it would make around 35 (I actually had 42!). Be sure to keep an eye on your biscuits when they are in the oven as the mixture is dark so it can be easy to over bake. As for decoration, I left a few plain, lightly dusted some icing sugar on a few and for the rest, I piped some icing on it. The great thing about these biscuits is that they can last for a pretty long time - just over a week if kept in an air tight container.

As this is definitely different to anything I have posted on my blog, I was a little nervous so let me know if you make these (and how they came out!).

Thursday, 17 December 2015

5 THINGS: EVERYDAY BEAUTY STAPLES



As much as I like to try and buy new things, I have a handful of products that I always reach for every single day. Some are new products which I have only discovered in the past couple of weeks but there are some which I have been using for years now.
First up is the GHD Heat Protect spray, I've gone through a few bottles of this over the last couple of years, ever since it come with my first pair of GHDs. It is incredibly lightweight on the skin, which is great because it does not weigh my hair down at all. It does not feel sticky when it dries, in fact you cannot even feel it in your hair.  The other OG product is the Soap and Glory Archery brow pencil. This matches my brows perfectly, and whilst my brows are not exactly sparse, I like to add a little something to them.

A new product that I discovered is the MAC Complete Comfort Cream. If you suffer from dry skin and are not irritated by MAC skincare products, then I suggest you try this. It makes my dry patches disappear and my skin feels so much softer and smoother when I do use it. Another dry skin product is the Kiehl's Creme de Corps, again if you suffer from dry skin and/or suffer from eczema (like myself) then this is a life saver. It changes the texture of your skin and it just works! The last new product which I discovered is a make up product. I have heard a lot about the Bobbi Brown corrector and after suffering from dark circles for years, I decided to just buy it. As it has an orange tinge to it, it does look a little weird at first, but when I apply my normal concealer on top. It brightens my under eye area and makes me look a lot more awake. 

What are your everyday beauty staples??

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

MONTHLY BUYS #3

This past month I have been trying not to spend so much. With Boxing Day soon approaching, there are some things that I want to get my hands on but I know they will be on sale, so why not save a few pennies?! That being said, I only purchase a few beauty items, and whilst some are not very interesting I still thought I would share them with you all.
First up is a repurchased of the MAC Complete Comfort Cream. This has soon become my ultimate favourite moisturiser. If you have dry skin then I highly recommend trying this out. I have posted a separate and more detailed post here if you want to read about it, in more detail. When I brought this, I also picked up the TooFaced Long-lasting Nude lipstick set. It contains two deluxe samples of the Melted lipstick in melted nude and the Love Flush blush in love hangover. Whilst the blush reminds me of the NARS Orgasm blush, the melted lipstick was the one that I was looking forward to trying. It is peachy nude shade and unlike other liquid lipsticks I've tried, this did not dry out my lips. I'm definitely going to check out other shades in the range because it wore so well.
I mentioned in my Round Up for November, that I picked up the new Anastasia Bev. Hills Self Made palette. When I first saw this, I was not completely sold but all that changed when it sold out on CultBeauty and I HAD to have it. I managed to get my hands on it and I'm so glad I picked it up. It contains 14 shades, whereas the previous ABH palettes have 12, and they are all very much different to anything I already have. The shades Blush, Isla and Sherbert are stunning and I cannot wait to wear them.

A cult favourite in the beauty community is the PIXI Glow Tonic, I decided to pick it up when ASOS had 20% off for students and I can see what people are talking about now. It really does cleanse your skin and any 'under the skin bumps' I had, are now gone. I noticed that when I did try it, I did break out (a lot) so because of that, I've stopped using it for the last week. I don't know if that's because it is working or I reacted pretty badly to it. I'm going to try it again soon and I will have a full review soon.

What have you brought this past month? And what is on your wishlist for Christmas?? I have no idea what I want and I need ideas - haha!

TooFaced Long-lasting Nude lipstick set // £12
PIXI Glow Tonic // £18

Saturday, 5 December 2015

THE ROUND UP | NOVEMBER 2015

With it being colder than usual, I have changed up my routine a little. By doing so, I discovered a few old favourites and a couple of new favourites too. I have been trying to rotate my products every few weeks now, just so I can actually use my products, instead of them just sitting in a drawer, gathering dust.
Whilst I love perfume, I have a lot and even though I really like every single of them, I only reach for a few. So for the past month, I have been trying to use up my perfumes (I finally finished my bottle of the Taylor Swift Wonderstruck perfume and I've nearly finished my bottle of the Vera Wang Lovestruck perfume too!). The one bottle that I have been loving, and not necessarily trying to use up (because I just brought it!) is the new Stella by Stella McCartney EDT. I brought this way back in April, and even though I have used it here and there. It was not until this month when I was reaching for it every time I went out. It is similar to the original, but definitely a lot fresher and more citrus based. If you're looking for a new perfume, then check this out! Plus the bottle is adorable!
As I have rotated my make up, I discovered a new mascara love. The Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye mascara is one that I did not think much of when I received it in the post as a GWP. I have been putting it off from trying it and I don't know why!? It makes my lashes look fuller and thicker, but without making it look clumpy. It's very easy to remove and I have found that it does not transfer on my under eye area throughout the day. 
The Anastasia Bev. Hills Shadow Couture World Traveller palette has been my go-to, whenever I go out. I have been obsessed with the shades 'Morocco' and 'Fudge', both of which are very warm and are perfect to apply in the crease. These are very different to any other eyeshadows I have in my collection, so I'm glad I picked it up when I did. They are incredibly pigmented and they blend like a dream. Unfortunately, it is not available anymore but there is a new palette out at the moment (which I also picked up and will be featured in a post soon) but I think you can buy it individually

Still sticking with make up, an old favourite I rediscovered this month is the Urban Decay Afterglow 8 Hour blush in Fetish. It is a medium pinky nude, with a matte finish. As it is a neutral blush, it is not overpowering and it goes with any make up look. The formula is amazing, it is very fine and it blends like a dream too. As it is fine, it does not look cakey on the skin and can be built up. I highly recommend these blushes and whilst I only have this shade, I will be sure to buy some more in the future. Another powder product, but one that is a new discovery is the Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing powder. Normally, powder can look very cakey on the skin if you apply throughout the day, but this does the complete opposite. It makes your skin look smoother and softer. It helps to reduce the appearance of pores, along with taking away any shine. As this is a small sample size, I've been using it on the go, for touch ups throughout the day.

As you can see, I have been trying out a ton of new products and I definitely going to rotate my 'everyday' make up a lot more often. In fact, I'm thinking of starting another new series on my blog based around this, let me know if you're interested! What have you been loving this past month??

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

MAC | COMPLETE COMFORT CREAM

You know a product is a great product when you run out to buy it the next day. This happened with me when I finished the MAC Complete Comfort Cream. When I first tried it, it was because my sister had actually brought it but it irritated her skin (she has VERY sensitive skin and is allergic to MAC foundations, so it was a no brainer that she would have a reaction with their skincare too *insert sad face*) so she gave it to me *insert happy face!*. 
If you suffer from dry skin (like myself) then you will really like this moisturiser. It has a thick formula, which is easily absorbed into the skin and it does not make your skin feel greasy, nor does it look it. In fact, I would say that it makes your skin look a lot healthier and it feels a lot softer/supple. It is said to provide relief to red and irritated skin, which I can say it does (for my skin) but if you have very sensitive skin, then I would suggest to get a sample before you buy it.

As it is a plant and marine based, it soothes my irritated skin and as I suffer from eczema, any dry patches that I may have, practically goes the next day. The only disadvantage I can say is the fact that it does not contain SPF, which is a little annoying as I have to use a separate SPF (when I remember!), nor does it contain any anti-aging properties. It is also a little pricey, but I brought it when Debenhams had 10% off all beauty, so it was a little cheaper ;)

All in all, this is a basic moisturiser but it is a basic moisturiser that I will contain to buy, as it works for my skin and I suggest if you have dry/dull/irritated skin, then be sure to try this out the next you're in MAC! Have you tried any other skincare products from MAC?