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Friday, 19 December 2014

High End Beauty Wish List

Admittedly, the majority of this wish list is probably going to have to fall into the 'gifts from me, to me' category, as I think I've missed the boat with Santa. There's something about high end beauty products that makes them inexplicably exciting. The packaging is always that bit more beautiful, and the above picks are no exception. Now that I've bought all my Christmas presents, I think it's high time to treat myself to some of the products I'm currently coveting. 

What's on your high end beauty wish list? Have you tried any of these products? 

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Max Factor Masterpiece Transform Mascara

Like most women, I'm always on the hunt for the perfect mascara - one that's going to lengthen, volumise and ultimately just give my lashes some va va voom

The Max Factor Masterpiece Transform mascara* is a revolutionary new mascara designed to instantly create darker, bigger, more dramatic lashes. This happens thanks to a new instant impact wand - a small brush that works to capture and volumise every lash. The instant impact wand holds product on the outside of the bristles, immediately transferring it to the base of the lashes in one stroke. Rows of rotating bristles ensure that as the lashes are brushed through, every eyelash is captured and coated. 

So how did I find it? Surprisingly, it impressed me more than I expected. On first look, the wand wasn't for me - I prefer a fuller wand and tend to avoid plastic wands, however I can't deny the effect this had on my lashes. Due to the very fine size of the bristles, the applicator doesn't get distorted or unevenly coated with mascara like some can. I found that it works much like a fine tooth comb would on hair and grabs every single lash, helping me to evenly apply the product. It's definitely a smidge more effective on lengthening then it is on volumising, but best of all, it doesn't clump. 

I'd particularly recommend the mascara for the bottom lashes as the wand is so thin it means you can be that more precise. I often have trouble with my lower lashes and really find this brush a lot easier to use. All in all, it's a thumbs up from me. It's not the best all rounder out there - but it's great at lengthening lashes and particularly good for those pesky bottom lashes. This normally costs £9.99 but is currently on offer at Superdrug for £6.99

Have you tried this mascara? What are your favourites?

Monday, 15 December 2014

Blistex Lip Brilliance

With only 10 days left until Christmas, we can't afford to let dry and chapped lips stop us from being anything other than mistletoe ready. As the cold wind continues to rip through the UK, I've been reaching for nourishing lip products constantly to make sure that my lips remain hydrated and looking their best.

Blistex Lip Brilliance* works to boost the lips' natural fullness whilst a blend of Vitamin E, Silk Extracts and Grape Seed Oil work to soften and hydrate the lips. It's also tinted with a lovely rosy glow which is subtle enough to just give the natural lip colour a boost.

Whilst this isn't as moisturising as some lip products out there, I think for a tinted lip product it finds a great balance between nourishing and soothing dry lips, but also adding a pop of colour. It's a perfect handbag essential when you want some colour on your lips but don't want to dry them out further with a lipstick.

What are your lip saviour products this winter?

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Beauty Storage Ideas: Part 2

Not so long ago I wrote about some of my beauty storage ideas; the ways in which I store all the makeup, skincare and haircare I've accumulated (en masse) since I first began blogging. As any other bloggers (or general makeup enthusiasts) know, finding a way to store your stash so that it doesn't take over your room is an art in itself. 

I'm quite particular in how my room looks - so as much as I love my beauty collection, it's not something I necessarily want to have on view all the time. As my skincare products started to take over, I went on the hunt for something that could neatly store them out of the way but still work with the interior look I was going for in my bedroom. 

I found this beautiful rustic-style crate on eBay which I fell in love with immediately and knew it was just what I was looking for. I picked the medium size for £12.99 and it's been perfect at helping to keep my things in order, whilst still look pretty and feminine in my room. 

These crates are simply lovely and would be perfect in a kitchen to store fruit and vegetables, or in a living room as a magazine rack. I definitely intend to pick some more up at some stage when I start to decorate some of the other rooms in my house a little more!

How do you store your beauty products? 

Thursday, 11 December 2014

The Body Shop Festive Treats

Christmas is by far my favourite time of year. I love everything about it - from hanging decorations, to the anticipation of Christmas day. One of my favourite things though are all the scents that come with the season and how different brands incorporate them into their products.

The Body Shop have always been a key player when it comes to Christmas products, so this year I snapped up a couple of items from their current Christmas offering - the Frosted Cranberry Shower Gel and Frosted Cranberry Bath Sprinkles. I was hunting for some products to use in the bath or shower that smelt like Christmas and this pair is perfect - they have a fresh and fruity scent that's laced with a festive punch.

As The Body Shop are brilliant at constantly offering a range of discounts online and in store, I also took the opportunity to pick up a scent I've been thinking about ever since I first smelt it on holiday back in August - Red Musk. I've long been a fan of The Body Shop's musk scents, but was particularly taken by this version. As I've got older I've gravitated less towards floral scents (my signature scents are Stella by Stella McCartney and Elizabeth & James Nirvana Black) so this blend of musk and spice is perfect for my taste. It's an androgynous scent which really lasts on the skin, and for me just epitomises the Christmas season.

The Body Shop have really got me into the festive spirit and I couldn't recommend these products enough. There is currently a 40% offer on site so it's a perfect time to pick up some goodies for yourself!

Have you tried any of The Body Shop's Christmas range? 

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Tales From The Earth - Dream Necklace

As I've mentioned before, I gravitate towards dainty jewellery that can be worn everyday. When London-based jewellery company Tales From The Earth got in touch to ask if I'd like one of their Word Circle necklaces, I knew it would be just the thing for me. 

The collection features hand-crafted sterling silver necklaces that remind us of the power of a single word. There are thirteen word circle options to choose from; Love, Luck, Happy, Friends, Family, Mum, Dream, Adventure, Laugh, Inspire, Trust, Joy and Courage. I chose Dream* as it's a poignant word for me and I've long been a believer of not being afraid to dream bigger. 

This necklace is simply beautiful. It comes on a a dainty silver chain and is such a subtle, pretty piece. I've had so many compliments on it and literally haven't taken it off - it's just the sort of everyday necklace I like to wear. My favourite part about it is that it's special meaning is not necessarily visible without someone taking a closer look. 

I think this would be the perfect Christmas gift as it gives you the opportunity to give a memorable and sentimental gift to someone special, and as it's sterling silver, it won't be rusting any time soon. Each Word Circle necklace costs £30 and Tales of the Earth are also offering free shipping within the UK over the Christmas period. 

What do you think of my Word Circle necklace? What word would you choose on yours? 

Saturday, 6 December 2014

How To Make Your Own Ceramic Candles

As one of the most unartistic people around, this craft based post will no doubt come as a surprise. However I'm attending a Christmas event in aid of the Dementia Society this weekend and as my grandmother suffers with the disease it's a cause very close to my heart. I wanted to make some things to sell in aid of the cause, so alongside my infamous Mars Bar Slices, I had a go at creating my own candles. I'm so delighted with the outcome that I thought I'd share how I did it, for anyone wanting to have a go at making some this Christmas. 

To make your own candles, you will need: 

- Wax flakes (I bought soy wax from this eBay seller) 
- Acrylic Paints
- Ceramic Pots - (Make sure they don't have any drainage holes)
- Paintbrushes
- Wicks 

The first job is to paint your pots. A fun task, but definitely time consuming if like me, you opt to create 48 candles. My pots were only 5cm long making them very dainty - so patience was a virtue, but I think the outcome is really pretty. Acrylic paint dries super fast, so you'll be able to crack on with step two straight away. 

Once your pots are all painted you can start melting your wax. To do this, you need two saucepans - one larger than the other (I'd recommend using older saucepans so you don't ruin any nice ones). Place around an inch of boiling water in the larger pan, and place the smaller pan with wax flakes inside it. Stir your wax on a medium heat until it melts.

I soon discovered that pouring the wax direct from the small pan into my pots was a total mess, so I ended up pouring the wax into a jug so that I could delicately pour the wax inside my ceramic pots.

Whilst your wax is melting,  you can prepare your wicks. You'll need to wrap them around a pencil or paintbrush and rest it on the top of your pots to make sure the wick stays steady and centred whilst the wax sets. Try not to move your wicks around once the wax turns white as you may end up with lumps and bumps, but the wick is fine to adjust when the wax is still unset.

Once the wax starts to turn white, you can slip your pencils from underneath the wick, and cut the wicks to be around 1cm in length. Don't burn the candles until the wax is totally set (I'd leave it a few hours just to be sure) but then you are free to light your candles and expertly display your handiwork around the house. 

I think these would be the sweetest little stocking fillers for friends or family, and a lovely gift if you're looking to be thrifty this Christmas and want to create something handmade for all your friends rather than spend a fortune. Hopefully they sell like hotcakes this weekend and make lots of money for the Dementia Society!

What do you think of my mini ceramic candles? 

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