winter pamper routine

We all love a good pamper, and in winter nothing is nicer than having a hot bath and giving yourself some TLC. It should definitely be the other way around, but I much prefer to pamper myself in the chilly months (when nobody even sees more than my hands), I imagine it’s to do with my skin being drier and the longer hours of darkness.

To begin a pamper session one must always run a bath, and preferably drop in a bath ballistic or bubble bar from Lush Cosmetics AMAZING Christmas Collection. I’ve been loving Butterbear and Cinders and pictured below is Golden Wonder which was basically mermaid water. If you’re not keen on those then perhaps a drop of aromatherapy oil, I hear that Aromatherapy Associates do some fab ones and are available as pretty gifts at this time of the year. Of course following the running of the bath you should get in it, perhaps apply a hair or a face mask and give yourself a good scrub down. I like to give my face a light exfoliation using Lush Let The Good Times Roll cleanser and wash my body with something luxe like the Rituals Foaming Shower Gel Sensation. I also take this time to push back my cuticles, shave my body parts and do any other boring maintenance tasks.

After I’ve peeled my prune like body from the bath, I smother it in a thick body butter, like this one from Soap and Glory. I usually pamper in the evening and so am not forced to partake in the sticky getting dressed situation, I can dance around naked while it all sinks in.

After my facial skins good scrub, I like to refresh my about to fall asleep eyes with the Aloe Eye Gel from Amphora Aromatics before dousing it in a toner spray and applying a good night cream. Not forgetting the fingers, I care for my cuticles using the oil by Jessica Nails.

golden wonder

If i’m dancing naked for too long, I might get chilly and so I finish the routine by slipping on some cosy pyjamas and painting my nails. Aah…

How do you spend your me time?

Nivea In Shower Moisturiser

Welcome to my bathroom, where we’ll be spending the next two days.

I cant decide whether or not photographing a wet product is disgusting. Nevertheless it shows the product and that’s all I ask of a picture. Today’s post is all about this fab moisturiser, for gals on the go or lazy folk like myself.

Nivea In Shower Moisturiser is by no means a new product, but one that I always thought was probably a bit of a gimick. I picked this up in Wilko on a toiletry shop (how glam) as it was on offer and my skin is so needy I thought it might be worth giving a go.

If you don’t like the shivering, boring, sticky act off applying a body moisturiser when you get out of the shower each morning then you will love this. During the winter months (and all of the others) my skin, particularly on my legs, gets flaky, scaly, sore and feels tight meaning I usually have to smother it in emolient before putting on skinny jeans and having them literally stick to me. With the Nivea In Shower Moisturiser, I apply a generous amount it and try to leave it on for a minute or two before rinsing it off – like I would a hair conditioner. I then pat myself dry (I feel rubbing ruins the process) and am left able to dress immediately, with a happy medium of skin texture. It’s made the getting ready process so much quicker and helped my limbs out a lot in the bitter chill. If only everything was so easy…

fashion christmas gift guide

You might have seen my Beauty Lovers Christmas Gift Guide last month, and if you’ve not then you should definitely have a look. This time around i’m listing my picks for a stylish sista, although I wouldn’t say i’m particularly fashionable I do love clothes and receiving a special something in the form of fashion.

Everyone loves a Christmas jumper and this year I’m hoping to find this slogan one from Topshop under the tree. I think it’s a bit more chic than the average farisle print and can be worn for shopping sprees as well as around the dinner table paired with a paper crown.

For a more practical and non day specific offering, this cashmere high neck offering from Reiss ticks every box. It’s pricey, but it would last a life time and keep your loved one cosy during the Christmas chill.

A girl can dream and lots of ladies would love a Burberry Heritage Check Cashmere Scarf to wrap up warm in this Christmas. If you’re feeling particularly nice you could even have it monogrammed with the recipients initials.

A good pair of leather ankle boots is something which every woman needs and this pair from Whistles are top of my letter to the north pole. Flat, but with enough of a heel to give you good posture and they’ll look fantastic with EVERYTHING.

On to bags and since Chloe brought out their Drew bag every high street shop have done a copy and the best I’ve seen is this one from Topshop. It’s available in a number of colours in store but I could only find the brown online. One to consider if you’re buying for a designer diva on a budget.

Finally, a watch is a perfect present for anyone and I love my Daniel Wellington Classic Sheffield Lady. It’s a classic shape with modern rose gold accents and the brand do a few different strap and metal offerings for every taste.

candles

Come winter, everyone loves candles. Even those who haven’t bat an eyelid at the thought of a flame during summer go candle crazy and it nice to have lovely warming scents fill the home.

My favourite of them all is the annual offering from Space NK in the form of their Shimmering Spice Candle. It smells like cinnamon with those oranges with the spices stuck in and my nostrils really enjoy it. It’s not ridiculous money either with the smaller size not being tiny and priced at £15.

Next in the scents my nostrils love awards comes Winter by The White Company. I would love a candle from there and everytime I wishfully enter the store I give this one a whiff. Slightly more expensive per gram but with a few more size offerings, this one would be a great gift or one to get as a gift for yourself to burn on the approach to Christmas Day.

Next up is a ridiculous offering from fragrance maestro’s Dipytique. They have some special edition scents but this set comes with five of the most seasonal from their usual range. Its eye-wateringly expensive for something you literally melt away, but you could divide the five up and give one each to five mates. Or just keep them.

Everybody loves a Yankee Candle and my two favourites come out every year and are the Christmas Cookie; a sweet bakery scent and Christmas Eve; a true warm festive scent to get you in the mood for the big day. Ahh I do love Christmas…

l'occitaine travel pouchl'occitaine gift with purchase

I think I might love minatures. They’re so tiny and cute as well as being very practical for gals on the go like myself. This time around I’m talking about this nifty little pouch of goodies which came free when the boyfriends dad shopped at L’Occitane. He gave it to me straight away, but you could give this sort of thing out as a Christmas gift and I’m certain the person on the receiving end would be thrilled. This particular one doesn’t seem to be available anymore, but the brand are always doing some sort of gift with purchase deal, and it’s a great way to try a whole host of their best selling products.

It all came in a super cute branded makeup bag, in a pink shade with a gold zip. Inside were miniatures of the Creme Divine, Neroli and Orchid Body Milk, Delightful Rose Hand Cream, Essential Water spray and the Almond Shower Oil; which I’ve spoken about before here.

I love a floral toning water and so one of the stand out products for me is the Essential Water. This claims to remove traces of makeup and help to soothe skin thanks to its fresh and enveloping texture. Enriched with Imortelle floral water, it helps to hydrate and smooth, revealing skin that feels better tones and more plump. Apparently. For me this works in a similar way as something like the La Roche Posay Serozinc Spray, in that I spritz it on after cleansing thoroughly to soothe the skin and to create a layer for following skincare steps to sink into. Like a starter if you will.

I’m also beyond thrilled to have a teeny tiny version of my much loved Almond Shower Oil, as the larger one isn’t too easy to travel with and a dinky hand cream is great for in my handbag, especially in these chilly temperatures.

It’s definitely worth buying more than you need in L’Occitane to reach the spend needed to grab a freebie like this. I’m delighted with mine and trying out new products is always a joy.

Have you taken advantage of a gift with purchase?

joan collins first base foundationjoan collins first base foundation

My search for the perfect foundation continues, and the current contender comes in the form of this little luxury from Mrs Glamour herself, Joan Collins. For those who don’t know, Joan Collins created a capsule collection of products which she herself uses and loves and this is the base offering. The packaging is sleek and chic as you’d expect and comes complete with gold look accents. The foundation comes in a frosted glass bottle with a gold pump and gold text.

First Base foundation* claims to be skincare in a foundation, offering a smooth, flawless complexion with a radiant, natural finish. It contains Re-Age Complex which charges the skin with youthful energy to help increase collagen levels as well as Hyaluronic Acid to hydrate and UV filters.

This is a medium coverage foundation which could be built up easily. The formula glides onto my dry skin with ease and leaves a youthful glow on the skin which smoothes over pores and fine lines whilst still feeling and looking lightweight. It lasts for around 8 hours before it begins to wear off.

Perfection in a bottle? Quite possibly, and definitely one to try if you’re on the lookout for the one. Joan Collins Timeless Beauty is available at QVC.

*I was gifted this product in exchange for my honest, unbiased feedback. 

birchbox

byobIMG_4916

At the Stylist Live event which I mentioned last week, Birchbox had a stand where you could create a unique beauty box, including five products of various size to give a go. The walls were adorned with different products and to fill the box was £15; slightly more than a box with the subscription service but you did have the luxury of hand selceting products rather than having them chosen for you. Here’s the lowdown of what came home with me…

WHEN Travel Mate Sheet Face Mask (£25 for four): You can see from that oh so flattering image that I’ve given this a go. This as my first time using a sheet mask and I loved the no fuss application and removal. It felt very strange on but when removed the packet suggests that you massage the remaining oils into the skin. Following this my skin did feel soft and well nourished and didn’t scream out for moisturiser like it usually does.

Rituals Foaming Shower Gel (£8.50 full size, £4 for mini): I haven’t yet tried this because I have a million and one shower gels on the go. I picked this up because I’ve always wanted to try something from rituals and the idea of a foaming shower gel floats my boat. It smells divine and i’m quite looking forward to slathering it all over my body when the time comes.

Percy & Reed No Oil Oil (£14 full size): This no oil oil is a product designed for application on dry hair. This isn’t something I’m used to doing as I usually apply a nourishing oil or serum to wet hair before going in with my blow dry but this is more of a styling product. It promises to provide volume while keeping the hair sleek and frizz free. I’m interested to give this a go when I remember to, it can’t just be me who’s always in a rush with the hair styling process?

Eyeko Fat Stick (£16 for a trio): Eye crayons are my favourite product of this year, and this offering by Eyeko is a goodie. It feels a little bit more plasticy (good word) than my Charlotte Tilbury and By Terry ones but applies colour in a similar way and is just as long lasting. My shade is a sort of Khaki which is lovely against my green eyes and looks great with bronzed up skin. I also think that for the price the quality of this is exceptional and definitely one to try if you’re on more of a budget.

Stila Lip Glaze (£15): I’m not really a lip gloss girl and I’m not sure what made me pick this up but it is a full size product and retails for the same price as I got all of the products for. Girl loves a bargain! This applies in a similar way to concealer highlighter pens in that its a clicky stick with a brush at the end. I do like the brush as opposed to a doe foot applicator and the colour is nice however I’m not sure I’d be in a rush to buy another one of these.

Overall the build your own Birchbox experience was a great one and i’m really happy that I got to try a few things from brands I wouldn’t usually go for. I think that the Birchbox is a great beauty box and a subscription is one lot of post which I wouldn’t dread getting every month…

 

graphic linerRecently I’ve been thinking (never ends well) about beauty trends which are on the catwalk every season, and the one which always stays in my mind is Graphic Liner. Models pull off over extended lines and zig zags while strutting up and down looking ab fab, but can the real woman pull it off?

Being the kind little lady that I am, I decided to give it a go to save you making a monkey of yourself. And the result? I actually really like it…

It’s not one for nipping to ASDA, and it might make the postie do a double take but for a night out, dinner or drinks this look gives a modern take on the fifties cut crease. It’s sharp edges are on trend whilst still working to define the eye.

To create the easiest graphic liner look ever I used my trusty Maybelline Gel Liner in Black and a Real Techniques Fine Liner Brush. I did the usual cat eye flick with a slightly finer line than usual and then extended the flick upwards, tipped my head back slightly and followed the natural shadow of my eye back in about half way. I can imagine this would look great if you used an electric blue liner or added some glitter for the festive season.

Would you try this?

ll1

It’s that time again where I go on and on and on about what I’ve been up to, just to keep you in the loop.

First things first, I cannot talk about recent life without offering a moment to the very sad happenings in Paris over the weekend. It breaks my heart that the world still has hate and my thoughts go out to everyone affected not only in Paris but worldwide. Perhaps one day we’ll reach world peace.

Last month, (time flies) I popped down to London for the day with my pal Jasmine to attend Stylist Live. If you have no idea what i’m talking about then the magazine you probably have shoved in your face on Wednesday’s commute is called Stylist. It’s a women’s magazine which covers all aspects of lady life and I think it’s pretty fab. Anyway, the team behind the paper pages put on a fantastic four day extravaganza at the Business Design Centre in Islington and it was packed out with shops, speakers and industry insiders. I went on the Friday and got to see makeup maestro’s Pixiwoo as well as Anna (ViviannaDoesMakeup) and Lily (LilyPebbles). I fan girled an embarassing amount at Lily and Anna but I did manage to keep it inside and maintain a cool exterior. Ice cool like a glacier. The pair were really down to earth and so teeny in person; I felt like we were pals. I also managed to fit in a trip to Oxford/Regent/Carnaby Streets and with enabler Jaz by my side did a bit of damage to the old bank balance. All in a days work.

I’ve also begun a fitness thing where I go to Yogalates and Zumba every week and the sad thing is that when I’m not working out, I wish I was… I’ve also been making an effort with what I shovel into my eating hole and have so far made homemade granola, a chickpea curry and have been whizzing up pasta sauce. Call me Nigella. I can’t believe my own words but the gym has given me a new lease of life and while I have only been four times, straight after penning this post i’m off to get sweaty.

It’s true that the final year at Uni is the hardest. You’ve got a pretty heavy workload including the dreaded D word and in the back of your mind you’re messing your pants about what you might be doing this time next year. I think i’ll just snuggle under my duvet.

Last but absolutely not least the holidays are coming! I’m releasing my inner five year old this time around and I’ve been buzzing since September. I love Autumn and Winter and I’m especially excited to get festive this year and spend time with family. Aaah…

beauty gifts

(Clickable links to all pictured products on my Pinterest)

It may be the 15th day of November, but the Christmas excitement is real in my life and I am more than looking forward to the jolly season. Now, I know Christmas isn’t just about giving and getting the best presents, and this post is in no way me saying that I want/expect to receive extravagant gifts, it’s more just me showing my excitement for the most wonderful time of the year and sharing with you the most exciting new releases so that if you want to treat a beauty lover (or yourself) you get an idea of what’s about.

I am a self confessed beauty addict and I love to try new things so one of my favourite things at Christmas time is brands launching sets of little bits for us to try. Mini’s are something I gravitate towards because not only do I never finish anything, it also means you can try a wider range of shades or formulas before going out and buying the biggie. Bauble beauties which have caught my eye this year include the Emma Hardie Amazing Face Morniga Cleansing Balm and Cloth and the By Terry Baume de Rose GOLD. I’ve also noticed on my travels that Soap and Glory and Boots No7 have some super cute trinkets for hanging on the tree or shoving in a stocking.

Sticking with Mini’s Charlotte Tilbury has brought back by popular demand last years Mini Lipstick Charms, three of her best selling K.I.S.S.I.N.G lipstick shades in teeny tiny size and the NARS Steven Klein Holiday range has something similar in the form of the Killer Heels Mini Lipstick Set. NARS are also offering up a Liquid Gold Face Set comprising their Hot Sand Illuminator, a Mini South Beach Multiple and a Mini Larger than Life Lipgloss in Gold Digger. In a similar vein Becca Cosmetics have launched their Glow on the Go kit featuring a Mini Pressed Shimmering Skin Perfector and Mini Liquid Illuminator both in the shade Opal.

Now, can we just take a moment for the Chanel Holiday Collection… The brand have taken one of the best selling nail colours and made Rouge Noir babies in the form of Eyeshadows, Lippies and Glitter. After seeing these IRL my top picks are the Illusion D’Ombre Cream Eyeshadow in Rouge Noir, the Rouge Allure Lipstick in 109 Rouge Noir and the Le Lame Top Coat. Its pretty much all sold out on line but worth sharpening elbows for if you’re passing a counter.

Finally with Christmas comes beautifully scented candles and this year I’ve been drawn to the Sapin offering by Dipytique. I’m also keen on the Space NK Shimmering Spice Christmas Candle and of course Yankee Candles seasonal offerings.

Still stuck for present ideas for the beauty lover in your life? I surrender…