11 Dec 2017

Home and lifestyle Christmas gifts from Amara Living (and new kitchen sneak peek!)

Believe it or not, I don't just give and receive beauty gifts at Christmas - honest!  There was a time when all of my family were allocated a different luxury eyeshadow palette to buy me at Christmas, but I've toned things down a lot.  I mean, a girl only has one pair of eyes, and I think I've only 'hit pan' on an eyeshadow once in my life... I know I should be ashamed!  So we move on, we learn, we grow, and in pulling back on my beauty bad habits I'm enjoying shopping for some of the other fine things in life, including gorgeous homeware gifts.  I've been having a kitchen and dining room renovation, and although it's taken twice as long as I was promised and I've gone half mad eating microwaved dinners in my bedroom, it's all been worth it in the end and now all I want for Christmas is pretty things for my house!  

8 Dec 2017

Five top tips for applying perfect party lashes

I absolutely love the look of false lashes on me.  Naturally I have very short and stumpy little lashes, so it makes a massive difference when I apply a pair of falsies.  Sadly I've not been blessed with a natural flair for lash application, and have had a fair few traumas with lashes in my time.  Tears before a night out have not been uncommon, as well as totally messing up my makeup and having to start again after poor attempts to apply lashes and getting glue everywhere!  I've learned a lot of lash lessons over the years, and finally have some tricks and techniques that work for me, so I thought what better time to share them than in the run up to all those Christmas parties!

5 Dec 2017

L'Occitane Christmas Gifting

Following on from L'Occitane's gorgeous Luxury Beauty Advent calendar which I shared with you a few weeks ago, I also wanted to show off some of the highlights of their gifting range for Christmas this year.  I love to have a bit of a quirk or a twist to my gift giving, as let's face it, you're probably going to buy your auntie a bath and body set of some description every Christmas, so it's nice to mix it up with something that little bit different and special, which is exactly what you get with  the L'Occitane crackers and baubles.  

30 Nov 2017

Beauty and the Beast beauty stocking fillers

How's your Christmas shopping coming along/  Are you sitting smug having finished the lot or are you a last minute Christmas Eve shopper?  I'm somewhere in between - I try to start early and get things ticked off my list, but there's always someone who's hard to buy for, or that perfect gift that's always out of stock which slows me down and sees me panic buying as time runs out.  I did a good bit of shopping online over the Black Friday weekend and have made a serious dent in my Christmas list which I'm pretty happy about.  One of my best finds was the Beauty and the Beast range from Mad Beauty - girlie stocking fillers don't come cuter than this!  

23 Nov 2017

Paul & Joe's Cat Makeup Collection for Christmas 2017

Calling all cat loving ladies - this one is most definitely for you!  If there's one thing you can guarantee at Christmas, as sure as a speech from the Queen, dry as old boots turkey and wall to wall re-runs of Love Actually, it's a Cat themed Christmas collection from Paul & Joe.  I know so many people avidly collect all of the beautiful cat adorned makeup pieces because they're just so unique and intricate - I mean just look at that little cat face!

21 Nov 2017

REN Christmas gifting - Atlantic Kelp and Magnesium and Moroccan Rose

Ahhh REN, I can always rely on you to come up with a beautiful Christmas range that gives me a reason to bring out the sparkly snow and baubles :) As you're reading this I expect I'll be tucked up in bed feeling sorry for myself after having all my wisdom teeth out - but don't feel too bad for me, I've stocked the freezer with ice cream!

16 Nov 2017

Caudalie Christmas gifts - The Divine Body Collection and French Kiss Trio

Caudalie is a brand that I only started to become familiar with around this time last year, but I've already tried several products and have found some that I really love.  I'm currently trying out the Resveratrol Lift Eye balm and also have a tube each on the go of my favourite Instant Detox Mask and Deep Cleansing Exfoliator.  Christmas can be just the right time to try new products from a brand as usually you'll find gift sets which work out much cheaper than buying each product separately, and that's exactly the case with Caudalie's Christmas collection

14 Nov 2017

Gatineau Christmas gifts


I absolutely love this time of year for so many reasons, with one of the main draws being all of the amazing Christmas launches that are around.  I completely get that feeling of being a kid armed with the Argos catalogue and a marker pen all over again when I browse through my favourite online shops or the Christmas gift guide magazines.  One of the ranges that has first caught my eye this year is Gatineau because I absolutely love how pretty they've made their sets.  Everything is either pale pink and rose gold or grey and rose gold - call me basic if you like, but I'm in heaven!

9 Nov 2017

Botanical beauty buys from thehut.com

Love them or loathe them, some of the latest trends in fashion are hard to miss, jumping out at us from magazines, Topshop windows and those oh so candid instagram OOTDs.  But are you as likely to notice what's trending in beauty?  Beauty trends are often influenced by the fashion industry but are also branching out in their own right as brands gain cult followings, new product launches have waiting lists and we're all obsessing over skincare trends from foreign shores.  Korean and Japanese beauty influences are one of the biggest trends that you've probably noticed within the last year or two - the popularity of sheet masks  for example seems to have rocketed out of nowhere, and you can hardly move for brands offering to hydrate your skin while you relax looking like a tiger / panda / unicorn etc.  

2 Nov 2017

Christian Breton Delicious Face Oil and SOS Eye Balm review

My skin is becoming more and more dry and dehydrated as I'm getting older, and I'm finally coming to terms with that, I think!  Moving into autumn and winter my skin would always become less oily, but I do now really have battles with dry patches, particularly under my eyes.  Christian Breton is a skincare brand I've not tried before, but the two products I'm talking about today really seemed to speak to the skin I'm finding I have now, so I was happy to give them some proper road testing.  

31 Oct 2017

Jessica Street Style autumn / winter 2017 collection swatches

I know it's such a blogger cliche, but I love pretty much everything about autumn!  Changing up from the pastel shades of spring and hot brights of summer, I love the contrast of autumn's moodier colour palette.  Jessica have a new collection our for autumn / winter 2017 called Street Style, and it's full of the kind of shades I can't wait to wear at this time of year.  

26 Oct 2017

L'Occitane luxury beauty advent calendar for 2017

What better way to kick off my first Christmas post of 2017 than with an extra special advent calendar from one of my favourite brands?!  I've enjoyed opening the doors of a L'Occitane advent calendar for the past couple of years, but for 2017 there are two options for your festive count downs - the classic beauty advent calendar and the new luxury beauty advent calendar.  You wouldn't be disappointed with either as they're both packed with goodies, but there's something extra special about the new luxury advent calendar which has caught my eye this year.  

23 Oct 2017

Too Faced melted latex liquified high shine lipstick review and swatches

Too Faced have done it again with their latest stunning range of lip colours in a fab new formula.  I own a fair few shades from their original melted lipstick range and really like the intense pigment and smooth texture.  Next came the melted matte lipsticks, which pack the same colour punch and also last practically all day - the shades I have are Child Star (gorgeous nude) and Queen B which I'd say is a dirty pink-mauve sort of colour - I count this one as one of my all time favourite lipsticks - it's certainly my most worn.  So my expectations were pretty high for the new collection which is the Melted Latex liquified high shine lipsticks.  

20 Oct 2017

REN atlantic kelp and magnesium anti-fatigue body cream and body wash review

Now you might not believe this, but a couple of months ago, I joined the gym.  It's incredibly unlike me to have a go at anything remotely physical, so nobody's more surprised than me that I've taken the plunge!  I'm still very much a newbie and am taking things one step at a time, but I've been trying aquafit and zumba classes alongside stints on the bike and treadmill.  Nothing groundbreaking, but a big change for me, and I'd go as far as to say that I'm enjoying it!  

12 Sep 2017

Nyasa London skincare review

I really enjoy trying out new skincare and felt like I was in for a real treat when I received some products from the Nyasa London range.  For one the packaging is beautiful - I can never resist a butterfly! Nyasa's a natural brand, but that doesn't mean that there's any skimping on performance - one of the main ingredients in the range is the resurrection plant, a plant which is native to the desert and can withstand prolonged periods of dehydration.  The mantra is restore - refuel - recharge and the focus is on providing the skin with all of the nutrients and support it needs every day, including ensuring the right amount of sleep, water and good food.  

31 Aug 2017

Crystal Clear COMCIT Elite facial experience

Two weeks ago I was lucky enough to be invited down the Beauty-Plus salon in Dulwich to experience the Crystal Clear COMCIT Elite facial.  It's more commonly known as the 'frozen facial' as part of the treatment involves using extreme cold!  I knew it probably wasn't going to be the most relaxing and pampering facial I'd ever had in my life, but I was really interested to give it a go and to see the glow-giving and anti-ageing results it promises.  

24 Aug 2017

Benefit's new Boi-ing concealer range

Just when I was thinking to myself that I needed to try a new concealer, along comes Benefit with a fully re-launched range!  Some days the makeup Gods really do smile down!  

Benefit have taken some of their best loved concealers and have put them into snazzy new packaging together with renaming them all under the Boi-ing banner.  I've been trying out all four concealers over the past month or more, so I now know them all really well and which each is best for.

15 Aug 2017

Blossoming Gifts bouquet review plus 33% off discount code and giveaway!

There's literally nothing guaranteed to brighten your day more than receiving a beautiful bouquet of flowers, is there?  Although maybe a chocolate bouquet pips the blooms at the post just a little, if you're a chocaholic!  Both of these gorgeous gift bouquets are from blossoming gifts, and one of you lucky people is going to win a bouquet of your choice!

11 Aug 2017

The palette EVERYBODY'S talking about - Urban Decay's Naked Heat

Having always been a fan of more nude and muted shades when it comes to eyeshadow, I've been a natural follower of Urban Decay's Naked collections, and I actually have all of the palettes.  There were the three original Naked palettes one to three, the two Naked Basics palettes filled with matte shades, and then the Naked Smoky palette, which was a bit of a leap into a new direction with some much moodier shades.  I think the next palette to come out was the Naked Ultimate Basics, and possibly I thought that was the end of the road for the original Naked style palettes, as this one was a new style square palette - bigger than the other Basics palettes, packed with neutral matte colours, but not the same shape or layout as the long Naked Palettes.  I guess I thought that we'd run out of ways to get Naked, so I was genuinely taken by surprise when Naked Heat came along.  I saw it on Instagram for the first time one day, and didn't connect it as being an Urban Decay Naked palette immediately - it looked kind of red - what sorcery was this?! It was the first time that I thought an eye palette from the Naked range wasn't for me, and I must admit I was a little bit sad about that!  

7 Aug 2017

The best lighting for applying makeup #ad

I'm not the biggest fan of summer - I'm much more of an autumn and winter kind of person - but one of the best things about this time of year is the long days and all the wonderful natural light.  It makes taking blog photos a whole lot easier, and putting my makeup on in natural daylight is a huge bonus too! 

When the darker nights are back I'll love cozying up with my cinnamon scented candles and wearing my thick tights and fluffy socks, but I'll dread the gloomy mornings.  As well as struggling to get out of bed, I know I'll be battling against badly blended contour and foundation tide marks on my neck all over again!