New In Beauty + Current Favourites

Tuesday, October 31, 2017
I've been lucky enough to try quite a few fantastic beauty products recently that are perfect for the autumn and winter months - thanks to Organii, The Body Shop, Joan Collins Beauty, Macadamia Oil, SmileLab and Biolage. Today's post is mix of product recommendations for autumn and mini products reviews as well as my initial impressions.

*Organii Liquid Soap - Lavender (£4.45 300ml)
If you've been following my blog for any length of time then you'll know that I love anything lavender scented so this hand wash is perfect. It contains organic olive oil and it's suitable for vegans! I love the packaging and the scent is amazing, it's such a calming and relaxing scent. I have eczema on my hands so they are perpetually dry and hand washes can make it so much worse but this one doesn't - it leaves the skin cleansed but not stripped or dry. I'd definitely recommend it!

*Organii Shower Gel - Argan (£5.95, 300ml)
Again, I love the packaging as it's colourful but minimal and practical. I also love the scent, I chose Argan but it comes in aloe vera and bamboo, liquorice, shea butter and strawberry - all of the scents sound gorgeous, well, apart from the liquorice one which is a little unusual! Neither products lather up but they work well and smell lovely. 100% of the ingredients within the liquid soap are natural and 99.5% of the shower gel are derived from natural origins.
*SmileLab Advanced Teeth Whitening Strips (£38)
I've tried so many at home teeth whitening products (I might publish a round up post next month?) and some of them have actually worked but others have been a complete waste of time. However, I always want to try more as professional teeth whitening sessions can be ridiculously expensive! This kit is enamel safe, peroxide free (yay!), vegan friendly, cruelty free, SLS free and it's very easy to use.

It comes with fourteen strips which have a sections for your top teeth and for the bottom too. It comes nicely presented, the instructions are easy to follow and each strip is individually wrapped. It also comes with a travel case which could be useful to some. As I've tried products like this before, I think there's a step missing from the instructions as if you dry your teeth (odd I know) then apply the strips, they will stick better. Once the strips are on, you wait for 30 minutes although as I have sensitive teeth I've been waiting half that time.

I've been using it on and off for a week or so, I haven't had time to use it more sadly but I have noticed some positive effects. Let's get the one negative out of the way first and that is the sensitivity it causes although I have found that with every teeth whitening product I've used and it is minimal so it's nothing to worry about. Now onto the positives, the product is very easy to use, it's convenient and it definitely lightens the colour of my teeth from a slightly yellow to a brighter shade, even from the first use I noticed a difference. Obviously you do need to keep it up to get a better result and it won't stay brighter without using the product again in the future. So far so good and I'd definitely recommend it, if you are looking for a safe, easy and vegan friendly teeth whitening option.

*The Body Shop Vanilla Pumpkin Body Butter (£15, 200ml)
Every year The Body Shop creates a fantastic range of Christmas product and this year is no different. Following on from the ever popular pumpkin trend at this time of the year, The Body Shop have joined the bandwagon. The Body Shop body butters are some of my favourite products as I've been using them for about ten years now.

The vanilla pumpkin scent is just gorgeous, it is creamy and sweet, vanilla heavy and rich which is ideal for the colder months and upcoming festive season. As with all of their body butters, it's incredibly nourishing, moisturising and soothing so it is a autumn essential for me. It would be perfect to include within a self care Christmas hamper!
*Macadamia Oil Natural Oil Treatment (£29.99, 125ml)
If there's one hair product that actually makes a difference to the look and feel of my hair overnight, it's hair oils. I mainly use them on damp hair so I wake up with smoother, less frizzy and more manageable hair in the morning or I will use a tonne of hair oil on my dry hair an hour or so before I wash my hair as a treatment.

I've tried quite a few and they can be very hit and miss for me, I've tried a few that were awful but this one is one of the best! I like the packaging, it contains a bonus of UV protection and unlike some hair oils, I feel as though it absorbs to an extent into my hair rather than just making it greasy. With my newly bleached and coloured tips, it's perfect as it enhances the bright blue in my hair and it leaves my hair smoother, softer and less frizzy! It is a little pricy but it's well worth a try, I now want to try more from Macadamia Oil.
*Joan Collins Beauty I Am Woman Indulgent Bath Salts (£18, 300g)
Autumn and Winter are basically bath season so I have been trying out some more bath products from Bomb Cosmetics and Joan Collins. These bath salts come in a heavy, glass tub so it would make a lovely pampering gift this year. It contains rice bran, grapeseed and rosehip seed oils. It smells heavenly to me, it's musky but sweet - it's pretty much an expensive evening fragrance in bath salt form. The bath salts are unlike others I've tried as they are so fine, rather than chunky salts so they dissolve quicker and the scent is lovely in the water. It makes any bath feel more luxurious and it would be a great Christmas self care hamper addition.
*Biolage R.A.W Replish Oil Mist (£22.99, 125ml)
Lastly, one of my favourite products I've received recently and it's another hair oil, I have been trying to look after my hair more recently as the cold definitely has an affect on it and I've bleached the ends again so it needs more attention. It contains olive, sunflower and borage oil - 100% of the ingredients are natural, the packaging is made of 100% recycled plastic and there are no artificial colorants or silicones.

The oil, unlike every other I've tried, comes in a spray bottle which is the main reason I like this product so much and why I've been using it so often as the spray bottle makes it so quick and easy to use. It leaves my hair, especially the bleached and coloured ends, softer, smoother and it helps to detangle as well. I'd recommend both hair oils in this post, so take your pick!

Have you tried any of these products? What are your current beauty favourites? 

Halloween: Joico Colour Butters + Instatint

Monday, October 30, 2017
This year I've been experimenting with my hair colour by bleaching the ends and testing out a range of semi-permanent hair colours from Loreal to Crazy Colours and now I have a few more to try which would be perfect for halloween - it's tomorrow! You might be able to get these products in a salon near you or if you order with next day delivery *fingers crossed you can*.

I was very kindly sent a range of products from Joico including a couple of new releases including the *Joico Colour Butters (£14.95), *Joico Color Intensity and the *Joico Instatint to test out. I received the black, mauve quartz, purple, green, blue and titanium shades.
*Joico Color Intensity Metallic Semi-Permanent Hair Color in Mauve Quartz 
This is the item within the amazing package that I was most excited about, mainly because the packaging looks almost rose gold and I want pinky, rose gold hair! It might not turn out that way but I'm hoping it will; it's going to be the product I use next on my hair. It is the bestselling expressive color line in the US and the colour will last for up to 20 washes.

It contains a nourishing formula including Kukui Nut Oil and K-Pak's exclusive Quadramine Complex for healthy looking hair after each use. There are a couple of new shades to this line and they all look amazing so I can't wait to try the Mauve Quartz shade on my bleached ends! Follow me on Instagram or Twitter to see the results.
*Joico Instatint Temporary Hair Colour Shimmer Spray 
I've tried a few coloured hair sprays in the past, mainly in the 90's as I wasn't allowed to dye my hair and they were always so disappointing! I have the Light Purple and Titanium shades, both of which contain the bio-advanced peptide complex. I'm not really a fan of the Light Purple shade but the Titanium shade is far better - the Titanium shade isn't as pigmented but it contains more visible shimmer and looks so pretty on the blue sections of my hair!
*Joico Color Butter (£14.95)
The first product I tested out was one of the new Color Butters in the Blue shade! I did bleach the ends of my hair twice before using these products and I think they will only work on natural or pre-lightened hair (from platinum to dark blondes). The color butters contain Kukui Nut Oil, Shea Butter, Arginine, Bio-Advanced Peptide Complex and the Quadramine Complex. Arginine is an amino acid that is responsible for the ability of your hair to stretch rather than break so it's the perfect ingredient to include.
The color butters are a combination of a thick hair treatment and a semi-permanent hair colour! I've only tried the blue shade so far but I cannot wait to try the Titanium shade! The color butter is incredibly easy to apply as it's so thick, it doesn't have an awful/strong scent and it's super quick to develop. I only left this colour on my hair for about four minutes and the colour was so vibrant and bold, I love it! I just wish that I'd been careful and patient with my application as there were still blonde sections showing though.  I've washed my hair a couple of times since applying it as the colour has faded a little bit it's still vibrant and gorgeous. I cannot recommend the color butters enough!

Have you tried any of these products or others from Joico? Have you tried any semi-permanent hair dyes? 

Halloween Look: Gore ft. The Makeup Armoury

Sunday, October 29, 2017
I have always wanted to create some gory and gruesome halloween looks and the lovely people at The Makeup Armoury kindly sent me a few products to achieve some ghoulishly glorious halloween looks this year! I hadn't used any products like these before but they were so easy to use, very effective and thankfully quick to remove. I've created three looks with the items, all of which are horror film and zombie inspired.

The items I used for all three looks are pretty much the same, apart from a few gorgeous products from the equally lovely people over at Essence. You can use whatever products you want but the SFX items from The Makeup Armoury are essential!

*Ben Nye Nose & Scar Wax - NW-2 Fair (£7)
*Wound Filler - Light (£12.50)
*Nick Dudman Blood - Dark (£6, 30ml)
Clarins Extra Comfort Foundation - 103 Ivory
Lisa Blur Dual Powder
*Essence Instant Volume Boost Mascara - Black
NYX Blush - Taupe
Tweezerman Eyelash Curler
Eylure Brow Pencil - Dark Brown
Eye Of Horus Brow Pencil & Gel
Antipodes Manuka Honey Eye Cream
Makeup Revolution House Of Glam Dolls Palette
Stila Waterproof Eyeliner - Black
Crown Brushes, Ecotools & Eylure Brushes
*Essence Metal Shock Eyeshadow - Stars & Stories 

I know there are a lot of products but they can be used for three looks and most of them are items you'll probably have already or you'll at least have similar products. The only items you'll have to buy for these looks are the SFX items and they are essential, you can't re-create these looks without them. The SFX products will last a while too as a little does a long way for these three halloween makeup looks.
"Attacked Zombie"

Step One:

For this first look which I'm naming 'attacked zombie' as it has a bullet wound and is kind of rotting and bruised, I started with my regular foundation, brow routine and applied mascara - the Essence Instant Volume Boost mascara is amazing! Then instead of my usual blended, subtle contour, I went a bit overboard as I was thinking of creating a slightly gaunt and bruised zombie look without a lot of effort. I also applied some of my contour and red, brown and taupe shades under my eyes and over my lips.

Step Two:

Now for the fun and slightly messy bit, the scar wax! I haven't used anything like it before so it did require a little patience and practice but it is very easy to use. I didn't have any liquid latex so as the wax is naturally sticky, I just used the end of my tweezers to attach and blend it onto my skin where I wanted it. I blended the edge I wanted to stick down and I left the other edge unblended and sticking out to add texture and the effect of ripped/torn skin. To stop the wax sticking to my hands as much (as I rolled the wax into ropes before I blended it onto the skin), I used my setting powder which really helped! Using a cotton wool bud to blend the edges made the blended edges much smoother.

Step Three: 

I set the wax with powder and started to apply darker blacks, browns and taupes to the centre of the wound and edges of the wax and gradually applied lighter reds and taupes towards the outer edges of the wound to create a bruised, sore appearance. I also add a few red and black lines emanating from the wound as well as wound filler within the centre of both wounds and splatter at the edges. Use whatever shades and as much as you want for the bruising around the wounds and as much fake blood and wound filler too.
"Rotting Prom Queen"

Step One:

For the second look, I wanted a bigger, almost burned looking wound but with some sparkle from the new Essence products I was kindly sent so I came up with this beauty/prom queen zombie look...maybe it only makes sense in my mind. As with the first look, I applied my foundation, brows, contour and powder as I normally would and I add some of the Essence cream eyeshadow to the lids in the shade 'Stars & Stories' which is a gorgeous metallic rose shade.

Step Two:

As with wound/burn was much larger than the others, I sketched it out with my brow pencil and started rolling out lengths of scar wax and blended them along the line I'd drawn with the blended edge on the outer side of the wound, if that makes sense - so the edge that sticks up is within the wound. Powder helps to make the wax stick and become easier to work with. Tweezers and cotton buds are essential for blending the edges of the wax onto the skin.
Step Three: 

Apply the wax is as you want it to be, I made it more ripped and torn for this look so hopefully you can see the texture and edges of the wound, as though the zombies skin is peeling off (sorry if these three looks are gross for you!). I used the same shades for the inside of the wound and the bruising but I applied more of the dark shades especially around the edges and I used much more wound filler as well as the Nick Dudman blood for added depth and more gore! Thankfully the clean up for all three was so easy although this is the least wearable look as I couldn't open my mouth as I'd applied the wax and blood over half my lips, not my best idea.

When my mum saw this look she said is was horrible and that it looked as though half my face has been ripped off, which is exactly what I was going for. My dad saw this look just as I'd finished and he said that he's going to have nightmares...job done!
"Carved Mouth" 

Step One:

This was the first look I created using the wax so it is a little...rustic to say the least but thankfully there a lot of room for error with halloween looks especially gory ones as they are meant to look gnarled and gruesome, yay...This is the least zombie-like look but whenever you search for gory halloween looks then photos of looks like this will appear left, right and centre so I wanted to try it myself. As with the previous looks, I applied my foundation, base products and brows as well as mascara as I normally would.

Step Two:

Using the wax and powder, I created four lengths for each side of the slit and attached it again, using my tweezers (the side that isn't pointed, obviously) to smooth the wax onto the skin and blend but I hadn't figured out that using cotton buds would help to blend at this stage so the wax is more obvious and less blended than the other two looks.
Step Three:

As you can see from the photo above, I only used a small amount of wax for two looks, I used a bit more for the final look but a little does go a long way. I filled the wound with deep reds and purples then brown and red shades around the wound to look like bruising and sore, irritated skin. I then filled it in with wounds filler which is amazing, it smells like sugar to me and you only need a small amount for a really realistic effect!

Those all the three looks I created using a few products from Essence, my normal makeup routine and three amazing SFX makeup items from the lovely people at The Makeup Armoury - definitely check out their site. All three looks were so easy and fun to create, they are quick and fuss free to remove and the products didn't irritate my skin at all. Out of all the halloween looks I've created on my blog, these three are my favourites as they were so fun to create and even if you haven't used SFX products before, you can create some gruesome and really striking halloween looks. I wish I could create more but sadly I don't have any more time as it's almost Halloween!

What do you think of these zombie inspired halloween looks? Have you tried using SFX makeup? 

Happy *almost* Halloween!

Breast Cancer Awareness Month + Care Hamper

Saturday, October 28, 2017
If you didn't know, breast cancer awareness month began on the 1st October! Cancer is a disease that has affected a few family friends and neighbours as well as my grandparents so it's something very personal but even if you don't personally have the disease it can still affect you in so many ways, for example, I've never met either of my grandmas because they died before I was born, one of which died as a result of lung cancer. 

We all know someone who's been affected by the disease and know how devastating it can be so it's important to raise awareness of the disease to help fundraise for research into finding better treatments and possible a cure - whether it's breast cancer, prostate cancer which sadly affected my grandad or any other form of cancer such as leukaemia, which my mum's dad has, every penny counts.
There are so many wonderful charities and companies out there that not only raise awareness, and fundraise but also supply products that are ideal for cancer patients. One such company is Cancer Care Parcel which creates cancer specific care hampers and packages for those suffering with cancer. I was very kindly sent the *Luxury Breast Cancer Care Parcel (£95.68) which is specific to breast cancer sufferers but there are lots of others too, for example, male, childhood and general cancer hampers. 

The box packaging is so well designed which a lovely message on the top of 'someone thinking of you, sent you this gift'. The box is really well presented and packaged and it contains so many items such as tea, a blanket, neck pillow, cosy socks, a nausea band and so much more. It's designed around comfort and trying to help the recipient feel as comfortable as possible, whether at home or in hospital. 
Some of the items are also perfect for this time of the year as it's getting so chilly and when the weather turns, there's nothing more comforting than a cup of warm herbal or mint tea. Peppermint tea has been found to reduce nausea following chemotherapy or radiotherapy too. Including within the box is a pack of *Jenier Peppermint Herbal Tea which sounds delicious as well as a pair of super soft pink bed socks, an extremely cosy and fluffy blanket (125cm x 150cm) and a Linseed Eye Pillow which contains lavender and geranium. The eye pillow is so soft and smells incredible, especially as it contains lavender which has an instantly calming scent. 

Additionally, the box comes with a fun activity to do - an adult colouring book with cute colouring pencils that is perfect for hospital stays or relaxing time at home. I know so many people that find colouring, artistic projects, craft projects or doodling so relaxing and anxiety reducing so it's a great addition to the box. 
The Cancer Care Parcel is designed for numerous forms of cancer as well as all stages of cancer so it would be a thoughtful and practical gift for anyone suffering with cancer, whether it's a neighbour, friend or family member. Additionally, you could buy a care parcel and donate it to a local hospice, hospital or care home in need this Christmas. Also everyone who buys a hamper will be given access to the Cancer Care Parcel resources which supports everyone affected by cancer, including friends, family or carers - the details are included within the leaflet that comes with each parcel. I will be donating the box I received as well as some more goodies *biscuits and chocolates* to a local hospice and charity near me so hopefully all of the items will find homes and be useful for many people - hopefully we'll be able to donate it next week. 
The parcel doesn't just contain comforting items but also practical, everyday items such as a water bottle, earphones, ribbed foot roller, lip balm, cool food bag and more. The food bag has the cutest English seaside town design, it's a really good size and it has handles too - great for on the go or hospital trips for treatments. The lip balm is also great for dry skin which can occur as a result of some treatments. One of the most interesting and possibly very useful items is the *Sea Band which is a drug free nausea, travel and morning sickness band that provides natural relief without any side effects. It's been clinically tested and recommended by healthcare experts - it is used in hospitals all around the world for nausea relief. 
I have one final product that is related to breast cancer awareness month and it's this amazing *Boob Tassel T-Shirt (£29) from Tetta Tee - if you're wondering 'tetta' is the Italian word for boobs! The wonderful people at tetta have created a Kickstarter campaign to raise awareness of breast cancer and to raise money through the sale of their gorgeous tassel t-shirts which I think is a fantastic idea! For each t-shirt sold, 20% of the money will go to Breast Cancer Now which is the UK's largest breast cancer research charities so they need all of the funding they can get! 
There are various colours to choose from such as tropical, copper, silver grey and many more so you should definitely check out their site as you'll not only get yourself a cute tee but you will be supporting a fantastic charity! I have the medium size and it's so comfy, cute and it is for a very worthy cause. There's also a tassel tote and pouch that you can pre-order on their website. Breast cancer is the second biggest killer in the UK, it has affected members of my family as well as family friends so it is such a worthy cause! 

Both the amazing and thoughtful Cancer Care Parcels and the cute Tetta Tees are well worth checking out and supporting - even just sharing a tweet, spreading the message or purchasing a tee or parcel will help! So why not show some support, in whatever way you can for breast cancer awareness month. 



What do you think of the cancer care parcels? How cute are the Tetta T-shirts! Are you doing anything for breast cancer awareness month (there's still time)? 

Giveaway coming soon with Tetta!

Halloween Look: Beetlejuice Beetlejuice Beetlejuice

Friday, October 27, 2017
Every year I create a few halloween looks within the month of October and I adore creating them as it gives me a chance to experiment with makeup, unleash my creative side and wear colour contact lenses! I haven't been able to create as many as I'd wanted to this year *cries* but I do have a couple more coming very soon!

I've already created one halloween look with the help of Vision Direct and here's the second look which is inspired by one of my favourite films, Beetlejuice. If you haven't seen it then you should on or before halloween as it's perfect for this time of the year. Beetlejuice is one of my favourite characters in the film, as well as Lydia and it was great to create a halloween makeup look inspired by him.
I used the *FreshLook Colourblends Contact Lenses in Gemstone Green (£14.99 per box) for this look as even though he doesn't have green eyes *I don't think...*, it makes the look more interesting and halloweeny. I also used a range of highstreet makeup that is easily substituted as well as a homemade SFX hack! Before we get into the tutorial, here's a list of the products I used:

Bourjois Sleep Effect Foundation in 71
The Body Shop Lightening Drops
Essence Fixing Powder
Eylure Brow Pencil in Dark Brown
Tweezerman Brow Mousse + Eyelash Curler
Eye Of Horus Brow Pencil
Ciate London Wonderwand Mascara in Black
Freedom House Of Glam Dolls Palette
Urban Decay 24/7 Liner in Zero
Kiss Lashes Eyelash Glue
Makeup Revolution Lipstick in Make Me Magnificent
Cotton Wool...

This look is so quick and easy to create, it can be created using cheap products and it looks really effective, in my opinion, especially with the textured green areas and the coloured contact lenses from Vision Direct. You can take parts of this look and create something else, for example, the eye look or the textured effect I created.
Step One: 
I started by applying my foundation as I normally would but then I when over it with a little of the lightening drops as Beetlejuice has pale skin on the whole. I also filled in my brows as I normally would but a little bolder and set them with brow gel.

Step Two: 
Beetlejuice has random green mould or texture to his skin in places so I wanted to create that but at the time I didn't have any specific SFX makeup so I created texture with cotton wool, eyelash glue and eyeshadow. I took a small amount of eyelash glue and applied it where I wanted the texture, I then stuck the cotton wool over it with more glue and let it set before applying a range of green shades over the top to hide the white cotton wool. I think the effect turned out so well, it was easy to create and very easy to remove! Hopefully the texture is visible in the photos as in 'real life' it looked 3D and textured.
Step Three:
I used the same palette for the textured areas as I did for the eyes as it contains a range of fantastic purples, blacks and greens that are great for this look. I started with a deep purple cream shadow over the outer half of the lid and blended it into the crease, outer corner and lower lash line with a dark purple/black eyeshadow. I blended further with lighter purples into the inner half of the eyelid and under the eye; finishing off with a red/pink around the blended edges and up to the brow bone.
Step Four: 
To finish the eyes, I applied black liner to the upper and lower waterlines and smudged it into the lower lash line. I used mascara on the upper and lower lashes to finish the eyes and made sure everything was blended but Beetlejuice is a very messy, unkept character so it doesn't really matter if it isn't fully blended as it will just add to the look. Lastly, I put in the green contact lenses which I love! They are very easy to put in and take out, they are just as comfortable as my regular lenses and they look so striking.
Overall, I love the look and I don't know why I haven't tried to create a Beetlejuice look before now as it's so quick and easy to create - the main items you'll need include a palette with purples, blacks and greens in it as well as your usual makeup and cotton wool, eyelash glue and coloured contacts, the latter is optional but it looks amazing with the contact lenses.

What do you think of this halloween look? Have you watched Beetlejuice? 

DegustaBox: October 2017

Wednesday, October 25, 2017
I've loved every single DegustaBox I've been lucky enough to receive over the past few months and this months box has to be one of my favourites! Each months box contains between 10 to 15 food, drink and snack items which I think is fantastic considering the low price and if you use the discount code KVAA2 it will make the box only £5.99 instead of £12.99.

The October box contains a range of snacks, drinks and cooking ingredients from a fortune cookie, biscuits and flavoured water to sweets, noodles and more! Some of the brands in this months box include: Feel Good Drinks, Heinz, Kabuto, Hippeas and more.

*Michel et Augustin Super Cookies (£1.60 each)
I'm not really a fan of biscuits, unless they are Oreos but Oreos may have to move asides as I've found a new favourite! These biscuits contain milk chocolate and hazelnuts as well as a fondant centre...yes, I know that you're drooling right now. I have already ate one packet so I'm glad that there are two packets as they are so incredibly delicious.
*Millions Vimto Sweets Gift Jar (£2.99)
I have loved Vimto (which is a blackcurrant cordial, if you're not from the UK) for years, especially at this time of the year when I drink it warm. I had no idea that they made sweets! I used to love Millions sweets too growing up so this combination is perfect and it tastes just like Vimto. This item along with the next one, are the Halloween items within this months box.
*Pechkeks Misfortune Cookies (£1.50)
It's so strange that this item was included as one of the halloween products for this months box as a few days ago I was looking for an advent calendar and stumbled across one made by this brand featuring these little Tim Burton type fortune cookies (it's on the Prezzybox website). The fortune cookies not only come in the most amazing packaging but they have anti-christmasy and macabre/insulting fortunes too! As if it couldn't get any better, the fortune cookies are black...I really want the advent calendar.

*Hippeas Organic Chickpea Puffs (£2.29 per bag)
I've seen these snacks all over Instagram but I've never tried them until now and I think I'm a little bit addicted already. There are three flavours options you could receive but I received two packets of the 'in herbs we trust' flavour which is so delicious but now I've found that they make a 'vegan white cheddar' flavour and I need it in my life asap! They are so addictive, moreish and really filling! The flavour I have is vegan, gluten free and high in fibre and protein.
*Pulsin Kids' Fruit Oat Bar (£0.59 each)
I love little snack bars like this to keep in my bag or in the car as they make snacking so much healthier. This bar is the orange chocolate chip flavour which sounds amazing and it is made in the UK with gluten free oats. It's suitable for vegans, it's soya free and it is one of your five a day because it contains dates, pumpkin, raisins and more lovely, natural ingredients.

*Nuttvia Breadsticks Snack Pot (£1.70)
I love any kind of hazelnut spread so again, this is a perfect snack for me! This months box is one of the best when it comes to snacking. It contains 97% less sugar than similar products on the market and it is palm oil free which is fantastic (as part of the orangutan alliance). I can't wait to eat this as I know it will be amazing.

*Feel Good Drinks Water Infusions (£1.20 each)
Annoyingly I'm one of those people who hates the taste of water, I can't drink it on it's own as it makes me feel nauseous but I'm always drinking some kind of flavoured water everyday. These drinks are ideal for me; I've already finished the orange and mango flavour I received (which was delicious) and now I have the strawberry and mint flavour which is almost as good but not quite. They are 100% natural, low calorie and unsweetened drinks that are great for work, school or an autumnal walk.
*Pip's Real Hot Chocolate Co - Orange (£1.50) 
Coffee and hot chocolate at this time of the year are essentials and this one sounds amazing as it contains real Belgian chocolate moulded into single servings of hot chocolate and they are hand wrapped. Additionally they are nut, dairy and gluten free! I received the orange flavour but you could have received the classic flavour instead.

*Kabuto Noodles Thai Green Chicken Curry (£1.99)
Another brand I've seen everywhere recently but sadly this one isn't vegetarian however my dad has already laid claim to it as he loves noodles as I do. They don't contain additives or preservatives and they are gluten free too. It seems like a filling light lunch or snack and it's only 299 calories which isn't too bad!

*Lo Salt Original (£1.75) 
This item is listed on the leaflet as a free gift sample in this months box which is amazing! I think my diet is quite healthy as I'm vegetarian/vegan, I don't smoke or drink and I'm trying to stick to daily exercise but there's one thing that I definitely consume too much of and that is salt. This item may be a good alternative as it contains 66% less sodium than regular table or sea salt.

*Lee Kum Kee - Sauce Packets (£0.85 each)
The penultimate items include sweet soy sauce and two packet sauce mixes that can be added to seafood and meat - one of which is for tomato garlic prawns and the other can be used to make honey garlic ribs. They were winners of the Grocer new product awards in 2015.
*Cirio Bulgur, Quinoa, Tomato & Vegetables (£2.29)
One way of adding in a lot of nutritious foods into your diet in an incredibly quick and easy way is to use pre-packaged grain and vegetable packets. This one contains 100% vegetables including tomatoes, olives and rice. I'll definitely be adding this packet to a huge salad very soon with a vegan ranch dressing that I make.

Overall, I think box is one of my favourites from the past few months! My favourite items have to include the Hippeas Chickpea Puffs, Michel et Augustin Biscuits, Vimto Millions and the amazing Pechkeks Misfortune Cookie! If you use the discount code KVAA2 it will make the box £5.99 instead of £12.99!

What do you think of the October DegustaBox? Have you tried any of these products? 

Gifts For Her: Fragrance, Beauty + Homeware

Tuesday, October 24, 2017
How is it almost Christmas time! It feels like last Christmas was only a few months ago and yet here we are again. I’ve already published a few gift ideas posts which you can check out but today’s post is focused on gifts for herald the home - whether that’s your mum, aunties, friends or partner. Thanks to Betsy Benn, Find Me A Gift, Mad Beauty and others for the wonderful gifts!

*Betsy Benn Personalised Constellation Christmas Bauble (£10) 
Personalised gifts are some of my favourite to give and also receive as they are typically very special and unique; this gorgeous personalised bauble is no different. It comes nicely packaging, it’s wooden and it is personalised with up to seven family members names (or friends names if you wanted to create a personalised gift for a group of your close friends!). The Christmas bauble is so incredibly beautiful, I adore the design and it will look amazing on our tree this Christmas. You may already know this about me but I love stars, star designs and constellations so this is the perfect Christmas bauble for me, especially with family names on it which is a cute bonus. I think it would make an amazing gift for family or friends especially with new little ones as some of my friends have.

I cannot recommend Betsy Benn products enough, definitely check out the site for more beautiful Christmas gift ideas! There are other wooden personalised Christmas baubles to choose from as well as personalised aprons, clocks, mugs and prints, all of which are beautifully designed and would make amazing, unique gifts this Christmas. I was kindly given a discount for my readers to use on Christmas gifts if you want to - you can get 10% off your order with the code: ofbeautyand10.
*Goal Journal via Find Me A Gift (£45.99) 
It’s coming to the end of the year and before we know it, it will be 2018 which is an equally terrifying and renewing prospect as with a new year comes the chance for change and new starts. Diaries and journals are perfect Christmas gifts in preparation for the upcoming new year and this one is especially gorgeous! It’s a pink leather journal with gold text on the front including the quote ‘achieve your dream life’ which I love. It also comes in a gift box so it’s practically a pre-wrapped present already. It isn’t lined inside, there are just blank pages - perfect for bullet journaling or just writing down your weekly or monthly goals inside as well as notes and thoughts. A fantastic gift idea and it is currently on sale for £36.99 as I’m writing this (24/10/2017).
*Ciate 2016 Advent Calendar (£24.40) via Perfume Click
I have always had an advent calendar but chocolate just does cut it so but beauty advent calendar do! I've tried a couple and I think they are a genius idea and there are so many more now than there were a few year ago. One of the most beautiful from last year is this gorgeous advent calendar from Ciate. The packaging is just gorgeous, it contains 24 items from polishes to a nail file and treatments. There are mostly mini sizes but there's a mystery full sized polish within the calendar too. As it's last years calendar, the price is fantastic on Perfume Click so you are getting so much for your money as well as a little present to open everyday! The products come in individual cute boxes for each day, you can see the inside of the calendar in the short video below!
*Monsoon Rose Gold EDP Fragrance (£24, 50ml) 
Fragrances are fantastic, practical and also safe gifts to give so if you are unsure what to buy someone, then with fragrances you really can’t go wrong. This fragrance from Monsoon not only comes in a cute box but it has a gorgeous bottle which is very photogenic (as a blogger, I always think of these things!) and it has a great price point. I think this fragrance would be great for teens, young adults and twenty somethings but obviously fragrances can be for any age! It is a great all round fragrance, it isn’t too strong and the longevity is pretty good for the price point. I’ve already reviewed this fragrance on my blog so you can read the full review (here) if you want. A great gift idea as is the Lovelily fragrance for younger girls and teens.
*Cheerz Paperback Photo Album (from £17)
I've worked with the lovely people at Cheerz over the past few years and I think this photo album is one of the best products I've been lucky enough to receive from them! The paperback album is priced from £17 and it will increase depending on how many photos/pages you add to the album. The front cover can be changed in terms of the shapes, colour and the cover photo - I used a photo from a a trip to Copenhagen a few years ago!

I filled my photo album with collages of as many photos as I could fit into it from the family holidays we've had over the past few years such as Venice, Rome, Russia, Sweden and more as we have a lot on SD cards but not so many that are printed. I think photo albums and photo gifts make some of the nicest presents as they are filled with lovely memories to look back on and to laugh, cry and smile at all over again. Cheerz also make amazing photo magnets too as well as memory boxes, photo prints, invitations and more. The Cheerz app is so incredibly quick and easy to use (as well as free) so it only takes a few minutes to create a special gift for someone this Christmas! To get 10% off your order (over £20), use the code: CSNGNS.
*Tatty Devine Peg Necklace via Rock My Vintage (£19 - SALE)
Now onto something a little more unusual but gorgeous! I love this cute wooden peg necklace from Tatty Devine via Rock My Vintage which is a fantastic vintage clothing and accessories site. Tatty Devine is a brand that has been on my radar for ages but I've never bought anything from them however all of their pieces are so unique and cute. I love the design, it isn't too long which is great for me and it's perfect with jeans, a white tee or chunky jumper and ankle boots. The necklace is currently out of stock but hopefully it will be back in stock soon and there are so many others to choose from including more Tatty Devine items. Check out their mid-season sale!
*Showpony Clarissa Eco Shopper via Rock My Vintage (£6 - SALE) 
Over the past couple of years, instead of using gift bags, I've been using gift boxes and tote/shopper bags as gift bags - they also make great additional presents. We use tote bags all of the time for shopping, recycling and generally for storage so they'd make a great practical present or gift bag. I love this one from Rock My Vintage as it has a vintage bag printed onto the shopper bag which is something I haven't seen before. It's printed onto 100% organic cotton and it looks so much nicer and is far better quality than the ones I have now!
*Amphora Aromatics Orange & Clove Essential Oil Reed Diffuser Kit (£13.50)
I love candles but I know that not everyone does so diffusers are a great alternative! I was kindly sent one of the new diffusers from Amphora Aromatics; I have the gorgeous 'orange and clove' fragrance which is perfect for the festive season! Most diffusers around this price point look quite cheap and they aren't very strong but this one is the opposite as it looks so nice, it smells amazing and the scent is quite strong too!

I also adore the packaging, it would make a lovely gift for those who don't really like candles, like my mum. There's a wide range of scents to choose from such as rosemary and thyme, tea tree and geranium and lavender, the latter is one I definitely need as I love anything lavender scented. I'd definitely recommend this diffuser as a gift this Christmas or just for yourself.
*Elizabeth Shaw Biscuits & Chocolates (from £1.79) 
A staple in any British household at this time of the year and excessively over the festive period are chocolates and biscuits! Elizabeth Shaw is a brand famous for their gorgeous chocolates which I've featured on my blog previously but they've just released a range of delicious biscuits in a variety of flavours from mint & cocoa, raisin & cocoa and raisin & hazelnut to coconut & hazelnut.

I received a package full of biscuits from Elizabeth Shaw this morning and I'll be honest and say that the boxes are definitely lighter now...oops. I received the 'raisin & cocoa' biscuits which are so yummy, the 'raisin and hazelnut' biscuits which are even more delicious then the 'salted caramel crisp' which are our favourites from the biscuits I was sent. Lastly, I received the 'milk chocolate twists' which contain milk chocolate and hazelnut - my favourite combination ever! The biscuits should be available to buy now but the chocolates will be out in November.
*Mad Beauty Lightbulb Moment Nail Polish Duo 
I have loved Mad Beauty products for a while; I was kindly sent a few products back in July. So many of their products would be amazing stocking filler gift ideas and their gift sets would be great too! The nail polish duo would be a perfect stock filler idea for children or teens!

*Mad Beauty Bubble Bath Crackers (£14.99)
Each year my friends come round and we have a Christmas catch up and exchange presents as well as  eat far too much so these Christmas crackers will be perfect for a pre-christmasy day day...The crackers are pink and glittery with a 50ml bubble bath in each one from cranberry, blueberry and strawberry to watermelon and passion fruit. I think they are a fantastic gift idea to share out between friends or together as a set. Mad Beauty has an amazing range of gifts, I have my eye on the beautiful Disney sets too!
*English Provender Plum & Apple Chutney (£1.90, 300g)
Last year I included a few items from English Provender in a gift guide and I have a few products in this years gift guide too. However, the difference is the new packaging which I absolutely love and it looks like a more beautiful gift now! The plum and apple chutney contains a secret blend of spices that is a perfect Christmas Day or Boxing Day table addition.

*English Provender Hot Chilli & Red Pepper (£1.90, 300g)
This one would be perfect for my dad as he adores spices, spicy food and chilli so he'll be very happy with this! I think they are great but unusual stocking fillers or they could easily be added to a food hamper gift. It contains jalapeños and red scotch bonnet chilli so it's not for me as I cannot handle anything spicy but I think most would love this chutney!

*English Provender Caramelised Red Onion Chutney (£1.90, 300g)
Lastly, one my aunties would like at this time of the year! I'm personally not a massive fan of onion chutney but my family love it, especially on crackers with cheese so you can see how it would be ideal for the festive season. You can find their products on Ocado, Waitrose, Tesco and Sainsbury's.
*Thomas Kent Portobello Hare Clock Via Red Candy (£24)
I think I've saved one of the most beautiful gifts for last and it's this stunning mantle piece or desk clock by Thomas Kent via Red Candy. I was lucky enough to work with Red Candy back in April - they are an amazing site for homeware and gifts. I think this adorable clock would make a lovely home gift!

There are so many clocks to choose from but I think the Thomas Kent clocks are some of the most beautiful, this one in particular. I adore the hare and woodland themed design and it fits with our living room perfectly. It's also a great size, the base is flat so it can be placed anywhere and it just looks so gorgeous! I know friends and family would love to receive this clock; it would make such a nice house warming gift too. Check out Red Candy for amazing and unusual Christmas gifts!


What do you think of my Christmas gift guide? Do you have any of these products? What are your favourite gifts to give or receive? 

*Style Tips For Autumn

Monday, October 23, 2017
Image from A Clothes Horse
Autumn is here and with it, a whole new range of colours and styles. From earthy shades to crimson reds, this season comes filled with tones that will spice up your wardrobe, so you can forget about days getting colder or windier. Here’s a look at what to wear in autumn, from hair and clothes to accessories and shoes.

Hairstyles
You might have noticed that 2017, for the most part, was the year of bob hairstyles that ranged from Taylor Swift’s or Alexa Chung’s. Either way, until 2018, bobs will definitely still be the favourite choice and you can even try to make yours edgier! But if you’re more into long hairstyles and even managed to keep yours nourished during the summer while you tried out a full Ursula Andress style (from the unforgettable beach scene in "Dr. No" with Sean Connery) then autumn is the perfect time to show off your mane. Chiara Ferragni, for instance, just might be your ideal inspiration to wear it up or down and make this classic look fun. Long or short, fall is a great time to show off healthy hair, so make sure you use the right products to keep it properly hydrated as it is also during this time of year that we tend to lose more of it, so look after your mane!

Red is the new brown
As far as colours go, you might have noticed that many shops have filled their display windows with red sweaters and dresses; so yes, this is the “it” tone of this season. Related to the colours we tend to think of in autumn (amber, burgundy and tawny shades) and yet more vibrant, this tone is the perfect uplifting choice for this season. You might have even noticed an unlikely combination across social media of pink and red outfits. Take note of how these two go together because you might end up pairing them up yourself. Autumn is also a time to think about layers and getting that suede jacket you’ve been longing for might be the smartest move as it looks good with pretty much anything. I"m currently looking for the perfect red coat for the colder months.

Shoes, sunglasses & bags
When it comes to accessories for this autumn, go for heeled boots which are always in style and perfect for this weather. Clutches seem to be going strong this season, as well as shoulder bags with check prints or faux fur and the always comfortable and practical backpack. Try reddish tones for all these to match your outfits. Sunglasses are also great this fall, especially glamorous, frameless ones as well as cat-eyed shades, which never fail. Try to get the ones that best suit the shape of your face shape.

With red as the basic tone, this autumn is bright with possibility. Although it might be getting chilly, there are still some sunny days around the corner, so check out this post to get a further insight on layering. In any case, it is time put your bikini and summer dresses away until next year and bring out the chunky knits, ankle boots, scarves and coats!

*This post was written in collaboration with Tamara Izko
*Image from Pinterest

Do you have any autumn styling tips? What are your must have accessories/clothes for autumn? 

Autumnal Home Wish List ft. ESPRIT

Sunday, October 22, 2017
It can't just be me, who whenever a new season rolls around, I feel like I need to buy a whole new wardrobe, a new bag, seasonally appropriate books and cute homeware...good, I'm not the only one! Autumn is everyones favourite season and if you think it isn't yours then you are lying to yourself and autumnal homeware is currently at the top of my to-buy list along with some Lush Christmas/Halloween products and a new autumn coat.

One site that I always forget to check out when I'm looking for clothing and homeware is Esprit. It's a great site for womens, mens and childrens clothing as well as a range of homeware, from towels and bathrooms accessories to home decor, wallpaper and curtains. Here's my mini homeware wish list:

Glittery Cushion Cover (£19)  -  Oven Gloves (£15)  -  Copper Lantern (£30)  -  Nude Cushion Cover (£19)  -  Cream Throw (£35)  -  Star Dressing Gown (£70)

How gorgeous are all of these homeware items and can you spot the theme? I love stars on anything but especially homeware! I think out of all of the products, the black glittery cushion cover has to be my favourite as it's so simple but I think it looks quite christmassy and festive - it is almost time the season to be jolly so I need to get some festive homeware on standby and that cushion cover would be perfect. I love the black option but it also comes in a cute creamy colour too.

In our house, blankets are a must! Everyone has one, it's a very important item and I use mine everyday while working at my desk as it's always better to be cosy while working. The creamy fleece blanket looks so incredibly warm and cosy as well as a nice blog photo background...this is what happens when you've been blogging for a while, you'll look at everyday, normal objects as photography props.

If you're looking for some cute autumn homeware or clothing then definitely check out Esprit as they have a great range! I have my eye on quite a few of their jumpers, cardigans, scarves and bags, especially the bucket bags!

Have you bought anything from Esprit? What do you think of these autumnal homeware items? 

*This is a sponsored post
*Images from Esprit 

Halloween Look: Space Girl ft. Vision Direct

Friday, October 20, 2017
For the past few years I have been creating Halloween looks every October and this year is no different, although I am going to be posting less than usual. I've already posted my first Halloween look of 2017 which was a very simple skull look featuring items from Johnny Loves Rosie. Today's post is all about how to create this simple but effective galaxy/space inspired Halloween make up look!

Today's post is in collaboration with Vision Direct who kindly sent me some coloured contact lenses to use for a couple of halloween looks, the second of which will be live next week! I have the *FreshLook Coloured Contact Lenses (£14.99 per box and there are two lenses per pack). I used the shade Amethyst which is a gorgeous purple shade but obviously you don't have to use the shades that I have used as there are 12 to choose from so any will be perfect for Halloween, depending on what look you’re trying to create.
They do look obvious close up but from a distance as they blend/enhance your natural eye colour, they don’t look incredibly visible, especially this purple shade. They are monthly lenses so they can be used for 30 consecutive days but then they have to be thrown away – they are just like my normal contact lenses. You can use them for cosmetic/fancy dress purposes or as prescription, every day lenses. They have a high water content which means that your eyes will stay hydrated and they will be comfortable for as long as you need to wear them but remember you can’t sleep with them in!
I have been wearing contact lenses for the past seven or eight years so they're very easy for me to put in and take out but if it's your first time using contact lenses then you will need time to practice. I don't find these any different to my regular contacts when putting them in, taking them out or the feel of them as they are comfortable and easy to use. I applied the lenses after creating the look but then I wore them all day and they were just as comfortable and clear as my regular contact lenses. Just a quick note, if you are going to be re-using these lenses then make sure you put them in a contact lens case filled with contact lens solution/saline solution – not water! Also don’t wash them in water, always saline solution!
Before we get into the step-by-step tutorial, let's list all of the products are used. Obviously you don’t need to use the exact products I used but anything similar will work fine - also use whatever shades you want!

Bourjois 10 Hour Sleep Effect Foundation
Glossier Stretch Concealer
Essence Fixing Powder
TheBalm Schwing Liquid Liner
Urban Decay 24/7 Liner in Zero
Eylure Brow Pencil in Dark Brown
Eye Of Horus Brow Pencil
Kiss Lash Couture Lashes (67750)
Ciate London Wonderwand Mascara in Black
Tweezerman Brow Mousse
Makeup Revolution House Of Glam Dolls Palette
Dolly Wink Eyelash Glue
Eye Of Horus Ancient Pewter Liquid Metals Liner
Makeup Revolution Lipstick in Make Me Magnificent
The Body Shop Shade Adjusting Drops - Lightening
AHB Cosmetics Highlighter Palette
Crown Brushes/Tweezerman Tweezers
The first few steps is the easiest part as I just created my base as I normally do with the amazing Bourjois foundation, the new Glossier concealer and the essence fixing powder. I also added a quick coat of the Ciate mascara and I did my brows as I do everyday. I didn't really know what I wanted to do with the eyes, so I just created a simple wing and applied the black pencil eyeliner to the waterline all around my eyes and connected it in the outer corner to the wing which I think tuned out well with the rest of the look as I think a smokey eye wouldn't have looked right.

For the next part it would be best to tie up your hair as we are going to apply the eyeshadows right up to the hairline and into it a little bit. I started with the darkest colours as I wanted them to be around the edges of the face and then for it to gradually become lighter towards the centre of the face. I used blacks and navy shades around the edges of the face and hairline to create depth and shadow. I then blended in slightly lighter shades of blue and purple closer to the centre of the face. I also added in some lighter blues pinks and purples around the blue shade so it didn't look so one-dimensional. I looked on Pinterest for inspiration photos.

When you have a well blended patchwork of shades that you're happy with for your galaxy, take whatever eyeliner you want and start to create dots aka stars over the top of the eyeshadow. As well as the eyeliner I also used The Body Shop shade adjusting drops in the lightning shade to add more brighter white stars to the look which really stood out so I’d definitely recommend using an opaque white foundation or white eyeliner for the stars.
For the lips I just used the same black eyeliner that are used on the waterline all over my lips; I then used the Makeup Revolution purple shimmery lipstick over the top which gave a glittery effect and complimented the shades already used on the rest of the face. Keeping the shimmery lipstick mostly to the centre of the lips gave it an almost ombre look. You could just use a black or purple lipstick for this rather than a combination of the two or an eyeliner.

We are onto the final few steps! I cut up some false lashes and applied a few of them to the middle and outer corners of my own lashes and applied some more mascara over the top. I then put in the amethyst contact lenses from Vision Direct which were so easy to put in, they were just like my normal contact lenses. I think they really add to the look and would be perfect for Halloween! If you're not comfortable with contact lenses then don't worry are these so easy to put in and take out but you will need to practice.

Here's a quick guide on how I put in my contact lenses - I wash my hands then place the contact lens on my middle finger so it looks like a little clear bowl and tilt my head down and place the contact lens on my eye - try not to blink. You really don’t need to pull your eye open to put contact lenses in! Whenever I see someone who doesn’t usually wear contact lenses (aka. halloween looks on Youtube) trying to put them in, they always make it seem so incredibly dramatic and painful but it isn’t at all if you do it correctly!

What do you think of this halloween look? Have you tried coloured contact lenses?