My Blogging Experience: Pet Peeves + Photo Tips

Wednesday, December 31, 2014
I have been blogging for over two years and in that time I have managed to work with some amazing brands, meet some fantastic bloggers and grow my blog until it has more followers and views that I ever thought it would. I asked on twitter a while ago, if anyone would be interested to see  some posts on my experience of blogging, tips and tricks and quite a few people said yes, so this will be a mini series throughout January/February. 

This first post is all about my blogging pet peeves, from spam comments I receive to what puts me off following blogs; although please bear in mind that these are just my opinions!

Firstly, spam comments, it is one area of blogging that everyone has to deal with and it can be quite disheartening and discouraging, especially if you are just starting out. I have had quite a few 'follow for a follow' type comments on my posts over the years and I personally think they are so rude and disrespectful! Please always feel free to leave your blog link for me to look at but don't expect me to follow because you told me to. I know most people want to gain more and more followers but that it not the way to do it; I mark those comments as spam. Recently I had one commenter who just copied and pasted a section of my post as a comment then put 'follow for a follow? xx', I don't think so!

Now onto blog photos, in a blogger chat on twitter recently the topic was blog photographs and everyone seemed to agree that they are very important and that although you don't necessarily need a fancy, expensive DSLR camera (however it would help) to have good quality blog photos. I use the Sony DSc-H200 which I love most of the time but it is't amazing for capturing eyeshadow looks! Photographs are so important to me when deciding whether to follow a blog, my pet peeves when it comes to blog photos are: photos that are really small, blurry/poor quality photos and long lists of blog photos that take so long to load I always just click off the page! 

In my opinion, investing in a good camera and learning the basics is the best starting point. Also free photo editing websites and programmes are essential for me, such as Picasa and PicMonkey both of which I use all of the time. On the whole, I make my photographs into collages which I think makes the photos look a bit more professional and it doesn't take ages to load up for the reader. I also love a clean white background to my blog photos whenever possible as it just looks more professional and clean in my opinion although that isn't easy during the autumn/winter months! #BloggerProblems

Lastly, advertisements and dishonesty, I don't really like big adverts on blogs I think it looks a little tacky and messy; I only have blog buttons and small adverts with offers on my blog but if I could I would never have adverts on my blog sidebar. Another pet peeve of mine is when bloggers receive something to review but they don't disclose it, its the same with sponsored posts - I always have a disclaimer (here) and I say when something was sent for review. 

What are your blogging pet peeves? What makes you follow a blog?

Happy New Years Eve Everyone! 

Contouring Products + Tools For Pale Skin

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

I love contouring, it is an essential step in my makeup routine - if I am going to put makeup on, I am going to contour! If you don't know what contouring is then let me explain, it is a process whereby a fake shadow is created under the cheekbones to create the illusion of higher more pronounced cheekbones. Contouring can also be used along the sides of the nose if you think your nose is a bit wide, on the temples and along the jaw. Here are my favourite contouring products for pale skin along with tips and tricks!
Firstly, a very brief guide to contouring the face - I always contour my cheeks using one of the brushes above. I suck in my cheeks (make the fishy face, you will look ridiculous doing this) and place the contour/bronzer/blush into the hollow line created. Blend, blend, blend. Then take the excess on the brush and buff it into the temples and along the jaw. This process give the face more shape and structure; I always follow with highlighter. 

Contouring products (blush/bronzer/contour): First up is my favourite contouring product currently - the Chanel Healthy Glow Multi-Colour in '01 Light Harmony' which is a highlighter, bronzer and blush in one compact. The bronzer is so natural looking even on my pale skin. This product is great for contouring is it isn't very pigmented so the contouring line will not look stark/unnatural. Next up is my second favourite bronzer on the moment, Benefit's Hoola Bronzer. I have had it for ages and I have fallen in love with it again. You have to be a little bit careful if you have super pale skin as I do but it is a great bronzer for contouring the face with.   Now onto a cheaper product - the Bourjois Chocolate Bronzer which is fantastic for the price and the shimmer doesn't really show up on the skin so it is great for contouring as you shouldn't contour with shimmery/glittery products. 

The next three products have been a bit neglected but I do still love them, especially the Kevin Aucoin Creamy Sculpting Duo which has cream versions of the celestial highlighter and the sculpting powder. They apply so quickly and easily, I love this mini duo and it was only £19 from SpaceNK which is a fantastic bargain as the just one of the powder versions is over £30 (although the don't get as much product with this duo). Another creamy product is the Illamasqua Cream Pigment in Hollow which is a grey creamy eyeshadow and contour product. I love it as an all over eyeshadow and as a contouring before foundation. This is the only contouring product that I apply before my foundation - I just moisturise, prime and then apply this in the hollows of my cheeks with my fingers or the Illamasqua brush and blend, then apply my foundation over the top with a sponge. The last contouring product is a fantastic multi-tasker as I use the lightest brown matte shade as a contour and as a bronzer. There is a white shade in this matte bronzer quad too which is great for sharpening up the contour line or blending it out. 

Contouring tools: I mainly use the Real Techniques Contour Brush as it is a great shape, it is fairly small so it is precise and it is super soft! I love all of the RT brushes! I also have the Illamasqua Blush/Contour Brush which was stupidly expensive at £28 but it is great for contour, especial cream contour as it is really dense and firm but also very soft. Lastly, the Chanel brush that came with my Multi-Colour Compact, it is a great shape for contouring as it is thin and also soft. 

Contouring tips and tricks: Suck in your cheeks and make a fishy face to make sure you are applying the contour into the hollow of your cheeks - the line should go from your ear but don't apply past the line from the middle if your pupil as it will look fake. 

Blend Blend Blend, there is almost nothing worse than a very strong contour (unless it is a halloween look in which case it is amazing). Go for cool toned product for those with pale skin as it will look like a natural shadow. I also pair contour with highlighter to make the face look more refreshed as contouring can look a bit flat sometimes. 

Has this post been useful? Have you tried any of these contouring products or tools? Let me know if you want a demo post or a post one a few of the products individually. 

2014 Favourites: Skincare

Monday, December 29, 2014
Skincare products are always difficult for me to find as I have sensitive skin, prone to occasional eczema, and my skin is dry. Although this year I have found a lot of skincare products that I have LOVED from fantastic brands!

Facial Cleanser Winner: REN Hydracalm Cleansing Gel 
Runners Up: Burts Bees Sensitive Cleanser & RMK Cleansing Balm

Micellar Water Winner: Bioderma Hydrabio
Runner Up: Nivea Sensitive Cleansing Water

Face Scrub Winner: Una Brennan Rose Hydrate Scrub 

Face Mask Winners: Bioderma Soothing Mask & Neutrogena 2 in 1 Mask
Runner Up: Botanicals Balancing Mask 

Face Cream/Moisturiser Winner: Nivea Sensitive Day/Night Creams 
Runners Up: Bioderma Atoderma Zinc Ultra-Soothing Cream & The Body Shop Aloe Day Cream

Facial Oils Winner: Rodial Stemcell Superfood Oil
Runner Up: Bodhi + Birch Desert Rose Facial Oil

Lip Balm Winners: Nuxe Reve De Miel & Rodial Glam Balm
Runner Ups: Burts Bees Beeswax Lip Balm & Nivea Hydro Care

Eczema Care Winner: Protopic 0.1% for my facial eczema
Runner Up: Betnovate 0.1% for the eczema on my hand 

There are my 2014 skincare favourites, no toner or spot treatment as I don't really use either but here are a couple of skincare products that I love but didn't quite make the cut: 

The Bodhi + Birch Neroli Facial Oil is gorgeous but I just prefer the rose version most of the time; also I love my clarisonic but I haven't been using it as much as I was last year. 

What skincare products will be on your 2014 favourites list? Have you tried any of the products I have mentioned? 

My Little Box By Fleur De Force (Dec 2014)

Sunday, December 28, 2014
I have tried the Glossybox and Birchbox subscriptions, for a while, but I haven't been subscribed for month and months but I decided to go for the My Little Box to start a new subscription box. I've heard so many positive things about this box! Last months My Little Box was a cosy, night in themed box which I really wanted but I refrained and subscribed to the December box. The subscription is £11 per month (+ P&P) although the box contents is supposed to be worth over £65. 

This months box is designed or based around the blogger and youtuber Fleur from Fleur De Force. I do follow her on youtube and I like her videos although not as much now as I did a year or so ago. I love the whole bloggers collaborating with big brands but I didn't buy this because of the fleur de force connection to the box. I don't know how much of a say she had in the products included or the design of the box but it is a great box nonetheless. 

My Little Box is not just a beauty box, it is also a lifestyle box so you get a mixture of beauty and lifestyle samples and full size products in each box. The lifestyle items in the box include some gorgeous gift tags, washi tape and a bobbin of twine/thread which is just adorable! 

The one accessory product in the box is a cute knitted headband; I received a black/gold headband but I believe there are two other colours. It fits well and it so comfortable and cosy; I don't know whether I would wear it out of the house though! 

The beauty items from the box are from L'Occitane, Cowshed and the My Little Box own beauty line. Firstly, I have the L'Occitane Precious Cream which I think is one of their anti-aging creams - I haven't had a good experience with the few L'Occitane skincare products so I will be giving this to my mum to try. Although it is a very generous sample size and the packaging is luxe and surprisingly heavy. Next up is the Cowshed Wild Cow Invigorating Body Lotion (100ml), I thought the scent would be more festive/christmassy but it has a strong lemongrass scent which I personally don't like so I will give this to my mum or sister. The last beauty item is definitely my favourite, not only is the packaging so freakin' gorgeous (grey with gold stars) but the product is too. The lipstick looks like a bright pinky red in the tube but on my lips it isn't as red and it isn't as bright, it is very wearable - even for a nude/natural lip lover like me! Also the lipstick lasts so well on the lips! 

Overall, I love the cute gift tags and tape as well as the headband and gorgeous lipstick! In the box you also receive a little print, which I personally won't use but there is also a cute re-useable drawstring canvas bag with 'do all things with love' printed on the front which I will definitely get a lot of use out of. In my opinion, I think it is definitely worth the money; I love the presentation, it is very pinterest worthy and on the whole the products were great. Just looking at their 'partners' I know their boxes are going to be great; I am looking forward to next months box! 

Are you subscribed to My Little Box? Would you subscribe in the future?

2014 Favourites: Blogs

Saturday, December 27, 2014
As well as my 2014 beauty favourites I will also be posting a few non-beauty 2014 favourites such as blogs and youtubers. This post is all about the main blogs I have been loving throughout 2014, some are new finds and others are old faves. You can check out my favourite blogs of 2013, here.

The first blog is The Little Magpie by Amy Spencer, she is so gorgeous and I love all of her outfits *I'm not jealous..., ok, maybe a little* I love her blog design and she also has a youtube channel which I love too! She is petite as I am (well she is taller than me as everyone is) so it is great to see how she styles certain items. 

Next up are two more fashion blogs, Charissa Rae and Into The Fold both of which always look amazing! Charissa Rae's hair is just gorgeous as are her blog photos; she just makes any outfit look fantastic. Into The Fold by Camilla Ackley has a blog and haircut that is to die for, she always looks so chic.

The last couple of blogs are mainly fashion blogs with some beauty and baking thrown in (best combo ever? Yes!). What Olivia Did is the pinnacle of gorgeousness, her blog is so cute and her outfits are always on point - and I want her hair. Definitely check out her blog, instagram etc. The Love Cats Inc by Helen is actually not about cats but it is full of chic outfits, beauty and hunger inducing baking posts. 

Now onto the beauty blogs, there are so many beauty blogs out there but I had to restrain myself and only pick two otherwise this post would be ridiculously long. First up is A Little Boat Sailing by Amy and I have to mention her heavenly blog design, it makes me want to read it! Her blog photographs are also fantastic, if your not following already you should be. Last but not least is the wonderful Miss Makeup Magpie by Gemma; not only is her blog so cute but it is filled with all of the beauty posts and reviews you could want! 

There are my favourite blogs of 2014, although I had to be strict and only include a few otherwise it would be a blog post that never ends! But some honourable mentions go to: the super London Beauty Queen and the amazing Miel Cafe by Giada - she designed my blog and I couldn't recommend her blog design abilities enough! Also check out Temporary Secretary, her photos are as cute as her outfits and pets! 

What are your favourite blogs of 2014?

Yves Rocher Boxing Day Sale!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Yves Rocher is definitely one of my favourite brands of 2014, not just because they are a pleasure to work with but their products are genuinely fantastic and affordable. They currently have an amazing boxing day sale featuring makeup, fragrance, haircare, skincare and a couple of gifts/sets; some of which are limited editions such as the blackberry collection which will stop at the end of january. 

Here are some of my picks:

There are my sale picks, have you bought anything from the Yves Rocher boxing day sale? 

Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 25, 2014
Just a short blog post today just to say MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR from me! I hope everyone has a fantastic christmas day and I hope none of you get trampled in the boxing day sales - good luck! 

I will have a new year giveaway in the next week or so, so stay tuned. I will be back in a day or two with another blog post. 

If you have the time, could you leave me some end of year feedback, criticisms or ways I can improve my blog in the comments below.

Lots of love from,
Heather x

Earth Conscious Natural Deodorant

Wednesday, December 24, 2014
I have recently started looking into more natural deodorants as a lot of 'normal' ones have a lot of aluminium in them which may be related to breast cancer although according to the National Cancer Institue there is no conclusive evidence but I would like to try to avoid deodorants with aluminium in them; so when Earth Conscious were looking for bloggers I jumped at the chance. 

Earth Conscious is a small natural brand run by two mums; they make a range of products such as natural deodorants. I have the *Earth Conscious Lavender Deodorant (£4.99, 60g) which does not contain aluminium or any harsh chemicals. The deodorant is organic, it contains natural ingredients and the ingredients are locally sourced. The products are not tested on animals and the deodorant is homemade and expires after six months.

I have been using this deodorant for the past couple of weeks, I think it's fantastic. It is a little odd at first and it takes a while to get used to as it is a solid deodorant in a metal tin. Also as the deodorant is solid, it can be difficult to warm up, especially when the heating isn't on full! However using the product is fairly quick and easy; and the scent is gorgeous, as all lavender things are! 

The product works well on an everyday basis although if you are going to the gym, have a very long busy day ahead or are braving the crowds sale shopping, it wouldn't be enough! The tin is fairly big and I think it will quite a long time too. 

Overall, I like the packaging, the scent and the product itself; it personally works quite well for me and it is natural! The natural, organic, aliminium free element is fantastic!

Have you tried any natural deodorants? 

RMK Counter Makeover + Reviews

Tuesday, December 23, 2014
A couple of weeks ago I attended a blogger event with my friend Melissa from Beauty & The Little Lady at the RMK counter in Selfridges, Exchange Square, Manchester. RMK is a brand that I have only tried a few products from but I am always browsing online at their products. When I arrived at the counter I had my makeup removed which is always a bit of a terrifying prospect especially with shoppers and staff walking past all of the time but the counter staff were so nice and the RMK skincare was equally as nice, especially when the chairs at the counter were really high and couldn't be altered *short girl problems*

I then had my makeup done and the makeup artist was also nice and professional. She suggested navy eyeliner and a peachy lip, both of which I wouldn't really go for but I adore the look of the metallic navy eyeliner - I am definitely going to pick it up soon! She also used a sculpting/contouring blush on me which again I will have to buy. Overall, I loved my makeover and the products used. I would definitely recommend heading down to the RMK counter in exchange square, Manchester, if you have time or are in need of a makeover. 
After the makeover, I was asked to pick some products which I was not expecting at all and the counter staff gave me a goodie bag of the products as well as a generous sample pot of the RMK cleansing balm and leaflets about RMK. There was also a face chart and a list of the products used on me which I think is a fantastic idea as you can create the look at home or buy the products that were used during the makeover. 

In the generous goody bag I received the *RMK Matte Shiny Cheeks (01) which I have been using almost everyday which is surprising for me as I never usually wear blush or bronzer but this compact gives a gorgeous subtle blush and sun kissed glow to the cheeks. Another product I have been using a lot over the past couple of weeks is the *RMK Matte Shiny Eye Pencil (04) which is a double ended eyeshadow crayon and shimmery eyeshadow in one - I have already reviewed the navy duo, here. Next up is the *RMK Matte Mascara (04) which is a burgundy mascara, that I haven't used yet but it looks interesting! I've tried the RMK nail polishes before and I'm not the biggest fan but this shade is just too gorgeous. Last but not least is the *RMK Cleansing Balm which was used on me at the counter and it is a effective, rose scented cleanser that I have used almost every night since I received it!

Have you tried any products from RMK? What do you think of my makeover?

My Current Makeup Staples With Yves Rocher

Monday, December 22, 2014
I have been a big fan of the Yves Rocher body care, hair care and fragrances for a couple of years, since I made my first order with them. I have tried a couple of bits of their makeup - the Sexy Plump Mascara (which is pretty amazing) and one of their lipsticks; however I have wanted to try more of their makeup but as far as I know they don't have a store or counter in the UK. I picked three products and I was kindly sent them for review; honesty as always, check out the disclaimer tab for more information on my personal policy on reviewing products and working with brands (here). 

Firstly, a foundation that I have wanted to try a over two years - the *Yves Rocher Comfort Cream Foundation (100 Beige Very Fair, RRP £16.50 - currently only £9.65) which I have been using for the past couple of weeks and I have kind of fallen in love with it. The shade is a good match for me, it is quite yellow toned so it helps to cancel out the natural red/pink tone of the skin. The foundation glides on so easily, I have been applying it with my hands - mainly as I don't have any clean makeup brushes left...oops! It feels comfortable, moisturising on the skin and it leaves my skin looking even, luminous and fresh. The only negative point is that it can cling to very dry areas although exfoliators and facial oils help solve this issue. Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5. 

The next product is the *Yves Rocher Matte Compact Powder (100 Matte Very Fair, RRP £20 - currently only £10.25) which comes in a  really nice, durable compact so it would be great for travelling or on the go. The shade is fantastic for my very fair skin tone and the powder is matte although not very flat. Even though I have dry skin, my t-zone can get a little oily especially because of the central heating at this time of the year and this powder controls oil well without looking very caky or heavy. Overall rating: ★★★★☆, 4/5. 

Last but not least is the *Yves Rocher Ultra Long Lasting Cream Eyeshadow (07 Bronze, RRP £14 - currently only £7) which is a gorgeous bronzy, taupe shade. I have been using it sparking on the lids as a wash of shadow. I have been using it with an eyeshadow primer and it lasts pretty much all of the day It is relatively easy to blend and looks gorgeous on the eyes. It can crease on me after about five/six hours without a primer, however all eyeshadows crease on me! Overall rating: ★★★★☆, 4/5. 

Overall, I love all of the items! Together the make up a gorgeous, quick and easy autumn/winter makeup look that is radiant and simple but still sparkly and festive. I will probably have a look using these products on my instagram (@heathernixon4) and or twitter (@ofbeautyand)soon. I definitely want to try more Yves Rocher cosmetics! Here are a few of the products on my Yves Rocher wish list:

Have you tried any makeup from Yves Rocher? 

My Perfect Christmas Ft. Boux Avenue

Sunday, December 21, 2014
Images above are from Pinterest
Christmas is one of my favourite times of the year, as it is all about spending time with family and friends, cosy nights in (or glam nights out) and of course, presents! I love buying presents for people...and myself! 

My dream christmas would have to include snow, I love to look at and photograph pretty snowy landscapes *they make great blogging backgrounds for outfits and products* but it is a pain when you have to trudge through it. Although for my dream christmas there should be a blanket of crisp, fresh snow! As well as a mug or five of hot chocolate with baileys because you know, it's christmas...that's my excuse anyway. 

My perfect christmas would also have to include christmas films such as Elf (gotta love Will Ferrel) and The Grinch while eating gingerbread men! If you have any christmas film recommendations leave them in the comments below!

As well as spending time with family/friends and treating everyone, I also feel like I can treat myself more during the festive period (although you never need an excuse for treats!). Cosy pyjamas, candles and indulgent bath products are some of my favourite gifts and they also mean that myself or the recipient of such gifts will be so much more relaxed at a time when life can be quite busy and hectic. 

Boux Avenue have a great range of pyjamas, beauty gifts, home gifts and of course, gorgeous luxe underwear - I have my eye on a few of their candles and pyjamas! If you are stuck for last minute christmas gifts or indulgent treats for yourself, check out their wide range of products. The Boux Avenue range of lingerie would make a perfect gift for wives/girlfriends as would the cute range of nightwear. For inspiration, check out their christmas advert:

Here are some of my picks for christmas gifts, for numerous budgets and age ranges! I think these gifts would be a very welcome addition under the tree. 

There are my Boux Avenue christmas gift picks and my personal recipe for a dream christmas! Christmas delivery dates for Boux Avenue: order by midday on the 22nd December to get your order before christmas! If you have any reviews, gift guides or wish lists featuring Boux Avenue make sure you share on twitter with #DreamingofBoux

What do you think of the Boux Avenue christmas gifts? What would make your perfect christmas? 

*This is a sponsored post*

Under £10 Makeup Challenge with Essence

Saturday, December 20, 2014
If you have been following my blog for a while you will know that I was kindly invited to the launch of Essence in the UK back in June (here) and received an incredible goody bag. Since then I have genuinely loved pretty much every single Essence product I have tried - a few have made it into monthly favourites! I was challenged to create a look using Essence products but it had to cost less than £10. I came up with one day look and one party/evening look where all of the products for each look cost less than £10. 

For my day time look I started with the *Essence Stay All Day Concealer (£2.50, 10 Natural Beige) which I received at the launch event. It is an amazing concealer and it will definitely feature in my 2014 beauty favourites. I applied it under my eyes and on redness. Then for the cheeks and lips I used the same product - the *Essence Lipstick (£2, 44 Almost Famous) which is a pretty cherry red. Using your lipstick as a blusher is great time/cost saving tip if you can only take minimal makeup, on holiday or travelling for example. 
For my highlight I used the *Essence Soo Glow Cream to Powder Highlighter (£2.80, 20 Brighten Up Your Life) which does look too pink toned for my skin in the packaging but when applied it is a gorgeous highlight. As well as using it on the cheek bones I also applied it down the nose slightly, on the cupids bow, brow bone and inner corners. 

Onto the eyes, I used is the *Essence Get Big Lashes Mascara (£2.30) which is a gorgeous lengthening, natural mascara that is very black and adds natural volume to my long but straight lashes. The best part is the whole look costs £9.60 which is amazing in my opinion!
Now onto the evening/party look which is a bit more colourful and bolder than the day time look. I did cheat slightly as I used the same mascara and concealer from the day time look for my evening look...

Firstly, the eyes. I used the *Essence Liquid Ink High Shine Liner (£2.80) which is a gorgeous black, glossy liner although I do prefer the liquid ink waterproof also from Essence. As my eyes are quite deep set, it can be difficult to get a flick without it being hidden or crooked but it just takes practise - I also have a post about it, here.

The lips and nails are the focus of this look, for the lips I used the *Essence Lipstick (£2.30, 09 Wear Berries!) which is the most gorgeous shade. The colour is a mix between fuchsia pink and a bright lavender; it isn't something I would have picked myself but I LOVE it. For the nails, I wanted to match them to the lips and I used the *Essence Colour & Go Polish (£1.60, 152 Give Me Nude Baby!) all over the nails then while it was still wet I sprinkled the *Essence Multi-Dimensional Glitter Nail Effects (£2) as an effect/statement nail. 

Excluding the concealer and mascara as you could use whatever you already own, this statement party look only costs £8.70! I do love Essence products, I don't know how they can be such good quality at a cheap as chips price! You can buy Essence products from the Wilkinsons website or from the stand alone counter in the Manchester arndale or at Westfield Hammersmith. 

What do you think of the looks I have created? What Essence products do you love? 

Christmas Gift Ideas: Sewlomax Lipstick Pop

Friday, December 19, 2014
As some of you may know, I am a Sewlomax ambassador; I have mentioned and reviewed them on my blog numerous times. I was kindly sent one of their newer releases - the Lipstick Pop! You may have seen this on my dream wish list post (here). 

I have the *Red Lipstick Pop (£15) although there is also a pink version which is equally as cute. I love the giant lipstick shape/design, I think it would be great as a fun clutch bag as well as a great makeup bag. As the bag is quite long and thin, it would be a great size to fit in a handbag; also as it is quite long at 29cm it will be great for makeup brushes! I find that the one thing my many makeup bags don't accommodate are my makeup brushes but this bag would solve that problem! 

I think this bag would make a great christmas gift as a lot of women love makeup but it can be difficult to buy makeup for other people so this would be a great alternative to makeup but it is still beauty related. I also think it is a really unique gift, I haven't seen any makeup bag like this before and it is really well made and as it is embroidered by hand, it is extra special! 

There are so many makeup bags and toiletry bags available as well as glasses cases (mens and womens), camera cases, leather bags, purses, tablet cases, wash bags and pencil cases so there is something for everyone - click here for more information. Also some of the products can be personalised, I have a personalised lipstick pouch!

Have you bought anything from Sewlomax? What do you think of this bag? 

Give The Gift Of Sparkle With Debenhams

Thursday, December 18, 2014
If you have been following my blog for a while you will know that I have a slight obsession with rose gold, I'm a magpie for it, especially at this time of the year as sparkle is kind of essential! Most rose gold jewellery is quite expensive or hard to find but Debenhams have a great range of gorgeous expensive rose gold rings to beautiful but very affordable rose gold earrings, necklaces and bracelets (here). 

I have the *Debenhams No.1 Jenny Packham Designer Rose Gold Faceted Gem Cluster Necklace (£22) which is a beautiful necklace with a rose gold chain and structure but it also has silver gems which compliment the rose gold beautifully. I love the colour combination, they both catch the light so nicely and it doesn't look cheap or tacky in my opinion - the photos do not do this necklace justice! The chain is a great length for me personally but it may be a little short on others; the chain can be made longer than I have it shown on the photos above. The necklace is comfortable and easy to wear, which is a great positive point for me as I usually find necklaces to be too heavy or annoying to wear. Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5!

I also have the matching earrings, the *Debenhams No.1 Jenny Packham Designer Rose Gold Designer Faceted Gem Cluster Stud Earrings (£15) which match the necklace perfectly. The design is just as beautiful and they look equally as expensive and pretty but simple and elegant. I like the combination on the necklace and earrings together although they are gorgeous individually as well. I have been wearing both items to add a bit of sparkle to chunky sweaters but they would be perfect paired with a glitzy dress for the party season. My only negative point is that the earrings are a bit big for me personally as I have tiny ears! Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5. 

Overall, I am so impressed with both items! They look expensive, they are comfortable and easy to wear and the price is fantastic, in my opinion. Both the necklace and earrings would be gorgeous paired with a white dress or with a casual outfit; there are so many ways to wear rose gold. I think both items, individually or together, would make fantastic christmas gifts for a special someone without breaking the bank. 

Debenhams last UK order dates for christmas deliveries: 20th December if you order by 7PM or the 23rd December by 7PM if you order using next day delivery - for full details, click here. Also you could brave the crowds are check out the items in stores. 

What do you think of the necklace/earrings? Have you bought any jewellery as gifts from Debenhams?

Last Minute Christmas Gifts Under £25

Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Christmas is just around the corner, so if you haven finished your christmas shopping you really need to get a move on! Thankfully, I have a few christmas gift ideas for her all of which are under £25 so they won't break the bank. I have gifts for her and one unisex gift, from Jane Norman, Breo, Wilkinsons, Jurlique and Debenhams. 

First up, the two gift suggestions from Jane Norman! The *Jane Norman Animal Hood Short Dressing Gown (£25) which is one of the cutest dressing gowns I have seen in a while. I think it would be a great gift for anyone, especially new mums and teens. Jane Norman have great night wear and accessories, as well as party dresses!

The second gift from Jane Norman is the *Jane Norman Metallic Clutch Bag (£10) which is currently on sale! A glam, metallic clutch bag is an essential christmas/new year party accessory. This one also has an optional chain strap if you didn't want to use it as a clutch. 

Onto the last accessory related gift, the *Breo Roam Slim Watch (£15, Mint Green) which is so affordable but it looks more expensive as well as easy to style. I think this watch would be great for men and women as well as teens. There are numerous colours to choose from including more girly colours such as peach and pink and more masculine colour such as navy and black. 

Now, my favourite part of any gift! I picked a gorgeous little set that I think will be great for all makeup lovers - the *Lancome Lip Lovers Christmas Gift Set (£22) which is available on the Debenhams website with free next day or named delivery! The set looks so luxe and it includes pretty, wearable shades.

Sticking with the luxe gift theme at a reasonable price, I picked the *Jurlique Essence Of Rose Roll-On Fragrance Oil (£17) which is a great gift for those who travel and are always on the go! We definitely need more roll-on fragrances on the market.

Last but by no means least is a home ware gift suggestion, the *Wilkinsons Baby Pink Kitchen Scales (£8)...yes, only £8! I cannot believe the price of these cute scales, we are actually buying them for my mum and I know quite a few of my friends who would LOVE them!

There are my last minute christmas gift suggestions under £25, if you still need to pick up presents make sure you check online for last order dates or you many have to brave the crowds!

What do you think of the items I have picked? Have you finished your christmas shopping yet?

Christmas Gifts With Crabtree + Evelyn

Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Why can't it be christmas more than once year, I love all of the christmas lights, decorations, spending time with family/friends, cosy nights in and of course giving and receiving christmas presents. There are so many to choose from, it can be a little over whelming but the christmas range from Crabtree and Evelyn is simply gorgeous - with something for everyone! Not only do they have beauty gifts but they also have homeware, fragrance and food gifts. 

I will start with the *Crabtree and Evelyn Chocolate Fudge Festive Bauble (£7, 150g) which is the largest bauble I have seen; I love the traditional christmas design! The best part is that inside the bauble you get scrummy chocolate fudge because you's christmas, you have to treat yourself, it is the law...well it should be!

Next up my favourite item, the *Crabtree and Evelyn Noel Small Poured Candle (£12) which is one of the most christmasy, festive candles I have had for a while. Not only is the box beautiful but the candle comes in a red frosted glass tumbler. The candle is a mixture of balsams, persimmons, citrus, clove, star anise and nutmeg - basically christmas in candle form. The scent does have a soapy note to it as well which I really like as it makes the candle smell very homely and cosy. 

Last but not least a very festive *Crabtree and Evelyn Nail Polish in Apple (£6) which is the perfect bright christmas red, essential for the festive season. This is the first Crabtree and Evelyn polish I have tried and I am really impressed. 

Overall, I love all of the products I received; they are beautifully packaged and the prices are fantastic, as is the quality. I definitely have my eye on a few items from the christmas range that I will look out for in the sales! Here are a few of the products I have my eye on: 

Have you tried anything from Crabtree and Evelyn? What do you think of the products I have featured? 

Unique Christmas Gifts Ft. Library Fragrances

Monday, December 15, 2014
Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few months you will know that Library Fragrances have taken the beauty world by storm with their...unusual fragrance scents such as dirt, playdoh, snow, pure soap, sunshine, black pepper and more! I have my eye on quite a few more! I was kindly sent two fragrances to review and I won the Fireplace scent in a blog giveaway. 

Firstly, my overall favourite fragrance of the three which is the *The Library Of Fragrance Lavender Cologne Spray (£15, 30ml). I have loved the scent of lavender for years, it just reminds me of summer sunshine and it is so relaxing. The perfume is a gorgeous lavender scent although it is a perfume lavender scent rather than pure natural lavender, in my opinion. However, the scent is still heavenly, relaxing and calming. The scent longevity isn't amazing, it lasts for a maximum of around 5 hours on me but the fragrance is a lot cheaper than most currently on the market. Also it is a cologne which are less concentrated so you would expect then to be lighter and have less staying power. For more information on colognes, click here.

Next up, the *The Library Of Fragrance Dark Chocolate Cologne (£15, 30ml) which as the name would suggest is a gorgeous deep, rich dark chocolate scent! The scent is quite creamy though rather than being bitter. The combination of the dark chocolate and lavender colognes sprayed one after the other is just gorgeous; I wouldn't have ever thought that lavender and dark chocolate would be made into fragrances, never mind them smelling heavenly together but they do! Again the longevity isn't fantastic, it lasts for around 4/5 hours on me but it may last longer on others. 

Last but not least is the fragrance that I won in a blog giveaway a month or two ago which was my first choice of fragrances to try from this brand. It is The Library Of Fragrance Fireplace Cologne (£15, 30ml) which I have to say is one of the more unusual scents available from The Library Of Fragrance. I didn't know what to expect with this fragrance but it is surprisingly gorgeous, in my opinion, my dad disagrees! To me the fragrance smells almost exactly like the Yankee Candle Witches Brew Halloween Tea Lights - musky and mysterious. It is what I imagine Hogwarts to smell like (yes, I am a bit of a harry potter nerd). The Fireplace and Dark Chocolate fragrances make an unusual but interesting combination too. Fireplace is one of the most gorgeous and unique fragrances I have in my collection. 

Overall, I am so impressed with the fragrances, I don't know how they manage to capture a scent and the imagination so perfectly - especially with the Dark Chocolate and Fireplace colognes! Yes, the longevity isn't amazing but the price and unusual scent range is. I would definitely recommend Library Fragrances! They can be purchased from The Library Of Fragrance website and some are available from Boots stores and the Boots website. I also think they would be fantastic, unusual and unexpected christmas gifts that are sure to get everyone talking! I love how interchangeable the fragrances are, the Fireplace and Lavender colognes make a really nice combination I have just discovered, like sweet smoky liquorice!

The Library Of Fragrance have just launched a range of four limited edition christmas fragrances - Eggnog, Cranberry, Christmas Bouquet and Christmas in New York, the latter I need in my life. Stat. These four fragrances are cheaper than the regular range as they are only £9.99 each! Bargain!
Have you tried any colognes from The Library Of Fragrance? What do you think of the unusual scents available?

Jica Northern Lights Top Coats

Sunday, December 14, 2014
Tis the season to be...sparkly! I do love a bit of glitter/sparkle at this time of the year however most glittery nail polishes or topcoats can contain very chunky glitter that takes forever and a tonne of nail polish remover to get off the nails. I was kindly sent a couple of holographic nail polish topcoats that may solve this problem!

I have the *INN Jica Northern Lights OTD Holographic Top Coats in Gold and Silver (£9.35 each) which look so pretty! I haven't tried any nail polish before claiming to be 'holographic' so I was excited to try these two polishes.

I have used the topcoats over 'Parka Perfect' by Essie. I alternated the silver and gold topcoats on each nail. The topcoats apply quickly, easily and evenly for the most part - the silver shade is more even than the gold. You do need to shake them well before use as the shimmer settles at the bottom of the bottles. 

The topcoats dried fairly quickly on my nails although not as quickly as they claim; they were dry fully in a few minutes although I did use a thicker layer to increase the shimmer on the nails. The silver shade is just gorgeous, there is a lot of shimmer but it is very fine and catches the light beautifully! I don't love the gold topcoat as much as the shimmer seems to be a little sparse on my nails and I'm not a massive fan of gold but both topcoats are very pretty and of course, very festive! 

Overall, I am happy with the topcoats; you get a lot of product for the price, the shimmer is gorgeous and the topcoats look so nice over all of the nail polishes I have tried them with. Additionally as the shimmer is fine, it doesn't take a year and a half to remove!

Have you tried the INN Jica Northern Lights Topcoats? What are your go-to festive nail looks?