Friday, 27 November 2015

Philosophy's Christmas Cookie

Philosophy's Christmas Cookie has been adding some festive flair to my shower! This shower gel/bubble bath/shampoo is thick enough to also be used as a shaving cream, whilst giving off the delectable scent of something extremely sweet. I'm not too sure what a Christmas cookie is but I seem to remember eating them in America and they were like sugar cookies, so the sweet vanilla/almond/marzipan scent is actually quite similar to what I remember.

I wouldn't say that the scent reminds me of Christmas but I am a fan of the sweet tones and it's not overpowering. If you enjoy Prada Candy or anything with cocoa butter you will definitely like this!

More than anything, it's the novelty factor that I enjoy. It's a bit of a treat for the festive period and I much prefer it to the Lush Snow Angel shower gel that I bought last year. It's far more 'Christmassy', probably because of the packaging. Dolled up in a red, green and silver sparkle (which looks like ribbon) box, it shouts Christmas. My favourite part is the cookie recipe on the front of the bottle, complete with ingredient amounts and baking instructions!

This would make a great gift for any friends who love baking but, from a non baker's perspective, it certainly has the nostalgia factor – it reminds me of coming home to my Mum's and creating some kind of Christmas kitchen concoction. Above anything else, I love smelling the yumminess every time I pop into the shower! I will certainly be buying it again and most definitely treating myself to a Christmas Cookie bubble bath.

£14 for 480ml 

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Best Beauty Christmas Crackers 2015

We've already taken a look at some of this year's best beauty advent calendars, but how about beauty Christmas crackers? I don't think we're the only ones that would rather find a nail polish or lipstick in our Christmas cracker than one of those weird metal puzzles and a questionable joke! They are definitely a nice way to add something special to your Christmas celebrations.

Much like the advent calendars they range in price, but they are typically very good value in terms of the amount of product you get for the RRP. So here are five of the best:

This beautiful set contains: Cleansing Burst Body Wash 75ml, Silky Smooth Body Lotion 75ml, Green Lemon & Orange Blossom Body Wash 75ml, White Lily & Damask Rose Body Wash 75ml.

Each of these crackers contains a full size nail polish and a NailKale Superfood base coat.

Exclusive to Selfridges, these crackers contain a selection of Clarins favourites, including a Hand and Nail Treatment Cream, Beauty Flash Balm and a miniature Rouge Eclat Lipstick.

You can always rely on Boots to help you out at Christmas. Not only do these crackers contain a lovely selection of lip and nail products, but they are currently part of Boots' 3 for 2 promotion.

Pamper yourself with this lovely selection of spa products! Includes: Citrus Blush Shower Gel, Summer dream Shower Gel, Citrus Blush Body Lotion and Heavenly Days Shower cream.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Gwen Stefani for Urban Decay

You can tell the holiday season is upon us by the plethora of palettes that are hitting the shops, but none have excited me more than this little collaboration... Gwen Stefani and Urban Decay! That truly is a match made in makeup heaven. There is a beautiful mixture of neutral tones, a couple of brights and that all important true black. The colour slection, along with the balance of mattes and shimmers, means that this would be a fantastic option for travel.

From Harajuku and Danger to Anaheim and Baby, the shades have suitably Gwen-like names and, whether you are a Gwen fan or not, Urban Decay eyeshadows are tough to beat. I think this would make a fantastic gift for a fellow make-up lover. Of all the new palettes I have seen this season, this is definitely the one I want to get my hands on the most.

Available from Sunday 22nd November, £40

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Ciate Nail Varnish Advent Calendar

One of my closest friends gave me an early Christmas present and suggested that I open it before December 1st. Now, I know I sound like a big kid but Christmas presents really excite me, especially when you are allowed to open them before Christmas Day. Obviously, I opened it as soon as I got home – why wait?

It was the Ciaté advent calendar! Inside are 24 mini nail varnishes, one for each day of advent. The back of the box gives an idea of the colours that you will receive, including the mystery shades.... which makes me think that each box might be slightly different. Exciting stuff! 

With the boom of beauty advents left, right and centre, it is hardly surprising that they are becoming coveted gifts. The price range for each advent means that every budget can be satisfied (we went into Liberty's the other day and unsurprisingly, the luxury advent was over £100.) However, they are novel, beautifully packaged and allow for the Christmas gift giving to start early! Jen looked at some of the more popular ones (including Ciate and Liberty's) in a post earlier this month and if you want a unique gift and have decided upon a beauty advent, snap them up quickly. They are selling out fast! You can read that post here: Best Beauty Advent Calendars

Friday, 13 November 2015

Benefit's Roller Lash Mascara

I know I'm late on this but I have only just tried Benefit's Roller Lash mascara. I received a full sized product in a goodie bag and decided to stop using Armani Eyes To Kill and give Roller Lash a go. Luckily, I have already got a back up one (actually, I nabbed a second goodie bag... remember, stealing is great kids!)

Why this works: 

• The wand is easy to manoeuvre and there are brush grabs (Benefit's term, not mine) that lift and separate the lashes. 

• The brush grabs are not painful to the eye area and do exactly what they say they are going to do. 

• The lashes look natural but with glamorous edge. 

• In my opinion, this product is much better than Benefit's 'They're Real' mascara, which I didn't like.

• Roller Lash wears well throughout the day. The lashes stay put and I haven't noticed any fallout. 

• The mascara itself is fairly wet, which I like but not to the point where the lashes look weighed down by it. 

• I will use the wand with other mascaras (tried it with Hourglass) and it works pretty well. Those grabbers really work. So, if you like a really wet, clumpy mascara but need something that will separate the lashes, the Roller Lash wand is much better than any lash comb. 

• I haven't needed to use a lash curler with this product. 

I would buy this product again.... after I have used up my two freebies! 

£19.50 for 0.3oz 

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Chanel Rouge Noir Absolument – Holiday Collection

Chanel's Rouge Noir nail varnish celebrated its 20th birthday last year and the brand is celebrating with the launch of an entire Rouge Noir collection, just in time for Christmas. The original nail colour launched in 1994 and quickly became iconic after gracing the nails of Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction.

Fans of the seductive shade will love the way that it has been adapted and used as inspiration for a variety of new lip and eye products. There are even items that are designed to complement the Rouge Noir, such as a gold sparkle top coat – perfect to transform the original red-black into something a little more festive for the holidays.

Clockwise from the left:
Le Crayon Khôl Intense Eye Pencil, £17
Illusion D'Ombre Long-Wearing Luminous Eyeshadow, £25
Le Vernis nail colour, £18
Le Volume De Chanel Mascara, £25
Creation Exclusive Signé Particulier, £44
Rouge Allure Intense Long-Wear Luminous Lip Colour, £26

To see the full collection and tutorials visit

Friday, 6 November 2015

Burt's Bees Citrus Facial Scrub

The Burt's Bees Citrus Facial Scrub was one of the products I wrote about on my Beauty Wish List post last month. Now that I've had it for a little while and thoroughly put it to the test, I thought it was time to share my verdict...

On opening this, it smelt like Christmas. Forget citrus, it smelt like Christmas spice... I'm not going to lie, that made me very happy! However, when using the product, the citrus smell kicks in. It's subtle and refreshing.

The scrub itself is fine and non abrasive. Actually, to the point that I couldn't work out if I needed to add more. However, after using it, my chops were exfoliated and have looked less pore-filled. 
The ingredients are 99% natural and the product is designed to remove makeup as well as moisturise, thanks to the sweet almond oil.

The only negative is getting the product out of the jar. That may sound ridiculous but because it's a thick product and it's quite dry, I have been known to ping citrus scrub across the bathroom. It can also break up when you first combine it with water, which all in all makes it a messy product. It's not the kind of thing that I would take away with me, for fear of leaving a trail of citrus scrub behind me, but I like that it has natural ingredients and that it has improved my skin tone. Also, the Christmassy smell will work out over the festive period! 

£10.99 for 2oz 

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Best Beauty Advent Calendars 2015

First of all I must apologise for talking about Christmas when we are only three days into November. Yes, we all know people who have finished their Christmas shopping already, however (if you are anything like me and want to keep Christmas in December where it belongs) please bear with me...

Beauty advent calendars have been getting bigger and better over the last few years. They are now available to suit every budget and the high street is getting involved in what was once a solely high-end domain. Most are either 12 or 24 days and (as much as I love chocolate) what could be better than getting a beauty-related present each morning in the run up to Christmas?! There's only one problem – many of the most popular brands sell out quickly. So if you fancy treating yourself, or someone else, you will need to get in quick. Hence the unnaturally early festive post from me.

So without further ado, here are 8 of the best beauty advent calendars:

The Book of Makeup Magic is a fabulous calendar by the one and only Charlotte Tilbury. It contains 12 of her most popular products: Magic Cream 15ml, Take It All Off 15ml, Wonderglow 15ml, Multi Miracle Glow 15ml, Supermodel Body 15ml, Goddess Skin Clay Mask 15ml, Mini K.I.S.S.I.N.G lipstick, Matte Revolution lipstick, Lip Magic, Mini Rock n Kohl liner, Nocturnal Cat eyes Eyeshadow, Magic Night cream.

The Selfridges Beauty Workshop Advent Calendar is a lot like their seasonal beauty boxes – exceptional value for money. The 24 little beauty treats are worth £226 in total and include Tweezerman tweezers, Eyeko skinny liquid liner, Ole Henriksen Truth Serum, Caudalie Divine Oil and lots more.

This limited edition calendar contains 24 iconic Kérastase deluxe travel size products and one full size Elixir product worth £28.50 alone. If you are a Kérastase fan you won't want to miss this one. Visit the link below for details of all the products included.

Fans of Lush can enjoy 12 days of bath bombs, bubble bars, bath melts and body lotions! All products are vegan making it an ideal gift for anyone who likes to buy cruelty-free brands.

Fellow nail-polish addicts will love this Mini Mani Month advent calendar by Ciaté. This is another one that is excellent value for money as it contains 23 nail polishes and a nail file worth £124 in total.

The Body Shop's 24 Happy Days calendar has a really wide variety of treats, from cult classics to new products, including bath and bodycare, skincare, fragrance and more. Check out the full list at the link below

This calendar is a real luxury treat.. possibly the one I want to get my paws on the most! Who could resist that beautiful packaging with the iconic Liberty building illustration? Yes it is a little pricey at £149, but with over £400 worth of products inside, my beauty maths tells me it is actually a real bargain! It even contains 11 full-sized products alongside the deluxe sample sizes. Gifts include skin care from Eve Lom and Dr Sebagh, candles by Diptyque, cosmetics by Surratt and haircare from Davines.

Jo Malone's advent calendar is always a hot favourite and rightly so. However, as a result it sells out very quickly. It is currently unavailable on their website but it might be worth checking your nearest store. If you can get hold of you one you will have 24 days of beautiful treats to look forward to! This is another one that scores highly on the packaging front too, with the brand's Georgian townhouse illustrated on the front.

Other brands worth checking out include L'Occitane, Benefit (although I believe this has sold out online!), No7 and M&S Beauty. If you know of any others we would love to hear from you!