Blogger Secret Santa with Debenhams

debenhams-christmas-gift-guide-blogger-secret-santa-4Blogger Secret Santa with Debenhams*

Whether we like it or not, Christmas is fast approaching. Usually I start to get excited about a week or two before the big day. However this year something has changed. That oh-so familiar anticipation has begun to manifest itself. I imagine helping to plan the office Christmas party is the culprit…that and my craving for mulled wine! One of my favourite parts of Christmas is Secret Santa. It’s so much fun working with a budget and a theme. The surprise (and hopefully joy) on the face of your giftee is priceless. Enter Debenhams. Recently the department store contacted me about being a part of their blogger secret santa campaign. With an aim to bring together bloggers, and inspire people’s gift choices, I could hardly say no.

Each blogger was given a theme, a modest budget and a link to their secret santa’s blog. From there we were left to our own devices. I was given a home theme, and Emily of Stylelobster, which was easy as I know her blog well (find out what I gifted her here). As for me, I chose beauty. I sat back and waited (and hopped over to Italy), and soon enough my gifts arrived. All wrapped up in a bow. I’ve had some odd secret santa gifts in the past, which is probably what lead to me holding my breath as I unwrapped these ones. But my nerves were unfounded, as I soon discovered.

What did I receive?
+ Urban Decay Ink for Eyes Waterproof Precision Eye Pen
+ Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in F-Bomb
+ Illamasqua Nail Polish in Charisma
+ Miss Selfridge Oversized Check Scarf
+ Victoria Green Daisy Russet Wash Bag

Perfect gift after perfect gift materialsed in front of me. The note said “I’ve gone for a red theme” and boy was I pleased. I loved everything about my secret santa experience with Debenhams. From the personalised note, right down to the cruelty-free make-up products.  Thank you so much to Aimee of Wallflowergirl for my incredibly thoughtful gifts. You made my day! Now I really can’t wait for Christmas.

I’d highly suggest visiting the Debenhams Gifts page for those of you who are stuck on what to get your secret santa. In fact I’d just recommend visiting in general. I know I’ll be browsing the site for my family and friends gifts. Happy shopping!

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Review: Latest in Beauty Cult Collection Box

latest-in-beauty-get-the-gloss-cult-collection-1Get The Gloss x Latest in Beauty Cult Collection Box*

Latest in Beauty and Get the Gloss have never let me down. Their beauty boxes are some of the best out there. Not only because you know what will be inside the box before you receive it – helping you to decide if it’s for you – but because the products chosen are of such high quality. When Latest in Beauty and Get the Gloss get together, you know you’re going to receive a box crammed full of awesome products. Their Summer It Kit was a hit, so when they sent me their Cult Collection box I was brimming full of excitement.

Inside the box is…
+ Bee Good – Youthful Enhancing Lift and Brighten Eye 5ml
+ St Tropez – Gradual Tan In Shower Cream 50ml
+ Prismologie – Indigo Interlude Foot Cream & Pink O’Clock Hand & Cuticle Cream 2x10ml
+ Dr Lipp – Miracle Balm 15ml
+ NUDE Skincare – Skincare ProGenius Rescue Oil (800 ProGenius Treatment Oil) 5ml
+ Ciaté London – London Paint Pots – Mistress 13.5ml
+ Eyeko – Black Fat Liquid Eyeliner 3.5g

Thoughts?
This is where I insert a gif of me clapping. Clapping to the majesty that is the Get the Gloss x Latest in Beauty Cult Collection Box. They’ve really outdone themselves this time. This is why I still have faith in beauty boxes. I’ve already started using the Dr Lipp and Eyeko products, and of course they’re amazing – I wouldn’t expect anything less from such well-known and loved products. As for the other items in the box, well I can’t wait to use those either, and I plan to take most of them to Italy this week. These really are the perfect travel size companions. Unfortunately I won’t be using the St Tropez lotion, however I will gift it to a friend who will get more use out of it. After all, it is a great brand, and the product itself looks promising. The box itself contains over £60 worth of products, and is priced at only £15.95. This is a collection of cult goodies, and it is certainly worth the price tag.

Head over to Latest in Beauty to purchase the Get the Gloss Cult Collection Box.

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A London Life… at London Fashion Week

london-fashion-week-ss16-the-apartment-wellaThe Apartment | London Fashion Week SS16

London Fashion Week. You may have seen my last round up of it, earlier this week. I can’t believe it was three weeks ago already! But could I go back and do it all over again? Would I hang out at The Apartment and have my hair done by Wella again? Hell yeah! Would I shove myself through hoards of fashion-y types? Maybe. More importantly, would I ever want to set eyes on Brewer Street car park again? Yeah, probably not. But you gotta take the highs with the lows. After all that’s part of the fun of London Fashion Week, right?

So what did I get up to on the Saturday? There was… hair styling; at The Apartment. Plenty of wandering around the Royal Academy of Arts, thanks to Open House London. Where we also happened to take some outfit shots. And of course there was some more nibbling of sweet treats, courtesy of Aubaine. It’s such a shame I wasn’t able to continue my adventure on the Sunday, but I had a pretty awesome time whilst it lasted. You can see the rest of my London fashion week adventures on the blog though.

Thanks to V.A (Chopstickpanorama) for the photos of me.

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Review: Shanghai Tang Gold Lily Perfume

shanghai-tang-gold-lily-perfume-silk-road-fragrance-review-2Shanghai Tang Gold Lily Perfume*

I don’t often do perfume reviews – mainly because it’s a very personal subject. Everyone has their favourite type of scent. Some people prefer floral, some musky, others sickly sweet. There are such a variety of options when it comes to perfume. I used to buy 5-7 of bottles a year. After a while I realised that having a signature scent made far more sense than dousing myself in a different perfume every day. The real question is, would Shanghai Tang Gold Lily perfume become just that?

Pros:
+ Beautiful packaging
+ Subtle fragrance; floral & musk

Cons:
– Very heavy bottle

Notes:
Some beauty products are practical. Some are innovative. Others are so beautiful you can’t bare to use them. But what happens when you find a product that matches all three of these? You weep a little. The first thing I noticed when I opened my Shanghai Tang parcel was the packaging. The box and bottle are exquisite; simple, yet also somehow opulent. I couldn’t contain my joy – something those who follow me on Snapchat may have noticed. One thing I did notice was that the bottle is incredibly heavy. Oddly enough this is due to the ornate lid. However I was hoping that it was the perfume inside the bottle that would steal the show. According to the site “the precious Lily flower is wrapped with accents of Jasmine, Orange flower, patchouli and musk creating a mysterious and sensual composition.” And since I’m nowhere near articulate enough I’m going to leave you with that description, because it sums it up perfectly. This is a subtle floral fragrance with a hint of musk. Whilst wearing it I feel equal parts feminine, powerful and elegant. Yes a perfume really can do that to your confidence! Is this my new signature scent? I think it could be! Would I purchase it? At £100 this isn’t pocket change. On the other hand, if I only bought one perfume a year (because they honestly last me that long), then that’s just over £8 a month. I really think this is a scent worth saving for…or popping on your Christmas wish list.

The Silk Road Fragrance collection is available to purchase in Shanghai Tang‘s Hong Kong, Macau and London boutiques.

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Review: H&M Smokey Nudes Eye Palette

H&M-Smokey-Nudes-Eye-Palette-swatch-review-1H&M Smokey Nudes Eye Palette

It seems like forever since I did a beauty product review. It’s not that I’ve gone off the idea. In fact it’s the opposite. I’ve been diligently testing beauty products over the past few weeks. The first of the bunch? H&M’s Smokey Nudes Eye Palette. Recently H&M rebranded their beauty range, and brought us some new look products. But do they live up to their new sleek look?

Pros:
+ Elegant packaging
+ 9 nude shades
+ Matte, pearl and metallic shadows
+ Includes tutorial sheet

Cons:
+ Doesn’t come with applicator
+ Lighter shadows are very sheer
+ Needs to be used with primer

Notes:
As you can see, I have very mixed feelings about this palette. First off, let’s admire the gorgeous packaging. I will hand it to H&M, these products look high-end. Unfortunately though the shadows don’t wear as a high-end product would. The lighter shadows in the palette are very sheer. I mean, can you even see them in my photos? That’s with a primer too, because if you don’t use one, you won’t get any payback. The browns are great though. They’re pigmented and they stay pretty well. The added tutorial sheet is pretty useful for beginners, who just for those who aren’t sure which colours to pair together. However the lack of an applicator left me feeling a little miffed. True, I use brushes, but what if I’m caught without one? Or what if someone doesn’t own any? It just feels like a way of up selling H&M’s own brushes. At £9.99, would I buy this again? I’m torn. I love the packaging, and the shadows aren’t bad quality. I just feel like we’re paying for the re-brand a little. So I guess it’s a maybe from me this time.

You can buy the Smokey Nudes Eye Palette at H&M Beauty.

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Latest in Beauty Get The Gloss Summer It Kit

latest-in-beauty-get-the-gloss-summer-it-kit-1Latest in Beauty Get The Gloss Summer It Kit*

Everyone has their Summer travel essentials: sunglasses, notebook, city guide etc. This year I’ve been trying to simplify how I travel, and that includes my make-up and beauty favourites. Old me would have brought along half the bathroom cabinet. Convincing myself that I really do need to bring an extra 3 moisturisers. Now I’m doing better, but truth be told, I still need a little help. So when Get The Gloss offered to send me their Summer It Kit Box (a collaboration with Latest in Beauty), I was over the moon. Latest in Beauty say: “We have teamed up with the editorial team at Get the Gloss to bring you the Summer ‘It Kit’ for 2015. Bursting with 8 amazing products, from Nuxe to Nails Inc, this is one beauty kit you don’t want to be without!”

Inside the box is…
+ NAILS INC Gel Effect Nail Polish (full size)
+ NUXE Huile Prodigieuse® OR (10ml)
+ Bourjois Aqua Blush (full size)
+ Anne Semonin Eye Express Radiance Cube (full size)
+ Salon Science AquaCacteen Hydrasoothe™ Cooling Spray (full size)
+ Philip Kingsley Swimcap (50ml)
+ Elemental Herbology Cell Plumping Facial Hydrator SPF 8 (15ml)
+ Aurelia Probiotic Skincare Refine & Polish Miracle Balm (15ml)

Thoughts?
At only £19 this is slightly more than the usual beauty box. However the box features 4 full size products, and Latest in Beauty have claimed that the box values at over £85. Taking that into consideration, you’re getting one hell of a deal here. But what did I think of the products? I was really happy with most of the products. They’ve covered hair, skin, body and nails. I can definitely see myself packing most of these for a weekend away. Sure I probably won’t use NUXE Huile Prodigieuse® OR (pasty skin 4life) or the Bourjois Aqua Blush (I prefer powder blush), but that’s not to say I didn’t like them. In fact I happen to think Get the Gloss have curated this box with expert precision. They’ve chosen some great brands, and an eclectic mix of products. I think what I like the most about this box is that it hasn’t taken the easy route. My only niggle: how can you have a Summer box without sunscreen?

Head over to Latest in Beauty to purchase the Get The Gloss Summer It Kit.

latest-in-beauty-get-the-gloss-summer-it-kitlatest-in-beauty-get-the-gloss-summer-it-kit-3latest-in-beauty-get-the-gloss-summer-it-kit-4latest-in-beauty-get-the-gloss-summer-it-kit-5

Review: Boots Beauty Box

boots-beauty-box-review-bloomzyboots-beauty-box-review-botanics-micellar-water-hydrating-eye-cream-2 boots-beauty-box-review-essentials-cleansing-wipesboots-beauty-box-review-rapid-action-spot-gelBoots Beauty Box*

It’s no secret, I’m a Boots fangirl. If I’m in need of any beauty products (skincare, cosmetics, you name it), Boots is always my first stop. I also love a good beauty box. So when Boots put together a special one just for me, I couldn’t contain myself. The unique concept behind the Boots Beauty Box is that it contains a full facial skincare beauty regime, made up entirely of their own brand products.

Inside the box is…
+ Boots Botanics Micellar 3-in-1 Cleansing Solution (£1.49)
+ Boots Botanics Hydrating Eye Cream Radiant Youth (£4.49)
+ Boots Simply Sensitive Protecting Day Moisturiser SPF15 (£1.74)
+ Boots Essentials 3-minute Clay Mask (£1.50)
Boots Essentials Cleansing Wipes Moisturising for Dry Skin (£1.50)
Boots Skin Clear Ultra Rapid Action Spot Gel (£3.99)
Boots Tea Tree and Witch Hazel Charcoal Facial Scrub (£3.21)

Thoughts?
The whole point of this box is to show just how extensive the Boots beauty range is. And boy did it do a pretty good job at covering all the bases. I use a wide range of products (cleanser, toner, moisturiser, masks etc) in my own skincare regime, so I was pleased to see most of them here. I also learnt that most of Boots own products are developed by skincare specialists right here in the UK – not bad at all. So would I purchase these products myself? With the exception of the cleansing wipes (I just don’t use wipes), I would certainly purchase these. At £17.92 for all 7 products, you’re getting a whole facial skincare regime for the price of one mid-range product. These items are easy on the skin, and the pocket.

You can view all of the Boots Beauty Box products and more at Boots.