Friday, 27 December 2013

What I Got For Christmas 2013

Generic introduction. Before I begin I'd just like to add a disclaimer that I am in no way bragging about anything I received for Christmas. I was exceptionally fortunate and am super grateful for everything I was given. My friends and family have been so generous and I am really thankful. I'm doing this post, like most other bloggers, because its very popular and highly requested. If your not into these posts, this is your chance to click on a different one. 

Right. Let's begin then.

On top of this I got some money & Prada Candy perfume for doing so well in my mocks! I have been completely spoilt rotten! 

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas.


Monday, 16 December 2013

How to ... be less of a Grinch

I have a love/hate relationship with Christmas. Some days I really love it, other times I really struggle to get festive and feel like its just another month. I seem to always be stressed at Christmas through exams and as it comes round so fast now it like it creeps up on you and everyone suddenly expects you to be full of cheer. If like me you can't just switch it on like Christmas lights, try a few of my tips to banish your inner Grinch.

Watch Christmas Films. If you can't beat them, join them. From the Grinch to Home Alone nothing spells out Christmas like an exceptionally cheesy, family film. Even if your still not really for full on glee, Love Actually and The Holiday are perfect to break yourself in slowly. All together now "Where are you Christmassss ...."

Go to a Christmas Market I'm so lucky when it comes to Christmas Markets as I happen to have Europe's largest a 5 minute walk away from my University in Manchester. There's something about them which really works all your senses into Christmas over-load and you can't help but get that festive feeling.

Make a Gingerbread House You can get ready-made sets for under £5 from most supermarkets if you don't fancy making the gingerbread from scratch, but there's nothing like doing traditional Christmas activities, especially if said activities involving sweets and icing, to make you merry.

Sing loud and proud Shove on a Christmas CD or go to a carol concert but whatever you do make sure you throw yourself fully into it. Dance round the living room even if you have two left feet and grab the hairbrush because it will put a smile on your face.

Walk around One of my favorite things to do at Christmas is go for a nigh time walk with Oliver and look at all the pretty fairy lights. My area really make an effort and the lights have got me excited from being little so just to take a step back and relax taking in the atmosphere.

Decorate Lastly, but by no means least, decorate. Decorate the house, decorate cards, decorate cakes, decorate yourself. Immerse yourself in your own winter wonderland complete with hideously festive knitwear, flashing earrings, and a pair of Christmas erm sunglasses?! Whatever's going, take it because it will eventually make you full of festive cheer. 

And if all that fails, well just fake it till you make it, or until Christmas is over, after all there's only half a month left.

Have you got any top tips to help spread Christmas Cheer?

Friday, 13 December 2013

St Tropez Gradual Tan Mousse

A very exciting e-mail popped into my inbox a while ago. I've been handpicked for the St Tropez Blogger Beauty Panel. As someone with a very fair skin tone, this is only a good thing, the market needs to widen it's shade range and the best way to do this is by testing products. Saying that, I actually think St Tropez may have got fake tan for fair skin down to a tea with this product.

The product I was given to try was the gradual tan mousse(*) which on daily application for a couple of days is supposed to give a sun-kissed glow, something that I think the vast majority of us aspire to have all year round. The packaging is classic St Tropez, sleek and simple with a practical pump, massive thumbs up from me. It really does help application to be quick and mess-free. One pump produces enough ultra-light-weight foam for half a leg, which is really good going. The foam is white so can maybe be tricky, but as long as you concentrate your fine. Although its white, I'd still wear a mitt or glove as its still fake tan. The foam is exceptionally light and you can't feel it at all on the skin. It dries in around half a minute too so there really is no awkward standing around trying not to bang and rub tan on your bathroom wall. What really struck me was the smell. Even the best fake tans have a slight smell, but rather than the old-biscuit smell this is similar to a lovely lightly scented body lotion.  

The above is all well and good, but it all means nothing if the product doesn't do anything. Well, I'm happy to report that it works like a dream. After 2 applications (+ a long hot bath in between) my legs had a lovely sun-kissed tint. It gradually fades if you don't reapply after a couple of days, but even then it fades naturally, without leaving random tell-tale patches. Gradual Tans have never worked on me until now. My legs have been given some colour, and as an added bonus a lovely sheen too. For a natural-looking look, especially if you have a fair skin-tone like myself, this is definitely a product to try.  

I genuinely think is going to become a year-round staple for me and I'd really recommend anyone to try it if your looking for a subtle sun-kissed glow to get rid of the winter blues. It retails at around £20.43. For more information and to try it yourself click here.

Monday, 9 December 2013

MAC Nail Lacquer in Mean & Green

As I was browsing the MAC website one day, this nail varnish shade instantly caught my eye. I'm a massive fan of duo-chrome. Its such an easy way to get showstopping nails, and is usually ten times easier to get rid of than glitter polishes.

Mean & Green is green (believe it or not) with yellow and pink tints depending on the angle and how the light catches it. What I love is that no two nails will be the same, yet it will always look impressive, and just different to the vast majority of shades. Its extremely versatile, this is a shade that will suit both the colder and warmer months, really making it a must have for your collection. As I said previously in my review of MAC's Girl Trouble, the soft-touch cap (the same as their foundation bottles) is really helpful when applying the polish, and the actual formula is easy to use, being opaque in 2 coats. Lasting time is around the 4-5 day mark.

All in all, this is a lovely addition to my collection, and one that will be a fail-back for whenever I need a quick fix. If you want to have a closer look, its £11 from MAC

What's you fall-back nail shade?


Friday, 6 December 2013

Specspost Sunglasses

Animalistic Sunglasses Pink Giraffe (*) - £14.99
Yes I am aware that this is December and we are more likely to get snow than scorching sun, but if your off on a winter break, or just need saving from the blinding sun you often get on clear mornings, this may be of some help! Before I pop into a review, I'd like to apologise for my makeup-free face and less than styled hair, I'm quite ill at the moment but I don't want to get behind on my schedule. As they say, the show must go on.

Recently I won a pair of these beauties from Megan at Student-stylexo and I honestly could not be more in love with them. They are the perfect frame as the size would suit virtually everyone. I really like the print too, its not as intimidating as you might first think, and actually channels this seasons pastel trend! What I love is that you can tailor your sunglasses to you needs, if you have a prescription, if you want a tint or transitional lenses. Not only that, but they post them out super speedy! What is not to love!

The value for your pennies is unbelievable, so if your looking for something new, know someone off on holiday soon or already looking for next summer I'd really recommend having a look at Specspost, particularly if you a prescription!  


Monday, 2 December 2013

ESPA Optimal Skin ProSerum

ESPA Optimal Skin ProSerum(*) - £48 for 30ml
I've really got into skincare over the last 6 months, especially serums. Although usually quite pricey their worth their weight in gold. I have honestly fallen in love with ESPA's serums. I've tried two now and they are both high up in my all-time favorites.

Optimal Skin ProSerum is EPSA's latest offering, combing the strength and efficiency of a super serum and a face treatment to strengthen the skin on a cellular level. Using 99.9% natural ingredients, it helps work with and activate the skins natural agents Collagen, Ceramide and Hyaluronic Acid to get instant gratification and long-term benefits. ESPA claim this helps to brighten and even skin tone, enhance elasticity and protect against environmental aggressors that can lead to premature ageing and I have to agree.

Sometimes serums can be a bit heavy on your skin as they are so concentrated with skin goodness (okay so I'm no dermatologist), but this is extremely lightweight. You could use this morning or night after you cleanse you skin but before you moisturise, but I tend to use it at night as that's when your skin repairs most efficiently. Using it for a month now I've seen a radical difference in my skin tone. On top of that, my skin has barely been effected by this sudden cold snap and the icy winds. Central heating is a massive player in drying out your skin too but my skins no where near dehydrated! Good old Sunflower Seed Extract. I can't comment on the anti-ageing aspects because that's for more of a long-term benefit but to name just a few of its magic ingredients, Rose Hip and Echium Oil, White Lupin Extract, and Patchouli Essential Oil, it cant do anything but keep any signs of aging at bay for a couple extra years at least!

Now I know £48 will make some people wince but you literally use 3 drops. A small vial has lasted me around 2 months so the full size will last you ages. Definitely value for money.

If you fancy getting your hands it its available on ESPA's website, at ESPA spas and salons worldwide, Liberty and selected Harvey Nichols stores.

What do you look for in your skincare? Any super ingredients or serums I should be looking for?

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