Wednesday, 17 December 2014

OFF FOR CHRISTMAS NOW


That's me starting my Christmas holiday now until 5th January. Working from home on this blog, plus my luxury travel site Stylecation and my freelance writing means that I can set my own holiday dates, so I'm stopping a bit earlier this year as I'm a tad burnt out.

I hope you all have a fabulous Christmas and New Year, and I'll be back as normal on 5th January with lots of fashion, beauty and lifestyle goodness.

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Photo Credit: paulcapewell via photopin cc

A PEEK AT MY CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS

I seriously love Christmas, and decorating my house is one of my most favourite things to do, alongside highlighting the Radio Times.

This year I've used all my favourite decorations that I've collected over time, as well as lots of new items from Wilko and John Lewis.




I like to keep my tree very traditional, and add new baubles every year to hang next to long-treasured ones. I love my new 'I saw Mummy kissing Santa Claus' bauble from Wilko, as well as a glass silver star that my Mum bought me years ago.



I've really gone over the top with fairy lights this year. I have them on my tree, round my desk and on my bed, as well as having a netted wall of lights. The ones round my bed are battery-operated LED ones from John Lewis, as I feel this is safer if I fall asleep with them on. The wall net of lights are also LED lights; but are plug-in, and they are from LED Hut.



On my bed I also have, what I call, a 'bed fairy'. She is a really pretty tree topper from John Lewis, and along with my John Lewis LED star and miniature Christmas tree on my bedside table, she makes my bedroom all festive.



Other Christmas items in my house that I love are a 'Merry Christmas' slate from Wilko that sits on my TV cabinet, and a gorgeous ceramic reindeer candle plate that my friend got me last Christmas.

I'm going to be so sad when I have to take all this down!

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Tuesday, 16 December 2014

MAKING MY OWN GIFT TAGS WITH KIRSTIE ALLSOPP

It's always nice to add a personal touch to gift-wrapping, so this weekend, I spent some time with my Mum making gift tags for presents. I do love a good bit of colouring in.




We used the Kirstie Allsopp Stamp & Stationery Kit from Hobbycraft (£20) as it had everything we needed- stamps, ink pad, card and pretty gemstones. I then coloured in the printed designs in Christmas colours from my vast pen stash, and personalised them with friend and family's names.




Getting crafty really is stress-busting, so after Christmas i'm going to try another of these type of kits- Hobbycraft had so many to choose from. Feel free to recommend some to me!

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Friday, 12 December 2014

BEAUTY REVIEW: MARY KAY SKINVIGORATE CLEANSING BRUSH AND TIMEWISE CLEANSER

Mary Kay Skinvigorate Cleansing Brush

For the past month, i've been really enjoying using the Mary Kay Skinvigorate Cleansing Brush. I had thought about getting a Clarisonic for the longest time (mainly due to the hype); but wasn't keen on spending that amount of money on what could be just a gimmick and do nothing for my skin or cleansing routine. The Skinvigorate Cleansing Brush (£35) from Mary Kay is basically the same idea as a Clarisonic; but for a quarter of the price, and i'm really happy with it.

Mary Kay Skinvigorate Cleansing Brush Head

It is a two-speed power brush which gently massages the skin. The brush bristles allow for a deep clean, and helps to easily remove dirt, make-up and residue from the skin too. It also preps skin for maximum absorption of the next step in your skincare routine- likely your serum.
I've found that it makes my skin feel cleaner and smoother than it ever has before with any other cleansing method, exfoliating product or mask and I can't believe that I didn't start using a powered cleansing brush sooner. If you have been thinking about a Clarisonic or one of the other more expensive brushes, i'd thoroughly recommend that you try this one from Mary Kay instead as it will really help your skin and your wallet.

Mary Kay TimeWise 3-In-1 Cleanser

I've been using the Mary Kay Skinvigorate Cleansing Brush with the Mary Kay TimeWise 3-In-1 Cleanser (£20). This is an age-fighting cleanser that is suitable for those with sensitive skin, and it offers a whopping eleven age-defying benefits- it cleanses, exfoliates, freshens, hydrates, smooths, firms, softens, protects, energises, rebuilds and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for a younger-looking you. It is a cream-based cleanser that contains small cleansing beads for daily exfoliation. The smell is pleasant but not identifiable. It's not my favourite cleanser in the world- there are many that I would re-purchase before trying this one again; but it does its job in a simple and non-luxurious way.

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Thursday, 11 December 2014

MY DAY-TIME SEQUINS LOOK


I heard someone say the other day that they wouldn't wear sequins during the day. I think sequins and sparkle can work really well during the day- it's what you team them with that will determine what direction your look takes.


I've found that layering works really well in bringing down the 'glam' factor of sequins; as does contrasting the sequins with more casual textures such as wool or denim.


In the look above, I layered a white vest top under a sparkling black sequin vest from the Inspire range at New Look, and topped it with a black cardigan, taupe wool scarf, taupe flat suede ankle boots from Clarks and casual black leggings. I really like this, as it looks like i've put some thought into my outfit (with the sequinned element) but also looks casual too.

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Image 1 & 2 Credits: New Look Blog

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

WINTER ACCESSORIES HAUL

I noticed that I'd gotten quite a lot of new accessories recently, so I thought I'd share them with you. Some are to help me keep warm, and others are just pretty.





I adore my two beanie hats that I picked up in the ASOS outlet/sale section, reduced from £15 each to £3 each. I especially like the bear one's pom pom ears. This one is still on the site if you want to snap it up too.


I also picked up a really thick, warm and smart black/grey twill scarf for just a few pounds from there too. I've been wearing it so often the past couple of weeks.



Also from the ASOS sale, I got a red tartan headscarf, which I'll tie like a hairband with a big bow. This was only a couple of Pounds, and is long enough to be worn as a skinny neck scarf too. This print has sold out, but there are other designs still available.
I also got a very simple, but incredibly pretty 'Love' ring from Dainty Daisy Jewellery. I love how it is so delicate, and is rose gold-toned. It was only £3.50 too. I do love a good bargain!


My favourite bargain of the Winter are these boots from Debenhams (the exact brand is Mantaray). They are flat black suede, faux shearling lined boots and I got them for half price in a short flash boot sale on their website. They are so warm and cosy and I am living in them at the moment. I got them for £24.75 reduced from £49.50. They are still available; but unfortunately not at half price.





Finally, from Tales From The Earth I got an elegant silver bangle with 'A Lifetime of Luck' engraved inside. They make these bangles with a variety of sayings (£45 each), and the idea is that the saying will brush your wrist so many times a day, helping to inspire you. I thought this was such a sweet idea, and I love how it is so simple and can be worn with anything. Which saying would you go for?

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Monday, 8 December 2014

BEAUTY REVIEW: MOLTON BROWN STOCKING FILLERS SET

Molton Brown Stocking Fillers Set Review


This is such a perfect Christmas gift for anyone, man or woman. Molton Brown is a gorgeous luxury brand that adds a touch of class to any bath or shower. They specialise in expertly-scented shower gels and body washes, and this set contains a whopping 12 of their travel size body washes; each with a different fragrance and colour. It's basically a library with something to suit your every mood.




The scents included are Black Peppercorn Body Wash, Pink Pepperpod Body Wash, Gingerlily Body Wash, Orange & Bergamot Body Wash, Eucalyptus Body Wash, Ylang-Ylang Body Wash, Templetree Body Wash, Bushukan Body Wash, Japanese Orange Body Wash, Samphire Body Wash, White Sandalwood Body Wash and Coco & Sandalwood Body Wash.

My favourites are Pink Pepperpod (as it smells lovely and fruity; but with an almost spicy warmth to it), Ylang-Ylang (as it is instantly calming and mind-clearing) and Templetree (as it smells like the sea and a sunny beach- fresh but also sweet).

You will get at least three washes out of each bottle (50ml), so at £39 for the set, it works out at just over £1 per bath or shower. Bargain! It lets you try such a lot of Molton Brown's fragrances too; so if you find a favourite, you can re-purchase it in a bigger size.


It looks so smart and luxurious with the gift box that it comes in, and you can purchase it directly from Molton Brown.

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Friday, 5 December 2014

TOP 5 HIGH-STREET CHRISTMAS PARTY CLUTCH BAGS

We all love a good clutch bag. It must be eye-catching and big enough to hold those all important make-up essentials. Here's my pick of the top five clutch bags you can pick up on the high street...



































New Look Red Stripe Bauble Clutch | Miss Selfridge Silver Embellished Hardcase Clutch | Next Pink Perfume Box Clutch | Coast Pizzaz Clutch |

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Wednesday, 3 December 2014

MY COSY DECEMBER NIGHT ROUTINE

As soon as it hits 1st December I am in full-on Christmas mode. I adore dark December nights at home, and always follow a similar routine.




I usually have a roasting hot bath and then change into pyjamas. I'm loving my super-soft and thick Jockey Brushed Flannel Navy check ones at the moment, as I'm saving my new Minnie Mouse Christmas onesie for closer to the big day.



I try to do something Christmassy every night in December, such as writing cards and wrapping presents. I got my cards (£3.50-£4.50 each) this year from Made With Love and they look so snazzy!
I like to cook or bake some comfort food too, such as these iced chocolate chip cookies. Other favourites are macaroni cheese and fajitas.



Later on, I settle down with the TV or a Christmas-themed novel, a glass of wine and my favourite sweet treat at the moment- Muller's Raspberry Bliss yogurts. Lindsey Kelk's latest novella from her I Heart... series, Jenny Lopez Saves Christmas, is a great quick read.

What do you like to do on cold Winter nights?

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Tuesday, 2 December 2014

LIBERTY LONDON WISHLIST

Who else has been loving the Liberty of London TV series? I'm so glad it's back for a second year, as it gives an excellent glimpse into high-end retail and is a real style-fest. When i'm in London, I adore visiting Liberty as it's an experience as well as just a shopping trip. I thought I would share with you my current Liberty London wishlist; which is full of some gorgeous unique items...






































Nike X Liberty Trainers | Liberty Print 2015 Leather Diary | Astley Clarke Bracelet | Liberty London Morris Wool Scarf

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