Maxfactor false lash effect fusion mascara review

As a brand, Maxfactor are well know for their mascaras, and I would go so far as to say this is their best mascara yet!

Like the original false lash mascara, this one has a chunky brush with short stiff bristles. The formula is relatively thick, so clings to lashes well, but without any clumps. I usually apply 2 coats for a daytime look. On me, it doesn't quite reach a false lash effect, but it it does visibly volumise and add a subtle length to my eyelashes.

However what impressed me the most, was how long lasting the mascara was. Despite not being a waterproof formula, once it dries, it doesn't smudge or flake at all. As for removal, it comes off easily with any eye make up remover or cream cleanser.

Overall, a great mascara for volumising lashes, and I would highly recommend this (if like myself) you struggle to find one that lasts through the day without smudging.

Have you tried any of the Maxfactor mascaras? Which brand do you usually buy?

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone!


Hope you have a great day, filled with lots
of love, laughter and yummy festive food! x

Last minute Christmas gift guide

With just 3 days to go until Christmas, here's a last minute gift guide if you're still looking for some ideas:

This Liz Earle shampoo has been 6 years in the making, but having tried it out, it is definitely worth the wait. Not only does it smell gorgeous, it leaves hair feeling soft and silky. Best of all, it still foams up easily despite being SLS free. The Botanical shine gift set also includes a conditioner of your choice.

Hand creams are a must have, especially during the winter, and this Happy hands trio includes 3 different scents to try out. I'd say hand creams are one of L'occitane's star products, and as they're all mini (30ml) sized, the lucky recipient can even keep one in her handbag for moisturising on the go!

For toiletries with a touch of luxury, look no further than Molton Brown. The Prismatic gift set contains a shower gel, body scrub and body lotion, all beautifully wrapped up in a presentation box. Perfect for someone who deserves a treat or is in need of some pampering.

Fragrance can be a little tricky, but as long as you choose the right perfume, they'd make a lovely present. Plus gift sets are great value compared to just buying the perfume alone. I'd highly recommend Boss orange and Marc Jacobs Lola.

Gu are well know for their luxury puddings, and this Christmas they've brought out some amazing gift sets. Both their Goody tin and Mug and hot chocolate set have a choice of chocolates and some stylish tableware to keep. Perfect for any chocoholic! (available from Boots)

Finally how cute is this Boux Avenue pyjama set! Having just come back from Australia, I can't help but fall in love with the cute koala bear and paw print design. Am really hoping Santa brings me this on Christmas day!

Have you finished all your Christmas shopping? Or will you be making a last minute dash to the shops? What presents are you hoping to find under the Christmas tree?

Christmas gift ideas from Nails Inc

A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to win some Nails Inc prizes and as Christmas is just around the corner, I thought I'd show you my top 3 sets, as they'd all make a lovely gift idea:

As you may know, I love glittery polishes, and this Glitterati gift set contains 3 gorgeous colours: a sparkly silver, a deep purple and a festive gold. I can't wait to try these out, both by themselves and over a base colour!

Ideal for someone who likes to experiment with colour, the In crowd colour collection has 15 shades to choose from. I also like the fact that all the varnishes are mini (4ml) sized, simply because I have yet to finish a full sized polish.

Finally, I had to include the Wonderobe just for it's packaging! Wrapped up like a wardrobe with a pull out drawer underneath, it contains 6 wearable shades, as well as a mini top coat and nail file.

All available from nailsinc.com, with free delivery and a free gift when you spend over £40.

What do you think about these gift sets? Are you hoping for some new polishes this Christmas?

Sleek The berry collection review and swatches

Released as a limited edition gift set, the berry collection features a kohl pencil, blusher and lipstick, all packaged together in a festive red box.

All 3 products are intensely pigmented and as the name suggests, come in various shades of berry red.

For me the star product has to be the true colour lipstick in Cranberry. It looks rather brown in the bullet but applies to give a deep wine colour which I absolutely love! The lipstick has a matte finish but isn't at all drying.

lipstick, blush, kohl pencil

The blush in Fenberry gives a nice rosy flush to the cheeks. However it really is very pigmented so I'd recommend using a fluffy brush and applying with a light hand.

I'd describe the kohl pencil in Mossberry as a purple toned berry shade. Personally I wouldn't wear this colour as an eyeliner, but it does work well as a lipliner.

What do you think about this gift set? Do you have a lot of berry colours in your make up collection?

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Giveaway winner and Facebook page

Thank you to everyone who entered the Barefoot SOS giveaway. After numbering all valid entries, I used random.org to select a winner:

And the winner is...Becky!

Well done Becky, I've sent you an email and if you could reply asap with your address that would be great.

Also I just wanted to let you know that I've finally taken the plunge and created a Facebook page for Peonies and lilies. I'd love it if you could pop over and 'like' the page (if you want to of course). Looking forward to seeing you on there! :)

Christmas gift ideas from Yardley and Woods of Windsor

When it comes to presents, Yardley and Woods of Windsor are often overlooked, however this year, they've got some lovely gift ideas, all of which are extremely well priced:

Perfume sets make lovely gift ideas and this particular one retails for only £9.99 (currently on offer for £6.66). It comes in a range of scents but my top pick would have to be their new daisy fragrance. With a mixture of floral and fruit notes, it's light, fresh and perfect for everyday wear.

This fragrance pomander would make a lovely stocking filler. It comes with a choice of rose or lavender and it's such a pretty way to fragrance a room. It even comes with a ribbon attached so you can hang it on your Christmas tree. (RRP £9.95 currently 1/3 off)

Finally I love their new fine English soaps. The soaps are tripled milled and come beautifully wrapped with a choice of 4 scents. Fragrance wise, I highly recommend the Amber & myrrh one (RRP £4.95 each, currently 1/3 off).

Have you tried anything from Yardley or Woods of Windsor? Will you be buying any fragrance gifts this year?

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Christmas gift idea: Origins mask duo gift set

Exclusive to Boots, this gift set from Origins includes 2 of their best selling face masks- Drink up intensive overnight mask and Clear improvements charcoal mask.

Both face masks are creamy in texture and thick enough to allow for easy application without dripping everywhere. The clear improvement mask doesn't have much of a scent, whereas the drink up intensive mask has a lovely citrus fruit scent, making it a joy to use.

The charcoal mask needs to be left on till dried, and although the drink up intensive mask is designed to be left on overnight, it also works well as a 10minute treat for the skin.

As I have combination skin, I use the charcoal mask on my tzone, and the quenching mask on my cheeks. Afterwards, my skin is left feeling deep cleansed and hydrated, and looks plumped up and radiant - perfect for the festive season!

Overall, a great value gift set, ideal for anyone who has normal-combination skin.

Available exclusively from Boots, priced at £23.

Have you tried any Origins skincare? What will you be buying this Christmas?

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Giveaway - Barefoot SOS skincare

Frankie from pop band The Saturdays recently revealed she's a big fan of Barefoot products, and to celebrate, the company are giving away a skincare set to one lucky reader:

Soothing face and body wash (RRP £16)
A gentle non drying wash with Vitamin B5 and Allantoin to maintain skin moisture level, Evening primose and Jojoba oil to condition, Chickweed and Burdock extracts to cool and soothe. Plus Geranium and Lemon tea tree essential oils to create an enliving aroma.

Daily rich body lotion (RRP £22)
A silky smooth lotion containing Chickweed and Mallow extracts to cool and soothe, Shea butter for protection against the elements, Argan and Macadamia oils to nourish and Orange blossom and Lavender essential oils for a calming aroma.

For your chance to win:
- Simply leave a comment below, along with your email address.
- Be a follower of Peonies and lilies.
- UK entries only please.

The giveaway will end at 12pm on 14th December and
the prize will be sent directly by the PR company.

Good luck!

Christmas gift idea: Too faced glamour to go dream palette

As palettes go, this is definitely one of the prettiest one I've come across. Despite only being the size of a credit card, it opens up to reveal 8 eyeshadows, and has a pull out drawer at the bottom which contains a blusher, bronzer and lipgloss.

The palette includes a good range of colours, all of which are decently pigmented and wearable. The small size means it's ideal for popping into handbags, but the downside is that there are no brushes, so you will have to use fingers or carry a separate set of brushes.

Overall, a cute and versatile make up palette, which at £19, makes for a great gift idea without breaking the bank!

Available from Beautybay.com

Are you a fan of make up palettes or do you prefer individual pieces? Have you tried any Too faced make up?

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Freebie alert: Dove & Nails Inc

Nails Inc are becoming rather well known for teaming up with other high street brands, and this month, they're giving away 2 mini limited edition polishes when you spend £6 or more on Dove hand creams, body lotions or deodrants.

Pink Fizz- A muted sugary pink, perfect for a more neutral daytime look.

Mulled Wine- A deep burgandy/wine colour, one of
my favourite
shades for Autumn/Winter


The polishes are 4mls each, and will be available from Larger Boots stores until 27th December (whilst stocks last).

Are you a fan of Nails Inc polishes? What do you think about the new colours?

Christmas gift idea: DP London Pearl Lowe mini candle set

Can you believe it's December already?? This year has gone by far too quickly! With Christmas just around the corner, I thought I'd do a mini series of gift ideas, starting today with this gorgeous set of candles from DP London:

Packaged in a luxurious white box with a ribbon tie, the gift set includes 3 50g candles, all of which are 100% natural, made up of only EcoSoya and Beeswax.

Citrus fruits- a sparkling blend of Sicilian lemon, Brazalian orange,
Italian bergamont and root ginger.

Spiced punch- a mix of bergamont, orange peel, cedarwood, cinammon,
cloves, nutmeg, ginger and vanilla.

White flowers- a rich blend of jasmine, Moroccan roses and orange blossom.

When lit, each candle fills the room with a beautifully decadent scent, which gently lingers even after the candle has been put out. Of the 3, my favourite has to be citrus fruit, although come Christmas time, I will be using spiced punch as it smells exactly like a welcoming mug of mulled wine.

Overall, a beautifully presented gift set, perfect for anyone who wants a touch of luxury in their life.

Available from DPLondon.com, priced at £30.

Are you a fan of scented candles? What do you think about this gift set?

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November's Glossybox

Dead sea spa magik bath salts
Nail rock designer nail wraps
Illamasqua freak perfume
Monu revitalising moisturiser
Arbonne FC5 ultra hydrating hand creme

As usual the value of the products exceeds the subscription cost of the box. At first glance, it seemed to lack some of the initial 'wow' factor of previous boxes, however, on closer inspection, I'm actually really pleased with what's been included in my box. The hand cream will be perfect for keeping in my bag, the Illamasqua fragrance is gorgeous and with the exception of the nail wraps, I will be getting lots of use out of everything in this month's box.

What do you think about November's Glossybox? What's your favourite subscription box this month?

PR sample

NOTD- Orly two hour lunch

A warm toned pink shade with a hint of coral.

Like Orly glam, it's nice and pigmented so only needs one coat. It does take a few minutes to dry, but once it does, the varnish is smooth and glossy.

In the bottle, it looks fairly similar to Eyeko tea rose polish, but swatched next to each other, you can see that Two hour lunch is brighter and has more of a coral finish.

Overall a great nail varnish colour, and one of the few that made it to Australia with me!

Have you tried any Orly polishes? What's your favourite colour?

PR sample from graftons.co.uk

Oscar de la renta Esprit d'oscar perfume review

It was love at first sight with the bottle of this fragrance - made of clear glass in the shape of a flower, with a blooming floral top, it's eye catching, feminine and looks great on my dressing table.

So what about the actual fragrance? Described as a floral oriental, it contains notes of lemon, bergamont, jasmine, tuberose, musk, heliotrope and tonka bean.

On me, I can't actually smell the citrus top notes, instead it starts of as a light floral. However, very quickly the base notes kick in and turns the fragrance into a strong powdery floral scent.

Personally, I'm not too big a fan of strong powdery scents, but it does work as a grown up fragrance for work. That said, it remind me of Guerlain insolence and Chloe love, both of which are also powdery scents, so if you like those, then definitely give this a sniff.

What type of fragrances do you tend to go for? What's your favourite winter scent?

Disclosure- PR sample from escentual.com

NOTD- Avon speed dry+ nail enamel in Red wine

As the weather gets colder, I find myself increasingly drawn to darker colours, and this shade from Avon is perfect for Autumn/Winter:

As the name suggests, it's a deep berry red/wine colour which quickly dries to a super glossy finish. The formula is nice and light, so very easy to work with, but it did need 2 coats for an even colour.

Overall, a great choice for sophisicated daytimes nails, and a shade that I'll no doubt get lots of use out of in the coming months.

Do you also change your make up and nails in the Winter? What's your favourite Avon product?

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Schwarzkopf BC oil miracle finishing treatment review

As much as I loved the VO5 miracle concentrate, the packaging just wasn't secure enough to withstand 2 plane journeys. So it was perfect timing when this little travel friendly sample dropped through my letter box just before I was due to fly:

The oil comes a 2 versions, original for normal hair and light for fine greasy hair. Both make my hair super soft, smooth, shiny and knot free. Like the VO5, a few drops goes a long way and I've no doubt these mini bottles will last me months.

Despite having fine hair I actually preferred the original over the light version. The thicker formula gave me more control when pouring from the bottle and it didn't weigh my hair down at all.

Overall, a great product to have handy and highly recommended, especially if you have dry damaged hair.

Have you tried anything from Schwarzkopf haircare? What's your favourite hair oil?

17 trio eyeshadow in Broken hearted

Following on from my 17 Sulk NOTD post, I thought I'd show you the matching trio eyeshadow:

If like myself, you found the green nail varnish too daring a colour, then take a look at their Broken hearted eyeshadow trio.

Of the 2, this would definitely be my top choice. Although the green looks rather scary in the pan, it swatches to a gorgeous charcoal colour with only hints of green. The trio also incudes a pretty silver and metallic grey. Finally, all the eyeshadows are smooth, pigmented and shimmery - perfect for creating a dramatic smokey eye.

Do you prefer the nail varnish or the trio eyeshadow? What's your favourite eyeshadow colour?

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Fashionista make up

Back in July, I posted a picture of their magnetism nail varnish and just before I went travelling, I was lucky enough to be invited to the launch party so I could find out more about the brand:

As there was so much interest in the nail varnish I'll start with those first. There are 5 shades, and Fashionista have teamed up with pop band The Saturdays.

Each girls has their own colour and athough they are all beautiful, Mollie's purple shade remains my favourite one.

To create this amazing look, simply paint your nails like normal, then whilst it's still wet, hold the magnet over the top to create a ripple effect. Unlike some of the other companies, the varnish and the magnet will be sold separately, with the varnish retailing at £6 and the magnet £3.

Another big concept from them is their custom design palette. They have a range of 49 eyeshadows and 12 blushers, which can be used separately or easily popped out and put into a 4 pan palette. This is very similar to MAC but unique to the high street. Each one retails at £4 but I would recommend buying 4 shades and a empty palette for only £12!

Finally a quick look at the rest of the make up: there'll be a selection of primers, foundations, concealers, powders, eyeliners, mascaras, lipsticks and lipglosses. Prices range from £4 for a kohl liner to £12 for the foundation.

FashionistA make up is available exclusively in Superdrug stores.

Are you a fan of magnetic nail varnish? What do you think about this new brand?
Are you a fan of magnetic nail varnish? What do you think about this new make up range?

17 fast finish nail polish in Sulk

An eye catching metallic green colour which just screams Christmas!

The varnish was super pigmented and only needed one coat. As a result, it dried very quickly, making the manicure nice and fast.

Personally I'd prefer a more girly colour, but there's no denying it's a gorgeous shade so if you're more adventurous with your nails, then this would be a lovely polish to have in your collection.

Have you tried any of the 17 nail varnishes? What's your favourite manicure colour?

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Project bathroom update

Project bathroom seems to have slowed down again, but just before I left for Australia I decided to clear out my eye make up, some of which had definitely seen better days! Here's what I managed to use up/cleared out:

Liz Earle Botanical shine shampoo
MAC zoom fast black lash mascara
No 7 exquisite curl mascara
MAXfactor Xperience volumising mascara
Colorsport 24 hour eyeliner
Pantene aqua light shampoo
Batiste dry shampoo in Boho
Batiste dry shampoo in Brit
All for Eve hand cream
Garnier clean&fresh cleansing milk

How are you getting on project bathroom? Do you tend to have regular clear outs?

The Body Shop eye palette in Golden brown review and swatches

Having discovered the joys of brown eyeshadow, I'm now completely obsessed, and this new limited edition palette from The Body Shop is perfect for creating sultry eyes on the go:

There are 3 powder eyeshadows, which are buttery smooth, pigmented and apply with miminal fallout. It also includes a gold cream, which I find to sheer to use around the eyes, but it does make a lovely highlighter for the cheeks.

The palette also comes with a small brush for on the go application as well as a short brown eyeliner.

The eyeshadows are long lasting, but they do crease a little throughout the day so would benefit from a primer if you had one handy.

It's worth mentioning that the palette will be released as part of the Christmas collection. Because of this, it comes nicely packaged in a presentation box with application instructions, making it a great choice for a present.

Have you tried any of The body shop eyeshadows? Have you started Christmas shopping yet?

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