Giveaway: Nourish argan beauty collection

Happy boxing day everyone, hope you've all had an amazing day yesterday! Sadly Christmas may be over for another year, but in keeping with the holiday season, I've got a rather festively themed skincare set to give away today:

Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh are 3 ingredients that will forever be associated with Christmas, but as it turns out, they can be incorporated into skincare too. Inside this beautifully presented Nourish argan beauty collection you'll find a Golden glow illuminating face shimmer, Argan skin renew moisturiser and Argan skin rescue treatment oil.

Golden glow illuminating face shimmer - A skin perfecting highlighter with illuminating frankincense, myrrh and tonka bean plus hydrating tri-peptides and hyaluronic acid for both cosmetic and skincare benefits. Ideal as a pre party pick me up.

Argan skin renew - A light easily absorbed anti-ageing moisturiser which contains bioactive peptides, frankincense and rose of Jericho to help skin adapt to it's environment, improve skin tone and restore hydration.

Argan skin rescue - A combination of argan, Abyssinian kale, orange and neroli oil which promises to provide instant hydration and brighten the skin. Perfect for stressed out skin in need of an extra boost.

For your chance to win, simply be a Bloglovin follower of Peonies and lilies, then leave a comment below telling me what was your favourite present this year. Please also leave an email address or Twitter handle so I can get touch if you are the lucky winner. This giveaway will be open internationally (postage allowing) and will close at 11pm on Friday 3rd January 2014.

Good luck!

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas everyone! 

Hope you're all having an amazing day at home, get truly spoilt 
with presents and enjoy lots of festive food and drinks x

Last minute stocking fillers/pampering treats

A couple of last minute gift ideas, or if like myself you're in need of a pampering treat (or two!) to get over the stress of Christmas shopping:

 Aromatherapy associates little bell*

For something that's as decorative as it is indulgent, then look no further than Aromatherapy associates little bell. Not only will this make a cute little addition to the Christmas tree, it also contains a generous 7.5ml bottle of Revive morning bath and shower oil. With extracts of grapefruit, rosemary and juniper it smells absolutely amazing and would be perfect as a little pick me up over the Christmas holidays.

Revlon make up*

For serious brownie points, what about a little hand picked collection of make up goodies? Revlon products have always been popular, and you can't go wrong with a festive red nail varnish and lip gloss this time of year. Plus every girl needs some shimmery neutral eyeshadows in her life. Pictured above are Red nail enamel, Fatal apple lipgloss and Metropolitan eyeshadow palette.

Mandara spa tropical blooms nourishing beauty oil*
Organic Surge spiced lily foaming bath*
Di Palomo wild fig and grape enriching hand and nail cream*

For stressed out mums and girlfriends what about a little selection of pampering bath and body treats? Starting with Organic surge spiced lily foaming bath, which contains extracts of patchouli, cloves and orange oil for a festively themed bath. For something more exotic, I'd go for Mandara spa tropical blooms nourishing beauty oil. It can be used both in the bath or as a body moisturiser, and with extracts of ylang ylang, jasmine and coconut, it's hard not to be reminded of sunnier days. Finally everyone loves a good hand cream. Di Palomo enriching hand and nail cream is rich and moisturising without being too heavy or greasy. And thanks to the combination of wild fig and grape nice and sweet smelling too.

Have you tried any of the products above? What are you hoping to find in your stocking this year?

Christmas gift guide: Tech ideas

Every year I promise myself I'll be organised and buy everything early, and every year come the last weekend before Christmas I'm desperately searching for that perfect gift for someone special. If like myself you've left it to the last minute, then what about one of these tech gift ideas:

Nude audio speakers

For something that's both cool and practical, how about a Nude audio speaker? They come in a range of colours, 3 different sizes and can be used both wired or wireless through bluetooth technology. Sound quality is clear with minimal distortion, even when turned up loud or played at a distance. For the more girly amongst us, it's got a nice retro vibe and compared to some to the other speakers on the market is nice and easy to set up too. 

Portable iphone charger

Whilst smart phones are great for keeping in touch with social media on the go, they're not so great for battery life. So if you know someone that's an online addict, then what about one of these portable iPhone chargers? It's portable, compact and perfect if you're going to be out and about all day. This particular one was a present from a friend, but they come in all sorts of designs are are easily available online and in stores.

Nikon D5200 dslr camera

If you really want to treat someone this Christmas then what about a DSLR camera? I finally took the plunge and brought myself one this week and I have to say it was such a good decision. Compared to a small compact, you have so many more photo options, night time photography is easier and just generally the quality is so much better. The ultimate gift for keen bloggers and photography enthusiasts.

Are you a last minute shopper too? What would be your top tech gadgets?

Sponsored video - Simply be

The other day a rather lovely video landed in my inbox. For their new campaign clothing brand Simply be are encouraging women to be themselves, valuing what makes them unique and appreciating all the good times as well as the bad. The video is in the form of a woman giving advice to her younger self and it got me thinking about the last few years and what advice I'd give to myself if I could just rewind back the years:

I'm not sure whether it's because my life has changed quite a bit in the last few months or just that we're coming to the end of another year, but I seem to be reminiscing about the past on a regular basis these days (just call me old!). Purely by coincidence I met up with an old friend the other day, and naturally we started chatting about our uni days and pondering on how life has changed since then. I know I certainly feel more confident and happier in myself, and hopefully wiser too. So if I could go back here's what I'd tell my younger self:

1. Stop worrying about pleasing everyone. Your true friends will appreciate you for who you are and those who don't won't stay in your life for long anyway.

2. Try to see the bigger picture and don't get so stressed out about the little things.

3. Remember that everything will always works out for the best and even though it may feel like the end of the world at the time, one day you'll look back and realise it was a good thing.

4. Make the most of every opportunity, one day you'll look back and treasure those memories. 

5. Finally take the opportunity to travel whenever you can. In a few years you'll visit Australia and kick yourself for not exploring more during the summer holidays.

Did you enjoy the video? What advice would you give to your younger self?

*Post sponsored by Simply be

Love me beauty and Glossybox - December 2013

As long term subscribers will know December beauty boxes are usually one of the best, and seeing as Love me beauty and Glossybox have both done well recently, I was really looking forward to seeing what they had in store for us this Christmas:

Love me beauty December 2013
Love me beauty - December 2013*

Love me beauty december 2013
Love me beauty - December 2013

Starting with Love me beauty, who have focused on make up and skincare this month. Although it may not look like it, there are actually 3 full sized products inside - a nude Lord and berry lipstick, a pinky lilac lip liner and a taupe coloured Headline nail varnish. I thought the lip liner and nail varnish were lovely, but sadly the Glazed pink lipstick was too pale for my skintone.

The 3 make up items were the same in all boxes, however it was nice to be able to choose my skincare. I went for S5 vitality mask and Rodial 5 minute facial, both of which helps to reduce pore size, clear imperfections and improve radiance, something that my skin could definitely do with this time of year.

There's also a discount coupon inside which you could pass onto a friend, giving them 2 extra products in their first Love me beauty box.

Glossybox december 2013
Glossybox - December 2013*

Glossybox december 2013
Glossybox - December 2013

In keeping with the season, Glossybox have for a red box this month and I have to say I'm really liking the Christmas tree design. Product wise, I thought there was a good mix of skincare, make up and body care. Of the 5, I'm probably least keen on the white Seche nail varnish and Yin Yang rich skin food sachets, however I'm sure both could be passed onto a more loving home.

The Beautiful movements lipgloss and Maybelline colossal mascara will come in really useful though and what with the party season coming up, I'm looking forward to putting Wilkson intuition razor to the test. The other thing I like about Glossybox is that they do a mini magazine, and this month I particularly enjoyed the Christmas gift guide and behind the scenes interviews.

Overall, it seems both companies have gone for products to help us get party ready. It would have been nice if the boxes were a bit more festive themed (I would have loved a glitter polish or sparkly eyeshadow for that extra wow factor). That said, both boxes will still come in handy over the festive period, and with 3 full sized products in each they're good value too.

Are you a beauty box subscriber? What did you think about this month's boxes?

Christmas gift guide - bath and body sets

I love all the gift sets at Christmas - not only do they take the hassle out of present buying, they're also great for stocking up on all your favourite products. And with such a wide range available, there's something to suit everyone. Here are some of my top picks:

 Bliss happy 'aloe' days gift set
 Bliss happy 'aloe' days gift set*

For me Bliss have always struck the perfect balance between quirky and fun and grown up and practical. This year they launched a new grapefruit and aloe fragrance which is fruity, sweet and uplifting, perfect for anyone who struggles to get up in the morning.  Inside the gift set you'll find a giant bottle of body wash, a matching shower puff and a deliciously scented body lotion. Ideal for older teens and early twenties, especially if they like a touch of luxury in their everyday routine.

Neom organic bath and shower indulgence set
Neom organic bath and shower indulgence set*

I've spoken many a time about my love for Neom, but if you're new to the brand or want to treat someone who is, then this would be a lovely little gift set. Inside you'll find 6 mini vials, each enough to fill a bath or shower with one of their best selling scents. Of the 3 (there are 2 of each) real luxury is probably my favourite but the good thing about this is the lucky recipient can try them all before deciding for herself. I always think pampering treats make the best presents and at £19, this is nice and affordable too.

Sanctuary spa weekend get away collection
Sanctuary weekend get away collection*

Whether it's for work or for pleasure, these days we seem to be away from home a lot more. Whilst hotel toiletries do the job, they're not always the nicest. So if you know someone that travels a lot, then why not treat her this Sanctuary spa weekend collection. It contains a nice mix of every day essentials, as well as 2 bath time treats so she can pamper herself away from home. As with all Sanctuay gift sets this is part of the Boots 3 for 2 offer.

Roger and gallet hand and nail cream trio

Roger and gallet hand and nail cream trio*

Finally it wouldn't be a Christmas gift guide without some hand cream. Knowing a lot of friends who are medics I can personally vouch for the fact that nourishing hand cream will always go down a treat. These particular ones are enriched with shea butter yet still light and quick absorbing. Roger and Gallet are best known for their fragrances, so it's nice that you get 3 different ones to try. They're all handbag sized too so ideal for moisturising on the go.

How are you getting on with your Christmas shopping? What are you hoping to receive this year?

Yardley polaire gift set review and giveaway

Thanks to a crazy month at work I seem to have completely lost track of time and it suddenly hit me this weekend that there are now just 10 days left till Christmas! Needless to say I've yet to make a start on my Christmas shopping, but luckily for us last minute shoppers there are some great gift sets in store this year. Yardley have always brought out budget friendly perfumes, and this year I think the Polaire gift set is their best one yet:

Yardley polaire gift set

Whereas in the past they've focused on more mature single note scents, Polaire is a rather glamorous mix of pear, freesia, rose, ginger, pink pepper, amber and patchouli. The whole concept was inspired by the art deco era of the 1920s and I like that they've branched out from their usual rectangular perfume bottles. This design just feels a bit more modern and the faux crystal lid helps to add some decadence. 

Perfume wise it's sweet and floral with just a touch of powder and spice, perfect for mums and older sisters or for those days when you want something a bit more grown up and sophisticated. There's a rather nice quick absorbing body lotion too.

Now onto the best bit - Yardley have kindly offered to give away 2 Polaire gift sets. I'm going to be hosting this giveaway on Twitter, but for more information and to enter, click here.

Have you tried any Yardley perfumes? How are you getting on with your Christmas shopping?

Oral B presents: Life opens up - sponsored video

As some of you may know, I did a two months trip to Australia back in 2011 and since then it's always held a special place in my heart. So when Oral B emailed about about their new life opens up video (set in Bondi beach), I was instantly intrugued:

Oral B presents: Life opens up

In a rather cool experiment, Oral B set up a random phone booth on Bondi beach and waited to see what happened when it rang. Well it seem Australian's are far more likely to answer than us Brits, because belive it or not they had over 100 responses in just 2 days.

People were asked about their best decisions they've ever made and there are some lovely stories. Some were big such as adopting children, others less of a change, but still very important for that particular person.

Not surprisingly it got me thinking about my life and the decisions I've made too. In many ways, I still feel 18 inside, but looking back over the last 7 years, there have been some major changes in my life. I've graduated from university, made some lifelong friends, started a new job and moved to a different city.

The decision that lead to all those changes? Giving up my first choice after I got a better offer from a different university. Over the years, there have been many other decisions along the way too, some big, some small, but all have played a huge part in getting me to where I am now.

And the best decision that I ever made? Probably moving down to London for university. Either that or deciding to start Peonies and lilies back in 2009!

For more stories or to share your own, you can use the hastag #lifeopensup on Twitter.

What was the best decision you've ever made?

*Post sponsored by Oral B

The Body Shop Christmas 2013

Over the years, I've come to rely on The Body Shop for their body butters and hemp hand cream, but come Chistmas it's all about their cute little gift sets. In their own words, The Body Shop have always been about 'beauty with heart' and this year they've got some lovely gift sets, all of which will help to benefit local communities from around the world:

The Body Shop joyful gingerbread house

Starting with this Joyful gingerbread house, which has to be one of the cutest gift sets I've seen this year. Not going to lie the festive packaging was my reason for including this, but inside you'll find a cranbury shower gel and body butter, gingerbread shower gel and body butter, and a mini shower puff, all for the barginous price of just £17. There's a lovely message with this too. This year with the profit from their Christmas sales, The Body Shop are going to donate £200,000 to build 5 new schools. A really nice gesture and for me an extra incentive to do my Christmas shopping at The Body Shop.

The Body Shop 4 colour eye palette

Back in 2011 I blogged about The Body Shop eyeshadow palette and this year they've brought out something very similar. There are a choice of 2 colours, but naturally I went for the more neutral toned Smokey brown palette. Once again there are 4 cream/brown eyeshadows inside, the only difference being that there are now 2 make up brushes instead of a brush and eyeliner duo.

The Body Shop expert brush collection

Finally for someone who's just getting into make up this Expert brush collection would be perfect as a little starter kit. Inside you'll find 5 synthetic brushes, all of which are super soft and durable. The face and body brush is a particular favourite of mine and perfect for applying a light dusting of powder to set any foundation/BB cream. At £45 it's one of their more expensive Christmas gift sets, but in my opinion well worth the investment, especially when you consider that the brushes would retail for £85 if sold individually.

Keep an eye out for any festive codes too, as The Body Shop regulary do 50% off sales or gift with purchases this time of year.

Will you be buying any of these gift sets? What's your favourite Body Shop product?

November favourites

Time for another monthly favourites and in November it was all about super hydrating skincare, comforting home scents and the odd make up item or two to help disguise all those late nights and insomina:

Hydraluron, Bourjois healthy mix concealer, Yankee candle red apple wreath
November favourites

Starting with Hydraluron, which has now become almost a cult favourite. It's one of those products that initially doesn't feel like it's doing much, but with the cold weather in November, I started to notice a difference after just a few days of use. The gel serum contains a concentrated dose of hyluronic acid, which can absorb 1000x it's own weight in water and basically encourages the skin to hold onto any moisture it comes into contact with. The end result? Skin that's left feeling more hydrated, plumped up and just generally healthier looking. 

In November I really struggled with insomnia which is why I've found myself reaching for Bourjois healthy mix concealer on a near daily basis. It's got a yellow base to it which works well with my skintone and the formula is creamy, so ideal for use around the delicate eye area. Coverage wise I'd say its about that of a medium foundation and generally it lasts well throughout the day. I do wish it comes in a slightly different packing though. Although the squeezy tube is very hygienic it can be difficult to control, and on a couple of occasions at the start I've been left with more concealer than I actually need.

Soap and glory kick ass instant retouch pressed powder
Soap and glory kick ass instant retouch pressed powder

Another favourite is the new Soap and glory kick ass instant retouch pressed powder. Although it looks quite yellow in the pan, it actually goes on completely translucent. The powder is very finely milled and feels almost silicony on swatching. It gives a nice smooth semi-matte finish to the skin though and I like the fact that it comes in a small plastic compact with it's own mirror. Perfect for throwing into my handbag and touching up during the day. 

Conscious skincare sweet orange and frangipani body butter
 Conscious skincare sweet orange and frangipani body butter

During the summer I'm all about light quick absorbing body lotions, but come winter time I need something a bit richer. And my go to one at the moment is Conscious skincare sweet orange and frangipani body butter, simply because it smells absolutely amazing. Think of orange creams and lemon sherbet, yummy! In the pot it's very thick, but on contact with body heat it almost melts into a oil. It takes quite a while to fully sink in, so I tend to use it at night, but the results are worth it though as it always leaves my skin feeling super soft and smooth.

Finally I've been loving my Yankee Candle in red apple wreath. It's my first glass jar and I have to say I much prefer it to the small samplers, the scent just seems to be stronger and more intense. With notes of apples, cinnamon, walnuts and maple, it's sweet, spicy and just perfect for getting into the Christmas spirit.

Have you tried any of these products before? What were your November favourites?

Organic surge bloggers favourites and 60% off sale

I've been holding off for a little while, but now that it's December I feel like we can finally start talking all things Christmas! This time of year there are always amazing gift sets and beauty bargains, starting today with this rather lovely Organic Surge bloggers favourites bundle:

Organic surge bloggers favourites bundle

It's always nice to see brands supporting bloggers and for Christmas 2013, Organic Surge have actually put together a little collection of all our favourites. Inside the bundle you'll find a citrus mint shower gel, 2 minite moisture mask, lavendar meadow hand and nail cream and a blissful daily moisturiser.

Having tried all 4 products, I can confirm that they are indeed firm favourites. The shower gel is particularly good if you have dry/sensitive skin and the lavendar hand cream great for topping up during the day. You can read my review of the hair mask and blissful daily moisturiser here and here too.

Whilst on the subject of Organic Surge I wanted to quickly mention their 60% off sale. It seems the tradition of Black Friday has finally made it across the pond, and till the end of today Organic Surge are offering various savings on their everyday essentials. Ideal if you've just started your Chistmas shopping or want to stock up on some favourites.

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? What are your Organic surge favourites?

The tweeting bra - sponsored video

There's no denying that smart phones and social media have become a big part of our lives (I know I certainly spend half the day glued to my laptop and phone), but this month Nestle fitness have taken it to a whole new level with their Tweeting bra:

Sounds intriguing right? Well the whole thing is in aid of breast cancer awareness. Nestle fitness have teamed up with Greek celebrity Maria Bakodimou who has been wearing this special bra since 19th November. There's an inbuilt bluetooth unit and everytime she removes the bra, a signal will be sent to the server which promptly tweets and will remind us all to check our breasts.

October may be breast cancer awareness month, but it's important that we don't forget to examine the other 11 months of the year too. Breast cancer is now the most common cancer in the UK, although luckily with early detection and treatment 3 out of 4 people are now surviving beyond 10 years. And as we all know lumps and skin changes can often be the first sign that there's something wrong, making self examinations a key part of early diagnosis.

I must admit, as far as ideas go, it's pretty out there, but with so many of us on Twitter now, it's certainly a novel way of reminding us all to do our monthly checks.

For more information you can visit the website or follow the Tweeting bra Twitter account here. There's the hashtag #Tweetingbra too.

*Post sponsored by Nestle fitness

Love me beauty November 2013

It's crazy to think beauty boxes have been around for 2 years now. They've become such a regular treat and I can't remember a time when I didn't look forward to a surprise parcel every month. Love me beauty have always offered their customers a choice of 3 boxes each month, and I feel like since their rebrand in September they've gone from strength to strength, with the November box being one of their best ones yet:

Love me beauty box, Love me beauty November 2013

Love me beauty, Love me beauty November 2013, Lord and berry lipstick, Models own hot pink nail polish, Art deco lipgloss
Love me beauty November 2013

For my November box I went with menu 1, which contains Absolution le soin purifiant face mask, Models Own hot pink nail varnish, Art deco translucent rosewood hydra lip booster, Mitchell and peach shower wash and Jelly pong pong 2 in 1 bronze shadow/liner. There's a complimentary Lord and berry lipstick too, by way of an apology for any issues with last month's mascara and eyeliner.

I've spoken many a time about how nice it to choose your beauty box, but when it comes to make up and nail varnish it really does make all the difference - I've lost count of the number of times I've not used a product just because it's the wrong colour for me. Make up aside, the other 2 products are well chosen too. Face masks and shower gels will always come in handy and they're well suited to most skin types too.

Overall another well thought out and balanced box from Love me beauty. I can't wait to see what they've got planned for their first Christmas box now.

Are you a beauty box subscriber? What are your favourite products to receive?

The Body Shop 24 days of joy advent calendar

Remember when beauty advent calendars were first introduced in 2011? Fast forward to 2013 and they're now more popular than ever. This year The Body Shop is the latest brand to get on board with their 24 days of joy advent calendar:

The body shop 24 days of joy

The body shop 24 days of joy advent calendar

The body shop 24 days of joy advent calendar spoiler

I won't spoil the surprise, but if you are a fan of The Body Shop or know someone who is, then this would be the ultimate beauty treat. Inside you'll find generous travel sizes of 24 of their best selling products, ranging from shower gels and body lotions to lip balm and cheek stains. There are cute little explanations on each day too.

Although more than your usual chocolate advent calendar, at £55 this is still very good value with £80 worth of products inside. And as you can see it's an impressive size too, even requiring hinges and a handle to hold it all together.

As with most beauty advent calendars, this has been incredibly popular so you'll have to be quick if you want to get your hands on one this Christmas. At the time of writing, it's been sold out online, but with a bit of luck there should still be a few available in stores.

Will you be getting a beauty advent calendar this Christmas? What's your favourite Body Shop product?

Current haircare routine

When it comes to haircare I like to chop and change my routine every few months. There's just always something new and exciting on the market and unlike skincare, I don't feel my hair suffers as a result of constantly trying out new products (in fact I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that it's good to switch your shampoo and conditioner every so often). Here's what I'm currently using:

Philip kingsley body building shampoo, Philip kingsley body building conditioner, Organic surge 2 minute moisture mask, Batiste oriental dry shampoo, L'oreal elvive extraordinary oil
Current haircare routine

Starting with Philip Kingsley body building shampoo and conditioner, both of which have become new favourites. The shampoo foams up well (even with the hard water in Kent) and leaves my hair feeling clean and nourished without stripping it of oils or weighing it down. It's nice and gentle on the scalp too. The conditioner is equally as good, and although light and easy to rinse away, is still moisturising enough to leave the ends of my hair feeling hydrated, soft and smooth. I wouldn't say there's a drastic difference in volume, but it is a gentle cleansing everyday duo and my hair always feels light and bouncy the next day.

Once or twice a week, I like to deep condition the ends with Organic Surge 2 minute moisture mask. Since using this, I've noticed a real difference in the texture of my hair. It's no longer as dry, feels much smoother and is easier to brush through. Formula wise, it's no thicker than an everyday conditioner, which is great as it doesn't weigh down my fine hair, and I don't have to stand around for ages waiting for the hair mask to rinse out.

Once my hair is about 80% dry, I like to add a few drops of nourishing hair oil. I'm currently switching between Ojon rare blend oil and L'oreal elvive extraordinary oil. The L'oreal one feels more silicone based, but both help to tame the ends and make it more manageable in between washes.

Finally for those in between days there's my trusty can of Batiste dry shampoo. I'm currently using the new Oriental version, which is lightly scented with notes of apple, wild berry, grape, jasmine, coconut and sandalwood. Because it's a white powder, it takes a few minutes to rub in, however once it does it helps to soak up any grease and leaves my hair looking fresher and more voluminous. Colour wise, I still love the Brunette version, but in terms of scent, this is probably my favourite one so far.

Have you tried any of these products? What are your haircare essentials?

Weekend wishlist

I'm not sure if its the change of season, the fact that there are so many nice Christmas gift sets or that payday is just around the corner, but I can't seem to stop shopping at the moment. Which is why despite the fact that my last trip was only a week ago, I'm managed to build up an extensive wishlist already:

Weekend wishlist

1. After a little phase of not painting my nails, I've become obsessed with nail varnish again. This cute little Essie festive fingertips box contains 3 of their bestselling shades, plus a festive gold glitter and calligraphy nail wraps. Perfect for those indecisive days.

2. Ok so totally jumping on the bandwagon with Hourglass ambient lighting palette, but having heard so many good reviews, I really want to try this out for myself. Said to blur, colour correct and highlight, this sounds like an absolute must have, and what the party season coming up I could certainly do with a good complexion enhancer.

3. Forget chocolate, this year it's all about beauty advent calendars. Yankee candle advent calendar features 25 different tealights (including 6 of their new seasonal scents). Perfect for someone like me, who's relatively new to the brand but keen to try out more scents. 

4. I've been after a new wrist watch for quite some time now. Whilst I liked the idea of a Michael Kors the boyfriend style was unfortunately too big for me. I came across this whilst browsing Littlewood's range of jewellery and watches and like that it's in a similar style, but much slimmer and better suited to my small wrists.

5. Since buying my Primark plimsolls, I've been wearing them non stop. And now that I'm used to the style, I'm totally lusting after a pair of Converses. This particular design comes in my favourite burgandy colour too.

6. Finally I'm in desperate need of a new winter coat. Having browsed Littlewood's range of coats, I've narrowed down to these 3 options. Trench coats will always be a classic, whereas the duffle coat looks super warm and cosy. I love the girlyness and design of the third coat too. Which one would you pick?

Have you brought an advent calendar yet? What's on your weekend wishlist?

*In collaboration with Littewoods

Winter accessories and shoe haul

I must have been subconsciously preparing for the cold weather, because without realising I've picked up quite a few Winter bits and bobs over the last few weeks. And seeing as it's been a while since my last haul, I thought I'd do a bit of a collective post today:

 Starting with these 3 statement necklaces from Dorothy Perkins. During the winter, I pretty 
much live in jumpers and jeans, so thought these would be a good way to jazz up an 
everyday outfit and make it a bit more interesting.

 I've been on the lookout for a new handbag for ages. This caught my eye in New Look 
and I love the gold buckle and zip detailing. I prefer to carry handbags on my shoulder
so usually go for one with a slightly longer handle, however this comes with a detachable 
shoulder strap too, which perfect as it allows me to keep my hands nice and free during the day.

During the winter, I love wearing ankle boots so couldn't resist this suede pair from New look. 
The heel adds a bit of height without being too uncomfortable and the tan colour goes perfectly
 with my favourite dark denim jeans.

For casual walks/trips to the supermarkets you can't beat a pair of Primark 
plimsolls. And at less than a fiver, they're a serious bargain too.

Finally it wouldn't be a winter haul without some of these Primark super cosy tights. 
If you haven't tried them yet they're fleece lined so really warm and cosy, and basically
 a must have during the cold winter months.

Have you brought anything nice recently? What are your winter essentials?

Soap and glory girl-o-whirl, Boots star gift of the week

Just a quick heads up that Soap and Glory girl-o-whirl will be Boots star offer of the week on Friday:

Soap and glory girl-o-whirl, Boots star gift of the week

I know in the past Soap and glory gift sets have been incredibly popular, and I myself have been known to wake up early just so I can get to the shops before they all sell out! This year though, rather than the usual bath and body gift set, they've gone for the Girl-o-whirl make up set instead.

Inside the make up pouch you'll find:
6 Lidstuff eyeshadows
6 Super-colour fabulipstick shades
Their best selling Thick & fast super volume mascara
Sexy mother pucker gloss stick in Nudist
Glow all out instant luminising face powser
Solar powder multi-shade shimmering bronzer
Plus an eyeshadow, lip and blush brush, complete with a inside mirror on the case

Are you a fan of Soap and glory make up? Will you be stocking up on this gift set?

Clinique superprimer face primers

Just before I left for New York (blog post coming soon) Clinique launched a new range of superprimer face primers. Normally after moisturising, I would go straight onto BB cream/foundation, however on holiday I needed my make up to look flawless for longer, making it the ideal opportunity to test these primers out:

All together there are 6 primers, five of which are designed to colour correct and one which is non tinted. Shown above are 2 of the colour correcting super primers, both of which have the same silicone based mousse texture. The universival face primer on the other hand is more of a light fluid and is ideal for those with drier skin.

As I have combination skin, I personally prefer the Clinique colour corrects primers. The peach one helps with dullness whilst the lavender helps to perk up sallow skin (2 of my most common complaints). A little bit goes a long way with these primers, and small pea sized blob is enough to glide over any pores, giving my skin a silky smooth mattified finish.

Previously I'd always thought primers were an unnecessary additional step, however after giving these a try, I'm now fully converted. I still need to repowder if I'm going out in the evenings, but compared to without a primer, it's certainly blurred out any imperfections, mattified my skin and gave it that freshly applied make up look for longer.

Have you tried the new Clinique superprimers? What are your top tips for flawless skin?

Glossybox November 2013

I love a good beauty box, which is why on Friday it was such a lovely surprise to find the new November Glossybox waiting for me upon my arrival back home:

Glossybox november 2013

Glossybox November 2013, Glossybox november spoiler, Elegant touch, Vichy idealia, Yves rocher, Agese oils, Emite make up
Elegant touch rapid dry for nails
Vichy idealia face cream and serum x2
Yves rocher cocoa and orange hand cream
Agese oils face glow
Emite make up eyeshadow in Dams

Since the last Glossybox, they've had a bit of a make over, and I have to say I'm really liking the new mini magazine. I rarely buy magazines anymore so it was nice to have something glossy to read over a nice cup of tea. Alongside brand interviews and expert Q&As, there were also features on Christmas shopping and berry lipsticks, both of which were perfect for this time of year.

Product wise, I was immediately won over by the Elegant touch rapid dry nail spray. I always find drying my nails such a chore so I'm really excited to see if this helps to speed along the process. The Yves Rocher hand cream is lovely too. It smells exactly like Terry's chocolate oranges, although luckily for my waistline the scent doesn't linger around for too long.

Also included were some Vichy skincare samples, a little vial of Agese face oil and a black Emite make up eyeshadow. In all honesty I probably won't get much use out of the eyeshadow (black isn't really my colour), but I thought the skincare samples were a good idea. With skincare I always like to try before I buy and I thought both products were well suited for winter. Plus they're generous samples too, so you can really get an idea of how it works on your skin before investing in the full sized version.

RRP £10 plus £2.95 P+P. Click here for more information or to sign up for your own Glossybox.

Are you a Glossybox subscriber? What did you get this month?

Dove giveaway winner

A big thank you to everyone who entered my Dove giveaway. The response was absolutely amazing and it was great to see that so many of you are big fans of the brand too. So without further ado, it's time to announce the winner:

And the winner is Jen (Kitsch n sync)

Well done Jen! An email will be making it's way to your inbox very soon. If you could reply with your details I'll get your prize sorted out asap!

Thanks again to everyone who entered and look out for another giveaway very soon!

October favourites

These days, as soon as the weather starts to gets cold, my skin becomes more dehydrated and dry. Which is why in October I really focused on using quality products in order to inject as much moisture as I could back into the skin:

Ren no 1 purity cleansing balm, Heal gel intensive, Soap and glory sexy mother pucker 3d gloss stick, La maison de senteurs hand cream, Neom real luxury organic room mist
October favourites

Starting off with this Ren no 1 purity cleansing balm, which contains sweet almond oil, shea butter and chamomile oil. It's got rose extracts too, which gives it's signature light floral scent. Because it's so thick, it needs to be warmed up first before applying, but once it does it feels very luxurious on the skin. It's an emulsifying balm, so washes off easily once in contact with water. Most importantly, it leaves my skin feeling soft and nourished. I would recommend going for the tub version though, as it can be quite difficult to squeeze out at times.

Another new addtion is Heal gel intensive. This was originally created for post surgical patients, but it works well on dry patches too, something which I have been taking full advantage of. What with harsh winds and runny noses, my skin can become quite irritated during the winter, but using this has really helped to soothe the area and prevent any further irritation. It's good for fading acne scars too.

Make up wise I've been loving Soap and gloy sexy mother pucker 3D gloss stick in Bashful. Like the original gloss sticks, these have the texture of a lipbalm, the finish of a lip gloss and the pigmentation of a sheer lipstick. Perfect for those low maintence days when I want something that's quick and easy, yet still girly and pink on the lips.

This month, I've been moisturizing my hands more regularly too. At night I'm still using The Body Shop hemp hand cream, but during the day it's all about La maison de senteurs fleur d'orangies hand cream. My main reason for liking this is because it's quick absorbing, but still hydrating enough to keep any dry patches at bay. Plus anything citrus scented always get a big thumbs up from me.

Finally I've been obsessed with Neom real luxury organic room mist. Granted it's not the cheapest of room sprays but as always with Neom you get what you pay for, and it just adds the most amazing smell to any room. Plus it's nice to treat yourself every now and again!

Have you tried any of these products? What were your October favourites?

October empties/project bathroom update

I'm not sure how, but October seems to have come and gone in the blink of an eye! Can you believe there's now only 51 days till Christmas?! For the last few months, my bathroom shelves have become increasingly cluttered, so during October I made a real effort to finish as many products as possible:

October empties:
Batiste dark and deep brown dry shampoo
Concoction black pepper + citrus shampoo
Ojon dry recovery intensive hydrating 2 minute hair mask
Seascape refresh hand & nail cream
La roche posay cleansing body cream-gel
Lush love lettuce face mask
Trilogy rosehip oil
Bumble and bumble sunday shampoo
Estee Lauder intensive smoothing hand creme
Ren hydra calm global protection day cream
Batiste original dry shampoo

In total, I managed to get through 11 products last month. Rather unintentionally nearly half the empties were haircare products. As you may know Batiste dry shampoo is a must have for me and I seem to get through at least one can a month. Bumble and bumble sunday shampoo was a real favourite too, and of all the products that I've finished, this was the one I most sad about.

Haircare aside, I seemed to have worked my way through several tubes of hand cream and face moisturisers. Not surprisingly really given how cold it's suddenly become in the UK. Special mentions go to the Estee Lauder hand cream and Trilogy face oil, both of which were super moisturising and perfect for this time of year.

How did you get on this month? What were your favourites?

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