Thursday, 8 December 2016

Christmas Gift Guide: Stocking Fillers

As we're now just over a week into December (eep!) I thought it was about time things got a bit festive on here and I put together a few Christmas Gift Guides! First up - stocking fillers. This is probably one of my favourite gift guides to put together because I just love buying little bits! There's nothing better than hunting out cute little things to put in a stocking - be they lipsticks, chocolates, socks or fun little puzzles and gadgets.

I love nothing more than getting everything together and filling up a Christmas stocking the night before Christmas! I remember growing up stockings were the thing I probably looked forward to opening most - me and my sister would wake up early, let our parents know we were up and then go down to open our stockings together before our mum and dad came down to watch us open all the main presents. Definitely one of my favourite Christmas memories!

Anyway, enough of me rambling on - on with the Gift Guide! I think a must for any beauty lover's stocking has got to be some cute little smellies - I absolutely adore Bomb Cosmetics and think they do such an amazing range of Christmas bath bombs and soaps! My favourite thing about them is the majority of their products come readily wrapped in cellophane, instead of a paper bag like Lush. They have big and small bath bombs too so you can't really go wrong! I've included the little Angel Delight mallow*, Deer Me! bath blaster* and Winter Warmer soap*, all of which look and smell amazing!

If you've got multiple stockings to fill, I'd recommend getting a gift set like Zoella's 'Just Crackers'*, which comes with four crackers, each featuring a product from Zoe's amazing Christmas range, and then popping a single cracker into each of the stockings. A really cute little gift and budget-friendly, too!

If you're buying for a liquid lipstick lover but don't want to break the bank, Maybelline's new Color Drama Lip Paints* might be just the thing you're after. Available in five stunning shades, they cost just £4.99 and look amazing on.

Sticking with makeup, another really nice gift that isn't too pricey is Maxfactor's Smokey Eye Drama Kit* is just £8.99 and definitely reminds me of a much more high-end brand's eyeshadow palette offering. I've got the Lavish Onyx kit and think it's a seriously beautiful shade combination, perfect for the festive period.

For natural beauty product lovers, the Bee Good Lip Balm Trio* comes in some super cute honeycomb-shaped packaging and comes complete with three intensively conditioning lip balms - raspberry and white chocolate, lime blossom and honey and vanilla and honey. It even has a little ribbon to hang on the tree!

If you're buying for a luxe beauty lover, Caudalie have some amazing gift offerings this Christmas, including this fab little Caudalie Divine Oil*, which comes in the most gorgeous Christmas packaging (again, with a little ribbon to hang on tree). For use on your face, body and hair, it's a multi-purpose luxury beauty product that is bound to be a hit.

For those little last-minute additions, I think stationery lovers (like myself) will adore a little notebook like this 'Big Ideas' one I got from Treatbox*, or if you want to add in an old favourite with a new twist, the Holy Grail lip balm from Carmex* has had a limited edition makeover, and makes a really sweet little stocking filler.

I've added a few more bits of stocking filler inspo below:

Happy shopping!

Friday, 18 November 2016

Makeup Eraser: Worth the Hype?

If you know me, you'll know I wear a lot of makeup. It's something I pride myself on and something that's definitely not going to change any time soon. A love for being expressive with makeup combined with having acne throughout my entire adult life has meant that I've naturally fallen in love with heavier makeup and adore looking like I've got makeup on. I'm never going to be a fan of the 'natural' look and I'm perfectly okay with that.

However, the one gripe I do have with wearing full-coverage, full-on makeup on a daily basis is having to take it off. I honestly find it such a chore and I actually get excited on my rare makeup-free days when I realise I don't have layers of foundation and liquid eyeliner to get rid of come night time. It takes time and multiple products to finally get my face makeup-free, and even then I wonder if there are still traces left on my skin.

So, when I heard about the Makeup Eraser*, I have to say, I was intrigued. A cloth that gets rid of all my makeup with just water alone?! It sounded like the miracle product I'd been waiting for. After seeing so many glowing reviews, I thought it was my turn to try this magical pink cloth and see what all the fuss is about.

For just under £16, you get a super-soft cloth which claims to remove makeup, product build-up and impurities from the skin, no skincare products needed - just our good friend H2O. I'll admit, I was a bit dubious at first. I wear Estee Lauder Double Wear on a daily basis, a very full-coverage foundation which can be a right old pain to get off, and I'm also a big fan of false lashes, glittery eyeshadows and bold lipstick. Basically, if anyone was going to well-and-truly put this product to the test, it was me.

Okay so, I'll get straight to the point - this product works. REALLY well. You literally add water, wipe your face a bit and voila - your makeup comes off with ease and without the need for a million and one products. It gets rid of my full-coverage foundation remarkably well and although I'd probably still choose to use a separate eye makeup remover with it, it does a pretty damn good job of removing that too.

So, surely I'd be shouting about it from the rooftops, right?! Well, yes and no. I love this product - it does exactly what it says on the tin and is great for those days when you just want your makeup OFF without having to faff about. Would I use it over my traditional makeup removers on a daily basis? To be perfectly honest, no. My reasoning? Because I wear so much makeup, this cloth gets covered in a layer of foundation pretty sharpish. It could probably go three, maybe four (at a push) makeup-removing sessions before it needs to take a trip into the washing machine, and for me, that's just too much of an inconvenience. Fair enough if it was cheaper and I could buy three or four to have on rotation, but for nearly £16 a pop I don't really fancy doing that.

That's not to say I wouldn't recommend it - I definitely would - I'd just say for someone like me, who wears a lot of makeup regularly, and doesn't have the moolah to fork out for three or four of these bad boys, it's probably better to steer clear. If you're a less-is-more kinda gal, or even a not-really-natural but not-really-heavy either fan, then this will definitely be for you. It's also ideal if you're just looking for a product you can use after a heavy night out, when you know it's more than likely you'll end up sleeping in your makeup if you don't use something quick and efficient to get it off, or if you're heading on a weekend away or holiday and don't want to pack all your lotions and potions.

So, whilst the Makeup Eraser hasn't become a staple in my skincare routine, it works brilliantly and I can't see why it wouldn't become a staple for many others. I'll definitely be taking it on any weekends away with me! Have you tried the Makeup Eraser? What did you think?

Friday, 11 November 2016

How a Small Bedroom Makeover Can Make all the Difference

First of all, I apologise for the sheer lack of pictures in this post! I think I speak for all bloggers right now when I say, we're totally up against it with light at the minute, and I just couldn't get enough decent pics! Thankfully, this post doesn't require too many images, as it's all about making very small adjustments which ultimately make a huge difference.

I've recently really fallen out of love with my bedroom. I think moving house and now having to share my room with a boy (ew), had taken its toll and our bedroom had become a bit of a mismatched mess. He hates florals and pastels (of which there were many - it looked as though I'd raided the whole of Cath Kidston previously), whereas I hate his love of dark woods and minimalism, so we had a big task on our hands (when I say 'we', I of course mean 'I', as he had no say in this whatsoever - ha!).

My bedroom is a really important space to me, and it's always been a place I've taken pride in making look as pretty as possible. I love the fact I can retreat to my room, especially at this time of year, with a hot chocolate and a good book, and get snuggled up in the cosiness of it all. That wasn't really happening with how our bedroom used to be, so when Ocean Loans got in touch and said they'd like to help out and make a room more homely, I jumped at the chance.

I'd been looking on Pinterest a lot and noticed I was constantly re-pinning interior posts featuring pastel pinks, whites, greys and coppers. I knew this was the route I wanted to go down for the bedroom (and Tom grudgingly agreed - hey, there are no florals here!) so I set about buying a few new things: a new duvet cover, pillow cases, cushions, blanket and bedside lamp. I wish I'd taken 'before' pictures, but basically I used to have a Cath Kidston-inspired duvet cover, mismatched cushions and pillow cases, and a shabby chic, vintage-inspired lamp which was lovely but just wasn't working for the vision I had in mind.

So here you have it: my room post-makeover! I absolutely love it now - there are still a few things I want to do (we need new curtains, more prints and I feel like fairy lights are definitely necessary) but my cosy little book-reading area is pretty much complete. I chose a bedspread and pillowcases from Primark, as well as picking up the amazing marble cushions from a trip to the Tottenham Court Road Primark (£6 each - what a bargain!) and the copper lamp was a steal at about £14 from The Range. I loooove the copper wire basket with my beauty products in on my bed side table - it was from B&M and another absolute bargain. I feel like I needed something like this on my bedside table to encourage me to do my skincare every night, as I'm a very 'out of sight, out of mind' person.

The super soft fluffy pink blanket was from H&M, as were the pale pink cushion covers, and the cactus print was another steal from Primark. I'll probably change the print to something else at some point but I actually really like how it looks at the minute! Finally, the uh-mazing fluffy grey cushion in the middle was from Wilko for a fiver!

I'm amazed at how much difference just changing a few little bits in my room can make! Let me know if this inspires you to give your room a little mini makeover!

Monday, 7 November 2016

New Lancome L'Absolu Rouge Lipsticks Review

A couple of weeks ago I received one of the best kinds of parcels you can get in the post - a surprise from Lancome, packed with delicious macarons and - even better still - fabulous new lipsticks.

The L'Absolu Rouge range, created by Lisa Eldridge, has been reintroduced and is available in 36 sheer, matte and cream shades. The lipsticks now come in super chic, luxe packaging, with Lancome's signature rose at the top of the lid in gold. You simply click the top of the lid to get to the lipstick inside - and what amazing lipsticks these are. I received two of the many shades - Rose Lancome, a gorgeous pinky red in the cream formula, and Nuit & Jour, a sheer nude.

Both of the lipsticks I tried were ridiculously creamy and hydrating on the lips. Nuit & Jour is very sheer, but it gives you the perfect glossy lip that would look amazing in the day with minimal makeup or at night with a smokey eye. My favourite of the two shades is definitely Rose Lancome - this gorgeous creamy formula is so pigmented and such a beautiful hue. I can definitely see me getting a lot of wear out of it over the autumn and winter months!

The lipsticks cost £25.50 each and I completely recommend you checking them out - I promise you won't be disappointed! You can find them on Feel Unique here.
All images and content © Hannah Vickers for Away with the Fairies 2010- unless stated otherwise. All rights reserved.