Last-minute Christmas Gift Guide for Beauty Lovers

Saturday, 20 December 2014
Christmas is officially just FIVE days away and considering today has been touted 'Panic Saturday', what better time to provide you with a last-minute gift guide than now?

I'll admit, despite trying to be Little Miss Organised when it comes to present buying, I can leave things a tad on the late side - always telling myself I'll get it next weekend, and instead spending next weekend buying things for myself... oops (don't tell me none of you have ever done this!) I find it increasingly hard to buy things for certain people, and that just leaves me putting it off further - so, if any of you are currently struggling on getting some presents together for your loved ones, I think I might have it covered with this ol' gift guide right here. 

I put together a collection of fab beauty products, because I honestly don't think there is anything better to give and receive at Christmas time than the gift of beauty pampering products. As much as I love the usual socks and chocolate combo, I don't think you can beat the luxury of a beauty gift (and that goes for women AND men) at this time of year. 

So, without further ado, here are my top beauty gifts to give on Christmas day, all neatly categorised for who these gifts are best suited to... 

The Glam Girl 
We all know someone who is simply always the epitome of glamorous - big hair, big lashes, rouge lips and never a chipped nail in sight - despite them perhaps being the seemingly easiest to buy for, it can sometimes be a case of 'Well, what do you get the girl that has everything!?' Well, I think I have the answer with these cute little gift sets. A brand which only recently fell under my radar is Glo & Ray, a gorgeous make up brand which has some stunning beauty bits - not least this gorgeous little Shimmer Shimmer Lip Colour Gift Set* featuring three beautiful lipstick shades that every glam girl will love - a nude, a beautiful festive red and a deep, dark (very on-trend) plum. I promise you she'll like it. It costs £36 so is quite pricey but totally worth it for these beautiful products. Or, if hair care is more the thing you're wanting to give (and you're on a budget), then John Frieda's 'For the Love of Big Hair' set* is perfect for big-haired bombshells. It features four miniature Luxurious Volume products, including shampoo, conditioner, hair spray and blow dry lotion. The best thing? It's only £8 (now just £6 at Superdrug) - an ideal gift that won't break the bank. 

The Guy 
Ugh... men. Aren't they just the worst to buy for? Us ladies are pretty darn easy when it comes to present buying for (makeup, shoes, makeup, candles, more makeup) but men are just so damn difficult. Whilst I always think a pair of socks and a Lynx gift set will probably more than suffice for our men-folk, it's nice to buy actual nice gifts for our dads, boyfriends, husbands and guy-friends. I picked out a couple of gorgeous gifts from Poised, which sells a multitude of gifts for men; grooming kits, hair care, fragrance (and not a Lynx set in sight - phew). The gifts in question were both skincare sets - one from Alpha H; a Clear Skin Kit* which is perfect if your fella is looking for some acne-busting products, but doesn't really want to have to go down the Clearasil route (no offence to Clearasil, of course...) Alpha H is one of my favourite skincare brands - suffering with bad skin myself I think this Clear Skin Set is ideal. It comes in fuss-free packaging and includes a Blemish Control Gel, Daily Hydrator Gel and Daily Face Wash. Being Alpha H, it's not the cheapest at £29.95, but when you think about the individual price of the products it's definitely worth it. The other gift set is a Luxury Gift Set* from a brand I hadn't previously heard of, called Kyoku, It contains five FULL SIZE Kyoku products, including Razor Repair Balm, Exfoliating Facial Scrub, Daily Facial Cleanser, Lip Fuel and Oil Control Lotion. It's a must-have for men who want a bit of luxury skincare in their lives, and whilst it usually costs £95, it's actually reduced to £29.95 at the minute. 

The Luxe Lady
For those gal-pals who have a taste for the luxurious things in life, these gift sets would be ideal. To be honest, anything from either of these brands would suit a luxe lady down to a tee - as both of them are super luxurious and a total dream to use. The Aromatherapy Associates Radiant Rose Gift Box* is one of my personal favourites (I adore the scent of rose) and comes complete with Renewing Rose Body Cream, Renewing Rose Body Wash and Support Equilibrium Bath and Shower Oil, which promotes inner calm - something we all need around the festive season. It costs £35. The Nourish Argan Beauty Collection* is another luxe product - this one is less about pampering and more about caring for the skin. Infused with gold, frankincense and myrrh (very festive!), it gives the ultimate indulgent skin routine with three fab products - Argan Skin Renew, Argan Skin Rescue, and Golden Glow Illuminating Face Shimmer. It's cheaper than the Aromatherapy Associates set too, coming in at £25. 

The Practical Person
You know those people who always say 'Just get me something I need' when it comes to Christmas? They're what I like to call 'Practical People'. I am most certainly not one of them, but I do understand where they're coming from - there's no point in getting something that will just sit on the shelf gathering dust, when you could buy them something useful. However, practical presents don't have to be boring, and my choices of 'practical' gifts most certainly aren't. First up, whilst it doesn't really look like a 'practical' gift at first glance, this Hair Heroes Beauty Box* from Feel Unique is actually ideal for those practical people who need something for keeping their hair looking nourished and shiny. The gift contains a gorgeous gold compact Tangle Teezer (very practical), as well as a tube of Philip Kingsley Elasticizer and some Redken Diamond Oil (practical AND luxurious). The gift set costs £39.50 (currently reduced to £34.50!) and I think it's gorgeous - a must for hair care lovers. Another, perhaps more obvious, practical gift is this Sonic Whitening Toothbrush from Whitewash Laboratories*. Instead of being the usual boring old Colgate brush, this is sleek and cool in design, as well as helping to whiten teeth. It has three different brushing modes - clean, whiten and massage, as well as a timer and a long-life rechargeable battery. If that isn't practical, then I don't know what is! It costs £59.99 (usually £64.99). 

The Pampered Princess
For ladies who love nothing more than a pamper session, complete with candles, nail polish-applying and face masks aplenty, I thought these two gifts would be ideal. First up, these beautiful 1 Second nail polishes from Bourjois* are totally stunning and perfect for the festive season - and they give a gorgeous gel effect (without having to head to the salon!) They're also a great price at just £5.99 each. I think a little selection of these would make a lovely gift. If the person you're buying for is a fan of relaxing candles, however, then Aromatherapy Associates Inner Strength Candle* is ideal for pamper sessions. It is designed to de-stress with frankincense and cardamom, and smells incredible. It costs £35 and comes packaged in a gorgeous box, with 10% of the proceeds going to the charity Defence Against Cancer - so you can give a great gift and a donation as well. 

And there you have it! My Last-minute Christmas Gift Guide for Beauty Lovers. I shall be popping up a Last-minute Guide to Stocking Fillers tomorrow, so keep your eyes peeled! Let me know what you think to the gifts in my guide, and if you've got all your shopping done yet I'd love to know! 

Body Shop Glazed Apple Review

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

The Christmas season is definitely my favourite time of year, not least because of the presents, the food, spending time with family and the countless Christmas films, but also the fantastic smellies and pampering products that pop up when the month of December begins. The Body Shop is definitely a big player when it comes to pamper products, and at Christmas time you can always guarantee they'll have a fab new Christmassy collection released to keep us all looking and smelling fab over the festive period.

The Glazed Apple collection is a new addition The Body Shop's shelves this Christmas, and a fantastic one at that. Whilst the emerald green appearance might not be to everyone's taste, it certainly is festive and the products themselves are fantastic. I was sent a little selection of said products and thought it only right to share my thoughts with you.

The entire collection smells absolutely delicious and I honestly think it's one that everyone will like - men included. It's really fresh and slightly zingy, and is a total pleasure to use. The Bath Jelly is a really odd product (I'm not very used to jelly in my beauty products!) but works amazingly well at filling the bath with bubbles and the gorgeous apple scent, whilst the Shower Gel leaves you feeling squeaky clean and smelling great. My favourite product has to be the Shimmer Lotion, however, as it combines the beautiful smell with serious moisturisation (apple seed and shea butter are just some of the ingredients) as well as leaving your skin with a beautifully seasonal shimmer - ideal for Christmas nights out.

Overall I adore this collection and I'd be very shocked if there is anyone out there who doesn't like how this smells. I think any of the items I mentioned would make perfect Christmas presents, or the ideal treat for yourself! Also - if you fancy treating yourself but don't want to pay full price, use the code '14671' when you spend over £30 and get £15 off!

Have you tried the new Glazed Apple collection from The Body Shop? Let me know what you think to it!

Butterfly Twists Review

Monday, 15 December 2014

As the party season is well and truly here, I thought it was about time I shared with you my new favourite pair of flats - Butterfly Twists. I'd never previously heard of them but as soon as I laid my eyes on the beautiful Gold Emily pair, I was in love. 

These brogue/ballerina-style shoes are every girl's dream - especially if you're a fan of dancing all night long but don't want to risk your poor tootsies. Why? Because these little babies are FOLDABLE as well as gorgeous. Now, I know folding shoes have been on the scene for a while now, but these from Butterfly Twists are basically the 'high-end', amazing quality version of the cheap and cheerful ones you see nowadays. 

As well as being lightweight and super comfy, they have really cute ribbon laces and even come with a handy bag - meaning you can fold these up and pop them in your bag ready for later on in the night when your heels predictably start to kill your feet. I love these shoes that much though I'd happily wear them all night - and as they're glittery, they are totally perfect for this time of year. 

Whereas the majority of folding shoes out there deteriorate after a couple of wears, Butterfly Twists are uber sturdy and long-lasting, and whilst the fact they fold is definitely a big part of their appeal, I think these are gorgeous shoes in their own right. I totally love them and although they might be on the pricey side for some, I think they're totally worth it. I will be wearing them lots over Christmas! 

What do you think to Butterfly Twists? Let me know! 

Winter Berries

Sunday, 14 December 2014
Top*: Blue Vanilla 
Skirt*: Blue Vanilla
Necklace*: Jon Richard
Boots*: Quiz Clothing

I can't believe we're midway through December - this month has gone crazy quick, and I'm so excited for the Christmas festivities to get underway. In the spirit of all things festive, I thought I'd put together a very autumnal outfit, with a pop of cherry red and black, and a deep red lip to set things off. 

The beautiful metallic cropped tee and mesh check skirt are both from Blue Vanilla and I think they go perfectly together. The skirt has a stretchy waist, which is ideal if you've had a few too many mince pies, and I think both the top and the skirt are really flattering. I've wanted a black check midi skirt for a while now so this was perfect. I'd never previously heard of Blue Vanilla but they have some gorgeous pieces on there so are definitely worth checking out - their prices are great, too. 

I thought I'd finish the outfit off with the stunning statement necklace from Jon Richard, and I've got my faithful Quiz boots on as well, which set off the outfit nicely. I think this outfit would be perfect for Christmas eve drinks with friends, and looks nice and dressy (perfect for the party season) without be TOO spangly and sparkly - the metallic top and statement necklace give things just the right amount of glitz and glam. 

Are you looking forward to Christmas parties aplenty? Is this something you would wear to them? 

#AngelAddictions Competition

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

The lovely people over at Thierry Mugler are currently running an #AngelAddiction campaign, and as I'm a huge fan of the fragrance, I decided to take part (before you ask, this post isn't sponsored, I just bloody love the perfume!) They're working with me on giving some lovely Angel prizes away to you guys, which will make perfect Christmas pressies or just something nice for yourself! 

As part of the competition, they're asking all about your #AngelAddictions - so what makes you tick as a person, the things you cherish most, that you wouldn't want to give up. To show you the kind of thing I mean, I put together a little collage of the my #AngelAddictions...

As you can see, the things I love best include my dog Rory, my boyfriend Tom, my beloved mint green Fiat 500, makeup, stationery (duh!), reading, animals (hey cute meerkat sitting on my shoulder), Disney, CAKE, blogging on my iMac and pretty jewellery. I wanted to put my family in there too, obviously, but that would have filled the entire collage! 

So, what makes you tick? What are the things in your life that you couldn't do without, or, as Thierry Mugler have put it, your #AngelAddictions? 

To be in with a chance of winning a mini Angel fragrance (if you haven't smelt it before, YOU MUST, it's gorgeous) then simply pop your #AngelAddictions in the Rafflecopter form below. The competition finishes a week today. Good luck! 

Check out more #AngelAddiction good stuff on the Thierry Mugler Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rory's Letter to Santa Paws

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Okay, so as Christmas is fast approaching (I can't believe it's December tomorrow - where has this year gone?!) and Rory is my numero uno when it comes to buying presents, I thought it was only right to share with you the things on his Christmas list. 

He is definitely a very pampered pooch, and he makes me so very happy, so definitely deserves to be spoilt at Christmas time. The lovely people at Pets at Home said they'd give Santa a helping hand with his Christmas presents, so here is his letter to Santa Paws himself, in all its glory... 

Dear Santa Paws,
I have been a very good boy this year, and definitely think I deserve some lovely presents. As my bed is getting a bit old and tatty, my mum says I really ought to have a new one, and whilst I don't really care what it looks like (as long as it's snuggly and warm) I know my mum likes florals, so I'd very much like the floral dog bed (1) to snooze on throughout winter. I love playing tug games with anyone who will get involved, so this Gromit tug toy (2) would be perfect come playtime. I have a bit of a thing for treats (what dog doesn't!?) and think these Bakers Allsorts (3) look really yummy, and this Frankie Frog toy (4) will be great for cuddling (and chewing!) I've never had a Kong toy before but I'd really like one, so this small Kong toy (5) would be great to try and get treats out of. Speaking of treats, I hate having my teeth brushed but mum says these Bailey Bites minties (6) will taste yummy whilst keeping my breath nice and fresh. When it comes to Christmas, I love dressing up (note sarcasm - I always try to pull my most unimpressed face when mum puts me in an outfit), and this Christmas Pudding outfit (7) will make the perfect addition to my ever-expanding collection of ridiculous costumes (erm, don't tell mum I called them ridiculous). I absolutely HATE bath time, so this dry shampoo from Pet Head (8) will hopefully mean I can get out of having a bath when I really don't feel like it (which is all the time). 
Going on WALKIES is my favourite thing to do, and I'm in very much need of a new lead, so this cool funky tropical one would be nice (it expands too, so I can run off without my mum worrying about me). I am a big fan of snoozing in the living room as well as at bed time, so this Joules duvet would be great to snuggle up on during the day - it even has flying ducks on it, and I love chasing ducks. I only have one harness and could do with another (because I love walkies so much) so this black floral one (11) would do nicely, and again, I added these sweet potato bones (12) to the list as they sounded really yummy. I'd really like a couple more toys too, as playing with my toys is definitely one of my favourite things to do (along with snoozing and going on WALKIES), so this plush owl (13) and eco bone toy (14) will finish off my list nicely. 
I hope you will be able to get me a few things off this list - I have been a very, very good boy this year and mummy says I deserve being spoilt. I also promise I won't bark at the TV so much and I will get over my fear of the new dog flap if you get me some of these goodies. Thank you Santa. 
Lots of love, Rory Dog xx

Untitled #68
1. Floral Dog Bed - From £25
2. Gromit Tug - £7
3. Bakers Allsorts - £1.29
5. Kong Toy - £6
11. Floral Harness - £10
12. Owl Plush Toy - £10
14. Small Beco Rubber Dog Toy - £4

*This post was written in collaboration with Pets at Home, who will be helping Santa out and sending Rory some lovely treats! It is NOT sponsored.*