New Nails & Arm Candy!

Posted on December 19, 2014

nadia-minkoff-and-red-carpet-manicure

Hi Guys!

I’ve really been getting into gel manicures lately, and I’ve recently been trying out the Red Carpet Manicure set. Red Carpet Manicure sell everything you need to create your own professional manicure in the comfort of your home, and I’ve just started practicing with their Starter Kit and a couple of their Gel Polishes. The shades on the above picture from left to right are – Fake Bake, Make a Statement and I’m So Honored.

Ok so how amazing does Jessie J look here? She’s actually sporting the one of the shades I have – Fake Bake – at the American Music Awards in November. I’ve been given instructions on how this look was created and I’m going to attempt to copy it. It can’t be too hard… right?

jessie j red carpet manicure

Here are the instructions for what I need to do, straight from the manicurist that worked on Jessie, Kimmie Kyees: 

  1. Kimmie used the Red Carpet Manicure Gel Polish Pro Kit to apply Jessie’s gel manicure.
  2. She shaped Jessie’s nails into an almond shape and used Purify Pre & Post Application Cleanser.
  3. Kimmie applied a thin coat of Structure Base Coat Gel to four nails, leaving the thumbs for last and cured in LED Light for 30 seconds.
  4. Kimmie applied a thin coat of RCM LED Nail Gel Polish in Fake Bake and cured  for 45 seconds in the Professional LED Light. Repeated for second coat. For her show time look, Kimmie removed the Fake Bake polish with RCM Remove Kit and then followed the same process: she cured one coat of RCM I’m So Honored, cured for 45 secondsand then painted one coat of RCM Make A Statement, and cured for another 45 seconds.
  5. Kimmie then applied a thin coat of Brilliance Seal & Shine Top Coat Gel and cure for 45 seconds in the professional LED Light.
  6. To finish, Kimmie removed tacky residue with Purify Pre & Post Application Cleanser and applied Revitalize Nourishing Cuticle Oil to hydrate the nails.

So I followed the instructions and this is what I ended up with…

red-carpet-manicure

Erm yeah so I clearly need a bit more practice! In my defence I didn’t have anything to shape my nails with, so I left them as they were. I think the shape is definitely the key to this look! And I may have skipped out one of the coats, as I thought I didn’t need it, but in hindsight maybe that was a bad idea, another coat would have given full opacity and looked a lot better. Never mind though, I’ll just have to keep practicing over the Christmas holidays to perfect my skills! :D

I would also like to add that even though my nails don’t exactly look amazing, I cannot fault the products at all. Both the polish and LED light were super easy to use – I just need to practice my application technique! The LED light actually has a USB connection too so I just plugged it into my laptop, which really was super convenient. I also really do love the shade Fake Bake, it’s a lovely light warm cream, and it’s one of the few pale colours that doesn’t make my skin look even whiter than it already is!

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I also thought I’d take this opportunity to show you my beautiful new bracelet from Nadia Minkoff. This is the Single Stone Bracelet in Iridescent Green. It has a simple silver tone chain, with an amazing iridescent Swarovski cushion cut crystal that changes colour when it’s facets catch the light.

There’s also a pretty Swarovski glass pearl added to match the stone and the fastener is finished with a Nadia Minkoff flower set with a single crystal. I’m looking forward to wearing this out over the Christmas holidays :)  It’s described as ‘A friendship bracelet with sparkle and a twist’ I never even thought of it as a friendship bracelet, but it really would make a wonderful gift.

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I’d love to hear what your favourite nail polishes are for winter? I hope you enjoyed my post! xxx

This post contains samples provided for review



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Text Santa! A Worth While Cause.

Posted on December 18, 2014

text santa

Hi Guys!

Christmas time really is the time of year to help others, so today I want to let you know about Text Santa, ITV’s annual charity fundraiser appeal. Text Santa raises money and awareness for six UK based charities each year. Their aim is to improve the quality of life for vulnerable people in the UK by inspiring, engaging and empowering the nation to make a difference at Christmas time.

This year’s chosen charities are -

charities

When you send a text, phone or bank donation to Text Santa, it will be split equally between these six charities. 100% of what you donate gets passed to the charities as soon as it’s received, and all Text Santa operating costs including staffing and the programme itself are funded directly by ITV.

The Text Santa TV show extravaganza will be on ITV tomorrow night (December 19th) starting at 8.00pm. Tune in to see Ant and Dec, Phillip Schofield, Christine Bleakley, Paddy McGuinness and Alesha Dixon – joined by a host of famous faces. Highlights include George Clooney making a surprise visit to Downton Abbey, the residents of Coronation Street appearing in a comedy sketch with a Text Santa twist, and Ant and Dec hosting a Yule Tucker Trial for an unsuspecting celebrity while serenaded by a choir of former jungle contestants. The Birds of a Feather stars also get involved, The Cube welcomes some unexpected visitors and there are appearances by the casts of Mr Selfridge and Emmerdale, plus plenty of live music throughout the show

To support this fantastic cause you can purchase Text Santa merchandise here and read more about the cause here.



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MAC Lightness of Being Collection for Winter 2014

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mac-lightness-of-being Hi Guys!

Well just look, another new MAC limited edition collection has been unveiled! The Lightness of Being Collection looks simply stunning, with beautiful pastel shades to take you perfectly from Winter into Spring 2015. I’m really excited about this collection! I’ve heard it’s going to be released in the UK in late December, I’ll update with the date as soon as I find out when.

mac lightness of being products

Poetic colour ushers in a new vitality following winter’s deep chill, as uninhibited shades dance across the face in a free-spirited collection inspired by whimsical flights of fancy. Liberate yourself from darkened tones and explore the freeform movement of frosted lavender, pearlized champagne and pale mint green. Eyes and cheeks explore a new lightness of being in sheer pastels, a perfect complement to rosy lips. Nails leave you free to be, in hushed beige and lavender…Expressive colour for the modern spirit.

mac lightness of being lipsticks

Mineralize Rich Lipstick 

  • Be Fabulous – Washed-out pastel pink
  • Luxe Natural - Light beige cream
  • Dreaminess – Soft cool pink cream
  • Style Surge – Neutral coral cream
  • Touch the Earth – Light wood brown

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Mineralize Lipglass 

  • Poetic – Pale champagne pink with pearl
  • Loose & Lively – Peachy orange
  • On Cue – Gold pearl
  • Boundless Energy – Violet pink
  • Beautiful Moves – Pale mint with pearl

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Mineralize Eyeshadow 

  • Spiritual Life – Shimmery pale lemon
  • Natural Vigor – Shimmery champagne peach
  • Just Breathe – Shimmery light blue
  • Uninhibited – Shimmery light grey
  • Leap – Shimmery lavender
  • Force of Nature – Shimmery brown

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Mineralize Skinfinish 

  • Lightscapade – Shimmery pale peach with lavender marble
  • Perfect Topping – Shimmery off-white with light pink, blue, yellow marble

Mineralize Blush 

  • Uplifting – Peach with bright orange marble
  • Please Yourself – Light pink with plum marble

mac lightness of being nail polish

Studio Nail Lacquer 

  • Lightness of Being – Pale beige
  • Modern Movement – Pale lavender

mac lightness of being pencils brushes

Eye Pencil 

  • Taupe – Dark brown
  • Slate – Dark grey


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Gift Idea – Penhaligon’s Samarkand Classic Candle

Posted on December 17, 2014

penhaligons-christmas-gifts

Hi Guys!

You know I love a good candle, and I’m a big fan of more niche scents and brands too, so today I’m really excited to let you know all about the newest addition to my collection – the Penhaligon’s Samarkand Classic Candle.

Penhaligon’s have been on my radar for a while but I hadn’t had the pleasure of trying out any of their products until now. I started reading on their site to learn a bit more about the company and the first thing that I read really struck me – We strive to create original scents for the discerning eccentrics of today.

This statement is just perfection to me! It’s pretty much my aim in life to be eccentric – I want to be a cross between Lord Bath, Russell Brand and Lady Gaga! Does that sound a bit odd? I hope so! :D

I was going to throw in a few more quotes about Penhaligon’s, but if you’re interested, have a read here to learn more about the history behind the company, I’d definitely recommend it.

penhaligons-samarkand-candle

Anyway, onto the candle! The Samarkand candle is in fact the official scent of London Fashion Week for Spring / Summer 2015 which is rather exciting. The scent is described as an exotic oriental awash with sweet flowers, spices and wood, and it was inspired by the ancient city of Samarkand, one of the oldest cities in the world. The Samarkand fragrance combines clove, jasmine and lily on a warm base of sandalwood & vanilla, and it really is a beautiful scent. It’s also worth mentioning that Penhaligon’s luxurious hand blended candles are packed with essential oils, made with a naturally derived soy wax and also feature a cotton braided wick for a clean & smoke free burn.

I’m thrilled with the Samarkand candle, and now I can’t wait to try out some more Penhaligon’s products, I’ve got my eye on a few of their fragrances and bath oils next!

The Samarkand Classic Candle is £32.00, and the Brighton Collection Matches which are also pictured are £30.00.

I hope you enjoyed my post! I’d love to hear if you’ve tried anything from Penhaligons? xxx

This post contains a sample provided for review



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Christmas Gift Guide | Beauty Gift Sets

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christmas-gift-sets beauty-gift-sets

Hi Guys!

Today I have the big daddy of gift guides for you – this is the beauty gift sets guide! There isn’t a girl in the world who would say no to a Christmas gift set – there’s something lovely about opening a special set or collection on Christmas morning, that you know someone has thought about and chosen just for you. Gift sets aren’t really something you’d buy yourself (except for in the sales maybe!?) so it really is exciting to find someone has been thoughtful enough to treat you at Christmas. So whether it’s for someone else or even yourself, I’ve included a variety of brands and products, covering skincare, bathing, fragrances and even feet so hopefully there’s something for everyone!

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Limited Edition Gift Set For Her* £49 by Molton Brown.

This luxurious gift set features £56 worth of some of Molton Brown’s best loved winter blends. Including large 300ml bottles of Pink Pepperpod and Ylang-Ylang Body Wash, and 100ml bottles of Pink Pepperpod Nourishing Body Lotion and Ylang-Ylang Nourishing Nourishing Body Lotion. The set comes beautifully gift wrapped, ready to be given or received. I’m brand new to Molton Brown and I’ve officially been converted! Pink Pepperpod is definitely my bath scent of choice going forward this winter :)

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Emjoi MICRO Pedi 11 Piece Gift Set* £49.99 by Micro Pedi.

This Micro Pedi Eleven Piece set contains everything you need to get beautiful feet. The Emjoi Micro pedi safely removes rough of skin in seconds, leaving your feet beautifully soft, and the set also contains an extra coarse micro-mineral roller, ultra finishing foot cream, mani / pedi kit with five interchangeable attachments, nail scissors, nail clippers, toe separators and a nail brush. The only thing missing is some nail polish! Carry on reading as I’ve included a lovely polish set to accompany this one perfectly!

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The Innovation Collection* £90 by ARK Skincare.

This gift set really is indulgence at it’s best. ARK’s Innovation Collection contains two luxury products – firstly the Regenerating Skin Defence 50ml – this is a serum that utilises advanced plant stem-cell technology to repair and regenerate skin cells, to reveal brighter and younger looking skin. Alpine Rose Leaf Stem Cells protect against environmental stress and boost epidermal regeneration, Camelina Oil improves skin elasticity and suppleness, Vitamins C, E and B3 are anti-inflammatory, reducing redness and increasing smoothness and Hyaluronic Acid plumps and intensely moisturises to increase firmness. This super serum defends against the effects of ageing and environmental stress whilst stimulating skin repair. It creates a silky skin feel and blurs fine lines and wrinkles for a soft-focus finish, and over time skin becomes firmer and more supple.

There’s also a 30ml SPF30 Primer in the box, this skin-perfecting daily defence primer is packed with beneficial ingredients to protect and hydrate skin. It contains Vitamin E which is an amazing antioxidant, Shea Butter to nourish and protect from free radicals and Sunflower. This primer creates the perfect base for your makeup whilst providing clinically-proven skin benefits, and defending against UVA and UVB rays to prevent sun damage and premature ageing.

If this set sounds good to you, it’s definitely worth snapping it up as you save an impressive £16 compared to if you purchased the same products individually!

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Patisserie de Bain Bath Fancies* £10 from Beauty Naturals.

This super sweet gift set contains three hand made fragrant bath melts in a pretty pink patisserie box. Inspired by the traditional French patisserie & handmade in Yorkshire, these dainty little bath melts are made entirely from natural ingredients & scented with pure essential oils, they really do look good enough to eat! Just throw the melt in the bath where it will dissolve and sparkle gently whilst releasing moisturising shea & cocoa butter to soften the skin, and fragrant essential oils to give a lovely fragrance to your bath. This would make a great secret santa gift!

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2ml Perfume Sample Set* £29.95 by St Kitts Herbery.

If you’re on the hunt for something a little different to the off the shelf brand names this Christmas, this sample fragrance set from St Kitt’s could be just what you’re looking for. The set includes all ten of their fabulous fragrances in 2ml spray bottles, it’s a great way to try them all and find out which your favourite is! Included fragrances are; Bergamot, Mist, Colonial, Summer Rose, Patchouli, Geranium, Moonlight, Violet, Rose Maroc, and Black Rose.

cetuem-nail-polish-set

Christmas Trio Nail Polish Set* £29 by Cetuem.

This lovely little set contains three fantastic shades to create fabulous festive nails this party season! The polishes don’t have shade names but there is a beautiful deep red, a topcoat that contains holographic silver strips suspended in a clear polish, and a fine red glitter polish. The red glitter looks amazing on top of the red polish, and the holo top coat would be perfect for a statement nail!

elemis-gift-set

Pure Rose Indulgence Gift Set* £29 by Elemis.

Elemis are one of my favourite skincare brands, and this set of mini sized products would make a fantastic gift for a long term fan like me, but it would also be the perfect gift for someone new to the brand so they can try out a selection of products. The Pure Rose Indulgence Gift Set includes a 60ml bottle of new jasmine and rose milk bath, a 20ml tub of pro-collagen cleansing balm, a 15ml tube of gentle rose exfoliator, and a 14 day packet of cellular recovery skin bliss capsules. The set contains active fragrances to relax, soothe and boost face, body and mind, and the products are presented in a beautifully stylish box, making this the ideal gift for someone special this Christmas.

gift-sets

And before I forget, I also wanted to mention my awesome new battery powered Star Lights from LED Hut! These are so handy simply because there’s no plug, you can just put them wherever you like!

I hope that’s given you some gifting inspiration, or maybe your Christmas list has just grown a little bit longer? I hope you enjoyed my post! xxx



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m4s0n501

The Gift For Someone Who Has Everything…

Posted on December 16, 2014

the-book-of-everyone-review

Hi Guys!

If you saw my Men’s Under £15 Gift Guide you may have noticed I included The Book of Everyone – it really is such a fantastic gift idea so I also wanted to give this book it’s own full review :)

The Book of Everyone is a customisable book including fun facts and information about the recipient based on their date of birth. An it really is easy to create your own book, you just go to the site, complete a few details then go through the book page by page. Some pages are static whereas others have editable text and sections for you to upload your own images. The result is an amazingly personable, high quality book for someone you love.

the-book-of-everyone-customised

You can see I have created ‘The Book of Olive’. Olive is in fact Oliver, my other half. Whom I have always referred to as Olive since we’ve been together (what a lucky boy hey!)

I’ve ordered him a few gifts for Christmas that I know he wanted including a book about buttons (he’s a metal detectorist ok!) and a posh bottle of whiskey. He has no idea about this book though and I know he’s going to love it! And no he doesn’t read my blog so he won’t find out! :D

the-book-of-everyone-gift

This is the deluxe edition which comes printed on fancy mohawk paper, it has padded covers (which you also choose the colour of), silk head & tails, a ribbon marker and it also comes in a soft-touch presentation box. The deluxe version also Includes a free digital version and standard mainland UK delivery.

the-book-of-everyone

The Book of Everyone comes in many different options to suit different budgets. You can get a digital copy of your book for only £7.50, a softcover is £19.50, a hardcover is £29.50 and the deluxe edition is £49.50. If you’re interested in ordering The Book of Everyone as a Christmas present, get your orders in quick as last orders for softcovers to arrive in time for Christmas is today!

I hope you enjoyed my review! xxx

This post contains a sample provided for review



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Fantastic Stocking Fillers For All Budgets!

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stocking-fillers

stocking-fillers-6

Hi Guys!

I’ve got some fantastic stocking filler ideas for you today! I’ve tried to include a range of products covering beauty, skincare, hair, nails, and also candles and a couple of other extra bits. These are all products that I love and think would make fantastic gifts. I’ve also covered a range of budgets so there should be something for everyone!

stocking-fillers-1

Too Faced Melted Kisses Set, £21.00 from ASOS. If you’re a regular reader you’ll know I’m a massive fan of Too Faced, and I snapped up this set of mini Melted Lipsticks as soon as I saw it for sale at ASOS. I can’t fault the Melted formula, it’s officially one of my favourite products of 2014! The full size Melted Lipsticks cost £19 which is on the expensive side, but these mini versions work out at just £5.25 each, yay!

Shimmer Shimmer Lip Colour Set, £36 from Glo & Ray. Glo and Ray are a brand I’ve just discovered this year, and I can’t recommend them enough. You may think £36 is a bit steep for three lipsticks, but this makes them a fairly reasonable £12 each which is cheaper than MAC, and they really are excellent. Click on the link to read my review and you’ll see what I mean!

Paddywax Relish Jar Candle in Gardenia Tuberose, £18.50 from Rooi.com. I’m a massive candle fan, and I love discovering new manufacturers and brands. This candle by Paddywax is a generous 275g size, it’s hand made with soy wax in a blue vintage style glass jar and has a beautiful fresh scent. The jar is so nice I think I’ll keep it when the candle is used up and use it to store my makeup brushes :) The Relish Jar Candle is also available in Ocean Tide & Sea Salt, Lavender & Thyme and Salted Grapefuit.

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3x Custom Chocolate Bars, £14.95 by Chocolat Chocolat. I’m a serious chocoholic, and when I heard you can go to the Chocolat Chocolat site and customise your own chocolate bars with weird and wonderful toppings of your choice, I couldn’t resist! This is what I went for – a milk chocolate bar with caramelized pistachios, popping candy and shortcake crumble. A white chocolate bar with lavender flowers, violet petals, and silver flakes, and a milk chocolate bar with strawberry crunch balls, fudge brownie pieces, gold flakes and wording ‘I Love You’. (I’m going to give the last one to the other half) If you know someone that loves chocolate, these bars would make the perfect gift!

Antipodes Joyous Night Serum, £36.99 from Feelunique. Yes another Antipodes product! I can’t get enough of them at the moment! After trying their Manuka Honey Mask and Jubilation Hand & Body Cream I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the Joyous Protein-Rich Night Replenish Serum as it sounded like something my skin could really do with. This oil based silky serum helps repair dry and damaged skin. It restores collagen, delivers natural radiance, purifies and protects. It contains Himalayan goji to replenish protein at a cellular level, and red raspberry seed oil and New Zealand blackcurrant, which is a rich source of essential fats like gamma-linolenic acid. I’ve used this a few times now and I can tell you this serum smells beautiful and leaves my skin feeling soft and supple.

Binky Gel Effect Nail Polish in Purple, £2.95 from Binkylondon.com. Binky is definitely one of my favourite characters from Made in Chelsea (only second to Mark Francis), and on the back of the show she’s recently brought out her own range of lipsticks and nail polishes. I can’t comment on the lipsticks as I haven’t tried them but Im super impressed with this nail polish – this vibrant purple shade applies easily and lasts for ages.

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Thunderstorm Cologne Spray, £15.00 by The Library of Fragrance. If you’re looking for a slightly different fragrance gift this Christmas, The Library of Fragrance will definitely have something to tempt you. They currently have over 100 amazing and unusual fragrances to choose from, and with a spectrum covering more traditional scents such as Cherry Blossom, Jasmine and Neroli, to completely weird and wonderful ones including Moonbeam, Pizza and Wet Garden, even the fussiest fragrance fanatic will find something they’d love to try! I have Thunderstorm, which is meant to convey the smell in the air when a storm is on it’s way, and weirdly enough, it kind of does! It smells very fresh and clean, kind of like cut grass but different, slightly muddy, and ever so slightly smoky. If I close my eyes when I’m smelling my wrist, it really does evoke a feeling of impending rain, I can’t even explain it! It’s not like anything I’ve ever smelled before!

Redemption Eyeshadow Palette, £4.00 by Makeup Revolution. This palette includes twelve gorgeous nude shimmer shades that will suit pretty much all skin tones and are also really easy to wear colours. This palette should be a staple in anyones makeup bag. It’s only £4.00 too so you really can’t go wrong!

C Infusion Cleanser, £31.00 by DermaQuest. Ok so I know this is an expensive product, but Dermaquest skincare really does live up to the price tag. This C Infusion Cleanser literally is overflowing with antioxidants including Orange Stem Cells which help to slow the effects of harmful free radicals, while tightening and evening skin, and BVOSC, a potent yet gentle, stable form of vitamin C which refreshes and energises the skin. This beautiful foaming cleanser makes my skin feel amazing, it cleans and purifies without drying and leaves my skin feeling refreshed and nourished. If this is within your budget, I’d highly recommend this cleanser!

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Cute Cat Pouch, £15.00 from Rooi.com. This super cute zip pouch would make a perfect mini makeup bag for carrying essentials, or even a bag just for your brushes. The cat print and pretty floral background will appeal to a true girly girl, and I think everyone will know someone who would love to receive this as a gift!

Strawberries ‘n’ Champagne Classic Square Jar Candle, £12.00 by Flamingo Candles. Flamingo Canldes are another brand that I’ve only discovered this year. Their purse-friendly candles come in a fantastic range of scents and they’re pretty strong too! When you burn one of these candles there will be no mistaking it! Strawberries ‘n’ Champagne is super sweet with a malty champagne base, and I’d also highly recommend their Chocolate Orange Christmas Candle, it smells amazing!

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Colour Care Voluminous Spray, £18.50 from Jo Hansford. If hair’s you thing, this Voluminous Spray instantly provides long lasting volume, shine, root boost and heat protection for all hair types. This all in one wonder spray contains a host of innovative ingredients including Aquaflex XL-30 which is a styling polymer that delivers long lasting volume and root boosting technology, and Mirustyle X-HP which reduces the damaging effects of styling tools while delivering impressive style hold. This spray has worked wonders on my super fine hair, while most other products feel too heavy, this gives me volume and shine without weighing my hair down.

Blush & Contour Palette in Golden Sugar, £6.00 from Makeup Revolution. Yep another Makeup Revolution palette. I’m officially in love with this palette, you’ve got highlighters, blushers and contours in here to keep you glowing over the festive season, they’re in a selection of easy to wear shades and finishes, which also suit even the palest skin tones (i.e me!) The shades also double up as eyeshadows – oh and it’s only £6.00. Wins all round!

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And lastly I also wanted to include this amazing Personalised Large Christmas Sack, £15.00 by Mummy & Mimi. Fred has never had a Christmas sack and I just know he’s going to love this! I’m going to show it to him on Christmas eve and leave it empty under the tree, then on Christmas morning he’ll find it full of presents that Santa has brought him! I can’t wait to see his face! :D

stocking-fillers

I know this has been a long post so well done for making it this far! And I hope this has given you some Christmas gift inspiration! xxx

This post contains samples provided for review



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