5 Things I've Loved in December

Monday 26 December 2016

December is one of my favourite months of the year, it's so magical with the anticipation of Christmas in the air and all of the amazing food and nostalgic music, I honestly love pretty much everything about it. I'm not sure if many people are interested in these types of post but I love to read them, so here are 5 things I have been obsessed with in this special month.  

1. Dolly Parton - Coat of Many Colours
Though this isn't strictly a Christmas tune I love to listen to it at this time of year because it reminds me of my own humble upbringing, and it helps to keep me grounded in the mania of Christmas shopping. I feel like in advertising so much emphasis is put of the quest to find the perfect gift that we become obsessed with buying something amazing, and overlook the fact that the perfect gift might simply be a silly joke written in a Christmas card from your sister, or just having the opportunity to spend time with the people you care about. Plus Dolly's voice is so beautiful, especially in the version below. 

2. Vlogmas
This year it seems that everyone has taken part in Vlogmas, which is amazing! Sadly I had to cut out a few channels that I really wanted to watch because I don't really have time to watch 10 Vlogmas videos when I get home from work every night, but my favourites are Lily Pebbles (her vlogs are always my favourites!), Fleur De Force, Claudia Sulewski and Niomi Smart. Let me know your top Vlogmas picks this year in the comments!

3. Gift Guides
I'll admit to having a love/hate relationship with Gift Guides. I love them because they are so helpful for finding gifts for people who are trickier to buy for, and because it takes away so much of the hassel of trawling the web. However I really should avoid them, because I am so easily enabled that I'm sure to buy something from every guide I see, and my poor bank account can't take it! I really do love reading them though, so much so that I was even inspired to put together my own one this year. My favourites were this beauty guide from Kate La Vie (actually, all of hers were amazing), these home decor picks from Sophie's Makeup Blog, and this stocking filler inspiration from Pint Sized Beauty.  

4. Freaks and Geeks
I know I am so late to the party (17 years to be precise) but really HOW HAVE I NEVER SEEN THIS SHOW?! It popped up in my Youtube recommendations and I thought I would give it a try - I binge watched 6 episodes in a row. It's a teen comedy-drama from the 90's, but it's set in the 80's. If I were to describe it I would say to take the teenagers from The Breakfast Club, the teachers from Mean Girls, the nerds from Napoleon Dynamite and add in a little Lizzie Mcguire-esque moral of the story. The whole series is on Youtube so if you are looking for some funny, easy watching then I completely recommend this.

5. Lush
I pretty much always love Lush but this love really intensifies in the festive season because they always bring out so many amazing products. This year I am really loving the Rose Jam Shower Gel - I still can't believe I missed this last year because it is my dream shower product! The Sleepy Body Lotion - although I can't say that this has helped to correct my awful sleeping patterns it does smell beautiful and is very moisturising, the Magic Wand Bubble Bar and the Snow Angel Bath Melt which literally makes your bath water glittery, is there anything more festive in this world?  

I hope you enjoyed reading this! Even though I'm really sad that December is coming to a close, I am also excited to see what January has to offer, so bring on 2017! 

F x

My Current Skincare Routine

Sunday 18 December 2016

I suffer from extremely dry skin, which means that if my finely tuned skincare routine is neglected for even half a day then I turn into a lizard. At this time of the year the problem is made worse by the cold weather, so much so that in previous years I would be too scared to wear foundation in the winter months because it would just flake off of my face - nice. Luckily over time I've created a skincare routine that does a great job of keeping the dryness at bay, so I thought I would share it with you!

First up is my holy grail cleanser, Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel. I have used this product morning and night for a couple of years now and I just adore it. Its a gel formula that lathers into a milky consistency on damp skin, which I splash off with warm water. It's definitely more of a high-end product, so thankfully a little goes a long way (one bottle lasts me about half a year, but I always keep a spare in the cupboard as it's almost impossible to know when it's about to run out!) I have recently started to trial Clinique's Take the Day Off Balm, and though is is incredible for removing every bit of makeup, I'm not keen on the smell (or lack of), and the texture as a balm is very thick and takes a little longer to work with, so for me Oskia is still my top pick.

I use Kiehl's Daily Reviving Concentrate in the morning after cleansing and I find that it helps my skin to look brighter and more glowy. It smells citrusy which I love, and surprisingly, for an oil it isn't too greasy to apply before makeup. Unfortunately this isn't quite powerful enough for use at night, so instead I use either the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum II which I do like, but not enough to repurchase now that it has run out, or Clarins Lotus Oil which I mostly love for the smell. I'm currently looking to try a new night serum, I've heard great things about Sunday Riley's Luna oil but it's so incredibly expensive that I keep losing my nerve at the checkout! (virtual checkout, of course).

Without a doubt, Clinique's Moisture Surge Moisturiser has saved my skin. I have repurchased it more than 20 times in the past couple of years as it is the only moisturiser that keeps my scaly skin from flaking. I had tried countless products before I came across this, and by the point that I discovered it I had given up hope on finding something that would actually make a difference. I would recommend this to everyone, even if you don't have dry skin as it's such a lovely product, it's a gel moisturiser so it feels cooling and soothing and it isn't scented in anyway, it's also pink! I recently bought a gift set which also contains a face mist and eye roller, I haven't had a chance to try these yet but I'm hoping for miracles once again.

Lastly, I have a lot of masks in my stash but the Rose Hydrate Moisture Mask from Una Brennan's Superfacialist range is one I'm finding myself reaching for constantly this winter. After one use of this mask my skin automatically felt so much softer and more hydrated, and was visibly glowing when I woke up the next morning. It feels like a luxury product but with the benefit of a drugstore price tag, the only potential negative is the rosy smell as a lot of people seem to dislike rose (luckily, I love it!)

I hope you enjoyed this post, let me know if you have any good recommendations for dry skin saviours in the comments.


A Last Minute Christmas Gift Guide

Sunday 11 December 2016

So, if you're anything like me then you will have left all of your Christmas shopping to the last minute. I'm usually quite well prepared (well, better prepared than I am right now) but with my holiday to New York falling at the beginning of December I managed to lose all track of time. I've put together a guide of products that I think would make beautiful gifts for makeup/skincare lovers, most of them are so well packaged that you might be able to get away with just sticking a ribbon and gift tag on them, if you are really short on time.

First up is my favourite product from the selection, the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit in Surreal Light. This palette is just beautiful to look at, from the marble packaging to the gorgeous shades - it truly looks as expensive as it is (at £69 this one is definitely on the pricier end of the scale). It contains two blush shades, a finishing powder, a highlighter and a bronzer, which make it perfect for travel, plus all of the shades are very wearable and should suit most skin types.

I've included two eyeshadow palettes in this selection, and both are completely gorgeous. The Tarte Tartlette in Bloom Palette contains 12 shadows ranging from bold shades, to very wearable everyday neutrals, including both Mattes and Shimmers, so I think this is a fantastic all round product for eyeshadow fans. My Next choice is from Charlotte Tilbury and is the Dolce Vita Eyeshadow Quad. This is a palette of warm toned shadows, which look very festive, so are perfect for this time of year. The packaging feels luxury, which I have come to expect from CT products, so this would make a lovely present.

Another Charlotte Tilbury product I have included is the Filmstar Bronze and Glow, which contains a highlight and bronze. Both shades are beautiful, not too shimmery and perfect for everyday wear (even for my ghostly pale skin), although this palette is so gorgeous that you'll probably just want to look at it!

It wouldn't be a Christmas gift guide without a Laura Mercier bath set. I actually received the Sweet Temptations Ambre Vanillé Collection as a gift last year and loved it, the products are a very good size so will last a long time, and the scent is just so incredible that you might have to warn the gift recipient not to eat it.

I always think that candles make lovely gifts, and they don't come much lovelier than the Diptyque Baies candle. Baies is often described as the "starter scent" for Diptyque owners as it's quite mild and comforting, so is a great choice if you're unsure on which candle to choose. They also have a set of 3 mini candles which could be a good option in this case.

I feel a bit guilty about including the final gift in the line up, as I've just realised that this particular Clinique Moisture Surge set is only sold in World Duty Free! If you are headed to a UK airport then keep an eye out for this bargain - it contains a large 75ml moisturiser, a hydrating face mist and a de-puffing eye serum for only £37. If you're not heading out of the country then I have also found this similar set which contains Contains the 50ml sized moisturiser, an overnight mask, an eye cream and lip colour balm in Woppin Watermelon, and is still a great deal at £40.

I hope you found this useful! Let me know if you have also left your shopping to the last minute this year, it'll definitely cheer me up to know I'm not alone :)

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