Beauty haul ❤️

Well hello to you my reader chums! I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and are excited for what the new year will bring. It's crazy to think we're in the last day of 2015; the past 12 months have been an absolute whirlwind, filled with countless unforgettable memories and treasured moments. For today's post, I wanted to share with you the beauty items I picked up when I was at Bluewater on Monday. My twin and I have this tradition where we go to Bluewater a few days after Christmas to hit the sales! As we like to spend Boxing Day at home chilling with the family and munching on all the leftovers, we like to have our shopping trip a few days after, this way the crowds won't be as hectic!

Shopping trips are my absolute favourite thing. We managed to go round the whole of Bluewater, purchased some gorgeous bits over the course of the day and finished it in Jamie's Italian, where we enjoyed a truly scrumptious feast. The beauty products I picked up, I'm very excited to try out!

Take a look at my purchases:

Urban Decay's Naked skin concealer:  Out of all the things I bought, this is certainly the one I'm most excited about. I've heard many bloggers rave about this concealer and a few people telling me on Twitter I need to give it a go, so I did. Initially when I went to the Urban Decay counter I was going to splurge on a new eye shadow palette, however I thought instead I would treat myself to some high end face products, as I don't change up my base routine on a regular basis nor have a tried various concealers. After swatching a few, I asked what shade would be best and the lovely lady recommended 'light warm', a more yellow toned shade. I just want to take a moment to appreciate the packaging, it looks incredibly sleek and extravagant, let's hope I adore the concealer as much as the design!
Kiko lip liners in 304 and 315: One of the first shops we headed to was Kiko cosmetics, an Italian affordable makeup brand because I've heard loads of good reviews on their products and therefore was intrigued to get my hands on some. After browsing for a while, I came across these gorgeous lip liners, which were absolutely beautiful when I swatched them ( see below.) Despite being a complete lipstick hoarder, I've never been one to apply lip liner before lipstick and thought this would be the perfect opportunity to try some liners without breaking the bank. The quality of them is stunning and I love the shades I chose - 304 is a red toned, pinky brown colour and 315 is very similar, yet slightly more pink and plumy toned.

This is 304 on the left and 315 next to it - as you can see, very similar, 315 is slightly darker.

 Kiko eye shadow stick in '07': As gold shadows are my absolute favourite colour when creating an eye look, you can imagine once I swatched this, I was in make up heaven. It's a beautiful, pigmented shimmery gold shadow stick, designed to wear as an eye shadow base. The colour is incredible, a sparkly gold that isn't too shimmery with a creamy consistency, ideal to blend all over the lid. I can't wait to give this a go when wearing a gold smoky eye because I reckon it'll bring the gold colour out much more.

 From the image you can tell it holds a slight bronze undertone with a true, strong gold shimmer running through.

Lush bath bombs: No beauty haul is complete without a purchase from Lush. They had a Christmas sale on where I managed to get two bath bombs from the range for only half the price - Golden Wonder and Star Dust. Golden Wonder is my favourite Christmas bath bomb, I love the smell and all the colours that shine through, especially that heap of glitter you're left with at the end! Unfortunately they didn't have any  Luxury Lush pud bath bombs left, however I'm excited to try out Star Dust. The other two I bought were Dragon's Egg, my absolute top bath bomb of all time, you're on citrus heaven with this beauty and The Experimenter, a complete colourful rainbow bomb!

Lush's face mask in 'Brazened honey': The last purchase is a must every time I go into Lush and it's their face mask in 'Brazened Honey.' This is my go to face mask I love to use about twice a week because it's done wonders for my skin, leaving it feeling fresh and silky smooth - I'd definitely recommend.

I hope you enjoyed this beauty haul post. Have you bought any beauty bargains in the sale?

Thank you for reading <3

Beauty review & makeup look: FleurdeForce's 'Cosmic Bronze' palette

Well hello to you my reader chums and a very Merry Christmas Eve to you all! I can't believe Christmas has come around so quickly and after all the preparations, tomorrow is the special day! For today's post, I wanted to do a review and makeup look on a palette I've been obsessing over recently, FleurdeForce's 'Cosmic Bronze.' 

Fleur released her makeup range a couple of months back, which consists of two eye shadow palettes, a line of lip products, lashes and a makeup bag. I took advantage of the current 3 for 2 offer they had on Feel Unique and finally purchased this palette I adored the look of plus a few bits for my best friend. 

Packaging: When I first watched the video of her explaining the products, I really took a fancy to the packaging. It kind of reminds me of the Mac quads and as it's black it's simple yet rather sophisticated and professional. The see through lid I adore because you're able to know exactly what comes in the palette. The size is absolutely perfect, small enough to travel with and take on the go with an array of versatile shades - I love it!

Pigmentation: Initially I wasn't sure what to expect in terms of the eyeshadow's quality but when I began swatching/applying, I was genuinely surprised. All four shadows are beautifully pigmented where only a little bit is needed to get the true colour. For me, it's up there with Urban Decay's eye shadows, especially the dark brown, a.k.a the most perfect definition colour ever! 

Colours: The palette is made up of four bronze based shades hence the name 'Cosmic bronze', perfect for someone like me who adores bronze/brown/neutral colours. Going from left to right you have a gorgeous cream, slightly pink toned highlighting shade, a complete light matte brown colour, perfect as a transition shade, a shimmer bronze with slight silver/pink undertones and a dark matte brown. I love the combination of all four of these together or just using two for a truly natural look; the colours range greatly for many neutral makeup styles.

Below I have swatches of the palette ( from left to right): Shimmer bronze, highlighting shade, dark brown and light, tan brown.

Application and lasting power: From the first application I found the colours to be very rich especially the bronze shimmer and dark matte brown. The shimmer shade when applied is beautifully pigmented, yet isn't overpowered by too much glitter, holding the perfect amount of sparkle. The two subtlest colours are the highlighting shade and matte brown which I love. You're able to create a natural highlight on the brow bone/inner corner and with the light matte brown, it's a lovely colour used as a transition when blending shadows or to contour the eye if going for a more everyday look. In terms of lasting power, with a primer these shadows really hold in place for the majority of the day, keeping to their colour. I'd say towards the end of a working day, they begin wearing off, yet the quality still shines through.

As I've really been enjoying this palette recently, I thought I would share with you a look ideal for any party/celebration occasion and even Christmas! It's a simple combination of all the colours, resulting in a shimmery neutral eye look which I paired with a berry lip.

I applied the bronze shimmer shade all over the lids, took the lighter matte brown through the crease and blended the darker brown in the outer corner. I then used the highlighting shade and lightly dusted on my brow bone and doted it in the inner corner. The lipstick I chose to complete my makeup was the berry classic, Rimmel's Kate Moss 107.

I hope you enjoyed this review and makeup look! Have you tried any of Fleur's products?

Merry Christmas to all my fellow readers and bloggers!

Thank you for reading <3

Inspirational living: Random acts of kindness

Well hello to you my reader chums! I began the series 'Inspirational living' a while back, where whenever I saw a quote I was inspired by or felt passionate about an issue, I would express my thoughts in one of these posts and hopefully share some positivity with my readers. I've previously done blogs on body confidence tips, being positive and today I've chosen to talk about kindness. As we're in the festive season surrounded by love, laughter and cheer I thought it was the perfect time to spread that extra bit of warmth amongst us all.

Kindness is one thing in life that is completely and utterly free, yet an act which makes us all feel truly special. Whether it's smiling to somebody on the street, opening a door for someone, helping carrying shopping or giving a compliment, kindness I think is a gesture which we should all share. It's an act that causes no harm and can make the individuals day. Especially since we're in the season of giving, there's no better time to do something for the community or within your circle of loved ones.

I've come up with a few ideas that you can do in order to spread a kind, loving heart:

  1. Compliment someone - This is something I love to do a lot. Whether it's telling a friend, family member, work colleague or stranger their outfit, hair/ makeup looks fab today or simply describing your favourite attribute about them, those kind words are guaranteed to bring a smile to their face. 
  2. Writing a loving message - Either over text, letter, email or whatever method you'd like to use, telling someone how much they mean to you and the amount of care you have for them will truly make that friend or family member feel loved.
  3. Sending a cute card - I've done this recently with one of my best friends as she was going through a hard time. You can find quirky, blank cards in a series of shops with inspiring quotes on the front or funny images, perfect to send and make someones day. The message you write is then up to you, although even if words aren't your thing, the gesture and love is still there.
  4. Leave a kind message by the mirror - This could be in your own home or public bathroom. The idea being to use a post it note or piece of paper and write something along the lines of 'you look beautiful today', which you'll then stick up by a mirror for a visitor to read when she/he is washing their hands. Post it notes are probably the best way to do it as that way you're not likely to get in trouble and visitors can still appreciate that act of kindness.
  5. Putting a note on a park bench or local library - I saw something like this in one of SprinkleofGlitter's videos on the same subject. I love the concept of writing a loving note to a complete stranger and knowing you'll bring light to somebody's day. Whether you choose to put it together in letter form in a envelope on a park bench in your local park ( then watch from afar who finds it) or a smaller sweet note in a book in the library is up to you. Either way, it's that surprise which will bring happiness to the recipient of your love.
  6. Making a care package - For a loved one who is going through a rough patch or is currently a bit under the weather, a care package can go a long way. You can fill it with their favourite sweet treats and some pamper bits for instance so that family member or friend can have the opportunity to relax and enjoy those yummy items.
  7. Visiting a local care home - If you'd like to be apart of your local community and help out, care homes nearby are filled with residents who'd love a visitor to chat to and share their many tales with. Or if you have spare time on your hands, see if you're able to volunteer there on a regular basis, to offer that extra set of hands.
  8. Give clothes to charity - Every so often, I have a good wardrobe clear out and give all the items I no longer use to charity. These clothes they're able to sell on in the shops to make money for that organisation, benefiting those in need. 
These are just a few ideas I've come up with which I absolutely adore, some of which I do quite regularly. I think being kind is such a simple yet meaningful thing many of us forget with our everyday life, but taking the time to do these little acts can really inject some love back into the community and bring a smile to everyones face.

I hope you enjoyed this random acts of kindness post. What sort of ways do you spread kindness?

Thank you for reading <3

Christmas party OOTD + makeup look!

Well hello to you my reader chums! On Friday night I had my Christmas work do; an absolute delicious dinner followed by a fun filled night out. As it was such an exciting occasion, I put together a look I completely adored and wanted to share with you. I chose to wear a classic little black dress, nude heels, paired with curly hair (styled by my best friend Chloe ) and red lips.

Black dress - New Look
Nude heels - Misguided

Base - Rimmel's match perfection foundation, wake me up concealer and stay matter powder.
Contour and highlight - Estee Lauder bronze goddess bronzer and Sleek blush in 'Rose gold.' 
Brows - L'oreal's eye shadow in 106 and clear brow gel.
Eye shadow - Naked 1 palette ( half baked & buck) and FleurdeForce's cosmic bronze quad ( light brown transition shade & dark brown definition colour).
Liner and mascara - L'oreal's super liner and Maybelline's Lash sensational.
Lips - Mac's Russian Red lipstick

I hope you enjoyed this party OOTD and makeup post. What's your go to Christmas look?

Thank you for reading <3

Christmas stocking filler gift guide!

Well hello to you my reader chums! With the lead up to Christmas well under way, I wanted to put together a guide of small gift ideas either to put in stockings, give to friends or other family members. Preparing and planning presents for others in the festive season has to be one of my favourite things, there's nothing more rewarding than seeing a big smile on someone's face! I've therefore put together a few ideas which I think would be a lovely gift for those still unsure on what to buy.

Beauty gift sets - First things first, it has to be said that the wide variety of beauty gift sets available in Boots, Superdrug or Debenhams are amazing this year, perfect for any small or large gift. From mini makeup bundles, body care, skincare, food sets including Starbucks, Costa, amongst other quirky gifts, such as novelty sets and themed items, there's more than enough to pick from. My favourite has to be the Soap and Glory sets in particular because the design and selection available are simply fab.

Notebooks -  Another stocking item/present I think is ideal at Christmas are notebooks, planners or diaries. With the New Year approaching, it's the time where new plans come about and everyone likes to start afresh. This to me is the best time for a new notebook or planner to begin writing down ideas or planning future events in the upcoming year ahead. For doodling and note taking purposes, I think you can't go wrong with a matching set of notebooks, the ones pictured below are from Matalan. When it comes to planners, two I love the look of are personal planner and the happiness planner, both of which would make a completely unique present. You're able to personalise them for the specific person and I love how the happiness planner is filled with inspiration/positivity to give you a little boost when needed.

Hand creams - Since Christmas is a rather chilly season, an absolute essential stocking filler has to be hand creams. It's certainly needed at this time of year and with the selection of numerous beauty gift sets available, finding cute and beautifully scented hand creams is easy, making a luxurious yet helpful gift.

Make your own hot chocolate & mug -  If you'd rather do something a bit more creative that's usable, a homemade gift can be that extra bit special. You can either go all out with this gift by painting the mug yourself, buying mini sachets of hot chocolate and baking some cookies or you can simply purchase a cute Christmassy looking mug, fill it with the desired treat, then wrapping it in cellophane to give it that extravagant look.

Cake in a jar - I've seen a couple of kits like these in shops recently at quite hefty price tags so I thought if you were on a budget why not make it yourself? If you have a friend who adores baking, something like this would be fantastic. You could find a yummy recipe either online or in a book you have at home, buy the jar and fill it with everything that's required to make that cake. Finish the jar off with a ribbon, note explaining the recipe and there you have it a sweet yet creative gift!

Picture frame - For something a bit more sentimental in the heart warming season, I find putting one of your favourite pictures in a frame or making a collage of them is always a touching present. It gives you time to reminisce on those memories and essentially have a keepsake of that day, great for a best friend or close family member. This idea would be perfect for somebody as well if they've just moved into a new house because it adds an accessory to one of the rooms yet brings some love.

Cosy socks/winter wear - The last idea has to of course be something soft and cosy. What's Christmas without a comfy pair of fuzzy socks or over sized jumpers? Whether you're wanting to buy a jumper ( so many high street shops have some gorgeous ones in at the minute), a scarf ( I'd recommend Primark's ones, completely inexpensive and incredibly warm), socks or gloves and a hat, all would be much appreciated in this bitterly weather especially if we finally get snow this year.

I hope you enjoyed this stocking filler gift guide. What other presents ideas do you have?

Thank you for reading <3

Christmas festivities at Dreamland!

Well hello to you my reader chums! With Christmas drawing nearer and nearer, the cosy, festive activities have truly begun. Yesterday, I spent the day with my best friends, having a little gander around one of our vintage towns for a spot of lunch and visiting the newly reopened Dreamland! It was a day full of laughter, love and joy so I wanted to share it with you.

Enveloped by chilly breezy weather, we trailed around a series of charming charity shops, vintage unique stores and handful of book places, absorbing that old rustic flair and discovering some lovely items. After working up an appetite, we heading to a cute cafe called Huckleberry's and ordered some lunch. I went for a hot chocolate ( an absolute must in this weather) with a cheese and ham toasty; totally scrummy!

Once our late lunch had been eaten, we headed over to Dreamland which if you aren't aware is an amusement park that reopened a couple of months back after been shut for several years. I already went there the night before Halloween where a spooky special night event took place. With my friends being the wimps we are, on that night instead of facing the scary stuff, we took full  advantage of all the rides and had an incredible, hilarious time. Yesterday though, the park had been transformed into a winter wonderland, packed with glistering lights and blaring music of joyous, traditional Christmas tracks. 
In store was an array of different stalls ( which unfortunately closed before we got a proper look), food booths and all the rides we've been on previously. It was all ticketed by tokens so we chose to go on two of our favourite, the dodgems ( which was utterly hilarious) and kiss and ride! Afterwards, we went to their roller disco that is always a lot of fun; skating and singing along to famous Christmas tunes. 

Here's a couple of pictures of the day:

Us four ( Danielle, me, Chloe and Maria) under the heart.

In line for the dodgems.

The day as a whole was super lovely and ever so Christmassy, getting us all in that festive spirit! I'm genuinely blessed to have such amazing best friends and to spend this quality time together. I can't wait for more festive activities to arise and the joy of Christmas to continue. I'd definitely say my favourite part of Christmas is the lead up; the preparation of people's gifts, all the cosy events that occur, creating yummy food and most importantly spending time with those closest to you.

I hope you enjoyed this lifestyle post. What's your favourite Christmas market and would you recommend any?

Thank you for reading <3

The Cutest Elephant Earrings from Coconut Lane & 20% Off!

Well hello to you my reader chums! Today I wanted to share with you a new shop I've recently been introduced to, Coconut Lane. When the owner got in contact and told me what they offer, I was keen to have a scroll on their items and intrigued to see the cutest, quirkiest things- perfect for stocking fillers!

After having a browse, I found these adorable elephant earrings I just had to buy! Elephants are one of my favourite animals and I've actually been on the hunt for a pair of earrings like this for a while now, so finding these was incredibly lucky. Other than unique jewelry, they sell stylish wall art quotes, cute cards and phone cases, everything a girly girl could possibly want. I really love the whole modern vibe the site has and I think it was such a sweet extra giving a 'mean girls' reference style card with my purchase.

Here's my order: 

Close up of the earrings:

Now here's for the exciting part - Coconut Lane have supplied me with a 20% off code that enables one of my lovely readers to get a discount on their purchase! All you have to do is use 'della20' at the checkout to receive it. If you decide to buy something, please send me a picture on Twitter as I'd love to see what you picked.

I hope you enjoyed this post. What's your favourite accessory?

Thank you for reading <3