Winter Wonderland with Essence Cosmetics

It’s the season to sparkle! And whilst this post might be a bit late in the day for Christmas party inspiration, there’s still NYE to come, and what better excuse to up your makeup game?

As ever, Essence have come up trumps with on trend and affordable products to really add some sparkle to your festive look.

First off, apologies for the dire lighting and the lack of swatches in these photos. I wanted to do this post before Christmas but time constraints with work, and the winter lighting meant trying to grab these at 8am, just before leaving the house!

Anyway, excuses over and on to the products…

Contour fans and highlighter addicts will LOVE the prismatic hololighter stick which gives the most amazing sheen thanks to it’s holographic pigments. This is a multi-use product and an absolute bargain at £3.50- if you only bought one thing from Essence then I think it should be this.
Another amazing shimmer product is the moonlight eyes eyeshadow in the shade Angel. I own a couple of these now and I love the subtle, build-able iridescent colour- they make a great base shade for any look.

I’ve always heaped praise on Essence eyeliners and review the metal art lip & eye liner in a previous post. For party season I’m loving the shade “steel the show”, especially paired with vibrant shock lash & brow gel mascara in “sparkle on”.

The Metal Shock eyeshadow is another product I previously reviewed (and rated) and the “moon dust” shade is a welcome addition to my growing collection. I’ve used these for every party I’ve been to this month- as a base to which I’ve pressed some loose glitter or pigment on to for maximum impact.

I’ve not had a chance to try the nail products included in the package as I’m still sporting a shellac manicure. I plan to give my nails a break in the new year so will try these products out and share the results on instagram, but if you’re impatient to see for yourself and want a fun party look then you can read more here, here and here.

If you’re looking for some last minute party makeup, or fancy some on trend and affordable updates for the new season then definitely head to your local Wilko store or to their website where you’ll find all of these products and more for under a fiver per piece.

Gift Guides: Under £20 last minute gifts with FatFace

With less than a week to go until the big day it’s likely that some of us (me included) are starting to panic about gifts left to buy. I’m pretty much there now, but there’s one or two little things still left to get and the race is on to find somewhere that can deliver in time.

Enter FatFace with their great selection of gifts under £20- if you order before 4pm on Wednesday you will have your goods in time for Christmas (and right now they are offering free standard delivery on everything!)

You’ll find something for everyone on the site- from cosy socks to novelty gloves and scarves for the kiddies. Ideal if you’re struggling for that last minute work secret santa, have forgotten your best friend’s kid or just want to have something crowd pleasing on stand by for any last minute guests. I’ve popped together a little selection of my favourite items under £20- ones I’d love to both give and receive.

I really hope this gift guide has managed to alleviate panic for at least one person! Are you all wrapped up for Christmas?
This is the first year where I haven’t been 100% on it with my organisation, and I’m both panicking inside and revelling in the chaos!

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Top Tips For Decorating Your Home For Christmas*

We are so far into December now that we can say that Christmas is just around the corner- and it’s actually true. In fact, Christmas is so close that I can practically smell the turkey. Because of this, if you haven’t got your decorations up yet you really should get a wiggle on. If you’re just procrastinating then there’s not much that I can do to help you, but if you are just stuck as to where to start then you’re in luck. Here are some great tips to help you with your Christmas decorating this year.

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1. Choose A Colour Scheme
It can be fun to mix and match with your decorations and have everything looking a little higgledy-piggledy, but if you want your home to have the wow factor then a colour scheme is a great idea. It doesn’t matter if your chosen colour scheme runs throughout the entire house or you have a colour scheme for each room, as long as you stick to your theme your home is going to have a big impact. Green and red are the colours traditionally associated with Christmas, but if you wanted to mix it up a bit then purple, blue, white, and silver are all popular colour combinations too.

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2. Be Sensible With Lights
When Christmas comes around it’s usually people’s mission to have their home lit up like, well, a Christmas tree. As great as this may look, you don’t need to waste so much energy to make a big impact. Instead of annoying your neighbours with ridiculous amounts of Christmas lights on the front of your house get some simple waterfall lights from therange.co.uk to add some sparkle, and skip the big glowing reindeer. Not only does this look just as good (if not better), but also requires much less effort when it comes to putting them up.

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3. Match The Dining Table
With any luck you will be spending a lot of time at the dining table this Christmas so it’s important for it to look absolutely perfect. Luckily, it’s pretty simple to do this. Once you’ve decided on a colour theme for your dining room buy napkins and crackers to match this theme. You could also buy a matching tablecloth or even just a table runner. Then all you’ve got to do is make sure the cutlery and crockery match.

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4. The Tree is The Key
Your Christmas tree is the most important decoration in your house so it requires the most attention. If you have a conservatory, like one of the ones from visualconservatories.co.uk then you might even have two, so you have to decide if you want them to match or have different colour schemes. Whatever you decide make sure you spread the decorations out evenly on the tree and don’t forget the start or angel on top.

Christmas is a magical time but it can also get pretty stressful. Hopefully these tips will make yours a little easier.

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Gift Guides: For the little folk*

I’m at that age now where friends and family have children- from newborns to toddlers, there are plenty of kids in my life and whilst I don’t have plans for any myself in the near future I do find it fun to browse and shop for other people’s, and the same rules apply to adult shopping- I want to find the perfect present.

I’ve heard a lot of good things about River Island Kids range and after having a good old browse I’ve popped together a collage of gift ideas that covers everyone from the tiniest tots to the most boisterous (and harder to impress) school goers.

You’ll find something for all ages and budgets in River Island- from stocking fillers such as packaged up retro sweets and novelty watches (not going to lie, I want that penguin one for myself) through to party perfect outfits and some of the coolest shoes I’ve seen. Prices are decent- the most expensive item I’ve featured is the wonderfully on trend pom pom jumper at £22. Probably the best all-rounder of a gift is the hat selection- there’s a great selection of novelty (and more sensible) beanies and bobble hat for around the £10 mark and with a cold winter predicted- and a child’s tendency to misplace things I reckon you can’t go wrong with one of these.

Anyone else getting to that stage where there are almost as many kids to buy for as there are adults? My youngest cousin has just announced she’s expecting and I can’t wait to get stuck in to shopping for a brand new squishy one.

Where do you recommend for children’s gifts? I tend to favour practical presents over toys but I’m open to ideas and inspiration.

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Chemist 4 U haul

My name is Laura and I am a nail polish addict, I have hundreds of them and yet can never resist adding new shades and finishes to my collection whenever I see one that catches my eye (which is often). The irony in this is that I rarely paint my nails any more, I spent years having to keep them bare due to clinical work, and now I’m in an office based role I’ve been splashing out on shellac manicures. Still, when I was given the opportunity to order some products from Chemist 4 U I just couldn’t resist the lure of bargain O.P.I. polishes, especially in shades that are just perfect for the festive party season.
The shades I picked (L-R on the swatch wheel) are: unfrost my heart, I Carol about you, first class desires, kiss me- or elf! and I’ll tinsel you in. Each polish cost a bargain £2.99- a huge saving on the RRP of £7.99 each! O.P.I. was the first nail polish brand I really fell in love with, they just look so luxe and last really well- at this price these would make awesome stocking fillers this Christmas, or the perfect little pick me up for yourself.
I also picked up my absolute winter lip saviour- Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream lip protectant stick for just £10.49 which is a saving of over £9 on the RRP. Chemist 4 U sells primarily pharmacy products (also at excellent prices, for the record) but it’s the beauty section where the true bargains hide. I hadn’t used the website before but was impressed with the ease of ordering and the prompt, well packaged delivery. Well worth checking out if you’re looking for some Christmas gifts or want to stock up for yourself.
Does anyone remember the hype over O.P.I’s Russian Blue? I bought about three bottles at the height of it’s popularity! Which is your favourite shade?

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Products were provided for blog consideration, all thoughts about the products and the service I received are my own.