Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Twig + Dot Xmas Candles

Evening lovelies!

As the festive season is now in full swing, I wanted to share with you a lovely treat I was sent recently by Twig + Dot
Around November time, Twig + Dot released a rather beautiful holiday range of candles to fill your homes with christmassy scents. All their candles are hand poured right here in the UK and packaged up beautifully in white jars.
In the run up to the festivities, Twig + Dot have been working with bloggers in a '12 Bloggers Of Christmas'  piece; each day, a blogger they haven't worked with before has posted a review on a candle they were sent, have a read of what they all thought!
Twig + Dot candles would make a perfect stocking filler gift for any candle lover you still need to buy for. The small candles are just £3 and the larger ones, like the one above, are £16. 
Merry Kissmas is, by far, my favourite candle I've ever had- now thats a huge statement as I've tried out many over the years but ohhh you NEED to sniff this one. This hand poured candle is scented with cranberries,pomegranate and mistletoe. It really is as bloody christmassy as it sounds. 
Twig + Dot do provide burning instructions for all their candles; basically they recommend you don't burn it for more than 3 hours at a time. Fine by me though, it means my candle lasts a lot longer and the house will be smelling divine all throughout the festivities next week.  
I've also been lucky enough to try out some other scents over the last few months; Twig + Dot provided us with sample sizes for our CityGirls events! This mini Pumpkin Pie candle was given to me in October as a Halloween inspired scent. With edible notes of cinnamon,clove and nutmeg this one is also perfect for an xmas scent. I love a good pumpkin pie, my mum makes one each year and this candle really does remind me of how the kitchen filled up with the scent of spices!
Bahama Bay is a more summery scent and one that I adored in the warmer months; I love zesty candles and this one adds a fresh,clean smell to the lounge.  I'm sad as this one isn't currently on their website but hopefully it will make an appearance again next year!?

Twig + Dot really have got this candle game on point, the packaging recently changed to a fully white jar, which I really like as it makes it easier to photograph (of course this is essential for us bloggers!) and the scents range they offer is growing month by month. For sure, my go-to candle brand.. forget all those overrated well known ones.. go for something a bit different and support this UK based company!

Have you tried any Twig + Dot candles yet?
If not, which would you like to try out?
Check them out in Twitter and Instagram too!

XOXOXOX

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Lush Sheffield Xmas collection

Last week Lush Sheffield hosted their first blogger event! I helped out by finding local bloggers to come along for an evening of personalised Lush skin consultations,an opportunity to buy gifts away from the usual craziness of the store and also the chance to make some of our own Lush products!
 Becki, the assistant manager, kicked off the evening by having quick chat with us all and introducing the Lush ladies who were on hand to help us decide which products we'd like to know more about and potentially buy. Just to note here, Becki is a total babe, whenever I pop into Lush Sheffield she always comes over for a catch-up and to talk me through the products she thinks would suit my skin type and also share some of the new products with me in sample sizes!
Becki did a fab job at laying on the treats for us bloggers; she got in touch with Joni Bakery here in Sheffield and they kindly provided us with some rather beautiful macaroons. The macaroons were all flavoured to match some of the Lush products too!To wash the macaroons down M&S also provided Becki with some delicious aromatic mulled wine to warm up for us all... this is now on my list of things to pick up on xmas eve! So onto the products....
If you haven't checked out the xmas gifts Lush have on offer this year you should... they are, I think, the best so far.  Some of my favourite gifts are ButterBear,Sleeps 'til Christmas, It's Christmas Deer, Zing and Zest and12 Days Of Christmas. However, the gift that caught my eye at the event had to be Wow Christmas Gift Box. It contains 36 items totalling up to approx £175 but you get them all for £155! This for me, would be ideal for a family of Lush lovers. You could buy the big box then split it out between everyone, even 36 people if you like!! Or if you are being very generous you could make someones xmas Lush dreams and give it to them all as one gift... oh could you imagine the baths for months to come!?
After having a look round the products at the front of the store I then headed over to the skincare station. The Lush lady had a chat with me about skincare and then she suggested some specific products that she thought would compliment my skin type and needs.  During the winter months, like many I'm sure, my skin is in desperate need for some intense hydration so I was recommended  Gorgeous and Skins Shangri La. I haven't used either of these products before, have you? On testing the products quickly in store I thought that Gorgeous was the one for me!

We were also shown 2 facial cleansers the skincare lady was loving; Bûche De Noël, and Angels on Bare Skin- have you tried these? I already have a pretty good skincare routine but was tempted by these.. let me know what you think of them and I might be tempted! Im already being drawn in by the Bûche De Noël as it sounds like xmas in a pot!

We then moved along the counter to the face mask creation station the ladies had set up for us- I always love being able to get hands on at Lush events as it shows how little actually goes into their natural products. 

We put our mixing skills into making a batch of Catastrophe Cosmetic- this calming and moisturising fresh face mask is packed with blueberries,calamine,chamomile,rose and almond oil.
Look how thick the face mask is! The blueberries contain vitamin A,C and E which is said to help protect your skin from damage whilst calming any problem areas. I've used this mask before, we made it during TheCityGirls Launch event and I couldn't get enough of the stuff. I'm so glad that I got to take my little pot of mask home to add to my growing Lush collection! 
It wouldn't be a Lush christmas event without Snow Fairy would it?!  You can now purchase 1kg bottles of the beautifully sweet shower gel for £21.50. Maybe I'm really slow on this but you can now buy a Snow Fairy perfume.. I need this in my life.. right now!
Lush, as usual, got this Star Dust bath bomb spot on.. pop this star into your bath to create a pretty dip infused with rosewood,lemon and vanilla. Inside this starry treat are some extra little surprises for you to discover at bath time!
I've never tried the colourful bath bomb at the centre of this photo, The Experimenter. Have you? After watching the video on the Lush site its going on my list to pick up next time I'm in town.. the colours are mesmerising!
Next up are the shower jellies, again I haven't tried these but they smelt delicious. Actually good enough to eat although Lush wouldn't recommend it! Santa's Belly shower jelly smells really fruity as its made of apple juice, grape juice, bergamot oil and star anise infusion. 

Snowman shower jelly is so cute! It does look a little like panacotta but thats fine with me! This jelly is infused with Buchu oil, carrot,Sicilian lemon and Bergamot oil to leave your skin feeling soft and smelling fruity throughout the day. 
Another of the Lush making stations gave us the chance to have a go at creating our own little vanilla scented ButterBear bath bomb! I feel like a bad Lush lover here but I've never actually tried this one so I'm excited to pop it out of the bear shaped container and into my bath at the weekend. 
This little sparkly pyramid is the Karma bubble bar. All you do with this is crumble a generous amount under the running water and watch your bath turn into a purple pool of magic!
This my lovely friends is xmas on a stick- orange,cinnamon, star anise and almond make up The Magic of Christmas Bubble Bath wand. I like the added bell on this one! I've bought a few of these as gifts for people and Im planning on buying one for myself next time I pop in as they smell delicious. Would it be weird to pop it in a pot in the living room?!
Need to just take a minute here to point you all in the direction of Reindeer Rock. I bloody love this soap; lingonberries, blackcurrant and bergamot oil give this purple soap a beautiful scent that lingers on your skin throughout the day. Whenever I use this I can't stop sniffing myself!
Last but by no means least I want to point out these hair treatment oils. They are Tangled, Damaged and Kinky. Okay, so at the moment these don't look much like hair oil but once you've swirled them through some warm water they turn into a paste that you then apply to your hair, leave for around 20 minutes then shampoo out. I am yet to use mine but like the idea of it.. so keep a look out for a review coming soon!
At the end of the event, Becki provided us with a huge goody bag full of bits to try out, ranging from a massage bar to one of the Golden Wonder bath bombs. All I now need to do is find time to run myself a bath, pour myself a gin and bathe in all the shimmery,delicious treats!

Whats your fave Lush xmas product?
Have you tried any of the products featured in my post?

You can follow Lush Sheffield on Instagram here and also on Twitter here

XOXOXO

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Under £15 Etsy Stocking Fillers

Now that we are fully  in the midst of the holiday season it’s the best time of year to get someone a great unique gift, or why not splurge a little of that left over money on  yourself? I mean, you've worked so hard coordinating all the presents, putting the decorations up and planning the christmas dinner right?!
To mix things up a little I've decided to share some of my fave under £15 for her items that I've found on Etsy. If you've never used Etsy.. you should, its A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Etsy is an online marketplace for people to sell handmade and vintage items to customers across the world! Of course I know we are short of time in the run up to xmas day so I've decided to filter the sellers to just UK based ones so if you did decide to order anything it should be with you in time!

There are tons more items for you to scroll through on Etsy of course; you can filter down to the price you want, also select which country you'd like to search within and even come across some items that can be personalised for pressies!

Have you purchased anything from Etsy before?
Which item from my mini collection is your fave?
XOXOXOX

Friday, 4 December 2015

Scentsicles Xmas

Love the scent of a real xmas tree but hate the additional mess a real xmas tree makes?
Well... this post is just for you!
Last weekend I went into town to do a bit of christmas shopping and happened to spot Scentsicles in John Lewis.  I'd never really thought about making my artificial tree smell like a proper traditional tree if I'm honest. I love the idea of having a real tree in my house but the reality is that most real trees create a lot of additional mess to the festive season by shedding their needles.
Scentsicles are little sticks of xmas scent that you pop in your xmas tree to add some festiveness to an artificial tree.
All you do with Scentsicles is attach the small rods of scent to the provided hook or just plonk them in the tree like I have! Once they are in situ they then release a gorgeous scent throughout your house,adding to the xmas feeling! It really does work.. the Mr has commented a few times since I put the tree up, saying that it smells just like he imagines xmas to smell!
You can purchase Scentsicles from John Lewis,Wlikos  or Amazon  for around £6.  You can also purchase them from the Scentsicles website but, just as a warning, it is a US based website  so its unlikely that you'll be able to have them delivered before the big day. The rods come in Fur,Snow Berry,Christmas Time Spruce or Cinnamon scent depending on which flavour your fancy!
Have you tried out Scentsicles before?
What do you think of the idea of an artificial tree smelling like a real one?

XOXOX

Thursday, 3 December 2015

My 2016 Personal Planner

One of my new goals for next year is to become a lot more organised when it comes to by blog, I want to have scheduled posts sorted and a clear vision of how I want things to look months in advanced.. but to be able to do this, I find it a lot easier to have a diary that I can write in rather than spreadsheets for everything. Don't get me wrong, I love a good spreadsheet but nothing can beat having a place to scribble down my thoughts mid-morning whilst day dreaming of all the things I'd love to post about. So, of course to be able to effectively diary everything I MUST have a lustful diary to write in eh?
I was introduced to Personal Planner through the CityGirls blogger event in Manchester and thought you all might like to have a peek into my how I have been planning things for the next few weeks along with the other added bits within my Personal Planner. 
Once you've set up an account on the Personal Planner website you then get on with building your stationary dreams.. you have the choice of products available in a number of different sizes, shapes and layouts; for example, wall planners, notepads and the original planner. All the templates are adjustable so if you want a specific photo or logo (maybe your blog/company logo?) you have the option to add this right at the beginning of the process. I decided to go for the A5 planner (£22.90) with a pre-prepared design theme by the Personal Planner team. There are 9 pre-prepared planner themes to choose from; I chose this motivational one- I'm very into motivational quotes so this one is perfect to remind me that, yes,actually I am capable of amazing things! You can also, at this point, select when your planner starts. I selected it to start at the beginning of December as I know that January for me is always quiet and I wanted to get using the planner straight away!
After you've chosen your front cover you then move onto the introduction page. This, again, is fully adaptable and you can add as much or as little information as you like. I decided to add a message asking the finder to return my planner to me if lost. I also added my phone number, email address and twitter contact details. As well as typing your message you can also choose to add little emoji's!
Next up are the main pages of your planner. Using the easy to follow design tool on the Personal Planner website I selected to show the whole week over 2 pages divided up into boxes. There are a number of options at this stage for how your week is set out, whether you like it to run Monday to Friday on one page and then the weekend on the next etc. Once you've chosen your layout you can then select boxes to appear at the bottom of the pages; I decided on-
 To Do List- a little space to make a quick note of the boring day to day tasks I need to complete, for example, booking doctors appointments, transferring money between accounts, emails I need to respond to and generally anything else that comes up!
This Weeks Dinners- self explanatory really but I've been using this part as more of a dinner inspiration note space. I follow Tasty on Facebook and when scrolling through my feed I see THE most amazing dishes that I want to try out so a make a note of them here. 
Idea Of The Week/Goal/Art- I'm hugely into goal setting so this box is mainly going to be challenges to myself and points to get me thinking! This week I asked myself whether I could complete Blogmas.. I think I'm doing okay so far!

Other options you have are- workout timings,graphs,tunes,exam timetables,preschool timetables or you can just leave this space blank for doodles. 

Another handy bit on the weekly pages are the ruled blank boxes- in here I have been writing things I need to remember to do or buy and other bits and pieces I need to sort out throughout the next week.  Another option I like on the main diary pages are the headers- I went for a simple black header with a white arrow detail but you can get these to match the front cover theme if you like. 
Once you've planned out all your essential diary pages you then have a number of choices as to how the rest of your planner is filled.  I chose for there to be an overview of the year (although I probably wont use this very much),some lined blank pages for random scribbles and lists and then some pages for coloring in!  Within each planner you also get a plastic wallet that you can attach into the planner; I find the plastic wallet part handy as it means that I can store my prescriptions,receipts and money off vouchers in here so they are easy to find. 
The back page of the planner is matching to the front cover and you also get a detachable ruler that you can pop into the planner to mark which week you are on for quick navigation.  When selecting the additional options for your planner you also get to choose the color of the elastic closure bit to keep all of the pages together whilst in your handbag. 

Personal Planner also have a few stationary bits in their shop that you can add to the order, for example, pens, leather covers,extra rulers and plastic wallets and finally gift cards.If you have any stationary lovers you need gifts for you can send them a gift card and they can design their own planner in their style just how they want it. 

If you want to have a try at designing your own Personal Planner check out the website here.
If you'd like to order a Personal Planner as a gift for xmas you need to make your order by 6th December to guarantee delivery. 

Have you got your 2016 planner ready?

XOXOXOX

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

KIKO MILANO: Cosmic Starlets Range at the new Sheffield store

Earlier on this month I received an email from Kiko Milano; I was so excited to see their email pop up in my inbox as, when recently visiting Barcelona I became slightly obsessed with their makeup and skincare range! Their email detailed that they were planning to open a store here in Sheffield and they wanted to invite me along to have a look on the opening weekend. They also mentioned that I should have a chat with their girls instore about the new products they have to offer in their Holiday Limited Edition Cosmic Starlets range.
The new Kiko store is in Meadowhall on the lower high street right near to M&S. 

The store offers a great space in which to chat to the makeup experts on hand whilst browsing through the huge collection of skincare,accessories and of course, makeup items. I've been to Kiko stores in Spain and France before and I like it that, regardless of where you are in the world they all have every similar layouts and a relaxed atmosphere in which you can take your time to browse through the range of products.  

There are so many products on offer in the store so I want to share with you a few of my favourite finds that I think would make great xmas pressies for any makeup lovers or even makeup newbies. Kiko have kindly offered to send me out a little hamper of goodies too so keep an eye out in the next few weeks for a full product review!
These two Night Sky eyeshadow palettes are my top faves! I especially love the one on the left, its my 30th birthday coming up in a few weeks and I'm hoping to get this so that I can do a smokey eye effect to match my fancy new outfit I have planned. Both palettes are 8 shades and I love the geometric matte sliver packaging, I think it looks a lot more expensive than £19.90! 
The pigmentation amazing- it really does show that you don't have to spend huge amounts of money to get a good quality palette these days.If you are looking for a shimmering palette then this probably isn't the one for you; most of the shades are matte but I much prefer this... I'm not much for sparkles in my eye makeup. The palettes come in in 01 Nude to Smokey and 02 Neutral to Elegant and are designed for both wet and dry application. 
Next up are the Total Sculpt 3 in 1 Contour kits. These kits come in 2 different shades; one suited to lighter skin and the other for darker skin tones. The palettes have 2 shades of contouring powder along with a highlighting powder to add a glow to your look. As I'm a pale thing I'd obviously go for the lighter kit but I've never really picked up the technique with contouring so this is a product that, if I was going to purchase, I'd want to be shown how to use it in-store to make sure it suits me. These kits cost £19.90 and,again, come in gorgeous geometric packaging. I think this would be perfect as an xmas gift for contouring lovers! If you are more into your creamy highlighters you should check out the Illuminating Stick (£6.90) which is available in Pure Gold or Bright Rose.
I liked that Kiko have a makeup station in their Meadowhall shop too, this can be used to try out products yourself or for one of the makeup artists in-store to give you a full makeover!
A set of lip products caught my eye when browsing through the Cosmic Starlets range at the front of the store; they were these Temptress lip duos, including a creamy lipstick with matching lip pencil. I think these duos are ideal for those who haven't got a ton of lip pencils (like myself!) and want to build up a collection of complimenting products. Each lipstick and lip pencil duo is £10.90 each. From left to right they are: Misty Rose,Passionately Red and Deep Wine. My personal fave is the Deep Wine duo.
Here are some swatches of the lip pencils to match-
On to bronzing powder, and ohh this is a beautiful one!
The Moon Dust Powder comes in two shades; Fairy mauve (shown above) and Mysterious Pink.These powders are highlighting baked blushes and, like the rest of the Cosmic Starlets range, they come in a geometric shaped compact long with a handy mirror.  The product itself actually reminds me of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit. However, Kiko's version comes in at a bargain for £13.90. The powder is soft and nicely pigmented along with a subtle sparkle to add a glow. The product picks up really easily with a blush brush and there is very little fallout when applying this to your cheeks. Although I love the one in the photo I think I'd go for the Mysterious Pink as it would be more suited to my skin tone. 
Next up is the Angel Kiss Milk and Honey Lip Duo (£10.90)- This little set is an exfoliating lip scrub made with tiny sugar crystals along with a glossy balm to add to your beautifully soft lips! The lip scrub contains rosemary extract to protect your lips and jojoba oil to add moisture ready for the Kiss Balm. The Kiss Balm is a moisturising mixture of Shea butter and vitamins and leaves a luminous glossy finish.  You can also get this duo in Champagne & Strawberries, Cranberry Crumble and Candy Cane

These cute little red boxes contain the Cosmic Starlets Perfect Star Gel Nail Lacquer kits (£7.90 each). The kit contains the polish and then a topcoat to add shine to your perfectly painted xmas nails. I am pretty terrible when it comes to nail painting but I so want to improve my steady hand so that I can use these! I've seen some photos of the finished nails on other blogs and they look just like gel manicure nails (check out this bloggers photos for the finished look) The shine from this polish is amazing and I love the colour range available. You can find the whole range here; my fave is the Translucent Beige. Kiko also do a beautiful set of  seven nail polishes in a set called Dream Wish, perfect for a stocking filler! 
 Next up is the Skin Trainer Serum Set (£29.90) containing facial and eye serums to help achieve youthful, healthy skin. The facial serum leaves you feeling fresh and revitalised by adding moisture and improving cellular oxygenation for healthy glowing skin. As soon as I tested out the face serum I knew it would be the one for me from the Cosmic Starlets range- it was really cooling and seemed to sit for a good amount of time on my skin without feeling sticky.I'd like to try this product over a couple of weeks to see whether it would leave a noticeable difference.. this one is going on my wish-list right now! The Skin Trainer eye serum comes in a tube with a handy metal applicator to add to the cooling effect when applying this under your eyes. The formula helps to combat puffiness and dark circles (much needed by me right now!) and leaves your eye area feeling moisturised and fresh. 
The Cosmic Starlets range also has a few fragrances; my favourite had to be the Flowers & Freedom scent (£29.90). A fresh Eau de Toilette with top notes of freesia and middle notes of heliotrope to soften to fragrance finished off with base notes of white woods and musk. I'll admit it, I very rarely check out the fragrance ranges in makeup stores as I tend to go for bigger brands but this one was just perfect!

There are some other skincare bits in the other  Kiko ranges that I want to talk about but I'll save those for another post later in the month. 

Have you tried any of the products from the  Cosmic Starlet range yet? If not, which item would you try first?
 XOXOX


Tuesday, 1 December 2015

PART ONE- Xmas Gift Ideas For Her: Jewellery

Happy 1st December lovelies! Today marks the start of my most favourite time of the year; I love  decorating my house with all sorts of christmas sparkle,getting plans into place for the coming weeks and of course choosing gifts for my friends and family. 

Whilst browsing through tons of websites for jewellery and watches, I've been keeping a note of items that I think would be perfect to buy for a special lady in your life, be it your girlfriend,mum, sister, cousin etc... so I thought I'd share with you some of my ideas and links to where you can find each piece if you are in need of some inspiration...

1. VisVires Chesterfield TimePiece (£110)- How beaut is this?! I'm all about the classic simplistic look when it comes to watches so this one really caught my eye when I stumbled across VisVires on Instagram. I think this watch would be perfect for any fashion conscious lady who loves accessorising those OOTD's!
2. Alex Monroe Rose Gold BumbleBee Necklace (£165)- I am in love with this little bee necklace! I have a growing collection of insect jewellery (sounds weird I know) so this caught my eye when browsing the Liberty website. Insect jewellery is very popular at the moment, it was something that originally came about in Victorian times and thankfully is making a comeback! 
3. Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining Bracelet by Ellie Ellie (£23) For the optimistic lady in your life! I would so wear this and when having a crappy day it would remind me to stay positive and happy. 

1. Mirabelle Onyx Circle Necklace (£45)- This necklace is dreamy and I think it would be great as a finishing touch to a simple daytime look or to add a bit of sparkle to a night-time party outfit.
2.Lola Rose Dakar Gold Tone Ring (£50) Ohh how cute is this ring- perfect for those who love a bit of hand bling.
3. Gold Rigid Cuff (£5.99) This could be an ideal stocking filler for cuff lovers out there! I like the detailing of the embossed pattern surrounding the black decorative bead.


I don't think brooches get as much love as they should do nowadays; in the past they have been the must have accessory to finish off an outfit, so here are a few of my favourites.

1. Diamantè Sparkle Leaf Cluster Brooch (£18- buy one get one half price) Ideal for adding a bit of fanciness to any winter coat this season. 
2. Susan Caplan Vintage 1950's Trifari Brooch (£165) This gold plated brooch is so glam! It would work really well on a winter coat or across a collared shirt to add an interesting touch. 
3. Accessorize Pearl and Crystal Flower Brooch (£8) Looking for a little gift for a friend? This cute little flower brooch would be ideal as a token gift at such a good price!

I hope you've enjoyed having a browse through some of the jewellery bits I've found; jewellery is such a nice gift to give at xmas and if I was to receive any of these pieces I'd be thrilled. It just goes to show, you don't have to spend loads of money to find a lovely gift for your special lady as these are all very reasonably priced!

Over the next few weeks I've decided to do mini gift guides to help anyone struggling to find presents so expect to see guides on xmas presents for kids,boyfriends,foodies,gin lovers and many more!

XOXOX