Monday, 24 November 2014

Mini Mani Manor: Ciaté's nail polish advent calendar

As we get nearer to December the battle of the beauty advent calendars is hotting up. For the nail polish addicts among us, Ciate's offering is the Mini Mani Manor - a colourful countdown to Christmas.

Why have a calendar when you can have a whole mansion full of mini nail polishes?! The 'calendar' comes with 24 days' worth of festive manicure goodies, including 17 of Ciate's most popular shades - such as Mistress, Amazing Grace and Cupcake Queen - five textured nail polishes, one exclusive full size Paint Pot and one set of festive nail transfers.

At £49 this beauty advent calendar is not cheap. but is certainly one of the most extravagant on the market at the moment!

It is available from most department stores and online retailers including Selfridges, John Lewis and ASOS. It'd be worth getting it from ASOS if you have student discount or a larger Boots store you can get some advantage card points!

Will you be purchasing any beauty advent calendars this year?

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Blogger business cards from MOO

I recently had these business cards made from MOO and was super pleased with them so thought I would share them with you all! I had some cards made on MOO a while ago but when I had my blog layout changed I thought it would be best to get some new cards too.

Although my blog isn't my full time job and I don't have as much time to spend on it as I would like, I occasionally get time to go to blog meet-ups or events and business cards are so handy for networking.

My business card design was very plain and simple but I think it works well and matches my blog design. MOO is a great site for getting business cards made as there are so many options but the site is really easy and quick to use.

They come delivered in this handy box which has dividers for your own, and other people's cards.

If anyone is thinking of getting business cards made I'd recommend using MOO have a search for discount codes on the internet beforehand as there are usually offers going for first-time users which makes it a lot cheaper!

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Dinner at the Macdonald Frimley Hall Hotel

I recently visited the Linden Restaurant within the Macdonald Frimley Hall Hotel, in Surrey. Although the hotel is tucked away in a very quiet and peaceful location it is in prime position for guests as it is easily accessible from the M3 and M25.

The hotel is set in private gardens, perfect for a quiet weekend or romantic getaway. We ate at the hotel's restaurant, which has 2 AA rosettes, for dinner and were very impressed.

Before dinner we had a drink the bar area before heading to the restaurant, which was decorated very simply and was candlelit in the evening, providing a warm and cosy atmosphere. The dinner was a set menu of either two or three courses (we went for three, of course!) I had ham hock terrine, steak and warm chocolate mousse while my boyfriend had smoked salmon, guinea fowl and chocolate fudge cake.

The main courses were very meat heavy - with dishes such as lemon sole, pork, duck and venison available - but there were also plenty of vegetarian options too. The menus are changed regularly with the seasons so we tried the Autumn/Winter menu. Everything was delicious and beautifully presented. Although the dishes looked quite small and simple they were so fulling.

The hotel also has beautiful bedrooms and lovely spa and gym facilities so it would be worth making a day or a weekend of it and going to visit. While the restaurant is mainly for guests at the hotel it is also available to non-guests too and welcomes visitors for meals, however, it is best to book a table beforehand as the restaurant can get booked up quickly.

We thoroughly enjoyed our meal at the Macdonald Frimley Hall Hotel and I hope to go back soon to book a day at the hotel's spa! Further details about the hotel and restaurant are available on the website.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Beautiful Swimwear From Coco Bay

Seafolly, Coco Bay

I know it's hardly swimwear weather at the moment but a while back I got this beautiful tankini from Coco Bay and I thought it was about time I shared it on the blog!

Coco Bay is a swimwear and beachwear website, selling collections from bikini and beachwear brands Seafolly, Moontide, Baku and Ginja.

A while back in September I went for a weekend away to the Village Hotel in Farnborough, Hampshire, and bought myself a tankini to wear in the pool and jacuzzi.

I went for the Seafolly Goddess Kiara Singlet. Although it's a tankini it looks like a one piece which I liked. I own hundreds of bikinis but when I'm not on holiday sunbathing I think it's nicer to go for a swimsuit as it is more practical. The box pleating around the bust of this top is a nice detail and it has boning around the cups to give shape and support. There is also pleating round the hips to give a flattering shape around the tummy area and gripper tape round the back to keep everything in place.

While the top is very flattering and supportive and designed to suck everything in, it was a little tight and difficult to get on and off so I'd recommend going a size up in this! I'm a little disappointed I stuck to normal top size as I could have done with a slightly larger size but once it was on it was very comfortable.

The singlet doesn't come as a set so I got the matching Seafolly Twist Band Hipster Pant. The sizing of this was perfect and it was also super comfy to wear. It has a twsit band at the front which is very flattering on the stomach.

What do you think of this set? Have you ever shopped at Coco Bay before?

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Products I'm Loving this week

Montana Tan 1 Hour Tanning Mousse - Just when you thought you'd tried every fake tan going, another one comes along! I'm not usually a fan of mousse formulas for fake tan as they can dry my skin out but this is super silky and moisturising. It has a natural light brown colour, perfect for people wanting a lighter tan in Winter.

GHD Total Volume Foam - I was lucky enough to get this in a goodie bag at a Bloggers Love event in September. My hair is very flat and boring but this adds extra life into it and isn't sticky at all.

L'Oreal Wild Stylers Next Day Hair - I love using this spray the day after curling my hair when I want to refresh my style.It adds a tousled, dishevelled effect without weighing the hair down.

Dermaoil - For anyone that has tried Bio Oil this is very similar. It is a specialist skincare product for anti-ageing, scars and stretch marks. I use it on my stomach and thighs and when my skin gets especially dry in the Winter I add a few drops to my bath for added moisture!

Bouffe Volumising & Texturizing spray - I actually thought this was dry shampoo when I first used it as it is labelled as a 'dry spray'. I flicked my head upside down and sprayed it into my fringe and had a major 'There's Something About Mary' moment as my hair had stuck up! ANYWAY! After actually reading the bottle I've now discovered it's actually a texturising spray. I spray a little through the mid sections of my hair after curling it to liven it up a bit.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Daily Skincare Favourites

Elemis Pro-Radiance Cream Cleanser -  I picked up this mini sample-size cleanser at the Bloggers Love Gifting Lounge event in September. Despite using it on and off for nearly three months it has lasted a long time! I have heard a lot about Elemis products but had never actually tried any until now (bad Blogger!) This left my skin really soft and moisturised and has a lovely lavender scent.

Paul & Joe Refreshing Skin Toner - I adore Paul & Joe skincare. The packaging is beautiful and looks lovely in the bathroom or on a nightstand, and all of the products smell divine! This toner as a fresh, orange scent and is gentle on my skin while helping to lock in moisture.

Nivea Light Moisturising Day Cream - Whenever my skin starts to play up, Nivea is my go-to brand. I find all of the products in the Nivea range are so comforting and soothing when my skin is irritated. As well as the day cream I recently purchased the Nivea night cream and primer which I am looking forward to using.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Christmas Gift Guide from Paul Mitchell

I always see Paul Mitchell sets for sale in my local salons and hairdressers and they look like the perfect gifts for someone. Paul Mitchell has some amazing Christmas sets out at the moment and I have already snapped up a couple to give as gifts. If you are struggling for what to buy someone I think you can't go wrong with them!

Monday, 10 November 2014

Philips Lumea Precision Plus IPL Hair Removal System - unboxing and first impressions

I have to admit I am extremely lazy when it comes to hair removal. There are so many different options when it comes down to it - shaving, waxing, epilating, threading, laser treatments - but for some, the task of hair removal can be a chore. If it's not time-consuming, messy or fiddly then it's expensive or very painful.

As a teen, before I started shaving, I tried Veet hair removal cream on my legs. It was very messy, didn't work well, and I got told off for stinking out the bathroom with the horrible smell of fumes that comes with it. I didn't dare try it on any other part of my body for fear of going a second over the recommended time and burning my skin off. Since then, I have always stuck to the good old-fashioned razor (when I can be bothered).

Recently laser hair removal treatments are becoming increasingly popular and I am hearing more about them. I always see local salons offering courses of treatments but I've never looked into it because it seemed too time consuming. Then I discovered an at home treatment - the Philips Lumea Precision Plus.

The people at Philips claim this device will reduce unwanted hairs by up to 80% in as little as eight weeks (using four fortnightly treatments). IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light - which uses high intensity focused light to force hair to stop growing by naturally shedding and reducing regrowth.

This decive can be used on the face, legs, arms, bikini area and underarms. It has five intensity settings, so can be adapted to suit skin tones and hair colours, and it comes with two different sized application windows for large or targeted areas.

The device is very neatly packaged. It comes in a handy carry case, with a charger and head attachment, and also has a cleaning cloth, quick start guide and full instruction manual.

The device is very light and the instructions are clear and simple to understand. The quick start guide makes it very simple to work out how to use it.

There is a chart which recommends which light intensity you need to use, based on your hair colour and skin tone. Before using the Lumea Precision Plus it is recommended you shave the area you are going to treat, then you place the appliance on a 90 degree angle to the skin and press the flash button to release a flash of light. You can then either keep the button pressed down while you slide the appliance to the next area of skin (if you are using a large area like legs), or you can let go of the button, place the appliance on the next area of skin and press down again (suitable for more precise areas like the lip or knees).

The guide also comes with a chart you can fill in to monitor when you have used the Lumea Precision Plus and the date of the next treatment. Plus it has a handy table which sets out the average treatment times for each area:
- Upper lip/chin/sideburns: 1 minute
- Underarms: 1 minute per underarm
- Bikini line: 1 minute
- Entire bikini area: 4 minutes
- One lower leg: 8 minutes
- One full leg: 14 minutes

The Lumea Precision Plus IPL system is pretty expensive - it is recommended as £450 on Philips' website however you can get it for around £290 at Boots, Amazon or Argos - but it is cheaper than getting a course of laser hair removal treatments done professionally, and it is meant to save money in the long run as it prevents the regrowth of hair.

I will soon be putting this to the test and will be doing a full review to see if it is worth the money!

Have you ever tried laser hair removal before? Let me know what your experiences were!

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Origins Mask Marvels gift set on offer at Boots

Just a quick post this evening! All Origins skincare fans won't want to miss out on this amazing offer.

Up until 13th November, this trio of best-selling face masks will be better than half price for £23 (usually £50) at Boots!

The Mask Marvels set contains three of Origins' signature face masks:
- Clear Improvement Active charcoal mask to clear pores (75ml)
- Drink Up Intensive Overnight mask to quench skin's thirst (75ml)
- Out of Trouble 10 minute mask to rescue problem skin (75ml)

The set will be available exclusively at Boots stores and online at This will make the perfect Christmas present someone or a treat for yourself!

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Shupette - Karl Lagerfeld for Shu Uemura collection

Feast your eyes on the cutest makeup collection ever! Shupette is a collaboration between Karl Lagerfeld and Shu Uemura, based on Karl's cat - Choupette.

The limited edition collection is very cute - lots of pink! - and there are some feline-inspired items too including a blue-toned eyeshadow trio, inspired by Choupette's bright, blue eyes, and false lashes embellished with tiny crystals and feathers.

This is Karl Lagerfeld's second collection for Shu Uemura, after collaborating with them in 2012. He has been known to use Shu Uemura make-up to illustrate the drawings for his own designs, and Choupette is said to be one of the most spoilt celebrity pets, currently boasting around 37,000 Twitter followers, so it is the perfect match!

I recently picked up a few bits from the collection; Shupette's flair eyelash curler (£20), Eye-need eyeshadow trio (£30) and Rouge bonbon fantasy lip trio (£30).

The packaging is adorable and the lip trio comes in the sweetest shades. Everything is highly pigmented and super glossy - perfect for me as I wear pink lipstick every day. I love the size of the palettes as they are so tiny you can pop them in your back and take them every where with you. The lip trio comes in two different shades - this one has slightly brighter shades whereas the second option has softer pink hues.

This eyeshadow trio is also super cute and the colours go perfectly together. The bronzey gold shade is much more pigmented whereas the gold and pink are softer and more for highlighting.

The limited edition Shupette collection is available from Selfridges - I recommend you check it out online as some of the products are just so adorable!

What do you think of the new Karl Lagerfeld collaboration? Have you bought anything from the collection yet?

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Green People Mineral Make-Up and Toning Hydrating Mist

I am a huge fan of mineral make-up and swear by my Bare Minerals Original Foundation, so I was very excited to give this Mineral Pressed Powder by Green People a go!

The Pressed Mineral Powder (£20.95) is available in five shades. I got the shade 'Caramel Light' which is a yellow-toned powder. The powder is a 3-in-1 foundation and finishing powders with the added benefit of SPF15. It is talc-free and non-irritating and contains natural minerals to reflect light, minimise fine lines and wrinkles and give a luminous and even complexion while protecting against the harmful effects of UVA and UVB rays.

The powder glides on so easily to both the Kabuki brush and onto my skin. Using it as a foundation alone I found it didn't give great coverage so I had to use my normal foundation then use this as a finishing powder over the top to provide a matte finish. For those that prefer a more natural look and lighter coverage they could use the powder alone.

One of the key ingredients of the powder is beeswax and you can notice it straight away when you apply it to the skin because of the smell! Beeswax is used in make-up to improve staying power, lock in hydration and create a creamy texture. The natural barrier properties of Beeswax also help to protect the skin from environmental damage.

I apply the powder with the Green People Kabuki Brush (£20.45) - which I am in love with! This is by far the best brush I have tried. It delivers professional results and, for those that are vegan/animal friendly, it is made from an environmentally-friendly bamboo handle and without any animal derivatives.

Green People also do fabulous skincare and I recently tried out their new Toning Hydrating Mist (£13.95), which was launched in April. This spray-on toner revives tired skin and is created with Orange Blossom floral water, marshmallow and Aloe Vera to soothe, refresh, hydrate and balance skin.

You can either spray it onto the skin after cleansing and wipe off with cotton wool OR I've been let into a little secret...spritz it over the top of the mineral foundation to give a dewy finish and help your make-up last even longer!

I often don't like using toners as they can strip away my skin but this is so comforting and nourishing.

Green People is an entirely natural and organic skincare brand and all its products aim to restore and balance the skin's natural moisture levels while also caring about the environment and sustainability - always a bonus!

Have you tried anything by Green People before? Will you be giving them a go?

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