Last minute Chritmas gift ideas for him and her

last minute christmas gift ideas for him and her
last minute christmas gift ideas for him and her
last minute christmas gift ideas for him and her
With just three more shopping days to go before the big day, it's time to get organised and pick up those last few gifts. I've been strangely organised with my Christmas shopping this year - normally I end up leaving it right to the last minute and have to worry about whether online orders will make it in time or have to brave the ridicuously busy shopping centres with thousands of other people! 

I've pulled together my recommendations for a few last minute gift ideas for both men and women - you'll be able to find them all on the high street, so no panicking about delivery times required! 

Cosy slippers and socks - whether it's novelty reindeers from Accessorize or super luxe fluffy boots from The White Company, I think everyone will love a set of warm, toasty slippers for Christmas. Primark have some great budget options and Marks & Spencer is always a great option for the boys. 

Skincare gift sets - beauty enthusiasts will love this three piece skincare set from natural brand YesTo which features a mask, moisturiser and a set of face wipes all infused with cucumber extracts (perfect for dry or sensitive skins). Nuxe have also put together a lovely Christmas cracker stuffed full of four mini-sized products, including their cult Huile Prodigieuse. Space NK is also a good bet for luxury stocking fillers and beauty gifts - they'll also gift wrap it for you in store so no need to worry about running out of sellotape! The Laura Ashley collection at Boots is also a great bet - it features classic scented bath and body products all packaged up in Laura Ashley print bags and tins. Plus it's part of their 3 for 2 offer! 

Local spa vouchers - a spa treatment is one of *the* best luxuries you can give someone (especially if you offer to babysit for them at the same time if they have kids!). Local spas and beauty salons will almost always offer a gift voucher, so you can tailor it to your budget and let the recipient choose their favourite treatment on a date of their choice. 

Aftershave and perfume - these are always a fail-safe gift idea as it seems to be the one thing we very rarely buy for ourselves. If you're not sure of their favourite scent, or want to try something new, the team at Jo Malone are incredibly helpful and will help you select a fragrance from their many colognes and wrap it up to look absolutely stunning. Viktor & Rolf's Flowerbomb is also something I think will appeal to most women, as is the new Marc Jacobs perfume 'Decadence' - the packaging on this one is just so unusual! For the men, Calvin Klein is always a safe bet - Euphoria Essence is slightly spicy and warm without being over powering, or for a more affordable scent, David Beckham's 'Beyond' is definitely my top pick. 

A food hamper - buying one of these from  a major department store can be seriously pricey, but you can easily make your own with just a cardboard box, a little imagination and some tasty food and drink picks from your local supermarket. Get a decent-sized cardboard box, cover it in Christmasy paper and then fill it with yummy treats you know they'll love. It's easy to personalise for the recipient - just choose their food and drink favourites and you're onto a winner. 

Christmasy nails - these cute Christmas print nails from Elegant Touch are a perfect stocking filler idea. They're super easy to use and offer a really easy way to gete festive nails without the need for any nail art skill! They have several different designs to choose from and can be found in Boots for around £8 a set. 

Warm scarves and gloves - a good pair of leather gloves or a snuggly scarf makes a lovely Christmas treat. Marks & Spencer do a great range of leather gloves in several different colours and hand sizes for around £15 each. Zara is a great choice for scarves for the ladies (I'm hoping one of theirs will be in my stocking this year!), and for the guys, why not try one of these classic styles from Barbour which can be found in House of Fraser store and John Lewis stores. 

A good book - check out your local Waterstones or WH Smith for the latest new releases - whether it's Nigella, Jamie Oliver or Deliciously Ella for the cookery lover, an autobiography of their favourite music or sports star or even the Vogue adult colouring book for all the fashion lovers out there. 

Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet?


Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb review and giveaway

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb review and giveaway
Flowerbomb has been one of those fragrances that's been in my periphery for a long time now, but up until last week, I'd never actually tried. I'm not the biggest lover of floral fragrances, so assumed (wrongly) that with a name like 'Flowerbomb' I'd end up smelling like a florist's had exploded over me.

Instead, Flowerbomb* blends top notes of tea and bergamot; middle notes of jasmine, freesia and orchid; and base notes of centiflora rose and patchouli. Combined together it's quite a heady mix, but it has just the right amount of freshness to it to lift it up and stop it becoming too heavy. I've become a total convert in just a matter of days.

The cut glass bottle with its heavy silver lid feels very luxe, which for me helps to justify the slightly higher price point than some of my other favourite fragrances. A 50ml EDP will set you back around £69, but one or two spritzes will have you sorted for a night out, so the bottle will last aaaaaaaages.

Win a bottle of Flowerbomb

For my final Giftmas Giveaway, I've got a 50ml bottle of Flowerbomb to give away to one lucky reader.

To enter, simply complete your chosen entry methods using the Rafflecopter widget below. The giveaway will close at 11.59pm on Tuesday 29th December and will be open to UK entries only due to postage restrictions on perfume. One winner will be selected at random shortly after the competition closes and contacted directly to claim their prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Giftmas giveaway: win 1 of 2 Dermalogica skincare sets

I've almost come to the end of my Giftmas Giveaways, but I've still got a couple to squeeze in before the big day! Today there are two different Dermalogica Christmas gift sets up for grabs, giving you two chances to win.

Over the past few years, Dermalogica have become a staple in my daily regime - the Daily Microfoliant is a must-have in my books, as is their fantastic Redness Relief Primer. The Christmas gift sets are a great way to test out some potential new favourites or stock up on old faithfuls at a bit of a discount.

The Body Therapy Essentials kit features their Conditioning Body Wash, Body Hydrating Cream and a mini size of the Stress Relief Treatment Oil. Inside the 'Our Favourites' kit, you'll find four travel sizes of some of their best selling products, including my favourite Daily Microfoliant, Multi-Activ Toner, Skin Hydrating Masque and Multivitamin Power Firm.

To enter, simply complete your chosen entry methods using the Rafflecopter widget below. This giveaway is open internationally and will close at 11.59pm on Saturday 26th December. One winner will be picked at random and contacted directly to claim their prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Burberry Festive Gold makeup collection

Burberry Festive Gold makeup collection review
Burberry Festive Gold makeup collection review
I do love a Burberry collection, especially when it comes with a very festive twist! Their Christmas collection focuses around all things red and gold - very traditional for this time of year. 

It's a small capsule collection that features a very pretty gold-toned luminising powder, eye creams and nail shades, alongside a mix of limited edition lip glosses and and Burberry Kisses lipsticks. Everything comes in a choice of bold reds or shimmering golds, even the lip colours! 

At first glance, I was a little worried that the gold-toned gloss and lipstick were going to make me look like a character from the new Star Wars film (the love child of C3P0 maybe?) but in reality they give a very sheer wash of shimmery colour to the lips and actually look really lovely when they're on. I'm a huge fan of the Burberry Kisses formula - they're hydrating, creamy and very easy to wear and the gold shade is great for a very subtle shimmer worn alone, or for a slighlty bolder look when layered up over a red lipstick. It's probably not going to become a handbag staple (I love shade 33 Rose Pink for everyday use) but for Christmas and New Year parties, it adds a very Christmasy touch without any need for dodgy Christmas jumpers or flashing Santa badges. 

The gloss is slightly more gold in tone than the lipstick, and I think it's probably best suited to a little dab over the top of another shade for the full effect. It's very glossy but doesn't have that nasty sticky feel to it that some glosses do, making it a winner in my books. 

You can find the Festive Gold collection online from Burberry and at Burberry counters now. Prices start at £15 for the nail polishes and go up to £45 for the Illuminating Powder. 

What do you think of this collection? Can you see yourself getting to grips with gold lips? 

*PR samples 



Sephora hauling

Sephora hauling
Sephora hauling
Sephora hauling
 It all starts of so innocently. Your friend from the US emails to say she's coming to visit for a week and asks if you'd like anything brought over. Before you know it, you've compiled a list a mile long and are having to pay for extra baggage allowance for her. Almost.

Being let loose on the Sephora website without any shipping restrictions is a dangerous thing, especially just after pay day and when they have ALL the Christmas gift sets floating around. Thanks to my very lovely friend Kelsey, I am now the proud owner of a whole heap of new makeup, and to help break up all the Christmas posts, I thought I'd give you a little look into my haul.

In hindsight, it seems I got a bit over excited by lipsticks - almost everything I ordered was a lip product! The Best of Bite Rewind kit ($25) was too good to resist - it's a brand I've heard such good things about but have never tried before and the four lipstick shades included are all ones I think I will get a lot of use out of. It says they're travel sizes, but they seem pretty decent considering the price!

I'd also read lots of positive reviews about Kat Von D's Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks, so after stalking several blogs, ended up ordering Melancholia, which is a light candy pink shade. It's slighlty different from how I imagined it after looking at swatches, but it's definitely a shade that works for me, with a ridiculously long-lasting formula.

A last minute addition to my wishlist was the Jem and the Holograms liquid lipstick set from the Sephora own brand range. I loved this show when I was younger (the original 80s one, not the horrendous film remake), so had a LOT of nostalgia when I saw the gift set on the Sephora website. Add the fact that the formula was meant to be excellent AND there were five shades included for $25 and it was going straight in the bag.

I did manage to buy a couple of things that weren't lip related (phew!). The Formula X Bottle Service set features 10 mini nail polishes in a range of shades and finishes, all packaged up into champagne bottle packaging. I've tried the Formula X polishes before and thought they were great, so after being totally sucked in by the packaging, I decided I had to have it. I'm a *tiny* bit disappointed with the range of shades now I have it in the flesh - almost half of them are nude/gold based and not hugely unique from each other. The other was Tony Moly's super cute Panda's Dream So Cool Eye Stick which promises to cool and refresh the eye area, but if I'm totally honest, I bought it as the packaging was so cute. Oops.

Has anything caught your eye on the Sephora website recently?


Giftmas giveaway: Roger + Gallet Fleur De Figuier

Roger & Gallet Fleur de Figuier giveaway
There's not long now until Christmas and if you're anything like me, there's a LOT still to do! I swear this time of year goes quicker than any other - one minute you're thinking you have loads of time to do your Christmas shopping and the next, it's Christmas eve and you're panic buying everything possible at Debenhams. Just me?

I've got a few more giveaways to launch in the final run up to Christmas, including this fantastic duo of Fleur de Figuier products from Roger & Gallet. If you're a fan of fruity, fig-based scents, you'll love this range. It's the perfect summery antidote to cold grey days and dark mornings. Yum.

To enter, simply complete your chosen entry methods via the Rafflecopter widget below. As it contains perfume, it's a UK-based giveaway due to postage restrictions, and it will close at 11.59pm on Tuesday 22nd December. One winner will be picked at random shortly after the giveaway closes and contacted directly to claim their prize. 

Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Nails Inc QVC TSV 16th December

Nails Inc QVC TSV December 2015
Nails Inc QVC TSV December 2015 Silver Snowglobe
Nails Inc and QVC are managing to squeeze in one last super TSV before Christmas which will be live on 16th December only – so consider this your advance warning!

The seven piece collection features a mix of perfect wintery shades, alongside this year’s special edition silver Snowglobe shade. Snowglobe is definitely one that any nail polish hoarder (yes, I do mean me) will absolutely love as it’s something a little different from the normal glitter top coats. The glitter all sinks to the bottom with this one, so you can give customise how glittery you want the polish to be by how hard you shake it. For a light top coat, just a gentle one will do, or for a more intense glitter, give the bottle a good shake and layer up the coats for full on sparkle.

Also included are Chelsea Embankment Mews, Hyde Park Court, Kensington Caviar Top Coat, St Albans Grove (Gel Effect), Piccadilly Circus and Clarence Avenue, which are a great range of shades for the winter. Piccadilly Circus is such a beautiful rich crimson shade - a couple of coats of this underneath the silver Snowglobe and you've got a VERY festive mani going on with minimal effort.

Altogether, the value of this set comes to £102, but on the day it’ll be on sale for just £29.40 which is an incredible saving. Like their previous TSVs it will no doubt be a quick seller, so set your alarms on the day and order early to make sure you don’t miss out.

The Nails Inc December TSV is available on 16th December, via the QVC website or through their shopping channel.

Do you like the look of this TSV?

*PR sample


Giftmas giveaway: win a Benefit Life of the Party makeup kit

Benefit life of the party christmas giveaway
I can't believe it's just 2 weeks until Christmas! I need to get seriously organised and finish my Christmas shopping - How are you all doing with yours?

To help you get set for the rest of the party season, I've got a fantastic 'Life of the Party' makeup kit from Benefit to giveaway to one lucky reader. It features everything you need for a full makeup look (just add your own foundation and concealer), including POREfessional primer, They're Real! mascara, Benetint, Rockateur/Dandelion blushers, 3 eye shadows and a couple of applicators.

To enter, simply complete your chosen entry methods using the Rafflecopter widget below. This giveaway is open internationally and will close at 11.59pm (GMT) on Friday 18th December. One winner will be picked at random shortly after the giveaway closes and contacted directly to claim their prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Christmas gift guide: affordable gifts for her - part 2

Affordable beauty gift ideas for her
Affordable beauty gift ideas for her
Affordable beauty gift ideas for her
Affordable beauty gift ideas for her
There were so many great affordable gifts that I wanted to show you that I ended up splitting them into two posts to avoid in becoming THE LONGEST POST EVER. You can see part one here and today's showcases lots more goodies with prices starting from just £3.

Roger + Gallet Fleur D'Osmanthus cracker – beauty crackers are definitely a big thing this year, with dozens of different ones on offer. Roger + Gallet’s feature a 30ml Fleur D’Osmanthus hand cream which is enriched with shea butter and apricot kernel oil for long-lasting hydration. £6

Lip Smacker Coca Cola tin –you certainly won’t be running out of lip balm any time soon with one of these tins! Add to the fact that they all come in various fizzy drink flavours and you’ll be licking your lips for hours to come. £9.99

The Body Shop Owl sponge – I love to see what format the annual Christmas sponges from the Body Shop will come in each year. We’ve previously had reindeer, snowmen and lots lots more. This year’s owl sponge is just as cute and one I reckon all ages would love to see in their stockings. £4

Soap & Glory In The Bag – there are six mini Soap & Glory products included inside the generously sized makeup bag, covering everything from Hand Food right through to their Glad Hair Day shampoo. It’s a great gift for any Soap & Glory addict and is also included as part of the Boots 3 for 2 offer, so fantastic value for money! £18

This Works Sleep+ cracker – for anyone that struggles to get a good night’s sleep, you NEED some Sleep+ Pillow spray in your life. A few spritzes of this before bed and you’ll be falling asleep in no time. This cute little cracker contains a 10ml bottle of Sleep+ and is a great way to test it out before committing to a larger size. £12

Diego Dalla Palma I Love You palette – with four velvety soft eye shadows and a blusher inside, this is the perfect palette to pop in your handbag for makeup on the go. DDP make such lovely products but often get overlooked and I’d highly recommend checking them out in one of the M&S beauty halls across the country. £25

Tweezerman Petite Tweeze set – Tweezerman really do make THE best tweezers in my opinion. This lovely gift set features a classic slant tweezer and also a fine pointed pair which are perfect for those tiny little hairs that always seem to try and escape! A set of these will last you for years, and would be a great gift for any beauty addict.

Personalised Nutella – Nutella with you name on means you don’t have to share as far as I’m concerned. Add to the fact that you get a personalised gift for under £5 and it’s a massive win all round.

Emma Bridgewater Joy scented candle – this very festive candle will scent the whole room with warm notes of red roses, cloves and cinnamon and burns for an impressive 55 hours. I love the Christmas print on the glass jar – definitely a keeper once the candle has finished! £18

Ghost perfume baubles – Ghost are definitely winning when it comes to perfume minis this year. They’ve wrapped up deluxe samples of many of their fragrances into baubles, so you can hang them on the tree or wrap them up for a lovely little sticking filler. At just a fiver each, I think these look a lot more expensive than their actual cost.

Real Techniques Deluxe gift set – brushes from Real Techniques are always a good bet; they’re one of my favourite makeup brush brands on the high street. This Deluxe Gift Set features three face brushes and two for the eyes, all in an exclusive high shine metallic finish. There’s also a small metallic clutch bag included which can be used to keep your brushes in. Two of the brushes are exclusive to this set (angled highlighter brush, tapered foundation brush) and three are from the permanent line (multi task brush,  base shadow brush, fine liner brush). £30

Balance Me Heavenly Hands Duo – Balance Me’s hand creams are a must have for me in the winter as they’re one of the few things that stops my hands from drying out in the cold weather. This handy duo features handbag sized tubes of the Super Moisturising and Rose Otto creams. £10

Sienna X Christmas Cracker – cute packaging can transform an everyday product into a nice little stocking filler, which is definitely the case with this cracker from Sienna X. It’s filled with a mini can of shimmer spray and a sachet of their gradual fake tan, both of which are perfect for the party season. £5

Wonder Woman Lego Keyring – if you’re on the hunt for a secret santa gift that’s a little different from the norm, I reckon these Lego keyrings will appeal to big and little kids alike. My personal favourite has to be Wonder Woman, but there are dozens to choose from ranging from Star Wars characters right through to super heroes. £2.99

Ciate Mini Liquid Velvet Lip Trio – these matte finish liquid lipsticks from Ciate come in three versatile shades (one which is exclusive to this set) and a long-wearing, matte formula. £16

The Body Shop Feel So Good cracker – this one’s a must for any fans of the Body Shop shea butter range! Inside this cute little cracker are a 25g shea butter soap and shea lip butter. The perfect pair!

Inika Lip Tints – Inika’s lip tints are super hydrating, tinted balms that  give a lovely wash of colour across the lips. They’re also vegan, halal, organic and cruelty-free. My favourite shade has to be Candy, a soft nude pink, but there are three in total to choose from. £15.50

The Body Shop Lippy Star Wand – five different lip butters, all in fruity flavours. The magic wand packaging will definitely appeal to a younger audience or fellow big kids like me.

I Love... The Weekender – I Love… do an amazing range of budget friendly gifts, but The Weekender has to be my favourite. Be quick, as it’s currently half price at Superdrug for just £15. Inside the vanity case you’ll find: 500ml Cherry Almond Bath, 200ml Cherry Almond Butter, 100ml Cherry Almond Spritzer, 75ml Raspberry & Blackberry Hand lotion, 200ml Raspberry & Blackberry Shower Smoothie. The Cherry Almond range is a Christmas launch and smells like a cherry bakewell. OMG.



Giftmas giveaway: win Philosophy Christmas goodies

Today is all about Philosophy on the blog; I'm such a big fan of their Christmas lineup! As well as a review of their gorgeous Amazing Grace fragrance gift set, I've also got some goodies to give away to one lucky reader.

Up for grabs is a full-sized Snow Angel Bath and Shower Gel (which smells amazing, I might add) as well as a Hope for the Holidays skincare gift set containing three of their cult skincare products (Hope in a Jar Night, Renewed Hope in a Jar and Eye Hope). I've had it on good authority from my mum that Eye Hope is second to none when it comes to fine lines around the eyes *must try it*.

To enter, simply complete your chosen entry methods via the Rafflecopter widget below. The giveaway is open internationally and will close at 11.59pm (GMT) on 16th December. One winner will be picked at random after the competition closes and contacted directly to claim their prize. I will do my best to make sure you receive the prize by Christmas, but this isn't guaranteed, so please bear with me!

And don't forget to check out all of my other Giftmas giveaways and Christmas posts...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Philosophy Amazing Grace fragrance gift set

Philosophy Amazing Grace gift set review
Philosophy Amazing Grace gift set review
Philosophy Amazing Grace gift set review
One of my favourite ranges each Christmas is always Philosophy. I’ve been known to stand in Boots guiltily sniffing at all the festive bath and shower gels in an attempt to make the decision between Candy Cane and Christmas Cookie and then ending up with both. I’ve got a beautiful Philosophy giveaway launching later today, but for now I want to show you what I think is the piece de resistance of their festive offering – the Amazing Grace fragrance gift set*.

Amazing Grace is Philosophy’s best-selling scent and it’s easy to see why with its clean, lightly floral fragrance. If you’ve been hunting for something feminine that’s not too in your face, and isn’t a full blown flowery explosion, then you need this. End of.

For Christmas, they’ve packed up a layering trio of Amazing Grace Eau de Toilette (60ml), Shower Gel (240ml) and Body Cream (120ml) into a beautiful festive gift box, which almost doesn’t need wrapping at all! The EDT alone will last a good 3-4 hours on the skin, but when you combine it with the shower gel and body lotion, you get that extra boost of fragrance that’ll keep going just that little bit longer. Layering up matching lotions and perfumes always feels really luxurious to me – I’m never organised (or awake) enough to do it first thing in the morning, but I love to do it as part of my pre-party prep before a night out.

You can find the Amazing Grace gift set exclusively at John Lewis, priced £36. There’s also an incredibly cute 15ml Christmas tree ornament available which would make a lovely stocking filler for £15.

Are you a fan of Philosophy’s festive launches? What’s your favourite?

*PR sample



Soap & Glory The Whole She-Bang: Boots Star Gift

Soap & Glory Whole She-Bang 2015 Star gift
Soap & Glory Whole She-Bang 2015 Star gift
It’s the one we’ve all been waiting for; Soap & Glory’s star gift at Boots! This year’s The Whole She-Bang launches on Friday (11th December) and if previous years are anything to go by, it will sell out incredibly quickly, so get your skates on and order fast.

Soap & Glory have collaborated with pop art legend Philip Colbert to create the super-cute design on the bumper-sized vanity case – it’s definitely a keeper! Philip is a British fashion designer behind The Rodnik Band label and loves retro graphics with a fun twist, making this a perfect collaboration for Soap & Glory’s quirky, fun brand.

Inside the case, you’ll find nine full-sized products: Hand Food, The Righteous Butter (love this stuff!), The Scrub of your Life, Clean on Me body wash, Heel Genius, Peaches and Clean cleanser, Thick & Fast HD Mascara, The Righteous Butter Sunkissed Tint Body Lotion and Sexy Mother Pucker Lip Gloss in Rose & Shine.

It’s an amazing value gift set, with the contents worth over £60 and for one week only (or while stocks last) it’ll be on sale at Boots for just £30. Yes, you heard me right: £30! If you’re ordering online, make it quick – last year they sold out at boots.com in just a few hours.

If you’re still hunting for Christmas gift inspiration, I don’t think you can go far wrong with this gift set, but to be honest, you’re going to need one of these for yourself. So take a strong pair of arms and a VERY large carrier bag to your local Boots on Friday. I promise you won’t regret it.

You can find The Whole She-Bang online and in store at Boots from Friday 11th December.

What do you think of this year’s Soap & Glory star gift? Will you be ordering one?

*PR sample


Urban Decay Gwen Stefani palette review

Urban Decay Gwen Stefani palette review
Urban Decay Gwen Stefani palette review and swatches
Urban Decay Gwen Stefani palette review and swatches
Urban Decay Gwen Stefani palette review and swatchesUrban Decay Gwen Stefani palette review and swatches
Gwen Stefani’s collaboration with Urban Decay has been their most exciting launch this year for me. Naked Smoky was fantastic, but the Gwen x Urban Decay palette* has a whole new level of love attached to it.

I’m flagging up now that the palette is limited edition, but it still seems to be in stock on the Selfridges website, so if you like what you see, don’t wait too long before placing your order!

The palette features 15 eye shadows, 12 of which are brand new. Gwen was involved throughout the entire development process, so you’ll see a mix of her favourite Urban Decay shades alongside a range of new ones that she wished she’d always had in her collection. And all the new ones have been named after elements of her musical career and passion for beauty, giving it a really individual feel.

Full shade list:
Blonde (pale beige w/pink iridescent shift)
Bathwater (pale beige w/gold pearl)
Skimp (pale nude satin)
Steady (medium rose w/metallic gold shift)
Punk (reddish brown matte)
Baby (cool metallic rose)
Anaheim (light taupe-brown matte)
Stark (nude-pink matte)
Zone (medium brown matte)
Serious (smoky gray w/iridescent floating pearl)
Pop (pale coral w/iridescent sparkle)
Harajuku (metallic blue-pink w/iridescent micro-shimmer)
Danger (deep metallic royal blue w/blue micro-sparkle)
1987 (bright metallic yellow-gold)
Blackout (blackest black matte)

As you’d expect from Urban Decay, the formula of the shadows is second to none and each one is rich, velvety soft and blends like a dream on the lids. In terms of colour, it’s a really wearable shade range, focusing on nudes, golds and bronzes, with a few bright pops of colour thrown in for good measure. Harajuku is probably the only shade I’m unlikely to wear as pink tones tend to make me look like I’m hung over, but I’m loving Danger used for a bolder evening look, or smudged into the corners of the eyes for a wearable dash of colour in the day time.

These all come packaged in a sturdy gold and cream plastic case, which really stands out from any other Urban Decay palette I’ve seen. It’s a decent size, with each eye shadow pan being about the size of a 10p coin and at £40 I think this is great value for money.

If you’ve not been lured in by the new Vice 4 or Spectrum holiday palette due to the shade range, then I suspect this one will be right up your street. I’ve been using it non-stop since it arrived and have an awful feeling I might need to buy a backup  - it really is that good!

You can find the Gwen Stefani x Urban Decay palette online from Urban Decay, Debenhams and Selfridges, while stocks last.

*PR sample


Giftmas giveaway: win a Magnitone Barefaced cleansing brush

Magnitone Barefaced Christmas giveaway
For today's Giftmas giveaway, I've got a fantastic Magnitone Barefaced! cleansing brush up for grabs. The Barefaced! is one of Magnitone's latest launches and deep cleans and tones the skin with its Vibra-Sonic brush. I've been using mine for a few months now and have been really impressed - it's gentle on the skin but seriously effective. You only need to use it for one minute per day to get good results and the handy timer buzzes when it's time to move on to the next part of your face (split it into three zones - cheeks, neck, t-zone). Just pop on some cleanser, wet the brush and you're ready to go!

To enter, simply complete your chosen entry method using the Rafflecopter widget below. This giveaway is open internationally and will close at 11.59pm (GMT) on Sunday 13th December. One winner will be picked at random shortly after the giveaway closes and contacted directly to claim their prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Lifestyle: Superdrug online opticians service

My name is Kat and I’m a secret specs wearer. I’ve been wearing glasses now for over 20 years, but it’s doubtful you’ll ever see me wearing them or find a photo of me in them on the blog (well, except for this post!). As I’m long-sighted, it means I only have to wear my glasses for reading and working at the computer, and trying contact lenses has never really been something I fancied as sticking my fingers in my eyes every day just didn’t seem like a good idea with the amount of eye liner I wear!

Having a decent choice of frames to choose from makes a real impact to how I feel. I have a couple of pairs at home that I like to mix and match with different outfits – after all, if you change your shoes or your coat, why not change your glasses too?

Superdrug’s online optician’s service has recently launched and offers hundreds of different styles of glasses, all at really affordable prices. A pair of glasses can work out to be pretty expensive, but with prices starting at £9 including lenses, it makes it a really affordable way to mix things up a little.

While they don’t offer an eye test service, so long as you’ve got a recent prescription, you can upload it onto the website and choose your choice of frames and lenses. There are so many frames to choose from, it might take you a while to decide on a pair!

If you’re new to glasses or aren’t sure what sort of style might suit you, then I’d recommend going into an alternative store and trying a few frame styles before placing your order. As this is an online only service, it’s not possible to do so with the exact frames from Superdrug, but it will be a good starting point for you to narrow down your search. I’d love to see them make the service more interactive and allow you to upload a photo of yourself so you can see how the frames might look on – I’m hoping this might be a future addition.

My glasses arrived really quickly and I’ve been really impressed with the overall quality of them – they feel lightweight and yet very well made and I’ll definitely be ordering more pairs from them in the future. The fact that they're so affordable makes it seem like much less of a big commitment if you fancy a change of frame.

Are you a glasses wearer? What do you think of the new optician service from Superdrug?

*PR sample


Giftmas giveaway: win one of two Mary Kay Lotion and Lip Balm gift sets

Mary Kay Lotion & Lip Balm Christmas gift sets
For today’s Giftmas giveaway I’ve got two fantastic stocking filler sets from US beauty brand Mary Kay up for grabs! If you’re not familiar with Mary Kay, they are a little like Avon, offering their huge range of products through at-home demos, catalogues and their website.

They’ve kindly given me two of their festive Lotion & Lip Balm gift sets to give away in both the Sugar & Spice and Berry & Cream scents. Each features a travel-sized body lotion and hydrating lip balm all packaged up in some pretty Christmas packaging.

To enter, simply compete your chosen entry methods via the Rafflecopter widget below. This giveaway is UK only, and will close at 11.59pm (GMT) on Friday 11th December. Two winners will be picked at random shortly after the competition closes and contacted directly to claim their prize.

Let me know which set you’d prefer via the comments section below and make sure you enter all my Giftmas giveaways for more chances to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Christmas gift guides: affordable gifts for her - part 1

Christmas beauty gifts for her
Affordable Christmas beauty gifts for her
Affordable Christmas beauty gifts for her
Affordable Christmas beauty gifts for her
I’m loving the fact that it’s December and I’m in full festive mode at the moment! I’ve split this gift guide into two parts to stop it becoming the world’s longest blog post, so keep your eyes peeled for the second half which will be coming up later this week. These gifts are all designed to be affordable and range from just a few pounds up to about £25.

EcoTools Festive and Flawless Face set – these eco-friendly, cruelty free brushes are the perfect size to use for travelling or as a handbag staple. There are five brushes included in the kit: flat concealer, buffing concealer, precise foundation, complexion blending brush and full powder brush. These are super soft and a great size and at just £11.99, great value for money.

Soap & Glory Winter Wonderhand – this set is a must have for any hand cream lover or Soap & Glory addict. With three different scents of their ever popular Hand Food (Original Pink, Sugar Crush and Smoothie Star), you’ll be left with lovely soft hands all winter long. £8

Mavala Nail Polish Baubles – it’s glittery, it’s nail polish and it’s a fiver. Need I say more? Choose from six different shades, all with sparkly finish.

Steamcream Christmas cracker – this multi-purpose moisturiser is a firm favourite of mine, and their Christmas cracker is such a cute gift idea. Inside you’ll find a 25ml tin of Steamcream, which is packed full of natural ingredients and works well for virtually any skin type. £8.95

Pixi by Petra Mini Endless Silky Eye Pen Quartette – one for all you eye liner addicts! There are four shades of liner included in this set, ranging from black through to plum, in a soft, smudgy formula that doesn’t drag across the lids. £16.50

Ghost Girl fragrance – If you’re hunting for a fragrance idea for a young woman or teenager that’s not your usual celebrity stuff, you really can’t go wrong with Ghost Girl. It’s a light, fresh fragrance from Ghost that has a bit of a summery feel to it. The fragrance on it’s own starts at about £22 but make sure you check out their festive gift sets as they have some great offers on at the moment.

Ted Baker beauty crackers – inside these cute little crackers from Ted Baker you’ll find a mini fragrance and a co-ordinated nail polish. There are two scents to choose from and at £10 each it’s a great gift for any Ted Baker fan.

Lip Smacker lip balm cane – you can never have too many lip balms. Especially when they taste like Fanta or Cherry Coke. It’s a good job it’s a multi-pack as they smell so nice you’ll end up licking you lips all day. £7

Hotel Chocolat Christmas Chorus – a bag filled with chocolate? Oh. Hell. Yes. Pralines, Snowball truffles and one of those mini slabs of chocolate that are dying to be face planted all for £12. Yum.

Balance Me Body Beautiful – for a mini body treat at Christmas try this stocking filler idea from Balance Me. This rose-scented body lotion is super hydrating and great for any winter dry patches that need a bit of TLC. £6

Laduree address book – Ladueree’s stationery range is just as beautiful as their cakes, but with the added benefit of lasting much, much longer! This beautiful address book is almost too pretty to write in, but I think it’d be a perfect gift for any stationery lover. They also have a range of notecards and writing paper which is also just as lovely to look at. £15

Ciate Paint Pot duo – these hanging Paint Pot duos from Ciate feature two co-ordinating polishes in some of their most popular shades. I love this mix of Members Only,a classic nude and Tinsel Town, a multi-tone pinky glitter. £10

Primark Disney Pyjamas – Christmas isn’t Christmas without some new PJs as far as I’m concerned and Primark is killing it when it comes to Disney designs (and a bit of Star Wars). They’re about £10 per set, and if you’re lucky, you might even find some matching Minnie Mouse fluffy socks alongside them under the tree (if you’re reading this mum, take this as a hint).

Lottie London polish trio – with the perfect mix of glossy finishes and glitter shades, these polish packs from Lottie London are one of my top picks this Christmas. The square shape also makes them a great gift for the ‘guess what it is’ game – ten points if anyone gets it! £11.99

Benefit BadGal party – if you’re a Benefit fan, they have some great gift sets this year. This handy mascara duo includes a full-sized BadGal along with a travel-sized mini to keep in your handbag. Perfect for big, ultra black lashes. £18.50

Neom Three Nights of Peace – ahh…Neom, you really can do no wrong as far as I’m concerned! I’ve already mentioned their amazing Perfect Peace candle in this post, but for a stocking filler idea, the Three Nights of Peace is absolutely lovely. It includes three 5ml bath and shower oils in their Daily De-Stress, Time to Unwind and Perfect Night’s Sleep blends. It’d also be the perfect treat to yourself as a post-Christmas shopping reward alongside a cheeky G&T. £14.95

Bagsy Pretty Cheeks – Bagsy are a new brand on the block who have recently launched into Debenhams with a bit of a bang. Their capsule range of makeup is great quality and the pretty packaging means they make lovely gifts. The Pretty Cheeks blusher is a great introduction to the brand and the creamy formula gives a soft wash of colour in two different shades that will suit virtually everyone. £16

Bare Minerals The Royal Court – my fellow pale ladies will adore this contouring trio from Bare Minerals as it’s just the right shade range to look natural, while adding depth and definition to the face. Combine this with the EcoTools brush set and you’ve got a complete winner of a gift! £25

Bomb Cosmetics Berry Christmas Cracker – inside this jumbo cracker you’ll find three of Bomb Cosmetics’ berry-licious bath blasters. These smell good enough to eat and are absolutely huge in size, so could easily be split in two pieces for extra baths. Bomb Cosmetics is fantastic value for money – this cracker is just £6.50 via Amazon!

Will any of these gifts be on your list this Christmas?

PR samples unless otherwise stated

Giftmas giveaway - win a bundle of DHC products

DHC christmas giveaway
For the second of my Giftmas Giveaways, the lovely team at DHC have sent over a big bundle of beauty products for one lucky reader to win. If you've not come across DHC before, they're a Japanese brand that work a little like Avon in the UK. They don't have stores, but operate online and through a mail order catalogue service (they're also available at BeautyMart concessions if you have one near you).

Ever since trying the brand a few years ago, it's become a staple in my beauty regime and their liquid eye liner is the best one I've ever tried. And that's saying a lot!

The prize features six of their cult favourite products, from their iconic Deep Cleansing Oil, Velvet Skin Coat Primer and of course, my favourite, the Liquid Eyeliner.

To enter, simply complete your chosen entry methods via the Rafflecopter widget below. The giveaway is open internationally and will close at 11.59pm (GMT) on Thursday 10th December. One winner will be picked at random shortly afterwards and contacted directly to claim their prize.

And make sure you enter all of my other Giftmas Giveaways - there are some great prizes to be won!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Christmas gift guide: for him

I don't know about you, but I find men notoriously hard to buy gifts for. For some reason, they just seem so much more tricky than fellow females! To make your lives easier, I've rounded up a selection of top gift picks for the men in your life with a little assistance from my long-suffering boyfriend.
Christmas gift guide for him
Christmas gift guide for him
Christmas gift guide for him
The beauty product lover - decent beauty products are definitely no longer just the domain of us ladies and there's a huge wealth of ranges available that are now targeted at men. For an affordable gift, try L'Oreal's Hydra Energetic Recharging Moisturiser£14.30, which is packed full of vitamin C and Taurine to help refresh and moisturise. American Crew's* range of styling products are also great for any hair obsessed men and start at around £12 each. Kiehl's do a great range aimed specifically at men, but I think their new Daily Reviving Concentrate £36 is perfect for both men and women and a few drops of this perks up tired skin no end.

Smelling good - aftershave and fragrance is always a safe bet when it comes to gifting, and Lacoste's Jaune EDT is a lovely fresh fragrance that isn't your typical 'man' scent. Keep an eye out for the various gift sets in Boots and department stores, as these are always great value this time of year. Home fragrance has a tendency to be seen as a bit girly, but Malin + Goetz's Tobacco Candle* £37 is rich, luxurious and masculine, with notes of basil, rye, tobacco and bourbon vanilla.

Technology - technology fiends will love the new Alcatel One Touch Watch*. This super smart watch allows you to see all your social notifications in one place, acts as a fitness tracker, allows you to control the music on your smartphone remotely and so much more, all for less than £100. A Go Pro camera is also a great idea for any budding vloggers, adventurers and sportsmen (my boyfriend is dying for one to take out mountain biking!). Instalens are a great budget tech option for any photography enthusiast - these tiny lenses attach to your smarphone and allow you to create macro, fish eye and wide angle shots.

The sweet tooth - if the man in your life is anything like mine, they claim not to be that bothered be sweet things, but will happily polish off plenty of yours! to avoid sharing, grab them a selection of Hotel Chocolat's mini truffle packs or chocolate slabs, or try these personalised retro sweet jars which are full of old favourites and will keep them quiet for hours. And if he prefers a cheeky drink over anything sweet, these personalised beers and beer glasses would make a great gift option.

For the big kid - we're all big kids deep down and Christmas is a great time to let that run free! Get in on the new Star Wars action with everything from Lego Kits to T-Shirts; gift a go carting experience for an adrenaline rush or try Tiger for budget-friendly table top games and novelty gift ideas.

What are your top gift picks for the guys?

*PR samples



Giftmas giveaway: win a complete Elizabeth Arden Golden Opulence Collection

Elizabeth Arden Golden Opulence collection giveaway
Elizabeth Arden Golden Opulence collection giveaway
Happy December everyone! And welcome to the first in a whole host of Christmas giveaways that are coming up over the next few weeks.

Elizabeth Arden's Golden Opulence collection has been one of my favourites from them this year, with it's rich mix of eye shadow shades and a beautiful tri-tone highlighter (you can see my full review on the collection in this post). One lucky reader will win the entire four piece collection, featuring an eye shadow quad, liquid liner, lip gloss and highlighter.

To enter, simply complete your chosen entry methods via the Rafflecopter widget below. The giveaway is open internationally and will close at 11.59pm on Tuesday 8th December. One winner will be chosen at random shortly afterwards and contacted directly to claim their prize.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

More giveaways and Christmas posts
Enter all of my Giftmas giveaways and catch up on all of my gift guides


Smith and Cult Christmas nail polish gift sets

Smith & Cult Christmas nail polish trio review
Smith & Cult Christmas nail polish trio review swatches
Smith & Cult’s Christmas collection* is one of my favourites this year. The luxury nail polish brand sprang into Space NK earlier this year and their gorgeous shade range and luxe bottles definitely help them stand out from the rest.

The brand is a new venture for Dineh Mohajer, the brains behind Hard Candy, and focuses on a 5-free formula with a high-shine finish and smooth application. The core range features over 30 shades, covering everything from the sheerest nude to a bright, shocking pink.

The Christmas collection features two different polish sets, each with three best-selling shades inside. I absolutely adore the one I’ve been testing, which features two glittery shades (Vegas Post-Apocalyptic and Teen Cage Riot) and a beautiful deep grey that can be used alone or as a base for the two glitters. There’s also a second trio with a bold red, deep berry and a festive gold glitter that also looks rather fab.

I’m a total magpie when it comes to nail polish, so anything pink and glittery usually gets my vote. Vegas Post Apocalyptic is almost holographic in its shimmer, and although you’d need multiple coats to create an opaque finish, one or two layered over a darker base gives you the perfect mani for party season.

Smith & Cult’s bottles are like none other I’ve ever seen – they’re super heavy, with metallic lids that looks slightly dented. Each one is a little different from the next and it gives the brand a really premium feel to it that definitely helps to justify the price point. To make application easier, the heavy metal lid is removable, and has a much smaller, more traditional handle underneath that makes it much simpler to use when you’re actually painting your nails!

The formula of the three shades I’ve tried is very good – Bang The Dream almost glides onto the nails with the brush – and the non-glittery shades only need two coats for a fully opaque finish. Wear time is also good, lasting around four days on me before I get my first chip (my normal average is 2-3).

Now, these definitely fall into the premium polish section as a single shade will set you back £19 and the Christmas trios are £47, but if you fancy a bit of a treat or want a luxury brand that really delivers on the ‘luxe’ front, I’d highly recommend Smith & Cult.

You can find their range online and in store at Space NK.

*PR samples



Christmas gift guide: luxury beauty gifts for her

Christmas gift guide - luxury beauty gifts for her
Christmas gift guide - luxury beauty gifts for her
Christmas gift guide - luxury beauty gifts for her
Christmas gift guide - luxury beauty gifts for her
Christmas gift guide - luxury beauty gifts for her
It’s less than 5 weeks to go now until the big day and I can officially confirm I’ve started my Christmas shopping. Organisation is my middle name this year. If you’re on the hunt for some inspiration, I hope my range of gift guides will be helpful – I’ve already covered gifts for the home and today I’ve pulled together a bumper list of luxury gifts any beauty addict will adore. Keep your eyes peeled next week for budget-friendly beauty gifts and also a guide for the men.

Goldfaden MD Radiant Skin Starter Set* – skincare enthusiasts will love this start kit from Goldfaden MD. It contains three products that work together to target dull, lacklustre skin using a combination of state-of-the-art technologies and plant actives. Exfoliate first with the Doctor’s Scrub (50ml), cleanse with Pure Start (30ml) and then hydrate and brighten the skin using Vital Boost (15ml). £65

Mary Kay Skinvigorate Cleansing Brush* – beauty tech lovers will definitely be pleased to see this cleansing brush from Mary Kay under the tree. This two-speed brush deep cleans skin and helps to remove any dirt, dead skin cells and makeup residue in seconds. £35

Floris Fragrance Travel Collection for her* – this beautiful fragrance set from Floris is a great way to discover the brand and to experiment with four of their favourite scents. Inside the box you’ll find 14ml bottles of the Night Scented Jasmine, Soulle Ambar, Cefiro and White rose scents. It’s a great mix of warm, floral and fresh smells, so whoever receives it will be sure to find at least one new favourite. £65

Foreo Iris Illuminating Eye Massager* – Foreo’s new Iris eye massager would make a lovely gift for someone more mature as it gets to work on fine lines and fatigue around the eye area. It blends T-Sonic technology with clean Swedish design and takes just one minute a day to use. There are three colour choices to go for, including two shades of pink and a lovely mint green. I’ll have a full review on this coming up in a few weeks time, but for now, it’s safe to say I am very impressed! £99

The Balm NudeTude palette* – everyone needs a minimum of one nude palette in their collection and this one from quirky US brand The Balm is a must-have in my book. You’ll find 12 highly pigmented matte and shimmer shades inside, all packaged up in a sturdy cardboard case. £30

Pur Minerals Love Your Selfie palette* – this palette from Pur Minerals is the perfect travel companion for a natural makeup look in minutes. It includes 8 limited edition eye shadows, Mineral Glow Bronzer, Savvy Blusher, Afterglow Illuminator, Exposed lip gloss and a mini Big Look Mascara. All of the shades are super wearable and formulated with Pur’s trusty mineral formulas. £32

Mavala nail care sets* – nail lovers will adore Mavala’s range of nail care gifts. Their strengthening products really are second to none and the new gel effect top coat is the best one I’ve come across! Try the Nail Care Pochette, which contains a strengthener, base coat, top coat, files, cuticle sticks and remover pads. Price start at around £20.

MicroPedi Nano* – for a mini spa treatment at home, the MicroPedi Nano is the perfect solution. Buffing away dead skin might not seem like the most glamorous of gift choices, but this really is a life saver when it comes to keeping your feet looking tip top for the party season. The Nano is super easy to use and comes in a choice of bright colours (my favourite is the hot pink!). £29.99

Sunday Riley Artemis or Luna Oil – if you’ve got a skincare lover to buy for, I really don’t think you can go wrong with one of Sunday Riley’s face oils. Artemis is great for combination or oilier skins, whereas Luna is the perfect night treatment for virtually every skin type as it uses a next-generation retinol to refresh and revive the skin while you sleep. From £60

Escentric Molecules Molecule 01 fragrance – for a fragrance with a difference this Christmas, you need Molecule 01. It works with your natural pheromones to create a different scent on each person that wears it. It’s an odd one, as the wearer tends not to be able to smell it that much, but I guarantee you’ll have people walking past you wanting to know what scent it is your wearing! From £38

Benefit Real Cheeky gift set – all your Benefit cheek favourites in one huge palette. Need I say more? I love the fact they’ve also included a mini mascara and eyeliner in the set – you can pretty much just grab the case and go and you’ve got everything you need for an easy makeup look. This one has a habit of selling out quickly, so make sure you drop hints now in order not to miss out. £29.50

Tarte Deluxe Maracuja Lipgloss Collection* – I love QVC for the fact they made it possible to get Tarte in the UK and this extra special gift set is a must-have for any Tarte or lip gloss fan. It include 15 different shades, which have all been infused with maracuja oil to make them super hydrating. What’s especially great about this set is that it can either be given as one bumper gift set, or broken down into three smaller gifts as each set of five glosses comes wrapped individually. And at just £31.50 it’s a bit of a bargain!

Elemental Herbology Five Element Aromatherapy Bath & Shower Oil collection* – these luxury bath and shower oils are 100% natural and themed around five different elements (fire, wood, earth, metal and water). Simply decide what sort of remedy you need (de-stress, enhergise etc) and pour a few capfuls of the matching oil into your bath. If I could get you to smell these through the internet, I reckon you’d be buying multiples, but as I can’t, you just have to take my word for it! £35

Elizabeth Arden Untold Fragrance* – this is one of my top fragrances from Elizabeth Arden as it’s light, fresh and just a little bit floral. The bottle is also rather pretty and it’s currently 50% off at Debenhams, so fantastic value at just £18 for 30ml!

Pixi Natural Contour set* – you can’t go wrong with a palette at Christmas and Pixi’s festive contour set features everything you need for a natural looking contour, as well as 8 easy to wear eye shades that will suit everyone. The four face shades are probably best suited to light-medium skins, and the formula of the highlighters and sculpting shades is just fantastic! £22

Dermalogica Skin Smoothing set* – Dermalogica always bring out some amazing value gift sets at Christmas and this year is no different! You’ll find a full-sized Skin Smoothing Cream inside the box, along with a travel-sized Special Cleansing Gel and a handy little cleansing mitt. £48

Connock London Kukui Oil Travel Collection* – Connock London’s Kukui Oil range is a must-have in my books. Kukui Oil has been used for centuries in Hawaii to help keep skin soft and smooth. The Travel Collection is the perfect introduction to the brand and features a 30ml Eau de Parfum, 10ml (full-size) Wonder Balm, 75ml Hand & Body Lotion and a 75ml Hand & Body Wash. The whole range smells absolutely divine and the Wonder Balm is fantastic used on any dry patches of skin that need some extra TLC.

Do you like the look of any of these gifts?

*PR samples
© Tales of a Pale Face | UK beauty blog | All rights reserved.
Blog Layout Created by pipdig