10 Great Last-Minute Gift Ideas

last minute christmas gift ideas for women
last minute christmas gift ideas for women
last minute christmas gift ideas for women
So…Christmas is on Sunday, I have wrapped a grand total of ZERO presents and I’m starting to wonder where the time has gone this month. If like me, you’re having a bit of a last minute panic, I thought I’d pick out a few gift ideas that you can still get hold of today (or order asap) that should hopefully fill any gift gaps you might currently have. And if one or two fall into your basket for yourself, well, you earned it. No judgements.

PJs are an essential part of Christmas – after all, how are you supposed to sit comfortably watching Christmas films after dinner when you don’t have an elasticated waistband? ASOS’ Cactus PJs combine a very cute print with some seriously good lounging fabric so you’ll be comfortable for hours in these beauties. Add in a bottle of Copperhead Gin (just look at that bottle!) and you have yourself one seriously good Christmas.

Fragrance is always a good gift to go for and one that’s super easy to pick up! I wrote about Michael Buble’s By Invitation fragrance a little while back as I think it nicely merges the celebrity scent trend with a grown up feel. For Christmas, Michael has launched special gift sets, so you can get an extra treat (body lotion/body wash) alongside your fragrance, all for the same price as just the fragrance alone. You can find them at The Perfume Shop, who also still have next day delivery.

Viktor & Rolf’s Bonbon has also been given a special Christmas makeover with a beautiful rose gold bow. It’s very festive, very luxe and definitely a dressing table must-have. Similarly, Gucci have released a Platinum edition of their Guilty fragrance (one of my all-time faves). It has the same mix of floral notes with warm amber at the base and I think is such a classic scent that everyone will love.

For the makeup addicts, you really can’t go wrong with MUA’s Luxe Lip Lacquer gift set. It’s a great budget-friendly option and contains five different shades of matte effect liquid lipstick. There are four different colourways available, so plenty of choice for those who prefer brights, nudes or a mix of the two. Laura Geller’s Baked Gilded Honey Illuminator is also a must-have in my eyes – it adds radiance to the skin effortlessly and works well with every skin tone.

If you prefer something more pampering, then look no further than the Aromatherapy Associates Star Jewels. Inside you get three of their luxurious bath and shower oils, in Deep Relax, De-Stress Mind and Revive Morning scents. DHC’s Beauty Bento Box is perfect for skincare lovers. The Japanese brand has SO many great products it’s hard to narrow them down, but this cute little kit takes four of their top-sellers and packages it all up in a very kawaii way. You get a mini Deep Cleansing Oil, blotting papers, Mild Soap and two sets of Revitalising Moisture Strips for Eyes £13.50.

I couldn’t resist including at least one pineapple  - I know lots of you love them as much as I do! Laura Ashley’s silver pineapple candle holder feels very expensive, with a quirky touch to it that I adore. It’s designed for taper candles, so would look great on a dining table – definitely a change from your usual centrepiece! £22

Have you finished your Christmas shopping? What are you hoping for under your tree this year?

*contains PR samples


Lacoste Eau de Lacoste L.12.12 Fragrance Review & Giveaway

Lacoste fragrance review and giveaway
Lacoste fragrance review and giveaway
I was taking these photos the other day and they gave me all the spring feels. I'm totally not wishing time away as I know it's not even Christmas yet (although only a few days to go!), but a bit of a 'spring' feel is definitely nice considering it seems to be dark for about 16 hours a day right now.

Lacoste's range of fragrances has a lovely light feel to it. From the pastel bottles, right through to the uplifting scents themselves. I often think about the men's fragrance side of things when it comes to Lacoste, but they actually have three key perfumes for women in their L.12.12 range and I'm giving one lucky reader the chance to win a set of all three.

In the line up, there's Sparkling (pink bottle), Natural (green bottle) and Elegant (beige bottle). Sparkling is a light floral with notes of French macaroon and patchouli, Natural is a little more fruity, with coconut notes and a hint of woody orris and Elegant is very fresh, with a blend of jasmine, vetiver and mimosa.

My favourite of the three is Natural as I love the mix of warm and fresh notes it has. Sparking definitely comes a very close second though! The pastel coloured bottles definitely stand out from everything else in my perfume collection, but give a definite nod to the Lacoste fashion line - something they've drawn together really well with the iconic crocodile logo that features on all of the perfumes.

Each one comes in either a 50ml (£40) or a 90ml £55 and can be found at Superdrug or the Lacoste website.

Win a set of Eau de Lacoste L.12.12 fragrances 

I've got a set of all three of the Lacoste fragrances to give away. To enter, simply complete your chosen entry methods via the Rafflecopter widget below. The giveaway is open to UK only residents due to shipping restrictions and will close at 11.59pm on Monday 2nd January. One winner will be picked at random and contacted directly to claim their prize.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


7 of the Best Winter Scented Candles

7of the best winter scented candles
7of the best winter scented candles
7of the best winter scented candles
I think this year has been one of the best when it comes to Christmas candles. There have been so many to choose from that this could turn into an incredibly long post!

My go to always tends to be Diptqyue as their Christmas range not only looks stunning, but scents a room like no other. They always tend to have the traditional pine fragrance (which I usually burn to fool myself into thinking my fake tree has miraculously turned into a real one overnight), but this year Un Encens Etoile has just pipped the top position with its hints of incense and luxe glass jar. £48

Jo Malone is another brand that always delivers on the luxe candle front. You could easily get one for every month of the year (oh, the dream), but for winter, I love the smokey, spicy scent of Incense and Embers. It mingles smokey incense notes with napa leather, silver fir and golden amber and manages to be the perfect balance without overwhelming the room. £42

Bayliss & Harding's Sweet Mandarin & Grapefruit candle gives a great alternative to the usual festive fragrances, but still looks seriously Christmasy with its Christmas tree topper. This fruity, zesty blend is a really lovely pick-me-up and I think this looks so much more expensive that it's £12 price tag. It's actually half price at House of Fraser right now, so grab a bargain while you can!

Laura Ashley are fast becoming one of my go-to places for homewares. Not only do they do a seriosuly good range of pineapple related things, but their scented candles are also fab! The simple glass jar and white wax is a classic look and I love the range of scents they have. I've been using one of their Christmas blend ones over the past few weeks, but next on my list is the Rhubarb and Vanilla one - I think it's going to smell like summer in a jar. Yum. £15

This Crabtree & Evelyn Festive Fig candle is not only huge, but smells delicious! I love a good fig candle and C&E have blended the best fig scent with notes of damson plum, resinous woods, black pepper and winter flowers. It's part of their botanical collection, which give off a slightly lighter scent, so not overpowering for smaller rooms. You'll get up to 60 hours burn time from this bad boy, which is seriously impressive! £25

If you struggle to relax over the festive period then you need to get yourself one of Aromatherapy Associates Relax candles asap. Just a couple of hours burn gives off the most incredible fragrance that will fill your entire room. Like all Aromatherapy Associates products, it features a mix of targeted essential oils. Relax features West Indian Bay and Myrrh to help create a calm, restful atmosphere. And trust me, it seriously works! £38

For a traditional candle with a beautiful modern twist, you really need Maison Francis Kurdikan's Mon Beau Sapin. Notes of pine mingle with smokey patchouli and give off a wonderful, slightly heady aroma. The gold casing is also stunning with its festive scene and would look at home on any mantelpiece. It's a nice change from the usual luxury brands and can be found at Selfridges and Net-A-Porter. £55.

What are your favourite winter/Christmas candles?

*contains PR samples


Christmas Gift Guide - Stocking Filler Ideas

Christmas gift guides - stocking filler ideas
Christmas gift guides - stocking filler ideas
Christmas gift guides - stocking filler ideas
I can't quite believe that it's just over a week to go until Christmas. Where has the time gone?! Today's gift guide is all about stocking fillers of around £10 or less. So if you need a Secret Santa idea or just a more affordable gift, hopefully you'll find some inspiration below.

Hotel Chocolat Elf’s stocking – three types of chocolate, all packed up in a cute little stocking. Need I say more? This one won’t last long once it gets discovered. £10

M&S Mini Fragrance House – M&S get waaaaay overlooked in the fragrance department when it comes to their own brand stuff. There are a lot of VERY dupable perfumes against some of the huge fragrance houses, so if your budget doesn’t stretch to the big boys, I guarantee you’ll find one you like here. There are three purse-sized sprays included, so it’s a great discovery box and if you find one you love, then the full-sizes are very affordable. £10.

Flutter bath fizzer – for £1, this would make a cute little stocking stuffer for all ages. It’s much cheaper than your typical Lush bath bombs, but has all the fun and a beautiful scent.

Pusheen nail polish set – I am a sucker for a cute nail polish kit and who can resist one with Pusheen the cat featured on it?! You get four shades of nail polish inside, all in easy to wear pastel shades. It seems aimed towards a younger audience, but I know a lot of people who would be keen to see this under the tree, so maybe not! £10

Frozen lip balms – thankfully my neighbour’s kids seem to have moved on from Frozen (hearing Let It Go 1000 times a day through thin walls is not the one) but for any fans out there, these will make the perfect treat. Choose your favourite character and you’re all set to go.

Ted Baker Sweet Treat – Inside this cute little parcel you’ll find a mini Ted Baker fragrance and a matching nail polish. These actually come in a gift set of three (£25) but you can split them up and gift individually to make that $$ work harder.

Laura Ashley soap bauble – you’ll find a mini soap and hand cream inside this very festive looking bauble. Once you’ve used up the products, the bauble could be reused for another year – why not pop a few chocolates inside instead! It’s now out of stock online, but should still be in store if you’ve got one nearby.

Lip Smacker Skittles selection – I have about 7 lip products in my handbag right now. It’s an addiction, what can I say. But what I love the most are Lip Smackers as their fun flavours and hydrating formula make moisturising your lips just that little bit more fun. The Skittles multi-pack is a clear winner (although look out for the Coke ones too) - ideal for someone that loves a sweet treat! £7

Body spray treats – perfumes can be a bit tricky if you’re hunting for a secret santa idea or stocking filler, but body sprays make a lovely alternative on a budget. Ted Baker’s White is a floral scent with a fruity twist (£7) whereas Yardley’s English Bluebell sits firmly in the floral corner, but without being too heady or old lady.

Percy Pig soap on a rope – my first thought when I saw this was ‘OMG, please let it smell like Percy Pigs’ and I can confirm that it certainly does. Percy’s are one of the key reasons to go into M&S as far as I’m concerned, so anything along that theme is a winner in my books. Package this up with a bumper bag of the sweets and you have a serious double win on your hands. £4

Too Faced Melted tree hanger – Too Faced’s Christmas offering has been so fun this year – it’s hard to choose a favourite. The tree decorations each come with a deluxe mini Melted lipstick, in the Melted Berry shade. There’s also another one with a mini Better Than Sex Mascara, which is super cute! They’re £10 each.

PS Contour and highlight crayons – Primark’s beauty range is such a good budget buy and I love the gift packs of Contour and Highlight crayons they recently launched. Each one has three crayons, with different shades of either cream contour or highlight. It’s the perfect thing to pop into handbags for top ups on the go and at £4 per set, they’re well worth a purchase.

Dirty Works Crackers – these work out to just £1 per cracker, and have mini Dirty Works treats inside each one. You could either gift as is or split up and use on the dining table on Christmas day – it would definitely make a nice change from crappy jokes and giant plastic paperclips!
If you're looking for more gift ideas, you can find all of my gift guides here.

*contains PR samples


Outfit: The Ultimate Winter Coat

Outfit - leopard print coat with faux fur collar and metallic boots
Merry Christmas flag
Outfit - leopard print coat with faux fur collar and metallic boots
Helter Skelter slide
Outfit - leopard print coat with faux fur collar and metallic boots
Beautiful sunset at the seaside
One of my absolute favourite things to do on a sunny winters day is to head to the seaside. I'm lucky enough to love about half an hour's drive away from the beach, and any excuse I get, I'm there!

That's exactly what happened this Sunday - the sun was out and the sky was lovely and blue so it was the perfect day for a walk along the beach (with plenty of pit stops for hot drinks!).

It was also the perfect excuse to give my new coat an outing. If your a regular reader you'll know I love a good bit of leopard print, so I couldn't resist adding this little beauty from Joy to my wardrobe. The faux fur collar makes it extra cosy (it's also ridiculously soft to the touch) and the slight swing shape to it leaves plenty of space for a cheeky ice cream or two at the beach. It's also just the right balance of warm but not too warm - you can still wear this baby on the tube without passing out from overheating.

I teamed it with my pewter Primark ankle boots (still regretting not buying a backup of these) and some skinny high waisted Lyla trousers from Dorothy Perkins, which are amazing for any pear shaped girls out there.

Sadly all the ice cream stalls seemed to be closed, so I had to make do with a giant pot of peppermint tea and a homemade caramel shortcake instead. Yum.

Fingers crossed it's sunny again this weekend so a repeat visit!

*contains PR samples


Bloom & Wild x Birchbox Birchtree

Bloom & Wild Birchtree review
Bloom & Wild Birchtree review
Bloom & Wild Birchtree review
Getting a delivery of flowers through the post is a sure fire way to make me feel all fancy. If I'm buying for myself, then I usually hit up the bargain section in Tesco, but a full on bouquet is a really lovely treat.

For Christmas, Bloom and Wild, the flower delivery company, have gone one step further and created the cutest mini Christmas tree that can be delivered straight to your door. Their innovative packaging also means it fits through your letterbox so no waiting around for pesky couriers. Hell. To. The. Yes.

If that wasn't enough, the mini tree is also a collaboration with Birchbox, so you receive five beauty treats alongside your tree, which can be hung on as ornaments or just popped straight into your bathroom and onto your face. 

I love the concept behind this - it's bringing together two great ideas and would make the perfect alternative to a festive bunch of flowers, especially for any beauty lovers out there.

Each Birchtree comes with 5 travel size products: a Caudalie Detox mask, Lord and Berry lipstick mini, Givenchy Live Irresistible fragrance, Rituals Magic Touch body cream and Benefit Porefessional. I was surprised at how big the tube of Caudalie mask was if I'm honest - it's a very generous size and more than enough for a month or two's application. Each product has a red ribbon attached so you can tie them to the tree, but these detach easily if you'd prefer to keep the products separate.

The tree comes with its own mini stand, so you don’t need to add anything at all – a bit of gentle watering should also see it last you for well past Christmas and into the New Year.

A Birchtree delivery costs £30, so when you consider a normal Birchbox costs £12.95, it's really good value for money. You can order direct from the Bloom and Wild website, who will deliver the next day (or your chosen day). Yay! While I was writing this post, I also discovered that they do a monthly gift subscription of flowers, which starts at £50 for 3 months. I’m quite tempted to order it for myself!

What do you think of this idea from Bloom & Wild?

*contains PR samples


Soap & Glory The Whole Glam Lot Star Gift

Soap & Glory The Whole Glam Lot star gift 2016 contents and review
Soap & Glory The Whole Glam Lot star gift 2016 contents and review
Last year’s Soap & Glory Star Gift was pretty impressive, but I think this year’s has to be the best one ever! I know these are very popular, so wanted to give you all the info asap – it launches this Friday (9th December) so make sure you set those alarm clocks as they always sell out fast.

The Whole Glam Lot is jam-packed full of Soap & Glory favourites, all of which are packed into a carry case in the style of a small, carry on suitcase. The case itself is unbelievable cute and features the typical S&G lady, but what makes it super special is the fact that it’s actually a giant collage of tiny images of S&G fans. What a way to get clever with those selfies!

Inside the case, you’ll find ten of their full–size products, with everything from makeup to skincare. I’ve listed the full contents below so you can get the full picture on what you’ll receive:

Sugar Crush Body Wash 500ml
The Scrub Of Your Life body Buffer 200ml
The Righteous Butter Body Butter 300ml
Smoothie Star Deep Moisture body Milk 500ml
Hand food Hydrating Hand Cream 125ml
Face Soap and Clarity Facial Wash 350ml
Speed Plump Super Moisturizing Day Cream 50ml
Thick & Fast High Definition Collagen Coat Mascara 10ml
Sexy Mother Pucker Lip Gloss in Rose & Shine 4ml
Hand Maid Antibacterial Hand Gel 50ml

It’s a really great line-up and I’m pleased to see my favourite Hand Maid anti-bac and Sugar Crush Body Wash making an appearance!

For one week only, this will be on offer at the special price of £30 instead of the usual £60, so it’s a great saving (even more so when you add up the price of all of the individual products!).

Find it in-store and online from Boots from 9th December. They’re quite heavy, so you might want to order online to save your arms from carting it around (or just bring a very strong carrier bag to carry it home in…).

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

*contains PR samples


Simple Festive Party Hair in 10 Minutes or Less - #GlitzTheSeason with ghd

GHD Copper Luxe Platinum Styler review and party hairstyles
GHD Copper Luxe Platinum Styler review and party hairstyles
GHD Copper Luxe Platinum Styler review and party hairstyles
GHD Copper Luxe Platinum Styler review and party hairstyles
We're getting well into December now which means it's Christmas party season! Mine always seem to mean leaving the office and heading out somewhere so there's always a quick change in the loosninto something suitable festive.

Ghd set me a challenge to come up with a festive party hairstyle, so I thought I'd make a really quick and easy one that you can do al desko in under ten minutes.

I started by straightening my hair all over with the gorgeous Copper Luxe Platinum Styler (can we just take a minute to appreciate this little beauty!). Before getting going, I sectioned it off and gave it a liberal spritz of the ghd heat protector spray - this stuff is so good at helping prevent heat damage but doesn't weigh down my fine hair. Yay! The Platinum Styler also uses special tri-zone technology that helps to give 50% less hair breakage and 20% more shine to your hair, which for someone who loves a straight look like me, is such a great benefit.

After smoothing my hair with the styler, I could have just left it and gone for a super sleek look but I wanted to change things up a bit for a party ( you could always do this first step in the morning and then complete the rest at work).

I took a backcombing brush and used it to add a little bit of height at my roots around the crown area at the back of my head. Not too much, but just enough to lift it a little and stop the finished style looking too flat.

Then I took a small section from the each side of the front of my hair and pulled this around the back to create a mini ponytail. The backcoming means that there's plenty of root lift left to support this - just secure in place with a clear elastic band.

To add a bit more detail and get on the embellishment trend, I secured a pretty copper bow clip to one side and voila! All done. It's a really easy to create look in just a few minutes.

The Copper Luxe Platinum styler is so easy and quick to use and I love the fact that ghd are clearly getting in on everyone's love for all things copper! It also comes with a heat proof bag and two limited edition Nails Inc polishes as part of this limited edition gift set.

Ghd are also giving away lots of fabulous prizes - one every Saturday in fact, right up to 7th January! Simply take a photo or video with your embellished hair style, upload to Instagram and tag it with #GlitzTheSeason to enter. You'll need to be following @ghdhair to qualify.

I'd love to know what you think of my easy party hairstyle. What will you be doing for your Christmas party look this year?

*contains PR samples


Christmas Gift Guide - For the Boys

Christmas gift ideas for men
Christmas gift ideas for men
Christmas gift ideas for men
Finding good gifts for men always seems SO much harder than for women. Why are they so tricky to buy for?! I've rounded up a few of my favourite ideas for the men in your lives to help give a bit of inspiration. You can also find all of my other gift guides over here for a few more ideas.

Bluebird Tea Co Make Your Own Christmas Tea - this is such a fun idea from craft tea company Bluebird Tea Co. I've featured their ready to brew ranges a few times, but this 'blend your own' kit is just a little bit different. It has an Assam  tea base and then several different Christmasy flavours that can be added, allowing you to blend your very own custom brew. A must-have for any tea lovers out there methinks! £25

M&S Star Wars Character Bubble Bath - anyone else remember the Matey bubble bath from when they were a kid? Well this is M&S's version and comes in a variety of Star Wars characters (there's also a Marvel set too). I've got C3PO here, but Darth Vader and R2D2 look incredibly cute - why not buy a few and package up in a gift box? They're something that would appeal to all ages and will certainly make showers a bit more fun. £4.50 each.

Malin + Goetz Travel Kit - Malin + Goetz are such a great brand when it comes to unisex beauty gifts. They create products that can work for anyone and the clean and simple packaging appeals to all. This travel set has six of their core products, covering cleanser, moisturiser, body wash, shampoo, conditioner and body lotion. Everything you need for a weekend away. £20

Ted Baker Fragrance Minis - this cute little fragrance chest from Ted Baker gives a great choice of scents. Inside are four little drawers, each with one of their top-selling men's fragrances. If you're not sure which one they might love, then it's a great way to test them all out - perhaps with the promise of a bigger bottle of their favourite. £20

Hotel Chocolat Toasty Toddies - most of the men I know claim not to be that fussed over chocolate, but that soon seems to change when it's nearby! Hotel Chocolat's Toasty Toddies feature four different boozy truffles, inspired by Christmasy tastes like mulled wine and mince pies. Yum. £10

Anthony Skincare - for a more 'man-specific' skincare range, Anthony is a good place to start. Their products are still pretty affordable, and are targeted at typical skin concerns like dehydration, shave irritation and fine lines. The Glycolic Cleanser is one of their cult favourites as it exfoliates and cleanses and the shave range is also a really great bet. From £8

Tickets to their favourite band or sporting team - if there's an upcoming event coming up that you know they'd love, then grab some tickets and wrap up the order confirmation in a big ol' box. Or if they're not yet on sale, a fancy IOU or hand written 'gift voucher' would make a lovely idea for something yet to come.

Shaveworks Get Smooth Duo - what a great stocking filler for men who love a decent shave! Inside you;ll find a 28ml Pearl Souffle Shave Cream and a 29ml The Cool Targeted Gel Lotion. It's a great duo for before and after shaving - add in a razor and you're all good to go. £10

The Merchant Of Venice Venetian Blue EDP - If you're looking for a fragrance that's a little bit different, I would highly recommend Venetian Blue. The brand are inspired by the Venetian art of perfumery, something which comes across quite heavily in their beautiful blue, murano-style glass of the bottle. It's a marine style fragrance, with citrusy top notes, black pepper and amber heart notes and a smokey mossy base. £120 100ml

Personalised scarf - to get that Burberry edge without the price tag, get yourself straight over to My VIP Wardrobe, who have a whole host of beautiful wool scarves, all of which can be personalised with the initials of your choice. I have a full review on this brand coming soon, but wanted to give you the heads up now, as you'll need to get your orders in asap to meet the Christmas deadline!

For more gift ideas, check out my gift guide for foodies, gift guide for makeup lovers and the ultimate pampering/skincare gift guide.

*contains PR samples


The Pampering & Skincare Christmas Gift Guide

Beauty Christmas gift guide for pampering products and skincare
Beauty Christmas gift guide for pampering products and skincare
Beauty Christmas gift guide for pampering products and skincare
Beauty Christmas gift guide for pampering products and skincare
It's the 1st of December today, which means there's no guilt now about going into full on Christmas mode! I haven't started my shopping yet, so I fully appluad you if you have. You might have seen some of my other gift guides for foodies and makeup lovers over the past couple of weeks, but today's focuses all about beauty gifts for a pampering treat and skincare lovers. 

Liz Earle Botanical Kit in Lavender – for a step away from the usual Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser, their Botanical collection sets are a really lovely treat. Inside the Lavender themed gift is a 150ml Lavender & Basil Hand Cream plus a 200ml Nourishing Body Cream. It also comes with a leaflet all about the botanicals which are such a big part of the Liz Earle brand and a pocket-sized notebook. £32.50

Laura Mercier Sweet Temptations Almond Coconut Milk Luxe Body Collection – while I adore Laura Mercier’s makeup, I used to find her bath and body products a bit too sweet, but that’s all changed with the release of the Coconut and Almond range! It blends exotic coconut with just a hint of nuttiness and honestly smells good enough to eat. There’s lots of different gift sets available, but I think the Luxe Body Collection is amazing value for money. It combines a 100ml Crème Body Wash, 200ml Honey Bath, 200ml Souffle body Cream and a 15ml matching EDT. You can use them all at once, but I warn you, you might want to lick yourself if you do as it smells so tasty! £55

Bayliss and Harding Fuzzy Duck Slipper set - when you bring together super fluffy slippers and a whole load of pampering treats, you're onto a winner! This Fuzzy Duck set mingles a Black Pepper & Sage Soap, Black Pepper & Sage Body Balm, Costwold Lavender Bath Soak Crystals and a Chamomile Shower Gel. The giant box belies it's £30 price tag (although do check for offers as HoF have it for £22.50) and the fluffy slippers give me all those chilled Christmas holiday vibes.

Nuxe body gift set – everyone needs a bottle of Nuxe’s multi-use Huile Prodigieuse in their lives. I’m on my fourth bottle but still struggle to pronounce it. Hashtag FAIL. Anyhow, this gift set combines lots of their best bits, all in one huge box. There’s a 100ml bottle of the oil itself, 100ml shower oil, 30ml Crème Prodigieux and a 70g Prodigieux candle. £30

Dermalogica Skin Perfecting Duo - I love a bit of Dermalogica and their primers are often one of the most overlooked products that they do. This great gift set matches up a full-sized tube of Skin Perfecting Primer, which gives a very even finish to the skin, plus a 15ml bottle of anti-ageing Overnight Skin Repair Oil. Yes please. £68

Molton Brown Rhubarb and Rose hand wash set – as one of the first luxury bath and body brands I bought, I will always have a special place in my heart for Molton Brown. The Rhubarb and Rose scent is a reasonably new range from them and mixes a lovely fruity rhubarb scent with a gentle rose. It’s a sweet, yet not sickly smell and has a nice fresh edge to it. Inside, you get a 300ml hand wash, 300ml hand lotion and a travel sized- 40ml hand cream. It’s an £8 saving on the individual product price and at £40 feels reassuringly expensive with its luxury red box and gift bow.

Crabtree & Evelyn Pomegranate, Argan and Grapeseed Body Duo - this perfectly wrapped duo is a real treat for the skin and combines a 250ml body wash and matching 250ml body lotion. The pomegranate adds lots of hydration and also smells amazing, so it's a double win on that front. £28

Yes To Cucumbers Soothing Skincare gift set – YesTo have a whole host of gift sets for different skin types this year. The Cucumbers range works really well for anyone with sensitive or slightly dry skin and is both refreshing and soothing at the same time. There are three full-size products included: Hypoallergenic Face Wipes, Daily Calming Moisturiser and a Calming Facial Mask. While I’d recommend adding a bottle of cleanser for a full regime, the wipes themselves are some of the better ones out there and the Moisturiser has been a firm favourite of mine for ages! For other skin types, check out the Tomatoes, Coconut or Blueberries ranges. £21.99

This Works Sleep Tight Bauble – if you ever have trouble sleeping, then get yourself a bottle of This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray and marvel at its effectiveness. The Bauble contains minis of their Deep Sleep and Sleep + pillow sprays, plus a mini Deep Sleep Stress Less. It’s a great way to try the brand, and a perfect gift for all ages and sexes. £13
Beauty Christmas gift guide for pampering products and skincare
Beauty Christmas gift guide for pampering products and skincare
Beauty Christmas gift guide for pampering products and skincare
ESPA Little Box of Joy – for the perfect pampering body treat, this duo from spa brand ESPA is perfect! It features a bath oil and matching body oil, and uses essential oils like sweet orange, rose geranium and lavender to help you relax and unwind. £18

Goldfaden MD Brightening Transformation kit – this brand doesn’t get half the press it should do. If you’re into your skincare, then it really is a must-try. This handy kit is a good introduction to the brand and features three hero products that all work together to revitalise dull complexions and get your glow back. There’s a 30ml Pure Start Cleanser, 50ml Doctor’s Scrub (great for manual exfoliation) and a 5ml Bright Eyes treatment, which has both an instant and longer term ‘perking’ effect. £40

Yardley English Bluebell Hand Cream – I often think of Yardley as a brand my Nan loves, but they’ve done a lot recently to try to shift that image a little. Bluebell is one of their latest fragrances and it has a fresh, floral scent to it that’s lovely and light. The hand cream itself is hydrating without being greasy and is the perfect size for handbags or desks. £6

Oskia Renaissance Cleanser Cracker - one of my favourite cleansers EVER, this travel-sized 40ml tube comes packaged up in a very cute cracker. It's a great way to give the brand a try - this cleanser is suitable for all skin types and is super effective while bring gentle on the skin. £18.50

Burt's Bees Bauble – you really can’t go wrong with a Burt’s Bees gift and this cute bauble is the perfect stocking filler. Inside is a full-sized lip balm plus a mini 8g pot of their hand salve, which is well worth popping in your handbag over winter and applying to any dry or chapped areas. £7

The Body Shop Vanilla Chai range – out of The Body Shop’s three Christmas ranges, my favourite has to be the Vanilla Chai. It’s sweet but not sickly and blends creamy vanilla with gentle spices and a hint of brown sugar. Choose from individual products like the rich body cream or hand lotion or opt for one of the pre-packaged gifts that are also great value for money. The Body Shop will also help protect 1 square metre of rainforest for every gift sold, which I think is an incredible brand promise. From £6

Laura Ashley Royal Bloom Hand Care Set – I thought this was actually more expensive than £8, so it just goes to show it’s not all about the price! Laura Ashley is such a well respected brand and their range of bath and body gifts at Boots is all included in their 3 for 2 offer (so 2 for other people and 1 for you, right?).  The Royal Bloom Hand Care tin holds a 60g soap, 50m hand cream, 15ml cuticle cream and a nail file. Add a nail polish of your choice and it’s everything you need for a manicure session at home! £8

Rituals Ritual of Sakura Relaxing Treat - Whatever kind of ritual you're after, Rituals have got you covered. The Sakura range is inspired by the annual Japanese Cherry Blossom season and symbolise that beauty is temporary and life is to be enjoyed. It's a really lovely senntiment and the floral scent is just as good! There are several gifts at different price points, but this one features a shower foam, shower scrub, body cream and shampoo all in perfect travel sizes. £19.50

ESPA Nourishing Lip Trio Cracker – you’ve got to love a good beauty filled cracker! ESPA’s is full of three nourishing lip treatments, one in natural, one with a hint of pink and another with a touch of red. The brand don’t offer much in the way of ‘colour’ products, but these are beautiful. And perfect for the winter when chapped lips and cold weather can play havoc with your usual lipstick routine. £29

This Works Sleep kit – for anyone that struggles with sleep or needs a bit of a helping hand, This Works Bedtime Story kit is the one. The Deep Sleep spray is my go-to when I need some help relaxing and nodding off – a few spritzes of this and I’m in a full on sleep coma. The kit has a full-size bottle of this bad boy, plus a 200g pot of Deep Sleep Bath Soak bath salts. I challenge anyone not to drift off after combining these two together! £30

Dirty Works The Big Chill – for under a fiver, this is such a great gift! Pop on your pink shower cap, run a bath with a heavy pour of the Big Chillout Bath Soak and then moisturise afterwards with Shea You Care body butter.

Will any of these be on your list this year?

*contains PR samples


A Jewellery Design Challenge: Win An Original Necklace Worth £500

smart meter design jewellerysmart meter design jewellery
Wearing the smart meter jewellery
As I mentioned in last weeks post, I recently designed a piece of jewellery with the team over at Smart Energy GB and some help from the very talented jewellers at Tomfoolery.

Today I've got a fantastic giveaway for you as you can win one of these charm necklaces for yourself! Only 6 have been made, so five lucky readers will be able to own something unique and unusual that you won't find anywhere else on the high street.

The necklace itself is all made from 9 carat gold, with a beautiful aquamarine stone set in it. You'd never think that the pieces were actually from the inside of an old electricity meter at first glance, but they were all taken from casts of the original parts and then turned into luxurious gold.

It has an RRP of £500, and I think would make a really lovely Christmas gift for someone special (or yourself, obviously!).

To enter simply answer the question on the Rafflecopter widget below. You can also gain extra entries for following my social channels or tweeting your entry.

The giveaway will run until 11.59pm on Sunday 18th December. It's open to residents of England, Scotland and Wales only.

More about smart meters...

Behind this project is a serious message about the roll out of smart meters. Smart meters are replacing the old analogue meters most of us have in our homes. Every household in Great Britain will be offered a smart meter by their energy supplier by 2020, at no extra cost.

Smart meters are available to all homes. If you are a renter you can still get a smart meter. If your name is on the bill you can just contact your energy supplier. If your landlord pays the bill they will need to speak to the energy supplier.

What are the benefits of smart meters?

Having smart meters installed means an end to estimated bills and no more phoning in manual meter readings.
Smart meters come with a handy in-home display. The smart meter in home display shows how much energy you are using and the cost in pounds and pence.

If you are a prepayment customer you will be able to top up your credit online, over the phone or as you do now by visiting your local shop.

So while I have been given the chance to create some stunning pieces of jewellery from the inner workings of an old analogue meter, by 2020 we can all be part of the smart meter revolution sweeping the country.

To upgrade to smart meters you should contact your energy supplier to find out when they will be able to fit them in your home.

Terms & Conditions:
1. The promoter is: Smart Metering Communications Body Limited (trading as Smart Energy GB), company no. 8455995 whose registered office is at 1 Alfred Mews, London W1T 7AA.
2. Employees of Smart Energy GB or their family members or anyone else connected in any way with the competition or helping to set up the competition shall not be permitted to enter the competition.
3. The competition is open to residents of England, Scotland and Wales only.
4. There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition.
5. Closing date for entry will be midnight on 18 December 2016. After this date the no further entries to the competition will be permitted.
6. No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason.
7. The promoter reserves the right to cancel or amend the competition and these terms and conditions without notice in the event of a catastrophe, war, civil or military disturbance, act of God or any actual or anticipated breach of any applicable law or regulation or any other event outside of the promoter’s control. Any changes to the competition will be notified to entrants as soon as possible by the promoter.
8. The promoter is not responsible for inaccurate prize details supplied to any entrant by any third party connected with this competition.
9. No cash alternative to the prizes will be offered. The prizes are not transferable.
10. Winners will be chosen at random using Rafflecopter software.
11. The winner will be notified by email within 2 days of the closing date. If the winner cannot be contacted or do not claim the prize within 14 days of notification, we reserve the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and pick a replacement winner.
12. The promoter will notify the winner when and where the prize can be collected.
13. The promoter’s decision in respect of all matters to do with the competition will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.
14. By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.
15. The competition and these terms and conditions will be governed by English law.
17. The winner agrees to the use of his/her name and image in any publicity material. Any personal data relating to the winner or any other entrants will be used solely in accordance with current UK data protection legislation and will not be disclosed to a third party without the entrant’s prior consent.
18. The winner’s name will be available 28 days after closing date by sending a stamped addressed envelope to the promoters registered address.
19. If aged under 16 please ensure that you have parental permission for your data name and e-mail address to be supplied to the promoter.
20. Entry into the competition will be deemed as acceptance of these terms and conditions.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Soap & Glory Christmas Collection

Soap & Glory Christmas Gifts 2016
Soap & Glory Christmas Gifts 2016
I always look forward to see what Soap & Glory are bringing out for Christmas. They really bring some fun to gifting and their trademark pink certainly livens things up a little! This year there's the usual great line up, with prices starting at just £5.

Inside the Pink Pamper, you'll find six minis for face and body, including Face, Soap and Clarity Detox Face Wash, Hand Food Hand Cream, Heel Genius Foot Cream, Clean On Me Shower Gel, The Scrub Of Your Life Body Scrub and The Righteous Butter Body Butter. The triangular bag is also a fun one - it's an unusual shape for a toiletries bag but there's no reason why you can make it work! It's certainly generously sized enough to fit lots of goodies in.

My favourite of the two I have here to show you is the Foam and For-Tune musical tin. Again, this one has lots of minis of their favourite products inside, including Sugar Crush Body Cream, Body Scrub and Body Wash, plus Clean On Me Shower Gel, The Righteous Butter Body Butter and a 50ml The Scrub of Your Life.  The reusable tin also plays a very festive tune when you hit the little red button on top, but I won't spoil the surprise by telling you what it is! Just be warned it's quite loud when you set it off. £16

Other gifts I've seen in boots that look great at the Soaper Star, which is packed full of body treats (including three full-sized ones) and the Take Your Pink which is a great stocking filler.

I know lots of you will be waiting on their star gift that comes around every year (see last year's one here) and I'm waiting for a release date on this bad boy so I'll keep you updated with as much info as I can.

Are you a Soap & Glory fan?

*Contains PR samples


A Jewellery Design Challenge - the finished result!

Smart Meter Jewellery designed by Kat Clark, Taislany and Aftab
wearing smart meter jewellery
Kat Clark Smart Meter jewellery design
Kat Clark Smart Meter jewellery design
Kat Clark Smart Meter jewellery design
Kat Clark, Taislany and Aftab wearing their smart meter jewellery
A little while back I asked for your help with a jewellery design challenge. The team over at Smart Energy GB had asked me to design a piece of jewellery out of the parts of an old style electricity meter and it wasn't an easy task!

I've been working on a design that I thought matched up with my own style - I like my jewellery to be quite delicate and simple but with an unusual edge to it.

Today I get to show you the finished piece and I'd love to hear what you think.

My inspiration was a charm style necklace, with lots of little things layered up together. I chose three pieces in the end, which feature an unusual pronged part of the meter, plus a small size washer that held lots of the parts together. To add some extra interest, I added in a triangular aquamarine stone (also my birth stone) set in a gold band.

The necklace is made out of 9 carat gold and was created by taking casts of the original metal parts and transforming them into precious gold pieces. You can actually see the part number on the golden pronged piece if you look really closely.

I'm so pleased with how they've turned out and I'm really excited to be able to give 5 of you the chance to win one for yourself. The giveaway will launch early next week, so keep your eyes peeled for that!

You can also see what my fellow bloggers Aftab and Taislany created as part of the challenge over on their blogs.

Behind this project is a serious message about the rollout of smart meters. Smart meters are replacing the old analogue meters most of us have in our homes. Every household in Great Britain will be offered a smart meter by their energy supplier by 2020, at no extra cost.

Smart meters are available to all homes. If you are a renter you can still get a smart meter. If your name is on the bill you can just contact your energy supplier. If your landlord pays the bill they will need to speak to the energy supplier.

What are the benefits of smart meters?

Having smart meters installed means an end to estimated bills and no more phoning in manual meter readings
Smart meters come with a handy in-home display. The smart meter in home display shows how much energy you are using and the cost in pounds and pence
If you are a prepayment customer you will be able to top up your credit online, over the phone or as you do now by visiting your local shop

So while I have been given the chance to create some stunning pieces of jewellery from the inner workings of an old analogue meter, by 2020 we can all be part of the smart meter revolution sweeping the country.

To upgrade to smart meters you should contact your energy supplier to find out when they will be able to fit them in your home.

Make sure you enter my giveaway when it launches next week!

*written in collaboration with Smart Energy GB


Christmas Gift Guide for Makeup Lovers

Christmas gift guide for makeup lovers
Christmas gift guide for makeup lovers
Christmas gift guide for makeup lovers
Finding gift ideas for makeup addicts is pretty easy - the hardest bit is narrowing it down to just a few to show off some of my favourites! I've tried to pick out a selection from a range of brands and across lots of different price points, so there's something here for everyone.

You'll be able to see my skincare gift guide next week, along with some stocking filler ideas. If you're hunting for gifts for a foodie, then you need to check out this post over here... But without further ado, onto the makeup! 

Burt’s Bees Nature’s Kiss lip set – Burt’s Bees lip balm are such a handbag staple, so it’s lovely to see them mixing things up a little with this duo of lip colours. Inside is a Sedona Sands Lip Crayon and a Peony Lip Shimmer. The crayons are fully pigmented, whereas the Lip Shimmers give more of a sheen with a hint of colour. Both work equally well alone, but also look fab layered together! £9.99

PS Strobe Crayons – at only £3, this kit is such a bargain! You’ll find three different highlighter crayons inside Primark’s handy kit, which are perfect for popping in your handbag for use on the go. They also have a similar set for contouring so why not combine the two for the ultimate sculpting set!
OPI Breakfastat Tiffany’s minis set – OPI mini sets are my favourite. Not only does it allow you to try multiple shades for around the same price as one of their full-size polishes, it also means you might actually finish one! These four shades all come from the recent Breakfast at Tiffany’s collection: I Believe in Manicures, Apartment For Two, Rich & Brazilian and Got The Mean Reds. The set is usually £14.95 but Just My Look have it for less than £10. 

Pixiwoo FACE book – YouTube sensations Sam and Nic Chapman have released their first every beauty book and I think they’ve done a really great job with this! It mingles a lot of top tips and mini tutorials, alongside some great diagrams and how to’s. It’s split into different sections of the face, so if you’re looking for how to create the perfect base, or want to perfect the ultimate smoky eye, it’s all there and beautifully presented. Although they might be famous for their video content, I think they’ve done a great job at translating that into a written format and everything is very easy to follow. You can also link up to an interactive app for more detail, which is a nice touch. £9 Christmas gift guide for makeup lovers
Christmas gift guide for makeup lovers
Christmas gift guide for makeup lovers Joan Collins Timeless Beauty Crystal Mirror   - this is everything you’d expect a product from Joan Collins to be – blingy, gold and fab-u-lous. It’s surprisingly heavy, and feels very good quality. The black velvet pouch it comes wrapped in also means it will stay nicely protected in your handbag. £33

PUR Mascara Trifecta – is there such a thing as too much mascara? I think not. PUR have pulled together three of their fab formulas in one gift set, giving you the chance to try them all for yourself and see which one you like the best. There’s a Big Look, Triple Threat and Fully Charged Magnetic Mascara included, so whether you like lots of volume or long fluttery lashes, they’ve got you covered. £15

Laura Geller Gilded Honey Illuminator – a few weeks ago I head the pleasure of meeting one of the top Laura Geller makeup trainers when she came to visit their new UK counter. Apparently Gilded Honey is one of their top sellers EVER and after trying it out, I can fully see why. The baked highlighter gives a beautiful sheen and the shade will work with virtually every complexion. Any beauty lover will love this in their stocking, but I’d recommend buying one for yourself too! £21

Leighton Denny Keepsake Collection Minis – M&S’s beauty section is such a good place to go for gifts right now. I could have filled an entire gift guide with options from them! Leighton Denny are often a brand I overlook in favour of OPI or Essie, but the quality is great and the shade selection really good. This gift set has five mini bottles with a mix of colours and top coats and will save you £5 on buying them separately. £20  

Real Techniques Bold Metals collection – a huge amount of my makeup brushes come from Real Techniques as they’re such good quality and an affordable price point. Bold Metals is their more premium range, with metallic handles, the softest bristles and the same cruelty-free approach you’d expect from the brand. This kit features three of their best sellers for eyes and face, plus a cute little brush roll to keep them in. 

Pixi Ultimate Beauty Kit – this ginormous palette is full of everything you need to contour, highlight and create all kinds of eye looks. It has an impressive 40 eye shadows/brow shades, 3 highlighters, 2 bronzers, 2 blushers and a contour shade. I’d say that the face products are best suited to a light to medium skin tone, but the shadows are pretty universal and have a lovely selection of matte and shimmer finishes to them. At £28, this is incredible value for money and a great choice for beauty addicts of all ages.  

Lottie London Best of Brushes  - more brushes! These Lottie London ones are a bright, fun twist on the metallic trend that’s around at the moment. They’re cruelty free, vegan and super soft to the touch. My favourite is the flat contour brush, but the hot pink eye shadow brush is also a keeper! It’s a Superdrug exclusive gift set, so head over to their website to track this baby down. £27.99

Guerlain Meteorites – Guerlain’s Christmas collections are always hot property and often sell out pretty quickly but are well worth tracking down. This year they’ve gone for Shalimar-inspired packaging, which is just crying out to be displayed on a dressing table. The pearls themselves are very similar to the standard ones (with an extra bit of shimmer), but the beautiful tin really does make it so much more giftable. £48

Too Faced NaughtyKisses & Sweet Cheeks – I love the concept of this gift from Too Faced! Inside the big box are three little boxes, each with a mini Love Flush Blusher and a Lip Injection Lip Gloss. If you’re feeling generous, you can gift the larger box as a whole or you could split it up into three smaller gifts instead (and maybe keep one for yourself!). The shades included are all very wearable and the heart-shaped blushers deserve a very special ‘cute’ prize. £28

Urban Decay Naked Illuminated Trio – Most beauty addicts I know would love an Urban Decay palette under the tree this year, but I wanted to pull out their new Illuminating Trio as I think this is something less people will already have (although, Naked palettes are life). You get three baked highlighter powders in this special set: one gold-champagne, one pink and one frosted taupe. They’re beautifully shimmery without too much heavy glitter and will last for absolutely ages! £29

Will any of these be on your list this year?

*contains PR samples
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