Saturday, 31 December 2016

2016 Best Nine Beauty Products


My Top 9 Beauty Products For 2016

Here we go. The last blogpost of the year which means it is time to round up the year with some... well, round ups!

It was hard to pick just 9 of my favourite beauty products out of all of the ones I have used this year, and I have used a lot of beauty products this year. Like, A LOT. Maybe around 80, if I was to hazard a very rough guess. But don't worry though. I shared what I could with the girls (and some of the boys too!) in my little world, so that none of it went to waste. The thought of beauty products going to waste hurts my soul.

But the beauty products that I have chosen as my top 9 of 2016 have been the ones I've kept ALL to myself, to use until the very last drop (or speck of powder, in some cases).

Starting from the top, going left to right, I'm going to say a little bit about each product and why I love it.

MOA Fortifying Green Bath Potion (shop link)

(Originally featured in 4 Things I'm Loving At The Moment)

This magical, 100% natural Green Bath Potion is a must-have if you're ill with the flu or a cold. It certainly helps me get better whenever I'm poorly or generally feeling under the weather. It has as strong minty scent of peppermint and fennel and I have used it sparingly across the past 12 months but  I've still got a single capful left for one more bath. The packaging is beautifully designs and the product itself is incredibly effective to soothe a cold or relieve sore muscles.

Sleek Precious Metal Highlighting Palette (shop link)

(Originally featured in 6 High Street Buys Under £10)

I love this highlighting palette from Sleek sooo much that I went and bought another one as a back-up. You know... incase the one I've got breaks or gets misplaced. It has two baked powders, a shimmery powder and a cream highlight. And it really is as beautiful as it looks in the photo. If you're looking to buy a new highlighter/palette, let it be this one! It's amazing for only £9.99!

Rosie For Autograph Lip Glossy (shop link)

M&S has really surprised me with this cosmetics range and I, for one, can't get enough of the Lip Glossy from Rosie For Autograph Spring Collection. They're pigmented, comfortable, non-sticky, moisturising, vibrant lip crayon stick with a shiny finish. Even though they are called a Lip Glossy, it verges on to the lipstick category rather than lipgloss - but it is the best of both - without that heavy, sticky, greasy feeling on your lips!

Made You Blush (shop link)

I can't have a 'fave beauty product of the year' without including my faves, Soap & Glory. This year saw their biggest cosmetics launch and, excitingly, the press mailer for it was the most awesome 90's style, Dream Phone inspired board game! I mean, JUST LOOK AT IT. The girls at Soap & Glory sure know how to create a buzz around their products! Further down the line, they launched a few more make-up bits including a couple of eyeshadow palettes and three beautiful blushers.

Coffee Body Scrub (shop link)

(Originally featured in 5 Benefits Of Using Coffee Scrubs)

Coffee body scrubs have been one of those hyped up products (mainly via Instagram) for ages now and I've resisted it as I made the judgement (before I tried it) that it wouldn't be any different to a regular body scrub. Since trying Frank Body's Coffee Scrub in the Summer, I have been completely converted. Well, not completely. I still really like Soap & Glory's Smoothie Star, but coffee scrubs are so effective in buffing away rough, dead skin. It's brilliant for pre-self-tanning! And caffeine has cellulite-smoothing properties too!

YSL Black Opium (shop link)

(Originally featured in YSL Black Opium Collector Edition)

Talking of coffee, can I introduce to you my current favourite perfume (again)? YSL Black Opium is a really unique scent - I don't have anything like it - but what really attracts me to it (apart from the sparkly bottle design) is the fact that it features black coffee accord in it. And the highest quantity of coffee in any feminine perfume out there at the moment. 

Philip Kingsley Dry Shampoo (shop link)

Nothing is better than freshly washed hair, sure. But sometimes you just need to freshen up your hair and make-do with dry shampoo (like on early morning gym sessions, for example). Philip Kingsley One More Day is also fantastic to boost volume or give hair more control for up-do's too.

The Body Shop Pinita Colada Collection (discontinued)

The Body Shop have launched some fab collection over the past few Summers which includes Virgin Mojito range, and most recently, Pinita Colada. It is everything you would want in a summer scent! Sadly, it was a limited edition collection but I can't wait to see what they're going to release in Summer 2017!

HD Brow Palette (shop link)

(Originally featured in My All Time Favourite Brow Kit. Ever.)

I've tried and tested many brow products over the past couple of years but nothing beats HD Brow Palette. There has been some strong contenders from Benefit but I have come to rely on HD Brow too much. I only use the grey shade for my brows but the other shades can be applied as eyeshadow so again, no product goes to waste! It's long-lasting and extremely pigmented, but buildable and blendable, and all that good stuff!

Have you tried any of these beauty products before?
What has been your FAVE product this year?


Thursday, 29 December 2016

What I Got For Christmas

What I Got For Christmas, fashion and beauty blog

What I Got For Christmas

I fully appreciate that I am not the easiest person to buy presents for (not because I’m fussy, but because I already have a lot of stuff) but I am easily pleased and every single Christmas, my family and friends get it 100% right! And just like each year, everything I got this Christmas are sooooo me. Don’t you think?!

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

My Christmas 2016

bokeh fairy lights, christmas tree lights

And just like that, Christmas is over for another year. It was just as stressful as the gone by - everything seems to go 100mph on the day - but it is always worth it in the end. 

With the wonderful addition to the family this year, my 8 month old niece, Edie, was the star of our Christmas day. Surrounded by all the people who love her (and also many MANY colourfully wrapped presents, all just for Edie!). Surprisingly, she knew how to open her presents - elegantly, at a snail pace 😂, but still, she was keen to rip away some wrapping paper off her gifts!

christmas presents under the christmas tree

As mentioned in a recent Yankee Candle blogpost, I was in charge of the table setting this year. I didn't do the best job as I forgot about the Christmas crackers and only remembered 5 hours after we ate dinner! To be honest, there wasn't much to it, I kept it as simple and minimal as possible, but the crackers would have made all the difference! 

christmas table centre piece
christmas table setting

Nevertheless, the emergency guest chairs were fetched from the garden shed and the family assembled around the dinner table to have THE BEST MEAL OF THE YEAR.

parma ham and melon starter

Starter was parma ham, melon, with a couple of slices of smoked salmon thrown in there for good measure. Don't let the small plate fool you. I went back for seconds (and thirds). :-/

christmas dinner

Next year, I must remember not to pig out on the starter and leave room for the main dinner. The one I've been waiting for all year. We had turkey, honey glazed ham, beef with all the trimmings; stuffing, veggies, roast potatoes, cauliflower cheese, honey roast parsnips, pigs in blanket, dates in blanket, and homemade cranberry sauce. 

cheeseboard at christmas

Regardless of how full I am, there is always room for cheese. And sticky toffee pudding. And ice-cream. 🙌

the nutcracker christmas decoration
ginger exotic shorthair cat
minature poodle, apricot poodle
wine at christmas

We rounded the evening with a film and instead of putting something Christmassy on, we decided to watch Dirty Grandpa. This resulted to my Chinese grandma repeatedly saying that she had to wash her eyes as soon as she got home, haha. Oooops.

Gonna stick with Elf or Harry Potter next year!!

So... until next year... 🎄

I hope you all had a fab Christmas too! 


Friday, 23 December 2016

SJP NYC Perfume

SJP NYC Perfume

SJP NYC Perfume

I was, and still am (although not as much as I was before) OBSESSED with Sex And The City. At the time, I still had a TV with a built-in VHS player so I would record every single episode on the tape and watch it back over and over and over again. I know I’m not the only one which is why I’ll happily admit that I used to watch it until I knew every single word to every single episode. 

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Where To Stay In Manchester

As mentioned in my previous blog, my sister and I had so much fun visiting Manchester Christmas markets over the weekend plus an overnight stay at the 4-Star Mercure Piccadilly, one of their hotels in Manchester. They really looked after us from beginning to end, they definitely kept us fed and watered so I wanted to share some photos with you.

Where To Stay In Manchester

Mercure Piccadilly Hotel in Manchester is a short 5 minutes walk from Manchester Piccadilly train station, so it’s in a very central location. It’s incredibly close to Manchester Arndale shopping centre too, and with all the trendy bars within walking distance, the hotel is in a fantastic location for a weekend city trip.

Upon arriving, I knew exactly where the hotel was located because I walked past it when I was staying at The Midland last year. So we zipped right out of the train station and in to the hotel. On the way there, if you keep looking up, you'll see a tall building with 'MERCURE' in huge writing on the side of it. You can't miss it, it's dead easy to find!

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Spending A Festive 24 Hours In Manchester

Spending A Festive 24 Hours In Manchester

I love producing this kind of content, it’s exciting and I never really know how it’s going to look until I get home. Even though there is an itinerary and an overall plan, the part where I’m trying to capture content for my blog is bit ‘off the cuff’ because I don’t know what it’s going to be like when I get to my destination, and taking photos on manual mode at a fast paced is a risk for an amateur like me!

Basically, what I’m trying to say is that, unlike the other content on my blog, I’m winging this and there’s only one chance to get it right.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Yankee Candle Holiday Party Collection

Yankee Candle All Is Bright

Decorating The Christmas Table With Yankee Candle Holiday Party Collection

Every year on Christmas Day, my Mum puts me in charge of decorating the dinner table. Not that I'm any good, I don’t really have the knack for it, even though I look on Pinterest for inspiration… but they’re too elaborate and my family wouldn’t fully appreciate it. There’s limited room, plus, we’re the kind that gets the mismatching ’emergency chairs’ out of the shed when we have more than 4 people come over for dinner, lolz.

Monday, 19 December 2016

10 Gift Ideas From The Body Shop For Last Minute Shoppers

Somewhere along the lines, The Body Shop was a brand that I forgot about. But in the past two years, between their store refresh, re-branding and repackaging, they have bought out some surprisingly and most impressive products to date.

I can see the changes that are happening and I fully appreciate it, and as someone who has a nostalgic connection with The Body Shop (I’m a 90s kid), I’m so happy to see they have become an exciting brand again.

10 The Body Shop Gift Ideas For Last Minute Shoppers

Recently I got the opportunity to attend an event there where we were shown around the shop floor. It isn’t often that I would spend more than 10 minutes in a shop. You see, I’m not a very good shopping - I like to get in, buy what I came for, and then leave the shop as quick as I can so I don’t get tempted to purchase things I don’t need.

This was a great chance to get to reacquainted and learn what’s in store at the moment, and take in all the changes the brand has gone through.


Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Lucky Cloud | Handmade, Natural, Vegan Beauty Products

Here is another brand focus for you today! I’ve been on a roll with these lately, I’ve enjoyed using some lovely bath and shower products from amazing brands these past few months, and Lucky Cloud is one of them!

Lucky Cloud | Handmade, Natural, Vegan Beauty Products

Again, much like a lot of the beauty skincare brands I’ve been testing out, Lucky Cloud is natural, botanical and 100% suitable for vegans. 

The products are handmade and crafted in Scotland and within their range, you will find body milks, body balms, body butter, lip balms and gift sets. It is, currently, quite a small range but with Lucky Cloud, it is definitely about quality, not quantity, and I’m more than happy about that!

Lucky Cloud Soothing Body Milk

Lucky Cloud Soothing Body Milk*

The only two scents are a citrusy Sweet Orange & Vanilla, and a soothing Lavender & Rose Geranium in the body range. And 3 yummy scents in the lip butter collection (coconut, vanilla, and cocoa).

The body milk* is exactly what you’d expect. The consistency is milky, runny and light. It features a blend of nourishing, dry-skin-combatting oils including lavender, rose geranium, oat, olive, thistle and vitamin E oil. Even though it is formulated with all those oils, the body milk doesn’t feel greasy or heavy on skin. It’s available in two sizes (200ml for £15 or 100ml for £10) and is suitable for every day use.

Lucky Cloud Hydrating Body Balm

Lucky Cloud Hydrating Body Balm*

Admittedly, body balms aren't my favourite beauty product to use but I do have jars and jars of them scattered about in my room. It's my 'just incase' item. You know - when your skin gets to dry that it starts cracking away like no tomorrow and you feel like the only thing that will help is bathing your entire body in a vat of vegetable oil or something.

Luckily, we don't have to go to that extreme. Body balms are incredibly useful products to have during Winter to soften up fugly cracked skin. It's the just-incase-my-skin-needs-rescuing balm. Lucky Cloud's Hydrating Body Balm (in sweet orange and vanilla scent) helps with dry, damaged and irritated skin, as well as scarring. 

It is made with calendula oil, apricot kernel oil, vitamin E, shea butter, cocoa butter, orange essential oils and Benzoin essential oil to provide comfort and hydration upon application.

Available in 60ml for £15, or 120 for £23.  

Lucky Cloud Coconut Lip Butter

Lucky Cloud Coconut Lip Butter*

This lip butter* (£4) is great, it melt on contact with skin so you don't get that greasy, waxy layer. I often find coconut scented products too artificial, as if brands have been an overly keen to brands to include all the exotic fragrances in one product. But Lucky Cloud has got it right on with this lip butter, the coconut scent is sooo nice smells very authentic, like creamy coconut milk.

If coconut isn't your thing, there's a vanilla and a cocoa option. The cocoa one sounds great, and looks like chocolate. I will purchase that one once I've finished up all of my lip butters. 

You can buy Lucky Cloud products directly from their website.


Tuesday, 13 December 2016

What's In Birchbox | December 2016

birchbox december 2016

What's In Birchbox | December 2016

Birchbox* has hooked us up with some beauty products for the festive party season. It's the last Birchbox of the year, and their Merry & Bright edition contains the usual quantity of 5 beauty products covering skincare, hair, and make-up.

Monday, 12 December 2016

You'll LOVE this Brand If You're A Bath Person

I am a big bath person. By that, I mean I like baths in a big way. I like big baths and I cannot like. You other brothers can’t deny.

lola's apothecary bath products

My sister and I were talking on the phone the other day. She’s stressing about uni and we were discussing things that could help her de-stress, and she said ‘I know what how you chill out. It’s a bath, isn’t it?’.

Little sis knows me well. She is 100% correct. If I’m upset, or have had a bad day, the thing that calms me down is having a good soak in the bath. It doesn’t work for everyone (our middle sister can’t stand ‘bathing in yer own filth’ as she calls it) but for me, it works wonders. Every time. Every single time, without fail.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

My Christmas Party Outfit

Christmas parties is one of those events that people look forward to. A good old knees up courtesy of the company you’ve been working so god damn hard for. You deserve it. Enjoy that extra glass of champagne.

sequinned sparkly christmas outfit

Being self employed on a small scale business, I have never been to a work Christmas do, but believe me when I say I’ve heard PLENTY of stories and gossip about everyone else’s.

sequinned sparkly christmas outfit
sequinned sparkly christmas outfit

I don’t quite know whether it gives me a major case of FOMO (fear of missing out) or just plain heebie jeebies, but when Avon gifted me a sparkly ‘Christmas party-style’ outfit, I thought I could at least get in to the vibe of the festivities! It’s obviously not quite the same, of course, as I’ve literally dressed up with no where to go (that pretty up sums up fashion blogs for me... and by fashion blog, I mean my own!). 

sequinned sparkly christmas outfit

But IF I did have a Christmas party to go to, this MIGHT possible be what I would wear. Sparkles, sequins, leopard print, oversized, comfortable, layer-up-able, formal-but-not-like-you-re-going-to-the-BAFTAs… what’s not to love!

sequinned sparkly christmas outfit

I am wearing a blouse underneath it as you can see, but only because Avon sent me the dress in a few sizes up (they didn’t have it in my size) and the arm holes are mahoosive, giving a whole new meaning to side boob. For a party, I’d loose the blouse and wear the dress on it’s own… letting my hair down and all that!


Outfit Details:

Dress*: Avon
Shirt: Zara
Jacket: ASOS
Shoes: Miss Selfridge


Saturday, 10 December 2016

An Introduction To Seascape Natural Bath & Body Products

I spend quite a bit on body stuff, I try all kinds of brands and I’ve got so many to recommend you this month, but one STAND OUT brand-of-the-moment is Seascape Island Apothecary.

Seascape Island Apothercary Natural Bath & Body Products

Hot from winning awards and receiving recognition for their fabulous, effective products (and I’ve been trying a few of them!), I have been really impressed by what Seascape is all about. 

Seascape are a British brand and they use local ingredients from the beautiful island of Jersey. It’s vibe is to transport you to the tranquil isle via their products whether you’re after something to unwind or awaken your senses.

Friday, 9 December 2016

Best Nuxe Beauty Products For This Winter

I’m going to hazard a guess that most of us in the world of beauty blogging will have probably used one or two Nuxe products before. Hard to avoid them, really, since they’re in every single beauty subscription box. Come on, hands up, who’s got a small stash of Nuxe dry oil?

My Top 5 Nuxe Products For This Winter

Outside of beauty blogging, I don’t know that many people who have heard of French pharmacy brand, Nuxe, so I wanted to do a little intro into the brand and recommend a few of my current fave Nuxe products (courtesy of Love Me Beauty - use promo code 'tempsec20' for 20% off your next Love Me Beauty box).

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Soap & Glory 2016 Star Gift (Half Price at Boots)

IT'S ALMOST HERE! This is the bargain that we’ve all been waiting for. We all know it's the best beauty buy of the year, everyone goes mad over it!

This big pink box arrived at my doorstep at just the right time. I've been really sick with food poisoning over the past 48 hours and as I was in bed browsing through Instagram, I spotted the star gift announcement on Soap & Glory's profile and as soon as I clicked out of IG, the door bell rang...

soap and glory star gift at boots 2016, the whole glam lot gift set

Soap & Glory's 2016 Star Gift Half Price at Boots

...Before I even got a chance to think to myself 'I must remember to pop in to Boots to buy one', the postman was right in front me handing me a surprise bright pink parcel which contained Soap & Glory's star gift! It was exactly what I needed to get me out of bed/cheer me up after being soooooo poorly. (God, I am honestly SO dramatic when it comes to vom).

Dedicated fans of the quirky, sassy pink brand will be familiar with the drill but landing in all Boots stores this Friday is the Soap & Glory limited edition star gift, The Whole Glam Lot*, which will be HALF PRICE. It contains 9 full size products and 1 deluxe sized lip gloss… all for £30 (down from £60). B A R G A I N.

soap and glory star gift at boots 2016

Monday, 5 December 2016

2 Products For People Who Hate Washing Hair

2 Products For People Who Hate Washing Hair

The Only Two Products You Need If You Hate Washing Your Hair

Gah, we ALL hate our own hair, don’t we? I don’t know anyone who likes it, it’s definitely something I dread doing. It's so UGH because I have a lot of hair, it’s thick and it takes F.O.R.E.V.E.R to dry on frosty mornings. 

Of course, nothing beats freshly washed hair but during these cold months, I try and get away with ‘next day hair’ for the third day and this is when dry shampoo comes in handy! I might have just found the two best products to help me go without washing my hair for just one more day!

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Primark Christmas Jumpers 2016

Wooohoooo, now that it’s December, we can start wearing the uniform of the month. Christmas Jumper.

I’m sure you’ll have seen the 2016 Christmas jumpers at Primark by now, but if you haven’t had a chance to pop in to the store yet, here are some of my favourites!

I feel rather attached to my snowman jumper that I got from Primark a few years ago so I’m probably not going to buy another one...

Primark Christmas Jumpers 2016

...But after rounding up my favourite Primark Christmas jumpers from their 2016 collection, I must admit, I’m very tempted to buy a couple of them. 

Perhaps I will opt for the more wearable, less tacky designs. Might have to give up the tack this year, even though the best thing about Christmas jumpers is how tacky and over-the-top they are! 

Which one of these jumpers would you go for this Christmas?

Check out how I've styled my Christmas jumpers or my past blogposts featuring Primark hauls.


Friday, 2 December 2016

Dragonfly Tea Luxury Tea & Candle Gift Set

You know me. I love a candle or two (hundred). And here's a new one to burn. Another day, another candle!

I can’t tell you how much I was dreading Winter this year, the first one living on my own. Like properly on my own. In my own flat. With no flat mates. No other half. Just little old me. 

Dragonfly Tea Chest No1 Candle

I know it isn’t the worst thing in the world, but it hasn’t been easy and it’s a big deal for me since I’m someone who doesn’t like to be alone for too long. I gotta give myself the pat on the back with how well I’ve actually coped!

I am beginning to enjoy it and to realise how lucky I am with all the freedom I’ve got. I’m not about to hop off and embark on an Eat, Pray, Love style of trip or anything like that, but I’m enjoying my independence and freedom in my own little way. I’m starting to think that I may be enjoying it too much and I wonder if I could ever live with someone again.

But ANYWAY. Back to Winter. And back to candles!

I bloody hate Winter - or at least I used to -  so when Summer was drawing to an end, I didn’t know how I would cope with long hours of darkness, it used to get me so down, but I took the advice of my fellow bloggers and made my living room ~cosy~. 

Dragonfly Tea Luxury Tea & Candle Gift Set


It’s a mega cliché, absolutely, but it's something that provides comfort and it has made such a massive difference in how it has helped me coped with living on my own. I bought a new set of twinkly fairy lights and got a few candles out of storage, and with my new cosy set up, I look forward to it getting dark every night. I never thought I’d say that. But yeah, PISS OFF DAYLIGHT! Let me burn my candles already! CANDLES GIVE ME LIFE. 

If you know someone who’s in a similar sort of situation and is in need of cheering up (or if you’re searching for a Christmas gift to buy them), may I recommend Dragonfly Tea’s comforting Luxury Tea And Candle Gift Box. It’s limited edition, cost £40 per box (which is already gift wrapped) and contains a luxury candle and your choice of two artisan teas. 

Dragonfly Tea Chest No1 Candle has fragrant notes of tea - it’s warm, woody and sweet. I like anything relating to tea (and I bet you do too!). The limited edition gift box makes a very beautiful gift for anyone, and it’s something that everyone can enjoy too.

You can buy the gift box from Dragonfly Tea’s website.

Check out my candle collection here.


Thursday, 1 December 2016

Soap & Glory Christmas Gift Sets

It’s that time of year to stock up on Soap & Glory

Last year, I went a little overboard with Soap & Glory gift sets. I took full advantage of the 3 For 2 offer, plus my staff discount and bought every member of my family (even my dad) something from Soap & Glory. Being the obsessed fan that I am, I even kept one for myself

Soap & Glory Christmas Gift Sets 2016

Soap & Glory Christmas Gift Sets

I probably won’t buy much in terms of gifting as my family now have an endless supply of Soap & Glory products coming out their ears! But that doesn’t stop me from treating myself to a couple of gifts. Ok, then, 3 gifts! Well, it is 3 For 2!

I have been looking forward to the Christmas offering from Soap & Glory this year, they keep getting better and better. I love how the visual branding and how they look in Boots, I think they stand out from everything else in there.
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