Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Christmas Gift Guide: 4 Beauty Gift Sets

If there was a gift set that I wouldn’t mind this Christmas, it’s skincare. From any brand. I’m not fussy! In fact, any beauty gift set will do just fine! I just want to sit and buff, cleanse, lather and apply makeup to my face  day long!

Skincare Gift Sets, christmas gift guide

Christmas Gift Guide: Beauty Gift Sets

I have picked four skincare gift sets to feature in this gift guide - 3 skincare ones and a tanning set. They skincare gift sets are more like starter kits or travel sets, so it's a nice way to be introduced to new brands if you’re a newbie in skincare or if you’ve ever wanted to try something new, these might tickle your pickle.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Stocking Fillers That People Will Actually Use

I love putting a Christmas stocking, festive goody bag, or even a hamper together for my best gals. It is so satisfying and I always have a lot of ideas for a stockings filling them with nice quality products that people will actually use, and it doesn’t have to break the bank either. 

beauty stocking filler ideas

Beauty Stocking Fillers Gift Guide

I actually enjoy darting around town, going from shop to shop, looking for little gifts to fill a Christmas stocking. Come to think of it, it’s probably one of my favourite things about December. It’s up there with wrapping presents. I think what they says about me is that I prefer the preparation for Christmas rather than the day itself!


Sunday, 20 November 2016

Cleanse, Peel, Treat with Philosophy Skincare

Cleanse, Peel, Treat with Philosophy Skincare

Cleanse, Peel, Treat

I wrote a blogpost recommending three Philosophy products ages ago (over 18 months ago!) so I thought I’d update with another post. You will be hearing a lot more about Philosophy on my blog this Winter but for now, it’s their skincare that I’d like to chat about today!

purity made simple 3-in-1 face cleanser from philosophy, face wash


The last time I featured purity face wash on my blog was when I received a sample of it in Glossybox. The main reason why I felt a bit funny about it was because I felt tricked by the copy on the front packaging which states ‘purity is natural’. While they might be referencing the definition of the word and and not necessarily the cleanser itself (clever loopholes, y’see), I still felt like I was being tricked as it definitely contained multiple parabens; An ingredient that I don’t want in any of my skin and body care. 

It appears that they have reformulated and Philosophy’s purity 3-in-1 face wash* no longer contains parabens (yay). I don’t know how recent this change is - I can’t find much online when researching, but I can see that some stockists haven’t updated their INCI (ingredients list) for this product. 

However, the one that I’ve got in my hands does not feature parabens. Purity is a 3-in-1 cleanser for face and eyes, It removes make-up, cleanses, and tones - a hard working, easy-to-use cleanser that leaves your face feeling squeaky clean. 

philosophy the microdelivery peel, at home peels, vitamin c peels, the best vitamin c peel


Nothing scares me than using a face peel for the first time. Probably because how facial peel treatments are often portrayed on TV (Sex And The City and Ab Fab instantly spring to mind), is it any wonder I’m a little ‘argh’ about it?!

Peels, with any skincare product labelled along the lines of renewal and resurfacing, are designed to remove the top layer of the skin (don’t panic!) to reveal a brighter and more radiant complexion. 

Last year, for the first time, I tried at-home face peel treatment for the first time with trepidation, but Philosophy’s The Microdelivery Peelsound far too amazing not to try so when I was given advice and reassurance, I felt more at ease to try it. And I’m so glad I did. 

I look forward to a good peel twice a month and my skin looks smoother, healthier and definitely more radiant afterwards. The results are immediate so you can tell straight away whether it has worked for you or not.

The kit comes with a pot of Vitamin C crystals which you gently apply to your face (avoiding eye and lips) to buff away the layer of skin. The second phase is to apply the lactic/salicylic acid to activate the Vitamin C from the previous step.

There is a slight heated tingly when you apply the activating gel against the crystal scrub but this lasts for 1 second and that's it. It alarmed me at first but it is normal, that one second heat sensation is nothing to worry about.

The whole process lasts for 3 minutes and as mentioned, the results are immediate even after the first use. 

Not suitable for those with sensitive skin. And please remember to use SPF on your face for a week after using skincare containing acid. 

philosophy renewed hope in a jar face cream


Depending on what your skin type is, there are a few renewed hope in a jar face cream that’s suitable for you. I use the standard Renewed hope in a jar* which is suitable for a normal skin type. refines pores thanks to the AHA in it which lightly exfoliates skin. 

It has a lightly whipped texture and massages in to skin with ease and it hydrates throughout the day too. On the packaging, it says that the cream is refreshing but I personally don't feel that refreshing sensation but I'm sure it's awakening my skin without me knowing.

Renewed hope in a jar gives a dewy finish to your skin minus the heavy, oily, or greasiness. A great day cream for all year round!

Philosophy Skincare

You can buy Philosophy skincare (and other products in their range) from Boots in-store and online.


Friday, 18 November 2016

The YUMMIEST Bakery Treats

I have sooo many Christmas content to work on but here I am… writing about cakes and brownies. Surely the best kind of procrastinating?

tarte and berry bakery

Tarte & Berry Artisan Bakery Treats

These photos speak for themselves, so I was tempted to just leave these pics here as they are with no texts to accompany them, but I reminded myself that that’s not how blogging works, so here is a bit of info about these DELICIOUS cakes. And believe me, they really are delicious. The best bit? You can buy them online! WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE!

buy brownies online, salted caramel brownies

Tarte & Berry, based in Leeds, are run by lovely friends of mine but don’t worry - this isn’t a biased opinion - they really do make the best treats. They’ve won awards and have impressed the likes of Harpers Bazaar and Grazia Magazine. Don’t take my word for it, you must try it for yourselves (you won’t regret it!).

where to buy brownies online, salted caramel brownies

The brains behind the business are two sisters, Lucy and Jane, who has started this awesome business together offering Handmade Artisan Bakery Treats, which has really taken off. Although I’m really not surprised because with their combined talent and skills, these babes were destined for success.

where to buy cakes online, tarte and berry bakery

If you live in the Leeds area, Tarte & Berry have set up a pop-up cart in the brand spanking new shopping centre, Victoria Gate. You’ll see them on the right hand side as soon as you enter the building. Make a beeline for the Salted Caramel Brownie before the sell out, I’ve heard they are really popular!

ginger treacle cake, buy cake online, tarte and berry

I took up the 5 for £10 deal and got myself (and my parents) a mixture of cakes and brownies. I selected: The super popular Salted Caramel Brownie (which I’ve been craving since I saw it on their Instagram profile), Ginger Treacle Cake Bar, Pretzel Popcorn Brownie, Lemon and Wild Blueberry Drizzle, and Berry Crumble. Sounds sooo good, right?!

 buy cake online, tarte and berry

Every Tarte & Berry creation taste AMAZING but the brownies are my favourite (I highly recommend the Pretzel Popcorn Brownies). It’s unlike your usual chewy, fudgey brownies but more like a melt-in-the-mouth chocolate ganache. Rich but not overly sweet, so you can enjoy a whole slice with a cup of tea!

There are also gluten-free and vegan options too. Honestly, I swear you won’t be disappointed.

Pop over to their website to check out if they are stocked in your local cafe and where you’ll be able to find T&B at upcoming festivals and pop-up stalls

If they’re too far, FRET NOT! They have a nice selection which you can buy online. If you’re stuck on what to buy for Christmas, a box of brownies is a total crowd pleaser!


Thursday, 17 November 2016

Winter Beauty Essentials

Winter Beauty Essentials

Sponsored by Single Edition Media

On first impression, it might not seem like a very winter-y post, but pink is a colour that's suitable for all seasons, right? Although my wardrobe is lacking in colour, it doesn't mean my beauty cabinet should be.

Today I have gathered some of the beauty products I’ve got mad love for lately, in the theme of PINK, Starting with the one that inspired this blogpost, Katy Perry's Mad Love Eau de Parfum*.

If I ever get the chance to meet Katy Perry, I’d imagine that Mad Love, her new perfume, is exactly how she would smell. 

On paper, the packaging design of the perfume sounds like it could’ve been dreamt up by a blogger. The outer cardboard carton packaging is a mix of pastel pink with white marble effect. The bottle design itself it a pink potion bottle with a white marble effect lid. Oh, you had me at ‘marble’, Katy.

katy perry mad love perfume

Winter Beauty Essentials

It isn't your typical Winter fragrance, but it is definitely a scent that will cheer you up this season, especially if you're more of a summer girl like I am! I'm sat here wishing for sunny weather.

The perfume itself could be described with words such as ‘candy’ and ‘cute’, but that’s the whole brand of Katy Perry and she’s captured it well as a fragrance - ideal for fans of Katy but it's such an inoffensive scent that I think most people would take to it quite well! I actually love the sweet, fruit, girly fragrance which has notes of peonies, grapefruit, apple sorbet and strawberry. 

The most prominent scent is the strawberry, that’s what you smell as soon as the perfume is freshly sprayed. The dry down scent is a creamy coconut and sandalwood which cuts the sweetness down. 

katy perry mad love perfume

Soap & Glory Hand Food Hand Cream

I have a few of these lying around (read: never ending supply) as they seem to be included in almost every one of their gift sets. Not that I'm complaining because it is one of the best hand creams ever. Hand Food is Soap & Glory's award winning hand cream made from shea butter, macadamia oil, and marshmallow - all combined to make a hydrating moisturiser to pamper your hands with.

Umberto Giannini Miracle Worker Smooth Serum*

This is a little miracle worker! I use 3 pumps of this fruity scented serum on towel-dried hair before blow drying to add shine, tame and de-frizz me ol' barnet. I recently dyed my hair again so I'm using serums and quick treatments to keep it looking healthy, especially when I know I'm spending the majority of the day outdoors.

Bareminerals BarePro*

This doesn't fit in to the pink theme, I know, but I just had to give BareMinerals BarePro a mention (I also don't have a foundation that is packaged in pink!).

 I have seen mixed reviews but I've personally got on well with it. I think it is marketed as a foundation you can wear on it's own and I think theat the coverage may be too light for some. It *might* make a difference if you use BareMinerals Core Coverage Brush to build the coverage, as it packs the powder on but I keep it simple by sweeping BarePro foundation over a BB Cream to cover, mattify, and set. 

To let my skin breathe for a day, I use it on it's own when I can't be bothered to add a proper base. The selling point for me is that it's non-comedogenic (doesn't block pores).

winter beauty essentials

Lily Lolo Lip Gloss (English Rose)*

I am very picky when it comes to lipgloss. I dislike that gloopy texture but these days, the formula has improved a lot. A lot of brands have released non-sticky formulas but they're still sticky?! But the consistency is lighter and less-gloopy for which I am happy about! I've been a chapped mess lately, so I've been reaching for the lip gloss rather than the lippy and Lily Lolo's English Rose has been my lip colour of choice.

Soap & Glory Smoothie Star Breakfast Scrub

This is probably my all-time favourite body scrub, it's smells like a bowl of oats and syrup... which might sound strange if you've never smelled Soap & Glory's Smoothie Star Breakfast Scrub before, but trust me!! If you like sweetly scented body products, you will LOVE this. There's a body lotion with a matching scent if you want to smell like cupcakes all day long!

katy perry mad love perfume

Now for the bit most of you are here for! The GIVEAWAY!

I have one bottle of Katy Perry's Mad Love Eau de Parfum up for grabs and all you have to do is enter via Rafflecopter below. Follow the instructions to submit your entry. The lucky winner will be contacted via email after the giveaway has ended. 

Please note that this giveaway is open to the UK only. Good luck!

Edit: The giveaway is now closed.

Katy Perry Mad Love perfume is available to buy from Superdrug and prices start from £24 for the 100ml but if you want to win a bottle, scroll down to the bottom for details on how to enter!

Sponsored by Single Edition Media


Monday, 14 November 2016

YSL Black Opium Collector Edition

This perfume was just the pick-me-up treat I needed over the weekend. Recovering from a stupid cold (it’s so stupid), the only thing that (temporarily) got me out of my fluffy dressing gown and into some ‘proper’ clothes was the short walk to the letter box located on the ground floor of of the apartment block.

I received a bunch of exciting post of which you will see on the blog in the coming weeks. I try not to play favourites with all the lovely things that gets delivered to me, but I got pretty excited to see a surprise black parcel with the Yves Saint Laurent logo on it.

What could it beeeee?.... 

YSL Black Opium Collector Edition

YSL Black Opium Collector Edition

Well, obviously, we know now that in the parcel was a beautiful bottle of Yves Saint Laurent’s Black Opium Eau de Parfum* - the Collector Edition.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

My Top 10 Beauty Advent Calendars 2016

I spotted the first beauty advent calendar round ups on beauty blogs around the middle of October and thought to myself, ooooh that’s a bit keen

I had decided that October was way too soon, and that I would at least wait until Bonfire Night is done and dusted before cracking on with Christmas related content....

Top 10 Beauty Advent Calendars 2016, decleor advent calendar 2016

My Top 10 Beauty Advent Calendars

...But now I realise why those beauty bloggers were getting ahead of the game. It’s because these beauty advent calendars sell out so fast and you have to be SO quick to buy them! I should’ve known better.

Beauty calendars are more popular than ever this year and there are a lot of choices this Christmas but I've narrowed it down to my top 10.

A word of advice, though... If you see a particular beauty advent calendar you want to buy, be quick and buy it before they're all gone!

Let the Christmas chaos begin!


Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Molton Brown Gingerlily Hand Gift Set

Molton Brown Gingerlily Hand Gift Set

It’s that time of year again! All the best products gets bundled up in to a fancy gift box to entice you with their sparkly good looks. It works, too. Especially if you’re a sucker for beautiful packaging like I am. 

Thankfully, when it comes to Molton Brown, the contents are just as fabulous as the packaging they come in!

Molton Brown Gingerlily Hand Gift Set

Molton Brown is one of the first brand I go to for gifts all year round. Every birthday and Christmas, my mum always asks for something (anything!) from Molton Brown so I’ve become quite familiar with the their products. 

A box that she’s going to have to fight me for is this Gingerly Hand Gift Set*! It is very luxurious and looks great in my bathroom.

Molton Brown Gingerlily Hand Gift Set

Gingerlily is a really popular scent for Molton Brown. Inspired by the tropical Tahitian shore, Gingerlily embodies a warm and exotic fragrance of ginger oil, tuberose, cedar wood, and white lily. There is also Polynesian tamanu nut oil to keep skin pampered. 

Molton Brown Gingerlily Hand Gift Set

The three-piece Limited Edition Gingerlily Hand Gift Set includes a 300ml hand wash, a handbag sized 60ml hand cream, and a 300ml hand lotion. 

Available for £40.00 in Molton Brown stockists or directly from Molton Brown website where you can a free gift when you spend £45, and free delivery when your order is over £49. Browse the Christmas gift here.

Monday, 7 November 2016

A Cosy Primark Autumn Winter Haul

primark haul autumn winter 2016

A Cosy Primark Autumn Winter Haul

My wardrobe was seriously lacking in knitwear and as it’s been so cold lately, I was desperate for a couple of new jumpers! Primark is the only place I can afford to buy knitwear, so I popped in to buy a cosy jumper or two… but when you pay Primark a visit, it’s never just a cosy jumper or two, is it?!

Two jumpers turn in to three, and you may as well pick up a pack of cosy socks because they're £1.70 for two pairs. Oh, and you'll need a pair of new tights because well, why not. You always need tights in Winter! What about new bedding? Do I need a new set? I mean, I don't really need it but it is only £11 and that's a bargain so just put it in the basket AAAAND let's make our way to the checkout stat. 

Before you know it, you're walking out of the shop with a bag of new stuff.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Birchbox x Tatler November 2016

Birchbox x Tatler November 2016

Sorry to drop another Birchbox unboxing in less than a week! :-/ 

Very excited to reveal this month’s Birchbox which is a collaboration with Tatler. I loved their collab last year but that was for a very special, one-off, limited edition box. 

Birchbox x Tatler November 2016

Birchbox x Tatler November 2016

This year, however, Birchbox and Tatler have got together again to curate an edition for all their subscribers to enjoy. The outer packaging is a stunning peacock feather design and inside are 5 beauty samples designed to prep you for the party season.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Autumn Winter Lush Haul

Autumn Winter Lush Haul

I haven’t been to Lush a lot this past year but I tend to buy in small batches and try make it last for as long as possible. It is pricy but we all need a cheerful Lush treat every now and then (especially at this time of year), so when I went shopping last week, I prepared myself to part with my money!

Autumn Winter Lush Haul

Autumn Winter Lush Haul

I knew that I wanted to buy something because I love Lush at this time of year. I didn’t end up going overboard but I treated myself to a few goodies!

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Birchbox Star Sign Edition

It doesn’t feel right to be blogging about October’s Birchbox* in November but I spotted a sneak peek of Birchbox’s November edition today and I thought I’d catch up with their October box!

I think I’ve featured Birchbox every month for almost two years, so it’s almost like a monthly ritual now and if I miss a month, it will (probably) throw my blog out of kilter. Maybe THAT’S why I’ve felt a bit weird and distant from my blog lately? All I needed to do was to blog about Birchbox to make things right again!

Birchbox Star Sign Edition

Birchbox Star Sign Edition

ANYWAY… as the saying goes, better late than never. So here is what I received in October’s Birchbox (sorry it’s late!).

With the theme of Zodiac signs, I got an Air element box as I’m an Aquarius. Although if the new Nasa star signs are anything to go by, I may be a Capricorn now. Now that really would throw me off-kilter. 

The Air edition contains 6 beauty products, 3 of which are full size, so let's start with one of them.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Shopping The Beauty Department... On TV

Even though TV Shopping channels has been around for years, I can imagine it being a strange concept to people who are younger than me, especially with the ease of Internet shopping, but this kind of distribution is still a success in shifting large volumes of stock - albeit to an older, more traditional audience, but it does work! After all, it was the original 'shopping from the comfort of your own home'.

I don’t have Sky or anything like that, so when there’s absolutely nothing on TV (which seems to be quite often these days!), I will put the home shopping channel on for a bit of background noise. But ONLY when it’s the beauty segments, though!

Usually, a rep or an expert from the brand’s head office talks through cult classics and new releases, and I’ve learned more from watching them than the advice given to me from sales assistants.

I find them really informative as they go in-depth about the brand and whatever they are selling… although they’d have to be pretty thorough when your segments are on for 2 hours long! Gotta fill that air time! 

ideal world tv beauty department

Shopping The Beauty Department... On TV

But seriously, they go in to a lot of detail about one product as they describe it from top to bottom, inside out, front and back - from how to use it, different ways of getting the most of it, and the key ingredients. They know how to sell a product to the viewers, that’s for sure! The reps passion for what they’re selling rubs off on you and by the end, you're like SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY.

What's great about the major TV shopping channels is that they can shift a huge volume of product like you wouldn’t believe and due to the sheer quantity that they buy in, they can afford to transfer the discount on to the customer, so that’s probably why most things are a few bob cheaper than the high street. 

Sometimes brands give these channels exclusivity and launch products on there first. You'll also often see exclusive gift sets that are made just for the channels, and I believe this has happened in the past with Benefit Cosmetics, Tarte, Liz Earle, Molton Brown, and Philosophy.

© Temporary:Secretary | UK Fashion & Beauty Blogger | All rights reserved.
Blog Layout Created by pipdig