Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Beauty Advent Calendars | My Favourite Picks For Christmas 2016! (From £25 to £280!)

There's nothing more exciting for me right now than this moment right here. My first Christmas related blog post... a little bit premature you may think, but isn't there that saying 'fail to prepare, prepare to fail'? So, if you fail to prepare yourself for the very important decision of which beauty advent calendar to buy you're risking wasting quite a large amount of money! Beauty advent calendars are a reasonably new thing in the past few years which I feel are taking a hold this year, as more and more brands put there own spin on the idea. Because who needs chocolate when you can add to your beauty stash?! It will be like a mini taste of christmas day every morning through December! I've never had one before but feel this year that should change, but with so many I realised the task of picking only one was going to take some good old fashioned research. Here's my top picks on this years beauty advent calendars that will hopefully help you decide which one is right for you.

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For the Beauty Lovers...

✖ The Beauty Advent Calendar by ASOS - RRP £50.00
Contents worth: £175.00
Contains 24 products including skincare, make up and haircare, from a range of brands including Dermalogica, Elemis and Philosophy.
My thoughts: This is the second cheapest you'll see on this list but although at first glance you may think £50 is pricey for an advent calendar, it is worth taking into consideration the original worth of the products you will be receiving. That fact definitely softens the blow and makes the calendars worth it. Remember these really are a novelty item! If you love shopping on asos's beauty category then this advent calendar while be perfect for you and you may discover some new favourites. 

The Beauty Secret Advent Calendar by LookFantastic - RRP £70.00
Contents worth: £300.00
Contains a mixture of full size and same size products including skincare, haircare, bodycare and make up from the likes of Pixi, Origins and ThisWorks. 
My thoughts: Lookfantastic are a real fan of beauty subscription boxes so its no surprise they've created this beauty after last years Christmas advent calendars success. They've nailed the packaging and I bet they hope this hooks people into  their monthly beauty boxes but hey why not! I really like the fact that there's not only mini sized products behind the numbered doors which explains the large contents worth of 300 pounds!
✖ Bright Lights, Big City Calendar by No.7 - RRP: £39.00
Contents worth: £151.95
Contains No.7's best skincare and make up treats for your daily dose of beauty. Follow the link to sign up to the waiting list.
My thoughts: I've included this one because of its amazing relatable price point especially because it is for the whole of December, not just the 12 days before. Also it has lovely packaging and is perfect for anyone who uses No.7's products a lot. 

✖ World of Legendary Parties Advent Calendar by Charlotte Tilbury - RRP £150.00
Contains 12 travel size products:
- Mini Magic Cream, Mini Wonderglow, Mini Multi Miracle Glow, Mini Goddess Skin Clay Mask, Mini Take It All Off Eye Makeup Remover and Mini Supermodel Body.
- Eyes to Mesmerise: Marie Antoinette, K.I.S.S.I.N.G. Lipstick: Penelope Pink, Colour Chameleon: Black Diamonds, Exclusive Pocket Pout: Jessica Red, Mini Legendary Lashes and Lip Lustre: Sweet Stiletto.
My thoughts: An unattainable price point for someone like me but I just had to feature it, as it is the winner of best packaging in my eyes and the thought of opening a Charlotte Tilbury product every morning on the run up to Christmas day is just #wintergoals. 
Beauty Delights Advent Calendar by Clarins - RRP £95
Contents worth: £146
Contains some of Clarins most popular beauty products:
15ml Detox Booster, 50ml Beauty Flash Balm, 7ml Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil, 50ml Hand Cream, 15ml Eau Dynamisante, 50ml Toning Lotion Camomille, Normal to Dry Skin, 3,7ml Blush Prodige #02, 4ml Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch, 5ml Instant Light Natural Lip perfector #01, 0,47g crayon Khol Eye Pencil, 3ml Wonder Perfect Mascara Black #01, 10ml Instant Radiance Boosting base, 10ml Instant Eye Make-up Remover, 10ml Cleansing Milk, Normal to Dry Skin, 5ml Gentle Refiner, 3ml HydraQuench Intensive Serum Bi-Phase, 5ml HydraQuench Cream Normal to Dry Skin, 3ml HydraQuench Moisture Replenishing Lip Balm, 2ml Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil "Dehydrated Skin", 5ml One-Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser, Bag Accessory Leaf, Bag Accessory Macaron, Bag Accessory Flake and 3 Gift Tags.
My thoughts: I think this is a really well thought out, generous advent calendar. It gives you all the products you need to create a full skincare routine, along with some of  their best selling make up items. I wish I could buy this for myself and for my grandma as she is a loyal Clarins customer and I know how much joy this would bring to her every morning. Also the price point is very fair for the amount of products you get!

24 Happy Days Ultimate Beauty Advent Calendar by The Body Shop - RRP £99
Contents worth: £187
Contains The Body Shops more luxurious products like Drops of Youth Concentrate, Lip and Cheek Tint, Oils of Life Facial Oil, British Rose Body Butter, and Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask for 24 days of pure bliss.
My thoughts: The Body Shop have released three different advent calendars this year allocating different products to all three to create calendars of different price ranges. The cheapest is £60 so if this Ultimate one is out of your price range take a look at the others on their website. On all three options you save at least £40 by buying the gift set, so if you're a fan of The Body Shop it's a great way to try new products. 
✖ The 2016 Beauty Advent Calendar by Marks & Spencer - Coming Soon
Contents worth: Unknown
Contains 25 beauty treats from deluxe travel minis to full size products from a range of well known brands stocked in M&S such as, Philip Kinglesy, Rosie for Autograph, Nuxe and Emma Hardie!
My thoughts: I included this beauty calendar by M&S because the range of brands included in this is amazing. Some of my personal favourite featured products are the Emma Hardie Mooring Cleansing Balm, Alpha H Liquid Gold and Ren Evercalm Day Cream. This calendar is a great chance to try those lusted after beauty products without having to buy them all individual. Hopefully it won't be too pricey!
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For the Scent Lovers...
Holiday Party Advent Calendar by Yankee Candle - RRP £24.99
Each door reveals a festive scented tea light candle.
My thoughts: I've been more impressed with Yankee Candles packaging in the past but nevertheless I am an absolute huge fan of this company and its products so I would probably of included this even it is came in a plain cardboard box! At £25 its a great affordable way to inject a dose of happiness and scent into your days to get you in the Christmas spirit.
✖ Diptyque Advent Calendar by Diptyque - RRP £250.00
Contains miniature size products including candles, body polishes and infused facial water. 
My thoughts: A very very pricey advent calendar featuring 25 luxurious scents. This is another one I can imagine in my Christmas dream world! Diptyque is an expensive luxury brand therefore, like Charlotte Tilbury, you can't expect anything less and this beauty advent calendar has a much more mature vibe for the lovely ladies or gentlemen who take great enjoyment in scents.
Advent Calendar by Jo Malone - RRP £280.00
Contains twenty four Jo Malone products in a variety of scents.
My thoughts: For those looking for a very special advent calendar for a Jo Malone super fan, this is definitely it! I just want to point out that if you're reading this thinking 'why on earth would you spend that much on a advent calendar?' I understand you, I really do. Two of those equals the price of my first car! But this has its place in the luxury beauty world and think of how happy this could make a scent  Like Diptyque, Jo Malone is a luxury brand and it's beautiful, mature packaging stays true to this brand. I'm not entirely sure why this only goes to number 24 as lets face it, 25 is the day we're all looking forward to... perhaps it's because an extra box would have ruined the perfect townhouse design.

There we have my favourite picks for this years Christmas advent calendars! If you're looking for something suitable for the younger generation I suggest looking as FeelUnique, Tanya Burr and Make Up Revolution as I know their advent calendars are much more suitable and much cheaper than the ones featured in this post.

Let me know if you're planning on swapping your chocolate advents for beauty ones this year? Or maybe you're going to have both! xo

Sunday, 16 October 2016

All About The Base | Foundation Favourites

Today I'm racking up my 5 favourite foundations I've used this year so far! I love having different options of base depending on what I need out of my make up that day so here a five mini foundation reviews that may help you in deciding what foundation is best for you...
Just so you know my skin is tends to always be normal but I have an oily T Zone and I always wear power to set foundation.. please take this into consideration in relation to my reviews. These opinions are purely my own so if you have dry skin perhaps my recommendations will not be great for you! 
I recommend you always trie a foundation sample before splurging on a luxury brand. (Notice I love the word LUMINOUS in my foundations) 
bareminerals Bare Skin Serum Foundation
What intrigued me so much about this foundation is it is described as, not only a mineral foundation but a skincare serum as well to help improve you skin rather than make it worse like some foundations can. I can't say I use it enough to back up this claim or not as to see a true result you would have to use this foundation everyday to see if it made a difference with the clarity of you skin. However, if this is what you are interested in I do recommend giving it a go! In terms of coverage and texture this is rather watery and gives a light coverage, but is buildable! I'm a fan of this formula because it is free of oil, silicone, parabens and fragrance so it does feel like you're doing your skin a favour by wearing this. This foundation, like every one I've tried does oxidise on my skin within a few hours but does not look bad. It's a great option for those days I just want a little bit of colour and coverage on my face but don't expect it to last all day. 

Nars All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation
This has became one of my all time favourite foundations that I always want to have in my collection. It's a great formula but actually gives the prefect amount of coverage I feel I need (medium) The formula is lovely and light weight, giving a nice natural complexion look. Nars has created this foundation in an impressive 20 shades for all types of skin tone which I think more companies need to follow suit! I find this best applied by my fingers and then blended with a beauty blender, it does not look as good when applied with a brush! I highly recommend this if your looking for a natural looking foundation that gives a medium to build able coverage. It has great staying power which is another reason it's one of my favs! 

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation
As celebrity and blogger favourite it's no surprise this foundation has become many peoples holy grail foundation.  Like them, I am a massive fan of it's radiant complexion with a satin finish. It's a great foundation especially when you've got great skin underneath because you just look so healthy! It is also versatile to be used daytime (natural look) or build it for a heavier coverage night time healthy, glowy base. I'd definitely pick this over a cakey or creamy formula any day!

Make Up Forever Ultra HD Foundation
I love this foundation for night time or any event where there might be pictures taken. I think its great that they reformulated this foundation when HD TV progressed because we all want to have flawless on camera! It's a thicker formula than the above 3 foundations so gives a thicker but silkier coverage and looks great regardless of the application technique. I tend to use a buffing brush or a beauty blender and I always buy this in a darker colour to match my tan as I always seem to be tanned on occasions I want to wear this. It's now my go to night time foundation that I know I can rely on. Also it has no SPF so no weird flashback on photographs. I feel like this is a foundation that will work on any skin type so really recommend you check it out.

Mac Studio Sculpt Foundation
The last foundation I've included is Macs Studio Sculpt which I was unsure whether to include because it does have a negative to it which may prevent me from repurchasing. That is that is seriously irritates my eyes so I can't blend it right up to the lower lash line, instead having to blend more carefully with concealer. For some reason even just being close to my eyes make them sting and water however, I have included it because perhaps this won't effect some people and apart from this I do like this foundation.  This is a massive recommendation to check this out as a sample first to make suer this doesn't happen to you! So, onto the good things. This is a great foundation for a heavier coverage with its gel like consistancy and lasts well throughout the day with a goos setting powder. Would I pick it over any of the other foundations... No, But that doesn't mean that is doesn't look good and blend really nicely, plus I mainly use this when I'm having a bad skin day and want to 'feel' the foundation in my face.

The next foundations I really want to try include the Smashbox Studio Skin 15 Hour Wear Hydrating Foundation and the Urban Decay All Nighter Full Coverage Longwear Liquid Foundation as I've seem them highly reviewed.  

What's your favourite foundation?


Saturday, 15 October 2016

The Best Ways To Unwind & Create A Night Time Routine

Recently, I've been really struggling to get to sleep... I can lie for hours restlessly tossing and turning trying to get my mind to relax and fall asleep. What I've come to realise is that without sleep I just can't function, I've never been one of those all nighter kind of people but as I get into my early 20's its only becoming harder (I am completely aware I sound like someone in their earlier 70s!) But seriously, I'd rather be in bed at 10pm if it means I can actually function the next day.  

Because of this I knew I had to make some changes in my night time routine if I was going to see a difference, starting with my biggest issue... 

 Take your make up off as soon as you're home.
My biggest downfall is not doing this, I wait and wait until the very end of the night where I'm usually lying half asleep on the sofa. Having to take my make up off and do my skincare routine always wakes me back and sometimes I just can't be bothered to do it properly so I miss steps.
Create a routine that works for you.
No two people’s lives are the same, so neither are their night time 'routines'. Some people have absolutely no routine because no two days are spent the same but the majority of the working population will use their night times to spend time with loved ones and just relax after a tiring day at work. We all have those nights where you wish every night was like it, it all goes smoothly and makes you feel the best. My main advice is to identify this night for you and you can then transfer those reasons into a real night time routine that works for you. This will make sure that you get everything done you need to by setting aside blocks of time you routinely do. Having a routine will really help your motivation, organisation and stress levels but its important to not be annoyed if your routine doesn't always go to plan. life needs a certain amount of spontaneity to!
Do something that makes you happy.
Whether it's binge watching a tv show, getting some exercise in, getting crafty or cooking  meals, you need to do something every day that makes you feel like you. Something that gives you that mini sense of accomplishment that doesn't relate to work. For me this is definitely blogging, it's the thing that gives me that buzz after I hit the publish button on another post. We all need that 'buzz' to keep going.
Set a relaxing atmosphere.
I find the best way to unwind is by making the room really warm and cosy with candles. Get into your nicest pyjamas and enjoy the time you have before bed. My favourite pjs at the moment are Boohoo's Satin Set Pjs because they are so comfortable and affordable!
Prepare for the next day. 
Something my grandma has always told me is that if you have a lot in your mind write it all down and you'll be able to sleep better. This isn't alone going to solve someone’s problems but it definitely does help you feel like you're on top of things. I'm a huge fan of lists, I write multiple lists a day just to help me through the day or else I get nothing done. I like to have To-Do lists so I can prioritise what needs done now and I tend to write these in my diary to plan ahead. I also take it to the extreme of little lists of the tasks I have to do broken down... yep a legit list lover. Now I'm going to always try to do a concise list while relaxing of what I need to do the next day so I feel prepared as nothing delays my productivity more than wasting time in the morning figuring out what I need to do that day.
Stay off your phone/ laptop once in bed.
Possibly the worst thing you can do for your sleep pattern is stay on your phone right up until the moment you decide to go to sleep. Technology keeps our minds awake so if you stay on your phone or laptop until you try to sleep it’s going to take a while for you mind to actually relax. I don't even think we realise we do this but now, more now than ever I'm noticing I just can't seem to lie down without feeling like I should be filling in my time on my phone. It's like a false sense of productivity... your mind feels like its doing something really time worthy and beneficial but in actual fact all your doing is scrolling Instagram or Twitter.  I'm in deep with this habit now and can't seem to actually just do nothing
Try a sleep spray.
Sleep sprays are a great thing to try if you're struggling to sleep. I recommend trying this works deep sleep pillow spray but any lavender scent spray should do the trick. I don't know how or why it works but it does! Just don't spray too much because it can be overwhelming. 

So, there we have it, my best tips on how to unwind, get better sleep and create a night time routine for you! If you already do these things then you must get the best nights sleep and I am so jealous. You've definitely got your night time routine shiz together. Leave your best tips for how you unwind in the comments! -xo
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