December Glossybox

Felt very substantial to me somehow. Maybe because it looked jam packed or may be because all the products were extremely productive and usable. No keep-it-asiders-for-friends-and-family this time! I freaking love Wilkinson razor that came along. Now I never thought I'd say this about a razor but it seriously leaves my skin so soft and is the best one I've tried at getting to the roots for a baby soft finish. Old razor went in the bin immediately. 

The seche vite nail paint is a gorgeous deep pink, berry shade that looks fantastic on the nails and compliments my skin tone quite well. For me, such shades are more classic and versatile than your typical glossy red number. I give it full marks. 

Maybelline Colossal is something I've drooled after and head YouTuber's raving about since ages but with a wardrobe of mascaras to go through, I just couldn't justify getting this. Am glad it came in this box and unlike what it claims, it's in fact quite a natural, flexible hold mascara. Perfect for days when you're dreading that spider-lash effect. 

The Beautiful Lips Lip Gloss is super pigmented and is a perfect nude-peachy colour for my skin tone. I usually can't pull of nudes as they tend to make me look like a walking corpse but this shade has the right amount of warmth. Dr Bronner's Magic Soap I've used and talked about before and is always welcome in my bath and body shelves.

Overall, not a single item of disappointment and they all somehow feel so useful to me. Well done Glossybox! May be see more of such boxes in 2014.


Hand Chemistry - Anti Ageing Hand Cream with Results in 10 days!

With so many anti-ageing products dominating the skincare market, how could we leave the hard working hands behind? So here is, a specially developed formula just for the hands. You may have heard the well known saying that look at a person's hands to judge their 'real' age hence if you're one of those people who obsess about how fast their hands are ageing compared to their face - this one's for you. I personally never pay attention to my hands and without any discipline, tend to moisturise them whenever I find some spare time which is hardly ever. But I know a few people who moisturise their hands after every hand wash and those are the hands that will look much younger compared to mine when I grow old apparently.

Again, I seriously cannot be bothered about ageing hands. I am just not that superficial. But if you're someone in your 40's and above and seriously want to see drastic results in terms of hydration, firming, brightening, elasticity and reduction in brown spots on your hands, you need this in your life. It's the only handcream that I have found which works as quickly and effectively at anti-ageing. You can read all the scientific blurb about the ingredients on their website but to me, it's simply ingenious and something all anti-ageing obsessed individuals need a tube of, asap.

My mum is obsessed with it and as much as I wish I could show you some before-afters albeit subtle, she just won't allow me to feature her hands on the blog. For £18.99 a pop, you might as well try it for yourself or maybe gift it to your nan, mum or aunt this New Year. Again, I highly doubt you'll see results on young skin but if you have wrinkly hands with saggy skin, loss of elasticity, dehydration and hyperpigmentation, expect visible before-afters for sure.

The formula of it is pretty different compared to your usual off-the-shelf hand creams in terms of extreme hydration and longevity. Also, the tube is a huge one for a hand cream at 100ml.

Available to purchase at www.boots.com


Lotsa Luxe: Virgin Human Hair Extensions

Hair Extensions have come a long way since when they used to be synthetic. Do you remember the time when artificial hair extensions were uber popular and how people use to sport the overtly glossy and fake looking tresses? Since the past few years however, advancements in technology and consumer demand has lead to an increase in human hair extensions especially Indian and Brazilian hair as they are considered to have the best form and density to blend in seamlessly with natural hair.

Lotsa Luxe Hair is a US based retail and wholesale supplier of virgin human hair extensions and lace wigs and I decided to write about them as they are very consumer centric, which is highly necessary in this type of service. Hair is quite a personal thing and they work hard at ensuring consumers receive only the best and are fully satisfied with how the extensions look and blend in with their natural hair.

I also liked the fact that they have unprocessed virgin Indian hair, Virgin Remy Indian hair, Virgin Remy Mongolian Hair, Virgin Remy Brazilian Hair in a variety of colours and textures. This means they come to you in their natural state without any tampering done to the roots or ends. So whether you are suffering from hair loss and want some extensions to temporarily make up for hair volume whilst you treat the problem or simply want fuller, thicker hair for a wedding or a special occasion, these virgin human hair extensions are versatile enough to adapt to a variety of consumer needs.

The hair extensions are also available in different types such as machine weft, hand tied, clip ins, keratin fusion and micro ring strands. I believe these different have to do with how the extensions are tied in with your natural hair and how they will flow once on.

Keratin fused hair extensions are small bundles of hair that have been coated in keratin protein to form a tip at the top. They are currently the most popular amongst professional hair dressers I’ve heard! What’s more, they ship virgin human hair extensions worldwide to individual clients as well as hairdressers and salon owners, so if you’re interested head over to indianhairbrokers.com for a gander.

Oh and if you’re new to the world of human hair extensions, Virgin Remy hair actually means it’s of the highest quality. It’s because it’s raw hair directly collected from the hair donor and the cuticle hasn't been acid stripped. This gives it natural movement and prevents it from tangling. They also do lace wigs which can actually be custom made if needed. If you’re thinking of dipping your feet into hair extensions in the new year or want to update your hair extensions to a better quality, check them out for a huge variety. 

*sponsored post

Sian Dellar Semi Permanent Makeup – Something to indulge in the New Year?

I am a beauty blogger and absolutely love the ritual of coating my face in  foundation every day, topping up lipstick when it fades, filling in brows in case the rain washes the filled in powder and keep re-correcting my eye liner at times of smudging and smearing. But I can totally see why many wouldn't find this so called ‘ritual’ appealing or convenient especially to abide by every day. If you fit into this criterion, semi permanent makeup by Sian Dellar will be your best bet. It’s not something that’s a taboo or frowned upon by people any more. If clown like make-up comes to your mind when you think of semi permanent makeup, you need to check out Sian Dellar’s before-after client pictures which will completely change your mind.

I absolutely love her techniques which she adapts depending on the client’s preference and needs. For instance, eye brow hairs can be stroked in prominently or you can have a soft powdered effect for just some depth and definition. It goes without saying that these treatments are all waterproof so rain or shine, humidity or mist – your brow hairs will luckily stay in place! Semi Permanent Makeup treatments like eye brow tattooing have now become a part and parcel of celebrities lives and if you simply google Hollywood celebrities who have opted for permanent makeup, a long and a very interesting list comes up including the stunning Megan Fox.

If you’re worried about the process, don’t be as Sian is highly qualified and includes a consultation session in her treatment fee to set you at ease and discuss all possible concerns that you may have. A numb cream is used prior to the treatment so you don’t feel a thing and complete after care is provided, including a top-up session 6 weeks later to accommodate for any changes or to perfect results. Eyeliner and Lip Enhancement are budding treatments in the area of permanent makeup and they include defining the upper and/or lower lash line and enhancing the shape or the colour of the lips. If you’re thinking of 60’s overtly defined lips then that’s not the case. Think about Make-up Artist Lisa Eldridge’s modern way of cheating a new lip line – that’s what Sian aims to achieve.

However much I feel I do not need semi permanent makeup, I personally would love to wake up with flushed lips, full brows and defined eyes. If you suffer from sparse eye brows, extremely thin lips or even sensitive eyes that don’t allow you to play with eye liner/mascara, permanent makeup can be the way to go this New Year.


Christmas Beauty Gifts: Yonka Absolute Vitality

Yonka is a high end skin care brand and this year for Christmas they have come out with this absolutely gorgeous clutch bag named Absolute Vitality. I believe it's for mature skin that needs some help in the radiance department. It comes with an intensely hydration cream for dry skin, a radiance boosting, firming cream for mature skin and a repairing mask for dehydrated skin.

The products contain fruit acids which help in brightening the skin and lightening any blemish marks or minor pigmentation. I noticed most of the products have this distinct fruity smell to them, quite refreshing I have to say. They feel lush to use on the skin and much more soothing and comforting than your regular, off the shelf, highstreet skincare. However, I also noticed how they are not heavy feeling on the skin making them appropriate for oily-combination skin types as well.

I always judge a product based on how it makes my skin look the day after, especially considering most high end skincare breaks me out. This however is quite intelligent as it left my troubled skin looking glowing and at peach in the morning. Trust me,  I don't usually wake up with glowing skin as much as I wish I did but these products work hard at giving you that supermodel glow.

It would make a fabulous Christmas present if you can still find it at yonkashop.co.uk. If not, you can purchase they products individually as well.


Ren Omega 3 Optimum Skin Serum Oil

Whoever said oily skin girls cannot use facial oils, needs to think again or perhaps put Caroline Hirons blog in their to-read list.

Whatever your skin type, if the oil does not contain nasty ingredients than can result in a flare-up or breakouts, which are mineral oil and lavender in my case - then it won't break you out most probably. I have used a handful of face oils in my blogging journey and have loved some and hated many but have never really cherished any. This gem by Ren however is gorgeous!

It contains Omega 3 which we all know as the superfood that all supplements boast to contain. Apparently it's good for your skin topically too at keeping it moist, supple and plump. Think about it, if it stays plump - fine lines just wont be visible and neither will sagging skin hence it's anti-ageing claim. It also contains ingredients that jogs up your skins cellular activity which in turn helps at better product absorption, helping you get the most out of your skincare.

I personally feel the oil isn't overtly greasy hence is perfect for combination-dehydrated skin, yes that is a skin condition thanks for asking. It absorbs in pretty quickly but still leaves a nice moist layer on the skin that makes skin look healthy, not shiny if you know what I mean? I like to use it at night, just on it's own as moisturiser on top can be a bit too much for me. It such a lovely drink for the skin to feed on after you've been slacking with your skincare, been travelling or just eating unhealthy food. It's like a little skincare SOS product for me. Most importantly, because I do not wake up in a breakout after using this.

This was my first product from Ren I believe and if you can't already tell, I'm going back for more :)

Buy it here www.renskincare.com for £23.

Clarks Ankle Boots: My Winter Staple!

I'm not one for featuring fashion finds on the blog, one because I'm not extremely fashionable and two, because I'm really fussy and opinionated when it comes apparel. These babies from Clarks however have been my Winter staple since the past few weeks and I thought they deserved a shout out on the blog!

If you're fussy like me when it comes to Boots, these will tick all the right boxes for you. I liked these at first instance not because they were extremely quirky or fashionable but in fact they looked quite versatile and wearable. I personally like full value for money and these look great with dresses, jumper tops and leggings alike.

I have a soft spot for suede and as you can see, the front has a lot of it going on there. The chic snake effect leather print at the back adds a nice mix of textures still keeping it quite soft and muted. The heel is around 2 to 2.5 inches which is just about perfect for my train commute and walking-around-the-city journeys, considering anything above that heel size just leads me to tripping almost everywhere - no joke.

Of course these being ankle boots allow my skinny jeans to tuck into them seamlessly. I cannot stand boots that are higher and end just mid-way through the leg, leaving an awkward situation for the jeans, especially if they are not as skinny as mine (thank god for Topshop!).

The mushroom brown colour I choose on purpose as I was tired of sporting tans that stood out a bit too much and pitch blacks that did just nothing for the apparel. I believe these were for £60 but seeing how absolutely comfortable they are and how I haven't slipped wearing them even a single time which is a rare occasion for me, they are well worth the money.


Giveaway Winners: NYX & Catwalk Glamour

Catwalk Glamour Winner is: Lynsey Buchanan


NYX Giveaway Winner is: Holly Brown 


I've passed on your emails to respected companies who will then email to you to ask for your address so your goodies can be delivered to you.


Last Minute Christmas Gift Ideas

It's 1 week and 1 day left until Christmas and if you still haven't got your hands on pressies for friends or family, NOW will be a great time. If like me, elbowing the crowd in the mall isn't quite your way to spend an evening after work, then online shopping shall be your best friend at this time of the year.

Of course you could head over to online versions of your favourite high street stores or designer fluff but I know a majority of you out here like yourself a nice bargain, so here's my favourite picks cobbled together from Catwalk Glamour. If you haven't heard about them, they believe in the mantra of  'affordable luxury', chic fashion that doesn't have to be pricey.

Lush Cashmere Scarf - Apparently every sophisticated lady must have a cashmere scarf in their wish list. Well, get them one this year. Catwalk Glamour have their silk and cashmere scarves on offer at a bargainlicious £32 or 2 for £40! Mums, aunts and grannies are bound to love you for it. Oh and they're unisex too so if there's a difficult lad in the family you just cannot narrow down a present for, this would work just fine!

A Michael Kors lookalike - Designer watches are always topping Christmas wish lists aren't they? If you can't afford your little sister or niece some expensive eye candy, then opt for a chic yet wallet friendly option that looks just as good. Apparently if you indulge in two watches, you get a generous 50% off, making one watch absolutely free. Perfect for twinsies.

Make-up brush set for the pros-to-be - And if you still have to get a present for the beauty enthusiast, it's as easy as a professional full set of make-up brushes. They have some lovely options which resemble the expensive Bobbi Brown ones with the sable handle, a short handled glossy red holiday collection and a lush synthetic black and white option.

If all fails, a necklace with a cute dog pendant will melt anyone's heart! I've spotted an adorable poodle necklace on there.


Dermalogica In-flight Beauty Favourites

If you're lucky enough to be escaping the frosty cold of UK and are heading over to some place warm and fuzzy for Christmas, then first off - I'm jealous and secondly you'll probably be needing some skincare essentials to keep your skin looking glowing, hydrated and supple when faced with the unforgiving and dry cabin air.

Dermalogica Multivitamin Power Recovery Masque - If you're looking for a powerful face mask that revives your skin whilst you snooze or watch a movie in-flight, then this gem of a product is exactly what you're looking for.

Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Masque - For dry, dehydrated skin that needs a little help in the hydration department comes this mask that will leave your skin feeling like it's been drenched in moisture. Like all face masks, you can choose to leave it on your skin for 20 minutes or go all out and keep it on your face for the entire flight duration.

Dermalogica Gentle Soothing Booster - Skin can get quite red, sensitive and inflamed especially when presented with fluctuating climates and unnatural heights. May be you already had a bout of skin sensitivity prior to boarding your flight. In any case, this serum that comes housed in a generous bottle is great to slap on every now and then before or after applying your face mask to calm and soothe.

Dermalogica Age Smart Reversal Eye Complex - If anti-ageing is the concern that tops your list, then tick it off the list with this eye cream that's super hydrating, lifting and firming. It tightens and tones skin whilst keeping the under eye area moist and dewy. This way, light is reflected off fine lines and crows feet hence killing two birds with one stone.

Dermalogica Renewal Lip Complex - If your regular petroleum jelly's are only making things worse for you in the lip department, then ditch that regular carmex and vaseline and opt for an intensive, high quality formula. Albeit priced slightly higher than your usual high street alternatives, this potent formula is thoroughly nourishing on the lips leaving long lasting results, whilst also taking care of any upper lip wrinkles that may have formed due to expression lines or smoking.


Neom Organic Bath & Shower Indulgence Set

If you're an aromatherapy enthusiastic and like introducing your nose to a variety of delicious scents, then you're in luck as any scent lover is bound to like this Bath Oil set by Neom. It contains six mini oils from three scent families including Real Luxury, Tranquillity and Complete Bliss. If you're not familiar with these names, there's a lot of floral, woody and musky scents here which are feminine, de-stressing and relaxing.

You usually don't see people getting themselves some bath oils hence this would make a thoughtful present that any workaholic can indulge in. The bath oils albeit dinky in size are good size to make samplers to test out a particular range by the brand before making a full sized purchase. It's also good if you like yourself some variety and are bound to get easily bored by just one scent.

I have to say these mini gems are also quite potent in the sense they fill up the shower with a strong scent that's hard to miss, giving full value for money. I also like to cheekily rub this in on pulse points for a quiet de-stress moment now and then. A great little keeper at the desk if you tend to stress a lot! There's no right or wrong way of using these and you can use them as body oils too but I feel they work best in the shower as that's their primary purpose.

Compared to bath foams, I prefer myself a decadent good quality bath oil that diffuses well and works in a concentrated manner. If you're not a fan of bubbles and all that fancy jazz in your bath, these are a lovely fuss-free, effective alternative to recreating a spa like experience in the comfort of your home. For £19, I also feel it's reasonably priced and would make a great present for someone who's picky with stuff like accessories and make-up.



Smartbuyglasses Christmas Gift Guide 2013

SmartBuyGlasses is an online store selling designer glasses and sunglasses. Now I've been sporting my Michael Kors prescription glasses since two years now and would really like an upgrade so I've been scanning the website inside out to find myself a decent pair. I don't want something very similar to what I have, yet something wearable and not so celebrity like coz you know, train commute and all that jazz doesn't really justify super glam glasses.

Any how, I came across their Christmas Gift Guide and love how they've allocated designer sunglasses into various categories like for the fashionista, the working girl, vintage, mom, girl next door and all that good stuff. If you're looking to gift a pair of sunnies to someone this Christmas, the guide is absolutely worth checking out.

Below are my three favourite gift guides from what they've created. The first one's called Fashionista and I love how they've maintained the fashion element but still kept them quite classic and wearable. I particularly like the Dolce & Gabbana one with the thick matte black rim. Looks priceless!

Their Vintage edit contains more quirky picks, like the Versace one with the flecks of white thrown in randomly on the rim. The tortoise shell print Chloe ones at the very top with rounded edges also cuts the mustard for me as it's retro but glamorous at the same time. 

If you're a busy mum, you'll understand the subdued, almost muted collection that will help cleverly conceal those fatigued eyes and put together a polished face. They're foolproof, wearable yet chic. Plain enough to be appropriate for the school run but still classy for weekend brunch with the hubby at the same time. I know my mum would adore the Gucci ones.

With 80,000 products available on their online store, free shipping and 100 days return, it's enough to get any designer glasses geek glued onto it for a nice little browse or a cheeky little purchase.



Too Faced Jingle All The Way Palette

Another fabulous Christmas gift idea this festive season is this dinky little palette from Too Faced. I feel this is the perfect little treat for the festive season. It comes housed in a dinky palette with an iPhone 5 cover at the back which is a lovely little touch in my opinion for someone who already has the phone. Two presents, one price tag!

The palette comes with a tonne of party perfect colours. I love the fact that the eye shadows are in tiny little squares. Who's able to finish those huge eye shadow pots anyway? At least this way you feel you've made the most out of your palette. The selection of eye shadows thrown in here are so rich, elegant and jewel toned. I can't fault a single one! The finish is satin-pearl like and they go on seamlessly - you'd know this if you've tried Too Faced eye shadows before.

You also get two setting powders or you can use them to highlight and contour if they're not the exact match for you. If that wasn't enough, Too Faced have also squeezed in a generous sized cool toned pink blush and a shimmery bronzer, because who does matte this time of the year eh?

Whatever the age, any make-up addict is bound to love this little gem of a product. It's such a good size to throw into your bag to take any look from desk to the dance floor. You can get it at different prices ranging from £16 to £20 online. Check it out and I promise you won't be disappointed.


NYX Blogger Challenge (and Giveaway!)

In celebration of NYX being available in NEXT stores, I'm here creating a Christmas Party Look. If you'd like to replicate something similar, NEXT NYX stands should have the essentials for you with a greater variety available online at next.co.uk. It's quite amazing being able to swatch and swipe NYX products in a store as shades can sometimes be difficult to interpret online. Plus a big YAY to no more atrocious shipping fees from the US when ordering NYX!

Any how, regarding my Christmas Party Look, I decided to keep it heavy on the eyes with your usual bling and shimmer going strong, whilst keeping the cheeks, lips and the skin base soft. I create a taupey-silver smoky eye with a hint of midnight blue swiped across the lower lashline and waterline. The blinding shimmer you see on the eyes actually looks much more stunning in real life! Plus, it's the easiest and the most foolproof way to add some glitz and glamour on the eyes minus the fall out. NYX Roll on Shimmer in Platinum - you need this for the festive season.

The base of the eyes is all thanks to the versatile Love in Paris Palette in A La Mode. It comes housed in a dinky compact with a good few brown, grey, black and taupe staples in an assorted matte, satin and shimmer textures. Would make a lovely stocking filler. For the lashes I used Propel My Eyes Mascara and and smudged some Jumbo Eye Pencil in Cobalt on the lower lash line. It's extremely wearable but so gorgeous!

A special mention goes out to NYX The Curve liquid eye liner. All you shaky hand peeps, this is to die for. I myself have a shaky hand when it comes to liner even after 10 years of applying make-up almost daily. But this sucker is worth every penny. It comes in a nice box too and would make a fab stocking filler on it's own.

Coming to the cheeks, NYX Power Blush in Pinched is what took care of that. It's a gorgeous pick-me-shade containing a good neutral mix of pink and peach. It's quite summery but as I said, perfect to banish winter blues this season. It's such superb quality, it makes me doubt my high end purchases.

NYX Illuminator is a flattering pinkish silver power highlighter with looks so beautiful on the cheekbones. I found it looks great on the forehead and the bridge of the nose if buffed in properly to create that dewy look. Finally, a slap of NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss and I'm ready to party! Well not quite in my bright blue snowflake and penguin Christmas jumper but you get the gist eh?

One lucky winner win will all of the products I used to create the look so keep your fingers crossed and enter below.

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