Christmas Tag!

Cup of Hot Chocolate

Helloooo everyone, I have kindly been asked by Bloggers Tribe to take part in a Christmas Tag which I gladly accepted....because duh I love Christmas! So below I have included all of the rules and questions so if you would like to take part feel free!
Merry Christmas!

Put on your favourite Christmas songs to listen to while answering!
Answer our 12 questions
Add 2 questions of your own
Have a Christmas drink and/or snack
Tag 4 more bloggers to take part
Take a picture in your favourite Christmas jumper and send it to us for our Round Up post! We want to see everyone who takes part! (Photo doesn’t have to include your face if you don’t want it to – just take a pic of your jumper)

Standard Questions:
When do you start thinking about Christmas?
I start thinking about buying gifts for people around September/October time, each year I try to be a little more organised and I think starting early is key even if you just start setting some money aside and get all your gifts closer to Christmas. That's when I start thinking about the practical side of Christmas but I start to get excited and feel the Christmas spirit after my birthday which is towards the end of November, that's when I want to head out to Christmas markets and put on festive jumpers.

What has been your most memorable Christmas present to date (good or bad!)?
Ooooh this is a difficult one, Christmas gifts are often material items and there are lots that I have loved over the years but I'm going to cheat and tell you my favourite gift of all time (it was actually a birthday gift). The most amazing gift anyone has ever given me has to be my dog, Bentley! I absolutely adore him, I always wanted a dog as a child and finally, at the age of 21, I got my wish!

Do you have any Christmas traditions?
One of my favourite traditions is staying home all day on Christmas Eve, watching movies, putting on brand new pyjamas and eating lots of sweets. I try to do this every year but obviously when I'm working this isn't an option which is, unfortunately, the case this year.

Which Christmas film is the greatest of them all?
I think my all-time favourite has to be Elf! I love this film and watch it every year, it's just the perfect feel-good funny film for this time of year and it definitely gets me excited for Christmas!

You have an empty seat at your table on Christmas Day – who do you invite and why? Can be absolutely anyone!

Where in your house does your Christmas Tree go each year?
Our tree always sits in the same corner in our living room, it's the perfect spot as people passing by outside can catch a glimpse and it really makes a statement as it's one of the first things you will spot when you visit our house.

Name the top 3 songs on your Christmas Party Playlist
Mariah Carey - All I want for Christmas is You
The Pogues - Fairytale of New York
Wham! - Last Christmas

Who is the hardest person you’ve ever had to buy a Christmas present for?
I think men, in general, are difficult to shop for.....just tell us what you want god damn it! I often struggle thinking of ideas for my other half and I actually think it's just me putting pressure on myself because he would be happy with anything I pick for him but when you love someone you want to find a gift that they will truly love.

When do you eat your Christmas dinner, and what all is on your menu?
We usually eat Christmas dinner around 3pm and what we have usually depends on who's cooking, my mum and I have always gone to one of our family members houses for dinner but last year for the first time ever we stayed home and I think we will be doing the same again this year. I don't like beef so my favourite thing to have is turkey or chicken with all the trimmings and plenty of gravy.

What’s your favourite Christmas related quote?
'Maybe Christmas doesn't come from a store maybe Christmas means a little bit more'

Are you a wrapping paper person, or boxes and bags? Or are you a mix?
I like a mix, I actually get very excited about wrapping Christmas gifts and choose a 'theme' each year so that all my wrapping paper, gift bags, tags and tissue paper are co-ordinated. I love to put on some Christmas music and a festive candle and sit down to wrap everyone's gifts, this always makes me feel very festive and really makes it feel like Christmas.

What makes Christmas so special to you?
I'm not sure it's something I can pinpoint, I love everything about this time of year. I love how we spend more quality time with our families and create memories for the future. I love cosy nights in watching Christmas movies, reminiscing about previous years and feeling that little bit less selfish and being more giving. Oh and I really, really love Christmas dinner! All the little things that you love at this time of year make it a so special!

Your Questions:
Add 2 questions of your own here!
If Santa recruited a new reindeer to help out with Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen, what would you name them?
What is your favourite Christmas treat/food?

Take a break, you’ve earned it! Grab a gingerbread flavoured hot chocolate and a mince pie!

I would like to tag:

And to finish off, here’s me in my favourite Christmas jumper!

Image of Myself Wearing a Christmas Jumper
Close up of Christmas Jumper

Favourite 5 Make-Up Products of 2017

Selection of Favourite Make Up Products of 2017

2017 is quickly coming to an end so it's time to reflect and today I'm looking back on the 5 beauty products I've loved this past year. Some of these items I only started using recently but they have quickly become favourites and I will definitely be continuing to use them next year. 2017 has been a great year and I've discovered lots of great new beauty items but I didn't want to end up talking about all of them so I limited myself to 5.

The first thing I want to talk about is not a new product but this year was the first time I ever tried it and I have repurchased it several times since. The Maybelline Eraser Eye concealer has been talked about by bloggers and Youtubers for a long time now and earlier this year I finally decided to try it out. This concealer costs £8.99 and contains 6.8ml of product, it's brightening and pigmented but doesn't look cakey. I have very dark circles under my eyes and this concealer does a great job of covering everything up, I do get a little bit of creasing throughout the day but it's minimal and this happens with any concealer I use. The only complaint I could make is that I do use this up pretty quickly as I do like to apply it quite generously but the price is reasonable and you can often get deals to bring the cost down (to be fair I could also use less). I love how quickly and easily it blends out and my favourite way to apply it is using the sponge applicator to put plenty of product in a triangular shape and blending out with a damp beauty sponge.  I will definitely be repurchasing this next year but I also really want to try some new drugstore concealers.

Selection of Favourite Make Up Products of 2017

L'Oreal Lash Paradise Mascara
This product was a new release this year and I picked it up when it first launched in my local Superdrug. This mascara cost £11.99 and it has a more traditional mascara wand, no crazy shape or plastic spikes to be seen thank goodness! I love this mascara, it gives you full fluttery black lashes that stay put all day. My favourite style of false lashes are wispies and this provides a more subtle version to your own lashes, it covers all bases providing you with length and volume. This does dry out quite a bit after a few months and at that point, you will get some minimal flaking throughout the day but mascaras generally only have a 3-month shelf life once opened so this isn't a major issue. Overall this is a great mascara that I definitely want to pick up again next year.

Jeffree Star Androgyny Palette

Jeffree Star Androgyny Palette
This palette was something I coveted for a long time and finally, towards the end of the year my boyfriend gifted it to me as an early birthday present. You may notice in the images that one of the shades is not quite right that's because it was delivered damaged but rather than returning for a refund we accepted a partial refund to keep the damaged palette and I repressed the shadow. This is one of the most pigmented eyeshadow palettes I have ever worked with, the shades blend easily and smoothly and create some stunning looks. The shades in the palette are different and interesting but still quite wearable which I love, the only shades I haven't really tried out are the 2 blue ones but I'm sure they will come in handy when I'm feeling creative. This palette does cost £40 which is quite a bit of money for 10 eyeshadows but many higher end palettes will sell for a similar price so I would say it's fair and worth the money. I can't wait to use this more next year and I'm sure it'll last a very long time....I mean have you seen the size of the eyeshadow pans!

Selection of Favourite Make Up Products of 2017

Morphe x Jaclyn Hill Palette
Next, I have another eyeshadow palette and the most recent addition to my make-up collection, this was another birthday gift that I didn't receive early (this also arrived in perfect condition). This palette contains a whopping 35 eyeshadows and costs £37, you really get a lot for your money. This is an amazing palette for almost anyone to have, it contains so many beautiful shades that work well together and give you endless options. This palette is very inexpensive if you take into account how many eyeshadows you get but they are still really nice quality with good pigmentation. I can't wait to continue using this palette and creating lots more beautiful looks.

Makeup Revolution Liquid Highlighter
The final product on the list is highlight, I usually go for a powder highlight but when Makeup Revolution released these liquids that look an awful lot like the Cover FX drops I had to give them a try. These cost £6 and really pack a punch, you only need 1-2 drops to have you glowing to the gods. I didn't like applying this directly to the face as it dries quickly so I put a few drops on the back of my hand and use my fingertips to blend onto cheekbones. I have the shade Luminous Gold which gives a lovely intense glow that stays in place throughout the day. If you would like to read my full review click here. I generally prefer a powder highlight but these drops are great for something different and given how little you need to use I think I'll have this in my collection for quite some time.

Selection of Favourite Make Up Products of 2017

What were your favourite make-up products this year and what do you want to try in 2018?

Collection Glam Crystals Gel Eyeliner Review

Collection Glam Crystals Gel Eyeliner

It's almost Christmas and that means it's time to sparkle, start looking out everything you own that contains glitter. Today I'm reviewing a sparkly little product that I love using at this time of year, the Collection Glam Crystals Gel Eyeliners. These eyeliners are really budget friendly at only £2.99 each, I believe they come in 10 shades and contain 6ml of product.

I currently own 3 of the shades:
Rock Chick - This is a black liner with some silver glitter particles, I find this the most chunky of the 3 I own and most difficult to build up even colour, that being said I still really like this shade for applying over a winged eyeliner to give subtle sparkle that can be worn during the day.
Hustle - This shade is silver with multicoloured glitter particles which make it really pretty and interesting. The consistency and coverage of Hustle is somewhere between the other two shades, it's less chunky and gives more coverage than Rock Chick but not as smooth as Funk. 
Funk - This shade is a light gold with fine glitter particles because of these smaller particles this shade applies quite smoothly and can build easily to give full coverage over the eye area.

Collection Glam Crystals Gel Eyeliner

These eyeliners can be used as described, as eyeliners or you can put them all over the eye to create different looks like cut creases. These are much quicker and less messy to apply than a traditional loose glitter although they won't give you quite as intense an effect. These liners will dry down and set in place after a few minutes and they have some pretty impressive staying power, they should last you the full night with minimal flaking. When I swatched these shades I quite aggressively rubbed my arm just to see how well they can stay in place and I must say they did a good job, Rock Chick flaked away the most but I would expect this as it is the most chunky of the shades. You can also build these shades up, if one coat is not giving the desired effect let it dry and apply a second coat. I should also mention that the brush is a fine tip but not so fine that you could do detailed work, if you want to use these as liner you may want to apply a base shade first then apply the glitter on top to create crisp straight lines.

Swatches of Collection Glam Crystals Gel Eyeliner

I wore the shade Funk to my Christmas night out and it was easy to use and also didn't feel irritating on the eyes. I applied the rest of my eyeshadow first then just gently smoothed some glitter from my inner corner inward.

Eye Make Up Using Collection Glam Crystals Gel Eyeliner
Eye Make Up Using Collection Glam Crystals Gel Eyeliner

I really love these little glitter eyeliners and think they are a great price, I think they would be perfect for anyone who wants to wear glitter for Christmas or special occasions but doesn't want to spend a lot of money as it's not something they will wear often. These would also be great stocking fillers for teenagers or anyone just getting into make-up. I totally recommend these and will continue to pick them up whenever I want a little extra sparkle.

Collection Glam Crystals Gel Eyeliner

Stocking Filler Gifts (Gifts Under £20)

Stocking Filler Gifts Title

It's beginning to look a lot like seriously it's getting scarily close and if like me, you haven't finished your shopping I have my final gift guide of the year. This guide is just some simple ideas for anyone on a budget or anyone looking for extras/stocking fillers. 
Selection of Gifts Under £20

Gillette Razor Set

So, there you have it a short and sweet post giving you my final gift ideas for Christmas 2017!
I am linking my other gift guides below so feel free to check them out and happy shopping!

Beauty Gift Guide
Gift Guide for Women
Gift Guide for Men
Luxury Gift Guide

Snacks for Santa

Orange Cinnamon Cookies and Frozen Gingerbread Hot Chocolate

Today I'm sharing some recipes for festive treats that I tried out this week and I've named this post 'Snacks for Santa' because I thought these were cute ideas to try with kids and leave out for Santa on Christmas Eve....or if like me you have no kids just bake yourself for fun!

Frozen Gingerbread Hot Chocolate
Orange and Cinnnamon Cookies

These recipes are great because you can make them without dairy so you can make them vegan by substituting a few ingredients (I try to avoid dairy because it seems to affect my skin, click here to read my post about dairy causing acne).

The first idea I found on Pinterest which I will link to here

Frozen Gingerbread Hot Chocolate

Frozen Gingerbread Hot Chocolate

3 Cups of hot chocolate (cooled)
3 Scoops of vanilla ice cream
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Ginger
1/2 Cinnamon

Blend all the ingredients together top with cream and chocolate shavings and enjoy!

I made this with Cadburys hot chocolate which isn't vegan/dairy free but you can find vegan options, I did use hazelnut milk and Alpro dairy-free vanilla ice cream. I also topped mines with cream which wasn't dairy free but you can easily skip that step.

Orange and Cinnamon Cookies

Orange and Cinnamon Cookies

125g Dairy-free spread
50g Soft light brown sugar
150g Self-raising flour
3 tsp Ground cinnamon
Grated rind of 1 orange
Sifted icing sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 190°C. Lightly flour baking sheets.
Mix together dairy-free spread and sugar until light and fluffy. Sift in the flour and cinnamon, add orange rind and mix well.
Divide the mixture into roughly 20, roll into balls and place on baking sheets. Flatten cookies with a wet fork.
Bake for 15mins, remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar and enjoy warm or cold.

I tried both of these recipes out for the first time and both turned out really well, I was especially happy with the cookies which looked adorable and tasted great. These are great simple recipes that don't require too many ingredients and are very easy to follow.
Happy Baking!

Hot Chocolate and Orange Cinnamon Cookies

Luxury Christmas Gift Guide

Today I have my 3rd Christmas gift guide and today it's a luxury one! My previous posts don't include any items over £150 so today we aren't going to include anything under this price. This post is a bit of fun because many of us can't afford to buy such expensive gifts but I thought I should show a full range of ideas for all budgets and some special gifts for the truly special people in our lives.

Luxury Fragrance Gift Sets
First up we have a company that was kind enough to collaborate with me on this post, Clive Christian. This company is a luxury British interiors and fragrance company with craftsmanship at its heart. Clive Christian perfumes are uniquely complex and expertly crafted with the rarest, most precious ingredients. These gift sets are the definition of luxury, yes they come with a high price tag but they look absolutely beautiful and would make a wonderful gift. Fragrances are always a popular gift choice at this time of year but these gift sets takes it to the next level.

Luxury Christmas Gift Hamper
Next, we have a stunning hamper from Bettys filled with delicious festive treats. This hamper includes a bottle of Little Rascal Chardonnay, Fruit Jellies, Moonlight Owls, Medium Classic Christmas Pudding, Bettys Christmas Coffee, Christmas Fruit Cake in a Tin, Bettys Christmas Chocolate Box, Milk Chocolate Almonds, Yorkshire Gingerbread, Marzipan Fruits, Classic Strawberry Preserve, Spiced Christmas Shortbread Box, Bettys Tea Room Blend Caddy 80 Tea Bags. All of these goodies come packaged in a wicker picnic basket that can obviously be kept and reused.

Tiffany Necklace
This beautiful Tiffany Blue Box Charm necklace is such a pretty gift that can be enjoyed for a lifetime, I love this particular necklace as a Christmas gift because the charm is shaped like a little present in the classic Tiffany blue hue. This is a really special gift for anyone who loves jewellery, Tiffanys is known for luxury high-quality goods.

KitchenAid Mixer
Do you know someone who loves to bake? If so, I have the perfect luxury gift, the KitchenAid Classic Stand Mixer is the ideal gadget for anyone who's a lover of Great British Bake Off looking to create their own baking masterpieces. These mixers look great, are easy to use and a true investment for any baking enthusiasts.

Disaronno Riserva
My final gift idea for those with the budget for super luxury items is Disaronon Riserva (because the standard and far less expensive Disaronno is my favourite alcohol). Many alcohol companies produce special editions of our favourite drinks which sell for a lot more money making them a great extra special gift for your favourite people. The Disaronno Riserva is a 40% abv liqueur that combines a young blended malt Scotch whisky base from the Highlands and Speyside, with amaretto flavours. Married in Marsala casks for six months, in the actual town of Marsala, this location near the sea provides an ideal temperature and humidity which create the optimum conditions for the product’s ageing process.

I hope you enjoyed this gift guide and it gave you a few extra special ideas, if you don't have the budget for these high-end items then I will have a stocking filler/gifts under £20 post coming up soon.

Anti-Haul - Make-Up I'm Not Buying

I've seen a lot of these anti-hauls on Youtube and find them really interesting to watch so today I thought I would create my own. If you haven't seen an anti-haul before it's basically a list of products that you won't be buying for one reason or another.
I just have to say before I start that just because I am not interested in buying any of these products it doesn't mean they aren't good or that I don't love the brands, it just means that they don't appeal to me for whatever reason. If you have these products are or super excited to buy them I don't want you to be offended, we are all looking for different things from our make-up and at the end of the day, it is only make-up.

Unicorn Make-up
Brands have gone crazy this year with unicorn/mermaid themed products and collections and although it was fun at first I'm bored of it now. There's only so much shimmery colourful make-up one person needs. I am not interested in buying a rainbow highlighter because no matter how pretty it is in the packaging it isn't particularly wearable which is what I don't like about most of the unicorn collections. I personally wouldn't get much use from pastel shimmering shades which are obviously popular for these kinds of products and I'm just bored with all the overly cutesy packaging.

KKW Beauty
I have seen so many mixed reviews about the KKW Beauty products and although I think some of the products might be nice I also think they are very overpriced. You are paying extra for these products purely because it's created by Kim Kardashian/West and I don't think that's fair, I would be more inclined to pay extra money for a product if it was created by someone in the beauty industry like a world-renowned make-up artist. I do think the simple packaging is pretty but I don't agree with the price point, if the brand releases something extra special in the future or lowers the prices to match the quality then I would consider making a purchase but until then I won't be buying anything from the brand.

Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette
When this palette first released I saw people going crazy for it but for some reason I was just never interested in it, I own the Naked 3 palette and unfortunately, it's not my favourite. The Naked 3 palette does have lovely shades and there's nothing wrong with the quality but for some reason, I never reach for it, it just doesn't feel special and I think some of the shades just don't suit me personally. I think this is one of the main reasons that I don't get excited about the other Naked palettes, the Naked Heat palette specifically just doesn't call out to me, I think this might partly be due to the abundance of warm-toned palettes that have been released this year. The colours in the palette look pretty they just don't look like anything new or unique so for this reason, I won't be picking up this palette.

Too Faced Best Year Ever Collection
Although I think this is a nice concept and cute to give as a gift or split up into three gifts I just don't love this collection. The palettes themselves look like they have a nice selection of shades that are colour coordinated well and very wearable but the packaging is just too cute and has an immature feel, it reminds me a bit of child/teen make-up and I would prefer something a bit more sophisticated for the price. I think this would work as a gift for teenagers who are beginning to experiment with make-up but it's not something I would like to buy personally
These are a selection of products I have no interest in buying, let me know if you have enjoyed this post and what products you won't be picking up. I enjoy reading these kinds of posts and I plan to create more of my own in the future, most of us spend too much time thinking about all the things we would like to buy and I think it's good sometimes to sit back and remember that there is a lot we don't need.

Younique Moodstruck 3D Fibre Lashes Review

It was my birthday a few weeks ago and one of the gifts I was given was the Younique Moodstruck 3D Fibre Lashes which I'm going to review for you today. This is the first time I have ever used a fibre mascara but I have always been intrigued by the extreme before and after pictures and 'hype' that goes along with these kinds of products. This is a two-part product with one tube of 'transplanting gel' (this is a lot like a traditional mascara) and a tube of 3D fibres, you apply one coat of mascara then immediately apply the fibres before sealing everything with another coat of the mascara.

Younique Moodstruck 3D Fibre Lashes

The packaging of this product is nice, they come in a cardboard box with some instructions inside and the two products are sealed in a pouch allowing you to store the two steps together. When I first opened up the 3D fibres I felt a little nervous, it's a small wand totally covered in tiny fibres which look like they could easily get in the eyes but I decided to give it a go regardless...eeeek! I open up both tubes so I can apply the fibres immediately after the transplanting gel and do one eye at a time so the mascara doesn't have time to dry (this is how I would recommend using the product for best results). The transplanting gel applies like any another mascara although I feel like the formula is quite dry, once that's applied you sweep on the fibres to add thickness and length and seal everything in place with another coat of gel.

Image Before Applying Younique Moodstruck 3D Fibre Lashes
Image After Applying Younique Moodstruck 3D Fibre Lashes

 This product does make your lashes look fuller and more dramatic although it does look a bit clumpy, if you don't mind a slightly spidery lash look then I think you would enjoy this mascara. The tiny fibres do sometimes fall down on the face but they can easily be removed with a fluffy make-up brush if you have very sensitive eyes they may get irritated so just be careful. I personally think this mascara does work but I don't think the extra effort of using two products and applying multiple layers is worth the results you get, I prefer using a really good standard mascara like the L'Oreal Lash Paradise (click here to read my first impressions). Overall I think this fibre mascara is overhyped and I won't be repurchasing it in the future although I also don't think it's a terrible product, it does do what it claims and gives a boost to your lashes it just doesn't give an effect that I love.

Close up of Younique Moodstruck 3D Fibre Lashes Wand

What are your favourite mascaras?