Thursday 29 November 2012

Top Fragrances This Christmas - Gift Ideas

For women my choice of perfume would be Alien Essence Absolute (EDP) by Thierry Mugler. A gorgeous bottle inspired by a drop of precious gold, showcases the sacred Amber Elixir with sculpted facets and curves and with the inclusion of Myrrh has to be the gift of Christmas!

The scent is described as an Amber, Floral Vanilla creation.

Top Note of Jasmine
Heart Notes of Cashmeran Wood and Myrrh
Base Notes of White Amber and Vanilla

Alien Essence Absolute EDP costs £52.50 for 30ml

The name on everyone's lips this Winter is Bond, James Bond. This year is the 50th Anniversary of Bond and the latest film - Skyfall with Daniel Craig - has done phenomenally at the Box Office.

Coinciding with its release comes the launch of James Bond 007 Gold Edition Fragrance (EDT). Give your man the gift of sauve, sophistication with this very appealing and deliciously masculine scent.

Top Note of Apple
Heart Note of Cardamom
Base Notes of Sandalwood, Vetiver, Lavender, Coumarin, Moss

James Bond 007 Gold Edition Fragrance (EDT) Limited Edition costs £24.50 for 50ml

However...  If you find it hard to select a scent for a loved one or a friend The Perfume Shop have the perfect gift idea again this year - the Vivabox!

I think this is a brilliant idea, each Vivabox comes with 7 samples so whoever you buy for can choose their favourite and swap the voucher inside for ONE full size bottle from The Perfume Shop nationwide.

What I particularly love is the choice of scents in these boxes, there is a good variety and one is bound to appeal as the selection is of some fabulous and top selling fragrances.

Women's Fragrance Selection 2012 - £34.99

Contains samples of: Nina Ricci Nina, Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy, Lacoste Touch of Pink, BOSS Orange, Very Irrésistible Givenchy, Elizabeth Arden Red Door, Paco Rabanne Lady Million

Men's Fragrance Selection 2012 - £37.99

Contains samples of: Issey Miyake L'Eau d'Issey Pour Homme, Diesel Only The Brave Tattoo, BOSS Orange Man, HUGO Just Different, Carolina Herrera 212 VIP Men, Montblanc Legend, Givenchy Play

Wednesday 28 November 2012

NOTD - Butter London Knees Up

Butter London Knees Up

Today's nails of the day is Knees Up from Butter London.

I couldn't wait to share Knees Up with you as I think this is a stunning nail colour, this really is the ultimate party red. Another jewel inspired tone, I can only describe this shade as the same as the red foil that I would make Christmas paper chains at school with.. remember those?

2 coats and you are ready to go. In the picture you can see that the standard Butter London lid has been removed. I wanted to show you that underneath there is a smaller lidded handle that makes application easy. I did wonder when the lacquers arrived if I could manipulate those lids! Clever, no?

Knees Up Nail Lacquer is from the Butter London A/W 2011 collection

*PR sample

Tuesday 27 November 2012

Nails Of The Day - Estee Lauder Pure Color Nail Lacquer Red Hautes Collection - Fallen Angel

Beautiful bottle, beautiful name and a beautiful colour - This is Fallen Angel, a gorgeous Claret red that for me is a perfect example of the ideal winter shade. Deep yet bright, warm yet cool, I have fallen in love with this sophisticated red.

Fallen Angel is one of five shades from the new Pure Color Nail Lacquer Red Hautes Collection from Estee Lauder.  I also have Love Bite which I will save and share for another day.

Estee Lauder Pure Color Nail Lacquer in Fallen Angel costs £14.50 for 9ml

*PR Sample

Monday 26 November 2012

GOSH A/W12 Nail Lacquers plus A Giveaway!

This Autumn/Winter GOSH have introduced 6 new nail colours

From L-R

612 Galaxy - Glitter charcoal
614 Spot On! Pink - Powerful pink
617 With A Twist - Earthy grey
008 Berry Me - A deep Autumn berry
549 Holographic Hero - Sparkling silver
616 Lazy Green - A woody green 

I have enlisted the hands of my beautiful little sister to show 2 shades from the collection.

Berry Me and Galaxy with flash

She is wearing Berry Me and Galaxy as an accent nail. Berry Me is a warm berry/purple shade and Galaxy is a glistening golden charcoal with a glitter effect. Very pretty indeed!

Galaxy is already a firm favourite looking equally fabulous on its own or on top of another shade.

GOSH A/W Nail Lacquers are £4.99 each and available from Superdrug 

*PR Samples


The lovely people at GOSH are offering reader's the chance to win 1 of 3 nail lacquer's from the new A/W collection.

How to Enter & the Rules - 

You MUST be a follower of this blog - please leave a comment below with how you follow and which one of the 6 shades you would like to win.

Three people will be selected at random using and the giveaway will close at midnight Monday 3rd December. Winners will be announced on this blog the following day.

Giveaway open to UK residents only.

Good luck!

Sunday 25 November 2012

Sample Sachet Sunday - Clinique Stay-Matte Oil-Free Makeup - Foundation Review

Clinique stay-matte oil-free makeup. Shade 9 neutral (MF-N)

Clinique say

This lightweight gel-cream texture provides all day coverage with a mattifying finish and feels as comfortable as wearing nothing at all. Controls oil breakthrough and keeps skin shine-free, even in extreme heat and humidity all day. Contains shine absorbers to refine the look of troubled areas. Skin looks and feels flawless all day long.

Skin Types: 2 - Dry Combination, 3 - Oily, 4 - Very Oily
Coverage: Sheer to Moderate
Benefits: Controls oil, absorbs shine

Clinique stay-matte oil-free makeup swatched in natural light and with flash

My thoughts 

I honestly do not think I will ever tire of trying out new foundations and seeing how they can improve my skin base. This sachet was in one of my magazines and although strictly a shade too dark for me with careful blending and added bronzer to my neck I have managed to wear it for a few days now.

Clinique stay-matte oil-free makeup is a light textured foundation that provides me with moderate coverage using very little product. I do need to apply a thicker layer over the areas that suffer from rosacea (redness) but overall the effect is pretty flawless, even and smooth looking. It blends seamlessly and easily to leave no visible trace of product. As you can see from the swatches above the finish is perfectly matte. The foundation provides a good 7 hours + of wear whilst still remaining intact. 

My only issue is that sadly around this time my nose does appear to suffer a small amount of shine even if I use a primer that is supposed to deal with this too. However it is bearable and probably actually only really obvious to me as I am really over analysing a product whilst trying it out!

Overall I think this is a good foundation at a reasonable price if you like your base to be matte and natural looking.

Clinique stay-matte oil-free makeup costs £21.50 for 30ml and is available in 17 shades.

Saturday 24 November 2012

Perfume Sample Saturday - Gucci Premiere Eau de Parfum

I have been fond of a few Gucci perfumes over the years - I chose to wear Gucci Envy Me 2 on my wedding day and on Honeymoon to Hawaii. The mistake I made was to choose a limited edition perfume on such a special day as I am unable to evoke and relive the happiest of memories! Nothing is ever quite like the perfume that you spent hours trawling the perfume counters, sniffing endless scents, cards and your arms with the options before finally and carefully deciding on to wear for what (for some) is one of the biggest days of your life! The first time my husband smelt it was when the Vicar pronounced us man and wife and he leant in to kiss me :-)

More recently I have worn and adored Gucci by Gucci so as soon as I saw that there was a new Gucci Eau de Parfum out I was looking forward to trying it, would it be another Gucci fragrance that I would love?

Gucci Premiere 

"Gucci Première celebrates the star in every woman. Whether she is holding court at a film opening or business meeting, all her moments are golden. She turns as many heads in an impeccably tailored suit as a couture gown. Grace sits with attitude, beauty with power. She enjoys her achievements and wears her authority with ease. Wherever she finds herself, she is met with admiration. She is a modern icon."

Described as a floral woody scent

With Top notes of Bergamot and Orange Blossom, Heart notes of White Flowers and Musk and Base notes of Leather, Wood, Patchouli and Sandalwood.

My thoughts

Gucci obviously knows how to seduce me, this scent is exactly the kind of scent that appeals to me. Premiere is luxurious, sophisticated and elegant. This scent is warm, feminine and undeniably recognisable as from the Gucci house - oozing glamour, sensuality and success.

The name 'Premiere' may suggest a fragrance that is strong and all enveloping but it is surprisingly subtle and understated.

The perfume bottle is in the same design as Gucci by Gucci but this time in Gold.

A classy addition to the dressing table.

Gucci Premiere Eau De Parfum 50ml £64

Friday 23 November 2012

Art Deco Afternoon Tea With Paul Mitchell At The Park Lane Hotel

Last week I had the pleasure of attending a Deco-Dent Afternoon Tea with Paul Mitchell Hair Care at The Park Lane Hotel in Mayfair to showcase their Christmas Gift Selection.

The setting for Afternoon Tea is the hotel's Palm Court, an art deco designed lounge which is a throwback to a bygone era - delightful, elegant and sophisticated. The room is large and features comfortable sofas to enjoy and indulge in an exquisite afternoon tea. The lighting is subdued and the live piano music is relaxing and classical, creating the ideal setting and being unobtrusive to allow being able to chat freely.

We were treated to the Champagne Afternoon Tea and drank English Breakfast Tea

The menu 

Tasty finger sandwiches of

Coronation smoked chicken and watercress on raisin bread

Roast beef, wasabi mayonnaise and rocket on white bread
Roasted and smoked salmon on pesto bread
Grated egg, crème fraiche and cress on carrot and herbs bread
White and brown crab meat with cucumber on brown bread

My favourites were the chicken, beef and smoked salmon, but this is a nice and varied selection.

Warm light scones

A choice of plain and raisin scones with 3 different preserves and clotted cream - Strawberry, Gooseberry and Lemon Curd.

Fine pastries

A strawberry panna cotta, chocolate mousse roulande, fresh fruit flan with custard.

Gorgeous, bite sized desserts completed a wonderful afternoon tea. I would definitely return to The Park Lane Hotel.

Champagne Afternoon Tea costs £39

For more details click here 

Paul Mitchell Hair Care Christmas Gifts 

The theme this Christmas is Deco Fabulous and Paul Mitchell have created 8 different art deco designed gift sets each containing products to suit a variety of hair types.

The Color Care £17.50
Moisture £17.50
Strength £25
Smoothing £25
Extra-Body £25
Fab Favorites £25
Best Tressed £25
Kids £15.75

I opted for the Smoothing Gift Set which I will be reviewing shortly. Also pictured is an art deco style 1920's inspired clutch evening bag (worth £20) which can be yours free with a purchase of 3 Paul Mitchell products OR with the purchase of any 2 Paul Mitchell products you will receive a pretty Plans and Thoughts Pair Stationery set.

For more details and even more fabulous Gift Sets in the Christmas range visit

*PR samples

Wednesday 21 November 2012

Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Sticks - Review

Lip crayons are very popular judging by the amount of brands who have opted for this method of packaging for their products and I must admit I do like how easy they are to use.

Soap & Glory have 3 shades of their Sexy Mother Pucker 3D Super Colour Volume Lip Shine Crayons

Nudist - a natural pink/beige
Fuchsia-ristic - a vibrant pink
Plum Jam - a rich burgundy berry

Soap & Glory say 

Unlike the Sexy Mother Pucker Lip Gloss which tingles this is buzz free however it is packed with Collagen-Boosting Pre-Peptides for fuller, plumper looking lips.

My thoughts

I have been trying out the Lip Shine Crayons over the past two weeks and I have to say I really like them. They glide on easily and evenly, they provide a hint of colour that I would say depends on how pigmented your lips are to start with. They provide really glossy shine that lasts and I am happy to say that they do give me a gorgeous pout.

They do feel a bit sticky on the lips but in a way this has meant that the shine remains on my lips. It can be layered a few times to get a more intense colour.

On me Plum Jam is a deep berry shade and although Fuchsia-ristic looks scary in the tube it actually results in a very nice and everyday peachy/pink shade which I prefer a smidgen over Plum Jam.

I like these lip shine crayons and am keen to try Nudist now :-)

Swatches  - Top shade is Plum Jam. Bottom shade is Fuchsia-Ristic

In daylight

With flash

Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Sticks costs £8 each and are available to buy in Boots Stores

*PR Samples

Lancome Les Paillettes aux Yeux Christmas Collection 2012

Whilst out shopping at the weekend I spotted this gorgeous Christmas range from Lancome  - Tresor Colour Collection also known as the Happy Holidays Collection. 

It really is a truly beautiful collection, with traditional golds and reds and lots of sparkle - just what you expect for a festive range. I love the packaging of the eye shadows, sparkly tops and a knot design on the shadow.

The stand out product for me in the range was the Les Paillettes aux Yeux Christmas Collection  eye shadow powder £17.50. Available in 2 shades

10 A la Belle Etoile (light gold)
20 Lumieres de Paris (bronze/brown)

I have swatched both of the pigments above - these provide a pretty stunning wash of colour that glistens and glows and can be used alone or over the eye shadows  for a more intense colour.

Have you purchased.tried any of the Christmas Collection?

Tuesday 20 November 2012

Ted Baker Beauty Gifts and Boots Christmas Advert 2012

It is that most wonderful time of the year.. the one when all the major stores introduce us to their Christmas adverts. There is quite an air of anticipation when they are due and this year was no different with many adverts broadcast on the same night!

Have you caught the Boots Christmas Advert? I saw it first last week and have to admit that it did put a smile on my face. I felt it was heartwarming and thought the soundtrack music was apt - Elton John's 'Are You Ready For Love?' 

If you haven't seen it - It is a montage of stories showing women and their friends and families giving and receiving gifts, inspiring their loved ones to do things that make them feel good. The tagline is 'let's give gifts that keep on giving' and the final image says 'let's feel good'. The idea being that you give gifts to make the recipient feel good into the year ahead and longer.

Boots used real-life couples and relatives in the advert and I felt that it was demonstrated by the banter between them which appeared really natural.

In the spirit of the advert, the lovely people at Boots have sent me these fabulously affordable beauty gifts from their Christmas Gift Selection.

Ted Baker The Name On Everyone's Lips £15


With flash

A beautifully designed ballerina tin houses 4 crayon style lipstick pens (very much the style of the moment by the look of things!). The choice of shades are wearable, have decent pigment and glide on smoothly.

Ted Baker Precious Partner £12

To be honest I think that this gift is great value just as the cosmetic purse alone. It is a really pretty dark purple satin feel bag with a picture of a dancing ballerina on the front, inside it is lined with a sweet ballerina shoes print.


Scented Votive candle
Origami Hand cream
Body Spray (rose, sandalwood, raspberry and a hint of vanilla)

Both items are available from Boots, as part of the Ted Baker beauty range.

*PR Samples

Batiste Dry Shampoo Wild Party Trio - Stocking Filler Idea!

Christmas Stocking Filler, Secret Santa or just a gift for yourself to carry you through party season, Batiste Wild Party Trio fits the bill.

Features 3 fab scents and animal print cans of mini Dry Shampoo (50ml each)

The best selling Wild - Sassy and daring

and 2 new ones

Savanna - extrovert and bold in a hot pink Zebra design
Mamba - sassy and striking in a sexy snakeskin design

All contained in a see-through reusable toilet bag.

My favourite of the scents is Savanna but actually they are all great and do a wonderful job of reviving hair.

Plus inside packs is a voucher for 20% off at fashion retailer Motel Rocks and one person has the chance to win £300 towards a new wardroble. See pack for details.

Batiste Wild Party Trio costs £4.99 and is out now in Boots (limited edition)

Monday 19 November 2012

What's Inside My November 2012 GlossyBox

The theme of November's GlossyBox is 'Stocking Fillers' and its aim is to serve as an inspirational gift guide.

When the delivery man knocked on my door with the familiar box I had no idea what to expect inside. I think this month's box is another winner. Out of the 5 samples inside I will definitely be using 3 of them completely.

The contents

ALISON CLAIRE NATURAL BEAUTY Mango Body Butter 50ml (£15 for 200ml)

This is a new brand. A wonderfully sweet mango scented thick (but spreadable!) body butter that has so far left my skin feeling lovely and smooth. Look forward to using this.

MONU Firming Moisturiser 20ml (18.50 for 50ml)

This is a Marine Collagen enriched cream that is for dry/sensitive skin so I will probably pass this on to my sister as I have normal/combination skin. I have used heavier creams before not designed for my skin type and they just leave it looking and feeling greasy.

NAILS INC Notting Hill Gate Nail Polish 4ml (£11 for 10ml)

A cute sized bottle, Notting Hill Gate is a bright, almost neon pink shade that is probably better suited for Summer. Personally I would have much preferred to have had Porchester Square (a mushroom colour) in my box as it is the shade I would most likely wear more often and more suited to this time of the year.

CRABTREE & EVELYN Himalayan Blue Hand Therapy 25g (£5)

I love hand creams, one of my all time favourites is the rose one from C&E and this is going straight into my handbag. It is the perfect size to carry around, smells absolutely wonderful and fresh. Described as - An enigmatic blend of smoked black tea, warm ginger and spices, and golden champaca, touched with a mysterious accord of patchouli, leather notes, and exotic woods. Very nice indeed.

DERMALOGICA Daily Microfoliant 13g (£38.50 for 75g)

I actually have sachets of this facial exfoliator that I haven't got round to trying but I far prefer this sample pot to use, it is a bit like a salt shaker! A decent quantity for daily use to judge whether I like it or not. I will be started this tomorrow, look out for a full product review shortly...

Final thoughts 

Generous sized samples and a decent variation of product type mean that I give this month's box a thumbs up.

For more details on GlossyBox click here 

*PR Sample

Antipodes Juliet Skin-Brightening Gel Cleanser - Review

Antipodes is a luxe skincare brand from New Zealand and a little while ago I was sent a couple of products to review.

They say -
Bioactive botanical ingredients are carefully selected for performance and blended with nutrient-rich avocado oil to help powerfully anti-age your skin. And while we create Antipodes® scientifically validated, protein-rich formulations, we're deeply committed to caring for the Earth: we are certified organic and all our products are officially approved for vegetarians.

I have been using the Juliet Skin-Brightening Gel Cleanser for a few weeks now and am really enjoying using it, the 200ml bottle has barely been dented!


A high-performance gel cleanser that helps bring out your lightest, brightest complexion.

Reveal clean, clear and blemish-free skin thanks to the action of exfoliating extracts from the New Zealand kiwi superfruit and vibrant hibiscus flower. Manuka honey has antibacterial powers and antioxidant-packed Vinanza Grape which form the perfect union to help reduce and balance oil production, helping grant your healthiest glow ever. Lightly scented with refreshing green apple and cardamon.

Suitable for normal and oily skin

My thoughts

Packaged in a brown bottle with green label that affirms its 'connect with nature' line. The product is a runny orange colour gel and that smells incredibly fruity.

To use, you wet your face first, apply and massage the gel into the skin before rinsing off using a soft, wet cloth. As I am a fan of using a muslin cloth with a cream cleanser, this method of use very much appeals to me. Once the gel touches the water it has a good consistency to wash my face and the apple scent bursts through. I find this incredibly refreshing and my skin is left looking brighter and feeling lovely and soft. It does feel slightly tight afterwards but it is not uncomfortably so. I feel that my skin is looking clearer (bar hormonal changes) and I like this enough to continue to use it.

A very nice gel cleanser.

Antipodes Juliet Skin-Brightening Gel Cleanser costs £24.99 for 200ml.

For more information visit or email -

*PR Sample

Saturday 17 November 2012

Outfit Of The Day - The Perfect Dress For Afternoon Tea

I often get asked 'what should I wear for afternoon tea?' so I thought I would share with you what I recently wore when I went for afternoon tea at the Sheraton Park Lane Hotel.

I rarely wear casual/smart dresses as my hourglass figure seems to suit far more structured dresses and I was on the look out for a dress that was easy to wear but still dressy enough for nice occasions (and have enough room to breathe having eaten ;-)) when I came across this pretty dress in Wallis

The Wallis website describes it as - A stunning black jersey dress with a vibrant all over flower print and foiling detail. Featuring 3/4 length sleeves, and a side tie detail creating a gorgeous silhouette. Perfect for day to evening wear.

I am inclined to agree - the perfect dress to take you from day to evening, this gives my figure a wonderful shape, hugging in all the right places and hiding everything that needs to stay hidden! It also features a lovely Oriental peacock design that is bang on trend this season

What do you think?

Wallis Petite Flower Print Jersey Dress £38.

Estée Lauder Christmas Gifts 2012

On Wednesday evening I popped along to an event showcasing Estée Lauder's Christmas 2012 Gift Offerings.

(That is not a bruise on my hand but a swatch of one of the beautiful new eye shadows coming out in the New Year)

Below are my picks from the Christmas collection.

Every year since 1963 Estée Lauder has introduced a collection of limited edition refillable powder compacts. These are highly collectible and make a beautiful Christmas gift for a loved one. I have one of these from a few years ago and it is one of my highly treasured possessions.

Zodiac gold compacts are £65 each and contain translucent powder

As a massive lipgloss fan I love the Art Of Gloss set £36

Containing 6 Pure Color glosses 4.6ml each

Praline Paradise Shimmer
Cherry Fever Shimmer
Plum Divine Shimmer
Frivolous Pink Sparkle
Sugar Rush Sparkle
Wild Sugarcane Shimmer

Art Of Nails £24 

4 fabulously wearable shades of Pure Color Nail Lacquer 5ml each

Purple Passion
Berry Hot
Pure Red

Michael Kors Christmas Set £48 

Exclusive cosmetic bag from iconic designer Michael Kors in a choice of 3 different colours - Red, Black or Pewter containing a selection of Pure Color makeup.

Inside the black 

Blush Compact with 3 blush shades 11g each
Lipstick in Cherry Passion 3.8g
Lipgloss in Garnet Desire 4.7ml
Sumptuous Extreme Mascara in Black 2.8ml
New Intense Kajal Eyeliner in Blackened Black 0.8g
Nail Lacquer in Enchanted Garnet 5ml

The Profession Makeup Artist Collection 2012

This absolutely incredible set is amazing value at just £50 with any Estée Lauder fragrance purchase! (while stocks last)

Luxury Travel case features ALL these products.

Pure Color Gloss 2.7ml
Three Pure Color Lipsticks 3.8g
Two Pure Color Intense Kajal Eyeliners 1.11g
Sumptuous Extreme Mascara 8ml
Gentle Eye Makeup Remover 100ml
Four piece Makeup Brush Set

Smoky Plums Deluxe Eye and Cheek Palette containing:

Eight shades of Pure Color Eyeshadow  0.47g
One shade of Pure Color Blush 3g
Two Subtle and Statement Beauty Look Cards

Soft Neutrals Deluxe Eye and Cheek Palette containing:

Eight shades of Pure Color Eyeshadow  0.47g
One shade of Bronze Goddess Soft Shimmer Bronzer 3g
Two Subtle and Statement Beauty Look Cards


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