31/12/2014

Last post of 2014


This year was amazing in many ways and I loved spending it with my husband, family and friends. I met some new people on the way, visited some new and old places, discovered quite a bit about myself, read lots of new books and watched many TV shows when eating pizza under a blanket. There was a sad time too, with loosing my mum's puppy who I loved so much, it's something very hard to recover from for me. But life goes on, she has a new bundle of cuteness which causes havoc in the house by destroying Christmas Tree, plants and even radio in the kitchen! So there are many smiles and happy times to look forward to in 2015 and I can't wait for that!

30/12/2014

Beauty Advent Calendars - review of Benefit, No7 and The Body Shop


I thought it will be a good idea to do a review of the Beauty Advent Calendars I had a pleasure to open this year. They all vary significantly in the price and products you get, so here's a little run-down and my opinions on each and every one:


The Body Shop The Best Of The Body Shop Advent Calendar, £50
My absolute winner, I got it last year and this year and I know I will buy them for the many years to come! 
"Countdown to Christmas in skin-loving style with The Best Of The Body Shop Advent Calendar. This extra-special treat features a beauty surprise behind every door, from bestselling body and face care to iconic fragrance, plus our latest additions: Glazed Apple, Wild Argan Oil and Colour Crush Nail Colours. Make it Christmas every day!"

Pros:
- packed with vast array of beauty products, so there's going to be something for everyone;
- lots of full-sized products and useful samples which you can take on holiday or re-gift;
- I can use virtually everything from the selection;
- has a funny joke/quote when you open each door;
- products are easy to get from the calendar;
- gorgeous design - visually and practically

Cons:
- big size - may not be for everyone (but has a handle);


No7 Beauty Calendar, £35
Taking second place is No7 Advent Calendar. 
"Treat yourself every day of the month with this first ever No7 Beauty Calendar. The calendar includes some of our best selling products with a special beauty quote behind every door. With an amazing worth value of £135, this Beauty Calendar makes a great gift, or the perfect treat for yourself."

Pros:
- ideal for makeup obsessed;
- lots of new products to try;
- samples are very generous, so you can try them out for a couple of times and/or take them on holiday;
- nice selection of skincare products;
- perfect for mums;
- has 25 windows, so you get one extra

Cons:
- it's extremely hard to take the products out of calendar - the plastic makes it nearly impossible, I broke two of my nails and later enlisted my husband's help;
- no joke/quote when you open the window;
- visual design is not really my cup of tea


Benefit Advent Calendar - Candy Coated Countdown, £60
Without a doubt, this was the worst Advent Calendar I had this year. I am so happy that I won it in Twitter competition and didn't fork the money for it, I truly empathise with people who bought it! 
"A limited-edition, holiday advent calendar filled with 24 mini beauty essentials. Get a beauty surprise everyday with this holiday countdown. Each day, open the sweet shop doors to reveal a Benefit bestseller or surprise gift. Keep it for yourself, or give it to a fellow beauty addict."

Pros:
- small opportunity to try some new Benefit products;
- nice visual design

Cons:
- the tiniest samples that ever existed, I think some of them are literally one-use only! It's very disappointing, especially for the price;
- products - to eagerly open first window of the calendar and see a hairband - seriously Benefit? I saw some backlash on Twitter after that - no wonder! Later on I got two other hairbands and two tiny notepads, which went straight to the bin - I would never ever use them - more suited for a doll;
- no joke/quote when you open the window;
- each door is not cut properly so that the cardboard tears and you end up with a messy thorn-out calendar (that should be all neat and girly);
- 100% not worth the cost, you can get the same or even bigger samples when you ask for them at Benefit counter!

Did you have Beauty Advent Calendar this year? Were you happy with the one you had?

28/12/2014

My Christmas presents


I love reading these kind of posts myself and I've been doing them for the past couple of years, so here are my Christmas presents and my Boxing Day sale bargains! I am super happy and extremely grateful for everything I got and I can't wait to make proper use from all the gifts. I got Lauren Conrad Beauty book which I wanted for ages, some Victoria's Secret Fragrance Mists which I adore (and also got two more in the sales!), Urban Decay and Too Faced eyeshadow palettes, Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat and Makeup Bag and - as you can see - much more. I can't wait to start playing with (and reviewing) my new makeup bits, it's literally everything I wanted! I also did some damage in Cath Kidston - shopping there during sale is literally the best time! I got myself a brand new Diary (I think it's fourth or fifth year I get it!), some mugs I've been lusting after for the longest of time and gorgeous Tea Tin. One of the cutest presents I got from Santa were definitely my personalised Nutella jar and Pumpkin Spice Syrup to make my own drug Pumpkin Spice Latte at home!

If you also posted about your Christmas presents, please comment with a link, I'd love to take a nosy look! 

26/12/2014

NAILS: Christmas edition

NAILS: Christmas edition, Barry M, nail polish, nails, NOTD, Christmas, glitter, Barry M Christmas Tree, swatches, beauty blogger
NAILS: Christmas edition, Barry M, nail polish, nails, NOTD, Christmas, glitter, Barry M Christmas Tree, swatches, beauty blogger
NAILS: Christmas edition, Barry M, nail polish, nails, NOTD, Christmas, glitter, Barry M Christmas Tree, swatches, beauty blogger

For my Christmas nails, I decided to use Barry M Christmas Tree nail polish over Natural Collection white nail polish, to make green, red and gold glitter stand out beautifully. I got this nail polish months ago and ever since I spotted it, I knew it would be perfect for mess-free Christmas manicure. Sadly, I am a little disappointed. Now, don't get me wrong - I still really like it, but I don't love it. I think green glitter particles could have been smaller and I'd definitely welcomed more red and golden pieces. As for the stars, they are barely visible and it's hard to fish them out separately from the bottle. I guess that's why they've called this nail polish Christmas Tree - you get it all mixed up in a nail polish, all the pieces, bigger and smaller. I only wish it's have more multi-coloured pieces, like all my Christmas Trees have.

25/12/2014

Merry Christmas


To all my wonderful readers and supporters, I just wanted to wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2015! Thank you so much for all your comments, tweets and simply for reading my blog. I hope you're having the most wonderful time with family and friends, so eat, drink and be merry!

24/12/2014

Winter Beauty Saviours


Dove Hair Pure Oil*
I use it religiously every time after washing my hair. It's very nourishing, smells nice and keeps my ends from splitting. I really like that it has a pump and it lasts absolute ages!

The Body Shop Mango Body Whip*
This lightweight whipped body lotion smells like fresh mangoes. It hydrates skin, leaving it soft and smooth. I love using it after the shower, it smells absolutely gorgeous and reminds me of a summer. It absorbs really quickly too, so I can put on my comfy long PJs without any waiting.

The Body Shop Almond Hand & Nail Cream
My current favourite hand cream! I still keep Soap & Glory Hand Dream Super Cream and Hand Food Hand Cream on a stand-by, but with this sweet almond scent, The Body Shop one has been a winner for me. It does a great job on moisturising and nourishing my hands without leaving greasy residue. With the almond scent lingering on my hands I love using it before I go to sleep. 

The Body Shop Glazed Apple Body Butter*
This fruity Body Butter is a vibrant and juicy-smelling festive favourite for fragrant, soft skin. It's from the limited edition range and I love it! Cranberry was always my go-to fragrance, but this is serious contender. The only negative I can find is that it is very thick, so it takes quite some time to sink in properly.


Lip Smacker Frozen in Chilled Cranberry Grape and Coconut Snowballs*
Don't let the cold bother your lips with these amazing Frozen Lip Smackers! I love them both (moisturising and fabulously scented) and although I still haven't seen Frozen (the horror!) I've scheduled it for Christmas period and in the meantime I keep 'Let it go' on a repeat.

LUSH Snow Fairy Shower Gel
A classic product and a must-have in my shower during the month of December. Apparently the formula has been changed slightly to dispense glitter in the bottle evenly this year, but sadly I don't see any changes and it still stuck to the bottom - very annoying!

Superfacialist by Una Brennan Rose Intense Moisture Mask
My favourite face mask, super moisturising for parched skin, smells lovely and leaves my skin soft and plumped.

What are your winter skincare saviours?

23/12/2014

Christmas Wishlist


Charlotte Tilbury Eyeshadow palette in The Vintage Vamp
I love the combination of these shades, I was thinking of putting The Golden Goddess on the list, but the shades are very similar to The Dolce Vita, which I already have.

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow
Already a cult product and contour must-have for many, it looks simply amazing!

Charlotte Tilbury Festive Rose Gold Cosmetic Bag
This is such gorgeous makeup bag! I have limited edition one from House of Rock n’ Kohl, but this one is much easier to clean and rose gold makes it look so glamorous! 

Tom Ford Lipstick in Nude Vanille
I've been obsessing by these lipsticks forever, so luxurious and chic! I think this shade would be perfect for me!

Anthropologie Limited Edition Golden Monogram Mug
I simply adore these cups, I know they also have black-and-white standrad edition, but I just need these gold ones in my life. I've already planned to use it someday for my stationary storage like pens and pencils.

How To Be Parisian: Wherever You Are
I flicked through it in Waterstones and loved it! This book brilliantly deconstructs the French woman's views on culture, fashion and attitude. It is written by four bohemian free-thinkers Anne Berest, Caroline De Maigret, Audrey Diwan and Sophie Mas who cut through the myths in this gorgeous and witty guide to Parisienne savoir faire. The book explains those confusing subjects of clothes, makeup, men, culture and lifestyle as only a true Parisienne can.

Photos That Changed the World
I want to get this book for ages! It presents more than ninety pages of history's most memorable photographs - from the Wright Brothers' first flight to the bombing of Pearl Harbour, from Martin Luther King's 'I Have a Dream' speech to Nelson Mandela's release from prison.

Lauren Conrad Beauty
Lauren covers everything you need to know to maximize your own beauty potential. From tips for creating a strong foundation and maintaining healthy skin and hair through diet, exercise, and all-around wellness to everyday makeup techniques and tricks of the trade for special-occasion looks. This book has been recommended to me many times and I'd love to have it in my collection!

Cath Kidston Blossom Set of 3 Hand Creams
These are great pocket hand creams and the 'blossom' scent is absolutely lovely. The tube is so small, it fits perfectly into my makeup bag, so I can always have it with me.

Cath Kidston London Travel Cup
I already have one of those travel cups in Field Rose print and they are just so cute and fun. Of course I'd love to have London edition too!

What's on yours Christmas wishlist?

21/12/2014

New jewellery from House of Fraser

I'm always after a good quality and affordable jewellery. I like to invest in a better piece and wear it for few years rather than throw it after one season because it got discoloured or went out of style. Now, don't get me wrong - I still love to indulge in Primark or New Look's pieces from time to time, but it's usually once or twice a year.


One of the places I've been recently introduced to find some affordable gems is House of Fraser. Can you believe that these gorgeous Cachet Rose Gold & Crystal Stud Earrings* and sparkly French Connection X Ring* were together under £30?! There are so many good quality items, including bracelets and necklaces that I am tempted to get something for my mum and aunt, especially with majority of the jewellery being currently on sale. With Christmas parties just around the corner, these pieces will add just right amount of demure sparkle and are also a great last-minute present idea.

20/12/2014

NAILS: Essie Chinchilly

NAILS: Essie Chinchilly, Essie, grey, nail polish, nails, NOTD, swatches, beauty blog, UK blogger
NAILS: Essie Chinchilly, Essie, grey, nail polish, nails, NOTD, swatches, beauty blog, UK blogger

Essie Chinchilly is a gorgeous sleek granite grey nail polish which looks very cool and chic on your nails. At first I wasn't quite sure what to think about it, but after wearing it for past couple of days I really like it! I wish the shade would be a little bit lighter - but it's not a surprise since I love all pastel shades. One of my good friends is a huge fan of Chinchilly and I am glad I got it thanks to her recommendation. It's perfect for this time of the year and I am planning to add some golden glitter on the tips next time.

19/12/2014

WHAT I WORE TODAY: Christmas jumper time

ankle boots, bags, coat, Dorothy Perkins, H and M, hat, jeans, jumpers, Primark, River Island, Topshop, WHAT I WORE TODAY, WIWT, christmas jumper, polar bear, primark
ankle boots, bags, coat, Dorothy Perkins, H and M, hat, jeans, jumpers, Primark, River Island, Topshop, WHAT I WORE TODAY, WIWT, christmas jumper, polar bear, primark
ankle boots, bags, coat, Dorothy Perkins, H and M, hat, jeans, jumpers, Primark, River Island, Topshop, WHAT I WORE TODAY, WIWT, christmas jumper, polar bear, primark
ankle boots, bags, coat, Dorothy Perkins, H and M, hat, jeans, jumpers, Primark, River Island, Topshop, WHAT I WORE TODAY, WIWT, christmas jumper, polar bear, primark
ankle boots, bags, coat, Dorothy Perkins, H and M, hat, jeans, jumpers, Primark, River Island, Topshop, WHAT I WORE TODAY, WIWT, christmas jumper, polar bear, primark
ankle boots, bags, coat, Dorothy Perkins, H and M, hat, jeans, jumpers, Primark, River Island, Topshop, WHAT I WORE TODAY, WIWT, christmas jumper, polar bear, primark

coat - Dorothy Perkins, jumper - Primark, jeans - H&M, shoes - River Island,
hat - Topshop, bag - Primark, ring - H&M

It's Christmas jumper time! I can finally dig out my festive frocks and wear them proudly in public, starting with this new jumper I wore on Christmas Jumper Day last week. I got it from Primark, I swear I get a jumper from there every year! This time I opted for this cute polar bear one, it's so warm and snuggly! I teamed it up with my fun H&M jeans, grey Primark handbag and my new Topshop beanie.

18/12/2014

Penhaligon's Ostara Eau de Toilette review

Penhaligon's Ostara Eau de Toilette review, Penhaligon's, perfume, beauty, review,

Not many people know this, but daffodils are my favourite flowers. You may be surprised or not, since these are not very high-maintenance flowers and don't get as much mention as roses or tulips, but I will choose daffodils every time. They remind me of early spring days, when I gather them from my mum's garden and put them in a vase on my bedside table. I'm not huge fan of yellow colour, but in this case they are so cheerful and they simply remind me of a good time and happy memories. That's why I was super excited to learn that Penhaligon's latest fragrance Ostara, due to be released around Easter, is going to be focused solely on daffodils! Inspired by the daffodil, the fragrance is a modern interpretation of this delicate flower and ensures you will get an olfactory journey from bulb to bloom. Top notes of the fragrance include Clementine, Red Berries, Spearmint, Blackucrrant and Bergamot; heart notes have Hyacinth, Narcissus, Ylang Ylang and Wisteria while base notes are Vanilla, Musk, Amber and White Wood. It simply smells like a spring in a bottle and it's so unique and beatiful I cannot wait to use it come spring!

17/12/2014

Schwarzkopf products mini-reviews



Schwarzkopf is a brand I started using when I was in high-school. I loved their Liquid Silk Express-Repair-Conditioner so much that when I moved to London, my mum was still sending me new bottles when I was running out of it. But then I discovered lots and lots of other brands and my favourite leave-in conditioner was forgotten for a long time. I recently got a chance to try few other products from the brand and I am loving their selection!

Schwarzkopf got2b Rise 'n Shine Hairspray*
It is an amazing hairspray which gives my hair some extra volume and shine without weighing it down. I went through my fair share of hairsprays over the years and I am quite picky on what I like. I am happy to report this one definitely doesn't make my hair sticky and I love the pink bottle!

Schwarzkopf got2b Oil-Licious Styling Oil*
This styling oil is contains argan oil and is perfect for daily use to tame and add some extra shine. Because I have long hair and I like to style it quite often, I always make sure to use oil on my ends by warming it in my hands and applying on the last inches of my hair for extra conditioning. It seems like a decent oil and I like that the bottle is quite small, perfect to take on a trip. 

Schwarzkopf got2b Volumising Style Powder*
This powder has an unique weightless formula which texturises each hair strand to create maximum volume at the roots in an instant. I like Bumble & Bumble's Prêt-à-powder and this seems to be a decent alternative, especially for someone on a budget.

Schwarzkopf got2b Guardian Angel*
Whenever styling my hair I make sure to use heat protecting spray and this is a fantastic product to try! The product smells great, works well with up to 220°C heat protection and simply gets the job done.

Did you try anything from Schwarzkopf?

16/12/2014

Topshop faux fur pom pom beanie

Topshop faux fur pom pom beanie
Topshop faux fur pom pom beanie

I spotted few fashionistas sporting beanies with huge faux fur pom pom detail on top and I instantly liked them. When Julie got herself one of them in red from Topshop, I went to investigate what other shades they have on offer. I spotted this cream beanie and it was love from the first sight. At £14 I think I might have gotten a cheaper version in Primark or New Look, but I wanted something of a better quality, a hat I can wear in few years time and it will still look stylish and cool. It's really warm too - perfect for this time of year and I am super happy my ears are no longer freezing. 

What's your current  go-to hat/beanie?

15/12/2014

Le Couvent des Minimes products mini-reviews

Le Couvent des Minimes products mini-reviews

Le Couvent des Minimes is a new bodycare brand on the English market - it's been in Boots for only one month. After trying a couple of products from the range and attending a launch event, I can safely say that it is a younger and cheaper version of L'Occitane (who also owns Le Couvent des Minimes). Le Couvent des Minimes is a range of simple, authentic and natural French products which provide daily essentials for the whole family. All the ingredients and good for the skin and suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin. What is so special about the brand is that it is true to their monastic heritage and use the very same herbs and botanics in the natural beauty recipes which were used hundreds of years ago (dating back to 1600s!). 

Le Couvent des Minimes products mini-reviews

One of the ranges is The Recipe of the Morning, which has a bell sketch on a packaging. This is a representation of the morning bells that would wake up the convent and pays tribute to this particular time of day when nature comes to life and reveals all its richness. The fragrance opens with crisp notes of apple, orange and lemon; heart notes include pear flower, fig and basil while base notes are full of woods, cedar and soft musk. I urge you to give the products a sniff, they smell absolutely gorgeous and most of them have an ingredient which is not commonly used - pear and pear flower, so if you're a fan, Le Couvent des Minimes is simply a must-have for you! 

Le Couvent des Minimes products mini-reviewsLe Couvent des Minimes products mini-reviews
Le Couvent des Minimes products mini-reviews

Other ranges are The Recipe of Love with fruity and floral scent of orange blossom, The Recipe of the Cloister with floral fragrance including rose, peony and grapefruit, Relaxing Recipe with lavender oils and more. They also include hand creams, shower gels, body moisturisers, soaps, body butters and lip balms, so there's something for everyone!

Le Couvent des Minimes products mini-reviews

14/12/2014

WHAT I WORE TODAY: new knee-length boots

 knee-length boots, grey, H and M, jumpers, New Look, shoes, skirt, WHAT I WORE TODAY, WIWT, outfit
 knee-length boots, grey, H and M, jumpers, New Look, shoes, skirt, WHAT I WORE TODAY, WIWT, outfit

jumper - Fenwicks, skirt - New Look, shoes - H&M,
necklace - Accessorize

Knee-length boots are the trendiest pair of shoes this season! I was desperately looking for a nice pair which was inexpensive and not too high, since I am on a smaller side and when I spotted these gorgeous boots in H&M I immediately wanted to get them. Sadly, they didn't have my size in any of the central London stores, so I had to order them on-line and impatiently wait for them to arrive (plus, H&M delivery is awful). But having them safe and sound at home and trying them on, I knew instantly I made a great decision! They are imitation suede with an elastic back section and a zip at the side and have rubber soles. The elastic back section means they will fit everyone and simply adjust to your leg whether you're wearing tights and a skirt or jeans. However, I recommend wearing socks too, since the shoes are not very warm. I am also wearing jumper I got from my husband last week, it's very cute and keeps me warm on these frosty days and nights we're currently having in London.

Did you get a pair of knee-length boots this year? Share your finds!

09/12/2014

Primark Spring 2015 Press Day

Primark Spring 2015 Press Day, 2015, high street fashion, press show, Primark,
Primark Spring 2015 Press Day, 2015, high street fashion, press show, Primark,
Primark Spring 2015 Press Day, 2015, high street fashion, press show, Primark,

Nothing excites me as much as Primark press days! To see all the hottest and latest trends in one place, hanging peacefully on the racks and spend time strolling through and admiring accessories and clothes is simply amazing. I love Primark and I firmly believe you can find there some amazing gems to last you throughout the season or two. Starting with the first drops in January, Primark's Spring 2015 collection is full of clever cuts, standout prints and a vast array of dazzling colours. You will find there a mix of styles, inspirations and designs - there's something for everyone whether you're planning to go to a festival or are revamping your work wardrobe with few additions. 

The main trends are:
Asia Nautica with oriental references and shots of yellow highlight delicate blossoms and laundered denims;
Nomadic Glamour has off the shoulder tops and embroidered dresses with textures defining the breezy, free-spirited trend full of boho vibes;
Rave Camper as the name suggests is full of chaotic prints and activewear-inspired limes, citrus and fuchsias electrifying khaki base colour;
Miami Memphis is also sportswear-inspired with technical airtex, perforated panels and structured neoprene, white dominates this particular trend.

As for accessories, metallics dominate with metal-capped handbags, pewter strappy sandals and industrial style bangles. Lightening the tone are slogan chokers, candy stripe clutches and glitter sunglasses.

Apologies for such bad quality of photos, I only had my iPhone with me on the day! I absolutely loved the entire collection, especially the shoes are simply to die for! The bags are very cute too with a lot of floral and fruity prints and from what I saw - definitely dig out your clutches for spring and summer! - the smaller, the better. I have my eye on so many things and I literally can't wait for next year and warmer weather! I also picked up few makeup bits from Primark's affordable range, so stay tuned for reviews.

Primark Spring 2015 Press Day, 2015, high street fashion, press show, Primark,
Primark Spring 2015 Press Day, 2015, high street fashion, press show, Primark,
Primark Spring 2015 Press Day, 2015, high street fashion, press show, Primark,
Primark Spring 2015 Press Day, 2015, high street fashion, press show, Primark,
Primark Spring 2015 Press Day, 2015, high street fashion, press show, Primark,
Primark Spring 2015 Press Day, 2015, high street fashion, press show, Primark, Primark Spring 2015 Press Day, 2015, high street fashion, press show, Primark,

05/12/2014

Too Faced Cat Eyes Palette review

Too Faced Cat Eye Palette review, beauty, eye shadows, make up, palette, review, Too Faced, beauty blog, blogger
Too Faced Cat Eye Palette review, beauty, eye shadows, make up, palette, review, Too Faced, beauty blog, blogger
Too Faced Cat Eye Palette review, beauty, eye shadows, make up, palette, review, Too Faced, beauty blog, blogger
Too Faced Cat Eye Palette review, beauty, eye shadows, make up, palette, review, Too Faced, beauty blog, blogger
Too Faced Cat Eye Palette review, beauty, eye shadows, make up, palette, review, Too Faced, beauty blog, blogger

I became completely obsessed with Too Face makeup! They have such fantastic range, albeit pricy, so if the price wasn't an issue I think I'd buy it all out. I love the packaging, the formulas and that they are 100% cruelty free. Too Faced Cat Eye Palette is the epitome of cuteness for me and is definitely a must-have! The palette features nine new shades in matte, shimmer and glitter textures in warm and cool tones. Included are three wet-and-dry formulas for intense precision lining and a perfect wing tip. This Cat Eye Palette comes with the signature Glamour Guide with three beauty looks to get you started - it's very easy to follow up the instruction and later on create your own unique looks. I obviously love the packaging - leopard print is just too hard too resist for me! - and the fact that it is both sturdy and compact, making it ideal companion to take with when going on holidays. 

What do you think of this palette?