Thursday, 26 November 2015

CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE: FOR HER


So its November 28th....27 days till the big day! If you follow me on Twitter/ Instagram you might have guessed that I have having quite the untraditional Christmas this year, as I will be spending it on a beach in ........THAILAND! One of my best friends is travelling and she is gonna be there over December and January so I had a bit of a #YOLO moment last week and booked a flight to go out and see her! Of course I am absolutely buzzing but it's gonna be super weird not having Christmas dinner with my family on the 25th and indulging in everything I can get my greedy little paws on. I'm gonna be hitting the gym hard and  following a strict meal plan to make sure I am looking smokin' on the beach and Greenpeace don't think I'm Shamu and try and roll me back into the ocean, so I'm gonna have to up my willpower game and say no to the endless boxes of Lindt and Quality Street this year!


Anyway back to the most exciting post I have written this year....My Christmas gift guide! Of course I want EVERYTHING on this list, but I guess my personal wish list is gonna be very different this year because I want things that I can take to Thailand and put to good use, but I will write a seperate post on that.
Enjoy!

FOR HER:


Buying clothes as Christmas presents in my eyes in a huge no-no, unless you know the person REALLY well. It's just awkward for everybody involved if they hate it and have to ask for the gift receipt and you do the whole 'oh don't worry about it, its fine if you don't like it' thing when really your abso FUMIN and wish you got them a WHSmith gift card instead. Here are a selection of ideas that will suit most gals who love nice things.

TOP LEFT-CLOCKWISE. (Click link to purchase)

1. My Burberry festive Eau de Parfum. A gorgeous, classic scent in a beautiful glittery bottle engraved with up to 3 initials. Such a stunning gift idea and a must for any dressing table.

2. iPhone cases- I had to whittle my numerous favourites down to these three. BAN.DO 'I am very busy'Coconut Lane marble print and this amazing Cover-Up Blackened Ash case. (Can you tell I love texture?)

3. The Balm Mary Lou Manizer Luminizer. I have heard nothing but good things about this highlighter. Get those cheekbones #onfleek.

4. FRENDS Layla Rose Gold headphones. If I needed anything as motivated to get me to the gym, it would be these headphones.

5. UGG Scuffette Slippers. The weather is getting colder and colder, so keep your friends and family snug as a bug in a sheepskin rug in these babies.

6. Real Techniques Bold Metals brushes. Ideal for any budding MUA or beauty blogger.

7. GHD Air. Slightly pricey, but probably one of the best investments I have made all year so I had to share the love.

8. 2015 has been the year of #GirlsWhoSquat, so these Nike's would be perfect for gym bunnies. Buying for someone REALLY special? Customise them a pair on Nike ID!

9. 2015 has also been the year of #MyCalvins. Perfect present for lounging around (Oh and taking a selfie and uploading to Instagram.)


FOR HER HOME:

CHRISTMAS GIFY GUIDE: HOME

LEFT-CLOCKWISE (Click link to purchase) 

1. Ban.Do making a second appearance. Such a cute passport cover, and something that is also on my Christmas list (so Mum, if you're reading this- Click the link!)

2. Urban Outfitters Photo Mobile. Really cute way to display photos in your bedroom. I've just got some Instagram-style photos printed so this would be perfect to hang them.

3. 'Me Me Me' mug by Keith Brymer Jones. As a dedicated green tea drinker, I would love to receive this! Make it a little but more special with a fancy box of their favourite tea to accompany it. (Try Whittards or Fortnum and Masons.)

4. There are so many gorgeous scented candles and diffusers around, but I have never seen such an exotic, luxurious bottle to match! This Voluspa Japonica diffuser is goji berry and tarragon orange flavour and looks just as good as it smells.

5. Kate Spade has my whole heart! I just love every single thing from every single collection and this plate would look gorgeous on any dressing table. Perfect to store rings or bracelets. 

6. This is My Year diary. A perfect present for the friend thats late to everything/would forget her own head if it wasn't attached to her neck. (Me, then.)

7. I have recently discovered this amazing website that is Society6. Hundreds of pieces of affordable, quirky artwork. I have about £500 of stuff in my basket so far! *buys euromillions ticket.*


STOCKING FILLERS:
CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE: STOCKING FILLERS


I tried to keep my stocking fillers around or under £15, so they would be ideal for Secret Santa's.

LEFT-CLOCKWISE (Click link to purchase)
1. Flamingo Candle in Pink Lemonade. Flamingo have a huuuuuuge range of candles good enough to eat but this one makes a nice chance from all the standard seasonal scents.

2. Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream. Again, a make-up bag essential. 8 Hour cream is an award-winning treatment cream that can be used on skin, lips and dry hands and nails. So basically a winter wonder product!

3. Fruit Infuser Water Bottle. Another stocking filler for fitness fanatics.

4. Redken Anti-Snap hair treatment. Miracle product alert! This is a treatment I buy again and again, and then continue to tell everyone that will listen about it! If you know anyone struggling to grow their hair, or has damaged it with colour/heat, then they will love you for buying them this.

5. Personalised Nutella Jar. I am a sucker for anything personalised, and at a bargain price of £4.99, this is ideal for that Secret Santa scenario where you don't actually know anything about the person you're buying for. We've all been there!

6. Pink Champagne. Another stocking filler. Who doesn't love pink champagne?!

7. Prestat red velvet truffles. If you can indulge in red velvet truffles at Christmas than when can you?! Another major bonus- The box is so pretty you won't even need to wrap!

8. EOS balm. Come in an array of delicious flavours. My personal favourite at the moment is coconut milk. Plus the casing is baby pink!

9. Guylian praline truffles. A family favourite. These indulgent truffles are a must for every house hold at Christmas.

10. Tangle Angel hair brush.This gorgeous brush is an asset to every princess' dressing table! I can't go anywhere without mine as my hair is so fine and this doesn't pull what-so-ever. They also come in miniature keyring sizes- Adorable!

11. MinkPink 'Eggnog & Elves' PJ's. Mink Pink is slowly becoming one of my favourite brands for their cute designs and fun slogans. I love the little pants too!

12. Pom pom keyring. I must have wasted hours rooting through my handbag looking for my keys until my Mum bought me one of these! So cute, and under a tenner.

13. ASOS leopard print make-up bag. This bag looks so much more expensive than £15! Fill it with some beauty products for something a little extra special.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

#THECITYGIRLS ROUND 2: MANCHESTER EVENT

After the roaring success of the first City Girls event in Sheffield, I couldn't believe my luck when I saw that a last minute space had become available to the Manchester event. Now that I live back home in Preston, Manchester is only about 40 minutes on the train away so of course I jumped at the chance and the lovely Holly e-sent me an invite.

It was the night after Halloween, but as I celebrated this year on the Friday, I was fresh as a daisy and ready to mingle with the babes of Manchester. We met at Rain bar and waited downstairs with a drink until Holly and Sioban called us upstairs. In true City Girl style, they had turned the upstairs room into a blogging wonderland just like the last event! The brands attending were Second Thread, What Emma Did, Holly Bower Makes, Calphoto Camera Shop, Artsy Nibs and my personal favourite....Look Fantastic! 

There were also little treats and trinkets dotted around the room from Posh Pickles, Twig and Dot, Voss water, Virtue iced tea, Angelica nails, Michael O'Mara 'Art of Mindfulness' adult colouring books and Green and Blacks. The lovely Siobhan had used some of the chocolate to conjure up some INCREDIBLE cookie-dough-truffle-bite-things. They were melt-in-the-mouth little pieces of heaven and probably the best things I have EVER put in my mouth. I daren't ask for the recipe because each one probably contained my whole weeks allowance of calories. But #YOLO.

#FOODPORN if I ever did see it!
The chosen charity for this event was The Alzheimer's Society, and it kicked off with a talk from one of the volunteers, Steph. The donations for the raffle were amazing so I think all of us bought at least one strip of tickets, with the proceeds going to The Alzheimer's Society.

I love the format of the City Girls events, where we can mill around the room at our own leisure and chat to the brands for as long as we wanted. Of course I sloped off to the Green and Blacks table first (FFS) to dig in to the truffles but then made a beeline for Look Fantastic! Laura had come to tell us about the subscription beauty boxes...How gorgeous is the box? I am a sucker for pretty packaging, especially if it's rose gold! The contents of the boxes total £50 and they contain 6 beautiful surprises to give your skin, hair and make-up the ultimate beauty treat. I could have chatted to Laura for hours, IMO she was everything a beauty representative should be! I just love it when you can tell how much somebody believes in the brand or the product or whatever it is that they are promoting. She was also kind enough to give us all a Christmas box no1 to take home. More info on the beauty boxes can be found HERE. I was lucky enough to swindle two boxes so I could give one away to one of my lucky readers so keep on reading!



Joyce from Artsy Nibs wrote my name in beautiful calligraphy, putting my horrific child-like size 70 font writing to shame! And Emma from What Emma Did is such a babe and I cant wait for my next night out so I have an excuse to purchase one of her dresses.

Try and spot me!

I was lucky to meet some absolutely blogging BABES at this event. Anastasia, Beki and Laura..Thank you for making my day so hilarious! I hope to bump into you all at many more events in the future! 

#TheCityGirls
The day finished off with the raffle. After my life-long spell of bad luck meaning that I never win ANYTHING I was thrilled to win some Posh Pickles Bloody Mary chutney (which I have put away to give my Dad as part of his Christmas present) and a mini tangle angel which is  the PERFECT hand-bag size! Then of course we were presented with our goodie bags...BRIMMING with treats and treasures and make-up and skincare and vouchers and naughty little snacks. I have to admit I nearly dislocated my shoulder about 8 times on the way home due to the sheer weight of it but it was definitely worth it.

Huge thank-you to Holly-Lucy and Siobhan for another incredible blogging event! I look forward to round 3....



And now for the part you have all been waiting for- THE GIVEAWAY! I am giving away a Look Fantastic beauty box to one lucky reader, all you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter below. Good Luck! 

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

BEAUTY REVIEW: NO 7 BEAUTIFULLY MATTE FOUNDATION


Is it sad that I look forward to each payday because I can try out a new foundation? The beauty bloggers out there will know EXACTLY what I'm coming from here! I'm genuinely so gutted that I am the only girl out of three children in my family so I don't have any sisters to scrounge and share new beauty products with. There is absolutely no chance of that happening with my Mum- Her make-up bag consists of about 300 anti wrinkle creams and some touche ├ęclat 'for special occasions'. Hardly Sephora beauty hall is it.

I have been using my Nars Sheer Glow foundation since June, and it has lasted me up until now which is AMAZING! I thought because it just pours out that I would have bled the bottle dry in about two weeks, but I have been pleasantly surprised. 

I spent a couple of days researching good foundations that have staying power and a matte finish and I came across No 7 Beautifully Matte foundation. I had seen the 'foundation match made device' on the adverts so I was intrigued to see how well it worked! The woman on the counter matched my face with number 13 - Wheat. It was an absolute STEAL at £13.50, a massive difference to my Sheer Glow which was around £32. There was a 'buy one get one half price' offer on all No 7 products so I also picked up the 'perfect light' pressed powder (another bargain at £11.50) so altogether my purchase came to £19.50. A nice change to what would usually have cost me over £50! 

When I applied it for work the next day, I noticed just how matte it really was. I don't know whether it's because Sheer Glow had a nice dewy finish, but it just made my face look DULL. Nothing a bit of Chanel Tan du Soleil cant fix, but I wanted something as easy and effortless as possible for work. However, I only had to apply powder once throughout my day at about 1pm which was good! Annoyingly though, the woman from the beauty counter gave me a powder than is a shade too light for my face. Ugh.

Overall score - 6/10

Great staying power, but VERY matte and without a bronzer or highlighter can make your complexion appear dull. When this bottle runs out I'll be moving on, leave any recommendations in the comments or tweet me! @CLAUDIAWRIGHTx