Thursday, 16 November 2017

Quirky & Fun Christmas Gifts Guide 2017

I've never done a Christmas gift guide before, this being my blogs first Christmas. So, I haven't gone all out and done a multi-category, seven hundred entry Boots gift catalogue style guide. I thought I'd pull together a few things from different brands I love, and am hoping I chose things just that little bit odd or obscure enough that you won't have seen them in a million other gift guides.



Anything marked with an asterisk * has been gifted by a brand/PR, but this does not mean I was obligated to include them or express a positive opinion. Anything not marked was bought/provided by me.



Beauty & The Beast Chip Mug, £12.99, Find Me A Gift*

Beauty & The Beast has been all the rage this year after the amazing Emma Watson live-action remake. And nothing is cuter to drink your tea out of than the adorable Chip Mug. This is an officially licensed Disney product, so no shoddy stuff here. He's ceramic, and make sure you don't put him in the microwave or dishwasher, lest your poor buddy suffer a terrible fate. I honestly love this little dude so much, I think all of my other mugs may be a little neglected! He is currently out of stock on the Find Me A Gift website, but according to the product page more stock will arrive on 20th November!


Pride & Prejudice Personalised Book, £14.99, Find Me A Gift*

Ever read a romantic book or watched a period drama and though *sigh*, if only that were me? Well, now it can be. Uhh...sort of. Star in your very own personalised version of Pride and Prejudice! You really can have Mr Darcy for your very own! Ahem. Anyway, there are six characters to personalise, including Elizabeth, Jane and Lydia Bennet, Mr Darcy, Charles Bingley and George Wickham. If you don't want to personalise a particular character, you can leave them as their original selves, and then it all gets printed out, bound up and sent to you! This is definitely a book I'll treasure!


No. 309 Daisy Perfume, £18.00 (30ml), Eden Perfumes

Eden Perfumes are my new favourite cruelty-free company for fragrance- they only use vegan-friendly ingredients, and they match lots of your favourite designer brand scents. I'll let you figure out which famous designer fragrance this one matches, but here's a hint- the bottle has a massive daisy on it. It smells remarkably similar, if not a little better- maybe it's because you know that no animals were harmed making it, and it was such a reasonable price. I've got some of this for my sister for Christmas, and it's worth popping over to browse to see if you can find your favourite scent.



Nail Transfers, £5.00, House of Wonderland*

House of Wonderland is one of my new favourite stores- they stock an abundance of cute jewellery, homeware, gifts, and even things like pet tags. I was so excited when they sent me these nail transfers- I'm not so good at painting my nails, but nail transfers are an easier way of jazzing up my nails that don't really require such steady hands. Just cut out the little design you want, dip in water, then slide the transfer onto your nail. They stock all sorts of designs, my favourite being the cactus ones! My top tip would be to use nail scissors to cut them out as they're dinky designs and kitchen scissor will be too clunky!


Flutter Eye Mask, £3.00 (was £6.00!), Superdrug

I wanted to include something at the very lowest end of the price point, and this seemed like a good range to showcase- the Flutter range from Superdrug is extremely reasonable. Everything seems to be around £15 or less, and includes beauty bits, keyrings and stationery things. This cooling eye mask will be handy if you've overindulged slightly over Christmas and have a bit of a sore head. Pop inside a freezer proof bag, then put in the fridge for about an hour, then place over your eyes and lie back and let it soothe your poor old head and eyes!

So, that's my little selection of gifts and brands I think are worth a look this Christmas! What do you think of my picks? Have you got any you would add? Let me know below in the comments!

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The Big Christmas Hamper Giveaway!

I'm taking part in another UK Bloggers collaborative giveaway, and this time we're feeling decidedly Festive, so thought it would be fun to team up and give away a lovely hamper.

Take a look at it via the link above, and when you've got yourself suitably giddy over the contents, come back here and have a look below at the bloggers who teamed up to give it away, along with how to enter. Good luck!

Christmas is coming at us perhaps more quickly than we would like to admit, but that's OK, all the festive cheer is on its way and to help you get into the mood for a big Christmas celebration, myself and a whole host of lovely bloggers have teamed up together to help you win a hamper full to the brim with goodies.

So, who has teamed up to bring to you this prize?


Boxes and Swatches |Precious Little Worlds |Just Average Jen | Mum Dad Plus 4 | Lindy Loves | Really Missing Sleep | Hubby Helps | My Three and Me | The Reluctant Traveller



Us Two Friends |Melanie's Fab Finds |Clarke Life | Helerina Blogs | Welsh Mum | The Rare Welsh Bit | Petit Moi Big World | Kumbear XO | Melissa Jane Lee



We Made This Life |Oh Mummy Mia |Bump and Beyond | Helerina Blogs | emmadrew.info | Life in a Break Down | UK Bloggers

So how can you be in with a chance of winning this amazing hamper? Well, all you need to do is let us know: What do you most love about Christmas?


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck. This prize is being administrated by Sarah of UK Bloggers / Life in a Break Down for any issues please contact her at sarah@uk-bloggers.co.uk. For full terms and conditions please view the Rafflecopter widget.
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Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Pink Parcel- November 2017 Review


About the box
Pink Parcel is a monthly subscription box that sends all of your period essentials- so sanitary towels, tampons or a mix of both (your choice), as well as a generous serving of beauty products, a snack item and tea.

Price
£12.99 a month, inc. P&P

What I got

Hand holding The Beauty Crop Glamazon Stick, a gold tube

A hand swatch of Glamazon stick, which is a pale gold shimmer

The first item this month was something that looked kind of familiar to me- this is The Beauty Crop Glamazon Stick (full size, £9.00, find it here). I am fairly certain this is one of those (many) sister brands of US company So Susan. The packaging is so similar to theirs, and this stick even has those big oversized lids they do that don't look like they fit the tube. A little detectiving on the internet says I'm probably right. Anyway, this is a crayon highlighter, tending towards the gold side and needing quite a few swipes unless you're wanting something very subtle. Made with cocoa butter and Vitamin E it's meant to be quite nourishing, and all Beauty Crop products are cruelty-free.

Hand holding the Lipcote Lipstick Sealer, a glass tube of clear liquid

Next in beauty is the Lipcote Lipstick Sealer (full size, 7ml, £3.69, find it here). I honestly always saw Lipcote as kind of an old-fashioned thing so have never bought it, but I'm willing to try it. The only downside is it smells extremely strong, like varnish. The applicator is a little brush attached to the lid. I've heard that it can sting on application which does kind of make sense given the smell but I'll try anything once! This is a clear sealer which won't affect the colour of your lipstick.

Hand holding bottle containing blue liquid, the Nail HQ All In One Oil

I was really happy about this product- Nail HQ All In One Oil (full size, 10ml, £6.95, find it here). I love these treatments for my nails, and I only use clear polishes. However, the booklet says it contains hydrolysed collagen, which is basically made from stuff like ligaments and bone- basically, it's an animal-derived product a lot like gelatine. I've been a vegetarian since birth (yes, my entire life!) so I don't use these products, and will have to give this away to someone else. I'm really disappointed, as there are so many nail strengthening products that don't use this stuff, but I guess that's just the way it goes with these boxes.

Hand holding long opaque tube of Swiss Clinic Cleansing Spray

This, weirdly, is my favourite item in the box- the Swiss Clinic Cleansing Spray (full size, 10ml, £11.00, find it here). I actually really love trying out new hand sanitisers, and this one is lovely- great smell, gentle and in a funky spray tube with a little clip to keep it secure in your handbag or pocket.

Hand holding a the Radiant Glow Face Mask, the packaging covered in a fruit and lady print

The last beauty item, and my other favourite item is this Beautinq Beauty Radiant Glow Face Mask (full size, $6.00/approx. £4.57, find it here). This mask brightens and plumps skin and has anti-ageing properties. It contains vitamin C, antioxidants, niacinamide and various fruit extracts. Niacinamide is a hero ingredient for congested skin like mine so this is a keeper for sure. Also, how lovely is that packaging- I know that's shallow but it is really pretty!

Hand holding small black box containing Cocoba Truffles

Hand holding a sachet teabag of Cuppanut Ginger and Turmeric Tea

The snacky treats this month are the Cocoba Truffles, but they are salted toffee flavour, which as you know salted chocolate is my worst enemy so these will not be eaten by me! Perhaps a certain penpal might like these (wink wink)? The tea this month is Cuppanut Tea in a ginger & turmeric infusion, which is a perfect autumn winter flavour. Turmeric is said to have anti-inflammatory properties, and since I have a broken foot (again) I might as well give it a go!

Final thoughts
This wasn't a favourite, but I love the sanitiser and mask, and the nail product will be well loved by a non-vegetarian friend of mine. The highlighter is welcome, as I always love highlighters, and everything else, though not amazing, is still good with me (except yucky salted chocolate, boo hiss).

On a side note, the booklet with this month's Pink Parcel has a note about an upcoming treat- the Pink Parcel Party Clutch is back this year, costing £29.99 with over £100 worth of stuff in it. These special editions are usually pretty good and sell out quickly, so keep an eye on the Pink Parcel social media to see when it will go on sale- they're keeping their cards close to their chest on this one. I will also try and remind my followers too as soon as I see news about it!

If you would like to sign up to Pink Parcel, you can find their link here.
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Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Giveaway- Powder Beauty Drawer November 2017 To Win!


I have finally sorted out my double ordering situation with Powder (there was a Groupon promotion and things got confusing for me), so this is the last month I will have two boxes. Since last months giveaway was so well received I thought why not give away this one to my lovely readers too?



I've included some of the photos from my own unboxing & review of the November box in this post, and you can also see that review here.

Please remember, each month there are variations in the box, for example, you may receive a different nail varnish shade or face mask type to what I got. By entering you agree your box may not be identical to mine.


Enter via the gleam widget below, and make sure you take full note of the included terms and conditions. There are no mandatory entries. Complete as many or as few options as you'd like. However, I do ask that if you choose to complete the 'blog comment' option that you leave a comment that is a minimum of 8 words, and that makes sense! Otherwise, your comment will be marked as spam by Google and sent to my spam comment inbox.

I am always a comper friendly blogger- that means, if you enter competitions as a hobby, or for whatever reason you like, you are perfectly welcome to enter my giveaways. :)

November Powder Beauty Drawer Giveaway

  • Entrants must be 18+ and UK residents only.
  • The prize is 1 x Powder Beauty Drawer- November 2017 Edition. Shades/varieties of products included are sent by Powder at random and beyond my control.
  • Giveaway runs from 7th November 2017 @ 12.00pm to 30th November 2017 @ 11.59am
  • Winner will be picked at random by the gleam widget
  • Entrants who have not completed entries that they say they have will have those entries removed
  • Blog comment entries must be 8 words or more, be a meaningful sentence (not, for example, 'great giveaway', 'cool'), and must answer the question asked for the entry. If this is not followed the comment will count as spam and the entry will be disqualified.
  • Winner will be notified by email within 48 hours of end of giveaway
  • Winner will have 28 days to respond to the winning email notification, after which time a new winner will be picked
  • Winners first name and last initial will be displayed on the gleam widget as winner, once they have been confirmed as winner
  • I will make all reasonable efforts to notify a winner
  • Prize will be posted within 7 working days of receipt of address details
  • Prize will be sent via a recorded delivery method
  • Shades often vary from box to box- by entering you agree that your box may not exactly match the photos above.

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Monday, 6 November 2017

October Favourites

I wish...that one day, I will have a favourites post out before the 1st of the month!

Reading

The Loneliest Girl In The Universe // Lauren James // Goodreads

Book cover for The Loneliest Girl in the Universe, featuring a girl surrounded by stars in space

Still on my space fiction book kick this month, I decided to try this one, about a girl, Romy, travelling on a generation ship to a new earth. A tragedy has caused her, at 16, to become the captain of her ship and the increasingly long latency periods of messages between her and NASA/earth are only increasing her feeling of utter loneliness. When she finds out NASA has sent a new ship that will be with her within months, which means people, companionship and more supplies, Romy is thrilled. However, everything starts to get a bit weird from there.

I really loved this book- the twists were amazing. Just when you thought you'd seen the last twist, the author hits you with another one. I love the way she showed how hard it would be to contact earth from deep space and how lonely it would be out there alone. Though this book is Young Adult fiction, it was written in a mature way so that everyone could enjoy it. A definite recommend!

Watching


The Shannara Chronicles is the ultimate in fantasy TV, and I devoured Season 1 last year when I discovered it on Netflix. Now Season 2 is here, on Spike/Channel 5 in the UK, and if anything it's even better. There's magic, trolls, elves, fighting, badass heroes and heroine, warlocks...just everything! I honestly wish I could binge watch Season 2 in one go, I love it that much.

Listening


If you're a 90s kid like me and grew up with a PlayStation, then you might have played some of the older Final Fantasy games. My favourite, Final Fantasy 7, has some of the best video game music out there, in my opinion. The legendary composer Nobuo Uematsu created so much of the Final Fantasy music over the years, and you can often see it all performed live by choir and orchestra in the amazing Distant Worlds concerts. My sister actually got a ticket to go and see it without me this year, so of course, she is no longer my sister (haha). Honestly, I have listened to the two Distant Worlds albums so much over the years but this past month even more so than usual. If you fancy some beautiful music, try out Aerith's Theme and To Zanarkand, my two most favourite pieces. You can buy the first album here.

Box of the Month


Second-time winners here we come- it's VO Beauty again. Their October box was so amazing, with an amazing palette, a mask from the awesome Space Masks, a vegan eyeliner, some incredible cruelty-free perfume and some adorable bath bombs (which I may or may not have broken again). I really loved it, and I honestly love this subscription so much. Check out the review here.

I'd love to hear about your October? Let me know below what you think of my favourites, and what your own favourites were.




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Saturday, 4 November 2017

Powder Beauty Drawer- November 2017 Review

The contents of the November Powder Beauty Drawer arranged with dried petals around the pink drawer.

About the box
Powder, part of Time Inc who bring you magazines such as Marie Claire and InStyle, has been around for a couple of years now. At first, it only did seasonal boxes, but nowadays you can get monthly boxes that come in a lovely pink (powder pink, actually!) drawer box. Expect a mix of makeup, skincare and nail products.

Price
£15.00 a month plus £3.50 P&P

What I got

A hand holding two sample bottles of Hugo Boss fragrance

Let's start with the most underwhelming product of the month, shall we? Powder sent not one but two teeny tiny samples of fragrance- Hugo Boss The Scent Intense For Her EDP and Hugo Boss The Scent Intense For Him EDP. I really am not keen on getting these teeny vials of fragrance, so two is kind of annoying. The For Her is actually quite nice- kind of fruity and sweet. The For Him is hard to describe, kind of spicy? Apparently, it has hints of leather in it which I think is what I don't like.

A hand holding the HASK Deep Conditioner Sachet

Next is this enormous sachet of HASK Keratin Protein Smoothing Deep Conditioner (full-size sachet, 50ml, £2.49, find it here). This hair mask (oh! HASK! I get it!) is meant to soften, reduce breakage and general deep condition your hair. There's a good amount in here so if you have long or thick hair you can hopefully cover everything.

Hand holding The Organic Pharmacy Lip and Eye Cream tube

This is The Organic Pharmacy Lip & Eye Cream (full size, 10ml, £26.95, find it here). Considering this costs nearly £30 I was hoping it was made of magic beans, but it seems like it's just a regular cream! You can use it around the eye area to combat puffiness and dark circles, and actually on your lips for dryness. It contains fennel, 'eyebright' (???), bilberry, and frankincense. It is, of course, organic as well as cruelty-free.

Hand holding bottle of Lottie London Lottie Lacquer in hump day, a sparkly nail varnish

Next, we have Lottie London Lottie Lacquer in 'happy hump day' (full size, 12ml, £5.99, find it here). You might also receive the varieties 'hipster', 'gimme the beat', 'adorbs', 'downtime', 'stay-cool' or 'hype'. Questionable shade names aside, this is a cute glittery top coat, with holographic glitter. You could also use it on its own for a subtle sparkle.


Hand holding Brush Works Sponge, a pink makeup sponge

We actually had a makeup sponge last month, so I was surprised to see this, the Brush Works HD Multi Tasking Sponge (full size, £6.49, find it here). Nevertheless, I am always here for fancy makeup sponges, and this one is very interesting. It's soft, squishy, smooth and made of 'latex free material'. The various contours and curves of it mean it is truly multitasking, as you can use it for foundation, blending, concealer, etc.

Hand holding Face inc Night Mask, in a blue and white packet

The final item this month is the Faceinc by NailsInc Night Night Soothing Hydro Night Mask (full size, £5.00, find it here). You may receive the variety of 'Bubble Burst Hydrating Serum' instead. Either way, you're getting some sort of hydration mask this month, which is really no use to my oily skin, but if you're suffering from dry skin in this cold winter weather this will be a great one for you. It does say it's for all skin types, but my skin is so oily, acne prone and reactive, it really isn't sensible for me to be putting something like this on it! It contains fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants, to protect your skin from damage and ageing.

Final thoughts
This definitely was not my favourite month. There's only a couple of items that really wowed me. However, I think most people without my problem skin would probably be more excited by it! That's the way the subscription box cookie crumbles!
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