22 November 2013

Shopping | Gift Guide for the Beauty Loving Girl

I absolutely love Christmas and despite the long queues, the arctic trek between shops and hearing Shakin' Stevens for the 20th time that hour I really enjoy the shopping as well. I firmly believe that present buying is a very personal experience and there is no "one size fits all" approach or gift but I've put together some of my favourite beauty related gifts for Christmas.

I want to get the disclaimer in early - I have not been asked, sponsored or paid (in product or money!) to mention any of the brands or items below. 

Sensuous Nude from Estee Lauder is one of my all time favourite fragrances and one I am never without. When it launched last year it was voted the Sexiest Fragrance of 2012 by Cosmopolitan magazine and it's easy to see, or smell(!), why: it's sultry, feminine and warm. This is a real head turner of a fragrance.

Estee Lauder run a fantastic promotion at Christmas where you can purchase a whopping makeup case of Estee Lauder products worth over £250 for just £50 if you buy any of their selected fragrances. 

Since purchasing my first Jo Malone fragrance earlier this year I've fallen head over heels for their scents and this collection of 5 9ml perfumes provide the perfect chance to try the brand and also experience their unique layering system which shows how Jo Malone fragrances are designed to work as well together as they are alone.

It may be pricey but you get what you pay for and Jo Malone really is a mark of quality. I've ordered one for my Nan after converting her to Jo Malone with a birthday present earlier this year. 

With the hustle and bustle of Christmas; the parties, the dinners, the shopping and everything in between, we all need some time to relax and de-stress after the big day. Aromatherapy Associates make my favourite selection of relaxing essential oils and this festive collection provides the chance to try 10 of their best loved and most relaxing bath and shower oils to help you unwind and relax.

Miniatures are the perfect way to introduce someone to a brand! I often find that I will know a product or a brand that is perfect for a friend or family member but they're cautious to commit to a full size, especially at the price of Moroccan Oil however a miniature provides the chance to try and be bowled over! They make a great gift on their own, especially for people who like to travel, but they're also a lovely stocking filler.

The Laura Mercier body and bath products are a real luxury treat in my eyes. The above set includes a full sized body scrub, honey bath swirl, body creme soufflĂ© and luxury scented candle to ensure you're pampered from head to toe in beautiful candlelight. 

The honey bath is a cult product and it feels like pure indulgence as you dip the honey wand into the product before adding to a bath. The scrub and body soufflé finish off the pampering experience to ensure that your skin is in tip-top condition.

Crownbrush have a great selection of palettes and brushes suitable for everyone from your makeup loving teenager to your professional makeup artists. Great quality products at affordable prices.

This 36 colour palette features a variety of shades and finishes from your every day neutrals to your bold bright colours, perfect for creating striking fashion looks or adding a modern twist to an old classic (a pink and purple smokey eye for example). 

For November only I am fortunate enough to be able to share with you all a discount code that will give you 10% off any purchase on Crownbrush! Simply enter FINNO2013 at the checkout to receive your discount after clicking the link above.

I can't get a clear picture but Crownbrush also have some fantastic brush sets which make the perfect present. I'm a firm believer that good tools are key to a flawless finish and my own brush kit is made up of around 60% Crownbrush brushes! I recomment the 510 Basic Set (29.99) as a great starter!

Peaches & Cream are a salon based in Liverpool famed for their glamorous hair and makeup looks that enable all of us to enjoy a bit of Scouse glamour! They have recently launched these fabulous Lit Kits which create a super glam, glittery eye look (it's rumoured to have been used on Tamera from X Factor for the live shows!). 

Containing a liquid glitter base, a gorgeous glitter and a synthetic applicator brush, this little kit is everything you need to create the perfect glittery eye for all of those festive parties or nights on the Liverpool tiles!

With lots of gift ideas and really unique hair and makeup bundles and baubles, I recommend checking Peaches out - not only are they great value for money, the girls are really helpful and we all need a little glamour over the festive period!

Not only do these special edition brushes look super chic, they also provide every tool you need to create the perfect smokey eye. I'm not usually one for MAC Christmas sets but this brush set would be an ideal gift for a makeup lover. 

MAC also do a wonderful selection of miniature pigments, palettes and lip and eye sets for Christmas which make great stocking fillers. 

EMJ are a company targeted at professional makeup artists who make fantastic quality items from brush wraps and belts to set bags and aprons but in the coolest, cutest designs. Gone are the days of simple black brush belts and wraps (though I do still love mine!) and here are the days of prints and matching sets! The best thing is you can by a belt, wrap and set bag to match which really appeals to me as I love having everything look the same.

EMJ are a bit of an industry secret and I feel as though I'm welcoming you into the circle of trust here but I cannot recommend them enough for any makeup artists or budding makeup artists or even people who just want beautiful accessories! 

Give the gift of the perfect bouncy blow dry this Christmas with this fabulous brush set from Sleep Rollers and free set of Ultimate Bounce Rollers to maintain maximum bounce and movement! Being able to blow dry your hair at home and obtain a salon finish depends as much on tools as it does on technique and this kit has everything you need to master a salon blow dry at home.

The original and still the best Sleep-in Rollers are the easiest way to achieve big, bouncy hair without heat and whilst you sleep! This kit includes 20 original rollers, kirkby grips with drawstring bag, a DVD to show you how to apply and a handy bag to store everything in.

I often use my Sleep Rollers when I want to give my hair a rest from heat and achieve effortless volume with minimal effort and also to give my hair an added volume boost before a night out. The rollers look super girly and make the perfect present.

As the saying goes "the bigger the hair, the higher to heaven" and these wonderful heated rollers will definitely help you achieve that little extra lift! I have a full review on these coming soon but they are my go-to heated styling tool for creating big, glamorous hair.

So there we have it, some of my gift ideas for the beauty lovers in your life!

Vicky x

10 November 2013

Beauty | Guest Post: Makeup Artist Hayley Campbell's Autumn Essentials

Recently I decided I would like a few guest posts to appear on my blog and I was over the moon when my good friend Hayley said she would like to guest post for me. I met Hayley around two years ago when she was training to become a makeup artist and we became firm friends. In that time Hayley has had a successful career as a MAC makeup artist and is now braving it as a freelance artist. All details of where to find Hayley are included at the bottom of this post and I really recommend checking her out; she is a wonderful artist and a genuinely lovely person.

If you would like to guest post, please email me to discuss.

Oh and you can still enter my 1st blog birthday giveaway *here*

Vicky x

So it looks like Summer is over but its not all doom and gloom. I love changing up my makeup each season and Autumn is always my favourite for revamping my style. Colder weather means that I start to put more layers of clothing and coats on and with that comes the ability to wear a more statement makeup look. I find that accessories that are worn near the face such as hats and scarves can serve as a compliment to makeup and there is no doubt that this season brings more depth and warmth of colour.

I have a selection of makeup essentials which I will be using this season to create a natural but buildable look. This group of products ranges from skin to eyes to lips so all I would add is mascara and maybe false lashes for a more dramatic effect.

L- R Charlotte Tilbury Vintage Vamp eye palette
MAC Rosy Outlook pro longwear blusher
LUSH Honey trap lip balm
MAC Rebel lipstick
Tom Ford illuminating primer
Burberry sheer foundation in Trench 07
This Works in transit camera close up


 I love to use the This Works product to prep my skin. It is a mask, moisturiser and primer in one and I believe it works in a similar way to Clarins Beauty flash balm. It smoothes out the appearance of the skin and hydrates it prior to foundation application. 

I then tend to go in a with a bit of Tom Ford illuminating primer because although the This Works does prime the skin I like a dewy radiant finish in the winter months so I use the Tom Ford primer mainly down the centre of my face to control oil but still leave a dewy finish after foundation is applied. 

Burberry sheer foundation is a gorgeous product for a natural makeup look. I like to have a light to medium buildable coverage at this time of year because it allows the natural rosy cheeks to show through but still covers enough to hide any blemishes or redness. This foundation feels so luxurious and I tend to keep it for the winter months as it is more hydrating than my full coverage, matte bases. I like to use my MAC 188 brush to apply this foundation for slightly more coverage.


This palette is one of my favourites not only because it was created by makeup extraordinaire Charlotte Tilbury but because the colours truly are beautifully Autumnal. The palette includes 4 colours ranging from a light pearl tone to a deep plum and allows you to use any combination to create your desired look. I love to use all the colours together to create a plum smokey eye and even use the darkest plum as an eyeliner on the Illamasqua angled brush.

Beautiful texture and pigment means that these colours glide onto the eyelid like a dream and stay put!


Rosy cheeks are on trend this season and Rosy Outlook by MAC is the perfect shade to give a subtle but buildable colour. I like to use the colour on the apples of the cheeks and bring the colour slightly upwards towards the temples. I find that this curved shape is most flattering. The blusher is a soft pink with no sheen so it is perfect for daytime providing a natural flush on the cheeks. It is also a pro longwear formula which means I don't have to worry about touching up after walking about in the colder weather!


Berry tones are my all time favourite for Autumn because they perfectly reflect the tones of this season. I like to wear red and purple undertones, also playing with different lip liners to adjust the depth of colour. My all time favourite berry tone has to be MAC Rebel because it has enough depth to wear as a statement lip on a night out but doesn't look out of place with a smokey eye. I like to wear it both day and evening and especially if I am wearing a big black winter coat I love to look of a pop of colours on the lips to bring the outfit to life! 

I hope you have enjoyed reading about my makeup essentials for this season and please comment below with your favourites so I can add to my ever growing collection! 


Here's where you can find Hayley


5 November 2013

Giveaway: 1st Blog Birthday

So my little blog turns 1 today and I'm actually very proud of that fact I've stuck with it for a year and enjoyed writing it as much as I have! I'm also pleased to say I have met some incredible people through blogging and long may it continue.

In light of my blog birthday I thought I would do a giveaway - it's always nice to give something back when you reach a milestone and a year of blogging is one I didn't foresee myself reaching this time last year when I uploaded my Lush Haul!

The Prizes
1st Prize - A specially selected and carefully edited collection of my favourite items and products
2nd Prize - A MAC Lipstick and Gloss of your choice
3rd Prize - A set of Sleep Rollers

It couldn't be easier to enter, simply complete the Rafflecopter below and leave a comment with your contact details and which MAC lipstick and gloss you would like to win.

The giveaway is open internationally and I'll make sure everything is posted in time to avoid the Christmas rush!

Thank you all so much for being part of my first year of blogging, it's been an absolute ball!

Vicky x

4 November 2013

Beauty | Montagne Jeunesse* Monday: Red Earth Clay Spa

A while ago I was contacted about a super cool idea Montagne Jeunesse had - they have created the Monday's App on their Facebook page, broken down into three sections: 10 minutes, 15 minutes and 20 minutes, you choose a section that corresponds to the time you need to leave your face mask on for and there are blog posts covering fashion, beauty, arts and crafts and food and drink, some of which include handy tutorials and ideas.

I thought this was a fantastic idea and a great way to discover new blogs and new ideas so I was more than happy for my post on Slutty Brownies to be linked to the app. As if sharing my content with a huge audience wasn't kind enough, I was also sent some face masks to try along with the app.

I've been feeling a little under the weather lately and decided that the Red Earth Clay Spa* mask would be the perfect pick-me-up!

The Clay Spa range is a new addition to the Montagne Jeunesse family. Natural bamboo fabric is infused with specially sourced clays to create a deep-cleansing fabric face mask. 

The fabric mask is infused with red earth clay, pomegranate and cinnamon so it smells delicious which is good because once you apply it you'll look like an extra from a horror movie. The mask is almost skin coloured and with the cut outs for the eyes, nose and mouth it does look a little sinister once applied!

After cleansing your skin, unfold the fabric mask and apply it over your face, pressing to keep it in place. This step is super quick, fool proof and completely eliminates the mess normally associated with face masks, not to mention the worry of spreading the product evenly and spacing correctly!

The mask is designed to be left on for 15 minutes, after which time it should be removed, the excess massaged into the skin before rinsing your face. Whilst the mask definitely started to set during the 15 minutes at no point did it feel uncomfortable nor did it set solid although there is something I quite like about face masks that do, I think it's the challenge cracking them represents (I can't be the only one to pull every face imaginable to try and break them can I?!).

Once I'd removed the mask and washed my face my skin felt smoother and looked noticeably clearer and brighter. Clay is typically drying but the fact the mask is saturated in it rather than it being applied directly to the skin helps skin maintain it's natural moisture and it cleanses without being stripping which is more important than ever in this weather!

I've always been a fan of Montagne Jeunesse face masks, they're great value for money and they're so easily accessible and I think this range will definitely be one I repurchase over and over again.

Which Montagne Jeunesse mask is your favourite and have you tried their app?!

Vicky x

* Gifted by brand
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