19.12.14

CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE: £25 AND OVER


With less than a week to go my gift guides will be finishing tomorrow, eep! I genuinely can't believe where the time has gone, there's still so much to do! Today is my last day at work so I'm planning to finish off any last minute gift shopping and wrapping over the weekend so I'm all ready for the big day!

If you're looking for a special gift for someone then I've rounded up my top presents over £25, a little pricier than usual but worth it all the same. You can still order online at most stores before tomorrow and still receive in time for Christmas so make sure finish any online shopping that you need to by then.

Benefit Fun Sized Flirts - £29.50: As you know I'm a huge, huge fan of Benefit and this set contains miniature versions of my favourite products including They're Real Mascara, POREfessional and That Gal. Considering the amount of products you get in this set I think it's great value for money, the mini products are ideal for someone who travels a lot as you know they will get full use from them! The set includes the following products:

- POREfessional Mini 7.5ml
- They're Real! Mini
- BADgal Lash Mini
- Instant Comeback Facial Serum Mini
- That Gal
- Dandelion Mini
- Sun Beam Mini 2.5ml
- Posietint Mini 2.5ml
- Ooh La Lift Mini 
Stay Don't Stray in light/medium

GHD Curve Classic Curl Tong - £110: This is a slightly pricier present and something that I would consider to be a main gift! With GHD I'm a firm believer that their products are worth every penny, pricey? yes, but they do the job and more. GHD's are renowned for their longevity and any product you buy from them, expect it to be a keeper as it's not going anywhere for a long while!

This tong has a 26mm medium barrel so you can create classic curls and volume for any length hair - they create a great messy wave for girls rocking a shorter do. The tongs also have a 30 minute sleep mode which is great in case you head out and forget to turn them off, you can rest assured that they will do the job for you. These tongs would make a wonderful gift and they are packaged so beautifully with rose gold detailing which screams luxe to me, an investment worth making!

Avon Master Collection - £28: My first thoughts on this product were regarding the price, I couldn't quite believe this set was only £28 considering the amount of products you get in this set! In this set you receive 55 eyeshadows, 10 lipsticks, four blushers, three applicators and a built in mirror - this product is great for someone who travels and doesn't like to carry too many products as it has everything you could need in one!

 Too Faced Beauty Wishes and Sweet Kisses Christmas Palette - £32: This Too Faced set is a handy little carry compact containing three cocoa powder infused shadows from the best selling Chocolate Bar eye shadow collection, the matte Chocolate Soleil Bronzer and the luminous Snow Bunny Bronzer which is perfect for a fresh winter glow. I'm a huge fan of Too Faced products as they are so uniqiue and this this palette would make a wonderful present.

Caudalie Instant Radiance Gift Set - £45: The perfect gift for a luxury skincare lover, this set contains a 30ml Vinoperfect Serum and a 30ml Beauty Elixir, this set comes beautifully packaged and is worth £56.50 so you save 20% on purchasing the gift set. I have been a long standing fan of the Vinoperfect serum as it's great for brightening skin and leaving a more even skin tone, I apply it at night time before bed and love using this product. The Beauty Elixir is an absolute favourite amongst most beauty bloggers and can be used to refresh skin and tighten pores. 

Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream Gift set  - £54: I adore Marc Jacobs fragrances and get so excited each time a new one is released, I have to say that the Daisy Dream for me has to be the prettiest one yet as the packaging is just so lovely! This set comes with a 75ml body lotion and shower gel so everything in this set will be used up in a heartbeat! I think this set is great value for money and would love to see one under my tree this year. 

Urban Decay Black Magic 24/7 Double Ended Pencil Set - £27: This set is perfect for any party go-er as the waterproof liners last 24 hours, containing four black eyeliners - each with a slightly different tone. These products are great for creating a smokey eye over the festive season, especially adding a little glam over NYE! 

The set contains; Zero + Demolition (zealous black cream + deep brown matte), Black Velvet + Smoke (rich, smoky black matte + deepest gray matte), Perversion + LSD (blackest black matte + navy shimmer with bright turquoise micro-sparkle) and Black Market + Tornado (charcoal black satin + dark eggplant pearl).

Jurlique Calendula Essentials Christmas Gift Set - £78: I have been using the Jurlique Calendula range for quite a while now and have seen amazing improvements in my skin. The Calendula range is targeted for redness and helps skin to feel restored and hydrated, my favourite product in the range has to be the serum, I apply it most nights and couldn't be without this product in my skincare range. 

Although this set may seem pricey to some you save over £30 as the set contains; Calendula Redness Rescue Calming Mist 100ml, Calendula Redness Rescue Restorative Treatment Serum 30ml and the Calendula Redness Rescue Soothing Moisturising Cream 40ml. 

Which set would you love to give/receive as a gift?


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18.12.14

THE CHRISTMAS EVE HAMPER

What's in my Christmas Eve hamper...

The drink:  *Laurent-Perrier Cuvee Rose Champagne (via 31 Dover) | *Whittard Luxury Hot Chocolate | *Whittard Winter Fruit and Herbal Infusion Collection | *Marks & Spencer Hot Drinking Chocolate

The food: *Whittard Milk Chocolate Honeycomb | Marks & Spencer Chocolate Orange

The Pamper products: *Orly 'Mirrorball' | *Orly 'Darkest Shaow'  | *Estee Lauder 'Black Plum' Nails Inc 'Alexa Sequins' | *Roger Gallet Fleur d'Osmanthus Hand & Nail Cream Cracker | *Roger Gallet Bois d'Orange Hand & Nail Cream Cracker | *Carmex Ultra Moisturising Lip Balm Lime Twist |

The fun: Elf | *Marks & Spencer 6 Decorate Your Own Gingerbread Men

So many people that I speak to seem to have 'Christmas Eve traditions' that they do every year - the other day it occurred to me that I don't have one (apart from wrapping all of my presents in my Christmas PJ's and watching Elf several times - does that count?) so I decided this year I was going to set the day aside and do something special.

I thought it would be nice to create a Christmas hamper for me and my best friend to enjoy on Christmas eve, the plan is still to watch Elf (no change there?). Accompanied with lots of hot chocolate, tasty snacks, champagne and pamper products, a festive girls day in! We're going to start off by kicking back and decorating some Gingerbread men and leaving them to set (so we can snack on them during Elf), once the food has been decorated we can sit back with a hot chocolate and paint our nails - in festive glitter no less, so they are ready for the big day!

I have opted for four polishes in our hamper so we can enough choice on the day, my picks were; Orly 'Mirrorball', Orly 'Darkest Shaow'Estee Lauder 'Black Plum' and Nails Inc 'Alexa Sequins'. Although we won't be having a full pamper session I also popped some beautiful hand creams from Roger Gallet in our hamper along with some lip balm to keep our hands and nails hydrated.

Now it's time to finally watch my favourite Christmas film ever - Elf and have a glass of Laurent-Perrier Cuvee Rose Champagne to toast pre-Christmas celebrations! If you don't have a Christmas eve tradition like me then I would suggest putting together a hamper for you and a friend or loved one and spending the day together enjoying each others company and relaxing before the chaos of Christmas and New Year (well, in my household anyway!).

Creating a hamper is great as you can choose how many products you want to put in it, it's also great to put one together around a week before Christmas too as lots of shops have started their sales so you can pick up festive DVDS, food and drink a bit cheaper meaning your money will stretch a bit further!

So, I think I've found my new Christmas eve tradition, let me know if you decide to make one too!

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16.12.14

CHRISTMAS WITH JACK WILLS


Today's Gift Guide is something a little different to what you'd expect to see on FMIF as I'm not really your average kind of Jack Wills gal, it's a brand that I loved at a younger age but have seemed to of abandoned as I grew out of my 'college years'. When Jack Wills contacted to see if I'd like to feature some of their Christmas gifts I thought it would be lovely to re-visit a store that I've not shopped at for so long as to take a browse at their latest offerings.

I have to say that on first impressions were great and I was shocked at how lovely their Christmas gifts were (not in a bad way, just in a way that it's never somewhere I would have thought to have shopped but now I definitely will be - especially for gifts!). I've always been a huge fan of their underwear and loungewear so it was only natural that was where I headed to first, I instantly picked up the Hawkstow Loungepant as they are the perfect cosy winter PJ bottoms - I love the print/colour combo and will be living in these over Christmas. They had sooo many cute festive sleepwear but I decided to go for a print that was more suitable all year round (although I won't be judging when you're wearing your favourite Reindeer pjs in March!). 

Next up, as the weather is getting a wee bit nippy lately (and Rob, the genius that he is managed to lose my gloves the other day whilst in London) I headed to the accessories department where I picked up these toasty Dashwood Mittens  and Cottesmore Headband to keep me warm in the colder months. I love faux fur headbands at the moment and this one is perfect, I'm off for a day out in London this Sunday with my girlfriend to visit Winter Wonderland so I'll be wearing it then for sure!

Lastly I wanted to check out the Christmas gifts before I left and couldn't resist picking up this adorable polka dot Longcroft Ipad Case, I've had my current iPad case for around two years and it's so tatty now so I thought this would be put to great use! I finished off my visit by picking up this Christmas mug and sock set which will make a lovely gift which I can't wait to give to a friend as I know she will love it! 

If you were like me and you didn't think Jack Wills was a place you'd shop this Christmas then I'd highly recommend taking a look, they also have 25% off of gifts, loungewear and accessories right now which is perfect to stock up on your last minute gifts (most of the items I featured now have 25% off too so be sure to check them out!).

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16.12.14

ROB'S TAKEOVER: 24 HOURS IN LONDON


As I mentioned in my last post I've started working in Camden a couple of days a week, as Hayley works in London too we decided that rather than contending with the daily rush hour we would spend the night in London and have an evening out. We met up after work and headed to Shoreditch for a night out, Hayley had heard about The Blues Kitchen from a few friends and we decided to give it a go, we weren't disappointed as there was a cool atmosphere and the food was banging. 

It was the first time that I tried beef Ribs and they were amazing, it certainly won't be the last time I order them! We opted for the Mac'n'Cheese and Sweet Potato fries as sides washed down with a Brooklyn beer, what more could you want?! After stuffing ourselves on meat and beer we decided to head back to the hotel as I had work the next day. We stayed at the Thistle Barbican which was cool as it was only a short walk from Shoreditch and Old Street station. 

It was the first time that I'd stayed at a Thistle hotel and it was great. We checked into our room where a queen size bed was waiting for me where I had an amazing nights sleep. Our room was massive and I was really impressed with the friendliness of the staff too. For breakfast there was a buffet set up but the food was really good, a fresh cup of Coffee and a Full English and I was good to go for the day. 

This was a day of firsts as I attended my first blogger event with Hayley on Tuesday morning, we set off to Brick Lane to the #CanoeGifting lounge where I was lucky enough to be introduced to some great brands and got to see some new season collections, the first thing that caught my eye was the Vans and Kr3w ranges as I'm a big fan of skate wear and could see myself wearing the collections. 

After a chat with Kate from Canoe and a talk through the collections I was invited to take a few pieces home with me which was brilliant. I managed to bag myself a few new t-shirts, a nice pair of Reef trainers and a couple of other bits which no doubt you'll see me wearing at some point. From there I headed off to work with a smile on my face and a new pair of shoes, not a bad start to the day!

Until next time!
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15.12.14

CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE: THE MAKEUP BRUSHES


Real Tecniques Brush Set - Nic's Picks - £29.99: This brush set for me has to be the ultimate gift for any beauty lover! I'm an avid user of the Real Techniques brushes and can't really imagine not using them as a part of my daily routine! The set includes five limited edition brushes made with 100% ultra-plush, cruelty-free bristles, you also get a duo powder fibre brush in this set which I've been using myself recently and have been loving it. I couldn't recommend this gift set anymore!

Pauls Boutique Deluxe Brush Set - £14: This compact brush set comes with four brushes designed for your eyes, cheeks and brows so it's a great beginners set for someone getting to grips with makeup brushes. The packaging and design is really fun and youthful and the pouch the brushes come in is so handy for your brushes when going on holiday. This set is £14 which is great value for money and a lovely gift for a Pauls Boutique or makeup fan.

Becca The One Perfecting Brush - £40: This brush comes with a fairly hefty price tag at £40 but has been dubbed the ultimate brush by beauty lovers and professionals across the industry. As the name indicates 'The One' this brush is a multi-tasker and is set to cut application time in half as it covers all of the following applications; foundation brush, powder brush, contour/bronzer brush, stipple brush, blusher brush, fan brush and concealer brush - that's some impressive work! This brush is the perfect give for any makeup obsessive as they will fully appreciate the value of this product holds, one definitely worth splashing out on!

Delilah Blusher / Bronzer Brush - £38: Again, at £38 this brush is definitely up their with the high end range of makeup brushes, this dual application brush is perfect for both blusher and bronzer. I have recently been using this brush to apply my bronzer and have been really impressed with the tapered, dome shape for precise application. This brush offers a professional finish but the price point is far to high for what I'd be prepared to pay for a makeup brush, which is why it would make a great Christmas gift as it's one of those products that you'd love to receive as a gift but can't afford to buy for yourself, y'know?

Delilah Concealer Blending Brush - £28: This concealer brush is unusual to come across as the brush has synthetic fibrers, but this actually helps to effortlessly blend liquid and cream concealers under the eye area. I usually tend to dab under eye concealer with my finger but I'm going to switch to trying out this concealer brush to see what a difference it makes as I've heard great things about the Delilah brushes! I definitely think this brand is one to watch in the beauty industry and would make a wonderful present, I know I'd love to see it under my tree this year!

Which brush/set would you love to receive this year? Have you tried any of the brushes featured?

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14.12.14

CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE: BEST OF THE REST


Not That Kind Of Girl: Written by 'Girls' writer/director Lena Dunham this book is bound to be full of toe-curling tales and belly laugh stories! I ordered this book the other day from Amazon (it's only £8.49 for hardback or £5.69 for the Kindle version) and can't wait to get stuck in. I haven't ordered a 'real' book for a while as I tend to read so much on my kindle but I thought this is the kind of book I'd love to have on my bedside table, reading a bit each night before bed with my candles on... pretty much just planned my evening! I think this light-hearted read would make a wonderful Christmas present and I can't wait to get started and hear what Lena has learned!

#GIRLBOSS: Another inspirational book by another inspirational woman, #GIRLBOSS was written by Sophia Amoruso - the founder, CEO and director of Nasty Gal. I've not started this book yet but ordered it because I've heard such wonderful things about it, from what I can tell it's a really moving tale told by Sophia herself about how she turned her hobby of selling vintage clothes on Ebay into Nasty Gal, one of the fastest growing companies in America. I love success stories like this that really get you motivated so I'm looking forward to starting this book!

Letters From Paris: This is the perfect gift for someone that likes an easy read with a refreshingly real twist. The book is about how India head to America to get her life on track but a trip to Paris tempts her as she gets a new job, new friends and a new lover - I can't wait to read this book and find out where India's journey takes her! This is the kind of book that I can see myself reading on the train as it sounds like such an easy read that doesn't require any thought as you can get lost in the book and the characters lives, exactly how books should be!


Boomf photo marshmallows: When these photo marshmallows landed on my door step I was so impressed - what a lovely unique idea. A set of these marshmallow would make the perfect 'fun' gift for a family member or friend as you can have memories that you've shared printed onto an edible gift, genius! I opted for some of my favourite memories on my marshmallows including my trip to Thailand with Rob, my first solo trip to Paris (which I wrote about here), Port Eliot festival with Zoe and Julie, watching the Libertines in Amsterdam with my friend Leanne and V Festival this summer with my bestie Amy! Now, excuse me why I eat my edible memories with a hot chocolate...


Olloclip 4-in-1 lens for Iphone 5: I absolutely love the idea of this lens and truly believe it's the gift for 'that' tech-lover in your life (we all know them!), I've always wondered how so many people manage to capture such perfect shots for social media without using a 'proper' camera and I've found the answer! This Olloclip 4-in1 lens is great for creating professional photography from your phone, the lens has options of fish eye, wide angle, macro 10x and macro 15x which both offer increased magnification for those detail shots. 

This device is so easy to use as it clip onto your phone and is so small and convenient, just leave the pouch in your bag in case you decide to take the lens off and it won't get damaged that way. They also offer lenses for Ipads and various phones so make sure you check out the full selection here.


 Wrap.me personalised wrapping paper: Another personalise gift that I love the idea of, wrapping paper! Prices start from £4.99 so it wouldn't be feasible for lots of wrapping but I think this is such a lovely idea and something that's so unique as I've never seen anything like it before! If you have a special gift for a friend, family member or loved one - why not wrap it in some of your favourite memories that you have shared to make them smile on Christmas morning! I would love to receive a gift like this and it's the kind of wrapping paper that you are so careful to open as you know you'll treasure it and it won't be thrown away with the rest!

Have you spotted anything that you'd love to give/receive this Christmas?

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