Monday, 31 December 2012

12 Favourites of 2012

So here we are at New Year's Eve and it's time to share my favourite beauty products of 2012. Before I begin I just wanted to say I hope all of my lovely readers had a fabulous 2012 and I hope 2013 is even better! 

It was hard to whittle down my favourites but I've managed to come up with my top 12 and I discovered most of these this year.

I've only picked one hair product as I tend to chop and change my hair products all of the time to find something better but this year I've loved the Tresemme 24 Hour Body Blow Dry Lotion. I have really fine hair that lacks volume but spraying this into freshly washed and towel dried hair before blow drying makes my hair look thicker and lifts my hair at the roots. It is slightly on the sticky side as you will notice if you accidentally spray it on your skin but it's worth it for the effect it gives. 

The body lotion I most enjoyed using this year is the Jergens Original Beauty Lotion*. This has the most gorgeous cherry almond scent and it provides long lasting moisturisation to the skin. I've also been loving The Body Shop's Strawberry Beautifying Oil in the Strawberry scent. This smells absolutely delicious and leaves your skin silky smooth but not greasy. A little goes a long way so one of these bottles lasts for ages too!

I very rarely repurchase perfumes as I like to try different scents but this Dolce & Gabbana The One fragrance has been repurchased three times now! It's my most repurchased scent ever! I usually love very sweet fragrances but this one is more of a citrus based scent that is more grown up and sophisticated. I really enjoy wearing it and it's perfect for day or night.

Speaking of repurchasing... my most repurchased toner is the Elemis toners. I buy either the Soothing Apricot Toner or this Rehydrating Ginseng Toner. This is my absolute must have toner (in either variety) ! They smell lovely, are nice and gentle due to their alcohol free formula, make my skin feel great and the spray bottle makes it so easy to use. I hate not having an Elemis toner in my supplies!

One of my best discoveries this year has to be the Dr Jart+ Platinum Beauty Balm. This was my first beauty balm purchase as none of the ones I've swatched from other brands seemed light enough for my pale skin. Of the four types of Dr Jart+ beauty balm this is the lightest and it's a perfect match for my skin. I've swapped my slightly too dark foundation in favour of this as it provides a foundation like coverage in the perfect shade. If you want to see photos of my skin with and without it, see here.

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum was one of my most expensive purchases of 2012 but I am so glad I took the plunge. This serum provides lots of benefits to my skin. It not only hydrates it as I sleep, it also diminishes redness as well as reducing my spots. It's so good and I don't want it to run out as I dread having to replace it! Hopefully I'll get some more vouchers which is how I ended up buying it in the first place!

During my trip to Paris in the Spring I picked up the Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Balm. I gave in to the hype on this one but it does wonders for my lips. Its a really thick balm that will sort out the driest of lips returning them to their natural state and it smells super nice too! It smells like oranges, mmmm! My pot is lasting ages too.

Revlon have brought out some great products in 2012, their Lip Butters and Kissable Balm Stains in particular. Although I love all of ones that I own, my most favourite is the Lip Butter in the shade Cotton Candy. It's a gorgeous shimmery pink colour that looks really cute. It looks nice and glossy on the lips and the colour is suitable for day or night. It's easy to apply this without a mirror too. I used this on my recent anniversary night out to create a pretty, glowing look.

Essie nail polishes have been a big favourite of mine this year due to launching their diffusion line in Boots and Superdrug stores. This has made the polishes more accessible and affordable. Maybe a little too tempting as well! I can't go to Boots without having a look at the Essie stand. I would love to own all of the colours! My favourite and most worn shade of this year is Peach Daiquiri. You can see my full collection here.

Topshop makeup has been really popular this year and I love their nail polishes, cream blushes and lipsticks. My favourite has been the cream blushes though! I have the shades Head Over Heels and Flush which I love equally and they are so easy to apply and blend. I love the nice pop of colour these add to the cheeks. 

I think I've left the best until last as this is actually my overall favourite product of 2012. It's the L'Oreal Volume Million Lashes Excess mascara in black. This is an amazing mascara that separates, lengthens and volumises lashes. The brush is so easy to use and it coats every single lash. There isn't too much more I can say about this but it just does everything I want in a mascara and it's amazing! I have a post on it here if you want to see the effect on my lashes.

*PR Sample

Image from

I hope you've enjoyed reading my favourites post and I'd love to hear about your favourites too so please comment below and feel free to add your blog/YouTube links as well.

I appreciate all of the support you have given me in 2012 on my blog, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Thank you so much for all your lovely comments and messages, I appreciate each and every one of them. Please let me know if there is anything you would like to see in 2013!

Wishing you all the best for the coming year :)

Saturday, 29 December 2012

MAC Lipstick Collection

I could stand swatching MAC lipsticks all day long but I actually only own five! Most of the ones I own are from limited edition collections too. It must be the thrill of buying something before it sells out that makes me buy them!

L-R: Hue, Cut a Caper, Outrageously Fun, Viva Glam Nicki, Watch Me Simmer

Until recently, I was always a lipgloss girl but I've started to gain confidence in wearing lipstick on nights out. I love the bold look a lipstick can give as most lipglosses are quite sheer.

MAC Hue (Glaze finish)

MAC Cut a Caper (Lustre finish) - Limited Edition
MAC Outrageously Fun (Cremesheen finish) - Limited Edition

MAC Viva Glam Nicki (Satin finish) - Limited Edition

MAC Watch Me Simmer (Amplified finish) - Limited Edition

I love the way MAC have different finishes such as amplified, glaze, matte, etc so you can find a lipstick to suit your tastes. From my experience with the five lipsticks I own, I've found that glaze and lustre are quite sheer and glossy but buildable. Cremesheen seems to be a bit more pigmented than the previous types and it's even more glossy. The amplified and satin finishes are really pigmented and you get a very strong colour from one swipe of the lipstick. The satin finish seems to be the most drying and shows up any flaws in the lips. You can solve this with a lip scrub and lip balm beforehand though.

L-R: Hue, Cut a Caper, Outrageously Fun, Viva Glam Nicki, Watch Me Simmer

There are a few lipsticks from the permanent MAC range I have always fancied buying and I may treat myself next year. The shades I fancy most are Creme Cup and Morange. I also have my eye on a few of the lipsticks from the Strength collection coming soon.

Please let me know what your favourite MAC lipsticks are. I would love some recommendations :)

Friday, 28 December 2012

Elemis Cleansing Duo - Revitalise and Replenish

My favourite toners are the Elemis ones. I've only tried the Apricot and the Ginseng ones but they are fab as they smell nice and they don't contain alcohol so they are gentle on the skin. I like the way they come in a spray bottle so you can spray directly on to the face or on to a cotton pad.

I decided to treat myself to a new bottle and I spotted some great cleansing duos in John Lewis. Basically there are three different packs where you pay the price of a cleanser and get a free toner. 

The options are:
  • Rehydrating Rosepetal Cleanser and Rehydrating Ginseng Toner - £21 (link)
  • Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing Facial Wash and Soothing Apricot Toner - £21 (link)
  • Balancing Lime Blossom Cleanser and Balancing Lavender Toner - £21 (link)

I've provided the links for John Lewis. At the time of posting they stated out of stock but I think this is because they are new and should come in stock soon. They had loads in store though.

I chose the Revitalise & Replenish duo which consists of the Rehydrating Rosepetal Cleanser and Ginseng Toner. The Apricot toner is actually my favourite but I preferred the hydrating cleanser option.

I haven't tried these pump style cleansers from Elemis before, I've only tried the cream cleanser and melting gel cleanser so it's great that I'm getting a free full size cleanser when I was going to pay full price for the toner anyway.

The Rehydrating Rosepetal Cleanser contains Lecithin, Vitamin E and F with Rosepetal Flower Water to hydrate and purify the skin. The Rehydrating Ginseng Toner contains extracts of Korean Ginseng, Quillaja Wood and Sweet Betty Flower to revitalise and moisturise the skin. These products are both designed to add radiance to the complexion.

I'm really looking forward to trying this combination (along with all of the other skincare I got for Christmas!).

Have you tried any of these products? Are you tempted to buy one of the duos?


Thursday, 27 December 2012

Boxing Day Sales Haul 2012

I love the sales after Christmas as you can pick up lots of beauty goodies generally with a third off or half price. I made one sales purchase online on Christmas Day but that hasn't arrived yet so I'll post about that when I get it. For now I thought I'd show you all of the purchases from the last two days.

I mainly bought beauty related items with a few other things thrown in. The clothes shops were a nightmare so I didn't really look in those!

Prada Candy is a relatively new perfume as it only came out last year. I bought myself a set just before Christmas 2011 and I absolutely loved it. I was gutted when it ran out but it's pretty expensive so I didn't end up replacing it. Leading up to Christmas this year I knew this was going to be one my sales purchases as I've missed the scent! I got this from Boots reduced from £53.00 to £35.33. This is the 50ml eau de parfum and it comes with a free 75ml body lotion. I only had the 30ml perfume last time so this should last a lot longer, yay!

I noticed Boots hadn't reduced their Philosophy items so I knew Debenhams was my next stop...

This Sugar Plum Fairy set caught my eye first as it contains the most gorgeous purple sparkly products! There is a 15 ml high-gloss, high-flavour lip shine and a 240ml shampoo/shower gel/bubble bath. I love these lip glosses as they always look so pretty, they aren't sticky and they smell delicious! I love the shower gels too as they have the most lovely scents. I actually prefer getting the small sizes rather than the large bottles as I get sick of the same fragrance after a while! This set was reduced from £16 to £8.

There was a great selection of reduced Christmas Philosophy products in Debenhams, I was really impressed. I only bought one other set though and my choice was Sweet Talk. This set comes with a 120ml shampoo/shower gel/bubble bath, 60ml body lotion and 15ml lip gloss. This one was reduced from £22 to £11. 

I decided to browse the Origins counter to see if there were any good skincare sets like the one I got for Christmas. I would love to try their masks so I was hoping they would have the mask trio but I haven't seen that anywhere! Something else caught my eye instead though. I really like ginger scented products and I fell in love with this perfume after one sniff! It's a beautiful mix of ginger with citrus. It's a generous 50ml size. Also included in this gift is a 100ml body wash and 100ml whipped body cream. I am going to smell amazing! I paid £22.67 for this set. I think it had a third off the price but I can't remember for sure.

My last purchase at Debenhams was another perfume set. A while back I had a quick spray of this Viva La Juicy La Fleur by Juicy Couture and really liked it so I kept it in mind for when the sales were on. This is a lovely floral perfume and I love the way the set comes with a free rollerball of the La Fleur and regular Viva La Juicy fragrances rather than a body lotion as I think I will get more use out of this. It will be so handy for carrying around in my handbag. This set was reduced from £34 to £22.66. 

My final beauty purchase was from Space NK and it's this gorgeous Laura Mercier La Petite Patisserie Trio in the fragrance Almond Coconut Milk. I've seen a few bloggers with these sets and it made me want one! Ideally I would have chosen the Creme Brulee scent but there weren't any. This is still a delicious scent though. I haven't tried any Laura Mercier Body & Bath products before so I'm looking forward to some indulgent pampering with these goodies. The set contains a 15ml bottle of the fragrance with a 90ml body wash and 85g body creme. This was reduced from £40 to £20.

I really like Yankee Candles but I find them quite expensive so I normally buy the samplers but when I saw this medium glass jar going for half price at Collectables I had to grab it. It was only £8.49! Such a bargain! I absolutely love the sweet, vanilla based scent. Mmm can't wait to use this! I saw some half price candles at Clintons Cards as well and I was very tempted to buy more but I decided to save my money.

This last purchase is a bit of a guilty pleasure! I absolutely love Ronan Keating so I picked up his calendar with 40% off at The Calendar Club. It features some very nice half naked photos so I'm not sure where I'm going to put this as I don't think it's something my fiance will want to look at every day but I'm sure I'll find a place for it!

I'm really pleased with my haul as I think I got some great bargains and it's stuff I will definitely use.

Have you bought anything from the sales? Let me know and link me up if you have blogged/YouTubed...

What I got for Christmas 2012

Hope you all had an amazing Christmas and got to spend some quality time with your loved ones. I hope Santa was good to you as well :)

I thought I'd show you some of the goodies I got for Christmas as I was so happy with what I received. I have to admit, I did choose most of this myself though ;)

My fiance and I set a budget of how much we were spending on each other this year but he ended up surprising me with a lovely DKNY bag on top of what he bought me from the budget. This was such a great surprise and I love the bag so much. I'm loving the giant Lindor ball I got off my brother too as I've been eyeing these up in the shops!

This was another lovely treat off my brother which I'm very pleased about. I've mentioned on my blog before that I love the pump style body washes by Soap & Glory so I'm glad there is one in this set. I've never tried Pulp Friction or Butter Yourself so I'm really looking forward to trying those. 

I was due a new hairdryer as my current one sounded like it was on its way out. It's never a good feeling holding an electrical item next to your head when it's making a funny sound! This one looks great and it promises faster drying. It's on offer for £23.32 in Boots which is a really good price if you're looking to buy a new hairdryer with your Christmas money.

I mentioned this Elemis set on my blog at the beginning of December as it was a "Today's Special Value" item on QVC UK. It's such a great value set that is still on the website for less than £50 despite being worth well over £100! I love Elemis products so it was an offer I couldn't refuse. I love the cleanser which is almost £30 on it's own so I'm looking forward to using this again as well as all of the other gorgeous products.

The Origins Make a Difference Plus Rejuvenating Treatment has appeared on quite a few blogs lately and I've been really tempted to buy it but I held off. I was so glad I did as a few days before Christmas I spotted this set on the Selfridges website and it was only £45. It includes the full size treatment plus a full size serum along with smaller sizes of moisturiser, lotion and cleansing milk. 

I used some of the budget from my fiance to buy it and it was expected to arrive on 31st December but it actually arrived on Christmas Eve so I could have it in time for Christmas Day! Massive thumbs up to Selfridges for their super quick delivery. 

Among my other gifts were some mini Sanctuary goodies which I always enjoy using. I love the scent of these products! I have the hand wash and I'm always wondering what the nice smell is around me after I've used it!

I have been wanting to try Kiehl's products for a while now, their Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado in particular so I was super pleased to finally own this. I can't wait to try it and I hope I love it! I have a few eye creams sitting unloved in my stash so I don't want another one in there!

My last item is the Ralph by Ralph Lauren perfume. I've always quite fancied this perfume every time I've sniffed it but for some reason I'd never actually bought it so I decided to ask for this for Christmas as I wanted something different to what I have already.

Hope you've enjoyed looking through what I got for Christmas. I would love to see what everyone else got for Christmas so please leave your links below if you have blogged about it.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Essie Nail Polish Collection

I'm starting to build up a nice little collection of Essie nail polishes so I thought it was time to post some photos and swatches of them all. I love Essie nail polish as it's such great quality, the new wider brush makes it so easy to paint your nails and I love the range of colours.

I have 10 regular polishes and one "Lux Effects" polish in the shade As Gold As It Gets. This is more of a top coat polish.

L-R: Mademoiselle, Sand Tropez, Penny Talk, Bikini So Teeny, Butler Please

L-R: Mint Candy Apple, Bahama Mama, Cute as a Button, Peach Daiquiri, Watermelon

L-R: Butler Please, Bikini So Teeny, Penny Talk, Sand Tropez, Mademoiselle

Thumb to little finger: Mint Candy Apple, Bahama Mama, Cute as a Button, Peach Daiquiri, Watermelon

On the photos I am wearing two coats of each shade except Mademoiselle and Sand Tropez which required three coats. 

Essie Lux Effects As Gold As It Gets over Butler Please and Bikini So Teeny

Essie Lux Effects in As Gold As It Gets over Bahama Mama

I would say my favourites are Bikini So Teeny, Mint Candy Apple, Peach Daiquiri and Watermelon. I do love them all though and I'm always looking to expand my collection!

Do you have any Essie polishes? Which are your favourites?

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Fruity Supermarket Purchases

Today I popped into Morrisons to pick up a few baking supplies (if you follow me on Instagram you will have seen these!) as I'm going to have a go at making some Empire Biscuits. I haven't baked anything for years so I'm not sure how they will turn out but I'm sure I'll have fun trying.

Whilst food shopping I always have to stroll down the toiletries aisle to see if anything catches my eye and on this occasion I found some goodies!

This morning I used the last few pumps of my Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Wash so I was looking for something new to use in the shower and I spotted these Galvin & Galvin Kids Dubble Trubble 2 in 1 Shampoo & Body Washes. I don't normally buy kids products but the packaging really caught my eye and I had to have a sniff. I absolutely love banana flavoured/scented things so I knew I'd love the Bananaberry one. It smells sooo good, a bit like bubblegum! My next choice was Cherry Bomb which smells delicious. It's like Cherryade!

I won't be using these as a shampoo but I'm sure they will be a fun treat to use in the shower. They were £2.50 each or two for £4.00. I think there were four scents available. Another thing worth mentioning is that they are organic. They are formulated to be gentle on the skin and are completely SLES, SLS and paraben free. Although I don't set out to buy organic products, it's great when you find your purchases don't contain any of those nasties!

I was running slightly low on conditioner and wasn't sure which one to buy so I started sniffing lots of those too! I ended up choosing an Alberto Balsam one for only a pound! It's a Mandarin and Papaya scented one that is for normal/dry hair. It smells so nice and fruity! It's funny because yesterday I was browsing £20 bottles of conditioner online then today I buy one for £1! I'm looking forward to trying it anyway.

In fact I'm really looking forward to having a very fruity shower with all these gorgeous smelling products! I'm quite happy with my £5 spend as I normally spend more than that on just one product.

Have you picked up any bargains lately? Do you ever find any gems at the supermarket?

Sunday, 16 December 2012

NOTD: 17 Holo Nail Polish in Silver

Today I've got a very bling Christmas NOTD to show you. This may be perfect if you don't really like glitter nail polishes or if you fancy a change from using those. 

This is the Holo Nail Polish in Silver by 17 Cosmetics. It's the first holographic nail polish I've tried and I'm really impressed with the results. 

Two coats provide a very smooth finish that's mostly silver but when it catches the light it has shades of blue, green, red and yellow shining through. It looks gorgeous!

This polish is only £3.99 from Boots and when I checked the website to get the link I noticed there is a deal on where you get a free smokey eye palette when you spend £5.99 or more so if you're thinking about buying this, now may be a good time :)

Have you tried any holographic nail polishes? What are your thoughts?

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Christmas Giveaway Winner!

Thanks to everyone who entered my Christmas Giveaway! There were 497 entries and was used to generate the winner.

The winner is...

Entry 371 - Mel from Mirror on the Wall

Well done Mel! Expect an email coming your way very soon :)

Sunday, 9 December 2012

NOTD: Essie Butler Please

Today I thought I'd show you my one and only purchase from the Essie Winter 2012 Collection - Butler Please. It's a gorgeous cobalt blue shade. It's not a typical Christmas colour but it was the stand out choice for me in this collection.

This one was taken with the flash on and shows the colour a little brighter than it is in real life

I'm getting so obsessed with Essie nail polish lately but it's just such a lovely formula with a great brush that allows you to paint your nails quite quickly and neatly.

No flash

This shade is pretty much opaque in one coat but it looks perfect with two coats. It has quite a shiny finish but it's not totally glossy like some of the other shades I have.

No flash

It's a very welcome addition to my collection and I'm looking forward to possibly trying it with a little glitter :)

Have you bought anything from the Winter 2012 Collection? Which shades do you like best?

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

FOTN: Anniversary Night Out

Last Saturday I went out for a lovely meal with my fiancé to celebrate our 8th anniversary. I opted to use a few of my November Favourites to create a glowy, fresh look.

I used soft pink colours on the cheeks and lips with a smoky, shimmering lilac shade on the eyes. It's a simple look to create but I think it looks really nice. 


The products used to create this look:
  • L'Oreal Lumi Magique Highlighter Pen in Light
  • L'Oreal Volume Million Lashes Excess in Black
  • Dr Jart+ Platinum Beauty Balm
  • Benefit The Porefessional primer
  • Revlon Lip Butter in Cotton Candy
  • Accessorize Blush in Sensation
  • L'Oreal Studio Secrets Green Eyes Intensifier Eyeshadow

I really love the Accessorize blusher in Sensation as it's like a blush and highlighter in one. It's the perfect colour for my pale skin too. 

Hand swatch L-R: L'Oreal Green Eyes Intensifier Eyeshadow, Revlon Lip Butter in Cotton Candy and Accessorize Blusher in Sensation

 What make-up looks have you been creating lately? Let me know :)
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