Thursday, 30 October 2014

Beauty Advent Calendar Round Up Christmas 2014

Beauty advent calendars have been taking the beauty world by storm over the last few years and this year more brands than ever before have jumped on the festive band waggon. Forget counting down to Christmas with chocolates and simple illustrations, you can now pamper your way through to Christmas with a different beauty product every day! Fantastic, right?

The only hard part is deciding which one to go for! Thankfully I've compiled a list of all of the beauty advent calendars (that I'm aware of), and I'm here to share them all with you today. All eighteen of them!

This post is a bit of a long 'un, so grab yourself a cuppa and get comfortable for a few minutes.

Boots' iconic beauty brand No 7 launched their advent calendar '25 Days of Beauty Secrets' this week, so there's still time to get your hands on one. It contains a selection of make up and skin care products, and features a beauty quote behind every window. The set is worth £130 but retails for just £35! 

L'Occitane 13 Pampering Treats From Provence £45

L'Occitane are set to release their calendar '13 Pampering Treats From Provence' on November 3rd. As the name would suggest, it features 13 of their gorgeous lotions and potions to pamper yourself with this Christmas. I wish I had a spare £45 because I'd love to spend December pampering myself with a bit of L'Occitane!

Ciaté Mini Manor £49

The Ciaté Mini Mani Manor features twenty-four fantastic Ciaté nail polishes in a great selection of colours and finishes. I particularly love the packaging- it looks like a dolls house! It's available now from Selfridges and Ciate for £49, and you can read more about it in my here.

There are also Ciaté advent calendars from previous year's available here, and here at discounted prices!

The You Beauty advent calendar features products from a variety of luxury brands including Benefit, Laura Mercier, Liz Earle, and Burt's Bees. Together, the contents are worth £240 so this calendar is a real bargain at just £49.95! Available now.

Okay, this one's not technically an advent calendar, but you could indulge in one festive Lush goody a day with the 12 Days of Christmas gift set (during the 12 days of Christmas, obviously).

Inside the beautiful story-book packaging are a selection of bath bombs, and melts, bubble bars, soaps, shower gels, and body lotions, including several items from their new festive collection. This one will set you back £49.95, and is in store now.

One of the most sought after beauty advent calendars is The Body Shop's offering '24 Days of Joy'. It features twenty-four Body Shop products, and a good mixture of old favourites and new additions. You can buy it from The Body Shop now for £50. I treated myself to this calendar this month, and can't wait to start opening the windows! You can read more about the calendar here and  get a sneak peek of mine here.

Elemis 12 Days of Beauty Gift Set £59.50

The Elemis 12 Days of Beauty calendar contains twelve luxury skin care treats including a cleansing balm, enzyme peel, shower gel and night cream. This set has a value of £113, but retails for just £59.50! Available to buy now.

The most coveted advent calendar of all is probably The Benefit Candy-Coated Countdown calendar. It includes eighteen mini Benefit make up and skin care items, plus three hair accessory gifts, and three stationery items. It sold out almost instantly in the UK, but it's still available from Sephora here for $99, who ship to the UK and a handful of other countries.

Selfridges Enchanted Spells £85

Selfridges' Enchanted Spells advent calendar features twenty-four luxurious mini treats from some of the world's best luxury brands, including Lancome, Yves Saint Laurent, Kiehls, and Victor and Rolf. It retails for £85, but it's currently sold out online. It could be worth checking in store to find out if you can get your hands on one.

Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar £125

Iconic department store Liberty will be releasing their calendar in November, which will contain twenty-four luxury beauty gifts from brands like NARS, Laura Mercier, Kiehls and Ren for £125.

Jo Malone Advent Calendar £250

If you're looking to really spoil yourself or a loved one this Christmas, then the Jo Malone calendar might be the one for you. At £250 it's by far the most expensive beauty advent calendar this year but can you imagine how special it would be to indulge in luxurious fragrances and cosmetics every day during advent? If you buy it for a loved one I guarantee you'll be in their good books all month! Inside the calendar are twenty-four Jo Malone luxury fragrances and body creams. It's available from Harrods now (although I can't find a link), and available nationwide from November 10th.

American Advent Calendars

Tarte Petite Treats 12 Days of Tarte Deluxe Collection $37

Popular US beauty brand Tarte have released a twelve door calendar with a different make up or skin care item behind each one. This calendar is just $37 (about £23.15), but the contents have a value of $122 (£76.34)! 

QVC Beauty Christmas Advent Calendar $78.96

QVC have returned with a new calendar for 2014 with a different skin, hair, or fragrance product behind each window. Inside are twenty-four of their most popular beauty products from brands like L'Occitane, Bare Minerals, and Tarte. I've only found the American link for this advent calendar, so I'm not sure if there's a UK version this year. Does anybody know?

Less Popular Brands

W7 Count Down to Christmas £27.99

The W7 Countdown to Christmas advent calendar boasts twenty four cruelty-free make up products, including nail polishes, lip glosses, and eyeshadows. It costs a reasonable £29.95.

Boulevard de Beauté Cool Grey Advent Calendar £15.99

Boulevard de Beauté Cool Grey Advent Calendar from KTN Dr. Neuberger GmbH is a cosmetics calendar with a different make up product or accessory behind every door.

Marvellous Miniatures: 24 Days of Glamorous Nail Polishes £19.99

The Marvellous Miniatures advent calendar comprises of a different nail polish behind every window. From the stock photos, I'd say this calendar is aimed at young teens and tweens, but suitable for anybody who loves nail polishes. It costs £19.99 and is available now.

Beauty Advent Calendar £19.99

Another calendar aimed at a younger audience, this house-shaped advent calendar promises a different beauty treat behind each window, including lip glosses, nail varnishes, and blusher. It has an RRP of £19.99, and is available now.

And, finally,

Bath and Body Collection Advent Calendar £24.98

I discovered this Bath and Body Collection advent calendar on Amazon, and while I don't know much about it, I get the impression it's one of those cheap sets you find in the pharmacy and never touch. I apologise if I'm wrong! Inside are twenty-four bath and body gifts for women, and it retails for £24.98.

If you've made it to the end, thanks for sticking with me!

Will you be counting down to Christmas with a beauty advent calendar? 

Which one do you like the sound of best?


Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Wednesday Wish List: Lindy Bop Dresses

This week's wish list is dedicated entirely to Lindy Bop dresses. Twenty of them to be exact.

In the last week, there have been a couple of dozen new releases on the Lindy Bop website, and naturally, I have fallen in love with most of them. I think many of you will, too, which is why I've put this post together today.

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My main obsession right now is the Audrey Sumptuous Midnight Blue Velvet Party Dress (#2). It's absolutely gorgeous and I think it will make the perfect Christmas Day dress. If I manage to get my hands on the dress before it sells out, that's what I intend to wear it for. It would be great for Christmas parties, too. Just add a tulle petticoat, heels, and a lace shrug and you're ready to party!

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So, a little about Lindy Bop...

Lindy Bop are a brand who make the most beautiful vintage inspired dresses including swing, tea, and wiggle dresses, swing skirts, and petticoats. My personal favourite style is the 'Audrey' swing dress, of which I own four; a collection I started in July and have no intention of ending any time soon. I'm hooked!

The clothes are beautiful, and high-quality, and they're also extremely affordable. Probably the most affordable vintage inspired brand I've ever found, which is great if you're on a tight budget like I am, or want to dip your toe in to the rockabilly trend without spending a fortune.

Even better, Lindy Bop dresses come in UK sizes 6-26, which is a fantastic range of sizes. Yes, they don't yet cater to everybody, but it's a step in the right direction for plus sizes, right?

Which of these dresses do you like best?

Are you a fan of Lindy Bop?


Monday, 27 October 2014

Christmas Decorations From The Christmas Boutique

With just five weeks 'til December and less than nine 'til Christmas, it's swiftly coming up to the greatest time of the year. (At least in my eyes, anyway. I'm a bit of a Christmas enthusiast!) I love everything about Christmas from the decorations to the festive cheer, and I've been busy planning and preparing since September to make it the best one ever. Don't judge, the lead up is my favourite part!

I particularly look forward to decorating the house for Christmas every year, so you can imagine my excitement when The Christmas Boutique got in touch recently, and invited me to review some of their decorations. I was a bit like a kid in a sweet shop at Disneyland. Of course I said "yes!" 

A box full of decorations soon turned up on my doorstep, and unpacking them all felt a bit like Christmas morning!

I was sent a variety of decorations- most in my favourite festive colours red, green, and white- and I instantly loved the selection.

The Nutcracker soldiers were so beautifully wrapped in cellophane and red ribbon bows that I was almost sorry to unwrap them. Or I would have been if I hadn't been so eager to get a closer look at them! At first they look just like your run-of-the-mill Nutcracker ornaments, but they're not- they're actually candles, too! How fun is that?!

After Santa and Rudolph, The Nutcracker is one of the most recognised of Christmas characters so few candles come more festive than these. They feature all of the recognisable little details that make the Nutcracker soldiers iconic from the white beards to the gold trimmed uniforms, and they also have a charming hand-painted quality to them. At £7.99 for the pair, they're fantastic value, and I think they're great quality for their price tag. You can use them as candles or ornaments, and they'd look so festive on the Christmas dinner table!

I love Scandinavian style Christmas decorations with a capital L, so I instantly fell in love with this wooden painted tea light holder. I just can't resist fairisle patterns, traditional red and white decorations, and lighting candles on dark December evenings. Candle light is the perfect way to relax and de-stress after a busy day, and let's face it- that's every day during the festive season!

The tea light holder features a pretty fairisle design and star cut out to the front, and it's also decorated with little gingham bows, beads, and jingle bells. The attention to detail makes it such a lovely little decoration, and it's very well made, too. The best part is, the tea light holder is so inexpensive at just £3.99, so it won't break the bank. It also comes in reverse red and white, which I'm planning to snap up soon.

My favourite decorations from The Christmas Boutique are probably these honeycomb pom-poms. I was absolutely thrilled to be sent some because I've been coveting honeycomb decorations for years! 

The 10cm pom-poms are sold in sets of four, and I was sent a packet each of red and green; my two favourite festive colours. At 10cm in diameter, the decorations are small, but what they lack in size they make up for in design. The colours are striking, and the retro design is lovely, tasteful and on trend for Christmas 2014, Of course they're only made from paper and card, so they are delicate, but if they're handled carefully, they should last a few Christmases. 

I like these honeycomb pom-poms so much I've since purchased another two packs, and I'm considering going back for some in white to decorate my bedroom with! They also come in several other colours and sizes, and will look perfect hanging from the tree, ceiling, or fire place. You could even pop a few in a bowl or vase for a pretty centre piece for the dinner table.

I'm a fan of traditional Christmas colours at heart, but when I opened the box to find these three metallic glass frog queens inside, I couldn't help but smile; they're so quirky and fun! I've never seen anything like them before.

These frog queens come in a set of three and are perfect if you want to add some vibrant colour to your decor this year. After all, Christmas doesn't have to be all about the traditional colours; jewel tones can look super festive, too! I think they'd look particularly eye-catching on a white tree, with plenty of fairy lights. I'm planning to keep these three on my dressing table this Christmas. I think they'll fit in perfectly amongst my perfume bottles and jewellery stands!

The last decoration I have to show you is the stag's head. Yes, it's an unusual Christmas decoration, but it's perfect if you're looking for something a little bit different. It would look fantastic hanging on the wall above a roaring fire, especially if the mantle has been dressed with natural decorations like fir branches and pine cones. You could even hang baubles from its antlers to make an even bolder statement!

The antlers are detachable, so storing it away after Christmas is a piece of cake- although you could just leave it up all year round! It won't look like a Christmas decoration once the tree and fairly lights have been packed away. It's a great-quality and sturdy trophy, made from coloured-resin, and comes in a tasteful antique-white finish.

I'm really impressed with all of these decorations from The Christmas Boutique and I can't wait to decorate the house with them this Christmas. Keep an eye out for my Christmas home tour in December to see how I incorporate them all in to my home for the festive season!

You can find all these decorations and much, much more online at The Christmas Boutique. They're a wonderful online company who specialise in Christmas decorations, candles, and festive homeware in a variety of styles. Everything is very reasonably priced, and there's sure to be something to suit your tastes and budget.

Why not pop on over to the website for a browse? It's never too early to start shopping for Christmas!

Which of these decorations do you like best?

*These Christmas decorations were gifted to me by The Christmas Boutique in exchange for review. As always, all words, opinions and photos are my own.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Sunday Favourites #105 Halloween Special

As Halloween is just a few days away, I've put together a special Sunday Favourites dedicated to the holiday to help you get in the mood! Enjoy!

I'm loving these colourful painted pumpkins.

These colourful pumpkin biscuits are so cute.

This Candy Corn tuxedo cake looks amazing!

I know we don't get Candy Corn in England but these Candy Corn pinatas are so cute.

I love these DIY origami Halloween lights.

How to turn a pumpkin in to a pineapple!

Why carve a pumpkin when you can carve a pineapple?? They're far creepier!

A happy little possum in a pumpkin.

A list of Halloween movies to work through this year. I've only seen 20 of them, so I'd better get cracking.

I love this Halloween inspired make up look.

A good list of things to do this Autumn.

This made me laugh.

Somebody spent five hours hand-painting their horse to look like a skeleton!

Vintage Halloween pictures are terrifying.

I LOVE this Hocus Pocus poster.

And here's a porcupine enjoying some mini pumpkins.

Thanks for reading! Have a great day!


Friday, 24 October 2014

OOTD: Brown and Yellow Polka Dots

Today's outfit is one I wore back at the beginning of September when the weather was still hot and it still seemed acceptable to wear pastel yellow. It seems so long ago now!

I had been playing dress up that day, trying different colours with my new Lindy Bop brown polka dot Audrey dress. I don't usually find it difficult to pair colours together, but my wardrobe is lacking in colours that compliment brown, like rust, mustard, chocolate, and dusky pink, so I started experimenting with other colours. That's how this unconventional brown and yellow combo came about. 

And... I look like I'm wearing the Brownies uniform from the early nineties! I'm just missing the sash! Does anybody remember how vile the colour of the culottes and trousers was? It looked like bile! I remember always hating them, especially since my Mum made me wear the culottes and not the trousers. What kid wants to wear bile coloured culottes? Seriously? None of them do!

I've not worn culottes since my Brownies days (thank God), and I hadn't worn brown and yellow together, either, until this outfit happened in September... but I actually liked the result! I think the colours look okay together, and it was fun to try out a new colour combination. It seems a waste to leave this beautiful dress hanging in my wardrobe unworn until I buy some pieces that compliment it better. It deserves as much wear as possible; even if the most exciting place it gets worn is the garden and the only person I'm dressing up for is myself!

Outfit Details

Dress and Belt- Lindy Bop // Cardigan- New Look // 
Shoes- New Look // Bag- ASOS // Necklace- Giveaway Win

Would you wear brown and yellow together?

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