Beauty Rocks: Top 10 Christmas Delights

It was the night before Christmas and all through the night…I couldn’t stop thinking of of my top ten delights! December is here and with it I want to share my top 10 delights.

1. John Rocha linen scarf – this is a gorgeous creamy linen with peach-toned floral motifs. It’s soft and cuddly – pair it with a white sweater and snuggle up. Available at Debenhams.

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2. The Real Shaving Co. – this is a great brand for guys with simple unassuming packaging and get straight to the point products. And the products will keep your man smooth with their 3-step process. Fantastic for guys who like to groom but don’t want to think about it too much.

http://www.realshaving.com/

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The Daily Face Scrub is the first step in the process. It contains lemongrass so is very refreshing, smells great and buffs and smooths dead skin cells away.

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Step two is the Shave Gel – this an invisible gel so guys can see where they are shaving – brilliant! It also helps to prevent skin irritation.

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Step three is the final step in the process with the Daily Post-Shave Soothing Balm. This will help prevent any irritation from the shave and is very soothing with aloe vera.

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3. Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream for the body – I am loving this luxurious body cream which is very hydrating and rich for dry skin that comes in the winter months. It is heavenly and smells amazing too.

http://www.elizabetharden.co.uk/

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4. Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Intensive Moisturizing Hand Treatment

I always need a hand cream in my hand bag for every season but especially for the winter. This one is soothing without being too greasy.

http://www.elizabetharden.co.uk/

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5. Gold Limited Edition James Bond 007  EDT– dare I say that this fragrance smells exciting and mysterious? It really does! Perhaps because of the association with the James Bond movies those two words instantly popped into my head when I first smelled this cracker of a fragrance. The bottle is also gorgeous – it reminds me of a really fancy whiskey flask but is inspired by the iconic 007 gunbarrel.

I also found this fragrance to smell really fresh and energising – this would be great for everyday use and the limited edition gold bottle makes an extra special Christmas gift for him. The fragrance has top notes of apple, bergamot and geranium, heart notes of lavender, cardamom and rose thorn and base notes of vetiver, patchouli and sandalwood. I really notice the lavender and bergamot coming out in this fragrance and that is what adds the refreshing kick to this!

http://www.007fragrances.com/

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6. Dear Santa I Want It All sweater – I picked this up at H&M for £14.99 and if you want a glamourous kick to the typical Christmas sweater, this is the one for you.

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7. Accessories – Leather Gloves from H&M and Feather Bobble Hat from River Island – one always needs accessories in the winter and it’s nice to have some that add sophistication and a touch of cool to your outfit as well as warmth. I have had so many compliments on my bobble hat from River Island – I saw the same one at London Fashion Week at 10x the price!

http://www.riverisland.com

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8. New Look Fuschia Lipstick – did you know that New Look does make-up now? I am loving this Fuschia lippy – it adds a bright pop of colour on the dullest of days.

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9. Melvita Extraordinary Water – I absolutely love this Extraordinary Rose Water – it’s a gel-like toner that is to be used after cleansing and before moisturising. I love this consistency because it’s easier to pat into the skin and also easy to apply. Studies have shown that after four weeks, women noticed their skin was smoother and plumper!

These serum-like gels are packed with plumping hyaluronic acid and smells of a bouquet of roses…lovely.

http://uk.melvita.com/rose-extraordinary-water,8,1,8082,91152.htm

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10. Tripp Suitcase – I am in love with my Tripp suitcase – it’s bright and yellow and stands out from all the usual black and brown suitcases. You will definitely spot this on the revolving carousel at the airport and as I say, it’s always important to travel in style. Available at Debenhams.

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Getting Cosy with Brora

Baby it’s cold outside! As the popular song written by Frank Loesser in 1944 goes, I couldn’t agree more. Not only do I want to snuggle up inside where it’s nice and warm but I also want to do it in style.

I have long been obsessed with Scottish tartan – the colours and patterns are beautiful and always remain a classic. Like a little black dress, it never goes out of fashion.

I’ve recently discovered Brora, a Scottish cashmere brand that also does amazing lambswool blankets in a range of colours.

http://www.brora.co.uk

 

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I’ve got the turquoise and cobalt colour which makes a lovely decorative throw for the couch, a picnic blanket (but who would really want to get this dirty?) or something to throw on the bed for extra warmth at night. Cashmere and wool pieces are really something to invest in as they don’t often come with a cheap price tag and they are something that you are going to want to use time and time again, season after season.

You could even use this as a wrap like I did below – capes and wraps are always in season, especially in tartan.

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DSC_0617The lambswool blankets are really reasonable at £69.00 and also make a perfect gift for Christmas for someone that appreciates a thoughtful quality present. Also, being a truly a British brand this makes a great gift for someone out of the country as well!

Brora also sells luxury cashmere and even unique jewellery pieces. I picked up a very reasonable pair of cashmere gloves in ‘Flannel’ for £39.00 which will make a great gift for either a man or a woman. I hate anything scratchy on my skin and itchy gloves give me goosebumps. I’m shivering just thinking about it. So I’m pretty picky when it comes to gloves – I want them to be soft and soothing and these cashmere ones tick both boxes.

Also-who doesn’t want a pair of cashmere gloves?! Another great gift idea for Christmas.

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Currently on my wish list for Santa from Brora? This chalcedony pendant necklace with a Cobalt Blue stone set on a gold plated chain. Absolutely stunning and a sure conversation starter. We’ll wait and see what’s under the tree.

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HEMA Launches in UK

Has anyone heard of HEMA?

http://www.hemashop.com/gb/

Well, if you haven’t, you will soon wish you did. HEMA is a Dutch discount retail store. I like to think of it as a Dutch Poundland except more upmarket. It has a wide selection of products including jewellery, make-up, basic clothing, food items and kitchen accessories. All prices are fully rounded up so it makes it easy to calculate exactly what you are spending. HEMA is located in Victoria Place Shopping Centre in Victoria station so it’s great if you have some time before you have to catch your next train and you are looking to do some shopping to kill some time. I visited the store and stocked up on a few goodies. In the end I spent about £30.00 on the below items.

HEMA iPad case

I absolutely love my HEMA iPad case. It’s a ‘smartcover’ case, which means it’s magnetic and it comes in pink, one of my favourite girly colours. I had a very ugly iPad cover previously and this HEMA one came in at about £20.00 which is a sliver of the price of other retailers for something similar. So this is a great gift for a techie friend or anyone who had an ugly iPad cover, like I did.

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HEMA Earrings

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HEMA also carries jewellery including adorable earrings which are very tempting, especially for the price. I love my set of these various styles. They are simple, work with a variety of outfits and were a very good price at £5.00. So if I lose one I will be disappointed but it won’t be the end of the world! Give these to a friend who likes shiny things:)

HEMA Smudge Brush

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Some of HEMA’s brushes are of an incredible quality. I have the smudge brush which is a double ended brush and it is great for creating a smoky eye, blending or for applying shadow. I’ve been really impressed by this and the brush was around £3.00. I am now using mine everyday. Definitely a great budget beauty buy!

Beauty Rocks Top Picks of the Week under £50.00

Christmas is just around the corner and I have been busy looking for gifts for all my favourite people and also testing beauty products (one of my favourite hobbies-of course).

So many amazing products come out this time of year, just in time for the holidays.

So, I am bringing you my favourite picks of the week and I promise you that they are all under £50.00!

  1. Bio-Oil

http://www.bio-oil.com/en/

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Bio-Oil is one of those cult classics that have been around for a long time. I remember when I first stumbled across it years ago when a friend recommended it to me after saying it helped with acne scarring. Since then I’ve mostly used it on my neck and chest area at night and even on my shoulders to lighten dark spots caused by the sun. Facial oils are more popular than ever but we have to give credit where credit is due sometimes and Bio-Oil has always been around as long as I remember. It’s also reasonably-priced and does the trick.

  1. Butterfly by Matthew Williamson Floral Candle

http://bit.ly/1yaUpd6

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Matthew Williamson designs a gorgeous collection at Debenhams called Butterfly and those designs feature around floral and butterfly motifs which are whimsically lovely. I always love a good candle and this one comes in a lovely design which makes it a great gift for a friend or as a table piece centre for a holiday party.

  1. Paul & Joe Eyebrow Pencil Duo

http://www.selfridges.com

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I always fall in love with Paul & Joe packaging because it is so well… lovely! I think their products make great gifts because the packaging is simply so pretty. The eyebrow pencil duo comes in two colours so you can use both to create highlights within the eyebrow or go darker or lighter depending on the day. The tip of this is quite hard so it allows you to draw individual ‘hairs’ to make it look more natural. Make sure your skin is dry and matte when you use this to really draw those hairs on.

  1. Paul & Joe Illuminating Touch Pen

http://www.selfridges.com

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It’s all about highlighting these days and this touch pen makes it very easy to do. This is another product that is great for dry skin as it creates that dewy glow! Can be used to touch up make-up throughout the day to give you that nice, fresh and clean look.

  1. Kenneth Cole Mankind EDT

http://www.sasandcompany.com/

http://www.kennethcole.com

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I love the packaging on this bottle and this would make a great gift for a manly man because the sides of the bottle are lined with leather and looks very stylish. I thought this fragrance had a very zesty and energising scent so it would be great for a guy who really likes to get up and go in the morning! Or it might also work to motivate the kind of guy who finds it hard to get out of bed because this is something worth getting out of bed for. With top notes of pineapple, pear, cardamom, tarragon leaves and zesty ginger it is certainly a unique fragrance for men. Also contains more subtle notes of cinnamon, sandalwood, oak moss, and musk.  For the manly man indeed.

  1. Boux Avenue PJs in a Bag

http://bouxavenue.com

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I absolutely love my Boux PJs in a Bag and these make an absolutely fabulous gift with their fun designs (mine have owls on them which are ever so popular this season). The PJs fold up into a bag so these are great for people who travel a lot or who spend a lot of nights partying and sleeping over at other people’s places and need to take their PJs to go! The PJs are also currently on offer at 2 for £25.00 so you can also pick yourself up a pair at the same time. The material is soft and cozy and make you just want to stay inside on those cold winter nights. Highly recommended for yourself or a friend (there’s a pair for each).

  1. Limited Collection Eyeshadow Stick Collection and Eyeshadow Palette

http://www.marksandspencer.com

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Limited Collection is a line stocked at M&S and for three eyeshadow sticks at £10.00 this is a great bargain! I love an eyeshadow stick because they are so convenient to apply. I also have oily eyelids so love crème eyeshadow products because they work with my skin better. The eyeshadow palette comes with enough colours to create a perfect smoky eye or if you want to you can just stick with a neutral gold for the holiday season.

  1. Debenhams Lounge & Sleep ‘Spots’ Bathrobe

www.debenhams.com 

This is the cosiest bathrobe I have ever owned and at £25.00 it is a great find because bathrobes are particularly expensive these days, with starting prices usually at £45.00 and up. The fabric is really light so it doesn’t feel heavy. Did I also mention it is super soft and comforting to be wrapped up in? It reminds me of the same comforting feeling of having your favourite teddy bear with you as a child. This is a must-have for the cold winter nights that lie ahead. Brrrr.

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Beauty Rocks Asks: Q&A with Celebrity Make-up Artist Selen Hurer

I had the recent opportunity to ask celebrity MUA, Selen Hurer a few questions. Selen is working with 1-Day Acuvue Define, which is the first beauty enhancing contact lens. Together they have worked on how to achieve the must-have looks for the season and Beauty Rocks was able to do a personal Q&A with Selen to get the inside scoop.

BR: What are the make-up trends you are seeing for SS15? Anything new and exciting?

SH: The most popular upcoming trends I have seen are bronzed skin, dewy / luminous skin, glossy lips, taupe eyes and pastel eyes. However there were a few surprises on the catwalk from red lips to smokey plum eyes and graphic black eyeliner flicks .To help add further definition to eyes, those that wear contact lenses can try the new eye enhancement contact lenses, 1-DAY ACUVUE® DEFINE™, they provide a nice clean edge around the iris, providing definition, depth and dimension to the eye.

BR: What’s the number one mistake you see people making when it comes to make-up?

SH: The biggest mistake I see reoccurring is orange/dark faces and light necks! Always remember that foundation isn’t bronzer. It’s not designed to change the colour of the skin. You need to choose a foundation that is close to your natural colour. Foundation is not meant to mask the skin, if you can’t see it then you have picked the right shade. Sometimes it may not be possible to find a single product that does this effectively. For more natural results, buy two or three different shades and mix them to arrive at the right colour. When choosing a colour try to have a look in natural light as the artificial bright lights in department stores can be misleading. Bear in mind the oils in the skin can cause some types of foundations oxidize throughout the day, causing the foundation to look darker.

BR: What are your top three favourite make-up products you can’t live without?

SH: 1. I cannot live without my Dr Lipp Nipple Balm. It is my kit essential. It is fantastic for lips as you can use it as a gloss mixed in with lipstick. It’s great for eczema, cuticles, dry skin on elbows and fantastic for split ends!

2. Laura Mercier eye basics. This product is a fantastic eyelid primer. It neutralises the redness and makes the eyeshadow go on smoother and makes it stay on the whole day without creasing. I have oily eyelids and this works a treat.

3. Maybelline Volume Express The Colossal Mascara 100% Black. I love this mascara as it makes your lashes huge! It is non-drying and non-clumping. Perfect for lens wearers and for naturally enhanced beautiful eyes try the 1-DAY ACUVUE® DEFINE™ lenses in Natural Sparkle and Natural Shimmer. They are so comfortable you forget they are in!

BR: How did you become a make-up artist?

SH: I knew I wanted to become a make-up artist at a very young age. I was always creative at school and loved to paint and draw. Straight after my A- Levels, I did a 2 year make-up and hair course at the London College Of Fashion. From then I worked with various make-up brands which helped build my make-up skills and confidence. Later I assisted make-up designers on shoots working for free to get my foot in the door.

BR: What’s a career highlight?

SH: I have worked on some exciting projects and have met some amazing people but I would say my biggest highlight was working on the last Harry Potter movie. For me it was a dream come true as I am a big fan! I also had the privilege to work at the London 2012 Paralympic Games where I got to make up the athletes for interviews.

Thanks to Selen for answering my questions!

***

About Acuvue Define:

*This new eye enhancement contact lens is currently available in Boots Opticians and will be available from all UK Opticians from mid-November 2014. Book an appointment in-store at Boots Opticians or online at boots.com for a five-day trial**. In 2015 1-DAY ACUVUE® DEFINE™ will be widely available through most opticians across the UK and Ireland.

** Terms and conditions can be found on: https://www.acuvue.co.uk/1-day-acuvue-define/free_trial.

Beauty Rocks: Top November Picks

I am always on the search for the latest goodies that make my heart flutter. And during the festive season, there are plenty of things that make my heart skip a beat. Here are my top picks for November!

GHD Curve (in rose gold)

http://www.ghdhair.com/

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I was an avid user of cheap curling irons and straighteners until I discovered GHD which stands for ‘Good Hair Everyday’, naturally. It’s a claim that GHD are qualified to make however, as I believe their products are outstanding. Pricey, yes. But outstanding quality comes with it. Trust me, you will never want to use another hair styling appliance again. I recently discovered the new GHD curve which is a curling iron that turns on and heats up with a ping and gets hot within seconds. Seconds! The ghd curve also has patented tri-zone ceramic technology (this is a company who knows their hair) and the curling tong is set at the right curling temperature of 185°C. This means you can’t change the temperature but that’s okay because it is already perfect and is set at that temp for a reason – so you don’t burn your hair! Always use a heat protector no matter what though. I loved the results from this curling tong and immediately gave my other one away. Another bonus about this product is that it comes with its own rose gold bag so you can carry this around everywhere. And the thing I love probably the most is that this can be used in multiple countries because the voltage has such a wide range so as long as you use an adapter you will be fine. Trust me, I’ve caused a power shortage in both the U.S. and China on my travels with a hair dryer. Voltage is important! And I am very happy to say this product will now be travelling with me everywhere.

Boux Avenue Bra

http://www.bouxavenue.com/

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I have recently done a bra ‘clear out’ and thrown away all the bras I was so-so about. Breasts actually change size during the course of a lifetime and sometimes I find that bras I bought a year or two ago no longer fit. Recently I went to Boux Avenue and picked out the most beautiful bra that fits perfectly. It should cover you completely and leave no gaps at the top. This might feel slightly tight and uncomfortable at first but trust me, having a well-fitted bra that looks good and whose straps don’t slip down all day is a godsend.

Ted Baker Perfectly Polished Gift Set

http://www.boots.com/

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I love it that Ted Baker is now accessible at Boots. The luxury fashion brand also makes beauty products which I think are available at a very reasonable price from Boots. This nail set is perfect because it comes with a nail art pen which allows someone to dab on white dots or use their artistic creativity as they wish. I didn’t realise I needed a nail art pen until I tried this set and received so many compliments on my nails when I simply added a few dots to them, paired with the orange nail lacquer that comes in this set. The packaging is also perfect and with the Ted Baker name added to the set, it makes a premium gift for someone who loves to adorn their tips.

Liliputians Headband

http://www.liliputians.com/

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Lili, my fellow beauty blogger at www.beautyandthesnob.com is a super multi-tasker and also manages to make the most adorable headbands through her company LILIPUTIANS that are perfect for bringing ‘preppy’ back. I love a nice bow in my hair and she makes not only pretty headbands for adults but also for kids so these make a perfect gift for girly girls of all ages.

At this time LILIPUTIANS is also offering all Beauty Rocks followers a special discount of 20% on all headbands until December 20th . Use SHINE20 at the checkout www.liliputians.com

Boux Avenue PJs

http://www.bouxavenue.com/

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Boux Avenue also has amazing PJs and I am certainly a person who likes to feel comfortable at home so these are perfect! I chose a soft a fuzzy set of leopard print PJ leggings that at the current special, come with a free matching t-shirt. As I have said before, if you are at home you might as well feel comfortable!

Jack Wills Lip Crayon Set

http://www.boots.com/

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I have become a huge fan of lip crayons this season…they are everywhere and they allow you to multi-task your lip service because you don’t need a lip-liner. Lip crayons allow you to draw the perfectly shaped lips you always wanted and in no time at all. This Jack Wills set comes in a variety of colours so the recipient is sure to get at least one that they like.

Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream (Christmas Edition)

http://www.elizabetharden.co.uk/

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Elizabeth Arden products are fabulous quality and I have loved them for a long time. Their 8 hour cream is a cult classic and many a beauty editor has raved about it over time. It is great for treating chapped skin and lips and for extremely dry skin. Here it steps in for winter – the season where it is needed the most. It comes dressed up for Christmas this year in a beautiful seasonal jar and makes a fantastic gift for mum or grandmother, who will especially appreciate the history and cult classic quality of this product.

Laura Ashley Tea For One Porcelain Teapot and Teacup with English Breakfast Tea Bags and Earl Grey Tea

http://www.boots.com/

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Here is another perfect gift for a tea lover. This is such a pretty and feminine teapot for one that it just might turn a tea hater into a tea lover in no time. This also comes with my favourite tea, Earl Grey and English Breakfast so you can enjoy one cup in the morning and the other in the afternoon. This is for the tea lover who wants a cup all to themselves without making anyone else a cup. And sometimes you do.

Miss Selfridge Tres Chic Clutch

http://bit.ly/1yznBr7

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I am simply in love with this adorable clutch from Miss Selfridge and also all statement t-shirts and bags that have French on them. Everything does after all, sound better in French. I would pair this Tres Chic clutch with a pair of skinny jeans, tailored white button up shirt, black Chelsea boots and voila, you become a part of that chic Parisian style that is so often admired.

Christmas Gift Ideas For the Fragrance Lover

Christmas is a great time for amazing smells…of festive candles burning, hot mince pies, mulled wine, Christmas trees, foliage…I could go on.

It’s also a time where people gift their favourite fragrances whether it’s a scented candle or an Eau de Parfum. Here are my top picks for fragrance gifts!

Mia Flora Massage & Skin Care Sweet Almond Oil

http://www.hollandandbarrett.com/

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I am a huge, huge fan of aromatherapy massage and I have recently been delving into the art of using a base oil and adding a few drops of a lovely smelling essential oil-as massage therapists do. I have discovered a lovely base oil at Holland and Barrett and a huge range of fragrant essential oils that you can choose to add to it. This would make a lovely gift for a friend who likes massage, aromatherapy or even for someone who loves to relax in the bath, as you can also use the essential oils (a few drops) in the bathtub. Never apply essential oils directly to skin as they are really potent and strong and can therefore irritate skin. Always mix with a base oil or apply to a bathtub full of water for a true aromatherapy experience.

Grapefruit Uplifting 100% Pure Essential Oil

http://www.hollandandbarrett.com/

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As used with the base oil above, this is an energising scent and would be great to use if you were feeling particularly tired.

Cinnamon Leaf Uplifting 100% Pure Essential Oil

http://www.hollandandbarrett.com/

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I love the smell of cinnamon…perhaps it’s because I am from America and we are obsessed with all things cinnamon there. The scent of cinnamon is warming and reminds me of cinnamon rolls and spiced apple cider – the stuff of my childhood. Perhaps that is why I am addicted to the smell and this spicy and warming essential oil takes me straight back to that comforting place. So if there are any cinnamon lovers out there – this is a great essential oil for you.

The Perfume Shop Viva Box

http://www.theperfumeshop.com/

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The Viva Box has to be one of my top picks for the Christmas season this year, if not the very top. This is an amazing gift for a female as it comes with 7 samples of perfume so whoever you buy for can choose their favourite and collect ONE full size bottle from The Perfume Shop. It sells for £37.99 and seriously, what a great gift. Fragrance is such a personal thing and this allows you to give it without making any mistakes and it’s a joy for the receiver of this gift as well because you get to sample 7 minis before making your decision. Each sample probably contains 2-3 uses so it allows someone to wear the perfumes throughout the day and compare them before making their final decision on which one they want the full-size of. I cannot rave about this gift enough-perfect for a best friend, mum, grandma or pretty much anyone!

Florence Anne Grapefruit & Lime Scented Candle

http://www.boots.com/

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Boots has a new home fragrance line this year for Christmas called Florence Anne, named after the Boots founder’s wife. It is a very reasonable range of home fragrance and has the packaging and feel of a luxury brand. As it is a new collection, you can surprise someone with this gift, knowing they probably have never heard of the range before. And that makes a truly surprising gift.

Scent Chips and Burner

http://www.hollandandbarrett.com/

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Disappointed in your fragranced candle? I can assure you wholeheartedly that you will not be disappointed in a scent burner. This is the best way to infuse your home with an amazing scent. I tried this one in my tiny London studio and it quickly filled the room with an amazing (cinnamon – my favourite) scent. In fact, I have never experienced a home fragrance product that works so effectively. I am usually disappointed in candles and diffusers because some of them simply don’t give off any scent. In fact, with this scent burner, I fed it a few scent chips (Holland and Barrett have many fragrances to choose from) and the scent filled my tiny room so much so that I had to open a window. So therefore this would be perfect for someone’s home because it would easily fill a home with the most amazing scent! So until I move into a home…I will have to only burn this for a few minutes-it is seriously that effective! Makes a great gift for the home fragrance lover.

Elizabeth Arden Untold Eau de Parfum

http://www.elizabetharden.co.uk/

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This is the scent for the woman who has it all. Elizabeth Arden to me always emulates classy and they have certainly done this with their Untold Eau de Parfum. I have the 30ml size which I love because it is lightweight and easy to travel with. And since I travel for the holidays it makes a perfect gift for…well, me. With jasmine, blackcurrant, raspberry, pink pepper, and patchouli, this is a floral and fruity fragrance with an oriental twist. And the gorgeous feminine bottle makes you feel pretty, spray after spray.

Crabtree & Evelyn Hollyberry Candle

http://www.crabtree-evelyn.co.uk/

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Crabtree & Evelyn shine at Christmas – with lovely Christmas packaging that will put you in the mood just by glancing at it. This year, they have launched a limited edition Hollyberry Candle that smells sweetly delicious. It smells of just-cut foliage, plump wild fruits and trails of inviting spices. This is a very Christmasy scent and makes a perfect gift for Christmas because it is a special scent just for this time of year. Great gift for a Christmas lover!

Charming Christmas Gifts: For Her

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Yes, I feel like being cheesy and shouting…Christmas is finally here!

It’s very easy for me to write up all my Christmas ideas for her, simply because I am a woman and I love Christmas! Not just because of the gifts but because it is a time to spend with family and to create new memories and share in the love and joy that Christmas brings. Christmas is about family and sharing gifts has become a part of that tradition.

So I’ve come up with my top picks for affordable but charming gifts for ‘her’ this season, whether it is Mum, Grandma, Aunt Helen, your sister, daughter or best friend.

Here we go…

Antipodes Heavenly Body Oil

http://www.naturisimo.com/index.cfm?nme=antipodes

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Antipodes is one of my favourite brands because they make high-quality organic products. And all of their products smell so nice! Whether its face or body, they have you covered-literally. So one of their products makes a perfect gift for a woman who likes organic beauty products and eats her quinoa everyday. The Heavenly Body Oil is a luxurious body oil that is great for adding to the bath, using after the shower or as a massage oil. This massage oil smells amazing, with a blend of jasmine petal, lavender, ylang ylang and pure organic avocado oil. I can really smell the lavender coming out of this so it would be great to use before bed to induce a relaxation state of mind. So if you are a guy and looking to give a great gift for Christmas, I would recommend an I.O.U. voucher for a nice massage paired with this oil. Heavenly, indeed-my skin felt like velvet after using this.

Antipodes Kiwi Seed Oil Eye Cream

http://www.naturisimo.com/index.cfm?nme=antipodes

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In fact, while you are at it you could get an entire Antipodes gift set. Their skincare products are great because they are based on ‘scientific beauty’-what that means is that they are organic and they also work as shown in scientific studies. Organic backed by science! The Kiwi Seed Oil has been scientifically proven to stimulate synthesis of collagen production by up to 82%. I found this to be a light cream that sank in easily and didn’t make the skin around my eyes feel greasy.

Antipodes Moisture Boost Minis-Joyous Protein Rich Night Replenish Serum + Avocado Pear Nourishing Night Cream/Divine Face Oil + Rosehip Vanilla Pod Hydrating Day Cream

http://www.naturisimo.com/index.cfm?nme=antipodes

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Antipodes also makes mini-duos which are perfect for travelling – so one of their duos would make a great gift for a travelling friend. The face oils come in a handy 10ml size and their day/night creams come in a 15ml size so this would easily last a week or two if you were travelling somewhere and wanted to pack lightly. Perfect handbag size as well so this will definitely get you through airport security.

I love the Divine Face Oil because of the fresh smell and ingredients of avocado oil and rosehip-no chemical nasties here! The face oil has scientifically shown to stimulate Type 1 Collagen production in human fibroblast cells by up to 51%! I could talk about the amazing effects of rosehip all day long but all you need to know is that it is great for reducing scars (hello acne!), fine lines and also sun-damaged areas on the skin.

The day and night creams come in luxe metal tubes that gives the usual boring jar a run for its money.

Superdrug Inflatable Bath Pillow

http://www.superdrug.com/

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A pillow for the bath?! Yes, yes and yes. Superdrug has come to the rescue with a great gift idea for a tired mum or grandmother or (you in fact) that allows a person to actually fully relax in the bathtub. I can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday evening. And it’s inflatable so it’s perfect to take wherever you are spending the holidays.

Paperchase Magnetic Pads –Lists, Notes and Memo pads

http://www.paperchase.co.uk/

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Paperchase has done it again with their adorable magnetic pads. These make a great gift for a busy woman. What’s the expression again? ‘If you want something done, ask a busy woman.’ No truer words were ever spoken and these handy little pads that stick to the fridge make it even easier to organise the day, shopping lists or to-dos.

Paperchase 2015 Diary

http://www.paperchase.co.uk/

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I am someone who lives by their diary and looks at it several times a day to be sure I know exactly what I am doing and where I am supposed to be at what time. Again, this makes a fabulous gift for a busy woman. And the fabulous design on the cover makes it something you will definitely want to pull out and write in again and again.

Sweet Snuggles Curl Up Blanket (Superdrug)

http://www.superdrug.com/

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Superdrug has some great gifts this year for a wide range of ages – one gift I love (and for only a fiver!!) is this Sweet Snuggles Curl Up Blanket. Didn’t know Superdrug sold things like this? Think again. Everyone loves a snuggly blanket and this is certainly one that everyone will appreciate and that you can also afford to buy.

Sweet Snuggles Comfy Socks (Superdrug)

http://www.superdrug.com/

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The Sweet Snuggles Comfy Socks make a great pairing with the Curl Up Blanket – I think this would be a great gift for someone who likes to be at home. I’m thinking a personal heater and a good book would go well with this. And I think if you are at home, you might as well feel comfortable.

Paperchase Metal Photo Frame Pineapple

http://www.paperchase.co.uk/

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Paperchase has some great gifts this year and this Pineapple Frame would make a perfect Secret Santa gift for work. It ticks all the boxes: quirky, cute and fun. What more do you need?

Paperchase ‘My Big Mug’

http://www.paperchase.co.uk/

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We all know her. She loves, loves, loves tea. She drinks multiple cups of it everyday and she is never far from the kettle. This Paperchase ‘My Big Mug’ is a great gift for an addicted tea drinker. It’s supersize just means less trips to the kettle. And she will appreciate that.

Christmas Gift Picks For Him

It’s so hard to shop for guys sometimes, whether it’s your husband, boyfriend, father, brother, nephew, son, grandfather, uncle, boss etc. Men are the hardest for me to shop for no matter what the season and Christmas always leaves me scratching my head for what to get them for Christmas. I mean, what do they really want? Here are some ideas…

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Hugo Boss-Boss

http://www.theperfumeshop.com/

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This scent is the classic man scent and I found it to be light and not too serious despite the name ‘Boss’. This would be a great daytime scent for a man, especially one who likes a light smell. With top notes of apple, heart notes of geranium and cinnamon and base notes of a sensual woody notes, this is a fabulous fragrance that would appeal to a wide range of men. Which makes it a perfect gift if you aren’t sure what he likes!

Rockabilly Speaker

http://www.spinninghat.com/

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This speaker is really a unisex gift but it would make a great gift for a man who likes to work out while travelling and needs something portable. Perhaps it can be for the businessman who takes trips for works and wants to do a few sit ups or push ups in the hotel room? This speaker is super convenient and really makes a difference when using it with your phone as opposed to simply using your phone speakers alone. It packs a punch for its size and would make a great gift for a variety of ages.

John Varvatos

http://www.theperfumeshop.com/

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The John Varvatos cologne is described as a ‘bold, modern and sophisticated scent with a refined masculine intrigue.’ I do think this is a more ‘formal’ scent for the man who takes his grooming seriously. I think this cologne would be suited to a specific man-one who is well-groomed, sophisticated and likes a real rock and roll look to his fragrance. The background of the scent is a rich woodiness with balsamic, ambery and leather undertones with malt and touches of vanilla extract. Yum.

Jack Wills Boxer Short Gift Set

http://www.boots.com/

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Boys, boys. Sometimes they just don’t seem to restock their boxers enough or rely on their wives, girlfriends or mothers do the underwear shopping for them. In this case, Jack Wills makes it easy for the gift buyer because in addition to bath and body care products, he also gets a new pair of lovely boxer shorts. The approachable and preppy nature of Jack Wills products also makes this a perfect gift for son, brother, husband or boyfriend.

‘Like’ Coffee Mug

http://www.spinninghat.com/

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Coffee – without it how would some of us function in the morning? Coffee is a mood booster and it’s amazing how grumpy you can feel before that cup of Joe and how much your mood lifts after the caffeine hits your bloodstream. This ‘Like’ mug is brilliant and a perfect gift for the man who likes to check his social feed in the morning and have his coffee at the same time.

Paperchase Portable Robo Charger (works with iPhone)

http://www.paperchase.co.uk/

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Angry because he didn’t text you back or answer your call? It might be because his phone died! This portable charger from Paperchase makes it easy to never let him use that excuse again.

Coqui Coqui Agave Cologne

https://www.fenwick.co.uk/brands/coqui-coqui/

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Coqui Coqui launched this year in Fenwicks and came to us all the way from Mexico. Their unique blends and quirky packaging make a unique gift for the man who likes to groom. I love their Agave Cologne – it’s sexy yet wearable at the same time with a unique scent that has a cool story to go with it as well. Legend says, that during the colonization of the new world, the Franciscan monks, while entrusted by the Queen of Spain, picked flowers, woods and exotic herbs together with the Mayan natives in the remote land of the Yucatan Peninsula.

So many species were found, that the monks, little by little, began to create a large botanical catalogue, giving rise to the most original eau de cologne, emulsions and lotion formulas, as well as introducing perfumes mixed with essential oils, using native flora from the Yucatan Peninsula.

Nicolas Malleville, a contemporary landscape architect and perfumer, decided to embark on a trip to Yucatan with a clear objective in mind: recover the monks’ old formulas and fuse them together with the legacy of ancient Mayan medicine.

Tell this story when you give this gift and he will have a new appreciation for your thoughtfulness in choosing it.

Getting Back On The Nutrition Track

They say if you fall of a horse, you just have to pick yourself right up and get back on. That’s how I have felt with nutrition and health lately. With work and so many evening events and late nights, I have fallen off the track recently with health so now I am vowing to get right back on that nutrition horse and get saddled in.

So I have gathered up some healthy resources to help me get back on the right track.

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I am a great believer in that to look good, you also have to feel good inside. Therefore, I have discovered at Holland and Barrett…get ready for it…Bootea, which is a 28 day ‘teatox’ programme that includes a daytime cleanse and bedtime cleanse to be taken over a four week period for maximum effect.

Basically it delivers an intensive digestive cleanse to detox your body. The daytime cleanse is very mild and the night-time cleanse is stronger.  I have been drinking the daytime cleanse tea as it is quite mild and lovely. The ingredients in the daytime cleanse are Chinese Oolong Tea, Mate leaves, Ginger root, Fennel seeds, Lemongrass, Dandelion leaf, Ginseng root, Gotu Kola leaves and Nettle Leaves.

In the bedtime cleanse tea, which you drink every other night, there is Senna leaves, Peppermint leaves, Fenugreek seeds, Liquorice root, Burdock root, Hawthorn leaves, Valerian root and Psyllium seeds.

http://bit.ly/1tPVAeX

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In addition to the daily Bootea cleanse I have been having a green boost drink every evening after I get home from work. The green boost, made by Bioglan and available from Holland and Barrett, is packed full of powdered super greens spirulina, chlorella, wheatgrass and barleygrass, plus super green vegetables kale and spinach. It’s a great and easy way to get your greens, especially if you are always on the go.

 http://bit.ly/1tPVuDZ

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Now I have always taken supplements for my skin and I believe that the skin needs to be supported from the inside to keep it looking its best on the outside. I love Holland and Barrett to stock up on any supplements and have been using Hydrolised Collagen and Hydrolised Egg Membrane, which is said to be about to take off in the supplement world so take notice now! It contains elastin, collagen & glucosamine which occur naturally in the joints. Elastin enables a better range of motion and collagen and glucosamine are key for cartilage formation.

http://bit.ly/1o5fGRE

From Superdrug, I’ve got Fitness Pharma Complete Skin Beauty supplements which contain a set of three supplements for each day: 28 Vitamin/Mineral/Herb tablets, 28 Wheat Germ oil capsules, 28 Argan oil capsules.

http://bit.ly/1pg3ePR

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I have to say that all this healthy eating and supplement taking really does make a difference. I look and feel better and my skin is also benefiting from all of this. Now it seems I just need to add some exercise! But one step at a time right?

So when you are feeling fatigued and tired, what do you do to make yourself feel healthier?