Thoughts so far on the M&S Beauty Advent Calendar…

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Can you believe that it’s only 12 days till Christmas…! I absolutely love the lead up to Christmas, especially counting down the days with an advent calendar. Nowadays there are always so many beauty calendars to choose from starting from £15 up to £300 plus but this year I got myself the Marks and Spencer Beauty advent calendar.

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Here’s what I’ve received so far –
1. Nealsyard Bee lovely Handcream
2. Radial Super Acids X-treme Acid Rush Peel
3. Filorga Time Filler Cream
4. Pixi Brow Tamer
5. Josh Wood Hair Treatment Oil
6. Eyeko Liquid Eyeliner
7. Ultrasun SPF Face Cream
8. Alpha H Liquid Gold
9. Autograph Nail Polish in Cranberry
10. Nails Inc Gel Polish in Cranberry
11. Emma Hardie balm
12. Mini powder brush

I’m really impressed by the samples I have received so far as they are from really great brands, plus they are decent sizes to give the products a real test – even some full size products too! I’ve already tried out a few of these products and after one use, I’m already in love the Alpha H Liquid Gold and a full sized bottle is now on my Christmas wishlist!

Once I’ve reached the end of my calendar I will share a full run down on everything I received, but so far I’m really impressed with the quality of this calendar. Considering the M&S Beauty calendar is probably one of the cheapest on the market – £35 if you spend £35k on M&S home-wear, beauty or clothes (which was easy, as I managed to buy a few Christmas presents!) I do think it’s amazing value for money. I’m already looking forward to seeing what I find in the next box tomorrow!

Have you got a beauty calendar this year?

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Build your own Birchbox at Selfridges



Last weekend I was in London for a couple of days as we had tickets to see Pete Tong at the O2 (which was amazing!) and whilst in town we spent a couple of hours shopping. First stop was on of my favourite department stores – Selfridges and whilst exploring the beauty department, I came across the ‘Build your own Birchbox’ stand. Well, I couldn’t resist…!

After choosing a birchbox box colour – light blue or metallic along with letter stickers to be able to personalise your box with your name, you are then able to walk around the stand picking up samples from each category. For a £15, you are able to pick 2x makeup samples and one sample of haircare, bodycare and skincare plus a beauty bonus. 

For my samples, I picked up; Laura Mercier Foundation Primer, Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray, Nuxe Multi-Purpose Dry Oil, Yes To Charcoal Paper Mask and Mirenesse Secret Weapon iCurl 24Hr Mascara. And for my beauty bonus, I picked up a #Nofilter Birchbox mirror – perfect for keeping in your handbag. I was really excited to find samples of Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray and the Yes To face mask as I’ve heard a lot of good things about these products. 

Birchbox are offering this service at Selfridge will 28th December. So if you find yourselves in Selfridge whilst out doing your Christmas shopping, why not treat yourself to your own Birchbox? It’s a great introduction into the world of Birchbox if you haven’t subscribed to their service yet. 

Have you built your own Birchbox yet at Selfridges? What samples did you select?

Book Review: Ctrl, Alt; Delete by Emma Gannon

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I’ve just finished listening to Emma Gannon’s book – Ctrl, Alt; Delete: How I Grew Up Online on Audible, and just had to tell you all about it because I loved it!

If you haven’t heard of Emma before, she’s the wonderful blogger behind A Girl Lost in the City (now just named Emma Gannon I believe) and now an author, podcast host, speaker as well as a digital consultant. I first came across Emma via her podcast – Ctrl, Alt; Delete which I now listen to religiously each week on my walk home from work (would definitely recommend checking it out!). As I love her podcast so much, I decided that I needed to read her new book of the same name – Ctrl, Alt; Delete. I tend to keep a couple of books on the go (one to read at home and one to listen to when I’m on the move) and I’m so glad I decided to listen via audible because Emma narrated her whole book so it was like listening to one huge podcast!

You will love this book if you’re in your mid-twenties and a fan of the internet! It’s all about how Emma grew up online, from using the family computer through to life today online. For me, it was a flashback into my own experience of using the internet for the first time. Each time Emma gave detail of her past online experiences – editing photo’s, MSN messenger, building friendships online, it was lovely (although sometimes cringy!) to remember my own memories of growing up online. I also loved Emma’s way with words throughout the whole book, especially listening to it on audiobook, as it was like listening/reminiscing with a friend over a glass of wine. Being in the media industry myself, I also loved the early insight of Emma’s career in social media and her thoughts on how the internet and social media has changed our lives. Have you ever thought about what happens to your online presence when you have passed away?!

Although I have already finished Emma’s book, I’ve actually already got a copy of her book on order from Amazon. It might sound strange, but I want to keep this book to read later on in life to reminisce back on my own life growing up online and also to give to my future teenagers to read. If I end up having a girl, I would actually really like for her to read it – to find out what it was like ‘back in the day’ when the internet became a thing, warn of the harsh reality of living online (goodness knows what it will be like in 20 years time!) and also as an inspirational story that you can make a career out of your passion.

I would definitely recommend reading (or listening) to Ctrl, Alt; Delete: How I Grew Up Online By Emma Gannon. And whilst you are waiting for your copy to arrive, you need to start listening to her podcast of the same name – it’s so great to hear Emma interview others about their life online.

Have you read Ctrl, Alt; Delete: How I Grew Up Online By Emma Gannon? What did you think?

An Unexpected Revlon Haul

On Friday I popped into Boots as I wanted a new lip-shade and matching nail polish for a wedding I was attending at the weekend. I headed over to the Revlon counter as I’ve previously loved their Ultra HD Matte Lipstick range, and I wanted to see what they had to offer in red. I ended up picking up the Ultra HD Matte Lipstick in Passion and picked up Revlon nail polish in Valentine to match. As I paid for them, the lovely lady at the till explained that because I’d spent £15 – I got a free gift!  Not expecting much (as these promotions tend to be full of sample sized products which I would never use), I was surprised to be handed a small box with 4x full-sized Revlon products inside…

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Included in the box was; a Dramatic Definition Mascara, Photoready Insta-Fix Highlighting Stick, Super Lustrous Lipstick in Sassy Mauve and a Nail Polish in Vixen along with money off voucher for a foundation or primer – all worth £34. The think the idea of the promotion, in association with Michelle Keegan, was to have your full make-up look covered for the season.

I think you will have to agree that Revlon are offering quite a fabulous free gift. It’s a great chance to be able to test out some Revlon products which you might of not even considered before. I’ve actualy been wanting to try their mascara for a while, so it was a nice surprise to receive a full size-bottle. Plus the nail and lip shades are really nice classic shades which I think will suit nearly everyone. 

So, what was just treating myself to a new lipstick and nail polish, turned into a mini Revlon haul with 6 products! Thought it was worth posting, because if you were planning on making a Revlon purchase it might be worth heading to Boots to lay your hands of some beauty freebies!

 
Are you a fan of Revlon? Have you tried any of these products before?

My First Birchbox – Nov Tatler Edition

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Birchbox have been around for a couple of years now but I’d never given the subscription a go myself. If you have never heard of Birchbox before, it’s a monthly beauty box subscription which comes with 5 beauty samples for you to try for £10 per month (plus £2.96 P&P).

I was a Glossybox subscribers when they were first released but when I moved house, I ended up cancelling my subscription rather than carrying it over to my new address. Not because I didn’t like the concept (I loved it!), I just needed to save the extra money for rent! It’s taken me a while to try another similar subscription but when I saw how pretty the Tatler Edition box was, I decided it was time to sign up again.

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November’s Birchbox is in collaboration with Tatler magazine and comes in this beautiful peacock design. In my box I received; Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar Primer, Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle Leave-in Conditioner, Marcelle BB Cream Golden Gold Illumintor, Nuxe Creme Prodigieuse Anti-Fatigur Moisturising Cream and a Brow Shaping Set from Ecotools. For signing-up to Birchbox this month, I also got a free sample of the bbrowbar Drama Mascara. I really excited to start using these samples as these are actually type of products I will use.

I have already used the Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle Leave-in Conditioner and I love it! It you a previous reader of mine (A Little Bit of Lippy) you know I used to post Sample Sunday reviews – these might need to back a come back as I continue my subscription with Birchbox!

Are you a subscriber to Birchbox – What are your thoughts? Have you discovered any new beauty favourites? Would love to hear your thoughts!

Bath Fizzer by The Body Shop

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Recently when I popped into The Body Shop, these sweet-like bath treats caught me eye. The Body Shop have now released their own take on the bath-bomb craze – Bath Fizzers. I believe these are fairly new as I haven’t seen these before, but for one £1 each, I picked all four scents to try.

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First of of all, I love the packaging theme. In a sweet-style, these fizzers come individually wrapped in bright colours and you pop them in a little stripy paper-bag like you’re having a pick-and-mix. Currently there are four scents to chose from; Frosted Flower, Candied Plum, Berry Bliss and Vanilla Delight and they all smell really lovely. When you open up your little sweet paper bag, the smell strangely reminds me of Pez Sweets (anyone else remember these!). I wouldn’t recommend eating them though!

The first one I’ve tried was the Vanilla Delight. After running a nice, warm bubble bath, I dropped the fizzy cube in the tub. These are obviously not going change your bath water a magical colours like a Lush bath bomb, but they do however have a slightly fizz in the water as they dissolve plus they make your bath smell amazing! Controversially, I’m not always in the mood for a Lush bath bomb. The aftermath is sometimes a little messy – leaving your bath stained with bright colours or glitter which you have the scrub clean and not really able to wash your hair (well I tend to avoid it) due to the oils they put in them. I really like the no fuss of these Bath Fizzers, they make a perfect additional to a warm bath. 

Have you tried The Body Shop Bath Fizzers?

Top 5 Autumn/Winter Nails

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I absolutely love Autumn, its my favourite season! Not only can you start wearing warm coats and accessorize with scarves and wooly hats, you can put the pastel nail colours to bed and bust out the dark, wintery shades. Here is my 5x favourite nails polish for this wintery season –

OPI in Lincoln Park After Dark – I’ve had this bottle for years but it’s still going strong. It’s a gorgeous deep purple shade which almost looks black from a distance. I love this colour, especially for evening looks.

Barry M Matte in Crush – I love a red in any season, but once the weather gets colder I like to opt for a deeper red shade. I also love a matte effect and this shade looks lovely and autumnal.

Rimmel in Give It Some Welly – This is the newest shade in my collection and since picking it up in Boots, I’ve not worn anything else lately. I love how grey nails look nice, clean and chic. Plus I still really love the 60 second Rimmel formulation, and at only £2.99, you can’t go wrong!

Essie in Chinchilly – Every season needs a nude shade, and this is my favourite during the Autumn/Winter months. Although this isn’t a true nude, it’s more of a “greige” (grey and beige) with a slight purple undertone. It just makes for a perfect neutral colour throughout the season.

Topshop in Lucas – This polish has made a few appearance on stephisays. Topshop released a denim polish range a couple of months ago and I ended up picking up Lucas and Leigh, Leigh was the lighter of the two so perfect the summer season but now that it’s turned a bit colder, I’m loving the darker shade – Lucas.

What’s your favourite Autumn/Wintery nail polish?