What Father Christmas got me!

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 4 - 2013

How do people get back into the swing of things after a break? Before Christmas, I went to a log cabin in the wilds of the New Forest (about as wild as one of those carousels with teacups) and had NO INTERNET. Yet, I still managed to blog daily via a non-3G connection on my phone doing the classic standing on a chair and holding the phone at a 37 degree angle until I saw a bar (“I’ve got a signal!! I’ve got a signal!!”) thing…

Fast forward three weeks: introduce a bottle of vodka, GTA IV and the leftovers from the Celebrations tin and it takes me all the effort in the world just to get a wash.

What I’m trying to say is, I’m feeling delicate. And a bit slow. And this is my rubbish excuse for only now posting about my Christmas pressies when the rest of the blogosphere are planning their Valentine’s gift guides, the bastards.

Anyway, I must have been a very good girl this year because Father Christmas was extremely kind to me. Not as kind as he was to my husband who got a 46″ telly, a graphics tablet, AND a book about space. Sexual favours I expect… but regardless of my husband’s devious ways of ensuring that old St. Nick favours his stocking, I did very well indeed. Wanna nosey?

What Father Christmas got me!

Mr L got me this beautiful silver necklace from Etsy, it’s so delicate and perfect <3 – who knew he was capable of such good taste anyway?! I don’t usually wear much jewellery – I still haven’t even taken my wedding band to be resized – but I’ve barely taken this off since I unwrapped it on Christmas morning.

What Father Christmas got me!

He also bought me a Heart Rate Monitor for running… in theory, this should help me work out my perfect pace for burning calories vs. being able to actually prolong the workout! When I was running last year, I had a habit of starting off too hard and fast and exhausting myself well before 5k, hopefully this will help me find a suitable pace.

He also got me a running buff, kind of like a neck/throat/mouth warmer… my asthma hates this cold weather for any kind of exercise and last year, I was running with a fleece scarf tucked around my gob – I looked like a uncoordinated ninja!

To rebel against all this fitness malarky, I also got a beautiful red lipstick from Estee Lauder, you can be sure of a FOTD soon!

What Father Christmas got me!

This one’s a bit cheaty because these sandals were a bit of a present to me… from me! I’d been craving them since I saw them in Selfridges early last Summer, I even instagrammed them! I eventually spotted them at the KG outlet in Gunwharf Quay while I was having a bit of a shop with HelenJNT, and snapped them up for a bargain price. Now I’ve just got to wait for the sun to come out!

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I told you I was a spoilt girl, I got a new phone! Usually, I’m about 2 years behind everyone else when it comes to phones… but we justified the splurge on the fact that if Mr. L is going to port his games onto iPhone, he totally needs an iPhone5 in the house so that he can bug test. I’m giving him my iPhone4 and he’ll retire his HTC. It’s actually killing him a little… he is not much of an Apple fan… poor love. WHATEVER!!! I’VE GOT AN IPHONE5! MOAR INSTAGRAM.

I’m currently baby-ing it and being laughed at because I’m refusing to remove the plastic covers until my screen protectors get here!

Leila got me (thanks Mr. L!) a beautiful candle which she found in T.K. Maxx, it couldn’t actually be more perfect – it’s rich, woody, and a little bit masculine (just how I like ’em!) It’s both warming and calming with the tiniest hint at incense… honestly, the girl couldn’t have chosen better.

My last gift (which you may have spotted at the back there), is a new lens for my camera! Woohoo! It’s the Canon 40mm 2.8 pancake lens, so it’s really slimline and will be great for taking out and about with me. It’s a beaut and very reasonably priced!

What Father Christmas got me!

I also got a cake pop maker (yeahhh!), a cook-book, a lovely scarf, some socks (essential) and some money. I don’t think there’s any way that I can be possibly be well-behaved enough to beat this haul next Christmas, I’m a very lucky girl.

What did you get for Christmas? Tell me!


Wotcha! Christmas 2012! (photo heavy)

Posted by Lipglossiping On December - 30 - 2012

Did you have a good Christmas?  Did Father Christmas prove that you’d been a good girl this year?

I won’t apologise for my absense because it’s been a lovely – if unintended – break from the blog.  I couldn’t believe that it had been over a week since my last post when I checked last night and I got the immediate guilts before breaking into another packet of dry roasted peanuts (diet starts next week, thank god), reaching for the orange juice (and the vodka) and settling down to a late-night blast of GTA IV with my husband.  You see, before L came along – we loved nothing more than playing video games late into the night and it’s something that we don’t do anymore… until this Christmas.  Cue lots of bleary-eyed mornings with Leila jumping on the bed and us begging her for five-more-minutes.  Kids are the toughest nuts to crack, the gestapo wouldn’t have broken her resolve, so we’ll need to get back into our normal routines again very soon before we die of sleep deprivation!

But, it has been nice… and I can’t wait for next Christmas… (don’t shoot me!)

I said goodbye to my sister and her family a couple of days ago when they flew back to Australia, it always rips my heart out a little… she emigrated when I was 8, you’d think I’d be used to it by now, but I always get a bit melancholy over a sister/sister relationship that we’ve never been able to cultivate due to the distance (and the fact that I’m rubbish on the phone!)  Anyone else have a similar bittersweet Christmas experience when it comes to relatives?

Anyway, Christmas is all about kids and I hope that I managed to make Leila’s magical.  As a three year old, I feel that this is the first Christmas that she’s really understood and I’ve layed it on as thick as I could.  The best Christmas gift I can give her is that unadulterated Chrimbo excitement that will hopefully follow her into her adult years so that she can pass it on to her children one day.  Having said that, she did have a plate of cocktail sausages for her Christmas dinner, so it might not be quite as fully traditional as I’d hoped!

Here’s some photos from our first family Christmas in our new home together, the first I’d had away from my Mum and Dad in 31 years!

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Christmas nails with Butter London Knees Up and The Full Monty

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Slightly healthy mincemeat and apple pies (but only ‘cos I didn’t make enough pastry for lids!)

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Our first family Christmas tree!

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Our 2nd Christmas tree (a mini 3ft one for the sitting room)

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Our poundshop angel bought in panic when Leila decided life couldn’t continue without a tree angel after we’d bought a star *sigh*

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Our mini tree – the only one we could squeeze in the sitting room!

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Decs and cards!

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Reindeer in the New Forest

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Leila visiting a winter wonderland in the New Forest

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She wasn’t too keen on Father Christmas, cool threads though!

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It’s not Christmas without a dirty chicken tikka kebab…

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… and a few episodes of The Avengers! (especially “Too Many Christmas Trees”)

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Our bargain Christmas lamp from Tesco!

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Packing up the Christmas Eve box full of excitement-making goodies

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It’s CHRISTMAS EVE!!!

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Christmas Pyjamas at my Mum and Dad’s house!

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Someone is excited!

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Don’t tell anyone, but we ran out of Mince Pies!  Father Christmas got the “pick” of the Celebrations box though…

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JUST. ONE. MORE. SLEEP!

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Nearly there!

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We might be family, but all niceties are off when it comes to bowling.

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My Christmas ballerina.

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Christmas Dinner and Crackers!

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Leila’s new coat! (and Calamity Jane outfit + Christmas Jumper!)

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Christmas Dinner (pyrex jug for gravy = classy bird)

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onion rings = even classier bird, what?!?!

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Baileys in a Guinness glass…  I’ll just stop pretending now shall I?

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…and he did!

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No chimney here, thank God for magic keys!

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Merry Christmas from us xxx

Christmas Gift Guide-a-palooza: Doing it for the kids!

Posted by Lipglossiping On December - 21 - 2012

What with Christmas supposedly being for kids and all… I thought I’d better give them at least some kind of nod in this year’s gift guides. I mean, it’s not like they don’t get enough stuff bought for them ALL YEAR ROUND is it?!

I have been having a huge clear out of Leila’s toys in advance of the 25th December, and she won’t let me actually get rid of anything – we’re currently playing the game of moving things from one pile to the next as she pretends to fall in love (all over again) with the left leg that fell off her Poundland dolly I bought to keep her quiet at a wedding two years ago. I am losing the both the battle and the war.

Which is why, I’m very pleased to announce, that my kids/teens gift guide contains products that are either actually incredibly useful… or at least, completely use-upable.

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01:  Oral-B PC600 Limited Edition Pink Power Toothbrush (£24.95)*

Since when has a toothbrush been anything other than indispensable?  We’re talking about kids/teens though…  so what do we do?  Give it a 3D cleaning, oscillating action with a two minute timer and it gets better.  Make it pulse at 7,600 rotations and 20,000 pulsations per minute and it’s looking quite tempting.  Paint it pink and put it in the half price sale at Superdrug?  SOLD.

02:  Paul Mitchell Kids Duo Gift Set Holiday 2012 (£15.75)

Kids have stupid hair don’t they?  If you’re not trying to flatten it down with a bit o’ spit – then you’re trying to stop it from soaking up the contents of the soup bowl.  Paul Mitchell have released this very cute kids duo containing: Baby Don’t Cry Shampoo 300ml and Taming Spray 250ml to make our lives easier when it comes to bath-time.  Even more importantly, check out the free rubber duck!

03:  Mason Pearson Bristle/Nylon Handy Brush (£47.50)

I was bought my MP brush when I was 2 years old, and I bought Leila’s MP brush when she was just over a year old.  You may have already read about my love affair with Mason Pearson brushes… but all I can say is that mine is still in daily service (despite how mangled it looks!) and Leila won’t be parted from hers either.  Escentual.com carry a really good range but my one tip would be to buy the nylon/bristle mix – the bristle is great for toddlers but at the price you pay for MP brushes, you really don’t want them to grow out of their brush too quickly.

04:  Benefit POREfect Radiance Skincare and Primer set (£6.34)*

What teenage girl wouldn’t like to open their stocking on Christmas morning and see a Benefit set looking back at them?  The Benefit POREfect Radiance Skincare and Primer Set is currently on offer on the Benefit website, although I don’t expect it to remain in stock for long!  Featuring, three skin-perfecting products including: The POREfessional (deluxe mini), It’s Potent! Eye Cream (deluxe mini), and Triple Performing Facial Emulsion SPF 15++ (deluxe mini). Grab it quick at this price!

05:  Soap and Glory Bubble Time (£18.00)

Leaving things to the last minute is hellish, so while you’ve still got time – set an alarm and head down to your nearest Boots store.  Talking of alarms, the Soap and Glory Bubble Time duo features a rather cool, retro-styled alarm clock!  But if your teenage daughter is all about the relaxation, she’ll be pleased to hear that the set also contains the brand’s Rich & Foamous Super Creamy Body Wash & Smoothie Star Deep Moisture Body Milk.  Bliss!

06:  LUSH Magic Wand Bubble Bar (£4.95)

When you swish upon a star, you’re guaranteed a bath-full of bubbles!  These reusable bubble bars are probably my favourite things of all time from the British brand.  They offer really great value you for money as your little Miss will get around 6/7 baths (or more) from each product.  Leila made her Easter carrot one last around 2 months!  Still missing that special stocking stuffer for your little princess?  At under £5, you just won’t beat this gift!

07:  Kaloo Lilirose Maxi Fluffy Set (£14.35)

Whilst you may not agree with scenting babies (they do smell rather lovely all by themselves), I’ve always scented Leila’s clothes in her drawers… I used to store my LUSH goodies in amongst her baby-grows and every so often, I give her cupboards a quick spritz of Kaloo Lilirose which is a very pretty, and importantly, delicate scent that’s completely hypoallergenic and alcohol-free.  It stops her from going gooey eyed over my perfumes and we enjoy a shared love of smelling “pretty”.  A perfect gift for little ladies, complete with fluffy soft toy.

08:  Weleda Mini Calendula Baby Starter Gift Kit (£12.99)

The Weleda Calendula range is a wonderful gift for new mothers and their tiny tots, the set features a comprehensive range of minis from the lineup including: 1 x 20ml Calendula Shampoo & Body Wash, 1 x 10ml Calendula Face Cream, 1 x 10ml Calendula Oil, 1 x 10ml Calendula Nappy Change Cream, and 1 x 10ml Calendula Baby Lotion.  If you’re not a fan of the high-street brands for baby-care, do check out this range – I still use the Weather Protection cream on both mine and Leila’s skin in this weather.

 

Phew, that’s the lot!  My 2012 Christmas Gift Guides are done-didded!  I hope you’ve been inspired or helped with the daunting task of buying a gift for that difficult someone! 

Or perhaps you’ve just enjoyed reading about some new ranges or products that you’ve never encountered before.  Have a wonderful Christmas, can you believe that the sales start in approximately 3 days?  Blimey.

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Christmas Gift Guide-a-palooza: Cosmetic Cravings…

Posted by Lipglossiping On December - 20 - 2012

Ahhh, it’s time for the pretties. As much as haircare, skincare, mancare, and all that other “care” is great… it’s these lovelies that rock my Christmas stocking. There’s nothing *quite* like un petit cadeau of cosmetics to put a smile on your face is there?

Even more enticingly, you can go a tiny bit wild with your choice without rocking the boat too much – introduce a friend to a red lipstick this year, go on – she’ll love you for it. And if not? Screw her… keep it for yourself.

Christmas Gift Guide-a-palooza: Cosmetic Cravings...

01:  Urban Decay Smoked 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil Set (£26.00)*

Smoke out any look with the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil Set and give your gift receiver a full choice of shades for every look.  There’s nothing too eccentric here, and all pencils will work brilliantly for neutral or smokey eye looks.  It’s a workhorse gift that she’ll never get tired of using.

02:  Bare Minerals Fired Up Face Palette (£36.00)

The most beautiful, plummy winter palette I’ve laid eyes on this year – isn’t she stunning?  Featuring four BareMinerals READY eyeshadows, one blush, a mini eye primer, mini eyeliner, and a mini lipgloss.  It’s a full-face palette that doesn’t mix up the creams and the powders (pet hate).  I only have one more thing to say: cute bag much?

03:  Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro (£25.00)

I have literally, been on tenterhooks waiting for the UK release of these since I heard about them last June.  Who doesn’t love the convenience of a great liquid lipstick?  And when it comes to gifting, you don’t get much more luxe than an Armani liquid lipstick.  I’ll admit that I haven’t swatched these myself yet, but if you’re looking for a tip – I’d bet on #504 being the one that will take you into Spring with a smile on the receiver’s face.

04:  Aerin Holiday Style Palette (£45.00)

Sold out from most retailers, the Aerin Holiday Style Palette contains some beautiful, soft, shimmering neutrals that seem to straddle the Winter/Spring divide with elegance.  This seven-colour palette from Estee Lauder’s granddaughter contains six eyeshadows and a highlighter to inject some luminosity in these days were there is none.  A real “girl” palette from a grown-up brand.

05:  Smashbox Studio Pop Palette (£36.00)

If you know someone who suffers from the age-old dilemma of always wearing the same look, day in, day out – treat them to the gift of variety with the Smashbox Studio Pop Palette.  Featuring 16 Photo Op Eyeshadows in a wide range of shades and four of the brand’s famous cream eyeliners, they’ll be spoilt for choice!

06:  NARS Andy Warhol Edie Set (£54.00)

Oh NARS, every year… at some point, you undo me.  My pennies sadly didn’t stretch to this wonderful Andy Warhol Edie Gift Set inspired by the inimitable Edie Sedgwick but for £54, you actually get quite a lot of bang for your buck here.  The set includes: Film Star Pure Matte Lipstick—60s nude pink, Edie Eyeshadow—cream with a little bit of shimmer, Carpates Eyeliner Stylo—black, and a mini Blush Duo in Deep Throat and Amour—flirty, sheer peach and peachy pink. Everything you need to create the “Edie” look.

07:  Illamasqua Lip Palette (£34.00)

Featuring four of Illamasqua’s best-selling lip shades in: Fable, Plunge, Over and Corrupt – this lip palette would be all you need to take on your summer holidays next year wouldn’t it?  That, and some fake tan of course!  A great gift for anyone even mildly obsessed with lip products.  Use the palette to mix and match your own new shade or stick to the tried and tested formulas for a perfect pout.

08:  ELF Small Stipple Brush (£3.75)*

Following on from the release of their larger stippling brush, ELF have unveiled a mini-counterpart!  This smaller brush is perfect for applying cream blusher to the apples of the cheeks, blending foundation around the nose area or smoothing out concealer to ensure a flawless finish.  For the price?  It makes an unbeatable stocking-filler.

 

Are you all prepared for Christmas?  One last gift guide coming up tomorrow – hope that you’ve been inspired my lovelies!

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Christmas Gift Guide-a-palooza: Hair, there, and everywhere! (groan)

Posted by Lipglossiping On December - 19 - 2012

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01: Instyler Rotating Iron in Purple 32mm (£99.99)

A revolving barrel and brush combo that promises to both smooth the hair and add shine as you pull the brush from root to tip. Potentially, the perfect solution for those who want both volume and smoothness.

02: Tangle Teezer Aqua Splash (£13.99)

The latest addition to the Tangle Teezer family which has been specifically designed for use in the shower. A hollow structure, “drying” feet, and the patented detangling design make this a great tool for combing through conditioning treatments.

03: Philip Kingsley Take Comfort Jet Set (£17.00)

Not a great choice for the secret Santas out there but if you know someone with a problem scalp, this is a great kit for providing a targeted solution. The kit contains three hard-working treatment-based formulas to soothe the itch and rebalance the scalp.

04: Charles Worthington Salon at Home Secrets Collection: Moisture Seal Overnight Hair Healer (£14.99)*

We all like to see results and Charles Worthington’s Salon at Home Secrets Collection promises tangible results after one application. The Overnight Hair Healer is a deeply moisturising treatment to help replenish, restore and nourish dry hair. Particularly good for coloured locks.

05: Percy & Reed Quintessential Quick Fix Travel Pack (£17.96)

Following on with the quick-fix theme, the Percy & Reed Quintessential Quick Fix Travel Pack offers a selection of travel-sized goodies to perk up your tresses without the palaver of changing your entire hair routine. Available online at Beauty Bay.

06: CHI Touch Screen Dryer (£150.00)

Know a gadget girl? if you thought that touch-screens were purely for smart phones, think again. Head to Urban Retreat’s Beautique for a gander at CHI’s Touch Screen dryer which offers a wealth of settings and configurations to ensure that you get the exact drying power and temperature that you need for your style.

07: Orgnx Brazilian Keratin Range (from £9.95)*

For barnets that are shamefully wilder than their owner’s, take comfort from the Orgnx Brazilian Keratin Line which promises to tame frizzy hair and leave it looking silky-smooth thanks to a blend of complex oils and proteins. The range includes shampoo, conditioner, serum and a 14-day treatment.

08: Stone Bridge Octopus Large Hair Claw (£16.50)

Every girl needs a great hair claw in her life, it’s the most reliable of hair tools that requires no fussing or coaxing to achieve a perfect updo in seconds. The Octopus Large Hair Claw promises to grip every strand with a uniquely clever design that’s both elegant and effective.

Tomorrow’s penultimate gift guide indulges in some of the most tantalising cosmetic cravings around…

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Christmas Gift Guide-a-palooza: It’s not the size that matters…

Posted by Lipglossiping On December - 18 - 2012

They say that a little of what you fancy does you good, and there’s something rather lovely about a beautifully presented selection of mini treats.

Choosing a set of miniatures is a great way of exploring a new brand, getting a feel for the different formulas and scents before splashing big bucks on full-size versions. There’s definitely something to be said for a decent miniature set.

Here are the minis that have caught my eye this festive period…

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1: Thierry Mugler Miniatures Gift Set (£31.00)*

Change up your signature scent with this wonderful coffret of four iconic Thierry Mugler masterpieces. The set includes: Angel Eau de Parfum (5ml), Womanity Eau de Parfum (5ml), Angel Eau de Toilette (3ml), and Alien Eau de Parfum (6ml). Each fragrance is individually boxed inside, making it perfect for stocking fillers too!

2: Espa Little Box of Calm (£12.50)

The ultimate in mini relaxation from Espa’s hard-working bath and body oil duo. Featuring a blend of myrrh, frankincense, ylang ylang, and sandalwood to revive and unwind. A perfect gift to treat overworked Mums!

3: Dr Hauschka Mini Rose Trio Gift Set (£8.95)

Come up smelling of roses with this stocking-filler from natural skincare brand Dr. Hauschka. This mini trio of antioxidant-packed goodies promises to be suitable for all skin types, leaving your skin feeling pampered. Perfect for a post-Xmas skin pick me up!

4: Bodhi Assemblage Bath & Shower Gift Set (£40.00)

Perfect for the gym bunnies in your life, the Assemblage Bath & Shower Gift Set is the ultimate shower treat for post-workout relaxation. The set includes seven 50ml shower gels from Bodhi’s indulgent range of botanical body care.

5: REN Moroccan Rose Otto Mini Gift Set (£16.20)

A great opportunity to gift the cult classic Moroccan Rose Otto to a special someone. The heavenly-scented set contains: Moroccan Rose Otto Body Wash, Moroccan Rose Otto Bath Oil, and Moroccan Rose Otto Body Cream – all in generous 50ml sizes.

6: Benefit Sexy Little Stowaways Gift Set (£25.00)*

If you’re buying for the girl who has everything, why not buy her a little bit of everything! Benefit’s Sexy Little Stowaways is a comprehensive selection of the brand’s best selling products. From lips to cheeks, eyes to skin – this set will make sure it’s got you covered.

7: Cowshed Limited Edition Mini Candle Collection (£16.50)

Know a wild cow? How about a knackered one… be honest, we all know a couple of moody moos don’t we? This lovely limited edition trio of candles from Cowshed contains a scent to suit all variety of bovine moods… just don’t let on that your recipient inspired you quite so literally!

8: Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint Minis (£15.00)

Introduce a friend to this luxury cosmetics line via their extremely good value-for-money set of Luminizing Moisture Tint Minis. An all-in-one skin solution that promises to moisturise, even, brighten, and protect all skintones. All for just £15 at Cult Beauty? It’s a mini miracle!

Hair today, gone tomorrow… but at least tomorrow’s gift guide will ensure Christmas disappears with a shiny swish!

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Face Lace Limited Edition Christmas Offerings and Giveaway!

Posted by Lipglossiping On December - 18 - 2012

The wonderfully inventive Face Lace have created two special sparkly and incredibly festive Christmas editions that are just perfect for your New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Would you like to win a full set?

Of course you would… be the belle of the ball all year round!

Not sure how to wear them? Check out this post for some inspiration.
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To win a set of these beautiful, limited edition Face Laces, simply leave a comment and tell me your plans for New Years Eve!

I plan on getting a takeaway, a nice bottle of wine, and challenging my husband to some old-skool Grand Theft Auto!

T&C

This competition is open worldwide, one winner will be chosen at random and will receive the Face Laces pictured above / One entry per email address / Competition closes 26th December 2012 / Lipglossiping.com is the sole promoter and no personal details will be stored / If the winner fails to claim their prize within 5 days, I reserve the right to choose another winner.

Christmas Gift Guide-a-palooza: Scentsational Gifting!

Posted by Lipglossiping On December - 17 - 2012

It’s only in the past year or so that I’ve developed a real passion for fragrance. I suppose that there’s always been an underlying appreciation but it wasn’t until I met like-minded bloggers and fragheads that I realised it was possible to create dialogue and debate over scents without sounding like a mental.

I’ve since become convinced that it’s perfectly normal to lie awake at night thinking of the scent that you sniffed on the counter at Selfridges in passing… Right? Right?!

Without further ado… here are my picks of some great scenting gifts for loved ones…

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1: Creed Spring Flower Eau de Parfum (£92.95)

A fruity floral that smells clean and bright as opposed to syrupy or cloying. An “after-rain” scent without the rain. Youthful but sophisticated, fresh yet warming with a musky dry down. A perfect gift for a special young lady who wants a signature scent all to herself.

2: Rituals Mini Under A Fig Tree Fragrance Sticks (£11.00)

Perfect for smaller spaces, the mini version of Ritual’s best selling home fragrance will transport you to out of the everyday realm and into warm, Mediterranean climes. A great home-scenting gift for people who aren’t comfortable with candles burning in their home.

3: Neom Harmonise Home Candle (£39.50)*

With the uplifting scent of eucalyptus, pine, and cedarwood, the Neom Harmonise Candle takes the brand’s unique take on holistic fragrancing to the max. Clear your mind and soothe your spirits with this scented winter-wonder.

4: Bella Freud Incense Wood & Oud Candle (£38.00)*

New to SpaceNK, elite fashion designer Bella Freud’s range of luxury candles include: Fig Leaf & Tomato, Tiger Lily, and the delightful Incense Wood & Oud featuring a smoky, resinous accord. With notes of cedar wood, amber, and myrrh, it doesn’t get much more Christmassy than this.

5: Miller Harris La Fumee Eau de Parfum (£62.00)*

Bonfire night may be over for another year but put the whizz-bang into someone’s Christmas with this heady concoction from Lyn Harris. La Fumee is burning embers on an Autumn night, the calming interior of a incense-filled church after midnight on Christmas Eve. Dry, warming, and hypnotic.  Available from Escentual.com.

6: Aromatherapy Associates De-Stress Frankincense Pure Essential Oil (£24.50)*

If you know someone who has a tendency to let trivial things get the better of them, treat them to the sensuous pleasure of Aromatherapy Associates De-Stress Frankincense Pure Essential Oil. A few drops on a tissue or diffused in a fragrance burner will help bring calm to any situation.

7: Penhaligon’s 2 piece Orange Blossom & Fragrance Compact (£55.92)

A beautifully-presented fragrant set from British brand Penhaligon’s. This set available at QVC contains a 50ml flacon of Orange Blossom EDT and a complimenting solid fragrance compact which will leave a slight shimmer on the skin wherever you apply. Perfect for layering and intensifying a truly classic scent.

8: Oscar de la Renta Espirit d’Oscar Eau de Parfum (£38.35)

Bring back the glamour of the early 80s with this reincarnation of Oscar’s original. This scent has everything with a fresh, effervescent opening, a big, bold heart of warm florals and a powdery dry down that leaves behind a creamy, nose-nuzzling softness. A grown-up choice for grown-up ladies.

Think the best things come in small packages? Come back tomorrow to hear my musings on the best minis!

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Christmas Gift Guide-a-palooza: Many for men!

Posted by Lipglossiping On December - 16 - 2012

Buying presents for men should come with a health warning.  How difficult do they make it?  I don’t know about yours… but mine isn’t hugely materialistic, which means that he only really has use for super expensive technology, or the boring basics (socks, pants, that kind of thing).  This usually results in me over-spending on mid-range crap with a novelty twist in an attempt to raise a genuine smile out of him on Christmas morning.  I’m making him sound like the Christmas grinch, which is totally unfair, he’d never let on that he thought my presents were crap, he wouldn’t need to… I already know.

What would make things one-hundred times easier would be if he were an avid male groomer.  That didn’t come out right, I don’t want him grooming other men, oh… you know what I mean!  But between you and me, I have the least interested man ever.  Soap, razor, 2-in-1 shampoo, and he’s done.  He does like my bath puffs though…

Having said that, there is one chink of hope in this toiletry-free zone.  Fragrance.  And even better, we share a similar taste for woody scents with a hint of the oriental (not too much of that mind).  Anything that smells resinous, earthy,  leathery, a little bit incensey or even herbally and we’re over it like a rash.  Thank god for that.

Now, seeing as I can’t buy half of the stuff below for my fella, how about you treat yours?

Christmas Gift Guide-a-palooza: Many for men!

01:  Molton Brown Polaris – Re-charge Black Pepper Gift Set (£57.00)

Want to put a bit of fire in his belly?  Spice things up with Molton Brown’s Black Pepper Gift Set which includes some of the brand’s bestselling male grooming products: 1 x Re-charge Black Pepper Bodywash, 1 x Re-charge Black Pepper EDT, 1 x Re-charge Black Pepper Scrub Bar.  Perfect items for men who prefer their toiletries to be fuss-free – there’s nothing fluffy here, just modern, good-smelling MAN things!

02:  Yves Saint Laurent Heritage Collection M7 Oud Absolu EdT (£49.30)*

All men should smell like this.  I have nothing else to say because I reviewed it here – other than that £49.30 is a really good price for this scent.  Really good.

03:  Malin + Goetz Essential Kit (£20.00)

Give the gift of NY chic this Christmas with the Malin + Goetz Essential Kit featuring a range of the brand’s bestselling miniatures for face, body and hair.  The kit includes: grapefruit face cleanser, vitamin E face moisturiser, bergamot body cleanser, vitamin b5 body moisturiser, peppermint shampoo and cilantro conditioner.  Perfect for travel, the gym and dirty weekends.

04:  Kiehl’s Ultimate Man Body Scrub Soap (£14.00)

Who says that it’s only girls who get to have soft skin?  Scrub up your fella with Kiehl’s “ultimate man” (whatever that is!) body scrub soap.  The bar contains pumice, skin-softening oat bran, and oat kernel meal to help relax fatigued skin and exfoliate the rough areas.

05:  ManCeuticals Dark Circle Eye Treatment (£39.00)

Whilst skincare may be an alien concept to some men, others will appreciate the thought that goes into treading the delicate line between careful gift-buying and accidental offensiveness!  Been dating a guy for 3 months?  Stick to aftershave and remote controlled cars.  Been married for 20 years?  Let’s face it, you’re gonna need more than dark circle eye treatment.

06:  Clarisonic Mia 2 (£130.00)

Unite your man’s love for gadgets with your love for beauty and indulge his technological side with the hi-tech skin-cleaning system from Clarisonic.  The Mia 2 features two speeds, a timer and a protective travel case for on-the-go sonic cleansing.

07:  Jack Black Balm Squad – Lip Quad 4 x 7g (£19.95)

Kissable lips are soft lips and Jack Black’s lip balms employ some top-quality ingredients to perfect your pucker.  Shea Butter, Avocado Oil and Lanolin work together to nourish the delicate skin on your lips whilst the fine, almost-silky fomula coats lips evenly without feeling too heavy.

08:  L’Occitane L’Occitan Men’s Collection (£48.00)*

French men are renowned as some of the world’s most expert male groomers and it’s no surprise when you understand the kind of high-quality brands that they would have grown up with in their native country.  The L’Occitan Collection from L’Occitane offers an all-in-one bathroom solution featuring some of the brand’s best-selling products.  The collection includes: L’Occitan Shower Gel, L’Occitan Shaving Gel, L’Occitan Eau de Toilette, L’Occitan Soap, and L’Occitan After-Shave Balm.

 

Got a nose for a great gift?  Tomorrow’s scentsational gift guide will keep you heading in the right direction!

* press sample

Christmas Gift Guide-a-palooza: The Beauty Bargains!

Posted by Lipglossiping On December - 12 - 2012

Let’s start this season’s gift guides off with some beautiful bargains shall we?  You know me, I’m just as happy swatching on the counters at Harrods as I am trawling the clearance section at CheapSmells, my makeup snobbery gets treated to a regular kick in the teeth each time it tries to raise its ugly head.  Sure, I’m no MUA girl (that neutral palette is pretty/too SHINY SHINY for my slowly-ageing eyelids) but I still get all clappy excited when I spot a bit of a bargain.

Here be my pick of the gifts for next to no pennies at all… heads up skinflints, this one’s for you (and me).

Christmas Gift Guide-a-palooza: The Beauty Bargains!

01: Umberto Giannini Painted Lady Beatrice Palette (£8.00)

Part of Boots 3for2 on Christmas gifts, this striking palette from Umberto Giannini (better known for their hair range) offers a wealth of grungy glamour and rather cool illustrationd to boot.  Four eye colours, two lip shades and a butterfly stencil should the desire to flutter yourself up become too much to resist.

02: ELF 48pc Little Black Beauty Book – Warm Edition (£5.00)*

ELF are the kings (and queens) of affordable gifts this time of year and there’s no better place to look for achieving the biggest bang for your buck.  A veritable menagerie of neutral-toned eyeshadows presented in book form, complete with a mirror ensures that this is a gift that will delight all makeup fans.

03: LUSH Sweet Christmas Gift Set (£6.95)

Everyone has a Lushie in their life and whether they’re big or small in stature, you’ll be sure to melt their icy heart with the LUSH Sweet Christmas set containing a Candy Mountain bubble bar and Rockstar soap.  It’s a win-win situation, not only will they smell sweeter, you don’t even have to do any wrapping.

04: SEN Energy Gingko and Mandarin Energising Mist (£4.95)

Embrace the reinvigorating scent of the far east at a price that will uplift your wallet and splash out on this posher-than-average body mist from SEN.  It promises to refresh, revive and revitalise – something we could all do with once the Christmas shopping is over.

05: Yardley 3-Piece Body Spray Set (£4.99)

A boxed set for under £5 is not something to sniffed at (haw haw), we all know someone who would appreciate this timeless set from iconic British fragrance house, Yardley.  The set contains three 75ml body sprays including: English Lavender, Royal English Daisy, and English Rose.

06: Essie Tour de Finance Nail Polish (£1.99)

Hold the stampede!  Yes, you can get a fabulously hot pink polish from cult NY nail brand, Essie for less than £2!  I see some fabulous stocking fillers in your future!  Not only that… but if you stick on-site a little bit longer, you might come across the £5.00 OPIs… just sayin’.

07: Soap & Glory Wowed Mouth (£12.00)

The most expensive item in today’s selection but for your pennies, you’re getting a 6-piece lip palette that contains all six shades of S&G’s Fabulipsticks.  The perfect gift for any lipstick fan, or ideal for someone who owns all the lipglosses in the world and just doesn’t quite know where to start with lipstick.

08: The Body Shop White Musk Shower & Moisture Set (£6.00)

A classic fragrance from The Body Shop that has stood the test of time, and worn it elegantly.  A duo of mini bath-time treats that are great for travel or taking to the gym – the set contains: 1 White Musk Shower Gel 60ml, 1 White Musk Smooth Satin Body Lotion 60ml, 1 Ultra Fine Lilac Bath Lily.

 

If you’re a glitter fan, look out – the next gift guide’s got your name on it!

* press sample

Jean Paul Gaultier’s NAUGHTY Christmas Advent Calendar

Posted by Lipglossiping On November - 28 - 2012

If you didn’t manage to get your hands on a Selfridges Advent Calendar this year, dry your eyes and console yourselves with one of those horrible Poundland chocolate ones that bend in half when you blow on them.  And once you’ve done that, come back here because I think I’ve found a digital one that will put a smile on your face.

Jean Paul Gaultier's NAUGHTY Christmas Advent Calendar

Jean Paul Gaultier is working some of his Eurotrash magic when it comes to Christmas this year, an alternative universe in which only the naughtiest of “children” will get the goodies!  The mischievous designer’s website is hosting a different take on the traditional advent calendar, where each day, you may open ANY three doors pockets you wish in a bid to win some fabulous Gaultier gifts.  There’s no following the rules here!

From plucking chickens, to spritzing reindeers… from eating logs to shaking the living daylights out of a poor elf, it makes for a wonderful timewaster with some lovely animations that left a smile on my face.

Play Jean Paul Gaultier’s Naughty Christmas Advent Calendar online at www.jeanpaulgaultier.com from now until the end of December.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! *throws tinsel around*…

Posted by Lipglossiping On November - 21 - 2012

…This year has seen a festive epidemic in the form of beauty-filled crackers, baubles and advent calendars! Whilst some of them were destined to sell out quicker than a One Direction tour (and I refuse to blog a Christmas gift guide in Sept/Oct because you beat me up last time), there are still some lovely goodies available in this rather novel format.

Their diminuitive size make them ideal for Secret Santas and Stocking Fillers, so without further ado, here’s my pick of the best of the Beautiful Baubles….

beauty baubles

Some may look a little unconventional but all of the beauty gifts can be hung on the tree for a little festive fancy!

01: The Body Shop Mini Shower Collection (£8.00)
02: Cath Kidston Bluebell Soap in Egg Shaped Tin (£5.00)
03: This Works Beauty Ball Gold Shimmer Balm (£10.00)
04: Rachel Vosper Fragranced Christmas Hangings (£14.00 for set of 3)
05: Crabtree & Evelyn Fine Foods Festive Bauble (£7.00shh fudge/beauty same thing)
06: Aromatherapy Associates Little Treat (£12.00)
07: Sanderson Spiced Pear & Ginger Scented Sachet (£3.50)

and the Craveworthy Crackers

beauty christmas crackers

From the bijou to the bold of cracker-creations, this lot will ensure that your Christmas festivities go off with a bang!

01: Marks & Spencer Autograph Cracker Gift Set (£9.50)
02: LUSH Crackersnap Bath Bomb (£7.00)
03: Cowshed Cracking Cow Christmas Cracker (£10.00)
04: Kiehl’s Christmas Cracker Gift Set (£35.00)
05: Estee Lauder Christmas Cracker Gift Set (£45.00)
06: Lancome Christmas Crackers Gift Set (£50.00)
07: Weleda Men’s Moisture Cream Cracker (£9.95)
08: Jo Malone Christmas Cracker (£28.00)
09: Bomb Cosmetics Crackerjack Xmas Cracker (£19.99)

…and finally, the Adorable Advents!

beauty advent calendar

Yeah, I’m pretty sure that only two calendars are left, props to these guys for having more than eight available 😉

01: The Latest in Beauty/You Advent Calendar (£59.95)
02: 24 Days of Christmas with Liz Earle (£100.00)

Phew! That’s my rather exhaustive (and exhausting!) guide to the best Christmas beauty (with a little bit of fudge thrown in) novelties. I can only see this getting more and more crazy each year, let’s face it – we all love fancy packaging and irresistable cuteness is sure to prevail.

Do you have an alternative advent calendar this year? A special kind of Christmas cracker up your sleeve? Which are your favourites from the selection above?

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