Temporary:Secretary | UK Fashion & Beauty Blogger

Friday, December 19, 2014

Benefit Benebalm Tinted Lip Balm | Beauty Review

benebalm, benefit cosmetics lip balm, benefit benebalm review, benefit benebalm

Benebalm from Benefit Cosmetics* £14.50

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I've read plenty of reviews on this but I wanted to try the product for myself before making any judgements. From what I can gather, the general feeling is that the Benefit's Benebalm is just an overpriced tinted lip balms. There's no denying that this is a luxury item, it is indeed a balm and yes, it's expensive. I get the point that people are making because I feel exactly the same way about mascara. Why bother with high end when you get one for £2.99 at Boots that does the "same" thing. I guess this applies for pretty much everything and ultimately, it comes down personal preference and probably how much that person wants to invest in the quality of the product. I don't care too much for mascara but I'm willing to spend more on lip products whether that's lip care, lipstick or a lip balm. And trust me, I've tried them all from the cheapest to some high end brands. I'm always on the search for the best lip balms, tinted or regular! As long as it works, I'm there with bells on!

benebalm, benefit cosmetics lip balm, benefit benebalm review, benefit benebalm

I have dry lips so needless to say I stay well away from matte finishes. I always opt for sheer and moisturising lip products such as MAC's lustre lipsticks and Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balms for the day time, so Benebalm is a welcome addition to my collection. It is a really sheer, tinted lip product. The swatch on the back of my hand didn't show up that well on camera but the colour is noticeable when you apply it to your lips. When reviewing products, it's easy to forget that everyone is different and this is where I try to be helpful. Sure, these tints aren't high in pigment (they're not supposed to be) but I'm not going to give it a straight thumbs down. I know that there are some who aren't confident with sharp, vibrant colours, especially during day time. So for the, Benebalm would be perfecting in adding the right amount of colour back in to your lips. 

benebalm, benefit cosmetics lip balm, benefit benebalm review, benefit benebalm

In regards to the price, Benebalm is sure a luxury item, as I mentioned earlier. I do wish it was a few pounds cheaper but then again, I wish EVERYTHING was a lot cheaper (hey, Apple, can you lower your prices by £500...) However, if you look at Benebalm as a whole package, you can see get what you are paying for. The quality of a product that you're potentially using everyday is important and the Benefit tinted lip balms have a moisturising and hydrating formula enriched with nourishing mango butter and then there's the packaging which is beautifully designed (Benefit has a way of sucking you in like that!). Some may say it's not worth the money but there's actually nothing wrong with it the product itself, it does exactly what it says it does and very well too, I might add. It's suitable to wear every day so  you are getting your money's worth in that sense. 

Overall, I'm not disappointed with the performance or quality of Benebalm. It glides on smoothly, it doesn't drag, it's not waxy, it leaves your lips feeling soft, it's comfortable to wear and it's not sticky. 

benefit christmas stocking, pink christmas stocking

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Perfect Top | Sugarhill Boutique

sugarhill boutique, pink top
fashion blogger, uk fashion blogger
fashion blogger, uk fashion blogger

Top* Sugarhill Boutique / Skinny Jeans Topshop

Well, if this isn't the perfect top for me, I don't know what is! I do love a good collar and this one has CATS on them, for crying out loud! IT'S PERFECT! The top, which is now in the sale, is from Sugarhill Boutique, the place to go for cute print and pretty dresses. If the peachy pink isn't the colour for you, it's available in baby blue too.

I didn't really know what to wear it with other than black skinny jeans or a plain skater skirt, but maybe next time, I'll go for a pelmet skirt and put my hair in a beehive for the 60's look. The sleeves came down to an awkward length on me but I rolled it up a couple of times which sorted that out!

I hope you're all loving the festive season! Even though I've been writing Christmas blogposts for the past couple of weeks, it still doesn't feel like Christmas yet! And I've yet to make a start on my Christmas shopping. I think I'm going in to Newcastle on Monday and in my head, I know exactly what presents to buy and it shouldn't be that difficult to track them all down, I don't think any of them are going to be out of stock. But it shouldn't be a problem to get it all done in one shopping trip, it will be fine! (Famous last words....) :-|

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Linea Mistletoe & Berries | Luxury Homeware GIVEAWAY

linea reed diffuser, home accessories, christmas candles

You know how much I love home fragrances so the final Christmas giveaway that I am hosting had to involve a candle! If you fancy winning this set from Linea at House of Fraser, scroll all the way down!

linea reed diffuser, home accessories, christmas candles

Mistletoe & Berries is just one fragrance from a whole range of fragrances available within the Linea Signature Collection range. There's Winter Spice, Wild Fig and Vanilla, Linen and Seagrass, Pink Grapefruit and Mango to name a few. But Mistletoe and Berries is, of course, the most appropriate one for this time of year! Even though it really doesn't feel like Christmas, (probably because I don't have a big Christmas tree this year, I don't have room for it in the apartment) having little things like a festive candle or reed diffuser helps to get me in the "holiday" spirit! 

christmas candle, linea candle, large candles
christmas candle, linea candle, large candles

It's rare that I look for things that goes with the brown furniture I have in the apartment, but the red candle jar looks nice against the dark wood. I really dislike our tables (which belongs to our previous landlord), it's not to my taste but now I'm thinking it doesn't look too bad with the right kind of home accessories in place! You can always count on Linea homeware to add a bit of stylish luxury to your home!

Mistletoe & Berries is the complete essence of Christmas with a blend of red berries, plum, vanilla and fresh green herbal aroma of pine. The berries and plum is really hearty so that's the scent that you smell first, but there's definitely a kick of pine in there! There's currently a sale online at House of Fraser so the reed diffuser is now £12.50 (original price was £25) and the large candle is now £17 (was £35) so if you're looking to get a great, premium Christmas present whilst saving some money, you should definitely check out Linea Signature Collection. All items comes with outer packaging so it looks fabulous and makes it easy to wrap! 

I'm taking the large candle home with me to make a centre piece on Christmas Day, I need to buy more decorations for it in either green or gold. I haven't decided yet! But the candle, for sure, will be the main feature!

reed diffuser

So, do you fancy winning this set for yourself? This is the final Christmas giveaway I am hosting this year and the prize that's up for grabs are both from the Signature Collection Home Range from Linea at House of Fraser. One lucky winner will win one Mistletoe and Berries Luxury Reed Diffuser and a matching Mistletoe & Berries Large Candle which will make your home smell wonderfully festive! You guys know how much I love this sort of thing so it makes a nice way to round up the Christmas giveaways!

If you'd like to enter the giveaway, please enter via the Rafflecopter widget below and follow the steps. You can enter once, or you can enter all the extra options for a better chance to win, it's entirely up to you! The giveaway will close at midnight this Sunday and it is open to UK residents only. I'll be in touch with the winner via email pretty promptly as we'd like to get this sent out before Christmas last post so please be sure to check your inbox and junk mail on Monday morning. Good luck!


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T&C's
Competition is for the product shown and described above in this blogpost. Entries must be made via Rafflecopter widget. Entries are moderated so please ensure that adhere to the giveaway entry terms. House of Fraser reserves the right to amend or withdraw offers at any time. No cash alternatives are available. Free prize draw, no purchase necessary. One winners will be selected from Rafflecopter after the closing date. The winner will receive prize via post which will be dispatched from House Of Fraser. We will contact the winner via email after closing date. A new winner will be selected if we do not receive a respond within 3 working days.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

It's A Molton Brown Rainbow!

molton brown body wash


It's a Molton Brown rainbow! And just look how beautiful it looks! I'm really excited about this and even before it arrived through the post, I knew how much I would love it! 

This gift set is called the Stocking Fillers Collection which is a box of 12 Molton Brown's best selling body washes. The gift costs £39 (worth £60) and each bottle is a miniature, travel sized 50ml size and it comes packaged in a fabulous festive red box complete with a bow!

Molton Brown gift set, molton brown body wash
Molton Brown gift set, molton brown body wash

The bottles of body washes looks so pretty in the box with all the different colours gleaming up at you, very colourful, shiny and luxurious! They also have the Bath and Body Treasures Collection which looks similar to this except is contains 6 body washes and 6 body lotions, and it's £3 more but, visually, I think the Stocking Fillers collection looks better. And I prefer to have more body wash than lotion. 

As well as having the name of the blend on the front of the bottle, I recently discovered that each one is inspired by a place and this small bit of information is displayed on the back. I think that's a nice added touch because when you're using the body wash, the scent will evoke a sense of escapism, it's like transporting yourself to a little holiday every time you use it.... or at least that's the idea, anyway! And when you're using something so luxurious, it is those small details that makes you feel like you are using a nice and expensive product. As well as paying for a product which is blended with the finest and rarest ingredients sourced from all over the world, the smell is obviously a big part in body products and that's the instant difference between using a premium and a bargain body product. But brand psychology aside (which I'm eating right up with Molton Brown!), these body washes really do smell authentic, unique and exotic and best of all, it leaves your skin feeling soft. You only need to use a small amount of it for it to lather up, too!

Molton Brown gift set, molton brown body wash, molton brown stocking fillers

I remember a few years ago when I bought a set for my Mum, I noticed that Molton Brown used parabens, which is a cheap alternative commonly used in cosmetics/beauty products, and I was a bit put off Molton Brown because of this for several years. There's always a controversial debate about parabens but for me, in this particular case, it was the fact that a premium brand such as Molton Brown can afford to use alternatives and for a brand that prides themselves in to developing products from the finest ingredients, the inclusion of parabens left a bad taste in my mouth (figuratively speaking, of course. I ain't sitting in the corner, knocking back a few bottles of Molton Brown body wash, ha!) 

However, I'm very pleased to learn that they have improved and re-formulated their blends and they're all parabens free! Hurrah! They've also renamed the scents too (eg. the Orange and Bergamot used to be called Naran Ji) which I also welcome because it's more straight-to-the-point. You know exactly what scent to expect with the new names. No faffing about, just how I like it!

molton brown body wash

So, what are the blends featured in the Stocking Fillers Collection? From left to right, starting with the purple one, I'll state the blend name and also the place it is inspired by:

Ylang-Ylang (Madagascar)
Bushukan (Thailand)
Gingerlily (Tahiti)
Templetree (Laos)
Coco & Sandalwood (Philippines)
Japanese Orange (Japan)

molton brown body wash, molton brown gift set

Pink Pepperpod (Guinea)
White Sandalwood (China)
Eucalyptus (Australia)
Black Peppercorn (Madagascar)
Orange & Bergamot (Seville)
Samphire (Atlantic)

If you know someone who is a fan of Molton Brown, this is a really lovely set to buy them. If you're anything like me when buying beauty products for other people, you'll have a hard time trying to part with it... When you see this set for yourself, you'll definitely want one too!

Or.. if you fancy your chances, there is also a Molton Brown app on their Facebook page where you can win a lovely gift set. All you have to do is visit their Facebook page, decorate the Christmas tree and place Molton Brown presents under it! Have fun!

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Jurlique | The ULTIMATE Beauty Gift Set

Jurlique Gift Sets, Jurlique review


When they said this was the ultimate beauty gift set, they weren't kidding! This is mega, the one, THE ULTIMATE beauty set and Jurlique are offering one of their lucky Twitter followers a chance to win this gift worth a whopping £371 (told you it was mega!) but more on that later on! I want to show you what's inside this gift set, which is an exclusive! Myself and the lucky winner of the giveaway will be the only ones in the UK to have this gift set (So exciting!!!)

jurlique ultimate beauty gift set

This is another one of those times when I wish I had the confidence (and skills) to do YouTube videos because the photos don't do it justice. I spent ages trying to get the perfect photos but it honestly looks so much better in real life. 

Jurlique's Ultimate Face and Body Collection is a three tiered box containing 10 full size products and as you can, it is a thing of beauty, the beauty gift box to end all gift boxes! It looks so special and everything is packaged so well.

The festive red sleeve shown in the first photo is the first thing you see, which in itself, is a gorgeous design with the red, gold and green colours. The sleeve slips off to reveal more gorgeousness, the signature Jurlique branding.

jurlique ultimate beauty gift set
jurlique products, jurlique beauty products

The whole thing looks like it's made from wood but it's actually study cardboard. It's strong enough to re-use and re-purpose when I've used up these beauty products. It would make great storage for make up, jewellery or even more skincare! (I love my skincare products, I do!)

The top lid opens upwards to show four products neatly displayed, and the two drawers underneath pulls outwards to reveal 6 more. All ten products are full sized products and they're all individually packaged too. 

Jurlique skincare
Jurlique skincare

The contents are:

Rose Body Oil (100ml)

Being treated to all of this, I really have absolutely no excuse not to take care of my skin! Luckily, I love nothing more than to pamper myself on most evenings and I love spending time taking care of my skin every morning and night (something which I used to consider a boring chore to do). 

Jurlique skincare review, jurlique ultimate face and body collection

I haven't had the chance to use EVERY single product in this set yet, I want to save some of it to enjoy during my Christmas break back at my parents house but I've tucked in to some of the skincare already and have picked out my favourites which are: Rosewater Balancing Mist, Antioxidant Gel Mask, Rose Hand Cream and Skin Balancing Face Oil. 

Once I've had more time to trial it all, I will do a more in-depth review in January but anyone who has used anything from Jurlique before will agree that this is a brand that are committed to developing biodynamic products with luxurious and of the purest, highest quality, but more importantly, they are ethical and environmentally-friendly. 

"Jurlique is committed to doing business responsibly and seeking meaningful opportunities to make a difference. In our efforts to become more sustainable, we are always striving for cleaner, greener ways of doing things"

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GIVEAWAY

Jurlique's is giving away this EXCLUSIVE  Ultimate Face and Body Collection worth £371 which was never sold in the UK, so we'll be the only ones to own it! They are giving one away for free on Twitter so if you're feeling lucky, get yourselves on there right now! The giveaway is launching today at some point, so follow @JurliqueUK and enter the giveaway here. Good luck!!

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