FOR ALL YOU LAST MINUTE SHOPPERS | LAST MINUTE GIFT IDEAS

I'm pretty sure I'm not the only person whose had a crazy moment on Christmas Eve when realising there is one person that you've forgotten to buy presents for! No, just me? If this is you too, or your that person who leaves all their Christmas present buying until Christmas Eve, I've got some ideas that may just help you out a little.

I thought I would put together some quick, easy, Christmas gift ideas for when your rushing around not sure what to get someone.

Somewhere like Boots is great for gift sets, not only are they 3 for 2 but there is a huge choice of fragrance sets, skin care, make up, kids toys ect. I've picked up this Champneys Bathing Basket Collection and then added in some extra bits and pieces such as some hand cream and face mask to make a relaxation/home spa hamper. Everyone loves a good pamper and putting a set together like this will make it look like you've gone all out!


I saw these really cute hot chocolate jars on Pinterest, they're super easy and cheap to make. These sorts of jars are everywhere at minute, you can get them super cheap at Ikea or even the pound shop! Just buy some hot chocolate powder, marshmallows and ribbon and your done. You could always add a personalised gift tag to make it more personal too - everyone loves a personalised gift.

I always think that buying skincare is such a great gift. We all know skincare is important but not all of us like spending money on it, or we stick to products/brands that we like. I think skincare gifts are brilliant for introducing people to new brands and products that they may not have tried before or, if someone likes a product but it may be a little out of their budget. To celebrate 20 years of Liz Earl, the brand have brought out some beautiful Christmas gift sets like this Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser Christmas Edition set*. For £20.75, you get this beautifully decorated tin which contains the extremely popular Cleanse and Polish Cleanser (150ml) and 2 pure muslin cloths. 

Finally, candles. Everyone loves candles right? You can't go wrong with a beautiful scented candle. I picked up this gorgeous Ocean Mist candle from Boots, I can't find this exact one online but they have a similar one here


SIMPLE FESTIVE NAILS | CIATE STAR STRUCK

I am currently obsessed with this Ciate Nail Polish in Star Struck! It is such a beautiful colour! It pretty much goes with every colour of nail varnish I own, it's super festive and super sparkly! 

Here I partnered up this beauty with the Barry M Speedy Quick Dry nail varnish in Lap of Honour (review on this nail varnish here). I wanted to go for something quite simple but still festive and pretty. 
There are all sorts of colours reflective in this glitter polish - pink, blue, orange, green, gold. It's very mermaid-esque. I really like that you can build this glitter polish up to be super glittery like I did here or you can just brush a small amount for a subtle thin layering of glitter (that's my next plan and on all fingers too).

I think this is the first Ciate nail polish I've ever tried, Do  you have any favourites or recommendations?

BIRCHBOX | DECEMBER 2015

Just like me, Birchbox are clearly in a festive mood this month. Instead of a box, Birchbox are delivering December's goodies in this extremely festive clutch bag. I was really hoping that December's box (or bag?) would be festive, and it kind of is. With more of a nod towards the party season, it has the essentials for getting glammed up as well as the day after spent recovering from the late night and if you're anything like me, the large amount of alcohol that you consumed. Yes, I did spend two days in bed recovering from my work Christmas party last weekend.
In my little clutch bag was a very beautiful Ciate Mini Nail Polish in Star Struck which I am so excited to try out! There are also samples of the Benefit Puff Off eye gel and They're Real Push-Up Liner. I personally don't like the liner, I tried it when it came out and thought it was awful. One of the benefit consultants even put it on me during an event and the product was that crap she gave me two wings on one eye (not on purpose either). It was horrendous. There is also an Eyeko Fat Eye Stick in Gilt which is an odd shade to describe. It's sort of gold/khaki with a brown undertone and gold sparkle in. It's a very beautiful colour and would look gorgeous on top of a brown smokey eye.
Now for the pamper treats, Rituals foaming shower gels are my favourite, they're like rubbing cotton wool all over you, so soft! So I was mega excited when I saw I have a sample of the T'ai Chi foaming shower gel. I always reach for a face mask when feeling a bit worse for wear, inside there was a Travelmate Sheet Mask. I'm looking forward to giving this a go, it sounds super moisturising. Finally, there was a Grab and Go Ponytail Holder. Not much to say on this really, it's a hair bobble.

I've been a little disappointed with the previous Birchbox's I've received. I see other peoples and they seem to have products I would actually use. This month's however I seem to have had a good range of products I would actually try and know I will love. I'll see what the new year brings before I make my mind up about cancelling my subscription...

DEAR SANTA | CHRISTMAS LIST


Zoeva Rose Gold Brush Set | Olivia Burton Watch | Morph Brushes Eye Shadow Palette | Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation | Cath Kidston Pyjamas | Essie Nail Polish in Island Hopping | Kiehls Eye Treatment | Boutique Salon Soft Waves Hair Wand by Babyliss
Dear Santa, 

I would just like to let you know that I've been a really good girl this year, I've been caring, I've loved others and I've cleaned by teeth everyday. 

I hope Mrs Clause and all the reindeer's are well. Send my love to Rudolph.

Keep well my old friend, from the most well behaved girl in my house, 

Sian xxx

CHARLOTTE TILBURY MULTI-MIRACLE GLOW CLEANSER, MASK AND BALM FOR BABY-SOFT SKIN | REVIEW

I've had this Multi-Miracle Glow Cleanser, Mask& Balm for Baby-Soft Skin from Charlotte Tilbury since May last year. I'll be honest when I first used this product I wasn't impressed at all and I ended up putting it away in my drawer and not using it again until recently. To which I now have totally fallen in love with.

Charlotte says this product can be used as a cleanser, an overnight facial mask and a balm for dry areas on your body. Now when I first used it last year, I thought I would use it to remove my make up and to my disappointment it didn't work. It didn't do a good job of removing my mascara and I didn't walk away from that sink feeling like I had a squeaky clean face (unlike when I use my favourite Clinique take the day off cleansing balm). I then tried to use this as an overnight facial mask, and found it so irritating that I had to remove it and sleep without.

The texture is really similar to the Clinique Moisture surge moisturiser, it looks a like gel and has an almost silky feel to it. Unlike the Clinique Moisture surge moisturiser it doesn't sink into the skin quick, it sits on top of your skin so when I used this as an overnight facial my skin was sticking to the pillow and I was just getting product everywhere. My baby hairs were in my face, I felt like I had loads of dusty air things stuck to my face, it just was not an enjoyable, relaxing experience. So therefore, I would not recommend using this as an overnight face mask.
This product has been sat in my drawers, unloved in the dark sitting there all sad and lonely for ages so I thought I would try it again and see if it can change my opinion. It brought it's A game and boy oh boy did it win my heart.

Around half an hour before getting in the shower or bath, I rub this all over my face and neck as a deep moisture mask, leave it on for about half an hour and then wash it off with with a cloth. It has incredible vitamins and floral extracts in that work wonders on the skin, after washing this off my skin felt so soft and plump. I literally keep stroking my face afterwards I use this!

If you read up on this product you'll see how many incredible ingredients are in the Multi-Miracle Glow, such as organic Sea Buckthorn Seed Oil, Rose Hip Oil and Camellia Oil just to name a few. It also smells amazing, it has a real luxurious smell to it. It's not too overpowering but if you rub this onto your skin your skin will smell beautiful.
I have also used this as a rub on my arms just to see it can be used as body rub. I probably will use it on my elbows and ankles (areas that tend to get a little dry) but I would use this at night. As I mentioned above it doesn't really sink into the skin that quick so I wouldn't want to put this on in the morning as it will transfer onto my clothes.

After using this product my skin feels refreshed, moisturised and it definitely gives me a glow. I love using this as a moisture mask but as I said above, I wouldn't use it as a cleanser to remove make up or to leave it on overnight as a mask. It is on the pricey side at £45 but you do get a lot of product. I probably won't be re-purchasing this myself but if this is within your price range and you are looking for a high end moisture mask/cleanser (not to remove make up) then I do think you should give this a try.

THE AUTUMN/WINTER LIPTSTICK


For me, Autumn/Winter is all about the dark lipstick! I love a good bold lip and deep berry/wine colours are my favourite!! I think a bold dark lip is really flattering on me and I also find it super quick and easy to wipe on a bold lipstick and look more like I've actually made a huge effort (when I really haven't).

About 2 years my holy grail lipstick was the Maxfactor Colour Elixir in Mulberry, I wore this religiously everyday at one point. I actually thought I'd lost it, was mega gutted and brought a new one only to find my original one in the bottom of my handbag. So now I have two of them!
At the moment my favourite kind of lipsticks are matt lipsticks, I'm not really feeling the sheeny shiney glossy look so my go to darker lipsticks at the moment are Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in Plum Plum Girl and Maybelline Color Sensational Matte Lip Stick in Devine Wine.


My must with a bold lip is a lip liner and I would highly recommend using a lip liner when using the Bourjois rouge edition velvet. I find when I put that on without a lip liner the product can build a little on the outside of your lips so using a lip liner blends that in and doesn't look as harsh.

What's your go to lipstick for Autumn/Winter?

AN AUTUMN WISHLIST

Roll neck jumper Skirt Hat Boots Scarf Jumper Leather skirt
Well, autumn is definitely here! Autumn/Winter is my favourite time of the year, you've got Halloween, Bonfire Night (my favourite) Christmas and New Years Eve... what's not to love? Apart from the cold. And the rain. Although I love both of those!

I'm not a summer baby at all, I much prefer being all snug with five layers of clothing on. Now that's there's fog looming around us and it's all crisp and cold outside I'm feeling an update to my wardrobe. I just don't think the 10 million jumpers I already have is enough for this winter, right?

I thought I'd put together a quick little everyday-esq kind of outfit wishlist and share a few things my eyes have been peeping at. How cute is that scarf?

BIRCHBOX | OCTOBER 2015 BOX

This month's Birchbox was a 'back to basics' theme. I was so excited when I opened the little pouch and saw that there was a Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat inside, I have been wanting to try this for a while now. Also inside this box of mini goodies was an Eyeko Fat Liquid Eyeliner in black, a tiny sample of Bioderma, Regenerate Toothpaste, Beaver Professional Hydro Nutritive Moisturizing Shampoo (which smells amazing) and the Hydro Nutritive Moisturizing Conditioner.

I'm pretty impressed with this month box, I feel a pamper evening coming along now. I haven't yet tried the Eyeko eyeliner on my face yet but did draw a few lines on my hand and it dries so quickly! It's a pretty fat 'pen' and I'm more of a thin liner kinda gal so not sure if this is one for me. We'll see eh?

CHARLOTTE TILBURY THE SOPHISTICATE LOOK AND #TILBURYTAXI

When Charlotte Tilbury launched her counter in Selfridges Birmingham last year I could not wait to try out some of her products. I was then lucky enough to be invited to the launch and meet her in person!!! I cannot tell you how incredible it was to listen to her talk about her passion, she is such an inspirational women and totally knows her shit! To me, she's queen of the beauty industry (bold statement I know). She spoke with such passion and excitement for not only her products but also empowering women to feel confident in their make up and their skin, whilst making make up easy for those on the go and pushed for time and for women who don't have the skills of a make up artists.

On the 2nd - 4th October there was Tilbury Taxi's parked up in Rotunda Square, Birmingham as part of Selfridges Live+Loud festival. Charlotte Tilbury's backstage artists were offering quick tricks and mini make overs. When the invite to hail one of these taxi's popped into my inbox how could I refuse? 

I wasn't sure what look to go for but the make up artist suggested that I try to The Sophisticate look. I absolutely loved it!!! I had to run straight into Selfridges and purchase the palette along with bedroom black eye liner afterwards. I had heaps of compliments as well afterwards so I felt amazing. I went for lunch with my boyfriend afterwards so by the time I was able to take a selfie the lipstick had rubbed off a little but look at my eyes!!!!!

See this on Instagram.
Look at how beautiful this palette is, it's became such a staple in my routine. I use it pretty much everyday, for both day and night. I took it on holiday with me and switched between this and the Bobbi Brown Greige Palette.

I can feel an obsession coming along, I have visions of me owning every Charlotte Tilbury Palette (dangerous!). I also REALLY want to try the Magic Foundation next.

BOBBI BROWN MAKEUP MASTER CLASS & GREIGE COLLECTION

Bobbi Brown Greige Eyeshadow Palette*
A few weeks ago I was invited to attend a Bobbi Brown Makeup Master Class at House of Fraser in Birmingham. We had the chance to see Bobbi's new A/W Collection, Greige (which is absolutely gorgeous!) and Bobbi Brown Pro Artist, Amy Conway did a demonstration for us using the new Greige eyeshadow palette.

She explained how an easy way to ensure that your make up look is glowing is to concentrate on hydration before hand. Which makes perfect sense, there isn't any point in piling that highlighter on if your skin underneath is dull and not looked after properly. Skincare is a one of many obsessions of mine so I totally agreed with everything she was saying on this!

Another tip that she shared was one I have never considered before. She explained how to achieve a real natural beautiful skin base by not using foundation all over the face or layering on heaps of make up to achieve that natural look (we've all had moments of trying to get that natural, no make - make up look and ended up caking more on than we need and failing at the whole no make up - make up look). Amy explained how by using different shades of concealer on the areas that need it, such as redness, spots, dark circles, will achieve a more natural skin base and then go in with bronzer lightly to warm up the face and add a light touch of blusher for a natural flush. I'll definitely be giving this tip a try.
Amy demonstrated on the model a beautiful, soft look using the new Greige palette. The palette is absolutely beautiful anyway so I think any look you do with this palette is going to be stunning. 

The demonstration was so inspiring and I definitely learned so much from Amy in such a short space of time. I could not wait to get home and have a play with this palette. The palette has all the shades you need for a day and evening look. You can go subtle and soft to dramatic and sparkly! I absolutely love it!


I went out on the evenings with friends and of course,  had to use my new palette. I've also just came from a week in Egypt and took this palette with me - I think it has became a fast favourite!

This is the first Bobbi Brown product I have tried and have since been and brought the Smokey Eye Mascara. I'm so eager to try more, any recommendations?

LETS TALK SWIMWEAR


ONLY 24 DAYS UNTIL MY HOLIDAY!! I seriously cannot wait! We've been counting down since like 145 days. (in case you couldn't tell, we're really excited!)

I like to be organised when it comes to packing for holiday, I hate leaving packing until last minute, I don't know how people do it! Far too stressful for my liking. 


I'm much more of a list making kinda gal, I like to plan what items of clothes I'm taking, what make up bits I want to take with me and how many bikini's I'll take. When doing just this - planning what bikini's I'll take with me - I thought I'd share them with you...

I brought the bikini above and the next three bikini set's from Tesco for my holiday to Tunisia. I haven't actually brought any swimwear this year! Maybe I should... although, it's that time of year where the bikini's in the shops are on a sale rail and it's hard to find a matching set and one in your size.
This next set is from Primark, it isn't actually a set but I think they match really well. I brought this set a few years ago when I went away to Magaluf with my friends. I'm so surprised that it still fits me actually but I really like it.
I really want to buy a swimming costume (is it cool to call them that?) but I have such a big bum compared to the rest of me that they just never fit properly. They either fit my bum but gaping at the top and I don't really want to show everyone my boobs when on holiday (when in England also of course) or they fit on top perfectly but become a bloody thong because they're so small on the bum. oh the struggles!
Do you have any advise or tricks when packing for a holiday?