22 December 2014

December Favourites

Wow. Recently I've been feeling like one of Santa's Elves - it's been a month of buying presents, wrapping, baking and demolishing candy canes! My Christmas activities haven't left me a lot of spare time to blog - but not to worry - I have two weeks off work to write and snap photos until my heart is content! I'm very excited about this - we have a lot to catch up on!

So let's start with this month. What have I been loving?

Sparkles




 J2O Glitter Berry
I basically count down the months until my beloved Glitter Berry hits the shelves again. The fact that it has actual gold glitter inside is probably a huge factor in explaining why I love it so darn much. Well, that and it tastes delicious. If you like the sound of cherry, grape and festive spices (and I do), I'd recommend trying this. As I don't drink, it's nice to have a festive alternative to mulled wine!

Susan Caplan jewellery
 I was recently sent these beautiful jewels from Susan Caplan, who specialises in vintage jewellery sourced from all around the world. She's now stocked on ASOS, so check her out if you love retro looking pieces! I chose this lovely necklace and earrings set because the clasping hands reminded me of the Celtic Claddagh design - the symbol of love, friendship and loyalty. I've had so many compliments on the necklace it's fast becoming one of my favourites!

Barry M nail polish
These sparkles were a whim in Boots after seeing the 3-for-2 deal and remembering I wanted to attempt candy cane patterned nails. And at this time of year, a spot of nail glitter never goes amiss! Barry M, in my experience, is one of the better quality polishes under the £5 price tag, so if you're looking for a new colour, I'd recommend these.

Topshop. Glitter. Shoes
I've never loved a pair of shoes like these before. Just occasionally it's nice to totally throw any sense of practicality out of the window in favour of complete whimsy and childish girliness. I think 10 year old me would definitely approve! On a side note, they're wonderfully comfortable and the heel is the perfect height for me. They've got more colours on the website... and I'm so so tempted.




Beauty products

Herbal Essences Naked Shine Shampoo & Conditioner
I'm a marketing dream. Because after seeing Herbal Essences' #GetNaked campaign on Twitter where they answered questions and handed out advice, I was convinced that with their Naked Shine range I could achieve the glossy locks of an A-lister. So I rushed out to buy it. This is what I have to report back: it lathers up so much more than my usual Aussie stuff, and leaves my hair feeling much cleaner and softer afterwards. There are no naughty parabens, silicones or dyes in this - which, unsurprisingly, aren't great for your hair. And my hair feels suitably healthy, lightweight and shiny - and gets a lot less tangled! Mission accomplished. 

La Roche Posay
I'd been using the La Roche Posay skin care kit for nearly a year and, to be honest, I wasn't wowed. The kit included a foaming face wash, a toner and the mega-hyped Effaclar Duo cream that beauty bloggers have been raving about for millennia. Last week, the cream finally ran out, so I was faced with a difficult decision: re-purchase or find a new product? I looked online and discovered something a little weird. I read that the kit was only supposed to last six weeks. And I'd been using it for about ten months! Now, I'm pretty sure the 'six weeks of use' is a gigantic understatement - but even so, I must have been seriously under-using it. So, I repurchased and started using more cream each morning and before bed. My skin is looking an awful lot better, so I think Effaclar is back in my good books!

Red lips
Nothing makes me feel a) as festive and b) as confident as a nice red lip - these are my top four picks.
  • Barry M's Cor Balmy! (Jam Jar) - a lovely tinted lip balm which features a moisture-rich core filled with goodies like shea butter and Vitamin E. For me, this is pretty essential stuff during chapped lips season. Always in my handbag. 
  • Sephora cream lip stain (shade 01) - if you want a red red that demands attention I cannot recommend this highly enough. It applies like a gloss but dries within a few seconds, leaving you a smudge resistant bright red lip which rarely needs touching up. 
  • Revlon Colorburst lacquer balm (Enticing) - I really don't like traditional lipsticks, which can feel all dry and cakey. Instead, I like balms and stains - the Revlon Colorburst balms are my favourite, as they feel very soft and moisturising whilst giving a great pop of colour! 
  • Revlon Colorstay moisture stain (New York Scene) - the only way I can describe this product is to say it applies like a gloss, but doesn't stay sticky. Unlike the Sephora stain, it doesn't dry - your lips still feel highly moisturised (with the Sephora stuff you usually need to add a clear balm or your lips can feel a tad Sahara desert-y! But that's the price you pay for an amazing colour). I've purchased a lot of colours from the Colorburst and Colorstay range, that's how much I like them!

Reading

I've been reading a lot of great books recently - Mindy Kaling's Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me, Bonjour Happiness by Jamie Kit Callan and I'm now tackling Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. Unfortunately most of those are eBooks... so here's a couple of actual real life books I've read too. 

Everything is going to be OK
This is a lovely collection of inspirational pictures that always make me smile. I don't need to have a bad day to want to pick it up and flick through - in fact, I can probably credit part of my usual cheeriness to reading things like this! But seriously, who wouldn't giggle at the book's sage advice: "one cannot be angry when one looks at a penguin". 

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
This was my favourite book when I was little - and I love it just as much now. Reading it around Christmas makes it feel even more magical and special. Because this edition has such a beautiful cover and gorgeous silver edged pages (good ole Waterstones), I display it proudly in my bedroom. Those are the best sort of books, don't you think?

What are your favourite things this month? Let me know in the comments! x
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