Wednesday, 27 November 2013

I Think I Went Overboard Buying Beauty Advent Calendars This Year….

Hey everyone,
 
I found out about beauty advent calendars last year but they were all out of stock by the time I had discovered them, so I knew this year that was definitely something I would be getting! My lovely Fiance promised me last year that he would get me the Selfridges one, but when it was released I thought it was really overpriced at £84! So he said he’d get me a different one instead :)
 
In total, I have four beauty advent calendars this year, which may seem so excessive and perhaps greedy, but I have bought very little in the way of new beauty products for well over a month (any hauls I’ve posted in that time are from weeks and weeks ago)! I just love the concept of these and cannot wait to open them on Sunday  morning :)
 
Here’s the beauty advent calendars I am very lucky to have this year. I’m not going to include spoilers because I’m keeping it a secret for myself!
 
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Ciate Mini Mani Month Advent Calendar
 
Ciate are definitely one of my favourite nail polish brands, so this was a no brainer for me! This was the first advent calendar released and my Fiance kindly bought it for me. This comes with 19 mini Paint Pots (5ml), four textured manicure toppers and a surprise full size Paint Pot! This is still available to buy and costs £42, you can buy it here on the Ciate website, but it is also available on Asos, where you can get student discount :)
 
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Boots Beauty Advent Calendar
 
When I heard that Boots were bringing out their very first beauty advent calendar this year, I bought it the minute it was released. It is packed with amazing products from some really great brands and cost only £30, the contents are worth over £65! This one is now sold out, so next year make sure you get in quickly, it was available for a good few weeks though.
 
Body Shop Advent
 
The Body Shop 24 Days of Joy Advent Calendar
 
This was the last beauty advent calendar to be released and as I’m relatively unfamiliar with a lot of The Body Shop’s products, I thought this would be a great way for me to test out some of their best products. This one was £55, but I had a voucher from Voucher Cloud, which enabled me to get £15 off, so for £40 with £80 worth of products, I was well impressed! This one is huge, and sold out within days of it being put online, luckily I managed to get one instore, before it was available online. This is the UK’s first Body Shop advent calendar and if you’re lucky you may still be able to get one of these instore!
 
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Benefit’s Count Down To Love Advent Calendar
 
There wasn’t many of us able to get our hands on one of these, but I am so, so glad that I did! I was poised at my laptop ready to purchase one of these as soon as it was due on sale at noon, but it didn’t go live until gone 2pm. Once it was online, it was announced only on their Twitter, which is something I don’t really use, so I didn’t see the announcement and they sold out in 35 seconds! So, there was definitely very little of these available and after wasting hours of my day, I had the right hump that I couldn’t get one! It seems the only ones I have seen on blogs are PR  samples, but in America this was readily available on Sephora for well over a month, so I have no idea why the UK had so very little stock.
 
You may have seen my post before about this incredible website I found, Rose's Beauty Store. They stock lots of American brands from Tarte to Kat Von D and even stock all the amazing Sephora collections. I have ordered plenty from this site, it is a bit more expensive than if you were to purchase in the US, but I don’t mind, as everyone knows how hard it is to get Tarte, Bath and Body Works, Sephora exclusives and Lorac etc in the UK.
 
Well, I have contacted Rose’s Beauty Store requesting products I have seen on the Sephora site quite a few times, so I asked them if they could get the Benefit advent calendar in stock for me. Luckily after a few days, it was on the site priced at £65.99 (I think), which was £16 more expensive than the UK price of £50, but I had a 10% discount code so it worked out £60.28 with delivery (99p per item). So, I did have to pay an extra £10, but its such a great advent calendar and because it was in such high demand (they’re selling at over £100 on eBay!), I thought it was a really fair price.
 
It isn’t available anymore at Rose’s Beauty Store, but I am so glad I knew of this amazing company, they’ve managed to get hold of some fantastic products/collections for me, so they are definitely worth checking out! If there’s anything you’ve seen, particularly on Sephora or Bath and Body Works, they should be able to get it for you :)
 
So, I am crazy and have four beauty advent calendars! I will do a blog post every day once I start opening these with some pictures and quick descriptions or reviews for the contents of all four advent calendars. These will provide me with so many products to review, so I’m excited to try out so many new little bits :)
 
Thanks for reading!
 
What do you think of this year’s beauty advent calendars?
 
Emily :) x

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Christmas Jumpers

 Hey everyone,

This year Christmas jumpers are crazily popular and I’m so glad because it means the choice of cheesy festive jumpers is huge :) I have my eyes set on one already, but I think I might have to pick up more than one of these festive beauties! National Christmas Jumper Day (yes, that actually exists) is coming up on the 13th December,  so I will definitely have my jumper purchased by then :)
 
xmas jumpers
 
1. Roxy Reindeer Fairisle Jumper £15 from Boohoo – here
A pretty fairisle jumper that is both eyecatching and so cheap at only £15! It is also available in bottle green and red. 
 
2. Charcoal Reindeer Jumper £29 from Dorothy Perkins – here
This jumper is so cute and very plain, so perfect for the less daring, its also got a great choice of sizes, from 6-22. 
 
3. Knitted Gingerbread Man Jumper £42 from Topshop  - here
This one is the most expensive of my picks, but its definitely unique and I absolutely love it.
 
4. Fairisle Print Sweater £35 from Next – here
The longer length of this one is perfect to team with some nice leggings. I am really tempted by this one, it looks so thick and warm and such a pretty colour.
 
5. Hiba Merry Christmas Ya Filthy Animal Jumper £15 from Boohoo – here
My absolute favourite Christmas film is Home Alone, so this is definitely my favourite Christmas jumper that I've found so far. I will definitely be buying this one! It is also available in black, red and silver.
 
6. Cream Light Up Tree Christmas Jumper £29.99 from New Look  - here
If you want to take it a step further this year, then this light up jumper is definitely the way to go!
 
7. Women’s Polar Bear Jumper £16 from Peacocks – here
I absolutely love polka dot jumpers, so this festive one is a great option for me, and an absolute steal at only £16.
 
8. Pink Santa Baby Knit Jumper £35 from River Island - here
This novelty knit is definitely the most girly option, but it looks so snuggly and warm and I adore River Island clothes.
 
Hope you love these festive jumpers as much as I do! :)
 
Thanks for reading!
 
Will you be buying a Christmas jumper this year?
 
Emily :) x
 
 

Beauty Bay’s Limited Edition Little Black Box

Hey everyone,
 
Today, I wanted to show you a new release from Beauty Bay, after recently releasing a new makeup range called ‘BeautyBay Collection’, they have now released a beauty box called ‘Little Black Box’ and it features products from this new range.  The BeautyBay Collection is really reasonably priced and features a small, but nice range of products from eyeshadow palettes to nail polishes.
 
You can see a full list of the 38 products available here.
 
But the beauty box is something that really caught my eye as it would be a great introduction to the range and it would also make a perfect gift for someone too. For £15 and with free delivery, you get five products, all of which are full size products available to purchase separately on the website.
 
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The box is beautifully packaged in a gift box, that’s what made me think it would be a great Christmas or Birthday present for a loved one. The range of products available are great and it is well worth its £15 cost, as the value of the products if purchased separately would be £29.
 
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Purple Nail Polish 12ml
 
This beautiful, deep, vampy purple nail varnish is something I am definitely missing in my collection. Perfect for winter, I absolutely love the look of this shade and its definitely a shade suitable for everyone. This is described as highly durable and is said to apply smoothly in two coats, it is also free from DBP, Toluene and Formaldehyde. This retails at £5 on its own.
 
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Lip and Eye Primer 8ml
 
I have a few eye primers which I really need to use more, but I don’t own any lip primers. This is a great idea, I’ve never come across a primer suitable for eyes and lips before so this sounds like a brilliant little product. This creamy neural primer makes lipstick colours appear more intense and prevents feathering and discolouration, whilst when applied to the eyelids, the primer smoothes and diminishes the appearance of fine lines to prevent creasing and melting of eyeshadow. This is suitable for all lip products and both powder and cream eyeshadows and the combination of Silicone and Aloe Vera also smoothes and soothes the skin. This retails at £4 if bought separately.
 
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SPF20 Mineral Foundation in ‘Medium Beige’ 10g
 
This foundation retails at £10 on its own, or for 2g of product, it will set you back £5. I have never tried powder foundations, because I can rarely wear normal powder because my skin is usually so dry. This powder has the consistency of a loose powder, but the coverage of a liquid foundation. SPF20 Mineral Foundation is made in the UK, formulated with natural ingredients and is free from Talc, Parabens and Sulphates. The SPF20 provides protection from the sun and this powder can be applied lightly for sheer coverage or it can be built up to a more full coverage. This product is described as being suitable for complexions that suffer from acne, rosacea and eczema because it allows your skin to breathe. The shade Medium Beige is suitable for light to medium skin tones but is universally flattering to all undertones.
 
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Light Me Up Compact Battery Mirror in Pure White
 
I absolutely love the idea of this, I have wanted one of these compact light up mirrors for a long time. This little mirror is designed to eliminate shadows and give you the perfect lighting for applying makeup, wherever you are. This is a light and powerful compact mirror with two mirrors, one with built in LED lights and one with 2x magnification. You can fold it back on itself so it stands on its own and you can have both hands free to apply your makeup. This retails at £5 on its own and is also available in black.
 
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Blending Sponge in ‘Fuchsia Pink’
 
Blending sponges are becoming increasingly popular and although I haven’t tried one before, I am eager to test one out. This is easy to use, thanks to the ergonomic design and can be used with mineral, powder and liquid foundations. It is designed so you can use the wide edge for coverage across the majority of your face and then the pointy edge is used for the contoured areas around the eyes and nose. This is ultra soft and latex free and retails at £5, if you were to purchase it on its own.
 
 
I have a ridiculous amount of makeup/accessories and the fact that I don’t own any of these products, is definitely a selling point for me. Such a great range of products and excellent value for money, especially with the free delivery. This box is special edition with limited availability and you can purchase yours here.
 
Thanks for reading!
 
What do you think of Beauty Bay’s Little Black Box?
 
Emily :) x

Monday, 25 November 2013

Bird of Prey Handling and Flying – Amazing Experience (Lots of Pictures!)

Hey everyone,
 
A while ago, I posted about an owl handling day, that I went to and it was incredible! So, when I saw an offer for a bird of prey day, handling some of the bigger birds, I booked tickets for me and my Fiance straight away. We had an amazing day and my Mum and Nan also came along, which was nice :)
 
You can see my post on the owl handling day here.
 
when we visited The English School of Falconry, they were currently in the middle of moving location, so there wasn’t half as many birds there was there was last time because they were all in their new home, three miles away. They were only open for two more weeks and then they start fresh in their new location, which is apparently four times as big, so its definitely a good move for the birds as they’ll have plenty of space. All the birds are taken out and allowed to fly about and some of the species are taken out to hunt naturally, which is great. These birds are treated so well and most are hand reared at one of the keeper’s houses for 10 weeks.
 
When we turned up, we noticed that we were the only people due to do the 'Big Five’ experience, everyone else was on the ‘Little and Large’ experience, so we had to join in with their group, which I didn’t mind. The centre was only open for experience days, no regular visitors were permitted because of the change in location. This was a bit upsetting because last time we went, there was an amazing display for 45 minutes at the end and we didn’t get to see that because they were in the middle of the move, so I completely understand that. But if you do decide to visit the new centre, you will be treated to an amazing display, which is definitely on the best things I’ve seen in my life.
 
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Here’s a picture of me and my lovely Nan when we arrived at the centre :) Once everyone in the group had arrived we went to handle some owls, which was nice because they’re my favourite :) I don’t think we were meant to be handling them as part of the ‘big 5’ group, but like I said, they were busy trying to move location and we still had an amazing time, so I was happy with whatever I was holding really!
 
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We first got to hold this little cutie, he was so calm and just sat perched on your arm happily enough for 3/4 minutes. In the last picture you can see him looking up, he was looking at an aeroplane :)
 
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The next owl we held was this one. I’m so sorry but I can’t remember any of their names, oops! This one was so, so sweet and he just wanted to sleep the whole time. Every person he perched on, he just slept on them. The keeper said they always let little children hold him because all he does is sleep!

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Lastly, there was this owl, which was used to sitting on people’s shoulders so kept lunging at your shoulder. We were running out of time, so I said I didn’t mind not holding this one, he was quite flappy and I didn’t want to hold everyone up.

When we were talking to the keeper about the owls, she explained how they have no vision up close, and she was waving her hand in front of the owls face and it was not reacting at all. Owls also cannot move their eyes, they are fixated in the same position. We learnt so much about the owls and how they live and they really are fascinating creatures. The keeper showing us around, Carly was so informative, I have no idea how she can remember that much but she was brilliant.

We then went off to a grassy area to fly some birds. They would start off about 100 ft away on a perch/tree stump then they come swooping over to you. Its such an amazing experience! The birds started off small and then got considerably bigger….

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This is a Kestral and he was the first bird we flew, he was absolutely beautiful and flew to everyone a couple of times. He was so pretty and did exactly as he was told, these birds are so well trained and I just want to go back and see them all again as soon as I’ve left!

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Then a few of us were lucky enough to get the Kestral to land on our heads! It literally felt like nothing was on my head, he was so light! My Fiance Luke was very jealous, because he didn’t get a turn, haha.

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The next bird we got to fly was this Eurasian Owl. He was amazing and surprisingly quite heavy. The keeper, was telling us that he might grip onto the glove and not let go and not to worry, its just where he thinks he has caught prey and then he will sniff around and realise its not anything worth eating. We saw him do this on the tree stump, he went to fly off to someone and couldn’t because his claws had gripped the stump, he soon realised it wasn’t anything worth having and flew back over. Someone asked if he had any sense of taste and we were told he only has 100 tastebuds, humans have around 10,000.

Next we got to fly a huge bird and it was one of the best things I have ever done!

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The last bird we got to fly was this amazing baby Bald Eagle. Yes, it was a baby! It was absolutely huge, its wings slapped right across my face when it landed on me! It was definitely the best part of the day, getting to fly this huge bird. We were warned about what we would have to be holding in the falconer’s glove, half of a dead chick, it was quite gory and I usually faint at the site of a grazed knee, so I’m glad I didn’t pass out!

Carly, the keeper explained to us that the bird was very heavy, 12lb to be exact! So, if we needed her to hold the glove, as it was a lot of weight to come and land on your wrist, we just needed to ask her to come support us. I definitely opted for that because I have a 10lb chihuahua and I know how heavy she can be, and I couldn’t imagine holding her weight with my wrist. I’m glad I did because that bird was so heavy! She let go of my arm so I could feel the full weight once she had landed and it was bloody heavy.

A bald eagle’s claw grip is 10x as strong as a human’s, just to give you an indication of how powerful these birds are.  Their grip is estimated to exert 450lb per square inch of pressure. Their talons could easily pierce through the glove, so I’m glad that didn’t happen, haha.

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Next, we got to meet this big beastie. This is a Andean Condor and is definitely one of the biggest flying birds on the planet. As we were the only ones doing the ‘Big 5’ experience, me and Luke got to feed him chick legs, which is probably the most gross thing I have ever done, I can’t even touch a bit of bacon, and that doesn’t even resemble an animal! The keeper was saying how people used to be allowed to go into his cage to feed him, until he started to eat people’s shoes! I would have liked to go in and meet him though, he was actually very cute.

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We then went to go meet the Pelicans and they were so funny! We were allowed to pet them, feed them fish and put our hands in their beaks. I stroked them, but didn’t fancy holding a raw fish, the keeper was saying how hard it was to get the smell off of your hands, so I decided against that! The keeper also said that if you put your hands in their beaks, its just like two rulers clapping together. We were hanging out with these funny fellas for a good 10 minutes and they were just so funny to watch, they don’t walk they waddle and just have the funniest mannerisms.

Carly, the keeper was cuddling them and said they were just like pet dogs. They loved all the attention and were so soft when you touched them. Even though they’re not birds of prey they were still great to watch, and unlike the birds of prey we were actually allowed to pet them which was great!

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The very last thing we got to do was hold this beautiful Bateleur Eagle, an eagle native to Africa. He was definitely one of my favourites! He was so very tame and we were even allowed to stroke his head, which was incredibly soft.

We had an amazing time and I don’t know how we managed to pack that into three hours, but it was a great experience and I will definitely be returning to see the new Bird of Prey centre when it opens.

The English School of Falconry is currently located in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, but is only relocating to three miles away. To find out more about the centre and what they have to offer, click here. There are so many different opportunities and experiences where you can meet and interact with the birds. You can go hunting with the hawks and there’s even an option new for 2014 where you hunt on horseback (experienced riders only) but how amazing does that sound?!
 
Thanks for reading!
 
Hope you enjoy this type of post! :)
 
Emily :) x

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Latest In Beauty 'The Glamour Beauty Edit' Amazing Beauty Box!

Hey everyone,
 
So, I recently did a post on this box to let everyone know that it was available to buy, but now I've received it, I wanted to give everyone a better look at what is inside :)
 
A few months back, Latest In Beauty collaborated with Glamour magazine to create an amazing beauty box, with really well known brands and some full size products too. So, when I heard that Latest In Beauty  had once again, joined forces with Glamour mag, I went straight onto their site and ordered one of the boxes.

This box is once again, excellent value and you get £65 worth of products for £14.95 plus £3.95 P+P, so this box will cost you £18.90 in total, which is an absolute steal, when you see what is inside :)
  


 
Eyeko Lash Curlers
 
These eyelash curlers feature ergonomically designed velvet handles, which I think makes them not only really easy to use, but also very pretty too! I don't really use eyelash curlers, because I don't feel like the ones I own make any visible difference to my lashes, but I might just be using them wrong or something. But I am still excited to use these, they're definitely a lot better quality than the ones I already own, so hopefully they work better too. These are obviously a full size product and retail at £12 ish! They come with two spare silicone pads, that you replace every 3 months. 

 
Toni&Guy Glamour Firm Hold Hairspray
 
You can never have too much hairspray! When I wear my hair curly/wavy, hairspray is essential, so this will definitely come in handy. I like that its travel sized (75ml), so I can keep it in my handbag for any touch ups, or any bits I've missed (I always get out and realised I haven't sprayed half of my head pretty much)! This is still very generously sized, with plenty of product available to get an idea of what the hairspray is like. 250ml retails at £6.39.
 
 
Balance Me Extra Care Radiance Face Oil
 
I have actually tried this before and really hated the smell of it, it smells like dust..with a hint of lemon, well, that's why my nose is telling me anyway, haha. I've seen lots of people saying how lovely it smells, so could just be me! I will definitely give this another go, it might have just been the sample I had tried before was a bit old or something. This is 10ml of product with a handy portable rollerball applicator, which is perfect for me, I would much rather not have to apply it with my hands. This oil is meant to 'nourish, condition and glowify', and 'rescue and repair for partied-out, sleep deprived skin'. Well, I'm definitely not much of a party goer, but I'm also not very much of a sleeper too, so I'm looking forward to seeing if this makes any difference to my skin. £30 will get you 30ml of this face oil, and this travel sized version will set you back £15 on the Balance Me website. 

 
Benefit's They're Real Mascara
 
This is a sample sized version of Benefit's very well known and loved mascara, 'They're Real'. I do love mascaras that give a false lash effect, so this mascara claiming to give 'dramatic length and volume', sounds perfect to me. This is one of the UKs best selling mascaras and retails at £19.50 for the full sized (8.5g) version, this is 3g, so a decent sized sample.

 
Maybelline Baby Lips in 'Mint Fresh'
 
It did say 'shades may vary' for the Baby Lips and I already have three of them, so I'm really glad I ended up with one that I didn't already own. This is just a clear lip balm that claims to give 8 hours of moisturise. I already own one of the clear versions of the Baby Lips, 'Hydrate' and I really didn't like the smell/taste so I was planning on trying this one anyway as I have no problem with mint flavoured lip balms. This is full size and retails at £2.99.

 
Philip Kingsley One More Day Dry Shampoo
 
I have never tried any Philip Kingsley products, but I have heard good things about the brand. This is 50ml travel sized version, which is available for £6 from M+S. This is suitable for all hair types and apparently boosts volume and texture, which is a very welcome addition in any haircare product for me. I wash my hair every day, which I know is really bad, so I'm going to try and start washing it every other day and just giving it a spruce of dry hair shampoo on non-wash days, so this will definitely come in handy! 
 
 
HD Brows Eye Brow Palette in 'Foxy'
 
Last, and definitely not least is this HD Brows eyebrow palette, that I have heard so much about. One of my favourite products to buy when it comes to makeup is anything to do with eyebrows, my eyebrows are very thin and sparse so I definitely need a product that can fill them in without looking too false. So, I'm always trying different products, on my quest for the perfect brow. This is full size and retails at £19.95, so I was really pleased to recieve this in this amazing beauty box. 'Foxy' is suitable for brunettes, with a highlighter, a carbon eyeshadow, and two medium brown tone powders suitable for eyebrows or eyeshadow. This versatile palette is such a great addiction to any beauty addicts collection.
 
Overall, I am so impressed with this box, with a mixture of skincare, haircare and makeup, it really is the perfect beauty box. You also get a little leaflet in your box with discount codes to use for Benefit Cosmetics, HD Brows, Philip Kingsley and Balance Me, which is such a great idea and makes the box even better!
 
You can read more about the products and order your box here. Be quick as these are sure to be sold out quickly!
 
Thanks for reading!
 
What do you think of 'The Glamour Beauty Edit' beauty box?
 
Emily :) x