Wednesday, 31 December 2014

This Has Been: 2014

Since there are only a couple of hours left of 2014 I wanted to do a little recap of what happened this year, with help from my Instagram posts of course (@ellistuesday - link here). So what did happen over the past twelve months?


January mostly revolved around sales shopping (I actually did three January sales hauls - links to part 1part 2 and part 3and attempting to beat the January blues and cold, dark, rainy weather outside, with plenty of Netflix and Girls marathons.


February was a bit up and down to say the least. I turned 22, went to see the Strictly Come Dancing live tour and got a lovely Valentine's treat from Soap & Glory (despite being forever alone for another Valentine's Day). Then at the end of the month I had a couple of rather unpleasant days (see Kleanprep) and a couple of pretty rough hospital procedures as well as a lot of bed rest.


March started as February ended; with me feeling really rubbish but as soon as I started feeling more like my normal self it was time to indulge in some much needed junk food, shopping and pampering.


April was a big month blog-wise (more about that in a post dedicated to the big blogging moments of 2014 next Friday) and the weather also finally started to feel a lot more Spring-like too. I may have spent the entire month/most of the year actually, listening to Lana's new album as well.


It appears that I was a big fan of taking selfies in my bedroom mirror in May (which just reminds me that it desperately needs a good clean). I also started Breaking Bad and binge watching it at that and just look at that home-made shortbread!


June wasn't the best of months when it came to my health again. I started physiotherapy, finished Breaking Bad, quickly became obsessed with Orange is the New Black, finally bought The Sims 3 and spent the month scouring for bargains in the Zara sale. It also definitely felt like summer in Scotland, as you might be able to tell from the inclusion of a BBQ, ice cream and the fact that I could wear a vest top outdoors.


July marked the arrival of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and it was incredibly and unusually hot and sunny which was a bit of a shocker. I also had a bit of a fangirl moment when Pablo Schreiber (aka. Pornstache from OITNB) favourited one of my tweets.


August was the last month where I had unbelievably long locks, although I do think that another trip to the hairdresser's needs to happen ASAP! It was also the month where the world mourned the loss of Robin Williams. And my 'Shopping Is My Workout' sweater was put to good use as I spent most of the month being a little carefree when it came to my shopping habits #feelingspendy.


As you may or may not know (I have a feeling you might have noticed though) I went to Florida at the end of September (for a full instagram catch-up of this trip then check out this link here). Before departing I had an exciting magazine photoshoot (more of which can be found here and here), became completely enamoured with True Detective and Ru Paul's Drag Race and debuted a new hairdo.


I was still in Florida at the start of October and as soon as I got home I tried my very best to keep the post holiday blues at bay. This called for throwing myself straight into the Christmas spirit and making a start to my Christmas shopping/compiling my own Christmas wishlist for this year.


I spent most of November doing my Christmas shopping and by the end of the month I had completely finished and wrapped all of my presents. I tend to be quite a prepared individual (I do love a good to-do list) but I've never been quite as prepared for the festive season as I have this year.


For me, December means one thing; Christmas and as you can see, I was most definitely in the Christmas spirit in December. It also appears that I was a bit of magpie in the month of December (let's be honest, I am every month of the year but I really get to admire all things shiny, glittery and sparkly over the festive period). I also really enjoyed opening my very first beauty advent calendar in December. I can't think of anything better than opening a door every morning in which a lovely miniature beauty product is hidden behind. This should definitely be a monthly tradition. Am I right beauty lovers?

So that was my year. It had it's ups and downs, mostly when it came to my health to be honest but it also had so many highlights; my holiday to Florida (I've just booked up to go again in 2016) had to be my favourite three weeks of the year. It was also my first full year as a blogger and blogging has seriously made 2014 so incredibly special. I love that I have really documented my year (via instagram and on my blog) and that's something that I would never have even thought of doing had I not been blogging. I'll be sharing some of my biggest blogging highlights in the next week or so as well as what I hope to achieve in 2015 in a blog post that goes live this Friday. So be sure to check back if you fancy reading those.

And here's to 2015!! All the very best for the New Year everyone! How was your 2014? What were your highlights?


Sunday, 28 December 2014

Nails Inc Nail Polish Diary: December

Nails Inc Knightsbridge Road Galaxy Polish Nail Diary Review

First of all, who can believe that it's December already? And second of all, who can believe that it's already time for the final instalment of my Nails Inc Nail Diary blog series? Time really has flown by this year (like every year apparently does these days!) I'm still finding it hard to believe that I've been blogging for over a year now, nonetheless that the year of 2014 is almost over. I remember how excited I was when I first saw the Nail Diary in the John Lewis Boxing Day sale last year and it really did spur me on to actually start blogging in the first place. To read the first of the Nail Diary posts (click here) and to read the entire series (click here).

So here it is, the final polish in my Nail Diary, December's selection; the Knightsbridge Road Galaxy polish. And what an ideal fit this polish is for the month of December. This really is the perfect shade to take you through the entire festive season.

Unlike the traditionally festive glitter nail polishes that pop up in time for the holiday season every year, this is glitter but not as we know it. It has a bronze-y gold base and flecks of red, purple and even green. Those colours sound like they might not really mesh well together but they just give the polish so much dimension. And an added bonus; it doesn't leave the nails feeling rough or jagged in the slightest. What a glitter and an end to the Nails Inc Nail Diary, I say!

And that's it. My final Nail Diary post is complete. Whilst I do have one other blog series that I post every month (What I've Been Watching - click here), it will be sad to see my Nail Diary series come to an end. Why didn't Nails Inc do another Nail Diary this year?!

Have you enjoyed my monthly Nails Inc Nail Diary posts? If so, would you potentially like me to start a new monthly series in 2015? I'm not sure what the series would be on yet but I'm definitely open to suggestions. If this sounds like something that you would like to read be sure to leave me a comment below.


Friday, 26 December 2014

This Has Been: December

The most adorable Christmas baubles - My new mantra - Christmas wishlist time - I think that I might be becoming a bit of a Swiftie - Don't forget to enter my blog's first birthday US treats and sweets giveaway (link here) - A much needed pit stop in Space NK - W7 have hit it out of the park advent calendar wise - My first Christmas present from the lovelies at Lush - I had the absolute pleasure of co-hosting an amazing Twitter giveaway with Elegant Touch (a huge congratulations to the winner Lor Jay) - Save The Children's Christmas Jumper Day - Standard Saturday afternoon with The Sims 3 - I was like a kid in a candy shop in Tiger that day - It's officially Christmas Yankee Candle time - It's not like I needed any more Christmas decorations but I couldn't leave these behind - The Cambridge Satchel Company Glasgow Pop Up Store - Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree - This Chocolate Orange Flamingo Candle smells absolutely amazing - Christmas Eve Eve - Christmas Eve wrapping - Merry Christmas everyone!

December is always my favourite month of the year. I'm one of those people who gets excited for Christmas earlier and earlier every year and this year was no different. Despite having all of my Christmas presents bought and wrapped last month, I've spent most of December surrounding myself in festive cheer, which has meant quite a few trips to the shops and to the Christmas markets. And when I've not been out trying my best to soak up the Christmas atmosphere, I've been snuggled up at home with my big cosy dressing gown on, Christmas candles and fairy lights flickering in the background and a good movie on too.

I hope that everyone had a fantastic Christmas Day, however you spent it and that Santa was particularly kind to you this year! I'm looking forward to spending time with family, eating my own body weight in festive treats and watching more Christmas TV and movies than I really should in the next couple of days and then it will be 2015 before we know it. I'm still finding it hard to believe that in a couple of days time it will be a new year. Seriously, where has 2014 gone? Whatever you're doing for New Year's, I hope that you have a great time and I wish everyone all the very best for 2015!


Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas Eve-ryone

Christmas Eve Outfit

Fashion World Animal Print Jacquard Cardigan* £30 

Over the past couple of years I have spent Christmas Eve doing some of my favourite things; shopping the sales, indulging in far too many sweets and snacks, relaxing and bringing out all of the Christmas presents and setting them up ready for Christmas Day. And when I'm partaking in these activities I like to make sure that I'm both cosy and comfotable.

This Animal Print Cardigan from Fashion World is perfect to throw on at this time of year and I've also been living in this wonderfully soft H&M T-shirt ever since I first bought it back in September. 

My plans to head to the shops to see if I could snag any bargains in the sales (that have already started) have definitely been thwarted today, as I have come down with a really nasty cold just hours before Christmas Day itself. Typical! I am crossing my fingers that I will actually be able to function tomorrow (my nose has not stopped running and my throat feels like it has been clawed to shreds this morning/last night) and more importantly, that I will be able to taste my Christmas dinner.

How do you spend Christmas Eve? And also, did you enjoy this kind of post from me? I'm thinking about integrating more outfit/fashion posts as well as lifestyle posts in the New Year. Would this be something that you would like to read?

Merry Christmas Eve and I hope that you all have a fantastic day tomorrow, however you are spending it.


Sunday, 21 December 2014

Ellis Tuesday's Christmas Gift Guide: Stocking Fillers (Plus Nuxe Reve De Miel Giveaway)

Christmas Gift Guide: Stocking Fillers Blog

It's the last of my Christmas Gift Guide series (at least for this year anyway) and this one is perfect for all of you last minute shoppers. It's also packed full of gifts that would make fantastic stocking fillers. Wouldn't you love to wake up to some of these gorgeous gifts in your stocking this year?

Dottie Rocks Sex And The City Quote Gold Foil Print

Dottie Rocks Sex And The City Quote Gold Foil Print* £10

If you aren't familiar with Dottie Rocks' wonderful array of products then it's time to get yourself acquainted asap!
If one quote from Sex and the City sums me up perfectly it's this one. And if the person that you're buying for isn't a Sex and the City fan then don't worry, the entire range of Dottie Rocks gold foil prints are simply exquisite. I've got a gorgeous Lana Del Rey one on my wishlist at the moment.

Dottie Rocks What Would Blair Waldorf Do? Pencils

Dottie Rocks What Would Blair Waldorf Do? Pencils* £5

This is a must-have for any Gossip Girl fan, especially those of us who were big Blair Waldorf devotees. These pencils have instantly made me want to start watching Gossip Girl again from the very beginning, which is never a bad thing and just look at how pretty these pencils are. As I said above, you really do need to check out Dottie Rocks without hesitation.

Catseye London Yorkie On Orange Coin Purse

Catseye London Yorkie On Orange Coin Purse* £5.50

I've quickly amassed almost the entire range of Yorkie On Orange products from Catseye London and it's really no wonder why. How adorable is he? And how lovely is this little coin purse? This really is perfect for anyone who has lots of loose change rattling around at the bottom of their pockets or handbag. If this design isn't to your liking (and how couldn't it be?), Catseye London have a whole host of other designs to take your fancy (link here) including pugs, kittens, deers and lots of vintage inspired lovelies too.

Flamingo Candles Chocolate Orange Christmas Classic Jar Candle

Flamingo Candles Chocolate Orange Christmas Classic Jar Candle* £12

This is honestly the most amazing candle that I have ever smelt! (And all I've done this winter is hunt for great smelling candles.) This smells exactly like a Chocolate Orange, it's unreal how good it smells. It's also encased in such a beautiful jar that it would make the perfect stocking stuffer this Christmas. Why give someone an actual orange in their stocking when you could give them this incredible Chocolate Orange Christmas candle.

Elegant Touch House of Ho Ho Ho Santa Baby Unwrap Me 'Tis The Season

Elegant Touch House of Ho Ho Ho Santa Baby* £8.99 - Elegant Touch House of Ho Ho Ho Unwrap Me* £8.99 - Elegant Touch House of Ho Ho Ho 'Tis The Season* £8.99 

Every single time that I catch a glimpse of these House of Ho Ho Ho nails by Elegant Touch, I find myself smiling like a Cheshire cat. They are just the epitome of Christmas for me. Santa Baby and 'Tis The Season are so so so cute. I mean, who wouldn't want to wear reindeers, snowmen and Santa Claus on their nails? And then there's Unwrap Me. That set has to be my absolute favourite. Just look at the glitter and Christmas gift wrap effect!

Superdrug Studio London Make Up Brush Collection

Superdrug Studio London Make Up Brush Collection* Was £7.50 Now £5

First of all, this set is an absolute bargain but secondly, the quality is unbelievably impressive. You get five fantastically soft brushes for £5, which still amazes me. This would compliment any beauty lover's brush collection and would also work equally well for someone's first make-up brushes.

Nuxe Reve De Miel Must Haves

Nuxe Reve De Miel Must Haves* £9

I think I might be the only beauty blogger who hasn't yet tried Nuxe's Reve de Miel lip balm but the buzz around this product is enough reason to give it a try this winter and would make such a fantastic stocking filler, especially as it comes in this fantastic Reve de Miel bundle, complete with a hand and nail cream too.

And to mark this being my final Christmas Gift Guide, the wonderful Nikki at Unineed has given me the opportunity to give away the Nuxe Reve De Miel Must Haves set to three lucky winners. All you have to do is enter via the rafflecopter below. Best of luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Now onto the rules:

The giveaway is open to UK residents only.
There will be three winners.
There are four mandatory entries: you must be following Ellis Tuesday on Bloglovin' (link here), @ellistuesday on twitter (link here), @unineed on twitter (link here) and visit Unineed on Facebook.
Additional entries can be gained by following @ellistuesday on instagram (link here), @glamuneed on instagram, @ellistuesday on Pinterest (link here), @unineed on Pinterest (link here)  and tweeting about the giveaway.
The giveaway will run for exactly two weeks, so it will end on Monday 5th of January at midnight.
The winners will be picked at random by rafflecopter. The winners will then have 48 hours to send me over their details or I will pick another winner. The prize will then be issued by Unineed.

Don't forget that I also have my blog's first birthday US treats and sweets giveaway (link here) in case you're feeling particularly lucky today or haven't entered already.

Are you a last minute shopper or do you try to have all of your Christmas shopping done before the mad rush? What do you normally find in your stocking on Christmas morning? And what would you like to find this year?


Friday, 19 December 2014

What I've Been Watching In: December (Christmas Edition)

Much like in October when I dedicated my 'What I've Been Watching' post to my favourite Halloween movies (link here), I just had to share my favourite movies to watch during the festive period, so here they are. 
The first six movies are ones that I watch every single Christmas without fail and I may have already watched the other three movies in this blog post already this year. Hehe. First up are the romantic comedies;

Love Actually (2003)
Starring: Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Emma Thompson
With nine, yes nine, separate story-lines all relating to the idea of love you might think that Love Actually could be a little difficult to follow but trust me you'll have no problem with that at all. The story-lines intertwine throughout and are all completely resolved at the end which leaves me with a warm and fuzzy feeling every single time, which is exactly what I want from a Christmas movie. And there are more A-list movie stars and well known celebrities in this than you'll be able to count.

The Family Stone (2005)
Starring: Sarah Jessica Parker, Dermot Mulroney, Claire Danes, Luke Wilson
This is probably one of the most underrated Christmas movies, that I know of anyway, as I think I know one other person who has seen it before. Leave me a comment below if you have heard of it or seen it.
It stars SJP as the fianc√© of the eldest Stone child, played by Dermot Mulroney, who takes her home to meet his family and spend Christmas with them. To say things don't exactly go to plan would be a bit of an understatement but SJP's character finally manages to win the Stone family over, even if it's not in the way that you would imagine when you first start this movie. It really does have a great and incredibly heart-warming story that I'm sure many would really love. And much like Love Actually, this is an ensemble piece where it actually works (what on earth happened when it came to New Year's Eve and Valentine's Day?!) 

The Holiday (2006)
Starring: Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, Jack Black
This movie will always be really special to me as it is the one which has spurred a yearly tradition for me and my mum. We make sure to watch this the week before Christmas and get all wrapped up in our cosy winter pyjamas and indulge in far too many snacks and chocolates every single year. But that's not the only reason that it's included in this particular post. This movie really is fantastic. Plus every single time that I watch it it instantly makes me want to live in both Iris (Kate Winslet) and Amanda's (Cameron Diaz) homes. Is it greedy to want both? Hehe. It literally is the best of both worlds, who could say no to that? 
It also makes me fall in love with both Jude Law and Jack Black's characters every single time too.

Next up are the Christmas movies that I fell in love with (hard) as a child;

Childhood favourite Christmas movies

Jingle All The Way (1996)
Starring: Arnold Schwarznegger, Sinbad, Phil Hartman, Rita Wilson
I must have watched this every single Christmas (sometimes more than once) since I was a child. This is Schwarznegger in his heyday, back when he was making movies like this and Kindergarten Cop (which is still one of my all-time favourites). This is also a bit of a cautionary tale for those individuals hoping to leave their Christmas shopping until Christmas Eve. Hehe. Who in their right mind would want to battle it out the day before Christmas to get their shopping done? I'll never understand it.

Home Alone (1990)
Starring: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern
In a way it doesn't quite feel like it's actually Christmas until I've seen Home Alone at least once. I have a feeling that the large majority of you will have seen Home Alone but I just had to include it. It really is the one Christmas movie that immediately gets me in the Christmas spirit.

The Grinch (2000)
Starring: Jim Carrey, Taylor Momsen, Jeffrey Tambor, Christine Baranski
For me this movie always reminds me of the last day of school before the Christmas break. You know the day when even the teacher's were ready for it to be the Christmas holidays. This would be the one movie that would appear on the wheeled in TV at every class that day (and sometimes that week). It instantly makes me think of those days and really is the perfect Christmas movie for all ages. Plus who doesn't enjoy watching Jim Carrey at his best?

And I couldn't just focus solely on childhood favourites and romantic Christmas movies, now could I? So here are some more alternative Christmas movie choices. If you're not a fan of the lovey-dovey Christmas movies or the ones that we've known since childhood then I have a couple of suggestions for you.

Non-traditional Christmas movies

Gremlins (1984)
Starring: Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, Hoyt Axton
Okay so I'm going to start by saying, Gremlins isn't actually my favourite out of the two Gremlins movies. But then again, Gremlins 2: The New Batch will always have a special place in my heart. If you know the story of Gremlins, ie. don't expose the mogwai to water, bright light or feed them after midnight, well all of this happens on the night before Christmas, which is why I just had to include it in this post as the whole way through Gremlins there is a definite Christmas feeling. Except instead of it being your traditional Christmas movie filled with happy faces and picturesque festive scenes there are Gremlins terrorising the town.
Do you think if I add Gizmo to my Christmas list there might be a chance that I'll wake up on Christmas morning to the sight of an adorable little mogwai?

Die Hard (1988)
Starring: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald Veljohnson
This might not be the most traditional Christmas movie but it's probably the one that will result in the least amount of resistance by the men in our lives. Hehe. Let's just say it, John McLaine is a badass! I never use that word but it's the only one that really describes his whole aesthetic in this movie. Alan Rickman (who also appears in Love Actually) is excellent as the villain Hans Gruber and you'll be on the edge of your seat the whole way through, even if you have seen it before.

Black Christmas (2006)
Starring: Katie Cassidy, Michelle Trachtenberg, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Lacey Chabert
Now it wouldn't be one of my 'What I've Been Watching' posts without the inclusion of a horror movie, now would it? In this remake of the 1970's classic, a group of sorority sisters are stranded in their campus house during a snow storm when a pyschopathic killer who grew up in that very house returns to spend Christmas with them but not in the traditional fashion. 
And there's also plenty of familiar faces in this movie, especially if you're a fan of Gossip Girl. There's Katie Cassidy who played Juliet Sharp in Gossip GirlMichelle Trachtenberg who played Dawn Summers (aka. Buffy's little sister) in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as well as Georgina Sparks in Gossip Girl. Then you have Mary Elizabeth Winstead who you might remember from Final Destination 3 and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and last but not least; Lacey Chabert (aka. Gretchen Weiners from Mean Girls).

So what do you think of my Christmas movie selections? What are your favourite movies to watch at Christmas?

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Shut Off, Shut Down After 9pm Campaign

Shut Off, Shut Down After 9pm Campaign Blog

When I head to bed at night I don't close my eyes and go straight to sleep, instead I catch up with videos on Youtube (with Vlogmas happening at the moment there are quite a number to watch), scroll through Instagram, then Twitter, then Tumblr and then repeat the scrolling all over again on Instagram. It's only when I give my eyes a momentary break from my screen to look over at the clock when I realise that a couple of hours have passed since I first got into bed.

Most nights I tend to start getting tired around half past 10/11pm but once I start up my nightly routine I end up so overtired that at 12am/1am or later I can't get to sleep. It really is having a detrimental effect on my sleep pattern yet I still do the exact same every single night. So when an email pinged into my inbox which invited me to take part in the Shut Off, Shut Down After 9pm Campaign by Endsleigh, I was instantly ready to give it a go.

I was challenged to switch off all of my gadgets, that meant my phone, which always seems to be permanently glued to me, as well as my laptop after 9pm every evening for one whole week. And instead of spending those hours browsing the net, the idea is to invest that (pretty much wasted) time and be productive in another area or interest. This could mean taking up a new class, going to the gym, going out on a date (which might be a bit of stretch considering the fact that I'm forever alone) or taking up a new hobby. For me, I instantly knew what I wanted to use that time for and it was to catch up with the mountain of books that were gathering dust on my bookshelf. 

Normally it can take me weeks to finish a book as I read a couple of chapters, normally when my wifi fails (how gadget/internet obsessed do I sound? Eeek!) In one week I finished two books! TWO BOOKS! And I also finally opened my Driving Theory books (2015 will be the year that I sit my Theory test!) It might not have been the most productive use of my time but it was exactly the kind of before bed activity that I needed. I definitely needed someone or something to pry me from my phone/laptop, especially when I should be taking it easy and preparing for bed, so I treated this challenge a bit like a rehab from all things electronic. And I have a feeling that it's no coincidence that I've fallen asleep much easier when reading than when I'm attached to my phone.

What do you think of this campaign? Do you spend too much time on the internet or on your phone/laptop/tablet? Would you be able to shut off, shut down and focus your attention on something else after 9pm every night?


Sunday, 14 December 2014

Ellis Tuesday's Christmas Gift Guide: Gift Sets

Christmas Gift Guide: Gift Sets Blog

I don't know about you but one of my favourite presents to open on Christmas day has to be a good beauty gift set. I tend to get a few from the extended members of my family and they are always some of my favourite gifts to receive on the big day. However, it can sometimes be tricky to decide which gift set to pick up yourself whilst you're out Christmas shopping (for some reason or another all reason goes out of the window once I step into a store at Christmas-time), so I thought I would put together a list of some of the best of the best when it comes to gift sets this Christmas. Hopefully this gift guide will give you some inspiration for a whole host of individuals of different ages as well.

Elegant Touch Lux Gel Polish Kit Christmas

Elegant Touch Lux Gel Polish Starter Kit* £69.99 (Currently £49.99 at Argos) - Elegant Touch Lux Gel Polish Removal Kit* £7.99 - Elegant Touch Lux Gel Polish Diamonds* £9.95 - Elegant Touch Lux Gel Polish 9 to 5* £9.95
First up is the grand daddy of gift sets this year and what I love about this particular gift set is the fact that you can continue to add to your Lux Gel kit just by purchasing additional colours (such as the Diamonds and 9 to 5 shades that I have included here). This makes it so easy to know what to buy that person for birthdays and special occasions thereafter too. Anyone who loves their nails, gets them done professionally or wants to finally start doing their own gel manicures at home will absolutely adore this set.

W7 The Trilogy - Flirty Eyes Cosmetics Gift Set

W7 The Trilogy - Flirty Eyes* £11.95
Do you know someone who loves their red lips and nail tips as well as the false lash effect? Then this gift set from W7 really is made for them. And don't you love it when a gift set comes boxed as brilliantly as this one has been? It also makes it a lot easier to wrap. Hehe. I've been beyond impressed with W7 this year and every day this month I've been treated to a new W7 product courtesy of my W7 advent calendar, which really is the dream for a beauty lover like myself.

Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Dry Skin Set

Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Dry Skin Set* Was £32 Now £14,99
If you read my 'Battling Dry Skin This Winter' post (link here), then you will know how much I struggle with dry skin. If you also know someone who has dry skin and is at the end of their tether when it comes to dealing with it, then you really can't go wrong with this gift set from Elizabeth Arden, especially as it's under £15 at the moment on Fragrance Direct. This is also ideal for anyone who wants to revitalise or start a new skincare routine from the very beginning as it includes a cleanser, a toner, a serum and a cream, all of which are incredibly hydrating.

Roger & Gallet Hydration Hand Cream Trio Set

Roger & Gallet Hydration Hand Cream Trio Set* £17.50
Not only is this one of the prettiest gift sets on the market this year (just imagine unwrapping this on Christmas morning) but it contains three of the most beautiful and sophisticated hand creams on the market. I've been obsessed with Roger & Gallet hand creams since the summer (as I featured them here) and they really are in a league of their own when it comes to scented hand creams. And this set will truly work for a whole host of different women of different ages which means it's a pretty safe bet this Christmas.

I Love Lots of Bubbles Gift Set

I Love Lots of Bubbles £4.99
I was definitely tempted to include this gift set in my Secret Santa gift guide (link here) but it really is one of my favourite gift sets this year so I just had to include it here. For less than a fiver you get six fantastic bath and shower gels and they all smell absolutely amazing. And they do exactly what it says on the box, you get lots of bubbles and a bath or shower full of fantastic scents.

Collection Cosmetics Lip Star Gift Set

Collection Cosmetics Lip Star*
And if you know someone who loves their lip glosses or lip balms then this stunning star gift set would be perfect for them. Complete with two fantastic lip balms and three lip glosses, this set from Collection really does combine quality with a bargain price tag.
MakeUp Revolution Awesome 100 Eyeshadow Collection Palette

MakeUp Revolution Awesome 100 Eyeshadow Collection* £12
If you've read my blog for a little while now (I have even more Makeup Revolution reviews planned for the New Year), then you will know just how much I have fallen in love with this range and in particular their selection of eye shadows. This literally has every single eye shadow shade that you could ever want or need, all in one place. And the quality of the shadows have certainly not been compromised when it comes to this enormous palette. 

Which Christmas gift sets have caught your eye this year? Have you picked up any for loved ones/yourself? And how are you getting on with your Christmas shopping? Did this post provide you with some shopping inspiration?


Friday, 12 December 2014

The Winter Degustabox (With Exclusive Discount Code)

The Winter Degustabox 2014 Review

As you might remember if you read my first Degustabox review back in September (link here), I really enjoyed my first Degustabox experience and they have done it again with the Winter box. This particular box is packed full of products that promise to provide you with some much needed winter warming. And just like last time, I have a fantastic and exclusive discount code for you. All you have to do is enter the code JR81X to receive £3 off when you register, making your first box less than a tenner (£9.99 to be precise.)

So let's get on to the products that I received in my Winter Degustabox;


Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Battling Dry Sky This Winter

Dry Skin Beauty Review

Every winter my skin goes from being pretty dry and rather sensitive to completely unbearable (I'm talking flaking, soreness and scaliness), so this year I decided to be a little more pro-active than normal when it comes to keeping my dry skin at bay. Despite the skin on my hands/arms/legs getting increasingly drier as the weather takes a turn, the one part of my body that gives the 'I've got dry skin' game away better than any other has to be my lips. So I've been putting a few lip balms to the test and these two have impressed me the most.

Dry Skin Maybelline Baby Lips Dr Rescue Medicated Lip Balm in Too Cool eos Vanilla Mint Lip Balm

Maybelline Baby Lips Dr Rescue Medicated Lip Balm in Too Cool $2.99 - eos Vanilla Mint Lip Balm $2.99

My favourite lip balm this winter has to be the Baby Lips Dr Rescue Medicated Lip Balm from Maybelline in the Too Cool flavour. Anyone who grew up being slathered in Vick's Vaporub any time they had a cold as a child, will definitely recognise the scent when it comes to this lip balm. Not only does it really improve cracked or chapped lips (mine were in a bit of a state before using this) but it also leaves your lips looking incredibly glossy and not that sticky at all, which is always impressive for a lip product like this. And whilst the Maybelline lip balm is much more intensive and moisturising than the eos offering, eos' brand new vanilla mint lip balm smells absolutely amazing. It also leaves your lips feeling nourished and silky smooth, even if you do need to apply it throughout the day. If you fancy winning one of the new eos swirled lip balms then be sure to check out my US treats and sweets blogiversary giveaway (link here).

Dry Skin Products Cocoa Brown La Roche-Posay Bioderma Bio Beaute by Nuxe Super Facialist by Una Brennan

Bioderma Hydrabio Gentle Moisturizing Scrub for Dehydrated And Sensitive Skin* £10.50 - Bio Beaute by Nuxe Anti-Tightness High-Nutrion Balm with Natural Cold Cream* £15.78 - Super Facialist By Una Brennan Rose Hydrate Intensive Moisture Mask* £8.99 - La Roche-Posay Toleriane Riche Soothing Protective Cream* Was £15 Now £11.25 - Cocoa Brown Chocolate Whip Oil Free Body Moisturiser* £5.99

When it comes to keeping dry skin at bay on the rest of my body I now have a bit of routine to battle dry skin and so far so good. For all over moisturising (normally when I've just stepped out of the shower) I have been absolutely loving Cocoa Brown's Chocolate Whip. You don't need to be a fake tan fan to truly appreciate Cocoa Brown. Chocolate Whip really does smell as amazing as you might think that it does. For drier patches such as my elbows, knees and hands, I plump for La Roche-Posay's Toleraine Riche. The fact that this is unscented is a real selling point for me as there are areas of my body that I don't necessarily want to be smelling of strong fragrances, if you know what I mean? 

Then it's all about the face. (Did you notice my attempt to make that sound a little bit like 'All About The Bass'? Hehe.) I tend to alternate these products to really get the most from them and you really do notice a difference when doing this. If my skin is feeling particularly parched, I slather on the Una Brennan Intensive Moisture Mask which leaves the skin feeling fantastic. And when my skin is a little flakier than usual it's time to get scrubbing with Bioderma's Hydrabio Scrub, which has been designed specifically for those with dehydrated and sensitive skin. And then there's my favourite of the bunch; the anti-tightness balm by Nuxe. This really does go on like a dream and soothes the skin in an instant. I definitely need to try more of the Bio Beaute range (who even knew that that was a thing?)

What are your go-to moisturising products to keep your lips and skin hydrated and moisturised? Have you tried any of the products that I've included in this post? If so, what do you think of them?


Sunday, 7 December 2014

Ellis Tuesday's Christmas Gift Guide: Secret Santa (Under £10)

Secret Santa Gift Guide Under £10

From the top of the tree to the bottom: Left to rightThe Body Shop Perry The Penguin Bath Sponge £5 - Ted Baker Sweet Treat Purse Spray Mia* £10 - The Body Shop Bob The Polar Bear Bath Sponge £4 - Lush Snow Fairy £7.50 - Chapstick Awesome Lips Kit* £4.25 - W7 Loads of Lashes* £4.95 - Lush Santa's Lip Scrub* £5.50 - Rodial Glam Balm Lip Christmas Tree Decoration* Was £14 Now £7 - Lush Joy to The World* £8.50 - W7 It's Christmas Nail Polish* £4.95 - The Body Shop Glazed Apple Lip Gloss* £7

Shopping, when it comes to Secret Santa gifts, tends to be a bit of a palaver every year. I know I'm not the only one who feels this way which is why I decided to challenge myself to see what could really be bought this Christmas on a Secret Santa budget, hence why this very gift guide was born. 

Most of the time you really don't know the person well enough to pluck for a properly personal gift and then there's the traditional Secret Santa budget, which is normally under £10. If you're doing Secret Santa this year and the budget is £5 then I have also got you covered as all of the gifts included in this gift guide are less than £10, with a few even being under or around the £5 mark.

My fail safe Secret Santa gift regardless of who you're buying for has to be a Lush gift set. Not only are there several under the £10 Secret Santa remit but all of the hard work is really done for you as it's already wrapped (absolutely beautifully might I add) and ready to go. And whilst you're in Lush don't forget about the other Christmas additions to the Lush range. Snow Fairy is my latest obsession and Santa's Lip Scrub is another ideal Secret Santa addition (and just shy of £5). 

Then there's The Body Shop who never fail to impress, especially at Christmas. Just look at how cute the little penguin and polar bear bath sponges are! I'm also loving the entire Glazed Apple range and the lip gloss from that range hasn't left my side (or lips) recently. 

If you're buying for someone who loves Christmas as much as they love their beauty products then you can do no wrong with the Rodial Glam Balm Lip Christmas Tree Decoration. Just imagine that hanging on their Christmas tree. And believe it or not, you can also get a brilliant perfume for £10, albeit a purse spray but nonetheless, the Ted Baker Mia scent is so beautiful and just look at the packaging too.

W7 also have you covered this Christmas with the most festive nail polish imaginable called It's Christmas (expect a full review of this very soon) and some great sets, such as the lashes one which I've featured.

If you enjoyed seeing some of the smaller gifts that can be found this year then I will be doing a gift guide dedicated to stocking fillers on the 21st and trust me it is definitely worth the wait. Next Sunday's Christmas Gift Guide is all about the best of the best when it comes to Christmas gift sets too, so if that's what you've still to buy then keep an eye out for that post.

Are you participating in Secret Santa this year? If so, what do you have in mind for your recipient? Did this post provide you with some shopping inspiration? What do you think of the products that I've featured?


Friday, 5 December 2014

Happy 1st Birthday Ellis Tuesday: US Giveaway

US Giveaway
It's hard for me to believe but my very first blog post went live exactly one year ago today (link here). In that year I've had so many unbelievable opportunities, met such lovely people and had an amazing time writing each and every one of my blog posts. And I just really wanted to thank everyone who has taken the time to read my blog, clicked the follow button and interacted with me on here and on social media. Hence why I've decided to do a little giveaway to celebrate the special occasion and here it is. All of the prizes were purchased by myself when I was on holiday in Florida this October and are products that instantly caught my eye when I was there. I really hope that these are the kinds of products that do the same for you, especially as they are all US exclusive products. 

So here are the prizes included in my first blogging birthday giveaway:

Victoria's Secret Total Attraction 
This is the brand new VS Fantasies fragrance which was just released in October. It has wonderful notes of Cherry Orchid and Lily Blossom and is the full sized VS Fantasies bottle.

Sephora Spring In Soho Eye, Lip & Cheek Palette
You get eight eyeshadows, five lipglosses, a blush and two miniature make-up brushes from Sephora all wrapped up in a travel-friendly mother of pearl-esque case.

eos Coconut Milk Visibly Soft Lip Balm Sphere
Anyone wanting to try the eos line of lip balms will be seriously impressed with the brand new Coconut Milk offering.

Bath and Body Works Dazzling Diamond PocketBac Sanitizing Hand Gel
It's the one US exclusive product that I always wish I had more of and not only is this one fragranced with citrus and berries but it's also glittery!

Jolly Rancher Crunch 'N Chews
And who doesn't love US sweet treats?!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Now onto the rules:

The giveaway is open to UK residents only. (I will be planning more international giveaways in the New Year.)
There are three mandatory entries: you must be following me on Bloglovin' (link here)on twitter (link here) and leave a comment below letting me know what your favourite post of mine has been this year.
Additional entries can be gained by following me on instagram (link here) and tweeting about the giveaway.
The giveaway will run for exactly one month, so it will end on Monday 5th of January at midnight.
The winner will be picked at random by rafflecopter. The winner will then have 48 hours to send me over their details or I will pick another winner. The prize will then be issued by myself.

A huge thanks again to everyone who has made my first year of blogging so incredibly special and the best of luck to everyone who enters. Here's to many more years of Ellis Tuesday! 


Wednesday, 3 December 2014

My Christmas Wishlist

Christmas Wishlist

Beauty: From left to right: Viktor & Rolf Bon Bon EDP Gift Set £58 - Too Faced La Belle Carousel $49 - Lush Magic Wand Bubble Bar £5.25 - Sephora Kiss Me Balm in Cotton Candy $8 - Estee Lauder Pure Color Gloss in Plexi Pink £18 - Bumble and bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Travel Set £19.50

Fashion: From left to right: Accesorize Z for Accessorize Cut Out Heart Ring £10 - Topshop Velvet Wrap Front Playsuit £42 - Topshop Fizz Glitter Mary Jane Shoes £30 - H&M Wool Hat £12.99 - Accessorize 80s Hits Bag £25 - Dorothy Perkins Penguin Slippers £15
BooksFrom left to right: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn - Grace: A Memoir by Grace Coddington - Yes Please by Amy Poehler - Boo by J.H Lee
Miscellaneous: From left to right: Canon EOS M £199.99 - Next Canvas £25 - Boo 2015 Wall Calendar £10.99

Now that it's officially December, I don't feel too bad about posting this wishlist (it's not like I've been thinking about writing this since about June or anything! Hehe.) I in no way expect to wake up on Christmas morning to all of these wonderful gifts but these products have definitely all caught my eye over the past couple of months or so, making them the perfect additions to my Christmas Wishlist.

At the top of my list this year is a new camera but I have a feeling that as I need to upgrade my phone in a couple of weeks time anyway, that I might just look for a phone with a pretty impressive camera instead. I'm thinking of going for the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact but if anyone has any other suggestions then I would love to hear them (seriously I am no good at this whole searching for top-notch technology thing.)

As for the rest of the wishlist, quite clearly I have a bit of an eclectic taste, to say the least. Penguin slippers, glittery shoes, a handbag shaped like a cassette tape and a Boo (The World's Cutest Dog, might I hasten to add) wall calendar. I've also been really looking forward to reading Amy Poehler's book ever since I first heard that it was going to be released and I must be the only person who hasn't seen/read Gone Girl yet too.

So what do you think of my Christmas Wishlist selections? And what is on your Christmas list this year? If you have written a Christmas Wishlist post I would love to have a look at it (and most probably add to my own list as a result. Hehe), so please feel free to leave your links below. Who's getting excited for December 25th now?! 

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