Sunday, 17 March 2019

10 Mother's Day Gift Ideas That Even Your Mum Will Love


top 10 mother's day gifts

Just in case it had slipped your mind or you've still got your shopping to do, it's officially two weeks today until Mother's Day here in the UK and I've got you covered when it comes to gift ideas!

Whether your Mum is into all things beauty, a fragrance fan, a keen traveller or a home body, there should be something to suit every kind of Mum in today's gift guide.

So here are some of my top Mother's Day gift ideas this year;



Beauty

Mother's Day, much like Christmas, is always a fantastic time to pick up some great value beauty sets and limited edition items. It's also a great time to replenish your Mum's skincare stash or to treat her to a new perfume.

beauty expert vegan kit review

My favourite beauty pick for Mother's Day 2019 has got to be the Beauty Expert Spring Collection*!

Packed full of seven FULL SIZE products worth over £180, all in a beautiful mauve makeup/wash bag for just £60, this is such a great deal! It includes an incredible array of products from the likes of Elemis, Antipodes, PRAI and bareMinerals and I know that so many different Mums will absolutely love what they find in this great gift set.

Free next day delivery is also available with this set meaning that you'll definitely be able to order it in time for Mother's Day morning, even if you do leave it that bit later. And to be totally honest, who's got the time or energy to spend the day dipping in and out of shops on the High Street when there are sets like this online that can't be beat in terms of value for money and product selection.

elizabeth arden love your look set

If you've read my previous Mother's Day gift guides (from 2018 and 2016), which are worth giving a read if you're looking for more ideas, you might remember me mentioning the incredible value of an Elizabeth Arden set from World Duty Free and they have yet another this time around. The Elizabeth Arden Love Your Look Set* is a travel exclusive and includes three gorgeous lip products and a beautiful eye shadow quad. It also comes housed in an adorable little I Love NY bag. 

Me and my Mum have actually booked a little girls trip to NYC and Miami, so this couldn't have been more perfect for us. I've also got another travel related gift idea a bit further down if your Mum loves to travel or has any special trips planned this year.

If your Mum has a beautiful dressing table but lacks a storage system or if she's looking for somewhere special to store some of her favourite beauty bits, what do you think of this One Year Roses Makeup Box* from Prezzybox?!

You can pick from red, pink or champagne roses and these are flowers that will last much longer than Mother's Day weekend, so much so that they estimate a whole year, if you look after them properly. The makeup box is also available in two larger sizes if your Mum has quite the makeup or beauty collection.

perfume for mum uk

Perfume is another fail safe Mother's Day gift idea, especially if you know what she normally wears or the kinds of scent combinations that she likes. My Mum loves the classic Mon Guerlain scent (review here) so she will no doubt love its latest incarnation; Mon Guerlain Bloom Of Rose. This gift set really would make for the perfect gift this Mother's Day!

Marks & Spencer have also launched a new range of fragrances with something for every taste. There's Waterlily & Blossom, Seasalt & Freesia, Nectar & Jasmine and the one that I know my Mum will absolutely adore, Mimosa & Bergamot. Plus you can pick one up whilst you do your food shop, as I did.

Lifestyle

As I mentioned earlier, me and my Mum have a little trip away planned this year and if your Mum has some travel planned this year, this passport cover  and luggage tag from Yes Studio would be such a great pick, especially if like me, you used to ask her 'are we there yet?' every single time you went on any family holiday however big or small.

mothers day gift ideas

It might sound obvious but if there's something that your Mum has been asking for or keeps saying that she'll need to get, this is a very good starting point for you to start from when you go shopping. My Mum has been looking for a new pair of Spring-appropriate shoes and when I found these pretty pastel slip on mules* from Land's End I knew that she would absolutely love the colour. Hopefully the weather will improve slightly soon so that she can start getting her wear out of them.

She's also been looking to get a thermal travel mug to take with her to work, which is why this ban.do I Am Very Busy stainless steel thermal travel mug* will be right up her street! If your Mum is a big tea or coffee drinker and/or trying to save some money/the environment by not paying her local coffee shop a visit everyday, this is a great gift idea and it's just such a nice design too.

If you have absolutely no idea what to get your Mum, you can't go wrong with a beautiful bouquet of flowers or a great DVD.

best flowers for mother's day

This year I used FlorismartUK, the UK's first online market place for local florists. This means that it brings up the florists closest to you and some of their most popular bouquets, all on one page, making the whole process of ordering flowers so much easier, especially if you're not sure where close to you does great arrangements. They sent me the Blush bouquet* from Urban Blooms, a florist close to me and isn't it beautiful?!

Another great option is a hat box style arrangement, like the one from Haute Florist that I used as a bed for my perfume picks just above. It makes for such a unique take on the traditional bouquet and would no doubt make many a Mum happy on Mothering Sunday. One year I will 100% have to get my Mum this hat box from them! I mean, who wouldn't want a bouquet enrobed in Lindt Lindor chocolates?!

In terms of DVDs and movies, I don't think you can go wrong with the likes of A Star Is Born, The Greatest Showman or other some Mother's Day picks like Bridget Jones, La La Land and Mamma Mia.

So those are my top picks this year. To see what I've recommended in previous Mother's Day gift guides, be sure to check them out here and here.

Have you bought your Mother's Day gifts this year? If so, what did you pick up? What do you think of my top picks this year? And is your Mum a flowers or chocolates or both kind of woman?

Here are some more of my top picks for Mother's Day gift ideas, from £5 to £50+, this year;


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Sunday, 10 March 2019

10 Cold Weather Appropriate Skincare Products To Try Now


skincare for dry skin in winter

Over the past few months or so I've been putting a whole lot of skincare to the test, to varying degrees of success. For reference, my skin is pretty dehydrated all over and this can lead to an oily T-Zone and dry patches. My skin can also get rather sensitive and up until now, I haven't found an eye cream that hasn't made my eyes water. So I was on the lookout for a few new products to add to my current routine and more than happy to test out some lovely skincare bits that I had been sent. As always, you can find my full disclaimer here but basically an * beside something indicates that it was either gifted to me or paid for with a gift card.

Compared to makeup, it's sometimes pretty difficult to find recent recommendations when it comes to skincare, ones that you could easily slot into your current skincare routine or hopefully even inspire you to take skincare more seriously. So hopefully that is what this blog post will do, particularly during the cold weather.



So here are my top 10 cold weather appropriate skincare products to try now;

best cleanser for dry skin uk

Dermalogica Precleanse* £38.50

At the end of last year, I became a Dermalogica #Skinfluencer, which essentially means that occasionally I will be gifted some of Dermalogica's latest and bestselling products to try out, that I am under no obligation to feature or review.

I had never heard of Precleanse before but it is such a genius product. It's an oil without leaving the skin feeling greasy or oily afterwards and turns into a milky substance once combined with water. This really does remove absolutely everything from your face. I'm talking stubborn waterproof makeup and really colourful or glittery pigments. Basically, if you've been struggling to get all your makeup off or you just feel like your skin isn't completely clean after cleansing, try this out! You won't regret it.

mgc derma Youth Day CBD & Hyaluronic Cleansing Milk £19-38

I'd seen mgc derma appear a few times on social media and happily took advantage of a 50% sale, which is still on, at Harvey Nichols to grab this bottle. I've been using this cleansing milk as a second cleanse on the days when I've been wearing a lot of makeup or as my main cleanse on days when I'm not wearing anything at all and I'm such a fan!

It feels so lovely and hydrating on the skin and doesn't leave my skin feeling taut or too tight after doing so either. It also includes the 'it' ingredient of the moment; CBD, which is supposed to make your skin look and feel firmer and revived. Definitely one to check out, particularly when it's half price at the moment.

pixi glow tonic 500ml uk

Pixi Glow Tonic* £5-18

Right before Christmas a very exciting parcel arrived at my door; my very own bumper sized and personalised bottle of Pixi's Glow Tonic. It's one of the products that has made the biggest differences to my skin in recent years. And as someone who can often be rather lazy, I normally reach for my pre-soaked Glow Tonic To-Go, that I've featured in a previous travel beauty feature before but I'm so happy to have a bottle of this stuff.

It has improved any breakout areas and made a serious impact on improving my bizarre skin texture. If you've been unsure about adding acids to your skincare routine, I would 100% start with this one. When people say this is game changing, I have to agree. Whether you're older or have acne scarring or sensitive skin, this pretty much works on all and is a great price too.

skincare for dry skin

Vichy Mineral 89 Fortifying & Plumping Daily Booster £16

I've tried a good number of gel based moisturisers and even though they normally absorb quite quickly, they either leave the skin with a greasy film on top or your skin feels parched about an hour later. This is honestly the best gel based product that I've tried! I'd describe it as something between a serum and a moisturiser as your skin feels so refreshed and hydrated after using it. It's also got rid of some little dry patches that nothing else helped with. I've found that French Pharmacy skincare is some of the best priced and performing on the market and so easy to add to your basket at the likes of Boots now.

Nuxe Multi-Correctional Eye Balm Cream £23

When I heard that Nuxe were releasing a skincare range designed specifically for millenials, I was really intrigued. I feel like we've all probably seen those images on social media where there's a picture of a Dear Diary (remember those?!) or Jonathan Taylor Thomas with a 90's curtain hairstyle and a caption saying something along the lines of  'if you remember this it's time for an eye cream', etc.

But I've struggled to find one that isn't super intense, especially as I'm only starting to notice fine and smile lines. This cream doesn't leave my eyes looking red or watery and helps with any puffiness in the mornings as well. I've also seen a change in how dark my dark circles look and notice a difference when I forget to apply this in the morning. If you've not already heard of this new range from Nuxe, I would certainly check it out at your local beauty counter if you're in the millenial age range.

Givenchy L'Intemporel Blossom Beautifying Radiance Serum £63

I was invited along to the relaunch of Givenchy's counter at Debenhams in St. Enoch last year and one product impressed me that much that I had to return to finally invest in a serum. The lovely makeup artist who did my makeover that day commented on the odd flaky skin texture that I have on my forehead and cheeks and said that if exfoliating wasn't keeping on top of this, a serum would and this was the one that she recommended. It may be pricey but boy is it good!

If you have dull skin, this is the product for you! My skin feels so hydrated and much brighter after using this. The rosy pink micro beads lift the look of the skin and make me feel so confident to go out completely makeup free after using this. I also feel like a proper adult when using this.

The next few products are ideal for those of us with dry or dehydrated skin or skin that can be problematic in the Winter months;

winter skin care routine for dry skin

Omorovicza Magic Moisture Mist* £65

For years now I've wanted to try Omorovicza's Queen Of Hungary Mist but after hearing mixed reviews, I've yet to give it a go. I was, however, sent this Magic Moisture Mist from the brand. If you're feeling extra bougie, give this a go. It doesn't replace a traditional moisturiser and is quite a big bottle to take with you for touch ups throughout the day but it has piqued my interest though and I've already got my eye on a little travel size of the Queen Of Hungary Mist to possibly take with me on my next trip abroad.

Dermalogica Intensive Moisture Balance* £61

A new and improved take on one of Dermalogica's highest rated products, the Intensive Moisture Balance is a cold weather essential! If you're someone who really struggles with dry, dehydrated or increasingly sensitive skin in the Winter, this is a must buy! You only need a tiny amount, which is in stark difference to every other moisturiser that I've used for my dry skin. I normally have to slather moisturisers on to even get the slightest bit of actual hydration. This, on the other hand, actually feels like it's really penetrating the skin and is easily the best moisturiser that I've tried in the colder months.

If you have similar skin to me, seriously check this out!

glamglow thirstymud review

Last but not least, we have two mud based face masks;

ALGENIST ALIVE Prebiotic Balancing Mask* £38

Now you might think that this product is a bit of a gimmick (it changes colour after being applied and is really rather cool to watch) but it's a clay mask unlike any other that I've tried. It doesn't leave my skin feeling itchy or dry, like other clay masks often do and it also feels like a mousse instead of a thick gloopy consistency and for that reason, it makes me want to reach for it over and over again. Something to certainly check out.

GLAMGLOW THIRSTYMUD Hydrating Treatment Masque* £16-42

I'd heard a lot of hype surrounding this product so was really intrigued to see how it would perform on my skin. I put this to the test right before Christmas, when it was starting to get really cold and I now get why I've seen so many positive reviews of it. First of all, the smell of this is so dreamy and makes me think of Summer holidays but what impressed me the most was how immediate the results were with this. My skin felt brand new after having this on the first time and it worked wonders on my really dry and dehydrated skin.

how to take care of dry skin in winter

So those are my top 10 picks for cold weather appropriate skincare products.



Have you tried any of the brands or exact products in today's blog post? If so, what were your thoughts on them? Are there any skincare brands that you are completely loyal to or ones that have caught your eye recently?

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Wednesday, 6 March 2019

What I've Been Watching In: February


what to watch this month

February is always one of my favourite months, mainly because it's my birthday month and as a result, I normally get a few new DVDs or take a trip to the movies to see something and that's exactly what happened this year. That and the fact that it was really too cold to do anything outside which ultimately led to some guilt free Netflix sessions.

So here's what I watched in February;

True Detective

After a frankly bizarre and overwhelmingly disappointing second season, even with the likes of Rachel McAdams and Colin Farrell starring in it, True Detective is truly back to it's original glory with the third season. It's got the same gritty and realistic feel to it that the first season had and again focuses on a partnership between two detectives who don't exactly view the world in the same way. The case is also one that draws you in and it's not as simple as you might think when you first hear that two children have gone missing.

Mahershala Ali takes the lead role and like everything that I've seen him in so far, completely owns every scene. Stephen Dorff, who actually popped into my head when a Britney Spears Top 20 was playing on one of the music channels whilst I was working one day (do you remember him playing her boyfriend in the 'Everytime' vid?) It was me googling what he was up to now that lead me to discover that he was in fact in the latest season of True Detective and that it was starting the following week. Going between three different time periods, of which the current day sees both detectives at around 70 years old, adds to the story and investigation in ways that it just couldn't if it was only set in one. If you liked the first season or simply like good TV, you simply have to check this season out!

Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes

As much as I love watching true crime documentaries, particularly on Netflix, I try not to seek out cases on my own so that when they are inevitably made into a documentary or TV series, I'm experiencing and finding everything out for the first time. Ted Bundy was one of those cases. And even though I knew that he was one of the most prolific serial killers in history, I didn't know exactly how everything went down. Now to say that I was shocked, would be a massive understatement. I wasn't only shocked by how cunning and opportunistic he was but the ways in which the case was dealt with back in those days and *spoiler alert* his TWO escapes was absolutely unbelievable!

I had heard that Zac Efron would be playing Ted in an upcoming movie and as I was writing this blog post, it was confirmed that Netflix had bought the rights to Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil & Vile for $9 million dollars. To those who have been complaining that they shouldn't be glamourising what Ted Bundy did by casting someone like Zac Efron, the whole point was that Bundy was able to do what he did because he didn't look like what you would envisage a monster or serial killer to look like. He preyed on young women in places where he didn't stand out as someone sinister. If you've been meaning to check this series out, definitely do it!

A Star Is Born

I've had A Star Is Born on my to-watch list ever since it was first released but sadly missed it when it was in cinemas. I knew that I'd have to get it on DVD as soon as it came out and it felt like fate when I saw that it was out on the very same day as my birthday.

First of all, I hadn't seen any of the previous iterations or incarnations of A Star Is Born so I didn't really have anything to compare it to and I'm so glad that I hadn't. I had expected it to be good so had my fingers crossed that it wouldn't disappoint. I had a feeling that as I already loved many of the songs from the soundtrack, without actually knowing how they related to the movie, that I would enjoy it and I'm happy to say that I did. At over two hours long I had worried that it would drag on a bit or feel like a two hour movie but bizarrely it flew by and the final act even felt a bit rushed to me. I loved how much time went in to showing how the two of them came together in the beginning but in comparison, the bad times (the fights, the impact that the night of the Grammys had had on Ally's career and how she was ultimately attempting to recover from it) weren't really shown at all. That would be my only criticism of the movie. I completely agree that Lady Gaga was meant to play Ally and who knew Bradley Cooper could sing/direct?! It was also great to see the likes of Shangela (one of my favourite queens - wasn't she robbed in All Stars 3?!) and Willam on the big screen.

The Nun

Another movie that I received for my birthday, The Nun was an unexpected gift but one that I was very happy to receive. As big fans of The Conjuring series of movies, me and my Mum were always going to get around to watching The Nun at some point so now was as good a time as any. I'd heard mixed reviews but was intrigued to see where they would take the origin story and how it would tie in with the rest of the series.

It's definitely not the worst horror movie that I've ever seen but it didn't quite live up to some of the other horror movies that I've seen in recent years, particularly The Conjuring series itself. There were some interesting and stylish scenes but they were pretty much sandwiched in between jump scare after jump scare, ones that even a horror movie novice could have predicted. It's one of those movies that I enjoyed watching but it just wasn't that memorable. However, the way in which the ending of The Nun led into the other movies in The Conjuring universe was a nice touch and had me itching to start the series from the very beginning once again.

Abducted In Plain Sight

Just when I thought that I couldn't be shocked any more by a Netflix doc, along came Abducted In Plain Sight. This is honestly the craziest true crime story that I have ever heard of (even crazier than the pizza bomber plot in Evil Genius)! Do yourself a favour and have a look at the #AbductedInPlainSight hashtag on Twitter, even if you previously had no intention to watch this. Some of the GIFs sum up the viewing experience so well it's just too good to resist scrolling through them all.

You know the saying stranger than fiction, well that's exactly what this entire true life story is from start to finish. It is, however, a documentary about child abuse, which is at times told in explicit detail, so it's worth bearing that in mind if it could be a trigger to you or someone you're watching it with. It also delves into the topics of brainwashing and blackmail. I've never watched anything where, literally every five minutes, I was completely stunned and shocked! Nor had I shouted 'WHAT THE FUCK?!' so many times in a row. I won't spoil it, as I think you have to go into it without knowing too much about it but if you're looking for something that will literally blow your mind, give Abducted In Plain Sight a watch.

What have you been watching this month? Have you seen any of the movies or TV shows that I've featured in today's blog post? If so, what did you think of them? And have you been binge watching anything recently?

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Sunday, 3 March 2019

All About The Eyes Giveaway


sephora favorites giveaway

Back in August of last year I did my first take on a Sephora Favorites set with my mascara bundle giveaway. As I've mentioned before, I buy and receive far more beauty bits than one face could ever use so I'm hoping to do one giveaway a month on here and my social media going forward.

This month I've put together my take on an 'all about the eyes'-style Sephora Favorites set with a mixture of drugstore and high end items. It still completely baffles me that no UK beauty retailer such as Boots, Superdrug or the likes of Feel Unique or Cult Beauty, has come up with their own take on a Favorites or as we would call it over here, Favourites, set. I always find so many gems in them and it's a great way to try out different brands and products without forking out too much.



So here's what's up for grabs this month. One lucky winner will win the following:

Makeup Revolution Iconic Pro 1 Palette
it Cosmetics Superhero Liner*
Maybelline The Falsies Mascara
Givenchy Ombre Couture Cream Eyeshadow in Kaki Brocart*
Eylure Volume No 101 Lashes

I've got a few Sephora Favorites-style giveaways planned for 2019 so be sure to keep an eye out for them in the coming months.

best eye makeup 2019

To be in with a chance of winning this month's giveaway, all you have to do is enter via the Rafflecopter form below;

a Rafflecopter giveaway There will be one winner picked by random - Prize issued by me - Open internationally

Have you tried any of the products featured in today's post? If so, what do you think of them? And what kind of 'Sephora Favorites'-style giveaways would you like to see in the future?

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Friday, 1 March 2019

Easy Ways To Make Money From Your Favourite Hobbies


how to make money from hobbies at home

- GUEST POST BY ALYCIA COLOMA -

They say that you’ll never work a day in your life so long as you do something that you love. So what if you turned your favorite side hobby into a side hustle? While it takes a lot of effort to build and sustain a business, you could at the very least use your hobby to make a little extra pocket cash. It’s not as hard as you think—even for the most peculiar hobbies. Here’s how you can make money doing what you love.

Make an Etsy Account 

If your hobby involves making handcrafted jewelry, arts, and other items, you could sell your creations on Etsy.com. Etsy is a website where the makers of handcrafted goods can sell their creations and make money. Think of it like Amazon.com, except all the products are handmade by artisans just like yourself. If your creations become popular, you might be able to make enough money to craft them full-time. That’s the dream, right? But you don’t have to sell items on Etsy only. There are lots of other places online where you can sell your handmade crafts and share your artistry with the world.

Write About It 

If you love doing something, you should write about it. That’s what I’ve done! The Internet is one of the best places to write about your hobby. Start a blog online and cultivate an audience of followers who have the same interest.

You could create a blog on a website like Wix, or you could create a whole website for yourself through WordPress or similar sites. Blog and website-creation platforms have user-friendly interfaces and make it easy for you to customize the look, feel, and organization of your blog. If you have lots of web traffic on your blog, you might be able to make money by selling ad space.

You can also make money by freelancing. There are probably lots of existing websites and magazines that publish articles about your favorite hobby. If you’re a skilled writer, you can write articles about any subject pertaining to your hobby and submit them to any of these outlets. A few of them might pay you for the article!

Now, what on Earth would you write about? Well that’s the fun part! You can write about anything that pertains to your hobby. If you’re fascinated by fashion, you could write something like, “How To Dress for Every Season.” If you’re a carpenter or craftsperson, you could write “How to Find Craft Supplies Online” These kinds of articles are popular and they’re the kind of content that will draw the interest of like-minded readers.

easy ways to make money online

Enter Competitions

If you have a passion about something, it’s likely others do too. Due to this shared interest, there’s bound to be some kind of local, regional, national, or even global competition where you can display your skills. Even blogging has a number of these, so there’s no excuse not to take part in one! You can take a competition as seriously or as lightly as you wish. Either way, they’re a fun way to showcase your skills and your interests. If the competition is at a venue, you’ll meet others who share your passion and get the chance to make friends and even build a network.

Many of these competitions offer prize money to the winner, and sometimes even to the runner-ups. If you win a competition, you’ll also increase your exposure to the professional world and you could be rewarded with job opportunities, sponsorships, or invitations to more prestigious competitions. For anyone that’s been procrastinating about getting work done, a little friendly competition can spark your creative fire.

However, it’s important not to lose yourself in the competitive fire. Passion projects are meant to be worked on because you love it, not necessarily because you’re trying to win prizes. Get out there and compete for that money, but don’t get so competitive that you’ll feel sour if you lose.

Teach Others

A great way to make money off of doing what you love is to teach others how to do it. You can hold your own “How to” events anywhere in your city or online, and charge a small fee for participants to come and learn skills from you. This is also a great way to network and possibly make new friends.

Teaching is definitely a difficult skill. Remember that many of your participants will be inexperienced, so have patience and don’t expect them to get the hang of it right away. You want to make people feel good about learning your hobby—you don’t want to dissuade them from ever doing it again. So be kind! Out of all the money-making methods we listed, this is one of the most useful because you’re truly giving back to the community by enriching the skillset of others.

Now you’re ready to put your hobby in the limelight and cash in your pocket. Make some money off your hobby by selling your handcrafted items, by writing about your hobby, by entering competitions, and by teaching your skills to others. Now your favorite hobby will be even more fulfilling!
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