Valentine's Fragrances


Shoe designer, Vince Camuto has recently launched a line of three fragrances into Debenhams - just in time for Valentine's Day. The perfume range includes three feminine scents; Fiori, Amore and Bella, each of which feature a beautiful filigree cap. Although I much preferred the Fiori bottle, which has a rose gold lid and a pink bow (and would have looked even more gorgeous) on my dressing table, I was most drawn to the description of Bella*; alluring, passionate and sensual, a vibrantly warm bouquet of Nectarine Blossoms, Italian Bergamot and Jasmine Water with a base of White Amber. 

My signature scent is definitely warm and floral, rather than anything too citrusy or ocean-inspired. Especially at this time of year (and Valentine's Day in particular) I think it's nice to wear a warm, flirty scent - and leave the fresh and light fragrances for the summer. 

Vince Camuto Bella* £55 from Debenhams.

Here are some other fragrances that I think are perfect to wear (or drop hints about!) for Valentine's Day: 

I have Vivienne Westwood Boudoir and I love it so much. As the name suggests it's quite a sexy fragrance, it's floral and feminine but with a bit of a seductive smokiness to it.

I also have Marc Jacobs Oh, Lola! which is a much more playful and fun fragrance and looks amazing in my room! Who needs flowers when you could have a flower that never dies or loses it's scent?! It's sweet and fruity but still fresh and light. I don't like perfumes that are too sickly sweet! 

I've not tried Chloe Love Story before, but doesn't it sound like the perfect Valentine's Day scent? I love all of Chloe fragrances bottles that have a retro vibe to them, and this one is inspired by the love padlocks on Paris' Pont des Arts.

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb is one of those fragrances I spritz on every time I'm in the Debenhams Beauty Hall but have never gotten round to treating myself to. True to it's name, Flowerbomb is a floral explosion which is sultry and sophisticated yet still fresh and clean.

Nina by Nina Ricci was my favourite perfume when I was younger (and I still love it but have run out!) but I'm keen to try the newer Nina L'eau. Not only is it in a prettier pink apple bottle but it's fresher and lighter than the warm and sweet original Nina. 

Benefit's fragrances are always lovely, and great bet for anyone on more of a budget. I love the look of Maybe Baby, it's in a much nicer bottle than the rest of Benefit's perfumes and looks far more luxe than the £29.50 price tag. 

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Instajan



01.01 - A lovely New Years Day dinner at Loch Fyne in Canford Cliffs, Poole. Mussels in a white wine sauce, with crusty french bread, washed down with a glass of prosecco ����

03.01 - Back home after Christmas, finding a place for all my lovely Christmas presents! My bedside table now looks perfect with my copper reading lamp and gold Molton Brown candle.

04.01 - The first day back at work ain't so bad when you have a Net-a-porter delivery. Used my Christmas money from my Nanna and Grandad to get the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit... true love in a palette.

08.01 - Colour coordinating my train journeys in style. My shearling jacket matched my coffee cup, so it had to go on Instagram, naturally.

10.01 - The general theme of most of my January - slippers, tea and a furry hot water bottle.

11.01 - Playing with my new Laura Mercier eyeshadow palette that Rich bought me for Christmas. He even got me my Space NK points... the boy's well trained.

19.01 - More beautifully wrapped beauty treats, this time from Beautylish, is the only way to get through January.

20.01 - Just about surviving the cold spell!

28.01 - We had a sad start to 2016. My Grandad went into hospital on New Years Eve and this week we had to say goodbye for the last time. This photo was on the order of service, he was such a handsome young man!

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Laura Mercier Sleek & Chic Palette



Urban Decay's Naked palettes have undeniably stolen the blogging limelight, but I think Laura Mercier's eyeshadows are highly underrated. The 'Sleek & Chic' palette is the second eyeshadow collection from the French make-up artist to fall into my hands, and I absolutely love it as much as I did the first one. 

Firstly, the case! The hard, tortoise shell housing feels ultra luxe and has a retro vibe about it, which I love! It's got a magnetic flip-top closure and a huge mirror inside, along with twelve, beautiful, wearable shades that are so unique. No boring beiges and browns in here! The shades are buttery soft, highly pigmented, and blend together perfectly. 

In the top left corner is Stellar, a cream shimmer, that's ideal for highlighting the brow bone and illuminating the inner corner of the eye.

Surrounding it, three neutral matte shades; Morning Dew, Ginger and Cashmere.

Then we've got the shimmer brown tones on the top row; Bamboo, Cedar and Bronze Glow. Bamboo is a champagne-coloured everyday shade that looks lovely worn alone or blended into any of the other colours, whether I opt for the copper or the purpley route.

As someone who wears strictly neutrals, I never expected to love the purples quite so much as I do. African Violet is probably my most worn shade so far. It's a coppery lilac that's so flattering and wearable. It looks beautiful blended with Cherrywood, a mahogany-brown purple. The other purple, Plumifique, is a brighter, royal purple that I haven't worn yet as it's a bit more vibrant.

Espresso Bean and Noir are matte shades and add a smokey effect to any of the colour combos you go for. I like smudging a little under my lower lash line and in the crease of my eyelid.

Have you tried any Laura Mercier eyeshadows?
£45 from Space NK
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Bumble & bumble


I seem to have built up quite the Bumble & bumble collection. I blame the man on the counter in Brighton Boots - he's just so cute and always coerces me into buying something!

Despite my growing collection though, Bumble & bumble is not a brand I am madly in love with; I find it quite hit and miss to be honest. And not just that some products are good and some are bad - I find that one day a certain product is brilliant, and the next day it just doesn't deliver the same results!

With this in mind I thought I'd give a mini review of the eight products I own, the ones I love and the the ones I'm not sold on.

Tonic lotion

This is most useful for refreshing hair after the gym; you know when it's a bit damp and sweaty but not quite in need of a wash? It's a wet spray with a lovely blend of herbs and tea tree oil which leaves the hair smelling fresh and scalp feeling clean. It's a fantastic detangling spray too.

Verdict: A must for busy gym bunnies - very refreshing and soothing.
£17 from feelunique

Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Primer

This is a deeply intensive leave in conditioner and leaves my hair really soft, silky and more manageable. Unlike other products of it's kind, and although it's infused with six different oils, it's a totally weightless mist and is undetectable in the hair. It's great for both for a moisture boost after washing, or to reset windswept, tangled hair back to a smooth, silky and virgin like state.

Verdict: LOVE. Get it.
£20.50 from feelunique

Defrizz

A silky serum that smoothes down frizzy flyaways and protects against humidity, preventing frizz from returning. It also adds quite a glossy sheen too. I do really like this, but that could be because I got it for a fiver on the Boots clearance shelf. For the full price, there are cheaper serums that do the same thing, BUT, as you literally need the smallest drop at a time, a bottle is sure to last YEARS.

Verdict: Good, but overpriced.

Grooming Creme

I find it really good for styling without heat. It moulds the hair into the shape you want and leaves a glossy sheen (although with a bit of a sticky feel). I like to twist it through the lengths of my hair to create undone textured curls, and they last all day. But this is one of those hit or miss types that I was talking about at the beginning. Sometimes it just won't go the way you want it, and then you're stuck with a tacky feel in your hair and a bit of a texturised mess. 

Verdict: Great when it works, but unreliable.

Cityswept finish 

This spray has a medium hold for perfecting that messy 'lived-in' style, and it's waxy mist adds texture and separation to the lengths of the hair. Sometimes I like to use this when my hair is a mess and I need to make it look like it's purposely a mess, a desperate quick fix solution(ish) I suppose, but I don't love it.

Verdict: I don't think I know what to do with it? Can't you just go outside in the wind and get the same effect?
£22 from feelunique

Prêt-a-powder

A dry shampoo and volumising powder, the prêt-a-powder does add significant lift to my roots and breathe a bit of life back into yesterday's 'do. I far prefer a powder over a spray dry shampoo as it really does absorb any oil and make hair look fresh, however it leaves a bit more of a 'matted', sticky feeling - but I can live with that. It's also quite good for adding some texture and subtle hold to a messy plait. My main gripe with the prêt-a-powder is the pin-prick sized hole that releases the product - it takes a whole lotta shaking to get enough powder out!

Verdict: Brilliant for weekend's away/lazy mornings.

Surf Spray

When I had a bit of a 'lob' going on, I absolutely LOVED this product; a bit of spritzing and scrunching resulted in gorgeous beachy waves (like in this insta selfie! 84 weeks ago WHAT). But now my hair's grown really quite long (it's only been trimmed once in those 84 weeks!) I just can't get the same effect.

Verdict: A styling saviour when you're in a rush. Get it if you have shorter (shoulder length or above) hair.
£22 from feelunique

Surf Infusion

I hoped the Surf Infusion might be a better surf spray for longer hair, and also kinder to my now more bleached locks thanks to the oil infusion. It does add a little wavy movement to my lengths (and I'd imagine it would work better on shorter hair) and does leave less of a 'crispy' feeling than the original surf, but with this it definitely compromises on hold - an hour or two in and I'd just be left with straight but textured hair.

Verdict: Get the original Surf Spray.
£21.50 from feelunique

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Velvet Lash Mascara


Since I read London Beauty Queen's article about the new beauty trend of mascaras promising soft, 'velvety' lashes, I couldn't wait to get hold of the No7 Velvet Lash mascara. Although Hayley's post questioned why anyone would care about the feel of their eyelashes, I for one was instantly sold by the idea. I detest the stiff, crunchy feeling of mascara on my lashes which leaves my eyes feeling dry, and was hoping this new breed of 'velvet' mascara would be a more comfortable option.

However, I was skeptical about their ability to leave eyelashes feeling naturally soft, and was also concerned that, with with focus on a soft-touch formula, perhaps the visible effects may be compromised. Ultimately, pretty fluttery lashes is all that matters, and I can put up with a crunchy mascara if needs be. So how did the No7 mascara live up to it's claims?

Compared to wearing regular mascara, the No7 Velvet Lash Mascara does leave my eyelashes feeling noticeably softer to touch, and more importantly, comfortable to wear... natural feeling, almost.

And looks wise?

The wand features a more traditional 'bristle' brush (as opposed to the silicon combs that we seem to get everywhere nowadays) and it's ever so slightly concave-shaped to fit the contour of the eye. It's easy to use on the inner lashes, outer lashes and bottom lashes, and successfully lengthens, volumises and defines. What more could you want?

Are 'touchably soft' lashes something you'd be bothered about?





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My favourite Essies


Yawn. Another Essie post on a beauty blog.

But there's a reason why Essie nail polishes have appeared at least once on every beauty blog in the land. Because their quality, value for money and gorgeous array of shades are second to none, and no matter how many posts like this we see, we always enjoy a nose into other people's Essie collections; no matter how big or small. So, for your entertainment, here's my rather small but very well loved Essie collection. 

As you can probably tell, reds and pinks are my thing. I rarely opt for a blue/green shade on my fingertips (having said that, I wouldn't mind adding Bikini So Teeny and Mint Candy Apple to my collection this Spring...) but generally you'll see my fingertips painted in a reddish hue. My Essie collection features a mix of Professional Application shades (these have slimmer brushes), purchased online or from a salon,  some harder to find shades that I'd found on eBay, and some straight off the shelves in Boots. 


Bordeaux - deep red wine with cream finish that's ideal for A/W
Russian Roulette - classic bright red with a cream finish. a staple shade that everyone should own.
Super Bossa Nova - hot fuchsia pink with a blueish shimmer



A Cut Above - chunky rose-pink glitter, can be layered for full glitter or applied as a top coat giving a spotty effect.
China Doll - peony pink with a metallic pearly finish, the ultimate girly shade
Sunday Funday - tangerine coral with a silver shimmer, my summer favourite.


Leggy Legend - copper/bronze with a metallic shimmery finish, my current favourite, very autumnal but will look gorgeous in the sun.
All Tied Up - brown/rose pink hybrid with subtle gold shimmer, a neutral, sexy and sophisticated choice.


Neo Whimsical - very pale pinky lilac tones, and a cream finish, softer alternative to white nails
Cocktail Bling - soft, mid-grey with cream finish, very sophisticated but something a little bit different.
Pure Pearlfection - iridescent pearly top coat that looks particularly gorgeous over Cocktail Bling and turns any cream shade into a shimmer


I also rate Essie's base and top coats just as highly as their array of colours. I use the First Base base coat and the Gel Setter top coat, which is truly amazing; it gives a high shine to any nail polish that mimics a gel manicure, but is easy to remove. 

Are any of your favourite Essies here? Tell me in the comments what your #1 shade is!



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The Shearling Coat



The freezing cold weather appears to have finally arrived but I couldn't be happier, because it means I get to wear my new shearling jacket! I'd been after one since the Autumn, but I'm glad I waited to pick one up as it hadn't been cold enough to bundle up in a big cosy coat until now, and I saved £34 in the January sales. Win.

Shearling jackets may have been this seasons big trend, but they're also a timeless classic. I opted for one in a classic cut, as opposed to a really on-trend style, so that it will last me for many winters to come. 

I  loved how ASOS had styled the coat on their site with a simple denim shirt and black jeans, so ordered a denim shirt too to replicate the look. Unfortunately it's a little bit tight around my post-Christmas tummy at the moment, so until it fits I've let the coat do all the talking by just throwing it over a simple cream jumper and jeans combo.

These are the 'Lily' jeans from Oasis; the highwasited ankle grazer. For years I'd been a devoted 'Jade' girl, but the new 'Lily' has stolen the denim-shaped place in my heart. They're just so super soft and stretchy, and I'm loving wearing a higher-waisted style; far more flattering, comfortable, and I can wear cropped jumpers without having to worry about flashing the flab!

Shearling Coat from ASOS, Jumper from H&MJeans from Oasis

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Rosie & Gym: Week One



To say I overindulged over Christmas would be an understatement. I basically only left the sofa to replenish the cheeseboard or swap the tub of Quality Street for the tub of Cadbury's Heroes. And let's be honest, the months leading up to December weren't much better, although I was still in the gym. Now I'm paying the price; literally none of my clothes fit (I've lived in some old stretchy jeggings and baggy jumpers all week), my skin is looking dull and spotty, and I feel lethargic.

So, I'm joining the rest of the first world and have vowed to get back into shape and regain my strength and fitness. I'm staying away from the scales, but want to feel considerably slimmer, healthier and happier by my 25th birthday in March. So here's how my first week went.

Food:

I didn't actually find the healthy eating too hard, or crave any naughty food - even on Cake Friday at work! I opted for quick and easy meals like fish & veg, soup, healthy chilli con carne with brown rice and took leftovers to work for lunch. I'm not a big drinker anyway, so staying away from the booze wasn't a problem.

I planned to treat myself to a smoked salmon and (low fat) cream cheese bagel on Sunday morning after boxing training. It was something to look forward to all week and it was SO GOOD when I finally rewarded myself with it this morning! Plus, as it was still a fairly healthy choice (not a pizza) I don't feel guilty.

Fitness:

I scrapped my plan to go balls out and exercise every single day as a combination of going back to work, and drastically reducing my calorie intake, left me feeling really tired. Instead I managed 45 min Zumba on Monday (although there's a new instructor and her class was WAY too easy), 1 hr Body Attack on Thursday, 45 min Zumba and 45 min Body Sculpt on Saturday and 1 hr boxing on Sunday.

I also walked to and from work Monday - Friday; half an hour power walk each way (with a huge uphill incline on the way there!)


Supplements:

I haven't started with the supplements yet, as I think they're to be introduced when things get a bit more serious. However, I have started a two week 'teatox' of Slimatee, which is just one of those *ahem* 'cleansing' teas, but far far cheaper than the brands you see plastered all over Instagram. It's only £3.59 in Holland & Barrett and does the same job/has the same ingredients as Tiny Tea, Boo Tea etc. Without going into too much detail, these teas contain Senna leaf and make you go to the toilet a lot. The first few days it didn't kick in properly (too full of stodge I suppose) and then it began to work, leaving me feeling a little lighter and less bloated. Another week to go....

What I enjoyed: 

Vegetables. The only veg I'd eaten since October was in my Christmas dinner, so to treat my body to some goodness was bloody lovely.

What I didn't enjoy: 

Seeing my fitness levels plummet back to zero. I used to bounce around the gym studio keeping up with the instructors and fitness freaks. It was quite tough to take being back at the very bottom of the game. I felt really angry with myself for throwing away all my progress from the last two years.


How have you got on with your health & fitness plans in the first week of 2016?
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Top three eyeliners


I've gone through a fair share of trial and error on my search for a decent eyeliner. I've bought felt liners that have no pigmentation at all, or run out after a few applications. I've had liquid liners that take ages to dry and transfer all over my eyelids or a really awkward to apply. Or the worst type - pencils that drag along the skin.

But throughout all my eyeliner testing, I've also found some fantastic products, and here are my top three:

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner

With the arrival of a Bobbi Brown boutique in Brighton, I reckoned it was about time to pop my BB cherry. I knew fellow Brighton blogger Carrie was a huge Bobbi Brown fan, so I asked what her #1 favourite product was - and she said this - The Long Wear Gel Eyeliner. And I can see why; an intense jet-black pigment, a silky texture that lends itself to a smooth application, and a 100% budge-proof finish that can even survive a sweaty gym class.

It's taken me a while to get to grips with applying my eyeliner with a brush (I've been using the Look Good Feel Better Detailed Eyeliner Brush, but am keen to get my hands on the new Bobbi Brown Ultra Precise Eyeliner Brush soon, 'cos... why not) and it takes me quite a while to get the shape of my winged liner right. But the overall result is so  worth the extra few minutes in front of the mirror!


Soap & Glory Supercat Eyeliner Pen

I've been buying this felt liner pen over and over again for years. It's quicker and easier to apply than the Bobbi Brown Gel, so I tend to reach for this when I'm in a bit more of a hurry. However, it's not quite as long-wearing and does tend to smudge easily if I get caught in the rain or sweat a lot!

Felt liners tend to dry up  and lose their pigmentation quite quickly, but I find the Supercat liner lasts longer than most of it's kind. I'd say I replace mine every 4 - 5 months or so - which for a £6 product is pretty good going! The Supercat range also offers a 'fat' jumbo version for getting a thicker line, but I found this much more difficult to use. The original Supercat can just as easily create a thick line on your lid, (it just requires a little bit of colouring in!) and is far better at creating a perfect cat-eye flick.

£6 from Boots


Nars Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eye Liner


I use the Nars eyeliner pencil when I want to line my bottom lashes, add a bit of definition to the outer corner of my eyes, or when I want to go for a smokier look. The Larger Than Life is such a  creamy consistency that glides on smoothly - absolutely zero tugging. When you want a smokey eye, it smudges like a dream, but when you want it to remain a sharper line it's totally smudge-proof after a few seconds. 

It's probably provides the richest colour pay off I've ever had from an eyeliner pencil - it's almost as an intense black as the Bobbi Brown Gel! And it's practical too, with a twist-up design to release more product, and a tiny built-in sharpener that keeps the tip in a nice soft point.

£19 from lookfantastic

Have you tried any of these? Let me know in the comments, or tell me what your favourite eyeliner is!
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How to stick to a health kick



Oh déjà vu! It's January, the button on my jeans no longer closes over my cheese belly, and there's only toffee pennies left in the Quality Street tin. My days of wearing pyjama bottoms all day are numbered, and I'm concerned about what I'm going to fit into for work on Monday. It's time to get back on it, and frankly I can't wait! 

As someone who successfully stuck to a New Year's weight loss resolution in 2014 (and managed to keep the weight off for the first 11 months of 2015) I thought I'd share the things that I do to stick to a fit and healthy lifestyle. 

SWEAR PIZZA JAR

Exercise isn't my downfall - but pizza is! Rich and I have agreed that every time one of us suggests a takeaway, we'll have to put the money we'd have spent on it in our savings account. We'll put some money away AND stay on track - win win.

THROWBACK

Last summer was the first time I'd ever let anyone take a photo of me in a bikini - I was far from perfectly toned and skinny, but I wish I still looked like that now! I've set my desktop/phone backgrounds to holiday pictures as a daily reminder of why I am going to the gym in the rain at 6am and eating broccoli stir fry instead of pizza for dinner. It may seem a bit narcissistic, but I prefer having inspirational photos of myself rather than fitness models, as I know it's an achievable image!

SET A ROUTINE

Whether I'm going out for a run, going solo in the gym or going to a class, I like to plan exercise into my weekly routine. I'll do Zumba on a Monday, Boxing on a Tuesday, gym on a Wednesday and so on. That way, exercise just becomes a part of my routine and I don't have to try and painfully drag myself off the sofa.

NEW GYM STUFF

Sportswear is slowly taking over my wardrobe space; there's nothing like a fresh new outfit to get me down the gym. I got a few Sweaty Betty bits for Christmas, and treated myself to some H&M sportswear in the sales. New Look's sports range is also on point, and Fabletics (although a little pricey) has some gorgeous designs and is great quality.

SCHEDULE YOUR CHEAT MEALS

...for when you'll need them - birthdays, weddings, etc. You'll avoid having to sit there feeling miserable and deprived when you're friends have their heads in a bowl of creamy carbonara AND you'll know that there's light at the end of the tunnel when you're really craving junk food. There's nothing worse than feeling that you can never have it again!

HAVE A GOAL

...but break it down in to achievable chunks. The more little victories you can celebrate, the more motivated you'll feel to carry on.

For anyone hoping to lose some weight or just lead a healthier lifestyle in 2016, I hope you find my tips useful! They work for me, and I hope they work for you too. Do you have any other ways to keep motivated? Let me know!

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twenty fifteen


2015 has been the year of jobs for me - three jobs and one freelance client all within twelve months. I left my two year marketing post at the local paper in July to pursue beauty PR (something I'd always thought was my dream job) only to find that it definitely wasn't for me. After a few rather unhappy months, I finally landed on my feet in an amazing marketing role at a fab Brighton agency. I absolutely love it there - the company culture is brilliant, I love what I do and the people all seem lovely.
But between many interviews, inductions and training sessions, what else happened in 2015?

Out and about

Rich and I went on our first holiday together, to Turkey, as well as a few long weekends dogsitting in Dorset. We also went up The Shard for Rich's 30th in September, and ran around Winter Wonderland like excited big kids.


TV

We got a new 42" TV and Sky in January, so have spent a large chunk of the year cuddled up on the sofa, binging on box sets. We've watched The Sopranos and Game of Thrones, but my favourite of the year has to be Mad Men; set in an advertising agency in the 1960's, the outfits enough are reason to watch, but the intricate relationships and twisting plots had me hooked.

Books

I haven't read as much as I'd have liked to this year, but did enjoy reading 'When in Rome' on holiday. It's a bit of a chick flick compared to my usual taste, but was a nice easy read. I've also been loving relaxing on a Sunday with a colouring book: I got myself one full of Mandalas, and my mum just gave me a Vogue colouring book for Christmas that I can't wait to get stuck into and re-live my teenage dream of being a fashion designer!

Music

I'm a rock gal at heart (Incubus, Pearl Jam, Chilis <3) so I never thought I'd leave 2015 as a Belieber! That boy sure can write a banger! My Dad took me to see instrumental rock group The Aristocrats, who were pretty good, and I've been enjoying my seventies playlist on Spotify, but my all-time favourite song of the year has been Tessellate by Alt J.

Health 

My fitness plan was all going well until around September (when my miserable commute turned me to Dominos and share bags of Cadbury's buttons for comfort) and I tried out lots of new exercise classes; body balance, body sculpt, body attack and body combat - as well as continuing with my boxing, which is now my absolute favourite way to work out. I also completed the Pretty Muddy Race for Life in July. I tried out the Body Coach 90 Day SSS plan when I started falling off the waggon in the Autumn, but I found it insanely difficult to follow. Too much prepping and weighing - and very expensive food shops! I'll resuming just a sensible healthy eating plan in January.

Beauty

My beauty discoveries this year have been pretty exciting, Embryolisse being the most notable - I am totally obsessed with their Lait-Creme Concentrate which I use daily (and probably always will from now on) and also their Radiant Eye stick. I discovered the magic of the Wet Brush and am now fully converted, and repurchased Maybelline's incredible Lash Sensational Mascara monthly since February. I also discovered KIKO and got better acquainted with BareMinerals, whose Complexion Rescue and Mineral Veil are now staples in my daily make up routine.

What has your year looked like? If you've written any posts like this, leave a link in the comments!
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A thought on blogging...


Every new year, I promise myself I'll make more of a consistent effort with my blog. But, as the months roll by, my hours are spent at work, at the gym, or watching Netflix(!) and this little part of the internet gets a bit neglected from time to time.

I feel really frustrated with blogging a lot of the time; there's such pressure to be constantly active on social media, have perfectly crafted photos and post daily.

A lot of bloggers manage to do all this amongst their full time jobs and social lives (hats off to you - how do you do it?!) but I've recently found my blog yet another weight on my mind. Since I started writing Everything's Rosie in 2011, blogging standards have sky rocketed, and I feel a little bit lost amongst a sea of far more superior bloggers.

But blogging has given me so much. I've learnt basic coding, and massively improved my photography skills. It's an impressive talking point in interviews, and has helped me get many jobs. I've had the opportunity to discover new products, earn a little bit of money and work with great brands. I was shortlisted for a Cosmopolitan Blog Award. And best of all, blogging has introduced me to some of the girls I now call my friends.

For 2016, I'm not going to promise more regular content or aim for hundreds more followers. Instead, my blogging goal is to enjoy blogging again and focus on producing quality content that I am proud of, is true to me, and that my readers can enjoy! With my new MacBook, blogging will be a far more enjoyable process, and by taking a more laid-back approach to the whole thing, I hope this will be reflected in some great (even if sporadic) content.

What are your blogging goals for the new year? Do you ever feel frustrated or pressured as a blogger?
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Christmas brush kits

A lovely, fresh set of make-up brushes is one of my favourite things to find under my Christmas tree! There's nothing better than a fresh, fluffy new brush, and there are so many pretty, limited edition gift sets available at this time of year that you'd never really pick up for yourself.  


Ecotools Festive & Flawless Face Set

I love the mini Ecotools brush sets; the Fresh & Flawless brushes permanently reside in my handbag for on-the-go touch ups. The Festive & Flawless set is just a wintery update of the Fresh & Flawless set; with icy blue, winter garden patterned ferrules. 

Ecotools use bamboo and recycled aluminum for their brush handles and the bristles are super soft and perfectly cut for the job at hand. The brushes in this set are all you need (along with a good concealer and foundation) to create a perfectly flawless complexion.

The flat concealer brush has a flat tip to apply concealer over blemishes and uneven skintone, and the buffing concealer brush buffs the concealer in seamlessly and erase any streaky brush marks. The precision foundation brush helps you to reach all the contours of the face (under the eyes and around the nose) with your foundation, while the complexion blending brush makes quick work of buffing foundation over the rest of the face. Finally the full powder brush can be used to apply a finishing powder, blush or bronzer to finish off the flawless look.



Real Techniques Deluxe Gift Set Collectors Edition

Real Techniques brushes have gained a reputation as the go-to make-up brush brand in the past couple of years, and in my opinion they rival Mac in quality for a fraction of the price. 

The five brushes included in the Deluxe Gift Set have had their ordinarily matte metal ferrules transformed into festive, shiny ones (similar to their premium Bold Metals range of brushes), which I think look far prettier! The set includes; a brilliant multi-tasker brush which is great for blush, bronzer or finishing powder, a base shadow brush which makes light work of application and blend like a dream, and a fine liner brush which is great for placing a thin line of eyeshadow under the lower lashes. 

The Deluxe gift set also features two, brand new and exclusive brushes; a tapered foundation brush which applies foundation flawlessly and is also a great shape for blending in your undereye concealer, and an angled highlighter brush which has a small head to contour delicately on the bridge of the nose or brow bones. 

The set comes with a cream faux-leather envelope to store the brushes in, which, in my opinion is a bit tacky and unfortunately cheapens the feel of the set. I suppose it would be good for travelling, if the brushes are too long to fit in your make-up bag. The brushes however, are the quality that we've all comes to know and love from Real Techniques; super soft and fluffy brushes that provide expert application and are kind to the skin.


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Deluxe Mineral Veil


BareMinerals have gone all out with their Christmas range this year, with their stunning 'Enchanment' range; fairytale-themed gift sets, palletes fit for a princess and old favourites have been given a touch of Chrismtas magic.

BareMinerals Mineral Veil has long time been my everyday go to face powder. Whether I'm getting all dolled up or keeping my make-up minimal, I'll always finish off with a quick sweep of this translucent powder which just blurs over any little imperfections and leaves a smooth, even-toned, airbrushed finish. My current pot was running low, so there was absolutely no excuse needed to treat myself to an early Christmas present when I first saw this (not-so) little beauty hit the shelves.

Cinderella's Fairy Godmother has waved her magic wand over the standard 9g pot to transform it into this fabulous festive Deluxe Original Mineral Veil Finishing Powder, weighing in at a whopping 24g of product. The gold metal lid is engraved with an enchanted forest design and has a big sparkly diamond in the centre *heart eye emoji**heart eye emoji**heart eye emoji**heart eye emoji*

What's more is that it's amazing value - £36 for 24g of product saves £19 than buying the equivalent in standard pots, so it will keep me stocked up for at least a year.

If you know anyone who is a regular Mineral Veil user, this is undoubtedly going to make their Christmas! I mean, favourite product + lots of it + sparkly packaging... what's not to love?!
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DIY Bee Good Gift Hampers



The Beauty Shed is my favourite little beauty salon, but also one of my favourite places to do my gift shopping (and stop for a hot chocolate while I'm at it). Their little store sells some lovely products from brands like Green & Spring and Catseye, and everything is always beautifully gift wrapped to perfection. And now, their online store is fully launched, meaning you can buy these lovely (and gorgeously presented) gifts from anywhere! (Although if you can make it into Hove, I promise you that the experience alone will be worth the trip).

Bee Good is the latest line to join the Beauty Shed's line up of (somewhat unique and hard-to-find) brands. I've seen a lot of beauty bloggers raving about Bee Good; an all-natural, premium, British, honey skincare range - and for Christmas, The Beauty Shed are offering bespoke gift boxes. With two sizes of empty boxes available, you can mix and match products to make the perfect gift for someone special.

When I last visited for an Essie manicure, The Beauty Shed had made me up a facial care hamper as an early Christmas present!

A pink gingham ribbon tied up the cardboard Bee Good box, and inside pink tissue paper wrapped a Honey & Propolis 2-in-1 cleanser, a Honey & Camelina facial exfoliator and Honey & Wild Flax daily moisturiser.



Each of the products feel rich and luxurious and have a gorgeous fragrance; natural and delicate, nothing too sweet or overpowering. The products make for quite a 'spa like' experience at home due to the high quality, creamy consistency and indulgent scent.

My favourite product is the 2-in-1 Cream Cleanser, which is similar to the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish. It comes with a little muslin cloth, which is used to gently wipe the cleanser off. I like to heat the cloth with hot water and leave it on my face for a minute to open the pores and let the cleanser get deep into my skin. So relaxing.

I think these gift boxes are such a good idea as you can tailor the products to what you think the recipient would like - it's always a shame when you recieve a pre-packed gift set that has one item in it that's not quite right. 
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Autumn Beauty Favourites



Brrr the temperature has suddenly dropped hasn't it?! I'm glad to be snuggled up in my onesie with a hot water bottle right now. There were even a few snowflakes in Brighton on Saturday morning... Winter is coming. With this in mind, I thought it was about time to share by favourite beauty bits from the Autumn period. 

Essie 'Leggy Legend' 

I chose this beautiful copper colour from Essie's Autumn collection for my manicure at The Beauty Shed and I loved it so much, I had to buy a bottle to take home with me. It's such a unique shade, I haven't seen anything else quite like it. It's the perfect golden bronze with a subtle shimmer, but nothing too sparkly (we'll save that for Christmas). 

NailHQ Cuticle Oil

My cuticles seem to suffer the most when the weather turns colder, no matter what I do! I tend to have a couple of cuticle rescuers on the go at this time of year to try and keep the roughness at bay, one of which currently being the Nail HQ Cuticle Oil which is formulated with jojoba oil and apricot kernal oil. Unlike cuticle creams, this sinks in pretty much instantly without leaving a greasy residue, meaning it's great to use within a manicure

Amika Nourishing Mask

Wind, cold and rain beaten hair needs extra TLC, so I've started using a hair mask once a week. I have fallen in love with the entire amika range (thanks to it's absolutely beautiful packaging) and this Nourishing Mask has been my go-to Autumn hair treatment. It's made using superfruit Sea Buckthorn Berry (aka Obliphica) and intensley moisturises my dried out hair, leaving it softer, less tangle-prone and shinier.

Topshop Lip & Cheek Smudge in Wilderness

I do struggle with A/W lip colours. As much as I love a dark vampy lip, I'm much more suited to a coral or pink shade in general. But this Lip (& Cheek, but I haven't used it on my cheeks for obvious reasons) Stain is my perfect berry lip colour! The crayon itself seems to be a great dupe of a Nars matte lip pencil - very pigmented  and incredibly long lasting (you can go at least four/five hours before needing to reapply...!)
£8.50 from Topshop

Lanolips Golden Ointment

This is a great little multitasker to keep in your handbag during the colder seasons. It's an intensely rich honey-based balm that soothes dry or cracked skin, softens cuticles and sticks down flyaway hairs (of which there have been many.) 

Embryolisse Radiant Eye

I've written a full review of this little gem here which is worth a read if you want to find out more about how great it is, but I've included it again as an Autumn favourite as I've found the Embryolisse Radiant Eye particularly useful since the shorter days have drawn in, 

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Nail polish stocking fillers



When it comes to stocking fillers or picking out Secret Santa gifts, you really can't go wrong with a nail polish gift set!

Mavala A Cracking Duo*

These festive Mavala minis come wrapped up in a cute Christmas cracker. Available in six different colour couplings, this one includes Hearth, a deep evergreen, and Warm Cognac, a dark chestnut red, both with a glossy, creme finish. The bottles may be dinky, but the Mavala formula packs a punch. They're super long lasting, highly pigmented and free from all chemical nasties including formaldehyde, toulene and parabens.

Nina Ultra Pro Winter Stones Gift Pack*

Nina Ultra Pro is the own brand nail polish of Sally Salon Services, so you can be sure to expect a salon quality formula from their 'Winter Stones' set, which contains four pint-sized polishes inspired by precious gemstones; Onyx (black with blue and silver glitter), Moonstone (white with iridescent white and silver glitter), Tourmaline (bright purple with tiny flecks of purple glitter and a shimmer finish) and Flurite (a cool-toned bronzey gold with a shimmer finish). The shimmery polishes in particular apply nicely and give a really solid coverage.


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Going for Gold.

gold beauty products

Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre Edition Gold, Project Kukuroi Gold Smoothing Balm

Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concenrate, Gold Edition

Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentrate is going to be a product I am going to be buying for a lifetime, but for this year only, it's 65th anniversary year, it's available in a gold, glittery tube! Incase you missed my previous rave about Embryolisse's cult hero product, here's the lowdown: it's a lightweight, silky face cream that leaves skin supple, nourished, velvety smooth and glowing. It's anti-ageing and hydrating, acts as an amazing primer, has endless celebrity fans and is a staple in make-up artists kits. 
£20 from Boots

O&M Project Sukuroi Gold Smoothing Balm*

This miracle golden hair balm smoothes and restores dry, fizzy, damaged hair back to its virgin-like state, and it really does work miracles - it gives a salon look and feel to my hair, even with my terrible blow-dry skills. It works as a treatment and a styling product in one, with keratin to strengthen and repair and Gold of Pleasure Oil and Australian Macadamia Oil to leave hair glossy, baby-soft and smooth. Used on wet hair before blow-drying, it will leave your hair silky and shiny, or it can be used sparingly on dry hair to tame flyaways and add a weightless gloss. 
£28 from Space NK

Accessorize Nail Polish Bronze Leaf and Black Cherry

Accessorize Nail Polish

Accessorize revamped their nail polishes earlier this year, and the new bottles are so, so pretty. I don't care if I already own a similar nail polish colour, I want ALL of these to display the gorgeous bottles on my shelf! But they're not just a pretty face, the polish packs a punch too - they give a true hue, they apply smoothly and give perfect coverage in two coats. The flat brushes are a bonus too, making application quick and easy. (Shades pictured are Bronze Leaf and Black Cherry)
£5 from Accessorize

Gold Compact Tangle Teezer

It's true, I'm a Wet Brush girl now, but the compact Tangle Teezers are still good travel companions, thanks to it's clip-on cover that protects the bristles from getting damaged, and stops fluff/crumbs/whatever else is found at the bottom of your handbag from getting into the brush. 
£9.99 from Fragrance Direct

KIKO Rebel Romantic Intensely Lavish Lipstick

KIKO's latest limited edition lippies come packaged in glorious gold metal tubes that make me feel just a little bit closer to pretending I own a Charlotte Tilbury lipstick. But to be fair, the Rebel Romantic lipsticks have all the qualities of a high-end product; weighty packaging, a luxuriously creamy texture, bold colour and high shine. The range features six sultry shades, I opted for 'Lusty Peony', a mauvey nude, very Kylie. 
£6.90 from KIKO
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