Babyliss Boutique Salon Soft Waves Review

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

I absolutely adore having my hair curly - big, loose waves are my dream when it comes to glam hair, and any tool that claims to create them has me intrigued.

Granted, I have a lot of hair tools as it is, but not many of them give me the ultra-soft, loose, big glam waves that I'm after. So, when Babyliss asked me to give their Boutique Salon Soft Waves a whirl, I couldn't resist. 

For £40, you get the Salon Soft Waves wand, a protector mitt, and a nice little carry case/heat protector mat for your gadget. The packaging and actual wand itself are stunning - everything in the Boutique range is uber fashionable, sleek and stylish. The rose gold wand is very sleek and actually quite thick, making it perfect for long hair like mine. 

There are a selection of different temperature options on the wand, with 210 degrees being the highest. It heats up almost instantly and has a longer barrel which makes it easier to get the full length of your hair in each section. 

So, how quickly does it take to do a full head of hair with this wand? Honestly? It took me hardly any time at all. Usually, with smaller wands, it takes me a good 20 minutes or so to do my whole head - but with this, my time was halved. My hair didn't get caught or snag like it does with a lot of wands either - which is always a bonus!

So, what do I think to the curls the Babyliss Salon Soft Waves creates? I absolutely LOVE them. Whereas the majority of curling wands and tongs leave me with almost doll-like, tight curls that need a good brush through to get them looking remotely softer, this wand creates those gorgeous second-day soft waves instantly. It delivers sleek, super soft curls without a kink in sight. It achieves a really natural, glam look that I absolutely adore. 

I was slightly disappointed that the curls didn't last as long as I'd have liked, but for the first day they looked completely perfect. Adding to that the fact that the wand looks fab, is super quick to heat up and gives me the curls I want makes it a total hit with me. For the price I think it's fantastic - the wand itself looks so much more expensive than most wands in this price range and the results it achieves are fantastic.

I am most definitely going to be using this fab little tool over the festive/party season to keep my hair looking glam. Have you tried any of the Babyliss Boutique products? What did you think? 

Party Ready with New Look

Monday, 22 December 2014
New Look is most definitely one of my favourite high street stores, so when I was asked to collaborate with them on putting together a 'party ready' look, I jumped at the chance. 

The festive season is well and truly here, and with it comes a multitude of parties - all of which need equally spectacular outfits to wear. I'm never one to NOT have a well put-together outfit at a party, and usually I like to coordinate things down to a tee - so, putting together this outfit with New Look was no different. 

Basically, I was sent a selection of New Look's 'Party Ready' pieces, all of which I had to put together to build an outfit. 

I received a stunning holographic lilac bag, a beautiful sparkly silver necklace, some silver eye shadow, a silver nail polish, black eyeliner and a stunning deep pinky purple lipstick. My task? To put them all together and make a party ready outfit with clothes I already had sitting in my wardrobe, of course! 

I opted for a floral lilac co-ordinate I got from Miss Pap a while ago, as I felt it looked ideal with the glitzy bag, and the silver accents would go with it too. 

For the makeup, I did big lashes (of course), swept the silver eye shadow all over the lid and used the eyeliner to create a thick black line (with my signature flick). I topped things off with the pinky purple lipstick (which is totally incredible) by the way! 

And there you have it - my party ready outfit with New Look! I totally loved putting it together and adore everything - I am well and truly ready for the party season! 

Last-minute Stocking Fillers for Beauty Lovers

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Following on from yesterday's 'Last-minute Gift Guide', I've put together a selection of last-minute stocking fillers for beauty lovers. I don't know why, but I think stocking fillers are the things I get most excited about - you know, the little gifts you find scattered throughout your Santa sack, or neatly packed in your stocking, among the satsumas and chocolate coins. There's just something oh so 'Christmas' about them, and I love collecting together all the bits and pieces at the end of the day and lining them up proudly (yes, despite being 24, I still do this). 

So, I collected together my favourite 'mini' beauty bits and pieces currently on the market and popped them in a post for you. There's the Aromatherapy Associates 'The Star'*, a cute little star-shaped gift containing an 'Inner Strength' bath/body oil, which can also be used as a sweet little ornament for the tree - totally adorable. It costs £10 and makes a totally cute little gift. For an ultra-festive stocking filler, the Elegant Touch Henry Holland 'Unwrap Me' Nails* and the Elegant Touch Christmas Jumper Nails* are perfect - the Henry Holland ones are my favourite - I love the shape of the nails and the design is seriously cute. Both cost £10 each. 

There are also some fantastic tin boxes that make adorable gifts - the Lanolips 'Artist Tin'* has a stunning Limited Edition illustration by Australian fashion illustrator Kelly Smith and comes with the Lanolips 101 Ointment and an Intense Hand Balm. It costs £15.28. Another cute tin gift is the Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Crayons Set*, which costs £16 and comes with three stunning shades of Gloss Crayons. 

Bath bombs make perfect stocking fillers, and I'm a big fan of Bomb Cosmetics - their Bath Mallows* are gorgeous and prices start at just £2.09. These ones smell seriously amazing (like Christmas in a bath mallow!), nourish your skin with shea butter and have the cutest little Snowman and Stocking on top! They also come packaged up so unlike Lush you don't need to worry about them going everywhere until you actually use them - always a positive! Keeping with bath bits, Balance Me's Rose Otto Bath and Body Set* smells divine and comes with a shower gel and body cream, to keep you smelling gorgeous on Christmas day. It costs £7.50.

For Frozen-fans and lip balm lovers, these cute Frozen Lip Smackers* are more than perfect. They come in six different flavours, with each flavour being represented by a different character. They're £2.49 or you can get them in a multipack tin with all six for £9.99.

Finally, if you want to create a high-end stocking filler for a skincare fan, then Dermalogica's 'Favourites' Set* is ideal. It costs £30.15 and comes with a selection of mini Dermalogica must-haves, including their Pre Cleanse, Skin Perfect Primer, Multi-active Toner and Gentle Exfoliant, making it a lovely little skincare gift. I also think it would be great split up for a few different stocking fillers for various skincare lovers, as who doesn't love a bit of Dermalogica in their stocking come Christmas day!?

What are you hoping to find in your stocking on December 25th? I'd love to hear! 

Last-minute Christmas Gift Guide for Beauty Lovers

Saturday, 20 December 2014
Christmas is officially just FIVE days away and considering today has been touted 'Panic Saturday', what better time to provide you with a last-minute gift guide than now?

I'll admit, despite trying to be Little Miss Organised when it comes to present buying, I can leave things a tad on the late side - always telling myself I'll get it next weekend, and instead spending next weekend buying things for myself... oops (don't tell me none of you have ever done this!) I find it increasingly hard to buy things for certain people, and that just leaves me putting it off further - so, if any of you are currently struggling on getting some presents together for your loved ones, I think I might have it covered with this ol' gift guide right here. 

I put together a collection of fab beauty products, because I honestly don't think there is anything better to give and receive at Christmas time than the gift of beauty pampering products. As much as I love the usual socks and chocolate combo, I don't think you can beat the luxury of a beauty gift (and that goes for women AND men) at this time of year. 

So, without further ado, here are my top beauty gifts to give on Christmas day, all neatly categorised for who these gifts are best suited to... 

The Glam Girl 
We all know someone who is simply always the epitome of glamorous - big hair, big lashes, rouge lips and never a chipped nail in sight - despite them perhaps being the seemingly easiest to buy for, it can sometimes be a case of 'Well, what do you get the girl that has everything!?' Well, I think I have the answer with these cute little gift sets. A brand which only recently fell under my radar is Glo & Ray, a gorgeous make up brand which has some stunning beauty bits - not least this gorgeous little Shimmer Shimmer Lip Colour Gift Set* featuring three beautiful lipstick shades that every glam girl will love - a nude, a beautiful festive red and a deep, dark (very on-trend) plum. I promise you she'll like it. It costs £36 so is quite pricey but totally worth it for these beautiful products. Or, if hair care is more the thing you're wanting to give (and you're on a budget), then John Frieda's 'For the Love of Big Hair' set* is perfect for big-haired bombshells. It features four miniature Luxurious Volume products, including shampoo, conditioner, hair spray and blow dry lotion. The best thing? It's only £8 (now just £6 at Superdrug) - an ideal gift that won't break the bank. 

The Guy 
Ugh... men. Aren't they just the worst to buy for? Us ladies are pretty darn easy when it comes to present buying for (makeup, shoes, makeup, candles, more makeup) but men are just so damn difficult. Whilst I always think a pair of socks and a Lynx gift set will probably more than suffice for our men-folk, it's nice to buy actual nice gifts for our dads, boyfriends, husbands and guy-friends. I picked out a couple of gorgeous gifts from Poised, which sells a multitude of gifts for men; grooming kits, hair care, fragrance (and not a Lynx set in sight - phew). The gifts in question were both skincare sets - one from Alpha H; a Clear Skin Kit* which is perfect if your fella is looking for some acne-busting products, but doesn't really want to have to go down the Clearasil route (no offence to Clearasil, of course...) Alpha H is one of my favourite skincare brands - suffering with bad skin myself I think this Clear Skin Set is ideal. It comes in fuss-free packaging and includes a Blemish Control Gel, Daily Hydrator Gel and Daily Face Wash. Being Alpha H, it's not the cheapest at £29.95, but when you think about the individual price of the products it's definitely worth it. The other gift set is a Luxury Gift Set* from a brand I hadn't previously heard of, called Kyoku, It contains five FULL SIZE Kyoku products, including Razor Repair Balm, Exfoliating Facial Scrub, Daily Facial Cleanser, Lip Fuel and Oil Control Lotion. It's a must-have for men who want a bit of luxury skincare in their lives, and whilst it usually costs £95, it's actually reduced to £29.95 at the minute. 

The Luxe Lady
For those gal-pals who have a taste for the luxurious things in life, these gift sets would be ideal. To be honest, anything from either of these brands would suit a luxe lady down to a tee - as both of them are super luxurious and a total dream to use. The Aromatherapy Associates Radiant Rose Gift Box* is one of my personal favourites (I adore the scent of rose) and comes complete with Renewing Rose Body Cream, Renewing Rose Body Wash and Support Equilibrium Bath and Shower Oil, which promotes inner calm - something we all need around the festive season. It costs £35. The Nourish Argan Beauty Collection* is another luxe product - this one is less about pampering and more about caring for the skin. Infused with gold, frankincense and myrrh (very festive!), it gives the ultimate indulgent skin routine with three fab products - Argan Skin Renew, Argan Skin Rescue, and Golden Glow Illuminating Face Shimmer. It's cheaper than the Aromatherapy Associates set too, coming in at £25. 

The Practical Person
You know those people who always say 'Just get me something I need' when it comes to Christmas? They're what I like to call 'Practical People'. I am most certainly not one of them, but I do understand where they're coming from - there's no point in getting something that will just sit on the shelf gathering dust, when you could buy them something useful. However, practical presents don't have to be boring, and my choices of 'practical' gifts most certainly aren't. First up, whilst it doesn't really look like a 'practical' gift at first glance, this Hair Heroes Beauty Box* from Feel Unique is actually ideal for those practical people who need something for keeping their hair looking nourished and shiny. The gift contains a gorgeous gold compact Tangle Teezer (very practical), as well as a tube of Philip Kingsley Elasticizer and some Redken Diamond Oil (practical AND luxurious). The gift set costs £39.50 (currently reduced to £34.50!) and I think it's gorgeous - a must for hair care lovers. Another, perhaps more obvious, practical gift is this Sonic Whitening Toothbrush from Whitewash Laboratories*. Instead of being the usual boring old Colgate brush, this is sleek and cool in design, as well as helping to whiten teeth. It has three different brushing modes - clean, whiten and massage, as well as a timer and a long-life rechargeable battery. If that isn't practical, then I don't know what is! It costs £59.99 (usually £64.99). 

The Pampered Princess
For ladies who love nothing more than a pamper session, complete with candles, nail polish-applying and face masks aplenty, I thought these two gifts would be ideal. First up, these beautiful 1 Second nail polishes from Bourjois* are totally stunning and perfect for the festive season - and they give a gorgeous gel effect (without having to head to the salon!) They're also a great price at just £5.99 each. I think a little selection of these would make a lovely gift. If the person you're buying for is a fan of relaxing candles, however, then Aromatherapy Associates Inner Strength Candle* is ideal for pamper sessions. It is designed to de-stress with frankincense and cardamom, and smells incredible. It costs £35 and comes packaged in a gorgeous box, with 10% of the proceeds going to the charity Defence Against Cancer - so you can give a great gift and a donation as well. 

And there you have it! My Last-minute Christmas Gift Guide for Beauty Lovers. I shall be popping up a Last-minute Guide to Stocking Fillers tomorrow, so keep your eyes peeled! Let me know what you think to the gifts in my guide, and if you've got all your shopping done yet I'd love to know! 

Body Shop Glazed Apple Review

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

The Christmas season is definitely my favourite time of year, not least because of the presents, the food, spending time with family and the countless Christmas films, but also the fantastic smellies and pampering products that pop up when the month of December begins. The Body Shop is definitely a big player when it comes to pamper products, and at Christmas time you can always guarantee they'll have a fab new Christmassy collection released to keep us all looking and smelling fab over the festive period.

The Glazed Apple collection is a new addition The Body Shop's shelves this Christmas, and a fantastic one at that. Whilst the emerald green appearance might not be to everyone's taste, it certainly is festive and the products themselves are fantastic. I was sent a little selection of said products and thought it only right to share my thoughts with you.

The entire collection smells absolutely delicious and I honestly think it's one that everyone will like - men included. It's really fresh and slightly zingy, and is a total pleasure to use. The Bath Jelly is a really odd product (I'm not very used to jelly in my beauty products!) but works amazingly well at filling the bath with bubbles and the gorgeous apple scent, whilst the Shower Gel leaves you feeling squeaky clean and smelling great. My favourite product has to be the Shimmer Lotion, however, as it combines the beautiful smell with serious moisturisation (apple seed and shea butter are just some of the ingredients) as well as leaving your skin with a beautifully seasonal shimmer - ideal for Christmas nights out.

Overall I adore this collection and I'd be very shocked if there is anyone out there who doesn't like how this smells. I think any of the items I mentioned would make perfect Christmas presents, or the ideal treat for yourself! Also - if you fancy treating yourself but don't want to pay full price, use the code '14671' when you spend over £30 and get £15 off!

Have you tried the new Glazed Apple collection from The Body Shop? Let me know what you think to it!

Butterfly Twists Review

Monday, 15 December 2014

As the party season is well and truly here, I thought it was about time I shared with you my new favourite pair of flats - Butterfly Twists. I'd never previously heard of them but as soon as I laid my eyes on the beautiful Gold Emily pair, I was in love. 

These brogue/ballerina-style shoes are every girl's dream - especially if you're a fan of dancing all night long but don't want to risk your poor tootsies. Why? Because these little babies are FOLDABLE as well as gorgeous. Now, I know folding shoes have been on the scene for a while now, but these from Butterfly Twists are basically the 'high-end', amazing quality version of the cheap and cheerful ones you see nowadays. 

As well as being lightweight and super comfy, they have really cute ribbon laces and even come with a handy bag - meaning you can fold these up and pop them in your bag ready for later on in the night when your heels predictably start to kill your feet. I love these shoes that much though I'd happily wear them all night - and as they're glittery, they are totally perfect for this time of year. 

Whereas the majority of folding shoes out there deteriorate after a couple of wears, Butterfly Twists are uber sturdy and long-lasting, and whilst the fact they fold is definitely a big part of their appeal, I think these are gorgeous shoes in their own right. I totally love them and although they might be on the pricey side for some, I think they're totally worth it. I will be wearing them lots over Christmas! 

What do you think to Butterfly Twists? Let me know! 
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