Happy New Year: Goodbye 2012, Hello 2013

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I can't believe 2012 is coming to an end! This year has been amazing in terms of blogging, as I passed the 100 GFC follower milestone for my blog and also celebrated my 2nd blog-versary. I've had the chance to meet and become great friends with amazing bloggers. I finally joined Twitter, made a Facebook page for the blog, attended numerous events/lunches&dinners/days out, and pretty much Instagram'd my way through the year. Thank you to everyone reading this for reading, commenting and following the blog!

2012 was also an important year as there were lots of things that happened. I graduated from university this year, had the chance to work at the Olympics (and watch plenty of Handball whilst I was there) and started my own micro-business from doing things I love. I also finally got a Christmas job (which will end next week) after years of applying and not being successful.

Hopefully 2013 will be even better and with many more memories to create (and share with all my readers of course!) =)

Anything in particular that you would like to see on the blog next year?


December Empties

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As 2012 comes to an end, I leave you all with the last empties post for this year. This month quite a few products have been used up, some which are my favourites and others that I probably won't purchase again.

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish - Another bottle of my all time favourite cleanser has been used up. I love it because it does remove all my makeup and the muslin cloth also exfoliates my skin at the same time. It's gentle which is great for my sensitive skin and depending on how often I use it, C&P lasts quite some time. Will definitely be repurchasing.

Bath & Body Works Fragrance Mist - In case you haven't noticed, I love body mists and have quite a collection of them. This one from Bath & Body Works had a lovely sweet fragrance and was perfect for spritzing onto my outfit and hijab before going out. The scent isn't strong but does last a while.

ELF Brush Shampoo - I bought this ages ago (during one of my ELF shopping sprees). It's lasted quite a long time as I don't use many brushes so they only really need cleaning after I've done makeup for an event or special occassion. I probably won't be repurchasing as I've got the ELF brush cleanser and will be combining that with a mild baby shampoo to clean my brushes.

Radox Berry Burst Shower Cream - Another standard shower product. The scent isn't too strong and doesn't last, although I find that is the case with most shower products.

N-Spa Hot Butter Fudge Body Cream - Now this is product that smells amazing! The body cream actually smells like a delicious caramel and fudge dessert (but I wouldn't recommend eating the product). The cream was moisturising enough for me (I used this on my arms mostly). I will definitely be looking at the rest of N-Spa's range, especially if they all smell this good!

Boots Tea Tree & Witch Hazel Peel Off Mask - The first face mask that I used since I've stopped using the Dermalogica skincare range. I love peel off masks (there's just something about them that's makes you feel like it's working!). This one I would repurchase, althought more likely to use it when there are a few spots about to surface.

Aveeno Skin Relief moisturiser (sample sachet) - Another collection I'm trying to use up is my collection of samples. This moisturiser is really hydrating and it was great to use on my legs (especially as they get a lot drier in the winter). I have a few more sachets of these that I'm trying to use up, before I decide on whether or not I want to purchase the full size.

And that's all for the December empties post. Hope you all have had a wonderful year!


Boxing Day Sales 2012 - Haul

This year I actually did get to do a little shopping on Boxing Day. Last year, I didn't do any sale shopping, so this time I decided to treat myself as well as pick up a few essentials. And here's what I got:

My Boxing Day Sale haul!

Close up of the stackable rings =)

From Next (which believe it or not, still had a long queue of people waiting to go in at 4pm, even though the store opened at 6am), I picked up a standard pack of ankle socks and a set of stackable rings (not very exciting, I know). Boots had 50% off all their christmas gift sets, so I bought the Soap & Glory Shower Trip case, which contains 6 travel size products and a rather handy (and large) bag, which will be perfect when I'm travelling. I also took advantage of the 50% off offer at Lush and got hold of one of the last few 500ml bottles of Snow Fairy in the store, which cost me just over £5. Superdrug also have plenty of offers going on at the moment, and one that caught my eye was a selection of Simple products priced at £2 each. My sister is currently using the Simple hydrating light moisturiser, and she really likes it (I'll try and get her to do a review), so I picked up the replenishing one, which is more suited for my dry skin as it's a rich moisturiser.

The one piece of clothing that I got was a black jersey maxi skirt, from a shop called Select Fashion. It wasn't on sale, but only cost me £10 (and there are lots more colours availableon the website). Not sure exactly when and how I'm going to wear it, so if you have any idea's, do let me know!

I forgot to have a look at shoes/boots so I'll probably be going back next week (hopefully when the crowds have all gone) =)

Did anyone pick up any good bargains during the boxing day sales?


Latest in Beauty Stocking Filler Box

You know that when it comes to Christmas, there's going to be plenty of beauty products and gifts around to buy. I was actually really tempted to purchase an advent calender this year, because even though I don't celebrate Christmas, I can still treat myself to what is essentially a set of sample/mini luxury products. The main one that I had my eye on was the Selfridge's Beauty Advent Calender, but couldn't justify spending that much money (plus it's sold out, so I don't a have a chance of getting it now). Luckily, Latest in Beauty have come up with a collection of Stocking Filler boxes, each one filled with a different selection of goodies. I chose to get the Editor's Faves Stocking Filler Box, as I knew that I would use most (if not all) of the products that came inside. The box cost £19.95 and I was lucky enough to order last weekend when they had free shipping (which would have cost £2.95).

And it arrived yesterday!

It contains:
BioEffect EGF Serum (3ml)
Steamcream Nourishing Moisturiser (75g)
ESPA Lift & Firm Intensive Eye Serum (3ml) & Moisturiser (7ml) (inside the purple box)
Aromatherapy Associated Revive Morning Bath & Shower Oil (3ml)
Trilogy Rosehip Oil Anitoxidant + (2.5ml)
Jo Hansford Intensive Masque (40ml)
Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation (7.5ml)
Richard Ward Volumiser Root Booster (50ml)
L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream (10ml)
Mont Bleu Crystal Nail File (90mm)

There's a few products that I'm really keen to try (and are the reason as to why I chose this box over the other two options). I'm loving the full-size Steam Cream tin, as this is a product that I've always wanted to try and the packaging is so pretty! The BioEffect EGF Serum sample is also another product that I'm looking forward to using as the full size product is pretty pricey! The Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation will also be interesting to try (and it contains spf 30 sunscreen, which is an added bonus). The mini Mont Bleu glass nail file will be handy to keep in my bag when I'm out and about.

Has anyone else picked up a beauty advent calender or something similar? What do you think of this stocking filler box?


MAC lipstick collection - Swatches and Review

If you had seen my lipstick collection a few months ago (June/July), you would have noticed that I didn't own any MAC lipsticks. Not because I had anything against them, but mostly because I wasn't a keen lipstick wearer and also, the sheer amount of shades and finishes available from MAC made it impossible for me to choose which one I liked the most. Fast forward to today, and I am the owner of 3 MAC lipsticks. Here are the shades that I have, swatched and reviewed =)

Thanks to my not so great camera, the colours show up pretty similar, but they are actually different

The order of the colours in the picture above
Twig - This would be considered my first purchased MAC lipstick, which I bought in September (as mentioned in my beauty product haul). A satin finish lipstick, Twig is described as a soft muted brownish-pink, I find this the perfect everyday colour. In fact this one lives in my bag and moving between bags so that I am always carrying it around.

Viva Glam III - This has a matte finish and is described by MAC as a muted brownish-plum. I recieved this as one of my graduation presents, and was the first MAC lipstick in my makeup collection. This is a colour that I had picked out ages ago as I had swatched it a number of times in the MAC store and stated that it would be my first MAC lipstick purchase (see Instagram for proof of this). This is colour that is darker than a colour I would usually go for but it just appeals to me.

Captive - This MAC lipstick is one that I won from Sam's giveaway a few weeks ago (thank you Sam!). When she contacted me, I had actually forgotten what colour I had noted in the comments on her blog. Captive is also satin finish lipstick and it's described as a pinkish-plum colour.

(click for a bigger image)

And that's the end of my little MAC lipstick collection (which I think will be growing as time goes on). I prefer the satin finishes over any other MAC lipstick finishes (no idea why, it's just personal preference). I am a big fan of neutral and everday colours that can be worn with pretty much anything, as I prefer to focus attention on my eye makeup rather than my lips, but I'm tempted to try out some brighter and bolder colours (hence why the three lipsticks are pretty much just different shades in the same colour family).

What lip colours do you prefer? Any MAC shades (or any brand for that matter) that you suggest I try out?


November Empties

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Time for the monthly empties post! This post would have been up a few days ago, but unfortunately the winter cold/flu seems to have come around and so I'm doing a lot of stuff while inhaling vicks and generally feeling a bit lazy. It might just be me, but I seem to be finding it really cold at the moment as well! So much so, that I bought a big fluffy jumper thing the other day, which I wouldn't have normally done, as it takes me ages to decide what clothes I want to buy. A blog post shall be up soon!
Anyway, this month I've used up quite a few products although I have bought more products (the offers and sales never fail to entice me into parting with my money). So, onto what I've finished using =)

Impulse Sweet Smile Body Spray - Standard Impulse body spray which smells quite fruity and pleasant. I usually use this at home and keep a fragrance mist in my bag.

Bath and Body Works Fragrance Mist (Japanese Cherry Blossom) - This I kept in my bag so that I could use it on the go. As it's not an aerosol, it won't choke anyone if you decide to spritz yourself whilst on the tube (or in any semi-crowded place). I have a few other scents that I haven't yet used, but one of them is next to go in my bag.

Sugarbabes Touch EDT - This 100ml bottle has lasted me a good two years! Here is my review of the perfume from my of my first few blog posts! Quite sad that it's finished but I'm looking forward to buying some fragrances during the Christmas sales.

Dermalogica Skin Smoothing Cream - You've probably seen my Dermalogica skincare review already and know that this is not my favourite moisturiser thanks to the lack of spf. It would make a lovely night cream though, but I won't be repurchasing.

Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Foundation (sample) - I have so many foundation samples, it's actually quite ridiculous. I bought a full size version of this foundation some time ago, but check out the review of the sample here.

Lush Ultrabalm - Sadly another Lush Ultrabalm has been emptied. Lucky for me is that I've already decided to test out the Halal and Organic Butter Balm in it's place. See here for a review on Lush Ultrabalm and how it compares against The Body Shop's Hemp Balm.