My Favourite Body Firming Products

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My Favourite Body Firming Products - 1

A little while back, I talked about my body care routine over on my YouTube channel. In that video, I briefly mentioned firming products, and now that spring is just around the corner, bringing with it the possibility of going bare-legged for the first time in months, I thought it might be a good time to share a few more in-depth thoughts on some of my favourites.

Products that claim to firm and tone up the body are something I've only got into fairly recently. For a long time, I dismissed them as something of a fad, until it occurred to me - I use products that claim to firm up and smooth the lines on my face, so why not those that will firm up my body and smooth cellulite? (Not that I have any of course, cough cough.) Now, I wouldn't be without them. Just like anti-ageing creams for the face, these products might not work miracles, but combined with a good diet, exercise and generally taking care of myself, they definitely help. With the warmer months on the way, these are what I'll be using to whip my body into shape.

 Dry Body Brush


My Favourite Body Firming Products - 2 - Dry Body Brush

I mentioned this brush in my body care video and it definitely deserves top billing in this list. It might not look very exciting, but it's one of the best investments I've made in terms of body care and it only set me back a few pounds. I use this about three times a week before my morning shower to exfoliate my skin and get the circulation flowing, using upward strokes towards the heart, starting at my feet and working my way up. Not only is dry body brushing great for exfoliation, it's also one of the most effective things you can do to reduce the appearance of cellulite. If you have any problem areas, concentrating on them by using circular motions with the brush can really help to make them look smoother. Essentially, this action helps to redistribute the uneven fat cells which cause skin to dimple. Not particularly technical, I know, but it works! I find that using my body brush like this, combined with a few targeted butt exercises, makes the most difference to my lower body area in terms of its overall appearance. (I recommend fitnessblender on YouTube for the exercises - even their five minute butt workouts have produced noticeable results for me when done regularly.) 

Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Firming Butter


My Favourite Body Firming Products - 3 - Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Firming Butter

I have always loved body butters and the way they leave my skin feeling hydrated and super soft. While I will probably always be seduced from time to time by more luxurious variations than this, you really cannot beat it. It's very affordable (on offer at Boots for under £4.00 last time I checked!) and manages to be rich and nourishing without sitting heavily on the skin or leaving it feeling greasy in the slightest. Containing cocoa and shea butter, this is a great all over body moisturiser, and affordable enough to use for that purpose on a daily basis. However, you get the added benefit of collagen and elastin which help to firm the skin while you moisturise. Plus, it has that addictive, cocoa butter scent to it and comes in an effortless pump format. Palmer's advice is to massage over the whole body twice daily, concentrating on thighs, legs, stomach and bust. Indeed, focusing a little harder on areas where you are likely to get cellulite (such as thighs and stomach) is always a good idea when applying any product, even just a regular moisturiser. Much like the dry brushing action, the massaging of the area is important in redistributing the fat cells, so the act of thoroughly rubbing the product into your skin can be just as useful as the product itself.

Brazilian Bum Bum Cream

My Favourite Body Firming Products - 4 - Brazilian Bum Bum Cream, Sol de Janeiro

The delightfully named Brazilian Bum Bum Cream (pronounced "boom boom" cream apparently). This has become a bit of a cult product and there was so much hype around it that I just couldn't resist buying it. I went for the smaller tub to try it out first because it's pretty expensive - I paid £18 for 75 ml. I'm a big fan of the cute packaging and an even bigger fan of the scent - hard to describe but "tropical paradise" is the best I can do, and suffice it to say that you will want to keep sniffing it! This is a thick cream but it feels light on application and absorbs very quickly. Containing guarana extract, it claims to tighten and smooth "like no other", and it certainly leaves my skin feeling incredibly soft - like silk. Is it worth the money? Well, it is a beautiful product, and I will probably buy it again, but due to the cost I won't be using it on an everyday basis. Instead I will reserve it for those special days when I want to feel like silk and smell like a tropical paradise!

Ren Atlantic Kelp And Microalgae Anti-Fatigue Toning Body Oil*

My Favourite Body Firming Products - 5 - Ren Atlantic Kelp And Microalgae Anti-Fatigue Toning Body Oil

As the name of this product suggests, it's an oil rather than a cream and because of that I prefer to use it in the evenings after a bath instead of during the day. It also has a beautiful scent of geranium and rosemary oil, the kind of scent that makes you feel instantly relaxed. Because it's an oil, you naturally massage it in more to help the skin absorb it, which is helpful for those lumpy and bumpy areas. Containing magnesium-rich kelp, and omegas 6 and 9-rich algae, it helps to improve the skin's elasticity as well as adding nourishment and moisture. It's not cheap at £35 for 100 ml, but I find that a little of it goes a long way and one 100 ml bottle should last a good few months.

Nip + Fab Cellulite Fix

My Favourite Body Firming Products - 6 - Nip + Fab Cellulite Fix

This is the first body firming product I ever tried and it's still one of my favourites. In terms of improving the appearance of cellulite, I'd say this is probably the most effective of those I've mentioned, apart from the dry brush. The down side of it is that it is a targeted anti-cellulite product and not really suitable for use as an all-over moisturiser, so you can't really multi-task with this one like you can with the others. In my opinion, it's the least pleasant to apply, as it's gel-like in consistency and thus a tad sticky before it's absorbed completely. Also, it doesn't smell lovely like the other products I've mentioned, although it by no means smells bad. So why is it on my favourites list? Well, as I said, it's impressive in terms of results and really does make the whole area appear smoother and even a little lifted with regular application. One of the main ingredients is caffeine, which is supposed to burn away fat cells, and it also contains Indian forskolin (nope, no idea what that is) which apparently stimulates microcirculation. It's just under £20.00 for 150 ml so middle of the road in terms of price. If you're really looking to blitz cellulite rather than generally firm up, this is the one I would recommend.

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What are some of your favourite body firming products? And do you have any top tips for staying smooth, peachy and cellulite free? Feel free to share!

Kate x

*Gifted product. Some links may be affiliate links. This poses no extra cost to you, the customer. All opinions, as always, are my own.

What To Wear On Valentine's Day - 5 Tips For Choosing The Perfect Romantic Dress

What To Wear On Valentine's Day - 5 Tips For Choosing The Perfect Romantic Dress - 1

Valentine's, Galentine's, or just because you want something pretty... do we really need an excuse to shop for a new dress? I for one don't take a lot of persuading! For as long as I can remember, dresses have been my go-to for just about every occasion. I love how effortless they are - throw on a few accessories and you're good to go - and I love how feminine and put together I feel when wearing them. Valentine's Day is right around the corner, and the question of what to wear is probably in a lot of people's minds right about now. Well, whether you're heading out for a date night with your partner or you're celebrating Galentine's with your best mates, why not embrace the occasion by wearing the prettiest, most romantic dress you can find? Below, I've put together my 5 top tips on how to choose the perfect one for you.

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1. Romance Doesn't Have To Mean Ruffles

Personally, I've always had a fairly girly, feminine style, but I'm aware that frills, floral prints and blush pink aren't going to be everyone's cup of tea. That said, you can pile on the romance factor without going anywhere near those things. Case in point - the beautiful Miss Selfridge dress I'm wearing in these photos. Not a ruffle in sight, and very grown up, I'll think you'll agree. Yet it's one of the most romantic dresses I've ever had the pleasure of wearing. For me, the all over intricate lace, soft silhouette and nude lining peeping through the outer layer help to make this the perfect date night dress.

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2. It's All In The Details

Now this isn't to say that a very simple dress can't be romantic, but for me, there's just something that little bit more special about interesting details, and they can really help to give a dress that added wow factor. Those details could be anything from show-stopping lace, a delicate print or cut-out details to a full pleated skirt, luxurious fabric or a stunning open back. Whatever speaks to you, make it your own! I guarantee that special little added touch will make you feel even more amazing when wearing your dress.

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3. Maintain A Little Mystery

This is potentially a fairly controversial thing to say, so just to be clear, I have no problem with anyone's clothing choices or how much skin, or how little, they choose to show. I'm speaking purely from the point of view of what I think makes the perfect romantic dress, and for me, that's a dress that leaves a little something to the imagination. That doesn't mean that it can't be sexy, just in a more subtle way. For example, the dress I'm wearing in this post is quite modest at first glance, but in fact the nude slip underneath the outer layer of lace is very short, so you get a glimpse of the wearer's legs, without them being totally on display. Alternatively, bare shoulders can be really beautiful, and paired with a longer skirt length, it makes the whole look softer and draws more attention to the feature you've chosen to showcase.

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4. Above All, Feel Comfortable

Probably the most important tip of all. After all, nothing is going to look good on you if you don't feel comfortable wearing it! When you feel good in your outfit, it has an impact on your mood and allows you to relax, have fun, and focus on the company you're with - pretty important on Valentine's, Galentine's or any occasion for that matter. So go shopping, try on a few (any excuse) and don't settle until you've found the one! (Yes, I'm still talking about clothes.)

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5. The Finishing Touches

It's February, and here in the UK at least, coats are still very much needed! As far as I'm concerned, outerwear is as much a part of your outfit as the dress itself, so it's worth thinking about what you have that will compliment it, even if it's coming off as soon as you reach your destination. I've fallen in love with this chic grey coat from Miss Selfridge, and it's the perfect partner for my dress. Once you have your outerwear sorted, you need to think about your accessories. I always have dainty heels and clutch bags in black and nude in my wardrobe, so even if there isn't time (or budget!) to get something new, I know I should be able to complete my outfit.

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Find Your Perfect Romantic Dress

Do you have a favourite romantic dress in your wardrobe? And do you have any exciting plans for Valentine's Day?

Kate x

Some links may be affiliate links. This poses no extra cost to you, the customer. All opinions, as always, are my own.

The Benefits Of Aloe Vera, And How I Fared On The 30 Day Aloe Vera Challenge

The Benefits of Aloe Vera, And How I Fared On The 30 Day Aloe Vera Challenge - 1

Drinking Aloe Vera juice or gel has become a hot health and beauty trend in recent months, though the many benefits of the aloe plant have been well known for centuries. Indeed, legend has it that it formed a staple part of Cleopatra's skincare routine, so it's definitely nothing new. Just before Christmas, I was invited by Forever to take part in their 30 day Aloe Vera challenge, which would involve drinking a 60 ml shot of their signature Aloe Vera gel every morning for 30 days in order to judge for myself what the benefits are. Having fallen in love with Forever's Infinite skincare range last year, I was a already a fan of the brand. I was also already aware of the benefits of Aloe Vera. In fact, I had attempted to include the juice (produced by a different brand) in my diet quite a few years ago. On that occasion, my dislike of the flavour had got the better of me, but this time, I was determined to see the challenge through to the end.

So, how did I get on, and what benefits did I experience? Read on to find out!

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First Things First - Source Good Quality Aloe Vera 

When I accepted the Aloe Vera challenge, the first thing I did was turn to good old Mr Google for a little background research. I wanted to know what I was letting myself in for, and what benefits I could expect to see. The number one thing that became clear very quickly was that not all Aloe Vera juices are created equal. You need to be sure that what you are drinking has been processed properly. This means that you need to look for one of two words on the bottle - "decolorized" or "stabilized". Without getting too technical about it, both these processes involve the removal of the outer leaf of the aloe plant, which is potentially harmful, even carcinogenic, so this is really important.

Forever Aloe Vera Gel goes through a patented stabilization process, meaning that only the safe, inner leaf of the plant is used. In addition to that, it's also cold pressed and about as close as you can get to being a totally pure product.

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The reported benefits of Aloe Vera are many and can be traced back through history, but one of the most significant is its use as an ideal digestive aid. It is also known to carry several nutritional benefits that can, amongst other things, contribute to skin health. As I'm always looking for things that can help to improve the appearance of my skin, this is what has always intrigued me the most about Aloe Vera. I embarked on the 30 day challenge with plenty of motivation.
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The Benefits of Aloe Vera, And How I Fared On The 30 Day Aloe Vera Challenge - 5

But Doesn't It Taste Horrendous?

Honestly? It's not that bad! As I mentioned, the taste of Aloe Vera has put me off in the past, so I'll admit I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to stick it out for 30 days. But when I took my first sip, I was pleasantly surprised. Keeping it nice and cold in the fridge definitely helps a lot, as does the fact that 60 ml really isn't very much at all. The flavour isn't too dissimilar to watered down grapefruit juice, and as for the fact that it's called a "gel" - don't let that put you off, as the consistency is no different to a regular fruit juice with the pulp left in it. The bottom line is, I can be a wimp about this sort of thing, but I found it much easier than I thought I would to drink it every morning for 30 days. If I can do it, anyone can!

But if you're still not convinced, Forever also offer flavoured Aloe Vera gels, including Berry Nectar and Forever Freedom (orange flavoured), which might be more to your taste.

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The Benefits Of Aloe Vera - My Experience

So let's get down to the heart of the matter - did I notice any significant benefits from drinking Aloe Vera gel?


After about the first two weeks, the improvement in my skin was unmistakable. It was clear, soft and plumped. In fact, the last time it looked this good was when I was using Forever's Infinite skincare range, which includes Aloe Vera as a key ingredient. Clearly, my skin loves this stuff!

I've also noticed a change in my hair. Regular readers will know that I've been growing out overly bleached hair for some time now, and the condition has been slowly improving with the use of nourishing and hydrating masks. However, the Aloe Vera has kicked this up a gear and it's definitely stronger and shinier as a result - even my hairdresser has noticed.

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With regard to digestive issues, I'm lucky enough not to suffer with any on a regular basis, so it's hard for me to judge the usefulness of Aloe Vera gel on this score. Interestingly, I have spoken to quite a few people about my 30 Day Challenge over the past weeks, and several of them have told me that they have taken Aloe Vera in the past for precisely these reasons. When asked if it helped, all of them said yes.

Finally, last week, my husband had a stomach bug. Usually, I will catch every bug going, so I was sure I was going to get it. I didn't. Whether that was the Aloe Vera giving my immune system a boost or just a lucky coincidence, I don't know, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

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Beyond The Challenge

I successfully completed the 30 day challenge more than a week ago, but I'm still taking my morning shot of Aloe Vera gel. For me, the effects I have seen on my skin and hair are more than enough to keep this product in my life for the foreseeable future. In addition to this, I think that a lot of the more general health benefits are probably things that become more evident over the long term, and from what I have seen so far, it's definitely well worth persevering with.

Have you ever taken Aloe Vera gel or juice? If so, did you see any benefits?

Kate x

This post was sponsored by Forever. All opinions, as always, are my own.

Two Affordable Makeup Products For Glowing Skin

Two Affordable Makeup Products For Glowing Skin - 1

Glowing skin is something a lot of us strive for, but it can be tricky to achieve in the depths of a cold and gloomy winter. Often, January is also a month when we haven't got a lot of money to throw around on beauty products, but luckily the drugstore is on hand to help us out on both counts! My skin has been behaving itself pretty well lately, but something about this dull, stormy weather we've been having has made me crave a little more brightness. So, I did a spot of online shopping at Boots, and managed to find two affordable makeup products that have helped me to achieve glowing skin, even in the midst of this spectacularly dull January!

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Makeup Products For Glowing Skin - The Illuminating Primer

I've been wanting to try an illuminating primer for a while. Although I do usually have a slightly oily t-zone, my skin has been very balanced lately, and it has never had that much of what you might call natural radiance, so I wasn't particularly worried about it looking too dewy. I opted for the Collection Illuminating Touch Liquid Radiance Highlighter, which set me back a very reasonable £5.99.

Two Affordable Makeup Products For Glowing Skin - 3 - Collection Illuminating Touch Liquid Radiance Highlighter

In a simple glass bottle with practical pump dispenser, the product looks almost white, with a distinct sparkle to it when you hold it up to the light. I presume this is due to the "gold illuminating pearl" with which it's infused. It's weightless to apply, and melts into the skin leaving behind the subtlest sheen and definitely no trace of glitter. I find that my foundation glides effortlessly over this and that the finish is smoother and more flawless. I've been using Chanel Les Beiges almost every day for a while now, and the Illuminating Touch primer complements it very nicely, lending a touch more impact to the "natural glow" this foundation has. It is also, in my opinion, still perfectly wearable for everyday and not in the least over the top.

Makeup Products For Glowing Skin - The Liquid Highlighter

Two Affordable Makeup Products For Glowing Skin - 4 - Collection Finishing Touch Liquid Highlighter

I have long been a fan of both powder and cream highlighters (you can take a look at my highlighter collection if you like), but the Collection Finishing Touch Highlighter is my first in liquid form. I opted for the lighter shade, Gleam, as opposed to the darker and warmer Radiant, although both look very wearable to me. This was also an affordable £5.99.

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Like the primer, the highlighter is light as a feather and a little goes a very long way. You could quite easily build up a "see it from space" look with this product if you wanted to, although blending a small amount into the skin gives a more subtle result. I tend to dab a little across my cheekbones, the bridge of my nose and my cupid's bow, and find it gives a beautiful pearlescent sheen.

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Left - Primer, Right - Highlighter

These two products have definitely brightened up my January - and my skin! Best of all, they didn't break the bank either. What are your favourite makeup products for glowing skin?

Kate x

Some links may be affiliate links. This poses no extra cost to you, the customer. All opinions, as always, are my own.

New Year, New Me, With A Little Help From TK Maxx

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A lot of people aren't too fond of January, and I can understand why. All the festive sparkle of Christmas is over, yet we still have to deal with the long, cold dreary days and even longer dark, dreary nights. But I must confess, I kind of like this time of year. It's a time for new beginnings, for looking back at the achievements of the past twelve months and setting goals for the twelve to come. And I'm pretty much addicted to setting goals! I get a real buzz from that "New Year, New Me" feeling, and this year is definitely no exception - especially as I've had a little help from TK Maxx.

For me, the New Year is all about re-evaluating where I'm headed with my blog, and having started my YouTube channel at the end of 2017, I could not be feeling more motivated. I really want to grow on both platforms this year, and that means buckling down, getting focused, and creating as much inspiring and exciting content as I possibly can. With that in mind, I popped into my local TK Maxx the other day and picked up one or two little treats that should help to make my work space a much more appealing place to be. After all, a beautiful, well-organised desk is bound to foster more productivity than a messy one, no?!

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I have an obsession with notebooks, and get through them at the speed of light. Whether I'm making lists, planning blog posts or working out my strategy for world domination, my favourite tools for the task are always a cute notebook and pen. I managed to pick up a gorgeous notebook*, complete with inspiring quote on the front cover, for just £4.99, which is a fabulous price - you'd be looking at three times that in a fancy stationery shop - as well as a pack of super pretty gold pens* for £7.99.

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This pack of desk essentials* really caught my eye. Containing a couple of smaller notebooks - you can never have too many! - plus some pretty stickers to brighten up their pages, handy little clips and more, it's packed full of useful bits and pieces and was a real bargain at £6.99. Likewise, this desk tidy* (£4.99) is sure to come in handy to keep my desk free from clutter and is really decorative too.

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The finishing touches were a couple of scented candles* to help create an inviting atmosphere to work in, and a faux succulent planter* to make my desk look pretty. I opted for a pink grapefruit scented candle to help me feel energised, as well as a lilac and wild jasmine one, which I chose because I love floral fragrances. They set me back a very reasonable £6.99 and £7.99 respectively, while the faux succulents were £6.99.

In total, I spent just under £50, and think I did very well for the money! I was spoilt for choice too, and if you fancy picking up some similar items, I'm sure you'll find something you like if you have a browse at TK Maxx's stationery, candles and faux flowers.

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Of course, not everyone's New Year goals are the same, but no matter what direction yours take, I'm still willing to bet that TK Maxx will have something you need to help them along. Lots of people love to set fitness related goals, and if that's you, you'll find a huge range of active wear to choose from. If you've decided that 2018 is the year you get into meditation and mindfulness, you'll find yoga mats, adult colouring books and of course scented candles. And if you just fancy pepping up your wardrobe, makeup drawer or living room... well, I don't think you need me to tell you that TK Maxx has a vast array of fashion, beauty and homeware, now do you? 

When January comes around, a lot of us are still feeling the pinch a little after all the Christmas spending, and the fact that TK Maxx offer great quality and big brand products at up to 60% off the RRP is another great reason to shop there. There's also no need to rush to catch the end of the January sales, as they simply don't do them. Instead, they offer amazing prices all year round - in store and online.

Have you set any goals for the New Year?

Kate x

*Gifted item. This post was sponsored by TK Maxx. All opinions, as always, are my own.

Brand Focus - Rosie For Autograph

Brand Focus - Rosie For Autograph - 1

Happy New Year! I'm a little late getting back to the blog this year, but I do have a new video up on my YouTube channel if you fancy checking it out. Producing regular content for both platforms is something I'm going to have to get used to, particularly as I already feel like I ought to be posting more on my blog as it is. Not quite sure how I'm going to work that one out, but we'll have to see how it goes!

For my first post of 2018, I thought I would do a mini brand focus on a brand that's very close to my heart - Rosie For Autograph. Anyone who's been reading my blog for a while will know that Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is a bit of a girl crush of mine, and that I'm a huge fan of her products. From the silky pyjamas to the luxurious lingerie to the beautifully packaged makeup range - I love it all. I have briefly reviewed one or two things on here before, but I thought it was about time I wrote a whole post dedicated to the brand! This is in no way sponsored - just me writing about a brand I love.

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About The Brand

A collaboration between British high street institution Marks & Spencer and the model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Rosie For Autograph has been going since 2012. It started as a lingerie line and over the years has expanded to include sleepwear, lounge wear, active wear and a makeup range. It's available in Marks & Spencer stores and online, although international shipping is somewhat limited, from what I can see.


Like Rosie herself, everything about the brand is incredibly feminine, but in a sophisticated rather than girly way. The lingerie sets are made from silk and French lace, cashmere features heavily in the lounge wear pieces and the makeup is housed in very Instagram-worthy rose gold packaging. In my opinion, it's some of the best that Marks & Spencer has to offer, and I wouldn't dream of visiting the store without checking out the latest offerings. I'm a little bit obsessed, I must admit!

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Price Point 

This might not be the cheapest brand in the world, but it's not prohibitively expensive either. A typical lingerie set will set you back about £40, with a pair of pyjamas costing around the same price or a little less. The pure cashmere range is more expensive (£199 for a pure cashmere full length dressing gown, for example), but I love the fact that they also offer cashmere mix pieces at a more affordable price point, making it an accessible luxury for everyone.

The makeup is a little bit cheaper than what you would pay in Mac, with a lipstick costing around £14 and a foundation around £20. Rosie's signature perfume comes in at £28 for 75 ml. I find the quality to be excellent across the whole brand and overall, I think that the prices are very reasonable considering what you are getting for your money.

Brand Focus - Rosie For Autograph - 4 - Lipstick

Lingerie, Nightwear And Lounge Wear

My first introduction to Rosie For Autograph was through the lingerie sets, which I fell in love with due to their winning combination of being attractive yet practical to wear under clothing. While that doesn't sound particularly ground-breaking, I often find that underwear tends to fall into one of two categories. Either it will sit nicely under your outfit and give you a decent silhouette, in which case it tends to be boring and frumpy looking, or it's for display purposes only (if you catch my drift, nudge nudge, wink wink.) With Rosie for Autograph lingerie, you get gorgeous, smooth silky fabrics in rich colours or delicate prints, with cleverly placed lace trims, so it actually functions as underwear, but you never feel as though you are compromising on style. I've had quite a few sets over the years and have always found them to be very wearable under almost anything.

Brand Focus - Rosie For Autograph - 5 - Pyjamas

It's a similar story with the nightwear. A few years ago, I used to struggle to find anything that wasn't covered in cartoon characters (I'm not 14), made of flanneling (I'm not 92) or... well, for display purposes only. Nowadays, I think that more brands have cottoned on to the fact that there's a call for a more sophisticated option, but Rosie For Autograph was one of the first - at least as far as I'm aware - to offer it. It's still one of my favourite places to buy nightwear to this day. My latest  is this beautiful silky pyjama set, although I must admit I would also love to add some of the cashmere lounge wear to my collection.


Brand Focus - Rosie For Autograph - 6 - Eyeshadow Sticks
It's taken me a while to get around to trying any of the beauty products - goodness knows why. The most recent addition to my collection is the perfume, which I am completely obsessed with - I am sitting at my desk spritzing more and more of it over myself as I write this! It's made with the oil of handpicked French roses, which makes me feel like a princess just thinking about it, and rose is at the heart of the fragrance itself. It's floral, romantic and very feminine, has a freshness to it on first application and eventually wears away to a warm sandalwood, vanilla and musk base. It really is beautiful and I love the heavy glass, vintage style bottle almost as much as the perfume itself.

Brand Focus - Rosie For Autograph - 7 - Perfume

I have also been seriously impressed with both the eyeshadow sticks and the lipstick which I purchased last year. The shades of the eyeshadows (I have Almond Eyes - the pale gold colour - and Movie Star Crush) are just stunning, and the formulas contain just the right amount of sparkle. The lipstick (Lady Rose) is the perfect pinky nude for me and I'm a huge fan of the creamy, pigmented finish and smooth application. Plus, the magnetic closure on the tube is a really nice touch. I'm wearing it in the photos below, together with the Almond Eyes eyeshadow stick.

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Brand Focus - Rosie For Autograph - 9

Shop My Favourites

There's something about the Rosie For Autograph brand that really appeals to me, and no doubt you will be seeing more of it from me in the future! Is anyone else a fan?

Kate x 

Some links may be affiliate links. This poses no extra cost to you, the customer. All opinions, as always, are my own.

How To Make The Most Of Your Christmas Gift Cards In The January Sales

How To Make The Most Of Your Christmas Gift Cards In The January Sales - 1

The big day is almost upon us! By now, most likely, your thoughts are turning away from what you're going to buy for everyone to all the festivities of Christmas itself. Spending time with family, chilling out over some good food and wine, and of course enjoying the reactions of your nearest and dearest as they open your carefully chosen gifts. You may even be starting to feel the teeniest bit excited about opening your own gifts. (I totally am, I can't lie.)

Chances are, amid the eyeshadow palettes, perfumes and pyjama sets, you might find you've been given a gift card or two. I personally love gift cards. For one thing, you can always rely on them when you need to buy a last minute present. In fact, many retailers, like Jack Wills, offer gift vouchers online which can be emailed straight to you - it's pretty much instant and totally effortless on your part! I also love to receive them. It's like being given the gift of shopping, which, let's face it, is my favourite thing. And with the January sales just around the corner, Christmas is the perfect time to find yourself in possession of a gift card.

How To Make The Most Of Your Christmas Gift Cards In The January Sales - 2

How To Make The Most Of Your Christmas Gift Cards In The January Sales - 3

The January sales seem to start earlier every year, with most of the big stores offering reductions and discounts from Boxing Day. It's no secret that I'm not the greatest sales shopper, but as I mentioned in my Black Friday post, this is something I am trying to change. When you love clothes as much as I do and there are so many good deals to be had, it would be silly not to, no? Especially if I end up with a gift card burning a hole in my pocket! So, with all this in mind, I've given the subject some thought, and I've come up with a few ideas of what to buy and what not to buy in the January sales. Hopefully this will help you to make the most of your gift cards - or your money! - if you're planning any sales shopping yourself.

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How To Make The Most Of The January Sales

1. Buy pricey staple items, like winter coats. We can't get through the cooler months without them, yet the cost of a good one can be pretty steep. The sales are the perfect time to save yourself some cash on this essential purchase. Or perhaps a pair of really good winter boots.

2. Buy basics, like jeans, roll necks, t-shirts, classic knits, etc. They're the building blocks of so many outfits and the kind of thing you always need more of. Why not stock up while prices are discounted? Again, somewhere like Jack Wills is ideal for this, as their high quality and classic styles mean you'll get lots of wear for your money.

3. Buy that pretty dress/blouse/pair of shoes you've been lusting after for months but couldn't quite justify at full price. If it's gone into the sale, it will be like Christmas all over again!

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4. Buy a fun, trend led piece you're curious to try out. If you're not sure it's going to work for you but you fancy giving it a go anyway, waiting for the sale means you'll waste less money if it ends up not working out.

5. Don't buy something that's the wrong size, colour, style etc, just because it's in the sale. It's tempting to snap up that discounted dress you've set your heart on, even if your size isn't available. But believe me, unless you can successfully alter it, it's not worth it. (Been there!)

6. Don't buy ANYTHING just because it's in the sale. Discounts are great, but they're not a good reason to buy something you don't love or need. It's more economical to buy something you really want at full price than something in the sale you're half-hearted about.

Well, that's it from me for now. I hope you have an amazing Christmas, and happy sales shopping!
Kate x

This post was in collaboration with Jack Wills. Some links may be affiliate links. All opinions, as always, are my own.
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