Girly Christmas Gifts From New Look

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Girly Christmas Gifts From New Look - 1

It doesn't seem to matter how old I get - I will always be a sucker for anything pink or sparkly. Recently, New Look were kind enough to let me have a gift card to spend on a couple of items from their very extensive Christmas Gift Guide section, and I was spoilt for choice with all the gorgeous, girly gems they have on offer. I've always been a fan of New Look's clothing - it's bang on trend and super affordable - but I didn't realise how much more there is to choose from. From sleepwear, shoes and handbags to makeup and homeware, it's got all your bases covered when it comes to  buying gifts for the girls this Christmas. (They also have a pretty fabulous selection for guys and teens too, but I was focused on women's gifts for the purposes of this post!)

The Christmas Jumper

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The first item I went for was this gorgeous cropped pink chenille jumper*. You can't have too many jumpers in the winter months, and I think any girl would love to receive one as a Christmas present. This one is incredibly soft and warm, goes beautifully with high waisted jeans or mini skirts, and is available in a selection of different colours. I can't believe I was dubious about the return of chenille fabric - this is the cosiest jumper I own and I want to wear it every day at the moment!

The Metallic Lip Kit

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I was really curious to try some New Look makeup, as I haven't tried any before. As the metallic lip trend is something I've long been wanting to experiment with, I couldn't resist this nude metallic lip kit*, which includes a lip liner pencil and liquid lipstick. The silver packaging is lovely, making this a pleasure to open, which is always nice when you're buying a gift!
 
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The two products work beautifully together. I used the liner all over my lips as a base and then applied the liquid lipstick over the top. I love the colour and the metallic finish, and I'm definitely going to be featuring the look for evenings out this festive season. I'm also very impressed with the staying power - I've tested this through a full Sunday dinner and couple of glasses of Prosecco and it fared very well, only needing the tiniest touch up of the liquid lipstick afterwards. I don't currently have any other metallic lip kits to compare this to, but I honestly think that any makeup lover who's into the trend will love this. I certainly do!

The Mermaid Makeup Brushes


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I definitely didn't need any more makeup brushes, but just look at these! This spiral handle brush set* is so pretty it just had to go into my basket as my third and final choice. Not only are the handles incredibly photogenic, but they're also a real pleasure to hold. The brushes themselves are very soft, and I particularly like the largest one for dusting on bronzer. These would make a great gift for anyone who wants some pretty looking brushes on their dressing table, not to mention any blogger friends who just can't get enough beautiful flatlay props!

There was so much else I could have chosen. Scented candles, pretty monogrammed mugs, super cute fluffy hot water bottles... New Look really do have a great selection of girly gifts and stocking fillers, and at great prices too. Take a look here if you fancy a browse!

Have you bought any Christmas gifts from New Look this year? 

Kate x

*Gifted item. This post was sponsored by New Look. All opinions, as always, are my own.
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How To Blitz Your Last Minute Christmas Shopping At TK Maxx - In 20 Minutes

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How To Blitz Your Last Minute Christmas Shopping At TK Maxx - In 20 Minutes - 1

Despite all my best efforts to stay organised, every year I seem to end up with some last minute Christmas shopping to do. Whether it's a work emergency that scuppers my plans to hit the stores, or an unexpected visit from friends or family that leaves me with extra people to buy for, there's always something! I'm sure a lot of you can relate. When I'm in that situation, the last thing I want to do is rush from shop to shop, scrambling for decent gifts amid rapidly dwindling stock. Luckily, there's no need, because you can blitz your entire last minute Christmas shopping list in TK Maxx - in just 20 minutes. (No really, you can. I've just done it!)

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What's great about TK Maxx - apart from the up to 60% of RRP savings you can make on big name brands - is the fact that they continue receiving multiple new deliveries every week right the way up to Christmas Eve, so no matter how literally you take this last minute shopping thing, you're sure to find something you love. And with stock ranging from clothing, accessories and shoes to beauty, homeware and gadgets, you can pick up everything you're looking for from under one roof.

My Top Tips To Blitz Your Christmas Shopping List In 20 Minutes


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Want to wrap up those last minute purchases in your local TK Maxx in record time? Here's how to do it!

1. Make A List, But Keep It General - I recommend having some idea of what you're aiming to buy before you head into store, otherwise there's a very real danger of getting lost in there for hours as there is so much to look at! That said, I also find it's a good idea not to be too specific when it comes to composing that list. Stock comes and goes pretty quickly, and you're never quite sure what you're going to find from one visit to the next. One of the joys of TK Maxx is stumbling upon an unexpected gem, so embrace that, and keep your mind open to finding something fabulous that you weren't particularly looking for, but that your intended recipient will love.

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2. Think In Departments - Once you have that basic list, do yourself a favour, and organise it into departments - beauty, women's accessories, menswear, tech, etc. TK Maxx stores are split up into sections like this, enabling you to focus on one category at a time.

3. Work Your Way From Front To Back - Unless you only have one or two things to pick up, the best way to tackle the store is methodically from start to finish, to make sure you don't miss any of the departments. Grab yourself a trolley, and do one thorough lap of the store, ticking off each department as you go. 

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4. Find Your Size - If your gift shopping includes clothing or footwear, it helps to remember that TK Maxx lays everything out in sizes. Let's say you're looking for a new jumper for the man in your life. Head for menswear, then knitwear, and then find the section that contains his size. In a store with such a huge amount of choice, this really helps to narrow down your search.

This is how I tackled my own Christmas shopping when I popped into one of my local branches the other day, and it worked a treat! I spent about 20 minutes in store, and finished up with a very nice selection of gifts. Even better, I managed to finish off my last minute Christmas shopping and pick up six gifts for just £100. With value for money like that, you could be forgiven for popping back in for a little something for yourself, don't you think?

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OK, let's not get carried away...

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I'll confess, I thought the faux fur scarf was such a lovely gift that I ended up getting one for myself too. Well, at just £12.99, it would have been rude not to, don't you think? It's beautifully soft and lovely quality too - no one would guess it cost so little! I also picked up a pair of fabulous boots that will make the perfect present for a friend of mine. Any fashion lover would be thrilled to receive these.

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I didn't forget about the boys either. I found a nice cosy beanie, a selection of toiletries, a game, and finally, a gorgeous navy jumper, which was worth £88, but which I was able to snap up for a more than reasonable £24.99 thanks to TK Maxx's fantastic savings.

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Not bad for 20 minutes' work, don't you think?! And, even if my trip into store hadn't been so successful, I could have fallen back on the TK Maxx website. With both a click-and-collect and next-day delivery service available, you can get those last few gifts bought online too.

Are you a last minute Christmas shopper, or do you have it all wrapped up and under the tree before December even hits? I would love to know!

Kate x

This post was sponsored by TK Maxx. All opinions, as always, are my own.
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Current Favourites & Hello YouTube!

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Well, I don't think I've been this excited, or nervous, about publishing a blog post since my very first one back in 2014. Ever since then, it's been my intention to start a YouTube channel, but for various reasons, I've found that to be easier said than done, which is something I talked about earlier this year in my 5 Ways I Want To Improve As A Blogger post. One thing I didn't mention in that post, was that when I made my new year's resolutions back in January, one of my goals was to get at least one video live on YouTube before 2017 ended. I'm cutting it fine, but I've achieved it, and I couldn't be more thrilled!

As you might expect for a first video, it's not particularly polished. Some of the transitions are pretty awkward, there are no slick cutaways, I fidget quite a lot and I say 'um...' about fifty thousand times, but everyone has to start somewhere, right?!

You can find the video by clicking this link, or you check out my YouTube channel, but if you prefer, you can just watch right here.


If you're interested in any of the items I talked about in the video, you can take a closer look at them here.

Beatitude Pillow Spray*



Ren & Now To Sleep Pillow Spray*



Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Mascara*



River Island Pyjamas



Zara Jumper



Primark Boots



And that's it for today! If you're a Youtuber, I would love it if you left a link to your channel in the comments below, as I'm looking forward to connecting with people over there.

Kate x

*Gifted item. Some links may be affiliate links. This poses no extra cost to you, the customer. All opinions, as always, are my own.
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Christian Breton BB Cream Review - The Perfect Base For "No Makeup" Makeup

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Christian Breton BB Cream Review - The Perfect Base For "No Makeup" Makeup - 1

I was a huge fan of BB creams when I first discovered them a few years ago. The idea of a product that offers you a foundation-like base but is also packed with skincare benefits is definitely an appealing concept, and there was a time when Garnier's version was a staple in my skincare routine. After a while, though, I veered away from them, mostly because I tend to need more staying power from my makeup than a BB cream can give me. But, that said, there are always times when "no makeup" makeup is required. On those occasions, a BB cream makes an ideal base, so I was thrilled to receive Christian Breton BB Cream* a few weeks ago for review.

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Christian Breton is not a brand I'm familiar with, but suffice it to say that after my experience with the BB cream, I will be checking out some of their other offerings. Long story short, this product is fab!

The BB cream is available in just two shades, natural and light. I went for light, which is perhaps ever so slightly too pale for my skin tone but works well enough once blended in. The packaging is sleek and simple, with a nice fine nozzle for dispensing product, and a 30 ml tube will set you back £27. Not cheap, admittedly, but worth it for the quality if you are a wearer of BB creams.

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Part of Christian Breton's Age Priority range, the BB cream contains pomegranate extract, which is an effective anti-oxidant as well as helping to illuminate the skin. Other ingredients include hyaluronic acid, well known for its plumping and hydrating qualities, and allantoin, which helps to regenerate skin tissue. 

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Although the product looks thick and creamy on dispensing it from the tube, it melts into the skin on application and really feels as though you are wearing no base at all. Christian Breton recommend applying it with your fingertips, but I prefer to use my Real Techniques Stippling Brush, as I find this gives a more perfected finish. I like to apply it in three thin layers to build up a decent amount of coverage - that's what I have on in the photo below - but it's versatile, and you can keep it as sheer as you want. Either way, the results are very natural and give you a radiant base that evens out your skin tone without settling into fine lines. The perfect start for a "no makeup" makeup look!

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Wear time is never going to be as good with a BB cream as it is with a true foundation, and I'd say I probably get around four hours out of this before it disappears. However, for days when I'm working from home and want to give my skin a break, it's perfect.

Are you a fan of BB Creams, and have you tried anything from Christian Breton?

Kate x

*Gifted item. Some links may be affiliate links. This poses no extra cost to you, the customer. All opinions, as always, are my own.
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New In From Ren Clean Skincare - & Now To Sleep Pillow Spray Plus Christmas 2017 Gifts

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New In From Ren Clean Skincare - & Now To Sleep Pillow Spray Plus Christmas 2017 Gifts - 1

I've been lucky enough to be gifted a few new in products from Ren Clean Skincare recently. First of all, their Perfect Canvas Finishing Serum, which I reviewed back in September and which I highly recommend you check out if you like multi-tasking products, as it's a primer and skincare in one. In the last few weeks, I've also been trialling their recently launched & Now To Sleep Pillow Spray*, as well as one of their beautiful Christmas 2017 gift sets, Rose To The World*, which features a rose scented body wash and body lotion. Let's just say I have been feeling particularly pampered lately!

& Now To Sleep Pillow Spray


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I have been loving pillow sprays this past few months. I'm definitely a believer in the power of aromatherapy, and whether it's in this form or in essential oils you add to your bath or body care, breathing in a beautiful calming fragrance really does help towards a better night's sleep. There's also something deeply enjoyable about the act of misting your pillow, bed sheets or the air around your bed last thing at night - it adds to the wind down ritual and helps to let your body know that it's time to sleep. 

The blue and white packaging is cute and although it's a decent sized bottle (75 ml), it's also very portable, so you could easily slip it into your suitcase for travelling. The fragrance is a blend of hops, frankincense and lavender. I'm not sure I know what hops smell like and can't really pick them out when I smell the product, but the lavender and frankincense are a match made in heaven as far as I'm concerned. Lavender's calming properties are well known, and the fresh, herbal quality to the scent really compliments the warm, sweet headiness of the frankincense, resulting in a pillow spray that smells incredible and makes you feel calmer with every breath. If you struggle to sleep, know someone who does or just feel like adding a beautiful fragrance to your bed linen, you won't be disappointed in this.

Rose To The World Gift Set


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Gorgeously packaged beauty products are always a winner when it comes to Christmas gifts, and Ren have some real gems on offer this year. In collaboration with Silken Favours, who produce beautiful, hand drawn prints, they've put together some of their most popular products in fabulously decorative packaging. From cute little stocking fillers to lavish gift boxes, beauty lovers will be spoilt for choice. I've popped a few of them for you to browse through in the widget below - they really are lovely to look at.

I was sent the Rose To The World gift set. The box itself is absolutely stunning - I certainly won't be throwing this away!

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Inside, there is a very generous 200 ml bottle of Moroccan Rose Otto body wash and 200 ml Moroccan Rose Otto body lotion. Both smell absolutely divine. It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of rose scented products, and the fragrance of these also makes me think of Turkish Delight for some reason, which is definitely no bad thing!

The body wash is really versatile - it comes in a handy pump bottle and can be used as a shower gel, but it's also lovely to add to your bath, as it creates bubbles and, of course, smells wonderful. The body lotion is rich and hydrating, yet melts beautifully into the skin. I've really been enjoying using both products and think that any beauty lover would be thrilled to find this gift under the Christmas tree.

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Are you a fan of pillow sprays? And will you be picking up any Christmas Gifts from Ren Clean Skincare this year?

Shop The Post


Kate x

*Gifted item. Some links may be affiliate links. This poses no extra cost to you, the customer. All opinions, as always, are my own.
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The Best Black Friday Deals to Shop Now

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I'll hold my hands up and say that I'm not very good at sales. End of Summer sales, January sales, you name it, they tend to pass me by. Either that, or you'll find me happily shopping New Collection while there's a rail of bargains on the other side of the store. This year, however, I've been trying to change my ways, and with Black Friday just a few hours away, I thought I would take a look at some of my favourite high street retailers to see what deals they have on offer. And of course, I'm going to share my high level research with you! Black Friday has become a huge deal in the UK in recent years, and I could probably have gone on forever listing bargains and discounts, but with time ticking away, I've narrowed it down to a more manageable selection of my favourites. All the below are available to shop now, so take a look and see if there is anything you like. Happy shopping!

Topshop - Up To 50% Off Selected Lines


1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8  

River Island - Up To 40% Off Selected Lines


1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 

Miss Selfridge - Up To 50% Off Selected Lines

 
 123, 4, 5, 6

Feelunique - Various Offers Available On Selected Brands

 

 1, 2345678, 9, 10

Will you be taking advantage of any Black Friday deals this year? If so, I'd love to know what you're planning to snap up!

Kate x

*Some links may be affiliate links. This poses no extra cost to you, the customer. All opinions, as always, are my own.
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Wishtrend Green Tea & Enzyme Powder Wash Review

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Wishtrend Green Tea & Enzyme Powder Wash Review - 1

Having thoroughly enjoyed discovering some new Korean skincare products courtesy of Wishtrend, I was of course eager to say yes to reviewing another new launch! This time, the product in question is Green Tea & Enzyme Powder Wash*, a cleanser from Wishtrend's own line.

The concept of a powder based cleanser (you mix it with water in your hands to create an emulsion) isn't something that I've seen around too much, although as a long term fan of  Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant, I was familiar with it, and I was really curious to see how this compared to something that's been a tried and tested favourite of mine for so long.

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The key ingredient of the Green Tea & Enzyme Powder Wash is - you'll never guess - green tea, which as everyone knows is packed full of health benefits when taken in its usual form. Applied to the skin, you should still reap the results of its impressive anti-oxidant powers and Vitamins A, C and E. Effective at both calming and purifying, it should help clear the complexion without being too harsh for sensitive skin types. The Powder Wash also contains Papain, which helps to dissolve and eliminate skin waste and old keratin, baking soda to deeply penetrate and cleanse and amino acid surfactants, derived from coconut, to moisturise.

The packaging is simple and practical, and very lightweight. As soon as you flip up the little plastic lid to dispense the powder, you can smell the green tea, albeit subtly. This took me by surprise at first, but I've very quickly grown to love it. 

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Wishtrend Green Tea & Enzyme Powder Wash Review - 5

The texture of the powder is slightly grittier than both Dermalogica Microfoliant and DHC Face Wash Powder, which are the only two similar products I've tried, although it does become smoother the more water you add to it. My skin feels really clean after using this, and for those occasions when I feel the need of a deeper cleanse than usual, it is lovely to use. I wouldn't use it every day as I think that it would be too harsh, even for my combination skin, as it does leave my face feeling slightly tight after use. For me, it's great as a twice weekly exfoliator, or perhaps a little more if my skin is having a bit of a tantrum and going through an oily phase, as it can do from time to time. Wishtrend recommend that those with sensitive skin restrict use to once or twice a week, and my skin can be sensitive, so I would say this is good advice. They also recommend not to use other exfoliants alongside this product, so anything containing retinol, AHA/BHA or high concentration Vitamin C, for example. Essentially, this provides you with a really deep cleanse, and it's not necessarily something that you need every day, even if you have an oilier skin type. However, it definitely has a place in my overall skincare routine.

Have you tried powder cleansers? Are you a fan? Oh, and if you fancy reading some more Korean skincare reviews, you can check out what I thought of Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin E Mask and Klairs Mid-Day Blue Sun Lotion

Kate x

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