Monday 24 December 2018

Merry Christmas And Remember You Are Not Alone x

So as per usual this year, things haven't gone quite to plan today so instead of the summary of days 13 - 24 of the Glossybox All I Want Advent Calendar that I promised you, I thought I'd just write a super quick post to wish you all of you that are celebrating tomorrow a very Merry Christmas, I hope you have a good one and that Santa is good to you !

Christmas can be a stressful time though, emotions can come to a head, and of course everyday problems don't go away just because it's Christmas Day so please remember that you are not alone, and there is always someone there to listen x Here is a list of UK telephone numbers and websites if you need some help or just someone to talk to xx

I have a few more bits to do including watching The Muppets Christmas Carol and then I'm going to head to bed, and be nice and warm and cosy under my festive bedding, once I've removed the mountain of cushions that is! So I hope you all have a lovely day tomorrow whether you're celebrating or not, and I will probably see you  later in the week with an advent calendar update, and don't forget to follow me on my other social media channels especially Instagram for some pictures of my day xxx

Sunday 23 December 2018

Get Your Glow On INC.redible You Glow Girl Cosmic Blur Gift Set

Well there are last minute Christmas gift ideas, and there are last minute Christmas gift ideas - Can you believe that there is just one shopping day to go before the big day? I'm still in denial if I'm being honest, it's ages away and you feel as though you have all the time in the world to get things done, then wham it's nearly here and your to do list is still way longer than you would have liked - argh!

At least though I don't have to brave the shops tomorrow, my shopping is done and it's all wrapped and ready, if though you are looking for a gift for the beauty lover or party animal in your life then this kit from Nails Inc is a great last minute option. Not only that but if you're heading to any late Christmas or New Year parties, and you want a bit of sparkle to go with your outfit, then this could be a perfect pressie for yourself.

Now Nails Inc are obviously famous for their nail polishes, nail treatments, and their nail bars but did you know that they've now branched out into skin care and make up, with a range of face masks and cosmetic products. I actually reviewed one of their Christmas gift sets last year which contained both a face mask, and a lipstick (read it here), and I have to say I was pretty impressed with the lipstick, but somehow I never really got round to trying anything else from their INC.redible range, but what do you know? beauty products are like buses, you don't try something and then somehow you end up trying two things in pretty quick succession. I going to talk a little bit more about another INC.redible products in tomorrows post but first I'm going to talk about a kit that contains everything that you need to get your glow on!

Packaged in an amazing silver, holographic cardboard pouch the Nails Inc / INC.redible You Glow Girl Cosmic Blur Gift Set, contains two fabulous coordinating products, a full size Nails Inc nail polish, and a mini INC.redible Jelly Highlighter.

I've been a fan of Nails Inc nail polishes for the longest time, the quality is excellent but probably the main reason why I love them is that they are so innovative, as well as coming up with some really unusual colours, and scientific formulations, they also regularly bring out new polish textures and finishes. I'm a huge fan of their glitters, and iridescent polishes and of course their holographic shades, and the minute I saw this shade, I knew that I had to give it a go.

Nails Inc Nail Polish in Cosmic Blur, is probably one of the most fabulous shades that I've ever seen. At first glance in the bottle it just looks like a sort or pearlised white, but move the bottle around in your hands, or give your hands a little bit of a wiggle and it turns into an iridescent, multi coloured shimmer and sparkle fest.

Equipped with the familiar Nails Inc easy to grip cap, and their fabulous slightly curved wide brush it is a dream to apply even on my little stubby nails, it dries quickly, feels smooth and it looks super glossy. I'm not doing this colour justice on my little stubs, but here are two coats onto just base coated nails.

With Flash

Natural Light 

Now if you ignore the state of the nails themselves and focus purely on the amazingness of the colour I'm sure that you'll agree that it is super pretty. Depending on the lighting and movement it can change from an almost invisible nude to an explosion of multicoloured flashes. As I say this is just two coats on top of a base coat, and it looks fine as it is and to be honest since I want something super simple, this might be my Christmas Day manicure, because it's quite sheer though Cosmic Blur makes an amazing top coat, instantly transforming any colour in an instant x I thought I'd try it out on two shades at the opposite end of the colour spectrum, completely different shades, a dark and a light, but still classic and wearable shades, the classic dark berry red of Nails Inc Victoria and, the perfect French nude of Nails Inc Elizabeth Street.

Nails Inc - Victoria

With Flash

Natural Light

Nails Inc - Elizabeth Street 

With Flash

Natural Light 

Again, ignore the nails and cuticles and focus on the pretties x Both of these nails colours look fab in their own right, and I'll be showcasing both of them in their own individual blog posts in the new year, but add a couple of coats of Cosmic Blur and you've gone from chic and classy, to blingy and, well cosmic in minutes ! I've applied two coats here for a full on look, but you can be a bit subtle and apply one coat for a little less sparkle.

Cosmic Blur is definitely one of those polishes that you can experiment with, you apply it over different shades, try a bit of nail art, and stare it in different lights to absorb it's real beauty. My pictures haven't done it justice at all, it's a gorgeous shade, and perfect from transforming your nails from desk to dance floor in a matter of minutes. I've searched the internet high and low and the only place that I can find this shade is in this kit. Nails Inc polishes normally retail between £11 and £15 and since the kit is only £15 it's already a bargain even without the other item.

I remember in my teenage years and in my early twenties (and maybe even later than that ) playing with glitter gels; They are perfect for the party season but they aren't for everyone, they can be a bit out there, so if you fancy a bit of shimmer rather than full glitter though then then INC'redible You Glow Girl Iridescent Jelly in _Cosmic Blur is perfect!

The little pot really does contain a bit of magic, open it open and you're greeted with a slightly unassuming looking, white jelly like substance. 

As with it's name sake nail polish though, wiggle the pot or spread a small amount on your skin and oomph! ultra violet, colour flipping shimmer and sparkle!!

The jelly itself feels smooth to the touch and definitely isn't glittery or scratchy, this is iridescent shimmer not glitter. I haven't had a chance to try this properly yet but you can use it just about anywhere, from your eyes, to your cheeks, lips and even on your shoulders.  It adds a gorgeous, iridescent glow, without any chunky glitter or fallout.

This isn't a full sized pot but it's a good size and it would definitely last you the party season and maybe even beyond that depending on how generous you were with your application. The full 9.35g retails at around £10.

This sparkly set retails at £15 which as I say is excellent when you consider the usual price for a full size Nails Inc polish. This kit is available from most Nails Inc concessions and retailers including the Nails Inc website, and John Lewis, and I think it would make a lovely treat either for yourself or for someone else x Are you a shimmer fan? or do you like out and out glitter? or even both? Let me know in the comments x 

Thursday 20 December 2018

Laura Geller Dripping In Gold Illuminator Palette Holiday 2018

Now, are you one of those super organised people who has every single present bought and wrapped by the first week in December? or are you a bit like me and are you a little bit stressed out at the moment? Bar one present that doesn't seem as though it's going to arrive in time, my gift shopping is done, but I still have a mountain of presents to wrap and a kazillion other things to do. I'm consoling myself in the knowledge though that at least I'm not one of those people that does their Christmas gift shopping on Christmas Eve!

If you're a person that does that I am in awe, I can deal with a little bit of disorganisation and panic but I think that, that would be a step too far. If you are still looking for that odd little thing though for either the beauty lover in your life, or to treat yourself for being so organised, then in the next two posts I'm going to be sharing a couple of last minute beauty gift ideas with you x

Now up until a few years ago, Laura Geller was a pretty difficult brand to get your hands on it the UK, QVC UK had sold it for quite a number of years now, but it was impossible to get on the high street. Thankfully the brand is now a little bit easier to get your hands on, a few online stores stock it, and you can now buy this fabulous artistry brand in Debenhams.

Laura Geller is a fabulous American make up artist, who learnt her trade in the US film studio system, working on the likes of Audrey Hepburn, and Ginger Rogers. I'm a huge, huge fan of her range, and although I've mentioned lots of her products in empties posts and in videos, I haven't actually reviewed anything bar a lip palette before, well today I'm going to remedy that and talk about a range of products from her, that I'd wanted to try for a long, long time, Gelato Swirls.

Now if you know anything about Laura Geller, then you'll know that her products are made using innovative techniques and to the highest standards. She's famous for her baked mineral based products that are infused with skin care and good for you ingredients. She was one of the pioneers of the baked formulation, that so many make up brands now have in their inventories, her products really are something special.

You should know by know that  I love a highlighter, I've bought a new one this week (I really needed that.... not!), and today I've actually found a highlighting palette that I've completely forget about - I have a problem! The highlighters, and illuminators that I already own are all pretty similar if I'm being honest. They're either powders, liquids, creams or in sticks, I love them all but very rarely do they offer anything that is truly different, a product from Laura Geller though, does offer something just that little bit more unique.

Her Gelato Swirl Illuminator range is probably unlike pretty much any other highlighter or illuminator that you've every tried, and I don't mean that just because they look almost too pretty to use. First of all we'll get the boring but essential bit out of the way, Laura Geller's Gelato Swirls are cruelty free and do not contain fragrance, nanos, gluten, parabens, minerals oil, soy, sulphates, Phthlates, or alcohol, and they are suitable for all skin types, so if you have allergies or sensitive skin then this range could be something to try. Now onto the interesting bit, just why are Laura Geller Gelato Swirls so special? Well it's all down to the texture, they are actually a baked gel, they have an amazing texture, and they apply like a fine, sheer powder, but touch them and almost feel like a velvety cream.

There are lots of different shades to chose from including beautifully shimmery pinks, almost icy whites, and of course champagnes, golds and coppers, and you can even get a few more blush type shades. My problem was always which shade to go far, not an easy decision when they all look so beautiful, and the shades are all so wearable. I had no clue, but as soon as the Christmas gift sets started to appear in store I found the perfect way to not only try this long lusted after formulation, but also to try a few colours at once.

Released especially for Holiday 2018, the Laura Geller Dripping In Gold Illuminator Palette, is a perfect example of something that I mentioned in one of my previous posts, gifts as decorations. This beautiful palette comes packaged in an unusual triangle shaped box adorned with product pictures, snowflakes and gold detailing, it also comes with attached hanging loop so you can hang it on your Christmas tree or use it as a table gift.

Open the box and you greeted with a bright metallic gold, triangle shaped cardboard palette. which has a magnetic fastening, open that and you're dazzled by not only a fabulous triangular mirror, but also by three fabulously festive, or even looking ahead, summery highlighting shades, carefully protected by a plastic, domed insert.

The palette contains 3 x 2g Gelato Swirl Illuminators, in the shades Molten Copper, Gilded Honey and French Fizz. Molten Copper is as the name would suggest is a gorgeous, metallic golden copper, Gilded Honey, is one of Laura Geller's best selling shades and is a gorgeous warm, champagne, caramel shade and although it looks almost white in the palette French Fizz is a sparkling soft gold.

The shades swatched from left to right are Molten Copper, French Fizz and Gilded Honey.

As you can see the pigmentation, and colour pay off is superb. Depending on how you use them, what type of brush, pressure, amount and so on though, you can create either a full on metallic look or just a gently wash of colour and sparkle. Obviously you can use these anywhere on the face or body, that you would normrally use a highlighter, be it on your cheekbones, shoulders, your cupids bow or your brow bone, but you can also use them as solid eye colours and even lip colours.

Now given the horrendous lighting at the moment I haven't had a lot of chance to play with these yet but even this early on it's love. They feel so beautiful, they colour pay off is excellent, and they blend like a dream and feel almost weightless on the skin. I managed to do a really quick eye look using Molten Copper, and a bit of French Fizz as a highlight, and believe it or not I actually applied these and blended them out using my fingers. They feel creamy to the touch and they blend seamlessly into each other and the the skin, even without using any professional tools, The finish is silky and almost powder like. I did get a little bit of fallout but not as much as you would get with a comparable out and out powder product. I have quite oily eye lids, and given the smooth and buttery texture I wasn't expecting this look to last very long but it did, which really surprised me!

At this time of year, we all need a little bit of a glow and a bit of radiance and that is exactly what Gilded Honey give you , I actually used a brush in this case and used it as a conventional cheek highlighter, I was wearing a bit of face powder which can sometimes causs a few issues with some creamier textures, but because this is actually a powder it blended easily in the rest of my make up and again, wore really well x

These shades in my opinion will work on any skin tone, and they are perfect shades not only for the party season, but can you imagine some of these colours with a tan in the summer, or even if you're lucky enough to be escaping for a bit of winter sun!. As I said before Gilded Honey is one of Laura Geller's most popular shades of Gelato Swirl Illuminator and as a result you can buy it on its own in a larger 4g size for around £21, the other two shades though, Molten Copper and French Fizz appear to be exclusive to this set and a few similar palettes in the Laura Geller collection, in the UK at least x This palette really was almost too pretty to use but I'm glad I did, not only can I see myself using it throughout 2019 but it's also introduced me to the Gelato Swirl formulation and I may have already added another colour, which I'll hopefully share with you in early 2019 into to my make up collection.

I think that this palette would make an ideal gift for any make up lover. no matter what their skin type or skin colour, if they like shimmer and sparkle then I'm sure that this would be a very well received present, and I think that it would be a great introduction not only to a gorgeous formulation but also to a quality, and very moreish make up brand. The Laura Geller Dripping In Gold Illuminator Palette for Holiday 2018, retails at around £25 from a variety of retailers including Debenhams, Escentual, FEELUNIQUE, Pretty Little Things, Simply Be and of course directly from Laura Geller x If you have any questions please leave me a comment x Thanks for reading and happy last minute shopping x

Tuesday 18 December 2018

AD - Last Minutes Christmas Gift Ideas From Old English Co.*

In case you haven't already guessed, life this year has been a bit yacky for me, lots of things have gone wrong in my personal life and as a result my blog hasn't received the love and attention that it's deserved. It's frustrating enough when you can't post about things you've bought yourself but believe me it's even worse when you feel as though you've let a brand or a company down, because you've had to put their posts on the back burner, so as this year comes to a close I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all of the PR's. brands and companies that I've dealt with over the last 12 months, for their support, understanding and patience. Life gets in the way though, and sometimes as hard as it can be to admit, other things really are more important.

It's funny how things turn out, and although this post is up way, way later than what I originally intended, it fits in perfectly with some of the last minute Christmas gift ideas posts that I'm going to be sharing with you this week.

Around the time that my mum was taken into hospital I was given the opportunity to chose some products from an online retailer Old English Co. I am as bad as any other blogger when it comes to shopping from multi national companies, but I do try to shop locally when I can, and I love the whole idea of supporting smaller British based companies in what is currently a difficult retail climate.

Originally founded in London, and now based in Stamford, Old English Co, are a stationery and giftware brand, producing beautiful and individual hand lettered and designed products. With their simple yet stylish lettering designs at it's heart, the company sells a wide variety of items that are perfect to treat yourself, or for gifts.

You can find everything on their site from greetings cards, to prints, to mugs, enamel pins, stationery, aprons and much, much more. With such a wide variety of unusual products, you should be able to find a gift for even the most difficult to buy person on your list. Whatever the person, whatever the occasion from new babies, to housewarming gifts, and of course Christmas presents you are bound to find something that both you, and they will love.

I honestly had such a hard time picking out some items to try, I pretty much wanted everything in their inventory, but in the end I tried to choose items that not only I loved but items that I felt showcased both exactly what Old English Co are all about, and to show off the wide variety of the products that they sell.

Do an online search or have a look on Instagram for Old English Co. and I guarantee that one of the first things that you'll see will be one of their prints. This is really what they are famous for, so it made sense to see for myself, just exactly why they are are so popular on social media.

The choice is huge and every changing, and every print that they sell is both designed and printed in house, so you won't find these particular prints anywhere else. They sell everything from initials, and fun sayings, to maps, and inspirational quotes. There is something for everyone from an initial print for a new baby's nursery, to a map of London, for someone moving to a new home or a new city. There are several different sizes to choose from in each print ranging from 5 x 7 to A3 so you can tailor your print not only to it's new owner but also to it's new surroundings. All of their prints are printed here in the UK using high quality inks on 230gsm archival matte paper for a crisp, long lasting print.

As I say the range is constantly changing and the Coco Chanel quote that I chose now seems to have been discontinued but there are plenty other quotes available for the beauty or fashion lover in your life or even someone who needs that reminder every day of how special they are. I went for the A4 size and I was really impressed with both the quality and the thickness of the print, this wasn't a flimsy piece of paper it was almost like thin card. I've seen a lot of different ways of displaying prints like this including sticking them up as they are, or using printed washi tape but I'm a bit of a traditionalist so I love a frame so I've just put mine in a plain, cheap, silver tone frame from Amazon. The A4 size is perfect for standing on a table or a desk, but I've ended up hanging mine on my bedroom wall x These prints are a great and affordable way of brightening up any space from a bedroom, to an office or even in the kitchen. Depending on the print and size prices range from around £7.

Now who doesn't need a mug, well probably me I do have a bit of a thing for mugs, like I have a thing for pretty much everything else, but I do love a nice mug, and a really enjoy a cuppa when I'm setting at my desk working, or even a cup of coffee, when the words aren't coming. Mugs are an easy gift to give, and Old English Co have lots of different ones to choose from including ones specifically for Mum and Dad, and some with quotes, and funny but not crude sayings on them. Made from high quality ceramic, they are all designed and printed in the UK, and they are both microwave and dishwasher safe. 

I nearly went for this design in a print, but I thought it would be better in a mug, self belief is something that I lack, so with every sip I'm reminded that I can do it and to keep at it. Mugs like this one from Old English Co. have a recommended retail price of around £9.95.

Now I may have mentioned it once or twice before but I'm a bit obsessed with stationery, I love it and I can never resist a new notebook, and thankfully as a blogger I do use them quite a lot for notes and planning so I can usually justify buying them, well some of the time anyway.

There and notebooks though and there are notebooks, and this one is excellent on all fronts. In the useful and substantial A5 size, it's spiral bound and features a hard back and front, with the words "There Is Beauty In Simplicity" in Old English Co's distinctive script on the front. It contains a 140 lined, 100gsm white pages, with perforations in the margin, and it also features an elastic strap.

I've bought cheaper notebooks but very rarely have they been of this quality, it feels nice and sturdy, and I've used the pages with roller ball pens with no transfer, or smudging. I also love the perforations in the margin which makes it easier to neatly tear out the pages for lists, notes, or even letters. The elastic strap is also an excellent addition that you just don't see on lower quality items, you can either use it to keep your place or to hold extra piece of paper or notes safely inside your note book. Throw in the lovely pattern detail on the inside covers, and you can really tell that Old English Co. have thought about every detail and really have gone the extra mile in every item that they produce. Again notebooks make excellent gifts, and they're a gift that will always get used by someone. Old English Co. have a huge variety of notebooks, notepads, and planners for sale, and notebooks like this one have a retail price of around £9.95.

Since I predominantly blog about beauty most posts have a beauty twist and the final item carries on that trend, it's a make up bag. I have so many make up bags, I've bought them, received them from brands and press events and I've been gifted them, but like notebooks I still keep buying them, I love changing them around, and switching things up and like all of Old English Co's other designs I love the simplicity of this one.

In 100% white cotton, the hand lettered and designed print is in a deep charcoal grey and is printed on both sides of the bag. It is lined in a contrasting charcoal grey water repellent lining, and it has a zip fastening. This make up pouch is machine washable and you can iron it on the reverse side of the print.

The quality of this pouch is excellent from the fabric to the zip, it has a lovely nice canvas feel, I love the fact that's it's washable, essential when you are as messy as me, and I also love the charcoal lining that tones in perfectly with the lettering. The size is quite deceptive, so you can get a lot of make up in it, if you aren't as into make up as I am though, then this would also make a perfect edition to your handbag, to keep your headphones, cables and chargers safe. Old English Co. currently have 5 make up pouches in their inventory including this one and they have a recommended retail price of £12.95, a great gift for either a make up lover or someone who just needs to organise their handbag!

I was so so impressed with the quality of everything that I received, from the products themselves, to the box and how my parcel was packaged, it was blatantly obvious just how much thought has gone into both the brand itself and their range of products. The fact that everything is printed and designed right here in the UK is also a huge plus point. If you or someone you know are into quotes and lettering, and individual and unique products that you won't see everywhere on the high street then Old English offer something just that little bit different when you're buying either treats for yourself or gifts for family and friends. Better still order before the 20th December and you'll still get your items delivered to you in the UK before Christmas, and even better, better still, a few of the item that I've mentioned are actually on sale at the moment so you've got no excuse not to treat yourself or someone you love this Christmas. To browse their full range of products and to grab your goodies in time for Santa x you can check out the Old English Co. website here x

*Press Samples / AD

Sunday 16 December 2018

Glossybox "All I Want" Advent Calendar - Part 1 - Days 1 - 12

Now I know that some people don't like them but personally I love a luxury advent calendar. I've always had an advent calendar ever since was a child, and even though we've now come a long way since the cardboard and glitter calendars of my childhood, opening a box or a door every morning in the run up to Christmas still gives me that hint of childhood excitement.

We're well advented out in the house, between 2 people and 3 cats, we seem to have acquired 6 advent calendars. The cats have one with kitty heart shaped treats inside, my mum has a Lindt chocolate one, and a NEXT home fragrance calendar, and somehow I've ended up with 3. I have a traditional Cadbury's one, a lovely Moo Free chocolate one which was a gift from a friends parents and I also have a luxury beauty advent calendar, which this year is from Glossybox.

Pretty much every brand and store this seemed to be doing their own advent calendar this year, and there were so many that I could have chosen or gone for, but after receiving a press release, I decided to go for the Glossybox UK All I Want Advent Calendar. This to the best of my knowledge is Glossybox UK's first advent calendar, and as expected it proved to be extremely successful and it did in fact sell out. I'm super grateful that Mummy Lou ordered it for me as part of my Christmas present, the retail price was originally £99 for non subscribers, but subscribers like me got the chance to pre order it for just £75. I also had some Glossy Credits which you could redeem against it, so we paid a little bit less in the end.

The designs itself is beautiful, wrapped in a pink ribbon, it's predominately in shades of pink, rose gold, and grey. Open the door and you're greeted with 24 different sized boxes all filled with goodies and shred, the boxes themselves are stacked on 4 little shelves within the box. That's not all though adhered to the inside of the left hand door is another box, with a 25 on it which is just the icing on the cake in my opinion, it's really nice to have an extra gift on Christmas Day itself.

Unlike the calendar that I got last year, this one probably isn't quite as reusable, but I'm definitely going to think of a way to reuse it, obviously you could refill it as it is, or you can use the individual boxes either for gift wrapping or for storing decorations. I'm definitely going to try and resuse it even if I just put something on the little shelves, we'll see, but it's definitely too pretty to just recycle.

Even though I had a few hints (okay a full contents list!) it's still exciting opening the boxes every morning and seeing what's inside! I've been posting day by day pics on Instagram but like in previous years I thought I'd share some initial impressions about the products inside on the blog, some of them will be full reviews with swatches and so on and with some products I'll just be telling you about more about what it is, what does, and an idea of the retail price so you make your own mind up as to whether or this calendar was worth the money - so a little but here are days 1 - 12.

Day 1 - NARS Velvet Lip Glide - 3.4ml - Immoral

Ah, NARS, who doesn't love a bit of NARS. They're one of those brands that I would happily buy everything from, providing I had unlimited funds that is,  I love their products, and thanks to the Glossbox All I Want Advent Calendar I've been able to try another one.

Lip colours are the one area where NARS and I haven't really got on, but this one thankfully was a winner. NARS Velvet Lip Glide is the perfect mix of a lipstick and a gloss, they apply with the smoothness of a gloss but with the intensity and pigmentation of a lipstick. Containing waterlily and white tea they are moisturising on the lips and have a smooth satin to semi matte finish.

Immoral is a beautiful creamy, cool fuchsia pink shade, it's extremely pigmented and it feels smooth and nourishing on the lips. I am officially in love with both this colour and this formulation. You can see a quick pic of it below and I am also wearing it in upcoming December 2018 Glossybox Unboxing Video x The one pity is that this shade appears to be a limited edition and quite hard to find, if you're in the USA though you can be this shade in this deluxe mini size as part of duo for around $16. Glossybox estimate this deluxe mini size at around £13.72 - a full 5.7ml Velvet Lip Glide retails at around £23. Although it might be quite difficult to get your hands on this particular shade, there are lots and lots of other shades to try, and I'm definitely going to be splashing out on a few more of these in the future x

Day 2 - Nip + Fab Hydrate Dragon's Blood Fix Plumping Serum - 30ml

I've tried a few products from Nip + Fab, mainly from the Glycolic and Kale ranges but I've never tried anything from their Dragon's Blood range before. A few people have told me how much they like this product and apparently Kylie Jenner is a fan too.

The idea of dragons blood sounds a little bit scary, but no komodo dragons, Smaugs, or Drogons have been harmed in the making of this product, dragons blood is in fact the sap from the Croton Lechleri tree, which when teamed up with velvet flower extract and hyaluronic acid provides intense moisture, plumpness  and comfort to all skin types but especially dehydrated and sensitive skin that is prone to redness. My skin is strange at the moment I have a few hormonal spots on my chin but at the same time, it feels quite dry, so I might give this ago in the run up to Christmas to see if it can perform a festive miracle or two x This is a good 30ml size which Glossybox value at around £11.97, the regular 50ml size retails at around £19.85

Day 3 - Yankee Candle Small Jar Candle - Berry Trifle 104g

I do love a candle especially when it's cold and dark outside, there is something so warming and soothing about candlelight, especially when it smells as good as this one does. Apparently there were two different scents but the one I got was Berry Trifle. I love food and fruit scents so this one is right up my street. It has a mouthwatering warm, fruity, berry scent with just a hint of vanilla and creaminess. Between us, me and Mummy Lou could probably own our own candle store and we I first smelled this I thought we already owned this one, but the one we actually have is the similar smelling Berry Jam, so Berry Trifle is a welcome addition to our extensive candle library. This is a Yankee Candle Small Jar Candle, which burns for 20-30 hours, they retail at £8.99 so this was a nice item to receive.

Day 4 - Philip Kingsley Body Building Conditioner - 60ml

Now, I'm a huge Philip Kingsley fan, Elasticizer is a must have and I regularly use the brands shampoos and conditioners and I have a few other bits to try. I've tried a couple of their conditioners before but I've never tried this one before. I've reviewed the corresponding shampoo before (read my review here) but this is new to me. I haven't had a chance to try it yet but once I've cleared a few more products out of the shower I'll be giving this ago.

According to Philip Kingsley (who are a professional trichology brand) this is an ultra lightweight conditioner that's ideal for fine hair types, it's designed to add moisture without weight, and it's designed to thicken the appearance of each individual hair strange, and detangling the hair as well as combating frizz and fly aways. Sounds good? I'll probably let you know what I think in a future empties post x This 60ml size is quite hard to find but it retails at around £7.00, the 75ml size retails at £10 if you fancy giving this a go.

Day 5 - MDM Flow Greater Than Mascara - 6.5ml

I've tried a couple of lip products from this UK, cruelty free brand before, but I've never tried any of their eye or face products. Now I haven't opened this that because I've already got a couple of mascaras on the go but it sounds pretty promising. According to everything that I've read this is a highly pigmented black volumising mascara, with a indented brush designed for increased volume and clump free application. It's also apparently long wearing but it contains a unique Easy-Off formulation that makes it easy to remove with either water or a water based eye make up remover. Sounds good and I can't wait to give it ago - I'll let you in a future post what I think about it if you're interested. This full 6.5ml size of the MDM Flow Greater Than Mascara retails at around £18.

Day 6 - 3INA The Lip Primer - 10ml

I've used a few bits from 3INA in the past but this is new to me x I've never much of a fan of lip primers if I'm honest - the majority either seem to dry your lips out or they just look like you've covered your lips in concealer, this is a little bit different. As well as being paraben free, vegan, and cruelty free, it's also water based. It's basically just a slightly iridescent pink, liquid cream. It matiffies the lips without making them dry or sore. I've mainly be using this under both lipsticks and glosses and it definitely makes the majority of them that I've tried last a little bit longer. You can also use it as a lip nourishing produce and on top of lipstick to give a more mattifying effect. This is a full size and retails at around £9.95.

Day 7 - Patisserie De Bain Strawberry Cupcake Bath & Shower Creme - 50ml

I was a little bit excited when I saw this, I do love fruity smelling shower products and this is the scent of summer in a tube just what you want when it's freezing outside! Patisserie De Bain are the sister brand of Yorkshire based company Rose & Co. I've tried a few Rose & Co products, and my mum is already a huge fan of Patisserie De Bain's Sugared Violet range, but this is a new scent to us both. This vegan friendly shower product apparently smells exactly like strawberries and cream, yummy! I'm in a wintry and warming mood at the moment when it comes to shower products so I'm going to hang on to this one and keep for when it quite so vile outside x This product has an estimated RRP of £2.99.

Day 8 - Real Techniques 200 Expert Foundation / Face Brush

I do love a make up brush and I was thrilled to open one of my little boxes, and see a make up brush from Real Techniques. If you haven't heard of Real Techniques where have you been?? It is an excellent, and affordable make up brush for make up artists and You Tuber's Sam and Nic aka Pixiwoo. I love their brushes and this is a limited edition version of one of their most popular brushes, their foundation / face brush. Their brushes are cruelty free, soft, durable and silky, and in this case in particular they look amazing. This brush which perfect for applying both cream and liquid foundations has super soft, densely packed duo fibre hairs. The body of the brush in a gorgeous almost rose gold, pink metal, and a almost rubberised feel plastic. I can't actually find this brush for sale on it's own so it's definitely a limited edition, a comparable brush would retail for around £9.99 but if this one has taken your fancy then it is available as part of the newly released Everyday Essentials Set which retails at around £19.99 and contains 4 brushes including this one and a Miracle Complexion Sponge.

Day 9 - Charles Worthington Take Aways Volume & Bounce Body Booster Mousse - 50ml

Now I've got to be honest I don't really use hair mousse, my hairdressers occasionally uses it before she blow drys my hair but it isn't something that I use at home. My mam on the other hand has crazy curly hair, and as a result she loves her mousse, so she's already nabbed this, and fingers crossed she likes it. From celebrity hairdresser Charles Worthington's line this mousse contains collagen is designed to boost volume, and give body, bounce, and lasting volume x This is a travel sized mini and has a retail price of around £2.49.

Day 10 - Bare Minerals Skinlongevity Vital Power Infusion - 7.5ml 

I actually have a tube or two of this but as yet I haven't tried it. You may be familiar with bare minerals as a make up brand but did you know that they've now branched out into skincare. It's a natural progression I guess for a natural brand that already produced make up with so many skincare benefits. This sounds amazing and I'm actually going to try it out tonight. Containing Bare Minerals patented Long Life Herb Extract. this is basically an all round skin replenisher, which is designed to promote a more youthful appearance, by adding moisture, and diminishing the appearance of fine lines, pores, wrinkles and uneven skin texture. You simply apply it to the face and neck after cleansing both morning and evening. You can either use on it's own or under your normal moisturiser for extra boost. According to Glossybox this 7.5ml size retails at around £7.29.

Day 11 - Bellapierre Cosmetics Kiss Proof Lip Finish - 3.8g

Bellapierre are another mineral based make up brand, all of their products are toxin, paraben free, and cruelty free, and contain only naturally derived ingredients, I own a few of their products already including some of their pigments and I've been pretty impressed with the things that I have tried but this is something new!

Now this product has flummoxed me a bit - At first I wasn't sure exactly what it was - was it a lip gloss or was it a lip sealer like Lipcote, designed to keep your lipstick in place no matter who many people you kiss under the mistletoe, it turns out it's probably a combination of the two. Kiss Proof Lip Finish is a hydrating clear lip gloss that is designed specifically to be worn on top of Bellapierre's Kiss Proof Lips Cremes, transfer what is in essence a matte product to a long lasting glossy one

Obviously you can use over any lip colour and I actually tried it over NARS Immoral and wow the difference in appearance was phenomenal, for a pretty satin finish to a full on almost mirror like gloss finish in one sweep. The gloss is a bit runny but it gave a fabulous almost mirror like finish to the lips and believe it or not it improved the wear time of something that was already pretty long lasting. This is a full size and retails at £15.

Day 12 - MUA Make Up Academy Eyeshadow Palette - Cosmic Vixen 

and on day 12 my true love, or Glossybox in this case, gave to me a full size MUA Make Up Academy Eyeshadow Palette. Although they are definitely at the lower end of the price spectrum, Make Up Academy Eyeshadow Palettes are pretty amazing and I already own quite a few of them but I didn't have thankfully I didn't have this one.

This palette is both talc and cruelty free and contains 15 fabulous shades in a mixture of textures, mattes, shimmers and high pearl finishes, this palette isn't for the faint hearted, there are some pretty out there shades in it. From pinks, almost reds and corals, to mauve's, purples and plums, there are some bright colours in this palette. Fear not that because it also has a few gold, taupe's and bronzes so it isn't all scary. If you like the idea of Urban Decay Naked Cherry with just a touch of Naked Heat thrown in then this palette is a fab budget alternative.

All of the shades feel soft and silly and the shimmers and pearls almost have a creamy feel to them. As you would expect pigmentation wise it's the shimmers and pearls that will blow your socks off, smooth shimmery, buttery and delicious colour payoff. The mattes on the other hand whilst feeling soft and silky vary slightly, the pay off on the darker colours in fine, but some of the paler shades are a bit chalky.

In reality I probably wouldn't have bought this palette, a lot of the colours are just slightly too bold for me but even though I've just managed to swatch it I'm really thinking that I could make more of the colours work for me than what I first thought. It's definitely going to be one that I'm to experiment with in the new year. This is a full size palette and retails at a pretty fabulous £5.

So 12 days down, (well more like 16 now) and a week and a bit to go before the big day - Verdict? So far, so good - A good assortment of products, full sizes and prices, and a few fabulous new discoveries - Highlights? too many but NARS, 3INA, Yankee Candles, and Real Techniques are the things that excited my most, we'll see though when I've had a proper play. Don't forget you can keep track of the days and the boxes on my Instagram and I'll be posting days 13 - 24, hopefully on Christmas Eve. In the meantime if you have any questions on any of the products in the calendar so far, I'd love to hear them so leave me a comment below xx