Better Blog Photography in Autumn & Winter

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Blog_photograpy_in_winter

I thought I would write a post today giving a few tips and tricks I have learnt over the past few years when struggling to get enough natural light to take blog images in winter.

I really wanted to tackle this as I know most bloggers, myself included, don't own professional lighting, so when autumn/winter comes along taking images for your blog can be hard work. So instead of suggesting things you can buy such as lighting/a tripod, or even a better camera I thought I would share some tips that everyone can try!

Take your photos in daylight!
My first tip probably seems really obvious but in winter make sure to take your blog pictures before it starts going dark. I know this can be pretty impossible if you work full-time and just blog as a hobby, but maybe think about taking all the images you need for the week at the weekend during the day. Around noon is probably the best time to take your blog pictures in winter.

Making the most of the light you have
Even if you are taking your images in daylight in winter some days can be so dark & miserable that it can be a challenge to take non-blurry photos. One mistake that lots of people make is turning the light on, this will only make your images look yellow/warm toned and it will also create shadows. So even if you feel like the room is dull or even dark, leave the light off. Also in my opinion flash ruins photos that are taken inside, close up, so I would always turn off auto flash.

Next you want to be as near to a window as possible, the more daylight you can have on your products the sharper your images. Only last week when it was such a dull day I took my blog pictures on a door mat in the kitchen as I have a glass patio door that lets in the most light. Whether you place a chair next to a window, take your images on a window sill or even outside (I do this sometimes on my garden table!) simply find the seemingly brightest area.

Blog photography backgrounds

Use a backdrop/background
 It can be a white A4/A3 piece of paper, an A2 piece of mounting board or free wallpaper samples, anything as long as it removes where you are taking your images... because lets face it no one wants to see a mouldy window sill or what your kitchen floor looks like. 

Using props
A lot of the time if you aren't in even lighting (lighting that is directly/all around your subject) you will find that the products you are photographing can cast shadows. To minimise this place a mirror out of shot on the side of the shadows, this will just illuminate the light in that area and reduce the shadows. I personally use a full length mirror that I lean against the arm of the chair I take my photos on, but if you can prop it up even a makeup/free standing desk mirror.

 Drop your ISO number or turn off AUTO ISO
A lot of the time when dealing with low lighting conditions you get blurry images because the camera isn't as still as it needs to be. Now if you know a little more about cameras I suggest you take your camera off the Auto ISO setting or if you always set it higher when shooting in bad lighting actually bring it right down. I suggest doing this as a high ISO or an AUTO ISO in dull/dark lighting will only give your images lots of noise (when your pictures look grainy) which of course not what you want when taking detailed images. Here is a comparison of an image taken with a low ISO and a high ISO. So as you can see you want to be opting for a low ISO. My ISO is always set no higher than 200 for blog images, this does make my images darker however I know I can edit the brightness afterwards, as basically what I am after is high quality images.

iso setting blog photo tips

However using a lower ISO means you need to hold the camera really still, so if you don't have a tripod, rest your camera on a pile of books or anything you can. I sometimes build a little tower of beauty boxes to get the right level that I want to take my images at. This will prevent the camera from shaking half as much when you are pressing the shutter button to take the image. However if you need/want to hold the camera make sure to keep your elbow in to the body and also if you can, kneel down on one knee and use your other knee to rest your arm or elbow on. 

Edit your images 
Even when I do all the above measures in winter my images can look dull, (also because I use a low ISO) but I have made sure my images are as sharp as they can be so when I do brighten them they will look good and like bright natural daylight. As you can see from my example, brightening the image below made a huge difference.
 
before and after

 I don't use any fancy editing programs just a piece of software called PhotoScape (CNET download - here) which is a free & easy program that once you get the hang of is very straightforward to use. The 'bloom' tool is what I use to most as you can brighten areas more than others which is great when you have a certain area of the image that is dark.  Though you could even use Windows Live Photo Gallery if you have Windows operating system.

Also after you have brightened your image you may also want to sharpen it slightly, which is just a click of a button with Photoscape and most photo editing programs.  

I really hope this have been helpful and takes some of the stress out of snapping your blog pictures on any of the miserable winter days to come. 

Fee xo.

NOTD - Glitter Leopard Print Nails

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glittery leopard print nails

Not my usual type of nails today but something quite garish for me! You see these nails happened by accident. I just did some simple leopard print nails and then a new glitter nail polish arrived in the post and I had to try it out.

Which is how these nails came about!

The glitter nail polish was an eBay buy as Saffron nail polishes really as the cheapest ever on eBay! This glittery beaut is Saffron Carnival multi-glitter shade 67 which was only £1.55 with free p&p (eBay listing - here). I really do recommend Saffron nail polishes from eBay or Amazon if you are on a budget - the gold sparkle glitter and red sparkle glitter especially. Again these are only £1.55 each (here).... I know, so cheap!

DSC_0494

As for the leopard print, my base nail polish was MNY in shade 461 which can be found in Tesco and Superdrug stores for £2.99, again another good range of polishes at a lower price. 

I then used a Models Own nail art pen £6.00 - here, however they have now re-vamped the style/packaging of the pens and they as so much better and easier to use. But this older one does the job fine for me. I of course let the leopard print fully dry before applying the Saffron Carnival glitter as glitter can definitely drag on the nails.

Saffron glitter nail polish leopard print

I then finished with my favourite top coat - NYC Quick Dry Top Coat which is only around £2.00 from Superdrug as glitter can give quite a rough finish/feel to the nails.  

This was only a single coat of the lovely glitter so I will definitely be trying a few coats over a dark nail polish or a lovely nude. 

I'm still not convinced on these nails as they are more on the tacky side for me but sometimes it's good to try out something a bit different. 

Really for £1.55, delivered you cannot beat these glitter nail polishes! 

Fee xo. 
 

New Brand - The Bubbles & Butters Company

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The Bubbles and Butter Company

Today I thought I would show you a lovely, new and fun range from the makers of I Love... Cosmetics. 

All the products are ice-cream inspired and they offer a full range of Bath Bubbles (£6.00), Body Butters (£6.00), Shower Bubbles (£4.00) and Lip Butters (£2.00).

The whole range so far consists of three flavours Crazy for Chocolate, Scream If You Wanna Go Strawberry and Feeling Hot Hot Hot Mango and if the mango body butter is anything to go by these are highly scented products.

The Bubbles & Butters Company range is in a few Tesco stores (the special beauty ones) but also available from Tesco Direct which you can click & collect in store for free - here. Also the range can be found on The Bath & Body Shop website - here

bubbles and butters company mango body butter

Feeling Hot Hot Hot Mango Body Butter 
(275ml tub/£6.00)

This tub of body butter actually reminds me of a giant pot of mango yoghurt, it is thick (in a thick yoghurt kind of way!) and strongly scented but it absorbs into the skin well without leaving the skin greasy. However compared to other body butters this as you can see isn't of the same consistency. For me this seems like an ideal product for using in summer or on holiday to scoop up and lather on after a bath or shower to smell amazing.

As for the packaging I love the size/shape of the tub with the screw top lid, and I actually like the graphics on it but I think even compared to I love... Cosmetics, Treacle Moon, N-Spa (those types of brands) it does look like it is for a younger market. So for me personally I would pick something by N Spa over this when it comes to the body butters.

I must admit for me this did feel a little odd to use as I'm now in autumn mode, so I definitely think I would prefer this is summer and the chocolate one now.

The Bubbles and Butter Company Strawberry Lip Butter

Scream If You Wanna Go Faster Strawberry Super Smoothing Lip Butter
(4g/£2.00)

Anything like this I just love as I can't get enough of novelty lip balms and these rank quite high with me as the packaging is just so cute. 

The strawberry scent is pretty damn yummy and the lip butter is a really good consistency for the price. My only problem is I actually find it hard to dip my finger into as I have long nails! Which of course won't be a problem for many people but worth mentioning as it is a bit annoying for me having to be really careful that I don't plunge my nail into the lip butter.

If I do spot these in my local Tesco then I will 100% getting the chocolate scented one and I am thinking these will be good for tiny presents at Christmas. 

A  fun brand with really great scents. A range of scrubs would just make this for me. Maybe it would have to be a bubbling scrub though to keep in with the name of the brand! 

Fee xo.



Beauty Bugbears

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bugbears

Today I thought I would do a different sort of post. More a 'what's in my head at the moment that is annoying me' kind of post! I am aware that does sound quite negative but I do always write about all the lovely products I use etc so please just see this a something different/a balance. 

Used makeup at makeup stands 
This has to be my number one annoyance! I just do not understand why Boots, Superdrug (actually they aren't too bad, but there solution for it is another annoyance of mine - see below), Tesco... basically anywhere that isn't manned, doesn't try to fix this product. So many times I have wanted to buy a product and there are say four on the stand and every single one has been opened and used. Probably because the state of the samples is so bad... but still! Or even worse you buy a product, take it home only to find it's been tested - not good at all.

The thing is, this is how I see it. Imagine you are in Tesco or Boots... you pick up a sandwich and ummm.... get hungry! So hungry in fact you have to open the packaging and take a bite of the sandwich. You then decide you don't like it that much and put it back on the shelf and carry on shopping. I'd like to think a member of staff would ask you to pay for it. It makes sense, right? This is the exact same with cosmetics. You open a product and test it then you should have to pay for it. I really do think a simple sign on every stand would sort out this problem, something like 'If you test any cosmetics other than the samples provided you will have to purchase the products. If testers aren't available please contact a member of staff'. Then it should be that if you do ask a member of staff for a sample because there isn't any then they can open one of the products, placing a tester sticker on it and then that can be the sample. I really do think a simple sign would help this problem so much! 




The product amount swizz
Now this isn't such a big deal, just something to be aware of. I am talking how much product you actually get for your money. I started to think about this last year when I discovered that my beloved YSL Touche Eclat contained only 2.5ml of concealer for £23, which for a liquid product isn't a lot at all. Also when it comes to sets it is always good to check out how much product you are actually getting. Recently I was looking at all the new Benefit kits and I have to say most are pretty good. But some really do contain such little product. For example Big Beautiful Eyes Kit which retails for £24.50 only contains 4.2g of product and a kit that is coming out soon (also £24.50) will contain only 3.8g. But take another kit priced at £24.50 and just the pan products alone contain 7g and the other products in the kit come to 14.5ml - pretty goos! Quite a big difference, hey, so it is definitely worth looking on the packaging first.

Metal packaging doesn't work 
This is more of a pet peeve as I can live with it but it is slightly annoying. I am talking about the likes of the Blistex metal packaging, also some hair treatments come in this type of packaging (if you don't know what I mean here is an image of a hair conditioner I have). The problem is as the product starts to be used up the metal starts to bend/crease which makes the metal weaken, then eventually you get a little cut in the packaging for the product to squeeze/leak out of, which is very messy! This always happens with Blistex tubes for me and I currently have a hair conditioner that is doing it. It's just annoying!




The price of magazines 
Yes I am a bit of a scrooge, but I don't care! Magazines probably now contain the highest amount of adverts than ever before yet they are charging more and more for the price of the magazine. I remember not so long ago even 2011 when magazines such as Elle, Red, Marie Claire cost in the region of £3.40 now it is £3.80-90.. not much but its just unnecessary. Let me just put it in prespective... Marie Claire's rate for a full page advert is £17,807. That is just a single ad and adverts are pretty much every other page! This is why I don't like seeing the price of magazines at nearly £4.00... and don't even get me started on the likes of Vogue and Harpers Bazaar?!


Tesco and Asda makeup stands closing at 10pm  
If you aren't a late shopper then you may not know that in most supermarkets they pull down the cosmetics stand shutters around 10pm. A little birdy from Tesco told me that this is apparently because cosmetics are their biggest loss when it comes to shoplifting and at night it cannot be watched as much. But I really don't care... no other areas of the supermarket close, well except for the food counters, but if a supermarket is going to be 24hrs you should be able to purchase standard products.  

The sticky security labels at Superdrug 
The super sticky security labels of Superdrug are the bane of my life (actually a blogger showed one stuck to an Essie polish here)! Okay, a little dramatic. But really, they literally are the hardest things to remove. I'm not talking a standard sticker here... ohhhhh no no. These are large stickers that seem to be stuck down with super glue strong adhesive and they actually contain a web of metal which of course sets off the alarms if you decided to leave the store without paying for your items. These stickers were intended not to be easy to remove. But for the average customer you then have to sit for more time then you would like once you have got home, trying to remove the sticky gunk and paper that is left behind. To fully remove the beasts it actually take nail polish remover or hair spray. I know Superdrug are thinking this is a good way to crack down on theft and also so products can't be opened and tested as much when they are placed over the seal. But they are so annoying and also a lot of the time covering over the ingredients list as well. 

So there is my rant! I feel quite de-stressed now actually! 

Please feel free to tell me what annoys you in the world of beauty. 

Fee xo.


Autumn Beauty Picks

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Autumn Beauty Products

Did you know that the start of Autumn in the UK was a few days ago on 21st September and in fact all seasons start on the 21st. So winter actually starts 21st December... something to not look forward to.

But personally I have been thinking it has been feeling colder and more autumnal for the past 2 weeks or so. I even had to change to my winter duvet?! 

Rambling aside, a change of season always means using different products... as your skin changes and calls for different products and also sometimes you want the colours you use in your make up to change. Autumn really is the only season when I wear purple eyeshadow thinking about it now.

So here are a few items I picked out that I really feel are more suited to colder weather and change of season for me. 

Bourjois healthy mix serum

Nars Blush/Bronzer Duo in Orgasm and Laguna (smaller size from Nars set)
Full size - £30.00 Nars website
Anything that glows on the cheeks in Autumn in a winner for me. I love that healthy flushed face look so I opt for anything with a gold shimmer to it. I use this duo more for the blush in autumn and the bronzer in summer... though I do still contour a bit in autumn but with a lighter bronzer. This blush really is so pretty, I recommend going on Google to see some swatches. Sleek Rose Gold and theBalm Hot Mama are also my favourites in Autumn for similar reasons.

Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum in Shade 51 Vanille Clair
30ml - £10.99 Boots
I have just finished the original Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation which is one of my favourite foundation. But actually I have finished it at just the right time as this is a perfect foundation for drier skin types so I will be using this from October through to January when my skin does suffer from some dry patches. I can't say that I notice that this is a serum but it does feel a tiny bit gel like and does feel like it sits better on dry skin/patches. No flakey skin or sitting in the sides of the nose.

Bepanthen as lip balm treatment

Balance Me Super Moisturising Hand Cream 
30ml mini - £6.00 Balance Me website
I received this in the June She Said Beauty Box ( review - here) and quite recently I decided to place it on my bathroom sink so that every time I washed my hands I could also use the hand cream. Just by doing this I have seen an improvement in my cuticles and the backs of my hands, even though the skin was quite supple and soft to begin with. This is definitely something I am going to continue to do in autumn through to winter as the hand cream is quickly absorbed but very hydrating.

Bepanthen Ointment
30g - £2.50 Boots
I do love my lip bams but this is one of the only products I turn to when my lips get sore or dry (normally when I have a cold or have been out in the cold). Yes it is a nappy cream but this just works wonders on any dry areas especially the lips. As it does leave a white coating I do use this as more of a lip treatment in the evening or just before I go to bed so that it can fully soak into the lips. If you ever have chapped or sore lips, forget Blistex and try this!

Love Your Skin Smoothing & Re-texturising Facial Serum 
30ml - £30.00 Love Your Skin website
This is a totally new product to me and to be honest I don't know much about the brand. But I do know after trying the Caudalie SOS Thirst Quenching Serum I really feel my skin benefits from using a serum pre-moisturiser. It is on the more pricey side, working out at £1 a millimetre but if this does achieve smooth skin then it is worth it and more. Even though I don't get blemishes that often I do get slightly bumpy skin (normally whiteheads under the skin) around my chin/jawline so I am really hoping the willow bark which contains natural salicylic acid will help to sort that out. I can't fully review this yet but so far so good. 

Autumn skin products

Botanics Hot Cloth Cleansing Balm 
This seems a bit of a pointless product to mention now as I discovered that this was a product that Botanics changed with their 're-branding' when I went to find the link to the product on the Boots page and discovered all the new one star reviews! I am quite sad about this as I really did/do like it as a cleanser for dry skin and also I just don't understand why a brand would change the ingredients of a product when it received amazing reviews on the Boots websites and online via bloggers and websites. Just to note, the same also goes for the Botanics Soothing Eye Makeup Remover!

Jergens Ultra Healing Extra Dry Skin Body Moisturiser
Another new product that I have been using for the past 2 or so weeks. I really enjoying using organic coconut oil on my upper body but like to use a moisturiser on my legs when I remember. But for the past month I have been remembering to especially after showers as I noticed I was getting quite scaly skin on my legs from shaving, eep, and then not putting moisture back into my skin. So far this has made my skin back to normal and also improved them little dots that are due to bad circulation/dead skin cells. For the price I am really pleased and it definitely is for extra dry skin.

 Yes To Tomatoes Total Treatment Facial Mask 
This is only a small sample pot but I do have the full size of this because I love it so much. This for me is the most perfect face mask ever. It is ideal for combination/oily skin as it soaks up excess oil and mattifies the skin but it also makes the skin look glowing and bright. It also leaves the skin feeling soft and plump, so this really is a total treatment mask. I do use other masks but this is 100% my star face mask that I will always use - forever! Well until they decide to discontinue it no doubt!

I am going to make a separate post on all my favourite autumnal nail polishes soon as I have so many lovely shades and top coats that I want to start using again. 

Let me know your key autumn beauty products! 

Fee xo.

NOTD - 17 Revenge & Max Factor Fantasy Fire

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Max Factor Fantasy Fire

Today I thought I would ease myself into Autumn nails with the help of the wonderful Max Factor Fantasy Fire nail polish. 

I wore Fantasy Fire throughout summer but for some reason it does seem more appropriate for autumn, maybe because the shimmer reminds me of the glow and spit of a fire, which makes me think of being cozy and warm.

 For the base nail polish I went for 17 Fast Finish Nail Polish in Revenge (£2.99 - Boots). Which for me is what I wanted Barry M's Dusky Mauve to be, in that it is light enough to see the subtle shimmer/two tone effect. 

Revenge only needs two coats and applies without streaks. Also as the name states it does dry quite fast, within 80 seconds I would say. I highly recommend the 17 Fast Finish Nail Polish range as there really are some real gems for under £3 each (which are normally on 3 for 2!). I will definitely be purchasing the two new 17 polishes when they are out - Wishing Star and Glimmer In The Night but also Fury and Tigers Eye which look ideal for Autumn.

Max Factor Fantasy Fire Nail Swatch

As for the amazing-ness that is Max Factor Fantasy Fire (£3.99 - Boots), I just applied a single coat over the nails. This is definitely one of the most unique nail polishes on the high street. You can see some nail swatches of Fantasy Fire I did over darker and lighter nail polish bases - here.

Also I had to mention the Essie Ridge Filler Base Coat that I have been using recently and with these nails. It really is a great nail base for anyone that has ridges in their nails or even flaky nails. As you can see in the nail swatch of 17 Revenge it just makes the nail polish look so smooth. I did purchase this from Fragrance Direct for an amazing £2.50 but not surprisingly it is now totally sold out. The cheapest I could find it for now is £6.99 from Cheap Smells (here) but at least it is free delivery! 

I have never been one for using a base coat but this really smooths out my nails pre-nail polish so I'm remembering to apply it when I do my nails. 

I'm actually looking forward to more autumnal nails now!  

Fee xo.


Boots Christmas Beauty Gifts 2012!

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Christmas Boots 2012

Now I know I may have said no Christmas posts for quite some time but Boots went and released all their Christmas gifts online, early. So there is no waiting for the catalogue to come out to get a look of what is going to be on the shelves this year (though of course there will still be a catalogue). 

 Then I went and spotted that Benefit gift set and I caved! I just had to show you!
 

No7 nail set Boots Christmas
No7 The Nail Collection 
(£10.00 - here
Out of all the No7 gift sets this was the one that really caught my eye as a nail lover. I am really hoping the shades haven't just been photoshopped to look that amazing and are actually that amazing and pigmented... I mean look at that gold shade!
The shades included are - Devils Delight, Totally Teal, Hot to Trot and Damson Dream (4ml each). 

No7 Bronzing Kit 
(£16.00 - here)
Maybe slightly too pricey but I really like the look of this set especially the mosaic blusher/bronzer and the kabuki brush. Also with something like this you can split the gift up. Something I really like to do... and keep one for myself haha!

Umberto Giannini Painted Lady Nail set (£12.00 - here)
Now this is a set that will be on my Christmas lis! Just look at those shades and for 6 nail polishes all 10ml each, £12 is pretty good. The champagne and bronze nail polishes just look amazing. 
The nail polishes included are -  Lady Gilt, Lady Stella, Lady Cloudia, Lady Violetta, Lady Luscious and Lady Love.

 Baylis and Harding Gingerbread Mini Bath and Body Trio 
(£4.00 - here)
Baylis and Harding have never really interested me but it seems like this year they have tapped into something by offering yummy scented products... plus at an amazing price! The set includes - Caramel fudge soap (100g), Sweet gingerbread body wash (100ml), Chocolate chip shower crème (100ml). This would be perfect as a stocking filler or if you have guests to stay over at Christmas so you could pop these in the bathroom. On my Christmas to-buy list for sure.


Soap & Glory Boots Christmas 2012

Ted Baker The Name On Everyone's Lip (£15.00 - here)
I love Ted Baker for bags, jelly shoes and accessories but I have always skipped their beauty range because it looks more aimed at teens. But along with their new range of lovely new purse spray fragrances they so seem to have some pretty nice sets out for Christmas this year. This lovely tin of lipstick crayons is something I wouldn't mind receiving at all! 
 
Soap & Glory Crazy Sexy Kohl Eye Kit Tin 
(£18.00 - here
When I first looked at this I thought it was over priced but on closer inspection (zooming in on the image) I discovered you actually get quite a lot. The tin consists of 5 x Smoulder Kohl Eyeliners and 3 x Lid Stuff Eyeshadows. All the shades look quite neutral and wearable and again something I wouldn't mind receiving at all, especially as I have never tried S&G cosmetics, only their body products.

Soap & Glory Small Wonders Mini Hat Box 
(£10.00 - here)
These sets are great when they are on 3 for 2. It means you can pick up three nice gift sets for only £20. Great for younger family members, friends, secret santas or even yourself! The hat box contains minis of - Clean On Me Shower Gel, The Righteous Butter Body Butter, The Scrub Of Your Life Body Scrub, Hand Food Hand Cream and a shower puff.


Benefit Sexy Little Stowaways Gift Set Boots Christmas

Clinique Lotta Colour Set 
(£30.00 - here
Finally a chance to try out lots of the Clinique Chubby Sticks without breaking the bank as a single Chubby Stick lip balm retails for £16 and these are around about half the size.. so you are in fact getting quite a good deal. The 5 shades are - Richer Raisin, Bulky Blossom, Chunky Cherry, Oversized Orange and Super Strawberry. 

Diorshow Christmas Mascara Gift Set (£23.00 - here
Another gift that I spotted that I thought was quite good value. I love the dinky five eyeshadow palette that comes with it and as it is boxed it does look like quite a luxury treat without costing too much. This gift wrapped - perfect.
 
Benefit Sexy Little Stowaways Gift Set (£25.00 - here)
For me this is just the star of the show! Finally Benefit have listened that us UK beauty lovers want sets like this! I have sadly tried/owned most of the minis in the set but this for any teenage girl or someone that loves their cosmetics this would just be amazing. I can see this selling out in fact! Now we just need all the other brands to come out with mini collection sets like this.

Benefit High Flying Glosses Gift Set
(£19.50 - here)
I mentioned this is my other Christmas Gifts 2012 post (here) along with all the othe Benefit gift sets coming out, but here is the actually image of the lip gloss gift set. Again really lovely to see smaller sizes so that you can try out quite a few from the range. Ooo imagine opening this on Christmas morning - lovely! 
 
17 nude palette Boots Christmas

17 All About Nude Eye Colour Collection (£16.00 - here)
I am tempted to say this is slightly overpriced, however it is basically £1 per eyeshadow and if these are actual shades from the 17 eyeshadow range then it is definitely worth it. I never like when brands bring out a set with nameless shades - so fingers crossed. Also this does look like a lovely neutral everyday eyeshadow palette.
 
No7 Nail Art Kit 
(£18.00 - here) 
 Something totally new for No7 and I'm liking it! The nail art set contains - 4 x No7 Stay Perfect Nail Polishes in Jammy, Dollar, Sing the Blues and Blackberry (4ml each), 2 x Limited Edition Black and Silver Nail Art Polishes and 2 x Pots of Nail Gems. I don't think I would personally ask for this as I have so many nail polishes and nail art pens etc, but for someone that likes doing their nails then this would be perfect. 

 Stitch Bright as a Button Lipbalms set (£8.00 - here)
A cute little lip balm set that I just had to include. The button tins are so cute and the flavour names are just as cute - pink peony, daisy, forget me not, and cherry (all 7g). Ideal for stocking fillers for people if you split the set up or for someone that is a lover of lip balm, like me. 

As all these gifts have just gone onto the Boots website some may say 'out of stock' or 'unavailable' but be assured they will be coming in stock soon enough. 

Has anything caught your eye? Tell me, tell me!

Fee xo.

Lip Smacker Paul Frank Lip Balms!

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Paul Frank Lip Smackers

Ahhhhh pretty lip balms, how I will never get bored of you or have too many!

Yes, I am a total lipbalm-o-holic. From high-end to novelty balms, I love them all. For novelty lip balms my top brand without a doubt has to be Lip Smacker.

 Back in March I did a review of the Lip Smacker Coca Cola Trio (which you can read here) and I totally loved them. But now they have a whole new range out that is so very cute and with some amazing flavours such as Carrot Cake!

As you can see the new collection is by Paul Frank and consists of 8 different scents/flavours which can be bought in trios and cute little gift sets from Amazon start at £5 (see the range - here).

Lip Smacker Paul Frank lip balm

Bunny Girl's Carrot Cake - Firstly how cute or should I say, how kawaii is the packaging and flavour?! I'm just in love. Like all Lip Smacker lip balms this is an easy to apply balm with an amazing scent - and yes, it does actually smell like freshly baked carrot cake. I should point out that Lip Smacker lip balm are known for their amazingly strong scented flavours that actually smell like the scent they are supposed to be. However on the lips the scent/flavour isn't as strong, just more of a sweet taste... but it is definitely very more-ish.

Spicoli's Spumoni - Now the name of this lip balm just threw me. But after a quick Google I discovered Spicoli is the cute little hamster which you can see above and Spumoni is actually a molded domed Italian ice-cream that consists of 3 different flavours! Sounds quite yummy and also tastes quite yummy. So what are the three ice-creams I can pick out of this scent?... hmmm, definitely cherry, maybe vanilla and also bubblegum. Very tasty indeed! Again like the other lip balms this applies so smoothly, giving a little gloss to the lips and smooths out any rough bits of skin. Though for chapped, sore or very dry lips I would recommend something like Blistex or my secret weapon - Bepanthen nappy cream.

Bunny Girls Carrot Cake

The other flavours include - Julius's Red Raspberry, Julius's Coconut and Cream, Clancy's Cotton Candy, Mika's Sweet Cream, Julius's Strawberry Banana and Chachi's Fried Ice Cream.

As for the sets from Amazon my favourite would have to be the Paul Frank Lip Balm Trio Cane with Bunny Girl Key Ring (£6 free p&p - here) as it contains the wonderful Bunny Girls Carrot Cake lip balm and also Julius' Coconut Cream and Clancy's Cotton Candy... plus a very cute Bunny Girl keyring that fits onto the top of any of the lip balms so that you can have one attached to your keys! (I would actually do this). 

Also whilst looking I found a bit of a bargain - a Coca Cola Trio (Coca Cola, Sprite and Tango) with keyring topper for only £3.38 - here. So I may have possibly bought it....

Fee xo.


WIN One of Five She Said Beauty Boxes!

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She Said Beauty


Today I have an exciting giveaway to share with you courtesy of She Said Beauty

Be in with a chance to win yourself one August She Said Beauty Box containing 6 lovely products. 

Each  SSB box contains -A deluxe sample of 4711 Eau De Cologne, Full size Balance Me Rose Otto Intensive Lip Salve, Redken Color Extend Radiant-10, Mini Nails Inc Nail Polish (four shades available) or Absolutely Flawless Nail Foils (four designs available), Papier Poudre Face Powders and White Glo Professional Choice Whitening Toothpaste.

She Said Beauty August Box

Please follow the rules in the form carefully. There are 4 different ways of entering, meaning up to 4 chances of winning a box per person. UK only please.

The giveaway will close - Wednesday 26th September at 7pm and I will announce and contact the winners the following day. 


Good Luck! 

Fee xo.

Neom Invigorate Home Candle

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Neom invigorate candle


From talking about Christmas in my last post to a fresh, zingy candle! 

In the past two years I have become a candle lover,but not just any old candle lover, oh no - an organic candle lover! Gone are the days where I use to buy any old candle (though sometimes I do give in to Jelly Belly candles) because now I am use to soot-free, natural scents. 

For tea lights I like Heaven Scent ones, for wax tarts that I use in a burner I love Busy Bee candles (the strongest scented candles you can buy in my opinion) and for actual candles I love Neom. 

 Now this Neom Invigorate Candle (£39.50/1kg or £15/0.25kg) may seem like an odd choice this time of year, but for me I need something zingy and up lifting during the day so I don't go into hibernation mode with my throw. I am not joking, at the sign of colder weather I start having 6pm naps and sitting with my throw watching TV! 

Neom invigorate

So this candle has been filling my living room with fresh scents of grapefruit, bergamot & lime... though I can't truly say I know what bergamot smells like. Making for a fresh and energising aroma, in fact this has to be Neoms most fresh candle they do. Though of course if you are new to Neom or do not want to splash out the nearly £40 for the 1kg 3-wick home candle then there is the travel candle (0.25kg single wick) at a more modest £15.00 which does actually last quite some time. 

 Going back to the organic element of the candle this have the benefit of burning clean, meaning that no soot is carried in the smoke resulting in a pure aroma and a stain-free wall! Also this means no charring to the glass candle holder which so many candles do. 

Just a wonderful candle that is so uplifting for when you are tired, stressed or just needing to relax. 

Fee xo.


Christmas Beauty 2012 Come Early (Part 2)

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Christmas Beauty 2012


Did you enjoy Part 1? I definitely enjoying finding out all the new products and making a mental note of the things to treat myself to ask for. 

You can view Part 1 - here

Here are even more Christmas products to feast your eyes on, but I promise this will be the first and last festive post until at least November! If you need a Christmas fix before then I highly recommend having a look at my festive Pinterest board (here) which I continually add to and also the most Christmassy website I have seen (here)... you have to make sure to listen to the music as you look at the images though! 
 
Fresh and Clarins 2012 Christmas


First up is the beautiful Odyssey Face Palette (£35.00) which is limited edition from Clarins this Christmas. The embossing on the front of the palette and in the powder is just so detailed and gorgeous, I don't think you would want to spoil it. It also comes in a very christmassy red velvet pouch to keep it looking pristine.

But the gem of the collection has to be the Odyssey Eye Quartet Mineral Palette (£30.00) with three of the shades being perfect for a soft & sultry smokey eye and the amazing gold shade adding Christmas glamour! For £30 this is just amazing.

From a brand I love the Sugar Soiree Mini Lip Collection (£36.00). My Fresh Sugar lip balm is nearly all gone so I would personally love this set. However unless you live in London it is quite a hard brand to get hold of, though they do mail order so I have heard. If this was under my tree this year I would be very very impressed & pleased.

Tesco Beauty Christmas 2012

Tesco Christmas 2012
Tesco have added Kings & Queens to their many brands they now stock in selected stores and also on Tesco Direct (did you know you can click & collect for free!). The newly stocked brand in available now with Shower gels such as - George III Lime, Elizabeth Sugar, Chinese Princess Jasmine and Sultan of Granada (all £5.oo here). Also in the range are Body Milks (£7) and Body Butters (£7). 

Another range that is out now are the Barbara Daly Autumn/Winter nail polishes which I spotted last week in store. The lovely gold shade, Wizardry (2nd from right), Spellbound (4th from right) and Liquid Lane (3rd from right) all caught my eye. Some lovely nail polishes here for Christmas!

 Another Tesco branded collection this Christmas is Bohemian Spa, I don't know very much about this range at all but I very much like the packaging. 
 
Neom Christmas 2012

Neom Christmas 2012
 Each Christmas Neom never fail to come up with lovely giftsets and amazing candles and this year is no different. There will be 3 limited edition Scent With Love gift sets including a Body Care set (£35), Home Scenting set (£50) and Travel Candles set (£55). 

With Christmas specifically in mind Neom have come up with a limited edition Christmas Wish Candle (£42) and a lovely Christmas Wish Reed Diffuser (£37) with aromas of ginger, mandarin and frankincense. Also for every Christmas candle or diffuser sold, Neom will donate £1 to Make-A-Wish Foundation, a charity that grants the wishes of terminally ill children.
 
 I'm more than sure there will be even more amazing gift sets but this is just an early selection for those that cannot wait. 

Hope you enjoyed! 


Fee xo.


Christmas Beauty 2012 Come Early (Part 1)

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Christmas Beauty Gifts 2012

Now I am fully aware that it is very VERY early to be talking about Christmas. However around Autumn time as it starts to get dark sooner and it's feeling a bit cold I always start to think about Christmas, basically because I love it so much... and I'm a bit odd. 

So I decided to go on a bit of a hunt and track down some Christmas beauty gifts that will be out Christmas 2012 (quite a lot will be available from October and a few are even out now) and even discovered a few gifts that are a bit of a secret still!

Debanhams Beauty Christmas 2012

Debenhams Christmas 2012

First up is quite a luxury choice with the Palette Grand Bal Carnet de Maquillage makeup kit (£60) from the Dior Grand Bal Collection, the palette features a pearl eyeshadow duo in platinum and gold, lip gloss in champagne and red, along with a deep black pen eyeliner that I am sure cleverly attaches to the palette. Very luxe and very beautiful. 

Benefit also have quite a few sets out this Christmas...
She's So Jet Set (£29.50) - 4 eyeshadows, mini Porefessional, They're Real mini mascara, First-Class face powder, mini Life on the A-list lipgloss.
High Flyin Glosses (£19.50) - 6 of the new lip glosses mini size - Coralista, Dallas, Bella Bamba, Hoola, Sugar Bomb and Dandelion. 
Crescent Row Fragrance set (£29.50) - 4 x 10ml Benefit fragrances including new See & Be Seen Sasha!
Passport To Post set (£25.00 - pictured above) - Mini Creasless Cream Shadow, Mini Bad Gal Lash mascara, 3 eyeshadows, Eye Bright and Boi-ing Concealer.

Cheaper gifts include Burt's Bees Lip Balm & Hand Salve set (£9.99) and Tinted Lip Balm set (£9.99). From Bliss a lovely little Marvellous Mittens set containing two hand creams (£10).

House of Fraser Chrismas Beauty 2012

House of Fraser Christmas 2012

First up a lovely Exclusive Benefit gift set (£39.00) featuring Laugh with me LeeLee fragrance, They're Real mascara, Porefessional primer and That Gal brightening face primer. Not sure on product sizes but I am assuming these will all be minis.

From Nails Inc 'The After Party' (£25.00) a trio of full size nail polishes... the multi coloured glitter in the centre is just to die for. Also 'The Paparazzi' (£39.50) containing 15 mini nail polishes. 

Other gifts include a Rose & Co Rose and Patchouli Bath Set (£15.00) and a beautiful Laura Mercier Exclusive Artist's Palettes for the eyes (£36.00) containing 12 eyeshadows. Information on the amazing Clarins Odyssey collection will be in Part 2.

Boots Christmas Beauty 2012

Boots Christmas 2012 

Boots have some lovely new collections for Winter/Christmas! First up 17 Dazzle the Night which contains two amazing new polishes - Wishing Star and Glimmer In The Night (£2.99 each). You can see nail swatches of the polishes on Flutter & Sparkle (here). I definitely want them both! Also in the collection will be Shimmer Rocks (£4.99). 

No7 also have an amazing new collection out - Deco Darling which consists of some lovely pieces inspired by the 1920's Art Deco era. The range includes - Deco Darling Loose Powder Highlighter (£12), Deco Darling palette (£10), Nail polishes in Speakeasy and Daisy Darling (glitter) (£5.50 each) and Stay Perfect Intense Eye Pencil (£8.00). Both 17 and No7 collections will be out at the end of Oct/early Nov.

Henry Holland is also branching out House of Holland exclusively with Boots, sets will consist of body products, hair product sets and these cute house shapes nail polishes which I hope will be up to scratch at £10.

I think you will all agree that there are some lovely products coming out this Christmas. But wait! There is more.... oh, much more. 

I will be posting Part 2 tomorrow for your festive eyes!

Fee xo.


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