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Latest Purchases #102 – A Bath and Body Works Haul

When we were in Boston in October, the exchange rate was rubbish so shopping wasn’t really high on our to-do list. However, I did know that I would want to pay a visit to Bath and Body Works for a few seasonal treats! The lady in the shop told me Brits go mad for their products but I love their candles and hand gels and find the scents so different and original from anywhere else.

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Candles first…

I bought two of the large three-wick candles in Caramel Pumpkin Swirl and Chocolate Pistachio.

The first is a lovely autumnal scent with notes of pumpkin, caramel, cinnamon and vanilla. I have been burning this for about a week and I’m not exaggerating when I say the scent has filled the house! It may be slightly too sickly for some but I find it warming and perfect for this time of year.

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The other is a pretty green colour scented with pistachio and chocolate truffle. I’m saving this one for Christmas, possibly to burn in the kitchen. Both of these candles have gorgeous copper embossed lids too.

I also got a smaller candle in Pumpkin Pecan Waffles. This has notes of maple syrup, waffles and pumpkin spice. It also has beautiful artwork on the front.

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As well as the candles, I picked up a few seasonal items in the form of this Cinnamon Pumpkin handwash, this ‘Vampire Blood’ plum anti-bacterial hand gel and my favourite item, this Pumpkin Apple Cider shower gel which contains shea butter for a really rich lather.

Mani Monday – Pink and Leopard Print

This was a very short-lived manicure, lasting about an hour! I wanted to use these leopard print nail wraps that I picked up from the Boohoo website and I paired them with Eternal Optimist by Essie, a pretty, creamy rose colour.

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The nail wraps seemed quite thin and flimsy when I was cutting them to size and they started to pucker almost as soon as I applied them. Within an hour, the edges were peeling backwards then one of them slid off my nail completely.

I have to say that I have had really bad experiences with Boohoo. The quality of their things seems so poor and cheap and these nail wraps were no different.

Luckily, I got a few pics but then repainted them all in the pink shade.

Sunday Summary #50

Life

It has been a very chilled weekend which is exactly what I wanted before the crazy run-up to Christmas.

I spent most of today finishing off my Christmas shopping and I am almost done! We keep saying we are going to have a low-key one this year but it is so easy to get carried away when you spot something you know somebody will love.

We watched the Gavin and Stacey Christmas special this week – I miss that series! I plan on watching my favourite Christmas films over the next few weeks now…Home Alone, Love Actually, Elf – all the classics.

I have been making things as cosy as possible in the evenings this week. I love my mermaid blanket and candles add a warm soft light to the room. We’ve just finished burning this Jasmine and Bamboo candle and have moved onto this Caramel and Pumpkin Swirl one…my living room smells divine!

Food

My favourite Christmas cocktail made an appearance this week…the snowball. Ridiculously retro, but delicious, this is a really festive drink that tastes like sherbet!

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Ian and I went for lunch at Comptoir Libanais yesterday and I am so glad we now have a branch in Bath. We had a big sharing platter full of dips and salads followed by baklava and rose mint tea…absolutely divine!

We also enjoyed croissants and flat whites at Bertinet Bakery – my absolute favourite place to buy pastries in Bath.

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Fashion

I have been on the search for a new coat for a while now and had my heart set on a camel or blush pink pea coat but haven’t been able to find one that is quite right. I was planning on waiting for the sales but then I saw this bad boy and I couldn’t resist it!

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I love leopard print and I think that as long as the rest of the outfit is fairly neutral, a statement coat looks fab. This coat was a Primark bargain and is so soft and cosy.

Beauty

I have been enjoying this shower gel from Bath and Body Works. It smells divine and actually feels very moisturising and luxurious.

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My L’Occitance calendar is such a lovely treat every day – I think I will do a little review when I have opened them all.

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My lips have been so dry and chapped since I was poorly last month and I have been trying everything to cure them. So far, this Dr Lipp nipple balm has proved to be the most effective.

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Finally, I had a cut and colour this week so I am ready for the party season. I went for lots of white, cool-toned blondes again and plan to keep them this way with purple shampoo.

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Sunday Summary #48 and #49

Life

I have been a bit MIA on the blog recently so what better time to start afresh than the start of the month and the start of the most magical month at that! Yes, it’s December today which means all Christmas activities are now entirely appropriate and I don’t have to hide the fact my Christmas tree has been up for almost a week now – I even had the bands on my braces replaced with red and green ones!

I was shocked to hear the news that Fidel Castro had died and it made me so happy that we had managed to get to Cuba and see Havana earlier this year before things really start to change.

For my book club, I started reading The Versions of Us. It has good reviews and I’m enjoying it so far.

I’m not usually a huge fan of reality TV but Ian and I are loving I’m a Celeb this year. I find Ant and Dec hilarious (and so camp!) and the contestants seem a really nice group this year.

It has started to feel like winter this week with ice on the ground and having to spend ages de-icing my car in the morning. I’m overcompensating with extra blankets, cosy knitwear and lots of candles! Talking of candles, I made a few purchases at Bath and Body Works when we were in Boston and am enjoying starting to burn them.

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The cold weather has meant I have been drinking tea non-stop and tea addicts will appreciate the importance of a good mug. I love using this glass cup I bought in St. Petersburg this summer – something about holding it in both hands makes it feel so warming and comforting.

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Food

I headed up to London last weekend to catch up with several friends. I had the most delicious brunch with my friends Cat and Lucie at Jam in a Jar. I could have ordered most of the menu but instead opted for a healthy-ish breakfast plate with eggs, sourdough, smoked salmon, avocado amongst the contents…heaven!

I also met up with my friends from uni for our annual Thanksgiving meal. The food was delicious, especially the slice of pumpkin pie.

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We had an amazing meal recently at a local pub, The Longs Arms. It is probably my favourite place to eat at the moment and I am yet to enjoy a meal there I haven’t raved about! This time, I had lamb scrumpets followed by brill and cockled and a lemon crème brûlée and they were all divine.

Fashion

I made a little ASOS order this week for a couple of items. Firstly, a pair of Christmas cacti socks!

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I also picked up this striped jumper with suede elbow patches. I love the split sides on it and plan on wearing it non-stop.

Beauty

Despite telling Ian not to bother this year, he bought me this L’Occitane en Provence beauty advent calendar. The illustrations are beautiful and I love the hand cream I received today.

I was a little bit blasé about all the Black Friday deal that kept appearing in my inbox but I did put an order in at Organic Surge which I will share soon. I bought a bundle of their bestsellers and cannot wait to start using them as they smell amazing, are all organic and the company has a really great ethos too.

Finally, I have been really enjoying rediscovering the Maybelline Color Tattoo cream eyeshadows. I used them years ago and recently bought Bad to the Bronze and forgot how pigmented and long lasting they are.

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Beauty Review – November Birchbox

Hello! Apologies for the radio silence this weekend. I caught a particularly nasty sickness bug which left me feeling rough all weekend and hardly eating for days…if you know me, you’ll know how rare this is! I’m particularly annoyed as I missed seeing my best friends but I am grateful to be back on my feet and slowly getting my appetite back.

I received this month’s Birchbox a few weeks ago and the first thing that made me smile was the beautiful box design. I love peacock feathers and will definitely be keeping this one. This month’s collaboration was with Tatler, which isn’t a magazine I read but does make you think of the finer things in life.

I have had mixed feelings on my Birchbox subscription over the last few months so I was slightly apprehensive of what I would be sent this time. Luckily, I was pretty chuffed with the contents…although they do seem to be diminishing from the 6 or so items you used to receive in the past.

First of all, I saw a bottle of Blonde Toning Shampoo from Beauty Protector. I use purple shampoos weekly to keep my hair from going too brassy-coloured so this was a perfect addition for me. It smells great and is a good size too.

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Next, a Lip Tar Primer from Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics. This was a small tube but you don’t need much. I wear matte lipsticks which can be drying so a product that will prime my lips as well as offering some hydration sounds fab. I haven’t tried this yet but it will come in handy over the festive period when I like to rock a red lip.

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This next gold tube caught my eye: a BB Cream Golden Glow Illuminator by Marcelle. I am always after dewy, glowing skin and will try anything to help me get it. This BB cream makes a lot of claims but does have a good luminosity to it.

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I switch between using a powder, gel and pencil on my brows and really like trying new products. I am quite fussy – it is tricky to find the right colour as a blonde and I don’t have the best eyebrows to work with anyway. I was pleased to see an eyebrow pencil from bbrowbar and the shade Cinammon Spice was a decent match for me. The formula is quite waxy and it shapes as well as adding a good amount of colour. I think I would repurchase this.

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Finally, a moisturiser from Nuxe, one of my favourite skincare brands. This is a good-sized sample and I like the fact that this is moisturising yet slightly matte, making it great underneath makeup. Another one I would repurchase with my Birchbox points.

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A really good selection of items in this month’s box which was very much needed after a poor one in October. I’m hoping for a festive offering next month…33 sleeps!

Latest Purchases #101 – US Drugstore Haul

The pound-dollar exchange rate was pretty poor when we were in Boston (thanks Brexit!) so we didn’t do a whole lot of shopping. I tried to only buy things that we couldn’t get in the UK and one afternoon, I had a browse around our local CVS store and came away with this little pile of goodies.

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First up, the base products. I am always on the hunt for a new foundation and I got these two from the Maybelline ‘Fit Me’ range. I went for the Dewy and Smooth and the Matte and Poreless foundations which cater for dry to oily skin. I have tried both and like them but I don’t like the fact that you have to pour the product out – I would much prefer a pump.

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I also bought this BB Cream from ELF. I liked the fact this had SPF 20 in it and will be great for those days where you just want to wear a light base. This also has a pump in the lid!

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Another ELF face product was this Illuminating Face Primer. This is very golden and definitely needs a light touch! You could actually use this as a highlighter on the cheekbones or, as it recommends, mix a little into your foundation for a bit of extra glow.

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Onto lip products now and with the colder weather, mine are already suffering! I really like the EOS lip balms and I bought the Blackberry Nectar flavour.

I also picked up a bumper pack of Carmex lip balms in Cherry and Winter Mint flavours which should keep my chapped lips at bay.

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I bought a new Maybelline mascara. I have used their Great Lash version for years but haven’t seen the Blackest Black colour before.

I also got an ELF mascara with a regular and waterproof end.

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I broke my spending ban on nail varnish with a new bottle from Essie. Metallic nails seem to be having a moment and I love this shade, Good as Gold…expect a post on Monday!

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I am a fan of the Milani blushers and picked up another one in the colour Berry Amore. This is a dusky pink shade baked with swirls of gold.

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Also from Milani is this Color Statement Lipstick in Teddy Bare. I don’t have a colour like this dark nude and I think it is quite seasonal. I have tried it a few times and it is creamy, well-pigmented and smells like watermelon.

From ELF, I bought a Matte Lip Colour in Tea Rose. It isn’t a drying matte formula and I like the long, thin ‘pen’ it comes in.

I think I was having a bit of a moment by the ELF stand as I also got an eyebrow kit. This is a gel and powder duo which I haven’t used before but will enjoy experimenting with!

Finally, I bought a Maybelline Color Tattoo cream eye shadow in Bad to the Bronze. This is quite a warm, taupe bronze as opposed to an orange-toned one and the pigmentation and staying power is excellent. I wear these eye shadows on their own or as a base colour and they don’t crease like many other cream products.

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I was really happy unpacking this selection of items and now comes the fun bit of testing them all out!

Mani Monday – Metallic Nails

Metallic and chrome manicures are everywhere at the moment so I broke my ban and bought a bottle of Essie’s Good as Gold when we were in Boston.

It actually looked really good after just one coat but I added a second one just to make it last a bit longer, topped off with some Seche Vite.

I love the formula of this polish but it does show up any imperfections so if you get any on your skin or cuticles, you can tell. The hand painted with my right hand looked fine but I wouldn’t look too closely at the other one!