Monday, 19 December 2011

Golden Wonder Bath Bomb from Lush

I've never been a huge fan of Lush, not because I particularly dislike their products but mainly because whenever I leave their store I have the most awful headache! It reminds me of The Body Shop in the 90's - too many overpowering scent in one room and I just can't deal. However, there are a few products for which I will continue to venture into this fragrance abomination centre for and the Golden Wonder Bath Bomb is one of them!

On a side note, I love the Lush Christmas bags! I think the candy cane handle is very creative, so props to Lush for that. Although the bath bomb itself is slightly festive as it is present shaped I'm pretty sure the Golden Wonder Bath Bomb is available all year round (yay)! Moving on to the hardest part of this blog (or any fragrance related post) the scent. It has top notes are citrus (namely orange and lime) while the middle notes are slightly more floral with a base note of musk. This bath bomb definitely smells Christmassy to me, I'm not sure why though. Perhaps it's the orange that reminds me of Christmas clementines! Here is the official Lush description of Golden Wonder "Going out to a Christmas Party? Run a deep warm bath, ease yourself in, then drop in this perfect parcel with a fresh burst of citrus. Best enjoyed drinking a glass of Bucks Fizz in the tub". I love Bucks Fizz and the mention of it is spot on as this bath bomb as a definite fizzy orange sherbet scent to it.

The bath bomb is covered in gold glitter which is great because everyone knows glitter is one of the worlds most amazing creations. In addition to the glitter extravaganza there are little soluble gold stars embedded in the bath bomb which float around your tub and slowly dissolve. 

If the stars and the glitter weren't enough though, that is only one layer. The centre of the bath bomb is filled with blue and purple fizz collectively turning your bath into what can only be described as an exotic lagoon!

Drop it in and watch it work its magic then climb into the best bathing experience of your life.

Available from Lush for £3.25 (and worth every penny)!


Monday, 14 November 2011

Welcome to my Cosmetic Wishmas List!

I've been an awful blogger of late (life caught up with me a little) but am back with one hell of a wish list just in time for the festive season! Featuring products that both I (and hopefully Santa) will be treating me to this year!
 I've wanted to try the Jemma Kidd 'Light As Air' Foundation for a while now as I'm a massive fan of Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua and have read they're quite similar! Obviously the Jemma Kidd number is considerably cheaper than the Chanel option so finding a cheaper alternative to my favourite foundation would be a massive win! Available from Beauty Bay for £19.95 (they are currently running FREE next day delivery).

I've been in love with the Elie Saab fragrance ever since I first smelt it in John Lewis last month. I'm constantly mooching round the counter whenever I'm passing ready to spritz myself - I swear the sales assistant now recognises me! This scent is definitely on my little list to Santa and Rudolph. Available from The Perfume Shop for £37.50 for 30ml.
I was dubious when I heard Soap & Glory were releasing a cosmetic line as I love their bath products so much & thought they would have a lot to live up to in the beauty stakes but by the sounds of things they have delivered! Oh ye of little faith. I love a neutral eye but a lot of my shades in that colour range are shimmery and not always as wearable during the day so it's great to see a matte compact quad with 3 super wearable shades and just one shimmery option and all for such a good price (£10)! Available from Boots.
I'm always up for trying the latest beauty phenomenon and this bad boy seems to be taking the blogging world by storm. When I saw it on Beauty Bay my first thoughts were 'please don't be a gimmick'. I really want to believe that this little pink sponge is going to revolutionize the way I apply my make up but I'm not so easily convinced...! I'll have to try it out for myself but reviews so far are extremely positive! The set that includes both the Beauty Blender Sponge & Cleanser is available from Beauty Bay for £24 (both can be bought seperately).

I'm not going to lie, yes one of the main reasons I want this product is the packaging. It's a shell & I love it. Although that's not to say the colours aren't gorgeous! I think the blush on the left looks really wearable and the shimmery colour on the right would look gorgeous on top or on its own as a highlight. All in all, I need this in my make up bag ASAP. This Cheek & Highlighter Dual (in Rouge) are from DuWop and available from Beauty Bay for £18.
 Another fragrance has made it onto my wish list & those of you who subscribe to Glossy Box may have already sampled this scent. It's received mixed reviews across the board but perfume is such a personal choice that you're unlikely to find a complicated smell (which this is) that everyone likes. That said, I love it. It's such an unusual fragrance & is definitely slightly more 'mature' than the floral scents that I normally go for. However it is still very feminine - I'd describe it as a fresh yet warm fruity scent with a touch of white musk & some woody undertones. Mary Greenwell states that it has "top notes of plum, blackcurrant, peach, bergamot and lemon blend with heart notes of gardenia, tuberose absolute, orange flower absolute, rose absolute and jasmine absolute with a base of precious woods, sandalwood, oakmoss, patchouli, amber and white musk". Available directly from Mary Greenwell for £60 for 50ml.

I know, I haven't tried Moroccan Oil - shock horror! It's such a cult product & yes I'm dying to see what all the fuss is about. I have tried other hair oils & currently swear by V05's Miracle Concentrate (Elixar with Argan Oil). I hope that as Moroccan Oil is twice the price that it will have even more 'wow factor', however if it doesn't I shall definitely be returning to V05's cheaper yet just as good alternative. Available from Feel Unique for £12.85 (25ml).
This looks so exciting. That's probably the main reason I want it. Not really the best way to justify spending £24...! However, I'm currently in the market for a new primer which breaks my little cosmetics obsessed heart. Why? Because I love the Cover FX primer (read my review here) but it's just so pricey (£45) that I can't really afford to keep buying it every 2/3 months but if you can, then do! So, basically I need a new primer that is great but affordable & if it could reduce mild redness that would be amazing! If anyone has any other recommendations, I'd really appreciate it if you could leave them in the comments section below! Available for £24 from Feel Unique.

Last but not least and probably near the top of my wish list is a stippling brush! I've heard such good things about these brushes and that they are supposedly ideal when applying liquid (or near liquid) foundation. I've chosen the Real Techniques brush (£10.99) but there are loads of other companies that make great versions of the stippling brush such as Sigma, Jemma Kidd and Elf. I can't wait to apply my foundation with one of these! Available for £10.99 from Love Make Up. I hope you're all slowly getting into the Christmas spirit. I thought I'd share my favourite Christmas ad with you all! Feel free to share your Wishmas List in the comments section below!

A small reminder that the festive season is as much about giving as receiving. Try and find some spare time this Christmas to help those less fortunate.

Click here to see how you can help Crisis at Christmas


Friday, 14 October 2011

NOTD - Blue my Mind by H&M

I popped into H&M the other day and while queueing up to pay for a lovely autumnal scarf that I really didn't need seeing as I alread have thousands, I spotted this gorgeous blue nail polish! I've never been a fan of blue nails before but this just seemed like the ideal shade, described perfectly by a friend as an electric pastel blue. It's a pretty versitle colour too, bright enough for summer but still working well in winter because it's quite a cold shade! As for the specs, it paints on easily & hasn't chipped yet (3 days encounting).

Blue My Mind is available from H&M for just £2.99 - bargain much!?


Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Treat your skin to Ahava Mineral Body Lotion!

I actually got this 40ml treat in my August Glossybox but was so pleased with it that I felt it needed its very own blog post! For those of you who don't know, Ahava uses unique skin moisterising minerals found in the Dead Sea to create their diverse range of natural products. To be honest I don't know much about the science behind it or the wonderous properties of Dead Sea minerals but I do know that IT WORKS!

Im hugely fussy about moisturisers as I cant stand having anything greasy on my skin (particularly my hands) for more than a minute! This is often problematic when trying to find a moisteriser that is absorbed quickly while still doing a good job. Cue this little dreamboat! It’s absorbed into your skin in seconds leaving it moisturised and soft to the touch! Skin has a kind of smooth balmy feel to it without being at all greasy or tacky.

Another huge bonus is the smell, it’s divine! I'm rubbish at describing scents but I'd say it was fresh with a powdery smell to it & musk undertones which I love! It’s safe to say I’ll definitely be buying the full size version!

Available online from Ahava for £19.80 for 250ml 


Wednesday, 21 September 2011

So Sleek it's making me Blush!

I've always been a big fan of Sleek Make Up as their products are such good value for money & I love their packaging (super sleek)! This product just continues to confirm what a great high street make up brand they really are.

I've been waiting to get my hands on their Rose Gold blush for ages but it seems quite a few Superdrug stores don't stock it & those who do were always sold out. However I finally found it last month & it's now one of my all time favourite blushers!

Initially the colour looks quite pink but once it's applied to skin you can see it's speckled with a gorgeous gold shimmer giving your cheeks a lovely rosy tint with a subtle gold highlight. The product is fairly powdery so you won't need much & if applied carefully you won't get any fallout either.

 Another great thing about this product is that it's a very close dupe for Nars Orgasm blush! I've swatched both below with Rose Gold on the left & Orgasm on the right. The main difference being that Rose Gold gives you more of a rosy gold blush whereas Orgasm gives you more of a light but deep pinky gold blush. In terms of the products composition, as I mentioned before Rose Gold by Sleek is very powdery but Orgasm by Nars is the opposite - the product takes a lot of rubbing to get a decent swatch! As you can see below though, there really isnt much in it and considering the price difference (Rose Gold at £4.30 and Orgasm at £20.50) it's a definite dupe win in my eyes!

Rose Gold by Sleek Make up is available in some Superdrug stores or online from Sleek for £4.30 and Orgasm by Nars is available from Space NK stores or online from Space NK for £20.30.


Wednesday, 14 September 2011

What's in my (Holiday) Wash Bag!?

I've just returned from 2 weeks in paradise and being a bit of a last minute packer, I didn't quite have time to put this post up before I left but better late than never! I should probably point out at this point that I always tend to over pack just because I hate arriving somewhere and wishing I'd brought something I didn't or maybe that's just the excuse that seems most plausible?

My wash bag is from H&M and it's great, mainly because it's the perfect size, it's pretty, it's a bargain at £3.99 and although I'm not particularly Disney mad, you can't go far wrong with Minnie or Mickey!

Yes, it would appear that taking 5 nail polishes for a 2 week holiday might seem slightly excessive but not when you're away with 4 girls! They were slowly abducted from my bedroom and became communal and I alone used every shade. From left to right they are; Punki Pink by Nina Ultra (Pro) - £3.89, Mistique by Missguided, (unfortunately I don't know the name of this one as its rubbed off but it's by MUA), 264 by Barry M - £2.99 and Tropical Temptation by Revlon - £4.49!

I didn't take too many hair products as being on an island in the middle of Atlantic Ocean humity was at an all time high so no matter what you did to your hair it was unlikely to stay that way for long! Hair oils (such as Moroccan Oil) are everywhere at the moment and although I was initially reluctant to the idea of adding oil to newly washed hair I thought I'd give it a go and bought the V05 Miracle Concentrate. Now? I swear by it. You simply run a small amount through clean towel dried hair and it conditions, hydrates and smoothes leaving your hair soft and shiny once you've blow dried it! It also acts as a heat protectant and claims to reduce drying time (I'm not quite sure how, but I think it actually does)! It's the perfect "does it all" hair product and is great for any holiday when you might be washing, blow drying or styling your hair more than normal (not to mention protecting your hair from the damage done by chlorine and too much sun). The next product in my hair care trio is a firm staple in my life, Batiste's Dry Shampoo - (£1.45). I use it for pretty much everything from refreshing greasy hair and creating volume to helping hide roots and even for making just washed hair slightly more managable. Last and used least was my Boots own Hairspray - (£0.81), I would have used this more if I curled my hair but I soon realised there was no point as the humidity would just make the curls fall out, not a total waste though as it got passed round to a couple of the other girls!

Moving on, I had depotted some of my Elizabeth Arden Visable Difference - (£20.43 for 75ml) face moisturiser (reviewed in a previous post - see here) into a small travel size pot as the glass jar that it normally comes in is far too heavy to take on holiday. I also took my all time favourite make up remover wipes - L'Oréal Paris Dermo-Expertise Vitalift Wipes - (£5.10). I used to use and have previously reviewed (see here) the L'oreal De-Maq Expert Wipes but they seemed to have been discontinued, however it seems the Vitalift wipes are identical. If you haven't tried these, do! They're amazing. Let's be honest, we're all a bit slack on the whole cleanse, tone, moisturise act when on holiday so make up wipes are perfect. If you've noticed the Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder - (£1.99) you're probably wondering why...! Any of my friends will tell you I'm a talc fiend and proceed to tell you just how much it irriates them when we're sharing a room and all their stuff gets covered in a thin layer of white dust...! To be honest I don't really know why I'm such a fan!? All I do know is that I love the smell, I always find it keeps my skin so soft and smooth if I apply it straight after a bath/shower and it doubles up as a great substitute for dry shampoo if you find yourself without some...! Superdrug's own Nail Polish Remover Wipes - (£1.39) are pretty self explanatory once now you've seen the excessive amount of nail polish I took and it's smaller and more compact than taking a bottle of remover. I depotted some of Soap & Glory's Flake Away Scrub - (£6.64) to take with me as gentle exfoliation will help you get a deeper longer lasting tan and it's also good for getting rid of all that oily sunscreen you've been applying throughout the day! Next on my holiday list, is my Scholl Deep Moisturising Foot Cream - (£4.34). I found this when on holiday last year in Australia and it's been a bit of a saviour as I tend to get quite dry feet (nice) when I'm wearing flip flops/sandals a lot so as a result I now always take this on holiday with me. I also tend to get quite dry cuticles which defeats the point of having nicely painted nails if the skin around them looks awful so I took my Almond Oil Nail & Cuticle Treatment - (£7) along with me too (previously reviewed in my Body Shop post - see here)! A must if you're off somewhere tropical is insect repellant and sting relief, although that said, amazingly I didn't get bitten once! My friend took repellant and I took Superdrug's own Bite & Sting Relief Spray - (£1.99).

Skipping over the much less exciting things such as my Sure deodrant, disposible razer and the unmarked blue bottle which contains mouthwash! I took my current favourite perfume - the debut fragrance from Jimmy Choo (see my previous review here). I also took along my travel size Nail Care kit which I got given for my birthday from Paperchase (reviewed in my Birthday Haul post - here).

Lastly and most importantly - SUNSCREEN. My favourite sun care brands are Piz Buin (because it smells amazing) and Ambre Solaire as it's really good at protecting you're skin and their products are never too greasy. I've always used the Ambre Solaire After Sun as I find it really moisturising and soothing at the same time and I like the cooling mist effect you get with the spray. In terms of sun protection, I took Ambre Solaire's Clear Protect in Factor 30 - (£14.90) and Piz Buin's Active Spray in Factor 20 - (£15.31) which I absolutely love (read my previous review here)

It's hard to believe all that fits into 1 little bag but it does! I've tried to link most of the products above to where they're available from. Do you have any holiday essentials? Let me know in the comments section below!


Monday, 15 August 2011

Perfection is a little Parisian adventure!

I went to Paris for a few days at the end of July and although I've been before, I don't think I was old enough to appreciate it because this time I saw the city in a whole new light & pretty much fell in love with the place! It's a stunning city full of history, culture, beautiful architecture, fine food & gorgeous shops! By the end of my trip I had a firm grasp of the metro system & there was plenty more left to see which works out as the perfect excuse to go back! Of course I had to pick up a few 'souveniers' along the way and thought I'd share them with you lovely lot!

As soon as I clapped eyes on a Sephora store I was across the road and in the store before I knew it! I mooched around for ages wondering why on earth this cosmetic cavern ever left the UK. After 40 minutes of walking around, picking things up, putting things back down, swatching products and picking other things up, I left with 4 items which I thought demonstrated a huge amount of restraint considering I would have bought the whole if I could. The first product I bought was a Blu-ray High Definition Blush/Highlighter by Cargo (a professional make up brand from Canada) in Peach Shimmer. It was available in a Pink Shimmer too but I already have quite a few pink tone blushers & thought it would be nice to try a natural pretty peach shade for a change, especially as I think it would look really nice with a tan! The photo on the left doesn't really do the colour or shimmer justice but hopefully it comes across a little better in the pic on the right...! Cargo Blu-ray Blush/Highlighter is available from Beauty Bay for £18.50. Has anyone used this brand before?


Next I spied this Sephora Professional - XL Rounded Power Brush (49) and had to have it! I've had the same big kabuki brush for about 3 years and the hairs on it are now really brittle and dry but I've kept it for so long because it's really big! I'm not a fan of small powder brushes, the bigger the brush the better the coverage! So, it's fair to say I've been due for an upgrade for a while and the Sephora 49 was the perfect candidate! It's definitely my new favourite brush - big, fluffy & super soft!

Although I hadn't planned to pick up a face powder while I was in Paris or even in Sephora, I ran out of my Benefit 'Hello Flawless' while I was there and had to buy something to tide me over. I figured it was a great excuse to try one of the Sephora compact powders and I chose R20 - Cool Nude from the matifying range. To be honest I was a bit disappointed. I don't know why but I had high expectations which the product didn't live up to. I only really use powders to set my foundation so I'm not looking for high coverage, just something light that matifys my skin slightly and dusts across my face evenly and although it does matify, it feels and looks a bit cakey and definitely doesn't give me an even finish. Positives? It smells suprisingly good - like floral talcum powder! I might use it to touch up on nights out but I wouldn't buy it again and if I was awarding stars out of 10, it would get 5.

Last but not least in my mini Sephora haul is this bright pink travel make up bag. I love love love the colour and the fact that it's see through makes it so much easier to find what your looking for when you're out. It also had a tag on it that said 'Aeroplane Approved' which means no more of those little plastic bags when you're going through airport security and instead I can just chuck any liquids I need for the plane in here but the rest of the time I will just be using it as my mini make up bag and it shall live in my hand bag.


It sounds rather vacuous when I say my 1 of my favourite discoveries in Paris was a department store but well, it was! Although it has to be said, this wasn't just your average department store like House of Faser, Debenhams or John Lewis. Galeries Lafayette is a little corner of retail heaven and I never thought I'd say this but it even managed to knock Selfridges off the top spot of my favourite retail outlets (although it's still coming in at a very close second). The architecture inside the store was amazing and if you were on the ground floor (in the beauty department) and looked up you could see the huge stained glass domed skylight. It has absolutely stunning (have included some photos below).

 I saw they were selling limited edition make up bags with the skylight design printed on them, so I bought one as a souvenir of my new favorite department store!

Sadly we couldn't stay for long and barely made it round 2 of the 4 floors and that was just the women's store. Yep thats right, they have a whole department store just for women, another for men and another for home (all across the road from each other)! However, while having a quick mooch around, this scarf by Avant Premiere caught my eye (if you don't already know, I have a serious scarf problem, scarves and bags are my weaknesses). I thought it was a really nice design & would go well with any block colour outfits.

The next day I walked past a stall selling these cute stretchy string bracelets. I love these kind of bracelets for summer as they add a bit of colour to your wrists. There was a shop I always used to go to in the South of France with my friends where they sold the same bracelets and we'd always stock up on them so I thought I'd honor the tradition and pick up a couple. I think they look really nice mixed in with other silver jewellery. Does anyone know of anywhere in England that sells similar bracelets?

On our last day we went to a huge market in the north of the city called Marche Puces de St Ouen. It has over 2000 stalls - heaven! However once we got there we spent pretty much all our time inside strolling around the gorgeous antiques market which were set up more like small open shops than stalls. Everything was gorgeous, one of a kind & unique - from old furniture and vintage Chanel to an array of art, books and records. There was one stall/shop that was completely dedicated to old magazines, ads and publishing artwork (oh that's another thing I'm obsessed with - magazines, so scarves, bags and magazines). I've been looking for some new art for my bedroom for a while so I picked up an original 1950's black and white Chanel newspaper ad and a Parisian women's magazine from the 1940's both of which I can't wait to get framed and hung on my walls! It was the best antiques market I've ever been to and it would be a crime not to go if you're visting Paris - the same goes for Galeries Lafayette!

My final purchase was the smallest costing just 50 cents, a tiny replica of one of the most iconic structures in the world and undoutedly my favourite and now I get to carry it around with me at all times on my keys!

So incase you didnt quite catch on, j'adore Paris! I'll stop going on now but if any of you are thinking about going to Paris and want some recommendations than let me know as I'd be more than happy to offer up some 'must sees' or if any of you have been & have any recommendations for me next time I go then I'd love to hear them in the comments section below!

 À la prochaine!


Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Prime Time with Cover FX!

It's fair to say I jumped in at the deep end with primers. I went from never really using one (apart from the occasional fab of Urban Decay's Primer Potion on my eyes) to religiously applying probably one of the most expensive primers out there...! I first discovered Canadian brand Cover FX in House of Fraser while mooching around London one afternoon with my mum. We were both goaded into make overs by one of their sales assistants and after she'd finshed putting numerous things on my face we left armed with testers. I had been given a mini bottle of their foundation, and my mum, a sample of  their facial primer. Both of the samples ended up in my bathroom and although the foundation was nothing to write home about, I fell in love with the primer and went back to buy a full size tube the following week!

Skinprep FX (Nourishing Foundation Primer Makeup and Anti-Aging Serum) has a super light gel like formulation and glides onto skin creating a hydrated base ready for easy foundation application. It makes it so much easier to apply, blend and evenly spread my foundation and (the best thing) it really does keep my make up in place for so much longer than normal, even at the end of the day it still looks perfectly even! Their website says it's an anti-aging foundation primer that 'smoothes skin to blur the apperance of fine lines (fingers crossed I don't have any of them just yet) and pores (but I've got plenty of them instead).

I love this product & can't imagine ever using a different primer and although it's pricey at £44 for a 30ml tube (which lasted me about 4 months), it's definitely worth it! Available exclusively in the UK from House of Fraser.


Sunday, 7 August 2011

Covered in Marc Jacobs

I've had my current iPhone cover for 7 months now, which isn't that big of a deal except that it's record time for me! I'd previously never found one that I really liked so would inevitably end up getting bored after a couple of months & start searching for something new. However, last Christmas I was treated to the Marc by Marc Jacobs soft Dreamy Logo 3G iPhone Cover in hot pink. I put it on my phone and haven't taken it off since!

Apologies for the flash reflection, I was in a bit of a rush when  I was snapping away. Unfortunately the photo hasn't really done the colour justice. It looks quite dull here but it is definitely a hot pink shade. I wanted something pretty but fairly understated, I know hot pink isn't exactly understated but in comparision to the rest of Marc Jacobs 'tech' range, all of which was fairly garish, this was the more subtle choice! The back of the cover features a series of repeated jumbled up letters which one would assume might spell out Marc Jacobs however there is a 'Y' and no 'O' so I'm at a loss. If anyone knows what it is meant to spell out (if anything) please let me know. It's been bothering me for months!

The case is made out of thick silicon which is great for protecting your phone. I've dropped my iPhone far too many times than I care to remember and this bad boy has always protected it! I hope I've done a pretty good job at describing this product but just in case I haven't here's what is printed on the back of the box. Nearly as good as those perfume descriptions I love to have a giggle at ;)

I bought mine from NET-A-PORTER but it's no longer available on their website. If you're in the States you can order it direct from Marc himself here and for everyone else this company (although based in America) ship pretty much worldwide - available from both websites for $28 (approx £17)!


Friday, 22 July 2011

Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua - Believe the Hype!

If there is one foundation everyone has been raving about recently its the Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Ultra Light Skin Perfecting Make Up with SPF 15! It's been on everyones lips faces(?) for months now and with good reason. However if you haven't heard about this skin dream yet, fear not, the bandwagon is there to be jumped on!

I'm rather lucky in that I have fairly good skin, of course I do get the odd blemish but nothing to really complain about (althought I still will)! However, I do have a slightly uneven skin tone which is why a good foundation is one of the most important cosmetic items for me. I don't tend to like anything that's too high in coverage but at the same time, a tinted moisterier isn't going to cut it either (not on a day to day basis anyway). Therefore I'm always on the hunt for light to medium coverage foundations, preferably that are buildable so I can control the coverage I want from day to day! Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua is exactly that.

When I first heard about this foundation I thought it wouldn't have enough coverage for me as many people had been comparing it to a tinted moistieriser but when I finally decided to get colour matched at a Chanel counter I discovered this was not the case! Yes, it felt like a tinted moisterier (light as a feather on the skin) but worked like a foundation & it's buildable too! It made my skin look flawless, more so than any foundation I have ever used. It basically looked as if I wasn't wearing any make up & I just had perfect skin (I wish) & if all that wasn't enough, it smells phenomenal, like Piz Buin and holidays! I can't encourage people to try this foundation enough. Trust me, once you have you won't look back. 

Avaliable from all Chanel counters & Boots for £31

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

A very Happy Birthday haul :)

My birthday is at the end of June, making me a cancerian (I'm a bit of a star sign buff) & also an over excitable child about all things birthday related - although I'm not sure the two go hand in hand...! For me Birthdays aren't all about presents but they are definitely an added bonus, especially when your friends & family know you as well as mine seem too! So I've pooled together all the beauty/fashion related goodness I recieved & thought I'd share with you some of the lovely things I got! I also need to apologise for the photo quality, I don't have my camera with me this week so have had to use my iPhone!

I'll start off with the Corioliss Glamour Wand - Zebra Edition. I'd wanted a conical wand for the longest time after finally concluding that they are far better at curling your hair than straighteners will ever be. So obviously I was super excited when I got one! I love the zebra print handle as well (adds a bit of fun to the whole thing). At first I was a bit unsure about the tapered design, as I'd used my friends straight barelled wand & was worried the tapered effect might make the curls very tight at the bottom but it doesn't at all - it just enables you to get more of your hair round the wand. Infact, having a tapered wand actually allows you to have more control over the size of your curls. In my opinion, there are many benefits to using a conical wand - they're easier to use, quicker, the curls are better formed & they definitely stay in longer because they have been curled properly!

The Glamour Wand came with a free heat proof finger grasp which is really useful as the wand does get very hot & it is quite easy to burn yourself if you're not careful (or if you're just slightly clumsy like me)! The cool tip at the end of the wand also helps prevent against burning while styling. Personally, I prefer a heat proof glove - it eliminates the chance of any burns but the finger grasp is definitely better than nothing. The 3 metre long/360 degrees swivel cord is also very useful - it makes the wand even more agile & easy to use! The wand has a variable temperature guage (which reaches around 200c on the highest setting) so if the idea of putting that kind of heat on your hair isn't appealing, you can always turn it down. Basically if you want amazing curls or fabulous waves then this is the styling tool for you! I know I sound like part of their PR team but I can't really say anything bad about it - I'm just a big fan! There are loads of wands out there though so make sure you shop around for the best price. The Corioliss Glamour Wand - Zebra Edition retails for £99 if you order direct from their website but you can get it for just £26 if you order from Gorgeous Shop! Bargain much?

My next birthday treat was this gorgeous mini nail care kit from Paperchase! It's travel size which means it's perfect for keeping in my handbag or taking on holiday. I've decided that I'm going to take out the foam toe dividers (because I'll only really use them at home) and instead put in which ever nail polish I'm currently wearing because I hate being out & realising my nail polish has chipped & this way I can touch up wherever I am - win! It's a great little set as everything nail related is now zipped away in this travel sized pouch instead of floating around the abyiss that is my handbag...!

Another couple of friends who I happen to know follow my blog rather closely (maybe one slightly more than the other!) got me the most amazing trio of YSL goodies! Starting with the ever coverted Touche Eclat in 01, which is the lightest colour available & my perfect shade. I don't really need to tell you how great it is! Touche Eclat is a cult beauty product that has been around for years & I'm yet to find anything that tops this multi-use product. It highlights & eliminates everything you want it to! This guy literally has the ability to make you look bright eyed & bushy tailed even after the heaviest night out. I ran out about 6 months ago and never round to buying a new one, so thank you! Available from all YSL counters (in fact I challenge you to find one that doesn't stock it)!

I love flowers but most of all I love them in my hair. I literally used to put them in everyday without fail while I was at uni. Since being at work I think I've got out of the habit so it's really nice to have a brand new flowery clip in my life for summer! My other ones were definitely getting a bit tatty & this one is pink - always a good choice! Will defs be sporting this on holiday & during whatever sunny days we have left here in England! I've always bought my other flower clips from Accessorize so have a look in store & online for more floral hair options.

I've always worn really nude shades on my lips & don't tend to wear much colour unless its pink & I'm tanned. I've always loved Mac's shades like Hue, Myth and Creme de Nude and because of this I've always shopped lips at Mac and never really branched out into other brands. Therefore it was so nice to receive my first YSL lipstick in this amazing light pink summer shade for my birthday! I've already used it a couple of times & it looks so good with a tan. It feels really moisterising & has a super smooth texture to it. I have no doubt this will be a firm favourite in my holiday make up bag next month (and with SPF 8 included you can't really go wrong)! 

I can't tell you much about this necklace except for the fact that I love it. One of my best friends bought me this beauty & she has very good taste (well, in most things) but espesh jewellery. She buys pretty much all her jewellery from a gorgeous online store called Love Hearts and Crosses & this gold feather number was just another in a series of excellent choices! I received a couple of other necklaces from her which have also been from there. If you haven't heard of Love Hearts and Crosses, definitely check them out. They've got hundreds of stunning & really original pieces all at great prices! I've always worn silver jewellery but recently have started branching out into gold so it's nice to have something new & unique to add to my new collection!
My next birthday gift came in the form of the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Lip Protectant with SPF 15 (Limited Edition). Although there isn't really any difference between the standard version & the limited edition version except the cute little design on the cap, I'm glad mine is the latter :) If you follow me on Twitter you'll know I've wanted this for a while now after hearing great things about it. It contains Vitamin E which keeps your lips really soft/moisturised & a little goes a long way! I've been applying it before lipstick as it helps ensure that any colour glides on really easily! This is perfect to use while sunbathing too as it stops your lips burning while also keeping them moisturised! However as with all lip balms - don't apply them too often to cracked lips as it stops your skin repairing itself (for more information see my previous post on the subject). Currently available from ASOS for £11.95.

The best present is when someone remembers something that you LOVE but can't buy in this country & then they go abroad & see it & purchase it for you! Granted, it doesn't happen often but when it does, it's fabulous! Yes, I love all things Victoria's Secret. My 2 favorite things? Their underwear (of course) & their fragrances! I've always loved the Sexy Little Things range and have tried Noir and loved it and I'm pleased to announce that Vixen is just as gorgeous! I love floral/fruity scents & Vixen is exactly that. If I had to compare it to a perfume it would along the lines of Be Delicious by DKNY. The perfect summer scent! Avaliable in store (USA) and online from Victoria's Secret.

This gift came not only as a present but also with a point to prove! About 6 months ago, back when What She Said had just started and was running as a Christmas gift guide I wrote a post about my favourite mascara - False Lash Effect by Max Factor (see post here). A certain little lady told me I had got it all wrong & that if thought this immitation Max Factor version was good then I had to try the original Volume Effet Faux Cils by YSL. I vowed to do so but never quite got round to it! Turns out I didn't need to as of course my YSL gift box had to include Volume Effet Faux Cils! Yes, she was right. It really is amazing. I basically feel like I've now found an even better version of my favorite mascara! I get the same volume & length but the wand is smaller & more managable & the consistany is far less drying! Point proven. Available from all YSL counters & online from Boots.

Last but most definitely not least, my stunning Stila palette! The best thing about this palette, besides having pretty much everything you could want in one place, is that it has the broadest range of colours, some of which I wouldn't be likely to buy seperately but am tempted to use now! I'll quickly run through the contents; there are 30 eye shadows, 15 lip colours, 3 blushers, 1 highlighter, 1 bronzer, 1 eye liner, 1 lip liner, 2 eye application brushes, 1 lip brush & finally, 1 blush brush! Phew. This is a great palette to chuck in your bag if you're going away for a couple of nights as it takes up hardly any room & I'll be putting this palette to the test by doing exactly that this weekend! I would swatch all of the above but I'd be here all week but I hope this photo does it justice! Stila is available in Australia, America & the UK. For other counters across the world, search here or alternatively shop online. 

I hope you've enjoyed my Birthday haul!? I know it's rather long but clearly I'm making up for lost time & well, I only get to do it once a year! Thank you to everyone for all my gorgeous gifts regardless of if they have featured above or not!