It was my birthday the other week & I turned the ripe old age of 24! I had a lovely day & an amazing night celebrating with friends last weekend! I am however, getting dangerously close to 25 which upsets me hugely! I think I'll stop birthdays after next year & hope to just blissfully loose track of my age. I received some fabulous gifts from various friends & family to celebrate & thought I'd share a slice of my birthday haul with you (as I know how much I love reading these posts & snooping on what others got)!
Let's start with the shoes. I bought these in coral from New Look a couple of months back & swooned hardcore. I then mentioned (maybe more than a couple of times) how I wish I'd bought them in black too. I was therefore happy as Larry (who clearly must have also had a pair) to receive these on my birthday morning! I wore them to a fairy tale wedding I attended the other week & on my birthday night out. They're really rather comfy & didn't cause any blisters which is always a win with new shoes!
Next up is my perfume, Insolence by Guerlain. It's undoubtedly my favourite perfume of all time. I discovered it through a friend & pretty much stole what had been her signature scent within minutes (sorry Bec)! Also any old school Gossip Girl fans might remember it was the fragrance ad that sponsored the show...! I've tried many other perfumes but even after a brief love affair with Elie Saab as per always I come back to wanting this. I ran out last year so was made up to receive a new bottle! It's just the most gorgeous powdery floral sent but I did a full review of it ages ago so won't bore you with details as you can just have a gander at that here (Cringe Caution: it was one of my first posts back when my blog started as a Christmas Gift Guide in 2010)!
I've been in love with Zara Taylor's jewellery since I first discovered her online shop many moons ago through Twitter. I even opted to write an article all about Zara's amazing creations for a magazine I used to work for which you can read here. I have a constant wish list as long as my arm and amazing friend, Becky (the one with the great taste in perfume) treated me to Zara's beautiful peace heart necklace in silver (it's one of my favourite designs & also comes in bracelets & earrings) so BIG love & thanks to Bec (I know you're reading)!
As Becky is extremely naughty and often chooses to spoil me rotten, I was also lucky enough to receive a gorgeous highlighter from Nars in Copacabana! I'm yet to try this out properly but it apparently looks great under foundation or mixed in so can't wait to put it to the test. It's also the perfect colour to compliment my skin tone. No doubt a review will be appearing on here in the near future! If any of you have tried it, let me know your thoughts!
My brother is a hero for getting me one of my most useful presents this year! The other week I was on a train back from Brighton & whilst feeling rather
hungover tired & impatient pulled my headphones out of my bag with a bit of a yank resulting in one of the headphones coming clean off...! I have since been walking around with only 1 earphone of an already budget & ancient pair! I use them all the time and desperately wanted to treat myself to a fancy pair but found it's something I just never get round to spending money on! My brother is a bit of genius when it comes to anything techy so did some research & got me this amazing & rather snazzy (yep, just said snazzy) pair! They block out noise to a almost dangerous level, perfect for aeroplanes & noisy public transport. Aside from the fact that I also find them aesthetically pleasing, they sit comfortably in your ear and manage to make it seem like you're jamming in your own personal little sound booth! These bad boys come highly recommended!
My next 2 make up orientated gifts were these blushes from Bare Minerals. I've never tried any products from Bare Minerals so was really excited about these & so far they've gone done a treat! I'm now really keen to try their foundation type products so if anyone has any recommendations let me know! I know they look nearly identical in the packaging but they are different shades, I promise! Swatches & reviews to come but like I said, so far, so good!
This was undoubtedly one of the most thoughtful gifts. Most of my friends are fully aware I have a slightly unhealthy relationship with cosmetics, the best ones often listen to me wine on about various products and while it may not be their favourite thing to talk about they never fail to appear interested! They're totally supportive of my blogging ways even though the whole realm of it might seem a bit alien to them at times. So a few thoughtful friends pooled together to buy me a 2 hour Jemma Kidd Make Up Masterclass! It's something I've wanted to do for ages but again, never got round to spending the money on. As they weren't familiar with Jemma Kidd they were all rather nervous about how I'd feel about the class they'd chosen but I'm sure any beauty blogger would agree, they've hit the nail on the head with this one! Thanks girls, I can't wait! <3
I got my very first ever Nars duo! I have various Nars products & even a single Nars eye shadow but this was my very first duo & an exciting moment it was. I had done some research into which one I wanted and settled on Silk Road. I wanted a duo that was really wearable & ideal for day looks so I could take it around when I'm travelling rather than constantly lugging my Naked palette about (ok, I know it's hardly heavy but it's cumbersome - ugh have just decided I don't like that word). Anyway this met all my Nars duo needs perfectly and I'm a big fan! Swatches & reviews to come!
I have lusted after a Sigma brush set since the day I started blogging so was beyond happy when I unwrapped this pressie! The sets come in many various colours & as much as I love bright colours (& anything pink) I'm pleased I got the black set as it's not a colour I'm going to 'grow out of'' if that makes sense!? As per the majority of the above there will be a detailed post all about the Sigma Make Me Classy Brush Set coming very soon!
I know I already given the most useful present award to the headphones from my brother but this MUJI draw set is coming in a very close second! I don't think I've ever been so excited about organisation. Before now, my bathroom was covered in various make up products. Literally, wherever there was space there was a blusher or eye shadow palette! Although I would profess I knew exactly where everything was, I didn't. I knew where the products I used on a daily basis were but all others just got buried, pushed to the back of my bathroom cabinet or stored away in various pretty boxes. I love that I now have a separate draw for concealers & foundations, another for eye shadows & palettes, 1 for blushers, bronzers & highlighters and finally for eye liners & mascaras! Now when I go to a draw, instead of picking up my standard products, everything is there in front of me to choose from & I love it! These stacking draws come individually or in sets of 2. There are 2 sizes to choose from; narrow or wide and 2 styles; the basic draw or the draw with a flip top lid. As you can see from photo below I have 2 wide basic draw sets (4 draws) and 1 wide flip top lid set (2 draws, 1 with a flip top lid for me to stand up stuff in).
Next up is my new best friend. My Canon Powershot SX50 HS. I've always been into photography. I'm not talking fanatically, I just liked taking photos. As any of my friends will tell you, when we were younger I'd ALWAYS be the one with my camera on a night out (this was long before the days of Facebook btw & therefore less common)! I made the mistake 3 years ago of investing in a Sony Cybershot & straying from my regular choice of a Canon. I'm sure many people have the Cybershot & love it but for me it was annoying to use & the picture quality was incomparable to that of a Canon camera. I pretty much stopped bothering to take photos as I didn't enjoy using it and so for a while now, I've wanted a new Canon camera but I had also wanted to up grade from a point and shoot to something a bit more advanced. That said, I was also aware that at this point in my life, an SLR might be somewhat wasted on me so was keen to get a bridge camera. It sits in the market between a point and shoot and an SLR and is perfect for me. It's pretty much as close as you can get to an SLR without changing lenses. The photo quality is amazing (all the above images are taken with it) and it also records in full HD, has a fish eye setting (amazing!?) and 35x optical zoom (I mean that's like paparazzi style zoomage)! If people are keen to know more, I'm more than happy to do a full review but for now I'll just continue on with my private love affair with my brand new camera!
I wanted to add this gift on to the bottom of this blog post as when I took these photo I hadn't received it! I knew not of its wonderful existence! One of my oldest & dearest chums, Abi treated me to this stunning bracelet. She's a total dream for various reasons but in the case it's because she had already gone in on the aforementioned make up class but insisted on getting me something extra and I'm glad (& very grateful) she did as it's undoubtedly 1 of my favourite gifts. Aside from the fact that it suits me down to a T, I love that it was a total surprise. I only wear silver bracelets (I love gold but my wrists are reserved for that only of the silver persuasion) but am always keen to add a bit of colour to mix things up and therefore particularly love silver bracelets that incorporate colour! In addition to all that, I've also been lusting after a piece of jewellery that features my name or initials. So well done friend, that's check check & check! Big thank you & lots of love, I can assure you I won't be taking this beauty off any time soon!
I hope you've enjoyed my birthday haul! Feel free to share yours with me below, as I said, I love reading them :)