Advent Calendars 2013...

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Today makes it officially 9 weeks to Christmas *almost bursts with excitement* so I thought what better post to write than one about how we can count down to Christmas Day.

Every year new advent calendars are being released ranging from traditional chocolate to beauty ones - now who doesn't love the idea of opening a door to a beauty goody every day for a whole 24 days?! 
This is Boots very first beauty advent calendar and features lots of amazing brands such as Soap & Glory, Nails Inc, Rimmel, Umberto Giannini, Paco Rabanne, Juicy Couture, 17 and lots more. The products inside add up to more than £65 making it a definite bargain at only £30 therefore I can guarantee it will sell out very fast as it is probably the most affordable beauty calendar on the market this Christmas. 
Available: NOW!

This is without a doubt my favourite advent calendar in the beauty selection this year. Like Boots, this is also Benefits first ever advent calendar and one thing for sure is they definitely haven't disappointed. This calendar is stocked full of many of their bestsellers including Porefessional, High Beam and BADgal Lash. Not only are you going to be receiving 21 beauty products, you will also receive a charm bracelet, a charm necklace and a barrette without a doubt making it worth the price. 
Available: 2nd November (be quick because stocks are limited!)

I am nail polish obsessed so this is my second favourite advent calendar. The calendar features 24 mini nail polishes including 17 of their best selling shades, 4 mini caviar blends and 3 exclusive glitters. Every year this sells out so if you want to get your hands on it be quick!
Available: NOW!

This is the most expensive beauty calendar I am featuring in this post coming in at a huge £84 - I agree this does sound overly pricey but when you look at the luxury brands included it may make you change your mind. This advent calendar contains brands such as Yves Saint Laurent, Giorgio Amarani, Lancome, Kiehl's and many more. 
Available: NOW! (currently out of stock)

There isn't actually much information available for this years You Beauty Advent Calendar however, last years was pretty amazing with the total value of products included coming to £210 making this a fantastic bargain. 
Available: (unsure)

If you don't fancy getting a beauty product advent calendar there are lots of alternatives on the market including a fabulous Yankee Candle one featuring 23 tealights in many scents such as Snow in Love, Merry Marshmallow, Red Apple Wreath and Sparkling Cinnamon and extra special gift behind door 24! 

Which advent calendar will you be choosing for the countdown to Christmas?
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18th Birthday...

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On the 10th of September I finally turned 18! I had an amazing birthday and got lots of lovely presents from all of my loved ones. With my birthday landing on a weekday, I didn't really do much - I just had some family members come over but on the Sunday I had a party at my godparents bar to properly celebrate with all of my family and friends. 

First, I thought I'd share with you the amazing gifts I received...

I received this beautiful Prada handbag from my Nana and I absolutely love it. I did actually know about this before my birthday as I chose it myself. I had planned on getting the Prada Saffiano Tote but as soon as I saw this I had to have it.
I've always wanted a Michael Kors watch but when they became overly popular I was kinda put off the idea of having one. However, my Mam and Dad wanted to get me something I could keep to say I got it for my 18th so when I was looking at watches, I decided to try this one on even though I was adamant I didn't want one but as soon as I had it on my wrist I'd fell in love.
When I was in London during the summer and shopping in Harrods, I was looking at the Hermes Enamel Bracelets but told my Mam it was too expensive when I knew she already had me the watch so when I opened the purple box to see the orange Hermes box staring back at me I couldn't believe it.(unfortunately my aunties stupid dog got a hold of the box whilst I was trying it on and ripped it to shreds - I was annoyed because I love to keep jewellery boxes - weird I know!) 
I'm not really a fan of Vivienne Westwood but I absolutely adore her earrings so when I received these from my godparents I was over the moon - they haven't left my ears yet!
My brother bought me the new Marc Jacobs Honey which smells amazing - I'd never actually smelt it before so I've got to say well done to my brother for picking such a good scent! 
I love painting my nails so my Nana bought me this OPI collection and my Mam bought me the Accessorize Velvet Nails to try. 
I got these bits of jewellery from various friends. 
My Mam and Dad got me these little things as a joke as they say I take far too long in the bath/shower and that I'll definitely have botox because I'm obsessed with all things beauty related (I think they forgot about my needle phobia!!)
 What birthday would be complete without something to commemorate how old you are? I love these photo frames and can't wait to get some pictures of my birthday printed to go in them.
I also got lots of chocolate and enough alcohol to sink a ship - I'll still be drinking it this time next year!
I received quite a bit of money and some vouchers from my family and friends so can't wait to go on a serious shopping spree!
Finally, one of my friends bought me this for people to sign at my birthday party which I thought was a lovely idea :)

Here are some pictures from my birthday...
Came home from sixth form to find the house decorated.
Wasn't I a cutie?
I loved my cake and it tasted as good as it looked!

Before my party
My Brother & Nana
My best friend of 15 years 
My Mam & Dad
My Brother 
Dancing the night away
I had an amazing birthday and would once again like to thank all of my wonderful family and friends for making it one to remember. 
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*Please note in no way am I bragging about what I got for my birthday, I am sharing with you the wonderful presents I received as I am so grateful and appreciative to have the most amazing family and friends*
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Liz Earle Review: Eyebright...

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Liz Earle states that this product will  "clean and revitalise the delicate eye area" and I cannot agree more! Have you ever had that dry, tight feeling around your eyes? Well this is the product for you! After just one swipe your eyes feel instantly refreshed and renewed making this product ideal for those early mornings.

Although they describe the product as a lotion, I would say it is more like a tonic (it's a similar consistency to the Instant Boost Skin Tonic) making it very easy to use on your eyes as it practically feels like water. 

As a person who suffers from terrible migraines, I enjoy nothing more than soaking two cotton pads with this lotion and lying with them on my eyes - it instantly cools my eyes and soothes my headache. I actually keep a bottle of this in the fridge as well as a bottle on my dressing table as I find it is more effective at treating my headache when it has been in the fridge. I use the one on my dressing table every evening after I have removed my make up with the Cleanse & Polish just to refresh my eyes and make sure all traces of make up have been removed.  

You can purchase this product form the Liz Earle online store with a 150ml bottle (like the one pictured above) costing £10.75; if you find this product is a little out of your price range for an eye treatment, don't be put off as the bottle lasts absolutely ages! Or you can purchase this from John Lewis or QVC.
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Liz Earle Review: Brightening Treatment Mask...

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*This review was supposed to be up on my blog yesterday however, I was travelling to Kent and it took us 8 hours to arrive due to bad traffic therefore, I'm sorry for the delay. On the bright side, you get 2 reviews in 1 day!*

The Liz Earle Brightening Treatment Mask claims to be a "fast acting mask [which] instantly revitalises dull skin" and I couldn't agree more!

As soon as I apply this mask to my skin I can immediately feel it working; within seconds of placing it on my skin it sinks in and begins to tingle (this is when you know a product is doing its job)! I then leave it on as recommended for 30 seconds - 2 minutes and wipe the remains off with my muslin cloth. Even after such a short period of time, you can definitely see a difference in your skin - it's practically glowing!

The formula has quite a thick consistency but isn't heavy on the skin like a lot of face masks are and the smell is also bearable as it smells fresh rather than fragranced.  Just like many Liz Earle products, the formula itself is created using many natural ingredients which are perfect for practically any skin type; these include Aloe Vera, Witch Hazel, Sweet Almond Oil and White Clay all which help this little tube of magic do its job. 

This product is ideal for those grogy Monday mornings after a wild weekend of partying and will hide any signs of a hangover making it look like you spent your weekend at a luxurious spa rather than partying until the early morning. 

You can grab your brightening mask right now from Liz Earle online for £14.75 or head to your local John Lewis or purchase it from QVC.
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Liz Earle Review: Gentle Face Exfoliator...

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I honestly have the strangest skin. Some days its dry and flakes off others it's too oily causing my pores to become blocked and that's where this little beauty comes in! Whether I need to buff off my dry skin or remove impurities this exfoliator leaves my skin feeling refreshed and replenished. 

The main ingredients in this product are Eucalyptus, Cocoa Butter and Jojoba Beads all of which contribute to its amazingness in their own little way. One thing I particularly love about this product is the fact the jojoba beads are 'fine'; they are so gentle on the skin meaning they don't leave you looking as bright as a cherry tomato by the time you're finished but instead remove any imperfections and leave you looking radiant. Beauty experts have said you should never exfoliate acne as this just spreads the bacteria and I for one suffer from awful breakouts on my chin however, because the jojoba beads are so fine they do not irritate my skin or spread the acne.   
The product itself is thick and creamy and is very similar to the Cleanse & Polish but with the added jojoba beads. The product also smells very refreshing - it has a very subtle minty scent.  

The only downside to this product is the fact the jojoba beads can be difficult to wash off - becasue they are so fine and gentle they tend to get stuck in your eyebrows however, this doesn't really bother me as long as the product is helping my skin. 

You can purchase a 70ml pump of this exfoliator from the Liz Earle online store for £14.00 or you can pick it up at your local John Lewis or from QVC.
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Liz Earle Review: Skin Repair Moisturiser...

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It's day 3 and today I'm reviewing the Liz Earle Skin Repair Moisturiser!

Whether its summer or winter I always use a moisturiser as I can get quite dry cheeks if I don't and this is one of my favourites. This moisturiser is Step 3 in the Liz Earle Daily Essentials range - I have already reviewed Step 1 (Cleanse & Polish) and Step 2 (Instant Boost Skin Tonic). 
I use this moisturiser in the "normal/combination" option however, there are other options available. I love this moisturiser because it is luxurious, thick and very creamy which immediately melts into your skin and leaves you feeling hydrated rather than greasy. I usually apply this before I go to bed meaning it can seriously get to work on replenishing my skin and by time I wake up it feels baby soft. 

Unlike a lot of moisturisers, this has a very natural smell rather than an overpowering fragrance which is a huge bonus to the product; I find the smell actually reminds me of being in a luxurious spa!

This moisturiser contains lots of natural ingredients including Avocado Oils and Vitamin E which are perfect for combating dry skin as they help replace lost moisture in your skin. 

I have been using this product every night for the last 3 months after washing my face with the Cleanse & Polish and following with the Instant Boost Skin Tonic and will continue to do so as I absolutely love the way it leaves my skin. 

You can purchase a 50ml tub of this moisturiser directly from Liz Earle for £19.25 (yes it's a little bit pricey but it lasts along time and is definitely worth it) or as I've previously mentioned if you're knew to Liz Earle, then it is without a doubt worth picking up the Daily Essentials Kit
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Liz Earle Review: Instant Boost Skin Tonic...

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Today is day 2 of my week reviewing Liz Earle products. Yesterday I chose to review the famous Cleanse & Polish and today I will be reviewing another favourite of mine, the Instant Boost Skin Tonic.

The Instant Boost Tonic is Liz Earle's version of a toner which I believe are essential in any cleansing routine. One thing I love about this cleanser is the fact its alcohol free meaning it's non-drying and extremely gentle on your skin - suitable for even the most sensitive skin types! The ingredients are also very natural and these include aloe vera, chamomile, cucumber and vitamin E meaning the smell is also very refreshing. 

To use this product, I pour about a 50p sized amount onto a cotton wool pad and sweep it all over my face apart from my eye area as I follow with my Liz Earle Eyebright. (review coming soon) After using this product you can definitely feel and see the difference in your skin - you look brighter and healthier whilst your pores feel smaller!

You can purchase a 200ml bottle, like the one pictured above, from Liz Earle for £13.25 or you can pick it up at your local John Lewis or from QVC. As I mentioned yesterday, if you are new to Liz Earle, I would highley recommend taking advantage of their monthly Daily Essentials offers as they are amazing and well worth the money.
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Ultimate Summer Driving Playlist....

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As some of you may be aware, MoneySupermarket are currently running a competition which involves you putting together a playlist of your Ultimate Summer Driving songs. Although I can't yet drive, I cannot go on a car journey without listening to music - even if its a short 5 minute trip I always put the radio on. This competition is right up my street as I cannot go a single day without listening to music and I personally believe music is a huge part of summer. 

However, although this is a great competion with a great prize up for grabs (a 32gb iPad!), there is a serious message behind the idea of a great driving soundtrack. THINK! research suggests that almost 20% of accidents on major roads are sleep or tiredness related. Long journeys on motorways can lead to a lack of concentration and, as well as other preventative measures, listening to songs you love can be a great way to stay alert and focused on the road. 

So here is my Ultimate Summer Driving Playlist...

Dizzee Rascal - Holiday
This is without a doubt my ultimate summer song. (I can even rap the majority of the verses *cringe*) Whenever I hear it, it immediately perks me up and gets me excited for summer. The upbeat rhythm really does give you a summer vibe and makes you imagine partying in Ibiza which is great for keeping you alert on long journeys.  
Coldplay - Viva La Vida
I absolutely love Coldplay! I can't think of one song I don't like by them but Viva La Vida is a definite favourite - singing along to it with 20,000+ other people in the pouring down rain at the Stadium of Light last year was absolutely amazing and one of the best nights of my life. 
Calvin Harris - Feel So Close
I am a huge fan of Calvin Harris and I am so unbelievably jealous that my brother saw him live in Ibiza a couple of weeks ago. I love his music because his songs are always upbeat and make you want to get up and dance. 
Natasha Bedingfield - Pocket Full of Sunshine
Ever since watching Easy A I've loved this song. It always makes me feel so happy!
Maverick Sabre - I Need 
I love Maverick Sabre's voice and I adore this song. 
Fleetwood Mac - Everywhere
I have always been a huge fan of this song but ever since it was featured on the pony advert (click here if you have no idea what I mean - its amazing!) I've been obsessed. Every time I listen to it all I can picture is a dancing pony which immediately boosts my mood. 
Foster the People - Helena Beat
I absolutely love Foster the People and this is probably my favourite song by them closely followed my 'Pumped Up Kicks'. Its a great summer song and always makes me think of going on a road trip. 
Lana Del Rey - Summertime Sadness (Cedric Gervais Remix)
I love Lana Del Rey but her songs are a little bit slow for driving; this remix is one of my all time favourites - I'm not a fan of the first minute but from that it is amazing and great for summer to get you in the mood for going out and partying. 
Kate Nash - Foundations
This song has made it to my Ultimate Playlist purely because everybody has tried to sing along to it in their Kate Nash voice - as I have and still continue to do so. Its a definite sing along song perfect for long drives to keep you alert.
 The Beach Boys - Wouldn't It Be Lovely
Since I was a little girl, I have loved The Beach Boys and this song always makes me imagine being at the beach (no, not because they're The "Beach" Boys) but because I can imagine a young couple having fun on the beach and playing in the sea. 
Gotye - Somebody That I Used To Know (Yotam Remix)
When this song first came out, I absolutely hated it but after hearing it a few more times it fast became one of my favourite songs of all time. Although I love the original song, it is a little slow for long car journeys and wouldn't really put you in a summer mood but this remix is great and has an upbeat rhythm perfect for keeping you awake. 
Destiny's Child - Emotion
I love love love Destiny's Child and this is probably my favourite song by them. Although it is quite slow, it definitely wouldn't send me to sleep as I cannot listen to it without singing along. 
Kings of Leon - Sex on Fire
Kings of Leon are one of my favourite bands, unlike a lot of people, I knew about them long before Sex on Fire and Use Somebody came along. However, Sex on Fire is one of my all time favourite songs and singing along with another 20,000+ people was out of this world! This song definitely won't send you to sleep anytime soon either so its perfect for road trips this summer.

So that's my Ultimate Summer Driving Playlist, as you can probably tell I have quite a diverse music taste and will listen to pretty much any genre. If you would like to enter this competition head over to MoneySupermarket to read the full T&Cs or if you don't want to enter just tell me below what your ultimate summer song is as I'd love to know! 
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Liz Earle Review: Cleanse & Polish...

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I have been a huge fan of the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish for as long as I can remember. Both my mam and nana have used it since I was a child and have encouraged me to use it from around the age of 10/11 when I first started playing around with make up - I'm not talking full face more eye shadow than anything else. 
 The product itself is lovely and creamy and a little definitely goes along way - I use around 2 pumps every evening when I remove my make up starting at the centre of my face and working outwards. The cleanser successfully melts away all traces of make-up and then all that's left to do is use your muslin cloth to cleanse and exfoliate the skin. I then follow with the Instant Boost Skin Tonic and the Skin Repair Moisturiser (I'll review these in the next few days). 

The ingredients include Chamomile, Rosemary, Cocoa Butter and Eucalyptus Essential Oils all of which have never irritated my skin or my eyes - you can open your eyes with the cleanser on and there is absolutely no irritation. 

One of my favourite things about this product is the smell, it isn't overpowering like a lot of skin products but is instead light and refreshing.

I have used this cleanser for so long now and refuse to try anything else as I am just too much in love with it! If you would like to give Liz Earle's Cleanse & Polish a try you can purchase a 100ml bottle from her website for £14.75 or you can purchase Liz Earle products at John Lewis and QVC.

However, if you are new to Liz Earle, I would highly recommend getting the Skincare Essential Kit which includes a full size Cleanse & Polsih, Instant Boost Skin Tonic, Skin Repair Moisturiser and then an extra item which changes each month all for £43 with free P&P! AMAZING!

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Liz Earle Lover....

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As I mentioned in my last post, over the last month, I've been a bit out the loop when it comes to blogging but I'm eager to get back into it so what I thought I'd do is dedicate a whole weeks worth of blogging to my love for Liz Earle. That's right, for a whole 7 days, I'm going to review a Liz Earle product! 

So if you'd like to see these please comeback everyday this week to give them a read and don't forget to follow me via Bloglovin' or GFC!
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Collective Haul #2....

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I can't believe it's been a whole month since I last blogged!*slaps wrist* I really want to get back into blogging now I'm on my summer break and have a lot more free time on my hands. Over the last month I've bought quite a few bits and bobs so thought a Collective Haul would be the perfect post to get me back into things.

First up is Primark...
Whilst on a trip to Primark I picked up this Aztec print dress for £13. It's a lovely thin material which makes it perfect for summer and these beautiful hot days we keep having. It's also a nice length as it isn't too short; however, I do feel that on anyone shorter than me (I'm 5ft8/9) it may be a little bit too long. 
I also picked up these shorts for £10; I absolutely love the material and think they will look gorgeous with black sandals and a plain black tee. They are again, like the above dress, a lovely thin material ideal for hot summer days/nights. 
     
I've been wanting a pair of patterned trousers for so long now, I've literally tried hundreds of pairs on but they either don't suit me or they're too short but when I saw these in Primark I could hear them calling my name. Initially I thought what's the point in even trying them on because they will be again either too short or just look plain stupid on me; however, I'm so pleased that I did try them as they are perfect. Instead of making my legs look like tree stumps they actually make them look thinner and are also the perfect length! What's even better is these only cost me £12 so what's not to love?!

Next up is ASOS...
I've never really been a girl who wears dresses however this summer I knew I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and wear more of them. I first bought this dress in the navy option and fell in love with it so decided to order this beautiful yellow one. It is a gorgeous jersey material so it's comfortable to wear and it is a lot LOT brighter in person which is great for the summer months. I've had so many compliments from people at both sixth form (including my teachers but thankfully they're all under the age of 30!) and from people whilst out shopping. I paid £25 for this which I think is very reasonable and if you would like to pick it up I'm sure I've seen it still on their website. 
I also bought this gorgeous black and white stripe dress in the ASOS sale; I think I got this for £28 instead of £40 which is a fantastic bargain. Believe me, the above picture really doesn't do the dress justice! When on, the dress is lovely and fitted around the bust/waist area and flows out into lovely girly pleats which are so flattering. One thing I don't really like about the dress is the material as it creases like crazy however, the dress was too beautiful to send back.

Over the last month, I have also picked up various bits and pieces from other stores...
I bought this gorgeous blouse from Dorothy Perkins for £25. I absolutely love bold prints and peter pan collars so was immediately attracted to this. I think it will look fab with a pair of black skinny jeans and a pair of heels or flat sandals for a daytime look. I also love the buttons going up the back. 
My mam actually bought me this jacket from Dorothy Perkins last month and I absolutely love it. It looks great with my black trousers and vans for a more casual look or dressed up with my black jeans and heels. I think it was about £35 and I personally think it looks more Zara than DPs.
I picked up a black tee and a white tee from New Look for £4.99 each to wear with my patterned shorts, skirts and trousers; these from New Look are great as they aren't too thick for summer but aren't too thin. I also bought them in two sizes bigger than what I usually wear so I could tuck them in and bag them over. I also bought this plain white tee from Warehouse to wear with my new trousers featured above as I like the fact its longer at the back; this was £12. 
As well as clothes, I've also picked up these two necklaces. Firstly, I bought this rusty gold statement necklace from Primark for £4 and I love it as it will go with so many outfits. The next one is a necklace I purchased from Ebay for about £1.99; as some of you may be able to tell, it is a great dupe for the House of Harlow one many celebrities have been spotted wearing (I will be doing an entire post about this very soon!)
My mam also bought me this handbag from M&S. I've been wanting a small black handbag for ages but couldn't find one that I liked so I was so happy when my mam brought this home. It was in the sale for £13 instead of £19.50. 
Lastly, I went into Boots for a "lipstick" and came out with all of these goodies. I first headed to the make up sections to get the Kate Moss Matte Lipstick in the shade 101 as mine is almost empty and I love it but when I saw Rimmel were doing 'Buy 1 Get 1 Half Price' I couldn't resist so picked up another. I then headed to Soap and Glory to purchase a body scrub and again these were doing '3 for 2' so thought I might as well pick up another scrub as I go through these so quickly and a body butter which I also absolutely adore. I also picked up 2 packs of shavers as these were also half price. Finally, I went to see if John Frieda were doing any offers as I like to stock up on their conditioner and lo and behold they also were doing '3 for 2'! All in all, I spent £40 which is quite a lot of money but I saved £20 so it was definitely worth it!

WOW that was a long post! Like I say, I hope to get back into blogging over the next few weeks and hope you're all having a lovely summer and taking full advantage of this beautiful weather we're currently having. 
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