Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Christmas Decorating Ideas

With only 8 days to go until the big day it's probably safe to say that you've already put up your decorations but if you still need some ideas then you're in luck!  In case you haven't decorated yet, I've put together a few ideas for what to try this year. I feel like you can always work with what you've already got to achieve different looks and maybe just buying a few little extra things each year. My top tip however would be to take a look in all the shops and take inspiration from their Christmas decorations

- Folksy -
It's all about colour, colour, colour with this look. Be bold with what you choose and don't be afraid to mix in quirky little pieces, you don't want anything to match. Mixing textures and fabrics really brings the folksy look alive.

/ 1. £15 Sainsburys (in store) / 2. £2 Sainsburys (in store) / 3. £15 Marks and Spencer / 4. £12 Sainsburys (in store) / 5. £5 Wilko / 6. £1 Sainsbury (in store) / 7. £7 Debenhams /

- Tartan Traditional -
If you want your house to look extra cosy at Christmas then this is the look to go for. Imagine a hunting lodge in the highlands of Scotland filled with fresh greenery and subtle hints of tartan, that's what you're aiming for.

/ 1. £45 Next / 2. Marks and Spencer £3 (in store) / 3. Sainsburys £1 (in store) / 4. Sainsburys £8 (in store) / 5. Sainsburys £5 (in store) / 6. Marks and Spencer £35 (in store) / 7. Next £12 (in store) /

- Blue and White -

For the modernist who likes a touch of colour, navy blue and white is the way to go. Paired with silver accessories, this look is pure luxury yet still feels warm and inviting.

/ 1. £15 House Of Fraser / 2. £1 Sainsburys (in store) / 3. £5 Next (in store) / 4. £1 Sainsburys (in store) / 5. £10 Debenhams (in store) / 6. £30 Sainsburys (in store) / 7. £1 Sainsburys (in store) /

- Winter Wonderland -
Mixing white with bare, natural wood creates a welcoming feel to come out of the cold and in to your home, almost as if you're bringing the outside in. There's something magical about this look, like everything is lightly coated with glittering frost. 

/ 1. £12.50 Tesco / 2. £7 Tesco (in store) / 3. £35 House Of Fraser (in store) / 4. £52 House Of Fraser (in store) / 5. £4 Sainsburys (in store) / 6. £8 Sainsburys (in store) / 7. £20 House Of Fraser (in store) /

I LOVE decorating for Christmas but I don't have my own house yet so it's my Mum who gets the last lay in how we decorate. Does anyone else's Mum not let them decorate the Christmas tree!? She always does such an amazing job however so I really can't fault her! What theme(if any!) have you gone for with your Christmas decorations this year? Let me know below!

pictures property of Wilko, pictures property of House Of Fraser, pictures property of Tesco, pictres property of Sainsburys, pictures property of Next, pictures, property of Debenhams, pictres property of Marks and Spencer

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

YOU Beauty Advent Calendar - Day 8

How are we on number 8 already? I can't complain though, I get so excited to see what's behind the door each day and today's treat was the Philip Kingsley Elasticizer. I've heard of this before but I admit I had no idea what it was for. It turns out it's a pre shampoo conditioning treatment which is perfect as my poor hair has started drying out from having the central heating all the time!

Apparently this was originally created by Philip Kingsley for Audrey Hepburn so already I have high hopes for it, if it's good enough for Audrey then it's good enough for me! It claims to add elasticity, manageability, bounce and shine and seeing as it's a really decent sized bottle, I think I'll get a lot of use out of this. Here's hoping my hair will be all those things by the time I've finished it!


YOU Beauty Advent Calendar - Day 7

We're on day 7 already, phew this week's gone quick! It was a nice little surprise today to find an Aromatherapy Associates candle in my calendar. This is a brand I'm a big fan off but I have to admit something, I'm really not a candle person! I'm quite sensitive to strong fragrances, they make me feel queasy and sneezy to the point where I can't go anywhere near Lush shops and have to completely avoid Yankee Candle stands!

So I'm not sure about this one, the smell reminds me of the incense they burn in churches, it's definitely not unpleasant, in fact there's something quite soothing about it. Most likely though I think I'll be giving it to my Mum because she most definitely is a candle person!


YOU Beauty Advent Calendar - Day 6

A Sisley Radiant Glow Express Mask was what was behind number 6's door. It is a teeny tiny little bottle so probably only enough for maximum three uses but that's ok because I was expecting quite a few small sample products in the calendar and so far this is the only tiny one. Plus it's probably just as well because otherwise I would have fallen in love with it and then wanted to purchase a full sized bottle. Imagine my surprise to find out it's £73! Yes you did read that right, SEVENTY THREE POUNDS!

A little bit about the mask from what information I've gathered from the bottle, well it's red clay based and supposedly absorbs impurities and deep cleanses as well as giving an instant radiance boost. It all sounds promising, especially as the cold weather is already starting to take effect on my skin, but if it really is £73 worth of good then maybe I'll just save it to use on special occasions.


YOU Beauty Advent Calendar - Day 5

On day 5 of the YOU Beauty Advent Calendar I actually got something really quite useful, a Caudalie Nourishing Body Lotion. Obviously body lotion is always useful but, I only ever moisturise my face and never my body. I know, shock horror! Honestly I just never feel like I need to, I don't ever get dry skin so I get on just fine without moisturising. However, I'm willing to start giving it a go because the Caudalie lotion smells so amazing! I can't quite put my finger on what it is exactly, it just smells fresh and light.  

So yes I will start moisturising, probably until this runs out, but then I will stop because a full sized bottle of this costs £20 and there is no way on earth that I can afford to spend that on moisturiser!


Friday, 5 December 2014

YOU Beauty Advent Calendar - Day 4

Today's treat behind the door was a full sized Essie nail polish in the shade 'lots of lux' from the Encrusted Treasures collection. It's a gorgeous shimmering blue with a matte finish. The matte texture actually surprised me a little, it isn't something I've ever really come across before. The glitter is small but chunky and I can only really compare it to the same finish as sandpaper but without the scratchiness! It is a beautiful colour though and perfect for the Christmas season! 


YOU Beauty Advent Calendar - Day 3

Day 4 of the YOU Beauty Advent Calendar brought me one of my all time favourite fragrances, the Molton Brown Orange & Bergamont body wash. My Mum is a huge fan of Molton Brown and regularly buys the Orange & Bergamont hand wash so I already know this fragrance and I absolutely love it. In fact as I write this I've already used up the whole bottle! 

I can't stress how excited I am to open this up every morning and the quality of products has really impressed me. I forgot to mention too that each little door has a quote from the brand/brand creator which is a really cute idea!


Thursday, 4 December 2014

YOU Beauty Advent Calendar - Day 2

Day 2 of the YOU Beauty Advent Calendar and I got ...drum roll please... a Laura Mercier foundation primer! I've never had the opportunity to try any products from Laura Mercier seeing as it's way out of my price range so I really was quite excited to see this behind the door! It's a surprisingly good sized bottle as well so it should last a good while.

I don't tend to use primer normally as the ones I've tried before didn't seem to do much but I've heard good things about this one and can't wait to give it a try!

YOU Beauty Advent Calendar Day 1


Christmas Gift Guide - For Dads

Dad's have to be far and away the most difficult to buy for at Christmas, well in my experience anyway. Ever year my Dad asks for a motorbike, sorry Dad but that's not gonna happen on my budget!

If I'm honest I think it's best just to ask directly if there's anything they'd particularly like but if you're looking for a surprise gift then there's all kinds of things included in my gift guide. I've tried to pick gifts to suit every Dad, all for £50 or less too. 

What will you be getting your Dad for Christmas? Let me know below if you have any better ideas than mine!

pictures property of bhs, pictures property of the white stuff, pictures property of topman, pictures property of the body shop, pictures property of debenhams, pictures property of house of fraser, pictures property of marks and spencer


Monday, 1 December 2014

YOU Beauty Advent Calendar - Day 1

It's finally advent calendar time, I'v been looking forward to this moment for weeks and weeks! Can you tell I'm REALLY big on Christmas?! Especially so this year as my Mum very kindly treated me to the YOU Beauty Advent Calendar as a surprise! 

There are over £250 worth of products in the calendar including some really great high end brands which is just incredible!  I thought it might be fun to share what I find behind the door each day just like I did with my Ciate Advent Calendar last year so scroll down to see what was behind door number one!

For the first day of December I was treated to a mini Liz Earl Cleanse and Polish with muslin cloth and a handy little cleansing guide. This is just the perfect first gift for me as I am a huge fan of Liz Earle and the Cleanse and Polish especially and it's one of the main cleansers I use. I reckon I'll save it to use for when I go away but having an extra muslin cloth is always handy seeing as mine always seem to get lost in the wash!

Overall I'm really chuffed with the first day's treat, it's a brand I know and love and I will most definitely get a lot of use out of it. So far so good! I can't begin to describe how excited I am about seeing what's behind tomorrow's door! Eeep!

Have you got a beauty advent calendar this  year? Or maybe you think they are just a waste of money!? Let me know below!


Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Christmas Gift Guide - For Mums

So by now most of us have already started our Christmas shopping but it is nearly December so it's aloud! The Christmas gift guides I did on my blog last year were by far some of my most popular posts so I couldn't really not do them again this year. I absolutely love putting them together, it's so much fun and it gives me some really great ideas for gifts I can buy my own family too! 

So lets start with Mum's, or any other lovely ladies you may have in your life! They generally know what they want and will tell you but it's always nice to get them a surprise gift too! All the ideas I've included are £35.00 or less so there's something to suit all budgets. The next gift guide will follow soon!

Have you started you're christmas shopping yet? Let me know below!

(Pictures propery of Accessorize,Pictures property of  House Of Fraser Pictures property of Paperchase, Pictures property of The BodyShop, Pictures property of Next)


Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Winter Coats Under £50

The chances are that now the weather has started to get colder, you're on the hunt for a new winter coat. Well me too, so I've put together some of the best coats I could find for under £50 which is no mean feat if I'm honest! Most coats are at least £60 or more but thankfully some of the high street shops and even the supermarkets have some great one's for less than £50.

First row L-R: Matalan £45, F&F £39, Matalan £40, Apricot £40

Second row L-R: Matalan £40, New Look £33.50, F&F £48, Primark £35

If you are looking for a really great priced coat this summer then take a look at places you may not have considered before like F&F at Tesco or Matalan. They have a brilliant selection of coats on their websites and the prices are unbelievable! If you ask me, there are some styles of coats which are timeless and you can afford to spend a bit more on whereas if you're after an 'on trend' coat, go for something that costs less as personally I don't think it's worth spending a lot on something you may not want to wear next year.

Where will you guys be buying your winter coats from this year? Let me know below!

picture property of  Apricot, pictures property of F&F, picture property of New Look, pictures property of Matalan, picture property of Primark 


Tuesday, 4 November 2014

5 Things I'm Thankful To My Anxiety Disorder For

image source

This post was originally going to be the story of how I got diagnosed with Generalised Anxiety Disorder but a few paragraphs in I deleted everything I had written. The reason? Well if I'm honest it made for a really quite dull and depressing read! I don't know about you but I only tend to read stories that have happy endings and I haven't quite reached my happy ending yet. I'm getting there though, don't you worry!

Instead I've decided to focus on all the positive things I've gained from living with an anxiety disorder. Yep you heard me! Here's 5 things I'm thankful for my anxiety disorder having taught me:

1. Empathy. I've always been quite an empathetic person, some would say 'sensitive', but I've become even more so since having to deal with an anxiety disorder. My anxiety levels can leave me feeling short tempered, angry and antisocial amongst other things. So now when I come across a stranger who's rude, instead of feeling angry at them I think 'Who know's what they're dealing with?' or 'Maybe they've had a bad day' and instantly my anger extinguishes.

2. I'm a pro in nerve-wracking situations! My family and I often joke that I probably cope better during nervous situations than most other people because I've had so much practise at it! For example I passed my driving test first time this year and I think the only reason I passed first time was because I had had practise at dealing with those kind of nerves before.

3. Honesty is the best policy. I used to be one of those people who liked to keep their feelings hidden from everyone around them until I was forced to talk about my feelings to a professional. There's something about pouring your heart and soul out to a complete stranger that feels absolutely incredible! You'd be amazed at just how many people you meet who have their own stories about anxiety or other mental illnesses and just how kind and understanding people can be once you start being honest.

4. The strongest people are fighting a hidden battle. Some would call people with mental illnesses weak, they say to 'just get over it' or 'pull yourself together'. I'd say that people living with mental illnesses are some of the strongest people you'll ever meet. They have lives to get on with, people to see and things to do, all the while fighting daily with an illness they have no control over. If that isn't a sign of strength then I don't know what is!

5. The realisation that nobody is 'normal'! For the best part of two years I berated myself for not being 'normal'. Thankfully I eventually came to the realisation that normal doesn't exist because my interpretation of normal is completely different from everyone else's. Neither is right or wrong, I'm me and you're you and that's ok!


Sunday, 2 November 2014

A Weekend In Italy

Last month I travelled to Italy for a four day stay on the beautiful Lake Maggiore, the second largest of the Italian lakes. It was my first ever visit to Italy and my god was I excited! Ever since I first watched Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday it's been a country I've always longed to visit and I definitely wasn't disappointed!  It has to be one of the most beautiful places I've ever been! There's just something about it, I think it's a mix of the history, the culture and the language which creates somewhere that's totally enchanting yet doesn't seem quite real.

We were incredibly lucky with the weather during our visit as with it's close proximity to the alps it tends to be a bit hit or miss around this time of the year. Fortunately it was around 23 degrees celsius each day and warm enough to sit outside of the restaurants during the evening. The beautiful clear skies also meant that I got some great shots of the Borromean Islands which are just off the shore between the towns of Verbania and Stresa. 

A short boat ride took us out to each island, Isola Bella, Isola Madre, Isola dei Pescatori and Isolino di San Giovanni. I think we paid around 10 euros for a boat ride which took us round all the islands giving us an hour to explore on each one. That might not sound like much time but considering it took literally 5-10 mins to casually stroll from one end to the other on each island, believe me it was plenty! There was a gorgeous English style palace on one of the islands that unfortunately was closed off to the public as well as plenty of little stalls selling knick knacks on the rest of the islands and lots of lovely restaurants to have lunch and amazing photo opportunities.

We decided to forgo the busy restaurants and grab some lunch from a little delicatessen to eat on the harbour front. Unfortunately because of the language barrier we ended up with two half loaves of dry bread with a huge chunk of cheese stuck in the middle for our sandwiches! Mental note: learn some basic Italian other than how to say 'Hello' and 'Goodbye' before your next visit!

We stayed in an apartment in Arona which was only about a half hour drive from Milan Malpensa Airport and made a great base to explore that part of Lake Maggiore. A 20 minute drive further north took us to some really beautiful towns with the most incredible views over the lake. I ended up taking  loads of photos everywhere we went but unfortunately because the sun was so bright most of them ended being so over exposed and therefore useless! 

On the last day we decided to go up to the Rocca di Angera, an 11th century castle situated high up on a hill above the town of Angera. It had the most beautiful views but again all of the pictures I took of the castle were too over exposed so you'll just have to google it to see for yourself. We didn't really know anything about the place before we visited, we thought we'd just be able to wonder round inside as well as the grounds of the castle. Turns out it's actually one of the largest dolls museums in Europe! There were dolls everywhere, thousands of them staring out at you from behind the glass and I freaked out big time! I've had a huge fear of dolls for as long as I can remember (except Barbie's obviously!) but a particular memory has stayed with me of a ventriloquists dummy a magician brought along with him to my sixth birthday party. It ended up with me running out of the room and refusing to go back inside thus missing half the party!

It's safe to say we didn't really stick around the castle for long but don't let me put you off, if you don't happen to have a silly fear of dolls like I do then it would be a great place to explore!

I'm already planning a trip back to next year, hopefully to southern Italy. Pompeii especially is one place I've always wanted to visit and the Amalfi Coast looks beautiful too. Have any of you guys visited or maybe live in Italy and have some suggestions on where I should visit next? Let me know below!


Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Maybelline Color Drama Intense Velvet Lip Pencils - Review & Swatches

The newest release from Maybelline, the Color Drama Intense Velvet Lip Pencils are a huge welcome to a market currently saturated with liquid lipsticks and the like. It feels good to go back to good old creamy, matte shades which in my opinion are far more flattering, especially if you're like me and have a chronic case of dry lips! I can't remember seeing any other budget beauty brands doing slim lipstick pencils, I can only liken them to Nars Velvet Lip Pencils but at a quarter of the price, I know which ones I'll be picking up in the future!

The Maybelline Counter had been almost stripped clean by the time I got to it, all that was left was two shades; 'Minimalist' a pink lip colour and 'Nude Perfection' which is basically that, a nude brown shade. I already have a lot of bright shades in my lipstick collection so it's probably good for me that there was only nude shades left. I really like both, they're really wearable colours for day or night and I'm sure I'll get a lot of use out of them.

'Nude Perfection'


They make applying lipstick incredibly easy to apply with precision, and you can easily cheat fuller looking lips by drawing slightly outside the line! Unfortunately they were a little hit and miss with regards to texture, one pencil glided on really easy (I can't remember which one, sorry!) whereas the other felt very scratchy on my lips and was slightly unpleasant to apply. Of course this could just be down to it never having been used before so I'll keep using it and see what happens. 

Considering these are nude shades I think the colour pay off is great and judging from swatches I've seen online, the brighter shades available have even better colour pay off. There's a whole range of beautiful autumnal colours to choose from that I can see being just perfect to start wearing for when the dark nights roll in.

If I were you I'd get to Boots quick and take advantage of the three for two offer they currently have on the Maybelling Color Drama Pencils. There's currently nine shades available so plenty to pick from, I can already see these becoming a staple in many a girls makeup bags including my own!

Maybelline Color Dram Intense Velvet Lip Pencil - £4.99

Have you tried the Color Drama Lip Pencils? Let me know your thoughts below!

© Beauty Dressed. All rights reserved.
Blogger Templates by pipdig