Beauty // Review: Primark Beauty Lipsticks Review

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Hey lovelies,
I guess I'm a blogger again? hello and welcome to my blog. I'm Vanese a 24 Londoner and I've been blogging on and off since 2012. I kind of fell out of love with blogging and got busy trying to figure out proper adult life after uni. However, the past few weeks I just couldn't help but notice that there was such a lack on platforms giving suggestions to WOC on beauty products. 

I have always been a beauty lover and I seem to accumulate so many beauty products every year, so I really wanted to create my little space on the internet that could potentially help other women looking for great beauty recommendations. 
PS... Vintage Rose £1.50
PS... Naked Flame £1.50

I am literally such a fan girl for anything and EVERYTHING Primark. I've had a few of their beauty products over the years but I'd say the last year or so Primark's PS... beauty section has really come thruuu. The prices and the quality of the products I've tried have truly been amazing.

I picked up these two shades whilst picking up some last minute holiday essentials. I'm actually quite surprised at just how much I've used these. As you can see, I've used Vintage Rose a heck of a lot and Naked Flame only once, I just find that Vintage Rose went a lot more better with my makeup looks, which is usually a bold pink look. It's weird to me because when I was around 16-18 I enjoyed spending my weekly college money on makeup, I'd always try to save for brands like MAC because I thought the higher the price, the better quality. Ha, I remember when I got my first job in my first year of uni and spent £26 on a Chanel lipstick that was so overpriced and just not that great. However, nowadays I live for Primark, Revolution, NYX and Fenty Beauty... just to name a few. I've realised it's not about the price but the actual formula itself.

These were such a steal for £1.50 and I also got two lip liners to go with my shades too. The lip liners are so creamy and just glide on so beautifully. I can feel that big things are coming for Primark! So, my overall thoughts? I would rate these 9/10. My reasoning is because they feel just as great as high end brands I've tried. I wasn't really sure what to expect when I picked them up but they've given me the urge to do an ultimate PS... splurge. The only criticism I could give is that they are meant to be matte but the formula isn't that matte. I usually test this theory by kissing my boyfriend when we part ways to work (l o l) on the occasions I've worn one of these shades, my boyfriend ends up with a fade of rosy lips.

Have you tried any products from the PS... range?


Lifestyle // Lindt Bear Advent Calendar Competition*

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                                                                                                      Hey lovelies,

My favourite time of the year is finally upon us. CHRISTMAS! I love that in England as soon as Halloween and Bonfire Night are over, the Christmas preparations finally begin. My all time favourite way to countdown is with a good advent calendar. 

The lovely WOW FreeStuff currently have the most fabulous Christmas competition on at the minute. It's a chance for you to win your very own 
Lindt Bear Advent Calendar. Having actually been given one of these advent calendars last year by my boyfriend, I can confirm that it was incredibly delicious and made the countdown even better.

Box Contents 
Lindt Bear & Gold Reindeer Milk Chocolate
Lindt Swiss Milk Chocolate Napolitains
Lindor mini milk Chocolate Truffles with a Smooth Melting Filling (44%)
Milk Chocolate Snowdrops with a Creamy Double Milk Filling (44%)

Terms  & Conditions for the competition 
This competition ends on 24th November 2018
By entering you agree to sign up to WOW FreeStuff Newsletter 
Must be over 18 and based in the UK


Lifestyle // Things I've Learnt Since Moving In With My Boyfriend

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Hey lovelies, 

Long time no blog. Do I even still count as a blogger? Uni life really took its toll on me the last four years and I am so pleased to have officially finished. So whilst I look for the perfect job in Beauty PR, I have more free time to do the things I used to love.

If you don't follow me on social media, you probably won't have seen my continuous postings of myself and my delicious SNACK of a boyfriend, Dan. It's crazy how life works, this time last year I was pining for boys with questionable intentions, wondering if I would ever find love. THANKFULLY, life gave me a break and with the help of Bumble and my opening liner of 'Hey Dan' I managed to secure the ting (lol). Fast forward a few months, we'll be celebrating a year together next month which makes my heart so happy and last month we moved in together! So I thought this post would be perfect as a kind of  memory of what I've learnt so far whilst living with Dan and as a little note to any couples who might not know what to expect when moving in together.

1/ Everyone will automatically assume that you're expecting or engaged
This is certainly not our case. We just both personally felt like we were ready to take the leap into living with each other. Over the past almost year we pretty much spent every day of summer together and every weekend together whilst I was in High Wycombe for uni. We learnt that we loved being together but we were desperate for our own space. However, this doesn't stop us being asked constantly whether we're expecting or when wedding hats should be bought... Not anytime soon.

2/ Relationship weight gain is REAL
My goodness, when my friends talked about gaining weight whilst especially in their first year of a relationship, I didn't realise how much I would relate to it. On my first date with Dan we went to a food festival and I refused to eat because I was so nervous, as well as it taking me five hours to finish a cider because I was so damn shy (I didn't even finish it). Our first few dates were pretty much spent awkwardly playing around with food and deeming ourselves 'not hungry' when we both knew it was just nerves. I honestly thought I would never be able to eat properly in the relationship but that suddenly changed.

 I am literally so greedy, I inhale my food, Dan's food and still have the cheek to tell him I need more food. Thankfully I don't deem this as a bad thing at all. I am glad that we're more than comfortable eating around each other and that a Deliveroo or Just Eat are ok to eat more than once a week.... :)

3/ I always seem to be cleaning
This is more of a shady point for whenever Dan reads my blog. I am someone that pretty much can't handle a plate sitting in the sink over night, so I prefer to get all the cleaning out the way. However, how many times am I going to have to tell this boy to help out. I always seem to be washing his dirty pants or something whilst he sits and plays GTA. In all honesty, I got a bit stressed at first but thankfully Dan came through and helps out more. Plus, cleaning has its perks of receiving flowers or getting a Chinese bought for you!

4/ It was the best decision!
Lastly, I've come to realise that moving in together was honestly one of the best joint decisions we've ever made. As anyone would, I thought about the possibilities that things could instantly go wrong, however I am loving every minute of living with my best friend. It genuinely feels so exciting going to bed together and waking up together. Even little things like having dinner and talking about how both our days were. If you both agree it's what you want, then bite the bullet and go for it!

Do you and your partner live together yet? 


Lifestyle // Photo Diary - Northern Ireland

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Hey lovelies
My first post of 2018. I've given up trying to apologise to myself and anyone who continues to stop by, for my declining rate of posts. Life is busy, especially considering there's just weeks to go until i am finished with university life forever. Anyway, i will save that for another post.

Two weeks ago was a big weekend for me, I went on my first EVER HOLIDAY. Aside from a family trip to Great Yarmouth that i vaguely remember when i was younger, holiday's haven't really been a thing for me. This was such a special holiday for me, for many reasons. Not only was it a first proper one, which meant actually going to an airport and getting to explore the whole of duty free. It was so special to me as it was my first holiday with my boyfriend and a special occasion to meet family members of his that i hadn't met before. *SIDE NOTE: who knew going through security could be so weird? during our first security search through Heathrow i was told by a member of staff to lift my hands up and say 'Tupac is alive... and during my security search in Belfast i got stopped as i forgot to put my hand sanitiser in with my liquids.. Oops.* 

We were so lucky to be greeted with sun as soon as we touched down in Belfast. It pretty much stayed sunny for the majority of our weekend, aside from a few rainy spells. We stayed in the cutest little pink Airbnb in Dundrum with the most gorgeous view of the beach out back. We really made the most of our holiday with so much exploring and SO much food. I had the most amazing breakfast and dinner cooked by Dan's family and on the day his family were all heading back home, we stopped for lunch at a place called The Bucks Head, I've never had such an amazing three course meal in my life! If any of you ever find yourself over in Dundrum, you must stop by!

My boyfriend has been to Northern Ireland on a number of occasions, so we definitely weren't short of places to visit. One of my favourite places to visit had to be Castlewellan Forest Park and trying to find our way out of the Peace Maze.. yeah, i sucked at trying to get us out. We almost headed to Tollymore Forest Park which some scenes of Game of Thrones were filmed at, but the bad weather let us down.

One of my favourite things about this holiday was getting to be behind a camera. Whilst my blogging hasn't been the best over the past few months, i feel like my photography skills are getting somewhat stronger. I had such an incredible time and i'm hoping it isn't long until i'm back in Northern Ireland or onto my next adventure!


Lifestyle // My Beauty PR Summer Internship Experience + Tips

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                                                                                                             Hey lovelies,
It's been ages since I last sat down and wrote a proper post. Over the summer I interned for PR agency CCD PR in Soho, London. I can honestly say I by far had one of the best summers EVER!! They specialise in natural beauty, health, fitness, food and drink. I interned for the beauty team alongside my two colleagues Amber and Amanda, who were incredible to work with. I just wanted to write this post as firstly a way of looking backing on a really great experience and also a bit of a look into what I got up to during my internship, for anyone who might be considering an internship or specifically a Beauty PR one.

How did you get your internship?
I was coming to the end of my second year at university and knew that I really wanted to gain some form of experience in PR, considering next summer I should *hopefully* be in a real adult job after completing my third and final year of university. I finished my second year of university last May and started looking around for internships at the start of that month. I managed to come across an ad on Indeed for a beauty intern at CCD PR, I then sent over an email with my CV and had an interview with the beauty director and a colleague the following week. 

I was only meant to be interning for two weeks but was kindly asked if I'd like to stay on until I started university again in September.

Was your internship paid or unpaid?
Mine was a travel expenses paid internship, which was great because London travel really adds up. The majority of the internships that I came across were either travel expenses paid or a weekly pay. There has been a lot of talk for quite some time now on banning unpaid internships that last over a month, which I highly agree with. Some people may be able to afford to intern without getting some form of pay, but for a lot of people and myself especially, If I wasn't able to get my travel paid for then I definitely wouldn't have been able to intern for as long as I did. 

What did a typical week look like?
Every week was so exciting, I can genuinely say there wasn't a single day where I was bored. Each morning would start off with checking to see if any of the beauty team clients had any coverage for the day in different publications. Then other day to day tasks could vary from writing blog posts for clients, sending out samples to bloggers and journalists, picking up supplies, updating the Instagram, writing communications, liaising with bloggers and so much more. It was so nice to be in Central London too, I really made the most of the beautiful summer evenings after work and met up with friends I hadn't seen for months and also finally got to meet up with the lovely Roxii after literally speaking for years. 

What did you wear?
The dress code in the office was really chilled. So I mostly chose to wear skirts and dresses because it was absolutely scorching HOT. I really felt like I was channeling my inner Carrie Bradshaw. There was a really big mirror as soon as you stepped into the building and every morning, I was no stranger to taking a selfie or 10...

Do you have any tips on how to land an internship?
I would firstly say that the best sites I would recommend for finding internships would be Indeed, Internwise, Brighter Box and Fashion Workie, along with searching on Twitter or brands websites. New internships are advertised daily, so just keep on the lookout. It's also such a good idea to link to any of your personal work that your chosen internship might enjoy having a read of. When I applied for my internship I mentioned my blog when I applied and went for my interview. It was great to talk about my blog and how I thought it could benefit me in my internship role.

I had such a wonderful time interning and I am so thankful to everyone at CCD PR for making my internship so enjoyable and for all the giggles!



Lifestyle // Winter Night In - Essentials*

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Hey lovelies,
Well, my favourite season is finally upon us. There is nothing I love more than the lead up to Christmas and all the cosy little nights in. I wanted to write this post and give you guys some recommendations and inspiration if any of you are stuck on what to do for nights in.

- Netflix 
I think I have near enough watched everything on Netflix, no joke. I just finished watching season 2 of Stranger Things the other week and am living for the weekly episodes of Riverdale (highly recommend) recently I have loved getting super cosy up in my room when my sister or boyfriend have been over, with a warm hot chocolate in one hand and my 10th snack of the day in the other (LOL, I wish I could say I was kidding) along with the super cool multicoloured lamp gifted by my bae and some speakers to make the experience even better. If you too want to make your Netflix binge watching experience even better, than I recommend checking out some of the Panasonic Wireless Speakers* to help with just that.

- Meal 
I have really fallen back in love with cooking over the past few weeks after moving back to uni. After getting together with my boyfriend over the summer and him probably thinking that my diet really does only consist of chicken nuggets (partly true) and no cooking, it's been nice showing him what I can actually whip up in the kitchen. One meal that we have both recently been obsessed with is our own take on Nando's chicken thighs, peri salted chips and garlic bread. It's a cheaper alternative and taste even better knowing that we made it.

-  Christmas Prep 
Did I already say how freakin' excited I am for Christmas?? sorry to mention the fact that I actually have a BOYFRIEND again.. (another human actually thinks I'm beautiful and wants to spend his time with me shock...) but his birthday is a few days before Christmas, so I have been having the time of my life sorting out what to get him for both occasions.. He is in for a real treat! with it being so cold outside, it's nice to just be inside and start planning for Christmas! 

How do you like to spend your Winter nights in?



Summer Wardrobe Tips for UK Men*

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The other day I was thinking about how tricky it is to put together the right summer wardrobe. When you live in the UK, you are never sure what the weather is going to do. As a result, you really need to be ready for pretty much everything. There is plenty of advice about how to put together a versatile and smart summer wardrobe for women, but not much advice on this subject for men. So,today, I have decided to feel the gap and come up with a few summer wardrobe tips that you can share with the men, and boys, in your life.

Capsule swim shorts 
For warmer days, a pair of capsule swim shorts, like the ones you can buy here, is perfect. The fact they are made from lightweight fabric means that they can easily be slipped on under a pair of jeans or joggers. When the morning has warmed up, the jeans or trousers can be removed to reveal the shorts underneath. Plus, of course, these shorts make great swimwearIn fact, if you are planning a holiday it is well worth getting your man, or boysto pack a couple of pairs of capsule swim shorts. Best of all, these versatile shorts do not take up much space in the case.

This year, chinos are very much back in style. They look good on practically any man. Now that you can buy them in a range of colours and cuts it is easy to find a style that works for practically every age group. A pair of classic five-pocket chinos is a particularly good addition to a man´s summer wardrobe. They are smart enough to be worn with a jacket for a meal in a nice a restaurant, but can just as easily be worn with a t-shirt as an alternative to jeans. The other nice thing about chinos is that they are traditionally made from 100% cotton, which allows the skin to breathe naturally. Something wearers really appreciate on the days the sun pops out from behind the clouds.

Polo shirts
Polo shirts are also traditionally made from cotton. The fact that the fabric is loose weave makes them especially comfortable to wear when it is hot. This year, men´s fashion designers have had a bit of fun with this classic. There are some really great polo shirts available, so there is no need to just wear a boring plain one. 

Long sleeved shirts
Given the fact that the UK weather is so changeable it really is wise to have a couple of long-sleeved garments on hand. A good quality denim shirt can easily be slipped on over a t-shirt and worn as an alternative to a jacket, which is great on a day whenthe weather is variable. There are plenty of nice-looking and affordable men´s denim shirts available in UK shops, right now.

hat or baseball cap
It is also worth wearing a hat. On a hot day, it keeps the sun off of the head, and if, (or should I say when)it rains stops the wearer´s hair from getting wet.

Where to get more ideas
If you have enjoyed this post, and are looking for men´s fashion tips to help your man to look as good as possible, try this article. It is all about putting together a stylish minimalist wardrobe for a man. Interestingly, a lot of the tips in the article apply equally to both sexes, so it is well worth browsing through.


Beauty // My Top 5 Spring Beauty Essentials

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Hey Lovelies, so we're officially in Spring here in the UK, the weather has actually been suprisngly quite nice and warm over the past few days (with a few rainy days of course). I feel like I've kind of perfected a good skincare and go-to makeup routine recently to go with the lovely weather. I wanted to share my current top 5 beauty essentials with you!                                                               

       NYX: Ulitmate Shadow Brights Palette -
NYX has fast become one of my favourite makeup brands. They just always seem to get it so right time and time again. It all started when I became obsessed with their lip lingerie liquid lipstick line and from then I just knew that they were a brand I'd keep purchasing from. This year I seem to have rekindled my love for eyeshadow and of course that meant having to purchase new eyeshadows to celebrate.

 I already own the warm neturals palette by NYX and I am so impressed with the way it applies and the lasting power, so I knew that I'd most likely have the same thoughts towards this one too. I am pleased to of course confirm this and am actually quite surprised at how often I reach for it. The colours are so vibrant, gorgeous and blend perfectly. It's actually easier than I first expected to be able to create not just night out makeup but everyday looks to.

Lypsyl: Lip Balms*-
I was kindly sent over some Lypsyl lip balms and have been testing them out over the past few weeks. I was sent a variety of the most gorgeous flavours, with my favourite being coconut and almond. The balms are all enriched with SPF15 and vitamin E and always leave my lips feeling really hydrated. This is the time of year where I have to pay close attention to my skin as if I don't treat it well, it'll get dry easily.

I wear so many liquid and matte lipsticks and they can really dry my lips out, which I know many others experience to. My top tip is always to apply a bit of lip balm underneath then go in with your lipstick as a hydrating lip balm like these ones prevent that from happening. They are such a small little product that is super easy to carry around.

KIKO: Hydra Pro Glow -
I feel like it took me forever to find a moisturiser that my skin actually agreed with. So many brands claim that their moisturisers are good for every skin type when in fact I feel like that's rarely ever true. I would say I have combination skin, it can be very dry and then around my nose and sometimes eyelids can be oily.

For the past few months I have been combining a mix of Niveas 'Rich Nourshing Body Lotion' in 'dry to very dry skin' and this KIKO Hydra Pro Glow. I felt that personally this was too drying to just use by itself but when combined with my Nivea lotion, it's the perfect mix. My skin always feels so smooth and my face always has such a radiant little glow to it.

The Body Shop: Lightening Touch -
I have a post coming up soon on The Body Shop, I am honestly so impressed with a number of their products, including the Lightening Touch. I've never really been one for concealer or felt like I needed it. A few months back I found myself browing in The Body Shop, they had a current 3 for 2 offer on and as I'd never used their makeup before, I thought I'd test out products that I wouldn't usually go for, with one being the Lightening Touch.

I can't believe that I haven't had it in my life for longer. It's amazing at brightening under my eyes and giving my appearance a little pop on days when I feel like my skin looks pretty dull. A little by far goes along way which is what we all love to hear!

Lottie London: Lip Kit -
I really would like to test out a Kylie Jenner lip kit but if I am being honest, I'm just not here for the shipping prices and poential custom charge (Sorry KJ). So have been looking for cheaper alternatives. I've been into Topshop a few times and have seen that they've brought out their own range of lip kits which is really cool and I've seen Barry M and Revolutions ones in Superdrug. While I was also there the other week (just browsing as you do) I came across Lottie London's range, I much prefered there's as I felt like they had a better variety of shades for darker skin.

I decided to go for shade 'Slay All Day' which is a kind of 'your lips but better' brown shade. It's not too drying which I was really quite pleased with and I've been combining it with my brown 'Teddy' shade from NYX to create a nice brown ombre on my lips. Lottie London is a brand that I've always seen in Superdrug but never purchased from, I am so pleased that I decided to take a chance on this lip kit as it's definitely made me want to try out other products of theirs.

Have you tried any of these products? what is currently your go-to spring beauty essential?


Beauty // Review: NYX Liquid Suede

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Hey lovelies, Happy February! I am finally back with a new post. Life has been so busy recently with uni, work and actually having a social life.. shoutout to my friends for being friends with me! I can't lie, I've gone a bit splurge crazy recently, as if I don't have rent and a kitten to feed. So expect lots of beauty content over the next few weeks! I also just got a new lens for my camera which is the Canon 50mm f/1.8. It's taken a while to get used to but I think my attempt in this post is quite good. I've also been posting like crazy over on Instagram - come have a look? I'm @vanzthemachine.

NYX Liquid Suede - Boots £6.50

NYX has fast become one of my favourite high street makeup brands. The quality really is amazing for such cheap prices. I've previously reviewed their soft matte lip creams here and their lip lingerie lippies here. I am such a big fan of their lip lingerie line that I didn't think I'd find myself liking any of their other lipstick ranges just as much, but I've really fallen for their suede collection. There's such a big variety of colours in the range and perfect for every skin tone. Another thing I really like about the range is that a lot of the colours are quite vibrant from what you'd usually find. There are 24 different shades to choose from.

Out of the range I have four different shades which are Stone Fox, Brooklyn Thorn, Oh, Put It On and Vintage. Stone Fox is a deep grey with a blue undertone. I actually got it back in October for Halloween as I was dressed up as a zombie bunny (some would say otherwise, LOL) and I wanted a colour on my lips that would really stand out. It's such a unique colour and I really wish I had the confidence to wear it with more casual everyday outfits. I've already talked about Brooklyn Thorn in my previous post, as it was a work secret santa gift from my lovely gurl Morgan! it's a shade that I always find myself reaching for no matter the occasion. It's a browny colour with a bit of a purple undertone or if I pair it with a pink lip liner, it's more of a mink colour. 

On a recent trip to boots I picked up both Oh, Put It On and Vintage. Oh, Put It On is a really deep purple, it almost looks black in my swatch. I want to come out of my comfort zone a bit more with lipstick, so I am super excited to start wearing it. Finally, Vintage is a bit of pink, red and mauve all rolled into one. In store I didn't swatch it but thought it would be a typical red, but was really pleased as it was a lot different to how I expected, it's more lighter than I thought. It's such a gorgeous shade. Vintage and Brooklyn Thorn have to be my two favourites.

These are like your typical liquid lipsticks, liquidy upon applying then a nice matte finish. The lasting power is incredible and I find that I barely have to reapply even if I've had something to eat or drink. I still feel like NYX is really underrated in the UK, when their products are ones that people should be raving highly about. If you can, definitely get your hands on a shade or two.. I promise you won't regret it!

Have you tried any of the shades from the suede range or any other NYX products?


Fashion & Beauty // Christmas Season Essentials

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Happy Christmas Eve!! I say it every year, but I can't believe how quick Christmas has come around again. I wanted to share some of my favourite essentials that have been holy grails over the past few weeks. A few things are from my work secret santa which I am absolutely in love with and others I was kindly gifted from Simply Be!

Mink & Black Lace Bras - Simply Be*

A few weeks back I was given the opportunity to pick a few things from the Simply Be site,  I chose to pick things that I'd enjoy wearing over this festive party season. I am absolutely obsessed with lingerie and I always feel like it's such a nice touch to any outfit, even if it's just for my eyes! I have quite big boobs and I find it so difficult to a) find my size in quite a few high street stores and b) find nicer designs/colours that aren't your standard black or white. So, for the past year I've only purchased bras online as there's a much better variety and I don't feel so limited. I decided to pick these gorgeous lace bras from Pretty Secrets who are stocked on the Simply Be site. Mink is one of my favourite colours and I loved the idea of having a mink coloured bra. I also love that it's a two pack so I can really mix and match with both.

Cleopatra's Kiss Highlighting Palette - Sleek

I couldn't do an essentials post and not include one of my favourite beauty products of the year (possibly my favourite?) this highlighter has been such a babe to own. Highlighter always on fleek! It's a product that I won't ever be able to stop raving on about because the quality and the price is insane.

Black Hooded Gown - Simply Be*

The second thing I picked out from the Soap and Glory site was this black nightgown. I think the last time I owned a nightgown was when I was back in primary school. This is my favourite time of year to just be all snuggly and wrapped up whilst watching christmas movies on the sofa, so I thought a nightgown would really come in good use.

Sacha Cosmetics Buttercup Powder - Lustre Cosmetics

I am so glad I am finally getting round to talking about my Sacha powder. I've wanted it for months and months but because it isn't sold in the UK, it was always something I forgot about until I finally purchased it a few months back, although it took me ages to find the right occasion to want to bake to perfection to. 

Simply the Zest Gift Set - Soap and Glory*

At work some of us recently took part in doing secret santa. My friend Morgan got me and gurl really came through with the gifts. Over the past few weeks I've become obsessed with having super soft hands, especially at work as retail = dry hands. So sensing that I was a Soap and Glory fan she got me the zest gift set which comes with the hand food hand cream, a pink luffa, body butter, a body scrub and a body wash. It literally smells good enough to eat! I am a really big fan of Soap and Glory products, so this set is perfect!

Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick in '21 Brooklyn Thorn' - NYX*

This was my second secret santa gift and I am so in love with it! a little back story, when me and Morgan went shopping at the start of the month for our work christmas party, she swatched Brooklyn Thorn on her hand and we both fell in love! I was already over my budget when I saw it, so said I'd come back for it another day, so I was pretty chuffed when I saw she'd gotten it for me. It's a gorgeous mink colour. It has quite a few similarities to StingRAYE from Colourpop that I also own. Nyx has fast become one of my favourite beauty brands this year. Every product is on point and for such affordable prices.

What essentials have you been using this Christmas season?