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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Get Festive With Chantel Martin Candles




GET IN THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT WITH CHANTEL MARTIN HOMEMADE CANDLES.
 FROM LUXURY SCENTS TO ALL YOUR FAVOURITE CLASSICS.

FEATURING:


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When the weather picks up and there's a chill in the air, the only thing on anyone's mind is going inside and getting warm and cosy in your living room. One of the things I like to do to make my living room as toasty as possible is light candles. Not only are they great for decoration, but they also smell divine. It's a win-win, right? 

Recently I was contacted by Chantel Martin Candles to review a selection of their homemade candles and judging by how bitter the weather has been recently naturally jumped at the chance. After all, who can say no when it comes to the sweet scents of Vanilla and homely fragrance of Hot Apple Pie. The brand is a British company set up by husband and wife duo Paul and Chantel. Using tailored scents and cotton wicks, the pair aim to create a range of products that not only emanate incredible aromas but have long lasting burning times that give you the most for your money. And believe me when I say they do exactly that!

Chantel and Paul kindly offered to send me one of each of their Luxury, Contemporary and Medium style of candles to try out, as well as a selection of their lovely little votives, which in my eyes make a great little stocking filler. 


Just like most girls I'm a sucker for expensive candle brands, like Yankee and Jo Malone, but there's no denying that there longevity isn't that great, In comparison, Chantel Martin Candles can be burnt all day and night and still have a good amount of life in them. The jars seem to last for what feels like forever. I'm only a third of the way through my large vanilla jar so far and have been burning it pretty much every other day since it arrived. As for the votive candles, they can last for a good 20 hours of solid burning. 

As for the smell, there's no denying that each candle has it's own distinct scent when it's cold. From Cranberry to Bubblegum to Mango to Lemon, there's sure to be a fragrance that suits your tastes, no matter how fruity, sweet or zesty it is. When you burn the candle, the fragrance quickly fills the room and doesn't let off any unpleasant smoke like some candles do. My favourite scent in particular was Vanilla. Hey, call me a plane Jane. But it's got to be one of the best, with a gorgeous sweet scent that reminds me of all the sugary treats you have at Christmas time. 

For more information on what tangy scents the brand have to offer visit their website. In the meantime, let me know your your favourite flavour candle in the comments below. Is anyone else out there a massive Vanilla fan like me? Or maybe Hot Apple Pie takes your fancy?



WORDS: EMMA MATTHEWS
PHOTOS: EMMA MATTHEWS
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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas Gift Guide For Dad



SOME OF THE BEST GIFTS YOU CAN BUY YOUR DAD THIS CHRISTMAS. 
FROM WATCHES TO SHIRTS THAT RANGE FROM £10 TO £200. 

FEATURING:

POLTIX SHEA JACKET: $399

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Sure Christmas is a time to relax and spend time with family and friends, but there's no denying that in midst of the mulled wine and one too many mince pies, the month does come with it's stressful moments. Over cooking the roast, making sure you've got enough baubles to cover the tree and sorting through tedious gift receipts, need I go on? That being said, the most challenging task of them all is present buying. Especially when it comes to your Dad. 

Let's face it, we've all been guilty of buying our Dad way too many pairs of socks in the past. For me, they're the go-to gift alongside the shower gel and endless cans of Lynx. But there's no denying that giving someone the same present every year is more than a little boring, so I've decided to put together a gift guide of other alternatives that you can give to your Dad this December. From cologne priced at £13 to shirts priced at £45, I've tried to make the guide as rounded as possible, with there being something in there that everyone can afford. Let's begin!

COLOGNES 

Okay so my first idea may be a little 'safe', but there's no denying that cologne is the ideal gift to give this Christmas. Especially, if you don't know what to get or want to buy something that your Dad can use, as opposed to a joked present that will probably stay in the cupboard for the next five Christmases. Yes, novelty Star Wars mug, I'm looking at you. There's plenty of different colognes and eau de toilettes to choose from and not all of them are necessarily pricey. Superdrug have really upped their game this Christmas and offer a wide range of scents at affordable prices. Sprays by Ted Baker, Burberry and Tommy Hilfiger can all be bought for under £10. Where as slightly more expensive brands, Paul Smith and Calvin Klein to name a couple, are retailing at under £30. As well as high street stores, I also love looking online for presents. I recently gave my dad a scent from Avon called Untailored Men and he's been wearing it ever since. At £13 you can't go wrong really, especially when it comes to stocking fillers!

WATCHES 
BEST BUY: FOSSIL DECKER STAINLESS STEEL WATCH: £85

For those looking for a premium gift to give this Christmas, why not buy your Dad a new watch. Fossil are great for watches and offer heaps and heaps of designs at extremely affordable prices. The watch in the photograph above is now discontinued, with it being an older design my Dad purchased a few years back, but the brand sell some similar styles on their website. One which I particularly liked was the Decker Strainless Steel Watch. Priced at £85, the stylish buy will last for years and if it's anything like the one my Dad owns is a piece that can be worn over and over again.



LEATHER JACKET
BEST BUY: POLITIX SHEA LEATHER JACKET: $399 (APPROX £209)

Another premium gift that you can give your Dad this Christmas is a leather jacket. Politix are a stylish Australian label that specialise in creating vintage jackets that are lashed in a James Dean vibe. Rather than those kitsch biker jackets you see on the high street, the label focus on detail and often distress the leather to give the finish a classic, old school look. My favourite jacket from the collection is the Shea Leather Jacket found here. With side seams and stitched detail on the shoulders and elbows, it has those extra little details that make the design look even more premium. If dark leather's not quite your Dad's thing, the brand also offer various shades of tan and brown. Now that's what you call a staple piece. View the collection in full by clicking here
Another wearable gift to give your Dad this Christmas is a classic: a shirt and tie. Marks and Spencer are a go-to British brand when it comes to men's tailoring. The label sell a variety of shirts and ties which range in price. Starting at £25, you can pick up an affordable tie and shirt combo that can be worn in the day or in the evening hours. A more expensive alternative is the Pure Cotton Shirt at £45 or the Luxury Italian Silk Shirt at £79.00. Hey, looking like James Bond doesn't come cheap!



So there we have it, my ideas for Dad this Christmas. Let's just hope you're Dad wasn't snooping around when you were reading this, hey? Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg. There's shower gel, bath products, socks, cufflinks, tablets, hats, scarves and endless more options to choose from. Let me know what you thought of my ideas in the comments below and share your own! I'd love to know what gifts you plan on putting under the tree this year. 
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WORDS: Emma Matthews
PHOTOS: Emma Matthews
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Monday, December 15, 2014

House Of Fraser 'Style My Hangover'


CONQUER YOUR HANGOVER WITH HOUSE OF FRASER'S STYLE MY HANGOVER CAMPAIGN.
 FROM MAKEUP TO DRESSES, HERE ARE HOF'S BEST BUYS 

FEATURING:


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Let's face it, with Christmas spirit in the air we're all partial to a boozy night out or two. Thankfully House of Fraser are on hand with the latest episode of their Style My Dilemma series: Style My Hangover. Ideal for those of us who need a little help styling our hangover, the campaign showcases a variety of products and clothing that help hide the effects of the dreaded night before. From cosy cover ups to fresh-faced makeup products, let me know what you think of the video in the comments below. Oh and suggest you're hangover tips for December. No doubt I'll need them!


WORDS: Emma Matthews
PHOTOS: Emma Matthews

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Monday, December 01, 2014

IS VICE 3 WORTH THE MONEY?











VICE 3 WORTH THE MONEY?

URBAN DECAY VICE 3: £42

When money's tight and Christmas is looming, the last thing I should be doing is investing in new palettes. Eyeshadows galore, I embarrassingly own far too many and probably have every shade under the sun. Even a jet, smokey black, that will probably still haunt me from those dreaded 'emo days'. That being said, at least it's better than those pigment shedding Barry M eyeshadow pots right?! Hello panda eyes. 

My most recent buy is the Vice 3 Palette from Urban Decay. A seasonal speciality, the brand have released shockingly colourful palettes just before the Christmas season for the past three years. This year was no different. In a smokey jewel-inlay case, the set contains 20 brand new eyeshadow shades that are perfect for the autumn season. Think ruby reds, deep greens and golden yellows. 

Organised in quads, for me this is my favourite Vice palette yet. Urban Decay have really thought about the arrangement of this one and given makeup lovers a variety of colours to play with - from neutrals that can be worn on a day-to-day basis to abstract shades that can effortlessly create a smokey eye. If you're new to Urban Decay I really can't praise their eyeshadow formula enough. I've been using their products for years and the richness of their pigment has never disappointed me. Each shade looks almost identical to the one seen on the box. Above I've swatted five which I think are perfect for Christmas - Heroine, Dragon, Freeze, Lucky and Sonic. Packed with just as much shimmer as you're Christmas tree, those are just a few which I feel have the potential to put your wrapping paper to shame. Then again, gold and red was so last year. Pardon the pun.

Similar to the previous Vice palettes, the Vice 3 comes with a mirror that's natural and great for touch ups. Let's face it, the last thing you want to do is play around with eyeshadow in a mirror that turns you into a blowfish. In addition, the set also comes with a double ended brush that can be used to blend and/or apply colour.

Over all, I love the palette and with 20 exclusive shades, I could hardly say no! But what do you think? Have you tried Urban Decay Vice 3? What's your favourite shade of the bunch? Let me know in the comments below. 

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WORDS: Emma Matthews
PHOTOS: Emma Matthews
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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A BATH WITH BOMB COSMETICS











A BATH WITH BOMB COSMETICS

ROCKIN' ROBIN GIFT PACK: £12.99*

When the weather's miserable and your house beings to resemble an igloo,  if there's one thing I love doing in the winter, it's having a bath. I live in an old, run-down, five bed student house, so when there's a chill in the air, you honestly can't beat the feel of fresh bubbles and warm water. Especially, when you're on the verge of losing a toe thanks... Okay that's a bit extreme, I'm not going to be toeless, but I am seriously contemplating investing in some gloves just to type this post. Hint, hint Santa

With that in mind, I've been treating myself to one to many baths recently and have been able to try out some adorable Christmas bath bombs and soaps from Bomb Cosmetics. For those of you who are new to the brand - don't worry I was too before this week! - Bomb Cosmetics specialise in richly scented, adorably packaged bath products. An independent store, which was founded over 14 years ago, all the products are homemade and aim to be bright, natural and fun. Sounds like a dream right?

The products I tried were from the brand's Rockin' Robin Gift Pack, priced at £12.99. Wrapped in pink and red wrapping paper, the set contains four Christmas themed bath bombs and a bar of soap - some of which you can see in the images above. 

I was extremely impressed with the products. Not only do they look amazing, but they actually work. When I first tried the bombs, they fizzed and foamed my bath effortlessly, with a scented, coloured texture that smelt amazing! As for the soap, it may just be me but in the past I've noticed a lot of homemade products tend to clump when you try to apply them on skin. Thankfully Bomb Cosmetic's formula does none of that with the rich sweet orange and cinnamon oil scent, gliding straight onto your arms and legs as soon as it's wet.  

Over all I think the set would be lovely to give as a gift to a friend or loved one and with a £12.99 price tag, you really can't complain. But what do you think? Do you like bath bombs? Have you ever tried any of Bomb Cosmetics products?

WORDS: Emma Matthews
PHOTOS: Emma Matthews
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Sunday, October 26, 2014

FVK 'UNBREAKABLE HEARTS'


FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS 'UNBREAKABLE HEARTS' REVIEW

Known for embodying their music with intricate storylines, London based five-piece Fearless Vampire Killers’ second album Unbreakable Hearts is an evocation of love, loss and war.

Arranged into four diverse sections, the offering is everything you’d expect from a Fearless Vampire Killers record. It’s fast, it’s catchy and it’s packed full of dance-along harmonies that blend together frontmen’s Kier Kemp and Laurence Beveridge’s rough vs. smooth vocals in a fruit and nut kind of way.

Whereas anthems like the somber ‘Turn Your Heaven Into A Tomb’ and melancholic ‘In Wondrous Rage’ expose the turmoil of love, with in-your-face pop punk lyrics and Fall Out Boy-like riffs, curveball hit and piano-based balled ‘Brave The Night’ encapsulates a stripped back sound which we’ve never heard before.

Admittedly, for listeners who are new to the band the 17-song track listing could be considered a little too excessive. However with an army of followers behind them who are more than familiar with the band’s previous material, Unbreakable Hearts is definitely a move in the right direction and a proud addition to any fan’s CD stand.

WORDS: Emma Matthews
PHOTOS: Jemma Dodd - Flickr

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