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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Plump Your Lips With EnvyDerm



PLUMP YOUR LIPS WITH ENVYDERM'S HIGH PERFORMANCE LIP GLOSS.
  AND KEEP THEM HEALTHY WITH THE ENVYDERM LIP CONDITIONER.

FEATURING:


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Ever since Kylie Jenner stole the limelight with her plump, nude pout, every girl's been after fuller, rounder looking lips that put Angelina Jolie’s to shame. For most of us, unless you’ve got an unlimited bank account and can afford surgery, cosmetics are our best friend and thankfully can easily be used to create the illusion of a Jenner-esque look. Cue: EnvyDerm Cosmetics.

Founded by Nadia Smith, EnvyDerm is a cosmetics brand that specialises in enhancing a woman’s natural beauty. From Eyelash Growth Serum to Lip Coniditioners, the label’s products are packed in healthy ingredients, which not only make you look good but feel good too! Recently I tried out two lip products by EnvyDerm, which promised to achieve nourished, fuller looking lips. But did they work? Let’s discuss.


STEP ONE
USING: ENVYDERM INTENSE LIP RENEWAL THERAPY: $36

The first product I tried out by EnvyDerm was the Lip Renewal Therapy. Priced at $36, approximately £23, the product is a lightweight, coconut scented lip cream that aims to visibly reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles around the lips. In addition, it’s also said to boost microcirculation, collagen and elastin to create a fuller, voluptuous pout that’s both youthful and “kissable”. Quite a promise, I know!

When I first applied the product, the first thing I noticed was the smell. Unlike similar creams, EnvyDerm really do pride themselves on creating products that are pleasant to apply. After all, who can resist the rich fragrance of creamy coconut? All you need is a small coat of the product, and it can be applied both around the lips and on it. As for results, although I’m fortunate enough to have few lines and wrinkles around my mouth, I did notice it made your lips instantly smoother and created a lovely base to apply a further lipstick or lip gloss. Case in point: step two.


STEP TWO
USING: ENVYDERM LIP VOLUMISING AND CONDITIONING PLUMPER IN FLEUR NUDE: $23*

After using the renewal therapy, I applied a coat of the Lip Volumising and Conditioning Plumper.  The plumper aims to restore the fullness in your lips with a sheer gloss that's available in a variety of colours. From reds to pinks to nudes, the colour I used, which you can see more clearly in the photo above, is Fleur Nude. I'm a sucker for a nude lip and Fleur Nude is the ideal colour for me with hints of creamy pink and subtle browns.

When I applied the product, again the gloss smelt and tasted gorgeous, with it being packed in moisturising oils and berries. In addition, unlike other plumping products I've tried in the past, the product didn't sting or leave a harsh tingle in lips when applying it. Not only did this make the application process a whole lot easier, but it also resulted in a better outcome as my lips weren't swollen or covered in painful red marks.

As you can see from the photo below, the results of EnvyDerm's formula is more natural than some plumping products. Although it did increase the size and volume of my lips, it didn't do it to the point where it looked fake or artificial. Let's face it girls, Pete Burns isn't a good look!


Over all, I was extremely impressed with EnvyDerm's products. They gave off a natural finish which is perfect for the Christmas season and definitely adds subtle glamour to a mundane makeup look. Ideal for every day wear, both products are definitely becoming a staple addition to my beauty bag. But what about you? What did you think of the results? Let me know in the comments below.

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WORDS: EMMA MATTHEWS
PHOTOS: EMMA MATTHEWS
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Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas Gift Guide For Your BFF




A RANGE OF AFFORDABLE GIFTS YOU CAN GIVE TO YOUR BFF THIS CHRISTMAS.
  THINK NAIL POLISHES, BODY SCRUBS AND HIGH STREET VOUCHERS.

FEATURING:

BURT'S BEES BODY LOTION: £5.66*
A BIT OF BURTS BEES IN MANGO: £5.99*
KATE SPADE COIN PURSE: £31.50 (SIMILAR)

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Christmas is closing in and if you're anything like me, you'll probably have heaps of last minute gifts to buy. Oops. From trinkets I plan on giving to my friends, to more expensive splurges for my family, it's safe to say I'm extremely unorganised this year round. But in midst of the chaos, I have been able to put together a series of present guides that will help you, me and no doubt a handful of other bloggers out there who still need to invest in those under-the-tree buys.

A few days ago I published my trusty Christmas Gift Guide For Dad. Ideal for all the men in your life (whether that be your dad, brother or boyfriend) the post features a variety of December musts including shirts, colognes, watches, jackets and much more. Today, I bring you the Christmas Gift Guide For Your BFF. Think nail polishes, notebooks, vouchers, cosmetics, these are the cheap and affordable gifts that are perfect to give to your nearest and dearest.
From forest greens to ruby reds, nothing beats a Christmas nail varnish. I always seem to give my friends nail varnishes for Christmas. After all a girl can never have too many and there's heaps of colours to choose from depending on your friend's style or taste. This year Debenhams are selling a Models Own Hyper Gel Nail Polish set for an affordable £15. Equipped with 10 different colours, the collection is a bargain buy, with each polish usually retailing at £4.99 each. Not to mention that the Models Own Hyper Gel formula is brilliant value for money, with the shades being highly pigmented, long lasting and chip resistant. Talk about triple threat!

BATH PRODUCTS
BEST BUY: I LOVE... MANGO AND PAPAYA BODY BUTTER: £5.86

Christmas is a time where you should be winding down and relaxing. With that in mind, what makes a more perfect gift than some lovely bath and body products. One brand which I'm a massive fan of at the minute is I Love.... Known for the delicious scents and vibrant packaging, the products are bursting with character and make an ideal little gift for family or friends. One of my favourite I Love... products is their Mango and Papaya Body Butter. Infused with a tangy, fruity scent, the butter leaves your skin feeling silky and nourished. As well as body butters, the brand also stock a variety of other products including shower cremes, body lotions, fragrance sprays, lip glosses and lipsticks. Don't say you're stuck for choice!


COSMETICS
BEST BUY: A BIT OF BURT'S MANGO: £5.99

One of the things I hate the most about winter is the weather. It's cold, it's miserable and it leaves your lips all chapped and sore. Talk about a girl's worst nightmare! That being said, one of my gift ideas this season is lipstick and lip balms. Cue: Burt's Bees. The beauty brand have released a new Christmas gift set this season called A Bit Of Burt's Mango. At an affordable £5.99, the set includes a nourishing Mango Lip Balm and fragranced Lemon Butter Cream. Over all the balm is great for making your lips feel smooth and soft. Essentially it's everything you want from a lip product, with it being easy to carry around in a small little tube and an essential go-to when it comes to touching up. Equally, the butter cream is also a great buy with similar results. Not to mention, it smells gorgeous! 

PURSES AND VOUCHERS
BEST BUY: KATE SPADE COIN PURSE: £31.50

What do you get the girl with everything? No seriously, if your friend already has draws filled with the latest beauty products and must-have fashion buys, whats left for you to give her? How about a coin purse and vouchers to her favourite store? It's an ideal gift if you're stuck on what to get her or are pushed for time. Kate Spade have a range of coin purses on offer at the minute. My favourite one is this gorgeous Black Zip Coin Purse priced at an affordable £31.50. If the design is a little too mundane for your liking, why not try something more eccentric like the Fancy Footwork Record Coin Purse (£65) and the Place Your Bets Playing Cards Coin Purse, also £65. Now that's what you call a royal flush!



There we have it, my Christmas gift guide for your BFF. What do you plan on giving your friends this Christmas? Let me know in the comments below and share your ideas.
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WORDS: Emma Matthews
PHOTOS: Emma Matthews
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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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