Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Christmas Sales the Important Dates


So it's that time of the year again, Christmas is upon us and that means the sales are here. Now I don't know about you but it seems like the Christmas sales have started earlier than previously, with many shop windows filled with sales posters - I find though it starts to ruin the fun of boxing day sales. Anyways I thought I'd share with you some when some of the shops are starting their sales with the discounts up for grabs!

Already started:

ASOS - online sale with up to 50% off
Dorothy Perkins - up to 50% off sale
Feel Unique - sale with up to 50% off
H&M - up to 70% off sale
New Look - online and in store sale with up to 60% off
River Island - online sale with up to 50% off
Miss Selfridge - online sale with up to 70% off
Very - online up to 70% off

Christmas Eve:

Boots - online only
Harrods - online sale from 6pm
Harvey Nicols - only online
Debenhams - only only from midnight
House of Fraser - only only from 12pm
Next - online only from 3pm
Space NK - only online

Christmas Day:

Amazon - online sale from 8am

Boxing Day:

Body shop - online and in store
Boots - in store
Debenhams - in store from 7am
John Lewis - selected stores from 9.30am
Lush - in store
Harvey Nicols in store
Harrods in store from 10am
House of Fraser from 8am
Selfridges in store
Topshop in store

I will update tomorrow when more sales start. Which stores are you most looking forward to shopping?

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Sunday, 21 December 2014

Maybelline Color Drama: Keep It Classy

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Maybelline Color Drama: Keep It Classy - £4.99 Link

2014 has been the year for drugstore makeup brands, and after seeing many positive reviews surrounding the Maybelline Color Drama Intense Velvet Lip Pencils I couldn't resist trying out a few. Many have said these lip pencils make great dupes for the highly sort after Nars Matte lip pencils - so who could resist after hearing these claims.

Maybelline Color Drama pencils are a slim lip kohl which makes lips pop with on trend shades and creamy textures. With high expectations I picked up the shade Keep It Classy as I love the vintage pink vibe. The formula of these are highly pigmented (I do own a few shades) and one of my main dislikes about lip pencils is how difficult they can be to apply, however these glide on really smoothly thanks to the creamy formula. Once on this is really comfortable to wear without venturing into the dry side and the shade is just beautiful once applied. Again I like to take photos when my lips are dry so that you can see that this doesn't cling to dry patches which is great especially in the colder months. Finish wise I would class these as semi-matte, which at the moment is the kind of finish I love to sport.

Keep it Classy is a gorgeous deep pink which could fall under the mauve category and yet again is the perfect shade for me currently. Lasting power wise, I find I can get around the 2-4 hour mark depending on what I'm doing. This even includes after food and drink, which is a big yes from me as there is nothing worse than having a bite to eat or drink and the colour running leaving a lovely colourful glass or pink bread (not attractive). 

I adore the packaging for these lip pencils, there's something so simple about them yet beautiful. I tend to fall for lip products that colour block leaving the base showcasing the colour of the stick so that it's easier to pick out when in a rush. 

Overall I have fallen in love with the Color Drama lip pencils, not only are they super affordable but they could easily rival high end brands within the same lip pencil market. At only £4.99 these are a complete steal, especially if you are considering purchasing Nars' lip pencils. My only gripe is that they don't have a twist mechanism like brands such as Rimmel and Revlon, but hey ho!

Have you tried the Maybelline Color Drama pencils? What's your favourite shade?

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Saturday, 13 December 2014

A Cosy Takeaway Night in with JUST EAT

Our yummy treats courtesy of JUST EAT

I have to admit it, nothing beats a takeaway after being at work all day especially when I'm not in the mood to cook. So James and I couldn't resist placing an order through JUST EAT* meaning that all we had to do was wait for the food to arrive and we could then tuck in.

This was my first experience using the JUST EAT website and to be honest I found it really easy to navigate. The hardest part for me was deciding where we were going to choose from to eat, as there are so many restaurants and food options to choose from. A great addition to the site is how you can pay online as sometimes it can be a faff if you don't have the right amount of change on you when your food is delivered. The website also notifies you of any discounts or deals and automatically applies them to your order which is a big bonus. As I know I have spent hours before trying to find discount vouchers both from around my house and online. 

I love the idea of finding new and local takeaways to try out, and in the end we opted for Bella Italia as both James and I have wanted to sample their food so why not try now! Each restaurant / takeaway have their own reviews and ratings which helps in the decision process, and let's be honest you're going to want to try somewhere that is rated 5 stars over that 1 star eatery. 

We ended up with a feast, after both settling on a pasta main we then looked to their sides and most importantly the desserts. For just under £20 we ended up with our pasta main which as you can see is mahoosive, a side of wedges, a large garlic bread a piece (which is classed as one garlic bread side), a bottle of pop, a slice of cake and a tub of Haagan Dazs (I did ask for Ben and Jerry's Cookie Dough but they didn't have that in so sent me the next best thing - which I am in love with). 

Despite not having many takeaways, I do really enjoy them. Nothing beats getting comfortable in your pjs, joggers or whatever you may wear and know that your food is on its way and you can enjoy it in the comfort of your own home. JUST EAT provide an easy takeaway service that does really cater to all.

What is your favourite type of takeaway?

*Post in collaboration with JUST EAT

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Sunday, 7 December 2014

Colab Dry Shampoo by Ruth Crilly / A Model Recommends

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Colab Dry Shampoo - £3.49 - Link

It seems like the beauty world at the moment is becoming inundated with releases from fellow beauty bloggers and vloggers, and many of which are fast becoming household names. The latest release I couldn't wait to check out comes from Ruth Crilly, the face behind A Model Recommends and let's face it, I couldn't resist the hype when I found out about her Colab dry shampoo range. 

Colab is designed to keep your hair feeling cleaner for longer, whilst instantly revitalising your look.  The range consists of five city themed scents, including classical London, fruity New York, floral Paris, tropical Rio and finally Tokyo an oriental fragrance. I opted for Paris which is described as an enchanting floral bouquet of jasmine and rose with a touch of patchouli and New York a fresh and fruity scent of apple and melon with a light amber finish. Both of which are really refreshing and light once applied to the roots of my hair, and to be honest are some of the best smelling dry shampoos I have ever tried!

Now as a trusty Batiste user I wasn't sure how this would live up in comparison, as it is probably my favourite dry shampoo to date. However what makes this dry shampoo really stand out is the fact that the formula is invisible, which means bye bye chalky/dusty looking hair - which has always been a downside for Batiste. This is perfect for 2nd and 3rd day hair as it covers up any signs of greasiness and provides that much needed texture that my hair needs. I was a little worried what the clear consistency would mean that it wouldn't matte my hair as much as other brands, however a couple of sprays instantly leaves your hair looking like it has been freshly washed - major bonus! I know I can trust this leading up to 3rd day hair which may sound dirty, but I like to not wash my hair for as long as possible. 

What I love about this range is how affordable it is, with a full sized can setting you back £3.50 (£2.32 if you get it from Superdrug as they are currently offering a 1/3 off) and mini travel sizes are £2.00. This is always a major positive considering how quickly I get through a can, honestly they only last a couple of weeks. 

Have you tried Colab? I'd love to know your favourite scent?

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Thursday, 4 December 2014

It's a Brow Thing


Up until a little while ago if you had asked me what the most important aspect of my makeup routine  was, brows would have been very low down that list. That was up until recently with the rise of the statement brows, meaning it was about time I took them a bit more seriously. Similar to my foundation/primer post I wanted to share with you my top brow picks!

For everyday brows I like to keep them very natural looking, whilst well groomed. So I will often reach for my MAC Blonde eyebrow pencil or Soap and Glory's Archery two-in-one pencil. Both pencils are great for an everyday brow, matching the shade perfectly whilst filling in sparse hairs and adding that much needed oomph to my very light brows. What I like about both is that they never look like pencil lines on my brow, which you sometimes find after applying a pencil. After applying the pencil I like to finish the look off by popping a swipe of Benefit's Gimme Brow over to add a little extra tint and keep my brows in the desired shape.

Now when I'm looking for that statement brow I like to turn things up a notch and look to Benefit's Brow Zing to help. What I love about this product is that it is both a powder and wax, meaning that it not only gives the brow colour but the wax helps keep your brows in shape. Initially I was worried that this would be difficult to apply, but I find it really easily to fill my brows and keep the shape. This stuff stops in place all day also, I don't have to worry that I might accidentally smudge the end of my brow off - always a winner on a drunken night out! If I am looking for that little bit extra to keep my brows in tact I like to swipe a little Speed Brow through just to keep the shape,

My go-to brow tools are both from Benefit (I'm guessing you can sense the theme here) but the first has to beBenefit's Hard Angle Definer and this is perfect for shading brows in as the shape helps get a crisp line towards the end of the brow and then define the front. Alongside this I love to use Tweezerman's Brow Shaping brush as this just helps prep my brow shape before I start my routine and then can quickly go over them before I put any gel in them. My brows love to go a hundred different directions towards the end and I end up looking more like a bush animal than anything else, so this is a must have for me, and now I own Soap and Glory's Archery two-in-one I have a brow shaping brush for on the go. 

To keep my eyebrows well groomed I like to pop to Benefit's Brow Bar to do their magic, and I always walk out happy. Despite the high price tag for what is essentially a brow wax, I do really trust the girls at my local bar and don't have to worry about over waxed brows. In-between sessions I like to keep my brows groomed with my trusty Tweezerman Tweezers, this way I can pluck those pesky little hairs that grow quicker than the rest, and saves my trips to the brow bar. 

What are your go to brow products?

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Sunday, 30 November 2014

Girl Online by Zoella

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Girl Online by Zoella / Zoe Sugg - Link

Now I'll be honest in saying book reviews aren't really what you'd expect to see on CharmedCharlee, however I couldn't resist after - what seems like an influx of bloggers releasing products - one of my favourite YouTube vloggers Zoella / Zoe Sugg released her first novel. And let's be honest a lot of us will know of her and be drawn into the release of her first novel to see what all the fuss is about. Since I haven't purchased a good book in a while this was the perfect opportunity as WH Smiths were offering this at half price. Now I will try my best to keep this review spoiler free, incase any of you are waiting to get the book. 

Girl Online focuses on Penny, a 15 year old student from Brighton who under the alias of GirlOnline blogs about her personal life. After a shock incident her family take her to New York over the festive period where an inciting incident means she meets the gorgeous Noah, and starts to fall in love all whilst capturing every moment on her blog. However Noah has a secret, one that could ruin Penny's cover and her closest friendship.

Personally for me I didn't know what to expect from this book, especially as I had heard that it was aimed at a younger teenage market and we know how these books can sometimes be. It did take me a few chapters to fully get into the book, as it started with reading a couple of chapters and putting the book down as it does venture down the teen fluff aisle. However once the story gets going (when Penny travels to New York) that is where I found myself in trouble and not being able to put it down, and before I knew it I was fully gripped. Through various twists and turns that's where I found myself most interested in seeing where the story went, and found myself loving the chemistry between Penny and Noah. 

What I liked about the book was the way it was written, and as someone who is a fan of Zoe pick up little things that reflected both her personality and life, including potential nods to Sprinkle of Glitter aka Louise. 

Now whilst there is a lot of fluff the book also tackles more serious issues, something which I did not expect from the book and is a real eye opener. It tackles anxiety, bullying, the loss of loved ones, and an outing to parents that aren't very understanding, and all I feel are treated well during the book and you get the feeling that some of these experiences could be coming from Zoe herself. 

My only hope was that the beginning and end could have been swapped round as I found it took a while to build up to the main plot and the last 3/4 of the book felt a little rushed with the resolution coming a little quicker than I imagined it to. 

Overall I think this is a great first novel from Zoella, and should really prove a hit with younger audiences. It reminds me of a young Sophie Kinsella book, in terms of the plot and the way it is wrote. I think there are parts that become a little predictable almost like I'm watching a rom com and know where the ending is going to take me, but that's all part of the fun in seeing how we get there and despite the predictably I couldn't put this book down all weekend. I think that is probably the most important thing when it comes to book, that you are not only enjoying what you are reading but you can't put it down until you know how the story is going to end. All I want to know now when is the sequel coming?!

Have you got this book? Let me know your thoughts? Or are you excited to get your hands on it?

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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

All About That Base

Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua, Benefit Porefessional, Nars Sheer Glow, Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream and Seventeen Skin Wow Primer

Sorry for the cheesy title, but I just couldn't help myself! I wanted to do a little blog post sharing with you my current base routine as something a little different, granted it does change from time to time but these are my most reached for products in the wintery months. 

Foundation and primer for me are those essential items that can really transform any look. Whether it's blurring imperfections and redness or just brightening your complexion for a night on the town, the perfect colour and finish can really make a difference. Foundations and primers are a couple of those items that I don't think I could ever go without, and find myself constantly building on my collection. 

To start I usually opt for either Benefit's Porfessional or Seventeen's Skin Wow Primer. Porfessional is a silicon primer which helps mattify my oily skin, leaving a smooth and satiny base for my foundation. I love the feel of this on my skin and really helps prolong my foundation during a long day at work or a night out. Seventeen's Skin Wow Primer is a different story however, as this falls more on the dewy and brightening side - and I must admit I am a sucker for dewy some days! This is a great high street alternative. Both work really great with my range of foundations, blurring pores and gripping my foundation for a long lasting finish!

Now if I'm looking for a dewy finish I always look to my trusty Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua foundation, this has the habit of looking natural and dewy but never greasy! For me this is one of the best matches colour wise for my skintone and always leaves my skin looking radiant and glowy. Teamed with either foundation these make a great long lasting combo which remains natural looking for start to finish. This combination never needs powder, which is always a great thing when in a rush in the morning, however I might dust a little over my t-zone during the day just to be on the safe side. 

When I'm in the mood for a hint of matte I always look to either Nars' Sheer Glow or Bourgois' 123 Perfect CC Cream. I recently reviewed Sheer Glow, and it has honestly been love at first sight, this leaves my skin not only looking radiant but provides a great coverage that blurs imperfection without looking cakey. This baby doesn't move either, from morning to night really making it worth every penny! My favourite high street alternative is Bourjois' CC Cream, if you can get over how runny it is - and be prepared for a foundation when you open this. You wouldn't think of this as a CC Cream due to the coverage and longevity, honestly a great budget option and one of my favourite hughstreet bases!

And finally, to apply all of this I love to use either Real Techniques Buffing Brush or the Zoeva 110 Face Brush. Real Techniques infamous brush is a great high street option that reduces the time to apply foundation, as it helps smooth foundation easily around the face. Hot on its tail however has to be the Zoeva 110, and it works and brilliantly as it looks. Not only does the rose gold finish leave dressing tables across the nation looking pretty, but it is one of those brushes that works with pretty much every foundation I own!

I'd love to know your favourite base products!

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Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Vaseline Queen Bee

Vaseline Queen Bee £3.99 - Link

It's coming round to Christmas and that means the release of another Vaseline lip balm, so when I saw the limited edition bee themed packaging I was instantly drawn into parting ways with my cash and giving Vaseline's Queen Bee a whirl. Vaseline is one of those products that I don't recall a time not having one of their signature tins sitting on my bedside table, and let's face it the little tins soon mount up.

Vaseline's limited edition Queen Bee lip therapy keeps the same formula of the original petroleum jelly teamed with a delicious honey scent to care for dry lips and leave a light glossy sheen. The traditional tin has had a bee makeover, and is what honestly drew me in instantly. Featuring black and gold stripes this will sit pride of place above my other tins on my bedside drawer. 

While Vaseline doesn't directly hydrate the lips, instead it acts as a barrier to prevent any additional moisture loss I can't stop using it. I find however this is great for on the go during the colder months - battling the wind, rain and anything else that comes your way, and can make a great topcoat for lipsticks if you are after a super glossy finish. Not only that but I find that is that lovely familiar feeling with twisting your finger around the tin and then dabbing your lips - yes I have flashbacks to carrying a handy tin in my blazer back in my school days.

The limited edition lip balm retails for £3.99 which I think is a fab price, considering Vaseline tins last me forever (and when I say forever I did have one all the way back from 2 years ago which I have safely thrown out today). 

I'd love to know which is your go to Vaseline?

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Sunday, 16 November 2014

Time Bomb Powerball Intensive Moisturiser

Time Bomb Powerball Intensive Moisturiser £36* - Link

Moisturiser is a staple piece to my skincare routine, and is always something I will make sure I religiously apply twice a day. So when I received Time Bomb's Powerball moisturiser I was instantly interested in this spheric moisturiser and couldn't wait to try this out. 

The Powerball moisturiser is described as a hydrating moisturiser that helps defeat acute and chronic sky dehydration. Whilst hydrating the skin this moisturiser helps restore soft, smooth and moist texture to dry and crinkled skin leaving it plump and healthy. The Powerball Moisturiser contains 21 hydrating ingredients including Ectoin, which is a moisture grabbing protein which helps provide intense moisture to the skin. 

This is technically an anti-ageing product but I have heard it's never too early to start using these types of products, and lets face it I'm helping my skin in the long run. Once applied this feels so lightweight, and I instantly feel my skin becoming hydrated. Now I was a little worried to begin with as I do have an oily complexion, however this never looks oily once it has sunk into the skin. Despite its hydrating properties I never find the formula greasy, which is a major bonus for me. 

I think we need to take a minute to discuss the packaging! I absolutely adore the ball shape and it's one of those products that stands out amongst others on my dresser. Despite being a higher end product I love the fact that the housing is plastic because sometimes these odd shapes can be a bugger to hold, which can sometimes resort to dropping (Lancome I'm looking at you!) so kudos for that. As this opens to a pot I find it a lot easier to access product as I prefer sweeping my finger around the top as I often know how much product I will need, and means I won't waste as much. 

This is a little on the pricier side of £36 but I don't mind as I think this is a fabulous product. Personally for me I don't mind the additional splurge when it comes to skincare if it works. And boy does this, I've been using this daily for the past couple of months and I haven't even hit a quarter of the way through the pot so I know that this will last a good while, making a great investment. 

Overall this is one of those moisturisers which is perfect for the colder months, when skin needs that hydration boost. I love to apply this on a nighttime to give my skin the moisture that it needs, and you can tell the difference in a morning, my skin looks a lot more revitalised and healthy. This is a very rich moisturiser which can leave your skin healthy for the day ahead. 

What is your go to moisturiser during the winter?

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Sunday, 9 November 2014

Pixi Glow Tonic

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Pixi Glow Tonic £18 - Link

I will admit it, I'm an avid bandwagon jumper, especially when it comes to beauty and skincare products. So when I was in need of a new toner I took to the internet so see what I could try next, after seeing rave reviews of the Pixi Glow Tonic I couldn't wait to pick this up at the Carnaby Store a few weeks ago. Since using this in my daily routine I can see why there are so many positive reviews and its given holy grail status.

Described as an oxygenating and exfoliating facial glow tonic, this toner contains ginseng and fructose to help firm, tone and tighten the skin. The exfoliating properties mean that you can use this toner twice a day to exfoliate your skin, helping to remove dead skin sells and reducing the appearance of fine lines. The more I looked into this product the more I saw the ingredient Glycolic Acid, and found that this is sort of a miracle ingredient in the sense that it helps exfoliate the dead skin cells without those small beads you find in traditional exfoliator products. 

I like to apply this using a cotton wool pad and it instantly feels like it's cleaning my skin, and picking up the dirt that my cleanser doesn't always get. I have been using this quite generously on the pad and have noticed that in fact I haven't used as much as I thought so I can see this lasting a good few months. 

I will admit it toning is sometimes the one step that I miss out when it comes to my skincare regime, and you can tell the difference in my skin. The days where I skip toner my skin can become blemish prone and dull. However since using this daily I have noticed a significant change in the condition of my skin, it now feels brighter and full of life. Whilst my breakouts haven't completely stopped yet (darn you health) they heal quickly and aren't as harsh. Now don't expect results overnight because I find that this is one of those products that leads your skin to getting worse before it gets better, however you will be grateful of the results. 

The Pixi Glow Tonic will set you back £18.00 which isn't too bad to be honest, as that's what I normally fork out for my Clinique one. However this is a bit tricky to get a hold of if you aren't local to London, otherwise it's an online splurge that will be needed.

What's your go to tonic?

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Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Day to Night: Bags


Admit it, you’re the queen of multitasking. Waking up before the sun, you conquer your workout class, and still look great after. Not to mention the half-hour commute, which, unlike the boys, you do in platform heels. By the time you make it through meetings, emails, and whatever tasks are thrown you’re way, it’s 18:00. You’ve, once again, conquered the workday. Time to celebrate at happy hour with your friends. Eventually you head home to relax, catch up on your latest read, and make yourself dinner. Tomorrow you’ll wake up and repeat. 

And that’s just assuming you don’t have kids. 

Throughout the chaos and stress, it is important for the confident career woman to remain classy and polished, no matter where she is. This can be tricky when carrying a dull, one-dimensional briefcase. You’ve already sacrificed so much to become a high achieving woman, why sacrifice your style too? By choosing the right handbag, you can confidently go from work to evening without having to stress about it’s functionality or on staying trendy. 

The hip bamboo leather clutch is a great bag to get you through your hectic schedule. The dark brown leather is great from going to a casual lunch meeting to a more nighttime look for dinner at that new restaurant. What makes this bag great is the pocket for your smart phone, helping you stay connected to all aspects of your life. With this stylish clutch, picking out your handbag is one less thing you have to worry about. 

Rosalina Nacken’s stylish Italian leather handbag is another great clutch for the stylish go-getter. The Shelle Classica was designed with the modern woman in mind. With the built in iPad case/ clutch, traveling to and from work has never looked trendier. This clutch is a must have for the ambitious woman, looking to better balance work and leisure. The royal blue is a great way to add color to your office while still maintaining an elegant evening look. Even better, the Shelle Classica comes with a dainty gold chain, giving the clutch a whole new look. 

If consolidating your life into a convenient clutch is not happening, try a nice leather satchel instead. The Lola Avenue Rollins satchel, by Kate Spade, is great for carrying all of your daily needs. Created for the office, this bag is made of a fine pebble leather, with elegant gold details. A beautiful bag, the Lola comes in a crisp white, casual brown, and fun dark green, giving you the unique look you crave.


*Sponsored Post
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Thursday, 30 October 2014

MAC Viva Glam 2015: Miley Cyrus

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Miley Cyrus for Mac Viva Glam 2015

Love her or hate her, I have to admit I was a little excited to hear that MAC are teaming up with Miley Cyrus to be the face of the 2015 Viva Glam collection. Over the past few years I have really got behind the Viva Glam cause, not only because there are some stunning lipsticks in the collection but because they help a really good cause. 

Normally I don't blog about new product releases unless they really excite me, and I have to say this does! It's the perfect pink dream, and I think a great shade to represent Miley. As someone who is a fan of bright lipsticks, I'm hoping that this won't disappoint. 

The duo will consist of a hot pink lipstick, the rumour mill is saying that this will be an amplified lipstick and a matching lipgloss. This hot duo is set to launch on 22nd January in America and 12th February internationally.

Are you looking forward to the latest Viva Glam collaboration?

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Tuesday, 28 October 2014

MAC Velvet Teddy

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Mac Velvet Teddy £15.50 - Link

90s lips are very much the in thing at the moment, and dare I say it, these popular brown toned shades are down to a certain member of the Jenner/Kardashian kclan. And now that the autumn is in full bloom, there is no better time to rock a 90s dark nude, with the help of Mac's infamous Velvet Teddy. 

It's a well known fact that Velvet Teddy is very tricky to try and get a hold of, with many counters sold out for weeks. Like mentioned above I think this is down to the connection with Kylie Jenner, and a lot of people commenting that this is a similar shade to what she uses in combination with Whirl. It was only by chance that my local counter had stocked up a week after my hunt for this lipstick began. 

Velvet Teddy is described as a deep-tone beige matte lipstick. Personally I find that once applied it gives the your lips but better effect, with a light beige which perfectly mimics the shade of my own lips. I was expecting this shade to be quite matte, however I find that this is more of a satin matte, which I prefer. However I find that if you add a lip pencil to the base of your lips this will enhance the matte effect which is perfect for a bold lip.

What surprised me most about this lipstick, is how smoothly it applied. Normally matte lipsticks are prone to be quite drying, however this is completely the opposite and it doesn't cling to dry patches on the lips which is an added bonus. Major kudos to Mac for nailing their matte lipstick formula!

To be honest I wasn't entirely sure how this would apply, because on the bullet it appears a dark muted brown shade - which left me worried that my lips would look coated in foundation, however on the lips it appears to be a stunning nude. Once applied I was surprised at how well this shade suited my skintone, it's one of those that I think you can never be fully sure until you apply. Saying that I think this is a shade that will pretty much suit anyone, anyone skintone. I have found that this does help give the appearance of fuller lips - especially my lower lip, and yes no extra liner needed.

All in all this is one of those shades that whilst subtle also provides the prefect lip for statement style. Whilst this is quite a neutral shade I find that it lasts a good while on your lips and doesn't transfer whilst eating and drinking. I can get a good 3-4 hours wear from this shade, which to be honest surpassed my expectations for a nude matte lipstick. 

Overall Velvet Teddy has become my new favourite lipstick, and I can feel the need to stock up already! Are you a fan of Velvet Teddy?

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Sunday, 26 October 2014

The Perfect Duo: Nars Sheer Glow Foundation & Radiant Creamy Concealer

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Beauty, Review, Nars, Nars Sheer Glow Foundation, Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer, Nars Sheer Glow Foundation Deauville, Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer Vanilla, Nars Sheer Glow Foundation Deauville swatch, Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer Vanilla swatch
Nars Sheer Glow Foundation £31.00 - Link | Radiant Creamy Concealer £22.00 - Link

Finding the perfect foundation and concealer duo feels like a mission, one minute I can pick up a foundation that I love to only find a few months down the line that I actually don't like it anymore, which means only one thing - back to the drawing board. That is until I heard a lot of good reviews about both Nars' Sheer Glow Foundation and their Radiant Creamy Concealer - and yes when the term holy grail is mentioned I'm interested!

Nars Sheer Glow Foundation is described as a glowing satin finish foundation with sheer and build able coverage. The foundation is packed with skincare benefits, a few of which include Nars complexion brightening formula leaving skin hydrated, luminous, softer and smoother. And let's face it at £31 I was hoping that these claims would be true. 

I will admit I was a little dubious when I purchased this, as I got shade matched in store and I wasn't 100% sure on the colour choice because the SA was asking me whether I preferred yellow or pink based foundations - which let's admit it I don't know, whichever looks best! Anyways I went away with the shade deauville which does look a little dark when pumped onto the hand, however blends seamlessly onto my face and matches perfectly - phew!

Once applied this foundation is the opposite to its sheer name, I find that this foundation provides a medium coverage which is build able to full, but yet leaves my skin looking flawless and not cakey. Normally with higher coverage foundations I find that they take a lot of effort to buff into the skin, but this is very easy to apply and can be done in a matter of minutes. The finish of this foundation is what I would call semi-matte, which leaves a kind of satin glow to the skin without looking shiny. 

Apart from how amazing this foundation is, I have one major bug bear with it and that's the fact that it doesn't have a pump. Seriously for something that costs so much money, you'd think it could at least come with a pump or nozzle or something to make dispensing the product a lot easier. Thankfully I caved and purchased a pump for this, but it does just add to the final price tag for the foundation. Just to add to this annoyance once you have secured your pump onto the bottle, you have to then unscrew it before you can put the darn foundation away - why oh why can't a lid be included with the pump for easy storing.

Now onto Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer, this is designed to create a softer, smoother complexion whilst instantly hiding imperfections and diminishing fine lines and signs of fatigue. I have this in the shade vanilla, which I believe is the lightest shade that the concealer comes in. 

Personally for me this concealer is a little gem, and it was love at first sight. The texture of this is very lightweight yet does the task of covering blemishes, dark circles and any other lumps and bumps I may want concealing whilst looking very natural on my skin. Just like Sheer Glow this foundation provides high coverage whilst never looking cakey, it applies like a dream and stays in place during the day. 

Overall when used together this is a powerful duo, that means bad skin days are becoming a thing of the past. Even when my skin is at its worst this foundation and concealer duo kicks ass, concealing any traces of bad skin and always ensuring that my skin looks fresh and radiant. 

This may be a pricier option for a foundation and concealer duo, but oh boy it works brilliantly! I can easily apply both of these first thing in a morning and not have to worry that come dinnertime that it has melted off my face. I can come home from work or a day out and still see that my makeup has stayed in place. I really put this to the test last weekend whilst I was on holiday in London, and this stuff didn't budge from 8 in the morning till 6 at night. 

Have you tried either product? I'd love to know your thoughts!
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Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Appleyard London Flowers

Appleyard Flowers, Appleyard London Flowers, Appleyard Flowers blog, Appleyard flowers review
Appleyard Flowers, Appleyard London Flowers, Appleyard Flowers blog, Appleyard flowers review
Appleyard Flowers, Appleyard London Flowers, Appleyard Flowers blog, Appleyard flowers review
Appleyard Rose Envy Flowers*

I will be honest, and say there was a time where flowers would never excite me. If you wanted to buy me a gift flowers were never the top of said list. However over the past few years I have really grown to love flowers, and their beauty. So when Appleyard London asked if I'd like to review their luxury flowers I jumped at the chance!

I was instantly drawn to their Rose Envy bouquet which hosts a beautiful mix of versilla roses, memory lane roses and deep red roses nestled between glossy red berries and blue veronica. I will be honest in saying I was a little worried about how I would receive these as I know there are some companies who don't package their bouquets brilliantly, resulting in the flowers being damaged. However I was pleasantly surprised and overwhelmed by the measures they go to, to ensure that your bouquet is delivered without being damaged.

Onto the bouquet itself, and as you can see it's absolutely stunning, I adore the range of colours within and really stands out and brightens my living room. The arrangement of flowers and berries makes a stunning bouquet, that not only looks fresh and pretty but is very fragrant - instantly filling the room. The choice of colours make the perfect Autumn flowers, and the roses included in the bouquet are beautiful, I know roses can sometimes be very hit and miss but you can definitely tell the luxury quality of these. 

Appleyard's delivery service offers next day flowers alongside a nominated delivery day. This meant that my flowers were ordered on the Thursday and arrived swiftly on the friday, with the quick delivery it meant that I could fully bask in the beauty of the flowers, before having to throw them away.

Overall Appleyard go the extra mile with their beautiful flowers, and you can see this from the detailing of the flowers to ensuring that your flowers are delivered to your door in the time stated. Prices range from £22 upwards, and you can choose the size of your bouquet, meaning there are flowers for every recipient and occasion. Appleyard are currently offering you lovely lot 33% off their bouquets with the code GIFT33 - why not brighten someone's day with these beautiful flowers!

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Thursday, 9 October 2014

Leighton Denny Giveaway


For the release of Leighton Denny's Light and Dark perfume I've managed to get my hands on one to giveaway to my lovely readers. Light and Dark is designed for women who are looking for something out of the ordinary, this scent is described as a wild, mysterious and intoxicating smell and contains top notes of mandarin, grapefruit, peach and white pepper. 

On a side note, as October is breast cancer awareness month Leighton Denny will be donating 20% of product sales to this worthwhile cause. 

Onto the T's and C's:

The prize contains Leighton Denny's Light and Dark fragrance
Open to UK residents only (sorry!)
The giveaway will end on October 4th
To enter use the Rafflecopter widget below

Finally, good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Thursday, 25 September 2014

Salon Science Haircare


Haircare is something that over the years I haven't been too fussed about and would go about my day using any old product. However it is only until recently that I have noticed I am no longer able to do this, and some products have had really bad affects on both my hair and scalp - which means I am a lot more careful in picking haircare products. So I was excited when an email popped in my inbox to try the new Salon Science range. 

Salon Science are a new haircare brand which has just launched in Boots, and the collection consists of 18 products that use plant stem cells and bio-active technology within the formulations. The range is split into four different collections, each devised to tackle specific hair or scalp problems by using one key active ingredient. I have been trying a mixture of their AquaCacteen range which is designed to help with scalp relief and their Swiss Grape range which is designed to help repair and add radiance to the hair. 

The Hydrasorb Intensive Masque* is an intensive scalp purifying treatment which contains anti-irritant actives and compounds of a rare organic cactus to help saturate the scalp with high levels of moisture, allowing your hair to feel instantly radiated. I only popped this on for 10 minutes and after the first use it began to soothe my scalp, and once washed out it left my hair looking really glossy whilst my scalp and hair felt nourished without a hint of flakiness. On another note you only need a small amount of this in your hair, which means that the tub will last quite a while - always a bonus. 

The Hydraluxe Shampoo* and conditioner* are soothing and refreshing cleansers that are formulated to target dry, flaky and distressed scalps. The hydraluxe shampoo is actually one of my favourite products from this range, as a sufferer of a dry, sore and flaky scalp this shampoo is a miracle in a tube. First things first, you only need a pea sized amount of both the shampoo and conditioner to fully cover your hair and scalp so once again the bottles are going to last a good while. There are hints of mint in this shampoo, which is nice as this acts as a cooling stimulant and it never leaves an unpleasant or irritating feeling. After a couple of washes this really helps curb my flaky scalp and leaves my scalp feeling great - no pain or dandruff in sight! All in all both products are very similar in what they do and their results, and when used together give amazing results to what was once a very sore scalp.

Onto the reprotectant thermal creme*, which is another must have item for me. As an avid user of hairdryers/straighteners and curlers a thermal creme or spray is a must have! The thermal creme contains a powerful antioxidant complex that binds to the hairs surface for advance protection, whilst using vitamin E antioxidants and UV filters for protection against daily environmental stress. This was my first experience of using a thermal creme and to begin with I was a little worried incase it made my hair greasy, but that wasn't the case. Instead my hair felt really soft and protected when using heat, as those with damaged hair will know it's lovely to feel soft hair after blasting the heat. It's a little weird to get used to as if you don't press the nozzle down completely it will release a little bit of creme just on the nozzle which is quite thick, and you have to swipe it up and then massage it into the hair. Other than that since using this my hair has felt a lot softer and in some cases a little thicker, however I put this down to the creme being a little heavy in the hair. 

Lastly we have the reglosse smoothing serum* which is a smoothing serum which contains tocopherol and grape seed extract to tame and nourish dry, frizzy and uncontrollable hair. The serum is designed to repair split ends and smooth flyways for an ultra soft finish. Now I will start by saying that I'm one of those lucky buggers that has hair that looks lovely and wavy until a brush goes near it, and then I tend to style the bushy look - never good! I think this works perfectly on second day hair where it's a little dry and it just needs that pick me up to stop it looking worn, and it really helps keep the frizz to a minimum and more manageable. The major difference I have noticed with this product is that it has helped with breakage as once again I suffer from really brittle hair and it does have the tendency to break easily, and this has really help with this. 

Overall I think that this is a fab range, these do tend to sit on the pricier side of haircare ranging from around £13 to £39. However for me personally I have come to learn the hard way that sometimes you do need to spend a bit extra on haircare as it can really work wonders for your hair. 

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Monday, 22 September 2014

Finding the perfect red for your skin tone


I hate to admit it but up until recently I was scared of red lipsticks, no matter the look I always felt I could never pull a red lip off. Trend after trend red lipstick has remained a classic shade, however the search for the perfect red has not been an easy one - I've gone through just about every phase and yes that includes the horrifying clown face - that is until recently. I've been on the search and to my surprise I have found some reds that suit, which made me want to do a post on finding the perfect red lipstick for your skin tone. You could probably search this until the cows come home but I figured I'd put a little guide together of what I've found out.

Are you cool or warm toned?

The main rule of thumb is to work out your skins undertones, and once you have mastered this it should help choosing the perfect red. Undertones are described as the natural tones in your skin, and you will fall into either the cool or warm category. An easy way to determine your skin tone is by looking at your veins on your wrist, if your veins appear blue in natural daylight you will more than likely fall into the cool undertone category. If your veins look more green then you will fall into the warm undertone category. Once you have figured which tone you fit into, this will help determine which type of red lipstick will suit you better.

Those with cool undertones will tend to suit berry tones of red and blue based reds, whereas those with warm undertones will suit orangey reds and brick reds. Theoretically true red shades are meant to suit all skin tones, but it's the kind of thing you would need to swatch in store. 

Over time I've found that the colour you choose doesn't necessarily determine whether or not it will suit your skin tone. However it is how you wear that shade and how bright it is against your skin tone. As my skin is fairly light I would have never thought in a 100 years that I could ever pull off an orange based red such as MAC's Lady Danger, however when I was speaking to one of the MAC assistants she noted how well it would look against my skin tone and to my shock it did. It really popped against my skin and in a good way! Again if I want to go for a blue based red I will tend to dab this on lightly, so that it appears more appropriate for day wear. 

Honestly as a rule of thumb I think the easiest thing is to try on as many as possible and see how they suit your skin tone. This is easier to do on more high end counters as the SA can sanitise the lipstick allowing you to apply. That way you can see which colours help brighten your skin and leave you looking radiant instead of a washed out mess. If you are browsing the high street, try popping the tester on your fingertip as this is the closest colour to your lip and you can hold it up to see how it looks - germ free!

When choosing your perfect red, you don't have to always abide by the rule of skin tone as these are a generalisation to help in the hunt for a red lipstick, and will give you a better idea on the tone of red that will suit your skin. However it is always a good idea to work with the undertones in your skin rather than against them, and by most importantly swatching the lipstick will allow you to gauge if there are any underlying shades that you can pick up on to see if they match your skin tone.

What is your favourite red lipstick?

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Thursday, 18 September 2014

Lip Balm Lovin'

LtoR: Carmex Lime Twist, Burt's Bees Lip Balm, Vaseline Red Lip Tint, Soap and Glory Smooch Operation

Brrrr, now that the temperature is starting to drop I'm definitely starting to feel the cold. The drop in the weather also means that dry flaky lips are coming into force and with a vengeance may I add, which let's face it never looks or feels nice. So I just wanted to do a little post on my favourite lip balms that help keep my lips soft and moisturised in even the coldest of days. 

Carmex's Lime Twist* is a new addition to my lip balm collection, and I have to say I absolutely love this balm. Not only does it smell like fresh lemonade - one of my favourite smells - but it also leaves my lips feeling super soft. I have the worst habit of biting my lips and ripping the flaky skin off, which results in my lips feeling sore - but I find that once I pop some of this one it helps to heal the skin and give them so much needed moisture. This is basically your standard lip balm, that is cheap and cheerful but does the job!

Next up is Burt's Bees replenishing lip balm, Burt's Bees are my favourite lip balm products. I think I own every balm possible from them - I know it's bad! Saying that I really do love the pomegranate flavoured balm, it not only smells delicious but it gives the lips a slight tint which leaving them looking and feeling healthy. 

I can't talk about lip balms and not mention Vaseline, I was introduced to Vaseline as a wee teenager and it was always the in thing to have a tin of Vaseline tucked away in your school blazer. Anyways several years later and I'm still loving Vaseline. One of my favourite releases has to be the Paint the Town Red Lip Tint (so much that I bought a couple for backups at Christmas), it not only leaves a subtle tint to the lips but it also adds that much needed moisture to my lips that is definitely needed for the autumn/winter months. 

Lastly we have Soap and Glory's Smooch Operator Lip Butter Balm, this was something I tried at Christmas in one of their infamous gift sets. First things first this balm contains the signature Soap and Glory scent, which for me is a big selling point to their products - as I'm sold many times based on how a product smells. Secondly this is one of those products that over night can transform my lips instantly, I do find that with this I can often skip my Lush lip scrub as this will bring my lips back to their former healthy selves just on its own. 

So there we have it, these are my choices for the perfect winter balms. I'd love to know what lip balms you rate!
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Sunday, 14 September 2014

Kylie Jenner's Nude Lip - Mac Whirl

MAC Whirl, MAC Whirl Kylie Jenner, Kylie Jenner lip shade, Kylie Jenner Whirl, 90s lip
MAC Whirl, MAC Whirl Kylie Jenner, Kylie Jenner lip shade, Kylie Jenner Whirl, 90s lip
MAC Whirl Lipliner - £12.50 - Link

One thing you may not know about me, is that I'm obsessed with the Kardashians. This means on a Sunday night I'm hooked on my weekly fix of KUWTK, I've played the Kardashian app and I'm always browsing their clothes / beauty lines online and in store. With saying that over the recent months I have fell in love with Kylie Jenner's style, and most notably those lips! After a bit of searching on the internet I found that Kylie re-creates her infamous 90s lips with MAC Lip Liner in Whirl. 

Obviously I went in search of this lip liner and luckily enough my local MAC counter had one left in store *lucky me*. MAC Whirl is described as a dirty rose, which I think is quite accurate - the only thing I would add about this shade is that I find it more on the deep pink / brown side. Once applied this is quite neutral on the lips, and just adds a bit of extra depth to the colour of my natural lips. 

Now I will say I have never considered buying a lip pencil purely to use on its own, however I was really surprised at how this applied. I have only used them previously to outline the lips never fill them in completely. I will say this, Whirl is quite matte which means that once applied this is drying to the lips and is a little difficult to apply, but you do get the hang after a little bit. 

I can understand how Kylie is able to outline her lips further to give the impression of larger lips as this is one of those shades that allows you to exaggerate the natural lip line without looking too weird. Obviously I haven't tried going completely OTT with this, but natural adjustments here and there, and I can see how this leaves your lips looking very flattering. Whirl is a stunning shade, one that I would have never thought to lay my hands on if it weren't for Kylie Jenner, and honestly makes me want to venture into more brown / mauve shades. 

I was really surprised at how long this lasts on the lips, with being a lip liner I was expecting a couple of hours max. However I popped this on today and noticed that it lasted an afternoon of shopping, and then through my tea. It was only when I had an ice cream that it did start to fade slowly, but I would say I got a good 5 hours of solid wear, which I think is pretty impressive for a lip liner. £12.50 may be a bit excessive for a lip liner but I think this is probably my favourite lip liner to date and worth the price. 

Are you a fan of the 90's inspired lip shade?

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Monday, 8 September 2014

My 7 Beauty Sins

Image courtesy of: Careerealism

Let's be honest we have all picked up bad habits over the years, and I know for me despite being a beauty blogger I have quite a few that lurk around during my beauty routine. I think I have fallen into a quick approach when it comes to applying my makeup on weekday mornings when getting ready for work, which also means I've become a bit lazy and I'm hoping I'm not alone with my sins - otherwise I will feel bad when I've finished writing this. 

Morning skincare routine - or lack of

It's a weird thing really, I will always make an effort to cleanse, tone and moisturise of a night time before going to bed. However when I wake up in a morning, forget the whole fresh as a daisy and instead think more Addams family, and yes I'm being honest! Literally on a morning I will be out of bed at 8 and out the house at 8.15 so you know where this is going. I don't even moisturise my skin of a morning, instead I prime and slap the foundation on - yes you can imagine a quick buffing and I'm done. This is my own doing - I do like an extra 10 in bed. 

Touching my face

We are always told that when we touch our faces during the day we transfer the bacteria, oils and everyday grime from whatever is on our hands and onto our skin. Which in theory sounds disgusting, but still I find myself doing it. I do this mainly while I'm at work, and this may be feeling for flaky skin or a random poking, which means that you remember that makeup that I apply within 2 minutes is practically gone during the day. 

Picking Spots

This I find is kind of a taboo subject, we all know that we suffer from spots but people don't often talk about squeezing or picking spots - I know, not a discussion to have over breakfast, but we all do it! Again this is just asking for trouble, by breaking the wall of the pore we allow bacteria to leak out and spread underneath the surface of the skin, whilst damaging the skin. So whichever way you look at it, we are making the breakout worse and damaging our skin while we are it. Need I continue?

Sleeping with eye makeup on

So let's ignore what I said a few points back about how I always try to remove and clean my face on a night, but you know there are some nights where I'm that tired I just about manage to cleanse my face, others well let's not go there. This for me is the ultimate sin, and in all honesty I have got a lot better over the years, making sure I remove my makeup and then tone ect. However I may void all my good work but letting go and leave my mascara on - yes the most cardinal sin and I am guilty of sinning. 

Picking nail polish

So we spend all that time perfecting the perfect mani, avoiding pillow nails (yes that is a thing) and all kinds of issues that can arise when painting your nails. So why is it, I find myself picking at my nails quick enough? I know I shouldn't but sometimes I see a bit of a flaky nail appearing and I just can't help myself, I begin peeling and that's it the mani is ruined. Picking nail polish can be damaging to the nail itself, as you can remove the top layer meaning the nail becomes weaker, but that still doesn't stop me. 

Not washing my makeup brushes frequently

Honestly when I have time off from work this is the last thing that comes to mind, and I know the idea of brushes clogged with makeup sounds pretty disgusting but I live by the rule if they feel alright they are ok to use on my skin. Which let's just say is completely wrong, but I'm a little lazy. I honestly don't want to think about the bacteria that could be on these brushes, so maybe I need to start a routine. 

Not getting enough sleep

Lastly I am completely guilty of this one, unless it's a Friday/Saturday night then you know I will be sleeping a good 10-12 hours (if not more). However I just can't help it, I go upstairs at 11pm and then find myself mindlessly watching E! until midnight, and then have to be up between 7.50-8am. I will just add if I'm watching something when I go up it could half 12 before I finally get to sleep, and I can only blame myself. It's not called beauty sleep for no reason, and I should really try and get enough sleep so that my body will feel more refreshed and healthier. 

So there we have it, my beauty sins all laid out bare for you to see. I'd love to know what you are guilty of when it comes to your beauty regime.

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Friday, 5 September 2014

Yankee Candle Summer Scoop

Yankee Candle Summer Scoop £16.99 - Link

The nights may be drawing in, but I still find myself reaching for my summer candles. There is just something about the fruitier fragrances that I just love, and find relaxing just before I go to sleep. And let's face it there's nothing more visually appealing than a sleek jar burning in the background, there is something about that kind of atmosphere that I love. 

Summer Scoop is described as fragrance that ignites delicious memories of creamy, homemade strawberry ice cream on a hot summer day. Once burning this heavenly scent really comes through, it's strangely reminds me of a mix of raspberry ripple ice cream and strawberry milkshakes. The sweet scent is rather strong and fills my room within a matter of minutes, and it doesn't smell artificial either, if that makes sense.

I adore Yankee Candle's signature housewarmer jars, the candle is presented in a gorgeous jar which serve as a perfect decorate accessory in and around your home. I like that with these jars the lid is tightly sealed which means that you can lock in the fragrance until you use your candle again, or want to add a light refreshment to your room. The only niggle with the jars is that when you allow the candle to burn further into the jar a standard lighter isn't really the best to use - unless you like burnt fingers - so a longer lighter is always best. 

Medium housewarmer jars have around 65 - 90 hours burning time, which for me is a long time as I like to burn my candles during the last couple of hours at night before I tuck myself into bed. These actually retail for £16.99 but I did manage to get this from Clintons with 25% and I know that this candle may be reduced soon as we are heading into Autumn so keep your eyes peeled just incase!

Obviously I picked this up based on the fact that the candle is pink and strawberry scented, however saying that I found this scent to be rather refreshing in comparison to other scents that I own. This is one of those scents that smells good enough to eat, and ignites my love for strawberry ice cream!

I'd love to know what your favourite autumn Yankee scents!

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