Tag Archives: beauty

Dear Santa… A Christmas Wishlist

Christmas wishlist 2013

Jo Malone fragrances in Earl Grey & Cucumber and Blackberry & Bay / Balega running socks / Deep red brogue Chelsea boots, River Island / Zara mens knitted hat / Listography Journal, Play.com / FujiFilm Instax 90, Photojojo/ Lipstick Queen Some Like it Hot gift set / 2014 diary, Paperchase

I know I said no gift guides this year but I couldn’t help putting together a little wishlist for myself, including a new camera – a girl can dream, right?

This year, for the very first time, Mr Ship-Shape and I taking the plunge and hosting Christmas ourselves. Given that we’ll be spending a fair chunk of money on keeping seven people in food and wine for a couple of days, we’ve decided just to give each other stockings this year, so I don’t expect I’ll find a FujiFilm Instax 90 or a new lens under the tree.

We’ll be using the red and white polka dot stockings that I made last Christmas and filling them with small but thoughtful gifts – I already have a couple stowed away that I hope he’ll like!

When I was younger I was all about the Christmas presents – even a few years ago I could barely get to sleep on Christmas Eve for all the excitement – but now I’m a little older, I’ve reached something of a tipping point. A stocking is lovely and I’ll never say no to a bottle of Jo Malone cologne or a pair of wine coloured Chelsea boots, but they can’t compare to family.

I really am just looking forward to spending time with our respective families, enjoying the company of those I see far too infrequently and setting some of our own Christmas traditions, which may or may not include devising a recipe for Baileys hot chocolate…

What are you wishing for most this Christmas?

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Neal’s Yard Remedies Blogger Event

NYR Mothers Balm

When I heard that Neal’s Yard Remedies were looking for bloggers to attened their Blogger Event at the Bristol shop on Whiteladies Road last night, I jumped at the chance. I’ve been a huge NYR fan since being on the receiving end of a white tea face mask and jojoba facial oil from their range, which I now use daily before applying moisturiser.

The event, the first that NYR have run for bloggers, was to help promote two new ranges for the brand; Mother and Baby and their Bee Lovely range. I’ll confess that I wasn’t overly sure about the evening before I arrived – since I’m not planning on having children any time soon – but several of my friends have given birth in the last few weeks, so I figured I could learn a thing or two and pick up some gifts for them at the same time.

After bumping in to Bonny of Over Stuffed and chatting to NYR’s Social Media whizz, Jane, about the NYR make-up range and the colour of the crudités, we were treated to a history lesson of the brand and the importance of buying organic by PR Manager Nicola and Elisabeth Winkler.

NYR Bee Lovely Body Lotion

Although I thought I was fairly familiar with Neal’s Yard, the talk and the event in general revealed how deep and rich the brand’s history is. For instance, aside from being beautiful apothecary style packaging, did you know that one of the reasons all the products come in blue bottles is that this shade of glass helps to filter out UV rays? Nope, neither did I! I also learnt the secret of how to use a product that had always baffled me – the Wild Rose Beauty Balm.

After trying out some scrumptious smelling lip gloss and signing up to the brand’s Save The Bees petition, I was also lucky enough to sample a 15 minute reflexology taster. The brand offers a range of treatments (again, something I didn’t really know about before last night) above the shop floor, and the wonderful Christine worked her magic on my neglected feet.

Since training for the Bristol Half Marathon my feet have been blighted with blisters but I was in expert hands with Christine and by the end of the treatment I didn’t want to put my shoes back on! Throughout the evening I was blown away by the knowledge and enthusiasm every member of the team had for the brand and their products and once I’ve run the half marathon I’ll definitely be back to treat myself to a massage!

Thank you so much to Nicola and Jane from NYR HQ, Elisabeth, and the lovely Bristol team for being so helpful and accommodating.

Unfortunately my camera wasn’t playing ball at the event, so apologies for some of the blurry photos! You can see more (far better) photos over at Tigerlilly Quinn.

NYR blue bottlesNYR nibblesNYR Baby Balm

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A little less conversation, a little more action please

Benefit's They're Real mascara

I feel like I’m going through a bit of a beauty revolution at the moment, what with losing my lipstick virginity and now this recent discovery – mascara that actually works. I’ve been a huge Benefit fan since a uni trip to New York where the pretty packaging, a friendly make-up artist and a temporary loss of senses led me to spending half my student loan on scrubs, glosses, mascara and everything in-between.

My Benefit make-up collection

My Benefit make-up collection

Since then my costly love affair has been satisfied by Christmas presents (thanks Mum) and magazine samples (thanks Glamour!) and my mascara of choice has been Benefit’s Bad Gal. It does the job but to be honest I’ve never understood what friends and fashion magazines were banging on about when a new mascara launched. I despise the television ads, most of which use ‘post production enhancement’ or ‘dramatisations’ to make inflated claims. Of course I would like darker, thicker, longer lashes as much as the next girl but it’s never been that high on my to-do list.

So when I was accosted in the beauty department of Oxford Street’s Debenhams by Benefit make-up artist Charity, I was surprised to find the US cosmetics brand’s latest mascara offering, They’re Real, actually lives up to its claims.

Advertised as a ‘beyond belief mascara’ They’re Real promises to increase curl, length and volume without smudging or drying out. These are common claims for most mascaras which often translates to clumpy, spider-like lashes – while this look might be in-keeping with this season’s 60s trend I prefer more natural looking lashes.

Just one coat of Benefit’s They’re Real gave me long, realistic but enhanced lashes and two or three coats gives  a very ‘va-va-voom’ look perfect for a more dramatic look. The wand has a rounded end which allows you to work the mascara into your corner lashes and the ‘no smudge’ claims were true – it took ages to remove the stuff with my usual make-up wipes.

I’d post a piccy on here but I’ don’t think I’d do the shiny tube of wonderstuff justice so here is another review by Sarah from I Heart Cosmetics. Do you have a mascara that rivals They’re Real? If so let me know by posting a comment below.

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