If you’re anything like me, you won’t be anywhere near finished with your Christmas shopping. Heck, you might not have even begun. I’ve bought a couple of bits here and there over the past few weeks but I never buy the bulk of my presents until a couple of weeks before the big day (around now basically). I know this gives some people anxiety but for me personally, I enjoy the excitement of leaving it all until the last minute and finding some bargains that are often on sale throughout December. I also have a huge family so would rather not have my house filled with presents and nowhere to store them for months before Christmas. Instead, I like to sit down a couple of weeks before, trawl through all the online shopping websites, and order lots of goodies for my nearest and dearest. In fact, as soon as I’ve finished writing this post, that’s exactly what I intend to do. 
If you’re still in need of some gift ideas for the lady in your life and she loves all things beauty, then you’re in the right place. As a blogger I’m very lucky to be sent lots of beauty products throughout the year and also Christmas gifts from some of my favourite brands so I thought it was only right I popped them all together and shared them with you guys as I know I’d personally love to receive any of these things as a gift. I’ll actually be dishing out the majority of them to my family as extra treats on top of the gifts I buy them, as theres only so many products one girl needs (and can physically store in a house haha) so fingers crossed none of them are reading this right now. If you are (I’m looking at you Nanna), please click the X now – hehe!
I’m not going to talk through every single product in this gift guide as lets face it – I’ll be here all day. However, I am going to split them into categories and add the link to each item (I’ll make sure I find the cheapest deals to include) so you guys can go directly to buy the item if anything catches your eye! All I will say is that every single brand included in this post is a brand I genuinely love and have used personally – brands like Elemis, Bare Minerals, Jo Malone and Urban Decay make it into my gift guide every single year and it’s because I genuinely love their products so much and would recommend them as gifts for anyone! So without me rambling any more, here’s the products featured and where you can find them …

Makeup / Beauty Products
Skincare & Home Scents


I hope you like all the products I chose to include guys! I’ve also included some links below to none-beauty gift ideas that I’d personally love to receive on Christmas Day. I hope it helps and you get some inspirations for the lady in your life. Let me know if you buy any of my recommendations – I’d love to know what you got!

If like me you love spending time with your girls but need a bit of help deciding what to do and where to go, then keep reading as I have found the solution. glh Hotels have launched an interactive map called ‘London Covered’ which is basically the best idea ever as it helps you create the ultimate trip around London, or follow pre-made trips that include some amazing locations On a recent visit, I followed ‘London’s Lushest Luxuries’.     
Now if you love London and visiting as much as I do, you’ll know that it’s an amazing city full of fun and exciting things to do whilst there. However, with so many different areas and things to choose from, it can be quite overwhelming. Also, if you’re not based in London and need a hotel for the night, that can also be a challenge as there’s so many to choose from and knowing which is going to be in the most convenient area for the things you’re planning to do can be tricky. The last thing you want to do is get a tube halfway across London at the end of a night out so the fact the London Covered map can help you ensure everywhere you visit is within close proximity of your accommodation is really handy. The map allows you to pick a glh hotel (and they have many lovely ones to choose from around London) and it then shows all the things available to do nearby. The best nightlife, places to eat, shopping and even salons so you can go and have a pre night out pamper. 
glh Hotels asked me if I’d like to try the map for myself and have the ultimate girls night out in London and obviously, I jumped at the chance. London is one of my fave cities to visit so getting the chance to explore new places is always welcome. I got in touch with my friend Emily who recently moved to Bristol and asked if she’d like to join me as it seemed the perfect chance to catch up.
I was booked into every hotel Piccadilly which is right near Piccadilly Circus tube station and possibly one of the best central locations you could find. When I say everything is on your doorstep, I mean everything. I hate having to get the tube everywhere when I’m in London as it adds unnecessary stress to my visit so being able to plan a route for our night and the following day with places that were all within walking distance from the hotel was amazing. The map allows you to add things to your ‘trip’ from various categories depending on what you want to do and then it will tell you exactly how long the route will take, the distance between each location and a little bit about each place too so you know want to expect before you arrive. Genius.
Emily wasn’t arriving until 9:30pm as she’d been at work all day so we decided the best bet would be to head to a local bar when she arrived for a few well needed end of the week drinks. We decided on Foundation Bar which was a short walk from the hotel. Yep, the walk was do-able, even in heels. I don’t go out in London all that often so didn’t know what to expect but the bar was super cool and quirky and the music was right up our street. We caught up over a couple of drinks, had a bit of a dance and then headed back to every hotel to get a good nights sleep before a day of fun we’d planned via the London Covered map the following day. The hotel was a total dream and the huge king size bed in our suite was divine. The room was so spacious with a large living area, flat screen tv on the wall and a huge bathroom so it felt like a real treat and of course meant there was enough space for all of our clothes and beauty products. I’m sure you can all appreciate the mess made getting ready for a night out, or is that just me?! There was also a mini bar on offer with complimentary drinks which we took full advantage of whilst getting ready to head out.
The following morning we ordered breakfast to eat in our room (I had pancakes, yum) using every hotel’s order and collect service before heading to Salon 64 for a blow dry. Again, I’d not heard of this place before but we couldn’t wait to pay them a visit after reading the description on the London Covered map. It’s basically a coffee shop as well as a hair salon and each station has space to use your laptop and USB ports to charge your phone. A bloggers dream?! They also serve all kinds of lovely coffee so if you need somewhere to work remotely throughout the day or want to get some last minute bits done before heading out with the girls, you can do so in total comfort whilst also getting pampered. However, if you don’t fancy a treatment, there’s no pressure to do so – you can also go in purely to work, drink coffee and socialise. It had a great laid back vibe which we loved and we left with bellies full of cappuccino and super bouncy hair. Ideal.

After our fabulous blow dries we headed to Topshop on Oxford Street for a personal shopping session which is something I’ve always wanted to do. Again, it was only a 10 minute walk from the salon which was handy, especially as it started chucking it down and we didn’t want to ruin our freshly blow dried hair. When we arrived, we were shown to the personal shopping area where we were greeted with prosecco and taken into the cutest little room which was just interior design goals – think pastels, flowers & rose gold accessories. The lovely stylists then picked a selection of outfits for me based on the things I’d told them before my appointment. I said I wanted to try some Christmas party wear pieces as sassy outfits are obviously required at this time of year! I loved everything they chose for me – especially the mesh long sleeve top and leather dress combo. I felt like such a rock chick! 
After lots of shopping fun and taking snaps of the beautiful Christmas lights on Oxford Street, it was time for food! We used the map to get us to Shackfuyu, a beautiful little Japanese place. We ordered a selection of dishes to share which is always my favourite thing to do as it means you get to try lots of things and as Emily is pescatarian, we ordered lots of fish and veggie dishes including the best spicy edamame EVER. It was all absolutely delicious and so well cooked. It’s safe to say there wasn’t a thing left on our plates and I’d definitely recommend paying them a visit if you like Japanese food. After we’d finished at Shackfuyu, our London Covered ‘London’s Lushest Luxuries’ route was complete! Much to our disappointment might I add.
I hope you enjoyed reading all about my girly trip and of course the fabulous map. It really is such a good idea and makes planning a trip in London so much easier. I discovered some fabulous places I’d have never known about if it wasn’t for the app introducing me to them and I’m already looking forward to exploring more new places. I’ll definitely be using it every time I visit the capital from here on in. Also, if you like the sound of what I got up to, you can actually follow my exact route for yourself by using this link here: http://londoncovered.glhhotels.com/trip/londons-lushest-luxuries
Are you a fan of visiting London? Do you like the idea of using the London Covered map to help you plan your next stay? I’d love to hear how you use it and the places you visit!
*paid collaboration with glh. However, all opinions are my own.

If you follow me on social (twitter, instagram and snapchat) you may have seen that I recently attended a fabulous event with my fave online shop for all things beauty, Beauty Bay. Having been a huge fan of Beauty Bay for years and continuously buying products from their site, I was so excited to be invited along to the launch of their new campaign, Queen BB. The new campaign is all about pushing your boundaries, being experimental with makeup looks and to basically unleash your inner Queen. I think this is such a great message for them to be spreading – I’m all about girl power, expressing yourself and lifting others up so for a brand to be spreading the message that we shouldn’t be afraid to be ourselves, is amazing!  

The event was hosted at a cute venue in Manchester city centre and the night included lots of prossecco and gin’s (my current fave – definitely a gin queen!), a makeup pick and mix stand which felt like all my christmasses had come at once and the opportunity to get our makeup done with some amazingly talented makeup artists. I went straight from work so already had makeup on when I arrived but they touched it up and it looked so flawless – I honestly don’t know how they do it. I also watched a few other girls getting their makeup done and the word SLAY was very relevant, let me tell you. Everyone looked incredible! I managed to pick up some new beauty goodies form the pick n mix stand too including brands such as Anastasia Beverly Hills, Jeffrey Star, Makeup Geek, Ofra, and LA Pro. That’s one of the reasons I love Beauty Bay so much – they stock a huge variety of brands and whenever I’m in need of a specific item, it’s the first place I turn as chances are, they’ll have it. 

 There was lots of Beauty Bay’s brands and products on display around the event as well as five huge images of different makeup looks up on the wall –  all of which are looks from the new Queen BB campaign that the makeup artists were recreating. Each look has a different name – Queen B, Frankie, Riley, Alyx and Drew. Each of the looks has a different tag line such as ’embrace your wild side’ or ‘go bold and bright’ which is a really fun idea as there’s different styles to suit different personalities.

We were also shown the brand new Beauty Bay TV advert at the event which is something the brand are super excited about – if you haven’t already seen it on your TV, make sure you keep an eye out for it as it’s a cool ad that showcases lots of queens with sassy hair and makeup strutting their stuff and throwing makeup around – basically its pretty bad ass. It’s definitely an ad that leaves you feel empowered after you’ve watched it. If you haven’t been lucky enough to catch it on your screens yet, you can watch it here on the Beauty Bay website and also see how to recreate each of the looks from the advert.  

After lots of delicious food and drinks (check out that drinks menu – each named after the makeup looks in the campaign) the end of the evening we were handed a goodie bag which is always very exciting and this one was particularly amazing as I spotted some of  my favourite brands in there. As you can see from the photos, I was well and truly spoilt as there’s sooo many brands I love in there. The Morphe eyeshadow palette (get it here) as the neutral tones are right up my street and they’re insanely pigmented too. It’s basically just the perfect palette for both day and night as there’s a good mix of shimmer and matte shades in there. I got some of the Morphe eyelashes too which I’m intrigued to try as i’ve heard good things. I’m obsessing over these Cover FX custom enhancing drops – absolutely amazing for mixing with foundation to make the skin blowy! Another Cover FX item I received and am already in love with is this brush – honestly guys, it’s the softest thing ever and is going to be a dream for applying liquid foundation and the cover drops I mentioned above.
I picked up a Milani blush at the pick n mix stall and so I’m so excited I finally have one in the most perfect peachy bronze shade – I just know it’s going to look divine with tanned glowy skin! The goodie bag had lots of other amazing items too like the Laura Geller Lash Boss mascara and a lovely golden bronze Makeup Geek eyeshadow – another of my fave eyeshadow brands! I also picked up a Jeffrey Star liquid lipstick, Ofra liquid lipstick, LA Splash eyeliner, Doll Light highlighter and Makeup Geek pigment from the pick n mix stand. Yep, safe to say, I took the opportunity to stock up! I’m so excited to try all of these products, they’re all from brands I haven’t really tried before so it’s very exciting to get the chance to discover some new faves! All of the products are of course available to buy here from Beauty Bay.

I hope you guys enjoyed this post and hearing about Beauty Bay’s new campaign as well as having a look at some of their fab products! It’s now time for me to go and paint my face with them all – I’m sure you’ll see them in a Monthly Favourites post soon. 

Make sure you check out the ad and if you recreate any of the looks, be sure to tag @beautybaycom with the hashtag #QueenBB on social.

If you’ve not heard of the brand ‘dirty works’ before, they’re best known for their bath and body products due to their retro packaging, quirky product names and delightful scents! I’ve used their products for a couple of years now and have always been impressed with their quality and the fact they’re so affordable. With this being said, I was very excited to hear that they’re now dipping their toes into the beauty world and have released a whole makeup collection to sit alongside their skincare, bath and body products.
I was recently sent the new products to try and was totally amazed by how many items are in the range – there’s everything you can think of from palettes to brow kits, lipsticks and glosses. This is quite unheard of when a brand first launches a completely new type of product but I personally think it’s great that they’ve done such a variety as it means there’ll be something to suit most people’s needs and if you want a whole face of makeup for an affordable price, Dirty Works have got you covered!
I’m not going to review every single product individually as this post would never end if I did but I’ve popped the name of each product and the price below so you can get an idea of what’s available. I’ve also tried to show them as best as I can in the imagery – as you can see, they’re all really well packaged with a quirky retro theme just like Dirty Works other products.
So, here’s the products which are now available to buy at Sainsbury’s and online at www.dirtyworksbeauty.com.
Back to Basics Eyeshadow Palette (£8)
Smokey Eye Kit (£7)
Blush and Glow Palette (£7)
Luxe Lip Crayons (£6)
Wow Brows Eyebrow Kit (£7)
Pucker Up Nude and Coral Lip Glosses (£4 each)
Bye! Bye! Dark Circles Concealer (£5)
Hello Sunshine Bronzer (£5)
Off Duty Nail Polish Trio (£5)
As you can see, the most expensive item is only £8 and that’s for a whole eyeshadow palette with 11 shades. It also has shimmery finishes as well as mattes so it’s perfect for taking your makeup look from day to night. The same applies for the smokey eye kit and blush and glow palette – they’re all insane value for money considering you get multiple products in each of them. They’re also fab little kits to pop in your handbag as they’re so lightweight.

Some of my favourite items from the range would have to be the eyebrow kit, bronzing powder and the lipsticks and glosses. The eyebrow kit is perfect for natural looking brows as the shades are quite ashy rather than orange which helps to create a really natural looking brow. The powders are also really pigmented and the addition of the tweezers, brushes and brow gel makes it a great all in one brow kit. For £7, it’s hard to find fault! The bronzer is great too as it’s huge meaning it’s fab for swirling a big fluffy brush into and dusting all over the face to create a sun kissed glow. It’s slightly too orange toned to use as a contour powder but it’s great for adding some colour to the skin and the light reflecting particles in it add a nice glow to the skin. The lip pencils and glosses are also really pigmented, as you can see from my swatches. One light swipe is all you need for them to be fully opaque and the shades are perfect for Autumn!

Overall I’d say the Dirty Looks beauty range is amazing value for money. Not only will it look super pretty displayed on your dressing table thanks to the cute packaging but it also won’t break the bank. I’d say this is the perfect range for those of you who are maybe just getting into wearing makeup and want to experiment with different products. If you have a sister, niece or daughter who is just getting into makeup – then these would make the perfect start kit. Christmas gift, sorted.
Do you like the look of this new range? Will you be trying them out?! Be sure to visit www.dirtyworksbeauty.com for more information on all the products!!

Hey guys! Firstly, I am SO sorry for such a long break from posting on my blog. I’ve had the busiest few weeks (starting a new job being a major part of that which I’ll write about in another post) and I’ve just felt exhausted and uninspired to write blog posts, if I’m completely honest. I hate putting things up on my blog if I’m not 100% happy so I figured taking a break would be the best option until the writers block passed. Well, I’m happy to say that I think it may have finally gone away as I’m bursting with ideas and content I want to share with you guys !
Today I want to talk about fitness and something I never thought I’d hear myself say: my new found love for it. Yep that’s right, I’ve caught the fitness bug and I’m so happy about it! To give you a bit of background – growing up I was always the type of person who never had to watch what they ate. I mean I used to work at Pizza Hut and would eat pizza at least 4 times a week whilst fitting in a size 6-8 with visible abs. Yep, I was living the dream. However, fast forward to the age of 25 when I was put on medication for anxiety and depression and my weight started to creep up. I could no longer eat anything I wanted and I began to notice changes in my body, changes I wasn’t happy with. Basically, I didn’t like what was staring back at me in the mirror. I’d gained around a stone in a year and although it isn’t a huge amount, it was enough for me to notice and enough for me to want to do something about it. When your jeans are so tight the button pops off (yes this actually happened to
me whilst sitting on a bus – mortified x 100) you know it’s time to get your act together, even when other people tell you ‘don’t be silly, you look fine’. It’s all well and good other people thinking you look fine but if you don’t feel happy in yourself, what anyone else thinks is irrelevant.
With this being said, I decided it was time to start exercising. It’s something that’s never interested me before as I hate the feeling of being sweaty and out of breath – two of the things that obviously go hand in hand with exercise. However, I’d always aspired to those girls with amazing toned bodies who are into fitness. I knew I was never going to look like them without adding exercise into my lifestyle so I decided to contact a local PT about helping me reach my goals. I was recommended him by the girl who does my nails and I’m so glad I took the plunge and booked some sessions as it’s honestly changed my whole outlook on exercise. 
Before starting my sessions I always saw exercise as a chore and something I would dread but that’s because I wasn’t doing the right things – running on a treadmill for 45 minutes isn’t what I’d consider a fun workout. However, I’m now doing what’s called ‘functional fitness’ which is basically a combination of moves using weights or body weight – basically the same as HIIT training. High intensity intervals where you do X amount of reps of an exercise for 3-5 sets which a short rest between each set. It really gets your heart rate up, makes me sweaty as hell and best of all, burns fat and builds muscle which is exactly what I want! It’s also much more fun that running on a treadmill – yes it’s hard and sometimes I feel like collapsing in a heap on the floor but when I’m finished, I feel 10x better about myself. That feeling of achievement is unbeatable and that’s why I’d never go back to a sedentary lifestyle.

I’ve only been on my ‘journey’ if that’s the right word for 2 and a half months but I already know that this is my lifestyle now and something I’ll stick to long term. I’ve already lost around 8 inches from my body, my clothes fit better and I generally just feel way more confident in my own body! Who wouldn’t want to feel like that? I still have a long way to go until I reach my personal goals – I want to build more muscle, look more defined and get my diet much cleaner than it is currently whilst still allowing myself treats here and there. One thing I’ve learnt since exercising more regularly is that the scales mean absolutely nothing when it comes to tracking progress. Since I started, I’ve only lost 3 pounds according to the scale but my body has totally changed shape and everything is more firm. My PT told me that because I’m building muscle, I probably won’t see a significant drop on the scale as the fat I had is being replaced by muscle which is denser than fat meaning you look smaller whilst still weighing the same. I don’t know the exact science behind it but it’s been nice to stop stressing about the scales as much and just focus on what I see in the mirror and how my clothes fit which is a much better indication of progress.
Another thing I’m absolutely loving about going to the gym is the outfits – yep, I even think about outfits when going to the gym, haha. I never knew how many amazing gym kits were out there and all of the amazing fitness brands to choose from. My absolute go to brand at the moment has been JD Women’s under armour range – I absolutely love the style and fit of their items. They fit like a glove and are really flattering too. The grey set and coral sports bra I have on in these photos are my favourite at the moment – those leggings literally hide a multitude of sins and suck me in at all the right places. I always thought gym wear would be unflattering with it being so skin tight but it’s actually the total opposite. I probably feel my most body confident in a gym kit. It gets me feeling like an independent woman ready to take on the world, haha. Anyone else?!
I hope hope you enjoyed this brief insight into what I’ve been doing at the gym as I’ve had so many questions about what I’ve been doing since posting the odd video on Insta stories. I’d love to hear what your favourite gym workouts are or how you got in shape so please leave me a comment below 🙂