UK Beauty & Fashion Blog

Boxing Day Sales // 2013

I set out with the intention to avoid sales this year but here I am sitting down to share my ridiculous and unnecessary purchases with you yet again. Rather than holding on and getting up early come Boxing Day I decided to become one of the early birds with items ready in my basket Christmas Eve morning online via Boots. This did actually pay off since at long last I have my 60ml bottle of Jimmy Choo's original fragrance after 6 days of my order 'processing' and fighting Harry off of my two boxes.
an image of boxing day sales haul 2013
an image of jimmy choo 50ml pefume
an image of lady gaga 50ml perfume
an image of soap and glory face powders
an image of soap and glory gift set
an image of soap and glory travel size
an image of soap and glory sugar crush
an image of soap and glory body butters
an image of soap and glory boxing day sales
an image of poker straight lee stafford
an image of real techniques makeup sponge
an image of laura ashley stationary
As far as fashion sales go I really haven't been impressed however when armed with a Next gift card I ended up picking up a pair of shoes, perfect for walking Harry. Too many of my boots are getting worn away with the distance he walks...along with his need to jump them when he's filthy. With 50% off I've a cheap answer to hi-top converse (photo to be added) that are actually far better quality and couldn't be any more opposite to my usual style. There may have accidentally been a Lush order placed just before I hit Boots & won't grace us until after the New Year sadly. Have you managed to grab many 'bargains'?
*all my own purchases

What I Got For Christmas // 2013

*Warning; if you don't want to see what delivered a smile to my face come Christmas morning click off now. This year I wasn't sure on what to fill my 'Christmas list' with, I guess I'm now at the age where I have most necessities and wouldn't dream to ask for such excessive gifts as I used to. As you'll see I've had very generous family, friends and neighbours with plenty of goodies and gift cards to tide me into 2014. Some gifts are missing since I'd started to use and put them away, like the huge Nando's sauce Tom included in my gifts and candle's burning away, along with clothing in the wash.
an image of what I got for christmas
an image of soap and glory
an image of lush christmas
an image of Lush christmas 2013
an image of lush igloo gift set
an image of sensationail kit
an image of babyliss curl secret
an image of makeup and origins
an image of Christmas chocolate
an image of westie biscuits
an image of christmas reading
I can't possibly pick a favourite gift this year, my mum went crazy on the Lush ordering again by creating her own gift box containing all my favourite festive and items I wouldn't normally purchase myself. Christmas Angel's are SO amazing, watch out for Retro Haagenbath to pop back onto the site and order'll thank me when you smell of mint chocolate chip icecream. Babyliss Curl Secret is another gift I'm so thankful for, hopefully I can enter 2014 with more adventurous hairstyles. Having only used UV Gels I'm excited to test out the LED gel brand Sensationail in more detail - I'm wearing Sugar Plum at the moment which is beautiful along with being Harry proof - my nails don't last a day with the chip-monster. Origins Mask Marvels popped up for one night only after selling out everywhere and my Mum came tops by ordering me the trio!! This year the fashion side of my gifts were filled with jumpers - I usually have a stack GAP legging jeans and many sheer blouses waiting for me. For the rest? You can see for yourselves, plenty of dark chocolate, cosy knits and an adorable organiser.
an image of topshop underwear
an image of christmas pj's
an image of TU scarf
an image of christmas jumpers
an image of newlook jumpers
an image of newlook knitwear
an image of a bloggers organiser
As for Christmas Day we all had a lovely day, with the morning always being my favourite because it's just the four five of us. I'm usually the one to wake first though this year Harry had to wake me, before demanding his walk and scrambled eggs before the day could officially start. This time last year I wouldn't have expected to have had a 6 month old puppy on Christmas Day, let alone one who got so tired opening his own presents that he fell asleep on the sofa while we finished all of ours. I always get a little sad by the end of the day, this year my Grandma & Grandad had to leave early because she wasn't very well and I miss my other Grandma so much more at this time of year since she lived and breathed for Christmas - no guessed where I get my love for Christmas from. Before you knew it the day was over and the alarm beeping for a spot of sale shopping. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, with plenty of time spent with loved ones. 

Christmas at LW // The Hamper

As each Christmas passes it becomes increasingly difficult on what to buy your grandparents. Instead of buying the usual gifts we decided to take note from our friend and neighbour, whom has gone hamper crazy this year. For most members of her family she's rallied around gathering their favourite foods and little gifts to combine in hampers of various sizes. With Christmas only a few days away this would be the perfect last minute gift option for those tricky receivers we all know and love.
a photo of home made christmas hamper
an image of hamper contents
an image of westie biscuits
You will need;
Hamper basket - this could even be a small wicker basket found in the home sections of most stores. Our neighbour picked up a hamper basket for us from a nearby store 'The County Stores', a traditional family department store.
Roll of Cellophane Wrapping - again in card shops or florists. We managed to find a festive print roll with about 3 meters on.
Hamper Straw - a little harder to find, though neither needed it due to buying too many tasty treats and gifts. 
Finishing Touches - You'll need a few bows, ribbons and clear tape to secure your gift.
an image of hamper ties
hamper decoration
We're all really surprised with how well our first hamper turned out, in fact I think we should have gone into the Christmas hamper business this year. With very little effort going into the display and wrapping, its perfect for last minute gifts yet makes one very thoughtful gift. For hamper contents ideas regarding Grandparents we concentrated on food items that both would enjoy, along with dedicated items for each other. Stepping away from the food side, we grabbed one of Sainsbury's festive Diffusers while my Grandad will enjoy his Black Cherry Tobacco. My favourite item has to be their very own tin of edible Harry's, they adore our little chap - again from Sainsbury's. *own purchases.

Christmas at LW // The Beauty Shelves

The last area to have a little festive spirit sprinkled amongst the contents was my bedside shelving unit. My ever growing Lush collection lives here on it's cream cake stand though I've chosen to pack it away in favour of my gingerbread house tin from quite a few Christmas' ago. Every year I fill with my favourite Lush pieces...which doesn't exactly hold many with my addiction so alongside I've a tray of Lush to accompany each other. Lush have plenty of tin gift sets these days, though I wish they had tins slightly more novelty like the little house.
an image of christmas decorating
an image of lush rudolph
an image of secret santa lush
This area may not be the most exciting but it's a nice little touch when walking into my room. You'll find Kringle's Soothing Cinnamon candle is still hanging around, my god this candle is so heavenly that now I'm near the bottom I tried to conserve it for the Christmas run up. I've plenty of Rudolph face masks to keep my skin in tip top condition come next week while hoping 'Santa' brings me some more Buche De Noel, my favourite winter cleanser from Lush.
an image of lush buche de noel
close up of lush christmas products
What's been your own favourite decoration purchase this year? *Extra's since* I picked up a bargain trio of wooden reindeers that match my storage boxes in Sainsbury's for £4-ish. One sits on each shelf with the other sat on my drawer unit currently taking place on the landing, staring at whom may be coming upstairs. Lucy xx *own purchases

Christmas at LW // LW Christmas Tree

With an unexpected delivery of four new Christmas trees arriving mid-November we became 'those people' - according to friends and family. We didn't plan to be so ahead usually our festive decorating starts the first weekend of December. With having a foul week and the excitement of some beautiful trees sitting in our porch off I set to turn the house into a winter wonderland.
an image of me 2 u bear
an image of robin christmas decoration
an image of shabby chic christmas tree 
christmas decoration image
As always my Christmas tree is fake, complete with a heavy dusting of fake snow. Sick of my tacky white tree from B&Q I hopped onto Homebase where they already had 50% off all their Christmas range. The Snow Effect Barch Tree stole my heart, with a 4ft ordered for myself and a 6ft to replace the main tree. Can we all take a moment to imagine my Dad's face when he walked into the porch full of Christmas boxes. These tree's are as close to a real tree a fake Christmas tree can look, I keep referring to them as the Winnie The Pooh trees. My favourite part being the base, instead of your metal frame we've a large, heavy wood effect trunk. 
an image of christmas decorationsan image of christmas tree fairy
an image of a shabby chic christmas tree
Keeping up with my theme from last year I haven't picked up an awful lot of tree decorations, the few I did ended up downstairs on the kitchen's tree. Last year I went a little crazy ordering items from my favourite shabby chic stores and B&Q, this year I felt let down. Stores stocked the same or took shabby chic and vintage inspired pieces the complete opposite route. Asda had a white washed wooden tree complete with jingle bells, along with a pack of white roses and bird houses. The rest of my decorations are saved from when I was a very small child, B&Q, Melody Maison and quaint local stores with my added collection of Me2You Christmas characters. It's a shame I didn't follow the tartan theme but only Next seemed to have a few cheeky characters, there's always next year. Light wise I grabbed an old set of coloured lights, which usually I turn my head away to but this year with my little shabby vintage looking tree blend in well. 
*all own purchases

Lush Christmas Gift Guide // 2013

Christmas is my favourite time of year, with one company that will never fail to amaze me with their range of gifts and singular products. This year a lot of other brands disappointed me, while Lush continued to up their game to the next level on with new creations and old classics. You can see two of the affordable wonders here, in more detail. Every year I compile my little Lush gift guide as I see it as the perfect time of year to introduce loved ones to a brand they dismiss buying for themselves. I still remember my first Christmas with Lush, a candy cane adorned box sat waiting with the sweetest selection of goodies. Each item I've selected is perfect alone or paired together depending on who and the budget. 
an image of lush christmas gift guide
I haven't had the heart to crush my replica of Lush's first store yet, modelled on 29 High Street, Poole and retailing for £5.75 Secret Santa would obviously make the perfect secret Santa gift AND makes a very cute decoration for any room in the house. When I ordered the bath bomb I didn't pay too much attention to the descriptions having always liked to figure out the notes and a possible dupe, little did I know that while I sat telling everyone 'It smells literally like the entire Lush store' it has actually been made to smell as if you've just walked past a Lush store on the high street. This weekend I'll be making myself smash the bath's starting to look a little dull and shabby now, though I'm sure it'll end up with me purchasing a second to feel less guilty. This guy is so so pretty. Snow Fairy will be appearing in most bloggers wish lists I'm sure this year, but it's a great base to start introducing someone to Lush. This was my first Lush Christmas product I ever used and throughout the years I have actually gotten slightly sick of the sickly sweet smell but it's something I'll always come back to. This year I made sure to order myself a bottle at the start of the season, with my back up Ponche's still going. Any of the various Christmas shower gels make great gifts and stocking fillers, they're quite a bit more than a regular shower gel but it's only Christmas once a year... Rose Jam would be another pick however I just can't justify paying SO much for a shower gel as wonderful as the sample lathered up. Maybe there will be a bottle sat waiting for me come Christmas morning. Snow Fairy retails between £3.50-£10.95, making it the cheapest out of the three. Did any Twilight lovers catch the retro addition?
an image of festive christmas skincare
Two gift sets were previously featured on LW this week, soon becoming my favourite affordable gift sets of the year. Baby Frosty* and I Want Candy* are brilliant for those in larger friendship groups, with Baby Frosty coming in just under the £10 mark. You needn't worry about explaining how to use each product when each set comes with a booklet and tag detailing all.
Christmas Eve - £2.95 had never appealed to me until this year, maybe I'm getting old now, sigh. This is a product I've always made sure to include in my Mum's stocking each year - did it go missing one year? I'm sure Christmas Eve didn't come back and we were both heartbroken. If you're looking for a relaxing, step away from the sickly sweet Lush scents Christmas Eve sits in the mature category containing Jasmine Absolute and Ylang Ylang oil, providing deep, calming blue waters after a busy few weeks organising just one day!
an image of Lush emotional brilliance
Rudolph soon became a favourite of mine this year, I've wanted Lush to create a festive face mask for years. The cleansers were always something I'd look forward to buying each October before stocking up for the rest of the year which I've been doing recently with the mask. Exchanging 10 pots for my second and third pot of Rudolph I've sure started another addiction with plenty more to be grabbed before it's too late. With the busy season kicking off and long, cold winter nights this mask caters for all. Whether you need oils balanced, dry skin banished or redness defeated you can garnetee you'll only look like our favourite reindeer if you stick on the jelly nose included in each pot. At £5.50 a tub it doesn't break the bank and goes a LONG way, I had 7  applications out of my first.

Snow Fairy Sparkle rocked up into the collection this year retailing at £4.95, though the size disappointed me along with mine arriving with a large finger 'smush'. Despite this I adore this massage bar enough to want to send everyone I know a bar, despite being in the snow fairy family the bar itself isn't a strong nor sickly as the popular liquid candy floss gel. On application you'll notice yourself turning pink...before massaged in to add a subtle shimmer, sweet fragrance and nourished skin. This item would be perfect to include in your very own 'Snow Fairy' gift set since both box and cone don't actually include this sparkly, shimmering bar yet include Shimmy Shimmy!?
an image of lush gift sets christmas 2013
My last Snow Fairy feature came as a surprise, Lush announced they were to releases five limited edition fragrances in time for Christmas. Each of the five; Snow Fairy, Rose Jam, Snowcake, Ponche and Calacus all varied in price but come in 30ml bottles. Now sadly Snow Fairy has now sold out - it's not exactly surprising though this means my feature is now slightly pointless. However Rose Jam would be a great alternative along with festive Snowcake or even Ponche for a male! Leaving the sweet shop scents behind Orange Jelly Soap earned a place on my Christmas list this year. It's overall form is much softer than most Lush soaps I've used before and smells orange jelly. Another skincare product for everyone would be Ocean Salt. I've owned countless pots of this scrub over the years, with a pot always appearing in my stocking thanks to Mumma Writes. It's blue and white mix can sometimes be too much for sensitive skin due to containing the occasional large chunk of salt however it's also a great body exfoliator too. Available all year round in two pot sizes to meet all budgets.
an image of christmas eve lush
When Lush relaunched their makeup range as Emotional Brilliance I soon became just as much of a fan as  I am of their bath products. Previous base Jackie Oats is another favourite of mine due to seeing me through while the 'drugstores' forgot about us snow whites. All five shades would make brilliant gifts since they're labelled Light Pink, Light Yellow, Dark Pink, Dark Yellow and of course Jackie Oats. Used as a base, concealer or mixed with your favourite moisturiser they're a great multi base without getting the overall shade too wrong. Emotional Brilliance powder stood out the most...even over the brightly coloured liquid lips on offer, translucent with the silkiest finish for £12 again. Feeling Younger would make any beauty junkie happy come Christmas morning, as a cream highlighter or mixed with a foundation for a glowing complexion all day. And lastly A Million Kisses makes for the ultimate red Christmas lip though no longer with us, Santa Baby Lip Tint is a great alternative. Lucy xxx Disclaimer: press sample, for review consideration only, no payment received. see disclaimer page for more.
© Lucyy Writes

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