The M&S Summer Beauty Box

There’s nothing I love more than a big box full of miniature beauty products and M&S have come up trumps again this year with their Summer Beauty Box. I loved last years offering and went on to repurchase a couple of products, for me its a great way of trying out new brands or products without having to purchase a full size.

The limited edition Summer Beauty Box is available both in-store and online, yours for just £15 when you spend £40 on clothing, beauty or home. Not bad considering the products inside are worth over £115. As soon as this came out I took a visit to my local M&S, popped a few bits of school uniform in my basket and grabbed this off the shelves. Seeing as last years box was a sell out I wasn’t taking any chances!

Marks and Spencer’s offering in the way of beauty is now huge, stocking some of the biggest brands, it’s one of my go to places when I’m looking for something new. The Summer Beauty Box contains 10 products, only one of which I had tried previously, in perfect sized miniatures for an upcoming holiday.

The M&S Summer Beauty Box

What’s included in the box?

Formula Deeply Nourishing Face Mask – I love a good face mask, especially one that can put something back into my skin. I think this will be perfect for putting on after a day by the pool on holiday to re-nourish my skin.

Rosie for Autograph Radiance Highlighter – Who doesn’t love the look of sun kissed skin in the summer. Personally I don’t allow my face to tan from the sun and usually rely on self tanners, so a product like this is perfect to add a glow onto the face. (This product is full size)

This Works Perfect Legs Skin Miracle – I was excited to see this product included as I’ve heard so many good reviews. A tinted multi-vitamin serum, it’s ‘perfect’ to enhance and repair the look of your skin. This will definately be coming on holiday with me.

The M&S Summer Beauty Box

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo – I love a dry shampoo, especially on holiday. This product actually cleans hair by eliminating the oil and sweat, whilst leaving hair smelling clean.

Shay & Blue English Cherry Blossom EDP – I’d never tried any fragrances from boutique brand Shay & Blue before, and this one is certainly a gorgeous rich floral scent. I’ve been spraying this already, perfect for summer.

Ultrasun Face SPF30 – I’m a huge fan of SPF’s for the face, and I’m excited to try this brand. I usually veer towards a French brand for my suncare but this one offers heavy duty UVA and UVB protection whilst also being very lightweight. I shall be popping this on my face for the foreseeable.

Rodial Vit-C Energising Face Mask – I’m a huge fan of Rodial, and a lover of products with Vitamin C in, the fact that it’s an easy to use sheet mask too, it seems inevitable I’ll enjoy using this.

The M&S Summer Beauty Box

Emma Hardie Moisture Boost Vit C Cream – I’m excited to have this one back, I’ve used it before, a daily moisturiser for the face containing Vitamin C to improve skin tone and give a tired complexion a bit of a boost.

Ren Atlantic Kelp Shower Gel – I’ve used Ren body washes but not this particular one. With Atlantic kelp and magnesium it promises to awaken and refresh my tired sluggish skin and senses so I think I’ll be using this a lot!

Skin Iceland Eye Gels – Hydracool and firming transdermal patches to help firm, de-puff and reduce premature wrinkling under eyes within 10 minutes. I’ve already used these and would certainly purchase again.

So that’s everything included inside the box, pretty obvious to see it’s well worth spending the extra £15 when you’re next in M&S to get one of these. Given that last years was a sell out, if you want one I’d order one pretty quick.

The M&S Summer Beauty Box
The M&S Summer Beauty Box
The M&S Summer Beauty Box

I like to think I’m pretty good at taking care of the skin on my face, but when it comes to the skin below the neck I hate to admit, I’m not that great. It’s not something that is part of my daily routine, I find it too time consuming if I’m honest.

I’ve been a bit better about using body moisturisers lately and have found some firm favourites, along with an old fave, which I’ve been really enjoying using and thought I’d share these with you.

L’occitane Almond Milk Concentrate £42

This has to be my all time favourite. I always have a pot of this in my cabinet, usually saved to use as part of my tanning routine (I use it to moisturise my dry areas before applying the tan) It has to be my favourite not only for the smell, if you love products with an almond smell then this will be perfect for you, but also I love the way it quickly absorbs into the skin. L’occitane describe it as their best selling miracle in a jar that absorbs lightening fast into the skin and I’d have to agree.

Rituals – The Ritual of Sakura Body Cream £19.50

The smell of this one completely won me over. I’ve used Rituals before but this has to be my favourite range so far. The rice milk and cherry blossom provide a very light and fragrant experience. The texture is rich but absorbs well into the skin, which again is important if you are impatient like me! The antioxidant ingredients together with Vitamin E help to strengthen the skin whilst moisturising. I’ll certainly be trying more from this range. Another great thing to add about Rituals is that you can purchase a refill tub which fits neatly inside your original tub when you run out, great if you are trying to be a little more conscious about the environment.

Skinny Tan Bum Booster Cream £19.99

I bought this cream because it reminded me of the famous Brazilian Bum Bum Cream but at a fraction of the price. I’d seen that this version by Skinny Tan had originally been quite popular and apparently sold out within days when it was first launched, so ever one to jump on the bandwagon i was keen to try it… and so far I like it! The idea is that the active ingredients guarana, Brazilian açai, capuacu and creatine help promote the circulation and keep your behind firm and smooth, what’s not to love? I can’t say that my behind looks totally uplifted since using it, probably down to my love of snacks.. and it maybe due to the fact that I’m actually applying a product regularly for once, but I can kind of notice a small difference. If anything its smoother, and who doesn’t want a smooth behind?

Have you tried any of these products? Which body moisturisers are your favourites?

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Skinny Tan Bum BoosterRitual of Sakura Body CreamL’occitane Almond Milk Concentrate

5 minute make up look

Before my love/obsession of skincare started, it would have been fair to describe me as an avid collector of make up. Whilst I’d love to have that natural flawless make up look everyday, we all know if there’s a school run to do in the morning or children to entertain, chances are you’ll have about 5 minutes to get ready and leave the house looking somewhat put together. (Gone are the days where I can rely on my 20-something year old glowy skin.) Recently I’ve found myself reaching for the same few things when it comes to make up in the morning, and it seems to work well so here’s what I’ve been doing.

I try and shower, cleanse, tone, moisturise etc as soon as I get up in the morning so thats one less thing to rush as time is ticking towards the school run. I’ve managed to reduce my make up routine to just a few products that enable me to look somewhat less tired afterwards. Let me walk you through the products I’ve been using lately.

Mums 5 minute make up

Conceal under the eyes

Nyx Bourjois Under Eye Concealer & Bourjois Healthy Mix Concealer

Conceal the under eye area…. this is most definitely my problem area, dark circles, puffiness, you name it I’ve got it. As the dark circles have gotten worse over the last couple of years I’m finding that concealer isn’t enough on its own, so I’ve added in a correcter to cover up the darkness before concealing them.

NYX Professional Make Up Dark Circle Cream Concealer is a beautiful creamy texture, not too thick or obvious. It contains coconut oil which stops any caking. If I feel I need it, over the top I’ll apply Bourjois Healthy Mix Anti-fatigue Concealer. This is a nice thin texture to apply to the under eye, and coverage is good. It contains vitamins C, E & B5 which help cover the imperfections and banish signs of fatigue.

All about that base

Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Foundation

For base I tend to use the Intensive Skin Serum Foundation from Bobbi Brown. Don’t be put off by the fact it’s a foundation as I actually prefer wearing a tinted moisturiser during the week, however this is surprisingly thin and a little goes a very long way, especially when applying with a brush. I always use a Real Techniques base brush to apply any foundation. I’m impressed that this product has an SPF40 in, although it wouldn’t stop me from applying a separate SPF underneath, but I do like to know that I’m applying an extra layer of protection.

Brows

Ka-Brow by Benefit

The next step for me is always eyebrows. I have to pencil or powder mine back into shape due to years of over plucking. (What I would give if I could go back in time and tell 15 year old me to put the tweezers down!) Ka-Brow by Benefit is the only product I use on my brows, super quick and easy to apply. I find by applying this after my base, it kind of frames my face and I can see what I’ve got to work with & how tired my face is looking.

Eyes and Cheeks

Soap & Glory Eye Palette
Benefit Hoola Bronzer & Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge

Next we’re onto eyes and bronzer/blush. With eyeshadow I find that sticking to the same shade most days means I can apply it quicker and not have any surprises with unusual colours first thing in the morning. Something from a neutral palette would suit, the Urban Decay Naked Palettes are great but recently I’ve been using a palette from Soap and Glory. The slight shimmery bronze tends to make my eyes pop a little and look more awake.

My go to bronzer has always been Hoola from Benefit. I can’t remember when I first started using this, every time I divert to something new I always come back to this one. A quick swish across the cheekbones and anywhere else you might naturally catch the sun is suffice. Follow this up with the Pot Rouge from Bobbi Brown. Ive got mine in the colour Fresh Melon but have my eye on the Pale Pink one too.

Lashes

Soap & Glory Thick & Fast Mascara

I’m blessed with fairly long lashes, but I always start with curling them. The Mascara I have used for years has always been the Chanel Volume in Black, I’ve mentioned it before and you’d be hard pushed to find one that lengthens and gives as much volume. However I purchased this one from Soap and Glory last year and I’m pretty impressed so far.

Bobbi Brown Extra Lip Tint

I don’t tend to wear anything too strong on the lips during the week apart from a lipbalm or tinted lip formula. Most of the time I apply Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Lip Protectant or a Bobbi Brown Extra Lip Tint, they’re both natural and quick to top up.

This make up routine takes me about 5 minutes from start to finish, if you have any questions about the products I use or have any suggestions I’d love to hear from you.

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Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour® Cream Lip Protectant Stick
Bobbi Brown Extra Lip Tint
hoola bronzing powder
CHANEL  LE VOLUME DE CHANEL  Mascara
Naked Eyeshadow Palette
SOAP & GLORY THICK & FAST SUPER VOLUME MASCARA
Soap & Glory Kick into Neutral Eyeshadow Palette
ka-BROW! eyebrow cream-gel colour
Real Techniques Expert Face Brush
INTENSIVE SKIN SERUM FOUNDATION SPF
Bourjois Healthy Mix Concealer
NYX Professional Makeup Dark Circle Cream Concealer

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? I absolutely love shopping for gifts for my loved ones this time of year, and there’s nothing like a good Christmas Gift Guide to get the inspiration flowing. I love reading these types of blog posts so here’s my version for 2018, grab your gingerbread latte and have a browse….

 

For the ladies

Molton Brown Muddled Plum Body Wash
Rainbow Stripe Scarf
Diptyque Candle
Hush Pyjama Top
Hush Pyjama Bottoms
Next Red Tartan Slippers
Molton Brown Muddled Plum Body Wash
Rainbow Stripe Scarf
Diptyque Candle
Hush Pyjama Top
Hush Pyjama Bottoms
Next Red Tartan Slippers
Molton Brown Muddled Plum Body Wash
Rainbow Stripe Scarf
Diptyque Candle
Hush Pyjama Top
Hush Pyjama Bottoms
Next Red Tartan Slippers

Molton Brown Muddled Plum Body Wash £24

Accessorize Rainbow Stripe Blanket Scarf £20

Diptyque Sapin de Lumiere Scented Candle £30-£53

Hush Printed Pyjama Shirt £59

Hush Printed Pyjama Bottoms £55

Next Faux Fur Tartan Slippers £16

For the Beauty Lover

Pixi Glow Skintreat Besties
Bobbi Brown Party Glow Eye and Lip Palette
Elemis Skin Radiance Christmas Collection
Spacemasks
Liberty Scamp and Dude The Sleep Kit
Urban Decay Naked Cherry Palette
Pixi Glow Skintreat Besties
Bobbi Brown Party Glow Eye and Lip Palette
Elemis Skin Radiance Christmas Collection
Spacemasks
Liberty Scamp and Dude The Sleep Kit
Urban Decay Naked Cherry Palette
Pixi Glow Skintreat Besties
Bobbi Brown Party Glow Eye and Lip Palette
Elemis Skin Radiance Christmas Collection
Spacemasks
Liberty Scamp and Dude The Sleep Kit
Urban Decay Naked Cherry Palette

Pixi Glow Skintreats Besties £28

Bobbi Brown Party Glow Eye & Lip Palette £26

Elemis Skin Radiance Christmas Collection £59

Spacemasks £15

Liberty London The Sleep Kit £59.50

Urban Decay Naked Cherry Palette £42

For the Personal Touch

Next Alphabet Mug
Marks and Spencer Alphabet Cushion
Oliver Bonus Personalised Wash Bag
Personalised Framed Print
Anthropologie Pommed Monogram Stocking
Stanley & Maud Rose Gold Mini
Next Alphabet Mug
Marks and Spencer Alphabet Cushion
Oliver Bonus Personalised Wash Bag
Personalised Framed Print
Anthropologie Pommed Monogram Stocking
Stanley & Maud Rose Gold Mini
Next Alphabet Mug
Marks and Spencer Alphabet Cushion
Oliver Bonus Personalised Wash Bag
Personalised Framed Print
Anthropologie Pommed Monogram Stocking
Stanley & Maud Rose Gold Mini

Next Alphabet Mug £5

M&S Alphabet Cushion £12

Oliver Bonas Alphabet Embroidered Wash Bag £24

Sophia Victoria Joy Best Friend Print £48

Anthropologie Monogram Stocking £36

Stanley and Maud Rose Gold Mini Necklace £35

 

I hope that’s given you some ideas and inspiration, Part 2 will be coming in the next couple of days so keep a look out for that if you’re struggling what to buy the man or kids in your life…

Love it or hate it, Christmas is almost here. I’m not embarrassed one bit to say I go completely Christmas crazy this time of year, and have been watching all the calendars being released with eagle eyes.

I’m not sure I could bring myself to spend hundreds on a calendar, but if anyone wants to buy me one I certainly wouldn’t complain. However I do love them and have put together a list of my top 5 favourite ones this year.

The Space NK Advent Calendar – £250

This one is hands down my favourite one this year. I love that there are a variety of brands in there, often a lot of these products aren’t usually available in mini sizes so its the perfect one if you fancy trying lots of different products. With brands such as Nars, Drunk Elephant, Sunday Riley, Dr Dennis Gross plus so many more, it’s a skincare lovers dream. Granted it is a little pricey at £250, however if you add up the cost of the products it comes to £600.

Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Advent Calendar – £150

This one is one of the most beautifully designed Calendars, a gorgeous treat to open one of the doors every morning. However its worth noting that this is for 12 days and not 24. But none the less a gorgeous treat for the 12 day countdown to Christmas.

John Lewis Advent Calendar – £165

A luxurious option from John Lewis featuring some new and iconic beauty brands. With 25 full and trial size products from the likes of Clarins, Charlotte Tilbury, Aveda, Elemis, this is a lovely treat every day in the festive season. In addition to the products, several brands have included invites to receive a complimentary treat or service at one of their John Lewis in store counters.

L’Occitane Advent Calendar – £49

This is definitely one of the calendars at the lower end of the budget, but still with 24 bestselling L’Occitane products to look forward to and with a luxuriously bright design. With the products worth £85, this one is well worth the pre Christmas treat.

Marks and Spencer Beauty and Make Up Advent Calendar – £35 (if you spend £35 in store)

Marks and Spencer always impress me with their offers and this one did not disappoint. With over £280 worth of iconic products inside, you can pick this up for the bargain price of £35, as long as you are spending £35 in store. 24 doors of luxury treats to open in the count down to Christmas for that price, I might just convince myself to buy one… This one is sold out online but I have seen it still available in store.