Friday, 25 December 2015

Merry Christmas!




Merry Christmas to all my wonderful readers. I hope you all have a fabulous day!

Eat, drink and be merry! 

I'll be back 1st January to celebrate Annie Writes Beauty's 2nd Birthday! 





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Thursday, 24 December 2015

Top 5 Christmas Films for Christmas Eve





Oh what a wonderful time of year, it's Christmas Eve! I feel like this year has completely flown by but I cannot wait to finish work today, get into my Christmas pyjamas, tuck into a takeaway and spend the evening watching some of my favourite Christmas films. I LOVE Christmas films and as soon as December hits I try and watch as many as I can. I thought I'd share some of my Christmas favourites which I'll be watching this evening.

Love Actually - 
The ultimate feel good Christmas film we all love. I have watched this so many times, some of my favourite actors are in it and I absolutely love the scene where Hugh Grant dances to Jump. It has very much become the must watch film of December.

The Polar Express - 
I wasn't too keen on this at first but it finally stole my heart a few years ago and I do love a film with Tom Hanks. The Polar Express is heart warming and encourages the idea of just believing in Christmas. The computer animations are pretty incredible in this too.

The Holiday - 
The Holiday tells the story of four unlucky in love hopefuls who accidently fall in love over Christmas and New Year. I don't always class this as a Christmas film but always tend to watch it this time of year nonetheless. Plus an hour or so of Jude Law makes for good viewing.

Miracle on 34th Street -
This has to be my favourite Christmas film ever. I've watched it countless times and still after all these years have a bit of a crush on Bryan Bedford. Telling the story of Father Christmas and how a little girl starts believing. So heart warming. 

The Santa Claus - 
I watch The Santa Claus every Christmas eve as I always remember watching it when I was younger, I love the first film, tolerate the second but hate the third one so I only tend to watch the first one. It's funny, magical and so Christmassy. It's one of my 'classics' 

What are your favourite films to watch at Christmas?

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Wednesday, 23 December 2015

London Rocks // Buckley London






It's not very often that I wear lots of jewellery and when I do, I keep it simple and minimalistic so the new London Rocks collection from Buckley London was practically made for me. Buckley London are one of the largest suppliers of costume jewellery and they have the most incredible selection of products. They are also the official designer of the Remembrance Day Poppy which is what I'm going to buying instead of a paper poppy next year. 

The London Rocks collection is an online exclusive and launched a couple of weeks ago featuring pieces in rhodium, gold and rose gold. Each piece is then studded with crystals in co-ordinating colours for extra glamour and sparkle. The perfect companion for Christmas and New Year parties. I have the Rose Gold Pendant* and Rose Gold Hoop Earrings*. Both items are subtle and very beautiful. I may even treat myself to the Rose Gold Friendship bracelet for my birthday next week. 

Have you bought anything from Buckley London before? What are your favourite jewellery pieces to wear? 

*PR Samples.
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Tuesday, 22 December 2015

A Cosy Wynsors Christmas






Cold December evenings are all about warm pyjamas, hot chocolates and snuggling down under a blanket to watch a film. To make that a reality my TLC box arrived from Wynsors to make sure I had a real, cosy Christmassy evening. The weather has been quite mild for December but that doesn't mean the temperature hasn't been dropping in the evening, I feel the cold the most in my feet so a pair of slippers is a must for me, thankfully my Beige Poca slippers* from Wynsor Shoes keeps them nice and toasty. 

Inside my box of treats among my slippers, I found a salted caramel hot chocolate spoon, a Christmas jumper mug, some festive smelling candles and a winter fleeced blanket. Quite possibly the best box I could've had arrive! Paired with some warm bagels and The Polar Express I had the cosiest of cosy evenings in my new slippers. There are lots of different types of slippers to choose from on the Wynsors website so you can also keep your tootsies toasty this Christmas!  

*PR Sample.
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Monday, 21 December 2015

Party Makeup, Your Rules // House of Fraser




Over the festive period House of Fraser* have been promoting their new campaign, Your Rules, which is all about throwing the rulebook out this festive period and celebrating your way, with your rules. I've concentrated on New Year's eve and what make up I'll be painting my face with to celebrate the new year and my Birthday as I turn 26 on New Year's Eve! 

The majority of the time I play it safe with my make up, usually just changing it up with a bold lip but the House of Fraser video below has inspired me to be a bit more daring! How gorgeous does the glitter red lip look? I HATE glitter with a passion but even I've gone off skipping to Hobby Craft to buy some glitter although I'm half wondering whether I should've bought edible glitter instead as I lick my lips so much without realising. 

I keep my base simple with Too Faced's Born This Way foundation, Benefit Cosmetics Watt's Up highlighter, some NARS Dolce Vita blush and The Balm Bahama Mama bronzer all set with Urban Decay All Nighter setting spray. I always do a smokey nude look on my eyes as the bronze and gold shades bring out my eyes more, I then just coat my lashes with lots of mascara. The bold lip I'll be wearing this year will be MAC Cosmetics Ruby Woo with their lip liner in Brick. Lastly House of Fraser's gorgeous glitter lips will be on show, I'll be following the video below to get that perfect pout ready for a kiss at midnight. 

What are your rules for New Year? Do you have a go to make up look or will you be being more adventurous like me?



*Sponsored post by The 7th Chamber.
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Sunday, 20 December 2015

Dove Christmas Gift sets






Dove is one of the most trusted beauty products around and has been for more years than I've probably been alive. Their Christmas sets are some of the best on the market and are always a good choice for family members to wrap up and place under the tree. I recently reviewed the new Dove Derma Spa range and one of the gift sets this year includes the Goodness3 Skin Ritual set* which comes with the body lotion, body cream and hand cream. Each of the products are luxurious and leave the skin feeling so smooth. I swear by the hand cream for keeping your hands soft and well looked after in this cold weather. 

The Dove Real Woman set* contains three of Dove's failsafe products, the rich nourishment cream, hand cream and moisturising body wash. It's the perfect set for Christmas for the all time Dove lover or for someone new to the brand. My bathroom is now overflowing with some of Dove's finest which makes my skin very happy. 

Have you bought any Dove sets for friends or family this year? What ones have you bought?

*PR Samples.
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Saturday, 19 December 2015

Christmas with Birchbox





It wouldn't be a new month without my monthly box of beauty goodies from Birchbox and December's is full of Christmas cheer. December's theme is 'All that Glimmers*' and comes in a super luxe clutch bag. The bag is a really good size for a night out and with three panels in pleather, green velvet and gold glitter, it's the perfect festive accessory. 

This month's 'box' comes with five exclusive samples, six if you count the perfume sample. You all know my thoughts on perfume samples in subscription boxes, they're a waste of space. Thankfully products from Rituals, Benefit Cosmetics, Ciate, Model Co and Embryolisse make up for it. The Rituals foaming shower gel in White Lotus & Yi Yi Ren smells amazing, I couldn't stop sniffing it. Used in the morning before work it really gets you ready for the day ahead with a bounce in your step. The Ciaté polish in Fit for a Queen is the perfect, silver Christmas nail polish, I love the brand and have a few bottles so I already know the formula will be fab. 

Benefit Cosmetics feature again this month with the ultimate party companion, They're Real liner; Use it alongside the Model Co lipstick in Smitten and you're party ready. You then have Puff Off and the Embryolisse moisturiser which will help sort your skin out the morning after the night before. Birchbox have made sure everything you need this party season is to hand. 

What do you think of the December Birch'Clutch'? 

*PR Sample.
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Friday, 18 December 2015

Christmas Decoration Haul






Christmas is big in my house and with that comes a burning desire to buy every Christmas decoration in sight, I blame my Mother. I've been pretty good this year and haven't gone too mad mainly because the life size reindeer I want from Marks and Spencer is display only but I have managed to pull together a little haul for you guys. Including some personalised pieces, the all important spicy candles and some bunting. Aren't I good?

I had a Personalised Classin Christmas sign* made by ijustloveit.co.uk recently to hang on the living room door, it has a rustic feel to it as it's made from upcycled wood with a wire hanger. Having something personalised just makes it that extra bit special, especially at this time of year. I picked up the gold Christmas tree decorations, Santa LED lights and Merry Christmas boot bunting from Homesense for a bargain £20 which I bought with a voucher they had kindly sent through for me as part of their Hang a Bauble campaign which is raising money for Action for Children. I didn't realise the Santa's had LED lights in them until I brought them home but thankfully they're clear lights inside, I'm not a fan of coloured lights at Christmas.

Candles, candles, candles, it wouldn't be Christmas without the scent of cinnamon and spice in the air. I bought a Festive Spice tealight set from Next for £3.50 and some small jars from Primark for £1 each. I think Yankee Candle are ridiculously overpriced for what they are so I won't be burning Christmas Eve or Spiced Apple this year. Lastly, I bought two new decorations for the Christmas tree, one being a Penguin (obviously) from M&S for £2 and then this beautiful message in a bottle type decoration from John Lewis for £3. For weeks I'd been walking past, picking it up, moving the glitter around before putting it back down before I bought it the beginning of December. If you can't get something out of your head then you should almost, always go back and buy it. 

What do you think of my little haul of decorations and where should I be looking to buy more?

*PR Samples
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Thursday, 17 December 2015

Soap & Glory In The Bag





It wouldn't be Christmas without copious amounts of Soap & Glory gift sets and In The Bag* has to be my favourite one available as it has all of my favourite products tucked away nicely inside including one of their  fabulous shower puffs. On the packaging it says that this is the perfect gift for the girl that loves to be in her bathroom and they're not wrong. You have Soap & Glory's best selling products inside this handy toiletry bag from Clean on Me, The Righteous Butter and Glad Hair Day to Hand Food and Scrub of your Life.

It's not too late to pick one of these up for the Soap & Glory fan in your life or if there is someone you know that isn't familiar with their awesome products then this would 100% be the perfect starter kit to introduce someone to the brand. I have all my minis lined up in the bathroom ready to use and I can't wait to get some use out of the gorgeous toiletry bag when I go away in January. 

What Soap & Glory gifts have you picked up so far? We all end up buying a few for ourselves don't we?

*PR Sample
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Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Festive Reds with Nails Inc





If there is one nail shade I can always count on at Christmas it is St. James by Nails Inc. I will rarely wear a red on fingernails because I'm lazy and can't be bothered with the upkeep and maintenance that comes with having red nails plus it's a right pain to take off. 

Anyway...... this time of year I bite my lip and get on with it. Starting with a nice file, basecoat, St. James and then a top coat. All this guarantees my nails are in tip top condition. St. James is hands down my favourite red for nails, it's the ultimate pillar box red and instantly adds some glam to any outfit. I add Marvala Mavadry over the top to fix the polish in place, this stuff also makes it last so much longer. There you go, my festive nails for Christmas. What do you wear on your nails at Christmas?


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Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Hang a Bauble // Homesense



Tis the season to be jolly and with that comes my urge to buy every Christmas decoration in sight whether I have the space for it or not. Thankfully I don't need to feel bad about going over the top this year thanks to Homesense' Hang a Bauble campaign in partnership with Action for Children.  This is the sixth year Homesense have run this campaign. Customers can buy a Christmas bauble for £1, they can then write a festive message or Christmas memory before hanging it on the Homesense Christmas tree in your local store. All the donation proceeds go to Action for Children and it's local services. 

During last years campaign Homesense raised more than £150,000 for Action for Children enabling them to help vulnerable children. It's such a heartwarming campaign, especially at this time of year. If you're near a Homesense, make sure you pop in and get involved. I went along to the store in Hedge End, Southampton last week to pick up some baubles for myself. You can also read more about what work Action for Children do via this link

*Sponsored post
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Monday, 14 December 2015

Blogging Besties #GeorgeTakeTen



Myself and Rachel from illustratedteacup.com were recently challenged by George at Asda to choose the same dress but style it our own way. I left the choice up to Rachel, as long as it was black I would be happy and she picked a good'un, the Suedette shift dress* which is a bargain £16. I went with some classic black accessories (shock) and a faux fur gilet. I wanted the outfit to work for both day and night. 

The gold panel ankle boots* are my favourite part of the outfit. I've been looking for some like these for weeks, I didn't want to spend a lot of money and this pair from George are perfect. The heel is high enough to make reaching things easier but be able to run around in them all day without your feet hating you too. I love the gold panel detailing too. The gold detail tote bag* and faux fur gilet* complete the outfit, with the gilet adding a subtle hint of colour. Grey is colour enough for me! The whole outfit cost just £73 and I'm definitely going to make more of an effort to pop into my local George at Asda to see what clothes they have in future. 

What do you think of my outfit? Don't forget to visit Rachel's blog to see how she styled her dress!

*Outfit & accessories supplied by George at Asda. 
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Sunday, 13 December 2015

Bedside Table Essentials






We all have a bedside table full of tricks right? Products we need within reaching distance when we're too cosy in bed to get out and walk across the room? Well I have a little basket full of bits and pieces I may just need after I've snuggled down for the night. My bedside table is pretty standard, lamp, books, tablet, a dish of random trinkets and a basket to hold all the bits you can see above in. Lip balm and hand cream is something I always keep near my bed in the vain hope it will encourage me to use both products more before I drift off. Soap & Glory and Bee Good are my favourite hand creams as they both smell soothing which make them the perfect products to use before you go to sleep. 

I was given the Deep Heat muscle rescue in a goody bag in the summer and it is by far my most used product from an event. I injured my shoulder quite badly earlier on in the year and it gets really achy some nights so on this goes and all is right in the world again. I also keep some Bach Rescue Remedy by my bed to use if I've had a shit day or I'm just feeling a bit meh. It's a lifesaver at times. My personalised eye mask from Benefit Cosmetics is always by my bed just incase the light floods in too quickly and I'm not ready to pull myself from my duvet yet. It's so cute and one of my favourite things I've been sent. 

What essentials do you keep by your bed?


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Saturday, 12 December 2015

Festive Styling with West Quay








West Quay shopping centre is my go to destination for all things fashion, make up and food so when an email dropped into my inbox about an evening of Wagamamas, winter styling and festive make up tips with West Quay's fabulous PR team I couldn't say no. I spent the evening with Tanya, Jess, Brogan and Kat talking blog and what we're wearing this Christmas season. We started off in Wagamamas in the Food Court where we tucked into edamame, ebi katsu, gyoza and more while sipping on prosecco before we made our way to Oasis Fashion. 

While at Oasis Fashion we were talked through their key pieces for this season. From Jacquard dresses, tops and skirts to embellished dresses and cosy knits. I have my eye on more than a few pieces and I'm dying to get back into Oasis to pick them up. In particular I want the Jacquard Hattie Mini and the Sparkle Tweed Dress. After trying on a few different outfits in Oasis we moved on to The Body Shop to see what they had on offer for Christmas. The Body Shop is the place to go for Christmas gift sets and this year's scents did not disappoint. 

I had such a fab evening with the blogging girls and the girls from Frank PR. It makes such a difference when it's just like a girls evening out rather than a stuffy blog event and I can't wait to go shop up a storm in Oasis next week! 

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Friday, 11 December 2015

My Top 5 Eye Palettes






I'm an eye palette hoarder and I have no excuse for the amount of palettes I own other than I have an addiction so as this is my final installment of my top five series I had to dedicate it to eye palettes. Urban Decay are hands down my favourite brand for palettes as you can see from the photo and who can blame me? Their eye shadow formulas are pretty incredible. Each palette is a little on the pricey side but I have chucked in a high street bargain for good measure too! 

The vice 3 was Urban Decay's limited edition from last years holiday collection and I'm currently trying to talk myself out of buying the Vice 4. It has the best mix of colourful blues, pinks and purples housed next to some gorgeous neutral shades. I reach for this palette daily and have just hit pan on two of the shadows. The mirror is also huge so I tend to use it to do my make up in bed if I'm not quite awake enough to stand at a mirror. 

I have all three of the Naked palettes, (I don't count Naked Smoky because I'm not overly a fan) and the original Naked palette is 100% my favourite with Naked 3 being a close second. I use each and every shade, the powders are buttery and easy to blend, with each shade lasting for hours without creasing. Golden hues are my go to and Naked covers each base. I just wish they would bring the palette out in the tin packaging because it would be so much cleaner and I'd be first in queue to buy it. 

I bought the Naked Basics from a friend who didn't get on very well with matte shadows, I luckily love them so alongside the Vice 3, I use this most days. The small, slim palette houses six must have neutral shades perfect for day to day wear with the darker shades meaning you can achieve a smoky neutral eye pretty quickly for night time. I wouldn't be without this as the shades are soft, silky and a dream to apply.

I should really write an ode to Mac eye shadows because they're incredible! I bought my pro palette in January of this year and have slowly started to build it up. I have four more spaces left, five technically because I have two pans of Naked Lunch in there as it's my favourite shade ever. I love the pro palettes because you can customise them to exactly what you want. I find with some palettes that you don't use all the shades so this is the perfect resolution to that problem. I need some more shade recommendations so please let me know what your favourites are. 

Lastly is my bargain of the bunch, Birthday Suit by Seventeen. It's cheap and the packaging is not that pretty to look at but the shades are beautiful! There's a mixture of mattes, shimmers and cream eye shadows including a primer to stop the shadows from creasing. The shadows are really fab quality and last a full day at work, pushing well into the evening which makes going from work for cocktails a breeze. There is also a darker, smoky version which is also really beautiful. 

What are your go to eyeshadow palettes?

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