Stocking Stuffers – Tweezer Files*

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When it comes to finding stocking stuffers, I love find things which people need but don’t necessarily have. They’ve got to small and decently affordable, and I think I’m ticking all the boxes with this new Tweezerfile. I’m guilty of buying a new (rather expensive) pair tweezers anytime I blunt (or lose) the ones I’m using.

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It’s an expensive habit, so when Tweezerfile got in touch to see if I wanted to give their new gadget a go, I couldn’t resist. A handy little gadget, it’s a credit card sized file which sharpens your tweezers so they feel like new. Just run the tweezers over the metal side a few times and they’re as good as new. Honestly – they feel box fresh!

Tweezerfile are available in a choice of two colours, and they’re priced at £19.99 here.

Too Faced Christmas Star Palette*

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I’m pretty sure that the very first products I tried from Too Faced were from their Christmas collections from way back when, and since then, I’ve loved how ‘all out’ the brand goes each year.

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Obviously Too Faced is a brand which doesn’t do cute by halves, but their Christmas Star Palette might just be their most festive yet! Packaged in a cardboard package which transforms from a pentagon into a star, and secured with a gingerbread fairy, it’s pretty much Christmas personified.

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As if the twenty shadows and five face powders (!) inside the palette wasn’t enough, it comes with a full-sized lip gloss in the exclusive shade Ginger Snap, and a mini Better than Sex Mascara. To say I’m obsessed with the gloss is an understatement. A warm-toned pink shot-through with blue glitter, it’s a stunning, surprisingly neutral gloss which is perfect for everyday use.

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It’s one of those glosses which I just adore – it’s the right kind of sticky, and leaves lips looking juicy. I’m obsessed with the sugary scent, and it’s been in my everyday makeup bag since it arrived.

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Better than Sex Mascara is one of those iconic formulas, and for good reason. It gives lashes serious volume and length, and leaves you with a real false lash effect. I love that it’s super black, and it stays put, all day long, so you don’t need to worry about smudging or flaking throughout the day.

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The mini-sized is perfect, if like me, you struggle to finish a full-sized tube within the recommended three months, or if you travel a lot. I’ve popped this one straight into my travel makeup bag, so that I can enjoy it while I’m away from home.

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The palette itself is a real show-stopper – once you open it out, you get the full star effect, and I love the glitzy golden interior. Once you’re inside, you’ll also notice the smell – rather delightfully, the whole palette is gingerbread scented!

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The twenty eyeshadow shades all veer towards the warmer end of the spectrum, and there’s a great balance of finishes – with matte, satin and glitters all included. I also love the inclusion of the beautiful jewel shades for a pop of seasonal colour – for a neutrals-fiend like me, getting to play with a beautiful purple (Ornament to Be) or olive (Feliz Navidad) is a perfect way to update my regular look.

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There are enough neutrals in there to be able to subtly mix up my eyeshadow for day too! I’ve been loving adding a little subtle shimmer in the form of Good Tidings, and Jingle Mingle too! Each and every one of the shadows blends beautifully, and they last all day long, even on days when I’ve not properly primed before applying.

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The palette really is a full face in one box, as it also contains a bronzer, two highlighter shades and two blushes. I’ve been loving a light dust of bronzer to take the edge off my winter whiteness, then a touch of the blush keeps everything rosy.

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What I love is how flattering to a range of skin tones this palette is – there’s even a choice of pink or icy shades of highlighter, and the shadows would look absolutely stunning on everyone.

Too Faced Christmas Star Palette is priced at £36 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

 

Getting into the Christmas ‘Spirit’*

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When it comes to celebrating Christmas, I’m not sure anything feels quite as festive as a really great cocktail. From something as simple as a Bucks Fizz or Mimosa with breakfast, to more complicated options later on during the day, it’s always fun to be able to kick back and enjoy a cocktail (or two!).

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So, when Aldi got in touch with their take on some seasonal options, I couldn’t resist giving them a go. I had no idea that the stores were so well stocked – from whisky liqueurs to London Dry Gins – you can stock the whole bar cart in a single visit!

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I’ve not gotten around to it yet, but I’m looking forward to whipping up a batch of Candy Cane Swirls once the holidays have properly begun.

Candy Cane Swirl

Ingredients:

– 30ml The Infusionist Candy Cane Gin Liqueur

-20ml Oliver Cromwell London Dry Gin

-20ml whole milk

-20ml double cream

-1 teaspoon of icing sugar

-The white of one medium free-range egg

Method:

  1. Add all ingredients to a shaker with cubed ice
  2. Shake until the outside of the cocktail shaker turns cold
  3. Strain into champagne flute to serve

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The Gingel Bells cocktails are also high up on my list – I love a good gin, so the Oliver Cromwell London Dry Gin with lemon and a Vodka Liqueur sounds dreamy!

Gingel Bells

Ingredients:

-50ml Oliver Cromwell London Dry Gin

-25ml lemon juice

-2 teaspoons of sugar

-15ml The Infusionist Pear, Cranberry & Cinnamon Vodka Liqueur

Method:

  1. Add gin, lemon juice and sugar to a shaker with cubed ice
  2. Shake until the outside of the cocktail shaker turns cold
  3. Strain over fresh crushed ice in a rocks glass and drizzle with The Infusionist Pear, Cranberry & Cinnamon Vodka Liqueur
  4. Sprinkle with cinnamon and garnish with a lemon twist to serve

Thank you to Aldi for gifting me a few drinks options for this post – I’ve been seriously impressed!

 

Bobbi Brown Hydrate & Glow Skincare Set*

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As much as I absolutely adore Bobbi Brown’s makeup, I feel like their skincare is sometimes a little forgotten about. Their Rich Face Base is one of my dry skin must-haves, and I’ve had a bottle of their Beach Fragrance in my collection for as long as I can remember, so when the new Hydrate & Glow set appeared through the letterbox, I was absolutely delighted!

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Designed to combat winter dryness and dullness, the Hydrate & Glow set is a trio of must-haves which will have you shining well into 2020! Rather incredibly, the set contains to full-sized products, as well as a very generously sized eye cream (can more come packaged like this please? I’m obsessed) and the trio is the perfect foundation products to create a naturally glowy look which can take you from day to night.

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First up is the Bobbi Brown Extra Illuminating Moisture Balm in Golden Glow – a perfect moisturiser substitute if you’ve got oily skin, but if you’re dry like me, this is a perfect moisture addition to be patted on over your regular moisturiser. If you’re heading out for the evening, and want even more glow, you can even pat a little of the balm into shoulders and collar bones, so they glisten in low light!

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For day I like to pat the balm onto the high points of my face, and blend well with my fingertips. The balm is lightly tined, and it’s perfect to achieve a flawless base. It allows my foundations or tinted moisturiser of choice to slide only easily too – and I’ve noticed that on days when I’m wearing the balm, that not only does my skin look better, but my makeup wears for longer too!

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Next up in the trio is the travel-sized Hydrating Eye Cream, which comes packaged like a concealer or lip gloss. Honestly, I’m obsessed with this eye cream – I’ve bought countless pots of the stuff before, but this miniature version has gone straight into my travel bag.

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Applying the moisturiser with the doe foot applicator is incredibly easy, and I just dot a little of the formula around the orbital bone, then pat in. Bobbi Brown’s Hydrating Eye Cream always feels super nourishing without being overwhelming – even for day use. It sinks easily in to skin, so you’re not left with a greasy under eye area.

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Last up is probably my most reached-for product from the trio, the Extra Lip Tint, which gives lips a beautiful golden-flecked sheen. I fell in love with these balms earlier in the year (post here) as they are just the easiest and most comfortable way to add a little moisture and colour into your makeup during the day.

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You can’t seem to buy this exact shade of Extra Lip Tint outside of this set, and it’s a great one for everyday use. I always feel like a bright lip is a little much for daytime, and I much prefer a gorgeous neutral, so having a balm like this to hand makes mornings so much easier.

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There’s no overwhelming scent or fragrance with the Lip Tints, and they positively glide on, leaving lips feeling nicely hydrated. The Tint gives lips a beautiful rosiness, and the golden flecks shine in the light.

This set is so perfectly thought out – I’ve been using all three of the products pretty much daily since I received it, and I can’t think of a better way to get your skin prep sorted before the the New Year!

Bobbi Brown Hydrate & Glow Kit is priced at £50 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

 

Kiehl’s Christmas Calendula Toner*

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When it comes to skincare, my main concerns are keeping redness at bay and at hydration levels up – so a toner isn’t always my top priority. I’m usually too busy fussing over moisturisers, but Kiehl’s Calendula Toner has always been on my to-try list, and when it arrived decked out in the brand’s stunning limited edition Christmas packaging, I was thrilled to be able to give it a go!

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Formulated without alcohol, the Calndula Herbal-Extract Toner is designed to soothe skin, and I’ve been loving using it each evening before I apply my moisturisers. This Christmas edition comes covered in Janine Rewell’s beautiful illustrations, and like the original formula, you’ll find hand-inserted calendula petals inside the bottle itself. The formula is enriched with herbs, and it’s been specially formulated for sensitive skin types. I saturate a cotton pad with the formula and swipe over my face after cleansing, following up with my choice of night cream.

Kiehl’s Calendula Herbal-Extract Alcohol-Free Toner is priced at £35 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

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