Mother's Day Gift Guide

With Mother's Day approaching very soon - 15th March if you didn't know - I was challenged by House of Fraser to create gift guide, with a gift option for everyone to choose from. Everyone does Christmas and Valentine's Day gift guides, so why not a Mother's Day one?

For any occasion you can never go wrong with a picture frame, just put a special photo in the frame and it becomes an incredibly thoughtful gift, and will probably be one of their favourite presents. Linea do amazing homeware in general, I always seem to be a bit too late for their amazing sales, but the Gold Effect Frame range are such pretty picture frames which will fit in to any home. The gold also helps to make them look a bit more expensive than they are. Another gorgeous homeware item is the Shabby Chic Flower Garden Giftset, it comes with two candles and a reed diffuser. Again a great gift which can fit in to any home not matter what the decor theme is and looks super classic and vintage. The great thing is your mum can then use the candle jars for decoration after they've melted, and you can buy refills for the reed diffusers - it's the gift that keeps on giving!

If your mum is a bit of a beauty addict there are always going to be those brands that you know you can go to if it's the night before and everything else has failed. Jo Malone is one of those brands because let's face it, who wouldn't want to open a Jo Malone box any time of the year? I've recently tried their Pomegranate Noir Bath Oil* and the scent is amazing, I'll have a review up soon. They're a little pricey at £40, but your mum will get at least 20 baths out of this, and when you compare it to the price of a Lush bath bomb at £3, it's actually cheaper per use. If your mum isn't much of a bath person but still loves her beauty then a luxurious lipstick is always going to go down well. I've never tried a Chanel lipstick but I'd recommend their Rogue Allure Luminous Satin Lip Colour in Badine, because you want her to get use out of it, so picking a satin lip colour that's a neutral pink means it's not too opaque or matte, but is special enough that she will appreciate it a lot and perfect for everyday.

If you're on a bit of a budget, but still want to buy something pretty and luxurious for bath time then Bayliss & Harding have you covered. Their Rhubard and Vanilla Cream Pamper Kit sounds delicious, and again looks a lot more expensive than it is. It comes with everything need for the perfect relaxing bath, and if you know your mum isn't in to sweet scents they have so many different gift sets and scents on offer. If you're not after a beauty treat but you're still on a budget then this Therapy Jennie Cosmetic Bag is a great option, plus it's reduced at the moment. Everyone needs some little bag for their handbag, whether it's to hold makeup, pens or just everyday female essentials, and this is a really cute option. It looks similar to Ted Baker ones but so much cheaper, and because of the red I feel it looks that bit more sophisticated than a floral Ted Baker one.

Finally, speaking of Ted Baker they have these gorgeous Heart Stud earrings. I'm not much of an earring wearer because I find cheap ones tend to hurt my ears and make them itch, but even I am tempted by these. They do them in silver, gold and rose gold and they're all gorgeous, but I feel silver is the most safe option because it can look sophisticated and classic for both work and night time. They're £19 which isn't ridiculously expensive, but they're not the cheapest option either, but I can guarantee anyone would love these and they're a great gift which will last a lifetime.

What are your favourite picks for Mother's Day?

100 Follower MAC Giveaway

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Some time last week I finally hit 100 followers via Bloglovin, which is completely insane! My followers and page views have increased so much over the past 6 weeks and I'm so thankful to everyone who follows, reads or leaves any comments on my blog.

So I thought I'd do a giveaway to celebrate reaching 100 followers and give you a bit of a choice on what you win. You can win any permanent MAC lipstick, eyeshadow - in pan or compact - or paint pot from MAC's standard range of your choice. Just simply enter via the form below, UK only sorry. The competition will run for just under a month giving you plenty of time to enter, plus I'm on a bit of a spending ban until my exam is done, so it finishes on the day of my exam meaning I can do some shopping for myself when I go to buy the prize.

Thank you to everyone that follows my blog!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The One Sweep Wonders

one sweep wonders, urban decay naked toasted, loreal cafe saint germain, bourjois rose fauviste, one sweep eyeshadows

When it comes to eyeshadow a lot of the time I find it impossible to just leave it at one shade on the lid, I always feel like it needs the extra crease definition or just deepening up on the outer corners, it's probably down to having that many eyeshadows that I just want to play with them all in the morning. But in the past couple of months I've been putting the blending brush down and realising that some eyeshadows can work wonders just swept over the lid on their own, meaning they're the perfect shades for when you hit the snooze button one too many times leaving you 10 minutes to get ready.

The Urban Decay Naked Palette is 100% my favourite palette, it's my go to palette for every occasion because I just know it's never going to fail me, whether I want a girly daytime look or a deeper smokier look. If I'm in a serious rush my favourite from the palette to reach for is Toasted, a gorgeous warm bronze toned pink with an almost metallic finish. It's the most amazing shade on the eyes, it blends out beautifully and is an amazing colour for the winter months. It's my most used shade with a serious dent in it, I can feel the pan getting worryingly closer every time I use it.

An amazing alternative to Toasted, just slightly less warm toned and a bit more silver, is the L'Oreal Color Riche in 201 Cafe Saint Germain. The product looks a bit bruised and battered because the eyeshadow is essentially a pressed pigment, so after getting it home when I bought it the shadow had completely smashed in the bag. Partly my fault, but on closer inspection I think it was partly the manufacturers fault. However, this wasn't going to stop me trying it, so I pressed it back in to the compact and have been reaching for it a lot recently. It has an amazing wet look about it, and even has a wet but creamy feel to it on the fingers. It isn't the easiest shadow to blend out because of it's texture, but the colour is simply gorgeous.

I imagine by the end of February people will be bored out of their brains hearing me talk about this one, but it really is that good! The Bourjois Colorband in 04 Rose Fauviste is a golden beigey pink, after doing some online searches it's very MAC All That Glitter's esque. I mentioned this in my Everyday Makeup post, so I won't go on too much. But it's just an amazing cream eyeshadow stick,all it requires is a few swipes across the eye, a quick bit of blending with your finger and it sets like paint, this seriously isn't budging for anyone!

The next two I'm going to speak of in a more broad term, because they were both limited edition shades that I got in Christmas sets last year. The pink glittery shade is from Soap and Glory, and I have an inkling that you can get it in their Off The Wallflowers palette, but this style of shade is one which I feel everyone needs, it's a frosty pink with glitter running all through it, similar to MAC's Naked Lunch. The next is a simple champagne shade, this one is from No7 but I have no idea what shade it is, but not only are these shades great for your base, but they work perfect for just swiping over the lids to cancel out any redness or veins on the lids. Both of these style of shades are perfect for if you're just starting out with makeup, because they're so simple and easy to pull of.

What are your favourite 'one sweep wonders'?

Why Primer Is An Everyday Essential

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Primer is a stage I feel a lot of people seem to skip in their makeup, some people feel they don't see any benefits to primer or some people just simply can't be bothered. I personally couldn't wear my makeup without primer, I find it acts as the glue for my makeup and provides a much needed barrier between my moisturiser and foundation, without it my foundation would just slip and slide around. Finding the right primer to suit your skin or the foundation you're wearing can however be a lot harder than it seems.

In my opinion, the most obvious choice when buying a primer would be Benefit the POREfessional, it's the UK's number one selling primer and the beauty community regularly give it the thumbs up. This was the first high end product I ever bought, and although I don't use it everyday anymore I do still love it. It smoothes out your complexion, blurs any imperfections and slightly mattifies the skin ready for foundation. This is one I grab for when I'm going on a night out and I want a flawless complexion, I find if I use it everyday it can start to clog up my pores - slightly ironic considering it's supposed to blur them - so I reserve this for when my skin is in dire need or if I'm after a flawless look.

In terms of high street primers, they never seem to offer anything too much for your skin except helping to make your makeup last a bit longer on the skin. Some budget options would be the W7 Prime Magic Camera Ready Face Primer* which helps to smooth out the skin and blur any fine lines. It has a slightly strange smell, not offensive just not what I expected, and makes the fingers feel slightly dry after you've applied the primer, but it leaves the skin feeling silky smooth and ready for your base. I have normal skin but I can imagine this would be nice for people with oily skin as it helps to mattify the skin and soak up any oil in the skin. Another would be the Maybelline Baby Skin, a little really does go a long way with this primer, if you add too much your foundation will slide right off the skin, but if you can find the perfect middle ground it will help your foundation will last all day. I'm not quite sure it lives up to it's claims of being pore minimising, but if you're after a basic inexpensive primer this is a nice option.

If you're someone who doesn't struggle keeping foundation on the skin but just wants to have the added glow to the skin then you'll love MAC Prep + Prime Skin Base Visage. I bought it recently after trying a sample of it, and it's defiantly my personal favourite of the bunch. It starts as a pearly white with a creamy texture with slight reflective glitter throughout but blends in to the skin to add a hydrated and moisturised look, but without the shine of a moisturiser. The glitter adds a highlight and glow to the face without looking like a disco ball and I've found my makeup does last that little bit extra when I do wear this. It's cheaper than the POREfessional but is still on the slightly pricey side of things, but for me it's an all round winner.

Do you wear primer, and what is your favourite?

My Current Everyday Makeup Routine

Everyday Makeup Routine, mac prep and prime, collection concealer, sleek blush, bourjois eye crayon, rimmel match perfection, bourjois rouge edition velvet, rimmel stay matte, brow archery

I've been keeping my makeup relatively simple at the moment, but seriously loving the look. Rather than having lots of eyeshadow and a simple lip I've been doing the complete opposite, and I can't get enough. I've worn this look for over a week now, which is probably the longest I've worn the exact same look in a long time.

Review | Real Techniques Duo Fibre Brush Set

With the release of the new Bold Metals collection it's easy for a lot of the Real Techniques brushes to fall of the radar and be forgotten about, so after finding these pictures on my laptop I thought I'd give them some of the recognition they deserve.