Happy New Year everyone! It is New Years Eve and I am sat writing this in my pyjamas with no intention of leaving my house. I am a massive hater of the New Year (I don't like change) so I don't like to go anywhere and endure some enforced fun. Instead, I am much happier at home on my own with a selection box of luxury biscuits.

Like every other blogger out there I thought I would use the last day of the year to look back at 2015 on its highs and lows. Except - nothing really happened. I didn't meet the love of my life. I didn't get married, have a baby or buy a house. I didn't get a substantial pay rise at work, I didn't finally decide on a career which would motivate me and make me look forward to 2016. Nothing actually happened. I simply survived another year, and that's okay. Brilliant, in fact! I am still here, alive and healthy and that's great.

Although, smaller, less substantial things happened to me. Like, for example, I flew on a long haul flight on my own. This was an utterly terrifying prospect for me and even on the way to the airport I still didn't think I would actually get on the plane but I did. I walked onto the plane, sat down, then got up and walked off 8 hours later. And it was fine. Being able to do this on my own gave me a massive confidence boost. I didn't need anyone to help me do it - it was all me and yes, getting on a long flight on your own isn't enough to deserve a medal but I gave myself a little pat on the back as I walked through Arrivals, pleased that I managed to get through something which I dreaded for so long.

Another small memory to take from this year was seeing my beloved Harry Styles in the flesh. I am a massive One Direction fan so actually seeing them with my own eyes in the summer at a concert was a real "yay" moment. Okay fine, I was sat so far away that even if I squinted I could just about make out a moving body on the stage but we were technically in the same room together and that made it worthwhile.

I was also really pleased with myself for deciding to get back behind my computer and start blogging again this year. I really went off it and went a few months without even logging on but I decided to give it another try and I love it, even more the second time round. So much so that I have bought my own domain and layout and I now dedicate my free time to writing blog posts, taking photographs and editing them. I still have a long way to go with this little blog but I am ever so grateful to whomever reads it, comments occasionally or even just glances at my photos if they see them on twitter.

Whilst I am not setting myself any new years resolutions, I do have a few goals that I would like to achieve in 2016, if I can. I would like to get into a proper gym-going routine. I used to go nearly every day but then I became poorly and I haven't been for a good few weeks now. I would love to just tone up a little bit and feel a little better about myself. To help this, I will cut down on biscuits but I'm not promising anything! I would also love to find a career I adore. This is a tricky one as I need to find something that I would love to do. Life is a very long time and I would hate to be in a job which made me so deeply unhappy. 

Speaking of unhappiness, one unhappy moment for me this year was Zayn leaving One Direction. I was at work and my friend actually came in and told me. I was so upset, it was unbelievable. Ha ha.

Happy New Year guys x

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Other // The Best of 2015

NIP + FAB Dragons Blood Fix Cleansing Pads - £6.99
My skin is really bad at the moment. I am usually fairly lucky with my skin as I don't really get many spots but I do suffer badly with blackheads and my skin is very oily whilst still being horrendously dry which is a real treat. Last week I applied my make-up and hurried off to work in an early-morning daze..then I glanced in a mirror and argh, my foundation did not look good. Imagine dry skin with foundation on top. *shudder* My sister recently returned home from university and bought a few new skincare products with her for me to try. One of those products was the NIP+FAB Dragons Blood Fix Cleansing Pads

About the NIP + FAB Dragons Blood Fix Cleansing Pads:
"Refresh and smooth your skin with our gentle cleansing Dragon's Blood Fix pads. Each of the 60 pads are enriched with salicylic and hyaluronic acids which deeply cleanse your pores and provide long-lasting hydration to help your skin appear plumper. The witch hazel helps reduce the appearance of imperfections, leaving your complexion looking smoother and refreshed."

Let's not beat around the bush here. Dragons Blood Cleansing Pads sounds scary. Scary and also a little thought-provoking. "Dragons blood? Are dragons real?....." Yes, I did ponder that thought. In actual fact, the name comes from a tree. Not as exciting as the prospect of a mythological creature is but nevertheless, a fact is a fact. The dragons blood comes from the Croton Lechleri Tree which is also known as the dragon tree and it is the resin from the tree which is now being used in the NIP + Fab Dragons Blood range which is inspired by the Rodial Dragons Blood Collection. In the NIP + FAB Dragons Blood Range you can find a plumping serum, plumping mask and the cleansing pads.

The ingredients inside the Dragons Blood Fix Cleansing Pads are interesting and exciting. The salicylic and hyaluronic acids work to deeply cleanse the pores whilst providing long-lasting hydration to ensure the skin looks plumper. Another ingredient is witch hazel which reduces the appearance of imperfections, redness and tightens pores. I could definitely do with all of the above so I was looking forward to giving them a try.

Inside the pot is 60 enriched pads which, I will not mince my words here, smell. It is a very pungent smell. I don't like it. It is strong, it lingers, and once you have smelt it, you can't un-smell it. The smell lingers for a good 20 minutes on the skin and in the air after you have used a cleansing pad and sadly, the smell alone is a real turn off.

Let's talk about the actual cleansing pads. One pad is all you need for the face and I would say that they are best suited to be incorporated into a bedtime routine. Due to the strong smell, I believe it is too harsh to use in the morning as they can be quite stomach-churning. The cleansing pads themselves are fairly wet so you feel like you are getting a real cleanse on the face rather than feeling like you are just giving it a bit of a going over with a cotton pad. They leave the skin feeling incredibly refreshed, cleansed and generally much perkier than before and they are great at removing any excess make-up scraps too.

The NIP + FAB Dragons Blood Fix Cleansing Pads work well but the smell is just too much for my sister and I to stomach. I believe that as nice as the extra added exciting ingredients are, they aren't enough to make me want to repurchase and endure the smell again. NIP + FAB's ambassador is Kylie Jenner and usually, if she likes something I would want to give it a try but I think I will leave these to her.

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Review // NIP + FAB Dragons Blood Fix Cleansing Pads

Lush Peeping Santa Bubble Bar - £3.95
I hope this post isn't 'too little too late' now that Christmas is essentially over, but I just can't resist. I am a newly converted Lush fanatic and am very slowly trying to try each bath product, albeit bath bomb, melt or bubble bar. I need to find out what I have been missing! Yesterday I spent a long time in Lush browsing the sale and came away with a very heavy paper bag and an ever-so-slightly lighter purse. I am looking forward to trying each product out and see which surprises await as I drop each product under the hot water but for now, say hi to the Lush Peeping Santa Bubble Bar.

About the Lush Peeping Santa Bubble Bar:
"Have you been naughty or nice this year? Only Peeping Santa knows for sure, so you should probably crumble him in your tub before he tells everyone your secrets! Made with hand-churned shea butter from the Ojoba woman's cooperative in Ghana and creamy fair trade cocoa butter, this bubbler will keep winter skin soft and smelling like sweet summer strawberries. What more could you ask for this Christmas?"

Bubble Bars are designed to create wonderfully cloudy bubbles in the bath rather than a singing and dancing piece of art like a Bath Bomb is. Because of this, Bubble Bars are much softer in formula and break up easily as you don't need to use the whole bar at once. Peeping Santa is set into three sections so you can quite easily get three uses out of one little Santa.

The bubble bar is sandwiched between a creamy shea butter filling, complete with little eyes. It is very cute and sweet and lets face it - rather photogenic but that won't stop him from being broken up into little pieces and dunked into the hot water. He (yes, Peeping Santa is a he, not an it) immediately creates a deep red, bubbly bubble bath.

My only one dampner on Peeping Santa is his scent. I kept this in my bedroom for a couple of days and in the end his smell became too much and I had to move him elsewhere. Peeping Santa smells very sweet and very much of strawberries - something which I find slightly ironic considering it is a festive bubble bar and not one made for summer. It's a very sweet smell and as much as I love Lush, the fragrance to Peeping Santa is one of my least favourites.

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Review // Lush Peeping Santa Bubble Bar

Happy belated Christmas, everyone! I hope you all had a lovely day. I always find Christmas Day rather lack luster and a bit disappointing - I much prefer the build up to Christmas than the actual day. Anyone else feel like that? I suppose it doesn't help that I have been rottenly ill for about two weeks now, plus I had work at 8:30am on Boxing Day - ouch. That's retail for you.

Anyway, let's talk about the best bit about the festive period - the sales. Isn't it odd that we rush around trying to buy gifts for everyone before Dec 25th then on Dec 26th everything we have bought is half price? I hate that. 

Here is my pick of the best Boxing Day sales, featuring a firm favourite. The Lush Sale..

Selfridges
Embroidered Dress / Lace Dress / Woven Dress / Bardot Dress / Lace Dress / Lace Dress
River Island
Ripped Jeans / Boucle Skirt / Trench Jacket / Wrap Top
Heeled Sandals / Tunic Dress / Floppy Hat
Overcoat / Mesh Crop Top / Fringed Crop Top
Lace Up Court Shoes / Pencil Skirt
Lush


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Other // The Best Of The Boxing Day Sales

MAC Pearlglide Intense Eyeliner - £16.00
Eyeliner! Ah, eyeliner. I only ever wear liquid eyeliner these days in the standard, black variety. But I never used to be so plain and boring. Oh no, I used to be quite risque when it came to eyeliner. If by risque you mean brightly coloured kohl pencils. I was a massive lover of the Rimmel kohl pencil when I was in secondary school. I remember receiving a set of brightly coloured eyeliner pencils for Christmas when I was much younger and oh my goodness, I was over the moon. Who knew that red kohl pencil could make a girl so happy??

Since then I haven't really ventured back into the world of pencil eyeliners but what is a better way of getting back into them than one from MAC? And not just any old kohl pencil. Oh no, this is a MAC Pearlglide Intense Eyeliner in Lord It Up.

About the MAC Pearlglide Intense Eyeliner:
"An eye pencil that provides rich, luxurious colour with a touch of shimmer and sparkle. Soft, smooth, creamy formula glides on for a perfectly intense line, yet its soft texture allows you to blend. Smudge-proof."

There are seven different shades within the Pearlglide Intense Eyeliners, with each pencil enriched with pearly particles hence the name and the beautiful shimmer within each pencil. Whilst I can't vouch for all seven shades as I have only tried one, they are incredibly soft and creamy in formula whilst being rich in pigmentation.

The Pearlglide Intense Eyeliners are formed like a traditional kohl pencil which need sharpening rather than having a twist-up motion. As much as I love sharpening my eyeliners, I always sharpen them too much and end up losing and wasting a lot of product and sadly this is no exception. As the formula is so soft and buttery, the nib crumbles very easily and sharpening is very difficult. I have tried to show this in the photos above but when sharpened, the edge becomes really sharp so it can be fairly prickly on the skin which can cause some discomfort on and around the eyes which is perhaps a place that deserves a delicate touch.

Lord It Up is a beautiful dark warm brown with copper pearl which looks wonderful on the eyes. I applied it thickly on the top of the eyelids and I absolutely loved the look. Paired with the MAC Paint Pot in Painterly, it lasted all day long without fading, wearing, creasing or transferring. That said, it may have last longer due to wearing it on top of a primer as my sister claims it wears off after a while when worn on its own so its worth bearing in mind.

Due to its creaminess, it is really soft on the skin and it glides on effortlessly. It doesn't pull or tug at all and is, quite frankly, hassle-free to apply. One downside to its creaminess is that you have to be very careful when applying as you only need a light hand when using as otherwise it can crumble and before you know it, you have wasted a lot.

I really enjoyed using Lord It Up. It was effortlessly easy to apply, rich in pigmentation and lasted all day long without wearing or transferring. It is a bit of a pain when it comes to sharpening the pencil and because the formula is so soft, it does crumble slightly. I would really like to try a few more in the range and see how they fare!

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Review // MAC Pearlglide Intense Eyeliner in Lord It Up

Seventeen Holographic Nail Polish - £3.99
Rimmel Space Dust in Aurora - £3.99
I hope the title of this post isn't too misleading and I do hope you weren't expecting to see some fantastic nail art with each nail decorated with either a hand drawn robin, snowman or christmas pudding. I did wonder what to do with my nails over this festive period but I thought everyone would kind of expect the classic red, albeit glittery, nail so I decided not to do that this year. That's not to say my nails won't change to that on Boxing Day! Haha.

This year I have gone ever so slightly different and painted my nails holographic with a pink, sparkly, accent nail. I have been wearing this combination for over a week now and whilst the holo nail varnish chips fairly easily, it has an incredibly fast drying time so it isn't too much hassle when it comes to reapplication.

I get asked quite a lot about my nails, where I get them done, if they are real, etc etc. Yes, they are real! Entirely my own, I have grown them myself. I've never been much of a nail biter and I would say that my nails were fairly strong. They don't break too easily although they do split halfway down the nail which breaks my heart as I know I can't save it and the whole nail has to come off. That said, that has not stopped me from trying to superglue it back together. Yes, I did try and superglue my nail back together. I admit, it was a fairly low point!

What are your festive nails this year?

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Other // My Non-Festive Festive Nails

Ooh, another empties post. The last post I did was in September and this is most of the products I have managed to use up since then. Pitiful really, isn't it? I have used a few more products up but I threw them away straight away and forgot all about keeping them for the purpose of this post. Does anyone else feel silly keeping a load of old bottles until you get enough to determine a blog post?

Anyway, here is a few products I have used up recently and if I would repurchase them!

I really, really loved this foundation when I first purchased it. So much so that I forced my mother to buy me another bottle when she recently went back to America. The problems I have with it is that is does fade away after a few hectic hours at work and I find that even the lightest of shades is slightly too dark for my skin. That said, I did like the initial coverage it gave me so I would give it another go.
Would I repurchase? Yes, probably.

This is one of my favourite products I bought this year. I gushed about it in my review and have used every single drop out of the small 125ML bottle. No toner comes close to it and whilst I don't use it to take off my make-up primarily, it works a dream at removing scraps left behind and leaves my skin feeling beautifully soft.
Would I repurchase? I already have!

You all know by now that I struggle to put scent into words but I absolutely adored this perfume. I first smelt it whilst trying to kill time at the airport once and ended up buying it straight away which is very unlike me! The bottle lasted quite a while and I was upset when I finished it.
Would I repurchase? At some point, yes.

Collection Super Size Fat Lash Mascara
I bought this when it was on offer in Boots a while ago and wasn't expecting too much from it. It didn't super size my lashes but it did lengthen them slightly. It was an okay mascara but I would not write home to my Mum about it.
Would I repurchase? No.

Another okay product. It does what you need it to do whilst brightening and perking the skin up a bit. I found the little scrubby bits could have been a bit bigger and more scrubby as I felt that it wasn't as.. need I say harsh?? as they could have been.
Would I repurchase? Probably not, no.

I am obsessed with this stuff. And the shop in which you buy it from. I am very aware that I have some sort of OCD regarding hand cleanliness so hand sanitizer is my saviour. I apply it about 30 times a day and I have about 5 bottles on the go at any one point. I could quite literally write you a 1,000 word essay on why I love hand sanitizer but I will spare ya! 
Would I repurchase? Yep, all day, everyday!

I know everyone loves this foundation so I bought it to find out why it was so highly spoken about. It was absolutely perfect for mixing in with my Sephora foundation as this shade is much lighter so it muted the orange tones within the Sephora foundation down quite significantly. Although I don't think the two foundations actually went well together, I think they counteracted each other which was a shame. I liked this foundation on its own too but I didn't get as much coverage as I would like and I found that I had to keep applying it in certain places to hide my red toned skin underneath.
Would I repurchase? I don't think so, no. :-(

Another product I used up is the W7 Twist Off Nail Polish Remover. It is essentially the poor mans version of the Bourjois Magic Nail Polish Remover and I very rarely speak badly about a product but goodness me. As much as it took my nail varnish off, all of the sponge within the tub (and yes, sponge!) broke away and before you knew it, you were covered in little pieces of nail varnish remover soaked sponge which stained your clothes and everything around you. Definitely would not repurchase!

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Other // Empties Part II

I love make-up. A lot. I know it is probably really materialistic but in all honesty, I don't care. I don't drink, I don't smoke and I don't do drugs so if I want to spend £60 in MAC then I bloody well will do! (Then I will go home and have buyers guilt, obviously.)

I have many an experience of buying make-up but one item I hate buying is foundation. My current foundation is one from Sephora and it costs around $20. I really like it but it is hard to get hold of and my newest bottle recently hit a grizzly end when it fell out of my make-up bag and smashed all over my kitchen floor. Well, as you can imagine, I was gutted. Devastated, even. I hit a low point and wondered how I would be able to scoop it all up and pour it back into the bottle but, like I said, it was a low point.

So I needed a new foundation and took a trip to Boots where I spent an hour and twenty minutes trying to choose one. It is so hard trying to find a foundation in your correct shade when you are stood under the harsh store lighting. In the end I got so fed up with my own indecisiveness that I quickly bought two L'oreal foundations and quickly left before I could waste any more of my time. The first of the two foundations that I will be reviewing is the L'oreal Paris Infallible 24HR Foundation in Porcelain

About the L'oreal Infallible 24HR Foundation:
 "High coverage longwear foundation that hides the appearance of fatigue and blemishes. Now with Hydrating Hyaluron Comlex the 24HR non-stop formula is touch-proof and stays fresh for lasting comfort."

I didn't really look into this foundation before I bought it so I wasn't too sure what it would be like. One of the main reasons why I bought it was down to the shade range as I find that no matter which foundation I buy, it is always too orange for my skintone. Even the lightest of shades of most foundations is far too dark for me which makes me rather self-concious when I leave the house in case I look too ridiculous. Luckily, the L'oreal Infallible Foundation range has a wonderful shade range for us pale people out there who find it hard to get the correct match foundation-wise. 

As much as I love my Sephora foundation, it promises to last 10HR's but I found that if I were rushing around at work and getting all hot and flustered, I would glance in a mirror and find that my face was looking a bit...red. So I knew I needed something a bit more longer-wearing and fortunately, I have most definitely found it with this foundation!

The L'oreal Infallible 24HR Foundation is housed in a sweet little glass jar with a pump for distributing the product.  The consistency is normal and standard for a liquid foundation and not thick and creamy like the Sephora foundation although this isn't necessarily a bad thing. I need a couple of small, short pumps to cover my entire face and the results? Amazing. Astonishing. I am converted!

I like to have high coverage foundation to cover my rosacea and I find that whilst some foundations might initially cover my red toned skin, it eventually wears off throughout the day leaving me looking rather flushed. Not with this foundation though. It covers my blemishes and red skin perfectly without making my skin looking cakey which is everyone's worst nightmare. It is a dream to apply and incredibly easy to blend and best of all? It stays in the same place all day long. It doesn't transfer or wear away at all, nor does it heighten my oily T-zone. In fact, unlike my other foundations I don't need to apply mattifying powder.

For £9.99, I am incredibly impressed with this foundation. It is one of the best foundations I have tried. It stays put all day long, covers all blemishes and most importantly, its shade range caters for pale people alike.

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Review // L'oreal Paris Infallible 24HR Foundation in Porcelain

Okay. I want to start this post by saying that this is not a bragging post. I haven't written this so I can boast about what I bought, I have written this to tell you why I bought it and to give you some tips if you wanted to buy one too. So, here goes..

In February, I bought myself a diamond ring. It is a 18ct white gold diamond cluster with half a carat of diamonds total and I am in love with it. I think they were right when they say diamonds are a girls best friend! 

Let's get straight into it and let's talk about the price. It is the elephant in the room, after all. I work in a jewellery shop and like most retail stores, it can have its perks. Working in a jewellery shop is no exception. Staff discount is a glorious thing and whilst this ring has a worth of just over £1,000, I paid a lot less. A lot, lot, less. If I told you how much I paid, you would laugh. I would never put myself into a tight spot financially down to a materialistic item, nor do I really like spending money. Sometimes I do believe spending nearly £4 on a Lush Bath Bomb is a bit of a stretch so buying myself a piece of jewellery, something to wear and treasure for the rest of my life, seems like a good investment and for the small sum I paid for it, a bargain in my eyes. 

I will set you the scene. It is the beginning of February, it is a quiet Sunday afternoon and I was at work. A customer looked at a few cluster diamond rings and decided against them all so when my friend went to put them away, she picked this one up and remarked at how small it was in size. It was tiny. So I naturally decided to force it onto my finger and to my surprise, it fitted like a glove. It is a size I which is incredibly small considering most rings start at a size J. Everyone told me to buy it and I said no. What do I want with a diamond ring? But then I went home and thought about it. And thought about it. Then I went in the next day and bought it and I have not regretted it since. I am a massive sufferer of buyers remorse and I have not felt guilty once since buying this.

Another reason why I bought this ring is because no-one else is going to buy it for me. I don't have a boyfriend. I don't get treated to nice things on Valentine's Day so I thought I will treat myself. Someone once remarked about my ring and asked me how long I had been engaged for. Considering I wear this ring on my right hand and not my left, I said I wasn't engaged and have never been to which they laughed and said "you didn't buy it yourself, surely?" Err, well, yes actually. 

What I am trying to say is... If you want something, buy it. Don't get into debt over a materialistic item but if you can afford it, go for it. It is okay to buy yourself nice things if you want them and work hard for them. 

Some Diamond Buying Tips...
1. If you are buying a ring, you need to choose what you want your band to be made out of. My first question to you would be "white gold, yellow gold or platinum?" 

For those of you who are complete novices when it comes to jewellery, white gold is obviously silver in colour whereas yellow gold is yellow in colour. Platinum looks exactly the same as white gold which can confuse things slightly. If I were to confuse you further, I would tell you that you cannot get a bar of white gold. White gold is simply yellow gold coated in an alloy called palladium which gives off the white colour. Just like you cannot physically get a bar of rose gold. Rose gold is simply yellow gold (ie gold, gold) coated in copper. Now, whilst platinum may look the same as white gold, they are completely different. Platinum is harder-wearing than gold is, meaning it will not scratch as easily as white gold will. This is why platinum is more expensive than gold.

2. My next question would be "9 carat gold or 18 carat gold?"
Other shops/countries offer different carats of gold but 9 carat or 18 carat seem to be the norm here in the UK. Before I start I will say that carat is reffered to how much gold content/quantity is in a piece of jewellery. If someone were to ask for my opinion then I would always suggest platinum purely because it is stronger and harder-wearing than gold but I know it is more expensive so it is not always in the budget of some. This is when I would suggest 9 carat gold rather than 18 carat. I think people are under the assumption that 18 carat is better than 9 carat but this is untrue. Gold is a soft material therefore it is prone to scratches. So if you think about it in that way, as there is more gold content in 18 carat gold, it is more likely to scratch than 9 carat gold would do.

3. Rhodium plating?
White gold is plated with a metallic element called rhodium which makes the white gold appear bright, shiny and new. If you have a white gold ring then after a bit of wear and tear, the rhodium will start to wear off and the colour might start to dull down. This is when your ring should be rhodium plated. This means your ring is buffed and polished to within an inch of its life and a new layer of rhodium covers the ring to make it look shiny and new. It can hide the general wear and tear that a ring will come across in everyday life and it doesn't cost too much either. Less than a new ring, anyway.

4. Diamonds? Carats? Points? ARGH!
A carat indicates the weight of a diamond and to put it simply, the bigger the better. The bigger the diamond, the higher the price. I would say that every woman deserves at least half a carat of diamonds. That said, always buy the best you can afford. But there is more to a diamond than the weight but we will talk about that later. To confuse everyone even further, not only are diamonds reffered to in carats but also in points (pts). There are 100 points in a carat so 50 points = half a carat, 33 points = one third of a carat and so on.

5. What does it mean when it says 1 carat total? 
I get asked this quite a lot and you only ever get a total measurement of carat when the ring has more than one diamond. For example, my ring. My ring is made up with lots of different diamonds and each diamond has a different weight to it so the entire total of each diamond makes up the 1 carat.

6. Solitaire? Cluster? Eternity? Half Eternity? Full Eternity? 
All of the above are different styles of ring. A solitaire is the classic engagement ring. One diamond in the centre of the ring, Classic, simple, beautiful. You can also get a solitaire with diamonds along the shoulders which is just as beautiful.
A cluster ring is a ring with lots of little diamonds. You can get a cluster in so many different designs and styles.
Eternity rings are to signify never-ending love and are now the popular choice instead of a plain wedding band. Eternity rings are like a wedding band but with diamonds. Half eternity is where the ring is half covered in diamonds and a full eternity is covered in diamonds all the way round.

7. Clarity? Cut? Colour?
If you are buying a diamond, you might be asked about the clarity, cut and colour, as well as the carat. These make up for the 4 C's of diamonds and are very important when it comes to making your decision. Diamonds are simply carbon which has met incredible heat. Within a diamond you might get an internal inclusion which is where you can visibly see something within the diamond that shouldn't necessarily be there. This is where the clarity comes in. The clarity grade is simply a scale of how flawless the diamond is. Ideally, you don't really want a diamond that is very included, you want a diamond as flawless as possible but again, you pay more for a flawless, perfect diamond. The clarity scale looks like this - flawless, internally flawless, very very slightly included, very slightly included, slightly included and included. Most of the time you can't see anything within the diamond unless looking through a jewellers loop.

Cut - The cut of the diamond. A jeweller will cut a diamond to show off it's beauty and to get the best value out of it. There are many diamond cuts but round, emerald, pear, princess and heart cuts are popular.

Colour - Another diamond grading system starting from D which is the best you can buy, straight through to Z. D is flawless, perfect, wonderful, colourless. Z is visibly yellow and whilst some may like a yellow diamond and try and pass it off as a "champagne diamond", the whiter the better with most people. 

When buying a diamond you should really put the cut, clarity, colour and carat into consideration. If it were a choice between a half carat diamond which is D in colour and flawless in clarity or a 1 carat diamond which is Z in colour and slightly included in clarity, I would take the first ring as it is a better diamond. There is lots to take into consideration and it is definitely worth thinking about. Most diamond rings come with a certificate which tell you all about the above so you know all about the diamond you are buying but beware that some diamond rings don't come with certificates. For a diamond ring to have a certificate, it means that it has been sent off and evaluated by a professional. If your diamond ring doesn't have a certificate, it does not mean it is a fake ring. It just means that it might not have enough weight to it to classify a certificate.

8. I already have an 18 carat gold engagement ring, can I have a 9 carat gold wedding ring?
Yes, you can but they will scratch against each other. It is always best to stick to the same carat of gold as your engagement ring.

Other useful tips..
1. Know your size! The amount of times I have had a man come in and tell me his girlfriend has a finger size of an O when in fact she is actually a size J. If you are a man and want to buy a ring to propose with, sneakily take one of his/her rings and bring it in with you so we can measure the size. It is better to know for definite then to guess and be way off the mark. If you are a lady and want to know your size just walk into a jewellery shop and they will measure you. I think a few stores charge for this so be careful.

2. If the shop you are buying from offers cover, take it. This can cover you from accidental damage, loss or theft. It can be quite cheap and it is better to be safe than sorry.

3. Make sure you get an evaluation for insurance purposes, just in case.

I hope this little tiny guide has been useful for some. Like I said before, buy the best you can afford and don't get into debt over a materialistic item. Think ahead when it comes to buying an expensive item of jewellery and know what you want or what you are looking for. I think it is also worth mentioning that I am not an expert. To put it simply, I am a sales assistant. Before I worked here, I knew nothing about jewellery. Nothing at all. But if you do have any questions or comments then leave them below!

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Personal // Why I Bought Myself A Diamond Ring + Diamond Buying Tips!

I wouldn't want to cause alarm but it is only 11 days until Christmas Day. 11 days! That is 11 days to finish your Christmas shopping, wrap it all beautifully then dash back out to the shops to buy a present for that person you forgot all about. Or for some, this is 11 days in which to even start thinking about buying gifts for loved ones.

So, if you are still on the hunt for the perfect gift for a lady in your life, or you need some inspiration before you start your Christmas shopping, here is a few of my favourites which would make fantastic gifts.


How cute is the Kate Spade Thermal Mug?? Here's hoping Santa will be sending me all of the above this Christmas!

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Inspiration // Christmas Gifts For Her

I have been on the hunt for a new drugstore foundation for a while now so on a recent trip to Boots I finally decided to buy one. I always find buying a new foundation incredibly daunting. Especially in a drugstore environment as it is hard to see which one matches your skintone due to the harsh lighting stores use. I often buy foundations which I think are the correct shades for my skin before giving them a try at home and realising that the shade I picked up is 4 shades too dark.

I decided to try a L'oreal foundation for a change as I haven't really tried one from that brand before. I was torn between the L'oreal Infallible 24hr Foundation and the L'oreal Infallible Matte Foundation so I did what anyone would do. I bought them both!

You currently get a cute little box full of 4 full-sized L'oreal products when you spend £14.99 or over on L'oreal at Boots which is a nice little incentive to spend more! I am always a sucker for these type of offers at Boots and often use this time to buy the products I have wanted to try throughout the year to get past the threshold of the free gift! Ha ha. Also doing this type of offer is Revlon, Bourjois and Max Factor but it is exclusive to Boots. 

Included in the little L'oreal Feline Fatal Christmas Gift is:
L'oreal Eyeshadow Quad in Jungle Jade
L'oreal Superliner So Couture 
L'oreal Mega Volume Collagene Mascara
L'oreal Color Riche in Feline Sauvage

I will be reviewing all of the above really soon but I just wanted to let you all know that if you wanted to get some L'oreal, Bourjois, Max Factor or Revlon products then now is the time to do it as you get 4 full-sized products worth around £29!

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Recent Purchases // L'oreal Infallible Foundation + Free Gift!

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain - £2.77*
Once again, I recently had the opportunity to collaborate with a website called Save On Make Up via The Blogger Programme and I got sent this lovely lip product, along with the BareMinerals The Finer Things Eyeshadow Palette* which I absolutely adored when I reviewed it recently. The lip product I was also sent was the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Cherish*.

Before I tell you about the product, let me tell you about Save On Make UpSave On Make Up is a website where you can buy high end and drugstore make-up at discounted prices, making your money stretch a lot further. With brands such as MAC, BareMinerals, Too Faced, Urban Decay and YSL featured on the website, it is definitely a website to save to your favourites.

About the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain:
"Revlon Balm Stain is a pampering balm fused with a lightweight lipstain in an adorable chubby crayon. The Revlon Balm Stain softens and smooths the lips with a perfect flush of colour that lasts hour after hour. The gel formula comes in 12 vibrant shades that match any mood or look."

I loved the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains when they first came out, all those years ago. I have Rendezvous which is a lovely coral shade but I will be honest and say I haven't used it an awful lot and I am not sure why. The Revlon Balm Stains offer a wonderful hint of colour whilst keeping the lips moisturised and hydrated which is something that I struggle with now that we have hit winter. One thing I did mention in my initial review of Rendezvous all those years ago is that the smell of the Balm Stain was to me, slightly off-putting. It has a peppermint smell to it and I will be honest and say that the only mint I like is the mint in an After Eight but that's neither here nor there.

Cherish is a pretty cool-toned bright pink which whilst it is bubblegum in shade, it isn't too garish to wear out. I used to wear a lot of coral coloured lipsticks but I have recently reverted back to pink so I have worn Cherish a lot recently. The Balm Stains leave a slightly glossy, stain to the lips which keep them moisturised and hydrated all day long. The crayon effect to them makes them easy to apply and the twist-up mechanism means that unlike a normal crayon, no sharpening is involved. 

I love these Revon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains and I definitely want to get a few more. Perhaps a few of the darker shades? You can currently buy Cherish in Boots for £7.99 or on Saveonmakeup.co.uk for £2.77!

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Review // Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Cherish

Christmas is nearly here, people! Every year I tell myself I will be organised and have all of my presents bought and wrapped by the 1st of March but do I achieve that? Do I heck. This year I have gone abroad twice and bought my sister some lovely things for Christmas but she is so goddamn persuasive that I, somehow, have managed to hand them over in the summer instead as a general gift so I end up back at square one.

Whilst I have managed to, eventually, buy her presents in a scatty panic sat over my laptop, I am still stuck as to what to get her and my Mum for stocking fillers. I often find that I spend over the amount of their main presents just on stocking fillers so the cost of them can definitely add up. Below you can find a little bit of stocking filler/Christmas prezzie inspiration for under a tenner for the ladies in your life!

Oh, and the very lovely people from Glimmer Temporary Tattoos have allowed you lovely lot the chance to get 20% off the Glimmer range between now and Christmas. Simply type in 'TEDDY20' at the checkout. You can see my review of them here and here!

Have you finished all of your Christmas shopping yet?

Inspiration // Stocking Fillers For Under £10

Following on from my most recent little nail varnish purchase from Mavala, I went and bought another as I enjoyed it so much! This time I moved away from the dark purple and went for a simple, classic nude. The shade I went for was the Mavala Nail Color Cream in Rose Dust.

About the Mavala Nail Color Cream:
"The long-lasting quality paint produces a professional finish that's even, smooth and glossy, yet comes off easily with one sweep of remover. The small pots are perfect for travel or handbag. The iconic 5ML pots of colour are an affordable way to buy into key trends. Unlike traditional nail colour, Mavala's unique formula delivers microscopic air pockets to allow nails to breath, ensuring your natural nails are cared for."

Rose Dust is a beautiful dark nude which looks lovely on the nails. I hardly ever wear nude or neutral shades on my nails but after wearing this shade it has made me wonder why I don't wear them more often. I love the whole long, nude nails trend that we see around quite often. It is incredibly simple and let's face it, not particularly outstanding but they do look wonderful. 

Like the first Mavala Nail Color Cream I tried, Rose Dust was really pigmented in colour and only really needed one coat on the nails. It dried really quickly too which is great as I find it hard to not muck up the drying process. I didn't wear a top coat on top of Rose Dust which is probably why it chipped within a day or two so I do dispute it's long-lasting claims. However, this didn't stop me from wearing Rose Dust for about 3 weeks straight with a few extra applications, of course! I really love nude nails and Rose Dust is definitely welcomed into my nail varnish collection with open arms.

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Review // Mavala Nail Color Cream in Rose Dust

Irrisistible Me Royal Remy Hair Extensions - $299.00 // £198.00*
I have never been more excited to write a review than I have with this one! I was recently contacted by a hair extension company called Irrisistible Me and they very kindly asked if I wanted to review some of their hair extensions. I was actually really excited by this as I had read all about them on other blogs and had read great things so obviously, I said yes please.

About Irrisistible Me Hair Extensions:
"Irrisistible Me is a young brand that centers around really amazing clip-in hair extensions, but has bigger hair related dreams: hair tools, hair accessories, hair care and wigs. At the moment they have two lines of clip-in hair extension: Silky Touch and Royal Remy.

Silky Touch is the best selling line made with 100% human Remy hair. These hair extensions are fantastic quality for a friendly price and can be very easily styled, cut, colored, and curled to blend in your hair perfectly. The thickness of the hair decreases very slightly towards the ends just like normal hair does which will provide a completely natural look. The Silky Touch extensions are perfect for anybody who loves adding a bit of volume and/or length to their hair occassionally. If you're just starting with hair extensions then the Silky Touch clip-ins are the way to go.

Royal Remy is the premium line made with 100% human Remy hair. The Royal Remy hair extensions will last longer and is the closest match you can find to completely unprocessed hair. The thickness of the hair is amazing - the same from the top to the bottom. This line is very easy to blend with your own hair and can be cut, coloured, curled and styled. If you're looking for longevity and volume, the Royal Remy line is the best choice you can make."

I was asked to choose a hair colour shade, length and weight. Well. I am clueless when it comes to hair extensions. I have never used them before, studied them or paid them much attention. I was a complete novice. At the time of choosing my colour, length and weight, I had naturally long hair. It was about 18 inches but because it was so heavy and fine, it just made the hair at the top of my head flat with no oomph or bounce to it. Because of this I decided to go for the Irrisistible Me Royal Remy Hair Extensions* as they are made to make the hair appear fuller, thicker and have more oomph! At the time of making my decision, my hair was a dark blonde/light brown shade so I was torn as to which shade to get. What if it didn't match? I was slightly worried about it and was torn between choosing the Royal Light Brown shade and the Royal Ash Blonde shade. Luckily for me, on the Irrisistible Me website there are videos which compare a few of the similar coloured hair extensions together so when you see them side by side, it is much easier to make a decision. Because of this, I finally decided on the Royal Ash Blonde shade which is incredibly close to my natural hair colour.

Next, the length! As my hair was so long, I didn't want the hair extensions to be shorter than my own hair so I decided to go for the 22 inch length which is only available in the 200g weight. I think I was slightly naive as to how long 22 inches is as I knew it would be long but goodness me. it is long! When I was younger I desperately wanted what I called "Princess Hair" which was beautifully silky smooth long hair and these extensions 100% fall into the "Princess Hair" category!

The hair extensions arrived within a few days of my order being placed which was amazing considering they had come all the way from the US. When they arrive they come in a see through pouch with two sections. On the right side you have one piece of hair with 3 clips on and on the left side you have the other hair extensions. The reasoning to this seperation is so you can un-zip the the right side and take the one piece out to see how it compares to your own hair colour. If you are not happy with it then you can simply send it back and exchange for another. If, however, you open the side with the all of the hair and change your mind, you will be unable to exchange it due to breaking the seal. This is all written on the back of the pouch and I think this is a fair and reasonable way of doing things - plus, it makes it so much easier to see if it matches or not!

As I have never had hair extensions before, I had no idea as to what they would feel like (or look like) and I was so impressed! They are so wonderfully thick and silky soft. I can only dream of my own hair feeling like them. As I recieved the hair extensions with 200g of weight, in the pack are 10 pieces of hair which is plenty to cover the whole head whilst achieving fuller and voluminous hair. The 200g are split between the 10 pieces which include 1 piece with 4 clips, 2 pieces with 3 clips, 5 pieces with 2 clips and 2 pieces with 1 clip.

For some reason in between me choosing these extensions and them arriving, I decided to get my hair cut short. And have layers put in. I didn't think anything of it at the time but it turned out it was quite tricky trying to make my natural hair blend in with the hair extensions, purely because of the short layers. It made it all look a little uneven so I do regret my layers slightly but they will grow! I do want to add that my "after" photo does them zero justice whatsoever but I will post another photo soon.Whilst there aren't any instructions or a guide on how to apply the clip-ins, there is a video on their website which takes you step-by-step through it which was a godsend as I had no idea as to how to put them in. Once you know what you are doing it is really easy. You just snap the clip in and out of place and gradually apply the extensions from the bottom of your ears upwards, starting with the 3 clips and ending with the 4 clip piece at the top of the head. The other pieces are then applied on either side of the head to add more volume to the hair.

I am so impressed by these hair extensions. They are high quality, wonderfully thick and silky, are easy to apply and look incredibly natural. They are comfortable to wear and instantly add volume and body to your hair. They arrived incredibly quickly and well packaged. I really cannot fault them. Yes, they are pricey but you get what you pay for and these are high quality hair extensions that you can cut, colour and style to your own preference which will last you a very long time. Oh, and they have free worldwide shipping!

*- Item sent for the purpose of this review but thoughts are entirely my own! 
(P.s, Apologies for the photo in flash!)

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Review // Irrisistible Me Royal Remy Hair Extensions

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