December Advertisers & A Happy New Year!

Image: weheartit (edited by me)

Hi everyone! I can't quite believe its New Year's Eve and the final day of 2013. Where the heck has this year gone? I feel like its passed me by in the blink of an eye and although I've had my ups and downs this year, I'd say its been a good one overall. I was thinking of doing a look back over my year or perhaps a new years resolutions type post if that's something you'd be interested in seeing? One of my highlights of the past year has definitely been blogging and all the wonderful people I've met through it, including the fab girls and even guys who've been advertising with me this past twelve months! 

I started offering advertising in October 2012 and I never imagined anyone would be interested in it to be honest but its been a great success and I've had some great feedback. Its so nice to receive emails from fellow bloggers telling me they've gained more views or followers from the exposure they've received here on my blog. Its also been so lovely to get to know more bloggers as I always follow the blogs that advertise with me and more often than not they become some of my daily reads! I hope you all enjoy finding new blogs to read each month too and with that being said, here's the fab bunch of bloggers who've been advertising with me for the past month, and the final advertisers of December. I hope you love discovering their blogs as much as I did ...


Hi everyone, I’m Carly and I blog at carlysbeautyworld.com. I set up my blog a couple of years after I gave up my beauty salon to pursue a different career. I had been in the beauty industry for 15 years and wanted to continue to share my knowledge and help people. My friend suggested that I write a blog and I’m so glad that I did.

At Carly’s Beauty World you will find that amongst the product reviews and fun posts, I also write about and specialise in specific areas such as skincare and other beauty related topics. If you want to diagnose your skin type or learn how to choose skincare products you can come to my blog and find the advice you need easily.

I’m always chatting to people on my various social media sites so come and say hi. I look forward to meeting you all. I’m having a giveaway to win a Cath Kidston Rose Boquet Washbag just like the one Kayleigh has (see here) so don’t forget to enter when you visit my blog.

Happy New Year.
Carly x


Valerie from Ohh Val

Hello everyone! My name is Valerie, I am an eighteen year old girl who lives in Southern California. I obsess easily, and naturally developed a passion for beauty, and fashion, and now photography. Since I love to write Ohhval was created - it contains beauty, fashion, and lifestyle posts. I am currently attending university trying to figure out what I want to do with my life. It's been the best few months of blogging so far, and I can't wait to see what happens in the future. 

Come say hi if you'd like to read the musings of a typical California Girl. xxx

Ash from Actually Ash
Hey everyone! My name is Ash, an 18 year old beauty and occasional fashion blogger from Australia over at actuallyash.blogspot.com. I've loved writing for a long time and once I became obsessed with make up I decided it would be a great idea to start a blog- so far I'm loving it! I've had my blog for a little over 6 months and I can't wait for what's to come. Make sure to come take a look, I'd love to get to know some of you! Ash xx

Twitter: @actuallyash2
Instagram: ashleyjforster


Website - Yuko

YUKO Permanent Hair Straightening was created in Japan in 1996 by Yuko Yamashita, a passionate hair stylist and salon owner who, after witnessing as a child the happiness a haircut gave her mother and sister,decided to make other people just as happy by dedicating her life to hairdressing. Throughout her years as a stylist, Yuko was shocked to discover that only 5 out of every 100 people were happy with their hair and a staggering 75% were concerned because their curly, unruly, sleek or thick hair was not to their satisfaction. In just the same way that most people are unhappy with their bodies and would change something if they could, Yuko committed her passion to find a solution; a way of giving people the opportunity to have the hair they desired. In pursuit of this, Yuko began a project with Japanese health, sports and beauty giant Phiten to develop her own perm solution, alongside having developed a successful solution, YUKO now also has a successful and comprehensive homecare range suited to treat all hair types.

YUKO can be purchased online at www.yuko-london.com.




Annie from Epiphanniea



Not to sure the best way to describe myself but if I went by the descriptions others give me, then I’m a ‘headstrong, nutter with a short attention span'.


Tasha from Hello Freckles
Hi! I’m Tasha. I’m an undergraduate university student from the North East of England. I blog about anything that interests me really. My blog covers a range of fashion, beauty, music and film and lifestyle posts so if that’s your cup of tea (or coffee) come and give Hello Freckles a look! I’m hoping to delve into the YouTube world again very soon and I’ve got my account(s) set up ready so look out for that. 

Hope to see you over at Hello Freckles and if you want to know anything else feel free to drop me an email or tweet me! 

Twitter: @tashajsteel | Instagram: @tashajsteel







The Fashion Fuse launched in mid October. Founded by Angie Wilson, a mother, actress, and stylist. The Fashion Fuse is a blog that focuses on the fusion of style, cost, and soul. Filled with great fashion and style inspiration, The Fashion Fuse is sure to become a bookmark favorite!






Hi there, my name is Clare and I am the blogger behind A Bit of This and That. I have been blogging now for over a year and a half and since starting ABOTAT, I have created two other blogs... I love blogging that much!!

My main blog, A Bit of This and That, is mostly a beauty blog with a little fashion (plus size) and life thrown in. I like to talk on my blog about make up, skincare and lipstick (my favourite topic... I even have a lipstick blog, I'm that obsessed!!).

If any of my waffle has appealed to you, why not pop over to my blog sometime? Thanks for reading xx



Naomi from Naomi Gabriella




Hi, I'm Naomi and I blog over at NaomiGabriella where I share my interests of beauty, clothes, food and lounging around doing very little. I'm on my gap year and balancing blogging with trying to figure out what I'm doing with my life, and sharing that journey along the way. I love reading blogs so I thought I'd give it a go myself and see if anyone out there wanted to read my weird writings.

Come and say hi, I'd love to hear from you! Who knows, maybe we'll find something we have in common ;)

Naomi x


Laura from Love & Liquor




Hey guys, I’m Laura and I blog over at Love & Liquor. As a teacher, I needed somewhere to share my love of beauty, fashion and everything in between. And so my blog was born. It gives me a space to swoon over neutral eyeshadow palettes, express my love of lipsticks and divulge in girly gossip.

So if you decide to pop by Love and Liquor, you will find lots of posts, from hauls to reviews, wishlists to outfits. I love to find out more about my readers, and write about things they are going to enjoy. I have an incredible giveaways coming up and a brand new look too!


So head on over to my blog to read all about the products I’m loving, the clothes I’m wearing and the cocktails I’m sipping. See you there!

Laura
xoxo

I hope you all have a wonderful New Year's Eve whatever you're doing and I'm excited to continue blogging and bringing you more posts in 2014! Cheers everyone!

Lots of Love,

What I Got For Christmas 2013

What I got for Christmas 2013

Hey everyone! I hope you all had an amazing Christmas. I had such a great time relaxing with family and scoffing my face with food and drink. I've been non-stop since Christmas Eve and have loved seeing all my friends and family but its safe to say that today is all about completely chilling out. I've not moved my butt off the sofa all day or even got dressed for that matter - pure bliss! I'm also really excited to be back blogging - even though I only had a four day break it felt like much longer and I definitely started to miss writing posts. I thought a good way to get back into the swing of things would be a What I got for Christmas 2013 post as I personally love reading these and I asked on Twitter if anyone would like to see mine and lots of you said yes! 

As always, I'll add a small disclaimer here because I know some people take a disliking to these kind of posts. I'd just like to say that I'm definitely not bragging by showing the gifts I received - I just think its a fun post to write and perhaps you'll spot a few things you might want to snap up with your Christmas money or in the sales. I also love reading these posts myself because lets face it - most of us are nosy parkers ;). I did one of these posts last year and it went down really well so I'm guessing you guys like reading them as much as I do! I'd also like to add that I come from a normal working-class family and am in no way spoilt - I work hard all year to earn my own money and birthday and Christmases are the one time of year myself and my family like to treat one another. If you read my previous post, you'll see I went totally overboard buying them presents too - not because I'm rolling in money but because I saved my money and wanted to treat them. I also come from a huge family and have a wonderful boyfriend and his family who buy for me too which is why I got so many amazing things. Please just bare that in mind before reading. Anyway, enough rambles, here's what I got for Christmas ....

Beauty Christmas Gifts


Beauty Products - As a beauty blogger, you can imagine how excited I am to have all these pretty new beauty goodies. I'd been telling my boyfriend how much I've always wanted to try a Chanel lipstick (my first ever product from Chanel - review to come soon) so he surprised me with one in my favourite kind of shade - a berry pink/plum. So exciting! He also got me Benefit Porefessional and the Origins Gin Zing moisturiser which have been on my wish list for months - he's clearly been listening to my beauty rambles. His mum and dad bought me the Chanel lipgloss which goes beautifully with the lipstick (again, review to come soon) and the Real Techniques Expert Face brush which is the final brush I was longing to add to my RT's collection. Its a good en! My mum then bought me the Rimmel Moisture Renew lipstick (I chose this!) which again is a beautiful berry pink shade (obsessed!) and my auntie and uncle bought me the MAC MSF in 'Soft & Gentle'. They gave me £20 so I picked this myself - I ran out of it ages ago and have been meaning to repurchase it ever since. Its gorgeous! If you like the look of any of these bits make sure you keep an eye out for my full reviews!


Beauty Stocking Fillers

More beauty goodies - My mum always likes to add a few beauty goodies to my stocking at Christmas and this year I'm chuffed to bits with the things she chose. The two NSPA sets and Fearne Cotton lip crayons were in there and she also bought me the Soap & Glory lip crayons to go with my main presents as they were more expensive than her 'everything must cost less than £10 for the stocking' rule. She gets so into Christmas, she makes me laugh! The Soap & Glory body butters are from my boyfriends mum and dad and I absolutely love them. I actually added them to my stocking fillers post before Christmas so my boyfriends mum (who always reads my blog) obviously spotted them in that post and knew I'd love them. Good work Magz!

Canon EF 50mm Lens

Canon EF 50mm Lens - My Nanna & Grandad bought me the Canon EF 50mm lens for my DSLR and I'm absolutely thrilled with it. I knew I was getting this as my Nanna said 'make sure nobody else gets you that lens' after mentioning it in my Christmas wish list post (haha!) but I'm so excited to now have it and start using it. I know lots of bloggers use this lens and as taking photos is one of my favourite parts of blogging, I thought it was about time I upgraded my standard kit lens. I'm not entirely sure how it works so if anyone can give me some tips on how to use it, please let me know. I could do with all the help I can get!

Tiffany & Co Necklace

Tiffany & Co Necklace - My gift from my dad and step mum this year was this absolutely beautiful Tiffany necklace. I've wanted to own something from Tiffany's for such a long time and as my dad lives over in Australia and I don't get to see him often, I decided I'd like to get something special from him with the Christmas money he gave me. I decided on this classic heart pendant and I adore it. I've had it on every day since receiving it and its just so beautiful, classy and elegant. I think its nice to have a few special pieces of jewellery to wear on an every day basis and this necklace goes perfectly well with my Pandora bracelet and rings.

Debenhams Ankle Boots

Tan Chelsea Boots - My boyfriend and I were shopping before Christmas and I spotted these tan Chelsea boots while we were in Debenhams. I was telling my boyfriend how they'd be great practical shoes for walking in as most of my other ankle boots have a heel and my feet end up crippled after walking in them for a while. I also love the colour of them as they'll go with everything. My boyfriend obviously took note and knew that I liked these and I unwrapped them on Christmas Day and couldn't be happier with them. They're so cute and look great with jeans or leggings. I even think they'll be lovely in the summer with a cute Summer dress. My boyfriend also got me a trip to a spa as part of my present but I couldn't show that in this post as it had all of his details on the confirmation email!

Matalan Handbag

Matalan Bucket Bag - My mum bought me this bag from Matalan and I love it! I love the mix of tan, black and cream as it'll go with absolutely everything and its huuuggee so it'll fit all my rubbish in it. It reminds me of one from Zara - good old Matalan has got it spot on again!

One Direction Ticket

One Direction Ticket - My Step-dad rang me just before Christmas and asked if my little sister would like One Direction tickets for Christmas and would I mind going with her if he bought them. Can you believe he even needed to ask? I'm obsessed with 1D and I'm not ashamed to admit it - I love all of their songs and am unbelievably excited that my sister and I are going to see them. I obviously knew I was getting them before Christmas but I had to keep it quiet as my sister didn't have a clue but it was totally worth it to see her reaction. When she saw this she genuinely screamed and started crying - it was so sweet and I'm chuffed to bits she's as happy as I am that we're going to see them. Roll on May!

DVD's

DVD's - My mum always gets me a few DVD's for Christmas as we like to relax and watch them over the Christmas period. I was quite cheeky this year and asked if she could possibly get me Tangled (one of my all time favourite films) and the 1D dvd as I was desperate to see it. I know, you'd never know I'm 23 would you? She also got me Taken 2 which I've also wanted to see for ages - I have a feeling its going to be hard to live up to the first one though!

Mary Berry's Cookbook

Mary Berry's Cookery Course - Another gift from my boyfriends mum and dad is this Mary Berry cookery book. They know how much my boyfriend and I like cooking and making homemade meals so this is perfect for me! Its full of tips, tricks and techniques for better cooking and some yummy recipes too! My boyfriend and I will certainly enjoy adding some new meals to our diet!

River Island Coat

River Island Coat - My main present from my mum this year is this beautiful River Island coat. I was shopping in Newcastle just before Christmas and as soon as I saw it, it was love at first sight. Its exactly what I was looking for - casual yet smart at the same time. Its navy blue with a black fur collar, big gold buttons and the most beautiful berry pink silk lining and its so comfy. I adore it - thanks mum!

Tartan Scarf and Cosy Socks

Primark Tartan Scarf & Slipper Socks - A couple more stocking fillers my mum bought me is this gorgeous tartan scarf from Primark and these cosy slipper socks. Both items I love and will get lots of use out of.

Matalan Necklaces and Topshop Ring

Jewllery - Mataln Statement Necklaces & Topshop Double Ring - I do love a statement necklace and as my mum knows me so well, she got me two for my stocking from one of my favourite shops, Matalan. I love both of them so much and will get so much wear of them - they'll look perfect with a plain top, jumper or dress to jazz it up a little bit. My nanna also bought me this Topshop ring which I picked when she came to visit me a few weeks ago. I absolutely love it and have worn it every single day since Christmas.

Ted Baker Makeup Bag

Ted Baker Large Wash Bag - My mum came to visit me in Newcastle with her friend a couple of months ago and her friend brought a couple of Ted Baker makeup bags with her and I fell in love with them. I love the style with the bow and cute Ted Baker logo and the fact its a plastic type material and easy to wipe clean. With this being said, when my auntie asked what I'd like for Christmas, I asked for this in the pink and black colour scheme. I love the little rose gold bit on the bow and it just looks so girly and pretty. I can't wait to pop all of my every day makeup in there and sit it on my dressing table. 

L'Occitane Gift Set

L'Occitane Divine Ultimate Collection - This was a gift sent over from Australia from my dad and step mum and when I opened it I was so chuffed. I'm a big fan of L'Occitane hand creams but I've never tried any of their skincare products (to be honest - I didn't even know they did skincare) so I'm very excited about this. The set includes a cleansing foam, an eye cream and a moisturiser and they're all very luxurious. I've tried the eye cream and moisturiser and they're absolutely gorgeous - they certainly live up to their 'Divine' name. I can't wait to try them for a bit longer and review them as so far I'm seriously impressed!

Jumpers for Christmas

Jumpers - I seem to have gone a tad jumper crazy this year and that's reflected in this selection of jumpers I received for Christmas. My mum got me the grey and black fluffy one from New Look and she chose well - its very me. The red festive one was from my Nanna and I wore it on Christmas Day and the other two were from Primark and from my Auntie. I love them all - they're so cosy and look fab with some skinny jeans or leggings and boots! I'll certainly be warm for the rest of the Winter months!

Clothes for Christmas

Clothes - To go with the H&M jumper photographed above, my Nanna also got me some grey skinny jeans which are also from H&M and a gorgeous green dress I found in Primark for only £13. It fits me like a glove and looks really elegant and classy - you'd never know its from there and I can't wait to wear it. My mum also got me a checked blouse from Matalan and my sister got me a gorgeous black dress from Glamorous which has lace sleeves and a lace back - its beautiful. I might wear this on New Years Eve if I decide to go out. Its safe to say I don't need to go clothes shopping for a good while!

Chocolates for Christmas

Chocolate/Sweets - Every Christmas I receive more Chocolate than I can shake a stick at and this year is not different - just look at it all. Thank god I've got a detox lined up for January!

So that's what I got for Christmas this year guys - I'm such a lucky girl and I can't quite believe how generous my family have been. I also got some things I didn't photograph such as some lovely new underwear, some money for driving lessons and a snuggly new dressing gown. I will treasure every single thing I got and I feel incredibly lucky and grateful to have such amazing people in my life. I hope they all loved the presents I bought them too as I couldn't have asked for anything more.

What did you get for Christmas this year? If you've done one of these posts, pop your link below so I can have a read or share it with me on twitter at @k_leexjx.

Lots of Love,

Christmas Wrapping & A Merry Chrismtas to You

Wrapping Christmas Presents
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Hi Everyone! I don't want to state the obvious or anything here but its Christmas Eve - yaaaaayyyy! I'm like an excited little child right now as I've just finished work for 12 days and am about to travel home to the Lakes to see my lovely family. I just can't wait to spend tomorrow with them opening pressies and eating yummy food - its very exciting! I thought it was only acceptable that my final blog post before Christmas is Christmas themed so here it is - I hope it helps you feel all festive ready for the big day tomorrow!

On Sunday night I sat down by my Christmas tree, latte in hand, surrounded by wrapping paper, ribbon, bows and name tags and began the misssion that is wrapping presents. If you're anything like me and absolutely LOVE Christmas, then you might get a bit carried away when buying presents. Seriously, I just can't help myself. I think I get this quality from my mum as she's exactly the same as me and when we start buying presents, we can't stop, regardless of whether we can actually afford it - whoops. I think the reason I love it so much is because its that one time of year I can treat the people I love to something I know they really want or something that they'll really love. I always love searching for gifts and putting lots of thought into them and seeing my family opening them and their faces lighting up on Christmas Day is always my favourite part.

I thought it'd be fun to show you how I wrapped my presents this year incase you're looking for some last minute inspiration! I bought most of my wrapping paper from Card Factory this year as I had so many to wrap and its the cheapest option but I did splurge on a couple of more expensive rolls from Paper Chase (the brown paper with green trees and the stripy paper) to wrap my boyfriends presents in. I've developed a slight obsession with brown printed paper this Christmas as I think its looks quite shabby chic (a style I LOVE) but also very Christmassy at the same time. I also incorporated red into the colour scheme as is the ultimate Christmas colour and I just can't wrap presents without it! To decorate the presents I used a mixture of standard bows from cards factory, red ribbon bought from Fenwicks & Paper Chase and string! I think the string is actually my favourite effect - again, its very shabby chic and matches the brown paper with snowflakes perfectly! In terms of gift tags, I just used a random selection I picked up from Card Factory and Aldi. Ideally I'd of had them all matching the paper (yes, I'm this much of a perfectionist) but unfortunately there wasn't matching gift tags up for grabs in Card Factory so I settled on the ones pictured which are still cute!

I also bought a few gifts bags to pop my boyfriends, boyfriends mum and dads and my nanna and grandads presents in! I won't see any of them on Christmas morning so I always like to hand their presents over in nicely presented bags! I think the one I bought for my boyfriend is my fave with the 'Santa Left this for You!' on the front - so cute! Lets just say its full to the brim too - we gave ourselves a budget to spend on each other this year and I totally blew it. Told you - I have zero will power when it comes to Christmas shopping, or shopping in general in fact.

So there we have it - that's my Christmas presents wrapped and ready to be dished out to my family tomorrow! I'm SO SO SO excited, words can't even express haha! I'd also like to say I hope each and every one of you has a fantastic Christmas and a great New Year! I'm not sure how much I'll be blogging over Christmas as I really want to enjoy some down time with my family but I really appreciated all the support you've given me and my blog throughout 2013 and I can't wait to see what's to come in 2014! Eeeep! 

Enjoy the rest of today and have a fantastic day tomorrow guys!

Lots of Love,
 

HD Brows Palette | Foxy

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HD Brow Palette | Foxy | £19.95 | Link

When I received my Latest in Beauty Glamour Beauty Edit box last month - the product I was most excited to try was definitely the HD Brow palette. Ever since getting a HD Brow treatment a couple of years ago (which is amazing by the way - I highly recommend), I've been meaning to get my mitts on this palette. I'd read so many rave reviews about it on some of my favourite blogs and phrases like 'best brow palette ever' just made me want to try it even more. I'm a bit obsessed with my brows actually - I never used to be but over the past couple of years, I rarely leave the house without adding a bit of powder to them. It just makes me feel much more confident and I feel like defined brows define my face and make the rest of my makeup look that much better.

There's three HD Brow palettes available to suit different hair colours - Bombshell for fair hair and skin tones, Foxy for medium hair and skin tones and Vamp for Dark hair and skin tones. The shade I received in my LIB box is 'Foxy' which is designed for medium hair and skintones - so brunettes essentially. Now although I have blonde hair, my eyebrows are a mid-tone brown so they require a darker powder to make them stand out and look defined so Foxy is a perfect match for me and one that I imagine would suit lots of skin tones. There's four shades included in the palette - all of which are matte and can be used for eyebrows or as eyeshadow. There's a pale ivory/cream shade, a black, a warm toned brown and an ash toned brown. The shade I've been using on my brows is the Ash shade (far right on my swatches) as I find this looks much more natural in comparison to the warm toned brown which can look slightly Orange. Its great to use as an eyeshadow but perhaps not as an eyebrow powder. I think the Ash shade included in this palette is why I love it so much - its the most natural brow powder I've ever used and doesn't have any Orange or Red tones. I was using my Benefit Brow Zings before receiving this palette and although its a great little kit, the powder was slightly too warm for my brows.

As you can see from my swatches, these powders are incredibly pigmented which is another reason why I really love this palette. I only require one teeny dab of my brow brush (I use my own brush but it does come with a little brush which works well) into the powder to achieve defined eyebrows and because the powders are so creamy, they also work perfectly as eyeshadows to create a matte brown smoky eye! The black powder is particuarly good to pop in the crease to really smoke up any eye look and I imagine I'll be using that a lot over Christmas. 

Overall I'd say this is a great little eyebrow/eyeshadow kit and definitely one to grab if you like to do your brows every day like I do. Its much more natural looking than a pencil and really easy to use. I love it!

Have you ever tried the HD brow palette? Do you like using a powder on your brows?

Lots of Love,

© Couture Girl

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