The Beauty Present for Mothers-to-Be…

Neal's Yard Remedies Mother Organic Collection

I realised last week that I didn’t ever properly finish my round-up of the best pregnancy and new-Mum beauty products. I did some quite extensive testing of various stretch-mark oils and creams and the results can be found here (best budget) and here (best of the rest) but I must do a summary of my favourite pregnancy skincare and makeup when I get a chance. Perhaps after Christmas when I’m not knee-deep in cinnamon-orange candles and sparkly tree decorations!

But the Neal’s Yard Remedies Mother Organic Collection (here) gets bumped up the list because I think that it’s a brilliant present for Mums-to-be. This was one of my favourite body sets when I was pregnant – I found the bath oil truly relaxing, the body balm great for when I wanted something to do a bit of a lengthier massage with and the massage oil – oh, the massage oil! It contains neroli essential oil, which takes me to my happy place, and has a beautiful texture that keeps skin soft and supple. I’d use it still if I hadn’t ploughed through the bottle so quickly – there’s no reason to stop using it post-partum, I just had loads of other bits and pieces to write about.

My pregnancy posts on The Uphill…

The products in the Mother Organic Collection have been very carefully formulated to be suitable for pregnant women. I avoided many of my usual pampering products as I tend to go for some quite full-on aromatherapy stuff; the Neal’s Yard Remedies products are gentle, non-nauseating but still manage to do the trick on the “calming and relaxing” front. If you’re looking for a box-set to buy a Mum-to-be this Christmas then you can’t go far wrong with this one…

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The Cowl-Neck Jumper Hunt Continues…

ruth crilly a model recommends

The Cowl-Neck jumper hunt continues… I don’t know why I’m so obsessed – I actually really like my neck but I seem intent on finding sweaters to hide it away! The two on this page are both from Karen Millen. They are gorgeously soft, have good chunky roll-necks to hide away in and a slightly shorter, wider cut that makes them brilliant to wear with high-waisted jeans. The Chunky Textured Roll-Neck Jumper above is perfect for lazy weekend dressing – I love the contrasting knitted panels and the wintery feel of the colours.

ruth crilly a model recommends

The black Merino Cowlneck Jumper (above, but clearer pictures here) is the jumper of my dreams. It’s just enough “eighties” to make it glamorously cool, but without the addition of shoulder pads or weird embellishments! It looks absolutely amazing with a pencil skirt and is a good standby to thrown on with jeans if you want to feel smart but stay comfy and warm. The shape is just beautiful.

The contrast panel jumper is £115 here, the black Merino cowlneck is here. They should be £115 each, but Karen Millen have a Black Friday/Cyber Monday discount – 25% off everything.

Karen Millen

This post was originally going up later on this week but I thought it would be incredibly annoying to miss the discount! If you want to take a look at my previous cowlneck finds (it’s become something of an occupation for me, finding nice jumpers!) then click here. (By the way, my lipstick in the second picture is Old Hollywood by Bobbi Brown, a lovely classic red – see here for more details.)

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Cheaper Kindles and the Books To Load Them Up With.

summer reading recommendations

I know people roll their eyes a bit at the Kindle deals that basically epitomise “Black Friday”, but my Kindle is one of my most-used gadgets ever and, if there’s an opportunity to get one at a knock-down price then I’m there. My Mum still has what is basically a prototype Kindle, it weighs about ten kilos and hurts her wrists when she holds it for long periods of time. (I think it’s mostly because of the case with the light in it.)

So, I am getting one of these for her Christmas present – I feel it would be rude not to, really – at £34.99 it’s less than the price of a bottle of perfume, for goodness’ sake! This is the new Amazon Fire Tablet and I’m honestly struggling to work out why it’s so much cheaper than the Kindle Paperwhite. It has a bigger screen, it still loads e-books, but you can do so much more with it, including accessing the internet… I can imagine my Mum sat upstairs browsing Boden in bed!

More Christmas Present ideas…

So yes – getting one of these for Mother. If you’re after a tablet or book reader then this has to be one of the best value versions on the market. I’ve done a quick Google, but nothing seems to come close. Incidentally, the Paperwhite is also on offer – £79.99 instead of £109.99 here. If anyone does know why the Paperwhite would be better then please let me know pronto, before I hit the button. Is it better for your eyes to read on the Kindle? The battery life on the Kindle is better, but I love the idea that you can browse the internet on the Fire!

None of these are short or easy reads, they’re really something to get your teeth into but I could read them again and again. I do hope you enjoy them – I must do a “favourite books” post or video soon… Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments box for other readers.

Amazon Fire

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Luxury Gifts for the Glam Night Out

christmas gift guide ideas

In my last post I brought you gifts for a “cosy night in“; now behold my Christmas present ideas for party animals, social butterflies and anyone who would appreciate a touch of luxury, a spot of decadence. Let’s start with a bit of sparkly Chanel, shall we?

chanel rouge noir nail polishes 2015

The classic Rouge Noir nail polish (right) and a special edition Lamé top coat. Great (if expensive) little stocking fillers for the lady who loves Chanel. (Who doesn’t?) You can find these at Boots.com for £18 each or 1,800 advantage points.

by terry baume de rose gift set

And then the ultimate in luxe, By Terry’s Baume de Rose. But not your standard Baume de Rose  – this is the special “24k” Gold Baume de Rose and there are three of them in a very posh presentation box with a bejewelled lip brush. Each one of these gold-lidded pots has the plumptious rose balm inside with a slightly different hue – a yellow gold, silvery-gold and rose-gold. It’s kind of a “money no object” gift, though, coming in at a whopping £250! You really really need to like someone… Find this at Harrods here.

tom ford lipstick diorific mat lipstick

Staying with lips, two utterly delectable lip colours for a sexy pout on that night out. (Poetry, you’re welcome.) I realise we’re on a bit of an expensive-product-roll here, but bear with me because things do get better, financially speaking! If you did want to splash some cash on a lipstick then you can’t go wrong with Tom Ford – this one, in First Time, is even more covetable than usual with its deco-inspired ridged casing. £42 (I know) here.

A sentence I never thought I’d write: “for a more purse-friendly option, take a look at Dior’s beautiful Diorific collection”. But do – the lipsticks are utterly divine. Gorgeous packaging that feels like something from a film set and beautiful colours with a flat, mat finish. I’ve shown Magique here, but after swatching them I actually think that the deep red Fabuleuse is my favourite. The Diorific lipsticks are £25.20 each here, they are usually £28.

dior christmas highlighter

If you’ve caught the Dior bug then the State of Gold Golden Light powder is another gem to look out for. A luxuriously heavy little golden compact that looks and feels very posh indeed.

diorific christmas makeup

Inside, a gently shimmering face powder that leaves a subtle glow – that’s if you’d ever want to use it. It’s very collectible! Again, great stocking-filler-fodder if you’re after things to really draw squeals of joy. You can find the Golden Light compact here for £45.

burberry gold powder

For an even softer glow (and one that’s gorgeously fragranced) try Burberry’s festive Fragranced Luminising Powder. It’s scented with My Burberry and has a slightly more muted, neutral glow than Dior’s offering. The casing is smart and modern, it’s the low-key-luxe option for people who love beauty but like to keep things low-key. £45 at Net-a-Porter here.

nuxe huile prodigieuse offer

From face glow to body glow; Nuxe’s Huile Prodigieuse OR. A sublime-smelling nourishing body oil with added gold shimmer to really highlight legs and arms. Or whatever else you’re showing off. And this is where things get more budget-friendly; Escentual.com have the gold oil and the larger sized original as a duo pack for £24 rather than £49. A really nice saving, especially if you’re operating on the “one for you, one for me” present buying scheme; you could give the gold oil as a present and keep the original bottle as a bit of a treat-to-self. If you’ve never tried Huile Prodigieuse then you’ll just have to trust me that it smells amazing. Find it here.

jean paul gauliter sparkle edition

Jean Paul Gaultier’s Classique fragrance has a huge, loyal following; if you’re buying for one of those followers then you could do worse than to glitz things up a bit with this Intense Glam version. It’s £81 at Harrods.com. Or, if you’re having budgetry issues then there’s a good deal going down on the “classic” Classique:

jean paul gaultier gift set offer

50ml of the timeless fragrance with a perfumed shower gel, £25.50 for the set. The perfume alone should be over forty pounds, so this is a brilliant way of getting something swanky for less. You can find the deal here online, only for this weekend. There’s an even better deal on the Le Male version – twenty quid! See here.

laura mercier brush set

If those little savings have freed up some budget then take a look at these excellent Laura Mercier brushes – a smart little hard-case to house them in…

laura mercier brush set

..and a set of six very useful brushes inside. The Stroke of Genius Luxe Brush Collection would be welcomed, I’d imagine, by pretty much anyone who wears makeup. The brushes are of a superb quality and they cover all bases (excuse the pun) with easy-to-use eye brushes, one for concealing and a large, soft face brush. You can find the set here at SpaceNK, it’s £65.

colab luxe shine hair fragrance spray

And now for some excellent Glam Night Out stocking fillers that will absolutely not break the bank. Firstly my Colab Luxe Shine hair fragrance spray with notes of cashmere, bergamot and oud, which is basically sex in a can. The subtlest bit of gloss that won’t weigh down fine hair and a grown-up smell: what more do you need to finish off your party look? You can find Luxe Shine for the special price of £3.32 at Superdrug.com.

salon tangle teezer matte black

And next to it, the Tangle Teezer I’ve nicknamed Batman. If Batman had a hairbrush then this would be it. Ha, I can imagine him detangling his locks after a steamy shower… Anyway, this is matte black and very cool – if you’ve a long-haired male in your life then this would be the appropriate Tangle Teezer to buy them, but really it would make an excellent stocking filler for any grown-up person. It’s usually £11 but is £5.50 this weekend while stocks last, here.

Marvellous. I’m off to sort the rest of my gift guide stuff into equally tantalising sections. We’ve had “cosy night in”, “glam night out”, I’m thinking “day in the bath”? “More than two hours sleep at a time”? “The chocolate and wine fest to end all fests”? I don’t know… Leave your suggestions below.

More Christmas Ideas….

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