My Christmas Wishlist (The Gift Guide for Girls)

christmas gift guide for women

I’ve sort of restyled my last gift guide video because it occurred to me that I had a million and one things to include in my Gift Guide for Girls, but only some of them were things that I would genuinely be excited to find under the Christmas tree. So this is my pick of the best – my Christmas Wishlist. Which does err on the expensive side, I’m afraid, but if you can’t go luxury on your wishlist, when can you?

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There are many, many highlights in this video (it is a wishlist, after all!) but a couple are time-sensitive, so I’ll flag them up: Bobbi Brown are currently offering a full-size Long Wear Eye Pencil in Black Chocolate with every purchase online. I’ve just tested it with a cream shadow and bingo – there’s my pencil in the basket. No code necessary, it gets added automatically. The site is here.

The other offer (and I’m really not sure how long this is on for) is the Elemis Marine Dream Set which is currently £169.15 and worth almost £400. You can find that at John Lewis here – apologies if it’s not at that price when you read this, I expect it’s for a limited time only. Though it’s still a nice saving at the usual price of £199, if you’re a Marine Cream user!

Here’s the vid – the full list of things on my wishlist is copied below, as usual, for quick reference. Enjoy, email it to your nearest and dearest if you spot anything you like! I’m particularly enamoured with the Nuuna lips notebook (pictured above) – it has the softest leather cover and is pretty sexy. I may have to buy it in both colours!

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The Pillow Spray for Instant Deep Sleep.

deep sleep pillow spray plus

I have a proper thing for This Works’ original Deep Sleep Pillow Spray. I get twitchy without it. It sends me into the kind of deep sleep that could only otherwise be achieved after a couple of large glasses of heavy Chianti and an episode of the Antiques Roadshow. (No offence to the AR, which is something of a British institution; it’s not the content, it’s the timing. There’s nothing like a Sunday Slumber. Waking up with a cricked neck where you’ve tried to get comfy on the sofa.) This Works’ Pillow Spray is just, to excuse the pun, a restless person’s dream. If you’re the sort who tosses and turns for half the night, thinking about tax bills and emails you haven’t sent and whether your Mum is offended that you didn’t text her back, then you need a bottle of this. I was sceptical that it could ever work on me, but it did. First time, straight off the bat, and every time since then, which amounts to (by now) hundreds of times.

Let me just say this: I am not an insomniac. Never have been. I struggle with letting my mind rest, but I’ve never felt short of sleep. It’s just those initial worrying minutes when, if you don’t time things exactly right, you find yourself filling your mind with pointless drivel and missing the sleep boat. The Deep Sleep Pillow Spray eliminates the risk of missing the sleep boat by knocking you out as effectively as a spade to the back of the head. Those with serious sleep problems; I can’t vouch that this will solve them. But it will definitely go a long way towards soothing your thoughts, relaxing your body and setting the scene for a proper, uninterrupted sleep.

this works deep sleep range review

And now, music to mine ears, there’s an even better version! Sleep Plus+ Pillow Spray, which has the fragrance encapsulated so that it releases throughout the night rather than all in one hit. I don’t mind having it all in one hit, but it makes sense to have a slow-release system and I like the idea that it’s all re-wafting about the place as I’m dreaming about being chased down the river in the kayak by a giant duck. I can’t honestly say that it’s vastly different to the original, and that’s because I am asleep when it’s all happening. (My testing abilities have a limit.) The non-plus side of this spray is that it costs nearly a whole tenner more – original spray is £16, usurper is £25. I’ll keep you posted if I notice a big difference – in the meanwhile, you can find both versions at This Works here.

This Works Sleep Plus Pillow Spray

And now for something else snore-inducing; the Deep Sleep Body Therapy Spray-On Body Treatment. I like this a lot. It reminds me of the In-Transit Spray-On Moisture except that it’s for body and it smells all comforting and lavendery. I like the body oil from the same range, but sometimes I can’t be arsed with a body oil before bed, especially if Mr Bear the cat comes and rubs himself around my ankles, sticking a layer of hair to me. A light mist with the same relaxing scent is right up my street. Oh God, I’m writing this at the Sudden Energy Slump Hour (3pm) and my head is almost on the desk! Please, please please, This Works – you have to make an antidote to the Deep Sleep! (The Revive oils from Aromatherapy Associates are excellent for this, actually – you can find those here.) The Body Therapy Spray, with it’s lovely hydrating finish and calming scent, is £20 here.

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Melvita Bourbon Geranium Floral Water

Melvita Bourbon Geranium Floral Water

Facial sprays are a summer staple in my fridge – Mr BBB complains he can’t find the ketchup for “effing flower sprays”. Thankfully he has never muddled the two – chips and geraniums, anyone? Melvita Bourbon Geranium Floral Water is … Read more

The post Melvita Bourbon Geranium Floral Water appeared first on British Beauty Blogger.

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Hot and Heady Summer Scents

the best summer scents for indian summer

I know that I’ve covered summer scents already, but I was sorting through my Cabinet of many Beauty Secrets and putting fragrances into groups (as you do) and this was the collection I nicknamed “hot and heady”. I also have a group called “naughty rose” (I kid you not) and one called “figgy pudding”. I’ll share those with you another time; there’s probably only so much of my weirdness and/or dullness that you can cope with in any one day.

The “hot and heady” group features the kind of exotic scents that are almost a little bit intoxicating; big hits of orange blossom and powerful florals with warm or woody or sweet base notes. Coconut, vanilla, sandalwood. These fragrances are just made for those sultry summer nights. They even look like summer in a bottle; all syrupy-sweet and amber-toned with rich golden accents and jewel-like glass. The summer seems to have disappeared for a little nap (I’ve got a huge cardigan on as I write this!) but I’m positive that it’ll be back in all its glory very soon, and when it reappears I shall be waiting with my arsenal of knock-em-dead scents.

1) l’Occitane’s Neroli & Orchidee is getting a lot of use at the moment, though the good weather seems to have taken a bit of a break. I’ve written about this one loads already; it’s my favourite of the l’Occitane Grasse collection. You can find previous musings here.

fragrance review

2) elle l’aime by Lolita Lempicka is an absolute cracker. Beachy and exotic, orange-blossomy and fruity, but then with this great whack of sandalwood. It’s incredibly seductive, I think. It’s on sale at the moment, the 80ml is £46 down from £70, the 40ml version is £36. (I know which size makes sense to me!) Find elle L’aime parfum here.

3) Odd one out: it’s a body oil. The Huile Sublime, to be more precise. I bloody love Roger & Gallet’s Bois d’Orange, as you probably already know – I actually love the body cream more than this oil, because the texture is just magnificent, but it didn’t look as good in my photograph! Bois d’Orange is just the most lovely hit of warm orange blossom – the oil is great for a non-greasy skin sheen after the beach and you can use it in the ends of your hair, too, though I do always prefer cream leave-in conditioners. You can find the Bois d’Orange range on here.

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4) NUXE: again, I’ve written about this one quite a lot, I think! I keep smelling the Prodigieux fragrance on other people and asking them what they’re wearing; a good sign. This one has orange blossom and bergamot and tangerine but with a gorgeous tropical undertone; vanilla and coconut milk make this a warm and almost comforting scent. You can find it here.

new perfume review

5) And – ah! – the sumptuous, sexy-as-hell Classique Intense from Jean Paul Gaultier. This completely stole my heart earlier on in the summer, but at the time of reviewing (read full review here) it hadn’t yet been released. It’s now available, sold out in a few places but good old have it here – you get a free body lotion when you buy 50ml or above.

Leave me a comment with your own sexy, sultry summer scent suggestions (BLIMEY! Alliteration gone mad!) and I’ll test as many as I can when I’m in town next week. I’m due a bit of a perfume exploration session.

Read about scents that remind me of summer….

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Rosie for Autograph Makeup: Camisole Blush

rosie autograph cream blusher in camilsole blush

This was a find; the cream blush from the Rosie for Autograph range at M&S. I picked this out in a bit of a hurry, because Mr AMR was waiting for me in the car with the baby, but not before I’d quickly had a scribble with most of the eye pencils and lipsticks in the range and given the mascara a cursory once-over. The cream blush – and the shade “Camisole Blush” in particular – would be my key product, if I was pushed to single one out; the highlighting stick also looked nice, and I have used the Radiance Cream to good effect (see here), but the blush is a great everyday makeup essential.

Rosie for Autograph at M&S Cream Blusher Review

It’s easy to apply and blend, for a start – fingertips or, if you don’t mind cross-contaminating your makeup tools with a million different products, your foundation brush. I quite like using the same brush to do primer (if I’m bothering), foundation and then cream bronzers and blushers. If I’m having a dry day and using powders then I’ll have my big powder brushes out (despite Caroline Barnes telling me off and instructing me to use more precise, smaller-headed brushes!) but on a creamier, dewier-face day the Bobbi Brown Full Coverage Brush sees a lot of action.

Rosie for Autograph at M&S Cream Blusher Review

Then there’s the tawny, sort of autumnal shade. Completely unseasonal, it’s sort of the beauty equivalent of eating asparagus at Christmas, but who the hell cares? I’ve been wearing a lot of pretty pink recently, and this just feels a little more grown-up and sophisticated. Doesn’t have the same youthful flush, I suppose, and that cheeky flash of brightness that seems to light up the eyes and make everything look that bit perkier, but it certainly feels polished and sexy.
Rosie for Autograph at M&S Cream Blusher Review

It reminds me a little of the cheek shade I used in a Tom Ford video many, many years ago – it was called Ravish, though looking back, Ravish was a fair bit more gingery and red than this. Camisole Blush is infinitely more wearable and natural (and affordable) so if you’re after a creamy blush to buff in for a bit of posh colour then give this a try. They seem to be rolling out the beauty department at most of the big Marks and Spencers, now, but if you don’t have one near you then they also have Rosie for Autograph online – the cream blusher is here, £14.

You can see the cream blush in action in my latest video here, if you haven’t already watched that…

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