A Few Favourites: December

Oh December, how I love thee. This month has been filled with mad shopping dashes, endless present wrapping, cosy film nights and countryside walks. And it has gone by all too quickly!

This year, we spent Christmas at home. For the last two years we have dashed off to Switzerland for a family Christmas, so to enjoy the festivities in Kent was a real, relaxing treat. It is strange to think that this time last year I was on the slopes (can it really be a whole year?!) and we’re having many a wistful conversation about going back. We will. At some point.

But until then, there’s plenty to do. Before December finishes we have Stars Wars to watch, plenty of leftovers to eat (it’s turkey sandwiches for the foreseeable) and 2016 to ring in.

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*Bluebird Tea Co.: December is the time for hot drinks, and this month I discovered the Bluebird Tea Co. They do the most amazing tea blends which are all so fun and inventive, but it was their Christmas collection that really pulled me in. I found Mulled Wine and Snowball in my stocking on Christmas morning (thanks Santa!), and my personal favourite is the Gingerbread Chai. They ship worldwide, so be sure to check them out!

*Christmas films: One conversation with my sister led to the discovery that she had seen pitifully few Christmas films, so I was soon on Amazon ordering the best ones. We’ve had many a cosy film night, but the highlights have to be The Holiday and Love Actually – it wouldn’t be Christmas without them! Aside from the festive offerings, we’ve also had a bit of a Richard Curtis/Hugh Grant extravaganza with Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill and the Bridget Jones films. It’s been amazing.

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*Lush The Magic of Christmas: I’ve had many a Lush Christmas bath this month, but their reusable bubble bar, The Magic of Christmas, has been my favourite from the lot. Not only does it look adorable on a cinnamon stick, covered in glitter and complete with a bell, but it smells amazing. It also worked so well with some of their other bath bombs to create Lushie bath cocktails!

*Festive beauty bits: This month I seem to have fallen back in love with make up. I’ve been particuarly enjoying the Maybelline Lash Sensational mascara, which is as sensational as everyone says it is. I haven’t been parted from bareMinerals The Soundtrack eye palette, which is perfect for shimmery, festive looks and I finally got round to using OPI Red Fingers and Mistletoe, which is an amazing deep, shimmery red. I’m probably going to have to drag the festive make up into January, as I’ll just miss it too much otherwise!

*Big city life: I think there is no better time to see a city than at Christmas, and I’ve been lucky enough to be in London and Paris this month. In London we rode Boris Bikes around Hyde Park, ate festive food in many a restaurant, did yoga in the sky and went out for celebratory cocktails. In Paris we dashed around all the landmarks, perused the Christmas markets, drank coffee by the river and admired the Christmas lights. It’s been a great month!

On a Budget: L’Oréal Eyes

Expensive make-up is lovely to have and own, but sometimes it’s the budget finds that are the real gems. For me, L’Oréal is one of the best brands at this and I always find myself lingering over their stand in Boots.

An invaluable tip that I have learnt about L’Oréal is that as an umbrella group, they own many of the most famous high end brands. Lancôme, YSL, Kiehl’s and Urban Decay are just some of the much hyped brands that they own. This means that while initially new products are launched into the high-end groups, the best cosmetics filter down into their budget options and this is where you can find the best dupes. Because they are owned by the same group, the products really are the same, even at a fraction of the price.

Today I’m going to chat to you about a trio of L’Oréal products that my make-up bag (and my eyes!) couldn’t live without. I’m a big believer in mixing and matching products to find the best from each brand, so it really says something that all of these are from L’Oréal.

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*Color Riche L’Ombre Pure Eyeshadows: These are some of my all time favourite budget finds and, as you can see, they are well loved. These come in an absolutely enormous array of shades with 24 colours in the range. They also have a variety of finishes, in Nude, Matte, Pop, Smoky, Cameleon and Lumiere.

On the left is Lumiere 507 Pink Up Pink. While it looks quite alarmingly pink, it really doesn’t look like that on the eye. It has a gold shimmer running through it that creates a beautiful glow, rather than being really glittery. It works really well under other eye shadows to brighten the whole look up or just on its own if you’re in a rush.

On the right is Matte 107 Macaron Vanille. This looks really boring in the pan, but it’s one of my favourite eyeshadows. Despite being matte, it is so creamy and blends easily in a way not dissimilar to the Urban Decay shadows. It is amazing as a base for any eye look, or on its own and it makes you look so much more awake on those sleepy Monday mornings!

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*Mega Volume Miss Manga Punky Mascara: I have loved all of the L’Oréal mascaras that I’ve tried (the Telescopic and Volume Million Lashes mascaras are both worth trying!) but this is my current favourite. It is marketed as creating ‘spiky lashes’ but don’t be put off by that. It’s super black and creates amazing, thick, fluttery eyelashes, rather than clumping them all together like normal spiky mascaras. I’ve also heard people saying it’s really hard to get off. I didn’t find this at all, so definitely give it a go!

*Super Liner Perfect Slim Eyeliner: The whole cat eye look does not come naturally to me. I don’t have the patience to practice and I don’t have the time in the morning to get it right. However, discovering this eyeliner has simplified the whole process for me. It’s a really thin felt tip liner, which is easier to control than most of the others, and the fact it’s so thin means you can go for a more subtle look or build it up gradually. It’s also super black and stays all day. For all the other liquid liner dummies out there, I would definitely recommend giving this one a go!

If you have any L’Oréal recommendations (for eye products or anything else) I would love to hear them!