Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Christmas Gift Guide: The Stocking Filler Edition

Although everyone loves a big extravagant present, the stocking fillers should definitely not be overlooked. I love getting people a few little presents as I often think these can be more specifically catered to the person than a big set with various things inside. These gifts would also all be great as Secret Santa gifts or smaller gifts if you have a lot of people to buy for and want something lovely without the huge price tag! 


ASOS ~ Retox Pamper Pack ~ £7.50
Firstly, this Retox Pamper Pack from ASOS... This is the perfect gift for any girl who loves a good pampering session, it'd be especially great for them to use on boxing day or new years day when hungover! It includes a hair mask, a foot cream, a face mask and eye pads so it really covers all areas and is a great value, unique gift for a brilliant price!
ASOS ~ Beauty On Cloud Nine Embroidered Eye Mask ~ £8.50

A cute eye mask for this nights when you're finding it difficult to sleep could be the perfect stocking filler for a lot of people. For girly girls, this pink polka dot one from Cloud Nine is lovely, the bow detail makes it super pretty and their products are always really well-made which is a bonus for only £8.50. 
Body Shop ~ Vanilla Brulee Bath Sprinkles ~ £7

These bath salts from the Body Shop are a brilliant product for anyone who loves baths and taking some me-time which is extra nice over the festive period. The smell of these bath salts is absolutely incredible- I urge everyone to go smell it next time you're near a Body Shop store, you will not be disappointed!
Nuxe Reve De Miel Lip Balm ~ £9.50

Nuxe Reve De Miel lip balm has been a much-talked about cult beauty product for a long time. All girls (and even some boys) who are into beauty and skincare would really appreciate this product and the quality has been backed-up by numerous reviews. I'd love to receive this, this year!
Lush Bath Melt ~ The Melting Snowman ~ £2.25

No Christmas stocking is complete without a Lush product! This Melting Snowman is the perfect cute Christmas themed gift and I think all women would appreciate this one as it's so cute and so lovely and kind to even the most sensitive skin. Another one that's perfect for the post-Christmas pamper!
Yankee Candle Small Jar ~ Salted Caramel ~ £7.99
Yankee Candle is my ultimate favourite candle brand, mostly because they have such a wide range of scents that there's something for everyone, for every season and for every occasion! The small jars come in at around £7.99 depending on where you purchase them from which I think is really reasonable for the quality of the product and they also would look super cute in your stocking. This Salted Caramel scent is particularly divine! 

L'occitane ~ Cherry Blossom Petal-Soft Hand Cream ~ £14

This L'occitane hand cream is the most expensive product in this guide and at £14 it might be too high for some peoples 'stocking filler' budget. I included it anyway as hand creams are such a great gift to receive in the winter months when the weather wreaks havoc on your skin and this would still be perfect for a Secret Santa or for a family member or friend as their main present and it's too pretty and lovely not to mention!

Hotel Chocolat ~ 12 Portly Penguins ~ £7
All genders and all ages, I'm pretty sure that 99% of the population get excited by the gift of chocolate! What could be better than luxury chocolate in your stocking in the shape of PENGUINS!? So cute and so yummy, I love these kind of gifts to bulk up a stocking. 

Topshop ~ Mini Lip Bullet Pyramid ~ £5
These Christmas decoration type stocking fillers are adorable and mini products in general are great Christmas gifts as it gives the receiver the chance to try out something new. These Topshop lip bullets are high quality, long-lasting and super pigmented so most beauty addicts would appreciate one of these. They come in a few colours as well so you'll hopefully be able to find one to suit any skin tone and style.

Topshop ~ Faux Fur Earmuffs ~ £12
Last, but certainly not least, it's these gorgeous fluffy Topshop ear muffs. Ear muffs are a great novelty way of keeping yourself warm and cosy this time of year whilst still looking fashionable and festive. The peachy coloured faux fur of these ones is particularly nice and they feel SO soft in real life. I'm in love!

So there you have my pick of 10 of the best Christmas stocking fillers/smaller presents for this year. I seriously love all of these products and would love to receive any of them, as I'm sure plenty of others would too!
What is your dream stocking filler this year?


Shakira x

Sunday, 7 December 2014

The Review: Diptyque ~ Feuille Lavande

Today I thought I'd do something a little different and talk about a candle that I've fallen in love with. I've been a candle obsessive pretty much forever but since coming to University I've come to really appreciate how lovely and homely a candle can make a dingy student room feel. Now that I'm in my final year, I actually have a very lovely flat but I think however cute your home is, nothing can make it feel even more homely than a luxury candle burning in the background. 

Diptyque are known for being one of the best luxury candle brands on the market at the moment so I was super excited to try out one of their products. I chose the smallest size as they are quite expensive and I'd never had one before so it was a bit of a risk. The scent I chose is called 'Feuille Lavande' and it is BEAUTIFUL! This size RRPs for £20 on Space NK which is rather pricey for the small size but the quality of the product is unbelievable.

It's essentially lavender scented and the aroma from this tiny candle fills my whole flat within 5 minutes of lighting it. It burns perfectly level and has lasted a surprising amount of time for its size. It gives the whole room the most beautiful relaxing ambience and would be great for anyone who likes herbal remedies to help them sleep better. Although it's quite pricey to buy for yourself it's great as an indulgent treat and would also make a lovely luxury gift for women of any age, and some men I'm sure!

Overall, I would definitely recommend this scent and I would repurchase, although not often as it is a rather luxurious product to buy yourself! I can't wait to try more scents from Diptyque now! 
What are your favourite luxury candle brands? 


Shakira x

Friday, 5 December 2014

5 Festive Nail Polishes...

In this post, I'm going to be talking about my 5 favourite nail polishes that are all perfect for the festive season! Please excuse the slight mess of some of these nail polish bottles, I had a   pink nail polish explosion in my nail drawer and some of them just cannot be cleaned!
First up is Dark Knight by Topshop Nails. It's a dark blue with a mixture of lighter blue, silver, and darker blue sparkles! It applies really opaque in two coats which I think is great for a glitter polish and the quality and lasting time are also pretty impressive. I love the sparkly midnight blue for winter as it reminds me of the dark starry nights!
Next up is one of my favourites of all time- Pink Silver Glitter by Barry M. As the name would suggest, it's a pink polish with bits of pink and silver glitter running through it. The quality is nice and it's fairly opaque and buildable, although it chips fairly quickly as most Barry M nail paints do. 
Burgundy Kiss by Maybelline Colour Show is definitely the most chic option of the bunch. It's a really dark red that looks almost black in some lights. It's very vampy and sultry but still very wintery and festive as it has a lovely hint of red. This one lasts brilliantly on the nails and is opaque in just one coat so is definitely a great one to choose. 
Back to the glittery options next with Red Glitter by Barry M. This is probably the most typically festive of all my picks as nothing could be more Christmassy than red glitter! It applies and lasts exactly the same as the pink Barry M nail paint and is definitely worth buying for a super seasonal nail to get you into the festive spirit!
Lastly, it's the only high-end option in this list. Trafalgar Red from By Terry Nail Laque is the most beautiful true red I have ever come across. It's super festive as red always is on the nails and also a very chic and classic tone. It's opaque in one coat and it last so long on the nails before chipping and is a dream to apply, definitely worth spending the extra money for a little indulgence!
I'm currently wearing the By Terry Nail Laque on most of my nails with one accent nail on each hand which has the Barry M Red Glitter on it. Such a cute festive combination which I'm loving wearing this month!


What are your favourite nail picks for this time of year? I'd love to try out something new!

Shakira x

Friday, 28 November 2014

Christmas Gift Guide: The High Street Fashion Edit

Welcome to my high street fashion Christmas gift guide! Let's get straight to the good bit...

Carrie Feather Strappy Heeled Sandal (Black) ~ Missguided ~ £29.99

These Missguided heels are the perfect cute present! The black fluff on the toe makes them so playful, fun and high-fashion whilst the sleek and minimal base style with the simple straps and stiletto heel make them still seem very classy. At under £30 I think these heels are SUCH a great bargain and I think most girls who love something a little different in the fashion stakes would love to receive these! 

Trim Belted Camel Skirt ~ Mango ~ £39.99
Next up, I just had to include this gorgeous camel toned skirt from Mango. Mango have some gorgeous clothes lately so they're definitely one to check out if you're looking for some style inspiration. The camel colour of this skirt is so on trend and the A-line shape and fit are perfect for the current trends. This skirt would suit women and girls of all ages so is a brilliant timeless fashion gift!

Sheepskin Vest (Ecru) ~ Zara ~ £39.99

For me, it's not a fashion gift guide without a faux fur gilet in the mix! This Autumn/Winter so far has been all about the faux fur, and gilets especially, for me, I already have a beautiful Topshop black gilet so I've decided to put a cream one in this guide for something a little different. This Zara one is stunning and the quality is incredible too! Online it's only in 'Ecru' (the shade pictured above) however, in store I've seen it in black and brown too so definitely check out your nearest store if the cream isn't your favourite. 

Black Leather Look Tube Pants ~ River Island ~ £40

River Island isn't one of my favourite shops for my personal style, however, I was wandering past it the other day and these gorgeous black leather look tube pants really caught my attention. I love leather pants but find they're very difficult to pull off and can be rather uncomfortable. I feel these are easier to wear than many more tailored trouser-style offerings so think these would be a great gift for any fashion-obsessed girl as they're such a wardrobe staple. 

Feather Hem Slip Dress (White) ~ Topshop ~ £55

I can guarantee that anyone who is an avid reader of bloggers will have seen this dress a million times over, but I'm obsessed with it and couldn't resist putting it into my guide! I think this is the perfect party dress for the festive season, white is always one of my favourite colours to wear and the fur trim makes it festive without being too in your face. Definitely the Christmas party dress of 2014. 

Black Sequin Mini Skirt ~ Mango ~ £59.99
Following on from the theme of the festive party season... You can't have a festive party without someone wearing full sequins! This black sequin skirt is a more laid-back offering than a full sequin outfit and as the sequins are black and the skirt isn't too tight fitting, I think it could look uber chic and stylish. It would also be a perfect Christmas gift as no one can deny the allure of sequins at Christmas time!

All Over Frilly Jumper (Black) ~ Topshop ~ £65

Moving on from the party pieces, this black frilly Topshop jumper is perfect for a girl who has a more laid-back style or is just more in the market for every-day clothes. I love the frill detailing on what would otherwise be a plain black jumper, it's really unusual to see on the high street and makes the jumper so girly and cute. The quality of this is also amazing and it feels so super soft and cosy.

Belted Wrap Front Jumpsuit (Red) ~ Warehouse ~ £70

This Warehouse jumpsuit is another festive season party classic! I think the draped style of the neckline and waist could flatter so many different body types and it's a little more covered-up than the dresses and skirts I've included so it would be great for those freezing nights out. The red colour is also so festive! I think this would be such a luxurious and indulgent gift as the quality and finish is so high, it's really beautiful. 

Knit Cape with Sleeves (Ecru) ~ Zara ~ £79.99
I couldn't finish this gift guide without including some sort of cape. Cape's have been everyone this Autumn and Winter and I can totally see why, they look so classic and lovely over almost any outfit and this cream Zara one would go with everything. The quality of Zara clothes is unbeaten on the high street in my opinion, so I think that this would be a beautiful Christmas present to receive. I'm so in love with it!

Whistles Jumper with Roll Neck in Textured Marl ~ Whistles/ASOS ~ £95
Lastly, and most expensively, is this Whistles jumper. Whistles is one of the highest quality outfitters on the UK high street too and their clothes are very minimal and very classic but the luxurious materials and finish make them look so high-end and well worth the high price tag if you can afford to splurge! This jumper is beautiful, luxurious and indulgent; everything a Christmas gift should be!


I really hope you've enjoyed this fashion gift guide and that it's either given you a good idea for someone else, or for yourself! Let me know if you have any recommendations of good quality high street stores as I'm currently compiling my own Christmas wish list!

Shakira Jasmin x

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Topshop Glow: The Holy Grail Highlighter

So, today I've decided to review one of my holy-grail products, the Topshop Glow highlighter!
I'm a highlighter addict through and through, I may even go so far as to say that it's the make-up item that excites me the most of them all! Even when I'm wearing a minimal make-up look, I'll always have a glowy cheek and a shimmering tear duct and brown bone. These Topshop glow highlights are my ultimate favourite of all the highlighters I've tried- trust me, I've tried plenty! The glow highlighter comes in two shades and of course, I have both so here's a concise list of the pro's and con's of this product- which is really just a list of why I love it SO much!

FYI- the golden/bronze shade on the left is 'Gleam' and the mores silvery shade on the right is 'polished'


* the texture is beautiful and creamy 
*the buttery soft texture means they blend onto the skin like a dream
*they really do last all day and night
* although the pot may seem small, it last for absolutely ever! I've had 'gleam' for around a year now and it's still going strong and I literally use it on a daily basis!
* at £9.00 I think these are very reasonably priced for the high quality finish you get!
*the packaging as adorable, very sleek and sophisticated yet also cute with the little stars
* the packaging is strong and durable also- I've had these for a long time as I've said and being super clumsy they've been dropped more than their fair share and they still look great.

* I do think, for some people, these may be too glittery as I know some prefer a more subtle highlight
* although the two shades they have are beautiful and very different, I'd love to see a more pinkish/peach shade added to the range similar to 'Girl meets pearl' by Benefit

Overall, as you can see, for me the pros hugely outweigh the few minor cons of these highlighters and I would recommend them to anyone who loves a full on highlighted look as much as I do!

In case you aren't already tempted enough, I'll leave you with some swatches of just how beautiful they look on the skin... 





Left- Polished ~ Right- Gleam
I hope you've fallen as in love with my holy grail highlighter as I am! 
Shakira Jasmin x

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Top 10 Beauty Gifts this Christmas- The Luxury Edit

My pick of the top 10 beauty gift sets available this Christmas in the expensive luxury bracket!

I have often wondered why I wasn't born a Christmas elf as I honestly don't know anyone who enjoys shopping for and giving gifts as much as myself. I love gifting all year round but there's something extra special about browsing shops with Christmas songs playing and that bustling festive atmosphere- I love nothing more than being festive and playing Santa Clause this time of year! So, here's my round-up of the 10 beauty gifts that I've found on the market this year... 

Glam Glow Giftsexy - £50 - Space NK

This Glamglow Giftset is the cheapest gift in this edit, but no less luxurious than the rest. The Space NK website says that this set contains: 

  • Glamglow Supermud 15g
  • Glamglow Thirstymud HydratingTreatment 50g
  • Glamglow Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment 15g

  • I've heard so much about Glamglow, their face masks in particular, and have been dying to try out some of their skincare products for over a year now so what better way than to get three products at once! The set retails for £50 on Space NK and the site says that the combined retail value of these three products is £97.50 so you'd be saving 49%. With that in mind, who could say no!? 


    Lush 'Think Pink' Gift Set - £53.95 - Lush
    This is definitely one of the cutest and most girly gift sets in this edit and is also reasonably priced at £53.95. I love the pink theme of this gift set and think it would be the perfect gift for any girly-girl who loves indulgent baths like I do! It contains 13 products- described in the picture above- which I think is a fair amount for the price and the lovely packaging really compliments the products. I adore this one! 

    YSL 'La laque nail varnish trio' - £55 - Selfridges

    For me, anything in black and gold with the YSL branding just screams luxury and makes me go weak at the knees. It contains three colours: Blanc Symbolist, Bronze Aztec and Feuille D'Or. This is a beautiful set and the polishes really compliment one another nicely and are perfect for the festive season- especially the gold glitter on the left! I think this would be the perfect gift for girls who love nails and indulgent gifts as it's a very sleek and sophisticated set. 


    Laura Mercier Body & Bath Luxe Quartet Ambre Vanille - £55 - House of Fraser

    This is another really indulgent bath and bodycare set- for someone who loves baths but perhaps prefers something more sophisticated than the fun/girly Lush set. Laura Mercier are known for bringing out beautiful Christmas sets every year and this one is no exception! It contains: 
    Honey Bath
    Honey Dipper
    Soufflé Body Crème
    Shimmer Body Mist

    All in the indulgent 'Ambre Vanille' scent which is one of my favourite Laura Mercier scents and is perfect as a warming sweet wintery scent. If this isn't your favourite scent, no worries, there's also Almond Coconut and Tarte au Citron to choose from! 

    Hourglass Ambient Blush Palette - £56 - Space NK

    Now for the first beauty item of this edit- and what an item to start with! The Hourglass Ambient blush palette is probably one of most coveted new releases of this year. It just screams indulgence, sophistication and luxury quality. Space NK describes the shades in really helpful detail saying: 

    Luminous Flash is a champagne rose blush fused with Luminous Light powder for a subtle glimmer, Incandescent Electra features a cool peach hue blended with Incandescent Light powder for a radiant glow and Mood Exposure mixes a soft plum tone with Mood Light powder to brighten the complexion.

    I adore each of the three shades and I've read numerous reviews describing the pigmentation, quality and wear-time as exceptional. I would love to find this one under my tree on Christmas morning as I'm sure the majority of beauty lovers would do! 


    Victor & Rolf Flowerbomb Eau De Parfum 50ml Gift Set - £78 - Selfridges
    I had to include a perfume gift set as I think they can make some of the most beautiful and thoughtful gifts if you know the persons favourite scent! My favourite perfume has to be Viktor & Rolf's Flowerbomb so this would be the ideal gift set for me. The sleek pastel pink packaging is perfection in itself so when you open it to find FOUR Viktor & Rolf treats inside your Christmas morning will be made. Selfridges describe the scent as such: 

    Viktor & Rolf's Flowerbomb explodes into a bouquet of sensations with its addictive floral notes which leave their trail, like a whirlwind that is distinctly couture. With harmonious sparkling top notes of mandarin and orange, middle notes of Sambac jasmine with a hint of orange tree, Catleya orchid, freesia and Centifolia rose and a woody base note of Patchouli.

    I'd say this description is pretty spot on and it's the floral mixture that really makes it for me. The bottle is beautiful too! The set contains a 50ml Flowerbomb Eau de parfum, a 40ml bodt cream, a 50ml shower gel and a minature 1.5ml eau de toilette. I think this is the ultimate perfume gift set of this holiday season, I'm obsessed!

    Bobbi Brown Travel Brush Set - £89 - John Lewis

    This gift set is again, a great way of trying out a fair few products from a range I've been wanting to try for some time. Bobbi Brown brushes are renowned for being some of the best on the luxury beauty market and I've never even tried one! I'd love to get this set as you get to try 7 brushes which I think is really great value for money- plus the travel case they come in is stunning too! The set contains: 

    Face Blender Brush
    Sheer Powder Brush
    Dual Ended Concealer Blending/ Eye Blending Brush
    Eye Shadow Brush
    Eye Liner Brush
    Ultra Fine Eye Liner Brush
    Eye Brow Brush

    So it'd make the perfect luxury gift for any make-up enthusiast looking to try some new products! 


    GHD Limited Edition Styler Rose Gold - £130 - Feel Unique

    Not everyone may consider hair/electrical products as strictly 'beauty' but I just had to include these straighteners as I think any girl who loves beauty will probably also love hair and these GHD's are the ultimate luxury hair product. I've always used and had GHD's and am unsure how I would live without them - from curling to straightening- they rescue my frizzy hair on a daily basis and for that I'll be forever grateful! I love my yellow GHD's and don't need a new pair for a long time as they're incredible quality and last years, however, for anyone who does need a new pair or has never had a pair before- these ROSE GOLD ones are the prettiest pair I've ever seen! 

    'The Golden Goddess'

    'The Dolce Vita'

    'The Vintage Vamp'
    Charlotte Tilbury 'Look' Gift Boxes - £165 - Selfridges

    These luxury Charlotte Tilbury beauty boxes may just be my favourite product from the whole of this edit. Charlotte Tilbury is a fairly new brand in the beauty world still, yet her products are already hailed as being some of the most exquisite luxury beauty items on the market. I think any beauty-loving girl would be more than happy to see one of these gorgeous gifts under her tree on Christmas day! There's a series of different 'looks' so it's worth checking out all the boxes on the link provided and seeing which suits you best. These are my three favourites and I really couldn't decide between these three- they're all so stunning and perfect and I would be the happiest girl ever if I received one of these!


    NARS 'The Vault' - £330 - Selfridges

    This last gift is by far the most expensive at an almost ridiculous £330!! But for anyone who is in the market to spend this much and can afford to then I know that any beauty-obsessed girl who loves Nars would be thrilled with such a gift! The variety across the gift set is brilliant ranging from nude shades to dark vampy ones- although you would expect that at this price! The set contains: 

    10 Selfridges exclusive Audacious lip colours
    10 Selfridges exclusive nail polish shades

    Although that sounds very intriguing, I'm dissapointed that they haven't included a description of the shades, or even shade names, as when you're spending so much money on a gift I assume you'd like to know EXACTLY what you're getting. I still think this is a beautiful gift if you can afford it and could make someone have the best Christmas ever. 


    So there you have it, my top 10 luxury beauty gifts this Christmas! I hope this has helped some of you and I would love to hear any recommendations that you have as I'm always on the hunt for gifts! Check back over the next few weeks for more affordable beauty gift ideas and for fashion gift ideas too!

    Shakira Jasmin x