What I Got For Christmas

Christmas seems to have gone by very quickly this year, even quicker than usual. I think because I was unwell over Christmas Eve/Day I ended up napping both days away but I still had a lovely few days nonetheless even though I did feel as if I was hacking up a lung (nice)

I know some people don't like these posts because they think it's a bit braggy or whatever but I personally love reading "What I Got For Christmas" blog posts and watching them too and I'm not writing this post to brag or anything I'm just really excited and also so grateful of the presents I received this year. So I thought I'd share with you my favourite gifts and believe me, it's been quite hard to narrow down because I literally love everything. 

I always find that a lot of brands talk and promote the science side of their latest products but they make it sound so complicated and complex that my brain just can't keep up. So it's refreshing to come across a brand who keep it simple and easy to understand. 

I've been using some of the Sönd Skincare range over the past three weeks and today I'm going to be giving you my honest opinions (as always) about what I think about the range. I'd actually never heard of the brand before until I received an email from them and what they offer. Because I've become a bit of a skincare hoarder this year and I have been trying to find some skincare staples, I was really intrigued by Sönd Skincare because they are for people with sensitive skin and my skin is quite sensitive (especially in the winter) as well as oily. I've also see on their website that the product range has had great reviews from people who suffer from Cystic Acne and also general usual breakouts like myself.

I'm sure by now if you've been following my blog for a while that I feel quite strongly about cruelty free beauty because I just don't think there's any need for it, if brands want/need to test products then they should do it on people who've done something wrong and not innocent animals. That's just my personal feelings. 

The Pip Box is a completely cruelty-free beauty box which comes with 5 products per month. The Decembers Edition box had an extra little treat for Christmas.

I'm a total newbie to Charlotte Tilbury so when I received a PR package from the Charlotte Tilbury PR team I was super excited, as expected! So today's post is all about my first impressions and thoughts on the products that I kindly received recently.

Burt's Bees are one of my favourite natural brands, they're totally cruelty-free and I just love the packaging of everything they release and there are so many unique scents. They have so many great gifts available for Christmas this year. Whether you fancy treating yourself or treating someone else, there's definitely something for everybody. I recently received two gorgeous gift sets from their Christmas range and today's post is kind of an unboxing and my thoughts about what's inside each gift set.

Today's post is my last Christmas Gift Guide (sob!) I really enjoy writing these and planning what to include and also working with some fab brands and featuring their lovely Christmas gifts too. I hope you've liked my gift guides this year. This one is for all you last-minute gift buyers!

I'm sorry to post this sad blog post when everyone is supposed to be happy and jolly and ready for Christmas but this year, I'm not really feeling that festive anymore because on the 7th December we lost our gorgeous, completely crazy cat Squeak and the house just doesn't feel the same anymore. 

If you follow me on twitter on instagram then you may have seen that I recently lost one of my eldest cats Squeak who was 15 and it's really hit me hard, I'm feeling so lost and empty without her. I've obviously lost other animals in my past, the last cat we lost Bonnie we had to have put to sleep on 8th July 2013 because we found out she had cancer in her mouth and it was spreading further into her body which broke my heart so much. I even blacked out walking out of our back door as I watched her in the garden for the last time and I ended up spraining my ankle (literally one of the worst days of my life). 

But I think Squeak's passing has affected me more because she had gotten better after being really unwell back in October and we found out she had Chronic Kidney Disease. The vet basically said she wasn't a well cat but we could try her with antibiotics and food mixture in a syringe for a week and see how she goes, if not then we'd have to consider having her put to sleep. Amazingly, she got better, she even started to enjoy being fed through a syringe I'm sure. She'd recovered pretty well even though she didn't put much weight back on since her unwell stage she seemed happy and content and wanted lots of attention like normal. So it's just been such a shock to the system to her being here and seemingly getting back on track and then just not being around.

Christmas Wishlist 2017 *

in , , , , by Kirsty Milward, 14.12.17

I can't believe I'm writing my Christmas Wishlist for 2017. This year seems to have flown by so quickly! I've obviously given my parents my Christmas Wishlist by now because when it's about 6 weeks to Christmas my mum won't stop pestering me for a Christmas Wishlist because she seems to just wake up one morning in the middle of November and goes into full-on festive mode lol. So I thought today I'd share with you some of the things I'd love to receive for Christmas this year.

Christmas Gift Guide for Partners
With Christmas just over a week away, here’s a guide to finding the perfect gift for your partner before it’s too late! So whether your partner is into music, food, films and more, you can get them ticked off the list in no time!

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I thought today I would share with you some places in the US where I would love to visit at some point in my life. All of the places are places I would want to visit for various different reasons and I think there's quite a big difference between them all which is definitely a good thing. Me and my cousin were talking about places we want to visit in the US recently and we both realised that three of mine are not super close to each other but close enough for a road trip and it's made me realise that I would love to do some sort of road trip in America one day, it's definitely one for the bucket list! So here are my 5 places which I would love to travel to and explore in the US.

It seems like forever since I did one of these "Things I've Been Loving Over The Past Month or So" posts and boy, do I have a lot of things to talk about. I've found a great duo for helping me drift off to sleep and I've also found a few new holy grail skincare products too!

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I love revamping rooms in the house throughout the year, even if it's just buying a few new things to create different looks and give off different vibes. Today's post is all about how I'm planning on hopefully revamping our main bathroom in the new year and creating basically a luxury spa haven which I'm very much looking forward to. Obviously, we can't afford to rip out the whole bathroom and have a new snazzy bath or a high-end looking sink so a few things in this post will be kind of if "I had the money I would splurge on" as well as areas I think you don't have to spend a fortune and areas where I think you should splurge a little if your budget will let you.

Today's post is a kind of beauty-focused Christmas gift guide with a few exceptions. There's a mixture of products with a range of different prices starting from £3.99 and up. So I would say it's a gift guide with stocking fillers and main gift ideas so I hope it helps if you haven't started your Christmas shopping yet!

Secret Scent Box is a great monthly subscription for any beauty lover or perfume hoarder (like myself!). It's a great way to explore what new scents are available without having to leave your home and also to stop you looking like a mad woman by spraying 10 different perfumes on your body and trying to figure out which scent is which with an audience of customers watching in the middle of Boots (you know what I'm talking about, don't pretend you don't lol).

Each month you receive a 30 day supply of 3 different perfumes from 3 different designer brands which are delivered through your letterbox for just £15 per month including p&p. I also have a cheeky discount at the end of this post too! Some brands you may find in your Secret Scent Box include Chanel, Prada, Marc Jacobs, Davidoff, Gucci and more. It also comes in a presentable, cute box with little cards about each perfume included in your box for the month and I really like that the perfumes are a purse-friendly size too.

I love Christmas and I think my fur babies do too! They seem to love the stocking fillers we get them and they love getting and playing in the wrapping paper too. If you don't already know... I'm a crazy cat lady and own 4 cats... yep. I have Tabby who is 22, Squeak, 15, Minnie, 7 and Charlie, 4 and yes they are basically like my children.

They were kindly sent a little early Christmas gift last week from Petshop.co.uk which they were very thankful for. It was a cute Felix Goody Bag tin full of Felix Goody Bag Cat Treats including 5 different flavours.They currently have a range of pet christmas gifts available on their site for your fur babies to choose from at affordable prices.

If you really want to treat your dog or cat this year you could sign them up for the unique Bottomless Bowl Subscription. The founder of PetShop.co.uk Adam had this great idea as his mother suffered from arthritis and couldn't carry pet supplies from the Supermarket so he created the Bottomless Bowl Subscription. You can choose to have your deliveries as often as 2 weeks or even as long as 3 months which I think is such a great idea.

You can also save 5-20% on top of already great value prices when you subscribe and save to the Bottomless Bowl auto repeat delivery services. You also get free delivery if you spend over £19.99! 
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*PR sample, all opinions are my own

If you're still buying Christmas gifts and struggling on what to buy then the Barefaced VibraSonic Face Brush would make a perfect gift for any skincare lover in your life! The Limited Edition Barefaced Shimmer Collection from Magnitone come in 2 gorgeous colours - Rose Gold and Serenity Blue and the best thing about it is that right now and up until Christmas, there's a whopping 44% off discount so they are now available for just £49.99. (RRP £89.99)

I chose the Limited Edition Barefaced VibraSonic Face Brush in the Rose Gold* option and it's just the prettiest skincare item I own. I love that it has a little bit of glitz because of the shimmer and I think it's a great added touch if you choose to buy it for someone for Christmas because who doesn't love a bit of glitter or shimmer during the festive season. It always has a 12-month warranty which is fab too!

Above: What's inside the box
It's super easy to use - the brush head which is already on when it arrives is for general cleansing and the stimulator brush is for more of a deeper cleanse and is great for loosening blackheads (which I definitely need!) but you can use either of the brushes for everyday use, depending on your personal preference. You can't use the brush to remove your makeup but you use it during your second cleanse. 

You just apply your usual cleanser to your face (or brush) and wet the brush. Then choose either option one or option two on the device and then gently glide the brush over your skin. The instruction manual tells you to cleanse in 2 sections - 

Section 1 - Cheeks and Neck
Section 2 - T-Zone 

After 20 seconds the brush beeps to tell you to move onto the next section which I think is really handy and you also know that you have cleansed and used the brush for the right amount of time instead of using guesswork. Then you just apply your usual lotions and potions that you usually use and they should sink in even better after using the Magnitone Barefaced Cleansing Brush.

Another great thing about the Magnitone Barefaced Cleansing Brush is that you only have to charge it once a month... yes really! It takes 8 hours to fully charge and then you don't have to charge it again for a month which I think is pretty impressive. I also really like the little pink travel wash bag that the USB cable arrives in because it's a great sized to fit in the charger, the USB wire and also the spare brush head if you were travelling and wanted to take your brush with you.

In the short space of time of using this, I definitely think my skin is looking more radiant and it feels so much smoother and cleaner when I use the Magnitone Barefaced Cleansing Brush rather than when I just wash my face with my hands like usual. My skin literally feels squeaky clean but I'm probably going to check back in with you soon after using it for a few more weeks maybe on Instagram/Insta Stories to let you know how I'm getting on!

If you're interested in picking up the Limited Edition Shimmer Magnitone Barefaced Cleansing Brush for either a treat to yourself or as a gift for someone at Christmas then you can find them at Boots, Argos, LookFantastic, Feel Unique, Amazon and of course Magnitone.co.uk for just £49.99!

You can also keep up to date on Magnitone releases by following them on their social media - Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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*PR sample, all opinions are my own

Today I'm sharing with you a great free platform for us Bloggers, Youtubers and Instagrammers called Influence Network. They connect brands who want to promote their brand in general or products via social influencers who have an engaged following of 1000 or more. They work with so many genres of influencers from beauty, lifestyle, fashion, health and many more. 

What makes Influence Network different to others is that they help people who are starting out as influencers as well as help out those who have aspirations of building up a presence for themselves and make money from what they do on their social media.

Influence Network is really easy to sign up and completely free. It'll literally take you less than 5 minutes and you will then receive an email from them telling you all the details. They pair up influencers and brands with their algorithm and then you can take part in some exciting campaigns with brands and your pay increases as your engagement and followers do. 

You will be selected for a campaign based on lots of factors including engagement and the niche of your audience and there's no limit to the number of campaigns that can be offered to you. Once you have been selected you will receive an email from one of the friendly team members with the details of the campaign and then it's totally up to you if you choose to accept or decline. 

You can also invite friends to Influence Network! Once you sign up you will be given a personalised link in your welcome email and you can share it as many times as you like on any social media platform. Every friend that signs up Influence Network will add a multiplier to your engagement score (aka payrate) too! 

You can also keep up to date with Influence Network by following their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

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*this post is sponsored by Influence Network, all opinions are my own

I do love coming across cruelty-free makeup brands which don't break the bank and recently I was sent a few bits from Wonderland Makeup and they are exactly that. Their aim is to bring beauty lovers quality high-end, cruelty-free makeup at an affordable price. Their products and formulas are of the highest standards and in this post, I'm going to share my thoughts about the products I was kindly sent.

Wonderland Nail Polish in Poppie - £6* | Poppie is gorgeous bright pinky-red shade as the name would suggest. It's perfect for right now because I don't wear red nail polishes that often unless I want a pop of red if I'm wearing a plain, boring outfit or something but obviously with Christmas being so close it's the time of the year I do tend to opt for red nails more. I like the brush inside as it's not too thin nor big so it makes application easy and it dries pretty quickly too.

Wonderland Studio Finish Primer - £15* | I was super excited to try this out because even though I do own a fair few primers I'm always on the lookout for new ones to try. What stood out to me most about this primer is the fact that it's oil-free because as you may know if you've been reading my blog for a while I do have oily/combination skin and there's only a handful of oil-based products which I like and agree with my skin. I've really been liking this Primer because it makes my skin feel nice and smooth without the over the top silicone feeling. It's more breathable and watery I would say. You also don't need to use much at all to cover your whole face (and I have a moon-sized face!).

Wonderland Loose Pigment in Ultra Marine - £6.50*| Lastly is the Loose Pigment in Ultra Marine. I'll admit I probably wouldn't have chosen this colour just because I have very blue eyes and I don't think blue and blue go together very well but the product itself is insanely pigmented and nice to work with. I know if I ever need a gorgeous, sparkly blue pigment for anything then I have this. If you're like me and don't like to wear bold colours then you can pick up more everyday colours too which I've already had a nosy at. Some of the ones I've seen and like the look of include - Blossom, Coppertones and Foxy.

You can browse Wonderland Makeup here if you'd like to see these products and other products on offer including mascaras, blushers, glitter and more.

Have you ever tried anything from Wonderland Makeup? If so, let me know your thoughts.

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*PR sample, all opinions are my own

Must Have Makeup For The Festive Season

by Kirsty Milward, 1.12.17

It's my first Christmassy post in December! I have already started on this years gift guides but this is my first kind of "Blogmas" post. I'm not going to be blogging every single day but I am going to try and do at least 2 Christmas related posts and also 2 usual posts each week throughout December. So here's my Must Have Makeup For The Festive Season!

So obviously to keep my makeup in place on my oily skin I have to use a primer. I've really been loving the new Essence Fresh & Fit Primer because it's really fresh and it's quite glowy too and I just think it makes my skin look so much better. I even wear it on days when I'm not wearing any makeup just to waken my skin up a little.

For eyeshadow I have a few which I'm really liking and will definitely be using throughout December and those are my Colourpop Supershock Eyeshadow in Birthday Cake, I Heart Makeup Chocolate Elixir Palette and also the Essence Moonlight Eyes Cream Eyeshadow in the shades Cosmic* and Glided. (P.S the I Heart Makeup Chocolate Elixir palette is a great affordable dupe of the ABH Modern Renaissance palette!)

For blusher I've only really been reaching for my Glossier Cloud Paints in the shades Dusk and Beam ever since I bought them. On the rare occasion of not using my Cloud Paints I've rediscovered the Lavera Mineral Rouge Powder in Charming Rose* which gives a healthy flush of colour.

Onto highlighter I have a few choices for the festive season including the Essence Hololighter* which gives a pretty lilac sheen and adds a little bit fun to your makeup look. My other favourites have definitely got to be the Tanya Burr Illuminating Powder in Champagne Sorbet which has been my firm favourite over the past few months and also the NYX Strobe Of Genius Palette*.

There's quite the selection of lip colours I'm loving but I've manage to narrow it down to just five which I think is pretty good going for me! My five picks are the NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Budapest*, and The Body Shops Liquid Lip in the shades Sydney Amaryllis and Nairobi Camellia. For nude shades I've loving the Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk* and The Body Shop Shine Lip Liquid in Apple Taffy.  

For quick and easy nails then I'll definitely be popping on some imPRESS One Step Gel Nails* which are definitely my favourite fake nails to use because they are so simple to use and there's lots of different colours and looks available. I currently have the Bells & Whistles* style and also the Claim To Fame* style. I also know I'm going to be wearing the Essence Holo Rainbow Nail Polish in Hello Holo* because who doesn't love a bit of glitter during the festive season?!

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*PR sample, all opinions are my own