Boxing Day Beauty Buys

Hey everyone !

I cannot even tell you how nice it is to be back to blogging (I’m not even going to try and count how many days I’ve been inactive for… let’s just say it’s been a while!).

I always think a break is good for just refreshing your head .. I find I always have so many more ideas after one .. especially with it being over a Christmas & New Years!

Now … I definitely did my fair share of shopping over Boxing Day (including a huge Lush purchase – check out my latest YT video for a haul!)… and I found some little gems (beauty wise!) that I could not wait to share with you.. especially as I usually only stick to buying clothes in the sales!

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Let’s start it off with some perfume gift sets? Now .. both these perfumes are two of my FAVES … and they just remind me of when I was at University!

Diesel Loverdose

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I remember when this came out years ago .. me and my sister both saw the bottle and fell in love. We then sprayed it on our wrists (along with about 10 other perfumes) and carried on shopping. Throughout the day – this particular perfume just stood out so much…that we both actually went back and purchased it! I am SO rubbish at describing scents, but looking online the perfume has notes of: mandarin, liquorice, jasmine, amber & vanilla (yum!). It is definitely a sweet perfume that reminds me of sweets when you first spray it, then it changes to a really warm, sweet scent as it settles into your skin. The bottle is so stunning too, and with it being an Eau De Parfum, it lasts SO long too!

Bvlgari Omnia Crystalline

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Firstly… HOW STUNNING IS THIS BOTTLE. It is so unique, but really classic at the same time. This is probably the complete opposite scent to Loverdose… it is fresh and almost citrus-y. This used to be my go to scent for Spring, but I had to pick it up after seeing it on offer. Again, using trusty google, the notes in this one are: bamboo, lotus blossom, sandalwood and musk. I find this to have a really “clean” scent and think it is perfect for everyday, especially during the Spring.

Zoella Gingerbread Gift Set

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This is one scent that I had already picked up and when I saw it on sale for Β£4 in Superdrug I could not resist picking up some more! Gingerbread has been my absolute favourite scent this winter.. in fact I have been obsessed with everything gingerbread this winter (and am a little bit gutted that when winter is over I will have to pack up my gingerbread props, *cries*). This scent literally smells like gingerbread when you spray it, then settles into a lovely, warm vanilla scent. I do find I have to reapply this in the afternoon, but I always have the bottle handy in my bag for touch ups as the bottle is so light.

Benefit Gift Set

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I could not believe my eyes when I saw this little set .. I had already paid for my perfumes and literally turned back when I saw this. With each Benefit box powder being around Β£23 each, I knew it would only be smart (and better for my bank) that I picked up this set for less than Β£20, right? Also the powers are actually decent sized (5g compared to 8g full size), and the fact that I get a mini “They’re Real” mascara just made my day, as I have never tried it *gasps*.. I know! Coralista and Hoola are two absolute staples, and having never tried the other powders, I am excited to give them a go! Also.. the Watt’s Up highlighter has always been on my wishlist, so getting to try it beforehand means I can see if it is worth the hype! Giftsets like this are my fave because it means I can test a range of things before purchasing them.. and the Boxing Day sales are always a fab time to pick them up!

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So guys.. they were the beauty bits I picked up in the sales… I was so chuffed with everything I got and definitely was more impressed with them rather than the clothes! Did you pick anything up in the sales? I’d love to know if you did !

I’ll see you all in my next post!

Lots of Love,

Saira

xo

 

Make Your Own: Costa Festive Drinks

Hey!

WELL I WISH IT COULD BE CHRISTMAS EVERYDAY. Seriously though… after watching a Christmas themed episode of Black Mirror (which if you haven’t watched yet WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING WITH YOUR LIFE), I literally get chills every time I hear this song (and not the good type either). I think it was Zoella’s video I watched where she talked about Black Mirror and how it’s one of those programmes that sticks in your head and makes you just THINK about things.. which I can definitely agree with! I’ve been hooked on watching it!

Anyways… let’s put that to a side and focus on what this post is actually about! I feel like my blog has not been as festive this year .. and in all honesty it’s just because I haven’t had the TIME to put out as many posts as I’ve wanted to! But … I Β thought I would do what I could in the last few days before Christmas to get as festive as possible !

Little quiz for you all.. what is one of the things that I get SO EXCITED for… it only comes during the winter months and includes festive cups? Yep you got it … festive hot drinks! Specifically .. Costa. Yum. I’ve been all over Costa festive drinks this year and tried every single one. Well.. the hot chocolates, lol.. never been much of a coffee lover tbh.

I had a little sad moment earlier when I realized that I wouldn’t be able to get the festive drinks for another year… so what did I do? Make my own of course πŸ™‚

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Now.. before I put up a blog post about these I knew I had to test them out … so I made 3 different drinks & had the most honest people I know (hubby, dad & sister) try them (they would 100% tell me if they tasted like crap, ha).

But guess what guys? They tasted frickin’ amazing.. in fact BETTER than I expected! Now.. I have to share the ‘how to’ with you.. because I know so many of you are going to be gutted when we can no longer get the festive drinks *cries*… but it’s possible (in fact pretty easy) to recreate at home.

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*ONE MAJOR TIP*

Use GOOD quality cocoa powder … this helps so much in achieving that Costa hot chocolate flavour!Β 

Orange Hot Chocolate

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I think this is by far my favourite drink … it was always my go to and it just made me feel SO festive every time I got it!

1 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder (the pricey stuff guys)

1 mug milk

Few pieces of Terry’s Chocolate Orange

1 tsp orange extract (the liquid in a little bottle – from the baking section in any supermarket)

Whipped cream in a can

Chocolate/festive sprinkles

Pour the milk in a saucepan over medium heat and add in the cocoa powder, and whisk until frothy. Add the Terry’s chocolate and let it melt, followed by more whisking. Once the milk starts to bubble on the sides, turn it to low heat and add in the orange extract. And yep.. whisk again. Leave for a minute or so, take off the heat and pour in your fave mug. Top with whipped cream & sprinkles. Voila!

Peppermint White Hot Chocolate

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This one is a little bit more special because it is WHITE Hot chocolate. It looks SO Christmassy!

1 1/2 tbsp white hot chocolate powder

1 mug milk

1 candy cane – crushed (some to add to the drink, some for decorating)

1 tsp peppermint extract

Whipped cream in a can

Exactly the same process – but instead of adding the Terry’s chocolate, add 3/4 of the candy cane, and of course peppermint extract instead of orange. Once you’ve put it in the mug, add whipped cream and the remaining candy cane on top.

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate

Now.. this wasn’t exactly a hot chocolate at Costa.. but it did come in coffee form and I wanted to create my own version!

1 1/2 tbsp hot chocolate powder

1 mug milk

1 handful of milk chocolate chips & 1 handful of white chocolate chips

1 tsp salted caramel extract

Whipped cream in a can

Cute toppings

Same process again .. but add different chocolate/extracts as required!

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And that’s how you can make your very own, festive drinks! Get yourself some cute toppings and go all out decorating them too!

Thank me later when you’re craving that Costa hot chocolate.

ALSO – I am so sure you can try something similar with any syrups/extracts you find! You can get as creative as you want too – I could not for the life of me find gingerbread anywhere .. which I was SO gutted about because I am sure you all know my obsession with it this year!

Hope you enjoyed this festive little post … let me know if you try any of the hot chocolates!

Lots of love,

Saira

Xx

 

How I Style: Blanket Scarves

Hey hey!

How is it so close toΒ Christmas ?! I can’t even believe how quick December is passing by … this year is almost over! I’ve already had my Christmas do at work, and have a few days at work before some time off! Honestly .. I’ve been enjoying my new job so much but my goodness do I need a break!

Anyway.. Winter is my favourite season (after Autumn that is)… I just love everything about it! I did a whole post if you want to know WHY I love it so much .. which you can check out here ! Anyway .. the fashion is one of the main reasons I love it!

Now … there are so many different fashion items this winter that I’ve been obsessed with (I’m planning a whole post on it actually!)… BUT there is one specific thing that I’ve not been able to be without, and honestly if you do not have one of these, you are missing out! They have been everywhere this season, and you can pick up so many different colours & styles.. and they are definitely an essential item. It is of course … blanket scarves!

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I have been so so obsessed with blanket scarves this year.. they are so easy to style up and instantly make you feel so cosy! There are so many ways to style it.. but I’ve been sticking to a regular way which has become my go to outfit on cold, winter-y days!

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This little beauty is from Primark .. WHO FYI have some gorgeous scarves.. and they are less then a tenner (!). My fave way to style then has just been draped over this beautiful ‘coatigan’ from Zara (which is a mix between a coat & a cardigan… it’s a word guys!). I feel SO cosy and warm.. and of course greys & blacks just go with everything!

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The boots are little stunners from Primark.. and honestly guys I fell in love with these as soon as I saw them! The quality is insane and they are SUCH a staple! I’ve noticed myself wearing them so much too… definitely pick them up if you spot them! I adore the detail of the zip on the side and the slight hint of snakeskin… they are definitely perfect for everyday :).

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So many of you will know that winter is my all time favourite season for fashion … just because I find it so effortless .. it’s all about layering and feeling comfy! This is why I think blanket scarves are perfect … all I do before heading out the door is drape one of them over my shoulders, or wrap around my neck and I am GOOD TO GO!

Coat: Zara
Scarf: Primark
Bag: LYDC
Boots: Primark

The whole point of this post (besides experimenting with my new camera & outfit pics!)… you NEED a blanket scarf this Winter. Get one πŸ™‚

Have an amazing weekend guys.. I am going to be spending mine making a gingerbread house, doing some shopping and getting inspiration for re-decorating my room! Sending you lots of love!

Love,

Saira

X

Essential Winter Blog Props

Hey there !

Remember me? It’s been a while hasn’t it! Apologies about the MASSIVE break in my posts … I’ve just felt so uninspired recently which is very unlike me… especially at this time of year when there is so much festive inspo flying around ! I’ve just been SO out of the loop… BUT I am glad to be sat down writing up a post for you all.

So.. how have you all been? I’ve just been SO busy settling into my new job and trying to get back into the swing of blogging. If you didn’t already know.. I recently brought the ever so dreamy Olympus Pen camera.. which of course meant that I spent the majority of my weekend having the biggest blog photo session ever. I also spent my Saturday morning trawling the shops looking for some winter blog props… and then I thought to myself that would be such a fab idea for a post!

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Now.. blog props for me are something that is so essential if you really want to up your photo game .. they just make your photos look so much more interesting and you can really show your personality through them too! So guys .. I have a whole load of things that you can go out and find that will make your photos look perfect for winter and also add that special festive touch!

Blankets

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We all know blankets are an essential when it comes to winter time (who doesn’t love to snuggle in one after a long day!).. so why not incorporate that into your blog too? I find grey, white or cream blankets are perfect for this time of year to use as a backdrop and just to add some “texture” to your photos (if that makes sense!). Mine is actually a Β£4 one from Primark… but you can definitely go all out and pick up a fluffy one too. I think they look adorable and give a real cosy vibe to your pictures!

Fairy Lights

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What even was my life without fairy lights? I can’t believe that I ever used to take photos without fairy lights! They instantly make your photos look amazing and so so cosy! I picked up some adorable red ones from Home Bargains and they are SO festive! They also jingle .. but that wouldn’t be very effective in a blogpost, ha. Seriously though, get yourself some… they really make all the difference.

Candles

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Ahhhh candles. I’m obsessed with candles anyway so it was only obvious I picked up some wintery ones to go in my photos. Check out Home Bargains or B&M for some adorable, festive ones… and they can work either lit or just as a prop in a flatlay… either way looks faaaaabulous. Also .. HOW CUTE is the one shaped like a Christmas tree! I doubt I will ever actually burn it because I don’t want to ruin the beautiful shape it has.. but it definitely looks adorable in the background.

Mugs

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I’ve become a little bit obsessed with mugs recently and thought they would look so cute as props! I feel like they add such a homey, comfortable feel to your photos, and there are so many festive ones that just add something special to your photos! The Christmassy one is from Home Bargains, and the kitten one (although not vey festive by frickin’ adorable) is from the Velvet Ghost range in Primark by the stunning Gabby… and when I saw it was only Β£2… I HAD to have it.

Zoella Range

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Let’s be honest guys… all of the Zoella beauty/lifestyle range is absolutely beautiful and SO instagrammable! I am in LOVE with the gingerbread body mist/cream… and they look so adorable as props, especially as they are SO festive. In fact, any perfume bottle can be added to your photos and look gorgeous!

Pinecones/Berries/Wreaths & Room Sprays

All of the above just scream Christmas & winter to me.. and adding them to your photos instantly makes them look SO winter ready. They are so affordable yet add so much to your images .. definitely worth picking up! I got my mini wreath thing from Home Bargains & the pinecones are from some old pot pourri.. which I am so sure you’ll have lying around somewhere!

There is something so beautiful about room spray bottles .. and this one from Home Bargains caught my eye as it was so classic yet perfect for winter time! Added bonus … it smells absolutely divine!

Candy Canes

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I am OBSESSED with candy canes.. and they literally add the most beautiful pop of colour to an all white, winter-y photo! I love seeing these little gems pop up in the shops, and as soon as I saw them, I knew they would be perfect for photos! They are so so affordable too… and it means you have a little treat to have after you’ve had your photo taking session!

So guys… they are the few items I have picked up that I think will make my photos look so festive and perfect for winter! It definitely is worth picking up a few bits.. I find they really help me enjoy taking photos even more! You can get as creative as you want… and even make your own Winter props too! Pinterest is your best friend for this πŸ™‚

I’m going to be off now… hope you enjoy the rest of your week! I am in the midst of editing a weekly vlog so I am hoping to get the up this weekend!! Fingers crossed for me to actually upload a video this time ha!

Lots of love,

Saira

Xx

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