You don’t always have to get the most expensive gifts to have them mean something. This is a follow on from my Gift Guide For Him.

Most of my close family are female. There are honestly only a handful of men in the family. It’s always a good idea to have some cheap, quick-fire gifts that you can easily buy as a little something special or as part of a main gift. I’ve gathered a couple of ideas below of what I’d personally buy the girls in my family.

Rhinestone Hand Chain – Topshop – £8.50
I’ve seen a lot of these floating around online lately. They’re a bit different and definitely in style at the minute. Topshop have a number of these at different prices, but this one is the cheapest and most simple!IMG_0304

Seasons Of Peace Tealights – Yankee Candle – £5.24
Everyone loves Yankee. They come in all different scents and sizes. The tea lights would be great as a little stocking filler and they smell great!

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Four Pack Woodland Animal Socks – Next – £8
I love getting socks for Christmas. Is that geeky? I know my sister would love something like this too. Can’t go wrong with a nice multi-pack of socks!

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Lippy Star Wand – The Body Shop – £10
5 for £10? This is a steal! You could even split this up and put it into 5 friends/family members stockings.

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Tangle Teezer – Urban Outfitters – £10
Tangle Teezers are great. I have a mens version and it definitely helps to untangle my hair without breaking it. They come in a number of different colours too.

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Models Own Make-Up Blending Sponges – Urban Outfitters – £7
I believe Blending Sponges are meant to be good. I read a lot about people using them, so they must be! I don’t use them so I can’t completely vouch for them, but from reading reviews, they’re definitely worth a buy!

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Soap & Glory Once Upon A Lime – Boots – £10
My sister ends up with some form of Soap & Glory every year. This is so reasonably priced and you get a lot for your money! I’ve smelt them before and they always seem to smell amazing.

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Pantone Universe Nail Polish – Boots – £8
I’m familiar with Pantone as an authority of colour. I think these nail polish colours look incredible and I can imagine them to go with a lot of things.

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Pocket Christmas Selection – Hotel Chocolat – £8
Chocolate is always a safe option. Hotel Chocolat is a bit of a luxury, but they’re worth the money. They do a lot of 3 for 2 deals which is good, so the more you buy, the more money you save.

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Rib-Knit Hat – H&M – £6.99
This hat is adorable. I’d buy it for myself, however I feel like I’d look a bit ridiculous wearing this with a beard. My sister would love it though.

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There you have it! Some gift ideas for girls and they’re all £10 or less! Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Until next time,

S.

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I always tend to go overboard at Christmas: I just can’t help myself! Buying a couple of small gifts will always be appreciated. It doesn’t cost as much and it looks like you went the extra mile.

I’ve gathered a couple of ideas I have for some gifts under £10. These would be great as a stocking filler, for Secret Santa or even a nice little gift on their own! The best gifts don’t always have to be the most expensive.

Hangover Cure Water Bottle – Urban Outfitters – £8
I love things like this! Simple idea, and would be a nice little addition to anyone’s stocking!

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Small Signature – The Naked Candle Co – £6
I’ve written a whole blog about The Naked Candle Co, it’s probably best to check that out to see why i’d recommend them as a gift!

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Multi Christmas Crowd Photo Booth – Next – £8
Adding something fun as a gift is always a good idea! Anyone can use it and it’ll give you some pretty good photos to look back on.

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Fuji Green Tea Treats – The Body Shop – £6
If you know me, you’ll know I love anything shower related. You can’t go wrong with some nice bath/shower products. This set from The Body Shop comes in all different scents and for £6 you get a lotion, gel and scrub: Bargain!

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Mint Julips Lip Scrub – Lush – £5.50
I wrote about this in my Winter Skincare Survival Guide. Everyone’s lips get dry in the winter so I think anyone would appreciate this little gift. Plus, it tastes nice and it’s edible.

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Multi Christmas Santa and Snowman Pixel Bricks – Next – £6
We all love lego. I don’t have to say much more than that. This is just a fun little gift and once complete, will act as a nice decoration for the following year.

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Jaquard-Knit Hat – H&M – £6.99
I’m a sucker for a nice bobble hat. This one from H&M is pretty simple and fairly cheap! You can find these pretty much anywhere. You could always go for a bold block colour rather than a pattern, it would be just as nice.

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Red Check Woven Scarf – Topman – £10
This style of scarf is very on trend at the minute. Checked patterns are definitely in. I’m going to be putting something like this on my christmas list. A lot of stores sell similar scarves in different colours.

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Enchanted Forest – Hotel Chocolat – £7
Christmas is the time of year to eat as much chocolate as you can. These little chocolate christmas trees are adorable and taste great! Plus, you get a little discount if you buy multiples packs.

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Christmas Gingerbread Man Socks – Topman – £3
Who doesn’t love getting socks on Christmas? Especially when they have gingerbread men on! Topman have got a lot of themed socks and they’re all fairly cheap.

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There is is! 10 gift ideas for under £10 each. I hope you get some ideas from this. Let me know in the comments below what you’d put in his stocking!

I’ve also got a Gift Guide For Her, check that out.

Until next time,

S.

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Winter Skincare Tips and Tricks

Change up your winter skincare routine. I’m sure you’re all victims of the winter air causing havoc with your skin. I know that I end up with really dry, itchy and irritated skin pretty much through the whole of winter, especially if I don’t look after it. Over time I’ve adopted a Winter Skincare routine and picked up a couple of hints and tips that keep my skin in the best condition I can.

Keep your winter skincare routine simple! Exfoliate, Repair and Protect!

Exfoliating helps to remove any dead skin, it also helps to speed up the renewal process and bring new healthy skin to the surface quicker. Repairing the skin using either an overnight treatment or a facemask gives your skin an intense burst of nourishment. Protecting it is the final step and probably the most important. Once you have exfoliated and repaired you skin, let’s not undo all the work and take it back to square one.

You might be wondering what you can use to tick off the steps above, I’ll recommend a couple of products that I use to keep my skin in tiptop condition during the winter months. I’d also advise changing your winter skincare routine each year, otherwise your skin will get used to it.

Lips

I focus on my lips the most during winter; they become the most dry and damaged part of my face when exposed to cold air.

I use a sugar scrub to exfoliate any dead skin off my lips. I’m currently using one from Lush called ‘Santa’s Lip Scrub’. I apply this to my lips in a gentle scrubbing motion and then lick it off! Yes, it’s edible.

Once I’ve exfoliated, I’ll use a lip cream. The one I use at the minute is from Aesop, it’s called Rosehip Seed Lip Cream. It has Rosehip oil in it, which is known for its moisturising properties and is used in a lot of winter skincare. It’s also full of other great nourishing ingredients such as Coconut oil and Glycerin. I’ve never used a lip cream before and you could definitely use a lip balm in place of this.

To protect my lips during the day I look for a lip balm that contains petroleum jelly. I’m sure you’ve all heard of this before, it’s got so many uses! It’s primarily used as a barrier cream, which makes it perfect to protect your lips from the dry winter air. I mix up what lip balms I use for this, as there are so many. My two favourites are Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1 and Pomegranate Carmex.

Face

I use a Kiehl’s exfoliator for my face, the Facial Fuel Energising Scrub. The scrub particles (derived Apricot Kernels) are very effective at buffing the skin. It helps to scrub away dead skin cells, but doesn’t irritate the skin too much. It has menthol and caffeine in which give you that lovely refreshing feeling.

The holy grail of all things face is definitely the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate. I can’t recommend this product enough, it honestly does everything! You use two drops at night and it helps to encourage your skins natural repair process. Just look it up and check out what it does for your skin, it has so many benefits!

I use the Kiehl’s Skin Rescuer during the day, it helps to fortify the skin barrier so is really good at protecting your skin. When it gets colder, I use the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream, it has antarcticine in which is known for protecting the skin against extremely cold temperatures. Both products are really good at protecting your skin I only use the first more because my skin gets red and blotchy, which this helps with.

Hands

Always use a hand cream in the cold weather. My hands get dry and chapped very easily. At the minute I’m using Aesop Reverence Aromatique Hand Balm. Previously to this, I used the Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve. With hand cream, it’s best to find one that works for you. Look for ingredients like Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter and Avocado Oil. All have nourishing properties, so any will do well!

Body

In the winter, change your bathing routine! Dermatologists recommend keeping your showers between 5-10 minutes, using lukewarm water and moisturising as soon as you get out.

Exfoliate your body for the same reasons as you would your face. I’m using the Body Shop Dead Sea Salt Scrub at the minute. It helps to resurface the skin and leaves a silky feeling on your skin afterwards.

I usually always use the Vaseline Cocoa Radiant: I’ve used it for years and I always go back to it. I’m using the Body Shop Hawaiian Kukui Cream as a bit of a treat in the colder months: it’s really rich and smells incredible! I wouldn’t usually go for something this heavy: but this one is definitely worth looking at. Find a product that works best for you but once again, look for ingredients like Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter and Avocado Oil.

There you have it, my winter skincare guide! It’s a lengthy one, but I hope you’ve enjoyed it and found it useful.

If you have any questions, please leave it in the comments below.

Until next time,

S.

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Who doesn’t love a good candle?

I know I’m always on the look out for new smells and designs to add to my collection. Whilst wandering around the Manchester Christmas Markets I come across a little stall that sold some lovely artisan candles.

The Naked Candle Co is a small batch handmade candle company based in Manchester. All candles are hand poured with soy wax and come in a selection of subtle yet powerful fragrances.

I got two of the original signature candles, which have a burn time of over 45 hours each. I decided to get one of the Tobacco candles and one of the Black Raspberry & Vanilla. Two very different scents!

The Tobacco is very mature. It has a muskiness to it that is reminiscent of visiting my grandparents. The top notes of tobacco leaf are blended with spicy notes of leather, cocoa and vanilla to create this warm fragrance that is perfect for a night by the fire!

The Black Raspberry & Vanilla has a classic floral smell. It’s sweeter than what I’m used to, but I can tolerate it! As well as the smell of raspberry, it’s blended with sandal, jasmine and vanilla, which give it a more traditional ‘candle’ smell.

These candles are a steal! For the original 14oz. jar, they’re only £10! I would definitely recommend visiting the stall at the Manchester Christmas markets. If you can’t get there, check out the website. They do come in a smaller size too, which I think would make perfect little stocking fillers! I’ll certainly be repurchasing.

Until next time,

S.

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Oily skin is a condition that we have all faced at some time in our life. That is unless you’re extremely lucky and have incredible skin that is never oily.

It’s a curse for many people and if you have this skin type I’m sure you will have wondered, “How do I get rid of oily skin?”

Good news first, it’s possible! However it will require daily management.

Think of your skin as a long-term project. It’s going to require time, dedication and potentially a bit of money at the start.

I’ll give you a bit of an understanding of oily skin and then some recommendations on how to manage it.

So why do we have oily skin?

Oil is created under the skin’s surface in the oil glands (medically known as the sebaceous glands). The reason it’s created is to keep the skin supple and prevent it from drying out. Without it, your skin would be dry and susceptible to cracking. I guess oily skin is a blessing after all!

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The problems occur when your skin goes into overdrive and produces too much oil. This can happen for a number of reasons but the main one? Hormones!

Skin is a living organ and is always shedding dead skin cells from the top layer. More often than not, the dead skin cells combine with the oil on the skin’s surface and cause blockages in your pores. This can then lead onto blackheads and pimples.

How can we stop our skin overproducing oil?

There are two answers: internal and external treatments. Generally, external treatments don’t require a trip to the doctors, so I’ll touch on this. Internal treatments usually require some form of medicine that alters the way your oil glands function. Try using external treatments first as you can try this at home and buy most products over the counter.

Cleanse, Tone and Moisturise!

Use products that contain Salicylic Acid or Benzoyl Peroxide.

Both of these chemicals increase the amount of dead skin cells that are removed and help to reduce oil production in the process. The quicker turnover helps prevent the oil and skin cells from combining and blocking pores and helps make the skin less likely to breakout.

I tend to use products with Salicylic Acid in as I find Benzoyl Peroxide to be too harsh, but try both out and see which works best for you.

I would recommend starting with trying Garnier Skin Naturals Pure Anti-Blackhead Deep Pore Wash and La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo. Both products have great reviews and can be used morning and night.

When using an astringent you may notice your skin becomes red or inflamed. Reduce the time when using it and slowly build your skin up to allow it time to adjust.

I would suggest having a good oil free moisturiser with no astringent properties to use as a night treatment to rehydrate the skin. I recommend the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel-Cream. Use this in replacement to your other night cream a couple of days a week if you’re noticing redness.

There is never a ‘one size fits all’ solution to helping your skin. It’s always worth having a skincare consultation with someone who can create a full routine that is suitable for you.

I hope you found this post informative. If you do have any questions regarding your skin, please leave a comment below or Tweet me and I’ll try my best to answer it.

Until next time,

S.

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