Wednesday, 31 December 2014

What I Got For Christmas 2014/My 17th Birthday

I know there is often a bit of stigma attached to posts about what you received as gifts at Christmas but as I am genuinely interested in seeing what other people got, I don't see why I shouldn't show you lot too! Keep in mind this is not me showing off or bragging what I got, I just know that, like me, some of you enjoy this type of thing. Personally, I have read every single post like this that has appeared on my computer screen so that is a good enough reason for me to write it! Christmas really isn't about how much people spend on gifts, it is about the thought behind them and the reason that they bought it for you. It's nice to have someone think of you at this time and buy you a gift that they know you will love. It is the though that counts after all, right? Not only has it been Christmas in my household, it was also my 17th birthday on the 29th of December. I really am a lucky girl getting all these presents at once. I love every single present that I was given this year. Usually there is one or two things that you think, 'Mmmm, I wonder if I will ever actually use this,' but that is not the case for me this year. Either my family and friends know me really well and can pick good presents or I am just a very predictable person...

Santa was very good to me this year and gave me an array of lovely presents. The main thing I got was a new laptop as my last one was on its last leg - the power button was even sellotaped on, that's when you know you need a new laptop. I am in love with my new one, especially the colour of it, although it is taking me a little bit of getting used to with a new layout. Plus my old laptop was a little netbook so it is so strange going from a teeny little screen to one that now feels huuuuuge!

My mum also bought me the Urban Decay Naked 2 palette, proving just how well she knows me because I have barely mentioned it to her yet she still chose my favourite out of the three. I have used it every day since and it is just as beautiful as I expected it to be. Full review coming soon I promise!

My friends got my this blue/grey clutch bag from River Island because I have been going on for ages about how I only own one and it is black. Isn't it pretty? It's a nice size without being too big and the colour will go with a lot of things because it isn't quite blue or grey, it's a mixture of the two.

I love the classic flannel button up pyjamas and my mum (I say my mum because my dad had nothing to do with the present picking apart from helping to fund it...) bought me this super lovely penguin ones from Debenhams. They are the cosiest and comfiest pjs I have ever owned.

I love Liz Earle skin care and so, along with a new Cleanse & Polish and Skin Tonic because I had run out of them, I was given the exfoliator which I have never tried before. First impressions are really good and I think I am going to really love it. I have yet to try something by Liz Early which I don't like.

Again proving how much my mother knows me, I received the Zoella Beauty body lotion and makeup bag. The body lotion smells absolutely divine and leaves me feeling as soft as a baby's bottom and the makeup bag is so bloody cute. I keep all my daily makeup in a bag separate from my collection so this is going to be my new storage space for it.

My sister bought me this beautiful charm for my Pandora bracelet. I don't see her very often as she lives in America so something this size was really easy for her to post, and I absolutely love it. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside when I get things that say 'sister' or 'daughter' or something on it. Is that weird? The star one to its right is also new from Santa. Oooh I love getting new charms!

These beautiful earrings are from my two best friends, are they not just the prettiest things you have ever seen? A lot of big earrings are really heavy but these aren't so they are so comfortable to wear. I love em.

I also got some CDs because I still like having the physical copy of music rather than just a downloaded version on my ipod. Speaking of music, I AM GOING TO SEE THE VAMPS. I was totally not expecting to get this but boy am I happy that I did. I absolutely adore those boys (not only because they look good, they can actually sing too...) and I can't wait to go see them live with my friend who also got a ticket. I am swooning already at the thought of seeing them in person, even if I will be several, several metres away...

I also got the usual money and whatnot from family because people never really know what to get me for both my Christmas and my birthday, not that I am complaining. I also got a voucher to get my nails done which I am very excited about. Shellac update: Still going strong after two weeks on my nails! See this post here. I'm also getting driving lessons for my birthday so I am just patiently waiting on my provisional to arrive so I can start them. I have a feeling I am going to be an awful driver, I definitely do not have the necessary co-ordination...

I am so grateful for every present that I received and had a truly lovely Christmas and birthday. I hope you all had a lovely festive period too! If you did a post on what you got for Christmas, feel free to leave a link to it below, I'd love a nosy!!

Hope you all have a lovely night of celebrations to bring in 2015 in just a few short hours!

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Have your say! End of year blog survey

I was scrolling through Wonder Forest and spotted this post on the importance of an end of year blog survey and it inspired me to create my own. Off I (virtually) trotted to the Survey Monkey website and within minutes, I had my very own blog survey up and running. It was surprisingly easy to do (and free - woohoo!).

An end of year survey is a great way to hear the opinions of your readers about all types of things like their favourite types of posts to read, what they think of your blog, etc, and I am really looking forward to reaping the benefits of some reader feedback in order to improve my blog. Click here to be an absolute gem and complete the survey for yourself. Really you are doing yourself a favour by answering the questions because (hopefully) you will end up with an improved blog to read... If that is not enough to convince you, then I don't know what is.

Please be as honest as possible in your answers because this feedback will be really useful to me in the future when writing blog posts and whatnot. Even if it is negative feedback or constructive criticism, I want to hear it all! If it is a textbox for you to type your own answer, type as much as you want. The longer the answer the better!

Thank you all for reading my blog and completing the survey after you finish reading this (hahaha). I love you, my little munchkins. Now get those questions answered!

P.S. Obviously it is an anonymous survey but if you would like to let me know in the comments that you completed it, then that would be fine with me!

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Festive Shellac Nails

Merry Christmas (sorta - a little late, eh)! I hope you all had a lovely time with your families and friends and drank/ate enough for at least two people. I sure did. I have been spending my time nursing a very full stomach after mahuuuusive meals that has left me feeling uber bloated and pukey. I also went to the sales yesterday and treated myself to a few goodies, although I am a little disappointed at the lack of nice things in some of the shops like River Island. A lot of the things that are actually reduced are the stuff no one wants - go figure.

I'm still allowed to talk about festive nails after Christmas, right? It doesn't matter anyway, because these nails are just too gorgeous to not be showcased. Are they not just the prettiest nails you have ever seen?  I headed down to my nearest beauty salon almost two weeks ago with an idea in my head that I wanted something red and glittery for the Christmas period, and left with nails lovelier than I could have ever imagined.

CND Shellac is a brand of gel nail polish that you set with a UV light and it lasts for 2-3 weeks.  It is a pretty genius idea for the likes of me who can barely keep nail polish on a few days before it getting chipped.  This, however, does not chip and stays glossy until you remove it (by soaking it in pure acetone), unlike normal nail polish which can lose its shine within a few days.  It is slightly expensive but boy is it worth it. Mine are still going strong with no chips and although you can see they are starting to grow out slightly, they still look pretty perfect to me. 

Of course you can buy a kit and do gel nails yourself at home but you never get the same effect as you do when it is done by a professional, although I have always wanted to give it a go myself.  I love the falling glitter effect that she gave me.  It is just regular glitter patted on and then sprinkled at the tips and it really stands out, especially in daylight.  I think I might actually be in love.

Have you tried gel nail polish before? If you haven't, why the hell not?!

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

December Birchbox: The Sophia Webster Edition

It's Christmas eve! Blogging stops for nothing, not even on Christmas eve. It's a full time job but we love it anyway, eh?

I wasn't actually planning on getting the December Birchbox - the bank balance is already strained, it is Christmas after all - but I forgot to cancel the subscription after last month's box arrived so hey ho, here it is. This month's box is a special edition one in collaboration with Sophia Webster, with a festive 'put on your party shoes' theme. I like.

"Life is too short. Buy the shoes!" New life motto.

I haven't really tried anything out yet so this is just a first impressions type thing and a peak inside the box, rather than a full review. I would say I will write a full review of each of these products later, but I suck at keeping those promises so I won't bother.

Sophia Webster Purse | £25
I can't start this by saying anything other than IT STINKS. I have the box here next to me as I write this snuggled up under my duvet and all I can smell is that damned purse. It's like a horrible, sort of cheap burnt plastic smell. Ew. Apart from that, it looks nice enough! It is a perfect size for nights out when you some cash on you but you are only carrying a small clutch bag. I don't understand why it says £25 on the card though as it is only £10 on the Birchbox site. Someone please enlighten me if you know.

Ilsci Organics Gel Mask | £39.95
This mask is made from rose petal and is meant to use 'natural actives and a smoothing gel formula to smooth and rejuvenate.' I like the sound of that! I took a little peak in the tub and it is a really interesting formula and quite runny. I am looking forward to trying it, although I doubt I will ever buy it at that price unless it completely blows me away!!

Electric Hair Electric Hydrate Shampoo | £17.50
This apparently helps to repair damage and improve shine, something I definitely need considering the state of my mop. However, I'm not one to believe that the shampoo you use really makes a difference to the overall look of your hair, I reckon it's all about the conditioner. Therefore, I wouldn't spend £17.50 on a full size of this shampoo but I sure will try it out!

Eyeko Fat Eye Stick in Gilt or Smoke | £8
I'm not actually sure which shade of this I actually own because it doesn't say anywhere on it but I assume it is Smoke because that just seems more likely, doesn't it? I don't really know how I will get on with this as I am not a massive fan of eyeliner in general, especially black. This just seems like it has a really thick tip so I will just end up with awful panda eyes. I may need some practise with this before I wear it out in public or that may end up being incredibly embarrassing. 

Benefit Christmas Cracker - High Beam | £19.50
I already have the full size of this so I know that I love it, but this cute little dinky size will be perfect for taking on nights out when I feel I need a touch up on the glow or for a weekend away to cut down on the overflowing travel makeup bag. Plus, how cute does it look made up like a Christmas cracker?!

Models Own Nail Polish in Absinthe | £5
SUCH A PRETTY COLOUR. Wow, I just love the look of this. Even though I own every other nail polish under the sun, I have never actually tried a Models Own one so I am really looking forward to using this! It is apparently matte yet sparkly, which I am not sure I understand, but I do like the sound of a velvety finish. The packaging is just wow. It tops it all off, with the lovely velvety lid. Love. It.

Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil | £16.50
I am not entirely sure of what I am going to do with this because it tells you to massage 2-3 drops into any dry patches, but I don't have any dry patches. This may be on route to my mother who will probably have more use for this than I do.

Overall, I'm quite impressed with this box because there is a good range of things to try out from haircare to makeup and nails, among other things. Some things I am not so sure about, like the Eyeko eyeliner, but generally it has been worth the money because you are getting some pretty pricey things in there (despite not meaning the spend it in the first place - off to cancel the subscription now).

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

5 Favourite Christmas Songs

Oh I do love a good Christmas tune. Nothing gets you more in the festive spirit like it! I have many, many favourites but I have managed to whittle it down to just five for you today in the run up to Christmas. Can you believe it is so soon? Nope, neither can I. Click the links to listen to them on YouTube!

My absolutely favourite Christmas song of all time. It is just so catchy and makes me feel like I really am Mariah Carey when I am singing along to it with all my might in the car. That being said, have you seen the video of her singing at the Rockefeller Center in New York this December? Even I could sing better than that, Mariah, and that definitely is saying something. What that vid here.

I had never actually heard of Boney M until I googled who sang this song, but if Google says that's who sang it then it must be right. There is just something about this song that makes you just HAVE to sing along. The 'oh my lord' bit really gets me going (not a nice sight or sound).

A true classic. If you've never seen the music video for this then I recommend you go watch because it is so cheesy that it's hilarious. That Santa is just terrifying, and there is some seriously cringey dance moves and bad haircuts happening. 

I know every single word of this song, I just love it so much! "Now I know, what a foooool I've been..."

This is a new addition to my top five this year, but I loved the song before these two covered it anyway so really it is has been on it for a while. The video for this is so damn cute with the two little kids, especially the mini Bublé! I really like the X Factor performance they did of this a few weeks ago, they looked like they were having great fun up there on the stage. 

What is your ultimate Christmas tune?

Friday, 19 December 2014

Girl Online is ghost-written - so what?

Zoe Sugg has been at the centre of controversy ever since it was announced that the YouTube extraordinaire did not write Girl Online on her own, and what a time she has had since the news came out. Penguin told the Sunday Times that "Zoe Sugg did not write the book Girl Online by herself." Naturally, that caused an uproar in the internet community, with many fans turning against the 24 year old, calling her a 'fraud'. 

Well, Zoe Sugg, I am here to tell you that I don't care who wrote the book - whether it was you or some random woman that I don't even know the name of. 

Zoe mentioned several times that she was writing a book in her vlogs, but now we don't know how much of it she actually wrote. There was definitely a ghost writer involved, but how involved they were we don't know. It could have been that Zoe wrote the skeleton of the book and then it was fleshed out. The ghost writer could have written the whole thing from start to finish. Or, Zoe could have written the book and then the ghost writer went back through it and touched things up a bit. Whatever the situation is, you are naive if you think that it is outrageous she didn't write this book herself. She is not a writer. She has no previous education in creative writing (that we know of). Of course she is going to need help because this is not something that she has done before. What person could really go ahead and write a book all by themselves, and have it be successful? No one. Not even established authors write their books completely by themselves - there is a whole team of people behind them, reading and re-reading the book, editing it, making notes on it, changing bits they don't like, thinking of new ideas to slot in. If that is what a professional author needs, then why can't Zoe have that too.

The explanation behind this uproar? Her online fanbase. I think people forget that Zoe is a real person with real feelings. She is not perfect - no one is - and we can't expect her to be. Everyone needs a bit of help, some more than others, and this is a perfect example of this. Zoe has done fantastically well for herself and I am sure she never imagined she would get to where she is today when she first posted a youtube video all those years ago. To have come as far as she has and now have a best selling book under her belt, she should be applauded. The ideas and characters are her own and that, really, is what is important in a book.

To be perfectly honest, I don't think Zoe has handled the situation the best and she definitely needs to give people some answers. How much of it did she actually write? Did she do it for the money? It needs a whole video on it, but I am sure there will come a day when she needs to address the issue, but give her some time people.

Who cares if it is ghost written? I enjoyed it. It is still a decent book with a mushy, soppy plot line - my favourite kind. Well done, Zoe.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Party Time

Dress - Asos / Shoes - New Look / Bag - Oasis

Oh I do love a chance to get dressed up, and there is no better time for this than Christmas. For the past few years I have worn an LBD so I decided I wanted a touch of colour this time around. I also picked accessories that do still look dressy but can be worn at any time of the year but it's always an issue when you buy a sparkly pair of heels and can only wear them once a year. Shoe update since this post - not as comfortable as they first appear to be! But then, what high heel ever is.

The bag was a steal at £25 considering it is real leather. Yep, REAL LEATHER. Wow, I am posh. My mum and I actually halved the cost so that we can share it because she really like it too!! It goes with everything but is still fancy and like I said, doesn't restrict itself to Christmas time. 

For my makeup I used a lot of my usual products, with a much more dramatic eye than I usually go for. I tend to just wear mascara and maybe a bit of neutral eyeshadow if I have a bit more time, but this was a party look so I was allowed to go a bit more all out. The picture doesn't really show the true effect, but I had a smokey eye with brown shades and some brown eyeliner blended into my lash line, with lots and lots of mascara! I loved it - not as dramatic as black eyeliner because it doesn't suit me, but still a party look for sure. Better more, all the eyeshadows came from the MUA Heaven & Earth palette (remember that old gem?!). Bargain.

I included my favourite photo from the night to let you all see. That is my lovely friend Emma there, she looked amazing. Side note: one week today till Christmas!!!

Monday, 15 December 2014

A Block Heel Obsession

Who knew high heels could ever be so comfortable? I have found the most perfect high heels ever and, believe it or not, I can walk in them just fine.

These block heeled shoes from New Look are not only a bargain at the reduced price of £14.50, but are also the comfiest heels you will ever own. Despite their being no platform at the front (a recipe for disaster for the likes of me who can barely last half an hour in heels) they don't hurt the balls of your feet and leave you aching for days after a night out. The block heel makes for an easy and pain-free(ish) night, and you barely feel like you are wearing heels at all - apart from the fact you are a good few inches taller than your usual height.

They don't look anywhere near as nice on the New Look website and, to be honest, I probably wouldn't have picked them from that picture. Luckily, it was in the shop that I spotted them and it was love at first sight (seriously). Plus, they don't fit the model in the picture and that is NOT a good look. Not exactly selling them well, New Look.

Even though they aren't glitzy and sparkly, these are perfect shoes for a festive night out and you can dance to your heart's content! The icing on the cake is that they can be worn all year round because they aren't sequin city. They are just sounding better and better, am I right?

Grab a pair for yourself here. They also come in other colours which has honestly made my day, although only the black and nude are reduced. Saying that, I would still pay £19.99 for them and not think twice about it. Be quick, there isn't many sizes left in some of the colours!

Saturday, 13 December 2014

NEW IN: Bram Stoker's 'Dracula'

Hey guys! Can you believe it is almost Christmas? I am huge fan of the festivities and have been counting down the days for months, and even I can't believe how quickly it has plonked itself at our feet. 12 days and counting! Plus, I turn 17 four days later so it is celebrations all round for me! I ordered my provisional driving licence a couple of nights ago - eek.

I say 'new in' but this post has been sitting in my drafts and been on my to-do list for a while and this is me just getting around to doing it. There is no other way to start this post other than by saying a huge thank you to Beth for giving me the chance to own this beauty after winning her giveaway. I could pick any Penguin English Library book from this list, and I chose the cult classic, Dracula by Bram Stoker.

I am have just finished reading the Liz Lochhead version in my advanced higher English class at school, and I wanted to see how the original compares. My english teacher has been saying how she doesn't understand why Liz Lochhead rewrote Dracula because it is pretty much the same so I am going to put that theory to the test! Dracula is such a classic book that I have always wanted to read so I am glad I am finally getting the chance thanks to the lovely Beth. Unfortunately, I might need to wait till after my exam so that I don't get mixed up with what's in the Liz Lochhead version and what's in Bram Stoker's! The essay would be so difficult to write. June, please hurry up!

Also, may I just add, how gorgeous is the cover? It looks so pretty sitting pride of place in my bookcase. I want more from the Penguin English Library to start a collection of them! I feel very smart because I own this book. Is that sad? I think it is.

So tell me, are you as excited for Christmas as I am? (I'm not sure if it is possible but you can try.)

Thursday, 11 December 2014

I'm Going To University!!

Not trying to boast or anything but... I got into university!! My application was sent away on Tuesday night and then earlier this evening I logged into UCAS (the organisation that deals with uni applications in Scotland) just to see what it looked like now it was sent away and was greeted with a message saying that a university had offered me a place. A quick scroll down and I saw I had been offered an unconditional place at the University of Strathclyde to study Journalism and Creative Writing!

I am so very very happy and it has taken the stress of this year off, knowing that whatever happens in my end-of-year exams I am guaranteed a place at university. Obviously I have still to hear back from my other four options but one unconditional means that I definitely have a place and I will definitely be heading off out into the big bad world next September! Luckily for me, Strathclyde was my top choice - yippeee! Not that I don't want to keep my options open - other universities, please feel free to send more offers my way...

The Perfect Last Minute Christmas Gift

If you are still looking for a present for a special someone - or you have just realised you forgot to buy a gift for a particular person - look no further! 

The Yankee Candle Christmas gift set is perfect for a woman - or man - of any age (although maybe not kids) because, seriously, who doesn't love a good candle? It comes with five votive samples inside festive red and white packaging.

This gift set contains:
- Mandarin Cranberry
- Christmas Cookie 
- Christmas Eve
- Sugared Apple
- Christmas Memories

I have had Christmas Cookie before and oh my god does it smell good enough to eat or what. I would actually go as far as saying it has the best fragrance I have ever found in a candle, it is that delicious. If it was food, I would eat it (I don't recommend eating a candle). 

Each votive has up to 15 hours of burning time, which is a decent amount since you have five. For something extra to put in with this set you could purchase a candle holder as this is the type that cannot be burned free-standing. It doesn't have an outer, it is simply wax, so it has to sit inside a jar of some sort. You can find these cheap on eBay, a local gift store or high street chain such as Primark.

Christmas is just round the corner so snap it up quick from Yankee Candle stockists!

Monday, 8 December 2014

MAC 'Chatterbox' Lipstick | Review & Swatches

Excuse the monstrosity that is my hair and the fact that I am still in school uniform. There is literally a ten minute window when I get home from school when it is still light enough to take half decent photos before it all of a sudden becomes pitch black, like it is now while I write this, You can see as you scroll down the photos that they get progressively darker. It took many attempts over several days to get these photos looking somewhat acceptable.

I finally own a MAC lipstick! I have waited so long to be able to say that sentence, you have no idea. It feels so good to have just written it. I don't know why I never got round to buying one, considering how long I have been drooling over them. I think it is probably because there are so many shades that I struggled to be able to narrow it down to just one!

I am so unbelievably grateful to Catherine from The Beauty Trove for sending me this after I won it in her giveaway a little while back. I picked Chatterbox because it was one that she had reviewed on her blog before and it looked lovely on her. She has only reviewed a couple so it made it a lot easier to narrow it down! I would never have decided if I had just scrolled through all the shades on the MAC website. Although the colour does look a lot brighter on me than I expected, I absolutely adore it!

The pink colour of it is just so gorgeous, I don't even know how to describe it. It's one of those colours that could be worn day or night and as it is an amplified lipstick, the colour payoff is fab without being too overpowering and scary. It isn't too blue toned like many pink lipsticks can be, and that tone really doesn't suit me. I would say this would suit all skin tones, my mum loves it too! Could you call it a barbie pink? I guess it kind of is, but a little more subtle and wearable. The formula is lovely and feels so smooth of your lips, not drying in the slightest. Glossy and gorgeous, this is now my absolutely favourite lipstick! It has left me wanting more MAC lipsticks. Sorry, bank balance...

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Secret Santa Gift Guide: Gifts for under £5

Secret Santa is a fun thing to do at Christmas time with a group of friends or workmates. This year, I'm doing it with both sets of people! Basically, all the participants' names go into a hat and you choose one at random to buy a present for, then spend no more than the previously decided budget. This is a great idea for if you are a little low on cash, which most of us are at this time of year. I have put together some bits and bobs that you could give someone this Christmas as 'Santa'. Better yet, they are all under £5. The budget for my work is £10, so you could even combine a few things together and get a little bit more. It's surprising how much you can actually get for your money when you look hard enough! Lucky for you, I've done all the searching for you. Sorry though, I ain't paying for it too. 

Monday, 24 November 2014

Book Review: Conspiracy Girl by Sarah Alderson

You may have read my review of Sarah Alderson's Hunting Lila and if you did, you will remember how much I raved about her written work. Well, to my utmost delight, she has a new book release on the 12th of February 2015 and I had the pleasure of reading it early. Enter Conspiracy Girl*.

"Everybody knows about the Cooper killings. There was only one survivor - fifteen year old Nic Preston. Now eighteen, Nic is trying hard to rebuild her life. But then one night her high-security apartment is broken into. It seems the killers are back to finish the job. Finn Carter - hacker, rule breaker, player - is the last person Nic ever wants to see again. He's the reason her mother's murderers walked free. But as the people hunting her close in, Nic has to accept that the best chance of staying alive is by staying close to Finn. And the closer they get to the truth, and to each other, the greater the danger becomes."

I am going to start of by saying that nothing comes close to the story of Lila and my expectations were right when this didn't quite beat it. That's not to say I didn't adore the story, however, because I absolutely did. Sarah Alderson has a way of writing that really appeals to me, and her stories are always full of drama and excitement that keep you turning the pages for hours on end. I finished this book in 2 days because I really struggled to pry myself away from the screen of my kindle. 

Just like Hunting Lila, the story of Nic is not one that happens to the average person but I actually don't mind that. In fact, I love it. Sometimes it's fun to drift away from the usual boy-meets-girl soppy YA novel and inject a bit of thrill into your reading. There are twists and turns that you don't expect, although it is pretty inevitable that the two main characters are going to end up with each other - sorry if you see that as a spoiler, although it is pretty damn obvious when you are reading it. I also liked that added character of the dog, Goz, which I never thought I would say. I thought it was cute.

Another thing which I have to mention because it is something that I love in a book, and it is that you are told the story from the viewpoint of both Nic and Finn. I love when an author alternates narrators, and you get a real feel for the story when they do so. It really helps me to connect with the two main characters, because you get to see things from their point of view as well, and see what both characters are thinking when something happens. It's like, one character could say something and mean it one way, but the other character takes it a different way and you get to see the thought process behind each person and what they say. You don't get that opportunity when there is just one main speaker, so I was really happy to see that this book was set out this way whereas the Lila series is not.

Well done, Sarah. You won me over once again.

*This book was provided by Netgalley for review purposes.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

November Birchbox First Impressions | Cosy At Home

This month's Birchbox is a real winner, with the theme being 'cosy at home' now that we are coming in to the colder month's and the dark nights are creeping in. The contents of the box I received are particularly good, aimed at achieving the perfect ultimate beauty night-in. Keep reading to find out what I got...

English Laundry Signature For Her | £60
This perfume apparently has 'rosy top notes with hints of musk', according to the information card that came with my box. I wouldn't say this is my favourite perfume when it is first sprayed but it isn't bad after a couple of hours when it has died down a little bit. I haven't actually worn this properly yet, I just sprayed it when I got the box, so I will get back to you! It is awfully expensive though so I doubt I will every be actually buying this, unless it miraculously starts smelling incredible to me.

LipGlam Natural Lanolin Lip Balm | £9.99 (full size)
I love this stuff! Because it had just come in from the cold when my box arrived, I actually couldn't get a single bit out of the tube for about a day because it seemed to have frozen solid! It is still really difficult to get out and you have to press it so hard, anyone know if it is meant to be like this or if mine has permanently frozen?! This reminds me of the Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream, it's a similar texture but a fraction of the price.

Lord & Berry Mini Bronzer, Sunny | £19
I really do love this bronzer. I haven't had my box for very long but I have still been wearing this every day. It is the perfect colour for my skin tone and blends so easily. Because it is matte, it is great for adding radiance without the tell-tale shimmer and adding a bit of colour to my practically dead looking face (damn you horrible Scottish winter). I think I might have to by the full size of this! The sample size of this is actually pretty decent though.

Beauty Protector Protect & Treat Hair Mask | £16
I can't say much about this yet because I haven't tried it but I have heard good things about this brand before. My hair is desperately needing something like this so there was no better month for me to receive not one but two of these! The pots are each a decent size, with probably enough for one application each. This contains argan oil, honey, amber and even crush pearls (what!) all to smooth and revamp your hair.

Montezuma's Mini Bar | £2.39 for 100g
As you can see, I couldn't even wait till I was taking the blog photos before I ate this chocolate - it was just too tempting sitting there in the box. It. Was. Delicious.

Dr Jart+ Most Moist Water Act Skin Mist | £18 (full size)
I've only used this a couple of times so I can't say I have a proper opinion on it yet but so far so good. I love that this is such a big bottle, because I am more than getting my money's worth with this alone. Again, I have heard good things about this brand but haven't ever tried anything from it before. I will write a full post on this soon when I have used it for long enough to properly decide what I think of it. The idea of this is that it boosts your skin's internal moisture levels and helps maintain a healthy appearance. Sounds good to me!

All in all, I am so pleased with this month's box! It had a good range of products in it, including a fab lifestyle item (who could say no to some chocolate) and was definitely worth the money. This is still available for purchase here on the Birchbox site.