Better late than never, right? It was only when I began to find a place to store all my gifts (which is near enough impossible in my teeny bedroom) that I realised I’d not photographed them yet. It’s almost tradition for me to gather all my presents together and admire them once Christmas is over with. Not to show off, but to remember everything I’ve been bought and express my gratitude and luckiness. My family is an average size and they never go overboard but it’s so easy to get caught up in the excitement that I forget who and what each member has bought me. The gifts usually consist of vouchers, money, personalised bits and bobs, chocolates or something I’ve asked for which in this case I haven’t photographed because a) I’ve already indulged in them or b) they don’t fit in with what I talk about on this little blog of mine (because taking pictures of Ferrero Rocher’s and underwear just doesn’t have the same effect as displaying the latest beauty goodies). However, on top of all these amazing gifts and away from the chocolates and money, I also received a Boux Avenue heart hot water bottle and a beautiful personal typography in a big white frame from my cousin and his partner, AND a personalised ‘Bridie’s pretty things’ drawstring bag filled with everything dainty from my Auntie and Uncle. It’s so complimenting to think people actually think into depth about my certain loves and tastes when buying for me. It really is the finer things in life that are the most satisfying.
Usually the main presents come from my mum, with a generous extra from my Grandma. As I mentioned previously, all I’d asked for were skincare and beauty bits as well as the odd clothing item and accessory (the dress I wore for New Years Eve is also missing from the equation). First up, there’s the things I’d get more practical use out of (but whoever said holy grail products that remove all makeup with a soft face to finish aren’t practical, are lying). These amazing Zara slip ons were love at first sight and once again with my mum and I’s tastes positively clashing she couldn’t resist purchasing them to put away for the 25th. I adore the fresh, white colour and the patent texture. They’re gonna be the sort of shoe I don’t want to wear because they look so pretty but when I do wear, will wear a lot. The upcoming spring/summer months will see my feet in nothing but these. Next, there’s this H&M monochrome striped scarf. I’ve been lusting over the small Primark version since it started appearing all over the blogosphere and the world of Instagram but I never managed to get hold of it, so this was the version my mum ended up getting me. It’s bigger and fluffier which means I’m more bulked up with warmth so there’s no doing wrong here. These twin pack of bracelets were just a small stocking filler from my mum, also. She knows how much I love my group of Primark bracelets and I can never have too many. It goes without saying that Christmas isn’t complete without receiving a pyjama set. This lovely pink check/tartan pair were a gift from my other cousin and his partner and I can’t wait to get my wear out of them. My house often goes overboard when the heating is on so the fleecy material may not be too pleasant but they will be nice and cosy for the moments my body refuses to warm up.
Now on to the cosmetics! It’s safe to say my face currently smells and feels divine. There seemed to be a recurrent pattern with the array of products I did receive (i.e. there’s a lot of cleansers in my new collection). Since Christmas ended, I’ve had the chance to and have enjoyed testing out the treats and am now well and truly pampered. You can really tell the difference in quality when you switch up your skincare routine to the more high end products. The Emma Hardie 4 Piece Starter Kit was the perfect gift for me. I’ve been dying to try out the Moringa Cleansing Balm and a 50ml version for me to trial as a beginner (as well as a couple of other goodies) couldn’t have been more ideal. So far I haven’t been let down, it not only does the job thoroughly, it refreshes my skin, leaves my face feeling freshly smooth and the scent is so uplifting. Next, there was the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish which was presented to me in the prettiest zip up bag and kept in the actual Liz Earle gift bag which increased my admiration further. This was another product I’ve had on my wish list since like forever now and I was so happy when I unwrapped it. I’m definitely impressed, it’s all it lives up to be and more. It’s so luxurious on my oily skin and I’ve noticed a difference already. Finally, for the skincare facials there was the cutest little Origins bauble waiting for me on Christmas morning. It contains five minis; the Ginzing Refreshing Eye Cream, Make A Difference Overnight Repair cream, Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask (one of my faves), Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask and Modern Friction Gentle Dermabrasion. Once again, being presented with these gave me the opportunity to experiment before buying the full sized products. I won’t go too much into what I think because I am planning on doing a separate Origins review sort of blog post but I will say, these tiny best sellers are up there with my most rated skin saviours.
I’ve heard so much about The Body Shop’s Instablur and was eager to find out if it is worth the hype. When I received this handy little set with both the face and the eye primer/tint I was delighted. The paste like consistency is odd but so softening when on the skin and I am in love with the scent. It definitely absorbs quickly onto the surface of my skin and smooths out my imperfections but I think I need to use it more than a couple of times to see the real benefits of both products. As another small stocking filler from my brother, I was also given The Body Shop hand cream and lip butter set with my ultimate favourite coconut fragrance (of course). They are such handy handbag essentials and I don’t think you can ever fault The Body Shop for their body nourishment products.
Now, I’m slowly but surely building up my gang of MAC lipsticks. I’ll always stick to the belief that they are one of the best on the market. The variety of shades available is often quite overwhelming but if like me, you know what you’re wanting then it makes the process of choosing much simpler. I had a few colours on my list but my mum went with Craving and I think it’s love, guys. It’s the kind of warm pink, plum colour that is suited for any season and is complimenting on my skin tone. Plus, the creme finishes are always highly pigmented and long lasting so it ticks all the boxes.
My Grandma already represents a superhero, there’s no stopping her once she decides to treat me. Even though she already does too much for me, that gal takes no notice and does what she wants. Every year she gifts each grand child £100 but on top of that she always likes to buy us a present to go beside that. When she offered to buy me my most desired palette, the Stila In The Light I was over the moon. Christmas isn’t the same once you get older and there’s no surprises but knowing I had this to open hitched my adrenaline levels up a notch. The neutral shades are right up my street. I’m hesitant on using the eye shadows so frequently with how gorgeous the packaging is but even on my first use I fell for the superior minimal mattes and shimmers and I can see this being a firm favourite.
Lastly, there were the lovely, thoughtful gifts from my friends, Ross and Charlotte. Obviously they know me well enough (and are kind enough) to present me with some Lush pleasures (and a Topshop nail polish in a gorgeous grey shade). The Little Snow Fairy box filled with snow fairy shower gel and pink fun is just the cutest and I am yet to open it because I don’t want to ruin the packaging (this seems to be a constant issue of mine) but I’m looking forward to adding these and the Phoenix Rising and Mmmelting Marshmallow Moment to my exotic collection. They’re all Lush products I haven’t tried before so I’m gonna be having a ball in the bath!
Santa was very good to me in 2014 for sure (although it’s the same every year). Did you receive your favourite goodies? Let me know if you’ve done a similar post as I love to have a nosy at what other people have got.