Wednesday, 17 December 2014


I will keep this short and sweet - thank you so much for reading, following and commenting on my blog this past year! 

I started this blog on the 31st December 2013 to focus on something other than work, and I never knew how much I'd love it and how much it would help me. I've now learnt to brew a cuppa, get comfy on the sofa and just relax by writing whatever I want to write about; somehow, as if by some miracle, nearly 700 of you read my posts! Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love my little blog and I'm so glad that so many of you enjoy reading it.

To say thank you, I'm giving away the gorgeous Urban Decay Naked Basics 2 Palette. Swatches of the palette are in this post. To enter, all you have to do is follow the Rafflecopter below. I thought it would be nice to end it in the middle of January when some of you may be having the Christmas blues. This giveaway is international so anyone can enter. Good luck! Daniela xo
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

• KIKO Cosmetics // review •

Genuinely, I can't even get over the quality of these KIKO cosmetics.

They perform like high-end products, with the price tag of high-street brands. I was never expecting them to be that incredible as, to start with, the lipsticks were no more than £7 each, but this make up brand is just so up and coming, and for so many reasons that I can now attest to. So we'll start with the Watercolour Eyeshadow in 200 Champagne. This highly pigmented, long-wearing and creamy eyeshadow can be used with both a damp and dry eyeshadow brush. I tend to use a flat brush to really pack on the colour and this works really well. It's a bronzey, goldy type of colour that catches the light so beautifully and is on the more metallic side. I honestly receive so many compliments when I wear this eyeshadow and I usually just wear it all over the lid and in my crease for a no-fuss, easy make up look. Another eyeshadow I have been absolutely obsessed with is the Supreme Eyeshadow in 01 Posh Crystal Rose. Genuinely if you're looking for an eyeshadow that will brighten up your dark, puffy, 'morning eyes', then this one will do it. The formula is cream and it dries to a powder finish, the colour is an iridescent, shimmery pearl colour and it is truly stunning on the eye lids and inner corner. I wear this alone and with other eyeshadows on top and it really makes them pop. Again, it is very long wearing and will last you all day. It's just perfection and I will definitely be picking up some more of the colours in this range.

A lipstick that I usually reserve for weekends is the Smart Lipstick in 912 Crimson Red. This is a highly pigmented lipstick that feels smooth and creamy on the lips, is moisturising yet not tacky, and is very long-wearing. The colour is so vibrant and bright; it's perfect for a night out and I'll be rocking this at my work's Christmas party. I think it's a really unusual colour, as it's not quite red yet not quite pink. With a simple smokey eye, it'll look perfect. For my every day nude, I've been loving the Luscious Cream Lipstick in 500 Shell Rose. It's a stunning pinky-nude and looks really beautiful with lined lips. I'm really into my nudes at the moment and this one ticks all the boxes; it's the perfect colour as it's not too light, not too dark and is a very flattering, girly pink colour; the formula is incredible, as it's creamy yet lasts a few hours before it needs reapplying; and this lipstick moisturises my lips and doesn't cling to any dry patches. I really recommend this rich, pigmented lipstick - I'm wearing it every single day of the week now!
So, obviously, rave reviews for KIKO cosmetics!
I now see what all of the fuss is about and I can't wait to get my hands on more.
Have you tried anything from the brand?
Am I missing out on something amazing?
Daniela xo
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Monday, 8 December 2014

• Gift Guide For Her // #CountdownToChristmas •

Every year, people always ask me what I want for Christmas, but who wants to write them a list at the age of 22? 

Cue - the gift guide (in a very handy web link that can be emailed or left lying around on the laptop...just sayin'). I thought it'd be easier to categorise these gifts so I've gone for 'Stocking fillers' (smallish gifts), 'Gift bag goodies' (medium gifts) and 'Santa's Sack Whoppers' (big, badass presents). I've spent a good few hours scouring the internet, as well as adding to my own Christmas wish list, and have hand-picked the gifts that I personally would love to receive. I hope this helps and maybe gives you a little inspiration for that special lady in your life, and I hope you enjoy reading!
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Stocking fillers
1. I do love a good candle set, and this one from Boots is really pretty and so festive, with the cracked glass and tree effect. For £8, the 3 candles make the perfect little filler.
2. Nails Inc always come out with great Christmas sets and I love all of the gifts this Christmas, but this one's my favourite. Anything with the word 'Snowflake' in the name is worth a look, and this lovely little nail polish is £16.
3. Since moving into my own place, I don't have a garden (*sob*) and this little set of herbs will fill the gardening void. The set of 3 includes sweet chives, basil and parsley, all for £15.
4. Essie always kill it with gift sets, all year round in fact, and I absolutely love this coral and pink duo. Who says all Christmas polish needs to be deep, dark shades? This little duo is £12.99.
5. Probably the cutest gift of all, this little Fox hot water bottle is £20 and I love it. Practical and gorgeous!
6. I'm in love with this little tea light holder! I will definitely be stocking up at these, especially for the price. Which is...wait for it... £2.99! Amazing!
7. My goal for 2015 is to print more photos, and if I had cute little photo frames like these, I think I'd stick to the resolution a lot easier. This little heart duo photo frame is from Asda and is £5.
8. This Christmas mug has it's own little jacket, and it contains Baileys hot chocolate... need I say more? A very indulgent treat for £10!
9. Coming in at £24.99, this Essie quad is the most expensive stocking filler in this post, however I had a clever thought - you could split the gift into four and have four separate nail polishes. Not bad, eh?
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Gift Bag Goodies
1. My baths have been taken to a whole new level since I started using Aromatherapy Associates bath oils. They are seriously incredible and make you feel as if you're in a spa. This lovely set includes 3 of the well-loved bath oils and is £28.
2. A gift guide wouldn't be a gift guide without a benefit set, would it? The Best of Benefit gift set is £24.50 and is lovely.
3. I've recently become obsessed with Kate Spade (mum, Josh, if you're reading...?) and this 'Pretty Little Thing' phone case for an iPhone 5 is £35 and stunning!
4. Neom is such a luxurious brand and it would feel so special to receive this as a present. This Moment of Calm Candle smells amazing and so calming. It's £30 and one for ladies who like to pamper, light a candle, and relax.
5. I've included a random selection of LUSH bath bombs and melts, as these are the ones I have been enjoying so far this winter period. I think receiving LUSH bath products for Christmas is such a treat, as most of the Christmas period for me is spent in the bath with a book and lots of bubbles! They aren't the cheapest, but they are the best, and I usually spend about £40 a pop whenever I go to LUSH.
6. Skincare is hard to buy for someone else, in my opinion, as it's such a personal thing and hard to know what type of skin someone else has. This set from Clarins includes products that are catered for all skin types, so is a winner really at £25.
7. You can't go wrong with a stunning palette, especially this one from Smashbox. It's £29.60 and has a mix of shimmery and matte shades and a mini mascara, too.
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Santa's Sack Whoppers
1. The NARS Virtual Domination Palette has received a lot of hype this year, and for good reason. It's £45, includes 4 blushes and a bronzer, and is beautiful.
2. When I said I was a fan of Aromatherapy Associates, I wasn't joking! This set includes an extra 7 miniture bath oils and costs £55.
3. I quivered when I saw this Bobbi Brown Warm Glow Christmas palette - it is absolutely amazing. With 9 perfect neutral shades, and for £59, everyone will love it.
4. I've tried the Eve Lom cleanser and loved it, so this handy set for £85 (which includes the famous cleanser) is a great gift for a luxury-skincare lover.
5. I'm in love with Diptyque (you can read my rave review of the Diptyque fragrance Philosykos here) and this mini candle set is fantastic for a candle lover. It includes Resine, Epice and Hiver, which are all very festive, Christmassy scents, and the set is £78.
6. Perfume is always a winner for Christmas and this Tom Ford gift set smells incredible. It's £76 and is amazing value for money.
7. I've never tried the NARS lip pencils but I've read so many rave reviews about them, so receiving this set, which is £32, would be the perfect way to try five of them.
8. You can't get more 'luxury' than high-end beauty Christmas crackers! For a box of 6, they're £48.
9. Zoeva brushes are so well-loved by beauty-lovers from around the globe and this rose gold set, which comes with its own pouch, is simply stunning. I would love to receive these as there are a mixture of face and eye brushes, and this set is £56.95. Love. Them.

Wow... that's a lot of Polyvore-ing! I hope this post gave you some inspiration and suited a range of budgets. It's not about how much you spend, but how much you have matched the product to the person.

What else would you pop on a gift guide?
Daniela xo
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Wednesday, 3 December 2014

• Perfection in a Bottle - Diptyque Philosykos // review •

I'm not usually one to get excited over scents but I feel as if I've truly found perfection with Diptyque Philosykos eau de parfum.

Yes, this is holy grail status and I have been obsessing over it since the day I smelled it around 2 years ago (it has indeed taken me that long to build up the willpower to buy it, as it 'aint cheap). The scent is very deep, woody and kind of unisex and the main note is fig. The scent doesn't last all day which kind of upsets me, so I carry it around in my bag with me and spritz on the go, whenever I feel like I can't smell it on myself anymore. I always receive compliments when I wear it and a few of my friends are now looking into purchasing a bottle. Well worth a sniff, if you're near a Space NK. At £85 a pop, I would say Diptyque Philosykos is a perfect gift for Christmas and the packaging is truly stunning and very luxurious. If you're into these deep, sexy kind of scents then I'd definitely give this one a go; I feel like I'll be wearing this perfume for years, its so timeless and sophisticated.

Have you smelled this perfume before?
Would you recommend anything else from the Diptyque brand?
Daniela xo
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Monday, 1 December 2014

• The Christmas Tag // #CountdownToChristmas •

I am so unbelievably excited to write this post - 
I've been waiting for the 1st December for a few weeks now! 

I'm taking part in the #CountdownToChristmas tag which was set up by Megan and Emily and the plan is to write a blog post, Christmas-related, every Monday and Friday. I won't spoil the surprise but there are some pretty amazing blog posts coming up including a few gift guides, a holiday survival kit and Christmas make up ideas. This post is The Christmas Tag, and I shall get right on with it!

Whats your favourite holiday movie?

A Muppets Christmas Carol, every time, each year. I love it. I'm not one for soppy, lovey-dovey films and much prefer hilarious (children's) films, and this one's a winner. There's just something about seeing Kermit in his little black coat, walking through the snow that always gets me so excited for Christmas!

What are your favourite Christmas colours?

I'm a bit boring and would have to go with maroon, navy, white and gold. I pretty much wear a deep berry/maroon lip from September onwards, I'm in navy all year round, white is just classic and reminds me of the snow, and gold is just traditionally Christmassy - the gold glitter tends to come out every year and ends up not only on my eye lids, but all over my face (Christmas fairy, anyone?)

Do you like to stay in your PJs or dress up for Christmas?

We're usually out of the house by about 10am every Christmas as we head over to my grandparents house, so I'd have to say dress up! We like to take lots of photos on Christmas day so we all make an effort; men in shirts, ladies in dresses. I try and rock a bold lip but it goes slightly pear-shaped as we eat a whopper of an Italian Christmas spread, so x amount of courses + a bold lip usually ends badly! This year, I'm heading over to Canada for Christmas so I'll definitely be dressing up for Christmas day, but I'll also be wearing lots of layers!

If you could only buy one person a present this year who would it be?

Without a doubt, my mum. She does so much for me and my family and she really does deserve the loveliest of gifts.

Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas Morning?

Definitely Christmas morning! I've never heard of opening them on Christmas Eve - is this even a thing? I'd hate that! I love the excitement of Christmas morning and the rush of opening all of the presents, thanking everyone, then getting ready for a lovely day ahead. There wouldn't be as much to look forward to if all of the presents were opened on Christmas Eve, surely?

Have you ever built a Ginger Bread House?

No, and I've always wanted to. I love baking but only quick things, as I'm very impatient, but I think that the time and effort put into a Ginger Bread House would be worth it. This has just reminded me that I want to bake one this year!

What do you like to do in the Christmas holidays?

I'm very lucky as I get quite a long holiday, being a teacher, so I keep things varied by making sure I do something different every day. This usually consists of shopping one day, relaxing another day, working another day, then having a pamper day, seeing friends another day etc etc (the list goes on). I like to balance things out by seeing my loved ones and having some 'me time' as I don't get much of that during term time!

Any Christmas wishes?

In truth, I wouldn't write my Christmas wish in this blog post, as it's extremely personal and nothing related to beauty/fashion/lifestyle or even Christmas, but yes, I do have one.

Favourite Christmas smell?

Clove!! I made a gorgeous warm spiced cider last year and I used so much clove, it tasted lovely. This smell, along with cinnamon, reminds me of Christmas and I love those spicey, festive scents.

Favourite Christmas meal or treat?

I'm a sucker for brandy sauce, really I am, and I'd eat it out of the bowl - the stronger and sweeter, the better. We traditionally have a pasta dish (among 100 others) for Christmas and I really like large pasta shells stuffed with ricotta and spinach, drizzled with some Italian tomato sauce and sprinkled with sugar. My Nonna (grandmother) makes them and they are seriously to die for. I'd eat them every day if I could.

I hope you enjoyed this tag! Feel free to do the tag yourself; I think they're great questions and are suitable for a wide range of blog types. Thank you to Megan and Emily for setting up #CountdownToChristmas - it's such an exciting series to be part of! Keep your eye out for Friday's post, it's a rather exciting one :)

Daniela xo
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Photo source - Pinterest