Thursday, 14 February 2013

VALENTINES:: Gift Ideas For Her

Heyy guys! ^^ I know this is really late but I really wanted to put this out there for all you lovebirds! I put together some gift ideas for your girlfriend/best friend because although I love buying presents for my boyfriend, lets be honest, he's not an expert when it comes to understanding girls and what to buy - even after 3 years haha bless :p 

I know there are a lot of 'anti-Valentiners' out there raving about how we should love our loved ones every day of the year, but think of it as taking this 1 day to really show them some lurve and appreciation and then spend the rest of the 364 loving them endlessly too :)

Just a little disclaimer/pre-warning thingy to put out there: I'm not saying that you have to buy these gifts, these are just ideas to give you somewhere to start with and it might even trigger a lightbulb in your pretty little heads! :) This is also not a sponsored post and these images do not belong to me.

(The next post will be gift ideas for him!)

So lets get started!!

Gifts for her
1) Perfume
There are soo many different types of perfumes out there so there's bound to be one for that special bunny in your life. For example, if your girlfriend is very feminine and girly, I would definitely recommend Marc Jacobs' Daisy perfume (if she doesn't already own it!). It's a flowery/floral kind of scent which  is perfect for spring and the packaging is so adorable!

 If however, she's more playful and sweet, you can also opt for Marc Jacobs' Dot perfume which is has a sweeter, berry-type scent and the packaging just gets cuter. 

And if she likes something sweet and floral-like, then Juicy Couture's La Fleur is also worth looking into! 

These perfumes can range from about £30 up to £50 depending on the size of the bottle so do some research and take a look at the Perfume Shop or your local Boots and Superdrug for any offers that may pop up! :)

2) Make your own perfume
If you're not satisfied with any of the suggestions above or any existing perfumes in the market, and you would like something more personal, then you can always look into making your own personal fragrance! You can buy perfume sets online so you can experiment with the scents at home (take a look at The Perfume Studio) and then surprising her your own creation! Or if you don't trust your nose with womanly fragrances, you can purchase experiences for making perfumes with professionals to guide you and you can make it even more special by taking her along (take a look at Virgin Experiences)! :)

3) Flowers
Girls love flowers! Especially when you've really done your research and noted down her favourite flowers, colours etc. You could surprise her with a single rose/bouquet of roses after work/uni or you could get them delivered to her workplace! Just remember that flowers signify different things - red roses represent passion and fiery love, (perfect for your girlfriend) whilst pale pink roses represent happiness and friendship (perfect for your best girl friend). 'Birth month flowers' are also very meaningful and different traditions have unique sayings too - for example, in Chinese/Taiwanese dramas, the most romantic guys buy a bouquet of 10 roses with 1 fake rose which means, "I will love you until the last rose dies." Awwww!! ^^ 

4) Photo-related gifts
Photographs hold the most beautiful memories. Print a photo that makes the both of you smile and slot it into a cute photo frame (that could even be personalised too!), or if you're more creative and artsy, make a collage! Whip out different materials and paints and colours and have fun with it - it's the thought that counts :) 

Or you could even print photos onto bags, cups, home decorations (canvas, posters) and photobooks! Take a look at Photobox - I have bought photo prints from Boots, Snapfish, Kodak etc but the quality of Photobox is on a whole new level! ;)

Photo-related gifts can vary in prices - if you're on a budget or would like to be able to buy other gifts as well, then you could just buy one photo gift which makes it even more special! But if you want to splash out and want to be able to fill her house with photos of you, then you could go all out and buy as many as you want!!

5) Lingerie
If you can't keep your hands off each other, you could buy exciting new lingerie sets for your sexy someone ;) Red and lace are staple for Valentines but lingerie doesn't just mean two piece sets (bra and undies), babydoll dresses are also sexy and cute! 

Ann Summers 

Ann Summers

4) Cosmetics/Make up
If your girlfriend has an unhealthy appetite for make up (like me!) then I would recommend popping into Selfridges or Boots so you can ask for a little bit of help to pick out what she would like :) If you don't want to brave it out, then Urban Decay's Naked or Naked 2 palettes are a perfect gift because it has beautiful neutral colours for day and night! If she doesn't have it already, she'll be impressed with your choice (it'll look as if you searched high and low for something amazing!). But if she already has the Naked palette, then you could opt for the Naked 2 palette :) 

Naked palette

Naked 2 palette

Or you could take a look at some gift sets from Benefit here.

5) Nail polishes
If she loves painting her nails, then surprise her with some colours that she could use for Spring! Any pastel colours (blue, pink, yellow etc) are perfect.  Essie have really good quality polishes but can be a little pricey (£7.99 each).

You can purchase Essie polishes here.

And if you want something more exciting, then you could buy nail polishes with special effects - e.g. 'Croc' effect, 'Crackle' effect etc (take a look at Barry M).Barry M do amazing nail polishes and they're constantly introducing new nail polish effects. I popped into Superdrug yesterday and took advantage of their 2 for £6 offer on Barry M's Gelly High Shine nail polishes which are so amazing - they last for the whole week without chipping and I don't even have to apply a topcoat because it's so shiny!!

Spring colours from Barry M 
£3.99 from Superdrug

Barry M Nail effects 
£3.99+ from Superdrug

Or if you want to really impress her, then you could look into getting her some Ciate nail sets!

Ciate Duo Sets £16 from Ciate or £18+ from Selfridges
(more to choose from Selfridges)

6) Chocolates
What girl doesn't love her chocolate?! You can get so many different chocolatey gifts from Thorntons and they can personalise them too :)

You can present your loved one with a unique love letter and a chocolate 'slab' (that reminds me of a piece of toast) for only £4.50 from here!

Or if she's a truffles kind of girl, then get your hands on this adorable pink box full of truffles for only £9.99 here :)

They even offer personalised 'alphabet truffles'! You can get 22 pieces for £9.99 here!!

7) Jewellery
If she's into bracelets, then charm bracelets are a perfect gift because you can buy so many different charms for different occasions - it'll become something emotionally valuable to the both of you. Top tip: Invest in a good quality bracelet because you don't want it rusting over time! I'd recommend taking a look at Thomas Sabo and charms can be bought from anywhere really :)

But if she's a more necklace-kind-of girl, then you could look into couple necklaces or pendants :)

7) Shopping vouchers (last resort)
If you really can't decide on what to give her and you're super last minute, then I think your last resort should be shopping vouchers. If she's always shopping on Oxford St, then you could grab a Love2Shop voucher which can be used on a lot of high street stores (research!!); or you could buy shop-specific gift cards too :)

That's pretty much it for my gift ideas for her! To be really honest, she'll love whatever you buy/make for her because it's the thought that counts :) If you're on a low budget, maybe get loads of little presents (nail polishes, chocolates, jewellery etc) and put them together like a little basket or hamper - she'll be so impressed!!

Sorry for the super long post and I hope you all have a lovely Valentines Day with your loved ones :)

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

HAUL:: Shoes For 2013

Like every typical 19-year old, I have a small obsession for shoes and bags and hello kitty (well, maybe not all 19-year olds haha). I prefer buying heeled shoes compared to flat shoes because I'm only 5 ft 5 so I look tiny next to my boyfriend who is a whole head and a half taller than me!! :'( But that doesn't mean I wear heeled shoes on a daily basis, I'm in uni 4 days a week and I work Friday and Saturday nights so I usually just shove on some boots or if I want some height, I'll wear my wedged trainers - I can't drive properly otherwise!

Here are some shoes that I picked up throughout December and January (or were gifted to me). When the weather decides to be a little nicer, I can finally rock some flats!

Bottle green booties
Primark £5
I already have these in chestnut brown but I had to get these too because the colour's so unique! I wear boots like these quite often but I like rotating between them depending on my outfit. The darker green reminds me of autumn and winter and it also means that dirt won't show up so easily!

Brown fringed booties
H&M £5 (on sale)
These are the cutest ankle booties (or 'fuggs') that I have and I don't really want them to be ruined outside so I think I'll save these babies for spring haha (; The feathers remind me of dream-catchers and the braid and fringed material reminds me of Pocahontas (which I love!!) and a really summery/beachy/boho feel. 

Gold spiked pumps
New Look £12 (on sale)
I'd been eyeing the Steve Madden spiked loafers for a while and wasn't really too keen on spending so much on shoes that I could only wear in the Spring/Summer so when I came across these on sale on the New Look website, I went hysterical!! I love how the spikes are spaced out more than the Steve Madden ones and I love the colour because I wear a lot of white and pastel colours so they'd be perfect! Can't wait to wear them!!

Silver toe capped pumps
Gifted by my lovely baby sister, Little Miss Bookworm (:
My sister bought me these pumps for Christmas and I absolutely love them! They remind me of the Chanel pumps but they have a pointed toe which gives the illusion of a slimmer foot. I haven't had the chance to wear these out yet as it's just too cold but I can't wait to pair these with some white jeans and silver jewellery! Thank you bubba!! ^^

Silver wedges
New Look £11 (on sale)
My bestie Carmen actually bought these not too long before I did but she had purchased them at full price (I think it was about £26) and initially, I wanted them in gold but they had ran out of stock before shipping my order out :( They are ridiculously high but surprisingly, very comfortable! Do you guys ever find that the higher the heel, the more comfy they are?! Especially if they have a platform.. I'm thinking to pair these with a dip hem skirt and a bralet on my next night out!

Black glitter bow heels
Bank £15
My biggest regret is not buying the gold pair as well because it was actually the gold ones that caught my eye at first but they were a size too small and it didn't even occur to me that I could stretch them to my size using Michelle Phan's method.. Nonetheless, they are still beautiful and they're my first pair of black slip-on heels as I usually buy black heeled boots etc. They're from one of my favourite shoe brands - Kitsch Couture. They have amazing designs that usually retail from about £30+ so when they're on sale, you can bet I'll buy them all haha ;p

Leopard print Mary Jane heels
Forever 21 - £5.24

I grabbed these babies on their website during the January sales and thought they were an amazing bargain - reduced from £18.75 to only £5.24!! I don't have any animal print heels so I was contemplating as to whether or not I should add them to my wardrobe, but for a fiver, I really shouldn't of had to hesitate for too long haha! I actually saw these on Instagram in an OOTD (Outfit Of The Day) not long after I purchased them and realised that there was so much potential in the pairings that I could come up with! I was also pleasantly surprised by the bottom of the shoe as it's covered in super soft felt so it's definitely going to be an emotional moment when the felt meets the dirty ground :'( I'm planning on wearing these in the Spring with a loose white top and a flowy skirt (: What do you guys think? 

How do you guys think I should wear these babies?!
Let me knoww (:

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

MAYBELLINE:: Rocket Volum' Express Mascara (Waterproof)

Hulluuuu! :) I was scanning Superdrug the other day (as you do) and noticed that Maybelline has introduced a new volumising mascara - the Rocket Volum' Express Mascara! I absolutely love Maybelline and especially their mascaras (my favourites being the Colossal and Falsies mascaras). The only mascara from Maybelline that hasn't worked for me is their Great Lash mascara - it just didn't seem to want to stick to my lashes at all; but their Colossal and Falsies mascara does wonders!!

So I purchased the product with high expectations and I'm proud to say that I was very, very impressed with their new Rocket mascara as it gives enormous length and volume! With each sweep of the brush, your lashes just get longer and longer, and thicker and thicker! It's really as if you're wearing subtle falsies which is amazing because I always feel like falsies are so heavy on the eyes. I purchased the waterproof version because the weather in Hertfordshire is beyond unpredictable (or anywhere in England for that matter!!) and I don't want to have to keep popping to the loo to check that my make up has not smudged.

The brush has loads of small bristles which makes sure that every single one of your lashes are coated and you can comb on extra layers without getting spidery or clumped up lashes. The packaging is pretty much the same as a couple of their mascaras (including Colossal) and I absolutely love the chunky handle bit because it makes the application process so much easier and quicker - you can literally, just roll it down your thumb! 

It's on offer at Superdrug for only £5 at the moment so grab one before they start retailing them at the full price (£7.99)!! And let me know if this mascara works wonders on you too! :)

Wishing you all happy lashes!

Sunday, 10 February 2013

MUA:: Undressed Palette (Urban Decay's Naked Palette Dupe)

Happy Chinese/Lunar New Year my lovelies! May this year be super happy and super lucky for you, and may you be showered with red pockets of course! ;)

A few months ago, I came across a palette from MUA which could be considered as a 'dupe' for Urban Decay's Naked palette as the colours are so similar - but this palette is only a small fraction of the price. The 12 colours (Shades 1-12) from the Undressed Palette correspond almost exactly like the 12 shades from the Naked Palette (i.e. Shade 1 is similar to Virgin, Shade 2 is similar to Sin etc). However, the Urban Decay's Naked Palette retails for £36 in Debenhams and House of Fraser, whereas MUA's Undressed Palette retails for only £4 in Superdrug (that's 1/8 of the price!!)!

Although there is a mixture of matt shades and shimmery shades, I have to admit that the matt shades were almost impossible to swatch and at one point, I actually thought I'd have to hit pan on Shades 1 and 3 before getting the colour to show up on my skin. On the up side, the shimmery shades are very pigmented which is always amazing! :) 

TOP: Shades 1, 2 and 3
BOTTOM: Shades 7, 8 and 9

TOP: Shades 4, 5 and 6
BOTTOM: Shades 10, 11 and 12

Swatches: Shades 1-6

Shades 7-12

Even if you might have a bit of trouble with Shades 1 and 3, you can make up for that with all the other gorgeous shades in the palette. I've already worn a couple of the eyeshadows and they last all day long without primer! For £4, I would definitely recommend grabbing one if you can't really justify spending £36 on a little bit of make up. I'm still contemplating as to whether or not I should purchase the Naked 2 palette because the colours are a little more me (hint to my lovely boyfriend!!).

I hope you guys enjoyed this post and let me know if any of you have tried out this baby! :)