Wednesday, 31 December 2014

WHAT I GOT FOR CHRISTMAS 2014


It's very nearly 2015! A new year, a new start, a new me (heard that one a million times today). Until the clock, strikes 12 tonight it's still the Christmas holidays in my mind, I'm clinging on as along as possible. Like a lot of others I'm sure, I love these 'What I got for Christmas' posts that have been going around. Some people might say people are bragging about their presents but if you're like me you're just a bit nosy and want to have a little look and maybe get some wishlist inspiration (not that it''s needed). So without further ado here is a selection of some of the things I very luckily received for Christmas this year. Yes I was spoiled, and I am very grateful! Everything I can still find online will be linked below so you can have a closer look for yourself!

BEAUTY



CLOTHING

River Island 90's Supermodel's T-shirt | Topshop Bobble Hat | Topshop Black Bag 

BOOKS & DVD's



ETC.


Personalised Nutella Jar | Paperchase Playing Cards | Sweet Indulgence Brownie Cookbook | Candy Kittens Christmas Cracker | 2015 Diary | Grey Slippers


The Lion King musical ticket - Wales Millenium Centre (it was amazing!)


I hope you also got everything you hoped for this Christmas and had a lovely break. 
Enjoy your New Year's celebrations!


Sunday, 28 December 2014

BEAUTY SALE BARGAINS

The period between Christmas and new year is good for two things:
1. not needing an excuse to lie around in your PJ's all day eating leftovers and 2. hunting around to discover the best bargains that the high street (and internet) has to offer.

The sales are full of beauty treats this year, and yes it is a little annoying that we paid full price for them just a couple of days earlier, but still it's nice to feel like you're getting a bargain. Here' my pick of the best beauty treats on offer, all found in the comfort of my own home without having to fight off any fellow sale shoppers. But you'll have to be quick, I doubt they will be around for long!


1. Urban Decay Naked Flushed Compact - SALE PRICE £16.50 (usually £22.00) - FeelUnique.com
A lovely set from the Naked range at Urban Decay. The flushed compact contains a full size bronzer, highlighter and blusher that can be used seperately or all together for a radiant glow.

2. Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer - SALE PRICE £17.50 (usually £22.00) - LookFantastic.com
I've never tried the Nars concealers but I've heard some great things. I feel as though Nars products aren't often discounted so when you find a gem like this it is just a little tempting.

3. Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow - SALE PRICE £44.10 (usually £49.00) - Selfridges
OK so this isn't exactly bargain of the century but Charlotte Tilbury makeup is so pricey anyway that any discount is appreciated. I know a lot of people will have been lusting over the filmstar bronze & glow for the perfect contour and highlight - 10% off may be just what they're after!

4. Lipstick in Hazard - SALE PRICE £4.00 (usually £8.00) - Topshop
    Nail Varnish in Cryogenic - SALE PRICE £2.00 (usually £5.00) - Topshop
I love the Topshop beauty sale because you get great products at usually at least half the price. I'm sure there would be even more available in store. Currently still available online are their pyramid stocking fillers with a silver nail varnish and a red/orange lipstick.

5. Laura Mercier Pout Perfection Lip Trio - SALE PRICE - £21.70 (usually £31.00) - House of Fraser
These Laura Mercier sets contain a lipstick, pencil and gloss matched to create the perfect pout. There's three different shade options available - pink, red and brown - an ideal gift for a January birthday.

6. Kevyn Aucoin The Essential Eyeshadow Set - SALE PRICE - £25.80 (usually £43.00) - Cult Beauty
Cult Beauty have massively discounted some of the usually very pricey Kevyn Aucoin products. The Essential Eyeshadow Set is available in three colour ways and includes five complimentary matte and metallic shades for the ultimate in eye contouring. Yes, eye contouring is a thing now.

7. NYX Mega Shine Kiss The Stars Lip Gloss Set - SALE PRICE £7.50 (usually £10.00) - Love-Makeup
Gift sets like this are great because they don't look especially Christmassy (is that a word?) so they make perfect little gifts all year round. A lot of US beauty bloggers rave about NYX but it's not so easy to get your hands on in the UK so this is a great way to try it out.


Have you been sale shopping yet? Have you picked up any beauty bargains or got your eye on any? Let me know in the comments below!


Saturday, 27 December 2014

A CHRISTMAS SNAPSHOT

So Christmas is over for another year! I can't quite believe it. But before I head off on the strenuous journey from the sofa to the fridge to raid the last of the Christmas cheeses I thought I'd share a little snapshot of my Christmas. Between London and Cardiff there is plenty to do and see around Christmas and plenty Instagram-worthy photo opportunities...



Top Row (L-R): Selfridges front entrance, Oxford Street Christmas lights, Carnaby Street Christmas decorations. Second Row: Santa's Grotto at Westfield Shopping Centre London, Christmas lights at Westfield, Covent Garden Christmas Reindeer. Third Row: Covent Garden's giant Christmas tree, a best friend selfie at the annual Christmas Eve pub reunion, Boxing Day theatre trip to see The Lion King at the Wales Millennium Centre. Bottom Row: Festive dog with a festive cushion, my Elf inspired Christmas wrapping paper, our sleepy dog (with antlers and festive ankle warmers) on Christmas day.

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and had everything you wished for. I certainly did! Look out for a 'what I got for Christmas post' and have a very happy new year!


Tuesday, 16 December 2014

CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE: NOVELTY

Quite honestly if you have finished your Christmas shopping by now you are worrying me a little. But I know there are some last minute present buyers out there, crowding up Oxford Street on my way home from work. Or there are those who may have finished their shopping weeks ago but are thinking of treating that loved one to a little something extra to put under the tree. Either way the gift guides are still coming so here is my pick of a few little novelty gifts that you should still be able to pick up or order in time for the big day...


One for the Instagram lovers out there! These photo frames turn your photographs in to magnetic Polaroids. There's 5 in a pack and they fit 3x4 sized photos. 

These days no one seems to print out their photos anymore. They're all stored on our laptops, phones, Facebook but when is the last time you flicked through a real life photo album? Urban Outfitters has some great, dare I say 'quirky', photo albums available at the moment so it's a little more fun. Maybe not one to bring out and show the grandparents mind. 

A nice little stocking filler or secret santa gift for the girl, or boy, who likes a little drink. Or the friend who mixes vodka with a couple of juices and calls it a cocktail. We've all been there. This way they can actually learn some fancy cocktails to impress their guests next time they're hosting the party. 

Who new Nutella wasn't just to be spread on toast for a quick breakfast? The Nutella recipe book has 30 pinterest worthy recipes from milkshakes to cheesecakes. I'm can feel the chocolate cravings kicking in just thinking about it. 

2013 was the year of the onesies. 2014 is the year of the seflie stick. I'm sure many people will find one of these in their stockings this year so if you know someone who is either in to technology and gadgets or,  quite frankly, just loves taking photos of themselves then this is one for them. Sure it may be the ultimate accessory to vanity but you wouldn't want your selfie obsessed friend to miss out would you?

It's been on t-shirts, pyjamas and now the famous Beyonce quote can be found a mug. Perfect for your morning coffee when you really wish you didn't actually wake up like that. 

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without some festive socks and Topshop always supplies the goods. Little gingerbread men and houses on our feet? CUTE. 

Build your own stag head, or get your friends to build their own stag head, as a little festive addition to their home. Sure you could probably get a ready made stag head somewhere, but where's the fun in that? 

Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet? Which novelty gift is your favourite? 




Thursday, 11 December 2014

CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE: HOME

1. Scented Candle - M&S £7.50
It's Christmas. You want it to smell like Christmas and sometimes you need just a little extra help. This scented candle from Marks & Spencer smells of mandarin, clove and cinnamon (mmm). It looks super festive. And yeah, you guessed it, this won't be the last candle in this post.

2. Ritz Glitz Gold Polka Dot Christmas Tree Plate - Paperchase £15
I love gold polka dots, if you couldn't already tell by the blog background, so when I saw the new Ritz Glitz range at Paperchase I fell in love. OK, slight exaggeration but you get it. This Christmas tree plate from the collection would be perfect for the host who loves celebrating the festive season at their home.

3. Huskies Cushion - M&S £15
Little fluffy husky puppies on a cushion, need I say more? Ever the M&S fan my mum bought the reindeer version of his cushion last year and I wouldn't be surprised to come home to find this is sitting on our sofa as well this year.

4. Diptique Classic Candle Set - £60
More candles. This time pretty pricey ones. But if you know someone who is a fan of luxury candles, or Diptique in particular then they'll love this gift set.

5. Alphabet Mug - M&S £8
In my head, and the people I buy them for I hope, mugs are always a good present. I'm not even a tea and coffee drinker but I still appreciate a good mug. These alphabet mugs are another good Marksies find. No surprise though there's no 'V' available thought which always seems to be the case, but I guess I wouldn't be buying it for myself anyway would I? Yeah, of course I would.

6. Pineapple Glass Box - H&M £9.99
Whilst pineapples don't exactly scream out Christmas to me, (my first thought goes straight to Pina Coladas, obviously) it's still pretty jazzy and wouldn't look out of place all year round.

7. Bright Ideas Notebook & Pen Set - Next £12 
One for the stationary lovers - the teachers, the bloggers, the organised. This set from Next comes with two notebooks and two pens. See that gold polka dot creeping in again...I wasn't lying.

8. Copper Photo Frame - Paperchase £18
I'm all for copper accents recently, call it rose gold and it's even better. Paperchase is doing pretty well in my books at the moment.

9. Lily Flame Merry Christmas Glass Jar Candle - £12
Lily Flame candles always smell good. Fact. They really do fill up the room and their packaging is just a little more chic than the ever popular Yankee candles (which don't get me wrong, I also love).

Do you love buying your loved ones gift for the home? Or have you got your eye on any of these for yourself?




Tuesday, 2 December 2014

CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE: BATH & BODY


Soap & Glory always comes out with some great gift sets in Boots ready for Christmas. The Next Big Thing gift contains 10 of the most popular Soap & Glory bath and beauty products for the ultimate pamper session.  

Now it wouldn't be Christmas without a LUSH gift set. They're all pretty good and you'll be sure to find one to suit your budget whether it's a £10 and under Secret Santa gift or an all out splurge with their Lush Legends set for over £100. My personal pick is the Christmas Candy Box which includes the classic Snow Fairy shower gel that comes back around every year, perfect for fans of sugary sweet bubblegum scents. There's also a Candy Mountain bubble bar, Rock Star soap and Butterbear bath bomb (adorable). 

As an alternative to LUSH, Bomb Cosmetics also offers similar gift boxes with a couple more bath bombs/soaps for your money but packaged in a similarly cute style.  

If you know anyone who really does like to add a little luxury in to their bath give then they'll probably already be pretty familiar with the Laura Mercier honey bath so why not treat them to the body and bath gift set? 

Now if there's one thing we like at Christmas it's mini versions of things. Mini travel-size l'occitane shower gels? Yes please. 

Beauticology by Bayliss & Harding always suppliesus with amazing festive scents and gift sets year after year. There's plenty of sets to chose from but I could resist sharing this cute gingerbread tin filled with gingerbread and cranberry body washes and a vanilla frosting body butter. Good enough to eat! But please don't. Also, it's like a budget version of Philosophy which is more than fine by me. 

Definitely your average cracker. The Jo Malone Christmas Cracker comes with a mini Nectarine Blossom & Honey Body Crème, Blackberry & Bay Body & Hand Wash and  Lime Basil & Mandarin Cologne. It's perfect for Jo Malone lovers or for those who want to try out a little taster from the brand for the first time. 

Will you be buying your loved ones any of these bath and body treats? Or have they made it on to your own Christmas list?



Sunday, 9 November 2014

CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE: NAIL SETS

It's official, it is socially acceptable to be excited about Christmas. It's November, Halloween and bonfire night have been and gone, the Christmas lights are getting switched on and it's suddenly feeling really really cold.Personally I get excited the minute the Boots Christmas catalogue comes out and that seems to be earlier and earlier each year.

Now I like to think of myself as an excellent present buyer. If a professional gift purchaser is a real-life job someone please get in touch. Anyway I know for some people knowing what to get their friends and family is a bit of a nightmare so I'm going to round up a few of the best Christmas gifts around this year, for every budget. This time we're starting off by looking as some of the many festive nail varnish sets that on offer both online and in the stores this year. So if you know a nail varnish obsessive who is constantly denying that they already have too many in their collection, here's a few things they (or you) might like...


OK, how cute is this? If you don't think glittery scented nail varnishes are Christmassy enough stick them in a gingerbread house. The Candy Cane House from Ciate comes with 4 festive polishes that supposedly smell of gingerbread, christmas trees, fresh cotton and candy canes. It works out a little pricey consdiering you only get 4 mini varnishes so I think you are paying a fair bit for the cute packaging, but it is Christmas so kind of acceptable. 

'Holidays are coming, holidays are coming!'. If the Coca-cola advert doesn't fill you with Christmas spirit I don't know what will. OPI have teamed up with Coca-Cola to create polishes inspired by the iconic brand and the Christmas collection does not disappoint.  Individually the polishes are £11.95 so you are getting your moneys worth with both sets available. The nail varnish that comes with the polar bear set is a limited edition white and red glitter polish mixed with tiny white hearts. How may times can I say CUTE in this post? 

Sticking with OPI let's take some time to appreciate the OPI and Gwen Stefani collaboration. I mean, she's just amazing right? The Mini Holiday Stars set includes 4 mini (3,75ml) nail lacquers in deep reds and purples.  

Another celeb-nail collaboration here with Alexa Chung for Nails Inc. The set contains 6 full size shades including bases and glittery heart top coats as well as a chic black quilted cosmetics bag and a handy nail file. Sure it's one of the pricier sets available but if you know someone who just loves all things Alexa they'll be sure to love you forever too after receiving this. 

It's not Christmas without a little M&S and this set from Autograph will be loved by mum's all round. All mum's love M&S right? Right. With shimmery pinks, purples and nudes these nail varnishes promise to dry quickly and there's also a gel effect top coat in the set to add some high-gloss shine. 

So if the Ciate Candy House is a little too much you can still get your cute little nail varnish house kicks with Ted Baker's town house offering. The set includes 3 nail varnishes, a nail art pen, and a set of nail wraps that feature this years iconic Ted Baker town house design. 

This festively packaged nail set from from Leighton Denny includes 5 of their best-selling nude shades perfect for those who prefer their nails chic and sophisticated rather than bright and covered in glitter. 

Fearne Cotton is back with her another Christmas range at Boots after the success of her previous beauty collections. This set, perfect for teens starting to explore beauty, comes with 6 shades all chosen by Fearne herself. I've got my eyes on that metallic gold. 

Which nail set will you be putting on you be buying your loved ones, or even putting on your own christmas list this year? We're not to old for Christmas lists are we? I hope not.

Don't forget to follow VIXWILL on Bloglovin' to see the next Christmas Gift Guide post!

Sunday, 12 October 2014

MOVING CITIES: CDF- LDN


Oh hello there. It looks like this blog has taken a little holiday over the last couple of weeks but it is only because a lot has been happening recently. Just over three weeks ago I moved from Cardiff, the city I have lived in for 22 years to London, the city of opportunity...and extortionate flat prices.

Anyone who knows me would probably say I'm a bit of a homebird. I like home comforts, I like not having to use Google Maps to find my way around and I like my dog, a lot. So deciding I wanted to take the leap and move in to flat with my friends in London come September was a pretty big deal. It's been something I've toyed with on and off ever since graduating last year and then all of a sudden the time had come and we were playing grown-up Tetris trying to fit all my belongings in to the boot of Dad's car. 

Now it isn't the first time I've lived out of my family home. During my three years at university I lived in shared houses with friends but being only 15 minutes from home I wasn't exactly spreading my wings. I wouldn't have changed it though, it was ideal. For the past year I've lived at home and it's been pretty much luxury.


So why move to an entirely new city where I'll be paying an outrageous amount of money on rent and travel, (my own money I'd like to add), and will have to return to student-style living? Well, quite frankly I weighed it up as either stay in a job at home that I didn't enjoy or go and chase my dream career. Unsurprisingly it was the latter and so far it seems to be paying off, I've already landed myself a social media internship, albeit unpaid, it's a lot closer to the dream than I would have been had I not moved. *round of applause* *bows* *thank you, thank you*. It's a shame really that getting the career you want means upping sticks and moving away from your family but it seems to be the case for a lot of graduates these days. 

Now the complete house-hunting process (or torture) is a whole different blog post. If you want it? After a few too many saturday evenings spent on the megabus, tears and exhaustion we found ourselves a place. If you have plans to move to London and people keep telling you how much of a nightmare it is to find somewhere to live on a budget, believe them, even if you don't want to hear it. 


It's a big change to make considering the longest I've ever gone without seeing my family isn't much more than a week or two. A lot of people have been genuinely surprised that I've fled my home town, I'm sure assuming I wouldn't actually be brave enough to make the move. Well, I have, so there. Of course I'll be visiting home often but here's to a fresh start and new beginnings, and apparently suddenly becoming all kinds of cheesy. Oh and being a massive tourist disguising as a 'blogger'. 

Have you made a big change recently or considered moving to London? Let me know in the comments!


Sunday, 7 September 2014

6 QUOTES FOR GRADUATES

Whether you've just graduated this Summer or, like myself, graduated last year but are still finding your feet in the big wide world there is no doubt that the realisation you're an actual adult and not a student anymore can be more than a little bit daunting. 

You could be undertaking the exhausting task of finding a job in your chosen field, moving to a new city, or even travelling to a new country. It's a scary time. We're told to follow our dreams but rarely told how to go about it. No one prepared us for this feeling of limbo and uncertainty.

I love an inspirational quote, thanks Pinterest, and whatever your situation is these 6 quotes may help you take that leap of faith and feel a little more confident in your abilities. 




source

source

And finally...

source

I love them all. I'm definitely guilty of thinking I'm not ready to take on a challenge or living in fear of leaving my comfort zone but a little inspiration can be just the push you need.

Which one is your favourtie? If you're not quite satisfied yet visit my 'Quotes' board on Pinterest for more.

Monday, 1 September 2014

AUGUST FAVOURITES

Today is the first day of September. Let's just try and let that sink in. The Summer holidays are over and The X Factor has started which basically means we might as well start the countdown to Christmas. I'm not complaining, I do like Autumn but can we please just have a few more weeks of it not being dark when we wake up in the morning and when we come home from work? Anyway, I digress, it's time to hang on to Summer with August's favourites.



1. PartyParty App

PartyParty is an app developed by the creative geniuses over at A Beautiful Mess. If you haven't heard of Elsie and Emma''s blog before you have to go check it out. Amazing photos, DIYs, interiors, recipes and now they have their very own own apps and books out to match. PartyParty is their second app, after the ABeautifulMess app which makes your instagram photos very much 'like' worthy. PartyParty takes it one step further allowing to create your very own short stop-motion videos ready to be shared on social media or saved as a gif. I tried it out for myself, as you might of seen on my Barry M Blues post, and I think the results are pretty cool, if I do say so myself...




2. L'Oreal False Lash Telescopic Mascara

OK so this mascara may have been out for, like, ever but for some reason I had never tried it before. What a silly mistake that was, I love it. The waterproof, apparently discontinued, version was raved about by ViviannaDoesMakeUp and so I thought I would give the origina one a go. I'm not usually a fan of a plastic wand but this one I like, plus it's thin enough that I don't get mascara all over my eyelids when I apply it. I've never understood why some mascara brushes are so big. I think it's just a marketing ploy to get people to think 'bigger brush, bigger lashes' but that's just so not the case. This one lengthens and layers up nicely to volumise. I recommend.

3. Sleek Eyebrow Stylist

My eyebrows are my nemisis. We just don't get on. I'm always looking for ways I can make them look full yet natural. Trust me, I've gone through my fair share of Rimmel eyebrow pencils. This Sleek brow stylist is a waxy texture, apparently not dissimilar to the blogger fave Anastasia Brow Wiz, but obviously only a fraction of the price. It comes with a spooly (eyebrow tamer) on the opposite end so you can brush out your brows neatly before you go in with the colour. You may think, 'Hey it's just a clean mascara wand what's so special about that?' or 'Doesn't the little brush on the lid of my Rimmel pencil do the same thing?'. The answer is no, I'm afraid you are wrong. Not all eyebrow tamers were created equal and this one is a good one.

4. Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in #06 Pink pong



I'm a bit new to the whole liquid lipstick game but being the obsessive viewer of beauty vloggers that I am I concluded that of all the options available the Bourjois offering seemed like the best. It's a lipstick that goes on like a gloss and dries to a velvety matte finish. It also is pretty long lasting compared to a lot of lip products out there. I just wish they bought out more lighter pinks and nudes because I love the product but their colour range is very, well, bright, and I'm just not brave enough to go so bold yet. Gosh I know, it's such a dilemma.

5. Is Everybody Hanging Out Without Me? And Other Concerns by Mindy Kaling

All this month I was hanging out with Mindy. Well, her book that is. The Mindy Project is one of my favourite TV shows at the moment and after hearing good things about her book I decided to give it a read. Mindy is just as funny in print as she is on screen as she tells us how she managed to go from chubby child, to starring as Ben Affleck in her own play in New York to landing her big break as a writer for The Office USA. The perfect light read for when the books you've read either side of it are about mysterious people going missing. Ooo spolier alert for next month.

What were you loving during August? Are any of your favourites the same?

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

A DAY IN TENBY

Ah, Tenby. It's been an annual day-trip for my family since I was too young to worry about sand in my sandwiches and under my nails. Memories of fighting seagulls away from my chips and buying bags of fudge from the sweet shop aren't as such memories as they are pretty regular occurrences. 

Seeing as this bank holiday was a bit of a wash-out and a write-off (sorry but I though August was meant to be sunny), I thought I'd reminisce back to last weekend and share some seaside photos. 

That view though...


It wasn't crazy sunny when we went this time, I was staying well away from that water, but still nice enough for a wander around and lunch al fresco. We dined at the South Beach Bar & Grill which is relatively new, maybe like a year or so old, well I definitely didn't go there as a child anyway. It's got good food and good views. Good times.


I still can't quite manage to get my head around photographing my meal before I eat it. How do bloggers resist the urge to tuck in the minute it's put in front of them? It might explain why they are so slim. Damn you willpower. If you couldn't tell, the pizza was good. Saying that, I pretty much think all pizza is good. Or basically anything covered with cheese, please. 



I love a god pastel paint job and Tenby certainly satisfies my needs. Why aren't all houses painted pretty colours? We also managed to unintentionally stumble across some sort of Summer Spectacular. I'm not entirely sure what it all involved but I saw some Irish dancers and a sword juggler on stilts. Just a heads up if that does happen to be your kind of thing. I don't judge.


Rubber dinghy or inflatable dolphin anyone? No chance you're getting me in a wet suit but nice try. 


Of course it wouldn't really count as a trip to the seaside without an ice cream and some sweets. I'm a mint choc chip girl through and through but when they guy at the counter told me they had Oreo flavour I was sold. Anywhere know where else I can get this? Because the cravings are coming back, and yes they are strong.

Where's your annual seaside haunt? Are you a fellow Tenby-goer? Let me know in the comments, and if you liked this post then follow VIXWILL on bloglovin' for more.

Friday, 8 August 2014

BARRY M BLUES


I've managed to accumulate quite a few blue and green nail varnishes over the years, which is weird really considering when I'm deciding what to wear on my nails I'd be much more inclined to go for pink and peachy shades.

From L-R: Sugar Apple, Greenberry, Blueberry, Blue Grape, Navy

Barry M was like a standard go-to nail polish for me and my friends from the age of about 15 and to some extent still is. It's inexpensive, there's a good range of colours and now they've bought out the 'gelly' formula, pretty good quality for the amount you're spending. Sure the brush could probably be a little wider but you know, I'll manage.

Are you a Barry M fan? Or a blue nail fan? Looking at my nail varnish collection, apparently I'm both.