Tuesday, 31 December 2013

What I Got For Christmas 2013!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and are ready for the New Year. I had a lovely Christmas spent with family and friends. I don't know about you, but I really enjoy watching and reading What I Got For Christmas videos/posts, so I thought I would share with you what I was extremely lucky to receive this year. I am so thankful for everything I received, and am not showing off in anyway.

(Just a quick warning, this will be a picture heavy post)

The Body Shop Shower Gel gift set
Victoria's Secret Sheer Love set
Marc Jacobs Lola solid perfume

Lush Goodies
Snow Fairy Shower Gel
Secret Santa Ballistic
The Christmas Penguin Bubble Bar
Christmas Angel Bath Bomb
The Melting Snowman Bath Melt
Santa's Lip Scrub

Real Techniques Duo-Fibre Brush Set
Urban Decay Naked3 Palette
Shu Umera Eyelash Curlers
Soap & Glory Super-Fabu-Lipstick in The Missing Pink
Soap & Glory Glow All Out Face Powder
Soap & Glory Kick Ass Concealer in Light
Soap & Glory Loved and Glossed Gift Set

Quality Street Fruit Cremes
Marks and Spencer Milk Chocolate Sprouts
Maltesers Cracker

Another Night Before Christmas by Carol Ann Duffy
Winnie the Pooh Disney by Britto ornament
Oasis Scarf

The White Queen by Philippa Gregory
The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory
The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Ted Baker Bow Clutch bag
Ted Baker Timeless Romantic Silk Scarf

iPad Air

I can't believe how lucky I was this year, and was well and truly spolit. I am so grateful for everything I received, and I hope you enjoyed this post. I would love to know what you got for Christmas this year, so leave a comment below, or link me to your blog post/video.

Monday, 23 December 2013

The 2013 Christmas TAG


Well, as it's only days until Christmas, I thought I would do The 2013 Christmas Tag, which I originally saw on Fee's blog.

1.  Do you prefer a real Christmas tree or synthetic?
Synthetic! We've always had synthetic trees, except for one year, and then it died like a week before Christmas, and so we had to put up the good old synthetic one. I think that put me off them, plus I sort of prefer the more perfect look of synthetic trees.

2.  You're in a coffee shop, it's December, what do you pick?
Well, if you've read any of my past TAG posts, then you'll probably know, that I don't drink any hot drinks, except for hot chocolate. So, it would probably be hot chocolate. I really want to try the white hot chocolate festive drink from Costa at the minute.

3.  Whats your favourite colour scheme for decorating the tree?
I'm not a fan of the traditional red, green and gold colours. I love the winter wonderland sort of look; silver, white, purple and rusticy look.

4.  Giving or receiving?
Giving! As nice as receiving is, Christmas is all about giving. I do get rather excited when I spot that perfect present, and can't wait to see their face when they open it up on Christmas Day.

5.  To mince pie or not to?
To mince pie! You really can't beat a lovely homemade, warm mince pie at this time of year, especially when you're sat wrapping presents in front of the fire!

6.  What's your traditional Sunday lunch?
I take it that this means the Christmas Day dinner? So I'll answer it as that. Usually, we take it turns, either having Christmas dinner at my mum's house or my auntie's house. This year it's at my auntie's house. We usually have turkey, pork, and this year gammon, roast potatoes, mash, peas, carrots, pigs in blankets, stuffing, and of course sprouts (although I can't stand them!)

7.  Christmas day fashion
We're not big on dressing all fancy at Christmas. Usually smart-casual. When we first get up and open presents, we stay in your pjs, but then we get washed and dressed, and get ready for the afternoon.

8.  What's your favourite Christmas song?
Well, I've actually got two, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, and Last Christmas by Wham!

9.  What's your favourite Christmas film?
Again, I've got a few of these, but probably my all-time favourite film, because I grew up on it, is The Muppets Christmas Carol. This came out the year I was born, and I've probably watched it every year since. Apparently, before I could even talk, I used to go around going aoooohhhh (if you know the film, it's from the Marley and Marley scene, "we're Marley and Marley, aoooohhhhh"). Another childhood favourite is The Santa Clause, starring Tim Allen. This always seemed so magic to me, especially the North Pole scenes and Santa's workshop, plus it's rather funny.

10.  Open presents before or after lunch?
Before lunch. We're always too stuffed to even move after lunch!


Well, I hope you all have a lovely Christmas and a happy New Year.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Last Minute Unusual Christmas Gifts

Today's post is for those who love to give unusual gifts, and who have also left their Christmas Shopping until the last minute, or who are really struggling to find something for the woman who had everything.

I have found four websites which I love, and chosen a couple of picks from each site.

First up is Fields of Blue:
"Traditional and stylish contemporary lighting and design led home interior."
Selling a range of products from gifts for the home to garden games to scarves, there is something for everyone here. They deliver to Europe and the US and Canada, and the prices are reasonable-ish. (Last UK delivery date for Christmas is 19th December)

My picks from Fields of Blue are



Next up is Dot Com Gift Shop
This site sells
"Amazing gifts for her, gifts for him and a large range of stylish home interior."
This is one of my favourite websites to buy cute, unusual items with a vintage feel to them. They do a good range of products, from products for the home, for her, for him, for the garden and more. You can pick up things for any age at this store. The prices are really reasonable, and they also do a Deal of the Day, where you can pick up some great pieces at great prices! They also deliver internationally. (Last day for UK mainland Christmas delivery is 20th December)

My picks are:



One of my favourite sites to look through is Melody Maison
"A beautiful collection of home furnishings and wedding accessories with a distinctly vintage, French or country look; French boudoir style furnishings, candelabras and pictures, Shabby and Vintage Chic furniture and accessories, vintage style lamps, mirrors and wedding decor as well as French farmhouse style kitchen ware."
This is probably my favourite site to buy shabby chic home accessories etc. They do some of the most gorgeous homeware products and furniture. It is only home interior products that they sell, but if you know someone who loves the shabby chic look, then there is bound to be something perfect on there. They are slightly expensive, particularly their furniture, but you can get some really nice pieces at reasonable prices. They also offer international shipping. (Last date for UK Christmas delivery is by 2:30pm 23rd December)

My picks from this shop are:






Lastly is Live Laugh Love
"We specialise in getting the look of yester-year in and around your home. If you are selling vintage and shabby chic decorative cushions or French chic furniture, this is your one stop shop for all your needs."
This is another one of my favourite online shops to buy little decorative pieces such as candle holders and trinket boxes etc. They have a large range of products, mainly for the home and garden, but again, its perfect for those who take pride in their homes, and love little decorative items. Plus, the prices are so good! These also deliver internationally. (Can't actually find when last Chrsitmas delivery date is, so best to order as soon as)

My picks




Hope this helped some of you who may be a slight ruck, or just given some ideas of some places to shop when you're after somewhere either for a gift or for your home.

Friday, 6 December 2013

10 Things To Do To Get Festive!

You may not know this about me, but I am a huge Christmas freak! I would put up our decorations mid-November time if it was up to me! (Unfortunately it's not) So, to help people get into the festive mood, I thought I would put together a little list of 10 things, which will get everyone feeling festive!

1. Get your Christmas shopping out of the way!
This is probably one of the main reasons why people I know don't enjoy the build-up to Christmas as much; the stress of shopping. Get a piece of paper and a pen, sit down and make a list of everyone you need to buy for, and figure out what type of thing you want to buy for them. As soon as you know, go shopping! Just get it out of the way as soon as you can, trust me, you'll enjoy Christmas so much more.

2. Search out some Christmas songs that you will actually enjoy listening to.
Most singers have released at least one Christmas song. Search YouTube for your favourite band/singer, and see if they've done any Christmas covers. Or search for some of your favourite bands from when you were growing up, and see what Christmas covers they have done. Not only will you start feeling festive, you will probably start reminiscing about the good, old days!
3. Put up your Christmas decorations!
I personally don't think there is anything more festive than putting up your Christmas decorations. Put some Christmas songs on, and just take all the glitter in your stride. (Come on! That's all part of the fun!)

4. Buy yourself some festive comfys!
Go out and pick up some festive slippers, pyjamas, and a hat and scarf set. Yes, you may look like Christmas just spat up all over you, but this is the one time of the year where it's perfectly ok to look like this!

5. Crack open the mulled wine!
Nothing says Christmas time like a glass of hot mulled wine. If you're underage, or don't drink alcohol, dont feel like you're missing out, use this recipe for mulled apple juice.

6. Visit a Christmas market!
I've personally only just started going to Christmas markets this past couple of years, but they are so lovely! I've only been to a couple, but they make you feel so festive! Walking around wrapped up in your hat and scarf, clutching a mulled wine or hot chocolate, shopping in little wooden huts, it's perfect! Plus, you can pick up all sorts of lovely gifts that you can't get off the high street there. (I recently drove past the Manchester Christmas market, and that looked fantastic! It's meant to be one of the best, so if you get the chance, check it out!)

7. Road trip time!
Well, not so much road trip, more just a drive around where you live, looking at everyone's Christmas lights. Where I live, there is some well-known houses that go all out with their Christmas lights, and so, every year we would drive around them all, just looking out the car window at them. You could really tell it was rpnearly Christmas when we did this!

8. Wrap your presents!
There is nothing better than sitting in front of the fire, with a hot chocolate, wrapping your Christmas presents. I love wrapping presents! I know some people really hate it, but if you just take your time with it, and make them look nice and festive; your recipients will appreciate it!

9. Bake some Christmassy treats!
This has become a slight tradition of mine lately, to do some baking on either Christmas Eve, or the day before. Gingerbread men (or women!), homemade fudge, cupcakes, and whatever else you want. The smell, especially when the gingerbread men are cooking, makes the whole house smell so festive! It's a perfect family activity to do, to get everyone in the mood!

10. Go on, treat yourself!
Finally, if you've survived the manic that is Christmas, well done! Treat yourself, and buy yourself a little something, that you can wrap and pop under the tree, ready for Christmas Day. Just think of it as a well done present for getting everything done that needs to be done, and something to further your festive mood!

Well, I hope this little list helped you to make you feel slightly more festive, or has just given you some ideas of things to do before Christmas. What are some of the things that you and your family do in this holiday season?

Monday, 2 December 2013

Sweater Weather TAG!

This TAG has been doing the rounds in the YouTube and Blogging World lately, and I love it! (Just the title is enough for me to fall in love with it!) So, I thought I would jump on the bandwagon and join in. The original TAG was created by itsmelexie1, so go check her video out! (I know it's a bit late now to do doing this TAG, but I really wanted to do it, so I thought, why not!)

1. Favourite candle scent?
I love the scent of the Yankee Candle's Christmas Eve around this time of year. I also love the scent of Clean Cotton, or anything like that all year round. Next on my list to try is Yankee Candle's Merry Marshmallow and Fireside Treats.



2. Coffee, Tea or Hot Chocolate?
I hate tea and coffee! The only hot drink I drink is hot chocolate. Hot chocolate all the way!

3. What's the best Fall memory you have?
I think was would have to be going conker-picking at our local park. Every Autumn time, me and the family would go off to the park, carrier bags in hand, and would search for hours among the fallen leaves for any conkers that had fallen off the tree. We would come away with bags, you know, them bags for life from Tesco? Well, we would come away with 2 or 3 of these bags full of conkers. The best bit is, I never really knew how to play conkers! So, they would just stay in the bag, and I would just go through them picking out the biggest!

4. Which makeup trend do you prefer: dark lips or winged eyeliner?
I'm very new to wearing lipstick, and the most adventurous I've been is MAC's Hue! (A pinky-nude colour) So, I would have to go with winged eyeliner. I do love the look of this, but I'm not the best at putting it on! When I get it right I love it!

5. What do you want to be for Halloween?
Well, Halloween has already been. I don't really make a big deal out of Halloween. I usually just carve a couple of pumpkins and put them out so that the little trick or treaters know to come to the house. I don't dress up. If I were to dress up, I would probably go as some sort of horror fairytale character.

6. Favourite Thanksgiving food?
As we don't have Thanksgiving in the UK, I'm going to change this question to favourite Christmas food. And that would probably have to be Mr. Kipling's Christmas Cake slices! These are sooo good! Would highly recommend them, even if you're not keen on Christmas cake (like me).



7. Hats or Scarves?
Scarves! Definitely! I love scarves! Not only do they keep you nice and warm, they are cosy, and they add that extra bit of something to an outfit.

8. Most worn sweater?
I've got quite a few favourite sweaters/jumpers, but my favourite would probably be one I picked up from Dorothy Perkins last Winter. It's a mint green colour, and is made from some of the softest material I have ever felt! It has three bows on the back. (The pictures below are just for photographic purpose, they are not photographs I have taken.)

Source: [1] [2]

9. Favourite Fall Nail Polish?
I'm not a big fan of dark nails; I just don't think they suit me much. Lately, I have been loving Essie's Neo Whimsical; a gorgeous muted grey-pinky-lilac colour; my perfect Autumn/Winter colour.

10. Football games or jumping in leaf piles?
Jumping in leaf piles! Now, to be honest, I've never actually jumped in leaf piles, but it looks so fun! Plus, I have a real dislike against football (soccer). I won't get into it now, as I could probably write a whole post on this.

11. Skinny Jeans or Leggings?
Probably skinny jeans. I hardly ever wear leggings, but I do like them sometimes underneath dresses or skirts. I prefer that skinny jeans give you that little bit more coverage and support.

12. Combat boots or UGGS?
I love the look of combat boots, but I've never been able to pull them off! Plus, my style is more casual and comfy, so I would probably choose UGGS. I also always have cold feet in the Winter, so these keep my feet nice and toasty.

13. What's your #1 favourite thing about Fall?
The fact that Christmas is round the corner! I'm such a big Christmas-geek! If it was up to me, I would put our Christmas decorations up sometime mid-November (after Bonfire Night).

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Christmas Gift Guide 2013 - The Stocking Fillers

Today's post is the last in my Christmas Gift Guide series. This guide is for those little stocking fillers that everyone loves to give and receive. All of these gifts are £15 and under.

(Click on image to make bigger)

1. Soldier Egg Cup and Toast Cutter
£7.99, here
2. Hot Stuff in a Matchbox
£5, here
3. Beauticology Mini Lip and Body Bath gift set
£5, here
4. Cable Knit Scarf
£9.99, here
5. Snowflake Fliptop Gloves
£6.99, here
6. Reindeer Beanie
£7.99, here
(Now sold out, alternative here - (Christmas pudding hat)
7. Candy Canes
£1.30, here
8. Terry's Chocolate Orange
£2.50, here
9. Hot Chocolate Gift Set
£8, here
10. Camera Lens Mug (for all you bloggers out there!)
£15, here
11. Lush Magic Wand bubble bar
£4.95, here
12. Black Scarf
£7.99, here
13. Black Contrast Gloves
£4.99, here
14. Santa Beard Bobble Hat
£9.99, here
15. Cadbury's Chocolate Coins
£1.99, here
16. Mrs Browns Boys Live - Mrs Brown Rides Again DVD
£14, here
17. Woodland Jewellery Stand
£9.95, here
18. Jelly Belly Scented Phone Case
£12.50, here
19. Philosophy Purity Ornament
£9, here
20. Christmas Socks
£2.99, here
21. Now 86 CD
£12, here

Monday, 25 November 2013

Christmas Gift Guide 2013 - For Him

The third chapter in my gift guide instalment, is for him, whether that's your dad, uncle, grandfather, son, brother, husband or boyfriend. This is a bit of a mixed bunch, with no real set price.

(Click on image to make bigger)

1. iPad Mini with Retina Display
From £319, here
2. Segway Rally For Two Experience Day
£37, here
3. Santa Suit Sweater
£14.99, here
4. FCUK The Urban Duo gift set
£8, here
5. 10-in-1 Hammer Gadget
£10, here
6. River Island Gunmetal Watch
£26, here
7. Giorgio Armani Luxury Fragrance Collection
£21.99, here
8. Soap and Glory Get Fresh With gift set
£20, here
9. Rocha. John Rocha Brown Stitch Detail Wallet
£29.50, here
10. Novelty Dressing Gown
£24.99, here

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Christmas Gift Guide 2013 - For Her - Budget

Today's post is the second part of my Christmas Gift Guide series. These gifts are for her, but are more budget gifts, i.e. under £25, all apart from one item.

(Click on image to make bigger)

1. Gorgeous by Gok Hand Love Duo
£10, here 
2. Matthew Williamson Trinket Box
£26, here
3. No7 Eye Appeal Palette
£10, here
4. Yankee Candle Everyday 9 Votive Book
£14.99, here
5. Gorgeous by Gok Beauty Rescue Wash Bag
£18, here
6. Soap and Glory Loved & Glossed gift set
£16, here
7. Ted Baker I Wanna Be Loved By You gift set
£12, here
8. Two Tier Jewellery Display
£10.95, here
9. Soap and Glory Bubble Barrelled gift set
£18, here
10. Rocha. John Rocha Metal Lace Tealight Holder
£8, here

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Christmas Gift Guide 2013 - For Her - Luxury

So, today's post marks the beginning of Christmas here on Laura's Land of Beauty. This is the first of my gift guides (there's 4 in total). This one is for her, whether it's your mum, aunty, sister, daughter, wife or girlfriend. The gifts in this guide are more luxury items, i.e. over £25, except for the Korres gift set.


(Click on image to make bigger)

1. Apple iPad Mini with Retina Display
From £319, here
2. Korres Rose and Shine gift set 
£12, here
3. Benefit Groovy Kinda Love
£29.50, here
4. Urban Decay Shattered Face Case
£30, here
5. YSL Bright Eyes gift set
£48.50, here
6. Stila Convertible Colours Trio
£23, here

7. Cowshed Knackered Cow gift set 
£36, here
8. OPI Take Ten Mini gift set
£28.50, here
9. Elemis Spa Body Treats
£27.50, here
10. Jo Malone Cologne Collection
£64, here


Friday, 15 November 2013

MAC Hue

I have been dying to try out one of MAC's famous lipsticks, so while I was recently out running errands in Chester, I nipped to the MAC stand, and picked up a couple of things; one of which was Hue lipstick.


Hue is a soft pale pinky-nude shade with a glaze finish, making it a perfect everyday lipstick, that you don't have to worry about wearing a lip liner with, about it smudging up your face, or about reapplying it with a mirror throughout the day. The glaze finish offers a sheer, glossy finish, making it a great lipstick for lipstick-newbies as it is basically mistake-proof.


Hue has a creamy finish, and offers the perfect amount of coverage. I think that this is one of them lipsticks which will look slightly different on every person. On me, I think it looks a bit more peachy, rather than pinky. As for wear time, it's not the most long-wearing lipstick out there, but that's one of the downsides to this finish.

This being my first ever MAC lipstick, I am really impressed. I love the way it finishes off my everyday look, and I think this will now always be in my makeup bag. I would highly recommend you swatch this shade if you're ever in a MAC store. You can buy the lipstick here.

What shades do you recommend I try next?

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Affordable Skincare Haul!

I'm getting to that point where I'm about to run out of all of my skincare products (don't you hate it when that happens!), so I went off to pick up some new bits. I'm currently using products from the Michael Todd dry sensitive skin regime, but as I've recently graduated from uni, I wasn't going to spend that much replacing them, plus, I didn't really think that much of the products I used. So, I was on a mission to get some good quality products at affordable prices. I started off in Boots:


I knew I wanted to try the Botanics All Bright Cleansing Toner, after MissBudgetBeauty said she really liked it as an exfoliating toner. What's even better is that it was on offer for £2.69! (usually £3.99) I have also heard rave reviews about cleansing balms, and especially the Boots Botanics hot cloth cleanser, so I also picked that up, which was also on offer for £6.99 (usually £8.99). This was the bargain of the haul, as I didn't actually pay for this, I used my Boots points against it, so I'm looking at it as if I got it for free. I have heard that a cleansing balm can be slightly heavy, so I knew that I would only be using this at night, so I wanted just a basic face wash for the morning, but not one that would dry out my skin. I saw this Boots Essential Cucumber Facial Wash for £1.50, and thought I would try it, and for that price, I couldn't go wrong.

Then I went over to Aldi. 


Now, before you look at me weird, Aldi do some amazing beauty/skincare products. I particularly love their Aqua Moisture Cream, and I had a tiny bit left in the pot I was using so had to pick up two of these! And you wont believe the price for these pots of heaven! £1.99!!! I also wanted to try out the serum from the same range, Multi Intensive Serum Aqua, which was £3.49. I also saw that they did a Moisturising Face Wash, so thought I would try that out aswell. I think this was £1.49.

I also picked up a couple of random things in Boots:


I needed some new shampoo and conditioner as my beloved VO5 Gloss Me Smoothly shampoo and conditioner has changed name, and seemed to have changed formula aswell, and I really don't like it now. I decided to try the Pantene Smooth and Sleek Light Silicone Free shampoo and the conditioner to go with it. I also saw that they had the Maybelline SuperStay Powder in Ivory. This really caught my eye, as it says it's waterproof, which really intrigues me. I'll let you know how I get on with this.

Now, I haven't tried any of these products yet, and as I said at the beginning, I'm still using up the last of my current skincare products, so I probably wont be using these for a couple of weeks yet. If I really fall in love with something, you can most definitely expect reviews on them, or if there's something you really want a review on, then please let me know in the comments or via twitter.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

My Everyday Makeup Bag

I don't know about you, but I love reading about what other people have in their everyday makeup bag. It's a great way to gain so many ideas for new products that people adore and can't live without. So, for today's post, I thought I would show you what's in mine.



This is the bag I use for my everyday makeup. I picked it up from House of Fraser sometime in June, I think. This is the large version, and they also do a small version, but I can only find the small version online here, but Ted Baker have lots of beautiful designs here.


Foundations and Primers:

Urban Decay Pore Perfecting Primer
Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation in True Ivory
Witch Tinted Moisturiser in Medium
Stay Matte pressed powder in Transparent

Concealers:

Benefit Confessions of a Concealaholic
Maybelline The Eye Eraser concealer in Light
Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in 3 Medium
Benefit Fake Up concealer in Light
Collection Illuminating Touch concealer in 2 Natural

Cheeks:

MUA Blush Perfection in Dolly
MUA Blush Perfection in Bittersweet
MAC Powder Blush in Fleur Power
Stila Custom Colour Bush in Self-Adjusting Pink

Eyes:

MAC Paint Pot in Groundwork
Maybelline The Rocket waterproof mascara
L'Oreal Waterproof False Lash Effect mascara
Benefit They're Real mascara

Lips:

MAC Lipstick in Hue
Maybelline Baby Lips in Mint Fresh

Tools:

Cosmopolitan Maximum Effect Lash Curler