Favourite Moments of 2013

2013 has probably been one of the best years of my life, I've traveled further than I've ever been before, met some amazing people and started to 'properly' blog, which has opened up a whole new world. I don't want this to be a rambling post so I've picked a few of my favourite pictures from the year as a little summary. For 2014 I'd love to travel more, move in with my boyfriend, spend more time with my family and only surround myself with positive & amazing people. 
I'd like to thank you all for reading my blog the past year and allowing it to grow into something where I'm not just talking to myself! I wish you all a wonderful New Year's Eve and fantastic 2014. 

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Christmas Sales- Beauty Favourites


I have a rule for sales, if it's not something that I already use or had been eyeing up for a while then I shouldn't by it. Here are a few of my top picks from the Christmas sales, which may or may not just be a list of things that I've bought minus a few Space NK bits as I didn't want to include anything that's already sold out. Happy shopping! 

Space NK Sale
Laura Mercier Bath & Body set in Almond Coconut was £60.00 now £30. I absolutely love the bath and body collection from Laura Mercier and the Almond Coconut collection smells absolutely divine.
Diptyque Do Son Eau De Toilette was £68 now £34. This is one of my favourite scents from Diptyque and I've been umming and ahhing its purchase for a while so as soon as I saw this at half price it went straight into my basket. 
This Works Dream On Deep Sleep Bath Oil was £12.00 now £6.00. The whole sleep range from This Works has the most lovely calming scent and is perfect for pamper nights- I'd highly recommend this whole collection especially when it's half price. 

Escentual 
Clarins Instant Smooth Self Tan was £18 now £14.39. As this is part of the instant smooth range it acts as a instant tan, which then develops into a sun kissed glow whilst smoothing out pores, fine lines and correcting redness. Winner. 
La Roche Posey Effaclar Duo was £13.50 now £10.49. I've expressed my love for this product in previous blog posts and even though it's not a massive saving if you're looking to stock up on this little beauty now is the time!
Nuxe Reve de Miel Honey Lip Balm was £9.50 now £7.60. I've never tried this lip balm but due to it high recommendation from other beauty bloggers it's been on my wishlist for a good while. 

Feel Unique
Real Techniques Core Collection was £20.99 now £15.94. I feel like I can't fault the Real Technique brushes, they're so soft, dry really quickly after washing and apply make-up beautifully. 
St Tropez Exclusive Top to Toe Collection was £29.99 now £22.99. I've used St Tropez for years and I think this collection is such great value for money.

Debenhams 
YSL Rouge Volupte Lipstick was £23.50 now £11.75 I own quite a few YSL lip products and I don't think it's very often that they're at this price so I'm half tempted to stock up whilst I can.

Beauty Bay
Nails Inc Gel Effect Polish was £14 now £11.76 I love the longevity and finish of these polishes as they look just like a gel manicure, they're only slightly discounted but it's better than nothing!
Jurlique Lavender Hand Cream was £17 now £15.64. I've been so impressed with all the Jurlique products I've tried this year and I've heard great things about their hand creams so I thought I'd give one a whirl from Beauty Bay.
Urban Decay 6 Eyeliner Set was £26 now £18.20. This is such a great little set for someone who is experimenting with eye make up, I'm half tempted to buy it now and save it for someones birthday.
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A Cosy Christmas Eve

Emma Bridgewater Christmas Mug- £19.95

Christmas Eve is one of my favourite nights of the year as it's the perfect time to get wrapped up in Christmas pyjamas and watch endless festive films surrounded by family and fairy lights. I've selected a few of my festive favourites above that really help me get into the Christmas spirit and relax before a busy day of food and presents. 

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.

Gemma xx

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Eleimis FreshSkin Discovery Kit Review



I’ve been recently trying out the Elemis FreshSkin Discovery Kit (£19.90)*, which is a skin care range aimed at late teens to early 20 something girls . It’s a set of 5 sample products from the FreshSkin range, which aims to give you clear, glowing skin. I really like these mini sets from Elemis where you can try a number of sample products before buying a full sized especially as I never know whether my skin is going to react to certain products.

Elemis FreshSkin Peachy Perfect Gentle Face Wash 30ml
This is a lovely hydrating face wash, which contains elderflowers, lemon and chicory extracts, which aims to leave your skin soft and glowing. This isn’t a foaming face wash but of a gentle everyday cleanser which does a great job of removing any make-up residue left on my face after my normal cleanse. Oddly this product doesn’t contain any peach extracts or smell of peach, it’s actually almost scent free. I can’t say I noticed a huge difference in the ‘glowy-ness’ of my complexion but if you’re on the market for a lovely simple face wash I’d definitely recommend this as it didn’t cause any reaction to my sensitive skin and overall did a good job of cleaning my face.

Elemis FreshSkin Glow Exfoliating Face Wash 30ml
A gentle exfoliating face wash containing cherry powder and jojoba beads, which act to gently polish and remove dead skin cells whilst leaving clean and free of impurities. I don’t tend to use exfoliators on my face and I tend to react to most products but I actually quite liked how gently this one was and it worked really nicely with the face wash. I probably wouldn’t re-purchase this one as I just don’t use exfoliators enough, but again, if you have sensitive skin this is a good exfoliator to go for.

Elemis FreshSkin Softly Softly Daily Moisturiser 15ml and Dreamy Sleep Night-Time Moisturiser 15ml
I think these two products were my favourite from the range as they smell so dreamy- the day cream contains rosehip seed oil and sweet almond oil and the night cream contains blackburrant seed oil and barley extract and yes the smell as delicious as they sound! I found both of these products lovely and light to apply and the day cream is a lovely base for make-up. I’ve probably used either one or both of these products for a good couple of weeks and even though they’re strong scented they didn’t break my skin out at all and my skin has felt lovely and hydrated even in this freezing cold weather. Out of the whole set I would definitely recommend purchasing these and will probably re-purchase myself, especially in the summer as the day cream has such a lovely, light consistency.

Elemis Magical Moisture Quenching Face Mask- 7ml Sachet 
This is a really lovely hydrating facial mask that contains white lupin, artic cranberry seed oil and apple extract and leaves your skin feeling smooth and soft. It's lovely and smooth to apply and gives an instant moisture boost to even the driest of skin. 




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Mr Porter- Smythson Limited Edition








Last week I was invited to Smythson on New Bond Street to attend the launch of Mr Porter Volume 2- Manual For A stylish life (£150). The evening began with a wonderful speech from the editor-in-chief Jeremy Langmead before being lead through to the back of the store to collect our signed copies of the book and feed on delicious plates of food and drink champagne. If you're stuck for the perfect gift for a Boyfriend or Brother then look no further, Mr Porter collaborated with Smythson to create a  stylish and chic limited edition leather-bound book *insert Anchorman jokes*, which would look perfect in any book case. The book features everything the modern day man would need to know to navigate through life from how to ace a best mans speech to how to buy your girlfriend underwear, which creates a truly fantastic and entertaining read.  
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The Luxury Christmas Gift Guide- Him & Her


This is my final gift guide post and definitely one if you're looking to splash the cash on a loved one.. or yourself. I've picked a good mix of real high end presents and affordable luxury gifts . I think the Stroke of Midnight collection from Mac this year is so beautiful and this very much at the top of my Christmas wishlist, it contains a lipstick that's perfect for the festive season and then a few other Mac favourites. If you know someone who loves Diptyque candles then their 50th Anniversary Collection would be perfect as it contains some of their most loved scents. I've added a few bits for men in here too- the Tom Ford scents are so delicious and this gift set makes the perfect gift. 


Philips Senso Touch Shaver- £139

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In Flight Beauty Bag- Thailand

It's so so important to take good care of you skin when flying as the air conditioning in planes completely sucks all the moisture out of your skin leaving you with a dry and flakey complexion. Normally your skin needs approximately 40% humidity to retain moisture and on planes there is only about 7% so this means that throughout your flight you need to drink plenty of water and keep topping up your moisturiser. 
To start with I'm going to be taking my make up off (leaving on my eye make up) with the L'Oreal Micellar Water and cotton pads. We're flying to Thailand, which means we're going to be flying for a total of 12 hours so instead of using a moisturiser I've opted for the Kiehls Algae Face Mask (£23.50) (full review here) as it's perfect for keeping dehydrated skin at bay and goes on clear so you don't look like a crazy person. I've decanted this into a little small pot from Muji so that it fits into the 100ml maximum liquid allowance. Next I've got a mini Elizabeth Arden 8 hour Cream (£14.00), which I'll apply a good layer to my lips and a mini L'occitane Hand Cream (£7.20) for my hands. If I decide to take my face mask off early I've got a B.Vialised eye cream, Hydralauron Moisture Booster Serum (£16.6) (full review here) and a mini sample of Philosophy's Hope in a Jar moisturiser (£30.00). 

When we're almost ready to land I've got my Clarins BB Cream in shade 02 Medium (£22.40) in case I want a little coverage, the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in the shade Light (£4.19) for under my eyes and any blemishes, and Max Factor Miracle Touch Creamy Blush in Soft Pink (£6.99) (full review here). I've also go a Muji fold up toothbrush to freshen up and a mini Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb. Miscellaneous bits I have in here are tissues, a hair clip, compact mirror (Models Own) and hair ties and the clear bag is from Boots as part of a pack of 3. 



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Christmas Beauty Advent Calendars 2013




 
If you’re not a chocolate lover then beauty advent calendars are definitely for you, and there’s a great selection to choose from this year. My personal favourite is the mini mani month from Ciate as it offers such a great range of colours and textures leaving you with a pretty impressive Ciate collection at the end of the month. For the beauty junkies out there I think the YOU Beauty calendar has such an incredible selection of gifts and I think this would also be perfect for someone looking to get into beauty and new brands.
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SOS Winter Skincare



It seems that blogging about looking after my winter skin is becoming a bit of theme for me a the moment (see here and here) but as my skin really does suffer as soon as the temperature drops I thought another post was in order. 

My main areas of concern in cold weather are my arms and legs so I've been using quite a few products to keep the dry skin at bay this month. It's not pictured here but I love using the Elemis Body Scrub (£28.50) (full review here) to buff away any dry skin before I apply a good layer of moisturiser. My two main go to moisturisers at the moment are the Aveeno Shea Butter Skin Relief (£3.99) and the La Roche-Posey Cicaplast Baume B5 (£13.50) (see full review here). As the Aveeno lotion contains shea butter and a triple oat complex is feels super moisturising and nourishing. Earlier on in the month I started using the Cicaplast Baume B5 all over my body but now that I don't have as many dry areas I tend to only use it on dry patches and then a normal moisturiser all over.

Moving onto the face, I don't know if it's the change in weather or my change in diet (I'm trying to be good as I'm going to Thailand in 2 weeks!!) but my skin seems to be freaking out at the moment. I've been so impressed with La Roche-Posey recently as they seem to have a solution for every skin concern and when my skin went crazy they were definitely the brand I reached for. Efficlar Duo (£13.00) is a corrective and unglogging product that really works to rid your skin of impurities. I've found it's amazing for calming down spots, speeding up the heeling process and helping with scaring. It's an all round amazing product that is a firm bedside favourite. 
My go to cleanser at the moment has been the Jurlique Rose Moisture Plus (£18)* (full review here) as I find it has a lovely luxurious feeling and smells delicious- it's also perfect for dry sensitive skin. 

Lastly, the lips, not only do you need to keep them hydrated in Winter but you also need to buff away any dead, flaky skin. For this I love Lush's Lip Scrub in Mint Julips (£5.50) as it tastes like after eight mints and leaves your lips smooth and hydrated. 

*PR Sample
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Christmas Beauty Crackers & Baubles 2013


Origins Crackers (6)- £45 Available from Harvey Nichols from 1st Dec 

There's such an amazing collection of beauty Christmas crackers and baubles this year that I feel there's something for every beauty lover out there. My personal favourites are the origins xmas bauble as it's really well priced and allows you to try out a good range of their products and then the Clarins crackers as I think they would look beautiful on the table and have a really great selection of presents inside. 
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My Instagram Week

My Instagram week @gemmalw7
My first Starbucks Christmas Latte-- Flowers from my boyfriend-- The opening of the new Dior shop in Covent Garden-- A cosy Saturday night in-- The Bobbi Brown Christmas lipgloss collection.
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Haircare Saviours


These 4 bottles are my firm haircare favourites for combating heat, damage and locks that generally lack volume. First off the L'Oreal Elnett Satin Heat Protect Spray (£3.99) is something that I've been using consistently for about a year and I can't really fault it. This is the volumising product from the Elnett range and I use it every single time before drying my hair. I spritz a few sprays all over and then use my Tangle Teezer to get out any knots. I find these two products go perfectly together as I don't feel like I'm pulling too much on my hair when de-tangling. 

After I've used my heat protective spray I'll then spritz a few sprays of the John Frieda Volume Blow Out spray* (£6.99) (full review here) as I think it gives really great root boost. If I don't use this product then I tend to use the Bumble & bumble Thickening Full Form Mousse* (£21.50) (full review here), I can't decide which of these two are my favourite volume boosting products as they both do an excellent job of adding a little oomph to your hair without weighing it down. 

Lastly, before I go to bed at night I like to use the Dove Leave in Conditioner for Coloured Hair (£2.30). Depending on whether I'm washing my hair the next day I'll either us a few pumps or completely coat my hair as I find it works really great as a full hair treatment to leave your hair super soft whilst smelling delicious. 

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Beauty Bargain- Magazine Freebie


Since less and less people are buying hard copies of magazines these days companies need to offer some kind of incentive to draw in customers. We are definitely entering a phase of amazing magazine freebies and the December issue of Marie Claire is no different. With this month's issue you receive a full sized bottle of Rituals Sweet Orange and Cedar Fortune Scrub worth £10, which has the perfect grainy texture to buff away any of that dry winter skin with a refreshing citrus and musk scent. If this isn't an incentive I don't know what is!

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The Festive Sunday Post


I'm sure every man and his dog has now seen the 2013 John Lewis Christmas ad but I thought I would post it anyway as I had a super hectic afternoon in Selfridges and now I'm all wrapped up with a hot chocolate and feeling extremely Christmassy.
I hope you've all had a lovely weekend. 
Enjoy x

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Life Lately



Instagram: gemmalw7

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