The Best Beauty Advent Calendars That Are Still In Stock!

28 November 2016

Does anyone else cringe slightly when they hear the words 'advent calendar chocolate'? Well, advent calendars have certainly come a long way since we were nippers; we waved goodbye to those stale chocolate novelty ones in favour of 'posh chocolate shop' versions, and in the last few years we've said hello to something truly special... the beauty advent calendar. 

In all honesty I would've chosen a beauty advent calendar over my various Disney ones even as a child, and it's a concept I can't believe wasn't invented sooner. Pretty much every brand brings out their own version these days and unsurprisingly they sell like hotcakes, so I've rounded up the best of the best that are still in stock and available to buy. Nearly all of the following have major discounts as today is Cyber Monday, so don't hesitate!

The first on my list is the You Beauty Box YOU Advent Calendar as it's packed full of my favourite brands and covers every base from an on-trend eyeshadow palette to an Oskia face mask and a festive candle from The White Company. I've had a look through the products within this year's selection and there's honestly nothing in there that I wouldn't use - every single item is something I've either wanted to try for ages or am really intrigued by and want to open right this second, so for me it really is a must-have that stands out from the crowd. With its contents adding up to a whopping £270, it's definitely one of the best value calendars on the market this year and to make it even sweeter, you can get 25% off until the 30th November with the code 'BLACK25'. You're welcome!

If you watched my Vlogmas 2015 you'll know that I opened the Tanya Burr Deck The Hauls Advent Calendar on every other day, and this year will be no exception as I managed to get my hands on the Tanya Burr 12 Days of Christmas Gift Set. Although I enjoyed opening it I found that Deck The Hauls was more suitable for younger people compared to say Tanya's new Autumn collection, so this would make the perfect early present for any YouTube-loving teen and make the run-up to Christmas Day even more fun. Including nail polishes, eye shimmers and lip glosses, the calendar is sold out in Superdrug but you can still get it from Feel Unique with 15% off - just enter code 'MAKEITMAGIC' at checkout, and there's a free Beauty Diary with any orders over £50 as well.

Another Vlogmas 2015 gem I opened every day and truly loved (and you guys did too, judging by the comments section!) was by Johnny Loves Rosie and they've brought out a 2016 version of their Gold Advent Calendar. I'd never heard of a jewellery advent calendar before and the items were surprisingly wearable and well-made, nearly all pieces I'd buy and wear anyway and it was something I really grew to look forward to throughout the month of December. There were dainty little necklaces and adorable delicate bracelets with lots of tiny detailed festive charms to adorn them with, it was truly something special! You can actually still buy last year's here, and if you order this year's from River Island make sure you enter the code 'FREEDEL16' for free standard worldwide delivery.

Molton Brown is one of my favourite brands and their Scented Luxuries Advent Calendar is on another level of lovely - would you just look at that gorgeous drawer design? They have so many scents in their range and I don't know about you but I'd like to try them all, so this calls to me as these mini sizes are a great way of finding out which ones you like best and need in your bathroom all year round. It's pricier than the other calendars I've mentioned so far but as a premium brand it's a lavish way to start every day, and they're offering 25% off with code 'UKBF25'. Do check out their limited edition Christmas range - I'm obsessed with Rosa Absolute and Fabled Juniper Berries & Lapp Pine.

If you're a Soap & Glory fan then you'll love The Vintage Cosmetic Company Luxury Beauty Advent Calendar as it's jam-packed full of cutesy items like gold eyelash curlers and kitsch shower caps. For just over £20 you can get the 7 Days of Clinique Advent Calendar and for just under £30 there's the Benefit Girl O'Clock Rock. The Makeup Revolution Beauty Advent Calendar is such good value for money anyway let alone now that it has £10 off, and the Technic 12 Days of Xmas Advent Calendar is half price.

Amazingly the Charlotte Tilbury World of Legendary Parties Advent Calendar is still in stock! Try as I might I couldn't find a discount code for you guys, but I'd definitely recommend snapping one up as The Tilbs always smashes it out of the park and you won't be disappointed with the goodies you'll find inside. Last but not least there's something for the men in your life - the Clarins Men 12 Days of Christmas Set - and quite rightly too, as there aren't enough of these on the market and I'm really tempted to get one for Will.

Have you got a beauty advent calendar this year? Roll on December so we can start opening!

The Perfect Pair of Blue Jeans? I've Found 'Em!

27 November 2016

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As a long-limbed human being I always found it difficult to find jeans that hit me at the right places and fit as dreamily as I wanted them to - they either hugged my waist wonderfully but swung inches above my ankles, or they were the right length but I needed to create extra notches in my belt. Eventually I discovered a pair which I stuck with, despite them having a tendency to lose their hold and colour after a few washes, until now.

Now, you see, I've found a new pair that tick every box: high-rise, waist-hugging, super skinny, holding power, ideal length. They're from Hollister and are their High-Rise Super Skinny Jeans, and as I nearly always opt for black I decided to switch things up in the denim department and go for a gorgeous rich deep blue that has a subtle fade to make them look nice and 'lived in'. I pretty much haven't taken them off since I got them as they fit like a glove - I ordered a 3 and went for the 'long' leg length - and if I could design a perfect pair of blue jeans in my head, they'd be these!

I've been pairing them with this Grey Lace Hem Sweater that's unbelievably soft, has really pretty detailing around the bottom and is only £17.50 at the moment! I also picked up the same jumper in the Cream version as it's such a 'me' knit. 

As this is something I'd wear for a cosy family day of walking the dog and stopping at a pub for Sunday lunch, I've gone for comfy ankle boots - these tan Western ones are a couple of years old from Warehouse but I've found some similar and affordable ones from New Look here and here. My bag is last year's Kurt Geiger Frances Wine Cross Body Bag, and they have a new version this year called the Serena Wine Cross Body Bag that's just as lovely!

I've finished the look with my Daniel Wellington Dapper Durham Watch, a checked scarf and a dainty sideways gold feather necklace, as well as a swipe of the Tanya Burr Cosmetics Lipstick in 'Big Kiss' for a warm red autumnal lip.  

All of the websites I've featured are running Cyber Weekend deals of up to 50% off, so make sure you check out the links above to ensure you get those discounts!

This post is sponsored by Hollister. All opinions and words are 100% my own and honest. Affiliate links have been used. For more information, please see my disclaimer here

My Birthday Weekend Essentials

10 November 2016

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No matter how many years go past, I still get as excited about birthdays as I did when I was little. We've got such a cute home video of me coming down the stairs in pink pyjamas on my third birthday exclaiming, "Daddy, I am fee!", which led to lots of "Meg, you're twenty fee!" messages from family when I turned another year older recently.

Celebrations this year consisted of being whisked away by my boyfriend to a gorgeous countryside retreat called The Norfolk Mead on Friday - which meant waking up on my birthday in a huge marshmallow hotel bed, absolute dream - followed by driving home for a chilled afternoon before a night of laughs and drinks in a cosy pub with my closest friends. The following day, Sunday, was my older brother's turn (yep, he got a little sister for his second birthday!) and we had a really lovely time as all our family came over for the day then we headed into Norwich for a meal at Prime.

As you can tell it was rather jam-packed and on your birthday you want to feel extra special, so here are my birthday weekend essentials that saw me through non-stop hugging, present opening, cake eating and Prosecco drinking!

First things first, when it's your special day you want to feel comfortable, relaxed and protected. Feeling unable to throw your arms in the air and wave 'em about like you just don't care when Little Mix's latest track comes on because you're worried about sweat patches? It's a thing of the past with Perspirex and their range of highly effective perfume-free antiperspirants, designed to offer extra protection against sweat and body odour. Aside from it actually working and the Comfort version being the only antiperspirant on the market to actively minimise potential skin irritation, my favourite thing is how long it lasts, as one application sees you through 3-5 days and you can even shower and apply regular deodorant on top without minimising its efficiency at keeping you dry and fresh. With a busy weekend of non-stop birthday plans, it was definitely a product I couldn't have gone without!

Whenever I get a skincare sample in a beauty box or magazine I pop it in a little drawer which comes in so handy for travelling and overnight stays, so before Will and I drove to our hotel I made sure I packed some essentials. I cleansed with the Merumaya Melting Cleansing Balm, toned with the Aromatherapy Associates Hydrating Rose Skin Tonic, applied the Clinique All About Eyes De-Puffing Serum and the Emma Hardie Amazing Face Age Support Treatment Cream - then I was good to go!

An everyday essential for me is fragrance, and as it was my birthday and my best friend Tom very kindly gave me the Jo Malone London Wood Sage & Sea Salt Cologne, I decided to pair it with my favourite Peony & Blush Suede Cologne as part of their Fragrance Combining art. It gave an extra special twist to my usual go-to scent and I totally fell in love with the floral, woody combination. Another go-to for me is a nude lipstick, but recently I've discovered a colour that's unlike anything else I've got in my collection which is why I opted for it throughout my 23rd. It's part of the new Tanya Burr Cosmetics Autumn Collection and is the shade 'Pink Cocoa',  a warm 90s brown-toned nude with just enough mauve pink to make it super wearable and a really flattering slightly sheeny satin finish. I found it went with every look over my birthday weekend from a natural daytime makeup to a heavy bronze smokey eye, and I just had to have it in my handbag at all times!

Speaking of handbags, my bag of choice was my beautiful Charlotte Elizabeth The Grey Bloomsbury that I simply adore for so many reasons! It's incredibly well-made, has an unbelievable amount of room inside (I even took my birthday presents from my friends on Saturday night home in it!) and I'm yet to find an outfit that it doesn't perfectly complement which makes it the perfect accessory all year round.

Inside my The Grey Bloomsbury - aside from a large handful of receipts, mints and way more lip balms than one person could ever need, of course - was my trusty vlogging camera, the Canon S120. I recently started a brand new vlog channel and wanted to capture some moments from the weekend, so I couldn't possibly have left that behind and I loved committing memories to film so we can watch them back in years to come, just like "I am fee!" home video that always brings a smile to my face.

All in all, it was a weekend that had everything I love about birthdays in it; family, friends, quality time and lots of smiles. It was great to feel so protected and confident in myself thanks to Perspirex, and I'm so lucky to have such awesome, thoughtful people around me as well as the cutest viewers who all sent well wishes!

This post is sponsored by Perspirex. All opinions are 100% my own and honest. Affiliate links have been used. For more information, please see my disclaimer here

The Autumn/Winter Scent That Makes Everything Come Up Roses

2 November 2016

Akin to my wardrobe, my skincare and my makeup, I love changing my fragrance as we move through the seasons. I used to be 100% loyal to one perfume in particular and whilst I'd still refer to it as my signature scent, fragrance is all too big of a beauty category for me to just wear one and finding a new favourite is always such a pleasure. Enter one of Molton Brown's latest collections, Rosa Absolute, which is my go-to choice for autumn and winter.

Firstly, would you just look at that packaging. Could it look any more festive and downright gorgeous? Everything from the decadent tinted glass to the ruby-red ribbons tied around the bottles shouts 'wrap me up and put me under the tree for someone special' to the point where simply looking at the products makes me excited for Christmas. I feel like Molton Brown is such an excellent choice for gift-giving as there's something for everyone, and their sets are really something special.

Onto the fragrance itself, Molton Brown invited myself and a truly lovely group of bloggers to discover Rosa Absolute at Bocca Di Lupo in Soho where we had such a nice evening of amazing pasta, great chats and a lot of sniffing as we were taken through the Rosa Absolute scent in detail, individually smelling each component of the fragrance before the scent was unveiled in its entirety. It's the most stunning bouquet of berries, rose and patchouli and it blew my socks off, put simply!

Molton Brown set the scene behind the inspiration for the fragrance: "A private dressing chamber, draped in the deepest darkest ruby. Hushed, dark whispers unmasked sub rosa. The theatre of nightfall, a promise full of mystery. Devote your senses to an intoxicating secret. Voluptuous. Dramatic. Impassioned." I'd really recommend checking out their Behind The Blend page, as it tells the story of the scent perfectly and is so visually pleasing also!

It really is a very opulent and captivating scent, one that I personally think is perfect for the colder months and I can't think of anything better than spraying my scarf with the Rosa Absolute Eau De Toilette and heading out into the crisp air, letting the fragrance develop throughout the day and breathing it in whenever I need a moment of calm. If you immediately think 'granny' when you hear rose then you'll be pleasantly surprised by this as it's a nice modern take on rose that's fresh as well as prettily sweet and deliciously spicy. 

I also have the Rosa Absolute Bath & Shower Gel and the Rosa Absolute Body Lotion which I love just as much as the perfume, and various gift sets are also available. I'll definitely be purchasing some for the ladies in my family and in Will's, as on more than one occasion I've whipped the perfume out of my bag for someone to have a smell and so far, I haven't had a single person do anything except let out a big sigh and say either "wow", "oh my gosh" or "oooooh!" The proof's in the pudding, guys.