Saturday, 7 November 2015

2015 Beauty Advent Calendars Round-Up

2015 Beauty Advent Calendars

In the past couple of weeks, my 2014 Advent Calendar Round-Up has seen a sudden spike in views so I figured it was about time to do an updated version for this festive season. Like last year, these aren't necessarily the most impressive calendars (excuse you Charlotte Tilbury Book of Makeup Magic) or the best value, but they are the calendars that I would most love to receive.

1 //  M&S Beauty, £25 (when you spend £25 on M&S Beauty)
I've been on a huge M&S kick lately & I think many people would be surprised by some of the brands found in their advent calendar this year, including Stila, REN, Rituals & several other well-known names. The price also makes it a fantastic deal compared to some of the other calendars in this list, especially if you were already planning on doing some of your Christmas shopping in the M&S Beauty aisles.

2 //  Benefit Party Popppers, £34.50
If you've been reading this blog for a while you'll know that I have a pretty love/hate relationship with Benefit. However, a lot of that comes from the huge variation in quality between their products, so this cute advent calendar seems like a good way to try before you buy. You're only getting 12 "deluxe sample" sized products here so it's not fantastic value for money, but I think this would be a lovely gift for a teen who's just getting into makeup.

3 //  Lush 12 Days of Christmas, £49.95
One of the biggest issues with beauty advent calendars is the risk of ending up with products you won't use, which is why I love this Lush one. 12 of their best selling festive products in a lovely retro-style package. Yes please.

4  //  YouBeauty, £59.95
I actually bought the YouBeauty advent calendar last year (you can read my initial first impressions as well as my reviews of all the products here) although it's worth noting that the price has gone up £10 since last year. What YouBeauty do well is variety - there's a real mix of products & brands in this calendar, all of which would appeal to a wide range of people (I think this would be sweet to share if you lived in a home with a couple of beauty-lovers).

5  //  The Body Shop, £60/£80
This year the Body Shop have released two advent calendars: their standard one for £60 (which you can buy online here) & a premium one for £80 which it looks like you can only find in-store. Honestly, these both seem a little overpriced (but then I feel that way about the Body Shop's products too) but it looks like a nice mix of products (skincare, fragrance & makeup) & you know the quality will be good.

6  //  No.7, £38
Boots' No.7 range doesn't get the credit it deserves in the beauty world - I'm a big fan of their foundations, lipsticks & eyeshadows - & at £38 for 25 products (including 6 full size items) this seems like great value for money. My only reservation is that (like a lot of beauty advent calendars) No.7 have stuck to more neutral items to maximise the calendar's appeal, which means that if you favour bolder shades this might not be for you.

7  //  Selfridges Beauty Workshop, £60
This is definitely the luxury calendar of the lot, although in terms of price it's pretty reasonable. Inside are some amazing product samples from brands like Eve Lom, Ole Henriksen & OCC making this the perfect choice for someone who knows their stuff in terms of beauty but still wants to treat themselves in the run-up to Christmas.

Even though I swore I wouldn't get a beauty advent calendar this year some of these have me seriously tempted. Which calendars have caught your eye this festive season?

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

OOTD: #FatGirlsCan Wear Turtlenecks

Plus Size Turtleneck OOTD
Turtleneck: M&S  //  Necklace: Next  //  Belt: Primark  //  Skirt: New Look  //  Tights: ASOS  //  Boots: New Look

Growing up chubby meant I internalised a whole range of bizarre rules about what I could & couldn't wear, & for some reason turtlenecks ended up firmly in the second category. 

I think maybe the ~*logic*~ was that all that extra fabric snuggled round your neck would instantly remind people how fat you secretly were, but fuck that because turtlenecks are super cosy & perfect especially for transitioning into Winter.

Plus Size Turtleneck OOTD

Finding plus size turtlenecks can be tricky, but I've been loving the selection at Marks & Spencers, & am totally angling for this cashmere number to find its way under my Christmas tree. If you have a relatively small bust I'd also recommend checking out the "men's" section of sites like ASOS as men's basics tend to be cheaper than women's & the sizing is often slightly more generous (I wear a 20 in women's & a XXL in men's).

Plus Size Turtleneck OOTD

I also think turtlenecks look great layered with other pieces, which is good news for me as I've fallen back in love with my Winter coat from last year. I bought this mint number from New Look when I first started working last Autumn & it still looks great, plus it's more practical than my Simply Be Shaggy Fur Jacket when the weather gets really cold.

I took today off work in order to spend it with my fiancé who'll be heading to the US for three weeks on Thursday & that meant I had a bit more time to spend on my makeup. I'm still loving my Laura Mercier Artist Palette - Kir Royal & Espresso Bean make for a great purple smoky eye. If you'd be interested in more details on the makeup I'm wearing in my OOTDs let me know in the comments below.

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