Sunday, December 15, 2013

Hair Heroes..?

My hair can be a handful at the best of times, but with the cold weather drawing in, my poor, dried-out ends are in need of an extra boost..or three. So lately, I've been concentrating my (minimal) beauty-related shopping efforts on picking up a couple of helping hands for my dehydrated locks, the first and most notable of which being the Charles Worthington Salon at Home Secrets Collection Moisture Seal Intense Rescue Melting Balm (phew! Longest name ever!?) Thick and waxy in texture, this emulsifies into an oil when rubbed between the hands, and is spread generously through dry hair. Leave for twenty minutes and then wash and condition as normal, and hey presto - soft, bouncy, healthy-looking hair. Yes, I'm fully aware that I sound like a shampoo advert, but this little pot of magic really is something.
Next up, I've been brandishing this little Bumble & Bumble duo when styling my bonce (!) The Bumble & Bumble Thickening Hairspray (£7.50 for 50ml) is spritzed on generously and combed through while hair is damp, while the Shine On Finishing Spray is misted over the hair once styled for a glossier finish.
Now I may be about to shock some of you, given the fantastic reputation this stuff has, but I'm not at all convinced the Thickening Hairspray is all it's cracked up to be. In fact, I can't determine any notable difference between when I have and haven't used it.  I'm definitely glad I picked up the miniature version rather than immediately splurging £22 on the full-size! Bumble & Bumble do, however, recommend that this is layered up over their Tonic Lotion for best results, so it's a toss-up between giving that a go or shelving my spray for good.
As for the Shine On, this one does the job and makes a lovely finishing spray with a pleasant scent.  Used sparingly, it gives me a polished look which is perfect for the party season.

Which products have you been relying on to get your hair ready for the Christmas festivities?

If you haven't entered my Christmas giveaway yet then there is still time - enter via the widget below for your chance to win gifts from Yankee Candle, Ren, Bumble & Bumble, Bourjois and M&S!
Good luck!

Monday, December 9, 2013

John Lewis Blogger's Secret Santa: Unwrapped!

Christmas has come early here at Mirror on the Wall!
You may remember me mentioning a few weeks back that I had been invited to take part in a very exciting Secret Santa gift swap this year - arranged for us bloggers by the one and only John Lewis. Now, unless you've been hiding under a rock, you will have undoubtedly seen, or at least heard about their Christmas advert for 2013, The Bear and the Hare. If you haven't, then I strongly suggest you hold on at the end of this post and give it a watch, as it's absolutely adorable!
Anyway, back to the matter at hand.

My John Lewis Blogger's Secret Santa gift - from the lovely Jessica Louise over at Forever Miss Vanity - arrived in two parts, and the first package was ripped eagerly open to reveal a beautifully embroidered red stocking. I was instantly excited, and upon reaching inside I was met with a plethora of Liz Earle goodies - now show me a beauty blogger who wouldn't be thrilled to bits with that! The treats included a full-size tube of the iconic Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser, and travel-sizes of the Instant Boost Skin Tonic, Skin Repair Moisturiser, Orange Flower Botanical Body Wash and Nourishing Botanical Body Cream, as well as a couple of muslin cloths to boot. For me, this couldn't have come at a better time, as having recently reverted back to Cleanse and Polish, I had just reached the end of my tube of the limited edition Grapefruit and Patchouli version.
Exclusive to John Lewis, this Liz Earle Jan Constantine Stocking Skincare Giftset is available for £50, and I think that this would make a fantastic stocking-filler for any skincare lover out there.
Next up came the second part of the gift, and for me the most exciting of all. Jessica got it absolutely spot on with this one, and I shrieked with excitement upon tearing open the second box to be met with a beautiful Jo Malone box. I instantly knew that Jessica had been doing her homework, as I have often harped on about just how much I wanted to make a Jo Malone candle mine, and this Mandarin and Lime Basil delight now has pride of place on my living room mantelpiece!
John Lewis has got a range of luxury Jo Malone candles in-store, with the 250g setting you back £39. You can find the larger size of the Jo Malone Lime Basil and Mandarin Deluxe Candle by clicking the link, but I'd definitely recommend having a browse at some of their other scents too!

Personally, I'm absolutely pleased as punch with my Secret Santa gifts, and I hope Jessica is too. I'm so greateful to have been given the opportunity to take part in such a fantastic event and it's really got me into the festive spirit.
Now? It's time for a freshly baked mince pie and a glass of mulled wine.


Have you taken part in a Secret Santa this year?
Where will you be doing your Christmas shopping?


Monday, December 2, 2013

Lush Santa's Lip Scrub

Having missed out on Lush's Christmas offerings for the last few years, I was in there like a shot when they rolled out their festive favourites this time round. I'd been meaning to pick up a lip scrub for some while, as I do tend to suffer from dry, flaky lips at the best of times, so as you can imagine, the winter months are even more of a catalyst. Is there anything more annoying when you're keen to showcase the latest lippy to have joined your collection?? I think not, and with Christmas just around the corner, I'd say it's a pretty likely scenario.
After a thorough discussion with one of the very knowledgeable sales assistants, I made my selection, the first item being Santa's Lip Scrub. At the time, I was drawn in by the assistant's suggestion that it was made with fig, but upon closer inspection on arriving home, I noticed that it was actually cola. Is there fig somewhere in the ingredients? Not that I can see. Maybe I misheard her.
Anyway, onto the product itself. As with all Lush lip scrubs, it comes in a sturdy screw-top pot, which is handy for keeping it fresh, as well as ensuring that nothing goes to waste. Very much a coarse sugar-scrub in texture, I massage this into my lips a couple of times a week to leave them feeling smooth, soft, and ready for a vibrant lip colour. I was advised that there's a balm to go with this, which I may well pick up on my next visit. I wouldn't have thought I'd much enjoy any cola-flavoured beauty product, but it's actually quite pleasant, and more reminiscent of those gummy cola bottle penny sweets from back in the day. Remember how they actually were a penny!?? How times have changed - I saw them at 5p in the local shop last week.
Anyway, I digress. This does the job, and I'll definitely be using it up. But frankly, I didn't really see where the Christmas theme was meant to fit in. Unless we're relating it to the Christmas Coca Cola adverts, which really, I think is clutching at straws.

Are you a fan of the Lush Christmas range, or do you have another favourite festive beauty product?

Don't forget to enter my Christmas Giveaway if you haven't already!


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