Blogmas: How to pick the perfect Secret Santa Gift + Ideas

Christmas is just round the corner and I literally have not even started tackling my Christmas gift list 😩

However, my Christmas gift list isn’t actually that big. I have a very big family who all come together on Christmas day, but a few years ago we all decided that instead of everyone buying everyone a Christmas gift, we’d do a big Secret Santa.

Secrets don’t really work in my family, but somehow, we kinda all keep our secret santa nominee to ourselves lol (I say secret because i always manage to get it out my brother and sister 😆)

Now, I know this isn’t a new concept to many, as people usually take part in work place secret santa and even among friend groups, but, what I really used to hate was the price cap. Even now I don’t think £10-£15 is a high enough price to buy a decent Christmas gift, however, if you use your imagination, you can find some really good things.

There are a few things to consider;

The Person. This may sound obvious but you really need to think about the person you’ve got. What I love about secret santa is that it makes you have to find out a bit more information about the person you’re buying for. Gone are the day when a gift voucher or box of chocolates are acceptable 😯

What do they do for a living. Once you’ve got your secret santa, it’s time to think about something that they like. I immediately think of what they do for a living, however it’s worth considering if they love their job or just do it ‘because’. Do they work in an office? Perhaps get them a desk tidy or some fancy stationary they’ll be proud to use. Do they hate their job? Get something that’ll cheer them up everyday.

Interests: If you want to get something non-work related. Think about their interests and hobbies. Do they go to the gym? Are they a beauty fanatic? Are they fashion conscious? Do they love to cook/bake? Be pro-active in finding something they’ll actually use.

Are they crazy about Christmas? I think we all know at least one person who’s crazy about Christmas, i’m talking about the type to have their Christmas tree up in October! This is the easiest person to buy for in my opinion. Personalisation in 2016 is a key trend, so something like personalised baubles, stockings, a Christmas jumper… the lists really do go on.

For the person you don’t know at all. Once in a blue moon we’ll get appointed someone who we don’t know all that well. This is your chance to go full-on detective and do some digging!

I recently took part in a secret santa at my new work place I didn’t know anything about what the person liked. So being nosy, I found out that she recently moved into a new place. Perfecto! I bought her a few pieces she could use in her new home.

If you’ve got a Secret Santa coming up or you’re struggling to find a nice gift, consider my tips and take a look at my gift ideas…

Gift Ideas

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Monthly Favourites: JULY

Why is the year moving so quickly? Am I the only one feeling that if I blink twice it’ll be Christmas?

With that being said, let’s not waste any time and jump straight into my July favourites!

Throughout the month of July, I’ve been loving a mixture of things, I didn’t really overly indulge this month but, when I find something I love, I will use it to its death, so the first thing on my list has to be…

1.Benefit Precisely My Brow Pencil

Since purchasing the Benefit brow in late June (have you read my review yet?), the Benefit Precisely My Brow Pencil, has been my go-to eyebrow pencil! I absolutely love it. I would go as far to say that’s it the best eyebrow pencil I’ve ever bought and there have been many!👀 😅

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It just gives me the perfect brow every time, with its thin, precise tip and creamy formula, and I totally prefer it to Benefits Goof Proof Pencil.

The packaging is absolutely lush too. The only thing I would say, is that it needs to have more product *sobs into tissue* as mine ran out yesterday 😭

2. Spotify 🎧

I’ve been signed up to spotify for about a year now, but it’s only since I started driving to work (I spend about 10 hours a week in my car), that I’ve fully appreciated this app on my phone – it has every song possible -EXCEPT Statik Selektah Look of Love – like –  where can I track down this bomb ass playlist? If you know, let me know, cos I need it my life!

These are my fave playlists at the moment.

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I have to listen to something gangsta in the morning, then on the way home, maybe some chilled vibes with the soul queen – Jill Scott.

What playlists would you recommend on spotify?

3. Topshop sandals

I wasn’t meant to actually buy sandals but, as I’m such a clever clogs and decided to wear wedges into London (I mean, who actually does that) for the Blogger Hangout event my feet needed some comfort, as they were burning from all the walking, so I stopped in Topshop and found these.

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No word of a lie, these are THE best sandals I have ever bought. Genuine leather sandals for £28… it’s a bloody bargain! You know when you normally get a pair of shoes and you have to break them in, yeah… I didn’t have to do that with these.

As you can see from their sorry state, I practically live in them – I really should invest in another pair, but I love the simplicity of the design and the fact that they wrap around the ankle-which is kind of ‘in’ at the moment.

4. Pandora Sykes

I read a lot of blogs but if you’ve never heard of Pandora Sykes, please get to know. Her writing style is just amazing and in all honesty she possesses a writing style I would love to have. She discusses some great topics on her blog, and her sense of style is just ugghhhh 🙌 – check out her blog!

5. everydayisblackfriday.co.uk

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I cannot remember the last time I bought something online, without searching for a discount code.

Call me cheap, but, there really are too many savings to be had!

Everydayisblackfriday.co.uk is a website that works slightly differently. It tracks down the best deals and discount codes for you, so all you have to do is search for the item you want and buy it at a discounted rate.

They’ve got so many brands on their website, that it’s really is worth checking here first, to see if you can get it cheaper, than buying straight from the source.

As I shop a lot at ASOS, I really loved that everydayisblackfriday.co.uk post when there are discount codes that can be used on ASOS too – so f you’re like me and always looking for a good bargain, make sure you bookmark this page!

6. Harry Potter

Eeek! This is where my inner nerd comes out! 👓 ⚡️

Harry Potter came out this month, how could this not be one of my faves?

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Anyone else finished the book?

7. Tea Tree Treats

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If you follow me on twitter, you may have seen me tweet about my enlarged pores -such a nuisance. But after watching Tasha Green rave about her Tea Tree oil, I thought I’d hit up The Body Shop and treat myself.

I initially only wanted the Tea Tree Oil which was £12, but I then saw a deal with a bundle of Tea Tree Oil products for £20 so obviously went for that.

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I love that the products deep clean pores and leave my skin feeling squeaky clean and refreshed with a light tingle – am I the only one who likes this sensation?

I’ve always reacted well towards Tea Tree oil so, I’m exciting to start using these long term to see how my skin improves, but already, I’ve seen my pores reduce in size, which is always a good thing!

So, there you have it, my July favourites! Have you got anything you would absolutely recommend trying? 

See you on my next post x

 

 

MINI Lush Haul

Like many other beauty bloggers I’m a huge fan of Lush. I don’t often take baths – I’m more of a shower kind of girl, but when I do a gorgeous bath bomb is what I like to reach for, and Lush caters for just that, however, during my recent trip I picked up some goodies!

A few days ago, I headed into my local shopping centre for a little treat, I just felt that I needed some TLC and some ME time.

After a bit of aimless roaming, I passed Lush and the sweet scents caught me, I had to turn back.

I ended up spending a good hour and a half in store, with the loveliest Customer Assistant. It was her last day in store, but she made it so memorable for me. She spent so much time answering my questions, demonstrating new products on my skin, she was brilliant – I just love when I have a lovely in store experience, it really does make me wana SPEND!

When I entered, I knew I was in need of some hand cream. This time of year really tends to cause havoc for my skin,  not juts my face, but my hands and I hate having dry hands – its the absolute worst. I go through about 2 hand creams a month which is quite ridiculous, so I thought I’d see what lush had to offer. I began trying different creams and instantly knew I needed Helping Hand. This cream quickly sinks in and caters to hands that are always in sinks – even though my hands aren’t always in water, they feel like they are, so I felt like it was an obvious choice for me.

Packed with almond oil, cocoa butter and camomile, this cream really tackles the dry crusty areas, you know the bits in between the fingers and aims to soothe them, really moisturising, without leaving my hands oily or greasy – Instant Buy.

After trying it myself the lady in Lush came over, so I explained my dry hand woes and she took me over to the sink to really demonstrate how it worked.

She handed me this Blue salt scrub aka Rub Rub Rub, which I rubbed all over my hands. As I started to wash off the scrub under the tap, I could instantly feel the difference. My hands felt like butter! My hands have never felt like butter!

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Another item added to the basket… sorry, but not really that sorry.

The lady then advised me to dab the excess water off my hand, so my hands retained a good amount of moisture, without too much excess. On one hand she gave me the Helping Hand hand cream, which felt oh soooo good. She left the other hand dry while she went to get another product.

Now, you may think I’m exaggerating, but if I leave my hands a second without creaming them after they’ve been in water my skin gets ashy and uncomfortably tight almost instantly, but after using Rub Rub Rub I genuinely felt moisturised.

When she returned, she came back with a body conditioner – Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner. This is heaven scent -like the play on words? Ha. It smells beautiful. Like roses and honey. She advised to put this on while in the shower and wash off, so it doesn’t leave a greasy residue – perfect when I’m running late to work.

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After bagging 3 items I continued to roam around their cosmetics section, which I never knew they had, did you?

I was drawn to all their facial cleansers, but my purse was crying at this point but the lady was kind enough to give me a sample of Ultra Bland a gentle yet thorough cleanser which she recommended after I raved about Body Shop’s Camomile cleanser – and to be completely honest this works just as well and smells amazing, so i’ll definitely have to purchase next time.

We began just talking about makeup products… as you do, and I told her I use MAC’s strobe cream. After a little search she came back with Feeling Younger – what I feel is a more pigmented highlighter for darker skin tones – read my review.

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After bagging a more than a few new items, I just knew I couldn’t leave without a bath treat, so I picked up their new Flowering Tea – a jasmine scented bath dunk… to subside my tea craving I was having by this point. I haven’t used it yet, but it looked great after a demonstration and it has glitter… how could I say no?

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This was one of the best Lush experiences I’ve ever had, and really cannot wait to go back.

What Lush products have you been enjoying, or are there any you recommend? I would love to know x

Beautiful Skin

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At the start of the year I made a conscious decision to really look after my skin and try and improve it’s overall condition to acheive #beautifulskin

I have Oily/normal combination skin and suffer from scarring and oversized pores, so if I don’t follow a strict skincare routine, I find the texture of my skin becomes really rough and oily and my pores become super magnified meaning my makeup doesn’t blend in well

As a result I visited The Body Shop. It’s not a store I’ve ever bought from, but, I thought I’d try it out as I kept seeing some of my fave YouTubers rave about their products and loving the results.

I explained to the sales assistant what my main skincare problems were and what I wanted to tackle, and she gave me some really useful advice. She recommended two products in particular…

Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter – This is a product that i’ve wanted to use for some time. As I wear makeup practically everyday when I’m going to work, but one thing I find hard to do is take off my makeup before I go to bed – I know it’s really bad!

This cleansing butter is a miracle product, it has the same consistency as coconut oil. In the tin it’s solid, but once you warm it up by rubbing it in your hand you apply to a dry face of makeup, it turns into an oil. The oil gets to work immediately and saturates your makeup, after I just wipe clean with a muslin cloth and warm water.

This product smells great, it’s relaxing and works a treat so I’d definitely re-buy and recommend as it’s so much better for your skin than using a makeup wipe and just as easy to use.

My next step is to moisturise using the Drops of Youth… This product is from one of the newer skincare collections and I was not immediately sold, but thought I’d give it a try and it’s proven to be great.

I’ve been using both products for over a month and I’m really enjoying using them as a duo. This moisturiser has a weird oily consistency – a gel to water liquid care- to be correct, which I wasn’t too keen on as I have oily skin, however, once applied and massaged into the skin, it dries more matte – perfect!

The Drops of Youth also contain plant stem cells, which help restore and repair the damaged and unhealthy skin, leaving the skin softer, smoother and moisturised.

It’s safe to say that I’ll be back to try out some of their newer collections, do you have any recommendations?