Cruelty-free or not cruelty-free? That is the question…

My resolution for 2018 is to become completely cruelty-free with my toiletries and make-up. This requires some research as it is often unclear which brands are/aren’t cruelty-free, particularly on the high street. For example, some brands which are cruelty-free aren’t certified and don’t carry a cruelty-free symbol. My lists below show which UK high street brands are and aren’t cruelty-free to help you make informed choices when making a purchase. Every product you buy is a vote either for or against animal-testing so use your purchase-power to choose wisely.

Cruelty-Free Brands

  • Anastasia Beverly Hills
  • Aveda
  • Balm Balm
  • BareMinerals
  • Barry M
  • Burts Bees
  • Charlotte Tilbury
  • China Glaze
  • Collection
  • Dermalogica
  • Dr Bronner
  • Dr Hauschka
  • Eyeko
  • Hard Candy
  • Hurraw
  • Illamasqua
  • John Masters Organics
  • Joik
  • Kat Von D
  • Kiko
  • Laura Geller
  • Liz Earle
  • Lush
  • Marc Jacobs Beauty
  • Marks & Spencer Beauty
  • Molton Brown
  • Nip + Fab
  • NYR Organics (Neals Yard)
  • NYX
  • Paul Mitchell
  • Pixi
  • Pür
  • Real Techniques
  • REN
  • Rodial
  • Smashbox
  • Soap & Glory
  • Stila
  • Superdrug
  • Tarte
  • The Body Shop
  • The Ordinary
  • Too Faced
  • Urban Decay
  • Wunderbrow
  • Yes To

Brands That Animal-Test

  • Alberto VO5
  • Aquafresh
  • Aussie
  • Aveeno
  • Avon
  • Benefit
  • Bioderma
  • Bobbi Brown
  • Bourjois
  • Bumble & Bumble
  • Burberry
  • Calvin Klein
  • Caudalie
  • Chanel
  • Chapstick
  • Clairol
  • Clarins
  • Clean & Clear
  • Clearasil
  • Clinique
  • Colgate
  • Crest
  • Dior
  • Dolce & Gabbana
  • Dove
  • EOS
  • Estee Lauder
  • Garnier
  • Gatineau
  • Giorgio Armani
  • Givenchy
  • Got2b
  • Guerlain
  • Head & Shoulders
  • Herbal Essences
  • John Frieda
  • Johnsons
  • Just For Men
  • Kerastase
  • Kiehl’s
  • L’Occitane
  • L’Oreal
  • La Mer
  • La Roche Posay
  • Lancôme
  • Listerine
  • MAC
  • Matrix
  • Max Factor
  • Maybelline
  • Mitchum
  • NARS
  • Neutrogena
  • Nice ‘n’ Easy
  • Nivea
  • Nuxe
  • Olay
  • OPI
  • Origins
  • Pantene
  • Pearl Drops
  • Piz Buin
  • Redken
  • Right Guard
  • Rimmel
  • Revlon
  • ROC
  • Schwarzkopf
  • Sensodyne
  • Shiseido
  • Shu Uemura
  • Simple
  • St Ives
  • Tom Ford
  • TRESemmé
  • Vaseline
  • Vidal Sassoon
  • Wella
  • Yves Saint Laurent

If there is a brand not covered by the above that you’d like me to include, or if you think there is an error, please leave a comment below. My Instagram page will be giving more helpful tips on going cruelty-free so go and give it a follow.

Beauty Geek x


Winging It – Best Eyeliner Pens

I love all forms of eyeliner, but at the moment I find I’m reaching for my eyeliner pens the most. Eyeliner pens are quick to put on, with no mess and are easy to pop in my bag when I’m travelling. The key things I look for in an eyeliner pen are ease of application, pigmentation and longevity. I’ve tried a fair few now, so thought I’d share my top three…

eyeliner quote

3rd Place – Eyeko Skinny Liquid Liner £16

This is the first product I’ve tried from Eyeko. I really liked using it – it has a good nib which makes it easy to apply and it has good pigmentation. Considering it’s fairly expensive I thought the packaging could have looked a little more high-end. The main reason this product came in third place is because it had dried out within a fortnight, making it an expensive option.


2nd Place – Kat Von D Tattoo Liner £16

There’s been a lot of fuss about this brand and, in particular, the Tattoo Liner. I loved the gothic-style black and silver packaging although, unfortunately, the print rubbed off in my make-up bag. This was unusual to use at first as the nib is flexible, unlike most other eyeliner pens. The nib is very fine compared to the other two in this post so it is probably the best option for those who like a subtle look. It is waterproof so is very long-lasting, and is the only pen out of the three I tested to come in brown as well as black. It is on the pricier side but lasts quite a while so you do get the value from it.

tattoo liner

1st Place – Kiko Summer 2.0 Eye Marker £8.90

The lovely champagne colour of the packaging makes this pen a very welcome addition to my make-up bag. The pen is a dream to use – it glides on smoothly and the nib is easy to get a precise finish with. It is waterproof so is very long-lasting and didn’t move even when my eyes watered. It’s the most pigmented of the pens I tried with a super jet-black finish. It lasts ages – I’m still on the first one I bought and it’s lasted me well over a month with me using it nearly every day. At half the price of the other two pens it’s a very affordable option and as it’s currently on offer for £4.40 I bet it’s flying off the shelves!

SUMMER2.0 eye marker

Let me know if you try any of the above or if you’ve found an even better eyeliner pen than the Kiko Eye Marker.

Beauty Geek x

Love Lula Beauty Boxes

My last post on beauty boxes proved really popular – if you haven’t read it yet you can find it here: The Battle of the Beauty Box: Birchbox v Glossybox. Following my three month review of these beauty boxes I switched my subscription to Love Lula, partly to have a bit of variety, but mostly because natural beauty and skincare is where my real passion lies.

Love Lula is my favourite online store for buying natural beauty and skincare. It has a really wide range of brands to suit all budgets, free delivery and always has good offers running so I can get money off or some free products thrown in. My only gripe is that sometimes I get hooked on a brand which they then stop stocking – bring back Nuxe please!

The price of the Love Lula Beauty Box is £12.50 per month including p&p, which is competitive with other boxes on the market. It is a recurring month-on-month subscription so once you’ve signed up you must unsubscribe if you want to stop receiving the boxes. There is no cost saving if you opt for the three month or full year subscription – it works out at the same price per month.

Before I start going through the boxes I received I’m going to start with a whinge…my first box took five weeks to arrive. FIVE WEEKS! I am not patient at the best of times so it felt like forever. Love Lula is predominantly an online store that has tapped into the beauty box market and I believe they only send boxes once a month, so if you just miss the cut off date (as I did) you may wait a while for your first box. Following that, all my boxes arrived regularly each month so perhaps I just need to develop a bit more patience 🙂



My first Love Lula Beauty Box was the December one. I had high expectations as most beauty box companies pull out all the stops on the Christmas edition and I wasn’t left disappointed. The box contained:

 Balm Balm Eau De Parfum in Ylang Ylang 33ml ~ £22

 John Masters 100% Argan Oil 3ml ~ £1.65

 PHB Sugar Scrub in Peppermint 100g ~ £4.95

 Beauty Brews in Poise 50g ~ £9.50

 Madara Total Renewal Night Cream ~ £20

Three of the products were full-size (the perfume, body scrub and tea) and the value of the contents was approximately £58.


I liked the variety of the products; a skincare product, a body product, the argan oil (which can be used on the hair or the skin), plus the perfume and tea which were unusual but welcome additions. Having so many full-size products means that if there’s something that’s not to your taste you can gift it.

I was also impressed with the brands – Balm Balm, John Masters and Madara in particular are all big names in the world of natural beauty.

So far, I’ve used the tea, night cream and perfume which are all lovely. I’m looking forward to using the sugar scrub as it is so pretty and smells super minty.

One thing to note is that if you like fancy packaging this box probably isn’t the one for you – the packaging is a plain cardboard box with shredded paper inside. That isn’t a problem for me, as there are only so many fancy boxes I have room for before I have to start throwing them out, which seems like such a waste. I respect that Love Lula’s ethics extends to reducing the impact on the environment from unnecessary packaging.



Balm Balm Face Balm in Rose Geranium 30ml ~ £8.95

Laidbare Pack Your Bags Eye Cream 30ml ~ £7.99

REN EverCalm Day Cream ~ £8.40

John Masters Evening Primrose Shampoo 60ml ~ £5.50

Apple & Bears Body Silk in Grapefruit & Seaweed 50ml ~ £6

Two of the products were full-size (the face balm and the eye cream) and the value of the contents was approximately £37.


Although two of the brands contained within the box were the same as the previous month (Balm Balm and John Masters), they are brands I like and the products differ nicely from those in the previous box (three skincare products, a haircare product and a body product).

I get through tons of facial moisturiser, shampoo and body lotion so was happy to receive these. I’ve used REN and John Masters before and love both but Apple & Bears was a new brand to try. I don’t get through as much eye cream and face balm so wouldn’t want to receive these too often.



Madara Micellar Water 100ml ~ £14

Weleda Skin Food 10ml ~ £2.50

Ooh! Oils of Heaven Marula Oil 15ml ~ £9.50

Maggie Anne Nail Polish in Jasper 11ml ~ £10.50

Greenfrog Botanical Body Wash 100ml ~ £3.90

Two full-size products again this month (the micellar water and nail polish) with a total box value of approximately £40.


Although the body wash is not full-size it is still a good amount. The brands this month were all different from those in the previous month’s box with a good variety of products too – two skincare, two body care and a nail polish.

I’m a big fan of micellar water and the packaging on this Madara one is beautiful, it definitely has bathroom shelf appeal. The other four brands were new to me – great to have lots of new ones to try. The nail polish is a gorgeous colour. I’ve seen other beauty boxes include nail polishes but the colours can be a bit ‘out there’, whereas this colour is in a suits-all neutral shade. Its surprisingly chip-resistant too – in fact, I’d even go so far as to say it’s on a par with OPI.



Seascape Body Wash in Unwind 300ml ~ £16

PHB Brightening Hand Cream with Neroli & Ylang Ylang 50ml ~ £10.95

Hurraw Papaya & Pineapple Lip Balm 4.3g ~ £4.99

Laidbare For Richer For Porer Face Masque 50ml ~ £7.99

Kimberly Sayer Restore Anti-Aging Cream 1.5ml ~ 50p

This box contained an impressive four full-size products, which more than made up for the fifth sample being a small sachet. The total value of the box was again approximately £40.


Seascape is a totally new brand for me and I was pleased to receive such a huge bottle of shower gel. The seahorse packaging is beautiful too and it looks lovely in my shower. PHB is my favourite new brand discovery of 2017 – all their products smell heavenly and are lovely quality.

I was happy to get the lip balm as I get through tons of lip balm all year round. I’ll be interested to see if this brand matches up to Burts Bees (my all-time favourite lip balm). I was also really happy to get a face masque included as I didn’t receive any in my three month subscription with Birchbox. Although the Kimberly Sayer sample was only a small one, the fact it was included in the box meant I was entitled to 20% off further purchases of the brand for the rest of that month with Love Lula, so I took the opportunity to stock up on my usual facial moisturisers, as well as trying new body moisturisers from PHB and Laidbare (both of which are gorgeous, FYI).

It is definitely a great feature of the Love Lula box that you get 20% off further purchases of any of the brands included for the rest of that month. It means that if it’s a brand I already like I can stock up on my favourite products for a discounted price, or if I really like a new brand included in the box I can try a few more of their products without breaking the bank.

I love surprises so I also really like that Love Lula don’t publish any spoilers of the items included in their box each month – it is always a total surprise to find out what is included (even when I’ve tried to find out I haven’t been able to :-)).

One thing that might be a downside for some is that you can’t personalise the box to your preferences. This hasn’t been an issue for me as I’ll use all the items I’ve received, plus as I mentioned earlier you can always give anything you don’t use as a gift, but I know some people like to have a say over what they receive.

Overall, I think the Love Lula Beauty Box is a really affordable box to try if natural beauty products are your thing, and the discount for brands included is really handy. Although some of the brands are repeated across some months, there is a good variety of products which are all great quality.

If you’re interested in trying the Love Lula Beauty Box, you can use the link here to sign up. If you decide to give them a try let me know what you think, or if you know of a fantastic beauty box I should be trying, let me know which one in the comments below.

Beauty Geek x



Environ Advanced Active Vitamin Facial by Liberty at Bodilight

Mention facials and for most people the image conjured up involves aromatherapy oils and lots of relaxing massage. While that’s truly lovely, beauty addicts like me want instant results as well as some much-needed chill out time.

Step forward, the advanced active vitamin facial by Environ. Using cutting-edge technology, including electrical pulses and sound waves, this is as far from your traditional facial as you can get, and is a firm favourite with celebs such as Sadie Frost, Hilary Swank, Elle Macpherson and Sienna Miller.

You may not be familiar with Environ as you can only buy their skincare products from selected professionals. A South African brand, the main ingredient their products focus on is vitamin A, which is essential for skin health. Environ uses vitamin A in much larger quantities than most other brands; so much so that their products have a step-up system, whereby you start at Level 1 on a low vitamin A dose, gradually working your way up to Level 5.

So after work, one cold, rainy Friday, I head along to Bodilight to see exactly what this facial can do for my skin. The aesthetician carrying out my treatment, Liberty, starts by conducting a thorough skin consultation and asking what results I’d like to see. The great thing about this facial is that although the technique is the same, the wide range of product options allows it to be tailored to your particular skin type. Liberty selects the colostrum gel to help calm my sensitive skin.

Liberty begins with an eye cleanse, followed by a pre-cleanse and a regular cleanse. Next, is a non-granular exfoliation (i.e. an exfoliator that uses acids/enzymes instead of little scrubby particles). I’ve started using non-granular exfoliators more and more recently – I think the results are just as effective as traditional granular exfoliators but with less risk of causing damage to the skin by over-zealous scrubbing.

So far, fairly normal. However, the mini-peel uses the Environ Ionzyme machine to drive the vitamins much, much deeper into the skin than traditional methods using an electrical current and sound waves. This isn’t at all uncomfortable, it creates a tingling sensation, which I actually found quite enjoyable.


Next is the really unusual part. A really thick mask is applied which Liberty warns me will feel really cold. The mask can be applied all over your eyelids and mouth, leaving just your nose uncovered, and sets into a rubber. If the thought of this doesn’t appeal you can opt to have your eyes and mouth left uncovered but, never one to back down from a challenge, I leave just my nose uncovered. I find the fact I can’t open my eyes and mouth really relaxing but then I also find small spaces really relaxing so maybe I’m just a bit odd!


The mask conducts the electrical current from the Ionzyme machine and drives the vitamins deeper into the skin. You can hear a faint high-pitched noise while the current is on – a bit like the noise you can sometimes hear from a TV and some people (me included) see flashing lights (not as scary as it sounds)!

While the mask is on, Liberty massages some oil into my hands and pops on a pair of heated mitts which is very welcome as my hands get ridiculously dry at this time of year.


Despite the unusual elements of this facial I still find it really relaxing, with low lighting and soothing music (although as most busy mums will tell you, the chance to lie still for an hour without being asked a question every five seconds counts as relaxation in itself).

Once the mask has worked it’s magic, it is carefully peeled off in one piece, with an entertaining imprint of my face! Liberty finished by applying a serum to help protect my skin.


I’m really curious to see the results and had expected my skin to look quite red due to the mini-peel. However, the treatment has actually reduced a surprising amount of the redness from my sensitive skin and the texture of my skin feels amazing – easily the best and most instant result I’ve had from a facial.

If you’re local to Milton Keynes you can experience the Environ Advanced Active Vitamin Facial for £79 at Bodilight, who are based at The Hub (and helpfully have convenient and free parking at Sainsburys). You can also opt for a ‘classic’ version of the facial (minus the mini-peel) for £59 and an ‘express’ version for £49.

For this week only (w/c 13/02/17) you can experience any of the Environ facials with Rianne for a massive 50% discount – what better excuse do you need to treat yourself?

Beauty Geek x


Neal’s Yard Remedies ‘Deliciously Ella’ Facial Wash & Moisturiser

You may have heard of Ella Mills AKA ‘Deliciously Ella’ due to her overhaul of her diet and lifestyle in order to manage a serious illness she suffers from. A few vegans I know swear by her recipes which use simple, natural, unprocessed ingredients (I’ve tried her brownies which contain sweet potato of all things and they’re very good).

Ella has recently released a ‘Deliciously Ella’ Rose, Lime and Cucumber Facial Wash and Moisturiser in collaboration with Neal’s Yard, using the same philosophy of natural ingredients. A lot of work has gone into these products – they’ve been 18 months in the making so I had high expectations for them!


You can really smell the cucumber in them – it’s lovely and refreshing. They are fairly light in texture so I would say they are best suited to normal/younger skin (teens and twenties). The facial wash is £16 for 100ml and the moisturiser is £25 for 100ml. Although they’re not cheap, both products go a long way so will last a long time. Plus, if you buy them as a duo you get a cute bag and pay only £35 (a saving of £6).

You can buy your Neal’s Yard products through Nicola D’Costa at It is also worth checking out her Facebook page.

Beauty Geek x

Neal’s Yard Facial Oils

Due to having skin that is prone to breakouts, facial oils are something I’ve only started using in the last few years in order to help fight the aging process. I have found it is best to invest in a quality oil and use it less, than slather on an inexpensive one more regularly.

I tend to use facial oils after exfoliating or using a mask, as a kind of mini at-home facial. I also use an oil if I feel my skin has become dry in places – particularly at this time of year when it is struggling to adjust to the effects of cold weather and central heating. Don’t be afraid to target the oil to just the areas of the face that you feel need it. Also, it is better to use it at night so it can really sink in (and if you have long hair like me, tie it up so the oil doesn’t transfer and leave you with greasy-looking locks).


Neal’s Yard offers a range of facial oils, varying in price from £20 to £28.50 for 30ml. The options are frankincense (rejuvenating for skin showing signs of aging), rose (rehydrating for normal skin) and orange flower (nourishing for dry skin).

I tried both the frankincense and rose facial oils. I wasn’t sure what frankincense smells like but it’s lovely; quite earthy, so good if you’re not into floral scents and not at all strong or overpowering. The rose smells exactly as I think a ‘good’ rose scent should – more turkish delight than old-lady-floral.

The texture of both oils is lovely – indulgent without being greasy – and both absorbed into the skin well. The bottles come with a very handy little dropper so you can dispense the tiny amount you need easily. If you are using the facial oil once or twice a week a bottle will last you months so cost per use is actually very low.

You can buy your Neal’s Yard products through Nicola D’Costa at It is also worth checking out her Facebook page.

Beauty Geek x

Neal’s Yard Bee Lovely Hand Cream

I get through gallons of hand cream at this time of year and the Neal’s Yard Bee Lovely Hand Cream (£10 for 50ml) is great. Nice and rich but not greasy, it really left my dry eczema-prone skin feeling repaired and cared for. It isn’t cheap but a little goes a long way. Although it contains a honey blend it doesn’t smell like your typical honey product, it smells of the lovely orange essential oil that’s also in it.



Amongst other products, the Bee Lovely range has a body lotion (£21.50 for 295ml) and a body butter (£23 for 200g), which if the hand cream is anything to go by, will definitely be worth a try.

You can buy your Neal’s Yard products through Nicola D’Costa at It is also worth checking out her Facebook page.

Beauty Geek x

Neal’s Yard Peppermint & Lime Deodorant

Although Neal’s Yard Remedies is one of the biggest names in organic natural health and beauty, I haven’t tried many of their products before. Thankfully, through a mutual friend I was put in touch with Nicola D’Costa, who is an Independent Consultant for NYR and who kindly sent me a fantastic range of products to try. Over the next few days, I’ll be posting a series of blogs sharing my views on the products with you all.

Firstly, a bit about NYR. As well as using excellent quality natural and organic ingredients they are a fantastically ethical company, and also use a lot of Fairtrade ingredients. Their signature dark blue glass packaging is fully recyclable and cleverly blocks UV light, meaning less preservatives are used. Importantly for me, their products do not contain parabens or mineral oils.

The first product I tried was the Peppermint & Lime Deodorant (£8 for 50ml). This roll-on deodorant is a new addition to Neal’s Yard and is both vegan and cruelty-free.


I have a friend who has switched to natural deodorants as opposed to anti-perspirants and she swears by them. I haven’t taken the plunge yet, although I have been tempted as I have sensitive underarms. This deodorant is aluminium-free. Aluminium is an ingredient which is common in anti-perspirants and can cause irritation (it has for me previously). The deodorant has been clinically proven to give 24 hour protection, using ingredients such as bamboo powder to absorb moisture. Most importantly, it smells really fresh, mostly of the lime as opposed to the mint. It is also available in a rose and geranium scent but I imagine the lime one is nicer for a deodorant.

It dries fairly quickly, caused me no irritation and didn’t mark any of my clothes. It was surprisingly effective and while I’m still not entirely sure if I’d be confident enough to use it on a really hot day or when exercising, for normal day to day use, it is an excellent alternative to chemical-laden anti-perspirants.

You can buy your Neal’s Yard products through Nicola at It is also worth checking out her Facebook page.

Beauty Geek x

So intu Christmas

I loved my Autumn/Winter 2016 blogger event with intu (if you haven’t read it yet, you can check it out here) so when they invited me back for a Christmas shopping event I couldn’t wait. The Christmas Village is lovely and the whole area has a real festive feel.

A serious shopping session requires caffeine, and there is nowhere better for a kick-ass flat white than Pret. I travel a fair amount with work and Pret is my favourite place to grab a healthy lunch to eat on the train (the Chicken, Pesto & Buffalo Mozzarella Salad is awesome). So, nicely refreshed after visiting the Pret within Midsummer Place, I head straight to Coast to check out some Christmas party looks.


Coast have some fantastic sale items at the moment, which is perfect if you want something for the Christmas parties that is high-end without breaking the bank. The first dress I try on is the Callista Printed Dress, reduced from £225 to just £99. It is completely stunning, made of weighty jacquard which helps give you a nice smooth shape, and features both a bardot neckline and dipped hem.

combined-coastCallista Dress, now £99, Coast (Midsummer Boulevard)

I am a massive fan of a Christmas jumper, but if novelty versions aren’t your thing try the Celyn Knit Top, £69. Super soft with a slim fit, it features subtle Christmas shapes in silver and copper diamantes. It looks cute paired with the Prinsloo Jacquard Skirt, £95 – perfect for when you want to look well put-together without trying too hard.

Celyn Knit Top £69, Prinsloo Jacquard Skirt £95, both Coast (Midsummer Boulevard)

If you’ve seen the recent Coast ads, you’ll have seen the ever-stylish Olivia Palermo looking stunning in the Exeter Jacquard Skirt, now reduced from £179 to £119. This skirt again features a dipped hem, but also pockets – great for striking a pose. The Milton Keynes Coast store always has excellent customer service and the helpful (and stunningly pretty) Olivia helped me style the skirt with the Robyn Structured Top, £89. I would never have chosen this top myself as it looked cropped (I’m not a fan of exposing my midriff in public) but as the skirt sits high on the waist it was a perfect match.

Robyn Structured Top £89, Exeter Jacquard Skirt now £119, both Coast (Midsummer Boulevard)

Those of you who read my last blog will know I love fur (faux, of course) and Coast hasn’t disappointed this season with the beautiful Hollywood-style Chelsea Faux Fur Coat. Not too long in the body, it sits perfectly over the high-waisted skirts and dresses I tried on and you will use it every party season.

Chelsea Faux Fur Coat £129, Coast (Midsummer Boulevard)

Next, I head over to Karen Millen which is beautifully arranged, making it easy to spot loads of gorgeous pieces.


Karen Millen (Midsummer Boulevard)

Straight away I spot this gorgeous Italian wool, camel-coloured coat. I have been hunting for one like this and it’s definitely the best one I’ve found. It has a detachable fur collar meaning you could use it for autumn, winter and spring. I’m not usually a fan of detachable collars, as they can be quite obvious and look ‘gappy’, but this one is so cleverly crafted I didn’t even realise at first that it was detachable. At £350 it’s an investment piece, but it will last year after year and continue to look fantastic.

Camel Coat CZ032 £350, Karen Millen (Midsummer Boulevard)

Next up was this achingly hip biker jacket in a go-with-everything deep tan colour. The Italian leather is some of the softest I’ve felt and I loved the chunky silver zips. It’s another luxury piece at £399 but no-one wants to wear cheap leather do they?!

Slim Biker Jacket JZ055 £399, Karen Millen (Midsummer Boulevard)

Feeling brave, I decided to try the Two-Tone Satin Jumpsuit, £250. I normally avoid jumpsuits as I worry they’ll make me look heavy on the bottom half, but this one is super-slimming on your waist, hips and bum – great if you’ve got curves. The detailing on the satin top half really adds some interest too. This is a great alternative to a dress for a Christmas party too.

 Two-Tone Satin Jumpsuit PZ077 £250, Karen Millen (Midsummer Boulevard)

However, if an LBD is a winter essential for you, this Black Fringe Mini Dress, £199 is stunning and really unique. I absolutely love the detailing at the top.

Black Fringe Mini Dress DZ107 £199, Karen Millen (Midsummer Boulevard)

Next, it’s time to hunt for some gifts for my friends and family, so off to Debenhams I go to see what the beauty counters have to offer. First up, I know my Mum is need of some more Viktor & Rolf BonBon Eau De Parfum – mostly because she very clearly informed me of it with a hopeful look in her eye (£50 for 30ml, £70.50 for 50ml or £99 for 90ml). Hint taken, Mum, this lovely caramel-y scent will be under the tree for you come the 25th.


Viktor & Rolf BonBon Eau De Parfum £50 for 30ml, £70.50 for 50ml or £99 for 90ml, Debenhams (Midsummer Place)

These Benefit gift sets are perfect for my 13 year old niece who is just starting to explore the wonderful world of make-up. She’ll love ‘It’s a Gal’s World’ (the peach-coloured box on the middle shelf in the picture below), which contains the legendary ‘Porefessional’ primer, as well as an eyeliner, mascara and four eyeshadows in easy to wear shades. There’s even an eyeshadow applicator included and it’s under £25.


‘It’s a Gal’s World’ £24.50, Benefit, Debenhams (Midsummer Place)

OK, so I know I said I was shopping for friends and family, but I am my own best friend so I think I thoroughly deserve this beautiful bareMinerals ‘Glow Together’ palette, perfect for getting the ultimate Christmas shimmery highlight.


‘Glow Together’ £29, bareMinerals, Debenhams (Midsummer Place)

After that short distraction, it’s back to my list and this ‘Give Me a Swirl’ brush set is amazing value. Previously, I’ve bought each of the brushes individually at a total cost of £78. With this set, you get the Supreme Finisher Brush, Blooming Blush Brush and Expert Shadow & Liner Brush for only £39. If you’re in any doubt as to how good these brushes are check out my previous review on them here. They’re super soft, don’t shed and wash really well. I reckon my sister will love them.


‘Give Me a Swirl’ £39, bareMinerals, Debenhams (Midsummer Place)

Finally, it’s time for the obligatory goodie bag shot, and intu haven’t disappointed with more fantastic treats. The Karen Millen tote is just gorgeous and the Clinique cosmetic bag with skincare and make-up left me feeling totally spoilt. Add to that an intu gift card (yay, more shopping!), some fragrance samples and a lovely Pret Christmas Tiffin and I am one happy (and shopped out) blogger.




So get yourself up to intu, get your presents bought, and then relax and enjoy the run up to Christmas Day safe in the knowledge there’ll be lots of happy faces when the presents are opened.

Beauty Geek x

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