NOVEMBER ROUNDUP

This month I...
  • Enjoyed the Manchester Christmas Markets
  • Ate at Thaikun and Handmade Burger Co.
  • Saw the View from the Shard
  • Relaxed at Rushton Hall Hotel and Spa 
  • Exercised at home with a weighted hula hoop
What have you been up to this month?

AN EVENING DUO

The Body Shop Vitamin E range has gotten a lot of love from me over the years, (see here and here) and my current favourite is the Overnight Serum in Oil. Winter usually leaves my skin dry and rough, but recently I've been using this every evening, and I'm so pleased with the results. Despite being an oil, it's non-greasy and you only need a tiny bit of product to cover your face. It has a glass pipette applicator, which makes it easy to apply, and it also gives a 'high end spa product' feel to it. Shallow as it might seem, we all love a pretty bottle sat out on our nightstand. In the morning I wake up with soft, moisturised skin.

I like to use this in combination with The Body Shop Facial Roller, an inexpensive but amazing quality massager that helps product to sink into the skin and also works against ageing. A few minutes a day of this really helps my skin to glow and I get less little bumps when I use this. After continuous use my skin feels a lot smoother and looks much more 'awake'.

Does anyone else use The Body Shop Facial Roller?

THE ME-TIME TAG

For me, Sunday's are all about staying in, putting some cosy pyjamas on and having some serious me-time. Some weeks that means studying all day, and others I can sit back and relax a bit more. I saw Jennie from Sailboat do this tag, after seeing FleurDeForce do it on her YouTube channel, and I thought it was perfect for a Sunday post..

1. What do you like to read or watch during me-time?
At the moment I'm reading 'The Goldfinch', and it's pretty slow going, but if I'm need of cheering up I like to dig out a Harry Potter book. I grew up reading the series, and there is nothing like that happy, comforted feeling I get when reading now.

2. What do you wear during me-time?
Pyjamas; I've really been loving my Primark squirrel onesie recently.

3. What are your favourite me-time beauty products?
For me, it's all about a good facemask.. Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel really brightens dull winter skin, and the Body Shop Vitamin C Microdermabrasion is my go to manual exfoliator.

4. Current favourite nail polish?

Barry M Glitter polishes are what I always turn to for that festive look, I love Christmas Tree for an accent nail.

5. What do you eat or drink during me-time?
Endless cups of tea, with Jaffa Cakes or Oreos, any chocolate biscuit will do!

6. Current favourite candle?  
'Fireside Treats' from Yankee Candle is lovely, it fills the house with the scent of toasted marshmallows, but I'm looking forward to switching up with some Christmas candles soon.

7. Do you ever have an outdoor me-time?

Never! I'm not a very outdoorsy person, and I certainly don't like being on my own outside. In the summer I do enjoy a coffee and a good, long people watch sesh with the bestie.

8. Would you ever go and watch a film alone?
Nope, living at uni means I spend a lot of time with friends; they become like your family really, so if there was anything I wanted to see I'd always go with a friend.

9. Favourite online shop?
Gifts and Pieces always makes me want to buy something, and it's great for Christmas gifts too.

10. Anything to add? What else do you do during me-time?
When no one else is home I love to watch the Tinkerbell movies, or anything Disney really *hangs head in shame*
I'd love to know what you do during me-time, do the tag and let me know in the comments below or on twitter @nishKpatel

FASHIONCHICK FESTIVE PARTY WITH BOOHOO AND DOROTHY PERKINS

If you haven't heard of Fashionchick you need to check out their site now; they're an online retailer stocking everything from Boohoo to Burberry. Last week they invited some Manchester based bloggers to view some of this seasons key pieces with Boohoo and Dorothy Perkins. As it was a Christmas party, sequins and fur featured heavily on the rails. The Dorothy Perkins fur coats were absolutely beautiful; I bought a cream fur coat from them a few years back, and it has lasted so well. 
 
We were wined and dined, with the cutest mini croque monsieurs, and bangers and mash canapés, as well as some prosecco. Make-up artists, hairstylists and a manicurist were also on hand to help us get ready for the festive season. At the end of the night we were handed a fantastic goodie bag, which included a Dorothy Perkins 'yes, no' clutchwine faux fur stole and necklace; a Fashionchick phone case; and a hat from boohoo, as well as a cute dress shaped cookie and candy canes to celebrate the start of the festive season. 
 
As usual it was lovely to catch up with my faves, Maria, Amy, Ellie, Jasmine, Emma and have some fun with the photo props. I was so disappointed that the official photographer got a blurry shot, but nonetheless a great picture.. Make sure to check out these girls' blogs, they are all fantastic. A massive thank you to Fashionchick, Dorothy Perkins and Boohoo for having us!

WINTER LIP CARE


Lips are an area that often get overlooked, many people think a slick of Vaseline is all that's needed to keep them protected and hydrated, However, the delicate skin on your lips is one of the first places to show the effects of the harsh winter air and drying central heating. I like to use three products to keep my lips supple and soft. 

Dr Lipp Nipple Balm for Lips is a multi-purpose wonder made of medical grade lanolin. Use it on anything from cracked lips, scraggy cuticles, or sore nipples. I apply this before bed and wake up with smooth, hydrated lips. Lush Mint Julips is a product I always repurchase, it tastes fantastic, and buffs away dead lip skin without being too abrasive. It also contains Jojoba oil, to add moisture back in to your skin. Finally, we all know the benefits of Argan oil for our hair, and now The Body Shop Wild Argan Oil range allows us to feel those benefits all over. The Solid Lip Oil is a favourite product of mine, you only need a thin layer of this to really hydrate and nourish the lips. I like to apply this every morning before applying lipstick, and it also works to make any matte shades I have much more sheeny. 

What lip products do you use in the Winter?

RELAXING BATH TIME


When it's cold outside I hunch over; I cross my arms, bring my shoulders to my chin and generally walk around looking like a very cold, very old lady. Combined with late nights hunched over my laptop, and a few sessions at the gym, my muscles are in need of some serious relaxation. My new house has a bath, so Sunday evenings are reserved solely for pamper time.

I start by running a hot bath and adding two handfuls of Radox Herbal Salts Muscle Soak; I find this really helps my body to relax and it's cheap too. I then like to add in a little treat from Lush; one of my favourites is the Avobath. It contains lots of mashed avocado and olive oil, so brilliant for dry winter skin. It has a very strong, lemongrass scent, so if you're not a fan of strong scented baths I wouldn't recommend this, however, it's a great mood lifter and really helps me to mentally prepare for the week ahead. Sunday's for me are mostly spent at home, so it's rare that I'll be wearing any makeup, but if I am I'd usually take it off with a hot cloth cleanser, and then apply a face mask. Recently I've rediscovered the Good Things Five Minute Facial which also contains avocado to moisturise, and green clay and kaolin to cleanse. I love applying a face mask in the bath because the steam really helps to open pores and increase the benefits of the mask.

I then hop in, relax and let the products get to work. What bath products have you been loving recently?

THE BODY SHOP CHRISTMAS LAUNCH

Last night I was invited to The Body Shop Trafford to have a look at their Christmas launches. I headed over with some lovely girls from UoM BlogSoc (Magdalena, LauraBecLauraEmily & Maya) and we were handed a silver ribboned basket and some Bucks Fizz on arrival. The lovely ladies talked us through how the evening would work, and as we got there early I headed over to the skincare expert to test out some products. As you all know I'm a huge fan of the Vitamin E range, so I tested out a few of their intense hydrate products. I also loved the Aqua Boost Sorbet, a cooling hydrating cream that can be kept in the fridge for even better results. This range is perfect for my dry winter skin. I then tried the new Drops of Youth range, which sells a product every 28 seconds. It contains plant stem cells and works to reduce fine lines and signs of fatigue. I didn't need any of the products from the range at the moment, however, next time I need a new eye cream I'll definitely be getting one from here.
A lot of people I talked to were using the evening and special discounts to do their Christmas shopping, but as I wasn't organised enough to have a list I didn't pick anything up. However I learnt a bit more about why buying from The Body Shop is so beneficial. This year they've teamed up with the charity 'War Child', and for every pre-filled gift bought, they donate enough to fund a class for a child. They've already donated an incredible amount, but they need your help to get to their target of six million lessons. Definitely a good reason to go back and pick up my gifts from there.
The Christmas products themselves are also fantastic, with three ranges: Classic Frosted Cranberry, festive Vanilla Brulee and all-new Glazed Apple. These contain the usual body butters and scrubs but also some cute little bath jellies, soaps and bath sprinkles. The classic ranges also come in beautiful pre-filled gift sets. I loved the polar bear and penguin bath sponges too.
I bought a Frosted Cranberry Bath Jelly, which comes with the most adorable little wooden spoon. One scoop is all you need for a whole bath, so I can see this product lasting a long time. After having a few makeup products tested on me, I picked up a berry lipstick in 125 Crazy Sexy Crimson, another bestseller. Two of my friends also bought this shade, and they sold out on the night. I grabbed the lipliner in Mahogany too, which looks quite brown, but really intensifies the colour of the lipstick to a deep plum.
The lovely manager chucked in a few freebies for us, and insisted we take any leftover chocolates, so we walked away with our wallets considerably lighter and our pockets stuffed with Quality Street. Thank you to The Body Shop for having us and I'm very much looking forward to the next event. If you're a Manchester based blogger I recommend you follow 'Manchester Bloggers' on facebook and twitter to keep up to date with future events.