The best of recent beauty

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The New Year is my favourite time of year for beauty as with thanks to the combination of beauty advent calendars and Christmas gift sets, it’s the perfect time to try all the recent beauty releases without it costing an arm and a leg. Not to mention a new year for many of us means resolutions to take better care of ourselves in one way or another, so I thought I’d share my current beauty favourites with you guys. So whether you’re looking for a pick me up treat to get you through the January blues, or something that’ll have you feeling good on the inside and outside, this is the list for you.

Charlotte Tillbury Matte Revolution Lipstick: Amazing Grace

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Charlotte Tilbury is a name that is worshipped in beauty right now for her beautiful packaging and her incredible quality products. As is often the way it also comes with a pretty hefty price tag, but after treating myself as an early Christmas present I can promise you that it is utterly worth it. The lipstick itself is beautifully creamy and hydrating, so perfect for those of us prone to dry lips who still crave a perfect matte finish, not to mention they’re incredibly pigmented and can be used either as a stain or as a buildable colour. It’s this idea of luxe glamour with a multi-functional element that forms the foundation of Charlotte Tilbury’s brand, and epitomises her ideal of the modern elegant woman. With icons such as Grace Kelly providing the inspiration for the colours it brings a little bit of Hollywood glamour to your everyday life, and who wouldn’t want that.DSC06041

Phillip Kingsley Hair Elasticizer

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I first gave this a go as it was one of the samplers I got in my advent calendar and after one use it has become my ultimate holy grail product. It’s intended as a pre-treatment to be applied before you wash your hair normally and I can honestly say I’ve never seen such dramatic results from a hair product after only using it once. My hair is softer and more managable and felt as if I’d just come back from the salon which is a massive win in my book. It’s the perfect solution for those of us that want the effect without putting too much time and effort in, which lets be honest isn’t that what we all want?!

Mio Liquid Yoga Bath Soak

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Due to years of hunching over tables working and unfortunately naturally bad posture from time to time like most of us I suffer from a bad back. But the good news is that this stuff is as close to a miracle cure as I think you’re likely to find. It’s a mix of essential oils, Epsom salts and minerals which are perfect for relaxing tight, fatigued muscles and reviving dry skin. Not to mention the scent is perfectly calming and will help you achieve that yoga state of zen but with a lot less work.

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Emma Hardie Amazing Face Natural Lift and Sculpt Moringa Cleansing Balm

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This is probably the most hyped about cleanser out there with everyone from Zoella to Lily Pebbles raving about it, so of course I had to try it out to see whether it really was THAT good. Boy it didn’t let me down. As a lazy beauty girl the idea of slapping something on my face that will remove all my makeup with minimal effort sounds like a dream, plus the fact that it’s an oil based cleanser means it’s much less harsh and drying on my already dry skin. Plus it smells so gorgeous it’s a perfect way to unwind at the end of the day and feels so gorgeously luxurious it’s definitely something I’ll be repurchasing.

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Garnier Ultimate Blends- The Sleek Restorer Shampoo

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As a member of the thick unruly hair club it’s very rare for me to find a products that actually lives up to its claims to ‘tame’ my hair, but this Garnier range actually comes pretty close to living up to it. The coconut oil and cocoa butter formula means it smells gorgeous, and since using it my hair has become noticeably more managable and softer. In combination with the Phillip Kingsley pre-treatment my hair is looking shinier and healthier than ever, and this is a much more budget friendly option with the shampoo and conditioner only costing £2.79 each!

Pixi Glow Tonic

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Another cult favourite which duly deserves its praise thanks to its beautiful scent and the way it truly seems to nourish the skin from the minute you apply it. It feels both luxurious and fresh at the same time, not to mention its perfect for those of us that suffer with sensitive skin. It’ll have you glowing from the inside and out after just one use!

Ciate Olivia Palermo Nail Polish: Hutch

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Olivia Palermo is arguably the American equivalent of Alexa Chung in terms of her impeccable style and everything she wears becoming an instant must-have. So of course when she teamed up with Ciate it was everything you’d have expected it to be; gorgeous, classic and luxurious. I will admit that other than being another prime example of an excellent Ciate polish it’s nothing overly special but I just fell so completely in love with this packaging that I had to include it.

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So that’s just a little insight into what I’ve been loving at the minute and I hope it’s giving you some ideas of things to try in the new year whether you’re on a budget, or you’ve got a little more cash to splash. As always I’d love to know what you guys have been loving this month and over Christmas, and whether you’ve tried anything on my list and what you thought of them!

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Top 10 Films of 2015

2015 has to be one of the most standout years in cinematic history in terms of the quality of films that have been released. Blockbusters like Jurassic World, Star Wars and Avengers Age of Ultron have all been topping the box office, but cinema has also never been more diverse with films like It Follows, Diary of a Teenage Girl and What We Do In The Shadows garnering rave reviews, and more importantly a big enough audience that the big movie bosses are taking notice. I’ve tried my best to widen my film horizons this year and boy I haven’t been disappointed, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to share with you guys some of my highlights of the year. Plus everyone knows that January is the month for hibernating and watching films so what better excuse than that!

Mad MaxMad-Max-Fury-Road-cars-700This more than any other film I saw this year complete blew me away in terms of sheer originality and being unlike anything else I have even seen at the cinema. They provide us with a lead female character deserving of modern cinema as well as stellar performances from every member of the cast, and special effects that will literally take your breath away.

It FollowsIt-Follows-2014As previously mentioned this is one of the greatest hidden gems of this year and has as a result been topping the lists of all the top film reviewers. It’s one of the creepiest films I’ve seen in years and with an awesome soundtrack that sounds like it belongs to an 8-bit game it’s a truly modern horror, with a truly modern “monster”.

Love and MercyLOVE AND MERCYInitially I was dragged to this by my father who’s a life long Beach Boys fan but I was blown away not only by the film, but the true life story behind it. It takes an innovative perspective in the use of two separate periods in Brian Wilson’s life which interweave to tell the story to great effect. But it’s the seamless performances by both Paul Dano and John Cusack representing Brian Wilson at opposing times in his life that brings the film together and allows you to fully appreciate the genius behind the fantastic songs.

Star Warspzwb1fhlkzyvmrtavkosAfter years of waiting I was over the moon to find that Star Wars exceeded all my possible expectations. Not to mention my childhood joy to find that (SPOILER ALERT) the main protagonist and future jedi was a girl! And an incredibly bad-ass one at that. The chemistry between the new characters is fantastic and I loved the obvious effort that was made to ensure the film appealed to old and new fans alike. The fact I’ve already seen it twice should prove just how much I love it.

Cinderellacinderella4Another one for my inner child this was one of the most beautiful films I saw this year, from the costumes to the sets. Not to mention the perfect casting of Lily James and Richard Madden meant I fell completely in love with the story again, and left me leaving the cinema completely gutted that I was too old to be able to go buy a costume.

Crimson Peakcrimson-peakThe opposite end of the spectrum here with what is probably best described as Guillermo Del Toro’s take on the Victorian Gothic. Another film that is perfect in creating it’s own complex world as well as displaying the level of stunning detail that’s expected when watching Del Toro’s films. It’s also brilliantly gruesome and chilling and is another film that completely overwhelms your senses and provides the perfect escape.

Legend0ab9d1f3-937a-4b46-a306-cbd3ec4bdabcAlthough this film does have some obvious flaws upon watching, it found its place on my list due to the brilliant performances by Tom Hardy and Emily Browning. While Hardy deserves a nomination of some sort for conveying both brothers superbly, it’s the attention to detail in creating the Kray’s world that really draws you in. Plus who doesn’t love a gangster film.

Jurassic Worldj-world2Another one of the biggest films of this year this is probably the most unoriginal on the list but that’s exactly why I loved it. It makes no excuses and does exactly what it says on the *metaphorical* tin brilliantly. The scene with Chris Pratt riding through the forest with velociraptors sums it up best, it’s dangerous, exciting and most importantly just awesome.

Ex Machinalandscape_movies-ex-machina-alicia-vikander_1This is one of those examples of films that even from the previews is so highly raved about that it almost has the opposite effect in that it puts you off wanting to see it. By the time I finally got round to watching it I was so annoyed at myself for wasting so much time as surprise surprise, it completely lived up to the hype. Another example that 2015 was the year of Alicia Vikander, while Domhnall Gleeson and Oscar Isaac round out the small yet perfectly formed cast, all giving subtle yet award winning performances. Without giving too much away it’s a science fiction film for the noughties, and frighteningly real enough that it leaves you seriously chilled.

The Martianthe-martian-screencap_1920.0.0Another that I was dragged to by my father and another that taught me to always trust him when it comes to picking films. What I thought was going to be another stranded in space sob-fest (pretty much how I felt about Interstellar) it turned out I was completely wrong. While not only being one of the funniest films I saw this year it was also one of the smartest, and a welcome change from the serious, weighty recent movies of the genre such as Gravity and the aforementioned Interstellar.The vibrant soundtrack in combination with the real scientific truth behind it combine to create one of the most interesting and watchable films of the year.

Honourable Mentions: Sisters,Mockingjay: Part 2, Spectre, Inside Out, Steve Jobs.

I know this is by no means a definitive list as I have many more films from this year that I can’t wait to see, and that’s before you get me started on all the great films that are out now but I hoped you enjoyed this post and it’s given you some inspiration for something to watch during the cold nights ahead. Also please let me know what your favourite films of the year are because I’d love to know!