Sunday, 21 December 2014

Advent Gift Calendar: Day 23 Maison Francis Kurkdjian Fragrances

Two more days left before Christmas and maybe a gift still on hold at the last minute, or maybe you've just met someone special but you don't want to buy something  that says "commitment" all over. I would suggest a fragrance that is not one of  the usual and when worn it people will ask which one it is. Maison Francis Kurkdjian Paris has got two gorgeous perfumes one for women and one for men, Pluriel and their components are  a sophisticated mix  of flowers and other essential oils.
The bottles are very elegant and the scents timeless because Pluriel is going to be the next iconic perfume like many before from fashion houses and famous perfumers. Stockists include Selfridges, Liberty, Harvey Nichols and John Lewis and you will recognise them straightaway with  the very minimalist white box with golden writing. The bottles are simple in their elegance with a pink lid for the women fragrance and the grey lid for the men one.
The bouquet for the Feminin Pluriel is very floral with Florentin iris and violet, Grasse rose and Egyptian jasmine, lili of the valley and orange blossom. All this sweetness is balanced by chypre, vetiver and Indonesian patchouli, making it a very sought after scent great for everyday use. The EDP is priced at £ 120.00.
Masculin Pluriel is very classic but with a twist, in fact the presence of lavender from Provence gives a gentle note to the red cedar, Indonesian patchouli and vetiver from Haiti with a leathery scent. It is available as EDT at £ 110.00 . For more stockists and to order online check the website at www.franciskurkdjian.com




Advent Gift Calendar: Day 22 Thomas Sabo Jewellery

Thomas Sabo has been 30 this year having started in 1984 and for all these years he has been giving us stunning sterling silver jewellery gold plated and with genuine semi precious stones. This year collection is inspired by Hollywood glamour and there is a esoteric twist to some of the lines as well which I love. A Thomas Sabo trinket is a very well appreciated Christmas gift. I am going to pick my favourites.
These rings are gorgeous, cocktail rings with a vintage look that reminds me of the old signet rings, but these are very modern with the beautiful semi precious stones like rose quartz, sky blue topaz or onyx, set together with cubic zirconia and rose gold plated in some of the models. Rose gold is one of my favourite  metal colour, very rich and warm, suiting any skin tone.
This pendant is beautiful, the silver has been blackened and the cage encases a pearshape onyx. Black cubic zirconia give that extra spark without being too blingy . it is a very rock chick piece.

Rings are one of my obsessions and this Wheel of Karma Ring is a real gem in any sense. There are four options for this model, this one in rose gold plated with a cabochon rose quartz, or sterling silver blackened and with an artificial  turquoise, or blackened silver sterling with  a cabochon onyx and blackened silver sterling with a mother of pearl.
This ear cuff from the Fairy Twines collection is very delicate, available in sterling silver as well as sterling silver rose gold plated and set with white cubic zirconia. The ear cuff rests on the ear lobe wrapping it and giving a bit of spark to the face.
I love this pair of earrings with the infinity symbol recurrent all around and set with black cubic zirconia. There is a white version as well if black is not the colour of choice. Personally I love this because it makes it less dressy even if they are beautiful. Some might find a chandelier earring not for a everyday wear but the black one are quite understated so a nice statement piece to wear any time of the day and anywhere.
Bracelets are very easy to gift because you don't need to know the size like with rings. At Thomas Sabo the new collection of beads gives you the opportunity to buy a sterling silver bracelet and add beads depending on what are the favourite colours of the receiver and you can add a pendant too. With the extensive range of pendants and charms it will be fun to customise a bracelet putting all the meaning to make it a special gift. For more ideas and to find the nearest Thomas Sabo store or concession go online at www.thomassabo.com and plan for the last minute gift.





Advent Gift Calendar: Day 21 Bodhi & Birch Skincare

I will never be tired of saying that receiving skincare products as a gift is fantastic, because you receive things that you would never buy for yourself especially if you are on a tight budget. Bodhi & Birch represents for me a real treat with its natural ingredients and wonderfully fragranced essentials oils used in making these great skincare products.
The Bodhi & Birch Rosa Rosa Clarifying Cleanser is a  concoction of luxurious Rosehip Oil, Bulgarian Damask Rose, Orange Blossom and Chamomile essential oils that leave your skin clean from make up, refined and with a gorgeous floral scent, the Toner is  perfect as a facial spritz after having it cleansed from impurities and the Rosa Rosa  Daily Moisturiser nourishes and protects the skin. The cream is full of antioxidants, essential fatty acids and vitamins for a boost in skin cell regeneration. This is a trio I would love to receive as a gift.

The Artisan series by Bodhi & Birch  is a collection of hand blended ingredients with botanical properties, all made in England and sourced ethically. Essential oils have a great part in this skincare collection.  The Desert Rose Rejuvenating  Face Oil has got anti-ageing Bulgarian Damask Rose Otto, Organic Argan oil and Rosehip Seed oil. The skin is left very smooth and radiant and with a floral scent. The Neroli Luce Revitalising Face Oil rebalances the skin tone with Tunisian Neroli, Frankincense and Sea Buckthorn oil. It  absorbs in the skin immediately leaving it hydrated, toned and not greasy at all. The Lime Blossom Protecting Hand Serum  protects the hands and it helps diminishing the the appearance of skin ageing and blemishes. Rosehip Oil, Lime and Green Mandarin oils are part of the ingredients for this gorgeous product that should be on every woman's dressing table.
Bodhi & Birch has got a range of shower and body products that if I have to choose which one to buy I would be in trouble, because I wouldn't know what to take  home. This Ylang Ylang Incensa Bath & Shower Therapy and the matching Body Moisturiser are decadent and luscious. The mix of Honeysuckle, Neroli, Ylang Ylang, Atlas Cedarwood and Pink Peppercorn makes a very sensual bath " me time", leaving the skin hydrated and fragranced. After your shower or bath apply the matching body lotion with added Shea Butter, Kukui Nut and Coconut Oil for a moisturising experience second to none. The range of fragrances in this collection is delicious with ingredients like Jasmine or Mint or Chamomile. Check online at www.bodhiandbirch.com and give the gift of pampering to someone who deserve it.... including you.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Advent Gift Calendar: Day 20 Monnier Freres

Monnier Freres is a fantastic website where the best brands in accessorises are all grouped together so that it is easy to tick off your Christmas list in one go. Quirky bags, sparkling jewellery, warm scarves and not just small names, we are talking here Anya Hindmarch, Maison Martin Margiela, Stella McCartney and more, everything at prices that will make you an addict to Monnier Freres .
You can see some serious labels here like the "Smile" tote by Anya Hindmarch, the red quilted bag by Moschino and the orange by Kenzo. If you place an order before Monday the 22nd at 11am you will receive your delivery in time for Christmas.
I spy with my eye something by Stella McCartney, and this is not the only one label to look for. Monnier Freres is a heaven for bags lovers and all the must have bags can be found on this Aladdin cave website.
This fabulous knitted rabbit fur snood by Yves Salomon has got the top colours for this winter.It is soft, warm and makes you feel like a Winter Queen. Also it won't be harsh on your neck, sometimes snoods are made with wools that gives you allergy, for example I can't wear mohair, but the knitted rabbit is soft to the touch and you feel fab.
I love those Agnelle gloves, In and Out, they are an exclusive for Monnier Freres with its two tone metallic leather made with lambskin and silk and lined with satin. They are a must on any wish list. The red bags by Zadig & Voltaire are another couple of dreams come true if found under the Christmas tree.



This Marni Horn and  strass cabochon necklace is a wonderful piece of costume jewellery. It is one of those statement pieces that you don't need to add  anything else. It will bring back to life a LBD, or it will glam up a tank top and a pair of black trousers to no end. Don't wait anymore, go online at www.monnierfreres.co.uk and start browsing for a last minute Christmas shopping. Remember to order by 11 am the 22nd of December in order to receive your delivery in time to be put under the Christmas tree.


Advent Gift Calendar : Day 19 The Hunt App

The Hunt is a fantastic mobile app for iOS7 and iOS8 and basically if you see something that you like but you don't know where to buy it you take a picture and you post it on The Hunt with your budget and your size. The community will tell you where to find what you are looking for. Or maybe you see something on Pinterest, Tumblr or any other website and you want to buy it. Same thing, just post the picture and you will see countless suggestions of where to buy your dream bag, shoes or anything that tickle your fancy.
Here you might find the last minute gift or special item that you don;t know where to find on the high street. It is free to download from the App Store on iPhone at www.bit.ly/thehuntapp or visit www.thehunt.com for more information. The Hunt drives 2 million visits a month so you will have a chance to find what you need while helping others find what they need. This community is great and it is a helping hand in solving fashion shopping questions.

Advent Gift Calendar: Day 18 Cocorose London foldable pumps

Apart from this being the season of parties and sore feet, because  of impossible high shoes, but even every time of the year where a party is involved, for us women the problem after a night on the tile is going back home in high heels shoes. Now yesterday I've seen a girl and it was freezing, standing at the bus stop with carrying her shoes and barefoot. As well as feeling cold I don't want to think about the dirt she picked up going home. This is where Cocorose London should be in every gal's bag. A pair of foldable pumps, beautiful as well and comfortable.
These animal prints pumps  with their matching travel pods are a relief for sore feet after wearing high heels on your way back home. This is a gift that every woman will love and cherish because nothing will beat the moment when on the bus you will swap shoes. Cocorose London is not just for changing at the last minute, you can wear them all day or just commute to work and then change in high heels when at the office.
I love these metallic models, Cocorose London has got an extensive range and i like the fact that they are made in England where you can see the quality and the accurate details. A pair of Cocorose London pumps should be in any woman's bag by default.
The Houndstooth and the Tartan are gorgeous and the gold one are very sweet. Cocorose London are shoes made to be shown rather than using them as emergency footwear. Obviously when you need to wear something high for a function or a party it is wise to have a pair of Cocorose London with you to wear after. Go online at www.cocoroselondon.com to check where are the stockists or to buy from the website.



Advent Gift Calendar: Day 17 Antler Suitcases

Christmas is one of the time of the year where travelling is a tradition, either going to some hot place or just going back home to visit family and friends. So if a journey is on the cards better doing it in style with Antler  which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this winter and it unveiled some great suitcases.
This is the Elara model with the case embossed with an Edwardian pattern which I've seen in old pubs walls. I love this purple hard case, resistant when put in the hold and recognisable straightaway on the luggage belt. In there you can bring back all your gifts and fragile items.
This stunning trolley is the Atom, a very light case starting from 1.9kg, made in Britain from Armordon, a woven polypropylene used in protective helmets and armour for military vehicles. It took two years of study and projects to come up with this product which is strong and light at the same time. Available in silver, black and purple. This suitcase is going to be Antler iconic piece marking the one century anniversary trade.
Jupiter is a fantastic suitcase where the biggest size weighs only 3.4 kg. This year Antler made me very happy choosing purple as one of its main colour for its collections. The Jupiter lining is machine washable, the zip is water resistant, very important details when travelling, it means that rust is not going to ruin the zip of the  case and in the event of spillage inside, it is possible to wash the lining.
The Onyx collection is in black nylon, part plain and with an embossed print detail at the centre. Receiving a suitcase for Christmas is one of the best gift ever, everyone needs an item of luggage  and they are never enough. Especially with the new size regulations Antler has got everything covered so that no problems are going to occur when checking in.
Antler has got a gorgeous handbag collection inspired by archive designs using hardware details and manufacturing them from soft leathers or full grain leather. The Ava collection is absolutely beautiful. I love the shape, the colour contrast and details. These are to be crowned the next It bags. Check online at www.antler.co.uk  to find out where you can find the Antler suitcases and  bags and buy a piece of British heritage.




Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Advent Gift Calendar : Day 16 Coast Party dresses

Once you step inside a Coast store you know that you have found a place where you can go for any formal and semi formal occasions. A day at the races? Meeting the inlaws for the first time? An important office party? Or maybe the wedding of a the year? And be sure that for  Christmas and New Year Coast will be the saviour of your look.
This bright pink skirt with the silver top is absolutely stunning. It is one of those outfits that everyone will remember and it will make you the point of attraction at any party. Wearing something bright and bold says that you are a fun person to be with and with heaps of taste too.
Mono chrome is always a winner and the Roxetta dress is a perfect example. I love the skirt with that look that screams YSL in the 1950s. Accessorises with a nice bag and lovely jewellery, which you can find at Coast together with the right pair of shoes and your party outfit is sorted.
If you are not a person who wear a dress or a skirt with confidence , you can be glamorous as well in beautiful Magna trousers with a lace trimmed  Cerin jacket over the Magna bustier and a sparkly handbag. Put some sparkle in the shoes for a real Wow factor.
It is not Christmas if we don't indulge in some serious sequinned clothing. These Taylor trousers are perfect and they are toned down by a sheer top. The beauty of a pair of black sequinned trouser is that you can match any top you want. To reach the party nothing is better than a long Queens coat with a fake fur collar.

Coast is perfect for find the right gift. From costume jewellery, bags, scarves and other accessorises, it will be easy to find something for your best friend or other female relative. You can check online at www.coast-stores.com to find out about your nearest store and to browse online.




Advent Gift Calendar : Day 15 Dorothy Perkins for party essentials

Every time I have to go to a party and at the last minute I don't have anything to wear (does it sound familiar) my first port of call is Dorothy Perkins. There I can find lovely things, they are very affordable and the quality is good so if you've got a last minute party and you've already worn all your outfit go to the nearest Dorothy Perkins store to revamp your look with some well chosen accessories or buy a new outfit.
These 4 inches heels red shimmer peep toe are perfect to glam up a pair of jeans or for any outfit you might have in your wardrobe. Great with black or silver or gold but also with many other colours that are a classic during the festive season. Next to it the Red 2 part pointed court shoe is another beauty in suedette with a 3.5 inches heel. Both shoes are a great boost to any outfit.
A box clutch bag is a classic piece and at Dorothy Perkins there is a great selection of sparkly numbers. Their shape are perfect to store a mobile phone, keys and money without ruining the shape of the bag and the clasp make it easy to prevent your essentials to be lost while dancing. The fake fur stole gives you a Hollywood look, very " Breakfast at Tiffany".
Dorothy Perkins is a great place to buy your Christmas gift as well, i think I've bought my best ones there and everyone loved them. I gained a lot of credits  choosing my presents at Dorothy Perkins. This floppy hat is perfect for the friend who loves hat. This one in grey and camel is very sophisticated  and you might find that a darker shade might suits other friends like a beautiful black and burgundy or all black.
This trio of clutches is gorgeous, the choice being blush pink, stone and pale blue in a croc pattern, will be another great option as a gift. The model is timeless so it will suits all ages. In a few words it will be a great gift for a mum or a in law or your favourite aunt.
Scarves and hats are a classic gift at Christmas and a very well appreciated one. Dorothy Perkins with its vast range of snoods, scarfs, hats, gloves and anything knitted will cover all your needs in terms of gift list.Go online to find your nearest store at www.dorothyperkins.com or check delivery dates if you are not in the mood of traipsing the high street at this time of the year.






Advent Gift calendar: Day 14 Jewellery at QVC

Who doesn't know QVC the website, TV Channel where you can find the best brands in fashion, beauty, home ware and also collaborations with important places like the Museum of London or VIPs . QVC  has got a huge selection of  everything and if you still need to sort your Christmas shopping, a visit to the website or watching its TV channel will make you cross off all your entries with delivery in time for Christmas and a free from stress two weeks before the big day.
These Aurora earrings are gorgeous. I've got an obsession with rose gold and purple so this a set is just the best I could find under the tree. These earrings are clip on so for who hasn't got  pierced ears. They are available in clear crystal as well and despite the size they are not heavy.
This necklace by Lisa Snowdon is one of those pieces of jewellery that are timeless and they can be worn with anything. It is a sterling silver necklace and the pendant has got a setting with real diamonds weighing 50 points (or half a carat which sounds fantastic).
Statement earrings like these by Nour are a must under the Christmas tree. These are for pierced ears and they are rhodium plated to give that great brightness that will make them look like the Crown Jewels.
This silver and leather bracelet by Or Paz is a favourite of mine. I like the leather  which weds the silver and the pearl giving  an edge to the whole piece.  It is something that a not girly girl will like and at the same time it can appeal a more feminine wearer because the pearl and the floral details give a softer image. The range of jewellery at QVC is massive and absolutely beautiful.

This mesh bangle by Diamonique has got simulated diamonds at the ends and the sterling silver has been gold plated. This bracelet is very 1970s I remember this design being very popular with bracelets and rings as well. Now it has been brought up again on trend, well actually this design is very similar to some of the jewellery on show at the British Museum or the Museum of London.  a timeless piece for sure. Check for more ideas at Christmas or to leave the website page opened at home in case anyone needs a hint at www.qvcuk.com





Saturday, 13 December 2014

Advent Gift Calendar : Day 13 L. K. Bennett

All I want for Christmas is a pair of L.K. Bennett shoes or one of its bags. A gift voucher would be much appreciated as well. Shoes and bags are never enough and L.K. Bennett has got such a fantastic collection that you would like to leave the store with two or three shopping bags filled with its beautiful leather goods.
The Karol Glitter court shoes is terrific. The heel is very comfortable at 5 cm height and these shoes can be worn with anything. Pair them with jeans for instant glamour or  match them with a party dress and why not at the office with a very severe black trouser suit, especially now that Christmas parties are aplenty and often organised at the last minute.
I love the print of this pair of shoes. This is the Mini Aurora model and with this print L.K.Bennett has designed a small line with other shoes, bags and a capsule wardrobe which is absolutely gorgeous. Kitten heels are lovely and these shoes can be worn all day because they are not tiring for our feet, there is a 5 cm heel so they can be worn with trousers or dresses.
Purple, my favourite colour, L.K.Bennett has got lots of purple this season and I am happy. These Scarlet ankle boots in kid leather are to die for. Two tones red and burgundy and the softness of the leather make these shoes a favourite of mine and something to be worn all season. Given the bright colours and the autumn/winter colour palette I must say that anything can be worn with these boots because everything will be just right for them.
Crossbody bags are always a staple in any woman's wardrobe. We need something to keep our essentials, it must be stylish and leave us with free hands to carry our shopping for example. The small one is the Joan while the the satchel style is the Jackie. Both in gorgeous colours ready to be part of your handbags collection. Browse on more models at www.lkbennett.com check which one is the nearest store or treat yourself to an online exclusive with shoes that you won't find anywhere else.






Thursday, 11 December 2014

Advent Gift Calendar: Day 12 Osprey London

Osprey London at its new flagship store in Piccadilly at 27 Regent Street St James's London SW1Y 4NQ has got some serious ideas for a Christmas present. Over the four floors you can find a great selection of gifts for women, for men and for the house And when you are tired you can relax at the Saddlery Bar on the basement for a deserved cup of hot drink and a slice of cake or other savoury delicacy.
These are the Salsa iPad Clutch, something that I would use as a normal clutch bag for going out. There are gorgeous colours made in polished croc leather. I must say that this clutch has got multiple uses and it is unisex and it will keep your gadgets safe.
This bag and its accessorises are gorgeous, I love houndstooth and this leather set is one of the most beautiful things I've seen recently. The Woodhouse bag in embossed leather is hand stitched and did I mention the scarlet lining ? From the same line there a wallets, a keyring and a messenger bag.
These cuff links are beautiful and so new. Designer Graeme Ellisdon has created them together with master craftsmen using ammonite fossils. The result is this pair of limited edition men jewellery which I would use it for myself if I have to be truthful. They are unique and the price is not one that makes you cry. priced at £ 95.00 I believe that they are not expensive as many could think given the brand and the novelty. Check online at www.ospreylondon.com  for the nearest shop, for the opening times and in case you are not close enough, to order online and receive your delivery in time for Christmas.





Advent Gift Calendar : Day 11 Debenhams Beauty Hall

Are you in a hurry because time is tight and still you are half way through your Christmas list? Worry no more while heading down to Debenhams at its new Beauty Hall. I've sourced some really festive gifts and little tokens for your best friends and if you fancy something just leave this page open on your boyfriend laptop screen.
Nails Inc. has always got fantastic nail polish and every year it comes up with new products. Now it is a tradition for me to buy a new nail polish in the more festive and bright colour ever and the choice this year is huge with more than 100 colours and special effects nail varnishes. Plus I love the shape of the pots, which I can easily store in a box. These beauties are priced at £ 15.00
A new fragrance is always a must especially when the year is at the end and you want to step in the new year with something new. The latest fragrance from Calvin Klein, Reveal is the perfect gift for yourself or for somebody close to your heart. The beautiful bottle has got the lid that can be engraved with the initials at the counter for a personalised present.
Kiehl's is an old time favourite and its ultra facial cream is one of the most iconic beauty products second maybe only to its fantastic lip balm. The texture is silky and light as well as being a great protection for our skin. I like the new packaging, very colourful that reminds me of a Roy Lichtenstein work of art.
Elemis makes some of the best skincare products ever. I would not mind receiving a gift set with some of their goodies. I love Elemis hand cream and the day cream is very hydrating and it smells gorgeous with hint of mandarin and neroli. Definitely a beauty gift set is something very much appreciated.
Trilogy products have got natural ingredients and the presence of certified organic rosehip oil which I love. The skin care range has got a great selection of products and you pay for what you use, nothing is wasted in fancy packaging. Its bottles and jars are very minimalist with a vintage feel.
Cosmetics are always great gifts.and they can be perfect stocking fillers. Benefit cosmetics with its tongue in cheek names always make me smile, the quality is excellent and they deliver what they promise. Find lovely gift sets or buy single products to customise your gifts. For more idea, to check opening hours and to register your Debenhams Beauty Card so that when shopping you can redeem points go to www.debenhams.com