Ciaté 12 Days Of Makeup Advent Calendar Review

Ciaté 12 Days Of Makeup Advent Calendar Review

If you’re a regular reader of The July Journal then you will probably have saw my Holland & Barrett Beauty Advent Calendar Review so I thought now that I’ve finished the Ciaté 12 Days of Makeup Advent Calendar that I would let you know my thoughts.

It was a lot smaller than the Holland Barrett one so I automatically presumed that I wouldn’t be receiving any full size products but there was a couple hidden in there. I’ll be honest from the start; Ciaté wasn’t as giving compared to the contents of the other calendar however I have loved it just the same. It was nice to have a little box to open over the 12 days with each product wrapped in little tissue paper. It kind of reminded me of something that The Body Shop do with their calendars. Anyway, here’s what was inside each of the little boxes:

Liquid Velvet Lipstick in Pin Up

Glow-To Highlighter

Liquid Velvet Lipstick in Oh Honey!

Eyeshadow in Dainty

Wonderwand Gel Kohl Eyeliner

Fierce Flicks Eyeliner

Liquid Velvet Lipstick in Delight

Eyeshadow in Unconditional

Bamboo Bronzer

Makeup Melter

Eyeshadow in Fierce

Wonderwand Mascara in Black Magic

Overall, I really enjoyed the products that I received in the calendar. My favourites were definitely the Liquid Velvet Lipsticks as I have used them the most throughout the month. Personally, I don’t think the contents was as good as my other calendar but the products are of really good quality.

Have you got a beauty advent calendar this year? What’s your thoughts on this one?

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Ciaté 12 Days Of Makeup Advent Calendar Review

A Christmas Present Haul

So your probably thinking “Yasmina, it’s not even Christmas day yet” but it isn’t the kind of post you think it is. Unless you have a really good relationship with plenty of PRs and brands, most of us bloggers don’t get a whole load of gift sets to feature in many gift guides. Most of us bloggers are probably working on a budget, am I right? I’m also guessing that most of you have probably over-worked yourself and will probably be doing mad dashes to the shop at the weekend to buy the last fews bits. Well, I thought I would share with you what I have actually got for friends and family this year. So if you know your on my immediate friends and family list – please DON’T read any further. You have been warned!

This year, I have made the most of the sales. My local Whittard had a sale on during October and I managed to find the perfect tea pot for my Aunt. It’s a perfect tea-for-one style pot as it has a cup and saucer underneath the pot. I think she is definitely going to make the most out of this pot as she can easily carry up to bed for the weekends when she is wanting to relax a little longer too.

Books are always a great idea to get for various different people. I know my best friend Alice, always loves reading so I’ve treated her to something from her reading list. It’s the same with my mum too. She usually gives me a list of authors that she is enjoying at the moment and gives me the titles of the books that she already has so I can do my own research and find some similar or other books by the same author. I highly recommend The Little Book of Lykke, Everything, Everything and Secrets of The Mad. They are a couple of my favourites!

New Look recently had a buy one, get one free offer on the makeup so I made the most of it and treated my cousin’s girlfriend to a couple of pieces. In the end, I chose a mascara, eyeshadow quad, lipstick and a nail varnish. It was such a good deal because it came to less than £7 which is great for those shopping on a budget.

Another beauty/skincare related present I brought was for my sister. Whilst in the midst of panic mode that the present I originally got her wasn’t going to arrive I decided to treat her to a box of Bomb Cosmetics treats. Considering she doesn’t usually take baths, I found the Shower Mixers extremely useful. They are basically like bath bombs but for your shower and you’ve guessed it, you can mix the scents to the Strawberry and Citrus scented mixers as I think they smell similar to The Body Shop shower gels. I also popped in a bar of Santa Baby Soap as, again, it smells quite fruity. The whole package came to around £8 which I think was fantastic.

You can’t go wrong with chocolate coins. They are the best addition to any Christmas present. On a more serious note though, a nice box of chocolates is always a good shout. I usually go for a generous box of Hotel Chocolat or Thortans Create-Your-Own. If they don’t take your fancy then everyone and their gran loves a classic box of Maltesers. When I was younger Lindt Chocolate Santa’s used to be one of my favourites to receive in a stocking too. There’s plenty on the market when it comes to chocolatey treats!

If there’s one thing that I love gifting friends and family, it is something personal to them. For the longest time now, I have been wanting to give my sister a ‘big sister’ necklace as she got me one years ago for my birthday. Ever since October, I have been on the hunt for the perfect one. I found one on Etsy by a lovely company called Izabellasilver Design a couple of weeks back and I knew a just had to order it. It was personalised with her initial and the birthstone as well as the beautifully designed ‘sister’ pendent too.

I’m hoping this post has given you some ideas. I would love to know what presents you like getting for other people are.

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Ciaté 12 Days Of Makeup Advent Calendar Review

Cruelty Free And Vegan Secret Santa With Sarah Kirby

If there’s one thing that I love about Christmas in the blogging community, it’s doing a secret santa gift exchange. I knew immediately that I wanted to be involved with Sarah’s Secret Santa. The idea of the #CFVSECRETSANTA was to send a gift which was minimum of £10 which included cruelty free and vegan friendly treats to your giftee that was allocated to you.

I had so much fun putting my package together and I just hope the person who I was buying for really enjoyed it. I haven’t shared it much on social media because I didn’t want them to find out who it was until they opened it but I did include a card with my details in so we could start talking afterwards. Bernard even got involved…

Obviously this meant, I received a little treat of my own which I thought I would share with you. I wish I knew who send mine so I could thank them because they know me so well! The treated me to a Shoot For The Stars bath bomb which is one of my favourites when it comes to the Christmas Lush Collection. It has golden cocoa butter stars that softens the skin and it smells amazing. She also sent some Rhythm 108 treats; Chocolate Hazelnut Biscuits, Lemon & Ginger Biscuits and a Sweet ‘n’ Salty Almond Bar. I’ve never tried anything from that brand before but the biscuits taste amazing! I was also gifted one of the largest Vego bar that I’ve ever seen and Livia’s Kitchen Raw Millionaire Bites which again is another company than I’ve never tried before.

I would just like to thank whoever sent my gift, I love all the gifts that I have received, and Sarah for running the Secret Santa.

Have you done Secret Santa this year?

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Ciaté 12 Days Of Makeup Advent Calendar Review

Three Festive Bakes

There’s nothing I love more during the festive season than baking so I thought I would share with you a couple of recipes that you might like to try in the run up to Christmas. All three of them are so super easy and are extremely affordable for those working on a budget.

The first recipe is the classic Mince Pie. I actually found this recipe on Catherine’s blog and it’s unbelievable how easy it was. Did I mention that they are vegan too? I’m so used to having Sainsbury’s Iced Mince Pies but I have to admit these taste so much better!

You rub together 200g of plain flour, a pinch of salt, 100g of butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon so that it resembles breadcrumbs. After that you add 4 tablespoons of ice cold water to make a dough. Roll this out on a floured surface and cut circles using a cookie cutter (or a glass like what I did). Grease a cupcake tin and place the circles in the tin, add a teaspoon of mincemeat on top and then use the remaining dough to cut into shapes to place on top. Brush the tops with milk and cook for 20 minutes at 200°C. They should be slightly golden and the mincemeat bubbling slightly as they come out. They taste amazing with cream too!

Cinnamon biscuits is another simple recipe and look great plain or decorated. You can hang them of the Christmas tree for guests, or add them into presents as a gift. Similar to the mince pie recipe, it was so simple and quick to do.

To make the biscuits, sift 150g of plain flour, 150g of self-raising flour and two teaspoons of ground cinnamon in a large bowl. In a separate bowl mix 125g of butter, 100g of sugar (I used golden sugar) and one egg beaten up. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients to make a firm dough. Roll out onto a floured surface and cut into shapes. Place on to a greased baking tray and bake for 10-15 minutes at 180°C. I found that it made quite a lot so I decided to half the mixture and freeze the other amount for another day. You could also substitute the cinnamon for ginger if you wanted to. They taste so good with hot milk!

My final recipe was probably the most trickiest but one I knew I wanted to feature on my blog. I have seen Christmas Tree Brownies across the internet and social media but trust me it’s not as easy as you might think. I decided to use the Paul Hollywood Belgian Chocolate Brownie Mix and surprisingly it was really easy to follow and tastes amazing! After attempting these at least three times, I’ve learnt that you need a square tin and then use aluminium foil and spray oil or greaseproof paper to put the mixture on so it doesn’t get stuck and to leave to completely cool.

After you have done your brownies, cut into triangles and use candy cane sticks to make the trunks to the tree. You can make your own green icing if you want however I used Sainsbury’s Green Designer Icing which came with three different nozzles. Sprinkle over some decorations and add a chocolate star and your done.

I would love to see if you recreate these recipes. What else should I try baking this year?

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Ciaté 12 Days Of Makeup Advent Calendar Review

A Gift Guide With Mad Beauty

I have been eyeing up the gifts on the Mad Beauty website for a long time but I was so unsure on their cruelty free status however I have good news – they are cruelty free! After chatting with their PR team I received confirmation that they do not test products or ingredients on animals and they aren’t owned by any other companies. After a couple of weeks, I received a gorgeous parcel with some Mad Beauty treats in so I thought I would share with you some ideas perfect for any stocking this Christmas.

The first thing they sent were these Bambi Bath Fizzers. They smell amazing and have such adorable packaging. It would be such a nice gift for any Disney/bath lover to receive or you could split them between friends. I also received a mix of Christmas hand sanitizers; a cranberry Santa, a marshmallow Snowman and a cherry Penguin. They all smell amazing but I love the cranberry scent the most. I’m not really a hand sanitizer kind of person but during the winter months they are good to use to kill germs. I’m so surprised at how moisturising they actually are too! My favourite is definitely the Jelly Belly Bubblegum, it’s so sweet and reminds me of Snow Fairy from Lush.

Mad Beauty have a lovely range of gifts on their website so I’d highly recommend checking them out. Have you brought anything from Mad Beauty before?

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