My 2013 Favourties

2013 Favourites

Simple Oil Balancing Moisturiser

I came across this Simple moisturiser by chance in ASDA for a mere £3. Usually on sale for under £5, or on offer at 2 for £6, this is a great low cost moisturiser. It is light on the skin and, as with all Simple products, it is chemical and fragrance free. I like to use it right before I apply my makeup but I wouldn’t fully recommend it as a primer as it doesn’t matify the skin completely. However, it does control excess oils well and the packaging is sanitary and appealing.

Revlon Bold Sangria

This was an end of year buy influenced by an Instagram pic.  Revlon Colourstay’s ‘Bold Sangria’ polish is one of my new favourite polishes. Last year my Revlon nail polish ‘go-to- was ‘Spanish Moss’ which I used up and think I’ll repurchase again this year. Overall the Revlon polishes are long lasting, chip resistant and shiny. It is a bit costly at £7.99 but I think it’s worth the money, like all expensive polishes. Yes, I’m talking to you Essie and OPI!

Maybelline Baby Lips

I’m so happy this product lived up to the hype. As a slave to Vaseline for dry, chapped lips, I have tried numerous lip products. Finally, after a lot of trial and error I’ve found a good runner up. I’m not sure I would go as far as to replace this for Vaseline but it’s a tight call. Baby Lips itself is oily and moisturising, leaving a lovely sheen to your lips without being sticky. With a simple twist applicator at the bottom the packaging is bright and bold. I have been using the ‘Quenched’ Baby Lips which is goes onto the lips clear but there are numerous Baby Lips available in different shades which I can’t wait to try in 2014. In terms of availability I found these were hard to come by. That said they have been out for a good few months now so keep an eye out. They’re very popular!  In other Maybelline ‘Baby’ news, this month sees the launch of ‘Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser’ primer. The online waiting list for this product at is full but I managed to get one in my local Boots this evening!! Judging by the early online reviews I’ve read it’s as good as the ‘Baby Lips’ and a steal for £7.99 or (€11.99).Off the huge success of Baby Lips, Maybelline are launching a ‘Dr Rescue’ Baby Lips. Already available in the US, I’m looking forward to trying this re-vamped version of a brilliant product.

 Yankee Candle Fluffy Towels

Who doesn’t love a good Yankee Candle? My favourite towards the end of 2013 was definitely Fluffy Towels and Soft Blanket. Both extremely similar scents are fresh and cleansing. I found that they are completely odour eliminating compared to the other Yankee scents I’ve burned over the years.

Vogue USA The September Issue

Jennifer Lawrence knows how to work a cover shoot! J-Law looked incredible in Vogue USA September issue in 2013. The biggest and most important issue of the year was full of amazing spreads, including Jennifer’s and one shot in Co. Cork, Ireland. Jessica Chastain gave Jennifer a good run for her money as my favourite Vogue cover girl for 2013, a copy of which I manged to get my hands on yesterday! Beyoncé’s May Vogue UK  and Claire Danes November Vogue UK covers were my UK Vogue faves.

The Great Gatsby DVD

Anyone who follows my blog will know that I L-O-V-E The Great Gatsby, both book and Baz Luhrmann’s silver screen adaptation.  The music, fashion and jewellery are simply stunning in this film and Carey Mulligan is like an angel send from heaven with porcelain skin. A must see!!

Bruno Mars Unorthodox Jukebox

A Christmas present in 2012 I have been listening to Bruno Mars on a loop for the whole of 2013. My favourite songs include the released ‘Locked Out of Heaven’, ‘Treasure’ and the unreleased ‘Natalie’ and ‘Money Make Her Smile’.  The only disappointing thing about this album is that there are only ten songs on it.

Cath Kidston Makeup Bag

A present for my 20th birthday, a small Cath Kidston makeup bag was the very thing I didn’t know I needed! This is the perfect handbag sized makeup bag. Brilliant for holding a bottle of nail polish, eyeliner, mascara, a nail file, a mirror and lip balm in one place in your handbag. It’s also stylish enough to bring out in public.

Christmas Gift Inspiration

Merry Christmas VanessaTaaffe.wordpress

With less than a two and a half weeks to go until Christmas the pressure of gift giving has no doubt reached boiling point. If you are in need of some inspiration this Christmas look no further…

For the Girls

A Yankee Candle gift set, from £5.99 – £20, is a great option for Mums and Grannies. Winter scents like Cinnamon or Red Apple Wreath are always great at Christmas time. If fresh scents  are what you had in mind, Fluffy Towels and Soft Blanket smell amazing all year round, so you won’t be sick of festive smells come February. There are some great discounts available at on Christmas themed candle holders and burners.

A pair of fluffy  pyjamas (£10) and a new DVD release like The Great Gatsby (£10) is a great girly gift. Downton Abbey Seasons 1- 4 is another DVD option for £38.

Christmas gifts girls

Cath Kidston has a variety Christmas gift sets. Mug sets for £20 are pre boxed and available for gift wrapping. Items at £10 include handbag sized makeup bags, nail and manicure sets, mini hand creams and body wash sets.

Handmade Cosmetics are available in most shopping centres and Christmas markets this year. Gift boxes full of handmade soaps and bath goodies are always a luxurious treat.Alternatively you could compile a spa or makeup kit yourself. Fill a makeup bags with an assortment of nail varnishes, eye shadows, lip balms or body scrubs, facial washes and moisturiser. Add some festive gold or red tissue paper to the lining of the bag. Keep an eye for 3for2 offers on cosmetics and beauty products in Boots and Superdrug. Don’t forget to use your loyalty card points, could save a fortune.

For The Boys

New DVD releases like World War Z, Olympus Has Fallen, Fast and Furious 6, Now You See Me and season one of the most talked about TV programme, Breaking Bad, are all available for £10. Grand Theft Auto 5 is on most Christmas wish lists this year, available for PlayStation and Xbox at £43.

A classic leather wallet starts from £15 (House of Fraser in store and online). A fashionable tweed, wool and showerproof cap usually go for £20. Either of these would be ideal for Dads and Grandas. For brothers and boyfriends, TopMan have matching festive hat and scarves in their accessories department from £6 – £18.

Gift ideas Christmas men

Boots No.7 counter have No.7 for Men gift sets and grooming kits which include post shave recovery balm, face and body washes, for £12 – £35. Various department stores and drugstores have an extensive range of designer aftershaves gift sets.

Easons have lots of 3for2 offers this Christmas. Alex Ferguson by Alex Ferguson is set to be the Christmas favourite this year, available on Amazon for £12 with free delivery. If football isn’t what you had in mind, the old reliable Guinness Book of World Records also has free home delivery at £9.

Let me know your Christmas gift ideas below!