Six Great Christmas Ads

Merry Christmas VanessaTaaffe.wordpress

Love them or hate them, Christmas ads are an integral part of the festive season. For many Christmas officially starts once the ads hit our screens but this year, September to be exact, the ads came in thick, fast and uncommonly early. I’m sure I think that every year! As always, there have been some amazing new gems for 2013, mainly John Lewis and their annual Christmas short film. However, the classics will always have a place in our hearts.

John Lewis

It’s fast becoming a tradition for John Lewis to dominate with their annual Christmas ad.The remarkably Christmasy songs always do well in the charts and give lease of life to classic tunes, the instant success of Gabrielle Aplin and her version of The Power of Love springs to mind. Lily Allen’s adaptation of Keane’s Somewhere Only We Know has added a magical touch to this years campaign.  The Hare and Bear are  likely to go down as one of the cutest Christmas couples.

 Kellogs Corn Flakes 

The Kellogs Corn Flakes ad is an all round Christmas favourite. Childhood memories of waiting up to hear Santa on the roof, leaving out milk, cookies, carrots, or in this instance Corn Flakes, come flooding back to us all when we see this ad. The excitement of Christmas eve is perfectly portrayed and it doesn’t hurt that the children are extremely cute. A real classic!


Drawing inspiration from The Wizard of Oz, Aladdin and Alice in Wonderland, this years M&S ad stars model, actress and lingerie designer, Rosie Huntington Whitley, model David Gandy and actress extraordinaire, Helena Bonham Carter. The music is suitably magical, festive and recognisable. I can’t think of too many women that wouldn’t mind being whisked away on a magic carpet by David Gandy!  M&S are definitely bringing their brand and products to a whole new audience with this superb Christmas ad. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next year.


Simply a wonderfully, magical Christmas ad. The music, the snow, the sentiment, everyone wrapped up safe and warm in their houses on Christmas eve. How idyllic!

Cadbury’s Chocolate 

This new Cadbury’s ad is every child’s dream, isn’t it?! Unwrapping mania at it’s best, with an upbeat, happy clappy tune to match.

 I’d love to know your favourite ads this Christmas!

Christmas Nail Art and BornPretty Review

Merry Christmas VanessaTaaffe.wordpress

It’s the final week before Christmas!  What better way to embrace the festive spirit than a Christmas nail art review and tutorial? For the past week I have been using BornPretty’s Christmas 3D nail stickers.  The stickers come in colour and theme co-ordinated groups on a plastic backing. Some of my favourites included Christmas trees, jolly Santa’s and snowmen. These stickers are extremely long lasting, easy to use and look lovely on your nails. I work in a hairdressing salon part-time and my hands are constantly in and out of water.  After two days of work these appliques were still perfect! 

How to Use

  • Paint your nails with a base coat. When dry paint them any colour of your choice.
  • Once fully dry apply the Born Pretty stickers by peeling individual stickers from the plastic backing. This can be difficult at first but I found it best to bend and pinch around the area of the sticker you want to use and the edge will lift from the backing.
  • Use a pair of tweezers to lift and place the stickers on your nail. The smaller stickers can be trickier to work with so tweezers are the easiest way to apply them.
Nail Art Revlon Sangria

Born Pretty Nail Stickers with Revlon ‘Sangria’

  • Seal in your design with one or two applications of a topcoats. Glitter polish is also a great alternative if you want to get an extra few days out of your design.
Snowman Christmas Nails

Top: Plainer Snowman Nails using Rimmel “Aqua Cool”
Bottom: Glitter Snowman nails with Santa using Rimmel “Disco Ball”

  • You can go for all over design or just apply some to your ring fingers.
  • For the best results pair the silver stickers with dark colours and the greens, blues and whites with lighter colours or a white so the stickers stand out on your nails.
Christmas Nail Art White and Red designs

Left created using Rimmel white polish and Born Pretty nail stickers. Right created using red Avon polish and Born Pretty nail stickers

  • These work best on slightly longer nails but I tried them out on my Auntie who has shorter nails and they still worked out well.

Voucher Code

There is 10% off all BornPrettyStore products for all readers. Simply enter the voucher code VSSW10 at the checkout at and there is also free worldwide shipping.

For more inspiration have a look on

Let me know if you have tried these products before and how you styled them.

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!