Favourite Things: Jo Malone Scented Candles

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I love candles – tea lights, tapered dinner candles, scented votives, the lot! I recently decided to splash out on some luxury scented candles, and since then they’ve been somewhat of an addiction…

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One of the most iconic brands is Jo Malone, whose range of fragrances can be mixed and matched for a bespoke scent. The range is amazing (one of my favourites is red roses) but the brand’s distinctively wrapped candles caught my eye.

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With their minimalist black, white and silver labelling and lid, and black ribbon, they make an amazing item just to keep on your mantelpiece.

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When you order online, they arrive gift wrapped in a beautiful box, complete with a box of matches! How’s about that for attention to detail?

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As I’m on a macaroon kick at the moment, I ordered one of the Sweet Almond and Macaroon home candles from the Just Like Sunday range. Other scents from the range include Incense and Embers, Lavender and Lovage, and another favourite of mine, Green Tomato Leaf!

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Each candle is £39 and has a burn time of 45 hours. The scent is so intense that you’ll really only need to light it for a couple of hours to fill your house with the sweet aroma of sugary vanilla and almonds.

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I can’t think of many more decadent scents than this – and the packaging makes this a fantastic present too, even if it is for yourself! Check out the range at www.jomalone.co.uk here.

What’s your favourite scented candle?

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Burberry Nail Varnish: 102 English Rose

Since the launch of their nail varnish collection, Burberry have introduced a large range of new colours, including selections of nude, red and ‘runway’ shades. As English Rose is my favourite lip colour, I wanted to pick up the same colour for my nails!

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Burberry’s English Rose (102) is a pretty ballet pink with a hint of peach. It’s very sheer and takes a few coats for full coverage.

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It makes for a great neutral, although it’s just slightly lighter to my skin colour, which isn’t my preference.

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The only niggle I have with the Burberry range is that the brushes are hard to use – I wish they’d use rounded brushes like Dior! What do you think? Have you had a chance to try any of Burberry’s range?

Purchase Burberry nail varnish online at Burberry.com for £15 for an 8ml bottle. Find the nails section here, and English Rose here.

And just because I can’t resist my matte top coat:

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I always prefer my colours in matte! So glad I stocked up on this top coat…

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Valentine’s Day Beauty

I’m a big fan of Burberry beauty, and a recent convert to Dior, and I picked out my favourite hot pink, baby pink and really red shades from the brands to create three simple Valentine’s Day looks!

Valentine's Day Nails and Lips

From the top, Vogue is my latest lipstick purchase – an outrageously girly hot pink from Dior which goes nicely with their new limited edition spring Bloom nail varnish. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it makes a lasting impression!

For a more subtle and romantic look, one of my favourite neutral pinks is English Rose from Burberry – and now a matching shade of nail varnish has been launched as part of the brand’s neutral shades. I can’t wait to try it!

Finally, what could be more classic than a red lip paired with red nails? Dior’s 999 is probably the most famous red shade on the market, and was reformulated in 2013 for Dior’s 60th anniversary and based on lipstick 9, the first lipstick Christian Dior ever created. Rich, deep and flattering, the colour also comes as a nail varnish – both perfect for a Valentine’s Day look!

I’ll be doing a post on Vogue and Bloom and the two 999 colours soon, but in the meantime, how about I leave you with some pictures from my visit to Christian Dior’s house in Granville? It’s now a museum dedicated to the fashion designer, and is definitely worth a visit!

Main house of Christian Dior
Christian Dior Museum Gardens
Christian Dior Museum Perfume Collection
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11 Dec: Ciate Mini Mani Month – Jingle Belle

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The first, and only, glitter of the bunch was under the 11th door of the Ciate advent calender: it’s Jingle Belle!

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This seems to be an exclusive for the calendar, and is a hot pink glitter with gold sparkles. I applied it over the top of Kiss Chase, from 8 Dec, which gave it a very pink base underneath.

11 Dec nails

As you can see, depending on the light, the colour appears either coral or pink – but either way, it was very pretty! I was initially worried about how well it would apply. Considering that the glitter is very fine, I thought it would go everywhere, and be difficult to remove from your fingers. But a quick wipe with some tissue (dampened if needs be!) worked a charm, and it’s even fairly easy to remove compared to some other glittery top coats. Again, nice job, Ciate! I definitely want to try out some different glitter top coats now!

11 Dec glitter

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10 Dec: Ciate Mini Mani Month – Speed Coat

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Top coat is a funny old thing. It seems essentially useless and is incredibly boring to contemplate, but actually, it’s one of the most important parts of any girl’s nail varnish stash. The right top coat not only makes your colour last longer, but it can also fix bumps and lumps in the finish, and even set your varnish faster – and harder. I’m a long time convert to Seche Vite, just like any other nail blogger, so I was interested to see what Ciate had to offer.

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Colours are always exciting, but an essential like this is good to have in a sample size for travelling, and it’s great as a way of convincing those who aren’t quite sure yet that that top coat is actually worth using! Not only does it hold your caviar manis in place, but it also brings out the shine in other top coats.

Ciate says: “Speed Coat is an award winning Formaldehyde free top coat which guarantees touch dry nails in sixty seconds, locks in colour and can extend colour wear. Taking the nail industry by storm, this formula has won many industry awards since its 2008 launch. Including U Magazine’s Best Top Coat award. A high gloss finish and chip free for up to 10 days, this gorgeous product delivers a perfect performance.” You can purchase the new and improved formula here – currently priced at £11.

10 Dec montage

Here’s yesterday’s Pillow Fight, layered with Halo, on the left. On the right, I’ve topped Halo with Speed Coat. As you can see, even in the incredibly subtle medium of photography, there’s a much glossier shine on the Speed Coat version – and it was much more pronounced in real life. Speed Coat is an impressive blend – thick, easy to apply, and it brought out a deeper shine on my finished nails. A keeper!

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9 Dec: Ciate Mini Mani Month – Pillow Fight

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Under the door today is Pillow Fight, a deep and moody purple with a playful side!

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Ciate says: “Creamy delicate grey with the smallest hint of lilac, innocent looking with an edge. Get ready to release your playful side.” You can buy a full bottle here.

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The straight up colour is on the left, and on the right is OPI’s matte top coat over it. And I thought I’d pose with my favourite trinket – a ceramic pot which used to hold Fortnum’s relish, but now holds my earrings on my bedside table!

As for the colour itself, I’d argue this is purple with a hint of grey, rather than the other way around – and it’s Christmas, so that means arguing is pretty much par for the course!

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8 Dec: Ciate Mini Mani Month – Kiss Chase

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It’s bright, neon pink for Sunday, with Ciate’s Kiss Chase – under door number eight of my advent calendar!

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What can I say other than this is unashamedly girly.? Ciate’s decription reads: “A dreamy pink to make the boy’s wink, super girly and sure to become the Paint Pot equivalent of your BFF. Bold high coverage one coat colour with luminous pastel tendencies. Pucker up!” Buy a pot here.

8 Dec Montage

Bold pink is not really my thing, but even Kiss Chase is growing on me! And what do you think of the matte version, on the right? (By the way, I added three coats to my nails, because it seemed slightly sheer to me, somehow! But then, I was painting my nails at 2.30 in the morning!)

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7 Dec: Ciate Mini Mani Month – Fit For A Queen

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Today it was like Christmas on the Starship Enterprise, thanks to the sci-fi glam of Fit For A Queen!

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Here’s Ciate’s decription: “A classic chrome silver. Just what you need to finish that super duper sequinned dress. Think liquid platinum, full of glamour and seduction. Team with your favourite silver studded boots for the glam rock look or with a LBD for sexy sophistication.” You can buy a full bottle here.

7 Dec Montage

I tried Fit For A Queen with matte top coat (top right), Ciate’s Snow Globe from earlier in the month (bottom left) and Pirouette My Whistle from OPI (bottom right). Which one is your favourite? I probably sound like a stuck record, but I’m digging the matte effect!

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Couldn’t resist posing with my latest favourite purchase: the beautiful Zara necklace that Kate Middleton was wearing on the red carpet this week – and of course, it was also seen on the delightful Mary Berry during Graham Norton’s show! Sadly, it’s now sold out, but you can bag one on eBay if you don’t mind paying a premium!

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6 Dec: Ciate Mini Mani Month – Sugar Plum

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A pretty pastel shade for Friday – it’s Sugar Plum under door number six of Ciate’s Mini Mani Month advent calendar!

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Ciate’s description reads: “Baby doll parmaviolet. Delicious creams create a colour perfect for the spring and summer. Unique and flirtatious that screams pass me my floral skirt and pussybow blouse.” You can purchase a full bottle here.

Pastel shades aren’t really my thing, although this is a pretty shade if you want to fully embrace your girly side!

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I also gave it a whirl under a matte top coat (bottom left – although I didn’t really dry it enough, the finish is much more matte than it appears there!). What do you reckon to this colour – are you a Sugar Plum fairy?!

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5 Dec: Ciate Mini Mani Month – Encore!

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Today’s door held a rather sophisticated and restrained orange: meet Encore!

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Encore! is so new that I got an email (well timed, Ciate!) about its launch today, as part of the Dragonfly Collection (six bottles for £40 – viewable here.) Encore’s description reads: “This muted orange is perfect for wearing all-year-round as an alternative to a classic red.” You can purchase it as an individual bottle here. I definitely appreciate Ciate slipping in a brand new shade for the advent calendar – yet another reason to purchase one if you haven’t already!

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At first I was a bit hesitant about this shade, as orange isn’t really my thing, but it grew on me, and by the end of the day I really appreciated its understated glamour. As a bonus, I wore it to Highclere Castle’s Christmas fair (where they film Downton Abbey), and I felt it was very appropriate given its vintage vibe – although Lady Mary would probably have been shocked!

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