Friday, December 23, 2016

Men's Christmas Gift Guide

If I do say so myself I'm pretty good at gift buying but before I put my initiative into action I like to check if there is anything specific the men in my life would like. This often results in some dithering and typically I find myself days from Christmas with just one or two men to buy for.

My dad for example 'doesn't want anything' although will 'joke' on Christmas Day about his lack of presents or more annoyingly request my assistance ordering something online I could've gave him on Christmas or then you have Ben who told me mere days ago what he would like after I'd already come up with my own ideas and so he would have at least something to open on the day.

Whether the men in your life have piles of gifts that are looking a little small in comparison to other members of the family or you need to just find something here are a few suggestions from me to you.

First is The Ladybird Book of The Hangover. I love Ladybird books and my early readers will remember that I used to collect original vintage copies of the books we know and love. With the current trend for nostalgia and the release of this adult versions of the book they are great fun to gift friends and family - especially with hangovers ensuing.

My brother loves a beauty product or two and especially what he calls my 'swag' (the products I receive to review on Florence and Mary) so he'll be excited to open up these products from Embryolisse and Mandara Spa on Christmas Day which have nicely padded out the Lush items he requested. 

Mandara Spa you may know as the high street brand from the people behind Elemis and you'll be able to pick up their products in your local Sainsbury as you're stocking up on Christmas Day supplies. The Mandara Spa for Men Essentials Kit* contains a lip and aftershave balm which is the perfect size to slot in a gift card and what I have done for my dad as it makes wrapping far easier and looks a little more exciting than just the gift card and the Mandara Spa Mens Body Duo* will be an ideal set for my brother to use as he always has a bag with toiletries required for work and when he hits the gym.

I'm keen to get my brothers thoughts on the Embryolisse Mens Shower Gel* which I can say does smell amazing and I know he's a big fan of aftershave balms so Embryolisse's* offering, if as good as the moisturisers I use should be a big hit.

If in any further doubt then consider their favourite TV show and who doesn't love Game of Thrones? I'm wrapping the Game of Thrones Lannister Banner Pack* up as a gift for my brother and nephew. Whilst Brody is too young for Game of Thrones it's Lego-esq nature means it'll be a fun present for them to enjoy together. The Hound's Helmet* will be going to my brother in law who is a big fan of the show and I'm sure he'll have trouble keeping it away from the kids.

I know the men will be happy with their gifts and they're all products that I could easily reach for on the high street without having to tackle the larger shopping departments and all will make a nice accompaniment to gift vouchers or the traditional male gift in our family, a bottle of booze.

What are you buying the man in your life?

*this post contains press samples and / or affiliate links

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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Sponsored Post | The Crown Costumes

The Crown Neflix Costumes

The Crown Neflix Costumes

One of my Christmas traditions is always a trip to Liberty in London. It's a beautiful store at any time of the year but their Christmas Department is always one of my favourites. On this years trip I was able to admire costumes from Netflix's recent smash hit The Crown. The show is being talked about by everyone and everywhere but I've yet to hit play saving a binge for over the Christmas holidays and I can't wait.

The Crown is set as Queen Elizabeth II takes to the throne in the late 40's as hits my favourite fashion era, the 1950s. It won't escape anyones notice that many of the dresses I wear today have a nod to the 50s style with their fuller skirts which suit my figure and I would happily have taken any of the costumes on display home with me.

Emmy Award winning Michele Clapton, who you may know as one of the costume designers on Game of Thrones was tasked with both matching historically documented outfits and creating inspired pieces for the perfect wardrobe of the lead characters.

It's no surprise that the The Crown is one of the most expensive TV series' ever made due to Michel estimating that 95% of the principal characters costumes were custom made with only extras wearing authentic vintage clothing.

Michele has perfectly demonstrated through fashion the difference in style and position of both Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret such as in the evening gowns above and it was a great opportunity to be able to see them 'in real life'.

If you're a fan of vintage style and want to update your wardrobe with an original dress of the era than you must visit Rokit*. Rokit began with humble beginnings on Camden Market before their success meant demand required bricks and mortar stores and an online presence.

All items for Rokit are sourced and assessed by their team of vintage experts in the UK's biggest vintage warehouse and stock is sent daily to their four London stores. The stores and the website are a dream for the vintage connoisseur and if you're looking for something special and one of kind to wear for New Years Eve then you must check them out. I have my eye on this little number.

Would like to channel your inner 50's queen or perhaps your a 70's disco queen. What do you think of vintage fashion and have you seen The Crown yet?

*this post is in collaboration with Rokit

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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Rose Gold Christmas Gifts from JewelleryBox

Jewellery Box

I think I have received a piece of jewellery every Christmas since I can remember. Jewellery is always a good idea whether it's the candy necklaces I would find in my stocking to the Tiffany Jewellery or Pandora charm bracelet phases I had. In fact this year there are a couple of pieces I've requested on my Christmas List this year I hope to open at the weekend but ahead of that I was lucky to receive a couple of lovely pieces from JewelleryBox.

JewelleryBox is an online retailer offering sterling silver and 9ct gold jewellery at costume jewellery prices and they stock over 10,000 pieces for you to choose a gift for any friend or family member without breaking the bank nor risking green wrists by Boxing Day.

I was invited to pick from their range and it was difficult narrowing it down to just two pieces. I have a tendency to eye roll at the rose gold loving cliches but happily joined them as I picked out the 18ct Rose Gold Dipped Sterling Silver Infinity Bracelet and Necklace*.

This is a gorgeous and simple set to wear and I'm really fond of the 18ct Rose Gold Dipper Sterling Silver Infinity Necklace* and wear it often. Spending a lot of time at home or running errands locally I'm wearing more casual clothes and no need for the chunkier style of necklace I would usually wear. This simple design sets off my often black clothing and allows a simply t-shirt to have a little edge and make me feel a little more put together. At less than ten pounds at £8.15 this is such a nice affordable item that I'm sure anyone would enjoy opening on Christmas Day.

The matching 18ct Rose Gold Dipper Sterling Silver Infinity Belcher Bracelet* is another great piece and the fact it's sterling silver helps a single girl like me who once I've found someone to put it on for me (those damn stiletto nails!) I will leave on for days. Often I've had bracelets which whilst I've loved after they've been dunked in water one time too many start to look a little worn and not so pretty.

If you still have some last minute gifts to purchase you have until 3pm tomorrow for first class post or next day shipping will be available until Friday so check JewelleryBox out online, I'm sure you'll find something you love and their packaging means there's no need for additional wrapping.

What jewellery is on your wish list?

*this post contains press samples and / or affiliate links

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Friday, December 16, 2016

Sponsored Post | Bidvine for Photographers

Depending on the circles you move in one Tweet or Facebook status asking for advice or services can result in multiple responses but other times it's tumbleweed. Bidvine is a fantastic resource to help you find all manner of professionals from plumbers to personal trainers in your local area with a few simple online steps. I was offered the opportunity to test Bidvine and find out just how easy it was to obtain a quote from the professional services on offer and can share my thoughts with you today.

I decided to use Bidvine to investigate photographers in my local area with a view to using the images on Florence and Mary. It's something I've been pondering for some time in lieu of an 'instagram husband' and whilst my friends do a sterling job of producing some images for use on these pages I acknowledge they are not competing with some of the images seen on others blogs; it's not escaped my notice that many fashion bloggers are hiring photographers to help create their imagery and I was keen to explore doing the same.

To get started you type in the service you need, in my case 'portrait photography' and your post code so that local professionals can be sourced for quotes. A series of questions based on your request are asked; what type of portrait, where will the photographs be taken, what style of photography would you like, how would you like to receive images and whether you require the photographer to travel to you or you can travel to them.

All the questions you are asked have a drop down list of options so the process is very quick and ensures that your quotes will be received based on everything you need and avoiding further back and forth or miscommunication.

You will need to create an account whether by email, Facebook or Google+ and will be advised that you will your quotes shortly, in my case I was advised three days time. In face within the hour I had received two responses with differing quotes based on my budget and photographers looking to engage.

I was really impressed with the speed of the responses and how easy it was to use Bidvine, and certainly in the instance of a photographer which is somewhere I wouldn't know where to start looking locally for this type of project. I'll definitely be sourcing other services via Bidvine in the future and will be exploring the photography aspect further in the new year.

If you are looking to hire photographers or any professional service do check Bidvine as I'm sure you'll find what you need.

*this post is sponsored by Bidvine

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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Christmas Gifts from Joan Collins Timeless Beauty

Joan Collins Timeless Beauty Review

Joan Collins oozes glamour and sophistication and if you want to channel a bit of that for yourself, friend or family member this Christmas look no further than the Joan Collins Timeless Beauty range.

One of the most popular products from the outstanding line is the 'paparazzi ready' Compact Duo Powder and Lipstick* which literally has Joan Collins stamped all over it. A luxurious gold compact which houses a Meticulous Face Powder and your favourite Divine Lips lipstick from the Joan Collins Timeless Beauty range - you pick your shade at purchase but any lipstick from Joan can be used - ready for those all important touch ups on the go whether it's a day of meetings or another Christmas party.

The face powder is gorgeous, silky, smooth and could easily replace my love for Chanel Les Beiges and the fact it keeps a lipstick to hand and can easily be slipped into my handbag makes it well worth the £34 price tag. My only criticism is that you only have the neutral shade available in the Compact Duo (from what I've seen) and although it works perfectly well for powdering my nose when I'm on the go I would be concerned in the Summer when tanned and it'd be needed even more. There is something quite 'fancy' about pulling out the compact and touching up my make up.

I received the Divine Lips Lipstick* in shade Lady Joan and again was taken with the luxury gold packaging, reminiscent of Charlotte Tilbury for a cheaper price. The shade Lady Joan is a raspberry pink with a sheen, but extremely pigmented. Perfect for the time of year if you're looking for something other than red to wear. The lipsticks are creamy and I was impressed with how long they lasted - almost no need for touching up.

I was also able to try the the Glorious Gloss* in shade Piper which is more pigmented than I expected, creamy but not sticky and one I have been reaching for on a regularly basis and my first foray into Joan Collins Timeless Beauty has been a positive experience and I can't wait to try more.

If you're a fan of Hollywood glamour you'll want to think about adding some items to your Christmas list.

*this post contains press samples and / or affiliate links

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