Monday, 28 January 2013

Valentine's Day 2013 Guide & Giveaway

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It's that time of the year again to show the person you love how much you love them throughout the year. No matter how you are going to spend the day, it's always nice to give them a little something as a love token, let it be homemade chocolate, romantic dinner, or a gorgeous gift. 

As usual, we'll be busying ourselves with Abby's birthday, our best ever Valentine's Day gift in 2008! But I'd still like to show you a small selection of gifts, hopefully to help you with your gift hunt! There are discounts available, and I've also sourced a few gifts to giveaway to the lucky ones. They might not arrive before or on Valentine's Day, but they can still be "used" on other occasions. Good luck! x

Beauty Up thy Inner Goddess
Look into My Heart
Delicious Seduction
Doll Me Up
Essence of Heaven
From Moi to Tu

Beauty Up my Inner Goddess

Elizabeth's Daughter Starter Set, cosmetics, facial
Left: Travel Pack for samples purpose

Elizabeth's Daughter Starter Set   £20.00       Soothing and Glossing Balm (50ml)  £8.00

- Starter Set includes 40ml of each facial gel cleanser, daily moisturiser, deep cleansing purifying mask and a foaming bath & shower wash:
         wash-off Facial Gel Cleanser contains Aloe Vera leaf juice to moisturise and fresh Kiwi cells for vitamin C and E
        daily moisturiser with SPF15 contains Rice Bran and Sesame Seed oils for vitamin E and anti-oxidants, fresh pumpkin cells and Shea Butter for moisture
       deep cleansing purifying mask contains Lime Seed oil for Omega 3, 6, 9 to help tissue regeneration and skin conditioning, Amazonian White Clay for it's rich mineral salts to help eliminate toxins and plant extracts to help rebalance skin
         foaming wash contains Water lily extract to help protect and moisturise, pearl powder and sea mineral water to help metabolism
- Soothing and Glossing Balm for lips and skin contains apricot butter to soften and glosses lips, Shea Butter and Aloe Vera to protect and condition, Rose Hip seed oil for vitamin A, and Meadowfoam seed oil to moisturise with Vitamin E

Some people might find it offensive to receive skincare products as a gift, but would you be offended to receive fragrance as gifts? It really depends on how you see it, I certainly have no problem receiving skincare, especially the fact that they are used daily and they are certainly not cheap! I wouldn't mind someone looking after my skin for me, financially!

I love Elizabeth's daughter facial gel cleanser. It's a runny gel because of the Aloe Vera leaf juice, and the texture is amazing. After rubbing it on the palm in a circular motion for a few seconds, the liquid gel soon turn into a soft and light foam that contains all these small and evenly sized bubbles, which is the perfect stage for applying on the face (you should always only apply the foam on the face, unless it's the wipe-off cleansing milk). It has a delicate fragrance that I like and enjoy smelling. The result is fresh, clean and soft skin.

The daily moisturiser is a bit on the thick side for me (could be because of the Shea Butter) but I only needed a much smaller quantity of it for my whole face than my other moisturiser. If I use the normal amount I'd need some time to massage them all in, so a little goes a long way. After the initial bit has been absorbed, it didn't feel heavy anymore and my skin is left soft and smooth. The similar fragrance to the cleanser is a bit stronger though.

The purifying mask is lovely, and the beauty of it is that you only need to apply it for 3 minutes, instead of 12-15 minutes! You can absolutely use this while taking a bath or even a shower without needing to stay there for over 10 minutes. It's perfect for busy mums like me, or ladies who has a busy routine. It smelled a bit of the white clay, but once it's wiped off it left a similar delicate fragrance the cleanser has.

I haven't tried their bath and shower wash, but I'd certainly love to as I love the idea of it containing Water lily extract and Pearl essence (pearl powder with sea mineral water). The word that came to mind is serene.

A starter set is always good as a gift set for someone who has never used the brand or product before. Great for daughters, mums and lovers alike!

The Soothing and Glossing balm is not just for the lips but also for the skin. It is quite thick like petroleum jelly, but it works well to soften lips and fingertips, especially during this chappy weather! I used it both for my lips and cuticles, as well as to nourish my nails. It wasn't designed for that but it worked! Again, more a product to buy for someone who's very close to you, but if the person has always been complaining about chappy lips or dry fingers, you can get her this to show her how much attention you pay her!

Jason's, hand & body lotion, rosewater hands & body lotion
Left: Old packaging         Right: New packaging

Jason's Invigorating Rosewater Hand and Body Lotion (250ml)   rrp£6.99

- Daily lotion containing PH balancing Rosewater to tone and purify, and natural Aloe Vera gel and Sunflower oil nourish dry, over-stressed skin. Contains no Parabens nor Phthalates

Traditionally romance were always linked to roses. If the lady you are buying for loves the smell of roses, then this is the hand and body lotion for them. The lotion is light weight and runny, with the Aloe Vera gel providing all the moisture the skin needs. It's easy to absorb and skin feels soft afterwards. I'm not really a rose fragrance person, but I do love the texture. This will look nice in a handmade hamper or gift box.

Stargazer makeup, princess lipsticks

Stargazer makeup, princess lipsticks

Stargazer: The Princess Collection   £7.50

- 4 x 18ml mini lipsticks in the colour of (from left to right) Candy Pink, Burning Hot Pink, Deep Red and Sheer Lilac

I love the solid colour of Stargazer's lipsticks, and their Deep Red is certainly my favourite out of the four. It is that red that will give you that sexy pout! Other colours are also very pretty, though I wouldn't be able to carry them off. Their colours are very bold, just what Stargazer products are about: wild, colourful and in your face feel.

The Princess collection was created to celebrate the Royal wedding. I found their product description really amusing to read, and I'd definitely recommend you to visit their site and have a read yourself! Anyway, the collection makes a lovely Valentine's Day present as well, and perhaps this is the night that you'll be kissing a prince instead of a frog (not that I see anyone as a frog.. *dig hole*)!

CrystalCup lingerie, crystal therapy, karma

CrystalCup lingerie, crystal therapy, karma

CrystalCupsLingerie Day Camisole in Black Obsidian  £39.99

- Combines elegant and luxurious design with the wellbeing properties of crystals. Camisole has a small pocket in the centre panel next to the heart chakra (cleavage) where specially selected crystals are placed to enhance the physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of the wearer. Used ethically sourced materials, each come with moonstone, amethyst, carnelian and rose quartz, as well as information for each crystal

The soft fabric (92% Modal, 8% elastane) feels fantastic against the skin, and it is the kind of top I would normally wear during the day as well, so that's a bonus for me! Usually for my size, it's quite hard to find fitting tops, but this is surprisingly fitting (unfortunately I'm not ready to show you that).  Hubby also said that it's better than some of my other ones! The Moonstone (milky one) is for me as it's supposed to sooth stress. I'm not really sure whether it is working or not as I'd have to wear it for a longer period of time to be able to tell you. 

The crystals provided have a smooth finish, so no worries about them poking into my skin. If you are buying for someone who is into crystals and karma, you should certainly consider this. It's personal and close to heart, making it very romantic. Just make sure that you get the size right!

Look into My Heart

heart shape bottle, message in a bottle, glass bottle
Left to Right: 200ml bottle, 100 ml bottle, with swing top cap

Colorlites Ltd Valentine's Day 
Message with bottle  £10.00
Heart Shaped Bottle with Swing Top Cap (40ml)   Clear £1.24 each   Red £1.35 each
Heart Shaped Bottle without Cork Stopper (100ml)   Clear £2.10 each   Red £2.50 each
Heart Shaped Bottle without Cork Stopper (200ml)   Clear £2.25 each (discounted)  Red  £2.85 each
Composite Tapered Cork Stopper   £0.19 each

- To send a message in a bottle through Colorlites Ltd, simply fill in the details on the form to purchase the option, then post the message you want to include with your invoice number or invoice print out to Colorlites Ltd (receiving date no later than 7th February). They will put the message in the bottle and post it to the recipient on 13th February through Interlink's next day delivery.
- Bottles include bulk buy discounts. To guarantee empty bottles to arrive on 14th February, order before and up to the 10th February

'From your secret admirer'. That has baffled a lot of people as well as making them swoon for days! The good old Message in a Bottle might just make this 'trick' even more memorable! Just remember to remind Colorlites Ltd that you have paid and this is the message you want to include.

Apart from that, I adore their heart shaped bottles too! You can put all sorts in them to turn them into unique, special and personal gifts, let it be sweets, alcohol and home made goodies, or coloured sand, sand from the beach you went together, shells, origami stars, etc etc. 

The bottles are really cheap compared to those you buy from shops, although the postage does add to the cost as their cheapest delivery option is through Interlink's next day delivery, which starts at £6.50. I wouldn't mind to send a Valentine's day gift that's only cost less than £10 for the bottle of course, but I might buy more, let it be for a party's favours or for making my own liqueur or sauce to give away.  

Delicious Seduction

baker days letterbox gift cake, baker days valentine's day cake, icing cake

baker days letterbox gift cake, baker days valentine's day cake, icing cake

Baker Days Personalised Valentine's Day Letterbox Gift Cake   £14.99-£16.99

- Cake (serves 4-5 portions) that comes in a cake tin with card and Love Heart sweets, packed in a parcel box that should fit into most letterboxes. Can choose from a great selection of designs, put a personalised message on, and choose from sponge cake, carrot cake, fruit cake, gluten and wheat free cake and chocolate chip cake

I've done a review for their chocolate chip cake version, which was to die for! This time I tried their carrot cake and to my very pleasant surprise, they still kept a layer of buttercream for the cake, but at the bottom of it instead! The cake was absolutely delicious, though this time, perhaps because of the buttercream, the thin icing layer was a bit too much for me (it was perfect with the chocolate chip cake though!)

I think that this is a fantastic gift or pre-gift for Valentine's day. You can start a romantic day with this cake arriving through their door, building up their anticipation for the night! I'm also giving one away in the From Moi to Tu section!

Doll Me Up

Radley London Watch, Radley London Ladies Watch, Radley

Radley London Watch, Radley London Ladies Watch, Radley

Radley London Watch, Radley London Ladies Watch, Radley

- White ceramic and stainless steel watch, 3atm water resistance, dial is set with baton hour markers and encircled with a border of chunky stones

I had no idea that Radley London launched a new watch collection last year. Me and my sister in law are Radley fans so I was glad to be introduced to the collection. I have been looking for a watch but the ones I liked are from brands that either make me feel like I'm a 'Wannabe' or they were more suitable to wear at a high class social event. This ceramic watch, however, is exactly what I was looking for - beautiful, elegant, modern and stylish. It can be worn day or night, casual or black tie. It comes in a posh gift box, and will definitely make a fantastic gift for the Radley lovers or any independent and confident city ladies. 

I had a look at Radley London's watch collection and they are all really nice with lots of varieties, there is bound to be one that is suitable for the lady you are buying for, or yourself! I've included 3 more designs above as an example, and the rrp range from £65 to £175.

Ice-Watch, Ice-Love, Ladies Watch

- Silicone strap, polyamide dial and mineral glass lens, 10atm water resistance and 2 years warranty

Although I haven't seen this watch myself, I think that it's lovely for the younger ladies, around late teen to mid twenties. It's really sweet with the love hearts around and in the middle of the dial, but not overly cute that screams childish. This is still stylish and trendy, and will make a lovely birthday or Valentine's day present.

swarovski pearl engraved bracelet, bracelet, pearl bracelet

Aye Do Engraved Swarovski Pearl Bracelet   £34.99

- Bracelet made with 8mm Swarovski Pearls, 15mm sterling silver heart plate with your choice of engraving, and a silver plated toggle clasp, presented in a black gift box. 3 lengths available, and engraving allows maximum 8 characters including spaces

This bracelet is very pretty, with a personalised cute heart dangling from it! I would have loved it even more if the clasp was sterling silver as well, but it didn't really affect the overall appearance. The Swarovski Pearls made it more appealing to the younger generation as some people will see pearls as a more mature, belongs to mum kind of jewellery. It's still elegant and posh, but with a more modern feel to it.

If the pearls isn't your or her cup of tea, Aye Do have a range of other gifts that might. They also offer my dear readers you a 10% discount within this February from any of their personalised gifts for women! Simply enter the code THIS01 at checkout to claim the 10% off discount.

Essence of Heaven

Prada, Prada fragrance, Prada Infusion d'Iris

Prada Infusion d'Iris Eau de Parfum Spray (30ml)   £34.00 (from

- Combines classic, quality ingredients from Italy such as the Iris Pallida from Florence and the warm top note glow from Sicilian Mandarin. Top notes - Galbanum, Mandarin and Orange Blossom. Heart notes - Iris, Cedar and Vetiver. Base notes - Frankincense and Benzoin

When it comes to perfume, I'd normally go for musky, sweet and sharp smelling ones. Then I fell in love with one that has both musk and Iris scents, which unfortunately I have spilled. Prada's Infusion d'Iris doesn't contain any musk, but I love it! It started off with a sharp zesty smell, then woody, and at the end leaving you with a warm and powdery (the kind of powder you use with a big giant fluffy puff to puff all over your face and body) smell that lasts, which is the bit I love most. Perfume is a very personal thing, and I would go for a 30ml if you aren't certain. The bottle is classic with a metal plate in the front, so even if she isn't keen, this will still be nice to keep!

Superdry, Superdry Fragrance, Superdry Steel

Superdry Steel Cologne (75ml)   £39.00   Superdry Neon Pink (40ml)   £35.00

- Superdry Steel top notes: lime and bergamot, heart notes: cardamom and violet leaves, base notes: cedarwood and moss
- Neon Pink notes: bergamot, pineapple, galbanum, water fruits, jasmine, rose, sandalwood, vanilla, musks

We (both me and hubby) love the Superdry Steel's bottle design, which is like a lighter. The lid opens with the same clicking sound too! The cologne smells zesty and spicy, very refreshing and similar to hubby's favourite Good Life. Definitely suitable for a sophisticated and modern man (I just spotted a smug face in the house!).

I like the Neon Pink design, although it's sweet smell isn't very me (again, a personal opinion, I can think of a lot of ladies I know who'd love this though). I love it that Superdry created a mini pack (for men and for women) that contains 4 x 25ml mini sized fragrances for sale at £29.50. The bottles are cute, and the person you are buying for get to choose their own favourite!

Crystal Spring Natural Empathy fig & Patchouli candle, vegan candle, strong fragrance candle

Crystal Spring Natural Empathy Wild Fig and Patchouli Natural Candle   £25.00

- 100% natural wax from sustainable and renewable annual crops, lead free wick, high percentage of fragrance ensuring that the scent lingers in a room for longer and 60 hours burn time. Made in the UK, no animal testing and suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Free from petroleum/ paraffin waxes which are bad for the environment and health

We love coming home to a nicely scented house, and hate sleeping with cooking smell lingering around. So we have tried a lot of lovely scented products, some become useless within a week or two, others were too overpowering. We've also tried scented candles but they are either too mild or the scent disappeared after being left untouched for days.

When I was offered the Wild Fig and Patchouli candle, I assumed that it was the same as the other candles I've used, just with a more unique fragrance. But when I opened the box, a strong and amazing smelling perfume hit my nose. The fragrance is very floral, but I can't quite describe what it smells like apart from amazing and gorgeous! It is very strong, I only burned it for 5 minutes to take the above image, and the smell stayed on until the next day! It's great because it won't overpower your house with the fragrance when it's not being burned. But when you do burn it, it will certainly make your house smell fantastic within minutes!

This candle is definitely great for a romantic night, especially if you don't want the delicious home made dinner smell (which tend to be garlicy, greasy with a touch of chargrill) ruining the romance after. It's a bit more expensive than the ones from the shops or supermarkets, but with such strong fragrance and up to 60 hours burning time, the money will be well spent.

Disclosure: I was sent the above products apart from the 4 watches I chose to mention to review, but all opinions are honest and my own

From Moi to Tu

Fancy one of the following as an additional Valentine's Day present?

baker days letterbox gift cake, baker days valentines day cake, personalised valentines day cake

Worth £14.99-£16.99
4-5 portions
A choice of sponge cake, carrot cake, fruit cake, gluten and wheat free cake, and double choc chip cake
Comes in a cake tin and includes a card and love heart sweets

sweetheart cherry tree, cherry tree, cherry blossom

Worth £22.00 (including postage)
Potted Maiden Tree (1 year old)
White blossom
Fruits in late July
Self pollination, can also pollinate other sweet cherry trees

Tease board game, drinking game, strip game
Tease Board Game

Worth £29.95
For 2-6 players
Combines a classic drinking game with features such as massage, lap dance, etc
Specifically designed to appeal to the female demographic

masquarade eyemask, sexy eyemask, fancy dress eyemask
Dolci Follie Luna Veneziana Mask

Worth £70.00
Metal eyemask with Swarovski crystals, black satin ribbon tie
Can be gently manipulated for a perfect fit
Handcrafted in Italy

Yardley London, Yardley London English Rose, Rose body and wash

Worth £13.48
Includes English Rose Luxury Body Wash (200ml), Moisturising Body Lotion (250ml) and Nourishing Hand & Nail Cream (100ml)

For this giveaway, I've decided to create a rafflecopter for each prize, this way you'll have a higher chance to get the prize you fancy! Simply enter the relevant rafflecopter, or all of them! Please do note that prizes have a chance for not reaching you before Valentine's day, apologies for this!

Deadline: Sunday 10th February 2013 midnight (where 12:01am is Monday the 11th)

Terms & Conditions:
  • The giveaway is open to mainland UK only
  • It is mandatory to leave a blog comment in the blog post for each rafflecopter, each comment stating what that comment entry is for. Please make sure that you are not leaving a comment as Anonymous, as I would not be able to check whether you've left a blog comment. If you have to comment as Anonymous, please add a means of ID on your comment I can use to link it to your Rafflecopter entry. Unfortunately if I can't, all your entries will not be counted.
  • Please make sure that your email used to enter the rafflecopter(s) is active, and you do check the spam folder in case the email I sent you ended up there
  • If you win through 'tweeting the giveaway' entry, your tweet url will be checked. Please make sure you have the correct url entered into the rafflecopter
  • Winners will be drawn by the Rafflecopter randomly
  • Winners will be announced by Monday 11th February, 2013 on here as well as Twitter. Unfortunately it will not be announced on Facebook as it's against Facebook rules. You will, however, receive an email from me if you are the winner.
  • Winners will have to respond to my email by Tuesday 12th February 2013 noon, so that I can send your details over to the PR on the same day. If I haven't receive a response by then, I will have no choice but to choose another winner for that prize. Normally I allow a week's time for response, but this will mean that the prizes will only arrive way after Valentine's Day, so i hope that you can understand the need for the short responding time.
  • The prizes will be posted to the winners by the corresponding PR. I cannot be held responsible for missing prizes, but you can contact me for queries, and I'll try my best to help
  • Please read Rafflecopter's privacy policy as well