It took me a long, long time to choose but I finally managed to select the perfect gifts for Christmas for everyone, whatever your price range, age or gender there is definitely something lovely here for everyone. These are all products I know are great or items that I want, and I have really great taste so I hope you find something you like! Or you could point your loved ones in the direction of this page to make sure you get something you really want instead of new socks. Merry Christmas shopping!



6. Glamglow Gift Sexy £49.99 

2. Clarins Gift Crackers box of 6 £39 (exc. to Selfridges)

4. Joan Collins Crystal Pocket Mirror (288 crystals!) £35
5. Dermasuri £19.95
6. Weleda Soap Gift Set £11.95 

4. Neal & Wolf Candle £17.95 



Excellent products for thinning hair

Thinning hair is a problem for so many of us, undoubtedly to do with lifestyle, diet and chemical treatments, including products like shampoo that are packed with chemicals which we use on our scalp. It's really no wonder it's a problem for so many women. It's been over a year since I wrote about my horrific hair nightmare how I destroyed my hair. A quick recap: after going blonde the entire front and top layer snapped off to few inches long leaving me not only with a crazy short top layer but very weak and thin hair that continued breaking and snapping off. My hair now is so much better but no-where near it's "before" state and definitely still in recovery. The top layer length has nearly caught up to the bottom but still slightly weak, prone to snapping and thin looking overall. Over the last 18 months I've used a lot of different things to help get my hair stronger and thicker so in turn it will look healthier and grow longer. I feel like I've become a bit of an expert on the subject of thinning hair, I've done a LOT of research and these are the products I've tried for long term effects, not quick fixes, good and bad. 

1. Viviscal £39.95/$39.99*

A bit of an industry secret, it probably needs a whole post on its own but I'll be brief and you can do your own research. These pills are packed with minerals and vitamins that specifically target hair strength and make your hair grow. They are a long term commitment and they say you have to take them for a minimum of 6 months but I noticed a difference after 2 or 3. I have had a lot of success with these and I know others who have also, they definitely make my hair grow very fast but I still have lots of shedding. They aren't cheap but they are worth it. I continue to take these and I can't imagine stopping.

2. Phtyo Phytolium £45.50/$65*

An intensive oil treatment you rub on your scalp 3 times a week after washing your hair. I used this for a month (one box) and noticed a huge difference with stronger hair, new hair and very little hair shedding, there was virtually none which is unheard of for me. I then went straight on to the Vichy Dercos (below) right after.

3. Vichy Dercos £36 (click link for deal at £30.60!)/$NA

Similar to the Phyto treatment but more intensive (and more expensive). You massage into the scalp on dry hair daily for 6 weeks for an intensive treatment, or as an up keep 3 times week for 6 weeks, so this works out expensive. I continued to see the huge difference that I had with the Phyto (above), much stronger hair that wasn't breaking as it was growing and I had practically no hair shedding which continued for about a month or so after I finished the treatment. As I said I used this right after the Phyto so I don't know which one, or if it was both, that worked so well but several months after stopping the shedding returned and my hair isn't as strong so I am about to start a new round and I will continue using as they do work very well.

4. Biotin

This vitamin in pill form directly helps hair grow. There are tons of internet reviews from people who have had great success taking these, I didn't. A common side effect is spots or acne, which I got, so I stopped taking them and the acne disappeared  Everyone is different so it may or may not do that to you, it is up to you to decide if you want to see.

5. Nioxin*

A specialised treatment for people with Alopecia and thinning hair. I haven't used this as it doesn't work with brazillian hair straightener treatment (which I have) but I have a friend who had a small area of her beautiful long hair fall out due to stress and alopecia and it fully grew back after using a Nioxin treatment. Certainly a treatment to research and consider.

6. Sisley Botanical Extracts For Hair & Scalp £87.50/$150*

I really liked this and it did work but I don't think it worked for me as well as the Phyto or Vichy. It works in the same way, you use the dropper to disperse onto the scalp and massage into the scalp on dry hair. I found it worked very well as a volume treatment, my hair looked and felt much thicker but I still had significant hair shedding. It is also extremely expensive. 

7. Jamaican Black Castor Oil £10/$8.99*

A recent discovery and may be one of the greatest things I've ever found. I've only used this a few weeks and already I noticed a huge difference. I've been concentrating it mostly on my hair line and centre parting and a whole new layer of hair has grown, it's quite incredible. At the moment I look like I've stuck my finger in a socket as this new layer on my parting is short and sticking up but if it continues to grow at this rate it should be long enough to lay flat in a few weeks! My hair line has filled in and looks noticeable thicker and the full length of my hair has grown has super fast. Same as any oil treatment, apply it to dry hair and leave in for a couple hours before washing out and use as often as you can or want to. I've been doing it a couple times a week. There are hundreds of 5* rave Amazon reviews so I'm certainly not alone with my success story. Depending on how much you use and length of your hair a bottle may or may not last you a long time but it's cheap enough and works so great that repurchasing doesn't matter. I will never stop using this (until it stops working that is). Ps. it's also really great for growing eyebrows.

8. L'Anza Keratin Healing Oil Hair Treatment £30.55/$49.18*

This won't grow new hair like the Castor Oil and Vichy/Phyto scalp treatments but it will make your existing hair look incredible, it's probably one of the best treatments I've ever used. When I use this I am constantly told how shiny and healthy my hair looks. I can also attest to it building strength, my hair feels much stronger after use. Use as a treatment and wash out or a tiny bit before blowdrying for an incredibly smooth and shiny blow dry. Be careful not too use to much or it will look lank and greasy. This is far superior to any other healing oil products, like Moroccan or Argan Oil for example. For dry or weak hair this is a must have.

*In America you can find the best deals here:

For Viviscal go here or here.
For Phyto Phytolium 4 go here.
For Nioxin go here
For Sisley Botanical Extracts For Hair & Scalp go here.
For Jamaican Black Castor Oil go here.
For L'Anza Healing Oil go here (free worldwide delivery) 

Please do share any success stories or other tips in the comments below.

Follow me on Twitter here and Instagram here (@anniemakeup).



If you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed I have been moving to a 100% natural and more vegan diet over the last year, which I believe fully impacts your skin, hair and nails, particularly if you have any kind of skin complaint like exzcema or psoriasis. Whilst in Canada earlier this year I picked up a jar of all natural face cream at a farmers market for $10 and it turned out to be the best moisturiser I've ever used (yep, including Creme De La Mer). It confirmed my thoughts that natural products (food and topical) really are best way to look after yourself inside and out but since I threw away the accompanying card, and with it my ability to re-purchase, I've been on the hunt for natural skincare ever since. I recently came across Lyons Leaf, a wonderful couple who make homemade natural skincare from their garden which initially started as a hobby and has now grow into a full product line and winner of skincare awards.

Their ingredients policy is to grow as much as possible themselves and to choose natural ingredients in the most unprocessed state possible. All their products are made with water free recipes which don't require harsh preservatives and emulsifiers, ie. zero chemicals and they never use artificial colour or fragrance. For me, this is everything I want to hear.

I have tried most of their small product range (unfortunately it doesn't yet include a face moisturiser so the hunt is still on) and their products are really great. I have other product reviews coming but their stand out product is the Natural Beauty Balm which they describe as a complete facial care system that cleanses, exfoliates, moisturises, nourishes, repairs and protects in one. It is so great for travelling as it eliminates the need for extra products and bathroom clutter as it does everything in one, but I will say I found it to be a particularly amazing cleanser. Easily absorbent, it massages in so easily and removes EVERYTHING, even the cakiest of makeups. It's also a really great small size that packs a LOT in.You only need a tiny bit so the small pot lasts ages, It took two months to finish mine using it every night.

For anyone who uses a cleansing balm with a hot cloth like Elemis Cleansing Balm or Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish (the absolute best way to cleanse and both my favourite non-natural cleansers) this is the same; you massage it in and wipe off with a hot damp cloth, that's it. It feels extremely luxurious and nourishing and it makes my skin so soft and smooth right away. I am a moisturiser junkie so I still moisturise afterwards but my skin is plenty soft enough that I really don't have too. I imagine if you have very dry skin you would also still want to use a moisturiser after but I would also bet that after using this for a short while your very dry skin would become more comfortable. I will say the smell (something similar to wood shavings) took a bit of getting used to but I grew to like it and now I love it. This really does an amazing job and I can't say enough good things about it. Plus the price is superb considering how long it lasts.

I also highly reccomend trying one of their Natural Hand Made Soaps to wash with, especially if you suffer from dry, oily or sensitive skin, inflamed skin, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea or acne to see if natural products make a difference. I believe they will (they do for me) and I'd love to hear any of your natural product success stories.

All Lyons leaf products are suitable for vegetarians and vegans, are not tested on animals and are 100% natural.



Kryolan Glamour Glow Blusher/Highlighter 

It's taken me ages to write about these for no reason, but if you follow me on Instagram you will have seen me post photos of these all the time, they're my favourite blushers. I'm so obsessed they are divine, I've never seen a blusher look so beautiful on absolutely everyone. Depending on the colours you choose they make fantastic highlighters as well as blushers, they go on without streaking and they lasts ages, it just never disappears (great for filming for makeup artists). 

For makeup artists these come in an indispensable 8 tin palette. I have the indulgence palette but they have since brought out another three palettes with just as divine mix of colours and I want them all. Each palette has been so well thought out and has such a great mix of shades from highlight, colour to tan. I would say this is my most used blusher palette in my kit by miles, I can't really explain how gorgeous these look on the skin and on camera.

For everyone else they do come in individuals which I highly recommend getting. The singles don't come in every colour from the palettes; my most used colours are blush peach, sweet plum, rosy sensation, moon dust and sun kissed but it's well worth trying out different colours from the singles range as there isn't one bad colour and you won't go wrong. A big plus is that the colours are very true to the website pictures so do click on the links and visit the website for a closer look.

Please let me know if you have any of these and what colours you love. Like most Kryolan products I cannot rave about these enough!

To buy in America you can go here for individuals and here for the 8 tin palettes.

You can find me on Twitter here and Instagram here.



I really like this small UK brand, particularly their Mousse Eyeshadow pots which are nothing like mousse, they're cream to powder shadows very similar to MAC Paint Pots but quite a bit cheaper. There are just 8 colours in the range, so nothing like MACs range of 23 colours, but there are some great autumn colours; my favourites are Maroon Earth a deep maroon, Clematis a deep mauve and Ecru Land is a lovely olive colour (pictured above). Caramel Candy (the main picture) is the only brown colour and it's a really lovely universal 'suits everyone' deep brown, similar to MACs Constructivist, that I use quite a lot. 

All the Glo&Ray Mousse Shadow pots have a slight shimmer, but not overly so. Their eyeshadow quads have slightly too much shimmer and not enough pigment but the Mousse pots are very good; easy to apply, they blend great and they're long staying, I'm really impressed with them. 

I should also mention their eyeliners which at £5.50 is a bargain. Of course it's no bargain if they're rubbish but they are great; really lovely soft pencils that are easy to smudge and stay all day. Again, very impressed.

In America you can buy Glo&Ray direct from their UK website.

Follow me on Twitter here and Instagram here.



A couple of years ago I wrote this post about the amazing M2 Beaute Eyelash Activating Serum and since then there has been a influx of similar lash enhancers that claim to make your eyelashes grow. My lashes aren't particularly short or sparse and I hadn't tried any others since the M2 Beaute but since I stopped using it my lashes kind of went back to the length they were before. I started using Rapid Lash about a month ago and within a week I noticed a massive difference. I immediately stopped using it nightly and I probably only use it once a week, maybe twice, and my lashes look great; if they were any longer they would be too long, as it they reach my eyebrows when I curl them.

I do think these topical treatments only work as long as you use them, which is something to consider with upkeep. The directions advise use nightly before going to bed but as soon as you're happy with the length I think you can dial that back just to upkeep, which also makes a tube last a lot longer and becomes much more cost effective.

Personally I think the Rapid Lash is fantastic, I had serious results in a super fast time. I will say I did also try the Rapid Brow at the same time and that had no effect on my brows at all, but I have tried many things over the years to grow my brows with little effect (I think the hair follicles no longer exist) so I wasn't surprised I had no brow luck. I know there are quite a few of these lash products on the market, please let me know in the comments which ones, if any, you've had success with or not. I had excellent success with both Rapid Lash and M2 Beaute, they were both brilliant but also wildly different in price; M2 Beauty is £125 while Rapid Lash is a much more agreeable £39.99.

You can also try castor oil as a natural option to grow your eyelashes and eyebrows. This is easily found in your local pharmacy for very cheap and you apply the oil to the base of your lashes and brows with a cotton bud. This does tend to go in your eye and, whilst not harmful, is not particularly pleasant. It does work, but definitely not as well or as fast as the serums.

In America you can find Rapid Lash here.

Follow me on Twitter here and Instagram here.



Can everyone have great skin? Absolutely, yes!! I am asked this question so often and in so many different variations.. "My skin looks so bad, what can I do?" "Your skin looks amazing, what do you use?" "How can I make my skin look better? etc…etc..

Makeup by me in Marie Claire UK

I firmly believe it doesn't matter what makeup you put on someone as long as the foundation is good, and by foundation I mean the base layer not the makeup. Everything starts with the skin, if you don't have good skin as a base to do your makeup it doesn't matter how expensive your makeup is it will look rubbish, and on the flip side of that statement if you have fantastic skin you can use the cheapest products you can find in Boots or Target and it will look amazing. Everything is and always is all about the skin. Knowing this, it's important to spend time on your skin care but also know that everyone can have great skin, there is no reason why you can't. Granted some people are luckier than others, often by miles it can seem and then when you see that person who was born with perfect skin only uses soap and water it can seem so unfair. You may never have that perfect skin but you can get a hell of a lot closer as long as you put the effort in. When I talk about effort I mean a multitude of things that all need to be done together, doing just one won't work. This is my Get Great Skin Bible that everyone should follow, it's not rocket science or particularly hard work but it will work.

1. Water: Drinking 2 litres a day, every day, can change a face entirely. Wrinkles and lines disappear, skin tone evens out, skin smoothens and gets firmer, spots and marks disappear. It's the best natural facelift you can get and it's really not that difficult, you just pee a lot.

2. Food: Clean, un-processed food changes your life as well your face but I'm not going to preach about that (check my Instagram for clean food inspo). We are what we eat should be common sense.

3. Sleep: You know yourself how rough and older you look when you have 3 hours sleep a night. The body needs sleep to recover itself, including your face!

4. Skin Care: There is no perfect range, what works for one person may not work for another. It's trial and error and finding the one that works best for you, which may not necessarily be the most expensive there is. If something isn't working for you stop using it and get something else! If, when you look in the mirror your skin doesn't look great, don't keep buying the same products you've always used, change them. Search out natural products with no chemicals, you will be amazed the difference these can make.

5. Be Smart: You can slap the odd products on or you can make the most of your skin care. Try natural products, do your own facials, exfoliation makes your products work better and never go without moisturiser no matter how oily you think you are: the lack of moisture causes you to produce more oil so you're actually making it worse.

6. Always use an eye cream and SPF, ten or twenty years may seem like a long time away but you will be grateful when you get there.

7. Any product that goes on your face massage it in. Massaging creams in will circulate the blood cells which means oxygen is pumped round easier, meaning your skin will be plumper and you'll look healthier and younger.

8. Any product that goes on your face do the same to your neck. Again, you'll be thankful later!

9. Clean your makeup, tweezers and makeup brushes once a week. If it's going on your face it needs to be clean. Same goes for your pillowcase. 

10. Pills: Sometimes you need medical help and there is nothing wrong with taking it. If you have acne skin you do NOT have to live with it, it amazes me how many people accept living with it when you don't have to. Go to a doctor and ask for Roaccutane, don't let them fob you off with antibiotics because once you stop taking them the acne will come right back. If your GP wont refer you to a dermatologist ask to see another one, by (UK) law they have to give you a referral if you ask. I can't imagine why anyone would choose to live with acne when you don't have to and we are exceptionally lucky to have the NHS in the UK and able to use it. Everyone can have great skin, I promise!

If any one has any other invaluable tips please do share in the comments below.

You can follow me on Twitter here and Instagram here (@anniemakeup).



Just as good as Touche Eclat!

Gone are the YSL Touche Eclat monopoly days, I'm not saying it's not a good product because it is, but there are others that are just as good, if not better. The thing with classics is that other brands take them and make them better. I use highlighter pens all the time, the easy brush on pens are so easy to use and brilliant for lightening shadowy dark areas under and around the eyes, and the red areas beside the nose and round the mouth. They really do lessen signs of fatigue and imperfections by illuminating and perfecting, they look so much better and more natural than concealer or even over concealer if necessary. 

I love these five brands, they're all fantastic and I use them all the time. I use them all as they all have slightly different tones and I need a wide range of shades when I'm working, but for everyone else you can't go wrong with any of them, it's just a matter of finding the right colour for you as they all have varying colour tones and ranges. They're all wonderful.

1. Clinique Airbrush Concealer £19/$20* (3 shades)

2. Clarins Instant Light Brush On Perfector £25/$34** (4 shades)

3. Liz Earle Light Reflecting Concealer £15.50/$na (4 shades)

4. Estee Lauder Double Wear Brush-On Glow BB Highlighter £23.50/$27.50^ (8 shades)

5. Becca Radiant Skin Creamy Concealer £24/$32^^ (a whopping 24 shades!)

In America you can find them *here, **here, ^here and ^^here.

Follow me on Twitter here and Instagram here (@anniemakeup).



Brilliant choices for natural looking bronzed goddesses

*By natural I mean the natural looking effect they give, and that they're not a powder. Not sure what to call them as a group…non-powder bronzer options maybe? That doesn't slip of the tongue so well. 
A lot of people have a lot of love for bronzers, it really is a great product to give you a bit of colour mimicking what a real tan does..giving a healthy looking sun-kissed glow. But that's when it's done right, it's so easy to do bronzer wrong as we often see on fellow orange, stripy, patchy or muddy looking ladies. These three products are really great ways to get that bronzed I've-spent-a-day-on-the-beach glow without using makeup or fake tan which I hate (smells grows/takes a while to develop/looks fake). I've used all three products personally and I think they are fantastic. Remember these all give a "natural" looking sun-kissed effect, they are not fake tanners and you will not turn Towie overnight (um, good), they are much, much better than that.  

1. Sisley Sun Glow Gel £47/$90*
I love this product. It's probably the most makeup like out of the three as you apply it like you would a foundation and wash it off. Apply just to the areas you want to highlight or the entire face (the matte version may be better for that). Great for highlighting the décolleté, shoulders cheekbones, nose and forehead on the face, it's a non-greasy gel like cream that smoothes onto skin for a lovely sheer glow; not too orange or bronzy, just right. It gives a sheer even result but you can also mix it with your foundation like I like to do and apply together for a subtle full-face effect. Packed with skin botanical extracts which really hydrate the skin, along with it's reflective golden-copper pigments which capture the light and illuminate, it really looks like you've been on the beach all day. Out of the three this gives the most instant bronzed looking effect.
2. Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster £18/$30**
A completely different way to bronze, This is a very small bottle that you add just a few drops to your regular day and/or night moisturiser and it develops into a light sun-kissed glow. You have to use it with a moisturizer and never alone so you must remember to add it and make it a part of your regular routine. This is great for a gradual natural-looking, sun-kissed tanned result as long as you remember to add the drops to your daily skin-care. Probably the most natural looking result of all.

3. Elemis Total Glow Bronzing moisturiser £29.50/$54***
If you love Elemis products you will love this daily moisturiser with a gradual tanner that moisturisers, enhances radiance and gives a gradual sun-kissed tan. It's a great moisturiser with a whole heap of amazing ingredients that you would expect from Elemis, with the added bonus of gradual tanning. It's quite a heady smell that you either don't mind or hate and it's the only one of the three that smells and feels a bit like a fake tanner. Key ingredients boost luminosity and brightness so you really do get a lovely healthy glow, and like the Clarins Golden Glow Booster it gives very natural looking results. Not ideal if you don't want to change your skin care routine. They also do a really great body lotion version. 

In America you can find them *here and **here and ***here.

Ps. If you want 'Bronzed Goddess" makeup inspo you can watch my bronzed goddess makeup tutorials here and here.

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Ever wondered how makeup artists prepare for Fashion Week? Since I work mainly in TV fashion week is a completely alien world to me, albeit an intriguing one. MAC sent me a this Q&A with two of their senior artists; Pablo Rodriguez and Gina B and their "Fashion Week in Numbers" list, both of which I found thoroughly interesting. Some good kit tips for makeup artists out there.

Tips for packing a kit? 
 • Clean up and clear out. Get rid of anything broken, empty or dried up. List out whatever needs to be replaced. 
•  Scour the M∙A∙C website. Make a second list of everything that I’m missing and need.
•  Create a separate bag for all the new products I’m testing for next season.
•  Contain your potential messes! Keep glitter and pigments in stackable pots, which then go into plastic bags. Safety first!
• Packing a kit is like maintaining a boat: Something always needs your attention! One of my best tips is to empty each foundation bottle into a travel vial. Each vial of Matchmaster Foundation holds 80 pumps of foundation. I carry nine shades. That’s 720 pumps of foundation with me at all times! 

How many M∙A∙C containers do you empty out/depot to create custom palettes for fashion week? 
• 53!

How long does it take to pack your kit? 
• When I pack my kit properly, it takes all day. Cleaning palettes, decanting and labeling product – it all takes time and precision. This makes it so my kit lasts throughout the whole month of shows. 

Do you pack anything in your kit besides makeup?
• Extra towels, straws for models wearing bold lips, and Scotch tape to pick up unwanted glitter on a model’s skin.
• I bring stencils, sponges for effects, special glue to cover eyebrows, Glycerin (to fake sweat or tears), accessories to mould makeup (such as pieces of jewellery and fabric). Even if some of these items are more commonly used during editorial shoots, it’s always good to be prepared! 

Name one product in your kit that works for every model, no matter their skin tone or type.
• Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Groundwork: Great for contouring fair skin and highlighting dark skin. Everyone wins.

How do you create your Lipstick and Cream Colour Base palettes?
• Scrape your pots clean and fill each section of your palette. Pop into the microwave for a 30 second trip to get them smooth and gorgeous. Voila! 

What’s the one product you lose every season?
• Sharpeners! Where do they go!? Sometimes, my kit feels like the Bermuda Triangle.

If you could only take five items with you to Fashion Week, what would they be?
• Select Cover Up, Fluidline in Blacktrack, Eye Brows in Lingering, Ruby Woo Lipstick and Blot Powder.
• Prep + Prime Fix +, Face and Body Foundation, Mineralize Skinfinish Natural, Cream Colour Base in Shell and Lip Conditioner. 

How do you mark your “territory” backstage?
• Backstage is no-man’s-land. No one is safe! To claim my work station, I use an old M∙A∙C towel that almost nobody has anymore. I also label all of my palettes, and my brushes each have a green mark on them. Besides that, I know my kids! 

What is your pre-show ritual/routine?
• I hang upside down for 10 minutes.

Describe your pre-fashion week feelings in three words.
• May I pick four and create a quote? “Go with the flow.”

Fashion Week Makeup In Numbers
  • Number of shows in major Fashion Week cities that M∙A∙C will support backstage: 208
  • Number of Eye Liners and Eye Pencils ordered for Artists’ kits: 1,233 
  • Number of Permanent Lipsticks, Lipglasses, Lipmixes, Lip Erase and Conditioners ordered for Artists’ kits: 576 
  • Number of Mascara Wands and Tubes ordered for Artists’ kits: 3,776 
  • Number of Lashes ordered for Artists’ kits: 844 

Follow me on Twitter here and Instagram here (@anniemakeup).