Thursday, 31 December 2015

Christmas Presents 2015 | Cruelty-Free & Vegan

Cruelty-Free & Vegan Make-Up on Lovely Witches

I love having a nose at what other people got for Christmas, so here I am sharing a peek at my presents too. My family, friends and boyfriend are fantastic at the whole buying cruelty-free and vegan thing by now so I was very lucky and got some brilliant beauty bits this year. 

I was so excited to unwrap this GOSH Smokey eyeshadow palette, the colours are so gorgeous. I'll definitely be using it for some day to night make-up looks through the rest of winter. I can't find it being sold individually but currently you can nab it as a freebie from Superdrug. The GOSH lipliner is the shade Raspberry Dream and it's a beautiful plum colour I've had my eye on for a while. I've never tried lipliner before but here goes! I've also been after the Prime 'n Set powder for a long time as it has fantastic reviews for oily skin, so I can't wait to try it out with my new GOSH Foundation Drops.

I also got a second setting powder, but this one's a pressed compact from e.l.f. I picked up the B. Sheer Finish Powder a few months ago and was quite disappointed by it so we'll see how e.l.f.'s offering compares. And one more for my ever growing Barry M collection is the super glittery red nail polish Ruby Slippers. It certainly added some sparkle to Christmas day!

Cruelty-Free & Vegan Beauty Gifts on Lovely Witches

The Deep Steep Peppermint Vanilla Body Wash smells just as sweets as it sounds and foams up a treat in the shower. I can't find it anywhere online but if you're lucky T.K. Maxx might still have some in stock, along with the lovely Sugar Plum hand wash

Rose Jam is another incredible smelling shower gel from Lush that only comes out once a year, and for me Christmas just isn't complete without it. It's like fresh roses and Turkish delight in a bottle, so I'm absolutely spoilt for choice for delicious shower gels now. Another rosy gift under the tree was this lovely Neal's Yard Remedies skincare kit, which I can't wait to review as I haven't tried any products from them before.

Harry Potter Illustrated Edition & Harry Potter Colouring Book. Christmas Presents 2015 on Lovely Witches

Of course I'm a huge fan of Harry Potter, so these two were some of my favourite presents I had to show you. The Harry Potter Colouring Book is filled with detailed pictures from the films and I'm sure it'll take me many, many happy hours to complete. And the illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is beautiful. It's wonderful to see a whole new and different imagining of such a beloved story, it now has pride of my place on my bookshelf.

What did you get for Christmas? Any cruelty-free beauty presents? Let me know in the comments ;)

Gemima

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

The Vegan Kind December Box

The Vegan Kind December Box on Lovely Witches. Looking for a cruelty-free and vegan subscription box? Read my review of The Vegan Kind and the amazing vegan snacks in this month's box.

I've been a subscriber of The Vegan Kind for over a year now and I'm very pleased to say that the boxes just get better and better. If you haven't heard of them before, The Vegan Kind is a monthly subscription box of surprise vegan food and lifestyle goodies. 

I absolutely love not knowing what's going to be in each box and getting to try all different vegan snacks and cruelty-free finds. Last month's birthday box was filled with amazing dairy free chocolate. Usually I don't review each box but as soon as I opened this month's, I knew it would be my favourite one yet.

Nakd bars are one of my favourite vegan snacks and so easy to pick up as they sell them in most Tesco stores. My favourites are the Cocoa Orange bar and the incredible Salted Caramel Fruit & Nut Nibbles. So imagine my delight at a Christmas Nakd bar! This tastes 
exactly like a mini Christmas pudding. Yum yum yum.

Freedom Mallows are a treat I've had before from a Vegan Kind box and I was very happy to have them again, as vegetarian or vegan marshmallows are very hard to come by. These are incredibly moreish and make me feel just like a kid again.

A couple of months ago I was very lucky to win three different flavours of Choc Shot and featured this Orange Spice flavour in my October Favourites. That one is long gone now so I was very pleased to have a replacement. This syrup is such a delicious winter treat and makes for the perfect hot chocolate with almond milk.

Vegan Oat & Cranberry Sticky Mix Cookies

I really enjoyed making these Sticky Mix cookies on Boxing Day, not least because the ingredients were all measured out for me so nothing could go wrong. Oats and cranberries make for a very tasty combination and I added cinnamon into a few to up the Christmassy factor. The cookies turned out so well that I'm definitely going to try and re-create this recipe, as it was so simple too.

Harper's Bizarre are another excellent company The Vegan Kind have introduced me to. Their soy wax candles smell amazing and are very strong, filling the room with their lovely 
scents. The Christmas candle this year didn't disappoint and smells of a lovely mix of Christmas cake and spices.

The Cocoa Libre Peppermint Owls are something I'd like to think you might find in Honeydukes, and just as scrumptious. Dark, creamy, minty chocolate that melts in the mouth, I already want some more. I'd also very much recommend their vegan honeycomb (honey free!) chocolate which is equally good and tastes absolutely luxurious.

What a fantastic box! I can't wait to see what's in the January one and how it compares to last year's

Are you a member of any subscription boxes? What are your favourite vegan snacks?


Gemima

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you're all having a wonderful time relaxing and enjoying everything Christmas. Tomorrow I'm planning on tucking into my delicious treats from my Vegan Kind box, watching films and chilling out on the sofa with my cats.

I just wanted to write a short post to say thank you to everyone this year who's been reading my blog, sharing my posts, leaving me lovely comments and tweets and even mentioning me in your own posts. It really makes me so happy that you all enjoy what I write! Here's to a very merry Christmas and a happy 2016 :)

Gemima
x

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Christmas At Hogwarts | A Trip To The Harry Potter Studio Tour

Christmas At Hogwarts | A Trip To The Harry Potter Studio Tour on Lovely Witches

A special Christmas post today! A few weeks ago my friends and I took a trip to the Harry Potter Studio Tour and I wanted to share it with you. We planned our visit so that we'd be there when all the Christmas decorations were up and it was, of course, absolutely magical.

If you haven't been before, the tour is at Leavesden Studios near London where they filmed all the Harry Potter films. There are hundreds of sets, costumes and props all saved from the films which are so wonderful to see in person.

Hogwarts Great Hall at Christmas | Harry Potter Studio Tour

The Great Hall of course looks incredible all decorated for Christmas, complete with flaming Christmas puddings. The other stand out parts for me are Diagon Alley, Umbridge's office and The Burrow. I just couldn't do them justice in photographs! I really love all the artwork made for the films too, like the Quidditch World Cup posters, Hogwarts school book covers and Ministry of Magic propaganda, which really makes Harry's world feel complete.

My number one tip if you're going on a visit to the studio tour is to bring your own packed lunch, as there are zero vegan options and very few vegetarian ones. If you plan ahead there's a cafe and an outside area halfway through the tour where you can eat your own food. It's also a shame that other than Butterbeer there isn't any themed food - I'd have loved to try a pumpkin pasty.

Harry Potter Hogwarts Christmas Cake | Harry Potter Studio Tour

Hogwarts Gryffindor Common Room at Christmas | Harry Potter Studio Tour

My friends and I had all visited at least once before, but we were yet to see the new exhibit, the real Hogwarts Express! Inside there are eight compartments each dressed to portray the films in chronological order. We had so much fun peeking at the spell books, cauldrons, wands (and an escaped Scabbers!) through the windows of the compartments and reminiscing about all those trips to Hogwarts like they were our own.

Hogwarts Express | Harry Potter Studio Tour

Hogwarts Express Compartment | Harry Potter Studio Tour

Hogwarts Filming Model with snow | Harry Potter Studio Tour

One of my favourite parts of the tour is the model of Hogwarts at the end. It's absolutely huge and was used to film the exterior shots of the castle. And at this time of the year it's all covered in snow!

Currently I'm working my way through all the Harry Potter films again whilst I wrap Christmas presents for my friends and family. It's so much fun to spot all the little props and details we got to see at the tour as well as the incredible sets. It's a fantastic day out for any Harry Potter fan and I know I'll be making another visit soon.

Have you visited too? What were your favourite parts? Let me know in the comments :)

Gemima

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