The Last Minute Secret Santa Gift!

We all know those occasions where you turn up to work or school and are suddenly faced with a Secret Santa present to buy at the last minute. If like me, you hate spending money on joke gifts that will go unused then I may have a solution for you!

Back in August, I did a brand focus post on the lovely Sweet Cecily’s. They are a British brand that are based up in Whitby, a place that I have very fond childhood memories! All their products are handmade using natural ingredients which just makes them that little bit extra special. Especially for Christmas, they have created the Secret Santa Christmas Parcel* which is designed to make the whole secret santa process a lot easier for you!


When I opened the box, I was initially drawn in by the gorgeous wrapping! This is an additional extra for only £1.50 and really makes the present look beautifully presented. The brown paper and gorgeous cream silky ribbon are stylishly simple and would be great for those of you who do not have time to wrap presents!


Once inside the parcel, Sweet Cecily’s have gone that one step further on the cuteness factor and added a personalised ‘address’ label. You have up to fifty characters to add your message and it really does make it feel like the present is from Father Christmas himself!


Now, onto the contents and that is equally as adorable! Inside you get one Sea Buckthorn Berry Handcream 50mlone limited edition Chocolate Orange Lip Balm 10ml; one Christmas Pudding Bath Bomb 170g and a little bag of Mulled Wine Spices! In my previous review, I tried another of the hand creams and a lip balm and they were both gorgeous! The texture is divine and the fragrance is just enough without being over powering. Now I don’t know about you but I don’t know what Sea Buckthorn Berry is, however I can say that it smells delicious! It is not a scent I would usually gravitate towards but it’s really taken me by surprise by how much I love it! It is fresh yet quite ‘earthy’ if thats the right word and soaks in really quickly so you feel the moisture benefit without leaving a greasy residue on your hands. You can purchase the hand cream separately for £6.95 which would also make a lovely little gift if your secret santa had a lower budget.

The tin of lip balm initially looks tiny, however I have been using my Mojito lip balm for a few months now and I’ve barely even made a dent! The chocolate orange scent is just yummy and makes you want to lick your lips! The Chocolate Orange Scent is limited edition and only available in this gift set I believe, however, they have so many other scents that are available for £3.25 each here. I have my eye on the Gin & Tonic one next as I am a huge lover of G&T’s!!

The Christmas pudding bath bomb reminds me of something you would find at Lush and is just so cute! I cannot wait to have a bath with this tonight to see what it’s like. I’ve given it a good smell and its very Christmassy and reminds me of cinnamon and other spices. I don’t ever buy myself bath bombs so this is a lovely treat to have on a December night! You can’t buy this one separately unfortunately and there aren’t any other bath bombs available.

The final goodie in the box is the Mulled Wine Spices. I have never made mulled wine before but I think I am going to give it a go now. The bag smells delicious and it is such a cute little extra in the box. You can buy this on their own for £2.95 which would make a lovely stocking filler or table present for any fellow mulled wine lover!


Overall I am really pleased with this little box and would love to receive it or give it as a secret santa present. The packaging and presentation are beautiful and the products are well made. I think it’s important to support independent retailers, particularly at this time of the year as we all rush to buy from the chain retailers yet Independent retailers such as Sweet Cecily’s have beautiful options too. After trawling their website for a long time, I’ve decided that the next thing I want to try from them is the Pamper Pack. I think I may have to buy that in the New Year with some Christmas money!

What do you think to this gift idea? What would you buy for a secret santa gift?

Much Love


*PR Sample – all opinions are my own!

P.S : Have you entered my giveaway?

P.P.S : Are you following me on Twitter/Bloglovin’ ?



Giveaway! 10,000 Views!

Hey Guys,

It’s giveaway time again as I have just hit 10,000 views on this blog! I want to just take the time to thank you for reading and supporting, it really means the world! So I’ve been wracking my brains as to what to giveaway as the prize, and I’ve settled on a ZOEVA Palette of your choice!* I love my cocoa blend palette and thought one of you guys would like to too!

The Rules:

  • Entries are all made through the Rafflecopter link below!
  • You Must follow this Blog
  • You Must follow me on Twitter
  • You Must leave a blog comment on your favourite post!
  • If you are under 18 please get your parent or Guardians permission.
  • Entry is open worldwide.
  • The giveaway is open until 12:00 am GMT on 31st December 2015.
  • Please reblog the post to share the love around!

Enter Here

All that’s left to say is….. GOOD LUCK!!

Much Love


*one of their standard palettes, maximum value of £15.95

November Empties!

November is over and we all know what that means… it’s nearly Christmas!! I cannot believe that in a weeks time I will be half way through my degree and 2015 will be nearly over! How fast is time going by hey?! So another month goes by and naturally, I have a lovely pile of empties to show you. There’s some good’uns today so sit back and enjoy!

  • Nivea 3in1 Facial Cleansing Wipes – I’ve been getting a bit lazy with my nighttime skincare recently and these are great for just whipping the majority of my makeup off. I would use these again but the No7 wipes are my absolute favourite so I think I will buy them next time instead.
  • Laura Mercier Body & Bath Ambré Vanille Honey Bath – I have loved using this over the last year. Not only does it last a long time but it creates lovely, soft and fragranced bubbles in your bath. It is really expensive though and wouldn’t be something I would buy myself but I would love to receive it as a gift! I think if I were to get this again, I would try a new fragrance to sample more of the range available.
  • Clarins Peach Cleansing Water Mini – I love this product and used this mini up whilst away at the weekend. I am about halfway through a large bottle of this and I will keep purchasing it over and over again as it’s so lovely and refreshing, particularly in the morning. I like the size of this bottle so I will keep refilling it from the big bottle I think.
  • The Body Shop Papaya Shower Gel – You all know that I love the Body Shop shower gels and this one was no different. It was so fruity and lathered up really well. I got this on sale in the summer and I would definitely pick it up again as it was a pleasure to use!
  • Clarins Instant Concealer 01 – This is my favourite concealer, hands down, and I was really disappointed to finish it up. I am currently using a Rimmel one but once that is finished, I will buy this again as the texture and blend ability is amazing! The only downside is that this only comes in three shades and my mum can fit into all three, depending on her level of tan so for ladies with dark skin this is not for you!
  • Boots Anti Perspirant Deodorant Pastel – I got this as part of a goodie bag that Tom got me from work and I was actually surprised at how much I liked it. The scent was nice and it didn’t leave and white marks on my clothing. I would buy this again, particularly as it’s from the Boots own range and is therefore pretty cheap to buy!
  • The Body Shop Vitamin E Aqua Sorbet – I loved using this moisturiser throughout the summer as it was so light and fresh. It gave me a lovely moisture boost and was also really cooling for the warm summer mornings. I will definitely be buying this again in the spring/summer next year as it was gorgeous!
  • Benefit Coralista Blush – Now I know it’s not very obvious that this is Coralita from the picture, as all the packaging has worn away over the years. However, I am happy to say that this is the second full-size Coralista Blush I have finished over the years and I managed to get out every last particle! This is a beautiful coral-toned blush with a hint of shimmer and I love wearing it, however, I think it’s time for a change and I have a few other blushes to use in the mean time so this will stay on the back burner for a while.
  • Clarins One-Step Facial Cleanser – This was a bi-phase facial cleanser that was really effective at removing left over makeup and grime. It worked really well and also didn’t sting my eyes too much. I think I would probably buy this again as it was so effective.
  • L’oreal Micellar Water – I always keep a bottle of this in my drawer at Toms and I love it. It’s so easy to use, dissolves makeup like a dream and leaves no residue on the skin. It’s also a bargain at around £3-4. I will keep buying this over and over again as I love using it!
  • Clarins Instant Light Lip Balm in Rose – These are my favourite lip balms ever as they just seem to magically make your lips look like utter perfection! The colour is so subtle and the formula is creamy and moisturising and feels like butter when you apply it. They are expensive though and I did seem to go through it really quickly, even though I used a cotton bud to dig every last bit out of the tube. I think I will pick up another one in the future but perhaps in a different shade so I can try some more colours!

So there you have it, I would say that this month was actually pretty good for finishing things up as I have three full-sized makeup items inside too! Have you tried any of the products mentioned in this post?

Much Love,


Holiday giveaway: win a MAC lipstick

Make sure you check out this amazing giveaway! xxx

Valentina Sofía

Hi friends! So I know I said I was waiting for 200 followers to do a giveaway, but I’ve been inspired by the holiday time to do a giveaway this month, just for the fun of it. I’m getting a new MAC lipstick soon, and I figured this would be a good time to do a giveaway so one of you guys can get one too!


So let’s get on with the fun stuff, shall we? First of all, here are some rules:

  • Must be following me (duh).
  • Reblog this post.
  • Comment on the post with the lipstick you’d like if you won!
  • This giveaway will be open internationally and will end Dec. 24th at noon EST.

And that’s it! Doing these will earn you one entry into the giveaway, but you can get threeextra entries by doing the following:

  • Following me on Instagram at @valentinabore.
  • Following me on Twitter…

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