Holy Grail: Witch Anti Blemish Skin Clearing Primer

Witch Anti Blemish Skin Clearing PrimerWitch Anti Blemish Skin Clearing PrimerWitch Anti Blemish Skin Clearing PrimerWitch Anti Blemish Skin Clearing Primer SwatchWitch Anti Blemish Skin Clearing Primer Swatch

With a nose that's the oiliest thing south of the North Sea Floor, it isn't difficult to understand why I need a primer to keep my foundation in place. I've tried all sorts from budget and expensive brands, and while some offered specific benefits such as filling in pores or making my skin look more radiant, none of them have been able to combat oil and increase the wear time of my foundation. After a few hours, my makeup starts to separate, look cakey and patchy, and even bases created for oily skin only give me an extra hour or two of wear.
It was on a bit of a whim that I decided to try the Witch Skin Clearing Primer, which contains antibacterial Witch Hazel and promises to hydrate while drawing away excess oils. The 30ml primer is contained in an airless pump bottle and applies to the skin like a thick white moisturiser. It feels hydrating but doesn't give any shine, nor does it have that powdery slip that silicone primers have. I apply half a pump to my face, concentrating on the T Zone and using extra on my nose and centre of my cheeks where I have the most trouble with oil. This primer creates a very cooling feeling while it dries, which is strange but I imagine would be a great feeling for the summer months.
After trying so many primers, I have no doubt that I've now found my holy grail- my foundation stays well in place for 8 hours, and even after 12 hours I'm still looking presentable. I need to blot or re-powder in the afternoons, but my skin just looks dewy and shiny rather than a patchy mess of oil and pores, which to me sometimes seems like a miracle. Even though I have oily skin, primers can often dry other parts of my skin out, but I've had no such problems with the Witch primer, which I'm also very pleased about. The only way in which the product is slightly let down is that it doesn't mask large pores all that well but, in light of how well it works to enhance the longevity of my make up, I'm not really all that bothered. 
The Witch Skin Clearing Primer claims that it prevents blemishes by protecting skin from make up and I haven't seen a huge difference in the amount of new blemishes, but have noticed that my skin is slightly less congested after lots of long days wearing foundation. As long as my primer doesn't actually cause blemishes like silicones ones do for me, then it's not a huge loss for me that it doesn't prevent them from other causes.

The Skin Clearing Primer is £6.99, which is a steal compared to others and I'd be happy to pay twice that for a product that works so well for me. As long as I powder after foundation application, this primer keeps my make up on for hours.


Tattoo For a Week

I really like the look of tattoos on other people, but because I change my mind so easily and I'm not the biggest fan of needles or pain, I haven't considered getting anything permanently etched into my skin. Thankfully, for those of us with a fear of having something done that we cant change, there's another option that means we can have a new design every week, or longer if we take care of it.
The thought of temporary tattoos might take you back to your childhood- a pretty flower or sparkly butterfly that was pressed onto the top of your arm and rubbed off a few days later never to be seen again. In contrast, there are now hundreds of more grown up designs for adults with much better quality and staying power, including those used on film and TV sets. While some might think they're a cop out, I'm actually a big fan; a nice design on bare legs or under tights with a dress for a night out looks very cool, and if you don't want to show it off to everyone you can wear it just under hem so that it's only seen when you sit down.

I recently received a 20 euro voucher for and was so excited to look through all the designs. Tattoo For A Week has more than 3000 really affordable designs from fun tattoos, to professional film brands, to knuckle and face tattoos, with discounts and free shipping on orders over £10. The company is based in Belgium but the package only took a few days to reach me.
I wanted to choose something that I'd actually wear out, as well as a few unusual ones to test out and see what they were like- I went for Strepik Owl, Day of the Dead Roses Face Mask, Tinsley Transfers 1940's Pin Up and Tattooed Pin Up Girl, small TigerRoses Ring tattoo, and Water Slide Temporary Tattoo Paper.
I haven't used all of them yet but I have tried the more unusual ones which I'll talk about below, and will post twitter/instagram photos of the others when I do get them on. A couple were a lot bigger than I had thought so it's definitely worth checking sizes before you buy!

I started off with the Roses Face Mask (£3.40), which would be brilliant for a costume for a fancy dress party escpecially with New Years Eve on the way. Each piece of the design is supplied on one sheet which needs to cut out and applied to clean dry skin individually, before dabbing with a damp cloth and peeling off the backing paper. Some areas, such as the eye circles were a bit tricky as the hollows in the inner corners are so defined, and if I was to apply again I might change the placement a little, but I posted a photo on Twitter and had a couple of questions asking whether I'd drawn the design myself so I think I did a pretty successful attempt! I'm not a good drawer so it was so much easier to apply these and have each line looking perfect. The tattoos covered my eyebrows well, and I filled in the eyes with Maybelline Black Gel Liner and used a small fluffy brush to apply Mac Mineralize Skinfinish in Light Plus around the edges of the tattoo sections to even out my skin and cover blemishes, before finishing with Arbonne lipstick in Strawberry. To remove I soaked a cotton pad in oil based makeup remover, and with a bit of gentle rubbing it was gone without trace.

Next I tried the Roses Ring (£0.70), which can be used as a navel or nipple tattoo. This is definitely one of the most unusual types of temporary tattoo I've seen and, in keeping with my piercing from a few posts ago, I thought I'd give it a go on the nip. Tattoo For a Week also do full pastie tattoos which cover the nipple completely for underneath sheer tops. This wasn't the easiest to apply and it suffered a bit of distortion during dampening, but it definitely looked unusual and would be nice as a pair for a special occasion.The Water Slide Temporary Tattoo Paper is an interesting product- it's used to design your own tattoos or to check the size and placement of a design you're planning to get permanently inked. The image is mirrored on your computer and printed onto the glossy side of the tattoo paper, then the adhesive overlay is stuck onto the top (making sure there are no air bubbles) before you peel off the plastic topsheet and apply the temporary tattoo as normal. I had a lot of fun with these, but they do come with a note that the quality isn't of normal temps and they're definitely right- while they do last, they need to be cut very close to the design and look like a noticeably shiny film on the skin, and instead of rubbing off into small pieces they peel off like a thin piece of tape. Nevertheless, these are great fun to play around with, and would definitely serve the purpose of checking a design. They're available in two sizes- approximately 4x6inch (£1.90) and 9x11inch (£7.20).

The rest of the tattoos are reasonably normal compared to the above and I'm looking forward to wearing them when I go out. You can tell whether a temporary tattoo will look realistic just by seeing it on the paper, and the difference between the two Tinsley Pin Up tattoos is really interesting- one is a dark with new crisp looking hand drawn lines, while the other is more faded with slightly feathered lines and looks like it has been on the skin for a good few years. I've had temporary tattoos last a good while longer than one week by avoiding them when shaving and moisturising, and I've no doubt that these will last just the same.

How do you feel about temporary tattoos, would you try them as an adult or leave them for the kids?


Review: Manhattan Soft Mat Lip Creams in 56K and 95G

While browsing make up retail sites I came across a product that looked familiar- I’d seen budget Matte Lip Creams reviewed on blogs before, and even though I wasn’t familiar with Manhattan as a brand I definitely wanted to try a couple.
Manhattan is, confusingly, not American but an affordable German brand; they sell a large range of products from their own creation to familiarly packaged products such as the Lip Lacquer Lipsticks. Being a foreign budget brand they are available predominantly on online discount websites and independent cosmetic shops, but I have also seen their products recently in Poundland.

The Soft Mat Lipcreams are applied with a wand and have a thin balmy texture that dries down on the lips to leave an opaque colour with a completely matte finish. Although described as a ‘unique lip cream’, they have a name suspiciously similar to NYX’s range, and the packaging is a dead ringer with a clear plastic tube and matte black lid.
These are available in 7 shades, and I bought the colours 56K and 95G after searching for swatches online. Swatches for these products are few and far between, and the shades looked different in each photo so the colours I received weren’t exactly the colours I was expecting. 56K is a muted warm pink and 95G turned out to be quite a dark brown with warm orangey undertones.

These creams have the exact scent of the NYX products- an artificial vanilla smell that is definitely either love or hate. They apply smoothly and, because the colour range is reasonably the same darkness as natural lips colours, they don’t appear patchy or uneven. Manhattan describe the finish as ‘veletty-matte’ with a ‘wonderfully soft feeling on the lips’, and I would agree; they have a silky, almost silicone feel about them and are almost the polar opposite of sticky. They take a good few minutes to dry and lose some of the slip, becoming a little powdery and having a bit of resistance when the lips are rubbed together. I have worn these when my lips have been very dry, which you can see in the swatch photos above. The creams don’t pick up on the dryness as much as some solid lipsticks do, but on both dry and smooth lips these accentuate the lines and crinkles of the lips close up.
Wear time for these is better for me than lipsticks, which I find it difficult to make last. They have little transfer when dry but need reapplying after eating and drinking. As they’re matte they do dry the lips, but I’ve found much worse culprits and a good layer of lipbalm helps with any dryness.

I really like 56K, even though I was expecting something brighter I’m very fond of milky pinks and it mutes my lip colour while looking quite natural. 95G is a shade that won’t suit light skintones and is a bit too dark for me (you can see in the swatch that it gives a slight orange ring around my lips, but it’s hard to tell without seeing my whole face), but with a few dots of 56k blended on top it becomes a wearable dark nude shade so all isn’t lost.
I have one NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream to compare these to- Tokyo is a very light pink and even though I like the colour I’m not at all fond of the application. I think it’s because it’s so much lighter than my lip colour that it applies patchy in the centre of the lips, settles into lines, and looks thin and chalky, which you can see in a swatch at the end of this post. As the lip creams from both brands have incredibly similar formulas, it’s interesting to see how NYX’s large range of colours can let the product down, whereas Manhattan have stuck to darker shades (similar to the Collection Cream Puffs) which you can’t really go wrong with.

I'm really pleased with the Manhattan Soft Mat Lipcreams, the application and lasting power make them a winner for me, and the price point also helps- they have an RRP of £3.99, but can be found discounted online. I bought mine for £2.99 from Xtras, but they’re available for 99p each on Fragrance Direct. If you’re a fan of the shade range, these make a great cheaper dupe for the NYX creams, and are also a great way to ease yourself into matte lip products if you don’t own any already.

I’ve tried a few other products from Manhattan, one that I really love, but another that I’m really interested to try (if I can find it in the UK) is their ProfessionalMascara with silk keratin and integrated comb in the cap. Have you tried any products from Manhattan?

 (Below- NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Tokyo)


Andrew Barton I Love Volume Big Hair Lifting Spray

As I mentioned a little while ago, my hair has been a bit long and limp recently, not helped by static from central heating (and synthetic jumpers) which seems to make it either stick down flat or stick straight up. The Andrew Barton I Love Volume collection is created for hair in need of a body boost, and is presented in simple purple bottles and tubes which I think makes it looks a lot more expensive than it actually is. Andrew Barton himself is described as 'TV's Favourite Hair Expert' (he appears as the hairdresser on 10 Years Younger in case you don't recognise the name), and each of his 5 hair product collections are available exclusively in Asda. The triangular bottle of Lifting Spray contains a generous 250ml with a scent similar to pineapple squash which I really like, and is a bargain at just £3.90.

The spray is used on damp towel dried hair and the nozzle creates an even mist through the roots and lengths. I like that the packaging doesn't expect me to be one of those women that sits there for hours with a round brush and aching arms- the instructions tell me to 'go for it with your drier', and that’s what I do for about 4 minutes until my hair is dry. Although I actually use a hair dryer not drier (slightly worrying that an Award Winning Hairdresser didn't pick up on the spelling mistake). The spray definitely makes a difference without feeling either crunchy or powdery- it reduces static and gives the hair more grip, especially when used in the evening and slept on. I wash my hair every night and often find it hard to create texture as it feels quite silky when clean, but this spray gives it a slight amount of tackiness that helps give hold to the lengths where I’m now a bit lacking in layers.

I've heard people talk of using this spray as a style refresher on dry hair, but I've made the mistake of spraying too close to the roots and had to follow up with dry shampoo as it felt a little greasy and sticky, so I stick to using on damp hair. I’d also caution against using this on the very ends of the hair as for some reason it makes mine look drier and more split, so a mousse or gel spray is a better option.
I’ve had this bottle for a good few months and seem to have barely made a dent in the liquid, so I can’t fault it for value for money, and I’ve also been complimented on the scent of my hair which is something that I don’t think has happened before. If, like me, your hair tends to hang limply and look stuck to your head, I would definitely recommend the Andrew Barton Big Hair Lifting Spray for adding some much needed texture and hold.


Brighton Lush Lock In

Last week I went along to Lush with a group of other Brighton bloggers to view the Christmas collection for this year and have a go at making a product from the permanent range ourselves. Lush was bright, warm and full of scents against the cold winter evening and we were greeted with bucks fizz and Cakepops.
To begin we were given a demonstration of the Golden Wonder Bath Bomb and The Comforter Bubble Bar (which we later made). Golden Wonder is a large cream present shape, that rattles when shaken and is topped off with a heavy covering of gold shimmer. The present has a gorgeous orange and congac scent,  and as it fizzes in the water the foam changes through yellow and blue, and there are bursts of orange, blue and pink from the little coloured balls inside that create the rattling. When the bomb has dissolved, the water is left an amazing sparkling green; it looks like liquid metal and feels silky to the touch. Lush have recently switched from plastic glitter to biodegradable glitter made from cracked sheets of seaweed, which becomes soft when wet and isn’t harmful to animals or the environment. 
The Comforter Bubble Bar is broken into pieces and one piece is added to the bathwater, where it gives a strong berry scent and turns the water a blankety pink with lots of pale bubbles. We each put on biodegradable gloves and then mixed up the separate parts of the bar. Starting with powders such as Sodium Bicarbonate and Cream of Tartar, the combination was mixed into a paste by adding the foaming agents such as Cocoamide DEA (a derivative of coconut oil) and finally, with the addition of colouring and blackberry scents, we formed two doughs- one pink and one white. The doughs were spread on top of eachother and rolled up like a Swiss Roll before being cut. As the bubble bar is solid, it doesn’t require any preservatives like liquid bath products, and I’m looking forward to diving into baby pink bathwater when I give mine a go! The Comforter is similar in scent to the infamous Snow Fairy Shower Gel (loved by women, and men!), but I find it much fruitier and I must say I prefer it to the shower gel.
We sampled and swatched the Christmas Lip Scrubs and Tints- as well as the well-known Popcorn, and Mint Julips, Santa’s Lip Scrub is a must-have for the holiday period. This bright red cola scented sugar scrub is made with cherries and dates, which gives it a lovely warm scent, and it also includes edible red hearts for a bit of Christmas cheer. The lip tints are much more pigmented than expected, and Santa Baby is just the right shade of red to get hearts racing. It dries matte but moisturises the lips with a whole host of oils such as Rosehip and Safflower.

We also sampled the massage bars which have lovely Cocoa and Shea Butter scents. They take a bit of work to warm up in the hands, and it was an unusual experience massaging the hand and arm of a stranger, but the bars produce a lot of oil when melted and I enjoyed getting to grips with them. Therapy, which has solid nodules , was a favourite of mine, and I think they would make a great gift for a loved one or someone who suffers from aches and pains.
Additionally we all had a good smell of the newest range of Lush Gorilla Perfumes. These look very much like something from an apothecary and are inspired by British countryside folklore. The fragrances have been designed to blend with the chemistry of the body so, unlike mainstream perfumes which are created to smell almost the same on everyone; these take on a different scent from person to person. The scents are mysterious, presented in dropper bottles with names like Hellstone, Lord of Goathorn and Devil’s Nightcap. Many of the scents are deep and woody, with Coffee and French Cigarettes being a feature of The Voice of Reason, and unearthed roots featuring in Hellstone. For those of us that enjoy lighter floral scents there is Flower’s Barrow and bestselling Sikkim Girls with Jasmine, Frangipani and Blackcurrant. I will definitely be back to sample the latter two on my skin and see how they change!
As well as Golden Wonder, the Christmas bath range is an absolute treat to see and smell- cute little Penguins smell of Sicilian Lemon, Melting Snowmen emit the scent of Hot Toddy, Cinders with red popping candy emanates warn cinnamon,  Bombardino smells of warm gingerbread, and a smiling pink Father Christmas creates green bathwater with a festive orange fragrance. My favourites of all the products I sniffed (which was a lot!) were bright and fresh looking- the Star Light, Star Bright Bath Melt is a star drenched in silver shimmer, that contains Lavender, Lime and Ginger Oils so smells zesty but warm at the same time, and the pure white So White Bath Bomb has a crisp apple scent and a secret rose coloured centre to leave the bathwater pink.

In the past I have mainly been into Lush for presents for others, and have only tried a few products of their extensive collection myself. After being overwhelmed by the scents and bright colours of the store, I purchased a Jumping Juniper Shampoo Bar as a little gift for myself, which has a lovely fresh floral scent and is perfect for greasy hair. I’m so excited to give this a try as an alternative to my boring Baby Shampoo!
One of the things that’s clear after visiting Lush is how animated, helpful and knowledgeable all the staff are- it’s obvious that they really love their job and  know their products inside out to be able to helpfully answer any questions.   
Everyone loves a bit of a pamper, and whether you’re buying Christmas gifts or a little present for yourself, Lush will definitely have a scent you love, and once you’ve smelt the Christmas collection you’ll want to keep going back!


Maybelline Great Lash Mascara

There was a rule when I was in school- ‘never wear mascara on your bottom lashes’. Why? Because apparently ‘boys don’t like it’. Well, since leaving school I think most of us have learnt that boys actually don’t really understand what we put on our faces and, for me at least, that rule has gone out the window along with brown bread making your hair curly (I’ve always wanted curly hair).

The first mascara I ever used was Maybelline Great Lash (£4.99), as it has been the only one I’ve ever known my mum to wear and naturally I looked to her dressing table for products when I started to experiment with makeup. Maybelline mascaras really can’t be beaten for their quality and price, and the Great Lash Waterproof is one of my all-time favourites that took a little break from my makeup bag but is now definitely back to stay.
I think Great Lash can be a love or hate product- the formula is dry (and I leave new tubes a while before using as I prefer it even drier), and the brush is reasonably small compared to more modern designs. One coat gives length and definition, but it definitely takes a good few to really build up a dramatic lash. What the formula lacks in volume, it makes up for in separation, which is really important for those of us with long lashes wanting a ‘lots of lashes’ look.

The main thing that I always notice when trying another mascara is how well the Great Lash holds a curl- my lashes are scandalously bad at staying curled and want to droop back down within an hour of me clamping down the curlers, but this mascara keeps them sky high for hours and hours which I really love. It also stays put incredibly well and I have minimal printing below my eyes compared to other mascaras (I have a feeling this is more down to my undereye concealer than mascara), as well as not clumping together throughout the night (you should know by now my accidental penchant for sleeping in my eye makeup!).

In the photo below (sorry about that random piece of hair, it’s annoying me too!) I’m wearing the Maybelline Great Lash Waterproof in Black and have also lined my tightline to fill in any gaps between my lashes and make them look fuller. I’m so pleased to have rediscovered this mascara and it has now definitely become a permanent feature on my dressing table!


Kirsty's Unusual Gift Guide

Family and friends will agree that I love to give unusual gifts, the weirder the better in some cases, but I look for coolness and functionality; less Soap on a Rope and more NASA Space Ants. Being slightly bored of seeing beauty gift guides, and preferring a touch of something different myself, I’ve compiled a unisex guide for those that want to give something memorable to the people that really do have everything. Some I’ve bought for others before so can personally recommend them, some I’m planning to buy this year, while others just caught my eye for their funkiness, but there’s something here for all tastes and budgets.

Tried & Tested
The Beer Soap Co. Beer Soap (£5.99 each) - Something different for the beer lovers among us, these soaps use a formula of real ales and stouts. Available with the hop goodness of Guinness, Stella Artois, Newcastle Brown Ale and Kronenbourg 1664, they contain no artificial ingredients and have a manly scent so no one ends up smelling like they’ve been on the Special Brew.
66.6% Devil Vodka (£25.99) - Presented in one of the coolest bottles I’ve seen, this vodka isn’t for the faint hearted! It’s definitely one to get people talking, but remind your loved one to take it slowly or they really will have the hangover from hell.
Joe & Seph’s Gourmet Popcorn Pouches (£4 each) - Popcorn isn’t just for the cinema, and Joe & Sephs ranges feature specially selected flavours from sweet to savoury such as Fruit Cocktail & Cream, Smooth Caramel Lemon & Poppyseeds, Cheese on Toast and Thai Style Peanut Satay. Their Christmas range includes Mince Pie and Mint Chocolate, with all flavours being gluten free and the majority vegetarian. I’ve given Goat’s Cheese & Black Pepper and Mince Pie flavours as Christmas presents, and they’ve both gone down a treat!
Edible Insects (from £4.99) - ever fancied crunchy cricket snacks, mealworm larvettes or chocolate covered ant wafers as an interesting supper? Ok don’t answer that, but trust me curiosity will get the better of you.
True Utility Cashstash (£6.50) - A practical gift for the person who’s always losing their wallet, this little waterproof capsule made from aircraft grade aluminium features a steel cashclip to hold to more than enough notes for a cab journey home. Available in silver, black and pink.
Tatratea (£21.80-£44.60 depending on flavour) - This liqueur is based on black tea with fruit and herb extracts, is named after the Tatra Mountains in Slovakia, and has an amazing tea scent. Available in Original (52%), White (42%), Citrus (32%), Coconut (22%), Forest Fruit (62%) or Outlaw (72%) flavours, it can be drunk neat, in a cocktail, or mixed with hot tea to create an unusual and interesting drink.
Antworks Space Ants (£11.50) - This mini ant farm uses NASA developed patented technology from their 2003 space shuttle experiment. The blue gel is rich enough in nutrients to keep the ants alive in their self-contained home, and if you can’t find any ants yourself you can send off for a starter pack and they’ll be shipped live in the post!
Vampire Chutney Gift Pack and Curry Lover’s Selection (£12.95 each) - Created by the Isle of Wight Garlic Farm, these themed gift selections are perfect for lovers of strong flavours. The Vampire themed chutney gift box includes Plum Chutney, Tomato Salsa and Apple Chutney, each with a fiery kick. The Curry Lover’s Selection includes Cheeky Monkey Banana Chutney, Hot Garlic Pickle and Peach & Mango Chutney which are perfect curry accompaniments.
Marmite Chocolate (£2.45) - Marmite isn’t to everyone’s taste but for the connoisseurs out there this is perfect. If your gift receiver is a fan of the salty bitter taste of Marmite crisps then they’ll love this! I’ve tried it and wasn’t wholly convinced on the flavour, but it makes a great gift nonetheless.
For the Photography LoverLumi Light Printing Kit (£29.99) - One of the coolest gifts in this guide, this kit uses light sensitive paint to enable you to print designs on anything from fabric to untreated wood and unglazed ceramics. Use the Lumi app to transform your image into a negative, print it onto acetate (unfortunately not included) apply the Inkodye underneath your image and watch as it develops using the power of the sun! Then wash fabrics with the Inkowash and the design is permanent. Available in either Blue or Red, and with extra Inkodye to buy once the kit runs out, this kit is perfect for any digital lover that wants to try something new, or film lovers that want a step up from sun prints. 
Konstructor DIY SLR Camera by Lomography (£29.95) - Build your own functional SLR camera with top down viewfinder in 1-2 hours from a sheet of flatpack plastic parts. This kit is suitable for ages 14 and over and includes stick on leather patches and vinyl decals to personalise the look of the camera once finishes. Featuring a 50mm f/10 lens, this fully working camera will take beautiful 35mm Lomo shots. Who else do you know who’s built their own camera?
Twitfish Camera Lens Cup (£6.95) - available in black or retro-looking white, with a flared lens cap to keep your drink warm which also doubles as a coaster or biscuit holder.
Camera Lens Travel Mug
(£16.99) - featuring an insulated interior and screw on spill proof lid with drinking tab, this is a cool accessory for drinks both hot and cold, and is detailed enough to look like you’re drinking from a real lens!

For the Kitchen
Bogey Man Egg Separator Jug  (£5.95) - disgusting and delightful at the same time!
Rose Bunting Cake Decoration Kit  (£3.95) - I’ve never before seen bunting on a cake, but this little kit would make a seriously cute gift for an avid baker.
Citrus Zinger Water Bottle (£14.99) - This is a water bottle with built in juicer for a healthy metabolism boosting drink on the go- add a citrus half to the bottom compartment of the bottle, add water to the top, and shake!
Gluggle Jug (£29.99) - these jugs mae a great gurgling ‘glug glug’ sound as liquid is poured- functional, attractive and cool. These look like a piece of art whether on the shelf or in use, and are available in Cobalt blue, Green, White and Surf Blue.
OCD Chef Wooden Chopping Board (£19.99) - Featuring grids and rulers for those that like to keep things precise in the kitchen.
Toucan Magnetic Kitchen Scissors (£9.99) - How cute is this little guy! This sturdy pair of shears is magnetic so sticks to the fridge or knife rack, and also has a built in bottle opener.
Mason Jar Shot Glasses (£9.99 for 4) - Jam jar drinks are a popular tipple at engagement parties and wedding receptions, but these shot glasses are perfect for those of us that like to take things a little less seriously.

For the Home
Mystical Fire Magic Dust (£12.50 for 10) - transform a log or camp fire into vivid colours by throwing 1-3 unopened sachets into the flames for 30 minutes of 'wow!'.
Sky Planter Recycled (£14.99 - £34.99) - these space saving ceiling planters use a reservoir system to save water and come with all that’s needed to hang and enjoy (except the plant).
Build Your Own Life Sized Human Skeleton (£11.95) - one for the biology buffs, this book features anatomically correct pop out cardboard bones and requires no glue or scissors for assembly. All joints work as they should, and Mr Skeleton measures 1.8m tall when completed.
I Could Pee on This/I Could Chew on This (£5.18 each) - for the cat or dog lover in our lives, ICPOT features amusing poems by cats and photos too, while ICCOT includes photos and poems about mischevious dogs.
Rufus Fox Draft Excluder (£24.99) - a cute hand embroidered fox doing the splits to hold a door open and block winter drafts.
Sex Tips for Husbands and Wives from 1894 (£3.50)- Published by Ruth Smythers as a serious book of bedroom tips over 100 years ago, this is now a book of giggles and shows just how much things have changed over the last century!
‘She should let him grope in the dark. There is always the hope that he will stumble and incur some slight injury which she can use as an excuse to deny him sexual access.’
'While sex is at best revolting and at worse rather painful, it has to be endured...One cardinal rule of marriage should never be forgotten: give little, give seldom and, above all, give grudgingly!'
Lifestraw (£21.99) - Not so much for inside the home as outside it, the Lifestraw filters 99.99% of bacteria and parasites so a muddy puddle or dirty stream suddenly becomes a thirst quenching drink. This straw can filter at least 1000 litres of contaminated water so doesn't just have to be saved for emergencies, and is the perfect unusual Christmas gift for walkers and countryside explorers. 

Are you planning to gift anything out of the ordinary this Christmas?

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