December was possibly my favourite month of 2016. It was the most hectic as well. My shifts went up as a restaurant at Christmas basically never sleeps, and I had a massive freelance project to complete. I also attempted blogmas, which didn't go 100% to plan, but saw me blogging more in a month than I ever had done in the past.
There were a whole load of pros and cons to trying out blogmas, but I think if I tried to do it again in the future, I would prepare for it much more. I was working so much that I had so little time to actually blog that I ended up putting out seriously sub-par posts. And it showed. Despite posting more frequently than I had done in the past my page views were lower than they had been in months. It was pretty demoralising to look back on that on the 1st January to say the least. BUT, it has encouraged me to only put out content that I'm truly happy with, and to go with quality over quantity in my writing. There will be no more posts scraped together in the half hour I have free between shifts on some days, but instead I'll be taking my time with each and every post.
Aside from the world of blogging, it was so lovely (and a bit scary) to host Christmas in my own home, in a new town for the very first time. It went almost without a hitch, though my sister did have to save the potatoes from being cooked in cake tins because I didn't own enough oven trays. Whoops. I got to see and spend time with so many members of my family, and it was great to see everyone open the gifts I'd bought them.
In terms of favourites, I've left out anything I got for Christmas because I only had a couple of days to really try them out before the end of December. So, you'll have to keep your eyes peeled for my January favourites this time next month to see any of the presents I was lucky enough to receive.
I actually used two uh-mazing shower gels that I fell head over heels for this month. The first up was my mini Korres bergamot pear shower gel. This was so good that it actually made it into my 2016 top ten beauty favourites. Wild, I know. I love sweet scents, and this is definitely one, but it's not too overpowering. This is something that I'm now on the hunt to buy in a bigger bottle once my current shower gel runs out. It's so good that it actually tops Snow Fairy in my opinion. Yep, that good
Next up, is something completely different. The bergamot pear was a slightly classy, sophisticated scent. Now, we have Chewits' fruit salad shower gel. Oh yes. Fruit salad chewits were basically the best sweet of my childhood. Okay, maybe they took second place behind cherry drops, but still. This shower gel smells like fruit salad bloody chewits and it is an absolute delight. Again, if you're not into sweet scents then this probably isn't for you. But, if you are, you can pick it up for £1 in Savers, making it a total win-win in terms of scent and price.
It's been a pretty good month for makeup favourites too. I was lucky enough to be sent some bits and pieces from Rimmel at the beginning of December, and they challenged me to create a party look with them. I really didn't like a few of the items, but I fell in love with two of them. The first was their Magnif'eyes eye shadow palette* in Keep Calm and Stay Gold. The shades in this are fairly similar to those in my Naked 3 palette, but have a couple of gold shades (obvs) and more metallic ones that have been great for pairing with my Naked 3 shades over the festive period.
As well as festive eye products, I've also been toying around with allllll the festive lip colours, because why not? Rimmel's provocalips lipstick in the shade 'Not Guilty' has been my absolute saviour over Christmas week. With all the eating and drinking I was planning on (and succeeded in) doing, I needed something that could stay put. I've tried out a whole lot of liquid lipsticks in the past few months and this triumphs over them all. It stays put for hours, and I usually end up having to remove at least some of it with makeup remover at the end of even very long days. Plus, you use the lipstick at one end first and then cover it with a gloss from the other end of the product. So you end up with a glossy lip that stays put. I just haven't found this in any other product recently!
My last makeup love for December was Madame LA LA's bronzing ball*. This creamy, shimmery bronzer has worked wonders at helping me contour that Christmas double chin. Seriously though, it's helped me really get back into contouring, as I'd stopped bothering with it for a few months.
The weather has been a little harsh on skin this month. We've had so many super cold days and I've been doing my best to keep my skin hydrated in the face of it. Seascape's soothe body butter is so darned thick that no chapping could get through that. It basically has the consistency of sudocrem - not the nicest thing in the world, butit does smell amazing and keep my skin from getting any winter blues.
*Although some products in this post were gifted to me for the purpose of a review, all opinions are my own honest ones*