WEEKEND RITUAL #13 : Festive Fun

Winter has well and truly hit Manchester, December brought with it a sudden drop in temperature and rumours of snow... It really is beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Naturally I've spent the week bundled up in blankets and furs, sporting a hair-tuck and a (festive) red lip, and surrounded by candles (when possible). In true December style, this little elf has been flitting all over the city picking up packages and stashing them in the most peculiar of places before wrapping, labelling, and stashing them beneath the tree (gold and green is this year's theme).

If you're out and about in Manchester and in need of a mid-shopping spree refuel (without trekking to the Northern Quarter's uhh-mazing coffee shops), then head to Second Cup in the Arndale. A big name Canadian coffee shop which recently opened its first UK store and sells (amongst other delights) hot chocolates of the maple/dark chocolate/white chocolate variety. SWOON.

Shopping aside, it's been a week of busy afternoons and late evenings, but hump day arrived and was celebrated IN STYLE with an afternoon spent exploring all things beauty...

WHERE? The RMK counter at Selfridges Exchange Square in Manchester (one of just three in the UK).

WHO? RMK, the cult Japanese beauty brand, which launched in 1997 with a signature look focussed upon natural dewy, glowing skin.

WHAT? A skincare consultation and makeover involving some RMK bestsellers, as well as newly launched products from the A/W collection 'The Power of Love'.

THE STANDOUT PRODUCTS : RMK Cleansing Balm - A solid rose-scented balm which becomes a thick oil upon application and is ideal for makeup removal, facial massage, and for nourishing dry and dehydrated skin. RMK Creamy Foundation - Japan's bestselling foundation (very similar to Nars Sheer Glow in terms of texture and finish), boasts a lightweight but medium (and buildable) coverage and some serious glow factor. RMK Crayon & Powder Eyes - I'm a fool for an eyeshadow pencil so this was bound to be an instant hit. One end contains a soft (and extremely pigmented) creamy crayon, and the other a shimmer powder. Ideal for creating a complex look with minimal effort required. RMK Matte Mascara - Never before have I used a mascara which perfects volume, length, and separation with a prowess such as this one. Say hello to long and dramatic lashes, top and bottom.

THE VERDICT : Love, love, LOVE. I've always been super impressed by RMK's Cleansing Balm, so I was intrigued to get to know more of the brand and products (and I did not leave disappointed). The skincare range is delightfully simple, soothing, and refreshing - ideal for sensitive skin and available in formulations for both dry and oily skin. The brand maintains its original signature look when it comes to base makeup, so if dewy and natural is what you seek from a foundation then you're in for a treat. I was also completely blown away by the pigmentation of the eyeshadows, and by the shade range (think metallic, flattering, and uber wearable - see here for the finished look). If you're usually a little wary of visiting beauty counters (it can be a daunting experience for many) then I would definitely recommend RMK as a great place to start as the staff were all incredibly lovely, genuine, and friendly (I truly believe that this makes all the difference in ensuring that all customers are returning customers).

Aside from adding the finishing touches to my festive giftlist (and shopping list!), today is mostly going to follow a laze>coffee>laze>brunch plot, and will most certainly culminate in a bubble-filled bath.

This next week has festivities on the cards. We're hosting a Christmas soiree/belated flat-warmer next weekend so I have my party planning hat firmly upon my head and my MUJI list notebook close to hand at ALL times (cue a non-stop Christmas playlist and over-excitement x100000).

How are you spending your Sunday? Whatever you're up to I hope it's full of festive FUN!

G x

if you fancy peeking into my life/beauty world some more, find me on Twitter and Instagram.

+  The blogging world went gift guide crazy this week. Lilly, Bridie, and Kate provided my favourites (cue : yet MORE additions to the gift list, (sorry Santa))! + + Jen wrote a fantastic post in regards to plagiarism in the online world. An essential read if you're a blogger yourself. + + + Whilst the rest of the world was buzzing over the Victoria's Secret fashion show, Chanel presented their A/W'15-16 RTW in Salzburg. I'm SWOONING, join me here. + + + + A time-lapse which reveals the evolution of beauty trends over the past century... As a historian and beauty lover, this is a video I will be watching all week long...