A Fresh Start with Waken*

When it comes to dental products, I’m pickier than most. A few years ago, I had the worst breakouts around my mouth. They were so uncomfortable, and they looked horrendous, and no amount of lotions, potions or medications made any sort of difference. Then I read about SLS – an ingredient which is in the majority of toothpastes, and can cause serious skin upset. I cut it out of my daily routine then and there, and ever since, I’ve not needed to worry about breakouts, which is such a relief!

My new favourite dental brand, Waken is completely SLS-Free, and not only is it a pleasure to use, but it’s absolutely beautiful to look at too! Founded in 2019, it’s a brand who champion great quality products and fantastic prices (and they’re seriously eco-minded too). The Toothpastes (I’ve tried the Peppermint and the Spearmint varieties, and they’re absolutely wonderful) come in chic metal tubes which are completely recyclable, and use natural extracts and fluoride to clean teeth and freshen breath. Alongside the tubes, you can get a key which makes sure not a drop of the toothpastes go to waste. Their mouthwashes are similarly impressive. Like the toothpastes, Waken’s mouthwashes use natural extracts to freshen breath, and they’re the loveliest way to start and end each day. There are nine flavours to choose from, so even if you’re not a mint fan, you’re covered. They even sell the chicest little mouthwash aluminium cup so you know you’re using the right amount (with no unnecessary waste each time).

Waken Products are available here

Eteaket Festive Gifting*

I feel like we’ve entered the real countdown to Christmas, with a week to go there’s still more than enough time to nail that perfect present, but we don’t have the luxury of pondering our purchasing. Happily, Edinburgh’s favourite tea emporium, Eteaket have come to our rescue with a variety of festive gifting ideas which put Santa to shame this Christmas.

In a stroke of genius, Eteaket have partnered up with the fabulous Scottish Ballet to produce a trio of teas inspired by Christmas favourite, The Nutcracker. Obviously the past two years have wreaked havoc on the performing arts, so Eteaket will donate 10% of sales to help support the Ballet Company – a fantastic initiative, which will help ensure many more magical Christmas performances of the much-loved classic!

Before I even get started on this year’s teas, I should probably mention how much I love their seasonal blends. I think it was the pumpkin spice which kicked everything off, but Erica, the brains behind Eteaket really knows what she’s up to. The loose blends mix teas with dried fruitpeel, flower petals and all sorts of niceties to create the most perfect cup of tea, and this year’s offerings are no different. I kicked things off with The Nutcracker – black tea which blends cinnamon, cocoa, and sunflower petals. I drink all teas black, and this is absolutely divine – all warm and toasty notes which are pitch perfect for cold winter mornings.

The Waltz of the Flowers has become my go-to for busy afternoons. Working from home means that I’m looking at computer screens for hours at a time. Whilst I’ve invested in blue light glasses, it’s still nice to take a break and enjoy 15 minutes to myself, and that’s where the Waltz of the Flowers blend comes in. An infusion which includes hibiscus, chamomile and rose with a sprinkling of sweet apple & blackcurrant pieces, I’m obsessed with how chunky this loose leaf blend is, and it’s an absolutely perfect treat when I want to enjoy some me-time. Thanks to the fruity flavours, it’s absolutely delicious enjoyed cold – I brew some in the evening, and then pop it in the fridge. It means that when I’m thirsty, and want something different from water, I’ve got a real treat waiting for me.

The Sugar Plum Fair tea is another must-try from the trio. Surprisingly fruity, it mixes green tea with fruit, hibiscus and orange peel for a flavour which is truly inspired by the season. Another delightfully chunky blend, I love seeing the ribbons of dried orange peel and cranberries as it steeps. With flavour notes inspired by stewing plums, it’s another absolute winner, with a sweet kick (but no sugar) for when you need a little pick-me-up.

If you’re not the biggest tea drinker (or perhaps you need a last minute Secret Santa gift), I’m absolutely obsessed with Eteaket’s festive tea crackers. All beautifully packaged, the crackers contain 5 2.5g sachets of Eteaket’s favourite blends, meaning you’re giving the gift of 5 (rather fabulous) tea breaks.

As if all the teas weren’t festive enough, Eteaket also have this absolutely adorable Santa hat Infuser. Enough for a single cup, this has been working overtime as I’ve been sampling all the delicious goodies. Made of stainless steel and silicon, it just slides onto the side of your cup or mug, gently infusing the hot water. It fits a teaspoon of your favourite blend, and is an adorable (and eco-friendly) way to make sure you get the best from your blends.

Eteaket have a fabulous range of Christmas gift ideas which are available online and in-store. You can find out more here.

La Mer Radiant SkinTint

I’m not going to lie, I kind of hoped that I would hate La Mer’s Radiant SkinTint. I feel like the brand was the first one to make expensive skincare ‘mainstream’ and each release since just feels a bit spendier. I know people moan about the mineral oil in the formulas, but they really seem to work for my skin, and sadly (for my bank balance), the SkinTint is no exception.

Packaged in a slick tube, the SkinTint is a sheer-coverage option which is perfect if you’re looking for a natural finish base. As someone who like a barely-there finish, this one has quickly become my work and zoom go to. It’s sheer, but perfecting and it has the perfect amount of glow too.

As you would expect from the brand, the SkinTint has an spf 30, and contains the brand’s signature miracle broth, and the result is that it keeps skin hydrated all day long, and it stays nicely glowy too. It’s a nice polished finished, which is a step up from my regular formulas. The SkinTint lasts well all day, and I don’t need to top up my makeup, even if I’ve been out and about. The only downside (apart from the horrific price point) is the limited colours available – with a choice of seven, it’s really not the greatest, and I don’t understand why brands are still keep shade ranges so small.

The La Mer Radiant SkinTint is priced at £75 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

Chantecaille Purifying & Exfoliating Solution*

When it comes to beauty treatments, my most-loved might just be a really great cleanse. There’s nothing like that really clean face feeling, especially if it’s been a busy one, and I just want to wash the day off. There’s nothing worse than the feeling of makeup after a full day dashing about – and despite wearing pretty lightweight makeup, my skin can sometimes feel a little clogged by the end of the day.

When I stopped into Chantecaille’s new Harvey Nichols counter last month, I was very kindly gifted a bottle of their Purifying and Exfoliating Phytoactive Solution. Designed to refine skin, minimise pores and give skin a glow – this is one of those products I love to use once or twice a week. After cleansing, I saturate a cotton pad, and run it over my face and neck. It’s perfect for beating winter dullness, and thanks to its innovative cocktail of ingredients and 10% AHAs, the formula works to visibly brighten, resurface and balance.

Despite having sensitive skin, I don’t get red or irritated when I use it, and it primes skin wonderfully for my serum and moisturiser too!

Chantecaille Purifying and Exfoliating Phytoactive Solution is priced at £76 and is available from Harvey Nichols here.

Christophe Robin Aloe Vera Express Mask

Hi – it’s me. Apologies for the radio silence on here – work has (thankfully) gotten incredibly busy recently, which means that every single second has been spent doing that, and less of this. Which is annoying. So despite today’s to do list sitting at 50% completed I thought I’d share this gorgeous find which I’ve been loving recently.

Over the past year or so, I’ve really been on a bit of a hair health kick. I’ve ditched my usual highlights regime (thanks Lockdown) and I’m now the nearest I’ve been to my natural hair colour since I was 13. I’ve also overhauled my product stash, ditching everything with silicons, paragons and sulphates, and honestly, my ends haven’t felt this healthy in a long time.

I feel like each and every product from Christophe Robin’s line could be classified as a favourite, but if you’re in need a once a week treat – the Aloe Vera Express Mask is the one. Formulated to hydrate, plump strands and emphasise shine, I slather it on every Monday after using the brands Sea Salt Scrub.

The result is hair which feels soft and silky, and it’s super shiny too. Since ditching the bleach, I don’t have to worry about broken baby hairs which frizz at the slightest touch of heat or humidity, and my hair feels so much thicker too!

Christophe Robin’s Aloe Vera Express Mask is priced from £15 and is available here (UK) and here (US).

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