Sisley Phyto-Lip Twist – 07 Coral*

Sisley Phyto Twist Lip 7 Coral

Over the last couple of days, the weather is looking awfully like summer, and the sunny afternoons and long evenings have made me want to give my makeup regime a bit of an overhaul.

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Sisley’s brand new Phyto-Lip Twist in 07 Coral is an absolute must have for summer, and I’ve become rather obsessed with everything from the awesome fun packing to the silky smooth formula inside!

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First of all, the fun zebra print tube feels perfect for summer. It feels so fresh that a luxury house would produce such great looking lippies! There is also the added bonus that they are so easy to find in the black hole that is my handbag!

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Coral is a new release from the brand from summer, and it is such a stunning orange-toned shade. Application is incredibly easy thanks to the crayon-like shape. The formula is incredible soft and balmy, and I love how moisturising the Phyto-Lip Twist is. The colour payoff is perfect for the summer too! A quick slick of the Twist give a perfect sheer wash of colour which is great for people like me who tend to shy away from vivid lips. If you are feeling braver, the twists also let you build up colour easily, which is perfect if you’re out for the evening. The wear-time of the balm was great – I easily got 3 hours before I felt the need to reapply, and since the Twist is so easy to use, slicking another coat on isn’t a big deal!

I can’t wait to wear Sisley’s Phyto-Lip Twist with a tan, freckles and a little mascara!

Sisley Phyto-Lip Twist is priced at £29.00 and is available here.

Madeleine Shaw Supper Club at Harvey Nichols*

Madeleine Shaw Supper Club Harvey Nichols 2

I’m sure like everyone in the run-up to summer, I’m far more aware than normal of what I’m eating and how much exercising I’m doing. As it goes, thanks to long hours in the office, I’m not in the gym as often as I would love to be, and as a result, I tend to grab a cup of Pret soup or a sandwich and call it a day. So it felt more than serendipitous when I was incredibly kindly invited the Madeleine Shaw’s Supper Club which was held on the store’s Forth Floor last Wednesday.

Madeleine Shaw Supper Club Harvey Nichols

Over the past month or so, Madeleine has been on a tour promoting her ‘Get the Glow’ cook book – it’s filled with delicious and healthy recipes which are perfect if you’re looking for meals which are as yummy as they are good for you. Before Wednesday, I hadn’t tried out any of Madeleine’s recipes, but after the awesomeness which was the meal, I had ordered it before I even got home! The night was one of the last of the tour, and it was a sold out event, and before Madeleine even got to introducing herself and the book you could feel how excited the room was to get stuck in!

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Before everyone was let into the dining room, which was absolutely decorated, I got to meet Madeleine for a bit of a chat. She is an incredible advert for her recipes – all smiles and toned limbs, and we discussed what got her started on her healthy journey. After leaving school Madeleine travelled to Australia, and began to work cooking in a cafe. Like most of us, she was focused on counting calories and choosing low fat and fat free options – think diet cokes and rice cakes, and she developed a multitude of digestive issues. After consulting with multiple doctors, but having no luck, she really ‘cleaned up’ her diet, focusing on eating what was fresh and in season rather than what’s low calories. Protein plays a big part in Madeleine’s diet, and her cook book is filled with the most delicious and wholesome recipes which feature everything from great cuts of beef to detox smoothies. Throughout our chat, her enthusiasm and knowledge for the subject was seriously inspiring, and I learned how important a truly balanced diet is. Along with her nutritional knowledge, Madeleine is also a bit of a gym class buff, and regularly practices Pilates and Boxing, so I think I might be dusting off my gloves soon!

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Once Madeleine took to the stage, you could just feel how excited everyone was to hear her tips and test out her recipes. The night’s menu featured sharing dishes of some favourite recipes, as well as just about the yummiest mix of cocktails and mocktails!

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Even though I’m a bit of a drinks-lightweight, I couldn’t resist the passionfruit cocktail which mixed together two kinds of vodka with passionfruit and raspberry. It tasted heavenly and such an incredible drink for summer, the whole table commented on how easy they went down! For those being incredibly virtuous, or driving, there were strawberry mocktails, which although I didn’t try, looked delicious – all frosty glasses and pink puree!

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The whole night, the entire dining room was buzzing with conversation, and the room itself was absolutely beautiful. If you’ve never visited Harvey Nichols’ Forth Floor before, you’re definitely missing out. The entire front of the restaurant is plate glass, and you can see the Edinburgh skyline, and the castle absolutely glowed in the evening light. The main courses were a fabulous mix of dishes with Thai beef salad, salt and pepper cashews, Spicy salmon, cucumber and yoghurt, Mexican BBQ-grilled corn and quinoa, chilli salsa and Green goddess salad. With the plates popped into the middle of the table, everyone oohed and ached over the choices, and we all had our favourites.

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The Thai beef salad was to die for, with succulent strips of beef topping a crunchy salad, this felt like an awesome choice for a summer barbecue. I think my favourite was the Spicy Salmon, which included a huge filet which was cooked to perfection – I’m not always a big fish fan as the flavour can be a little strong, but this was so delicate and more-ish, I’m sure I took more than my fair share! The salmon fillets were topped with a spicy paprika yoghurt sauce which was so flavourful, this is definitely bookmarked to try at home!

Madeleine Shaw Supper Club Harvey Nichols 1

As if the fish and meat weren’t enough, we also got to sample the Green goddess and Quinoa salads. The Green Goddess dish was inspired by Madeleine’s time in Australia, and I challenge you to find a better tasting kale! It featured a mix of kale and spinach which had been wilted and dressed with the yummiest dijon mustard dressing. I could have just plowed through the entire plate it was so good! The Mexican BBQ-grilled corn and quinoa, with chilli salsa was such a fresh tasting dish – I could easily enjoy this for lunch everyday! The whole table commented on how flavourful it was compared to regular Quinoa which can taste a little ‘blah.’

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Our whole table absolutely devoured the sharing plates, and after an hour or so of chatting, laughing and enjoying the dishes, we were served up with the most glorious dessert. Saying a pudding is healthy sounds a little too good to be true, but the dairy free coconut ice-cream with raw chocolate cherry fudge was absolutely incredible. The coconut ice cream was so light and fresh, and I loved seeing the little vanilla beans in it! I honestly can’t believe that this was dairy free – it just tasted so creamy! The raw chocolate fudge was amazing too – this was another dish that just tasted decadent. It was so rich and chocolately, I can’t wait to try whipping up a batch myself! It went so well with the ice cream and was such a decadent way to end a fabulous meal!

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Getting to meet Madeleine, as well as try out her delicious recipes was such a fun experience. The food was absolutely divine, and I had the best evening filled with awesome people! Seeing an entire dining room so enthused about healthy eating, and enjoying the delicious dishes was really lovely, and as you can probably tell, I had an absolute ball!

Thank you so much to Harvey Nichols for an incredible evening, and thank you to Madeleine for her yummy recipes and great inspiration!

The last of Madeleine’s Harvey Nichols Supper Clubs is happening tonight in London, and if you can you should definitely go! You can also check out the yummy dishes as part of Harvey Nichols Get the Glow menu (find out more about it here)

Good Things Argan Oil Nourishing Cleansing Oil*

Good Things Argan Oil Nourishing Cleansing Oil 1

Happy Bank Holiday! I hope you’re enjoying a gloriously lazy long weekend – I know I am! As well as trying to see a few friends, I’m also planning on giving myself something of a spa-day, and my cleanser of choice this weekend is Good Things Argan Oil Nourishing Cleansing Oil, a product which although affordable feels supremely luxurious to use!

Good Things Argan Oil Nourishing Cleansing Oil

Packaged in a no-nonsense clear tube, Good Things Argan Oil Nourishing Cleansing Oil is a great cleansing option if, like me, your skin tends to err on the dry side. After removing the bulk of my makeup with a foaming cleanser, I love to make sure every scrap is done with Good Things’ offering. To use it, I squeeze a little of the oil into damp palms, and massage it into my skin. The oil feels lovely and rich to apply, and when it comes into contact with water, it emulsifies into a milky solution. I massage it into my skin, making sure to pay attention to my eyes. Even though I’ve just used a foaming cleanser, Good Things’ cleansing oil really gets to work removing any impurities which have been left behind. I find it incredibly effective for gently removing eye makeup too!

Good Things Argan Oil Nourishing Cleansing Oil has the most glorious lemony-ginger scent, so it feels incredibly refreshing to use, and it leaves my skin feeling lovely and nourished. To remove the oil, I like to use a hot, damp face-cloth, and I lay it over my face for a few seconds to allow for a little steaming action. I then make sure to wipe off every scrap. My skin feels super soft after using the oil and looks healthy and clear.

Good Things Argan Oil Nourishing Cleansing Oil is priced at £5.99 and is available here.

Laura Mercier Paint Wash Liquid Lip Color – Pink Petal*

Laura Mercier Paint Wash Liquid Lip Color Pink Petal

Over the past few weeks I’ve been insanely busy – in the office from about 7.30-6 and still trying to fit a social life around it, it’s fair to say I didn’t have much time for makeup touch-ups! Thankfully, Laura Mercier’s new Paint Wash Liquid Lip Color has been an absolute life saver!

Packaged in a gorgeously sleek tube, the new Paint Wash Lipsticks are a fabulous option if you like to apply your makeup in the morning, then forget about it. It’s easy to apply the colour thanks to the doe foot applicator, and Pink Petal is the most gorgeous pinky-peach! The shade is a perfect choice if you want a colour that feels like it’s your lips, but a little amplified, and I’ve been wearing pink petal with a wash of sheer pinky-brown eyeshadow and a slick of bronzer.

The wear-time of the Lip Color is amazing – you can wear them as both a lip colour, or a more subtle stain. In the mornings, I’ve been wearing a thickish layer in the morning, and as the colour fades a little, I have a flattering stain by the end of the day. The Paint Wash feels incredibly hydrating to wear, and I’ve already got my eye on a few of the different shades!

Laura Mercier Paint Wash Liquid Lip Color is priced at £22.00 and is available here.

Aveda Smoothing Body Polish*

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So I realise that summer is getting super close, so I thought I would share something that’s undoubtedly going to be a most reached-for item in my beauty cupboard – Aveda’s Smoothing Body Polish.

Aveda Smoothing Body Polish 1

I love the feeling of a good scrub, and Aveda is definitely one of the best I’ve tried. It comes in a super generous 250g tube, and it’s easy to squeeze just what you need when you’re in the shower. The formula is gloriously grainy thanks to the ground walnut shells, whilst kelp, aloe, lavender and herbal extracts keep skin feeling silky smooth.

Aveda Smoothing Body Polish

I tend to use the scrub daily on my legs, arms, elbows and knees, and I have to say, it makes such a difference! If you’re in the process of self-tanning, this is a must have – it completely evens out the skin, and it will create the smoothest canvas for your tan, and the scrub even leaves my skin glowing and so soft!

Aveda’s Smoothing Body Polish is priced at £25.00 and is available here.

Sisley Phyto-Eye Twist – Black Diamond*

Sisley Phyto Eye Twist Black Diamond

Sisley are a brand that I think most will be familiar with for their incredibly luxurious skincare, but the brand’s makeup is really something special too! New for summer 2015, Sisley have released 8 shades of Phyto-Eye Twist, a handy crayon which is the perfect hybrid of shadow, pencil and liner.

Sisley Phyto Eye Twist Black Diamond 1

Packaged in the most adorable zebra printed crayon, Sisley’s Phyto-Eye Twists are completely waterproof and give the greatest colour payoff. My shade, 08 Black Diamond is the darkest of the the 8 available shades, and I tend to use it as a rather luxurious eyeliner. As if the amazing colour payoff wasn’t enough, Sisley have included Green Tea, White Lily, and Camellia extracts in the Phyto-Eye Twist formula to protect the delicate skin around your eyes.

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Thanks to the crayon applicator, the formula is incredibly easy to apply (I’ve been using this everywhere from the back of cabs to my dressing table with consistently perfect results) and has the most amazing colour payoff. The name Black Diamond might give you a hint that Sisley’s Phyto-Eye Twist isn’t just a regular black, but instead there are the tiniest little sparkles suspended in the formula. When I wear the Twist as a liner, the sparkles aren’t terribly noticeable, but do add a little something special. The sparkle really adds something to the formula if you want to create a graphic liner look though, rather than just a regular black, Sisley’s offering gives the liner a really subtle yet pretty sheen which feels so elegant for summer!

Sisley Phyto-Eye Twist is priced at £29.00 and is available here.

Urban Decay Beware Eyeshadow*

Urban Decay Beware Eyeshadow

I think it’s pretty fair to say that eyeshadows are one of Urban Decay’s serious strong points. They’re the brand that introduced the idea of nude palettes to the world, and the colours and formulations released by the brand are seriously hard to beat!

Urban Decay Beware Eyeshadow 1

New for summer 2015, Urban Decay have released eight new eyeshadow colours which range from electric blue to peachy pink. Since I don’t believe in too many natural shades, I was super happy when Beware popped through the door.

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Packaged in the brand’s gorgeous signature silver pots, Beware is described as a warm matte brown. After applying my tinted moisturiser and bronzer, I like to sweep a little of the shadow over my lids for an easy touch of definition. Like all Urban Decay shadows I’ve tried, the formula feels almost creamy, and the colour payoff is faultless. Since the formula is matte, I love this for an easy day look, and I easily got 8 hours of wear without a hint of creasing or fading.

Urban Decay’s Beware Eyeshadow is priced at £14.00 and is available here

An Interview with Nathalie Franz, Founder of Magicstripes.

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When I tried Magicstripes a few weeks back (read about them here) I was seriously impressed. Not only did they work incredibly well, but I just found the whole idea completely intriguing. So you can imagine, I absolutely jumped at the chance to interview brand-founder Nathalie Franz.

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LL: How did you get the idea for the Magicstripes eye lifts?
NF: On one of my travels to Tokyo I stumbled over these silicon stripes and tried them on myself. I was so amazed by the effect that I decided to put them on the European market.

LL: How to the strips work?

NF: The stripes uplift the eyelid immediately and without any cosmetic surgery. You just put the transparent stripes on your eyelid, that’s all.

LL: How much of a difference does a refreshed eye make to an overall look?

NF: The eyes are very important to the overall look. An open and awake eye is the first thing you notice at a person.

LL: What beauty tips would you recommend so that I can always look refreshed and awake?

NF: First of all use Magicstripes of course;) I personally do use them everyday to look fresh. For make-up I prefer a fresh and natural make-up, Mascara, Rouge, Eyebrows.

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LL Magicstripes has recently brought out collagen masks and repair gloves – is there a difference when you use these vs normal creams and lotions?

NF: Yes there is a big difference, as all of the mask have special ingredients and effects. They are very effective due to their powerful special ingredients.

LL: What’s next for Magicstripes? 

NF: We are planning to launch more special products in the future. So stay tuned ;)

Thank you so much Nathalie for your answers!

Gordon Castle Herb Garden Salt Scrub*

Gordon Castle Herb Garden Sea Salt Scrub

I’m not sure if it’s because I majored in Art History at university, or if it’s because I’m a bit of a history geek, but I got awfully excited when I heard Gordon Castle were launching a luxury beauty line.

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Gordon Castle is located up in the north of Scotland, and dates back to the 1470s. It’s an absolutely gorgeous property, and in the past few years, the walled gardens have been restored and opened to the public. It’s one of the oldest walled gardens in Scotland, and is filled with rare plants and trees.

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What sets Gordon Castle’s beauty line apart, is that it contains herbal extracts grown in the walled garden. I just love how special that makes the products! The scrub itself is absolutely heavenly – it’s an extremely thick and luxurious balm, and it feels like a high-end spa treatment in a pot!

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I’ve been using the scrub once or twice a week, and I find it works best if I massage it into slightly dampened skin. The salt in the formula feels lovely and invigorating to use, and when the formula heats up, notes of mint and rosemary appear, and it feels so decadent to massage the little cranberry into my skin. After using, my arms and legs feel super soft, and I can definitely see and feel the difference when I apply moisturiser. I’ve also been using it on my hands when I give myself a bit of an at-home manicure. Prior to snipping my cuticles, I give my hands a good scrub then apply lashings of moisturiser. The end result looks almost professional!

Gordon Castle’s Herb Garden Sea Salt Scrub costs £24.00 and is available here.

Aveda Peppymint*

Aveda Peppymint

Sometimes there are products which feel so simple that you wonder why no-one else has thought of it, and Aveda’s Peppymint is definitely one of those! Aside from the adorable name, which makes me smile every time I pull the bottle out my handbag, Aveda promises that the little will not only freshen breath but perk up your mood!

Aveda Peppymint 1

Packaged in a tiny little dropper bottle, Peppymint is perfect for people like me who hate chewing gum. I’m not sure what it is, but I just hate just randomly chewing away, and I don’t think it ever looks too great either. Unfortunately, since I’m paranoid about preventing bad breath, it means I’m constantly inhaling mints, which cannot be good!

Aveda Peppymint 2

Instead, with Peppymint, I just need to pop a drop or two of the liquid onto my tongue, and I’m good to go! I love the taste – it’s not typically ‘minty’ but instead there are notes of mint along with aniseed and menthol. It tastes really like Aveda’s tea, which is delicious, and I’ve even read about people flavouring their water with some of the drops!

Aveda’s Peppymint is priced at £6.00 and is available here