Roger& Gallet Creme de Mains & Ongles

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As someone with perennially dry hands, I’m always on the lookout for new products to help my poor digits look and feel softer and more hydrated. I’m also terrible for picking at my cuticles without even realising it, so I’m always on the hunt for the best hand creams I can lay my grubby paws on.

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Roger & Gallet’s Creme Mains & Ongles is perfect if, like me, you need something that’s rich and nourishing, but doesn’t leave hands feeling sticky or greasy. I keep mine on my desk, and apply throughout the day, whenever my hands are feeling a little dry or tight. I absolutely love the light, floral scent, and I can already see the difference in my hands from using it!

Roger & Gallet is currently on offer for £6 here.

Kiehl’s on Wheels hits Edinburgh*

DSC_0689Last week, on a rare sunny evening, I meandered over to George Street after work to check out the most colourful display on George Street. Kiehl’s brand new bus rolled into town a week or so ago, and has been providing the city with the best beauty products ever since.

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Considering I use and adore at least five separate Kiehl’s every morning, it was a no brainer that I would head down and see what the brand was up to, plus it’s always fun to go to blogger events. Kiehl’s, I’m glad to say, didn’t disappoint – with the most adorable picnic benches laden with goodie bags, it was so lovely to meet some Edinburgh-based bloggers.

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After some introductions, as well as a snoop around the Kiehl’s bus (it’s packed with brand favourites for skin, hair and body) it was time for the evening to begin. We packed into the benches, and got to grips with learning all about the best of what Kiehl’s have to offer.

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Jennifer (from Tartan Brunette) bravely volunteered to be the model for the evening, letting Kiehl’s expert Holly demonstrate how to best use and apply each product.

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Starting right from the basics, we sniffed, rubbed and patted in a whole shelf of products, falling harder in love each time. There were a tonne of old favourites, including many which I use on a daily basis, but getting to try out products like the Ultra Facial Cleanser, means that my wish list has grown rather long since last week!

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There was a lucky-dip prize at the end of the evening, which the very lucky (and lovely) Emma from unf4bul0us won, and we all toddled home, clutching our groaning Kiehl’s bags. Very kindly, we were treated to a mix of hero products as well as some treats from a Scottish pop-up across the street, which I’ve been using ever since – I’d forgotten how great Kiehl’s old-school lip balm is! There was also a full size bottle of the new Cactus Flower Hydrating Mist, which is super handy, as I’ve blown through half of my first bottle already!

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The bus will be chilling in the middle of George Street for the next week or so, and then is starts up it’s travels again. So, if you hear it’s heading down your way, pop in, say hello, and treat yourself to something lovely!

Thank you to Holly, Kiehl’s and Kiehl’s on Wheels for having me!

Usual Gifts For Special Dads This Father’s Day That Won’t Break The Bank

With father’s day fast approaching, it’s time to get those brains in gear and decide what to get the special men in your life. Of course, most of us are on a budget, so we want something that is personal, fun and not too expensive. But buying gifts can be pricy business, so to remain on target with your spending check out my budget-friendly gift guide below.

 

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Personalised gifts  

 

One of the best thing about a good fathers day gift is that you can personalize them. You can do this by getting a reasonable price gift with their name or initials on, like a wallet or pen.

 

Or how about theming the gift along the lines of their favorite sport or hobby. You can get Boxt Father’s Day hampers with chocolate rugby balls for the sports fanatic father’s. Or if you have a little more to spend, why not try a personalized bobble head with vehicle, for those dads that are into cars or motor bikes?

 

Something to do

 

They say that a great gift keeps on giving, and if you get your dad an activity that is certainly the case. Perhaps they have always harbored the desire to be an artist from childhood? Then why not get them an easel and pant set like this? Or a charcoal sketching set? Or even a cool zentangle book and some fine line pens for some artistic meditation? They aren’t too expensive, and a creative dad will definitely get a lot of use and joy from a gift like that.

 

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Relaxing

 

If your dad has a stressful job or even if it’s just the kids that are giving him the runaround, why not treat him to something relaxing for father’s day? You could try a massage, although I think that some of the more traditionally macho dads might balk at this. They might appreciate a trip to the steam room and sauna instead though?

 

If you dad likes to relax in front of the telly, a subscription to a media provider like Netflix can be an awesome choice. If you have siblings, you can split the fee to make the costs more reasonable. Then not only does dad get to watch all his favorite shows, but you can also bond, by binge watching your favourite shows together!

 

Fun

 

Fun presents can be a bit tricky.  If you pick something fun, it should also have some long term value as well. Otherwise, it’s a waste of money that could have gone on something that they would have really enjoyed.

 

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Some popular and fun presents for gamers include controllers or the latest Xbox or PS4 titles like No Man’s Sky or Saints Row. If you want to give them a fun surprise, why not get a jump from a charity shop. Then wrap the game up in the jumper and wrap the jumper up. His face will be a picture when he thinks that the ugly sweater is his real gift!

 

Becoming A Gift Genius: Buying For The Happy Newlyweds

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Buying gifts can be stressful at the best of times. Some people have the knack for picking exactly the right thing all the time, and never give a bad one. Others wander the aisles of shopping malls dead-eyed at closing time on Christmas Eve. Promising themselves that they’ll give it more thought next year, knowing deep down that they’re lying to themselves. There is a skill to gift-giving, and it’s worth honing for every time you shop.

It’s not a case of “buy people good gifts and they’ll remember, and buy you good ones”. That’s not really how it works. It’s just that if you get yourself in the right mindset, it makes things a lot easier. Most importantly, it means you don’t join all the extras from Dawn Of The Dead in the aisles on Christmas Eve. Whatever the occasion – a wedding, for example – you need to think of the people you’re buying for and go from there.

A Cosmopolitan Couple?

Some people just love to travel, and a unifying love of seeing the world can be the glue that brings a couple together. Now, if you’re particularly flush for cash you could buy them a week or two somewhere they’ve yet to go. Failing that, and assuming they already have luggage, something more original would go a long way. A framed print of a favorite city can work well here, or a camcorder so their travel films aren’t all recorded on a tablet.

A Culinary Couple?

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People who are really into cooking are often the most deceptively difficult to buy for. Name any esoteric but useful utensil, they probably already have it. Think of an appliance, same deal. And everyone knows they like cooking, so they’ll be thinking along the same lines. A clever choice here may be a flat griddle. It may not be as flashy as other gadgets, but can be used to cook steaks at the table or perfect, airy pizzas among many other things.

A Cuddly Couple?

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As a couple are getting married here, it’s safe to assume that they care for one another. Fair point. But we all know couples who are that bit more demonstrative about it. Pet names, joint outgoing voicemail message, you know the drill. Any reinforcement of their couple identity will go down well. Some matching personalised bathrobes from Richard Haworth, for example? Of perhaps they’d prefer some ubiquitous monogrammed pillows? Whatever you pick, make it very much about the couple rather than the individuals.

 

Couples can be hard to buy for, especially when the two partners are actually fairly different. Sometimes you might need to just bite the bullet and pick relatively conventional gifts. Things you know they’ll need, or things that everyone would love. But if you can find a way of making a gift reflect them as a couple, so much the better.

Some people may be of the opinion that flaking out on buying great gifts is a handy way to avoid any pressure the next time a special occasion comes around. While that may technically be true, it’s a hell of a reputation to get. I wouldn’t recommend it.

 

Don’t Be Afraid To Smile: Correct Any Issues You Have Now

We all have moments where we feel low on confidence. We wake up in the morning and don’t want to go to work, or class, or do anything at all. It can be for any number of reasons – we don’t think we’re good enough, we haven’t slept well, or we grab a look in the mirror and aren’t fond of how we look. Whatever the reason, it is tricky to overcome.

One thing that seriously affects people’s self confidence is the way their teeth look. We can project confidence in a number of ways – the things we say, the ways we say them and the way we move. But the most obvious way is to smile broadly. If we feel unable to smile, it has a knock-on effect on those other things. Try to sell a positive attitude without a smile – it’s really quite difficult.

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Some people don’t smile for deep-seated emotional reasons. However, some people refuse to smile because they don’t want to show their teeth, due to embarrassment. If you’ve got teeth that aren’t as white as they should be, then opening your mouth in front of people is hard. Making some changes may be essential for your self-confidence.

Problem: Your Teeth Are Stained By A Bad Habit

Your teeth can end up yellow from years of nicotine, or with brown stains from drinking black coffee. It can even be the case that drinking too much red wine causes them to stain. Whatever the cause, stained teeth can be embarrassing and leave you wondering if people are judging you. Having your teeth whitened can make a difference to your appearance and confidence in this case.

Problem: Your Teeth Are Damaged From Long Term Neglect

When you’re a kid, you get put off a lot of things you’re supposed to do, simply by the fact that you are supposed to do them. A little youthful rebellion is part of growing up. However, if you fail to brush your teeth and keep up a routine, it can cause damage for later.

As well as staining, you could end up with abscesses and teeth that need to be removed. There’s still time to save them, if you haven’t lose an adult tooth yet. Even if you have, keep the rest in good condition. Use the right toothbrush twice a day to ensure you keep your smile naturally bright, and floss to avoid problems with bad breath.

Problem: You’ve Lost Teeth Due To A Hobby

Old boxers, when interviewed, can sometimes be incomprehensible. Now, part of this is due to being hit repeatedly in the head, but another part is that professional boxers lose teeth. So do soccer players, football players, and a lot of other people with very active hobbies.

If you’ve had a tooth knocked out, leaving the gap there can cause your other teeth to grow crooked and cause worse issues for you. Get it checked out – if you need an implant or denture it’s best to get it sooner rather than later.

 

Feeling self-conscious about your smile can make life in general really tough. Taking steps to correct any issues may feel daunting, but it’s worth the effort.

 

Packing For Holiday: Don’t Forget These Fashion Items!

Getting your case ready for your holiday can be a stressful event. We tend to throw everything in, forgetting that we are only on our vacation for a week or two! In fact, research has found that nine out of ten women pack items they never use for their summer break. Here are a few fashion items you do need to take with you on your holiday!

 

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Floppy hat

 

One of the best things about going on holiday is that you can finally use that beautiful floppy hat which has sat in your wardrobe since last summer! It’s a must-have for your break as it oozes glamour and sophistication. You can wear it with a pair of shorts and vest top or even with a beautiful maxi dress. It’s ideal for covering your head so that you don’t get burnt in the sun! You can also put it over your natural hair, so that you don’t have to spend ages styling it in the morning!

 

Strapless bra

 

You are bound to take at least one strapless dress with you for your travels. In order to wear this well, you need a strapless bra underneath. Otherwise, you are going to end up with straplines when you tan in the sun! These never look attractive, and you will notice them in all your holiday pics. Therefore, go to the shops or look online for brands like Freya Bras and buy a strapless bra to take with you on holiday.

 

Beautiful sunnies

 

A pair of sunnies is a must-have in the summer months. They can make an outfit look beautiful if you choose a great style. As well as this, they can add a pop of color if you choose a bright pair. There are so many different styles around which you can go for including a cat eye style which will look fabulous on the beach. You can also protect your eyes with a pair of sunglasses. Check the lenses to find out what the UV protection is when you purchase a new pair!

 

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Comfortable maxi dress

 

A lot of women will have at least one maxi dress in their wardrobe for the summer. They are an essential item which is great for daywear on your holiday, and can be transformed with accessories to make it ideal for the evening. They are ideal for keeping cool if you choose a lightweight material. You should get one which you can throw over your swimwear, as it can easily be removed when you get to the beach!

 

Beautiful sandals

 

It’s essential to have a good pair of sandals to put in your case for your holiday. You want to take only a couple of pair of shoes as they take up so much space in your case. Therefore, choose sandals which can go from day to night. As this article says, you should purchase a pair of metallic and jewelled sandals which will glam up any outfit. Make sure they are comfortable so you can wear them during a long day.

 

And once you have sorted your clothes, don’t forget to pack your summer beauty essentials.

The Three Best Bronzers*

DSC_0076I don’t mean to be the bearer of bad news, but it kind of feels like summer is coming to a close. We’ve had an absolute tonne of rain recently, and it’s getting a bit cooler. Not only that but it’s getting dark earlier and I’m feeling paler than ever, so in an effort to combat the oncoming winter-blues, I thought I would gather together three of my favourite bronzers which are making me feel a little more human! I’ve not featured these three on the blog before, so I will have in-depth reviews of each very soon, but I thought you’d appreciate a quick overview!

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Burberry’s Summer Glow Warm Glow Natural Bronzer in 04 is the perfect choice for a super natural, beach ready tan. Packaged in a seriously luxe compact, etched with the iconic Burberry check, this is a real show-stopper of a bronzer, and I’m happy to say, the formula is as great as it looks! The powder is also pressed into an abstract check pattern, and it’s almost a crime to use it. Well, it would be if it wasn’t such a great little gem of a bronzer. It’s super lightweight and provides a seriously natural glow.

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Sisley’s Phyto Touch Illuminating Powder might just be the most glamorous compact in my collection! A seriously shiny silver compact, which opens to reveal golden sun beams, complete with an embossed ‘s.’ Sisley’s Phyto Touch looks like it should be used exclusively on Victoria’s Secret models as it’s just the most gloriously shiny confection. It’s a hybrid gel-powder which gives skin a serious glow and a natural hint of colour. I’ve been saving this one for evenings out as it’s such a gem!

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Last up is Rodial’s Instaglam bronzer. As the name would suggest, this one feels like a filter in a (rather glam) compact! Unlike the other two, Rodial’s offering is completely matte, meaning it’s just perfect for everyday wear. I love a dusting of this for days when I want to feel casual, yet still pulled together. It’s almost a multi-use product as, because it’s matte, it’s also perfect for a little subtle contouring.

Burberry’s Summer Glow is priced at £31 and is available here.

Sisley’s Phyto Touch Illuminating Powder is priced at £66.50 and is available here.

Rodial’s Instaglam Bronzer is priced at £52 and is available here

Burberry Cat Lashes Mascara*

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I feel like it’s quite a feat to make mascara feel glamorous and fun to use. I’ve got a couple of firm favourites which I rotate through, and don’t think much of it until something new comes along. So, when Burberry’s brand new Cat Lashes arrived, I could hardly contain myself.

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Like all of the brand’s beauty offerings, the packaging for the Cat Lashes mascara is the definition of chic. It’s a weighty tube, etched with Burberry’s signature check. I love how classic the packaging is, and it feels like a real treat to use each morning. It’s also a whole lot bigger than regular mascaras, so it’s easy to find in my makeup bag if I’m fumbling around in the morning!

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The mascara wand is a curved plastic one, which grips every single lash, lengthening them and coating them in the super black formula. One coat of the Cat Lashes mascara gives me a perfect everyday look with length and definition, whilst an extra coat or two really amps up the volume. I usually finish at about three coats, as I just love how dramatic a look it gives. Lashes are super long, pumped up and incredibly black, it’s everything you could ask for! It even lasts like a dream – even when I’ve applied it first thing in the morning, it stays looking fresh all day, and I’ve never had even a hint of a smudge or a flake!

Burberry Cat Lashes is available in three shades (black, brown, and lighter brown) and is priced at £24 and is available here.

Penhaligon’s Trade Routes -Alizarin & Oud de Nil*

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When choosing a fine fragrance, I think there’s nothing nicer than a bit of tradition. I love the feeling that the bottles are special little jewels, only to be enjoyed by a select few. To be honest, I’m not sure that you can get much more special than Penhaligon’s. The fragrance house was founded in London in 1870, and has been a favourite of Royalty ever since. So, when I was offered the chance to try two of the brand’s Trade Routes perfumes, I couldn’t accept fast enough!

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The Trade Routes Line of fragrances couldn’t feel more exotic – inspired by the shipping routes of the British Empire there have been two brand new releases – Alizarin and Oud de Nil. They’re both wonderfully exotic scents, which feel like they’ve been plucked from some far away souk. Even the boxes the perfumes come in are wonderful – they’re big hulking things, which open up to reveal the jewel-like bottle nestled inside.

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The first of the duo that I tried was Oud de Nil. It looked to be the lighter of the two fragrances, and so better for daytime wear. At first spritz, I was instantly taken back to my time living in the middle east. It’s not surprising really, considering that even the name contains ‘Oud,’ but rather than being a deep single note, Penhaligon’s have captured the heat and exoticism of the desert with a mix of deep heady rose alongside the woody depth.

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For daytime wear I only use a single spritz of the perfume, pressed onto my wrists and my neck. It’s a warm, rich scent, even when first apply, which performs best worn subtly and on the skin. When first applied, the Oud is the note which I find most dominant. The floral accents become more noticeable as it heats up, and it’s just a delight to wear! I love that it’s so different to my regular scents, and I think that it will just be perfect when winter rolls in, and I need a little desert mysticism in my life!

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Alizarin was the second scent I tried, and I have to say, it does feel like a trip back in time in a bottle! Again, it’s a scent which is heavily reliant on Oud as a dominant note, and I’d probably say this is one reserved for the boys, or for the most glamorous of evenings out. It’s been inspired by the red dye Alizarin (hence the name) which has been cultivated in Egypt since the time of the Pharaohs.

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It’s an incredibly, deep, almost dark scent to wear which makes me think of warm, balmy nights spent under the stars. The mix of vetiver and rare resins give Alizarin an old world glamour, and it’s definitely become one of my most-prized fragrances! One spritz gives me a whole day of smelling gorgeous!

Follow my Instagram here, and there might just be a giveaway coming up really soon!

Penhaligon’s Trade Routes Parfums in Oud de Nil and Alizarin are priced at £156 each and are available here.

Dermalogica Phyto Replenish Oil*

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When I popped into Harvey Nichols last week to learn about Dermalogica’s brand new Phyto Replenish Oil (read about it here), it would be fair to say I fell more than a little bit in love. As someone with dry skin, I’m always on the lookout for great skincare, and I was just blown away by the new addition to the brand’s line up. Containing extract of Chia Seed oil and Sunflower oil it the perfect thing for salvaging summer-ravaged skin.

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Packaged in a chic little white glass bottle, the Phyto Replenish Oil may look inconspicuous, but it’s an absolute powerhouse of a product which most skin types will absolutely adore! In addition to some serious skincare benefits, which I’ll get onto in a second, I just love the fragrance of the oil. It’s light floral which is just so calming and relaxing – every time I press this into my skin, I feel little closer to the spa!

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I think what I love most about the Phyto Replenish Oil is it’s sheer versatility! It’s one of those rare products you find yourself reaching for in the morning and evening, even on days where I’m wearing makeup!

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In the mornings, after applying my regular moisturizers and serums, I add a drop or two of the oil to my foundation before applying it with a densely packed brush. It adds a subtle luminosity to my base, as well as adds a little much-needed moisture. In the evenings, after my regular cleansing, I warm three to four droplets of the oil in my fingertips and press into my skin, focusing on my driest areas. My skin just drinks the oil up, leaving it feeling super soft and smooth – not at all oily!

Dermalogica Phyto Replenish Oil launches September 1st and will be priced at £40.00