Does it work? The Jade Facial Roller

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One of the (many) dangers of scrolling endlessly through Instagram, is that I end up with a wish-list as long as my arm. I feel like I need a whole top shelf worth of product, most of which I already have perfectly good dupes for. But no matter how much I put it off, I realised I had nothing even close to a jade facial roller. Promising to cure a multitude of issues, from dryness to puffiness, it seemed like they were too good to be true.

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Jade Facial Rollers have been around for centuries, so I figured there had to be something to the claims. Double-ended, you can use the smaller end to concentrate on the eye area, whilst the larger roller can be used for defining cheekbones and jawlines. The roller action boosts blood circulation and lymphatic drainage, and it can even massage facial muscles so they feel as well as look a whole lot better.

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Since the roller is gentle on skin (the jade feels cooling and soothing to the touch, especially if it’s kept in the fridge) you can use it morning and night. After cleansing and applying my serum and moisturisers, I use the roller all over. It really does feel like it refreshes skin and cuts down on redness. It also works like an absolute dream on hot and puffy morning eyes.

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In the evenings, I also use the roller whilst enjoying a Korean face mask. Once it’s been on for 10-15 minutes, I use the roller to really work the essence of the mask into skin. It feels so calming and soothing, and I swear it makes a serious impact on how effective the masks are. Not to mention, it feels incredible! One days when everything is feeling like it’s a little much, the roller also helps to release tension – especially round the temples. It’s perfect for killing migraines before they happen.

Have you ever used a facial roller?

You can find my roller for £22 here (UK) and here (US)

Tiger Premium Gin*

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Despite what recent posts might suggest, I’m not the world’s biggest drinker. I usually end up as the designated driver on nights out – so you’re more likely to find me nursing a tonic water rather than anything harder. But if I am enjoying a drink, my choice usually tends to be gin and tonic. I love how refreshing they are – and there is nothing better to enjoy on balmy summer evenings! My newest tipple has been Tiger Premium Gin – a ‘Great British Gin’ with a smooth, slightly sweet finish. I’ve been mixing mine with icy cold tonic and a slice of orange – delicious!

Tiger Premium Gin is priced at £37 and is available here

Benefit They’re Real Mascara

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On a daily basis, I try to keep my makeup down to a minimum. I’m not one of these girls who looks amazing with a fun face of makeup on – it just makes me look older, and really, who wants that?! So on special occasions, I ‘up’ the glamour stakes by amplifying my everyday looks. Rather than my usual slick of ‘Boy Brow’ and bare lashes, I go for a dramatic mascara which pumps everything up. My choice? Benefit’s They’re Real mascara – a formula which promises to amp up volume and lengthen lashes, whilst leaving them looking super dark.

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I think what separates They’re Real from the competition is the spiky plastic brush. Each of the spikes grab each lash individually, combing them out and coating them with an even layer of mascara. And the result? Lashes which go on for days. Super black, and very dramatic, this is a huge difference from the first slick! I’m obsessed with the volume and length this gives me, and I don’t even need to add falsies to look ‘done.’  It also lasts throughout the evening, without flaking or smudging. No wonder it’s one of the UK’s favourite formulas!

Benefit They’re Real mascara is priced at £20.50 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

Lunch at BiBimBap Glasgow*

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When it comes to eating out, it’s easy to fall into old habits. We tend to have a clutch of old favourite restaurants which we rotate through every time we go out. The result can be a little same-y, so it’s always fun to have a new spot to visit!

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BiBimBap is one of those places I’ve seen pop up online pretty much constantly since it opened, and I’d been dying to visit. Cute instal-worthy decor and Korean food? Sounds like a match made in heaven! The restaurant itself it a snug little nook right in the centre of town, and during the evening it can get seriously busy, so to beat the crowds we visited for lunch. There was still a buzz about the place, with tables of students and shoppers sharing plates and comparing purchases.

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With a menu filled to the brim with Korean comfort foods, we opted to (over) order a selection and share. Word to the wise – portions here are very generous. The first of the dishes to arrive at the table were the Ya Chae Man Do (£4).

Light and crispy puffs of vegetables served with a soy-based dipping sauce, these were such a great start to the meal. Similar to a Spring Roll, these made a satisfying accompaniment to our drinks, and a tasty starter.

Our vegetable dumplings were soon joined by our order of Dak Go Chi (£4.50) – chicken skewers smothered in a sweet, and sticky sauce. The joy of BiBimBap is that casual manner in which the dishes arrive at the table – just as you’re finishing off one plate, another miraculously appears.

For my ‘main’ dish, I couldn’t resist the signature BiBimBap (£9) – although I asked for mine without egg. A mix of rice, vegetables and pork, it was a spicy, savoury dish which was filled with flavour. Shot through with hunks of Korean favourite kimchi, this is some serious comfort food. Served alongside a bowl of piping hot miso soup, it was an incredibly indulgent lunch!

The final dish to arrive at the table was a Bulgogi Rice Bowl (£9.50). Perhaps the most recognisable of our dishes – beef and kimchi came served with boiled rice and pickled turnip. Covered in toasted sesame seeds, it was a lunch option I wish I could grab daily!

BiBimBap have a killer menu of drinks and cocktails too – so whether you’re after a leisurely lunch or a boozy supper, you can’t go wrong with BiBimBap. You can also find out more about the restaurant here

The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Argan Oil

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When it comes to bad habits, mindlessly scrolling Amazon and clicking on random bits and bobs might be one of my worst. It’s meant I’ve ordered everything from funny little pens from Japan and facemasks from Korea. On one of my most recent delves into the site, I stumbled across The Ordinary. It’s a brand I’ve been looking to try for a while, and I set out in search of the Marula Oil, which people describe as a dupe for the rather pricey Drunk Elephant.

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The Marula Oil wasn’t available on Prime though, so I opted for the Argan Oil. I’d only ever used the oil for my hair, so I was concerned that it might be a little heavy for use on skin. I needn’t have worried. The oil is surprisingly lightweight, and isn’t overly scented either. It sinks effortlessly to freshly cleansed skin, leaving it feeling plump and hydrated. It’s a great base for glowy makeup, or applied at night, it gives a much needed does of hydration.

The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Argan Oil is priced at £5.90 and is available here (UK)

REMY MARTIN Matt W Moore VSOP limited edition champagne cognac*

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When it comes down to it, I can be a bit of an art geek. I studied Art History at university, and it’s something that I’m still fascinated with. So, when everyday items get a bit of an arty makeover, I’m always keen to see the result. The most recent I’ve come across is Remy Martin, who have partnered with digital artist Matt W Moore to create a limited edition of their Champagne Cognac.

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An absolutely perfect gift for Father’s Day, the special edition means that there are only 60 bottles currently available within the UK. The bottle comes housed in a gloriously colourful box, and the label is splashed with grapevine, leaf and sunburst designs. The box even features a QR code which adds an augmented reality interface to the world around you! Through use of the app, you can add the animated designs to your surroundings to Matt-Moorize your reality. It’s such a cool concept, and it makes the whole experience of enjoying the cognac so immersive.

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So, if your dad is a bit of a design-freak, this special edition of Remy Martin VSOP Champagne is certainly going to go down a treat. The brand recommend that you enjoy it either at room temperature or over ice – and when it looks this good, who could resist?

Remy Martin Matt W Moore VSOP limited edition champagne cognac is priced at £44 per bottle and is available here.

Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey*

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With Father’s Day fast approaching (it’s this Sunday FYI), it can be hard to find the right gift. The shops might be filled with World Cup knickknacks, novelty socks and funny looking ties, but really, who on earth wants to receive that? Rather than going for something that will be shoved to the back of the nearest drawer, I’m a fan of getting something to be savoured and enjoyed. Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey certainly fits the bill. Equal parts style and heritage, I can’t imagine there is a bar cart out there which wouldn’t benefit from a bottle of this being added.

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As someone who isn’t the biggest drinker, buying something like whiskey can feel a little overwhelming, but Woodford Reserve make it incredibly easy to pick a classic. Whiskey has been distilled on the Woodford Reserve estate since 1812, and the Bourbon has been developed to contain over 200 flavour notes. On the nose, notes of cocoa, orange and tobacco are all evident, and the complex flavour composition contains hints of vanilla, toffee, cinnamon and citrus notes.

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Thanks to such a balanced flavour profile, Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey can be enjoyed alone or in a cocktail. I particularly like the southern favourite Mint Julep (it’s perfect for summer) or when it gets chillier, a dash of it in Hot Apple Cider is just divine! It’s such a perfect gift for this weekend!

Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is priced at £30.50 and is available from Waitrose here.

BeGlow TIA*

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When it comes to cleansing, I’m a big believer in ‘the more thorough the better.’ I hate the feeling of having makeup on by the end of the day, and I’m not sure if there is anything which is more heavenly than that feeling of a freshly cleansed and moisturised face. So, in my efforts to keep my skin feeling as squeaky clean as possible I stumbled upon the BeGlow – a brand new device which promises to be an all-in-one skincare device. As you can imagine, I was more than intrigued!

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Rather than most of my beauty devices, which focus on a single aspect of skincare – the BeGlow TIA promises to do it all – cleansing, anti-ageing and contouring. Its a big claim from such a dinky device – each of the sides fits comfortably in the palm of my hand, and if you’re off on travels this summer, this would also easily slip into a beauty pouch.

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The first end has a silicon brush which you can use for cleansing morning and night. Rather than other cleansing brushes which use nylon brushes, the silicon is super hygienic, as well as being gentle on skin. It’s also easy to share the BeGlow, as you can slide your own brush head on and off thanks to the magnetised backing.

 

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The BeGlow Tia is completely waterproof, so you can keep it in the shower for easy access. The combination of sonic waves and the silicon bristles give skin a thorough cleanse without irritating skin. After wetting the brush head, I squeeze cleanser directly on to it, then get to cleansing. The vibrations mean that impurities are removed easily without irritating skin.

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Then, once I’m out of the shower, I apply my serums and moisturisers as normal. Once they’re on, I then use the side with the titanium plate. Applied to wrinkle-prone areas like the under-eyes the pulsations can help products sink into the skin, as well as to improve blood circulation in the area. It means that fine lines can look visibly reduced, and it cuts down on under-eye puffiness too!

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The feel of the titanium plate is so cooling and soothing, so it’s perfect if you’re combating the effects of a late night, or hay fever. The frequency that the plate pulsates at also changes depending on where you use it, so pores look smaller and skin looks and feels healthier.

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The third way that I’ve been using the BeGlow, is as a contouring device. Rather than using either of the plates – you simply use the back of the device to sculpt. It’s particularly effective on the jawline and cheekbones. It works to tighten skin and create an all-round more sculpted look, and honestly, who doesn’t want sharper cheekbones? It works to exercise your facial muscles, so with regular use the BeGlow will make a real difference to skin tone and its appearance.

The BeGlow TIA is such a game changer of a product, and the fact that it has such a range of uses, really makes it worth the investment! It’s available exclusively from LookFantastic for £199 and you can find it here.

Kiehl’s Glow Formula Skin Hydrator*

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When it comes to summer beauty, I’m not going to lie – my routine can become a little lazy. Who has time to apply primers, foundations and concealers when the heat will have them disappearing within minutes? I also feel like a full face of makeup can look a little off when the temperatures begin to rise. So, when products pop up promising to condense a few beauty steps into one, you can count on me being intrigued.

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Kiehl’s latest release – their Glow Formula Skin Hydrator is no-brainer for summer beauty. A moisturiser which leaves skin hydrated and glowing – what’s not to love? I’ve been using it most mornings, and I’ve got to say, I’ve become a fan. It’s a perfect mix of skincare of makeup, which has allowed me to cut my morning routine down to only a handful of products which I can apply pretty much blindfolded.

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The cream itself is a light peachy pink colour, which evens and brightens skin tone, whilst the delicate shimmer in the formula leaves skin looking effortlessly glowing and healthy. After cleansing I smooth a pump on instead of my regular moisturiser, and rub in as normal. The ingredients include Pomegranate Extract and illuminating minerals, so as well give skin an overall glow, the formula works to improve skin texture and radiance. It also has a glorious light, citrus-y scent which is absolutely beautiful!

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Once it’s on, I smooth on my regular tinted moisturiser, add a little concealer and bronzer and then I’m good to go! The Skin Hydrator leaves skin feeling wonderfully moisturised, and my skin has a subtle radiance which feels perfect for summer. If you’re looking for a slightly more intense look, the Glow Formula Skin Hydrator can also be patted on the high points of the face for extra shine. I also love it patted into clavicles and shoulder bones for that gorgeous summer glow!

Kiehl’s Glow Formula Skin Hydrator is priced at £30 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

Ouai Haircare Smooth Spray*

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As a not-quite-natural blonde, it’s important for me to keep my hair in as good condition as possible. I’m not going to lie – I pretty much abuse my hair on a daily basis, thanks to a routine which includes daily washes, straightening, and a habit of twirling my ends. Did I mention that I also bleach it? It’s not an ideal situation, and over the past few months, I’ve been trying to baby my poor ends as much as possible. So it felt like perfect timing when Ouai’s Smooth Spray arrived.

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Described as an ultimate way to prep hair pre-styling, the formula might be lightweight, but it’s packed with great-for-hair ingredients. With an amino acid blend, Vitamin E and Hydrolyzed proteins, just mist the Smooth Spray onto damp ends pre-blow dry, and style as usual.

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Unlike some other sprays I’ve tried, Ouai’s doesn’t leave hair feeling weighed down or weirdly sticky. Instead, ends are bouncy and shiny, and they feel wonderfully hydrated. My hair isn’t prone to fuzziness or frizzing when using the Smooth Spray either – it stays straighter and sleeker, with the effect lasting right through until my next wash.

Ouai Smooth Spray is priced at £22 and is available from Panache Cosmetics here

Glossier Balm Dot Com in Cherry

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When you were younger, did you ever enjoy those gummy cherry sweets which were as sour as they were fruity? Yep, me too. I loved them (still do in fact) so the option to enjoy the same fruity goodness, albeit in far chicer packaging was always going to be a winner for me.

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I’m not going to lie – I feel like I’ve had a sip of the Glossier (cherry) kool aid. I’m a fan of the no-makeup make looks they promote, and every product I’ve tried from the line has become a regular part of my routine, but the question of did I really need another lip balm was obvious. And the answer? Yes, of course!

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Cherry Balm Dot Com is the most colourful of the six shades on offer. Straight from the tube, it’s a pink-toned red which gives lips a just bitten look. Like the other Balm Dot Coms I’ve tried out, Cherry doesn’t leave lips shiny or sticky, instead it delivers a hit of moisture, scent and with a hint of the prettiest of pink tint. Obviously it’s not a long-lasting product, but it’s so easy to apply with fingers, it doesn’t really bother me. For me, it’s become the perfect product to add a touch of subtle colour to casual summer beauty looks.

Glossier Balm Dot Com is priced at £10 per tube, and you can find them here.