Windle & Moodie Shine and Smoothing Oil*

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I’m not sure that there is anything quite as lovely has having a head full of soft and shiny hair, especially in the summer when you want your beauty routine to be as minimal as possible. But, when you’re blonde, and when you batter your hair about as much as I do, it can be hard to keep it shiny and healthy.

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Just as an example, in the past fortnight, my entire head has been bleached twice, toned three times and I have to blow dry and straighten my hair daily. Not exactly ideal, so, in efforts to appease my hair sins, I’ve been adding as much nourishment into my routine as possible. Just out of the shower, after spraying on a little protective spray, I smooth a couple of pumps of this through the ends, and then get to grips with my Tangle Teezer. It disappears into my hair, and even when it’s wet, it feels far smoother than before.

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Then, after blow drying with a round brush, I smooth a pump of the Shine and Smoothing Oil through the ends before I tackle them with the straighteners. The oil just disappears into my stressed ends, softening the look of split ends and adding a wonderful sheen to the lengths which lasts all day long!

Windle & Moodie Shine and Smoothing Oil is priced at £21 and is available here

Lacoste Eau de Lacoste L.12.12 Pour Elle Sparkling*

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When it comes to beautiful fragrances to wear all day every day, I think it’s hard to beat Lacoste fragrances, and right in time for the balmy (I hope) days of summer, they have just released a trio of perfumes which aim to celebrate sophisticated femininity, and I have to say – I’m a real fan!

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Packaged in a gorgeously simple pink glass bottle, which is adorned with a single glittery Lacoste ‘gator, Pour Elle Sparkling is just made for wearing all summer long! Thankfully the fragrance itself is as beautiful as the packaging, as it mixes fruity, floral and even notes of macaron to create a perfume which feels wonderfully new and modern.

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When first applied, Pour Elle Sparkling smells wonderfully fresh thanks to top notes of mandarin orange, blackberry and red apple. It’s not too ‘fruity’ but just feels wonderfully summery! Then, after a little wear, the heart notes  give the perfume a rich sweetness thanks to notes of blogger-favourite macaron, as well as cotton candy and lily-of-the-valley. Despite sounding incredibly sugary – they just lend a hint of gourmand, and subtle sweetness. The base notes of vetiver and cashmere moss give the scent a wonderful longevity, and a touch of warmth.

Lacoste Pour Elle Sparkling is priced at £30.00 and is available here

 

The Horseshoe Restaurant and Rooms*

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I’d never been to Peebles properly before heading to The Horseshoe Restaurant and Rooms in Eddlestone. I think I had driven through in the middle of the night on the way back up from Cheshire, but considering how close it is to Edinburgh, I’m kind of amazed and ashamed I’d never seen it in the daylight.

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The Horseshoe Restaurant and Rooms in located just off the road in Eddlestone is definition of picture postcard pretty. With most of the main restaurant dating back to 1862, it was originally a blacksmith’s forge and the rooms are located in a Victorian school building. It’s the cosiest of set ups, and when I found out that they even have their own kitchen garden, I was in absolute heaven!

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Attention to detail is everywhere at the Horseshoe – even the planting beds are planted to supplement the kitchen. Just outside the rooms there are wild strawberries, lavender and daisies, all of which can be used either for desserts or for their wild flower displays which are sprinkled throughout the buildings.

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The restaurant is possibly one of the most comfortable I’ve been in. It’s a luxe mix of golds and rich woods, with candles flickering in every corner. The sitting room and lounge, also has a beautifully large circle window which lets you sit and watch the world go by. The dining room is an intimate affair with maybe 15 tables varying in size, meaning it’s easy to find a corner to tuck yourself into to enjoy your meal. We started with amuse bouche of red pepper cream with a red pepper crisp, then duck with a little foie gras. Both were rich and flavorful, setting the scene for the rest of lunch. We also tucked into some of the freshly baked breads and home-churned butter. The olive studded option was satisfyingly warm, with a light crust and springy texture.

Summer truffle risotto, king oyster mushroom and mushroom ketchupThen we moved onto starters, and honestly, there was only one option I was going to choose – a Summer truffle risotto, king oyster mushroom and mushroom ketchup. I’m always a touch nervous opting for a heavy starter, but this one was absolutely heavenly. The rice was perfectly cooked, whilst the mushroom added texture. The cheese and truffle shavings were also a absolute revelation – they were so rich, bet there was also a citrus element, which cut through the richness, balancing the dish.

 

Then I moved onto the main course, which was a study in rich comfort – Venison loin, black pudding, potato terrine, carrot, raspberries. I was a little apprehensive about ordering venison – I’ve not had it in years, and I’m not a fan of meat that’s overpoweringly gamey. This however was an absolute dream. The venison was melt-in-the-mouth tender, juicy, with a delicate flavour, which sat perfectly with the homemade black pudding which was rich and spicy. The raspberries cut through all the rich meat, with a pleasing tartness, whilst the chard was surprisingly sweet.

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After savouring every mouthful we headed back through to the sitting room and bar area for tea and petits fours. A sort of salted chocolate fudge was absolutely delicious – rich and smooth, and I’m already pondering ways of recreating it at home.

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The Horseshoe is the perfect spot to while away the afternoon, delighting in food that has been thoughtfully sourced and cooked. The pairings of flavours were really incredible, and the wine list is something special too! The Horseshoe offers over 300 bottles – and keep a special eye out for resident wine expert Mark Slaney’s sourced ‘Desert’ Wines!

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If you’re more in the mood for supper, they offer both an a la carte and tasting menu with accompanying wines. There are eight en-suite bedrooms which are, again, so comfy and cosy. Farrow and Ball paint, with crisp white linens mean that you can partake in some of Mark’s wine suggestions without worrying about how to get home safely.

Lunch at The Horseshoe Restaurant with Rooms starts at £20.00 for two courses and their website is here.

Rodial Skin Tint +*

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When I was at the Rodial event at Harvey Nichols a couple of weeks ago, I got to see Rodial’s skin tint in action, and I have to say, I was impressed! I’ve had a couple of tubes of the Skin Tint + in my ‘to try’ pile for a couple of months (oops!) but seeing them in action made me want to give them a run myself, and I have to say, I’ve been seriously impressed!

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I was kindly sent two of the five available shades (mine are Capri and The Hamptons) but the shades cater to even the deepest of skin tones. i was actually quite surprised at the amount of coverage the tints give – I was sure that they would be super sheer, but actually they do give skin a flawless base which eradicates redness and disguises any sort of tiredness or breakouts, they’re also pretty matte. One of the tips I picked up at the masterclass, was to add a drop of oil to the Skin Tint + prior to application to add a bit of luminosity and glow to the finish. It’s a hint that’s worked an absolute treat – I’ve been loving the results which perfect my skin.

Rodial Skin Tint + is priced at £45.00 and is available here.

Stop Skincare Day Cream*

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As someone with, what can sometimes feel like perpetually dry skin, finding a day cream which leaves me feeling both hydrated and a little dewy, without straying too far into greasy territory can sometimes feel like a bit of a task. I like creams which feel nourishing and hydrating, and which my skin can drink up, but nothing that’s too heavy, so I was so excited to try Dr. Darren McKeown’s Stop Skincare Day Cream.

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I’ve been absolutely loving the rest of the skincare line, and happily, the Day Cream is no different. In the morning, after cleansing, I’ve been applying a little of the Day Cream prior to my makeup, and have just been loving the results!  The cream itself has a lovely texture, which just sinks without leaving any tackiness or fragrance, and my skin just drinks it up. There isn’t a fragrance, but Dr. Mckeown has cleverly included light-reflecting particles, which leave skin looking so fresh! It’s such a clever touch, and it really  makes a difference once all my makeup goes on – it gives a subtle glow that I’m sure we’re all after! The cream also keeps skin hydrated throughout the day – meaning no dry patches for makeup to go blotchy on. Genius!

Stop Skincare Day Cream is priced at £40.00 and is available here.

 

Curaprox Black Toothpaste*

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I think that it’s fair to say that I have something of an interest in unusual dental products. I’ve tried $100 toothpaste (here), toothpaste made from chocolate (here), and I’ve even added charcoal to my toothpaste (here), so when I heard that Curaprox were releasing two black toothpastes: Black is White and White is Black, you can imagine how excited I got!

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Black is White was the first of the toothpastes I tried – packaged in a sleek black tube, complete with matching black toothbrush, in a word, it’s stunning. Happily, the formula is as awesome as the packaging, and the black colour isn’t just for effect.

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It’s thanks to the activated carbon which adsorbs stains from the surface of teeth, leaving them whiter than before. It feels like a gentler, more natural way to get whiter teeth, and I just love how fresh and clean my mouth feels after using the toothpastes.

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There’s no difference in the formula except their flavours – the black tube has a minty-citrus taste, whilst the white has the more regular plain mint. Both are super refreshing, and I’ve been using the black tube daily for about a week, and I can already see the difference!

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As if the activated charcoal in the formula wasn’t enough, there is also a super subtle blue shimmer, which leaves teeth looking even whiter, albeit on a slightly less permanent basis.

Available from www.curaprox.co.uk & Professional Dentists,

Curaprox RRP’s at £19.95

Essie It’s a Celebration!*

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When it comes to Essie polishes, it can feel like there are hundreds of shades to choose from. Every time I pop into Boots, it feels like there are new shades calling my name, and it’s not unsurprising – It’s a Celebration is the brand’s 1000th shade!

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Packaged in one of the brands signature bottles, complete with golden confetti cap (the gold came off mine when I was removing some spilled polish), It’s a Celebration! is a bright, true yellow shade which is unlikely to already be in your collection.

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The formula for It’s a Celebration! was a big surprise. It was easy to work with, and completely opaque in two coats – the micro shimmer caught the light, and my fingers looked like they had been dipped in gold! It’s such a fun and unusual shade, and when the light catches it, it’s so beautiful!

 

This Works Skin Deep Beauty Oil*

This Works Skin Deep Beauty Oil

As much as I love going on holiday, I’m not going to lie, the packing aspect really stresses me out. There are a lot of products I like to use on a regular basis, so having to whittle them down to a handful can be super hard! Thankfully though, This Works has made bringing their Skin Deep Beauty Oil an absolute breeze with their new rollerball.

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Small enough to comply with the strictest of baggage limits, the rollerball means that application couldn’t be easier. Each evening, after cleansing, I’ve been using the roller ball to apply the oil around my eyes, nose and chin, then massaging it in. The rollerball is so cooling and refreshing to use (especially since I keep mine in the fridge) so it’s perfect if you’ve got sun-stressed skin. The formula itself is dreamy! Not only does it deeply soothe and moisturise skin, but Rose Absolute, Jasmine and Bergamot have all been included for mood-boosting benefits.

This Works Skin Deep Beauty Oil is priced at £20.00 and is available here.

Sensai Triple Touch Concealer Compact*

Sensai Triple Touch Compact

It’s not often that a product arrives that feels like nothing else in my collection. Concealers especially. They tend to come in bullets or pots and are usually a little bit boring. So, when a rather glamorous compact popped through the door, it’s fair to say that I was more than a little intrigued.

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Inside, Sensai have included everything you could possibly need when it comes to cover-up: there’s a colourless concealer, a cream concealer, and then, underneath, a beautifully lightweight setting powder.

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If you’re getting ready to jet off anywhere this summer, I would seriously recommend adding this compact to your carry-on. The mixture of chic packaging and dreamy formulas make the compact a must-have, which, happily, is so easy to use!

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Prior to apply my foundation, if there are any enlarged pores or fine lines I want to cover, the left hand, clear concealer is what I reach for. It’s got quite a rich consistency which disappears into skin, and really blurs out any imperfections. It’s also a great little base to use under the cream concealer on dry skin or on problem areas.

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The creamy concealer is incredibly rich and hydrating. It’s a true full-coverage formula which I tend to blend into skin using my fingertips. The heat from my fingers really seems to encourage the concealer to melt into skin, leaving a truly flawless result. No matter whether I’ve been using Sensai’s offering to cover dark circles or blemishes, it performs beautifully.

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Then, as if two rather wonderful concealers weren’t enough, when you get into the compact’s lower level tree’s a translucent powder and a really great mirror. It might be a little odd to bang on about how good a mirror is, but this one feels like it’s a whole lot better than a regular compact. The powder too is flawless – it’s so silky feeling, and it absolutely disappears into skin without feeling caky or drying. I use a slight swirl of it to set under eye concealer, and I also add a little to my nose and forehead to set my makeup and make sure it lasts throughout the day. Sensai have three shades to choose from, and somewhat unsurprisingly since it’s an Asian company, they’re all pretty light, which might be problematic if you have a richer skin tone.

Sensai Triple Touch Concealer Compact is priced at £40.00 and is available here.

Windle & Moodie Intense Treatment Masque*

Windle & Moodie Intense Treatment Masque

It’s T-minus six days until I get my hair done (yay!) and in the run up to my appointment, I’ve been adding Windle & Moodie’s Intense Treatment Masque to my hair care routine. Since my hair is in need of a trim, it’s been feeling a bit dry and scratchy, so the addition of something so nourishing has been much needed!

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Packaged in a sleek white tub, complete with 80’s style glamazon on the lid, Windle & Moodie’s Intensive Treatment Masque is just the thing if your ends are in need of a little TLC. The formula is packed with green tea, active antioxidants, and cocoa butter to nourish, detangle and boost shine to over worked ends.

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Once or twice a week, or really whenever my hair has been feeling a bit stressed, I use a couple of finger-fulls, and comb it through my ends. I then let it sit for a good 10-15 minutes to really let my hair soak up the goodness, and rinse as normal.

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I can’t tell you how soft and shiny my hair if after using the Intensive Treatment Masque. It really feels like a salon-worthy treatment, and I can’t wait to keep using it when my hair is back to blonde too! It smells so incredible and my hair can’t get enough of it!

Windle & Moodie Intensive Treatment Masque is priced at £29 and is available here