If you’re at a loss for what to do this weekend, I would seriously suggest a wander around Edinburgh’s West End. It’s filled with stunning little boutiques, chic salons and the cutest cafes and restaurants.
Exploring can be hungry business, so knowing where to eat is crucial, and we were well taken care of with a reservation at Kyloe – Edinburgh’s first dedicated steak restaurant. Located upstairs, right at the heart of Rutland Street, with views up Princes Street and a peak at the castle, it’s a favourite of tourists and locals alike.
The menu boasts every cut and variety of steak you can imagine, including a brand new lunch menu. Available Monday-Saturday from noon until 3.30pm, it’s a great option if you’re looking for a quicker option than the restaurant might ordinarily serve.
We both opted for the Steak Frites (£15) – well, you couldn’t come to Kyloe and not indulge in a little beef! Served with a fresh salad, the frites were chunkier than anticipated (I’m a fan of something closer to the French style) but they were wonderfully hot and crisp. The steak was juicy and flavourful, and the salad and peppercorn sauce were great additions.
You can find out more about Edinburgh’s West End here, and see Kyloe’s menu here
Summer is, undoubtedly, the season of glow. I don’t think there is anything quite as pretty as tanned skin with a subtle sheen. It would seem that Too Faced think the same as me, as they have just released a trio of the prettiest highlighters right in time for the summer season.
Love Light is possibly the glitziest of the three – the compact alone looks like something Polly Pocket should go clubbing in. It’s adorable – and any time I whip it out of my makeup bag, it’s met with hundreds of compliments.
Thankfully the highlighter inside is as pretty as the outside. A true yellow-toned gold, this is a product which was made for tanned skin. The formula brings together the benefits of powder, cream and gel products and combines them into one easy to use (and gorgeous) compact.
Silky smooth, Love Light is absolutely made for tanned and darker skin tones. A single swipe of the highlighter leaves behind a sheer golden sheen, whilst a few more strokes with a highlighter brush really creates the most fabulous strobing effect. It’s definitely a product for when you’re feeling fancy, and I can’t wait to wear it all summer long!
Too Faced Love Light is priced at £25 and is available here (UK) and here (US)
I don’t think I ever rely as hard on primers as I do in the summer. There’s just something about sunlight and heat which leaves makeup pretty much non-existent. Plus, the moment I step foot on a plane, my foundation somehow vanishes, so I’m always on the lookout for a good one.
I was absolutely over the moon to receive a tube of Estee Lauder’s new The Smoother Universal Perfecting Primer. It sounded exactly like what I was after. Colour and fragrance free, the primer is a lightweight gel which smooths on to skin effortlessly. There is a slight silicon feel to the gel, which, honestly I prefer, and it leaves skin feeling satiny soft.
After applying with my fingers, I smooth on my foundation as normal. The Smoother makes application a breeze, and I swear I don’t need to apply as much as I do normally. Then I swipe on a little concealer and bronzer, and I’m good to go. The Smoother gives skin a luminous finish – it’s not matte, but it’s not as dewy as my skin can sometimes get. It’s also a great base if I’m playing with more extreme makeup looks. When I’ve got this on, eyeliners, shadows and even lipsticks don’t budge an inch. It also keeps makeup looking fresh all day long.
Estee Lauder The Smoother is priced at £25 and is available here (UK) and here (US)
Summer has to be the season of the hair wave. Even though I pretty much resolutely wear my hair straight, the moment the good weather appears, I dig out the tongs to try and create an effortless wavy look. It helps my hair has a natural wave in it (although it does tend to veer towards frizz), but Philip B’s Maui Wowie is the product I’ve been looking for.
Fortified with Sea Salt, Algae, Aloe Vera and Coconut, this spray is full of good-for-hair ingredients. After washing and conditioning, I comb through my ends whilst I’m still in the shower, then I mist on Maui Wowie from root to tip, then I don’t touch my hair. At all. The spray smells absolutely incredible – all coconut and summertime, and it does feel like I should be tripping out to a far flung beach somewhere, rather than just running errands in Edinburgh. It gives hair a boost of volume, and gives hair a serious dose of sheen – it also makes waves and curls stay in place far longer than they do naturally – it’s the perfect product for easy lazy day hair!
Philip B Maui Wowie is priced at £25 and is available here (UK) and here (US)
Spending most of my time in Edinburgh, it can be easy to fall into routines. There are my regular coffee shops, delis and where I pop in when I fancy a treat, so when I was invited to see the best of what the West End has to offer, I jumped at the chance.
Edinburgh’s West End is perfect if you’re looking for a day of strolling round. It’s gorgeous – full of Georgian architecture (my favorite) and independent boutiques and restaurants. It’s also a whole lot quieter – so taking an afternoon to potter around is an absolutely heavenly way to spend a day.
One of my first ports of call was the Odyssey Boutique – an award winning collection of the most glorious lingerie and swimwear you can imagine!
With every piece in the store picked personally by owner Sarah, it’s a wonderfully curated selection.
There are bras which are perfect for everyday wear, as well as those which are definitely reserved for more special occasions. The price points for the underwear will also suit most – the pieces reserved for regular wear hover around the £60 mark, whilst those looking for the more intricate designs will be able to indulge for significantly more.
The store itself is an absolute jewel box – the walls are peppered with the most divine lingerie and swimwear you can imagine, and Sarah is on hand to advise and recommend pieces you might not have seen.
In addition to the most glorious underwear and swimwear, Sarah also stocks a neat selection of must-have beauty bits. Think the best fake tanks, body oils and sunscreens which are going to have you feeling like a goddess!
Odyssey Boutique is one of Edinburgh West End‘s gems. You can find out more about the boutique here.
When Urban Decay released their brand new line of skincare products, my hopes were pretty high. I’m uniformly impressed with their makeup (I mean, they’re the brand who brought in the nude eye palettes to the stashes of us all) so it’s fair to say my standards were high. Happily, I’ve been more than impressed with what I’ve tried.
The Melt Down Makeup Remover is something of a must-have. Packaged in a squeezy tube, with fun watercolour designs, using the Melt Down Makeup Remover couldn’t be easier. I’ve been using it (unsurprisingly) at night, when I’ve had a full face on.
The Melt Down Makeup Remover has a lighter, milkier consistency than I was expecting. I dampen my face first, then massage a small amount into my face. It has the nicest, slightly coconut-y scent which feels perfect for summer. It’s also magic. It completely erases all traces of makeup (including my sturdiest mascaras and eye liners) without stripping skin or stinging eyes. It completely eradicates all makeup – no matter how much foundation or liner I’m wearing, and it’s so pleasant to use!
Urban Decay Melt Down Makeup Remover is priced at £18 and is available here (UK)
Since it’s summer (and the UK has been enjoying surprising amounts of sunshine and decent temperatures) I’ve been far more adventurous with my manicures of late. I’ve abandoned my usual choices of pinks and nudes and gone right into the neon. Case in point? I’m currently sporting a neon coral/orange fade, and I’m more than a little obsessed with it!
So, since my fingers are far brighter and more attention-grabbing than usual, I’ve been upping my hand care, so they look as good as possible. My current favourite is Lano’s Rose Hand Cream Everyday. From the pretty pink packaging, to the gentle rose fragrance, the cream is an absolute joy to use. The floral element is quite soft (it doesn’t hit you over the head with roses like others I’ve tried) and it smells divine. It’s also super nourishing, without leaving hands feeling sticky or greasy. Instead, your hands just feel silky soft and smooth. The cream has also made such a difference in preventing rage cuticles and hang nails, and it’s the perfect post-shellac treatment, so my nails stay as strong as possible.
Lano Rose Hand Cream Intense is priced at £10.20 and is available here (UK) and here (US)
So last week marked my entry into my ‘late twenties,’ it’s had me feeling more than a little old. So, in the spirit of anti-ageing I cracked out my box of Rodial’s brand new Bee Venom Micro Sting Patches. They’re a new release from the brand, and they deliver seriously high doses of hyaluronic acid and bee venom to skin, leaving it looking plumper and fresher.
Using the patches couldn’t be easier. After cleansing, you just pop the patches on your areas of concern and leave it for about half an hour. The patches work by plumping the skin, much like what happens with filler injections (only these are more temporary, and they’re also pain free!). They are such a great little tool to keep on hand for special occasions, and those days when you know you’re going to get photographed.
Rodial Bee Venom Micro-Sting Patches are priced at £90 and are available here (UK)
Is there anything worse than limp, floppy hair when it’s hot out? I have to admit that I do love having super soft hair, which, in the right conditions, does feel lovely, but it means that my strands can go a bit funny if I try to actually do anything with my hair. So, when I found out Oribe were releasing their new Swept Up Volume Spray, I may have done something of a happy dance.
Packaged, in true Oribe fashion, in an understated beige tube, Swept Up is like nothing else in my hair care drawer. Using the powder couldn’t be easier! After washing, blow drying then straightening my hair, I section my hair off, then spray a little of the volume powder into my roots, gently tapping it in with my fingers.
The power gently puffs out every time you spray, which means you’re not left with weird white patches in your hair. Instead, the powder disappears into hair, leaving it looking naturally thick and voluminous. It leaves hair shiny, and the volume lasts all day. It’s perfect if you’re after a super glam look – it works amazingly well if you’re looking for big, bouncy curls too. This makes my hair also keep a curl much longer too – it’s such an easy way to inject glamour into my everyday routine!
Oribe Swept Up Volume Powder Spray is priced at £39 and is available here (UK) and here (US)
When it comes to summer beauty, I’m not sure about you, but I’m all about glowy, sheeny goodness. When I caught sight of Too Faced’s brand new Prismatic highlighters, I’m not going to lie, I squealed a little. But can you blame me? Three brand new shades, packaged to look like both hearts and diamonds? Perfection if you ask me!
There are three shades of the Prismatic Highlighter – a rose gold (Ray of Light), a true gold (You Light Up My Life) and a cool champagne (Light Love Light), so all skin colours should be able to find their perfect shimmery shade. I tested out Ray of Light first – it’s a cool-toned rose which adds a stunning sheen to cheek and brow bones.
So as well as looking absolutely divine in the pan (seriously, have you ever seen a cuter compact?) this is a real everyday must have. I love a light dusting of Ray of Light on the tops of my cheekbones, on the bridge of my nose after I’ve put on my regular bronzer. Using my fan shaped brush (this one), I get a seriously believable glow (like I’ve been on the green juice for a few weeks). If I’m going out a night, the sheen is easily buildable – you can get some serious stoping going on with a few coats of the stuff.
Too Faced Prismatic Highlighter in Ray of Light is priced at £25 and is available here (UK) and here (US)
When it comes to beauty products, the more uses for it – the better as far as I’m concerned. Even though I love beauty products, I don’t exactly relish lugging them around with me, and on a day-to-day basis I try to keep it as minimal as possible. My on-the-go makeup bag currently contains a concealer, bronzer and brush as well as a lip balm. It’s a far cry from when I would positively rattle with lip glosses, so a product which promises 101 uses sounded right up my street!
The Lanolips 101 Ointment promises exactly that – with only 1 ingredient in the superbalm – medical grade lanolin, it’s a product which feels like it can be used for just about anything!
Of course, the thing it does best is moisturize and nourish skin. I love to wear it as a rich balm – it’s fragrance free, yet feels richly luxurious on the lips. It also works fabulously as a super moisturiser – applied at night, I pat on a little on my driest areas, and wake up with skin which feels brand new! On a more superficial level – if I want a natural, but still groomed brow, the ointment brushed through with a spoolie, gives brows a sleek sheen, and the tiniest amount patted onto cheekbones gives a healthy, believable glow.
Have you ever used a multipurpose balm?
Lanolips 101 Ointment is priced at £10.99 and is available here (UK) and here (US)