Kiko Divine Tone Moisturising Face Serum*


I’m not sure about you, but in Edinburgh, it feels like I barely see sunlight any more. It’s dark when I get to work, and it’s even darker when I leave. So, I’m really looking for products which enhance my skin’s luminosity, and I’m pleased to say, Kiko’s new Divine Tone Moisturising Face Serum is fast becoming one of my favourite bases.


Even though I would normally apply a serum prior to moisturisers, Kiko’s is delicately coloured, meaning it can work as either an ultra lightweight base (I love it for weekends) or as a way to even out my skin tone under my regular foundation. A single pump, applied with fingers leaves skin looking and feeling so soft and smooth. It really combats redness and hides imperfections. Not only this, but it works to protect skin from outside pollutants.


I love the luxe packaging – the glass bottle feels weighty to hold, and the fluted cap has been designed to represent a stage curtain. I love the little touches, and I just adore the subtle sheen and radiance it gives skin. Its the perfect base if you’re after naturally luminous looking skin which seems to glow from within.


Kiko Divine Tone Radiant Face Serum is priced at £18.90 and is available here.

Clarisonic MIA Fit White Cleansing Brush*

fullsizeoutput_aaeWhen it comes to cleansing, there’s not a tool I value more than my Clarisonic. The mix of sonic cleansing, a range of brush heads, and manual exfoliation give skin a hard to beat radiance, and I’ve not been without access to one for at least five years! Even though I’ve got sensitive skin, my Clarisonic never feels like it’s too much, instead my skin just doesn’t feel clean if I don’t use it every night!


Whilst I was on my road trip, I thought it would be the perfect time to give my brand new Clarisonic Mia Fit Cleansing Brush in White a good shot. Smaller than an average Clarisonic brush, it might look like the baby of the family, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in serious cleansing. Despite tucking neatly into the palm of my hands, the Mia Fit Cleansing Brush has two cleansing speeds – delicate and deep.


I tend to stick to the delicate setting if I’m using the brush in the morning, but evening cleanses are perfect to get to grips with the deep setting. It completely eradicates every trace of makeup, and leaves skin feeling soft rather than stripped. Like all Clarisonic devices, there is a beeper which lets you know when you’ve been cleansing for a minute, which stops over-exfoliation. I then like to use it on my neck on décolletage to keep everything soft, smooth and clear.


One tip which I’ve absolutely fallen in love with, is prior to cleansing, I  absolutely soak the brush head, and then fill the inner ring with a foaming cleanser. It means that there is enough to properly foam and clean the skin, making sure it’s entirely free of pollutants and other nasties. I should also mention the charge on the Mia Fit. The battery is charged via USB connection – I can plug it into my laptop while I’m out, and I easily get a week’s worth of use. So, if you’re off anywhere soon, there’s nothing better to pop in your hand luggage!

Clarisonic Mia Fit Cleansing Brush is priced at £170 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

Urban Fruit Coconut Chips*


If you’re anything like me, I always find myself trying to eat mindfully at this time of year. It’s probably got something to do with knowing Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming up, both filled with the most delicious offerings, and trying to offset the damage somewhat. I’ve swapped lunchtime sandwiches for sushi and I’m drinking at least one green juice a day, but until now, it’s been hard to find an alternative to a sneaky bag of crisps. Sometimes you just need a little crunch. So, when Urban Fruit sent over their Coconut Chips, I was seriously intrigued. Triple toasted, the coconut chips are absolutely delicious. If I’m in the mood for something savoury, I’ve been grabbing a bag of the Siracha Chilli Chips which are wonderfully spicy. The coconut flavour is subtle enough to tame the heat a little, giving an almost Thai curry effect. The Straight Up Coconut Chips are an absolute godsend when you just need a little nicety. Not overly sweet, but seriously flavourful, they’re a perfect afternoon pick-me-up.

A Night at Netherstowe House*


After the next we spent in Newcastle, it was time for us to meander further south. Our final destination was the Cotswolds, but we felt it might be a bit rushed, barrelling down the M6 in a day, so we decided a stop off was necessary.Our base for the evening was Netherstowe House, a cosy spot in Staffordshire.


The building itself is just breathtaking. A redbrick former mill house, the ivy covered walls were just beautiful, and such a welcome stop from the motorway! If you are something of a commuter, this is an absolute gem of a pitstop!


We were shown to the Johnson room, which is classed as a Deluxe Room. Absolutely huge in size, there was ample room to stretch out, unpack a little, and generally unwind.


The whole hotel is decorated in a cute, slightly eclectic style which falls somewhere between Laura Ashley and the Orient Express. The nods to exotic travel were so pretty, and the room was decorated with a surprising amount of antiques. As something of an art history nerd, I found this absolutely delightful, and it made the room feel so cosy!


Kitted out with everything you could need to whittle away a few hours (including a soaking tub, and homemade cookies), we figured it was time to head downstairs and have supper.


The Netherstowe House Dining Room was absolutely beautiful. Full of stunning original features, it was shimmering with candle light. I didn’t want to disturb the other diners by flashing a camera around, but it was really beautiful.


We started off the evening with some freshly baked bread with butter and Maldon salt. Still warm from the oven, it was just the thing to get our mouths watering.


After pondering the menu for a bit, we both ended up ordering the same dishes, they just sounded too good not to have, and whilst we waited we were surprised with the cutest amouse bouche. The tiniest cauliflower pakora you’ve ever seen was delicately balanced on a shot of satiny smooth cauliflower veloute. Despite it’s delicate size, it was packed with flavour – a balance of cumin and spice was the perfect winter warmer!


We started our dinner with White Parmesan and Onion Soup (£6) which, although perhaps not the most photogenic dish in the world was a comfortingly savoury start to the meal. Absolutely filled with onion, and topped with a parmesan crisp, it was absolutely delicious!


Between course we opted to try a sorbet to cleanse our palettes. A scoop of lemon (£4) and raspberry (£4) between us was an absolute delight. Sharp, sweet and perfectly tart, it was such a contrast from the soup.


The main event was the 7oz Fillet Steak (£22) which came served with hand cut chips, a peppery salad and bernaise sauce. The steak was cooked medium-rare, and was wonderfully succulent, with a rich flavour and a melt-in-the-mouth consistency. It paired so well with the rich bernaise sauce and piping hot chips.


After enjoying our meal, we positively rolled upstairs, and headed straight to bed. We slept so soundly we completely missed breakfast, but if you’re more of a morning person than I am, you can order a fully cooked meal, or choose from a Continental selection.

A night at Netherstowe House on a DB&B basis costs £195. Thank you to Netherstowe House for hosting us.



Lancome Cushion Blush Subtil – 025 Sorbet Grenadine*


I’ve been a fan of Lancome’s Cushion Foundation since they launched the first one last year. It gives the skin just the right amount of dewy coverage without ever looking heavy (and their newest cushion foundation is the stuff of dreams). So, When I saw that they had released a line of cushion blushes, well i just had to give them a go!


Packaged in a dinky black compact a little smaller than the cushion foundations, I love the little pink flower on the lid. It’s sleek, and feels nice to hold, and just feels lie a bit of a step up from my regular blush.


When you click the compact open, it’s just like a foundation – there is a Lancome sponge applicator, and a good sized mirror. This means application on the go is an absolute dream. Honestly though, when it comes to cushion products, I tend to bin the little sponge, and just use clean fingers.


There are six shades to choose from in the range, ranging from candy pink to more muted, tan colours. I opted for 025 Sorbet Grenadine, a stunning warm-toned coral pink. It’s just the thing to brighten up a pale, winter complexion. After applying my foundation (currently I’m loving Lacome’s Teint Idole Ultra Cushion and I’ll be reviewing soon) I simply tap my fingertips on the blush cushion, and then tap the formula onto the tops of my cheekbones.


Although the formula appears seriously bright at first sight, it sheers out beautifully. It never looks too bright or garish, instead it just lends a stunning luminosity to skin. The glow lasts all day too – no matter how early I apply the blush, I can still see it at the end of the day – I’m in love!

Lancome Cushion Blush Subtle is priced at £28 and is available here (UK) and here (US)


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