If you’re a Scottish reader, chances are you’ll have heard of Charlie Miller. Their salons are dotted throughout Edinburgh, and they’re the spot to head to if you’re trying to get your hair looking its best. A couple of weeks ago I headed to their gorgeous South St. Andrew Square salon for a bit of a trim. I’ve been babying my hair this year, so it needed a good bit of tidying to get rid of dead ends, and inject a bit of life into it. Not only was it a treat to enjoy getting all glossy at the salon (seriously, it’s gorgeous, and so COVID-19 safe) but I was also treated to some of their brand new styling products too!
With over 50 years experience under their belt, Charlie Miller Salons know what’s what when it comes to haircare, so being able to take some of that expertise home with you feels like a real treat. Their product lineup now includes everything from shampoos to finishing spray, so no matter what your hair issue, they’ve got a product to suit. One of my most-loved picks out the line up is the new Gloss Oil – a lightweight yet seriously hydrating treatment which leaves strands with a glass-like sheen. Perfect for hydrating dry or stressed ends, it seals the cuticle, leaving hair looking and feeling brand new. After washing my hair, I like to distribute about a pump of it through my towel-dried ends, and then, once it’s dry, I use a drop or two as a finisher. It smells absolutely incredible thanks to notes of grapefruit and white nectarine – so not only does your hair look it’s best, but it smells pretty incredible too!
Charlie Miller Gloss Oil is priced at £24.50 and is available here
When it comes to working from home, there are some serious benefits – no commute, I can start and finish at whatever time I want, and if I want to, I can take my laptop and work wherever suits – which, most of the time is a coffee shop. One of the plus points which I didn’t realise until I was properly set up here, was the skincare benefits I get to enjoy too. I don’t need to wear a full face of makeup like I would to a regular office, and even better, I get to enjoy treatments as I tackle my inbox.
That’s where Pixi’s Skin Treats Rose Flash Balm comes in. Every couple of days, when I know I’ve got a few hours to spend at my desk, I treat myself to a Pixi Rose Flash Balm treat. Instead of applying my regular day’s makeup (serum, moisturiser, skint tint and bronzer) once I’m out the shower, I apply a generous layer of the Flash Balm, and let it get to work.
It’s pretty much a facial in a tube – the flash balm has been designed to moisturise, brighten and revitalise skin. I like to leave it on for a couple of hours to really enjoy the benefits of it. Ingredients include rose water, rose extract and olive leaf extract, so it calms, soothes and hydrates skin so that it looks and feels its best. After a couple of hours, I tissue off any excess, and I’m good to go.
Pixi Skintreats Rose Flash Balm is priced at £26 and is available here (UK) and here (US)
As we approach the end of the year, I’ve started to think about the things I want to address in the year ahead. Not quite resolutions, but near enough. Obviously 2020 hasn’t been the year we’d been hoping for, so I’m really hedging my bets on 2021! One of my aims for the year ahead is to further reduce the waste I produce as well as to incorporate more eco-friendly products into my daily regimes.
Nereus London is a new brand dedicated to creating genuinely sustainable luxury beauty products which are effective, glorious to use, and make as little environmental impact as possible. I’ve been using their shampoo for the past few weeks, and been seriously impressed. It’s a formula which feels seriously premium – it smells incredible thanks to Buddha Wood and Bergamot, and it leaves hair feeling soft and shiny too.
Designed to be used on all hair types, it’s a great daily formula for someone like me who washes their hair each morning. It also leaves hair smelling beautifully fresh – I can smell it even hours later, it’s heavenly!
Not only is the shampoo an absolute delight to use, but it’s eco-friendly too. There is absolutely no plastic in the packaging, and the bottle the shampoo comes in, is composed from infinitely recyclable aluminium, and all the little bits like labels completely degrade without a trace.
Nereus London Essential Care Shampoo is priced at £25 and is available here
The L-word has become a taboo all across the UK. As some parts of the UK have already gone back into lockdown (we’re looking at you, England), Scotland is still considering moving into level 4 of lockdown, which would be the highest tier of curbs. Is level 4 the same thing as national lockdown? The short answer is: yes, pretty much.
The long answer is that, as much as we fear the L-word, we fear the consequences of not following it even more. As a result, we can expect a few bumpy weeks ahead of Christmas.
So, for everyone, the big question that remains is how the current situation will affect Christmas. Unfortunately, there is no answer to the question as of now. But that doesn’t mean you can’t start planning ahead. Ultimately, nobody wants to spend Christmas away from their loved ones. But, rather than worrying about it, we could dedicate our time and energy into the creation of a peaceful and soothing nest for us and the people we love.
According to a survey from Quadient, one-third of the UK population experienced poor Internet connection during the first lockdown. Many of us found their connection slow during the period. Ultimately, streaming platforms, such as Netflix and YouTube, are only a source of joy when they work. Nobody likes the spinning wheel that appears on the screen as your video is loading. Unfortunately, when providers are not equipped to tackle high volumes, you have no other options but to wait or give up. It may not seem like much, but YouTube can offer fantastic support when you’re stuck at home:
Free workout video
Free cooking videos
Free films and series videos
Rather than letting the spinning wheel take over, you can use some of the best video downloaders to prepare your watching list. Keep your favourite titles offline so you can watch whatever you want whenever you want, without struggling with a slow broadband connection.
Is it time to build your online presence?
Lockdown means that a lot of businesses have to shut their doors and put some staff on leave. While the furlough scheme will be extended until the end of March 2021, it doesn’t replace your wage to 100%. For employees stuck in limbo, your pay could fall by up to one third. Needless to say, the last thing you want to do at Christmas is to worry about money. But you could use the time at home to start a side hustle venture. Marketing yourself in lockdown begins with a blog. Did you know that creating a blog presence can help you get some gigs on the side? It could be enough to replace your partial pay loss. It could also be a wakeup call that makes you realise you enjoy being your own boss. Or it could be a feel-good experience that lets you share your expertise. Whatever it is, blogging during lockdown can be a positive experience.
We can’t help it; we touch our faces
You are already aware of maskne, the unpleasant outbreak that is caused by wearing a mask. However, when you’re spending more time at home – and therefore, less time wearing a mask – you could still experience skin issues. Oily skin is one of those things that crush your self-confidence. What does it happen more when you’re at home? Because you are touching your face more frequently. So, it can be a good idea to pack a lovely oil control set either for yourself or a friend. Skincare sets are guaranteed to be a hit, both ahead and during Christmas. Feeling good in your skin is the best thing you can do for yourself, right?
What does luxury loungewear look like in winter?
Everybody seeks comfort at home. Loungewear fashion has exploded during lockdown 1.0. You can”’t go wrong with cosy outfits that make you feel put together and unrestricted at the same time. Whether you’re looking for a casual piece to keep you warm during the festive holiday or for an elevated pair of joggers, knitted loungewear can tick all the boxes. Besides, we all know that wearing something that makes you feel comfortable is a mood-booster.
This year, we need to be smart about Christmas shopping. There will be no last-minute rush to the shops. In other words, you need to look online for the best options to spoil your friends and relatives. Amazon is likely to be your preferred retailer when it comes to planning Christmas. However, if you want your presents to stand out from the crowd, you may need to consider the following options instead:
Beauty box subscriptions
A small spa kit
Hamper baskets with regional or international treats
Specialist cake delivery
Stationery box subscriptions (for that friend who loves bullet journals)
Personalised items from small businesses on Etsy or Notonthehighstreet
These are only some of the few ideas you can borrow for your online Christmas shopping list. But they can make a big difference! Ultimately, finding a present that is suited to those you love, and that doesn’t feel like it was a last-minute random purchase on Amazon can put a smile on everybody’s face!
Tea makes everything better
There’s something about the quintessential cup of tea that is soothing and comforting. Tea doesn’t fix everything, but it certainly feels like it does. However, if you are looking for a little boost while planning Christmas at home, you may want to switch your regular English Breakfast tea for a spiced version. Spiced teas feel like a little mug of heat, especially Indian chai blends that include cloves, nutmeg, cardamom, and cinnamon. They also instil a sense of emotional balance and harmony. Folk medicine has been using spices to tackle mood and soul disorders for centuries. In modern life, we all cherish the sweet scent of cinnamon in winter. There’s something festive about it! A cup of spiced tea could be just what the doctor prescribed to brighten up your mood.
In conclusion, while we don’t know what Christmas will look like, we can already build a path to happiness this winter. From thoughtful and unique gifts to targeted lockdown skincare, there are a few tips that can make the holiday relaxing and merry for you and your loved ones.
When it comes to gifting ideas, I always like to treat people to something they wouldn’t get themselves. Whether it’s a meal out with matching wines at their favourite restaurant, or a spa treatment they’d never normally take the time out to enjoy, I think there’s something so valuable about gifting a real treat rather than just some extra clutter that’s going to end up in the back of a drawer. I’ve been having a think about what I’m going to get loved ones this year, as obviously we’re not going to have a regular festive period, and I think I’ve found a golden gem in the form of gifting the ultimate skincare set so that their mornings become a little bit more luxe.
The Ole Henriksen Balance it All Mattifying Oil Control Set is the perfect treat to gift this holiday season. After all, I’m pretty sure anything which makes mornings a bit easier is the perfect gift! The trio is designed to control oil, and reduces the look of pores—without stripping skin and leaving it dry or irritated. It contains a cleanser, toner and hydrator – so pretty much everything you need to get your best skin ever.
The Balance it All trio manages to deal with any excess oils, without irritating skin. From a gently foaming cleanser which helps to unclog and reduce the appearance of pores, to the gentle toner which refines and refreshes skin and the light weight hydrator which works to keep pores clear whist moisturising skin. The lineup contains ingredients like salicylic acid and AHas, which are incredible at guaranteeing glowy skin.
Alongside the chemical exfoliants, the trio contains neem seed oil, rosehip fruit extract and Ole Henriksen’s Green Fusion Complex, all of which work together to achieve your healthiest skin ever. All three of the products are absolutely glorious to use, and I’m obsessed with the gorgeously fresh eucalyptus-peppermint scent – it’s exactly the type of thing you need to perk up dreary mornings!
Ole Henriksen Balance it All Trio is priced at £32 and is available here (UK) and here (US)