Christian Breton Skin Emergency Serum*

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At this time of year, it’s far too easy to stretch yourself a bit too thin. Late nights, a few glasses of fizz and a couple of indulgent suppers can set back more than just your gym routine! Whenever I’ve been out and about too much, I can see it in my skin. I might get a breakout or two, but even worse than that is how dull and dry my skin is. So, in an attempt to keep everything as naturally dewy as possible (I mean, there is only so much a highlighter can do) I’ve introduced Christian Breton’s Skin Emergency Serum into my routine. It’s an easy step and I’ve already noticed a huge difference!

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A formula which has been designed to rescue ageing skin, it’s a great little pick-me-up for days I’m feeling stressed and tired. Beautifully lightweight, I use a pump or two of the serum each morning after cleansing, then follow up with my regular moisturiser. The serum is filled with a blend of Licorice Root, Mandarin and Hibiscus Flower which work to to replenish moisture levels and enhance natural elasticity levels in skin. Not only this, but Precious Pearl Proteins give skin an instant radiance, as well as helping to alleviate the look of discolouration and age spots, whilst antioxidants working to neutralise free radicals. It leaves skin feeling incredible – soft and smooth and wonderfully primed for makeup. I’ve also found that it reduced redness in my skin, with the effects lasting all through the day!

Christian Breton also promise that the serum will work to diminish fine lines and wrinkles, so if you’re resolution for 2018 is for better skin, the Skin Emergency Serum should be at the top of your wish list!

Christian Breton Skin Emergency Serum is priced at £68 and you can find it on offer for £54.40 here.

A Day Out in Glasgow*

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As someone who spends most days in Scotland’s capital, I always enjoy a great day out! So, when I was invited to pop through and see some of the best spots in the city, I absolutely jumped at the chance! Travelling through from Edinburgh to Glasgow couldn’t be easier – you can do what we did and jump in the car (it’s about a 40 minute drive), or if you’d rather kick back, there is a regular train service which deposits you right in the city centre.

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After parking at Buchanan Galleries, we wandered down Buchanan Street to pop into the new T2 store. If you’re a tea lover like I am, this is a must-visit destination! With loose leaf teas piled from floor to ceiling, there are blends for everyone, and the staff couldn’t be more helpful.

With a chance to taste a variety of blends, including a delicious matcha ritual and turmeric latte, I felt like a kid in a candy store! It took a while, but eventually I managed to select a tea blend, as well as a super handy infuser (I picked the purple one here) which I’ve been using pretty much daily ever since!

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From T2, our next stop was Laings in the Argyll Arcade. The jewellery is one which I’ve explored in Edinburgh (you can read about my visit here), so getting to see three of their Glasgow outlets was great fun! Depending in whether you’re in the market for a new watch, a specially commissioned piece or a luxury treat, Laings has something for you!

I spent a good hour looking at the best of what Laings has to offer – an I have to say, my wish list has grown considerably! From examining ‘Hearts on Fire’ diamonds with specialist equipment to oohing over necklaces and rings, it was such a special start to the day!

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After all that glamour, we were absolutely famished, so headed over to Merchant City for brunch at Hutcheson’s City Grill. It’s a real mainstay for Glasgow, with a space to eat both upstairs and downstairs depending on your preference. We headed upstairs, to enjoy a leisurely brunch.

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As we perused the menu we were treated to a couple of glasses of champagne. The dining room is absolutely stunning! We oohed and ahh’d over the architecture and all of the velvet seats, whilst deciding on our choices.

We couldn’t resist The Hutchesons Fry (£12) which was perhaps the heartiest breakfast option on the menu! A wonderfully herby sausage was served alongside crisp bacon, cooked mushrooms, scrambled eggs, beans and Stornaway Black Pudding.

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I went for the Smoked Scottish Salmon & Scrambled Eggs (£10) which came with a toasted English muffin. It was a gorgeous dish, and I love how nicely presented it was.

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After enjoying our brunch, we headed downstairs to explore the rest of Hutcheson’s City Grill. The bar is absolutely glorious – all marble and glass, and I’ll be heading here for drinks the next time I’m through!

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After fuelling up, it was time to get down to the serious business of shopping! Buchanan Galleries is one of the city’s best shopping malls, with stores ranging from Accessorize to Hollister, as well as a large John Lewis. We window shopped for a while, and although I was going to stock up on a few pieces of makeup in Boots (they have a great selection of premium brands) I ended up being sensible and picking up a couple of home bits from John Lewis.

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Once we dropped the bags off in the car (after all, who wants to lug sheets around town with them?!?) we headed down Buchanan Street for a bit of a peruse. As well as having all the regular high street stores, Glasgow also has a huge Apple store, an Urban Outfitters and Frasers – the king of the city’s department stores. If you love beauty as much as I do – Frasers is a real must visit on a trip to Glasgow. As well as stocking all your regular premium brands, they have Scotland’s only Charlotte Tilbury counter, as well as the Chanel counter of your dreams. They even stock the brand’s Les Exclusifs perfume collection, so it’s where I head whenever I’m running low on their Gardenia.

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After all that shopping, it was time for supper – so we headed back over to the Corinthian Club for supper. The building itself is absolutely stunning – it looks like a wedding cake with swirls of rococo plasterwork and possibly Glasgow’s most picturesque dining room. It was a lovely mix of couples, families and friends, all enjoying suppers or stacks of late afternoon tea. In a bit of a blogger fail, we both opted for the Fillet Steak (£29.95).

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And really, who could blame us? Served on a slate with a copper pan of Cafe de Paris, crispy thick cut chips, cooked cherry tomatoes and a peppery watercress salad. It was a deliciously indulgent way to finish the day – the juicy meat with the mustardy Cafe de Paris butter was fabulous, whilst the peppery watercress said give the dish some zing!

We had a fabulous day out! Thank you so much for T2, Laings, Hutcheson’s City Grill, Buchanan Galleries, House of Fraser at the Corinthian Club for having us!

Wella EIMI Root Shoot*

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This is undoubtedly the season for glamour – from brunches to parties which last through until morning, it can feel like you’ve got to look your best at all hours. It can be hard to keep looking together at this time of year (Edinburgh can get rather cold, wet and gusty come December) so I’m always looking for tips and tricks which make life easier. One product I don’t think I’ve ever come even close to looking at before is hair mousse. In my mind, I’d relegated the white stuff to crispy perms of the eighties, but I shouldn’t have been so judgey! Rather than the stiff, sticky stuff of my hair nightmares, Wella’s EIMI Root Shoot is a lightweight mousse which leaves hair bouncy rather than crisp!

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After washing and conditioning my hair as normal, I use a Wet Brush to brush out my hair, then spray a little heat protectant through my lengths and ends. Then it’s time of mousse! I take a small sphere of the stuff (smaller than a tennis ball) and comb it through my roots, using my fingers to work it all in. The Root Shoot smells incredibly – very fresh and clean, and then it’s time to blow dry! As normal, I use a round boar bristle brush to soothe and straighten my naturally wavy ends. The addition of the mousse means my hair feels swingy and bouncy, even after getting the straighteners out. The Root Shoot is also a perfect product to use if you’re after an up do. It gives hair a little bit of texture which keeps it in place all day long, without veering into helmet head territory! The extra value that the mousse gives my hair is perfect for days when I want to look that little bit more put together, and the effects last well into the night.

Wella EIMI Root Shoot is priced at £10.20 and is available here.

Zoella Catching ZZZ’s Cosy Night In Collection*

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I’ve mentioned before about my love of buying gifts for my nearest and dearest, and one spot which has really impressed me this year has been High Street favourite Boots. It would be too easy to write off the ‘chemist’ as somewhere to pick up something on a last minute basis, but in fact, their offering is both varied and seriously impressive. They also have some gorgeous little home wear bits and bobs, which are perfect if you’re looking to treat yourself or someone close.

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I’m sure you’ve all heard about the Zoella drama which kicked off about her much anticipated advent calendar, but one of the line up which I feel has been overlooked is the Catching ZZZ’s Cosy Night In Set. Containing a cute little cable knit covered hot water bottle as well as a sleep mask, its a lovely little addition to any winter nights in you might be planning! The hot water bottle, complete with pine green faux fur pom poms is adorable – I love popping it into bed on cold nights so I don’t need to deal with cold sheets! It’s surprisingly grown-up considering it comes from the Queen of Tweens, so I’m sure anyone on your list would love to wake up to one of these on Christmas morning!

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The second part of the set is the super soft eye mask, which comes complete with rose gold lash appliqué. It’s a cute little addition to the set, and the fabric it’s made from is incredibly soft, so it won’t tug on delicate skin. The strap is elasticised, so it should fit most people, and I have to say, I’ve slept with it on for the past few nights, and I’ve woken up refreshed, with no danger of a headache! The Catching ZZZ’s set is also a fab choice if you’re looking to bulk buy presents – it’s part of Boot’s 3-for-2 offer, which lets you pick up a third of your presents for free (and don’t forget those Advantage Card points!)!

Zoella Catching ZZZ’s Cosy Night In Collection is priced at £20 and is available here.

Kiko Cosmetics Candy Split Lipsticks*

Kiko Cosmetics Candy Split Lipstick

If you’re in the market for the cutest makeup around at the moment, I’d seriously suggest you take a look at Kiko’s stunning new Candy Split collection! Filled with candy coloured staples as well as some absolutely adorable makeup sponges which look like macarons, it’s a fun way to update your makeup bag! I’ve been loving the Candy Split Lipsticks in 01 and 03 for day and for night! Not only are the colours just beautiful, but the candy striped packaged is just adorable!

Candy Split Lipstick in 01 Cherished Rose is the most perfect bubblegum pink! Applied direct from the bullet, the lipstick gives an opaque wash of colour. I love the shade for a fun pop of colour throughout the day, and even patted onto lips with a finger gives a stunning ombre effect. Since the lipstick has a glossy finish, the wear-time isn’t the longest, but I can get around an hour and a half per application. (And when the lipsticks themselves are as cute as these Kiko offerings, who minds pulling it out for a touch up?)

The second shade in my collection is 03 Violet Glaze, which, for a hardcore neutrals fan like me, is a really dramatic choice! Worn with a natural, low-key tanned makeup look, it’s a fun and modern update for the festive season. The cool toned lipstick leaves teeth looking surprisingly white, and it can be patted on for a sheerer, more subtle effect. The texture is incredibly soft and balmy, so wearing a punchy colour like this feels far less intimidating than normal! It’s also perfect for disguising winter-ravaged lips. Both lipsticks also have a dreamy vanilla scent which is super delicious!

The line includes another two fun shades to choose from (a lavender and a seriously dramatic sage green) and the lipsticks are priced at £5.90 each and are available here.

Laura Geller All Over Glow*

Laura Geller All Over Glow

If you’re looking to inject a little glitz and glam into your makeup this holiday season, I don’t think you can get much better than Laura Geller’s All Over Glow Kit. A bumper highlighter and body applicator set, I’ve got a feeling that this set will keep your skin glowing well into 2019!

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Packaged in a chic compact, this is a seriously multi-use product. The kit comes with a lollipop body applicator which gives skin a noticeable sheen. Brushed on shoulders and clavicles, it gives a gorgeous, healthy sheen which is perfect for Christmas Party Season! It’s also easy to build up or diffuse depending on the look you’re after. A big fluffy brush gives a natural looking sheen, whilst you can even use the product damp if you’re after something a bit more dramatic!

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The compact is possibly the biggest highlighter I’ve ever seen! As with all Laura Geller formulas, this one is an absolute dream. It’s buttery soft, and applies evenly. The baked formula is quite sheer at first, but it’s easy enough to build up.

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The set is a gorgeous gift for those who wish to glow all year long, or if you fancy treating yourself to a lovely little something this winter!

Laura Geller All Over Glow is priced at £35 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

YSL COUTURE VARIATION LIMITED-EDITION MAKEUP PALETTE*

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When it comes to palettes, I’m normally the girl that goes straight for the beiges and browns. I like palettes which I can pop in a makeup bag and use day in and day out, but sometimes it’s fun to push the boat out. So, when YSL sent over their new Couture Variation Palette in Nothing is Forbidden, it’s fair to say it was love at first sight!

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Packaged in a slick black compact, complete with holographic YSL branding, this is not a palette for the faint of heart! Containing five eyeshadows and five lipsticks, it’s been inspired by iconic Studio 54, so you can expect a whole lot of glitz and glam!

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The left side of the palette is devoted to lip colours, and has enough shades to keep you going throughout the Festive season! The nude-pink on the very end is the perfect nude lip colour. Subtle enough to balance a dramatic eye, and pretty enough to wear day after day.

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The other four shades are a stunning mix of pinks, purple and a coral which can be mixed and matched depending on how dramatic a look you’re after! The finishes range from satin to gloss, so it’s easy to tweak your look throughout the day. I love to pat a little of the deeper and dramatic shades into my lips for a softer take on the look. As you would expect from YSL, the wear time for all of the lipsticks is great – the deeper colours can last all evening, whilst the sheerer shades need a bit of a re-do after an hour or two.

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The eyeshadows in the palette are absolutely stunning too! A mix of shimmery, holographic shades as well as a super-black lining shadow and white holographic highlight shade. The shadows in the palette feel more like toppers than shades which can intensify an eye look and add a little shimmer.

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The palette also comes whith a dinky double-ended brush, with an angled end, which is surprisingly great at creating slick liner look.

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Even though the palette has been released as part of YSL’s winter 2017 collection, I can se myself reaching for this all year round – the fun lip shades coupled with the gorgeous shadows makes this a perfect party palette!

The YSL COUTURE VARIATION LIMITED-EDITION MAKEUP PALETTE is priced at £49 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

 

Jaguar Pace Accelerate* & a giveaway!

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I’m not going to lie, when it comes to Christmas, one of my very favourite parts of the year is the present buying. I enjoying trawling the shops (when they’re quiet) and through the internet to find the perfect little something which (I hope) will bring a bit of extra joy to the recipient. I never buy things which people need per say, rather I like things which are a bit of a treat and a luxury. What I do find though though, is buying for boys. They’re notoriously practical, and there isn’t much fun in buying a new scarf or tie or whatever, so when Jaguar announced they were releasing their new cologne – Pace Accelerate, it went firmly onto my present radar!

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Packaged in a slick blue glass bottle, compete with roaring mascot, Jaguar’s Pace Accelerate is all slick lines and gloss. It’s been released to celebrate the brand’s new F-Pace Family Sport Car, and is designed to feel super masculine. It’s a stunning scent designed mimic the rush of driving the car. It starts of with fresh and fruity top notes of bergamot and mandarin, whilst heart notes of aromatic coriander, nutmeg and pepper lend a cool spiciness. As the fragrance settles on the skin, the base notes dry down to musk and vetiver, giving the scent an overall sense of crisp polish. It’s a luxurious medley, and one which I’m sure anyone would appreciate on Christmas morning!

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To celebrate the release of Pace Accelerate, Jaguar have very kindly given me a whole bottle to giveaway! Whether you’re looking for a last minute gift for someone special, or you’d rather just treat yourself, it couldn’t be easier to enter! Just head over to my twitter here, follow me, and retweet the pinned competition tweet! The Giveaway is open to UK residents only (sorry international people – shipping fragrance is a nightmare) and is running until 23.12!

 

Lush – The Birth of Venus Jelly Face Mask*

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Is it just me, or does winter just throw your skincare routine onto its head? I know I need to double down on products which moisturise and nourish skin, but in addition to feeling parched, my sky just sometimes feels all over the place. Which is why I’ve been looking to add as many balancing and nourishing face products into my regime as possible. The most recent of which is the stunning Birth of Venus Mask from skincare-favourite Lush!

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A member of Lush’s new Jelly Face Mask lineup; the Birth of Venus promises to tone and soothe skin, thanks to the inclusion of chamomile and sea water in the formula. It’s a great option if you’re looking to balance your skin, and eep it look its best for Christmas Party Season!

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I’ve been using the mask once or twice per week, and have just loved the result. After cleansing, I take a little of the jelly in between my fingers, and rub it together until the consistency changes to an almost sticky balm, then I rub it into my face. It smells absolutely incredible – fresh and slightly herbal. Lavender and Rose Absolute work together to leave skin looking and feeling brand new, whilst the seawater in there works as a gentle toner. I tend to leave it on for five to ten minutes depending on how much work my skin needs. Then I use a hot, clean flannel to wipe it all off. Once it’s off, my skin feels absolutely brand new! It’s so soft and smooth, and I’ve also found that the mask works well in reducing redness too!

It’s the perfect quick-fix for winter ravaged skin, and thanks to it’s cute and dinky packaging, I think it would be a perfect stocking-stuffer too!

Lush’s The Birth of Venus Jelly Face Mask is priced at £6.95 and is available here.

 

Evo Mane Tamer Shampoo & Conditioner*

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As something of a not-so-natural blonde, keeping hair in as good condition as possible is always something of a concern. I wash and blow dry my hair every morning (as well as use straighteners on it) so anything which promises to add a little life back to my battered ends is always welcome with me!

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Evo’s Mane Tamer Shampoo and Conditioner combination is perfect if you’re looking to smooth ends and give your hair a new lease of life for the festive season. Evo’s Mane Tamer shampoo is designed to cleanse, hydrate and smooth hair, as well as adding some much needed strength. It smells incredible, and leaves hair lovely and clean without feeling stripped.

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After shampooing, I’ve been following up with a generous smear of the Smoothing Conditioner. It’s a wonderfully rich formula, which can act as a mask when I leave it on for a while, yet it never weighs down hair. Instead, it just leaves hair swingy, bouncy and shiny, and really, what else can you ask for?

Evo Mane Tame Shampoo & Conditioner is priced from £24.95 per bottle and is available here

Too Faced Hangover Primer Spray*

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At this time of year, it can feel more than a little hectic. Between work, appointments and festive parties, you can be barring around all day, and not feel like you’ve had a moment to take a breath. So, when you’ve got to look for best from morning to midnight, there’s no worse feeling when you catch sight of yourself in the mirror, and your makeup has just gone. Every morning, I’ve been adding Too Faced’s Hangover 3-in-1 Replenishing Primer & Setting Spray into my routine, and if you need to look done all day, this is the product for you!

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A product which straddles the skincare/makeup divide, I give my face a light mist of the spray right after I’ve applied my moisturiser. It acts as a lightweight primer, and also seals in another layer of moisture (crucial at this time of year) as well as readying the skin for makeup. It’s got a summer-ready scent thanks to the coconut water in the formula, and it really works to soothe and cool post-shower skin. Then, once I’ve got most of my makeup on, I give it another mist. Since it can feel a little wet, I tend to do this pre-mascara, but it sets makeup like a dream, giving skin a wonderful, dewy finish. I can also pop the spray into my makeup bag for a mid-day refresh (it’s especially wonderful when I need to transform makeup from day to night appropriate!).

Too Faced Hangover 3-in-1 Replenishing Primer Spray is priced at £27 and is available here (UK) and here (US)