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When it comes to beauty rules, the one I simply cannot break, is taking off my makeup every night. I can’t remember the last time I woke up with mascara smeared under my eyes, and it’s a habit I’m glad I keep. Obviously late nights mean I use a cleanser which erases every scrap of makeup in one go, but on evenings where I have a little more time to enjoy the process, I tend to use a couple more products than normal. I start off with an eye makeup remover, then use a foaming cleanser, and to finish everything off, I end things with a cleansing water, which is where Rodial’s Dragon’s Blood Cleansing Water comes in.

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Packaged in my absolute favourite packaging for cleansing waters – you simply need to push a cotton pad on the pump nozzle for the perfect dose. It keeps everything clean and uncomplicated, and it looks seriously chic too! The transparent bottle lets you see when you need to order a top up as well as looking gorgeous. The cleansing water itself is pretty special too!

Although it sounds like something out of Game of Thrones, Dragon’s Blood is actually aa plant resin which ensures skin protection against environmental aggressors – perfect if you’re a city slicker! The cleansing water also contains Rose Water to soothe and refresh, and Hyaluronic Acid which keeps skin hydrated. The cleanser also works to reduce redness in skin – my number one concern and brightens skin without stinging or drying it out.

After using the cleansing water, skin feels wonderfully fresh and clean without feeling stripped, and on days when I’m wearing little to no makeup, this is my sole cleanser of choice. Skin looks and feels so fresh after using the Dragon’s Blood Cleanser, and I love following it with a quick mist of this too!

Rodial Dragon’s Blood Cleansing Water is priced at £33 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

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When it comes to lip products, if it’s nude and glossy, I’m game. So when I rocked up to my nearest Sisley counter and caught sight of the Phyto-Lip Delights, I fell head over heels in love. Sisley already makes one of my favourite nude lipsticks (this one, available here) so getting my hands on a similar gloss felt like a no-brainer.

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One of three stunning shades available (I’ve reviewed 02 Pretty here), the nude is a cool, pinky taupe, which feels like the perfect neutral. I’ve been wearing it pretty much constantly since getting my hands on it.

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A perfect summer lip tint, 01 Cool gives lips a neutral glossy sheen, which looks as good with jeans as it does on a night out. The formula contains a blend of oils to hydrate and plump the lips including Shea, Jojoba and Plum oils as well as Padina pavonica extract, and the effect is a glossy pout which feels as good as it looks.

Sisley Phyto-Lip Delights are priced at £37 each and are available here (UK) and here (US)

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When it comes to hair, I’m a big believer in the simpler the better. Of course I envy those girls who whip heads of perfectly tonged waves around, but it never quite feels right when I do it. So, for the most part, I tend to blow dry my hair and give it a quick go-over with the straighteners, then I’m done.

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Some mornings though, I feel like I need a little extra oomph, which is exactly what Sachajuan’s Hair Powder is. If you’ve got hair that’s fine, or has a tendency to flatten out over the course of a day, a little puff of the Hair Powder is all you need.

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Using the Hair Powder couldn’t be easier – after washing, blow drying and straightening my ends, I section the top layers of my hair, and give each underside a quick puff each to the roots. I then massage the powder in, and then fluff hair back into place. The powder feels completely weightless, and it doesn’t leave a white cast on hair either.

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A few puffs of the Hair Powder is all you need for a good boost of volume which lasts all day long. Unlike other hair powders I’ve tried, Sachajuan’s offering doesn’t leave hair looking matte – instead, hair stays shiny, whilst also enjoying a little extra oomph!

Sachajuan Hair Powder is priced at £32 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

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Now that the Edinburgh Festival has fully kicked off, if you’re visiting Edinburgh, you’re going to be looking for the best places to eat, drink and to stay. The Principal George Street Hotel should be a must-visit if you’re new in town – located right in the heart of the action, it’s newly renovated, and is one of the city’s most elegant spots.

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The Printing Press is the hotel’s restaurant, and serves up everything from breakfast to cocktails with everything in between, and it’s a fabulous little spot if you’re looking for an intimate meal in the capital. Snuggled into velvet booths, I love the old school feel of the restaurant, and when the opportunity to enjoy their new menu popped up, I couldn’t resist!

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With a focus on seasonal, local produce, there was a whole lot to decide on. So we did the right thing, and popped open a bottle of Vaporetto Prosecco (£30). Served icy cold, complete with a raspberry in each of our glasses, it was a perfect choice – full of lively little bubbles and with a soft lemon and pear fruit palate, it felt like the perfect accompaniment for a summer supper.

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Suitably fizzed up, neither of us could resist plumping for the Hand-dived scallops, carrot remoulade, basil and lemon butter (£12).

With seared edges and a pearlescent centres, the scallops were an absolute treat. Served alongside a crisp and crunchy carrot remoulade, this was truly summer on a plate.

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Since there’s nothing which quite beats a good steak – we couldn’t resist the Sirloin Steak (£26) which came serves with chips and a choice of sauce (we opted for bernaise). The Printing Press only serve up certified, grass-fed Tweed Valley Scotch beef, with steaks aged for a minimum of 28 days, so you know it’s got to be good!

fullsizeoutput_1f50And it absolutely was! Cooked to rare perfection, the steak melted in the mouth, and had a fabulous meaty flavour. The bernaise sauce was rich, and the chips were served up piping hot and perfectly crisp.

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I couldn’t resist the Dry-aged Tweed Valley beef burger, cheese in a sesame bun with chips (£15.50). When we were down at the Principal Hotel in York (full review here) we had indulged in a room-service supper of burgers, and I’d been aching for one since.

Again, the beef is Certified, grass-fed Tweed Valley Scotch beef, and it has to be the best burger in Edinburgh! Again, served with the Printing Press’ moreish fries, this took comfort food to a whole new level!

To enjoy alongside our mains, we couldn’t resist giving a couple of sides a go! We couldn’t resist a classic Rocket and Parmesan salad (£3.50), which was wonderfully fresh and peppery, whilst the Tarragon-braised leeks (£3.50) were a completely new experience. The tarragon give the leeks a hit of liquorice, and they were a delicious, unusual accompaniment to our meals.

After a pause to enjoy some more of our Prosecco, it was time for dessert – i.e. the hardest decision of the evening, because everything on the menu sounds like an absolute dream. The first one we chose was the Duck egg custard tart, rhubarb, white chocolate ice cream (£7.50) which was a study in rich, custard-y perfection. Rich, unctions and completely indulgent, the cooked rhubarb cut through wonderfully.

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I couldn’t resist ordering the Strawberry panna cotta, balsamic marshmallow, strawberry sorbet (£7.50) which has to be Edinburgh’s prettiest plate of food. Between the edible flowers, clouds of meringue and chewy home-made marshmallows, this not only looked incredible, but tasted pretty special too.

The block of strawberry panna cotta tasted like the most wonderful strawberry milkshake you can imagine, and when paired with the slightly bitter balsamic marshmallows, it was summer on a plate. The strawberry sorbet was absolutely incredible too – wonderfully fresh and full of fruity flavour.

Thank you so much to The Printing Press for having us! Dinner was absolutely incredible! You can find out more about The Printing Press here.

 

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When it comes to skincare, I’m all about keeping things moisturised. Naturally I have quite dry skin, which can also be quite sensitised, so I’m always on the lookout for products which soothe and hydrate skin without irritating or overwhelming my skin. Night creams can be a bit hit-or-miss, so I’m always on the lookout for a new favourite.

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When I visited the most recent Zen Lifestyle event (which you can read about here) I was very kindly sent home with an incredibly generous goody bag, inside of which I found Murad’s Essential-C Night Moisture, and I’ve been using it pretty much nightly ever since! Smoothed onto freshly cleansed skin, the Night Moisture feels wonderfully nourishing without overwhelming skin. The formula contains vitamins A, C and E which encourage cell turnover to improve skin firmness, and the patented Skin Repair System increases skin elasticity and skin firmness whilst encouraging collagen production and healthy cell renewal which help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Murad Essential-C Night Moisture is priced at £65 and is available from Zen Lifestyle Spas in Edinburgh, as well as here (UK) and here (US)