It’s not exactly groundbreaking that summer heralds a return to serious body care. You can’t cover up dry heels and rough elbows with boots and sweaters when it’s hot and stick outside. So I’ve been on the lookout for the best products to make life a bit easier, and a real favourite of mine has been Odylique’s Honey & Oat Cleansing Bar.
I’ve loved products from the brand before, so I was excited to try out this hunk of soap. Studded with natural oats to aid exfoliation, I love how chunky it feels in the hand, and it smells softly sweet thanks to the honey in the formula. I tend to use mine every evening, it’s perfect for before shaving, and despite leaving skin super soft, it is incredible gentle.
Indeed, it’s so gentle you can even use it on your face! I’ve been keeping mine on my arms and legs though, and have really seen the benefit. My skin stays soft and smooth, and it never feels as dried out as it usually does in the heat. Once I’ve jumped out the shower, I then smooth on a little coconut oil. It’s the perfect combination for summer skin!
Odylique Honey & Oat Cleansing Bar is priced at £6.50 and is available here.
One of the first skincare products I ever got really excited about was Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate. I remember reading the reviews online, with beauty editor after blogger proclaiming the magic worked by a couple of drops applied in the evening. Obviously I had to have it. And honestly, I’ve not been without a bottle since. Then, a few years ago, I bought a tube of the Midnight Recovery Eye Cream, and again I was pretty much blown away by it.
So, when Kiehl’s released their new Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil, there was no way I couldn’t try it. Packaged in the line’s signature midnight blue bottles, the oil comes with a pump dispenser, which means everything stays clean, tidy, and most importantly, hygienic.
As the name might suggest, the Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil is perfect for your pm routine. Since it’s an oil, it’s great at removing makeup – even mascara and eye liners melt away with a couple of drops of the stuff. after dampening my face with warm water, I use two pumps of the oil to fully cleanse my face. It smells divine thanks to the “Midnight Recovery” blend of ingredients: Squalane, Evening Primrose Oil, and Lavender Essential Oil work to both hydrate the skin as well as cleanse it. After washing off with a damp flannel, my skin feels so soft and smooth. It’s ready for a couple of drops of the Midnight Recovery Concentrate and swipe of the eye cream, and I’m off to bed!
Kiehl’s Midnihgt Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil is priced at £32 and is available here (UK) and here (US)
When it comes to a subtle sheen, there feels like there are a million highlighters out there. Whether you’re after a powder, gel or liquid formula, spin around the beauty aisles, and chances are you’ll find what you’re looking for. So, when I saw the newest offering from Laura Geller, released to celebrate the brand’s 20th birthday, I had to get my hands on it!
When I heard it was called ‘Diamond Dust’ I had visions of a packed, glittery, shimmery highlighter, instead it’s a warm ivory shot through with a pink micro-glitter. I’m not going to lie, in the pan it looks a touch underwhelming. Laura Geller’s pans aren’t the glitziest on the market, but once you crack open the lid, the magic really happens!
That’s when you see a feint pink glow appear in sunshine. This isn’t an ordinary, everyday highlighter. Not even a little bit – this is more akin to fairy dust or a unicorn. Much like Laura Geller’s regular highlighters, the texture of this one is dreamy. It feels incredibly soft and almost creamy to touch. I like applying mine with a large fan brush for a soft, diffused look. It blends seamlessly into skin, and it absolutely comes to life when the light catches it!
Blended across cheekbones, brow bones and lids, it looks incredible. Violet, pink or silver depending on the light, this is a product absolutely made for special occasions! It feels almost space-age to wear, and I just adore how fun it feels!
Laura Geller Diamond Dust Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator in Diamond Dust is priced at £21 and is available here (UK) and here (US)
Urban Decay’s new skincare line has quickly become one of my favourites. With a great mix of moisturisers and cleansers, it feels well thought out and incredibly balanced. There are some products too, which make you wonder why no one has ever thought of before. Case in point? The Meltdown Makeup Removing Spray.
Packaged like the brand’s bestselling setting sprays, the Meltdown does pretty much the exact opposite. It’s the perfect product if you hate removing makeup – the spray takes the work out of cleansing. Simply dampen skin, then spritz on a little of the spray.
The product is basically a spray-on cleansing oil, and as a result, it’s incredible for removing stubborn makeup like liners, mascaras and lipsticks. After spraying on damp skin, I use my fingers to work the product in, then I wash off using warm water and a clean flannel. Since my skin breaks out easily, I tend to follow up with a foaming cleanser. The spray really takes away the effort of makeup removal – no more panda eyes with this one!
Urban Decay Meltdown Makeup Removal Spray is priced at £23.50 and is available here (UK) and here (US)
When it comes to harsh conditions on skin, I’m not sure anything really beats space, but Edinburgh certainly comes close! As someone with dry skin normally, a change of climate can wreak havoc, so I’m always looking for products which keep me feeling as soft and healthy as possible!
So, when I heard about 111Skin’s Space Aqua Booster, I had to get mu hands on it! With a formula boasting 2 moisture boosting complexes, it’s just the product if your skin tends towards dryness. I tend to use a couple of drops each morning, right after washing and drying my face.
The drops have a thick, serum-like consistency, which leave skin feeling plumped and hydrated without stickiness or greasiness. The Hyaluronic Acid in the drops helps skin retain moisture whilst Lactil instantly replenishes lost moisture by mimicking the skin’s natural moisturising factors. It’s an incredibly clever little product, which feels simple to use. There is also Vitamin E in there to protect the skin and reduce water loss. Once I’ve given the drops a minute or two to sink in, I follow with a little of my regular moisturiser (another gem by 111Skincare which I’ll review soon), but I can’t even tell you hope much I love the effect that the Space Aqua Booster has had on my skin!
111Skincare Space Acqua Booster is priced at £85 and is available here (UK) and here (US)
I’ve been a fan of cushion foundations for a while now. I love their light coverage, dewy finishe, and the fact that they’re usually quite an affordable base option. So, when Maybelline sent over their brand new Dream Cushion, I was rather exited.
Packaged in a dinky little compact, the cushion foundation is everything you need to create a flawless base. There is even a handy little puff to apply the foundation, in case you don’t like using your fingers.
Honestly, if you told me this came from a premium brand, I’d happily believe you. The colour (1 Natural Ivory) is the lightest of seven shades, so if you’re super light or dark skinned, matching might be an issue. The formula is quite sheer though, so you can hopefully make it work.
With an SPF 20, it’s a fabulous choice for a summer foundation, and I just adore the light, glowy coverage. It perfects skin without covering it up, and it is the perfect base for blushes and bronzers – never looking streaky or too heavy. I’ve been wearing it daily, and it’s become a real fave!
Maybelline Dream Cushion Foundation is priced at £13.99 and is available here (UK) and here (US)
When I first heard about the Restoration Yard late last year, I fell in love. Hard. It’s a place which feels unique in Scotland. A haven to escape to just outside Edinburgh, it’s one of those places I end up in whenever I need a little pick-me-up, or if I’m looking for a little treat.
Nestled in the heart of Dalkeith Country Park, The Restoration Yard has been developed over the past few years to be an absolute haven. A children’s paradise in the form of Fort Douglas (perhaps the world’s most incredible tree house and fort) sits beside the most fabulously curated store in the country.
Not only this, but there is also the most fabulous restaurant which serves an ever-changing seasonal menu. I popped in just before Christmas (you can read my review here) and I still dream about the venison ragu I enjoyed!
Whether you’re looking for a gift, or just a treat though, I guarantee you won’t be leaving empty-handed. There is a mind boggling selection of goodies in there, and they have all been specifically chosen for Restoration Yard. There is a real spirit of positivity behind each and every piece of stock.
I’ve found pieces by covetable like Ban.do, Rifle Paper Co and Bruket, and honestly, every time I pop in, my wish list just grows and grows!
It’s not just beauty and accessories which are stocked. There is a fabulous selection of both men and women’s clothing, and the children’s pieces are absolutely dreamy!
There is a whole food hall in there too – complete with another cafe perfect for a casual snack. There is also a whole range of classes to choose from if you’re into yoga and pilates – you can even book in for massage treatments soon!
The Restoration Yard is located in Dalkeith Country Park, which is only a 15 minute drive from Edinburgh. You can find out more here.
When it comes to creating a flawless base, I’m not sure if you can do better than Bobbi Brown. The queen of natural beauty, the brand was one of the first ‘makeup’ brands to take skincare seriously and branch into cosmetics.
The Vitamin Enriched Face Base has had a place in my beauty stash for as long as I can remember. Whenever my skin feels dried, stressed out, or just in need of a little TLC, it’s the cream I turn to, and in summer, if I’m looking to create a subtle glow, this is the cream I turn to.
Packaged in a chic little glass jar, the Vitamin Enriched Face Base has a rich, balmy texture which melts into skin effortlessly. It smells absolutely incredible, with a subtle citrus scent, and it makes skin feel absolutely incredible! Smoothing skin, and leaving it primed for makeup, it’s also the perfect base if you’re going to be doing some travelling – it keeps skin hydrated all day long.
Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base is priced at £42 and is available here (UK) and here (US)
Now that we’re in July, I’m loving injecting a bit of colour into my wardrobe – and so it seems, do Scunci and Sleek. Right in time for festival-season (as well and days at the beach), I’ve gotten my hands on the most beautiful pieces out there!
When it comes to hair elastics, Scunci are my go-to brand. They make elastics which are absolutely perfect – they hold my hair in place, and they’re always super cute! Case in point are these No Slip Grips. Made out of neon rubber, they don’t snag on hair, and they always look incredible. Since they’re waterproof, I always keep a handful of them in my beach bag.
Sleek Cosmetics have also jumped on the brights bandwagon. With a choice of twelve shades, this eyeshadow palette has to be the brightest in my collection. What I love most about the shadows (apart, obviously, from the fact that they are stunning) is the fact that there is a real balance between matt and shimmer shades.
To achieve a true neon look, I’ve found that priming my lids, then layering on the white shadow first is key. It really makes colours pop, and adds to longevity. The compact holds twelve shadows (a mix of brights with more subtle shades like grey and black, as well as a double-ended applicator.
The colours are seriously smooth and the pigments are surprisingly strong – I love a dot of pink or purple in the centre of my lid if I’m doing a dramatic smokey eye, and the navy blues are surprisingly wearable.
I can’t wait to experiment more with the shadows, as the colours are just so stunning – I’m thinking that these are the perfect choice if you’re planning some music-festival worthy looks!
Scuni No Slip Grip Elastics are priced at £3.49 and are available here (UK) and here (US), and Sleek’s i-Divine Eyeshadow Palette in Acid is priced at £8.99 and is available here
When it comes to drugstore makeup, Maybelline is one of my favourite brands. Time and time again, I grab a handful of products when I’m running around Boots, and they end up being absolutely incredible. So, when Maybelline sent over two of the newest shades of their Color Sensational Vivid Hot Lacquers, I was understandably excited.
So Hot, a fiery, almost neon red, feels perfectly fresh for summer. It’s got subtle blue tones in it which keep teeth looking pearly white, and I just cannot wait to wear this with a tan!
Applied straight from the tube, the gloss gives lips an even coat of opaque colour in a single sweep. The gloss is surprisingly pigmented, and I love the sweet, vanilla scent.
Unreal is a stunning blue-tone pink. A real your-lips-but-better shade, this have become my go-to shade for day to day wear.
For day to day use, I tap on a little of the gloss using my finger. It leaves lips looking polished, with a subtle sheen. If I’m after something a little more obvious, I apply it straight from the tube. Again, the gloss has a fun vanilla scent, and it’s so comfortable to wear – it doesn’t feel sticky or drying, and I easily get two to three hours of wear per application.
Maybelline Color Sensational Vivid Hot Lacquer is priced at £7.99 each and they’re available here (UK) and here (US)
If there is a trend which is perfect for summer – it’s got to be pretty, sheeny skin. Maybelline obviously agree, and have released a brand new one in the form of Master Strobing Liquid.
With an almost mousse-like formula, the Master Strobing Liquid melts into skin, leaving it with a perfect shell pink sheen. It’s so easy to apply the highlighter – I like to tap it into my cheekbones with my fingers for a subtle gleam, or, if I’m looking for something a touch more dramatic – it smoothes on gloriously with a BeautyBlender too!
Maybelline Master Strobing Liquid is priced at £7.99 and is available here (UK) and here (US)