Kiko Creamy Stylo Lipstick 01 & 04*

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Have you managed to catch your breath after Christmas yet? It feels like this festive season is going by in a bit of a blur, but I’ve loved every minute of it. All the Christmas parties and evenings out have been a great excuse to get some glitter out, and I’ve also managed to give Kiko’s new Creamy Stylo Lipsticks a good run!

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Part of the brand’s 2.0 collection, the Creamy Stylo Lipsticks are the perfect choice if you’re in the market for a new lippie! Available in a choice of 5 shades, including a rather brave grey shade, I’ve been so impressed by the premium-feeling formulas and rich colours. 04 Deep Kiss feels like the perfect Christmas red lip colour. A rich, deep burgundy, it feels like such a premium choice! Applied straight from the bullet, the formula is incredibly soft and creamy, and the colour is perfectly opaque. The lasting power of the shade is equally impressive – I got nearly three hours of wear before I needed to touch up, and I’m obsessed with the satin finish.

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For day wear, I’ve been heavily relying on 01 Innovative Nude. It’s a perfect dusky pink with a flattering peach undertone. Unlike some neutrals I’ve tried previously, this one doesn’t leave lips looking chalky, instead, it’s incredibly flattering. Since it’s a real your-lips-but-better shade, its a great option if you’re after that natural look. I like a little patted into my lips for a subtle daytime look.

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It’s also a great lipstick choice to balance out a more dramatic eye look. The wear-time again is great. I get about two hours per application – and touching up isn’t an issue when your lipstick looks as good as this one does! Like the whole 2.0 collection – the lipstick’s packaging looks like shagreen, and the navy colour feels incredibly chic.

As if the lipsticks couldn’t get any better, they’re currently half price here, for a tiny £4.90 each

Skinade Collagen Drinks*

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Have you started about your resolutions for 2018 yet? Mine aren’t exactly written in stone, but I know I want to start taking better care of myself. It’s nothing too dramatic – eat better, go to the gym more, and remember to take some time out for me once in a while. A part of eating better is adding supplements to stay as healthy as possible, so when I found a couple of bottles of Skinned in my Zen beauty gift bag, I was more than a little intrigued!

Marketed as a ‘collagen drink for beautiful skin’ it’s an incredibly easy way to add a little skin goodness into your routine, so your skin glows from the inside out. The bottles are filled with ingredients which have been designed to keep you looking your best. I was a bit dubious about the claims, but Skinade’s ingredients are chock-full of goodness. The collagen in the drink is sourced from fresh water fish, which are low in sodium, and have avoided mercury contamination, yet the drinks taste fruity thanks to the peach and mangosteen extracts.

As well as a healthy dose of collagen, the drinks also contain a wealth of good-for-you additions such as Vitamins C and B complexes, Omegas 3 & 6, MSM as well as L-lysine, which is an essential amino acid that is key to rebuilding the collagen matrix at cellular level. All of this sounds terribly science-y, but in essence, Skinade has been designed to plump and regenerate skin at a cellular level. Skinade promises you can see results in 30 days, which means if you start on them now, your skin will be all aglow before January is up!

It’s such an easy way to get a head start on my resolutions for the New Year – if only there was a gym membership in a bottle!

Skinade is priced at £105 for a 30 day supply, and you can find it here

Renunail Nail Strengthener*

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When it comes to habits one of the ones I’m happiest to have practised this year was getting my nails done regularly. Naturally I have what feels like the world’s worst nails – they’re soft and bendy, and they tear way too easily, so getting gels done every fortnight has meant the that I have hands that finally look like they belong to an adult. Of course, gels aren’t exactly great for nails either, so for a day or two between manicures, I apply Renunail Nail Strengthener.

Packaged like a regular polish, Renunail is completely clear, and works absolute miracles on my poor little nails. To get full effects of the product, they recommend that you apply two coats on your first day, nothing on days two, through four, then an additional coat on day five and two coats on day six. Since I’m not a fan of leaving nails bare for that long, I usually just do two coats on for a day or two, and I can really feel the benefits. My nails grow longer and feel far stronger than normal, and they’ve yet to peel.

If you’re a fan of a regular polish manicure, I think it would also make a great base coat for any colour you want to wear, with the added bonus to strengthening everything underneath!

Renunail is priced at £21 per bottle, and is available here.

St. Moriz Velvet Finish Tanning Gel*

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At this time of year it can be hard to feel like you have a minute to yourself. Between work, parties and evenings out, time is of the essence. So, in an effort to save as many precious minutes as possible, I’ve been using St. Moriz’ Velvet Finish Tanning Gel in an effort to beat my winter white skin. Promising to give salon results, without all the fuss (or expenditure), it couldn’t be easier to apply. Applied with a tan mitt to clean, exfoliated skin, the formula feels wonderfully silky, and it positively glides on.

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There are two shades available – Medium and Dark. Since I’m naturally the shade of paper, I’m a fan of Medium. It gives a natural looking glow without veering into the dreaded oompa loompa category, and it also works to soften skin. The effect is of a believable tan which can be built up day by day. I tend to apply each night for around three nights, then top up as required. Despite top ups, I’ve never suffered from any streaks or dirty knuckles, and I love how easy it is to keep my tan looking fresh!

St. Moritz’ Velvet Finish Tanning Gel is priced at £7.99 and is available here.

Clarins Lip Liner Pencil – 06 Red*

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If there was ever a time to wear a red lip, it’s now. After all, ’tis the season and all that! I have to admit though, sometimes I can find wearing a bold colour a bit intimidating. On a daily basis, I’m a neutral girl through and through, so when I opt for something brighter, I know it needs to be great.

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So, when Clarins sent over their Lip Liner Pencil in 06 Red, it was perfect timing! A stunning true-red shade, with a creamy opaque formula, this makes wearing colour an absolute breeze. After exfoliating my lips and applying a touch of balm, I fill them in using the pencil, then go over the top with this lipstick. The liner means application is flawless, and the colour lasts all night long. Perfect in a season full of parties and dinners out!

Clarins Lip Liner Pencil is priced at £17 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

Salon Success Jingle Mingle at Tigerlily Edinburgh*

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In the run up to Christmas, it’s easy feel more than a little frazzled, so, last month, when Salon Success got in touch to invite me to a Jingle Mingle, I couldn’t resist. Held in Edinburgh’s Tigerlily, a whole host of Edinburgh-based bloggers had been invited to find out what was new in the world of haircare.

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Ratherly cleverly, we’d all been invited for our different hair types – there was short hair, long hair, red hair … all so we could see the range of hair types catered to by Salon Success’ clients. With brands like Paul Mitchell and Gem Lites, it was really interesting to see what was new, and I’ve found some really HG products – the Marula Oil hair brush is incredible – imagine a Wet Brush but 100 times better! I’ve become more than a little obsessed with it!

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With copious amounts of prosecco on tap and beautiful goodies to learn about it was a perfect way to get into the Christmas spirit! I discovered a couple of killer brands I’d never heard of before (Gem Lites and Kenra) , as well as find new products from the iconic Paul Mitchell.

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As if an evening filled with the best of haircare wasn’t enough, we were also treated to a wonderful supper from George Street favourite Tigerlily. I’ve had a look at the menus online, and I don’t think any of the dishes we enjoyed are up there. But they were so lovely I had to share them anyway! Starters consisted of ham hock and cheese croquettes – wonderfully crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside, they were a great way to warm up from the soggy streets of Edinburgh outside!

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Our main courses were another perfect choice for a winter’s evening- slow cooked beef on a bed of winter spinach and mashed potato.

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Dessert, I think was everyone’s favourite. A berry parfait was served with a rich pistachio cream, honeycomb and chopped pistachios. It was such a stunning looking dessert, and the mix of flavours was just lovely.  It was the perfect way to round off the evening, after wishing everyone an early Merry Christmas, we all went home laden with new products to try.

Clean Reserve Blonde Rose*

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I’m not sure if it’s that I’m getting older and more mature in my choices, or maybe I’m just a bit weird, but over the past few years, I’ve found myself looking for perfume choices which are unusual and a little bit obscure. Luckily it’s never happened to me, but I can’t imagine anything worse than walking down the street and stumbling across a stranger who smells like you! A brand which is all about just smelling good, and like yourself is Clean Reserve. I’ve been developing a bit of a Clean Reserve habit recently, and my newest bottle – Blonde Rose, is a perfect choice for winter wear.

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Packaged in the brand’s signature low key packaging, Blonde Rose sounds like everything I would dislike in a fragrance. I’m not a rose or a musk fan, but this is an absolute game changer of a scent for me. Rather than a punch of rose, Clean Reserve’s offering is softer – almost powdery, but thanks to the use aldehydes as top notes, it has a wonderfully unisex feel.

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As you would expect from the brand, Blonde Rose is a fresh, clean feeling scent to wear. I’ve found it to be the perfect fragrance to wear during the day, especially in cold weather. It’s a bit of a punchier option than my regular perfumes, and it holds up beautifully throughout the day. It’s one of those gorgeous scents, that when you spray it on your scarf, you can still smell it at the end of the day. In fact, I can still smell it on clothes days later, yet it never feels overpowering. The heart notes of sandalwood leave a warmth on the skin which lasts all day, as you can probably tell, I can’t get enough of the perfume!

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Clean Reserve Blonde Rose is priced at £79 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

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.

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.