Estee Lauder Matte Perfecting Primer*

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If you’re anything like me, days are getting increasingly busy, and nights are just as hectic! All that running around is certainly great fun, but it means that the time I can spend on my makeup is down to an absolute minimum, so a great primer in the morning is a real must have!

F1ivV295Qga1ar9guWGVfw_thumb_25c42Estee Lauder’s Matte Perfecting Primer is an absolute godsend for keeping skin looking as flawless as possible. Even though I like skin to have a dewy look, when you’re running around in the ‘delightful’ Scottish weather, it can leave you looking and feeling a little bedraggled, so a little of this in the morning is the perfect way to keep looking as tidy as possible. In the morning, after using my regular moisturiser, I smooth a pea-sized amount on using my fingers, then apply my foundation or tinted moisturiser as normal.

Unlike a lot of primers, Estee Lauder’s doesn’t leave skin feeling dried out or tacky. Instead, it just creates a flawless base, which lets makeup sit beautifully, and although it eradicates shine, it never leaves skin looking cakey or dry.

Estee Lauder’s Matte Perfecting Primer is priced at £22.50 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

A Christmas Party at Zen Lifestyle, Edinburgh*

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Now that Christmas party season is in full swing (seriously, how did that happen?), Friday night felt like the perfect opportunity to pop into Zen Lifestyle on Hanover Street to experience one of their Christmas parties.

The spa itself is a haven in the centre of Edinburgh – all high ceilings and orchids. You can step from George Street, heaving with Christmas shoppers, and the moment you enter the doors, it’s all left behind.

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I popped in on Friday night, packed full of beauty-lovers, there were Zen-tinis on offer care of Rabble, as well as some incredible beauty offers. As I pondered some potential Christmas presents, everyone buzzed around, enjoying the atmosphere.

I had no idea that Zen Lifestyle stocked so many incredible brands – there were gift packs from Murad, Elizabeth Arden Professional and Neom.

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I fell absolutely in love with the Christmas Wish candles – they’re just the thing for creating a cosy atmosphere in the run up to the big day! Unfortunately I had to rush off to meet friends for supper, but I was very kindly sent on my way clutching the most generous of goody bags – I’m sure I’m going to pop back in and pick up a few bits and pieces!

You can find out more information about Zen Lifestyle here

 

 

Urban Decay Naked Heat*

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Since the nights have gotten longer, I’ve been loving wearing a slightly more dramatic eye look at night. As someone who lives in a subtle smokey brown during the day, it’s an easy thing to build on, and Urban Decay’s newest Naked palette – Heat is such a versatile addition to my collection.

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Packaged in undoubtedly the most eye-catching packaging of the NAKED line up, it’s not a palette which you’re going to lose in your stash. Like the rest of the NAKED options, you get 12 shadows and a double ended brush.

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The shade choice in the palette feels like the most dramatic of any of the NAKED palettes. With a majority of the shadows falling into the rusty, burnt red category, if you’re looking to warm up your eye looks, this is the palette for you!

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The left hand of the palette has the few cooler tones, with shadows which feel more like base choices. The lightest shade, Quince gives a beautifully subtle sheen in the inner corners and on the brow bone. Chaser is a perfect all over lid choice, whilst Sauced gives lids a hint of warmth and definition.

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The middle of the palette has some of the real show-stoppers! Whilst Low Brow, is the perfect liner shade, smudged into lashes for casual definition, Lumbre is a metallic rose chrome made for creating a show-stopping look. Perhaps the reddest shade in the palette is He-Devil (I’ve not been quite brave enough to give this one a go yet), Dirty Talk is a bronze-based shimmer which is super blendable, and Scorched feels like a pinker version of Dirty Talk.

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The palette finishes up with some of the deepest, most sophisticated shades you can imagine. Cayenne is a warm, russet-toned orange, whilst En Fuego is an almost beetroot red. For some dramatic definition, I am obsessed with Ashes – the rich plum shade feels incredibly grown up. The final shade, Ember, is a smokey eye in a single shadow. Reserved for evenings when I want to go all-out, it’s a real showstopper.

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As with all eyeshadows from Urban Decay, the colour payoff is great, and they’re all easy to blend. The double ended brush is easy to wield, and even though I tend to stick to my regular shadow brushes, it’s always good to have a spare! Also, the huge mirror is such a godsend for when you’re in the mood to do your eyes on the go!

Urban Decay NAKED Heat is priced at £39.50 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

Diptyque Do Son Eau de Toilette

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When it comes to fragrance, I am admittedly rather predictable. If it has white flowers in the mix, chances are I’m going to be a fan. So, when I was in Space NK the other day, picking up a few bits and pieces for Christmas, I found myself at the Diptyque fragrances, and I fell absolutely in love with their Do Son scent.

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Named for a Far Eastern beach resort, Do Son is the kind of rich tuberose I just adore. Even as an eau de toilette, it packs quite a powerful punch – soapy and clean, I love this for the colder mornings – it feels incredibly indulgent and comforting to wear, and a quick spritz lasts all day long.

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As the perfume dries down, notes of Orange Leaves and Pink Peppercorn become more apparent. It’s a beautifully balanced scent, and once I’ve become absolutely addicted to!

Diptyque Do Son is priced at £64 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

Fall 2.0 Eye Contour Mask*

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If you’re anything like me, a sniff of anything alcoholic, made of carbs, or even just a late night, can leave my eyes looking puffy and feeling hot. So, when I caught sight of Kiko’s new Fall 2.0 Eye Contour Mask, I had to give it a go.

Packaged like a regular sheet mask, this one covers just the areas around your eyes, leaving you looking not unlike a superhero when you’ve got it on. Working to soften and energise skin, the mask leaves you looking and feeling relaxed and refreshed.

Kiko’s Fall 2.0 Eye Contour Mask is priced at £3.90 and is available here.

Boots Botanics Hot Cloth Cleansing Balm*

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I’m not sure about you, but in Edinburgh, temperatures have taken a sudden plunge. Where a week or two ago, I could run around in a sweater, now I have to grab a parka. As a result, I’ve been trying to keep as much moisture in my skin as possible.

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One of my tactics has been to introduce Boots Botanics’ Hot Cloth Cleansing Balm into my regime. Packaged in a simple little white screw top jar, the balm is made with 97% organic ingredients, and it feels seriously premium to use. Every evening, I take a small amount of the balm in between my fingers, warm it up a little, and work it into my face. I pay close attention to areas like my eyelashes and eyebrows, as it gets makeup off incredibly easily.

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After working the balm into my face for a minute or so, I use a warm, wet, clean flannel, and take everything off. I finish off my cleansing routine with a few swipes of Micellar Water. With ingredients including rosehip, the cleansing balm leaves skin feeling soft and smooth, and, most importantly, it locks moisture in. I don’t have to wake up with parched skin, and it eradicates every sign of makeup – no more waking up with mascara on my pillow!

Boots Botanics Hot Cloth Cleanser is priced at £8.99 and is available here.

Kiko Fall 2.0 Blush Brush

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When it comes to brushes, I like to keep everything as simple as possible. On a daily basis, I tend to keep it to a bronzer and eyeshadow brush, and if I’m feeling fancy, I’ll throw in an eyeliner brush. But when it comes to doing my makeup properly, I need a few more tools.

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My new favourite, for days then I want to look more polished, has been Kiko’s 2.0 Angled Face Powder Brush. It’s called a blush brush, but honestly, it’s more like contour-by-numbers. The angled brush slides into the hollow of my cheeks, and gives a naturally sculpted look with exactly zero effort!

Kiko Angled Face Powder Brush is priced at £14.90 and is available here.

Blaq Hydrogel Eye Masks*

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It’s Sunday night, which means for many of us, it’s time for a bit of ‘maintenance’ in order to look and feel as fresh as possible for the week ahead. I know my Sunday evening showers are full of buffing and scrubbing away, but what can you do once you’re out of the bathroom?

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I tend to throw on a moisturising sheet mask, and call it a night, but recently a new product has worked its way into my routine. Blaq’s Hydrogel Eye Masks are not a product you’re going to want to see anyone whilst wearing! They’re very black, and feel also rubbery, but they’re also super refreshing if your eyes are feeling worn out from a busy weekend.

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Popped on to a clean under eye area, they mould to the skin, and feel wonderfully cooling. Filled with activated charcoal (known for its ability to soak up toxins) these masks somehow kill all signs of puffiness – leaving you looking and feeling fresh. Exactly what we all need on a Monday morning!

A pack of 5 masks is priced at £22 and is available here

 

Harvey Nichols Gift With Purchase

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So I think it’s fair to say that Harvey Nichols are keeping their crown for best ever gifts with purchase! Whilst other brands and stores give away a mini eye cream or two, Harvey Nicks is treating you to a whole makeup bag of goodies!

To claim your treasure, all you need to do is spend over £250 on three or more beauty items, and when the selection is as good as theirs, that’s the easy part! Inside you’ll find:

Barber Pro Face Mask
beautyblender Liquid Cleanser
Caudalie Divine Oil
Cellex-C HydraSmooth Moisturiser
DAFNI £20 voucher
Daimon Barber Texture Clay
Deborah Lippmann Cuticle Oil
DHC Mini Cleansing Oil
Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Extra Strength Peel Pads`
Dr Hauschka Facial Toner
Dr Paw Paw Mini Original balm
Emma Hardie Protect and Prime
Environ Complimentary Skin Analysis
Eve Lom Cleanser
Foreo Play
Ghd Final Fix Hairspray
GP Nutrition One day trial
Iconic Mink Lashes
Invisibobble Original – Wonderland collection
Lucia Magnani Rejuvenating Eye Cream
Mario Badescu Facial Spray
Omorovicza Gold Shimmer Oil
OUAI Hair Oil
Peter Thomas Roth Anti-aging Cleansing Gel
Pixi by Petra Glow Tonic
R+Co High Dive Dream
Regenerate Toothpaste
Revitalash
Rodial Bee Venom Micro-Sting Patches
SHOW Beauty Working Texture Spray/Volume Mousse
Skin Laundry Skin Purifying Cream Cleanser
StriVectin Advanced Retinol Eye Cream
Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream/C.E.O. C+E Antioxidant Protect + Repair Moisturiser
The Organic Pharmacy Peel Mask/Clay Mask
This Works In Transit Camera Close-up
Sand & Sky Purifying Pink Clay Mask

I know I’m currently deciding what I need to purchase! You can find out more here.

Lush Hair Doctor Hot Oil Treatment*

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As someone with not-so-natural blonde hair, I’ve got to be careful. Too much bleach, heat styling and drying products can leave hair dried out, dull and fuzzy, so I’m all about keeping lengths in as good condition as possible. There is only so much that conditioner can do, so when I heard about Lush’s new Hair Doctor treatment, I couldn’t wait to give it a try!

Packaged like a lollipop, to use, simply fill a mug with boiling water (leaving a little space at the top) and stir in the hot oil treatment until it has completely melted. I allowed the treatment to cool for 20 minutes before applying to dry hair. Then I hopped into the bath and let it all sink in for 20 minutes before shampooing out.

The formula is packed with good-for-hair ingredients – for a healthy scalp, there is deep cleansing fuller’s earth, stimulating peppermint oil and anti-bacterial rosemary oil. Chamomile blue oil calms and soothes irritated scalps, red henna and lanolin give hair strength and shine, whilst the triple act of jojoba, almond and extra virgin coconut oils ensure shine and softness.

Its a genius product, and just what you need if you’re looking for strong and healthy hair.

Hair Doctor is priced at £6.50 and is available here.

Clarins Palette 4 Couleurs 06*

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For someone like me, whose makeup tends to consists of the same three colours, autumn feels like my time to shine. After all, when can you find more taupes, browns and beiges than now? But Clarins, has pushed me a little out of my comfort zone, with their beautiful new Palette 4 Couleurs 06.

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I just adore Clarins’ eyeshadow palette packaging – it never fails to feel wonderfully chic and grown up.

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Inside are four of the most beautiful shadows. I’ve not really experimented with greens before, but 06 makes it seem easy. The inclusion of a petal pink highlight shade also lightens everything up.

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As you would expect from a brand like Clarins, the texture of the shadows is absolutely divine. Buttery soft, with great colour payoff, creating an easy smoky eye with the shades is incredibly easy.

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I tend to use the lightest, sage green shadow on the lid, deepen my crease and under lash line with the forest green, line my upper lash line with the darkest shadow, and buff the pink into my brow bones and inner corners.

The effect is exactly what I’ve been after – different enough from my everyday look to feel special, without being too over the top. The green feels surprisingly wearable, and absolutely perfect for the colder evenings. The shadows have also been designed to be able to be used wet or dry, depending on how dramatic you’d like your look to be!

Clarins 4 Couleurs 06 is priced at £33 and is available here (UK) and here (US)