Royal Ascot Collective

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Hat by Noel Stewart

One of the summer’s most glamorous events has to be the Royal Meeting which is held in the third week in June at Royal Ascot. Every year I adore looking at the hats and outfits that attendants have chosen to wear, as they can be the most heavenly chic creations!

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Hat by Philip Treacy

To celebrate the glitz and glamour of the races, Royal Ascot has partnered with six of the UK’s most fabulous milliners to create the collection which features a wardrobe of hats which are beyond amazing! Normally I’m not really a hat person – to be honest, I’ve not really attended too many events which require them, but the Royal Ascot Collective makes me wish I was heading down to the races this month!

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Hat by Stephen Jones

I’m not even going to try and pick a favourite from the six on offer – they run the gamut from classically chic all the way through to wonderfully avant-garde, and I so wish I could pull off this nautical number from Stephen Jones! The subtle colour palette of the hats is a perfect contrast to the stunning details, and I think they would be just beautiful paired with a simple dress and killer heels!

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Hat by Rachel Trevor Morgan

All six of the pieces on offer are completely timeless, and are the perfect celebration of the glamour of the races! I definitely think that they will become archive pieces in the future!

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Hat by William Chambers

Do you have a favourite?

Magicstripes*

Magicstripes

It’s a bit of an understatement to say that I’m always trying to find the newest, most unusual products. And I think I may have just about outdone myself with Magicstripes. Basically, if you suffer from heavy or droopy eyelids, you need to check these transparent silicon strips out!

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Magicstripes come in two sizes – small and medium, and if you’ve not tried them out before, I would recommend grabbing both sizes, to make sure you find which size works best for you. In addition to working with eye size, the small strips are recommended for normal, sagging eyes, whilst medium strips are best for big eyes and drooping eyelids.

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Despite looking quite complicated to use, the strips are super easy to get the hang of! Before applying, it’s best to prime your eyelids by removing any oils. To do this, I swipe the lids with a toner-soaked cotton pad, then I pat the area dry. Afterwards, you just peel off one of the strips and position it directly in the crease of the eye. The strips have adhesive which then sticks to the lid, and the magic happens!

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What I find incredible, is how subtle Magicstripes are. They feel almost weightless whilst on, and they make you look so well rested and alert. Thankfully, droopy eyelids are too much of a problem for me, but some members of my family (who, of course shall remain nameless) have become absolutely addicted to using them!

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Magicstripes are priced at £18 for 64 strips, and you can find them at Harvey Nichols

Harvey Nichols A Beautiful Mind Event*

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Last night, Harvey Nichols Edinburgh very kindly invited me to their Beautiful Mind Expert Panel Discussion. Nestled high up on the Forth Floor, the newest and best products for Spring and Summer were discussed by some of the stores experts, and I have to say, I had an absolute ball!

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The Harvey Nichols’ Beauty Hall is where I tend to go whenever I’m in the mood to treat myself, so when I had the opportunity to learn from the best, and absolutely jumped at the chance! The evening was hosted in the upstairs bar, and we were treated to the most perfect looking nibbles and copious amounts of fizz! It was a lovely way to meet people as excited about beauty as I am – and I was so excited to meet Debbie Jones, who is the head beauty buyer for Beyond Beauty.

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As well as being a serious beauty buff, Debbie gets to introduce the best and newest products to Beyond Beauty, so if you’re like me and are addicted to EOS lip balms or at-home beauty devices like Tria’s or Clarisonics, you have Debbie to thank! It was fascinating to learn about what’s popular up in Edinburgh versus elsewhere in the UK (EOS lip balms are a very big deal) and I loved learning about what’s coming up. London’s Beyond Beauty are going to be the first in the UK to open up a sculpting bar with Rodial, as contouring has become such a popular technique, and Debbie also talked about how important cleansing and at-home devices have become.

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Jacqui Fenner from Harvey Nichols’ Beyond MediSpa then shared about the incredible range of treatments which are available at the in-store spa. It’s one of the corners of the store I keep meaning to head into, but learning about their incredible treatments means I am booking up ASAP! Rather than the typical whale-music beauty salon, the Beyond MediSpa is far more futuristic! Instead of relying on products alone, the spa is focused on intelligent skincare and body treatments. Jacqui talked us through the Hydrafacial which is a new treatment which was introduced last year. The process includes everything from lymphatic drainage, hydra-dermabrasion, a mild peel as well as red light treatment.

She also talked about CoolSculpt which is the newest treatment at the spa. It sounds amazing! Basically, it’s a non-invasive way of getting rid of any areas which you can’t target with exercise. The treatment can be used on arms, tummy and thighs, as basically the fat is sucked and then frozen, and the fat cells crystallise and die. It’s a permanent solution, and one treatment can make you drop an entire dress size!

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Gillian from Tom Ford then explained about the brand’s rather impressive fragrance collection. She is so passionate about the brand, and it was fascinating to learn more about the thought process behind the perfumes. Rather than having delineated ‘male’ and ‘female’ scents, they are unisex and you really do need to take the time to see which fragrances really appeal. Gillian explained that Tom Ford doesn’t want his fragrances to appeal to everyone, but I think that once you find your fit, you really love it. We got to sample a little of the Neroli Portofino Body Oil (my favourite) and we all had serious scent envy!

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Michael Becman is a top Laura Mercier makeup artist, and has ‘made-up’ everyone from models to celebrities. He talked us through the top trends he is seeing with makeup, and was even kind enough to perform a demonstration of contouring. Since the Kardashians have become so popular, more and more people want to learn how to contour.

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The Laura Mercier Contour Palette has been swiftly added to my wish list after seeing Michael work his magic! He recommended to start contouring after applying foundation, and rather cleverly, the Laura Mercier kit has no warmth so whatever you contour gives depth to your face. Depending on your problem areas, contouring can shorten your forehead, slim your nose or lift your cheeks. Unlike the rather distressing Pintrest contouring tutorials I’ve seen, Michael’s work was like magic! He pressed the cream into cheek bones and chin, and instead of looking stripy, his model just looked well rested. It was incredibly subtle but so beautifully done. After working the kit to add depth, he used a highlighting shade to add some life to cheek and brow bones (always blend up!). Then, to finish off the natural look, he added a swirl of blush. To find your perfect flush, he recommended pressing just underneath your fingertips to see what colour suits you best!

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If contouring sounds like a little too much, he also shared what he loves for an easy, everyday look. Rather than just popping your regular moisturiser, Michael likes to apply a moisture mask for all day hydration, and he recommends attending to your brows rather than adding mascara if you want a bit of a lift. A touch of bronzer is then all you need to look beautifully natural.

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Manda Gunion from Nails Inc then talked us through what’s new from one of my favourite nail brands. Harvey Nichols Edinburgh has a Nails Inc manicure bar, where you can enjoy a glass of champagne alongside your mani or pedi. I love visiting before I have an event to go to, since it’s so fun getting to enjoy some bubbles alongside your pampering! This year marks the brand’s 16th birthday party, and Nails Inc are in the middle of rebranding their old style bottles from round to rectangular. The new bottles are incredibly well thought out – they are made of Venetian Glass, and the brush designs are patented to be as easy to use as possible. We got to see the stunning collaboration with Victoria Beckham which resulted in two exclusive colours, as well as new colours which are being released for Spring and Summer. Manda recommending plumping for the Judo Red, turquoise and yellow if you want seriously on-trend nails. She also talked about what’s new and coming for the brand; Alexa Chung has been signed as the newest face (or nails), and there is a new formula which easily washes off the nail. There is even a halal formula in the works which allows water to fully penetrate the polish! In store, there is also going to be an unlimited manicure card, which means, for £99, you can enjoy as many champagne manicures that you can squeeze into 8 weeks! This summer, the nail bar is also introducing a new pedicure treatment which sounds divine – it’s inspired by crystal, and as well as your regular moisturising treatments and massages, there is a warming jelly which deeply nourishes feet, leaving them toasty for hours after you leave the store. It will cost somewhere around £65 and it sounds amazing!

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Last, but certainly not least, was James Hoffman of Electric Hairdressing’s Edinburgh salon. It’s a relatively new edition to the Edinburgh store, and you can find it tucked in beside the MAC makeup counters. It looks super slick, and I’ve been meaning to head in and check it out! I’ve tried and loved Electric products in the past, so it was great to hear from James. He explained that the UK-produced products are more universal than brands like Kerastase, so they sort multiple hair-related issues. And, unlike a lot of salons I’ve been to, Electric also believe your hairdresser should be both your stylist and colourist so that you get a really bespoke look and service. If your in the mood for a seasonal change, James is seeing shorter, blunter looks and hair colour is getting lighter, with a move towards more ashy blondes.

After the experts had finished telling us about all of their wonderful departments, there was time to mingle, and get some one-on-one attention. I had such a wonderful evening, and I feel like learned an absolute tonne. Not to mention that my wish list has grown considerably! As if the evening wasn’t fabulous enough, everyone went home clutching the most generous of goody bags courtesy of the evenings’ brands.

I would like to say a huge thank you to Harvey Nichols for inviting me – I had an amazing time!

Saint Laurent Pointed Flats

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If you look at my Pinterest board, it soon becomes pretty obvious I have something of a uniform. I’m pretty minimalist in what I go for, so I think great shoes make an impact. I couldn’t resist these Saint Laurent flats when I saw them in Harvey Nichols a few weeks ago.

Saint Laurent Pointed Flats

Despite having something of a shoe addiction, I realised I didn’t really have too many pairs of pointy flats. I have my Rockstuds, but they sometimes feel too dressy or try-hard. So, when I saw these Saint Laurent beauties glinting in the lights, I just had to have them. I love how gorgeously understated they are. Slipping them on with a pair of skinny black pants feels seriously chic, but they look just as good with jeans or leggings! The high gloss of the patent feels a little more dressy than my usual kid leather, and I’ve been wearing them constantly!

They’ve now sold out at Harvey Nichols, but you can find them here

Harvey Nichols A Beautiful Mind Event

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Whenever I feel like treating myself to something a little luxurious, Harvey Nichols Edinburgh is always my first stop. The beauty hall is something to behold – all white and glossy and filled with the most marvellous cosmetics you can imagine!

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So, you can understand how excited I was when I heard about last night’s A Beautiful Mind event. To allow you to  fully get to grips with everything new in the world of Beauty, Harvey Nichols sometime hosts evenings like this. They are such a wonderful idea – the rest of the store is closed, so you feel like you’ve been let loose in the department, which is just filled with experts and people as obsessed with beauty as you are!

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Absolutely every brand in-store takes part, which means you get to have a chat with everyone from Chanel to Sisely, and if you are interested in any products, they are more than happy to let you play about with it!

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Since most of the brands have new releases at this time of year, it is the perfect way to learn about the newest lotions and potions.

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Throughout the evening there were demonstrations on everything from how to contour to fillers thanks to the store’s own MediSpa, and it was just blissful floating from counter to counter learning about what’s new!

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Prosecco helped the evening to start with a pop, and those who were after a slightly more healthful option were catered to with Kale shots courtesy of Nails Inc and a whole selection of drinks from Tea Pig. (On another note, how awesome are the Nails Inc girls’ sweatshirts! I was severely jealous!)

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I could have spent the entire evening swatching away, chatting about all the new and beautiful things which are new in for Spring! I have now added several items to my (already overly long) wish list, and I may have purchased a few of my new must haves!

*Thank you to Harvey Nichols Edinburgh for inviting me to A Beautiful Mind evening*

Shu Uemura Eye Need Shu Trio Pink

Shu Uemura Shupette Eye Need You Trio

I’m not sure I could love the Choupette-inspired Shu Uemura Christmas Collection any more! The little sketches of the kitty on the packaging are absolutely adorable, and even better, the products themselves are great staples. The last piece of my collection is the Eye Need You Shu Trio in Pink, a collection of buff, chocolate and pink eyeshadows.

Shu Uemura Eye Need You Trio Pink

The little white compact is dainty enough to be popped into your makeup bag, and the clear lid means that it’s easy to know I’m reaching for my eyeshadow trio rather thank my lip trio if I’m in a hurry! The shadow colour collection, as well as being incredibly pretty, is really well thought out. In the past I’ve been a little wary of pink eyeshadows, but Shu’s offering is beautifully sheer, and works well to warm up whichever shadow I’ve plumped for. I’ve found it to be most flattering when I wear it on the outside of my eye crease, it feels pretty and sophisticated that way, rather than making my look tired. The warm chocolate brown shadow is absolutely gorgeous – the formula has a subtle glitter running through it, and the colour payoff is great. For a casual day look, I pat it on using my finger, and if I need a more dramatic or defined look, I use an aged eye brush to use the shade as a liner. The final colour is a stunning sheer golden shadow. This is a perfect brow-bone highlighter, and it also looks incredible patted into the inner corners of my eyes. When I’ve been in a pinch, the shadow also works as a pretty highlighter for my cheekbones when I want a natural, dewy look.

The trio is absolutely gorgeous and is available for £30.00 here.

Aerin Weekend Palette*

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When I’m out and about, I always tend to drag half a dozen products around with me; my non-negotiables are bronzer and a lipstick or gloss. So, when I saw Aerin’s new Weekend palette I fell completely in love!

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Packaged in one of the brand’s signature glamorous gold compacts and nestled in an adorable pink moleskin pouch, the Weekend Palette includes everything you need to create a natural-looking face. Despite being in a very portable palette, you can experiment with two eyeshadows, bronzer, rose balm, rose balm lipstick, a highlighter and multi-use balm.

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The two eyeshadows have the most perfect creamy consistencies, and the colour payoff is great! Simplicity is a stunning neutral bone shade, and is perfect for using as an easy brightener, or as a base. The second shadow, Cocoa is a warm, shimmery chocolate brown. For day, I’ve mostly been using Cocoa as a liner and smudging it for a little definition, although at night it really comes into it’s own for a smoky eye! The colour payoff is really great and I only need to use the tiniest amount every time.

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The bronzer is a lovely warm sandy brown which is perfect for brightening complexions. I often find palette bronzers can be too warm or dark, but Aerin’s is light enough to give a glow without straying into oompa loompa territory!

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The four colours on the left are the highlighter, multiple, balm and lipstick. The multiple is great for creating a dewy complexion. Once my makeup is done, I dab a little of it into my cheekbones and brow bones. It gives a super natural looking glow which is just perfect for creating a no-makeup look. Below the multiple is the multiple which can be used for both lips and cheeks. Before applying bronzer, I press a little of the multiple into the apples of my cheeks for a healthy looking blush. I love the sheer warm bronze colour and it looks great when I’m going for an eau-natural look.

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The Rose Balm is one of my most-used. I adore my full size Aerin Balm and Balm Lipsticks (you can read about them here and here) and there is always at least one in my handbag. Having mini versions in the palette is therefore incredible for me! Both give a very sheer wash of colour and provide hydration, meaning you can combat winter dry lips!

The palette costs £48.00 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

Panda Moccis*

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The temperature has dropped dramatically over the past week or so. I’ve tucked away my lighter clothes, and I’ve turned my allegiances squarely towards snuggly sweaters and fur-trimmed down jackets, but when I’m back at home, I want to stay toasty. Thankfully, these awesome Moccis popped through the door exactly at the right time!

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Remember last year when I featured the children’s version as a Christmas gift idea (here)? Well, I thought it was about time I should get in on the act! I’ve not come across anything like Moccis – they’re hand sewn, Swedish moccasins which are the comfiest amalgamation of socks and slippers. The soles are leather, which means they are super hard wearing and they stop you slip-sliding around your house. The sock part is super soft and snuggly, and did I mention they come in a huge range of amazing designs?

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I chose the Bam Boo style which are the most adorable panda bears. I’m obsessed with them – they make me smile every time I look at them! I mostly wear them when I’m working away at home, and they feel so toasty when I pop them on with a pair of leggings and oversize sweater.

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The attention to detail on the slippers is great – as I mentioned, they are all hand sewn, and they have a little star on the back of the ankles. They are made for the whole family too – there are such adorable designs for children, as well as for the adults, so your whole family can stay toasty all winter!

Moccis cost £59.97 and are available here.

Tom Ford Lipstick in Scarlet Rouge*

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So next week is Halloween, so I’m sure you have many a party lined up. And, if you’re not getting dressed up as some sort of zombie, it’s very possible a red lipstick will be part of your arsenal. So, if you’re looking to for a rather gorgeous option, I would seriously check out Tom Ford’s perfect Scarlet Rouge.

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Like all of Mr. Ford’s lipsticks, it comes nestled in the most glamorous of black and gold tubes. It’s the epitome of old-school glamour, and it feels so luxurious to use! Even better is the almond shaped lipstick which is embossed with TF – this truly is a work of art!

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After prepping my lips with a quick scrub and a coating of balm, I applied the formula straight from the tube. The lipstick glides on like a dream. Without a hint of effort, I had smooth and even coverage, and the colour is truly sublime. A blue-based red which makes my teeth look pearly white, I easily got 5 hours before I felt the need for a touch up. This really is a must-have red which you’ll be picking up well after next weekend!

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If you want to grab yourself a tube (and really, you should!) it costs £37.00 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

Plooms Pens*

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Since it’s still October, I refuse to mention the ‘C’ word. I can’t stand those people who have December count downs, and play holiday music outside of the month. But, the big day is getting closer, and I have the most perfect gift idea for you – Plooms Pens.

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The pens come in the most adorable of packaging (I’ve photoshopped my address out) which is all hand finished. Honestly, I can’t remember the last time something so thoughtfully package plopped through the door!

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So, of course I got stuck in with the wrapping, and was presented with an array of little envelopes and packages, all perfectly wrapped with satin ribbons.

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So the main attraction is in here – see, if you’re looking for a gift for someone special, Plooms have done all the heavy work!

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Isn’t it gorgeous?! Plooms is the brainchild of Sally Page, who wanted to find a fountain pen which was both beautiful to look at, as well as feeling weighty in the hand. When she couldn’t find anything quite right, she produced the pens herself!

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Available in five stunning colours (all inspired by incredible people in Sally’s life) I chose Mrs.Oliver’s High Heel Red, which is the most stunning pinky-rouge. In the hand it feels perfectly weighty, and I feel I should be writing beautifully verbose passages with it.

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All pens arrive with two black ink cartridges, so you can start writing the moment they arrive, and they also come tucked up in a protective felt sleeve. I can’t tell you how long I’ve been looking for a gorgeous pen to use! When I was at school, we were only allowed to write with fountain pens, and to be honest I’ve rarely looked at one since. Instead I tend to tip-tap away on my computer. But lately I’ve been sending out far more snail mail, and when I’m using gorgeous stationery by brands like Mrs. John L. Strong, it seems only right to use a suitably glamorous pen too!

Plooms pens cost £59.00 each and are available here.

Lust List: Maison Francis Kurkdjian Globe Trotter

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Whenever people talk about summer and exotic foreign travels, attention inevitably turns towards packing. I have to admit, I’m not one to travel light – I hate not having options, and I’m super fussy. What I also hate is having to decant all my lovely options and potions into ugly little plastic bottles. Maison Francis Kurkdjian, however has solved the problem of packing bulky fragrance bottles with his swoon-worthy Globe Trotter travel spray case which comes in either zinc or gold. I love the almost architectural detailing in them – can you imagine how chic they would look in your purse?

Maison Francis Globe Trotter

You can also choose whatever Maison Francis Kurkdjian fragrance which you want to nestle inside – I’m liking the sound of Aqua Universalis for a fresh, summer-time fragrance.

The cases cost $105 and are available here.