Rock & Ruddle Boar Bristle Brush*

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After bleaching my hair three times within a month, I’ve been super careful to treat it as well and as gently as possible. So, in addition to upping my moisturising hair products, I’ve also fallen in love with Rock & Ruddle’s Boar Bristle Brush.

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Rather than using a regular plastic or metal bristle brush, using one made of natural boar bristle makes such a difference to my hair! The bristles themselves have microscopic scales which release and spread natural oils throughout the whole hair shaft. They’re also a whole lot more gentle on sensitised hair like mine.

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As well as including the natural boar bristles, Rock and Ruddle have also included some gentle nylon tips. They’re perfect for detangling long hair without feeling too rough, and if you’ve got thick hair this is the brush for you!

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In addition to being my new favourite hair brush, Rock & Ruddle’s brushes are just the cutest. I chose the gorgeous, almost neon pink, and the same brush also comes in purple and orange. If you’re looking for something even more unusual, they also come in a range of adorable patterns and doodles.

Rock and Ruddle hairbrushes are priced at £30 and are available here

USBMAKERS.COM Personalized Power Banks*

Personalized Power Bank

Considering I usually have at least two Apple products with me at any given point, I burn through their batteries at a rather alarming rate. I’m not sure if I read a whole lot of magazines, or whether I’m on instagram too much, but my batteries usually hover somewhere at around 15% before conking out. So, for the past little while I’ve been on the hunt for a portable charger which isn’t too bulky and looks cute.

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www.usbmakers.com has come to my rescue though, with their completely customisable chargers. All you have to do is select the type of charger you’re after (I picked the Card Power Bank) and then upload whichever image you want to decorate it. I’ve been on a bit of a marble binge at the moment, so I thought it would look cute on the charger. I made my image over at Polyvore.com, but they would look equally adorable covered in photos or even just a simple pattern.

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I absolutely love how simple the charger is, and I cannot tell you how useful it is! Each of the Card Power Banks has over 500 charges, and thanks to how streamline the power bank is, I’ve just been slipping it into my handbag whenever I’m out and about. It’s a complete lifesaver! At night, you just plug the charger into your laptop’s USB for an hour or so, and you’re good to go!

You can design your own power banks here

Vita Coco Coconut Oil*

Vita Coco Coconut Oil

If there is a singe tub, which you absolutely, definitely, just have to own – it’s got to be coconut oil! For the past few years or so, I’ve kept a couple of tubs of the stuff handy, both in the kitchen and in my beauty stash, as it’s just so versatile, I can’t bear not having some to hand!

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I first tried out using coconut oil in the kitchen, and I absolutely fell in love! Since consuming it in small amounts can really help combat high cholesterol, as well as work to prevent Heart Disease, I use a teaspoon of the oil rather than regular olive oil whenever I need to cook vegetables. A real favourite use of mine is sautéing kale in a teaspoon or two of coconut oil, then sprinkling a little lemon juice and sesame seeds over the top – delicious!

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Because Vita Coco’s Coconut Oil is 100% Raw and Organic, I also love keeping a tub of it in my beauty stash as it’s just so versatile! Starting from the top, my hair absolutely drinks coconut oil up! I tend to apply it to the ends of my hair, then throw it up in a topknot over night, letting all the goodness sink in. I can then just shower it out in the morning, and my hair feels super soft, and has a great amount of shine. Another great in-shower use for coconut oil is mixing it with coffee grounds. You can pick up a bag of them for free at Starbucks or Waitrose, as they are also great for the garden, but I just melt about a cup full of the coconut oil on the hob, and then add about 3/4 of a cup of the coffee grounds. Once the mixture has cooled down and solidified, you can then use it as a scrub. It’s such a simple mix to make and use, but your skin feels absolutely amazing afterwards! Even out of the shower, my Vita Coco Coconut Oil is a bathroom must-have. It works amazingly as a moisturiser, and I use it everywhere from under my eyes to layering it on my elbows and knees.

As you can probably tell, I am such a fan of Vita Coco Coconut Oil, have you got any other uses for it?

Vita Coco Coconut Oil is priced at £9.99 and is available here

The Glam App Launches in London!

The Glam App Make-up Styles

There are an absolute tonne of reasons that anyone would love to live in London. The art galleries, the shopping, the theatre.. But now there’s a rather more high tech benefit of living in the big smoke – The Glam App has launched!

The Glam App Hair Styles

Basically, the Glam App is just about the handiest app you can download – with a couple of taps, it lets you order a whole range of beauty treatments performed by experienced and vetted artists, right in the comfort of your own home. Everything from a simple mani/pedi to a full makeup session is available to book, and since you’re ordering the service through the app, you don’t need to worry about who is going to be working their magic!

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London is the first UK city to launch the app (my friends in New York are already regular users) and it was developed by actress and blogger Cara Santana, and celebrity hair and make-up artist Joey Maalouf in Los Angeles in February 2015, and it’s already available in 13 cities across the US and London!

I can’t wait until the next time I’m down south so I can order a couple of treatments – a blow out and my nails done at home sounds pretty much like heaven!

You can download the app here

Brora Mohair Icelandic Jumper

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Now that we’re finally in November, I feel like I’m squarely in ‘sweater weather,’ and to be honest, I’m pretty happy about it! When the weather is as pretty as it is right now, getting to spend days outside in golden sunshine feels pretty wonderful! Since autumn is usually pretty short lived up in Scotland, I’ve decided to make the most out of every second of it!

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My sweater of choice on these sunny, but still rather cold days has been Brora’s stunning Mohair Icelandic Jumper. It’s not like anything else in my wardrobe, and it feels just perfect to wear right now. I’ve been wearing it mostly over my J. Crew keeper shirt and jeans for a cosy outfit which still looks pulled together!

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I’m just obsessed with the colours in the sweater – the soft, icy grey with the touches of sky blue just look so perfect against the increasingly wintery skies, and I can’t even begin to tell you how cosy it is! Made out of a super kid mohair blend, the jumper is the perfect mix of comfy, cute and I absolutely adore the hint of fluff it has!

Brora Icelandic Mohair Sweater

The Mohair Icelandic Jumper is such a work-horse of a sweater, I have absolutely fallen in love with it! I can’t even tell you how many compliments I’ve received wearing it!

Brora’s Mohair Icelandic Jumper is priced at £119 and it is available here

Thank you so much Brora for lending me the jumper!

Gift Guide: Harvey Nichols Beauty Hampers

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When I saw these hampers yesterday, I legitimately squealed a little bit. They are just perfection. Whether you need to treat a loved one, or you know, yourself, Harvey Nichols have made is super easy with one of these beauties!

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Available in three options – Pre-Party Ritual, The Man Reviver, and Beauty Sleep, the hampers make a rather glamorous shift from the regular offerings. Rather than being stuffed full of mince pies and chutneys, these offer up everything from a GHD Curve Creative Wand to Guatemalan Worry Dolls.

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Each hamper has been perfectly curated, with the perfect mix of staple must haves and beauty treats (a bottle of bubbly is always a welcome gift with me!) so you know whoever you’re treating is going to be absolutely in love with your gift to them! Harvey Nichols have even made delivering the hamper a cinch with free named-day delivery!

Harvey Nichols Beauty Hampers are priced from £140-£300 and you can order up until December 23rd for guaranteed Christmas delivery! You can find them here

Harvey Nichols Edinburgh & Omorovicza Facial*

Harvey Nichols Edinburgh Omorovicza Facial

Whenever I need to kill an hour or two (and spend far more than I should) I tend to head for Harvey Nichols’ Beauty Bazaar. Occupying a good chunk of the ground level of the Edinburgh store, it’s a one stop shop for pretty much every brand you can imagine, and now there’s a new member of the gang in the form of cult Hungarian skincare brand Omorovicza.

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So, to celebrate this new addition to the already stellar line-up, Harvey Nichols and Omorovicza teamed up to offer facials for £50, with the price being redeemable against products bought on the day. I’m a big fan of this type of facial, as it really lets you get a feel for a whole host of products, and having an expert really take time to look at your skin and recommend what would work best for you is pretty much priceless.

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So, on Friday afternoon, I was shown up to a treatment room tucked upstairs behind the shoe section, to enjoy one of the best facials of my life! I feel awful, as I can’t remember my therapist’s name, but she had been hand-picked from Omorovicza founders, and as we discussed my skincare routine, she explained that she thought a slightly tweaked Refining and Purifying facial would be best for me and my sensitive skin, and I whole heartedly agreed.

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Snuggled up in the fluffiest of white towels, I was cleansed using the brand’s iconic balm (I’ve reviewed it here) and then I got to try out the rather impressive looking Copper Peel. The product is a two-part one, with the green mask applied first, then the activator applied on top. After the gentlest of tingles, I got to enjoy an arm scrub and moisturise. By this point I was close to falling asleep thanks to the mix of pampering and Debussy music, and I was pretty much in heaven. Then, the facial went from great to amazing – the Hungarian facial massage began.

I have no idea what the therapist was doing, but for a good 10-15 minutes, she drummed her fingers all over my face in a way I have never come across before. It was incredible! Apparently it’s a modernised take on a traditional Hungarian technique, and it warms up the skin so the products use penetrate deeply and really get to work. It also works as a lymphatic drainage technique, depuffing the skin and making it just glow in general. After a good amount of drumming, my skin felt silky smooth, and reluctantly, it was time to go. I go to try out Omorovicza’s BB Cream and I have to say – it’s on my wish list. The combination of the most heavenly of facials with the skincare-filled base, meant my skin was absolutely glowing by the time I left, clutching my goodie bag of samples. In the days since my facial (in addition to dreaming about that massage technique) my skin has felt so soft and so smooth!

Thank you so much to Harvey Nichols Edinburgh and Omorovicza

Monu Spa Rejuvenating Candle*

Monu Spa Rejuvenating Spa Candle

I have to admit to being something of a candle-hoarder. I’ve got a box of them tucked away at the back of my closet, and I just work my way through them. Something I’ve never tried though, despite my rather numerous collection is a Massage Candle, so when this little Monu beauty appeared, I was rather intrigued!

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Packaged in a handy little tin, all you have to do is light the candle like normal, then wait 10-15 minutes as the wax melts into a gloriously rich massage oil. Once you have enough, you just blow out the flame, and carefully pour into your hands, or onto the area you want to massage. I love how simple yet effective the premise is, and since the oil has been freshly melted, it’s wonderfully warm, which makes your massage feel perfectly spa like (and your muscles will thank you!).

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I received the Rejuvenating fragrance which is a glorious blend of jasmine and yang-ylang. I love the subtle scent which intensifies with the heat of the flame, and one enough oil has melted, not only do I have a perfect massage oil, but the whole room smells heavenly too!

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As if the scent wasn’t glorious enough, Monu have enriched the formula with Vitamin E, which makes it perfect if you’re giving yourself an at-home mani or pedi. One little trick I like to do, is give myself something of a cheat’s paraffin manicure. Once enough oil has melted, I blow out the flame then dip my fingertips into the oil. Then I work the oil into my cuticles, dip them back in then sit back and let the formula harden slightly. The heat really works the oil deep into my skin, and I can just flake off whatever is excess. My hands always feel so soft after doing it!

Monu Spa Rejuvenating Candles are priced at £5.00 and are available here

Harvey Nichols Edinburgh – Laura Mercier Masterclass with Trevor O’Keeffe*

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When I got the chance to spend a Friday afternoon at Harvey Nichols, learning all about Laura Mercier with elite makeup artist Trevor O’Keeffe, you can imagine how fast I accepted the offer!

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Laura Mercier has to be one of my favourite brands! I just love how beautiful the products are, the brand’s ethos of enhancing your features is something I can really get behind.

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The masterclass was held in the Edinburgh store, and ten of us tucked ourselves away in a corner of the first floor, surrounded by the plushest of winter fashions as we oohed over the newest releases from the brand.

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Even before getting the chance to sit down, my Laura Mercier wish list had grown by about a dozen items – the most beautiful makeup sets and kits were laid out for us to play with, and I have to say, they are incredible! I got rather carried away taking photographs, but I thought you’d want to make notes for Christmas!

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So, after lusting after everything on offer, the ten of us, plied with a selection macarons and Harvey Nichols prosecco (which is absolutely delicious) were seated so the class could begin.

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Trevor started the class by asking Helen to model for him and even without makeup on, she had the most enviable skin and brows! Following the Laura Mercier method of creating a beautifully natural look, Trevor explained that he would create a subtle smokey eye with radiant skin. Since this is the look I aim for most regularly, I couldn’t wait to see the master at work!

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After cleansing the skin with the Perfecting Water Moisture Mist and Infusion De Rose Nourishing Creme Helen was then prepped with the Radiance Primer then she was ready for the makeup lesson to begin.

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Since the lesson was so intimate, we got to ask Trevor questions as the hours progressed, and when he asked whether to use Laura Mercier’s iconic Tinted Moisturiser or something new, we opted for the latter. Getting to see him apply the Silk Creme foundation, which has the brand’s highest level of coverage was mesmerising. Rather than using a handful of tools, Trevor simply pressed the formula into the skin, keeping it looking light and supremely natural.

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Then, a little of the Secret Camouflage and Secret Concealer were applied, to eradicate any shadows or little imperfections. I can’t even tell you how natural the makeup looked – instead of looking made-up, Helen’s skin looked perfect and completely bare! Pro tip – don’t apply your concealers or bases directly around the eyes or around the mouth. Thanks to your skin being thinner, coupled with the amount of movement in the area, formulas can crease, so he recommended just pressing the left overs of your sponge or fingers there for a soft, natural way of covering redness.

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It was at this point Trevor shared another one of his tips – press the tiniest amount of translucent powder onto the face to really set the makeup. I have to admit, on a day-to-day basis, I don’t tend to wear loose powders. It’s a combination of keeping my makeup bag as streamlined as possible, and not really having the time, but after yesterday, I’m getting mine back out. Instead of applying the powder with a large fluffy brush, Trevor instead, using a puff, pressed the tiniest amount of it onto the face, first focusing on the oiliest areas, then onto the cheeks and chin. If you find you need to set your eye makeup, Laura Mercier also have a powder which is specifically designed for that!

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Then, after perfecting the base, Trevor moved onto adding a flush with one of the brands blush. He had a customised palette of colours, which were all as pretty as each other, and then he moved onto a subtle wash of bronzer. Since we’re rather swiftly moving into Autumn, Trevor discussed matching your makeup to the seasons, so using bronzer at the moment should just give skin a warmth, rather than a full-on tan.

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It was at this point there was a break, where we could ask questions, try out new techniques, chat to the lovely Harvey Nichols’ Laura Mercier experts and top up our glasses. After all, all this learning was thirsty work!

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Next we moved on to creating the smoky eye. Trevor used a technique which is unique to Laura Mercier, called ‘the sunrise.’ It’s a genius idea. Rather than spending hours drawing and blending, you simply start at the waterline of the eye, using a dark Tightline Cake Eyeliner. Then you blend a softer shadow over the lid (Trevor opted for Caviar Sticks in Khaki and Cocoa, although there’s an awesome set of minis available here). It creates a seriously pretty effect which suits all eye shapes, and I love that you can tweak the intensity to suit where you’re off to!

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To balance out the heavier eye, Trevor applied one of the gorgeous lipsticks in an amplified nude shade. I’m such a fan of Laura Mercier lipsticks – the colour selections are insane, and their formulas are perfectly creamy and long lasting. The Lip Glaces are also an awesome option if you’re after some shine!

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Getting to sit and listen to Trevor, watch him at work, and discuss techniques, colours and tips with his was a real thrill! Not only is he insanely talented, but he was so lovely, and his enthusiasm was infectious! Both he and his team in the Edinburgh store are incredibly knowledgeable about not only their products, but what will suit your skin tone, type and even the occasion you’re off to! After Helen was suitably glammed up, I chatted with Trevor about upcoming winter trends, and lips are a big thing! In the next month or so, Laura Mercier will be releasing a Velvet Lip product which will be matte, and highly pigmented. They sound divine, and are the perfect way to achieve a rich lip all autumn and winter.

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As if the afternoon wasn’t heavenly enough, we were all treated to the most fabulous of goody bags. Tucked inside a Laura Mercier makeup bag was a mini Lip Glace, Caviar Stick, Cheek Colour, and Body Butter. It was a fabulous surprise and such a great way to end a really wonderful couple of hours!

Thank you so much to Harvey Nichols Edinburgh, Laura Mercier and Trevor O’Keeffe for a wonderful afternoon!

ESPA Moments of Peace*

ESPA Moments of Peace

I know that it’s super cliched to keep on mentioning how quickly 2015 seems to be passing, but I just can’t help it! We’ve hit the middle of October, and even though my head is filled with ideas for pumpkins and candy corn, the beauty world is homing in on Christmas!

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If you’re starting to think about what everyone is going to be lusting after come December, you won’t go far wrong with ESPA’s stunning Moments of Peace gift box. All wrapped up for you, in a seriously luxe purple box, a brushed glass bottle of ESPA  Body Oil and a dinky scented candle.

ESPA Moments of Peace body oil

The vial of Soothing Body Oil is just the most luxurious of products, and it’s perfect if you need to hide away from the worsening weather. The Moments of Peace collection features a glass vial of the oil, which is enough for a good number of applications.

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I absolutely adore how rich and nourishing the oil feels to apply, and my skin absolutely drinks it up! The delicate scent features notes of ylang-ylang, myrrh and frankincense, and it’s just a joy to apply!

ESPA Moments of Peace candle

The inclusion of the scented tea light is such a wonderful addition to the gift set – lighting it absolutely fills my room up with ESPA’s sandalwood, ylang-ylang, frankincense and myrrh fragrance. Every time I light the candle, I feel like I’m in a luxurious spa, and it’s such a joy to just sit back while it’s burning with a good book, and really relax!

ESPA’s Moments of Peace Gift Box is priced at £20.00 and is available here

Harvey Nichols Edinburgh Sunset Yoga with Lululemon and Yogandha Oils*

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I don’t think Mondays are anyone’s favourite day of the week, but last night Harvey Nichols Edinburgh made it my favourite day of the week with a special Sunset Yoga lesson which was hosted by Lululemon and Yogandha Oils.

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I’m by no means a yogi, but it’s something that I’ve been wanting to try out, so the opportunity to give it a go in undoubtedly the most glamorous ‘studio’ in Edinburgh was too good to resist! Not only was the evening a chance to enjoy a relaxing session led by Lululemon’s Demelza, but also to meet Sinead the wonderful founder of Yogandha Oils  as well as getting to play with some of her incredible products.

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After swatching a number of Yogandha’s gorgeous oils, we got started with the yoga class. To make room for everyone, Harvey Nichols had shut down the entire restaurant and brasserie, meaning that instead of looking into regular studio mirrors, we got to look at the sun set over Edinburgh. Stunning doesn’t even begin to describe it!

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As we transitioned between downward facing dogs and warrior poses, the sky became dark, and Edinburgh Castle lit up. It was a completely magical backdrop to Demelza’s wonderful class which she had designed to promote relaxation and wellness.

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Taking an hour to really stretch out, relax and concentrate on something as simple as breathing was really wonderful. I definitely felt the benefits, and the fact that we got to keep our amazing Lululemon mats was so incredibly kind! I’ve already laid mine out in the study and loaded up some youtube videos so I can practice at home.

Harvey Nichols Yoga Event

After the yoga session, we got the chance to listen to Sinead Duffy, who isn’t just the mastermind behind Yogandha, but has also taught yoga for 10 years. Listening to her describe how to use aromatherapy to benefit both body and mind was truly inspiring, and her enthusiasm was completely infectious!

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As everyone passed round the oil rollerballs, we got to try all three blends – Grounded, Uplifted and Balanced as well as the beautiful Body Oils. Very kindly, Sinead gave me a bottle of the Relax Body Oil, so I can’t wait to give it a really good go, and of course, I’ll post a review of it so you can see it for yourself!

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Once we had finished sampling the oils, there was a selection of fruit teas and fresh juices to help us rehydrate – and pro tip – if you’re visiting the Forth Floor, check out the Pret a Porter mocktail, it’s delicious! The whole evening was such a great experience, and it really felt like it was something really special! Everyone I chatted to absolutely loved it, and I think a lot of people are hoping it becomes a regular calendar fixture!

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Thank you so much to Harvey Nichols Edinburgh, Lululemon and Yogandha Oils for last night. I had such a wonderful time, and I can’t wait to try out my new mat and oil!

Harvey Nichols Yoga Event