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.

Dinner at The Apartment Bistro*

I’m through in Edinburgh most days, and end up in Bruntsfield regularly, which means I’ve driven past The Apartment Bistro hundreds of times, and every time, I’ve wanted to pop in. Just yards from the King’s Theatre, it’s a perfect spot to pop into for a pre-theatre supper, and it’s wonderfully cosy, if you fancy a longer, more indulgent dinner.

We visited on a rainy weeknight – starved from a busy day at work, and was welcomed into the cosy restaurant. Lit with tea lights and twinkling fairy lights, it was exactly what we needed to relax – and we got to grips with the menu.

To start we shared one of their Chunky Healthy Skewers with halloumi, sweet potato, pepper & courgette, zaa’tar lemon dressing (£12.70). I have to admit, I was obsessed with halloumi when I was at uni, and for some reason, I haven’t really eaten it since. This brought back my love for the stuff! Skewered with roasted sweet potato, the mix of salty, savoury and sweet was absolutely delicious.

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Alongside the skewer was a flat bread, potato salad, coleslaw and greens. It was a fabulous way to begin a meal. Over mouthfuls of warm, melting cheese and potato we discussed plans for the weekend, and vowed to recreate the dish at home.

For mains there was no resisting the 80z Flat Iron steak (£17.40). Served with hot and crispy fries, parmesan & rocket sauce, and a pepper sauce, it was a hearty portion. I managed to sneak a few of the fries, and they were delicious!

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We had opted to share a portion of Sautéed Greens (£3.30) to go along with our mains. A hot, buttery mix of cabbage, it was a perfect accompaniment to our meaty mains.

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At this time of year, it’s impossible for me to resist venison when I see it on a menu, so when I spotted Roasted Venison Haunch, Hasselback potatoes, Confit Carrots, Baby Onions & Bacon, Gravy (£17.40) there was no other option.

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The whole dish felt like autumn on a plate! The venison was rich and tender – cooked medium rare, it melted in the mouth, and was just perfection. Paired with the sweet potato mash underneath, the confit carrots and hasselback potatoes was exactly what I needed on a cold Edinburgh night!

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I loved the baby onions and charred cauliflower – it’s a combination which isn’t used nearly enough!

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After all of the delicious mains, we were well and truly stuffed, but one look at the dessert menu ensured we couldn’t leave without sampling something. We opted to share the Lemon Tart (£5.70) – deliciously tart, with a gloriously custardy filling, the tart was perfection. I just loved the addition of the crystallised peel on top – it added a wholly new texture to the dish, and I could have easily demolished the entire thing!

Thank you so much to The Apartment Bistro for a fabulous dinner!

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.

Aldo Kane Launches Shackleton at Harvey Nichols Edinburgh*

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When I heard that Edinburgh’s Harvey Nichols was the first store in the UK to launch brand new British-made brand, Shackleton, I couldn’t wait to pop in to have a look. The newest addition to the store’s menswear department is a special 6 week pop-up, and it’s the only spot in the country to get up close with the brand.

If you’ve got a man to buy for this Christmas, I’d heartily recommend checking out what Shackleton has to offer. Inspired by the exploits of the iconic explorer, you can find everything from cozy merino scarves, to stunning parkas.

All of the pieces have been designed to perform under the harshest of circumstances – the arctic? A volcano? No match for the Shackleton items. The pieces are absolutely stunning too – the beautifully knit sweaters are a favourite, as are the fur-trimmed parkas!

As a specialevent to celebrate the launch, Scottish adventurist Aldo Kane was in-store to chat both about the brand and his incredible experiences. Previously a sniper with the Royal Marines, Kane has gone on to be called ‘the next big thing in adventure.’

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Getting to hear about his experiences was so interesting, and he also gave some insight into how he deals with the stresses and strains his adventures wreak. (Pro-tip: think strategically and compartmentalise)

On the 26th November, you can watch Kane on BBC 2 in Operation Volcano – where he will be sporting a Shackleton ‘Kane’ jacket during the programme. It survived weeks in action – so I’m sure an Edinburgh winter would be no issue at all!

You can find the whole Shackleton range (and the Kane jacket) here

A Stay at Tewkesbury Park*

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When we headed down south last month, I was in serious need for a little luxury. Happily, we had very kindly been booked in to the stunning Tewkesbury Park Hotel for a rather fabulous break.

Situated in the historic town of Tewksbury, right on the edge of the Cotswolds, the hotel has been recently renovated, and it’s an absolute gem.

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To reach the hotel, you weave through the rolling golf courses which surround it. It’s such a stunning entrance, and I swear, every time we drove up, we had to pull in and take a minute or so just to enjoy the countryside. It’s just that pretty. Downstairs, in the on-site restaurant (which I’ve got a whole post lined up about), there are floor to ceiling windows, which let us enjoy the perfect sunsets. The hotel has over 160 acres of land around it, so it’s a real haven to enjoy!

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We were lucky enough to enjoy one of the hotel’s six historic suites. Ours, King Richard III, was located on the top floor, and was absolute perfection. A beautiful room, which looked onto the rear of the property, there was a cosy sitting area, where we could see miles of the most perfect English countryside, as well as a perfect, huge super king bed.

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It was one of those hotel rooms which I had a hard time leaving! Between the comfy bed, and the stunning views, it was all too easy to curl up with a good book and spend an indulgent afternoon inside!

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We also had the most wonderful bathroom to enjoy! A huge, standalone bath was perched in the middle of the room, this combined with a rather snazzy wall-mounted television meant that my already-long soaks were even longer!

As if the bath wasn’t glorious enough, there was double everything. A wonderfully roomy double shower was the perfect way to wake up every morning.

The bathroom as a whole was glorious. I loved the attention to detail – with double sinks and tonnes of light – it was such a joy to get ready in!

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As if the room wasn’t fabulous enough, the hotel as a whole was just spectacular. There is a spa, gym and swimming pool as well as a golf course to explore.

We found the staff to be unfailingly polite and friendly. From phoning to check our room was ok, to pointing out the historical battlefields which surround the hotel, everyone was unbelievably nice. We also enjoyed a delicious dinner and afternoon tea (but I’ll go into both of those in later posts!).

A night in the King Richard III Suite starts at £350 per night. You can book your break 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
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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)