Lunch at Daylesford Kingham*

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A couple of weeks back I decided it was time for a little r&r, and headed down to Oxfordshire. It’s a trip we’ve started to do annually, usually in the autumn, where we throw a couple of bags into the back of the car, book into a couple of gorgeous hotels, and just relax in the countryside for a bit.

This year was no different, and we were lucky enough to catch the whole of the countryside in the most vivid throes of autumn. As well as getting to enjoy copious amounts of countryside, a visit to the Cotswolds also means I get to stop off at possibly England’s finest farm shop – Daylesford.

Nestled in the hamlet of Kingham, Daylesford is everything you could wish for from a countryside retreat, and a whole lot more. With cottages to stay in on-site, a spa stocked with the finest Bamford products, and the best homeware, fashion and food, I always find myself spending afternoons pottering around, treating myself to a few little luxuries.

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There are also a couple of restaurants on-site. Like the rest of Daylesford, the products are organic, locally grown, and the dishes change seasonally. We snuck in on a Friday afternoon for lunch, and it was an absolute delight.

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We couldn’t resist the sound of Roast Baby Beets, Beetroot cured salmon, honey & wholegrain mustard (£9). A dainty, beautiful coloured plate of tender, flavourful salmon and sweet vegetables. The honey and wholegrain mustard mayonnaise gave a little heat, and is a combo I’ve already tried to replicate at home!

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I ordered the hand-sliced Venison Tataki, white radish and ginger – the butcher had the most incredible looking haunches of venison in the store, so I couldn’t resist! The Tataki was incredible delicately flavoured, and just melted in the mouth. Paired with the accompanying soy and cabbage and ginger salad, it was incredibly moreish.

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In something of a blogger-review fail, we both ordered the special – and honestly, who could resist? A homemade fish pie with seasonal greens (£16) was exactly what was needed to feast on, and it was absolute perfection.

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Huge hunks of salmon and egg were encased in a silky sauce, and topped with the creamiest mashed potatoes you can imagine. After a morning spent outside, exploring Oxfordshire, this was exactly what we were after!

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We also had to try the Triple Macaroni and Cheese (£4.50). All creamy, cheesy goodness, with an added hit of truffle and wholegrain mustard, this was a deliciously grownup take on my go-to comfort food. I loved the gratin topping, and the mix of three cheeses was absolutely divine!

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Filled up with the best of Gloucestershire produce, we ended the meal with a cappuccino (£3.50) and a Cinnamon Latte (£4). When I say I’m obsessed with the coffees from Daylesford – I don’t think you quite understand how good they are! Piping hot, and just a hint of cinnamon, I started every morning off with one when we were down, and I may have finished every evening with a hot chocolate from the to-go counter!

Thank you so much to Daylesford for our lunch – you can find the menu here.

 

Rodial Snake Oxygenating & Cleansing Bubble Mask*

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Every Sunday night is face mask night for me. I take the time to properly cleanse my skin, evaluate how it’s feeling, and slap on a mask to address any concerns I might have. Usually I want something which cleanses skin properly, and leaves it feeling fresh and bright for the week ahead, and my pick recently has been Rodial’s new Snake Oxygenating & Cleansing Bubble Mask.

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Packaged like a regular sheet mask (Which tend to be more moisturising than cleansing), I pop one on clean, damp skin. The mask looks slightly soapy to begin with (prior to using, you rub the packaging to activate the ingredients inside), and I pop it one before settling down with a good book. I like to leave the masks on for a good 20-30 minutes, as as time goes on, the masks bubble up like magic.

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I tend to find that the masks bubble up the mot wherever my skin is most congested. It’s a fabulous way to know that everything is working, and it’s a surprisingly gentle way to effectively cleanse skin. Once the bubbling has calmed down, I take off the mask, and wipe down my face. Skin feels so soft and smooth and I finish everything off with a rich moisturiser. It’s a fabulous pre-event pick-me-up for skin, or if you’re just in the mood for a winter pick-me-up!

Rodial Snake Oxygenating & Cleansing Bubble Masks are priced at £48 for 8 and are available here (UK)

YSL Couture Hologram Powder*

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Now that nights are getting that longer, I finally feel like we can get the glitter out. Obviously YSL Beauty feel the same, as their new autumn/winter 2017 collection is inspired by the glamour and decadence of Studio 54.

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Packaged in a chic little screw-top jar is the Couture Hologram Powder. A multi-use product, which promises a hit of glitz and glam wherever you want to pat it. It’s got a soft, almost spongey consistency, and I love how versatile and buildable it is. A gentle swipe leaves skin with a sheer wash of holographic glimmer, whilst a few extra coats builds up both the glimmer and the pinky-purple colour.

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I absolutely adore it packed onto eyelids, for a surprisingly easy glitter eye look. Last week I wore in the the centre of my lids, smoked into a shimmery brown cream shadow, and I couldn’t believe how easy it was to wear! Super sparkly, I’m absolutely obsessed with the cool pink shade and how glitzy it is. And another positive? No glitter gets in your eyes and it lasts all.night.long. Very Studio 54 appropriate!

YSL Couture Hologram Powder is priced at £23.50 and is available here.

Clarins SOS Nourishing Balm Mask*

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When it comes to winter skincare, I’m all about hydration. Sitting in central heating, running around in cold temperatures, and the general change in temperature can wreak havoc, so in an attempt to keep everything under control, I’ve been turning to Clarins’ new SOS Comfort Nourishing Balm Mask a couple of times per week.

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One of Clarins’ new SOS Mask collection – SOS Comfort is all about nourishing skin and keeping it as hydrated as possible. I’ve been using it a couple of nights per week – or whenever my face feels a little parched.

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After a deep cleanse and tone, I apply a little of the Mask to clean, dry skin in the evening. It’s a wonderfully rich mask, which just melts into skin. It feels absolutely heavenly to apply, and my skin absolutely drinks it up! Clarins’ recommends that you can tissue off any excess after 20 or so minutes, but I like to keep mine on overnight to really lock moisture into the skin.

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It’s the perfect choice if you want your skin to look great in the morning – mango butter in the formula is so nourishing, and I feel it really cuts down on redness too!

Clarins SOS Comfort Nourishing Balm is priced at £27 and is available here.

Fenty Beauty Match Stix – Starstruck*

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When Fenty Beauty launched last month, it’s fair to say that it was the biggest thing to happen to the industry for a while. I don’t think I’ve ever seen people so excited and passionate about an entirely new line before, but they had good reason.

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With 40 shades of foundation, a paired back aesthetic and a spirit of diversity, Fenty Beauty stormed into stores, and watching its impact on social media was fascinating. I’m not going to lie, I was dubious to see how the quality of products would match up to the hysteria, and happily, the products I’ve tried have gone straight into daily rotation.

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My most-used Fenty product is the Match Stix in Starstruck. One of the brand’s signature products and available in matte and shimmer options – you can use the Match Stix as concealers, highligher, contour and even eyeshadows!

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Starstruck is probably the palest of the highlight shades, and is described as an ‘iced out pearl’, it feels perfect for winter pale skin. Unlike most highlighters, the Match Stix have an almost dry consistency. Swiped directly onto the high points of my face, and patted in with fingers, it gives skin a stunning, surprisingly natural gleam.

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The cool-toned sheen can be built up depending on how dramatic a look you want, and it’s seriously versatile. In addition to topping cheekbones, I love it on the brown bones and placed on the centre of my eyelids for an easy, no-makeup look. The crayon-like formula means that application is an absolute cinch – just draw it on and blend. There’s No stickiness or greasiness – just sheer, buildable sheen which leaves skin looking healthy all day long!

Fenty Beauty Match Stix are priced at £21 each (although you can pick up a set of three for £46) here (UK) and here (US)

Go Bright for Pudsey at Boots*

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If you’re looking for ways to get the weekend off to the best of starts, head down to Boots and get your makeup ‘did’. For a £2 donation, 100 stores across the country are offering Go Bright makeovers tomorrow only.

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Whether it’s a full makeover, a pop of colour on your lips or a bright eye, by donating at a Pudsey Parlour you will help to support the work of BBC Children in Need, and to make a difference to many young lives.

So why not go out, treat yourself and lunchtime, and do a great dead at the same time!?

Boots Botanics Illuminating Radiance Balm*

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Ok, so I don’t think I can believe we’re at the end of October – 2017 is nearly over and we’re well into winter. This year has flown by way too quickly, but I’m happy for everything I’ve achieved, and I can’t wait for 2018 – I think it’s going to be a good one!

But, before this transforms into a New Years post, I should probably get on with the skincare, because it’s a good one. I think it’s a universal wish, that as nights get longer, everyone wants their skin to stay as glowy as possible. After all, nothing dulls your complexion than sitting inside all day and night! So Boots have a genius, and incredibly easy way to fake a healthy glow – their All Bright Illuminating Radiance Balm. A little of the formula either on top of or instead of your moisturiser, depending on your skin type leaving skin absolutely transformed! The pink hue really gives skin a healthy glow, whilst the formula adds a much needed does of radiance.

Boots Botanics Illuminating Radiance Balm is priced at £7.99 and is available here

Swiss Clinic Face Perfecting Dry Mask*

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For the past few years, sheet masks have become something of a go-to. Usually quite an affordable addition to my skincare routine, I tend to order a bunch of Korean ones off Amazon then pick through them once or twice a week whenever my skin is feeling a bit dried out. What I’ve never gotten round to trying though, are dry sheet masks – so I couldn’t wait to give this one from Swiss Clinic a go.

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Perfect if the normal, slightly gooey texture of regular face masks gross you out, Swiss Clinic’s Dry Face Mask promises to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, hydrate skin and enhance radiance, and the best part? Each dry mask can be re-used three times! It’s a genius little product – after cleansing, I place the mask on clean, dry skin and leave for 15 minutes. Since the mask contains 87% active ingredients, it continues to do good for your skin even after you’ve taken it off (so make sure you don’t rinse!), so it’s a great choice to use in the evenings.

Swiss Clinic Face Perfecting Dry Mask is priced at £29 and is available here.

Blaq Mask Tube*

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I’m not going to lie – I’m a complete face mask junkie. If it promises to cleanse, purify or moisturise skin, I’m going to be all over it. So, when I got the chance to try Blaq’s Mask Tube, which promises to leave skin blackhead free and glowing, you can bet I jumped at the chance.

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With a super-black formula which is chock-full of activated charcoal (known for it’s ability at drawing out impurities) just apply, after regular cleansing, to wherever you feel your skin is a little congested. For me, this tends to be on my nose and around my mouth, and I let it dry down until it feels like rubber. Once it’s dry you get to peel it off, and see the ick it’s removed from your skin. It’s basically an amped up version of those nose strips, with the added fun of being able to place it where you need it. I tend to use it about once a week, whenever my skin is looking and feeling a little blah.

Blaq Tube Mask is priced at £14 and is available here.

 

 

Laura Geller Filter Corrector Color Perfecting Balm*

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When it comes to keeping makeup looking natural, it’s fair to say that colour corrector might not be at the top of your wish list. I admit, it does sound rather high maintenance, but with Laura Geller’s Filter Corrector Color Perfecting Balm, evening out your skin tone has never been easier.

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Packaged in a dinky little snap-top tower, complete with mirror are three colour correcting gels, which deal with the most common problems when it comes to skin – redness, sallowness and dullness.

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If you suffer from dark rings under your eyes, you’ll want to start off with the peach shade. Patted into shadows, it brightens everything up, and fakes a few good nights sleep.

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The blue shade has been specially designed to cancel out yellow skin tones and brighten skin. Since my skin is more pink than sallow, it’s probably my least-used out of the three, but if I’ve had a few late nights, and not drunk enough water, a little of the formula pattern into cheekbones fakes a green-juice worthy glow.

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The last of the trio is the green gel which is my absolute must have! As someone who turns pink far too easily, this is an absolute lifesaver. Patted into my nose and cheeks, it kills redness in its tracks.

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The three shades in the tower have been so well thought out, and I love how lightweight all of the formulas are. I apply them to bare, moisturised skin, and then apply my tinted moisturiser and concealer like normal. They’re a lifesaver for days you want to look your best, and the effects last all day long! I’m also such a fan of how portable the balms are – if you’re off on a half term jaunt, these couldn’t be easier to throw into your hand luggage. And bonus? They won’t spill!

Laura Geller Filter Corrector Color Perfecting Balm is priced at £25 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

Rahua Enchanted Island Salt Spray*

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I know that salt sprays are usually the preserve of summer beauty hauls, but now that we’re truly in autumn, my hair has been feeling all sorts of blah, and the only thing that I’ve found to add a little life to it has been Rahua’s Enchanted Island Salt Spray.

After washing and blowdrying my hair, I put my head upside down and spritz the salt spray into my roots. Then I blow dry on the cool setting, and massage my roots a little. The Salt Spray works absolute magic – it doesn’t dry out hair, or leave roots looking greasy. Instead, it gives hair a magic dose of volume which lasts all day.

Rahua Enchanted Island Salt Spray is priced at £32 and is available here (UK) and here (US)