Manuka Health MGO 30*

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Now that we are squarely in winter, I’m on serious cold-prevention at the moment. Honestly, I only need to see someone sneeze before I’ve got a cold, so over the past few weeks, I’ve been introducing Manuka Health’s MGO 30 Manuka Honey Blend into my diet. Every morning, before heading to work, I’ve been adding a teaspoon of the stuff into a cup of tea which I drink before heading off. Manuka honey has been scientifically proven to boost immunity and help soothe sore throats, which is perfect for protecting against flu season.

Manuka Health Honey is priced at £13.39 and is available here

Ilia Vivid Foundation – F1 Fair*

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Choosing a foundation for winter-wear is a bit of a nightmare for me. Like most people, I want something with a little extra coverage (cold temperatures and wind are not easy on skin) but I don’t want something that ends up looking heavy and cakey. So, when I got the chance to give Ilia’s brand new Vivid foundation a run, I absolutely jumped at the chance!

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Available in nine shade, and packaged in a super-sleek, pump-topped bottle, I only need a single pump every morning. Although it immediately looks like it might be quite high coverage, it feels wonderfully lightweight on the skin, and covers imperfections without looking unnatural. I smooth on the foundation with either a dampened Beauty Blender, or my fingers, and it applies like a dream. Once it’s all on, it does feel a tad sticky to the touch, but if you top off with either pressed powder or bronzer, it becomes soft and smooth, really sinking into skin. It gives a beautiful, fresh, quite luminous finish, which is precisely what my skin needs. I think it’s because it’s such a moisturizing formula – there is coconut oil to hydrate, whilst Green Tea and Rosemary Extract fight against free radical damage. Ilia have also sourced a new and unique ingredient, sourced from a tree on the Greek Island of Chios, which offers a natural solution to reduce pore size, shine and contains anti-bacterial properties. The medicinal resin, is able to be incorporated into skin care as a natural matifying skin refiner.

Ilia Vivid Foundation is priced at £36 and is available from PanacheCosmetics.com

Ilia Lipstick – Lucy’s Party*

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When it comes to Autumn makeup, I’m not sure that I love anything quite like an oxblood lip. It transforms any makeup or outfit into something all together more glamorous. Even if I throw on an oversized sweater with jeans and boots, a vampy lip makes it look like I tried far harder than I actually did!

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I had been dying to try Ilia lipsticks for an age, so I thought that it would be best to give one of their deepest, darkest shades a go! Lucy’s Party is described as the brand’s newest core shade – inspired by Lucy in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, it promises ‘sultry drama’ in a single sweep!

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To say I’m obsessed with the lipstick is something of an understatement. From the slick, minimalist packaging, to the stunning colour, this is a seriously impressive lipstick. As if it wasn’t pretty enough, it’s an organic lipstick, which is perfect if you’re looking to up your natural beauty collection.

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Lucy’s Party is an absolute gem of a find – after exfoliating my lips and priming with balm, it’s easy to swipe on, straight from the bullet. The colour payoff is incredible, even though the formula feels balmy and lightweight, it gives a bright streak of colour, which is exactly what I’m needing at this time of year! The colour is absolute perfection too! A true deep oxblood, it has a subtle blue undertone which keeps teeth looking pearly white, and the staying power is seriously impressive. I easily get three hours of wear before it starts to fade.

Ilia Lipstick in Lucy’s Party is priced at £22 and is available from Panache Cosmetics

Charlie Anderson artwork unveiling at The Principal Hotel, Edinburgh

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If you’ve been on George Street recently, you might have noticed a bit of a renovation going on over the past few years, as the George Hotel has been transformed into The Principal Edinburgh.

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The building is one of the city’s grandest, and the hotel spans what was once a bank, three Georgian townhouses, as well as a more modern addition to the rear. It’s an absolutely glorious building, and by far the best hotel in Edinburgh. There is even a coffee shop (Burr & Co) and restaurant (The Printing Press) onsite, meaning that if you’re lucky enough to stay in the hotel, you don’t even need to step outside, whilst still enjoying some of Edinburgh’s best spots!

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As well as getting to have something of a nose around the hotel, we had been invited for the official unveiling of a specially-commissioned artwork by British artist Charlie Anderson, to celebrate the hotel’s new look. We gathered in the bar of the Printing Press, sipping on signature vodka cocktails (Kelpies) or seriously strong Old Fashioneds whilst General Manager Andreas Maszczyk introduced Charlie and explained a little about the renovations.

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The artwork celebrates the best of Edinburgh – portraits of some of some of the city’s most prominent citizens are scattered throughout the piece, interspersed with a quotation from Sir Walter Scott. The top etching is taken from the original plan for the building (when it was still a bank) and it’s a really lovely representation of all that Edinburgh has to offer. We then heard from Charlie about the creation process and how he incorporated all of the elements of the piece together.

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Then it was time to head upstairs to have a bit of a nosey at the rooms. We were shown to one of the hotel’s Junior Suites. Overlooking George Street, we could see the sparkling lights shimmering through the curtains, but it was absolutely silent. Then, sipping on prosecco, we got to have a real look around and hear more about the hotel in general.

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The room itself is absolute perfection. Decorated in soft greys and whites, it’s exactly how I want to redecorate. With a velvet chesterfield at the bottom of the bed, and soft flannel drapes, I can’t imagine a better place to wind down.

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It was so lovely to hear Andreas talk about the hotel – the level of service and comfort that Principal Edinburgh prides itself on is seriously impressive. Every room has an old-school red phone which can pretty much grant every wish in under an hour. Whether you want to order room service or theatre tickets, it will be at your door in under 60 minutes! We were also shown all the extra little touches in the room – rather than an overpriced minibar there are complimentary tuck boxes, and the framed and wall-mounted televisions are all equipped with Netflix and the like, meaning you can sit back and enjoy a couple of episodes of your favourite shows. The hotel is now pet friendly too! Four legged guests are provided with their own beds and bowls, meaning they get as much of a treat as you do!

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The bathrooms are just as dreamy as the bedrooms too! The suite’s was an absolute confection of white marble, fitted with a glorious roll top bath and rain-fall shower. Also, they are using one of the best water softener for water softening. All the rooms in the Principal Edinburgh hotel rooms come with these showers, which sound absolutely incredible! We then got the chance to explore the Forth View Suite, which has the most wonderful views over the skyline of Edinburgh. Getting to pop outside and see the castle all lit up was incredibly special. Unsurprisingly, it’s already booked up for New Years!

Rooms at the Principal Edinburgh start at £149 per night and you can find out more here.

Take a closer look at Edinburgh’s West End this Christmas

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Edinburgh’s West End is inviting you to come and take a closer look this Christmas, exploring its full range of unique events and themed master classes throughout the month of December.

This is a very exciting time for Edinburgh’s West End which is constantly growing with a number of stylish boutiques, luxury hotels, fine dining, traditional pubs and modern bars. As well as a range of hair & beauty salons and spas– providing the very best in style and well-being with some of the finest places to visit in the city.

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Throughout December, Edinburgh’s West End will host a number of themed master classes and pop up events as well as a unique Christmas Concierge Service to organise all of your shopping with a personal touch in the run up to the big day. This service will run on the 8th, 15th and 22nd of December.

Some of the festive master classes include: Breath Works – An introduction to mindfulness and meditation. If practised regularly, can help you to relax, feel happier and more content. Glam Candy – Skincare and Make-up master class with a demonstration from a professional make-up artist. Just g Boutique – Fashion Colour Master Class to discover the styles and colours that will make you shine this season. Rogue Flowers are hosting a pop up shop for Christmas with a number of in house master classes as well as their very own Christmas Grotto.

A full list of the calendar of events and activities taking place within Edinburgh’s West End throughout the festive period will be available on their facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/EdinWestEnd/ from Sunday 20th November, as well as a weekly ‘Take A Closer Look’ social media competition starting on the 5th of December. For further information and booking details please keep up to date with their social media in the run up to December.

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