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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.

 

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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

 

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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
This Works In Transit Camera Close-up
Sand & Sky Purifying Pink Clay Mask

I know I’m currently deciding what I need to purchase! You can find out more here.

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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.

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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)

 

 

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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.

 

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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)

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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.

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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.

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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)

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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!?

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