Laura Geller Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator – Diamond Dust*

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When it comes to a subtle sheen, there feels like there are a million highlighters out there. Whether you’re after a powder, gel or liquid formula, spin around the beauty aisles, and chances are you’ll find what you’re looking for. So, when I saw the newest offering from Laura Geller, released to celebrate the brand’s 20th birthday, I had  to get my hands on it!

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When I heard it was called ‘Diamond Dust’ I had visions of a packed, glittery, shimmery highlighter, instead it’s a warm ivory shot through with a pink micro-glitter. I’m not going to lie, in the pan it looks a touch underwhelming. Laura Geller’s pans aren’t the glitziest on the market, but once you crack open the lid, the magic really happens!

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That’s when you see a feint pink glow appear in sunshine. This isn’t an ordinary, everyday highlighter. Not even a little bit – this is more akin to fairy dust or a unicorn. Much like Laura Geller’s regular highlighters, the texture of this one is dreamy. It feels incredibly soft and almost creamy to touch. I like applying mine with a large fan brush for a soft, diffused look. It blends seamlessly into skin, and it absolutely comes to life when the light catches it!

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Blended across cheekbones, brow bones and lids, it looks incredible. Violet, pink or silver depending on the light, this is a product absolutely made for special occasions! It feels almost space-age to wear, and I just adore how fun it feels!

Laura Geller Diamond Dust Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator in Diamond Dust is priced at £21 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

Urban Decay Meltdown Makeup Remover Dissolving Spray*

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Urban Decay’s new skincare line has quickly become one of my favourites. With a great mix of moisturisers and cleansers, it feels well thought out and incredibly balanced. There are some products too, which make you wonder why no one has ever thought of before. Case in point? The Meltdown Makeup Removing Spray.

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Packaged like the brand’s bestselling setting sprays, the Meltdown does pretty much the exact opposite. It’s the perfect product if you hate removing makeup – the spray takes the work out of cleansing. Simply dampen skin, then spritz on a little of the spray.

DSC_0807The product is basically a spray-on cleansing oil, and as a result, it’s incredible for removing stubborn makeup like liners, mascaras and lipsticks. After spraying on damp skin, I use my fingers to work the product in, then I wash off using warm water and a clean flannel. Since my skin breaks out easily, I tend to follow up with a foaming cleanser. The spray really takes away the effort of makeup removal – no more panda eyes with this one!

Urban Decay Meltdown Makeup Removal Spray is priced at £23.50 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

A Night at Edinburgh’s Principal Hotel

 

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Living in a place means that you can get kind of blinded to what’s around you. I know that I’m guilty of always heading to the same coffee shops, restaurants and bars.

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About a year ago, the Principal Hotel popped up on George Street, occupying 5 of the street’s historic townhouses, it brought with it a rather fabulous restaurant in the form of the Printing Press, and a great little coffee shop – Burr & Co.

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Since then, I’ve visited both Burr & Co and the Printing Press numerous times, all whilst dreaming of the rooms within. I got a sneak peak at the bedrooms late last year (post here), and I’ve been pretty obsessed with the hotel since!

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So, a couple of weeks ago, I booked a Monday off work, packed my bags, and headed through for a night of luxury.

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As you can see from the photos – the room was absolute perfection. We were in a deluxe double in the newer portion of the hotel. With views of Stockbridge, heading down to the Forth, it was the cosiest way to spend a Sunday evening you can imagine.

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We had been well looked after by the Principal Edinburgh – when we got into the room, there was the cutest little picnic basket all packed up for us! With goodies from Burr & Co (including possibly the world’s largest, most delicious brownie you can imagine) as well as drink vouchers for downstairs – it was just what we needed!

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Not to mention the tuck box – a tin of goodies found in every Principal Hotel room. It’s the cutest idea – rather than the usual overpriced mini bars, Principal Hotels offer tuck boxes which are filled with little treats you can enjoy at no extra cost.

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So, we unpacked, ran downstairs for two cups of Edinburgh’s finest hot chocolates and headed back up to enjoy a night of comfy luxury!

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I can’t even tell you how comfortable the bed was – the perfect mattress was topped with the softest, snuffliest bedding, and I had the best night’s sleep!

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All too soon it was morning, and we padded down the the Printing Press for breakfast. I’d only ever been for supper in the restaurant, but I’m already planning a return am trip!

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The buffet on offer was positively groaning under all the delicious offerings.

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Whether you’re a pastry-lover, a toast-cruncher or a cereal kind of gal, there are options for everyone. Even though I’m not normally a regular breakfast-eater, I couldn’t resist The Principal’s offering!

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In addition to what has to be the best breakfast spread in Edinburgh, there is also a menu full of delicious hot options. As we chatted over freshly squeezed orange juice and coffee, it occurred to me that somehow I’ve never ordered a traditional cooked breakfast.

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So, there was only one option for it – we both ordered a Cooked Breakfast. Promising slices of Gildener sweet-cured smoked back bacon, a Gloucester Old Spot sausage, Stornoway black pudding, grilled plum tomatoes, buttered mushrooms, Heinz baked beans, as well as free-range scrambled eggs, it was a rather impressive plate to receive!

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What arrived was an absolute delight! Enough to feed a small army, it was an absolute feast! The bacon and sausages were real stand outs – rich in flavour and subtly sweet – it was absolutely delicious!

Thank you so much to the Principal Hotel Edinburgh for having us! Rooms at the hotel start at £212 per night, you can visit for breakfast too at £15.95 per person.

111Skincare Space Aqua Booster*

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When it comes to harsh conditions on skin, I’m not sure anything really beats space, but Edinburgh certainly comes close! As someone with dry skin normally, a change of climate can wreak havoc, so I’m always looking for products which keep me feeling as soft and healthy as possible!

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So, when I heard about 111Skin’s Space Aqua Booster, I had to get mu hands on it! With a formula boasting 2 moisture boosting complexes, it’s just the product if your skin tends towards dryness. I tend to use a couple of drops each morning, right after washing and drying my face.

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The drops have a thick, serum-like consistency, which leave skin feeling plumped and hydrated without stickiness or greasiness. The Hyaluronic Acid in the drops helps skin retain moisture whilst Lactil instantly replenishes lost moisture by mimicking the skin’s natural moisturising factors. It’s an incredibly clever little product, which feels simple to use. There is also Vitamin E in there to protect the skin and reduce water loss. Once I’ve given the drops a minute or two to sink in, I follow with a little of my regular moisturiser (another gem by 111Skincare which I’ll review soon), but I can’t even tell you hope much I love the effect that the Space Aqua Booster has had on my skin!

111Skincare Space Acqua Booster is priced at £85 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

Maybelline Dream Cushion Foundation*

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I’ve been a fan of cushion foundations for a while now. I love their light coverage, dewy finishe, and the fact that they’re usually quite an affordable base option. So, when Maybelline sent over their brand new Dream Cushion, I was rather exited.

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Packaged in a dinky little compact, the cushion foundation is everything you need to create a flawless base. There is even a handy little puff to apply the foundation, in case you don’t like using your fingers.

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Honestly, if you told me this came from a premium brand, I’d happily believe you. The colour (1 Natural Ivory) is the lightest of seven shades, so if you’re super light or dark skinned, matching might be an issue. The formula is quite sheer though, so you can hopefully make it work.

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With an SPF 20, it’s a fabulous choice for a summer foundation, and I just adore the light, glowy coverage. It perfects skin without covering it up, and it is the perfect base for blushes and bronzers – never looking streaky or too heavy. I’ve been wearing it daily, and it’s become a real fave!

Maybelline Dream Cushion Foundation is priced at £13.99 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

The Restoration Yard Dalkeith

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When I first heard about the Restoration Yard late last year, I fell in love. Hard. It’s a place which feels unique in Scotland. A haven to escape to just outside Edinburgh, it’s one of those places I end up in whenever I need a little pick-me-up, or if I’m looking for a little treat.

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Nestled in the heart of Dalkeith Country Park, The Restoration Yard has been developed over the past few years to be an absolute haven. A children’s paradise in the form of Fort Douglas (perhaps the world’s most incredible tree house and fort) sits beside the most fabulously curated store in the country.

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Not only this, but there is also the most fabulous restaurant which serves an ever-changing seasonal menu. I popped in just before Christmas (you can read my review here) and I still dream about the venison ragu I enjoyed!

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Whether you’re looking for a gift, or just a treat though, I guarantee you won’t be leaving empty-handed. There is a mind boggling selection of goodies in there, and they have all been specifically chosen for Restoration Yard. There is a real spirit of positivity behind each and every piece of stock.

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I’ve found pieces by covetable like Ban.do, Rifle Paper Co and Bruket, and honestly, every time I pop in, my wish list just grows and grows!

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It’s not just beauty and accessories which are stocked. There is a fabulous selection of both men and women’s clothing, and the children’s pieces are absolutely dreamy!

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There is a whole food hall in there too – complete with another cafe perfect for a casual snack. There is also a whole range of classes to choose from if you’re into yoga and pilates – you can even book in for massage treatments soon!

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The Restoration Yard is located in Dalkeith Country Park, which is only a 15 minute drive from Edinburgh. You can find out more here.

Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base*

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When it comes to creating a flawless base, I’m not sure if you can do better than Bobbi Brown. The queen of natural beauty, the brand was one of the first ‘makeup’ brands to take skincare seriously and branch into cosmetics.

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The Vitamin Enriched Face Base has had a place in my beauty stash for as long as I can remember. Whenever my skin feels dried, stressed out, or just in need of a little TLC, it’s the cream I turn to, and in summer, if I’m looking to create a subtle glow, this is the cream I turn to.

DSC_0899Packaged in a chic little glass jar, the Vitamin Enriched Face Base has a rich, balmy texture which melts into skin effortlessly. It smells absolutely incredible, with a subtle citrus scent, and it makes skin feel absolutely incredible! Smoothing skin, and leaving it primed for makeup, it’s also the perfect base if you’re going to be doing some travelling – it keeps skin hydrated all day long.

Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base is priced at £42 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

Summer Colour with Scunci and Sleek*

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Now that we’re in July, I’m loving injecting a bit of colour into my wardrobe – and so it seems, do Scunci and Sleek. Right in time for festival-season (as well and days at the beach), I’ve gotten my hands on the most beautiful pieces out there!

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When it comes to hair elastics, Scunci are my go-to brand. They make elastics which are absolutely perfect – they hold my hair in place, and they’re always super cute! Case in point are these No Slip Grips. Made out of neon rubber, they don’t snag on hair, and they always look incredible. Since they’re waterproof, I always keep a handful of them in my beach bag.

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Sleek Cosmetics have also jumped on the brights bandwagon. With a choice of twelve shades, this eyeshadow palette has to be the brightest in my collection. What I love most about the shadows (apart, obviously, from the fact that they are stunning) is the fact that there is a real balance between matt and shimmer shades.

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To achieve a true neon look, I’ve found that priming my lids, then layering on the white shadow first is key. It really makes colours pop, and adds to longevity. The compact holds twelve shadows (a mix of brights with more subtle shades like grey and black, as well as a double-ended applicator.

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The colours are seriously smooth and the pigments are surprisingly strong – I love a dot of pink or purple in the centre of my lid if I’m doing a dramatic smokey eye, and the navy blues are surprisingly wearable.

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I can’t wait to experiment more with the shadows, as the colours are just so stunning – I’m thinking that these are the perfect choice if you’re planning some music-festival worthy looks!

Scuni No Slip Grip Elastics are priced at £3.49 and are available here (UK) and here (US), and Sleek’s i-Divine Eyeshadow Palette in Acid is priced at £8.99 and is available here

Maybelline Vivid Hot Lacquer – So Hot & Unreal*

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When it comes to drugstore makeup, Maybelline is one of my favourite brands. Time and time again, I grab a handful of products when I’m running around Boots, and they end up being absolutely incredible. So, when Maybelline sent over two of the newest shades of their Color Sensational Vivid Hot Lacquers, I was understandably excited.

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So Hot, a fiery, almost neon red, feels perfectly fresh for summer.  It’s got subtle blue tones in it which keep teeth looking pearly white, and I just cannot wait to wear this with a tan!

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Applied straight from the tube, the gloss gives lips an even coat of opaque colour in a single sweep. The gloss is surprisingly pigmented, and I love the sweet, vanilla scent.

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Unreal is a stunning blue-tone pink. A real your-lips-but-better shade, this have become my go-to shade for day to day wear.

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For day to day use, I tap on a little of the gloss using my finger. It leaves lips looking polished, with a subtle sheen. If I’m after something a little more obvious, I apply it straight from the tube. Again, the gloss has a fun vanilla scent, and it’s so comfortable to wear – it doesn’t feel sticky or drying, and I easily get two to three hours of wear per application.

Maybelline Color Sensational Vivid Hot Lacquer is priced at £7.99 each and they’re available here (UK) and here (US)

 

Maybelline Master Strobing Liquid*

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If there is a trend which is perfect for summer – it’s got to be pretty, sheeny skin. Maybelline obviously agree, and have released a brand new one in the form of Master Strobing Liquid.

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With an almost mousse-like formula, the Master Strobing  Liquid melts into skin, leaving it with a perfect shell pink sheen. It’s so easy to apply the highlighter – I like to tap it into my cheekbones with my fingers for a subtle gleam, or, if I’m looking for something a touch more dramatic – it smoothes on gloriously with a BeautyBlender too!

Maybelline Master Strobing Liquid is priced at £7.99 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

Rodial Bee Venom Body Serum*

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When it comes to serums, formulas designed for your face aren’t exactly new. I’ve had one as part of my regime for the past few years, and I’m going to guess I’m not alone. Where I haven’t been using a serum though, is on my body. Well, that was until Rodial sent over their brand new Bee Venom Body Serum.

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Promising to firm and tone skin, this sounds like the perfect summer skincare addition. It’s lighter in weight than a regular body moisturiser – it feels lovely and soothing to apply, and I’m obsessed with the fragrance! The serum smells a little sweet – there is a touch of honey along with floral notes. It feels like a spa treatment to use, and skin feels incredible once it’s on.

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Since it’s not as heavy as regular body creams, it’s perfect for wearing in hot weather, and it makes skin look and feel amazing. Soft and smooth, with a healthy glow – it’s exactly how you want to feel in summer clothes!

Rodial Bee Venom Body Serum is pried at £65 and is available here (UK)