Harvey Nichols Beauty Gift with Purchase

Harvey Nichols GWP

If you’re in the mood for some serious beauty spending. Stop. This. Second. You’re going to want to wait until July 25th when Harvey Nichols launch this incredible gift with purchase. To get your hands on over £400 of products, you just need to treat yourself to £250 worth of beauty products (and you have to buy three or more products).

I don’t know about you, but it’s frighteningly easy to do! I’m planning on splurging on this moisturiser, this lip balm, and this perfume. And the reward for indulging in a bit of luxury is:

  • Aromatherapy Associates Revive Gel
  • Aveda Colour Conserve Conditioner
  • Bare Minerals Gen Nude Matte Liquid Lipcolor in Swag
  • Benefit Dew the Hoola Liquid Bronzer
  • Blink Brow Definer in Indian Chocolate
  • Charlotte Tilbury Supermodel Body Shimmer
  • Clarins Paris Bath & Shower Concentrate
  • Clinique Take The Day Off Mini Cleanser
  • CoverFX CUStom Blending Brush
  • Delilah Eye Line Long Wear Retractable Pencil
  • Dermalogica Superfoliant
  • Elemis Superfood Facial Oil Hourglass Girl Lip Stylo in Peacemaker
  • Santa Eulalia Obscuro Eau De Parfum
  • Lancome Bi-Facil Non Oily Instant Cleanser
  • Laura Mercier Travel Mercier Stick in Sand Glow
  • MAC Liptensity Lipstick split across shades Hellebore, Claretcast, Ambrosial, Eros and Lobster
  • Malin + Goetz Vitamin E Face Moisturiser
  • NARS Lipgloss in Priscilla Orveda Deluxe Triple Set
  • Rodial Stem Cell Magic Gel
  • Sisley Black Rose Skin Infusion Cream
  • Trish McEvoy Mascara

You can find Harvey Nichols beauty department online here

Kevyn Aucoin – The Lipgloss – Tulapina

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If there is something I do not need it’s lipgloss. I have a literal box of the stuff, but when I was perusing the aisles of Space NK this week (a very dangerous thing to do, especially when you’re killing time and feeling like a little treat) I couldn’t resist a tube of Kevyn Aucoin’s The Lipgloss in Tulapina.

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A cool, blue-toned milky pink, this felt like summer in a tube, and I couldn’t resist. I know that matte lips are popular at the moment, but for everyday, I’m much more of a balm kind of a girl. That’s where the Kevyn Aucoin lipgloss comes in.

fullsizeoutput_127fThis is as far from sticky and gooey as you can imagine. Smoothed on the with doe foot applicator, The Lipgloss feels rich and balmy to apply. It has a subtle, slightly fruity scent, and it feels incredible on the lips. It’s incredible comfortable to wear, and I love how sheer and glossy it is – it really is just perfect for summer!

Kevyn Aucoin The Lipgloss is priced at £24 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

Dr. Barbara Sturm Facial Scrub*

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When I met with Dr. Barbara Sturm a couple of months ago, the first thing I noticed was how truly glowing she was. Not a scrap of makeup on, her skin was insane. And honestly, after speaking with her, and learning about her regimes and her products, how incredible skin was was no longer such a mystery. Over the past few months, I have fallen hard for Dr. Barbara Sturm skincare. Gentle, nourishing and calming, every product I’ve tried feels as if it was made for me, and happily, my Facial Scrub is no different.

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I can have a bit of a love/hate relationship with scrubs. I adore the way they make my skin feel – and I like the feeling of washing away all the ick and dead skin too. But, considering my skin is sensitive as well as prone to redness and dryness, I have to be super careful. Sturm’s scrub is seriously gentle as well as effective – with a rich feel and rounded particles, it doesn’t scratch or irritate skin. It just lifts away dead skin and impurities, leaving you feeling soft and smooth. I follow up with a hydrating oil and I’m good to go. I’ve been loving the results, and use the scrub at least twice per week.

Dr. Barbara Sturm Facial Scrub is price at £45 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

Lanolips Tinted Balms*

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I’m not sure about you, but as the weather gets warmer, my makeup gets way, way pared back. Anything thick, heavy or sticky feeling is pretty much thrown to the back of my makeup boxes until the leaves start to change. So, as you can imagine, I’ve been on the lookout for a lip product which feels nourishing and leaves a soft glow.

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That’s were Lanolips’ Tinted Balms come in. Boasting all the moisturising properties of lanolin, with the added bonuses of sheer colour and SPF 30, these have to be designed for summer use. Available in a selection of subtle shades, the balms are perfect for your off-duty look. Rhubarb is the deepest of the three – a rich pink with blue undertones, this is probably the shade I choose most often when I want to look ‘done’. A real your-lips-but-better shade, this is a nice way to wear a little colour.

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Rose is a stunning red-toned pink which again, is a fabulous amplified nude. Like all the Tinted Balms, Rose feels like an absolute dream to use; super smooth and hydrating, they have none of the typical stickiness of glosses. Instead, these feel almost silky on.

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My most-used of the lineup is ‘Perfect Nude’ and really, it is. A slightly pinky-beige colour, this is as pretty worn to the gym or to the office. It’s the one I like to keep in my everyday makeup bag, because I reach for it that much. All three balms have a subtle, slightly vanilla tinged scent, but it’s pretty innocuous,  The wear time for all three balms is great – I easy get 2-3 hours per application, and the colours are subtle enough to be easily touched-up on the go.

You can buy the Tinted Balms as a trio for £23 here

 

Odylique Honey & Oat Cleansing Bar*

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It’s not exactly groundbreaking that summer heralds a return to serious body care. You can’t cover up dry heels and rough elbows with boots and sweaters when it’s hot and stick outside. So I’ve been on the lookout for the best products to make life a bit easier, and a real favourite of mine has been Odylique’s Honey & Oat Cleansing Bar.

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I’ve loved products from the brand before, so I was excited to try out this hunk of soap. Studded with natural oats to aid exfoliation, I love how chunky it feels in the hand, and it smells softly sweet thanks to the honey in the formula. I tend to use mine every evening, it’s perfect for before shaving, and despite leaving skin super soft, it is incredible gentle.

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Indeed, it’s so gentle you can even use it on your face! I’ve been keeping mine on my arms and legs though, and have really seen the benefit. My skin stays soft and smooth, and it never feels as dried out as it usually does in the heat. Once I’ve jumped out the shower, I then smooth on a little coconut oil. It’s the perfect combination for summer skin!

Odylique Honey & Oat Cleansing Bar is priced at £6.50 and is available here.

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Cleansing Oil*

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One of the first skincare products I ever got really excited about was Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate. I remember reading the reviews online, with beauty editor after blogger proclaiming the magic worked by a couple of drops applied in the evening. Obviously I had to have it. And honestly, I’ve not been without a bottle since. Then, a few years ago, I bought a tube of the Midnight Recovery Eye Cream, and again I was pretty much blown away by it.

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So, when Kiehl’s released their new Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil, there was no way I couldn’t try it. Packaged in the line’s signature midnight blue bottles, the oil comes with a pump dispenser, which means everything stays clean, tidy, and most importantly, hygienic.

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As the name might suggest, the Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil is perfect for your pm routine. Since it’s an oil, it’s great at removing makeup – even mascara and eye liners melt away with a couple of drops of the stuff. after dampening my face with warm water, I use two pumps of the oil to fully cleanse my face. It smells divine thanks to the “Midnight Recovery” blend of ingredients: Squalane, Evening Primrose Oil, and Lavender Essential Oil work to both hydrate the skin as well as cleanse it. After washing off with a damp flannel, my skin feels so soft and smooth. It’s ready for a couple of drops of the Midnight Recovery Concentrate and swipe of the eye cream, and I’m off to bed!

Kiehl’s Midnihgt Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil is priced at £32  and is available here (UK) and here (US)

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)