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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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)
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.
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)
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.
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.
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)
A couple of weeks ago I was on my way to Cheshire and decided it was about time I stopped off at The Hart’s Head, as I had received some tempting emails from their PR company.
The food is stunning and the staff are so pleasant which really makes a difference. The rustic, homely vibe is somewhat reminiscent of a traditional log cabin (which if you know me, is my thing)! Think walls adorned with antlers, rustic wall lamps and lots of wood.
If you love traditional, British pub food which is high quality and seasonal then you’ll love the food at The Hart’s Head.
I’m curious to visit the other venue’s which are owned by the Cricketer’s Inn Group (I’ve got my eye on the Plough at Lupton next) and see how they compare to the Hart’s Head Inn.. The only downfall? I wish I lived closer!
If you’re at a loss for what to do this weekend, I would seriously suggest a wander around Edinburgh’s West End. It’s filled with stunning little boutiques, chic salons and the cutest cafes and restaurants.
Exploring can be hungry business, so knowing where to eat is crucial, and we were well taken care of with a reservation at Kyloe – Edinburgh’s first dedicated steak restaurant. Located upstairs, right at the heart of Rutland Street, with views up Princes Street and a peak at the castle, it’s a favourite of tourists and locals alike.
The menu boasts every cut and variety of steak you can imagine, including a brand new lunch menu. Available Monday-Saturday from noon until 3.30pm, it’s a great option if you’re looking for a quicker option than the restaurant might ordinarily serve.
We both opted for the Steak Frites (£15) – well, you couldn’t come to Kyloe and not indulge in a little beef! Served with a fresh salad, the frites were chunkier than anticipated (I’m a fan of something closer to the French style) but they were wonderfully hot and crisp. The steak was juicy and flavourful, and the salad and peppercorn sauce were great additions.
You can find out more about Edinburgh’s West End here, and see Kyloe’s menu here
Summer is, undoubtedly, the season of glow. I don’t think there is anything quite as pretty as tanned skin with a subtle sheen. It would seem that Too Faced think the same as me, as they have just released a trio of the prettiest highlighters right in time for the summer season.
Love Light is possibly the glitziest of the three – the compact alone looks like something Polly Pocket should go clubbing in. It’s adorable – and any time I whip it out of my makeup bag, it’s met with hundreds of compliments.
Thankfully the highlighter inside is as pretty as the outside. A true yellow-toned gold, this is a product which was made for tanned skin. The formula brings together the benefits of powder, cream and gel products and combines them into one easy to use (and gorgeous) compact.
Silky smooth, Love Light is absolutely made for tanned and darker skin tones. A single swipe of the highlighter leaves behind a sheer golden sheen, whilst a few more strokes with a highlighter brush really creates the most fabulous strobing effect. It’s definitely a product for when you’re feeling fancy, and I can’t wait to wear it all summer long!
Too Faced Love Light is priced at £25 and is available here (UK) and here (US)
I don’t think I ever rely as hard on primers as I do in the summer. There’s just something about sunlight and heat which leaves makeup pretty much non-existent. Plus, the moment I step foot on a plane, my foundation somehow vanishes, so I’m always on the lookout for a good one.
I was absolutely over the moon to receive a tube of Estee Lauder’s new The Smoother Universal Perfecting Primer. It sounded exactly like what I was after. Colour and fragrance free, the primer is a lightweight gel which smooths on to skin effortlessly. There is a slight silicon feel to the gel, which, honestly I prefer, and it leaves skin feeling satiny soft.
After applying with my fingers, I smooth on my foundation as normal. The Smoother makes application a breeze, and I swear I don’t need to apply as much as I do normally. Then I swipe on a little concealer and bronzer, and I’m good to go. The Smoother gives skin a luminous finish – it’s not matte, but it’s not as dewy as my skin can sometimes get. It’s also a great base if I’m playing with more extreme makeup looks. When I’ve got this on, eyeliners, shadows and even lipsticks don’t budge an inch. It also keeps makeup looking fresh all day long.
Estee Lauder The Smoother is priced at £25 and is available here (UK) and here (US)
Summer has to be the season of the hair wave. Even though I pretty much resolutely wear my hair straight, the moment the good weather appears, I dig out the tongs to try and create an effortless wavy look. It helps my hair has a natural wave in it (although it does tend to veer towards frizz), but Philip B’s Maui Wowie is the product I’ve been looking for.
Fortified with Sea Salt, Algae, Aloe Vera and Coconut, this spray is full of good-for-hair ingredients. After washing and conditioning, I comb through my ends whilst I’m still in the shower, then I mist on Maui Wowie from root to tip, then I don’t touch my hair. At all. The spray smells absolutely incredible – all coconut and summertime, and it does feel like I should be tripping out to a far flung beach somewhere, rather than just running errands in Edinburgh. It gives hair a boost of volume, and gives hair a serious dose of sheen – it also makes waves and curls stay in place far longer than they do naturally – it’s the perfect product for easy lazy day hair!
Philip B Maui Wowie is priced at £25 and is available here (UK) and here (US)
Spending most of my time in Edinburgh, it can be easy to fall into routines. There are my regular coffee shops, delis and where I pop in when I fancy a treat, so when I was invited to see the best of what the West End has to offer, I jumped at the chance.
Edinburgh’s West End is perfect if you’re looking for a day of strolling round. It’s gorgeous – full of Georgian architecture (my favorite) and independent boutiques and restaurants. It’s also a whole lot quieter – so taking an afternoon to potter around is an absolutely heavenly way to spend a day.
One of my first ports of call was the Odyssey Boutique – an award winning collection of the most glorious lingerie and swimwear you can imagine!
With every piece in the store picked personally by owner Sarah, it’s a wonderfully curated selection.
There are bras which are perfect for everyday wear, as well as those which are definitely reserved for more special occasions. The price points for the underwear will also suit most – the pieces reserved for regular wear hover around the £60 mark, whilst those looking for the more intricate designs will be able to indulge for significantly more.
The store itself is an absolute jewel box – the walls are peppered with the most divine lingerie and swimwear you can imagine, and Sarah is on hand to advise and recommend pieces you might not have seen.
In addition to the most glorious underwear and swimwear, Sarah also stocks a neat selection of must-have beauty bits. Think the best fake tanks, body oils and sunscreens which are going to have you feeling like a goddess!
When Urban Decay released their brand new line of skincare products, my hopes were pretty high. I’m uniformly impressed with their makeup (I mean, they’re the brand who brought in the nude eye palettes to the stashes of us all) so it’s fair to say my standards were high. Happily, I’ve been more than impressed with what I’ve tried.
The Melt Down Makeup Remover is something of a must-have. Packaged in a squeezy tube, with fun watercolour designs, using the Melt Down Makeup Remover couldn’t be easier. I’ve been using it (unsurprisingly) at night, when I’ve had a full face on.
The Melt Down Makeup Remover has a lighter, milkier consistency than I was expecting. I dampen my face first, then massage a small amount into my face. It has the nicest, slightly coconut-y scent which feels perfect for summer. It’s also magic. It completely erases all traces of makeup (including my sturdiest mascaras and eye liners) without stripping skin or stinging eyes. It completely eradicates all makeup – no matter how much foundation or liner I’m wearing, and it’s so pleasant to use!
Urban Decay Melt Down Makeup Remover is priced at £18 and is available here (UK)