Eyelash Emporium 2 in 1 Latex Free Adhesive*

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When it comes to beauty products, it’s not often you find something completely new – so when I caught sight of The Eyelash Emporium’s 2 in 1 Non-Latex Adhesive, I couldn’t resist giving it a go!

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The double-ended product has two sets of latex-free lash adhesive – one clear and one black. It’s perfect if you’re a bit of a klutz with lashes like I am – the white side dries clear, whilst the black stays dark, meaning you can forget the liner when you use it!

Using the lash adhesive couldn’t be easier – I hold my strip lashes using the applicator (review here), and paint a little of the adhesive along the strip. I give it about 30 seconds to get sticky and tacky, then place the lashes on the lash line, holding in place for about a minute, to make sure everything is firmly in place. The adhesive lasts all day long, and happily, for a sensitive-skinned person like me, it’s latex-free, so I don’t need to deal with itchy eyes!

The Eyelash Emporium 2-in-1 Latex-Free Adhesive is priced at £8.95 and is available here.

 

Dinner at Hemingway’s, Leith*

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Up until this summer, I, rather shamefully, hadn’t really explored too much of Leith. It’s a little further out from my usual haunts, but it’s undergoing a really exciting period of growth at the moment with a whole slew of independent shops, cafes and restaurants opening up.

A couple of weeks back, we headed down to the shore on a rather soggy Friday evening to try out the newly opened Hemingway’s – a cosy spot which has been transformed into an elegant sharing plates restaurant, with dishes inspired by a slew of European cuisines.

With a slick bar upfront, and cosy booths to the rear of the restaurant, you can pop in for a couple of killer cocktails, or head in for a full-on meal, depending on what you’re after. It’s perfect if you’ve got a bunch of friends as indecisive as mine, or if you’re in the mood for something a little different.

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As you would expect from the name, there are wry literary quips scattered throughout the restaurant, but the bathrooms are a must visit.

I’m not one to usually go on about a restaurant’s facilities, but these are something else! Golden swans, sequins and swings are just the start of what’s tucked away in there, and it’s a fun spot which feels absolutely perfect for some instagramming opportunities!

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After taking the requisite selfies in the bathroom, it was time to order. With a menu encompassing small plates, extras, planks and flatbreads, there was a whole lot to decide between, but on the advice of the staff (all incredibly friendly and equipped with some killer recommendations) we opted to share some plates from the land and sea options, with a side of fries for good measure.

Since the whole ethos of the restaurant is sharing plates, the dishes come out as they’re made, meaning that we started off with seafood dishes.

First up were the Seared Scallops served with carrot puree, chorizo and pickled carrot (£11). I’m a real fan of scallops, so when I saw them on the menu, I couldn’t resist! Served perfectly seared, with the middles still translucent, the trio were beautifully sweet and fresh, and positively melted in the mouth.

The Thai Style Crispy Prawns (£8.50) came highly recommended, and when they arrived, we completely understood the hype. Huge prawns in a light, crisp batter were served alongside peanuts and chilli oil, creating a dish reminiscent of satay, but even better. We could have easily snacked on these all evening, as they were absolutely divine, but then we would have missed out on the absolute treats to come!

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After trying Halloumi fries for the first time this summer, neither of us could resist when we saw them on the menu (£8). Arriving at the table piping hot, with crisp exteriors and hot, gooey insides, these were dreamy, especially paired with the sticky pomegranate molasses and zesty lemon tahini. To say these disappeared pretty much instantly is an understatement, but who could resist?

The second wave of dishes to arrived included the Hemingway’s Bavette served with broccoli (£11) and our portion of fries (£3) which came with the most delicious pot of truffled pecorino sauce. I sometimes feel like Bavette is a bit of a neglected cut of beef here, but at Hemingway’s it was cooked to rare perfection. Drizzled in the most fabulous Black Garlic Butter, it was a hearty portion, and paired perfectly with out portion of fries!

We couldn’t resist enjoying a few cocktails whilst we enjoyed supper, so opted for an old school virgin Pina colada for the driver, whilst I sipped on a pumpkin martini. During our visit, Hemingway’s had a specials menu in collaboration with Boutiquey’s Gin and I’m so glad I enjoyed a seasonal cocktail. Sweet, spiced and very pumpkin-y, the martini was just the drink to get the weekend started!

Even though we were more than satisfied with supper, we couldn’t resist the suggestions to try some puddings. First up was the white chocolate and ginger cheesecake (£7). Equal parts fresh and decadent, the mix of ice cream, cheesecake and picked ginger was incredibly moreish.

I couldn’t resist the opportunity to try the sticky toffee pudding (£7) which came served with clotted cream ice cream and a raspberry compote. The berries’ tartness was perfect with the rich toffee sauce, and the sponge was a fabulous end to a fabulous meal.

Thank you so much to Hemmingway’s for having us!

 

Pestle & Mortar Balance Spritz*

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When it comes to winter skincare, keeping hydration levels up is key. Between low outside temperatures, the heating cranked up indoors, as well as any wind and rain you have to deal with, skin can feel more than a little battered. I’ve upgraded my moisturiser to a richer formula, and I’ve been keeping a bottle of Pestle & Morar’s Balance Spritz on hand, to act as a hydrating setting spray, as well as to keep hydration levels up as the day goes on.

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The mist that this spray has is absolute perfection. It’s incredibly fine and gentle, and settles on skin without disrupting makeup or leaving wet dots everywhere. Designed to hydrate as well as balance skin, the mis improves skin health, balances sebum production and reduces skin pollution thanks to the formulation which is blended with deep sea Irish magnesium, amino acids as well as herbal extracts.

Pestle & Mortar Balance Spritz is priced at £28 and is available here

Clockface Beauty Face Scrub*

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When it comes to keeping my skin looking its best, I’ve found keeping my routine simple is the best course of action. Whenever I start playing about with products and procedures, my skin reacts – usually quite badly. So, I’ve found it’s best to avoid complications.

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The routine which suits me best tends to be a simple cleanse in the morning, a thorough double cleanse in the evening and a whole lot of moisture in between. Once every three weeks or so, I head to the fabulous Zen Lifestyle in Edinburgh for a DiamondTome microdermabrasian facial and then give my face a good exfoliation every few days at home.

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My newest exfoliant is the fabulous Clockface Beauty Elemi & Black Pepper Scrub. Technically part of the brand’s male lineup, it sits somewhere between scrub, balm and mask, and feels perfect to use on winter-stressed skin. Every few nights, after cleansing, I smooth a little of the scrub over my entire face, making sure to focus on problem areas, or any spots which feel a little dry. Thanks to the product’s 92% organic ingredients, it smells absolutely incredible, and it’s gentle on my sensitive skin. On days when my skin is feeling a bit congested, I leave the scrub on for a couple of minutes to act like a mask. Since the scrub can act like a mild astringent, I don’t need to tone afterwards – instead I just load up on moisturiser and I’m good to go!

Clockface Beauty Face Scrub is priced at £34 and is available here

 

A Night at The Airds Hotel, Port Appin*

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When it comes to travelling, I’ve been lucky enough to go to some pretty fabulous places. I don’t need any sort of persuasion to hop in a car or on a plane and go explore somewhere new, it’s resulted in some fun adventures, but it’s also meant I’ve slightly neglected Scotland as a destination.

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So, last month, in the middle of a rather busy few weeks, I left my laptop at home (and with it, my work emails) and in the hopes of relaxing for a few hours, headed out west to stunning loch side village of Port Appin. The drive itself was glorious – three hours of nothing but scenery to enjoy, and before too long we happened upon our destination for the evening – the lauded Airds Hotel.

Part of the Relais & Châteaux group, the hotel is a historic inn, boasting 11 luxury guest rooms as well as a fabulous 3 AA Rosette restaurant which has been given a nod for Fine Dining in the 2020 Michelin Guide.

Check-in was a glorious affair – we were ushered into the cosy lounge, and offered glasses of champagne in front of a crackling fire whilst our bags were swept up to the room.

The attention to detail at the Airds Hotel is evident in the details throughout the hotel – as you enter the hotel, the hallway is filled with dozens of fresh lilies which smell absolute divine, and the sitting room has the most beautiful arrangement of fresh orchids.

After we’d finished our champers, we were shown upstairs to our room for the night – the fabulous Loch View Suite.

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Situated at the front of the hotel, the room isn’t overlooked by anything other than the loch, so on the advice of the fabulous Carolyn, we slept with the curtains and windows open, so we were woken up with the most glorious views of the sun rising over the water.

The bedroom was a study in comfort – kitted out with the most heavenly beds courtesy of ViSpring, and linens from my forever-favourite Frette. As we were lucky enough to be in a suite for the night, there was a snug extra sitting room, as well a roomy ensuite which had a soaking tub, and shower too.

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I was thrilled to see toiletries by Bulgari in the bathroom – and it was such a treat to enjoy a post-dinner soak with them.

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As if the rooms weren’t comfy enough – they come with a bottle of Whisky Mac – a local delicacy dreamt up by the fishermen of yore. Made up of whisky and ginger wine – it’s a tipple which warms you up in a drop, and was the perfect accompaniment to the delicious Oban Chocolate Company truffles.

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Before too long, we headed downstairs for the most delicious of suppers (a blog post to come!) but heading back up to bed felt like a treat.

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Thanks to the suite’s position at the front of the building, waking up early felt like a treat thanks to the beautiful views. Even better? Each morning, coffee, pastries and the paper of your choice are delivered to your room so you can wake up at your own pace.

Once we were suitably caffeinated, we headed downstairs for a bit of breakfast. Since the dining room faces out to the loch, it’s worth grabbing a table by the window so you can soak in the views.

Breakfasts at the Airds Hotel are something to really savour. As we pondered the menu with more piping hot coffee, we were enjoyed a selection of toast and pastries – we even had the chance to try some of the hotel’s home-made bannock (a thinly sliced fruit loaf) and homemade lemon curd (as smooth and delicious as you’d imagine).

Despite not normally being the biggest breakfast fan, I couldn’t resist trying some of their cooked options.

We couldn’t resist trying the full Scottish breakfast – filled with local produce, it was a seriously delicious, and hearty start to the morning. Since I’m the mushroom fan in the family, I must admit to stealing them, and having zero regrets about it!

I opted for the smoked salmon, scrambled eggs and spinach. All locally-sourced, it was absolute perfection, and a perfect set-up for a busy drive home.

Set up for the day ahead, I was lucky enough to be given a tour of the hotel by Managing Director Shaun McKivragan, sneaking into a few of the stunning bedrooms to see what was what.

If, like me, you’re in need of a little time away from the daily grind, Airds have a number of fabulous offers on. I’m loving their Scottish Luxury Winter Escape. With up to 25% off all rooms from the 1st November until the 26th March 2020 (excluded dates apply), it’s the perfect excuse to enjoy a relaxing in the Scottish Highlands this Winter. From just £125.00 per person, per night, based on two people sharing. (Includes dinner and full Scottish breakfast)

A night for two in the Loch View Suite is priced at £530 for two and includes dinner and a full Scottish Breakfast. You can find out more here.

 

 

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