Boots Botanics Hydration Burst 3-in-1 Micellar Water*

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When it comes to affordable skincare, one of my favourite brands has to be Boots Botanics range. Filled with must-have products which feel seriously premium, one of the products I buy time and time again is there 3-in-1 Micellar Cleanser. Part of the Hydration Burst line, the water is designed for dry and sensitive skin so it’s absolutely perfect for this time of year (although, since my skin is dry, this is my choice year round).

Colourless and odourless, I use this after a foaming cleanser each night, to make sure my skin is completely makeup free before heading to bed. It dissolves foundation and bronzer, and leaves skin feeling fresh rather than squeaky clean. It’s super gentle on eyes – getting rid of eyeliner and mascara without stinging. I also love the fact that the bottle is a generous 250ml too, so one easily lasts me a month or two!

Boots Botanics Hydration Burst 3-in-1 Micellar Water is priced at £6.99 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

 

Sanatio Naturalis Oils – Geranium & Jojoba*

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When it comes to giving myself a night off, it’s not a regular occurrence. Between working, catching up with emails, seeing friends and blogging, it can sometimes feel like I need (at least) an extra hour in the day to get through everything. So, for 2018, I’ve decided to treat myself to an evening offline every so often. In theory, I’d like this to be once a week, but realistically I’m going to try for once a month. I’m going to turn off my phone, turn up a bit of music, and catch up on some reading. Of course, it’s also going to be a perfect time to treat my skin to a little r&r too! A duo of products I’ve set aside for these evenings is Sanatio Naturalis Oils in Jojoba and Geranium.

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The jojoba oil is odourless, and acts as a carrier oil, so you can add whichever essential oils you like. It’s got a lovely lightweight texture, which deeply hydrates skin without feeling greasy and it’s perfect for fighting winter-dry skin. My essential oil of choice is Geranium, which has a host of benefits. One of the main ones is stress relief, but it also reduces blood pressure and improves circulation too. It’s an easy way to take a little bit better care of myself, and I just adore the fragrance too – it makes my whole bathroom smell like a luxe spa, and on a cold winter’s night, I’m not sure that there is anything better!

Sanatio Naturalis Jojoba Oil is priced at £20 and is available here, with the Geranium Essential oil is priced at £20 and is available here.

Algenist REVEAL Concentrated Color Correcting Drops*

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When it comes to my skin, I’m pretty lucky. Apart from a hormonal break out every so often, and a bit of dryness I’m usually good to go. The one thing I do wish I could change though is how red my skin can get. I’m naturally quite a pink-toned person, so if my skin is hot, cold, or in any other way stressed, it can get red rather too quickly for my liking. So, in an attempt to keep my colouring in control, I’m always on the lookout for new correcting products.

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My newest find is Algenist’s REVEAL Concentrated Color Correcting Drops. Packaged in a dinky bottle complete wth dropper, they’re the first make up I’ve tried from Algenist (I’ve fallen in love with their skincare, you can read a post here) and I’m so glad that this lived up to my expectations.

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Depending on how red my skin is, I change how I use the drops. If I’m feeling particularly pink, after applying my moisturiser, I apply a couple of drops to a beauty blender, then apply prior to foundation. The drops have a wonderfully lightweight, fluid texture, so they just melt into skin, taking any hints of redness with them. The drops leave skin looking even, and makeup applies beautifully on top – there isn’t any sort of piling or muddying of colour. Instead, skin looks calm all day long – it feels like magic, and it’s a must if you suffer from redness.

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On days when my skin feels calmer, and less in need of some help, I like to use a couple of drops of the color corrector in my regular moisturiser. It’s super easy to do, and it just keeps my skin tone even throughout the day. It’s also possible to use the drops for targeted redness reduction – if you’re suffering from a blemish, all you need to do is dot the drops onto the blemish then blend. It will disappear under makeup and become incredibly easy to cover.

Algenist REVEAL Concentrated Color Correcting Drops are priced at £30 and are available here (UK) and here (US)

Kiko Creamy Stylo Lipstick 01 & 04*

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Have you managed to catch your breath after Christmas yet? It feels like this festive season is going by in a bit of a blur, but I’ve loved every minute of it. All the Christmas parties and evenings out have been a great excuse to get some glitter out, and I’ve also managed to give Kiko’s new Creamy Stylo Lipsticks a good run!

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Part of the brand’s 2.0 collection, the Creamy Stylo Lipsticks are the perfect choice if you’re in the market for a new lippie! Available in a choice of 5 shades, including a rather brave grey shade, I’ve been so impressed by the premium-feeling formulas and rich colours. 04 Deep Kiss feels like the perfect Christmas red lip colour. A rich, deep burgundy, it feels like such a premium choice! Applied straight from the bullet, the formula is incredibly soft and creamy, and the colour is perfectly opaque. The lasting power of the shade is equally impressive – I got nearly three hours of wear before I needed to touch up, and I’m obsessed with the satin finish.

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For day wear, I’ve been heavily relying on 01 Innovative Nude. It’s a perfect dusky pink with a flattering peach undertone. Unlike some neutrals I’ve tried previously, this one doesn’t leave lips looking chalky, instead, it’s incredibly flattering. Since it’s a real your-lips-but-better shade, its a great option if you’re after that natural look. I like a little patted into my lips for a subtle daytime look.

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It’s also a great lipstick choice to balance out a more dramatic eye look. The wear-time again is great. I get about two hours per application – and touching up isn’t an issue when your lipstick looks as good as this one does! Like the whole 2.0 collection – the lipstick’s packaging looks like shagreen, and the navy colour feels incredibly chic.

As if the lipsticks couldn’t get any better, they’re currently half price here, for a tiny £4.90 each

Skinade Collagen Drinks*

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Have you started about your resolutions for 2018 yet? Mine aren’t exactly written in stone, but I know I want to start taking better care of myself. It’s nothing too dramatic – eat better, go to the gym more, and remember to take some time out for me once in a while. A part of eating better is adding supplements to stay as healthy as possible, so when I found a couple of bottles of Skinned in my Zen beauty gift bag, I was more than a little intrigued!

Marketed as a ‘collagen drink for beautiful skin’ it’s an incredibly easy way to add a little skin goodness into your routine, so your skin glows from the inside out. The bottles are filled with ingredients which have been designed to keep you looking your best. I was a bit dubious about the claims, but Skinade’s ingredients are chock-full of goodness. The collagen in the drink is sourced from fresh water fish, which are low in sodium, and have avoided mercury contamination, yet the drinks taste fruity thanks to the peach and mangosteen extracts.

As well as a healthy dose of collagen, the drinks also contain a wealth of good-for-you additions such as Vitamins C and B complexes, Omegas 3 & 6, MSM as well as L-lysine, which is an essential amino acid that is key to rebuilding the collagen matrix at cellular level. All of this sounds terribly science-y, but in essence, Skinade has been designed to plump and regenerate skin at a cellular level. Skinade promises you can see results in 30 days, which means if you start on them now, your skin will be all aglow before January is up!

It’s such an easy way to get a head start on my resolutions for the New Year – if only there was a gym membership in a bottle!

Skinade is priced at £105 for a 30 day supply, and you can find it here

Renunail Nail Strengthener*

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When it comes to habits one of the ones I’m happiest to have practised this year was getting my nails done regularly. Naturally I have what feels like the world’s worst nails – they’re soft and bendy, and they tear way too easily, so getting gels done every fortnight has meant the that I have hands that finally look like they belong to an adult. Of course, gels aren’t exactly great for nails either, so for a day or two between manicures, I apply Renunail Nail Strengthener.

Packaged like a regular polish, Renunail is completely clear, and works absolute miracles on my poor little nails. To get full effects of the product, they recommend that you apply two coats on your first day, nothing on days two, through four, then an additional coat on day five and two coats on day six. Since I’m not a fan of leaving nails bare for that long, I usually just do two coats on for a day or two, and I can really feel the benefits. My nails grow longer and feel far stronger than normal, and they’ve yet to peel.

If you’re a fan of a regular polish manicure, I think it would also make a great base coat for any colour you want to wear, with the added bonus to strengthening everything underneath!

Renunail is priced at £21 per bottle, and is available here.

St. Moriz Velvet Finish Tanning Gel*

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At this time of year it can be hard to feel like you have a minute to yourself. Between work, parties and evenings out, time is of the essence. So, in an effort to save as many precious minutes as possible, I’ve been using St. Moriz’ Velvet Finish Tanning Gel in an effort to beat my winter white skin. Promising to give salon results, without all the fuss (or expenditure), it couldn’t be easier to apply. Applied with a tan mitt to clean, exfoliated skin, the formula feels wonderfully silky, and it positively glides on.

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There are two shades available – Medium and Dark. Since I’m naturally the shade of paper, I’m a fan of Medium. It gives a natural looking glow without veering into the dreaded oompa loompa category, and it also works to soften skin. The effect is of a believable tan which can be built up day by day. I tend to apply each night for around three nights, then top up as required. Despite top ups, I’ve never suffered from any streaks or dirty knuckles, and I love how easy it is to keep my tan looking fresh!

St. Moritz’ Velvet Finish Tanning Gel is priced at £7.99 and is available here.

Clarins Lip Liner Pencil – 06 Red*

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If there was ever a time to wear a red lip, it’s now. After all, ’tis the season and all that! I have to admit though, sometimes I can find wearing a bold colour a bit intimidating. On a daily basis, I’m a neutral girl through and through, so when I opt for something brighter, I know it needs to be great.

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So, when Clarins sent over their Lip Liner Pencil in 06 Red, it was perfect timing! A stunning true-red shade, with a creamy opaque formula, this makes wearing colour an absolute breeze. After exfoliating my lips and applying a touch of balm, I fill them in using the pencil, then go over the top with this lipstick. The liner means application is flawless, and the colour lasts all night long. Perfect in a season full of parties and dinners out!

Clarins Lip Liner Pencil is priced at £17 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

Salon Success Jingle Mingle at Tigerlily Edinburgh*

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In the run up to Christmas, it’s easy feel more than a little frazzled, so, last month, when Salon Success got in touch to invite me to a Jingle Mingle, I couldn’t resist. Held in Edinburgh’s Tigerlily, a whole host of Edinburgh-based bloggers had been invited to find out what was new in the world of haircare.

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Ratherly cleverly, we’d all been invited for our different hair types – there was short hair, long hair, red hair … all so we could see the range of hair types catered to by Salon Success’ clients. With brands like Paul Mitchell and Gem Lites, it was really interesting to see what was new, and I’ve found some really HG products – the Marula Oil hair brush is incredible – imagine a Wet Brush but 100 times better! I’ve become more than a little obsessed with it!

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With copious amounts of prosecco on tap and beautiful goodies to learn about it was a perfect way to get into the Christmas spirit! I discovered a couple of killer brands I’d never heard of before (Gem Lites and Kenra) , as well as find new products from the iconic Paul Mitchell.

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As if an evening filled with the best of haircare wasn’t enough, we were also treated to a wonderful supper from George Street favourite Tigerlily. I’ve had a look at the menus online, and I don’t think any of the dishes we enjoyed are up there. But they were so lovely I had to share them anyway! Starters consisted of ham hock and cheese croquettes – wonderfully crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside, they were a great way to warm up from the soggy streets of Edinburgh outside!

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Our main courses were another perfect choice for a winter’s evening- slow cooked beef on a bed of winter spinach and mashed potato.

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Dessert, I think was everyone’s favourite. A berry parfait was served with a rich pistachio cream, honeycomb and chopped pistachios. It was such a stunning looking dessert, and the mix of flavours was just lovely.  It was the perfect way to round off the evening, after wishing everyone an early Merry Christmas, we all went home laden with new products to try.

Clean Reserve Blonde Rose*

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I’m not sure if it’s that I’m getting older and more mature in my choices, or maybe I’m just a bit weird, but over the past few years, I’ve found myself looking for perfume choices which are unusual and a little bit obscure. Luckily it’s never happened to me, but I can’t imagine anything worse than walking down the street and stumbling across a stranger who smells like you! A brand which is all about just smelling good, and like yourself is Clean Reserve. I’ve been developing a bit of a Clean Reserve habit recently, and my newest bottle – Blonde Rose, is a perfect choice for winter wear.

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Packaged in the brand’s signature low key packaging, Blonde Rose sounds like everything I would dislike in a fragrance. I’m not a rose or a musk fan, but this is an absolute game changer of a scent for me. Rather than a punch of rose, Clean Reserve’s offering is softer – almost powdery, but thanks to the use aldehydes as top notes, it has a wonderfully unisex feel.

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As you would expect from the brand, Blonde Rose is a fresh, clean feeling scent to wear. I’ve found it to be the perfect fragrance to wear during the day, especially in cold weather. It’s a bit of a punchier option than my regular perfumes, and it holds up beautifully throughout the day. It’s one of those gorgeous scents, that when you spray it on your scarf, you can still smell it at the end of the day. In fact, I can still smell it on clothes days later, yet it never feels overpowering. The heart notes of sandalwood leave a warmth on the skin which lasts all day, as you can probably tell, I can’t get enough of the perfume!

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Clean Reserve Blonde Rose is priced at £79 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

Christian Breton Skin Emergency Serum*

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At this time of year, it’s far too easy to stretch yourself a bit too thin. Late nights, a few glasses of fizz and a couple of indulgent suppers can set back more than just your gym routine! Whenever I’ve been out and about too much, I can see it in my skin. I might get a breakout or two, but even worse than that is how dull and dry my skin is. So, in an attempt to keep everything as naturally dewy as possible (I mean, there is only so much a highlighter can do) I’ve introduced Christian Breton’s Skin Emergency Serum into my routine. It’s an easy step and I’ve already noticed a huge difference!

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A formula which has been designed to rescue ageing skin, it’s a great little pick-me-up for days I’m feeling stressed and tired. Beautifully lightweight, I use a pump or two of the serum each morning after cleansing, then follow up with my regular moisturiser. The serum is filled with a blend of Licorice Root, Mandarin and Hibiscus Flower which work to to replenish moisture levels and enhance natural elasticity levels in skin. Not only this, but Precious Pearl Proteins give skin an instant radiance, as well as helping to alleviate the look of discolouration and age spots, whilst antioxidants working to neutralise free radicals. It leaves skin feeling incredible – soft and smooth and wonderfully primed for makeup. I’ve also found that it reduced redness in my skin, with the effects lasting all through the day!

Christian Breton also promise that the serum will work to diminish fine lines and wrinkles, so if you’re resolution for 2018 is for better skin, the Skin Emergency Serum should be at the top of your wish list!

Christian Breton Skin Emergency Serum is priced at £68 and you can find it on offer for £54.40 here.