Celebrate Christmas with The Ivy at The Square – Edinburgh*

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Over the past few years, Edinburgh feels like it’s become pretty iconic for it’s Christmas decorations. Whether you’re after a traditional Christmas market, of if you’re looking for some thrills – Edinburgh’s got it all, and right in the heart of it is The Ivy on The Square.

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This week we popped in to take a look at their stunning gingerbread decorations, and enjoy a couple of festive cocktails! The whole restaurant is bedecked in the most fabulous gingerbread decorations, and I’m not sure you could find a more Christmas-y spot anywhere if you tried!

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As well as the fabulous decorations, The Ivy will be serving up a menu of festive cocktails. They weren’t quite available when we visited, so instead we chose a few of there signature choices.

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I opted for the Margarita Valencia, since it still felt quite seasonal. Served in a very glamorous coupe, it was a delicious choice thanks to the cinnamon sugar rim, orange bitters and winter spice mixed with orange.

We also had a drive home ahead of us, so wanted to try one of the non-alcoholic options, so opted for the virgin Mint Julep.

Alongside our drinks, we got to nibble on some of The Ivy’s best loved appetisers – our waiter recommended the Truffle Arancini and Zucchini Fries. You can enjoy theses even if you’re heading in for a full-on meal, as they’re also available to have as an appetiser.

Thank you so much to The Ivy on the Square for having us! You can find out more about the restaurant here.

 

The Beauty Gift Guide: Foreo UFO*

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When it comes to beauty tools, it’s not often you get to try something entirely new. I’ve tried and tested my fair share of cleansing brushes, dermal rollers and various other fiddly bits, so when Foreo got in touch to see if I’d like to try their UFO, I couldn’t resist.

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Designed to be used along-side sheet masks, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, or really how to use it, so when the box arrived, I downloaded the Foreo app (free) and got reading.

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It’s surprisingly easy to pair the device with the app, and within a couple of minutes, I was deciding between enjoying a ‘Make my Day’ routine or ‘Call it a Night’ which come pre-programmed into the device. If you’re treating yourself or a loved one to a UFO this Christmas, I’d recommend throwing a couple of boxes of masks into the present too.

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Using the app, you can scan the mask, and a particular sequence of vibrations and light therapy become programmed into the device, and depending on your skin’s need, the device can brighten, hydrate, nourish and smooth.

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It’s a genius idea, and the mix of technology and the UFO itself is perfect for giving yourself a real spa experience at home. Like all Foreo devices, the UFO is equipped with a good battery which allows for charging, so if you want to take it with you on your travels, you won’t need to pack the charger too!

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Using the UFO couldn’t be easier – just select your mask of choice, positioning it onto the base of the machine, clipping it in. Then, using the app, scan the barcode on the back of the mask packet. Your phone will then lead you through a relaxing treatment which lasts about 90 seconds.

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Depending on whether you’re looking to brighten skin, or hydrate, the UFO uses a mix of high frequency vibrations and light therapy to treat the skin. The device even warms up or cools down depending on your selected program – and if you’ve not tried a warmed up sheet mask before, you have no idea what you’re missing out on! Depending on how much time you’ve got (and how your skin feels), you can cycle through the process again.

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To say I’m a fan doesn’t really cover it. I’ve been using the UFO regularly for the past few weeks, and my skin feels and looks softer, smoother and better hydrated. It’s an easy, and enjoyable addition to my skincare routine, and I’ve been really impressed with the selection of masks on offer, and have already invested in a selection, which I’ll post about soon. It’s an absolute must-have product, which makes a visible difference to your skin after a single treatment, and if you’re looking for the perfect gift for any beauty lover – you won’t go wrong with Foreo’s UFO!

Foreo UFO is priced at £249 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

 

Embryolisse Filaderme Emulsion*

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It doesn’t seem like too long ago that products like Embryolisse were the stuff of legend. You had to pick them up from the shiny beauty counters of Parisian pharmacies, and if you weren’t going to find yourself in France anytime soon, you had to beg friends and family to pick up some bits for you. It’s still family lore about how I snuck away from a school trip to Paris, and whilst my school-mates were munching on croque-monsieurs, I slid off to stock up on Annick Goutal’s Gardenia Eau de Parfum as well as bags of French skincare.

Thankfully though, times have changed, and you can now pick up Embryolisse in your nearest Boots, which makes faking that French Girl glow, so much easier. If you’ve tried (and loved) the original formula, which slides on like silk and leaves skin glowing all day long, you’re going to LOVE the Filaderme Emulsion.

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A richer, thicker version of the cream, designed especially for dry skin, this has been my saviour in beating the winter dryness which accompanies a drop in temperatures and the hike in central heating. With a formula which comes fortified with a range of natural active ingredients, including shea butter to soften and aloe vera to soothe, the acream works to reconstruct the ‘intercellular cement’, reinforcing the skin’s barrier and diminishing uncomfortable, tight and flaky skin. It’s perfect, if like me, you have sensitive or reactive skin.

I’ve been smoothing a little of the cream on each morning, then applying my makeup on right away. Not only does it give you the smoothest base to work with, but skin stays glowing and hydrated throughout the day. I’ve loved it as a bit of a de-stresser for irritated skin, as it’s so cooling and nourishing, without ever feeling like it’s too much.

Embryolisse Filaderme Emulsion is priced at £20 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

A Night at Luxury Hideaways, Perthshire*

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To say this month has been hectic is a bit of an understatement. I feel like I’ve been chasing my tail, so when the opportunity came up to enjoy an evening of ‘glamping’, I positively jumped at the chance.

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A night spent in luxury in the heart of Perthshire sounds like the definition of dreamy, and Luxury Hideaways have positively surpassed all expectations. A duo of luxe pods specially-designed by owner Angus, offer guests the chance to switch off and unwind in secluded luxury.

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Each comes equipped with a private terrace and hot tub where you can enjoy views stretching out over the countryside during the day, or simply relax under the stars at night.

As with everything at Luxury Hideaways, the hot tub is the height of technology – it bubbled up at the touch of a button, and you could change the colours of the lights in the water depending on your mood.

Tucked inside are the biggest, fluffiest robes and towels, you can imagine – perfect for warming up after a soak, they were exactly what was needed to warm up after a dip in the tub!

As if the outside out the pods wasn’t impressive enough, the magic really begins inside the pod. A specially adapted Armadilla pod, it’s impressively roomy, with an over-sized, super-king bed, ensuite, television and even a little living area complete with very generous hamper to enjoy!

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Controlled by a wall-mounted screen, you can control everything from the pod’s lighting, temperature to music at the touch of a finger. As you can imagine, I had a lot of fun playing with the controls!

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You can transform the interior with the coloured lights, and depending on your mood, you can lay back under pink, purple, blue, green or even golden lights.

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After I’d indulged in fiddling about the control panel it was time to unpack a little. Rather surprisingly, the pods feel super roomy, even with two people pottering about.

Rather stupidly, we’d headed out for supper prior to checking in, but we needn’t have bothered. Guests are treated to a luxury hamper filled with the finest Scottish produce, which makes up the most indulgent picnic and breakfast. There’s even an icy-cold bottle of Prosecco in the fridge – perfect to enjoy in the hot tub!

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We absolutely loved the local touches – on the bed was a box of the loveliest chocolates from Iain Burnett The Highland Chocolatier, who are located in nearby Grandtully. The box featured a number of the brand’s iconic truffles – an indulgent treat to end the week with!

Once we were finished exploring, it was time to kick-back and relax. Each pod has an absolute dream of a floating super-king bed. Kitted out with crisp linens from The White Company – it was perfect for snuggling into – especially with the great range of magazines provided.

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The absolute joy of a break spent in the Luxury Hideaway Pod is the sheer amount of privacy you get to enjoy, as well as the comfy surrounding you find yourself in.

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The attention to detail throughout the whole experience was second-to-none. From being personally greeted from Angus when we arrived, and shown all the features our pod had to offer, to getting to enjoy all that was included in the pod – the night away was exactly what I needed to recharge my batteries.

With new developments planned to open in Appin, Turnberry, and Delamere Forest in the coming months, a few nights enjoyed in a Luxury Hideaways UK pod is the perfect way to unwind, and Christmas is coming up, so why not treat a loved one to a gift you can enjoy too!?!

Thank you so much to Luxury Hideaways UK for hosting us – you can find out more and book directly here.

Hada Labo Tokyo Lotion No. 1*

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Anyone who’s even casually looked over this blog, will probably know that I’ve got skin which very much errs on the drier side. At this time of year, my number one priority is keeping my skin as hydrated as possible. I’ve realised that my skin reacts best to multiple layers of product, layered from lightest to richest.

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Over the past few weeks, I’ve added Hada Labo Tokyo’s Lotion No. 1 into my routine, and my skin has really been feeling the benefit. After cleansing, and prior to to applying any other products, I press 3 pumps of the lotion into dry skin. It’s a super light gel, which is absorbed pretty my instantly, with no fragrance or fuss. Afterwards I apply my serum and moisturisers as possible, and I’ve never experiences any pilling or crumbing with other formulas. Instead, my skin just feels plump all day long, with none of the tightness and dryness which can come from the extreme temperatures.

 

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