SkinRepublic Exfoliating Hand Mask*


When you’re about to being one of those big life changes, do you ever promise yourself something? Some sort of treat or reward, for actually doing it? It’s something I’ve done for myself for as long as I can remember, and I use it as a bit of motivation.


When I started working for myself, one of my life changes was when I was going to get my nails done. No longer would I have to hope with fingers crossed that I’d be able to grab a Saturday appointment at the salon. Instead, I’d swan in mid-week, enjoy an hour of relaxation then float off to work in one of Edinburgh’s many coffee shops. As it happens, my imagined 12pm on a Wednesday (because I couldn’t think of a less office-friendly time) appointment has turned into a Monday morning, but it’s still a great way to get a week kicked off, and afterwards I do tend to spend the rest of my afternoon working away somewhere nice.


Prior to my Monday morning appointment, I tend to spend Sundays with my hands buried as far as they’ll go into pots and jars of moisturiser and oil, in the hopes of giving myself a bit of a hydration-hit. I’ve not been blessed with the strongest nails, so my regular shellac, probably isn’t the best habit I could have. So, in the hopes of undoing a bit of my damage, I’ve started using SkinRepublic’s Exfoliating Hand Masks. Packaged like your regular sheet mask, these couldn’t be easier to use! Just slip the masks on like gloves, and let the alpha hydroxy acid get to work, brightening tired skin, and removing rough bits. If, like my, you’re a cuticle twiddler, the acids are a gentle way to smooth everything out, and these gloves leave hands looking and feeling silky.

SkinRepublic Exfoliating Hand Masks are priced at £5.99 and are available here.

ad| The Affordable Guide to a Luxury Day Out in Edinburgh


photo via Pinterest

When it comes to enjoying a city break, a trip to Edinburgh can be surprisingly affordable. There are a huge number of airBnbs and luxe hotels to stay in, meaning you can usually find a decent overnight rate (providing it’s not the festival), but even if you’re  only hitting the city for a day out, there’s a whole range of spots you’re going to want to visit (and they won’t break the bank!)


If you’re planning a day out in Edinburgh, I always recommend starting your visit at Harvey Nichols’ Forth Floor Brasserie for breakfast. Not only is it a perfect spot to people-watch, but the views over St. Andrew Square are pretty unparalleled. You’ll be able to enjoy a clear view up to Edinburgh Castle, and if it’s clear enough, you can see over the water to Fife.

Once you’re suitably fuelled for your day out – why not head down the stunning National Portrait Gallery. I just love the Victorian Gothic building, and the collection is incredible. There’s no entrance fee to visit (although temporary exhibitions can be charged) and it’s easy to lose a few hours savouring the numerous galleries.

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Feeling thirsty after a morning of culture? Then head along George Street to one of my favourite spots – 127. An instagrammer’s dream, this cafe couples slick interiors with great coffee, and if I need to have a meeting in Edinburgh, this is where I usually suggest. Grab an iced latte or hot chocolate and plan your next stop!


I don’t think you can head to Edinburgh and not visit a royal residence. Obviously, the most popular spot people head to is Edinburgh Castle, but if you venture into Old Town, a trip to Holyrood Palace is always great fun. You can tell if a member of the Royal Family are in residence if the flag is flying at full mast, but even if you don’t bump into one of them, it’s a great trip. Unlike the castle, Holyrood Palace is furnished, and has hundreds of exhibits to look at, and some of it’s history is wonderfully vivid – look for a ghostly bloodstain left by a murdered lover of Mary Queen of Scots – David Rizzio, as well as numerous letters written by the various kings and queens. It’s a fascinating way to spend a few hours, and if you’ve still got some time to spare, I’d head to the Queen’s Gallery, which hosts a fascinating selection of exhibitions each year.

Images via Pinterest

Feeling peckish after all that? Then one of my favourite affordable spots for dinner has to be Dough Pizzeria. With two locations, I usually head to the Rose Street shop, which features a few tiny tables and a huge flaming pizza oven. You can order your pizzas online in advance, so they’re ready and waiting for your arrival. Head for the outside benches to sit under Rose Street’s fairy lights for a delicious end to an affordable day out in Edinburgh.

If you’re looking for more ideas for what to do during your trip to Edinburgh, why not check out Megabus’ fantastic guide here.

Thank you to Megabus for sponsoring this post.


Eyelash Emporium 2 in 1 Latex Free Adhesive*


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!


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*


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.


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!


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!


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*


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.


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

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