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For me, the summer of 2018 mars the point of me probably wearing the least makeup ever. It’s not that I used to walk around with a face full of the stuff, but this year, formulas have become lighter, and more natural looking than ever before. Now, I can still see my freckles, even once my foundation is on.

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The downside of lightening up on makeup, is perhaps, that good skin has never felt so important. I’m constantly trying products to up my hydration levels without feeling overwhelmed by rich formulas, and I want my skin to look as bright and as glowy as possible. One secret weapon I’ve found? Rodial’s Vit C Brightening range. I’ve fallen in love with it over the past few weeks, and have been using the products daily. The first of the line-up I reached for were the Vit C Brightening Cleansing Pads. Packaged in an uber-chic orange jar, the pads are a daily skincare-supplement which are not only super convenient, but take away any hassle of exfoliation.

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Using the pads couldn’t be easier – in the evening, after cleansing, I take a single pad, and swipe all over my fae. The result is skin which feels soft, smooth and clear. Each pad has been soaked with your perfect daily dose of brightening fruit acids which retexturise and renew the complexion. They smell fresh and vaguely fruity, and they don’t dry or stress skin out. you might feel a slight tingle in you wipe over a congested area – but it’s just the acids getting to work! You don’t even need to rinse the formula off – I just let my face dry down, then apply my evening serums and oil as normal.

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The formula, like all of Rodial’s Vit C range, contains Vitamin C to boost radiance and fade dark spots, whilst Salicylic acid tightens pores and tones skin. It’s a godsend for people like me, whose skin can sometimes find physical exfoliation a little harsh, and the daily nature of the pads, means that skin stays smooth and glowing all month long!

Rodial Vit C Brightening Cleansing Pads are priced at £45 and are available here (UK) and here (US)

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When it comes to my morning routine – every single second feels precious. If there is a shortcut or cheat, which means I’ll get to spend a minute more in bed, you’ll bet I’ll try it. So when Sanctuary Spa sent over their brand new Wet Skin Moisture Miracle I was intrigued. A super lightweight moisturiser designed to be used on damp skin – this sounded exactly like a morning hack I could get behind!

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Described by the brand as ‘the quickest, easiest and most effective way to moisturise’ it’s pretty much the dream. I’ve been keeping my tube in the bathroom, so when I’m fresh out the shower, I just apply to still-damp skin, concentrating on my arms and legs. Unlike other moisturisers of this ilk, which I’ve tried before, Sanctuary Spa’s doesn’t leave skin feeling sticky or tacky. Instead, the moisturiser has an almost milky consistency, which locks in moisture, and leaves skin feeling super soft and smooth.

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The formula contains apricot and avocado oils to properly hydrate skin, and it even leaves it with a subtle glow – perfect for these last few weeks of summer! I’m obsessed with the gorgeous Green Lemon & Orange Blossom scent too! It’s fresh and clean, without feeling overpowering, so if I’m just pottering about, I don’t even need to follow up with a perfume!

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The ease of use and how effective Sanctuary Spa’s Wet  Skin Moisture Miracle have completely shaken up my morning routine. I don’t have to wait for my moisturisers to sink in, or deal with sticky skin post-shower. Instead, my skin feels nourished and hydrated, and it smells absolutely gorgeous!

Sanctuary Spa Wet Skin Moisture Miracle is priced at £8 and is available here

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When it comes to self-tan, I’v had a tendency to be a bit of a klutz. The result is has been patches, smears or just general signs that my tan is not 100% natural. Not so with St Tropez. The brand has made sunless tanning completely idiot proof, and the result? A tan you literally applied with your eyes closed.

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One of the brand’s most successful products this summer has been the Purity Bronzing Water Facial Mist. It’s been flying off the shelves, so if you can catch a bottle – grab it! A multi-use product, you can use this both on clean skin or over makeup, to give skin a natural-looking glow. Like the Purity Water Foam (reviewed here) it has a gorgeous, tropical scent (perfect for the summer hols), and it’s completely colourless, so you don’t need to worry about a guide colour – just spritz and go!

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Even though you can use the mist over makeup, I prefer it on clean skin. Once or twice a week, after cleansing, I just mist a little of the tanner over my face, neck and chest. The scent is light and fruity, and the formula is completely weightless. The mist is super fine too – so it gives a perfectly even coverage. The Water also works to protect skin from blue light damage and free radicals, thanks to tropical hibiscus flower extract and blue marine bamboo extracts. The result? A tan which looks and feels absolutely effortless. It gives skin a beautiful golden glow, which I normally have to endure a long haul flight to endure!

St Tropez Purity Bronzing Water Face Mist is priced at £22 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

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When finding places to eat in Edinburgh, it can sometimes feel like there is somewhere new popping up almost daily. The newest, and most buzzed about restaurant to open in recent weeks has to be 83 Hanover Street. Located bang centre in the middle of town, at you guessed it, 83 Hanover Street, the restaurant is an easy location to reach for Edinburgh locals and alike, which is a good thing, because you’re going to want to visit. A lot.

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The brainchild of Juan José Castillo Castro, and a sister restaurant to 99 Hanover Street, 83 is the city’s new favourite foodie spot, combining Chilean cuisine and Scottish produce. The combination may sound like an odd one, but weirdly, it makes a whole lot of sense. Castro’s dishes are seasonal, emphasising what’s in season, and subbing in local fish and meet for their South American counterparts. He has also flown his mother on from Chile especially so she can teach kitchen staff the proper bread-making methods. If that’s not dedication, I’m not really sure what is! A table of Edinburgh’s most enthusiastic foodies, we kicked things off with an introduction from Juan himself, cocktails, and a bowl of salted Scorched Padron Peppers covered in Grated Pedano (£5). Soft and delicately singed, these were the perfect nibble to enjoy over introductions.

Over the course of the evening, dishes came thick and fast. 83 Hanover Street is open from 12pm-12am daily, with a menu split into Bites and Plates and Charcuterie Boards. The result is a menu made for sharing – order some wine, a few plates, and enjoy the evening.

Hot on the heels of the Padrons, came Sopaipillas and Pebre (£4) – fried savoury donuts with a sour, zesty salsa. A Chilean street food classic, they were deliciously moreish.

Pork Belly Chicarrones with Roquito Pepper Jam (£6) were up next.

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Swiftly followed by the Braised Lamb Croquettes and Lima Bean (£7). The crisp breaded outside gave way to fluffy lamb interiors, and the lima beans created a sort of Chilean hummus – delicious!

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The Fried Calamari with Merken Aioli (£6) was one (of many) highlights of the evening. I’m not usually a fan of squid due to texture issues, but 83 Hanover Street soak theirs in milk overnight to tenderise it, and the result? Melt in the mouth morsels, delicately seasoned and enjoyed with a spiced aloe and fresh chilli.

Next up came the Ceviche with hills, Lime and Coriander (£8). Everyone at the table remarked that it was possibly the freshest fish they’d ever enjoyed in Edinburgh, and I adored the zesty flavours.

The seafood continued with Grilled Swordfish and Chorizo Skewers with Mojo Rojo New Potatoes (£12). The spicy sausage paired perfected with the meaty fish, and the spiced potatoes were an absolute revelation too!

The night’s showstopper, was, undoubtedly the Charred Octopus with White Bean Escabeche (£11). Again, I never usually order octopus, but this was divine. Meaty tentacles were crisp and charred, and the white bean escabeche was the stuff of dreams.

We ended the evening on a suitably indulgent note – Tres Leches Donuts (£5) served in a condensed milk sauce. Light as air, these street-food favourites were spiced with nutmeg, and no one could resist going in for seconds!

Thank you so much to 83 Hanover Street for a fabulous evening – you can find out more about the restaurant here.

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When it comes to brands which are absolutely killing the brow game, you can’t do better than Benefit. From releasing a lineup of every brow-related product you could think of, to rolling out their iconic brow bars across the country, Benefit lets anyone rock a strong brow game. I’ve been getting my brows waxed and tinted with them, and I cannot even begin to tell you the difference it makes – mornings are easier when you just need to brush a little pomade through them, rather than having to meticulously draw in every.single.hair.

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On days when I do have a little extra time, or I want to look more ‘finished’ I’ve been reaching for Benefit’s Ka-Brow, a cream-gel brow colour, which can easily built up depending on your desired effect. Like all of Benefit’s brow products, it’s available in a wide range of shades (there are eight for Ka-Brow), so not matter how fair or dark your hair, there is a perfect match. Since I like a strong look, I plumped for 03 Medium – a cool brown which leaves brows looking naturally lush yet still uber groomed.

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Using the Ka-Brow couldn’t be easier, and Benefit have even included a brush in the product! After brushing my brows into shape, I snap the brush into the lid to create an easy to use applicator, then use a little of the formula to fill in any sparse areas of my brows. The difference is instant – brows look so much fuller!

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The joy in Ka-Brow is how easy the product is to used and the fact it last all day long. No matter how hot and sticky temperatures were, my brows stayed in-tact, and looking perfect all day long!

Benefit Ka-Brow is priced at £20 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

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