Beauty Hit List: July & August 2017

Beauty Hit List

It’s the end of another month – the end of summer too (*weeps*) – and it’s time for another Beauty Hit List. If you’re new to the blog, these posts are a little round-up of my current MVP’s from the world of beauty, alongside those taking pride of place in my routine. Some products are brand new, some are sneaky previews and some are tried-and-trusted favourites.

This edition feels a little bit extra, covering makeup, skincare, haircare and even perfume! Whoa! So, let’s take a look at who made the cut for July & August…

Beauty Hit List

Hair: Pramasana purifying scalp cleanser by Aveda

Doesn’t your scalp almost feel nicer just by saying those words? Well, luckily this one is more than just a pretty name! What’s the difference between a shampoo and a scalp cleanser? Well, a shampoo cleans your hair, not your scalp! As someone who has a tricky scalp at the best of times, this refreshing treatment from Aveda is perfect for when things get a little itchy and unfcomfortable. It’s packed with invigorating ingredients like seaweed extract to soothe and I’ve been using it every couple of weeks to keep my scalp feeling healthy!

Beauty Hit List

Scent: Mon Guerlain 

It almost felt criminal that I hadn’t tried out any of Guerlain’s fragrances until this summer. After all, this iconic brand have been in the perfume biz since the 1820s and have quite the list of innovations under their belt (including the first unisex fragrance! Take THAT, Calvin Klein!). Even though I missed out on their first 750 or so perfumes, I feel like I’ve picked a great one to start with! Mon Guerlain is fresh and light, making it very easy to wear. It’s a feminine scent with notes of jasmine and vanilla – not quite as sweet as the perfumes I usually go for but it’s a nice change, not smelling like a bag of skittles.

Beauty Hit List

Face: AHA/ BHA Exfoliating Cleanser and Invisiblur Perfecting Shield by Murad

Over the last couple of months, my skin was really giving me a run for my money. Lumpy and red, it had me totally buggin’ and feeling more self-conscious than I’d been in ages. My friend Laura is always raving about Murad’s products and I gave a couple a try over the last few weeks to see if the could help my skin woes! I was surprised (and delighted!) to see a difference after using the cleanser for the first time. My skin isn’t perfect but it’s making great progress AND I feel like myself again! I’m using this daily at the moment.

The second product I have been enjoying lately is the perfecting shield, which has SPF 30 and feels like a silky smooth primer, making it nice to wear on its own or under makeup.

Beauty Hit List

Makeup (part one!): Dandelion Twinkle and Foolproof by Benefit 

Anything with the word ‘twinkle’ in it is bound to make me sit up and pay attention! Dandelion Twinkle is brand new from Benefit and is the sassier, sparklier sister of their classic Dandelion blush. I’ve been swiping mine on my cheekbones for some added party time shimmer and, let’s not forget, those supermarket trips that demand a little VA VA VOOM.

Benefit also launched Foolproof recently as part of their ever-expanding line of brow tools. Foolproof gives a softer look compared to some of their other products (I can get a bit heavy-handed with the ol’ KA-BROW, I will admit!), so it’s actually ideal for using in the weeks following a brow appointment for little touch ups! The handbag-friendly packaging makes it great for taking on-the-go too.

Beauty Hit List

Makeup (part deux!): High Pigment Wet and Dry Eyeshadow by KIKO Milano

Next up on the Beauty Hit List, KIKO Milano! The budget-friendly makeup recently arrived in Edinburgh and I can’t get enough of their super bright, vivid eyeshadows. The High Pigment Wet & Dry range is particularly impressive, delivering bendable colour that looks as good on as it does sitting in the packaging. I’ve been mixing these two shades together and loving how striking it looks.

Beauty Hit List

Makeup (part C!): Revlon Photoready Insta-Fix Highlighting Stick

Another highlighter? Well, yes! I’m a fan of anything that comes in stick form (take choc-ices, for example!) and this creamy highlighting stick from Revlon is a new favourite. Easy to apply (I’ve made no mistakes yet and I’m no expert!) and very buildable, it makes a killer combo when you team it with blush and your best contouring.

Beauty Hit List

Phew! I hope you enjoyed this bumper edition of my Beauty Hit List! I want to hear from you, too – have you tried out any of these products yourself? What should I try next?And do you like smelling like Skittles, too (or is it just me)?

 

 

 

This post contains some PR samples but all views and overdressed trips to the supermarket are mine. 

A Day Trip to Loch Lomond with Benefit

Loch Lomond

If you’re looking for a change of scenery and don’t want to venture too far from Glasgow, visiting Loch Lomond is an awesome place to start. It’s a place that I really enjoy spending time in but, seeing as I can’t drive, visits are few and far between since I have to be chauffeured there like the Miss Daisy I know I am!

Recently, the team at Benefit invited me for a fun-filled day out with them at Loch Lomond – all in the name of celebrating some exciting new launches. Before I even checked the itinerary I was sending a gleeful “I’m so in” message! And realising later that I had an ice cream van, a boat trip, and a yummy lunch to look forward to, I knew I had made the right choice…

Loch Lomond

*Grainy-as-heck picture courtesy of my old dinosaur phone (RIP)*

Let’s fast-forward now to the day trip! Along with a small group of Glasgow babes, I arrived at Loch Lomond to the sound of Play That Funky Music, blasting out of a speaker somewhere (in my head, maybe?). We then headed straight to the Benefit Hoola branded ice cream van (which was OTT and adorable in true Benefit GO BIG OR GO HOME style) to check out their new Hoola Quickie Contour Stick. As someone that watches a lot of RuPaul’s Drag Race, I’m well-versed in the school of contouring – but actually doing it myself? Let’s just say I need all the help I can get! This cream-to-powder stick is super easy to apply, helping me get one step closer to those sculpted Trixie Mattel cheeks!

Loch Lomond

After hanging out at Lomond Shores for a little while, we headed down to the water to board our boat, the SS Sassypants. OK, I’m not very sure what the boat was called, but that feels like a very appropriate name! We were spoiled with a bag of treats to enjoy on our boat tour, full of retro sweets, chocolate and a sneaky sample of the new Benefit Gogotint – a cherrylicious cheek and lip stain. It would have gone great with the Goldie Hawn-in-Overboard-look that I’m now wishing I’d sported for the occasion. Next time!

I loved the views on our circular tour of the loch, and we even picked up a couple of nuggets of Scottish history as we cruised. See? It wasn’t ALL mindless hilarity (but it 99% was).

Loch Lomond

All that scenery and sailing excitement was a surefire way to work up an appetite, did someone say land ahoy?! We were all ready for lunch by the time we were back on dry land, and headed to The Boat House restaurant at Cameron House. This was my first time at The Boat House and it was real treat – I loved the nautical theme in the decor, the relaxing setting and (of course!) the menu!

Loch Lomond

A major highlight was the balsamic roasted peaches – one of those dishes that is so simple and delicious that you wonder where it’s been all your life. I’m already plotting my next visit to relive that peachy moment all over again. The whole meal was amazing, as was the service and the company! It was nice to relax around the table and reflect on a brilliant day out, which in my mind serves as a little ‘best of Loch Lomond’ montage (to the tune of Play That Funky Music, of course).

I’d highly recommend taking one of the boat tours at Loch Lomond, I had so much fun! And if you’ve come that far, you really should book a meal at The Boat House afterwards (your tastebuds will thank you!).

Loch Lomond

To check out Gogotint, Hoola Quickie Contour stick and all of the latest Benefit releases, don’t forget to hop over to their website!

Well, I’m off to research more Goldie Hawn movie outfits – any recommendations?

Signature

 

 

 

A huge thanks to Benefit for a lovely day out at Loch Lomond! 

A Sleepover at The Bonham Hotel, Edinburgh

Over the last couple of years, I’ve started spending more and more of my time through in Edinburgh – whether it’s visiting friends, going on fun-filled days out or heading to events in the city. There are some areas of the capital that I’m not as familiar with yet and the leafy West End of Edinburgh is one of them – it seems filled with pretty neighbourhoods just itching to be explored.

When Laura got in touch to invite a few of us to her summer blogger sleepover, I was excited to see that our setting was The Bonham – one of Edinburgh’s oldest boutique hotels, located in a quiet West End street. I always look forward to Laura’s Glasgow sleepover events and going to a different city with my little pink suitcase felt like a mini holiday this time around!

I was the first one in our group to arrive, which meant I could spend a few minutes admiring the beautiful converted townhouse (which is spacious enough to hold almost fifty rooms and suites!) with its grand staircases and high ceilings. There was a statue in the reception area that reminded me of Bosley, so I felt at home right away…

After meeting Laura, we were taken to our luxurious sleepover suite which The Bonham hotel staff had thoughtfully kitted out with blankets, DVDs and white chocolate ‘Welcome’ cards. Enormous windows gave us a stunning view of the entire street and soon we were joined by the rest of the girls and got into our pyjamas.

The coffee table was quickly groaning with sweet treats (and that was before the hotel had even served us any food!). I’d visited the lovely Madamoiselle Macaron earlier that day and picked up some of their famous macarons for us all to try. Lori brought along a Victoria sponge and Lisa had baked a lemon loaf cake. Laura’s creation was the showstopper – a home-made raspberry buttercream cake Mary Berry would be proud of!

Our evening was packed with girly activities with top notch brow treatments from Benefit, summer jewellery making (kits supplied by Hobbycraft – and if you were wondering whether you can have too many tassels, the answer is no, no you cannot!) and a chance for us all to relax while having a good gossip about the best and worst of reality TV.

The team at The Bonham made sure that we were well-looked after and brought a delicious selection of food to the room.

I especially enjoyed our starters (poached Leven Farm duck eggs with asparagus and a grain mustard dressing) and desserts (a dense, dreamy chocolate mousse with pistachio parfait and edible flowers) but all of the dishes were delicious!

A chocolate fondue was brought in last as we snuggled up under the blankets and watched a movie. The room had plenty of sofas and armchairs and was spacious enough for us to stretch out. Call it a food coma (4 hours of grazing will do that to a gal!), or maybe it was too much excitement, but I found myself flagging just after midnight and my soft, squishy bed was calling me.

The next morning, the girls and I regrouped and headed downstairs to The Restaurant for a hearty breakfast before we checked out, ready to take on the rest of the weekend. We even managed to fit in a walk through the West End streets on our way to the station!

I had a wonderful time during our stay at The Bonham and, for me, the stand-out factor was the service – the team were very pleasant and helpful throughout and sometimes it’s nice to forego the option of self serve and feel like you’re in good hands.

You can find out more details about The Bonham, plus booking information, here!

 

 

 

With thanks to all at The Bonham hotel – this trip was arranged for review purposes, but all views and food babies are mine.