Not Just Pretty Pictures: Coffee Table Books You Need in Your Life

We’re slipping into the time of year where I find staying at home an increasingly attractive option, despite the fact that I’m generally the type of person who prefers to be out and about. Over the last couple of years, I’ve spent a lot of time and energy creating a fun home space that I can both work and relax in – so it’s not exactly a bad thing that I want to spend more time here.

Coffee table books are a particular indulgence of mine – and Gary’s – and we’ve accumulated quite a collection since we started living together! And during the chillier, greyer Sundays, escaping into one of these big, beautiful books with a mug of something hot is one of my favourite ways to spend an hour.

Sometimes coffee table books can be all style and no substance though and, as much as I can appreciate that, I do still like to read something while I’m leafing through them!

I thought I’d share a few of my favourite titles that deliver both, in case you’re looking for something new to reach for on your next cosy day at home…

What I Love About Movies by Little White Lies is a collective celebration of films by some of the best in the business. From Ryan Gosling, to Wes Anderson, Quentin Tarantino, Francis Ford Coppola and more, each answering the simple question (“What do you love about movies?”) in their own unique style alongside some gorgeous illustrations.

Did someone say Wes Anderson? The Grand Budapest Hotel by Matt Zoller Seitz is a comprehensive guide to one of Anderson’s most popular productions, filled with interviews, costume designs, research notes, a critical essay and much more. This pastel pink beauty is always sitting in our living room, ready to whisk us away to Wes’ world.

The Secret History of Twin Peaks by Mark Frost is what you might expect from a book about one of TV’s most curious cult classics: it is not what it seems. This oversized, hardback title is actually a mystery novel in the format of a coffee table book – with the reader taking on the role of an FBI agent. The pages are peppered with photographs, transcripts and other evidence to digest. A must-have for any fan of the show!

coffee table books

Finally, Places to Go, People to See by Kate Spade is one of my most recent additions and covers a topic close to my heart: travel! The vintage glamour of the jet-set meets inspirational quotes, travel tips (like what to buy if you ever find yourself in Buenos Aires and the BEST room service midnight snacks!) and oodles of vibrant photos. Warning: wanderlust is pretty much guaranteed with this one…

For me, these coffee table books tick all of the boxes: they look stylish when I display them around the flat, they’re filled with amazing content and have lush, eye-catching images to get lost in.

coffee table books

What are YOUR favourite coffee table books? And other things to do while spending a day at home?

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. 

Dark Circles Begone with Benefit Boi-ing!

When it comes to makeup, there are probably one or two things that, if I really had to ditch, I could manage without. But when it comes to my most-used makeup, concealer is up at the top of my list! I wear concealer daily (for reasons we’ll get to in a moment!) so, when I heard about a new collection of Benefit Boi-ing concealers, I was more than a little intrigued.

I often joke that without makeup, my dark circles could give Uncle Fester a run for his money but sometimes I feel like I’m only exaggerating a little! I’ve been in a long-term relationship with concealer since my late teens in an effort to hide those bad boys. Ever wanted to know what the greatest cover-up in human history is? Look no further.

But all joking aside, a good concealer goes a long way to making me look and feel a little more like myself (along with a bright lipstick of course!) and, with four concealers in the range, it seems like the Benefit Boi-ing line-up has something for everyone looking to conceal in a flash.

Did I mention the new candy pink packaging is as cute as a button too? Let’s take a look at all four…

To start, there’s the Boi-ing Airbrush concealer, which is a lightweight, buildable formula that is easily patted onto the skin and gives a lovely smooth finish. I tried this recently to even out red patches after my last eyebrow wax and was really impressed.

Next up, I tested the Boi-ing Hydrating concealer which is a stick concealer enriched with Vitamin E and aims to reduce the appearance of fine lines. Although my skin looked smoother and felt really nice with this one on, it just wasn’t a full enough coverage for me and I would probably use it combined with another product next time.

BUT WAIT… did someone say ‘industrial strength’?!! Now yer talking! The Benefit Boi-ing Industrial Strength concealer is a full coverage matte concealer – it’s the original Benefit Boi-ing concealer from back in the day with a sassy makeover. I’ve used this one on dark circles, breakouts, broken veins and more. It lasts for ages too, with minimal touch-ups required (once it’s on, it’s on). This one is my favourite of the collection (even though it’s the least pink of all the packaging!).

A very close second is the Boi-ing Brightening concealer though, which is another full-coverage gem. This one is specifically designed for targeting dark circles (some of you makeup aficionados may remember it by its former name, Erase Paste) and has brightening, colour-correcting undertones to help give that coveted illusion of a gal who’s had 12 hours rest and no need for caffeine (who are these people? Do they live among us?!). Top tip: use a little brush to blend this one in. 

I might not be able to wave a magic wand and take away my dark circles but this new collection does a pretty awesome job of smoothing, evening out tone and covering things up. Each item in the Benefit Boi-ing collection is £17.50 and available now!

Have you tried any of Benefit’s new concealers? And be honest, when was the last time you had 12 hours’ sleep…?

 

 

 

This post features PR samples but all testing, views and resemblances to The Addams Family are my own.