Hoola by Benefit

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I am far from an expert on bronzer. Hoola by Benefit is actually the first bronzer I have ever used. I was a bit worried that I would make myself look ridiculous by applying too much of it or not applying it the right way, but I have been pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to use. (I did have to watch a couple of videos on YouTube before I attempted it as I literally had no idea where on my face to put the bronzer!) I have been using the little brush that came with the bronzer and I think it is good as it picks up a small amount of colour at a time so I can build up the colour gradually. I also like that the bronzer isn’t shimmery as I think that would be less forgiving for a bronzer newbee! All in all, I am pleased with the bronzer. It gives me a bit more colour but doesn’t look like I have gone overboard! If you want to try Hoola you can buy it for £23 online or in Boots, Debenhams etc.

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A Weekend at Crieff Hydro

Crieff Hydro is spread over 900 acres of countryside just outside of Perth. You can stay in the hotel itself or in one of the self catering lodges in the grounds. A couple of months ago, my mum and stepdad drove up from Cardiff and we met them at Crieff Hydro for a relaxing weekend. Our lodge was stunning with fantastic views of the hills from the big windows. I really liked the colourful blue boards on the outside of the lodge and also the cosy heated floors in the bathrooms! Crieff Hydro LodgeCrieff Hydro Lodge Crieff Hydro Lodge Crieff Hydro Lodge Crieff Hydro - view from lodgeThere are lots of things to do at Crieff but we opted for a weekend of doing very little. On the Friday night, we were picked up from our lodge by the site mini van (which anyone can use by calling reception) and were driven the few minutes over to the main hotel where we had a cocktail in the piano bar followed by dinner in the Meikle Restaurant. The food was fantastic and the staff were really attentive and friendly.Crieff Hydro countryside The Famous Grouse Experience The Famous Grouse Experience Towser the catAfter a lazy Saturday morning, we dug out our rain coats and took a walk through the countryside to the nearby Famous Grouse Experience in the Glenturret Distillery. The Glenturret single malt is the main whisky used in Famous Grouse. Despite living in Scotland for almost two years now, this is the first distillery tour I have been on and I found it really interesting – especially the story about Towser, the distillery cat, who apparently caught 28,899 mice throughout her life!

Apart from this outing, the rest of the weekend was spent catching up, cooking together, playing boardgames and watching Eurovision! We had a lovely weekend at Crieff and felt so relaxed that we didn’t want to leave. I would love to stay for longer next time so that there is more time to explore and also try out the spa…..

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Baldwin’s Natural Beauty Products

I have fallen completely in love with a set of products from Baldwin & Co! Baldwins is one of the largest suppliers of medicinal herbs, essential oils and natural products in the UK and was first established in 1844. I have been using the Green Tea & Frankincense Exfoliating Facial Scrub, the Pomegranate, Bilberry & Rose Rejuvenating Day Cream and the Harmonising Bath Oil.
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Green Tea & Frankincense Exfoliating Facial Scrub
This scrub is, I think, the thickest facial scrub I have ever used. You need literally the tiniest amount and when it is applied to wet skin it spreads out over your whole face. The scrub has bamboo particles, rounded nut granules and birch bark extract as the scrub part and also has moisturising candellia wax beads. The combination of these ingredients gives the scrub a gorgeous smell – sometimes I just open the tub for a sniff even when I am not planning on using it! I have been using the scrub a couple of times a week but it is gentle enough to use more often if you need to.

Pomegranate, Bilberry & Rose Rejuvenating Day Cream
Again, this face cream is really thick and you only need a very small amount. It also smells amazing, I love the smell of rose and the other ingredients give it a more unique smell than just plain rose. The day cream is suitable for all skin types and contains kiwi seed oil and blackcurrant on top of the pomegranate and bilberry, which help keep your skin soft. It also features a blend of honeybush, green and white tea which contains anti oxidants to protect skin from free-radicals. I am never really sure what this actually means but I gather it is a good thing!

Harmonising Bath Oil
You can probably guess what I am going to say about this… It smells fantastic! A blend of lavender, marjoram and geranium which is perfect to help you relax after a long day. I love it!

I am so glad I have discovered Baldwins. I much prefer using natural products so am looking forward to exploring their website a bit more. I often find that natural products are quite expensive but these are a really reasonable price, £8.49 for a 60ml tub of the scrub, £11.95 for the moisturiser and £7.39 for 100ml of bath oil.

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Skin Shop Cardiospermum Gel

I suffer from pretty bad hay fever throughout the summer and one symptom I have is itchy skin. I get itchy patches on my chest and arms and also have extremely itchy eyes. Recently, I was sent some Cardiospermum Gel from Skin Shop to try out.
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I have got both the one designed specifically for eyes and the one for the rest of the body. I really like the body one. It is so cool and soothing to apply, and even though the effects don’t last very long, it still feels really nice not to be itchy for half hour or so. It does calm down very itchy patches quite well and takes out the majority of the redness, but it doesn’t totally get rid of itching so don’t expect a miracle cure!

I am not such a bit fan of the eye gel. It has the same effect as the body version but I find that it is no better than the Simple Revitalising Eye Roll On which I have been using for a while now. The Simple version is nicer to apply as it has a roller ball applicator which feels even more cooling than the gel. I also find that the Cardiospermum eye gel leaves a sticky residue which I am not too keen on. If you suffer from itchy skin, I would definitely recommend giving the body gel a try but am personally not sold on the eye gel version. You can buy both products from Skin Shop, the body gel for £9.95 and the eye gel for £6.95.

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Sampar Velvet Cleansing Milk

The Velvet Cleansing Milk is my first foray into the Sampar range. I love a good cleanser so was excited to try this one and I although it has some flaws, I do really like it. imageThe texture of the cleanser is thick and smooth and it has a wonderful smell of roses. It leaves my skin feeling soft and hydrated but I do find that it isn’t great at removing makeup, especially eye makeup. It breaks it up a bit but I tend to end up with big black rings around my eyes where the mascara has just spread. I’ve been using either a facewipe or a bit of eye makeup remover to get the majority of my makeup off first, before applying the cleanser. The scent is quite strong so might not be everyone’s cup of tea but I really do love rose scented products! If I didn’t like the smell so much then I think this might end up being one if those products I never get sound to finishing because I am lazy on prefer my cleanser to also remove makeup, but I love it so I will definitely be using this one up! You can buy the Sampar Velvet Cleansing Milk from M&S for £26 for 200ml.

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Dr Renaud Mango Hand and Nail Cream

My newest hand cream is the Dr Renaud Mango Hand and Nail Cream.
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I am not too fussed on the packaging and I don’t think I would have given this a second glance if I hadn’t have tried, and been impressed by, other Dr Renaud products. As is happens, this hand cream is fantastic. It smells wonderful and fruity and has helped out my dry cuticles which have recently been protesting about the amount of nail polish I wear! It is a very rich hand cream and does take around 10 minutes to sink in completely but I am more than happy to wait that long as it really is moisturising and is making my nails look much stronger and healthier. This hand cream costs £13.30 for 75ml and is available online.

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Bourjois Queen Attitude Mascara

I have stuck to the same mascara for quite a while now, No7 Extreme Length. I love it, but last time I was in Boots I decided to mix it up and try a new mascara. After some deliberation, I settled on the Bourjois Queen Attitude which promises volume and length.
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I have some other Bourjois products which I really like so wanted to try out their mascara but the main reason I chose this one was because the shape of the packaging was pretty unique… Maybe not the best way to decide on a mascara…. Anyway, the short story is that I don’t like this mascara. I find that it makes my eyelashes look really spidery. The formula is difficult to work with and if you try to build it up with a second coat, it clumps your eyelashes together. I think it might be something to do with the shape of the brush which doesn’t have may bristles compared with others I have used. After trying to get on with Queen Attitude for a few weeks, I actually popped back to Boots to pick up my usual mascara. I really want to find some new mascara which works for me – what is your favourite mascara?

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Dr Lewinn’s Instant Beauty Radiance Booster

I got this Dr Lewinn’s Instant Beauty Radiance Booster as part of a gift set about 18 months ago. I used it a few times when I first got it but then got distracted with other products and it kind of got put to the bottom of my makeup box and a little bit forgotten about. Recently, I rediscovered the Radiance Booster and I can’t believe I let myself stop using it in the first place!
image Dr Lewinns Instant Beauty Radiance BoosterIt is a really luxurious feeling product, even down to the packaging. I really like the fresh smell and it leaves my skin feeling amazingly soft and smooth once it has sunk in, which takes just a couple of minutes. It is also good at minimising pores and gives a sort of soft focus effect. I tend to use this on days when I can’t be bothered putting on any face makeup but sometimes I use it as a primer under my makeup. When I get the right amount it is a really great product but I have noticed that it is easy to use too much which can leave my skin looking a bit greasy.  Generally though, it makes my pores look a lot smaller and my skin tone more even. I’ve also used it as a face mask a few times by applying a thick layer and leaving it for about 20 minutes before rinsing. It gives my skin a real moisture boost! I am very impressed with this product and would definitely recommend it!

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Instagram Round Up #20

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1 & 2. Recent manicures
3. Ghost The Musical (amazing!)
4. Out for cocktails…..
5. Banoffee cupcakes
6. A stormy walk at Aberdeen Beach
7. Me and my sisters all dressed up for St David’s Day when we were little
8. Afternoon Tea with Mum and sisters
9. Berry and Balsamic Chocolate Mousse
10. Another Homemade Afternoon Tea!
11. Stonehaven
12 & 13. Dunnottar Castle
14 & 15. A sunny Scottish wedding
16. Falls of Feugh
17 & 18. Old Aberdeen
19. Seal watching in Newburgh
20. Calton Hill, Edinburgh
21, 22 & 23. Edinburgh Castle
24. More cocktails….

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Seche Vite

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For quite a long time now I have been reading about how brilliant the Seche Vite base and top coats are but I’ve always stuck to the Nail Inc Caviar top and base coats. I’ve finally made the switch and am very impressed with Seche Vite! They give my nails pretty much the same glossy effect as the Nails Inc polishes but they seem to be more hardwearing and keep my nail colours chip free for a couple of days longer. Plus I really love how fast they dry! They are slightly more expensive than Nails Inc but I think they are worth it for me as it means I don’t need to redo my nails mid week!

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