Sunday, 31 July 2016

My Wanderlust Wardrobe & What I'm Taking With Me To Orlando, Florida

Holiday packing tips

There's only a number of weeks, well months if we're really counting, until I head over to Orlando, Florida on holiday. And as the weather differs rather drastically from the weather that we get here in Scotland, even on the warmest of Summer days, I've been picking up some new pieces to take along with me. As a result, I have what is essentially a holiday wardrobe, one that only makes an appearance when I fly off somewhere warm and sunny and it seems that I'm not the only one. The average person will spend £185 on their holiday wardrobe and one in twenty of us will spend six to eight months planning their perfect holiday wardrobe. So I thought that I would share with you some of my essential must-buys for a holiday to Orlando, Florida as well as a really handy holiday helper tool from CollectPlus which makes the decision-making process, when it comes to what you should take with you, fashion wise, super simple regardless of where you're heading to.

CollectPlus' Wanderlust Wardrobe allows you to select which destination you're heading to and wouldn't you know it, Florida is one of those very destinations. Each destination comes with style tips for day and night as well as what the weather, temperature and climate are like. This makes whittling down your wanderlust wardrobe a real breeze and I couldn't agree with their Floridian styling tips more. For me, it's all about comfort, without forgetting about looking casual and stylish at the same time. So here's what I'll be taking with me in my suitcase on this particular holiday;

Holiday Wardrobe Must-buys Must-haves

Midi dresses and jumpsuits - Over the years I've found what works well for me when it comes to the Floridian heat and that is midi dresses and jumpsuits. They keep me cool, don't expose too much and are just plain comfy to wear. Although maybe don't wear a jumpsuit that you need someone else to help you get out of when you're spending the full day at the theme parks. Let's just say; lesson learned. The ones that I look out for are made of materials that travel well and dry quickly.

Pleated Cropped Trousers - Talking of material that travels well, I'll certainly be bringing my beloved Topshop pleated trousers with me this year. You should be able to see the navy and white polka dot version of them peeking out of my suitcase and I may or may not have amassed these in basically every pattern and colour they've released. They're so easy to wear and really do make an outfit, which is why they're basically the dream holiday buy this year.

What to take on holiday to Orlando, Florida

Swimwear - Chances are that if you're heading to Orlando or Florida more generally, you will be spending some time by the pool, at the beach or at one of the great water parks, so investing in some swimwear is essential. My swimwear of choice has to be a skirted swimsuit or two. Not only do they hide the areas of my body that I'd like hidden, mainly my upper thighs but they flatten the tummy and hug the body too. I cannot recommend George at Asda enough when it comes to these kinds of swimsuits. They're well made, fit well and don't break the bank either. They also have other options, all of which are brilliant holiday buys.

Pack a Parka/Mac - And whilst you're happy to get wet when you've got your swimwear on, the Floridian rain isn't something that I like getting caught in. For this very reason I always and I mean always carry a Pack a Parka or Pack a Mac with me. They're light and portable and you'll really thank yourself for bringing one with you when an inevitable rain or thunderstorm rolls in. Plus, it saves you spending silly money on those disposable ponchos at the parks. I'm loving the range that ASOS have on their site at the moment and how incredible do the ones from Missguided look?

Best Bags/Backpacks for travelling

A Backpack - Last but not least we have what I'll be carrying around with me each and every day, regardless of whether we're at the parks, the malls, the beach or simply exploring. A great backpack, one that's not too big or too small, is a must for me when I'm travelling as I can take all of my essentials with me but still be hands free.

CollectPlus work with all of the retailers mentioned in today's post and many, many more, making shopping, especially before you go on holiday, so easy and convenient.

Hand Luggage Packing

Are you looking forward to my Orlando blogs and vlogs? What would you like to see most when it comes to them (outfit posts, vlogs, lookbooks, posts/vlogs dedicated to specific parks etc.)? Have you been on holiday this year? If so, what did you make sure to take with you? And what do you think of what I'm taking with me on this holiday?


Friday, 29 July 2016

Dressing Smartly For The Scottish 'Summer'

Guess Connect Reviews

Even though it's still technically Summer, the weather certainly says otherwise and most of the shops already have their Autumn/Winter pieces and ranges hitting stores, well at least here in Scotland anyway. As a result, I've been thinking more and more about transitional pieces that will take me from the Scottish 'Summer' to Autumn/Winter seamlessly and smartly and that's exactly what I've found when it comes to this particular pair of boots. And talking of dressing smartly, I'm also taking that quite literally when it comes to the timepiece on my wrist, which I'll be talking about today.

Guess Connect Watch

In the past couple of months, after buying my very first iPhone; the iPhone SE, I've been spending a lot more time tracking things I never imagined I could thanks to several apps on my phone. I can now see how many steps I've walked each day, keep a track of my sleep and even properly track what I'm putting into my body too. After years of not really understanding why so many people raved about the iPhone, I now finally get it and I started to feel myself getting a bit of the Apple bug, in terms of wanting to try more of their products. I was considering buying an Apple watch (my traditional Marc by Marc Jacobs watch battery had just stopped working and it was going to cost about £25+ to replace it) when Debenhams got in touch to ask if I'd like to try one of their watches, specifically the Guess Connect watch*.

Despite having my phone on me pretty much constantly, I'm still one of those people who likes to wear an actual watch on their wrist. The Guess Connect watch combines a traditional wrist watch with what we now know as a smartwatch. If you weren't aware that this was indeed a smartwatch, you probably wouldn't be able to tell and that's what I like about it. The design is beautiful and I absolutely adore the rose gold/copper detailing on this particular version. Debenhams also very kindly sent over one of Guess' rose gold bracelets* to pair with my brand new watch and I'm such a big fan of how they compliment one another.

In terms of it's smartwatch capabilities, let's get down to business. The little LED screen at the bottom of the watch face (where you'd ordinarily find the 6 on a traditional watch), works to alert you to many different things. I can receive notifications of important emails and messages, set alarms, see who's calling me and even control my camera at a glance or the touch of a button. I basically feel like Inspector Gadget with this thing on my wrist and the fact that you can actually take calls, as well as speak to Siri thanks to the built-in speaker and microphone blows my mind. I hear they might be looking for the next James Bond...

The watch also vibrates, if you want it to and is completely customisable when it comes to the notifications you receive. This means that you can pinpoint exactly what app is buzzing you for what reason.

Guess Connect Watch Review

There's a dedicated Guess app which is great and the watch also comes with a cable which allows you to directly connect your watch to your laptop or computer via USB.

My only issue with the watch is the fact that there isn't an activity tracker function, especially as I've been toying with the idea of treating myself to a Fit Bit or something similar along those lines but in the grand scheme of things it doesn't make this watch a no go for that reason.

It is bigger than the watches I ordinarily wear, especially as I'm someone with incredibly tiny wrists but it's really comfortable and doesn't feel too heavy on the wrist either. This is the smaller version of the Guess Connect watch for reference.

Autumn Winter Fringed Suede Boots

As I mentioned above, I'm trying to dress more smartly (not in terms of wearing a suit or something along those lines but rather more weather appropriate) and whilst these Sole Diva fringe ankle suede boots* might not be the most practical in a torrential downpour, I've been wearing them on an almost daily basis while the weather has been in the kind of awkward in-between phase that it's currently in, where it's not Autumn/Winter cold but it's not Summer warm either. 

Dressing Smartly in Summer

The heel is actually manageable for someone like myself who doesn't wear high heels all that often and the tan suede looks perfect with my tan handbag and tan belts. It just makes me feel a whole lot more put together even though all I'm doing is matching a pair of tan suede boots with a tan suede cross body bag but that's what makes it feel like a smart choice in the mornings these days. Is anyone else thinking about buying or bringing their ankle boots out in this kind of weather?

Do you have pieces in your wardrobe that work to your advantage in this sort of in-between part of the year? Have smartwatches caught your interest? If so, what do you think of the Guess Connect watch? And what would you like a smartwatch to do if you could choose an Inspector Gadget style one?


Thursday, 28 July 2016

July Favourites

July Favourites 2016 Blogger YouTuber

Following on from last month's very first favourites post/video, I'm back with my July favourites. Here are the ten things I've been loving this month;

Products mentioned: L’Oreal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Clay Clay-To-Spray Dry Shampoo* - NYX Butter Gloss in Angel Food Cake - Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner - Benefit Precisely, My Brow Pencil* - The Body Shop Strawberry Body Sorbet - Caudalie Vinosource Moisturising Sorbet* - Kiehl’s Creme De Corps Soy Milk & Honey Body Polish - The Visit DVD - Percy Pigs - Topshop Pleated Crop Trousers

What have you been loving this month? Have you tried any of the products in today's post/video? If so, what do you think of them? Have you seen The Visit? If so, what did you think of it?


Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Trying Bobbi Brown For The First Time With House Of Fraser

Bobbi Brown House Of Fraser

House Of Fraser very kindly allowed me to pick out two beauty products, ones that I had never tried before, to feature on the blog today and straight away I knew exactly which counter I would be heading for.

Bobbi Brown is a brand that I've wanted to try for many years now but for some reason or another it just never happened. I always say to myself, when I go to Florida on holiday that I'll pick up some Bobbi Brown bits but then I end up getting distracted by places like Sephora and Bath and Body Works and I come home empty handed. So I made sure to make a beeline for the Bobbi Brown counter at House Of Fraser Glasgow to see what I might like to try.

At the top of my list was a concealer or foundation that actually matched my skin tone and needs and that's exactly what I found.

Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Reviews Alabaster

After a quick chat with the lovely lady at the counter, I got shade matched for the Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation*. Basically this is a foundation for those of us who like our skin to look like skin, if you know what I mean. It's hydrating, natural looking and straight away there was a shade that matched. Now, I don't know how many high end and drugstore foundations I've tried, all of which just didn't quite match my incredibly pale skin but in a matter of seconds at the Bobbi Brown counter, I'd found the one.

This is the shade Alabaster, for reference and it's just the most perfect shade for me and my exceptionally pale skin. The foundation itself really does everything I was looking for it to do, plus more. It also has an SPF of 15; a big bonus for me.

Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color Uber Pink Reviews

As I had two products to pick, I found myself gravitating towards the rich lip color lipsticks and one shade in particular. Uber Pink*, which sounds like it should be some neon pink Barbie inspired shade, is actually one of the most beautiful and natural looking shades that I've ever found. My lips are naturally quite dark so light and nude shades just kind of wash me and my complexion out but this shade is simply stunning. It's the ultimate my lips but better colour!

Bobbi Brown Reviews

Which two beauty buys would you most like to try at House Of Fraser? Are you a fan of the Bobbi Brown range? If so, what product or products would you recommend that I try next? And do you also struggle to find foundations and face products that match your skin tone or colour?

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Sunday, 24 July 2016

New In From Soap & Glory Make-Up

Soap & Glory Makeup Review

In February of this year I did a very similar post to today's, where I shared what was new and exciting when it came to Soap & Glory's make-up line and I'm over the moon to be sharing the latest products to hit shelves this month. If you take a trip to your local Boots or head online now, you'll find that Soap & Glory have added two brand new eyeshadow palettes along with three brand new blushes and a great new take on their classic Supercat liner.

Soap & Glory Made You Blush

If like me, you've been looking for that dream blush only to be seriously disappointed time after time, just take a look at these three Made You Blush* shades. I mean, these just scream heart eyes emoji to me and they are so so pigmented, it's unreal! There are two matte shades (Cheeky Pink*; a pink matte (on the right) and Rosy Chic*; a coral matte (on the left)) and one slightly shimmery shade; Twinkle Rose*; a pearlescent pink shade with a golden shimmer.

They're also the perfect compact as each blush comes with a mirror and a brush, which is stored directly below the blush itself.

Soap & Glory Eyeshadow Palette

Back at the end of last year, Soap & Glory released a stunning eyeshadow palette (The Perfect Ten palette) to coincide with Christmas and they've now added two more great palettes to the Soap & Glory makeup collection. There's Kick Into Neutral*, which I'll discuss first and The Ultimatte Collection*. If like me, you're a big fan of neutral shades when it comes to your eye makeup, I have a feeling that you're going to love both, just like I do.
Soap & Glory Kick Into Neutral Eyeshadow Palette

Kick Into Neutral is packed with ten stunning shades. They're shimmery but not overly glittery, which is always what I'm looking for when it comes to shimmer shades. The shades themselves are very warm and perfect for creating that dreamy smoky eye. I also really love the fact that they've included two grey shades in this palette as that's not something you always see in neutral palettes, particularly in the drugstore.

Soap & Glory The Ultimatte Collection Eyeshadow Palette

The Ultimatte Collection is ideal for anyone who's looking for beautiful matte shades. The shadows and shades are really buildable but I do love the fact that they look so soft and subtle on the lids. And if subtle is what you like or you're just starting out when it comes to using makeup or building up your makeup collection, then you really need to check both of these palettes out pronto. Both have shadows that blend incredibly well, are velvety soft in texture and don't crease.

Soap & Glory Supercat Skinny Eyeliner

As a big Supercat liner fan (I already own the original Supercat liquid eyeliner and the fantastic Supercat Fat), I was so happy to see that Soap & Glory had added a super precise skinny liner to the Supercat family. If you haven't yet tried any of the Supercat liners, I cannot urge you enough to give them a try. I would honestly say that they are some of the very best on the High Street and at just £6-7 each you could even pick up all three and not feel too guilty, particularly if there's a 3 for 2 deal in Boots.

The Supercat Skinny* allows you to get really precise and has a glossy jet black finish. It also dries incredibly quickly and is water-resistant too.

As I mentioned above, Soap & Glory is exclusively available in Boots here in the UK but if you stay in the US, I hear that both Ulta and Walgreens now carry most of the Soap & Glory range, including make-up, so be sure to check both of those stores out if you're heading to or based in America.

So what do you think of the six brand new releases from Soap & Glory? Have you tried any of their make-up range before? If so, what do you think of their products? And what would you like to see Soap & Glory bring out next?


Friday, 22 July 2016

Sleek Power Plump Lip Crayons

Sleek Power Plump Lip Crayons

I'm always looking for High Street alternatives to some of my favourite slightly higher end products and that's exactly what I've found here. If like me, you're always lusting after the NARS satin lip pencils but don't really want to fork out £20 a pop, you must take a trip to your local drugstore to check out these fantastic brand new lip crayons from Sleek.

Sleek Power Plump

I'm a big fan of lips crayons, mainly for the fact that they're precise enough to line your lips but equally thick enough to quickly apply colour all over. At just £5.49 (basically a quarter of the price of the NARS lip pencils), you really can afford to try more than one. Even better if there's a 3 for 2 deal, which there almost always is at some stage in either Boots or Superdrug. Despite the price, the quality really is much higher than you would expect to get for just over £5. And in addition to what NARS have to offer up, these also work at plumping your lips whilst adding a slick of colour to your lips at the same time.

There is a noticeable tingle, one that lasts for around 15 minutes each time you apply but it's not like some of the other lip plumping products on the market that make your lips feel like they've been stung by nettles or something along those lines.

Sleek Power Plump Lip Crayons Review

The range of shades are all incredibly wearable and ones that would work well for a broad range of skin tones and colours too. I also really adore the satin finish of these Power Plump lip crayons*.

Additionally, if you feel like trying one or even a couple of these lip crayons, Boots currently have an introductory offer on where they're just £4.49 each (instead of £5.49) and they're also on 3 for 2! Now that's the kind of offer that's quite honestly too good to miss. The introductory offer is on until next Wednesday, the 3rd of August.

What do you think of these lip crayons? Are you a fan of lip plumping products? Can you handle the stinging or tingling feeling that many of these products have? Will you be taking advantage of the introductory offer? And which shade is your favourite?


Thursday, 21 July 2016

What I Got In The Summer Sales

Summer Sale Haul YouTube

It's been a little while since I last shared a sale haul with you on here but I've certainly made up for it with today's post/video. Over the past couple of weeks I've picked up some incredible bargains, all of which I had been lusting after when they were full price, so that certainly makes for some smart and successful shopping for me.

It's so much easier to explain why I picked up particular items, as well as generally rave about them in a video, compared to simply writing about them, so to see exactly what I picked up, click the play button below;

What do you think of my sale buys? Have you picked up anything in the Summer sales? If so, what did you treat yourself to? Would you like to see more haul videos? And are there any videos in particular that you'd like to see or see more of?


Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Hands-Free Hair Drying With Carmen

Carmen Hands Free Hairdryer Reviews

Like for many others, one of the most tasking of tasks has to be blow drying my hair and for that reason I often go to bed with damp hair only to wake up in the morning looking like I've been dragged through a hedge backwards. So when Carmen got in touch to ask if I'd like to try out their hands-free hairdryer*, I couldn't quite believe that such a product existed and thus more, that I hadn't heard of it. So you might be able to gauge how intrigued/excited I was to try this out, something that can't be said when it comes to my normal hairdryer.

When it first arrived I wasn't quite sure how to make it go hands-free but after a quick glance at the box/instructions I had a hands-free hairdryer in front of me. If like me, you're someone who's arms start to ache when they're blow drying their hair, this is a real game changer. To transform it from a regular hairdryer (yes, you can also use it in the traditional way too), all you need to do is to detach the handle and slot the body of the dryer into the accompanying stand. Then find yourself an area where you can place the stand (it even has little suckers on the bottom of it to keep it in place) and take a seat or stand beside it. It's truly revolutionary! With both hands free you can really pay attention to styling or if you're looking for sheer quickness alone, just set it up beside you and let it do it's thing. All you have to do is pivot until all your hair is dry. And there's no compromise when it comes to power either. It also has a 'cool shot' setting which is designed to leave your hair frizz-free. Anything that promises to combat frizz is a big winner in my eyes.

Carmen Hands Free Hairdryer

I know that for me, it's sheer laziness and a lack of any upper body strength that puts me off drying my hair with a hairdryer but if you're someone who struggles to hold one, either through disability or dexterity issues, this is the product for you. I was blown away! Pardon the pun (who am I kidding, I'm all about the puns). This is part of the Carmen by Samantha Faiers collection which you can find on Veryand Brand Alley, as well as on Carmen's website where you will find the rest of the range. If you're in the market for a new hairdryer, why not treat yourself to one of these? Why buy a traditional one, when you get both a traditional and a hands-free hair dryer in one with this.

Best Budget Hairdryer

What do you think of the idea of a hands-free hairdryer? Is it something that you would like to try? And do you have certain products that made drying and styling your hair a breeze?


Sunday, 17 July 2016

My Top Summer Sun Protection Picks

Best Sun Tan Lotions and Facial SPFs

As you might be able to tell if you've ever seen a photograph of me or have tuned into my YouTube channel, I'm an incredibly pale/fair redhead with quite a lot of freckles. As a result, sun protection is no laughing matter for me, which is why I've put many and I really do mean many, sun tan lotions and facial SPFs to the test over the years. So I thought that as it's technically Summer, even though it's raining outside as I type this, that I would share some of my holy grail products, as well as ones that have just hit the market, that are all well worth trying out. So if you're a double for Casper The Friendly Ghost, like I am, or are just looking for a great sun tan lotion, or a few, to take with you on your Summer holiday, hopefully there should be at least one that will work for you, regardless of your skin type and shade. There's also some facial SPFs which will protect you from the sun's rays come rain or shine. So let's get onto my top Summer sun protection picks;

First up we have the Ultrasun Very High 50+ SPF. This really is a holy grail product for me as it perfectly caters for me and my skin. Not only is it ideal for sensitive skin but it's water resistant, isn't perfumed and is anti-aging. Basically everything I could ever want or need from a sun protection product. This has kept me well protected in the blistering hot sun on many different trips to Florida and it's just one of those instant re-buy items for me.

Next up we have three products from Superdrug's Solait line. When it comes to budget and drugstore sun protection, Superdrug really are the best in the business, in my opinion. They truly have something for every single sun related need and it won't cost you arm and a leg to try out several products from the range or to kit out the entire family each Summer. Case in point; where else would you find an SPF 30 anti-aging face fluid for just £3.49? It's also unbelievably hydrating, something that can't be said for all sun protection products. They've also just released the Enhanced Sun Lotion*, available in both SPF 30 and 50. This stuff is enriched with Vitamin E, helping to protect the skin against collagen breakdown as well as shielding from free radicals, all for less than a tenner. And I always tend to carry one of their pouches around with me in my handbag or backpack when I'm on holiday as it saves me toting a big bottle around but also allows me to re-apply throughout the day, regardless of where I am.

I wasn't even aware that Clinique did sun protection until the two items that feature in today's post were sent out to me. Both the face* and the body* mineral sunscreen fluids are ideal for those of us with sensitive skin. Both are also oil-free and don't leave you with the classic 'I've just applied sunscreen' look. They're also incredibly lightweight and sink in quickly, which makes them perfect for the whole family.

Best Sun Protection Products

Even though I admitted earlier that I don't always remember to apply SPF on a daily basis (I blame Scotland's unpredictable weather for that and of course, my own laziness), when I do make the effort to, it has to be Kiehl's Ultra Light Daily UV Defense. With an SPF of 50, this more than protects my fair and freckly skin and as it's not your typical sun protection product, it feels more like part of my skincare routine than it does a sun tan lotion. It's not greasy (a big plus point), doesn't make me look even paler and will hopefully be the one product that keeps sun related wrinkles and dark spots at bay for many years to come.

Another facial SPF that has only very recently come into my life is the Aveda Daily Light Guard SPF 30*. Whilst this works well for all skin tones, this is the one I would reach for if I was prone to acne or recurring breakouts. It's not as moisturising as Kiehl's facial SPF option but definitely worth checking out if you have problem skin in particular.

And last but not least, we finish with Kiehl's Activated Sun Protector SPF 50 lotion for the body*. For some reason, up until now anyway, I've always opted for drugstore sun tan lotions for my body. I don't know why. Maybe it's because I prefer to fork out more for facial SPFs as my face is on show all day every day, whereas parts of my body remain hidden for most of the year. But after trying this lotion, I might need to change my stance on that. This has everything I'd want from a sun tan lotion for the body; SPF of 50, water resistant (great for holidays where you spend a lot of time in the pool or at water parks), oil-free, fragrance free and safe for sensitive skin. This will definitely be coming with me to Florida later in the year, along with quite a few of the other sun protection products mentioned in today's post.

What are your favourite sun protection products? Have you tried any of the products mentioned in today's post? If so, what do you think of them? And have I introduced you to any that you'd like to try?

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Friday, 15 July 2016

The Look Fantastic #LFSummerLovin Box

#LFSummerLovin beauty box review

The second in a string of Summer themed boxes, the Look Fantastic #LFSummerLovin box is packed full of products. I do, however, challenge you not to start singing Summer Nights from Grease right now. 'Well-a well-a well-a huh!' But let's get onto exactly what's included in the July Look Fantastic box;

July 2016 Look Fantastic beauty box

The first thing that caught my eye when I opened the box was the Benefit brow product. As you might remember, if you caught my 'The New Benefit Brow Collection' blog post, I was very kindly given three of Benefit's brand new brow products to take home with me and try out, when I attended a blog event with them last month. We were shown each of the individual products and then allowed to pick our top two to trial, alongside the Browvo! Conditioning Primer. And the one that just missed out on being picked by me was the Goof Proof Brow Pencil. This is in shade 6, the darkest shade, so it's not ideal for me and my colouring but the fact that one of the latest beauty launches appears in this month's box is a big plus for me.

Next up I spotted the This Works In Transit Camera Closeup. I always say that I need to try out more from this brand and this product sounds brilliant. It says it's a primer, a mask and a moisturiser in one. Perfect for someone who can often be a little bit lazy when it comes to their skincare routine; aka. me. The MiTi hair ties also immediately caught my attention. I might even do an Invisibobble vs. MiTi comparison post at some stage. Let me know if that's something you'd like to see. The MiTi bands seem really good quality, which is great. And it's always fantastic to see something from Nuxe appear in one of these boxes. The golden shimmer Huile Prodigieuse Or Dry Oil really couldn't be a better pick for a Summer beauty box. I'll certainly be taking this little bottle of it with me on holiday later in the year to leave me shimmering pretty much 24/7.

The next two products are ones that are also ideal for the summer months; an anti-frizz cream serum and a cheek and lip stain but I'm not particularly excited about how often Kebelo and Bella Pierre appear in these boxes. As I've mentioned in the past, I'm not as bothered by brand repetition in beauty boxes as I am by product repetition and both products are ones that I will undoubtedly use but I can't help but think why other brands from Look Fantastic don't feature as often as I'd like them to. Look Fantastic literally stock hundreds of incredible beauty brands and there are so many that I'd like to try, especially as I've tried about 3 or 4 products from both Kebelo and Bella Pierre now, thanks to these boxes.


Again, like every box that I've received and reviewed since the start of the year, the latest issue of Elle magazine is also provided with the #LFSummerLovin box. I feel like I say this every month but just in case you've not read those particular blog posts or have clicked through directly to this blog post, the fact that each box comes with a magazine that costs over £4 in itself, really makes this particular beauty box stand out from the pack.

Overall, I am really happy with what I received in this month's box. Despite my little complaint/gripe about the brand repetition, I have to admit that the products are definitely ones that I'll get a lot of use out of it, especially during the warmer months. They're also all right on the money when it comes to the SummerLovin theme too.

What do you think of the #LFSummerLovin beauty box? Have you tried any of the products in this month's box? If so, what do you think of them? And are you still a fan of beauty boxes?

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Thursday, 14 July 2016

Monthly Giveaway: Soap & Glory Dive In Set

Soap & Glory Gift Set Giveaway

As you will have seen, if you follow me on Twitter, the winner of my Makeup Revolution goody bag has been announced and the lucky winner is; Charlie. Her prize should be whizzing it's way to her as we speak. As you will also have seen, if you follow me on Twitter or caught the video below just before this blog post went live, is the fact that I have another giveaway live on my YouTube channel. You might remember me mentioning the idea of monthly giveaways on here back at the start of the year and sadly it never really came to fruition. I did one giveaway in January and that was it. So as it's easier than ever for me to ramble on about my favourite products on my YouTube channel, I will now be holding monthly giveaways on there. I'll also be sharing this news by posting an accompanying blog post, just like this one, as well. And hopefully this month's giveaway should be one that many find exciting.

I'm giving away a Soap & Glory gift set but not just any old gift set at that. This is the limited edition Rodnik collaboration that sold out at the end of last year. This means that you can't buy it the shops or on Boots' website either. How incredible is the 'Dive In' design? There's also six Soap & Glory hero products in it, all of which I honestly can't recommend more.

Soap & Glory Gift Set Review

For all the details and rules be sure to head over to my channel and best of luck if you do enter.

What do you think of the idea of monthly giveaways? Will you be entering? And what other kinds of giveaways would you like to see over on my YouTube channel?

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Finding The Perfect Summer Scent With Fragrance Direct

Finding the perfect Summer scent can be rather tricky but Fragrance Direct are always the first port of call for me. Buying a new perfume or fragrance is a treat for me and certainly something that I don't take lightly. Surely I'm not the only one who could spend hours sniffing different perfumes only to realise that they're in love with about ten of them? But buying from some of the big department stores can be pretty costly, which is why I now only buy perfumes and aftershaves from Fragrance Direct. When it comes to the price, it's very rare if they can be beaten and you don't end up making an impulse buy after being bombarded with free sample sticks, like you tend to do in some of the big department stores.

Fragrance Direct sent over three of the latest perfumes to hit their site, each of which would suit a broad range of fragrance fans but as I always recommend, when it comes to my perfume and fragrance reviews, I would definitely suggest making a trip to your local Boots, House Of Fraser, Debenhams, Selfridges, John Lewis etc. etc. to smell it in person first. That way you can actually smell the fragrances in person, try a whole variety of them out and even spritz them on your wrist to see how the scents develop as the day or night goes on. Then when you've picked which one, or ones, you just can't live without, you can do a quick search on Fragrance Direct to see what savings there are to take advantage of. So let's see what I think of this trio of suitably Summer scents;

Prada Candy Kiss EDP*

First up we have Prada Candy Kiss. If you cast your memories back to the Summer of 2014, or take a trip to my blog archive, you will see that that was when I'd just started my Summer Sun-days series. I reviewed Prada Candy Florale, the second Prada Candy release and a fragrance that I still absolutely adore. Prada have now added a third fragrance to the Candy family, one that's flirty and fun. If you love orange blossom, when it comes to your perfume of choice, then you will certainly love this. There's also notes of vanilla and musk. A winning combination if I don't say so myself and just how pretty is the bottle that it's housed in? 
Talking of stunning perfume bottle design;

Paco Rabanne Olympea Aqua EDT*

I mean, how gorgeous is this bottle? Following on from the original Olympea fragrance, Olympea Aqua takes a twist on the first fragrance. You might also remember, if you're a longtime reader of Ellis Tuesday or if you just clicked onto the link to my Summer Sun-days blog post above, that a Paco Rabanne fragrance also featured in that Summer lineup. But this new addition to the Paco Rabanne fragrance family invites us to take a trip to the Olympic baths. I'm pretty sure that's the Olympic baths of yesteryear and not the ones we'll see in Rio in a few weeks time but I won't go off on a tangent like I normally tend to do.

The scent itself is what I would describe as Oriental. There's a blend of Calabrian bergamot, gingerlily, ambergris, cashmere wood and last but not least; vanilla. I think that's why I love it as much as I do. There's something about the scent of vanilla that just makes me feel warm and happy and that's exactly how I feel when I'm wearing this.

Narciso Rodriguez Narciso Poudree EDP*

As the name denotes, this is a perfume with powder in it. It may sound like a strange concept but many other brands and classic scents feature powder in them and the simple addition of powder really gives the perfume a truly decadent and luxurious touch. Narciso Poudree has top notes of white jasmine and Bulgarian rose, base notes of vetiver and black and white cedar and musk right at the heart of it.

And even though I adore the intricate designs of the two previous bottles, something about the simplicity and sleekness of this bottle just speaks to me. It echoes the elegant and sophisticated scent of this perfume perfectly.

Do you have a scent that you like to wear in the Summer months? Or have you treated yourself to a new perfume for the hopefully, warmer weather? What do you think of the sounds of the three fragrances featured in today's post? And are you the kind of individual who wears several different scents throughout the year?


Sunday, 10 July 2016

My Kate Spade Sale Haul

Kate Spade Sale Cedar Maise Stacy Wallet

This month I made my very first proper Kate Spade New York purchase and as if that wasn't exciting enough, I bought both of my posy print purchases in the sale. To find out more, be sure to click onto this week's video, below;

Have you bought anything in the recent sales? If so, what have you treated yourself to? Have you been enjoying my YouTube videos so far? And would you like to see a 'what I got in the Summer sales' haul kind of video on my channel at some stage soon? Is it something that you would watch?


Friday, 8 July 2016

Attending The Queen's Garden Party At The Palace Of Holyroodhouse

The Queen's Garden Party at Holyroodhouse Edinburgh

On Tuesday I headed through to Edinburgh to attend the Queen's Garden Party at the Palace of Holyroodhouse. I joined 8000 others and a sea of fascinators (basically every single female had one on), to celebrate a vast array of Scots from all different sectors. First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon had nominated my Mum, due to her positive contributions and her 37 years at the same company. So I got dressed up and joined my parents to attend and hopefully catch a glimpse of the Queen and the Royal Family.

Our invites had specified that photography was strictly prohibited, which is why I left my Canon EOS M10 at home but I did manage to snap a couple of pictures on my iPhone SE throughout the course of the day. And I have to say, I'm really impressed with the quality of the snaps, especially after uploading them onto my computer. So hopefully these should give you a feel for what the party itself was like.

What to wear to the Queen's Garden Party

First of all; my outfit and an impromptu photoshoot inside Holyrood Abbey. We weren't exactly sure what the weather would be like through in Edinburgh which is why I went for closed toe shoes. The ones I ended up wearing are a trusty pair from Primark, which featured in a Primark haul post over a year ago now. And whilst I did end up with some pretty nasty blisters after all the walking to and fro, they definitely served me well on the lush but rather sodden grass inside the palace grounds themselves. I also went with a dress that I'm sure I bought last Summer, back when Forever 21 still had a store in Glasgow City Centre. As I've mentioned many times on here before, I'm such a big fan of midi dresses and instantly felt fancy but not too dressed up in this particular polka dot dress. I then added a pair of Forever 21 sparkly studs and the absolutely stunning necklace from Happiness Boutique that I've worn before in this post and on my YouTube channel. But back to the party itself;

Queen's Garden Party Afternoon Tea Food

The spread was absolutely unreal. Very much fit for a Queen. It was afternoon tea to the highest level. There were sandwiches of basically every variety including classic cucumber sandwiches, as well as cakes and biscuits galore. I literally could have ate about a hundred of the little shortbread biscuits. They were so creamy, buttery and yummy.

I don't know the last time I went through to Edinburgh, despite the fact that it's only about an hour away from Glasgow but I've already got a to-do list of things to do, hopefully in the next couple of months or at least before next Summer. These include but are not limited to, walking up Arthur's Seat (as pictured below), visiting Scotland's first ever cat cafe; Maison de Moggy and taking a trip to Camera Obscura before finally checking out Edinburgh Castle. I took a couple of photos from the bus, so they're not the best quality but I did manage to finally see the Scottish parliament building in person, which was a bit of a big deal, especially as I did my dissertation in Scottish politics. I also witnessed the Edinburgh trams for the first time, which was strange. I'm still not entirely sure how they even work as buses and trams were on the same stretch of road. Any Edinburgh locals care to explain?

Queen's Garden Party Holyrood Edinburgh

Overall, I had a really lovely day, even if my toes were rather sore by the time we were heading back home to Glasgow. It was really nice to spend a day, one that was sunny and dry too (aka. a bit of a rarity here in Scotland), with my parents and to get all dressed up for what was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I even saw the Queen, who was dressed head to toe in bright yellow and several members of the Royal Family (sadly Prince Harry wasn't in attendance), as well as Nicola Sturgeon herself.

Have you ever been to Edinburgh? If so, what would you recommend I check out or visit on my next trip through to the capital? What would you have worn to such an event? And what do you think of my outfit?

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

The June BBQ Degustabox (With Exclusive £6 Off Discount Code)

Degustabox 2016 Discount Code UK

This month's Degustabox really is jam-packed full of products, many of which are perfect for the warmer months, as the BBQ Box name should denote. As with every Degustabox review that I do, I have a fantastic and exclusive discount code for you to use to take a massive £6 off the £12.99 price tag. All you have to do is enter the code BLDEG15 when you register. 

So what exactly does the June BBQ box comprise of, well let's see;

Degustabox Review

As soon as I opened this month's Degustabox, before I even knew that this was the BBQ box, the first thing that sprang to mind was 'this and this and this would all be perfect for a Summer barbecue'. And that's exactly what Degustabox had planned for us. And whilst it's not exactly been the kind of Summer weather that we might have hoped for so far (it rained about 10 minutes after I took these photos), I still hold out hope that the weather will start to improve soon. I mean, it is July after all. 

Back to the box itself. You can't have a BBQ without some Branston relish, at least in our household anyway. We'd never tried this spicy tomato variety of Branston relish before but it is so so tasty. It really adds something special to your barbecued burgers. Talking of burgers; how cool is it to be able to make your own tasty burgers? Instead of just buying shop bought ones or making patties made of purely mince, the Schwartz burger mix allows you to create your own authentic American smokehouse burgers in seconds. Such a great idea! The Haywards silverskin onions went down a real treat too. My Mum, in particular, said that she could literally have sat and ate the whole jar in one sitting, that's how good they were so if you're a fan of pickled onions, I'd definitely recommend picking a jar of these up. And what's better than an ice cold drink, beer or ice lolly when you're enjoying a Summer BBQ?

The Zeo cloudy lemon is great for those of you looking to watch how much sugar you consume, as each 250ml serving only has 1.5 teaspoons of sugar, which is hardly anything compared to what you'd find in a glass of fizzy juice or even some 'fruit' juices. My Dad gives the King Star crafted lager a big thumbs up and the Smooze mango and coconut fruit ices are so yummy and refreshing. Unlike other ice lollies and ice poles, these actually taste like the flavours described instead of just sickly sweet syrup. These are also 100% vegan, which is certainly another bonus.

Summer BBQ Food

Talking of sweet treats, I was over the moon with the ones included in the June Degustabox. First up we have Belgian Butters Waffle Crisps. I've already got these earmarked for enjoying with a big cone of ice cream the next time we have a really hot day (please let that be soon!) 

I'm already a big Butterkist fan (their toffee popcorn is the best!), so I was happy to see the sharing bag and the multipack packet of their new yogurt coated popcorn in this month's box. It's such a unique but scrumptious flavour. The Bakedin miracle mug brownie is even tastier! Talk about convenience too. Isn't it always the case that you're craving something like a chocolate brownie when there's nothing like that in the house? Now, you can have this tub in your cupboard ready for such an occassion and you can have a warm, rich chocolate brownie in under 2 minutes. This could definitely be dangerous for my waistline. Hehe.

Degustabox UK

And last but not least we have three really helpful kitchen staples. These are the kinds of things that you're happy to have in your kitchen cupboard, especially on those evenings when you're not sure what to have for, or with, dinner.

I have to admit that the Miracle angel hair noodles kind of weirded me out when I first saw and held them. They come packaged a bit like mozzarella often does and what I mean by that, is that it's packed with extra water or fluid. But once you've rinsed them well, these are low calorie, gluten free, vegan and cholesterol free. Ideal for many different people. The Sacla pesto pots are brilliant for having with pasta and as I said above, ideal for those nights or evenings when you have no idea what to pair with something like pasta. The same can be said for the Amoy coconut milk. This is great to have in your cupboard if you're someone who enjoys making Asian cuisine.

This has certainly been one of my favourite Degustaboxes that I've received in a long time, not that I don't enjoy them each month but I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that they're products you can use in a variety of different ways and for different meals as well.

What do you think of this month's box? Have you tried any of the products featured in June's box before? If so, what do you think of them? And have you had a BBQ yet this year?

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