New Skincare Favourites

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

I feel like I haven't written about beauty in a while (apart from my Body Shop giveaway - which ends this Thursday!) and I've actually been trying lots of new products but just haven't got round to writing about them - terrible blogger alert.  I've picked out a couple of my current favourite skincare items for you though, these are all products that I've only really got into using in the last month or so and they are already becoming firm faves.

REN is one of my favourite skincare brands and I've tried almost all of their cleansers now (some have just been mini samples) so when I saw that they had a new Hot Cloth Cleanser I knew I had to give it a go.  I've never given in to the Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser hype, although I have tried the Superdrug Vitamin E one which didn't really blow me away (it's a perfectly good cleanser, I just don't love it).  I'm enjoying the REN version so far though - firstly, it has a lovely rose scent which I find really calming, especially when using it at night before bed.  I like how it leaves my skin feeling really soft and moisturised too, much nicer than with a foaming cleanser.

I was also really impressed with how well it takes off makeup too - up until a couple of days ago I was using it after removing makeup with cleansing water as to be honest, I didn't really expect it to be able to remove makeup to the same extent.  The other night I was feeling lazy so decided to just use the hot cloth cleanser to take off my makeup and was seriously impressed - I just used one pumps worth of product and it took everything clean off (even my mascara).  Since then I've been using it as my makeup remover and then following up with the REN clay cleanser as a "double cleanse" in the evening and it's working really well.

Facial oils and serums are one of those products that I've only really started using since I began reading and writing blogs.  It was a big enough step getting me to actually start using a moisturiser on a daily basis (yep), so it feels a bit like I'm in the big leagues now I'm using facial oils (oooh check me out with my fancy skincare routine).

I made a bit of an undignified entrance into this new world though by completely hashing my first use of the Body Shop Vitamin E oil.  I ended up putting faaar too much on, my face was basically like an oil slick and after 2 hrs it still hadn't budged so I had to wash it all off and start again - fail! Since then though I've learnt that a little goes a long way and have been adding a little drop to my moisturiser at night and applying it that way.  I feel like it gives my moisturiser an extra little boost and my skin always looks all fresh and glowy in the morning when I've used it the night before. As it contains vitamin E it's also supposed to help protect the skin against the damaging effects of the environment and premature aging and believe me, I'm going to need all the help I can get (turning 30 in 8 months people....).

Like the Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser, Hydraluron was one of those products that I heard so many bloggers rave about last year but I somehow avoided giving in to the hype.  When I went on a Scottish bloggers holiday in November though I tried a little bit of Kirsty's and was really impressed by how amazing it made my skin feel.  I think she must have remembered this as for my birthday in March the wee gem bought me these Hydraluron Masks and I have been absolutely loving using them as a proper skin treat.  As they are sheet masks you look completely ridiculous wearing them - I won't frighten you with a photo, although I did send Kirsty one via Whatsapp so no doubt that's been banked for some future embarassment.

The masks are basically coated with a thick layer of Hydraluron moisturiser, so your skin gets a huge moisture boost - perfect if you're suffering from dry skin.  You're supposed to leave the mask on for about 10 minutes although I tend to leave it for around half an hour but if you don't really like the feel of something sitting on your skin then you might not be able to stand it for this long.  Afterwards you can rub in the excess product like you would a normal moisturiser - it has a lovely cooling, gel like consistency so you're not left with a horrible sticky feeling and it sinks in fairly quickly.

So that's what I've been enjoying using on my face over the last couple of months - do you have any recommendations for things I should try?

Day in the Life

Friday, 25 July 2014
7.30am - I get up after my third alarm (the first two, 6am and 7am, are really just to gradually wake me up, I have no intention of getting up earlier than 7.30!), go to the bathroom to brush my teeth, wash my face and put in my contact lenses.  

7.45am - I like to lay out all of my makeup for the day before I start applying, that way I don't forget anything (if I'm really tired it's quite possible I could accidentally leave the house without doing my eyebrows for example).  I then give my hair a quick brush through with my fingers and pin up at the sides, ready to get dressed.

8.15am - All dressed and ready to go.  Today I'm wearing a sweatshirt from Dorothy Perkins, a skater skirt from New Look, and a necklace from Rings & Tings*.

8.30am - Waiting for the bus to work on a foggy July morning.  Catching up on Twitter whilst sitting at the bus stop on my lonesome.

9am - Starting the morning at work off by switching on my laptop, pouring myself a glass of water, and then checking through my emails.  The background on my work laptop is a photo I took in Copenhagen in March.

1pm - A couple of my colleagues go out for a walk in the sunshine at lunchtime but being the cool kid I am, I decide to spend my lunch hour catching up on my Youtube Watch Later playlist instead.  Outside is overrated people.

3pm - I spend the afternoon writing work schedules for the next month for each of my clients.  These outline how we plan on spending our retainer time during the month so the team know what needs to be done.  I'm also listening to old Ricky Gervais XFM show podcasts to keep me going until the end of the day.

5.30pm - After work I head along to Primark to find shoes and a bag for a wedding I'm going to on Friday.  I also pick up a couple of things for my cousins' birthday as I'm going up to Aberdeen for her 40th next weekend.

7pm - Whilst dinner is cooking I'm outfit planning for the wedding.  The shoes and necklace were bought at Primark and I think they go pretty well with my new ASOS dress, but I'm still undecided on the bag.  I didn't find one in Primark so I'm trying to match it up with bags from my collection.

8pm - Dinner is served!  Tonight I made a beef casserole with red wine, spinach and peas, served with roast potatoes and yorkshire puddings.  During dinner we watch The Chase which we recorded earlier - this is pretty much our routine every evening - we're Chase addicts!

8.30pm - One of my favourite time saving activities is washing my makeup brushes whilst I'm in the shower.  Seriously, it's multitasking at its finest.

9pm - My skin isn't great at the moment so I'm relying on my trusty Origins Out of Trouble mask to work its magic before the wedding tomorrow.

10pm - Like most evenings, I spend the majority of the time watching TV.  Tonight we watched The Honourable Woman which I'm really enjoying (Hugo Blick is just ace, his previous show The Shadow Line was one of the best British shows I've seen in recent years), followed by The Secret Lives of Students which is equal parts fascinating and infuriating (some of them are frustratingly naive).

11pm - Aaaand finally, time for our current obsession - a bit of Curb in bed.  It's just so bloody good, Larry David you are my hero.

I took inspiration for this post from a similar series by the blogger Becky Bedbug.  If you find this sort of post interesting then make sure you're subscribed to my Youtube channel as I'm posting pretty regular "follow me around" type vlogs these days. 

Being Tourists in Glasgow

Monday, 21 July 2014
These days I find myself through in Glasgow quite a lot, but it's mainly for blogging events or to meet friends for drinks, so the other weekend Blair and I decided to stay for a few nights and be tourists.  We stayed at the Citizen M hotel where we spent his birthday a few years ago.  This is one of my favourite hotels in the city, it's just so cool!  I'm not going to say much about the hotel itself as I wrote a full review post about it last time, but I'd definitely recommend it if you're looking for somewhere to stay in Glasgow.


We travelled through early on Friday afternoon and after checking into the hotel we went for a wander round the shops (couldn't resist the pull of the big Primark).  We'd originally planned on going to a museum but we would have only had an hr to look around before it closed so decided to just have a fairly chilled day on the Friday, leaving the proper touristy stuff to Saturday & Sunday.  After shopping we went to Meat Bar for dinner, I loved the decor here - it felt a bit like being in a ranch in the wild west ha!  B went for a burger and I had a pulled pork sandwich - it was nice but I've had better (the chips on the other hand were great).  We went back to the hotel for some drinks at the hotel bar before watching The Raid in  our huuuuuge bed (free movie database, woo!).

The next morning we had a bit of a lie in (because, hey we're on holiday) before getting the bus along to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum.  There's loads to see here as it's such a huge, stunning  building - and like all Glasgow museums it's free to enter.  One half of the building is the museum with sections on natural history (animals!), Scottish history, armoury, Egypt, and other world cultures.  Halfway through we had a quick tea and cake stop in the cafe to refuel before tackling the art gallery side of the building, this is where I snapped that photo of the hanging faces piece, pretty cool eh?  


Once we were done with Kelvingrove we went for lunch at La Vita Spuntini, an Italian tapas place on Byres Road.  They have a cheap lunch deal where you get 3 tapas for £6.99 so we shared mini pizza, pasta, meatballs, roast potatoes, arancini,  and chicken wings - it was alright, nothing amazing but pretty decent for £6.99 (and the staff were all really chatty and friendly).

By this point Glasgow weather started to get the better of us so we decided to spend the afternoon on a bus tour rather than wandering around in the rain.  If you've read some of my other travel blog posts you'll probably know that we're quite fond of a bus tour when we go on holiday, haha - I just think it's a really good was of getting a quick overview of the whole city and you can then always go back to the bits that you want to see more of.  

Saturday night we went for dinner at Bread Meats Bread, another place I'd been looking forward to as I'd heard lots of good things about it.  I went for the smoked beef brisket and sweet potato fries and it was maaaasssive, but so good.  With full bellies we turned down the desserts menu and instead went back to the hotel to get some drinks from the bar and take them up to the room so we could watch the world cup final in bed (yaaay Germany).  

The next morning we got up pretty early to pack up and check out, leaving our cases at the hotel so we could see a bit more of Glasgow before getting the train home.  Firstly we got a bus out to the Riverside Transport Museum which a couple of people had recommended.  This is a really fun museum with lots to look at like a life sized street, subway, trains, buses etc - also you can get on a tall ship outside which was pretty cool (turns out you can actually get married on the tall ship!).  Once we'd had our fill of transport we got the bus back into town and went for brunch at Cup Tea Lounge which is in a really lovely old building just off Buchanan St.  I went for pancakes and bacon which was nice but it could have really done with some syrup or something as it was a bit dry.  


After brunch we picked up our cases and got the train back to Edinburgh, stopping off at my parents house to pick up our car (as my dad had been giving it an MOT) and have a few drinks in the garden in the sunshine.  It was a really nice little weekend, and it was good to be able to see the other side of Glasgow that isn't just bars, restaurants and gig venues!  If you're subscribed to my Youtube channel you've probably already seen that I vlogged the whole trip, but I've also linked it below if you fancy seeing our weekend in action :)