Wednesday, 26 November 2014

WIN AN ARRAN AROMATICS
GIFT SET!

I haven't had a giveaway for AGES, so here's a nice Christmas treat for you!

Arran Aromatics are a Scottish beauty brand (based, unsurprisingly, on the very lovely Isle of Arran), who make luxury candles, bath and body products infused with original fragrances inspired by the landscape and scents of the island. They are good guys too - all of their products are cruelty-free and they are dedicated to caring for the environment and being super enthusiastic about recycling.

I am currently obsessed with candles (as soon as I turned 28 I suddenly understood why people spend a fortune on nice candles), so I've picked one of their candle Christmas gift sets to give away.

Perfumer Collection: Travel Candle Collection - £32
The Perfumer Collection is a super cute set, inspired by their travels and fragrances from around the world, all infused with the essence of Arran. In the limited edition gift box you'll receive: Wild Gorse, Ultimate Fig, Just Grapefruit, Jasmine & Philadelphus, Amber Wood, Cedarwood & Citrus, Bergamot & Geranium, and After the Rain.

To enter, just follow the instructions below...


The competition ends on December 3rd and is only open to UK readers. I'll email the lucky winner to get their details. Good luck!

Monday, 24 November 2014

DIY WISHLIST

I have recently become a bit of a Pinterest junkie, and have been pretty obsessed with pinning away in my quest for a super-cute, pastel-coloured life. There's things I want to eat, things I want to wear, things I want to own, ombre things, sweary things, and things to cheer me up on seriously scowly days - it's just the perfect scrapbook (and if you aren't using it and like all those things, get on it!).

But one of the things Pinterest is particularly good for, is keeping track of crafty DIYs that you'd like to try one day. Here's a few of my favourites that I have pinned (which, er, may or may not be part of my Christmas crafting list - so pals, look away now!).


1. Caroline from burkatron has long been one of my favourite bloggers (beautiful nail art & easy DIYs always win me over), and I love how her bunny trinket dish is super cute, but also seriously simple to do.

2. Wrapping up presents is one of my favourite parts of gift-giving, and I love these honeycomb gift toppers. SO CUTE.

3. I'm getting some prints to put up on my bedroom wall, and this glittery wall hanging caught my eye.

4. I like the moon and I like anything with even the smallest hint of mustard, so this moon clock ticks all my boxes.

5. I'm also obsessed with cacti and succulent plants. I won't let myself buy anymore (I really own more plants than a one-bedroom flat can hold), so a cactus pillow might be the answer.

6. Aaaand, look at this hanging planter! I reckon it would be seriously good Christmas present material (you always get extra brownie points if you craft things yourself!).

If you want any more crafty inspiration you can also follow my board. If you've got a Pinterest account please comment with the link too!

Friday, 21 November 2014

HOW TO: EASY FESTIVE MAKEUP

There's only five weeks to go until Christmas (aaah!), so I reckon it's definitely time to start sticking up some fairy lights and thinking festive thoughts.

This time of year always brings parties, fancy work lunches, and the excuse to be a bit more glittery than normal, so here's a super easy makeup tutorial that should help you out if you're in a festive face fix!


I was very kindly gifted some makeup from No7, so I could have a play around with their new #TaDah makeup looks. To be honest, I think I always walk past No7 in the shops (it looks so grown up, and I still shop like a teenager!), but I'm a new convert - and some of the products are so easy to use, I feel almost a bit guilty for badging this as a tutorial.


For this look I used the following:
  • Benefit Porefessional primer
  • No7 concealer (in Deeply Ivory)
  • No7 Stay Perfect foundation (in Deeply Ivory)
  • No7 cream blush (in maple silk)
  • No7 Instant Radiance highlighter
  • No7 Stay Perfect Shade and Define eyeshadow pencil (in Glistening Ray)
  • No7 Stay Precise liquid eyeliner
  • No7 Lash Impact mascara
  • No7 High Shine lip crayon (in Statement)


To start, I tidied up my eyebrows (using products from my everyday makeup), moisturised and used my favourite Benefit primer to smooth out my skin. Then I used concealer and foundation - my skin gets quite dry easily, so I tend to look for a foundation that isn't too heavy (and doesn't mask my freckles!).


Once you've got your base down, dab some cream blush into your cheeks and blend in.

Take the highlighter stick and dot it on your cheekbones, your browbones, the inner corner of your eyes and down the centre of your nose! Less is more - with highlighter you are aiming for a lovely glow, rather than a twilight-esque sparkle (...I'm aware it's 2014 - can I still reference twilight? I'm going to say yeah. Yeah).


Then take the eyeshadow pencil and build the colour up on your eyelids, and along the lower lash line. This goes on quite sheer at first, but should build to a nice gold colour very quickly!

I get the rage with cream eyeshadows that crease quickly, so am pretty pleased with this guy - it did not budge at all and was still in place in the morning, after I'd fallen asleep with makeup on (shh, this is why I'm not a beauty blogger).


Now, line your lids with liquid eyeliner, flicking it out into a small cat's eye. If you aren't practised with liquid eyeliner, this tutorial should help, or the pen-style eyeliners are great if you don't have a particularly practised hand.


Then, take your lip crayon and colour in your lips! This goes on quite light at first, but you can build up the colour as much as you want. And that's it! (told you it was easy).


I know it's a simple look, but I seriously love it. It's a pretty classic look and is just SO quick and easy to pull together - perfect if you are rubbish at makeup, or have ten minutes at your desk to descruff and turn into a more put-together human!

I'm seriously impressed with the lip crayon too. I love lipstick, but sometimes I can't be bothered with the faff of putting it on, worrying it's wearing off weirdly, only managing to reapply in perfect light, etc - so this product is perfect if you want a nice colourful lip, but don't want that hassle. Hooray!

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

A TRIP TO PORTUGAL

Oh, I bloody love holidays! Last week I flew off to Portugal for a week in the sunshine (because going on holiday just before winter kicks in is the very, very best!).


Joshua & I decided our main mission was to find good food, good weather, and a chilled out spot for plenty of lazing and book reading, and Lagos, in the South of Portugal, seemed to fit the bill.

Lagos is one of the Algarve's most popular tourist destinations, but is also still a big fishing town. We visited in the off-season too, which means it was still warm, but was fairly chilled out - it was super easy to avoid the (small) number of tourist traps, and find lovely authentic people and places.


We booked an apartment through airbnb which was brilliant! I had heard loads about it, but was a bit nervous that it all sounded too good to be true - but it was ACE (and cheap). We found a flat that was on the edge of the historic town, with balconies that looked out over the old castle walls and out to the sea.

I really wanted somewhere that had quite a lot of personality, and the flat was just that - the owner is an artist, so the flat was full of paintings and books and quirky bits and pieces.


The holiday mainly revolved around eating fish, drinking sangria, and lazily exploring Lagos and its surrounding towns. We cycled along cliff tops, befriended local cats (that we smuggled sardine paste out of restaurants for!), wandered around sleepy mountain towns, high-fived after a Portuguese wine merchant said we had good taste, ate in tiny restaurants with giant portions, swam in the sea (a big deal for me - I am a wimp!), adventured through caves, cooked a feast of fish and massive prawns, and read books on a secluded beach.


It was just so lovely, and so nice to switch off from the real world, get some sunshine, breath new air, and hang out with my (very beardy) partner-in-crime. I've only been back a week and a bit, but it already feels like such a long time since we were there!

If you're keen to see more holiday photos, last week I blogged a few outfit photos from Portugal, aaand, if you're feeling inspired to go yourself - we stayed in this Lagos apartment (and you can get airbnb credit if you sign up with this link!).

Now to plan the next adventure!

Monday, 17 November 2014

WATCH & WOLF

 I'm a big fan of gastronomy superheroes, Jelly & Gin, who have a seriously good track record of taking audiences on amazing artistic food adventures. They've just announced their latest project, Watch & Wolf, and it looks like so much fun!


Watch & Wolf is cinema like you've never tasted before, as Jelly & Gin take over the National Gallery of Scotland (you know, the beautiful massive one on Princes St) for a series of multi-sensory film experiences. And because it's Christmas, they've picked festive classics (Elf - CHRISTMAS! Gremlins - Christmas! The Wizard of Oz - er not that festive, but still amazing!) that you watch, while eating and drinking along with the characters.

On arrival, you'll receive a box which holds numbered packages of bite-sized food and cocktails. The event host, Mr Wolf, will signal at specific moments in the film for you to eat and drink your treats - it sounds seriously tasty, and if anyone's going to excel at tiny movie treats, it's Jelly & Gin!

Watch & Wolf takes place at 7.30pm on the following dates in the National Gallery of Scotland (which is in Edinburgh, if you haven't guessed!).

Thursday 4 December: Elf
Thursday 11 December: Gremlins
Thursday 18 December: The Wizard of Oz
 
Tickets cost £28 and are available at www.jellyandgin.eventbrite.co.uk.
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