Monday, 4 December 2017

SUDIO SWEDEN
WIRELESS HEADPHONES

I've been using the same beat-up sellotaped headphones for years (because I am a scruff), so it was a total treat when super-cool Swedish tech designers, Sudio got in touch and gave me the chance to try out anything from their range (yes, yes please).

I'm a fan of over the ear headphones, so my eye was immediately drawn to their Sudio Regent wireless headphones - which boast cutting-edge Bluetooth tech, 24 hours of battery life, mega sound, and an ultra modern appearance.

Sudio Regent wireless headphones review discount

Let me tell you now - I never knew how much my life needed wireless headphones until I got these ABSOLUTE JOYS. I use headphones almost every day - I commute to and from work, and occasionally need them in the office (when I definitely have to concentrate, or I can't handle my work pals playing another 80s playlist). And for years, without really thinking about an alternative, I've been faffing around with wires, getting annoyed when my headphone cord gets caught in my jacket, or scarf, or gets twisted around my bag strap, or caught up in my keys in my pocket. Wireless headphones change everything! It's honestly been a bit of a revelation.

I'm also seriously impressed with the sound (I guess that's the important part). I can't tell you the positives in any technical terms, but it sounds really clear and crisp, and you can turn the volume up waaaaay louder than you could with my old headphones. The headphones are also surprisingly great at noise cancellation - it's taken me a few days to get used to how weird buses are when you can't hear your fellow passengers!

The (synthetic) leather is super soft, they are light and comfy to wear, and fold pretty little so they aren't too bulky in your bag. As you'd guess from a Scandi designer, they are simple and stylish - the headphones come in black or white, and also have interchangeable headphone caps if you want to mix it up (including very on-blogger-brand black and white marble).

Sudio Regent wireless headphones review discount

The Sudio Regents retail at £79, which seems very much on the reasonable end of wireless/noise-cancelling headphones. They also come in a very nice box! (Help me, I'm such a sucker for nicely wrapped presents, I'm an old lady now).

I can't tell you how much wireless headphones are BLOWING MY MIND - has everyone known that they are a cool thing for ages, and I somehow missed it? Either way, I'm glad I've finally found out.

If you're at all tempted by these, or anything else in the Sudio range, you can actually get 15% off using the code eversojuliet. So they're only £67... kinda a bargain? Treat yo' self!

Friday, 1 December 2017

PERSONALISED GIFT GUIDE

How's the Christmas shopping going? After an enthusiastic (and pretty smug) start, I have obviously lost momentum and am feeling a little panicked as all of a sudden it's December (!) and international shipping dates are fast approaching.

In my never-ending hunt for interesting presents, I find I keep being drawn to custom and personalised gifts. Not only are they ace presents in their own right, but you know you're going to get extra brownie points for finding something that's one-of-a-kind!

I've rounded up a few of my favourite things. If you're still stuck for ideas, check out my other Christmas gift guide that's full of nice things for all budgets.

Personalised and custom Christmas gift guide

1. You cannot go wrong with a beautiful satchel, and the Leather Satchel Company have been crafting British-made leather satchels since 1966. All of their bags can be made bespoke to your liking and customised with a name or initials stamped into the leather.

2. How cute is this embroidered heart patch? It would be perfect for giving to someone with an anniversary or special date to remember (although you might want to also get them a shirt or jacket to sew it onto!). If you're feeling extra creative, make your own slogan tee, by ordering a customised t-shirt - this site does all the design for you, so you don't have to be a graphic design wizard.

3. I think this is definitely something you wouldn't buy yourself, but what a sweet gift to get! Ella Masters makes these mini personalised pen portraits for only £10 and they are adorable!

4. Dreamy stationery is ALWAYS a good idea, and these colourblocked monogram journals are beautiful.

5. I've wanted a necklace like Carrie's since I was a teenager and I was glued to Sex in the City. This gold name necklace is perfect (and very affordable).

6. Tatty Devine make loads of personalised jewellery, and I think my favourite is this speech bubble necklace (my best pal & I have a matching Ernest Hemingway quote). This necklace gives you 40 characters to say whatever you want - whether it's a line from pop culture, your favourite quote or a daft in-joke!

7. If there's a booklover in your life, take a look at these absolutely gorgeous bespoke Bloomfield and Rolfe bookplates. These are all hand-illustrated, completely original, and would be such a special gift.

8. I included Karen Mabon in my last gift guide, but I just love her illustrated designs, and this silk scarf is no exception. Perfect to tie up in your hair!

9. Finally, if you're looking for something that's definitely different, boomf  will print marshmallows with your photos - meaning you can give your pal a weird, but tasty gift of their own mallowy face.

Disclaimer: This post contains a sponsored link.

Monday, 27 November 2017

MAC STUDIO FIX &
STROBE CREAM

I've been flaky about foundation for years, drifting from one to the other based on what was on offer in Boots, or whatever vaguely matched my skin tone (and looking back on old photos, I think I was generally unsuccessful with my guesses). I'm wary about full coverage foundation (it just feels too heavy!), but I have wee red cheeks, and feel like I've forever been looking for something that balances out my skin, but doesn't feel too intense on my face.

Enter MAC. I was invited along to 'rediscover' their Studio Fix foundation and get properly colour-matched for the first time. I've only tried MAC foundations once, and didn't get on well with them, although this was back in the day when I used my fingers to apply foundation (the horror), so on reflection, I think I was definitely part of the problem.

MAC Strobe Cream and Studio Fix
Strobe Cream* - £25
MAC Studio Fix* - £23.50
Studio Fix is billed as a modern foundation that combines a natural matte finish and medium to full buildable coverage with various UVA, UVB and SPF protections. I was matched with shade NW10, and learned where I've been going wrong all these years - I've always tested foundations on the back of my hand, and the make up artist explained that really you should be aiming to match the tone of your neck and chest, so the colour all blends perfectly. 

I flagged that I was not a fan of heavy coverage (and that had put me off MAC in the past), and then was introduced to my new favourite thing, Strobe Cream. This is a super shiny hydrating moisturiser that is packed with iridescent particles to give you a lovely glow. You can either put it on before foundation, or mix it with Studio Fix for a lighter application.

MAC Strobe Cream before and after
Left - bare face
Right - after applying Strobe Cream
I left MAC with a full face of make up feeling lovely and glowy, but I knew the real test was whether I could actually do this at home with my scrappy make up techniques. Turns out, I totally can!

I've been using these products for just over a month, and I'm in love. My new routine is to moisturise as usual (using Aveeno, the very best moisturiser), and then use Strobe Cream instead of a primer. You can hopefully see above the effect it has - my skin goes from flat and dull to seriously glowy, and it provides a really good base for the rest of my make up. I use a damp make up sponge to apply foundation, which solves all of my coverage woes - Studio Fix is really easy to build up so I can get it just how I like it, and using a sponge means it applies really evenly. 

MAC Studio Fix and Strobe Cream

I add cream blush, and a bit of powder using the make up sponge (just under my eyes and around my nose/bits where it might start to slip) and that's it. The end result looks really natural, it feels light on my face, I've been really pleasantly surprised by how it lasts pretty much all day, and I think I've found a colour that actually looks like my skin. I'm so pleased!

I'll admit that at £25, it's unlikely I'd have tried Strobe Cream without prompting (as I am make up stingy), but now I have I am HOOKED. It's so great, it works so well under foundation, and you only use a tiny amount, so I reckon it's going to last quite a while. You can buy mini versions and I'm pretty sure MAC counters will give you a free sample to try, so I'd totally recommend giving it a go.

Monday, 20 November 2017

LUSH SPA: THE GOOD HOUR

I'm a big fan of Lush, and ever since they opened their first spa in Edinburgh, I've been steadily working my way through their treatment menu. Lush is animal-friendly, with fresh, 100% vegetarian products that are never tested on animals, and they use simple, minimal packaging. I know it's not everyone's cup of tea, but I love the signature Lush scent, and I'm easily won over by their quirky, cool style, which is reflected in their spa design and the treatments they offer.

Over the years, thanks to my family's tendency to get me a Lush gift card at Christmas,  I've had the chance to try quite a bit of what the spa has on offer: Synaesthesia (loved it!), Hard Days Night (not for me - turns out I am not that much of a Beatles fan), and the Comforter (loved it so much I've had it twice!).

This time round I was seriously considering getting a Comforter treatment for the third time, but as I'd been getting plagued with a really achey shoulder, I thought it was good opportunity to go for The Good Hour - Lush's only deep tissue massage.

Lush Spa Good Hour massage

The Good Hour promises 70 minutes (a good hour indeed!) of full-body, deep-tissue massage using trigger point techniques and jelly discs to set you free from long-term areas of tension. It's also themed around ships and sailors. Of course.

The music for the treatment fuses folk music with heave-ho sea shanties (think - hipster pirate songs), and your therapist massages you in time to the rhythm of the tide, as the sound of waves fills the room. I know that does sound a bit ridiculous, but if anyone can pull it off, it's Lush.

When you arrive (in the super cute spa that's hidden under their busy store), the therapist talks you through the treatment, inviting you to pick out a massage bar that they'll use (I selected the Hottie, a ginger and black pepper bar specifically designed for the treatment). When you go into the treatment room they put a Big Blue bath bomb into dry ice to give it all a misty, seasidey vibe, and the ship sound effects are in full flow - I thought it might be a bit cheesy, but the creaking ship and gently splashing waves are really atmospheric, and totally set the scene.

Lush Spa Edinburgh

The massage itself was great. Because I was keen to get the knots out of my sore shoulder (and I'm brave) I told my therapist to be pretty hard with the pressure (they ask you at the start, so you can flag if you are looking for a lighter touch!). Deep tissue massages are quite intense, but I could feel all the crunchy bits being worked out of my back, and particularly knotted bits were soothed with cold jelly discs which felt amazing.

I was really sensitive afterwards, and was advised to have a few baths over the next week, as my muscles were likely to be pretty tender. I was a little sore, but it didn't last long, and my grim achy shoulder has been great ever since!

The Good Hour is £90 for a treatment, which ain't cheap but it is good, so think of it as a special occasion treat. It was good to get a massage that felt like it was fixing something, but I think next time I'll go for one that's all about relaxation... I've got my eye on the Validation Facial, and I can but dream of Karma (definitely out of my budget!).

Friday, 17 November 2017

WHAT TO WATCH THIS AUTUMN

'Tis the season to be cosy! It's finally starting to get cold and frosty and I am here for it! I love winter jackets (especially after the horror of dealing with mild not-quite-jacket days), I love when it gets properly dark in the evening, I love cosy autumnal cooking (roasts! pies! soups!), I love frosty rooftops, and I love love love the total joy of being curled up on the sofa when it's grim outside.

It's been two years since I moved into my little flat and I still love it. My living room is colourful and full of plants, which helps distract from the fact that 99% of it is from IKEA or hand-me-down stuff, although I keep telling myself that some point soon I'll save for some of the things on my proper grownup wishlist... aka new balcony doors, a fiddle leaf fig, and a shiny 4K tv (if anyone's asking I'll take a Panasonic HDR 4K TV, thanks very much!).

As it's officially peak tv-watching time, I thought I'd put together a little round-up of the best things I've been watching, most of which can be found on Netflix or Amazon. Let me know if there's anything amazing I've missed!

Crime


I am a big fan of a crime drama, so it didn't take me long to get through Mindhunter, a show set in the early days of criminal psychology and profiling at the FBI. It's quite a slow burner, but once you're on board with that it's an engrossing and creepy look at serial killers.

Alias Grace is the newest Margaret Atwood adaptation, and it tells the tale of Grace Marks, a housemaid and immigrant from Ireland who was imprisoned (possibly wrongly) for the murder of her employer. It's based on a true story, Sarah Gadon is brilliant as Grace, and it keeps you guessing the whole way through as she recounts the events leading up to the murder.

I'm also excited that the newest season of Broadchurch is coming to Netflix at the end of the month! If you haven't seen the first two series they are both on Amazon, and Olivia Coleman is wonderful.

Comedy


Ever since I finished Parks & Rec (the greatest tv show of all time), I've been looking for a comedy with short episodes (under 30 minutes) and recently discovered Brooklyn Nine-Nine, a comedy with Andy Samberg set in a Brooklyn police station. W1A is also good for a quick comedy fix (although, working in media, sometimes it feels a bit close to home!).

I absolutely adore Jane the Virgin, which is a lovely funny satirical romantic comedy telenovela, and the perfect show to lift your spirits. Equally funny is the musical comedy Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, a super smart show that is full of excellent and accurate songs (hi Let's Generalise About Men & Heavy Boobs), and is also handling mental health in a thoughtful, honest and funny way this season.

Documentaries


I'm going to assume you've all watched Making a Murderer already (if you haven't, get on it!), so if you are into crime documentaries, The Jinx is incredible. It is a fascinating look at the story of mega-rich real estate heir Robert Durst, who has long been suspected in the disappearance of his wife and the murder of a family friend. He's interviewed in the documentary and it is SO creepy.

Blackfish is a heart-breaking documentary about the orca Tillikum who has caused the deaths of several people while in captivity at SeaWorld. It's pretty intense and hard-watching, but had lead to really positive change - since it came out SeaWorld has announced it'll end its orca breeding programme and phase out all live performances using orcas.

On a lighter note, The Pixar Story is great (and makes you desperate to work at Pixar).

Guilty pleasures


I've always hated soaps, but there's a special place in my heart for tv that you can just totally switch off with. I started watching Outlander purely because they filmed bits of the first season in my hometown (honest!), but obviously got hooked and now here I am, glued to the show and having read all the books. Scotland does look beautiful in it though!

Skin Wars is my newest nonsense watch. Artists are challenged to take part in body painting competitions, and their work is really elaborate and impressive. My favourite total guilty pleasure is Keeping up with the Kardashians - it's such fluff, but I got hooked last summer (this is a PERFECT thing to watch post-break up) and now I can't stop watching. Help!

Sci-fi

Everyone's up to date with Stranger Things, yeah? Even if you aren't a big Star Trek fan, Star Trek Discovery is great and well worth a watch. It's got a brilliant, interesting and diverse cast, and it feels like it's really starting to find its feet - I had been worried it would be too dark and intense and non-Trek, but every episode gets better and better. If you like this and fancy delving into more Star Trek, Deep Space Nine is the GREATEST and you should definitely give it a go.

The OA ain't for everyone, but I LOVED it. It tells the story of a blind young woman who returns after having been missing for seven years, with her eyesight restored. It's mysterious and creepy and thoughtful and poetic and weird and was right up my street. I also had a really good time watching 3%, a  Brazilian dystopian thriller that I powered through in a weekend.


Disclaimer: This post contains a sponsored link.
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