Sunday, 27 August 2017

Sunday Chatroom: The Power Couple of Skincare

These girls are the kind of girls you'll want on hand at every opportunity whether it be a skincare emergency in the shape of a colossal breakout or whether it be a last minute night out and you really want to try something new but have about 7 minutes before the Uber arrives. Lauren and Wendy are the lovely duo that make up 'The Power Couple of Skincare'. Having known each other at School a true friendship grew from Lauren's liking of Wendy's London accent, a pair of Laurens garden crocks and obviously a love for skincare and make-up. These two really are a power couple. 

Wendy studied Advertising and PR at College and ended up working for Harvey Nichols as an online Personal Shopper but now works in financial services. Lauren left school and went straight into various jobs and worked as a pensions administrator but now works as a PA. Wendy has a flair for everything Skincare and Lauren's passions lie in make-up. They equally contribute to both areas and are honestly like walking skincare bibles. Having tried blogging before, both Wendy and Lauren stopped through lack of confidence or life just took over. As they both got older their interests homed in on beauty and skincare as more often than not their pay checks would go on trying new products every month. After constantly advising friends, family and colleagues they realised it would be easier to just put everything in the same place and share their invaluable knowledge which happened via Instagram (The Power Couple of Skincare) and this soon led them to starting a blog. They cover everything from £1 moisturisers to £100 face creams (Wendy has genuinely bought a £100 cream. I saw it with my own eyes and it was in fact beautiful). Although they'll admit their tastes are different in what they look for in products but this is what makes them work so well together and they see it as a strength for their content shared. Wendy has more of an undone look and seeks information and inspiration from Tumblr and magazines but Lauren looks for YouTube tutorials and is an expert at sifting through Instagram for new ideas. 

 

Something they both told me throughout my time with them is that it's so important to remember that everyone has totally different skin. Nothing happens overnight and yes, there is a reason for every skin mishap or things not working. It's all about understanding what routine is suited to you as an individual. You need to be committed for at least a month when trying new products to see a difference. Lauren often finds herself talking to annoyed colleagues about new products not working after two days and most people are impatient because they want the perfect results as soon as it touches their face. It's unrealistic and sadly it's taken me tragically long to realise this. Time is honestly the best healer and with the help of these gals you'll be sorted quicker than a trip to boots. Although they are both ready to give full consultations and are more than willing to keep up with you and your routine when changes are needed they are both very aware they are not qualified dermatologists, however I think they're the closest thing you'll get without spending a fourtune. 


Like us, they've been through every unfortunate skincare and make-up phase we have. Facewipes (sinful), that weird Neutrogena vibrating face thing, that St.Ives ACTUAL sandpaper face scrub and they've come out the other end with glowing perfect skin. Don't think they won't understand because they've got good skin- they've put in years of time, effort and a lot of research into finding whats best for them. When I was with them Lauren was going through an unexpected breakout, which we've all been through, and she has stripped back her whole routine to using her good old Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish routine. They are both great believers in being able to read your skin and face and adapting your routine to it. You don't need to use one brand religiously, just find what works for you. 

They shared with me their favourite products and their best advice. Firstly, being healthy is SO IMPORTANT. Exercising is amazing for your skin because of the blood being dumped around that usually wouldn't be. It will give you plumper skin and a healthy natural glow by opening your pores up. Always, always, always use moisturiser day and night and STOP using make-up wipes. Lauren makes an exception for using them to taking strictly only her eye make-up off but this is because it's works for her. If I used a wipe on my eyes they would shrivel up. Again, everyone is different. If you use a foamy cleanser when you're in the shower and it's super hot hot hot- stop please. If you have dry skin, stop it and never ever do it again. If you think you have oily skin so don't use moisturiser this will use mean your skin will produce more oil to compensate. Everyone needs it and it's about finding the right one for your skin. Don't use physical exfoliators every day because this will most definitely damage your skin. When taking your make up off wash your neck too because you blend out your face so it's obviously going to be sitting there just as much as it's on your face! (I can't believe I didn't know this and feel so stupid because it's so obvious) Lastly, take your make-up off before you go to bed. Don't be lazy and it takes away any right you have to moan about your skin if you don't do it because its basically illegal. 


Wendy's favourite products are: COSRX which is a Korean essense (a mix between a toner and serum) which has snail mucas in it and leaves you super glowy. Sounds rank but I promise it works. Origins face mask 'Out of Trouble' is the solution to most of her skin problems- it's there for pre-breakouts, dull and sad skin or perfect for before a night-out. A good all rounder really. ALPHA H - Vitamin A serum, is perfect to use at nighttime before a breakout and after for healing. Paula's Choice- BHA Acid is ideal for eating up the excess oil and good for redness. It's also perfect for breakouts but only use on problem areas not all over your face. Lastly her precious £115 (yes, £115) face cream from La Mer. It's made with fermented algae which is done through sound waves and it's basically just perfect in every sense for healing, moisturising, the texture, smell and consistency is all perfect.

Lauren's favourite products are: KIEHLS Midnight Recovery range. The midnight oil is a cult product for her and she's currently on her third bottle with multiple being stored. She uses the midnight recovery oil when she feels like it's needed so not everyday. It's good to use instead of a moisturiser, plumps skin and get's rid of redness. Lauren quite often uses it after a clay mask for extra love. The eye-cream is really good for super dry eyes, dark circles and dull skin. The cleanser is expensive but leaves no residue on the skin and take a full face of make-up (including eyes) in one go. The Daily Reviving Concentrate is amazing to wear under make-up for a good base as a day-time alternative to the midnight recovery oil. Next is ALPHA H - Liquid Gold, it's an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) much like a toner in it's process of application and is fully moisturising. It works best without a moisturiser or serum and tingles when applied but in a good way! It helps your skin produce it's own moisture and gets rid of dead cells. (Lot's of chat about Acids here) Lastly, Caudalíe- Beauty Elixir. It smells amazing due to the grape extracts and is the perfect pick me up for skin and is super brightening. 

 

So after our chat the girls gave me my own special consultation. I shared with them my current routine and we discussed my tragic skin past and what my ultimate end goal is. Because I have oily but dehydrated skin they recommend me to keep my Garnier moisture-bomb moisturisers because they work perfectly well and do everything I want them to. They said I could try the Neutrogena Hydro-boost because it's really similar if I did want to try something new however. Wendy advised the Ren Clay Cleanser for a second cleanse after using micellar water because it takes away any unwanted shine and is anti-bacterial too! Lauren urged me to try out acid's for the first time and to start with Pixi Glow because it's gentle and ideal for a first-timer and is perfect for spotty skin. They both urged me to introduce The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 which is a serum based product and keeps your skin looking fresh and healthy all day and prevents skin becoming dehydrated. Also, the Vitamin A Serum would be perfect to apply at nighttime for renewing my skin from scarring which is always ideal and something I struggle to find a product that works. Lastly Origins- 'Out of Trouble' face mask because it should be a staple in everyones drawer. The girls kindly gave me a goodie bag which I was totally overwhelmed and excited about trying absolutely everything.



Wendy and Lauren really know their stuff. They're very in the know about everything to do with skin-care and make-up and have everything at hand to help you. If you want any advice just message them on Instagram, which they are both more than happy to use to advise! I can honestly say even from introducing small changes into my routine, my skin is slowly but surely making good changes into my ideal Chrissy Teigan holiday glow at all times skin. So thankyou to them for making me feel more confident about not wearing make-up and helping me understand my skin better. Please do keep an eye on their blog because they have a wealth of knowledge bursting to be shared. Also, their Instgram is worth following for their video guides and to be nosey into their skincare because I couldn't hep myself when meeting them to have a full rummage.

PS: Thankyou v much to Wendy's mum for the lush mid-interview spread

Z x
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Thursday, 24 August 2017

Best of the Edinburgh Fringe 2017


If you are a follower of our Instagram page you might have noticed that we have all truly embraced and enjoyed the Edinburgh Fringe this year. As a native of the city at times, I fail to fully appreciate the joys of the city in August - especially in years when I have been working in the city centre. The traffic, waves of tourists on every street and general insane business can be a little stressful, but this year I have played a tourist in my own city and had a complete ball. 

I am no stranger to the Edinburgh Fringe, I studied acting straight from school and was immersed in the fireworks, street performers and free shows from an early age. I even did a few flyering shifts while I was at school. In the past few years, I have taken full advantage of the many beer gardens, street food and have been known to treat myself to a stand-up ticket here and there. This year though I did it all and I want to talk you through my top picks for anyone venturing out in the final weekend of the Edinburgh Fringe.


The Acts

Comedy

Sophie Willan - Pleasance Courtyard 20:00 - A brilliant and almost theatrical show with a hilarious insight into Sophie's dysfunctional family life. It is no surprise to me that she has found herself nominated for so many awards this Fringe!

Gary Lamont - Gilded Balloon at the Rose Theatre 20:45 - The River City alum hit my funny bone from the minute he stepped on stage. With special celeb guests appearing throughout the show, it's a laugh a minute. 


Music & Theatre

Showstoppers - Pleasance Courtyard 18:00 - A must-see for me every single year. The amazing cast pulls together a fabulous and totally improved musical with a helping hand from the audience. Stunning vocals and a fun show for the whole family.

The Carole King Story - theSpace @ Symposium Hall 15:00 - Phoebe Katis mesmerised performing King's beautiful hits. The talented singer/songwriter perfectly captured Carole King and had the audience captivated in her story.

Courtney Act: The Girl from Oz - Circus Hub 18:00 - The stunning drag queen belts out amazing Aussie hits, while thrilling the audience with witty Rupaul references and hilarious anecdotes.

Cabaret & Theatre

Meow Meow's Little Mermaid - The Hub 22:30 - The Queen of cabaret, Meow Meow combines original songs with a glittering, theatrical performance. A fantastic and captivating evening show to enjoy with a cocktail.

Hyprov: Improv Under Hypnosis - Assembly George Square Theatre 22:30 - An amazing and unique show that takes audience participation to the next level. I was previously a massive hypnosis sceptic but I am now completely convinced. A must-see! 

Trainspotting Live - Venue150 at EICC times vary - This show is consistently sold out but I had to include it as it is absolutely spectacular. Full of Scotland's best and brightest recreating the cult classic film, equal parts funny and thrilling.



Free Fringe


Two Plus Ones: Huge Night In - Just the Tonic at the Caves 21:15 -This is a mix between The Inbetweeners and Russel Howard. It's funny, sharp and a total cry-laughing situation. These three guys are so witty and very relatable when it comes to friendship, relationships and being a young person in the UK. There are a couple of songs chucked in but not in a musical way- in more of an improvised made up in the moment way.


Janey Godley - Free Sisters 20:15 - A riotous and honest show that covers everything from Trump to family life. Janey is one of the funniest women in Scotland and has one of the best free comedies on the entire circuit!

Northern Power Blouse - Opium 15:45 - Three northern girls putting together a witty and effortlessly funny sketch show. Their scenes about Wowcher and Groupon had me in stitches. The perfect middle of the day show when wandering around the Cowgate.



Food, Drink & Atmosphere

Brewhemia - The breathtaking new venue at Market Street offering stunning and amazingly unique entertainment. A huge space with a room to cater for every drink preference and each customers mood, rowdy or quiet.


Assembly at George Square -



Alanda's Gelato - Literally cannot rave about this enough. I had the peanut butter and salted caramel scoops and didn't think you could get so much flavour into ice-cream. You can get any toppings you wish and it's available just about 24hrs a day and who doesn't want ice-cream at 2 am?!


Umani Spice Boy - Run by the loveliest of people, I've been going to this van for as long as I can remember. The flavour they pack into their food is so delicious. They do everything you could ever want with their special spice. It's worth the long queues and every single rave review is pure truth for this taste sensation.

Prosecco Bar - You can enjoy yourself a pink Prosecco or you good old original. It's chilled with friendly service and always open. Enough said really.


Pimms Tent - WHO DOESN'T WANT TO DRINK PIMMS IN SUMMER?! You get a pitcher for a bargain and it tastes like summer. Fresh, cold and on tap (literally).



Dram & Smoke - Tickets might almost be sold out for this incredible event hosted at The Biscuit Factory. Dinner theatre at its best with delicious food, amazing atmosphere and stunning setup. If you can squeeze it in this weekend you won't regret it!




This is just a fraction of everything we got up to this year at the 70th anniversary of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Please share with us your picks from this year so we can make the most of the last weekend too!



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Friday, 11 August 2017

Living Room Decor on a Budget - Where to Spend & Where to Save*


I've been living in my flat almost a year now, and only now am I finally beginning to feel content with my space. I had so many ideas of how I wanted my home to look, but in the end, you have to work with the space, lighting and budget that you have. I love my Pinterest boards, but unfortunately, my budget didn't quite stretch to the marble counter tops and tiled flooring I dreamt about.

The room that was immediately my biggest priority had to be the living room. This is the room that I would entertain guests in; relax, eat and do work in, so it had to be just right. The number one piece of advice I would give is to invest in the furniture and save with the smaller accessories. There are lots of amazing furniture stores in Glasgow and Edinburgh that sell good quality and sleek furniture. One of my favourites has to be Bo Concept. Their furniture is simple, elegant and will last the test of time.

A comfortable, chic and neutral coloured sofa works really well in any living room. I love the Fargo Sofa! It would be perfectly accessorised with an faux fur throw or contrast with a peacock green velvet pillow to clash with mustard accessories.

Another great piece to invest in is a classic sideboard. Perfectly practical, simple, chic and easy to fit into any home. The Lugano Sideboard not only has an amazing amount of storage, it's soft-close, and the steel legs add a more modern edge to it. Obviously it can be finished in-theme with a few coffee table books and a spotlight lamp would look perfect.


A staple armchair has been on my to-buy list since before I moved into my flat. This stunning little turquoise number from Bo Concept is exactly what I have been looking for. The Osaka Armchair is ideal for adding a pop of colour into a room without over-using a lot of  mixed cushions and accessories. The fabrics can be changed easily and you can do this online or in-store with a lot of help from the experts for whats perfect for you. The masculine 60's shape of this chair is what draws me to it most with the sharp squareness but feminine detailing: I need it. 





Having timeless furniture is key to decorating your living space. Cushions and accessories can be replaced easily as trends come and go. High street shops such as H&M, TK Maxx and even your local Sainsbury's have some lovely pieces that will fill your living room with life. I put together some of the best homewear picks from across the high street bellow.

Home Details


Table lamp
habitat.co.uk


H M metal tray
£14 - hm.com



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oliverbonas.com



Desenio
£6.32 - desenio.com


Desenio
desenio.se


& julisteet
£6.32 - desenio.dk




L x

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Friday, 4 August 2017

Gin in a Cake

Gin is a delight that seems to be constantly growing and expanding around us. I feel like it is suddenly everywhere (not complaining) and in everything (i'm also happy about this). Included in the list of things which are now flavoured with gin, is chocolate, specifically Slabb's 'The Gin One'. As you can imagine, Gin plus Chocolate is a dream. So we decided to combine this slab of deliciousness with another dream... a Cucumber and Lemon Gin cake. I know, it sounds strange but oh my goodness it is unreal! I came across the recipe here and the ingredients and instructions are there but I have put a little post together of our take on it. If you decide to try this, which I really think you should, then I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!





















Toni x
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