Sunday, 13 December 2015

OOTD: Christmas Partywear with Simply Be

I resisted buying this gold sequinned number from Simply Be for so long, but when I found myself dress-less a week before my work Christmas party it felt like fate. It's possibly the most expensive dress I've ever owned, but it's such a special piece I don't feel like it's over-priced & it's well-made meaning that - if I take care of it - it should last me a good few years.

This isn't a style I usually go for as dresses which are tight around my hips often make me feel self-conscious, but I sized up to give myself a bit more room & it feels great. The dress does look a lot shorter on me than it does on the model, but I think that's because I've belted it at the waist, & honestly I prefer the shorter length as it balances out the high neckline & long sleeves.

I also love all the little details in this dress like the sheer sleeves & deep back - again they help keep it from looking too modest. It also has a thick black slip under the sequinned mesh meaning it's really comfortable to wear & is surprisingly warm - perfect for Christmas nights out.

I chose to pair the dress with black tights & boots since I'll be walking to my work Christmas lunch, but it would look equally great without tights & a pair of strappy heels. I honestly can't wait to wear this to my work Christmas party & on Christmas day.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Three Things To Do in Edinburgh During December

While I love living in Edinburgh all year round, I think the city really comes alive during December & there's so much to see that I thought I'd pick out my top three Winter attractions for you.

1// Christmas Markets
Edinburgh currently has two Christmas markets: the traditional European market on Princes Street & the Scottish market in St Andrew Square. Both are great to wander around if you just want to get in the Christmas spirit but they're also fantastic for last minute present shopping & the food is amazing (I'd particularly recommend the Bratwurst in a pretzel roll & the fondue hot chocolate from the Princes Street market). The only downside is that they can both get pretty busy & there's nothing like being pushed along by the crowd to ruin your day, so I'd recommend going on a weeknight if possible & avoiding the week before Christmas altogether (the St Andrews Square market is also significantly quieter even though it's only a five minute walk from Princes Street).

2// Jenners
Jenners is an Edinburgh institution. Until it was acquired by House of Fraser in 2005 it was the oldest independent department store in Scotland, & I personally love that fact that it has managed to retain a lot of its charm while still being home to all the big brands you'd expect from a mainstream store. Not only is Jenners perfect for picking up more luxury gifts (for yourself or others) but it also has a fantastic toy store in the basement, the sweetest little Christmas shop, & some stunning decorations.

3// Royal Botanic Gardens
If the thought of crowds makes you cringe then I can't recommend this final attraction enough. Edinburgh Botanic Gardens are only a 20 minute (& £1.50) bus ride from the city centre & come December they're almost deserted. If you're feeling brave you can walk round the whole gardens, or for £5 you can spend a couple of hours wandering through the heated glasshouses before grabbing lunch in the main cafe. On a clear day there's something really relaxing about following the trails among palms & cacti, wrapped up in a coat & scarf.

What attractions from your home town would you recommend people check out during December? Let me know in the comments below, & if you're not already following me on Bloglovin go ahead & click here to stay updated on my posts.


Sunday, 6 December 2015

Top Four Cleansers for Sensitive Winter Skin

Regardless of your skin type, come Winter the combination of freezing weather & central heating means we all need a gentle cleanser that can remove makeup without stripping the skin of moisture. Enter my top four cleansers for sensitive Winter skin.

1 // L'Oreal Paris Skin Perfection Micellar Water, £4.99
Perfect for: mornings & make-up free days

If you're looking for a gentle, hassle-free cleanser then micellar water is for you. Simply place a small amount on a cotton pad, then apply to your face & neck. Although micellar water lacks the power to cut through more heavy-duty make-up, it's perfect for a quick cleanse in the morning, or as the second step in your night time cleansing routine. I also find that a cotton pad soaked in micellar water & held on the eyelids for 10 seconds is great at loosening up waterproof eye makeup.

2 // Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish, £15.50
Perfect for: luxury bitch nights in

Long Winter evenings are the perfect time to pamper yourself & Liz Earle's cult cleanser is a great start to a night of face masks & drinking glasses of wine in the bath. Apply to dry skin (makeup optional), rub in & then remove with a warm, damp cloth. This cleanser is surprisingly good at removing long-wearing makeup & also helps exfoliate without causing damage to already sensitive skin.

3 // BiorĂ© Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser, £3.29 (currently on offer)
Perfect for: cleansing in the shower

I first heard about Bioré from Rachel Whitehurst but at the time their products didn't seem to be widely available in the UK, so when I spotted the Charcoal Cleanser in my local Tesco I figured I'd give it a shot. It seems fairly generic, quite similar to things like the Simple Face Wash, but it does work well as in-shower cleanser. It's nice & thick, lathers well but doesn't leave my skin feeling too dry, making it great for Winter.

4 // Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Oil, £22
Perfect for: removing hardcore makeup

As someone with super oily skin I had avoided cleansing oils in the past but Cliniques Take the Day Off Cleansing Oil has turned out to be the perfect match for my Winter skin. Like the Cleanse & Polish you simply apply a couple of pumps to dry skin, massage in, & then remove either with water or a damp cloth. Not only does it cut through hardcore makeup like it's nothing but it also leaves my skin feeling super soft. This has quickly become my go-to cleanser.
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