Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Beauty: Kiko Skincare

After trying and loving KIKO make-up I couldn't wait to try their skincare range. What I love about KIKO is the high quality and affordable prices. In fact, you might be interested to know that KIKO products are made in a factory in Italy that also produces products for high end brands Burberry and Charlotte Tilbury. So I'm sure you can imagine, standards are high.

I was recently sent some Kiko skincare to try and I'm pleased to tell you, it did not disappoint.

Hydra Pro Glow £20.90

This brightening moisturiser contains sunscreen (to help prevent skin aging) and skin plumping hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid helps skin to retain water which results in skin looking more plump and fines lines appear reduced. The product also contains ACTIGLOW which helps stimulate the production of collagen. The results are long lasting leaving skin feeling and looking hydrated and glowing.

I found this to be very cooling and hydrating when I applied to my skin. It did give my skin an instant glow but I found by the time I put primer over it my glow had faded. However, I mixed a little with my foundation and that worked a treat. Although my glow didn't last all day the hydration did so overall I did really like this product.

Shine Refine Spot £12.90

This anti blemish treatment contains salicylic acid which reduces swelling, redness and unclogs pores. It instantly soothes the effected area and gradually clears the skin.

I suffer from bad skin around my chin at times and this did help. I felt this product did exactly what it claimed to do: it instantly smoothed the area, calmed down the redness and helped heal the blemish a lot quicker than normal.

Pure Clean Powder £7.90

This powder transforms into an foaming exfoliating cleanser upon contact with water. It cleanses the skin leaving it feeling clean, smooth and soft.

This was favourite of all three. I will admit, when I first tipped the powder into my hands I didn't have high hopes for this product but when I added a bit of water, worked into a foam and applied all over my face I was quicky impressed. It removed every trace of make-up including my eye make-up and left my skin feeling really clean and so soft. It's also really convenient for traveling as it's so compact. I've been using this everyday for a good few months now and I've still got loads left. I will definitely repurchase this.

Have you tried KIKO Skincare?

*These products were sent to me as a PR sample.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Lifestyle: Silverburn Summer Food Fest

At the weekend I headed along to Silverburn Shopping Centre for dinner at Bella Italia as part of the Summer Food Fest. For the Summer Food Fest many of Silverburns restaurants and eateries were giving out free food samples over the weekend so customers could get a taste of what they have to offer.

I was treated to some delicious Italian food in Bella Italia and went for the Pollo Formaggi, a four cheese sauce with chicken and pancetta with a crispy top baked in the oven. I'm sure you can see from the picture it was delicious.

As part of the Summer Food Festival, Silverburn are offering some great offers and discounts until the 14th of August via the the Silverburn PLUS app. The Silverburn PLUS app can be downloaded for free via the APP store on ISO or Google Play on Andriod phones and is really easy to use.

Some of the offers include kids eat for free in Bella Italia and Frankie and Benny's (until 14th August) and 25% off in Zizzi and Prezzo (until the 15th August).

To benefit from these offers you will need to register once you have downloaded the Silverburn PLUS app and tap on Eat at the bottom of app and it will bring up the latest food offers, select the one you want, show it to your waiter or waitress and scan the QR code. 

The Silverburn PLUS app also has some fantastic competitions running at the moment including a competition to win a years worth of Wagamama! So what are you waiting for download the Silverburn PLUS app today. 

* Thank you to Silverburn and McFrank PR for inviting me along to enjoy the Summer Food Festival.
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Sunday, 24 July 2016

Travel: River Cruise Capsule Wardobe

If you read my last post about my tour on the Caribbean Princess then I'm sure you will know why I now have cruising on my mind. And if you are regular reader of my blog, you may have noticed I love a city break which got me thinking, why not combine the two. When thinking about this type of cruise, Viking River Cruise's with Bolsover Cruise Club came to mind as I remember seeing one of the Viking River Cruise ships on the Danube when I was in Bupdapet.

With Viking Cruises, the destination is the most important part of the trip and passengers can take advantage of late night departures and over night stays giving you more time to explore each destination. I love the sound of this as I always imagined you would have a short time at each destination but not with Viking River Cruise's. Another thing that caught my eye when reading about Viking River Cruises, the casual dress code. This means you could go from day to night and not have to pack a suitcase full of fancy clothes packing a capsule wardrobe instead. These would would be my river cruise essentials.

Untitled #16
Espadrilles, £24.99 Aldo / Brenton Top, £26 Boden / Shorts, £28 Topshop /  Dress, £45, Miss Selfridge / Bioderma SPF 30 Mist £9 / Dolce & Gabbana Sunglasses, £120 House of Fraser / Jumpsuit, £45, Miss Selfridge / Travel Journal, £7.99 Marco Polo / Sandals, £45, Aldo, / Bag, £220, Micheal Kors
  Bolsover Cruise Club offer a number of cruise destinations including the Carribean, Mediterranean, Canary Islands and the Norwegian Fords with numerous cruise lines such as P&O, Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises, Cunard Line and Celebrity Cruises and currently have some fantastic deals. 
*This is a collaborative post. 
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Friday, 22 July 2016

Travel: Tour on the Caribbean Princess

It's not everyday you get invited on a cruise ship for lunch but that's exactly what happened a few weeks ago when the Caribbean Princess was docked in Greenock as part of her UK tour. Myself, an other blogger and a small group of media (some of who go on holiday for a living and write about it, not jealous at all) were given a tour of ship and treated to lunch, not my usual Friday you can imagine. 

That morning, I looked out my best nautical outfit (yes I was the only person who dressed for the occasion lol) and jumped on the train to Greenock for an afternoon on the ship. When I stepped off the train the sun was shining but it is Scotland and by the time I had arrived at the dock it was pouring of rain which was not ideal for photos. So I'm sure you will have already guessed the picture above is not one taken while in Greenock but one the PR kindly sent me.

The ship was sailing to full capacity (3600 passengers) but honestly, you would find it hard to believe when walking about. The passengers were either on day trips, or the size of ship made it look like there was hardly anyone on board. As the ship was full, we never got a look at a cabin which I was really hoping to see but I do have a picture of one I can show you. 

The tour started off in the main piazza and the first thing that caught my eye was the shops selling luxury goods such as handbags, watches and perfumes and the International Cafe which is open 24 hours a day. We then moved on to where the entertainment takes place and were shown the theatre, casino, numerous bars and two night clubs. The ship even has its own little wedding chapel where guests can get married.

If the passengers are looking for a more relaxing way to spend time on board there is a spa, gym and the movies under the stars which is a huge screen on the deck above the pool area where passengers can lie on the loungers and watch movies under the night sky, sounds amazing doesn't it?  

For lunch we went for the buffet in the Horizon Court however if the passengers are looking for something a little more fancy there is a great choice. There are three main dinning rooms, Sabatini's, an Italian restaurant, Crown Grill which serves steak and seafood and Vines, a wine and seafood bar. For something more casual there is the International Cafe serving coffee, snacks and desserts, Cafe Ciribe another buffet, Trident Grill which serves hamburgers and hot dogs and if the passengers are looking for a sweet treat they have Scoops the ice cream sundae bar.

Just before our tour ended we were lucky enough to visit the bridge and meet one of the senior watchmen who told us a little bit about what it was like to sail the ship. I will let you into a little secret, most of it is done by a computerised system worth 3 million dollars!

My afternoon on the Caribbean Princess has certainly put me in the mood for cruising.

Thanks to the PR team at Princess Cruises for inviting me on board for the afternoon.
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Sunday, 17 July 2016

Travel: Marco Polo Travel Journal

 Over the years of traveling to different countries and cities, I would love to put together a scrap book of my adventures and like to hang on to small mementos like ticket stubs, maps and souvenirs. I also love to blog about my trip when I get back and normally just keep all my memories or in my head in my iPhone. So when I seen the Marco Polo Travel Journals I couldn't wait to get my hands on one. 

The pocket size journal has a small space at the front to plan your journey before you go and rest of the journal has plenty pages to record your journey from start to finish. The journal has an expanding pocket at the back for all your mementos. I love the pocket at the back as I often find I lose some of my little ticket stubs and this will keep them secure. Also, there are 100 really useful stickers that will help separate each part of your trip and cute little stickers and emojis which you could use to rate places you have been or how you are feeling.

The journal comes in four designs, retails at £7.99 and would make such a great gift for someone going on their travels or even for yourself if like me, you like to remember as much as possible from your trip.
*This was sent to me as PR sample
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Friday, 8 July 2016

Beauty: Benefit Brow Collection

If you're a fan of Benefit or brows for that matter then I'm sure you will also be hugely excited about Benefits latest launch. They have recently launched an amazing brow collection. As well as some completely new products, Benefit are also re-launching some of their previous best selling brow products with new shades and packaging. 
I was lucky enough to be invited to the Glasgow launch which was held in Hugh's Champagne bar in House of Fraser. At the launch the lovely Claire from Benefit talked us through the new range then we split up into small groups and each group had a brow expert on hand to talk us through the products in more detail, allowed us to try the products for ourselves and helped to colour match us. That evening we all left with the Browvo Conditioning Primer to try and a few days later some amazing brows products came through my letterbox. Thanks Benefit! 

So here's what I thought of the products I have tried:

This nutrient enriched primer helps to condition and smooth brows.  I love the idea of an eyebrow primer as I'm already a big fan of a lash primer. I'll admit though, I haven't used this as much as I would like and plan to work it into my night time routine to help my eyebrow growth. This can also be used through the day to enhance your brows and help your brow products stay put. Browvo contains keratin and soy protiens which will help the brows to look thicker and fuller. When I used it, I felt it helped to shape my brows and prepare them for my next product which was Ka Brow.

Ka Brow £18.50
Ka Brow is an eyebrow cream/gel that adds colour, definition and fills in sparse brows.  Ka Brow comes in a cute little pot with a brush in the lid. At the launch I found this one to be the most effective of them all and felt it made my brows quite bold. One of the girls in work even asked if I'd had an eyebrow tint. It's very easy to apply and my favourite out of all three.

This highlighting pencil helps to lift and illuminate brows. What I love about this product is that it's not just for brows. As well as using it to highlight the brow line or brow arch, it can also be used as highlighter on other parts of your face. I tend to highlight my cupid's bow, forehead, cheekbones and the inside corner of my eyes. This is great for all of the above!

The rest of the collection includes gimme brow volumizing eyebrow gel, goof proof eyebrow pencil, brow zings eyebrow shaping kit and precisely my brow eyebrow pencil which you can check out here.

Have you tried Benefits now Brow collection?

*These items were PR samples
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Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Lifestyle: The Gannet

I'm so pleased I was asked to write a review for citizenMag because who knows, I might have not discovered the Gannet. 
citizenMag is an online magazine part of citizenM hotels and is full of really useful reviews of restaurants and bars in and around Amsterdam, Glasgow, London, Paris, New York and Rotterdam which are the cities Citizen M has hotels. As well as restaurant and bar reviews it also lets you know about exciting upcoming events.

I was sent over a list of places in Glasgow to choose from and I was swaying towards the Gannet as the menu looked the nicest out of them all. Little did I know I was about to eat in one of best places in Glasgow. 

I decided to invite my partner in crime along as we were in need of a catch up and Claire is a big fan of fine dining so I knew she would be the best person to bring along to help with the review. I text her the night before to make arrangements and when she asked where we were going. I replied back to "say not sure yet but thinking The Gannet. You heard of it?" Claire came right back to say she had dying to visit the Gannet for ages so that was that settled, The Gannet it was.
We visited on a Sunday afternoon and they had a set three course menu on which included a glass of champagne. Claire was driving so went for one of the non alcoholic cocktails which they allowed her to substitute for the champagne. I paid the £1.50 supplement so I could enjoy the Kir Royale.  The waitress came over to tell us the specials and I was so impressed how she could just rhyme it all off as she described it in a lot of detail. However, I was slightly unimpressed with the size of my Kir Royale and wish they had been a little more generous as this was gone in a few sips.
The set menu had a great choice but I'll be honest, I had no idea what a few of the items where so I'm glad Claire was there to explain as the menu was a lot fancier than I'm used to. 

For the starter I had the green herb pasta parcels, sandwort, ragstone, foragers salad. Claire opted for a starter from the specials menu which was the black pudding scotch egg. Both arrived very well presented and when I cut into mine the sauce from the middle of the pasta parcel oozed out and the taste was delicious. The scotch egg had been slow cooked so yolk retained its smooth texture and Claire also said it was delicious. Basically, it was like food porn. 

On to the main course and let me tell you, it did not disappoint. I choose the Scotch beef diamond fillet and ox tail, wild mushrooms, pickled onion, watercress puree, bone marrow and beef dripping confit Mayan gold potatoes and short rib sauce (quite a mouthful eh?) Claire went for the Borders lamb, confit belly, courgette wrapped shoulder, braised fennel and puree, potato puree and cumin sauce. We both agreed that the portions were a just the right size and everything on the plate complemented one another. Again, it was absolutely delicious. 
 For dessert we both went for the same dish, the salted caramel fondant tonka bean ice cream, as it just sounded amazing. I got a lovely surprise when I dug into the middle of the little sponge as the inside was filled with the salted caramel sauce. The tonka bean ice cream, at the side was just as tasty. 
The entire meal from start to finish tasted absolutely delicious and I would highly recommend anyone that lives in Glasgow or visiting Glasgow to visit the Gannet. Trust me, you will not be disappointed. 

If you want to discover more amazing places to eat, head over to citizenMag and check their reviews. 

*The cost of our meal was covered in return for this review but all these view are our own.  

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