Mixtape: October

30.10.14

October Mixtape · via Spotify

It's nearly Halloweeeeen! Admittedly, this mixtape isn't actually all that Halloween-y, but I have snuck a couple of suitably spooky songs in amongst the usual sort of tunes. For similar alternative Halloween songs (i.e. normal songs with something Halloween-related in the title), have a listen to my October 2012 Mixtape and October 2013 Mixtape.

Creedence Clearwater Revival · Bad Moon Rising
Cold War Kids · Hang Me Up to Dry
Modest Mouse · Float On
Fleetwood Mac · Black Magic Woman
Stone Sour · Wicked Game
The Gaslight Anthem · National Anthem
Donovan · Season of the Witch
Bryan Ferry · I Put a Spell On You
Coconut Records · West Coast
Gregory Alan Isakov · If I Go, I'm Goin'
Listen to "October" here.

What have you been listening to this month?

Gillian x

Sunday Summary #146

26.10.14

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1.Tapas at Las Iguanas 2.Choosing my DUO Boots 3.Twinkle twinkle 4.Breakfast

Oh haaaay. What have you been up to this week? As usual I have been eating, drinking and blogger event-ing, followed by a weekend of lazing around and making the most of not having to set my alarm for work. One of the highlights of this week was a lovely evening at the Edinburgh DUO Boots store where we heard all about the concept behind the brand, chatted to the DUO ladies as we got fitted, and then got to choose our favourite pair to take home with us. I'm firmly in the ankle boot tribe this autumn/winter, and chose the beautiful Sanna black suede Chelsea boots. Expect to see them in an outfit post soon! As well as offering standard, narrow and wide fittings, DUO also do a huge range of calf fittings for the taller boots so no matter which ones you fall in love with, you'll be able to find your perfect fit. This was the first time I had been in DUO, but I'll definitely be back next time I'm in need of a new pair of boots. I love a good boot, so I do.

We had a couple of hours to kill between work finishing and the DUO event starting, so Laura and I went for some dinner at the recently opened Las Iguanas. I always have fairly low expectations when it comes to chain restaurants, but I was pleasantly surprised by Las Iguanas and we were practically licking the plates clean by the end. We opted for some tapas dishes and a couple of sides to share between us and we polished off the lot in record time. I particularly liked the mini duck tortillas with cranberry salsa and the deeeelish sweet potato fries. Washed down with some margaritas and finished off with some churros, of course.

This weekend has been a pretty quiet one which has mostly involved watching TV, making plans for our Halloween party next Friday, tidying the flat and snoozing. Literally a few days ago I was looking online for some fairy lights to hang over the windows in the living room... and lo and behold look what I found when I was tidying my room yesterday!! Such excitement. Just need to get another set for the other window now - I feel a trip to Ikea coming on as (in addition to the very important fairy lights) I want to get some new shelves for my bedroom. I've obviously been spending too much time on Pinterest as I now want to buy lots of white furniture, throw out most of my possessions, and turn my cluttered desk into a home office. The dream!

Gillian x

Top 5: Skincare Staples

23.10.14

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I'm definitely in the "less is more" camp when it comes to skincare. Firstly, because my skin definitely prefers to be left to its own devices and, secondly, because I am lazy and would rather sleep for an extra 10 minutes than do a double-triple-quadruple cleanse. My skin is, on the whole, pretty good but I have been suffering from horrible hormonal breakouts recently. These few products (and this is basically my whole routine, apart from a couple of face masks now and again and exfoliation when I need it) have been helping my combination-normal skin get back to its usual self.

1. Cleanse: Una Brennan Superfacialist Tea Flower Purifying Cleansing Wash
The Una Brennan range is well known amongst bloggers as a great, affordable selection of proucts and the Superfacialist Tea Flower Purifying Cleansing Wash is my favourite daily cleanser. Gel cleansers are my favourite kind, and this lightweight gel formula is great to use both morning and night. Just massage it in to your face, work it into a little bit of a lather then rise with warm water. Amongst other things, the Tea Flower cleanser contains salicylic acid which helps fight spots, decongests skin and leaves you feeling refreshed.

2. Tone: Lush Tea Tree Water
Another ingredient which is great for keeping spots under control is tea tree. I've been using tea tree cream for years on cuts, scrapes, spots... basically anything you want to keep free of bacteria. So, a Tea Tree Water toner seemed like a good idea to me! In the morning I usually give my face a spritz straight from the bottle for a cooling and refreshing start to the day, then at night I'll spray some on to a cotton pad and swipe it over my face to get rid of impurities and any last traces of makeup/cleanser. This product is great because it's clarifying without being too harsh and it doesn't leave skin feeling tight or drained of moisture - although I would definitely recommend following it up with a moisturiser afterwards.

3. Moisturise: Antipodes Divine Face Oil
I'm still on the hunt for my perfect moisturiser, so in this category I'm recommending the Antipodes Divine Face Oil instead. A luxurious mixture of avocado and rosehip oil, this is a real treat for parched skin. Although my skin isn't super dry, I do tend to get quite a lot of dry patches around my nose and this really helps skin repair and hydrate itself. The formula is rich and moisturising so it's best for use in the evenings and you'll wake up with plump, happy skin. It's also great for helping to reduce scarring and evening out skin in general.

4. Face Mask: REN Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial*
If your skin is looking a bit lacklustre (which tends to happen at this time of year), this new little gem from REN is the one for you. The REN Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial mask is designed to be a super quick one minute treatment, which you can use every three days, to give your skin a boost. Packed full of Vitamin C, it makes your skin feel plumped, energised and firmed - it reminds me a lot of the results you get from the REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask but in just a fraction of the time. With regular use, REN also claim the Flash Rinse mask will help to reduce fine lines and imperfections and I'm hoping it will help to fade the red marks left behind by recently departed spots. I really like how quickly this mask works and it's especially great to use on mornings when your skin is looking a little bit dull.

5. Treatment: Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion
Hormonal breakouts tend to bring more than their fair share of those horrible, painful under-the-skin spots and the Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion has been the only product I've tried so far that has made any difference to mine. Now, this isn't a miracle cure - it will still take a week or two to disappear completely - but the Buffering Lotion significantly reduces the size of the spot and makes it bearable to leave it alone to run its course. Just give the bottle a vigorous shake and apply a few drops directly to the spot, then leave it to work its magic overnight (I'd recommend applying it a couple of times throughout the day too if you're at home and not wearing makeup). After about 3 days the swelling will be reduced and it won't be so angry and painful any more.

What are your skincare staples at the moment?

Gillian x