Edinburgh: The Southsider

28.2.14

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Another week, another restaurant relaunch; it's a hard life, really. The other day I was invited along to The Southsider to see the refurbished pub and sample the new menu, so I headed along with some of my blogger pals and we were treated to some drinks and nibbles. And when I say nibbles, I don't actually mean "nibbles", there were mini burgers, hot dogs, sweet potato fries, chicken wings and pizza - yummers. As the event didn't start until 8pm, most of us had eaten before we headed along to the Southsider but we were definitely regretting that decision once we saw how much food there was! The sweet potato fries (my faaaave, I could probably live on a diet solely made up of sweet potatoes) were lovely and crispy, and I was more than happy to see gherkins with the hot dogs as I think I'm one of the few people in the world who actually loves them. We also tucked into BBQ chicken wings and a tasty spicy vegetable pizza, all washed down with some glasses of prosecco.

After we'd filled ourselves up with as much food as possible, we ordered some more drinks and made ourselves comfortable chatting away in the pub. There was also some live music from local band Pilot Episode and we all found ourselves singing along in between gossiping and drinking. The Southsider has kept its "traditional pub" feel despite the refurbishment; the new decor features comfy booths and tartan fabric, mismatched vintage pictures on the walls and even wee pots of heather on the tables. If you're after a trendy, modern bar then this probably isn't for you, but if you fancy spending the evening in a warm and welcoming pub then The Southsider is definitely a good bet! As part of the refurbishment, they've put in extra seating and made the bar area more spacious so there's plenty of room, even on a busy night.

Located at 3-7 West Richmond Street, just off Nicholson Street, The Southsider is pretty close to town and just a minute or two's walk from the University so is in a prime position for catching up with pals or grabbing something to eat. They also host a regular pub quiz and often have live bands and events if that's your kinda thing.

Have you been to The Southsider?

Gillian x

Mixtape: February

26.2.14


February Mixtape · via Spotify

I've been all about the acoustic folksy music this month. Perfect for rainy February afternoons. Undoubtedly my most-listened to band of the month is First Aid Kit, a duo of Swedish songwriting sisters. They're a relatively recent discovery for me (thanks Spotify, I knew there was a reason I paid you every month!) but I've been making up for lost time by listening to their albums obsessively throughout the month. Another new-to-me sibling folk band (erm, perhaps my new favourite genre?) are The Staves and I've been enjoying their album Dead & Born & Grown for late-night listening.

There are also a few old favourites on this month's mixtape, like Iron & Wine's Such Great Heights. Awwwcch, this song reminds me of 2005 so much, mostly thanks to the Garden State soundtrack! New Romantic by Laura Marling also makes an appearance; I used to love this song so much but hadn't listened to it in ages until I was reminded about it by Gill's cover version.

First Aid Kit · The Lion's Roar
Laura Marling · New Romantic
Patti Smith · Because the Night
Iron & Wine · Such Great Heights
Frank Turner · The Next Round
Patrick Wolf · The Magic Position
Patsy Cline · Crazy
The Civil War · Dust to Dust
Lucy Rose · Be Alright
The Staves · Mexico
Listen to "February" here.
What's on your playlist this month?

Gillian x

Tea for Two

24.2.14

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As I mentioned in yesterday's post, last week I ended up partaking in afternoon tea on two occasions. This isn't something that's part of a usual week for me (although, it'd be great if it was - any sponsors?!) but I thought I'd take the opportunity to snap some pictures and do a wee blog review.

The Corinthian Club, 191 Ingram Street, Glasgow
My pal Laura won a voucher for afternoon tea for two at The Corinthian Club in the raffle at the last Scottish Bloggers meet up, and she made the extremely wise decision to invite me along. We caught the train from Waverley just before lunch and had time for a wander round the shops before making our way to the Corinthian in the Merchant City. We were seated in a booth in the beautiful Tellers Bar & Brasserie and admired the stunning atrium ceiling whilst we waited for our food to arrive. Laura opted for a pot of breakfast tea and I went for peppermint; I'm not a fan of tea (sorry, I KNOW) so thought I'd go for something more "exotic" but turns out I'm not a big fan of peppermint tea either. But the main selling point was definitely the food anyway, there were three tiers of sandwiches, cakes, pastries and scones to tuck into and we managed to eat every last crumb. We started with the sandwiches which included ham, beef salad, cheese and onion, and tuna. They were a nice size so you got a decent taste of each one but they didn't leave you feeling too full for all the cakes. I was slightly disappointed there were no cucumber or egg sandwiches (my afternoon tea ultimate faves!) but the ones we did get were all really nice.

We then moved on to the cakes and I'm not entirely sure what they all were as we weren't given a menu and our waitress didn't explain the cake stand to us, but we dived in anyway and hoped for the best! There were regular scones and wholewheat and cinnamon ones, mini banoffee pies, raspberry meringue swans, chocolate sponge, and some kind of strawberry panna cotta cake type thing. The scones were light and fluffy and there was plenty of whipped cream and raspberry jam to fill them with. I love banoffee pie so really enjoyed that too, and the meringue swan filled with raspberry mousse was really tasty. The thing I least enjoyed was the sponge cake; neither of us could work out if it was actually chocolate flavour or not, it just tasted a bit like a standard sponge cake but looked like it should taste more interesting than that. It would have been nice if the staff had explained what was on our plates as they brought the afternoon tea to our table, especially as we didn't choose from a menu (due to having a voucher and pre-booking the afternoon tea). I felt the service was the thing that let the Corinthian down the most; our waitress seemed very disinterested and a bit grumpy and (I know it's nitpicky but) she wasn't dressed very smartly and when you're somewhere as nice as the Corinthian you expect the best service.

But saying that, we both really enjoyed the afternoon tea and the food was amazing. The price is very reasonable too, with it usually costing £14.50 per person or £21.95 with a glass of champagne. We just had the normal afternoon tea, so afterwards we decided to order a little something from the cocktail menu instead. Both of us opted for a Crushed Strawberry Fizz and it was super sweet and super delicious. I'd definitely return to the Corinthian for afternoon tea and cocktails, highly recommended!

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Tigerlily, 125 George Street, Edinburgh
Earlier in the week I met up with another blogging chum, Lauren, and we sampled the afternoon tea at Tigerlily. Lauren was up visiting Edinburgh last week so we decided afternoon tea would be the perfect opportunity to catch up and, having been there for drinks before but not afternoon tea, I suggested Tigerlily as I had heard it was meant to be good. We took our seats in the restaurant and had a look over the menu; Tigerlily do three types of afternoon tea and we decided on the middle option which was £14.95 per person. Once again, I went for peppermint tea, although this time I was asked if I would like a teabag or fresh mint leaves - I opted for fresh mint and much preferred it to the Corinthian version! Lauren opted for Earl Grey and, after pausing to take the obligatory blogger photos, we got started on the food.

The sandwiches this time were smoked salmon and cream cheese, and egg and cress. Yay, egg sandwiches! These weren't the most dainty sandwiches in the world, but they certainly tasted good and I could have happily eaten lots more of them. On the bottom tier of our cake stand were fruit scones, lemon and strawberry tarts, cupcakes with chocolate icing, macarons and mini chocolate brownies. I failed to take a picture of it, but just out of shot was also a pot of clotted cream and THE MOST AMAZING JAM EVER. I'm not even exaggerating, the strawberry jam was probably the highlight of the entire afternoon tea! The scones were lovely, especially smothered in jam and cream, and the brownie was perfectly fudgey. I was expecting the macaron to be flavoured but it was just plain boring almond, however I covered it in jam too and it was much improved. We both had a couple of bites of the lemon tart but weren't really fans; the pastry was way to solid and the custard was way too runny which made it difficult to eat. I thought it could have been a bit more lemony too as it was a wee bit blander than I would have expected a lemon tart to be. We were getting pretty full by this point and didn't manage to finish off our cupcakes either. The sponge was nice enough but just a standard vanilla sponge, and the icing was more like chocolate mousse - quite nice and inoffensive, but not really what I want from a cupcake.

Overall, the food was okay (some of it even pretty good) but it wasn't really amazing and I don't think I'd bother returning to Tigerlily for afternoon tea. The service here was much better than at the Corinthian (and, weirdly enough, I actually sort of knew our waiter from university!), but the food was definitely a let down. It was all edible and "nice" but nothing to write home about. Of the two, I would recommend The Corinthian Club hands down - everything about it seemed a bit fancier and more refined, but the price was still very reasonable. I love the bar in Tigerlily (and the hotel rooms look beautiful, I'd love to stay there one day pleeease!) but next time I'm looking for afternoon tea in Edinburgh, I think I'll be trying out somewhere else.

Are you a fan of afternoon tea?

Gillian x

Sunday Summary #113

23.2.14

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1.Edinburgh rooftops 2.Scottish National War Memorial 3.Tigerlily afternoon tea 4.Corinthian Club afternoon tea 5.Castle Street

This week has been all about eating, I feel like I need to go on a detox now (she says, whilst eating leftover pizza). There's been afternoon tea, burgers, milkshakes, Pinterest recipes and an obscenely large takeaway order. On Tuesday I met up with Lauren for some afternoon tea at Tigerlily and we tucked in to various cakes, scones, sandwiches and THE BEST STRAWBERRY JAM IN THE WORLD. No joke, by the end we were smothering it on everything and just eating it straight from the pot. Afterwards, we had a stroll round a couple of shops but I managed to restrain myself and didn't buy anything. I really want some new clothes, but I'm determined to have a huge wardrobe clear out and sell lots of stuff on Ebay before buying anything new. If only Ebaying didn't take up so much time and effort!

Thursday saw another afternoon tea related adventure; this time Laura and I went through to Glasgow to make use of the Corinthian Club voucher Laura had won in the raffle at the Scottish Bloggers meet up just before Christmas. All the cakes looked so pretty and we managed to polish off the whole lot before ordering a cocktail to keep us going. Whilst we were in Glasgow, we thought it would be rude not to have a look round Forever 21. I bought a really nice floral blazer/kimono type thing (completely ignoring what I just said about not buying stuff) which will be great for the summer, although it looks like it'll be quite a few months before I get the chance to wear it! We then had a wander round the beauty halls in Debenhams and John Lewis and met up with Roisin. We all gazed longingly at the Chanel counter before deciding our money was better spent elsewhere - on food, of course! We headed round the corner to Burger Meats Bun and had a delicious feast of burgers and fries. Being the wise one that I am, I decided to follow this up with a huge milkshake and, in retrospect, that was a terrible idea. SO FULL. There'll be posts about the afternoon teas and Burger Meats bun coming soon, so keep your eyes peeled for full reviews.

Yesterday I was busy working on some new stuff for my blog design shop on Etsy. The Lucky Ones Blogger Template might just be my favourite template yet, and there's also a set of pretty Pastel Social Media Icons available to download. There will be more icons and templates coming soon, so be sure to favourite the shop to stay up to date!

What have you been up to this week?

Gillian x

Miss Dixiebelle

20.2.14

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I remember, many moons ago (alright, three and a bit years), having a wander through Bruntsfield one summer afternoon and spotting the newly-opened Miss Dixiebelle. There were '50s style dresses and pin-up petticoats aplenty. I particularly remember some beautiful tropical pink flamingo print halterneck dresses in the window one day when I walked past and I fell head over heels in love. But Miss Dixibelle isn't just a purveyor of retro frocks, they also deal in vintage glamour in their beauty parlour. The boutique and salon, located at 19 Bruntsfield Place, recently had a bit of a refurbishment so a few of us were invited along a couple of weeks ago to see the new look.

The whole place is looking great, with rails of swishy dresses at the front and old school Hollywood vanity mirrors at the back. The beauty parlour also extends downstairs so there's plenty of space for getting your hair, nails and makeup done. Miss Dixiebelle are famed for their vintage hairstyling - everything from '20s finger waves to '60 beehives - and are regulars at vintage fairs and events. In the newly refurbished salon, Miss Dixiebelle are also able to offer cuts and colours to keep your hair looking tip-top all the time. If you've got a special occasion coming up and you're not a dab hand with the cat eyes, you can also opt for a vintage makeup session to complete your look. And why not top it all off with some glittery talons at the CutieCool nail bar? You can find a full list of all services and prices over on Miss Dixiebelle's website.

At the event, we enjoyed sipping some prosecco cocktails from teacups, nibbling on pick 'n mix sweeties brought to us by a vintage vixen, and practically inhaling some amazing key lime pie flavoured marshmallows from The Marshmallow Lady. Oh my lorrrrd they were good. We had such a great night just chatting away in the salon; Miss Dixiebelle also offer special pamper packages for groups and I think it would be a great place to go for a birthday or hen party to do something a little bit different.

Have you been to Miss Dixiebelle yet?

Gillian x

Sunday Summary #112

16.2.14

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1.Homemade Raspberry Ripple cocktail 2.Ice cream cone cupcakes 3.Rainy Old Town afternoons 4.Edinburgh 5.Mango caipiroska 6.Palentine's 7.Saturday's entertainment

Friday was, as I'm sure you're all well aware, Valentine's Day but over in this neck of the woods it was rechristened Palentine's Day. Lynsey, Laura and Roisin came round in the evening and we did what we do best - drinking cocktails, eating cakes and gossiping. As usual, I went overboard with my preparations and made heart shaped shortbread, scones, ice cream cone cupcakes, popcorn and some homemade cocktails. One of my favourite ever cocktails is the Raspberry Ripple from the Dragonfly, so when I came across the recipe on Social & Cocktail I couldn't wait for the perfect opportunity to give it a go. After more cocktails and lots of wine, we ended up staying up until about 4am putting the world to rights. Not a bad way to spend a Friday evening! Needless to say, I was feeling pretty sleepy on Saturday so spent most of the day in bed, watching the first few episodes of the new House of Cards and munching on leftover cake.

On Thursday a few of us headed to a relaunch event at the Southsider pub. I'm sure there will be a more in-depth post soon so I won't say too much, but we enjoyed some drinks and samples from the menu whilst listening to and ermm... singing along to the live band. Before the event, we had met up at 56 North for some cocktails and some food (although, in retrospect, we really didn't need food considering we were on our way to a pub/restaurant relaunch!). I've been to 56 North plenty of times before back in my uni days (wahhh it makes me sad that I now have to say "back in my uni days", so oldddd take me back!) for drinks but I'd never sampled anything from the menu before. I went for a huge burger and chips and it was grrrreat. I'm trying to eat healthily at the moment and am doing pretty well when I'm at home and cooking for myself, but I have decided that it doesn't count when I'm out and about. I can think of nothing worse than ordering a tiny salad and feeling sad whilst all your friends tuck in to tasty food - life's far too short for that!

As much as I'd like to spend the rest of the day lounging in bed and watching the whole of House of Cards, I've got not one but two job interviews tomorrow so I'll be making sure I'm all prepared for those - and looking out a suitable outfit. Fingers crossed!

What have you been up to this week?

Gillian x

Recipe: Valentine's Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Hearts

13.2.14

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I don't really have strong feelings about Valentine's Day either way; I've never had a boyfriend on V-Day so I don't really see the fuss nor do feel like I'm missing out. What I do have strong feeling about, however, are holidays where I can go overboard with themed EVERYTHING. Whether it be Halloween, Christmas, or in this case Valentine's Day, I'm all about the themed decorations, music, food, drink, clothes - you name it, I'll theme it. Any excuse to make some paper garlands and some heart shaped biscuits is good enough for me!

This year a few of my pals are coming round for "Palentine's Day" (see what I did there? So witty) and I've decided to do some baking to accompany our evening of cocktails, movies and chatting about how much we hate boys. Top of my list for the Palentine's cake stand were these chocolate dipped shortbread hearts, using my mum's tried and tested shortbread recipe and my very own super-excellent decoration skills.

You Will Need (Makes Approx 24):
225g unsalted butter
115g caster sugar
225g plain flour
115g cornflour
200g chocolate (I used 100g milk and 100g white)
Pink food colouring (optional)
Decorations - sprinkles, edible glitter etc.

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl or freestanding mixer until light and fluffy.
2. Add in the flour and cornflour through a sieve, and mix until it forms a soft dough. This will take at least 5 minutes using an electric mixer - first the mixture will turn to a breadcrumb consistency, then it will start to come together into a dough.
3. On a well floured surface, roll out the mixture to approximately half a centimetre thick and cut out the shapes. I didn't have a heart shaped cutter, so just made a stencil out of greaseproof paper and cut out the shapes carefully with a small, sharp knife.
4. Place the shapes on a baking tray and prick each one a couple of times with a fork.
5. Put in the oven and cook for approximately 10 minutes. They are ready once the edges start to turn ever so slightly golden - don't worry if they look quite pale when you take them out of the oven as they will continue to cook slightly once you remove them.
6. Leave the shortbread to cool on the trays for at least 10 minutes, otherwise they will crack and crumble when you try to remove them. Once they have set, transfer to a wire cooling rack to finish cooling.
7. Once completely cool, prepare your chocolate. Add your chocolate to a small bowl and microwave for 1-2 minutes until completely melted and smooth. I did the milk chocolate ones first, then took a separate bowl and melted the white chocolate to do the rest. To make it a bit more Valentine's-y I added some pink gel food colouring to the white chocolate and mixed well to evenly distribute the colour. Avoid using liquid food colouring as it can mess with the consistency of the chocolate.
8. Lay out a sheet of greaseproof paper and then begin dipping your shortbread. You can cover the whole thing, half, just a wee bit, or do one side milk and the other side white - the possibilities are endless! Use a spoon if necessary to make sure the shortbread is evenly coated, then allow the excess to drip off.
9. Place the dipped shortbread on the greaseproof paper to set. If you want to add any decorations, sprinkle them on now whilst the chocolate is still warm so they stick well.
10. Repeat until you have covered all the shortbread pieces. Leave them to set for at least a couple of hours, or until they easily peel away from the greaseproof paper. Store in an airtight container, or serve straight away!

These are so easy to make, and pretty quick too, so they'd make the perfect last-minute Valentine's gift if you need to come up with a little something extra before tomorrow! This is my standard shortbread recipe, but the addition of chocolate makes them seem a wee bit more special; swap the heart for a classic circle or some other kind of festive shape and you've got instant all year round holiday biscuits!

Are you doing any Valentine's Day baking?

Gillian x

Etsy Picks #1: Prints, Posters & Artwork

11.2.14




One of the perils of browsing Pinterest 24/7 is discovering that you actually have zero interior designs skills and may as well be living in a cave. I'm dreaming of the day I can have a "gallery wall" filled up with lots of mismatched vintage frames and an assortment of prints, paintings and photographs all wonderfully laid out in a perfectly-planned haphazard pattern. SIGH. I'm technically not supposed to put up any frames (or posters, but I completely ignored that rule) in my rented flat, but I might have to start making an exception so my Pinterest dreams can come true.

I've always been a fan of Etsy so when I was recently invited to join their affiliate programme, I took it as the perfect excuse for even more hours of browsing through the site and making lots of virtual wishlists (and perhaps a cheeky little purchase here and there!). Every few weeks I'll bring you some of my top picks, and this time it's all about prints and posters to satisfy my gallery wall cravings. First up is a minimalist Say Anything Movie Poster - if you haven't seen the film this probably won't make a lot of sense so I suggest you go watch it now because it's one of my favourite films ever. "I gave her my heart and she gave me a pen"; swoooooon, late-80s John Cusack, SWOON. Another pop culture reference, and one which you're probably all familiar with, is the Ugh! As If! Cher from Clueless Watercolour Print. I love pretty much everything in oh gosh, Cindy!'s shop - lots of awesome illustrations of some of my faves including Ron Swanson, Dwight Schrute, Buffy, Jesse Pinkman and lots more. Speaking of Breaking Bad, I am super in love with this Hank Schrader Print featuring one of my favourite quotes from the series - JESUS, MARIE! teehee. Again, Pop Art Press have hundreds of movie and TV inspired posters and I WANT THEM ALL.

I've also come across a few more arty prints which I love too, the first of which is a lovely candy coloured White Swan Poster from Seal Design Studio. Everything in their shop is bright and bold and a wee bit whimsical without being too cutesy. I've seen quite a few variations of the "print/quote on an old book page" but this Winged Queen Butterflies Repurposed Book Print really caught my eye. I also love the bold monochrome Best of Edinburgh Screenprint and I think it would be the perfect addition to the walls of my old tenement flat. Lucy Loves This also has prints of lots of other cities and a whole series of London ones so never fear if you're not an Edinburgh lover (although, you most definitely should be!).

What's your favourite Etsy shop for prints and artwork?

Gillian x

Sunday Summary #111

9.2.14

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1.Making a blog calendar 2.Breakfast 3.Thursday's outfit 4.Cocktails at The Blackbird 5.Cookies & Cream marshmallows 6.Tacos

Well, this seems to have been another relatively quiet week. I've spent the majority of my time trying to organise my life; I finally got round to getting 2014 refills for my Filofax (I knoowwww, it's February), I've written a huge to-do list (and am actually ticking things off), I've sorted out my inbox, and I've even made myself a little blog calendar. Usually I'm quite haphazard with blogging and just write as and when, but having a calendar is actually pretty useful for reminding me what I want to blog about. And it's colour-coded, of course! I've also colour-coded my email inbox, there's no stopping me.

On Thursday I donned my brightest frock and headed up the road to Miss Dixibelle for a wee relaunch party. I'll be writing up a full post soon so won't say too much, but we got to spend the evening gossiping over prosecco in vintage teacups whilst having a look round the refurbished salon. Not bad at all. Before the event, Laura and I stopped off at The Blackbird for some cocktails whilst we waited for the other ladies to arrive. I've been to The Blackbird quite a few times now and I love it, I think it's safe to say it's fast becoming my "local". I went for a Kick Ass this time, which was a combination of vodka, strawberries, ginger ale and probably some other stuff too. Yum.

Today looks like it's going to be a boring day full of chores - I've got washing to do, a kitchen to clean, makeup brushes to wash, a big batch of soup to make and lots of emails to reply to. I've been itching to make a new template for my blog design shop on Esty for ages, so hopefully if I get all my chores done and dusted this afternoon, I can make a start on that this evening whilst snuggled up in my pyjamas and watching Netflix.

What have you been up to this week?

Gillian x

Outfit: Midi

8.2.14

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Dress · ASOS
Earrings · Ginger Pickle*
Leather Jacket · French Connection*
Belt · H&M
Boots · Ebay

I've had this dress in my wardrobe since about July, but this is the first time I've actually worn it. I still can't decide how I feel about midi dresses; I like the idea of them but I'm just not sure if I can pull them off. I think midi dresses look best on people who are tall and skinny and I am definitely neither of those things! But on Thursday I was heading along to an event at Miss Dixiebelle (more on that soon!) and wanted to dress a wee bit more vintagey than usual, so I finally took the plunge and dug out this dress. I love the colour of it, it's a really bright cerise pink which is one of my faves.

When I bought it back in the summer, I originally envisaged wearing this midi dress with bare legs and peep-toe sandals but, knowing Scotland in February, I decided black tights and boots were a better option this time. I actually like how it looks with the black accessories and leather jacket to toughen it up a little, although I'm not sure these boots really go with the ensemble very well. I failed to take a picture of them, but I'm sure long-time readers will recognise these lace-up wedges. What shoes would you wear with a midi dress?

Aside from the dress, my favourite part of this outfit is definitely the earrings, a new addition to my jewellery box from Ginger Pickle. I've already got quite a few bits and pieces from Ginger Pickle and love them all, so when Jade offered to send me a wee something I couldn't say no! Aren't these little wooden bunny rabbits just the cutest thing ever? Ginger Pickle has loads of lovely jewellery, homewares, accessories and stationery from independent British designers, as well as their own designs. Definitely worth a look if you're in need of a gift for someone, or fancy treating yourself!

Are you a fan of midi dresses?

Gillian x

How To: Rainbow Room Vintage Curls

6.2.14

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Last photo courtesy of Paula.

Last week I went along to an event at Rainbow Room International to have a wee look round their Royal Exchange Square salon, try out some products and get my hair done up all fancy. There were also manicures and facials going on, but I stuck to hair styling and got a lovely vintage inspired look. The stylist used hair straighteners to create bouncy waves, and she popped in a little baby victory-roll-type-thing at the side too. I failed to take any good pictures of my hair on the night, but you can kind of get an idea of what it looked like in this Instagram snap.

I've been meaning to learn how to curl my hair with straighteners for ages, but it always seemed a bit daunting and I wasn't exactly sure what I was doing. The stylist at Rainbow Room talked me through the best way to use straighteners to curl hair and let me do a couple of the curls myself so I could get an idea of how to do it properly. I really liked the vintagey style waves that using straighteners created, so I decided to have a go myself at home and managed not too badly! Whilst my 'do from Rainbow Room was a bit more 70s inspired (à la American Hustle) I decided to go for a slightly softer look with more brushed out curls when I tried it myself.

The video isn't so much a tutorial as a "this is what I did to make my hair look like this". I'm definitely not an expert at straightener curls yet, but after having done it a couple of times I'm starting to get the hang of it. Practice makes perfect and all that!

Have you mastered the straighteners curling technique? If not, I'd recommend popping into Rainbow Room International if you're in Glasgow and in need of a hair cut or style for a special occasion!

Gillian x

Review: Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation

4.2.14

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Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation #51 Light Vanilla · £9.99

It seemed like everyone and their mum was going crazy for Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation last year (or was it the year before, I DON'T KNOW) but as always I was a bit late to the party. Well, I did actually buy this last summer but Healthy Mix lingered at the bottom of my makeup bag and only saw the light of day once or twice. I'm not really sure why I didn't use it more, I think it was probably just because I had a couple of favourite foundations that I used all the time so didn't feel the need to switch it up. I know, I know, why did I even buy it in the first place then?! Why not.

But anyway, fast forward to today and I've been using Bourjois Healthy Mix as my foundation of choice most days. It's a great everyday sorta foundation; I don't use this for nights out or for days when I know I'm going to be super busy, but as a nice, wearable daily foundation it's pretty much perfect. The coverage is medium but it's easy to blend so doesn't end up looking too heavy. It covers up redness nicely whilst still letting my freckles shine through a little bit. Healthy Mix has quite a thick consistency straight out of the bottle, but it glides onto the skin really smoothly and doesn't take much effort to buff in. My skin has been pretty yuck lately, but this foundation skims over any dry patches and leaves you looking hydrated rather than all lizard-like.

I bought shade number 51 Light Vanilla, which is the palest of the Healthy Mix range. I'd say this is more or less the perfect shade for me; it's so nice to be able to find a high street foundation which is A) actually pale and B) not super yellowy toned. I'd say Light Vanilla is fairly neutral toned, with a little hint of peachy-pink, which is exactly what my skin needs. I also love love LOVE the scent of this; as you'd expect from a product with "fruit therapy" it smells deliciously sweet and fruity. I know a lot of people are put off by scented products, but I obviously have the mentality of a 12 year old let loose with a brand new pack of scented gel pens because makeup that smells nice is my FAVE. Even if that's not your thing, the scent fades almost as soon as you apply the product to your face so it's nothing to worry about.

I had heard people describe Healthy Mix as dewy which put me off a little bit as I'm not really a fan of the dewy look (on me, anyway). But I find it's more like "radiance" rather than "dewiness", if that makes sense. Well, its full name is Bourjois Radiance Reveal Healthy Mix Foundation after all! It leaves my skin looking quite glowy and healthy (natch) without being too shiny. In the photo above, I've applied a little bit of powder to help it stay put, but nothing too drastic. Bourjois claim it'll leave you looking flawless for up to 16 hours but this is rather optimistic; on my (not particularly oily) skin, I find I have to re-powder maybe two or three times throughout the day. It tends to "slide" a little, especially around my nose, but it's nothing that powder can't fix - no need to reapply the actual foundation. Overall, I'm really impressed though and Healthy Mix makes a great everyday foundation, although I find it's not quite long-wearing enough for nights out or special occasions.

Have you tried Bourjois Healthy Mix yet?

Gillian x