Mixtape: April


April Mixtape · via Spotify

I know I say this every time, but this month's mixtape is a bit of a mixed bag. New favourites, old favourites, recent discoveries, forgotten gems, and even a bit of James Blunt. Is it acceptable to admit to liking James Blunt these days? Because I kind of love him. But never fear, there are plenty more obscure bands on April's playlist to make up for it! I stumbled across Good Girl and the Bad Times when I was browsing through Soundcloud earlier this month, and I was instantly sold when I noticed their genre was listed as "gloom pop". YES. Officially now my favourite genre of music, no questions asked.

Dan Andriano in the Emergency Room · Say Say Say
Sister Hazel · Your Winter
The Menzingers · Gates
Franz Ferdinand · Take Me Out
Alison Weiss · How to be Alone
The Libertines · Don't Look Back into the Sun
James Blunt · Bonfire Heart
Good Girl and the Bad Times · Not Even the Moon
Joe Purdy · Louisiana
The Head and the Heart · Rivers and Roads
Listen to "April" here.

What's been on your playlist this month?

Gillian x

Introducing: Degustabox


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I'm sure, by now, you're all aware of the world of subscription boxes. I used to subscribe to a couple of beauty boxes but found I never got round to using any of the samples so cancelled them and saved my pennies instead. A food subscription box, however, is much more up my street - and I can guarantee I will definitely use up all the samples! Degustabox have been up and running in the UK for a few months now, and when they asked if I'd like to try out their April box I couldn't say no. Degustabox costs £12.99 per box (including postage) and is delivered straight to your door packed with food and drink treats to enjoy. So what was in April's box?

About 10 minutes after opening the box, after rapidly taking some photos, the first thing I tucked into was the bag of Keough's Atlantic Sea Salt & Irish Cider Vinegar Crisps. These crisps were super crunchy and nice and vinegary, my fave. Thumbs up for Keough's. Also included were some sachets of fancy cuppa soup, in the form of the Clearspring Miso on the Go. I don't think I've ever had miso soup before, but I have to admit I wasn't a huge fan of these. The great thing about Degustabox, though, is you get the chance to try out things you wouldn't normally buy - sometimes you'll find things you love but it's no big loss if you don't like it! Next up is the Mornflake Superfast Pots (does cereal count as savoury...?) which are wee pots of cereal which you add water to and it instantly turns into milk. These are a great idea if you have to eat breakfast on the go, or at your desk at work, as they also include a spoon, and I was pleasantly surprised by how nice they tasted. I'm not a big fan of breakfast cereal at all, but enjoyed both the Fruit & Nut Muesli and Raisin, Honey & Almond Granola flavours. I liked that they were packed with lots of dried fruit for an added bit of sweetness.

Speaking of sweet, there were lots of chocolatey treats in April's Degustabox. The Dr Oetker Fine Cooks' Chocolate is something I've used before - can't really go wrong! I think I might make some brownies with the Extra Dark variety as it'll make them nice and rich and gooey. Lindt is another brand I was already familiar with, but I'd never tried their Lindor Treat Bar. It tastes exactly the same as the Lindor Truffles, super sweet and smooth. I find Lindt chocolate a bit sickly for my tastes, but one or two squares of the bar is a nice treat. I haven't had mini rolls in yeeeears so I was pretty excited to unwrap some McVities Jaffa Cakes Mini Rolls. The two flavours included were Tropicool and Berry Burst, and both were pretty tasty.

The last time I was home, I discovered a bottle of Crabbie's Raspberry Alcoholic Ginger Beer in my parents' drinks cupboard and I loved it, so was very pleased to see a bottle of it in my Degustabox. I think I might have a go at making a cocktail with this bottle, so keep your eyes peeled for a cocktail recipe post soon! I've already used quite a lot of the Go Splash Blackcurrant to flavour glasses of water; it's basically super concentrated squash which you just squeeze into your glass to turn water into juice. I don't like drinking tap water, so this is a great way to disguise it and make it taste nice. Because it's so small, Go Splash would also be great for taking out and about/to work etc. for emergency water-flavouring. And finally we have Cawston Press Rhubarb Sparkling Water. I love rhubarb but it's not a flavour you often see in drinks, so I was intrigued to try this out. It was really nice, just like rhubarb & custard sweeties but more tart.

Overall, I'm really pleased with Degustabox and, with the exception of the Clearspring Miso Soup, I would buy everything from this box if I saw it in a shop. Success! I like that Degustabox includes a mix of well-known brands and smaller ones, and everything is very affordable so would be within my price range if I wanted to repurchase any of the products. If you fancy getting your own Degustabox, pop in the code X75AL to get an extra £3.00 discount.

Have you tried Degustabox before?

Gillian x

Sunday Summary #122


1.Degustabox delivery, review coming soon! 2.Burger at The Blackbird 3.Cocktails 4.Pals (nicked from Lianne's Instagram)

How is it Sunday again already?! This has been the first weekend in about six weeks that I haven't had any plans at all, and I must admit it has been rather nice to just laze about by myself - especially as next week looks like it'll be quite busy with a few different blogger events. I was going to go shopping today, but when I woke up and saw that it was raining I just went straight back to sleep. Shopping can wait until next weekend!

It's Lianne's birthday today (haaaappy birthday!) so on Friday evening we went out for some food and drinks to celebrate. We went for dinner (followed by lots of cocktails) at The Blackbird; I'm sure you'll have heard me mention The Blackbird lots of times before as it seems to have become my favourite "local". This, however, was the first time I'd had food there and I was pretty impressed. We all opted for burgers (typical), and I had mine topped with haggis and the meltiest gooiest cheese ever. The burgers were huge and tasted just like the homemade ones my mum used to make - perf. I managed to squeeze in a dessert too and went for the rhubarb creme brulee which was laaaavely. After several cocktails, a bottle of someone's wedding wine, and a Ferrero Rocher challenge, we finally made our way home at 1am when the lights came up and they started throwing everyone out. Best night.

The rest of this week has been fairly boring, hence the lack of Instagram pictures. At the start of this week I was still feeling pretty ill so was laying low in an attempt to recover. I'm just about back to normal now but still have a bit of a horrible cough, eeuuugh. Hopefully it'll be more or less gone by tomorrow as I'm off to the launch of a new drink at 56 North, then on Thursday I've got an exciting burger date with TGI Friday's and on Friday I'll be stuffing my face with the new lunch menu at Pizza Express. The perks of being a blogger, eh?!

What have you been up to this week?

Gillian x

Review: Revlon Matte Balm in Unapologetic


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Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm in Unapologetic · £7.99

I know, I know, I'm a few months behind everyone else with these. I actually bought this a month or two ago but haven't quite got round to using and reviewing it until now. Unapologetic is a verrry bright shade - I'd say even slightly brighter than it appears in these photos - so it's not one for everyday wear. It is, however, great for nights out or times when you want a big, bold lip.

Often matte lip products can be drying and feel heavy on the lips, but the Revlon Matte Balms are the opposite of this. They glide on easily, have a lightweight, balmy formula (hence the name) and feel really comfortable to wear. It really does feel like you're applying lipbalm which, coupled with the chunky pencil style bullet, makes it super quick and easy to use. Because they are so balmy, I'd say the Revlon Matte Balms don't give a "true matte" finish; there is a wee bit of a sheen but it's by no means glossy and the more sparingly you apply it, the more matte the finish is. Because of the unique finish, the Revlon Matte Balms are much more forgiving than most other matte lip products I've tried, but it's always a good idea to keep your lips exfoliated and hydrated to ensure the product doesn't settle into any dry patches.

The Matte Balm range has a variety of nude and bright shades and, as you can probably tell, Unapologetic falls on the bright side of the spectrum. It's a gorgeous pinky-coral shade which comes out opaque in just one swipe. It reminds me a lot of a slightly darker/more neon version of Revlon's Pink About It Matte Lipstick. As I mentioned earlier, this is definitely a "night out" shade for me, but it can be adapted into a daytime lipstick by just dabbing a couple of dots of this across the lips and then topping up with normal lip balm to give a stained effect.

As for wear time, you'll get a good couple hours out of this before needing to reapply - more if you're not doing any eating or drinking. It does stain the lips slightly and seems to fade quite evenly, so you won't need to worry about the dreaded lipliner effect once it starts to wear off.

Overall, I really like the Revlon Matte Balms and I love the shade Unapologetic, even though I don't get a huge amount of use out of it just because it's SO bright. The formula is lovely, though, and it makes for a great, effortless statement lip.

Have you tried the Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balms yet?

Gillian x

Watching Lately #9


1. Fargo
I only heard they were making a TV version of Fargo earlier this week so wasn't expecting it to be on for months yet, but was pleasantly surprised when I noticed it about to start on Sunday evening. It's been quite a few years since I last watched the movie Fargo so I can't remember exactly what happens, but so far the TV series seems pretty true to the spirit and feel of the original despite different characters and storylines. Martin Freeman plays Lester Nygaard, an unassuming, downtrodden insurance salseman who gets mixed up in the psychotic world of mysterious drifter Lorne Malvo (Billy Bob Thornton). I loved the first episode - very atmospheric and darkly funny with plenty of murder - and can't wait to see how the rest of the series develops. I was also happy to see guest appearances from Colin Hanks and Bob Odenkirk who have played supporting roles in two of my all-time favourites, Dexter and Breaking Bad respectively. All signs are boding well for Fargo so far!

2. Ex on the Beach
And now, on a completely different note, we have Ex on the Beach. I must admit I have a terrible weakness for MTV's reality shows and I've spent more than my fair share of time watching the likes of Geordie Shore and The Valleys. Ex on the Beach is the latest offering; I was sent previews of the first two episodes to give them a watch ahead of the series launch tonight (Tuesday 22nd April) at 10pm. I'm a little bit hooked already and can't wait to watch the rest of the series. So far, 8 singletons have arrived on a tropical island in the hopes of having the holiday of a lifetime and finding some romance along the way. But, of course, their exes start to turn up and things will inevitably turn dramatically sour. My fave character (?) so far is definitely Vicky (who you'll probably recognise from Geordie Shore), she is mental and I love her. To tie in with the launch, Best British Bloggers are running a competition to win a holiday worth £1,000 (all the details here) - all you need to do is tweet a photo of yourself pulling the face you would make when you see your ex, along with the hashtag #WhenISeeMyEx.

3. Transcendence
Despite being a big film fan, I don't really go to the cinema that often, but my friend and I were at a loss for something to do on Friday night so went along to see Transcendence. Dr Will Caster (Johnny Depp) devoted his life to researching Artificial Intelligence and is on the cusp of creating a super-computer which can think and feel on its own. His controversial experiments however, have made him the target of anti-AI protesters who manage to poison him. With only a couple of weeks left to live, Caster along with wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) and best friend Max (Paul Bettany) do everything they can to "upload" his conscience to the computer so he can live on even after he dies. Quickly he turns into an all-powerful machine and before long he's creating robot drones out of the local townsfolk and just generally causing havoc due to his superior knowledge and inability to be destroyed. I kind of lost interest towards the end, but the anti-AI group joins forces with Max (and, eventually, Evelyn) to destroy the monster they had created. I'm not particularly into sci-fi films, but even if you are I'm not sure I would recommend this one. It was okay, but not one I'd watch again.

What have you been watching lately?

Gillian x

Sunday Summary #121


1.Colour coordination 2.Drinks at The Devil's Advocate 3.Old Town close 4.Dinner at Clerk's 5.Chocolate cocktails 6.Summer 7.Froyo from Frisky

My best pal has been up visiting this week so the last few days have been filled with eating and drinking and other good stuff like that. Sadly I seem to have a bit of a horrid cold and sore throat just now which has ruined things slightly, but I'm surviving. On Wednesday evening we went out for dinner to Pancho Villas on the Royal Mile, and after some enchiladas and margaritas we decided more cocktails were definitely the only choice. The next stop was The Devil's Advocate which I had been in briefly before, but this time we had the chance for a proper sit down and peruse through the cocktail menu. If you're looking for pink, fruity cocktails with little umbrellas then this probably isn't the place to go; the drinks have strong flavours, interesting ingredients and there is a lot of whisky on the menu. We didn't sample any food this time, but the menu looks preeeetty nice so no doubt I'll be back again. After a couple of drinks at The Devil's Advocate we walked over to Panda & Sons which I had been wanting to try for ages. It's disguised as a barbershop, and it's only after you go into the shop, down a flight of stairs and behind a bookcase that you discover the secret speakeasy hidden below. I loovvvved it. All very '20s and glamorous but laid back at the same time. Again, the cocktails were pretty interesting and not your average cosmos and mojitos type offering; after browsing the huge menu for a while, I finally settled on a strawberry, paprika, basil and tequila concoction.

I was working on Thursday and Friday morning so nothing too exciting to report there, but as it was gloriously sunny on Friday afternoon we went for a wee stroll across the Meadows and ended up at Clerk's Bar in time for some dinner. I had been here a couple of weeks before with some of the blogging ladies and really enjoyed it, and my pal was sold when I mentioned they had ribs on the menu ("it will be like House of Cards"). I opted for a beef burger topped with pulled pork, and we ordered way too many sides to go along with it. After stuffing our faces, we wandered home and recovered for an hour or so before heading out to the cinema to see Transcendence. This wasn't particularly either of our first choices, but there wasn't much else on so we went for it anyway. It was okay, but I probably wouldn't recommend it.

Yesterday was a pretty lazy day again, mostly spent lounging in my bed and enjoying the sunshine through my open window. I did manage to get myself up and dressed in time for some after-dinner froyo from Frisky. Gaaahhhdddd I love froyo, especially in the summer time (yes, I am counting this as summer. This may be the only sunshine we get).

What have you been up to this week?

Gillian x

The Feast of the Commonwealth


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One of the perks of being a blogger is that, from time to time, some pretty sweet invites wing their way to you. When the words "Feast of the Commonwealth" appeared in my inbox I was pretty intrigued, and after a quick scan of the invite it took me about 2 seconds to say yes. The Feast of the Commonwealth was part of the Edinburgh Science Festival and also an official Culture 2014 event; the gala dinner was a celebration of science and food from Scotland and across the Commonwealth in order to mark 100 days to go until the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

The event was held at Dynamic Earth, a pretty stunning place for a dinner party, no? After some welcome drinks and a browse round the stalls of the mini producers market, we took our seats to hear more about the meal from host Tony Singh. Tony's restaurant Oloroso used to be my faaaavourite restaurant in Edinburgh but sadly it's now defunct - however, I believe plans are in place to open a new restaurant in West Linton soon! Anyway, back to the Feast, and we heard from Professor Gilloran from Queen Margaret University about the science of food. Professor Mary Abukutsa-Onyango from Jomo Kentatta University in Kenya then told us a little bit about her research into sustainable African vegetables and crops, then it was finally time to tuck into the food.

The starter was created by Dynamic Earth's own head chef, David Veal. The menu was a complete surprise until we sat down, so I was very pleased to discover the starter was trout with new potatoes, horseradish cream and roasted beetroot. Love trout, love beetroot, love potatoes. LOVE. The smoked trout was from Belhaven Smokehouse in East Lothian and it tasted fantastic; as well as the fillet there was also a little trouty mousse hiding underneath which was a nice contrast. I think this was my favourite course of the night - I'd pick a starter over a dessert any day of the week!

Next up was the main course of roasted supreme of chicken with watercress and herb crust, served with buttered vegetables, dauphinoise potatoes and a cafe au lait sauce. This course was created by Neil Forbes of Cafe St Honore and once again it tasted amazing. Usually I'm not a massive fan of French cuisine, but this was lovely and not too heavy so I think I'll have to go and try out Cafe St Honore soon! Those dauphinoise potatoes were to. die. for. and I loved the subtly flavoured cafe au lait sauce, despite not being a fan of coffee.

After the main course there was a wee break where we could take part in some activities in the rainforest and space zones at Dynamic Earth, but wise ones that we are, Laura and I nipped off to the toilet and missed out on this bit entirely. Not to fear, we topped up our wine glasses, had a catch up with some of the other blogging ladies, and then settled back down for dessert. Oh booyyyy. I know I said I wasn't much of a dessert person, but this was heavenly. The chocolate and rapeseed oil tear with hazelnut praline, served with rhubarb puree and sea buckthorn curd, was created by chef Tom Lewis of the Monachyle Mhor Hotel. Despite being really rich and chocolately it didn't feel too sickly at all, and the sharpness of the rhubarb and the sea buckthorn really went well together. I spent most of the meal assuming sea buckthorn was some kind of weird seaweed, but turns out it's actually a little orange berry which tasted a bit like a less-sweet version of a mango. Tasty.

All in all, it was a great night and I ate lots and drank lots and had a splendid time. The Science Festival is on until the 20th April so you've still got a few days left to get yourself along to a couple more of the events!

Gillian x

Sunday Summary #120


1.Going out 2.Dessert at the Feast of the Commonwealth 3.Throwback Thursday 4.Sunset

Well, I'm going to keep this post short and sweet as I'm feeling a little bit fragile today. Just a little bit. Let's just say I consumed more sambuca than one human should ever consume and leave it at that. Last night I was helping my fave triplets celebrate their birthday, and it all started off very civilised with a wee candle party and drinks. After lots of wine and catching up (love love love ♥), I headed off to meet some other friends for night-out-part-two. This is where it all starts to get a bit fuzzy, but from what I can remember I had a great night! So far today I've only managed to make it as far as the living room for some hungover chat, sandwich-eating and Friends-watching, but now I've crawled back into bed and am planning to stay here for the rest of the day.

On Friday evening I was invited along to the Feast of the Commonwealth with the Edinburgh International Science Festival. The food was amaaaazing. AMAZING. It was held at Dynamic Earth which was a preeeeetty cool venue for a dinner party. I'll be doing a full post on it soon, so keep your eyes peeled for that next week.

Aside from that, this week has been fairly quiet as I've just been working away. On Wednesday we were doing a wee photoshoot with products from the shop which was fun to help organise. I even tried my hand at making a Youtube video. We stopped off for a Maccy D's on the way back to the office which, in retrospect, probably wasn't the greatest idea as after work I went to Cosmo with Laura. Yup, an all you can eat buffet. I ate so much I genuinely thought I was going to be sick on the way home. My life is SO GLAMOROUS.

How has your week been?

Gillian x

Watching Lately #8


1. Grimm
Grimm is, without a doubt, my new favourite thing. I decided to give it a whirl a couple of weeks ago and I loved it pretty much instantly. Homicide Detective Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli) discovers he's a Grimm (aka a long-lost descendant of the Brothers Grimm, of fairytale fame) and his world is turned upside down. He's suddenly able to see Wesen (basically fairytale creatures masquerading as normal people) and it's his job to protect the world from these supernatural creatures. It reminds me a lot of the early seasons of Buffy; in each episode, there's a new Wesen-villain to be defeated, and Nick spends equal amounts of time researching and fighting said villain, along with the help of his pals. I loves it. I've always been a fan of fairytales - NOT the Disney kind, the old folklore kind where everyone dies in the end - and supernatural things, so it was a pretty safe bet that I'd enjoy Grimm. I also enjoy all the weird names the Grimm world has for stuff, like blutbad instead of werewolf and hexenbiest instead of witch. FUN.

2. How I Met Your Mother
I remember when How I Met Your Mother first came on E4 many, many years ago. I watched the first few episodes but kind of just gave up after that and never watched it again. Until a couple of months ago, that was, when I was in need of a new TV show to marathon. I noticed this at the top of my Netflix page and decided to go for it. Now, I did kind of enjoy it, but I didn't really find it very funny. Why then, I hear you say, did I watch all 9 seasons of it in about 6 weeks? I'm not sure either, but it seems obsessively watching TV is just a cross I have to bear. But anyway, the more I watched it, the more I became invested in the characters and storylines and of course I was intrigued to find out who the mother actually was. The very final episode aired just a couple of weeks ago and OH MY LORD, I have never been so disappointed at a series finale (well, apart from the Dexter finale, but we shall not talk of that ever ever ever). I won't say anything too specific in case you haven't seen it yet, but the last 5 minutes were just WRONG. Nope, nope, nope. Apart from the disappointing regression of Barney's character in the final episode after having spent the last couple of seasons showing him "growing up", the rest of the episode was okay. If they had ended it right after he met her on the train platform, that would have been perf. But they didn't do that, and I feel like it completely ruined the whole thing. Ugh, How I Met Your Mother, it's like you were trying to make Ross & Rachel happen. It's not going to happen.

3. Birdsong
I didn't watch this when it was on TV originally, but having read the novel fairly recently, I decided to give the BBC adaptation of Birdsong a watch. Eddie Redmayne plays Stephen Wraysford, a soldier in the trenches of the First World War, haunted by his memories of a pre-war affair with Isabelle (Clémence Poésy). As with most adaptations, quite a bit was left out and some of the characters weren't quite what I had imagined, but overall I really enjoyed watching it and felt it did the novel justice. The First World War is kind of my specialist subject so I always love films and books about it. I was absolutely howling by the end, too much for my poor wee heart to take. SO SAD. I particularly liked the storyline with Jack Firebrace (Joseph Mawle) and I thought it was really well done. The only major thing that let this down, for me, was the complete lack of chemistry between Redmayne and Poésy, I just didn't find their affair at all convincing and their intense lingering stares were verging on uncomfortable to watch. But apart from that it was pretty much perfect, I'd definitely recommend giving it a watch.

What have you been watching lately?

Gillian x

The Little Things


The sound of rain on the roof of a tent, or pitter-pattering against a windowpane at night. Feeling safely tucked away from the storms, smiling at the raindrops and the wild winds.

Sneaking a look at the last page of a book before you start reading it.

Walking home in your stocking soles after too much to drink, birds chirping and the sun beginning to break through the navy blue sky, and knowing that you'll soon be asleep as the rest of the world comes to life.

Falling asleep in front of the television on a weekday afternoon, when you're in that surreal in-between state, not quite asleep, not quite awake. Familiar voices talking about property values and antique collectibles sound like they're a million miles away.

Taking your socks off in bed after you've got all cosy and warm.

When you listen to an old song and it reminds you of a person or a place or a time or a thing. The Shins, 2006: painting my bedroom on summer afternoons and counting the minutes until it was time to catch the bus to see you.

Waking up in your favourite city in the world and feeling so lucky, lucky, lucky because you can call it home.

When you're on a bus and no one sits next to you. Or anywhere near you. Or on the bus at all.

Seeing the moon when it's still daylight outside and letting your mind wander towards magic and sorcery and voodoo and hoodoo. Knowing it's not real, but pretending it is. Just a little bit.

The smell of rain in the summer when it sizzles on the tarmac and dampens piles of grass cuttings. Nostalgic and comforting, even though it happens nearly every week.

Your favourite word. Glamour (n): a magic spell; enchantment. From the old Scots gramarye: scholarship; occult learning; magic. Archaic term, popularised by the works of Sir Walter Scott. The phrase "to cast the glamour", meaning a bewitching spell used to deceive.

Puppy cuddles. Cuddles from a puppy.

Whatever makes you happy.

Gillian x

Sunday Summary #119


1.Hunners of Teacakes 2.Daffodils 3.Yo Sushi 4.Edinburgh Science Festival Photobooth

Huuuulllo! How's your week been? Mine has been pretty sweet and ended on a good note (if we discount today's sore head...) with Kirsty's birthday celebrations. Last night we headed along to The Lioness of Leith for birthday cocktails, followed by lots more drinking and dancing in town at The Citrus Club. I'd never been to either place before but had a pretty good night, will no doubt be heading back at some point! Iona and I were the last ones standing and made our way home only when the lights came on at 3am.

Earlier in the week, Iona, Laura and I met up at Yo Sushi (yet another place I'd never been before!) for some dinner. Oh maaannn, what I would do for that duck & hoisin salad right now! I think I ended up getting a bit carried away and had rather a lot of empty plates at the end, but it was all so good. After dinner, and a quick swatch round Harvey Nicks on the way out, we headed over to the City Art Centre for the Edinburgh Science Festival launch party. Clutching a bottle of wine (of course) we had a wander round and took part in some of the wee experiments and activities. I particularly enjoyed blowing bubbles with giant wands, so easily amused. The Science Festival is on until the 20th so definitely worth having a look at what's on - I love the sound of all the Gastrofest events, molecular cocktail making anyone?

Apart from that, this week has mostly consisted of eating Tunnock's Teacakes thanks to the lastest little project I've been doing for work. Fancy winning some Gillian Kyle Tunnock's Teacakes homewares? Of course you do! Pop over and read the blog post to find all the details - basically tweet @madescotland and tell us #howdoyoumunchyours, simple!

What have you been up to this week?

Gillian x

Review: Anne De Jeunesse Skincare


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When it comes to skincare, I think simple is definitely better. Not only does it take less time to do, but I think my skin appreciates being left to its own devices. In all honesty, I think my skin was better when I went to sleep with my makeup on and only used face wipes and moisturiser, buuuut that's pretty much cardinal sin #1 of beauty blogging so let's move swiftly on. At the moment my routine is made up of a cleanser, toner and moisturiser (with added face masks etc. now and again if I need them) and the range from Anne De Jeunesse is doing the job pretty well.

Anne De Jeunesse is a Spanish skincare brand which aims to provide products which take care of youthful skin to keep it looking young and fresh. There's plenty skincare directed towards teenage skin and ageing skin, but not an awful lot directly targeted towards those of us in our twenties and early thirties; that's where Anne De Jeunesse comes in. The packaging is simple and sleek (if a little boring, I loved the outer packaging which was neon pink and kind of wish the bottles were bright pink rather than white too!) and the whole range is pretty affordable with most things coming in at around the £10-15 mark. So, what did I think of the range?

First, let's start off with the product I was least impressed with, the Purity Cleansing Milk*. Now, this isn't a bad product by any means, but I just felt it didn't really make much difference to my skin. It's designed more for oily skin which is probably why I didn't notice huge results, as my skin is more on the dry side. It's a fairly thin formula which is dispensed through the pump; I then massage it into my skin to cleanse and refresh before wiping it away with the help of some warm water.

The Purity Facial Tonic*, however, I LOVE. This leaves my skin feeling so soft and clean, and not at all tight or uncomfortable like some harsh toners can. It's a fairly mild toner so is great for using every day, and it really helps to soothe and take care of your skin. It's not drying at all and if anything I'd actually say it feels a little bit moisturising. My skin always feels so smooth and healthy after using the Purity Facial Tonic - it's definitely a winner for me! I love that it comes with a pump too as this makes dispensing the right amount of product onto a cotton wool pad so much easier.

I was also really impressed by the Multifunction-11 Facial Cream* which is a moisturiser with, you've guessed it, 11 different properties. The formula of this is really thin compared to pretty much every other moisturiser I've used so I wasn't expecting it to be very hydrating, but I was SO wrong. It's almost like a serum and moisturiser rolled into one as it's great at hydrating skin but isn't too heavy like some creamier moisturisers can be. It also claims to help with cell regeneration, lightening discolouration and unifying skin tone; I haven't noticed a huge difference in this department but it works so well as a daily moisturiser which is good enough for me!

Overall I really like the Anne De Jeunesse range and I've been pleasantly surprised by how much I love the products, especially the Purity Facial Tonic. Have you tried anything from Anne De Jeunesse yet?

Gillian x