Edinburgh: Mini Guide

Edinburgh. It is my favourite city, other than my home town. It is has a castle! Need I say more?!

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My sister and I returned from our most recent trip the other week, and this time we were very cultural (or at least attempted to be…). We visited some places we had never previously been to – it is a city that just keeps giving. I love it.

I’ve rounded up a list of ‘must see’ places, and a few tips to help you plan your journey.

Where to stay…
To be central for shopping, museums and the castle I would advise staying somewhere around Princes’ Street, which is one of the roads next to Waverley Train Station. Each time I go I forget how long Princes’ Street really is, so try to get somewhere nearer the station if you can. I’ve listed my top 3 budget hotels which I’ve stayed at previously.

Premier Inn Central
This hotel is located towards the other end of Princes’ Street. It is more or less directly in line with the Castle, which makes for a good view if you get a room at the front. It is also next door to Starbucks which is on the first floor, and has comfy seat, ornate original windows which look over to the castle. It’s a lovely place to grab a bite if you don’t fancy the hotel breakfast. The rooms, as with most Premier Inns, are clean and well equipped. We had no problems here and the staff where really helpful.

Travelodge Edinburgh Central Waterloo Place
Situated very close to the station, it is ideal for being on the doorstep for the shops and local amenities however it is quite noisy on an evening for this reason. We often heard ambulances and the traffic noise was very loud so if you’re a light sleeper, I wouldnt recommend it. The rooms were average, ours was a little tired and in need of a lick of paint, but we visited there about 3 years ago, so it may have improved now.

Holiday Inn Express Edinburgh City Centre
A little walk from the station you’ll find this hotel, near the cinema and John Lewis so you’ve got shopping and entertainment literally on your doorstep. This is a lovely hotel and the rooms were very clean and spacious. It seems to be quite pricy compared with the others so we have only stayed here the once but I have nothing bad to say.

Shop till you drop…
There are all of your favourite high street shops on the main run of Princes’ Street. There are couple of H&M’s because one is just not enough? You’ll also find Jenner’s, which is basically House of Fraser with a few higher end brands as well.
Behind Princes’ Street is George Street. Here you will find higher end shops, but there is also Cath Kidston and Anthropolgie down here which are definitely worth a visit. At the end of this road is Harvey Nichols, for your beauty shopping list!

If you’re looking for something a little bit different…
Eden (Cockburn Street)

Beautiful gifts and small home accessories and greetings cards. It is a great shop and we always try to visit when we go to Edinburgh.

Miss Katie Cupcake
A little bit further up the street from Eden is this amazing shop. We first visited years ago when it was in its infancy, but now the shop is crammed full of beautiful handmade jewellery and gifts. Everywhere you look there is a gem. Definitely worth a visit.

Victoria Road (Not far from the National Museum)
This whole street is very cool. You will find boutiques, old book shops, cafés and lots more. If you have the energy after visiting the National Museum, then I’d recommend it.

If you want to be cultural…
The Real Mary Kings Close
If you’re interested in the history of Edinburgh and you aren’t scared of the dark then this may be the attraction for you. There is a whole city underground, houses, streets etc. The tour guide will show you around and tell you about what life was like for people living back then. It’s located off the Royal Mile down a little alley, but you’ll see a sign on the main stretch and sometimes even an actor dressed up advertising it!

Calton Hill
I’ll admit we went up the hill for the view rather than the historical side of it. You can get a full 360° view of the city from up there, so if you don’t mind the really steep walk to get to it – definitely visit and take your camera!

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The National Museum of Scotland
It’s not just for children – honest! We had a brill time – it’s free entry for a start. There are so many exhibitions so there is something for everyone. The building is stunning and there are places to eat (which are really pricy) so you can easily spend a whole day here.

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Edinburgh Dungeon
I’ve heard really good things about this place if you don’t mind a scare. I’ve never been myself because the thought of something jumping out at me scares me to death. It’s not far from the train station and could easily be tied in with a visit to the Royal Mile and The Real Mary Kings Close in the same day.

When you’re hungry…
Hard Rock Cafe
Always worth a visit since they’re only in main cities – great food and great atmosphere.

TGI Fridays
Just around the corner from the Premier Inn (Central) you’ve probably been before but it’s a new favourite of mine so I wanted to mention it ❤

I hope this little guide helps if you’re planning a trip up to Scotland!

All opinions are my own and I have not been sponsored for this post

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Beauty Haul: The Review

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This is a little update on my recent purchases, including the Too Faced Ross & Rachel and Carrie & Big Bronzer that I picked up at TK Maxx last weekend, and a couple of other newbies to my collection.

This is a compilation of more pricy premium brands, but don’t worry if they are a little out of your price bracket, I will be doing a drugstore, affordable brand review soon!

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Ross & Rachel

Too Faced Ross and Rachel Bronzer Blush
I initially thought this bronzer might be a little dark for my pale complexion, but when TK Maxx are selling it for £9.99, I am willing to take that risk! I’ve tried it a few times now, and think it’s a beautiful product. Using a light hand when applying makes the bronzer intensity lessen and gives me a natural glow. It lasts all day and would suit people of any skin tone. I’ll definitely be using this regularly! 8/10

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Carrie & Big

Too Faced Carrie & Big Bronzer Blush
This bronzer has peachy undertones and is lighter in shade the the Ross & Rachel one. I think this suits my skin tone a bit better and gives it a lovely peachy glow. I can’t say I have a favourite between the two, it just depends on what look I’m going for! 8/10

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Spirit

MAC Satin Lipstick in Spirit
I was, until recently, a MAC lipstick virgin. I know, I will hang my head in shame. I have had plenty of products from MAC over the years, and really don’t know why a lipstick wasn’t one of them. Now, I did my research before deciding on this colour, I wanted brown undertones and a ‘my lips but better’ shade. It’s exactly what I got. I love the colour and creamy consistency, it’s last a very long time without having to reapply and I’ve had lots of compliments when wearing it. 9/10

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Walkyrie

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Walkyrie
This lip pencil is one item I didn’t do loads of research on before buying it, I went on a recommendation instead. I think at £20 it was a little overpriced for what you get. I love the colour, but the texture and application pulls a little on the lip when applying. I think I need to try it a few more times before I fully judge it, but I didn’t find myself reaching for it, I favoured the more moisturising lipsticks as I tend to get dry lips. 6.5/10

And finally…

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Luminous Flush

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Luminous Flush
I picked this lovely blusher up from a blog sale (Thanks Lucy Earnshaw!). I had read the reviews, swooned over the Hourglass website and planned eventually purchasing one, and then I was able to get this one at a reduced price, bonus! I love it so much. It makes you look radiant all day long, and due to the quality of the product, you don’t need to use much of it. Cannot wait to get one or two of the other shades! It loses one point for being so pricy! 9/10

Have you tried any of these products? What did you think?

The Tilbury Test

By now you’ve probably heard of Charlotte Tilbury and her magical formula’s. The new Magic Foundation, night cream, and her gorgeous new Matte Revolution lipsticks. Here is my first impressions review on my recent CT purchases to hopefully make things a little easier for you when deciding what to buy.

Foundation
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Where do I start? It’s called Magic Foundation, and it truly lives up to its name. Like, seriously. Granted I’ve only tried it twice so far, but I already know its a winner!

I used to wear MAC studio fix, which yes, is fine. But even the lightest shades didn’t quite match my skin tone, and there was always a very fine line between good foundation day and cakey mess. Who needs that sort of dilemma at 7am in the rush to get ready for work?!

I wasn’t sure whether I would be shade 1 or shade 2… I am pretty pale, with pinky undertones, in case you were wondering. I asked the lady in Harvey Nichols and she tested both on my skin for me side by side. It was soon apparent that I was shade 2. Having never been anything other than the lightest  shade in a foundation, it showed me that CT has created a brilliant spectrum of shades fit for everyone. Something other brands could do to take note of!

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(Left) Charlotte Tilbury, Shade 1. (Right) Revlon Colourstay Ivory.

The swatches I’ve done show my old foundation, Revlon Colourstay in 110 Ivory, next to Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Foundation. Magic foundation definitely has pinkie undertones, which suits my skin tone better.

Ever since I watched reviews and Charlotte Tilbury’s demo of this foundation, I wanted to try it. Could it really be magic?

Well after testing it I have to say it certainly does what it says on the tin…
It’s a light formula but with great coverage. I started with just one pump and covered my entire face, only going back for a further half-pump to cover areas where I get redness and had blemishes.

I am really very impressed with how natural it looks, no cakey mess, no shiny chin and its still in place at the end of the day!

If you were on the fence about this foundation, hop over the fence my friend, and get this foundation purchased! You won’t regret it.

Matte Revolution Lipstick and Lip Cheat Pencil
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Nude/brown lipsticks are very ‘in’ at the moment, and thankfully I suit lipsticks with a brown undertone.

Whilst researching I came across Very Victoria on the CT website and fell in love. Head over heels. Well, flats, I don’t like heels. But you get the point.

Looking at swatches online I was so excited to buy this lipstick. It looked like a ‘my lips but way better’ kinda lipstick.
On the website you can buy Very Victoria with the Foxy Brown lip cheat lip liner and save a whole £1 (wow…) However I wasn’t sure because the liner seemed pretty dark in comparison.

I waited until my trip to Leeds and spoke with the lovely CT lady there. The darker lip pencil was too dark for me, it would suit darker skin tones – I was glad I didn’t buy it online at this point!
I found Iconic Nude to be a great match for the lipstick which suited my skin tone and so I bought Very Victoria with Iconic Nude.

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(Top) Iconic Nude. (Bottom) Very Victoria.

It’s not as moisturising as some of my other lipsticks, but isn’t really drying. I just found myself applying it once or twice during the day for a little bit more moisture. I do suffer from dry lips though, so you may not get this problem.

Overall, I love the colour of both the lipstick and lipliner together. It’s definitely going to be worn a lot.

Night Cream

This stuff retails at £100! For one pot! I got a free sample through the post, so obviously I had to try it.

It’s a very thick consistency, I find it hard to describe, almost like a face mask. It smells lovely though!

I have normal/combo skin so I found that my skin was quite shiny the next day, it didn’t need all that extra moisture. However I am sure it would be great for someone with dry skin, if you don’t mind the price tag.

It isn’t something I would purchase as I find that my ‘Yes to’ night cream suits my skin better, but its a lovely luxury item for someone with drier skin than my own.

Have you tried any of these products? Let me know what you thought.

First Look…

My sister and I visited Leeds for a well deserved day of shopping therapy. Here is a first look at what I’ve purchased, reviews will follow in the next few weeks…cannot wait to try all of these lovely purchases…

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Physicians Formula, NARS, Pixi, Urban Decay, MAC, Charlotte Tilbury.

Charlotte Tilbury lip pencil: Iconic Nude
NARS lip pencil: Valkyrie
MAC lip pencil: Whirl

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Charlotte Tilbury & MAC

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation: Shade 2
MAC lipsticks: Spirit and Taupe
Charlotte Tilbury lipstick: Very Victoria

Aren’t they all so pretty!

Have you tried any of these products? What did you think?