Sunday, 30 November 2014

Ginvera Green Tea Skincare Ginvera Green Tea Skincare

I have heard a lot recently about a skincare range called Ginvera, a favourite in Asia and the Far East for more than 25 years which has now been introduced into the UK by Janiro. Ginvera's authentic Asian products use the power of soya bean extracts and green tea. Theynare packed full of antioxidants said to be up to twenty times  more powerful that Vitamin C and have a natural SPF too. 

I love skincare - the older I become the more obsessed I get. My routine has become a ritual that I look forward to every night and morning. I believe that makeup can only ever look as good as the skin it is applied on to and so I spend the majority of my beauty budget on lotions and potions. I always like to try new things so was delighted to be contacted on Twitter by Janiro who offered to send me two of the hero products from the Ginvera Green Tea range to review.

For me the most important step in any skincare regime is exfoliation. Well exfoliated skin looks fresher, brighter and allows products to penetrate further into the skin making them more efficient. I usually prefer to use acid exfoliators on my face, neck and décolleté as I dislike the feel of abrasive, manual scrubs on these delicate areas. So to be honest, I wasn't really sure whether I would like the Exfoliating Marvel Gel although I knew it was a hugely popular product with beauty writers and bloggers. 
The product comes in a plain but practical squeezy tube and the instructions were to dot the product all over dry skin then simply rub for a minute or so. The gel itself was clear and a bright green colour, very similar to Aloe Vera but with the finest micro grains. As I rubbed the gel onto my skin it did not feel at all harsh and I loved that I could actually see the yucky dead skin peeling away, almost as if it was a peel off mask. 
I don't suffer with blackheads so can't say if it would remove them although other reviews that I have read say it works miracles (hence the name) but my skin definitely looked much brighter and fresher after using this product. I really liked the Exfoliating Marvel Gel and recommend you try it regardless of your skin type. 

The second product I was sent to try was the Nude Cover BB cream. I am not a fan of BB creams. I like my base to look natural so like an extensive colour range and I prefer medium to full coverage. Think Nars Sheer Glow and you get the kind of foundation I prefer. To be honest I was actually a little horrified at the idea of using a base that came in a one colour suits all shade but I knew this product was multi award winning so tried to keep an open mind. 
I had a mooch around the internet before I tried this product and was pretty staggered to see that Make Up Alley gave it 5/5 - I have NEVER seen that before. The reviews from other bloggers were all really positive too and it has been endorsed by lots of celebs. 
So why all the fuss?
The skincare credentials of this product are pretty impressive. It is enriched with premium Green Tea, Ginseng, Chinese Angelica and Hyaluronic Acid to revitalise and nourish the skin and protect it from free radical damage. It has a natural SPF of 30+ so no need for a stand alone SPF even in the summer.
So it's clearly GREAT for the skin but how did it perform as a base?
I have been using this BB cream instead of my usual Nars for the last week and I am actually surprised by how much I am loving it. It is super fast and easy to apply, just dot a little over your forehead, cheeks and chin then blend with your fingers. You could use a brush I suppose, I usually always do with foundation but this product feels more like a moisturiser than a base so I prefer to use my fingers. I have medium skin with strongly sallow undertones and when I first squeezed the product out of the tube, I was sure it was far too pale but as I applied it, it weirdly seemed to adapt perfectly to the shade of my complexion. The cream felt absolutely weightless and looks so natural, like I wearing no base at all, except of course my naked skin has never looked flawless since I was a child. The coverage offered by this product is similar to Nars Sheer Glow, it blurs my oversized pores and hides any redness or blemishes so well that I often skip concealer altogether. Mostly though I love that it is invisible on the skin, so my skin looks naturally perfected. What more could I ask?

Given how much I have loved both of the Ginvera products I have tried, I will certainly be looking at the rest of the range. If you want to find out more, check out the Janiro website here.

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Saturday, 29 November 2014

Lush Haul Lush Haul

So I had a bit of a mad moment in Lush and treated myself to some very nice little bits for my bath - well it is Christmas and everyone needs a bit of a sparkly treat at Christmas...

I have to say - these little lovelies for the bath would make wonderful stocking stuffers but I am not sure I could force myself to give any of these away. I may just have to make another trip back to Lush.

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How to Grow Long, Thick, Shiny Hair - Naturally How to Grow Long, Thick, Shiny Hair - Naturally

I spend a fortune on my hair. I get my blonde on once a month then spend the rest of the month applying expensive lotions and potions in an effort to fix the damage caused by the bleach. It is a never ending cycle and one that I never really win. Worst of all, my hair seems to be getting shorter.  I don't know if it it because I am having it trimmed once a month, whether it is breaking or it has simply stopped growing but my once long hair seems to be creeping up towards my shoulders. 
All I want is long, healthy, blonde hair, is that really too much to ask ? 
Maybe not!  
I have found what promises to be a powerful weapon to add to my arsenal - dietary supplements for healthy growing hair from Hair Rev. Hair Rev claim their supplements are the first step to making bad hair days a thing of the past. They promise they will make you feel good and your hair look thick, glossy, healthy and LONG. 
I have read the vitamin content which is listed on the back of the bottle and these little beauties contain every vitamin and mineral I have ever heard of plus loads that I haven't with a few special ingredients added just for your hair. The people at Hair Rev promise that this unique and premium combination of Vitamins and Minerals will provide a natural solution to the problems I am having in growing my hair and will restore it's condition, quality, thickness and shine. Supplements obviously can't deliver instant results so I will take these daily for the next month then report back to you.
Meantime if you want to find out more about the Hair Rev dietary supplements for Healthy Growing Hair, then check out their website here. 

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Thursday, 27 November 2014

Salon Perfect Nails with the Micro Nail Salon Perfect Nails with the Micro Nail

Today let me introduce you to a genius little machine which will revolutionise the way your nails look - the Micro Nail. What this little gadget does is to buff and shine your nails to within an inch of their lives, removing all ridges and leaving you with a smooth shiny healthy looking nail. Spending just a few minutes getting the base right, will really make your at home manicure look salon perfect. But best of all I have found that using the Micro Nail for just a few minutes leaves me with a high gloss shine on my naked nails that lasts literally for WEEKS. 

Even my neglected winter toenails looked pretty damn perfect after a bit of buffing. 
I think the Micro Nail would make a perfect Christmas present for anyone who loves their nail art and experiments with different coloured polishes. Or what about those who work in jobs that don't allow them to wear nail polish - wouldn't this be a brilliant gift for them? 
Micro Nail is available from Lookfantastic here, the perfect stressfree place to do your Christmas shopping with the bonus of free delivery. 

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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

How to Start Running - In Six Easy Steps How to Start Running - In Six Easy Steps

So some of you know I have set myself a challenge to run a half marathon in September next year. How scary is that?
I have pretty much started from scratch with this whole running lark so I thought I would share the experience with you. I am a great believer in breaking challenges up into manageable chunks so I have a 5k scheduled for next week and 10k scheduled for May so hopefully by the time August 2015 rolls round, the idea of running 13+ miles will be less terrifying.
Given that just a couple of months ago I couldn't run for a bus without needing oxygen at the end, I am quite proud that I am regularly running over three miles before work and thought I would share some things that have really helped me get to this point. 

1. Get Kitted Out
When I first decided to start running I felt like a total fraud. To me, runners were a breed apart from couch potatoes like me. I was embarrassed to be seen puffing my way around the block in my leggings, teeshirt and tatty old converse and would regularly pretend I was just running for the bus. By wearing proper running clothes though, I could pretend that I was a "proper' runner and before I knew it, I had even fooled myself. You don't need to spend a fortune on running gear. I bough my first running pants and a couple of dry fit tops from Amazon and they did not cost very much at all. I did get fitted for a decent pair of trainers at my local sports shop but I bought mine in the sale and they cost less than £30. I picked up some more stuff including a waterproof, Hi Vis jacket at Aldi recently which cost less than a Mac lipstick, and really is just as pretty. 

2. Get the App
I found using a Couch to 5K app really useful when I started running. There are loads of different versions of this programme free from the app store and using it really helped give me the confidence to get out there. It always seemed to take things at a pace that I could manage, always challenging me but never asking TOO much. To be honest there were weeks where I thought I could have run for longer, and weeks where I thought I would have to give up, but I kept the faith, stuck to the schedule and after six weeks as promised, I was running 5k. 

3. Get Organised
It is always so tempting to put off going for a run but if you are going to do this, you have to make it a priority, at least for the first few weeks. What I do is plan at the start of the week when I am going to fit in my runs - they only take half an hour so there's really no excuse. Then the night before a scheduled run, I lay out my running clothes at the bottom of my bed. Then.... I stick to it! No hitting the snooze button, no putting it off till tomorrow, if it's a run day, I drag myself out of bed, into the clothes I have laid out and off I go. By the time, I have properly woken up, I am half way through.

4. Set Yourself Goals
I find it really motivates me to have something to aim for. At first my goal was to complete the C25K programme. Now it is to complete my 5k race next weekend. Once that's done, I will be aiming for a 10k in May then the Half Marathon next September. Your goals could be entirely different - pounds lost, dress size, fitness test - but whatever it is, it is, that goal will keep you motivated to keep going on those cold dark mornings.

5. Warm Up and Cool Down
It really doesn't matter whether you are an absolute beginner or have been running marathons for years - every runner needs to warm up and cool down. Skip those steps and you are likely to pick up and injury sooner rather than later. It really doesn't need to be complicated. I walk for 5 mins before I start running and stretch out for five afterwards and so far - touch wood - that has done the trick.

6. Make A Playlist
Great music really is my top tip. Make yourself a playlist with all of your favourite up tempo tracks, it really does help to while away the miles and keep your legs pumping. Once or twice I have found myself running without music and it really dragged. Music just seems to make my legs pump harder and the miles just disappear.

So those are my top tips if you want to start running. Go on give it a go. Follow my tips and you could regularly be running 5k by Christmas. Just think how good you would feel about yourself, and how FAB you would look in your Christmas Party dress.

If you are feeling generous this Christmas, I am running my 10k for MacMillan Cancer Support in honour of my dearest Dad and beloved best friend, both of whom were taken from me far too early by cancer. I would love to raise some funds to help those hit by this ghastly illness. You can read my story and sponsor me here. If you could spare even a pound it would mean the world x

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Sunday, 23 November 2014

A Christmas Gift for Your Sister - The Nail Art Kit by Dazzling Nails (And one for you x) A Christmas Gift for Your Sister - The Nail Art Kit by Dazzling Nails (And one for you x)

It is official! Starbucks have their red cups out, Saturday nights are spent shouting abuse at the X Factor judges - you know what that means - it's nearly CHRISTMAS!!!
To help you guys out a bit with your shopping, I will be devoting a few posts a week to products I find that I think will make the perfect gift for someone in your life. 
Today I have found the perfect gift for your sister - the Dazzling Nails Nail Art Kit.
Nothing makes me feel more self conscious than tatty nails so for me a weekly manicure is a must although often I choose a classic nude or chic polish. For party season though, I like to push the boat out with a little bit of colour, some nail art or maybe even a little sparkle. It is Christmas after all!
This Nail Art Kit by Dazzling Nails really does have it all. Three professional quality polishes in classic Red, White and Black, a Nail Art brush, a Dotting Tool, 2 Nail Art Sponges and TEN Swarovski  crystals to add that Christmas sparkle. Best of all there is a little step by step guide included in the box which shows you how to paint some absolutely gorgeous designs on your own nails - just look at some of the nail art you can create with this kit

I love the idea of giving this set as a gift to my sister because it's something we could have a lot of fun using together. Picture the scene. We have a night out planned, share a bottle of something very cold and fizzy as we do each others nails. Perfect! And at just £15 for the set it is UNBELIEVABLE value. I think the colours are perfect as they look great alone yet work really well together but if you prefer a different colour palette there are a number of different options available from their website here.
But Christmas is not just all about giving, right? Its about you receiving gifts too and Dazzling Nails have that covered. One of my lovely followers will win ALL of the items shown in the picture below including the GORGEOUS crystal bracelet, just in time for the Christmas Party Season. 

To enter just follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of this post. Good luck guys x

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Monday, 17 November 2014

48 Reasons Why Glasgow has Spoiled You Forever 48 Reasons Why Glasgow has Spoiled You Forever

I am a Glaswegian and proud of it. I love my city and all its perfect imperfections to quote the beautiful John Legend. So when I saw this list of 48 reasons why this remarkable city will spoil you forever, I simply had to share it with you all. I have of course given credit where it is due. 


1. We have the best street art.

Because we have the best street art.
Stephen Fyfe / Via Flickr: sfyfe

Who needs Banksy, we’ve got Rogue One.

2. Because this is your view on your way to work.

Because this is your view on your way to work.
Robert Brown / Via Flickr: [email protected]
The Clyde could definitely beat the Thames in a fight.

3. Because there’s music everywhere

Because there's music everywhere ...
Gavin Deas / Via Flickr: emrasta
Would you really want to live in a city where you weren’t constantly serenaded by 11 year old buskers?

4. …and the live venues are second to none.

...and the live venues are second to none.
Michael Gallacher / Via Flickr: mgallacher
As if playing host to legendary wah wah hut King Tut’s wasn’t enough, we also get the Barrowlands, 02 Academy, 02 ABC, Òran Mór, and the Arches. Amazing.

5. Because Glasgow’s quiet lanes are a haven in the heart of the city…

Because Glasgow's quiet lanes are a haven in the heart of the city...
slack12 / Via Flickr: slack12
It’s hard to believe that Ruthven Lane is just a stone’s throw from busy Byres Road.

6. …and they look even better at night.

...and they look even better at night.
Scottish Dream Photography / Via Flickr: ross_vernal
Ashton Lane has everything you could possibly need for a perfect evening: great bars, amazing restaurants, and - of course - fairy lights.

7. Because the University of Glasgow looks like this…

Because the University of Glasgow looks like this...
Chor Ip / Via Flickr: chorip
It’s the fourth oldest university in the entire world. Eat your heart out, Edinburgh: sixth oldest is barely even a thing.

8. …and it has the best café nearby.

...and it has the best café nearby.
Anne / Via Flickr: ilike
This 100-year-old West End institution boasts some great vintage decor and, more importantly, Gino’s incredible home made ice cream.

9. Because we have an alien spaceship for a science centre.

Because we have an alien spaceship for a science centre.
wojtekgurak / Via Flickr: wojtekgurak
It looks as if it’s about to blast off and land on a comet.

10. Because our botanic garden looks like a crashed UFO.

Because our botanic garden looks like a crashed UFO.
Sajeel Munir / Via Flickr: sajeel
The truth is out there.

11. Because the nightlife is epic.

Because the nightlife is epic.
Stephen Macleod Blythe / Via Flickr: greenboy
Glasgow boasts some of the UK’s finest clubs and attracts the best DJs. You haven’t lived until you’ve sampled Sub Club’s legendary Friday night offering Optimo.

12. Because our Pride is the proudest.

Because our Pride is the proudest.
Pride Glasgow / Via Flickr: prideglasgow
Pride Glasgow is the biggest annual LGBT event in Scotland.

13. Because it’s a vegan and veggie heaven…

Because it's a vegan and veggie heaven...
euphbass / Via Flickr: euphbass
Glasgow was named the most vegan-friendly city in the UK by PETA thanks to amazing vegetarian bars and cafes like Stereo, Mono, The 78 and The 13th Note.

14. …and meat eaters are well catered for too.

...and meat eaters are well catered for too.
Pamela Graham / Via Flickr: smoothedoutdrummer
This giant burger at Lebowski’s isn’t even the biggest on the menu: the plus sized “Big Lebowski” is twice as large. You can read a review of it here.

15. Because we’ve got a great sense of humour.

Because we've got a great sense of humour.
Stephane Olliver / Via Flickr: stephaneollivier
And we aren’t afraid to use it.

16. Because we know how to throw a truly memorable opening ceremony.

Because we know how to throw a truly memorable opening ceremony.
Cameron King / Via Flickr: cameronking
“Guys, let’s run around with a load of chairs then do a dance with giant Tunnocks Teacakes, because it is sport.”

17. Because there’s no other market quite like The Barras.

Because there's no other market quite like The Barras.
Greg Neate / Via Flickr: neate_photos
Where else in the world can you buy four hats, three bars of tablet, a two foot long sausage baguette and still have change out of a tenner?

18. Because our cemeteries are stunning…

Because our cemeteries are stunning...
Daniel Oi / Via Flickr: [email protected]
The mausoleum-filled Necropolis is the most beautiful - and creepiest - place in Glasgow.

19. …and even our bollards are bonny.

...and even our bollards are bonny.
Ryan / Via Flickr: luctor_et_emergo

20. Because other cities’ museums pale in comparison to Kelvingrove.

Because other cities' museums pale in comparison to Kelvingrove.
Micu Radu / Via Flickr: micuradu
Kelvingrove houses works by Salvador Dali, Van Gogh and Rembrandt, multiple stuffed animals, and a Spitfire LA198. Beat that, everywhere else.

21. Because our tube is quirky, clean, quick, cheap…

Because our tube is quirky, clean, quick, cheap...
Jocelyn Durston / Via Flickr: jocelyndurston

22. …and our tube map’s really simple too.

...and our tube map's really simple too.
Martin Deutsch / Via Flickr: teflon
Who needs a messy network of branching lines when you could just go in a nice tidy circle?

23. Because you’re never more than an hour or two away from scenery like this…

Because you're never more than an hour or two away from scenery like this...
Simon Bowen / Via Flickr: simonbowen
This is the Isle of Arran as seen from Bute, just 90 minutes away from Clydebank.

24. …or this.

...or this.
Robert Brown / Via Flickr: [email protected]
♫ Whaur me an’ my true love will ne’er meet again, on the bonnie, bonnie banks o’ Loch Lomond ♫

25. Because you can’t beat the glow of warm, red stone welcoming you home.

Because you can't beat the glow of warm, red stone welcoming you home.
Bob The Lomond / Via Flickr: bobthelomond
Edinburgh and Aberdeen can keep their grey rocks and granite: sandstone is where it’s at.

26. Because we know how to make a good cuppa.

Because we know how to make a good cuppa.
Robert and Talbot Trudeau / Via Flickr: robert_trudeau
Quirky Czech cafe Tchai Ovna sells 80 varieties of tea, the stunning Willow Tea Rooms were designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and the Hidden Lane Tearoom is a wee gem.

27. Because our School of Art is a work of art in its own right.

Because our School of Art is a work of art in its own right.
Holly Hayes / Via Flickr: sacred_destinations
The School of Art’s beautiful Mackintosh building was badly damaged by fire earlier this year. You can donate to the rebuilding appealhere.

28. Because the weather might be cold…

Because the weather might be cold...
Stuart Crawford / Via Flickr: potatojunkie

29. …but the welcome is always warm.

...but the welcome is always warm.
Tamara Polajnar / Via Flickr: tamtam

30. Because our parks are heavenly.

Because our parks are heavenly.
Jean-Pierre Dalbéra / Via Flickr: dalbera
This is the Victorian walled garden at Bellahouston Park, next to the sumptuous House For An Art Lover designed by Rennie Mackintosh.

31. Because we have festivals all year round…

Because we have festivals all year round...
Kevin McDonnell / Via Flickr: milknosugar
…instead of trying to have about 100 all in one month. I’m looking at you, Edinburgh.

32. Because no bookshop in the entire world can compare to Voltaire and Rousseau.

Because no bookshop in the entire world can compare to Voltaire and Rousseau.
Anne / Via Flickr: ilike
It is a truth universally acknowledged that 40-year-old bookshop Voltaire and Rousseau sells every single book ever published.

33. Because the City Chambers look like they were designed by Escher.

Because the City Chambers look like they were designed by Escher .
ELVIN / Via Flickr: [email protected]
Hang on… is that David Bowie up there?

34. Because the Kelvin Walkway makes it easy to escape the city.

Because the Kelvin Walkway makes it easy to escape the city.
Huxley_Slides / Via Flickr: [email protected]

35. Because you get goosebumps when you hear the Hampden crowd roar.

Because you get goosebumps when you hear the Hampden crowd roar.
Simon Varwell / Via Flickr: simonvarwell
Though it’s even better if you’re actually there, of course. ‘MON SCOTLAND!

36. Because our shipbuilding industry transformed the world.

Because our shipbuilding industry transformed the world.
John ED76 / Via Flickr: bodgerbrooks
As did our engineering, industrial machinery, bridge building, garment-making, leather processing, furniture-making, printing, and publishing industries. So there.

37. Because our bridges are prettier than Venice’s, especially at night.

Because our bridges are prettier than Venice's, especially at night.
Jordi / Via Flickr: parrita
Who needs the Bridge of Sighs? We’ve got the Bridge of Ayes.

38. Because it’s Christmas all year round in Royal Exchange Square.

Because it's Christmas all year round in Royal Exchange Square.
Michelle Muirhead / Via Flickr: misschelle
It’s like shopping in Santa’s grotto.

39. Because Glasgow is the very best place to be in Spring.

Because Glasgow is the very best place to be in Spring.
Via Flickr: [email protected]
Cherry blossoms in Kelvingrove Park, crocuses in the Botanics, geraniums at Pollok House… it’s the finest (and most colourful) time of year.

40. Because taxis don’t cost an arm and a leg.

Because taxis don't cost an arm and a leg.
srose15 / Via Flickr: [email protected]
You can travel across the city for under a tenner. It’s almost cheaper than walking.

41. Because the People have their very own Palace…

Because the People have their very own Palace ...
David Villa / Via Flickr: davilla
“A palace of pleasure and imagination around which the people may place their affections and which may give them a home on which their memory may rest.”

42. …and the Citizens have a Theatre.

...and the Citizens have a Theatre.
Helen Cassidy / Via Flickr: spikeyhelen
The Citz is based in the Gorbals and is committed to engaging with the local community. Local kids get reduced rate tickets and access to free workshops.

43. Because who needs a castle when you’ve got the Hydro?

Because who needs a castle when you've got the Hydro?
Stevie Spiers / Via Flickr: stevies_snaps
After all, you can’t host the MTV EMAs in a castle.

44. Because Glasgow is broad, braw, and beautiful…

Because Glasgow is broad, braw, and beautiful...
Cameron King / Via Flickr: cameronking
All cities should be as spacious and leafy as Glesga.

45. …stylish…

Brian Smith / Via Flickr: delphwynd
Merchant City is home to the UK’s first Versace store. Sorry, London.

46. …grand…

Via Flickr: haveacupoftea
We’re literally tripping over old banks and majestic Georgian buildings over here.

47. …and (most importantly) fun.

...and (most importantly) fun.
Phyllis Buchanan / Via Flickr: pgautier
Are those sleeves regulation length, officer?

48. Admit it: Glasgow has ruined you for life with its stunning parks, fantastic festivals and great food. You’ll never love another city again.

Admit it: Glasgow has ruined you for life with its stunning parks, fantastic festivals and great food. You'll never love another city again.
Graham Campbell / Via Flickr: gj_thewhite

"Here’s the bell that never rang, and here’s the fish that never swam, here’s to the bird that never flew, from off the tree that never grew. Hurrah! Let Glasgow Flourish."
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