Sunday 26 January 2020

My Current Skincare Saviours

I've always loved skincare, trying new products, trends and giving my skin the tlc it needs and frankly deserves. I feel like its such an important step for me as I love to wear make-up and I used to wear it quite often, more so than I do now, so it was important to me to look after my skin. So I am here with a little post abut my current skincare saviours, some have been staples for me for years and some are brand new finds that I have fallen in love with.

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cleanser 

I received some Kiehl's skincare for Christmas which I was extremely grateful for, as I have heard amazing things about their products, and I know my mum is obsessed with their skin products. I have been using this facial cleanser for around a month and I absolutely love it, I use this when I am either in the shower or just before I am doing my full skincare routine. It leaves my skin feeling amazing, and helps get rid of any makeup that may still be clung to my skin. I use this every other day as I try not to overpower my skin with too much product, but all in all I'm really enjoying it and can tell a difference already in the way my skin looks. 

This product retails for around £14-16 dependent on where you shop, but I'd definitely have a look into gift sets so you can have a try at a few products and you normally end up saving a bit of money that way too.

The Body Shop Drops Of Youth Liquid Peel

I absolutely love this product, I only use it maybe once or twice a week at most but its been a staple for me for a long time. All you do is pump a little bit of product on your finger and rub into the skin and it helps get rid of any impurities and dead skin and it leaves your skin glowing. After you rub it in for a couple of minutes and then rinse your face it also leaves your skin feeling so so soft. I would definitely recommend!

This product retails for £18.50 at The Body Shop, but I'd always keep an eye out for events and offers they do as they always have something on! And this could again save you a few pennies.

Simple Micellar Cleansing Water

This is my staple skincare product, I bloody love this stuff! I use this in an evening wether I have makeup on or not and every morning, as it refreshes my skin and makes me feel so much better, as I can get quite oily skin so this really helps to control this. It's great for taking off makeup and is super easy, and I have tried many micellar water and none has beaten the Simple Micellar Water for me.

I usually stock up on mine at Bodycare as its only around £2-3 and I can pick up my cotton pads for like 90p! I find products like this in Boots and Superdrug can be slightly more expensive unless they have an offer on.

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Toner

Again, I have been really enjoying these Kiehl's products and the toner is lovely, I'll use it after I have gone over my face with micellar water and it helps pick up any dirt or makeup that I didn't get with the water and it feels like it really hydrates my skin. I don't tend to use this religiously every night as I can always tell when my skin needs a break from product, but I am thoroughly enjoying it.

Again this products ranges from around £15-£17, but it all depends where your shopping at!

The Bodyshop Face Masks

I absolutely love these face masks, they are a weekly treat for my skin and I change up which one I use depending on how my skin is. My top favourites are the Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask, this is for when my skin is not feeling the best and I have a few breakouts and it really helps to bring all the impurities out and leaves my skin feeling refreshed. The Chinese Ginseng & Rice Polishing Mask, this is probably my all time favourite, I use this as a scrub and rub it into my skin and leave it for 10-15 minutes and then rinse and my skin always feels amazing after. And finally I love the Mediterranean Almond Milk with Oats Soothing Mask, which is just a lovely mask to use to really soothe and hydrate your skin, and it smells delicious! 

These masks are quite pricey as they retail for around £18 but I feel they're so worth it, but one thing you can do is pop in and get recommended a certain mask for your skin type and they normally give a free sample for you to try before you buy! Also on the topic of masks, the sheet masks are also amazing!

Botanics Illuminating Radiance Balm

I got this product in my advent calendar and I absolutely love it! I will use this in the mornings and alternate between this and my Kiehl's moisturiser, but this one really helps to give a radiance to my skin and I definitely need that in a morning when I wake up looking like Gollum. That's what I love about advent calendars or monthly beauty boxes as you find products that you probably wouldn't second look at!

I've had a nosy and this is only £5.99 and you can grab it at Boots.

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream

Final Kiehl's product and that is a moisturiser, I use this in a morning alternating with my Botanics Radiance Balm and every night and I can honestly say I can see such a difference in my skin. It looks and feels so much more hydrated and it hasn't caused me any outbreaks and is working well with my oily skin. You only need a little pea sized amount and that does the job, but another moisturiser I love which isn't too pricey is the Simple Moisturiser. I will sometimes go back to this if I am quickly popping a little bit on or before I apply makeup but an alternative if you don't want to splash out!

The moisturiser retails for around £20-£25 which is so expensive but I would definitely re-purchase as it has worked amazing for my skin.

No7 Eye Cream & Lip Care

I also got these in my Christmas Advent Calendar and they are now a staple in my skincare routine, I use my eye cream every morning and night and have noticed my eyes look so much brighter and my panda eyes are slowly fading away. And the lip cream I use every so often if my lips are feeling a little bit meh, as I use my Burts Bees lip balm daily, but its a lovely treat for my lips every so often.

Vaseline Intensive Care Moisturiser

Its not only important to take care of your skin on your face but all over your body, and I have been absolutely loving using these Vaseline products for years, I use the spray one and the normal moisturiser one. It leaves my skin feeling so hydrated and soft and it doesn't feel greasy or sticky which I love, as I moisturise every night and can get straight into bed and not feel icky. But I absolutely love these moisturisers and they smell fab!

Let me know your favourite products and if you've tried any of the products featured in this post!

Amy Shipley

Sunday 5 January 2020

Travel Diaries - Edinburgh

Hello again and a very HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a magical new year and are ready for the year 2020. I thought I would kick off the new year with a brand new Travel Diaries post as they're my favourite posts to write and I know you all love them - so without further or do here is my Edinburgh Travel Diaries.

So over the Christmas period I was lucky enough to visit Edinburgh twice, first trip was just a day trip with my Dad who was visiting from Singapore and the second time was for New Year with my boyfriend, I did different bits and pieces on both trips so will be speaking about both trips! I've been to Edinburgh before and it is such a gorgeous place and even more magical around Christmas with the markets and Hogamany celebrations. But there is also so much to do generally in Edinburgh from venturing round the castle and learning about the history to whisky distilry experiences for those who are fond of their whisky to being scared out your skin and learning about the gory history of Edinburgh in The Dungeons - so there is something for everyone, and it is such a relaxed place aside from all the touristy bits and pieces to see and do. My last trip will have been my third time to Edinburgh and there is still so much I want to see and do, like the zoo which I've heard is amazing and I am very keen on trying out the very famous pub crawl through Edinburgh - summer plans maybe? But my trips to Edinburgh were amazing and I am excited to share the bits and pieces we ended up doing and hopefully this may help you if you have a trip planned or are thinking of booking a trip.

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle is a must see when in Edinburgh, its the main tourist hotspot with people travelling from all around the world to see and explore the castle. You can just go up to see it for free but to go inside you need to buy a ticket, and I would advise buying online before to save a little bit of money - online tickets are £17.50 and there are discounts if you live in Scotland, and I think tickets on the day are around £20. The castle is absolutely beautiful inside and it has amazing views of the city which is an amazing opportunity for some cute instas - just saying. But there is so much rich history and culture and it is so interesting, even for those who aren't that interested in history, they have so many different ways of informing you rather than reading off hundreds of boards - which I personally loved. It can take a while to get around everything but if you had a brief wander around you could do it in a morning/afternoon. I would also look out for events they may have on in the castle at certain points in the year, as I know when we went in early December they had a projection show and they had various events on in the summer, so definitely keep your eye out!

BAR RECOMMENDATION - If you've finished walking round the castle and fancy somewhere to stop and have a relaxed drink, there is a bar just down the way from the castle called Kirks. It as beautiful views as it over looks the gardens/where the Christmas markets are, the staff are amazing and the beer they have is amazing. It's only small but an amazing little spot we found which I'd recommend to anyone.

Edinburgh Dungeons

The dungeons are an amazing attraction to go to, they have a few scattered across the country and its great fun whilst learning so much about the places dark and kind of gory history. Edinburgh dungeons was by far the best one I've visited! The actors were amazing and there was so many features I've never seen before including a boat ride and a drop tower. The actors are so fun and interactive and really made you feel like your in the time your being told about, and the funny thing is you learn so much without even knowing or trying. My favourite part of the Edinburgh Dungeons was learning about the story of Sawney Bean and his family, a group of killer cannibals who killed over 5000 over number of years. The actors in this area was amazing, scary in some parts but amazing none the less, and me and Oliver found ourselves googling after we left as we was so intrigued to learn more about Sawney Bean which I think proves the point of learning without even knowing. But all of the attraction was amazing and I would definitely recommend trying to make time for it in your trip.

TOP TIP - If your travelling into Edinburgh by train you can grab yourself 2-4-1 tickets for the dungeons - all you need to do is pop in the train station you travelled from and the date into a vouchers website and you get e-mailed a link. You do need to print it BUT if you show the link on your phone to one of the staff they give you an e-mail to send your link to and they print it for you which I thought was fab. I will link the website below!

Edinburgh Dungeons 2-4-1 Voucher

Camera Obscura and Illusions Museum

Another popular tourist spot is the Obscura attraction, it is just before the entrance to the castle. It's main feature is the camera obscura, which is what I can only describe as a massive camera/projection of the city simply using light. It's very clever and worth a visit, but there is also 3 or 4 floors of illusions and there lots of interactive stuff to do as well. Tickets aren't that expensive either and if your a student make sure you bring your ID as you can get them a little cheaper. They do also accept UNiDAYs too which is good as I find with attractions and such they can be quite funny with those sorts of student ID's! It is a fun thing to do for a few hours and would recommend a trip if you have time but it can get very busy so best to go earlier in the morning or wait until the evening. The queues seemed to be ridiculously long around mid-day.

TOP TIP - When your looking at going to any attraction or tourist spot, make sure you check sites such as GROUPON or WOWCHER or even EXPEDIA to see if there are any offers you can grab before you pay full prices at the door. Even if you save a couple of quid its better than nothing.

Edinburgh Old Town and Royal Mile and Grassmarket

Edinburgh as a whole is so traditionally English, if you know what I mean, cobbled streets and victorian buildings. A few places I would definitely recommend having a wander around is the Old Town, Royal Mile and Grass Market - full of pubs, quirky little stores and amazing traditional restaurants. A gorgeous street called Victoria Street is full of Harry Potter stores, so if like me and you're a massive Harry Potter nerd you'll love looking in these little stores and its said that this street was one of the inspirations for Diagon Alley as J.K.Rowling wrote some of the books in Edinburgh. Which swiftly brings me to The Elephant House cafe which is round the corner from Victoria Street, where J K Rowling actually wrote some of the Harry Potter books, and you can pop in and grab a drink or some brekkie. But one of the quirky parts of the cafe is the toilets where fans from all over the globe have doodled and wrote messages - it really is amazing. But  these parts of Edinburgh are amazing for grabbing drinks in traditional pubs and finding quirky, independent stores.

TOP TIP - If you fancy visiting some of the oldest pubs in Edinburgh - head to Grassmarket, there are so many pubs including ones over 100 years old, then you can follow onto Victoria Street and then proceed to The Old Town. Best thing about Edinburgh is most things are within walking distance so you don't have to worry about transport.

Christmas Markets

The Christmas Markets are simply beautiful, and a definite stop if your over there around the Christmas period. They run a lot longer than most markets I've been to, from mid November to early January, and there is so much to do and see. Everything from stalls selling delicious food and quirky products from all around the globe. There is a lot of bars which is a great opportunity to have a drink or two or ten in the Christmas atmosphere, and amazing rides and shows. It really does have a bit of everything for whatever you prefer to do. The thing I love about the Edinburgh Christmas Markets is that even if it is really busy you don't really feel it as it is laid out so well, compared to Manchester Markets where it is absolute chaos. I would safely say Edinburgh Markets are by far my favourite out of all the Christmas Markets I've been to. Also another part of the markets I would definitely recommend going to is the outdoor bars next to Edinburgh Waverley Mall, one is called Thor's I think but I'm not sure what the other is called but they're right next to each other. But they are basically massive tee-pees where you can drink and grab local food and they have live singers on. It is such a great atmosphere and just a fab place to stop off for a drink and enjoy an amazing atmosphere. A must do for sure!


The main reason we came for our last trip was to go the Hogmanay New Year celebrations and it was incredible. There is a street party and a main gig in the gardens where Rudimental and Mark Ronson was playing and it was such fun! There is a Main Street Party where they have bars, live acts, street performers and music playing and it is just an amazing atmosphere. Everyone is happy, drunk and just living their best life. After a few drinks and a boogy we headed into the main gig in the gardens, just to let you know you need separate tickets for both the street party and the gig. Fortunately my dad very kindly bought ours for us, but I think for both of us to do both part it was around £200ish. It is expensive but definitely worth it as there is so much going on, but you are able to buy one or the other so you don't have to do both. Rudimental and Mark Ronson were class and I did get very merry, had a boogy and saw the New Year in with amazing company. The one and only complaint I had, and its so silly, is that the only beer they was selling on the official bars were BREWDOG, and I just was not happy with that. But besides that, haha, it was an amazing night and would recommend to anyone to do it! Apologies for the lack of decent pictures from the Hogamany, wine and that, hehe.

And this concludes my first Travel Diaries of 2020! Short and sweet, but I hope you've enjoyed it and its maybe helped out if your planning on taking a trip up to Edinburgh soon. I have so many travels planned for this year so be sure to keep your eye out as I absolutely love writing these and sharing a few snaps I get from each place.

Let me know if you've got any travel plans this year!

Thank for reading and I will see you on the next one...

Amy Shipley