Friday, 31 July 2015

REVIEW: Crabtree & Evelyn Somerset Meadow Hand Therapy

This hand moisturiser is all kinds of wonderful.

A while ago I was lucky enough to be invited along to Crabtree & Evelyn's Garden Celebration. We got a little taste of the fabulous moisturising hand therapies on offer and when I got home I was delighted to find my very own Somerset Meadow Ultra-Moisturising Hand Therapy tucked away in a goodie bag!

The moisturising cream is simply gorgeous. It's packed with conditioning shea butter, water lily and ivy extracts. These, combined with hydrating ceramics and macadamia nut oil, all work together to moisturise and sooth hands, leaving them softer and softer after every use. To top it off there's even some myrrh popped in there to condition cuticles and nails. It leaves skin feeling silky soft and luxuriously pampered.

The Somerset Meadow scent is all kinds of wonderful.

It's a beautifully natural scent. The 'fresh green fruity-floral scent' transports you to an idyllic setting. It's almost as though you're lying in an English meadow, flowers swaying in a light breeze and sunshine beaming onto your face. There's bees buzzing and butterflies fluttering - you're just transported there with the amazing smell - bliss.

The flowers aren't bouquet wrapped and perfectly presented, they're fresh wildflowers, pulled together in a messy handful. Crabtree describes the smell as 'the fresh scent of wildflowers mingles with dewy green notes of ivy and water lily, whilst fruity accords of blackberry and bergamot add a hint of sweetness'. And yes, it really is this wonderful.

Even the packaging is perfectly pretty. It's looks luxurious and delightfully English garden-y, looking perfect on a bedside cabinet or dressing table.

Hands are left luxuriously nourished as the formula soaks in. It's really rich and creamy and you don't need much at all, just a little splodge on the back of your hand, so it will last a wonderfully long time.   It absorbs really well leaves your hands really nicely hydrated and smooth. I like to smoother it on before bed - and fall asleep dreaming of that beautiful meadow.

I'd love to try loads of different scents from Crabtree & Evelyn as it was the gorgeous scent that really made me fall in love with the hand therapy - do you have a favourite?

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Kiehl's Launch Fashion Cultures

I spent last Friday night at an absolutely buzzing Kiehl's store, that was jam-packed with the best of what Glasgow has on offer!

Kiehl's hosted a pretty epic launch party for Fashion Cultures, as part of The Merchant City Festival.

The Merchant City Festival brings together Glasgow annually with an impressive range of free events, including street art, dance, live music and a whole tonne more. The festival also encompasses Fashion Cultures, 'an exciting programme dedicated to the tools of adornment.' Doesn't it sound glamorous! There's loads to do there too, with exhibitions, workshops and pop-up shops on the programme.

All sounds pretty fabby doesn't it? So we popped of down to Kiehl's flagship store on Buchanan Street to celebrate!

Kiehl's was found as an old-world apothecary in New York in 1851 and stocks a range of beautiful products, all put together with a 'unique blend of cosmetic, pharmaceutical, herbal and medicinal knowledge.' You can tell as you glance around the beautiful shop that this is more than just aesthetic skincare, there's science and learning that has gone into building these formulas and you come to fully believe that they can work wonders. It's all about high-quality skin and hair care that uses ingredients that are carefully chosen and are only used if they are truly beneficial - basically it looks how you wished science class did!

The evening was absolutely buzzing and the air was filled with the laughter of old and new friends. Everyone sipped on West Beer or cocktails and eyes gazed in wonder at all the little delights popped about the store.

Soon after we arrived we were entertained by The Kennedy Cupcakes, a 1940/50s inspired dance troupe - who were every bit the vintage beauties. Once we'd got our bearings we headed straight over to the cocktail bar.

Now I'm not normally one for whisky, but Haig Club were there with their stunning, glowing blue bottles and I decided to give them a try - delicious!

They weren't overpoweringly whisky-ish (if that makes sense) and it added more of a subtle under note that an overriding flavour. The cocktail had more of a spice and an amazing orangey scent.

Filled with warming whisky cocktails we decided to give the photo-booth a go, but as you can see there's no photographic evidence as we failed miserably! It seems that Maisy Meow, The Girl in the Tartan Scarf, Miss Linny O and myself just aren't cut out for photo-booth snapshots - oooops.

After making our escape from the photo-booth we could now wander around and check out all that was on offer. The products lining the shelves are gorgeous and you could spend hours pouring over the labels finding out what little skincare woe they could fix up for you. We also stumbled across Dower & Hall who were there with their beautiful collection of jewels. I've never come across this make before and believe me it's absolutely stunning, it's simple and really delicate and elegant.

I was absolutely blown away by the amount of gorgeous goodies we received on the night! There were some delights from, Fake Bake, Gap, Sweaty Betty, The Cambridge Satchel Company - to name a few. Some really nice stuff, including the perfect summer snood, from Only and a £20 coin for Dower & Hall - so I'll be saving up to put it towards something from the amazing Feather Collection.

There was also a huge array of Kiehl's goodies that I can't wait to try out, as I've heard so many good things about them!

Thanks again to Kiehl's for having me along and putting on such an amazing event - it was a gem of an evening!

Sunday, 26 July 2015


I pretty much wished the week away, hoping that by magic I could be back in Switzerland.

I was actually lucky enough to start the week in Switzerland. Before flying back to Glasgow on Tuesday I spent Monday enjoying a Mother/Daughter day, filled with coffee, shopping, cocktails and lunch in the sun - this is how all Mondays should be. Wandering round the shops we took a break for lunch and re-fuelled on pizzas, gorgeously dressed salads and some Aperol spritz - so refreshing in the heat! I'll pop up a post soon so keep your eyes peeled.

Soon I was back in the office. But that doesn't mean I couldn't dream of sunshine and delicious orange cocktails, that, granted, do look like a big wine glass of Irn Bru...

I love looking through old blog posts and decided to share 'Arty Pants' as a wee #tbt. Throwing back to last year when I attended a lovely graduate art show at Art Pistol, stripes were the order of the day. I've always loved stripes and it looks like this love affair has a long history and a pretty certain future. I'm hardly out of this breton striped top and it looks great teamed with a Coco and Cleo necklace and pretty vintage waistcoat.

First of the Swiss posts went up this week! 'Swiss Style' was a lil outfit post that featured an all white look, along with a pretty fantastic kimono an the standard coral clutch that seems to go with me everywhere! The perfect outfit for hot, hazy summer days.

On Friday I was lucky enough to pop along to Kiehl's event to celebrate the start of The Merchant City Festival 'Fashion Cultures'. The flagship store in the centre of Glasgow was absolutely buzzing, we all enjoyed some whiskey cocktails, vintage dancers and lusted over the beautiful Kiehl's products. We were treated to not one, not two, but three goodie bags that were filled with absolute delights from places like Dower & Hall, Sweaty Betty the Cambridge Satchel Company, to name a few! Such a great evening - thanks for having us!

Whats better on a Saturday than a treat pastry and a big mug a green tea - bliss!

Don't forget to follow me on Instagram - find me under LETTERSFROMMARION

Friday, 24 July 2015

Swiss Style

So I've just got back from a really lovely trip to visit my parents in Switzerland, it's rainy and grey in Glasgow and I want to go back to temperatures where I can wear all-white summer looks and patterned kimonos!

It was warm in Bern, really lovely sunny warm where your skin feels as though it's glowing under the sunshine, warm and there was nothing for it but short shorts and floaty kimonos. Plus, I'd treated myself to a little spray-tan (you didn't think it was real did you?!) before I left and I was gleefully planning on wearing summery whites the whole plane-ride over.

There's nothing better in Summer than an all-white-er'thing outfit.

The silky top almost sparkles in the sunshine and it floaty enough to not cling in the heat. These white shorts only appear around once or twice a year and are simple enough to go with any kind of beautiful summery top. Plus, they look fabulous if you've mastered the art of bronzed, tanned legs.

I posed up a storm (I like to imagine I did anyway...) round by the Parliament buildings in Bern. They look out over the city, all the way down to the impossibly blue River Aare. It's very quiet and peaceful as couples stroll around the beautiful buildings hand-in-hand and children giggle, hiding in between the stone arches.

A great way to break up a white outfit in the summer is a gorgeously light kimono that skims over your skin.

This little beauty was a bargain in Primark and ticks all the boxes - relaxed cut, stunning patterns and, of course, fringing detail. The swirling and paisley patterns are gorgeously intricate and elaborate and the colours, blues and greens and a dash of vibrant orange are allowed to stand-out perfectly against a black canvas of white underneath.

The clutch bag returns, sorry! But I have a valid reason for including this little gem of a bag again, apart from the fact it's just so perfect.

EasyJet are a little bit stingy with their hand luggage allowance and as I was only taking a carry-on suitcase I couldn't bring a big handbag with me. See where I'm going with this one. So a beautiful coral clutch is perfect for the airport, pop in you passport and other travel documents, a travel-size magazine and you're good to go. Just slide it in the top when it's time to board the plane and slide it back out once it'd stowed in the over-head locker.

Plus I think it looks pretty sophisticated on a summer city break as an alternative, just make sure you can pop in a pair of sunglasses and some bright summery lip gloss and you're good to go.

Barely there sandals complete the look, letting the bright kimono make a statement against a nude palette. Some simple rose gold jewellery is perfect for a summers day, glittering in the sunshine and all you need now is an ice cold glass of white to enjoy the view with.

Take me back... please?

Kimono - Primark 
Top - Topshop
Shorts - Primark 
Sandals - Primark 
Clutch - Miss Selfridge
Bracelet - Thomas Sabo 
Watch - Fossil

Sunday, 19 July 2015


It's been a busy wee while with classical violinists, a trip to Switzerland and lots of blogging thrown in...

The best ways to relax on a Sunday afternoon are with a candle dancing on a shelf and a good book. Last Sunday there had been a bit of a downpour so I pottered about the flat getting bits and bobs done, so that by the time it stopped I was ready to relax and I decided that my Arran Aromatics candle, After the Rain, was the perfect scent for the afternoon. It's got a really gorgeous natural perfume, just like that beautiful way the outdoors smells after a shower to clear the air. Cosy up under a blanket and flick through the pages of an old favourite - bliss.

Recently I was lucky enough to be invited along to Chisholm Hunter to meet the lovely and talented violinist Nicola Benedetti. She was launching her luxury watch in collaboration with Raymond Weil and was an absolute delight to chatter away to, but more on that later.

The wonderful people from Chisholm Hunter was also kind enough to gift the bloggers that went along. I got this gorgeous matching pendant and earring set. The red is beautiful and so different, it stands out and sparkles wonderfully against the diamond and silver setting. I can't wait for an occasion to wear it to. I think it will make a unique statement with a chic black dress and a slick of red lippy to match. Although as my friend pointed out, their very Kate Middy and she manages to wear jewels everyday, so why not me too!

So back to the beautiful Nicola Benedetti - as I mentioned she was launching her collaboration with Raymond Weil and unveiling a beautiful limited edition watch. She answered all of our questions about the piece and we fell equally in love with it. It's inspired by her rare violin and picks out the browns and golds that can be seen in the stunning instrument. She was wonderfully enthusiastic about the collaboration, so check out how she described it to us.

We couldn't help but steer the conversation towards fashion and jewellery though and Nicola chatted to us all about her style and how she gets ready for touring - it's actually harder than you think! She spoke about pieces that mean a lot to her and how dressing to play the violin is a lot more complicated than it sounds!

It's been a bit grey in Glasgow recently so I decided to make my own summer with bright, sunshine yellow nails!

I'm currently writing this post with a glass of chilled rose beside my, sitting outside and looking out over the Swiss Alps - jammy I know. It was holiday time this week and one thing I actually really enjoy doing is packing to go away! I love to plan my outfits for each day and pop in pieces that I can mix and match. It all gets laid out on the bed and sorted out for each day of events. This holiday wardrobe featured, denim shorts, some new tops and a whole load of summer stripes.

I'd been lucky enough to be invited along to The Academy of Make-up's Open Day in Glasgow not too long ago. I went along to enjoy a morning of make-up magic. I admired the beautiful studio and sipped on Bucks Fizz as I watched some TV and Special Effects make-up in action. All the girls were so lovely and I was more than happy to pop up a post about the inspiring teaching school they run.

While I was there I also managed to pop along to the launch of the Sara Hill make-up range. There were some beautiful pieces in there and I could've taken away all of the gorgeous colours that were on display in the fantasy make-up world that had been created. It was an absolute delight to feature them along with The Academy of Make-up.

And then it was holiday time....

To kick things off me and the other half decided we'd have a little date night before I jetted of to Switzerland for a couple of days - and what to date nights mean if they don't mean new shoes! I'd bought these absolute beauties from Primark a wee while ago, but haven't had them on yet. The coral is a stunner of a colour and is really bright and summery, the nude is the perfect accompaniment to balance them out. We (I) tottered along to the Two Fat Ladies, Shandon Belles and enjoyed a delicious fishy menu. There are four variations of the Two Fat Ladies in Glasgow and after this night I'd love to try them all!

The next morning I headed to Edinburgh airport. I actually quite enjoy travelling and don't mind the whole airport shenanigans. I always get there in plenty of time, pick up some magazines, wander round duty-free and then settle in for a big breakfast before hitting the skies. I ordered a steaming mug of Earl Grey and flicked through the latest Stylist whilst waiting for my Eggs Royale to arrive.

Soon I was in Switzerland! Waking up in Bern was lovely. We had a lazy morning sipping tea on the balcony before we headed in to the centre to meet my Dad for lunch, giving him an excuse for to escape from the office for some sushi. Afterwards we wandered round the shops and down to the parliament building where my Mum became blog photographer for the day. An all-white outfit with a splash of colour from a gorgeous kimono was the perfect outfit to admire the views in.

Relaxing at home also meant I had some time to catch up on some blogging and I finally uploaded a style post that has been sitting on my 'To-Do' list for a while! It features a gorgeous slice of yellow sunshine in the form of a stunning waistcoat and photos that got just a bit silly.

On Friday evening we headed up to the mountains which meant I was awoken by church and cow bells on Saturday - pretty idyllic really! The views up in Lauterbrunnen are absolutely stunning so I made myself comfy for a relaxed breakfast. Catching up on Vogue I treated myself to a muffin and green tea as the day began to warm up.

Once breakfast was done we headed up to the top of the mountains to enjoy a really picturesque day in the Swiss Alps. We went zip-lining down the slopes, ate plenty of rich Swiss cheese with the most spectacular of views to drink in and walked down the slopes admiring every corner we turned. It's an area that is truly special and actually inspired J. R. R. Tolkien when he was creating the scenery for The Hobbit - it's breathtaking. I'm still drinking in the mountain air now and never really want to leave!

Don't worry I'll be popping up some posts about my holiday in Switzerland and you can get a better idea of the spectacular place, but I warn you, you'll want to jump on a flight immediately!