Neom Organics Scent Test -1

Neom: Science of Scent

Feeling Good

Scent is crazy important to me. I constantly have candles burning, even in the mornings, although obviously not when sleeping – don’t burn candles when sleeping kids.

My  happy place is curled up on the bed under a fur blanket, kitty at my feet, candles flickering on the side table, and a large part of why I took up yoga was the joy of being enveloped in a heady cloud of incense.

I religiously slather oil across my pulse points before class and then inhale deeply- lavender for a chilled vibe or mint to feel all pepped up like a sprightly Kate Hudson.

If I catch a whiff of Cool Water, Joop, or any of the scents popular in the late 1990’s then I’m immediately transported back to that awkward but exciting time when it felt like life was just beginning, Britney wasn’t crazy yet and platform trainers seemed like a good idea.

So when I spied an offer online for a Neom scent test offering to, ‘help you discover the underlying cause of your well being concerns and select your perfect Neom scent range,’ I was in  – plus I was able to take up an introductory offer, with the kit priced at £3.99 as opposed to the usual £20.00.

The kit arrived swathed in beautiful tissue paper, offering the luxurious touches that I have come to expect from Neom. I haven’t actually purchased anything from them before although I stayed in a hotel that had their Pulse Point Tranquillity Deep Treatment Roller in the bedroom and loved it.

Neom Scent Test - 2

The gist of the test couldn’t be more simple. Inside each bottle is a potent blend of essential oils from the 4 key Neom ranges, which are Scent for Energy, Sleep, Happiness and to De-stress. Each range contains various products incorporating the distinctive smells, including candles, body washes, room sprays, bath oils and body lotions. 

Turn the bottles around so you can’t see their names and then have a sniff of each one for 5 seconds each, with a 5 second gap in between to re calibrate. The scent that appeals to you most – not the scent that you like the most, is the one you actually need.

This is all down to the super clever science bit. Each scent stimulates the hypothalamus in your brain  (which produces hormones to continually balance your system,) and these hormones act like chemical messengers and rush to specific cells that need help within the body.

I went into the test feeling low in energy , something that I constantly suffer with, perhaps due to my lengthy commute, anxious nature or addiction to watching crime dramas late into the night.

I had a feeling that my grey matter would be turned on by the Scent for Energy and right enough that’s the one that I picked. The scent that I liked the most was the Scent for Sleep as I love all things lavender but the one that appealed was definitely energy.

Neom Scent Test - 3

The test would be really useful if you felt run down but weren’t too sure why – sometimes we think we’re getting a great sleep when we’re actually tossing and a turning all night, or we reckon our jaded state is down to lack of energy when it’s actually low mood.

Neom recommends taking the test at least once a month as your needs will change and I’ve found myself reaching for different bottles for a little pick me up depending on how I’m feeling.

The test bottles aren’t really to be used themselves – although I have been using them on my pulse points and adding a couple of drops of the Scent to Sleep into my baths for a heavenly soak before slumber. The idea of the test is that you purchase products from the range that you’ve selected.

I initially went for the Burst of Energy Intensive Energy Boosting Treatment although there’s loads more that I was tempted by.

The juicy little tube arrived within a couple of days and has travelled everywhere with me , offering pick me up’s at work during the afternoon, before I head into the gym and first thing in the morning when I need a pre-coffee boost.

I genuinely find the scent effective at giving me a lift and making me feel all lovely and for £8 I’d say it was well worth the money.

The test itself was also a bit of a wake up call so I’ve been trying to deal with underlying issues for my lack of energy by listening to my body when I feel drained and going to bed a little earlier.

The other Neom products look beautiful and I can’t wait to try the De-stress bath and shower oil (£8) Energy Boosting Home Mist (£18) and Essential Sleep Kit (£20)

While the products aren’t cheap, the premise behind them, offering the frazzled and stressed out beautifully crafted products to help relax and restore, is spot on.

Neom is certainly worth considering if you fancy treating yo’self or someone else.















The Ultimate Book Club Trip: Jane Austen & Bath


At book club we eat lots of those seemingly bottomless tubs of chocolatey bites from M&S, slurp the odd glass of mid -week wine, go for the occasional dinner, talk about life, oh and we read books and then talk about them. Although one time we actually forgot to talk about the book. 

Turns out we also like to take trips too.

Before going to Bath to stay in Jane Austen’s ACTUAL HOUSE  I didn’t rate her very highly (I’m so sorry Jane, please forgive me) and I couldn’t understand all the hype about Bath.

Whenever you tell someone that you’re going to the Bath their eyes glaze over and they spend ages telling you how their parents go there ever year and that it has an amazing spa and the people are just so nice and the architecture is to die for, “it just has an amazing vibe,” etc. etc. Naturally this over enthusiasm made me suspicious.

Alas, Bath indeedily  has got it going on and after learning all about Jane and getting to know her work a little better, I’ve realised that she’s clearly a bit of a legend too.

We flew to Bristol from Glasgow and then got a taxi to Bath through Agatha Raisin style county lanes that were beautiful but bendy so by the time we pulled up outside our home for the weekend we were all green.  The nausea was soon replaced by giddy excitement as we were staying in  Jane Austen’s Apartments  and had afternoon tea with fizz waiting for us.

The, ahem, luxury apartments comprise of  4 apartments in Jane’s old gaff. Well, one of Jane’s old gaffs. Turns out poor Jane had a pretty rough time of it all in all and didn’t spend an enormous amount of time in this fancy Georgian townhouse because her father popped his clogs and didn’t leave much money behind.

We took over two apartments,  Emma’s Garden Apartment and Cassandra’s First Floor Apartment, with five of us downstairs and four upstairs. A lovely lady met us on arrival and made sure we absolutely were not a hen party and then showed us about our pads, which felt very plush thanks to careful attention to detail – locally ground coffee, fluffy towels, Cowshed products in the bathrooms and tasteful furnishings I’m looking at you.

Can we just take a moment to appreciate the afternoon tea.


Before we demolished our tea and snaffled our beds we went out for a trot around Bath and stumbled upon a little indoor market.  A stall packed with glistening costume jewellery that could be seen twinkling from Mars immediately made my heart sing. I bought two turquoise silver bracelets for a total of £11. Joy.


It’s a great place to wonder around thanks to the stunning architecture and cute shops such as Fudge Factory selling, you guessed it, ridiculously delicious fudge (that we all bought, hence the cheesy pic below,) excellent vintage shops, non – vintage shops (oh Anthropologie, why are you so divine and so expensive?! ) and a tourist information centre selling quirky Jane Austen gifts, way nicer than the usual tourist tat. The locals are impeccably dressed and really friendly and all seem to own dogs – a good sign in my book.


We got very excited walking past The Pump Room, which features as the stage for flirtations ,whispering behind fans and gettin’ dirty on the dance floor in a few of Janes books.

The Pump Room - Bath

After scoffing a light lunch at an old school tea room and then going to Waitrose for some essentials ( beer, wine and crisps)  it was back to the apartments to swan around like Jane for a while and eat cake before getting ready for dinner.

Dinner was booked at the Bathwick Boatman, which was just a short walk from the apartments and perfect for a girly dinner, not too formal but a lovely atmosphere and beautifully lit with stunning views of the river.

Family run, their shtick is, ‘rustic food that won’t cost a fortune,’  and we really enjoy it plus the service was fantastic. I went for sirloin steak and chips with garlic butter and a side of pepper sauce, washed down with a couple of glasses of red and then shared a warm chocolate brownie with with chocolate sauce and coconut ice cream , it was heavenly.

Calories don’t count when you’re away for the weekend – everybody knows that.

It was then into a taxi and onto the bright lights of central Bath. Our fabulous trip organiser had scouted out a bar dedicated to all things gin and so it was on to the Canary Gin and Wine Bar for a few Darceys and Wichkam Mules.

Snug, with eccentric decor, good looking drinkers and interesting gin cocktails, this place is definitely well worth a visit. We enjoyed a couple of drinks and then realised that we were knackered from a day of travelling and eating.


Coaches and then home.

The following morning we awoke with the promise of a free breakfast at local eaterie  The Blue Quails Deli. Part of our stay included breakfast here both days and admission to the spa, but more on that later.

A 5 minute walk into town and we were at what is now one of my all time favourite places to eat breakfast, largely down to the owners who make their own granola and generally rock.

On day one I went for the healthier option having eaten like a queen the night before and enjoyed the granola laced with fresh fruit and a croissant on the side, washed down with a flat white.  On Day 2 I went for the eggs benedict with bacon, obviously.

Along with a solid breakfast menu they also lots of lush looking salads and fritatas going on behind a glass counter – so another place to add to the list if you visit Bath.

eggs bene

We were all rather excited as next on the agenda was a visit to the Jane Austen Centre, where they give you period costume so you can dress up like Jane.

I really enjoyed the other stuff too, including a walk around the museum, a talk about Jane, given by a rather talented lady dressed up like her and video about Jane’s life – narrated by none other than Mr Wickham in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.

dressed up

There’s not a whole lot of things to see when it comes to Jane as upon her death she instructed her sister to burn everything. We don’t even know what Jane really looked like but I imagine a young Cher.


As we departed I felt full of love for Jane, who in a way was a gal after my own heart with her passion for writing. Publishing however wasn’t seen as ladylike trait and she had to remain anonymous, although she received acclaim for some of her works published while she was alive.

Despite the love stories that she wrote, Jane never enjoyed a great romance of her own and died at 42.


On a lighter note, having tried on all the clothes in the Jane Austen Center and taken about a million photos we went for a walk in the sun and popped into a farmers market to sample some cider and sausage rolls.

After a mandatory pint in a quintessential English pub it was back to the apartments to collect our cossies and then make our way to the spa.

drinkies use

Thermae Bath Spa is one of Bath’s main attractions and you can tell by the massive queue snaking around the front of it at most times of the day. We went late afternoon, which wasn’t too busy so I’d recommend going as late as you can.

Here you’ll find Britain’s only natural thermal waters, once enjoyed by the Romans a mere 2000 years ago  -but dated this place ain’t.

Wearing an electronic tag on our wrists that opened our lockers and allowed us to pay for extras, changing in pods and padding around in identikit robes, it felt a bit like being in the future.


The spa has quite a luxury feel and is super clean and modern, with lots of glass and shiny surfaces.

If this is what the future looks like I’m definitely in.
We began in the rooftop pool, which was busy but worth it for the views and wonderful bracing feeling of cold air on your face while you float around in warm water. We had to avert our eyes a few times as despite spa rules, there was a heck of a lot of bumping and grinding going on – must be all that tight fabric and bare flesh.

From here it was downstairs for a sweaty blast in the aromatic steam rooms and then onto the Minerva Pools for a float around in more thermal waters with water jets and a lazy river.

Feeling properly blissed out after 2 hours of spa time we stocked up on snacks and oven pizzas and had a night of Jane Austen movies back at the apartment including Becoming Jane (sobs!) and Mansfield Park.

Sunday was our last day and so before catching our flight we went for breakfast and then a final stroll around Bath and up to Royal Crescent, which is a stunning piece of Georgian architecture. Cue lots of photos.

me royal

If you’re in a book club and you like your fellow clubbers enough to go away with them,then I highly recommend a Jane Austen themed trip to Bath. Not only did we all have a blast but it felt special learning so much about Jane and retracing her steps – as far as even staying in her house.

If you’re not in a book club I still recommend a trip to Bath and I also recommend that you join a book club.

Oh look, my eyes have glazed over.

Happy book clubbing Bitches! xx



















The Great Holiday Cliches

Feeling Good, Life

I came back from holiday a couple of days ago and yet I’m still embroiled in a jet lagged fug,  wide awake watching Modern Family and eating peanut butter on toast at 3am, then accidentally napping for 6 hours in front of terrible daytime TV at 3 pm.

I’m desperately trying to cling to all of the promises I made to myself while on holiday and jacked up on plenty of sleep, beer, sunshine and good books. You know the kind of stuff, “I’ll  start each day with a green juice and yoga,”and “I’ll get up early and write for an hour” or  “I’ll start wearing lipstick and heels every day like a proper grown up.” This one is really important, “I’ll stop mindlessly scrolling on my phone for hours on end.”

It doesn’t escape me that I’m a massive cliche, planning to overhaul my life while slurping on frozen margarita and blissing out by the pool listening to Drake but I suppose that’s a large part of what holiday is all about – embracing the time and the energy to think about what you really want from your days and what you could be doing better.

My problem is that I want to be a juice swilling, every day lipstick wearing, book writing, yoga bunny and while I do these things occasionally, they tend to fall by the wayside thanks to the rigors of having to earn actual money and travel to the place where the money is earned.

Excuses, excuses.

Now that I’m back to real life and feeling all refreshed I’m reminded that while it won’t be easy, I should try and keep to my holiday promises. I’ll try and be more focused and batter out a few words, slap on the Russian Red,  think of nothing and blitz some spinach and frozen berries when I can. 

Lots of people with full time jobs have written books and done yoga after all.

And look, I’m writing now!

I’m also going to try and plan more breaks – not necessarily jetting across the Atlantic but weekends away, breaks from the boring routine. 

There’s nothing like a fresh perspective and some export strength gin to help you get your shit together.

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In the meantime, here’s some massive, inescapable, holiday cliches I just couldn’t avoid… 

  • Pre trip working out like a boss and eating like an angel then gaining 10 lbs on holiday and coming home to fill a  trolley with kale, quinoa and coconut water. I’m that ass-hole, I know!
  • Deciding that holiday will be better if you buy new sunglasses, some tops, a new pair of jeans, a properly fitting bikini and then finding you’ve blown most of your spending money in Toppers before even leaving dear old Blighty
  • Legs or hot dog photos. I hate myself.
  • Dreading going to back to work and forgetting your  passwords and then you’ve been back just an hour and what do you know, it’s like you’ve never  been away
  • Promising to be a better person upon your return to British soil
  • Burning on the first day and the last day
  • Alcohol. Every  damn day.


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Legs, definitely legs

Happy Holidays bitches!





Fake it ’til you make it – A Guide to Self Tanning

Looking Good

I was an early adopter of self tan. My first experience was a misappropriated, dusty old glass bottle of Guerlain self tan once belonging to my ex-stepmother.  It was a heavily perfumed brown water that you applied with cotton wool.  I used it on my face and neck for that exotic stained by an oxo cube look – it also stained all my school shirts and the bathroom sink, as I recall.

It was the late 90’s, I was watching a lot of MTV and, ‘like totally,’ couldn’t figure out why Jennifer Lopez and Britney Spears looked so good and I didn’t. The Guerlain swamp water made me realise that a tan, even a weirdly acquired one,  makes clothes look better, teeth whiter and eyes brighter.

Luckily I wasn’t the only one who had figured this out and soon, spearheaded by a very young, very brown, Victoria Beckham,  self tan was everywhere, literally.  St Tropez was the only decent one that you could buy at that time and it was pretty basic – a thick green paste that left you (and your bed sheets) mahogany coloured . It was heavily scented yet still failed to disguise those tell-tale fake tan biscuit undertones and it took hours to develop, subtle it wasn’t.


My 16 year old self prayed for developments in self tanning technology and the gods answered. Having messed around with various tans over the years, I still think St Tropez is the best but now instead of sludgy lotion they offer air whipped mouse, gradual tanner in a daily moisturiser,  sprays and even in shower self tan (which, I’ve still to try!)

Some people look great pale  – all power to my alabaster skinned sisters!  But for those that want to give their pasty skin a boost without frying it in the sun, my advice is to be willing to spend a bit of money and take the time to do it properly.

I’ve experimented with cheaper tans but they tend to smell ropey and don’t give such a natural looking colour. For a while I used the Garnier self tanning moisturiser  but it was sticky and made my skin smell sour as it was developing – needless to say it went in the bin. Go cheap at your peril.

One exception to this rule is Rimmel Sunshimmer, it’s cheap and cheerful and a fabulous quick fix if you have to get your legs out at short notice. Always go for the ‘light’ version, always use a mitt and watch out in the rain as it will go streaky. I recommend a layer of moisturiser before applying as it’s pretty dark.

Day to day, I’ve been a Fake Bake fan in the past and rate their spray tans but for home use my favourite is St. Tropez Bronzing Mouse. 

It glides on easily with a mit, smells expensive and dries fast, though it is a little icky at first. A bottle lasts a good while too, depending how often you apply of course, I’m a once a week kinda gal. If you want a deeper tan I would recommend applying a second layer the night after you’ve applied the first. You can a buy a travel sized bottle of this to get you started for around £10.


St Tropez Bronzing Mouse, Feel Unique

For the face, unless you want clogged pores and a weird brown muzzle, I urge you to use a specially formulated facial tanner . At the moment I’m using Lancome Flash Bronzer Self-Tanning Face Gel, which I apply before bed to give me a lightly bronzed bonce come morning. Again, while a little pricey, the bottle lasts for ages.

Perhaps I’m a bit of a throwback, still using self tan after all these years but I feel disgusting unless I’ve recently applied a layer of brown goop to my cold, naked flesh. I simply need to be brown and if you’ve read my blog on being moley then you’ll understand why tanning from the actual sun is certainly not an option.

Hopefully St Tropez will invent a pill for perfectly bronzed skin but until then here’s my tips for a top tan.

  • Preparation. Preparation. Preparation. Exfoliate and moisturise first.  Your skin will look better and your tan will last longer. Watch an episode of Frankie and Gracie while you let the moisturiser soak in first though.
  • Always use a mit for application and if you’re going to be baring lots of flesh then get someone to do your back, back of your neck, behind the ears and your sides – unless you’re incredibly lucky and have long arms so you can DIY.
  • Work on one section of your body at a time, applying the tanner in light, long vertical strokes until smooth and even.
  • Knobbly bones are the enemy of a good tan. Feet, ankles, elbows and hands are danger zones . Treat these areas with caution and a hefty slug of pre tan moisturiser.
  • Brown feet are beautiful but go easy on the amount of tan you use down there, just swipe across gently with your mit.
  • Leave hands until last and, again, give them a swipe with your mit using the residue from the rest of your body.
  • Use a specially formulated facial tanner for your face, go easy around your hairline, eyebrows and nose area and blend into the jaw and neck.
  • I’ve learned that chlorine is the enemy of self tan, if anyone knows a way around this then do tell!

Happy tanning bitches x

How to Bathe Like a Queen

Feeling Good



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Along with relaxing, keeping calm in a crisis and cooking grilled chicken kebabs, I’m truly excellent at having baths.

Like most things in life, a great bath doesn’t just happen. Filling the tub, adding a slug of Radox, jumping in and then lying back and thinking of Blighty simply doesn’t cut it for me anymore.  I need ambient lighting, a face mask, luxurious bath oil and bubbles, light hearted entertainment, sometimes there are snacks and there is always a cold drink – I love hearing the decadent clink of ice cubes against the glass as I sink to the warm water, it makes me feel like a jaded film star.

Following the soak, usually the length of at least 1 episode of The It Crowd/ Veep/ The Thick of It / Absolutely  Fabulous or New Girl, I wrap myself in a silky kimono and stagger to bed, a little light headed from the heat ( and the cold drink depending on whether it was gin or elderflower cordial with the tonic) and, depending on the time of day, proceed to have a long deep sleep or a nap. The most indulgent bath of all is the afternoon bath.  Yes, I do realise that I am definitely not ready to have  children.

For post bath loveliness I like to slather on Bliss Lemon and Sage Body Butter and then lock in that zesty scent with the most delicious smell of all time – if only it would linger for longer, Origins Ginger Essence. Finally, I zap my thick hair with the best god damn hair dryer that ever happened to me, the ETI Turbodryer 3200, so pretty and powerful it makes the most laborious task (in my book, anyway) a pleasure.


ETI 3200 Turbodryer, Amazon, Tanqueray TEN, Anti Ageing Moisture Mask, Superdrug, Take your bath to the next level with a bath caddy, Amazon,  Grapefruit Candle, Shearer Candles, Bliss Lemon and Sage Body Butter, Marks & Spencer , Ginger Essence, Origins 



What to do when you get a bad hair cut

Looking Good

Last October I did something crazy. Lured by the promise of free cocktails, a snazzy exposed brick  interior and lots of cool instagram pictures featuring balayaged beauties, I booked a hair cut and colour at a salon I had never been to before. The hairdresser had not been recommended to me. I blindly put my trust and my barnet in her hands.


To her credit the colour that she did was great but she hacked my hair to death, giving me layers so short that I had a mullet.  Think love child of Rachel from friends and Rod Stewart. The general length of the hair was kept just above my shoulders but for reasons I still can’t quite fathom,  other than that I must have inadvertently insulted her mother, she cut layers that were shorter than the top of my ear, loads of them.  Once I thought that the spree was over, she grabbed a pair of what looked like dress making scissors and slid them down my hair vertically – for that feathered look that absolutely nobody wanted, ever.  The whole cut took about 10 minutes tops.


I have it on good authority that even Rachel hated the ‘Rachel’

After spending a good few months previously growing out a bob, I was back at square one but worse. I still had most of the length at the back , a glaring reminder of what I had achieved and yet I couldn’t enjoy those flowing locks due to the hacked off  stumps of follicle laughing at me from the top of my head.

So what did I do?  Did I ask to speak to the manager and refuse to pay ? Of course not,  I went all British and made a strangled appreciative sound and fled to my car. Perhaps it was my fault, after all I hadn’t conveyed that I explicitly didn’t want a layered cut from the 1990’s . The many, many Pinterest photos that I showed her of long bobs without 1 inch layers were obviously not clear enough.

I went home, poured a large gin and  googled, ‘How long does it take to grow out really short layers?’ Turns out this is a common complaint and there are numerous message boards filled with victims of the unwanted, “Rachel.”

With advice from the internet, my sis and the professionals at Rainbow Room, I can finally see long layers at the end of the tunnel, here’s how I coped with a bad haircut and how you can too.

  1. Don’t be rash. My first instinct was to get another short bob to level up the crazy a bit but I was counselled against this, the logic being that short layered hair would be just as disgusting, or maybe even worse, than long layered hair and I would be setting myself back further in the long run.
  2. Instead I made my peace with the fact that my hair was going to be worn in up do’s for the foreseeable. You should do this too.
  3. Think about your fitness, why we were put on this earth, how to make your lips look bigger with lip liner, how scary it is that Trump might be president, just don’t think about your hair for 6 months.
  4. A cool fringe will ease the pain of the bad haircut but you may need to wait a month or two for a dodgy fringe and creepy side layers to grow a bit first. I used Helena’s 70’s style hair as inspiration for mine.
  5. Even though they are the bane of your very existence and you hate them with every fibre of your being, be kind to those short little layers. Don’t touch them with straighteners, smother them in a hair mask once a week and try and use clasps instead of bobbles, which could break them and make them even shorter – sacre bleu!
  6. Go to a decent hairdresser that has been recommended to you by someone who has great hair, the hairdresser should also have great hair. Here’s a recommendation for you Glasgow peeps, Eildih at Rainbow Rooms George Square.

6 months later, having a good hair moment at last


Here’s to good hair days bitches! x




Beauty Hero: L’oreal Infallible Mattifying Base

Looking Good, Style

You know when you put all your make up on in the morning and then look in the mirror a few hours later to see a greasy mad woman staring back at you, makeup smeared all over her face? Well, that’s me. Despite working at a desk I look like I’ve been engaged in manual labour for the first half of the day, all that lovely make up that I’ve spent a small fortune on has been magically spirited away.

I’ve gone through various primers in my time, however after investing in the amazing Armani Liquid Silk Foundation, which is £36, I had let my last tube of Benefit Porefessional go unreplaced.

Realising that due to it’s light and dewy texture the foundation was sliding off my face, I researched the best primers that wouldn’t break the bank and found a lot of online love for L’Oreal Infallible Mattifying Base. At just £7.99, it’s a snip compared to Benefit and Mac primers, which retail for closer to £20 each. Often I worry that cheaper make up doesn’t last very long and that like cheap tights, it can be a false economy, but I’ve had mine since the end of November and have loads left.


It does a fantastic job of prepping the skin and removing any shine or enlarged pores, allowing my foundation glide on, looking even better than it does on bare skin. It can also be worn alone for at the weekends when you don’t want to trowel on the slap but don’t want to look shiny either. When applied it gives skin a lovely velvet feel, with a little bit going a long way.

The best part – I get home after work and don’t like I’ve spent a day out in the fields, my make up pretty much still in place.