I must admit, until about two years ago, skincare was something I’d never really given much time to.  My routine consisted pretty much of wiping a baby wipe around my face to get my makeup off and whacking some Witch Hazel on the odd spot.  I’ve always had good, ‘normal’ skin that’s relatively clear – and I’m also super lazy when it comes to getting ready for bed – so skincare really wasn’t a priority for me at all.


Whilst I still have been known to use the odd makeup wipe after a night out and I do totally swear by Witch Hazel when I have a rogue visitor on my face (seriously guys, it’s so cheap and an absolutely wonder product) I’ve slowly started to realise the worth in looking after your skin.  A couple of years ago, I had my face scanned at the Mere Spa and although I didn’t have much sun damage and my skin age was younger than my actual age (no surprises there, baby face), seeing your skin in all its UV light glory on a screen does shock you somewhat into taking care of it.  Coupled with the fact I started to experience real unusual redness on my cheeks – a reaction, I think, to the aforementioned beloved facial wipes and another champion of laziness, micellar water – I really started to think a whole lot more about what I was putting on my face.



The world of skincare is a confusing one when you’re an outsider, but I quickly realised that if I was looking for no-nonsense, quality skincare then Kiehl’s was where it was at.  For those of you that don’t know, Kiehl’s began as old-world apothecary in New York 165 years ago – so they really do know their stuff.  What I love the most about their products – apart from the fact they really do work – is that they list all their ingredients on the front of their packaging so it’s really clear what’s in them, which is a god-send when you’re trying to work out what you’re allergic to.  Their products are absolutely designed to do the job they say they’ll do and that’s exactly what they do do.  Their Midnight Recovery Concentrate has been a favourite of mine for a little while now and has really helped my skin calm down after its bout of redness.


I’ve recently started collaborating with the Manchester King Street boutique and I was really excited to be invited to a bloggers’ breakfast with them at the beginning of the month.  I actually went to the boutique’s launch party and instantly fell in love with it – it’s not only a beauty lover’s dream but an interior lover’s one too with its neon signs and prettily placed product – so it was great to be invited by them to chat through the launch of their latest offering.  This month sees the (re)release of their new and improved Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate – and boy, what a powerful product it is.



If you’re a die-hard Kiehl’s fan, you’ll know that this product isn’t entirely new – its previous incarnation was loved by many.  This time around, they’ve upped the Vitamin C content from an already huge 10% to a mammoth 12.5%.  It doesn’t sound much as percentages go, but trust me, this is a lot.  Naturally, the body doesn’t produce Vitamin C on its own so just as we need to eat it, we also need it topically too.  As an ingredient though, it’s quite unstable in skincare so for Kiehl’s to have managed to pack this level in is pretty incredible.


Although I am getting on a bit at the ripe old age of 28 and prevention definitely is better than cure in terms of wrinkles, my teenage looking babyface that necessitates me taping my ID to my head to buy a wide selection of normal adult items like alcohol, lottery tickets and *gasp* paracetamol doesn’t quite need line-reducing products yet.  Gutting, I thought, seeing as Kiehl’s were kindly gifting me with a bottle of something I apparently didn’t have much use for.  However, I quickly learnt that although the Vitamin C is amazing at quickly diminishing lines and wrinkles and the hyaluronic acid reduces roughness and appearance of deep wrinkles through epidermal hydration, this product does so much more.  Like I said, Vitamin C is pretty much a necessity for your skin and the concentrate noticeably improves your skin’s radiance and texture, as well as acting as a potent antioxidant and having long-term active correction benefits.


Plus, it also just makes your skin feel well nice, sooooo there’s that too.



In all seriousness though, the consistency is so lovely.  We tried it on the back of our hands in the boutique and I honestly was amazed to see how it did noticeably plump out the skin almost instantly and make it feel more smooth.  It’s got a really lovely feel, a bit like a primer and after using it at home for a couple of weeks now, I can honestly say it really does make your skin look brighter and smoother.  One pump goes a long way and you can use it morning and night alongside other products in your routine.  It’s one of those products I didn’t know I needed but now I would’t want to be without.


Excitingly, Kiehl’s have been lucky enough to offer one of my followers a full size bottle of the Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate too.  To be in with a chance, simply head to my Instagram and Twitter and for details.  Remember to follow both me and Kiehl’s too!



This product was gifted to me by Kiehl's however, as usual, this is my true and honest review.

If there’s one place I’m absolutely loving this year, it’s Neighbourhood Manchester in Spinningfields.  Ever since their relaunch in the summer, I’ve been super obsessed with the neon signs, bubblegum pink booths and kooky wall graffiti.  It’s got a really cool vibe about it and I always have a fab time there, both in the day and at night.

I was really happy, therefore, to be invited by Neighbourhood via Georgie Glass to have a cosy little bloggers’ brunch with a couple of my fave gal pals last Saturday morning.  Food, drink and girly chat in one of Manchester’s hottest hangouts?  You don’t have to ask me twice –  I was there with BELLS on.

If you know me at all, you’ll know I’m always on the last minute and, more often than not, running late but for once in my life I was actually the first to arrive so I sipped on some Prosecco – at 10 am! – while I waited for the others.  In stark contrast from Neighbourhood at night where the bar is full to the brim and every booth is taken with diners and revellers, Neighbourhood by day is a much calmer affair.  First thing in the morning, it’s the perfect place to sit and relax after a late one the night before (it had been Friday night after all) and I couldn’t wait to get some food down me.

Ten minutes later and my party had arrived – I was joined by Georgie (obvs), my lovely new pal Danielle King and the fab Sam Bella of The Travel Crush.  It was the perfect mix of Manchester-based ladies to have a cute breakfast date with and we sipped and chatted as we chose from the delicious new menu of brunch choices available.

Usually, I’m 100% an avo-on-toast kinda gal – this time last year I don’t think I’d ever even tried it and now I’m totally avo-obsessed – but this time I was completely swayed by the French toast option.  It looked amazing on paper and I plumped for cream, banana and mixed berries for toppings whilst Georgie went for the salmon, Danielle for the eggs and Sam made up for my disloyalty by choosing the avo.  To be honest, everything on the menu looked incredible and I could quite happily have had any of the (vegetarian) options and probably have been more than satisfied with what I got.

Whilst we waited for our food (which, FYI, wasn’t very long at all) we caught up with what had been going on in each other’s lives and got excited about future projects in the pipeline.  Sam’s settling back into Manchester life after the most insane time living abroad, Georgie’s planning something huge – get the 1st January in your diaries and get following her on insta girls! – and I literally can’t wait for Danielle’s KIHT brand to launch.

The food arrived and oh my, Neighbourhood DID NOT disappoint.  Like everything they do, from evening meals to cocktails, the brunch was presented beautifully on the plate (and the plates themselves are pretty Instagrammable coupled with the marble tables and powder pink salt and pepper shakers).  Everyone’s meal looked absolutely lovely and tasted even better.  I can’t speak for the others’ dishes – although the chorus of  ‘mmm’ and silence as they devoured their food was a pretty good indication – but the French toast was absolutely delicious.  Sometimes I find that French toast can be quite ‘stodgy’ and lie heavy on your stomach but this was actually quite light and, although I felt more than satisfied when I’d finished it, I didn’t feel like I’d overindulged which is always a bonus when you’ve chosen the ‘naughty’ option off the menu.  The cream, as expected was lovely, and the berries had a really lovely taste, which can be hard at this time of year.  I don’t know what exactly they had done to the banana but whatever it was it was great – it almost tasted like there was some sort of glaze on it – and I particularly liked the side of lime as it gave the whole dish a really nice flavour and a bit of a kick too.  Everyone praised their choice and, all in all, there were four very happy girls.

I think the thing about Neighbourhood is whatever they do, they do it well.  Yes, it’s got the glitz and glam with its edgy decor and guest list full of famous faces but it’s got real substance behind it too with great food, amazing entertainment and fabulous cocktails.  They played the perfect hosts for a catch up with the girls (and, by the way, the service really is fantastic) and I cannot wait to go back there for another brunch.

This brunch was complimentary however, as usual, my thoughts and review are a genuine and honest reflection of my experience.

We all know about my love for Instagrammable places and the newly refurbished Rosso restaurant has to be one of the prettiest eateries in Manchester.  I was super super lucky to be invited by the fabulous Georgie Glass (food photographer extraordinaire and founder of the fantastic new Bloggers’ Dining Club) to spend a beautiful rose-gold themed evening there sampling their new autumn a la carte menu and, in all honesty, wild horses wouldn’t have kept me away.

To be perfectly honest, Rosso has always been one of those places that has absolutely been on my list to try but I’d never actually got around to going to.  I’d been lucky enough visit the restaurant not long after their refurb at the LOTD launch party (click here to read my post on my embroidered jacket) and had been so impressed by the space that I’d been dying to make a reservation.

In case I hadn’t already mentioned enough already in that rambling intro, Rosso is looking absolutely beautiful right now.  Before you even set foot into the restaurant you’re greeted with the prettiest array of fairy lights, bows and Christmas decorations on the outside which makes it shine like a beacon from afar at the top of King Street West.  Upon entering, you really are blown away by how incredible it looks.  The fairy lights from outside now litter every pane inside, there’s a beautiful Christmas tree by the entrance and gorgeous festive boughs are situated on almost every surface.  Coupled with the bright and airy decor, it really is a sight to behold.

I said hello and joined the rest of the girls at the bar and the evening kicked off with a lovely compleimentary cocktail.  I’m currently trying to be really good and health-conscious at the moment and am really trying to avoid consuming alcohol so I asked the waiter if I could have a non-alcoholic cocktail, which he very kindly whisked up for me and tasted JUST AS GOOD as its naughty alter-ego.  Joining me for this beautiful evening was a lovely mix of bloggers – some old friends, some new – and I was super excited to be sharing a table with some of my faves: Ellie, Faye, Laura, Holly, Kat, Pamela, Vicki, Charlie, Natalie and Fiona.

Soon after our welcome drinks, we were escorted to our beautiful booth in the slightly elevated area of Rosso.  I’ve got to admit, I was absolutely blown away by the table settings – TOTAL props to Georgie and the Rosso team, it was beyond beautiful and just set the tone so wonderfully for the night ahead.  A massive thank you has to be given to House of Evelyn, Just Bee, Brand Attic, Hey Little Cupcake, Bottega and Louboutin for the lovely goody bag and gifts.

I’ve heard really great things about the food at Rosso but, being a vegetarian and just a little bit fussy, I’m never really sure how well anything will go down until I try it.  I must admit, I was really looking forward to the meal as I’d seen the menu beforehand so I was hoping and praying it was as good as it sounded.

On paper, the main course – ravioli con funghi e tartufo nero – ticked all the boxes. The menu boasted that it was ‘pasta parcels filled with mushroom, truffle and ricotta mouse in a wild mushroom cream’.  Pasta – tick.  Mushroom – tick.  Cheese and cream – DOUBLE TICK (even though, as you will have seen from social media, I’m trying to make a failed move to veganism).  It sounded like a literal dream and that’s exactly what is was.  The pasta was cooked to perfection and the sauce was just the perfect level of creaminess.  Sometimes, when I go out for food, I’m a little wary of anything with mushroom in as, although I love them, I feel like the flavour can be a little overpowering.  In all honesty, this wasn’t the case with this dish and I absolutely would choose this option time and time again.

Despite the delicious main, the dessert was the thing I was most excited about.  The exotically named ‘crostata di madorle’ was an almond tart, pickled damson and homemade Garstang Blue cheese ice cream.  Yes, you read that right – CHEESE ICE CREAM.  I had so questions about this.  Would you even be able to taste the cheese?  Would it be overly creamy?  Would the blue cheese be too strong?  Not being a seasoned food blogger, I really can’t do the description of what this tasted like justice with just words but what I will tell you is that it’s definitely an experience you need to try.  It was totally enjoyable but I do think it’s the sort of thing you’ll either love or hate.  You could definitely taste the blue cheese but if you’re worried about it being overpowering, it wasn’t.  It was really subtly done, beautifully creamy and I enjoyed having a different flavour present with the traditional vanilla.

After our food, we spent the rest of the evening catching up and talking all things blogging.  I honestly can’t believe how many new friends and amazing girls I’ve met this year through blogging and it’s always so nice to sit and have a good long chat with them.  It’s great to be able to spend time with people who are into the same things as you and truly understand the blogging world.  Rosso provided the perfect backdrop for this and it was great to feel like you could truly relax after your meal and not feel like you were being rushed.

I honestly can’t stress what a gorgeous night we all had at Rosso: the food was delicious, the service was incredible and the restaurant is simply stunning.  I absolutely can’t wait to go back there – with my new rose gold Rosso card! – and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone.  Thank you so much to all the fabulous team at Rosso who made our dinner so enjoyable and a big thank you to Georgie for the invite.

Have you been to Rosso yet? What was your favourite dish? I’d love to know – tweet me @jacintadawn


In a world where having an Instagram is becoming a business and people are more and more concerned with how good their photos look, it can be easy to feel like you are being left behind in the photography game.  It seems like everybody either has insane photo skills or their own personal photographer shooting for them and it’s easy to get disheartened when you look at your own efforts.  This was definitely me six months ago – I knew how I wanted my photos to look but I just couldn’t capture it with my phone’s camera.  Half a year on and I’m by no means an expert AT ALL but I do feel like I’ve picked up some tips and tricks to help you get a better shot than you were before.

I’m sad to say it but no matter how much I love my iPhone 7 Plus, it just simply doesn’t compare to a ‘proper’ camera and the biggest tip I can give you before we even start is, if possible, to invest in a camera that suits you.  There’s, of course, loads on the market – including the stunning 4K Compact System Camera Panasonic that I’m hanging my nose over – and the key is to shop around and find one that fits both your budget and your skills.

So without further ado, here’s 5 of my top tips:

  1. Shoot in natural light

As I’ve said, I’m no pro photographer, so I feel the best way to get the light and bright sort of photos I want on my feed is to shoot in natural light.  I just find it so much easier to edit them afterwards and, ultimately, it means you may spend less time tweaking them too.  If you’re shooting products or flatlays, use the brightest room in your house and shoot next to the window.  Unfortunately, sometimes the light just doesn’t play ball and you may need to abandon taking photos altogether on a particularly gloomy winter day.

  1. Use cheap backdrops

Don’t have a marble table for your flatlay?  Is your wallpaper a little bit dark?  Don’t worry.  I have loads and loads of offshoots of vinyl and wallpaper I’ve either bought or collected as samples from the likes of B&Q and Homebase.  A lot of the tables in my house are glass or beech and they don’t really go with my look on Instagram, so I simply place a square of marble vinyl down and use that for my background instead.  You can do exactly the same with the walls too – glue a piece of pretty wallpaper onto a bit of card and you automatically have a nice backdrop for your photos.  Another top tip of mine is to buy two white LACK table tops from IKEA.  They’re £5 each and you can use them to create a little white corner of your room by using one flat and one propped up.

  1. Use props

I used to think the cleaner the better with photos and while I do still like a simple shot, I’ve moved past the days of just placing a lipstick in the middle of the frame and having nothing else around it.  These days, I love to experiment with extra things in the photo, especially when I shooting flatlays.  Grab an open book, your iPhone, a clutch bag and a faux fur scarf and place them carefully at different angles and before you know it you have all the elements for a luxe looking photo.

  1. Edit afterwards

I never manage to get the absolutely perfect shot that I feel comfortable uploading straight to Instagram.  Every time, I use editing apps on my phone (I’m not sophisticated enough to use the likes of Lightroom on my laptop!) to tweak the photo – whether it’s making it a bit lighter or sharpening up an area.  I love to use Facetune to make whites whiter and ColourStory is great for improving the overall brightness of the photo with the ‘curves’ tool.

  1. Use the same filter

If you want your Instagram to look cohesive then always make sure you use the same filter!  I use VSCO as I really love the filter in there and always use the same one so my grid has some consistency.  If you choose a different one each time, it’ll show on your feed.

What are some of your top tips for photography?  Which editing apps are your favourite?

This post is sponsored by Panasonic.