ESPA Beauty Room at Harvey Nichols

All Edinburgh folks know that Harvey Nichols on Multrees walk is the city’s ultimate style destination and go-to department store for the latest and greatest in fashion, beauty and food. An original pioneer of experiential retail (the consumer trend taking over the high street) with their in-store dining and drinking experiences, customisation, personal shopping, parties, trunk shows and even botox. But did you know about the ESPA Beauty Room? 

Yesterday I received a Personalised Facial from the UK spa beauty brand (thats also totally natural, plant-based and cruelty-free!) and a bag full of spa-at-home goodies, so I thought I’d do a lil post to review. TLDR: I am a temple of zen.

The lovely Joanna expertly took me through all the steps of the ESPA 45-minute facial, so-called Personalised because it truly is; a ‘Skinvision’ analysis is performed (whereby a special UV light reveals sun-damaged, sensitive or dehydrated skin and the skin all over your face is tested for its elasticity and firmness) as well as ‘sensory tests’ to see which products are the best fit for you.

In a warm, relaxing treatment room, I was cleansed, exfoliated and massaged, given a face mask and a clay treatments, and moisturised with beautiful essential oils. Basically, it was absolute heaven and I was left not only feeling revived and radiant, but also with more knowledge about my skin and how to take care of it. Remember, the skin is your body’s largest organ, so look after it!

These are the products that were used in the personalised spa facial:

To remove make up and prep:

Bio-Active Eye Cleanser
Delicately removes waterproof eye make up: Buy here
Soothing Eye Lotion
Soothes and refreshes sensitive eye area: Buy here
To cleanse, tone and scrub:

Hydrating Cleansing Milk
A cooling, creamy cleanser: Buy here
Hydrating Floral Spafresh
A refreshing, moisturising toner: Buy here
Refining Skin Polish
A gentle exfoliating scrub with no microbeads: Buy here
To soak and relax:

Essential Cleansing Mask
A calming and deep cleansing face mask: Buy here
Pink Hair and Scalp Mud
A deep conditioning treatment: Buy here

To moisturise and finish:

24-Hour Replenishing Eye Moisturiser
Delicately removes eyeshadow, mascara and eyeliner: Buy here
Optimal Skin ProSerum
Smooth and silky serum for radiant skin: Buy here
Optimal Skin ProMoisturiser
Nutrient-rich hydrating day cream: Buy here
Hydrating Floral Spafresh Spritzer
Aromatic and hydrating spray-on toner: Buy here

Here are the products in my goodie bag, I can’t wait to try them all out. Click to buy:

Ruth @ Urbanity xxx

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How to Style: Nu Blvck Pyjama Scarf

Following on from Wednesday’s post, here is another in the Nu Blvck series from our ‘Ways to Style’ photoshoot with Holly May Wesley, featuring the large pyjama scarf in the rust/navy colour way, and the small pyjama scarf in dark grey tied to my navy grab bag. I styled this look very simply, with a taupe Hayley McSporran top, a Forever 21 brass pendant, Mandi Candi Boutique boots and some H&M high waisted black jeans.

Ruth @ Urbanity xxx

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How to Style: The Nu Blvck Handbag

A few weeks back I had the opportunity to collaborate with some of my favourite Scottish fashion industry practitioners: Rebecca Flory and Andrew Vincent (founders of womenswear accessories brand Nu Blvck), Kirsty Halliday (renowned stylist part of of I’ll Be Your Mirror), Hannah Louise Baxter (fashion designer at her eponymous label) and talented photographer Holly May Wesley. Scroll on to see the results of our ”Ways to Style” photoshoot featuring two of my picks from the latest Nu Blvck collection: The Grab Bag and The Knot Bag. I styled these handmade, locally produced lustworthy handbags with a classic Burberry-style trench coat, cosy woolen scarf, chic leather gloves, and of course freshly dyed silver-blue hair by the wonderful Austen Thomson.

Grab Bag £190 Nu Blvck (shop here)
Knot Bag £275 Nu Blvck (shop here)
Trench Coat: Aquascutum, from Mr Ben’s Vintage Shop, Glasgow
Scarf: Borrowed from my flatmate, originally Urban Outfitters
Boots: Mandi Candi Boutique, Dundee
Watch: Olivia Burton Watches
Faux Leather Gloves: TK Maxx

Read more:
Ruth @ Urbanity xxx

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A Day in the Life of a Busy Blogger

Photo by Angus Blackburn for Scottish Field Magazine
Inspired by Scottish Beauty Blogger Make Erin Over, I thought it’d be fun to do a ‘Day In The Life’ post, as I’ve been super busy lately and have fingers in a lot of pies. Plus if anyone out there is as nosy as me, you’ll love finding out what people online are like in real life.  I currently study a full-time degree in Fashion Communication at Heriot Watt University at the Scottish Borders Campus, the school of textiles and design. I also manage fashion and textiles at The Scottish Design Exchange and do freelance social media and writing for various brands, magazines and websites. Hopefully this shows that the life of a fashion blogger (albeit not a full-time one) is not exactly glamorous, and takes a hell of a lot of upkeep! But anyway, here’s what my Monday looked like…

5:45am: Wake up, check Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Bloglovin, Niume, Campus Society, Stumble Upon, and all 4 of my email addresses. Brew a large pot of strong coffee, throw on some comfy clothes and a quick face of make-up, scowl at Jack for getting to sleep in the cosy warm bed, and run out the door for the bus.
7:30am: Jump on the train to Galashiels while munching on a bagel and sipping my second coffee (a chai latte if you will). While on the 45 minute train, respond to emails, messages and comments, post a photo on Instagram, and make an unachievable to do list for the day. Check university timetable and prepare for the first lecture.
8:30am: Start the chilly walk to campus with music blasting in my ears, usually Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem, Lianne la Havas or Marina and the Diamonds. 
9am-12pm: Lectures, classes, tutorials meetings. Break for lunch and scoff a sandwich or a salad. During my break, hide away in the library with my laptop and schedule all tweets and Facebook posts for Urbanity, Scottish Design Exchange, Birds of Prayers and Made in Leith. Check Mailchimp for new email subscribers and send out the latest campaign. Scroll through Instagram to check on my feed and like and comment on shitloads of photos. Get my big fat diary out and make appointments and meetings for the next few weeks, including photoshoots, events, interviews and things to review. 
2pm-5pm: Meet with my class group and work on our fashion magazine project, writing articles, compiling the layout, editing pictures, researching trends, conducting interviews and making mood boards. Next week we are planning an interview with a vintage style blogger and a studio photoshoot inspired by 1950s vogue.
5pm-7pm: Run for the train home, and do my reading and studying on the commute. Post on Instagram again for @urbanity_blog @sdxedinburgh, @sdxfashion @birdsofprayersscotland and @made_in_leith. Respond to work emails about my new textiles department and contact some new designers I’ve discovered online. Start my articles for Fashion Fix Daily.
7pm-8pm: Hang out with my flatmates, eat a nice hot dinner (tonight its veggie lasagne) and maybe a glass of wine. Contemplate getting up off the sofa.
8pm-11pm: Write up and publish a blog post, and start up a few others to be finished later in the week. Share around on social media, and read the latest posts from my favourite bloggers. Do a bit of prep for my upcoming internship at Show Studio.
11pm-12am: Do a quick yoga practise to chill me out, and crawl under the covers with a cup of tea and something chocolatey to watch an episode of Simpsons or Archer, or a documentary on food, fashion or science if I’m feeling brave.
12am-6am: SLEEP and do it all over again.

Whats your daily routine?

Ruth @ Urbanity xxx
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Isle of Skye Candle Company

I first heard of, or rather smelled, the Isle of Skye Candle Company when I was working at Limited Edition, Scotland Redesigned’s Edinburgh Christmas pop-up shop, where we sold hundreds of these bad boys. Founded and based in the picturesque Isle of Skye, the environmentally-focussed brand produces candles, diffusers and  more in countless delectable fragrances and beautiful designs. Skye Candles have grown from a one-man-band in a grass-roofed bothy to an omni-channel company with stores all across Scotland. Here I discovered a little more of their ethical practise and found some new products that fit beautifully in the home.

I was totally thrilled to receive a reed diffuser from the wonderful Isle of Skye team, in delicate Bohemian Rose fragrance. As its so cold in my old Edinburgh flat that often after washing has been hung out it smells so damp and dingy, and we love having natural incense, candles and reed diffusers about rather than eco-unfriendly air fresheners and aerosol sprays. If you’re a fan of gentle, subtle aromas then Bohemian Rose is the one for you; the diffuser is so long lasting and you can get handy little refills when the smell fades. I’m also loving my Winter Warmer and Oriental Lily small tumbler candles, fab for burning to chill me out while I study!

Apart from the beautiful packaging, delectable fragrances and celebration of this beautiful country we call home, the best thing about the Isle of Skye Candle Company is it’s commitment to protecting the environment. From using only cruelty-free soya wax to fitting all their stores with energy-saving bulbs, renewable energy sources and recycling facilities, its clear that this is a brand that stays true to its humble roots despite rapid expansion. Whats more, at the moment they are working on the Lock Arkaig restoration project:

“After developing a new fragrance composed mainly of scots pine oil, and with a passion for our native woodlands here in Scotland, when we heard about the Woodland Trust’s efforts to buy and restore the Loch Arkaig forest we felt this was the perfect way to get involved and try to make a difference. With every sale of our Scots Pine candle, we pledged £1 of it to helping save the Loch Arkaig pine forest.”

The Winter Warmer candle, amongst many other wintery fragrances, is now half price, only £6.00! Check it out before the sale ends at

Ruth @ Urbanity xxx
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