Friday, May 5

The Top 5 Products for a Day at the Beach with Word of Rachel

Summer is on the way in. And that means a change in, well, just about everything! Clothing goes from thick and snuggly to light and airy. We swap our evenings from indoor activities to pub beer gardens and spend our days gazing out at the sun soaked world. We book holidays and enviously glare at the endless pictures our Facebook and Instagram friends snap. And most importantly, we hit the beach!

But what do we need when we hit the beach? We all have a checklist. We usually bring a towel, an on point bikini or swimsuit, our sunglasses, and sun protection. But with those beach bags being so big, we’re often tempted to fill them. What with? Well, that’s where I come in.

Long days spent exposed in the sun call for some pretty essential products. You may be thinking of makeup, but which products protect you from sun damage? You might think of sun protection, but will it stand long exposure, water, and sweat? What about after sun? Will after sun work on the body and the face? It’s a lot more complicated than you’d think…

So, here are the products I can’t be without on the beach, and you shouldn’t be either!


Not a beauty product as such, but if you’re planning on spending a whole day in the scorching heat and sun you need to be hydrated! Plastic bottles from the supermarket will do, but the environmentally conscious among us may want to opt for a refillable bottle. Drink up!

Sun Protection

I can almost hear the ‘yeah, we know’ echoing across the lands atop a bed of eye rolls! But sun protection isn’t as simple as picking up the cheapest bottle and hoping for the best. Here are a few things that should be considered when you pick up your chosen bottle of SPF:

  • They are not all the same. The cheapest is cheap for a reason. Get a trusted brand, such as Garnier or Nivea. Once you choose a brand, look at the products on offer. There are a lot of things to consider, such as consistency and even colour. A transparent one, such as this Garnier example won’t leave white marks but will not spread as easily. This Nivea one will spread more easily, but may not actually aid tanning if you need a higher SPF. 
  • Burn easily? Then do not be swayed by tanning oils with SPF. Or be tempted to opt for a lower SPF than you need. If you struggle to tan, there are always options in a bottle. Do not risk the devastating effects of UV radiation in the name of vanity! If you’re pale skinned and burn easily, go for SPF 30or even 50. Last summer I made the mistake of thinking I could pass on SPF 20. Sunburn is painful…

Avoid unflattering sunburn by investing in the correct SPF!

  • Some products do work better than others, such as this one. If you’re a little forgetful when it comes to reapplying, this might be an option for you.
  • Remember to reapply! Sweating, swimming and time will wear away that protection. Even sun protectants that promise to last all day should be re-applied to stay safe.

My personal favourite brand, year on year are Garnier and Nivea. They’re affordable, and they work. My friend also introduced me to this fantastic all day facial sunscreen which although a little expensive makes a perfect base for makeup.

Lip Balm

Sun, sea and sand may sound ideal but it is drying as hell! Your lips are the only part of your body that can’t make their own moisture. So make sure you have a handy lip product to go. Several sun care brands have lip products with SPF packed in for example, this one or this one. A handy tin of Vaseline never goes amiss for a cheap and effective option, but remember that this will melt if left in a hot bag all day!


More than a fashion accessory, sunglasses are essential protection for the eyes! Avoid feeling like you can’t drag your eyes open when the sun is blazing on that pale coloured sand and make sure you have them on! It’s easy to get some sunnies that look amazing too! Try Topshop sunglasses, New Look sunglasses, accessorise sunglasses, or if budget isn’t a problem for you, Quay Australia has the best selection of fashionable sunnies.

Foundation with SPF

Needing to keep skin protected doesn’t mean you need to skimp on the beauty! Use a base product with SPF and reapply throughout the day, as you would SPF. Remember, more brands than ever are bringing out base products with higher SPF content. Products for daily use will not cover this. Don’t want to apply heavy foundation for a beach day? Try a sun protection product specifically designed for the face, such as this one previously mentioned.

So there you have it; the top 5 things that you need for a day at the beach. Remember, you can have all of the accessories in the world, but nothing looks good with sunburn! Always protect yourself!

Find Rachel...

Wednesday, May 3

Anxiety vs Confidence with a wee bit blue

Hi! I'm Jen, from Glasgow. I tweet @aweebitblue and my blog is aweebitblue too! I mainly blog about mental health, with some poems thrown in for good measure.

What happens when a confident person becomes ill with anxiety? I am not a shy person. I am quiet, yes, but I would say that I'm quietly confident. I am not naturally nervous in new situations, and I can talk to anyone. I have lived and worked abroad, and moved and made new friends more times than I care to remember. I can stand in front of large groups, give presentations, talks, you name it - I can do it. 

But I have a problem. A problem called anxiety. 

Because the truth is that even though the above is who I am, forms a large part of my personality, it's been almost a year now since I last felt entirely comfortable leaving the flat on my own, and recently it's been getting worse. Groups of people terrify me and I wouldn't touch public speaking with a barge-pole! 

Anxiety is a constant part of my life just now. On a good day, I can go about my day. I am aware of the undercurrent of quietly-jaw-clenching anxiety, but I can use whatever confidence I can muster to push past to get stuff done. I function. By the end of the day, my teeth ache and my head aches from the constant tension. 

On a bad day, it's not so straightforward. Even considering going out makes my heart feel fluttery. Like a wee bird that would rather be elsewhere. But, again this can usually be pushed through with confidence (sometimes with the help of medication). 

It's when it's at it's worst, when I have a panic attack and then definitely I can't leave the house until I calm myself down enough to start breathing again, when I can't seem to find any of my own quiet confidence, enough of my own true personality, to push me past the physical and mental symptoms. This is what I resent most. 

I just can't get used to trying to do the things I used to do so easily, and the anxiety saying: ' way'. I will always resent the fact that anxiety has taken away parts of my personality over the past couple of years. I don't want to get used to it either. I know It's going to take a bit of work, but I'd like the old me back, please? 

I think that's why anxiety is such a debilitating illness; it can strike anyone, and strip down all their reserves. So who ever you are, no matter how confident and self assured you may be naturally, you can be well and truly knocked. 

If you are being knocked down by anxiety (whether you're confident or not!), and you're not sure how to get back up, here are some great places to get advice: NHS Choices eLament - Lanarkshire Mental Health Mind - Anxiety

Find Jen...

Friday, April 28

Greater Grassmarket’s Vintage Fashion Show Returns

A weekend of free entertainment celebrating all things vintage The Greater Grassmarket Business Improvement District’s (BID) free Vintage Fashion Show returns to Edinburgh for the second year, as part of the Vintage Weekend on Saturday 29th and Sunday 30thApril from 12pm – 5pm.

The catwalk Vintage Fashion Show will feature Edinburgh’s finest vintage wares sourced from Greater Grassmarket retailers including Armstrongs Vintage Emporium and Godiva Boutique. Taking place at 2pm, the catwalk show will focus on fashion for all occasions from evening to day wear plus vintage looks for the summer season.

Also returning this year is the Vintage Variety Show, hosted by burlesque and cabaret group Gypsy Charms, with performances taking place from 12pm, 1pm and 3pm. Acts include The Great Aziz, a multi-award winning magician, Scottish cabaret group the French Fling Showgirls, The Saw Guy who will be performing beautiful melodies in a peculiar way, and Deux Ailes, an acrobatic duo creating mesmerising routines both in the air and on the ground. From 4pm each day, Glasgow-based rockabilly band, The Shiverin’ Sheiks, will be performing their hits to get visitors dancing.

On Saturday, visitors can admire Edinburgh’s most colourful hot rods and vintage cars, whilst on Sunday the Distinguished Gentleman’s Bike Club will be showcasing their classic bikes alongside classic bike dealers such as Royal Enfield Edinburgh who will be offering information and advice to visitors on classic bike culture. From 12pm – 5pm both days, visitors can pick up vintage clothing and classic bric-a-brac treasures from the Vintage Market. Throughout the weekend there will also be an array of performers taking to the streets to keep children entertained.

This event follows on from the successful 2016 Vintage Weekend which increased footfall to the area by 61%. The Vintage Weekend is one of a number free events that the Greater Grassmarket BID has lined up this spring/summer to attract visitors to the area. 

 Norrie Stewart, Grassmarket BID Project Manager, says: “We’re excited to bring our Vintage Weekend back, and it’s even bigger and better than last year. With over 50 independent retailers in the area, many of which specialise in vintage goods and antiques, the Greater Grassmarket is the perfect destination for vintage lovers and collectors. 

“Whether it’s shopping for vintage items, admiring the classic cars or enjoying the retro entertainment, we want our Vintage Weekend to encourage the whole family to celebrate all things vintage.”

Want to find out more? Check out their website.