Vidal Sassoon Easy Wrap Wand*

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On a daily basis, my hair tends to be pretty same-y. I blow dry it straight, use my heated brush (review here) to add a bit of root lift and curl the ends, then I finish off with straighteners. It’s not rocket science, but when I’m up early, it’s basically all that I can manage. But, in an effort to go all out this weekend (it is Valentines after all) I thought I should jump on the curling wand bandwagon.

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Vidal Sassoon’s Easy Wrap Wand, if, like me, you’re after bombshell hair with as little effort as possible. The wand even comes complete with a heat-proof glove, so klutzes like me can avoid burns whilst curling. What I just love about the Vidal Sassoon Easy Wrap Wand over others I’ve looked at is the textured curling barrel – it means that hair really stays put when I’m curling it, so the waves stay tidy.

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To use the wand, I blow dry my hair as normal, then section it off. Working from the back underside of my head, I then take 1 inch strips of hair, and wind them around the barrel, leaving them there for about ten seconds. Then I unwind them from the wand, drop them into my hand, and let them cool for another ten seconds before giving them a quick blast with hairspray. I work through all of my hair using the same technique, then, once my hair is cool, I just run my fingers through my hair, roughing up the curls a little, so it looks a little more natural and bedhead-y rather than perfect curls. My hair really holds the style when I use the Easy Wrap Wand, and it looks so, so pretty! It’s such a great way to amp up the glamour!

Vidal Sassoon Easy Wrap Wand is priced at £29.99 and is available here

The Perfume Society Scent with Love Box*

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I’m such a lover of beauty boxes – I love how pretty they are, the little surprises you find inside, and the amazing brands you discover. The Perfume Society is perfect if you’re looking to mix up your scent wardrobe, or if you’re after a new fragrance for spring.

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Right in time for Valentine’s Day, the Scent with Love box is filled with spring and summer ready perfumes, as well as a couple of little beauty treats to make sure you’re looking and smelling great for this most romantic of weekends.

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The box contains a great cross-section of perfumes to try – they run the gamut from mainstream to artisan brands, from iconic much loveds to brand new. I was so happy to see Narciso Rodriguez’s For Her, which I’ve been dying to try (notes of rose and peach mix with amber, musks and sandalwood), as well as the brand new Fresh by Moschino (madarin, bergamot and ylang ylang top notes mingle with white woods and peony).

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The dinky vial of Aurelia’s Body Oil smells absolutely divine, and the Time Bomb hand cream is the perfect size for slipping into my handbag.

I’m such a fan of the Perfume Society boxes! They always have the perfect mix of fragrances tucked inside their boxes, and I always find a couple of new favourites!

If you want to get your hands on your own Scent with Love box, it’s £17.50 for non Perfume Society Members, and £12.50 for members. You can find it here.

Holly Blue Salon, Church Hill, Edinburgh*

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I’m always looking for the best little spots to go to in Edinburgh, and on Thursday I found an absolute gem in the form of the Holly Blue salon on Church Street in Edinburgh’s Morningside.

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I first popped in as part of a bring a friend evening, where we got to have a look around the salon, sip bubbly, chatwith the therapists, and watch as magic was performed in the form of HD Brows and LVL Lashes demonstrations.

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The salon itself offers every sort of treatment from waxing to manis and pedis, so when I got the chance to try one of their signature manicures using CND Vinylux polish, I absolutely jumped at the chance!

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So, last night, after a rather tiring day at work, I hopped up to Morningside for an hour or so of pampering!

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The salon itself is a little jewel box of relaxation, tucked away from the buzz of the city. High ceilings, soft music and butterflies all combine to create the absolute perfect place to get all girly -There are shelves and shelves of polishes, shellac and glitter to choose from, so you can imagine how excited I was!

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Since my nails were’t in exactly in tip top condition, I opted for a neutral shade of Vinylux polish. I’d never tried CND’s new formula before, but since it promises up to seven days of shiny, chip-free wear, I went for a stunning baby pink (middle row third from right).

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I was looked after by Sophie, who, by all accounts is a complete miracle worker! My dry and ragged cuticles were clipped, nails filed, buffed and shaped, and within an hour I swear, my nails looked longer and felt a million times better!

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The CND Vinylux applied smoothly, and was completely opaque in two coats. It even dried remarkably quickly! I haven’t really stopped looking at my hands since it was done, as the look and feel so much better than before. I love a pale pink or super vampy nail, but if you’re braver than me, Holly Blue offer the widest selection of glitters and nail art you can imagine! I’ve already booked up my next appointment!

Thank you so much to Holly Blue Salon for having me!

 

 

Charbonnel et Walker Fine Milk & Dark Chocolate Red Heart*

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A box of chocolate for Valentine’s Day is something of a no-brainer, but I think it’s safe to say that Charbonnel et Walker have completely blown  typical chocolates out of the window with their stunning new Fine Milk & Dark Chocolate Heart which has been released just in time for Valentines.

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Coming wrapped in a beautiful ivory satin ribbon, the box of chocolates is an absolute treat to unwrap, and it has to be the prettiest choice I’ve come across!

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Underneath the mounds of ribbon is the most glorious of illustrations by Queen’s Scholar Kerry Lemon. Her specially-commissioned peacock sweeps over the top of the box, referencing Victorian courting traditions, whilst it’s little crown is a subtle reference to Charbonnel’s Royal Warrant.

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Like all good boxes of chocolates, tucked inside the lid is a little menu of the goodies inside. Charbonnel’s is a stunning gold and ivory confection which is the loveliest way to ponder over which chocolates to select!

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Inside is every chocolate lover’s dream! Tucked snugly into little compartments is a rather decadent selection of the brand’s truffles.

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There are flavours to suit everyone – from gloriously rich and boozy to light and fruity, one of the truffles is the perfect accompaniment to a cup of coffee, or a sweet way to end a meal.

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Inside there’s a great balance of milk and dark chocolate,and getting to select them from such a stunning box is such a wonderful way to celebrate Valentines Day!

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The special edition peacock-adorned boxes are available in a selection of Charbonnel et Walker’s chocolates, so if you would prefer to feast only on Champagne or Salted Caramel truffles, they’ve got you covered!

Charbonnel et Walker’s Peacock Fine Milk and Dark Red Heart is priced at £30 and is available here 

 

Bee Good Intensive Hand Repair*

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No matter how hard I try, my hands are always rather dry and messy looking. For the past few weeks I’ve been relying on Bee Good’s Intensive Hand Repair in an effort to look a bit more groomed. Packaged in a super easy to use pump top bottle, the bottle is small enough to pop into your handbag, or keep in your bedside table. The formula of the Hand Repair is wonderfully rich and nourishing, so my poor little hands really drink it up! Fortified with Honey, Borage and Echium the cream is the most intensive moisturiser in the Bee Good range, and I’ve noticed such an improvement in both my skin and nails! Where my hands used to feel dry and tight throughout the day, they now feel super soft, and my nails are growing so much faster than before. My nails are also so much stronger than before!

Bee Good Hand Repair is priced at £12 and is available here

 

Sisley Phyto Khol Star – Black Diamond

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Sisley is one of those brands I’ve fallen deeply in love with all too quickly. Everything I’ve tried, from their skincare to makeup ends up being holy grail material, and the fact that the products are always so chic and luxurious means I end up loving them even more.

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Case in point is the Sisley Phyto Khol Star in Black Diamond. It’s a long name for an eyeliner, but rather than your typical liner, which leaves eyes black and defined, Sisley’s offering is a glittering liner. It sounds as if it would be odd looking, or something too flashy to wear day-in-day-out, but in fact, I’m on to my second Phyto Khol Star in Black Diamond, and tend to reach for it daily.

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The formula is a creamy hit of the blackest black, and it’s shot through with subtle silver glitter, which rather than turning your eyes into glitter-bombs, just gently glints and glistens. It’s the perfect way to add a little something if you feel like your makeup has been a little samey, the khol is a beautifully subtle way of changing it up. I wear mine daily, and rather than looking ott or sparkly, the silver just brightens up my eyes, making them look bigger and me more awake.

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The formula of the liner itself is heavenly. I can get away with using a single swipe and I still get an insane amount of colour. Even though I wear my liner on my upper waterline, Sisley’s Phyto Khol Star doesn’t smudge or fade away during the day, so I thankfully don’t need to touch up or worry about it at all!

Sisley Phyto Khol Star is priced at £33.50 and is available here

Byron Edinburgh North Bridge*

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Byron is one of those restaurants that everyone seems to rave about – a true American style joint that produces a quick and hearty meal that you’ll be dreaming about for days to come. So, when an email popped into my inbox inviting me to grab a friend and head over to their newest location on Edinburgh’s North Bridge, I couldn’t wait!

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Ducking out of Storm Henry’s wind and rain, we were greeted by the loveliest of hostesses  who, even though we were rather early for our reservation, sat us down and explained all about Byron, their hamburgers and the new location.

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Situated in what used to be a bank, and before that a school stationers, the North Bridge Byron is an absolute stunner of a restaurant. Bare bricks, leather banquet seating and filament bulbs all work together to give the restaurant a feel of cozy comfort.

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The dining areas are split over two levels, encompassing a bar and exposed kitchen, meaning that even when the restaurant is packed, which will, most likely, be every night, it will never feel too cramped or crowded.

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As we pondered over which of Byron’s ‘proper’ hamburgers to try, we ordered some drinks and enjoyed our surroundings. Since I wasn’t driving home, I opted for one of the rather tempting sounding ‘Hard Shakes.’ It’s a genius idea – you choose your ice-cream flavour from a choice of oreo, vanilla, chocolate or strawberry then add a shot of bourbon, spiced rum or Bailey’s.

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Served in a frosty shaker, I opted for chocolate with a shot of spiced rum. The liquor comes on the side, so you can control how boozy you want the shake to be.

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Since it had been a rather blustery Monday, I popped the whole shot in. Then, we got on with ordering our meals. To be honest, every single one of the options sounded delicious, but since there were two of us, we thought we should go half and half.

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We opted to split the signature Byron Burger as well as the Smoky. Both burgers come with a generous wedge of pickle, and for sides we pulped for our mutual favourites – onion rings and french fries.

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After ordering, we were served surprisingly quickly. With all food coming out of the open kitchen, the food is the definition of fast and fresh. Every morning the restaurant receives all their burgers freshly made, and the beef is responsibly sourced and British. to make the most of the quality ingredients, the burgers come cooked to pink and juicy perfection.

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With a wide choice of cheeses, extra toppings and side dishes, I’m pretty much sure you can’t go wrong with Byron. Both of our burgers were sheer perfection – from the soft, sweet bun, to the fresh vegetables and juicy patties, we couldn’t get enough of them. They tasted like the best American burger you could imagine. The Byron was a perfect classic choice, with a hit of the restaurant’s signature sauce, whilst the Smoky was a heavenly mix of salty bacon, melted cheese and BBQ sauce.

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The sides were as heavenly as the burgers – the onion rings were seasoned to perfection, crisp and flavourful. They were also huge. The french fries were hot and crisp and incredibly moreish. We just about finished everything, as the portions were huge. We absolutely loved everything though, and we’re already planning a return trip!

Thank you so much Byron North Bridge Edinburgh for inviting us for such a delicious supper!

Valentines Day at Harvey Nichols

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So we’ve already hit February 1st, so I don’t feel too bad about sharing these gorgeous little treats that Harvey Nichols has right in time for Valentines Day. I know it’s not everyone’s favorite holiday, but I’m something of a fan. If there’s a chance to shamelessly enjoy some chocolate and bubbles, who isn’t going to indulge? How adorable are the Love and XOXO earrings from Maria Francesca Pepe, they’re a bit of a steal at £70.00 (here)

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I’ve been lusting after Fendi’s Monster bag charms for what feels like an age! Valentines might just be the perfect time to cave in! They’re something of an investment, but I can’t get enough of the fluff! They’re priced at £510 here.

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If you want a little treat that’s easier on your wallet, Laura Mercier’s new Velour Lovers Lipstick is the perfect choice! They’re available in a rainbow of colour saturated shades, and they’re the perfect choice for sealing those cards with a kiss. They’re priced at £22 and are available here.

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Last up is a Valentines essential – you simply can’t celebrate without some fizz! Harvey Nichols’ champagnes and proseccos are some of my favourites! The Two’s Company gift box includes a 375ml bottle of Rose Champagne along with two glasses so you can share with your favourite person. It’s such an adorably simple gift, and it’s only £40 (here).

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream*

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Over the past month or so, the weather in Scotland has been nothing short of crazy. We’ve had wind, rain and snow, and basically every sort of awful weather you can think of. It’s not been pleasant, and I swear that my hair hasn’t stayed straight all day in weeks! But even worse than fuzzy strands, is the damage this kind of climate can wreak on sensitive skin like mine. At the best of times, the outdoors has a real effect on my complexion, so when it’s as extreme as it has been, I really need a product that with protect and nourish skin like nothing else. Thankfully, I’ve found that Kiehl’s iconic Ultra Facial Cream is just the thing to keep my skin calm and moisturized.

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I’ve kept a tub of this magical cream handy for what seems like years. It’s a real ‘old faithful,’ and I know that no matter how sensitized my skin is, the Ultra Facial Cream will soothe and heal it. The cream itself has a really light consistency – and it absolutely melts into skin. I massage a little of it on after a few drops of Kiehl’s Daily Reviving Concentrate (read about it here) and within a minute or two, my skin feels so soft and ready for makeup. The cream itself is scentless, and promises 24 hour moisture thanks to the plant extracts within the formula, and despite being so hydrating, my skin never feels like it’s too rich or leaves my skin oily or greasy.

If you’re looking for a new springtime staple, you must try out Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream.

 

It’s priced at £24.00 and is available here.

 

The Nail Apothecary Gel Effect Top Coat*

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Over the past few months, I’ve made a serious effort to keep my nails in check. Naturally, they’re not the longest, strongest or most elegant, but they look decent once I slap a little polish on them. They also seem to grow better when I give them a little TLC, so I’m always on the look out for new little gems to add to my nail care regime.

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The Nail Apothecary brand comes from the stable that includes Elegant Touch nails as well as Eyelure lashes, both brands which feature heavily in my beauty stashes, so I was super excited to give the Gel Effect Top Coat a whirl! I fell a little in love with it before I even got it out of the box. Like all of the Nail Apothecary nail care, the Top Coat comes in an adorable, vintage style bottle which is just the cutest!

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Although the bottle might be dinky, it promises Gel-Like shine without wreaking damage to nails. Since my nails are weak at the best of times, I shy away from gel treatments, opting instead for my rainbow of neutral polishes, but I still pine for that plump sheen gel nails seem to have. I’ve been trying the Gel Effect Top Coat with a variety of brands of polishes, and I’ve been absolutely loving the results. The Top Coat applies smoothly and evenly, and it dries within minutes (although admittedly, I do use a quick spray of the Elegant Touch quick dry spray). As it dries, my polish keeps a wet-look sheen, and it lasts for 3-4 days, which is eons for my quick chipping nails!

Nail Apothecary Gel Effect Top Coat is priced at £6.95 and is available here.