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So I’m absolutely astonished it’s coming up to Mother’s Day already – 2016 is completely whizzing by (I’m still guilty of writing 2015 about 50% of the time!) and it’s time to start thinking about the best ways to treat your mum! Appleyard London‘s bouquets are a sure-fire hit, and they make it super easy to earn a whole lot of brownie points without trying too hard.

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When Appleyard London kindly allowed me to pick out of of their glorious bouquets of mother’s day flowers, so I went for the Lemon Drizzle. It’s a mix of bouquet of pink  sweet avalanche roses, lemon carnations, crisp white blooms and lemon flair hypericum berries. I just adore the mix of flowers and berries, and it looks so special in a beautiful crystal vase in the breakfast room.

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Appleyard London have an absolutely incredible selection of bouquets to choose from if your fancy treating someone to some mother’s day flowers. They run the gamut from spring-fresh, full of daises and lilies, to full blown glamour filled with roses.

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As well as being absolutely beautiful, I am just obsessed with how much of a great gift they are! They come posted in a huge big grey box which keeps the flowers absolutely pristine, and they come wrapped in layers and layers of tissue, meaning you don’t even need to wrap them!

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I also love the attention to detail from Appleyard London. Not only are the flowers an absolute knockout, but they come with plant food, a card and instructions on how best to care for them. It’s really these little touches which make the whole experience an absolute joy.

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Appleyard London flowers are also as long-lasting as they are beautiful. I got six days of perfection, then I just picked out the blooms which were looking a little tired, and got an extra four days!

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If you’re looking to really make someone’s Mother’s Day special, I couldn’t recommend Appleyard London enough! Even better news is that I have a sneaky discount you can use! Just enter BLOGGER33 at checkout for 33% off your bouquet!

 

 

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So this weekend was the first one which truly felt like it could be the start of spring. Sure, it was ridiculously cold, but it was beautifully sunny with bright blue skies and no clouds in sight! And to celebrate I broke out my bottle of Michael Kors’ newest fragrance – Sexy Sunset.

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Before I even get to the perfume, I have to comment on how beautiful the packaging is. Much like Kors’ other scents, it comes in a beautiful glass bottle topped off with a golden cap. Unlike its predecessors though, Sexy Sunset’s glass bottle is a kind of pinky-orange ombre, and it’s so pretty, I’ve been keeping out on the vanity.

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Thankfully though, the perfume itself is as pretty as the packaging. Described as being inspired by ‘the radiant glow of a sunset’ this is one of those perfumes which makes you feel like your off on an exotic beach somewhere.
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When you first apply the perfume, you get a whoosh of light fruits. It’s a juicy blend of pear, freesia and blackcurrant which smells almost edible. Then, once the fragrance settles down, the heart notes of gardenia, peony, jasmine and rose become more noticeable. This mix of white florals and fruit feel so light and fresh to wear, and I easily get 4-5 hours of wear before I needed to freshen up. The base notes combine cedar, sandalwood, ambrette and vanilla, which give a lovely warmth and longevity to the perfume. Sexy Sunset is such a gem of a fragrance, I can’t wait to keep wearing this well into the Spring!

Michael Kors Sexy Sunset is priced at £58 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

 

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Ok, so I know that a new makeup sponge might not be the most exciting part of a beauty toolkit, but it’s a seriously important one! For the past 18 months or so, whenever I’ve not been using my fingers to apply foundation or concealer, invariably, I’m using my Dior Backstage Blender (review here). So, when I found out that the brand was releasing a brand new sponge to accompany their brand new Forever Foundation, I popped down to the nearest Dior counter to check it out!

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Unfortunately, the Forever Foundation was too heavy for me, so I grabbed a bottle of my go-to Star Foundation and I was kindly gifted this sponge when I asked about it. Unlike the Backstage Beauty Blender, the Forever Sponge is white and it has a tighter, denser feeling. It’s also got a new shape, with a new, flat edge which is designed for getting into hard to reach areas. Unlike a lot of sponges, the Dior Forever doesn’t seem to suck up a tonne of product, although the fact that it’s white, means it does look super messy from the first time you use it.

If you’re at a Dior counter, I would definitely try it out, and see if they can give one to you too! If not, it’s priced at  £14.00 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

 

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So, when it comes to thinking of Gwen Stefani and her makeup looks, the first thing that pops into mind is her killer lipsticks. Rocking an immaculate red lip since the nineties, the range consists of eight brand new shades – there are six brand new reds, a hot pink and a killer nude. Exciting right?!

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The lipsticks feature a range of finishes, including a brand new super-matte formula which is basically pin up glamour in a tube! As if the colours weren’t pretty enough, the packaging is seriously glam! The bullets are gold and black, with pretty stripes which really stand out in my makeup bag.

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The most neutral of the shades is Ex-Girlfriend, which is the prettiest warm rosy-nude. This is basically your must have, everyday lipstick which leaves lips with a glossy, super-flattering lick of colour. Wear-time is a good three and a half hours on me, and I love the lightweight feel of the formula. Since coming through the door, this one hasn’t left my makeup bag!

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Rocksteady was the first of the red lipsticks that I tried, and it’s such an iconic shade. On the lips, it’s a deep, pink toned red which applies smoothly and evenly and I’m just obsessed with the glossy finish this has! After drawing my lip-line in with the matching lipliner (review to come) I then just apply straight from the bullet. The formula feels buttery smooth, and it’s so easy to control! The colour wears perfectly for four hours, and once it’s on, it doesn’t budge!

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Next up is Wonderland, which is possibly the prettiest, most perfect red in the world! I can’t tell you how long I’ve been looking for a bright, pink-toned red. On the lips, it’s super bright, and the blue undertones in the shade mean your teeth always look super white when you wear it. Wonderland has a gorgeous satin finish, which gives lips the perfect amount of gleam. It wears like an absolute dream too! The silky formula feels like a balm on the lips, and I got four hours of glossy wear before I needed to reapply.

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If you’re in the market for a perfect, classic, pin-up ready red lip, you have to check out 714. It’s a brand new formula for Urban Decay, and it’s a bright red mega matte shade. It’s possibly the most colour saturated of the shades, and it’s an absolute show stopper! To get the best out of it, I make sure my lips are well exfoliated and moisturised, before drawing on the matching liner (review to come), then, using a lip brush, I paint on 714, blot, then repeat. Unlike most of the matte lipsticks I’ve tried in the past, this one doesn’t feel super drying on the lips, although I do like to carry a balm with me when I wear it. Wear time for this was five hours, and it was going nowhere.

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If you’re not into a red lip, Firebird is a stunning cool-toned fuchsia shade which is pretty much guaranteed to suit all skin tones. On the lips, it’s super saturated with a seriously amazing colour payoff. The formula again feels buttery to apply, and I’m obsessed with the blue micro glitter which make teeth look incredibly white. The shade is a really fun way to add a pop of colour to your look, and I can’t wait to wear this with a tan and minimal makeup. Wear time, again was pretty fantastic – three hours of glossy wear before I needed to touch up.

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Spiderweb is the last of the lipsticks I’ve been trying, and it’s a warmer, more orange toned red than the other shades. With a single swipe, it’s completely opaque on me, and I just love the satin finish of the formula. I’m waiting until I’m a little tanner to wear the lipstick more regularly, but it’s a really beautiful shade, which is absolutely perfect if you have a medium complexion.

Urban Decay x Gwen Stefani lipsticks are priced at £16.00 each and are available here.

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So I think that it would be fair to say that I was pretty excited about all of the pieces included in the Urban Decay Gwen Stefani collection, but the thing that I needed to try out had to be the blush palette.

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It’s such a genius product which includes six blushes, so pretty much every colour you could want! Like all of the Gwen Stefani range, the packaging is to die for. The white and gold circles are so fun, and the generous sized compact fits neatly into my everyday makeup box.

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Inside are six perfect shades, all curated by Gwen herself. I just love the attention to detail – the names have all been picked out especially, and I think there is a great balance of colours. The shades range from a light baby pink (Cherry) through warm bronzes (Hush), there’s even a perfect ivory highlighter (Angel) which leaves skin looking glowy rather than glittery.

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At the moment I tend to rotate between Cherry, Easy and top off with Angel, as my skin feels super pale at the moment, but I can’t wait to get a little natural colour, so I can enjoy the bronzier shades more regularly.

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Cherry was the shade I think I was most excited about trying. In the pan, it looks like a bright, light, blue toned baby pink, and on the skin it’s just the most flattering shade. The texture of the blush is silky soft, and leaves a sheer wash of colour. Thanks to how pigmented Urban Decay’s blushes are, you only need a touch of the powder to achieve a natural, healthy glow.

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Easy (loving the name) is a really beautiful, warm-toned rose which is flecked with golden shimmer. Despite looking a little dark in the pan, this blush is a stunning natural-looking pink on the skin which is perfectly understated. It’s a perfect update if you love wearing Nars’ Orgasm, and even though it looks quite shimmery, when it’s on you’re left looking health rather than shiny.

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I feel like I’ve really gotten into highlighters recently, so seeing a shade like Angel in the palette was a bit of a god send. It’s a neutral champagne shimmer which lights up skin with a believable looking gleam. I do think this is a shade best suited to lighter skin tones, as it isn’t too gold or frosty. After completing my makeup, I’ve been sweeping a little Angel down my nose, across my cheekbones and adding a touch to my cupids’ bow. Basically this highlighter is a good night’s sleep in a pan!

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Lo-Fi is a soft bronze which is wonderful if you’re after a subtle contouring shade, or if you want to add a little warmth to your complexion. The texture of the blush was a touch firmer than the others in the palette, but it still blended out easily lending my skin a believable touch of colour.

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Hush is a medium pink, shimmer highlighter, which is a few shades deeper than Angel. If you have a medium or darker skin tone, this is the highlighter for you! I can’t wait for a bit of a tan, so I can wear this more regularly. It’s a tad deep for me to wear all over that the moment, but I’ve been using it on my eyes for a subtle touch of definition.

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OC is the final shade in the line up, and it’s a glorious pink-toned peach which has a super subtle glimmer running through it. I love a touch of OC on days when I feel my complexion needs a little refreshing. The texture of the blush is wonderfully soft and pigmented, and it blends effortlessly.

The Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Blush Palette is priced at £35.00 (which works out at a teeny £5.00 per blush) and is available here.