Harvey Nichols Edinburgh – Menswear for Father’s Day*

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I always think buying presents for  men is super hard – and Father’s Day might just be trickiest. Thankfully though, Harvey Nichols has come to our rescue with their relaunched Menswear Department.

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Designed after the flagship Knightsbridge store, The menswear department is definitely the chicest spot to shop for Dad anywhere outside the capital, and to celebrate, the store held a super-fun weekend filled with special services for the discerning shopper. As you arrived up the elevators, you were met with the cutest little bars serving up Arbikie – an incredible Scottish Gin and Vodka distillery.

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As if that wasn’t enough, you could personalise the most luxurious of items – Grenson let you make up your ideal shoes, picking every detail from leathers to laces.

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They could be as subtle or crazy as you could imagine, and the example shoes were absolutely breathtaking.

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My favourite part of the whole event though, was the Etch’d stand, which, with an in-store purchase meant that you could get specially laser-personalised.

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Even though I was expecting just initials, Etch’d can personalise basically anything with a flat surface, and I can’t tell you how awesome their pieces looked! Considering the chaps come from a graphic-design background, their designs were insane!

 

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Based in Tollcross, you can even get phones and laptops laser etched, and I am seriously considering getting my laptop done. It’s just the coolest!

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It’s not just electronics and perfume bottles which got the special treatment though, even shoes and sneakers were etched.

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Since I couldn’t let the opportunity pass me by, I popped down to the beauty department to find something etch-able, so treated myself to Omorovicza’s Perfecting Lip Balm. It’s something I’ve been wanting since my facial (here) and the flat lid was perfect for the laser.

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I couldn’t be happier with my rather special balm, and I would seriously recommend heading up to Harvey Nichols’ first floor. The menswear section couldn’t be better, and it’s absolutely packed with awesome Father’s Day gift ideas!

Omorovicza Perfecting Lip Balm is priced at £32.00 (I did receive a discount on mine) and is available in-store. You can find Omorovicza here.

 

 

YSL Touche Eclat – Slogan Edition*

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I think one of the first high-end purchases I ever made was one of YSL’s iconic Touche Eclats. It might be odd for a 14 year old to lust after a concealer, but there was just something so special about the golden pen, I just had to have one of my own. Since then I’ve kept at lease one kicking about my makeup collection, and it remains as one of my favourite under eye concealers.

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Every so often, YSL offer limited edition versions of the Touche Eclat, and I always make sure to pick up a couple. Over the past few years, there have been leopard ones (review here), lip ones (review here) and even lace ones, so when I saw the new slogan edition, I obviously had to treat myself! Even better, that the day after picking one up myself, YSL very kindly sent one over, so now I can show you two out of the available three!

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Everything about the new Slogan edition is the same as the original, apart from the fun slogans which are painted on the side. You can choose from ‘all lights on me,’ ‘no need to sleep’ or ‘I am not a morning person …’. They’re such a fun update on such a staple product, and I just love the fact that it feels like YSL aren’t taking themselves too seriously!

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If you’ve not tried the Touche Eclat yet, one of these limited editions is such a fun way to gal in love with them! I usually apply mine after foundation to create a super flawless looking base, and I just love the way that it completely erases any signs of tiredness or puffiness!

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To use, I just use two clicks, and paint the formula under my eyes in a rough triangle. Then using my ring finger, Although the formula is usually available in eight shades, the limited edition only comes in the original shade 01, so it is something to consider if you have a darker skin tone. I’m just obsessed with my Touche Eclats though, if I want to look particularly glowy, I dot and blend a little of the formula across my cheekbones, brow bones and nose too! It’s such an easy way to look wide awake, and fresh faced!

Have you ever tried Touche Eclat?

YSL Touche Eclat Slogan edition is priced at £25.00 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

Byron Bunzilla*

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After opening earlier this year, Byron North Bridge has quickly become my favourite burger haunt in Edinburgh.

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From the gorgeous restaurant itself, to the mouthwatering array of burgers, it’s one of those rare no-fail locations. No matter what your craving – burgers, killer salads or even the best milkshakes, Byron has you covered!

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Whilst we debated over burger choices, we shared a plate of nachos, which was such a great choice! The tortilla chips ware warm and crispy, and there was the perfect balance of guac, salsa, jalapeños and cheese – nothing was too much or too little, and the little kick from the chilies was perfect!

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Then we got onto the main event – the burgers. I decided to try Byron’s newest offering – The Bunzilla. Inspired by the head chef’s trip to Japan, the burger has quickly become a favourite of mine (I may have already gone back for another) and it’s such a unique twist, you just have to go check them out!

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A bit of a take on the brand’s much loved B-Rex burger, the Bunzilla has quickly become my go-to. It’s up there as one of my favourite ever burgers thanks to the mix of soy-glazed burger patty, miso roasted bacon, an onion ring, wasabi mayonnaise and shredded white cabbage for crunch.

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Cooked to Byron’s medium perfection, the burger was absolute perfection. I love the attention to detail with the accompanying homemade Japanese Pickle. The mix of flavours was absolutely divine, and I couldn’t be more obsessed with the wasabi mayonnaise. It was equally parts sweet and fiery, giving the burger a real blast of flavour.

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Of course, we couldn’t just have burgers! We grabbed an order of fries and onion rings, and of course, we sampled some of Byron’s to-die-for milkshakes!

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I can’t imagine a yummier way to end a meal than with one of their incredible ‘hard shakes.’ This time I tried the vanilla with a shot of bourbon. Even though I’m not the world’s biggest drinker, these are the definition of delicious!

Byron Bunzilla are available now!

Mothers Day Chocolates – Prestat*

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When it comes to Mother’s Day, you know you have to bring the goods. As well as a bunch of the most beautiful flowers you can find, you have to, of course, get the most delicious chocolates you can find.

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Thankfully, Prestat have made it so, so to easy get serious brownie points with boxes of their incredible chocolates.

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I think if my mother had to choose her favourite flavours, either rose or violet would be up there, so when this stunning box came through the letterbox, she couldn’t have been happier!

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The truffles couldn’t be prettier – topped off with a candied petal, they look like jewels in a box. The chocolates themselves are the smoothest dark chocolate, which hold a smooth filling which bursts with the floral flavours.

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Next up are the Prestat’s Pink Marc de Champagne Truffles. To be honest, Pink Champagne truffles are among my favourites, and I was blown away with how good these ones were! The chocolate shell had the perfect amount of ‘snap’ and inside there is a soft, almost gooey centre. Unlike some I’ve tried, the alcohol doesn’t overwhelm the taste, instead there’s just a soft whiff of champagne with white chocolate. A must try!

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When the box of Prestat goodness arrived, the Yuzu truffles were the ones I got most excited about. I love an exotic flavour, and I’ve been dying to try yuzu for a while. The truffles themselves, are dark chocolate shells with a wonderfully tart, almost lemon curd-like filling. They are insanely good, and I’ve already bought a second box (a truffle with a good espresso is just divine!)

Prestat Rose and Violet Cremes are priced at £17.50, Pink Marc de Champagne truffles are priced at £13.00 and the Yuzu truffles are priced at £13.00. They’re all available here

Appleyard London Lemon Drizzle Bouquet*

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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!

 

 

Urban Decay X Gwen Stefani Lipsticks*

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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.

Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Blush Palette*

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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.

 

Urban Decay X Gwen Stefani Brow Box*

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Ok, before I even start this review, I should probably admit to being complete, utterly and hopelessly obsessed with the new Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Collection. It’s just such a perfect mix of awesome products, stunning packaging and Hollywood glamour, that it’s impossible not to be a little obsessed! What I also just adore about the collection is how wearable the products are for everyday use. Even though I’m a big fan of a neutral day look, Gwen’s products are in constant rotation for me, so I thought I would start with the dinkiest piece of the collection – the Brow Box.

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To be honest, I had no idea that Urban Decay did Brow Boxes, but I’m so glad they do! They’re little chunky parcels which consist of two levels – the top containing two powders and a wax, whilst the bottom stores two of the teeniest brushes and a dinky pair of tweezers. Basically everything you need to keep your brows ‘on fleck’ even if your out and about or travelling.

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Gwen’s Brow Box is absolutely perfect for blondes – the two powders are a lighter and darker cool taupe colour, and neither contain any hints of warmth or redness, so important when creating a naturally defined looking brow!

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Using the Brow Box couldn’t be simpler – I brush my eyebrows upwards, and then brush through some of the wax. Then, using an angled brow brush, I apply the lighter shade to the start of my brows, then work the darker shade into the rest, creating a naturally defined look. The powders have the loveliest, almost buttery consistency, with great colour payoff, so you only need a light touch and a couple of seconds and your good to go!

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The little tools stored in the lower compartment of the Brow Box are just the cutest! Both of the brushes have nice stiff bristles, meaning they’re easy to control, and the golden tweezers are just amazing! Even though they look pocket-sized, they catch even the smallest of hairs, meaning you now have no excuse for messy brows!

Urban Decay’s Gwen Stefani Brow Box is limited edition, priced at £19.50 and is available here.

E. Coudray Iris Rose Perfume*

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Ok, I know it’s not popular or fashionable, but I have to say, I adore Valentine’s day! From the glorious boxes of chocolates, to the luxurious bouquets of flowers dotted throughout the house, it’s a fun weekend to enjoy a little bit of luxury and pampering. To celebrate the weekend, I can’t think of a perfume better suited that E. Coudray’s Iris Rose Perfume.

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Packaged in the most romantic of etched glass bottles, E. Coudray’s Iris Rose feels like it should be found on the dressing table of some terribly glamorous silent movie star. The fragrance itself is just as classic and opulent. A true rose fragrance, Iris Rose mixes top notes of Iris, Rose and Violet Leaves with heart notes of Rose, Iris Butter and Heliotrope. On the skin, the perfume smells richly floral, and I only need a couple of squirts to enjoy the almost powdery scent all day. It’s a truly special fragrance which I feel like I should enjoy on special evenings when I’m all done up! The base notes of Woods, Tonka Bean and Vanilla really round out the perfume, and give it an almost gourmand base.

E. Coudray’s Iris Rose is priced at £58.00 and is available here

Triumph Spring/Summer 2016 Collection*

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So, this weekend is Valentines, which invariably means it’s time to treat yourself to some rather luxurious underwear.

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Even if you don’t have that special someone, it’s probably time to update your underwear drawer. We’re a month and a half into the year, and it’s a good point to go get re-fitted and treat yourself a little! I’ve been absolutely lusting after basically all of Triumph’s new collection, as I love how the pieces are comfortable enough to wear all day yet pretty enough to feel incredibly special!

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I’m absolutely obsessed with the colour palette in Triumph’s Spring Summer 16 collection.  The mix of neutrals shades feels so chic and elegant to wear, and the attention to detail is spotless. From lace trims to tiny diamante finishes, Triumph’s underwear is the perfect mix of function and form.

 

The fabrics Triumph use are beautifully soft and comfortable, and I love the softly moulded cups, which gives the perfect amount of coverage and support, and keeps you looking perky!

Triumph’s Spring / Summer 2016 is available now, and you can find it here

Quintessentially Flowers*

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Quintessentially is one of those brands which is basically a genie. No matter how extravagant your wish, they can grant it, so, when a holiday like Valentines comes up, you can imagine how beautiful their flowers are!

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Packaged in the chicest of silver grey gift bags, Quintessentially Flowers can be delivered anywhere in the UK from their London headquarters, and despite being sent to me up in Edinburgh, mine arrived perfectly fresh and fragrant. They were the perfect way to brighten up a dull Friday!

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A mix of some of my favourite blooms; roses and hydrangeas, along with a selection of other little beauties were arranged into a huge pom pom of flowers.It was such a fun and unusual way to see to display flowers, and once I got home, I popped them straight into a large crystal fishbowl vase which I’ve just been dying to use!

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The bouquet is absolutely perfect for a Valentines treat! It makes me smile every time I look at them, and they’ve easy lasted five days since delivery, and they’re still going strong!

Thank you so much to Quintessentially Flowers. Bouquets start at £60.00 and are available here