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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.

 

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

 

If you have a baby then it is always good to use best crib mattress for better comfort.

 

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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!

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I always feel like January can be a bit of a flat month. Everyone is in full-on resolutions mode, so it can feel tricky to treat yourself. Harvey Nichols is making it all-too-easy though, with their new Winter Feasts menu. From now until February 11th, you can enjoy a three course meal, plus cocktail for just £20 in their gorgeous Brasserie.

Harvey Nichols Forth Floor has to have one of the best views in Edinburgh, so getting to enjoy a rather delightful menu accompanied with some impressive vistas sounds like my idea of a rather pleasant evening! Highlights from the menu include Treacle cured salmon, pickled fennel, lemon grass and beetroot salad, orange and anise dressing, Borders chicken breast spiced with paprika and rosemary, wild mushrooms, kale, green beans and pancetta and Rhubarb and custard crumble sundae, but all the options sound absolutely delicious!

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If you can’t indulge over Christmas, real when can you? I love an unexpected treat, and when these Charbonnel et Walker beauties were delivered I absolutely fell in love!

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Considering Charbonnel et Walker have to be my favourite chocolatier, and I’ve loved their Pink Marc de Champagne truffles for years, the pink bauble was a seriously welcome addition to the Christmas tree! Containing eight of the delicious little treats, I think it’s the most adorable little stocking stuffer. If you’ve never tried the truffles, you really must! The smooth outer shell of the truffles is a delicate pink shade, holding a creamy ganache centre. The truffles have a surprisingly punchy champagne scent, which give them a wonderfully grownup flavour.

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My new discovery is the bauble containing Milk Sea Salt Caramel Truffles. The blue bauble is just as beautiful as it’s pink cousin, the the chocolates inside are really incredible. The exterior of the truffles is a crisp milk chocolate shell, which melts into the gooey salted caramel centre. In a word, it’s heavenly. The centre’s saltiness is perfectly balanced with the creamy sweetness of the chocolate, and they are far too easy to sit and enjoy!

Charbonnel et Walker’s Chocolate Truffle Baubles are priced at £12.00 each and are available here

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Vita Coco Coconut Oil

If there is a singe tub, which you absolutely, definitely, just have to own – it’s got to be coconut oil! For the past few years or so, I’ve kept a couple of tubs of the stuff handy, both in the kitchen and in my beauty stash, as it’s just so versatile, I can’t bear not having some to hand!

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I first tried out using coconut oil in the kitchen, and I absolutely fell in love! Since consuming it in small amounts can really help combat high cholesterol, as well as work to prevent Heart Disease, I use a teaspoon of the oil rather than regular olive oil whenever I need to cook vegetables. A real favourite use of mine is sautéing kale in a teaspoon or two of coconut oil, then sprinkling a little lemon juice and sesame seeds over the top – delicious!

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Because Vita Coco’s Coconut Oil is 100% Raw and Organic, I also love keeping a tub of it in my beauty stash as it’s just so versatile! Starting from the top, my hair absolutely drinks coconut oil up! I tend to apply it to the ends of my hair, then throw it up in a topknot over night, letting all the goodness sink in. I can then just shower it out in the morning, and my hair feels super soft, and has a great amount of shine. Another great in-shower use for coconut oil is mixing it with coffee grounds. You can pick up a bag of them for free at Starbucks or Waitrose, as they are also great for the garden, but I just melt about a cup full of the coconut oil on the hob, and then add about 3/4 of a cup of the coffee grounds. Once the mixture has cooled down and solidified, you can then use it as a scrub. It’s such a simple mix to make and use, but your skin feels absolutely amazing afterwards! Even out of the shower, my Vita Coco Coconut Oil is a bathroom must-have. It works amazingly as a moisturiser, and I use it everywhere from under my eyes to layering it on my elbows and knees.

As you can probably tell, I am such a fan of Vita Coco Coconut Oil, have you got any other uses for it?

Vita Coco Coconut Oil is priced at £9.99 and is available here

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