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At this time of year, it can feel like everything is a bit non-stop. There are events on most nights, and heading somewhere straight after work means a makeup-touchup in the car on the way there. Because of that, I’ve been on the hunt for products which last all day long, well into the night.

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I got my hands on Charlotte Tilbury’s The Sophisticate palette a couple of weeks ago, and it’s been a daily go-to since it arrived. With acurated selection of three brows and a neutral bone – the palette is an absolute dream for people like me who love a everything from a chic neutral through to a smoky brown eye.

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For day looks, I tend to focus on the top two shadows – I buff the bone shade into my lids and inner corners, and then blend a little of the taupe into my crease and lash line. The whole palette is pretty cool toned, so it’s perfect for my colouring – and it’s really adaptable for amping up day looks into night.

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I’d never tried a Charlotte Tilbury palette before, so getting to grips with The Sophisticate has been an absolute dream. Each of the four shadows is well pigmented, and they all apply smoothly with a great colour payoff. Most days, I buff the top right shade into my lid, with a little of the bone in my brow bone and inner corners. The effect is subtly elegant – it provides the perfect amount of definition without feeling too ‘done’, it’s also easy to ramp up the drama, with a little of the lower two shades buffed into the lash line.

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The Sophisticate Palette has been such a dreamy product to use, and it’s been a wonderful entry into the (very) glamorous world of Charlotte Tilbury beauty. From the stunning palette packaging to the pitch-perfect shadows inside, this is a classic, I’m going to be reaching for all 2019-long!

Charlotte Tilbury The Sophisticate Palette is priced at £39 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

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Edinburgh’s Dine is a restaurant which has been on my radar for a while now. Situated in the same building as the city’s Lyceum Theatre, it’s perfect spot for pre-show dining or post-show drinks, and it’s central location means that it’s easy to pop into if you’re looking for a lunch or dinner spot when you’re out shopping too.

It’s a stunning space – located on the first floor, you have to pass the most gorgeous living wall beautifully lit with the restaurant’s name. It’s a gorgeous spot, and sets the scene nicely for things to come. The dining room is equally beautiful – all twinkling lights, and a tree seemingly growing through the floor.

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The restaurant is currently serving their Festive Market Menu – available for lunch, pre-theatre and evening dining, it has a curated selection of seasonal dishes, which are perfect for getting into the Holiday mood!

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We started the evening off with glasses of Prosecco as we perused the menu. There was a great selection of seasonal dishes, which although they had traditional elements, didn’t feel too cliched. There is no turkey on the menu, instead duck, lamb and sea bass all have a starring role.

We kicked things off with the Smoked salmon, served with lemon and dill cream cheese, compressed cucumber, toasted brioche. It was a deliciously rich start to the evening – the toasted brioche was toasted and buttery, with a curl of smoked salmon, as well as a smoked salon mouse. The lemony cream cheese really cut through the fish, and I’m more than a little obsessed with the compressed cucumber!

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We also had to try the Caramelised goat’s cheese which came served with soused winter vegetables and a bitter leaf salad. Another absolute delight – the mix of bitter salad leaves, root vegetables and goats cheese was heavenly.

I couldn’t resist the sound of the Crisp Confit Leg of Duck, which came served with mulled wine cabbage, fondant potato, cardamom and orange puree. I am beyond glad I did. With skin perfectly crisp, this felt like the ideal festive meal – the duck flesh was rich and delicious underneath, and it absolutely came alive with paired with the zesty orange puree. The cabbage was delicately scented with mulled wine spices. The potato fondant was absolutely perfection too – buttery soft with crisp edges, and it just melted in the mouth.

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We also ordered the Roast Chump of Lamb, with thyme and garlic mash, honey-glazed baby vegetables and kale. This felt like winter on a plate – with perfectly medium cooked lamb which absolutely melted, along with perfectly roasted vegetables. A delicious alternative to the traditional turkey roast – this is perfect to enjoy if you’re looking for something a little different.

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Even though we were absolutely stuffed, we could resist a little dessert, with both of us going for the traditional Christmas pudding with brandy butter. Perfectly spiced, and wonderfully dense, it was a picture perfect end to the meal.

The Dine Festive Market Menu is priced from £21.50 at lunch and £23.50 at dinner. Thank you so much to Dine for having us!

 

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Getting presents for friends and family can be the definition of stressful. I never want to get anything too boring or too predictable, but at the same time, I want my gifts to be something that they’re going to love. So, when Amazon got in touch to share some of their handmade-options for present ideas, I couldn’t wait to see what was available.

Everything is better with a little personalisation – which is why I just love my new cheeseboard. Big enough to hold a variety of cheeses, crackers and fruit – it makes such a gorgeous centrepiece for entertaining, and I can see this being pulled out year after year.

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It’s also the perfect size for sharing, without seeing too big, meaning I’ll get to pull this out pretty regularly. The iron handles feels sturdy, and it looks absolutely adorable too! Not only would this make a gorgeous Christmas present, but a great wedding or new home gift too!

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This Christmas I’ll also be enjoying my drinks in my rather adorable personalised wine glass. Another great gift (especially for those awkward people like Secret Santa recipients or co-workers) the glasses are etched with a name of your choice – so there will be no mix ups over the dinner table, and no one can steal a slug of your wine either!

Amazon Handmade has a fabulous selection of gifts in a range of budgets, and there is still time to order before the big day!

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Over the past couple of years, Clean Reserve has pretty much become my go-to for everyday fragrance. I just love how beautiful and clean each of the scents are, and the mix of notes like Oud and Amber, which can sometimes feel like a little too much on me, are incredibly wearable in Clean Reserve’s hands.

As if the scents weren’t glorious enough, the brand has travel-sized versions, which are perfect for slotting into makeup bags for on-the-go top ups. Available in four of the brand’s most loved scents (Rain, Blonde Rose, Warm Cotton and Sueded Oud) they can be layered to create a bespoke scent, or worn on their own for an elegantly simple fragrance.

Clean Reserve’s Raid scent, as you might imagine, is a beautifully clean, aquatic scent. It’s fresh, and incredibly clean smelling, so I just love to wear it during the day. It feels almost unisex in it’s mix of salt and water notes. The cute size, isn’t only incredibly practical, but it also makes for a perfect stocking filler or secret santa gift!

Clean Reserve Rain is priced from £20 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

 

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Without a doubt, Drunk Elephant has be 2018’s most talked-about beauty brands. It feels like it took forever to head over from America, so being able to see and play around with the products in-store now, feels like a godsend.  I’ve got a rather long list of products I’m dreaming of trying (the Baby Facial sounds divine) but I’m trying to work through my stash of masks, so I ended up picking up one of the brand’s Lippe Balms.

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Packaged in an adorable chunky little stick, the balm is scentless and flavourless, but it’s perfect for beating winter dryness. The formula is loaded with antioxidants, including green tea leaf and vitamin C, and there is a mix of avocado, mongongo, cranberry and marula oils with sea fern algae and peptides for maximum hydration. I love how easy it is to use, and it makes the perfect base for lipsticks too.

Drunk Elephant Lippe Balm is priced at £15 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

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