Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Palette


I think Gwen Stefani has to be one of those women that even if her style isn’t your cup of tea, you still have to admire her for being creative and unique.  Certainly in recent years she consistently tops the best dressed lists in the media and her retro take on makeup is always en point. For me she represents fun and individualism – in both fashion and makeup.  There’s always a twist in what she does and a whimsical vibe to it.  So when I heard she was teaming up with Urban Decay to create their latest eyeshadow palette, I thought it was a match made in heaven.  Urban Decay are known for being bold and dramatic so it seemed only natural for them to pair up with a strong woman like Gwen. The fact that this is the first celebrity collaboration that Urban Decay have done thus far kind of says it all! The packaging from the outset did not disappoint…


Industrial, sleek and edgy.

“UD carefully crafted the shadows with Gwen, filling a void by creating the exact shades she always wished she had in her collection. In the end, they loaded this palette with her 15 must-have shades of Eyeshadow (12 are NEW, and three are from the UD shadow collection). With an insane range of neutrals and a few jewel tones to mix things up, this is Gwen’s go-to kit to achieve her most iconic looks. And with these shades in your arsenal, you’ll have everything you need to recreate these signature looks for yourself. 

Gwen had a hand in everything, including the case, which was inspired by her love of black-and-white graphic prints and antique gold accents. She also handpicked most of the shade names, which were inspired by her songs. There’s even a nod to the No Doubt song “Magic’s in the Makeup” on the palette’s huge mirror.”


Shades include:

Blonde (pale beige w/pink iridescent shift)
Bathwater (pale beige w/gold pearl)
Skimp (pale nude satin)
Steady (medium rose w/metallic gold shift)
Punk (reddish brown matte)
Baby (cool metallic rose)
Anaheim (light taupe-brown matte)
Stark (nude-pink matte)
Zone (medium brown matte)
Serious (smoky gray w/iridescent floating pearl)
Pop (pale coral w/iridescent sparkle)
Harajuku (metallic blue-pink w/iridescent micro-shimmer)
Danger (deep metallic royal blue w/blue micro-sparkle)
1987 (bright metallic yellow-gold)
Blackout (blackest black matte)

I’m a sucker for neutrals, especially pretty base colours for an all over lid wash.  Steady and Baby are pure perfection and would incredible with one of the mid toned matte neutrals as a crease shade to add definition. Blonde and Bathwater are perfect for highlighting the inner corners of the eyes, whilst Pop lives up to it’s name and is great placed on the centre of the lid as a ‘pop’ of highlight. Punk is a fantastic warm brown that feels very autumnal and I like that it’s matte for daytime wear. Actually all of the matte shades are fantastic – I especially like Serious which is a smokey grey colour. It would be perfect for a more subtle, toned down smokey eye. All of the shades have impressive colour payoff, great texture and are really blendable.


Sometimes when palettes contain brighter shades, you’ll find it’s very unlikely that you’ll use them regularly.  However, the brighter shades in this palette are actually toned just right to make them more versatile.  The pink shade would be perfect as a base combined with one of the neutral tones in the crease, or even the warmer matte brown as a contrast shade.  The metallic navy shade Danger would make an absolutely gorgeous smokey eye and the reflects in it make it much more forgiving to wear than a flat colour.  It would also look amazing if you used it to line your eyes for the festive season.

You can buy the palette here for £40 (it’s currently out of stock but you can add yourself to an email list so you can be notified when it’s back in stock).

*PR Sample


Baby Style: Joules


I wasn’t that familiar with Joules as a brand before they came to Union Square in Aberdeen but I’ve come to really love their childrenswear. They have some absolutely adorable things, especially for boys so when they offered to send Conor some bits and pieces, I jumped at the chance. Their Black Friday Sale with 50% off just started so it’s the perfect time to pick something up if you love their baby clothes as much as I do. They are in the higher category price wise but I think the quality and design justifies that and there are so many lovely gift ideas if you’re looking for something for a baby boy or girl.


BabyChris Top & Trouser Set (£29.95) | Fox Slippers (£14.95)

Conor is getting to the age now where baby grows just aren’t really made in his size anymore and he’s quickly outgrowing everything.  Something like this trouser and top set is perfect for when he’s just running around the house.  But it’s also nice enough for him to wear out and about too so it’s pretty versatile. The jumper is all fleecy and cosy inside so it’s perfect for the colder days. It’ll come as no surprise that I love these fox slippers because I’m pretty much obsessed by any baby boy clothes in a fox design.  These look super cute on Conor and he laughs every time he looks down at his feet! When he’s in the house, I find it’s better to pop on soft shoes that have a little bit of grip because otherwise he tends to slip on our wooden floors.  I don’t like having hard soled shoes on his feet when he’s just at home so these are a perfect compromise.


Dog and Fox socks (£4.95) | Bear & Raccoon socks (£4.95)

I love fun socks for Conor and these are just adorable! They come in two packs and there’s a few different design to choose from. They are nice and long so they’re less likely to be pulled off by over zealous baby boys who don’t like wearing socks! These would make a lovely little stocking filler gift for any of your friends or family who have babies. Normally socks are a boring gift but they are just gorgeous! The quality of everything I received is top notch and it just feels so well made.  The fabrics feel really durable and like they will wash very well which is ideal for young ones who get themselves in an almighty mess pretty much every day.


Conor is definitely growing up WAY too fast for my liking. Every time I take a picture of him now he just looks so grown up.  The face he’s making in the middle picture is currently his favourite…he tends to make that one when he’s done something he knows he shouldn’t, when he’s surprised or when he sees something he’s interested in…so pretty much all the time!

*PR Samples


Healthy Eats: Sweet Potato, Chickpea & Spinach Curry

Sometimes it’s nice to have a meat free meal and get your protein from an alternative source. This recipe contains chickpeas which are a great source of protein, together with spinach and sweet potato which are both superfoods. One of my favourite foods is curry because it’s packed with flavour and I love to make a batch of this vegetable curry and store it in tupperware in the fridge so I can grab it as a quick lunch. You can pretty much add in any veg that you want – broccoli, cauliflower, aubergine etc.  Serve it with rice, use the curry paste as a marinade for chicken or serve it in a wrap or flatbread.curry

Makes 4 servings (use 60g dry weight basmati rice to serve per person)


Rogan Josh paste (makes more than you need but I always like to keep this handy even as just a marinade for a chicken breast)

  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 thumb-sized piece fresh root ginger
  • 75 g jarred roasted peppers
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons groundnut oil
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 1 fresh red chilli
  • 1 small bunch fresh coriander
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns

Curry Sauce:

1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 red onions, sliced
3 tbsp rogan josh paste
3 sweet potatoes, cut into in 2cm chunks
1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained
8 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped or 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 x 400ml tin light coconut milk
400g spinach, washed
1 pack babycorn


1. Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and curry paste, mix well, then cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and golden.
2. Add the sweet potato, babycorn and chickpeas. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and 200ml water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, then cover and cook for 10-15 minutes. Remove the lid, then cook for a further 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potato is cooked through and the sauce thickened. Stir in the coconut milk and cook for a couple of minutes, then stir in the spinach and cook until wilted. Serve with basmati rice.
3. To freeze the curry for another time, leave to cool in the pan, then spoon into portion-sized containers or freezer bags and freeze. The curry will keep there for up to 3 months.


Too Faced Le Grand Chateau Dollhouse


It’s that time of year that our minds start to turn to Christmas Gifts. I can’t think of a more perfect present for a makeup junkie than this limited edition Too Faced Le Grand Chateau Dollhouse! I would certainly be delighted to receive something as cute as this and the beautiful packaging is something you’d be proud to display on your dressing table too. Or if you’re trying to be thrifty then buy the set, give the palettes as little stocking fillers and keep the storage box for your own little trinkets.

toofaced1 toofaced2

“This adorable (and oh-so-chic) little château opens to reveal three separate palettes with 18 gorgeous shadows, two blushes, one bronzer, and a deluxe size of our bestselling Better Than Sex Mascara. A romantic evening in St. Tropez; a sunny day in Côte d’Azur; a stroll along the Seine at night—there’s a palette for every party, mood, or taste. It’s the perfect gift for any mademoiselle—or gift each palette separately to spread the love!”


The roof comes off the little dollhouse and the doors open with magnetic closure to reveals the 3 palettes and sample size mascara.

The set contains the following:

  • Paris in Love, Paris After Dark, and Paris Au Naturale Palettes
  • 18 pigment-rich eye shadows
  • 2 blushers
  • 1 bronzer
  • Deluxe sample size Better Than Sex Mascara


I love the fact that this set comes with three different eyeshadow palettes with different themes for all occasions. They are so neat and compact and perfect for travelling with. Paris In Love is quite girly and sweet, Paris Au Naturale is very neutral in tone and great for everyday, whilst Paris After Dark is much more dramatic.


Left to Right: Paris In Love, Paris Au Naturale, Paris After Dark

The matte shades are buttery and smooth – very impressive.  It’s hard to find mattes with this level of quality as the darker shades can look patchy and be tough to blend but these are like a dream. The metallics, especially the Bonjour shade is incredibly reflective and pretty much just out of this world. The shade selection for each palette is absolute perfection, with every crease colour being perfectly in sync with the base shades. I also love that they have included complimentary blushes and a bronzer which are all gorgeous too.


Left to Right: Paris In Love, Paris Au Naturale, Paris After Dark

Paris In Love swatches:


Paris Au Naturale Swatches:


Paris After Dark Swatches:


I am totally and utterly in love with this set and dare I say it, it’s the best Christmas beauty gift set that I’ve seen so far.  You get so much and the quality is so high, that coupled with the adorable packaging, this is just a winner on all platforms.

Too Faced Le Grand Chateau is £35 and is available to buy here.

*PR Sample


Christmas Gift Guide With Union Square

It may strike you as very premature to begin talking about Christmas Gifts but we’ve now entered the fast track to the festive period and before you know it, you’ll be trying to fit in last minute trips to the shops to pick up presents.  To make things a little easier for you, I took a trip to Union Square Shopping Centre in Aberdeen to check out what they had to offer for every imaginable present category. Before I went, I used the Union Square PLUS App available on iTunes or GooglePlay to take advantage of any discounts or offers currently running.  It also helped me to plan out which shops I wanted to visit for each category and this ultimately saved me from having to walk back and forth, making the most of the time I had there.

Union Square PLUS App

Hopefully, you should be able to find a gift idea for each special person in your life within the following categories:

Glamour Gang

Do you know someone who likes the finer things in life? Those little luxuries that add a special something to the dark days of winter? How about a bottle of Champagne, a gorgeous fragrance, glamorous party shoes or an eye-catching clutch bag? There’s a plethora of glamorous goodies on offer at Union Square on the run up to the festive months so there’s a lot to choose from.  I popped into Dune and found so many great gift ideas from faux fur bag charms to sophisticated leather gloves and purse sets and even their signature fragrance which smells delicious!

Union Square PLUS App

I then dropped into Boots, a store you can always rely on to provide beautiful gift sets for those friends who love to pamper themselves. Benefit Cosmetics consistently come up with amazing Christmas gift sets and the packaging is so beautiful, you almost don’t even have to wrap them! Smashbox also have some great offers going at the moment with palette sets and handy ‘try me’ kits featuring all their best selling products.

Union Square PLUS App

I also had a browse around New Look where I found a whole host of lovely gift ideas including cosmetic bags, sparkly shoes and embellished clutch bags. I thought the black sequin flower embellished box clutch below would be just perfect for this gift category and at only £19.99, it seriously rivals some of the bags on offer in the higher end stores in terms of appearance and quality. It would be the perfect chic addition to a festive party ensemble.

Union Square PLUS App

Techie Types

In this current age of technology, there are techie gifts galore and I think everyone has a friend who’s obsessed with having all the best new gadgets. For every little daily chore, there’s a gadget out there to make your life easier.  Although your festive budget may not stretch to a 3D TV or an iPad, there are some brilliant affordable options for the tech-savvy.

Union Square PLUS App

Cotswolds Outdoors have a great selection of fitness trackers and handheld GPS units that come in at under £85.  A perfect gift for anyone you know who’s on a fitness journey or love nothing more than to be exploring the great outdoors. Apple also have a few gift ideas ranging from headphones to iPad accessories. The iPod shuffle is a great little gift for just under £40, whilst the iPhone lighting dock (£40) is another option for iPhone fans.

Home Creatures and Foodies

Staying in is the new going out! With full access to Netflix and home comforts, who needs the partying lifestyle? There are loads of options for those in your life who love home comforts and treats.

Union Square PLUS App

Hotel Chocolat is the place to go for any foodies because their chocolates are out of this world! They do various themed gift sets, pampering products and gift cards to give the recipient the chance to pick their own present.  New Look have some really cute hot water bottle and cosy sock sets that are the perfect addition to a night in.

Union Square PLUS App

For me, the ultimate relaxing night in wouldn’t be complete without a luxury candle to waft a gorgeous scent throughout your home.  When I think of luxury home scents, The White Company immediately come to mind.  They have the most beautiful candles and the winter-themed ones are especially sumptuous and comforting. I picked up the Cinnamon, Clove & Orange candle (£25) which has a gorgeous warmth and spice – perfect for the festive season.

Fitness Fanatics and adventurers

I am a fitness fanatic myself now so I’m always on the look out for exercise clothing, accessories and gadgets.  But there are many other gift ideas for those who are living the healthy life such as healthy recipe books, outdoorsy equipment, travel guides to the latest pair of cool trainers. New Look is a great place to find affordable and stylish work out clothing and they also have handy accessories like gym bags, yoga mats and bright water bottles.

Union Square PLUS App

H&M also have an awesome sportswear range that features things like cool backpacks, footwear and ski clothing. It’s also a great range to check out if you’re shopping on a budget. Costwalds Outdoors have a massive range of hiking gear and accessories as well as sports eyewear, adventure books and footwear.

Little Ones

Union Square has a few stores where you can pick up presents from little ones such as H&M or Next, who both have a lovely range of childrenswear. Mamas & Papas cater for babies and children with a large selection of gifts and toys as well as more practical gifts.  You’ll always find adorable outfits in Zara Baby and they currently have a fox backpack that I have my eye on for Conor. Cotswolds Outdoor have some great present ideas for children who love adventure and the outdoors.  There’s a great range of travel games to keep them occupied, cool little beanie hats and fun backpacks to choose from.

Union Square PLUS App

My next port of call was The White Company as they are fantastic for that extra special baby or toddler gift. They have beautiful soft toys, books, clothes, accessories and gift sets that are a little bit more luxurious and higher end than your average present. Everything is laid out so beautifully too that it’s a joy to shop there.

Union Square PLUS App

River Island have started to do some absolutely adorable children’s clothes over the past year or so. There are some lovely little outfits for both girls and boys and this faux leather hooded jacket particularly caught my eye for Conor. He’s going to look like a cool little dude in that! The girl’s options are just as cute with miniature versions of the kind of boots we would wear as adults, animal print legging and matching logo tops.

Union Square PLUS App

So do drop in to Union Square to find loads of Christmas Gift ideas for this coming festive season. And don’t miss out on any opportunities to treat yourself. The Union Square PLUS app has got loads of little goodies to help you recharge during your Christmas shop like –

  • 10% off PURE spa treatments
  • £1 parking after 6pm
  • Free doughnut at Krispy Kreme

Don’t forget to download the Union Square PLUS App available on iTunes or GooglePlay before your next visit.