Month: January 2014

January Favourites

I thought I would share some things that I have been loving this month. To avoid me writing an essay (because nobody would want to read that) I thought I would just organise it so I have one favourite item in the following categories; Makeup, Skin Care, Food, Film/TV and a random category. ( I know WILD, anything could happen).

Makeup and Skin Care:

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My makeup favourite this month is pairing the Bourjois Rouge edition lipstick in shade 02 “Beige Trench” with this gloss from the Pixi Icy luster set. The lipstick shade is a really pretty medium pinky nude shade which is great for everyday wear. The formulation of the Bourjois lipsticks is really nice and very hydrating.I like to put this Pixi lip gloss over the top to add a nice sheen. This gloss came with the Pixi Icy Luster set and is just a tinted gloss in much the same colour as the lipstick. I really like this gloss as it’s not too sticky which is generally the thing that puts me off most lip glosses.

My skin care favourite this month is the Origins Super Spot Remover. I’ve been having terrible breakouts this month and this has really been a saviour! Although the product doesn’t stop spots from forming, it does help them disappear very fast. The product contains salicylic acid which I know is an ingredient which really helps me get rid of spots, it also contains “skin calming caffeine and red algae” which they claim relieves redness. I think the product is great as it  just dries the spot out and stops a lot of the usual redness I get. If you have a problem with breakouts I would definitely recommend trying this. It is kind of pricey retailing at £14 but it will last you a really long time and it’s the only thing that has really help calm my breakouts.

Food:

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I’ve wanted to try this for ages and finally this month I managed to find it in the world food section at my local Tesco. Mac and Cheese is one of my all time favourite meals and this is the tastiest packet version I have ever tried. Look in the world food section of your local Tesco Extra for this pack of tastiness!

Film:

My favourite this month has to be American Hustle which is one of the best films I’ve seen in a long time. I think this had a really great storyline that was captivating and entertaining throughout. One of the best things about this film was its cast who all gave really amazing performances. The standout performance for me was Jennifer Lawrence who was absolutely hilarious and had some of the best lines in the entire film! I also loved the soundtrack to the film and thought that every aspect including costume and hair really helped to make this a really stylish and witty film.

Random:

My random favourite this month has to be this blog. This is the first month that I’ve regularly written posts and I’ve really enjoyed doing it. I’m grateful to anyone who has taken time to read any of my posts or leave comments, it’s much appreciated!

Let me know in the comments what your favourite things in January were 🙂

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E.l.f Products: Keep oil at bay all day?

My skin has been really oily of late which has been a total pain in regards to keeping my make-up looking decent all day. When browsing through the E.L.F website I saw two products that might help me solve this: The Studio Makeup Mist and Set spray and the Professional Shine Eraser blotting sheets. So here are my thoughts on them……..

e.l.f  setting spray and blotting sheets.. the dream team?

e.l.f setting spray and blotting sheets.. the dream team?

Studio Makeup Mist & Set.

I haven’t tried many setting sprays so I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect from this. The product claims “to keep your makeup in place all day with a radiance boosting invisible hold” and you can spray it on after applying makeup or throughout the day to refresh your makeup. The initial problem I had with this product was the actual spray pump as it doesn’t really give a even mist across your face and you can see large drops of the product in certain areas on your face and no product at all on other areas. However if you kind of spray your face a few times looking different ways you can get a more even distribution. The next problem I had was that I didn’t think the product lived up to its claim of holding makeup in place all day and I don’t think it helped prolong my makeup by that much at all. This being said the product is only £3.75 so you can’t expect a miracle. I did find that the spray was refreshing and it does give your foundation a nice boost and refresh throughout the day. I think this will be good to carry in the Summer months for a much needed refresh in hot weather ( that is if Britain gets any hot weather …).

Professional Shine Eraser

First of all this product is a total bargain, only £1.50 for 50 blotting sheets! And they really do work! These are great to carry in your bag for touch-ups throughout the day as they quickly take some of the oil of your skin and give your skin more of a matte look. I like to blot my face with these and just add a bit of powder and it keeps my foundation in place all day. I think this product does exactly what you would want it to and for such an amazing price!

Let me know what products you like using to keep your makeup looking good all day!

Food: Gnocchi Bake

I tried this out for dinner last night and thought it would be a good healthy dinner idea to share with you guys. If you haven’t ever cooked with gnocchi before you should be able to find it in any local supermarket in the fresh pasta section and it’s usually not very expensive!

They are some poorly arranged tomatoes......

They are some poorly arranged tomatoes……

Ingredients: ( makes 5/6 portions depending on how hungry you are)

  •  1 small onion
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 2 cloves of Garlic
  • 750ml Tomato Passata
  • 2 teaspoons Basil
  • 1 teaspoon Oregano
  • 1kg Gnocchi
  • 1 ball of mozzarella
  • Grated Cheddar
  • 10 cherry tomatoes

Method:

  • Prepare your ingredients: Chop your onion, pepper, tomatoes and mince your garlic. Slice up your mozzarella ball.
  • Drizzle some olive oil in a deep frying pan and add onion and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes then add in the pepper.
  • Add the tomato passata to the onion mix .
  • Add Basil and Oregano and any seasoning such as salt and pepper to your taste.
  • Add tomatoes.
  • Let the tomato sauce cook for about 2o minutes on the hob.
  • Cook the gnocchi according to the instructions on the pack, it generally takes under 5 minutes. When the gnocchi is ready thoroughly drain it. Then put it back into the pan that it was cooked it and mix in the tomato sauce.
  • Tip the tomatoey-gnocchi mix into an oven-proof dish and arrange mozzarella slices and grated cheese on the top. You can even add some halved cherry tomatoes to the top if you’re feeling adventurous like moi.
  • Bake at 180 degrees for about 15 minutes or until the cheese goes all bubbly and brown around the edges!

I served up mine with some garlic bread and salad and it definitely made a filling and healthy dinner! Let me know if any of you try it 🙂

Bath and Body Top Picks

I have far too many bath and body care products, more than I can possibly hope to get through by the time Christmas rolls round again and I receive (to my honest delight) a tonne more to keep me going for the next year. I thought I would share a few things that I’ve been loving for a good clean, so here are my top picks……..

Yay for being clean!!

Yay for being clean!!

Ren Neroli and Grapefruit Body Wash:

I really love the fresh scent of this product, it’s great for those early mornings when you really need something to wake you up. I think this will also be a great scent for Summer when on those hot days you really want something to make you feel fresh and super clean again. Ren is a brand that I have been really growing to love as it has no chemical nasties and prides itself on producing “clean skincare”. The full size version of this (200ml) retails at £15 which I do find a bit pricey for a shower gel but if you’re looking to treat yourself at any point then I’d definitely give this a go.

Lush Rock Star Soap:

This is my favourite soap scent from Lush, it is the sweetest scent imaginable kind of like concentrated candy floss! If you have never smelt this soap before I would recommend going to Lush and giving it a sniff. If you’re a fan of sweet scents like myself then this is the soap for you. This soap leaves your skin feeling really clean and soft and not stripped at all.

The Body Shop HoneyMania Bath Melt:

This is another scent I’m obsessed with, it’s sweet and very flowery. I find that it is quite like the Moringa scent the Body Shop do which in my opinion is a good thing. When poured under running water the gel like product turns into lots of wonderfully scented bubbles which is pretty much all you want from bubble bath. The product retails at £8 which I think is a far price because you don’t need to use all that much to make your bath super bubbly. Also The Body Shop are always having amazing deals online so keep your eyes peeled and order it when there’s a special offer. I recommend signing up to their mailing list so that you never miss out on their great offers.

The Body shop Strawberry Body Butter:

I thought I would feature by favourite after shower/bath product. I love all the body butters from The Body Shop, they all having amazing scents and leave your skin wonderfully moisturised but not greasy. I would recommend going in to the store and smelling all the scents to pick your favourite. At the moment the strawberry scent is my favourite as it’s wonderfully sweet and the smell lasts ages on the skin.

Let me know what products you lot are loving in the shower and bath at the moment!

Winter Lip Care Picks: Lush Lip Scrub and Korres Lip Butter

Due to the horribly cold weather and drastic need for constant indoor heating, I have been trying to take extra special care to avoid the nasty flakiness of my lips that I usually get as the weather turns cold. These two products have been doing a really good job of keeping my lips in tip top shape!

Lush popcorn Scrub and Korres Lip butter in Quince

Lush popcorn Scrub and Korres Lip butter in Quince

Lush Popcorn Lip Scrub:

This is a really great product for exfoliating your lips and you can lick it off  too! Mmmm popcorn flavoured sugar ( not sure about eating the dead skin flakes though….). Anyway this product contains castor sugar and fine sea salt which provide a gentle exfoliation when rubbed on the lips. Also coconut oil and jojoba oils help to keep the product together and provide a certain amount of conditioning. Although many might argue that this is a product you could easily make at home, I would say that it’s worth buying it if you’re lazy like me and just prefer to avoid the mess and effort of making your own every time you want to exfoliate your lips. It’s much easier to just have a small pot like this that you can store on your dressing table to use at your convenience. The product is only £5.25 and it will last you absolutely ages!

Korres Lip Butter in Quince:

This lip balm has a really nice hydrating feel which lasts on your lips ages  and I definitely think it has helped to stop my lips from drying out. This is great to wear over lipsticks as it will keep your lips looking smooth but it’s also great to wear on it’s own as it gives a really pretty tint for days where you don’t feel like having to make any touch-ups. One of the things I like so much about the product is the fact that it is so pigmented as so many lip balms and chap sticks really provide no noticeable colour difference to your lips.

Korres have 6 lip butters in their range including Quince, Guava, Pomegranate, Mango, Jasmine and Wild Rose. Each ingredient has different benefits for your lips but the Quince extract is supposed to have “moisturising and wound-healing benefits”. I am guilty of being a habitual lip chewer and I would agree that the product has got a soothing effect on my lips. The lip butter retails for £8 and I definitely think it’s worth it. I’m going to be getting my hands on the other shades very shortly!

Food: Veggie Pasta Salad

This is a really simple and easy to make pasta salad that can be served hot or cold. I made it to store in the fridge for a few days so I could take it a lunch box of it with me on busy days in order to stop me buying subway! Obviously you can switch out any of the veggies for ones you might prefer more!

Ingredients: (Makes about 4 servings)

  • 180g Sun-dried Tomato Pesto
  • 400g Fusilli Pasta or whatever shaped pasta you find the cutest
  • 4/5 Spring Onions
  • 150g Sugar Snap peas
  • 150g Baby Corn
  • 5/6 Large Tomatoes chopped up
  •  150g Olives
  • Small amount of olive or vegetable oil

    Sorry it's not the best photo but you get the idea!

    Sorry it’s not the best photo but you get the idea!

Method: ( Although there’s really not much to it!)

1) Boil the Pasta following the instructions on the back of the packet.

2) Whilst the Pasta is boiling chop up the vegetables.

3) When the pasta is ready, drain it and leave it in the colander.

4) Put a drizzle of olive oil in a pan and add in the onions. Then add in the rest of the veggies.

5) Add the pasta into the veggie mix.

6) Stir through the Sun-dried tomato pesto and cook to required heat if eating it straight away.

As I said this is a dish that you can store in the fridge for a few days once cooled and it makes a great, healthy lunch!

 

 

Review: Lush “New” Shampoo Bar

About a month or so ago, I was getting really fed up with my hair. I’ve always had really fine hair that gets greasy far to quickly but it was beginning to feel really thin and the ends were looking totally frazzled. After doing some research online I found out about the sort of natural ingredients that are supposed to stimulate healthy hair growth these being things like peppermint and nettle. So I decided to look for a shampoo that contained these ingredients in order to get my hair back on track. Enter Lush Healthy Hair and scalp shampoo bar.

Lets start with what the description of the product promises to do for your hair, namely two things: give amazing shine and stimulate hair follicles. The shampoo promises to do this by using the natural ingredients of nettle, peppermint and rosemary. As with all Lush products they’re totally cruelty free and vegan friendly and the shampoo contains much more natural ingredients than pretty much any shampoo I’ve ever used.

Now to give you my opinions on the product. I find that it really does live up to its description. In the short term it gives your hair a truly clean feeling and leaves it shiny but not overly dried out. I do find that my hair gets less greasy in between washes which has helped me to stop washing it every single day. However, the long term improvement in my hair is why I would really recommend the product because my hair has never felt thicker and more healthy as it does now. Another plus is that I absolutely love the smell, it’s a fresh yet spicy smell and it has to be the best smelling shampoo I’ve ever come across!

The product retails at £5.50 in the UK, which I find to be a really fair price as I reckon the bar will last me around 2 and a half to 3 months. I would say that it can be a tad messy as when I left it on shower soap dish it did drip pink all over the side of the bath so I would suggest getting a Lush shampoo bar tin or finding your own tin to store it in.

Let me know if any of you have tried any of the Lush shampoo bars and what you think!