A Beauty and Lifestyle Blog

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Packing for Amsterdam | Lifestyle

Last week, I got a text from my friend asking me whether I wanted to go to Amsterdam with her this week. I literally haven't been out of the country this year at all, I've been so engrossed in work this year has flown by and I haven't really had any time off. So of course, I said "Hell yes!!"

In fact as you are reading this now, I'm currently in Amsterdam so expect pictures when I get home. 

I've never been before and we're literally just going for 2 nights/3 days but I thought I would share with you what clothes I will be taking with me. 



Now I know what you're thinking, there is no colour in my picture but to be honest, we're heading into winter and I love wearing my black clothes. I'm not too sure what the weather is going to be like but you can't go wrong with chunky jumpers, skinny trousers/leggings and chunky boots. It's casual, cosy but you can also dress it up a little. 

The two jumpers are recent buys from H&M, I literally think that H&M has the best range of AW clothes, they just always have it right. With my jumpers I always get them in the bigger size because I just like that over-sized look. Don't get me wrong, yes it can make you look a little bigger but if you get it right it looks really nice. Boots are from Primark, which I just love!




I will also be taking my brand new faux fur poncho with me that I bought from Accessorize. I really love this new addition, it's surprisingly cosy and literally goes with everything. 

Don't get me wrong, I can't wear it in the rain because I will get soaked through but it's great for when I quickly want to pop up the town and run a few errands. It's perfect for those days where it's bright and sunny but bitterly cold. I'll wear my coat out there and pack this just incase. 

I also thought I would share with you the bag I take literally every time I go on holiday regardless of where I am, this bag has been to Barcelona, Marrakesh, Madrid etc and now it's going to Amsterdam.







Isn't it just so perfect for little trips? 

I love the colour, I love all the little pockets. It has a large zip pocket and then another pocket behind it without a zip but you can just carry so much stuff in it and not have to worry about losing anything. 

I love the colour, it's a deep redish brown so it goes with everything, I can wear it with black clothes because of it's redish tones. I don't have anything else by Nica and I can't even remember how much it cost but it's such good quality it still looks new. I love all the detailing on the outsize of the bag and the gorgeous purple material on the inside. 

I didn't want to show you all the boring bits like toothbrush and pyjamas so I will leave this post here. 

Do you have any accessories that you always have to take away with you, like my Nica bag?
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Thursday, 27 November 2014

Models Own Sparkler | Review

I receieved this nail polish in one of my Birchboxes a little while ago, I'll be honest I can't remember which one now but I didn't really know what I'd do with it. I don't usually buy glittery polishes but it is full sized so I thought I would use it at some point. 


Recently however, I have found myself adding this nail polish to quite a few manicures, I kinda like the way it adds a touch of sparkle to everything. I really like that the pieces of glitter aren't little circles but instead strands of glittler, how cute! Now as we are heading into Christmas, I love everything glittery of course, tis the season to bloody sparkle.

So I just thought I would share with you my most recent manicures...





Sometimes in life you just have to add your own sparkle.

What are your favourite glitter nail polishes?
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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

November Birchbox | Review

I haven't written a Birchbox review for a little while, because though they have been good I just didn't feel they were amazing enough to write an entire review and I know that some people must get bored of reading Birchbox reviews every month. But then my November Birchbox arrived and I knew I had to share how fab this one is. 



November's theme was "Cosy at Home" loads of lovely little goodies to help us through the winter months and there are some real gems in here. 


Dr.Jart+ V7 Relief Vita Drop

Now I have never heard of this brand before and I just have to tell you how yummy this smells, like unbelievably delicious, it reminds me of lemon sorbet which is like my all time favourite thing. It's just so nice. 

One thing I will say is that from looking at the bottle you can't really tell where it is for but it's a massive size at 100ml so I just assumed it was a body moisturiser. It is not. It is in fact for your face, do not make the mistake of smothering it over your legs as it's not meant for that. Nothing negative happened but I just felt a bit silly, always read the label. 

It is a shame that its for the face, you all know how fussy I am about facial products I have my favourite items and use nothing else. But I may be tempted to try it out, it just smells so nice. 



Drinkwel Capsules

I was a little confused when I first saw these Drinkwel Capsules because I didn't know whether they were just vitamins or what? But actually these little things are supposed to be taken when you drink alcohol. The capsules contain b-vitamins, amino acids, fruit and botanical extracts and are "designed specifically for healthy people who like to responsibly consume alcohol" 

I really love the idea of these, something I've never heard of before but I'm definitely looking forward to trying these out. Also they are vegetarian capsules which is always a fab thing, not that I am a vegetarian but I like things that don't unnecessarily use animal by products. 



Beauty Protector Hair Mask

I have tried Beauty Protector before with Birchbox but it was the shampoo and conditioner. I love the smell of this product, again another sherbert-y sweet smell. We can all tell that I have a sweet tooth because I liken all scents to sweets. 

I recieved two little samples of this hair mask, I will probably have to use them both at once as my hair is kinda long. One thing I will say, I dislike the lack of information on these samples. No ingredients, nor any instructions, no idea how long to leave it on for, I could look online but that's an extra added step before using the product. 





Lord & Berry Bronzer

I have used the Lord & Berry eyeliner pencil sample before with Birchbox but never used anything else by the brand. To be honest this just isn't a brand I see very often or at least isn't one that I notice. That being said, I've heard really great things about this brand and this bronzer. 

It's a cute little sample size about the size of an eyeshadow disc, but I kinda have nowhere to put it so I'll just have to keep it in it's box for now. 

I received the shade Sunny which is ok for my skin, against my arm it looks very dark but that's probably the palest part of my body, I think it will look fine on my face. I will probably use this to contour as opposed to an over all bronzer. It's a matte shade with no hint of shimmer at all, which most people like. 



Weleda Smoothing Facial Oil

This is probably the only product I'm not that keen on, Weleda isn't a brand I've ever used before and unfortunately it is another facial product and it's an oil which is just never going to go on my face. 

I do think it's a great sample size and that you will probably be able to get a lot of use out of it but this one I'm just not going to use it, which is a shame. 



OPI in Coca-Cola Red

A full sized OPI, what a lucky girl I am and a beautiful shade of red. I was super excited to see this in the Birchbox this month. 

It's a bright red but it also has a kind of orange tone to it as well which is really nice if you want those bold statement nails. I'm actually going to write a review on this product so keep a look out for it next week.

Overall a really lovely box, I'm very happy with everything in it. I really like the Drinkwel capsules just because it's something I've never thought of before. I love the sample sizes in this box

What did you get in the November Birchbox?
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Sunday, 23 November 2014

Minvita Baobab Smoothie | Lifestyle

Recently I was sent a wonderful little package from Minvita, they really have such a nice range of vitamin powders and healthy foods. Minvita is a brand that pride themselves with producing ethically sourced and 100% natural products from around the world. They also do a beauty oil which I received a couple of sample sachets too. 

Minvita offer whole host of different products including, Cacao Superfood Nibs, Acaiberry Superfood powder, Chia Superfood seeds, Mulberry Superfood powder, a variety of rices.

I was sent a full sized (250g) Baobab Superfruit powder, I'm not going to lie I have never heard of Baobab before but the powder "forms naturally inside the hard-shelled fruit of the African Baobab tree" . This powder is very high in Vitamin C, Calcium and Potassium all things I'm probably lacking in right now. 

I like the fact the tub is jam packed with information, also it's gluten free and vegan friendly.




I've been feeling just really down about everything lately and I felt like it was time to pull myself out of a rut starting with eating much better and what better way than to start with a fabulous smoothie.




Fruity goodness!

For my smoothie I added a whole punnet of blueberries, half a punnet of strawberries, a large orange and 1 tablespoon of Baobab Superfruit Powder. Personally I love my smoothies to have lots of berries in them, I hate smoothies that are green, they taste as awful as they look. My general rule of thumb is if it's red, I'm probably gonna like it.

The great thing is you can use this Baobab Superfruit powder in baking as well, to add any extra dose of vitamins to your bake. I think I'm going to do some healthy baking, so I will let you know when I bake with this powder as well. 

I really like that I can add this to anything just to top up my vitamins because I probably don't get enough and this is a great way of helping me to become healthier and give my body what it needs. 

Everyone go and check out their website at Minvita

Thanks Minvita!!! <3
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Thursday, 20 November 2014

Sleek Make Up Lipgloss | First Impressions

If you have read one of my previous posts you will know that I went to the Company Bloggers Style the High Street event and received a bloody amazing goodie bag and in it was this Sleek Make Up Gloss Me lipgloss

I received the shade Phoenix Rising, which is a gorgeously deep red with a whole bunch of glitter and shimmer thrown in.  





Man my hand looks so wrinkly!



I must admit when I saw this shade in the tube I thought it's very shimmery so it's going to be quite a sheer colour but as you can see is really is a deep red. If you have read any of my lip posts you will know that I am very much a neutral tone kinda gal. I don't like anything too dark as it can make me look at little old, I just don't like red shades on me. 

However I thought I would give this one the benefit of the doubt as I am such a massive fan of Sleek Make Up it's worth a try. 

It's actually really dark on my lips, but I will say I didn't completely hate it, it's just very different to what I'm used to. I only used a small amount and rubbed it in. I think I would probably like it more if I wore it to go out for a few drinks with the girls or something, it's a bit dark for an everyday lip for me. I did find that the wand was a little bigger than what I'm used to and personally I prefer a doe foot applicator but it does the job. 

One thing I did notice with this product is it did dry my lips out a little, I think my lips were already a little dry and this did not make it any better.

I actually really like the lip gloss, I just have to get myself around to wearing it more often. 

Have you tried any of the Sleek Makeup lipglosses? 
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Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Kiss False Eyelashes | Review

Now, I'm a girl who loves false eyelashes, I can't wear them everyday of course but I do like to whack on a pair if I'm going out or just want to look a bit glam. 

I recently won a blogger giveaway and as part of the prize there was two sets of false eyelashes from the brand Kiss. 





Beautiful aren't they?

I'll be honest I've never heard of the brand before but I had a look online and saw that Boot's sells Kiss false eyelashes for around £4.49.

I went to my dear friend Emma's wedding and thought that this would be a perfect time to try out these beauties. The KFL08C ones are far more glamorous than my other pair (KFL03C) and knowing that this wedding would be an ultra-glamorous event I thought these would be perfect. Usually I wear the Eyelure Girl's Aloud Kimberley lashes, I love the way they taper out at the edges but I really wanted to give these a go. 

I'll be honest, I'm super impressed with the Kiss false eyelashes, they're incredibly lightweight and you can't really tell that you have them on. I like that the individual lashes are rather thin and taper in at the end of each one to make them look at little more natural, though the length definitely shows that they are false. 

The Kiss eyelashes lasted such a long time on, I put them on at 9AM and didn't take them off until 9AM the next morning. I know it's naughty that I slept in them but I was incredibly drunk and as soon as my head hit the pillow I was asleep within seconds. But these things stayed put, no lifting at the edges, no need to add extra glue they looked great the entire night and I completely forgot I was even wearing them. 




Oh yes, I have been converted, I absolutely love these eyelashes and can't wait to try out the KFL03C Kiss false eyelashes that I have. I think the price is a bargain for the quality of these eyelashes, I really am so impressed and I know that I'll wear them several more times until I have to buy some more.

Have you tried out the Kiss false eyelashes before? If so which ones are your favourite?
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Sunday, 16 November 2014

Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake | Recipe

Oh yes, it's that time of the month again, it's my usual baking post, in the past we have had Onion Bread, Double Chocolate Muffins and  Healthy Fruitburst Muffins so today, I thought I would bake a cheese cake. 

I thought I would share with you my ultimate favourite white chocolate Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake and a gingernut biscuit base, YUM!





Now the reason I added a picture of the chocolate is because I cannot stress enough how important it is to use good quality chocolate, I really hate it when people just use cooking chocolate. I understand that those types of products melt quicker but the reality is the the taste just is not the same. So when I bake I always make sure I use the products that I know I love and Green and Blacks is one of them. 

Whilst I have taken a picture of the book to include the ingredients and method I thought I would just break down how I actually made the cheesecake because if you have read my baking posts you'll know that I like to do things with my own twist. 

The Base

This part is pretty long if you don't have a food processor, it probably takes me about 10 mins of bashing the gingernut biscuits into crumbs. The books tells you to put them in a plastic bag and start hitting with a rolling pin, however when I did this the bag of course popped and biscuits went everywhere. Too dramatic for my liking, so I just put them in one of my plastic bowls and hit with the base of my rolling pin. 

After all the bashing, you add melted butter and two tablespoons of caster sugar, mix altogether and put it in your cake tin. Put it in the oven for 10 mins on gas mark 4, when you take it out switch the gas mark to 1 and just leave the base to cool.

The Filling

This is quite straightforward as well, start with your cream cheese, I used Philadelphia because the book states that Philly is fine, so why not. Add your sugar and vanilla essence and mix together to a paste. The next bit is the bit I hate purely because  it changes the consistency of the mixture, adding eggs. As soon as you add one it goes incredibly runny and the recipe tells you to add two. I just add one because in the past I have found that the mixture is so wet that the base lost it's "crunch". 

The next stage is to add the melted white chocolate and mix it altogether, then you simply add the ingredients to the cooled gingernut base. 

Topping

Melt a bit of raspberry jam and add blobs on to of the cheesecake and create a marbled effect on to using a knife or spoon whatever is easiest. Personally add as much or as little as you like, my family is a jammy kinda family so I added quite a few blobs. 

Once that's done you put it in the oven on gas mark 1 for 40 mins and then turn the oven off and leave it in there for about an hour with the door shut to cool down. I then take it out of the oven to let it cool further and then whack it in the fridge for another couple of hours, the book says 3 but as long as it's solid should be fine.  


The end result.







Unfortunately the light was not in my favour when it came to take pictures of the final cheesecake but you can get an idea at least. Sorry it probably doesn't look that appetising, but I must tell you that it really was.   

I love that this cheesecake is actually baked and not just chilled it adds the extra step and you can taste the difference. I mean It's definitely not a recipe to do if you are short for time, with the cooling process, it is several hours but if you are busy doing other stuff then it's great because by the time you come around to eating the Raspberry Swirl cheesecake it's perfectly ready. 

Have you got any cheesecake recipes?
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Thursday, 13 November 2014

Company Bloggers Style the High Street | Event

I recently went to the Company Magazine Bloggers Style the Highstreet event with my two wonderful blogging pals HannahPacha and Mrs Jonas Recommends, check out their blogs. It was an event where Company magazine handpicked some highstreet brands and some famous bloggers to help pick out their favourite pieces to create a fashion show at the Tobacco Dock, in London.

Company also had an area where there was all sorts of treatments being done, from nails, to eyelashes to glittery lips but it was quite a small area so I found it hard to take pictures and I forgot my camera but we all know how awful the iPhone is for good quality pictures.

I did however try out these Lets Go lashes in number 9 Tempress:-



Moving onto the fashion show,again apologies for the lack of imagery, but I did however take some notes of what the collections looked like. Each brand had a blogger chose items from their AW collections to create the runway show. The brands that were included in the fashion show were - 

Warehouse
Oasis
Next
Marks and Spencer
Yumi
Asos
River Island 
Primark

Key Trends:

Faux fur - I don't think a single collection didn't have at least one piece of faux fur, from coats to scarves to gilets. 
Hat - Oh my! Bloggers bloody love a hat, personally hats aren't for me at all but it was definitely a strong theme.
Leather - Oh there was a lot of leather skirts. I must admit I think everyone loves a bit of leather every now and then, personally I couldn't wear a skirt but I'm all about the leather sleeves.
Sparkle/Shimmer - I must admit not every collection had glitter in it but I think there were a lot of stunning pieces and with it being the party season of course those items had to play a part. 

To see all of the collections and which blogger picked which visit Company BHSH

It was good fun, Company definitely know how to throw a good event  also I just have to add how bloody amazing the goodie bag was, jam packed with loads of little fun pieces. 



Loving the look of a lot of things on here and actually I don't think there is a single thing I wouldn't use which is always a bonus. 

Did you go to the Company Blogger Style the High Street event?
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Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Rimmel Glam Eyes Quad Eye Shadow | Review

So Boots reeled me in like a little beauty fish with a 3 for 2 offer on make up, how could I refuse? You can see it in my recent Boots Haul.

I thought I would try out what Rimmel has to offer for eye shadows, I was drawn to this one because it's got 4 lovely, shimmery neutral(ish) shades that just look so nice. This little quad is the Smokey Brown one and on it's own costs £6.99







As you can see 1 and 3 are actually quite subtle but I love the fact I can wear all 4 shades or wear one on it's own. You can really work these together to creat a dramtic smokey brown eye or keep it subtle for an every day look. 

I really like the way they go on my eye as well, they look creamy but are not they are powder but you dont actually need to use a lot, they go onto the eye very well. 

I have been using the second and last shade in my swatch, together and I must admit I really like the look of them on my eyes. I have green eyes and the second shade has copper tone which actually makes my green eyes seem greener, it looks really nice on. They are all really shimmery so if shimmer isn't your thing then these definitely aren't for you. 

They also last really well, I'd say a good 5-6 hours without having to touch it up, but what I really like about this product is that when they do start disappearing they doesn't disappear in patches, the colour just seems to fade a little.  It annoys me when eyeshadows just disappear into the crease. 

Overall a really lovely product, I'm definitely going to try out more quads from Rimmel. 

What's your fave Rimmel eye product?
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