30 August 2015

Sunday Pamper | Lifestyle

Sometimes I feel I'm just so busy during the week I really forget to pamper myself over the weekend. Let's face it, when Sunday rolls around we do get the shocking realisation that Monday is just around the corner. This is when I try to make sure I make the most out of my sunday and give myself a bit of a pamper. 

I do feel that sometimes Sunday's can be a bit boring, I spend most of my time on my laptop readib and commenting on other blogs but every now and then you kinda have to switch off a little. When the afternoon rolls around that's when I start my little pamper routine. I think a face mask can go a long way, there are a lot of good masks out there and personally my favourite type is a clay mask. I have written about several different claybased masks such as Australian Bodycare and Clayspray both very good masks, both very different. I do like trying out new clay masks and this week it had to be Ahava, it's a brand that's a little tricky to get in the UK but if you can do it! I really loved this mask, my skin looked so fresh once I removed it and it didn't dry as hard as others. 

What goes hand in hand with a facemask? It has to be a bath, I know every blogger in the world loves Lush, including myself but I think when it comes to ultimate indulgence you have to go for something with a lot of bubbles. For me there is only one product that is the epitome of indulgent baths and it is the Laura Mercier body and bath in the scent fresh fig and honey. I absolutely adore the scent of this bubble bath and a little goes a very long way, you actually get a really cute honey dipper to use with this product which means you don't actually use a lot. 

I have also recently tried out this Phyotherma Seaweed soap, it's really great because there are little pieces in the soap so that it works as an exfoliator as well. I love a good exfoliation and I usually use my exfoliating gloves as well as the soap just to feel extra smooth. Moving onto nails, I always think that painting my nails is a little therapeutic and I like to have them fresh for Monday morning. I have been loving pastel shades on my nails lately so that's something I always opt for. 

And what pamper Sunday would be complete without chocolate? If you have read my Pana Chocolate review you'll know that I am obsessed with this brand, it's just so delicious and actually quite healthy in comparison to other chocolate. 

What are your pamper tips for a Sunday? 
27 August 2015

Topshop Lizard Skater Shoes | Fashion

Topshop Lizard Skater Shoes

Oh aren't they just so pretty? Last year I very nearly bought something very similar to these shoes from Topshop but didn't, I think they were a crocodile print or something and I did regret not buying them. However I watched one of the Lily Pebbles vlogs  a while ago and she mentioned that she bought them. I was thrilled to know they have brought them back into stock this year as well. 

Over the winter I pretty much lived in ankle boots, I love them, with every single outfit! But as the sun was coming out more this year it meant it's getting just a little too warm to wear my chunky boots. Ages ago I bought some trainer flats from Next and still wear them today but they are a pale blue striped colour so don't always look right with my vast amount of black clothing which is why these lizard print shoes are perfect. 

I rarely buy anything in Topshop, the clothing just isn't good for my body shape but the accessories and shoes are definitely something I can fall in love with. These flats were only £20 which I think is is a really good price. At first I do think they are really tight, you've definitely gotta wear them in a bit, in fact I wore them without socks the other day for like 30 minutes and they rubbed really badly on my heel. If I went I size up then they would be massive which is why i just think it's a case of breaking them in. 

What are your favourite items from Topshop lately?
25 August 2015

Orofluido Zen Control Elixir | Beauty

I have never heard of the brand Orofluido before I went to the Catlyst PR event, but when I saw it I was immediately drawn to it. The packaging on this Zen Control Elixir has a very luxurious feel, I really love the detailing with the red flowers over the box. As with any hair product I always smell it first and Oh. My. God. This stuff smells amazing, I would almost consider wearing it as perfume if I were able to. It has a combination of floral and fruit scents, I'd say it is really sweet but the floral tones brings it down just a notch to it isn't too over powering. 

So what does this Zen Control Elixir do? It created to help control frizz, elasticity and smoothness. It was originally created for women who have quite dry and brittle hair but have issues with frizz in humid temperatures. It also has 3 key Asia ingredients which are Tsubaki (camellia) Oil, which is like an anti ageing oil with moisturing and repairing properties. Bamboo Extract which helps with elasticity and Rice Oil which adds shine and helps prevent split ends. My hair doesn't get too frizzy though there are a few times where it does look a little dry and damaged so I have been on the hunt for something that could help with this. 

I have fair hair and it is pretty fne so I am always really cautious with using oils because they can make my hair look incredibly flat and lifeless. But this Orofluido product just smells so amazing I wanted to try it out for sure. The leaflet advises that you should only use 1-3 drops which is a tiny amount so not as scary as I first thought. I rubbed it into my hair when it was damp after I had a shower and then blow dried it. I must admit I really thought that the scent would be really strong in my hair after I had dried it but unfortunately it almost disappeared which is a real shame because I really liked it. Like you could kinda smell it but it wasn't as lovely as what it is in the bottle. 

I was impressed that the oil did manage to keep my hair fairly frizz free but as I mentioned, I don't have crazy frizzy hair anyway. It definitely made my hair look a little less damaged which is always good in my books. I will probably use this oil every now and then as more of a treatment as opposed to everyday. I think it would be great if you had thick or curly hair. 

Have you tried out anything from Orofluido before? 
23 August 2015

Las Iguanas Review | Food

Las Iguanas Westfield Stratford

Las Iguanas Westfield Stratford

Las Iguanas Westfield Stratford

Las Iguanas Westfield Stratford

Las Iguanas Westfield Stratford

Las Iguanas Westfield Stratford

Las Iguanas Westfield Stratford

Today I thought I would talk about a restaurant I've been to a few times before but I really like the food so I thought I would share it with you guys. Firstly I'd just like to apologise for the awful picture quality the lighting was a nightmare and I think I need to start taking my actual camera out with me. Also, if you are reading this thinking "I thought she had a wheat intolerance" this post has been in my drafts for quite sometime, I can no longer eat some of this delicious food. 

Las Iguanas is a South American style restaurant with Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Indian influences. I'd say there are elements of foods that are similar to Mexican cuisine. Me and my gorgeous friend Vernia visited the one in Westfield Stratford though there are loads dotted around London so you can easily find one if you did want to check it out. 

When we were waiting to be seated the waitress asked whether we wanted a different menus for vegan/gluten free etc which I actually thought was a really nice touch because everyone has different tastes and it's nice that they acknowledge this. We just had the standard menu thought because me and my dear love a bit of meat *ahem*. Much to my delight it was happy hour until 10 which meant 2 for 1 on cocktails and a select of non alcoholic coolers, very yummy indeed. I had the Strawberry Red, I mean you know I love a red fruit cocktail. 

We opted for the sharing tapas dishes, I bloody love tapas. Las Iguanas do either 3 dishes for £14.40 or 5 dishes for £24 which I think its a really good price when split between two or three of you. We went for the 5 dishes mainly because I was very hungry and I do like to try a variety of different things. You can see in the pictures above what arrived but I'll break it down a little clearer. Nachos, nachos are such a good addition to everything! I could have nachos all day long but we got them with Shredded Beef in Chipotle sauce which was very yummy. We then went for the Pato Taquito which is Duck and Caramlised Onions in a flour tortilla with a side of cranberry sauce, I really like duck so actually these were very nice. Not spicy but incredibly flavoursome. We also had Empanadas and these were probably my favourite dish actually, they are two crispy filled pasties with lamb, onions and peppers. My mouth is watering just thinking about these little things! This also came with the cranberry sauce which actually complimented them quite well. With two more options to fill we went for the Albondigas which essentially were meatballs, I'd say these would be a miss for me. They were fine but just minty lamb meatballs. For the final dish we went with spicy chicken Quesadillas which also had onions and peppers in and they were bloody lovely. 

I know what you're thinking this was a lot of food but for £12 each I think it's an utter bargain. We did go a little naughty and get dessert and I opted for the Caramel Cake which was delicious, I was expecting this to be quite heavy and sickly, but oh my god! It wasn't at all, it was light and fluffy. 

In total the entire bill came to around the £50 mark, considering that was for 4 drink, 5 tapas dishes and two desserts I think that is a fantastic price. The staff were efficient, friendly and the food was amazing, what's not to love?

Have you been to Las Iguanas?
20 August 2015

L'Oreal Colour Riche | Beauty

If you have read my Forgotten Make Up bag Haul, you'll know that I picked this up on a whim. I love a neutral lip, I am getting better with pinky tones and slight redder shades but I will never be the girl who puts on a pillar box red lipstick. 

When I was looking for a lipstick I really wanted something from the Rimmel Nude Kate collection but the Boots I was in had an awful range so I wandered down to the L'Oreal section. To be fair, I have been eyeing up these Colour Riche shades for a little while now, there were some really lovely nudes and I did like Eva's one but when I saw the J Lo shade I knew this was the one I had to pick up. I love this lipstick. When I swatched it I noticed that it's actually a very subtle, so that when you put it on your lips it's almost undetectable. This shade in particluar is the most perfect match for my natural lip colour anyway. 

It's got a silky finish and feel incredibly nourishing on your lips. I also must just comment on the scent of this lipstick, it has been likened to a slight "granny smell" which i can kinda see but it doesn't last long once it's applied so it's fine. I know that some people don't like it when lipsticks do smell so I would advise taking a whiff before buying it. It's super easy to apply and it does have quite a soft texture. When I wear it I'm always really impressed with how it goes on and how natural it looks. 

In terms on longevity I'd say it's not the best because it is such a soft light kind of lipstick but again, I don't really mind reapplying. I think with nude shades it's easier to get away with because it's not that noticeable if the lipstick does start disappearing. 

Also, if you want a swatch of this product drop me a message on twitter and I'll take one for you. 

Have you tied any of the Colour Riche lipsticks? 
18 August 2015

August Birchbox | Beauty

The Beauty Junkie Box, I must admit there wasn't a massive amount of hype surrounding this months Birchbox which is a good thing sometimes because then it makes it more of a surprise when it does arrive. That being said, I am pretty disappointed with this month's box. 

Don't get me wrong we have some great brands in this box, but I was just a little underwhelmed, I think we've been spoiled with the recent great boxes. So shall we have a deeper look at what I actually receieved?

Firstly, I noticed that this month we got tiny little emoji stickers, which are pretty cute but honestly I'm never, ever, going to use them. I'm sure there will be a lot of people who like these stickers but my personal style isn't the cute pastel shades thing so these are probably going to go to my little goddaughter. Another item I'm not that thrilled about is the Huygens facial scrub, it has rice particles so it's a little gentler than other face scrubs but it just isn't something I've going to use. I can't use anything too abrasive on my face and this scrub definitely looks a little too gritty for my liking. 

Speaking of scrubs I also received Rituals Fortune Scrub which is to be used on your body, this I can work with a little more, it smells really nice it has orange and cedar wood in it so I'm looking forward to trying this one out. In the gym bag it goes. A Birchbox brand favourite is Beauty Protector which is a hair care brand and I have tried out a lot of difference products because of Birchbox. This month I received the Protect and Oil hair oil, I actually received two little bottles which is quite generous because you only need 1-3 drops applied to your hair. The thing that annoys me about the brand, is that there is little information on how to use the product but maybe this is just on the samples? The thing I looooooove about this brand is all their products smell amazing!

Moving onto make up items, I have received the Laura Mercier Full Blown Volume Supreme Mascara which I am incredibly excited to try out as I haven't used any Laura Mercier make up products before, lets see what it does for my lashes. Next is the Lord & Berry blusher in Lotus, another one I'm actually pretty excited to give a go. I really like the shade of this blush it isn't too pink, just kinda add a bit of warmth to the cheeks as well as a nice flush of colour. It's a little hard to store because it's just one little disk but it'll be fine.

Lastly we have an item which is probably going to get the most use from me which is the L. Erickson hair band which is metal free so less damaging and it's quite chunky. My hair goes up when I go to the gym so I pretty much always have a hair band on my wrist but I kinda like that it looks a bit different from other hair brands, almost a little stylish. 

So there we have August's Birchbox, it's nice but I'm not blown away by it. 

What did you get in your Birchbox?
16 August 2015

Going Wheat Free | Lifestyle

Bit of a random picture, I know but I wanted something that would make sense to this post because I am giving up wheat. 

Bold statement I know, but let me give you a bit of background. If you have been following my blog this year you'll know that I have really focused on my health which has meant I have changed my eating habits altogether and have a great fitness routine. For the first 6 months I was very strict and I've come to realise that my diet had the most minimal amount of wheat in it. Over time recently I have started eating more things that have had wheat in them and it seems that I have randomly developed an intolerance. I have heard that people can develop intolerance to things they have previous cut out of their diet but it's just weird isn't it? I've spent my entire life eating wheat, cut it out for a mere 6 months and now I can't eat it. I didn't intentionally give wheat up specifically but I did give up all white breads, pastas and treats.

At first I couldn't work out why I was getting these stomach cramps or felt sick after eating, when I first realised it could be an intolerance was when I had some cheesecake with a work pal and felt sick very shortly after. I had a look at the packet and wheatflour was highlighted in bold, it made sense. I was eating pizza bases, burger buns, white bread and each time I'd be in pain with my stomach. I monitored it over a couple of weeks and it became very apparent to me that it was wheat. 

It means that this month I am going to go entirely without any wheat to see what kinda of impact that's going to have on my body and just see how hard it actually is. Wheat is in everything, all my favourite naughty treats, but the fun thing is now I have to really have a look at each product and make my snack a considered snack. I already know that there are some fantastic brands out there that make whet free foods which I love but it'll be a great challenge to see how I actually get on. 

I'm going to write another post after I have done it for a month tp let you guys know how I got on. 

Do you have any tips for going wheat free?
13 August 2015

Uniq One All In One Coconut Hair Treatment | Beauty

This post is a bit of a different one because I'm actually writing about a hair product which doesn't usually feature on my blog. As you may know I went to a PR event and there was a fantastic range of brands which also included Revlon. Most of you will be familiar with Revlon but it's a great salon brand that does an amazing range of hair care products. 

I haven't tried that many Revlon products before because actually the majority of their ranges are for coloured hair. Being blonde almost 99% of people think my hair is dyed, it really isn't. I must admit I am very fortunate because it is a really light blonde colour but honestly it isn't died which means the majority of products effects are wasted on me because I don't need "colour protection/enhancers" .This being said my hair is quite damaged. I am really bad when it comes to using heat protectors, I just find that because my hair is very fine every single product weighs it down. I used to straighten my hair like everyday, I only blow dry it everyday. I was given this Uniq One all in one hair treatment to try out and I was quite impressed with the benefits this product claims to have. 

Uniq One has a massive 10 benefits of using it such as, detangling, shine and frizz control, UVA and UVB filters, split end prevention etc. It pretty much lists every single thing I need to help with my hair. I do get a lot of split ends and my hair is damaged because I wash it everyday. Before any one says it, I know washing my hair everyday is naughty, but I go to the gym everyday and I sweat a lot then go to work. I can't rock up with greasy hair I'd feel awful. But I am trying to was it less at the weekend opting to not wash it at all to give it a bit of a break. Sorry, I digress, let me get back to Uniq One. When I first sprayed it I was hit immediately with the coconut scent, we all know the amazing benefits that coconut has on hair so I felt quite happy that this product also had it in there. 

As my hair get greasy pretty quickly I make sure I only spray it on the mid to end parts of my hair keeping away from my scalp and I was so impressed with how quickly I noticed the difference in my hair. I sprayed it on wet hair and then blow dried it and found that this product was incredibly easy to work with.  After the first week I really noticed a difference in the way my hair looked and felt, my split ends actually appeared to be reduced (!)  Over a month I found my hair looking really healthy and soft.

It also works as a fantastic heat protection spray, honestly, I don't know why I haven't tried this product out before. Uniq One will work for everyone, with 10 benefits I'd struggle to add anything else I could need for my hair to this list. 

The product retails for around £15 for 150mls so it is a little pricey but you know what I don't even care because Uniq One is definitely worth it. 

What are you favourite Revlon hair products?
11 August 2015

EcoTools Angled Kabuki Brush | Beauty

I've just had to add this addition to my make up brush collection. If you have seen my Forgotten Make up Bag Haul then you'll know that I have used that as an excuse to just go ahead and buy some new products and brushes. 

In all honestly I probably didn't need another make up brush but when I saw this EcoTools Angled Kabuki brush I couldn't say no. It just looked so fluffy! Almost all of my brushes are Real Techniques but I do have the EcoTools powder brush which is lovely. I bought this brush to apply my bronzer with, bronzer is something I never usually wear but because I forgot the make up bag, I thought I could kill two birds with one stone and use the bronzer as a bit of contour as well. 

The angled kabuki brush is actually pretty big so when you put in in the pan it picks up a lot of product which is a good thing because you just lightly dust all of your face focusing on the areas you'd usually catch the sun, around the tops of your forehead and cheek bones etc. I really like that this is angled because when I tried just a little light contouring with the hollow of my cheeks it worked perfectly. Don't get me wrong this brush is too big to do any proper contouring with but if you want something that you can lightly use this works as well. 

It's a really great brush and super soft, the only thing that's a little annoying is it is hard to store because of it's shape so I kind just have to stand it up near my brush pot. It's not one I use all the time but it has worked it's way into my favourites. 

What EcoTools brush would you recommend? 
9 August 2015

The Breakfast Club, Spitalfields | Lifestyle

Now how delicious does that look! I can almost taste it as I write this post. 

I've never been to The Breakfast Club in Spitalfields before and I literally have no idea why this hasn't happened! I went for a breakfast meeting, a pretty casual meeting and the place was rammed. I couldn't believe how busy it was but now I totally understand, it's lucky we booked a table in advance. The breakfast menus was massive and so much variety, if you wanted to for a standard kinda fry up you could, if you wanted to go with the healthy option then they had a range of porridge. I went for the very unhealthy option of pancakes and bacon but it was so yummy. 

They also do a range of food for lunch and dinner as well, but the really interesting thing is the fridge, it's essentially a doorway through to another area. It's such a quirky place to visit, the food comes in large dishes that kind of remind me of the plates and mugs you take whilst camping. It has a really chilled vibe that I liked, not your usual restaurant experience because it was quirky and different but I loved it. The staff were equally chilled but so friendly and incredibly personable.

The pancakes were actually really big, it was like 4 thick pancakes 3 slices of bacon and a generous amount of maple syrup. I actually couldn't finish it all, I had a very good go though. The pancakes cost about £9 which is a little pricey but I would pay it every time it was a fantastic breakfast. I think I'm going to have to try out dinner and drinks one night soon. 

Have you been to The Breakfast Club? 
6 August 2015

Top 3 Lip Products I'm Loving Lately | Beauty

Lipsticks and pencils are something I never really used to focus on, don't get me wrong I love my MAC Blankety but other than that I never really invested much thought into my lips. The thing is, I'm an eye gal, it's all about the liquid eyeliner and lashes. However lately I have found myself experimenting more and more, mostly with nude shades but still. 

First up we have the Dr.PAWPAW lip and cheek peach pink lip balm, I am seriously in love with this product. I have tried the original balm and I loved how quickly it restored and nourished my lips but this balm is just so pretty. Depending on your skin tone, it'll either go a pinky shade or a peachy shade. It goes a really pretty pink on me which isn't something I'm used to. It's super long lasting and it really does keep you lips soft all day. I cannot shout enough about this balm.  

Next up is a nude, I know I just mentioned how I am experimenting more with different colour but you just can't beat a nude shade. This is the L'Oreal Colour Riche and it's the J Lo nude shade. This lip stick is stunning, it's a very neutral shade it's like your own lips but better. At first I almost found it unnoticeable because it is such a great colour match to my natural lip colour anyway. I feel like with this lipstick you have to reapply often but I still love it. 

Lastly we have the Nars Satin Lip Pencil which I have already reviewed but of my god, I just love this pencil! It's a lovely red tone but it's the finish i love the most, it really does that that satin look and feel when you wear it.

What are your favourite lip products?
4 August 2015

Barbara Hofmann Special Brush Cleaning Soap | Beauty

As you may know, I was very lucky to attend a PR event the other week where there was a whole variety of amazing brands. One brand was Beauty Crowd which is a wonderful online store that sells a variety of different  make up and beauty brands. I was kindly given this Barbara Hofmann product to try out, which is the Special Brush Cleaning Soap.

All beauty lovers know the utter pain of having to wash multiple different brushes and whilst I don't mind washing my make up brushes it does take forever to do. I used to use very simply the Johnsons Baby Shampoo just because it was small and easy and did a fine job of cleaning my brushes. The only thing I really hated was that it did take for ever to wash and I'd end up getting bored half way through. I have seen other brands do a solid soap like this Barbara Hofmann one before in a tin but never tried it out. 

I was really excited to try it out because I wanted to see whether it would cut down any time on washing the brushes and in short, it did. Firstly, I've just got to mention the scent,! It smells of lemons and I love lemons. It smells super fresh and zesty why wouldn't you want your make up brushes to smell like this? Secondly, all you have to do is wet your make up brush, give it a swirl in the tin to lather up a little and rinse. It really is that easy, I was incredibly impressed with how quickly and easily it clean my brushes. I felt like I had to do a lot less rinsing than what I usually do with the baby shampoo. As you can see, my brush was hardly filthy but it still hadn't been washed for at least a week and you can see the difference in colour after I used the soap. Another thing I loved is the fact it comes in a tin, it so easy to store. 

If you wash your make up brushes, and you should, I would definitely suggest buying this product, it will make that task so much easier. The Special Brush Cleaning soap is only £6.95 from Beauty Crowd which I think is a great price considering it's a solid soap and quite chunky. This product is going to last me a very long time. 

What products do you use to wash your brushes with?

2 August 2015

Biscuiteers Icing Class | Lifestyle

I was recently invited* to attend an Icing Class at Biscuiteers in Notting Hill. If you don't know much about Biscuiteers, they specialise in beautifully decorated iced biscuits. They really do offer a range of different types to suit everyone and their tag line is "Why send flowers when you could send biscuits" This is actually a very good point, flowers are going to die but these pretty biscuits will leave a much fonder memory for the recipient. 

The 2 hour long icing class actually takes place down stairs from the cafe which is a nice touch because you're completely surrounded by biscuits. We were welcomed by the very lovely Michelle who handed each of us our very own Biscuiteers apron. There was 6 of us in this class, there was a small group of women who were having a real blast, myself and another lady. 

When we first sat down Michele asked us to practice on some grease-proof paper just so that we can start getting used to how to hold the bags, which sounds silly I know but actually it's very important otherwise you could squeeze too much of the product out and it just looks a mess. I went to the Festival themed icing class which meant that we had a variety of festival type of cookie shapes such as wellies, beer glass, camp fire and even a camping van 

In the class you primarly use two types of icing, the line icing which is a really simple royal icing recipie and the flood/liquid icing which is exactly the same as the line icing but it's slightly runnier so you can fill in the spaces. I'm not going to lie to you, I really struggled with the straight lines, I was squeezing too hard and not moving my hand quick enough which made it look all wobbly but it was my first time.  

The flood icing was much easier to use because you squeeze a massive blob in the middle and use the end of the nozzle to spread it around the biscuit. Then we were advised to tap the top of the biscuit with the skewer to pop any bubbles that may remain underneath the surface. Once you filled in the biscuits they went back in the oven at a very low temperature to harden the icing but not actually cook the biscuit any more. 

Once they came back out of the oven we were ready to add more detail to them using the line icing again. The detailing definitely helped to make mine look a little better. The really fun biscuit to ice was the flames because you mixed the orange and yellow flood icing together by running a skewer over the top of it creating a marbled effect, so pretty. 

Michelle was the most perfect teacher, really chatty and involved everyone. She gave us lots of advice and support and even when I put my rather ugly creations on the board she always said "oh they look lovely" even if they really didn't. 

The end result...

Ok, so I'm never going to be offered a job to work at Biscuiteers. Yes, I know I have a lot of work to do but let's face it, I'm just not very artistic. But this Festival Icing Class was fun. If you are into icing or would love to give it a go the you absolutely must try one of these classes out for yourself. They even do Icing Lates where you can ice biscuits with a glass of bubbly in your hand, in the evening

I would definitely recommend it to groups of people, Biscuiteers run a variety of different classes and themes so there is definitely something for everyone. They also present you with a little certificate and you get a gorgeous metal tin to take your biscuits home in as well as the apron. I think it's fantasic. The cost of these classes are a little pricey at £78 but for everything you get with it and the skills and techniques you can learn it's definitely worth it. 

Would you ever go to an icing class? 

*Invited by Biscuiteers to review