Friday, 29 March 2013

Bourjois Paris Little Round Pot Blush in Healthy Mix

I've always been a fan of Bourjois' nail polishes and glosses, but have never tried one of their iconic 'Little round pot' blushes. It wasn't until I found out that their baked blushes have been around for over 150 years, I knew I had to finally take the plunge .. it must be good, surely?!

Healthy Mix is described as a universal shade, a sun-kissed coral that adds a bit of warmth to a natural look. The adorable compact contains not only the product, but a small curved brush, a brief history of the blush and a mirror for touch-ups. Beautifully compact and scented with rose, these little pots are elegant and efficient, perfect for popping in your clutch on a night out.

As you can see, just two sweeps of product on either cheek is just enough to create an easily-buildable, subtle glow. The curved brush is perfect for sweeping over the apples of your cheeks, but I found that it wasn't too great at blended and I had to reach for another brush to finish the job off. The product is heavily pigmented, so it can easily make you look like a china doll so start off small and build up!
I'm absolutely in love with this shade and feel its perfect for warming up my pale complexion as summer approaches (hopefully!). I completely agree with it being a universal shade, as it's very flattering and adaptable to every skin tone. There's obviously not a lot of product in the pan, but as its highly pigmented I will be hesitant in how much I use so little will go a long way.

You can purchase Natural Mix along with 19 other irresistible shades at your local Boots or Superdrug for £7.49.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

You'll Be Okay

This is going to be quite a personal post, so I apologise in advance if those aren't really your thing.

I won't go into too much detail, but these past few months have been hard for me. Certain events have left me turning into the worst version of myself, and it's been difficult to get back to being me. If you've ever met me, you would immediately see that I was the sort of person to take life by the reigns and remain focused on whatever I set my mind to. However, these past few months I spent the majority of the time trying to be something i'm not in order to please certain people that frankly didn't appreciate who I really was.

When I look back on these months, i'm disappointed in myself to be quite honest. It got to the point where I doubted myself, my confidence was low and I didn't think that what I did and what I wanted to do mattered just because it didn't matter to somebody else. But as cliche as it sounds, time really is a healer. Although I am now back to my old self and begin to move on with my life I decided I needed something with me to serve as a reminder to myself what is important.

I found this bracelet after reading a post from Zoella, and instantly knew this was exactly what I needed. Priced at just over £18 from etsy, this dainty silver-plated 'yes' bracelet serves as a reminder that what I want in life is still important, and instead of focusing my attention on people that don't appreciate me, I should focus on living life to the fullest and pay attention to the family and friends that support my ambition and love me for me.

So whenever I feel a bit low, nervous or doubt myself in any way, I will look to this bracelet and think: "Yes, what you do matters." or simply "Yes, you are going to be okay.". To be quite honest, i'm terrified of somehow going back to that place, and as small as this bracelet may be, it's helped me refocus and I know now that i'm a much stronger person and will no longer 'water myself down' for a person that isn't worth a second thought.

Have a great weekend x 

Friday, 15 March 2013

Lush's 'Mask of Magnaminty' Mask

Okay, so there's one thing you need to know about me... i'm a massive worrier. Whether it's university, my job, my friends or finances, my mind is never completely blank. Not only is it extremely irritating when it comes to attempting to switch my brain off to get a decent nights sleep, it also wreaks havoc on my skin on a regular basis.

Stressed-induced spots are common, so i've been on the hunt for an 'industrial strength' mask or scrub that stops spots in their tracks and gives me on less thing to worry about. To be honest, i'd never heard of Mask of Magnaminty before receiving it as a birthday present from my flatmate, but what its made for is exactly what i've been looking for!

Designed for those spots "that take two days to come up but five days to bugger off", this peppermint mask is not just for spots on your face, but on your back, and any other spot-prone faces for that matter! With added added kaolin, honey, vanilla absolute and ground aduki beans, Mask of Magnaminty promises to rid your skin of stubborn spots and fight outbreaks. I fortunately don't suffer from outbreaks anywhere but my face, so I tried this product as a regular face mask.

One thing I will say is that it applies like cement. It is so thick, so slapping on a generous amount was really fun as I ended up with a mask that was about two inches thick that made me look like the Wicked Witch of the West! The peppermint cools your skin instantly, so I would definitely recommend following the instructions when it comes to not applying anywhere near your eyes. It is instructed to leave the mask on for 5-10 minutes which I found quite daunting, as i've never left a mask on for more than five minutes and I was afraid it would dry out my skin too much. I definitely wouldn't recommend having this mask on whilst walking around the house, as your face gets so cold. The cooling peppermint mixed with the ever-so-slight breeze that hits your face as your walking around your house is not a good combination!

After five minutes, the mask had completely hardened, meaning that after ten I did have trouble washing it off. The ground aduki beans lightly exfoliated my skin whilst I was removing, and the kaolin had helped draw out any impurities. After washing the product off I found my skin felt hydrated and quite tight; a similar feeling you receive after a professional facial treatment. For about half an hour after applying my face still felt cool, and I had found that one of my spots (to be information alert!) had actually been drawn out from being an extremely irritating red bump!

For £4.95 I would say this should be a staple in every spot-sufferers cosmetics kit. It's refreshing, hydrating and leaves your skin feeling squeaky-clean and impurity free. Peppermint is a natural stimulant, so this mask is perfect in the morning when your skin needs a little pick-me-up. Due to its thickness i'd only recommend using this once a week, but I can definitely see myself reaching for this after a heavy night or when i'm struck down with a spot before an evening out!

You can purchase Mask of Magnaminty at your local Lush store or online here from £4.95 for 125g.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Clarins' '3-Dot Liner'

Liquid eye-liner and I have never seen eye-to-eye (pardon the pun!). Whether its my extremely small eyelids or my obscenely shaky hand, achieving the perfect cat-flick has always been way beyond my reach. Therefore, when I was given Clarins' '3-Dot' Liner* to try, I couldn't wait to find out whether or not this would be the answer to my problems.

Sorry about the damaged packaging, i've been waiting to review this for a while!

As the diagram suggests, you simply just use the revolutionary 'triple-point applicator' to dot above the lashline, and as the dots join they form a straight line. Easy! The idea of a 'pen' style is particularly affective as it allows easier grip and you can get close to the lash line, giving the illusion of a fuller-looking lash line.

It looks so simple I can't believe nobody had thought of it before! However, as you can see my camera is zoomed in quite far, and the three 'prongs' are actually really small and don't distribute a lot of product, so actually achieving the line does take a while. Therefore, I do sometimes fill it in by lining it like a normal liner, but the dots make amazing guidelines and have definitely made the process easier. When using gel or regular liquid liner it's near enough impossible to make the line symmetrical, but with the lack of product distributed it does achieve a thin line that can easily be built on, making achieving a matching line on each eye possible.

For £20, this is perfect for anyone who isn't a liner pro (So that's 99% of us!). I'll admit it is expensive, but this liner does not budge until removed with eye make-up remover - making it perfect as a day liner, and then built on by adding a flick and increasing the thickness for the evening.

You can purchase Clarins' '3-Dot Liner' from your local Clarins counter.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Barry M Gelly Hi Shine Nail Paint in 'Green Berry'

Everybody loves a bit of neon! Don't deny it, on a dreary day a pop of colour is exactly what we all need! However, at this moment in time i'm not quite ready to step out of myself in a pair of luminous yellow flatforms, so i'll be sticking to changing up my nail colour.

Gelly Hi Shine is one of Barry M's newest 'Effect' products, aiming to leave nails with an ultra glossy finish with their gel effect polishes. With 13 different colours on offer, from pastel pink to vibrant oranges, this range is perfect for incorporating lashings of neon to an otherwise plain outfit. I chose Green Berry as I wanted an easier transition from my usual matte pastels to full-on 'out there' nails!

The polish applies easily and only requires a single coat to achieve the same quality of colour as it is in the bottle. The 'hi-shine' element is definitely spot-on, however I found that it started chipping within two days, and after five I had to remove as it has removed completely from half of my nails. But isn't the colour ah-mazing?! So vibrant and fun, its just a shame it doesn't last as long as I would have expected.  For £3.99 I don't mind adding a few touch up's to keep my nails looking fresh ... the colour and finish makes the extra effort worth it!

You can purchase products from the Gelly Hi Shine range at your local Boots, Superdrug or from their official website here.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Cake Pops!

I'm so excited to be able to finally write this post! After what feels like months of looking at various food blogs, I finally got round to making my own cake pops - yaaaaaaay! Cake pops are originally an American specialty, but the trend has caught on in the UK, and now people are really starting to get creative with various shapes and coatings. For those of you who are unaware, cake pops resemble old fashioned lollipops, with sponge cake inside and coated with either chocolate or candy melts. Yum!

My friend Beth (From The Pastel Girl) and I decided to spend a lazy day off from University baking, and got so carried away we forgot to take plenty of pictures. But here is the general gist of how they turned out and how we made them!

For 16 cake pops you will need: 

 - 70g softened butter or margarine
- 70g caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 70g self-raising flour
- A drop of milk

- Half a packet of candy melts
- Cake pop moulds
- Candy pop sticks
- Whatever decorations you like!

1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4/180C/350F and lightly grease the cake pop moulds.
2. Cream the butter and sugar together, followed by mixing in the egg and vanilla extract.
3.Fold in the flour using a large spoon, and add a tiny drop of milk to ensure the mixture is the right consistency to be spooned into the moulds.
4. Spoon the mixture into the bottom half of the moulds*, and pop into the oven for 15-18 minutes.
5. Once removed from the oven, pop a skewer into the hole in the top half of the moulds and if it comes out clean, remove them from the moulds to cool.
6. Gently melt the candy melts in the microwave, dip one end of the sticks into the melt mixture and insert into the cake pops. Wait five minutes for the melt mixture to dry.

7. From there, you can go a bit crazy! Gently coat the cake pops in the candy melt, followed by adding any decoration you like (We used sprinkles, chocolate flakes and chocolate drops!). Leave to dry standing up.

And there you have it! I don't think it could have gone any better. It was so simple to do, and so much fun to make. I'm now tempted to buy different mould shapes and experiment with different coloured candy melts to create presents or just as a treat for myself! If your stuck for something to do one rainy day or need a simple activity for the kids over the weekend, this is something I definitely recommend.

*You are able to make cake-pops without moulds, simply cook the sponge as you would for a regular sponge cake, and crumble up the cooked cake in a bowl with the buttercream/icing (which will act as the glue to hold the balls together!), then simply mould into balls and leave to set!