Thursday, 27 February 2014

My Monthly Favourites - February 2014

Hi guys. It's that time of the month again for me to talk about my monthly favourites. I always forget that February is the shortest month of the year, so this has come around so quickly! I have bought a couple of new items recently, as well as discovering an old favourite so I have a lot of recommendations for you all. So, on that note, let's get started!

First up is this Dove body wash. I have never featured a body wash on my blog before because let's face it, they aren't all that interesting! Although, I think I have become addicted to this one in particular. I have always been a fan of Dove as a brand because all of their products have great moisturising properties that do not dry out my skin in the slightest. However, the main reason I love this product is simply the scent. The combination of plum and sakura blossom (,a fancy name for cherry blossom,) smells divine. In fact, the whole Go Fresh line has a lovely range of scents and I have pretty much tried all of them. I will definitely be re-purchasing this body wash again in the future, I cannot get enough.

Next up is a product that had been forgotten about in the back of my drawer for a little while now. I am a huge fan of sea salt sprays as they give great texture for my fine hair, especially when I have my hair in loose, beachy curls - which I do most days. I bought this spray in Sainsbury's, which coincidentally is the only place I have ever seen it being sold, to replace my Toni & Guy Casual Sea Salt Texturising Spray. The reason for this is purely because I wanted a cheaper alternative to the Toni & Guy version, even though I do prefer that one by a slight margin. Never the less, this spray does an excellent job and I thoroughly recommend it.

This product is probably my favourite out of the bunch this month. Since it's release, this product has been extremely hyped up in the beauty blogging world but for good reason! After contemplating for at least 15 minutes about which shade to try first, I finally settled on 'Standout' - a dark, cherry red shade. My main concern about this matte balm was that it would really dry out my lips and cling to any flaky patches, however, it doesn't at all. It glides on so nicely and sits really well on lips, plus I love the colour! It is also so long-lasting, to the point where I only had to top it up once whilst I was out clubbing last weekend. In addition to this, I think the matte packaging is a nice extra touch by Revlon, so that you can easily differentiate between the these and the lacquer balms that have also been released. I highly recommend this balm to anybody who hasn't got around to trying them yet (where have you been?) It's definitely a toss up between the colours 'Elusive' or 'Sultry' as to which shade I try next.

Another great yet inexpensive product that I have been loving this month is this Nivea day cream. The reason behind this purchase was because the other week I had a terrible cold which left my skin really dry, especially round the nose area. Due to the fact that my skin is usually oily, I tend to stick to my Simple Hydrating Light Moisturiser but it just wasn't rich enough to treat those dry areas. Although this is a day cream I have been using at night time as it is very thick and rich, therefore its not good to use prior to applying makeup. Even after one night, my skin was so much softer and the dryness had already started to fade. Now after a week of using the cream, my skin is so supple and there is not a dry patch in sight. Not only this but strangely, my skin is now really clear and I have no blemishes at all. I don't know if this is merely a coincidence but hey, I'm happy! This is a great cream which will definitely now have a permanent place in my skin care regime.

Last but not least is this gorgeous highlighter from Topshop. I have only just written a review of this product on Monday (click here to read,) so I am going to keep this review short and sweet. This product is a cream highlighter which blends seamlessly due to it's texture. It adds a lovely luminosity to the skin and it looks beautiful on the tops of your cheekbones. It is quite a glittery highlighter so I am going to use it more at night time when I go to parties or out clubbing etc, as it certainly isn't subtle but I love that look! This is the first makeup product I have ever purchased in Topshop and I will definitely be buying more in the future!

So, that's it for this month! I hope you enjoyed reading about my February favourites. Which products have you been loving over the past month? I would love to know what you have been reaching for! Thank you :) 

Monday, 24 February 2014

Topshop Glow Highlighter in 'Polish' Review

Hi guys. On Friday, I popped into my local Topshop in aid of treating myself to a little something after having quite a shoddy week. I was intending on buying an item of clothing but nothing really caught my eye or was in my budget. So, after standing deliberating over all of the lovely products at the make-up stand for about 10 minutes, I ended up walking away £9.00 poorer but with this gorgeous Topshop highlighter in my hand!

Topshop's 'Glow' comes in two different colours; Polish, (a pearly white) and Gleam (a glittery gold.) I opted for Polish as I decided that it would definitely suit my skin tone better and I imagine that Gleam would look better on darker skin tones. I only got into using a highlighter in the later part of last year and up until now, I have been using Soap & Glory's 'Glow All Out' (which you can read my review on here.) However, the main difference between these two products is that 'Glow All Out' is a powder whereas 'Polish' is cream based.

 I was amazed by just how luminous the product was when I first swatched it on the back of my hand and I knew that had to have it! As soon as I got home, I applied the product onto the tops of my cheekbones and I was still just as impressed. The creamy consistency made it so easy to blend and I was left with lovely, luminous glow to my skin. It catches the light really well and I do think that it take any make-up look to the next level. I can only imagine how radiant and glowy it will make my skin look in the summer when it is nice and sunny outside!

The only thing that I would say is that I did not find this highlighter is not subtle. So, I would probably stick to using at at night time for clubbing and so on, rather than during the daytime as it could be a bit too much. The only other downside to this product is that I can imagine it to be rather troublesome to get out of the pot when you are running low and there is less product in there but I guess time will tell with that one!

Overall, this is a lovely little highlighter which does not cost you an arm and a leg. This is actually the first ever make-up item that I have ever bought from Topshop and I am thoroughly impressed, so I am sure that I will be buying more items from them in the future. I would love to know your thoughts on the Topshop range and if you have any product recommendations, so please leave me a comment below if you have any suggestions for me! Thank you :)

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

My Recent Fashion and Beauty Purchases

Hi guys, today I thought that I would show you some bits and pieces that I have bought over the past month or so. I am on a slight spending ban right now, so all of the items (except one) that featured in this post are extremely purse-friendly - which is great news if any of you end up wanting to buy them too! You will also see quite a repetitive theme throughout the items too as I love patterns, especially anything floral. So, let's delve straight in and see what I've purchased.

Daisy Crop Top from H&M - £5.99
I absolutely adore this top! For ages now I have wanted a top with a daisy pattern on it and have seen plenty around, though I have refrained from buying them. They have lots of these tops on Forever 21, however their sizes do not fit me too well usually. I am so glad I found this little beauty in H&M as their sizing is perfect on me and for just £5.99, you really can't go wrong. I haven't seen any other patterns of this top just quite yet but if they release some, I will most definitely be snapping them up!

Dress from Primark - £5.00
Just this morning, my Mum popped into our local Primark and bought me back this dress as a little treat. I love bodycon style dresses as they suit my petite frame and do not overwhelm me too much. I think that this item is really versatile; I could wear it now with tights and ankle boots, or bare-legged with sandals as we transition into summer. The pinky/red colour is really lovely and I can see myself getting a lot of wear out of this dress.

I bought these two nail polishes in Boots kind of impulsively on my way to the till but for £1.99 each, I just couldn't resist. 'Frenzy' is my favourite out of the two for obvious reasons - I just love glitter! The blue, purple and silver flecks of glitter create a lovely combination on the nails. On the other hand, 'Winterberry' is a lot more of a neutral colour which is pretty unusual for me. Despite it looking kind of horrible in the bottle, on the nail it is a slightly shimmery grey colour with mauve undertones. A perfect every day colour to go with any outfit whatsoever! 

I won't go into too much detail about this lip crayon as I am going to be featuring it in my monthly favourites, however, I couldn't wait any longer to mention it. I'm sure everybody and their mother has seen a review on this product by now but it's not surprising when it's this good. 'Standout' is a lovely red colour which is extremely flattering. Being a matte balm, you would expect it to be quite drying on the lips but to my surprise, it really isn't. This is without a doubt my go to lip product right now!

Floral Pyjamas from Primark - (top £3.50 and bottoms £6.00)
This pyjama set is the second half of the treat my Mum bought me earlier on today. I am a sucker for floral patterns and these pyjamas are super cute, I already can't wait to wear them tonight! I think we can all tell what colour Primark is loving at the moment by the dress above too! The top has some hidden support to keep everything in place and the bottoms are a slouchy leg fit. I love the lace detailing as it is really feminine.

I hope you all enjoyed reading about what I have bought over the past month or so. Please let me know what you think of the items, I love them. Plus, they're all cheap as chips! What bargains have you purchased recently? I'd love to know! Thank you :)

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

The Fairy Tale Tag

Hi guys. Today, I thought that I would do a tag as I haven't done one in a little while. I really liked the sound of the 'Fairy Tale' tag after seeing it on Jennie's blog, (Sail Boat,) which is amazing by the way so please check it out! This tag is quite a personal and in-depth one which is great, as I thought it would give you all the chance to get to know me a little better. So, let's begin!

Snow White - Do you consider yourself beautiful?
Not really but I am slowly learning to accept myself more, I like myself a lot more than I did when I was younger.

Sleeping Beauty - How many hours do you sleep at night?
I normally get the standard amount which is about seven or eight hours.

Cinderella - Do you have a curfew?
No, I would be worried if I did at this age haha!

Rapunzel - Do you love being outside?
Only in the summer. I love the sunshine as it really lifts my mood, plus I love tanning! In the winter I have to be forced to go outside, I love to hibernate and can be quite lazy.

Red Riding Hood - Do you trust strangers easily?
Not easily. I think it takes a lot for me to put my belief in someone, especially boys!

The Wolf and the Seven Young Kids - Are you easily fooled?
I don't think I am. I would like to think that I have my head screwed on and my wits about me a lot of the time.

Beauty and the Beast - What makes someone beautiful in your eyes?
Being an honest and caring person are huge factors for me, those two qualities are super important!

The Little Mermaid - What would you sacrifice for love?
I'm not really sure but I definitely would not dramatically change my appearance or my beliefs to please a person.

The Frog Prince - What do you find disgusting?
Contrary to a lot of people I know, I hate the smell of petrol. I also am not very good with blood, so keep those horror films away from me!

Jack and the Beanstalk - Do you have any plants?
There are plants in my house but I live at home, so they are my Mum's really.

Puss in Boots - Do you have pets? If not, do you want them?
I have a dog called Sasha. She is a Labrador Husky cross and she is adorable. We got her five years ago from a dog rescue centre. She was extremely malnourished but now we have given her a loving home!

Bluebeard - What is your weak point?
I think that sometimes I like being in control and I am quite organised, which means that I often like things to be done my way.

Pinocchio - What is your biggest wish?
To be happy, to never take anything for granted and to achieve at least some of the things I would like to.

Peter Pan - What is your mental age?
I think I am mentally ahead of years as I can be a bit of a granny - I love snuggling up indoors and watching TV and drinking tea. However, I can be crazy and childlike too.

The Star Money - What is your most valuable possession?
I don't really own anything of great value or have any family heirlooms so I am probably going to say the contents of the memory drawer in my room. I have a drawer in my wardrobe full of things that are special to me; photo albums, gifts I have been given and so on.

Gold Mary & Pitch Mary - Are you a hard worker or a lazy one?
When I am interested in or excited about the job at hand, then I always put my all into it. I have always been quite academic and I enjoy making or doing things to a high quality. However, over recent years I have become quite lazy and I lack enthusiasm which is really bad!

The Snow Queen - Who is your best friend? What would you do for them?

My best friend is called Laura. We have known each other for about seven years now and when we first met, we became close really quickly. A lot of my favourite memories include her; our holiday to Majorca, Reading Festival, V Festival and so on. I would do a lot for her because she is very special to me :)

The Princess and the Pea - Are you sensitive?
I am very sensitive and am very open emotionally.

Godfather Death - What qualities make a good parent?
I think that a good parent is simply somebody who would do anything in their power to make their child happy. They have to be a good support system and raise their children with the correct manners and morals. 

The Twelve Dancing Princesses / The Worn-Out Dancing Shoes - Do you like parties?
I love partying! I often go clubbing and I love that whole atmosphere, purely because I love music and dancing (I used to dance from the ages of 6 to 16.) I absolutely love getting dressed up and that whole process too!

The Emperor's New Clothes - Do you care a lot about your clothing?I love fashion and shopping, so I would say yes. However, I guess sometimes I am forced to just window shop due to my low funds.

The Brave Little Tailor - Do you consider yourself brave?
I do not consider myself as brave. I think that my anxiety holds me back a lot and I dislike change. This is something that I am currently working on though and have been for a while now, it takes time.

I tag Just A Random Rambler, Oh RubyWalking In Claire's Shoes and Daydreams & Daisy Chains. However, feel free to do this tag even if I haven't tagged you. It's a really fun tag to do and the questions are really unique to others that I have seen! Thank you for reading and I hope this allowed you all to get to know me a little better :)

Thursday, 13 February 2014

My Favourite Valentines Day Products

Hi guys! Today I thought that I would show you some of my favourite products that are also Valentines Day inspired - aka red and pink makeup! All the products mentioned in this post are ones that I have use all of the time and absolutely adore, I would recommend them to anybody. I will most definitely be wearing some of them tomorrow! I hope that whatever you are up to on February the 14th, whether you are single or taken, you have a lovely day and remember to spoil yourselves rotten! With that in mind, here is a list of some gorgeous Valentines Day Products that are featured above.

A vivid red lip crayon that is super moisturising and lasts for hours.

An ultra feminine, rich perfume with notes of peonies and pink berries.

A classic and opaque red nail varnish.

A deep pink polish that gives an incredibly shiny, professional finish.

A beautiful berry coloured lipstick with great staying power.

A rich burgundy lip stain that stays put all day long.

A stunning rose gold glitter polish.

A chip resistant berry coloured polish that is incredibly opaque.

A liquid rosy pink tint for both lips and cheeks.

A vibrant pink lipstick which also smells like watermelon.

I hope you all enjoyed this post and even though it is rather short, I really enjoyed making it. Again, whatever you are doing on Valentines Day, I hope that you have a fabulous time. Thank you :)

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

My Outfit Wishlist: Monochrome

Hi guys! Today I thought that I would do a quick outfit wish list including some fashion items that I have been lusting after over the past couple of weeks. As you all know, monochrome is a huge trend right now, however it is a classic look that can be worn all year round. This particular trend is right up my street as I, for some reason, tend not to inject too much colour into my wardrobe - I just love wearing black. I much prefer to pair my outfits with a bright lip colour instead! So, here is the outfit that I have pulled together for you all today.

Gingham Half Sleeve Crop Top from Topshop - £24.00
This top is probably my favourite out of all of the pieces I have chosen! This cute little crop top combines two trends in one; monochrome and gingham/tartan print. I feel that this top would look great on a variety of body shapes and I just adore it!

Vintage High Waisted Hotpants from Topshop - £28.00
Now, you couldn't wear a crop top without pairing it with something high waisted. You can't really go wrong with some classic denims turn-up shorts. Seeing as the weather in the UK is not great right now, I would team the shorts with some tights to keep warm.

V Midi Ring from Topshop - £5.00
I am probably the only person who hasn't jumped on the midi ring bandwagon yet because I haven't found any that I really like or that fit my tiny fingers. However, I love the simple shape of this ring and for a fiver, it's a bargain too!

Pieces Patricia Satchel Bag from ASOS - £34.00
I have been after a new bag for a while as my H&M one is a little battered now and this one that I found on ASOS looks like the perfect replacement. I love the crocodile-like texture as it sets it apart from any other standard black bag on the market.

Black Brogue Lace Up Boots from New Look - £19.99
Last but not least are these lace up boots. I have an almost identical pair from New Look that I bought few years ago that I have worn religiously since, they are super comfortable and go with everything! However, my pair have now seen better days and so I am definitely planning on buying this pair soon.

I hope that you all enjoyed this post and please let me know what you think of the outfit. I am hoping to do many more wishlists like this in the future so keep your eyes peeled. Thank you!

Saturday, 8 February 2014

DIY Desserts: Oreo Cheesecake

Hi guys. Today I am posting my second ever food-related blog post! Seeing as my 'DIY December: Chocolate Orange Cookies' post was really well received, I thought it was only right to start introducing some more baking posts into my blog from time to time. As I have quite a sweet tooth, I have decided to focus on making desserts and so from now on, this mini series of posts will be appropriately called 'DIY Desserts.' Yesterday, I decided to make an Oreo Cheesecake which I have to admit was pretty daunting as I have never made any kind of cheesecake. However, it was easier than expected and so I wanted to share this yummy recipe with you. Let's get started!

To make this tasty cheesecake, you will need:

3 x 154g packets of Oreos

Mini Oreos for decorating
300g cream cheese
300ml double cream (or whipping cream)
75g unsalted butter (melted)
150g white chocolate
1 teaspoon of powdered gelatine
1 tablespoon of water

At this point, ensure that you have all of your ingredients and equipment (mixing bowls, spoons, scales, whisk etc) out ready to use. Lightly grease your tin (preferably one with a pop-out base) with butter. 

Step 1
Separate and remove as much of the filling of some Oreos as you can until you get 200g of just the biscuits to use for the base of the cheesecake and discard of the separated filling. Place the Oreos in a re-sealable bag to prevent making a mess and use a rolling pin to finely crush the biscuits. 

Step 2
Add the crushed Oreos into a bowl along with the 75g of melted butter and mix together. Press the mixture down compact into the base of your greased tin evenly and put the tin in the fridge whilst you carry on with the rest of the recipe.

Step 3
Put a tablespoon of cold water into a small bowl along with a teaspoon of powdered gelatine. Place the bowl over a saucepan with simmering water until the gelatine fully dissolves into the water and set the mixture aside.

Step 4
Using the same technique, measure out and melt 150g of white chocolate in a bowl and heat over a saucepan of simmering water. Alternatively you could melt your chocolate in a microwave in small intervals, (checking it and stirring it as you go,) until the chocolate is smooth.

Step 5
In a bowl, whisk the 300g of cream cheese until smooth. Add in the gelatine and melted chocolate that you prepared earlier and mix it until fully combined.

Step 6
In a separate bowl, whip the 300ml of double cream until it thickens and forms soft peaks on the whisks (see photo.) Afterwards, gently fold into the cream cheese mixture until everything is combined. Chop up the remaining portion of the Oreos into small chunks and stir them into the mixture.

Step 7
Remove your tin from the fridge and poor the mixture over the biscuit base. Spread the mixture evenly using a spatula or palette knife so that the top of the cheesecake is even. Refrigerate the cheesecake for at least another four hours or overnight if possible.

Step 8
Remove the tin after refrigeration by running a palette knife around the edge or by popping up the base of your tin. Decorate your cheesecake in whichever way you like using some mini Oreos. For best results, leave your cheesecake out for 15-30 minutes before serving.

Viola, that is how you make this delectable Oreo cheesecake! I hope that you all enjoyed my second ever baking post, as there will be plenty more to come in the future. With Valentines Day only a week away, this would be a great dessert to make if you are cooking for a loved one or even if you are single and feel like treating yourself! Please let me know if you do try this recipe yourself and what you think of it. I absolutely loved it! Thank you :)

Monday, 3 February 2014

My Monthly Favourites - January 2014

Hi guys. Even though we are now a couple of days into February, it's time for me to talk about my monthly favourites throughout the whole of January. It was very hard to choose my favourites this month because I have been trying to use lots of products that I had forgotten about, so I have fallen back in love with quite a few forgotten about items! However, I have managed to whittle it down to these five lovely products. Let's get started!

Peaches & Clean 4-in-1 Deep Cleansing Milk - £8.00
First up is the this amazing cleansing milk from Soap & Glory. I have tried so many cleansers on the market over the past year or so but I can honestly say that this is one of the best! It is a definitely a toss up between this or No 7's Beautiful Skin Foaming Cleanser for me, as I alternate between the two. I love this milk because it leaves my skin feeling really soft and it doesn't dry it out in the slightest. In addition to this, the scent is absolutely gorgeous. As suggested by the title of this product, it smells like peaches. However, it also has a minty/menthol like quality to it which is really refreshing and tingly upon application. I recommend Peaches & Clean to everybody, I cannot get enough!

Boots Extracts Cranberry Body Butter (part of a Christmas set)
Next is this lovely little body butter from the Boots Extracts range (which is part of their fair trade brand.) I received this butter along with three others as part of a set that my friend Sarah got me for Christmas. This product is lovely to use as it is not too thick and sinks into the skin really quickly, which is excellent for me as I am quite impatient and lazy when it comes to moisturising my body. I absolutely the adore the cranberry scent too! It is such a shame that this particular scent is not in the permanent Extracts range as I have feeling that I am going to get through this tiny pot rather quickly!

Soap & Glory's Thick & Fast Super Volume Mascara - £10.00
I bought this mascara all the way back in August and initially, I didn't give it a very good review. Due to the fact that I have very thin and sparse lashes, I often struggle to find a mascara that does what I want it to in terms of giving me length and volume. This mascara used to disappoint me but recently, I have changed my mind! I love to use this product on days where I wear minimal make-up as it gives me just the right amount of length and volume for a natural, everyday look. The only thing that I find with this product is that the brush is a little too big, making it difficult to apply to your bottom lashes neatly.

Yankee Candle Medium Jar in Soft Blanket - £16.49
This is the first Yankee candle that I have ever owned as I have never been that into candles... until now! My best friend Laura bought this candle for me as part of my Christmas present and I love it. 'Soft Blanket' is a relaxing scent which is very comforting when you are stressed out. It also quite subtle, which I love as I am not one for overwhelming scents. I like to use this candle at night time in my bedroom or during pamper sessions in the bath to make them feel more luxurious. I am definitely a Yankee candle convert now and I hope to try more scents in the future - I have my eye on 'Beach Walk' or 'Loves Me, Loves Me Not' next!

Maybelline Color Show Nail Varnish in Brick Shimmer - £2.99
Last but not least is this lovely nail varnish from Maybelline. My preferred nail colours are usually shimmery or glittery, as I prefer the finish of them as opposed to solid, opaque colours. 'Brick Shimmer' is a beautiful bronze colour that looks really sophisticated when applied. This polish is usually chip resistant for about 4-5 days,which is quite good for a product that is just shy of £3. I am definitely going to be trying some other shades of this very affordable, pretty polish!

So, that's it! I hope you enjoyed reading about my five favourite products throughout January. Which products have you been loving over the past month or so? I would love to know what you have been reaching for! Thank you :)