Friday, 30 May 2014

May Favourites

We've once again reached the time of the month to look back at my favourites.

May has been a good month. The weather has fluctuated drastically from very hot weather to being cold and raining in May. But it's been great to finally have some heat and to be able to wear shorts and eat ice cream.

I spent a few days in London this month. The highlight of that was seeing the hilarious Jeeves and Wooster starring Robert Webb. I also spent some time this month cycling in the sun and goes on zip wires.

So without further ado, here are my favourites parts of May.

Favourite Makeup:

I bought quite a lot of make-up this month but my favourite has to be the Bobbi Brown sheer lip colour. Mine is in the shade Tutu, and I absolutely love it. It glides onto the lips very well and is such a beautiful shade. I use this one constantly, and has quickly become my go-to lip colour.

I also love the Soap & Glory One Heck Of A Blot. I use this daily and it just really helps my face stay matte all day. It's become a staple of my daily make-up routine.

Favourite Skincare:

This month I have been loving the Benefit Triple Performing Facial Emulsion which I spoke about in my last post. I absolutely love this, mostly because it's just so light that it works fantastic with having oily skin. I've really got used to using it daily.

Favourite Film:

Without a doubt the best film this month was X-Men: Days Of Future Past. I'm going to be honest; The only X-Men film I liked before this one was X2, and as someone who grew up watching the cartoons, I went into not expecting a great deal, but came out of the cinema having really enjoyed it. I cannot recommend seeing it enough.

Favourite Television:

So this is the part when I show you how dorky I am. This month I have been enjoying the great Quiz Show, Only Connect. Yep, that's right, that is my favourite TV of May. There's something wonderfully charming and addictive about Only Connect, and it helps that Victora Coren-Mitchell is very funny lady. It's not your average Quiz though. It's intelligent and takes some thinking, but it's very good.

Favourite Music:

This month I have once again been loving Autoheart. I have had their album "Punch" on continuously and "Lent" is a song I particularly adore.

What have you been loving this month?

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Benefit Radiant Skincare set

When I went away to London last week I took with me some mini Benefit products to try out. I'd bought a gift set of their mini skincare range last month from Asos and thought it would be the perfect time. The set only cost £12.50 which I thought was a bargain.

I was quite excited about using these. They are stunning to look at. The bottles for the emulsion and toner are particularly elegant. It may have what drew me to purchasing them in the first place. Being mini-sized just makes them all cuter.

There are six products all together in this set. The first is the Foamingly Clean Facial Wash. This has a shimmery texture to it which I was a bit wary of. When just squeezing it, the foam has a very compact texture. The sample of this is a bit to small to get a proper idea of it but it seems to clean well. It's not a bad wash, but it's nothing that I got excited about.

Next up is the Moisture Prep Toning Lotion, and I must admit I love this one. It feels very light and really good on my skin. It really helps the moisturiser sink in. I love the bottle on this, but I found I need to be careful with how much I used, as I can get away with only a little bit.

Then there is the It's Potent Eye Cream. This is the one I'm most unsure about, as I don't think it's suitable for my skin. It smooths on well but it stings a bit for me after I put it on so I stopped using it.

After that is the Triple Perfoming Facial Emulsion which I also love. It's very light on the skin and a little goes a long way. It makes a really good day moisturiser, especially with oily skin like mine as it's so light. It's great for the warm months.The one thing I don't like about this is the bottle. The product isn't loose enough for this type of bottle. I have to keep tapping on the bottom just as I would with a ketchup bottle. Apparently the full size has a pump which would make this much better.

Next is the Total Moisture Facial Cream. I have been using this for a month or so now and I'm still not near finishing it. It is very moisturising and feels great. I have been using it as a night cream and it's worked very well for me.

Lastly in the set is the Refined Finish Facial Polish and this is another one which has a shimmery texture to it. It has the same texture as the foaming wash, but with very small beads in it. It is a  light scrub but it still feels a little scratchy on my skin, so anyone who is sensitive may want to avoid it.

Overall I really liked these products. I am considering purchasing full sizes of the toner and emulsion as I particularly loved them, and I've already fir them into my every day routine.

Friday, 23 May 2014

London Adventures

I spent the last few days on a trip to London. I had such a great time shopping as well as playing the tourist. It's always good to spend a few days break in London.

As a tourist I visited the British Museum which was a bit too vast for me to get round in one morning. It was great to see so many ancient artefacts, but it was a bit hard going. I also visited 221b Baker Street for the Sherlock Holmes Museum, which was done up like the type of Victorian accommodation Sherlock Holmes would have lived at. I followed that with a trip to Madame Tussauds which is always interesting, but it ended up being a lot of money for only spending 20 minutes in there.

The most exciting thing I did over the few days was see a West End play. I saw Jeeves and Wooster starring Robert Webb and Mark Heap. It was so hilarious and played brilliantly by all three cast members. The premise was that Bertie Wooster was performing his own play about a misunderstanding in his own life. I thought it was brilliantly done and I'm very glad to have seen it.

I shopped mostly along Oxford Street and a little bit on Carnaby Street, with the intention of going in shops we don't have up here in Nottingham. That didn't really work out, as I ended up in Urban Outfitters and TopShop, as well and the Benefit and Bobbi Brown counters in John Lewis. I did go to Forever 21 for the first time though and once again found myself in Japan Centre for some tasty goods.

From Urban Outfitters I bought a really cute watch as well as a very delicious smelling candle. The watch I thought was particularly cool as the design is a compass. I bought it because I lost my watch before I left and it turns out I can't live without one!

From John Lewis I finally bought the Gimme Brow in light which makes my brows look much neater and just generally amazing. From Bobbi Brown I was looking for a lipstick. I don't really wear colour on my lips and wanted to give it a go. The assistant helped me look at a few, and because I'm not used to colour we went for one that wasn't too far from my natural shade. I ended with a sheer lipstick in tutu and I have to say it really is my shade. I absolutely love the colour and I can hardly tell that it's there. But it's thick enough that it covers up the imperfections on my lips.

From Forever 21 I bought the cutest pyjamas. I absolutely love these. Unfortunately, I can't find them on their site to link. I also bought this lovely necklace (which I also couldn't find) which I thought would go great to go with my white shirt. I also picked up these very cute ear studs.

Next I bought snacks from Japan Centre. I always make sure to pick up some delicious snacks and I could not pass on the bread shaped like Totoro. I also bought some Soy Sauce flavoured Rice Crackers, instant Miso Soup and strawberry flavoured Hello Panda.

Finally I dropped into Choccy-Woccy-Doo-Dah to take a look and left with these delicious treats. These are dark chocolate mendiarits with cinnamon.

I'll leave you with a selfie of me in my hotel room.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Summer Salads

I'm happy to announce that summer has finally arrived. In true British fashion, the end of last week was raining heavily, but quite suddenly the sun decided to show it's face, and yesterday it became very, very warm. For the first time this year I actually wore shorts and went on a long bike ride. It's been great and I really hope the weather stays like this for a while.

It is also the time of year for salads. I love salads. They're very good for just chucking ingredients together that you may have left in your fridge. Today I'm going to show you my favourite savoury and my favourite fruit salad. These are perfect for a summer Sunday tea.

Savoury salad - This is a simple chicken salad. I cook the chicken simply by boiling it in a pan. Whilst it's cooking I cut up all the vegetables and place them on a plate. For this I used a few pieces of lettuce as a base, 1 avocado, 1 radish, chopped cucumber, plum tomatoes and beetroot. When the chicken is done I place it on top of the vegetables and then drizzle a french dressing over the top. It's incredibly delicious and colourful.

Fruit Salad - This salad doesn't use many ingredients but what it does include is very delicious. I began with mango for the first layer and added lychees on top of that. I then scooped over some passion fruit and finally sprinkled over blueberries. This ended up being so yummy.

To finish off I made a glass of pomegranate and elderflower cordial. I love delicious cordials and this is one of my favourites. 

So that's it for the first of, hopefully, many salads this summer.

Friday, 16 May 2014

Birch Box May 2014

I received my Birch Box a bit earlier this month, and I'm glad to say it's a good one. This time it's in collaboration with Harper's Bazaar, and the box in particular looks fabulous.

The theme on this one is the great outdoors. Now it's getting warm(ish) it's time to look at beauty products that are suitable for the outdoors, whether that be sunning it on a beach or camping in a field, and the idea behind this box is to show what products are good to use.

I won't lie, I love this month's box. There are some really great things included. Usually there may be one thing I'm not so bothered about but I have been excited by it all this month.

Aromatherapy Associates Revive Morning Bath and Shower Oil - First off I'd like to point out how gorgeous this smells. It really does give off an invigorating scent. The idea of this one is to add it to your bath or put it on your body before showering to revive you for the day. A 55ml bottle retails at £39.00, so I'm not sure if I'll pick this up in the future, but I'm looking forward to trying it.

Benefit They're Real! Mascara - I pretty much love this mascara. I tried it out and it really does make my eyelashes look great. I think a good mascara is a staple of an everyday routine. However,
I get through mascaras quite quickly, I'm not sure I'm prepared to pay £19 every time.

Soigne Nail Lacquer (full size) - I received mine in the shade Persimmon which is a red/orange colour. Normally I stay away from reds and pinks as they're really not what I go for, but I am really tempted to use this.

Beauty Protector Protect & Shampoo / Protect & Condition - I am very much looking forward to trying these, but as I think they'll be great to use when I go away, I'm going to wait until then. They smell really great and I love the packaging.

Liz Earle Beauty Co. Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser - I think I am the most excited about trying this as I am looking to try some better cleansers. This one has apparently won lots of awards, so it has to be great, right? But secretly I have fallen for the fact that it also comes with a little muslin cloth. The idea behind this one is to use the cleanser over dry skin and then use a wet muslin cloth to wipe it off.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Ciate Dolls House Collection

Scouring around ASOS one day I came across this; Ciate Dolls House Nail Polish Collection. It wouldn't be unfair to say that I can be a sucker for packaging and this one just looked too cute to pass up. Luckily the colours are gorgeous for spring. It comes in 5 mini bottles, which is just right for one on each nail of a hand. The varnishes have very cute names which ties in with the doll house theme.

The varnish itself goes on very matte and powdery. It is incredibly fast drying so it is good for doing your nails in a short space of time. However, I'm not overly fond of the matte effect as it just doesn't feel right on my nails. The paper doll shade in in particular, has the same effect as painting your nails in Tip Ex. A good top coat does give some shine, and makes the nails look beautiful. I used Topshop's top and base coat for the top coat and I used Sally Hansen's Miracle Cure for the base as it really smoothed out my nails. 

One of the biggest downside of the polish is that they chip very easily. Within hours of putting on, chips had appeared. 

The overall effect though is gorgeous, and I absolutely love the look of my nails with each colour. You can see below how they come out. It really is the perfect look for spring.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Boots Haul

Two days ago I bought far more than I should have from Boots, and most certainly spent more money than I intended to. I had picked up more than what is in the picture to buy, particularly the Bourjois chocolate bronzer, but I was ambushed by a lady from the Benefit Counter who tempted me with an exciting makeover, and I thought it was best to be a bit more careful. It didn't take me much convincing to have a makeover to be fair. As I've mentioned before, I've been wanting to try Benefit products for a while so I jumped at the chance to give them a go. My wallet didn't thank me for it though.

I had a really great makeover at the Benefit counter and she showed me some really great products, I particularly like the two below (obviously as I bought them) but there were a few more I'd like to go back and get one day. The first is Gimme Brow. It really made my eyebrows pop. I have never seen them so defined. The second is the Rocketeur blush which was such a beautiful shimmery shade. She used this along with Watts Up on my cheekbones and it just made my face look amazing. I completely loved it.

One day I may go back for these, but for now this is what I bought from Boots on my last trip:

Boots Large Patterned Mirror - This was needed so much. I have been using the little mirror in my concealer kit to do my make-up, but it's only really big enough to see my eyes. Now I have a mirror for my whole face, I can see everything. It also it really cute so it's win-win really.

Sally Hansen Miracle Cure - I have been having problems with my nails peeling recently, and it doesn't look like it is curing itself any time soon, so I thought I'd try something to help them along the way. I picked this one as I have heard good things about Sally Hansen products, and it was actually a decent price compared to others they stocked. I have given my nails one coat, and so far, so good. It's really made my nails smooth and given a protective layer.

Frizz Ease Dream Curls Shampoo & conditioner - This is not my usual shampoo and conditioner, but the offer was a bit better on this one, so I thought I'd give it a try. As I have naturally curly hair, I like to get haircare products that will help them more defined.

Soap & Glory One Heck Of A Blot - I've seen recommendations for this translucent powder over the internet, and Soap & Glory is a brand I really love. How could I not try it? So far I really like it. It makes my face look great and is really mattifying. It has quickly gone into my bag ready for touch-ups throughout the day.

Benefit The POREfessional - This was a product that I have seen bloggers all over use, and as soon as the Benefit lady put it on me I could see why. This has very quickly gone into my make-up routine.

Benefit Boi-ing - This is such a brilliant little concealer. It is amazing what a big difference it make. As soon as the Benefit lady dabbed it on my face it covered up my blemishes well, and just made my face look great.

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush - I have been wanting a new brush for my foundation for some time. I have been using the Real Techniques Foundation Brush, but it is a bit small. This one is the perfect size. I really love the Real Techniques brushes. They are so soft but sturdy and feel great to use.

Benefit Triple Performing Facial Emulsion Sample - The Benefit lady used this on me and she gave me a little sample. I really like it as it felt light on my skin and weirdly smelt great too!

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Meal For One - Creamy Salmon Tagliatelle

The majority of the time I cook for myself. I find I don't feel like putting a lot of effort or time into the meals I make, because, you know, they are just for me. I think a lot of people these days also have to cook just for themselves so I wanted to put some recipes together which are suitable to make when you're on your own.

This recipe doesn't involve very much, the majority of it can be made in one pan and it doesn't have very many ingredients, and what it does have can be used for any other recipe you may want to make that week. It's a very delicious dish with very little effort. A perfect meal for one.

You will need:

1 ball of Tagliatelle // 200ml Milk // 1 salmon fillet // 3tbls cream cheese with chives* // pepper // half a lemon // 2 broccoli // 3 asparagus

* I bought Philadelphia with chives. Any cream cheese will do, and you can add in your own chives. I think fresh chives would give the best taste

What do do:

1 - Wrap the salmon in tin foil and put it in the oven at 190C fan for about 30 minutes.
2 - At about 15 minutes in, add the tagliatelle to a medium pan of boiling water over a medium to high heat. Cook as directed on the packaging (it's usually about 10 minutes). 5 minutes before the tagliatelle is due to finish, add in the chopped broccoli and asparagus.
4 - when finished take of the heat and drain. Leave in the colander for the time being.
5 - In the same pan, prepare the sauce. Add in the milk, cream cheese and a bit of lemon juice until it all melted in, add in the tagliatelle and veg and take off the heat once it is all covered in the sauce.
6 - Finally remove the salmon from the oven, flake it up and fold it into the pan. 
7 - Plate up, and then they're done! Eat and enjoy!



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