30 Mar 2015

Review: MAC Creme in Your Coffee Lipstick

I have put off blogging this for so long! When I was away at Valentine's in Tunbridge Wells, I treated myself to a MAC lipstick. Everyone is so obsessed with Kylie Jenner lips at the moment, using MAC Velvet Teddy (see my fave babe Dizzy Brunette doing it!). However in MAC, I tried on Velvet Teddy and with my skin tone I looked really ill! The lady at MAC suggested I try Creme in your Coffee - a mid tone pink brown which is much more flattering for creating Kylie Jenner lips on pale, pink toned skin or blonde people.





The lipstick is a lovely dark nude colour and I think it's really flattering. I get lots of compliments about it because it's not a traditional red or nude, but flattering and wearable every day. It's a Cremesheen texture which I find quite drying so it can be hard to wear when my lips are dry as it highlights every little flake of dry skin. It definitely needs a scrub with a toothbrush first and a slick of balm. 

It's quite a sheer colour and can be built up quite dark, particularly if you use a dark nude lipliner to over-line your lips. I haven't used lipliner here to show you the true colour on me.   
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28 Mar 2015

Video: My first haul video!

Eek I made another video! This one is a haul from my shopping spree last week and it includes H&M, ASOS, some fashion mistakes and my puppy barking!




As it's my first haul video, I didn't really know what I was doing, but any suggestions and help is appreciated!

Enjoy!
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27 Mar 2015

Velcro Rollers vs Heated Rollers: What's the difference?

My old housemate Charlie text me the other day asking what type of rollers she should get, and it got me thinking - I haven't spoken about the differences between different types of roller!



Velcro Rollers
Velcro rollers are those ones you see on the TOWIE stars - they are often hollow to allow for air flow, but some are squishy inside so you can sleep in them (think Sleep In Rollers)


Velcro rollers are put in your hair when it's hot from the hairdryer, and left there to cool down. As they have velcro all around the barrel, they stick to your hair (as long as you don't put too much onto each roller). Sometimes you may need hair pins. 

They give a big hair look without much curl


You can also get really big rollers which give an even smoother look - the larger the barrel, the less curl you will form. 

The pros:
  • Easy to use
  • Very cheap - you can get a whole pack from Primark for roughly £2
  • Stick in your hair themselves
The cons (in my experience):
  • You have to dry your hair with a hairdryer = heat damage
  • I find my hair breaks more easily with velcro rollers, but I have got fine hair
  • If you do it properly, it can take a long time. Think sectioning off pieces of hair, drying them each individually and rolling into curlers. See my Big Hair Blowdry Tutorial for more

Heated Rollers

These are the classic 80s hair staple, but thankfully they are much better these days. My mum still has her oil filled rollers which are so heavy, but most have a ceramic core these days! 


Heated rollers come in a little bag or container which you switch on to heat up and leave for 10 minutes. Once they are ready, you just put them into completely dry hair, clip and leave until they have gone cold. Again there are lots of options - the barrel size changes the curl size (smaller barrel = tighter curl), whether the barrel is plastic or covered in a velvety fabric (I prefer without fabric) and if you use clips or grips to keep them in (clips are easier, but grips give better results once you have learnt how to use them). My personal favourites would be these rollers from TRESemme

The result is much more curly and sleek than with velcro rollers - you still get a lot of volume in the roots but the ends are more curly.

Pictures taken from my Hollywood Starlet Hair Tutorial

Pros

  • Less heat damage - you could allow your hair to dry naturally and put these in the next day
  • Less breakage on delicate hair
  • Sleeker finish
Cons
  • Take longer to get used to using
  • Give a curlier look if you don't brush the ends out
  • More expensive - from £20 upwards. 
I hope that helps! I don't really have a favourite - they all have their place in my hair armory, but I do tend to use the heated ones more frequently for prepping my hair for nights out and up-dos as it's really quick to chuck them in and go eat some food or do my makeup while they cool! 

If you have any questions let me know and I'll try to answer them. If not, my 80s big hair queen Mum will definitely have the answer! 

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25 Mar 2015

My favourite macaroni cheese recipe

Another food post! I have gone from being unable to cook, to being able to follow a recipe, to being able to create my own in the last 3 years. One of my favourite recipes is for macaroni cheese - the creamy, comfort food classic. I posted a photo of my macaroni cheese on Instagram last week and Laura from Lola and Behold commented that she needed the recipe.


Here is the recipe for you, it's done without the need of scales, just things you have around the house. It's a super easy lunch recipe which takes as long as a pan of pasta takes to boil!

Ingredients

  • dessert spoon of butter
  • dessert spoon of flour
  • 1.5 mugs of milk
  • cheddar cheese (I tend to use about a third of the block, but it's to taste)
  • heaped teaspoon of wholegrain mustard
  • Scrunch of black pepper and salt. 
  • enough pasta for 2-4 people (depending on how saucy you want it)

Method
  1. Put the pasta on to boil
  2. In another pan, put the butter and flour. Turn on the heat to medium high and stir until they form a paste. 
  3. Add the milk and bring to the boil
  4. Add the mustard, salt and pepper and cheese
  5. Stir until the cheese has melted, taste and add more if you want. I like mine super-cheesy! 
  6. If the sauce isn't thick enough for you, feel free to add two teaspoons of cornflour mixed in a little cold water. The thicker the better with this sauce, it really helps it cling to the pasta!
  7. When the pasta is boiled, drain in a colander and tip into the cheese sauce mix. Give it a stir around and you're done! 
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23 Mar 2015

My Foxy Bedroom

I have really enjoyed doing more interiors posts as I slowly save up and get my house together. I've recently shared with you my lounge makeover and my dining room makeover, and today we're looking at my bedroom. My bedroom is nowhere near ok - I hate the pine furniture (and my chest of drawers has collapsed and is not repairable) but whilst I save up for a whole new bedroom of furniture I'm trying my best to distract everyone with cute things.

When I got an email from Flamingo Gifts asking if I would like to take a peek at any of their lovely things, I was instantly drawn to their homewear section. You may recognise Flamingo Gifts because they're behind the amazing Flamingo Candles which every blogger is currently loving.



After spending roughly 2 hours cooing over everything on their website (it is seriously super cute) I found Paddy the fox, a handsome fox cushion who costs £16.45. I adore this quirky cushion on my bed, although I'm pretty sure Paddy and my dog have started a romantic relationship. Watch this space.


 Beside my bed I have a selection of things - my IKEA lamp which I wanted so badly because it had pully switches, my favourite perfume - Chanel Chance eau Tendre and an old trinket box by Wedgewood that my Nan gave me which I keep my hair grips in. I also got this lovely Stag Jewellery Dish which is £5.75 and a yummy white lilac and rhubarb candle which is £11.



The jewellery dish is so handsome! He's currently protecting my Jewellery Box necklace and bracelet.


The candle smells AMAZING and even without being lit, there is a gentle scent in the room. I love rhubarb and am really enjoying it, although I'm completely gutted I didn't spot the lemon curd scented candle - I am a huge lemon fan! It's definitely next on my shopping list. I'm a lover of scented candles and have so many! It's completely lame, but on a day off I love cleaning the house from top to bottom and lighting a scented candle in each room when I finish. The house probably smells like a clash of scents but it makes me happy!



 At the end of my bed is little Teddy's crate where he spends the nights. He got in when I was taking photos because the sun was shining directly in!



Definitely visit Flamingo Gifts for a huge range of homewear, accessories and pressies, but do set aside a couple of hours! The presents are inexpensive which is a huge bonus because you will fill up your shopping basket!
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21 Mar 2015

The most delicious pasta sauce recipe ever

Firstly, I am terrible at photographing food. Once I think "ooh I should photograph this!" I've usually eaten most of it. However today is an exception and I thought I'd show you all the best pasta sauce ever.

4 years ago I lived in Brighton whilst at University. It was the best place I have ever lived and I still get enormous homesick feelings whenever I visit. My favourite restaurant was (and still is) an Italian restaurant, hidden in the Lanes called Ristorante Donatello. I have tried most things on their menu but my favourite will forever be Spaghetti Donatello which is described as containing tomato, cream, parma ham, mushrooms, ham, basil, garlic, parmesan cheese. I have tried googling these ingredients so many times over the years but have never come up with what this sauce may be called. Finally, due to cravings and living too far away from Brighton, I snapped this week and started experimenting with making the recipe myself. I am so proud to say I made something which tastes very similar and I am pleased to share it with you fellow Italian lovers - here is my Spaghetti Donatello recipe.



Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 teaspoons of Italian Herbs 
  • Half a punnet of mushrooms
  • 3 slices of ham
  • 3 slices of Parma Ham
  • Box of passata
  • Small carton of single cream
  • Handful of grated parmesan cheese. 
  • Your favourite pasta
  • Olive Oil
  • White wine vinegar

Method 
  1. Finely cut the onion and garlic and put into a pan with a glug of olive oil. Gently fry this with a scrunch of salt, pepper and the Italian herbs
  2. Slice the mushrooms into thin slices and add to pan, then cut the parma ham and ham into squares whilst the onions are frying. 
  3. When the onions are soft, add the hams. Stir for a couple of minutes and then pour in the box of passata
  4. Once up to the boil, add a little splash (about a teaspoon or less) of white wine vinegar. Turn down to a simmer and leave. 
  5. Boil some salted water and put your pasta on. I love little piggy tails, but the original uses spaghetti. 
  6. When the pasta is "al dente", drain it. To your sauce, add roughly a third of a small carton of single cream (about 2-3 tablespoons depending on your taste). Bring up to heat again, throw in the handful of parmesan and stir until the cheese is all dissolved in. 
  7. Add the pasta to the pan of sauce and stir around until it is all coated. Then tip generous portions into bowls and enjoy the most delicious. creamy, tomato pasta sauce ever. 
Enjoy! 
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19 Mar 2015

Brasserie Blanc Gunwarf and Meeting Raymond Blanc!

Brasserie Blanc in Gunwarf, Portsmouth recently had a makeover and to celebrate, they had a huge re-opening party last week. 


Being a die-hard Italian food fan, I hadn't been to Brasserie Blanc before the makeover, so everything was new to me! It's a French food restaurant which hopes to be homely and comfortable. I went along after work last week with my friend Miriam from work to see what was going on. 

We were greeted at the door with cocktails - a mojito, bubbles or an alcohol free cocktail. I chose bubbly and Miriam had the virgin cocktail. 

Straight through the door we found the manager, who happened to be my very first boyfriend Matt! We hadn't properly seen each other since I was 16 so it was a lovely surprise! 


Miriam and I found a seat on the "banquette" next to the kitchen and cosied up with drinks and snacks

 Isn't she pretty!


Me and my champagne. I met Austen, who was in charge of wine and drinks. He quickly became my very best friend, topping up my glass almost every few minutes and getting me quite drunk. We loved his champagne glass holster on his belt. He also brought me some pink wine to try when I said my favourite was sweet rose. He was very knowledgeable about wine and helped me realise I also like dry rose wine!



Cleverly positioned by the kitchen, Miriam and I were first in line for all the delicious food coming out the kitchen. The staff were so friendly and spent the time explaining what everything was, keeping calm and smiley despite the huge crowd. 


We had tiny burgers which were AMAZING! A barbecued lemon chicken skewer, plenty of fish, steak tartare, asparagus in cheese, 



 My first ever scallop (it was much nicer than I thought it would be!)


Oysters - I didn't try one (wussed out) but Miriam did


And we had snails!! They didn't taste of anything other than garlic really. 



Finally Miriam and I met Raymond Blanc himself! Sadly our photographer wasn't skilled with the camera


Look at my drunken face, I look overjoyed to meet him! Raymond was really lovely and had time for everyone.


Overall, Brasserie Blanc is a beautiful little gem and I would definitely continue past my usual Italian restaurant to have some more food at Brasserie Blanc - especially if Austen is on shift again!


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16 Mar 2015

#TTYA4LTS TTYA x Long Tall Sally Preview

I've spoken before about being a tall person and the challenge of finding clothes which fit. I was emailed last week about the Long Tall Sally collaboration with Taller Than Your Average (TTYA) and got excited seeing the images. Part of the collection, which is designed by Irene Agbontaen which is released today looks gorgeous!






The other half of the collection is due out 11th May and there are so many BEAUTIFUL summer clothes in the collection. I totally need so many of them for my holiday in June! I can't wait to get something from the collection and show you! 

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12 Mar 2015

Babyliss Diamond Waves Wand

Last week I was sent the new Babyliss Diamond Waves Wand to review and I have been really impressed with it so far. 


In the box you get a wand and a heat-proof glove. The wand doesn't have a clamp at the end like a regular wand so you have to pinch your hair at the tips and wrap it round. the positive of this means no crimped ends like you might get with a regular curling wand. 


The barrel is this unusual twisted shape which ensures all curls are uniform and curled in the same direction. I am pretty thick at times and managed to work out how to curl one side of my head perfectly but the other side wasn't quite working... turns out I was going the opposite way to the grooves in the barrel! As you can see, the barrel is sparkly because it contains actual diamonds! The diamonds infused into the ceramic ensure you have a really glossy, frizz free result and hair feels soft after curling. 


It also works at a range of temperatures and heats up super-quickly


To compare I thought I'd show the results from this waver (on the left) against the results from curling with my GHDs. As you can see my hair is glossy and the wave is uniform all the way to the roots. The difference with this tong is you hold the part of the wand nearest the handle at the roots, and wrap around until the ends of your hair are around the cooler tip. The important part is to then brush the curls out to make waves! To understand how to use it, I found it best to watch Really Ree's video.


And here are the results!



I've found the results last a long time too - I waved my hair on a Tuesday and still wore it down the next day after sleeping on it which is a miracle in my hair which drops very quickly.



I love the soft, beachy waves look. I've not managed to achieve this with any other tool including a waver with the three barrels. Babyliss also show you can use it to create vintage waves if you use it lower down


The waver is £30 from Babyliss, and is also available at Boots and Argos where is it currently on offer for £24.99!
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9 Mar 2015

Chicken Raisukaree Recipe Inspired by Wagamama

I LOVE Wagamama! It's my go to restaurant and I often find myself with massive cravings for their food. Every time I go, I try to order 2 new things from the menu - one for me, one for Sam. Then halfway through our meals we swap so we get to try them both! This means I have found loads of new meals and have been googling them to make when I get home.

My current favourite dish is Chicken Raisukaree - a hot, deliciously sweet and sour curry surrounding a mound of rice. However, it's fairly new so it's not in a Wagamama cookbook yet meaning I've had to experiment with making it at home. Here's the best version of the recipe I've managed to make so far. This makes a really easy, quick dinner and satisfies hot food cravings. It's amazing!

Picture from my Instagram so excuse how orange the filter makes it look! 

Makes 2
Takes about 25 minutes to make
Ingredients
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1-2 teaspoons of Thai red curry paste (I like 1.5, which is quite hot!)
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • Half an onion
  • Clove of garlic
  • 2 Spring Onions
  • Red pepper
  • Handful of mange tout 
  • Half a chicken stock cube
  • Tablespoon of fish sauce
  • Tablespoon of soy sauce
  • Red chilli
  • White rice
  • A lime
  • Coriander (if you like it)

Method
  1. Use a really sharp knife to slice the chicken into thin strips. Slice up the onion into long slices, dice the garlic, cut the red pepper in half and slice into thin strips, slice the mange tout in half. If you have time, cook the chicken, red pepper, onion and mange tout on a George Forman or grill until chicken is cooked and peppers are starting to catch on the edges. Pre-grilling means the food gets this delicious smoky, BBQ taste like the real thing.
  2. Put the rice on to cook - I've found boiling 2 cups of rice with 4 cups of water on a medium heat makes perfect sticky rice. This will take about 20 minutes. 
  3. Put a wok or big frying pan on a medium-high heat and put in the curry paste. Stir around until it's smelling really yummy. If you haven't cooked the chicken, put it in now and stir until almost cooked through. At this point add the vegetables and cook for another couple of minutes. If you have pre-cooked the chicken and vegetables, put them all in together and stir around so everything is coated in the paste and heating up.
  4. Pour in the coconut milk and add the stock cube. Bring to almost boiling and turn down to simmer. Add the fish sauce and soy sauce. I know fish sauce smells gross but you can't taste it in the end. 
  5. While you're leaving this to simmer for 5 minutes, slice up the red chilli nice and thin, chop up the coriander and cut the lime in half. 
  6. The rice should be cooked at this point, so drain off any excess water and pop into a small bowl. Get out a plate, put it over the bowl, tip up and take off the bowl to put a perfect half-sphere of rice onto the middle of the plate. 
  7. Give the curry a good last stir and then pour gently around the rice. 
  8. Sprinkle over the coriander and red chilli, and give a good squeeze of lime juice. 

Good luck making it! I hope this helps any Wagamama loving chefs discover their favourite meal at home. Thanks to Food for Fellas, Tastebook, Make Cook Snap Eat, and Emily's recipes and reviews who each published their own versions of this recipe - I tried each one and tweaked them as I went along to create my take on it. 
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5 Mar 2015

The BEST cream for dark under-eye circles

This post is for all you girls (and guys) who really struggle with dark bags and dark circles under your eyes. I have the solution!

At Christmas, my darling boyfriend's mother gave me a wrinkle filler cream. At the age of 26 (and looking young for my age too, I think!) I was fairly insulted but gave it a go. It quickly became my go-to when I was feeling super tired and it really made makeup application easier. Then at the weekend I lent it to my best friend who is struggling with dark circles due to some medication and a miracle happened... she woke up and they were almost gone! The stubborn circles which really stressed her out looked amazing. The miracle cream is Boots Time Delay Wrinkle Reduce Collagen Boosting Wrinkle Filler and costs a bargain £9.49!


This cream claims to use hyaluronic acid to fill wrinkles from within, plumping and smoothing for a smoother surface. Apparently over time it reduces stress and therefore the formation of wrinkle lines. I'm not sure that's completely science, but it does make your skin tingle and fine lines seem to smooth over. It then means you don't have any concealer settling in the lines under your eyes (which makes them look worse) and also does an amazing job of reducing the darkness of under-eye dark circles.

Anyway, thought I would broadcast this for the good of mankind!
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