Manly Mondays - Chill Out Time

Monday, 29 February 2016

Hello everyone, 

This one will be a very quick Manly Monday I'm afraid, I have my first exam of the season tomorrow...wish me luck! I didn't want to disappoint you all by missing out a week from the column so here is a little evening relaxation inspiration for all you gentlemen out there. 

There is nothing better at the end of the day than a nice steaming mug of tea, or so I'm told, I'm not a tea drinker myself. After a long hard day at work Mr.Gingersnap likes nothing more than cosying up on the sofa with tea, chocolate and a DVD. Sometimes he likes to swap the tea for a whisky so we found some chocolates to make the best of both worlds. 

These choccies are by Anthon Berg, each has it's own different liquor secreted in the delicious dark chocolate casing. There are some well loved favourites in there like Jim Bean, Remy Martin, Cointreau and XO. They are really yummy and so rich, it's quite a luxurious treat with 16 different chocolates. Definitely a winner over here! 

Mr.Gingersnap is a big lover of second world war history and must have watched HBO's Band of Brothers a dozen times, but now he has a new excuse to watch it as I have got into it too. This 10 episode series follows the Easy Company as they train and join the war effort. This series has some serious ups and downs, I have been in tears of laughter and sadness multiple times already. Each episode focuses more on one soldier, helping you form an emotional attachment to them all as individuals. I think the most heart wrenching part of this is that it is based on real life events and has commentary at the beginning from actual surviving members of Easy Company. With some big names like Damien Lewis, Ron Livingston, Donnie Wahlberg and Scott Grimes it really is a must watch, but have the tissues at the ready! 

What do you like to do to unwind in the evening? Let me know in the comments below :-) 


Feeling Youthful and Bouncy

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Hello everyone, 

I had heard so much about the Body Shop Drops of Youth Bouncy Sleeping Mask (phew what a mouthful!), and I know I’m late to the party, but I really wanted to try it out. Having ran out of my usual face moisturiser I went on the hunt for a new one. I read so many reviews and thought they all seemed quite one off, this lead me to want to get a fuller idea of how I would rate it. Writing is my thing and you know how much I love to share with you, so here it is, my week in goo. 

Day 1: 
This product smells so soothing! I actually can’t wait to try it. I almost don’t want to dip my fingers into it. I found a solution to that and I have used the residual bit on the lid of the pot. It feels quite sticky and tacky, a bit like silly putty actually. It does go on nicely and smooths into the skin really well, but I can see why it is a night-time product as it makes your face quite shiny and gummy. So far it feels refreshing. I love the packaging, the weightiness of the pot and solid lid make it feel very luxurious. The colour scheme of bottle green and deep mahogany make it feel like I bought it at an expensive spa. 

Day 2: 
Well I woke up with lovely smooth skin, all stickiness had gone. My face did look quite glowy and the redness of my two break out spots had gone down dramatically. So far so good eh! I’m glad it didn’t go kind of flaky like some other moisturisers do. Don’t you hate that feeling when you rub your face and the moisturiser goes all peely and you end up with little flakes on your fingers? Gross!

Day 3: 
Last night I still didn’t need to dip into the pot and could use the lid again. It seems that a little goes a long way with this. There is a surprising amount in the pot so I have a feeling it could be good value for money. So far so good on the soft, rejuvenated skin feeling too, but I feel you need to trial a product for a week at least before you can get an accurate idea of how it will affect your skin. Some things only work at first and others take a bit longer to show their effects, it really is trial and error.

Day 4: 
For the first time I used the little spatula to scoop out some cream, it’s amazing how little you need to apply it to your whole face. I have a feeling this product will last a long time! I have started to find that it makes my skin a little pink after I apply it, but that could just be because it makes you shiny? According to the packaging it contains Edelweiss stem cells which help to rejuvenate your skin, there is quite a bit of information online about this, but it is still quite anecdotal without any in depth studies. A good site to check out for the science behind these products is Beauty by the Geeks

Day 5: 
Still loving the smoothness of my skin in the morning. I have found that instead of an immediate awake look to my skin, I look more refreshed for longer during the day. Normally I look super tired at the end of the day, but not at the moment! 

Day 6: 
I am definitely starting to believe the hype around this product. I have to say my skin is so much nicer, any blemishes stand out less and seem to be healing quicker, this could just be wishful thinking, but I have a good feeling about it. I have learned to live with the stickiness, it’s worth it in the morning when my skin is smooth as satin. 

Day 7: 
It’s the end of the week and I feel I have given this cream a good enough trial to know if I like it…the verdict is I love it! I will definitely buy it again when this one runs out, thought by the looks of things that could be a long time away. My skin feels more bouncy and has a better glow to it, it’s the perfect prep for spring with more pastel and warm makeup looks. My foundation goes on so much nicer after a night of this. 

I wrote this post a couple of weeks ago and forgot to post it, it got lost in the depths of my hard drive! I just quickly wanted to add that I have carried on using this product daily and I honestly do love it, keep an eye out for it in my Feb favourites...yep it is that good! Have you guys tried this? Wowed or disappointed, let me know in the comments below :-) 


The Looking Glass House

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Hello everyone, 

At the moment I am up to my eyes in revision, it’s all I think about, but this then makes me struggle to get to sleep. Whenever I have trouble switching off I like to read for 30 minutes or half an hour in bed. This week I read a book which I have been excited about reading for quite some time, The Looking Glass House by Vanessa Tait is a relatively new release and was much anticipated. 

For 150 years the world has been obsessed with Alice in Wonderland and all things Alice and Lewis Carroll. I think people often forget that Alice was a real little girl and that Lewis Carroll was a real grown man. In those days it wasn’t thought to be unusual for an adult male to spend time with young girls, girls would even become engaged as young as 14. Almost as soon as they could walk, their mothers would be planning their life, who could court them, who could not and who could eventually espouse their beloved daughters. 

Alice Liddell was just 4 years old when she first met Charles Dodgson, a maths lecturer in Oxford where her father was the Dean. Charles Dodgson was a close friend of the family for many many years before their sudden split. There has long been rumours surrounding this…was he having an affair with Mrs.Liddell? Was he courting her eldest daughter Lorina? Or, and this seems to be the most likely, was he simply too fond of 11 year old Alice? 

It certainly seems that Alice made a lasting impression on him, he wrote her countless letters, told her stories, took her photograph and even wrote two full books about her, which he later published under his well known nom de plume Lewis Carroll. Dodgson had many child-friends as he liked to call them and would nowadays be thought of as very questionable in his attitude towards children, it seems strange that his books became so well loved by the world, considering their dubious origin. 

Over the years countless writers have speculated about what really happened!  Using family stories, journals and letters Vanessa Tait, as Alice’s great granddaughter, has a better chance than most at getting to the truth. Her story is told from the point of view of Miss Prickett, known to the children as “Pricks”, who was the governess at the time. The main events, circumstances and the people were very real, but this view point is entirely new. Vanessa Tait simply filled out the story adding a bit of romance, intrigue and conflict in a similar way to Philipa Gregory. I guess you could almost call this historical fiction! 

I loved this book from start to finish, I like the underlying sinister edge, it keeps you on your toes and really makes you feel every word. It highlights how an act carried out in innocence can so easily be misinterpreted. Was Dodgson acting inappropriately or was he simply a man who had been cruelly treated as a child and thus revelled in the wonders of childhood innocence that he had so sadly lacked? I can’t wait to see what Vanessa Tait writes next! 

What do you guys think of the story behind Alice? Let me know in the comments below :-) 


Manly Mondays - Breakfast of Champions

Monday, 22 February 2016

Hello everyone, 

Don't you just think the week would start off so much better with a big breakfast? I am all about breakfast and finding new ways to make it interesting, I feel that if you have something yummy and exciting to look forward to you're more likely to want to get up. Keeping that in mind here is a favourite recipe of Mr.Gingersnap's. I usually make this for him on Sunday, though he likes to "help" by eating my ingredients as we go along! 

I first saw the idea for Bacon Egg Cups over at A Little Freckle and thought they looked too good not to try! They can be made as a big breakfast, a brunch or as a starter depending on how many you want to make. I wrote this recipe as if you are making 6, so 3 each, but in the photos I only made 3, sorry guys. 

You will need: 
  • 6 medium-large eggs 
  • butter 
  • 3-4 slices of brown bread 
  • cheddar cheese 
  • pepper 
  • paprika 
  • 8 rashers of bacon 
Firstly you want to grill your bacon until it is almost done, this usually takes around 2 minutes for each side under the full heat of the grill. The bacon should still be a little soft and pink. While you are doing this pre-heat your oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas mark.

Next, prep your muffin tins with a bit of butter for greasing. Just get on in there and smear a thin layer around the bottom and sides of the muffin part of the tin. 

Use a glass to cut circles out of your bread, I find that one slice of bread makes two circles if you go to opposite edges of the slice. Save the left-over bits for the birds, they get hungry over the winter! Place the bread circles in the tins, one in each hole. 

Slice your bacon into strips and wrap it around the edge of the muffin tin, if you have gaps then use some bits from the extra bacon slices to patch it up. If you don't need these bits then just eat them...yum! 

Grate your cheese so you can make a layer of similar thickness to the bread inside your bacon cup. Almost done! Crack one egg into each bacon cup, sprinkle on some black pepper and a teeny bit of paprika and voila, ready for the oven. 

I find that to have a runny yolk it is best to cook them for 11 minutes. If you like a more solid yolk, try 12 or 13 minutes. When they are done it is super easy to scoop them out onto a plate and enjoy! 

This recipe is really quick and easy, you can serve them on their own as a breakfast, with beans and tomato as a bigger brunch or serve on a bed of rocket salad singly for a tasty and decadent looking starter. 

How do you enjoy your breakfast? Let me know in the comments below :-) 


Original Nakedness

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Hello everyone, 

A couple of weeks ago I went shopping with my housemate to restock her makeup bag, naturally I talked her into investigating the Urban Decay counter. She fell in love with the gorgeousness that is the Naked collection, it was inevitable. Being a brunette with a lovely rosy complexion, she suits quite different colours to me. We spent a lot of time umming and ahhing over which palette to get, it’s a tough choice Naked 1 or 2??

After lengthy deliberation, she went for the original Naked 1 palette. The packaging is quite different, it’s a deep brown velvet with gold, embossed lettering. Unlike the Naked 2 and 3 palettes which are tin palettes that snap shut. I’m not such a huge fan as it makes this palette less portable. The lid easily flips up and this could damage the shadows if they are in your handbag. However, it does look very smart and slightly more luxurious than the later palettes! 

As with all the Naked palettes there is a cute double ended brush, so useful! The 12 colours are quite neutral, cool tones ranging from very light to very dark. There is a nice mix of matte and shimmer colours in a fab range of creams, golds, browns and greys, as well as a couple of more pinky tones for good measure. This palette really would suit anyone, I feel like it would be incredibly versatile in terms of looks for different occasions. 

Left to right: Virgin, Sin, Naked, Sidecar, Buck, Half Baked, Smog, Darkhorse, Toasted, Hustle, Creep, Gunmetal 

So far she is loving it and really enjoying experimenting with different combos. The colours she is loving most are Darkhorse, Hustle and Gunmetal for a very smoky look and Sin, Half Baked and Toasted for a more neutral day to day look, but still keeping a lovely pop of shimmer. Sidecar is also a gorgeous sparkly, milky hot chocolate colour to sweep under your lower lashes to brighten your eyes.

Who else loves the Naked palette and what are your go to looks? Let me know in the comments :-) 


Gorging Ourselves in Gusto

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Hello everyone,

I hope you are all enjoying the week so far! Gosh, how is it already Wednesday?! Time seems to be flowing away from me so speedily as I sit here every day, glued to my laptop for revision. As the weekend is rapidly approaching, I thought I would do a quick restaurant/foodie type post in case you were looking for somewhere to go out.  

Last Friday I took Mr.Gingersnap out for a meal for his birthday, as we were driving my car home from uni the next day we ate in Heswall instead of down South like usual. I had actually been to Gusto before on a friend's birthday and it was fabulous! 

The decor is very classy and Italian themed, there are lots of cute fairy lights draped on real olive trees between the tables. Gusto has that perfect balance of mood lighting, not so dark that you can't see what you're eating (though it tasted so good I didn't need to see it!) and not so light that you feel like the sun burning you to a crisp. I like that there aren't too many tables, but they don't rush you on so they can have another sitting, rapid service, but not being hurried is the best. When you first go in there is a fully functioning bar with some lovely cocktails, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic! I love a good mocktail, we went for tasty strawberry flavours because who doesn't wish it was summer already. 

Left is Strawberry Kiss and right is Mint & Strawberry Cooler - So yummy!! 

As we are both little piglets we had a starter and a main each...I went for the calamari drizzled in fresh lemon juice with lime dipping sauce and Mr.Gingersnap went for the meat balls in a spicy tomato sauce with bruschetta. Yum! For mains we both went for thin based pizza, with Mr having a carnivore with every kind of meat known to man, whilst I went for the chicken and sweet red pepper. We were so stuffed that we couldn't eat it all and ended up taking some home with us. Which I must say was delicious as a lunch on the long drive home! I think it is the mark of a good restaurant if their food tastes equally yummy the next day. 

We were both too full for puddings, *longing sigh*, but they looked amazing! Check out their menu here. What kind of food do you guys love? Let me know in the comments below :-) 


Chasing Away Chapped Lips

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Hello everyone,

Whose life is a constant battle against chapped lips from November to April? Mine certainly is, I am so sensitive to the cold. I always delve deep into the realms of lip care at this time of year. I’m sure you were all getting sick of me commenting on this in various posts, so I thought I’d give it it’s very own post and be done with it. 

There is a plethora of lip comfort products out there, some work, some don’t and some just taste so good that they would work if you didn’t lick them off every 5 seconds! Here is my little guide to products that work for me and which are my top rated. 

First off let’s do the balms. I am a sucker for tinted lip balm and I have yet to find one as creamy as the Benefit Benebalm. I like to use the traditional red colour, but they have a whole set ranging from a rosy nude to a deep coral, something for everyone and all that. For me this is a routine buy every autumn. One which my Mam swears by and really got me into is the Clinique range of chubby lipsticks. I am using the colour Whoppin’ Watermelon at the minute, but to be honest I like all of them and buy a different colour every time. They don’t taste amazing, it’s just a standard lipstick flavour, but they do have brilliant colour pay off and feel very soothing on the lips. No matter how much I love the colour, there is a downside, it doesn't last very long and I find myself reapplying multiple times in the day, not ideal! For something more recent, Lush just brought out the gloss The Kiss in their Valentines Day range. I would class this as a balm rather than a gloss as it is quite faint in terms of colour and isn’t really a gloss texture. It feels quite grainy when you first apply it, but the balls soon melt into your lips as they warm up and it does taste amazing! This is one of the ones that gets licked off a lot...

Let's talk Oils and glosses. I chose my three top favourites for this one! I am deeply in love with the Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort products. I have the oil in 02 Raspberry (mmmm so yummy!) and the Eclat Minute natural lip perfecter in 01. These two are actually my top rated of all the products in this post, they are so soft and moisturising. Even though one is a gloss and one is an oil they feel very similar, but don't be alarmed they do have their differences. The Eclat Minute is more moisturising and the oil gives you instant protection from the elements. A good product to have by your bed is the L'Occitane shea butter lip balm, it has hardly any fragrance or flavour which is ideal to apply just before bed. It is quite sticky and feels very vaseline-like! It does have some serious moisturising effect though. 

Finally, those dreaded dip your fingers and get very sticky type products. Oh my God I used to hate these, all I could think of were the dirty fingers dipping in and out of the pots. Actually, even now I still always wash my hands before I use them, but some products are worth it. I love the Nivea Vanilla and Macadamia balm, it smells so tasty! It's quite a staple product and most people know and love it, but hey it's one of my favs so it's in the post. I adore this red balm by Lou Lesage, the colour I have is called Loved and that is how I feel about this. I love to rock a classic red lip, but I worry about using lipsticks that will dry out my lips. This is the perfect compromise, the colour pay off is lovely to wear by itself or to add over the top of a lipstick to give a little moisture if you really need that deep pop of colour. This product is a win win in my mind! 

I hope this has helped you find inspiration to make your lips feel the love! What is your top pick for lip care? Let me know in the comments below :-) 


Manly Mondays - L'Occitane Voyage

Monday, 15 February 2016

Hello everyone, 

Let’s do a change from the double Ted Baker streak for Manly Mondays, just so y’all don’t get bored of us! This time we have trialled the L’Occitane Voyage set for men, so going a bit more up market this week. For those of you who may not know L’Occitane is a gorgeous brand based in Provence, France. All their products are made in France, frequently featuring typical french plants and herbs. 

First off, we didn’t even have to open the box to know this set smelt so good! Aaah I’m going to have to go away and sniff it before I keep writing…right I’m back. The Voyage box is a set aimed for facial grooming on the go. There is a body wash, shaving gel, after-shave balm and soap all in cute travel sizes. The packaging is a very neutral silver, bronze and navy blue, perfect for a classy man! 

All the products have the light, signature scent for men from this brand, it really is quite distinctive! The fragrance is fresh and masculine, bringing to mind vanilla and shea butter with a much spicier undertone. The shaving gel seems to have the lightest scent and doesn’t really linger on the skin, which is fabulous if you are an after-shave loving guy! Mr.Gingersnap reported that he noticed a real difference in how irritated his skin was post-shave, after using the shaving gel he said his skin felt smooth and nourished. Happily, there was no stinging when he applied his favourite Diesel after-shave. 

The after-shave balm has a stronger scent and could be used as an after-shave itself if you fancy a more subtle fragrance. It really soothes the skin and seems to provide a decent degree of protection from the harsh wind if you have to rush straight out of the house. I’m sure you all sympathise with post-shave hyper-sensitised skin! 

He found the scent of the soap balances really nicely, however, he wasn’t such a fan of the body wash. The scents seem to have been blended differently, it’s a much tangier, more chemical aroma. Overall Mr.Gingersnap enjoyed this set and would like to give this 3/5 stars. He thinks he would buy the shaving gel and balm again, but not the body wash. 

What is your favourite L’Occitane product? Let me know in the comments below :-) 


Valentine's Day Outfit

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Hello everyone, 

So Valentines Day is essentially the same as any other day of the year right? If that’s the case then why is the build up so panic inducing? Seriously, every year it gets to a couple of days before and I suddenly hate all my clothes, hair and makeup…*sigh*. This post is for all of you who, like me, need a little inspiration. 

Let’s make this a kind of blogging get ready with me :-) First I like to pamper myself with a nice hot shower with lots of gorgeous smellies, maybe even a hair masque to revitalise those scraggy ends. Top tip, always shave your legs, nobody likes sneaky little hairs poking through your tights. 

I’m planning on curling my hair so I’ll blow dry it and spray on some heat protectant spray. Then I’l leave this in to do it’s thing! While I wait for the spray I’ll moisturise my face and put on some nice body lotion, probably Soap and Glory Sugar Crush because it is beautiful. I’ll then section off my hair and curl it into loose ringlets. It doesn’t really matter how I do this bit as I’ll then put my hair up in a high, messy ponytail and voila the hair is done. 

Onto the makeup, I’ll prep my face with a bit of Laura Mercier foundation primer. Use this sparingly or it will take forever to dry on your face! I’ll then apply my Charlotte Tilbury Magic foundation (02 pale) followed by Benefit’s Hello Flawless powder in ivory. To correct any blemishes and add a little shape to my face I’ll open up my stunning YSL Gypsy Opale palette. Using the green to cover any red areas and the purple to combat any dullness I’ll even out my face. I use the green around my nose and over any problem areas, and I use the purple under my cheekbones and down my hair line above my brows, I apply it in similar areas to bronzer. I’ll then use the lovely rosy pink blush from this palette across my cheekbones. The highlighter goes on in stages, at this point I’ll brush it under my eyes to lighten any dark circles and across the top of my cheekbones. This gives you a very light contour, perfect for those too pale to pull off bronzer at this time of year! 

I’ll use the Benefit Air Patrol eyeshadow primer across my lids, while that sets a bit, it’s onto the brows. I’ll use the Sephora medium brown eyebrow pencil to fill them in and to hold the shape I’ll pull my L’oreal Brow Artist Plumper clear gel mascara through. For the eyes themselves I’ll use my beloved Naked 3 palette! My go to romantic colours are Strange for the base, Buzz in my crease, Trick in the outer V and middle of my eyelid. I also like to sweep Trick under my bottom lashes. I'll use Burnout towards my inner corners and a dab of Dust at the innermost part. To finish this off I'll blend with a fluffier brush. My favourite mascara at the moment is the L’oreal Miss Manga Punky mascara, I love the vintage, spiked lash look it gives. The eyes are finally done when I sweep a bit of highlight under my eyebrows. 

For my outfit I’m going for a short black skater skirt, black tights and my black high heel suede brogues. I have a lovely cream floaty shirt from Zara to tuck into the skirt, aaaahhhhh it’s so pretty! It is covered in little ballerinas and has a super cute collar and a cut out at the back tied with a long, skinny black ribbon. I like to add my green and rose gold Vivienne Westwood watch and black vintage clutch bag with gold detailing along the clasp line. The bag is so lovely, I found it for £5 in a vintage store. It was in perfect condition and turns out it is from Sack’s 5th Avenue in the 60’s! Anyway I digress, let me know if you ever want me to do a vintage post. 

For those of you who think I have forgotten and am leaving my lips naked, do not fear! I like to do lipstick last as I feel it really finishes off the look. My final touch to the Valentines Day look is my Charlotte Tilbury So Marilyn red lipstick. If the bold red lip is a little too much for you, a more natural alternative is the Gwen Stefani for Urban Decay Ex-Girlfriend lipstick, it is lovely taupe/nude shade that really helps pull the emphasis to your eyes. 

What’s your go to look for the day? Let me know in the comments below :-) 


Manly Monday - Ted Baker Clerkenwell

Monday, 8 February 2016

Hello everyone, 

I’m back again for another Manly Monday! Maybe I should slow down on the posts so I don’t run out of content? Anyway, this week we trialled another Ted Baker gift set. This time the Clerkenwell Core Collection. 

Well, this lot certainly went down better than the last lot. Of the Ted Bakers this is the favourite as the fragrance has more a tangy tone to it. The anti-perspirant seems to be more effective at keeping a fresh scent throughout the day, although it does fade considerably, lasting a similar amount of time to the Redbridge range. The scent may be lighter, but a lovely aura persists and keeps away any sweaty stink. However, it still doesn't last the claimed 48 hours, but what product really does? 

The body wash was again the favourite, Mr.Gingersnap reported that it made him feel refreshed and energised every time he used it. The scent would make a lovely aftershave and he felt the matching anti-perspirant could just be used as a body spray as well. He much prefers this scent, with it being his favourite so far of all the products trialled. It's a pleasant day to day smell, but of all the brands Champney's is still the winner. He liked the completeness of the set and found the addition of a soap and flannel a nice change. The body spray and anti-perspirant could be considered a bit samey as they are very interchangeable, but this would be a positive if you really loved the scent. 

The packaging is less obviously masculine than the previous set, this time with a white, purple and orange theme running throughout. There are actually more products in this set: an anti-perspirant, a body spray, a body wash, a moisturising soap and a flannel. It really is the ultimate starter kit for male grooming. Mr.Gingersnap stated that he would go out and spend his own money on this, which really says something. 

I think this would make a really lovely gift set for that special someone, be that partner, son, friend or brother! We gave this 4/5 stars as you get a lot in the set and it serves many purposes. 

What is your favourite Ted Baker product? Let me know in the comments below :-) 


Sanctuary Spa Spoils

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Hello everyone, 

Time for yet another bath and shower product review. For Christmas I was lucky enough to get the Sanctuary Spa Little Tin of Treats. How pretty is this tin? I will definitely be keeping it to store bath bombs in. I adore the packaging with it's gorgeous pastel theme, it looks very soothing, which I guess it should do as it is a spa product!

Inside there are three products and a little pink loofa. I do like loofas for light exfoliation when lathering up soap so I’m really glad to have a new one. However, as anyone who knows me could predict the body washes are what I am most excited about. The tin contains three lovely scents in these handy travel size bottles, perfect for a holiday or a romantic weekend get away. 

My favourite scent is the white lily and damask rose, which I actually had in my January favourites. It is light and floral, making me feel deliciously girly when I use it in the morning. I feel like there is a nice transition of fragrances in this set. The cleansing burst body wash is a softer, slightly citrus fragrance and would be perfect for the days when you want to apply a perfume immediately after a shower without the scents overlapping. The green lemon and orange blossom is definitely the strongest smell, woweee does it pack a punch. Perfect for those days when you need to feel invigorated and energised, this citrus heavy scent is divine! 

I’d say this tin has something for everyone and definitely applies to all occasions. The products feel very sumptuous and make a lovely treat. My favourite part has to be the little moisture beads that soak into your skin as the body wash warms up. This is my first dip into Sanctuary Spa and I am highly impressed so far. My Mam swears by their body lotion so I may have to add it to my list of products to try. 

Who else loves Sanctuary? If you have any product recommendations for me please let me know in the comments below :-) 


Charlotte Tilbury Review

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Hello everyone, 

Charlotte Tilbury is a brand that kind of popped out of nowhere a few years ago, suddenly everyone was raving about her products, especially the lipsticks. Glastonberry is a very deep plum/berry tone that most people seem to go mad for, sadly I couldn’t justify this to myself as I have a very close shade to this from MAC. Instead my Mam and I treated ourselves to the Magic Foundation each and a red lipstick for me…naughty I know! 

The foundation packaging is a real winner for me, it looks very sleek and luxe. The bronze top and frosted glass make it look like a very high quality product. Do beware the lid falling off in your handbag, it can be quite loose if you don’t push it on properly. I picked the number 2 Pale shade as I am quite fair, I also love that it is SPF 15, always good to have some protection from the sun. 

The pump applicator means it is super easy to blob the right amount onto the back of your hand ready to apply with your foundation brush. My Mam tried it first and isn’t really a fan, she thinks the yellow tones aren’t really a good match for her winter skin so she is planning on trialling it again in the summer when she has more of a glow. 

I have to say I’m not wowed by the coverage and texture of this. It’s quite dewy and needs quite a lot of powder to set it properly. If I have it on without powder it doesn’t last very well throughout the day. I’d definitely recommend wearing a setting spray with this as it doesn’t last so well on a long day! If lighter foundation is your favourite choice then I think this is the foundation for you, the texture reminds me of a BB cream. I’m not a big fan of dewy skin really, I like to have a glow. In case you were wondering: 
  • Dewy = looks moist on your skin, perfect for people with dryer skin. This should look almost airbrushed as though the light is hitting your skin and lighting it up from outside. 
  • Glowing = lit from within, an ethereal tone to your skin as thought the light is shining outwards from beneath your skin. 

Onto the lipstick, I went for the K.I.S.S.I.N.G fallen from the lipstick tree in So Marilyn. I love love love the packaging! Rose gold is so beautiful and it’s quite weighty, a substantial lipstick bullet always feels more high end. I like the CT entwined initials on the lid, discreet, but a good reminder of who designed your fab new lippy.  The colour is a deep red, and does what it says in the name, it makes your lips pop as much as Marilyn’s. It looks like it should be quite matte, I found it’s shinier than expected, but I love it, it doesn’t dry out my lips the way some matte colours can. I think I may form a new addiction to these lipsticks, there are so many colours in the range. It’s so easy to find one to suit you and the staff are always willing to help out, seriously, they were super friendly. 

Do you like Charlotte Tilbury? Let me know which products you’ve tried in the comments below :-) 


Weekend should = pizza!

Friday, 5 February 2016

Hello everyone, 

I'm so glad it's Friday and I'm 100% certain many of you feel the same! It's definitely fair to say that weeks in the winter feel much longer than any other time of the year. When the weather is dreary and the days are long it is very tempting to fall into a rutt of snacking on rubbish food and generally feeling sorry for yourself, all the while berating yourself over the loss of your "summer body". Eating healthy doesn't have to mean cutting out carbs and only eating boring salad, you can have treat foods too, simply by adding a healthy twist. 

I am a huge lover of pizza, it's so quick and easy to make! For those of you who also love it and fancied making it a little better for your body here is the perfect recipe. 

You will need: 
  • A pizza base (I was going to make my own, but I couldn't find yeast in the supermarket *sigh*)
  • Flour 
  • Tomato puree 
  • Olives 
  • As many vegetables/miscellaneous toppings as you like 
  • Mozzarella 
  • A pre-heated oven to 200°C / 400°F / Gas Mark 6     
  1. Start by rolling out your pizza base onto grease proof paper. You can use as little or as much of the base as you like. I chose to do a small pizza for myself, saving half of my base for another day. Just roll up any excess in grease proof paper and put it in the fridge or the freezer depending on how long you want to store it. 

2. Squeeze your tomato puree liberally onto the base and spread it around evenly. You can do this with the back of a spoon or a plastic spatula like mine in the photo. 

3. At this point you could choose to add your cheese, I didn't fancy cheese on mine, but I have put in a picture of my housemate's pizza. She evenly laid the mozzarella on the pizza in strips. 

4. Now add your toppings! I added green pepper, black olives, baby sweetcorn (I boiled this beforehand so it wasn't rock solid) and tuna. My housemate added prosciutto and olives to hers. 

5. Sprinkle some flour on your exposed edges and pop your pizza on a baking tray and into the oven it goes. The time may vary depending on how well done you like your pizza. Bearing in mind these are thin bases I let mine cook for 10 minutes before taking it out. 

And voila, your pizza is ready to eat. This takes no time at all and you can be as creative as you like with your toppings! 

What are your go-to toppings? Let me know in the comments below :-) 

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