Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Habitat Haul

Bedding: Habitat
Bedside table: Ikea
Lamp: Wilko's
(I know what you're thinking. No - the grey lamp is not staying in the all grey room, but I thought I'd spare you from photographing it in my mid-decorating lounge)
Lamp: Habitat
Print:Society 6
Rabbit cushion: Habitat
Black & White cushion: Primark
Sofa: Next 
Fruit Bowl: Habitat
Coasters: H&M

I've been trying to be more consistent with my posts recently, but being in the middle of decorating a house has made that tricky. You start off thinking that you enjoy decorating and that it will be easy. Then you spend an entire week stripping wallpaper off just one wall only to discover more wallpaper underneath. I have some beauty posts in the works but since I haven't really been wearing make-up and have been spending most my time in homebase, a post on homeware seemed more apt.
I'm still kind of discovering what my style is with homeware and decorating however I've always loved shopping at Habitat. Sadly the habitat section in my nearest homebase is closing and going online only. The good news is that everything was 50% off whilst they were clearing stock. Silver linings and all. I hope this post isn't totally boring and gives you a little home inspiration!


Saturday, 28 May 2016

Summer Mojitos

 As the weather is getting warmer here in England it seems only suitable to write a post on a cocktail. Last year I attended Citadel festival and was served a passion fruit mojito that I've been reminiscing about ever since.
A hot day in a dusty field listening to live bands is definitely where I want to be right now.
Sadly, I cannot re-create that in my lounge. I can, however, rec-create the drink.
Like a classic mojito it still contains the usual ingredients: white rum, mint, lime and sugar.
You can use a sugar syrup or muddle a teaspoon of sugar with the mint leaves and lime, whichever you have. Now to this you could simply add a piece of passion fruit to the bottom of your glass and will taste and look great. However at the festival, as well as fresh passion fruit, they used a puree. And in the spirit of re-creating this drink I found using this mango and passion fruit coulis from Sainsbury's works rather nicely. I've been using large teaspoon in with the muddled lime and mint but I suggest tasting and adding to what your preference is.
Then simply pour over soda water to fill the glass and enjoy.
A refreshing but very easy drink that's great for BBQ's or summer parties.


Thursday, 19 May 2016

Why you should check out Louise Young

 When I studied make-up in London I had the pleasure of meeting Louise Young. She came to my make-up school to talk us through some of her new products, and having already owned some of her brushes, it's safe to say I was excited. 
Louise Young was working as a Make-up Artist when she injured her hand and was worried it would effect her work. It was that which made her decide to start a brush line she'd been thinking of for a while. And after using her brushes, you can tell they were created by a make-up artist. They are good quality, withstand constant cleaning and there is every brush you will ever need. This is one of the few brush lines that have such a variety of brushes you don't often see.
Especially what I'm talking about today, Eye Brushes. Many of which coming in multiple sizes depending on your eyeshape/lid space - genius. 
So here are my top 3 Louise Young eye brushes that are worth checking out:

The LY038B Tapered shadow brush 3
It's the smallest of the 3 tapered shadow brushes which makes it the perfect crease brush. Especially if you're like me and don't have much eyelid space to work with. I use it every single day,

The LY13 Mini socket 
Perfect for many things. Shadow under the eye? Smudging eyeliner? A bold cut crease?
Check, check, check!

The LY24A - Superfine liner brush
All of her eyeliner brushes are the bomb. They were the first brushes of hers that I tried because they're the finest liner brushes I've seen on the market. I know different people like different liner brushes, but no matter what your preference is, check hers out. Short, long, fat, fine, superfine. There will be one.

Although I'm talking about eye brushes, a shoutout goes to the Super Foundation Brush (LY34) as I just can't leave it out. Excellent foundation brush, applies products evenly without caking it on and is also absolutely massive so does your entire face in seconds. 
It's also worth a mention that for the quality these are, they are very well priced. Many of the brushes are only £10. I constantly clean my brushes with Isopropyl Alcohol to sanatise them (as does Louise Young and many professional make-up artists for that matter. Don't be fooled by expensive brush cleaners) and years later they're still the same as when I bought them.

Have you ever tried Louise Young brushes? 
Please recommend any favourites that you have!

Louise Young brushes can be purchased online or if you like to have a feel of the brushes before you buy they are available in PAM. 

*This post will come across very pro Louise Young. That's simply because I am. 
I paid for all these products myself, while studying, with my own money.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Salted Caramel Triple Layer Cake

I made this cake recently for step-grandfather on his birthday and it's quickly become a favourite of mine, Firstly, because I cannot get enough of salted caramel but equally because it looks so impressive. Adding another layer to a standard cake is such a simple way to make it look better. Originally when I made this cake I did 4 layers, which looked amazing but it is a lot of cake so today I'm just sticking to 3. 

You could use any sponge cake recipe in the world for this but I use this one.
If you have a recipe you prefer then use it, just make sure you at least double the ingredients.

350g of slightly salted butter
315g of caster sugar
350g of self raising flour
6 eggs
2 tsp of vanilla extract
for the icing:250g butter (the whole pack usually)
600g icing sugar - ish.
Salted Caramel Sauce (I use Sainsbury's Taste the Difference pre-made one)
300g chocolate (I use half milk/half dark)
Things that come in handy:
3 20cm cake tins
A cake turntable
A icing scraper
Not having these things is fine - I didn't when I first made this cake. If you don't have enough cake tins you can make one cake and slice it into two or three with a bread knife. 
What to do:
Line your tins and preheat oven to 190. Cream together your butter, sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, plus a little flour each time. Fold in the remaining flour. Divide mixture into 3 cake tins (or however many you have, you can always slice your cake once baked). Bake for 20-25 minutes or until ready. Remove the cake from the tins and allow to cool. Assemble the cake with a thick layer of buttercream inbetween each layer.
The icing on top:
The salted caramel element of the cake comes in with the buttercream. A trick I do with most my cakes is just to add a spoonful or two of whatever flavour you desire to the buttercream. For example, I love baking a chocolate cake and adding two spoonfulls of peanut butter into my buttercream.
For this cake I add A LOT of Salted Caramel sauce to my buttercream (usually the whole jar) but add to your preference.

If you find icing cakes really hard and haven't tried a crumb coat before then I really recommend it. Once your cake is fully cooled and assembled, smooth a thin layer of buttercream all over your cake and scrape off any excess. This step cements any crumbs in place and stops them showing through on your final icing. A crumb coat is like plastering your walls before painting them. Allow this layer to set by refrigerating your cake before moving on to the final layer of icing.
Smother the cake completely in icing and then use a scraper (if you have one) or a palette knife to smooth out the icing and gradually scrape off the excess. It doesn't matter if it's not neat or perfect because you'll be dripping chocolate over it.  Place back in the fridge while you melt the chocolate.
 I melt mine in the microwave in a glass measuring jug, as this helps to pour it over the cake.
Let the chocolate cool slightly, then poor around the edges of the cake and let it dribble down the sides, then add the rest to the centre and spread it over the top of the cake.
Then enjoy!

I hope you liked me adding something different to my blog. Let me know if you'd enjoy seeing more posts like this as well as the regular beauty chat.


Monday, 18 April 2016

The pale girls best friend

If you always go for foundations in the shade "Ivory" and they're still not pale enough for your skin tone, this post is for you. I too am a pasty, pasty white girl and I've got a secret that just might help.
 Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation - in White
If you're like me you'll know the struggle of trying to find a foundation. You probably have a stash of 3 or 4 foundations that you tried but were just too dark or orange for you. 
This not only puts those products to good use but it has opened up a whole variety of foundations for me. Foundations that I could never have used before because of their shade range. I just squeeze a small amount to the back of my hand and mix it into the foundation I want to use. I know at £32.50 this is an expensive product for many people, but I feel it is worth the price. Firstly because it now allows me to use many highstreet foundations. And secondly in using it this way it will also last you an incredibly long time. 

It is also really good as a highlight for pale skins. If you like contouring but haven't found a highlight that works for you then definitely give this a try. It's annoying that lots of concealers or brighteners I see people recommend for highlighting are actually 1 shade darker than my skin. Personally, it's rare that I ever fully contour as I like a more natural base. However I have to say I've used this for nights out and it makes my skin look flawless. I apply it before my foundation to the areas I want to bring out/highlight, such as my cheek bones and jawline. Then apply a cream contour to the hollows of my cheeks/my temples/under the jawline, then simply buff my chosen foundation colour over the top of this. Not only does this give a more defined look, I found it also helped even out any discolouration.
One thing this product is not for is to be used as an actual foundation. Although I like to joke I'm as white as a piece of paper, I am not. And neither are you. Slapping white foundation all over your face will not look good. So, if you are after a whole new foundation then Illamasqua are a great brand anyway in providing products that suit every skin tone. The skin base foundation in itself is a beautiful foundation and shade 02 is the best foundation I've come across for pale skin.

Do you have any recommendations for us pale girls? If so, I'd love to hear them!


Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Noticed some changes?

Noticed some changes around here?
My blog is currently under construction!

If you've ever started a blog yourself you'll know that it's easy to fall in and out of spells of blogging. Bloggers block, shall we call it. Although it's something I've always enjoyed doing, it can be difficult for creativity to strike, as well as dedicating time for it. However I seem to be doing more and more things lately that I think "that would have made a great blog post". I'm in my twenties which has brought on many changes and big life decisions. I'm still doing freelance make-up, but also discovering many more interests such as photography and cooking. I'm also currently in the process of moving into my first home which is both incredibly exciting and daunting. And by in the process, I do mean slap bang in the process of it. Today (with the help of generous family) I moved a sofa, my bed, a coffee table and a chest of drawers into the house. A crazy time to decide to start blogging again, but an exciting time - which is exactly why I'm doing it.

You can read my posts and come with me on this journey of trying/pretending to be an adult. I'll be posting the usual beauty stuff, along with my decorating progress, recipe ideas, any tips and tricks, probably many what not to do-s and hopefully some other fun adventures.

I'm still having a play with the design of my blog in the meantime as well as writing up some blog ideas but thought I'd give you an update on what's going on. And a heads up to expect more from this blog soon.

But for now if there is anything you'd particularly be interested you'd like me to write about, please leave a comment below.


Wednesday, 7 October 2015

H&M Beauty: Facemasks

I went into my local h&M last week to see they had totally re-launched their beauty range. I'd never tried any of their beauty products from their old line as they never appealed but they're now packaged to look high end with a great selection of products.
These face masks in their bright packaging are what first caught my eye however I have since picked up other things from their make-up, haircare and bodycare lines and I'm sure there will be another post on those to follow.
What appealed to me with these was the names of each of them, involving fruits and plants with scents you don't often find. They are each priced at £1.99 and you can purchase them from here.

The 4 I decided on were:

Raspberry Leaf

A peel-off mask with vitamin E for combination skin

Kiwi and Watermelon

A self warming face mask with pear fruit juice for combination skin

Cucumber and Aloe

A cooling peel-off mask with passion flower and lotus blossom, for tired skin

Charcoal and Pumice

A exfoliating face mask with walnut and fig for tired skin

Although they come in individual pods (which are great for travel) there is 10ML of product which is enough for you and a friend or partner. Or you could also save what's leftover in a small travel container and use it up to two times more.
One mask that looked slightly unusual to me was the charcoal and pumice mask. Now charcoal is often used in face masks to help clear skin but I'd not used that paired with an exfoliant before. It's a gritty texture that you apply and leave for 10 or so minutes. It will harden like a typical mask but as you wash it off the pumice takes away any dead skin sells leaving your skin clean and smooth.
 I enjoyed using this however if you have very sensitive skin the exfoliation may irritate your skin as the grains are quite abravive for a scrub. I'm used to using a liquid/chemical exfoliant rather than a scrub however I would still use this and will do when my skin is looking dull. 

Have you tried anything from h&m beauty yet? Comment and let me know you're favourites!
Here's some other products from the range that are on my wishlist.