Sunday, 25 May 2014

Beauty | DIY Honey and Cinnamon Face Mask

So a few weeks ago my mum shared a post on Facebook which was a list of ways that both honey and cinnamon can be used for different health benefits, as usual acne was one of the things on this list.

The post stated that applying a honey and cinnamon paste, made from 3 tablespoons honey and 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder mixed together, on problem areas before sleeping and washing it off the next morning would help them clear up in two weeks if done daily. I've tried this a few times and I feel that the next day the area looks visibly more appealing, however the first time I tried this I think I applied too much and it was a very messy experience, but I'm going to continue to try.

While I was trying this for the first time I was pretty sure that I'd seen honey and cinnamon being used as a face mask, I was right and Michelle Phan has done a Honey and Cinnamon Face Mask and the video tutorial can be found here.
So these are what I used to make this mask; honey, cinnamon powder, a microwave safe bowl and a spoon to measure and mix your ingredients. You don't have to have a fancy measuring spoon like mine, I just think it's easier.

So all you'll need to make the mask is 3 tablespoons of honey and 3 tablespoons of cinnamon powder mixed together.
Looks pretty appealing once you've mixed the honey and cinnamon together right?
This step is optional but I think microwaving the mixture for 30 seconds makes this a lot easier to apply to the face, just be careful as this will be warm when applied to the face! It's still quite a messy mixture so I opted to paint this on my face with an old hair dye brush.

Once applied leave this on your face for 10 minutes and then rinse with warm water and you're good to go!

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Kitchen | Smoothie Sensation

I've recently jumped onto the smoothie bandwagon. I really enjoy eating fruit, however, I go through stages where one day I can eat loads of fruit but then the next day I just do not want it, so smoothie making is an easy way for me to get some fruit into me on a daily basis.

I don't follow a recipe I just make mine to taste, and I think that is the best way to make a smoothie.
The smoothie I've been making the most lately is a banana, honey and almond smoothie, to make it I just use banana, almond milk and honey. I use a frozen banana, it looks disgusting I know but it keeps them for so much longer. I just chop them into chunks and then freeze them and then just grab them when I want to make a smoothie.
Like I said I don't use a recipe it's all to taste. I usually use about 6 chunks of banana, enough almond milk to just cover my banana chunks and two teaspoons of honey, and then I blend until it's smooth and enjoy!
I've also experimented with other flavours, to make this smoothie I used the same method as before but just added some frozen berries that I also had lying around in the freezer.

I think the best thing to do with smoothies is just experiment with flavours and enjoy them. I have some ideas of flavours that I want to try, such as adding chocolate and other berries.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Shopping | No Self Control

I have zero self-control when it comes to shopping in Primark apparently, I knew I needed something from Boots but that somehow turned into me nipping into Primark before and leaving with stuff I never intended to leave with.

I won't make excuses, I'll just show you.

Primark
6 Pack Gem Heart Bracelets, £2
   If you know me you'll know that I always have some form of a bracelet on my wrists, I will always love wearing bracelets. Out of this pack, there are a few that I can't wait to wear and I have a few outfits in mind that some will go with specially.
6 Pack Multipack Bracelets, £2
   These were hanging next to the silver pack, like the silver bracelets there are certain bracelets that I can't wait to wear. I know a lot of people don't and won't wear silver and gold together however I think because these bracelets are more of a rose gold and plain gold, I think they'll go together well with the silver bracelets.
Marvel Short Pajama Set, £8
   I adore the short pyjama sets from Primark, purely because they're so easily to pull on and they're super comfy. I've been wanting a new set for a few weeks and when I saw this Marvel set and saw it was the last one on the rail I couldn't resist.
Ribbed Neckline T-Shirt, £4
   I still cannot explain why I like this top, I just really do. I can see this top looking nice lazily tucked into a pair of shorts, or jeans or just layered over some jeggings. I'm not sure how I'll end up wearing this top, but I cannot wait.
4 Pack Nail Polish, £2
   A pure impulse buys that I saw on my way to pay and then they ended up in my bag. It definitely was the colours that attracted me and I can't wait to wear these. Swatches will be coming soon!

I also bought some new underwear from Primark, but no one wants to see that kind of stuff.

Boots
Garnier Moisture Match Shine Be Gone, £2.99
   This was the one thing I knew I wanted to pick up, I think it's obvious I'm pretty faithful to this moisturiser. Also, the added bonus that it's currently on offer at Boots, £2.99 instead of £5.99!
Collection 2000 Lasting Colour Lipstick, £2.99
   I was wanting a new lip colour, although I was looking for more of a 'my lips but pinker' colour but ended up choosing this Lipstick in the shade Mango Tango, it's not as bright on the lips as it looks and it can easily be built up or dulled down depending on what I'll be wearing it for. I'm not overly crazy about the packaging, however, I think that can easily be overlooked with the colour of this lipstick and not to mention the price!

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Kitchen | Baking Made Easy.

Baking always reminds me of being young and baking with my great grandma, which of course brings back the most amazing memories (usually of licking the bowl more than baking), but I still love baking today and still hold such a passion for baking. I usually bake cakes, however, once I found this really simple brownie recipe to couldn't help but try it out. They turned out incredible, my family loved them so much that I've had to make a second batch, so I think it's only fair that I share the recipe and method with you, I have tweaked this however so I'll include the original recipe as well as my adaptation.

Ingredients
100g butter
100g plain chocolate
200g caster sugar
2 medium eggs
100g plain flour (I tend to use 80g self-raising flour and 20g cocoa powder, for that little bit extra chocolate)
1/2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt

Method
1. Preheat your oven to 180ยบc and grease your baking tin, you can also line your baking tin, however, I don't have any greaseproof paper so I skipped this step!
2. Beat the eggs and sugar together in a bowl, until a light and fluffy mixture.
3. Melt the butter and chocolate together, I tend to do this in a small bowl over a small saucepan of water because I think it melts everything more evenly. If you do this remember to not let the water touch the bottom of the bowl. Once melted pour this into the egg mixture.
4. Add your cocoa powder, sift before adding, to the chocolate, butter and egg mixture and mix together.
5. Add flour, baking powder, and salt, sift before adding, into the mixture. Mix gently and stop once all the flour has been incorporated in the mixture.
6. Pour mixture into your tin, spread out evenly.
7. Bake for approximately 30 minutes. Allow your brownies to cool in the tin before you cut them!
8. Enjoy!

You could always add extras into your mixture, such as chopped pecans, walnuts, almonds, chocolate chips, just mix these in after you've added your flour and bake as normal. I skip this step as I have a fussy family, although I might try adding chocolate chips next time I make these. Also feel free to decorate your brownies however you'd like.


Thursday, 8 May 2014

Beauty | Nail Varnish Love Affair

Another nail varnish love affair right here. My other Avon nail varnishes have finally arrived so it would only be fitting to review them all together.

The four Avon Speed Dry nail varnishes I have are in the colours Enchanted Siren, Trance, Lure and Underworld. I've mentioned that I always gravitate towards lighter colours, whereas my mum will choose darker and bolder nail varnish colours, so I don't think it's any surprise that I chose Enchanted Siren and Trance and my mum chose Lure and Underworld.

We bought these nail varnishes as we firstly enjoyed the colours and we really enjoy Avon's Speed Dry nail varnishes as we've used them in the past but we also enjoyed the small flecks of glitter which were spread throughout the formulas.
When I first put these nail varnishes on I think it's fair to say that I'd made up my mind instantly. I think all of these polishes are actually really hard to work with, as you can see Enchanted Siren, Trance are both very sheer and look very similar colours on the nails. Lure and Underworld are also sheer to an extent, especially Lure, but I feel these show streaks more than being sheer.
I stuck with them however through to a second coat. Enchanted Siren is still ridiculously sheer but I think it looks nicer on the nails with two coats, I feel that I'd have to use three coats of this if I was to wear it on my nails. Trance looks a lot better with two coats, like Enchanted Siren, I think that three coats may be needed to make it that little bit more opaque. Lure I was disappointed with, I held high hopes for this colour as I fell in love with it when I'd put on a second coat and like the others, I feel that a third coat would be needed, but I'm not sure if a third coat would actually do any difference. Underworld I do not like, it's not my type of colour at all, however, it is opaque on the second coat, but I still think it's streaky.
I'll stick with the Speed Dry polishes as even though they are slightly hard to work with, I think the formula is very runny and the colours are sheer I can see the potential in them. Also, those flecks of glitter in these colours are gorgeous and I can't wait for the sun to catch these on my nails in summer!

We've also purchased two Avon Gel Finish nail varnishes in the colours Lavender Sky and Glimmer, Lavender Sky being mine as I've been searching for a nail varnish in this colour for what feels like forever.
When I saw the colours in the bottle I wrote off Glimmer as not being my colour at all, but it being a typical colour that my mum would be drawn to and choose, however, this all changed the minute I put this colour on my nails, that shimmer! I love how these colours go on the nails at first, I love the formula, I love the colours, I love the shine, I love how opaque they are, I just love everything!
My love affair with these two Gel Finish varnishes just carried on once I applied my second coat. I didn't think it was possible but the second coat of Lavender Sky just made that colour pop even more and made me just fall in love with it further, I'm so happy with how this colour compliments my skin tone. The second coat of Glimmer secured it in my mind that I will be using this varnish, I can just see me using it for a fancy event with black and gold nails or something like that. The fact that these nail varnishes are both so opaque instantly just made me absolutely love these nail varnishes.
I do enjoy Avon nail varnishes, I think they are fantastic value for money and the range of colours is always just incredible. I'm definitely going to stick with the Speed Dry nail varnishes because I can see the potential with these nail varnishes and the colours, and I know that I'll be getting plenty of use from the Gel Finish varnishes.

Monday, 5 May 2014

Beauty | Painting The Town

One of my favourite things to do is go shopping, I absolutely adore buying new things and treating myself. Aside from clothes shopping, brand new nail varnishes are my guilty pleasure.

Whilst on holiday in Alcudia, on a day when Ryan and I had gone exploring we came across a little souvenir shop, I was ecstatic to find that they also were selling some nail varnishes and these two little numbers drew me straight in.
I've never heard of the brand Yes Love, after doing a little bit of research I think it's a cosmetics brand that is available in Europe, although I'm not 100% sure on that, however, at €2 each, I couldn't turn these down! I also was intrigued by them being a neon glitter My only complaint about these nail varnishes is the smell, they kind of have that cheap, chemical type smell that I can only associate with the cheap nail varnishes I used to have when I was younger, however I've already worn these on my nails and I love the finish, so the smell I can put up with.
G1-4, the green coloured nail varnish, is very streaky and very pale when first applied, compared to G1-6, the lilac coloured nail varnish. G1-4 definitely needs two coats to make it just that little bit more opaque, where G1-6 is fine with just the one coat, this also makes it easier for the glitter to come through in this colour.

Having a next door neighbour who is an Avon Representative doesn't help with this slight obsession of mine as we're always being passed a book every time a new one is out and me and my mum are always drawn in by goodies on offer.

I have a love affair with the 'Speed Dry' nail varnishes which Avon sell, the selling factor for me being the speed dry, along with a good range of colours and a good formula which I can work with. Whilst flicking through one of the Avon books we noticed some 'Speed Dry' nail varnishes which have flecks of glitter throughout, however which are quite subtle. Me and my mum enjoy very different tones when it comes to nail varnishes, I prefer lighter colours whereas my mum prefers bold and darker colours, so we compromised and bought two each.

The two colours I chose were 'Enchanted Siren' and 'Trance'.

My mum went for the colours 'Lure' and 'Underworld'.

A full review of the Avon nail varnishes will be coming soon as I am currently waiting on some more Avon nail varnishes to arrive, so watch this space!