Monday, 19 August 2013

Monday Beauty Wish List

I'm supposed to be on a budget, I'm supposed to be saving - I just can't stop thinking about things I need to buy. It's not even want to buy it's actual need. So as a sort of cathartic online list and a way to get these evil money spending thoughts out of my head I thought where better to rant...Make Up Face.

I'm not even going to tell you what my monthly saving target is I am however determined to stick to it. Two months of frugality to ensure a joyful and sinful December plus a rather large Christmas shopping spree in London in December will spur me on.

So here it is my beauty wishlist for this nothing Monday and do note this is just beauty, there is home, fashion and in your dreams lists to come.


If you don't know what Bioderma is then have a word with yourself?! Does good skin mean nothing to you? Bioderman first came into my sights years ago courtesy of I'm sure Lisa Eldridge or Pixiwoo sisters? Anyway, this stuff is miracle water it's sensitive, unfragranced and seriously effective. This is the kind of skin care product I adore it's an all over all in one and it encourages you to be committed to a twice daily skin care routine. One of the most important things in your beauty regime seriously! If you plaster your face in make up every morning then please do your skin the service of removing it before bed. Or say hello to blackheads, blocked pores, spots and dull tired looking skin.  

In all honesty budget or no budget I will probably repurchase this because it's a huge bottle, works so well and it's bloody brilliant. As this is a French brand it was not readily available in the UK I think Boots carries it at an inflated price, I always get mine on EBay.

Clinique High Impact Mascara 

This is my holy grail mascara and it has been for many years. Forget your YSL Faux Cils (dry and clumpy) your Dior Show and your Benefit They're Real - this is the one. I used to love Clinique and it's skin care in particular 3 step anyone? Burn your face off on step 2? The brand as a whole these days isn't really my thing but their mascaras are always wonderful, this little baby is the ultimate.

Super black, perfect consistency, good longevity and the perfect wand. Could you get any better? This is L'Oreal Voluminous times a hundred and without the lower lid transfer - eugh. I always buy this mascara without fail and will most definitely purchase it again. Readily available for around £15.

Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua

This is one of the most beautiful foundations I have ever tested (never owned until this point).  What a perfect consistency, application, coverage and fragrance everything you would expect from a Chanel foundation really. I remember the hype around this when the product was first released and the early adopter bloggers got their hands on little bottle of this magic - jealous. This is by no means a new product, just one I keep forgetting to look further into I have been sticking to my MAC bases.

Most days I have been wearing a very light coverage of MAC studio fix blended in with a Real Technique buffing brush and built up with concealer (MAC Studio Fix and Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer) where required. I'm not too sure if this is more of a summer foundation and moving into autumn perhaps something a little more heavy duty is required? I want it anyway.

Daniel Sandler Watercolour Blush 

I love blush and probably for the make up guideline sticklers just a bit too much. I will however not give any allowances for poor blusher application - BLEND and then when you think you've blended it again.  These blushes have an excellent reputation and I have been wanting to try then for ages and I think blush is such a base essential that you should expect to invest accordingly.

Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate 

Don't need to say anything about this...look ^ 

Right I'm going to stop this, probably not the best post to write when it's a week before payday and I have no money (plus the two months of frugality).  What's on your beauty wishlist?

Saturday, 29 June 2013

15 Minute Meals - Chorizo Carbonara

In the absence of a decent camera to take acceptable product pictures, I thought I'd cook! A couple of months ago I ordered Jamie Oliver's 15 Minute Meals and until now I've not attempted anything. There are a lot of recipes in this book I settled for a pasta one as it was quick and the picture [above] looked good. As with most of the recipes in this book it comes with an accompaniment, a salad in this case. 

It was very simple and quick to make not quite 15 minutes but I didn't have all my ingredients prepped to start. For the pasta you will need:

  • Penne 
  • Half a lemon
  • 70g chorizo
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 red chilli
  • 2 tbsp natural yoghurt
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • Cup of reserved pasta water 
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • 1 tsp olive oil 
First of all boil your penne in salted water (add a little oil) and cook as per the packet instructions.

While your pasta is boiling prep all your ingredients; finely slice chilli, chorizo and garlic. Heat a teaspoon of olive oil and add all the above ingredients and cook until golden brown. To chop the garlic I got to use my new stick blender so much easier than chopping 4 cloves.

While the chorizo and garlic etc... are sizziling away you can beat together the egg, parmesan, lemon juice and natural yoghurt ready for mixing.

I forgot to say, add a twist of black pepper to the chorizo, chilli and garlic when you are frying them off.

Once your pasta is cooked and drained (keep a cup of the liquid) tip it into the chorizo pan and mix together. Remove from the heat and mix in your carbonara sauce, loosen if needed with a cup of the starchy cooking liquid. Season to taste and you're ready to serve! I really enjoyed this it was super quick and the lemon juice really lifted the whole dish and lightened it, perfect for summer.

I served mine with some rocket, a squeeze of lemon juice and balsamic glaze.

Let me know if you ever give this a try or anything else from the 15 minute book!

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

New Bourjois Cream Blush Launch!

Bourjois are one of those brands where the hype around their new launches always seems to be justified by the quality of the products. All of us must have at least one Bourjois blush tucked away, or in our day to day make up bags - with it's feminine distinctive rose smell.

Bourjois first baked powder blush was created in 1868! This is a make up brand steeped in history and one which definitely knows it's blush. Following on from high-end brands such as Mac and Nars with their notable cream blushes Bourjois is here with a 'brand new generation of blush.'

The new Bourjois cream blush has:

  • an unprecedented cream-powder technology
  • exceptional second skin texture
  • incredible natural 'healthy glow' colours
  • impeccable hold 

Although it retains it's Little Round Pot charm and rose scent the packaging has slimmed down and has a built in mirror, perfect for application on the go!

The Bourjois Cream Blush also boasts a fool-proof application, you don't need a vast array of blush and duo-fibre brushes, just your fingertips will do! The colour result is build-able and can be used to create a variety of make up looks, the perfect versatile spring/summer addition to your make up bag.

The product comes in four shades:

I quite like the look of Nude Velvet and Healthy glow, I think they'd be really good for day to day wear and I've never tried a cream blush before! 


The Cream Blush from Bourjois has already launched on the 3rd of May exclusively in Selfridges. However, fear not - the product will be released nationwide on the 15th of May and will be found in - Boots, Superdrug and online at ASOS.

Hurry and get your hands on your favourite shade on the 15th of May and let me know what you think!

Monday, 8 April 2013

Essie Fifth Avenue - The Ultimate Red?

Thought I'd post a quick one as I've just this very minute painted my nails (again). This afternoon I unintentionally went on a lunchtime Boots haul and this was one of the most unnecessary purchases! I have never bought Essie from any of the UK concessions so I though why not? Looking at the huge array of colours I forbid myself from ANOTHER taupe, grey or nude. My eye was immediately drawn to Fifth Avenue a bright lobster red.

On application I noticed that the brush on the UK Essie polishes is much broader which I don't mind, those with not much of a nail bed may find it a little tricky to use. I do think the consistency is much better as I remember it being much thinner with previous bottles. One gave a strong colour but two coats is even better!
I finished with a coat of Seche Vite for added shine and that glass like finish.

Here is a quick picture sorry its from my iPhone but I am currently camera-less.

What do you think about Essie? What's your favourite shade? Oh and I think this was £7.99 or £6.99?!

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Best Yorkshire Puddings Recipe

Look at this beauties! Every good Sunday dinner should involve a good yorkshire pudding and this was my very first try at making my own. I thought I'd share the recipe that I used in case you wanted to give it a go, it was really simple and the outcome was very tasty.

Really simple ingredients:

140g plain flour (this is about 200ml/7fl oz)
4 eggs (200ml/7fl oz)
200ml milk sunflower oil , for cooking

 *I used just a normal 12 case muffin tray some people make one big one or four slightly bigger ones, use whatever you have to hand. I also only just had olive oil and thought it may not got hot enough but it seemed to work, I'd stick to sunflower oil as it will heat to a higher temp.


Heat oven to 230C/fan 210C/gas 8. Drizzle a little sunflower oil evenly into 2 x 4-hole Yorkshire pudding tins or a 12-hole non-stick muffin tin and place in the oven to heat through.

To make the batter, tip 140g plain flour into a bowl and beat in four eggs until smooth. Gradually add 200ml milk and carry on beating until the mix is completely lump-free.

Season with salt and pepper Pour the batter into a jug, then remove the hot tins from the oven. Carefully and evenly pour the batter into the holes.

Place the tins back in the oven and leave undisturbed for 20-25 mins until the puddings have puffed up and browned.

My yorkies took 20 minutes so I'd keep an eye on them as it depends on your individual over etc...

Give it a go next time your doing a roast or you could even use this recipe as part of toad in the hole for a simple weekday dinner.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Skin Care Range

La Roche-Posay Effaclar and Skin Care Routine

On having successfully set up the custom URL for this blog I thought I'd celebrate with a new post as I have been working on this on and off for a few weeks. Technical difficulties that is, not this post.

I haven't really written much on skin care on this blog as much as my previous one, when you wear as much make up as I do it's an important part of my beauty regime. I thought I'd split this post into sections as it covers, skin type, routine and of course the La Roche-Posay Effaclar range.

Skin Type

Bitsa. That is bitsa this and bitsa that I have been through the full spectrum of skin types, apart from thankfully any serious acne or scarring problems. I have had really clear skin, combination, oily and severely dry; at this point it's oily which when you are applying your make up at 8am and expecting it too last all day causes a few glaringly or should that be shiningly obvious.

I get a few breakouts at certain points, always on my chin which clear up on themselves, don't scar and generally don't cause me many problems. I also have quite enlarged pores just over my nose which is annoying, although don't cause many issues unless you're right up in my face yo.

Skin Care Routine

By the time I get home at night ALL I want to do is rub my eyes and get all this make up off! So I remove all my eye make up, my eyebrows (!) and the rest of my mask. Pure bliss. I was using that fantastic Bioderma Crealine H20 which is a Micellar lotion a soothing, alcohol free, hypoallergenic cleansing lotion. This product has had massive hype in the beauty blogging world and rightly so it's hugely effective and can be used on both eyes and face. This is another French pharmacy skin care brand which I used to buy on Ebay it will soon be available to buy in the UK high street in 250ml and 500ml bottles.

I generally don't moisturise at night and have no idea why, I am going to look into a repairing night serum at my old age this will be needed. Perhaps even the coveted and (justifiably) expensive Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum.


I more often that not still wake up with panda eyes no matter how thoroughly I though I removed my make up the night previously. I wash my face in the shower with either Nip Fab make up remover oil or Sanctuary Cleansing Balm both of which I'm not very happy with just now and am on the look out for a new facial wash. I have an Elemis foaming cleansing wash that I find to be a little drying so I am looking for recommendations?

Following on from my recent purchases one lunch time last week as Boots are currently doing two for £15 across the Effaclar range. I picked up the La Roche Posay Astringent Lotion - tightens and helps unblock pores. Since the old three step Clinique I have been a fan of these lotions as I feel they remove any impurities even left over cleanser and are extremely light on the skin giving a nice base for moisturiser.

Some may argue that having oily skin using an astringent product may cause my skin to over compensate and produce even more oil, I have not had any problems yet. This also does not feel or smell like you are putting acid on your face as the step 2 in the Clinique routine does. The bottle states that this is a micro-exfoliant and contains LHA helping to unblock and reduce the appearance of large pores.

I apply this with cotton wool, concentrating on the t-zone and avoiding the eye area. The Effaclar range is formulated for those with oily skin with imperfections and this product does contain alcohol so I would not recommend this for dry skin.

A couple of weeks ago I needed a new daily moisturiser and owing to the fact my face is rebelling and making me shiny I needed it to both light weight and mattifying.  Cue - Effaclar Mat Sebum Regulating Moisturiser which is Anti-Shine and Anti-Enlarged Pores. This is an excellent moisturiser very refreshing and light weight, sinks in quickly and have a nice scent, I'm not sure about the mattfying element as I can still be quite shiny during the day.  This product cost roughly £12 for which you receive 40ml of product, using this daily means that it doesn't last very long and I'd like the option to buy a larger tube.

The second of my lunch time purchases was the highly talked about Effaclar K -

EFFACLAR K is a daily care product which combines LHA and retinol Linoleate. The micro-exfoliating action unclogs pores and helps to transform and refine skin texture. With daily use, it helps protect against a future relapse of imperfections. Paraben-free formula.

This is a skin perfecting product (to be honest I wasn't 100% sure) I have however heard really positive reviews so I'm giving it a try. It has the consistency of a serum, is nice and cooling and applies to the skin like a primer. It also says on the packaging that it makes an excellent base to make up, I apply this after my moisturiser let it set in a little and then apply my foundation.

This combination of products before foundation leaves your skin feeling very smooth and soft. It's a little too soon for me to give my 100% opinion on any of these products but first impressions have been very good so far!

Wish List 

As I mentioned before there are a few products on my wish list and as I'm sure you can see a few steps missing from my skin care routine. I desperately need a new exfoliator, it's an essential step for me in my skin care routine, I would exfoliate three times a week. I was using St Ives Age Refining exfoliator, I felt I wasn't getting any real benefit from this product and the grains were too large.

One of the best I have tried was the Dermalogica daily microfoliant which had lots of fine beads and an effective base - why so expensive?!

The second is an eye cream specifically a de-puffing, refreshing daily one to use in the morning that still has anti-aging properties, so I'm on the look out.


  • Remove your make up - religiously 
  • Moisturise every single day 
  • Avoid sun beds and frying your face in the sun like the plague
  • Use sun screen appropriate to the climate your in (try use a moisturiser or serum with SPF in it)

I hope this post has been useful to you and given you some insight into someone else's routine or introduced you to the wonder that is French skin care. If you have any suggestions for products let me know in the comments.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Essie - Smokin' Hot


Not blogged in forever, this I know. This is because I live in permanent darkness and I do not have a camera two rather vital things for any beauty blogger lest I be banished to the doldrums with the rest of the Iphotographers. (was going to say something but I'll take the 5th).

So, I have purchased about a hundred (not quite) blog worthy products from hair, to fragrance, interiors and make up so the urge to share just got too much. Hence the random blog post on a Friday night, to be perfectly honest I looked at what was on my table and this was one of my newest buys.  I was browsing the famous Ebay nail store where one would buy certain brand of nail polish in dollars for roughly half the price they are in the UK made famous years ago by Lollipop26. If you want to know hit me up yo *shakes head*

I was looking to repurchase Seche Vite which is a wonder top coat that smells like petrol and comes with a health warning on the side but it's just too good. It makes any polish look and feel like glass, I'm not going to certify it's longevity as I don't feel it's the best top coat for that but for shine and finish this is your best pal like.

I have an unhealthy amount of nail polish, it's been an obsession of mine since I was 8 or 9, possibly younger. I remember being told off in primary school for having my nails painted (and refusing to do gym when I'd just had my ears pierced! hehe) and buying copious of all hideous shades while on family holidays in Whitby.

What I'm trying to say is the last thing I need is another new nail polish but I just can't help it. I also received two huge Nails Inc sets for Christmas would you like to see? Anyway this store has hundreds of shades and brands don't know why I chose Essie, don't know why I chose Smokin' Hot. Pure impulse.

Smokin hot is a subtly multi-faceted mauve with what appears to be a brown base. On closer inspection it is an identical mix of in between or dupes of China Glaze Fois Gras and Chanel Paradoxal both of which I own so I definitely didn't need it.

I like it. Applies well. Dries fast with an nice 'thinish' application consistency. Wears well, roughly two days and a few chips appear.  All in all this is a nice polish completely unnecessary for me but oh well add it to the collection.