Sunday, 29 January 2012

Mini Tutorial: Pink Gradient Polkadot Nails

Hi lovelies! Today I am showing you how to create my pink gradient polkadot nails - it's super simple but so pretty! All you need are three nail polishes of your choice (shades that go well together would be a good idea), a kitchen sponge and a dotting tool (or bobby pin, pen, whatever you have). The polishes I used were a light baby pink by Barry M called 'Strawberry Ice Cream', a bright medium pink called 'Strawberry Lollipop' from H&M and the white Konad Special Polish. 
Like I said above, this is a really easy manicure and you certainly don't need a special talent for nail art! Paint your nails in your chosen colour and let them dry thoroughly. Cut off a small piece from an unused kitchen sponge, drop a little bit of your second nail polish in a bowl or on newpaper and dip the sponge into it - gently dap the polish onto the tips of your nails and try to create a smooth gradient (you don't just want two blocks of colour). Wait for it to dry, and then use your dotting tool and your third nail polish to create the polkadots. I just add the dots randomly, but there are lots of different ways to do this! You could add a few large dots or lots and lots of tiny ones - it's all down to you! The last step of this manicure is adding a coat of topcoat, but make sure you let your dots dry a for a minute or two - if you paint on the topcoat too soon you might end up smudging your polkadots! And that's you done! Pretty easy, huh? If you decide to give this tutorial a go, I'd love to see how your nails turned out :)

Friday, 27 January 2012

My Six Favourite Liglosses: Swatches&Overview

 Essence Stay With Me Gloss 'Me&My Ice Cream' / Essence XXL Shine 'Soulmate' / Essence Stay With Me Gloss 'Kiss Kiss Kiss' / MAC Lipglass 'Viva Glam Cindy' / Barry M Lipgloss 'Coral #11' / Rimmel Vinyl Gloss 'Keep A Secret'

I am definitely more of a lipstick girl but I do own quite a lot of lipglosses too, so today I am showing you my six favourite ones! I like glosses which feel light and non-sticky on my lips (nothing worse than getting your hair stuck to your lips!) and give them a nice tint and shine.
Essence Stay With Me Longlasting Glosses: I own two shades (Me&My Ice Cream and Kiss Kiss Kiss) and honestly, these are just brilliant! They are nicely pigmented, have great staying power without being sticky and smell super sweet and fruity - and they are an absolute bargain at 2€ (around £1.50)!
Essence XXL Shine Lipgloss Soulmate: It claims to be 'ultra glossy, moisturising and non-sticky' which is definitely true! 'Soulmate' is very sheer but I mainly use it for layering over lipstick anyway. It's extremely shiny and the least sticky gloss I have ever tried!
Mac Lipglass Viva Glam Cindy: This is my most expensive lipgloss and the one with the loveliest shade. I am still gutted I couldn't get my hands on the matching lipstick, but luckily the gloss is exactly the same colour which is a nice consolation. It's extremely pigmented but a little bit sticky - but because of that, the staying power is great.
Barry M Lipgloss Coral: I already showed you this one a few weeks ago (click!) - probably my favourite gloss ever!
Rimmel Vinyl Gloss Keep A Secret: This is the only sparkly gloss among my favourites. Beautiful colour, nicely pigmented and feels very light on my lips (and smells really good!).

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Whoopie Pies

Hi lovelies! Today is my last day off before going back to work, so I spent the morning chilling in my pyjamas, painted my nails, surfed some online shops.. and baked some really yummy treats! Leanne from DoNotRefreeze showed us her amazing whoopie pies yesterday and I simply had to make some too... To be fair, they might not look that perfect but let me tell you, they are incredibly yummy! I ate about six already (I'm feeling slightly sick) so I'm trying to keep away from the kitchen now haha! If you want to give them a try too (you should), you can find Leanne's recipe here!

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Recipe: Marble Cake

This is a cake my mum used to make at least once a week when I was younger as I loved it so much: it's super fluffy and moist and it tastes as amazing as it looks! You only need a few basic ingredients and it literally takes five minutes to make - it's also a great cake for parties and such as everybody seems to love it!

  • 150g soft unsalted butter
  • 190g plain flour
  • 180g caster sugar
  • 10g cocoa powder
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 3 tbsp milk (or Baileys)
  • 1 tbsp rum flavoring (or rum)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • a pinch of salt 
And here's how to make it: mix the butter and sugar until light and creamy, add the eggs and then slowly mix in the flour and baking powder. Mix until fully combined! Now add the milk (or in my case, Baileys), rum, vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. Fill half the cake mix into a greased cake tin. Then add the cocoa powder to the other half of the cake mix and fill up the rest of the cake tin with it. Now use a fork and swirl it around to gently mix the light and dark batter - this will create the lovely marble effect which gives the cake its name!
Pop it in a preheated oven (170°) for around 45 minutes or until done. Insert a wooden skewer into the middle of the cake - if it comes out clean, your cake is done and ready to be taken out! Let it cool down, sprinkle some icing sugar on top and enjoy!

Monday, 23 January 2012

E.L.F. Lipstick and Matte Lip Colour Review&Swatches

I placed my very first elf order a few days ago and my little parcel arrived within two days - very impressive! However, I'm not too impressed with some of the products, but I'll give you seperate reviews on everything I ordered (gel eyeliner, brushes, smokey eyes palette..). For now, I'll show you the two lipsticks I bought...
'Gypsy' is part of their normal lipstick range which retails at £1.50 - I didn't really have high hopes for this one as it's so cheap, it is however quite a nice lipstick for this price! It's a lovely deep pink shade, nicely pigmented but it does feel and look a bit drying on my lips.. A little slick of lipgloss or balm should resolve this problem though. The only thing I really dislike about this product is the packaging - it feels so cheap and wonky, but what can you expect for that amount of money? All in all, I think this is quite a good product considering the price, and the colour is lovely indeed - might have a look at the other shades next time I order from elf!
I also purchased 'Tea Rose' from their Studio Matte Lip Colour range. It was on offer for £2.45 instead of £3.50 so I thought I could give it a try - I'm quite disappointed with it though. I know that matte lipsticks can feel a little bit drying on the lips but this one is a real nightmare! I couldn't stand how incredibly dry it made my lips feel and it looked terrible too, a bit like using chalk as a lipstick... I do like the dusky pink shade I picked but it's just not for me. I have very pigmented lips and this shade is simply too cool and light for me - it washes me out a lot and makes me look ill. Unfortunately, this lipstick was an absolute waste of money for me..
Have you tried any of elf's lipsticks? Which ones can your recommend? xx

Swatches of 'Tea Rose' and 'Gypsy'

'Gypsy' on my lips

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Navy and Silver Stripes

Hi girls! This is what my nails looked like yesterday. I initially painted them with p2 Color Victim nail polish in 'Night Out' which is a beautiful dark, navy blue shade. It looked a little boring on its own though, so I had a little think about how to make it a bit more interesting. I came across the the stunning metallic silver 'Your Majesty' from Rimmel - it goes so well with 'Night Out' doesn't it? I was going to use tape to create a crisp line but couldn't find any.. And I really don't have a very steady hand as you can see hah! It looked pretty straight from a further away though and I really loved this manicure. Just remind me to get some tape before attempting this again ;)

Thursday, 19 January 2012

MUA Blush Shade #1

Blushes are probably my favourite make up products ever and you will never see me leave the house without it. Rosy cheeks make you look healthy and glowy, and in my opinion, a little dab of blush on your cheeks is essential. A little while ago, when showing you my seven favourite blushes I introduced you to MUA Blusher #3 which is a lovely plum shade and seriously good quality. I decided to pick up another shade as you can't really go wrong for £1 right? I chose shade #1, the lightest and definitely most beautiful colour they offer. I'm so in love with this shimmery pinky shade and I think it looks lovely on pale skin (even though I might have overdone it a little in the picture above). The quality is brilliant too - silky and smooth, very pigmented, blends easily and good staying power.. All for one pound! This is definitely a winner for me, well done MUA! xx

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

3 Minute EOTD

Gel eyeliner, mascara and shimmery beige eyeshadow under the brows and inner corner of the eyes as a highlight - that's sometimes all I have time for in the morning and it's done within minutes! What's your to-go look when you're running low on time? xx

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Recipe: Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot cake is one of my favourites, it's delicious, soft and moist and really easy to make! And don't worry, it doesn't actually taste of carrots, but makes it feel a little healthier than other cakes.. haha! Carrot cake is usually finished off with some cream cheese frosting which I absolutely adore, it makes this cake even more delicious and, in my opinion, just irresistable. So if you love cake, please give this one a try! It also works well as little carrot cake cupcakes, just half all the ingredients.
  • 100g soft, unsalted butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 100g grated carrots
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • a pinch of salt
  • 50g chopped nuts
  • 100ml milk
And here's how to make this cake (seriously easy): mix all the dry ingredients and all the wet ingredients in seperate bowls, then combine both and mix until fully combined. Grate your carrots and add them to your batter, then fill your batter into a well greased cake tin and bake in a preheated oven at 170°C for about 40 minutes. My oven is rubbish and my cake took almost an hour, so just insert a little wooden skewer into the middle of your cake - if it comes out completely clean, your cake is ready, if not, just leave it in for another few minutes but keep your eye on it! You don't want this little beauty to burn!
For the cream cheese frosting you simply mix 100g cream cheese, 100g icing sugar and a few drops of vanilla extract. Make sure your cake had cooled down before you spread the frosting on top or it'll melt. Keep your cake in the fridge to make sure the frosting sets and then enjoy! :) xx

Monday, 16 January 2012

Tiffany Nails

Good morning lovelies! Sunday is definitely my favourite day for painting my nails as I usually lie in front of the telly in my pyjamas all day, drinks lots of tea and try not to move too much haha. Last night I had a look through my nail polish collection and came across the beautiful 'Pear Icecream' from H&M which I already showed you here. It's a lovely shade, a mix of very light cyan and mint, which applies very smoothly and reaches opacity after two thin coats. Does Pear Icecream remind you of something?! Tiffany came to my mind straight away - which is why I added a bit of Essence Special Effect Topper 'Disco Disco' to the tips of my nails to turn them into sparkly Tiffany nails. I love them - but what do you think?

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Dotty French Nail Art

This is some seriously quick and easy nail art! All you need is a dotting tool (or bobby pin, pen, whatever you fancy) and nail polish of your choice. Whether you use two contrasting colours or ten similar shades is down to you! To create this 'dotty french' look you simply add random dots to the tips of your nails, just make sure you wait a minute or two before you are using your next polish to make sure your dots don't smudge. Add some topcoat and you're ready to go! I created this mani when I was really short of time (which is why my dots aren't very neat) but still wanted my nails to look a tad more special - it took literally five minutes and I was quite pleased with the way it turned out! xx

And these are the polishes I used:
H&M Nail Polish Miss Stone Heart | P2 Color Victim Polish Charming | Barry M Nail Paint Mint Green | Konad White Special Nail Polish

Friday, 13 January 2012

Top 3 Nail Polishes of 2011

This was quite a tough decision but here are my favourite three nail polishes from 2011! The first place goes to Barry M Pink Flamingo because it was definitely the polish I have worn the most last year and because it is simply beautiful! My second favourite has to be Essence Nail Art Twins Glitter Topper as I used it for half my manicures, I just can't stop myself from adding some of this stunning holo glitter to whatever colour.. I'm already dreading the day I'll finish my bottle! Last but not least is Topshop Eyes Of Steel, a rather unusual but amazing purple-grey metallic shade which I really enjoyed wearing on my nails, especially with some black Konad stamping on top. I have written about all of these polishes before, and here are the links to the posts in case you want to see more photos and read full reviews:
I love every single one of my nail polishes but these three were definitely my best friends in 2011! What polish did you use and love the most last year? xx

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Primark Bargains

Satchel Bag £5

 Faux Snakeskin Ballerinas £5
Christmas Pyjamas £7

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Remington Pearl Wand Curling Tong

Hey girls! When I was younger I curled my hair quite often which I loved but since buying GHD straighteners three years ago I wore it poker straight most days. Straightening and bleaching my hair made it really damaged and dry though and I now only use my GHDs before a night out (I have naturally pretty straight hair anyway). However, I'm often in the mood to wear my hair curly for a change and I really loved the idea for New Year's Eve - but I seem to be too stupid to use my GHDs for it! I read a lot of very positive reviews about Remington's Pearl Wand and I decided to just give it a go as it only costs £25.49 at Boots anyway - and I'm incredibly happy with it! It's definitely the best curling wand I have ever used and it's such a bargain!
This curling wand has a conical barrel without a clamp which, in my opinion, is so much quicker and easier to use: I simply wrap a strand of hair around the barrel, hold it for about 5 seconds and I'm left with super bouncy, beautiful curls! I love the conical barrel as it let's you create different kinds of curls easily: use the thinner part of the barrel and only a small section of hair for tight corkscrew curls or the thicker part of the wand and thicker sections of hair for loose waves. Another plus is the wide heat range: you can set the temperature from 130° to 210° and it heats up within seconds!
Remington claims that "precious pearl power incorporated into the Advanced Ceramic coating of the barrel makes it eight times smoother and five times longer lasting than standard Ceramic wands" and I can totally agree with that - my hair feels smooth and shiny and glides off the barrel. And as for the staying power, I curled my hair for NYE, didn't use any hairspray or styling products and my curls still looked exactly the same the next again night! I think that says it all, doesn't it? :)
I'm so thrilled with this curling wand - the design is sleek and chic, curling all of my hair takes about 5 minutes, the staying power of my curls is incredible and it's brilliant value for money! I can totally recommend Remington's Pearl Wand to you all! xx

Monday, 9 January 2012

Barry M Pink Flamingo

Hi girls, I have got yet another Barry M nail polish to show you! This time it's Pink Flamingo, my all time favourite, I mean, just look at it! Pink Flamingo is a stunning bright pink, great formula, opaque in two thin coats and dries very quickly. I love wearing this shade as it reminds me of summer and makes me smile whenever I look at my nails. I don't even know what else to say apart from.. Buy it! This is such a beautiful colour, a real bargain at £2.99 and Barry M polishes never fail to impress... What do you think? xx