Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Autumn Treats | Apple, Cinnamon, and Raisin Muffins


I hadn't baked in months, so wanted to change that yesterday. I found a basic muffin recipe, changed it to my liking, and then added my fruit and flavours of choice. Thankfully, they turned out well (my dad ate six last night), so thought I'd share it with you. I wasn't planning on blogging about them, and they're already gone, hence the Instagram photo! Feel free to change the measures and ingredients to your taste!

Makes 12

You will need:
260g self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
100g caster sugar
100g butter
180ml milk (I used full fat, but semi skimmed will be fine)
2-3 peeled and chopped apples (I used granny smith, but you can use cooking ones if you have them to hand)
Raisins (I just dumped these in the bowl without measuring, so it's up to you!)
Demerara or brown sugar to sprinkle over the top

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C and line your muffin tray with cases
2. Cream together the butter and caster sugar
3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon
4. Gradually add the flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar, alternating with the milk
5. Fold in the fruit
6. Spoon the mixture into the cases and sprinkle with demerara/brown sugar
7. Bake for 20-25 minutes

I'm definitely going to bake these again this autumn, and I think they would be perfect in a bowl with some hot custard. Let me know what your favourite muffin recipe is!

Monday, 27 October 2014

AW14 with GOSH | New Velvet Touch Lipstick Shades and Giant Blush Sticks

GOSH Velvet Touch Lipsticks in Angel, Adorable, Temptation, Divine, Scarlet, Diva, Pretty, Night Kiss, and Twilight, Velvet Touch Lipliner in Raspberry Dream, and Giant Blush Sticks in Shy and Passion*
Angel, Divine

I feel like GOSH products haven't been spoken about much recently. I personally haven't used them in ages. So, I was intrigued to see if these AW14 releases were any good! 

The lipsticks haven't disappointed, and are just as intense and long lasting as I remember, without being drying. I dislike Adorable because I'm really not a fan of candy pinks, and Angel is a little too light for my liking, but the rest of the shades are beautiful. Although Angel has the potential to make me look like a corpse, I wanted to show you it on the lips because it's not chalky at all, and that surprised me.  

The lipliner has impressed me more than I thought it would. First of all, the colour is beautiful. It's also creamy and very long lasting. I'll definitely be taking a look at the other shades available next time I'm in store!

The blush sticks are okay. I don't like them as much as the lipsticks, but then I think I'm going through a lipstick phase at the moment! They're supposed to have a cream to powder formula, but I feel like it varies between the shades a lot. Shy is very dewy, even when blended, and it almost disappears, so you need to build the colour up. Passion, on the other hand, has more of a satin finish and is a lot more pigmented. A little amount with considerable blending is needed. I like them, but would like them a lot more if the formula was in between both.

The Velvet Touch Lipsticks are £6.49, the Velvet Touch Lipliner is £4.99, and the Giant Blush Sticks are £6.99, so they're all reasonably priced. You can purchase them from Superdrug stores and superdrug.com

Monday, 20 October 2014

Huge Boots Haul!

1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10/11/12/13/14/15/16/17/18/19/20/21/22/23/24/25/26/27/28/29/30/31/32/33/34/35

Boots staff double discount happened, and this isn't even all of it! I've removed some presents and doubles from the photo, and I forgot to include the No7 mirror and foundations (which I paid pennies for thanks to clearance and vouchers). In my defence, a number of items above are Christmas presents for various people. I'm just going to talk through a handful of things because we'll be here for a long time else!

I'm not one for false lashes, but I had a few styes and started pulling mine out (I know), so needed something to fill the gaps while they grow back! The individual lashes have been great, and while they don't last for days and days, they look natural. I remove them every night like I do with any cosmetic. This would be time consuming if I applied a full set every morning, but I only apply a couple. The Naturalites (10) also look promising!

I well and truly stocked up on the Tresemme Platinum Strength shampoo and conditioner because they ended up being just £1.87 a bottle. It's definitely a range I'd recommend trying!

Original Source have brought out some body moisturisers, and I couldn't resist buying the peach and apricot lotion. It smells like a peach and apricot yoghurt! There's also a watermelon one, which I wouldn't mind smelling at some point.

29, 34, and 35 were on clearance in my store, so I ended up paying just 39p and 87p for them! Another exciting lip product purchase is L'Oreal's Colour Riche Exclusive Red Lipstick in Julianne. It's beautiful!

The Babyliss straighteners and Soap & Glory gift sets are for my mum for Christmas. She's only ever had mine and my sister's old straighteners, and her favourite colour is purple, so I thought the Elegance Pro would be perfect. She's not familiar with Soap & Glory, but after telling her a bit about the products and showing her reviews/swatches, she's excited to start using them!

Other points to mention: I'm excited to use the No7 makeup products (7 and 25-28) because they all have great reviews, I love the Laura Ashley kitchen accessories, and I don't know why I included the anti-blister stick and spray plaster. It must have been a long day!


Have you splurged recently?

Friday, 3 October 2014

Graduation Dresses


I'm graduating this month! Finally. Other universities had their ceremonies months ago. So, weeks had gone by, thousands upon thousands of dresses were looked at, and I didn't like any. Then I stumbled upon House of Fraser and Zalando, and they both had dresses from the brand Closet. I'd never heard of this brand before, but liked it straight away. The dresses were closer to what I had in mind than any others. They were just the right amount of formal, and the shapes and cuts were simple yet flattering. 

I ordered the two above within five minutes of each other, and I'm keeping both! The first one, with the little heart print, was from House of Fraser here, and the second one was from Zalando here. I wasn't planning on going with navy (they look black in the photo, but they're definitely navy), but that must be what I gravitate towards. Both feel like great quality (I ordered another from Miss Guided, but it felt and looked cheap) and both have pockets! I love that they have pockets. They don't look like much on the hangers, but they really are beautiful. I think I'm probably going to go with the laced bottom one for this occasion, though. It doesn't look as nice as the heart print one on the hanger, but it fits perfectly. The shape is just what I wanted.

I just need to find shoes and a necklace now. I'm thinking these should have a pop of colour. I've seen some dark red, perfect-for-autumn heels, which I think would go beautifully with the navy. My dad thinks I'll look like Dorothy, but is there really anything wrong with that?! I'm not talking about a bright red anyway, so I don't think I will.

What accessories would you choose?

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Maybelline Colour Elixirs and No7 BB Lips Beauty Balms

Maybelline Colour Elixir in Mandarin Rapture, Maybelline Colour Elixir in Alluring Coral, No7 BB Lips Beauty Balm in Geranium, and No7 BB Lips Beauty Balm in Blush Coral

The Maybelline Colour Elixirs and No7 BB Lips Beauty Balms are similar products, in the sense that they're both a liquid balm with a decent amount of colour payoff and a high shine finish, so I thought I'd group them together in one post. I also thought that this would make up for the lack of lip swatches. I just couldn't get the photos right! Speaking of which, the photos above look fine on my screen, but not so fine on my dad's, so sorry if they're not looking great on yours!

The Maybelline Colour Elixirs (£6.99) were not something I intended to buy. I hadn't looked at many reviews online, and the packaging didn't appeal to me. Then I swatched them and realised how balmy and similar they were to the NYX Butter Glosses. I bought Mandarin Rapture first because my store had a very small selection and I didn't realise there was a coral. Then I ordered Alluring Coral a few days later. I definitely prefer the latter. I prefer the colour, it's more opaque and even, and it has no shimmer. Mandarin Rapture's shimmer is very fine, mind you, and you can't detect it on your lips, but I'd prefer there to be none. I feel like they're more pigmented than your standard gloss, they're moisturising, and they last a few hours. Alluring Coral also stains my lips slightly. The scent is a mix of perfume and fruitiness, but it's not offensive. I can see myself buying more of these in the future.

I don't like the name of the No7 BB Lips Beauty Balms (£9), because they've simply jumped on a bb everything trend, but the actual product is impressive. They're like the Elixirs, but they're thicker and more balmy. They also have SPF15, which is an added bonus. Geranium is my favourite because it's more pigmented, but Blush Coral is perfect for those more natural days. I'm not sure how well it'd show up on those with more pigmented lips, though, so keep that in mind. They're more expensive than other high street lip products, but No7 always have an offer on. Buy one get one half price, £5/£3 off voucher, free gift (sometimes you can combine two of these deals at once, too).


Are you a fan of these balmy hybrids?

Monday, 22 September 2014

Empties #08


As I'm writing this, I already have three products for my next Empties. I could include them here, but that would mean taking the photo again!

I don't like to include every shampoo and conditioner I go through in these posts because it gets incredibly tedious. However, this one's worth mentioning. I even dedicated an entire post to it here! It's the Tresemme Platinum Strength Shampoo. I was skeptical at first, but it really did make my hair feel softer, stronger, and overall healthier. I've already bought more, and would definitely recommend giving it a go.

The Nivea Waterlily and Oil Shower Gel was something I bought ages ago because it was on offer, but only started using it recently. I usually prefer fruity shower gels which pack a punch, but enjoyed using this delicate number. I didn't notice my skin feeling any more moisturised, though. It's nice, but nothing special, so I probably won't repurchase.

I can no longer see The Body Shop's Vineyard Peach Body Mist (review here) on their site, and I'm kicking myself for not stocking up. It smells like a fresh, juicy peach, and it's amazing.

I also finished up another bottle of Superdrug's Colour Effects Conditioning Colour in True Chestnut (review here). I think I've mentioned one of these in nearly every Empties, and I'm starting to sound like a broken record! Just read my review or previous posts to find out why I like them.

I liked the Revlon PhotoReady Perfecting Primer (review here). It left my skin looking and feeling smooth, mattified it slightly, and made my makeup look better. I just wish the packaging was different because I had to pry the lid off and whack the bottle on my palm to get the last little bit out (which was actually more than a little bit).

The Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner in Intense Black and Colour Tattoo Gel-Cream Eyeshadow in On & On Bronze are not empty, but they are drying up (after having them for years, may I add). Both are creamy, intensely pigmented, and last all day. They've become part of my daily routine, and I've already repurchased both.


Have you tried any of these products?

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