Pre-Workout Treat: Chocolate and Peanut Protein Energy Balls


Although the diet for me has ended as I've reached my goal weight (woohoo!), I'm still being quite conscious of what I eat and want to make up the calories that I'm not used to having in a 'good' way. Of course, I can't resist a chocolate-related treat from time to time! I recently tried baking with protein powder again, after giving it a break having not found a recipe that was a real stand-out favourite in my household. It's so difficult! Perhaps it's the whey protein that we have, but there's something about it that completely changes the consistency and texture of the bake, and not in a good way. Anyway, these chocolate and peanut protein balls turned out AMAZING, and I think that's predominantly because they're no-bake! I think we've finally found a protein recipe that's going to be a staple!



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Eylure's NEW Enchanted False Eyelash Range


I'm pretty sure that Eylure have previously done a limited edition 'Enchanted' range, but, regardless, a new one has been launched (or at least new styles). Originally boasting 7 unique styles, I got hold of a new addition to the range, a style called 'Lily'. The romantically girly-named collection is a gorgeous variety of soft, feminine lashes, from half strips for the most subtle feline looks to natural-looking sets that would add just a touch of volume and length to your own lashes. (Eylure also do an Enchanted 'After Dark' range which offers more dramatic styles). For me, 'Lily' looked like a great addition to my false lash collection; they weren't too long but offered enough volume and texture to give me what I want in order to cover my hair loss. Whilst overall I do really like these lashes, they were surprisingly not up to Eylure's usual amazing standard.




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Luxury Hair Care with the Harley Street Hair Clinic


When it comes to hair care, I've never really splashed out. I tend to stick to the high street brands that are probably full of parabens and silicone, but that's all my student budget has ever really stretched to and the habit has simply stuck (does this make me a bad beauty blogger? Probably). I've never had a problem with using brands such as Aussie and Garnier, and to be perfectly honest, have never given much thought to their impact on my hair (instead, using styling products to create any volume and sleekness rather than thinking about how my shampoo and conditioner could help the process). After receiving a luxury hair care package from the Harley Street Hair Clinic, it was time to see whether spending that extra bit of dosh really could make a difference to my hair. 



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Holiday-Ready Nails with Rimmel's NEW Super Gel Shades


If I could pick three beauty-related things which make me feel sassy and confident it would be winged liner (that goes right first time), a bangin' red lipstick and freshly painted nails. Although I have a very and habit of picking and biting my nails, when I muster the strength to grow them to a decent length, I love taking time to give myself a little manicure, painting my nails and making them look pretty. There's something about perfectly painted, un-chipped nail polish that just makes you feel like you have your life together, isn't there? The latest polishes to grace my nails has been this new range from Rimmel, the colours within which just scream summer.




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Beauty Must-Haves For Your Summer Holidays


So, as of today, I can say 'I AM GOING ON HOLIDAY THIS WEEK!'. Late Saturday night we'll be traipsing to the airport to catch a flight to Crete for a week of sun, beaches and all inclusive food/ drink. Honestly, what more could a girl want? When we booked the holiday in March, it seemed ages away, but (as it always does) time has seriously crept up on us and this weekend I realised I needed to start thinking about what I was going to pack (and also whether my summery clothes still fit me, cue bank holiday shopping trip!). When it comes to beauty, I am usually fully stocked up and always buy bits and bobs whenever they are on offer, so luckily I have most things I need already. I thought many of you will have summer holidays approaching, so thought I'd share some of the beauty items which are going to be must-haves in my suitcase.




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NEW Smashbox Be Legendary & Always on Matte Liquid Lipsticks


A couple of weeks ago (I think it was a couple of weeks...I lose track of time these days!), I was invited to Boots in Brighton for an evening of testing and trying out some new launches by Smashbox. It's a brand I haven't had much experience with in the past, having only really tried a mascara of theirs and a primer. The new Be Legendary range is full of totally on-trend liquid lipsticks, covering both plain colours and a gorgeous collection of metallics, which were all designed by their lip editor-in-chief, Vlada Haggerty (otherwise known as VladaMUA on Instagram, famous for her incredible lip art). Smashbox and Vlada are a lip match made in heaven which has produced some stunning products that are not only high quality in finish, but also available in some pretty cool shades.




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Classic & Classy: Leighton Denny Nail Varnishes


I own a lot of nail varnishes. In fact, I have so many nail varnishes I have to keep them in their own case (and that's after a clear out!). There's something so complete about having freshly painted nails; it makes you feel extra confident and like you 100% have your life together, plus it's even better if the colour matches your outfit (double sass points for you if you do this). Although my collection is quite vast, displaying a large array of brands, colours and nail art trends that have been and gone, I only wear a select few on a regular basis. Back in the day, I'd grab anything bright, fun and daring, however now, the only ones I really turn to are the classic shades that are known for timeless glamour. Perhaps it's working in an office where wacky nail art isn't really accepted, or maybe it's my personal style and taste developing over time, but these Leighton Denny shades are ticking all the right boxes at the moment!



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Be Selfish, Do What's Best For YOU


So, it's been a while since I've written a more rambly mental health based post, predominantly because I've been lacking inspiration and things to talk about. However, today's post is something that is very close to my heart right now. This last week or so, my depression has come back, and come back with a complete and utter vengeance. I usually go through periodic bouts of it, normally near summer time (for some strange reason...I thought summer was supposed to be fun and happy?!), but last year, the regular wave of utter sadness and despair that I've felt for the past 8 years of my life seemed to pass by without affecting me at all. As such, I was lulled into the false sense of hope that I was actually getting better and perhaps 2015 saw the last of my depressive episodes, but oh no, it couldn't be that easy could it.




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Best of British: The English Soap Company


Soaps have never really featured in my bathroom, often finding them a bit old fashioned and drying. Recently my opinion of them was changed by these exotic products from Sabai Soaps which incorporated the scents of Thailand into the rectangular bars. These fragrances were vibrant and strong, and although I adore them, they are perhaps not everyone's cup of tea. Speaking of tea, the English Soap Company is a brand I've seen over Instagram via other bloggers, and I recently had the chance to test out some of their tea-themed soaps. Is there anything more British?! The beautifully fragranced soaps have most certainly won me over and have continued to show me that soaps can actually be quite luxurious.




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NEW: Kiss Lash Couture Faux Mink Eyelashes


It only seems like recently that I posted a review of some Kiss lashes but here we are again with a brand new collection. To be fair, Kiss are joint number one on my list of favourite false eyelash brands (alongside Eylure), and my love for them is both well-justified and nostalgic as their Iconic lashes were the first pair of falsies that ever made me feel confident with trichotillomania (way back, aged 15!). Their lashes are always so comfortable to wear and often display a combination of all the things I look for in order to cover my own lack of eyelashes. From the perfect length, a super-natural multi-angle feature as seen in their new Blooming Lash range, to the subtle overlapping of lashes near the base to hide any gaps, their lashes are often the first ones I reach for if I need a little confidence boost. Although their new faux mink collection isn't as natural-looking as some others I've featured in the past, these are still gorgeous lashes that make the perfect pair to apply for a night out.




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The Best Low-Maintenance Hair Style: Balayage at Shine Hair, Brighton


Last week, I made good use of a day off work by taking a much-needed visit to the hairdressers. The semi-permanent colour in my hair had very much faded, leaving a mish-mash of shades which just looked a bit naff. Coupled with my split ends that desperately needed chopping off, I popped into town to Shine Hair & Beauty in the centre of Brighton town to have a little bit of a pamper. My hair was done by the lovely Courtney, a developing stylist at the Aveda salon, and I opted for a balayage. I  have had this done before but the colour didn't go very blonde and was very warm toned but it's such a low maintenance hair style that I thought I'd try it again. Courtney was absolutely incredible and gave me exactly what I wanted; a lovely blonde colour, natural and subtle look and a style that is so easy to keep up.




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Low Calorie Chocolate Fudge Brownies: The Perfect Sweet Treat


If you regularly read the recipes on this blog you will quickly notice that not only do I love baking, but I'm a bit of a chocoholic (understatement of the year). There are a good few brownie recipes in these archives, all from Slimming World friendly bites, naughty gooey bakes and healthy alternative using sweet potato which I think derives from a Deliciously Ella concoction. I've been training at the gym since January this year and have loved seeing the change in my body shape, however thought that it was time to lose a few pounds to help the definition come through (plus my weight had crept up ever so slightly and I want to get back 'into shape'). Strict dieting and restricting your calories is tough, but when you have a sweet tooth and love snacking things get even tougher! I found this recipe on Amy's Healthy Baking and, after a couple of tries, seem to have it perfected. 108 calories per brownie and they're not full of 'crap'... they're the perfect little treat!




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COMING SOON: Gobsmacked Lipsticks (The New Brand You NEED To Know About)


Back when I started this blog, I was obsessed with lipsticks. Anything bright and bold was adored, and I loved the way a sassy colour on my lips could make me feel instantly confident. Pinks and reds were my main choice, however, fast forward a few years and (although I do love a red lip from time to time- who doesn't!?) it's mainly understated nude tones that I wear more in my day to day life, if I wear any at all! When Sophie Ebeling, founder of Gobsmacked, emailed me regarding her new lipstick brand I was so intrigued. I'm very fussy about the quality of lipsticks that I wear- anything other than nourishing, long-lasting, true-to-colour and comfortable and it's chucked aside. On my first try of this stunning new product I knew this was going to be a brand to watch.




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NEW Rimmel Volume Shake Mascara Review


You may have seen pictures and some reviews recently of another new Rimmel launch. The folk at Rimmel have been very busy indeed recently- you may remember that they also launched these shake brow powders not long ago, and it seems they're keeping with the shaky theme. This Volume Shake mascara is quite an innovative product, the main feature being quite a heavy tube which sits within the mascara. The sole purpose of this addition is to shake things up- quite literally, as when the formula seems to be drying up, a quick shake of the mascara will refresh the product and keep it as good as new. Although I haven't had the mascara long enough to test if this actually works, I do have a few things to say about the mascara in general.



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The Alfa Italia Detangling Hair Brush That's Become A Staple Beauty Item


There are certain beauty tools that, although aren't necessarily the most glamourous thing to discuss, are essential to our everyday routines. Whether that be an amazing toothbrush, the blending tool you can't live without or the hair brush that leaves your hair feeling amazing, there are some things that are just worth mentioning. What's great about this Alfa Italia brush is not only is it practical and seamlessly been integrated into my beauty routine but it looks gorgeous too. My photos don't really do it, or the colour, justice (the reflective coating is so tricky to capture without my gormless face being shown staring back!), but the rose gold de-tangling brush is just such a fab alternative to the Tangle Teezer that everybody knows and loves.




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How To Make: Mini Tortilla Wrap Pizzas


I love experimenting with recipes- although (as you can probably tell from this site), it's usually baking. However, once in  a while I will try a new savoury recipe. Although not many make it on to this site (apart from stand-out creations like these puff pastry twists), some things are just too clever/ convenient/ tasty not to share. These mini tortilla wrap pizzas are one of those things. Whenever we have meals like fajitas, there is always a wrap or two left over and we never know what to do with them. After googling some recipes, I found this ingenious way to use up these spare wraps that would otherwise be thrown away or go off. These yummy pizzas make for a super quick and easy lunch and are so incredibly more-ish. Plus they are great as party food snacks that will leave your guests happy without creating cooking stress for you!



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No7 'Lash Impact' Lash Serum Reviewed


I have quite a strict skin care routine. Cleansing, applying serum then moisturising is just part of my evening- but there is one extra step that I never fail to add. Applying lash serum is something I have done religiously over the past few years. Going through periods of time having no lashes at all after a trichotillomania splurge means I'm always desperate for them to grow back and will do anything to speed up the process. Lash serums are almost a motivator for me as I look forward to them growing back. Not only that, they help to repair some of the damage I have done to my poor lashes over the years; when they do reappear, they are often weak, short and flimsy. Using a serum is my daily way of saying sorry to my lashes and trying to inject some health back into them. The only problem is that the serum I swear by (RapidLash) is quite pricey- the cheapest I can find it for is £30-odd for a little tube. So when No7 launched their own affordable version in December last year, I knew I had to try it out.




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