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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
You may have seen photos of this gorgeous product over my social media or had a glimpse of it's beautifulness in my post about some beauty bits I received for my birthday. I've taken a very short (week) break from blogging just to regain my mojo for writing and all the inevitable admin that comes with the hobby, but I couldn't resist opening my laptop and writing about this palette which I have fallen so head over heels for. Although I've tried liquid and stick form highlighters, I never get the look I want from them- I've always preferred powder formulas. When my usual highlight powder block ran out, I knew exactly what I wanted to try next. I've seen photos of Sleek's 'Solstice' highlight palette all over Instagram (probably because it is so photogenic) and completely adore the range of shades available. So, when my birthday came around, this was first on my wishlist!
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