Tuesday, 31 January 2012

January 2012 GlossyBox

 As many of you have also commented on, this months GlossyBox has taken it's time coming! And I'd really love to be cynical (as it's that time of year) about how it was definitely not worth the wait - but I would be lying. This is by far my favourite box since it's launch. Of course, this being my second one, means I haven't tried out the previous boxes, but I've read enough reviews to have a good idea as to how good each individual box was!
Without further ado, I shall crack on!

CLARINS Extra Firming Day Cream £46 for 50ml
I was overly surprised to see TWO products from Clarins in my GlossyBox! Not just one ladies! As many of you may already have read, I love to use products which have an instant effect (whether it's fake tan or toners) and this product does not disappoint. I felt as if it probably wouldn't work straight away as it says to apply every day (and normally it REALLY means it may not work first time trying but if you persevere, you will see results) but surprisingly my face became incredibly smooth and luxurious in a very short period of time i.e. from my dressing table to my wardrobe. There is a slight tightness to it, but not so it feels as if you've been injected with fat from your arse. This creates a lovely smooth base for makeup application.
It also didn't kick up a fuss with  my sensitive skin!

CLARINS Extra Firming Night Cream £48 for 50ml
This is very similar to the Day Cream but with slightly more moisture added. You know it's a keeper when you find yourself waking up with THE smoothest skin and no spots have appeared overnight - especially for a night cream which tends to have more oil/moisture in it. My skin felt super smooth after applying this last night and then with the Day Cream on top!
Although slightly more expensive, this night cream ticks the boxes. It's light, it's moisturising, keeps the grease at bay and also tightens up your skin to feel rejuvenated.

FAB Body Moisturiser £13 for 227g
I must say, I'm definitely a Body Shop Body Butter kinda-gal. I will occasionally purchase the odd randomer (in moisturisers) but will always stray back to Body Shop in the end - purely because I feel they work and they also make me want to eat myself. This, however, is very much a surprise to me. I didn't expect it to work.. At all.. It doesn't smell (only a slight chemical scent which is hardly noticeable), it doesn't scream THIS IS THE ONE.. But somehow, as I was casually feeling my skin earlier, I was like... WOAH. I'm incredibly smooth.. It's not normal for me to be smooth as a tabletop, I've got slight chicken bumps on my arms and can't seem to get rid of them, but this, my friends... works wonders! Only ONE application and I'm seeing a difference! For £13, it made such a difference to my skin and I think I'll be repurchasing the full size!
Shame about the small sample size though!


MURAD Hybrids Skin Perfecting Primer - Dewy £29 for 30ml
Where to start..
This tiny, tiny sample gave good results. There.
It's slightly tinted in colour, seems slightly water-based and created a good base for makeup. Does it compare to other Primers? Maybe.. I personally didn't feel a difference, apart from easier foundation build-up but my boyfriend (who does stare at my face) told me my skin looked "glowing", I repeat "glowing"..
So .. It may be worth another try! I'll be caking it on so I look like a light bulb when he next sees me.. *bad joke*..

I rate it: 5/10
My boyfriend rates it: "a solid 8/10"

EYEKO Skinny Eyeliner £9.50 - Mine was 'Powder Pink'
I was SOO happy that I received a pink eyeliner.. Ecstatic more like! I'd wanted a reasonably flesh-toned eyeliner for a while, to cover up red eye sockets (how graphic does that sound!) I would have preferred an actual flesh-tone but pink is near enough... I'm still getting to grips with using one, as I don't ever use eyeliner.. But the long metal handle really helped me keep my hand steady..
I'm not entirely convinced that the long handle is actually at all sensible because when it's not going in your handbag, it could be used for a weapon. Not cool... But when at home, it is handle to have the extra length.
I didn't see a dramatic difference in my eye redness, but perhaps I need to apply more.
The waxy consistency is really durable though and easily blendable (not a real word buy hey)!

Although all these reviews on the products seem overly loved, I can rest assure you that I have by no means overrated these products in my opinion. My skin may work differently than others so what works for me, might not necessarily work for you. If you're subscribed to GlossyBox, I hope you liked your Valentines GlossyBox! I loved mine!

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Photographic Inspiration

All images have been sourced by DeviantArt. If these belong to you, email me and I shall take them down or link to you.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Cookies and Cream Fudge Brownies

I found this mouthwatering recipe on Lucy's blog, GRAZED KNEES!

  • 165g/5½oz butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 200g/7oz dark chocolate, grated or finely chopped
  • 3 free-range eggs
  • 2 free-range egg yolks
  • 1 vanilla pod, seeds only (or alternatively 2 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 165g/5½ oz soft light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • pinch salt
  • 154g/5½oz pack chocolate biscuits, such as Oreos, broken into quarters
  • icing sugar, for dusting

  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Grease a 20cm/8in square baking tin with butter, then line with baking paper with the paper overlapping the sides a little.

    Melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat. When the butter has melted, remove the pan from the heat and add the grated (or chopped) chocolate. Leave to stand for a few minutes, or until the chocolate melts, and then stir together. Alternatively, you can put the chocolate and butter in a bowl and melt in the microwave in 25-second blasts, stirring well each time.

    Whisk the eggs, egg yolks and vanilla together in a large bowl until the eggs begin to get light and fluffy. Add the sugar in two additions, whisking between each. Pour it around the side of the egg mix so as not to knock out the air that has been whisked in. Keep whisking until the mixture becomes stiffer. Once the egg mixture is ready, pour the chocolate into it - again around the sides so as not to knock the air out.

    Add the flour, cocoa powder, salt and a third of the biscuits and stir until fully combined, then pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Scatter the remaining biscuits over the top, pressing them in slightly. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 25–30 minutes. The middle should be very so slightly gooey. Leave the brownies to cool in the tin - the top will sink and crack a little.

    Pull the brownies out using the overlapping paper and cut into squares. Dust with icing sugar.

    I got this recipe from BBC Food

    Saturday, 14 January 2012

    White Chocolate and Raspberry Trifle

    This is my favourite all-time Dessert! I absolutely love this and could pretty much eat the whole thing to myself.
    Scroll down to see the recipe

    - It says it serves 6 but there's always a lot left over, perhaps make smaller versions in small glass bowls
    - For the topping, once the raspberries are washed, leave them to dry on a kitchen towel, this prevents soggy trifle
    - Use any fruit you like, but I always prefer raspberries!


    SERVES 6
    Prep - 15 minutes

    You will need
    225g/8oz white chocolate
    4 egg yolks
    50g/2oz sugar
    300ml/half pint of milk
    300ml/half pint of double cream
    1 large Swiss roll
    2 tbsp Kirsch (a fruit brandy)
    450g/1lb raspberries
    8 tbsp raspberry coulis, from a jar

    1. The day before, put 50g white chocolate in the fridge to chill, then roughly chop the rest of the chocolate.
      Cream together the egg yolks and sugar until pale.
      Put the milk and cream into a clean pan and bring almost to the boil, then pour this onto the egg mixture, stirring all the time.
      Put the mixture back into the pan and stir with a wooden spoon on a low heat until it thickens.
    2. Take the pan from the heat and add the chopped chocolate.
      Stir in to melt, the leave the custard to cool.
      Cut the Swiss roll into finger-thick slices, place them around the edge and base of a serving dish and sprinkle with Kirsch.
      Cover with 300g of fresh raspberries and the raspberry coulis, then pour over the cooled custard and leave to set.
    3. When ready to serve, decorate with the remaining raspberries, then take the 50g of white chocolate from the fridge and grate it over the raspberries.
    4. Bon Appetit!

    Thursday, 5 January 2012

    REVIEW: Clinique Redness Solutions Cleansing Kit

    For Christmas I received quite a few presents, all of which I have adored and used since, but this one was by FAR my most wanted and most loved! This is another small rant about my skin condition, but I've had inflamed skin ever since I was a small girl and have pretty much had it my whole life. I'm starting to accept that I may always have it, but I'm grateful there are so many products aimed at my condition now. I've been told redness is caused by Alcohol, stress and/or hot, spicy foods... All of which I don't have/eat/drink.. I know it's to do with the sensitivity of my skin, so I look for products to help.
    The box contains:
    - Clinique Redness Solutions Soothing Cleanser
    - Clinique Redness Solutions Daily Relief Cream
    - Clinique Redness Solutions Mild Clarifying Lotion
    - Clinique Deep Comfort Hand and Cuticle Cream
    - A cute little leaflet on directions of the product

     Clinique Redness Solutions Soothing Cleanser
    This was originally my first ever purchase from Clinique, and ever since this product (and the really lovely lady who helped me) it's been my favourite brand for Cosmetics since! I've featured this in posts and vlogs before, but never with any other Clinique products. I do, however, now own the Redness Solutions Foundation too, which I love, but use little of. This cream has a very light formula with a green tint (I was told it was the Tea Tree which helps cool the redness) and is a light coverage to put on the face. The instructions say to cover the face in this and then wipe off with a cloth or tissue, but I find it's easier and more effective to squeeze some onto a cotton wool pad and cleans with that.
    - Leaves my skin feeling cool and cleansed effectively
    - Definitely reduces my redness for a while
    - Smells fresh and clean (cucumber and tea tree extracts I was told)
    - Tightens my face to feel rejuvenated
    - My skin flares up after a few minutes as soon as the cooling wears off
    Best for a quick fix and effective cleanser that lasts a long time.
    Clinique Redness Solutions Mild Clarifying Lotion
    This, I presume, is a toner... I hope it is anyway! I mean, who makes bundles like these and doesn't include a toner. Ok, blonde moment over!
    Although I still use this product, I find that it isn't as 'mild' as it says it is. I have very red cheeks and this 'mild' clarifying lotion doesn't do it for me. I have to wait at least an hour or two to see the effects but by then, I would have put my makeup on and done my hair..
    - Closes any pores I may have had
    - Gentle on skin which is sensitive
    - No stinging sensations
    - Too strong for MY skin
    - Leaves skin slightly tight and dry

    Best for skin that is sensitive and slightly greasy
    Clinique Redness Solutions Daily Relief Cream
    This product may be my favourite out of the whole bundle. It's conditioning, but soothing as well.. You only need a tiny amount but a little goes a long way with this product. This is my second tub of this stuff and I love it! It's very very mild, but for a cream, it's thick but not too greasy - just right in my opinion.
    - A little goes a long way (making it last a lot longer than some creams!)
    - It's incredibly gentle on the skin
    - Can be used as a night cream as well
    - Reasonably sized tub with price label
    - May not be so good for people with very greasy faces

    Best for sensitive skin types looking for a moisturiser that doesn't leave them with stinging faces
    Clinique Deep Comfort Hand and Cuticle Cream
    I have to admit, I'm not really a hand cream kinda gal. Firstly, I don't suffer from dry hands anyway, but secondly, I can't stand having overly moist hands when doing things. So I can't really do a review on this product, because to be honest, I don't use them and haven't used them.