Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Tanya Burr's Lips and Nails

You know when you've had a really bad day at work....and it just happens to be Valentines day annnnnd you don't have a Valentine and have to have dinner with your parents...ok so not everyone is that unlucky, however I am. The day wasn't half bad though because I came home to find a lovely little package waiting on my bed. I had ordered 3 nail varnishes from the new Tanya Burr Lips and Nails collection (you go girl!!) on the day they launched, eager I know, and by the time I had got my confirmation email they had sold out, not that i'm surprised. Luckily the lovely people at FeelUnique restocked and a couple of weeks later I had my beautiful varnishes. The main thing that sucked me into my spending spree, apart from the fact they have been created by Tanya Burr (probably not literally) is the colour range and the adorable names. How could resist something called Little Duck or Mini Marshmallows?!

Now, I'm normally a sucker for the pretty white tops of Essie but what arrived from Tanya Burr were sexy black tops, forget LBD we're talking SBT, very sophisticated and expensive looking and on top of nice weighty glass bottles. I picked the three colours I did because I'm not really a bright nail kind of gal and I only venture onto pastels at the height of Summer so I went for a really gorgeous neutral, a vampy plum and a dark red. I haven't tried all of the colours yet but if New York Night is anything to go by I am very impressed. I found the brushes a little harder to work with, not my usual one slick wonder but the opacity of the colours is amazing so it doesn't really matter. The formulation is glossy and thick and as of yet...no chipping! You can get you hands on these from FeelUnique for a bargain of £5.99!! Why the hell wouldn't you check these out?! Congratulations Tanya, I'm looking forward to whatever you come out with next :)


Sunday, 26 January 2014

Quinoa, Spinach, Avocado and Prawn Salad

Ingredients for the Salad
  • Quinoa (mixed)
  • Avocado
  • Baby Spinach
  • Small Prawns
  • Lime
Ingredients for the Dressing
  • Oil
  • Mustard
  • White Wine Vinegar
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Honey
  • First off you need to wash the Spinach and Prawns and let them dry off.
  • Put all of that in a bowl and get your Avocado ready to cut. There is a step by step guide to cutting an Avocado properly here. I then cut it in to small, square pieces and drizzle some lime over the top. The lime will stop the Avocado going brown and will keep it nice and bright and green. Then chuck your limey Avocado in the bowl with your Prawns and Spinach.
  • Next make your Quinoa. I just buy a vacuum sealed pack of pre cooked Quinoa that just needs 1 minute in a microwave. Then pour into the bowl and let the steam from the warm Quinoa slightly wilt the Spinach whilst still keeping it crunchy and full of goodness. Give it a good stir to evenly distribute the heat.
  • Finally for the dressing, mix together 2 desert spoons of good olive oil, 2 table spoons of White Wine Vinegar, a table spoon of Honey, a teaspoon of Mustard and a pinch of Salt and Pepper. Then liberally pour over the salad. I tend to pour in two stages with a good stir in between. You don't want your salad soaked in dressing to make it soggy but just enough to stop the Quinoa from being dry and to give it a bit of flavour. 
  • After it's all mixed together and looking healthy and delicious I scoop some in a bowl with some buttered brown bread on the side. This would be even more enjoyable on a hot summers day with some pink lemonade and some slight moderations. I also like to switch out the prawns for cray fish, add in some peppery rocket and mix a small bit of light mayonnaise in the dressing. Enjoy!

Sunday, 19 January 2014

My Daily Face

This is just a quick sneak preview into what makes up my daily slap. I'm planning on doing reviews on each of the products (price, my opinions etc etc) but for now I just wanted to take pretty pictures. A lot of this will also be featured in a haul so I thought it would be a good chance to get this done before everything ends up messy and covered in finger prints.



  • Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua in B10 (because I'm pale)
  • Bobby Brown Corrector in Porcelain Peach and Creamy Concealer in Warm Ivory 
  • Chanel Tan de blah blah blah longest name in the world
  • Laura Mercier creme cheek colour
  • L'Oreal Eyebrown pencil in blonde
  • Mac All The Glitters Eyeshadow
  • Clinque Chubby Stick in Curviest Caramel
  • YSL Volume Shocking Mascara

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Pearl Barley Risotto Recipe

Ok, so I know Risotto is made with Arborio Rice but this look and tastes just as good...and I'm not creative enough to invent my own name for this dish. If I could put my finger on one of the biggest fads that happens this time of year, it wouldn't be adding tartan to your Winter wardrobe, oh no..it would be making New Years resolutions to shake off those Christmas pounds. Everyone can try and be healthier and get that weight off but it's made a hell of a lot of easier when your latest obsession is a healthy, tasty one. If you want a meal which is packed full of protein, low on the carbs and sugars and has lots of fibre goodness then give this one a go. It's got my mum's Weight Watchers seal of approval.


Ingredients (I don't use any precise measurements, if any at all! Just chuck it all in, make some for lunch tomorrow)
  • Chicken breast
  • Pearl Barley
  • Butternut Squash
  • Red Pepper
  • Risotto Paste
  • Spinach
  • Lime
  • Goats Cheese
  • Garlic
  • Oil
  • Salt & Pepper

1. First get your water boiling! Pearly Barley takes a silly amount of time to cook ( I never said this was quick) about 25-30 minutes or until the Barley turns slightly transparent. Once the water has boiled put in your Barley.

2. Next thing you need to do, whilst the water is boiling, is to prepare your roasted veg. Chop up Butternut Squash and Pepper in to small chunks so they can roast easily. On a small baking tray add your veg, 2 crushed cloves of garlic, salt & pepper and a generous (but not too generous) amount of oil. Give this a swish around with a spoon, or your hands as I do, and put this in the oven about 5-10 minutes after the Barley has reached the boil.

3. Next it's time for the Chicken. Using kitchen foil, hand craft some little parcels on a baking tray. Like little nests for your Chicken, no pun intended. Add the Risotto sauce to the parcel. When this cooks down and steam gathers in the parcel it will turn into a rich creamy sauce for your Chicken to cook away in. This goes in at the same time as the veg, unless it's a small breast. *no Chicken's were offended in the making of this blog post*

4. After this I prepare my Spinach. Give it a good wash and let it drain. There's nothing worse than soggy Spinach. Add this to a glass bowl. I don't "wilt" my Spinach because I can never seem to get it right...and like I said there's nothing worse than soggy Spinach. I find adding the rest of the hot ingredients to the bowl later does the job just fine.

5. Once the Pearl Barley has cooked, strain it and add it to the bowl of spinach and give it a good stir! Once you have checked that your veg is nice and tender and just starting to caramalise on the edges then chuck that in to mix too. Keep stirring!  

6. Check that your Chicken is cooked. There, I warned you, nobody can blame me for food poisoning. 

7. Unfold one end of your parcel and pour the sauce into the bowl with the rest of your cooked ingredients. This is where I like to add the lime. Half a life will do, just the juice. The acidity does a great job at cutting through the creamy sauce to make the meal really light and refreshing and even gives it a bit of heat. 

8. All you need to do now is plate up your dinner! Scoop a good amount onto a plate and gently balance your Chicken breast on top. Remember guys having a healthy diet is just as much about portion control as it is what you're actually eating. Everything in moderation. 

9. All that's left to do now is sprinkle on some tangy goats cheese, watch it ooze and grab a fork. Bon Appetite! 

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Real Techniques Brushes

If the fact that they make awesome YouTube videos and make up tutorials wasn't enough to make you get behind the girls from Pixiwoo then this certainly will. As many of you will already know, sisters Sam and Nic have launched their own range of make up brushes, Real Techniques. These can be picked up from drugstores all around the UK and range in price from £6.99 for a single brush to £20.99 for a set. What I love about these brushes is the flawless finish they create on whatever part of your face you use them on. The pretty pink, purple and gold handles help distinguish if you are using a flawless base brush, and enhanced eyes brush or a perfect finish brush...and they also look pretty cool too. The hand cut synthetic bristles make them super easy to clean and make them so multi-functional. Each brush can be used for so many different products and I even use my eye shadow brush for concealer sometimes! I am a strong believer that using brushes, and good quality brushes at that, can make  huge difference to the over all look and finish of your makeup. I'm not a fan of using my hands, even though they do apparently make the best tools.  I have never used brushes that were such good quality, such a good price and so readily available. If you're in the market for some amazing brushes then don't wait to start building your collection, go and buy some now!! I will certainly be purchasing the new duo-fibre range this weekend. 


Blush Brush

Stippling Brush

Shading Brush

Foundation Brush

Buffing Brush

Expert Face Brush

Contour Brush

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Essie Collection

Now, I have a bad habit. A disgusting habit of biting my nails and it's something I've been struggling with for most of my life. Ok, dramatics over but, seriously, I have never been that into painting my nails because I've never wanted to show them off due to how raggedy they normally are. However, when Essie hit our stores last year I was so drawn in by the amazing colours and cute little white capped lids that I actually ventured into nail painting territory.

At £7.99 each, these are a steal for such salon quality formulas and eye popping colour range...not to mention the sassy colour names. I love the diffusion line that is in Boots now because the brushes are absolute one stroke wonders so there are no streaks. I don't think I even realised until writing this post how many I had, or should I specify..how many reds I had...I know, I know all those reds look the same, whoops!

Since I now consider myself a bit of a nail pro these days I've even featured the Rapid Dry Top Coat because it's amazing!! No more do I sit waiting for my claws to dry, all the while knowing I'm going to have to attempt to put a coat on. No more do I try and open a door and chip away all of my glorious hard work. Now I have this top coat I actually have the motivation to go whole hog with my mini-mani and do all the proper things which I was always too lazy to do before. So without making you wait longer than it would take these polishes to start cracking and flaking (because they're so long lasting) here is my Essie collection. Enjoy.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Skin Care Routine

My skin type is pretty average. Combination skin with an oily t-zone and some dry patches around my nose, pretty standard I think. I'm quite lucky to not get too many break outs, I've never really been a spotty kid and I think that's partially down to my obsession with skin care. I think in terms a beauty products if you're going to spend money on anything high end, go with skin care and foundation. If you don't have a good base that's when everything else goes to shit. This isn't a review post, just a quick glimpse into my tried and tested routine.

B. x

Step 1.  La Roche-Posay Micellaire Solution makeup remover.

Step 2. Alpha H cleanser

Step 3. Liz Earle Skin Tonic

Step 4. La Roche-Posay Effeclar Duo Serum

Step 5. REN Vita Mineral Moisturiser

Only at Night: Alpha H Liquid Gold Night Cream

Every Other Day or Night: Alpha H Liquid Gold Glycolic Acid Exfoliator

One a Week: Origins Drink Up Intensive Face Mask

Once a Week: Liz Earle Deep Cleansing Clay Mask