17
Sep
2014

Too Faced Sweethearts Perfect Flush Blush

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Who could resist the cute heart packaging of the Too Faced Sweethearts Perfect Flush Blush with it’s french-inspired chocolate box design? It’s one of those products that instantly appeals because it looks beautiful and the product inside is just as tempting! I was recently sent the Peach Beach shade to review and the brand introduced it with their Haute Chocolate Spring 2014 Collection.

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“Too Faced Sweethearts Perfect Flush Blush will illuminate your complexion with a hint of natural-looking radiance. Containing three individual shades which have been baked to create a buildable and blendable formula, the hues can be used individually to contour and define, or mixed together to produce a stunning flush. Your complexion will look brighter and healthier, whilst the handy tin is perfect for popping in your bag for those on-the-go touch-ups.”

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The Peach Beach shade is a mixture of shimmering peach, shimmer rose, and a shimmering golden bronze. It’s a great colour for pale to media skin tones but would be better used as a highlighter for dark skins. This blush product is definitely more of a blush highlighter than a full on blusher. It has a subtle colour to it so it’s great for people who already have quite rosy cheeks (like me!) or if you’re looking for a warm-toned highlighter.

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The concern with these types of blushers is that they will be too shimmery on the skin, look unnatural and emphasise pores. However, I actually found that this blush looked really natural and not at all powdery once applied. As you can see from the pictures below, it doesn’t appear too glittery or overly shimmery on my cheeks. It just gives your sin a lovely warm glow which compliments, rather than accentuating my naturally rosy cheeks.

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You can get a deeper colour if you apply it with a dense kabuki brush instead of just a normal blush brush.  However, I’m definitely more partial to the more natural flushed effect.  This product is basically what I wanted the Hourglass Ambient blushers to be! There’s also a candy pink and a darker pink berry shade that would be great for those who want a bit more colour that’s on the cooler shade scale.

I feel like this blush is subtle enough to be used throughout the year, rather than just the summer months as the shimmer is so subtle. Plus the packaging looks oh-so lovely on my dressing table! At £24 it’s on the higher end scale but if you were thinking of investing in the super-expensive Hourglass Ambient Blush, I’d just go ahead and get this instead!

*PR Sample

16
Sep
2014

Healthy Eats: Roasted Cauliflower & Parsnip Soup

As you know I’m on a mission to eat clean and eat healthy, not just for weight-loss but for my general well-being. I wanted to start adding clean eating recipes to my repertoire so that when Conor starts eating solids, I can ensure I’m providing him with the best nutrition I can.

Today’s recipe is incredibly easy and it tastes INCREDIBLE! I mean, when I served it up to my in-laws at the weekend, they thought it tasted like it was restaurant-quality! One of them doesn’t even like Cauliflower! I put it down to the roasting of the veg because it brings out all these deep, rich flavours that make this a really delicious and healthy lunch!

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Serves 4

Ingredients

1 head cauliflower florets (about 3 1/2 cups), roughly chopped
2 parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped
2 shallots, peeled and quartered
3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
2 tablespoons minced thyme, plus more for garnish
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1/4 cup crème fraiche
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 190oC
2. Spread cauliflower, parsnips, shallots, garlic, and thyme onto a baking sheet, in a single layer, and drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with cumin, paprika, salt and pepper and toss everything together until the vegetables are well coated with oil.
3. Roast vegetables for 25-30 minutes, tossing vegetables around 15 minutes into the roasting process.
4. Meanwhile pour stock into a medium pot and bring to a simmer. Lightly season with salt and pepper.
5. Once vegetables have roasted through and stock is hot, transfer both the vegetables and 2 1/2 cups stock into the well of a blender. Securely fasten the lib, but remove the small, plastic center-top and replace that with a kitchen towel with your hand securely over the towel (this will allow for the stream to escape without a soup ‘explosion’ occurring).
6. Puree mixture for 3 to 5 minutes or until the mixture is smooth. Add more stock and continue to puree if necessary.
7. Transfer the mixture into the pot that the stock was in and bring to a light simmer. Stir in sour cream or crème fraiche and adjust seasonings.

12
Sep
2014

KIKO Golden Game Sculpting Powder

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I only learn how to contour in the last couple of years – before that I didn’t see it as a necessary step of my makeup routine. However, since I have been contouring my cheekbones look more defined, my face looks slimmer and my jawline, more defined.  You can go mad with contouring and slim down your nose, shorten the appearance of your chin or make your forehead appear smaller.  I just stick to the basics as I’m pretty happy with the rest of my face. I have always been a fan of the Sleek Contour Kit but a new, very natural contouring palette is in town.

The Kiko Golden Game Sculpting Powder in Precious Sienna (there’s also a paler combination)…

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“Bronzer and highlighter palette duo for warming the complexion and sculpting, the make-up technique that allows you to define and enhance certain parts of the face through carefully balancing the light and shade. The bronzer’s ultra-fine texture ensures an even application, and is easy to blend, helping to define the areas of shadow on your face in order to accentuate your features. The ethereal highlighter can be used to create strategic points of light on your face. The features are emphasised and well defined. The make-up is natural, yet at the same time refined, elegant and sophisticated. The effect is harmonious.”

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The difference with this contour palette is that you get three products in one compact – an all over honey matte bronzer, a contour powder and a highlight shade.  I love the decorative spade design on the product pan, it gives the compact a more ‘high end’ feel. The powders look incredibly natural on the skin and the matte bronzer is perfect for daytime. If you need a little extra colour you can swirl both bronzers together.  I particularly like the highlight shade for an everyday natural look so if you’re a fan of less shimmery highlighters, then this product could be right up your street! It gives more of a subtle sheen on the skin with no visible shimmery or glittery particles.  It really does mimic radiant natural skin. I don’t have particularly prominent cheekbones but a little contour underneath and a highlight on top and voila! Definition!

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You will need a smaller angled contour brush to use the contour shade in this palette (I use this one) so that is possibly the only downside.  The price point is great at just £15.90 and it would be perfect for that ‘no makeup’ look.  Want to fool people into thinking you have cheekbones worthy of Angelina Jolie?  This is the compact that’ll help you achieve it.

*PR Sample

12
Sep
2014

Post Pregnancy Update #6

I finally feel like I’m making some headway with feeling like my old self.  I decided last week to start eating ‘clean’ and I’m now on my 5th day.  Eating clean is just about replacing processed foods with fresh and natural foods. This means foods that haven’t had anything added to them, and haven’t had anything valuable taken away. You have to try your best to avoid sugar, caffeine and saturated fats. I will still be having the odd treat, for example I’m going out for dinner this weekend. However, I’m going to try and choose the healthiest option on the menu.

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Left: 10 weeks post pregnancy Right: 11 weeks post pregnancy

I feel like if I eat clean 90% of the time, it’s 100% better than how I was eating before.  There are so many foods we eat that have added ingredients your body doesn’t need.  One of the main culprits is fresh pasta sauce. I assumed it was healthy but when I read the ingredients there was added salt, sugar, preservatives and chemicals I’ve never heard of.  I’ve decided to start making all of my own soups, sauces and snacks.  That way I know exactly what I’m eating and that it’s healthy and nourishing. I will be posting clean eating recipes on my blog regularly from now on to show you examples of what I’m eating. I love getting inspiration from other blogs on tasty healthy recipes.

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I’ve stocked up on lots of great ingredients from an online whole foods supplier and although this stuff doesn’t come cheap, the results they will give are priceless. The great thing about clean eating is that you never feel hungry because you’re eating 6 small meals a day and everything is quite filling.  It’s actually a lot easier than I thought it would be – it’s just a case of making sure you do your prep.  It’s great to have healthy snacks on hand so it gives you no excuse to fall off the wagon.

I’ve also started doing some body weight exercises and light weights to tone up.  It’s all very well losing weight but we all know that muscle burns fat. So even when you’re sitting still or sleeping, the increased muscle mass in your body is burning those calories at a higher rate. It’s not easy finding time to exercise with a baby and all the other house chores but I’m going to do my best to do something every day.  Progress might be slow to start with but I remember from losing weight before that all of a sudden, after a couple of months, you see a huge change.  So I’m looking forward to that! At the moment it is taking longer than usual to shed the lbs but that’s what happens when you have a baby!

Let me know if you want me to share which body weight exercises and weights routines I’m doing at the moment?

11
Sep
2014

Makeup Revolution Flawless Eyeshadow Palette

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If you follow me on Instagram you would have seen my post about an £8 eyeshadow palette and I can now reveal that is was the Makeup Revolution Flawless Eyeshadow Palette.  It’s pretty unbelievable that you could get 32 shades for less than a tenner! I have tried products from this brand before and have been pretty darn impressed by their quality and value for money.

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“ULTRA 32 Eyeshadow palettes are the perfect professional eyeshadow go to palette. 
All you need in one handy collection palette. 32 shades in 1 palette with a great mix of shimmer and matte wearable and experimental shades to create any look and play with, for amazing performance and value! Our ULTRA eyeshadows are packed full of pigment and all NEW shades. Large Full Size Mirror. FLAWLESS: The ULTRA collection of 32 nude and natural day and night shades.”

This palette features nude shades, warm and cool metallics and smoky shades.  I really like the combination of colours and finishes.  The quality of the eyeshadows do however vary.  The matte shades are a bit patchy and powdery and require layering to get a good finish.  However the metallic shades have great pigmentation and finish. There are some really gorgeous colours in there for Autumn/Winter. The shimmer shades range from subtle to metallic to a couple of glittery ones. I’m not a fan of really glittery eyeshadows as it often means there will be a lot of fallout.

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Although some of the matte colours are disappointing, there are enough great shades in there to make this palette more than worth picking up. The metallic shades in the centre of the palette have an almost baked feel and look to them and are similar to the Loreal Color Riche Mono eyeshadows. They are my favourite aspect of the whole palette. Even if the palette only contained those shades, I’d be happy to pay £8 just for those!

Makeup Revolution products are available in Superdrug or from their website here.

I will be doing a makeup tutorial for my YouTube channel featuring this palette so look out for that next week!