August 24, 2012

This week



I've spent the last week at my grandparents house in Hartlepool and they live just ten minutes from the beautiful (but very cold) Northern English coast. So I've spend the last few days dipping my toes, and on occasion knees, thighs and waist too, into the sea until my feet get so cold I have to leave the water to prevent my toes from falling off!


August 20, 2012

Naked Coco De Mer


I recently decided to switch to a sulphate free body wash because my skin was feeling constantly itchy, I didn't really put any research into what might be causing it but I know that Sodium Laureth / Layrl Sulpate is a known irritant and I thought a sulphate free body wash might help.

I popped into my local boots and scoured the shelves for skin friendly shower gel but my only options seemed to be from E45 or Naked. I've used Naked hair products before and liked them and I know that they get a thumbs up from Fee. Naked products aren't just SLS free but also free from Parabens, Petrochemicals and Phthalates, they're all packaged in already recycled plastic and the ingredients are ethically sourced and not tested on animals.

So I picked out the 'Ooh La La Naked' Creamy Bliss Coco De Mer Body wash - partially because it promised to moisturise my skin, mainly because it was pink. The body wash does not lather up as much as your regular shower gels. Sodium Laureth / Laryl Sulpate is a cheap foaming agent which is why you find it in everything from hand wash to toothpaste, the alternative are not always as effective but it's still easy enough to lather up the Coco De Mer body wash especially if you're using a body polisher.

It smells heavenly but it isn't overpowering, it's a light floral fragrance that reminds me of Agent Provocateur Eau de Parfum. And it does a good job of cleaning me. However I can't say that I noticed my skin feeling more moisturised when I was out of the shower.

What I have noticed is that the irritable itchiness of my skin has gone away. I can't be sure it it's down to Naked especially as I forgot to pack it when I went to stay with my boyfriend so I used his lynx shower gel for a week  and didn't notice any difference but SLS can cause irritancy after prolonged use so perhaps I just needed a break.

What I can be sure of is that I'm definitely going to buy another when this bottle runs out and I think that this time I'm going to go for rose

Naked body washes and other products are widely available. You can pick up Coco De La Mer body was from boots or from the Naked website for £3.79 or £3.98 respectively.


August 18, 2012

Maybelline Forever Strong Pro Polishes

SAM_2479-001In Ivory Rose, Ceramic Blue and Really Rose

SAM_2481-001Really Rosy

I've seen a lot of Maybelline's Forever Strong Pro Polishes from Fee at Make up Savvy and she always praises them so when I spotted that Maybelline had a 3 for 2 offer on in Boots I snapped some up.

I've tried the three colours I picked out over the last week and can only praise them. The formula of every polish is thick enough to easily be opaque in two coats, and the brush is the perfect size with lots of bristles to make application quick and easy.

These last a long time as well. I rarely keep nail polish on for more than a day or two without any chips or signs of wear but these managed to stay on until I was ready to remove them.

I was a little disappointed with Ceramic Blue when I painted it on because in the bottle it looks like it has a slight iridescent shimmer but when painted on it's just a plain blue. It's still very pretty though and I don't have a similar colour.

I'm undecided on Ivory Rose, I think it looks gorgeous on Fee's nails but on mine I think the colour isn't quite right, it's darker than I expected but then again in some lights I like it. It is still a brilliant polish, despite being pale it applies completely opaque in two coats and lasts really well.

I've been wearing Really Rosy for the last few days and although I somehow managed to chip one of my nails the day after I painted them the wear has been really good, the gorgeous slightly dusty raspberry colour hasn't faded and there has been no tip wear.

Overall these are brilliant polishes, I think I even prefer them to Essie polishes and they're half the price at £4.09 from boots. if only the colour range was as vast.


August 07, 2012

The Secret to Kissable Soft Lips


I've had extremely dry and cracked lips for as long as I can remember, I used to constantly pick at the dead and dry skin. It was a nervous habit and left me with undesirably rough lips. My boyfriend hated it and my family would constantly tell me off for picking away but I couldn't stand the feeling of dry flaky patches on my lips (I still can't) so I'd pull the flakes away, often to the point that I'd draw blood.

A few weeks ago I decided I needed to stop (not for the first time), but I find it indescribably hard not to pick away at the flaking bits of skin on my lips and all of my lip balms were wearing off in less than half an hour and leaving me with dry lips. I decided I needed to give in and buy the Nuxe Reve de Miel lip balm that I'd been pining after for a long time in the hope that it would sort them out and deeply hydrate them. Unfortunately it's not a balm that's easy to find, I planned to order it into my local M&S store but my lips were in such a state that I went out to boots and bought some Blistex Relief Cream and a Nivea Essential Care Balm to tide me over until I could get the Nuxe Balm.

As it turns out I didn't need to order the expensive Nuxe balm. I nursed my lips into a lovely plump and smooth pair with a few cheap products.


○ Blistex Relief Cream ○
This is a medicated relief balm for 'occasional cold sores, cracked, chapped & sore lips' and it's really really good.
It comes out of the tube as an opaque thick off white cream but it won't leave your lips white once rubbed in. It tingles on your lips like any Blistex balm and leaves my lips feeling deeply hydrated.

This was the key ingredient in my routine that helped hydrate and repair my lips so that there wasn't any dry flaky skin for me to pick at.

• Available at Superdrug for £2.25

○ Lush Bubblegum Lip Scrub
I really love this lip scrub mostly as it smells so gorgeous I just want to eat it all. In reality it isn't a miracle product - it's a great lip scrub but something you could easily recreate at home for a fraction of the price. Aside from sugar it contains Jojoba oil along with flavour and colour, but I'm not sure that the Jojoba oil does anything for my lips, I always apply a balm right after so I don't need any hydration from it. I was lucky enough to receive it as a gift and I do love using it but I think once it's empty I'll refill it with my own concoction.

I used this lip scrub to help get rid of any flaking bits of skin on my lips in the morning or whenever I remembered. A lip scrub is something essential to anybody who puts anything on their lips, perfect for prepping your lips before applying lipstick or just to keep them smooth and soft. You can easily whip up your own with a little honey and sugar.

• Available at Lush for £5.25

○ Nivea Essential Care
This lip balm is pretty basic but it does the job, I wanted a balm to apply when I was on the go and when I didn't need to put on more Blistex but I felt that all my others were drying my lips out. I bought this because it is so basic and because Nivea is a brand that I trust. Vaseline would be a great alternative if you like it but personally I feel that Vaseline doesn't penetrate my lips, it just floats on the skin without moisturising them.

◦ Available at Boots for £1.99 ◦


August 06, 2012

Honey Glazed Soya Scones


I've been craving scones for a little while now, until today I hadn't had one for at least a year and while watching my dad and sister tuck into scrummy looking scones slathered with thick cream yesterday for lunch I decided that I had to have one. Unfortunately I can't have milk and therefore couldn't order one of the lovely looking cream teas that my family were enjoying at Kedleston Hall yesterday so I made my own this afternoon.

I used this recipe but replaced the milk & butter with soya milk (alpro soya is my favourite) and dairy free spread (I love Pure dairy free olive spread)


- 8oz Self Raising Flour
- a pinch of salt
- 2oz Dairy Free Spread
- 1oz Caster Sugar
- 5floz Soya Milk
- 1 beaten egg to glaze

1. Rub the butter into the flour and salt then stir in the sugar and milk for a soft wet dough.
2. On a floured surface gently kneed your dough and then pat or roll it to an inch thick.
3. Using a fluted cutter cut out your scones and place onto a greased baking sheet. Don't twist as you cut out the scones as this leads to uneven rising.
4. Be careful not to handle the dough too much when re-rolling.
5. Glaze the tops with beaten eggs (My eggs were out of date and I couldn't find a pastry brush so I skipped this and they turned out just fine).
6. Bake in the oven at 220 degrees (200 fan) for 12-15 minutes until golden and eat any leftovers!
7. Cool on a wire rack.

For the Honey Glaze I just mixed 4oz of icing sugar with about a tablespoon of honey and of milk, more/less for a runnier/thicker glaze. It should be thick enough to just dollop on a little in the middle of each scone and let it spread over the top.


I was quite pleased with my first scones but they didn't rise as well as I'd hoped they would and were a little chewy, any tips?