Saturday, 26 April 2014

Weekend Eats: East Avenue Bakehouse

East Avenue Bakehouse, Bold Street, Liverpool

For me it really wouldn't be the weekend without eating out at least once and this weekend 
was no exception. Today me and Harry decided to head out for lunch and we were both keen 
to try somewhere new. Liverpool seems to be such a hotspot for independent businesses 
at the moment,which means you are never short of new places to eat, drink and shop.

I had heard great things about East Avenue Bakehouse, located on Bold Street, so as we 
were feeling pretty hungry we decided to give it a try. The bakehouse is light, airy and decorated
 to perfection. Although the aesthetics of this eatery are pretty appealing it is clear to see that there 
is so much more going on here. East Avenue Bakehouse are very proud of their locally sourced
 ingredients, friendly staff and changeable, seasonal menu - and quite rightly so. What they
 should be most proud of though is their incredible bread and cake array, all baked fresh in
 store each day.

As I was wanting to try out their homemade bread I went for the pastrami sandwhich with
 mustard mayonaise, and I certainly wasn't dissapointed. Harry went for the eggs benedict and
 he too was pretty impressed - especially with their homemade english muffins! 
We finished the whole thing off with a slice of freshly baked cake each and, after enjoying every
 last mouthful, we both left with full, happy tummies. I can't wait to go back to East Avenue
 Bakehouse and, after seeing some ladies enjoying an afternoon tea, I am hoping to share the 
doughy love and take my friends along too.

I really can't reccomend East Avenue Bakehouse enough, and what makes the whole thing 
sweeter is that there is 10% off available to all Independent Liverpool card holders.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Topshop Gloss Ink in Sloe Gin

Gloss Ink in Sloe Gin, Topshop, £8.00

I admit it, I haven't tried that much of the Topshop make up range yet. I know, it's been out for
 4 years and as a beauty obsessive I really should have ventured into the unknown. However, the
 few products I have tried from the range have all been amazing.

I picked up this Gloss Ink lip stain in 'sloe gin' on a whim when I was panic buying an outfit just
hours before a night out with the girls. I wore it that very night and was really impressed with the
way it  looked. The colour is slightly more pink than I was expecting, as on the wand it looks pretty
 purple. However, I have found that you can build up this stain on the lip to deepen the colour and
take it from a hot pink to a deep raspberry wine.

The lasting power of this lip stain is pretty incredible. I can apply this lipstick early in the morning
and it will last well into the early evening before I would have to top it up. The finish of this Gloss
Ink is pigmented enough to be a lipstick but also has a great sheen much like a lip gloss. 
The perfect 2 in 1, no?

After giving the Topshop Gloss Ink a go I am really keen to try more pieces from the Topshop
 make up range. Roll on pay day!

What pieces do you recommend from the Topshop make up range?

Monday, 21 April 2014

The Best Budget Buy: Hand Cream

Norwegian Formula Concentrated Hand Cream, Neutrogena, £3.85

I'm not much of a hand cream lover but sometimes needs must, you know?
My hands work incredibly hard: in the gym, at work and when I'm blogging- they just 
don't stop. As hands are the place that show the first signs of ageing I decided it was about time 
I started to show them the love they deserve.

I picked up this little tube when I was waiting at a train station before a long journey with 
work. I don't know what tempted me to purchase this product but when I first rubbed it into 
my hands I was pretty impressed. The formula is thick as it is glycerin enriched and, when
 rubbed in, it coats the hands in moisture. The reason I have never been much of a hand cream 
fan before is the greasy feeling that most leave on the skin. Sticky hands are such a no-no!
This cream however, leaves the skin feeling mattified, nourished and smelling beautiful. 
The fragrance isn't strong but floral enough to leave a lovely powdery lingering scent.
The size of this bottle is another bonus of this hand cream as it is pretty handbag friendly.

My only criticism of this hand cream would be that the bottle states that it lasts for 200 uses. 
I'm not sure if I am using far too much but it certainly wouldn't last that long for me.
However, considering the price of this product I will be sure to be repurchasing again in the future.

What is your favourite hand cream? 

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Ingredient Focus: Honey

Years of working for Lush Cosmetics has given me a great in-depth knowledge of natural 
ingredients and the effects they have on the skin and hair. No matter what problem you may
 have with your skin or hair, honey often holds the answer.

When used in cosmetics honey does so much more than provide a sweet smell.
 The nutrients in honey provide many benefits to us when consumed and used externally as part
 of a cosmetic product. I have outlined below the different cosmetic issues we might face and 
how honey can help.

Acne - Honey has been traditionally used as an acne treatment for years as it is
 naturally antibacterial and antiseptic. The antimicrobial effects of honey mean that it kills 
spot causing microbes and stops their growth. Goodbye spots, hello clear skin!

Dry skin - Honey is a natural humectant, which means that it attracts and retains moisture 
in the skin. This means that honey is really moisturising and soothing for both the skin and hair.

Ageing - Packed full of antioxidants, honey is great for skin that is showing signs of ageing.
 Antioxidants help slow down the ageing process, as well as helping protect from the damaging 
sun rays.

Dry, frizzy hair  - Hair will be nourished and enriched by honey. The emollient properties of 
honey make it a natural softener and it improves the condition of the hair follicle. This in turn 
encourages the hair to grow, leaving you with soft, long hair!

As if this wasn't enough honey is also naturally self-preserving, which means that the use of 
nasty chemicals are not needed in honey based cosmetics. There are lots of companies that use
 honey in their products (Lush being the main one), but honey is also great to use at home for 
D.I.Y masks etc. 

Do you love to use honey as a cosmetic? How do you use it?

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water

Micellar Cleansing Water, Garnier, £4.99

Recently I have really been struggling with my skin, it just kept breaking out 
and I couldn't figure out why. I'm drinking more water and I've completely 
upped my skin care game so something just wasn't adding up. The bad skin continued 
until just last week when I switched up my evening cleanser. I was previously using an oil 
based cleanser and I feel like this was causing more problems for my already 
oily complexion.

Micellar cleansing waters have been all over beauty blogs for a while now, 
particularly the ones from Bioderma. When I was in Barcelona last summer I picked up 
the Bioderma Sensibio H2O water but wasn't overly taken by it. Since then I had pretty
 much written off micellar waters thinking that they simply weren't for me.

When browsing the shelves of Superdrug recently I spotted this Garnier Micellar
 Cleansing Water on offer and just couldn't say no to such a bargain. I have started using 
this cleanser every evening to remove my make up and I absolutely love it. The water 
removes all dirt really quickly and leaves the skin feeling completely refreshed. This cleansing 
water is super gentle, even when removing stubborn eye make up.

The micellar waters work by capturing and lifting away from the skin, and the fragrance
 free formula means that it is suitable for even sensitive skin types. I use this cleanser by 
applying a few drops to a cotton pad and wiping over the face. It really is that simple!
Since using this cleanser on a daily basis I have seen a really great improvement in the 
condition of my skin and break outs seem to be much less frequent.

Have you tried any micellar water solutions? What do you think of them?

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Home Bakes: Banana Bread

Banana bread is such a nostalgic sweet treat for me. Both my Auntie and my 
Mum used to make it for me when I was a little girl, and now that I am older
 I enjoy baking it myself for other people. 

When it comes to baking I like to make the whole affair extra kitsch with lots 
of cute Cath Kidston bake wear. It just makes it all taste better, you know?
I've always been an avid baker, so I'm really excited to be able to share some of 
my favorite recipes on my blog.

This Banana Bread recipe is the same one my mum uses and it gives the same 
tasty results every time. Be sure to use over ripe bananas to get the best banana 
bread you have ever tasted.


4 ripe mashed bananas
2 free range eggs
10oz of plain flour
4oz of butter - plus a little extra to grease the tin
8oz caster sugar
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp of salt
2 tsp vanilla extract

A 8 in x 5 in loaf tin is required.


- Preheat the oven to 180c / gas mark 4

- Cream the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until the
consistency is light in colour and a soft fluffy texture.

- In a seperate bowl sift the flour, bicarb and salt. Leave this mixture to stand.

- Going back to the sugar and butter mixture, add the eggs, mashed
bananas and vanilla extract. Mix well.

- Slowly fold in the flour mixture and ensure it is all mixed.

- Pour the mixture into the greased loaf tin and bake in the oven for 60 mins.
The loaf should be well risen and golden brown on the outside, but still soft on the inside.

- Allow to cool in the tin for 5-10 mins before removing and leaving on a wire rack.
Once completely cooled you can enjoy your first slice of this delicious loaf.

If you want to you can add either chocolate chips or chopped walnuts to the mixture
before baking to add even more flavour.

Will you be giving this Banana Bread recipe a try?

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Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Lush Cosmetic Warrior Fresh Face Mask Review

If your skin is anything like mine you will need this product in your life. Rare is 
the day where my skin is completely spot free, so I usually spend my
 mornings trying to cover the blemishes. That is until recently when I decided 
to up my skincare game in order to prevent the blemishes and allow myself 
to use a lighter base.

I decided to incorporate a regular use of a cleansing face mask into my skincare
 routine. When it comes to face masks, for me only Lush will do. Their face masks are 
completely fresh and are made up of fruit, vegetables and the finest essential oils. The fact 
that these face masks are fresh gives a great excuse for a regular pamper as they need to be
 used up in a 3-4 week period.

Cosmetic Warrior is made up of garlic, fresh grapes and tea tree oil, among
 many other fine ingredients. At first sniff this mask can be quite strong and over
 powering, but once you see the effects it has on the skin you won't even think twice 
about the smell. I apply the mask directly onto clean, fresh skin and then sit back 
and relax for 15 minutes whilst it works its magic. This mask is great for combating spots
 and troublesome skin as it has many anti-bacterial properties including honey and 
organic free range eggs. 

Although this mask might sound like more of a meal than a skin care product it
 really is becoming a holy grail essential for me.

Have you tried any of the fresh face masks from Lush? Which one do you like the best?

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser Review

With the on set of Spring here in the UK I was keen to switch up my beauty look 
and lighten the load on my skin when it came to coverage. I've never been one for
 tinted moisturisers as my uneven skin tone often demands a heavier coverage. 
However, when I saw my ultimate beauty guru, Kate, raving on about the Nars tinted 
moisturiser on her blog and I decided  to bite the bullet and give it a try.

I made the purchase at Harvey Nichols Beauty Bazaar in Liverpool after 
chatting to the lady on the counter about the product. She colour matched me to 
Finland which is one of their lightest shades. I opted for this tinted moisturiser as the 
coverage can be built up, meaning I can apply more to cover any areas that 
need a little extra love.

I have been using this product on a daily basis for almost two weeks now and I certainly
 do love it. This complexion perfecting fluid has both anti-ageing and skin perfecting
 benefits, and the high SPF is also pretty appealing as it helps to protect against
the elements. Personally I would only use this for day to day use as I would prefer
something a little more matte for an evening look.

I use the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush to apply this base as I love the way it
buffs into the skin. Once I've applied it evenly I'm left with an even skin tone and a
 fresh, healthy glow which is perfect for Spring.As far as tinted moisturisers go this
offering from Nars is the crème de la crème.

Do you opt for a lighter base for spring/summer? What do you use?

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The S/S '14 Shoe Edit - The Ugly Shoe Trend

Topshop, Novice Chunky Buckle Sandles, £52
Birkenstock, Arizona Two Strap, £49.95

River Island, Block Heel Cleated Sole Sandals, £55

Vagabond, Aurora Slip On, £75

As we're approaching Spring/Summer there seems to be one shoe trend to 
rule them all.The ugly shoe trend has girls up and down the country
 divided in opinion. 

In one camp there are those who are totally in favour of the brash, 
chunky soled shoes. The fashionistas that follow the runway religiously will all 
be seen sporting a Birkenstock this Summer. In the opposite camp, however, 
are the girls who wouldn't be seen dead in anything that could be remotely 
described as ugly. The girls in this camp would much rather stick to their stilettos thanks.

For me I'm kinda sitting on the fence with this trend.When I first saw them on the runway
 I just couldn't warm to them. Whether it was the floral beaded sandals seen at Givenchy 
or the sports luxe styles at Prada, I just hated them all. However, since the ugly shoe 
trend has hit the high street, I must admit I am warming to them. I found myself 
eyeballing this pair in Primark and decided to try them on despite thinking
 that 'they aren't very me'. After trying them on I was completely sold and have been
 praying for warm days ever since so I can wear them out and about. They not only
 look great but are so comfy and can take you from day to night. The perfect shoe no?

Ever since buying this pair I've found myself falling for other shoes which would
 be categorised as 'ugly'.
I hate to say it but I think I'm guilty of loving the ugly shoe trend

Will you be embracing the ugly shoe trend?