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The perfect winter warmer!
50g/2oz unsalted butter
50g/2oz caster sugar finely pared zest of a lemon
2 tbsp sultanas
150ml/¼pint of dessert wine
4 crisp apples, such as Granny Smith, cored
150ml/¼pint of double cream
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1. Preheat the oven 170C/350F/Gas 3.
2. Place 50g/2oz of the butter, sugar, lemon zest and sultanas in a bowl. Mix well to combine.
3. Spoon the butter mixture into the apples. Stand the apples in an ovenproof baking dish and pour over the dessert wine.
4. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes. The apples should be beginning to soften.
5. Remove the foil and cook for a further 15-20 minutes, when the apples should be completely soft and beginning to brown.
6. Whip the cream with sugar and cinnamon.
7. Serve the apples straight from the oven with spoonfuls of whipped cream.
Before I purchased this product, I seriously considered it as the Dr Hauschka range is anything but cheap. After reading several reviews and people recommending it to me, I decided to treat myself considering it's five times the cost and a quarter of the size of the cleanser I was previously using, I had high hopes!
I paid around £15 for 50ml of this cleanser from feelunique but I think if you shop around it's more or less the same price. For your money, you get a simple but elegant white tube with orange colouring which contains the cleanser. One thing I look for when buying any facial product is whether my skin will react to it, lookily this can be recommended for all skin types including sensitive and reactive skin like mine.
When applying the cleansing cream, it comes out the tube in like an off white/pale brown, it's not the most attractive of things to be putting all over the face but I can forgive its appearance and off putting smell for just how good it is. Dr Hauschka state this is a creamy cleanser, however I found it slightly grainy and it opened my pores getting the dirt and make up off my face.
I apply the cleanser straight to my dry face with my make up still on and massage it into my face and after a minute, I get a hand hot flannel and wipe it across my face to open up all my pores. I then follow this by splashing my face with cold water to close up my pores and tighten my face. The cleanser washes off really well and I don't find traces left on my face.
I am fairly impressed with the results from using this, my skin appears brighter and less congested. I find the cleanser quite moisturising and don't feel like my face is tight after using it, I've had compliments on how my skin now appears radiant.
If I was able to afford this product then I would definitely buy it again, a little goes a long way and it really suits my skin.
After seeing a colleague at work with the Nail Effects crackle polish on, I decided that I had to try it. I thought it looked simple and something that I could easily achieve too. To be honest, I don't have a steady hand and any intricate nail art is best left to the professionals where I'm concerned.
So I ventured into Boots several times to buy this varnish but everytime I went in, it was sold out, so eventually ordered it into store as I was desperate to try it. A single bottle would cost £3.49 but there was an offer on all the varnishes of 2 for £5, so I bought a lovely teal colour to try it with.
The bottle is exactly the same as the picture above, so I won't bother giving you a description of it. It has a screw top lid, which is easy to open and very secure. I find the applicator brush a good size and makes the varnish easy to apply.
I choose to use my new nail varnish, so used a base coat of the teal and let it dry out. I find the black crackle works better over lighter and brighter colours that you may not use otherwise. However, you can also buy nail effects in blue, white and pink, so you can mix and match the colours.
You need to be very quick when applying the nail effects. You begin by shaking up the bottle before application and apply the coat quickly and neatly as soon as you apply it, it begins to crackle and seperate before your eyes and drys quickly.
I apply a top coat over the top to make the effect last longer and it gives a glossy finish rather than matte. You have glimpses of the colour underneath and then the black crackle on top.
I absolutely love the effect this creates and would definitely recommend it to anyone. It's helped me use up nail varnishes that I've bought and then thought look a bit over the top on their own. I'm defintiely going to buy the other colours!
I had used other Clinique mascaras in the past but they had come as free gifts with magazines or I had been given them, and they had been really good quality products. I have quite long eyelashes anyway and wanted a mascara that would open up my eyes rather than give the appearance of longer lashes. Usually I would spend up to £10 on a mascara but I decided to spend a little bit more on the High Impact Curling Mascara.
I bought mine in black but it also comes in brown for a more understated look but I prefer smokey eyes. It comes in a 8ml tube and I paid £15 from the Clinique counter. The packaging is obviously more high end, the product comes in a thick silver tube and the brush is a good size. The mascara wand is curved and is big enough to give full coverage.
Application is very easy. The curve in the brush makes it really easy to apply and makes it easy to reach the corner of your eye to cover all lashes. This gives fuller and longer looking lashes, it surprised me how natural this looked. Without a doubt, it definitely opens up my eyes and gives a curl to my lashes. I find that I only have to apply once in the morning and it lasts me all day, I only re apply if going out in the evening.
I have to note that this is great for sensitive eyes and perfect for contact lense wearers.
To remove, I soak a cotton wool pad in eye make up remover and hold it on my lashes for 15-20 seconds, I then find that the mascara just wipes offs. Although it doesn't claim to be waterproof, I've showered and een swimming with this on and it has only slightly run.
Personally I think this is a great mascara, it is smudge proof and has great staying power. I would and have recommended this product and will drefinitely buy it again myself, it is worth paying just a little bit more for a quality product
I read a review about the Soap & Glory Glow Job Moisturiser, whilst looking for a new moisturiser and decided to give it a go as I have loved other Soap & Glory products that I have tried in the past.
Soap & Glory was founded by the same woman who created Bliss but can be found at more affordable prices and is exclusive to Boots. I have naturally pale skin and either have to fake tan or pile on the bronzer to look other than transparent. I tend to always wear foundation and a highlighter just to give a radiant glow to my skin.
One thing I advise is to read the instructions properly. Within the moisturiser, it contains micro bronzing beads which appear white. You have to rub the moisturiser between your fingers to bursrt the beads and then apply to your face, otherwise you'll end up with little brown streaks like I did on the first use. It blends into your skin and gives a natural glow. I like the fact that it absorbs quickly into my skin and doesn't leave a greasy film across my face, so I can apply foundation straight after.
I was suprised actually as others noticed the difference in my skin and commented that I looked radiant and glowing.
I really like the smell of this, it is indescribable but subtle, the fragrance does fade. I find Soap & Glory products smell really natural and aren't overwhelming.
I would definitely recommend the moisturiser and will be buying another - it blends well and most importantly leaves my skin feeling hydrated and looking natural, it gives a little boost to the appearance of my skin. I bought mine from Boots and for a 75ml tube, it cost £8.17 but Boots often have a third off.
I first started using this after deciding to invest in some proper facial skin care routine and in an attempt to get rid of the awful dark circles under my eyes that concealer won't just hide. It was recommended to me by a friend who had just become a new mum as it had proved very effective for her.
You only need to apply a tiny splodge each time you use it, as a little certainly goes a long way, which is what you want, especially with such an expensive product. I think I bought mine from a Dermalogica counter in a department store for about £25 and for this price, you get 15ml of cream which doesn't seem a lot at all.
When applying the cream, I found that it had quite a thick texture, so it felt really indulgent on my skin, and made it easy apply. I squeeze out a little onto my finger and then dot it around my eye, as you only need a tiny amount to cover the area, I gently spread it across my eye area and my skin absorbs it very quickly. Unlike some other eye creams that I have used before, this doesn't leave a greasy residue, so I can apply eye make up straight after.
I can really see the difference myself and so can others. My eye area looks considerably healthier, I used to get little bumps in the skin before and no longer get these. I also feel that this helps to refresh my eyes and gets rid of the dark circles which is important when you have a little one getting you up every hour throughout the night. It has the added effect of an SPF, so helps to protect your skin in sunlight, which is always a bonus and you don't need to use a separate product for this.
I use this product every morning when getting ready to go out, I have been using it for just over a month and have used about a third of the tube. It is expensive but I think that when you find a product that works for you and does what it promises, it is worth investing, I'd defintiely recommend trying this
I had the Guerlain Divinora Eye Liner pencil bought me as part of a birthday present in the black shade, although it is available in black, dark brown, midnight blue, ivory and bronze noir. I have to say that I really like this eye liner and will go on to explain why.
The black is a lovely sharp colour and gives you perfect definition to your eyes. The pencil is easy to apply and has a quite creamy texture, it doesn't drag across your socket line unlike others I have used. I usually wear it everyday as the colour is intense and doesn't smudge off. Having said that, it isn't waterproof but it does last on nights out and having been caught out in torrential rain, it hasn't streamed down my face.
The positive being that it is long lasting means that it is also difficult to remove, you really need a good eye make up remover and to scrub at it, however you do know that it isn't going to run or smudge.
I know mine was bought from a Guerlain counter for just under £20 but having a bit of a nosy online I have found it currently on offer at Debenhams for £13.95 and I am just about to buy the bronze noir colour.
It does seem painfully expensive at first but if you think how much you will use the pencil and how long it will last you then it works out as good value for money.
I would definitely recommend this eye liner to everyone, it is a great texture and creates a good luck. Although it may be a tad expensiver, the quality can really be ssen.
My love affair with The Body Shop started with this one product. Last July, on holiday with my friends, one of them had a little pot of this and I used some on sunburnt skin, I was instantly hooked. I'm not really a body butter buyer and tend to stick to my normal thinner body lotion but this gave the perfect shimmer for my skin on nights in Barcelona.
So when I came home, I decided to buy myself some. Body Shop butters cost £12.00 for 200g, which seems expensive and normally, I would have never paid this much, but they often have offers on. Just after Christmas, I got some more body butters in the sale at £6 buy one get one free, so the price can largely vary. Also The Body Shop often throw in little sample pots and have offers of free gifts, so even better value especially as the tub is never ending.
The Body Shop Coconut Shimmer Body Butter comes in a round off white plastic pot with a screw top lid, which you basically dig into it, it makes getting all the product out easy. On the lid, the label has an attractive picture of a coconut sliced open, the pot is recyclable afterwards but I find them great to put little trinkets in.
The body butter is again an off white in colour but has a very light shimmer running through it. When applied it gave a lovely glow and didn't look like I poured a tub of glitter all over myself, I felt that the shine was really enhancing.
The texture of the body butter is considerably thick, alot thicker than a body lotion. When you apply it, it takes some time to soak into your skin, so you need to let it dry before you get dressed, otherwise you end up with a shimmery line across the inside of your clothes. I usually apply it after a shower because it's so rich and nourishing, then wait in my dressing gown until it is fully absorbed. I have been complimented on my skin as the shimmer isn't in your face but more a subtle glow.
The smell is very coconutty, personally I love it and whenever I wear it, it reminds me of my holiday. I think you will either love the fragrance or hate it, as it could be overpowering. After use, my skin felt so soft and nourished. You don't need to use a lot of the body butter as it is so rich and thick.
In all honesty, I don't think I would pay £12 for another tub but when they are on offer, I will definitely stock up, I've just got to finish all my other body butters first!
I'm quite a girly girl and love to try out all the new products, so when I was shopping for a present for my goddaughters 11 year old sister, who also has a bit of a thing for Lush (start them young!) , I ended up buying two Creamy Candy Bubble Bath Bar, one for her and one for me.
I was instantly attracted to the gorgeous bright pink colour, the little flower on top and it's lushious fragrance. The bars cost £2.35 each and for this you get around 100g, which is great value for a treat.
I will start with Lush's description and see if it lives up to their claims, they say it's sweet, frothy and fluffy bubbles that smell like custard creams, which are equivalent to a mug of hot chocolate. I think I'm a bit genourous with my bubble bar as basically I break it into two peices, and then use one peice and crumble it under hot running water and it bubbles up. I think the scent hits you, it's almost good enough to eat, I would say you get dominate vanilla notes and a hint of almond, it's very sweet. I store these on a cake stand in my bathroom, it makes my bathroom smell divine. You get a good load of bubbles but I think the colour depends upon the bar, sometimes I have no change in the bath water and other times, a lovely, deep, rich pink colour.
The main benefit is that it leaves your skin feeling silky and soft, and the fragrance lingers on your skin. I really recommend these bars, especially if you haven't tried Lush products before, I have only ever seen postive reviews of these.
To be perfectally honest, I don't really wear false lashes, I have been naturally blessed with long and thick eyelashes but when I saw the hype about Girls Aloud eyelashes, I decided to give them a go on a night out.
I bought mine from Boots and I think you get a little change from £5, as I wear glasses and contact lens sometimes, I needed to check that these were contact friendly, which they are. In the packet, you get a small tube of glue which is great as you don't have to buy extras.
I didn't want the eyelashes to make me look like Jordan, I just wanted my eyes to look a little bit more enhanced and natural. The lining of the eyelashes aren't too thick, which gives you more of a natural look, I didn't want it to be overly obvious as with a too thick a line, the eyelashes stick together.
So I opened the glue and dabbed a bit on my hand, just to see how quick it dried and found that it was rather sticky, so I could be guranteed my eyelashes would stay in place for the whole night. It's really simple and easy to apply the glue to the eyelashes, which surprised me as I expected it to be messy and a bit of a hassle, which is why I suppose I haven't used them before. I applied the lashes just over the top of my lash line using my fingers and found that they stuck straight away, and you couldn't see any glue.
I expected them to feel strange or irritate my eyes, but they didn't. I hardly noticed them when I had them on but they definitely made my eyelashes look fuller and thicker, and felt comfortable, I wasn't trying to rip them off half way through the night.
I've only worn these eyelashes a few times now on nights out but I have found that they are as good as they were on my first wear and I don't have to restick them.
I really like these eyelashes and look forward to trying the other ones in the the range.
After my favourite cleanser was discontinued, I decided to have a bit of an experiment varying from high end cleansers to your bargain ones. When you hear the name Guerlain, you automatically assume that the product will be expensive but luxurious and effective.
Guerlain is a French perfume house and amongst the oldest in the World, so I decided to give the Guerlain Moisturising Cleansing Milk a go at £18 for a 200ml bottle, it isn't cheap but is definitely worth the money as it actually works. I would say I have combination skin as my skin can be quite dry from the air conditioning at work but then I do have an oily t-zone, so I tend to go for creamy cleansers that I wash off.
You only need to apply a small amount to your face, I tend to leave it on for a couple of minutes and let it absorb all the impurities, I then wash it off with a warm muslim cloth and splash my face with cold water to close the pores. My skin is left clean, fresh and I have received complients on how my skin is glowing.
So far, I have been using this for just over a month on and off, and I have only used about a third of the bottle, so can see a bottle lasting for a good few months, so the price isn't that bad if you think about it relatively to cost per use. My skin always appears better after using this and it feels smooth to me. I would say that there isn't really a scent to it, which can be seen as a positive and negative depending on what you prefer.
Again the only negative is the price but you get what you pay for and you know that when you buy products made by Guerlain, it is an effective product and if it was slightly cheaper, I wouldn't give a second thought to buying it again.
Whilst having a little nosy in my TJ Hughes a couple of weeks ago picking up some Tigi shampoo, I also had a look at the makeup as you can get some great branded makeup at bargain prices. Now up until then I had no idea that Tigi made cosmetics as I have always known them as a British haircare brand created by Toni & Guy. I spotted the Tigi Bed Head Wipe Out Biggie Fixx It Sticks and decided that they were worth a try.
The stick looks more like a eyeliner pencil, but slightly bigger in diameter and it's quite small in length, so perfect to pop in your bag on a night out. The stick is blue in colour and then at the top, it shows the shade of the concealer. The pencil has the name is a peachy colour down the side, it was available in light and medium shades at TJ Hughes but I would assume that they would offer more tones as I know it is rare to find all shades in TJ Hughes.
When I use the stick, I tend to use it under foundation, I dab it on the area that I want to cover up and then rub it in with my finger and foundation, the concealer is quite soft and doesn't drag on your skin, transfering easily. It blends on smoothly and disguises the area that I'm trying to cover.
At first, my face looks flawledd and covers well but then comes the however. My problem is that after a couple of hours, it drys and makes my skin looked caked on creating creases and is obvious that I am wearing makeup, it just makes it looked really badly applied. Compared to my normal concealer, it just looks like I haven't bothered to rub it in and I would be disappointed if I had paid the full price of £10, even at £3, it will probably only be used for emergencies and I won't bother buying again.
I recently ran out of my heat protection spray from Boots and decided that I desperately needed to buy a new one, as otherwise my hair ends up looking dry, frazzled and lack lustre. I needed a spray that would protect my hair without making it greasy or weighing it down, so the Some Like It Hot serum seemed perfect to try.
The Tigi brand is a British haircare brand created by Toni & Guy. At first, they were only available within salons but now they are readily available and often have good quality products with very witty names like Some Like It Hot.
I bought mine from Amazon at £6.50 for a 100ml bottle, which isn't too bad for a serum as most professional haircare brands cost more than this and I have seen it for sale in my hairdressers at nearly £10 per bottle, so obviously it is cheaper if you shop around.
The product is easy to use and you use it sparingly, the serum is colourless and all you need to do is squit a small amount into your hands, then rub your hands together to coat them in the serum, then finally run your hands through your hair smoothing it down. I must mention that the scent instantly hits you, it is sweet but not sickly and has a light coconut note to it without being overly fruity.
I found out that you only need to use a small amount after first using it, my hair felt a little bit greasy and heavier than normal. Once I got used to only using a tiny amount, I really noticed the difference and had fabulous results. My hair straighteners literally glided through my hair and didn't yank it out, leaving it smooth, straight, silky and with a gorgous glossy shine.
Normally my hair frizzes when I go out in the cold but I have noticed a difference when I go out, my hair is less prone to frizzing and my hair is less dry, you can really see the difference.
I will buy this again when the bottle runs out, which will be a while at this rate, my hair smells nice, appears smooth and silky, and above all is protected from heat damage.
This is just a little cake that I treat myself to sometimes and I thought that I would share the recipe, it's quick to make, delicious and suitable for vegetarians.
I found this recipe after our oven broke as you microwave the cake, which seems a bit strange at first but let me assure you that it works. They make wonderful little presents for friends, which cost you hardly anything to make but are made with love.
110g/4oz caster sugar
110g/4oz self-raising flour
2 free range eggs
1 carrot, grated
25ml/1fl oz milk
1 lemon, zest and juice only
butter, for greasing
Step 1-Cream together the sugar and butter. Add the flour, eggs and milk. Mix thoroughly.
Step 2-Add the grated carrot and mix to combine. Add the lemon zest and juice. Combine.
Step 3-Place the batter in a large buttered ramekin. Microwave on high for five minutes. Serve and enjoy!
I quite like Dove products but have yet to use any of their bodywashes. When I spotted the Pomegrante and Lemon Verbena Go Fresh Bodywash, I thought that it looked nice and didn't even bother to have a sniff, just picked it up and straight in my basket as it was on offer for 99p in Boots and I also had a voucher for a third off any body wash, so it only cost me 66p!
The body wash comes in quite feminine packaging, it is a white plastic bottle with a white and pink flip topo lid, which can be a little bit tricky to use in the shower. On the front, there is an attractive image of a pomegranate and some lemon verbena leaves (to be honest, I still don't know what lemon verbena is meant to be but it smells pretty good!). I still find that although the bottle is transparent, you can still see through and get a general idea of how much body wash you have left within the bottle.
I promised myself that I wouldn't open this one until I had finished all my other shower gels but temptation took over. I have tried using the body wash with my hands and on a shower puff. I like the consistency, it isn't runny and goes straight down the plughole but neither is it too thick. The first time, I used the bodywash, it didn't seem to lather up very well, so I tried it with my body puff but got the same result. Having said that, my first impression of the body wash was that it had a quite thick and silky texture coming out the bottle, which I was surprised at and it felt luxiourious on my skin. The body wash is pink in colour and suprisingly although I didn't see it lathering up, a little when along way and I didn't have soap suds all over the place. It washed off well, I've noticed an improvement in my skin as it is quite moisturising, my skin felt soft and looked clean. I still found that I had to apply moisturiser afterwards but the body wash doesn't promise these qualities, so I see this as somewhat a bit of a bonus and I would moisturise anyway afterwards.
I have to say genuinely that I love the scent, as soon as you open the bottle, you are hit by this wonderfully fresh fragrance. It's quite fruity but also has a tangy citrus note to it, which is what you would expect with the flavour, it really wakes you up in the morning. It is a strong scent but not overwhelming and smells natural. I found the scent lingered on my skin slightly, it isn't as strong as when you're in the shower but it is quite nice that you get the slight lingering, especially if you forget to put your perfume on.
The body wash is available from most supermarkets, and pharmacists. I think it normally retails for about £2 but obviously I bought it on offer, I'm going to stock up while it's still 99p. I'm sure if you shop around you will find it on offer and honestly, I would buy it at full price.
I do recommend this and will defintely be buying again. It has a lovely fragrance and works well, so a thumbs up from me.