29 December 2013

What I Got For My Birthday 2013

Hey guys! I hope that you all had a great Christmas, I can't believe how close it is until the New Year. As some of you may know it was my birthday on the 17th, and I thought I would show you all what I got for my birthday! Firstly I want to clarify that I am in no way bragging or showing off, I just wanted to do this as I love reading these sort of posts because they always give me ideas of what to buy (or put on my birthday/Christmas list). I have tried to put the link to as many of the things I received, but there are a few that have either gone out of stock or are no longer available, meaning I can't, sorry about that! 

First I will start with the MAC stuff! This year I asked for a few MAC products, since I didn't own any previously and they are always talked and raved about so much. I was lucky to get three lipsticks, all in the Cremesheen formula, in the shades Peach Blossom, Coral Bliss and Creme Cup! I played it fairly safe with the shades because my closest MAC store/counter is over an hour away, so I didn't want to end up with a shade that I didn't like. Onto the eyeshadows I got both of the shades that I put on my wishlist, which are the shades Satin Taupe and Sable, both of which are shimmery browns! 

I have been after this product for months and it is the Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette! I wear a lot of neutral shades of eyeshadow, so this seemed perfect for me. I am yet to try out many of the shades but currently I really like it! The last piece of makeup that I received was the Anastasia Lash Genius, which is a top coat that will make any mascara waterproof. I decided that I would use this when I went to the spa that day to give it a proper test, and I must say that it is really good! It was only effected slightly when I went in the steam room, but even then it only smudged a little. 

I don't own a proper blush brush, which meant that I was really happy to receive the Real Techniques Blush Brush! Real Techniques brushes are my favourite and are always soft, which is exactly what this one is. I haven't given it a proper test yet (I keep forgetting I have it) but I will have to soon!

I got a couple of things from The Body Shop, the first being the Japanese Cherry Blossom Eau De Toilettewhich I have had my eye on since my birthday last year! It has a lovely floraly, slightly sweet, scent which isn't one I would normally go for but I love this. The other product is the Almond Shower Gel which has quite a subtle almond scent, making it smell really fresh and nice! 

The last makeup/skincare thing that I was given was the Loreal Post Party Beauty S.O.S, which includes the Micellar Water and Triple Active Day Moisturiser! If you have read my blog before I am sure that you know of my love for the Micellar Water, so I can't wait to give the moisturiser a try because it does sound great. 

I received a few fashion related bits (most of them fluffy, due to my slight problem with all things fluffy and fleecy)! The first was a pair of my favourite type of Primark pyjamas, which and super thick and soft. These have little Christmas puddings all over them too making them very festive! Next was a really soft snood from George at Asda, in a creamy mink shade. I don't think I have been out once since my birthday without wearing this because it is just so nice, and stops me getting cold!

Another fluffy thing that I got was a onesie! This particular one is from Peacocks and it is navy with snowflakes on, plus it is really pretty, thick and warm. I do have one slight negative though, the arms are rather short, and I am only 5ft, so I doubt this would fit somebody who is taller than me or has long arms!

The last item of clothing that I received was my much awaited Zara leggings! I have featured these in a couple of wishlists previously on my blog, so I was definitely happy to get them. I have worn them a couple of times already (I'm still trying to figure out how I can style them) and they are really warm and comfy!

I got a couple of things that weren't beauty or fashion related, one of which was a Hanging Heart Light from Asda! This is from the Christmas decoration section, however it honestly doesn't look too Christmasy so I think that I could pull off having it up during the rest of the year. The second thing I got was the Bake & Decorate cookbook by Fiona Cairns! I have had this book on my wishlist for quite a while now, and Fiona Cairns' cakes always look amazing, she even cooked the wedding cake for William & Kate's wedding, meaning her recipes must be good!

That is what I got for my birthday! I was really happy with what I got and I can't wait to give it all a proper try. I will have my "what I got for Christmas" post coming up soon too so keep an eye out for that!

What has your all time favourite birthday gift been?

19 December 2013

Guest Post - Winter Jumper Collection

 Hey guys, I'm Eleanor and I write a beauty, fashion and lifestyle blog called Peach Petals and I'll be doing a little guest post today for Millie! As we're now well into the winter I thought I would give you a little insight to my favourite winter jumpers.

 Up first we have this lovely monochrome ombré jumper. I think it's really useful to have a monochrome jumper like this as they go with almost anything. It's a three quarter length sleeve so it's probably not the most practical to wear on it's own but layered up under a coat, it's perfect! This was £10 from George at Asda.

The next jumper I love to wear in the winter is my 'Cat/Fox' jumper. I've never really worked out whether this is a cat or a fox but I still love it! This is a full length, bright blue jumper and I love to wear it with the sleeves rolled up slightly, it gives a lovely casual look. Plus it's super comfy and really warm. At it's bargainous price of £14.99 from H&M (Old) it was definitely worth it!

Third on the line up, is what I call my 'bumblebee' jumper (Anyone get the Miranda reference there?) because of it's colour. This jumper is so snugly and warm and looks great tucked into a pair of high-waisted jeans for a casual look. It also looks great under a crisp, white shirt for a smarter look. Again, this was £14.99 from H&M (Old).
Lastly on my list is this lovely cream cable knit jumper. I got this at the start of November and is probably one of the most versatile pieces in my wardrobe. It looks lovely with coloured jeans or just plain denim ones and is great for when you don't want to put much effort into an outfit but still want to look presentable. This was a steal at £12 from Primark.

There we have it my favourite winter jumpers for this year, I hope you enjoyed reading about them and it gave you some ideas of how to wear yours. Also, a big thank you to Millie for letting me post on her blog today!

Do you have any favourite winter jumpers?

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11 December 2013

Chanel Holiday 2013 Collection (Nuit Infinie de Chanel) // REVIEW

Hey guys! I am back with another review on the most recent Chanel collection. Some of you who have been reading my blog for a while may remember that I have reviewed some bits from the last three Chanel collections, so when I was kindly sent four products to try out I was really excited! This collection is called Collection Nuit Infinie De Chanel, also known as the Holiday Collection, and it features lots of lovely bold, glittery shades, whilst having some more subtle shades, that would be perfect for Christmas/holiday time.

Also before I start, Kathryn was lucky enough to be sent these products too and she reviewed them last week and a half ago, so be sure to have a look at her review here! Now, onto my review..

Isn't this such a perfect red! I was seriously impressed with it's drying time since one of the problems I have with a lot of nail polishes is that even when they are dry, it's quite easy to damage the polish. However this one dried in a few minutes and went to the same consistency that a gel polish does, I even tried scratching it and it didn't leave a single mark! 

I think that you will also agree that this is a gorgeous, very pigmented shade! Plus it is definitely Christmasy too, and out of all the red nail polishes I own (about 15) this is by far my favourite. The lasting power is great, as it stayed on my nails for around four days without chipping/beginning to show signs of wear! Whilst yes, this is on the expensive side, it is an amazing nail polish and without a doubt, worth the money. 

I am a huge fan of the Chanel Rouge Coco Shine range, however I have only ever tried one lipstick from the Rouge Allure range, which added to my excitement when I was sent this! The shade of this is very pretty baby pink - it reminded me of the Rimmel Kate Moss Lipstick in the shade 101, however is is slightly lighter and has more of a blue undertone (which apparently makes your teeth appear whiter!) 

I must admit that I wasn't too keen on the shade when I wore it as first, as it is quite pale and matte, and matte lipsticks don't tent to suit me. Although I have changed my mind after wearing it a couple of times! I find that it looks lovely with a slightly darker eye, or even if you wear it with a lip gloss. 

I only have one negative about this product really, which is the lasting power. Now I am used to the four hour+ lasting power of the Rouge Coco Shine lipsticks, so when this particular one only lasted for about two hours I must admit that I was slightly disappointed! Still I think that two hours is pretty good in the grand scheme of things, and I have heard that it lasted longer on other peoples' lips so maybe it was just mine?

How gorgeous is this blush?! It isn't the normal pinky-peach shade that I normally stick to, instead it is a warm amber shade with subtle pink undertones and an ever-so-slight shimmer, so I was quite surprised just how well this suited me. Instead of giving you a rosy glow, it gives more of a slightly bronzed look, which I think looks absolutely lovely at this time of year! 

As of most Chanel products, the pigmentation is really great and the lasting powder is seriously amazing! I could still quite viably see it on my cheeks after about eight hours, which I think you will agree is pretty good. I would definitely repurchase this (if it wasn't limited edition) as it isn't your average blush, and I haven't seen many this shade before! 

This is the "traditional" pot of powder with the little powder puff, sieve and classic glass jar! I would definitely say this would be best used as a highlighter because as you can see from my swatch, it is extremely glittery. I apply a tiny bit along my cheek bones, possibly in the inner corner of my eye, and on my brow bone, to give them a little bit of a shimmer and highlight! 

I noticed that that it stayed in place seriously well, and I didn't end up with any sort of fall out, which with a product this glittery you wouldn't want happening for obvious reasons! The lasting power is very good, and it was still completely there after about eight hours aswell, however it was considerably less when I used it in the corner of my eye. I think that even with its hefty price tag it would make an absolutely gorgeous present for somebody, or as a treat for yourself! 

That is it for my review of the Chanel Holiday 2013 Collection! I hope that you enjoyed reading it and let me know if you have bought anything from the collection, and what you thought about them. 

Have you got your eye on anything from the Holiday 2013 Collection?

8 December 2013

Gooey Chocolate Brownie Recipe

Hey guys! Today is a slightly different post to my normal beauty related ones, and it is my gooey chocolate brownie recipe! I have been using this recipe for about five years, because it is by far the best one I've tried, so I thought I would share it with you all.

This is one of the quickest and easiest things to make, plus they taste amazing which is the important thing! I also think that they would be great for this time of year if you want to have some treats to have with your family or friends, without spending a lot of money. They would be lovely little presents aswell!

The ingredients that you will need are:

100g of dark/milk chocolate
150g of butter
125g of plain flour
15g of unsweetened cocoa powder
A pinch of salt
Half a teaspoon of baking powder
2 eggs
300g of dark brown sugar. You can use whatever sugar you want, but I find dark brown sugar gives it a nicer texture!
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Up to 100g of pecans. Although you can use whatever nuts/extras you want instead (you could even use chocolate chips if you like things extra chocolatey) and this bit isn't vital so you can leave the brownies plain!

First of all you will need to preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius, and line a tin (approximately 20cm by 15cm) with baking paper! Now you will need to put the broken up chocolate and butter in a microwaveable bowl. I prefer to melt this in the microwave, however you could cook it over a bain marie, I just like this way more as it is quicker and cleaner. The way I melt this is in twenty second "slots", for example I put the microwave on full power for twenty seconds, stir it and repeat. Once you see a few little lumps of the chocolate left, stop! You can normally stir these in to melt them, but if needs be just put the bowl back in the microwave for ten seconds. When that is done put the bowl aside.

In a new bowl you will then need to sieve all of the flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder together! Then put that bowl aside aswell.

The next step is to crack the two eggs into a new, large bowl, add the vanilla extract and whisk them together with a fork until frothy and combined. Then add all of the brown sugar and again whisk them together with the fork! You will want to keep whisking the sugar in until there are no lumps left and it is completely combined.

This is where the mixture begins to take place! You want to gently fold the melted, slightly warm chocolate into the egg and sugar mixture with a silicone spatula until all of the chocolate is mixed in.  Next you want to do the same thing, but with the flour mixture and nuts/whatever extra you want to use! You don't want any of the flour showing, so if you can see any you know to keep folding the mixture.

Then get the baking tin, pour the mixture into the it and level it out! A trick I find to get it level is lightly wet your hand (this stops the mixture sticking to your hand), and gently pat the mixture down. When that is done pop the tin in the oven for around 25 minutes or until you put a skewer in it and it comes out pretty much clean! Don't worry if there is a bit of the mixture on the skewer, the brownies harden up and continue cooking slightly when they are out of the oven.

I like to leave these for 5 minutes or so after I take them out the oven, which helps to allow them to cool and harden up a bit. After that time take the liner out of tin and cut the brownies up! That is all you need to do to make these lovely, gooey chocolate brownies! I hope that it is of use to somebody, so please let me know if you decide to make them and how they turned out. Enjoy!

Would you like me to do more recipe posts like this in the future?

4 December 2013

My Birthday & Christmas Wishlist

Hey guys! Firstly, sorry for not posting last Sunday, I did plan on doing this post then however the time just seemed to disappear! Secondly, can you believe that it is already December? This year seems to have gone so quick. I spent most of the weekend tidying and decorating my bedroom ready for Christmas, so I am currently sitting here with my curtains shut and lots of fairy lights on!

I have been planning and looking forward to today's post for months because it is my birthday and Christmas wishlist. As my birthday (the 17th) and Christmas are only eight days apart, I always do a combined wishlist for the two, meaning anything I don't get on my birthday I will hopefully get at Christmas, plus you can make up a huge wishlist. I ended up with a lot of products on my wishlist this year (20 to be exact), here goes!

1. MAC Lipstick - Peach Blossom - £14

I have never tried a single MAC product (shock horror) and my closest store/counter is about one and a half hours away, so I thought, to reduce the risk of me possibly not liking a shade, that I would stick to quite neutral shades! Peach Blossom is a pinky peach colour which looks lovely, and I think would look really nice at this time of year with a smoky eye.

2. Real Techniques Shading Brush - £3.49

I have gone a bit over the top with Real Techniques brushes as you may be able to see! Up until about six months ago I would always use those cheap brushes you would get in sets of twenty for £10, then I got the Real Techniques Core Collection and fell in love with them. The Shading Brush is pretty much true to it's name, it's a blending/shading brush for eyeshadow and it is currently on offer at Amazon for only £3.49, who could resist?!

3. Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray - £9.50

This is a product that everybody would have heard about at some point, and I would definitely say it is one of those "holy grail" products amongst bloggers! The Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray is a salt spray that is supposed to give you waves in your hair as if you had just been swimming in the sea, hence the salt. I have heard some varied reviews on this, which is why I'm only sticking to the little bottle for now, but I really hope that it works on my hair!

4. Zara Mini Office City Bag  - Burgundy - £29.99

This is an exciting one now! I am sure that most of you would have seen the Zara City Bag somewhere, and you will have thought that it is really pretty. The only thing I didn't like about it was the size, you can even fit a laptop in it, and as I am only 5ft tall I thought that it would definitely be too big for me! When I was searching through Zara's bags I noticed this lovely one, which is the mini version of the City Bag. You wouldn't believe how excited I was when I realised that they did a mini version and as I love burgundy it seemed perfect! I really hope that I get this bag otherwise I think I will have to buy it after Christmas for myself!

5. Real Techniques Powder Brush - £9.74

There isn't really a huge amount to say about this honestly! I don't own a proper powder brush, so I would love this one. I have heard that it is pretty big, however I don't really mind that as Real Technique brushes are always amazing quality!

6. Nars Creamy Concealer - Vanilla - £21

This is my favourite concealer! I got sent a tube of this in around April/May and I still have quite a lot left, but I thought that I may aswell stock up on it whilst I have the chance. The colour range is amazing and there is a shade for pretty much everyone, so that is definitely a bonus! I actually reviewed it back in August (I can't believe how quickly it has gone) here.

7. Real Techniques Blush Brush - £8.99

I actually already know that I am getting this one! Amazon had the Blush Brush on offer (along with the Expert Face Brush which I bought for now) at £6.66, meaning I couldn't resist getting my Mum to order it. I had a look at it when it arrived and it does look really well made so I can't wait to use it!

8. Anastasia Lash Genius - £7.50

I heard about this earlier this year on a Youtube video, one of FleurDeForce's I believe, and I loved the concept of it! It is basically a clear mascara top coat which makes whatever mascara you use, completely waterproof. It is supposed to be really easy to remove which is another thing I like the sound of! For £7.50 I think it is a pretty fair price, especially considering it is an American product which you can only buy from Cult Beauty in the UK.

9. MAC Eyeshadow - Satin Taupe - £12.50

When I asked a month or so ago, on Twitter, what MAC eyeshadow shades are peoples' favourites, Satin Taupe was definitely one of the most recommended ones! I adore the look of this shade, because it is a shimmery taupe which is one of those neutral shades you can wear all year round.

10. Real Techniques Setting Brush - £6.29

The Setting Brush looks really handy! It is a multi-use brush that you can use for bronzer, highlighter, blush and more. I haven't seen a huge amount about this brush, which I don't really see why, but I would still love to try it!

11. Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual - £16.25

I've heard many people say how good this book is and how it suits everyone, whether you are just beginning in makeup, or even if you are a makeup artist. Bobbi Brown's makeup is pretty legendary too which hopefully means this book will be just as great!

12. MAC Lipstick - Coral Bliss - £14

Coral Bliss has been on my wishlist for months! It is a lovely coral shade, that is also from the cremesheen range, and whilst it may not be the normal Winter shade, it would be perfect for Spring and Summer next year.

13. OPI Matte Top Coat - £8.49

I have wanted a matte top coat for quite a while now, and think it looks really nice with neutral nail polish shades! I have heard that OPI does the best matte top coat that you can get however if one of you know any that are better please leave me a comment. For £8.49 I do think that it is pretty good value for money, especially as OPI polishes are always great!

14. MAC Lipstick - Creme Cup - £14

The MAC lipstick in Creme Cup seemed to be really popular at the end of summer, and although it seems to have become a lot less popular, I still love the shade! It is one of MAC's "cremesheen" lipsticks, and the formula is supposed to be quite similar to the Chanel Rouge Coco Shine line, which I absolutely love.

15. Real Techniques Starter Kit - £15.74

The Starter Kit has always been one of the Real Techniques sets that I have had liked the look of! Eye brushes are definitely the brushes that I use the most, admittedly I haven't used them lately (blame the Maybelline Color Tattoos.) However I think this kit would be great when I do use powder eyeshadows and they would make a great little companion for the MAC eyeshadows!

16. Zara Black Leggings - £19.99

You may remember that I featured these leggings in my Winter Warmers post last month. I have had my eye on them since the start of Autumn and I would still love them! They are supposed to be really thick and perfect for the cold weather, the only drawback is the price. I would never normally pay £20 for a pair of leggings, but as these are hyped up by a lot of people I thought my birthday or Christmas would be a great time to get them!

17. Real Techniques Stippling Brush - £8.99

This is the last Real Techniques brush in this wishlist, I swear! I've heard that this is amazing for cream blush, and as I am beginning to get into them I thought this would be perfect timing to get it. I also love the shape of this brush as it is a flat top, so you don't have to mess about trying to get the product onto the right part of the brush!

18. Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette - £20

The Urban Decay Naked Basics palette is certainly very popular amongst bloggers! I tend to stick to neutral shades most of the time, meaning this palette should be great for me. I did have a bit of trouble deciding whether to get the Naked Basics, Naked or Naked 2 palette, however I decided to go with the Basics palette as I though I would get the most use out of it plus it is a lot cheaper!

19. MAC Eyeshadow - Sable - £12.50

This was another recommended shade and one that I love! It is really similar to Satin Taupe however it is a bit more chestnut than taupe. I know that Sable is one of those all time favourite MAC eyeshadows for a lot of people, so I hope that it can become one of mine!

20. River Island Black Leaf Necklace - £6

I think this is a really pretty necklace and great value for money! The only thing I would be a little worried about is the quality of the metal. I have had necklaces in the past *cough* from Primark *cough* where the coating on the necklace has just peeled away! I wish I had a River Island store in my town still (there was a big fire a couple of years ago in the one that was there), so I could have a better look at it. If anyone has had this necklace I would love to know about what you thought of the quality because I think it looks lovely!

That is is for my birthday and Christmas wishlist - wow that took quite a while to write! I will be doing a post for each "event" on what presents I received (not to brag, I just love reading these sort of posts myself), so make sure to keep an eye out for that.

What presents are you asking for at Christmas?