Tuesday, 22 April 2014

My Current Love - Simple Gold Necklaces

I've almost always worn either statement necklaces, or necklaces with a longer chain but recently I've been constantly wearing the two necklaces pictured.
They're both shorter and simple. I think they look so pretty with shirts when they're not buttoned up to the top or over the top of a plain top or jumper. I like the gold colour as it stands out more than silver, and can be quite eye-catching against contrasting colours like white or black.
One necklace is very delicate with a thin chain and small zig-zag pendant, it's so simple but there's something about it I really love, and I've found it goes so well with almost all my clothes. It's from ASOS - the website has a lot of other similar necklaces too.
The other necklace has a little heart pendant that has indented dots on it, this one is from Topshop. It's slightly longer and has a thicker chain than the one from ASOS. I especially love this worn with white tops.

I never thought I'd be so into such small and simple jewellery pieces but I suppose after getting my hair cut shorter (about shoulder length) statement necklaces can look a bit OTT, but more delicate ones can be seen more and make more of an impact when they're not hidden by a mass of long locks.

Do you like statement necklaces or
a more simple design? 


Saturday, 19 April 2014

Quick & Healthy No-Bake Oat Bars!

I adore the granola bars and oat bars you can buy from shops, but the majority of them are full of sugar and other nasty ingredients that aren't good for you. So recently I've been making my own! They don't contain any gluten or wheat, no added sugar, no flour, nothing artificial!
They're extremely quick and easy to make, don't require baking and they leave hardly any washing up - bonus!

They don't require baking in the oven as they contain coconut oil. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature, but a liquid when heated up. It's a lot better for you than other cooking oils too. We also have honey in this recipe, which isn't the best thing in the world but I only use a bit and it's a hell of a lot better for you than sugar. These bars are so yummy, extremely moreish, gorgeously chewy and you don't have to feel guilty after eating them!

Firstly you need to mix 1 cup of a nut butter of your choice, I chose almond with a little bit of peanut butter too (I ran out of almond butter..oops), just under 1/2 cup of honey and 1/2 cup of coconut oil in a saucepan over a low heat until the mixture has melted and there no lumps left.

Then take the mixture off the heat and add 2 and 1/2 cups of rolled oats and any extras that you want!
I added seeds, shredded coconut, flaked almonds and cranberries to my bars! Dark chocolate chips, raisins or different nuts are some options.

Pour the mixture into a container, make sure you've lined it with greaseproof paper first!
Pop it in the fridge and leave it to set for a few hours.

Take out of the fridge, cut into pieces, share with family and friends, and enjoy!

1 cup almond butter (or any other nut or seed butter you'd like)
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup coconut oil
2 1/2 rolled oats
1 cup of cranberries, seeds, flaked almonds and shredded coconut combined. 

1. In a saucepan on medium heat mix the almond butter, honey and coconut oil together until melted and free of lumps.
2. Take the saucepan off the heat and mix in the cranberries, seeds, flaked almonds and shredded coconut. 
3. Pour mixture into a greaseproof paper lined container, make sure it's all flat! Place it in the free for a few hours until fully set and solid.
4. Cut into pieces and ENJOY!

Have a wonderful Easter!


Thursday, 17 April 2014

Garnier Oil Beauty Nourishing Lotion | Review

I'm always after really moisturising body lotions, moisturisers or body butters. I absolutely love the Soap & Glory butter butters, the scents are incredible and they make my skin so soft, but they can be a bit pricey. Recently I've been using this Garnier Oil-Infused Nourishing Body Lotion and I adore it.

This is an oil infused body lotion, that contains 4 nourishing and beautifying oils - argon, macadamia, almond and rose, all of which are amazing for the skin. The consistency of the product is lovely, it's not watery but it's not really thick, it glides so smoothly onto the skin and almost feels like it's really melting in and working it's magic to make the skin hydrated. The smell of the lotion is amazing, I can really pick up the oil scents and it reminds of holidays - I always just want to sniff my arms after applying it because it's so good. Not only does it apply nicely but it's non-sticky, non-greasy and quick drying…hurrah! My skin feels ultra soft after using this product and that smoothness really lasts a long time, not just a few hours like some body moisturisers. I feel like this lotion is actually doing my skin good, nourishing it and making it appear more radiant.
The Garnier Oil Beauty Lotion retails for £4.99 for 250ml, and it is a definite winner in my book!

What's your favourite body moisturiser? 

OH and have a wonderful 4 day weekend!
Happy Easter 


Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Maybelline Color Show Nail Polish | Review

I don't often buy nail varnish, and when I do I almost always go for Rimmel because they're cheap, but brilliant quality with the best brush ever. However, I was in Boots looking for some neutral shades and none from the Rimmel line took my fancy, so I went over to the Maybelline stand after hearing good things about their nail varnishes and I picked up two shades from the Color Show collection.
I'm quite fussy with nail varnish, there's lots of things I look for as I'm impatient waiting for them to dry (anyone else always suddenly find loads of things to do just as they finish painting their nails?!), the formulation has to be the perfect consistency i.e. not runny but not gloopy, and the brush can't be too thin. So, does Maybelline Color Show get the thumbs up from me?

The shades I chose were Love This Sweater, which is a pink/mauve nude shade and Cool touch which is a bluey grey. I thought these shades would be really lovely for Spring time, and they'd go with almost anything.
I really like the packaging…it's simple but there's something about it that makes it feel nice, and not cheap. I prefer it to Rimmel, but the preferences don't extend any more than that.
The brush is quite thin, it's not the thinnest I've seen but not so thick you can do your nail with 1 or 2 swipes, which is annoying.
The formulation is fairly watery, by no means do I like gloopy nail varnish but I do like it thick enough that I could get away with doing one coat if I'm in a hurry. With Maybelline I need at least two coats, but I normally opt for three, otherwise the colour looks too sheer.
Drying time, which is another thing I find important, is not terrible but not anything amazing either. I left it about 3-4 minutes between coats, and that was long enough.
The wear is better than expected considering the fairly thin consistency, normally nail varnish chips within a couple of days on me, this one lasted about 3 or 4…that's with a base coat but no top coat.

Overall I don't think I would repurchase this brand of nail varnish again…I'm glad I bought the two polishes because I really do like the shades, but the formulation doesn't cut it, however for the price of £2.99 I didn't expect anything outstanding.

What's your favourite brand of nail polish?


Friday, 11 April 2014

Merumaya Cleansing Balm | Review

I think we probably all know I'm quite big on skincare. If you have good skin then your makeup will look a million times better, you'll feel more confident and it's just generally good to look after your skin for all sorts of reasons, therefore using quality skincare that works for you is very important.
I do like to change up my skincare products, unless I find a complete 'holy grail' product. New cleansers I particularly like to try out, I've never really found one that I completely love, so my latest purchase (after hearing so many rave reviews) was the Merumaya Cleansing Balm.

I'd wanted to try a cleansing balm for ages, the Emma Hardie one was top of my wish list but with the £36 price tag I didn't dare buy it, but then I came across the Merumaya Cleansing Balm at £14.50 for 100ml I thought I'd give it a go.
Cleansing balms are oil based products that are particularly good at removing all makeup and dirt from the face. They're marketed at all skin types, even oily, but I feel dry skin would benefit the most, if you're someone looking for anti-aging properties cleansing balms are the best option also. You warm the product in your hands, then massage it gently all over your dry face and then remove with a warm, damp muslin cloth or flannel.
I can't speak for all cleansing balms, but the Merumaya Cleansing Balm leaves my face feeling more cleansed than any other product I have used before. The balm glides so smoothly onto my skin, it smells quite herbal which I love, it feels soothing and once removed my skin feels refreshed, soft, hydrated and more healthy than it did before.
I've been using this cleansing balm for over a month now and I have noticed a considerable difference in the dryness of my skin - it doesn't feel so tight now and dry patches have almost vanished. Before, I was using Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish which I did like, but all it was doing really was cleaning my skin, rather than improving the condition of it or hydrating it, the Merumaya product is different to this as the hydration in my skin has increased and although I haven't noticed a massive difference in any breakouts I may get I do feel my complexion has brightened and looks healthier.
The packaging of this product is a squeezy tube, which I really like as you can easily control how much of the balm you use (yay, no waste!), which FYI isn't much at all…a little goes a long way!
The only thing I don't like about this product is it stings when it goes in my eyes, it's not horrific but it's not comfortable. I remove my makeup with a micellar water before properly cleansing though, so I'm not too fussed!

I do love this cleanser a lot, and I'd highly recommend it, but it's important to remember everyone's skin is different. I personally think this cleanser would be amazing for pretty much everyone though - if you have dry skin it'll bring you some of that hydration you want, if you have blemishes it will sooth them, if you have oily skin the oils in the cleansing balm will help to balance things out.
The Merumaya Cleansing Balm will definitely be something I'll be repurchasing!

Have you tried cleansing balms?


Wednesday, 9 April 2014

A Product That's Made A Real Difference

I have quite dry skin, and get hormonal blemishes, so using nothing in between my moisturiser and foundation often led to either the foundation not going on as smoothly as I would like, the foundation breaking apart on my skin throughout the day or it just left my skin looking quite dull. In the past I've tried different primers, moisturisers especially for dull skin and tried lots of foundations but nothing quite did the trick, until I found the Vitamin C Skin Reviver by The Body Shop.

The Vitamin C Skin Reviver is a serum type product that you apply after moisturiser but pre-foundation. The serum itself has a lovely smooth texture, and once applied to the skin it just feels really luxurious. Although I don't notice a huge amount of difference used alone, when I apply my foundation over the top I really see a big improvement compared to how my skin would look without the serum.
Firstly it's actually great if you're in a rush because your foundation will require less buffing and blending, as the skin reviver really helps to smooth everything out. Rather than my foundation looking so obvious, a bit dry and generally just not the best, it looks amazing. My skin feels and looks velvety soft, and my foundation blends perfectly. As well as this the product contains 'light reflecting particles', which I was concerned about as I hate those products that have glitter in them (Rimmel Wake Me Up, I'm looking at you!), however the skin reviver doesn't actually contain much, if any glitter, or shimmer, it's more of a pearlescent finish and any glittery particles it may contain don't transfer on the skin when blended, so rather than looking sparkly and unnatural you just look glowing, healthy and radiant. The product also contains fruit extracts and brazil nut oil which makes it feel really fresh, perfect for mornings, and will help to keep your skin feeling hydrated.

I really adore this product. I don't quite now how I'd live without it now! Before I would feel quite self conscious about how my foundation might look, and I'd spend ages getting it to look okay, but now I don't need to worry as this little product really helps me out. I've even had compliments from other people when I've used this, so it must be making a noticeable difference!
It's not the cheapest at £14 for 30ml but you only need the tiniest amount to cover your whole face, so it should last a long time, and for the quality and difference it makes I'd definitely say it's worth it!


Monday, 7 April 2014

The Importance Of Avoiding Sugar!

I've always had a pretty healthy diet, ever since I was little I never had a high fat or high sugar diet and I've always been sensible with what I eat. Recently, however, I've started taking healthy eating a lot more seriously and I really think it's important for other people to do the same. Nowadays nearly everybody eats rather bad food, and I think a big problem of that is they don't actually realise what harm the ingredients they're eating is doing to them. I could go on about the absolutely disgusting effects of 'food' from McDonalds, Burger King, and other fast-food chains, I could rant about being people so many processed foods, but today I'm focussing on an evil thing called sugar.

Like I said, I've never had a high sugar diet. I've always preferred savoury over sweet and I've never been a big pudding eater, however occasionally I would have a pudding, or ice cream, or things like granola bars bought from the shops (very high sugar contents)…even fruit juice isn't good in large quantities. But recently I've almost completely cut sugar out, and I always make sure I check the labels of foods I think may have sugar in - some people roll their eyes when I tell them this, but it's just sensible and I have quite a few reasons why, which I will get onto shortly.
I'm not saying never treat yourself, of course you can have foods with added sugar every now and again but consuming them regularly can have huge effects on your body.

The first thing to know is sugar IS addictive. Fact. I was talking to someone the other day who said she was trying to eat healthily, but found it impossible to not have sweet things because she craved them. This isn't down to 'just having a sweet tooth', it's down to addiction. When we eat sugar dopamine is released in the brain, which gives us a feeling of pleasure - the same way drugs like cocaine work, our brain is then programmed to seek out the sugar to get that feeling of pleasure again, and again. The less you consume sugary foods the less you will crave them, honestly, try it for even a couple of weeks and you'll see what I mean. When I first started this cutting out of sugar I stopped drinking squash, after a couple of weeks I tried it again and couldn't even finish the glass because the taste of sugar was SO strong.

Sugar itself doesn't contain any vitamins, minerals, protein, essential fats or beneficial things. It's empty calories. So if you eat things like chocolate bars, Pringles, Coca-Cola (evil drink) or other fizzy drinks, biscuits, cakes, ice-cream, etc you're filling your body with very little nutrients and you're bound to end up deficient in many important nutrients.

• Too much sugar can overload the liver. Fructose sugar can only be metabolised by the liver, eating a little bit or from good foods like fruit is fine (also eating fructose sugar after a workout is better as the body deals with it in a healthier way), but in other cases the sugar overloads the liver and turns the fructose sugar into fat - some of this fat is shipped out around the body but some will remain in the liver, where it builds up over time and can lead to liver disease.

Too much sugar can cause insulin resistance, which creates a whole load of problems, including diabetes. Insulin allows glucose (blood sugar) to enter cells in the bloodstream, and gets the cells to burn glucose instead of fat. If too much insulin is being produced then the body becomes sort of immune to it, and it stops working as it should.
Fact - people who drink beverages with added sugar regularly have a 83% higher risk of developing type II diabetes. So, stick with water!

Avoiding sugar will reduce your risk of developing cancer. There is a lot of evidence to back up this point. Insulin is one of the key hormones that regulates the growth of cells, so increased levels of insulin  which make the body immune to the effects of the hormone can contribute to developing cancer. Also, the problems sugar consumption can have on the metabolism can drive inflammation in the body, another cause of cancer.

• Sugar raises your cholesterol, which can lead to heart disease - the biggest killer in the world. Saturated fat is obviously not good for you, but actually sugar has more of an effect on cholesterol levels. In just 10 weeks of regularly consuming bad sugars you could increase the hormones in your body that lead to heart disease.

Sugar rots your brain. No, really, it does destroy your brain. It even contributes to the degenerative brain damage disease Alzheimer's.

• Sugar actually robs your bones of vital minerals. Sugar depletes your bones of key nutrients like calcium, magnesium and copper which are vital for your health.

So, after all those horrible facts why would you want to eat sugar? You'd have to be mad!
If you eat sugar a lot you should think of it like an addiction, because that's what it is, and it's doing an insane amount of damage to you, so cut it out! Just stop consuming it. Try it for just a couple of weeks and your craving will significantly decrease.
Do remember sugar is added to a ridiculous amount of things these days, whenever I go shopping and look at the labels on foods I'm always shocked to see what products have added sugar in them, even foods that are marketed as being good for you contain SO much sugar - including those yogurt drinks and Naked smoothies. Try to avoid these foods, eat clean, natural foods - which are more delicious (I think), better for you in every way and will satisfy your hunger more.
FACT - In 1850 the UK consumption of sugar was about 8kg per person a year, by the year 2000 it had risen to over 65kg per person a year.

So, avoid - biscuits, sugary cereal (go for no added sugar muesli, pure porridge oats which you can add fresh fruit to, flax seeds or almonds for more taste, or fruit and plain yogurt), crisps, fruit juices, squash, cereal bars, ice cream, etc.
To satisfy any strong cravings for sweet foods opt for fresh fruit - pineapple, mango, apples and blueberries are among my favourites, you can make no-bake oat bars at home with coconut oil (I might post a recipe soon), peanut butter and apple, Quakers oat biscuits are low in sugar, greek yogurt, soya yogurt, nuts and homemade ice-cream using just bananas (google recipes) are among the yummy snacks to try.
I think it's so important to eat healthily, both for the body and the mind and it makes me quite angry and sad that the importance of this isn't taught, and people don't take it seriously. If everyone ate fresh, natural, clean food we'd have a health epidemic!

Do you eat sugar regularly?
Will you be cutting down?


Saturday, 5 April 2014

Best Contour Shade For Pale Skin

If you're more on the pale side, like me, you may find it difficult to achieve a good contour with a bronzer. Most people do use a matte bronzer to contour their face, however if you're pale this can look too dark, too orangey or be hard to blend into a more subtle look. I have found a product that's absolutely perfect for getting that contoured look on pale skin, let me introduce you to NYX Blush in Taupe. 

Yes, this shade is marketed as a blush, but it's quite a cool toned, matte, ashy brown with slight hints of an almost purply colour - which is actually much better to contour with than most bronzers as it will help you achieve that shadow effect much more successfully.
I'm a big fan of the formulation of NYX blushes, they're soft, easy to blend, well pigmented, long lasting and very inexpensive. This shade didn't disappoint at all, and lived up to my expectations.
Since getting this product I haven't used anything else to contour with! I just find that Taupe gives me the most natural shadow under my cheekbone, creating the illusion of more defined features and slimming my face - I use the Real Techniques Blush brush to apply it in the hollows of my cheeks, or the contour brush for a more defined look. The shade doesn't look at look orange, it's not too dark, it can be sheered out or build up so if you want it for a daytime look or you're going all out for a night look then it'll work brilliantly and it lasts a long time. Another thing that I give a massive thumbs up to is the fact is fades so evenly, some bronzers I used to use for contouring faded quite patchy or moved around on the skin - very annoying! This blush shade doesn't do that at all, the colour will just naturally fade away.
The packaging isn't my favourite…I always wish they had little mirrors in, or weren't that quite cheap feeling plastic, however at the price of £6 (NYX website, not including shipping - or try Amazon) I don't expect the packaging to be really fancy, especially since the product inside is of such a high quality.

So, if you're a pale skinned girl I'd definitely recommend trying this product. You'll never have to worry about being too heavy handed, looking too orange or like you have a massive streak down your face.


Tuesday, 1 April 2014

No.7 Pop & Glow Cream Blush Stick in Classic Rose | Review

I think I've mentioned before I don't often try cream blushes, I'm not sure why because the ones I do have I really like and I think they're particularly great for Spring and Summer but I always seem to opt for powder. However, I recently tried the new No.7 Pop & Glow Blush Stick in Classic Rose and it's pretty darn good.

Firstly, I really do adore the packaging of this blush, it's in a stick form (much like Nars multiples) so you can just twist it up, dab it onto your check, smudge with your fingers or a brush and you're good to go! The application of this product is really great, it's easy to get a sheer wash of colour when blended or you can build it up to a more intense look if you wish, which still would only take a couple of swipes as the colour payoff is outstanding (swatches above).
The shade I have is Classic Rose which is a gorgeous hot pink, I think this is beautiful for Spring and Summer! I had my doubts that the colour would suit me, but I find it warms up my complexion and gives me a healthy glow - the fact it has a sheen helps with that.
Often cream blushes can be very sticky, but this blush stick is far from it - it almost feels powder like once it's dried. It's creamy, easy to blend and sets into the skin really well. But as it's that cream formula it hasn't got the longest staying power  -  I'd say it lasted about 5 hours maximum before it faded on me, however if you put powder over the top it will make it last longer and you can always carry this around in your bag for touchups during the day!
Overall I would definitely recommend this chubby stick style blush if you're new to cream blushes, or perhaps you're not keen on them because of the stickiness or difficult application but like the look they give, this will ease you in. They do 2 more blush shades and 1 highlighter in the same packaging and formulation which I must pick up! The price (£9.95) is definitely a bit much for a high street brand, I would say it shouldn't be more than £7…but if you'd like to treat yourself it's worth it for a lovely product.

Have you tried this yet?
What is your thoughts on cream blushes?

© Amelia Rose . All rights reserved.
Blogger Templates made by pipdig