The following articles were authored by Helena

Swinky’s Cupcakes

I’m really busy at the moment so haven’t got much time to blog.  Just thought I’d leave you a couple of photos from our delicious lunch at Swinky Sweets……

After Eight cupcake and the best chocolate milkshake I think I've ever tasted!

Knickerbocker Glory cupcake



So, yesterday was my very first attempt at making macaroons.  I was not prepared at all but wanted a break from revision so found a recipe online and off I went.  It wasn’t till after 5 minutes of beating the egg whites (by hand!) that I realised I didn’t have any caster sugar.  I decided to make do with golden sugar and hope it did the same thing?  I also didn’t have any butter to make the buttercream which sticks the two halves together.

I’ve never beaten egg whites until they are ‘stiff and glossy’ so had no idea that it would take as long as it did without an electric whisk!  My arms got really sore so I gave up before they were stiff but they were glossy.  I did my best to pipe them into neat little circles on the baking tray but unfortunately my mixture was far to runny due to the lack of whisking.  Anyway, I bunged them in the oven for 10 minutes like the recipe said.

As soon as I took them out of the oven, most of them cracked on the top.  The ones in the photo on the recipe are perfectly smooth so I’m not sure what went wrong.  I’ve never actually had a macaroon so don’t know what they are supposed to taste like.  Mine were crunchy on the outside but really gooey on the inside – I’m not entirely sure I cooked them for long enough.  They tasted good though and were a pretty blue colour!  I think I will try them again but will definitely need to invest in an electric whisk first!

Photo from recipe

My macaroons - not quite as good!


A’kin PureMAN Face Wash

I’ve bought my boyfriend face washes a few times but the A’kin PureMAN Face Wash from MyPure is the first one he’s actually used for more than a few days and also the only one which he has liked using.

His skin has been looking really good since he started using it and it also feels softer.  The face wash foams up quite well so a little goes a long way and it smells lovely.  The smell of orange, ginseng and spice is quite Christmassy!

I’ve liked all of the A’kin products I’ve tried myself and think I’ve converted Nick who wants to try more of the men’s range!  The face wash is pricey compared to others you can buy but is the only one Nick has tried which has made a difference.  It is also free from all of the nasty chemicals like parabens, sulphates etc.


e.l.f Giveaway

Now that summer seems to have arrived, at least for now, I’ve got some summery e.l.f products to giveaway to one lucky reader!  So far this summer (can I call it summer yet?!) my favourite beauty product is the e.l.f nail varnish called Purple Dream.  It’s one of the nicest colours and is amazingly hard wearing.  Hopefully, you will love these e.l.f products as much as I love their nail varnish!

The first product is a set called the Shimmer Glow Kit which contains Natural Mineral Glow and a Kabuki Body Brush inside a travel makeup case which is perfect for the summer.

The second set is a natural mineral eyeshadow set, Expert Eye, containing eyeshadows, brushes, eyeliner as well as a tutorial on how to use them to create a natural look.

To be in with a chance, you just need to comment on this post and answer the following question:

What is your favourite summer beauty product?

For an extra entry, tweet about the giveaway and tell me that you’ve tweeted in the comment.

The winner will be randomly chosen on Friday 13th May.

Good luck!

(UK entries only sorry)


Body Collection Sultry Eyes

After the disaster that was the Technic eye powder from LoveThyMakeUp, I wasn’t really sure I wanted to try another eye shadow from the same website.  However, the Body Collection eye shadow is a thousand times better!  There are three different pallets to choose from of which I have Mocha, three shades of brown.  The eye shadows are nice and soft – easy to apply but not too powdery.  No, they aren’t the best eye shadows in the world, but they are brilliant considering they only cost £1.99.


A’kin Rose & Geranium Cleanser

This month I’ve been using the A’kin Rose & Geranium Cleanser & Toner In One from MyPure.

As you know, I have absolutely loved all of the A’kin products I’ve tried in the past and this one is no different.  The cleanser smells amazing and is nice and gentle on my skin.  As well as being a toner, another bonus is that it removes eye makeup.  It has quite a thick consistency but you don’t need to use a huge amount for your whole face.

As with all of the products sold by MyPure, there are no sulphates, parabens or other nasty chemicals so is perfect for sensitive skin.


Lush Double Strength Conditioner

Lush have some of the best smelling products!  A few weeks ago I had a bath ballistic which I planned to give my mum for Mother’s Day (it was a limited edition, especially for Mother’s Day! – I’ve just looked online and you can still get it here) but I ended up using it myself!  It was amazing though and don’t worry, I did get her another present!

Anyway, back to the point of this post, I’ve got this fantastic double strength conditioner from Lush called American CreamIt has a gorgeous vanilla smell and leaves my hair smelling lovely all day long.  I was really impressed to find that I can get away with using the tiniest amount and my hair is still soft and manageable.  I think this conditioner would be perfect for taking with you on holidays as one 100g bottle will easily last the same amount of time as a normal 250ml bottle of conditioner.  You can also buy American Dream in bigger sizes – 250g and 500g.  It is quite expensive compared to other brands but is worth it for an occasional treat!


e.l.f Nail Polish – Purple Dream

This is another brilliant nail varnish by e.l.f.  The colour is bright and summery, it stays put for days without chipping, is easy to apply and dries really quickly.  Definitely a thumbs up from me!



These cupcakes are less adventurously flavoured than my last batch but I did manage to pipe roses onto them!

The ones with blue icing are chocolate cakes with vanilla icing and the ones with roses on are vanilla cakes and icing.  I topped the blue cakes with Dr Oetker Polka Dots which are little sugary disks and each cupcake also had the obligatory dusting of edible glitter.

The video below teaches you how to make the icing roses and it’s really easy to follow.

[dailymotion id=xgglv9_how-to-make-buttercream-flowers_lifestyle]


Technic Eye Shimmer Powder

I’ve been sent a box of goodies from LoveThyMakeUp to try out.  So far, I’ve been impressed with the products they sent, but this eye shadow is horrific!  It it called Tutti Fruity and according to the website is peach but it’s more like neon orange.  The colour shown on the website also looks really different to the real colour.

The colour really doesn’t suit my skin tone at all but I think it would probably look much better on darker skin. It wasn’t just the colour I didn’t like though.  It is really hard to apply as the brush isn’t very good and the powder goes absolutely everywhere.  Just pulling out the brush drops glittery orange eye shadow all over the place!  I can really see why it costs just £1.99 and with all of the other cheap but actually good products on the website, I definitely won’t be buying this again.

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