Lime & Cardamom Cupcakes

A few weeks ago I made a batch of cardamom, lime and pistachio cupcakes. I used this recipe and they were really delicious and quite unique! The only change I made was to make lime buttercream for the topping which I did by mixing 250g of icing sugar into 75g unsalted butter and then grating in the zest of 1 lime. What do you think?Cardamom, lime, pistachio cupcakes Cardamom, lime, pistachio cupcakes

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Lovea Yellow Clay Mask

Last year I bought the Lovea Pink Clay mask from MyPure which was fantastic. My skin has been feeling a bit dry recently so I decided to give the yellow clay mask a go instead as it’s suitable for dry skin. Lovea Pink Clay Mask Lovea Pink Clay MaskI had really high hopes for it, so was very disappointed when the first time I used it I came out in an allergic reaction! I had to throw the whole tube in the bin! I’ve had allergic reactions to a few products over the last couple of years but can’t figure out what is causing them. I will definitely be sticking with the pink clay from now on!

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NOTW: Kiss Nail Wraps

This was my first time using nail wraps. I love the jeweled design of these wraps from Kiss but I really struggled to use them! I must have really small nails as it took me ages to cut the strips to the right width and then trim them to the right length. They looked a bit of a mess up close – I found it impossible to cut them into the shape I wanted! Kiss Nail Wraps Kiss Nail WrapsIt must have taken me an hour to do but the packet says “On in minutes”. The packet also said that they should last up to 10 days but unfortunately mine lasted less than a day. That was probably due to how badly I applied them though, so I am going to have another go with the second design in the packet soon! If you want to try these nail wraps you can get them from Asda for £5.98.

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HD Brows Palette

The HD Brows palette has been around for a while now and I’d heard great things about it so thought it would be worth trying. I’ve got very blonde eyebrows that you basically can’t see unless I use something on them. I rarely do that as most eyebrow products are too dark and just look wrong on my eyebrows! I really like this palette as the two brown shades seem to acutally suit my colouring and don’t make it look as though I’ve drawn my eyebrows on. HD Brow Palette HD Brow Palette HD Brow Palette HD Brow PaletteThe lightest shade is only slightly darker than my natural eyebrow colour so I use that the most often to give some definition, with the white shade which is the perfect highlighter to make my eyebrows pop a little. I do occasionally use the darker brown on my eyebrows but I tend to use it more as an eyeshadow. Personally, I am really bad at doing the whole smokey eye thing but I can see the black being good for that. The palette is available in three shades: ‘Bombshell’ for fair hair and skin (I have this one), ‘Vamp’ for medium hair and skin and ‘Foxy’ for dark hair and skin. It costs £19.96 and is available online.

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Yes to Cucumber Cleanser

I’ve tried a few Yes to Cucumber products before and they have always been pretty good and reasonably priced. I got this cleanser from MyPure (they have updated the website recently and it’s so much better now!) for £8.99. It doesn’t actually say on the website but it’s a gel cleanser which I don’t normally buy. I don’t think I would have gone for it if I had known! Yes to Cucumber CleanserYes to Cucumber Cleanser I don’t really know what to say about the cleanser, I don’t love it but I don’t hate it either. It feels soothing on my skin when I’m using it but afterwards my skin doesn’t feel any different to usual. I don’t think I will buy this cleanser again but am glad I tried it.

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NOTW: Summer Gradient

I wanted to try a more summery theme this week so went with a yellow/orange gradient. After trying gradients a few times, I’ve realised that I’m not very good at them, so I used my Nubar Polka Dot to draw attention away from how rubbish the actual gradient was! The colours I used were Mellow Yellow from 17 as the base, Showgirl by Ciaté for the middle bit and then Models Own Fluro Orange (which I picked up recently from Littlewoods) on the tips.Summer gradient nail art Summer gradient nail art

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Gamila Secret Beauty Bars

Gamila Secret Beauty Bars are a range of 100% natural soaps made in Galilee, Israel. They are made from cold pressed olive oil and a selection of herbs by Gamila, who was taught to read nature with her hands and senses by her blind father. There are a range of 10 different soaps which are suitable for different skin types.Gamila Secret Beauty Bar Gamila Secret Beauty Bar Gamila Secret Beauty Bar Gamila Secret Beauty BarGamila Secret Beauty BarI have the Soothing Geranium version which is for combination skin. The second I opened the box I fell in love with the bar – the smell is just gorgeous! Having the bar open in my shower makes the whole room smell lovely! The soap itself is also really good – I’ve used it on my face as a cleanser, as a body wash and as a shaving cream. At £21 per bar I don’t think it’s the sort of soap I would buy often, but I think it would make a great gift for someone or a nice treat for yourself! You can buy the bars from selected House of Fraser stores on their website.

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Cupcake Swirls

I wanted to show you some photos of a recent batch of cupcakes I made. These were just plain vanilla cakes but I experimented a bit with the icing and was really happy with the result.CupcakesCupcakesCupcakesTo get the pink and blue swirls, I just put alternate spoonfuls of pink and blue icing into the piping bag and then piped as usual onto the cakes. You can see that some worked better than others but this is definitely a technique I am going to try again!

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NOTW: Snowflakes

Here I am wearing Nails Inc Snowflakes over Rimmel’s Green With Envy.  I only bought Snowflakes a few months ago from Boots but it seems as though it’s been discontinued which is a shame as it’s such a lovely polish.  I really love this combination and the effect of Snowflakes is really pretty as it shimmers slightly different colours depending on the light.  What do you think?Nails Inc Snowflakes

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Instagram Round Up #16

Instagram1. Pula Colosseum.
2. View from a little hilltop village.
3. Cute street.
4. Porec.
5. Amazing clear sea!
6. Rovinj.
7. Cupcakes!
8. Had a go at axe throwing…
9. Spent the weekend at Edinburgh Fringe.
10, 11 & 12. Out for a countryside walk.

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