Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Blogger's Christmas Beauty Brawl Day 8: Foundation

Today I'll be sharing my current go-to foundation - Bourjois' City Radiance. I have been using this foundation for a couple of weeks now but like moisturisers, I think it's best to try a foundation for a while before sharing my thoughts with you. It's hard to tell whether you like it or not just from its first application.



PRODUCT QUALITY: This foundation is a liquid foundation (the only texture I use nowadays really) and gives a light to medium dewy coverage in my opinion. I tend to mix it in with a small squirt of Freedom's Pro Studio Strobe Cream which gives a more natural, glowy finish. I apply the foundation with my Real Techniques buffing brush and dab over it with a beauty blender. I really like the coverage, texture and application of this foundations. My only negatives would be that I think the colouring is slightly off (I have the lightest shade and I still find it a bit dark) and its longevity isn't that great. However, I love that it has an SPF in it and I'd prioritise that over the negatives anyway.

PRICE: This foundation retails for £9.99. As with all Bourjois foundations, I'd say it's probably on the pricier end of high-street foundations. However, it's very affordable compared to the luxury foundations from the likes of Dior and Estee Lauder. 


PACKAGING: The packaging is very simple. The tube is flat which means it's easy to pack if you're travelling with it. However, I do prefer a glass foundation bottle with a pump, but I think that's something down to personal preference. I think for the price, a glass bottle would have made it look more expensive.

SCORES (/100)
Product quality: 80
Price: 75
Packaging: 79

OVERALL VERDICT: I am a fan of this foundation, but having used Bourjois' Healthy Mix foundation in the past, I think I'll be going back to that one after I've finished City Radiance. I found Healthy Mix lasts longer and is more buildable in terms of coverage. I'd recommend this foundation if you want to wear something light on your skin.

SHARING THE BEAUTY BRAWL LOVE: If you want to see what Kimberley thought of her blusher, head over to her page http://happiness-is-madness.blogspot.co.uk/
post signature

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Blogger's Christmas Beauty Brawl Day 7: Lipstick

Slight cheat with today's product review as I'll actually be reviewing a lip lacquer rather than a lipstick. This one is from MUA's Luxe range which I've heard great things about from other bloggers. Not only is MUA a great, affordable brand, I love a lot of their products already, particularly their eyeshadow palettes.



PRODUCT QUALITY: The velvet lip lacquer claims to have a matte finish and this I can vouch for. It also describes itself as long-lasting which I'm sure it is as well. However, on putting this product on my lips I found it so uncomfortable to wear from the get go! As the product dries, it's very sticky on your lips. It dries fully in about 30 seconds and you KNOW it's there. It also didn't look great on as it sucked any moisture there was out of my lips. After 5 minutes I had to take it off and put a lip balm over the top. I persevered and tried it again after exfoliating and using a lip balm which did make it look better, but it was still really uncomfortable to wear. It's a shame because the colour (Tranquillity) is so nice! 

PRICE: As always with MUA, the price of this is really affordable. It cost me £3, which is in their higher price bracket as it's in their Luxe range. For a liquid lipstick, it's definitely one of the cheapest I've seen.

PACKAGING: I think the packaging also makes its look more expensive than it actually is - the frosted effect on the tube and gold lid are simple but elegant.

SCORES (/100)
Product quality: 55
Price: 90
Packaging: 85

OVERALL VERDICT: Although the price and packaging are really great, I just didn't get on with the formula of the lip lacquer. Some people may be able to persevere with it and make it look great but unfortunately it just wasn't for me. I'd much rather spend slightly more on a NYX soft matte lip cream which is much more moisturising and feels a lot more comfortable.

SHARING THE BEAUTY BRAWL LOVE: If you want to see what Kimberley thought of her blusher, head over to her page http://happiness-is-madness.blogspot.co.uk/

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Blogger's Christmas Beauty Brawl Day 6: Brows

I thought I'd deviate from the norm slightly with this one as I recently reviewed a brow pencil on my blog (you can read it here). So for today's post, instead of reviewing a product that fills brows in, I'll be reviewing Makeup by HD Brows Browbeater. This product is a clear brow gel which you can use to hold your brows in place all day.I love filling in my eyebrows but I do find that if I don't use a gel over the top of them, they tend to lose their shape throughout the day. I received the HD Brows Browbeater at a blogging event last year but haven't had the chance to discuss it on my blog yet, so here goes!

PRODUCT QUALITY: One of the things that stands out to me about this gel formula is that it's not sticky like some brow gels can be. It's still quite a wet formula so I would suggest that you don't need to use much of the product each time. The gel applies very smoothly and the wand is great for brushing your eyebrows into place. 

PRICE: The HD Brows Browbeater retails for £14.99 which is slightly more than I tend to spend on a makeup product, but I think that the price reflects its quality. It's pretty much in between high street and high-end in terms of price.

PACKAGING: The packaging is simple but I think that's the beauty of it. It looks very classy and the box that it comes in also looks pretty special. If you know someone who loves to look after their brows, I think this would make a really nice gift.

SCORES (/100)
Product quality: 92
Price: 80
Packaging: 88

OVERALL VERDICT: This is a great brow gel and if you're in the market for a good quality gel I'd definitely recommend this one. It's a great mid-range buy for any brow lover!





SHARING THE BEAUTY BRAWL LOVE: If you want to see what Kimberley thought of her blusher, head over to her page http://happiness-is-madness.blogspot.co.uk/
post signature

Monday, 5 December 2016

Blogger's Christmas Beauty Brawl Day 5: Blusher

As if we're half way through the Christmas Beauty Brawl already! Today I'm reviewing Makeup Revolution's Baked Blush in the shade 'All I Think About Is You'. You might be noticing a slight Makeup Revolution theme - I honestly just love the brand and find that most of the things I try from them I really liked. I think in their own way, they've revolutionised (pun intended) the drugstore/high street make-up game by bringing out high quality beauty products for a fraction of the price you'd pay elsewhere. Okay, enough praise for Makeup Revolution (I promise I'm not being paid for this (...but maybe I should be... hint hint TAM Beauty PR)), onto the review!



PRODUCT QUALITY: The actual product is a really gorgeous rosy pink colour and is very pigmented. I only dab my blusher brush onto the product very gently and that's all you need for a beautiful glow. There's a lovely hint of shimmer in the blush as well which I'd say could double up as a blush/highlighter duo if you wanted a subtle shine.

PRICE: This blush comes in at £2.50 which is such a steal for such a great little product! I often buy Makeup Revolution's £1 blushers which are very standard and don't have any shimmer to them, but I'll definitely be paying the extra £1.50 in the future for their baked blushers.

PACKAGING: You have the same plastic packaging as the highlighter for this product but like I said, this is expected of such an affordable product. I think the actual blusher looks really gorgeous though, with its patterned baked effect.

SCORES (/100)
Product quality: 95
Price: 90
Packaging: 80

OVERALL VERDICT: This is a really lovely blusher which I can't really fault! If you like a pink, subtly shimmery blush, then I'd absolutely recommend this one. I think it's also a great one to go for if you want to try a baked product without a luxury price tag attached to it!




SHARING THE BEAUTY BRAWL LOVE: If you want to see what Kimberley thought of her blusher, head over to her page http://happiness-is-madness.blogspot.co.uk/


post signature

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Blogger's Christmas Beauty Brawl Day 4: Mascara

For day four of the Blogger's Christmas Beauty Brawl I decided to review a mascara I received recently. As you can see in the picture below, it's only a sample size of Chanel's Dimensions de Chanel mascara, but using these are great if you want to try a new higher end mascara without forking out the luxury price tag. You can usually pick these up in-store or occasionally online for free so you can be sure whether you like it before you buy it!


PRODUCT QUALITY: Being a Chanel product, the mascara is of a pretty high quality so I was excited to try it out. For me, I found this mascara really separated my lashes (which is great as I'm not a fan of thick, clumpy eyelashes) and made them look much longer. The mascara is a true black in colour and I found my lashes were still looking good by the end of the day.

PRICE: This mascara usually costs £25 which is pretty steep but what else would you expect from a luxury product?! I'm not sure I'd buy the full sized version for myself, but it would be a fab high end gift for someone else.

PACKAGING: In terms of the full-sized packaging, it's fairly standard Chanel black with a gold band around it. It looks elegant but in my opinion I wouldn't say it stood out to me. However on the plus side, this sample version is a great little product to travel with!

SCORES (/100)
Product quality: 92
Price: 77
Packaging: 75

OVERALL VERDICT: Don't get me wrong, I do really like this product, but for now I think I'm going to have to stick to my high street roots and say I don't think I could justify the price of this mascara! Great as a little sample to travel with but I'm sure there are high street mascaras that are almost/just as good as this one.


SHARING THE BEAUTY BRAWL LOVE: If you want to see what Kimberley thought of her mascara, head over to her page http://happiness-is-madness.blogspot.co.uk/

post signature

Blogger's Christmas Beauty Brawl Day 3: Highlighter

Day three of the Blogger's Christmas Beauty Brawl will be a review of a highlighter I picked up recently. Make Up Revolution's Strobe Highlight caught my eye for a number of reasons (of which I will discuss below!) and so I thought I'd give it a little trial. I've been loving my Sleek Solstice highlight palette recently so I was interested to see how this highlighter compared.



PRODUCT QUALITY: This highlighter is in powder form and is very glittery and shimmery - perfect for the Christmas season in my opinion! I applied it across my cheekbones with a fan brush and then in my cupid's bow, down my nose and along the bottom edge of my eyebrows using my finger. I found the colour pay-off to be a lot more intense when I used my finger and so I'd recommend doing this if you like a full-on glow.

PRICE: The highlighter cost me only £3 which I think is a great price for what I'm getting. The product is pretty big and I have no doubt that it'll last me for ages.

PACKAGING: The actual product looks pretty high end, and echoes Laura Mercier highlight products with its blanket-like pattern. The plastic outer layer cheapens it slightly but for the price I don't think you can complain!

SCORES (/100)
Product quality: 82
Price: 93
Packaging: 78

OVERALL VERDICT: A great highlighter if you love a glittery, intense highlighter like I do! For £3 I think it's a great addition to any makeup bag because you never know when you need a super glittery glow.



SHARING THE BEAUTY BRAWL LOVE: If you want to see what Kimberley thought of her highlighter, head over to her page http://happiness-is-madness.blogspot.co.uk/
post signature

Friday, 2 December 2016

Blogger's Christmas Beauty Brawl Day 2: Eyeshadow Palette

Today's review for the Christmas Beauty Brawl is an eyeshadow palette and I've chosen Makeup Revolution's Fortune Favours The Brave palette. The palette was made in collaboration with British Beauty Blogger Jane Cunningham (who I met earlier this year at Makeup Revolution's 2nd birthday party which was pretty cool!). I actually picked up this palette a few months ago and am somehow only just getting round to using it! I love my Naked palettes but this is a great high street alternative.


PRODUCT QUALITY: You get thirty different colours in this palette which is amazing in itself! The darker colours have great pigmentation, although I will say the lighter/white shades are noticeably less pigmented. That being said they're still fab as a more sheer, subtle coverage over the eyelids. The eyeshadow brush that comes with the palette isn't great and I opted to use my own brushes instead, but it's a nice touch to include one (that isn't that ridiculous sponge applicator you get in most high street palettes!) and could come in useful if you're applying eyeshadow on the go.

PRICE: At £9.99, this is a steal compared to other palettes such as Urban Decay's Naked palettes which retail at about £38. Although the individual eyeshadows themselves are quite small, the range of colours definitely makes up for that.

PACKAGING: I think the matte gold case is absolutely gorgeous and looks very high end. I love that it also includes a huge mirror and an eyeshadow brush, as it makes it perfect for applying make-up on the go. I think this would make a fantastic Christmas present for any make-up fanatic as it looks expensive and the variety of colours means it would suit pretty much anyone.

SCORES (/100)
Product quality: 85
Price: 90
Packaging: 95

OVERALL VERDICT: I'm sooo happy with this product! For me, Makeup Revolution always go above and beyond with their products and this one is no exception. I also love that it was made in collaboration with a fellow blogger, and it makes me super proud to be part of our little community!


SHARING THE BEAUTY BRAWL LOVE: If you want to see what Kimberley thought of her eyeshadow palette, head over to her page http://happiness-is-madness.blogspot.co.uk/2016/12/bloggers-christmas-beauty-brawl-2016_2.html
post signature

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Blogger's Christmas Beauty Brawl Day 1: Moisturiser

My first mini review for the Christmas Beauty Brawl! If you're interested in finding out more about this mini series I'm doing this month, you can read all about it here.

Today's review is my current day moisturiser: Garnier Moisture Radiance Daily Energising Gel Moisturiser (talk about a mouthful!). I've been using this product for a couple of weeks now, which I know kind of goes against the whole idea of a first impressions review, but I think for things like moisturisers it's important to use it for a while to know what you really think about it.


PRODUCT QUALITY: As you can probably tell by the name of the product, the moisturiser has a gel-like texture to it. I've used a few different moisturisers with this texture before (read my review of The Body Shop moisturiser here) and they're definitely one of my favourites to use as they feel really refreshing on the skin. It is also quite light as far as moisturisers go which is good for me as my skin can be quite oily. I'm not sure whether I've noticed my skin being more radiant as it claims to do, but it does make me feel more energised - or at least more awake - thanks to its texture and cooling effect.

PRICE: I bought this product from Boots when it was half price (it still is now along with its sister products - you can find them all here) and so it only cost me £1.99. At such a bargain, I'd say this is one not to be missed!

PACKAGING: The tube is quite small and compact so it's great if you're travelling and need something easy to pack. For the price, I'd say the packaging is pretty standard - nothing fancy but it doesn't look dirt cheap which is always a bonus! Of course, with it being small you get less product in it, but I wouldn't expect more for the price.

SCORES (/100)
Product quality: 81
Price: 88
Packaging: 70

OVERALL VERDICT: Pretty good little moisturiser! It does its job and I love the refreshing feeling of the gel moisturiser. If you haven't tried a moisturiser with this texture before and you don't want to spend a lot, I'd definitely recommend trying this one out first.

SHARING THE BEAUTY BRAWL LOVE: If you want to see what Kimberley thought of her moisturiser, head over to her page http://happiness-is-madness.blogspot.co.uk/2016/12/bloggers-christmas-beauty-brawl-2016.html
post signature

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Blogger's Christmas Beauty Brawl 2016!

This year I will be taking part in the Blogger's Christmas Beauty Brawl, organised by Beth at La Blog Beaute. But what is this brawl all about? All of the bloggers involved will be reviewing beauty products which fall into a certain category for the first ten days of December. Each product will be scored on three different levels: on the product itself, the price and the packaging in a Top Trumps fashion. Think of this as a "Vlogmas" for beauty bloggers!

The list of beauty product categories for the next ten days are as follows:
1st: Moisturiser
2nd: Eyeshadow palette
3rd: Highlighter
4th: Mascara
5th: Blush
6th: Brow product
7th: Lipstick
8th: Foundation
9th: Hand cream
10th: Concealer

I think this is going to be a great way to try out some new products and I can't wait to share them with you! As always on my blog, the majority of these products will be affordable, high street products that won't break the bank. There may be a couple of exceptions to this, but all will be revealed in due course!

If you're interested in following the other bloggers involved in this Christmas' beauty brawl, I'll leave all their links below. Other than that, I hope you enjoy the next few days and the influx of reviews on High Street Beauty Junkie!



post signature

Friday, 25 November 2016

The Goods Shed @ Novotel Cardiff: Hotel & Restaurant Review

The Goods Shed food and drink lounge is Novotel's newest restaurant-bar addition to their 4* hotel establishment. I was invited to the launch, but having recently moved away from Cardiff I was unfortunately unable to attend. So when they asked me if I'd like to review their hotel and restaurant on my next visit to Cardiff, I couldn't say no!



The food and drink lounge has a chilled out, modern vibe but encompasses some historic twists to the décor, nodding towards its past use as a goods shed along the South Wales to London railway line. While I started off the evening with a bikini martini (a summery combination of vodka, Malibu, pineapple juice and grenadine), Tim opted for a Brains beer - arguably one of Cardiff's finest creations.


We were treated to three courses for our meal, and so to start Tim and I ordered a sharing platter of meats, chutney and olives. It was really delicious and right up our street! For our mains, I chose the lamb shank on a bed of mash with seasonal veg, while Tim ordered the sea bass. The lamb was yummy, but the mash potato was the highlight for me! It was super creamy and complemented the rest of the dish so well. I tried Tim's sea bass too, which was cooked beautifully - the fish just melted in your mouth. Onto desserts: I opted for a fruit salad and frozen yoghurt as I was pretty full up by this point! Tim went for the chocolate brownie which was beautifully rich. The whole restaurant experience was fantastic and I'd definitely recommend it to anyone in the area, whether it be for cocktails or a full meal.

Apologies for the poor photo quality - I just couldn't wait to tuck in!
Onto the hotel itself! The location is perfect - you're only a 5-10 minute walk from the city centre, yet still away from the noise of Cardiff's nightlife. Upon arrival, we were checked in promptly and given our room keys. The interior of the Novotel is so sleek and modern - and the glass lift was pretty cool too! Our room was pretty big and had everything we needed. The bathroom had both a shower and a bath, along with the usual complimentary toiletries.


The bed was so comfortable - almost too comfortable as Tim and I overslept and almost missed breakfast! Cleanliness of the room was to such a high standard, I couldn't fault anything about it. Our stay also included a full buffet breakfast - probably one of the best I've ever had too! Staff were so efficient and helpful, it was a really relaxed and enjoyable stay at Cardiff's Novotel.




If you're looking for a place to stay overnight in Cardiff, be it for a rugby match, a night out with friends or a weekend shopping, I would honestly say look no further than Novotel!
post signature

Monday, 14 November 2016

Afternoon Tea With An Alcoholic Twist @ Park Plaza, Cardiff


Park Plaza claims their Hendrick's 'G&Tea' is a must for all gin lovers. However, having sampled their afternoon tea a couple of weeks ago, I'd like to extend this claim to also being a must for gin sceptics such as myself. Gin is never my first drink of choice, but the Hendrick's gin cocktail, infused with elderflower liquor, lemon juice and Maraschino liquor, was fantastic and I happily sipped away at it in its dainty tea cup.



Of course no afternoon tea is complete without some sophisticated snacks. A word of warning: visit Park Plaza's Laguna Bar on an empty stomach as I was totally full up after this mini feast! Presented perfectly on a three-tier stand, I think you can agree that the afternoon tea dishes are a treat for the eyes as well as the stomach!
The soft, delicate finger sandwiches are the perfect savoury treat to complement the rich assortment of sweet cakes to follow. The handmade scones are perfectly baked - and residing in Devon, I know what a good scone tastes like! The sweet cakes and pastries were also to die for - the lime jelly was superb but my favourite dessert had to be the Chocolate Opera gateau.


I couldn't review the afternoon tea without mentioning the atmosphere of the Laguna Bar itself. The bar encompassed a chilled and modern atmosphere which felt very sophisticated and really added to the experience. All the staff were very attentive and I really couldn't have asked for more! Thank you to Park Plaza for the whole experience - I can't wait to join you again on my next Cardiff visit!


post signature

REVIEW: Soap & Glory 2-in-1 Brow Filling Pencil & Brush

For a while now, I've heard so many people raving about Soap & Glory's make-up range. In particular I've heard great things about their infamous 'Sexy Motherpucker' range and more recently their eyebrow products which have been compared to the much pricier Anastasia Beverly Hills' range of brow products. So you can imagine my excitement when I was asked if I'd like to review one of their brow products!


I picked up Soap & Glory's Brow Filling Pencil & Brush in the shade 'Love Is Blonde' from my local Boots store. I tend to use a pencil product to fill in my eyebrows so I was curious to try one from a new brand. The twist-up nib of the pencil is super thin and this allows you to be really accurate and create a sharp edge. I like using it to draw in short hair-like lines where I have gaps in my eyebrows to make them look more natural. The shade is a perfect match for my actual eyebrow colour, which I always tend to have trouble finding. A lot of blonde eyebrow products I've tried tend to come out with a reddish undertone, but not this one (finally!). Moreover, the spoolie brush on the other end of the pencil is so handy for brushing out my brows before and after I've filled them in, so I can be sure I've created my perfect brow shape. 

*Please excuse my resting bitch face*
I honestly can't think of anything I would change about this product, and for £8 you can't really go wrong! Soap & Glory have won me over in the make-up, as well as the bath & body, department!


ALSO - calling all students! If you're a University student, you can apply to become a Soap & Glory Glambassador which could also lead to an internship at S&G as well as a visit to their New York offices! If I was still at Uni I know I'd be applying, so why not give it a go?! Find the application form here: http://glamonboard.soapandglory.com/pluck-me.php
post signature

Friday, 28 October 2016

A Colour Spectrum of Nail Polishes: My Top 10


I wanted to write something that I'd never seen done before; not something generic like a monthly favourites or a stand-alone product review. Although I love reading (and writing) these kind of posts, I still want to be able to stand out and bring something slightly different to the blogging world. This idea came to me when my mum informed me that I own 130 nail varnishes (yes, she counted). I love painting my nails and I love mixing it up with different colours so in my head this amount of polishes is totally warranted, right? I'm also using the "I'm a blogger, I need them" excuse. I went through all them and picked out my favourite of each colour to share with you today.



1. Fiji by Essie - my love, my life, my one and only. Fiji is my favourite nail polish ever (I
spoke about it in a post a few months back which you can read here). It's the perfect pale pink and goes with everything. And it looks amaaazing with a tan. I also love Essie's super smooth formula.

2. Big Apple Red by Nails Inc (Kate Spade New York limited edition) - this is the truest red nail polish I own and I love it. I don't really opt for reds very often but if I do, it tends to be this (or a more autumnal burgundy). I always feel super classy and glamorous when I wear this colour.

3. Tropical Pink by Collection - despite the name, this is definitely a coral colour closer to orange than pink in my opinion. I love wearing this colour on my toes or on my fingernails especially for a holiday. Collection nail polishes are great and cost next to nothing as well!


4. Lemon by Barry M - I'm not really one to go for a yellow nail polish but I kind of needed to add it in to go with the colour spectrum theme. However, this pastel yellow by Barry M is pretty cute and I think it would look fab on very tanned skin. I like using it as a nail art base to make little bees. #sorrynotsorry

5. Little Duck by Tanya Burr - I believe her collection has been reformulated and repackaged now but I still love this pale green shade by Tanya Burr. And how adorable is the name?! It's no Essie Mint Candy Apple - it's not as pastel/blue-toned as that - but it is a gorgeous murky green (in a good way) that looks fab on nails.

6. Shade 693 by Kiko - I couldn't see an actual name for this polish but I had to include it. I love the formula and finish of Kiko's Velvet Satin nail lacquers. They dry almost matte and it looks absolutely beautiful. Unfortunately because of this, it does chip very easily and only lasts a day or two but I think it's perfect for a night out or special occasion.


7. Strut Your Stuff by Essie - oops, another Essie polish! I just bloody love these nail polishes and this blue is stunning. If you ever find yourself wondering what my favourite ever colour in the world is, it's this. Essie is definitely my favourite nail brand.

8. Shock Wave by Maybelline - the Maybelline Colour Show nail varnish line is so great - it's really affordable and they have a huge colour range. The formula is smooth and long-lasting (not quite as long-lasting as Essie in my opinion) and I love this deep blue/navy colour. Perfect for winter/Christmas as it also has a hint of sparkle.

9. Go Wild-er-ness by Rimmel - I ALMOST included another Essie polish for this one but I refrained. This Rimmel polish has a gorgeous formula and is a really lovely lilac colour. Their brushes are a good size as well which allow you to cover the whole nail in one swipe. Also a very affordable brand.

10. Jack Frost by Models Own - well I couldn't not include a glitter polish! I love topping my polishes with this colour, especially around Christmas time. It captures the light beautifully and is one of the best glitter polishes I've used.


And that's the end of the round-up! I hope you like this kind of post, please let me know your thoughts in the comments as I'd love some feedback! Happy nail painting!
post signature

Friday, 30 September 2016

Easy Pina Colada Cupcakes with Sugar and Crumbs

Firstly, apologies for the lack of blogpost - I promise they will be more regular from now on, I've just been a busy bee! Now, onto the good stuff: cupcakes!

I think we can safely say I'm a very amateur baking. I can follow a recipe to an acceptable standard but I'm no Mary Berry. I received a bag of Sugar and Crumbs Pina Colada flavoured icing sugar at the #BloggerTikiParty event (which you can read about here!) and I thought I would put it to good use - on cupcakes of course!


I followed a very basic cupcake recipe (from a kids cookbook, naturally) which was almost completely successful, bar the odd nipple-shaped tops on the cupcakes which you can see in the picture below. Before icing, I cut off the nips (sorry) to make a flatter surface.


Once the cupcakes had cooled down, I proceeded to make the Pina Colada buttercream. There was a buttercream recipe on the back of the packet which was a godsend because I'm useless with winging it when it comes to baking. Sugar and Crumbs recommended using some normal icing sugar in with the mixture for a slightly less intense flavour which I did and I was so impressed with the taste! The coconut and pineapple flavours were very evident and didn't taste artificial at all. I (attempted to) use an icing bag to pipe the cupcakes and it was then that I realised that I'm pretty useless at piping. But I had a go anyway and here is the outcome.


As you can probably already tell, I strategically placed the best one at the front (the rest kind of look like they are topped with dog poop) but I can guarantee you they tasted wonderful! They went down so well with the rest of my family so big thumbs up and thank you to Sugar and Crumbs for providing this fabulous icing sugar!


Bon appétit.
post signature

Friday, 2 September 2016

I Was Featured In The Guardian?!

A few months ago I was contacted by Nicola, a freelance writer who had been commissioned to write a double spread for the Guardian's University clearing supplement which was published in August just before students received their A-Level results. The supplement provided vital information for prospective University students who may not have achieved the A-Level grades they needed for their University choice and so had to go through the UCAS clearing process.


The article I was involved with was depicting a 'diary of a student blogger' through Instagram photos and interview questions to complement these. Unfortunately, the article was only available in paper form on the day it was released and isn't online, so I thought I would share and expand on some of the questions with you! (Apologies in advance for the poor quality photo - it's hard to take a picture of a picture!)



Even since finishing Uni, I still love going to the gym and eating well. I was pretty good at budgeting at University and I think part of it is down to knowing the best places to buy food (e.g. fruit was cheaper from a market stall in town) and not eating meat every day of the week. If you're interested in cooking yummy vegetarian meals, I wrote up some of my favourite recipes a while back on my blog which you can read here and here. The photo on the right was taken at the Makeup Revolution 2nd birthday party in London a few months back. I feel so lucky to be invited to amazing events like this one and I have met so many incredible people through these experiences!


I love the photo on the left of my final year uni fam at Christmas. They're totally going to rinse me if I make this soppy but it was so sad moving out because it was such a great year, even if most of it was spent deciding what film to watch in the evening. I couldn't write this article without mentioning the charity I was involved with (predominantly in second and fourth year) - Student Minds. It's a national charity with regional branches within Universities that aim to support students struggling with their eating. Student Minds was one of the reasons I decided to work on an eating disorders ward on my placement year at Uni and I loved every minute of it. We held some great fundraising events as a group and I feel so privileged to have been part of such a wonderful society at Uni. And of course I had to mention my little (5 year old) pup Alfie - LOOK HOW CUTE HE IS!

A massive thank you to Nicola for contacting me and writing up my national newspaper debut - I'm so glad I could be a part of it and it's perfectly rounded off a fantastic four years at University. If you're interested in reading my blog series on starting University, I'll put the links below. Let me know about your Uni experiences in the comments!

The Ultimate Uni Checklist: http://www.highstreetbeautyjunkie.com/2015/09/what-should-you--take-to-university.html
Making Friends at Uni: http://www.highstreetbeautyjunkie.com/2015/09/making-friends-at-uni-my-top-five-tips.html
post signature