Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Urban Decay 15 Year Anniversary Palette - Review & Swatches

Urban Decay 15 Year Anniversary Eyeshadow Collection

Hi Everyone!
I am so excited to share this palette with you all! I love Urban Decay as a brand and always look forward to their eye shadow palettes as I find their eye shadows to be great quality and they come in such exciting colours! I first heard about this special 15 year anniversary palette a couple of months ago but it has only just gone on sale in the UK (only at Debenhams at the moment as far as I know). The palette comes with 15 new shadows and is in a gorgeous shiny box that has purple jewels on the front. There is a mirror on the inside of the lid and the palette has a slot in the bottom right hand corner that allows you to pop out the eye shadow tray when you have finished them so that you can re-use the box for storage which I think is a great idea and makes this palette even more of a collectors item!
Here are the swatches of the eye shadows (shown on NW20 skin) followed by their descriptions:

(L to R) Midnight Rodeo, Tainted, Deeper, Midnight 15, Junkshow, M.I.A, Vanilla

(L to R) Omen, Ace, Flow, Evidence, Blackout, Chase, Deep End, Half Truth

Midnight Rodeo: This is a shimmery pinky-bronze colour that has a metallic-like finish.
Tainted: Tainted is a gorgeous lilac colour with a slight golden shimmer, this is one of my favorites from the palette.
Deeper: This is a golden bronze colour with an olive tint to it, I think that this is the most unique shade in the box and I don't have anything else like it in my collection.
Midnight 15: This is a white-silver colour with a hint of purple to it, I think that this would make a stunning inner corner highlight to be paired with a purple lid.
Junkshow: This is a bright fuchsia pink with with a lavender shimmer, I love to apply colours like this to my crease with a dark eggplant colour on my lid.
M.I.A: This is a dark mushroom brown colour that is great to have in any palette.
Vanilla: This is not as boring as its name suggests! It is golden white colour with plenty of shimmer.
Omen: This is a violet blue duo chrome and is my favourite from the palette. It reminds me of MAC's Pink Pearl Pigment which has been discontinued.
Ace: This is a dark blue colour that is so pretty and is definitely a very wearable blue.
Flow: Flow is a peachy frost colour and would be great to use when creating a brown smokey eye.
Evidence: This colour is absolutely stunning, it is a sapphire blue with a metallic finish and is another one of my favourite colours from the palette.
Blackout: This is a strong matte black colour which would also make a great eye liner.
Chase: This is a striking golden colour and would look great all over the lid with a brown in the crease.
Deep End: This is a bright turquoise colour and would look great smudged along the lower lash line with a brown on the lid to add that extra pop of colour.
Half Truth: This is a blue violet colour that reminds me of MAC's Contrast eye shadow.

This palette is amazing and there is such a mixture of colours so there are so many different looks that you can create using it. Unusually for Urban Decay they have not included too many glittery shades with is great and makes a nice change! The palette is rather expensive but it's a great collectors item and if you enjoy Urban Decay palettes then you will love this. As I mentioned before, all of the shadows are new so you won't already own some of them which is great, plus all of the shadows are full size which makes it really good value for money.

I purchased my palette from Debenhams for £39. You can also get it from the Urban Decay site and from Amazon here: Urban Decay 15 Year Anniversary Eyeshadow Collection
Maz x

Ginger Loaf Cake

Hi Everyone!
My Grandma asked me to make her and my grandad a ginger loaf cake so here it is! This cake was so quick and easy to make and I almost feel like a cheater for making it! All it takes is some measuring and mixing!

2 Eggs
250g Plain Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
2 Dessertspoons of Ground Ginger
90g Brown Sugar
2 tsp Golden Syrup
90g Butter or Margarine, softened
Pinch of Salt

1. Pre heat oven to 180C/ Gas Mark 4 and line or grease a loaf tin.
2. Put all of the ingredients into a large bowl and mix until the butter/ margarine soft place into the loaf tin.
3. Bake for around 45 minutes until the cake is springy to touch.
4. Allow the cake to cool in the tin before turning out.
So there you go, one delicious ginger loaf cake that is so simple to make yet impressive to look at! I don't think that I'll be telling my friends and family how little effort it took to produce!
Maz x

Monday, 29 August 2011

Smashbox Limitless Lip Stain & Color Seal Balm

Lip Stain
Hi Everyone!
This is the Smashbox Limitless Lip Stain and Colour Seal Balm in Guava which is a bright coral-red colour. This is the first lip product that I have purchased from Smashbox and also the first lip stain that I have tried. This product if a marker pen style lip stain at one end and a balm at the other. First you apply the lip stain to clean lips by outlining your lips and then filling them in (there is no need to use a regular lip liner with this product). You then apply the balm over the top of this when it has fully dried to to make your lips feel smoother and to refresh the colour throughout the day. The one thing that has put me off from buying lip stains before is that I feared that they would cause my lips to dry out.

Lip Balm

I was really attracted to this colour as I love red red lipsticks but hate how they can feather quite badly and end up on you teeth! I applied Guava Lip Stain mid afternoon to go shopping and out for dinner with my friends. The colour is really bright and eye catching and certainly got a few comments! I did find that my lips felt very dry through the day so I applied the balm quite a few times but I never had to worry about the colour bleeding or getting onto my teeth (does anyone remember Mrs Doyle from Father Ted? Not a good look!) which is a massive advantage. I did not re-apply the stain at all during the day and ate a meal, when I arrived home around 60% of the colour was still in place, only the inner parts of my lips had worn off. This is great compared to a regular lipstick but does not quite live up to Smashbox's 8 hours of full coverage claim.
Swatches shown on NW 20 skin-

(L to R) Lip Stain, Lip Balm, Lip Balm layered over the Lip Stain

I feel that this product has some pretty major pros and cons! A major pro to it is that it is a great way to wear a bright shade without having to worry about it budging which is great. It also eliminates the need to use a separate lip liner. The disadvantages to this product is that it does make your lips feel dry despite the balm and is fairly difficult to remove fully at the end of the day. The product is priced at £21.50 in the UK which I feel is very expensive and, in my opinion, not worth the money which is why I won't be re-purchasing. Overall I would give the product 2 and a half stars out of 5.

I purchased my lip stain from Debenhams for £21.50 and you can also get it from Amazon here: Smashbox Limitless Lip Stain & Color Seal Balm Petal
Maz x

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Almond & Lemon Curd Buttons

Hi Everyone!
I have been busy, once again in the kitchen baking biscuits! These biscuits have a lovely lemon and almond flavour and contain lemon curd. Perfect with a cup of tea! Here's how to make them.

250g Butter, softened
140g Golden Caster Sugar
1 Egg
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
300g Plain Flour
A little Milk to seal
100g Ground Almonds
Zest of 2 Lemons
Approx 3 tbsp Lemon Curd
Flaked Almonds
Pinch of Salt

1. Beat the butter, sugar, egg, vanilla, lemon zest and a pinch of salt in a large bowl until smooth.
2. Next fold in the flour and ground almonds to make a dough.
3. Shape the dough into 2 rounds, flatten them and wrap them in cling film.
4. Place the dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes until firm.
5. Pre heat the oven to 190C/ Gas Mark 5 and line 2 baking trays/ sheets with non stick paper.
6. Roll out half of the dough on a floured surface to the thickness of a £1 coin and stamp out rounds with a 7cm cutter.
7. Brush each round all over with milk and spoon blobs of lemon curd on the centre of each round.
8. Now roll out the remaining dough in the same way and place a round on top of each round that has lemon curd on it and press down gently to seal the edges.
9. Sprinkle golden caster sugar and flaked almonds on top of each one.
10. Bake for 15 minutes until light golden in colour.

This recipe makes around 20 biscuits.

I really enjoyed making these biscuits and the are so tasty but the dough is a sticky nightmare to roll out! I would advise making sure that you have plenty of flour on your work surface and rolling pin when rolling them out. Enjoy!
I got this recipe from the BBC Good Food website.
Maz x

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Yellow & Blue Half Moon Manicure

Hi Everyone!
I was browsing the Internet today looking at the nail trends that were popular on the Autumn/ Winter 2011 fashion shows and I particularly loved the half moon manicure which was apparently popular back in the 1930s. This design looks like a reverse French manicure, the lighter colour is applied to the lower part of the nail in a half moon shape and the darker colour covers the remainder of the nail. I thought that I would have a go at this and chose China Glaze's Lemon Fizz and OPI's Russian Navy.

                                                            China Glaze Lemon Fizz 80941
OPI NLR54 Russian Navy

First I applied one coat of Seche Base followed by a coat of China Glaze Lemon Fizz. This lacquer is a a bright sunshine lemon colour that really cheers you up! The polish has quite a thick consistency and isn't the easiest to apply but dries evenly and smoothly.

I allowed the Lemon Fizz to dry thoroughly and then applied round stationary stickers to the lower part of my nail and painted a coat of OPI Russian navy all over the nail. Russian Navy is one of my favourite nail polishes, it looks like a dark purple colour in the bottle but is actually navy, as the names suggests! After the navy polish had dried I peeled off the stickers and applied my top coat, OPI's Rapi Dry.

So that is my first attempt at the half moon manicure which is pretty difficult to get neat but I still like the results even though it's a little messy! You can try drawing the half moon shape without the stickers if you have a steady hand. I think I will definitely be trying this again with some other colour combinations and hopefully practice will make perfect! I think that cutting the stickers in half instead of using them whole may help them to stay in place on the nail too!

You can buy China Glaze Lemon Fizz from Amazon here: China Glaze Lemon Fizz 80941
You can buy OPI Russian Navy here: OPI Nail Lacquer, Russian Navy, 0.5 Ounce
I hope that you have enjoyed this post and will give it a try!
Maz x

Friday, 26 August 2011

White Chocolate, Cranberry & Coconut Loaf

Hi Everyone!
Today I decided to make a slightly more unusual cake. This is a white chocolate, cranberry and coconut loaf cake. They are 3 of my favourite ingredients when baking so I was thrilled when I came across this recipe. It is super easy to make and looks very impressive. It is an ideal cake to have a slice of with a cup of tea in the afternoon. Here's how to make it.

375g Plain Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
200g Caster Sugar
225ml Vegetable Oil
3 Large Eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
175g White Chocolate, roughly chopped
4 tbsp Desiccated Coconut plus extra for sprinkling
150g Dried Cranberries

1. Pre heat oven to 180C/ Gas Mark 4 and great a loaf tin.
2. Mix the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and sugar together in a large bowl.
3. Add the oil, eggs, vanilla, chocolate, cranberries and coconut to the bowl and fold together until there are no signs of flour left.
4. Pour the mixture into the tin and level off slightly then sprinkle some of the dessicated coconut over the top.
5. Place into the oven and bake for around 1 hour and 10 minutes.
6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for approximately 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool thoroughly.

As you can see this cake it so easy to make, it just taking a little measuring out of the ingredients and 2 simple steps. You can't go wrong! I found this recipe on the All Recipes website.
Maz x

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner Swatches & Review

Urban Decay 15 Year Anniversary Collection 24/7 15 eyeliners
Hi Everyone!
I thought that it would be fun to share my collection of Urban Decay 24/7 Glide on Eye Pencils with you all. These pencils are fantastic eyeliners but you can also use them as eyeshadow bases, I usually swirl some onto my finger then apply it to my lids. I own 10 pencils in total so, obviously, I do not have the entire collection! I love how creamy these pencils are and how easily they glide onto your skin. They all stay in place really well and are available in a large selection of colours. I would definitely recommend giving them a try if you haven't already.

Grafitti: This is a bright medium green with silver sparkle.
Covet: Covet is my favourite of UD's eyeliners, it is a gorgeous peacock green shade that I love to apply to my lower lash line when wearing a neutral lid to make my brown eyes pop!
Ransom: This is a bright iridescent purple colour and is one of my favourites.
Binge: Binge is a navy blue shade which I love to apply to the lower lash line with a medium brown lid.
Rockstar: Rockstar is a dark eggplant colour which makes a great alternative to a regular black eyeliner.
Eldorado: Eldorado is a stunning gold shade that looks amazing with bronze eye shadows on the lid.
Stash: This is a dark green/ gold colour.
Corrupt: Corrupt is a rich dark brown and will give you a slightly softer look than your usual black eyeliner.
Oil Slick: This is a black colour with a little bit of added silver sparkle, great for nighttime eye looks.
Zero: Zero is a classic black shade that is essential for any makeup collection.

Here are the swatches of my collection shown on NW20 skin:

(Top Row, L to R) Grafitti, Covet, Ransom, Binge, Rockstar
(Bottom Row, L to R ) Eldorado, Stash, Corrupt, Oil Slick, Zero

You can get the Urban Decay Pencils from Debenhams and House of Fraser in the UK as well as other online retailers for around £13, they are sometimes available in sets which will make them work out a little cheaper for you. You can also get them from Amazon here: Urban Decay 15 Year Anniversary Collection 24/7 15 eyeliners

Maz x

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

OPI Swimsuit... Nailed it & Silver Shatter

OPI Miss Universe 2011 Collection Swimsuit - Nailed It

Hi Everyone!
Today I applied one of OPI's new nail polishes from their Miss Universe Collection for 2011 called Swimsuit...Nailed it! which is described as a 'Deep ocean blue glitter'. This is such a gorgeous colour, I would describe it as a metallic, medium blue colour that has a foil-like finish. The glitter is a lighter blue and is really fine so you get a lovely smooth finish.

I applied a coat of Seche Base as my base coat followed by 2 coats of Swimsuit...Nailed It! The lacquer is of an average consistency and applied well, The first coat was a little streaky but the second coat evened that out and is fully opaque and the polish dried pretty quickly as I find all glitter polishes do.

OPI Pirates of the Caribbean - Silver Shatter Nail Lacquer, 0.5 oz

I then applied a coat of OPI's Silver Shatter to my nails. This shatter coat crackles pretty well but definitely needs a top coat to add some shine as it dries pretty matte. I think that it is best to use a bright polish like this one under shatter coats. I finished off my nails by applying a coat of Seche Vite Fast Drying Top Coat.

I purchased my bottle of Swimsuit Nailed it! from Beauty Bay for £10.50 and you can also get it from Amazon here: OPI Miss Universe 2011 Collection Swimsuit - Nailed It

I purchased my bottle of Silver Shatter from HQ Hair for £10.50, get it from Amazon here: OPI Silver Shatter Nail Polish NL E62
Maz x

Monday, 22 August 2011

Marbled Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

Hi Everyone!
I appear to be turning into Ina Garten at the moment with the amount of baking I'm doing! My latest cakes are Marbled Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting. They are basically an ordinary sponge mixture swirled with a chocolate sponge and topped with chocolate frosting and Smarties. They are really easy to make and would be great for kids parties too!
(Recipe makes 18-21 cupcakes).

For the Sponge
175g (6oz) Unsalted Butter
175g (6oz) Caster Sugar
3 Eggs
2 tbsp Milk
55g (2oz) Melted Plain Chocolate
For the Frosting
225g (8oz) Unsalted Butter
50g (2oz) Cocoa Powder
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
225g (8oz) Icing Sugar
1 tbsp Milk

For the sponge
1. Pre heat the oven to 180C/ 350F/ Gas Mark 4. Place your cupcakes cases into the bun trays.
2. Beat the butter and caster sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy.
3. Add the eggs one at a time and mix until smooth.
4. Add the flour and milk and mix until smooth.
5. Divide the mixture into 2 bowls and add the melted chocolate to one bowl mixing well.
6. Next using a teaspoon alternate the plain and chocolate mixture, put 4 half teaspoons into each case.
7. Bake in the oven for around 20 minutes until the cakes have risen and are firm and springy to touch.
8. Remove the cakes from the oven and leave them in their trays or 5-10 minutes before transferring them onto a wire rack to cool thoroughly.
For the Frosting
1. Place the butter in a bowl and beat until creamy.
2. Then add the icing sugar, vanilla extract, cocoa powder and milk and mix together until smooth.
3. Spoon or pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes.
4. Next add a decoration of your choice! Try Smarties, Cherries or sprinkles.

I hope you give these a go as they are great and a change from the usual cupcake.
Maz x

Sunday, 21 August 2011

ELF Cosmetics Haul

Hi Everyone!
I have heard quite a few goods things about ELF Cosmetics (which stands for Eyes, Lips, Face) but have never purchased anything from them before. As regular readers of my blog will know, I have recently fallen in love with Makeup Forever's HD Foundation and I was looking into buying their HD Powder. I began researching into this product online and reading various reviews, quite a few of which compared the powder to the ELF HD powder. Many of these reviews said how similar these to products are due to their ingredients which are almost the same. Now the price difference between these two products is massive! So because of this I went onto ELF's website to take a look at their products. Firstly I can not believe how low their prices are! As well as that when I went onto the site they had a 'Spend £30 and get 50% off' offer, this was too good an offer to pass up on to a makeup addict like myself so I began adding products to my basket! Here is what I chose:

High Definition Powder: This is a really finely milled powder that I can't wait to try. The box is pretty big and you get a decent amount of product. It is £6

Eyebrow Treat and Tame: I purchased this in the colour: Light. This has a clear gel on one side with a brush applicator and a light brown colour gel on the other side with a spoolie applicator. I had been thinking of trying the MAC brow gel but due to the low price of the ELF one plus the special offer, I decided to try this one out first. It costs £3.50.

Studio Makeup Mist and Set: This product claims set your makeup once you have applied it. I read a couple of reviews online about this product that claimed that it had a really bad smell, I have to agree with that. I am unsure whether it is the plastic bottle or the liquid inside that has the bad smell. It costs £3.50 so I think I could put up with the smell if it works!

Shimmer Palette: This is my favourite product of the haul so far! The palette contains 4 shimmery colours, a white, a champagne, a gold and a pink. They are all nice and creamy and do not contain any chunky glitter. I am going to use these to highlight my cheekbones. This product costs £3.50 and if my first impressions are anything to go on I will probably be repurchasing!

Studio Brushes: I picked out 3 brushes from the studio range, I chose the Angled Eyeliner Brush as I love these types of brushes for applying eyeliner. I then picked up the Fan Brush, the only fan brush that I have in my current collection is quite small so I thought that this one may be good for applying blush and finally I got the Powder Brush which is a flat topped brush that has good online reviews so I thought that it would be worth a try! All 3 brushes cost £3.50 each.

Eyebrow Stencil: I added a pack of eyebrow stencils to my cart which are a set of eyebrow shaped, soft plastic templates that you can use to get a more professional, accurate shaped eyebrow, this pack cost £1.50.

Shine Eraser Set: Finally I added a 3 pack of shine eraser blotting papers. In the pack you get a pack of Green Tea Extract papers which claim to rejuvenate the skin, a pack of Tea Tree papers which clarify the skin and finally a pack of Aloe Vera papers which calm and soothe the skin. This pack costs £3.50.

I hope that you have enjoyed my ELF Cosmetics haul post and I would definitely recommend that you had a look at the site to see what you think! Click here to visit it now!
Maz x

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Face Make-up Routine using Drugstore Products

Hi Everyone!
I thought that it would be fun to share my quick, daily face make up routine with you all. This routine uses only drugstore products and it's the make up that I usually wear on my face when I am just popping to the shops or not really doing anything special!                          

Boots No7 Mattifying Makeup Base 1.3 fl oz (40 ml)

I usually begin by applying the No 7 Shine Free Make up Base all over my face once my facial moisturiser has dried. I have combination skin and suffer with a lot of shine on my forehead and chin and this primer does do quite a good job of reducing it. This product also contains light-reflecting particles which claim to reduce the appearance of fine lines. You can purchase this product from Boots for £11 or from Amazon here: Boots No7 Mattifying Makeup Base 1.3 fl oz (40 ml)
L'Oreal Paris True Match Super-Blendable Makeup, Buff Beige, 1-Fluid Ounce

My favourite drugstore foundation is the Loreal True Match. I find that it blends into your skin so well which makes it quick to apply, if I am in a rush I usually apply it with my fingers. It is also really affordable and easy to find in the drugstores and supermarkets. I purchased my foundation from Boots for £9.99 and you can also purchase it from Amazon here: L'Oreal Paris True Match Super-Blendable Makeup, Soft Ivory, 1-Fluid Ounce

Garnier Skin Renew Anti-Dark Circle Eye Roller, 0.50-Fluid Ounce

I have recently been trying out the Garnier Caffeine Anti-dark Circles Roll On. This is similar to their regular roll on which I have used for years. The roll on helps to distribute the fluid under your eyes and helps them to feel more awake. This version is tinted so covers and dark circles too. I usually gently roll the product under my eyes and then use my fingers to gently pat it in to my skin. You can purchase this from Boots for £9.99 or from Amazon here: Garnier Skin Renew Anti-Dark Circle Eye Roller, 0.50-Fluid Ounce

Boots No7 Perfect Light Pressed Powder, Translucent .35 fl oz (10 ml)

To set my make up I use No 7's Pressed Powder in Translucent by swirling my Kabuki brush in to the product and then buffing it into my skin. This is a pretty standard powder but sets your make up well without adding any colour. You can get it at Boots for £9 or from Amazon here: Boots No7 Perfect Light Pressed Powder, Translucent .35 fl oz (10 ml)

Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil, Hazel 002 1 ea

My brow hairs are pretty light in colour so I always like to fill them in. My favourite brow pencils are from Clarins and Smashbox but I really like Rimmel's Professional Eye Pencil which also has a brow groomer on the cap. The pencil isn't as easy and smooth to apply as the more expensive pencils but for the money its great. I usually get my pencil from Sainsburys when I am doing my grocery shopping for around £3 and you can also get it from Amazon here: Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil, Hazel 002 1 ea

L'Oreal Paris Telescopic Original Mascara, Carbon Black, 0.27-Fluid Ounce

I don't usually wear eye shadow on days when I'm not doing much but I always like to wear a coat of mascara as I always feel that it makes your eyes look more awake and open. My favourite is Loreal's Telescopic Mascara in Carbon Black which I usually get from Boots for £11.29 or from Amazon here: L'Oreal Paris Telescopic Original Mascara, Carbon Black, 0.27-Fluid Ounce

Nyx Powder Blush-angel (Pb03)

I don't usually wear blush on regular days but if I do I love NYX's blushes. They come in such a great range of colours which are really affordable. My favourites are Angel and Peach. (To read my top 5 NYX blushes post please click here). You can get them from NYX for £7.95 or from Amazon here: Nyx Powder Blush- Peach (Pbo6)
The Body Shop Coconut Lip Butter 0.29 oz

To finish off my make up I usually add my favourite lip balm which is the Coconut Lip Butter from the Body Shop. This has been one of my favourite lip products for years now and I love the white glossy look it gives your lips. I am also a huge fan of the entire coconut range and often use the body wash and butter too! You can purchase it from The Body Shop for £4 or from Amazon here: The Body Shop Coconut Lip Butter 0.29 oz
I hope that you have enjoyed my drugstore face make up routine post. Please feel free to share your favourite drugstore products with me below!
Maz x


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