Life Lately

Hello ladies & gents!

You might have noticed that I haven’t been posting as regular as I would have hoped to, which majorly sucks. I really enjoy blogging but it’s having to take a bit of a back seat at the moment.

If you follow me on Twitter then you’ll know that last year I moved from Manchester to South Wales, originally for University but that didn’t go to plan. I took a full time job as a Mental Health Support Worker, a similar job to what I was doing before hand but a change up with the type of clients I support. After absolutely loving it I applied for senior position and got it, woo!

So after being settled in my job I’ve taken the plunge to begin my Masters in Forensic Psychology at The Open University which is amazing if you have work and home life to juggle. It’s a 2 year course but it’ll hopefully get me on the path to becoming a Forensic Psychologist.. eek.

On top of all of that, not that I don’t have enough on my plate already but I’ve started my driving lessons which was much needed.

So life is pretty hectic lately.

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LUSH Cosmetics | Mini Haul

It’s been quite a while since i’ve done a Lush haul, my closest store now is Cardiff which isn’t that far away from where I live but I don’t tend to head that way often so when I was in Cardiff last week I HAD to go in store.

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I’ve been wanting to pick up Sleepy which is one of Lush’s recent new products for quite some time but I was holding out until I could try it first hand. There’s been a lot of attention on this especially from mums saying how it’s worked wonders with helping their kids sleep so I grabbed a sample of it in store and loved it so I went ahead and purchased the 95g pot (£7.95).

Sleepy has a gentle oatmeal infusion, calming lavender flower and sweet tonka absolute, it smells pretty incredible! I’m not quite sure whether it makes the little one sleep better as she’s always been a pretty good sleeper anyway and always has anything between 10-12 hours a night but it does make her skin incredibly soft and leaves her smelling amazing.

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I also grabbed the Lord of Misrule shower cream 250g (£10.75) which I tend to try and grab every year, it’s just a must have in my bathroom and I also grabbed the Lord of Misrule bath bomb (£3.95). Lord of Misrule has a herbal blend of patchouli, peppercorn and black pepper with an intriguing vanilla absolute sweetness, again with most Lush things it smells pretty darn incredible with the scent lingering on your skin hours after.

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Lastly I grabbed the Secret Arts jelly bomb (£4.95), i’m a huge fan of anything spooky and Harry Potter so this is perfect! Secret Arts has cinnamon leaf oil, Brazilian orange oil and sweet almond essential oil. I’ve not yet tried this one i’m saving it for one of those much needed pamper days but the sound of cinnamon leaf oil is perfect for these colder nights.

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What have you got on your Lush wish list?

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Get Ready For Autumn With These Cosy Knits!

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YAY jumper season is upon us and honestly i’ve never been so excited, i’m obsessed with cosy oversized jumpers they are my absolute favourite. I have to admit that I do get a little miffed off when we have the odd hot day and can’t wear my jumper, i’ve been ready for autumn/winter for so long.

So of course when the shops bring in their autumn wear I HAVE to raid their jumper sections adding more to my wardrobe, to be honest I probably don’t need them but I HAVE to have them. I headed to a couple of my favourite shops that never let me down when it comes to their autumn wear and successfully added to my ever growing collection!

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I picked up this New Look Light Grey Long Line Jumper (£9.99)if your a regular reader or if you know me personally then you will know that I LOVE grey so this jumper was given no second thought. This jumper is quite thin and light weight but is super comfy and keeps those arms toasty.

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I also headed over to Primark and grabbed this yellow/mustard knitted jumper (£15) it’s thicker than the New Look one I picked up so it would definitely hold up for the colder months, this paired with a pair of black Topshop Joni jeans and Old Skool Vans is my absolute fave!

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Lastly I headed to Asda, I always love their autumn ranges they tend to have quite a lot of berry colours which is right up my street. I picked up this navy oversized Knitted Tunic (£18) but I was unsure whether to keep it in my basket because I tend to steer away from blues and generally wear black, white, grey, burgundy & mustard colours but I tried it on and it looked AMAZING. As mentioned it’s oversized which is perfect for me as I always buy jumpers/t-shirts at least 2 sizes bigger than what I am, comfort is definitely key. This jumper keeps heat in so well with the close knits i’m always a toasty marshmallow in this!

What’s on your winter wish list? Comment below or tweet me @beautyandlittle

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Lemon Drizzle Loaf Cake

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 I haven’t done a baking post in quite some time and of course with Bake Off being back on TV baking is a must for me, naturally I had to bake one of my favourites.. lemon drizzle. I absolutely love cake and chocolate, but then again who doesn’t?! I could literally live off it which may have possibly contributed to the little lady being 9lb 12oz *hides*.

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Ingredients;

200g softened butter

200g caster sugar

4 medium eggs, beaten

250g self-raising flour

For the drizzle;

juice of 2 lemons and 1 whole lemon

100g granulated sugar

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Method;

Preheat your oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4. Line your loaf tin using parchment paper or a loaf case.

Weigh out your butter and caster sugar adding it to a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric whisk until light and creamy.

Gradually add your eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, add a little flour after adding your eggs. Fold in the rest of the flour.

Spread the mixture in the tin and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a skewer comes out cleanly.

To make your drizzle, squeeze the juice from the 2 lemons into a bowl and stir in 75g of the sugar.

Remove the cake from the oven and pierce it all over with a cocktail stick pouring over your lemon drizzle, leave the cake to cool in the tin.

Slice the remaining lemon and put it in a pan with the remaining 25g sugar and 8 tablespoons of water. Bring to the boil then simmer for 12-15 minutes until the lemon slices are tender, watching that the syrup doesn’t burn.

Arrange the slices on top of the cake.

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Not to blow my own trumpet but it tastes incredible!

I grabbed the recipe from Sainsbury’s and made some adaptions/removed a couple of steps but if you want to follow it step to step then you can find it here.

What’s your favourite cake?

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Yankee Candle | Spiced Orange

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As soon as 1st September hit like most bloggers it was autumn in my eyes, I always love this time of year, all the dark cosy nights in with autumn inspired candles, chunky knitwear & plenty of hot chocolates.. cliche I know.

Candles to me are the one thing that instantly makes any room look a little bit more cosier and homely, I tend to ALWAYS have a couple of candles in each room, I blame my mother for that but I was out of any autumn inspired candles so I was seriously lacking those cosy vibes. Of course that had to be dealt with, right?

 I headed straight over to the Yankee Candles and had a good old sniff of them all, Spiced Orange (£23.99) instantly caught my eye with it’s dark orange colour and scent. Spiced Orange has fragrance notes of fresh ginger, juicy citrus, ozone, spicy accord and sugared vanilla. It honestly smells incredible and fills the whole room with a spicy scent.

I opted for a large jar which burns between 110-150 hours, there’s nothing worse than your favourite candle running out after 20 hours. Usually I tend to stay away from Yankee Candles because of the price tag is pretty ridiculous at times but I just couldn’t say no to this!

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I’ve been burning this none stop for the past week, it honestly smells incredible and perfect for those cosy cold and rainy days!

What’s your perfect autumn scent?

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ELF Cosmetics | Getting Your Lips Autumn Ready

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I absolutely ADORE the autumn and winter months, so as soon as September approached I did a little squeal of excitement. Everything just feels SO much more cosier, give me all of the knitted jumpers, candles & hot chocolates.. cliche I know but I love it. Unfortunately for me what comes with the colder weather is dry lips so getting them autumn ready is essential!

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A good lip scrub is definitely needed to try and tackle those pesky dry lips, I tended to reach for Lush’s Santa Baby Lip Scrub but it does tend to be quite dry and ends up all over your finger so when I was that ELF had their own lip scrub that came presented like a lipstick I NEEDED it.

I was kindly sent the *ELF Studio Lip Exfoliator (£4.50) in sweet cherry, as mentioned the lip exfoliator comes in a lipstick container which makes it SO much easier to apply and completely mess free. The product is creamy but yet gently exfoliates your lips removing any dry and chapped skin. The studio lip exfoliator is infused with Vitamin E, Shea Butter, Avocado, Grape and Jojoba Oils leaving you with that perfect base for any matte lipsticks!

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This lip exfoliator has been a life saver, I have absolutely no problems what so ever when applying my matte lipsticks. My favourite go to autumn lipsticks have the be Kat Von D in Exorcism, Revlon Super Lustrous in Black Cherry, Sleek Makeup Matte Lipsticks in Vinto Tinto, Urban Decay in Disturbed and NYX Soft Matte Lip Creme in Havana.

How do you get your lips autumn ready? Do you have a favourite product?

 

*Product sent for review

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Cougar Cosmetics | Festival Makeup #CBFEST

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Festival season is still upon us with Leeds & Reading festival coming up this weekend, I must admit I am pretty jealous! The last festivals I attended is Parklife and Bingley which were like YEARS ago.. I kinda felt sorry for myself so i’ve had to do something about that and booked tickets for Nothing But Thieves in November YAY.

Cougar Cosmetics challenged bloggers to create their own festival inspired looks using their *’6 Shades Of Nude’ eyeshadow palette (£13), which features nude and copper mineral eyeshadows. With their beautiful warm colours and autumn fast approaching I had to do a more autumnal festival look, of course.

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If your one for nude & copper shades then this palette is definitely going to be right up your street, they are super pigmented with just one sweep across your eyelids and are so buttery blending amazingly well.

With their 6 shades it allows you to create a variety of day and night looks with amazing lasting power, perfect for those festivals.  What makes this palette handy for festivals is that it is so compact, it’s about the size of a blusher palette making it handbag friendly.

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Grab yourself 20% off their products using CBFEST211

*PR Samples*

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Arthur Price | Despicable Me

Despicable Me 3 has recently released in cinemas, I took the little lady to see it a couple of weeks ago and she absolutely LOVED it! it’s such a good film for both adults and kids. With the new release of Despicable Me 3 to celebrate Arthur Price have released their own china and cutlery range, so if your kids love Despicable Me then they will definitely love this, I must admit I am slightly jealous.

I was kindly sent over their *Sea of Minions three piece set (£24.95) and their *Sea of Minions four piece set of cutlery (£24.95) which has made meal time that little bit more exciting for the little one. Scarlett could barely contain her excitement to allow me to take photos before hand, to be honest I know exactly how she feels with that one when I buy a new product for the blog I literally don’t want to wait for a nice sunny day to take photos before using it and sometimes I sneakily use it.

The Sea of Minions three piece set comes with a little china cup, bowl and plate and the four piece cutlery set comes with four stainless steel cutlery including a knife, fork, tea spoon and spoon. The sets are vibrant to make meal times more fun and exciting for the little ones, Scarlett loves having her cereal from the minions bowl in the mornings. The sets are lightweight, high quality and dishwasher safe. All of their Despicable Me items come with free delivery and 15 year guarantee.

*products sent to review

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The Ordinary | High Coverage Foundation

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Good afternoon ladies & gents, it’s been quite a while since my last post. Life has been pretty hectic this last month or so and blogging has taken a back seat unfortunately but here we are with a new post. Heeeeeellllooo, how are you all!?

You will have probably heard of the brand The Abnormal Beauty Company/ DECIEM by now if you are active in the beauty world but just incase you have no idea what I’m talking about then they are a “humble and happy umbrella of good beauty brands” which owns and operates more than 10 different brands such as NIOD, Hylamide, The Chemistry Brand & The Ordinary.

A few of months ago I grabbed a couple of The Ordinary’s skincare items from Asos and I was over the moon with the results so when they announced that they were bringing a high coverage foundation out I HAD to own it!

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The foundation is available in 21 different shades which are then divided into four categories 1 for fair to lighter tones, 2 for medium tones and 3 for darker tones. To give even more variety there are then a second digit ranging from 0 to 3 which indicates the depth. Lastly the foundation has a letter which indicates shade for the undertone you need, P for pink, R for red, N for neutral and Y for yellow.

Hats off to them, I love how much variety there is for their foundation. It is literally super easy to choose your foundation and get it right.

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I headed over to Victoria Health to purchase my foundation, there was about a month  wait due to being in such high demand. I grabbed the shade 1.0N (£5.90) which is fair to light and neutral undertones.

The packaging is minimalistic but yet elegant, the foundation comes in a plastic frosted container again with simplistic design and a pump yay which makes dispensing mess free! The foundation is 30ml which is your standard size but the packaging makes it the perfect size for your handbag with the added benefit of a twist lock for added reassurance.

The Ordinary claim “when applied, the formulations blend in effortlessly with your natural tones and your skin glows. These foundations contain higher pigment levels than the Serum Foundations but still offer a smooth finish that avoids the heavy makeup look that can make skin appear more aged. The texture is that of a lightweight, non-oily cream.”

The picture below is of my skin before the foundation is applied. The current state of my skin is very poor with a bad outbreak on my cheeks and chin.  *sad face*.

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I applied The Ordinary’s High Spreadability Fluid Primer using a single pump of the foundation onto the back of my hand and proceeded to use the ‘Real Techniques Buffing Brush’ to apply it in a circular motion working outwards from the midpoint of my face.

The 1.0N shade is the PERFECT match for my skin as usually with other I have found that I have blend it further down my neck in order not to get a line of colour between the applied area and my regular skin. This foundation claims to be high coverage but once applied i’d say it’s around medium, there are still some red areas around my breakouts but nothing a little concealer won’t fix. This foundation blends really well into my skin and leaves a subtle glow which is much needed right now.

The downside I have found with this particular foundation is that it seems to layer up around my problem areas such as my chin and my nose resulting in a ‘cakey’ heavily applied look. This could be due to the current condition of my skin so I look forward to putting it through it’s paces once my skin is back up to scratch.

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Taking the previous points into account I am overly impressed with this range of shades and how perfect the colour matches my skin. I would definitely recommend this to anyone that has the struggles of finding a foundation to match their skin tone and with absolute steal of a price (£5.90) you have no reason not to go for it, after all it’s cheaper than most of the drug store brands!

Have you tried this foundation ? I would love to hear what you think below or maybe tweet me @beautyandlittle

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Afternoon Baking | 6 Tier Rainbow Cake

If you’ve been following my blog in the last couple of months then you will have noticed that i’ve been doing the odd afternoon baking post. I LOVE cake and just can’t get enough of it.. I literally have a second stomach for it, oh wait that might just be my little cake shelf *hides*.

For Scarlett’s first birthday my husband baked her a 6 tier rainbow cake and it was INCREDIBLE, my baking skills are somewhat poor with my cakes tending to be hit and miss so I set myself a challenge to make my own rainbow cake and it was an absolute success! So here is the recipe I used so you can bake your own.

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For the cake

350g self raising flour

3tsp baking powder

350g soft soft unsalted butter

350g caster sugar

6 large eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

splash of milk

For the frosting

100g unsalted butter, soft

250g cream cheese, at room temperature

600g icing sugar, sifted

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Method

  1. Preheat your oven to gas mark 4 and begin prepping your cake tins, for this I just grabbed mine from Poundland and some pre cut circle baking sheets which work a treat in them, saves a lot of fuss.
  2. Cream your butter and sugar together using an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy.
  3. Once your butter is light and fluffy add your eggs in one at a time.
  4. Begin to add your flour a little bit at a time with your hand mixer on slow, then add your baking powder and vanilla extract.
  5. Depending on how thick your mixture is add a splash of milk so it’s the correct consistency.
  6. Divide your cake mixture into six bowls, I did mine a heaped table spoon at a time to each bowl.
  7. Add your food colouring to each of the separated cake mixtures, for this I used Sugarflare gels they work wonders.
  8. Once your colours are mixed add them into your cake tins.
  9. Now it’s time to bake your cakes, I do mine 3 at a time for 15-20 minutes, prick your cakes with a cocktail stick to make sure they are fully baked, if there is mixture sticking to the stick then pop them back in for a couple more minutes.
  10. Once all baked leave them to fully cool down before frosting.
  11. Whilst your cakes are cooling now it’s time to make up your frosting, add your butter and cream cheese together combining it, once that’s done your can add your icing sugar in a little bit at the time until you get a thick consistency. Add it to the fridge to chill.
  12. Once all the cakes have cooled it’s time to assemble, add a small blob onto the centre of your cakes spreading it thinly and add your next layer, repeat this until your cakes are assembled.
  13. Crumb coat your cakes by applying a layer of frosting around the sides of your cakes which will fill any gaps. Chill for a hour after this.
  14. Apply a thick coat of frosting to your cake and using a side scraper even it out.

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What’s your favourite type of cake?

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