Introducing: SARYA Couture Makeup - Review & Swatches

Thursday, 21 February 2019

SARYA Couture Makeup - Review & Swatches
Heads up fellow makeup junkies - Italy's luxury organic makeup brand SARYA is here and they have some gorgeous products to feast your eyes upon!

SARYA is a relatively new brand to the organic cosmetics market, having spent two years in development, they only officially launched in Summer last year. Their ethos is based around developing makeup that uses natural and organic ingredients that don't compromise on performance or results, and with sophisticated, sleek packaging to boot, you can see why there's been some buzz about them online. They are also proud to be certified organic (by Cosmetici Biologici) and cruelty-free (by PETA).

That said, I hadn't heard of SARYA until a package arrived via LoveLula (one of the brand's UK stockists) a couple of weeks ago. At present, their makeup range is fairly limited as they only sell a few lipsticks, eyeshadows and makeup brushes, but I was still excited nonetheless as the packaging is so beautiful. Inside, I discovered a cute faux-leather, branded makeup bag, a single eyeshadow compact, an eyeshadow brush and a lipstick, so it was time to have a play!

SARYA Couture Makeup Eyeshadow in Mocha
 SARYA Couture Makeup Eyeshadow in Mocha* (3.5g, £17.80, link)  and 201 All Over Shader Brush* (£11.60, link)

Single eyeshadow compacts seem to be coming back into vogue these days, as beauty consumers are streamlining and decluttering their makeup collections, and SARYA has four different shades to choose from which will definitely spark some joy in your makeup bag! These eyeshadows are made from an organic formula that features a blend of Apricot Oil, Avocado Oil and Shea Butter, and is free of parabens, mineral oils, fragrance and phthalates, which results in a silky smooth feel and makes them easy to blend.

As I mentioned earlier, the packaging is really sleek and opening it up, I was met with the most beautiful chocolate brown shade called Mocha. This is one of those versatile shades that works well all over the lid and as a crease/transition colour to add depth and smokiness. Richly pigmented, I've been reaching for this shade a lot recently as it's just so easy to wear, especially when applied with the 201 All Over Shader Brush. Featuring silky soft, synthetic Taklon bristles, this vegan-friendly brush is a great addition to your collection and the wider cut of the head lends itself perfectly to sweeping shadow all over the lid for a fuss-free finish.

SARYA Couture Makeup Lipstick in Lovecraft
SARYA Couture Makeup Lipstick in Lovecraft* (4g, £19.50, link) and Makeup Bag* (£13.30, link)

I'm like a magpie when it comes to luxury red lipsticks and SARYA's Lovecraft is an absolute stunner. Created from a 75% natural formula that has ultra-nourishing ingredients such as Coconut Oil, Beet Oil, Castor Oil and Palm Butter, and is free from the likes of petroleum, parabens, artificial colouring and fragrance, this lipstick glides on effortlessly and has some killer pigmentation - the swatch below was just one swipe!

Lovecraft is a warm red that's incredibly flattering to wear for a range of skin tones as it makes your teeth look whiter, and instantly brightens up your whole complexion. It has a semi-matte finish, feels very moisturising and lasted a good few hours before I needed to reapply (that was without eating/drinking though). As it's so pigmented, I'd recommend applying it with a lip brush for a perfect pout, and a lipliner would also come in handy to prevent any feathering later on in the day.

Lastly, I have to mention that awesome branded Makeup Bag! Made from bright red synthetic leather, I've had so many compliments about it and it's currently in my travel bag ready for any impromptu weekends away.

Swatches! SARYA Couture Makeup Eyeshadow in Mocha and Lipstick in Lovecraft
Swatches! SARYA Couture Makeup Eyeshadow in Mocha and Lipstick in Lovecraft

Shop the full range of SARYA Couture Makeup at

Have you heard of this brand before?

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DIY Beauty: Trying Out Abigail James' Berry Beauty Recipes For Dry Winter Skin & Hair #LoveFreshBerries

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

DIY Beauty: Trying Out Love Fresh Berries & Abigail James' Beauty Recipes #BerryBeauty
As much as I enjoy trialling new beauty products, I find it just as fun to whip up some DIY beauty recipes in my kitchen! I wanted to share some super easy ones that you can try out yourself at home, using a variety of fresh berries and all-natural ingredients that you may already have in your fridge or cupboard.  

I love eating all types of berries; strawberries are a definite favourite of mine, but I enjoy all the others too, especially blueberries and raspberries! Not only are they ridiculously good for you, low in fat and packed full of essential nutrients such as Vitamin C, but you can also use them to make your own natural skincare and hair care products which is handy if you're on a budget!

The three beauty recipes below have been created by the celebrity-facialist and skincare guru, Abigail James, and they use a mix of different fresh berries as the star ingredients so that both your skin and hair can reap their benefits. These are perfect for brightening up a dry or dull Winter complexion, and there's a hair mask recipe as well which is ideal for lacklustre hair. 

All of these recipes are made from 100% natural ingredients, so let's get stuck in!

DIY Beauty: Trying Out Love Fresh Berries & Abigail James' Beauty Recipes #BerryBeauty
 Mixed Berries Ultimate Face Mask

  • 1 large or 2 small Strawberries 
  • 4 Blackberries 
  • 8 Blueberries 
  • 7 Raspberries
  • 2 heaped tablespoon Oats 
  • 1 teaspoon of Honey 
  • 1 large tablespoon Yoghurt 
  • 1 tablespoon Coconut Oil 
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Almonds (optional) 

Place all the ingredients into a smoothie maker and blend for 20 to 30 seconds until everything is thoroughly mixed. Apply with your hands and gently massage over the face and neck, to work the mask into the skin and activate the exfoliating properties, avoiding the eye area. Leave on the skin for 5 to 10 minutes, then remove with a warm damp flannel or cloth.

Why It's Good For Your Skin:
This mask has an abundance of antioxidants, vitamins and essential minerals from all of the berries, and it's notably high in Magnesium, Zinc, Potassium and Vitamins A, C and K, the latter of which helps to support healthy blood vessels. Strawberries have natural AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) that exfoliate and brighten the skin to give it a real glowing boost! The other ingredients add their own benefits as well; Honey has incredible anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and healing properties for the skin, Coconut Oil is packed full of Vitamin E and acts as a natural hydrator, and the Oats gives the mask an extra gentle exfoliating action for even smoother skin.

Although it was a little messy to apply, the results were certainly worth it and I was really surprised by how well it worked! I left it on for the full 10 minutes and experienced a little tingling sensation due to the fruit acids but after rinsing, my skin felt silky smooth and looked noticeably brighter like I'd had a full night's sleep which is brilliant. I'd definitely make this again when my skin needs another all-natural, quick fix, radiance boost!

DIY Beauty: Trying Out Love Fresh Berries & Abigail James' Beauty Recipes #BerryBeauty
 Balancing and Brightening Face Mask

  • 15 Blueberries
  • 8 Blackberries
  • ½ teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 large teaspoon Honey
  • 1 Green Tea bag
  • 1 tablespoon Natural Yoghurt

Boil the kettle and steep your Green Tea bag (White Tea is also an option) and place all the other ingredients into a blender. Remove the teabag, cut it open and add the tea leaves to the blender. Blend for 15 to 20 seconds. This mask is a little runny in texture so you might want to apply it with an artist's paintbrush. Apply one layer evenly over the face, then a second and possibly a third if required. Leave to dry on the skin for 5 to 10 minutes and then dampen your face with a warm flannel or cloth before removing. Finish with a tiny amount of Almond Oil, or your normal facial serum or moisturiser.

Why It's Good For Your Skin
Both Blueberries and Blackberries are little powerhouses of nutrients which makes this mask particularly beneficial for blemish-prone skin. Blueberries contain Salicylates (the salt aspect of Salicylic acid), a widely used antibacterial ingredient found in many skincare products to target spots, large pores, acne and general breakouts, whereas Blackberries are high in Vitamin A which is an essential vitamin when treating breakouts. The high water content of the berries also adds hydration to the skin without contributing extra oil, and their amazing blend of minerals (especially Zinc) are great for problem skin. As mentioned above, Honey has antifungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, whilst Cinnamon also has its own antibacterial and soothing benefits. Green Tea is included as it's very high in antioxidants and soothing properties and Natural yogurt is used to help restore the skin's flora and acid-alkaline levels.

This mask was a lot runnier than I expected but I followed Abigail's advice and used a paintbrush to apply it which made it much easier to handle. As I applied the layers, the mask tightened as it dried which felt really satisfying and then I removed it with a warm face cloth. Looking in the mirror, my complexion did look more glowy and brighter overall and as my skin type is combination that's prone to breakouts, I think this would be a useful natural treatment for me to incorporate into my routine.

DIY Beauty: Trying Out Love Fresh Berries & Abigail James' Beauty Recipes #BerryBeauty
Hair Restoring Strawberry Mask

  • 3 Strawberries
  • 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Honey
  • 1 Egg White
  • 1 sprig of Rosemary or 4 drops of Rosemary/Lavender Essential Oil 

Blend all the ingredients together thoroughly for 20 to 30 seconds. This can be a little messy to apply so best done in the bathroom over the sink. Apply to dry hair; start in the middle of your hair at the root and apply small amounts down the parting. Massage in, then separate the hair and continue to apply all over the scalp, massaging in each time. Then apply whatever is left to the lengths of your hair. Give the scalp a good massage, pile your hair on top of your head and leave on for 20 minutes. Thoroughly rinse off then wash with your normal shampoo and a very small amount of conditioner.

Why It's Good For Your Hair
Strawberries are very high in Vitamin C which supports healthy circulation as it boosts Iron absorption, and they also contain natural Silica for healthy and stronger hair growth. Olive Oil is included to deeply nourish and the proteins in the Egg White help to support the scalp and prevents any excess oiliness. To further boost this natural tonic treatment, Apple Cider Vinegar gives the hair a beautiful glossy finish, while Honey strengthens the hair follicle and Rosemary stimulates blood flow for a healthy scalp.

You definitely need to apply this hair tonic mask over a sink as Abigail recommends because it is quite liquidy and I enlisted the help of my sister to cover the back of my head for me as I found this part a little tricky. Once massaged in though, I could feel a slight tingling like the mask was 'working'  and after rinsing it out, my hair had a gorgeous glossy sheen to it which was impressive! My scalp also felt really good, almost like it had been thoroughly cleansed, so I'd recommend this to anyone who has a dry or itchy scalp like mine.

Give these DIY Berry Beauty Recipes a try and let me know what you think!

[This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Love Fresh Berries]

Do you enjoy DIY Beauty?

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My Health & Fitness Journey: 10 Things I've Learnt and How I've Lost Weight (No Crash Diets!)

Monday, 18 February 2019

My Health & Fitness Journey: 10 Things I've Learnt
For those of you that follow me on Instagram, you may have seen me post a couple of health and fitness updates throughout the past year. Many of you have been asking me what exercise I do, how often, how I've lost weight etc, so I thought I'd compile a special feature on here to share what I've been doing.

A Little Background Info
Last year I turned 31, and a month or so before, I witnessed a relative spend some time in hospital. It triggered something in me - it was time to start thinking about the future properly and addressing some ongoing health concerns which had been progressively getting worse. Throughout my 20s, I've been battling an autoimmune illness which has meant that I'm prone to getting regular bouts of cold and flu, and has at times, left me thoroughly exhausted and bedridden with my whole body aching. My migraines and eczema flare-ups were becoming more severe and frequent, I was having lots of stomach pains and was eventually diagnosed with IBS, and my mental health was suffering due to Stress, Depression and Anxiety. On top of all that, my weight was continuing to go up and up which only added to all of the above problems and my self-esteem and confidence was at an all-time low.

How I Got Started
I've always followed a lot of fitness people on Instagram and one day, I decided to try out a Joe Wicks HIIT workout on YouTube. It lasted 10 minutes and I could barely get through 5, that's how unfit I was. However, I was determined not to buy the next size up of jeans and started doing 10 minutes of HIIT here and there throughout the week. I gave up a lot of times, especially during the first three months, but when I started to see the physical changes, I stuck with it. The progress was a lot slower than I wanted it to be due to these constant stops and starts, so don't worry if you're the same and struggle to motivate yourself. Just treat each day as it comes and if you didn't manage to do a workout today, make sure that you do one tomorrow.

Getting Into Healthy Eating
Much of my diet throughout my 20s was mainly based on convenience foods - anything that was ready in 10 minutes was a good thing! I picked up a lot of bad habits from my family who have never been into healthy cooking, as well as from housemates (being a student doesn't help!). I watched a lot of cooking programmes on YouTube and started to mess around in the kitchen trying to recreate some of the meals. I had a 50/50 success rate in the beginning, but I'm now a much more confident cook and when I'm in the right mood, I actually enjoy it! I've tried a lot of new foods and I'm currently focusing on improving my gut health to lessen the symptoms of my IBS.

How Much Weight I've Lost
I started this about a year and a half ago and I've managed to lose just over two and a half stone, going down from a UK size 12/14 to a size 6/8 on top and size 8 on the bottom. I no longer weigh myself and now stick to taking measurements around my waist and bum every so often, but I'm pretty happy at this maintaining stage.

The Exercise I Do Now
Doing HIIT and spinning is amazing for blasting away excess fat, but I didn't feel all that stronger in myself. To remedy this, I've added in some weight training and also do Pilates and Yoga for additional strength and a healthy mind. I get bored very easily though, so I like to switch things up throughout the week to keep it interesting. I generally workout 3-4 times a week, but this does vary depending on my energy levels and overall motivation. I try not to get too stressed about it if I miss a workout as I'll try again the next day. Side note: I do all of my exercises at home as the very idea of setting foot in a gym gives me a panic attack - that's not for me! Plus it's cheaper this way anyhow ;)

My Health & Fitness Journey: 10 Things I've Learnt
10 Things I've Learnt

1. Doing 10 minutes of exercise every day is better than doing an hour-long session at the gym once a fortnight.
You don't need to spend hours in the gym to lose weight, tone up or feel physically stronger. When I started, I only did around 10 minutes of HIIT 2-3 times a week for about a month before I started getting into it and the pounds were beginning to slowly come off just by doing that. Check out Joe Wicks on YouTube and Davina McCall's Toned In 10 to get you in the right mindset.

2. Stop Making Excuses. Seriously. Just Stop It.
The one thing that I love the most about anything do to with fitness and losing weight, is that you simply can't buy the perfect body. If you want to lose weight properly and keep it off, you have to work hard at it and anyone can do it, regardless of how much money you do or don't have; whether you have kids or not. Stop making excuses and get on with it.

3. If you can spend 3 hours a day on social media, you can do 10 minutes of exercise.
If I had a £1 for every person that I see on social media complain (constantly) that they haven't got any time to do any exercise, to meal prep or to cook a proper meal at least once a week, I'd be a multi-millionaire! You do have time - stop wasting it scrolling through mindless memes and reading the comment sections - get off your phone and go and workout instead!

4. Crash Diets & Detox Teas - They Don't Work In The Long Term So Please Stop Buying Them
Sure, only drinking laxative teas for two weeks will show you a lower number on the scales, but the minute that you start eating solid food again, that figure is going to go up and you will end up putting on any weight that you temporarily lost (and usually more). They're a stupid fad and aren't a sustainable way to keep weight off, so please stop wasting your money.

5. Look After Your Gut
You may have heard about Gut Health in the news as it's been a huge wellness highlight over the past two years and when you stop to think about it, it's actually just common sense. For a good starting point, Liz Earle's The Good Gut Guide is very useful for beginners, and both Lee Holmes and Dale Pinnock have some excellent books for more in-depth guidance. I would also recommend looking into Ayurveda which has Gut Health (or 'Agni / Digestive Fire') as one of its core concepts.

One of my Foodie Friday posts - Quinoa Pizza!

6. Learn To Cook From Scratch
This time last year I barely knew how to boil an egg, but if you're serious about losing weight and improving your health, you really need to learn how to cook your own wholesome, healthy meals from scratch so that you have full control over the ingredients and portion sizes. Cooking tutorials on YouTube are brilliant and I have a stack of cookbooks from popular foodies such as Deliciously Ella and the Hemsley sisters. I also post regular Foodie Friday features on here so keep an eye out for those.

7. A Cheat Meal Is OK - A Cheat Day Is Not
If you've been sticking to your exercise routine, indulging in one cheat meal a week is not going to completely derail your fitness goals. In fact, I find that they're a good way to stay on track because it helps keep you sane mentally and combats certain cravings. However! A whole 24-hour binge day, when you haven't reached your target weight yet, will definitely cancel out any calorie deficit that you've built up over the week so just stick with the one cheat meal. 

8. Meal Prep Sunday
I've gotten into the habit of planning my meals in advance by doing some kind of meal prep on a Sunday so that I know what I'm going to be eating that following week. It stops you from wasting food and is a great way to stick to a weekly food budget. Visit your nearest charity shop to look for cheap cookbooks or check some out for free from your local library to get meal ideas. The internet is full of inspiration as well of course!

9. Ditch The Scales
I'll be the first to admit that it's easy to become fixated on what your weight is when you can see it so clearly in plain numbers on your scales, but honestly, one of the best things that I did was to throw them away. Your weight will fluctuate throughout the month (more so with women who typically carry more water weight than men, especially when you're on your period) and let's not forget that muscle weighs more than fat anyway. I found that keeping track using a tape measure around your waist, bum etc, was much more useful for my own personal goals.

10. It's Not A Diet, It's A Lifestyle
I hate the word 'diet' because it has so many negative connotations within our society and is often associated with misery and starvation. Instead, for successful weight loss where you keep it off for good, you should think of it as a lifestyle and not something temporary. I know it sounds cliched, but you want to strive to be the best version of yourself and not a yo-yo dieter who cycles between binges and deprivation. Being healthy, for body and mind, is a long-term game plan.

Going forwards: Whilst I love the fact that I've lost the extra weight and feel physically stronger, I'm still struggling with the mental health side of things and exercise alone hasn't improved my migraines as much as I'd hoped, so there's a lot I have to continue working on. It's definitely a journey but at least I've made a start!

Are you into health and fitness?

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Foodie Friday: Creamy Banana & Cacao Pudding (Dairy-Free / Vegan recipe)

Friday, 15 February 2019

Banana & Cacao Pudding (Dairy-Free / Vegan recipe)
I've been having some major chocolate cravings this week and after a quick look in my fridge, I decided to whip up this Creamy Banana & Cacao Pudding which is a tasty way to use up any overripe bananas that you may have laying around. 

This pudding couldn't be simpler to make and if you're into healthy eating, you'll probably have most of the ingredients in your fridge or kitchen cupboard already. If not, you can easily pick them up from any large supermarket and many of the budget discounters such as Aldi and Lidl now stock products like Cacao Powder - just make sure that you buy a 100% raw version that doesn't contain any other ingredients. Alternatively, high street shops like Holland and Barrett and TK Maxx have an excellent selection available, or you can purchase it online.

Cacao Powder is made from unroasted cocoa beans and as a result, retains all of its essential nutrients such as Magnesium and Copper so you get a good health boost from it, as well as a delicious, rich chocolate flavour. Both the Bananas and Avocado in this recipe give the pudding additional vitamins, minerals, and a source of healthy fats for a truly guilt-free dessert to enjoy after dinner. I highly recommend sprinkling over some Pomegranate Seeds and Cacao Nibs for further health benefits, flavour and a yummy crunch!

Banana & Cacao Pudding (Dairy-Free / Vegan recipe)
Ingredients: (makes two standard ramekin-sized puddings)
  • 2 overripe fairtrade Bananas
  • 1 ripe Avocado
  • 200ml Coconut Milk (from a tin)
  • 2tbsp Cacao Powder (I used Bioglan)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 tsp Maple or Agave Syrup
  • Pomegranate Seeds & Cacao Nibs (optional, to serve)

  • Slice up the Bananas and chop up the Avocado into chunks. Place in a food processor and then add in the Vanilla, Cacao Powder, and Maple/Agave Syrup. Blitz until smooth.
  • Give the tin of Coconut Milk a good shake and then measure out 200ml. Switch the food processor back on and pour it in whilst blending. Whizz until you have a thick, creamy and pudding-like consistency.
  • Divide the mixture into two ramekins and pop them in the fridge for half an hour if you want them to set a little more, otherwise, sprinkle over some Pomegranate Seeds and Cacao Nibs if using and dig right in! 

Banana & Cacao Pudding (Dairy-Free / Vegan recipe)
Are you a fan of healthy puddings?

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Currently Loving: Ere Perez Sesame Lip Liners - Review & Swatches

Thursday, 14 February 2019

Ere Perez Sesame Lip Liners - Review & Swatches
Happy Valentine's Day everyone! For the most kissable day of the year, I just had to feature these amazing Sesame Lip Liners from Ere Perez which I've been wearing practically every day since they arrived a couple of weeks ago. To say I'm smitten with them is an understatement!

Ere Perez are an Australian luxurynatural, cruelty-free makeup brand who I've reviewed several products from in the past (you can check out those here). A while ago, they underwent something of a makeover with streamlining their packaging and changing up some of their formulas, so it's been a pleasure to revisit them to see what's changed and what's new.

Ere Perez Sesame Lip Liners - Review & Swatches
As many of my regular readers will know, I'm obsessed with lipsticks and lip liners, and when I saw Ere Perez's Sesame Lip Liners they were very quickly added to my online LoveLula basket! 

There are only three shades available at the moment which is a little disappointing for a makeup junkie like myself, however, the good news is that all three are absolutely beautiful and very wearable. In fact, if you currently don't have any lip liners in your makeup collection, these would make an excellent purchase to start you off in the right direction as they can be easily paired with most 'everyday' neutral colours of your favourite lipsticks.

What I love the most about these Sesame Lip Liners is that they're made with natural plant waxes such as Carnauba and Candellia, plus they're infused with Sesame, Jojoba and Sweet Almond Oils and have added Vitamin E. This formula makes the liners super easy to use as they're creamy, matte, glide on without dragging and I've found them to be long-lasting as well. You can use them as intended to line your pout, and I've also been enjoying wearing them all over the lips as you'll see in my swatches below.

If you're looking for a lip liner with natural ingredients, brilliant matte pigmentation, easy to wear shades and a long-lasting finish, I think you'll love these as much as I do!

Ere Perez Sesame Lip Liner in Shy
 Ere Perez Sesame Lip Liner in Shy
Shy is a universally pleasing nude colour that will suit a range of skin tones. I have so many lipsticks in my collection that this works so well with, and as you can see, it's gorgeous just on its own as well. Perfect with a smokey eye for your next date night!

Ere Perez Sesame Lip Liner in Sweet
Ere Perez Sesame Lip Liner in Sweet*
If you're more of a fan of pretty pinks, Sweet is the one for you. This creamy, nude pink is the ideal match for many light-medium pink lipsticks and is another colour that looks beautiful worn simply all over the lips.

Ere Perez Sesame Lip Liner in Naughty
Ere Perez Sesame Lip Liner in Naughty*
The last shade is Naughty and this cheeky nude is a touch darker than Shy above, so it goes well with lots of on-trend, 90s nude lippies that lean more towards the darker beige/brown side of the colour spectrum. It's another one that looks great on its own too!

Ere Perez Sesame Lip Liners* (1.1g, £17 each) are available in the UK from

Have you tried anything from Ere Perez?

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Project Pan #6: 6 Months Of Makeup Empties

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Project Pan #6: 6 Months Of Makeup Empties
Fans of Marie Kondo and the decluttering trend will love the concept of a Project Pan, especially if you want to streamline your makeup collection and stop wasting money on products that you never use.

I've been a keen Project Panner for a long time now and although it might sound strange, I find it hugely satisfying to use up a makeup product. Similar to my popular monthly Empties posts that contain skincare and bodycare items that I've finished off, I've been saving my make-up empties for these six-month Project Pan posts to keep track of what I've been using up.

If you haven't heard of a Project Pan before, it's basically where you choose a number of makeup products from your collection to completely use up, and often, many Project Panners will tie this in with doing a No Buy challenge (e.g they won't buy any more mascara until their opened ones are finished off first). It's a great way to save money, clear out any old or expired products (I generally do this before choosing my products), and rediscover some old makeup favourites that you may have pushed to the back of the drawer and forgotten about.

So! Here are the results are my latest six-month Project Pan if you're curious to find out what I've been mainly using recently and whether I would repurchase any of them again. I initially chose 20 products as my target, but fell a little short of the mark and finished up 17 instead - but that's still pretty good going for me!

Project Pan #6: 6 Months Of Makeup Empties
Tweezerman Browmousse
My brows have a mind of their own if I don't tame them with something and I've used Tweezerman's Browmousse in the past with good results. Another one arrived via a beauty box and I like it because it doesn't flake or go crunchy throughout the day. Repurchase? There are cheaper, similar products out there so probably not. 

Collection Super Size Fat Lash Mascara
Another beauty box find but one that was totally rubbish to be frank! It gave me panda eyes within an hour of wearing it and dried out quickly too. Repurchase? Nope!

Lily Lolo Mineral Blush in Ooh La La
It's incredibly rare that I repurchase blushers because they take an eternity to use up, but I loved this one so much that I immediately bought it again when I lost the original on holiday. Ooh La La is a gorgeous everyday pink that instantly makes my complexion look healthier and more awake. It's only taken me about three years to finish this one up! Repurchase? I'm sure I will at some point.

Eyeko Fat Liquid Eyeliner*
Whilst I adore Eyeko's Black Magic Liquid Eyeliner, this Fat one was really disappointing. The nib is just way too chunky to work with IMO, although it does have great pigmentation and staying power. Repurchase? Not for me. 

RMS Beauty Un-Cover Up in 22*
Featured in a previous Project Pan here, this multi-purpose foundation and concealer is a firm favourite of mine and I can imagine that I'll always have one of these in my makeup collection. My shade is 22 which is a perfect match for my skin tone and I just love the light-medium, buildable coverage that it offers. Repurchase? Yes.

Project Pan #6: 6 Months Of Makeup Empties
Laura Mercier Second Skin Cheek Colour in Orange Blossom
LM's Second Skin Cheek Colours are some of the most flattering blushers that I've ever tried and this shade Orange Blossom has been in my stash for a long time. The formula is beautifully light and blends so easily (hence the name), and this colour was simply sheer peachy goodness. Repurchase? I think these may have been discontinued? :(

Doucce Fierce & Fine Graphic Pen Liner*
Argh, this is one of those annoying liquid eyeliners which is amazing in every possible way (staying power, pigmentation, ultra-fine skinny nib for precise flicks etc), but it dried up within a month of opening it! Repurchase? No.

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation in 5 Medium
If someone asked me today to pick a holy grail liquid foundation, it would be Charlotte Tilbury's Magic Foundation without a doubt. It covers all of my imperfections but doesn't make me feel or look like I'm wearing a thick mask. Worth every penny, though the bottle is a nightmare to get the last remnants out of. Repurchase? Yes.

Munio Miscui Skin Perfecting Veil in Nude*
I was very kindly given another one of these beauties at a blogger event last year and it's been my go-to setting powder ever since. Super finely milled, it's talc and preservatives free and gives the most natural looking 'my skin but better' finish. Repurchase? Yes.

Jane Iredale Smooth Affair Primer & Brightener*
One of my favourite primers, Jane Iredale's Smooth Affair goes on like silk and provides a lovely base for makeup, whilst also making your skin look brighter and more glowy. Many supermodels use it as a hangover/long flight pick me up and I can see why! Repurchase? Definitely want to buy the full-size.

Ilia Tinted Lip Conditioner in Nobody's Baby
For the ultimate low maintenance, throw it in your handbag and re-apply without a mirror lip product, you can't go wrong with the Ilia Tinted Lip Conditioners. Nobody's Baby is their everyday neutral pink shade and I'm pretty sure this is the second or third tube that I've gone through. It's very moisturising and has a lovely glossy finish. Repurchase? Yes.

Project Pan #6: 6 Months Of Makeup Empties
Clinique Colour Pop in Nude Pop
This lippie from Clinique is sort of similar to Nobody's Baby, but it offers more colour and is more of a standard satin lipstick finish. I liked it a lot, however I did find that it dried out my lips every now and then. Repurchase? Probably not.

Kiko Long Lasting Eyeshadow Stick in 06
I find cream eyeshadow sticks so easy to use as you can simply swipe them on, blend with your fingers and you're good to go, so I reached for this quite often on a day-to-day basis when I was in a rush in the morning. 06 is a great shimmery bronzey/taupe shade that accentuates dark brown eyes beautifully. Repurchase? Yes.  

MEMI Expert Liner*
I'm not having much luck with liquid eyeliners lately - this is very similar to the Doucce one above as it performed so well and was really easy to use, but again, I found that it dried up too quickly for my liking (and I always make sure the lids are on properly - how disappointing!)Repurchase? No.

Charlotte Tilbury Mini Miracle Eye Wand in 2
This is Charlotte's answer to the Touche Eclat and it features a double ended tip with a brightening concealer on one side and an eye cream on the other. I LOVE the concealer end but the eye cream side proved to be too heavy, greasy and rich for my skin which is a such a shame because it puts me off buying it again as I loathe wasting product. Repurchase? No, but I'll try out her other concealers instead.

Doucce Maxlash Volumizer Mascara*
I was very impressed with this mascara - it gave me massive, wide awake lashes and definitely helped to lengthen, thicken and define them so it's a great all-rounder! Repurchase? Yes.

GOSH Forever Eyeshadow Metallic Eyeshadow Stick in 03 Light Copper
GOSH are a hugely underrated makeup brand IMO and their eyeshadow sticks are comparable with the KIKO ones above in terms of price and performance. They glide on easily and stay put all day, what more could you ask for? This shade 03 Light Copper is brilliant for brightening up the waterline or simply adding a glossy sheen of coppery gold all over the lids. Repurchase? Yes.

Have you ever done a Project Pan?
Have you tried any of the products that I used up?

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Tried & Tested: Grahams Natural Manuka Honey Soap for Dry Skin and Psoriasis Cream review

Monday, 11 February 2019

Grahams Natural Manuka Honey Soap for Dry Skin and Psoriasis Cream review
One of the best things about the internet is being able to find a wide range of products to help treat Eczema and Psoriasis, both of which I've had since I was a child. If you've been following my blog for a while now, you'll have no doubt seen me mention my struggles with eczema flare-ups, especially at this time of the year and when the seasons change.

Both Eczema and Psoriasis can be incredibly debilitating depending on the severity of the individual's symptoms, and I had one of the worst Pompholyx flare-ups (also known as Dyshidrotic Eczema) over Christmas which I'm still trying to get under control now. For these reasons, I'm always open to trying out products which are specially formulated to help these conditions as I have found that it can sometimes take a lot of trial and error before you find something that really works for you.

Lately, I've been trying out these two products from the Australian brand Grahams, and like so many companies that specialise in this area, Grahams was set up by a husband and wife team to help their son who was suffering from eczema and needed a more natural alternative to what was available on the market. After 17 years of perfecting their formulas, they now have a range of products which are dedicated to those who need something more natural based and steroid-free, to soothe their Eczema, Psoriasis and Dry Skin problems.

Grahams Natural Manuka Honey Soap for Dry Skin and Psoriasis Cream review
Grahams Natural Manuka Honey Soap* (100g, £6.99, link)
If you have any kind of dry skin condition, you may find switching your regular hand wash and/or your shower gel to a more gentle soap can really help to alleviate some of the symptoms. I personally find that my eczema is often triggered by SLS that's the commonly used foaming ingredient in many mainstream products, so I try to avoid it as much as possible. 

Grahams Natural Manuka Honey Soap is free from SLS and sulphates, and instead is made from just seven natural ingredients; Palm Oil, Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Purified Water, Glycerin, Manuka Honey and Neem Leaf Powder. It produces a light lather and feels very moisturising, but doesn't have any noticeable scent to it so I like using it mainly as a hand soap, although it does work well in the shower if you want something that feels very neutral and 'clean'. The only negative is that I would prefer to use a soap that's made without palm oil, so I'm not sure that I would repurchase it.

Grahams Psoriasis Cream* (75g, £19.99, link)
I've had a stubborn patch of Psoriasis on both of my hands since the start of the year so this Psoriasis Cream arrived at the perfect time for me to test it out! Described as a 'Class 1 Formulated Medical Device' in Australia, this product is an effective, non-sterile topical emollient with clinical data to back up its formula. Key ingredients include Purified Water, Manuka Honey, Calendula, Urea, Avocado Oil, Gotu Kola Extract, Jojoba Oil and Shea Butter to bring instant relief to the symptoms of Psoriasis.

It's a relatively thick cream product as you'd expect from a product of this nature, but it doesn't feel overly sticky or greasy and depending on how much you apply, you may be surprised by how quickly this absorbs compared to similar emollients that I've tried in the past. The fragrance-free formula will also be appreciated by those who have sensitive skin, and the cream can be used anywhere on the body and face. It's not been a miracle worker for my psoriasis, but it has definitely helped to improve the worst of it by keeping the skin nicely moisturised, so if you're looking to try something different, it's certainly worth a go.

Grahams products are available in the UK via

What do you use for managing eczema and psoriasis?

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Foodie Friday: 3 Ways With Porridge - Quinoa, Barley and Polenta (Vegan & Dairy-Free recipes)

Friday, 8 February 2019

3 Ways With Porridge - Quinoa, Barley and Polenta (Vegan & Dairy-Free recipes)
Stuck in a porridge rut? Bored of having oats every morning? Why not try out some different ingredients as the base to jazz things up a bit - all three of these comforting bowls are healthy, wholesome and filling!

Porridge ranks very highly as one of my favourite breakfasts to enjoy during Winter. In fact, I often eat it throughout the year, but there's something extra comforting about wrapping your hands around a steaming bowl of porridge on a cold Winter's morning; it's the food equivalent of a good cuppa when it's freezing outside.

However, porridge can get a little boring, especially if you eat it every day so I like to raid my kitchen cupboard and try out some different ingredients to keep things interesting. The best thing about porridge is how wonderfully customisable it is - from the toppings, to the consistency (just add more or less milk/water to suit your Goldilocks preference), and the actual base ingredients - you never have to get stuck making the same recipe over and over again if you don't want to.

To give you some porridge inspiration, here are three of my favourite ways to make it, all of which are vegan-friendly and dairy-free.

Creamy Quinoa Porridge with Agave Syrup, Pumpkin & Sunflower Seeds
Creamy Quinoa Porridge with Agave Syrup, Pumpkin & Sunflower Seeds

Quinoa is one of the most versatile gluten-free pseudo-grains around, and if you haven't tried it as a porridge yet, this is the perfect recipe for you! It's much lighter and easier to digest than regular oats, and to make it have a creamy consistency, simply pair it with a plant-based milk such as Cashew or Coconut, which also gives it extra flavour. Packed full of protein, B vitamins and minerals, it's a super healthy way to start your day and will keep you full until lunchtime.

Ingredients: (for one)
  • 40g White Quinoa
  • 200ml Water
  • 200ml Cashew or Coconut Milk
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • Sprinkle of Pumpkin and Sunflower Seeds (to serve)
  • Drizzle of Agave Syrup (to serve)

  • Rinse the Quinoa well and then add to a small saucepan with the Milk and Water
  • Bring to the boil, partially cover with a lid and then reduce to a simmer. 
  • Cook for 20-30 minutes until the Quinoa is soft. Add the Vanilla Extract and Cinnamon and give it a good stir.
  • Add a splash more water or milk if desired to get the right consistency, and transfer to a bowl.
  • Sprinkle over the Pumpkin and Sunflower Seeds, and add a generous drizzle of Agave Syrup. Enjoy!

Cacao & Barley Flakes Porridge with Sliced Dates and Flaked Coconut
Cacao & Barley Flakes Porridge with Dates and Flaked Coconut

If you don't want to stray too far out of your porridge comfort zone, give Barley Flakes a go instead of your regular oats. They are incredibly similar to oats, yet have a slightly denser, nuttier flavour and a chewier texture, so if you prefer a 'chunkier' type of porridge, like I often do, Barley Flakes are a brilliant alternative. They're full of beneficial fibre and minerals too. I love going all out with this recipe and making the most indulgent porridge ever with gooey sliced Medjool Dates, Cacao Powder to give it a rich chocolate flavour and a plentiful amount of Flaked Coconut on the top - simply heaven in a bowl!

Ingredients: (for one)
  • 40g Barley Flakes
  • 120ml Water
  • 160ml Almond or Soya Milk
  • 1 tsp Cacao Powder
  • 2-3 Medjool Dates (pitted and sliced)
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Flaked Coconut (to serve)

  • Add the Barley Flakes, Water and Milk to a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the Cacao Powder, Dates, Cinnamon and Vanilla Extract and give it a good stir.
  • Reduce to a simmer and cook for 5-10 minutes, depending on how chewy or soft you want the Barley Flakes to be. 
  • Check the consistency, adding more water or milk if desired and then transfer to a bowl.
  • Top with the Flaked Coconut and dig in!

Sweet Polenta Porridge with Cardamon, Sesame Seeds and Maple Syrup
Sweet Polenta Porridge with Cardamon, Sesame Seeds and Maple Syrup

Polenta is rather underrated and overlooked here in the UK, but it's very cheap and filling, plus it's low-fat and provides a source of protein and fibre, so it's a good base ingredient to use if you want to lose some weight. Add some Cardamon for a delicious twist, a splash of Maple Syrup for sweetness and Sesame Seeds bring some additional nutrients and nutty flavour. Ready in just three minutes, it's perfect for busy morning people so there's no excuse to skip breakfast.

Ingredients: (for one)
  • 40g Polenta
  • 110ml Water
  • 110ml Rice, Almond or Soya Milk
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cardamon
  • Sprinkle of Sesame Seeds (to serve)
  • Drizzle of Maple Syrup (to serve)

  • Add the Polenta, Water, Milk and Ground Cardamon to a small saucepan over a medium heat and cook for three minutes. You'll need to stir it continuously to prevent it from sticking.
  • Check the consistency and add more water or milk if desired. Transfer to a bowl, sprinkle over the Sesame Seeds and finish it off with a generous drizzle of Maple Syrup. Enjoy!

What's your favourite way to enjoy Porridge?

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