Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Topshop Spring Ensemble • Wardrobe Aspirations #1

2015 feels like the year of that my wardrobe is really going to grow up. I don't know what it is, I'm just ready to leave behind the converse and jeans combo that's been my uniform since I was about 13!
I'm newly in love with brogues, big structured handbags and smart chic spring coats.
A little preppy, a little vintage but still comfy and casual. There's been LOTS of Pinterest browsing and internet perusing to figure out my new wardrobe appetite. I put this ensemble together from Topshop; I'm really feeling the black, khaki, camel and tan combination! It feels neutral, which is comfortable for me but still colours that I wouldn't have looked twice at before this year.
It's still pretty grim outside, the wind and rain is absolutely assaulting my bedroom window as I type this, so light layers are the way to go. When the winter wind dies down, a big floppy hat like this is great to keep the newly emerging sun out of your eyes; while providing moderate protection from the freak rainy moments that can strike out of nowhere! I think any pop of nail polish colour would work with this neutral outfit but I came across Topshop's War Paint on Pinterest and I'm in love!
It's the perfect bright red that dances over to the peach/pink side of things; and although it's no longer available on Topshop's website it can be found on Feel Unique, so get your butt over there if you like it! I really enjoy putting look's together in this way so definitely stay tunes for more, yay!

What are your Spring style obsessions??

Friday, 20 March 2015

Golden Bronze & A Pink Flush

The first signs of spring are here; it's light at 7am, the first flowers are sprouting in the parks and you feel a tad warm in your thick winter parka. Your daring to dream of sandals, dresses, suntan's; and while it might be too soon for that particular seasonal shift, it's not too soon to let the tantalising signs of warmer weather inspire what you put on your face.

I have been really in love with a bronzed face and eyes with flushed cheeks and lips this month.
The L'Oreal Paris True Match Foundation has been my go too base this year. I picked it up in a shade slightly more golden than my true skin colour but it's close enough that it works, but gives my albino esq complexion a bit more colour. It's such a nice foundation, really natural and has great coverage!
Perfect for when it's not warm enough to break out the really light BB creams or tinted moisturisers but you still need to cover your sunshine deprived skin.

For more warmth, and a lazy girl's contour all in one, I always reach for The Body Shop Honey Bronzer. It's a perfect warm bronze and great for a paler complexion like mine. Sweeping just under the cheek bones and around the edge of the face adds colour and slims everything down, perfect!

I'm truly addicted to the Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette this year after receiving it for Christmas. For a girl who has never really worn eye shadow in her life, I have very hooded eyes and lids on the greasy side, I now wear it almost every day. Many an inappropriately heavy eye looks for everyday this year with this palette to blame! Chopper is a great bronze/copper colour that really makes any eye colour pop. It can be a bit dramatic for every day but recently I've been running it along the edge of my lid like an eye liner or over something like Suspect on the outer corner to intensify the crease.

Tarte's Amazonian Clay Blushes are hands down my favourite blushes; and I only own 2! They are perfectly pigmented, last all day and there really is a colour for everyone. Blissful is the perfect every day flush colour. A natural warm peach with just a hint of shimmer that gives a subtle glow.

Finally the Topshop Lipstick in Macaroon is the quintessential spring pink lippy colour. Apply for a beautiful peachy pop of pink or sweep lightly for a 'your lips but better' tint with some lipbalm.

What are you embracing on your face this first day of Spring??

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Easy Chocolate Brownies

I was watching the Great British Bake Off for Comic Relief the other night where Alexa Chung made her salted caramel brownies. Apart from it making me want to grow my bangs longer, I just know they'd look like curtains on me - think Hanson circa 1996, and smother my next batch of brownies in salted caramel *droooools*; but it reminded me how versatile and hard to get wrong brownies are!

With a lot if baking; it's either done, over done or underdone! With mere minutes in between for it all to go wrong. Brownies are great because of the larger bracket of time in which they can be acceptably done! And much if that done time would be considered under done with other bakes. But not the brownie! Cooked and hard on the outside but soft and gooier on the inside. I always pull my brownies out of the oven a tad sooner than a recipe recommends or if I think it needs a couple more minutes, I hold back!If you do the skewer/cocktail stick test on most cakes your looking for the stick to come out clean,but not with a brownie. You want the very middle to be only just done; keeping in mind that it will keep cooking for a few minutes outside of the oven, and continue to set slightly after that.

Brownies are also one of those great recipes where you can chuck in a variety of confectionery goodies to suit your mood. I love deviating from recipes; swapping, adjusting or adding to the key flavours. Much to my boyfriends displeasure if he's in the kitchen! Just bearing witness to my tampering can bring him out in a cold sweat! He's very much a 'stick to the recipe' kind of guy.
To add some texture to a plain chocolate brownie, add chopped up chunks of chocolate or chocolate chips. I love finding those melted bits of chocolate hiding in a brownie. And for some aesthetic interest add white chocolate. Want to give your brownie a grown up twist, add some dark chocolate.
Making brownies with a specific person in mind? Add in their favourite confectionery nibbles.
Anything that has chocolate in or on it works well; Maltesers, Minstrels, Revels. Chopped up Mars Bars, Snickers, Crunchie, Toffee Crisp! Any chocolate snack or bar. I made some for my boyfriends last birthday and added in his favourite Peanut M&M's, he wasn't sorry for my recipe deviation then! And I've even seen people place Creme Egg halves on top of their brownie batter.

So if your looking for something really easy to bake this weekend, maybe an indulgent treat for Mothers Day, then give the brownie a go - you can't go wrong with this BBC GoodFood recipe.
What would you add to your brownie??