Saturday, 29 March 2014

Seven Spring/Summer Essentials

Now that spring is here (although where I am it doesn't feel like it) I thought I would share with you some of my spring/summer musts.

1. Contemporary young adult books.
A little snapshot of some of my contemporary YA books for you - all of which are brilliant!                         
I love reading outside in spring and summer and I think light books with lots of humour are a great read at  this time of the year. They are easy to read and always make me feel really happy. Some good examples are: Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan, Just One Day by Gayle Forman and Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins.

2. Pastel Nail Varnish
(Left to right) Maybelline Super Stay in mint for life, Barry M matte in Vanilla, Barry M Gelly in papaya. 
Pastel nail varnishes look so cute and pretty and I think they make an outfit look that much more summery and really bring a whole look together.

3. BB Cream
Maybelline Drean Pure BB cream
I think BB cream is perfect for spring/summer. It is very light on the skin and is much better for it than a heavy foundation. This means that it gives a very natural, soft and dewy finish.  It also has SPF in it and is moisturising, both of which are essential for warmer weather.

4. Highlighter
Topshop Glow Highlighter in Polished
I think that beautifully highlighted skin looks so pretty in spring and summer. It makes your skin look so much brighter and fresher and really catches the sun giving a very healthy look.

5. Sunglasses.
Primark- bought last year. You can tell how long it's been since I've worn them by how dusty they are
Sunglasses are a must have this seasons. Not only are they great on bright days, but they also make a brilliant and effortless accessory that can really complete an outfit.

6. Dresses
Mixture of mainly Newlook, Topshop, River Island (and unknown)
Dresses look so cute and pretty in the summer and they are really great for both the day and evening. They are easy to wear and because there are so many different styles, there will always be one that suits you.

7. High waisted shorts
Your spring/summer wardrobe would not be complete with out a pair or two of some high waisted shorts. They always look great and are the easiest thing ever to style. Also, they are a lot more practical then skirts - especially when wanting to avoid a Marilyn Monroe moment!

So those are my seven essentials for spring/summer. I hope you enjoyed this post.
What are your spring/summer musts?
<3 Ellen xxx

Monday, 17 March 2014

Too faced Natural Eye Shadow Collection

I have even meaning to get round to this review since Christmas but I've finally done it! I really love the too Faced eyeshadow collections so I couldn't not get one. I got the natural eye pallete. But the other pallets are gorgeous as well. 
The first thing I ever noticed about this product is how beautiful the packaging is. It is so pretty and really matches the colours in the pallete which is always good. I also love that the 9 different eyeshadow shades are set in threes split up into Day, Classic and Fashion. I think this is a really nice touch because gives you some guidance on what colours to use when going for a certain look. The collection also comes with three tutorial cards that match up with the separate sections which I find really useful and is a brilliant idea!

The colours are gorgeous. They are all really natural, with three matte shades and some beautiful shimmery ones as well. I find them really easy to use and very versatile. You can create a very simple and natural eye look, something soft, pretty and quite shimmery or even a light smoky eye. 
The eyeshadows are all quite pigmented, easy to apply and blend together extremely well. Furthermore, I never find that I get any fall down under my eyes so I don't end up with glitter half way down my face which is definitely a plus! 
The only downside of this eyeshadow collection is that the eyeshadows don't last too long on my old- I would have to reapply if I wanted it to last all day which is slightly inconvenient. However, saying that I tend to get slightly oily eyelids which doesn't help and I haven't tried this with an eyeshadow primer which I would reccomend if you need this to stay put for a long time. 
Overall this is a brilliant product and I am really enjoying using so I would reccomend it to anyone or suggest you checkout Too Faced's other eyeshadow collections in this range if you are not a fan of the colours.
I hope you enjoyed this post. Have you tried this product? 
<3 Ellen xxx

Friday, 7 March 2014

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cookies

Makes 20-30 cookies
170g (6oz) Plain Flour
40g (1 1/2oz) Cocoa Powder
1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
Pinch of Salt
115g (4oz) Unsalted Butter, softened
120g (4oz) Crunchy Peanut Butter
120g (4oz) Caster Sugar, plus 40g (1 1/2oz) extra for rolling
90g (3oz) Soft Light Brown Sugar
1 Large Egg
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C (325 F), gas mark 3 and line two/three baking trays with baking parchment.
Sift the flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt together in to a bowl.
Cream the butter, both sugars and peanut butter until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go. Mixing slowly, add the dry ingredients and mix until it has combined and a soft dough had formed.
Put the extra caster sugar into a bowl and roll the dough into 4-5 cm balls. Then, roll each ball in the caster sugar to coat. Place the cookie dough balls onto the prepared baking trays, keeping them about 4cm apart.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the cookies have a crusty surface and have cracked. Cool completely before serving.

These cookies are so delicious and I can't wait to make them again. They are easy to do and the end result is heaven!
<3 Ellen xxx

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Febuary Favourites

There aren't too many things that I discovered last month and really loved. But I love doing favourite posts as it's a good way to keep track, so my febuary favourites will largely consist of things that have been my favourites for a while but just haven't really talked about that much.

My absolute favourite of this month was City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, which is the first book in the Mortal Instruments series. I loved this story line so much, it was really fun and fast moving and the plot twist near the end was so unpredictable and unbearable but in an amazing way (if that makes any sense). It is a supernatural series where we follow Clary who begins to see people and things that other people can't see and after her mum gets kidnapped, ends up falling into a world full of demons, shadow hunters and adventure. It really is brilliant, I read all 442 paged in 3 days it was that addictive. Even now, I still can't stop thinking about the story and am so excited to continue with the series.

Another thing I loved in febuary was the Toni & Guy Cleanse Dry Shampoo. It is an amazing, quick way to revive your hair- especially since febuary has been so busy for me. It leaves my hair feeling so much fresher, gives it volume and doesn't even leave behind white marks or a weighty feel which I know lots of dry shampoos often do. I am really enjoying using it.

I have also loved using the Rose Jam shower gel from Lush. It smells absolutely amazing and I can't get enough of it. It leaves you smelling so good for the rest of the day. I have almost finished the bottle, so definitely will be needing to buy a massive one soon and the other products they have in Lush with this scent.

I am also loving Daisy Eau So Fresh by Marc Jacobs. This is so a lovely perfume and the bottle is so pretty as well. It is really fresh, light and a little floral so it is not too overpowering like some perfumes can be. I think it will be even ome suited to summer time and it just leaves you smelling as fresh as a daisy (see what I did there...?) . My only criticism is that it doesn't tend to last for that long but it is easy enough to re-spray it.

The final thing I really enjoyed in febuary was Carrie Fletcher's youtube channel, ItsWayPastMyBedTime. Her videos are so funny and witty and adds a bit more diversity to watch a youtuber who is a girl but doesn't do beauty/fashion so I really enjoy that. Also her sibling is Tom Fletcher from McFly/McBusted who also has a youtube channel which I love! They have an amazing series together where they make youtube videos so to talk to each other and they are hilarious so definitely check them out if you like that type of thing!
I hope you enjoyed this post and had a lovely Febuary. It felt really long to me even though it's only a short month! I am definitely glad it's finally March as it means spring is just around the corner. 
<3 Ellen xxx