REVIEW- Rimmel '60 Second' Nail Polish (Rose Libertine)

Oh my god. It is no secret that I love love love these polishes. Cheap, cheerful, long lasting (mine usually last a week or so without chipping), super easy to apply and in so many different shades- what's not to love?! So it will come as no surprise that I took a trip to my nearest boots after class on Monday and couldn't resist picking up two new shades, Rose Libertine (pictured- apologies for my horrible hand) and How Do You Lilac It.

I have been really into rose coloured/scented things lately, but I was a little bit apprehensive to try this as I hadn't yet found any pinkish nail polishes to suit my ghostly pale skin, so I was over the moon when this shade actually worked! I love that these polishes have quite a high-shine finish and the wide flat brush makes the application fool-proof: one stroke covers the nail, and two strokes per nail are all you need! Oh, and I genuinely did time how long it took for my nails to dry- a little over 60 seconds but that's still way faster than most brands! Do you own any of these, and if so, what's your favourite shade?

Baking Sunday: Oat and Cinnamon Cookie Scones

It seems like baking has taken the beauty blogging world by storm lately after the introduction of Ben's Cookies dupes by viviannadoesmakeup (found here). After reading liana-beauty's post about oat and raisin cookies, I knew I had to give it a go, so I set aside this Sunday as baking day and tried to whip up a storm.

Presenting..... Healthy-ish Oat and Cinnamon Cookie Scone Things

Oh my, what a mouthful- just like these scrummy snacks! Inspired by Amelia's post, I attempted to make exact copies of her delicious looking cookies but about halfway through I realised that I didn't have some of the ingredients, and couldn't even go out to get any (damn you, snow), so I had to deviate from the recipe quite a bit. These are really easy and quick to make, so any Sunday cravings can be satisfied right away; enjoy!

Don't pay any attention to this- I wrote it down before I'd adjusted the ingredients and everything- just wanted to add in an artsy photo!

Ingredients (adjusted to serve 11+ depending on how big you like your cookies!):
100g unsalted butter- softened
65g caster sugar
45g rolled oats
150g plain flour
1 medium egg
1 tsp honey
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
3/4 tsp cinnamon
As much milk as necessary

1. Preheat the oven at around 180*C (fan-assisted). Cream together the sugar and butter- WARNING: may take some serious arm power if you're a little weakling like me!
2. Add the egg and honey before mixing it all together. At this stage it looks a bit like a badly made omelette but that's a good sign so don't panic.
3. Combine all of your dry ingredients (flour, salt, bicarb, cinnamon) in a seperate bowl before adding to the main mixture.
4. Stir in the oats and gradually add splashes of milk until you make a wet dough that shouldn't look too stodgy, if it does then don't worry- I'll get to that on the next step!
5. Use a spoon to scoop the mixture into palm-sized balls, you may need to coat these in flour to make them roll-able. Then pop them on the tray, you'll probably need two trays.
6. Using the palm of your hand, squish the balls down to about half the thickness. Bake in the oven for around 15/20 minutes- just check on them until you see them begin to brown. Leave them on a cooling rack for half an hour or so and then enjoy! (Mine came out fairly pale as you can see in the photos, substitute in brown sugar/wholemeal flour if you want them to look a little more tanned).

Ta-da, here's the finished result! I admit, they aren't so much cookies as little scone type things, hence the weird name, but they really are quite tasty and moreish- so maybe don't have these right before a Sunday roast! Don't worry about piling on the pounds though, these babies are actually pretty healthy- and can be made even healthier by subbing in a sugar alternative like Splenda- these are approximately 150 calories each (yes, I really did work that out haha), perfect for calorie-conscious foodies like my mum.

Hope everyone's had a lovely weekend, let me know in the comments section below if you'd like to see any more recipes!

A trip to the city of lurrrrrrrve

I'm having a bit of a nostalgic moment over here- so if you don't want to read the yearning ramblings and photographs of a travel-holic, keep scrolling- about my favourite city-break destination.. Paris. I love remembering trips so read on for the stereotypical tourist stuff with a few recommended gems thrown in there:
I always walk the same route to the get to the Louvre when I'm in Paris. I think this is Rue la Fayette, and it's a lovely road to walk down- it is really really long and the closer you get to the center, the nicer the road becomes. (I think this particular photo was taken outside Starbucks on the Rue la Fayette/Rue Saulnier intersection).
An absolute MUST whilst in Paris- you need to visit the Opera National de Paris; it is one of my favourite places in the whole of Europe. So many people just ignore it or take a photo of it but I'd definitely recommend catching a matinée or some light lunch from the outside restaurant (which is a bit pricey), or if you're only there quickly pop into the gift shop, it's a treasure trove for ballet stuff.
I know nothing about architecture and I'm really never interested in it but isn't it just so gorgeous! At this point, we're on my favourite street in Paris (maybe exlcuding the Champs-Elysées), Avenue de l'Opera. An absolute must!
I'm not really a sweet shop kind of gal, but when my friend introduced me to this I was blown away. It smells so gorgeous that you can pretty much get your sugar fix from just standing there. The staff are so helpful and ridiculously eager to offer up samples. It is somewhere on Avenue de l'Opera but I can't remember where exactly- if anyone knows please comment below!
I won't dwell on the touristy stuff but it is nice to have a mooch around and take a few snaps. If it were up to me, I'd spend half an hour tops in the Louvre ( not a huge art fan, I'll take a photo of the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo but that's about it). Unfortunately this trip was with my mum, who is the biggest art buff ever and wanted to spend hours there- but we were so hungry, so we found the a really quaint restaurant tucked away on the other side of the Seine. It had such a chilled atmosphere and we spent lunch watching the last leg of the Tour de France on TV, before heading over the nearest bridge to actually watch it- it was amazing!
We spent some time at the Eiffel Tower but it's one of those things that you only really need to do once before you can sit back and enjoy the view from afar.
Nearby the Palais de Chaillot area, there were lots of partners taking a weekly ballroom dance class, and it absolutely made my day. They were all captivating to watch, and all equally amazing.
The next day we spent hours traipsing through the billions of shops on the Champs-Elysées- didn't take any snaps of that. Although I've seen the Arc de Triomphe many a time, I had never actually walked up it (mainly because I'm ridiculously lazy) so on a spur of the moment decision, we decided to go and see what all the fuss was about. (Oh, and I'm aware it looks like I've taken a photo of the three women but their photographer friend was standing right beside us!)

This was the perfect way to end our trip, so we jumped back on the metro for a few blocks, had a complete palava getting locked out of Charles de Gaulle's train system because we unintentionally hopped the train, finally caught our plane within minutes of the last boarding call and made it back safe and sound. Success!

Sorry this was so photo-heavy; nothing beats a good reminder of a nice trip.

One item, endless benefits..

Water- not in the form of rain- is probably my favourite thing about living in England. It's the only thing I drink except for the occasional glass of juice in summer or a festive hot chocolate in winter, and coming from a family that live on tea and coffee, I really do think plain old water is so underrated, so here are some of its seemingly obvious benefits:

I've never had perfect skin at all, there's always been breakouts or dryness or some sort of problem (literally the day one problem goes, another one will arise), so whenever I'm feeling like hiding in the corner for a week until my face is looking a bit nicer, I dash downstairs and down a few glasses of water- the effects are almost instant. My complexion is a lot brighter, my skin doesn't feel so tight, pores are minimised and any redness is reduced whilst breakouts begin to fade. If I'm having a particularly pesky skin day, I always drink a few glasses of water just before bed, and I'll bring a glass up with me too- eight hours later and it's like some sort of overnight miracle has happened!

Although healthy hair isn't an obvious benefit of drinking water, I really do feel that it helps so much. When I don't drink enough water, my hair is the first place it'll show. It becomes dry and limp and just feels a bit malnourished, but when I've had my 8 a day, oh boy, it really does show. My hair feels so much softer, manageable, and just generally healthier. 

Another random benefit of drinking water is that it just makes you feel so much better. If I'm having a rubbish day, feeling a little depressed or stressed, a glass of water just clears my head, calms me down and cheers me up (simple pleasures haha). Although I might sound totally weird for being so affected by water, it's one of those things you don't just realise until you try it, so if you're feeling stressed about exams or just feeling a little bit down, you know where to go!

Water is known to combat headaches, nausea and tiredness but that's not where the list ends! If you're trying to lose weight, drinking water should be a big component of your new diet as it boosts your metabolism, and if your joints are feeling a little stiff the day after a workout, or the day after sitting around doing nothing but watching TV (I confess, I fall into the latter category- is it okay to say that watching films is my favourite hobby?), water moisturises and protects everything in the body so there's no reason to not to try and increase your intake!

For all of you that are thinking "Why is she so obsessed with water!?!", the answer is easy. I sponsor a little girl in Haiti (bonjou Kinflore!) and in the letters she sends, she always tells me that there is no water in her village and that people have to walk miles and miles to get it. So whenever my sister moans about me "being boring" for ordering tap water in restaurants, or when my brothers complain that we don't have "anything to drink" when we have water so readily available, I like to remind them how lucky we are in comparison with other places.

So if you've just read all of this then firstly, thank you, and secondly, go and grab a glass! 

Disappointing Products #1

The products on this post I actually picked up after hearing such rave reviews from some of my favourite bloggers/recommendations from friends, and I've been left feeling so disappointed by them!

Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation £8.99

                       'Wake Me Up' Foundation swatched then blended underneath
(to the best of my pale-skinned abilities)

Firstly, I know that this is a really popular drugstore foundation (there's definitely no disputing that!) but this has just not proved its worth with me, along with every other Rimmel foundation... I bought this in the LIGHTEST shade, Ivory, which is actually darker than any other foundation I've ever bought (seriously, Rimmel, have you ever seen an elephant walking around with Tango-coloured tusks?!). Ivory is a 'not quite white but almost there' colour and it's so disappointing that most brands don't seem to realise this :( :( :( 

Other than the awful colouring, it's not a terrible foundation- if anything, it's the best one Rimmel have ever produced. It blended fairly easily and has quite a nice fragrance. It's definitely medium coverage and I agree it does give a glow, but that might just be because it was bright orange on my face (I would include a photo but it is actually embarrassing). So although I'm very disillusioned by this foundation, I didn't want to waste it completely so on nights out and days when I've had extra time, I've been experimenting with using this as a contouring foundation. I absolutely despise all bronzers because none are the right colour for my skin and I'm  just not a fan of anything powdery, so I like to sweep the teeniest touch of this on either side of my nose, under my cheekbones and around the temples and it works quite well as long as it's thoroughly blended. Every cloud, right?

Bioré Ultra Deep Cleansing Pore Strips £7.99

These are also incredibly popular so maybe they just aren't suited for my skin or something. I followed all of the instructions to the letter, waited for fifteen minutes, tore the strips off and there was nothing on them, no sign of any impurities that had been removed, just nothing. Maybe I didn't have any impurities in my skin but I really was expecting a little bit more from these, however I might persevere and try another just to ensure it wasn't a blip.

Collection 2000 Longer Lash Lengthening Mascara £2.99

Okay, I appreciate that Collection 2000 is a bit on the cheap side but I don't even think that is a reasonable excuse for this shoddy product. Firstly, the brush is the weirdest one I've ever seen. It is absolutely covered in these little hairs which are apparently the fibres that cling to your lashes in order to lengthen them but when I first opened this up on my way back from the shop, I almost went back and demanded a refund because it looked used! Apart from that, the claims to lengthen lashes are totally void, it just doesn't really do anything. Once it's on it doesn't look like there's anything on the lashes, and after one coat it just goes totally clumpy. Not a happy bunny.

I might update this with a few more products but for now that's it, these are my wooden spoon winners of the month.

Hope you enjoyed the read, any questions or comments just let me know in the box below!