31 March 2015

Haul + Mini Review: REN, Maybelline and Sleek

Halfway through the month I realised I hadn't brought anything for myself since I last got paid and suddenly got the urge to go shopping. I didn't go too wild but was very happy with my purchases.

REN Clarimatte Clarifying Toner - I was on the hunt for a new exfoliating toner, due to my current one nearing its end, and found myself repurchasing this again. It's quite hard to find affordable exoliating toners but at only £13 this one seemed like a good choice. It has lactic, glycolic and salycilic acid. I enjoy using this and have noticed my skin looking a little brighter.

Sleek Face Contour Kit in Light - This item had been on my wish list for quite a long time and I am so glad I own it. I had heard it recommended many times and I can now see why. The contour powder is very pigmented but also blends very easily and is the perfect colour to create a shadow. However, I am a complete beginner with highlighter so I don't think I can comment on that aspect of this product yet.

Maybelline Color Tatoo Leather Effect in Creamy Beige - I had heard this mentioned a few times but it hadn't really stuck in my mind. I was just browsing and using the testers, as you do, when I discovered this. I loved the colour and the finish immediately so just had to get it. I really get why it is called leather effect. It has a sheen to it, an almost wet look when it catches the light. It lasts all day and can be used as a base for eyeshadow. I having been using this everyday since I brought it and would highly recommend it.

Maybelline Gel Eyeliner - Pretty sure it was buy one get one half price on the Maybelline stand which is partly why I got this. Also, I just really wanted to have a go using it again (I brought had used it a few years ago), especially since I now own a wing liner brush. I have used this a few times and the product is great, but really it comes down the brush and hand applying it as to whether it gives a good result. Most of the time I'm alright but I still need bit more practice to get the perfect wing liner.

Let me know if you would like a more in depth review of any of these products.

28 March 2015

itsu - Healthy Food on the High Street

On my recent trips into Brighton I had noticed this new food place that had opened called itsu and I was quite intrigued. Usually when looking for a place to eat when I'm out shopping I go for something cheap, which most of the time means unhealthy. Probably due to habit I gravitate towards McDonalds, but fast-food never makes me feel good. I had mentioned this place to my boyfriend and he told me I should go there and try it, it's not like we can't afford it. So yesterday that's exactly what I did!

As I stepped into the store, it was very inviting - I don't know why I thought it looked slightly intimidating, although that was probably just because it was somewhere new to me. There was an area to freely browse all their chilled options, which all looked very fresh and healthy. I felt there was quite an Asian influence in their food options due to lots of things like sweet chilli sauce, soy sauce, sushi etc. If you're a lover of that type of cuisine, like myself, I'm sure you would love this place. They also had hot food, snacks, desserts and drinks on the menu. There were vegetarian options within all their ranges. There slogan is "eat beautiful" and they are dedicated to creating lower fat and lower calorie but delicious food.

I was spoilt for choice, but I went for the chicken teriyaki salad. This consisted of a bed of sushi rice topped with leeks, peas, ginger, seasame seeds and teriyaki chicken. The teriyaki sauce was provided in a small pot embedded in the rice. It was absolutely delicious. So fresh, full of flavour and so satisfying!

I got mine to take away to keep things a little cheaper - they have to charge VAT if you eat in the store. I loved the way they packaged it for me; in a strong bag with a flat bottom to keep your food upright, a napkin and cutlery. Talking of which, the cutlery wasn't rubbish like most take away ones and they even offer chopsticks (if you can use them, I can't) - it's the little things that count!

I had a great first impression of itsu and will definitely be returning on my next trip into the city. It's great to see a quick and easy healthy food option on the high street - it's like healthy fast-food. itsu has most of its stores in London, but there are a few popping up elsewhere. If you've got one nearby I would highly recommend giving it a try!

Click here to find your nearest store - http://www.itsu.com/locations/shops/

27 March 2015

Banana, Pecan and Maple Porridge

This has been my go to indulgent but healthy breakfast recently. I often have this at the weekend when I fancy something a little sweeter than my usual choices. The flavours go really well together and overall have an almost caramel like taste. The maple syrup in this recipe is completely optional. It is a natural sweetener, but if you are not feeling so indulgent simply leave it out and it will still taste great. Please note that I like quite small portions for my meals and this recipe is exactly as I make it for myself; feel free to increase the quantities (keeping the oats and milk in proportion).

Serves 1

You will need:

160ml Almond Milk (or your milk of choice)
25g Rolled Oats
Half a Banana
 ½ tsp Cinnamon
A Small Handful of Pecan Nuts
Maple Syrup to taste


  1.  Start by slicing up the banana. (I like to cut the slices in half, usually using my spatula while the porridge is cooking in the pan.)
  2. Add the milk, oats, banana and cinnamon to a small saucepan. Over a medium heat, cook the porridge until it thickens stirring occasionally. This usually takes about 5 minutes.
  3. While the porridge is cooking, pre-heat a frying pan to a medium heat. Chop the pecan halves into about 2 or 3 pieces and add to the pan to toast for a couple of minutes. 
  4. Pour the porridge into a bowl, top with the pecan nuts, pour on the maple syrup and enjoy! (I usually go for 1 or 2 tsp of maple syrup.)
Optional: I sometimes add in a dessert spoonful of ground flaxseed while the porridge is cooking for extra nutrients!