Friday, 29 May 2020

My Spring/Summer Skincare Routine Featuring The PMD Clean*

AD - This post is in collaboration with PMD Beauty but all opinions are my own
Beauty posts tend to be very few and far between at the moment on my blog just because I've been basically cooking, baking and reading my way through lockdown! Recently though I've been trying out some new skincare products that I couldn't wait to share with you. It's been a while since I last shared my skincare routine and it's changed quite a lot over the last few months so it felt like the right time to speak about some of the products I've introduced to my skincare cabinet recently.
flatlay - the body shop vitamin e toner and facial wash, loreal hydra genius moisturiser, body shop cleansing butter, flowers, hair clip
I've never been one to have a complicated skincare routine, the simpler the better in my opinion. I just can't be bothered to stand at the sink for ages in the evening when I'm shattered so I don't have a huge amount of steps I follow. I really thought my skin would improve whilst in lockdown as I'm hardly ever wearing makeup and my diet and water intake has been far better than usual but I've actually had weeks at a time where it's got worse, anyone else had the same? I'm not sure if it's because I'm not going out as often or if it's stress? Who knows, but that's what led me to really try and sort out my skincare routine. I'd had my eyes on a few products from The Body Shop so I picked those up recently aswell as also using some of my trusty skincare faves and I've also been trying out the PMD Clean which I'll talk about more soon.

Step 1 - Makeup Removal with The Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Butter

This is one of The Body Shop's best selling products according to their website and I can totally see why. I finally caved and bought this at the start of the year. It's not cheap at £11 but it's still lasting me really well and we're almost in June so it's worth the price tag in my opinion. This is a dream for removing makeup and as it's a cleansing butter, it just feels gorgeous on the skin. I dot this around my face and massage into my skin which allows it to foam up slightly and melt away the makeup. I'll then use a warm flannel to wipe it away. This alone makes my skin feel super clean and silky soft and in the past I'd have just followed it up with moisturiser but I use a few other products afterwards instead now.
the body shop cleansing butter on pink background

Step 2 - Cleansing with The Body Shop Vitamin E Facial Wash & The PMD Clean*

I've seen rave reviews of the Vitamin E range so when my skin was going through a bit of a rough patch recently, I thought it was finally time to give it a go. The first product I picked up was the Gentle Facial Wash for £8.50. This is also where the PMD Clean comes in. If you've not heard of the PMD Clean before, well it's a smart facial cleansing device. The 7000 vibrations per minute SonicGlow technology ensures a deep cleanse whilst also lifting, firming and toning problem areas which can help provide a more youthful appearance. After wetting my face with warm water, I just apply a little of the facial wash to my cheeks, chin and forehead, rinse the PMD Clean and then turn it on. The way to use this is to move the brush in circular motions, eventually cleansing your entire face. I find this makes the facial wash really lather up and I genuinely feel like it's really doing my skin good whilst using both of these at the same time. I'll then rinse my face, pat dry and move onto the next step. The thing I really love about the PMD Clean is how gentle it feels on my skin because of the silicone bristles. Also, because of it's ergonomic design, it's really comfortable to hold and use and I find I can really get around tricky areas with this because of it. It's waterproof too so no need to worry about any damage being done whilst using this too.
PMD Clean stood up on desk in front of background of musical programs
closeup of PMD Clean bristles

Step 3 - Toning with The Body Shop Vitamin E Toner

This is the first toner I've picked up in a long time because I often find them to be really drying on the skin but I've not had that issue with this one. The Vitamin E Toner which is £8.50 is perfect for removing those final traces of makeup and cleanser that might have been missed. I just apply a little to a cotton pad and sweep over my face which leaves my skin feel clean, hydrated and refreshed. A tip I've seen online is to store in the fridge for a cooler feel when using which I think will be lovely as the weather gets warmer! 
The Body Shop Vitamin E toner held up in front of desk

Step 4 - Moisturising with The L'oreal Hydra Genius Moisturiser

I've mentioned the L'oreal Hydra Genius Moisturiser quite a few times before so it's not surprise it's still a trusty skincare product of mine. This is another product would be perfect to pop in the fridge before applying in the evening! Because this is quite a lightweight serum, a little goes a long way and I find bottles of this last me ages. This just always makes my skin feel amazing everytime. The PMD Clean could be used at this point too. It has two cleansing modes - gentle vibration and intense vibration which are ideal for the earlier stages and it has two anti-ageing modes - gentle pulsation and intense pulsation which are the ones to use with your moisturiser. This really helps massage the product into the skin and lift and tone it at the same time.
L'oreal Hydra Genius Moisturiser stood up in front of musical programs
And that wraps up my current skincare routine! 5 products that I'm absolutely loving at the moment which are really making a difference to my skin. I've loved trying out the PMD Clean and it has become a staple skincare product of mine. Whilst it's not cheap at £89, I do feel it's making a genuine improvement in the condition of my skin and I'm really excited to see the progress long term. PMD Beauty stock a range of beauty tools so if the PMD Clean isn't for you, there's also the Personal Microderm, the Kiss Plumping System and even a Microderm for men. You can find out more about all of these products on the PMD Beauty website.

Do you have a particular skincare routine for the warmer months of the year?

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How To Choose Your Perfect Statement Handbag*

*This is a collaborative post
High-quality handbags are a must-have item for your wardrobe. Finding a beautiful handbag that is unique and matches your character is a great feeling. Handbags make a statement about ourselves, so getting a compliment on your handbag is just like getting a compliment about yourself. In order to choose the perfect handbag, choose a bag that reflects your style, personality, and general mood. When considering which handbag to purchase, some of the questions to ask yourself should be:

- Is it practical?

- Is it the size I need?

- Does it fin in with my favourite fashion trends?

To make your search for the ideal handbag easier, we have put together a list of chic styles you can choose from that will stand out.
Photo by Artem Beliaikin from Pexels

Chain Handles

Chain straps and chain embellished designs are incredibly popular this season. Seen carried by many celebrities and featured on the runway, this style makes a great statement bag that stands out. 

Quilted Patterns

A sophisticated and sleek texture that will suit all occasions, dressy or casual. The quilted handbag is a classic and timeless piece to carry with you. Quilted handbags can be found designed by a range of designers including Saint Laurent. With a variety of sizes and colours to choose from, you can find these on the SSENSE website along with several other styles and designs. Visit their site here to browse a wide range of stunning handbags that would be flawless statement pieces in your collection.

Oversized Bags

Fitting all your essentials in your handbag is an important element when choosing the right one. Oversized bags make this more than possible, never having to worry about the contents of your purse not being able to fit. A huge bag is a popular way to make a statement, and suit numerous different kinds of bags from tote styles to slouch designs.

Small Shoulder Bags

The 90s have made a tremendous comeback this year, and small shoulder bags amongst many fashion statements have confirmed this. To help you feel just like your favourite 90s style icons, multiple bloggers have created guides on how to style 90s trends.

Box Handbags

An adorable addition to what you are wearing, Bleecker box style handbags are just the right size to fit the items you need to bring along with you on a date or night out. Ideal for when you only need a few essentials items with you, the quirky look of these bags assures making a statement. Patent leather is usually the best-suited material for these vintage feel bags, creating a classy, sleek finish. Whichever type of handbag you decide to carry as your statement piece, choose one that fits your individual preferences. No matter what form of occasions you will be using the handbag for, it is important that your bag is durable and reliable with ample space to fit any products you need to have on hand. For useful ideas of items that you might want to carry in your handbag, refer to these ideas.

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Thursday, 28 May 2020

Lockdown Silver Linings Tag

There's no denying that lockdown isn't exactly the best thing ever is it? Some weeks I've been okay and just got on with it and other weeks I've massively struggled and just felt like sleeping all day. I'm sure many other people will have had times like that too. I'm just on a rollercoaster of emotions at the moment. Whilst at times I do feel sad for all that we're missing out on - life does just feel like it's stopped and despite knowing it needs to be done, it's still hard - I do think there can be positives to take from this time. I don't often take part in posts like this anymore, or at least not as much as I used to but I was really happy when I saw Jordanne had tagged me in the lockdown silver linings tag. This encourages people to talk about the good things that have come out of lockdown and whilst they may be few and far between sometimes, they're still worth noting I think.
Bear sniffing daffodils on his walk

More Family Time

The obvious positive that's come from lockdown is more family time with George and Bear. With life and work been so hectic sometimes, it often felt that despite living together, we weren't really getting that much quality time together whereas now we're together pretty much 24/7. Don't get me wrong, we have our moments and definitely need to make sure we still have space from one another but generally it's been lovely having this extra time with each other. We've been having many movie nights with popcorn, nachos and chocolate which is ALWAYS fun, baking together, taking Bear for walks in the woods and just trying to make the most of this unlimited time because it will probably never happen like this again. It's been so nice having all of this extra time with Bear too. He's definitely driven me mad some days, one day in particular a few weeks ago was an absolute nightmare but we won't talk about that but he's also made me smile and laugh every single day. There's been days he hasn't left my side and I know I can always rely on him to be there for a cuddle if I'm having a bad day.

Getting Creative With Recipes

Lockdown has actually really allowed for me to get a bit creative in the kitchen. Whilst I always have trusty meals and recipes that we turn to most weeks, I've loved having the time to try out new things too. During the first few weeks of lockdown too we didn't really have a choice but try and come up with new ideas because there was so little available but I don't think we did too bad. Before lockdown I felt we'd got into a bad routine with too many takeaways and not cooking enough so now I'm really noticing the benefits of eating healthier. It's made such a difference to my skin and hair so I'll definitely be sticking to cooking most nights even when everything opens back up again. I'm not gonna lie though, that first McDonald's will be MAGICAL. I've obviously also been baking more because there hasn't really been loads else to do and I can't even say how much I've enjoyed it. I tried out a cheesecake for the first time in years, I also made a lemon & blueberry loaf cake which unexpectedly went crazy on Twitter and I made Millionaire's shortbread last week which was delicious.

Time To De-Clutter

I'd been putting off so many jobs in the flat but obviously because I'm spending basically all my time here at the moment, it's been hard to ignore them! I really struggle with mess and maybe it's weird/maybe it's not but I find it really impacts my anxiety. If a room is really untidy or needs a good clean I literally can't rest until it's done so lockdown has meant I've been getting way more jobs done around the flat. I had a massive de-clutter recently of clothes in my wardrobe, some I'd not worn for years were still there so it felt good to get rid of all of those (and slowly replace them). I then did the same for books and DVD's so the living room feels a lot less cluttered now and I also finally tackled the demon kitchen cupboards. Generally I've just been really trying to keep each room sparkly clean which is probably more important now than ever.

I'm Finally Getting Through My Huge TBR Pile

I've definitely had moments in lockdown where reading has been the last thing I've wanted to but on the whole I've been working my way through my to be read pile which at times feels endless! I just can't help but buy more books even when I don't need them, it's a problem. About 5 or 6 weeks into lockdown, I lost all motivation and felt really low but over the last few weeks I've picked myself up and so reading has become something I actually want to do again. I read quite a few books in May so I'm finally getting through some of the books that have sat on my bookshelf for months.

It's Made Me Appreciate Everything

Aside from all of the extra time as a family, the biggest thing that I'll be taking with me out of lockdown is just my appreciation for everything. I will never take the simple things for granted again like being able to walk Bear more than once a day, going to the supermarket without it feeling like a military operation, being able to go to a cafe for lunch, going to the seaside. Just so many things that I never thought would be taken away. This time has also made me realise just how much I want to see and do. We already had quite a few travel plans for 2020 and this was going to be our year to get a few cities ticked off our list before hopefully putting all our focus into a house next year but that's kind of been taken away from us which I've really struggled with at times. As I said in in a recent post regarding lockdown, I'm still hopeful that we might get away at Christmas, wishful thinking maybe but it's what gets me through some days and if I don't try to be positive, I will actually go mad. If not we'll just pack more into 2021 instead. I just want to go everywhere! I want to see more of the UK, I want to go on all the city breaks abroad we've thought about for years, I want to sit by a pool for a week with endless ice cream, just everything. I can't wait until it's possible to do all of these things and I know whenever those days come, I'll be so grateful.

So, that's my five silver linings that have come out of lockdown and I tag anyone who wants to take part. Let me know if you take part as I'd love to read what's been keeping you positive over the last few months.

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Friday, 22 May 2020

Extravagant White Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe

I've only made cheesecake once before and that was a lemon and blueberry flavour years ago which don't get me wrong was delicious but it didn't have that proper creamy texture that you want from a cheesecake. Since then I've made many cakes, some firm favourites which still seem to be popular are my school sponge cake and Easter chocolate cake and I've also gone a little crazy with brownies sharing everything from Bourbon Biscuit to After Eights and many more in between. A baker who seems to be a pro at pretty much everything is Jane from Jane's Patisserie on Instagram and it was her that inspired me to give cheesecake another go. She has many recipes for this popular dessert on her website but the one that stood out to me was the Milkybar cheesecake. Who doesn't love white chocolate? I changed a few little things when making my own white chocolate cheesecake & I didn't use strictly Milkybar throughout so I thought I'd share my version, though really it is very similar to hers and I wanted to give credit. Anyway, let's get started!
flatlay of white chocolate cheescake with Milkybar buttons in background
Ingredients: Base
300g digestives
150g butter or baking spread

Ingredients: Cheesecake filling
300g Milkybar chocolate
500g cream cheese
75g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
270ml double cream

Ingredients: Decoration
150ml double cream
2 tbsp icing sugar
50g white chocolate melted
White chocolate buttons

1. The first thing you want to do is make your base. To do this, blitz up your digestive biscuits until they're mainly crumbs. You could do this in a food processor or just in a bowl or sandwich bag, smashing with a rolling pin
2. Melt your butter/spread and mix into your broken up biscuits
3. Press the mixture down into a Springform cake tin. Leave to harden in the fridge or freezer whilst you make your filling
4. For your filling, melt your 300g of Milkybar either in the microwave or in a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water. When melted, set aside to cool slightly
5. Add your cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla to a bowl and whisk until smooth
6. Add your melted Milkybar to this and stir until it's all combined
7. Add in your double cream and whisk until the mixture has thickened 
8. Pour your mixture over the digestive base, as evenly as possible and leave to set overnight if possible, though 6-7 hours should be fine
9. When your cheesecake has set, preferably the next day, you can remove from the tin and decorate. For this, just melt 50g of white chocolate and drizzle over the top of the cheesecake
10. Next, whisk your remaining double cream and icing sugar until thick and transfer to a piping bag. Pipe swirls around the edge of the cheesecake then top with your white chocolate buttons!
closeup shot of the white chocolate cheesecake swirls and milkybar buttons
another shot of the milkybar cheesecake from above
Whilst like any cheesecake would, this requires some time and effort, but it's absolutely worth it. It is uber sweet because of the Milkybar but just such a delicious flavour. I found cutting this into smaller slices was perfect meaning really the whole thing could serve about 16 people but of course you could use smaller tins or ramekins to make mini cheesecakes instead. This will last 3-4 days too so you have plenty of time to enjoy it!

What flavour cheesecake is your fave?

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