Monday, 31 October 2011

October Favourites

Hi Everyone!
Another month has passed by so quickly so it is time for my October favourites. These are the products that I have used often and loved over the last month so let's get started!

Inglot Products:
OK so anyone who has been reading my blog recently will know about my new Inglot obsession! I love to watch beauty videos on YouTube and read various online beauty blogs and the Inglot brand has popped up so many times and has an amazing reputation for offering great quality products at affordable prices. I first looked into the brand last year and discovered that they only had one shop in the UK which was situated in London. I live in Manchester and don't get down to London very often so last month, when I discovered that Inglot now had a UK online ordering site I was thrilled! Look out for more Inglot reviews coming soon!

MAC Plum Dandy Lipstick:
Plum Dandy is now one of my favourite lipsticks from MAC. I have been a big fan of their Plumful lipstick for a while now as I think that it really suits me, however, it is quite a heavy lipstick and not one that I tend to wear during the day. Plum Dandy is a plum coloured lipstick, similar to Plumful, but has a bronze tint to it which tones it down and makes it much more wearable.

Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeshadow Pencil in Sin:
Urban Decay's 24/7 Eyeshadow Pencils are so brilliant and Sin is the most recent edition to my collection. As I have been back at college this month I am wearing more neutral, subtle eyeshadow looks and this shade works so well as a base most days!

Christmas Nail Polishes:
There's 2 monthes to go before Christmas 2011 and many of the beauty brands have started to bring out their holiday collections (please hurry up MAC)! I love to look through all of the offerings and was immediately drawn to the Christmas nail polish collections from OPI and China Glaze. I must admit that I am a bit like a magpie when it comes to glittery nail polishes so these colours where right up my street and perfect for Christmas and New Year parties.

Chanel Chance Perfume:
This perfume is an oldie but a goody! I have a decent sized perfume collection which includes a few new editions but I always seem to revert back to Chanel's Chance! This is quite a heavy fragrance so I tend to wear it for nights out, I also have the matching body lotion!

Eyebrow Tinting:
I just had to add this one in! Even though I have fairly dark hair my skin is quite pale and my eyebrows are very light and look a bit odd! I have always filled them in with a pencil or an eyeshadow and brush but I have recently learnt how to tint eyebrows at college and it is so easy! It has made such a difference and I will never revert back to a pencil ever again! Please comment below if anyone would be interested in an eyebrow tinting tutorial!

TV Shows:
Finally I have to finish off this post by mentioning all of the amazing TV shows that are on at the moment! Autumn is always good for telly and this year is no exception! First of all I have to mention my favourite TV show ever, The Vampire Diaries which airs on Tuesday nights at 9pm on ITV2. The UK is a few weeks behind the US but I have been keeping up to date with the US via iTunes! I love the fast paced story lines, high drama and amazing characters that the Vampire Diaries offers (I am a huge Damon fan if anyone is interested!) I also want to mention the awesome Strictly Come Dancing which I look forward to every year (Team Russell!) and Gossip Girl which has just returned in the UK and is already brilliant!

So that concludes my favourites list for October 2011. I hope that you have enjoyed this post!
Maz x

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Essie Cocktail Bling - Review & Swatch

Hi Everyone!
I have applied one of the polishes from Essie's new Cocktail Bling Collection for Holiday/ Winter 2011. The polish itself is also called Cocktail Bling and is described as a 'periwinkle grey creme' which I think is pretty accurate. The collection also includes another 5 shades and is said to be inspired by cocktail jewellery!

I began by applying 1 coat of Seche Base as my base coat followed by 2 coats of the polish. It applies really evenly and smoothly and dries pretty quickly. The polish has quite a thick consistency and was very nearly fully opaque after the first coat but was 100% after the second. I really like Essie's long, thin brushes as I find it provides you with a much more accurate application, as you can see in the picture below, I have quite small nails so can struggle to do a neat job with a wider brush. I then finished it off with a coat of Seche Vite Fast Drying Top Coat.

I think that this colour is so sophisticated and quite unusual, I certainly don't have anything else like it in my collection. I think it makes an ideal winter shade but I guess that I always picture sparkly polish when I think of Christmas so maybe I won't use this for Christmas day!

Please let me know in the comments section below if you have purchased any of the other polishes from the Cocktail Bling Collection and what you think of them! I purchased my polish from Beauty 4 Nails for £7.99.
Maz x

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Top 5 L'Oreal Products

Hi Everyone!
This is the latest in my series of top 5 products from various brands. L'Oreal is my favourite drugstore brand and I think that there products are such great quality and value for money. I usually buy my L'Oreal goods from Boots or Superdrug which regularly have 2 for 3 offers that are always worth waiting for.

1. Mascara:
L'Oreal mascaras are my favourite mascaras and I rarely use any other brand. They are really affordable and do such a great job. I tend to use the Telescopic Mascara during the day as it fans your lashes out really well and reaches the smaller lashes brilliantly, Telescopic doesn't give you a very dramatic effect which is ideal for during the day. I like to use Million lashes at night as it provides you with a much more dramatic, richer coloured affect. Both mascaras cost £11.29.

2. Colour Appeal Eyeshadow:
I really like these eyeshadows from L'Oreal, I own the Metal Plum and Platinum Silver colours and have repurchased both. They have great colour pay off  and blend well for a drugstore shadow and have a lovely metallic, frost finish. They are priced at £6.19 each.

3. True Match Foundation:
True Match is my every day foundation and one of the best I have ever tried. I first began using it around 12 months ago after watching a YouTube tutorial by Kandee Johnson, who is one of the best guru's in my opinion, she highly recommended it and said that she uses it on her clients. I find that it applies really well and blends into your skin effortlessly. Everyone should give this a go! It is currently priced at £9.99.

4. Super Liner:
This is one of my all time favourite eyeliners, it is much easier to use than other liquid liners as it has a pen-like tip which allows you to be much more precise. You get the ease of a pencil but the intensity of a liquid liner which I love. I also find that it dispenses just the right amount of product, doesn't run and dries quickly. I really can't say anything bad about it! This liner costs £6.49.

5. Infalible Foundation:
My mum is a big fan of this foundation and I really like it too! It gives you a fuller coverage than the True Match and is better suited to nights out for me or for more mature skin. It holds really well too (L'Oreal claim up to 16 hours) and evens out your skin tone. It is priced at £12.29.

You can purchase L'Oreal makeup from Boots and Superdrug. I hope that you have enjoyed reading about my favourite 5 picks from Loreal, please check out my other top 5 posts by clicking on the brand names below,
Top 5 NARS Products
Top 5 MAC Products
Top 5 NYX Products
Top 5 Urban Decay Products
Top 5 Bobbi Brown Products


Wednesday, 26 October 2011

OPI The Muppets Collection - Review & Swatches

Hi Everyone!
I am sure that I am not the only one who is super excited about the new OPI Muppets Collection for Holiday 2011. I purchased 2 of the full sized bottles plus the mini collection (so far)!

Here are the colours that I chose plus their descriptions:

Divine Swine: Magenta Glitter
Rainbow Connection: Clear Base Packed Full of Multi Coloured Glitters
Wocka Wocka: Deep Berry Better: Light Metallic Bronze
Excuse Moi! Pink Glitter
Warm and Fozzie: Metallic Copper

(L to R) Better, Warm and Fozzie, Wocka Wocka

(L to R) Wocka Wocka, Warm and Fozzie, Better

(L to R) Excuse Moi, Divine Swine, Rainbow Connection

(L to R) Rainbow Connection, Excuse Moi, Divine Swine

All of these polishes are amazing! I love glittery shades for Christmas so these are ideal! Wocka, Wocka is a classic berry red colour which is a timeless shade for Christmas. Warm and Fozzie, Better and Excuse Moi all have a coloured base with similar coloured pieces of glitter to the base shade. Divine Swine has a clear base with pink glitters and would look great over a solid pink colour. Rainbow Connection has to be the star of the show for me! It is amazing! It has a clear base and is packed full of different coloured and sized pieces of glitter, you could wear this layered up on it's own but I think that it would look really good over a solid black polish.

I purchased my full sized polishes from Beauty 4 Nails for £8.99 each and I purchased my mini set from eBay for around £12.
I hope that you have enjoyed this review, please let me know in the comments section below if you have purchased any of the polishes from the Muppets collection and what you think of them!
Maz x

Monday, 24 October 2011

Too Faced Bronzer's Series - Part 2 - Snow Bunny

Too Faced Cosmetics Bronzer, Snow Bunny, 0.28-Ounce
Hi Everyone!
This is the second in my series of reviews of Too Faced's Bronzer's and today is about Snow Bunny. This bronzer is made up of 4 strips of colour that Too Faced describe as Fawn/ Pink/ White/ Beige.
Here is the swatch of the bronzer shown on NW 20 skin. The first 4 swatches are of the 4 individual colours and the fifth is of all 4 colours blended together.

I have to say that I am super impressed with this bronzer! The 4 colours work so well together and blend easily too. I have quite a pale skin tone and, when used as a bronzer, it warms my skin up really well, as I am a MAC NW and I have pink undertones to my skin so the pink strip helps the bronzer to blend into my skin to give a more natural and less muddy look. If you have a smaller brush you can also use this as a highlighter and blush if you pick off the right colour. Big thumbs up from me for this versatile product which makes the fairly high price tag worth it!
I purchased my bronzer from ASOS for £18.50 and you can also get it from the official Too Faced website for $29. I hope that you have enjoyed this post, please click here to read my review of the Too Faced Pink Leopard bronzer and look out for part 3 of this series coming soon!
Maz x

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Cherry & Almond Cake

Hi Everyone!
Today I decided to make a cherry and almond cake which is a recipe that I've been wanting to make for a while now. It is a lovely, traditional, rich sponge cake with a gorgeous almond flavour with cherries and flaked almonds on the top. Here's how to make it.

200g Butter
200g Golden Caster Sugar
4 Eggs
1/2 tsp Almond Extract
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
175g Self Raising Flour
85g Ground Almonds
300g Glace Cherries
100ml Milk
2 tbsp Flaked Almonds

1. Pre heat oven to 160C/ Gas Mark 3 and line a deep, 30cm cake tin.
2. Whisk the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy and then add the eggs one by one until all of the ingredients have been fully incorporated.
3. Next fold in the flour, ground almonds and baking powder followed by the cherries and milk.
4. Next transfer the mixture into the cake tin and scatter the almonds onto the top.
5. Bake in the oven for 1 hour - 1 hour, 15 minutes in the oven until the cake is a golden brown colour and a skewer comes out clean.
6. Leave the cake to cool in the tin.

N.B. You can chop the cherries or wash and coat them in the flour to try to stop them all from sinking to the bottom, as you can see, this didn't work for me though!

This cake is so tasty and is really quick and easy to make! This is a James Martin recipe that I found on the BBC Good Food website.
Maz x

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Zoya Trixie - Review & Swatch

Hi Everyone!
Today I applied Zoya's Trixie Nail Polish to my nails which is one of their best selling polishes. This polish is truly amazing, it is a metallic silver with a foil finish. It looks amazing on both your finger and toe nails as it really stands out. The foil-like finish gives you the effect of nail wraps but without the tricky application!

First I applied 2 coats of OPI Matte Nail Envy as my base followed by 2 coats of Trixie. The polish applies really nicely and evenly and dries quickly to a solid, streak free finish. It was opaque after 1 coat but I always like to apply 2. I then finished off by applying Seche Vite Fast Drying Top Coat.

I just had to include 3 pictures of this polish because I think that it is truly beautiful! I would definitely recommend this polish if you love that metallic look, it would also look amazing for New Year's Eve too!
I purchased my polish from Tiffany Nail Supply for £9.44.
Maz x

Friday, 21 October 2011

China Glaze Let it Snow Collection - Review & Swatches

Hi Everyone!
It's that time of year again when the beauty brands are coming out with their Christmas collections which always makes me very excited! I instantly fell in love with China Glaze's Let it Snow collection for holiday 2011. The collection includes 12 polishes including some solid and glittery colours. Here are the polish names and descriptions:

Velvet Bow: Rich Red Creme
Poinsettia: Ruby Red Creme
Glittering Garland: Glittery Green
Snow Globe: White Polish with Flecks of Snowy Colour
Blue Year's Eve: Shimmering Blue
Ring in the Red: Glittering Red
Champagne Bubbles: Gold Metallic with Golden Shimmer
Icicle: Silver Shimmer
Tinsel Town: Silver Metallic Glitter
Twinkle Lights: A Mix of Glittery Shades
Holly-Day: Rich Hunter Green
Winter Berry: Creamy Cranberry Red

I love the look of us these polishes and would like every single one however I didn't bankrupt myself by doing that and chose 4 of the polishes in Blue Year's Eve, Tinsel Town, Twinkle Lights and Snow Globe. (Here are the swatches, apologies for the plastic nail swatching, things have been a bit hectic this week and I haven't had chance to paint my nails yet)!

(L to R) Blue Year's Eve, Tinsel Town, Twinkle Lights, Snow Globe

How gorgeous are they? Blue Year's Eve is a gorgeous bright, metallic, shimmery blue that I think would look great any time of the year. Tinsel Town is probably my favourite of the 4 polishes and I haven't seen anything else like it. Twinkle Lights is a great multi coloured glitter polish that is great to have in your collection, I applied 3 coats of it in the picture above to make it opaque but I think that 1 coat over it over a dark polish, such as an opaque black, would look amazing. Finally we have Snow Globe which is such a wintery looking polish, it has a white base and is packed full of glitter which changes colour slightly depending on how the light hits it. Snow Globe is much prettier than it looks in the picture above, I layered it over Blue Year's Eve so that you can appreciate it more!

Snow Globe over Blue Year's Eve

I think that Let it Snow is a brilliant Christmas collection and all of the names are so nice and festive. China Glaze polishes are really reasonably priced (Around £7 each here in the UK) compared to some of the other high end brands, and are, in my opinion, of an equal quality. Look out for the Let it Snow gift sets too which work out cheaper than buying the polishes individually.
I purchased my polishes from eBay.
Please comment below if you have purchased any of the other polishes from the collection and let me know what you think of them and look out for my review of OPI's The Muppets Collection coming soon!
Maz x

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

L'Oreal Volume Million Lashes Luminizer Mascara

Hi Everyone!
I thought that I would put a quick post together for you all so that I can share a fun new beauty product with you. As you may know if you have previously read my blog, I am in love with L'Oreal mascara's and couldn't help but purchase one of their new 'Luminizer' mascara's. L'Oreal have released 3 new colours of their popular Million Lashes mascara each designed to enhance your natural eye colour. They have also brought out a matching Super Liner to partner the mascaras. The mascaras are black but also contain a 'special' luminizing ingredient that can make brown, blue and green eyes pop! Here are the colour descriptions:

Black Amethyst: For hazel/ brown eyes.
Black Emerald: For green eyes.
Dark Sapphire: For blue eyes.

Of course you can wear any of these no matter what your eye colour is but you will, in theory, get a better result if you choose your corresponding colour. I have brown eyes so chose the black amethyst colour. As you can see from the picture below the colour is not as dark as the regualar black masacara and has a definate plummy tone to it. I often wear plums and purples on my lid as I love the noticible effect it has on my eye colour so I was so excited to try out this product. I applyed a generous amount to my lashes after applying a neutral/ brown coloured lid.

(L to R) Million Lashes Mascara in Black, Million Lashes Mascara in Black Amethyst

The formula of the million lashes mascaras are great and they do any amazing job at fanning out your lashes and adding more volume for a dramatic eye. As you can see from the picture below, the brush is quite wide and spikey but narrows off at the end which makes it much easier to reach the smaller, inner lashes.

This mascara performs really well as does the original formula and I think that the plummy colour did make my eyes look a brighter brown. If you have given any of these mascaras a try please comment below and let me know what you think!
You can purchase the new mascara's for £11.29 and the eye liner's for £6.49 from Boots.
Maz x

Monday, 17 October 2011

Chocolate & Cherry Cookies

Hi Everyone!
I haven't managed to fit very much baking in over the last few of weeks but I had a couple of spare hours this morning so I made some chocolate and cherry cookies. Cookies are my favourite thing to bake and these are really quick and easy. They are a basic cookie with plain and white chocolate chips and cherries -  a perfect combination! Here's how I made them:

200g Unsalted Butter
85g Light Muscovado Sugar
85g Golden Caster Sugar
1 Egg
225g Self Raising Flour
50g Plain Chocolate - roughly chopped
50g White Chocolate - roughly chopped
85g Glace Cherries - roughly chopped
1/2 tsp Salt

1. Pre heat oven to 190C/ Gas Mark 5 and line 2 baking trays with grease proof paper.
2. Beat the butter, sugars and egg together until smooth.
3. Now sift in the flour and salt and mix until incorporated.
4. Finally add the chocolate and cherries and mix.
5. Place spoon fulls of the mixture, spaced well apart on the trays. You should get around 18-20.
6. Bake in the oven for 12-14 minutes until the cookies are slightly golden but still pale and soft in the middle.
7. Leave the cookies to cool on the baking trays for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool thoroughly.

I found this recipe on the BBC Good Food website but I added chocolate chips instead of chopped chocolate and dark muscovado sugar instead of light as I didn't have any!
I hope that you have enjoyed this post and will give it a go!
Maz x

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Inglot Blush Palette - Review & Swatches

Hi Everyone!
This post is continuing on with my recent Inglot craze/ obsession, this is my 4 pan blush pan from the Freedom System, which for those of you who don't know, is a service that Inglot provide where you can choose an empty palette and fill it with eyeshadows, lip colours, blushes, face powders and concealers of your choice. I purchased the 4 pan blush palette and choose the following blushes:
(L to R) 35, 34, 29, 55

29: Matte coral
34: Medium coral with gold and red flecks
35: Light coral with gold shimmer
55: Soft matte plum-pink
Here are the swatches of the blushes shown on NW20 skin:

(L to R) 35, 34, 29, 55

These are the first blushes that I have purchased from Inglot and I am really impressed with them. They all have great colour pay-off and apply and blend really well. The blushes are quite powdery though and you get quite a lot fall out left over the pan after you've dipped your brush into the powder, so be gentle, but no fall out on your skin. 35  are is a light coral blush and is a lighter, pinkier coral than number 34 and they remind me a little of NARS Deep Throat and Orgasm blushes. 55 is a lovely warm plummy colour which reminds me a little of MAC Plum Foolery blush and is my favourite in the palette, it would look great on so many skin tones too. 29 is a matte, mid-toned coral blush that gives you a lovely warm cheek, I have seen this blush described as being pink on online blogs but its much more coral to me.
The empty 4 pan blush palette costs £8 and the blush refills cost £6.50 each. Both can be purchased from Inglot
Please feel free to comment below with any Inglot recommendations!
Maz x

Friday, 14 October 2011

Nails Inc Gossip Girl Overglaze Duo's - Review & Swatch

Hi Everyone!
I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw this product whilst browsing the Nails Inc website the other day - they have teamed up with one of my all time favourite TV shows, Gossip Girl to release 3 nail polish sets for 3 of the main characters Serena, Blair and Lily. Each of the sets come with an opaque, glossy nail polish and a 'special effects overglaze' top coat. Here are the colour combinations for each set:

Serena: 'Patent Black Serena' Nail Polish with 'It Girl Electric Blue' Overglaze Top Coat.
Blair: 'Teal Black Blair' Nail Polish with 'Privileged Blue/ Green' Overglaze Top Coat.
Lily: 'Plum Black Lily' Nail Polish with 'High Society Red/ Green Overglaze Top Coat.

As Blair is my favourite character in the show I went for her set!

Blair, Privileged

I began by applying OPI Matte Nail Envy as my base followed by 2 coats of Blair nail polish. This polish is a really dark jade colour that almost looks like ink when you apply the first coat. It applies really evenly and smoothly and dries with a super glossy finish. I really like this colour and would definitely wear it alone without the top coat as a change from the dark purples and berry tones that I usually wear in Autumn and Winter.

The instructions on the back of the back said to apply 1-2 coats of Privileged Overglaze but I found that 1 was enough. This top coat is amazing, it contains flecks of almost florescent green and blue and really stands out! I also think that it'd look great over a black or navy polish too. I finished by applying a coat of Seche Vite Fast Drying Top Coat.

I think that this set would make an excellent gift for anyone who is interested in nails regardless of whether they are a Gossip Girl fan or not. The set is quite expensive but you are getting 2 full sized products, one of which is a pretty unique top coat.
I purchased my set from ASOS for £20 and you can also purchase them from the official Nails Inc website.
Please comment below if you have purchased any other of the Nails Inc Gossip Girl sets and let me know what you think!
Gossip Girl Season 5 returns to ITV2 in the UK on Wednesday 19 October! Can't wait!

To read my review and to see swatches of the Serena collection please click here

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

My Top 5 Foundations

Hi Everyone!
One of my friends recently asked me for my advice on which foundation she should try as she wasn't happy with her current one which prompted me to think about writing this post. There are so many foundations on the market, greatly varying in price, which claim to do amazing things for your skin. If, like me, you are willing to pay a slightly higher price if you are guaranteed quality then it's tough to know which ones to spend your money on. I have tried a lot of foundations over the years and had both good and bad experiences, here is my pick of the best.
NB: For a rough guide on the colours options - I am a MAC NW20.

Makeup Forever HD: (My shade: 118)
This foundation, as I am sure that many of you will know, has a massive online following and has a lot of hype surrounding it. As I mentioned on my full review of the foundation, this is such a light-weight foundation and doesn't feel in any way cakey which is great. It applies and blends so well and looks so natural. I am hoping to try out the MUFE Mat Velvet + Foundation soon to see how that performs on my oily skin so stay tuned for that review!
Please click here for my full review of this foundation. I purchased my bottle for £28.95 from Guru Makeup Emporium

L'Oreal True Match: (My shade: C3 Rose Beige)
I am a big fan of L'Oreal products and especially their foundations and mascaras. I have tried most of their foundations and have found this one to be the best. The consistency is a little runny but isn't too bad, I tend to wear this as my every day foundation and apply it quickly just using my fingers. This foundation blends into your skin really well and gives you quite a natural look, my mum really loves it too!
You can purchase it from Boots for £9.99 but look out for special offers!

Revlon Photo Ready: (My shade: 004 Nude)
This is my second favourite drugstore foundation after the L'Oreal True Match. It has a slighter fuller coverage and the consistency is slightly thicker. I do not think that this blends out quite as well as True Match but it is a great alternative to it. I prefer to use a foundation brush to apply this one.
This foundation costs £12.99 and can be purchased from Boots.

Smashbox High Definition: (My shade: Light L3)
I really like Smashbox face products and especially their primer's and Halo powder so I was easily talked into trying out their HD foundation. If I was to compare it to the MUFE foundation above I would say that this has a fuller coverage but takes a little longer to blend into the skin than the MUFE does. If I was asked which of the 2 I would choose for use in photographs I would probably say this one as it covers your skin much better. This is a great foundation for those of you with blemish prone skin in my opinion.
N.B The bottle shown in the picture is  travel sized.
The full price for this foundation is £28.50 and you can get it at Debenhams

Benefit You Rebel Tinted Moisuriser:
This final foundation is a tinted moisturiser which is great for summer days or for when you only want a little bit of coverage, I have a friend with a skin condition who swears by tinted moistusturiser as she can not wear foundations. This product is quite dark in colour but is OK for a fair skin, it also contains SPF 15 to protect your skin. The only thing that I do not like about it is the smell which does die down after a few minutes.
I purchased this for £23.50 from Debenhams

I hope that you have enjoyed this post and have found it useful. Please feel free to comment below with any foundation recommendations that you may have!
Maz x

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

White Chocolate & Cherry Loaf Cake

Hi Everyone!
Today I have made a white chocolate and cherry loaf cake which is a basic vanilla sponge cake with the addition of cherries and white chocolate topped with a white chocolate and cream cheese frosting.

For the Cake:
225g Butter, softened
225g Golden Caster Sugar
4 Eggs, beaten
2 tsps Vanilla Extract
225 g Self Raising Flour
375g Cherries
175g White Chocolate, chopped
For the Frosting:
100g White Chocolate, broken
140g Cream cheese or Mascarpone
White Chocolate curls or Cherries to decorate (optional)

1. Pre heat oven to 180C/ Gas Mark 4 and line a loaf tin.
2. Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy then add the eggs, one at a time along with the vanilla.
3. Fold in the sifted flour until the mixture is smooth.
4. Dust the cherries in flour and stir half of the cherries and chocolate into the mixture.
5. Spoon the mixture into the tin and then sprinkle the remaining cherries and chocolate over the top and press down slightly. 
6. Bake in the oven for 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes.
7. Remove the cake from the oven and insert a skewer into the middle of the cake which should come out clean (be careful not to confuse melted chocolate with raw cake mix).
8. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for a while before transferring it to a wire rack to cool thoroughly.
9. When the cake has cooled make the frosting, first melt the chocolate in a bowl over some simmering water then leave to cool.
10. Make sure that your cream cheese or mascarpone is at room temperature then quickly stir one tablespoon of it into the melted chocolate  then beat in the remaining, making sure not to over beat. Now spread the frosting over the cake.

Why do cherries always fall to the bottom no matter what you do?!!

This cake is super tasty and moist but very rich. I don't think that it needs as many cherries as the recipe states unless you really really love them! I preferred it the day after baking it as the chocolate had hardened off slightly. I hope that you have enjoyed this post and will give the cake a go!
I took this recipe from the BBC Good Food website.
Maz x

Monday, 10 October 2011

MAC Posh Paradise Paint Pots - Review & Swatches

Hi Everyone!
MAC's latest collection is called Posh Paradise and it includes 8 new limited edition paint pots. I am a huge fan of paint pots and use them a lot as an eyeshadow base as I feel that they do a great job at helping my pressed shadows and loose pigments to stick and to really make their colour pop. I usually apply them using my finger and then blend them out with a MAC 217 brush. I picked up 3 of the paint pots from the collection, here are their names and official descriptions:
Genuine Treasure: Reflects Antique Gold
Half-Wild: Mid-tone Purple
Imaginary: Blackened Navy

(Clockwise from top): Half-Wild, Imaginary, Genuine Treasure

All of the current paint pots in the permanent line are fairly neutral in colour so it's great to get the chance to purchase some brighter colours like these. Half-Wild was definitely at the top of my list when I first saw the collection as I have nothing else like it, it is a lovely mid-tone purple shade which I think will look especially great under MAC's Vibrant Grape eyeshadow. Imaginary looks more purple in the pot than it goes onto the skin and I think it would look great under both deep purple and navy shadows. Half-Wild and Imaginary have really nice, smooth, creamy textures and apply really well. Genuine Treasure is a pretty unique paint pot in my opinion and I have never seen a glittery paint pot from MAC before. As you can see from the picture below, it does not apply as well and evenly as the other two, it has quite a gritty consistency but I absolutely love the colour. It is much drier than the other two paint pots which will probably mean that when worn alone it won't crease too much.
Here are the swatches shown on NW20 skin:

(L to R) Half-Wild, Imaginary, Genuine Treasure

You can purchase these paint pots from MAC for £13.50 each.
To read about the rest of my MAC paint pot collection and to see swatches of them, please click here.
Please feel free to comment below and let me know if you have picked up any of the paint pots from the Posh Paradise collection and your thoughts on them.
Maz x

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Inglot Freedom System 10 Pan Neutral Eyeshadow Palette - Review & Swatches

Hi Everyone!
I can not begin to tell you how excited I am to share this product with you! I have wanted to try Inglot Cosmetics for so long now but have been unable to as they were only sold in the one UK Inglot store which is in London. I live in Manchester and don't get down to London very much (mainly due to the ever increasing cost of transport!) so I was over the moon when I heard that Inglot had finally opened a UK mail order website, click here to visit it. As I am sure that some of you are aware that Inglot is not a new company but is pretty unknown here in the UK.
Inglot offer a 'Freedom System' where you can customise your own palettes of eyeshadows, lip colours and blushes, similar to how you can with MAC and Makeup Forever. I have read many online reviews about Inglot and found a lot of very positive comments about the quality of their products and have read from several reviewers that their eyeshadows are comparable to MAC. I decided to purchase an empty, square, 10 pan eyeshadow palette and fill it up using neutral and brown colours. One thing that I don't like about Inglot is that there eyeshadows are numbered and not named which is a little annoying and confusing, especially as there are no colour descriptions on the site either. I searched across many, many blogs and sites at swatches and chose the following 10 shades:

Matte 352: A matte cream colour.
Matte 390: Pale taupe.
AMC Shine 45: A shimmery white-gold.
AMC Shine 07: Golden bronze.
AMC Shine 15: Orange/ coral with a golden shimmer.
DS 465: A dark brown with sparkle
DS 460: Plummy brown with silver sparkle.
AMC Shine 37: Medium- dark brown with shimmer.
AMC 52: Light brown with gold glitter.

Top Row, (L-R) Matte 352, Matte 390, AMC Shine 45, AMC Shine 07, AMC Shine 15
Bottom Row, (L-R) DS 465, DS 460, DS 457, AMC Shine 37, AMC 52

As you can see the shadows, like with MAC shadows come in different finishes, here are the descriptions of each finish:
Matte: This is pretty self explanatory! Matte shades have no shimmer, shine or glitter to them.
AMC: This stands for Advanced Makeup Component, most of the AMC shades are a matte base with glitter, they also contain vitamin E and are said to be perspiration resistant.
AMC Shine: The AMC Shine shades are similar to the standard AMC shades but are milled more finely and have more of a sheen to them.
DS: DS stands for double sparkle, the base of these shadows are supposed to be semi-matte with lots of sparkle.

And here are the swatches for you, shown on NW20 skin:

(L to R) 352, 390, 45, 07, 15

(L to R) 465, 460, 457, 37, 52

The palette itself is pretty large and much heavy than a MAC Palette but it is good quality and very sturdy. The lid attaches onto the palette with 4 magnets that are positioned on each corner, I would suggest that you slide the lid off the palette rather than trying to lift it off as the magnets are very strong. The lid is see-through with the Inglot signage printed across it so it's great that you can see what colours you have in there just by glancing at the palette and not having to actually open it which saves time.

I have to say that I am so impressed with the Inglot shadows and am not disappointed in any way, I will definitely be purchasing more of their products when I can so keep an eye out for more Inglot swatches and reviews. The price is a definite advantage as is the large eyeshadow size and colour selection. All of the 10 shadows have excellent colour pay off, blend well and have a lovely texture. I have found no problems with fall-out so far and love how the glittery shades are glittery without being too chunky. The only downside that I have found, other than the numbering was that the shadows are very hard to remove from the pan once you have put them in there!

The empty, square, 10 pan palette costs £8 and the shadows cost £4.50 each.
I hope that you have enjoyed this post and have found it useful, please feel free to recommend any Inglot products to me in the comments section below.

Click here for the updated version of this post!
Maz x

Friday, 7 October 2011

OPI Grape...Set...Match - Review & Swatch

Hi Everyone!
Today I have applied OPI's Grape...Set...Match lacquer to my nails which is part of the OPI Glam Slam England/ Wimbledon Serena Williams Duo Pack along with Servin' up Sparkle which is a glitter top coat. Purple is my favourite colour so I was instantly drawn to Grape...Set...Match as it is a reddish purple that is packed full of pink micro glitters that really make it shiny and super gorgeous!
I began by applying 2 coats of OPI Matte Nail Envy as my base followed by 2 coats of the polish. The first coat was a little streaky and patchy but it evened out after the second. The polish is more or less opaque after 2 coats but I can see the odd lighter patch here and there so 3 coats maybe advisable in the future! I then finished off with a coat of Seche Vite Ultra Fast Drying Top Coat. The polish dried pretty quickly, as I find most polishes that contain glitter do and has a beautiful finish.

If you are a fan of purple glitter polishes then I would definitely give this one a go! I have seen it available to buy on its own on eBay if you do not want the glitter top coat polish.
I purchased my polish set from Tiffany Nail Supplies for £19.90.
Maz x

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Smashbox Brow Tech To Go - Review & Swatch

Waterproof Brow Pencil
Hi Everyone!
I recently purchased the Smashbox Brow Tech to Go in the colour Taupe which is described as a portable version of their popular Brow Tech. The product consists of a waterproof pencil at one end and a gel with a brush applicator at the other which contains vitamins C and E plus Jojoba.

Gel with brush applicator

To apply the product I began by brushing my eyebrows using a spoole brush. I then twisted the pencil side of the product upwards and penciled in my brows using short, soft stokes. The pencil is quite creamy and applies well. The colour Taupe is also ideal for my brows as I have a fair skin tone and medium-dark brown hair. I then brushed some of the gel through my brows to keep them in place throughout the day. 
Swatch shown on NW20 skin-

Overall I felt that the product was really easy to use and I like its compact size. Despite being a pencil I didn't feel like it produced any harsh lines resulting in unnatural looking brows, it is also much quicker to use than a powder and an angled brush. I also really liked that you have the gel at the other end which saves time looking for another product. Another great advantage to the product is that the pencil is a twist up pencil so there is no need to sharpen it, it is also angled really nicely to make application easier. I would give this product 4 stars out of 5.
I purchased my Brow Tech from Debenhams for £22.50 and you can also purchase it from Amazon here: Smashbox Brow Tech To Go Taupe
Maz x


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