Un-chapped smiles…

Un-chapped smiles…

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Love bright, vibrant lip colours? Using makeup-remover wipes doesn’t always clean off all the pigment thats left by lipsticks. And if you’re using bright colours like I do…we know how annoying of a problem it can be. Exfoliating lips regularly (not more than once a week) removes the dead skin cells as well as stimulates new cell growth. This vital process conditions you lips, keeps them healthy and retains moisture. Particulary in the cold, dryness and dehydration is common, leading to chappiness.

So, HOW should we exfoliate? You can either use shop-bought products, or you can make them at home- just with 1 teaspoon honey, and 2 teaspoons Demerara sugar. The honey is super conditioning and the sugar granules buff off flaky skin. You can substitute honey by using equal parts of olive oil and Demerara sugar. If you don’t have any of these ingredients, you can always resort to your handy toothbrush and some vaseline or a lip moisturiser/lipbalm. Preferably use an old toothbrush, you’re not currently using, as we wouldn’t want any dead skin cells ending up between our teeth, would we?! Toothbrush on its own may be too harsh, therefore use a tiny amount of vaseline with it.

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As usual, start off by removing your lipstick and make up. I just use ordinary make up wipes…

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Dab some lukewarm water onto your lips to soften them.

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Now, using a lip scrub/exfoliator of your choice (I like Mint Julips from Lush), take a small amount onto your finger…

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Mint Julips tastes like choc chip ice cream, the peppermint & vanilla together with sugar crystals provide the best exfoliator (in my opinion). The peppermint aids in the healing process- no more chapped lips!
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…And gently rub the scrub onto your lips as you would normally do with a face exfoliator.  You will notice the granules change colour as they pick up the lipstick pigment residue that was not removed by the make up wipe. Be careful not to use excessive force (don’t scrub too hard) as this can be damaging to your lips. Over exfoliation could also worsen the dryness!
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Rinse the scrub off your lips, and dab the excess water away with a towel. Don’t rub, DAB!

The final step is to condition and moisturise your exfoliated lips using a natural beeswax lip balm which also contains peppermint, further aids in the healing process of chapped lips.
Photo 01-02-2015 16 22 33I, personally try and exfoliate once a week. If you exfoliate too often it can be damaging for your lips.

Removing excess dead skin also helps lip cosmetics to stay on for much longer, and they apply with better ease.

Say goodbye to chapped lips this winter…

 

Akruti x

 

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Last Minute Christmas Gift Ideas🎁!

Last Minute Christmas Gift Ideas🎁!

As we all get in the festive mood closer to Christmas Day, putting up the trees and decorations, we often struggle to find stocking fillers or gifts to put under the tree. So here is a little bit of inspiration to put a smile on those you love 😃

 

Bobble Drinks BottleFiltered water bottle. 

Also available in the UK at House of Fraser

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This crinkle free unisex sports bottle filters water at the mouthpiece as you drink. The filter at the mouthpiece can be replaced after 2-3 months of usage, and is the equivalent of 300 plastic bottles. Not only does it save money, but it also helps protect the environment as it is reusable and recyclable😃. The carbon filter removes chlorine and other contaminants from tap water. There are two available sizes: 550ml (£10 at Debenhams) and 1 litre (£13 at Debenhams). The filters come in various colours, so adds a bit of brightness to the season.

 

Essential Burt’s Bees – loving essentials for any season.

Available at Burt’s Bees for £12.99. Also Available at John Lewis and Waitrose.

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This set includes mini trial sizes of the Beeswax Lipbalm, Naturally Nourishing Milk & Honey Body Lotion, Coconut Foot Cream, Mini Hand Salve, and Soap Bark & Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream. As mentioned in my previous post ‘My top 5 winter Essentials‘, I love Burt’s Bees products as they are natural and extremely moisturising especially in the wintery months. These mini sizes are great if your loved one is new to these products as it gives them a sample of a variety of items.

Their packaging is ideal as a Christmas Gift or even a stocking filler.

 

John Lewis Aroma Click & Heat Gel Hand Warmers

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Adorable knitted, animal print hand warmers, with gel warmer pads inside each warmer. Ideal for the winter, to keep in pockets, or to simply hold in your hands. The heat is activated by clicking the metal disc inside each of the gel pads. The activated pads last for 45 minutes, and can be reactivated by placing in boiling hot water for 15 minutes.

They come in many different animal prints: Polar bear, Deer, Owl and Fox (just to mention a few!) and are reusable making it a warm Christmas.

Also available at John Lewis for £14!

 

Yankee CandleScented Candles

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These household candles are perfect for the holiday season. Yankee Candles have over 70 scents and sizes. They are perfect gifts for the home. My favourite all time scents are the Christmas Cookie, Black Cherry, French Vanilla and Cupcake Jar. Prices range from  £1.80 – £19.99. They are surprisingly long lasting, and dispenses a subtle scent that usually covers the whole room. Check out their website for more options on their scents.

 

Molton BrownBath & Body Gifts

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You might think that it may be too much to pay for a shower gel or shampoo, but why not treat your loved ones with something special for the season. Whether buying individual bottles, or gift sets, there are a variety of options. Prices commonly start from £13- £80 for mens gifts. Women gift sets start at £20 up to £74 for gift sets. My personal favourite is the Pink Pepperpod Body Wash, retailing at £18. If your looking for that perfect pamper gift, this is definitely the one to get to treat your loved one, or even spoil yourself over the holidays.

 

Hair Straightener

GHD IV Stylerr
GHD IV Styler

 

GHD IV Salon Styler
GHD IV Salon Styler

 

 

 

My never ending love for GHD straighteners (Good Hair Day). Yes, we do need an amazing pair of hair tools as these can be used to straighten and curl hair. The joys of winter are the frizzy hair that we get when it rains, or is damp outside.  Having owned two different types of GHD’s: ghd IV salon styler with larger plates, and the styler for straightening, curls and waves.  I definately think this product is a must have for every girl. They tame frizzy hair down. GHD straighteners are great as they have ceramic plates, swivel cords and long lasting curls. I have owned my GHD Salon Styler for over 3 years and they are still in perfect working condition. The Salon Styler however, does not give long lasting and tight curls, compared to the IV Styler (left picture).  Salon Styler is perfect for straightening thick long hair, as it gets the job done fast!

🎅Happy Shopping🎁

🎄Merry Christmas🎄

x

The Scrumptious ‘3 F’ Pancake!

The Scrumptious ‘3 F’ Pancake!

Don’t we all just love pancakes? They can be quite unhealthy, especially when made with plain flour. I have recreated the pancake recipe- scrumptious yet healthier version. I like to call it the ‘3 F Pancake’ – It is fluffy, fibrous and filling! So, I thought of sharing this recipe with those of you who are avoiding piling on the pounds this winter, with a guilt free pancake! Its perfect for a healthy, filling and nutritional breakfast.


Here are the ingredients (makes around 3 pancakes):

100% Organic Oat Flakes:

1 tablespoon whole wheat flour/spelt (optional)

A Pinch of Sea Salt

3/4 cup Milk

1 Egg


Take the oat flakes, grind them into a powder in a grinder, I use the Braun Multiquick MR 430 HC Hand Blender Chopper. Now use 4 tablespoons of the ground oats in the mixture. This hand blender has been reviewed on the following BLOG Photo 03-11-2014 09 45 53

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Mix 4 tablespoons of ground oats, 1 tablespoon of whole wheat/spelt flour (optional) and the pinch of salt.

Create a well in the middle of the flours, adding the egg whites (or can add the whole egg, I prefer to use the Egg whites, as the yolk is high in fat and cholesterol).

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To this, add the 3/4 cup of milk.

Whisk the above into a batter, add more milk if you prefer the pancakes more runny.Photo 03-11-2014 11 47 27

Add 2 spoonfuls of this batter onto a hot/preheated pan to get the perfect size. Don’t forget to flip the pancake over to cook the other side. I like to have mine with honey, or home made strawberry jam (sometimes even mushed up strawberries)!

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Tempted to try this recipe out? 😀

Why not, and leave your comments below…

Bon Appétit 🍴!

❄My Top 5 Winter Essentials❄

❄My Top 5 Winter Essentials❄

We’re almost half way into November, and its finally getting cold (yes after the exceptionally warm October we had in England!). This isn’t the best season for our skin, as well as hair. With the festive season it is not always easy to stay on top of a well balanced diet. Therefore it is important to keep our bodies hydrated and nourished with the vital nutrients and vitamins. Our skin, nails and hair also tend to dry out and get damaged.

These are my top 5 essentials to survive through the cold winter months. I am not a health expert, but these essentials may prove useful to you as they have to me.

 

1) Coconut oil hair mask: It is a white solid in the jar, but melts quickly in the palm of our hands. This oil can be used as an alternative to olive oil, or vegetable oil, as well as a great skin moisturiser. I have recently purchased the cold pressed Chi  100% Raw Organic Coconut Oil, retailing at £9.44. Personally I am not too fond of the smell on my skin, so I prefer to use it as a conditioning hair mask, to prevent my hair drying out in the winter. I try to use this hair oil mask once a week on dry hair, applying it the night before I wash my hair. Take some in your fingers and gently massage it through the whole scalp, making sure the whole head is covered with some oil. Whatever you have remaining in your hands, run it through the length of your hair, comb it through using a wide toothed comb and tie a loose braid. Keeping it on overnight helps to condition and soften your hair. Use a shower cap or a towel on the pillow if you are worried about greasing up your pillowcase, and pillow! don’t drench the hair with the oil, excess oil will just run down your face as it melts! Make sure you wash it out thoroughly with shampoo, it takes a few goes to remove all the oil. It cannot, however, be used as an alternative to a conditioner because it doesn’t rinse out well with water alone. If you do have extremely frizzy or heat damaged hair, take a small pinch (smaller than the size of a pea), rub between your palms, and pull it through the length of your dry hair (remember to use a small amount or you will end up with a greasy mess).

Chi coconut oil

 

2) Aloe Vera Gel: Click here for my post on Benefits of Aloe Vera. You can also use this as a full body moisturiser.

Aloe Vera Gel from Boots

 

3) Lip Balm: My favourite is the one with Burts Bees Beeswax Vitamin E & Peppermint for £3.69. Having used Vaseline and other lip moisturisers in the past, discovering Burts Bees was the best thing the could happen. It stays on for long, you do not need to keep reapplying it the way you would with Vaseline, it is super moisturising, the Vitamin E soothes dry chapped lips, and the Peppermint oil refreshes the lips. The fact that the product is made from a natural ingredient, bees wax made it even more attractive. The tube is more hygienic than using a lip balm from a tub, and it also fits easily into your small clutch bags or pocket. Its good value for money as you don’t need to keep re-applying it and it softens and conditions the lips, especially in the winter. I also apply it before I do my make up, and keeps my lipstick from cracking.

Burts Bees

 

4) Green Juice: Check out my Greeeench Juice recipe. I like to have this every morning for breakfast, as I get my 5 a day as well as a good intake of water to kick start my day.

Green Juice

 

5)Lip Scrub: Mint Julips by Lush Handmade Cosmetics for £5.50. I try to use this once every fortnight (frequent use can have negative effects). This lip scrub tastes like mint chocolate chips, and also acts as a moisturiser. It eliminates all those cracks, rough bits and bleeding of the lips. You only need a minimal amount of the scrub, rub it gently on your chapped and cracked lips, and you can lick it off after using it. The small pot lasts a long time, I have had mine for 2 months, and its not even near the half way mark.

It contains:

Caster Sugar (coarse): helps to exfoliate and hydrate the skin

Peppermint Oil: Cools the skin by stimulating nerves and dilating blood vessels

Organic Jojoba Oil (from the jojoba seeds): Readily absorbed by our skin epidermis is the nourishing and softening

Vanilla extract: For flavour

Tagetes Oil (from the marigold flower): Contains antimicrobial and anti fungal properties keeping the skin clear.

Mint Julips Lush

 


 ❄Comment with your views or any suggestions of your Top 5 Winter Essentials❄

Share the goodness with friends and family 😊

😘

Review: Coastal Scents 88 Original Palette

Review: Coastal Scents 88 Original Palette

Having heard a lot of positive comments and recommendations, I recently purchased my first Coastal Scents eyeshadow palette. It is the 88 Original Palette that consists of a mix of matte and satin/shimmery colours. I was rather impressed with their delivery as it came packaged in a pretty looking box, along with my other purchases, which I will be reviewing soon. The packaging was really good, all of my purchases were intact and neatly packed. The 88 Original Palette cost me $10.95 on sale (approx.  £6.50) from their website (http://www.coastalscents.com/pl-001.html). The only drawback is that they don’t deliver to the UK, but can be easily purchased on Amazon, or eBay costing between £17 – £22.

 

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Coastal Scents postage packaging 🎁
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The box was colourful and full of life!

 

The palette has a strong hard shell plastic case. The case is good quality and does not look cheap at all. I love that its black and sleek, and does not have any fancy prints on it. The palette looks really professional and does not take up much room, making it easy to store. The black case has a latch in the centre, which holds the palette tightly shut, keeping everything in place.

 Inside the palette, along with the 88 eyeshadows is an inbuilt mirror, and two dual-tipped applicator sponges, which I haven’t tried out (I prefer to use the Real Techniques Starter Set 1406 brushes and a few brushes from Coastal Scents: they are much better!!! 😉). There is also a plastic sheet on top of the eyeshadows that comes with the pack, and I would suggest keeping this as it doesn’t smudge the shadows.

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The colours are bright and vibrant. One of the reasons I purchased this palette is because of the large range of colours available – in satin as well as matte. Most colours are strongly pigmented, however you may need a shadow primer depending on your natural skin tone for the colours to stand out on the eyelid. I have found the shadows easy to blend and layer on effortlessly. One of my biggest concern before purchasing any eyeshadow was the fall out upon application- the Coastal Scents palette has minimal fall out, similar to the Mac eyeshadows. This palette can be used to create any sort of look – bridal, smokey, natural, or even funky.

For Halloween, I created a heavy smokey eye, bat girl inspired look using the bright yellow, purple, black, and a neutral/nude shade was used as a transition colour. The shadows stayed on for the whole evening, and did not smudge or slide at all (I did use my concealer before applying any eyeshadow).

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The complete look!

I suggest you try this eyeshadow palette as not only is it inexpensive but you get a wide range of colours that are amazing quality.

😘

Greeeench juice

Greeeench juice

My go-to healthy smoothie, a great detox drink that keeps me filled up. Rich in antioxidants, its a good smoothie to kick start the day. The best bit is that it does not taste bitter, infact it tastes like regular juice out of a carton, just that its freshly made and the healthier option.

These are the key ingredients I choose to use, the base of greens is parsley(can also use spinach or kale), followed by cucumber, apple, grapes, freshly squeezed orange and/or lemon juice, and a small slice of ginger gives a nice kick to the drink. Add 1-2 cups of water, or enough water to help blend the ingredients. I tend to add ice at the top, or even use frozen grapes instead. It tastes best when its consumed immediately after blending. I use the Moulinex Optiblend 2000 (AAW945) blender to make this refreshing smoothie.

Available at: http://www.moulinex.co.uk/pages/food_AAW945.htm?OnpageA=1

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Handful of grapes
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Organic apples. If is difficult to source organic apples, peel off the waxy skin.
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Lime, apple, ginger, grapes, cucumber and parsley
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Add the leafy greens first, followed by the remaining ingredients in which ever order. Don’t forget to add around 1-2 cups of water, depending on how thick you want it.
The final product
Happy Juicing!

Try it out and leave a comment below 🙂

x

Review: Wahaca Great Portland Street

Review: Wahaca Great Portland Street

Hi guys,

Nibbles: Guacamole with tortilla chips
Nibbles: Guacamole with tortilla chips

 

For those that know, I really enjoy Mexican cuisine as its refreshingly simple and spicy. I have grown to enjoy eating at this amazing Mexican restaurant in London, Wahaca. Co-founded by Thomasina Myers, an English cook, Writer, as well as TV food presenter, hosting her own show: Mexican Food Made Simple. Wahaca promotes healthy eating, as well as freshly preparing meals as they are ordered. As you walk in to the restaurant you can feel the vibrant atmosphere with a hint of fresh guacamole and salsa. The food is freshly made and can be seen in the finely selected leaves of the salad tortilla bowl. The use of fresh fruits and vegetables in their dishes stands out to the palette as every ingredient is carefully selected. Each dish is brought out as it is prepared, and they cater for people with dietary needs such as gluten free tortillas. I have always enjoyed going to this restaurant in London, it is fairly affordable, and I think you get a great value for money because of the fresh and simple ingredients used to create exciting food. The menu is somewhat like a tapas, where you order dishes that cost from £3.70- £5.25 from their ‘Street food’ selection. Their salads are one of my personals favourites from the ‘Platos fuertes’ section in the menu, where I order their Sonora salad with black bean & corn salsa, costing £7.50, which is perfect for sharing. It is a wholesome salad with lots of goodness found in the quinoa grains, pumpkin seeds, tossed in the black bean, that are filled in a fried tortilla bowl (the not so healthy part!). The flavours in this salad are tangy, and sweet, and just burst when u take a bite.

 

Cactus Taco
The Sonora Salad with black bean & corn salsa
The Sonora Salad with black bean & corn salsa

 

Their cocktails as well as non alcoholic ‘mocktails’ are reasonably priced, and pair well with all the dishes.

Hibiscus Mojito

 

Desserts… Ahhh my favourite part… it has to be Churros y chocolate: hot Spanish/Latin American dessert, made from a donut-like batter, sprinkled with a dusting of cinnamon, which you dip in a hot cup of chocolate… Heavenly!

 

Churros y chocolate

 

The staff have always been friendly and helpful, and I would recommend everyone to check it out. They have many chains across London!

 

These prices are based on my visit in September 2014.

Check out the website for more details   http://www.wahaca.co.uk

This is based on my personal experience, comment below and let me know yours…

x