Thursday, 21 June 2012

Tonight you can find me...

...blogging about St Tropez Perfect Legs Spray Tan over on Kathy Kins Style Diary. She has a great little blog, take a look!



Guest Post from KathyKins: Festival Fever





T-shirt, shorts, jacket, necklace, belt, socks | Topshop
Beanie | Topman ,Shoes | Gift

Hello lovely readers of A Little Beauty Spot! My name’s Katharine from kathykins.com. Today I'm guest posting for the lovely Hannah, I hope you enjoy!

As we all know, festival season is well and truly underway! I am a massive festival lover - the relaxed atmosphere, sunshine (with a bit of luck!), great music and amazing times with friends is something I look forward to yearly and I always try to go to at least one festival a year! 

One of my favourite things about festivals is the fashion - festival styles are a big trend every summer and are always one of my favourites! Topshop is always a great stop for festival attire, everything I'm wearing is from there (this was unintentional but something I am all too prone to doing - sorry!) You can't go wrong with a pair a high waisted short - I love these berry coloured ones - paired with an oversized tee. I've added my leather jacket and my boyfriend's beanie to give the outfit a bit of an edge and add some extra warmth if the weather is unpredictable! And these cute little socks for a bit of girly-ness :)

What are your favourite outfits to wear at festivals?

Katharine x

Erm, guess who's going to the Bahamas?!



Yes, I am a VERY lucky lady.
In 8 days time I will be jetting off to the sunny Bahamas with my mister. I can't quite believe it!
I am currently in complete holiday-panic mode, we only booked a couple of days ago... I'm up to my eyeballs in lists of things to buy, outfits to plan and toiletries to pack.
Plus we are heading out to Ireland tomorrow for a few days, so it seems like there is no time to organize anything, gah!

Anyhoo, later on you will find me over on Katherines' blog KathyKins Style Diary, where I'll be reviewing St Tropez Perfect Legs Spray Tan. I thought this was very holiday-prep appropriate. Katherine will also be guest posting a cute little style piece here on A Little Beauty Spot, yay!



Tuesday, 19 June 2012

MAC FIX+


MAC Fix + is a mix of vitamins and minerals spritzer infused with green tea, chamomile and cucumber.

It's lovely for correcting caked on or dry make-up. A couple of sprays and your makeup is taken from matte to a soft natural dewy finish. I particularly like to use this if I am wearing mineral foundation, as it softens it up quite a bit, and adds radiance.

It says it finishes your make-up, but I wouldn't say it makes make-up last longer, it's not actually a makeup setting spray it's a refresher spray.
I found that I had to hold it quite far away from my face because the spray is quite concentrated and strong.

Fix+ has a very light, subtle scent, which I really like. Really nice for just refreshing yourself, especially on a hot sunny day, it would be lovely to have in your handbag on holiday.  

I do like this, but for £7 I wouldn't say it's a must have, it's pretty much glorified water. I don’t think I will purchase it again in the future, I prefer to use an actual make-up setter.
Have you used MAC Fix+ before? What did You think?






Monday, 18 June 2012

Infared- Topshop Lipstick


Let’s be real, Mondays are hard huh? Sometimes you just need to re-group and put on bright orange lipstick.
So, shall we talk about lipsticks?!
I am a huge sucker for lipsticks and I really can’t rave about this one enough.


‘Infared’ £8 by Topshop. A gorgeous bright orangey-red shade.
The pigmentation in this lipstick is incredible and really buildable too. You can wear it as a lighter coral colour or add a couple of layers to become a bright orange. The staying power is really impressive too.

It's a velvet formula, which means it is super moisturising, and doesn’t dry or chap your lips at all.
It's very unusual for me to find a lipstick which doesn’t dry out my lips, I've only ever found one other (Estee Lauder Crystal Pink ). I do apply Carmex lip balm before and after lipstick application, but with this one, I wouldn't say it was totally necessary.
The quality is comparable to MAC (whose lipsticks are now a whopping £13.50 each). Actually, I’d even go as far as saying I prefer this formula to MAC lipsticks, although the shade selection isn't as varied.

Infared has injected a bit of excitement back into my make-up bag, without breaking the bank. I’ll certainly be adding to my Topshop Lipstick collection, for only £8 you can't really go wrong.

Have you tried any of Toyshops’ Lipstick range?

Anyway, I hope you all had an awesome weekend?
I was a very lucky lady, I spent the whole weekend with my mister. We went to LOVEBOX on Saturday, and then sat in Hyde Park in the sunshine with a bottle of wine on Sunday, bliss.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Vintage Earring Shopping

I’m a huge fan of clip on earrings.
You see, I’ve tried 3 times (yes, 3 TIMES) to have my ears pierced, me and piercings just don't get along.
So, long ago, I resorted to the clip on kind.

Shopping for vintage clip-ons in markets is actually soooo much easier and cheaper than buying them from high street shops like Topshop, who charge crazy bonkers prices of up to £18.
The choice range is much bigger in a market place too, usually organised by colour. Plus you get the lovely hussle and bussle atmosphere.
It’s pretty sweet to know that no-one else will be wearing the same pair as you too, you’ll have something old and unique.

I purchased these cute little flowery clip-ons from a charming little market in Camden Passage (Angel, London).
They were £3. Yeh, bargainous!
I bought them from a lovely old lady (she looked like she was wearing every piece of jewellery she owned), who sells real 50’s jewellery and broaches.
50’s is clearly the era to love.
They remind me of little cake decorations, obviously being a keen baker, this pleases me. Sad, I know.

I bought these darling little pearl earrings from a stall at Portabello Market (London)
They were £6 and I wear them A LOT. Seriously, pearls go with EVERY outfit, right?!

Have any of you done any vintage shopping recently? Which markets do you like to go to?

White Chocolate Brownie Cookies


Brownies are like a secret cure for PMT (sorry fellas).
Sometimes we need a hug, sometimes we need brownies. Most times, we need both.
Last night, I decided these brownie cookies were very necessary.
I had already come to terms with the fact that I was going to eat them straight out of the oven. Don’t judge.


Ingredients (Makes around 10 or 11 large brownie cookies)
8 ounces of dark chocolate
1 packet (around 125g) of white chocolate
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup of flour
Pinch of salt
1 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of vanilla essence
1 cup sugar
3 eggs


Method
Preheat your oven to around 180 degrees, grease and line a large baking tray.

In a large pan bring about 2 inches of water to the boil.

Smash up all the dark chocolate, it’s easiest if you leave it in the packet and just give it a good old bash against your kitchen worktop.

Put all the chocolate pieces in a small saucepan and lower into the boiling water. The smaller the pieces are, the quicker they will melt.

Stir the chocolate until it starts to melt, then add the butter. Stir until it has all melted and then set aside to cool.

Next, sieve the flour into a large bowl. Wisk in the salt and Baking powder.

Return to your chocolate mixture; add the sugar, vanilla essence and the eggs, one by one.
Stir thoroughly until combined.

Add the chocolate mixture to the flour mixture and stir until all the flour has been combined.

Smash up the white chocolate into chunks and fold in the chocolate pieces into the mixture.


Bake for 11 minutes if you want them slightly undercooked and sloppy, or 16 Minutes if you’re not a fan of the sloppy-ness.

Enjoy with a large glass of full-fat milk, yum!


Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Charles Worthington Front Row Hair Spray and Mousse

Hello little darlings,
how are your days going?
Mine's been a pretty relaxed one, reading blogs and magazines, and planning a little brownie baking session tonight.

Recently I’ve been trying out Charles Worthington Limited Edition Front Row Lasting Hairspray and Big hair Sculpting Mouse (both £6.29 for 200mls). I have to say, so far, so good!

Hairspray
I don’t really like to go too overboard with hairspray.
If you’re like me, and you just want a natural flexible style to be held in place without it appearing as though you have a head of hairspray, this is perfect. Especially for styling your fringe.
When I’m wearing this I don’t actually feel as though I have hairspray on, great huh?
It doesn’t leave that horrible sticky, crispy feeling, or look wet, no matter how much you use.
It leaves hair pretty flexible and able to move. I like to go stronger on hairspray at the root, and it's pretty darn good at holding that.
It lasts for hours, but I do tend to top up at some point in the day (I do this with all hairsprays though).
Lastly, I will say I am VERY picky when it comes to scents. I absolutely hate any kind of hair product with a really strong fragrance. I'd like to smell of my perfume thanks, not my hair products. So I was really pleasantly surprised when I actually liked this scent. I want to say it's kind of fruity, but it's just really fresh and nice to put in your hair.

Mousse
If you want to achieve a naturally voluminous barnet, it's just standard that you use a mousse before blow-drying, we all know that.
I find that this mousse was great to use alongside the hairspray for creating the extra volume.
I use a little squirt and scrunch it all through my wet hair, from root to tip, before blow drying with my head upside down.  
This does a very good job of lifting the hair at the root, but also just makes styling SO much easier.

This is how much I use, I have very long hair though, so you may not need as much as me. DON’T overload your hair with mousse; it’ll leave it feeling greasy and heavy.
There is a lot more oomph and body around my crown when I use this, and styling is easier weather you want straight or curly hair, as it makes your hair moldable and not floppy. I find if I use this mousse through the length of my hair before curling, my curls tend to stay in tact a lot better than if I'd just used spray.
Overall I have been really impressed with both of these little beauties,

I do NOT need a 200ml bottle in my bag… but I like these products so much, it hasn't stopped me from lugging them around with me!



Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Donning my Pinny

I absolutely support any excuse to eat cake.
This carrot cake recipe is INSANE. Probably the best carrot cake you will ever bake.
The secret ingredient? Pineapple. Yeh, pineapple.
I know, it sounds totally weird right?! But totally incredible. I promise.




Cake Ingredients
3 1/3 cups of all purpose flour
2 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of baking soda
1 tsp of salt
2 tsps of ground cinnamon
3 large eggs and 1 egg yolk
1 cup of granulated sugar
1 cup and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
1 ¾ cups of vegetable oil
1 cup of drained crushed pineapple
2 tsps of vanilla extract
2 ¼ cups of grated carrots (this is plenty for the cake and the topping)
½ cup of sweetened shredded coconut
¼ cup raisons
¼ cup chopped walnuts (plus extra for topping)

*if you don’t own a set of measuring cups, Just use a standard size tea-cup and estimate. That’s what I do, it seems to work pretty well.

Icing Ingredients
1 tub of Philadelphia cream cheese
1/2cup of unsalted butter (leave this out to soften for a couple of hours)
2 cups of sifted icing sugar
2 tsps of Vanilla extract
Dash of lemon juice
Pinch of salt

Cake Method
Pre-heat your oven to about 180 degrees.
Grease and flour a 9-inch round cake tin (or if you own a fancy cake tin, you know the ones with the frilly edges, totally use that!).
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, yolk, and sugar until slightly thickened.
Add the oil, crushed pineapple and vanilla extract, whisk thoroughly.
Add the wet pineapple mixture, to the dry flour mixture and mix thoroughly.
Add the carrots, coconut, raisons and nuts.
Pour into the cake tine and bake for around 45 minutes (you may need to cover the top of the cake with baking paper, to prevent it from burning).

When baked, let the cake cool for 15 minutes before placing on a wire rack. Leave to completely cool.

Icing Method
Empty all the cream cheese into a bowl and beat until it is soft.
Add the butter and beat until thoroughly combined.
Add the salt, sugar, lemon juice and finally the vanilla extract and beat together until all the sugar has disappeared.
Spread immediately over the cooled cake.
Serve any time of day with a lovely cup of English breakfast tea or even better, a cup of fresh Columbian coffee, yum!






Monday, 11 June 2012

What's in my make-up bag?


Good afternoon poppets,
how are you all dealing with this monsoon June?!
I donned the hunter wellies on my way to the office this morning, and snuggled up at my desk with a hot water bottle and a cup of tea. Wouldn't it be dreadful to live in a country where they didn't drink tea??

I know I said I would be a little more diverse on my blog (I promise I will), but I'm really enjoying make-up again at the moment.

I'm thinking of doing a make-up artist course, even though they are ridiculously expensive. If anyone could recommend any around central London, that would be great!

Anyway, let's get down to it.
I love peeking into other peoples' make-up bags, who can resist a good nosey, eh?! So...this is the contents of my every-day make-up bag... 



I'll walk you through it...

Face
Clinique Dramatically different moisturizing lotion
No.7 Concealer- shade 03 fair (I always like to have my concealer in a lighter shade than my foundations)

Chanel Foundations-
My crazy love obsession with Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua foundation is still going strong. We are coming up to our 3 year anniversary... or so.
Chanel Vitalumiere (shade 20 Beige), which I Mix with Vitalumiere Lumiere (shade 30 Cendre Shell) £35 for 30mls, depending on how tanned I am.
 Mac Finishing Mist
Topshop Foundation Brush


Cheeks
Mac Sheer tone Shimmer Blush- Trace Gold
Illamsqua Cream Blush- Sob (I've hit the pan on this one, it's lasted over a year and I still absolutely love it)
MAC 109 Contor Brush
Eyes
Mac Mascara- Studio Fix Boldblack Lash
Mac eyeliner- Smoulder
 Rimmel Eyebrow Pencil- Shade 001 dark brown.


Lips
Carmex Classic Lipbalm (I use this as as a base for lipsticks)
MAC Satin Lipstick- Myth
YSL Rouge Volupte Lipstick

Randoms
Make up bag- Muji
Boots Eyelash curlers
Tweezer- Octopus
Bobby pins
 Cath Kidston mirror

Phew! It does seem like a heck of a lot when I list it.
This is my every-day natural make up look (excuse the hair, rain = bad hair day)...


What do you carry around in your make-up bag? is it as much as me?!








Sunday, 10 June 2012

Millie Mackintosh Make-up

Made in Chelsea is such a guilty pleasure of mine. It totally upsets me to admit that, but whatever.
Like so many of you ladies out there, I have a little girl crush on the beautiful Millie.
I would love to wake up one day and just look like her. Please?

Anyhoo, I was doing a little stalking today, as you do, and I came across a make-up vlog by Millie.
I really enjoyed this tutorial, absolutely love her fresh-faced bronzed look, so I thought I'd share it with you little lot.



I'm thinking about doing some make-up and beauty related vlogging myself... I just need to get over my camera phobia first, watch this space! 


Topshop Make-up brushes




Hey pals, I hope you've all had a smashing weekend? 
I've had a crazy, wonderful, busy one... Nandos Gignics (where I met Lydia Bright from TOWIE) and Kensington Rooftop gardens, lovely.

Anyway, I've read a few not so great reviews of Topshop make up brushes floating around on blogosphere, so I thought I'd add my two cents.

I haven't used make up brushes for a long time, I had a previous bad experience with a malting Max Factor brush which put me off. I reverted to using my fingertips for the application and blending of everything. I was pretty impressed with this foundation brush though, so that might have all changed for me.  

Little tip for you, I washed both of these brushes before using them. I know they are brand spanking new, but I just find that this helps prevent bristles from shedding with the first use.

The foundation brush was a really great size, unbelievably soft on my face and I found it blended my foundation in really well, leaving no brush strokes. 
I really liked the look of my skin after using this brush, I found that the foundation looked much more natural buffed in with a brush.
Using fingertips alone means that the foundation tends to just sit on top of your skin. So I would really recommend this brush, at £7 you can't really go wrong. 

I didn't have so much success with the powder brush (RRP £10), I found that the bristles where far to scratchy on my face and the actual brush itself felt too big for my face. I also had a few stray bristles, so I'd stay clear of this one unfortunately. 

P.S Lydia and I are basically best friends now. Basically. 

Friday, 8 June 2012

Mac Face and Body Foundation

Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m a bit of a make-up nerd.
I don’t believe in products that just talk the talk. No matter what the brand, I'm not easily sold, unless it works.
I've  strayed from my comfort zone and give Mac Face and Body foundation a whirl.


I honestly think I'm the only lady in blog-land who isn’t crazy about this?

The first thing is that I noticed is that that it smelt like sweeties, fruit salad to be exact…yum.
The consistency is VERY watery (well, duh, it's a water based foundation).
On application it felt strangely quite sticky on my skin, and I found it hard to blend. Maybe I should have used a brush. I had to apply two layers to get any kind of coverage.
I was a little happier with it once it had settled, and it left a kind of nice dewy luminous finish.
As the day went on I found it settled in my dry patches, and just didn't look great at all, sob. It doesn’t offer any sun protection either, which most foundations tend to do. 


I would say this is low to medium coverage, but buildable.
Personally I like quite a lot of coverage, so this was a little too natural looking for me.
It would be great if you have minimal skin issues and no blemishes, and I certainly felt like my skin could breathe whilst wearing this.  



The packaging is rather big and bluky, which is fine if you're going to leave it at home, but I like to carry my foundation around with me in my handbag, so this isn't the best for me.
I do like the nozzle on the bottle, nice and sanitary so it can't slip back in once you've touched it. The twist on cap is always a trustworthy bet too, no spillages.

Although I would still class MAC as being high-end make up, the price tag of this particular foundation are a little friendlier, £25.50 for 120mls... this helps justify the price.

Overall I would recommend this foundation for those of you who have mostly blemish free skin, are looking for a nice light summer foundation, or if you like tinted moisturizers.



Thursday, 7 June 2012

Mac Studio Fix Boldblack Lash Mascara


Hello chummys, should I tell you more about my nail polish obsession?!
 Mmm... I should probably go easy on that. Okay, let's talk mascara.

I stand before you with a giant smile on my face.
This little gem now has a permanent place in my make-up bag. And in my heart.
I seriously love the effect this mascara has on my eye lashes.
I'm a girl who is all about the lash lengthening; I prefer a more subtle look. If you’re looking for thickness and volume, look elsewhere.

As you can see Mac Studio Fix Boldblack Lash mascara has a plastic wand. Personally I am a huge fan of plastic wands, I just don't get on with the bristle ones. But hey, that's just me.
This wand is particularly fabulous because it is so thin, meaning you can easily get to the outer and inner corners of your eye, those pesky little lashes that get missed if you have a big wand. I also found it really great for separating the lashes without clumping. No clumping at all in fact, praise the Lord!

Studio fix is a great subtle yet noticeable daytime mascara. It's easy to build up, if you do want a more dramatic look, 2 or 3 coats will work. It has quite a wet formula, doesn't smudge throughout the day and is easy to remove. You can't ask for any more than that, can you?

Top marks from me, I can't recommend this mascara enough!