Review – Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream

Ok, here is the next instalment of my hunt for a good foundation that’s just slightly lighter than what I currently use in terms of coverage. This time I was back to Maybelline to try out their Dream Fresh BB Cream; if you live in the UK you will most likely have seen this advertised on a TV near you recently.

First thing’s first, this little baby set me back £7.99 in Boots so whilst it’s not super pricey, it is a fair bit more than the MUA BB I reviewed a few weeks ago.

I picked the “light” shade which I did worry might not be light enough as when I tried it on my hand in the shop, it came out quite orange but it did blend pretty well.

When it came to application, the first thing to notice is that this is quite runny so be careful when squirting it out of the bottle. It’s completely the opposite in consistency to the MUA BB. However I don’t know what consistency I was expecting as this is meant to be an 8-in-1 product!

  • Creates a natural glow
  • SPF 30 UV protection
  • Compliments skin tone
  • Hydrates all day
  • Blurs imperfections
  • Oil free, non greasy
  • Looks visibly smooth
  • Feels fresh

So how did it live up to its 8 claims? Well, after 2 applications I still couldn’t really see it on my skin, it hadn’t blurred my imperfections at all. However, after applying my usual Clinique over the top, it did give me dewy, glowing skin and felt very fresh. I can only take their word on the SPF, I haven’t been able to test that and as for the others, well they’re pretty rubbish claims to be honest. I’ve never used a foundation that didn’t look smooth or that didn’t compliment my skin tone. Pretty much all foundations claim to hydrate and be non greasy but I have other products to manage that so the effect I get isn’t really due to the foundation I am using.

Overall, I’d say give this a miss. I haven’t seen any other glowing reviews of it, most seem to be negative. It provides zero coverage to the point where it doesn’t even change the colour of your skin in any way. The MUA one, although not amazing was much better and was half the price so that’s my current leader. Has anyone else used this Maybelline product? Does anyone like it? x

Home Remedy – Grapefruit Face Scrub

Like so many people out there, one of things I struggle most with beauty-wise is my skin. It permanently seems to be either too dry, too greasy or have too many blemishes so I am always on the lookout for new things to try to make it better. This is all well and good but continually trying new beauty products can be a costly affair and I’m not exactly rolling in cash at the moment! For that reason, when I read Huda’s post on a home-remedy face scrub I thought I’d give it a go.

If you aren’t familiar with Huda’s beauty blog, it’s time to make yourself familiar with it, she’s one of the most energetic bloggers I have encountered. Here’s the link to the post I am referring to – Brightening at Home Microdermabrasion.

Basically, Huda recommends mixing some bicarbonate of soda with some grapefruit juice and using that as a face scrub. There are loads of facial products out there with grapefruit in them so I figured it could well hold some merit. Here’s what you’ll need:

Your Facial Friends

Huda says she used 3 tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda but I used 3 teaspoons and that was more than enough for 1 facial. It also only took about 1/4 of a grapefruit which means I have loads left to do it again later in the week; what a bargain given how cheap the ingredients are!

When you add the grapefruit juice to the bicarbonate of soda the mixture fizzes slightly but don’t be alarmed, it doesn’t do this to your face. When you rub it on your face it just feels like a really luxury scrub and I left mine on for a couple of minutes too to really pull off the dead skin. Afterwards my skin felt squeaky clean and even the bf could see the difference it had made; it looked like a layer of grime had been lifted from my face. This is definitely something I will be doing again!

So there you are, a recession busting, natural home remedy for troublesome skin. Give it a go, you’ll love it 🙂 x

Taste Test – Rose Otto Milk Chocolate

Last week when I was having my London mooch, I thought I’d pop into Liberty’s for a mooch and somehow ended up walking straight through to the chocolate shop. I was initially drawn to some “Great British” themed chocolate but after a closer look, I discovered a rose flavoured milk chocolate. Rococo’s Rose Otto set me back £4.50 for a 70g bar so it’s pretty pricey and my expectations were high.

Rose Otto

Excuse my poor quality photo, I promise I am looking at cameras! You can see better pictures on the website through the link I gave earlier. As you can see, the packaging is understated, not the usual garish purple I’m used to having as the wrapping of my chocolate and I have to say, it instantly made me look at this differently and expect something good.

When you open it up, it just looks like any other milk chocolate bar though slightly on the thin side but you cannot miss the smell. It smells like Turkish delight, but really good Turkish delight. The rose smell is so fresh you almost don’t want to taste it because it doesn’t compute that it can taste as good as it smells. It does! The bf and I both tried it and had the same conclusion…this is what we wish Turkish delight tasted like. It’s delicious! In fact, it’s so delicious that I haven’t scoffed the whole bar at once as I want to return to savour it again and again. 

The chocolate itself is smooth and the perfect level of milkiness, not overly sweet as some is. It’s also fairly soft so you don’t get any crunch or crumble; I hate when you bite into milk chocolate and it’s tough, it should start melting immediately in my opinion.

So, the verdict is… buy this! But don’t buy it when you’re depressed and want to munch a whole tub of celebrations, buy it when you feel good and fancy a treat. You can’t waste this by eating it too quickly, it’s far too good for that. It’s expensive and delicious, a bold statement so you should treat it with the respect it commands. Yum! x

P.S. – Yes I just blogged about a chocolate bar right after eating it. That’s how much I love it!!!

Wedge Trainers – Would You?

A trend which has been puzzling me recently is that of the wedge trainer. I sort of understood when we were all wearing heeled plimsolls a year or 2 ago but these trainers with their hidden wedges are just something I can’t get my head around.

Topshop Wedge Trainer – £48

The above trainer can be found here.

What I don’t get is why we are concealing the wedges and making it look like we have giant heels – a huge Achilles of these shoes, if you will!

What I also fail to understand is why we want heeled trainers. In my opinion, trainers normally ruin any outfit; even the most casual outfit with the most stylish trainers and they should only be worn when comfort is the primary concern. Why then, would we want wedged or heeled trainers???

Topshop aren’t alone in selling these, they seem to be popping up all over the place but I’m not sure who’s buying them, so far I have only spotted one trend setter on my local high street rocking these bad boys. What about you, will you be wearing them? x

Salted Caramel Cupcakes

This week I’ve had some time off and one thing I decided I wanted to do was try baking a new flavour of cupcake. This is partly just so I can try something yummy but partly because I want to improve my baking in general; baking does not come as naturally to me as cooking on the hob does! I found some recipes for salted caramel cupcakes and decided that would be a tasty flavour so I merged what I found to make my own recipe; below is the recipe I followed and the results.

For the cakes:

  • 150g butter (softened)
  • 150g golden caster sugar
  • 150g self raising flour (I used gluten free)
  • 3 eggs (beaten)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum (if using gluten free flour)

Heat the oven to 160 degrees C (180 if not a fan oven). Beat the butter and sugar together in a bowl until light and fluffy, then gradually beat in the eggs, ensuring they don’t curdle. Finally, fold in the flour, baking powder, (xanthan gum) and vanilla essence until the mixture is smooth. Spoon the mixture into muffin cases in a muffin sized baking tin. Bake in the oven for 25-30 mins.

Remove the cakes from the oven when they are golden and springy to the touch, place on a rack to cool.

For the topping:

  • 50g butter (softened)
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 3tsp caramel evaporated milk (I used the Carnation stuff in a tin)
  • Pinch sea salt flakes (generous pinch)
  • Chocolate sprinkles

Beat the butter and icing sugar in a bowl with 2tsp boiling water until smooth (be careful, the sugar will go everywhere!). Then mix in the caramel and the salt. When the mixture is ready, pop it into a piping bag and pipe onto the cooled cakes. My piping was a disaster; for the first time ever I tried to use a piping nozzle but the mixture just wasn’t coming out properly. It was only at the end that I realised why; the salt flakes had clogged it up. The best thing to do is either use a wide nozzle or just pipe directly from the bag.

Once you’ve done that, if you have any caramel left, pipe some of that on too. Finally, sprinkle on some of the chocolate sprinkles.

Ok, so yes mine looks a bit like it has a turd on the top but that’s because of the last minute, unrefined piping method I had to adopt! What did it taste like? In all honesty, it was a bit dry but I think that’s my fault and I did question it when I put them in the oven. As these are gluten free, they should have been runnier to start with.

The caramel topping is very sweet; ideally I should have used golden icing sugar but I couldn’t find any – I’m not sure if this is why. To me, it doesn’t have enough caramel flavour to it so I shall be looking at how to make my own caramel next time. However the saltiness has really come through; using flakes means it comes in hits rather than just being a general salty flavour. Highly recommended!

So, for a first attempt this wasn’t bad and 3 cakes later I can verify they are definitely edible! Just need to refine the recipe a bit more and really make it mine; if I achieve what I consider to be perfection, I’ll share that with you too!

Anyone come across any good looking cake recipes they’ve tried and loved recently? x

Taste Test – YooMoo Strawbmoo (Frozen Yoghurt)

A few weeks ago I spotted a new addition to the frozen aisle in my local supermarket; YooMoo frozen yoghurt. It comes in several flavours and the one that leapt out at me was the strawberry one, Strawbmoo.

Love the Packaging!

As you can see, they have some pretty funky packaging going on and it really appealed to my insanely girly nature! In the past when I’ve had frozen yoghurt it has varied between tasting totally sour and tasting exactly like normal ice cream so I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised.

Looks Yummy!

At 133 calories per 100g, this knocks the socks of the more devilish treats you’ll find out there with Ben and Jerry’s Strawberry Cheesecake ice cream coming in closer to 227 calories per 100g! You’d think that flavour would have been compromised but I can promise you it hasn’t; the strawberry swirls are sweet and delicious and the yoghurt parts provide a tangy counter-flavour to cut through the sweetness.

This looks good, tastes good and is much better for the waistline than alternatives, not to mention that it’s about £1 cheaper than a tub of Ben and Jerry’s and comes in a larger size so it’s pretty bargainous too!

The only thing to be careful of is that this seems to get a lot colder than normal ice cream so it can be a bit mean on the old teeth 🙂 I love this stuff and it will definitely be one of my summer staples to help me shift some of my excess weight!

I’d love to hear from anyone who has tried any of the other flavours to see if they are as good as this one x