Fermodyl 619: A Review

Growing up you probably realized that natural hair does not behave. Most of us with natural hair struggle to maintain it and have experimented with various hair treatments in an attempt to control our unkempt manes. Of course there are also those of you who’ve subjected their hair to harsh treatments like consistent bleaching and hair dyes or you suffer from intensive heat damage because of which your hair is now dry and brittle. Let me just state that I feel your pain. You have three options to choose from here; you can either get a haircut (muffled screaming heard in the distance), try home remedies and try to learn from your mama’s wisdom or you resort to other treatments.

heat-damaged-curly-hairCutting your hair is a good idea if your hair is only heat damaged or ruined by product-buildup, but if your hair is naturally dry, rough and uncooperative then getting a haircut isn’t going to help anytime soon. When it comes to home remedies, they help but they aren’t equipped to handle hair that has months or years of buildup, so home remedies are at best a temporary fix. If you don’t plan on getting a weave and don’t want to opt for the other options, you’re going to have to try various hair treatments instead.

Natural hair has always been the most rebellious kind of hair and maintaining it is no easy task. While there are a list of shampoos to choose from, picking the right type of conditioner and hair treatment is necessary. Before you make your decision, it’s important that you know what your hair type is so that you assess its needs and then choose.

We will first look through the type 3 categories and then move on to the Type 4 categories.

  • Type 3A: Type 3A hair is more sensitive to frizz, so it’s always recommended to use light products that won’t be too heavy for the hair and will not cause too much buildup. Type 3A hair is best described as loose, loopy curls.
  • Type 3B: Type 3B hair is more defined than type 3A and their texture is denser and coarse which is why sulfate-free hair products are mostly recommended for this hair type to prevent buildup. The distance between each curl is smaller in this hair type.
  • Type 3C: Type 3C hair is best described as corkscrew curls and the distance between curls is the smallest compared to the other two hair types. Heat styling and other harsh treatments are not recommended at all for this hair type.
  • Type 4A: Type 4A curls is characterized by its “s-shaped” curls and is less dry compared to most natural hair types; however it is prone to coarseness which is why creamy moisturizers, conditioners and treatments are normally recommended for this hair type.
  • Type 4B: Type 4B appears shorter and condensed than it actually is; it shrinks down up to 50% of the actual length. The curls are “z-shaped” because of which they are more susceptible to breakage. Deep conditioning and creamy moisturizers best suit this type of hair.
  • Type 4C: Type 4C is considered to be the most fragile hair type. The curls don’t have a defined pattern but they can shrink more than 70% of the actual hair length when not stretched out. For example when your hair is stretched out, it’s actually 12 inches of hair, however when it isn’t stretched out, it shrinks down to look as though you only have 5 inches of hair. Normally protective styles are recommended for this hair type to prevent breakage.

Fermodyl 619Now that we have discussed the various types of natural hair, what each type needs is a moisturizing leave-in treatment. Leave-in treatments work instantly and can be done in your homes too so you don’t have to make weekly or monthly trips to the hair salon. They act on the hair’s cuticle and since they are light, they don’t cause extra buildup in the hair.

Fermodyl 619 is one of the many leave-in hair treatments offered by Roux. Other hair treatments by Roux are the Fermodyl 233 and the Fermodyl 07. Roux’s Fermodyl hair treatments have been around for a really long time, a few decades in fact and it has a strong history of positive reviews behind it.

Since Roux has been replaced by various renowned brands nowadays, finding it has become a difficult task but it’s still available on a few websites like Amazon.com but it tends to go out of stock quickly.

Fermodyl 619 resultsMost people recommend using Fermodyl 619 after towel drying your hair and the results are said to be instant. Fermodyl 619 is said to treat and is normally recommended for coarse, dry and tangled hair. Using it just twice a week is normally enough and you will find that your hair is already improving.

The product comes in small tubes and each tube can be used during one sitting. The product itself is clear and has a light consistency, almost like water itself. Another plus point is the fact that it smells really nice unlike most leave-in treatments.

Majority of the people who have used Fermodyl 619 have nothing to say but praises and it’s considered a ‘Godsend’ by most people who suffer from extremely coarse and dry hair. The results have normally been instantaneous; most people rave over how their hair instantly becomes softer and more maintainable. Super curly hair is normally difficult to maintain and is prone to knots and tangles. Fermodyl 619 helps in detangling the hair, making it easier to style as well. Another advantage of using Fermodyl 619 is the fact that it helps limp hair by giving it that extra oomph by adding extra volume and giving body to the hair. Also, since the product itself is very light, there is no issue of dealing with buildup which is a major plus point for natural hair since it tends to get weighed down by buildup.

The only complain one can have about Fermodyl 619 is its price. Compared to most standard leave-in conditioners, Fermodyl 619 costs extra money. However, the amount of money you will spend using ten other different treatments instead isn’t really a smart decision either. Some users have also complained that the effects aren’t long lasting but results do tend to vary from different hair types and varies case to case. However, if you outweigh the pros against the cons Fermodyl 619 is definitely worth a shot.

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June Nailbox Subscription Review

Nailbox is a monthly subscription service similar to existing beauty boxes e.g. Glossybox but instead it focuses solely on new nail products which is perfect for people like me as I tend to change up my nail colour more than I have hot dinners!

I was sent the June nailbox to review (after regularly having my nails ‘shellaced’ for around the last six months) so I was looking forward to trying some new polishes on the market. When the box arrived I was also surprised to see, along with 4 polishes, I had been sent an Elegant Touch professional cuticle clipper as I was only expecting the box to contain polishes but every month you can also receive nail accessories which I didn’t realise at first.

The cuticle clipper is very useful to me, I will continue to use it as I tend to my nails at home with professional products (e.g. CND) and only go to the nail salon to have colour reapplied. Perhaps I should consider investing in a UV machine to set my own polish but I also like visiting the nail salon as it feels like a treat and I can have a coffee, chat and just relax!

However, I digress! So, I will use the cuticle clipper – it’s sharp, accurate and comes with a five year guarantee. As for the polishes, I was so excited to see both bright summer colours and a nude. I like bright colours but on a daily basis I like to wear quite neutral tones on my nails and was looking forward to first trying the Nails Inc polish in ‘Colville Mews’ – a gel effect polish that cures in natural daylight and the first polish I had tried of it’s kind.

I was so disappointed! The colour is much flatter on my nails than it looks in the bottle and the opacity was very poor. I had to do three very thin coats and I found it fairly hard to apply. It felt very flaky and didn’t even last two days before most of the polish had peeled off which was such a shame as I had such high hopes for this beautiful looking varnish!

Next up I tried the Essie nail lacquer in ‘Roarrrange’ – a jewel toned bright orange and it was beautiful to apply, the brush was slightly on the large side but the formula was so very easy to apply and gave a clear even coat in just one application. It lasted very well for just under a week and was easy to remove (a huge plus point for brighter colours), but did leave some residue on my fingers rather then the nail themselves. Either way this gets a huge thumbs up from me!

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Also included in this month’s box was a classic red nail polish by Tanya Burr called ‘Mischief Managed’. I’d heard very good reviews about this polish including a recommendation from my nail technician herself so I was a little disappointed by the texture of the polish as it felt a bit of a budget polish, like a supermarket’s own brand. The colour was bright and fairly easy to apply as it had a smallish brush and overall I was happy with the colour but it did take three coats to get the even coverage I desired.

My box also contained a bottle of Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat which was very fast drying but wasn’t as hard wearing as I anticipated and flaked off within a few days. However as it’s just a clear polish I will continue to use it as I will still get a lot of use out if it.

Nailbox seems like a good idea – you get a mixture of products from premium nail brands and the subscription cost is between £13.50 and £15 a month – a bargain as the products contained within are valued at much much higher. Also I think it’s a great way to try new colours and stay on trend across the seasons. Unfortunately not all the nail polishes were for me (I don’t think I’ll be wearing the nails inc again unless I only want it to last a few hours!) but I’ll definitely be using all the other colours and the cuticle clippers.

You can also get a 15% discount at nailpolish.co.uk by entering “NAILBOX” at the checkout, if you want to order a colour that’s arrived within your box or the same nail polish but in another shade. Each Nailbox is set to be delivered on or around the 21st of each month.

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*Sponsored Post* A Quick Look at Different Types of Skin Tightening Procedures

If you are looking into skin tightening treatments, you should know that there are different levels of skin tightening. In other words, some treatments are better for treating the early stages of sags and wrinkles. Others can successfully treat deeper or more prominent wrinkles and sagging skin.

Methods to Use Early on Before Problems Worsen
The earliest line of defense against annoying sagging skin is having a good daily skincare regimen that involves creams or lotions specifically designed for your skin type. If you find the right cream and apply it regularly, you can often delay the process of wrinkles and fine lines popping up.

The next thing you might want to try, if that doesn’t work, is getting some sort of home treatment kit, such as an IPL device, which uses pulsed light to treat wrinkles. If that isn’t sufficient, a clinical IPL appointment could help, or you could decide to have another painless but potentially helpful treatment, like ultrasound or radio frequency therapy.

Both ultrasound and radio frequency procedures use sound waves to bombard your skin. The sound waves are more or less painless and harmless, but they can get your skin to make more collagen, which can strengthen it and give it back some of its elasticity.

Treating More Developed Skin Wrinkles and Sags
If your skin problems have gone from minor annoyances to obvious and possibly embarrassing, you may need a stronger treatment. Luckily, there are many new and used medical lasers in clinics across the country that offer the next level of wrinkle removal. Lasers come in various types and strengths, and they each are meant to perform specific types of treatment. That means that finding the right laser to treat your wrinkles may not be as easy as it sounds. You will need to consult your doctors, as well as the clinic technicians. Those experts should be able to recommend a treatment, but keep in mind that one session won’t be enough. Any laser treatments will need to be ongoing, otherwise your fine lines and wrinkles are likely to return.

As long as you choose a type of laser that is healthy for your skin type, your side effects should be limited to a little redness and minor discomfort for a short time. However, there is always the low possibility of blisters occurring during the procedure. Discuss any concerns you have with your laser technician ahead of time.

Other Treatment Methods for Wrinkles
Stronger ablative lasers are available. So are chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and other treatments that are considered to be a bit invasive. But all of those procedures are best performed as last resorts when nothing else is working, usually. That’s because they come with risks, especially the risk of post-procedural skin infections.

It all comes down to comparing your skin problems with the way each treatment works. Add that to any budget concerns you may have, as well as concerns about your skin type, and you will quickly find out which option might work. It will be easy to quickly rule out certain options and put others on your short list. Then you can take that short list to the experts and formulate your healthy skin plan.

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Drop a Dress Size For Christmas

Drop a Dress Size for Christmas

If you’re looking to drop a dress size for Christmas – I’ve found the perfect plan for you! Nutritionist and author Fiona Kirk has created a 3 week party season diet (adapted from 2 Weeks in the Super Fast Lane diet book) which is an easy to adopt diet that makes light work of being able to drop a dress size and squeeze into that LBD ready for Christmas or New Years eve.

Parcel Baked Fish

Parcel Baked Fish

THE IMPORTANT STUFF!

Shop, cook and freeze ahead wherever possible
Have 2 or 3 good meals per day
Include vegetables or salad in at least 2 meals
Leave 5 hours between meals with no snacks other than fresh fruit or very dark chocolate
Stay hydrated but don’t drink with meals
Only include starchy carbohydrates every 4th day
Exercise for 20-30 minutes per day
Supplement your diet with L-Glutamine (optional)

DAYS 1, 2, 3 and 5, 6, 7

    First Meal of the Day

(anywhere between getting up and mid morning)

2 eggs, poached, boiled, fried or scrambled with 2 slices lean bacon, grilled, a large tomato halved and grilled and 6 mushrooms sauteed in butter

OR

Poached Egg Special (see recipe)

OR

Tofu Towers (see recipe)

OR

A large bowl or tub of freshly chopped, mixed fruit which you can graze on through the morning if you find eating early in the day a struggle

    Second and/or Third Meal of the Day

(no less than 5 hours after your last meal)

Large bowl of ‘bought’ soup (with poultry, meat, fish, shellfish or tofu but no pasta, grains, beans, lentils or potatoes) and a large, lightly dressed mixed salad

OR

If you have planned ahead – Parsley Soup with Chicken Nuggets or Spicy Meatball Soup with My Favourite Warm Salad (see recipes)

If you are eating out – grilled or sauteed lean beef or venison steak, pork fillet, lamb or veal chop, chicken breast/leg, whole fish or fish fillet with at least 3 types of steamed/roasted vegetables or a lightly dressed mixed salad (no pasta, grains, beans, lentils or potatoes)

OR

If you are at home or have cooking facilities – Salmon with Roasted Vegetables or Lemon Ginger Chicken or Parcel Baked Fish or Aromatic Beef/Lamb Stew (see recipes) with lots of steamed, stir fried or roasted vegetables or a lightly dressed mixed salad

OR

If you find 2 meals a day are sufficient and only wish a ‘light bite‘ either around lunchtime or later in the evening, have a colourful selection of raw, baby vegetables or vegetable ‘sticks‘ with a small tub of salsa, guacamole, taramasalata, tzatziki or cottage cheese

Parsley Soup with Chicken Nuggets

Parsley Soup with Chicken Nuggets

DAYS 4 and 8

    First Meal of the Day

(anywhere between getting up and mid morning)

Good-sized bowl of ‘bought’ muesli mix without sugar or dried fruit with semi-skimmed milk or milk alternatives (soya, almond, oat etc), topped with mixed nuts and seeds

OR

Nutty Bircher Muesli (see recipe)

OR

A bowl of porridge made with water and topped with a drizzle of runny honey and powdered cinnamon or nutmeg

OR

A large bowl or tub of freshly chopped, mixed fruit which you can graze on through the morning if you find eating early in the day a struggle

    Second and/or Third Meal of the Day

(no less than 5 hours after your last meal)

Large bowl of ‘bought’ soup (with poultry, meat, fish, shellfish or tofu PLUS pasta, grains, beans, lentils or potatoes) and a large, lightly dressed mixed salad

OR

If you have planned ahead – Light Chicken Broth or Thai Curry Sweet Potato Soup (see recipes) with a warm or cold, lightly dressed mixed salad

OR

If you are eating out – grilled or sauteed lean beef or venison steak, pork fillet, lamb or veal chop, chicken breast/leg, whole fish or fish fillet PLUS a small portion of rice, beans, lentils or potatoes and at least 3 types of steamed/roasted vegetables or a lightly dressed mixed salad

OR

If you are at home or have cooking facilities – Crispy-Topped Baked Fish/Chicken/Tofu or Mince and Mash (see recipes) with lots of steamed, stir fried or roasted vegetables or a lightly dressed mixed salad

Roasted Vegetables

Roasted Vegetables

CRAVING A SNACK?

No problem!

No less than 1 hour before a meal or 3 hours after a meal have a couple of pieces of fresh fruit or a fruit smoothie (no yoghurt) or a small bar (35g) of dark 70% cocoa solids chocolate

RECOMMENDED DRINKS

Water (still and sparkling)
Coconut water
Dark, rich, black coffee (no milk or sugar)
Black, red, green, herb and fruit tea (no milk or sugar)
Red wine or dry white wine (max 2 small glasses per day)

Lemon Ginger Chicken

Lemon Ginger Chicken

RECIPES

Tofu Towers

(makes 1 serving)

I canʼt remember where the inspiration for this recipe came from but aubergine, tofu and spices are a great combination and the runny egg completes the dish beautifully.

Ingredients
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
2 slices firm tofu (2-3cm thick)
1 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce
½ level teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon coconut oil
½ teaspoon soy sauce
2 thick slices aubergine
Olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1-2 large eggs
2 large handfuls fresh spinach leaves

Method
• Toss the sesame seeds in a pan over a medium heat until toasted and set aside (donʼt take your
eye off them as they burn very quickly).
• Wrap the tofu slices in kitchen paper and press firmly to absorb most of the water.
• Mix the chilli sauce, ginger, coconut oil and soy sauce and paint both sides of the tofu slices then put them under a hot grill or on a griddle pan. Cook, turning regularly until they are nicely browned.
• Coat both sides of the aubergine slices with oil and season with salt and pepper before grilling or griddling as per the tofu. Turn regularly until cooked through and nut brown on both sides.
• Keep the aubergine and tofu warm while you poach the eggs.
• Quickly rinse the spinach leaves, microwave or steam until just wilting then dry the leaves in
plenty of kitchen paper.
• To serve, put the aubergine slices on a warmed plate followed by the tofu, the spinach, the
sesame seeds and finally the poached eggs.
• If you are merely peckish, one poached egg will suffice. If hungry, opt for two.

Thai Curry Sweet Potato Soup

(serves 4)

Chunky, sweet, savoury and creamy all in one spoonful – this is a soup that takes little time to prepare but offers a lot. One dieter decided to add the prawns, the chicken and the tofu and reports that the result was something rather special and has become a firm family favourite!

Ingredients
250g sweet potato peeled and chopped into bite-sized chunks
1 long, thin red pepper, de-seeded and cut into fine strips
1 x 400ml tin coconut milk (not ʻlow fatʼ as it is liable to ʻsplitʼ when heated)
400ml chicken or vegetable stock
3 teaspoons Thai Red Curry Paste
12 fresh prawns or 1 chicken breast cut into long, thin strips or chunks of tofu
50g fresh basil leaves, chopped or torn (also works well with baby spinach leaves)

Method
• Put the sweet potato, red pepper, coconut milk, stock and Thai Red Curry Paste into a large pot, stir well and bring slowly to the boil.
• Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until the sweet potato is tender and just
beginning to fall apart, this will thicken the soup. You can thicken the soup further by mashing
the sweet potato gently.
• Add the protein of your choice and stir over a low heat to cook through. The prawns and tofu will only take a couple of minutes, the chicken slightly longer.
• Stir in the basil leaves and when just wilted, serve the soup.
• You can add more Thai Red Curry Paste before adding the protein if you like a bit more spice

Spicy Meatball Soup

(serves 4)

You can get very creative with the meatballs in this soup and use whatever meat/poultry is to hand. And, if you like a bit of heat, just up the chilli element. Alternatively, leave out the chilli powder and replace the fresh chilli with red pepper for a milder but still very tasty soup.

Ingredients
400g lean minced beef, lamb, chicken or turkey
1 egg, lightly whisked
2 tablespoons fresh herbs, finely chopped (parsley/oregano/thyme/marjoram)
½ teaspoon sea salt
A few good grindings of black pepper
Good pinch of chilli powder
2 tablespoons light olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and finely diced
1 large stalk celery, peeled and finely sliced
1 small red chilli, deseeded and finely diced
1 large clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1 large courgette, sliced or chopped
1 heaped tablespoon tomato puree
1 litre beef/lamb/chicken stock (depending on your choice of meat)
1 x 400g tinned, chopped tomatoes
100g curly kale/savoy cabbage, very finely sliced
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Good bunch fresh parsley chopped

Method
• Thoroughly mix the minced meat/poultry, egg, herbs, salt, pepper and chilli powder in a bowl
with a fork.
• Make around 16 bite-sized meatballs with your hands, lay them on a dish, cover and put in the
fridge while you make the soup.
• Heat the oil in a large soup pot, add the onion, carrot and celery and saute gently until the onion is soft and translucent and the carrots are slightly tender (donʼt let the onions brown).
• Add the chilli, garlic, courgette and tomato puree, stir well and saute for a further 5 minutes.
• Add the stock and tinned tomatoes, bring slowly to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15
minutes or until the carrots are tender.
• Add the kale/cabbage and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
• Add the meatballs to the soup with a large spoon and simmer gently until they are cooked
through (around 8-10 minutes).
• Check the seasoning and serve; 4 meatballs to a bowl, topped with lots of fresh parsley.

Salmon with Roasted Vegetables

(makes 1 serving)

This works with any ʻmeatyʼ fish (salmon, monkfish, halibut, swordfish etc) and whichever
vegetables you have in stock. Be generous with the vegetables as they shrink while roasting and
any extras can be refrigerated and served cold with a salad or in a lettuce wrap.

Ingredients
A mix of vegetables, rinsed, peeled and chopped into bite-sized chunks (peppers, leeks,
asparagus, sugar snap peas and baby carrots work well together)
1 tablespoon coconut, avocado or olive oil
Sea salt
Cayenne pepper
250ml fish or vegetable stock
1 salmon steak or fillet (skinned)
1 small onion, peeled and finely sliced
1 bay leaf
A good handful of fresh herbs (dill, marjoram, oregano, lemon thyme)
Freshly ground black pepper
250ml fish or vegetable stock

Method
• Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6.
• Put the prepared vegetables in a bowl, add the oil, a pinch of salt and a good sprinkling of
cayenne pepper, mix well then spread evenly on a baking sheet.
• Place on a fairly high shelf in the oven and roast for 20 minutes before turning and giving them another 5-10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and well-caramelised around the edges.
• Meanwhile, pour the stock into a shallow saute pan, add the onion, bay leaf, herbs, a pinch of
salt and a few good grindings of black pepper and bring slowly to the boil.
• Turn the heat to a gentle simmer, place the salmon on top, cover the pan with a lid or foil and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the salmon is cooked to your liking (cut it in half if you are not sure whether it is cooked right through or not – youʼre not on Masterchef and there are no cameras!)
• To serve, lift the salmon from the pan and serve on a bed of the roasted vegetables.
• You can sieve the delicious cooking liquor and keep it refrigerated for a couple of days for using with other fish dishes or the fish broth (or just sup it on its own whilst it is still hot – itʼs that good!)

Poached Egg Special

(makes 1 serving)

Thereʼs something about slicing through a perfectly-cooked poached egg that is hard to match on
the indulgence front. Make this combo once and you will be hooked!

Ingredients
½ tablespoon coconut or olive oil
1 large ʻbeefʼ mushroom, stem removed and top peeled
1 large free range egg
A handful of fresh baby spinach leaves
½ avocado, stone out, peeled and sliced
2 thin slices smoked ham or smoked salmon
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method
• Warm the oil in a shallow pan over a medium heat then saute the mushroom for around 5
minutes, turning regularly until well-browned and cooked through.
• Remove from the heat, turn the mushroom gill side up, lightly season, place the spinach leaves
on top and cover with a lid or foil to keep warm (this allows the spinach to wilt a little).
• Bring a small pan of water to the boil, turn it down to barely bubbling, give it a good swirl with a whisk then crack the egg into the middle of the vortex and cook for 3 minutes before removing with a slotted spoon and placing it on a few sheets of kitchen towel to absorb excess water.
• Place the mushroom/spinach on a warmed serving plate followed by the sliced avocado, ham or
smoked salmon and finally the egg, season to taste and eat immediately.
• This also works well with scrambled egg if you find poaching eggs a bit of a hit or miss affair!

Parsley Soup with Chicken Nuggets

(makes 1 generous or 2 small servings)

This has become a great favourite with our soup fans. It is crazily-green, bursting with goodness and makes a great ʻto goʼ soup if you flask it. You can also top it with other grilled meats, tofu croutons or toasted nuts and seeds for a bit of variety.

Ingredients
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, peeled and finely sliced/chopped
1 small courgette, cleaned and diced
1 x 28g pack parsley, washed, stalks separated and leaves roughly shredded
1 small clove garlic, peeled and sliced/crushed
400ml chicken or vegetable stock
1 small bay leaf
Salt and pepper
1 small skinless chicken breast, chopped into bite-sized nuggets

Method
• Warm 1 tablespoon of the oil in a soup pot, add the onion and courgette and gently saute until
tender but not coloured.
• Add the parsley stalks and garlic and continue to saute for a further 5 minutes.
• Add the stock and bay leaf, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the onions and
courgette are soft.
• Add the parsley leaves, bring back just to the boil then remove the pot from the heat.
• Transfer the soup to a blender and blitz until very smooth.
• If it is a little too thick for your liking, add more stock or boiling water.
• Strain into a clean pot, check the seasoning and keep on a low heat until ready to serve.
• Put the remaining tablespoon of oil, a good pinch of salt and a few grindings of black pepper in a bowl, add the chicken nuggets and stir until they are well-coated, transfer to a baking sheet lined with tinfoil and grill under a medium heat, turning regularly until slightly crisp on the outside but still juicy inside.
• Drain on kitchen or greaseproof paper, ladle the soup into bowls and top generously with the
nuggets.

Parcel-Baked Fish

(makes 1 serving)

Fish was born to be baked in a parcel. All the juices meld together creating a delicious, quick and super-healthy meal. Get friendly with your local fishmonger, buy fish and vegetables in season and add herbs and spices to sharpen things up. This is one of my favourites.

Ingredients
1 white fish fillet of choice
1 generous handful of fresh spinach leaves
1 small onion, peeled and very finely sliced into rings
6 fresh asparagus tips
1 tomato, sliced
1 small red chilli, de-seeded and finely sliced (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh parsley or coriander leaves, chopped
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method
• Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6.
• Lay out one piece of aluminium foil about 12-14” square and place the spinach on it.
• Lay the fish fillet on the bed of spinach followed by the onion, asparagus, tomato, chilli (is using) and herbs.
• Drizzle the lemon juice and olive oil over and season lightly with salt and pepper.
• Fold the foil to create a parcel, leaving plenty of space around the contents, place on a baking sheet and bake for around 25 minutes or until the fish is cooked and the juices run clear.
• Timing will depend on the thickness of the fish fillet so take a peek after 25 minutes. Be careful when opening the foil as hot steam will escape.
• When cooked, lift the contents of the parcel onto a warmed plate and spoon over the delicious
juices. something about slicing through a perfectly-cooked poached egg that is hard to match on the indulgence front. Make this combo once and you will be hooked!

Nutty Bircher Muesli

(makes 1 generous or 2 smaller servings)

I learned how to make real authentic Bircher muesli whilst working as a waitress in the mountains of Switzerland in my early 20s. Since then, I have been playing around with the revered Dr Maximilian Bircher-Bennerʼs classic, restorative recipe and this is one that doesnʼt include fruit but still has a wonderfully sweet edge.

Ingredients
6 tablespoons oats
140ml coconut water
2 tablespoons flaked almonds (toasted or un-toasted)
½ tablespoon Manuka honey
1 tablespoon 0% fat Greek yoghurt
2 teaspoons lemon/lime juice
½ apple, peeled, cored and grated
4 fresh mint leaves, very finely chopped

Method
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, mix really well, cover and place in the fridge overnight.
Serve with a sprinkling of cinnamon powder or grated nutmeg on top.

Mince and Mash

(makes 2 servings)

Mince and potatoes canʼt be beat when it comes to comfort food and I may well be the first
nutritionist ever to recommend it in a super fast fat loss plan! But why not? Good quality protein, rich in iron and other health-giving nutrients, filling and satisfying, downright delicious and cooked this way, waistline-friendly – whatʼs not to love?

Ingredients
250g very lean beef or lamb mince
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 heaped teaspoons cornflour
250ml beef or lamb stock
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
500g mashing potatoes, peeled and cut into even sized chunks
25g of butter (optional)

Method
• Heat a non-stick pan over a high heat, add the mince and using a wooden fork or spatula,
brown the mince, separating all the mince morsels along the way.
• Add the onion and continue to stir over a high heat until everything has a nicely-browned edge, add the cornflour, mix in well then turn the heat down a little.
• Add the stock, stir until the liquid absorbs the cornflour, add the Worcestershire sauce, a good pinch of salt and a few grindings of black pepper, bring to the boil, stirring continuously then turn the heat down to a very gentle simmer, put the lid on and cook for 45 minutes.
• After 45 minutes, remove the lid, turn the heat up to medium and let the mince bubble away and
thicken.
• Meanwhile, put the potato chunks in a pot, pour boiling water over to just cover, add a good
pinch of salt, bring to the boil then turn the heat down, put a lid on and cook for around 20
minutes or until the potatoes are tender but not falling apart.
• When the potatoes are cooked, drain and cover with a tea towel for a few minutes to absorb
some of the steam before returning to the pan, adding the butter if using) and mashing furiously
until wonderfully-smooth and creamy.
• I like the mash on the bottom and the mince on top so the gravy seeps into the mash but feel free to do your own thing!

Light Chicken Broth

(makes 3 generous or 4 smaller servings)

There is not much I can say about this chicken soup other than that it feeds much, much more than the soul! My best friend and trusted soup guru, Jean threw this one together one evening when she had a few chicken thighs that were nearing their use-by date and the rest is now history. Trust me, you could live on this soup for 2 weeks and never get bored with it!

Ingredients
2 chicken thighs, skin on
1 tablespoon olive or avocado oil
2 stalks celery, peeled and finely sliced
1 small onion, peeled and finely sliced
1 small carrot, peeled and finely diced
600ml chicken stock
40g brown rice
1 teaspoon horseradish sauce
A generous bunch of parsley, stalks removed and leaves very finely chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method
• Roast the chicken pieces in a medium to hot oven until the skins are crisp and the flesh is
cooked through while you make the soup.
• Warm the oil in a soup pot, add the celery, onion and carrot and saute gently until the
vegetables are tender (about 15 minutes).
• Add the stock and bring slowly to the boil.
• Reduce the heat, add the rice and simmer, covered until the rice is cooked (around 20 minutes).
• Skin the chicken pieces and shred/chop the flesh before adding to the soup with the
horseradish sauce and parsley.
• Stir well and season to taste.
• As rice soaks up a lot of liquid, you will probably have to add more stock or water to achieve the light, brothy experience if you are not supping this soup immediately and have refrigerated/
frozen it for future use.

Lemon Ginger Chicken

(makes 1 serving)

This was an experiment that really worked! The cool, creamy avocado topping married with the
heat of the ginger and lemon grass and the sharpness of the lemon and vinegar takes the
succulent chicken fillets into a whole new place.

Ingredients
3 skinless mini chicken fillets
1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
½ red onion, finely sliced
1 celery stick, finely sliced
2 large tomatoes, skinned, de-seeded and chopped or a small can (200ml)chopped tomatoes,
sieved to remove the liquid
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon lemon grass paste
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 heaped tablespoon fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ ripe avocado, stoned, peeled and roughly chopped
2 teaspoons lime or lemon juice
Chilli powder (hot or mild)

Method
• Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6.
• Place the chicken fillets on a piece of baking foil large enough to form a loose parcel, lightly season, add a good splash of oil, scrunch all the edges of the foil together, place in an ovenproof baking dish and bake for 8-10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear then set aside, covered.
• Warm the oil in a small saute pan, add the onion and celery and cook gently until they are soft but not browned.
• Add the tomato, ginger, lemon grass and vinegar, stir well and continue to cook over a medium
heat until the vinegar starts to evaporate and the sauce becomes like a paste (around 5-7
minutes).
• Add the coriander, season to taste, mix well, turn off the heat and place a lid on the pan.
• In a small bowl,

6 Healthy Breakfast Ideas

Now I’m in my 30′s (good grief when did that happen?!) I’ve been putting much more of a conscious effort into adopting a healthier lifestyle. In addition to working out more regularly and re-vamping my skincare routine, I have been trying to ‘eat clean’ around 85% of the time, meaning no added salt, sugar and sweeteners and eating fresh, nutritious healthy food to meet my body’s needs. Energy is a big issue for me so I like to make sure I start my day right by filling up on a balanced breakfast to fuel me for the day, so below I’ve shared some of my favourite breakfast dishes that I regularly enjoy. I’ve chosen 6 rather than 7 breakfasts as there’s always room one day of the week for a slightly less healthy option such as grilled bacon or sausage, pancakes or jam with toast.

MY 6 HEALTHY BREAKFAST IDEAS:

1. EGGS OF ANY KIND

Eggs are high protein and really filling so are a great healthy breakfast option. Scrambled eggs are definitely a favourite of mine, served with wholemeal toast, and I like to make them on weekends when I have a little more time to make them properly – on the stove in a pan, stirred very slowly over a low heat until thick and creamy.

2. MIXED BERRIES AND NATURAL GREEK YOGURT

Berries (including blackberries, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries) are SO good for you! They contain high amounts of Vitamin A and C needed for healthy skin and to maintain both your immune system and metabolism. I like to top a bowl of mixed berries with 0% fat greek style natural yogurt – it’s thick and protein rich (meaning I’m fuller for longer). I’m currently choosing fat free yogurt to help aid weight loss but you can swap to full fat or low fat to suit your personal taste.

3. PORRIDGE WITH CHOPPED DRIED FRUIT

Porridge oats are a great staple for breakfast time as they’re so versatile and porridge is a quick, simple way to fill up first thing. If you’re gluten intolerant check for gluten free versions. Traditionally porridge is more a winter time breakfast for me but I like to enjoy it all year round, made with milk and topped with dates and figs (dates are sweet but figs are better for you as they contain a much higher fibre content). Add a little honey or agave syrup if you like it a little sweeter.

4. MUESLI, BANANA AND ALMOND MILK

Some muesli is full of added ingredients so choose one that contains no added salt and contains only natural fruit sugars for optimum health benefits. Muesli is naturally high in fibre, low in fat and contains oats which help sustain energy levels throughout the morning. However, remember muesli is still high in calories (as the mixture of oats, fruit and often nuts and seeds are carbohydrate dense) so it’s best to measure your portions. I always choose bananas to top my muesli as they’re also great for energy, are filling and full of potassium. Almond milk is a new favourite of mine as it’s naturally low in fat and full of vitamin E (for healthy skin and nails).

5. OVERNIGHT OATS (WITH RASPBERRIES AND ALMONDS)

Overnight oats (also known as breakfast oats and similar to the dessert cranachan) is one of my favourite breakfast dishes! Prepare this the night before and in the morning you’re good to go – you can grab this and eat on the way to work or if you’re in a hurry without worrying about missing the most important meal of the day. You simply mix porridge oats with yogurt (here I’ve used raspberry and honey yogurt) and layer the mixture with your favourite fruit (I use frozen fruit so it’s defrosts overnight). Then in the morning stir it or eat it as is. For an extra crunch I like to add a sprinkling of chopped or flaked almonds and for sweetness, a drizzle of agave syrup.

6. TROPICAL FRUIT, GREEK YOGURT AND GRANOLA

I like to change it up by adding different fruits to my breakfasts and one of my favourite combinations is mango with blueberries. I like to eat them together as a snack but for breakfast I top them with greek yogurt and a recent find – mango and macadamia granola – to make it a bit more substantial. I choose macadamia nuts because they are full of nutrients, healthy fats and are a good source of protein. Again, granola is another breakfast cereal that can have many hidden ingredients so I try to choose a healthier option with no added sugar or salt and weigh or measure it out before serving. Alternatively you can make your own granola – one of my favourite recipes is this Healthy Homemade Granola from Bless This Mess.

So which of the above gets your tastebuds tingling?

Also leave me a comment below telling me your own breakfast recipes or favourite breakfast dishes, I’d love to hear what you have for breakfast or brunch – is it very different to these ideas or perhaps you skip breakfast altogether?!

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Summer Beauty Giveaway *Closed*

Welcome to my Summer Beauty Giveaway!

Looking for a way to spruce up your summer make-up look? Read on for your chance to win this fabulous summer beauty bundle!

Details below for your chance to win:

Jemma Kid Make-up Masterclass book rrp £22.50

Jemma Kid Make-up Masterclass book rrp £22.50

The Feel Good Factory on Looking Gorgeous book rrp £9.99

The Feel Good Factory on Looking Gorgeous book rrp £9.99

e.l.f. natural radiance blusher in Flushed £2.50

e.l.f. natural radiance blusher in Flushed £2.50

Susan Posnick Colorflo Bronzer with SPF 26 rrp $68

Susan Posnick Colorflo Bronzer with SPF 26 rrp $68

Ahava mineral makeupcare deadsea algae compact powder in SAND medium light

Burts Bees Honey Lip Balm £3.69

Burts Bees Honey Lip Balm £3.69

That’s a total of around £112 worth of beauty products you could win!

HOW TO ENTER

To be in with a chance to win this competition simply follow me on:

bloglovin’ OR Twitter OR Facebook OR Pinterest OR Instagram

AND Leave me a comment below to say where you have followed me!

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

The competition is open to UK entrants only aged 18 and over, one entry per person.

A winner will be chosen from all valid entries using random.org.

Competition closes 9pm Monday 11th August.

The competition is not sponsored by any of the above brands, it’s just for fun!

Good Luck and Thanks for Reading,

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Easter Treats 2014

If you’re after something a little different this Easter holiday here is my round-up of a few favourite alternative Easter treats (don’t worry, chocolate is still very much on the list!)

1. OK so call me crazy but I really like the sound of this Chocolate Paella recipe. It’s like a chocolatey rice pudding with hazelnuts, raspberries, chocolate (obvs) and white chocolate buttons. What’s not to love?!

chocolate raspberry hazelnut paella recipe easter

Paella de Chocolate: Chocolate, raspberry and hazelnut paella

Serves 6 – 8 people because it’s really chocolaty!!

Cooking time: 25 minutes

INGREDIENTS

300g of Spanish paella rice such as bomba or calasparra

2 tsp granulated sugar

20 ml vanilla essence

10g of extra brute chocolate powder

25g white chocolate callets (mini buttons)

1 orange (for peel and zest)

160g of dark chocolate (I use 53% for this recipe)

25g raisins

25g chopped toasted hazelnuts

200g fresh raspberries

650 ml water

CROCKERY/KITCHENWARE

1 paella pan or a 30cm large heavy bottom frying pan

1 small saucepan

1 microplain or small box grater

METHOD:

Place the rice into a heavy based saucepan with the cocoa powder and half the vanilla essence.

Add in 500ml of water with the orange peel and give it a quick stir. Place the pan onto the stove and turn the heat up in the pan to a rolling boil and then down to simmer for 14 minutes, stirring a couple of times to make sure the rice doesn’t stick.

All you are looking to do here is infuse the rice with a little orange and vanilla, open up the pours, inject the cocoa rouge colour into the rice but you are not playing with the starches of the rice. After 14 minutes the rice should still be firm.

Remove the rice from the pan immediately and spoon it out onto a big plate, or tray or anything you can find to halt the cooking process. Spread it out really thin so it can cool almost instantly. Then remove the orange peel. I refer to the rice as ‘par-boiled’.

Place the paella pan onto the stove and add in the sugar, raisins and the rest of the vanilla extract and the remaining water then bring to the boil, turn down to a medium heat.

Taste it, this is your Caldo – your broth, and this has to be spot on… if you want to add a dash more vanilla, then now’s your chance… Get ready the next stage is full on and you cannot leave the stove!!

Quickly throw in the par-boiled paella rice.

Then give it a good stir through to spread the par cooked rice out evenly. Leave it to gently bubble away for about 4 minutes so the caldo can get to work with the rice, remember this is the first time the rice has had chance to absorb the sugar.

Then drop in the dark chocolate. And give it one more stir, just one swoop through the pan and then that’s it

From now on remember this rule…move the pan, do not stir the paella.

Turn the heat to low, let the rest of the broth be absorbed by the rice, this takes about 1 minute. Once the broth has totally disappeared, check that the rice is al dente – cooked but with a slight bite, then remove from the heat.

Bring the hot pan out of the kitchen and into your serving area, I like to get everyone involved at this point, all those little fingers going to work

As a family you can sprinkle over the white chocolate (you can either use callets as I have, or chips or you can even snap and shave off from a block. Just let it melt on the top.

Then add the hazlenuts and a good grating of orange zest, plus a little squeeze of a wedge or 2 for good measure!

A Rest is so important: about 2 or 3 minutes is my golden rule,

Well if you can stop the kids delving in….
(Recipe courtesy of Antony Bennett – www.latasca.co.uk).

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2. This caramel tea is super delicious. You know me, I love tea so I’m easily pleased! But this truly is so nice as a sweet treat or a posh Easter gift.

caramel tea east india company easter

Caramel Tea for Easter, £10.00
(Available at The East India Company flagship store on Conduit Street, or online at www.eicfinefoods.com)

This smooth blend of pure Ceylon black tea with rich notes of caramel offers a full-bodied decadent cup with a sweet aftertaste. With its distinct aroma of caramel, this tea is the perfect way to awaken the senses on Easter morning.

Brew time : 2g tea in 200ml water for 4 minutes

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3. For low (no) calorie easter treats, I love the range of Lush easter products. Typically I buy Fluffy Egg bath bombs this time of year (as all the easter products are limited edition) and it smells like sweet pink candyfloss and produces many many bubbles!

This year the new products include Golden Egg (I think they may have had this last year too?), Carrot Cone and Funny Bunny Knot Wrap – the latter two being full of lovely little bath and body treats, giving the perfect excuse to have a little pampering over the bank holiday weekend.

Golden Egg bath melt ballistic

A brand new invention… this egg is a bath bomb coated in bath melt mixture. It will unexpectedly sink to the bottom of the bathtub while the outer layer dissolves, popping to the surface as the fizzing centre is revealed.
Ingredients The outer bath melt mix is made using our beautiful fair trade, organic Colombian Peace Village cocoa butter and olive oil from a brand new permaculture project we’re working with in Palestine. Scented with the best selling Honey I Washed the Kids fragrance, it’s coated with PET free golden lustre.
Inspired by chocolate cream eggs, we reverse it and coat the hard bath bomb centre with a creamy bath melt shell. £3.50 each

Carrot!

Inside this carrot-shaped cone you’ll find a rabbit hidden within a slice of Carrot soap; a Bunch of Carrots for the rabbit to enjoy; and a Golden
Egg, a reward for the bunny for eating all of his carrots! You’ll discover the contents as a story, along with a maze game for the lucky recipient to play as they search for the Golden Egg! Vegan 
£16.95.

Funny Bunny

Tied up inside this organic cotton Knot-Wrap is a selection of limited edition Easter treats. The organic cotton Knot-Wrap is from re-wrap, a women’s co-operative in India. By choosing the Lush Knot-Wrap gift options, instead of traditional paper wrap, you are helping us save 11.6 tonnes of waste per year. Especially relevant at times like Easter when excess packaging is so prevalent.
CONTAINS: two Bunny bubble bars; A Bunch of Carrots reusable bubble bars and a Fluffy Egg bath bomb. Vegan
 £19.95.

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4. For a grown up Easter treat try this recipe for Mexican Chocolate Cupcakes by Eric Lanlard. They are a combination of chocolate and spicy ingredients, such as cinnamon and nutmeg. Omit the chilli and cayenne pepper for a result more akin to a chocolate hot cross bun!

eric lanlard mexican cupcakes

Makes: 12 Cupcakes
Cooking time: 20-25 minutes

Ingredients:
175g (6oz) plain flour
225g (7.5 oz)caster sugar
4 tsp cocoa powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Extract
1 tsp white wine vinegar
5 tsp sunflower oil
chili pepper cake decorations, to
decorate

For the Frosting:
100g (3.5 oz) dark chocolate, broken into
pieces
150g (5oz) unsalted butter
150g (5oz) icing sugar
¼ tsp ground cayenne pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 200˚C. Line a cupcake tin with paper cases. Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa, bicarbonate
of soda, cinnamon and nutmeg into a bowl. In a large bowl, blend together the Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Extract,
vinegar, oil and 250 ml cold water. Mix the dry ingredients into this mixture until the batter is smooth.

2. Divide the mixture between the paper cases (it will be fairly liquid) and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a
skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

3. To make the frosting: melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of barely simmering water,
making sure the bowl does not touch the surface of the water. When melted leave to cool. Whisk the butter and
icing sugar together until pale and fluffy, then whisk in the cooled melted chocolate and the cayenne pepper. Pipe
the frosting onto the cooled cakes and top with chilli pepper cake decorations to finish.

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5. There’s still time to enter my Easter Fashion Competition which finishes on Easter Sunday! Follow the link and you could win yourself your favourite fashion item for spring summer.

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I hope you all have a lovely Easter weekend and enjoy the bank holiday (fingers crossed for good weather) and don’t eat all your chocolatey treats in one go!

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My Make-up Collection and Storage

I love seeing blog posts and youtube videos about people’s make-up storage. And there’s nothing more satisfying than getting organised and having a make-up spring clean. I’ve needed to have a cull for SO long as I forget about products that I do truly love and it’s lovely to rediscover some old favourites. After a bit of searching online I found a storage system that works for me and to make things a little different today I filmed a video to give you a sneak peek into my make-up collection. Enjoy!

*Disclaimer: Yes, I own a lot of make-up. I’m the first to admit it’s a lot of products but to some people it might be loads or hardly anything by way of comparison. I do a lot of work with beauty brands so I get sent a fair few samples. Equally I buy a lot even though I don’t need them, it’s an entirely irrational want for pretty things! Anyhow I’m not trying to ‘show off’ how many products I’ve got or how much I may have spent *hangs head*, I just happen to like make-up products and thought this might be a nice way to show how I like to organise them as inspiration. I hope it is :D

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Backstage Make Up Trends With Pat Mcgrath At Dolce&Gabbana: Milan Fashion Week

Take a sneak peek backstage at the Spring/Summer ’14 make up trends with Pat McGrath for DOLCE&GABBANA at Milan Fashion Week

At the Spring/Summer 2014 Ready to Wear show in Milan, Dolce&Gabbana presents a collection evoking traditional decorations and superior handcraftsmanship. Backstage, The Designers’ inspiration of an imaginary journey to rediscover ancient Sicily, where history and myth come together was brought to life by the brand Creative Advisor Pat McGrath using Dolce&Gabbana Make Up.

DGMU MFW SS14 BTS 2

To complement The Designers’ creative vision Pat created a make up look with a combination of warm golden tones alongside rich red accents. To achieve a flawless base Pat applied Perfect Luminous Liquid Foundation using the foundation brush. She started with a small amount of the foundation, applied to the forehead, nose, cheeks and chin and blended it from the central point of the face outward, until the product flowed seamlessly to the hairline and jaw. Perfect Luminous Concealer was then used to add extra coverage and achieve an illuminated look, especially under the eyes. Finally, Pat created a veil of perfection with a dusting of the pressed powder on the nose and chin. To complete the face, Pat blended the blush in Rosebud, Apricot and Peach, adding a light smudge of the eyeshadow duo in Fortune to the cheekbones and temples for a subtly sculpted finish.

dolce&gabbana pat mcgrath spring summer 2014 make up

Turning her attention to the eyes, Pat applied the lighter shades from the eyeshadow quad in Golds and Desert to create a deep, gilded look. Pat then applied the eyeliner in Chocolate and Nude to the upper and lower eye, adding a bronze flecked liquid liner on top of the lash line, for further definition. Finally, layers of Passioneyes Duo Mascara in Terra were applied for volumised and curled lashes, giving models a luxurious yet playful gaze. Pat then applied the brow liner in Soft Brown for a natural, tailored brow.

dolce&gabbana pat mcgrath spring summer 2014 make up

On the lips, Pat used Classic Cream Lipstick in two dynamic new shades, set to arrive at Dolce&Gabbana Make Up counters from Spring 2014. The new colours, Bellissima and Traviata, were mixed to add warm decadence to the look. The color was applied with greater intensity at the cupid’s bow for better definition and striking finish.

To complement the look Pat chose the nail lacquer in Pure Nude for a final touch of luxury.

dolce&gabbana pat mcgrath spring summer 2014 make up

Product list:

FOR THE FACE
the foundation
Perfect Luminous Liquid Foundation

the concealer
Perfect Luminous Concealer

the blush
Luminous Cheek Colour in Rosebud, Apricot and Peach

the powder
Perfection Veil Pressed Powder (available from Spring 2014)

FOR THE EYES
the mascara
Passioneyes Duo Mascara: Curl and Volume in Terra

the eyeshadow
Smooth Eye Colour Duo in Fortune
Smooth Eye Colour Quad in Golds and Desert

the eyeliner
Crayon Intense in Chocolate and Nude

the glam liner
Intense Liquid Eyeliner in Baroque Bronze

the browliner
Shaping Eyebrow Pencil in Soft Brown (available from January 2014)

FOR THE LIPS
the lipstick
Classic Cream Lipstick in Bellissima and Traviata (available from Spring 2014)

FOR THE NAILS
the nail lacquer
Intense Nail Lacquer in Pure Nude

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Book Review: The Icing on the Cake by Juliet Stallwood (Decorating Baked Treats)

Book Review: The Icing on the Cake by Juliet Stallwood (Decorating Baked Treats)

Here at Tasty Gorgeous we were sent this fabulous book to review – The Icing on the Cake: Your Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide to Decorating Baked Treats by Juliet Stallwood. Those familiar with her work will know her as a proclaimed baker and cake decorator. She has a long history of innovative cake design and her own bakery business located in the village of Semley in Dorset. She makes and sells her products to a devoted following including Marco Pierre White and Atul Kochhar. She was also recently featured in Country Living Magazine and also runs classes teaching people how to decorate cakes and baked goods. She has now published ‘The Icing on the Cake: Your Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide to Decorating Baked Treats’ for home bakers also.

the icing on the cake juliet stallwood book review baking decorating

This as her first book, is a wonderful look into decorating many tempting treats such as cakes, cookies, meringues, whoopie pies, chocolates and brownies. Plus it has useful hints and tips for bakers no matter their level of expertise.

The book is divided into five sections, not alphabetised or by type of baked good as you might expect but describing situations when you might want to bake, for example the book begins with the chapter entitled ‘Decorate to Indulge’ is followed by both ‘Decorate to Love’ and ‘Decorate to Celebrate’ and ends with the more decadent chapter ‘Decorate to Impress’. The final chapter sees Stallwood describe her ‘Best-Kept Secrets’ including details of equipment, handling and covering cakes and a number of guides and templates to recreate her recipes with ease.

Many of the recipes and techniques given could be sourced elsewhere and don’t seem particularly distinct however both the language used is likeable and easy to understand and the designs shown throughout the book have been displayed in a fresh and unique style.

sugared rose petal cake juliet stallwood the icing on the cake recipe book review

Decorate to Indulge includes some wonderfully simple but effective ways to decorate a multitude of baked goodies with beautiful full colour page photographs, guides and illustrative drawings. Techniques covered include creating sugared rose petals, chocolate work and piping skills whereas recipes of whoopie pies, macaroons and biscuits are also presented.

Decorate to Love shows off Stallwoods signature style with some stunning corset biscuits, decorated and piped to perfection. This chapter also includes some useful recipe charts for chocolate and sponge cakes of different sizes which makes a great reference guide. She also tackles some more difficult techniques including stencilling and using royal icing efficiently.

corset biscuits juliet stallwood the icing on the cake recipe book review

The next chapter is Decorate to Celebrate which covers as you might expect cakes and baking ideas including occasions such as christenings, birthdays, christmas and weddings. This chapter concentrates mostly on using sugarpaste decorations and modelling featuring a fancy gingerbread house and a helpful fruit cake recipe chart. For those who enjoy figure modelling you’re sure to love the cute party penguins and adorable baby shower cupcakes.

Decorate to Impress is full of ideas that look visually stunning and although appear to be more difficult, the step by step guides are easy to follow. The recipes in this section are a little more challenging and include how to create a tiered wedding cake and make realistic looking sugar flowers.

chocolate mini cakes juliet stallwood the icing on the cake recipe book review

The Best-Kept Secrets chapter is a wonderful reference for new and experienced bakers alike including everything from an ideal list of baking equipment to lining a cake tin to covering, icing and stacking cakes. A limited suppliers list is also included.

In conclusion The Icing on the Cake: Your Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide to Decorating Baked Treats is an engaging book that covers a multitude of invaluable techniques and includes over 50 achievable recipes. Although it is more suited to a beginner or novice baker it is equally good for those with more experience as a reference guide, to refresh the mind on techniques or to read for a little inspiration.

The Icing on the Cake: Your Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide to Decorating Baked Treats by Juliet Stallwood is currently available, rrp £16.99.

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