June Nailbox Subscription Review

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

For more information visit nailbox.co.uk.

Thanks for Reading,

Easter herb roasted leg of lamb with apricots, walnuts and almonds

Easter herb roasted leg of lamb with apricots, walnuts and almonds

Easy entertaining this Easter with a perfect one pan leg of lamb!

Easter herb roasted leg of lamb with apricots, walnuts and almonds

Serves: 6

Ingredients:
1 x 2 – 2.5kg leg of New Zealand Lamb
(can be chilled or thawed from frozen)
4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
the leaves from 15cm stalk of rosemary, chopped
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 heads of fennel, cut into 6 wedges each
2 bunches baby carrots, skins scrubbed
10 dried apricots, halved
100g whole almonds
60g walnut pieces

Top tips: Lamb will take approximately 30 minutes per kilo, plus 15 minutes. Alternatively a temperature probe is very handy. Insert into the thickest part of the meat half way in. It should read 50-55˚C. Upon resting the temperature will rise to 60˚C. Perfect pink roast lamb! If you like it a little more done, allow 1 hour and 25 minutes, or a reading of 65˚C. Always rest before carving.

Method:
Preheat oven 180˚C.
Place the lamb in a roasting dish and poke a thin small knife into the flesh in 12 places.
Mix the garlic, rosemary, thyme and olive oil with a little salt and pepper and poke this into all of the holes and rub the remainder over the leg.
Place in the centre of the oven and roast for 45 minutes. After 20 minutes, add 100ml water to prevent the garlic from burning.
Tip the fennel and carrots onto the lamb and turn the leg over then roast for 30 minutes.
Take the lamb from the dish, add the apricots, walnuts and almonds, then replace the lamb, again turned over, and put back in the oven.
It will be cooked medium (which is lovely for leg of lamb) in another 15 – 25 minutes depending on the size.
Remove the lamb from the roasting dish and sit on a plate loosely covered with foil and a tea towel, and rest in a warm place for at least 15 minutes.
Turn the oven off, put the roasting dish back in, and keep warm.

Easter herb roasted leg of lamb with apricots, walnuts and almonds

For more information about New Zealand Lamb go to www.loveourlamb.co.uk

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BLUEBERRY AND LEMON CURD SCONES RECIPE

Blueberry and Lemon Curd Scones

Easter is all about indulging with friends and family so why not try making these delicious Blueberry and Lemon Curd Scones, the perfect afternoon treat, designed by The English Provender Co.

BLUEBERRY AND LEMON CURD SCONES
Ingredients:
300 g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
75 g butter, cut into small squares
50 g caster sugar
100 g blueberries
3 tablespoons The English Provender Co. Luxury Lemon Curd
150 ml milk, plus extra for brushing

To serve:
Clotted cream
The English Provender Co. Luxury Lemon Curd*

Method:
Preheat the oven to 200°C, Gas Mark 6. Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl then rub in the butter, until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs
Stir in the sugar and blueberries and mix well. Whisk together the milk and lemon curd and gently stir into the breadcrumb mixture, with a rounded knife until the mixture is a soft dough and comes together in a ball
Gently knead on a lightly floured surface to remove any cracks. Roll out to 2 cm thickness, then using a 6 cm fluted pastry cutter, cut into rounds. Gather up any spare bits of dough and knead lightly, roll out and make more scones
Place on a baking tray, spacing them a little apart, brush the tops with milk and cook for 10-12 minutes, until risen and golden brown. Transfer to a cooling rack
Delicious served warm or cold, split in half and top with clotted cream and lemon curd

Blueberry and Lemon Curd Scones

Cook’s tip: Handle the dough as little as possible or it will become tough. Any remaining scones can be stored in an airtight container for 2-3 days – just reheat in the oven.

*The English Provender Co. Luxury Lemon Curd (315g) is available from Lakeland and online at www.englishprovender.com, RRP £2.49

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If you love baking check out my new book ‘How to Start a Successful Cake Business‘ – now available on Etsy and Amazon Kindle Store