Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Topshop Nail Vanish

I've never actually considered buying makeup from Topshop yet I still struggle to resist spending, what probably feels like ages for my friends, looking at the makeup and nail collection. I decided to use a giftcard given at Christmas to purchase some nail vanishes in the collection. The first named Tidal and the second Epiphany.

The latter was in sale for £3 and it was exactly what I had been looking for. I adore my L'oreal Paris Sequin Explosion vanish but needed a sparkling coat that was primarily silver that suitable over any nail colour.
Topshop nails promises perfect coverage with long lasting and fast drying colour. This beautiful vanish consists of thin holographic strips which can be built up to achieve either a subtle coverage or a thick sparkling nails with extremely quick drying time! It is easy to achieve a built up nail by either pressing down on where you want the sparkles or simply applying many layers. Both approaches work well in my opinion! 

Tidal is a beautiful soft grey/blue shade, which some reviews say looks like BluTack but I disagree. It is classy colour and a very 'in' shade at the moment following the pastel trend! I have had many compliments on this vanish and it only needs 2 coats to give a thick finish. 

I can certainly see myself extending my new Topshop nail vanish range as I am highly impressed! :) 

Also how cute are midi rings! I finally bought one and I looveee it :) they are so pretty but I can't even explain why ha! 

Friday, 24 January 2014

Early January recap & THAILAND

January isn't the best of months is it... New year feels like ages away, the new year resolutions are already out of the window and not to mention how long ago Christmas feels! 

3rd year at University is also pretty hard, hence why I haven't been on my blog in a while and why this post will probably be very boring. But I want to post a little something so that it doesn't look like I'm completely neglecting my blog. 

So what have I achieved this month?

  1. Volunteered for BBC Stargazing
  2. Completed a dissertation
    & to celebrate
  3. Booked plane tickets to..Thailand!!!!!

I suppose it has been a pretty successful month, I just wish I had more to blog about!

If you have been to Thailand pleaseee share with me any advice! I am so excited to spend a month in such a beautiful part of the world but at the same time I am very scared ha! 

Hope everyone has had a good month! 


Saturday, 18 January 2014

Pimms Cupcakes!

I've finally had a reason to bake! It has been a hectic week at uni so to take a break from it all the boyfriend and I baked some cupcakes for his mother's birthday! 

It's not exactly the right season for pimms cupcakes but it was the best idea we could both come up with.. so here they are! 

They consist of a strawberry and pimms filling with mint and cucumber syrup drizzled on top! Mmmm....

Step 1: The Cupcakes
  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees and line 12 muffin cases
  2. Weigh 3 medium eggs ( e.g. 200 g) and put aside 
  3. Weigh out 200 g of pure soya margarine ( or any butter) and 200 g of caster sugar and whisk in a bowl
  4. Crack and beat in one egg at a time into the mixture and add a few dashes of vanilla essense
  5. Add the zest of 1 orange and the juice
  6. Add and sift 200 g of self raising flour and a desert spoon of cornflour
  7. Fill the cases and place in the oven for 30 minutes
Step 2: Filling
  1. Blend 200 g of fresh strawberries and sift to get rid of pips 
  2. Heat in a small pan along with 1tbsp of cornflour and 1tbsp of caster sugar
  3. Add 2tbsp of pimms and whisk
  4. Leave to cool in the fridge to thicken up a little
Step 3: Butter Cream
  1. Just a plain vanilla buttercream recipe :)  I dont measure but use Stork block and loadss of icing sugar and vanilla essence!! 
Step 4: Mint and Cucumber Syrup 
  1. Chop a small handful of mint leaves and 12 thin slices of cucumber and place in a saucepan over heat
  2. Add 2tbsp of sugar and 2tbsp of water
  3. Leave until the sugar is boiling then place in the fridge to cool
Step 5: Assemble cakes 
  1. Use an apple core to core the centre and fill with the strawberry filling and replace top
  2. Use a piping nozzle and pip the butter cream
  3. Add fruit pieces ( e.g. strawberries, orange, cucumber) to decorate
  4. Drizzle over the syrup
And voila!! :) 

Enjoy! Have a good weekend!!

Kathryn xx

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation!

Firstly, apologies for the lack of regular posts. I haven't even been back at university for a week, but third year is taking its toll big time, however did hand in my dissertation yesterday ( whop whop ). Also a big hello to the lovely new followers that kathrynscupcakes has gained :)!!!

In my Products of the Year post, I briefly mentioned a new foundation of mine : Rimmel London Wake Me Up Foundation. Foundation is a product I swear by. I rarely leave the house without it, mainly because my skin has gone through those annoying teenage years but also as I just like applying it along with contouring and blusher!

My all time favourite foundation was Estee Lauder's Double Wear in Fresco. However, a few years back they decide to change the product ingredients and added too many new shades. I have no idea why they did this as the colours now have an orange tint and the foundation is so much thinner in consistency :(. Since then I have been on the constant look out for a full coverage foundation.

Since then I have been using Vichy Dermablend which is a full coverage foundation to cover skin blemishes such as acne. One downfall that has put me off was the lack of colours and the staying power.

So now.. I have found a cheap drugstore foundation that I actually do love! 

I currently am using Rimmels Wake Me Up in the shade 103 True Ivory. Once again, it is very hard to get the shading right and I think I may have picked up a shade too dark :(

This foundation claims to 'visibly reawaken and illuminate the skin with a radiant glow and a flawless finish'. Does it? Yes, I think so! It is medium coverage which can be layered to give full coverage without being cakey looking. I apply this with a stippling brush and use Model Owns blending sponge, then use some translucent powder to keep it all in place.  
The lasting power is fab for a foundation so cheap and one thing that I like, which is slightly weird, is that near the end of the day it starts to give me that dewy look. Not a horrible dewy look, it just looks like my skin has a healthy glow. 
I must of used a tester when I had fake tan applied ha! 
Another bonus I have is the smell. It hasn't got that funny foundation smell you sometimes get and just smells fresh. 
Overall I am so happy with this foundation and will hopefully be purchasing the lighter shade in future :)! 

Let me know if you have any Full Coverage Foundations that you love!  

Kathryn :) xxx

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Offer: Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer

£2.09 Offer! 

I am sure you are all aware of this brilliant drug store concealer if you are a bit of a beauty addict like myself, which is why I wanted to let you know about this little bargain I got yesterday!

I happened to look in Wilkinson and saw they stocked Collection 2000! I don't actually own anything from the collection other their 16 hour Lasting Perfection Concealer but luckily it was on a Last Chance to buy offer at a mere £2.09!! Compared to Boots and Superdrug where you can find this for over £4, this was such a bargain. Hence I purchased 2 ;) ( already broken my new years resolution at not buying anymore makeup that I don't need ). 

I don't know if this was just in this store, or if they are getting rid of the collection or what. Let me know if you happen to find the same deal :) x 

Friday, 10 January 2014

Soap & Glory The Yule Monty

Every Christmas, without fail, I always receive the amazing Soap & Glory Christmas gift set. This year was no exception. The gift set was named The Yule Monty which included 9 full-size products ranging from moisturizers, body wash and makeup all packaged in a beautiful wash bag designed by British fashion designer Jonathan Saunders. 

1// Hand Cream 2// Foot Cream 3// Body Scrub

Soap and Glory really have managed to produce the best smelling lotions! This will just be a quick insight of what was included in the gift set :) 

1/  'Hand Food' is there hydrating hand cream. I have never really suffered from dry hands but it defiantly leaves my hands feeling lovely and soft without that greasy feeling. It is the original formula consisting of shea butter, macadarnia oil and marshmallow, the smell that Soap and Glory are renown for! 

2/ 'Heel Genius'. I loooveee this product. I use it when I'm giving myself a mini pedicure and makes my feet feel so smooth. It says you are supposed to layer it onto clean feet at night and wear cotton socks whilst you sleep for it to soak it, but I just use it whenever :)

3/ 'Scrub of your Life'. I swear by exfoliating, it makes your skin so much softer but I do probably over do it sometimes ha. This contains tiny little pink beads, and unlike some products, this actually lathers up when scrubbing!

4// Moisturizer 5// Body Wash 6// Body Butter

 4/ 'Butter Yourself' is a ultra nourishing moisture lotion. This is probably my least favourite product of the gift set because of its smell and texture. It's very strong and the product left me feeling sticky/greasy. Not ideal :( 

5// 'Sugar Crush' is beautifulll! The smell of fresh limes in a body wash really does wake you up in the mornings!

6// 'The Righteous Butter'. My all time favourite body butter. Its thick, but doesn't leave you feeling sticky and of course, the classic S&G scent! 

7// Mascara 8// Lip Gloss 9// Face Wash

7/ 'Thick and Fast' is their super volume mascara. The wand is huge and it really does give you some extra volume on your lashes!
8/ 'Sexy Mother Pucker' Extreme Edition. My mum and I find this product so funny. No it doesn't actually make your lips any bigger but it certainly makes them tingle like crazy which causes us to pout.. I guess that the purpose of it! 

9// 'Peach & Clean' is there 3-in-1 face wash. I love the fact this hasn't got any exfoliating beads in it, which usually seem to get everywhere. I don't know if this product actually works but so far I am happy with the cleansing power! 

I am always thrilled to receive these gift sets and this years did not let me down one bit! 

Kathryn x 

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Michael Kors Selma Bag

 Ever since I purchased my rose gold Michael Kors watch 4 years ago now, I have been eyeing up the various other watches in the stores and whilst in the shop one bag caught my eye, the Selma bag! 

So just imagine how excited I was on Christmas day when ( although I already knew I was receiving it) I saw the Michael Kors bag under the tree!!! I am  so unbelievably grateful that my parents bought it for me. Now I just need to find myself an amazing job to treat them both to something amazing!

I thought I would just share with you this little beauty :) 
It's the perfect classic black handbag and the added bonus of a strap makes it ideal for travelling!

Hope you like!

Kathryn xx

Monday, 6 January 2014

2013 Beauty Favourites

2013 was defiantly the year my makeup collection grew massively. I have picked out the products that have stood out to me this year and which I will be constantly using throughout 2014 I am sure! Without further-ado here they are :) 

1// Pore Professional 2// Rimmel Wake Me Up 3// High Beam Highlighter 4// Vichy Translucent Powder

Base Products

1/ Primers are a must for my skin and a little of Benefits Pore Professional goes a long way. Its smooth and instantly reduces the size of pores. I wasn't much of a primer girl but after receiving this for my birthday I can see why so many people swear by it!
2/ Foundation. I have been struggling finding a foundation this year ever since Estee Lauder decided to change there double wear formula :( BUT, only literally a week ago did I come across Rimmel Londons Wake Me Up foundation. Why did no one tell me about this before. Its a beautiful texture, leaves my skin glowing and lasts for sooo long, and the price doesn't hurt my bank account!
3/ High Beam has always been on my wishlist. I was using sleek highlighter but so powder ontop of powder is just too much for my skin. Here is my little review for this product.
4/ And finally a powder. I was originally using MAC's translucent powder but Vichy's pot is so much larger and cheaper. In addition you get a little powder puff to apply it with :). I have never got on well with coloured powder but maybe this year I'll give it a go. 

1// Sleek Contour in Light 2// NARS Orgasm 3// Rockateur by Benefit
1/ After purchasing the Real Techniques base collection which includes a contour brush, it was necessary to buy a contour palette. Sleek products are brilliant in my opinion. They are cheap but are just as good as the top brands. Not much to say other than its a great match to my skin and does the job to contour my cheek bones

2/ Blushers: NARS Orgasm. What a lovellyyy colour a shimmery rose gold tone. I wore this mainly in Summer hence why I have two blushers in this photo

3/ Rockateur is the most recent Benefit blusher. Perfect for winter as its slightly darker and matches the dark eyes and clothing. Also I didn't realise how nice these blushers my Benefit smelt! 

1// Benefit Brows 2// Maybelline Eyeliner 3// Urban Decay Primer Potion 4// Naked 3
1/ This year I gave most attention to my eyebrows. I had always hated my brows, they were either too sparse or too thick however Benefit saved me! I went and had my brows waxed and tinted and the results were amazing. I literally had no idea how they made them look so good. I went on to buy there brow palette to keep my brows looking fresh!

2/ Im a big fan of normal eyeliner for my bottom water line. I feel my eyes look dead without and this Maybelline eye liner is my top eyeliner this year. It is a twist up so no need to keep sharpening and the thinness of the eyeliner tip gives you super neat black waterline unlike a pencil.

3/ Of course primer potion has to be in here! Eyeshadow isn't the same without it!

4/ Finally, the Naked 3 palette! This is perfect. The colours are perfect, the pigment is just as strong and the tin is much posher than previous palettes. 

One product I haven't got a photo of but is probably my top product of the year is....

Collection 2000 concealer. Cheap yet absolutely wonderful at covering all blemishes!! Everyone needs to give this a go for 2014!

And that concludes my 2013 products of the year! 
What were yours? :) 

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Oreo Cupcakes

Boredom struck me big time today, all because I have been sitting trying to write a 10,000 word dissertation due in two weeks! To take a break I decided it was time to do some baking. Oreo's are a new thing for me as I only just found out that they don't contain any lactose :) ( but wine does hm?!). 

I used a chocolate sponge recipe consisting of 3 eggs. Heres how I made them (approximately anyways)

Start by pre heating the oven at 180 degrees and lining a tray with 12 muffin cases! 

  1. Measure your 3 eggs. This will be used to measure the rest of the ingredients ( mine weighed 180g) 
  2. Weigh out your margarine and also the sugar so that both match the weight of the eggs (180g)
  3. Mix together in a bowl till its white and fluffy and add 2 tea spoons of vanilla essence 
  4. Weigh out some self raising flour to around 20 g below the eggs and use cocoa powder to make up the rest. 
  5. Shift into the bowl and slowly mixing with a wooden spoon ( you want to keep the mixture light and not beat the flour too much) ! Here I added a dash of soya milk and half a tea spoon of baking powder
  6. Now break 3 or 4 oreos into quarters and place in the cupcake liners
  7. Fill your cupcakes cases! 
Place in the oven for approx 25 mins and voila! 

Now onto the buttercream icing!
  1. Use about 3/4 of a block of stork margarine/butter and whisk till smooth
  2. Ground in a blender several Oreos until fine and add into the butter
  3. Now for icing sugar. I appologise, I have no specific measure for this but maybe use just less than half a bag of big icing sugar 
  4. Add with the butter with a dash of vanilla essence 
  5. Make sure its thoroughly mixed together and has a smooth consistency  
Use a wilton 1m icing tip if you have one and pipe. Half an Oreo for each of the cupcakes a place on top of the icing.. like so...

Sale Purchases

I have decided to actually focus on my blog a little more this year and give it a bit of structure instead of just random posts here and there! I haven't yet decided how I am going to do this but seeing as its a new year and all I think its time to put in a bit more effort! Unfortunately though... my new year resolution is to stop going into Boots and buying makeup that I really don't need, so there's not going to be many updates makeup related! We'll see how long that lasts though! 

Xmas Sales

I have never been fond of sales and still haven't got my head around why people queue up from god knows o'clock outside Next for the boxing day sale?! HOWEVER, I did end up going to Westfield a few days after Christmas and feel like I actually succeeded in sale buying. Here are just a few of my purchases :)

These were such a bargain! £27 to £13.50, you can't exactly go wrong!

Ted Baker bags are lovely, I must have about 4 bags and 2 purses now. The quality is beautiful and this black clutch was reduced from £69 to £48. Not a hugeee bargain but I was in need of a black clutch so it was worth it. 

Zara was defiantly my favourite shop of 2013! Everything, in my opinion, is more sophisticated and higher quality than other shops without the hefty price tag! I actually had my eye on a black jacket but opted for this instead. It had £20 off and I think I have worn it every day since!

I can't explain how happy I was when I found this dogtooth print dress in sale. I was going to buy it when it was full price but went for a different dress in the end. This was my New Years Eve outfit, which I wore with my Ted Baker clutch bag and black wedges.

Hope you like it all!
Kathryn x