Liz Earle Route to Radiance

For Christmas this year I was lucky enough to receive the Route to Radiance set by Liz Earle – which was an amazing deal for £30 during one of Boots weekly Christmas offers. It was an amazing set for this price, including 100ml of the iconic Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser, 200ml of Instant Boost Skin Tonic, a 75ml Deep Cleansing Mask, two 15ml mask – intensive nourishing treatment and brightening treatment and finally two cotton cloths, and two sponges. And to make it even better, it was gorgeously packaged in a stunning box! To buy the items individually at full price, it’d cost over £60 so I figured that this would be a great way to try out some Liz Earle products- as previously I have only used the Hot Cloth Cleanser.

So far, I’ve used three of the products, the Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser, The Instant Boost Skin Tonic and the Deep Cleansing Mask and I love the way they make my skin feel when used as a combination.

Generally, in the evening  I’ll start with the cleanse & polish hot cloth cleanser- I’m currently still using my old bottle, as I find that 1 or 2 pumps is plenty for my whole face, so it lasts a decent amount of time. I rub it over my whole face (and it does work well to remove makeup when I am wearing it) and then remove it with one of the cotton cloths provided soaked in hot water. This effortlessly removes makeup, and grime from the day and leaves my skin feeling soft, smelling delicious (like rosemary, camomile and eucalyptus!) and feeling a ton happier! I largely save this for days I’m wearing makeup (as it’s not the cheapest of cleansers when bought full price) but I always love the evenings that I use this! I’d hate to be without this product, which I think has a well-deserved reputation.

After this, about once a week I’ll use the deep cleansing mask, which helps to purify your skin and regulate oiliness and leaves my skin feeling more balanced (and smelling of roses!) I smooth it over my face, avoiding eyes, lips and hairline and leave on for around 10 minutes. I then remove it using the provided sponges, well rinsed in water and then splash my face with cold water. I think that once a week is plenty, as using it more frequently may be too drying for my skin.

Finally I finish up with the instant boost skin tonic. It once again smells heavenly and leaves my skin smelling floral, as it includes essential oils of rose-scented geranium, lavender and sweet orange. To use, I just pour some onto cotton wool pads, and sweep over my face, helping to leave it soothed.

I’ve not tried the other masks yet, as I have quite a few different masks but frequently forget to use them! But I’d certainly recommend a similar set if you wish to try out Liz Earle products- or if you only want to try one, any of the above are great (Although the Hot Cloth Cleanser is my favourite!)

I have fairly well behaved skin, so admittedly most of the time it doesn’t need that much help but it does feel softer and smoother since I added these to my routine. Although it may partly be because I like using these so much that I remember to use them and moisturise- a step I tend to forget when I am tired.

I’d love to hear any recommendations for other Liz Earle products I should try- as the brand is still fairly new to me!

My Current Favourite Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

There are few things as satisfiying as homemade cookies- particularly the good ones: Saucer sized, thick and chewy and crammed with as many chocolate chips as possible. And over the years I have tried a ton of different cookie recipes- and for a basic chocolate chip cookie, these are my current favourite! They have a delightful craggy appearance and are delicious either fresh from the oven, or a few days later and retain their texture and chew even after a few days- if they last that long.

This recipe was originally from America’s Test Kitchen – to be precise “The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook (15th Anniversary Addition)” an excellent (gigantic) cookbook- even if my version is now several years out of date! However I have made a couple of changes, and give the weights in grams rather than the original cups and ounces.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies (Makes 18 Cookies)

  • 300g Plain Flour
  • ½ tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 170g Butter, Melted and Cooled
  • 200g Light Brown Sugar
  • 100g Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1 Large Egg Yolk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Coffee Extract (Optional but super good- if you don’t have it replace with more Vanilla)
  • 250g Chocolate Chips (I use a mix of white, dark and milk chunks)

To begin with preheat your oven to 170 C (I have a fan oven and therefore dropped it to 160 C) and line two large baking trays with baking paper.

Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.

Using a stand mixer beat together the butter and sugars at a medium speed until smooth. Add the whole egg, egg yolk and the extracts and mix until fully combined, scraping down the bowl and beater as necessary. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until combined. Finally stir in the chocolate chips (I usually do this by hand.)

At this point I chill the dough for around an hour, although if you are in a rush you can skip this step. I find it helps the cookies to keep their shape in the oven, and not spread too thin so recommend when you have the time!

Divide the dough into 18 pieces and roll them into balls. One at a time, pull the dough balls in half, and stick the two smooth sides together- so that the 2 ripped uneven sides form the top of the cookie- be careful not to smooth out that fantastic craggy surface (You can see why you want it in the picture below!)

Place the cookies on the prepared trays, ensuring to space them around 2 ½ inches apart. Bake the cookies until they are a light golden brown, and the edges are starting to harden- whilst still retaining that soft, puffy texture. This will take between 15-18 minutes. Cool the cookies on the baking trays (if you can’t resist them, feel free to pinch one once they are firm enough to move!).

Finally enjoy!

 

George Autumn Homeware Wishlist – 2017

George Home is one of my favourite places to pick up homeware items- they frequently have some awesome, quirky pieces that would not look out of place in Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Next or John Lewis but cost a fraction of the price they’d charge! Which means it is far cheaper place to go if you want to do some seasonal decoration.

Autumn/Winter are my favourite seasons, particularly for decorating. I love the warm cosy feel of snuggling up under blankets by candlelight with a good book- dare I say it’s the perfect hygge feeling! The items I’ve picked are perfect for a cosy autumn makeover- with plenty of copper and white!

George already had Christmas items online- so I had to restrain myself. But if you are a fan of quirky/kitsch items (or like dinosaurs!) I’d highly recommend giving them a look.

  1. George Home Copper Moscow Mule Mugs – Set of 2 (£8)

I’ve wanted a set of copper Moscow mule mugs for a while, and these are perfect! I’ve even seen this much being charged for one mug elsewhere previously. I love copper, and they’d be perfect for mulled wine or hot chocolate with mountains of cream as we get closer to christmas! I think they’d be great to make a DIY gift for a couple- paired with their favourite Christmas drink and snack!

  1. Raccoon Slipper Socks (£7)

A cosy pair of slippers are the best, and even better if they have a cute face on! These raccoon slippers are adorable, and look super cosy- they even have a fleece lining which is perfect to keep your feet toasty on chilly evenings.

  1. Marble Print Mini Cushion (£5)

I’ve looked at this cushion a few times in real life, and really like it. It’s a pretty small cushion so it’s definitely more decorative than functional but that’s not always a bad thing. It’s such a cool pattern, and I love the marble and gold look.

  1. Copper-effect Bell Jar Lamp (£30)

More copper! I think that copper adds such a warm glow to a home, particularly copper lighting.  This is an awesome quirky light, and I love the steampunk vibe it’s giving off- I used to be really into the steampunk look, and even did several school projects on it! Although it’s not a look I’ve got going on in the place I live now, this would also be perfect for a modern or loft look. I really don’t need any more lights- as I’ve got nowhere to put them, but this one is just too cool to not wish for.

  1. Brushed Cotton Reversible Camping Bears Duvet Cover (£17)

I think this is my favourite item on the list. I love it so much. I’m a great fan of Georges bedding- it’s soft, washes well and has the cutest designs. My last couple of Christmas bedding sets came from George, and on the bed currently I have their awesome wizard cats design! This bedding is brushed cotton so perfect for a cosy bedroom, and also has the best ever design- of camping bears! I love the cartoon We Bare Bears, and the anime Polar Bear Café- so really I can’t imagine a cooler bedding than this! Hoping I see this to pick it up!

  1. 2-Pack Small LED Pillar Candles – Vanilla (£4)

These are pretty standard LED Candles, but I love the idea of a cosy glow, without the risk of candles- particularly if they were used in a bedroom. These are vanilla fragranced, which I haven’t seen before and think the idea sounds lovely!

  1. Speaker Ornament (£12)

This is such a cool ornament, and it is also supposed to amplify your phone! Once again, it’s copper! I love the idea of this, and it’d be perfect as part of a low tech chillout- with just your phone for music, and depending on how well it works I like the idea of using it outside, or when Glamping! It’s a great quirky piece that I can imagine being sold at Urban Outfitters or similar.

  1. George Home Natural Blonde Faux Fur Throw (£30)

I’m very strongly of the belief that you need blankets for a cosy home- preferably a number of them. And I’m particularly fond of faux fur throws- so soft to cuddle up in! I really love the colour of this throw, and it would look perfect at the end of the bed, or over the arm of the sofa.

Any of these items would (in my mind) also be great as a Christmas present if you want to get a head start- I know I would certainly would be thrilled with any of them!

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation in 1 Fair

I’m always on the lookout for a good pale foundation, as I’ve found in the past that many of the ones that I have tried have been far too dark, or have looked orange on my skin- which paired with my hair really isn’t the best look! I’ve also wanted to try a Charlotte Tilbury product for a long time, mainly due to the super pretty packaging and products (Sometimes I am lured in by a cover… This isn’t always a bad thing!)

So when I found myself in a Charlotte Tilbury store a few months back, I couldn’t resist the urge any longer. As is my usual go to move with foundations I headed straight to the palest they had, and treated myself! I picked up the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation in 1 Fair which according to their website is a “neutral beige for very fair skin tones with cool undertones” and it seems to be a pretty close match, with no oxidisation on my skin.

I really love the packaging for this product, with the attractive glass bottle, rose gold lid and a pump- it’s both pretty and functional! I find a pump or two is plenty to cover my face- although I often do a fairly light layer, and you may need more if you want full coverage.

The foundation does have SPF15, which I like. Although I often wear sunscreen on my face I’m sure doubling up does no harm! It’s a fairly thick foundation, and I find that the easiest way to apply it is with a brush (I’m currently using my real techniques 301 Flat Contour Brush – and I love that it matches the bottle). I have found it easier to blend into my skin with a brush, than with fingers or a sponge.

As you can see in the photos above, it does a pretty good job of covering up imperfections- particularly around my eyes, and blemishes are covered up well enough that I wouldn’t feel that I needed to also use concealer.

I don’t wear foundation every day as (most of the time) I have fairly good skin to start with – and I generally save makeup for days when I’m going out and about (too lazy to apply it every day!) but I do think that this foundation makes my skin look more flawless, and helps to cover my pores. However, as I don’t use it frequently enough, I can’t really say whether the foundation meets the skin care claims it makes – such as reducing age spots and tightening pores. To be honest I’d rely more on my skincare to do that!

It’s not a cheap foundation, at £30 for a 30ml bottle, but sometimes you have to treat yourself, and I really like the way this feels on my skin/ makes my skin look. It makes me happy to pick it up and use it- although for the price I do sometimes feel like I should save it for special occasions.

So overall if you are looking for a new pale foundation, and have the money to treat yourself I’d recommend picking this one up.

I’ve only used a couple of Charlotte Tilbury products, so I’d love to hear what I should try next!