I have discovered that I really love using sheet masks in summer, particularly when I stick them in the fridge for a few hours to chill. It makes it a treat to have a relax with a mask on and cool down overly warm skin- especially during the last few days of sunny weather where I have been out hunting Pokémon! (They also give my sun screen hating skin a little boost.)
Previously I have ordered masks on Ebay from Korea, which are lovely but do come with a long waiting time- and can be fairly expensive. I was therefore delighted to spot these ‘the crème shop’ masks in my local TKMAXX.
They had multiple different ones including cute animal face masks (which I believe have animal faces printed on the masks!) but from this rather large variety I chose two, Coconut Oil infused and Rose Water infused.
This was largely because these were two of the largest mask sets- which seemed like a bit of a bargain at £4.99 for 5 masks. At around £1 a mask , it is cheaper than I have found on eBay. The other reason was that I find that rose water and coconut oil products work well for my skin.
Once unwrapped and put on the masks do have a fairly slimy feel to them, but I have found that to be part of most sheet masks and they are very soothing to the skin due to this. After removing the masks any liquid left on the skin soaks in easily.
I find the masks to be fairly similar in their benefits, both leave my skin feeling softer and more nourished and both smell pleasantly of their respective infusions. They also make my skin feel smoother. I love the packaging for the masks, both the print on the box and the fact that the benefits of the mask are printed on the box making it easy to pick the right one depending on what you want!
My favourite part of using these masks is the ritual- I know that after putting on the mask I have no choice but to sit down and chill for 10-15 minutes whilst doing nothing.
If you like sheet masks and would like to try a new one I would recommend looking in your local TKMAXX and seeing whether they have some in stock, it is certainly a quicker and easier way to try out a mask compared to ordering them online and waiting for them to arrive.
I’d love any recommendations for favourite sheet masks!
I really felt like baking the other day, but was at a bit of a loss as to what I wanted to bake. After flicking through a few of my cookbooks I turned to one of my most recent purchases- John Whaite Bakes- picked up for the bargain price of £2.50 from HMV. I remembered that there was one particular cake that really caught my eye when I initially flicked through it, which was the White Chocolate and Raspberry Melting Cake. I am pretty sure that there isn’t a better time of year to bake it than when British raspberries are both in store, and cheap enough to not feel guilty about baking them into a cake rather than devouring them fresh.
The cake was everything I hoped for; a light sponge with sweet pockets of tart raspberry and a creamy chocolate ganache sandwiching it all together. It has been a hit with the people who have tried it! If you are wondering why there is a couple of slices missing, by the time I had made it it was too dark to take photos and we still wanted to try it! So I took these the next day…
It is a well written book with beautiful pictures that has been a pleasure to flick through, and the cake worked brilliantly- expect for a couple of minor mistakes that were more user error than any fault of the recipe (as I will explain below.)
- 200g Butter, at room temperature and cut into chunks
- 100g White Chocolate, broken into pieces (I used Milkybar!)
- 4 Eggs
- 200g Caster Sugar (I used vanilla sugar)
- 200g SR Flour
- 175g Fresh Raspberries
- Icing Sugar for dusting if desired
- 200g White Chocolate, Broken into pieces
- 250ml Double Cream
The first area where I deviated from the recipe was in terms of tin size- you are supposed to use two 8 inch tins which have been greased and lined with baking paper, but I own two 8 ½ inch tins (not sure why!) so I used these instead. They worked fine, but would be a little thinner than the original recipe. So if you have the correct size use it, if your tins are slightly larger or smaller use them- and just keep a closer eye when checking whether or not they are baked.
Preheat oven to 180°C
Put butter and 100g white chocolate in a heatproof mixing bowl above a pan of barely simmering water. Stirring occasionally, let melt together. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a couple of minutes.
Once they have cooled add the eggs and sugar and beat with an electric hand mixer (Or if like me you own a freestanding mixer, but not a hand mixer transfer to mixing bowl and do it with that) Beat it until you have a smooth batter. This may take a couple of minutes. Sift over the flour and fold it in, along with the raspberries.
Pour into the prepared tins, ensuring not to squash the raspberries. Divide the mixture evenly.
Bake the cakes for 20-25 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the centre comes out clean and the cakes are golden brown. Allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.
To make the ganache put the 200g of chocolate and 100ml of the cream into a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir until the chocolate has melted into the cream and the resulting mixture is smooth and glossy. Leave until it has cooled to room temperature. Once at room temperature beat in the remaining 150ml of cream.
Allow the ganache to cool and thicken- it will take a while even if using the fridge. Don’t do what I did and use it when it looks like it should be ready. Slightly more set is better than underset. Else it will squish out when you use it (and then you will have to tidy it up when it sets more!) Lesson learned- be more patient.
Sandwich the cooled cakes together with the ganache, lower one base side down, upper one base side up so that you have a smooth top and bottom. If desired dust with icing sugar (I didn’t feel it needed it.)
I bought the Origins Checks and Balances Frothy face wash for one main reason- having received the sample with a previous order and really enjoying how it made my face feel. And thankfully after buying the full size and using it for a few weeks I haven’t been disappointed.
Although I find it fairly pricey at £18.50 for 150ml (otherwise known as the most expensive face wash I have ever bought!) I feel that it is definitely worth the money, and it has shot straight to first place as my new favourite face wash.
For one thing I love the fact that this face wash doesn’t dry out my face or leave it feeling tight after washing- a problem I have found with many face washes I have tried. It works well with areas that sometimes get a little oily, and also on areas of my face prone to dryness and seems to suit both well. It is definitely a face wash that suits combination skinl.
Since I started using this face wash on a daily basis I haven’t had any bad breakouts, and my skin feels smoother and looks brighter.
I also really love the scent of this face wash; it smells really fresh and minty. It has bergamot, spearmint and lavender which makes using it a pleasure. It is a fairly thick paste like texture that means that it bubbles easily and well.
Another great thing about this frothy face wash is how little is required per use which means that even though it is expensive it should last a decent amount of time. In order to use it I just squeeze an approximately pea sized amount in the palm of my hand and add tepid water to lather it up, before swirling it all over my face (avoiding the eyes- the spearmint makes that a rather unpleasant sensation!) before rinsing off with warm water. I use it both day and night and it has really improved my cleansing ritual as I look forward to using it!
I would definitely recommend trying this face wash if you have combination skin- and I find that it works really well for my skin that tends to be more towards the drier end of the spectrum. It is a bit of a luxury due to the price but it works which means that it is a worthwhile indulgence.
Based on its texture and foaming abilities I think that this face wash will work really well with cleansing brushes like the Clarisonic- and I can’t wait to give this a try once I get a new head for mine!