When I was younger I only really knew the Body Shop for their Shower Gels and Body Butters, but I was obviously missing out- as I have found that they have some great skin care products in the last few years! I really love rose products for my face, as I have quite sensitive skin and they seems to help soothe it- particularly when I am having issues with dryness or redness. Due to this I was very interested after seeing the Body Shop British Rose Petal-Soft Gel Toner online (and reviewed on my favourite blog for skincare – Makeup Savvy), and I just couldn’t resist picking it up when I was in the Body Shop recently!
As we’re beginning to get into colder weather – the duvet’s back on the bed and it’s been raining pretty much every day this week – it seemed like the perfect time to pick up this toner. It promises to re-plump the skin with moisture, and leave it feeling soft soothed and replenished, this sounded perfect for the Autumn/Winter period when I often find my skin feeling in need of a little extra attention and hydration! It’s a really easy product to use, after washing your face you simply put some onto a cotton pad and wipe it over your face and neck.
The packaging for the toner is simple, but attractive. It has a flip top with a small opening which makes it easy to control how much product is released, and due to the gel formula this helps to prevent accidentally putting too much on the cotton pad and wasting it. I really like that the toner has real (small pieces) of rose petal which are suspended in the gel!
This toner feels lovely on the skin, and has made my face feel smoother – helping with the dry patches that I tend to get around my nose and forehead. I also really love the rose scent, which makes it a pleasure to use, and it always feels like a treat for my skin after a tiring day. Due to the toner not containing alcohol, it also doesn’t leave your face feeling tight like some other toners.
I purchased it at full price for £9.50, and feel that it is a great toner for under £10- although it may be possible to pick it up cheaper as the Body Shop frequently has offers on.
I’d love to hear any recommendations for favourite Body Shop products!
I’ve been a fan of the L’Oréal Paris Pure Clay Masks since my mum bought me the Purity Mask for my birthday. As such I was excited to see the recent new releases- a Blemish Rescue Mask, and a Bright Face Mask. I picked up both whilst they were on offer for £5.99, but as my skin has been acting up a bit recently I’ve been reaching for the Blemish Rescue Mask most often!
To start with, I really like the packaging for the masks; they look and feel a lot more expensive than they are, with a hefty glass jar packaged inside a well thought out box. The glass jar makes it easy to keep an eye on how much you have left- although as it doesn’t take much to coat your face, and the packaging says it will do 10 applications (I’m guessing very generous ones!) I haven’t felt like I have to be sparing with it.
My preferred way to apply the mask is with an old foundation brush that I requisitioned to use with face masks- as this prevents wasting product by having it on my fingers, or from making an unnecessary mess. It applies beautifully in this way, as it is a very smooth formula that spreads easily on the skin. After leaving it until dry (usually around 10 minutes) I also find it very easy to remove with lukewarm water, and unlike some other masks I don’t feel like I need to scrub my face to remove all traces of it. Although I’d recommend tying your hair back as it is a little harder to remove from hair! (And gives me an excuse to wear my favourite cat ear headband!)
I like all of the L’Oréal Pure Clay Masks I have tried, but I admit that I have a particular weakness for this one due to the colour- it’s a brilliant bright blue, and is perfect for an impromptu Smurf dress up in your bathroom… Maybe not a traditional use for a mask, but entertaining whilst it is drying!
After removing the mask, my skin feels much fresher and it does seem to help clear imperfections. I’d recommend it for when your skin is acting up, or has more blemishes than usual. My skin is generally pretty well behaved, but when it acts up this is a great way to try kick it back into order. It helps to mattify the skin, and I feel it is a great addition to my skincare regime- and a lovely treat to use on a weekend afternoon.
Overall I would highly recommend this mask, particularly when it is on offer! You get a lot of uses for your money, and it feels lovely on the skin. It’s got great packaging, and for the price, I don’t think the mask could be much better! I also like to use a few of the L’Oréal masks on different sections of my skin as a multi mask- which can both help tailor the mask’s properties to what your skin needs, and is fun when you have an amazing pattern on your face due to the various mask colours.
I really enjoy trying out different face masks, both to keep my skin in good condition and because I feel like it is a lovely way to pamper yourself at the weekend, or after a tiring day- my rule is you can’t do anything but chill/ read whilst the mask is drying…
I’d love to hear any recommendations for masks you have found particularly good!
It’s my partner’s birthday this week, and I was looking for a good cake to make him. A couple of factors made me decide on this one- number one that I wanted to make a Bundt, as I had only used my Bundt tin once- making it a pretty expensive purchase that I hadn’t yet justified! Number two that British Raspberries were half price in my local supermarket, and I wanted a cake that would take advantage of that- Particularly after we scanned too many, and ended up with five punnets of raspberries!
I would personally usually choose a cake that contained chocolate, caramel, peanut butter or coffee- or some amazing combination of them all, but the BF isn’t as keen. He’ll happily eat them when I make them- who would refuse homemade cake – but I wanted to make something more to his taste for his Birthday! As he was a fan of the last white chocolate and raspberry cake I made, I figured something similar would be good- but I wanted something a bit more special…
I spent quite a while looking for a base recipe to use for the Bundt cake- I had a bit of a struggle, as I could only find American recipes using cups (which really isn’t my favourite method of measuring, although I’ll cope for an otherwise good recipe) and using cake mix as the base (as I already have a cupboard overflowing with baking ingredients, I couldn’t justify this.)
Eventually I stumbled upon a recipe from hugoandelsa.com which had what I was looking for- a simple recipe with lots of raspberries (almost 2 punnets!), creme fraiche to keep it moist (although I used sour cream as I’m more familiar with baking with it) and ground almonds- which I am always a fan of in baking.
It worked perfectly for what I wanted, and I had a great stress free baking experience- and a happy family who got to devour delicious cake.
To finish it off, and really gild the lily I added a lightly whipped white chocolate ganache and freeze dried raspberries, resulting in what, to me, is a super pretty cake.
See the recipe below if you fancy giving it a go!
White Chocolate and Raspberry Bundt Cake
For the Cake:
- 225g softened butter
- 200g caster sugar (I used vanilla sugar)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 250g plain flour
- 60g ground almonds
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 large eggs
- 240g sour cream
- 85 g white chocolate chips
- 250g raspberries
For the optional (but highly recommended) Ganache/Decoration:
- 100g white chocolate, chopped
- 125ml double cream
- freeze dried raspberries, to sprinkle over the top (optional but oh so pretty!)
To begin with preheat your oven to 180 C – (I have a fan oven, and therefore dropped it to 170 C) and grease/flour a 9 cup bundt tin well, You really don’t want it to stick! (I have the Nordic Ware Heritage Bundt Tin and love the way it looks).
Using a stand mixer, cream together butter (I’d recommend cutting it into smaller pieces to make it quicker), vanilla and sugar on a high speed until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Whilst it is mixing (unless you are using a hand mixer and therefore more involved!) sift your dry ingredients into a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside for now!
Add the eggs one at a time to the butter / sugar mixture, beating for 20 seconds after each egg to ensure they combine.
Add the dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with the sour cream – I add the dry ingredients and then mix slightly by hand to ensure flour doesn’t fly everywhere – and then mix on high for 20 seconds, ensuring to scrape down the sides and bottom to make sure that the batter is thoroughly mixed.
Finally fold in the white chocolate chips and raspberries by hand- trying to make sure to not overly squash the raspberries!
Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and smooth the top and then bake for 55 – 65 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the centre (Mine took 55 mins).
Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack and leave to cool completely.
If you don’t want to frost the cake, you are done! Yay – Enjoy!
However if you would like to decorate the cake, proceed with the below white chocolate ganache, it’s super simple, and super tasty.
In a bowl set above lightly simmering water, combine your white chocolate and 50ml of the double cream. Stir, until the chocolate has melted into the cream and you have a smooth and glossy ganache. Leave the ganache to cool to room temperature, and then add the rest (75ml) of cream. Put in the fridge to chill until cold.
Once cold, I lightly whipped my ganache by hand, to give it a stiffer texture- like very lightly whipped cream (just about able to hold its shape when dropped off a spoon). This was to allow it to be piped on the cake without it all running off. Once whipped, put the ganache in a piping bag and cut off the tip of the bag to allow you to pipe a thick line.
The cake should be completely cool before beginning decorating. To pipe the cake, I simply followed the lines of the Bundt cake, and then used a palette knife to neatly spread the ganache.
To finish off the cake, I sprinkled freeze dried raspberries over the ganache- which I picked up randomly when I visited Copenhagen, and have been looking for a good place to use!
Then put the cake in the fridge until ready to serve- I personally best like cake and frosting cold from the fridge.