Friday, 27 May 2016

May Favourites

Good afternoon chickies!  Oh, how I've missed blogging - the past couple of months have been manic for me in terms of uni work.  The beginning of May was a deadline-shaped whirlwind, but the storm has officially raged, and I'm now wedged in the first lazy lull of summer... starting with a few May favourites for you all.

As the weather has been getting a bit warmer my hair has certainly been feeling the pinch.  I'm talking a dead, dry, scarecrow-like pinch.  Having used Argan oil for the past year or so, I thought I would try something new, and I've become a big fan of this Organix Coconut Milk Serum as a way to smooth down my unruly ends and restore a bit of moisture.  If you want your hair to smell like a holiday in Barbados, this is perfect - it's quite a lightweight serum too, so won't leave your hair feeling greasy or sticky.

I've been using Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel for a little while now, too, and although it's quite an investment, I love this scent.  It's a fresh oriental and fruity fragrance that lasts all day.  I have the Eau de Parfum, and found that this smells quite different to the Eau de Toilette, so if anyone is thinking about getting this, make sure you compare the two first and see which you prefer.

 This next one is a little weird, but thought it was worth a mention...

This little tool is called a 'Comedone Extractor'.  I won't go into too much detail, for fear of putting you off ever visiting my blog again... but these things are really bloody useful for anyone who suffers from acne or blackhead-prone skin.  I first saw them in Japan and was too intrigued not to try one out.  I got mine off Amazon for a very inexpensive £1.89.  Has anyone else heard of, or used one of these?  I'd love to know what you thought of it!  

 While at home for a week last week I popped into Boots and saw that they now stock NYX cosmetics.  I had to pick up a couple of bits of course, and I'll probably do a full post on what I got, but one of the things I've been loving is this Jumbo Eye Pencil in Lavender - a gorgeous shimmery lilac shade.  It's quite an inexpensive brand, and what especially drew me to this counter was the great range of colours they have, especially in terms of eyeliners, shadows, lipsticks etc.  The other new makeup product I've been loving is the Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Eyeliner.  I've done a full review of this product here, but let me tell you in short - it's amazing.

And finally, I thought I'd round it all off with a book I've recently started, called Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov.  This is by no means a particularly light read (so far, anyway) but is written so beautifully and experimentally.  For lovers of language, this is a treat.  I hope you're all really well and enjoying the sunshine, and to anyone who still has exams and deadlines - good luck, and keep going!  The end is in sight.

Ruby x


Sunday, 22 May 2016

Review: Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Eyeliner

 Anyone who knows me will probably I know that over the years, I have really, really suffered in my continued attempts to pull off liquid eyeliner.  I would even go as far as to call myself an eyeliner victim.  I don't know what it is, but something about the combination of my chronically sensitive eyes and devilishly unsteady hand had meant that until yesterday, I considered my eyeliner career to be officially over - the panda eyes had become inescapable, leaving me no choice but to surrender to pencil or gel liner. 

Until... I found this.

Stila is a brand I had heard tentatively about, and until now had been relatively low on my makeup radar.  However, having read a little bit online about this eyeliner (enough to persuade me it could be my saviour) I decided it would be rude not to give it a go.  And what a payoff!  

I cannot honestly recommend this enough - the blackest of blacks, easy application in a pen form, and super durable even for my eyes!

I was a bit unsure about going back to using a pen liner having become so accustomed to using a fine brush with a gel liner, but surprisingly, the transition was easy!  Unlike other pen liners I've tried, this one is easy-peasy to use: it's very tapered, meaning you can get in all the nooks and crannies to achieve whatever form of feline flick your heart desires.  The formula is slightly glossy once dry, as you can see below - I quite like this look, especially for evenings, but it might not be to everyone's taste.

In terms of price, I don't think this product is too bad.  I got mine for £14.50 from the beauty counter at M&S - I believe it's slightly cheaper online from other sites, but I do much prefer to pop into a shop and pick it up myself - is anyone else the same?

What are some of your favourite eyeliner brands?

Ruby x


Monday, 16 May 2016

Spring Leopard

So... after a manic few weeks, I would like to declare myself back on the blogging scene!  Deadlines were, unsurprisingly, a little stressful to say the least, but it's so nice (if a little daunting) now to have an incredibly long summer rolling out ahead of me.  I'm back at home now for a week or so to have some down time with my family and Josh, and spent yesterday pottering around town with my little sister.  Since the sun has been making a long awaited reappearance, I've dug out my favourite pair of culottes - these leopard print bad boys you may remember from this post.

I'm so glad culottes are still in because it's a bit like wearing, well, nothing.  Yeah, they're that comfy.  I noticed especially in Japan that they're getting rather popular but to be honest I struggled a bit trying to rock them in winter time as my ankles just got far too cold.  I love pairing culottes with lace up dolly shoes or sandals, it's such an effortless look for a Spring day.

Off-the-shoulder jumper - ASOS / Sandals - H&M (similar here) / Sunglasses - French Connection
Bag - New Look

I picked up this jumper whilst re-ordering some shoes on ASOS a few weeks ago, as I'm such a scrimp when it comes to paying for postage, I'd much rather take my order over the £20 threshold and get two or three things instead of paying for delivery.  So this was a bit of a spontaneous purchase, but I have to say, so far, so good.  I'm a big fan of off-the-shoulder styles as I think they're great for Spring when you want to get a little bit of skin out (just so you know it's not still Winter) without going too full on.  Plus, as you may have gathered if you've been reading my blog for a little while, I love a good jazzy trouser or garishly patterned shirt, so need plenty of basics to balance out the slightly more outlandish pieces in my wardrobe.  

 I also picked up this bag very recently from New Look, I think it was around £14 which I thought was a steal.  When it comes to bags I'm generally pretty bloody boring and go for black or a similar shade, always telling myself 'this is a sensible choice, it will go with everything'.  But the truth is, I've got too many bags to continue convincing myself that another one could be a sensible choice anyway... so I thought I'd go for something different this time, just to truly break the pattern.  I love a good dusty pink and this one is the perfect size.


Ruby x


Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Super Healthy, Super Easy, Super Quick: Shakshuka

Put your hand up if you've ever heard of shakshuka.  Nope, neither had I until I came downstairs one day to find my housemate, Chiara, cooking up a shakshuka-shaped storm.  It's a middle eastern dish made with chopped tomatoes, peppers, onions and eggs, and it's swiftly becoming a new favourite of mine, as it's so quick and easy but also totally different to anything else I've ever tried.  Plus it's really healthy, which obviously means you get to eat twice as much - bonus.


One tin of chopped tomatoes (400g) 
One onion
Two peppers, any colour
One clove of garlic
Herbs of your choice
A few fresh tomatoes if you fancy them
3-4 eggs
Salt and pepper, to taste
Around 1tbsp olive oil

This will make two large portions - you can put in 3 or 4 (or more) eggs depending on how hungry you are.  

1) Chop your onions and peppers, crush the garlic, and put it all in a deep frying pan with a little bit of olive oil.  

2) Add your herbs, and salt and pepper - I like oregano, dried chilli flakes and mixed herb seasoning.  This is also lush with fresh coriander, but I was unfortunately fresh out of that (lol). 

3) Cook it all over a gentle heat for about 5 minutes or so, until softened, then add your can of chopped tomatoes, and turn the heat up a little.

6) Stir them in until it's all bubbling away, then crack your eggs straight on top, and season again.  Turn the heat down so it's gently simmering, then put a lid on top...

7) Around 5 minutes later it should look a little more attractive, as the eggs cook.  Let them cook to your personal taste - I prefer a runny egg so 5 minutes is usually perfect for mine!  And this is the finished product...

Serve up with all your favourite things - mine had to include spinach, of course, and a few more tomatoes on the side, with a bit of balsamic vinegar.

So that's the dream of a meal that is shakshuka.  It's so easy, really cheap to make, and could easily be adapted to use all sorts of ingredients.  A cheesy shakshuka is definitely next on my agenda.  Has anyone else tried this? 

Ruby x