Halloween Chocolate Bark

Thursday, 30 October 2014

 Its no secret that when it comes to baking I'm a bit of a disaster. Even shop bought cake mixes seem to go wrong when I stick them in the oven, and despite my best efforts they're not going to be reserving a place for me on the Great British Bake Off any time soon. So when it comes to DIY food projects the simpler it is the better, and so I was quite excited to discover the joys of 'chocolate bark.' No preheating ovens or whisking various mixtures, simply chuck a load of ingredients into melted chocolate- sometimes the simple ideas really are the best eh? While this didn't turn out quite as 'Halloween Inspired' as I'd liked (I did plan on decorating it with some Halloween shaped chocolates but nothing on the shelves of Tesco quite fitted the bill) I do still like how it turned out. I ended up going with Smarties in Halloween colours, but you could really go to town with decorating this if you can find the right stuff!

 I used:
200g white chocolate
200g milk chocolate
purple, orange and green smarties
casserole dish
cling film

 Step 1: Line a casserole dish or tray with cling film. This is so you're able to pull out the bark once it's set- don't skip this step or you'll have a very hard time removing it once it's done!

Step 2. Melt 150g of milk chocolate (saving the remaining 50g for the 'marbling' on top) and pour it into the casserole dish. If you're adding things like crushed up cookies or marshmallows mix them in with this, I chucked a few smarties in here so they'd be throughout the bark and not just on top. Leave to set for around twenty minutes in the fridge.

Step 3: In separate bowls, melt the white chocolate and the remaining milk chocolate. Pour the white chocolate onto the set layer from the fridge, and then add a few dollops the milk chocolate on top. Then using the end of a wooden spoon swirl around the two colours to give you your marbled appearance.

Step 4: Add the decorations. Anything from edible glitter to cake decorations to different shaped sweets and chocolates. If I was going to make this again I'd have dyed the white chocolate with a few drops of orange food colouring! Leave to set in the fridge for a further twenty minutes.

Step 5: Snap it up and enjoy! As you can probably tell I made mine wayyy too thick, which did result in quite a bit of hacking with a knife to get it into chunks. There was me thinking I wouldn't have enough chocolate for the size of dish I had too, but I'll know for next time.

Whether you're looking to make a cute DIY gift (simply pop it into a lidded glass jar) want a fun addition to a Halloween party buffet or are just in the mood to do a simple Halloween DIY you can't go wrong with this really. With it being a slab of chocolate it's going to taste nice whatever sweets you add to it. I've got mine in the fridge ready for Halloween night, me and my boyfriend are going to eat it while watching a scary film!

What are your plans this Halloween? Will you be doing any DIY projects?
This month's Platinum advertiser is Ashlynn from A Beauty Moment

KeraFiber Keratin and Argan Oil Giveaway!

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

If you caught my review of this keratin and argan oil by Kerafiber a couple weeks ago you'll know how much I raved about it, and how thoroughly impressed I was. Now three of you have the chance to win your own bottle, as Kerafiber have generously offered three bottles to giveaway! This product is absolutely beautiful, it's a luxury high end brand and so would make a really nice prize to treat dry autumn/ winter hair.

The giveaway is open to the UK, Europe and US, good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This month's Platinum advertiser is Ashlynn from A Beauty Moment

Want Longer Lashes/ Fuller Brows? Read This!

Sunday, 26 October 2014

This review has been a very long time coming, but for a good reason. I've always been intrigued by serums that claim to enhance lashes and brows, but just about every review I could find has always been written within a couple of weeks of using the product. My thoughts were always 'even if they do work, how long do the results last?' Right off the bat I can tell you that the rather scary looking 'before' picture was taken way back in April, and the after photo was taken today in October- over two months after finishing both products. I think the pictures speak for themselves here, and while I've definitely noticed longer and thicker lashes and fuller brows, it's crazy to see the comparison side by side! Both of these pictures are taken on completely makeup-free eyes with uncurled lashes, and the results that you can see are 100% a result of the product.

 It probably took around three weeks until I first started noticing the results of Li-Lash and Li-Brow. At first I wasn't sure if I was imagining it, but a couple more weeks and there was no denying the change. My lashes looked longer, darker and fanned out more at the sides. Not only did this make my eyes look bigger and more awake without makeup on, but mascara is so much nicer to apply now. With a bit of patience I can get my lashes looking almost like falsies which was something I could never have achieved with them before, despite them being reasonably long to begin with (although it doesn't really look it in the 'before' pic!) After years of brows that were too sparse and barely needed plucking, they began looking so much fuller and even 'normal' again. I'm absolutely amazed that after they'd been such a mess for so long that they actually began to grow again, I thought my teenage self had ruined them for life. I don't look quite as scary without brow powder now, and I reckon that once I've had them tinted and shaped I'll hardly need to apply brow products at all!

My skeptical brain was telling me that these results wouldn't be long lasting, eyelashes and brow hair fall out and regrow around every eight weeks and I was sure that within that time my they would be back to how they were before. This is the reason it's taken me so long to write this review, with these being such expensive products I wanted to be sure that the results wouldn't be lost as soon as they ran out. I can honestly say that months after using them my lashes and brows don't seem to be going anywhere. I'm not certain if these will be permanent results, but I'm very happy with how they look months on and would be happy to repurchase maybe once a year just to keep them topped up if that was the case. If you're thinking of trying something like this I highly recommend Li-Lash and Li-brow and really do think they're worth the investment. They DO work, and your brows and lashes wont return to how they were as soon as you run out of the product. Both come with a 90 day money back guarantee too in case you're a bit dubious, which I think is fantastic.

Have you ever tried a lash or brow growth serum? Did you have any luck with them?
 This month's Platinum advertiser is Ashlynn from A Beauty Moment

Five Tips for Healthy Teeth

Friday, 24 October 2014

On a regular day I don't tend to overthink my teeth if I'm honest- aside from 'has this red lipstick smudged onto them' (which sometimes it has...boo). Despite being self conscious of about 99% of how I look I've always been happy with my smile, and have been lucky in the fact that I've never needed any dental work doing. But I was sat in the dentists the other day for my six monthly checkup and it got me thinking about some of the ways they can be best cared for- after all we do only get one adult set! Here are five tips for a clean, healthy smile.

 Brush, Floss, Mouthwash
Stating the obvious right? But brush twice a day, swish around a bit of mouthwash and floss whenever you're feeling enthusiastic and there's a 99% chance that you'll never need a filling. Even though I drink an obscene amount of diet drinks (they might be sugar free but are still horrible for your teeth!) I've never had a filling, and can only put it down to regular brushing/ mouthwash as I don't do anything else to them.

Live a Healthy Lifestyle
That includes eating your veggies, drinking lots of water and getting plenty of calcium. Smoking can cause a variety of problems with teeth (including discolouration and gum disease), and regularly going overboard on sugary alcohol isn't doing them any favours either. Plus when you're drunk you're much more likely to forget to brush them before falling into bed.

Beware of Sugars and Acids
 We were all warned as kids that eating too many sweets would lead to bad teeth. However sugar is a crafty one and winds up in just about everything, fruit contains a tonne of natural sugar and the sweet stuff is even in most savoury dishes. Acid is also your gnashers worst enemy and some foods can be so acidic they can attack your teeth directly, acid enamel erosion causes irreversible loss of tooth structure- scary! So be wary of things like vinegar, wine and fruit juices. For the past five or so years I've drunk all cold drinks with the exception of plain water with a straw, I always considered it as a bit of a bad habit (especially as I'm now unable to enjoy drinks straight out of a glass) but it's probably a good thing really. When you drink through a straw less of your teeth are coated in the sugars and acids from your drink. Maybe one of the reasons I'm able to keep up my diet drink habit without damaging my teeth!

Visit the Dentist Every Six Months
It might not be most people's idea of a fun day out, and it's usually pretty inconvenient. However getting yourself to a dentist every six months (even if your teeth feel fine) is essential. The dentist will able to pick up any potential problems including things like gum disease early, which will save you a lot of pain and money in the long run. If you're after cosmetic work then you might be better off looking for a reputable private dentist, it's amazing the kinds of transformations dentists can achieve these days; whether it's dental implants, invisalign or veneers.

Change Your Toothbrush Every Six Months
Not only will an old toothbrush be full of accumulated bacteria, but trying to scrub between all of the crevices of your teeth with a flattened mess of bristles is never going to go well. A worn out toothbrush is going to leave plaque and food residue behind which may well lead to you coming face to face with a dentists drill a few months later. I always buy toothbrushes in packs of four, that way I've always got a new one on hand when it gets past it's best.

Do you have any tips for maintaining healthy teeth?
This month's Platinum advertiser is Ashlynn from A Beauty Moment

Memebox Superbox All About Eyes

Thursday, 23 October 2014

 When it comes to beauty boxes, Memebox seems like the best one by far in my opinion. I've never had a bad box yet, and almost every single product I've received I've loved- they really do contain the amazing quality stuff (if you're interested in what I got in previous boxes, just search 'Memebox' in the search bar on the right). This box was the biggest treat, packed with eight full sized products with a value that's many many times higher than what you pay for the box. The 'All About Eyes' Superbox contains the perfect mix of cosmetics and pampering eye products and as much as I've loved the others this was my favourite one yet. Here's what I got!

Cheek Room Eyeshadow/ Cheek Room Mascara
This is the first time I've come across the brand 'Cheek Room' and despite having a bit of a strange name I really love both of these products. The eyeshadow I got is shade 10 which is this beautiful smokey purple shade. While I tend to stick with neutrals most of the time, I do occasionally use colours like this if I'm doing a dramatic smokey eye so know I'll get some good use from this- I think it will be gorgeous blended with blacks and grey shades. The mascara is just brilliant, you don't have to work at it to get great looking lashes. The formula is just the right consistency and the small brush means you don't get clumps.

Secret Stargirl False Eyelashes
I wear false eyelashes all the time so these were a huge bonus for me. I've actually been going for slightly more understated falsies lately too which is exactly what these are. Great for days (or nights!) when you want to look a bit more special, they give you gorgeous fluttery lashes without having to pile on mascara and unlike most false lashes they don't look too fake or OTT.

Wonder Eye Volume Filler (Eye Cream) / Wonder Pen Concealer
The eye cream pen is probably my favourite product in the box, it's ingenius. You click the bottom of the pen which dispenses product into the doe foot applicator, and with this you can really get right up around the eyes. I usually always end up using too much eye cream but it's just not a problem with this, it dispenses the perfect amount and is so precise. Because you only need a small amount this will last ages, but I'll definitely look into getting this again when it runs out. Unfortunately the concealer was too dark for me, but will be a good one for when I'm fake tanning. I've only swatched this so far but the coverage looks great.

YniPicture-Esque Three Dot Eyeliner/ Karadium Twist Up Eyeliner
I was always a bit intregued by three dot eyeliner after Clarins bought theirs out. This is a really nice, pigmented and smooth black liquid liner, and while I was completely confused by how this would work I soon figured it out after giving it a go. You can push the liner into the roots of your lashes to get a 'barely there' yet thicker lash line, you can use it on its side to get an ultra thin line or use the three dots to create a bold graphic eye look (which I'm probably not brave enough to get away with personally, but nice to know the option is there!) I got Karadium the twist up liner in the loveliest metallic white colour, I've been meaning to pick up a white eyeliner so this couldn't have come at a better time! I'm trying to gradually make the change from black eyeliner on my waterline (which I've worn since I was a teenager) in favour of something a bit brighter so I think this will be perfect. The twist up pen means there's no messy shavings, and the pigmentation is brilliant.

Sally's Box Friendly Collagen Eye Patch
It seems as though these collagen patches from Sally's Box crop up quite often in Memebox. I still have the lip patch from a previous box to use, so think I'll use these under eye patches at the same time once I get the chance for a proper pamper evening!

You can get $5 off any box in October using code IB544U
Which product do you most like the look of from this box?
This month's Platinum advertiser is Ashlynn from A Beauty Moment

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