‘The Girl Before’ Review

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Of the eight books that I featured in a ‘what would you rather see a review of?’ poll on my Instagram a couple of weeks ago, The Girl Before by JP Delaney triumphed (by a mile, I might add) and so I thought it only right to have it feature in my first individual book review!

With it being such an in vogue book that has graced the New York Times, The Sunday Times and Amazon’s best-seller lists, I won’t bore you all with a lengthy introduction, and just put a small-ish synopsis below to give you an idea of the plot if you weren’t aware of it already! Continue reading “‘The Girl Before’ Review”

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Homemade Mexican-Style Baked Beans on Toast Recipe

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Tinned baked beans are one of those magical kitchen cupboard staples that are always stocked up, ready to go, and patiently waiting to be opened in times where we have little else to eat in the house, or are in need of a filling meal that takes no more than 5 minutes to pull together. But as convenient and easy as they are, many of them are offer the same nutritional value as a piece of cardboard (well, not quite, but you get the jist) as they’re often packed with lots of sugar and salt. In saying that, I’m a big believer in the ‘everything in moderation’ mantra, but if you do have 10 minutes to spare, then this more vibrant, healthy and delicious alternative to its tinned counterpart is a great way to go. The great thing about this recipe is that it is suitable for all three meals of the day; for dinner/tea, you could serve it with some veg on the side and a couple of poached eggs, for example! I also love this for after heavy-hitting workouts, as the beans and a poached egg on top are great sources of protein.  Continue reading “Homemade Mexican-Style Baked Beans on Toast Recipe”

The Beauty Products That Pep Up My Winter Skin Instantly

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There are certain times I need a little help in the skin-pepping department; maybe I stayed up watching the entirety of Friends: season 7 on Netflix until 3am, or maybe I finished work at 11pm, had to be up again for work the next day at 6am and had plans in the afternoon that I need to look semi put-together for. Either way, these are the products that I turn to when my skin looks a little sallow and sorry for itself!

The Vichy peeling liquid* is my favourite liquid exfoliant as I love to incorporate antioxidants wherever possible, and there are high concentrations of both blueberry polyphenols and kombucha tea extract in this formula, which are both exceptionally high in antioxidants. I also love that this features hepes (5% concentration, so still fairly mild) alongside the glycolic acid, as it really works well for my skin but I rarely see it in liquid exfoliants currently on the market. This brightens without taking too much away from my skin; it isn’t left feeling too parched, and my whole complexion always just looks instantly brighter after using this.

I received this Pixi Glow Booster in ‘white pearl’* in a recent LookFantastic beauty subscription box, and I’ve been really pleasantly surprised with it. Primers don’t appeal to me as my rare use of foundation doesn’t really warrant me using them, but this works as more of a complexion enhancer for me. It’s marketed as a highlighter, but it really just offers a sheen, so I think you’d be disappointed if you used this in the hopes of achieving the glow that something like the Becca Shimmering Skin Liquid Perfector gives. This just makes my skin look so healthy as there’s no detectable shimmer, but it provides your skin with a glossy sheen without making things look oil slick-esque.

I think the Daniel Sandler Watercolour Blushers are some of the most amazing makeup products on the market. The colour pigment is very intense, but they blend seamlessly onto the skin and can be blended to a very sheer or very intense finish. The healthy, fresh finish of a cream blush remains, but this formula does semi-set, so it offers great longevity, too. The shade ‘cherub’ is one that I always reach for if I’m looking a bit lacklustre.

* PR samples

Have you tried any of these products? Jess x

Butternut Squash Soup with Walnut & Parsley Pesto

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Funnily enough, unless it’s roasted or soup’d, butternut squash sits fairly low on my ‘favourite foods’ list. I do love it as a base for soups though, as it offers the starchiness of a regular potato, which provides substance, but also a sweet velvetiness. Luckily, the humble butternut is a great source of fibre, and is packed with vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, calcium, and vitamins A, C and E. This soup is delicious as a stand-alone dish, but if you’re looking to elevate this dish to new, delicious levels, adding a gremolata or pesto is the way to go. I added a little yoghurt into mine, so it does look a little…anaemic, but if you want to make it sans-yoghurt, it would look a lot more vibrant and greener than mine! Continue reading “Butternut Squash Soup with Walnut & Parsley Pesto”

My Favourite Books of 2017

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Interestingly, all six of these books were ones that I discovered towards the latter part of the year. Granted, having just six favourites when you read as much as I do is a little underwhelming, but I wanted to be ruthless and narrow it down as much as I could. Last year was seemingly the year of the audio-book, but I much prefer the tangible thing itself, so below are my favourite paperback books of 2017 that were memorable, thought-provoking and so well/beautifully written that I would read them again in a heartbeat.  Continue reading “My Favourite Books of 2017”

I finally found my perfect skincare routine

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I’m genetically predisposed to having good skin; every one of my family members has great, clear skin that seems to age at a much slower than normal rate, but I still like to nourish my skin. I’m very much of the pool of thought that overloading your skin with product, and constantly introducing new products is unwise, and so I like to use a limited range of products within my routine.

I rarely double cleanse anymore; I rarely wear foundation to warrant it, and I like to be as gentle with my cleansing as possible. Prior to using this cleanser, I always favoured balms and oils as I found face wash formulations to be stripping, but the Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser is everything I’ve ever looked for in a facial cleanser. Continue reading “I finally found my perfect skincare routine”

My Skin, Hair & Body Care 2017 Favourites

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It’s no secret that my love for beauty sits more within the realm of skin, body and haircare than that of makeup, so I thought I’d start my 2017 beauty favourites posts off with the first of the two! I do already have three more skincare products that I now consider to be absolute favourites since the very end of the year, but I won’t include them in this post as they didn’t feature throughout the majority of the year. Continue reading “My Skin, Hair & Body Care 2017 Favourites”

KFC-Style Cornflake Chicken With Rainbow Slaw Recipe

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Although the greater part of my blog has always been reserved for all things beauty, I am a hugely keen home cook and cooking is a huge love of mine, so one of my resolutions for the new year is to start posting recipes and food content. I hope you’re excited about this change and are looking forward to more food related content! As a homage to my not so healthy love for KFC’s fried chicken (thighs, in particular – ha!), I thought I’d make my first post a recipe for my healthy version of it, with a twist; the twist being that the coating is made from cornflakes! Quite often, the difference between baking and deep frying chicken is the texture on the outside; traditional breadcrumbs don’t ever seem to go that crispy when baked, so I love that the cornflakes add that real satisfying crunch and encase deliciously moist chicken breast within. I think chicken thighs would be even more KFC-esque, but I had breasts on hand and I always think the joy of cooking at home is that you work with what you have and it’s all a bit experimental.

First things first: ingredients. To serve 2 people, you’ll need:

For the chicken (preheat oven to 225 degrees celsius):

  • 3 chicken breasts (locally sourced if possible, and if you want to avoid meat, tofu or tempeh could be a good option)
  • 1 teaspoon (each) of paprika, turmeric and garlic powder, 1/2 a teaspoon of ginger and a generous pinch of salt and pepper
  • 100g cornflakes
  • 70g flour
  • 2 beaten eggs & extra 50g flour for the ‘breading’ process
  • Oil (I used rapeseed)

For the rainbow slaw (you can use any raw vegetables and fruit that you like/have on hand, but I used:

  • 1/3 red cabbage
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 apple
  • Handful of parsley
  • 1 teaspoon mustard (you can use any)
  • 1 heaped tablespoon mayonnaise
  • Seeds of 1 pomegranate

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Continue reading “KFC-Style Cornflake Chicken With Rainbow Slaw Recipe”

What To Add To Your Own Christmas List!

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The influx of gift guides is all well and good, but I think we forget ourselves in the midst of gift-giving, and so I thought I’d do a little round up of a few goodies that I think any beauty lover would love to receive on Christmas day!

Tom Ford’s Velvet Orchid – It’s not very often that we buy ourselves a £115 perfume is it? This is the most unexpectedly beautiful scent; I say unexpectedly, because as someone who usually likes light, very feminine fragrances, I never expected to like this. It is, as with almost all TF fragrances, very musky, heady and pungent. It’s very difficult to describe this scent actually, but the top notes are:  bergamot, honey, jasmine absolute, black orchid, vanilla and tuberose, and so while it does have that feminine mix of sweetness and floral, it’s also very deep and musky. Continue reading “What To Add To Your Own Christmas List!”

The Best Black Friday Beauty Offers & My Picks

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Although I rarely buy beauty bits now through becoming more aware of the environmental impact of excessive consumerism (and the general ridiculousness of owning too much makeup), I do think black Friday is great for this time of the year when we’re looking to treat others with gifts, but don’t want to spend beyond our means! So, I’ve rounded up my favourite offers for tomorrow and cyber Monday in the hopes of getting you a good deal!

Beauty Bay (up to 30% off everything) – I currently have 117,716 people in front of me in the virtual Beauty Bay website queue, so I’m yet to find out exactly what deals each brand is offering, but I think everything from Zoeva is 20% off. I love their palettes, and with Zoeva rarely having any sort of discount offering, I think this would be a perfect time for you to pick one up for yourself or a loved one! Continue reading “The Best Black Friday Beauty Offers & My Picks”