April favourites...

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Jewellery - Asos boyfriend watch & rose gold star earrings

Just had to take a close up as I love the rustic finish to them.

Skincare - From left to right is the Superdrug own deep action anti-blemish gel (only product that actually reduces my spots), baylis & harding coconut and lime anti-bacterial hand gel (these are so hard to find but when I do find them I stock up as they don't dry out my hands), trilogy rosehip oil, simple age resisting day & night cream.

Beauty - Estee Lauder double wear light, Revlon bold lacquer waterproof mascara in black, soap&glory smoulder water resistant eye pencil in aquabat (swatch here), maybelline color tattoo 24hr leather effect cream eyeshadow in creamy beige.
  
Real Techniques stippling brush, I use this mainly for my cream blushers. My other favourite brush I've used every day is the blank canvas E23 small blending brush, I use this to smudge out the soap and glory green eyeliner on the top and bottom lashes.

Haircare - The left anchor desing brush is a cheaper version of the the tangle teezer that I picked up in TKmaxx, so far it's lasting better than my tangle teezer did. Finally I have the fudge urban iced raspberry and vanilla hairspray, this is probably my new favourite hairspray as it does actually hold my hair throughout the day.

Have you tried any of these products?

~Laura~



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Dupe for Estee Lauder Double wear light...

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 ~Double wear light in Intensity 1 - £29.50. I usually only buy this when I'm in duty free as it's at least £5 cheaper there.
~Max Factor Face Finity All Day Flawless 3 in 1 Foundation in warm almond which is the second lightest shade - £12.99

This is not a colour match but the product itself is quite similar.


The top one is Estee Lauder which is in the lightest shade, in this picture it looks dark for my skin but I only use a small amount and when blended it matches my skin really well.

Apart from the colour difference to me they both have a pretty similar texture, they are quite thick which I like when I want a flawless finish to last throughout the day. With the both of these I feel you need to blend them quickly as they set pretty quickly on the skin as they are designed to last longer.

The Estee Lauder one has SPF 10 and the Max Factor one has SPF 20 which I love in Foundations as I sometimes forget to put suncreen on before my foundation.

My skin is more dry/combination, I only use the Max Factor one when my face is really moisturised and has no dry patches as it would tend to cling these areas.

I use a real techniques blending sponge and fix plus to finish with both of these foundations to blend under my eyes and around my nose area.

Overall I do find the Estee Lauder one to be more moisturising and conceals my skin imperfections better but as there is a price difference of £16.51 I would be happy enough to use the Max Factor one if I didn't own this.

Have you tried these foundations?


~Laura~

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London travels and purchases...

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I've been to London a few times but this was actually my first time at Buckingham Palace.


The amazing Hummingbird bakery

                                                          
Hummingbird gluten free red velvet cupcake

One of the best cappuccinos I've had in the Hummingbird bakery

My favourite bridge walks in London


This is the beautiful entrance ceiling in the Victoria Palace where we seen Billy Elliott, it was such a breathtaking performance.

I didn't plan to go to London to shop but of course I ended up seeing some things I couldn't resist.

I wanted to buy so many things in the Oliver and Bonas shop, mainly their copper home ware items but I didn't have enough room in my suitcase:( I ended up buying these lovely coasters and grey shopper.

My friend actually bought this very cute coin purse for me as a reminder of our trip.
  
I was in a tiger shop for the first time and it has so many cute things. I bought this set of wooden dominoes, a pink mini storage box which I plan to keep some eyeliners in, two rolls of invisible tape and finally I bought the below magnetic spice jars which I've always wanted for my fridge.

I spent at least an hour in Wholefoods where I picked up these organic blue maize tortilla chips (which are delicious!). The only place I could find these jelly belly beans was in the Harrods food hall.

I have been looking for a pair of converse for quite some time now and this pair definitely caught my eye.  I love how they are not the usual material so will be easier to keep clean.

After hours spent in a few different Topshops trying on an array of tops, shoes etc I found one thing that I fell for, this lovely bat wing style dark green top.

Finally on the way home in duty free I bought the Jimmy Choo Exotic 60ml perfume and a backup Estee Lauder double wear light foundation.

Have you been travelling recently?

~Laura~

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My gluten free kitchen essentials...

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These are some of my staple items to have in my kitchen.

Toaster with 4 slots - having a toaster like this is handy as I keep the two left slots just for my gluten free products (left for Laura.lol) 

Separate chopping boards - it is so important that you use a seperate chopping board for gluten free products so no cross contamination happens.

Gluten free baking powder, gf bicarbonate soda - until I started making my own gluten free goodies I had no idea that 'normal' baking powder/bicarbonate of soda contained gluten. Xanthium gum - I add this to all my buns, cakes etc - this keeps the products from crumbling.

Gluten free soy sauce/ tamari soya sauce - my first ever night of being gluten free I made a stir fry and forgot that soy sauce had wheat in it.lol. I've recently started using this tamari sauce as it's naturally gluten free and tastes just like soy sauce.

Gluten free vinegar - as malt vinegar is gluten I like using cider vinegar, white wine vineger and I recently found the below gf chip shop vinegar which is great.

   


Gluten free brown sauce - I've only recently been able to find this gf brown sauce that actually tastes like brown sauce, well what I can remember of the taste.

Gluten free flours - I always have gf self raising and gf plain flour in my cupboard to cook and bake with. Rice flour is also good to have in your cupboard.

Cornflour - this is the best product to use when thickening gravy and sauces.

Stock cubes - some gluten free meals can be bland so I like to use various stock cubes. Knorr have some gluten free stock cubes but always check the ingredients as one time it said gluten free on the packaging but when I looked at the ingredients it included barley. 

Quinoa - this is such a great alternative instead of cooking with rice all the time, I find it quite bland so I always cook it with a vegetable or chicken stock cube. I've seen recipes to make porridge and desserts with this but I haven't ventured to try these yet.

Gluten free oats - some people may choose to eat 'normal' oats but as my coeliac is very sensitive I have always used gluten free oats. I like to make porridge and also bake with them. I enjoy adding them to pancake mixture.

Seperate butter - at home I buy proper butter and keep it in this seperate container. My biggest annoyance with being coeliac is that some people just don't understand the importance of keeping products totally gluten free and not leaving crumbs on my butter or in my jam. In work I constantly have to put huge labels on my butter and jam and still people use it and leave their crumbs!

Gluten free pasta - some nights I want to make a quick easy meal so use various pasta shapes to make pasta bakes or spaghetti bolognese. 


Hand blender - I use the small blender attachment to make hummus & guacamole and love making soups with the hand blender. This also came with a whisk attachment which is great for baking. 


Another tip is to buy toaster bags - these are great to use if you are staying at someone's house to reduce the risk of crumbs getting onto your gluten free bread.

What's your kitchen essentials?

~Laura~



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Recent beauty buys...

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Bourjois CC cream - I love this cc cream but I wish there was a lighter shade as the lightest is still a bit dark for me

I mainly bought this for the highlighter. I've been wanting to buy the Laura Mercier matt radiance baked highlighting powder for a while now (thanks to the lovely +Lorraine Stanick) which gives a very natural glow instead of the usual glittery sheen you would get from a usual highlighter. As makeup was on 3 for 2 I thought I might as well try this and see if it works.

I caved in and bought another one of these as I couldn't resist this beautiful spring/summer pink colour.

This is probably the first lipstick I ever bought and I forgot how much I loved it, I find it very moisturising and perfect for work.

This is a new concealer from Rimmel, I'm not sure if I like the packaging yet but I'm looking forward to trying the product.

I am seriously on a drugstore ban now (fingers crossed), I'm going to try and go through my makeup collection and find staple products instead of buying things because they are new or hyped. I'm also getting fed up with the amount off products I have and need to have a major clear out and cut down on buying. I'm in one of those phases where I want to be minimalistic with everything.

Have you tried any of these products?

~Laura~


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Collated empties...

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  • Boots cotton pads - already repurchased
  • Mitchum deodarant - I've now swiched to an organic deodarant 
  • The body shop earth lovers unfragranced shower gel - this was my favourite shower gel and it's been discontinued:(
  • Garnier micellar cleansing water - already repurchased
  • The body shop passion fruit shower gel - I really like the body shop shower gels but I hate the packaging, it's so hard to get the product out. I wish they were sold in the same packaging as the earth lovers one.
  • The body shop blueberry shower gel 
  • Dr.organic dead sea mineral bath salts - I like to use these when my skin is acting up as I feel it calms my skin.
  • Zara peony roller perfume - the Zara perfumes are really cheap and the scents last pretty well, I always get compliments wearing them.
  • Beautiful brunette shampoo - not sure if I would repurchase this as it's not moisturising enough for my type of hair.
  • Loreal lumi foundation - I wont be repurchasing this, it didn't give the coverage I like and clings to dry patches.
  • Benefit creasless shadow - I wont be repurchasing this, it's probably two years old so definitely needs thrown out, plus it dried up months ago. I see that benefit have relaunched this with different packaging so those ones might be better but I'm happy enough with the maybelline tattoo colour shades.
  • Catrice eyebrow filler - this was less than 3 euro, I liked the wand on it but the brown shade didn't really suit my eyebrow colour.
  • Collection lasting perfection concealer in light - already repurchased.
  • Maybelline brow drama in medium brown - already repurchased.


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London is calling...

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In mid April I am going to London for a few days with a friend, our intention is to take in as much of London as possible. I've been three times now and there's still plenty of things to do and see.

These are the things we would plan to do:
~Try a few smoothie bars
~Try different coffee shops as we love out tea/coffee:)
~Eat as much nice food as possible - London seems to have more variety for gluten free so I'm excited for that. Does anyone have suggestions for nice places for lunch or have high tea?
~Have a few cocktails - any suggestions where?
~We have booked Billy Elliott which we are super excited for!
~Go back to the hummingbird cafe for their amazing gluten free cupcakes!
~Finally of course... shop!:)

Let me know where you're favourite places to go in London are?


~Laura~

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Easy peasy gluten free dessert...

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Half a banana cut up and frozen
Half a cup of frozen berries - I used frozen mixed berries from lidl
Handful of gluten free oats - I got mine from Holland & Barretts
Quarter of a natural yoghurt 500g pot - fifty something pence from lidl

Blend it all up and ta da you have a sorbet/ice-cream like dessert which tastes really refreshing and delicious!

~Laura~

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