Sunday, April 12

HEALTHY TREATS; SWEET POTATO BROWNIES

Well hello lovelies! Hope you're all well, I have a slightly different post today i.e. it's not a beauty post! Today's post is all about a tasty little treat which is absolutely guilt free. Over the past few weeks, i've been eating as 'clean' as I can, I've always been relatively healthy but to step it up a notch, I completely removed anything 'sweet' from my diet. Basically no biscuits, chocolate bars, sweets, that kinda thing! I know it sounds extreme, but like I said i've never been a huge binge eater on these things anyway so for me, cutting them out was easier than it may sound. Cutting out bread, pasta and cheese are a whole other story! So, that said, having a chocolate brownie after my lunch seemed like a danger zone, but once I spotted this recipe on the Lean Machines Youtube channel, I had to recreate these guilt free treats for a post-lunch pick me up.
Don't they look cute! These are sweet potato based brownies with a Greek yoghurt based icing and sprinkled with raw cacao flakes and chia seeds. Sounds super high-maintenance, I know, but it was well worth the raid of my cupboards. Keep reading for the super simple recipe! 

Ingredients for the brownie:
1 x sweet potato
1 x ripe avocado
2 x eggs
1/4 of honey
1 x table spoon of vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup of spelt flour
1/2 cup of cacao powder
1 x table spoon of baking soda

Step One: Microwave the sweet potato until soft
Step Two: Scoop avocado, soft sweet potato, crack both eggs, honey, vanilla and pinch of salt into a blender and blend until smooth. 
Step Three: In a separate bowl add the spelt flour, cacao powder and baking soda and whisk until blended. 
Step Four: Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix into a smooth paste.
Step Five: Pour the mix into a baking tray lined with grease proof paper and bake for 25 minutes on 170 degrees.
Step Six: Keep an eye on the brownie towards the end. Once baked remove from the tray and leave on a cooling rack until cooled.

Ingredients for icing:
1/2 cup of Greek yoghurt
1/4 cup of nut butter (almond, peanut..)
1/4 cup of honey
1/4 cup of cacao powder
3 scoops of whey protein powder

Step One: Add all ingredients together in a mixing bowl and whisk until smooth.
Step Two: Once the brownie is completely cooled, spread the icing on top.
Step Three: If you wish, sprinkle on top any chocolate flakes or seeds you desire!

See, I told you it was easy! They're always completely adaptable to your tastes. You can add nuts to the mix or like I did, add frozen raspberries, yum! Let me know if you gave these a go or if you have any other super simple healthy recipes, i've now got the baking bug!

Sunday, April 5

COLLECTION EYES UNCOVERED PALETTES

Eye shadow palettes are so lust-worthy. Seeing the colours complimenting one another in a sleek, portable casing is something beauty addicts just swoon over and the new mini palettes from Collection are no exception. These are compact palettes with six shades in each. They come in three neutral schemes; nude, grey nude and bronze nude. Very Urbay Decay Naked Basics-esque, yet at only £3.99 a palette, obviously I bought all three. I would say I was pleasantly surprised by how good these were but i'd be lying because, I knew they'd be this good! Keep reading to see my thoughts, my favourite of the three and some swatches!
Collection Eyes Uncovered Nude Palette - £3.99
I imagine this being the most popular of the three and it's definitely the closest match to an Urbay Decay palette. The main difference however would be that despite these six shades not having any shimmer or glitter, there's definitely a slight sheen to them which the pure mattes in the Naked Basic do not have. That being said, I prefer these. A little sheen never hurt anyone and it also helps with the pigmentation. This palette has the worst pigmentation of the three (clearly shown in the swatches) but to be expected. The palest shadow 'White Chocolate' is a little too thin for use for me however could be used to blend out other shadows or be a nice transition in a smokey eye.
L - R; White Chocolate, Buttercream, Biscuit, Chocolate Milk, Brown Sugar, Espresso
Collection Eyes Uncovered Nude Grey Palette - £3.99
This was actually the last palette I picked up before I told myself 'Screw it, you've already got two, get all three!' and looking back, i'm glad I made that decision! This is much cooler toned than the other two. It has a good mix of shades for a simple day time look or a silver toned smokey eye for full impact on a night out. The first shade 'Parchment' again holds very little pigmentation but the second to last 'In A Nutshell' is very pretty with it's golden and slightly red shimmers. Also a lovely pigmented matte black is always a win! These shadows, bar the first, are all shimmers which also lends itself to much better payoff and pigment.
L - R; Parchment, Rubble, Under The Moon, Drift Wood, In A Nutshell, Eclipse
Collection Eyes Uncovered Nude Bronze Palette - £3.99
Ahh, my favourite. I always sway towards bronze shades and although my pale skin can't hold a large amount of the stuff, I can always just look at it in the pan instead! All shades in this palette have good payoff and even the first shade 'Ivory' has a little shimmer giving a better pigment than the other two palettes. All these shades are nice and shimmery and the second and fifth 'Mink' and 'Ember' are my two favourites. Perfect for a light dusting over the lid before lashings of mascara and a nice bronzey cheek bone. The only thing that lets this palette down is there is no significant dark shade like the previous two in order to create a nice smokey effect. 

L - R; Ivory, Mink, Ochre, Golden Brown, Ember, Nutty
So there you have it, my little run down. All in all these are lovely little palettes. Do I think you could use one for the rest of your life? No. However for a quick look or for traveling you can't go far wrong. I love the three takes on some nudes, it'll definitely appeal to a wide audience and for the price point, the pigmentation is bang on. Another great thing, the packaging is very good, not too much excess, magnetic shutting but a classic eyeshadow sponge applicator can stay tightly where I found it.

Thursday, April 2

GETTIN' CHEEKY; MAX FACTOR BLUSH

I'm no make-up pro, i've worked in make-up and been an avid follower for a number of years; however I have always been limited on my ability with blush. Whether it's my very pale skin meaning only the gentlest of touches apply the right amount, my dry skin meaning cream products are very hard work or I stop blaming my skin and start questioning my abilities - it was about time I found a product which even I could work with.
A thing of beauty - the new Max Factor creme puff blushes are a marbled powder blush in a delightful range of shades covering almost all skin tones. Their duo-coloured pigmentation makes them a blush and highlighting blend. Beauty bloggers all over have classed these as dupes for the Hourglass Ambient Lighting powders - as i'm way too tight to splurge on them, this one suits me just fine! The colour is lovely and adds a really fresh, radiant pinky dusting. A lovely, soft powder which is very buildable depending on your skin tone. 
I'm confident there's a colour for everyone in this range and the packaging is typical Max Factor - a very solid, dinky little pot which is at the higher end of drugstore. I love that you can see the blush through the clear lid and the gold accents add a touch of luxury.
Have you tried these? Are you a blush newbie like myself?