Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Top 4 Nail Colours for Spring

Throughout the winter months I went through a very nude phase with my nails, they didn't see a lot of colour. I still love a chic nude nail but I thought as Spring has well and truly sprung now I thought I would share with you a few of my top nail colours for Spring.

1. Seche Nail Lacquer | Blanc II.

White nails can look so simple and chic for both warmer and colder months and this shade is perfect if you're worried about the 'tipex' effect that white nail polish can sometimes give. If you're going for a full on opaque white it will take 3-4 coats, 2 coats will give a sheerer colour which I think is equally as pretty. I also love using this white if I'm doing a french manicure as I would describe it as a soft milky white which I prefer for french tips and it doesn't create such a harsh line.

2. BarryM Gelly Nail Paint | Huckleberry.

This is a new shade which BarryM have added to their Gelly range for this season and I simply adore it. Lots of brands have released these similar white-pastels for this season but I've been a huge fan of the BarryM Gelly line since it came out last year so I snapped up Huckleberry and Rose Hip (a pale pink) as soon as I saw them in store. Huckleberry is definitely my favourite as it's practically white with just a hue of blue to it which looks beautiful on nails. And as always I can fault the Gelly formula, goes on like a dream and lasts so well.

3. BarryM Gelly Nail Paint | Greenberry.

I told you I liked the Gelly polishes! I think Greenberry was in the original line up when the Gelly range came out and was one of the first shades I picked up. I love how vibrant the green is and I always get compliments when I wear this shade. If you're looking to introduce some colour to your nails now the weather is getting warmer, this is a lovely colour to pick. It works for all skin tones and really makes your nails pop.

4. Tanya Burr | Bright and Early

This is my most recent purchase for nails and I wore it over the Easter weekend and oh my I am in love with this colour. It's the perfect pinky/peachy/coral shade for me and I find it looks stunning when worn with the Revlon Color Matte Balm in ..... I am a huge fan of coral nails for summer but have never found the perfect shade until now. I just love it and even better that it's by one of my favourite YouTubers.

Hope this inspired you to inject some springyness into your fingertips. Let me know what your favourite colours are to wear on your nails during Sping/Summer.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

This or That Tag | Laura Sivers

Happy Easter everyone!

I hope you're having a lovely bank holiday weekend and indulging in chocolate and other Easter treats. I made Hot Cross Buns on Good Friday and Chocolate Nests with a twist and they both went down a treat with my family (recipes and photos to follow in another post).

As it's Easter Sunday it's a day to chill out and enjoy time with your friends and family I thought I would do a fun This or That tag post for you.



Blush or bronzer - definitely blush.
Lip gloss or lipstick - currently I would have to say lip gloss which is a huge change for me!
Eye liner or mascara - mascara, always.
Foundation or concealer - concealer.
Neutral or colour eye shadow - neutral.
Pressed or loose eye shadows - pressed, I can't deal with the mess and fall out from loose pigments.
Brushes or sponges - brushes.

OPI or china glaze - well, seeing as I don't own any China Glaze polishes I would have to say OPI (although I'm not a huge OPI fan either, it will chip instantly on my nails)
Long or short - long.
Acrylic or natural - natural.
Brights or darks - why is nude not an option here?
Flower or no flower - no flower.

Perfume or body splash - perfume!
Lotion or body butter - body butter.
Body wash or soap - body wash.
Lush or other bath company - I do love Lush products as they're so much fun although Soap and Glory are my most used body products.

Jeans or sweat pants - I would have to say sweat pants.
Long sleeve of short - long.
Dresses or skirts - dresses.
Stripes or plaid - stripes I guess.
Flip flops or sandals - flip flops, although I wear boots throughout the summer mostly.
Scarves or hats - I look horrendous in hats so it has to be scarves.
Studs or dangly earrings - A couple of years ago I had over 10 piercings in my ears and have gone from that to barely ever wearing any form of earring.
Necklaces or bracelets - necklaces.
Heels or flats - day to day flats but going out I will always wear heels.
Cowboy boots or riding boots - neither really. If I had to pick it would be riding boots.
Jacket or hoodie - jacket.
Forever 21 or Charlotte Russe - Forever 21.
Abercombie or Hollister - I own more Abercrombie than Hollister so I suppose Abercrombie.

Curly or straight - curly.
Bun or ponytail - ponytail.
Bobby pins or butterfly clips - bobby pins.
Hair spray or gel - hair spray every time.
Long or short - long hair, don't care.
Light or dark - dark.
Side sweep bangs or full bangs - no bangs preferable but if I had to chose it would be side sweep.
Up or down - both, but up for convenience.

Rain or shine - shine, but not scorching.
Summer or winter - summer.
Fall or spring - spring.
Chocolate or vanilla - chocolate.
East coast or west coast - west coast, I love San Francisco.

I tag anyone who wants to do this.

Have a very happy Easter!

Friday, 18 April 2014

Lemon Layer Cake Recipe | Laura Sivers

I love baking and have been loving BBC2 showing Great British Bake Off 2012 repeats during the day the past couple of weeks. John the winner said in one of the episodes "Bakers are quite controlling people who want to be told they're loved" and oh my goodness this is too true - in my case anyway!

It was my Mum's birthday on Wednesday so I wanted to make her a cake which was more of a celebration cake. I decided to go with a lemon layer cake. I had a look online and didn't find a recipe I liked so I picked bits and pieces from various recipes and this is what I came up with. Every body seemed to love it so I thought I'd share it with you.

125g butter (at room temperature)
175g caster sugar
2 medium eggs
zest of 1 lemon
175g self-raising flour
pinch salt
3 tbsp milk

Lemon Curd:
70g diced butter
125g caster sugar
zest of 3 lemons
100ml lemon juice
2 medium eggs plus 2 yolks

135g butter at room temperature
200g cream cheese at room temperature
120g icing sugar
4 tbsp lemon curd

Candied peel:
1 lemon
20g caster sugar
3 tbsp water

To make the sponge:
  • Pre-heat oven to 180C and grease and base line 2 round sandwich tins
  • Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy.
  • Beat the eggs in a small bowl and add to the mixture a little at a time, then add the lemon zest and mix well.
  • Fold in the flour and salt slowly then add the milk 1 tbsp at a time.
  • Divide the mixture equally between the 2 sandwich tins making sure the mixture is level and spread evenly.
  • Bake for 20-25 mins until the cakes look golden brown and feel springy to touch.
  • Remove the cakes and set on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes before removing from tins then remove the sponge from the tins and leave them on the wire rack to cool completely before assembling.
To make the lemon curd:
  • Put the butter, sugar, lemon zest and juice into a bowl and set over a pan of simmering water and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Then take the bowl off the pan and set aside.
  • Beat the whole eggs and egg yolks in a small bowl and add to the lemon mixture and stir well.
  • Put the bowl back on the simmering pan and continue to stir until the mixture becomes thick (this takes quite a long time - don't be tempted to turn the heat up otherwise the eggs will scramble!)
  • When thick and opaque, spoon half of the lemon curd into a bowl which will be used for the layer cake and leave to cool.
  • Spoon the other half into a sterilised jar or container and leave to cool before storing for up to two weeks in the fridge.
To make the frosting:
  • Put the butter into a large bowl and beat thoroughly, then add the cream cheese and continue to beat until evenly combined.
  • Sift in the icing sugar on a low speed (otherwise you end up with an icing sugar cloud and a big mess!)
  • Stir in the lemon curd and allow to chill in the fridge until spreadable.

To make the candied lemon peel:
  • Using a vegetable peeler, shave strips of the yellow peel from the lemon then cut the strips into thin shred and put them in a pan and add enough water to completely cover them.
  • Bring to the boil then simmer gently for 12 minutes then drain the water leaving the peel in the pan.
  • Add the sugar and 3 tbsp of water and heat gently until the sugar dissolves and the mixture becomes syrupy then pour onto a plate and leave to cool completely.
To assemble the cake:
  • Take one sponge and spread a thick even layer of the frosting over the top, then a thick even layer of lemon curd on top of that.
  • Carefully place the other sponge on top of that to make a sandwich and gently press down so it doesn't slide off.
  • Spread a thick layer of frosting on the top of the sandwich and try to make it as neat and smooth as possible then once you're happy with how that looks decorate with the candied lemon peel how you like.
  • Finally transfer the cake onto a cake stand or serving dish and enjoy!
It was quite time consuming to make this cake as I did it all in one morning but you could easily make the lemon curd, frosting and candied peel ahead of time which would make things much quicker. My mum and family loved the cake though so that's all that matters.

Let me know if you try this out and send me a photo. You can find me on twitter @laurasivers or Instagram @laurasivers_

Laura x x x

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

March Favourites | Laura Sivers

And so it's suddenly spring, how did that happen? I know it's not just me who thinks this year seems to be going by ridiculously fast, I just can't get my head around that it's already April! I know I haven't written a blog post in so long but it just seems to always fall to the bottom of my list of things to do - I would say I'll try and post more regularly but I'm not making any promises!

Anyway I thought I would kick of with some of my favourites from the month of March.

I'll start with my most favourite product I've bought all year and it is theHourglass Ambient Lighting Blush and I have the shade Luminous Flush. I think I actually got this towards the end of February but it has been the only blush I've used throughout the whole of March. It is just an all round beautiful product. Luminous Flush is a warm pink toned coral shade with golden glowy finish and it applies like an absolute dream. It's been said in many other reviews that it's impossible to 'over-apply' the Ambient Lighting Blushes but for me I can over apply this and if I get a bit too heavy handed I do slightly resemble a clown but I think that's down to my super fair skin. I tend to apply it with my Stila blush brush which is a fairly small blush brush but it fits the apples of my cheeks perfectly and is so soft it lets me blend the blush into my skin really nicely. Luminous flush just gives the perfect lit from within pop of colour to your cheeks and I love it. I'm all about glowy radiant skin at the moment and it works perfectly with my next favourite.

I got cornered by a No7 lady in Boots right at the beginning of March and she was very excited to show me the Pop and Glow Cream Blush sticks but what caught my eye was the Instant Radiance Highlighter stick which alongside the Ambient Lighting blush I have used pretty much daily since I got it. It's so quick and easy to use. I tend to sweep a little onto the tops of my cheekbones, down my nost and on my cupids bow then blend it in with my ring finger after applying the rest of my base make up as it just gives that finishing touch. I definitely wouldn't describe this highlighter as a cream as as soon as it contacts your skin it turns to pretty much a powder and to be honest I wish it was a bit more creamier but apart from that I love this little stick. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who hasn't used a highlighter before and wants to add a subtle glow to their makeup.

The last make up product I have in my March favourites is the Maybelline Color Tattoo in 65-Pink Gold. I received a Color Tattoo in On and On Bronze in a Glossybox during the summer and I did not like it at all. I've never been much of a cream shadow fan and I tried On and On Bronze once when I first got it and didn't get on with it until I found it in my makeup stash when I wanted a strong metallic base to last me for a night out. I used On and On Bronze as a light base and and packed on YDK, Snakebite and Suspect from my Urban Decay Naked 2 palette and I've never loved a bronze smokey eye look on me more. After this I used it a lot more and knew there was a rose gold shade which I had to have as practically every day I wear a combination of eyeshadow shade from my Urban Decay Naked 3 palette so I picked up Pink Gold and the rest is history. I know understand the hype behind the Color Tattoos, they truly are a fabulous base shadow. I usually apply the Color Tattoo with my ring finger and pat it onto my lid and through my crease then apply whatever shadow I use on top with a Mac 217 brush then blend it out. My favourite shadow combination to wear over Pink Gold is Burnout, Liar and Factory all from the Naked 3 palette.

My perfume favourite for this month has been Chloe Roses de Chloe My brother bought me this for Christmas (love him) but I have only recently started wearing it as was saving it for Spring/Summer. I'm such a fan of everything rose scented so this is a dream perfume for me. It's top notes are most definitely rose but it has a gorgeous subtle vanilla musk base note which I adore. In the past i've tended to gravitate towards fresher fragrances but I am thoroughly enjoying wearing this and I'm sure I will continue to throughout Spring and Summer.

Skincare I haven't really been using any new products as I am happy with my current skincare routine but I have whipped out my Kiehl's Ultra Light Daily UV Defence SPF 50+ moisturiser which now we actually have sun in the UK it will be a staple in my morning skin routine for the next 6 months or so. I have such fair skin I burn even if I look at the sun so as soon as it makes an appearance I have to use a high SPF. This Kiehl's one really is Ultra Light as so many high SPF facial moisturisers can feel so heavy and greasy on your face it's impossible to use under makeup but this just feels like a normal moisturiser and doesn't impact on the application of foundation which I love. It is on the expensive side but a little goes along way and it's so important to protect your skin.

I've been having real issues lately in trying to find a shampoo and conditioner for my hair which I like. I feel like I've tried so many different brands and I am still yet to find one I love - any suggestions for long thick hair are very much welcome. I have however found a hair mask which I have been loving! It's the Herbal Essences Bee Strong Strengthening Intensive Mask, this makes my hair feel a-ma-zing. It really is a fabulous hair mask and so affordable which is even more fabulous. If I can be bothered it works best when left on washed hair for an hour or so then rinsed out but it still gives a good enough effect when left on the hair for just a few minutes. It instantly makes my hair feel more repaired and smoother. Big thumbs up from me!

Finally as a bonus favourite I have a favourite drink for you. It's a Vanilla Macchiato from Starbucks. Oh my goodness I cannot get enough of these things. Seriously, they are to die for. I have no idea what special vanilla drizzle they put on top of these but I need to find out and bulk buy!

So there you have it, my March favourites! I was thinking about making a video of this but I know my voice sounds terrible on camera and it would just be mega awkward. I'll just stick to typing I think!

Thank you for reading

x x x x