The Perfect Red Lip...

Red lips just ooze glamour and add that little bit of oomph to a simple outfit. Have a read of this post to find out my favourite products and tricks to create the perfect red lip ...

What's on my iPhone?...

I saw this tag video on one of my recent YouTube catch-up sessions and thought it would transpire well into a blog post. I love seeing what apps people use on a day to day basis so here's what my iPhone 5 is loaded up with: ...

Event: #shhealthysmile at Everyman Cinema

At the beginning of the month, I was invited down to the Everyman Cinema in Leeds by the lovely team over at Simplyhealth to enjoy a good ol' giggle with my Sister...

YourTea Tiny Tea Teatox

So here we are 7 days into my Tiny Tea Teatox and I've really enjoyed it! The first thing I noticed is how much my skin has cleared up. I genuinely didn't think that this was a benefit of the tea, considering it is essentially a 'weight loss' system ...

Coral Ombre Nails

Not a perfect ombré, but these colours look so good together that I can forgive the fact that I don't have five perfectly gradiented coral tones in my nail polish collection ...

Monday, 24 February 2014

An Introduction to the Leeds RAG Fashion Show 2014...

On Thursday I will be attending the Leeds RAG Fashion Show as one of their Official Bloggers. The theme of this years' show is Wanderlust and draws inspiration from exploratory travel, natural landscapes and exotic environments. The Leeds RAG Fashion Show is a prestigious charity event, and this year it is supporting SUDEP and SARSVL, charities supporting the research of preventing deaths from epilepsy and supporting the victims of rape and sexual violence.
This year the Fashion Show will be showcasing and incorporating new, young designers alongside established brands such as ASOS, American Apparel and AQ/AQ. I am so excited about being given the chance to cover the event, on its 10th Anniversary, on my blog along with some other amazing local bloggers, who I can't wait to meet and catch up with. Last year the shows raised over £15,000 of the £295,000 total Leeds RAG raised, which is such an incredible achievement for everyone involved. 

I will be posting photos and tweeting live from the event and also writing a full blog post for you all to read. In the mean time, check out www.leedsragfashionshow.co.uk for more information and if you'd like to attend, you can purchase tickets from www.leedstickets.com.

Much Love,
Lauran
xxx

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Saturday, 22 February 2014

Restaurant Review: Rosie's Diner Leeds...

Leeds first 24hour Diner, Rosie's Diner, opened its doors on Monday offering early birds and night owls alike an extensive American themed menu with a warm, family- friendly atmosphere. It didn't take long for us to give in to the temptation of nearby pulled pork and burgers, so me and the Boy took a trip down on Wednesday to see what Rosie's had to offer.
A bus... A BUS!    
The Diner itself is beautiful, complete with a Monster Truck parked out front and an all-american yellow school bus finishing off its 1950's-esque decor. The music was straight out of Grease and I couldn't help but to sing along whilst sipping on my chocolate milkshake.

The food was lovely. I had the Yorkshire Terrier, a hot dog topped with pulled pork and it was everything I wanted it to be, whilst the Boy had The New York BBQ Burger. He said that it was one of the nicest burger patties he had tried (rivalling the amazing Mr. Nice Guys there). You could actually see the chefs making up the burgers in the kitchen from where we were sat, and the fact that they use 100% Yorkshire Beef and source local ingredients really sets it apart from other high street chains. We both had the sweet potato fries, which were DELICIOUS.
The New York BBQ Burger and the Yorkshire Terrier Hot Dog both served with home made slaw and sweet potato fries.
Rosie's Chocolate Milkshake served in a vintage milk bottle, so cute and it tasted so good!
Whilst we were eating, I couldn't help but cast my eyes around and feast my eyes on everything the other customers had ordered (this was the reason I ended up getting one of their milkshakes!), and everything looked incredible, their 'Blooming Onion' had me curious and their Steaks had me almost drooling, don't even get me started on the desserts... for some reason my 'dessert stomach' did not kick in this trip... Next time! 

The food is reasonably priced and the Diner attracts custom from all types of people, the Bus had young children playing with etch-a-sketches, the floor had couples and friends alike and the bar seated a group of girls enjoying a bottle of champagne and cocktails. It genuinely has such a great atmosphere.
A view into the kitchen.
Rosie's Blooming Onion. I NEED to try this.
How incredible do these sliders look?!
The only problem with Rosie's was the waiting time. We waited 45 minutes to be seated and when we were eventually seated we seemed to have been forgotten about, and did not have the chance to order for another 30 minutes. After drawing this to the attention of the staff, they were beyond helpful and extremely apologetic, even giving us a discounted meal and a discount card for future visits. Justin, who was our waiter, was incredible and is a complete credit to the Rosie's brand, he really made the whole experience more personal and he definitely knew his stuff. I think this minor hitch could be put down to the inevitable teething problems of a new restaurant opening and new staff learning on the job. The food was well worth the wait and the rest of the Diner was full of customers enjoying it and the atmosphere.

The fact that Rosie's Diner is always open is just fantastic, how often do you get a late night hankering for dessert and not a soul is open to fulfil it?! It might just be me on this one, but I genuinely can't wait to go back and sample the rest of the menu. I fully recommend it to everyone!

Much Love,
Lauran
xxx

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Watermarked photos used with permission from Rosie's Diner

Friday, 14 February 2014

Decadent No-Bake Munchies Cheesecake...

I made this sumptuous cheesecake last Sunday as a test run and it was a hit across the whole household. A gorgeously creamy cheesecake punctuated with chewy Munchies and of course a crunchy biscuit base.

Ingredients:
5 Digestive biscuits
20g Melted butter
160g Philadelphia (I used light but the full fat version would probably work better)
180g Double cream
20g Icing sugar
1 Tube of Munchies
1 Flake

How-To:
1. Place your biscuits in a bowl and smash up to create crumbs. I used a whisk for this, but a rolling pin would have been more effective!

2. Melt your butter in the microwave (about 20-30 seconds) and pour into your biscuit crumbs. Mix together well.

3. Take your five serving bowls, I made two really large cheesecakes out of this mixture but it can make up to five individual servings, and add a few spoonfuls of mixture into the bottom. Make sure you press this down firmly to create a crunchy base for your cheesecake. Put these in the fridge while you get on with the filling.

4. Add your softened cream cheese, cream and icing sugar into a bowl and mix together until it holds strong peaks. This would be a lot easier to do with an electric whisk, but I did fine with a hand whisk.

5. Cut up your Munchies and add to the mixture. You could use any type of chocolate you wanted, a Dairy Milk Caramel would be lovely!

6. Divide your mixture between your bowls and level off. Put back in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours.

7. Sprinkle over with some crumbled Flake and tuck in.

This was not at all as sickly as it sounds and was actually a lovely end to a meal, if not a little heavy (that may have had something to do with dividing a mixture meant for five between two...) So, whether you're out to impress someone and cooking a romantic meal, or want an indulgent treat to enjoy with some rom-coms and your best girl friends, then this is definitely the fool-proof recipe you need to try!

This recipe was adapted from this Philadelphia one, and if cheesecake isn't your thing then try out my Chocolate Fondant Recipe. Let me know if you try either.

Much Love,
Lauran
xxx

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Wednesday, 12 February 2014

The Pre-Date Pamper...

Whether it be getting ready for a date with a special someone, going out on the tiles with the girls or just some 'me' time, there's always an excuse to pamper ourselves before Valentine's Day. 

The Body
My favourite part of a pamper sesh is giving my body a glow giving overhaul. I love to jump in the shower and use the Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Scrub to get rid of any dry patches. The formula is quite oily, nourishing to the skin and smells divine. I then use my Wilkinson Sword Intuition razor which has a built in shave cream bar which lathers up and makes shaving in the shower an absolute breeze. 

After the shower, I like to moisturise my whole body and for this I use two products. The Vaseline Spray & Go Moisturiser all over and the Body Shop Body Butter on drier patches such as knees and elbows. This creates a great base for fake tanning (for which, St. Moriz is my go to brand) which, let's face it, makes us all look a feel a little more 'done'. 

The Hair
Hydration and flyaway management are always key for me in terms of creating that super sleek date-night hair. The Ever Riche range by L'Oreal is perfect for this. The Deep conditioner is ultra hydrating and gives that 'just been to the salon' look and feel to the hair. I use the Oil Precieux* throughout the mid-lengths and ends of my hair. This makes it super manageable and gives the hair a lovely sheen, it's also great to use through second day hair to refresh and re-tame styles. I always use Batiste Dry Shampoo through my roots to make my hair a little more easy to manage after washing. The cherry sent is lovely and flirty and it's something the Boy always notices.

The Face
When I have a special occasion, I really up the ante on the skincare routine to create the perfect base for that flawless makeup look. 

I start with a pre-cleansing oil to get rid of any make up and general grime from the day. I am still using this Una Brennan Vitamin C+ one and I love the results I get from it. I follow up with a cleansing balm, and this Boots Botanics one is a cheaper alternative to the ever lusted after Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm. This leaves the skin feeling ultra hydrated and gives a lovely glow. I would definitely recommend this product to everyone!

Depending on what end of the spectrum my skin is sitting at, I'll either choose Lush's Catastrophe Cosmetic Mask to target breakouts or Una Brennan's Rose Hydrate mask for dryer skin days. I love flicking through a magazine whilst leaving this to work, or getting started on the nails. 


The Nails
Giving myself a manicure is one of those things I absolutely love doing, it really relaxes me and the right colour can really complete an outfit making you feel that little bit more special. 

I tend to start by cutting or filing down my nails to a uniform length and then giving them a good buffing with the Models Own Buffing Brick. 

When choosing a colour I really think about my outfit and make up. Matching nails with lips is a big trend for Spring, but I also really enjoy choosing contrasting colours to make my nails stand out or picking out a colour from a pattern or accessory I am wearing. It's amazing how much nail polish can tie together a whole look. 

Once I've painted my nails, I add a top coat and a couple of drops of the Models Own quick dry solution, as for an unknown reason I find it near on impossible to sit still and let them dry naturally, I always find a million other things to do and smudge them beyond repair. 

Let me know what you're getting up to on Friday and what your go-to feel good pamper products are. 

Much Love,
Lauran
xxx

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Monday, 10 February 2014

The Perfect Red Lip...

Products featured: MAC Matte Lipstick in Ruby Woo, NYX Mega Shine Lipgloss in Perfect Red

If you can't wear a red lip on Valentine's, when can you? There's something about a bold red lip which oozes effortless style and sophistication, it goes with any outfit and completes any look. Here's my step by step guide to creating the PERFECT one.

I always start with a sharpened red lipliner and trace the line of my lips. Red is a very easy colour to create fuller lips, so if you aren't blessed with naturally full lips, you can slightly overdraw your lips to the desired effect. I then colour in the lips with the liner to give my lipstick a base to stick to.

The trick to getting a red lip right, is to be precise. The slightest mistake will show up so take your time and use a lip brush. MAC's Ruby Woo is my red of choice, I love the matte finish and the formula isn't creamy so it clings to the lips and doesn't transfer. I like to use the Detailer Brush by Real Techniques after applying the lipstick by the bullet, to apply the lipstick evenly and neatly to the edges and corners of my lips. Blot between layers to give the lipstick a bit more longevity and to intensify the colour.

To neaten up, I always take my concealer on the smallest brush I have and take it around the lips to get rid of any smudges or wobbly lines. To set, you can either use a lipstick sealer such as the one from Lipcote, or some translucent setting powder, to ensure that the colour stays put all night.

A final step if you're more of a gloss girl, is to take a gorgeous opaque red lipgloss such as Perfect Red from NYX. The formula of this gloss is just perfect, none sticky, super glossy and intense colour pay off. It glides nicely onto the lips and feels really smoothing. It's a fab alternative to a liquid lipstick which can by really drying on the lips. Adding gloss to the centre of the lips can help to give that fuller pout appeal too!

What's your go to Red?

Much Love,
Lauran
xxx

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