Tuesday, 31 July 2012

July Favourites

This is my first ever favourites post! I love reading other people's posts and watching YT videos like this as it makes me confident at trying products I've been thinking about sampling and also gives me some new suggestions to have a look at. This post features a mixture of skin care and make up :)


Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish: Ever since purchasing this last month I have loved it! From the packaging to the product it hasn't let me down and I understand now why there were so many rave reviews. I may be late on the bandwagon, but now I've got this brand on my radar I'm looking forward to trying some of their other products and will be keeping this as a staple in my skincare routine. I'm not going to go into too much detail as I have an upcoming post dedicated to this lovely product. (Edit: see review here!)

Neutrogena Grapefruit Facial Wash: Again, there is an upcoming review of this on my blog and is a new item in my facial skincare regime. I'm really enjoying using it in the mornings as the scent and formula wakes me up and refreshes my face nicely. 

Make Up

Revlon Lip Butters: I've just done a post on these so you can see how much I love them and why here! An update since then though is that I have recently purchased my third in the shade 'Creme Brulee' and I love it just as much as the others! I've been getting into my nude lips recently and this is a wonderful addition - it is a lovely soft nude, which is sheer enough to let some of my natural lip show through while still giving shine and a wash of colour with lots of nourishment. If you aren't that big into lipsticks and colour but want to dabble in lip products this is an excellent way to introduce yourself to both.

Urban Decay Naked Palette: This has been such a good investment purchase. Since buying it I've used it nearly every day and love the selection of matte and glittery shades, the quality of the eyeshadows and their colour payoff. You can create so many looks for day and evening by combining the different shades and I suggest it is a good palette to buy if you are into the natural look or are wanting to experiment. You can see my full review here

17 BB Cream: This has been a key staple in my every day make up routine this summer. I've been shunning foundation for the summer and this has to be my favourite BB cream that I have tried so far as it has good oil control, added SPF and good coverage. Every time I use it I like it even more :) If you want to read my full review for this you can read it here. I am looking forward to trying some other BB creams and am going to do a post soon on all the ones I have tried and what I think of them.

Hope you enjoyed reading my favourites :) Are any of these featured in your favourites post? xxx
Monday, 30 July 2012

Blueberry & Lime Muffins

Summer seems to have finally arrived in England yay! Therefore, when my mum had some blueberries she needed using up I suggested whipping up some classic blueberry muffins with a summer twist to them. The recipe I will be sharing with you today is based on various recipes I found online. The hint of lime gives a different refreshing spin to these muffins and makes them perfect for warmer days. Next time I try this recipe I would like to add a bit more mixture to each case to make them giant muffins which rise a little over the cases. This recipe makes 10 muffins.

* 110g self raising flour
* 110g margarine 
* 65g caster sugar
* 2 eggs
* Punnet of fresh blueberries (or equivalent of frozen)
* Zest of 2 limes
* 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
* Brown sugar 


* Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and either grease your muffin tin or line with paper cases.

* Zest the limes, being careful to not zest off the white pith. Add the zest to the sugar and rub together with clean fingers until it starts to resemble the texture of wet sand.

* Cream together the zesty sugar and margarine until pale. 

* Slowly add the eggs, beating after each addition.

* Mix together the flour and cinnamon then beat in slowly to the mixture.

* Stir in the blueberries until evenly distributed through the mixture.

* Using a spoon, carefully distribute the mixture into your tin or cases in equal amounts and top with a sprinkling of brown sugar.

* Cook for 20 minutes until risen and golden brown. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes to keep their shape, then transfer to a wire rack.

My family and I ate them fresh out the oven as cakes and muffins are always so yummy when just baked and warm. As always, let me know how you get on if you try this recipe and remember to tweet me a picture! @LilMisLifestyle xxx

Two recipes used found here and here.
Saturday, 28 July 2012

A Trio of Lush Products

At the moment I have a bit of a back-log of product reviews from my various hauls, so expect to see a few more review posts :) I picked these three products up from Lush the other week after watching Louise's video of her favourite Lush products because I have no will power when it comes to shopping and seeing good reviews make me want to try out the products myself! 'Catastrophe Cosmetic' and the 'Each Peach' massage bar were bought upon hearing good recommendations and the toner water was an impulse buy. Overall, I was a little disappointed but this won't stop me trying out some of the other products on my wish list as I believe skincare especially is very personal, so what may work for someone else might not work for me and I really like other Lush products such as the bath bombs.

Tea Tree Toner Water: Although I wasn't expecting to pick this up, I have been on the lookout for a new Toner as my previous Garnier one was too harsh and left my skin feeling really stripped. I've also been wanting to try out the spray toner waters like the Caudalie one but wanted to find a cheaper alternative due to a student budget. One of the main reasons I picked up this product is because it has tea tree in it and I am prone to getting a few blemishes due to oily skin - it even states that 'tea tree is a wonder oil for anyone with oily or spot prone skin'. I  bought the 100g bottle (£3.95) so if I didn't like it the product wouldn't be wasted and its also a handy size for my handbag for freshening up during hot summer days, but you can also purchase it in a 250g bottle for £7.25. My usual routine is to spray some onto a cotton wool pad to wipe my face over and remove dirt and then spray some all over my face and leave to dry before applying moisturiser, in the morning and evening. I love how refreshing and gentle this is but I havn't seen any massive differences towards blemishes. I'm not sure if its because the tea tree is really watered down but I havn't found it to be that effective which is a bit disappointing. I wouldn't rule out buying this again if I can find a good blemish gel/cream as it is a nice toner (I'm thinking about buying the Origins one) - if you do suffer from bad blemishes I wouldn't recommend this for you.

Catastrophe Cosmetic Face Mask: I've been trying out loads of different masks recently trying to find a good combination that I can see and feel make a real difference to my skin and the various problems with it. After seeing quite a few rave reviews of this on various blogs I decided to try it out. Lush face masks are quite expensive for such a small pot (£5.95 for 75g) with a sell by date of 3 weeks, but they are all made out of fresh ingredients and although they say you can only get 3 uses out of them, I've had at least 7 and I still have about a quarter left. You have to keep them in the fridge due to the fresh ingredients in them, and I quite like this as it means the mask is really refreshing and cool when applied to the skin. It is definitely not the easiest mask to apply as it produces it's own water meaning you have to try and mix it all together with your finger and is quite slippery when trying to apply it. I think for this type of mask it would be a good idea to try applying it with a brush. This is also a type of mask where you have to sit and relax while wearing it (I'm not complaining!) as it has a tendency to flake off after a while. The featured ingredient is fresh blueberries and there are lots of pieces within the face mask. Again, although this is aimed towards blemished skin, I havn't noticed any differences towards blemishes or oil control. It leaves my face lovely and refreshed but that is about it. I wouldn't repurchase this but I am interested in trying the Brazened Honey mask.

Each Peach Massage Bar: I've previously owned Soft Coeur bar and really enjoyed it plus I love massages so after I saw Louise recommend this I had to try it! Lush says that this is a 'lovely rich massage bar with beautiful fruit oils' which I can definitely vouch for. It has a lovely strong citrus scent to it and it says that it melts at body temperature just like chocolate - and it really does! It melts so easily when using it and leaves lovely rich oils on your skin which are really moisturising from products including cocoa butter, shea butter, avocado butter and mango kernal butter. I've used oils before, but I prefer these as they have a scent with staying power and are much less messy to use, whether on yourself or with someone else. The bar will also last a long time as although it melts easily, a little goes a long way. I would definitely repurchase and am looking forward to trying out the other types of bars - I also want to buy the Lush tin to keep them in!

I have always been a fan of Lush products due to the fresh, natural ingredients and the fact products are made on site and the impeccable service from staff, so although I was a little let down with these products there is nothing stopping me from trying out different products to find the right things to suit me. If you are interested to purchasing something form Lush I recommend popping into your local store as the staff will guide you in the right direction. 

Have you tried any of these products? What do you think of Lush? xxx
Thursday, 26 July 2012

Review: Philip Kingsley Elasticizer

When reviewing products myself and reading other people's reviews I'm a firm believer in 'what works for you, might not work for someone else.' This is very true when it comes to Philip Kingsley's Elasticizer pre-shampoo treatment, as there are many mixed reviews on this - it works wonders on some but others see no difference. I'm in the latter camp, which really disappointed me. As I highlight my hair I'm always on the look out for intensive treatments that really help the structure of my hair rather than just make it look better with silicones etc. I used this every time before washing my hair for the past 2 weeks and I havn't really seen much difference to be honest. I followed the instructions and wet my hair before use, sectioning it and applying it all through the midlengths and the ends where I need it most. I often left it for at least half an hour to let it get to work and then washed it out as normal, followed with my regular conditioner. However, for a 'super-moisturising' and 'intensive' treatment, my hair didn't feel especially silky, smooth or shiny or even 'elasticised' it just felt like I had put a normal conditioner on, not even a luxury one. 

I liked that it had UV protection in it but my regular shampoo and conditioner already have this so it wasn't a necessity. The product was also fragrance free which may be a big plus for some people, but for me it was a dissapointment. When using a luxury product, like I feel this is marketed, I expected a lovely fragrance especially when it is sitting on my head for so long. For the price for a full size tub (£26.25) I expected this product to work wonders and to really see a difference in my hair. Luckily, I bought a tester size tube from a recent blog sale and havn't ended up out of pocket as I would have been unhappy if I had spent the full amount on this. I much prefer my Aussie 3 Minute Miracle for Coloured Hair as it smells beautiful and I really feel a difference once I've used it. 

Again, I would stress that although this wasn't great for me it might work great for you so if you are still considering purchasing this I would recommend picking up a smaller size tube to test it out first before spending full price on it. Although this wasn't great for me, I wouldn't rule trying out other Philip Kingsley products as he is a well regarded name and it would be nice to find something that I could rave about. I will be finishing this tube at some point in the future, so expect a final update on this on an upcoming All Used Up post. 

Have you used this product before, and what did you think of it? What other Philip Kingsley products would you recommend? xxx
Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Review: Revlon Lip Butters

I bought these beauties in my first purchase from a blog sale as they were cheaper than in the shops and I'd been wanting to try them for a while as I've seen many other bloggers rave about them. I purchased two, one in the shade 'Cupcake' which is a very wearable shade and really great for the day, and the second in 'Raspberry Pie' a gorgeous deep reddy pink, which looks great in the evening but also in the day with just lashings of mascara to make the colour pop and stand out. I am pleased to say that I was not disappointed and these lip butters really lived up to they hype. Although the colour doesn't have the greatest staying power, once it has worn off it still leaves a lovely stain on the lips. I love that it is nourishing to my lips as the formula is so creamy and glides on easily. In my opinion it is a lipbalm, lipstick and lipgloss all rolled into one product. The packaging is also sleek, compact and pretty and they are easy to pop into my handbag. They are priced at £7.99 at Boots and although they are a bit pricey for the size, I would have no problem repurchasing as I think the rest of the product is great. Apologies for the not so great swatches, I found it tricky to get an accurate colour!

Revlon Lip Butter in 'Cupcake'
'Cupcake' swatched L-R: Colour build up, one stroke
'Raspberry Pie'
'Raspberry Pie' swatched L-R: Colour build up, one stroke. The colour is darker and more true to the tube colour than this photo shows.
Other colours I have my eye on include 'Tutti Frutti' 'Lollipop' 'Macaroon' 'Candy Apple' and 'Berry Smoothie' ... I think you can tell I really like them! Have you tried any of these before? I would also like to try the Revlon Just Bitten sticks too xxx

Edit: I just bought the shade 'Creme Brulee' too :) 

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

A Week in The West Country: Exeter

You may have noticed that I have been a bit of a bad blogger recently and not updated for a few days! This is because I've been super busy doing lots of fun things down in Exeter in the sun :) Here are a few pictures from what I've done and where I have been, including driving my boyfriend's boat around the sea, lots of walks in the countryside, spending the day at the beach and exploring the city of Exeter.

Hope you are all having a lovely summer now the weather has brightened up :) What have you guys been up to? xxx

Friday, 20 July 2012

Restaurant Review: Côte Brasserie

As mentioned in my previous post, my boyfriend and I decided to go out for dinner at one of our favourite restaurants to celebrate some good news. Cote in Birmingham is situated in the Mailbox, a lovely building housing many designer shops, lovely restaurants and even a hotel. We started off with some cocktails at a bar/restaurant called Estilo, also in the Mailbox, where we had a Mojito Royale (Mojito with Champagne) which were gorgeous and a great way to start the evening.

We then had a short walk down the steps to Cote which has a lovely view overlooking the river. I have dined here a few times and on each occasion I have thoroughly enjoyed the service, food and atmosphere. The restaurant describes itself as "simple freshly prepared French food at value for money prices" and I would totally agree with this. The quality and the presentation of the food is fabulous and the prices are low for what you get. The only let down would be for vegetarians as there isn't many alternative choices for veggies, especially if you don't eat fish either. I also loved that instead of giving bog standard tap water, you got complimentary filtered water in a cute bottle for your table :)

For starters I had Rillettes which was so good and Matt had Crab Mayonnaise. The fact I hate crab but loved his dish after trying it shows how good the dish was!
Crab Mayonnaise
Then for main I chose the duck and Matt had steak (of course!) with peppercorn sauce. Again, everything was cooked to perfection - my duck was pink and the steak was done medium-rare like it was asked to be.

Lastly, pudding. Every time I go there is at least 3 desserts that take my fancy, but I can't resist getting the creme brulee over and over! Matt had the special dessert which was Praline Crepes which tasted like Guerlain chocolates mmmm!

I really recommend this restaurant if you are looking for fine dining but at an affordable price. You can look at the various locations of the restaurant and menus here. They also have various offers on such as 2 courses for £9.95 on a weekday from 12-7pm. Have you been before? xxx

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