Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Black stud strap wedge hi-tops

I went to the New Look SS13 press day back in November and was given a gift card in a goody bag. Can you believe up until now I hadn’t spent it?! I’m really good at resisting a shopping splurge but caved last week when I wondered onto the New Look site.

I came across these all black wedge hi tops, I’ve been a fan of this style of trainer hybrid for a while but never felt I could pull them off because A. I’ve got skinny ankles and B. I don’t think they look cute on any woman with feet larger than a UK 4.

Despite all my hesitations I purchased them. I like this pair from New Look because they are all black from toe to heel and reasonable in price at £27.99 which means I can buy some other things with my gift card.

There are a lot of high street versions of the wedge hi-top available right now, so if all goes well with this pair I’ll invest in another pair.

What do you think of New Look’s Wedge Hi-Tops?

Bianca x

Friday, 15 February 2013

My top beauty products to relieve dry skin

Since the bitterly cold weather set in I noticed how flaky and dry the skin on my face was getting. So I decided to bump up my facial skincare regime because I’m really low maintenance when it comes to beauty. Until now it consumed of facial cleansing wipes and the occasional splash of water morning and night.

The products I’m using on my face to prevent, protect and restore hydrated skin are pictured below.
I decided to go back to tried and trusted products I had used before and tried some new items too.

Blistex Relief Cream

A good friend of mine recommended this cream to me as an effective formula that will help to correct chapped lips. The cold weather has really made my lips crack so I thought I’d give this a go. It seems like something you would use for medicinal purpose and to be fair it does say it treat cold sores, so yeah it’s not your typical lip balm. However it really does the trick, after a couple days of applying the cream it smoothed the dry and sore areas and acted like a primer underneath the usual application of lip balm or butter.

St Ives Apricot Scrub for Sensitive Skin

I use St Ives as my exfoliator because I love the fruity apricot smell and the formula’s creamy texture. I know this scrub isn’t for everyone but it has worked well for me before. I had previously used the Invigorating Scrub but since I noticed my skin had become sensitive I opted for that version. There is also type for renewing and firm which is called Timeless Skin and blemish fighting called Naturally Clear.

According to St Ives this extra mild formula for dry or sensitive skin, “instantly smoothes skin and is gentle enough to use every day.”

It’s also Oil-free - Non-irritating • dermatologist-tested • 100% natural exfoliants • 100% natural extracts • Formulated without parabens and phthalates.

The exfoliating beads are made up of crushed walnuts and corn kernel meal and when gently rubbed across the skin they don’t feel too abrasive. I spent a couple minutes massaging the cream into the skin, washed it off with warm and patted my face dry. The thing I like about this scrub is that it leaves the skin feeling refreshed and soft rather than tight. The directions say to use every day but I think use is best twice or three times a week morning or night.

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream SPF 15 Moisturiser

When I am not planning on wearing any make up for the day I apply the EA Eight Hour Cream Daily Moisturiser.

According to Elizabeth Arden, ‘This daily hydrating lotion leaves skin feeling soft, smooth and moisturized for up to 8 hours. Protects skin from the effects of extreme weather and climate changes while SPF 15 shields skin from the harmful effects of the sun. Suitable for all skin types.’

It leaves my skin feeling hydrated and soft without being too greasy, I think it’s a great moisturiser for dry sensitive skin as it relieves the tight feeling. The tube I’m using is a part of the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream starter kit so it’s only 15ml. When it runs out I’d definitely buy the full size.

The Body Shop All-in-One BB Cream

For days when I do apply makeup I’ve been using The Body Shop’s All-in-One Colour Adapting Tinted BB Cream. It was a real struggle for me to find a BB cream that matched my skin tone, when I got my hands on this it was a pleasant surprise. The colour adapting beads really work, there are only three different shades - I’m using 03 for darker skin tones. I’ve used it for three months and I’m so happy with the results.

The Body Shop says this, “All-In-One BB cream transforms from a white cream to suit your skin tone. Pigment-filled capsules burst when applied to the skin, releasing the colour inside. Just blend for a perfect match and an even, undetectable finish. It’s make-up and skincare in one.”

I found that this worked wonders for dry skin as the mositurising qualities create a dewy and glowing complexion. I applied small amounts of cream around my face and blended in with a foundation brush. The formula is light and gives the right amount of coverage, I don’t use any foundation over it but I do apply concealer under my eyes underneath because it’s not totally flawless. If you have sensitive skin and don’t want to wear foundation this is your product.

What beauty products do you use to combat dry skin during winter?

Bianca x

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Style crush: Ciara

Tomboy chic has gone mainstream this season. Varsity jackets, football jerseys and tracksuits are hot picks for channelling the sports luxe style for SS13.

One celeb that I think nails this style perfectly is Ciara. Her sense of style has always been inspired by menswear but now she has turned up her fashion ante and is mixing Jordans with a slice of Givenchy and Giuseppe Zanotti.


Each of her outfits over the past couple of weeks have been casual, I like how she spices up a simple trouser and tee combo with some chunky chains, a leather pant or some trainers.  


Photos: Ciara Instagram/Tumblr

Who is your celeb style inspiration?

Bianca x

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Statement necklace

I went on a hunt this week for some new jewellery to add to my collection. I'm loving all the gold and bronze pieces on the high street, there are so many bold necklace pieces to choose from right now. While browsing the racks in H&M this striking necklace caught my eye.

It has three gold plates that come together when worn on the neck on a metal chain. It's similar to a necklace my mum has - one that I constantly use. So now I have my own.

I think it’s a great find for £7.99 for jewellery that can be worn casually with plain tops and vests or dressed up with block coloured frocks.

For the necklace’s first outing I wore it to Vertigo 42 in London city for drinks with friends. I teamed the necklace with a LBD that had a square neckline so the shape contrasted well with my outfit.

Bianca x

Blueberry muffins recipe

My first attempt at making blueberry muffins didn’t go so well. Mainly because I thought I could use a bun tin instead of a muffin one, which made no sense since I wanted to make muffins. Anyhow I combined tips from a couple of recipes to try again and the results were much better.

60g unsalted butter (Use at room temperature)
115g caster sugar (could use more for sweeter taste)
2 medium eggs
250g plain flour
2tsp baking powder
125ml milk (I used semi skimmed)
150g blueberries (I used organic blueberries since I found them to be smaller in size)


1. Preheat the oven at gas mark 4.
2. Line the muffin tray with cases
3. Wash the blueberries and drain off water. Sprinkle a tea towel with flour and roll the blueberries in it. Wrap the lightly floured berries and leave for 30-45 mins to dry completely. This will help to stop the berries from binding together or sinking to the bottom of the mixture when baked.
4. Sift the flour into a bowl and add the baking powder. Set aside for later.
5. Cut the butter into small cubes. Put into another mixing bowl together with the caster sugar. Use a hand mixer or wooden spoon to cream the two together.
6. Crack and add one egg, beating into the mixture. When the egg has been adsorbed, repeat the process with the second egg.
7. Add small amounts of the dry mixture and milk to the wet mixture, giving it all a good stir each time. Keep doing this until all the dry mixture and milk has been added and the mixture is smooth. You may need to add a little for milk or flour depending on the consistency.
8. Add the blueberries that have been covered with flour into the mixture and stir.
9. Spoon the mixture into the 2/3 of the muffin cases.
10. Bake in the oven at gas mark 4 for 30 mins.

Recipe taken from Nigella Lawson’s Best Blueberry Muffins and Leila’s Blueberry Muffins.