My favourite cookery books and recipes

I’m all about food. Eating out, cooking at home, 100% my vibe. over the last few years, I’ve gathered a nice little collection of recipe books to sit in and amongst the Jamie Oliver, Marcus Wareing and 1980s books that my parents have. I thought I’d share my three favourite books which we use quite a lot at home and a few of the most delicious recipes. So buckle up for a foodie post.

A Year of Beautiful Eating | Madeleine Shaw

This was the first of Madeleine’s books I bought. I searched high and low for it after I heard her on Lily and Anna’s podcast At Home With because some of the recipes sounded amazing and I wanted to give them a try. There are so many recipes that I love and the fact that it’s split up into seasons means that every year you remember recipes that you loved from the year before. My favourites are the Baked Sea Bream and Lentil Parcels, although we use salmon instead of sea bream and it works just the same (the pesto is fab). Also the Prawn Korma is delicious and the Chicken and Chickpea Curry is great because it has peanut butter in it. I could literally list every recipe in this book as my favourite but I’ll leave it there. If you want pretty easy meals with a lot of variety then I really recommend you pick this one up.

Fresh Start | Tom Kerridge

For my birthday I got the book which went alongside Tom Kerridge’s latest food show (really good btw). I went through when I first got it and bookmarked everything I wanted to try and safe to say there were A LOT of bookmarks. Not everything is that quick to make and some of it can be a bit time consuming but it’s worth it in the end. A prime example of this are the Nutty Wholemeal Pancakes. Delicious and amazing but I literally used every bowl in the house making this one. Some of my other favourites are the Beef Biryani, Peanut Butter Brownie and Butternut Squash Pasta Bake. There are a few weird ingredients but it’s nothing that a quick google can’t fix as most have a replacement you’ll already have in your cupboard.

Ready, Steady, Glow | Madeleine Shaw

I love Madeleine’s recipes (if you haven’t already noticed) and this one has some real crackers in it. The Cookies in this book are my favourites to make – even if my dad isn’t that keen – because the buckwheat flour makes them taste nutty and they’re the perfect balance of crunchy and chewy, yes! This is split into quick recipes and ones that take a bit more time and does some fab ones that take no time at all. The Red Thai Salmon Curry and the Chickpea Curry are fab and so is the Chicken Stir Fry (the sauce is amazing and is literally four ingredients). This book also has yoga moves in it if you fancy a bit of a stretch when you’re cookies are baking (try the cookies, you won’t regret it).

What recipes are you loving at the minute? I’d appreciate any veggie ones because we’re doing meat free Mondays and I’m running low on ideas.

Dipping my feet in The Ordinary pool

I’ve been meaning to try out something from The Ordinary for a fair few months and recently I bit the bullet when I was looking for a new serum to test out. I’m very new to the world of oils and serums so I have no idea what I’m looking for, but I took to Beauty Bay and read all of the reviews for all of the oils and serums on offer to gage what might be the best for my skin. I always thought I had oily skin but other the last six months or so I’ve realised that although that might be true, my skin is also pretty dehydrated and I need products that hydrate my skin deep down but don’t make it greasy. So, back to my purchase. After looking at all of the oils and serums from The Ordinary, I went for the 100% Plant-Derived Squaline. Warning: I have no idea what ingredient it is, what it’s supposed to do and if it would be any good for everyone, but here’s how it’s worked on my skin.

When I first used it I was very surprised at how much of an oil it was. As I said, I have no idea what it is so I didn’t know what to expect but I thought it was going to be more of a water than an oil. That being said, when I apply it to my skin (I use about four drops all over my face and down my neck) I can feel my face drinking it up. I usually apply this a couple of hours before my moisturiser to give it enough of a chance to sink in. It seems like a long time but I’ve noticed a major difference in my skin by doing that. Packaging wise it’s in a standard 30ml bottle with a pipet (pipet? Is that right?) and a screw top lid. The only problem I’ve found with this is that the lid doesn’t screw back on properly but seeing as though I have a spare mini bottle which I can use when I travel (not that I travel very often!) so it’s not really much of an issue.

All in all this is a cracking oil/serum. For £5.50 it’s an absolute steal and if you have dehydrated skin and are looking for something to plump it up I couldn’t recommend it enough!

Why Quads Hold a Special Place in My Heart

As much as a huge palette filled with 40+ shades really gets me pumped up and ready for a smokey eye, I always find myself reaching for my quads. I don’t know if it’s the fact that they’re filled with my favourite shades or because all the shadows of together, but I just can’t get enough of them. 
My journey into the world of quads started at the beginning of my third year of uni when I bought myself the Fleur de Force Cosmic Bronze Quad (which I don’t know if they actually sell anymore – sad). At first I thought the shimmery shade would be the one I used the most and the others would kind of get left behind. But oh no was I wrong, that’s definitely my least used. I love the way the other three shades go together and are so versatile. I like that I could go full out brown smokey, something a bit more natural or with a deep brown crease and winged liner. 
The fact that I can just pull out a palette and work my way round really appeals to me but I also the love the fact that usually there is one or two shades that can be slapped on your eye on their own. My favourite ‘slap on’ shade is Innocent by NYX. It looks like nothing in the pan but paired with the Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerise in Jean it transforms into a lovely shimmery, golden eye. In fact all of these shades are gorgeous (to read my full thoughts on this palette, click here.)
My favourite quad has to be my Charlotte Tilbury Dolce Vita Palette. I mean, look at it. How could this not be my top dog. It has all the shades you need for the perfect smokey eye, and that ‘pop’ shade is just stunning! At the minute, for more of a warm summery eye, I’m really liking the Tanya Burr My Paradise Palette. although the three shimmery shades aren’t overly different from each other, they create a nice, warm, rose gold eye that I like to pair with winged liner and tonnes of mascara.
Know of any other quads I should try out? Please let me know (I need to be enabled to buy more makeup I don’t need!)

The foundation so good that I bought two

I think I’ve finally found my perfect foundation that gives me everything I need. In January I spontaneously bought the Revlon Colorstay Foundation in the lightest shade they had, 110 Ivory, and instantly fell in love. I’d heard good things about it before but assumed it wouldn’t be matte enough for my skin as at the time I was using the L’Oreal Infallible 24 Hour Matte Foundation. However, the first time I used it lasted all day. All. Day. Without it separating or rubbing off. I was pretty amazed. This was the start of a serious love affair that is still happening.

I forgot to mention this is for the combination/oily version of this foundation and not normal/dry. I also have dehydrated skin which can be quite oily.

This is what I’d call a true liquid foundation if that makes sense. So instead of being slightly thick and mousse-y like the L’Oreal Infallible 24 Matte or really runny like the Bourjois CC Cream it sits in the middle. This means that when I apply it to my skin it gives me the medium to full coverage I like in a foundation but it sinks into my skin instead of sitting on top. It creates a smooth canvas on my face and when I use it I notice the rest of my makeup applies a lot better. Throughout the day I do still have to blot a little to remove any excess oil but I’m definitely not a sweaty mess by the end of the working day, which I sometimes find when I use my beloved L’Oreal Nude Magique Cushion Foundation. Now, if I’m having a particularly oily day, the foundation does rub off a little but it’s not nearly as bad as it could be. So although it’s not a miracle worker, it’s pretty close!

Anyway, on to why I have these two shades. I’ve started to dabble in fake tan, a world which I’m totally involved in, and I needed to get a foundation I can use when I’m a little bit more tanned. It was a no brainer that this was the foundation I would choose as it is by far my favourite at the moment. I chose the shade 180 Sand Beige, two shades up from my natural skin tone shade. I was going to go just one up, which would have been Buff, but I didn’t know if that would have been dark enough. I’m glad I went with Sand Beige as even though it is quite a bit darker it means that when mixed with Ivory I can create the best colour I need for how tanned I am at the time.

Do you love this foundation too or is there another one you think I should try? Let me know!

Left to right: 110 Ivory | 180 Sand Beige

Ten Lords a Leaping

Every day it seems to be getting harder and harder to make these looks different and not repeat! This was a very brave look for me, there’s a lot of red which may border on ‘punched in the face’. I do quite like the way it turned out though, whether I’ll be wearing it again is another thing!
Primed the eyes as per usual and got straight to work. I was feeling really brave so took a risk with the shimmery, vampy red shade from the Urban Decay Vice 3 Palette called Sonic. I patted this all over the lid and blended it out so that the edge was really soft. I also took it underneath and did a lot of blending. To give the look a bit more depth I used the warm, dark brown shade called Reign from the same palette  on the outer corner of the eye and did a lot more blending! To make it look like I didn’t have some kind of eye problem I did a little bit of liner quite close to the lash line. To finish off I lined my waterline with Rimmel Sable Brown Eyeliner and a little bit of mascara.