Lifestyle: Time for an Upgrade?

Mobile phones are the bane of my life. I seriously have the worst luck with them!

 photo 8b71cff1-d327-4905-be59-ae6c7c65d477_zpsr5aqvfb3.jpgMy first one was the only one that never caused me a problem. Long live the Nokia 3310! It went down hill from there. The Motorola Razr with dodgy hinge. The Samsung Tocco with no back and unpredictable touchscreen. The Samsung Galaxy S1 – if you turned it off, it never turned on again. It would have to be sent off for repair each time. Eventually they replaced it with an S2. This was better, but my first landed in a puddle as I fell (SOBER!) out of a taxi. The replaced version was dreadful, it never charged, overheated, and kept telling me there was no SIM inside.

 photo cdb24974-574a-4192-8e8f-d2e9048987aa_zpseshs8qew.jpgMy current phone is the HTC One, and other than the DREADFUL camera I did like it. Until just before Christmas, when it decided making calls was beyond it. I would ring and hear nothing, despite the other side answering. They would ring and I would answer, but the call wouldn’t connect. Not ideal when you live on your own. My contract is up at the end of August and I honestly have no clue where to go next (I’m not an Apple person). When I was offered the chance to trial a Nokia phone, I wasn’t going to say no!

My first go at a Nokia since the glorious 3310, I was expecting good things. And mostly this phone delivered.

 photo ddaadefb-ec87-4b18-9054-7b167d041c99_zpsiwmoambq.jpgI wasn’t a huge fan of the brightly coloured back. I like my technology to look sleek and expensive, I usually stick to black pieces. This felt a bit cheap-looking and I was self-conscious using it. That said, I loved the size of it. Yes, it’s huge. No, I can’t use it one-handed. But I do like big phones, I use my phone for watching TV and reading blogs so a big (and incredibly crisp) screen was a massive bonus.

 photo 7a3cd91f-42a6-4aca-a20a-4e7c465a8201_zpsq5swrscx.jpgThe camera was excellent. Not as good as my Canon, but infinitely better than my HTC. The size meant it was also easy to hold to phone steady, leading to good quality snaps.

 photo 681ebf77-e217-45bb-9064-27cae44bda4f_zps3g4wj77g.jpgThe speed of the phone also gets a big thumbs up from me. No laggy keyboard, apps loaded immediately, no jerky scrolling. This packs in a powerful processor and it shows – it’s incredible how quickly phone technology is advancing.

 photo 4a7ad006-e891-40c8-aac2-0ce4bddcc60b_zpsf6a2llef.jpgAnother downside though, I wasn’t a huge fan of the Windows system. I loved having Windows applications on my phones (hello spreadsheets!) but the menu design and lack of apps (no Instagram, no Bloglovin) made it hard to love the phone as a whole. This was the dealbreaker for me.

 photo 5e1c206f-621e-49de-ba5c-f4f19b7e89b5_zps2a0l5noa.jpgHad the phone (in a less bright colour) been available as an Android option, I’d buy one in an instant. The size, the tech behind it, everything was great. But I just couldn’t get on with the Windows operating system and limited apps, and for that reason it is likely I’ll be sticking with Android. The only question now is what to look at next!

What phone do you have? Do you recommend it?!

Beauty: Smashbox Double Exposure Palette (Review)

Two high-end purchases in a row (my last beauty post featured the Hourglass Ambient Light Palette), I feel this is quite poor for what is essentially a student blog! I do have some budget beauty posts up my sleeve though…

 photo 2015-01-24 11.29.55_zpsnvvy8oun.jpgIn my defence, this purchase cost me nothing. Not a single penny. Technically. You see, I have what amounts to an obsession about building up Boots Points. I collect through everyday purchases, using all the vouchers (and now the app – though for some reason it is convinced my name is Debbie…), and I use Treat Street wherever I can. I scored Advantage Points on holidays, on laptops, and numerous amounts of clothes. All this meant that after just 18 months, I had a nice little amount to splurge.

The decision was overwelming, and I’d been putting it off. I was going to go for a foundation, but (1) my Rimmel ones are working perfectly, and (2) I’d be pretty damn pissed if it broke me out. Then I looked at Channel lipsticks. But even with my points, I couldn’t justify it. I’m perfectly happy with MAC, and there was no shade that jumped out at me. Benefit was a possibility, but I hate the packaging. Onto eyeshadows. Clinque was tempting, the assistant in the store rude. I decided I didn’t want to give her a sale. Then I walked by the Smashbox stand. It’s not a brand I’ve even looked at before. I saw the flurry of posts on the first Exposure palette, but it didn’t really appeal. But I spotted this. The variety of colours. The matte shades. The massive mirror. One swatch of the matte cream and I was sold. A quick google for reviews wasn’t conclusive – it’s hardly been reviewed, and what is out there isn’t appealing (the colours seem a bit washed-out – these photos are unedited in the hope they reflect the true colours!). I slept on it. I discussed it’s pros and cons (sorry Will!). And the next day I picked it up.

 photo 2015-01-24 11.37.04_zpssbepxwep.jpgTwo weeks on and I’m besotted. It’s different enough from both Naked 2 and Naked 3 that I don’t feel like I have any palette I don’t need. The colours are all fabulous.

 photo 2015-01-24 11.34.55_zpsv0seqzjz.jpg photo 2015-01-24 11.35.04_zpsgdil9dcn.jpg photo 2015-01-24 11.35.14_zpshm5oyp5m.jpgI admit I don’t get much wear out of the blues, but the rest?! LOVE. I’m especially loved a purple smokey eye, which somehow suits me really well. I never thought it would, especially with pale skin, blue eyes, and almost-ginger hair.

 photo 2015-01-24 11.37.11_zpssizddiyt.jpgThe quality is definitely on a par with the Naked Palettes, with even the matte sades being creamy (although slightly less so than the others). I’ve had zero fall out, and they are ridiculously easy to blend. Nice and long lasting too, no need to re-apply if I’m going out after work…I find with the lighter shades of Naked 3, I need to add a little more after about 8 hours.

 photo 2015-01-24 11.36.04_zpsgxmc969g.jpgI really think this palette deserves more hype than it’s getting. It’s the perfect palette for a trip away as it covers everything you will need. Neutrals, greys, purples, blues, even a pink tone. I have no doubt it will suit most skin tones, and the quality is fantastic. This is definitely a palette worth the splurge and, if you are put off by a completely neutral palette, I’d highly recommend this.

Have you tried anything from Smashbox? Do you save up your Boots Points to treat yourself?

Lifestyle: Mother Clucker Fried Chicken

I have a little secret: KFC is my guilty pleasure. I don’t have it often, and even when I do there’s not much of it (a Boneless Banquet for One at most, but generally a Lunchbox – crispy strips are the best!) but I do love it. I could quite happily go without fries, there’s something about the heavily seasoned, juicy, slightly-greasy-but-still-crunchy chicken that really does it for me. Homemade is great (see my recipe) but admittedly doesn’t have the naughty factor that I start craving every few months.

 photo IMG_0650_zpse1df98cd.jpgBUT, dare I say, I think I’ve found something better. After heading to the Art of the Brick (a pretty fabulous art exhibition made of LEGO – seriously go if you find yourself with time between now and January) myself and boyfriend were rather hungry, a little chilly, and getting damp from the lovely November weather. But hey! Street food 100 yards away from the exhibition can’t be turned down. Despite the half-mile walk past warm places to a cash machine and back again… After a debate between a filthy (in a good way) looking cheeseburger and some kind of Venezuelan goodies, we saw this little van. The converted US Army ambulance houses Mother Clucker Fried Chicken. Mac’n’Cheese drew us in, but we added some crispy strips to share. And we are glad we did!

 photo 8872e244-8ec3-4586-bd14-edb2ef17a5d7_zps97de56be.jpgThe Mac was damn good to be honest. Creamy, but weirdly light (though I still left a good amount – it was huge!). Not exactly crispy on top, but there was a contrast between soft pasta, gooey sauce, and more cheese. Decent seasoning, and a great kick from the chillies scattered in the sauce (which were still fresh and juicy too). I need to experiment with adding fresh chilli to a mac’n’cheese, it adds a great freshness. I’m sure you can expect a recipe soon!

 photo IMG_0651_zpsc9c9c5bf.jpgThe chicken, the main event, was just as good. A really decent kick from what tasted like far more than 11 herbs and spices, I reckon KFC would taste bland after these. In fact, there was a huge need for a nearby drink, these combined with the Mac’n’Cheese provided a pretty hefty kick to the back of the throat. Not a hint of sogginess, some parts were even too crunchy – though these served well as a mac-scoop (I’m a classy lady!). The meat was insanely juicy, ridiculously tender. I never wanted it to end. Apart from when I got full, and even then I debated saving it to eat cold a few hours later (I didn’t, I wanted to go to Liberty’s and decided they wouldn’t appreciate fried chicken being carried in).

For the amount of food, the price wasn’t tooooo bad. Street food isn’t cheap anymore, it’s too trendy for that. Spare change isn’t going to cut it, this lunch of a mac each, a portion of crispy chicken and a drink cost a potentially eye-watering £17. But it was damn good, filling, warming, and I’d happily pay it again. KFC, however, now feels overpriced. Currently found at The Truman Brewery, I highly recommend you sniff this van out!

Now I’ve spilled my secret, what’s your guilty pleasure when it comes to food? Any street food vans you recommend?

Recipe: Vegetarian Stew & Dumplings for Really Hungry Students

One of my favourite meals is a stew, casserole or hearty chunky soup. They are easy to cook, freeze really well, and are comforting and relatively healthy. They don’t have to take forever to cook up to – yes, a good beef stew takes a day in a slow cooker, but I can generally whip up a sausage casserole, chorizo soup or vegetarian stew in under an hour after work. A chop of veg, a shake of various seasonings, a splash of whatever I can find, quick stir and then it’s ready to simmer whilst I get on with whatever else I have to do. It sits virtually unattended, filling the kitchen with delicious smells, and is ready to go with just a bit of veg, some bread, or perhaps some mash if I’m feeling up to a little more prep.

 photo 8eb920f9-190a-4501-bd12-c499cd158fae_zps0da92cb2.jpgWhen I was offered a copy of The Really Hungry Vegetarian Student Cookbook to review, I was initially a little dubious. I’m far from a vegetarian. I don’t actually eat a lot of meat, but I do tend to throw a little bit in most meals to add flavour. A bit of chorizo in a stew makes it (to me) seem far more special. Some bacon sprinkled in a Mac’n’Cheese just finishes it off. I also like to use meaty stock in any ‘veggie’ dishes I do make as I think it just works a little better. But anyway, I challenged myself to cook a recipe strictly from this book. Or as much as I could, as vegetarians do like their tomatoes! I went for this veggie stew, as I had everything in my kitchen already. Bar veggies sausages, which I just omitted.

 photo baa46a0e-84ce-44de-bfbe-8221bf830138_zps71e5ed45.jpgThis stew is actually pretty amazing. Filling, super hearty, super healthy, and the gravy is pretty damn good considering there’s no meat involved. But it wouldn’t be cheap to make. As a student I wouldn’t tend to cook with wine, and I also only have balsamic vinegar in because I’m on placement year and thus earning a good wage. I found this a regular problem with this book, recipes seemed to require a few expensive additions, or some complicated cooking (too much deep frying, the idea terrifies me!). Having said that, it has some lovely breakfast ideas, some great sandwich combinations, and I’m working towards adapting their baked beans recipe to be tomato-free.

 photo db90df76-cb13-491f-9b3d-e188189e3c92_zps9a4b77d6.jpgI’m not going to repeat the recipe on here (for fear of copyright legalities!) but I will hint towards it. It’s super easy, frying off onions, adding seasoning and wine, boiling off the alcohol, adding other veg, stock and simmering away in the oven. Dumplings are made from butter (not suet, as is my usual) and flour, with plenty of herbs. Add salt and pepper too, which the book omitted. Then plop into the stew and bake until golden. The dumplings needed longer cooking in my opinion, but the ratio of double the flour to butter was spot on. It made a heart meal, that needed nothing else apart from some green veg. I felt super virtuous eating it, and knowing I had five portions of the stew ready for quick dinners and microwaved lunches in the coming weeks.

 photo 255218db-f225-47a7-8b8a-16b8a33170aa_zps7b5db913.jpgIf you’re a vegetarian bored of your meals, or simply want to get more veg into your diet, then I highly recommend this cookbook. If you’re looking for a budget option, it’s probably not for you. But its a cookbook I will continue to refer to you for a good few years. Despite having far too many of the things…

Do you eat vegetarian food? What’s your favourite veggie recipe?

Review: Flava-It With Meat Lust (& THE Crispiest Wings)

 photo 2014-09-22182550_zps73fc0616.jpgI love chicken wings. If I wasn’t so self-conscious about making a mess they would be my go-to order in Nandos, and I’m desperate to try some of the London-based wing restaurants too (damn you allergy!). When Meat Lust got in touch about sending me over some marinades, a quick check revealed they’d advise against me having them, but would my family like a try. Fine. I was hugely jealous, until I got the parcel and read the packet. Turns out only the Original BBQ flavour contained tomato, with the three other flavours I was sent being Chloe-safe. I was over the moon, my parents not so as I promptly snuck them back to my Surrey hideaway.

 photo 2014-09-22182613_zps30cd5dea.jpg photo 2014-09-22193827_zps8790a955.jpgBuffalo wings* were the first to be tried out, and I think this was my favourite flavour. Not too sweet, not too spicy, but still a flavourful kick. These marinades are super simple. Scatter the powder over the meat (I rubbed it in slightly) and leave for 10 minutes. That’s it. I would recommend leaving for longer if you have time, but 10 minutes is perfectly fine if that’s all you’ve got. Now for crispy wings here’s a tip I’ve stolen from good ole’Jamie Oliver (probably one of my favourite chefs, as I just love his recipes). A tablespoon of medium ground polenta over your wings before they go in the oven, and they will be crispy, with a texture almost as though they have been deep-fried. I’ve recently been using some Maizemeal* from Real Foods (an amazing site for health foods and a whole range of toiletries and other exciting things. I like to browse it on a Sunday afternoon over cake and tea…). Super quality, crunch and flavour, superior to any I’ve bought from a supermarket. Bake the wings for 30 minutes, turn and bake for another 20. Super crispy skin, moist flesh. The may look a little black in my photo, but they weren’t far from burnt. Utter perfection, although the tray was a bugger to clean.

Louisiana BBQ was my least favourite flavour, far too sweet for my liking, although it did go pretty well with the pork ribs. Ghost Chilli was exceptionally hot, but really good too. I think I would have loved this flavour had the wings been cooked a little better – the lack of polenta made them a little greasy (sorry dad!). No pictures of these two as I was nearly too ill to eat, let alone photograph my food. But despite my general disease, the food still tasted good. I’ll definitely be picking up a few more of these marinades for next summer! I will say however that the photos on the packets aren’t really representative of what you end up with – they definitely weren’t any sauces produced, but delicious all the same.

Disclaimer: I was sent four marinades to review (one of which has killer tomato in, and has been left with family to trial), but this doesn’t alter my opinions at all. I was also (separately) sent the polenta/maizemeal from Real Foods, and again my opinion is unbiased.

What’s your favourite flavour to marinade meat in? Will you be trying any Meat Lust products?

Student Summer: Logitech Speaker Adapter* (Sneaky Money Saving Tip!)

Now, speakers aren’t an essential bit of kit to take to university, but when you come to second year and living off campus it’s a good idea if you have a set in your house. They are great for parties, but also improving the sound quality during a film night, or even (in my case a few years ago) when the speakers on your laptop break. Now, wireless ones are best, purely because it doesn’t matter if you need to use the device, and its easy to pair up other people’s devices too. But wireless ones are often more expensive, and cheap ones aren’t too reliable. Here’s where Logitech come in.

 photo 2014-09-10175827_zps9e95ae3c.jpgThey’ve created a wonderful little device that converts your wired speakers into wireless. I won’t pretend to understand how it works (though in reality it’s probably quite simple) but it works well.

 photo 2014-09-10175524_zps89d9f317.jpgI was lucky enough to be spent some gorgeous (is that a legitimate way to describe speakers?!) speakers* as I didn’t have any, just so I could test the adapter* out! The speakers work really well, I’ve always loved Logitech’s pieces anyway, and the build and sound quality of these is second to none. From what I’ve tried at least!

 photo 2014-09-10175510_zpsc050e64e.jpgWhen using the adapter the sound quality does drop slightly, but it’s only noticeable if you go from one to the other virtually immediately. It definitely doesn’t detract from whatever you’re playing. My only niggle with the adapter is that I’d love it to match my speakers – the white and black look is a little strange in my opinion! But I keep the speakers out on show, and only use the adapter when needed so it’s not a huge deal. Something to consider if you’re buying both at the same time though.

 photo 2014-09-10175806_zpsf591d325.jpgIn terms of whether to pick up an adapter for your existing speakers or buy a whole new set, I would wholeheartedly recommend the adapter. Probably cheaper in the long-run, as I find cheaper wireless speakers just aren’t great. Definitely something worth picking up!

 photo 2014-09-10175854_zps77f2e7c7.jpgDisclaimer: I was sent the speakers and adapter for the purpose of this review, but I genuinely enjoy using them and do think the adapter is a great bit of kit for students! I also love how the speakers don’t out of place in my new shabby-chic room! And now I shall stop writing…and dance around the room to what is probably excessively-loud Bon Jovi. Yep, weird music taste alert!

What music do you listen to?

Student Summer: Logitech Wireless Mouse Review*

I find that a laptop is pretty much essential for university, even for a maths-related degree. Yes, I hardly use it, it gets more use for blogging, but when I do need it for coursework I’m pretty much glued to it for a few weeks. A desktop for me wouldn’t cut it as I know there are occasions where I need access to it on campus, so laptop it is.

However a laptop isn’t ideal for someone, like me, who has Repetitive Strain Injury tendencies. Since suffering badly over exam period I’ve been prone to really painful twinges (in my other hand) if I use my laptop too often, so I started looking for a decent wireless mouse. Imagine my delight when Logitech contact me wondering if I’d want to review some products – the answer to my problems!
 photo 7d050e03-4e75-4ebf-8cb2-c902c1ef5039_zps00cf9003.jpg

After a great deal of discussion they sent out the mouse they felt would suit me most, the T630 Ultrathin Touch Mouse*. I have to say, I love it!

 photo 0173c082-ed07-4c07-94e1-8c03bde0f1e9_zps995d0527.jpgIts small and lightweight; I can take this to work and pack in my pocket if I need to. It doesn’t aggravate any pain in my wrist, hand or fingers, and best of all its incredible easy to set up. I did have to order a Bluetooth Adapter as for some reason my laptop seems to have forgotten it’s got one built in, but other than that getting this mouse good to go was painfree. Quite literally!

 photo 1ed69b5c-3422-4edc-aff9-fdef090ac401_zps470ae2a0.jpgIt is pricy for a mouse, but the quality is so, so high. If you do a lot of tedious work using a touchpad I’d highly recommend investing in a mouse. And if you are going to be using it often, I’d go for the best you can afford; I’ve actually gone through several cheaper ones throughout university so you’ll be getting your monies worth. Maybe not a university essential, but it’s an item that’s pretty damn important to me! So whilst it is a luxury item, its also something thats necessary for me!

Disclaimer: The mouse was sent to me for the purpose of this review. I received no monetary compensation, and all opinions are my own – I genuinely loved this product!

What necessary ‘luxuries’ do you use?

Beauty: Bargain Makeup Brushes* Review

 photo 2014-07-29175827_zpsc38abd80.jpgI’m always on the look out for cheap brushes; I love my Bodyshop brushes, but I’m desperate for some kind of buffing brush (too tight to pay out for a Real Techniques though!). When I heard Glow Beauty Shop were looking for bloggers to review some brushes, I jumped at the chance.

 photo 2014-07-29175417_zps30da0fd3.jpgI must say I was slightly disappointed at first; they arrived in a very battered envelope, and were also quite squished in. They were also quite smelly when I received them; a synthetic plastic smell that took a good few days airing to disappear to a level I felt comfortable with putting near my face. Problems aside, I’m actually really impressed!

 photo 2014-07-29175519_zps9b23450d.jpgThe first set I tried out was the little travel set I received; I unfortunately can’t find a link online, but if anyone spots one I’d be so grateful if you could point me in the direction! This is possibly one of the best quality travel sets I’ve tried; impossibly soft, but with a decent range too. The biggest brush is actually big enough to apply more than a stripe of powder, the eyeshadow brushes are fluffy enough to actually blend. The pouch is pretty practical too; I often prefer black to patterns as I’m fussy about colours/floral etc…

 photo 2014-07-29175633_zpsfafdab78.jpg photo 2014-07-29175647_zps11f573e1.jpgMy feelings lasted to the second brush set too; the Value 12 Piece set which at around £4 at the moment (£6.25 full price) is just amazing. Some great quality brushes; the foundation brush is flat and tradition as opposed to buffing, but its a little fatter than ones I’ve used previously – I’m liking it so far! I’m majorly impressed with the quality of the handles; too many brushes have light, flimsy ones but these are strong, sturdy and a lot longer than I’m used to too. I’ve seen little shedding from all of the brushes; the only one I’m slightly unimpressed with is the fan brush as it arrived with a lot of hairs out of place…but I’m not sure what these are used for anyway!

 photo 2014-07-29175827_zpsc38abd80.jpgIf you’re looking to start building a makeup brush collection, or you just want a cheap travel set, then I’d highly recommend these; just give them a good airing and wash before their first use! A side note here: Happy 25 Wedding Anniversary to my parents, hope you have a lovely day!

What makeup brushes do you use?

Baking: Peanut Butter Jam Muffins

 photo 2014-08-03153439_zpsb87ffac8.jpgAnyone know what the difference is between a cupcake and a muffin? I always thought muffins were bigger, but it seems the pans in the shops (well, Wilkinsons, I’m not made of money!) are all the same size. I’ve decided cupcakes are iced, and muffins are appropriate breakfast food!

 photo 2014-08-03153516_zps2bb22f2a.jpgThese muffins would definitely back fabulous breakfasts…in fact I know they do as that’s exactly what I had this morning. A cup of tea (or three), a banana, and a muffin. Yum yum. I seriously enjoyed getting my bake on over the weekend, I’ve recently moved into new accommodation for my placement year and was itching to play with the cooker! A huge improvement on student accommodation I have to say! Back to the muffins, and these do make relatively acceptable breakfast fare – especially good for one the go when I’ve snoozed turned off all my alarms. Went down well with the office too, though I’ve made a mental note that my boss is allergic to peanuts!

 photo 2014-08-03133923_zps750492ea.jpgI made these with another of the hand-stirred conserves I received from Mackays* – this time the raspberry one. Again I’m not 100% convinced this has the fruity flavour I’d want from a jam, but unlike the bakewell recipe it doesn’t matter too much here. You just want a nice fruity sweetness against the peanut!

I’ve moved towards cup measurements recently, as I’ve found it a lot easier to make up my own recipes using these quantities – the mathematical-geek part of me loves the ratios involved with baking…

Ingredients.

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup peanut butter – I used crunchy which added a fab texture
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp oil (which I forgot to add, hence mine were a littleeee dry)
  • Jam*

This is such an easy recipe; I love muffins as they really are throwing things into a bowl, a little mix, then bake. Couldn’t be simpler!

 photo 2014-08-03134622_zps1f5c7468.jpgMix your flour, sugar and baking powder together in a large bowl. You should probably sieve them, but I’m lazy and lacking in the sieve department right now…

 photo 2014-08-03134856_zps7d8ee533.jpg photo 2014-08-03135401_zpscc1a6e07.jpgAdd your peanut butter, and mix until it looks bread-crumby. This is probably the hardest part as p-butter is so sticky – I’d recommend using a knife and chopping motions.

 photo 2014-08-03135735_zps72a4188c.jpgMix together your egg, milk and oil in a jug, then pour into the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined.

 photo 2014-08-03140134_zpsc0db9850.jpg photo 2014-08-03140142_zpsed85ee81.jpgHalf fill twelve muffin cases (in your tray, of course!) with the mixture, then top with a small teaspoon of jam. Top with the rest of the batter mix, and smooth over so no jam is visible…or it bubbles up and burns…

 photo 2014-08-03142041_zps1cbd3aa6.jpg photo 2014-08-03142048_zps28b9e2e9.jpgBake at 180C for 15 minutes – they should be risen, golden, and give when pressed. And they should smell delicious too!

 photo 2014-08-03153439_zpsb87ffac8.jpgLet cool completely, as hot jam is not something you want to bite into. Enjoy for afternoon tea, or breakfast; hide them away for yourself, or leave unattended in the office – and enjoy the classic ‘peanut butter and jelly’ flavours in a muffin. Yum…

Have you baked anything recently?

 

Beauty: Bargain Makeup Storage*

I’ve lusted over other bloggers’ Muji drawers for far too long, but simply never been able to part with the cash. Its a lot of money, and they are actually quite big – I wasn’t sure if I actually had enough makeup to fill them! Plus with moving to and from university every year I just wasn’t prepared to take the risk of investing and then damaging them. So, Muji drawers out, where to next?

 photo 2014-07-29180423_zps898afa98.jpgI’ve mainly used the combination of makeup bags (Debenhams range is the best, in my opinion) and pretty mugs to store makeup in, so I was delighted when Viking asked me to choose some products from their site. I immediately honed in on what seemed to be Muji-dupes, in the form of the Osco Desktop Organiser. They do a slightly bigger version here, but I find that this is the perfect size. I’ve now got hold of two (only one came from Viking PR!) and think they look great on my shelves. Plus it seems to be just the right size for my makeup.

 photo 2014-07-29180428_zpsd8da3325.jpgThe only slight issue is that these aren’t very deep, so they won’t hold foundation bottles. I received the OSCO 5 Tube Pot* to hold my foundations, and it worked perfectly until the tallest tube suddenly snapped. Not sure why it did this, as it seemed strong – I’d still recommend it as I probably had thrown something in it too hard! The delivery from Viking was amazingly quick; I’d actually ordered from them a few times, so it’s definitely a site I love. Anyway, where else can you buy 1kg of Aero Hot Chocolate*?!

 photo 2014-07-29180439_zps50ce21e2.jpgAs for the rest of my makeup storage? My foundations are currently looking clean, so they are out on a shelf alongside my perfume and room spray. Any brushes and really regularly reached for things like mascara sit in a Cath Kidston mug; I love these as they look great and are a large size. Some people say they are expensive, but really I’ve always got a lot of use out of them; the size makes them perfect for storage and hot chocolates!
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How do you store your makeup?