Simple Breakfast Ideas

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so here are two simple easy to rustle up recipes for you to sink your teeth into...

Up first is my favourite of the two - One cup pancakes, a classic Jamie Oliver recipe that requires no measuring, all you need is a mug. Here are the deets -
One cup of self raising flour
One cup of milk - you can use skimmed if you're being health conscious.
One large egg
Whisk the three ingredients well and heat a non stick frying pan, use a ladle to spoon the mixture into the pan, wait until you see little bubbles appearing on the batter and then flip over, cook for the same amount of time on the other side and you are done, this recipe makes a lot, definitely enough for two hungry people at breakfast time. I served mine with sliced banana and agave syrup and it was delicious.

Next is a real basic - scrambled eggs, this is definitely more of a mid week breakfast as it is super healthy and leaves you feeling full until lunchtime, I served mine with crispbread. All you need is -
Two eggs
One tablespoon of ketchup
A sprinkling of black pepper
A small hand full of spinach
Break the eggs into a bowl and whisk together, add the spinach, heat a non stick frying pan and add a little butter, next pour the mixture into the pan leaving it to cook for about thirty seconds, then slowly stir the mixture using a wooden spoon making sure the eggs are all cooked. Take off the heat and serve, easy! Top with your ketchup and sprinkle on the black pepper for added flavour.

What are your favourite recipes for breakfast time?

Caring for Sensitive Skin

Finding a cleanser for sensitive skin that is gentle yet effective can often be tricky, but recently I have been using The Body Shop's Aloe Vera Calming Cleanser for sensitive skin, read on for the full review...

After trying out the Skincare Diagnostic Tool on The Body Shop's website I was recommended the Aloe Cleanser and Toner as my skin shows signs of irritation and sensitivity - i.e dryness, tightness, redness etc. The gentle formula ensures your make up is removed effectively without causing any irritation, the community fair trade Aloe Vera soothes the skin and helps to calm down any redness. This calming cleanser also contains sorbitol an ingredient which helps the skin to retain its moisture making it feel hydrated and supple.

How to use - First I use an eye make up remover like Bioderma just to remove stubborn waterproof mascara, then I gently apply the Aloe cleanser onto dry skin massaging it down my neck and on my face, next I use The Body Shop's super soft facial cleansing brush in round circular motions, the soft bristles buff the skin removing dirt, make up and impurities revealing fresh, soft, cleansed skin.

After cleansing I like to tone my skin, recently my skin has been slightly de-hydrated, probably becuase the central heating is playing havoc with my skins moisture levels, so I have been reaching for The Body Shop's Vitamin E Hydrating Toner, this helps to inject moisture into my skin at the same time as cooling and removing any final traces of dirt and cleanser. Like the rest of the Vitamin E range this is packed with Wheatgerm Oil, an ingreadiant that protects the skin agaisnt pre-mature aging and for all you big city gals out there - pollution.

If like me your skin is sensitive I definitely recommend giving the Aloe Calming Cleanser a try, if you like products like the Avene Tolerance Extreme Cleansing Lotion (£14.50) then you will love this, there is a whole range dedicated to sensitive skin types, the soothing aloe gel is next on my shopping list, have you tried anything from The Body Shop's Aloe Vera range?

Disclaimer - Although I work for The Body Shop, the opinions expressed are all my own and unless stated the products mentioned were purchased with my own money.

The Effortless Topknot

Sometimes less is more and if you have gone for a dramatic look with your make up or your outfit is making a real statement a simple topknot is all that is needed. However this particaular style can sometimes be harder that it looks, and creating the effortless 'I just threw my hair up' kinda style takes a little prep...

First start with second day hair, from personal experiance freshly washed hair likes to slide around alot and is a little less managable. So your hair will need a refresh, for that I use Batiste's XXL Volume Dry Shampoo, this guarentees oil free hair and it gives that much needed volume boost which is essential for creating this look. I spray this into the roots of my hair and leave for a few seconds, then using my fingers I gently rub it in making sure all the powder is absorbed, if your hair is super dark you might want to consider a coloured dry shampoo as this will help you to avoid the 'grey' root look that the original formula can often give.

Once you have freshened up your roots then you can look to add volume to the rest of your hair, I like to use a dry texturising spray like the Bumble and Bumble Dryspun thickening spray but if you are looking for a budget option then the Charles Worthington Dry Texturising Spray also works wonders. Also a backcombing brush can be a great way to  achieve thickness, gently tease and the roots to create more volume and texture.

Once your hair starts to resemble a birds nest with all the backcombing and thickening then you can begin to form the topkot, tip head up side down to secure into a tight high ponytail using a hair tie, don't worry that it looks too pulled back we will fix that later, next begin wrapping the hair around the hair tie and secure with hair grips, try to do this in an organic, messy way, the more 'thrown up' it looks the more effortless it will appear. If it is looking too neat loosen the bun slightly by pulling out strands of hair. Lastly pull out hair to frame the face and give the hair that is pulled back more volume.

Finally spray with a good hairspray to keep the topknot in place and you are good to go! Will you be trying out this simple look?

Coming Soon: Benefit's Roller Lash

Volume? Check. Length? Check. Curl? Check. Does Benefit's new Roller Lash Mascara really do it all?

After trying Benefit's They're Real Mascara a few months back I found the formula just wasn't for me, my natural lashes are long and often reluctant to curl so when I read that Benefit were launching a new mascara called Roller Lash I knew it was one I needed to try. Luckily Elle Magazine collaborated with Benefit and the March issue came with a lovely sample of the new release, I often find that I either love or hate mascaras so being able to get my hands on a sample is a great saving money exercise!

The packaging of this is beyond cute, clearly inspired by 50's hair rollers - the pink textured handle of the full size mascara allows the user to have a good grip on the wand as well as looking chic. Benefit are always on point with the design of their packaging. 

Now lets get down to the formula - It's lightweight, water resistant, and contains pro vitamin B5 and Serin which are known for their lash conditioning benefits, it really lifts the lashes and adds volume and the jet black shade is such a dramatic look. I find that using eyelash curlers before applying this mascara helps to curl to stay in place. The small easy to use 'hook n' roll' brush allows you to grab every lash giving you a wide awake look at the same time as setting a curve and separating the lashes.

The formula promises to keep your lashes curled for twelve hours, a bold statement that I just don't think the mascara itself lives up to but hardly a problem if like me you only need it to last the working day. A great beauty tip I did see was to apply this mascara and leave it to dry and then add a layer of Benefit's Lengthening They're Real Mascara on top to give it that false lash effect - this is perfect if your lashes are naturally short!

Will you be trying this when it launches? 

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Design:Maira Gall.