Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Chocolate-Topped Banana Cake

For my brother's birthday last week I baked him a chocolate-topped banana cake - using a Nigella Lawson recipe. The cake was a hit with my family so I thought that I would share the recipe with you.

- 350g plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 250g unsalted butter
- 250g white sugar
- 3 medium bananas
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
- 30 milliliters water
- 2 tbsp golden syrup
- 50g dark brown sugar
- 175g milk chocolate
- Strawberries (optional)

- Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F and line and grease a tin.
- Mix the flour and raising agents into a bowl and set aside.
- Put the softened butter into a different bowl and beat until smooth. Add the sugar to the mixture.
- Next add the peeled bananas, broken into chunks and mix till incorporated, then add the vanilla extract.
- Now add the eggs, one by one, alternating with the dry ingredients, mixing all the while, until everything is used up and you have a finished batter.
- Pour this into your prepared tin and bake for around 50 minutes - but do start checking at 40 minutes.
- Leave to cool before unmoulding the cake.
- Combine the water, golden syrup and sugar in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve before putting over a low heat. Don't stir once it's on the heat. Let it come to the boil and then take it off the heat. 
- Add the chopped chocolate to the pan, swirling it around so that it's covered by the hot liquid. Leave to melt for a few minute, then whisk to combine.
- Straightaway, pour over the cooled cake, letting it drip down the sides, using a spatula to help ease it over the top as needed. 
- Finally, I used the excess chocolate mixture to cover some strawberries in chocolate and decorate round the side of the cake. 

Have you been baking anything recently?

Monday, 23 May 2016

L'Oreal Infallible Sexy Balm

From top to bottom: 103 As If I, 111 Go Pretty Or Go Home, 203 Yala Yolo

If you follow my Instagram account (@emmaboughtwhat), you will know that I treated myself to three of the new L'Oreal Infallible Sexy Balms. I couldn't resist a 3 for 2 offer! I've been wearing them nearly every day since I picked them up so I thought that I would share my opinion of them with you.

Firstly, the shades that I picked up were; 103 As If I, 111 Go Pretty Or Go Home, and 203 Yala Yolo. As If I is a nude shade, which just enhances my natural lip colour so I can use this as an every day lipstick. Go Pretty Or Go Home is a bright pinky purple colour that would be great for summer if you want to sport a bright lip. Yala Yolo is more pigmented than the other two lipsticks (because it's from the bold range and the other two are from the sheer range) - it's a bright red colour and I like to wear it when I've got minimal eye makeup.

Usually I go for a matte lipstick and I've surprised myself by how much I like these moisturising balms! It feels like there's nothing on my lips when I'm wearing these lipsticks, and they're not sticky at all. The fact that the tips of these lipsticks are pointed makes them easy to apply precisely; you could use a lip liner if you want to make your lips more defined but it's not a necessity with these. L'Oreal say that these lipsticks last up to 12 hours, however, I'd say they last for around 4 hours. Yala Yolo lasted a bit longer than the others because it's a bold colour, and it did leave a tint on my lips but it wasn't as noticeable as when I first applied it. Having to apply the other shades when they rubbed off was a bit inconvenient, however, my lips didn't start to feel dry.

Overall, I'm really impressed with these lipsticks and I think that all of the shades available are perfect for summer. Have you tried these lipsticks yet?

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer

Sorry that there has not been a blog post in a while - I've been super busy with uni exams, but I have finished them now (yay!) so I'm turning my full attention towards my blog. I've got lots of exciting posts planned for over summer and I thought that I would start it off today with a review of a very popular highlighter; The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer.

I must confess that I've never tried any of The Balm's products before - shocking I know! However, I have heard plenty of positive comments about the brand, and in particular this highlighter. The packaging for this highlighter is rather entertaining; it reminds me of Soap & Glory products because they both have a comedic aspect to their packaging. Also, a mirror has been included in the compact which is really useful for when you're travelling or on holiday. What I didn't realise before buying this highlighter is that it can also be used as a shimmer or eyeshadow, which I love because it's a beautiful golden shade. Compared to the highlighter that I normally use, which is from the Sleek Face Contour Kit, the Mary-Lou Manizer is more pigmented and more of a champagne colour. The colour of this highlighter is perfect for creating a glowing summery look - I apply it above my cheek bones, on my brow bones, down my nose, and on my cupid's bow - and it stays put for hours, so I don't need to worry about reapplying it whilst I'm out.

I have yet to find anything negative to say about this highlighter! Have you tried the Mary-Lou Manizer before? What is your favourite highlighter?

Sunday, 1 May 2016

April Favourites

Another month has gone by already - April felt like it went by even quicker than any of the other months! So I have a selection of favourites to share with you...

My first favourite is this Airtex Crop Top from Topshop. I found it quite difficult to show this top properly in the photo so I've put the link to it on the Topshop website for you. Black is the colour that I chose, but it's also available in white, blue, and pink. I thought that this crop top would be perfect to wear in the summer with a bralet underneath or on the beach over the top of a bikini.

Something else that I've been loving this month is the Real Techniques Deep Cleansing Gel. This cleanser removed makeup from my brushes better than anything I've used before, and it smells great too! The only problem with this cleanser is that it seemed to struggle to remove all of the foundation from my Real Techniques Expert Face Brush.

I received a tester of the Benefit's It Potent! Eye Cream when I purchased the Benefit POREfessional Primer. I've been applying this under my eyes every morning for the last couple of weeks and it has definitely improved the dark circles. This cream also promises to help restore elasticity and firmness - which is particularly important as you get older.

My next favourite is an Eyelash Curler from Boots. I had never used an eyelash curler before (crazy I know!); I usually buy mascaras that promise to give my lashes some curl. However, I'm so glad that I bought this because it gives my eyelashes so much curl and lift, which makes my mascara look better and my eyes look wider.

The La Roche Posay Serozinc has featured in many blog posts over the last year or so, so I decided to give it a try for myself. This toner is aimed at oily, blemish-prone skin. It leaves skin looking matte and pores feeling tighter. Serozinc doesn't dry out my skin, and it's so easy to use because you just spray it on and then dab off any excess.

My final favourite is the Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream. I've been using it every evening as a nighttime moisturiser. This cream is very hydrating, but it also sinks into the skin quickly and doesn't make skin look greasy. A little of this cream goes a long way so the 50ml tub is going to last me a very long time!

What products have you been enjoying in April?

P.S. I have recently created an Instagram account for my blog (@emmaboughtwhat) - there's a link to it down the side of my blog, so go check it out! I'm aiming to post photos regularly after my uni exams.