Wednesday, 11 December 2019

FOOD || SPICED ORANGE HOT CHOCOLATE RECIPE (AD)


*This post is sponsored and includes a gifted product.

I'm probably the biggest fan of chocolate and spice at the same time haha. I can't go a day without having something sweet as a treat, but I also have to have some sort of spice in my meals too so I thought why not combine the two? So I came up with my own little twist on a regular orange hot chocolate which I hope you will love as much as I do.

You will need:
Hot chocolate powder
Orange zest or essence
Ground cinnamon (I use Schwartz)
Milk of your choice

Method:

1. Measure out a mug (or two if you are treating someone else) of milk and pour it into a pan. Heat up the milk on slow heat and gently bring to boil.

2. While the milk is heating up, grate a tablespoon worth of orange zest (around half an orange) and add into the pan. You can add half a teaspoon of orange essence into the milk instead if you don't have any fresh oranges available.

3. Add 3 heaped teaspoons of the hot chocolate powder and half a teaspoon of cinnamon into the boiling milk and turn down the heat.


4. Stir the mixture constantly until it is fully heated. I like my hot chocolate very hot to warm up in winter so I usually keep it on the heat for 5 minutes after boiling.

5. Pour half the drink into your favourite mug and add any extras you desire. I usually add a generous helping of whipped cream and marshmallows with orange zest and cinnamon sprinkled on top.

Tip: If you are using fresh orange zest and don't like pulp-like texture then make sure you strain the mixture through a sieve before serving to ensure your hot drink is smooth.



This is my favourite hot drink to have during Winter. I find that it warms me up from the very first sip I take, but it's also quite filling so makes a great dessert or breakfast for all chocolate lovers.

As this post is a collaboration with Schwartz, I wanted to clarify that I buy all of my seasonings from this brand anyway. I believe that Schwartz offers the best quality and variety of herbs and spices on the market. You can purchase the Schwartz Ground Cinnamon spice that I have used in my recipe here.

*This post is sponsored and includes a gifted product, however, all my opinions are genuine and my own. This post does not include affiliate links.

What is your favourite Wintery drink? Have you ever made a spiced orange hot chocolate? Let me know if you're going to try my recipe!

Lots of love,
Maya xo

Friday, 29 November 2019

BLOGMAS 2019 || GIFT GUIDE FOR MEN

Every year I struggle with finding what to get for my partner, my dad and my brother for Christmas (and birthdays). I always want it to be a thoughtful yet practical present that they will like, and nothing rubbish they will open and force a smile at.

This year I have put together a modern gift guide for the men in your life based on their interests and different budgets. I have decided to go for 5 different interests: gamer, sports fan, animal lover, musician and outgoer. I know that I can pick at least one item from every list for my boyfriend, dad AND brother and they are all different ages starting from 11. If I can find something for my loved ones, then I'm sure you can too!


1. GIFTS FOR A GAMER:

- The newest Xbox/PlayStation console
- Nintendo Switch
- Personalised controller - Scuf or ControllerModz
- T-shirt of their favourite character from a game


2. GIFTS FOR A MUSIC LOVER:

- Favourite band t-shirt
- An instrument
- Tickets to see their favourite singer/band
- A microphone and audio set


3. GIFTS FOR A SPORTS FAN:

- Men's tracksuit set
- Trainers
- Tickets to see their favourite sports club
- Favourite sports club t-shirt


4. GIFTS FOR ANIMAL LOVERS:

- An online animal adoption (to help save endangered species)
- Donating money to an animal shelter in their name
- Possibly adopt a pet from a shelter (if they can really look after it)
- A onesie representing their favourite animal


5. GIFTS FOR OUTGOERS:

- Cinema gift card
- Restaurant gift card
- A weekend away
- An escape room experience

*This post is sponsored but all opinions are honest and my own.


Is there anything else you'd add to this list? I hope it helps with finding the best gift for the men in your life!

Lots of love,
Maya xo

Saturday, 23 November 2019

AW19 | FEMME LUXE CLOTHING REVIEW


How irritating is it when you’re trying to find the perfect outfit for a special occasion and feel like you’ll never find what you’re looking for?! I know exactly how it feels, hence why I’m so open to trying out different brands and online retailers to test out their quality of clothing (free clothes to test out are always great).

I was recently contacted by FemmeLuxe to become their ambassador and try out their clothing range. I have picked out 4 different items of clothing which I’m going to review and style for you in this post.
If you haven’t heard of Femme Luxe before it is an online clothing brand which focuses on influencer inspired fashion based in Manchester. The brand states that ’Femme Luxe is a bold, forward thinking, influencer inspired fashion brand based in the cutting-edge city of Manchester. We aim to deliver the most on trend pieces that will really make you stand out, no matter what the occasion. With everything from off-duty looks to a glam girl’s night out dress, cute co-ords and bangin’ blazer dresses, to luxe loungewear and stand out wardrobe staples, our trend led #luxegal’s know how to style any piece.


Outfit Number 1:


I loved the look of this Pink Oversized Shirt Dress, I thought it was so classy yet stylish and the colour is perfect for all Mean Girls fans. Everyone should own a shirt dress in their wardrobe as it's an effortless staple outfit for any occasion. Drinks with workmates? Date night? Christening? There's a shirt dress for all occasions and I believe that this one is one of them. I picked the powder pink dress as I thought it would compliment my skin tone well (it is a little bit too light for me unless I fake tan). The material is very lightweight, so you won't get hot in the summer, but do make sure that you wear nude underwear with it as you don't want anything showing through. As I am only 5ft3 I thought the length of the dress was perfect for me, however, I would recommend sizing up for more length or wearing this as a shirt with a pair of faux leather leggings/trousers.


Outfit Number 2:



This outfit is so adorable that it'll even make an 'Insta-Baddie' look sweet. I am in love with this Mesh Puffy Sleeve Top, I think it'll be a great all-rounder this season. It can be so difficult to try and find a nice top to go with any skirts, jeans or trousers but I think that this is one of those that looks great paired up with anything, especially these super cute Rose Vinyl Leggings. Now, I don't usually wear vinyl material clothes, but I really liked the way the leggings synched in on my waist and the fact I could just wear them out paired up with pretty much any top. If you’ve never worn vinyl clothes before then beware of the sound they make as you walk haha, I thought it sounded hilarious so it’s probably not the best choice to wear to the library, but it’ll be great for a night out! Next time I might go for a quieter alternative and try out a pair of faux leather leggings.


Outfit Number 3:


I was really excited for this to arrive as when I'm not at work I'm always at home in either loungewear or pyjamas because comfort is everything when you're at the ripe age of 23 (don't even ask). This Boxy Loungewear Set is something I never knew I needed until it arrived. I usually wear mismatched pyjamas or old leggings with oversized t-shirts, but this set is sort of glam which means I can comfortably wear it outdoors to different events just by accessorising slightly. This time I paired the co-rod with my nude boots from River Island and camel coat from Topshop. My only issue with this set is that the trousers don’t have a proper drawstring belt - it only has two tassels sewn onto the seam where the belt would usually be, which means that they don’t sit on my wait as well as I had hoped.

Overall, I found that the clothes came up a little bit small in size so I would suggest to size up a size or two when you order from Femme Luxe, but also take into consideration the lack of larger sizes as they only come up to size 12-14. I really enjoyed working with Femme Luxe and can't wait for any future collaborations.

*This post includes gifted items; however all my opinions are honest.

Have you shopped with Femme Luxe before? Which outfits do you like best? How would you style these outfits?

Lots of love,
Maya xo

Sunday, 6 October 2019

REVIEW || LANCOME HYPNOSE MASCARA & LANCOME BONUS TIME - IS THIS THE ONLY TIME YOU SHOULD PURCHASE LANCOME PRODUCTS?

United Kingdom


LancĂ´me is one of the most known and loved high-end beauty brands out there and there is a good reason for it. They sell their Hypnose mascara every 15 seconds across Europe and you can’t blame people for stocking up on this beauty.

I don’t want to give too much away from this review just yet so carry on reading for my opinion on this mascara and whether it’s worth your money.



The packaging:
I believe that the brand is known for its very luxurious and sleek packaging and this product does not disappoint. The mascara handle is narrow on the tip making it easy to grip and manoeuvre for the most precise application. I like holding the mascara by the tip to add on extra volume after applying the first coat.
The wand is quite thick with a lot of bristles for more precise application. The bristles are quite short which allows the wand to get very close to the lash line for a ‘false-lash with liner’ effect.

The formula:
The formula of the Hypnose mascara is different to most I’ve tried before as it applies absolutely beautifully from the first use up until the last, meaning that even when it dries out it still works just as well as it did the very first time I used it. The product doesn't feel sticky, it feels more smooth and creamy to touch (yes, I have touched the actual mascara to check the texture).

The longevity:
I have currently been using the travel size version of it which I received as a part of the free gift with purchase, and I must say it has lasted me nearly two months! I was told that a full-size mascara should be replenished every 8-10 weeks because of the hygiene reasons and best effect but it can usually last me around 4 months with daily use so I tend to pick up two every time they’re on gift! The product itself lasts all day/night long on my lashes and doesn't seem to wear off at all. Having very fair blonde lashes I find some mascaras difficult to cover my full lashes as no products ever seem to reach the roots of my lashes, but this mascara is definitely the best one I have tried so far that gently combs over my natural lash and defines my eyes without clumping.

The Overall Verdict:
Obviously, if you are reading this review then you are already considering whether to purchase the Hypnose mascara or not. Let me make this decision a lot easier for you - BUY IT. Try it out, if you don't like it or feel like it's not doing anything for you then return it back to the retailer, but I promise you that you will not be disappointed with this product. £25 might seem like a lot to spend on a mascara but this can last you up to 6 months which will only make it £4.30ish a month which will actually save you a lot of money as you don't need many coats of the product for the desired effect, but you might go through one drugstore mascara a month which will cost you £10-£12 a month.





Lancome Bonus Time - Gift with Purchase
To be honest with you, I didn't even know what 'gift with purchase' was until I started working in the beauty industry. I always assumed that high-end makeup brands never offered any samples or gifts, so I stayed within my budget and continued to purchase drugstore branded makeup. After finding out about the bonus time I was in shock because you could actually receive nearly £200 worth of free gift just by picking up your favourite products! I know I will most likely only purchase Lancome products when they have bonus time unless I run out of my beloved Hypnose mascara then I will just have to buy it anyway, but I know it's worth every penny!

I usually buy my makeup from House of Fraser in Nottingham as I want to support my friends and their businesses in the store. I believe that Lancome has bonus time twice a year - once in March and once in September. This year was the first year I bought enough Lancome items in one transaction to qualify for the free gift with my purchase. In March I bought two sets of the Hypnose mascara as I know how much I love the product and as the third item I bought the Honey Foaming Cleanser which melts makeup away (it's great).

As a free gift, I received:
- full-size Micellar water £23.50
- full-size Rose Sugar scrub £30
- travel size Hypnose mascara £8
- travel size Genifique serum £11
- sample size Teint Idole Ultra Wear foundation £5.50
- travel size La Vie Est Belle perfume £7
- travel size Absolue day cream £39
- travel size Absolue night cream £45
- travel size lipstick £10

More recently, in September, I purchased a Monsieur Big mascara set, Gel Eclat cleansing gel, and Creme Mousse foaming face wash. This time I already knew that I really liked the honey cleanser and thankfully it was a part of the free gift this time around so I thought I'd try something else.

As a free gift, I received:
- full-size Honey Foaming Cleanser £24
- full-size Hydra Zen Jelly mask £31
- travel size Hypnose mascara £8
- travel size Genifique serum £11
- sample size Teint Idole Ultra Wear foundation £5.50
- travel size Hydra Zen day cream £12
- travel size Hydra Zen night cream £13
- travel size comforting toner £8.50

I really hope that this post has helped you decide if Hypnose if the best mascara for you, I absolutely love it and I can't imagine myself replacing it with any other mascara, but I cannot wait to try the Monsieur Big mascara as this is my Mum's favourite.

Have you tried any of the products mentioned above? Would you recommend any other Lancome items for me to try for my next purchase?

Lots of love,
Maya xo

Thursday, 21 March 2019

REVIEW || PIXI BY PETRA EYE REFLECTIONS EYESHADOW PALETTES & EYE BRUSHES - REFLEX LIGHT AND NATURAL BEAUTY EYESHADOW PALETTES REVIEW




When I came home after a long day last week, my partner told me that I had a parcel delivered earlier that day and I couldn't believe my eyes and screamed when I saw a giant light green box with the label 'Pixi' written across it. Pixi is definitely a brand I love and have wanted to work with for years now! My dear friend Sophie from Life of Little Things introduced me to Pixi's Glow Tonic and I absolutely loved it - I can't wait to get my hands on the other ones, especially the milky lotion.



In the giant box that was delivered, I received two of the new eyeshadow palettes - Reflex Light & Natural Beauty - alongside 3 eyeshadow brushes in a very handy travel case. I have used the two palettes quite a few times since receiving them so have enough knowledge of the products for a full review.



This palette is definitely something I would pick up if I was browsing for some new makeup. The shades are gorgeous and very wearable, especially when paired with thick eyeliner, false lashes and a nude glossy lip. The shades swatched beautifully, and I know that a lot of the time an eyeshadow might swatch nicely but look patchy on the eye so I put this palette to a proper test.





My favourite shades have to be 3D Peach, Auburn Blaze, Vintage Gold and Antique Bronze. I found that these eyeshadows applied very easily with a flat shadow brush (I used MAC 248) or if you don’t own a flat brush then I’d suggest using your finger to apply for best results.

One thing this palette is definitely missing are matte shades for blending and transitioning the metallic colours. I do think that the shades will be great for cut creases as the pigmentation is very strong with a lot of shimmer. 



This palette is definitely a great choice for those who prefer a natural eye look. It’ll make a great gift for Mother’s Day along with the brush set. I particularly love the shades Metal Mauve and Rose Clay and use only those two shadows for a natural smokey-eye look for work.





I found that the matte shades in this palette were a little bit powdery and had some fall out so I would recommend either applying the shadows before the base or tap off any excess before blending. The pigmentation is very good, especially in metallic shades. I do think that this palette would be slightly better if it had a neutral transition shade to make blending a little bit easier, but I don’t mind too much as I use MAC’s Brule as a base for all my eyeshadows.

I highly recommend buying this palette if you’re only starting out with makeup and want a bit of everything from your palette. This one has a mixture of mattes, satins and shimmers with one metallic shade so it’s perfect for anyone wanting to learn new looks.




Unfortunately, the brush set isn’t available for sale and I don’t think you can buy the brushes separately at the moment either. I’m hoping that Pixi will bring this set out as I really like the pencil brush (E03) and the fluffy brush (E02) is amazing for applying highlighter. The small eyeshadow brush (E01) is great at applying eyeshadow to the bottom lash line but I find it a little bit too firm to use on my actual eyelid.

Overall, I have been really enjoying wearing these eyeshadows and know for a fact that I'll get much more wear out of them than some of my other palettes (e.g. Urban Decay Naked 2). I hope you've enjoyed my mini review - if you have any questions about these palettes then pop them in the comments section below & I'll get back to you as soon as I can!

*This post includes gifted items and affiliate links.

Have you tried any Pixi makeup products before? Do you have any recommendations?

Lots of love,
Maya xo
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