Friday, August 30, 2013

Barry M review!

"I am weird, you are weird. Everyone in this world is weird. One day two people come together in mutual weirdness and fall in love." - Dr. Seuss

'Barry M' nail polish review!

Hello wonders! 
I have returned with another Barry M nail polish review as one of my very first posts on my blog was a review on the 'Blueberry - Gelly' and 'Station Road - Textured' nail polishes and I thought, why not create another one as since then my collection has grown and is still growing! I just love these new colours from Barry M's recent collection and so here I am to shower you with all things nails and colour!

My current Barry M effects collection:
  • PINK - Gelly
  • GREEN BERRY - Gelly
  • PAPAYA - Gelly
  • KEY LIME - Gelly
  • BLUEBERRY - Gelly
  • STATION ROAD - Textured
  • RIDLEY ROAD - Textured
  • BLACK MAGIC - Crackle

Below I have taken screen shots from Barry M's website of all the colours from the 'Gelly, Textured and Crackled' range, which one is your favourite?!




Other Barry M nail effects available to buy:
  • Sequin
  • Confetti
  • Chameleon
  • Magnetic
  • Croc 
  • Foil

At a slight purse friendly price of £3.99, these nail polishes are worth every penny! I always find myself purchasing beauty products from drugstores when there is a '3 for 2' deal on as it's always satisfying when receiving another product for free! Of course these products are available all year round, the deals are more limited, but when you need nail varnish, you need nail varnish!

On with the review!

Where to start, these Gelly nail polishes are my absolute favourite! One of the great perks of these polishes is that you only need to apply about two coats and you don't need a clear topcoat! The Gelly effect adds a great shine to your nails and lasts a long time before starting to chip! There is nothing worse than buying brand new nail varnish and having it chip within the first 10 minutes! 

The colours of the Gelly's are so vibrant and add a touch of summer to any outfit. I love how nails can accessorise an outfit, the colours I currently own are my favourites from the collection! I am still keen to try Prickly Pear the soft pastel colours add a bold eye-catching look that is oh so lovely!

Textured/ Crackle:
My first ever Barry M effects purchase was the Black Magic crackle, this is my third bottle, I just love the stuff! Apply the crackle polish over a bold undercoat colour (a strong pink or blue always looks groovy!) It's super easy and effective, great if you are feeling lazy or in a hurry to create an eye-catching look!

I was so intrigued to try out the textured effect polishes, I wanted to try the yellow as I always find yellow is a risky nail polish to purchase as I find myself applying 100's of coats for the yellow to be bold and effective. However this yellow is marvelous! Only need two coats and a bumpy texture comes along with it! I really like the look these two textured colours leave on my nails, these soft colours add a hint of summer and have your fingertips smiling!

Nail varnish tower, a-hoy!

Anywhos enough with the mumble and on with the colour!
Below I have demonstrated each colour of the nail polish using my acrylic nail wheel!

These nail wheels are super handy when wanting to test out colours/ designs. A great platform for practicing and getting inspired!

I hope you enjoyed this post! I will be doing more nail-art related posts in the future as I love, love, love to dress up my nails with gems and patterns, and that I'd quite like to share with you all!

If you're perhaps still 'uh-ming and ah-ing' about purchasing any of the Barry M nail polishes, then I can assure you that you will be addicted from the first time the colour lands on your nails. 

Let me know your favourite colours and if you've tried Barry M effects too! 

Have a colourful-filled day!
With love, Charlotte 

Handy Links!

*Disclaimer* All products mentioned in this post have all been paid for by myself, all reviews are my own.*

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Art supplies haul!

"The odds of going to the store for a loaf of bread and coming out with only a load of bread are three billion to one." - Erma Bombeck

I'm going to start this post by saying "oops"..
There's a slight chance I may have gotten a tad carried away whilst shopping out in Spain during my most recent visit! Although to back myself up, I'm not aloud in the sun for 4 months (ruddy skin tablets!) so what better to do than shop my sunbathing sorrows away..

My guilty pleasure shop in Spain is this huuuuge Chinese shop which literally sells things from paper to bouncing donkeys, bikes, lunch boxes, clothes, books, plumbing pipe? Everything, this shop is like almost hypnotising and overwhelming in a "ooo what stuff don't I need but I now can't live without" kind of way.

So as I'm off to Uni in September, I thought, why not serenade my art-ing loves down the art section, I should have taken a photo of this art section, it's like a slice of heaven (and SO cheap) but I'm afraid I didn't take a picture so imagine, imagine, imagine!

As well as buying lots of art bits and pieces, I also brought a lot of other gems in Spain such as dream catchers, spiritual ornaments and jewellery etc, (let me know if you would like me to do a post about these too?) For now, here is my 'Art Supplies' haul!

1. Pencil Case
Starting it all off with a pencil case, now, you need somewhere to store all your new stationary and supplies. Over the years I feel it's safe to say I had a weird obsession with buying groovy pencil cases, I literally have about 30 in my collection... Yet since growing older I've realised that the majority of 'cool' pencil cases tend to lack in storage.. Either that or I carry way too much stuff!

Any-who's I saw this orange one and straightaway knew I would be able to fill it with lots of juicy new items without the worry of anything not being able to fit. I've since eagerly tried and everything fits nice and cosy! I can also see where everything is, avoiding the excessive rummage for a pencil!

2. Folders
Small - €0.60 Big - €0.80
Green is my all time favourite colour! So I couldn't not buy these bright green A4 and A5 folders, I wanted to get two different sizes as I want to use the A4 folder for my art work so hopefully it won't get squished and saddened when travelling, and then the smaller A5 folder for any letters/ events/ leaflets that I may stumble upon during my University experience (it's better than shoving them to the bottom of the bag!)

3. Fine Liners
Eeek, another guilty pleasure.. I also own too many fine liner pens. They are super handy and I never let one leave my side during A-Levels, I am hugely interested in Illustration, and these pens are great for accurate quality and sharpness to any drawing/ typography/ etc. I would highly, highly recommend to pack yourself one or two of these in your pencil case!

4. Pencils
Of course, pencils! I personally prefer these refillable lead pencils as you get the effect of a 'real' pencil without the annoying use of a sharpener! These are like, lazy pencils. I like me some lazy pencils. In a pack of three you can't go wrong, I don't like to lose art supplies but the often pencil or two do go walkies, if this happens to you too then be sure to pack a couple extra!

5. Colour Fine Liners
Referring back to my fine liner craze/ obsession, you gotta' have some colour! I've had a set of colour fine liner's in the past and they were so handy and well loved! Coloured fine liners add a bit more 'jazz' to any spreadsheet, workbook, art book, just everyday use when wanting to add defined colour! I brought these with a '0.4mm' tip so I can be extra accurate with finer drawings etc.

6. Colouring Pencils
I've been after these colouring pencils for a while, a vital part of any pencil case I must say. What's great about these colouring pencils is that they are 'wood-free' making the lead very easy to sharpen! There is nothing worse than sharpening a pencil and being left with lots of wood chipping's, say no more to those with these! I have had these in the past and haven't had any problems with the lead awkwardly breaking and then never being able to sharpen back to sharpest point again, great pencils!

7. Paint Brushes
These were a risky purchase as it's so easy to buy naff paintbrushes that decide to leave bristle's of the paintbrush all over your painting/ work. However, I was super excited when I used one of these brushes as they gave me the same effect as some of my professional brushes, and with the price of these being as cheap as they were, just can't go wrong! 

8. Post It's
Ah, post-it's! Adhesive sticky notes are wonderful, you can see straight through to the writing without having to remove the note with it losing it's stick in the process! If you're looking for a way to brighten up your books, then I highly suggest similar styled adhesive post-it notes when wanting to mark the pages you need! Super handy and helpful!

9. Sticky Labels
If you're like me and enjoy labelling every single item in your pencil case, then these would be great! As I brought these in Spain I'm unsure if you can purchase these exact replica's outside of Spain, but other places which sell similar stickers are: Staples, Hobbycraft, various supermarkets. You can even D.I.Y sticky labels by getting plain white paper (or a coloured paper of your choice) writing onto the paper and using scissors and glue simply apply your handmade label to your items!

10. Masking Tape
Masking tape came in handy during my A-Levels, to the point where everyone including myself were always scavenging to find a piece of the tape in the classroom! Masking tape is great for tacking up paper, marking fabric, general taping needs. Also the material of this tape means it's easy to write on it, so this could be used as another way of labelling your pencil case items. This roll won't last long at all, I tend to get through loads of this! If you're like this too then perhaps have one spare! 

11. Double Sided Tape
This is perfect for your pencil case! Double-sided tape is a much easier way of sticking in book work rather than getting sticky with a glue stick. I must have gotten through about a dozen of these in just one term, super, super handy. You can purchase double-sided tape in almost every craft shop and supermarket!

12. Craft Bells & Ladybird Pegs & 3D Ladybirds
Feeling crafty? Sewing these onto a piece of clothing/ bag/ keyring is just one way to jingly jazz up your school time. These are simple and effective and purchasing these in bold colours will make your crafty creations stand out!

I personally find pegs quite tricky to stick into my book as the book becomes harder to close flat, but when I do use pegs I always love the look that comes along with it! I just couldn't leave these on the shelf, these aren't necessarily an item for the pencil case, I've stored these in my craft box. Do you like to use these?

When it comes to book work there is nothing I love more than adding a touch of scrap booking, I have had many similar wooden crafts before and so when I saw these they had 'mine' written all over them! These cute little ladybirds add such great character to book work/ planners/ anything and everything! A unique touch of nature...

15. Safety Pins
Ah, safety pins! A very handy creation when dealing with fabric, I always find myself needing one of these and in my house (and during college) they are like gold dust! So I have put a stop to the gold dust-iness.. These were soo cheap and shall be stored in my sewing box!

16. Ribbon
€0.75 (each)
When decorating my college books and work books I love creating a scrapbook theme, ribbon is such a simple and effective way of making a boring book transform into a dainty/ crafty book. I know that Hobbycraft usually have good deals on with their ribbons and also randomly Poundland have sold gingham ribbon in the past, I just love ribbon, for anyone looking to jazz up their school books - ribbon is the answer! 

17. Decorative Storage Box
This isn't really an object that can go inside a pencil case.. But it was too pretty to not include in this post! Myself and my dad have a weird love for boxes and organisation, I saw this box and leaped for it, it's so colourful and yellow and ahh! I'm still yet to fill it with bits and pieces, but I think I will eventually be using it for important art work that I will be producing at University. So it's all together and won't get damaged/ lost!

I didn't purchase any of the other obvious 'back to school' items such as: Rulers, rubbers, glue, scissors, note books etc as I already have a fair collection of these. I hope this post has helped towards your pencil case planning and a little nosey insight on whats in mine! (Sorry I can't post any links to these items as they are all from Spain and the shop was website-less!)

Good luck those who are off to school/ college/ university/ work/ life, anywhere!

Speak soon..
With love, Charlotte 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Quote Of The Day..

A little quote to get you by.. 

"Somedays you just have to create your own sunshine"

This made me smile, even when you've hit a brick wall and nothing is going right, you have to try and smile through it all, adding brightness to whatever's getting you down. 
Creating your own happiness, rely on yourself to have a good day, 'do more of what makes you happy'.

With love, Charlotte 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Bake away..

"A generous heart, kind words, and fresh baked cupcakes are the things which renew humanity."
Hola fellow bakers!
Apologies for the lack of posts, I've been on holiday in Spain for the past week and a bit so haven't been able to blog! However before I went I took to my kitchen and baked up a lil post for you all, so here it is a lil late!

I luuuuurve to make cupcakes/cakes/sweet things and so I have picked out a really good recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery book! This post is going to be a tutorial on how to bake your very own 'Vanilla Cupcakes'! I'll leave a link of the cookbook at the end for any curious passer-by's!
  • 120g Plain flour
  • 140g Caster sugar
  • 1 1.5 Teaspoons baking powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 40g Unsalted butter
  • 120 Whole milk
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4 Teaspoon vanilla extract

Recipe Frosting:
  • 250g Icing sugar
  • 80g Unsalted butter
  • 25ml Whole milk
  • A couple of drops of vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven!
- 170C - 325F - GAS 3

2. Got all the ingredients?

3. Prepare Frosting!

4. Fill up the baking tray! 
- This recipe makes up to 12 cupcakes.

5. Step-by-step!
1. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter into a bowl. 
2. Mix using either a wooden spoon or a slow speed setting with an electric whisk. Mix until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined.
3. Gradually pour in half the milk and beat until the milk is just incorporated.
4. Add in the vanilla extract.

5. Beat the egg in a separate bowl then pour into mixture.
6. Add in the remainders of the milk.
7. Mix all ingredients together and continue beating until incorporated. Continue mixing for a couple more minutes until the mixture is smooth, do not over mix.
8. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases.

5. Ready to cook!
Once you have finished spooning the mixture into the cupcake cases, it's then time to place the baking tray into the preheated oven! 
*Be careful with this manoeuvre as ovens are super hot!*
Set the timer to 20-25 minutes, or until cupcakes appear light golden and the sponge bounces back when touched!

6. Prepare the icing!
1&2. Add the butter to the icing sugar.
3. Beat the icing sugar and butter together until the mixture comes together and is well mixed.
4. Add in the drops of vanilla extract and continue to mix until all combined.

5. The next step is up to you! You don't have to add colour to the icing sugar, but I do just to add more 'pa-zaaaz!'... In the past I used to always use liquid food coloring, that was until I stumbled across the gel colourings and since then I've never looked back! 
I find the gel food colourings hold the exact colour, bold and vibrant. Whereas with liquid food colouring I used to have to use a lot of it to create the bright colour that I wanted!
6. When the colour of your choice has been added, mix until smooth and completely mixed.

7. Beep beep, beep beep!
When the time is up, your cupcakes are ready! Be careful when taking the baking tray out of the oven as it is super hot and injuries are not groovy!
The best way to check if your cupcakes are cooked is to push a skewer to the end of the cupcake and if the skewer comes out clean then you have succeeded! If not, then pop the cupcakes back in the oven for a few more minutes!
- Leave the cupcakes to cool for a short while in the baking tray before placing the cupcakes onto a cooling rack!

8. Ice ice baby.. Do do do do do doooo!
1. The best part! Apply a dollop of icing on top of your cupcake, using the back of a small spoon, spread the icing around the top of the cupcake until the top is completely covered.
2. Whilst the icing is still unset add any kinds of decorations of your choice, I've gone for pearls, shimmer pearls and colour confetti!
3. The icing will set keeping all decorations in place!
- Keep going until you have decorated all 12 cupcakes (or however many you wish to make!)

9. Bonappetite! 
There we have it, you should be left with 12 (or more.. or less!) beautifully looking cupcakes gooood enough to eat. All that's left to do is tidy up and tuck on in.. I sometimes find when baking it's best to keep on top of the cleaning by tidying up on your way, this makes things a little less daunting at the end of your cooking adventure!

Thank you for reading, looking, nosing at this cupcake tutorial!
Let me know if you liked this sort of 'baking themed' post  and why not try out this recipe for yourself, if not there are hundreds of other recipes to choose from, happy baking!

Yum, yum, yum..
With love, Charlotte