Madeleines | Sunday Bakes

Madeleines are a small french cake known for their shell like shape. Traditionally they are made with lemon but you can use any flavouring you’d like. I only recently added Madeleines to my baking repertoire after rediscovering The Transporter, a movie starring Jason Statham which came out years and years ago which I watched repeatedly as a kid even though more than likely I wasn't old enough for the age certificate - I much preferred movies with explosions to Disney films when I was younger, weird I know. Anybody else remember the scene where Lai makes madeleines for breakfast? These cakes are a great snack to have with a cup of tea in your favourite mug - of course - and are super easy to make.

I N G R E D I E N T S :

100g (1/2 cup)  Butter
100g (3/4 cup) Self-raising flour
100g (1/2 cup) Caster sugar
1 Lemon ~ zest & juice
2 Free range eggs

M E T H O D :

1. Preheat your oven to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas mark 6 and prepare madeleine tray ~ brush the tray with melted butter and shake a little flour over the tray to coat the pan.

2. Whisk together the eggs and sugar until the mixture is frothy.

3. Gently whisk in the rest of the ingredients being careful to not knock out the air created by the frothy egg mixture.

4. Leave the mixture to stand for 20 minutes.

5. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tray and bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. These are best eaten within the same day so they're perfect for if you have friends coming over - although I have been known to eat nearly all of them myself.

~ Jade xx

Braids | SS15 Trends

Braids are a big trend for hair this spring/summer season and they were seen all over the catwalk during fashion week from rock chick to boho vibes, every base was covered. They’re my favourite way to add interest to my hair, on days when my hair won’t cooperate or I’m just bored of having my hair down I’ll add an interesting braid - they’re also really great at disguising hair that is due a wash. Here are some of my favourite ways to wear my hair in braids.

Fishtail ‘milk maid’ braids | Milkmaid braids have been seen on everyone from Jennifer Lawrence to Ashley Olsen, my favourite way to wear them though is by using fish tail braids opposed to the traditional plait. I think it makes them a bit different from what you usually see. Just split your hair in half, fish tail braid each side and pin on top of your head. Easy peasy.

10 Tips for Better Skin

I don’t have the best skin in the world however I’ve picked up some tips over the years on how to improve my skin and when I stick to these tips I definitely see an improvement in my skins overall condition - although its quite hard to follow all of these steps all of the time. Whether you have dry skin, oily skin, blemish prone, dehydrated or any other skin type, following these steps will improve your skins condition.

Stay well hydrated | For your skin to be well hydrated it is suggested that you drink eight cups of water a day. Quite often people who think they have dry skin in fact just have dehydrated skin which is a different kettle of fish. Whether your skin is dry depends upon your skin natural oil production - dry skinned people have a less active oil production and oily skinned people have an overactive oil production - but you can have oily skin and dehydrated skin as dehydration correlates to the amount of water in your body. Staying well hydrated helps all aspects of your health so its worth drinking plenty of water for more reasons than the appearance of your skin. Aoiding alcohol and caffeine also helps to improve your bodies hydration levels as alcohol and caffeine dehydrate your body. You can tell if your skin is dehydrated as it will look slightly dull and lifeless.

Current Favourites | #8

Olivier Bonas - Card Holder* | I’m awful at having a purse. It becomes a breeding ground for receipts and I can never find which card I’m looking for as I rarely carry cash with me. The solution to this problem is a card holder. This one from Oliver Bonas - a shop which I’ve become obsessed with recently - neatly holds my most important cards, driving license, debit card and of course my Boots advantage card, and its rose gold. 

Daniel Wellington - Mens Sheffield* | I have a bit of a thing for watches. Some women like to collect shoes and handbags, I like to collect watches. This is my third Daniel Wellington watch - a more in depth post coming soon. This one is from the mens section as I really love watches with a large face, its a classic style and I love it a lot.

Jo Malone - Tudor Rose & Amber* | I recently wrote a post about the Jo Malone Rock the Ages collection - which can be seen here - and after writing that post I acquired another scent from the collection. This time in Tudor Rose & Amber. This scent is heavier than Lily of the Valley & Ivy and lasts on the skin all day.

Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer - Ivory | I picked this concealer up a couple of months ago to try something new. Only it was more of a rediscovery as I used to use this concealer all the time when the Wake Me Up line was first released a couple of years ago. I’ve fallen back in love with this concealer as its great for under the eyes as well as on blemishes and I currently have a backup of my backup thats how much I love it. 

Nivea Express Hydration Primer | I remember using this moisturiser when it was first released and liking it so I decided to pick it up again on a recent trip to Boots. Its great for mornings when you’re in a rush as its a moisturiser and primer in one which saves time and because of its gel texture is non greasy but still offers great hydration to the skin.

What are your current favourites?

~ Jade xx

Graphic & Pastel Liner | SS15 Trends

Nanette Lepore   source                                  Fendi   source
Jean-Pierre Braganza   source                              Nicholas K   source
Liner is a makeup trend which never goes away. Whether its bold and graphic or smudged and smoky it will never go anywhere, it's a makeup staple. Statement liner is this seasons trend when it comes to eyes, both the classic black liner and a more fun coloured liner took over the SS15 shows.

Over at Fendi a very spring take on liner can be seen with a thick line of pastel blue being worn with clean skin. This is a trend I’ll be taking up this summer as I tend to shy away from wearing a lot of colour so to still look like I’m enjoying the sun, pastel liners will be making their way into my makeup bag - Sleek Dip It Liner comes in a pastel green shade which I’ll be picking up to try this season. Coloured liner was also seen at Nanette Lepore with Maybelline in charge of the show opting for a 60s style graphic in white, lots of bottom lashes were also a trend adding to the 60s Twiggy vibe - NYX' White Liquid Liner would be perfect to create this look.

Jean-Pierre Braganza and Nicholas K took a more traditional approach to statement liner during their shows. At Jean-Pierre Braganza my favourite eyeliner trend is seen at their spring/summer show of the graphic cat eye. To vamp it up and give the trend a new lease of life though, a contrasting sparkle was added to the middle of the liner - my favourite liquid liner to achieve this look is the L’Oreal Super Liner Perfect Slim. Likewise at Nicholas K graphic liner was awash on the catwalk this time though making an impact on the bottom lash line as an upside-down cat eye - my favourite kohl liner to create this look is the Rimmel Scandeleyes Kohl Kajal Waterproof

Will you be behind the liner trend this spring/summer?

~ Jade xx

L'Oreal Infallible 24HR-Matte Foundation | Review

“Ultra-melting fluid emulsion, perfectly glides and fuses on the skin – no cakey or dull effect, 24HR Mattifying action, absorbing mineral micro sponges help to absorb excess oil”

My favourite high street foundation has long been the L’Oreal Infallible - review here - and I have been through countless bottles of the stuff. Recently however L’Oreal have released the baby sister of my favourite foundation, a marketed matte version. The L’Oreal Infallible 24HR-Matte promises to stay matte all day without giving a dull and lifeless look to the face. I’ve been testing it out for the past few weeks and it has fast become my go-to foundation. 

Spring Pastels | Barry M Quick Dry

I’m a massive fan of the Barry M nail varnishes - my particular love lying with the Gelly collection which I’ve mentioned and raved about countless times. Barry M’s spring collection is a wash of beautiful pastels - its a shade range that they get right every time - with a new quick dry formula. These varnishes are quite patchy so you need three coats to get a really good opaque finish but the shades are a pastel lovers dream - I picked up Eat My Dust and Full Throttle a perfect pastel blue and a pastel orange/coral - however because they are quick dry it doesn’t take very long to paint your nails and if like me you're incredibly impatient with waiting for your nails to dry, then you will love these.

Have you tried Barry M’s new formula yet?

~ Jade xx

Jo Malone Rock the Ages | Lily of the Valley & Ivy

My favourite kind of package comes in the form of a cream bag tied together perfectly with a ribbon, this only means Jo Malone. I'm so fond of those cream bags that I have created quite a friendship with the ladies in my local store.

Jo Malone recently launched their Rock the Ages collection containing five colognes depicting British history all the way from the Tudor dynasty onto Britain in the present day. I was very excited about this collection when I heard about it as being a bonafide history nerd, a mix of history with beauty is my kind of heaven particularly when a company I love is heading the collection. 

The collection contains Tudor Rose & Amber a sweet yet spicy fragrance based off the heritage rose of England, Lily of the Valley & Ivy a light floral scent depicting Georgian London, the classic Pomegranate Noir to represent the Victorian era, Geranium & Verbena an aromatic scent to depict Edwardian summers, finishing with Birch & Black Pepper a spicy and smoky scent for Britain today. My pick of the bunch was Lily of the Valley & Ivy* which isn’t my typical scent - I thought I’d be all over the Tudor Rose & Amber as I tend to prefer heavier fragrances & the Tudor dynasty is my favourite point in England's heritage - however with notes of cassis, green ivy, lily and narcissus a floral yet hearty scent is created which smells even better as you wear it throughout the day. These retail for £42 - slightly more than the standard fragrances but they are limited edition and the packaging is even more gorgeous than the standard Jo Malone packaging. Picking up one of these beauties - or anything from Jo Malone in general - would also make a gorgeous mothers day present for those in the UK with mothering Sunday coming up next week.

Have you tried the Rock the Ages collection?

~ Jade xx

The Perfect Nude | Kate Moss x Rimmel

I’ve spoken before about my long lasting love for the Kate Moss x Rimmel lipsticks - especially the matte formula in 107, a deep berry red, but more recently I've become a nude lipstick girl. Before I always donned a bright, bold lip mostly opting for a red or in the winter months a deep berry but more recently I’ve been going for a more stripped back, subtle look. My favourite nude of the moment is number 03 from the Kate Moss x Rimmel line, it's very comparable to MAC’s Velvet Teddy but without the £15.50 price tag. As it's a more of a brown nude it still gives life to your lips rather than just blocking them out and giving them the awful ‘concealer lips’ look that you quite often get with nude lipsticks - particularly those from the high street. The formula of these lipsticks is great as they're long lasting but not drying which is a rarity for cheaper lipsticks. 

What’s your current lipstick love?

~ Jade xx

The Contouring Edit | Barry M Chisel Cheeks Contour Kit & Maybelline Fit Me

Contouring is a step we all take to make our cheeks more chiseled and our noses more straight. It’s a step I prioritise in my makeup routine - along with my brows - and one I hate to skip. 

For my contour in the past I have raved about the Sleek Face Form Kit in ‘light’ - review here - which I still love, however recently something new has entered the ring, the Barry M Chisel Cheeks Contour Kit. This new little gem from the high street contains a contour shade, a bronzer and highlight shade. The contour shade is the best high street contour colour I’ve tried - even better than the Sleek version - as its very ashy and pigmented which is the perfect combination to create realistic contour as most contour shades from the high street are too warm toned which doesn’t create a shadow but rather a brown stripe across your cheek - not a good look. The bronzer is pigmented and completely matte which is great to add warmth to the face without it looking like mud, which bronzers with shimmer can do. The highlight shade is great for highlighting under the eyes because it is also matte. It has been my first time using a matte highlighter and I can say I prefer it to shimmer ones. I often find that shimmer highlighters look too overdone like you’ve had a fight with a fairy or touched cheeks with a Kardashian whereas a matte highlight still brings light to places you want to bring forward without everything being too reflective. These powders aren't the mist blendable though so it's better to start light and add more rather than going straight in with a lot of product and not being about to blend it out.

Photography information

Canon 600D with 18-55mm lens, Canon 24mm lens or Sigma 70-300mm lens. Canon EOS M with 18-55mm lens or Canon 24mm lens. Any edited photos are edited using Photoshop CS6. Picture source is given for any photo used that is not directly ours.