30.3.15

Reese's Peanut Butter Easter Cupcakes

Reese's peanut butter cups are seriously my guilty pleasure. And so for Easter this year I seriously could not pass up the opportunity of creating something super yummy, super easy and of course peanut butter themed! In my opinion Easter is a very lazy festivity where all I want to do is sit around in my pjs and stuff my face with chocolate eggs. For this recipe I genuinely just used a cake mixture rather than bake from scratch as I usually would but hey it's Easter, so it's okay to be lazy right?! Besides these turned out very impressive (even if I do say so myself!) and most importantly super yummy!












What You Will Need:

  • 1 bag of Reese's miniatures.
  • Cake Mixture
  • Toppings of your choice.
  • Yellow Food Colouring
  • Butter
  • Icing Sugar (550g)
  • Cupcake Cases
  • Piping Icing Bag
  • Milk


How to Make:

  • Pre-heat your oven to Gas Mark 5.
  • Mix your cake batter with 1 teaspoon of butter, 1 egg and water. Stir well until you are left with a runny consistency.
  • Add in a handful of Reese's minis (I chosen enough to have 2 in each cake!)
  • Place into your cupcake cases and leave to bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
  • Whilst your cakes are in the oven, begin to make the buttercream. Mix well 550g of icing sugar, 75g of butter and 4 tablespoons of milk. 
  • Once you have reached your desirable consistency, add 2 small drops of food colouring to the mixture. Add extra if you desire a more intense colour.
  • Once your cakes are cooked and have been left to cool for 10 minutes. Place your buttercream icing into an icing bag and begin to swirl onto your cake. 
  • To finish, decorate with whichever toppings you prefer. I chosen to use Reese's minis of course, chocolate chips, hundreds and thousands, crushed yellow and green candy and these super cute easter candies with pictures to garnish. 
  • Now, eat and enjoy!
These are genuinely the nicest things I've ever tasted, I won't lie!!


I really hope you enjoyed this week's post lovelies! There may be an extra recipe post uploaded on the earlier day of Friday so get excited for that! If you re-create this recipe please let me know, I would love to see how your cakes turned out. Until next time...

What sweet treat is your guilty pleasure?


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23.3.15

Freespirit










(Don't mind my plasters! #newshoeprobz)


(That eyebrow raise though! Haha!)




 Outfit Details:
Cardigan - River Island (Old)
Trousers - ASOS
Shoes - Topshop
Top - Topshop
Necklace - New Look

Wow! It has been FAR TOO LONG since I last posted an outfit post!! I've definitely missed including them on my blog so that's something I really need to work on in the future. Hopefully when the weather finally decides to get warmer over here in the UK I'll be able to get out and shoot more. Anyway, lovelies enough rambling! How are you all? This week I attended my little cousin's christening which was lovely, he looked so cute in his little suit! I thought this event was a perfect opportunity to capture my outfit so I hope you like the look that I created. I opted for something rather minimalistic but hey, you can never go wrong with monochrome and can you believe it? I actually changed my shoes up for once! Until next Monday...


What fashion pieces are you currently obsessing over?
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(PS! I'm really sorry for the sun glare on the camera but I actually think in the end it turned out quite pretty!)








19.3.15

UPDATE!


Hello lovelies! This is just a quick post to say I've finally purchased a new blog template and I couldn't be happier with the result. I purchased mine from KotrynaBassDesign on Etsy she has super affordable and really cute blog templates which honestly make such a difference to the look of your blog! It just goes to show you don't have to spend hundreds upon hundreds to find a really good template. 

I really can't wait to finally start posting properly with this new template and I'm definitely determined to try and improve my photography and create my own little Clarke Couture stamp on things. I am coming to the point of the year where I'm struggling a little bit with things and I may not post some weeks as exam time is slowly creeping up and I'm feeling just a little bit worried! I have my final exams in June for subjects like sociology but I have a hell of a lot to remember and now is the time of the year where revision is key, especially as I'm having a lot of mocks and practice essays thrown at me each week that I need to revise for. Hopefully I will be able to stick to my once a week Monday schedule but if not that's just a little explanation as to why. 

I'll be attending my little cousin's christening on Sunday and so for the first time in what feels like forever, I'll finally be posting an outfit post on Monday!! So get excited for that!

Until then lovelies,


Do you like the new look for Clarke Couture?
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16.3.15

MY BEAUTY SAMPLE NIGHTMARE

The moral of this weeks blog post is to ALWAYS trial a product with a sample before purchasing it. 



Hello lovelies, how are we all? I have spent the past week still full of a cold which may you have read in last Monday's post! But apart from that, I can't really complain.. Well not at least until I decided on what I was going to blog about this week. Recently, I have accumulated a lot of sample sized products, as you probably know Elle magazine have a cheeky couple in each issue. Over the past couple of months I've collected my fair share and not trialled them out, so I had the idea to create a look using a collection of the samples I have and to review them all as a first impressions post but unfortunately things didn't exactly go according to plan...


Benefit Instant Comeback Facial Serum
Now I love Benefit as a brand. If you've been reading my blog for a while now then you would probably already know they are in fact my favourite brand. But this product did not go down well with me at all. The product claims to 'firm, smooth and rejuvenate the skin' as well as having a 'lightweight, velvety finish'. Upon first applying this I was so surprised to see it was a water based formula, my skin was just absorbing the water instantly and as soon as I applied this to my skin it just completely dried up. My face then began to feel really sticky and 'tacky' definitely not 'rejuvenating' that's for sure. Disappointing considering this is supposed to suit all skin types. To make matters worse, I think my skin unusually had an allergic reaction to the product. My skin began to burn and sting, particularly on the left side of my face which made it really difficult to begin to apply my make-up after this, each time I applied another layer my face just burnt yet it does state this is perfectly fine for use during either the day or night. Sorry benefit but I won't be purchasing this in the future. 


L'Oreal Paris Skin Perfection Moisturiser
After using the Benefit facial serum, I then began to apply a sample of this moisturiser. Thankfully I wasn't disappointed with this product. Not as good as the current moisturiser I am using, the 'Nivea Soft Day Cream' but I was satisfied. The formula felt very silky and smooth to apply, so I am unsure as to why I still had dry areas around my nose area when applying my foundation after this. The formula is a pale pinkish colour, if you have the Benefit That Gal primer the colour appears very similar to this, I am assuming the reason for this is quite like a CC cream to fix any colour imperfections found on the skin. The product claims to 'help transform the appearance of skin quality, as if corrected'. I wouldn't say it did a perfect job by any means but I was happy that it managed to at least slightly rejuvenate my skin after the nightmare of the Benefit serum completely dehydrating my skin even further. Would I purchase this? Yes, I probably would.


Max Factor Skin Luminizer Foundation
Now I had high hopes for this foundation, especially due to the mass hype surrounding this in the blogosphere. The sample I had was in the shade '50 natural'. Since trying out the Max Factor creme puff blush and falling in love, I became keen to try out more of their products. But for me, this foundation just fell short. One thing I will say however is this did provide me with a fairly medium coverage, it definitely covered any redness I had on my skin; particularly surrounding my chin area. I just feel as though this really creased around my skin particularly my mouth area, which I don't usually experience with a foundation. My skin also appeared very 'cakey' looking as it unfortunately attached itself onto any dry areas of my skin, I'm not sure if this is due to the Benefit facial serum drying my skin out, I did apply the L'Oreal Skin Perfection moisturiser and Benefit's porefessional prior to using this foundation. Sorry Max Factor but I am disappointed.

Clinique Beyond Perfecting 2 in 1 Foundation&Concealer
I was so excited to try out a sample of this as I have been debating whether or not to make a purchase. I've never used anything by Clinique before but I've heard good things about this and so couldn't wait to give it a go for myself. However, the results were dreadful. The sample I had was in the shade 9 'neutral'. The picture of the product on the sample appears to look fairly light so I didn't think there would be any problem. Oh, how wrong I was. 

On the plus side of things the product claims to work on combination skin, which I unfortunately have and it did not appear to make my skin look either more oily or more dry, which was great. The product also gives a fairly good coverage, not perfect but definitely more than halfway there to being so. Now, I know I'm a pale lass but this was genuinely a joke. The product was orange. I repeat the product was ORANGE!! I don't even mean a pale brown, it was definitely orange. I had to blend this into my neck completely and even then I just looked ridiculous. As though I had had an extremely bad, cakey spray tan. Bearing in mind me and mum were about to head into town to do some shopping, there was no way I could leave the house in this state. 



Have you ever seen Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? Well on Friday morning I certainly resembled a brilliant re-inactment of an Oompa Loompa. I came downstairs and my mum genuinely began to burst out laughing in shock at how orange I was. The photograph in my thumbnail above just doesn't do this any justice at all, it was ridiculous. I then of course had to re-do the entirety of my base, I filled 3 cotton pads on both sides with brown gunk it was disgusting, I even used my Micellar Cleansing water which works miracles and I had to scrub pretty hard to remove this completely.  The moral of the story? Stick to what you know and NEVER buy a product on impulse without trialling it out. 

Would I purchase this? I honestly don't know. I wanted to like this product so much and the coverage was good but the colour quality was awful. Maybe if a lady at a Clinique counter trialled the lightest shade on me but I'd be very wary of spending my money on this and it becoming a wasted product.


MAC False Lash Extreme Mascara
This would have been the last product I was going to sample in my FOTD but as I had to restart my look I used this separately alongside my everyday make-up routine. Prior to application I applied my Urban Decay Subversion lash primer, the results were pretty good. The mascara definitely lengthened my lashes a fair amount, this did last throughout the entirety of the day although it had dropped slightly, I cannot complain. Doesn't quite match up to my Benefit Roller Lash or The Balm What's Your Type? But it is definitely a strong competitor. Would I purchase this? Absolutely! 



So that's it for this weeks post! I hope you didn't mind reading something a bit negative on my blog for once, it was strange speaking of products in a critical light but unfortunately we cannot love everything we try. Have you ever tried any of these products before? If so, let me know your opinions in the comments down below! Until next time lovelies!

Have you ever had a bad beauty experience?

Toni, x

9.3.15

Feeling Blue

Colds. We all get them don't we? Those horrible wasted days where we are forced to rest up in bed to cure our blocked noses, headaches, chesty coughs and generally just all of those hellish zombie diseases that leave us feeling like complete and utter crap. That is basically me right now as I'm sitting here writing this post. And instead of pretending to feel enthusiastic about a t-shirt or a lipstick when getting ready to leave my house is the last thing on my mind right now, I thought I would make this weeks post all about ways to feel a little bit more positive and motivated on sick days. 



1. Open your blinds/curtains
I don't know if it's just me on this one but I absolutely love natural lighting, I just feel it can make me feel so much more awake and in a much better mood, particularly if it's sunny outside. Looking at the outside world from afar (aka the comfort of my own bed!) can be quite relaxing which I think really helps me feel more positive when I'm ill.

2. Get some work done
Depending on how ill you are (if you're vomiting every five seconds - skip this step! No teacher wants a vomit stained essay on their desk Monday morning) try and find the time to get some work done. Whilst you're forced to be indoors you may as well make the most of it and strangely enough you may find it more enjoyable from the comfort of your own bed. Your body should feel more relaxed therefore reducing your stress levels leaving your work seem a little easier, sitting at a desk can be quite tedious as it's an odd reminder of being sat at your desk all day in school.

3. Write it down
Sometimes the best way to relieve stress is to get if off of your chest and write it down. This may not work for everybody but for me I find it so relaxing to feel as though a weight has been lifted off my shoulder. Alongside this, I find it really helps to note down some things you have coming up to look forward too as a motivation tool that once the sickness has past you can start to enjoy yourself again! Which will hopefully, brighten your mood. 

4. Research quotes
It sounds crazy but reading something positive for me can definitely boost my mood instantly and motivate me to do something a little bit productive, even if it is just to make a little start on an essay or fill out a couple of flashcards. I love using tumblr and pinterest to look through all things inspiring or even just typing into google 'motivational quotes' you will find thousands, I'm sure at least one of them will make you smile. When I was in college earlier in the week, I read a quote from a classroom door that said "You cannot make a mistake twice. Because the second time you make it, it isn't a mistake. It's a choice" which really made me stop and think for a minute that we as people make so many excuses for ourselves when in reality it was our choice to make that move. We are the creator of our own consequences.

5. And most importantly.. Rest
No illness can be cured without resting. Your body needs sleep to focus solely on repairing itself. Besides sleeping, other ways I like to relax are by catching up on my YouTube subscriptions, reading the latest issue of Elle or Vogue and even browsing through my blog. It can be so motivating reading comments on posts, each comment genuinely makes my day so I like to spend a nice hour reading and posting on other blogs and sharing all of that love and positivity. I even find getting a bath helps me, refreshing yourself when you're ill honestly makes such a difference! Then of course, it definitely goes without saying to drink plenty of water, take medicine at regular intervals and for me even lighting a candle is a must. I find them so relaxing, particularly any scented ones. If I can smell them the joy of knowing my sense of smell and blocked nose are getting better definitely helps my mood when I'm ill. Who doesn't want to know they are getting better, right?!


So I hope you all enjoyed this weeks post lovelies! I know it's a little different to my usual beauty natter but I'm feeling particularly under the weather and so hopefully me and you both can take some inspiration and positivity out of this. Until next Monday..


What do you do to fight a cold?!
Toni, x

2.3.15

February Favourites

Hello lovelies! Wow, can you believe February is over already?! The fact that all of my exams are in only 3 months time has all of a sudden just dawned on me. This year is going seriously really fast but in all seriousness, we aren't going to complain that summer is pretty much round the corner now! In today's post it is of course that time of the month again where I share with you everything that I have been loving throughout the past month. So sit back, grab your coffee and enjoy!









NARS Stick Concealer in 'Chantilly'
I do already have this in the creamy radiant concealer form but in 'light vanilla' which I love, it gives such an amazing coverage and so this month I decided to pick it up one shade lighter and in the stick form. I am definitely not disappointed, I find this works perfectly for covering up any unwanted blemishes whereas the creamy radiant style formula is better for the under eye area to help brighten those bags! I couldn't recommend the NARS concealers enough, there consistency is super creamy and thick, creating a flawless barely there finish alongside a glowing base.

Dove Style and Care Hair Serum
I hate my hair. No, seriously I really hate my hair. It's frizzy, dry and greasy all at the same time. It's definitely a bit of a nightmare to manage. Dry shampoo usually works a treat to cure those greasy roots but what about my dry ends?! I barely ever even use heat on my hair and yet they are still brittle, weak, dry and filled with split ends. But then, I came across this beauty in Superdrug. All you do is simply apply a couple of pumps to the ends of your hair and even after only using this for a few days I can see and feel the difference in my hair. My spilt ends appear less visible, my hair feels much softer and why of course, this has me so much happier about the appearance of my hair. You can also use this prior to heat styling which acts as a brilliant heat protectant for your hair.

Max Factor Creme Puff Blush in '05 Lovely Pink'
Another purchase from my recent trip to Superdrug. Now of course when you see a product is the last one in stock, you go back again the next day and see it's still there it's definitely fate for you to pick it up, and so of course I did. This is such a gorgeous, natural colour and although you can see shimmers in its packaging when applied it adds such a lovely matte flush of colour to the cheeks. This has been definitely appropriate throughout this past month, or the month of pink as I like to call it.

Urban Decay Subversion Lash Primer
This is really pathetic but besides fibre lashes I have never tried an actual lash primer before. But now I finally have I am never going back, I tried this out for a meal I went to for my auntie's birthday a few days ago and oh my this genuinely all day like I am talking from half 11 in the morning in the morning when I was getting ready until 1am when I finally decided to take my make-up off. I applied this underneath my current favourite mascara, of course that is the one and only Roller Lash by Benefit Cosmetics. This primer helped to add further lift, better hold, longer lashes the absolute lot. And I have short eyelashes, so I need all the help I can get!

MAC Matte Lipstick in 'Velvet Teddy'
Now, we move on to the product that has took the beauty world by storm recently and pretty much every blogger and every YouTuber is talking about the lipstick. I'm usually not a massive fan of matte lipsticks just because I do tend to get really bad dry and cracked lips, especially in the Winter time but I find adding a peach lip balm over the top of this looks incredible. For a matte finish as well, I find this to be unusually but brilliantly quite a creamy formula. The colour is stunning, it isn't quite brown but it isn't quite peach or nude either. I find this shade to be so versatile and matches pretty much every skin tone. I am looking for a lip liner to match this shade, I've heard good things about 'Stripdown' but it is sold out genuinely EVERYWHERE. So if you have any other recommendations then please do let me know in the comments down below!

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream in 'Light' 
Lastly, an old but well loved favourite of mine. This month I have been returning back to my beloved BB creams and this one by Maybelline has always been one of my favourites. I have combination skin but at the moment it has been drying out quite a lot particularly around my nose area and the section between my eyebrows which looks disgustingly noticeable with foundation for some reason at the moment. To solve this I have been opting for a light base for now so I don't have to worry about my skin looking as dry as a bone. 


So there you have it then lovelies, that is everything that I have been loving throughout the month of pink! I hope you enjoyed this post, let me know in the comments down below any products you have been loving lately, I would love to hear all of your recommendations. Until next time, 


What were you loving in February?
Toni, x