Wednesday 24 December 2014

Elf's Kitchen | Festive Gingerbread Cookies

Happy Christmas Eve!

Here's a yummy Gingerbread Cookie recipe to give a go if your stuck for something to do!


350g Plain Flour
1tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
2tsp Ground Ginger
1tsp Ground Cinnamon
125g Butter
175g Light Soft Brown Sugar
1 Egg
4tbsp Golden Syrup

~ Start by sifting the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon together in a big bowl. Add in the butter and mix together with your finger tips until you get a crumbly consistency. Then stir in the sugar.

~ Lightly beat the egg and golden syrup together then add to the mixture and combine until a dough begins to form. Wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. The longer the better as this helps the dough keep together when you roll it out later.

~ Line some trays with grease proof paper and pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4. Next up cover the side with flour and roll out the dough with your rolling pin. Use cookie cutters to cut out your cookie shapes and place on to your lined tray leave a little gab in between as they will expand while cooking. Place in the oven and bake till golden. Remove and allow to cool.

~ You can decorate them with a dusting of icing sugar or make an icing using sifted icing sugar and water. I chose to leave mine naked as I find the icing can be a bit too sweet for me and my family. And this made about a bazillion cookies (40)! 

Hope you try and enjoy! And have a very Merry Christmas! 

Jeni x

Tuesday 23 December 2014

DIY | Whipped Coconut and Peppermint Body Butter

Hi Guys! Merry Almost Christmas!
Can you believe its almost D-Day? I can't!
Today I have for you a very quick & easy DIY gift idea! 
All you need are 2 ingredients Coconut oil and Peppermint oil.
Whats great about this body butter? 1, its 100% raw, organic and good for you, meaning no harsh chemical are going to be absorbed through your skin and there is no packaging left to dispose of. 2, it smells amazing, good enough to eat, and in fact you can eat it! And 3, it makes your skin feel super soft and moisturised!
A perfect present for anyone !

In addition to your coconut and peppermint oils you will need a storage jar, an electric whisk and a bowl.


The amount of coconut oil you will need to use, really depends on the size of your storage jar. In general you will just have to eye ball the amount but for this size jar, I used about 5/6 regular table spoons full. 
Once you have your coconut oil scooped in to your bowl (you can always add more later) you want to begin whipping the oil up with the electric whisk. What this does is gives the coconut oil a lovely soft light texture, great for smoothing on to the skin.
Next you want to add in your peppermint oil. You can of course use different essential oils but I fancied peppermint. Then whip that in with your whisk. 
Once all whipped you simply need to spoon into your jar and voila! Your DIY body butter is complete! 
If you are giving it as a present you can decorate with a bow ^^.

Come back tomorrow for a recipe for Festive Gingerbread Cookies !

Jeni x

Friday 19 December 2014

Review | The Body Shop's Rainforest Nutrition

Hi guys! Hope everyone is doing well! If you read my last post you will know that this will be my last 'Regular Shampoo/Conditioner' review (I also have a Lush hair mask review to come) because as of the 5th of December I decided to go No Poo. Its been two weeks and going well! I will do a full up date I think in the new year.


Brand | The Body Shop
Product | Rainforest Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner
Size | 250ml
Price | £4.50 each
Made in | UK
Would I re-purchase | Yes (if I wasn't a no-pooer)

Shampoo Ingredients

Aqua, Sucrose, Disodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Lauryl Betaine, Laureth-5 Carboxylic Acid, Mel, PEG-55 Propylene Glycol Oleate, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Chloride, Glycerin, Parfum, Polyglyceryl-4 Caprate, Sodium Benzoate, Sucrose Laurate, Isopropyl Alcohol, Polyquaternium-6, Salicylic Acid, Citric Acid, Schinziophyton Rautanenii Kernel Oil, Pentaclethra Macroloba Seed Oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Tocopherol.

Conditioner Ingredients

Aqua, Cetearyl Alcohol, Distearoylethyl Hydroxyethylmonium Methosulfate, Cocos Nucifera Oil, Orbignya Oleifera Seed Oil, Citric Acid, Cetyl Esters, Sodium Benzoate, Parfum, Hydroxypropyl Guar, Schinziophyton Rautanenii Kernel Oil, Salicylic Acid, Mel, Pentaclethra Macroloba Seed Oil, Tocopherol.

**Key Factors | No Silicones, No Parabens, No Sulfates, No Colourants

What I love about these two products is that they are Eco-Conscious, which means that they have a much less damaging affect on the environment, they use less harsh chemicals as other shampoo's and conditioners by cutting out silicones, sulphates, colourants and parabens which means they are better for you body also, and they contain Community Fair Trade honey which makes them smell divine!

Cutting out the sulphates mean that you don't get the usual lathering effect you would do normally meaning you have to work at it. It says to mix the shampoo with water in the palm of your hands and then work in to hair and scalp. I found putting a little puddle of water in your palm first then adding a reasonable size dollop of shampoo in and rubbing well in between my hands gives the best foaming result. With the conditioner you don't have to worry about doing this.

The consistency of the shampoo itself is very runny and clear, while the conditioner is a little thicker but not by much. As I mentioned earlier they both contain Community Fair Trade honey, and its the honey that gives these two an amazing scent. They smell so delicious and the scent really stays in the hair. As for general cleanliness and moisture-fullness my hair feels clean, soft and not stripped.

In general I have really enjoyed using these two products, and for £4.50 they are a great buy if you wish to try products that genuinely have no sulfates. When picking up a 'Sulfate Free' shampoo always check the ingredients list and look out for * as I've seen many brands use the * to say 'Sulfate Free*' and then it still contains a type of sulfate, just not the obvious ones.

Jeni x

Wednesday 10 December 2014

The Hair Diaries | Going No Poo?!

Whats no poo I hear you ask?
And no its nothing to do with going to the loo. No Poo, or No Shampoo is basically saying bye bye to regular chemical filled shampoos and conditioners and hello to more natural alternatives.
Predicted results is the hair you have always dreamed of! So yes I want some of that!

A little bit o'history.
Up until the late 1800's people were recommended to only wash their hair once a month. Decades later when the first synthetic shampoo's were invented, people began washing their hair every two weeks. Sounding gross yet?
In 1970 it became the norm for people to begin washing their hair every day thanks to clever marketing and sales pitches and since then (I don't know the exact statistic) many, many people, including myself (for years till recent) wash their hair every single day. And all these modern day shampoo's that tell us that they can fix dandruff, dryness, etc can in fact be the very thing that is contributing to all your hair and scalp problems. After all shampoo's strip all our natural oils away leaving our hair and scalp dry therefore we must use condtioners to put back a little of what we just washed out.

How do you wash your hair?
The traditional method is using a solution of water and bicarbonate of soda/baking soda as your shampoo. This is called a baking soda rinse. And then using a mix of apple cider vinegar and water as your conditioner. This is the ACV rinse.

So your going no-poo then..
I first heard about the no poo method a while ago and at that time I had been quick to dismiss it thinking how could I possibly not use shampoo? My hair gets so greasy I ain't no hippy! And the thought of putting something as abrasive as bicarbonate of soda on my hair didn't really appeal to me.
But about a month ago I stumbled back across the no-poo method and decided to really research it.
After reading many success stories about how amazing other peoples hair had become, how healthy their hair and scalp were, and how their hair had even begun to grow quicker I finally decided I would do it myself! I'm all for experimenting and not only would waving good bye to chemical laden shampoo's be great for my body but would also be great for the environment. Well, at least I will be contributing my own little bit.
I'm still not sold on using baking soda, so as an alternative I have chosen to use a shampoo bar.(its not cheating I checked) The particular one I have chosen is the J.R Liggett's Virgin Coconut & Argan Oil Shampoo bar which is made with only natural ingredients and sodium hydroxide which is a binder that many soaps use and I will be using a ACV rinse infused with Rosmary Oil to help condition.

So where is my hair at the moment and what is my current routine?
I currently was my hair every other day, so if I wash on a Monday I'll wash it again on Wednesday. I've been using the Body Shop's Rainforest Nutrition Shampoo and Conditioner which is classed as a low-poo shampoo as its free from silicone's, sulfates and parabens, I will do a review on this very soon.
My hair type is mostly fine hair with the odd thick coarse strand through in for fun. My hair is naturally pretty straight with a slight flick at the bottom. It not overly dry and can get very greasy by the end of day 2. I don't think my hair is particularly strong and I do have a lot of split ends due to length and old abuse. I also have a lot of fall out, and my hoover hates me.
My natural colour is dark blond but over the last 4 years I have lightened it with Sun-In which I won't be doing again, time to grow it all out! (I want my natural colour back)

Here's a close up of my hair at them moment. It actually doesn't look too bad if a little dry at the ends.

Over the coming weeks and months I will be doing updates on my hairs progress. I have to go through a transition stage which can last anywhere from 1 week to a couple of months as my hair gets used to its new regime. I will also stretch my washes out longer now to help speed up the transition period favoring lots of up do's to hide all that grease.
From this moment on I will not touch my hair with anything with a chemical in it. So no more areosole dry shampoo, no hairspray, heat protector or styling products. As I find natural alternatives I will share them. 
I am so excited about this no-poo journey!
Have you ever done no-poo? Plan too? Think its just weird? Let me! also follow me on instagram @elfsbeauty to keep up to date with my no poo journey before I blog about it!

Love Jeni x 

Friday 5 December 2014

Review | La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo


Brand | La Roche-Posay
Product | Effaclar Duo [+]
Size | 40ml
Price | £15.50
Purchased from | Boots
Made in | France
Would I repurchase | No

If you read my review of the LA ROCHE-POSAY EFFACLAR A.I the you probably know that when I originally bought that product I had actually wanted to buy this one. So about 3 months ago I was feeling flush and finally decided to buy this a give it a try.

Ingredients |


Like the Effaclar A.I targeted spot treatment it has a very light fragrance and a gel like consistency. I use this as my second step in my skin care regime after I use my witch hazel. It smooths in to the skin really nicely and leaves the skin looking nice and matte and clear. I follow with a moisturiser in the morning and at night a 'miracle oil' (review to come!) 
To be honest since using this I haven't noticed a massive difference. In the first week I did, mainly I think because I wanted to see results. I felt as though my chin was clearer, I have these under the skin spots that aren't really visible unless you stick your tongue in the area around your lower lip and push the bottom lip out, that sounds really gross and wrong I do appologise but I'm sure you probably know what I mean.
And after the first week I felt that these had got much better and had reduced.
But throughout my use they are still present, although marginally better. I had also hoped that as this is an unclogging product, my black heads would be reduced also, but alas I genuinely think that no product can fully remove them. So there was no difference there.
As well as an unclogging product, the Effaclar Duo is meant to help with reducing marks left from bigger face beasties. My skin has been immensely better of late so I've only suffered with a few bigger pimples but this didn't seem to help in speeding up the healing process of those marks.
I have used this product every day, morning and night for the last 3 months and I am now down to the last spattering of product so I think I have a solid opinion of it. And I have to say I am sadly disapointed in it. I absoloutly love the Effaclar A.I formular, but this doesn't hit the mark for me and for the price I won't be re-purchasing it. I'm glad that I tried it out and sad that it didn't work as well as I had hoped but atleast my purse will be happy I won't be shelling out £15 for a new tube.

Jeni x

Thursday 27 November 2014

Disney's Froze | Elsa Inspired Makeup Tutorial

So I've only just got around to watching Disney's Frozen and OMG I love! Well I love all Disney what girl doesn't! And today I'm sharing an Elsa INSPIRED eye look with you.

Here is what I used:
+ MUA Prow Brow Kit
+ Rimmel Brow This Way in Dark Brown
+ Miss Sporty Studio Lash Mascara
+ MUA Glamour Days Pallet
+ Collection Purple Eye Pallet
+ 17 Single Eye shadow in Punky Purple
+ P.S Love Lip Gloss (no name)

I started out using this shade from the Collection pallet all over my lid as a base colour.

Next up I layered this darker shade from the same pallet over my base, be sure to build colour in the inner corner as well.

Next up I used Punk Purple to begin to build a more vibrant purple shade, just pressing this over the previous shades.

Using this browny red shade from the MUA Glamour Days pallet in the crease area.

I then used this shade from the collection pallet to add a highlight to the center of my eyelid.

With this shad I just lightly lined underneath my lash line.

To finish off a coat of mascara.

To finish off I just used a pinky red lipgloss as Elsa has a little colour on her lips too.

Hope you liked my Elsa inspired makeup today!

I think I may do an Anna inspired tutorial too. She doesn't have any obvious makeup but I think I could do a nice natural look inspired by her!

Jeni x

Tuesday 25 November 2014

Review | Chill* Shampoo and Conditioner

I picked these two up from my favourite place to find cheap random buys, Discount UK, for all of 99p. The bright colour attracted me plus I'm an immense hair care whore. There were several different shampoo's but I picked up the Deep Cleansing Shampoo, Clean Ed and the Reconstructing Conditioner, Repair Ed.

As a brand I hadn't actually heard of I did some googling and found their WEBSITE. I think the products I found may be discontinued as they were not listed on the website. Although I did come across them on Amazon, the shampoo for £7.99 and conditioner for £7.95.

 Chill* seems to focus most of its products on colourful dyes, Ed Stain (I think Ed is a synonym for head, the clever watsits!) as well as styling products.

Shampoo Ingredients |

Water (aqua), Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Coccamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Chloride, Sargassum Filipendula extract, Hypnea Musciformis extract, Gellidiela Acerosa extract, Hydroxypropyltrimonim Honey, Fragrance, PEG-18 Glyceryl oleate/cocoate, Styrene/scrylates Copolymer, Benzophenone-4, Limonene, Propylene Glycol, Tetrasodium EDTA, Sodium Hydroxide, Magnesium Chloride, Magnesium Nitrate, Benzyl Alcohol, Methylchlorisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Blue 1 (CI 42090), Yellow 10 (CI 47005).

" Clean*ed contains blends of surfactants to gently cleanse the hair."

"using this stuff: its simple, whack in the shampoo / get frothy /rinse and repeat until chilled. Clean*ed is a deep cleansing shampoo that removes all the nastiness built up in your barnet. So use it and stop that dirty feeling. Mmm..."

Conditioner Ingredients |

Water (aqua), Cetearyl Alcholo, Cetrimonium Chloride, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Stearalkonium Chlodride, Hydroxypropyltrimonim Honey, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Phytantiol, Fragrnace, Benzophenone-4, Benzyl Benzoate, Limonene, Citric Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Benzoic Acid, Dehydroacetic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Polyaminopropyl Biguanide, Orange 4 (CI 15510).

"Repair*ed contains a honey derivative with excellent moisture binding properties to penetrate the endo cuticle region and repair split ends"

"using this stuff: apply in a chilled way. Let the treatment work it's loveliness fir a few minutes then rinse the stuff through. Repair*ed is a deep reconditioning cream that will sort out your hair's nourishment needs. Use it when you want to give your hair a fix. The deeper the better."

The shampoo comes in a squeezey bottle with a pull top lid at 350ml. The scent is like a watery bubblegum with under notes of old soap, sounds delightful non?
The consistency of this stuff is unlike anything I have ever used, its so strange. Its like a weird jelly texture that when rubbed between the hands it sort of turns in to a slime. So not a fan.
It cleans the scalp/hair well leaving it feeling squeaky clean but not too stripped and dry.

The conditioner is a 100ml less at 250ml's, (why is that? conditioners are always smaller?!) with a screw top lid. The scent is bland and unappealing to me. I really dislike it. The consistency of this is much nicer, like you would expect a conditioner, nice and creamy. And it does help to leave the hair feeling nice and soft.

When used together they work well, my hair feels clean and is fluffy and soft but with an unappealing soapy/detergent scent, which really turns me off of these products. 
I wouldn't buy them again purely because I don't like the jelly like shampoo and the blah scents, I like my hair to either smell fruity/floraly/fresh or of nothing at all, soap scent just ain't my thang y'all. But I do like the packaging! I think its young and fresh, and as I only paid bargain basement prices of 99p each I don't feel like I've wasted my money.

Have you ever tried any Chill* products? What ya think?

Jeni x

Monday 24 November 2014

Gel Pro Polishes by George

Hi Guy's

As you may know I'm bit of a nail polish fiend and have a whole tub full of the stuff! When if comes to polish all I want really is a few good days wear and cracking colour.
Today I'm sharing three Gel Pro polishes by George at Asda. All three I think are nice autumnal shades, I think we are still in autumn? Or have we past that now? 
Any way the gel pro's are meant to be like gel manicure polishes offering up high shine and long wear-ability. They cost just £3 and you can pick them up while shopping around for your groceries.  

The three shades I have are from left to right: no.10 Putty Pink, no. 04 Nude Beige and no.09 Nude Pink. Nude Pink is my favourite of the trio, its just a perfect...nude pink shade that doesn't class with my skin tone.

Putty Pink covers really well in just one coat while Nude Pink and Nude Beige definitely need a second coat.

Two coats later and Nude Beige could use perhaps a third coat.

Once I have my optimum amount of coats applied and the polish is touch dry my nails are nice and shiny. Though through experience the polishes take a long time to be 100% dry. I painted my nails with the Nude Pink shade 2 hours before going to work. 2 hours in at work and I managed to dent the polish, so there is a long wait time before you can through your hands in to a bag of nails and your nails come out unscathed (though I'm not to sure what the rest of your fingers would look like!) However with proper waiting times in between coats I'm sure it would dry more effectively.
I normally get 2-3 days of solid wear with this polish which isn't bad.

Have you go any polishes you would recommend?

Jeni x

Wednesday 19 November 2014

First Impressions | Lioele Triple Solution BB Cream

Hi guys! Its been a while since I did a first impressions post, actually I've only done one. Shame on me! But today I'm giving you my first thoughts in the Lioele Triple Solution BB Cream.
I got this little sample with one of my many ebay Korean skin care purchases and decided I would try it out yesterday.

Un-fortunately I can't read Korean but with a little bit of googling I found an English description:

Recapture the radiance of your youth with the Lioele Triple The Solution BB Cream and get beautifully flawless skin. This Triple the Solution BB Cream is a three-in-one makeup and skincare formula with whitening, wrinkle care and sun protection. The natural healthy yogurt powder and hyaluronic acid in this Lioele anti-aging day cream moisturizes your skin. Formulated with tangerine and strawberry extracts, this Lioele skin cream whitens and lightens the skin tone over time. 

The fermented yogurt component in the Lioele Triple The Solution BB Cream offers a tight hold, making the cream work deep into your skin. The SPF 30 PA++ in this Lioele anti-aging cream protects your skin from the harmful UVA and UVB rays. It not only filters out the UV rays, it nourishes your skin while hiding most skin troubles and blemishes to shade and even out skin tone for a perfectly clear and even complexion.

This Lioele BB Cream helps to prevent the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, blemishes and freckles. The non-greasy formula of the Lioele Triple The Solution BB Cream leaves your skin looking fresh and vibrant.

This BB cream has a medium consistency, scentless and is a one shade fits all kind of deal. At first it was a little yellowy on my skin but did adjust to a closer skin match. 
It covers redness well but I ended up with product build up around my nose, between my eye brows and the top corners of my mouth so I had to really work at it to get it to blend into these areas. To be fair I probably put a little too much on in one hit, but after really working it in the cover was nice.
Through out the day it did rub off leaving areas kind of patchy, but I do find I get that with a lot of BB creams/Foundations so I don't hold that against it.
All in all though I didn't fall madly in love so I won't be buying the full size. But if your interested I found it on AMAZON for £13.99

Jeni x

Tuesday 18 November 2014

Quick Tips | Make The Most Out of Your Samples

As you may know I buy a lot of stuff from Korea online and they send you out lots of little samples with your purchase to try out and encourage you to buy again. And one thing you may notice is that in some samples you actually get a fair amount of product to try but more often than not you end up binning it as your left with an open sachet of leaky product.
Today I'm sharing a super easy, simple tip to prevent wastage and make your little samples go a bit further than that one initial use.

All you will need is an empty container, I bought about 20 of these little plastic containers off ebay, and a tooth pick, oh and your sample.

[click to enlarge]

The method is more than easy, simply squeeze the sides of your sample packet and slide in the tooth pick and scrape out all of your product into the container! Super simple right!
Best thing is that this lasted me about 5 days where as ordinarily I would have binned the sample after the first use, now you get a better idea of the product and whether you want to buy it!

Jen x

Wednesday 12 November 2014

Review | ORS Olive Oil Shampoo & Conditioner

Hi guys!
Sorry I've been a bit MIA, had a lot on my plate the last 2 weeks and with Christmas coming up + working in a shop = less time, que sad face :(
But with any luck I'll be back on track for a while!

So what are we looking at today? ORS's Olive Oil Creamy Aloe Shampoo and Replenishing Conditioner. 


Brand | ORS
Product | Creamy Aloe Shampoo & Replenishing Conditioner
Size | 370ml (Shampoo) & 362ml (Conditioner)
Price | £3.49 (Shampoo) & £4.07 (Conditioner)
Purchased from | Boots
Made in | USA
Would I repurchase | Yes

A little bit of info on the brand.

ORS formally known as Organic Root Stimulator is 'the #1 brand in the ethnic hair care market' mainly targeting ladies with afro-caribbean hair. So you might be thinking why did you try this if its not designed for your hair type? Because I like trying new things and this has olive oil in it! Simples.

Creamy Aloe Shampoo

This unique shampoo which includes Olive Oil, Aloe Vera, Panthenol, and Lecithin, provides the hair with maximum moisture. Olive Oil’s natural Vitamin E imparts sheen as it helps protect the hair and scalp during shampooing. Aloe Vera helps to soothe the hair and scalp while Panthenol, which contains Pro Vitamin B-5, penetrates the hair shaft and provides the hair maximum moisture.

 This shampoo has a fresh scent that does smell like aloe. It lathers up beautifully and and feels really creamy. It cleans my hair and scalp well, leaving it feeling really soft, silky and moisturised. With some shampoo's, they have left my scalp feeling dry and itchy but this makes my scalp feel like its been moisturised and taken care of and my hair doesn't feel stripped. I can honestly say I love this shampoo.

The directions say to wash your hair with the shampoo once then apply a second time and leave for 2-3 minutes which I don't really have time for but I do shampoo with it twice before following with a conditioner.

Replenishing Conditioner

Olive Oil Replenishing Conditioner™ is a deep-penetrating conditioner that contains olive oil, marine proteins, and sweet orange oil. This conditioner conditions the hair and restores moisture to the hair and scalp.
Olive oil and marine proteins moisturize the hair and scalp while imparting sheen to the hair. Sweet orange oil helps to soothe and condition the scalp.

First off, OMG this smells devine! The sweet orange oil adds a serious oomph to the scent of this conditioner. Its very thick and creamy. Its also very heavy and a little sticky. I have tried to use it several times with the creamy aloe shampoo but as the shampoo its self is very moisturising, combining it with this conditioner on my hair doesn't work sadly. Its much to much for fine hair and doesn't seem to wash out very well. However when used with a regular shampoo (with out any added moisturisers) it works much better, I guess all that moisture is too much. Although I can see it working well with the creamy aloe shampoo on hair that's thicker and coarser than my own. 

The directions state to use after shampooing with the Creamy Aloe Shampoo, apply a generous amount, comb through and place a plastic cap over the hair and sit under a dryer for 10-15 minutes or leave on the hair for 45 minutes with out heat. I use this just as a regular conditioner in the shower leave it in for a few minutes then wash out. Any longer for me and it doesn't wash out well. But a quick few minutes is enough to leave my hair soft and smelling of oranges.

All in all I have enjoyed using these two and was glad I gave them ago! I will definitely repurchase the shampoo in the future but am a little undecided on the conditioner.

Jen x