Tuesday 30 July 2013

Nail of the Day: Blue Bling Geometrics


I come in peace... with a nail of the day post! (I don't know why I said that...) Anyway, so this time when I decided to paint my nails while catching up on Pretty Little Liars - which I am LOVING by the way - I found myself wanting to do some sort of nail art - talk about multi-tasking!

 I firstly decided on using the colour orange with a silver but went ahead with the turquoise and silver combination instead, and I'm so glad I did! I also found some blue rhinestones that I could use to bling up my nails. I usually go for an accent nail on my ring finger but wanted to try something different - so this time around I bling-ed out all of my nails, this way my pinkie and other nails don't feel left out!

 I love painting my nails while watching YouTube videos or a TV show as I find my hands don't fidget around much while the nails are drying, meaning less chance of smudging - don't you just hate it when you spend forever doing your nails and then you smudge it or get prints on the nail? After all that time and effort... gosh!

Anyway, I received quite a few compliments on the nails, even today while I was at the store the woman asked if I did them myself or got them done, to be honest I had forgotten I had done my nails like this and was surprised at the comment - it was obviously a nice comment so I wasn't disappointed!

The thing is, the look is so simple to achieve that literally no tools were required! I simply used the nail brush itself to create the triangles and then stuck the rhinestones on - actually to make the rhinestone step easier I used a steel nail file but could have surely used my hands for this.

So yes, a simple but nonetheless lovely look to try out this summer, you could mix and match the colour combination too! By the way, you may have noticed this nail look in my smoothies post, which was yummy by the way.

Alright, so let me know what you think and other simple nail art that you love!

Friday 26 July 2013

Free Smoothies?? Yummy!


How are you enjoying the sun? Ever have those moments when you think to yourself, "Ahh, a nice COLD drink would be amazing right now!" or you just saw the new McDonalds smoothie advert and think: "Might have to try that one out" - Well, you can satisfy yourself... on the house!

                                           Strawberry & Banana Smoothie (Half-Finished!)

All you have to do is download the McDonalds app from the App Store, which is free, sign up, play a little mini game to receive a free smoothie next time you go to McDonalds! It's great!

                                                                          Photo From HERE

My friend and I went to go and see 'The Internship', which is a great comedy movie, really inspirational and got us laughing - after the movie (skipped the popcorn and drink) we headed down to McDonalds to receive our complementary smoothie with no trouble or questioning at all. We were quite shy at first as we had never before used an online coupon in McDonalds, but it was a great service - and did I mention we got free smoothies?!

I ordered the Strawberry & Banana one and my friend ordered the Mango & Pineapple one, it was quite nice. Out of the two I probably preferred the Mango & Pineapple flavoured smoothie, however if I'm honest, I'd probably not (re)purchase these smoothies again - just because I'm not a HUGE fan of store bought smoothies anyway and I think I'll just stick to the McFlurry's from McDonalds!
Actually, I would like to learn to create nice smoothies at home...

Well, anyway it was a nice day out and sipping the free smoothie in the park on a hot day was bliss!
Hope you enjoy the smoothie if you get one!


Tuesday 23 July 2013

Fresh Juice over Cartons... Why?

Many of you may be aware of the 'Juice Cleanse' craze going on at the moment, and to be honest, I love it!
From a family who has freshly made juice almost everyday of the week for at least the last 6-7 years, I am a huge fan. My parents had seen a tele advert for a juicer and jumped on it and since then we've been served with carrot, apple and ginger juice for a very long time (with the occasional melon or over-ripening fruit added to the mixure!)... oh, and for a change we'd have freshly squeezed orange juice too.

Anyway, the REAL reason I'm writing this post is to tell you the reasons why freshly squeezed juice, orange juice in particular, is much more beneficial than the cartoned juice. I am not a huge fan of juice in general, I don't remember the last time I drank soda and nor do I enjoy fruit juice or any sort of cartoned juice in general, but when it comes to fresh juice... YUMMY.
Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice in my Summery Glass! 

You may know that food (vegetables/fruits etc.) in general lose nutritional value when they're cooked, by that I mean raw broccoli has more vitamins and minerals than cooked, such as steamed, broccoli, therefore if orange juice is cooked in any way, the nutritional value is reduced. "Cooked juice? WHAT?"you may ask, well, legally (in the UK anyway), all juice has to be pasteurised before sold to ensure longer shelf life and the idea that bacteria is killed. Now, pasteurised means heating the juice, which is basically cooking the juice, what does this mean? This means the nutritional value is reduced!

Therefore, store bought orange juice, no matter how healthy and high in nutritional value it may seem (I'm looking at you, Tropicana), it won't beat the freshly squeezed, legit juice. Also, the sooner you drink it after it is squeezed, the higher in nutritional value as it is said that the longer it sits, the decrease in nutritional value.

Moreover, many store bought juices have added sugar and ingredients that you may not be aware of, so you may think it's great for you, yet it's not. So, even though it takes a little more effort, I recommend freshly squeezed NON-PASTEURISED juice to ensure you're consuming the most nutritious beverages with the highest amount of nutritional value to nourish your body.

Woah, I feel like I said 'Nutritional Value' a million times in this post! Anyway, I hope you learnt something from this and decide to join me and my family with the fresh juice consumption.


Disclaimer: I am not trying to say the juiced/cartoned juices are BAD for you, just that there are many benefits of fresh juice - and if you find that you crave some orange juice and don't have the time or energy to squeeze it fresh, by all means buy the cartoned version over that soda (try and avoid added sugars, though)... :)
Oh, and I'm not a nutritionist or anything, just a curious person who likes to research stuff! :D

Friday 19 July 2013

BerryBakes: Vegan, Gluten-free, Sugar-free Cookies?!

 If you're anything like me, then you love sweet stuff: cakes, cookies and candy floss - you name it! So, you want to eat it all but it seems kinda unhealthy... Solution? Sugar Free, HEALTHIER Cookies!
That seems a little like an oxymoron, but I put it to the test... and I like it!

My mum and I were actually making regular biscuits/cookies for my grandma (She's recovering from an operation and loves the biscuits we make and currently can't bake herself, so we made her some and she was full of smiles!), and I went ahead and took the opportunity of an already on and heated oven to make a small trial batch of sugar-free cookies (and it didn't take very long, so that was a plus)!

This is what they turned out like:

They were slightly crunchy on the outside and nice and chewy towards the middle, it tasted a little like coconut but the flavour wasn't overwhelming. It also had a nutty flavour due to the flour used and to be quite honest - I liked it! If I were to do it again, I'd add more sweetener, just because I like my sweet stuff, but the reason I think mine turned out slightly less sweet is because I used a slightly different type of Stevia than the one in the original recipe, yet the texture and overall flavour was lovely!

The original recipe stated that loads more would be made yet I only got to make 7-8 (maybe because I ate some cookie dough while rolling it out - whoops!)... yet they were nice!

Recipe (adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie):

  • 1 cup almond flour (ground almonds in a food processor - I needed about 3 handfuls of almonds)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoon Stevia
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon milk (I used Almond Milk)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  - heat oven to 325 degrees F. (about 163 degrees C.) 
  - mix all dry ingredients together in one bowl and liquid ingredients in another
  - mix together the liquid and dry ingredients by adding about half liquid first, then stir, then add the other half (this will become a slightly chunky dough)
  - roll this into a ball and then pat out on a smooth surface until desired thickness is reached (the thicker it is, the chewier the cookies will be yet the smaller number of cookies able to make - or bake for a shorter time for chewier cookies)
  - cut cookies 
  - place them on a non-stick baking tray (or greased, if not non-stick)
  - place in oven for 10-15 minutes based on how chewy you want them (I left them in for about 12)

In the original recipe it states that you need to freeze the dough before placing in the oven, but my mixture was stiff enough already and I didn't feel the need to freeze it - feel free if you find you need to.

Also you could put in chocolate chips or glaze with icing if you would like to! 

This cookie recipe is sugar free, gluten free and easily lactose free (depending on type of milk used) - also it is vegan! Great! :D

I hope you enjoyed this recipe and let me know if you would like more tried and tested recipes!
I'll leave you with a picture of my half-eaten cookie:

your fellow foodie (BerryBloomXO)

PS. have you noticed the recent craze for Coconut Oil recently? I LOVE anything coconut - coconut scented candles, coconut water and even the food itself! Oh, and coconut oil is a great beauty product - I use it on my locks (let me know if you want a post)! 

Tuesday 16 July 2013

Make-up Health Risks - Use by dates


Foods have a use-by date, but did you know that your foundation does too?
You may have heard about the 3 month mascara rule, but mascara isn't the only product which has a use-by date.

A friend of mine sent me an image which states how often makeup should be replaced or thrown out, I then did some more research on makeup expiry dates and wanted to share with you all how important that image actually was.

Only 1 in 4 women notice and use the makeup expiry date rule, which means the other 3 in 4 women (which may be you) are putting their health at risk. How? Well, over time bacteria builds up in our makeup products and we keep applying that to our delicate skin which leads to infections and possibly much worse.

"How do I know the use-by date of my product?" she asks. Well, my friend, here is another version of the image my friend sent me:

These time periods start the day you open the make-up. It can be difficult to keep track though as, unlike food, the expiry date is not written on the packaging.

To keep makeup the most hygienic and ensure that it can be used for a longer period you can do simple things such as washing your brushes between uses so bacteria doesn't build up, make sure lids are closed tightly and check for unusual smells or discolouration which can be signs that you need to chuck out the product!

Honestly, just be aware that after a certain period, it is time to replace that lipstick of yours, because to be quite frank, I've had my foundation bottle for more than 6 months and I'm not about to buy another one anytime soon, nor am I counting the days I have owned my blusher for. If hygiene is kept to a high standard, you look after your products and they don't seem to be causing an issue, I'm sure the 'expiry date' can be longer than mentioned in that table!

Do you keep track of your makeup expiry dates? Let us know!


Photo from HERE

Friday 12 July 2013

BerryHealthy: Watermelon Wonders

Summer's in full blast at the moment, especially in England where the weather has been phenomenal for the last couple of days! I've been enjoying sitting out in the sun with my cold beverage and platter of yummy fruits while I read my book or watch the boys play sports!

One of my favourite fruits to enjoy in the summer is Watermelon!
I LOVE pretty much all types of fruit and this is one is no exception! There are so many benefits to eating fruits that contain a wide range of vitamins and minerals which are obviously bound to be great for the human body in numerous ways.
I enjoy researching about the foods I eat to gain knowledge about how they benefit me and wanted to share with you!

1. Hydrating
Even in the name you can guess that this fruit is full of water! It is made of 92% water and therefore is very hydrating. This is great in the heat when you tend to sweat (unfortunately!) and lose water, so it's important to stay hydrated to avoid headaches and... quite frankly, dehydration!

2. Antioxidant
The Red Pigment of the watermelon is a great antioxidant. It is also found in other fruits such as Papaya and pink Grapefruit. This pigment is found to reduce risks of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer!

3. Vitamins & Minerals
Watermelon contains vitamins C and A. This means it is great for eye health too. In addition, it contains traces of vitamins K and B. Loads of minerals are also found in watermelons, such as Manganese, Copper and Iron. It is also a great source of Potassium which helps muscles and nerves function properly which is essential for good health. In addition, is reduces inflammation which leads to diseases such as asthma and diabetes.

4. Nutrition
Watermelons are very low in calories with only 43 calories per cup! This is great for those looking to slim their waistline. It is also virtually fat-free and contains very, very little saturated fat. It is also low in sodium and contains no cholesterol, caffeine or alcohol.

There are over 1,200 varieties of watermelon grown worldwide - in Japan, you can even get square watermelons! This was done so it fits in fridges perfectly! haha! Oh, and did you know watermelons are originally from South Africa?!

Watermelons are one of the 15 'most clean' non-organic fruits - although seedless varieties are less 'clean' and not as organic.

There are SO MANY recipes you can create with watermelons, some ideas here:
Watermelon 'cake', smoothies, ice-cream, juice and throw in with some feta cheese and mint for a salad!

I hope you enjoyed this health post!

Photo from HERE
Info from: here, here and here

Tuesday 9 July 2013

July's Top Nail Colour Picks

I was browsing through the web to search for the 'ultimate' July Polish and I was faced with difficulty. On one hand there was the light, pale colours such as the milky, nearly-white, Pinks like this one:
And then completely on the opposite end of the spectrum are the deep, darker colours like this one:
Both of these kind of colours were spotted on celebrities, the lighter one being seen on Miranda Cosgrove and the blue on Aisha Tyler.

So, this means to say that there definitely isn't one set shade of colour for this month, like a coral or a mint that has previously been HUGE, so I went ahead and chose the top 3 colours I am likely to wear during this month!

So These are my Top Picks:
1. Hot, Candy Pinks
2. Orange-Red Shades
3. Pastel Shade, specifically Purple!

I LOVE PINK! Think of summer - what comes to mind? WATERMELONS! Watermelons are a lovely shade of pink that I love especially for July! (If you follow me on twitter, you might have seen the GIGANTIC watermelon we had in our Kitchen!) I feel pink is definitely a year round colour - I'm sure you girly girls would agree!

Red is a classic colour, it can be worn with your fav LBD* to give it a lovely pop - especially with the popular 1920's based films coming out recently, who wouldn't love that combination? Yet, sometimes I feel red is a little too much and to make it a little more fun and toned down for the Summer, I would go for the Orange-Red tone. It's a step aside from the CORAL colours that are pretty much always in for the summer, yet it's still trendy and nice for July.

Pastels are a MUST in Spring and Summer times, you see mints, corals, pastel blues and even the lilac. I went for the Lilac pastel shade because I like the look of it and it reminds me of Lavender. Hmmm... don't lavenders smell lovely? ;)

Anyway so those are my top 3 nail picks for July! I hope you enjoy and wait for another posts where I'll show you the next colour I decide to paint my nails for this month (HINT: It may be one of the above!) - take your guesses and leave me suggestions and YOUR FAVOURITE JULY POLISH!

Love you loads,

*LBD = Little Black Dress

First photo from HERE
Second photo from HERE
3 Photos from: 1. 2. 3.

Friday 5 July 2013

Get Glowy For Summer - Highlighters

Summer comes around and so does the tanned skin and glow - whether it be artificial or real is a different story!
Around summer time the 'oily look' is something that is avoided with matte powder but a dewy, fresh glow is there instead. I recently found that so many cosmetic companies are introducing new highlighters, especially liquid - guys, they are in FULL BLAST right now!
Here are some of the ones that I have recently found:

1. MAC Lustre Drops
This is described as a 'bronzer that applies like liquid sun' - so yes, it is summer in a bottle! This is available in 2 shades: 'Sun Rush' which is a yellow toned highlight and 'Pink Rebel' which is suited for those with pink undertones. This reminds me very much of the 'Sun Beam' and 'High Beam' from Benefit Cosmetics which has been selling for a long time. The MAC Lustre Drops are limited edition and sell for £18 for 18ml, in comparison to the Benefit which sells for £19.50 for 15ml, so the price for the Lustre Drops are lower!
Lustre Drops are water-based though, and would not be waterproof for the days in the pool (then again, who REALLY wears a full face of makeup at the pool?!). 

ANOTHER product from Benefit! Benefit actually have a range of highlighters: Sun Beam, High Beam, Watt's Up, Girl Meets Pearl, Moon Beam, Erase Paste (Concealer and highlighter)... AND they have a mini-kit called 'finding mr. bright' which features High Beam, Posie Tint, Erase Paste and Girl Meets Pearl! So Benefit are really milking this whole highlight product, and to be quite honest, it is selling well! Good for them! These products are great and Watt's Up in particular is a champagne shade which can be placed on top of cheek bones, on the brow bone and anywhere where you think you want a nice glow and shimmer - a highlight to be quite precise! This product provides a luminous sheen to accentuate areas where the sun naturally hits anyway, giving a more chiselled and glow-y look at £24.50.

Lastly, I went ahead and found a cheaper alternative to the liquid highlighters, this one is by ELF and is meant to be used under the eye, however can obviously be used elsewhere. This sells for a mere £3.75 and includes a concealer! 

Liquid highlighters (and all the ones mentioned above) can be applied on top of, or without, makeup! So, if you do want to have a no-makeup makeup look, this could be the only product you need to give yourself a longed-for glow! Who says you don't wake up looking like that? (Nobody needs to know - it'll be our secret!)


Picture 1 from HERE
Picture 2 from HERE
Picture 3 from HERE

Tuesday 2 July 2013

Brush Your Skin for Smooth Skin?

I have recently heard about brushing your skin to improve conditions. Brushing your skin? What's that, you may ask - well, it's basically getting a brush (like the one pictured below) and using it to brush your skin to make it smooth and... well, nicer!
So, all you do is go over your body with this brush, without any water or any soap or anything, it just simply is used dry (hence why it's called Dry Brushing!).
There are many benefits related to this:
- Reduced Cellulite
- Toned Skin
- Smooth Skin
- Eliminates Toxins*
- Increase Circulation = GLOWING skin
- Youthful Skin

*This is told to be a great detoxifier as your skin gets rid of a lot of toxins that we have in our body, so if the pores are clogged, these toxins cannot be removed, so by dry brushing, we are unclogging our pores and therefore detoxifying our bodies!

Not only that, it is also Anti-Aging! Prevention is key, guys, lets jump on this bandwagon.

I don't currently do this but did some research and would love to try it out myself. When I first heard about this dry brushing, I used a flannel to do the same type of thing and already I saw a difference. I am definitely going to purchase a dry brush to try out for myself and will let you know how it goes!

There are a couple of dry brushes I am looking into to see which to purchase, all £10 or below:
1. The Body Shop Cactus Brush
2. Amazon - Yerba Prima Brush
3. Tesco - Tisserand Aromatherapy Body Brush

Oh, and you want to use this is motions towards your heart, starting from your feet in an upward motion and avoid any sensitive areas. I would also recommend to not use this brush on your face, although you can get face brushes for a similar effect!

Do you dry brush?


PS. What do you think about naming skin care/body care posts as 'BerryBody' or 'BerryBeauty'?!

Photo from here