Tuesday, 23 August 2016

REVIEW: LA ROCHE-POSAY EFFACLAR DUO[+] UNIFIANT

It is absolutely no surprise to anybody that I LOVE La Roche-Posay skincare. It's the only brand I have found that is designed for oily/blemish prone skin and actually WORKS. Well, it does for me anyway. Since I read a review of the Effaclar 3-Step Anti-Blemish System and decided to try it out, I have been hooked on LR-P. So obviously when I was recently contacted to review the brand new Effaclar Duo[+] Unifiant I jumped at the chance!




I already own the award-winning Effaclar Duo[+] cream, and although I am fortunate enough to never really suffer from spots or bad skin (thanks mum!) I do have an oily t-zone. The Effaclar Duo[+] makes an ideal base for my make-up, working as a primer, reducing shine AND keeping my skin hydrated! The tube isn't huge, but you literally need a pea sized amount to cover the entire face- and I have an absolute moon head so I am rejoicing!

N.B- Ignore the fact I appear to be doing the YMCA in these photo's, but I have never taken 'natural' photos of myself and instantly got awkward arm syndrome!

Au Naturale!
The new Effaclar DUO [+] Unifiant contains all the amazing benefits of the Duo[+] with the addition of a sheer coverage. There are two shades, light or medium. Although I am extremely tanned atm *smug face*, the medium shade still adapts perfectly to my skin. It's perfect for wearing to work, especially when I have the daily dilemma or whether I want to get up and put my face on or have 20 minutes longer in bed. And the latter always wins, obviously.



Like I said, the amount you need to use is so small!

(Excuse the bush)

Small additional of a couple of brows, a slick of Carmex, a hairbrush, a bit of mascara and voila! This is my every-day look for work. I have absolutely minimal make-up but my skin looks unified, blemish free and moisturised. All the qualities of my foundation but it feels weightless! Plus it takes about 5 minutes. What's not to love?!

Pick up yours here or check out the full range of La Roche-Posay products over on their website here!

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

LOW CARB MEAL IDEAS

In prep for my trip to Barcelona on Saturday, I have been going carb-free in a last minute attempt to drop a few pounds before I jet off (being a last minute Linda, as per.) I have tweeted a couple of times about how I have found it surprisingly way easier than I thought it would be, so being the absolute ANGEL that I am, I thought I would share some really low-carb meal ideas for anyone wanting to do the same.

I am by no means a dietitian or nutritionist, I just find recipes and adapt them to go with what works for me and my body.


DOUBLE CHOCOLATE GREEN SMOOTHIE

Ingredients:
2x scoops of protein powder (I use MyProtein Chocolate brownie)
1 tray of ice
1 handful of spinach/kale
1/4 cucumber
200ml Alpro Soya Dark Chocolate Almond Milk
1/2 teaspoon of Xantham Gum (natural thickener)

Method:
Whiz everything up in a blender! I add the Xantham gum last because you have more control over the thickness this way. It turns it from a drink into a delicious creamy, thick dessert! SO good. Especially when you get home late and cba cooking anything 'proper'.

CRUSTLESS QUICHE

Ingredients:
4x Quorn sausages
1 red bell pepper
1/2 red onion
handful of chopped spring onion
3 eggs
200g cottage cheese
60g cheddar cheese
herbs to season (I just throw in a random mix of whatever is in my mum's cupboard)

Method:
A really easy method- even I can do it! Simply fry the sausages/pepper/onion until soft. In another bowl mix the cottage cheese, eggs and grated cheese and season with whatever you fancy. Pour the sausage/pepper mix into an ovenproof dish and top with the cheesey-egg mix. Place into a preheated oven (190 degrees) for 20 minutes and voila! DONE. 

I find this recipe tastes even better when it's eaten cold the day after. I have been making it in the evening to have for my lunch the next day. The whole quiche is just under 800 calories so divide it up according to how hungry you are. I slice into thirds and enjoy it with a nice, big salad. Again- SO GOOD!

BLUEBERRY JELLY AND STRAWBERRY COTTAGE CHEESE

Ingredients:
Sugar free jelly (made up as required)
Blueberries
150g cottage cheese
Strawberry Flavdrops (I get mine from MyProtein)

Method:
Now, I know this sounds absolutely rank but trust me- it's delicious! I enjoy it as an afternoon snack in the office, usually around the time the office cakes and biscuits start creeping out so I can enjoy a sweet treat with the rest of my team but absolutely guilt free!

Make up the jelly as required (make sure it's sugar free!) and before you pop it in the fridge overnight, add a few blueberries to the mix. GROUNDBREAKINGLY INNOVATIVE I KNOW. But it really does make a difference to plain old jelly. Measure out about 150g cottage cheese (half a tub which is about 104 calories depending on the brand) and add a couple of Flavdrops of your choice. I use strawberry because I don't think it tastes too artificial. Think of it as a much healthier vesion of jelly and ice-cream (kinda...lol) 



I think the combination is delicious, but literally every single one of my colleagues looks at me in pure disgust when I'm eating this, so I think you have to try it first before you start stocking up on the Flavdrops and cottage cheese!

TUNA LETTUCE BOATS

Ingredients:
1 can drained tuna
2 tablespoons of greek yoghurt (Total 0% or Fage)
1/2 diced pepper
1/2 diced onion
6 romaine lettuce leaves
Salt & pepper to season

Method:
Super easy and super tasty. Mix all the ingredients together and divide between the lettuce 'boats'. I like to add a sprinkle of chilli flakes for a bit of a metabolism-boosting kick!

Image from here

Other carb free (or very low carb) foods that I like to snack on include-


  • Cucumber sticks and cottage cheese
  • Ice pops (life savers for when you start getting night time munchies!)
  • Frozen berries


Do low carb diets work for you? What are your favourite things to snack on? Tweet me @CLAUDIAWRIGHTx

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

GIN FESTIVAL: LIVERPOOL


I was fortunate enough to be invited down to this year's Gin Festival in Liverpool. There are multiple events held all over the country, but when I found out that the Liverpool festival proved to be so popular that an extra date had to be added to the schedule, I knew I was in for a treat! Not to mention the small fact that I am OBSESSED with gin!


When we arrived (I brought my fellow gin-lover Liv along too) we were greeted with a special Gin Festival glass (or goblet!) that we were to use for all of our drinks throughout the day. We also got a booklet featuring allllllll the gins that were available (over 100!) and some drink tokens. Obviously our first port of call was to stock up on MORE drink tokens- they were £5 each- and make our way to the stands!


The venue itself was beautiful- it was in Lutyen's Crypt behind the Metropolitan Cathedral. The main room was absolutely PACKED with gin, stalls, food and other fun interactive things to do! The gin displays were separated into four blocks, but we wandered over and described what we fancied and the server suggested something tasty. I started with Hoxton Gin, which had amaaazing distinctive coconut and grapefruit flavours. It was served with ginger ale and lemon. SO GOOD. We took our drinks and wandered over to the exhibitors and *may* have sampled a few tasters- neat. The ambassadors were so informative and passionate- which is something I really enjoy about exhibitions and events, when you can tell someone really loves their brand. We made our way around each exhibitor- I wasn't even phased by the fact it was barely mid day, I wanted to try E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G!



So of course with any day drinking session, you need something to fuel you through the day! Antipasti is one of my favourite things EVER- so you can imagine my face when I saw the Spanish street food on offer from Alimento! I had one of each skewer pictured- for review purposes, obviously...


Possibly the highlight of my day- making my own cocktail with the guys at Brockman's! I was muddling, peeling, shaking, pouring, and voila! My very own Bramble! The incredible thing about Brockman's is that you can really taste the blueberries and blackberries, it has a really juicy, jammy flavour. I would never usually drink gin on the rocks, but I will definitely be ordering one of these next time I'm out schmoozing. The brand itself is exciting too- think unique, daring and a little bit naughty. We attended a masterclass later on in the afternoon which was held by Mike, one of the brand ambassadors. He gave us more of an insight into the brand. It was really interesting to hear how the concept came about, just a group of bartenders and friends with a passion for gin, setting themselves the challenge of coming up with a completely original gin- and Brockman's was born!

Bramble made by Yours Truly
Hoxton Gin, accessorised with a subtle garnish of manchego cheese and roasted red pepper
Sikkim Fraise
Tarquin's Gin (again, a small garnish to accompany)
La Vita E'Bella

I was kindly gifted these tickets, but I would have happily paid full price and will definitely be attending next year. It's interesting to be learning more about my favourite spirit other than what I like to drink and what I don't- which is hardly anything. Apart from perhaps when I was reduced to Tesco Basics Gin in my first two years at uni.

See here for the upcoming events!