Monday, 29 February 2016

Beauty | Timeless Truth: The Luxury Facemask

Timeless Truth, Face Mask, Skincare, Luxury,
I first head of Timeless Truth when I received one of their masks (and a lot of PR information) in the Suffolk Blogger Meet goodie bag. I put off trying the mask, but I had so many sachets to use up. And it’s a good job I saved it – as I got another variety in my Blogger Pamper Hamper box (thanks Amanda!), so what better reason to share this post with you? As you all know, I love a facemask and try and treat myself to one a week, alongside my daily skincare routine. I have since used both masks, so here are my thoughts.

Timeless Truth have two main varieties of mask: Fusion and Luxury. Both are designed to fit your face and because they are fabric, as opposed to gel, clay or cream, they are virtually mess-free. I say virtually, because they do contain product and some may need to be squeezed out prior to application.
Timeless Truth, Face Mask, Skincare, Luxury,
Fusion mask: deep sea extract moisturising mask*
The blue colour in this mask is deep sea water extract that produces an excellent moisturising effect, leaving the skin illuminated and glowing

The Fusion mask contained serum and powder within the cloth, which is why it has the coloured check formation. This didn’t require any hassle as there was no need to remove excess serum. However it was difficult to unfold this product and because the material was quite thin, it did tear slightly when trying to apply to the face. I didn’t find this particular mask to fit very well, it was a little on the big side and it wouldn’t stay in place, even when it started to harden. Despite this, the results were good and exactly what I was expecting. My skin looked brighter and more hydrated. It was a good cleansing and moisturising mask, but I have used better. I would rate this 5/10.
Timeless Truth, Face Mask, Skincare, Luxury,
Luxury mask: miracle rejuvenation*
A brightening mask that rejuvenates and refines the look of skin, helping to even out the skin tone and help diminish the appearance of spots and wrinkles

The Luxury masks are made with fibres so are a lot thicker than the Fusion range – but then that was expected, with the ‘luxury’ title. I used the elasticated cloth one, which completely covers the face and secured underneath the chin and over the ears, courtesy of hooks. Thankfully this one didn’t slip and felt secure, if a little weird – but it does mean you can be active while wearing it. This variety contained a lot of serum so needed to be squeezed before applying. I obviously don’t suffer from age spots or wrinkles but I did find this the perfect mask to use on winter skin – it almost had a repairing quality, leaving me with soft, smooth and brightened skin. This one fared a lot better, so gets a solid 7/10.

I’m not sure if I’d be inclined to buy either mask again; they’re definitely high-end, with the Fusion priced at £4.90 per pack (£23.50 for five) and the Luxury at £6.50 (or £31 for five). Although the majority of my skincare is mid-to-high-end, I think I’d rather try other masks on the market, and failing that, stick with brands I am familiar with.

Have you tried any Timeless Truth masks? Leave your thoughts and links below.

Love, Lucy xx

*These products were included in a goodie bag, but while I didnt pay for them, opinions are my own

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Restaurant review | Stazione di Posta, Roma

On my recent trip to Rome, one of the foodie highlights simply had to be the taster menu at Michelin-starred Stazione di Posta. This may have been a mission to find and that’s no understatement – it’s in the middle of nowhere and everything on the neighbouring streets is boarded up or closed – but my, was it worth it! Housed in Rome's old abattoir, this open space makes you feel as though you’re stepping out on to a ranch, but once inside, the vibe is totally different and they’ve done well to make it really beautiful.

Upon arrival, we were met by the concierge class staff who took our jackets and reservation, before guiding us to the table. The restaurant was so spacious and there was plenty of room between tables, which was ideal, especially considering all the plates we were about to devour. While minimalist in terms of decor, the restaurant was lovely and so well-lit.

As well as an a la carte menu, there are two options of taster menus: one five-course and the other seven. There’s also the option to add wine and cocktails for a supplement, which works out better value than ordering by the glass, or bottle. I always knew I would go for the five-course menu, as seven would be far too much. This was definitely the right decision, because before we had even started, we received a selection of freshly baked breads and grissini.
After digging into the beautiful breads: onion, rosemary and granary, we sipped an aperitif, which was one of the restaurant’s signature cocktails. I can’t remember what it contained exactly, but there was definitely ginger beer and plenty of booze – it was still enjoyable. Then  became the excitement. Three members of staff brought several plates and trays to the table and my eyes lit up, because there were so many exciting savoury bites! I didn’t know where to start, but luckily everything was explained to us first. The real egg shell contained a carbonara sauce with a piece of pasta and large bacon lardon; the savoury cone was ricotta and sundried tomato with bacon; the test tube was a cheese sauce, with mussel powder and the savoury Mikado was a spaghetti stick coated with spinach. The highlight was the pork bun with cucumber and mustard mayo, it almost wanted to be Asian. This really set the benchmark for the rest of the evening and luckily we didn’t have to wait long for the next course.
The first course was a beautifully cooked fillet of cod, topped with wild rice and served with slices of dehydrated vegetables. It looked so pretty and colourful, but upon serving, an onion broth was added to strengthen the flavours. It really brought the plate to life. The fish simply flaked off the fork, the vegetables were still crunchy, despite sitting in the broth and it was such a light meal.
I had the rigatone surf & turf, or ‘mare e monti’ to follow. This was a wonderfully vibrant dish of rigatone pasta cooked in fish broth, with a traditional cheese sauce, chorizo, mussels and squid. Apparently the Italians make a pizza equivalent of this, but I don’t think I would try that. The pasta was the nicest I’d ever had, you could tell it was handmade and cooked to perfection, there was still that bite there. The meaty combination of seafood and sausage was divine and there was just enough there.
The next course was another good one: belly of pork with smoked fondant potato, apple jelly and wholegrain mustard. I’m not usually a fan of pork belly because it’s so fatty, but this had a decent meat-to-fat ratio and where it had been slow-cooked, it was just so soft. The flavours were so good, almost like sweet barbecue – and complemented the paprika potato well. None of the components were dry but I definitely could have done with more apple and mustard.
Zuppa Inglese was the dessert, which surprisingly wasn’t a soup. I was genuinely expecting a liquidised fruit sorbet or thin custard but instead, was met by the Italian equivalent of trifle. But it was much better than trifle! It wasn’t rich or stodgy or too sweet. Pieces of biscuit and sponge were alongside chocolate mousse and custard and the whole dish was covered by a sheet of gelatine. There was definitely some fruit in there as well. Being a massive dessert fan, I think I ate this in three mouthfuls and such speed, my brain couldn’t register exactly what each element was. And while I was starting to tire, the meal didn’t stop there...
The same three waiting staff that brought out our appetisers brought over a selection of petit-fours. These were practically Willa Wonka-esque and definitely the highlight of the evening – and for good reason, you can’t beat a homemade sweet treat. We sampled choco-nut Mikado sticks, chocolate popcorn truffles, green apple marshmallows, chocolate chupa chups with passion fruit centres, cherry yogurt balls that popped in the mouth and mini meringues, which hung from the tree. As these were individually wrapped, we could take these away with us and I destroyed them all in the hotel that evening. The red apple ones were amazing.
After paying the bill, we relaxed in the lounge area and sampled the cocktails, which we waited for our taxi to collect us – there was no way I’d walk back to the metro station. I really love martinis and with ‘ours or yours’ on the menu, I requested a passion fruit one. Unfortunately they had no passion fruit, so I asked the bartender to surprise me. I had the most beautiful lychee martini and it was worth waiting for – the mixologist totally knew his stuff was mesmerising to watch.
I would thoroughly recommend Stazione di Posta, because if you can see past the location, you’re in for a very special evening. The five-course menu with drinks was only 90 (so roughly £70) per person, which is so worth it, when you consider all the added extras. The service throughout was incredible, from the member of staff who met us down the road when we couldn’t find the location, to all the waiters, concierge and bar staff. The language barrier was never an issue, as it is sometimes the case in the city and I think there were actually more diners speaking English than Italian. As we left, we were even given a little plastic bag of traditional Italian biscuits with tea, to “enjoy when you get home” according to our waiter. Every little touch is well thought of and that combined with excellent food and drink makes this place one of the best I’ve been to.

Love, Lucy xx

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Beauty | The Libbie Club – February 2016

The Libbie Club is a members-only club, brought to you by Latest in Beauty. Everyone knows how much of an LIB fan I am, so when they asked me to join the club, I jumped at the chance. Each month, members are sent boxes full of products to test, review and influence friends to buy. It’s all about creating awareness, but also having lots of fun along the way. By accumulating points, you’re also in with the chance of trying more goodies, receiving better offers and exclusive discounts. I was so pleased with the February box, as I felt its contents were really tailored to my needs and routine.

The February box consisted of a full-size shampoo and conditioner from Salon Science, two samples and one full-size serum from Elemental Herbology and the Stress Less Therapy Balm from Scentered.
Salon Science Celluluxe Shampoo & Conditioner – for anti-aging and restored volume
After months of harsh cold weather and neglect (it’s so much easier to hide under a hat!), the Celluluxe shampoo and conditioner from Salon Science is the ideal way to restore your hair’s volume, shine and silkiness. Not only does this product smell gorgeous, but the results are instant. I’ve been using both for a fortnight now, alternating with my regular shampoo and conditioner – and I’ve noticed a difference. My hair is no longer dull and lifeless, it’s got a bit of bounce, it looks shinier and even the colour looks restored. The conditioner has transformed my split ends and I’ve been receiving plenty of compliments – I’ve even taken advantage of the Libbie Club offer, which I’m sharing below.
Elemental Herbology Cell Food – Radiance & Vitality Facial Serum
After sampling the two tester sachets, I couldn’t wait to dig into the full-size pot of serum by Elemental Herbology. This is a really lightweight serum, which doesn’t feel sticky, but is so easy to apply and immediately soaks into the skin, without feeling wet of greasy. It also makes a great primer for applying makeup and it’s recommended you use it twice a day. During the winter months, the weather can play havoc with your skin, particularly your face – but this rejuvenates, adding vitality, reducing redness and even moisturising. It’s an amazing product and one that’s firmly on my dresser.
Scentered Stress Less Therapy Balm
The Stress Less Therapy Balm is something I totally need in my life: I constantly feel stressed, anxious and tired and in need of pampering. The fact that this little beauty comes in an on-the-go stick is a lifesaver – you can keep it next to your bed, in your handbag, on your desk, wherever you like. I apply this to my pulse points: wrists, behind the ears and the back of the neck. It instantly makes me feel calm. It’s perfect for those who have trouble sleeping too and I’ve noticed it helps me drop off quicker. The notes of Neroli, Rosemary, Jasmine and Rose are uplifting and it’s a long-lasting product that’s perfect for those suffering with stress, anxiety, insomnia or similar feelings.

Plus until Thursday 25th, you can save £5 when you spend £30 or more – and receive free delivery. Enter code: FLASH30 – but hurry as you only have 48 hours to redeem this offer! And please visit my Libbie Club page for more amazing offers from brands including Maddi Alexander, Vita Liberata, La Montana and Bourjois.

Are you a Libbie? What did you make of the February box?

Love, Lucy xx

Monday, 22 February 2016

Recipe | Baked Breakfast Oats

This is a recipe I’ve wanted to share for a couple of weeks now and if you’ve seen my Instagram you’ll know I’ve been loving baked oats! A lot of the girls at work have been talking about them, a couple are on Slimming World and the others are right gym bunnies at the minute – but a quick Google search will find countless recipes. I’ve been experimenting with different flavours and quantities, so here are the first two I’ve tried.

Blueberry baked oats – makes 4; serving size 2
·         70g oats
·         100ml unsweetened almond milk
·         1 stick (4g) Natvia sweetener
·         Couple of drops vanilla essence
·         1 egg
·         40g blueberries
Chocolate banana baked oats – makes 6, serving size 3
·         70g oats
·         100ml unsweetened almond milk
·         1 stick (4g) Natvia sweetener
·         Couple of drops vanilla essence
·         1 egg
·         1 banana
·         2 tsp Green & Black’s organic cocoa (or equivalent)
·         ½ tsp cinnamon
·         Beat the egg and add all wet ingredients in a mixing bowl
·         Add the dry ingredients and stir thoroughly
·         Using a muffin or baking tray, place cake cases
·         Spoon the mixture into each case
·         Bake on gas mark 6 for 25-30 minutes, or until tops are golden brown and bottoms are cooked. If the bottoms are soggy, take out the cases and bake upside down for a further 5 minutes
·         Serve on own, or with yogurt/fruit/whatever you wish

This is such a quick and easy recipe which can easily be made the night before. Keeping the oats in an air-tight container, they’ll stay fresh for three days – I don’t think I’d make a week’s batch! Next up, I’d love to try almond & raspberry, or cocoa & coconut. I’m feeling really inspired to keep up baking oats, because they are so filling but it almost feels like a treat having them for breakfast.

What are your favourite flavour combinations? Let me know if you try this or any of my other recipes.

Love, Lucy xx