Luxury Travel and Lifestyle Blog

How To Create The Perfect Metallic Moment

All that glitters isn't gold. Sometimes, it's eyeliner.

I usually associate metallic makeup looks with festivals, dressing up and overly glam evening makeup. Although I am partial to the odd bit of shimmer, I'm not exactly what you'd call a glitter-holic, especially when it comes to everyday makeup. So, when I was introduced to the new Eye Of Horus Liquid Metal Eyeliners, I didn't immediately think that they'd be something I'd use on a day-to-day basis. But I've had a change of heart.

Eye Of Horus creates makeup that draws on inspiration from the Goddesses of Ancient Egypt. Using  sacred ingredients from the Ancient world, including organic moringa oil, they strive to awaken the Goddess in all women with beauty products that contain illuminating mineral pigments. Think gloriously glowing gold, precious pewter and bewitching bronze....

Available in Alchemy Gold, Imperial Bronze, Ancient Pewter and Copper Sphinx, their new Liquid Metal Eyeliner range is something to be desired. With a precision, felt-tip applicator, each liner delivers an illuminating metallic mineral pigment that effortlessly highlights the eyes. Smudge-free and long-lasting, they're perfect for adding gorgeous and sophisticated splashes of colour to your much-loved makeup looks. (To get the best effect, it's recommended that you shake the eyeliner before use incase any of that precious pigment has sunk to the bottom.)

Below, I've created three looks using all four of the Liquid Metal Eyeliners that will hopefully inspire you to work some metallic magic into your makeup. 

For my first look, I've given the smokey eye a metallic makeover and added a line of Imperial Bronze Liquid Metallic Liner above my upper lashes. To create a really deep smokey eye, I applied a thin line of Rimmel GlamEyes Liquid Liner in black first, then another thin line in Imperial Bronze Liquid Metallic Liner to make the eye 'pop'. I finished my eyelashes with Diorshow Blackout Mascara and defined my brows using No7 Beautiful Eyebrow Sculpting Pencil in brown.

For my second look, I created a subtle daytime look using the Ancient Pewter Liquid Metal Liner. I used a soft nude / silver colour on the base of my eyelids and lined my eyes using Rimmel GlamEyes Liquid Liner in black. Then, I applied a thin line of the Ancient Pewter Liquid Metal Liner above the black eyeliner and finished my eyelashes with a sweep of Diorshow Blackout Mascara. I complemented the eye with a dusty pink lipstick.

My third look uses two of the Liquid Metal Liners: Alchemy Gold and Sphinx CopperFirst, I created a soft smokey eye with gold and light brown eyeshadows then applied the Sphinx Copper Liquid Metal Liner to my upper eyelid. After lining my lower lashes with No7 Stay Perfect Amazing Eyes eyeliner in black, I applied Alchemy Gold underneath and dusted a gold eyeshadow on top to blend. As the eyes are the focus of this look, I chose a nude matte lipstick to finish it off.

Are you a fan of metallic makeup?

Beauty And The Burger

Today is not your average Thursday: it's National Burger Day

It doesn't matter how often we eat them, there's something very satisfying about getting down and dirty with a burger. Regardless of how sophisticated our tastebuds get, we still crave comfort from our favourite feel-good food. 

To us, eating a burger will always be a familiar, hands-on experience, every bite reinforcing the fact that no matter what happens, burgers are our friends. And in the past few years, burgers have left behind their frumpy, fattening, plain Jane image and got a little bit sexy.

They're no longer the same old boring beef patty-in-a-bun (with cheese if we're feeling adventurous). Now, they're dressed to kill - with exciting flavours, textures and delicious toppings that keep us wanting more. The fire in our bellies is well and truly burning with desire and there is no sign of it going out.

So, to spread the love for our old friend, I'm sharing with you my favourite homemade vegetarian burger: my delicious Falafel and Halloumi burger. They're super easy to make, full of flavour and they're nowhere near as naughty as a traditional beef burger so you don't have to feel guilty about over-indulging. 

Falafel and Halloumi Burgers

Ingredients  (makes 2-3 falafel patties)
1 400g can of chickpeas
1 small onion
1 garlic clove
1 1/2 teaspoons of cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons of coriander
1 teaspoon of paprika
1/2 teaspoon of chilli flakes
1 egg beaten
Fresh parsley
Plain flour
Salt and pepper to taste
Sunflower or vegetable oil
Brioche bun

1.  Complete steps 1 to 4 of my falafel recipe.
2. Add a beaten egg to the mixture and mould into 3 patties (approximately the size of the palm of your hand).
3. Freeze the patties for 15 minutes to retain their shape.
4. Prepare the brioche bun by spreading it with houmous and laying rocket on the base of the bun.
5. Heat some sunflower/vegetable oil and fry the falafel burgers on a low heat for 4 minutes each side until golden brown.
6. Place on a plate and blot the excess oil with kitchen roll.
7. Fry 2 slices of halloumi until light brown and blot the excess oil with kitchen roll.
8. Place the falafel burger on top of the rocket followed by the halloumi and finish the burger with the brioche bun topper.
9. Serve and enjoy!

How do you like your burger?

My Top 5 Tips For Ultimate Beach #BodyConfidence

When we think of hitting the beach, the idyllic scenery and relaxed vibes are not usually the first things that come to mind. Instead, we obsess about whether or not we deem ourselves to be 'beach body ready' until the time comes for us to actually take our bodies to the beach. 

For many of us, the thought of wearing nothing but a skimpy Lyrca two-piece in front of strangers can be rather daunting. So, here are my top 5 tips for instilling ultimate beach #bodyconfidence and helping you feel positively fierce with everything on display.

1. Invest in the right bikini for you.

We're all 'beach body ready', regardless what the media might tell us, but that doesn't make baring all on the beach any easier. Many of us harbour insecurities about the way we look, whether we wish we had longer legs, flatter stomachs, bigger boobs, smaller waists or bigger bums - the grass always seems to be greener. But instead of focusing on what we haven't got, it's time we make peace with ourselves and start loving what we have got. For me, feeling #bodyconfident starts with finding the perfect bikini so be true to your body shape and wear a bikini that works for you because if you feel comfortable, you'll feel confident.

2. Have a kaftan at hand. 

For those moments when your inner Sasha Fierce is sleeping and you need a bit of support in your semi-naked state, drape a gorgeous kaftan over your shoulders and watch your confidence soar. Our insecurities get the better of us at the most inconvenient times but it's about being prepared when emotions run high. With so many different styles on the high street, you're guaranteed to find one that makes you feel like a Middle Eastern princess. I always look for sheer kaftans that have beautiful patterns as they'll keep you cool in the heat but offer enough coverage to make you feel #bodyconfident. And let's be honest - sheer is sexy.

3. Fake it before you make it.

Some people may hate the idea of getting a fake tan (the biscuit smell, the orange hands, the unwanted streaks) but I feel a million times better about getting my kit off with bronzed skin. Despite my Spanish heritage, I was blessed with a very pink English Rose complexion that I've never been very fond of. It just doesn't work for me. So, rather than putting my skin under any unnecessary strain, I choose to fake it. Done properly, self tan is a great way to get that saught-after, sun-kissed glow and I highly recommend St. Moriz Instant Self Tanning Mousse in medium (£4 from Boots). After exfoliating, apply it all over with a tanning mitt and wash off after 6-8hrs.

4. Embrace your bare-faced beauty.

There is no place for a full face of makeup and glamorous hair when hitting the beach; it's all about bare-faced beauty (but that doesn't mean you can't give yourself a little helping hand to perfect your low-maintenance, barely-there look). One thing that accentuates a naturally beautiful face is naturally beautiful hair, so create envious beach hair by keeping it in tip-top condition. Like skin, hair can become damaged in the heat so to make sure it looks fabulous all day long, keep it hydrated with oil-based products. I've used Macadamia Healing Oil Treatment (£29.95 for 125ml) and Macadamia Healing Oil Spray (£24.80 for 125ml) for years and I absolutely love them. Not only do they both smell amazing, they provide natural UV protection, intense nourishment and a frizz-free finish so no need to avoid the sea.

5. Be a mountain.

The way we hold ourselves says a lot about the way we feel about ourselves. If we're feeling low, we naturally withdraw, meaning that we slouch and create barriers with our bodies as a form of protection. So in our minds, standing tall instantly creates the sense that we're confident in ourselves - even if we're not. As well as having a positive effect on our confidence, practising the Mountain Pose (as it's called in yoga) instantly makes your body look more streamlined while promoting feelings of calm and increasing strength so never underestimate the power of good posture.

What makes you feel #bodyconfident?

My Life On A Plate: Falafel

Food: one syllable that offers a whole world of edible experiences. Hot, cold, sweet, salty, crunchy, smooth, spicy, safe... Whatever your tastebuds desire, there's something to satisfy every palate. But for me, it's not just about eating. Of course, I love nothing more than to stuff my face but I find the process of preparing food strangely therapeutic. Chopping, peeling, whisking, melting, mashing, kneading - it's all so rhythmically beautiful.

Since I decided to try life the pescatarian way, I've found meal times to be much more exciting. Although I spent a lot of time in the kitchen pre-prescatarianism,  I'd often play it safe and cook things I've cooked a million and one times. Now, I'm experimenting with ingredients that wouldn't have ordinarily been in my cupboards 3 months ago, finding colourful and interesting ways to adapt recipes in order to fit in with my new lifestyle - and absolutely loving it.

With my passion for cooking seeing a new lease of life, I thought I'd try my luck at making something I've never made before but I actually really love: falafel. Falafel are a traditional vegetarian Middle Eastern street food that hit all the right notes for me. There are so many different ways to make them, so my advice is to just find which way works best for you. For this recipe, I used tinned chickpeas but you can substitute them for dry chickpeas or fava beans.

Happy falafel making!

Ingredients (makes 6-7 falafel)
1 400g can of chickpeas
1 small onion
1 garlic clove
1 1/2 teaspoons of cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons of coriander
1 teaspoon of paprika
1/2 teaspoon of chilli flakes
1 egg beaten
Fresh parsley
Plain flour
Salt and pepper to taste
Sunflower or vegetable oil

1. Finely chop the onion and the garlic, drain the chickpeas and leave to one side.
2.  Heat the sunflower/vegetable oil in a pan then add the chopped onion and garlic. Cook on a low heat for 5 minutes until softened.
3. Transfer the onion and garlic into a mixing bowl then add the chickpeas, cumin, coriander, paprika, chilli flakes and two heaped tablespoons of flour, then mash together with a fork or potato masher. (I prefer a chunky consistency but if you like a smoother paste, use a blender.)
4. Add the parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper.

5. Add the beaten egg and mould the mixture with your hands into small balls. If the mixture is too wet, roll each ball into more flour as it will mould easier.
6. Freeze for 15 minutes to retain shape.
7. Heat some more sunflower/vegetable oil and fry the falafels on a low heat for 3 minutes each side until golden brown.
8. Place on a plate and blot the excess oil with kitchen roll.
9. Serve hot or cold with couscous, pitta bread, salad, or in a wrap. Eat and enjoy!

What are your favourite vegetarian snacks?

Tried And Tested: Maybelline Vivid Matte Liquid Lipstick

Matte lips have made quite an impact on the beauty industry in recent years and we just can't seem to get enough of them. They're bold, bright, sophisticated and - gasp - not sticky! So we can kiss away the days when long hair and lipstick collide and carry on pouting. The battle is over.

When it comes to choosing a lipstick, it's about more than just the colour. We've all experienced its magical power, how it instantly lifts our mood, how it awakens our confidence, how it transforms our personas. So this week, I wholeheartedly swatched myself within an inch of my life, on a mission to find a new matte favourite. After some painstaking deliberation, I chose two of Maybelline's Color Sensational Vivid Matte Liquid Lipsticks (because one is never enough).

The first of my new purchases was Nude Thrill. I'm a sucker for good nude lipstick and as I have a pink / fair complexion, I'm always on the lookout for shades that enhance my skin tone. With infinite skin tone and lip colour combinations, it can be quite a challenge to find the perfect match but an understated lip looks gorgeous when done right; it's youthful yet glamorous and it's one of my favourite makeup looks at the moment. 

My second purchase was Possessed Plum. Over the past few months, I've embraced the gothic romance trend and I can't get enough of a dark, mysterious lip. Vampy, dramatic and drop-dead gorgeous, plum lipsticks are definitely worn to let your lips do the talking. (Top tip: darker colours cling to flaky skin so I'd recommend exfoliating to make sure that you have a smooth canvas before you apply colour).  

The Verdict: 4 /5

Available in 8 intense shades, Maybelline's Color Sensational Vivid Matte Liquid Lipsticks come in a creamy liquid formula that gives a lovely velvety finish in one swipe. One of my pet peeves about matte lipsticks is they can dry out my lips but Maybelline's Liquid Lipsticks are rich and hydrating, making them very easy to wear. Unlike a lot of matte formulas, the Liquid Lipsticks don't have amazing staying power (especially Nude Thrill) but at £6.99 they're affordable, comfortable to wear and the colours are gorgeous so they definitely deserve a place in my makeup bag. 

What are your favourite matte lipsticks?

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