25 January 2015

BEAUTY | How to use heated rollers

Babyliss Boutique heater rollers review
Excuse the ridiculous paleness of my face today, I've been a little poorly this weekend. I've been meaning to do this post for so long though that even the bug couldn't stop me today. My sickly mug shots aside, today I'd like to help you master the heated rollers! Heated rollers are one strange invention, let me tell you - the first time you see them face to face you're like WTF is this monstrosity. But once you get to know them better and realise their potential, you'll want to marry them. For real. They are nothing like curling thongs - these curls last until you wash your hair and the heated rollers are so much less time consuming than curling thongs! Let's jump into the top 5 tips I've got to share with you to make your first heated rollers experience super smooth & successful.

When I heard people talking about heated rollers, I was scared, not even gonna lie to you. They sound like a tool for torturing rather than easy hair styling, don't they. My heated rollers are these Babyliss Boutique ceramic rollers and I have to say they are a joy to use. They look pretty sleek (although bulky to store, meh), and come with 12 large rollers (32 mm) and 12 clips. They are really easy to use - I part my hair into two sections - the crown and the bottom layer. I use three rollers on each side of my bottom layer and the same on the crown. It might not sound like a lot but the rollers grip the hair nicely and even though my hair is quite coarse, they would accommodate for even thicker hair than mine. 

That's right - don't you even think about curling your freshly washed hair. It's the same way it works (or doesn't work) with curling thongs - your hair's just way too sleek and doesn't have any grip right after washing. And anyways, your hair probably looks pretty lush after you've washed it so why would you go all heater rollers on it right there and then! Day two is much more curl-friendly and you won't feel too guilty hair-spraying the crap out of your hair. It already looks a mess, so what!

Here we go - the formula that works for me is: mousse - hair spray - hair spray. Now you might want to do a few trial-errors with your own here but I believe this is a generally acceptable formula for most people using heated rollers. First apply some mouse (especially to the roots of your hair), once the heater rollers are in your hair add a light spritz of hair spray and repeat again after you've taken them off. As I'm not a massive fan of mousses, I use Shu Uemura Liquid Fabric spritz (they sell this on Look Fantastic) - it makes your hair a little moussey sticky but I find it holds my hair better than any mousse I've tried.   

At first, I didn't think the way your roll your hair onto the rollers was all that important. TUT TUT. Of course it is important! To get volume in your hair and for the curls to look natural, roll your hair in a downwards motion so that once you're clipping it in place there's a strand of hair covering the rollers from the top (which creates the volume). Makes sense, yeah?

Yes, PLL stands for Pretty Little Liars. Even though putting your heated rollers in is easy-peasy and you're done in about 3 minutes - there's still a difficult part to it. The waiting part. You will be tempted to take them off in about 5 minutes - at least that's when my patience with hair styling goes out of window. My tip is to switch on Netflix and watch half of an episode of the PLL, that is leave your rollers in for at least 15-20 minutes for the best results. And then, if you're looking for even bigger oomph, use one of two rollers on your crown again. I mean heated rollers are time-consuming to use in a way however while you've got them on your head, you can do about a million other things. Obviously I wouldn't attempt lying down in them but you can do your make-up, get dressed, watch YouTube, read blogs, have a breakfast or even walk your cat. If you do that. I do. 

Do you use heated rollers?
What do you prefer - heated rollers or curling thongs?    

Babyliss Boutique heater rollers review

Babyliss Boutique heater rollers review

Babyliss Boutique heater rollers review

20 January 2015

HOME | Floor lamps & Moroccan poufs

Floor lamps

One of the current life dilemmas of mine is the selection of a floor lamp. Because when you finally decide to buy something it's either out of stock or, if you're as lucky as me, it becomes discontinued. Bloody ace that is. *pulls a grumpy cat face* 

I mean - I don't want that much. I want it to be tall-ish (but not giant so it wouldn't fit into our living room), ideally it would have adjustable lamp shade, it also needs to look pretty damn swanky with a little bit of a 'I found it in someone's attic' edge. Above you can see a shortlist of my favourites - let me know which one you like the most in the comments section below! I could really do with a helping hand. 

Another soft spot of mine at the moment are Moroccan poufs. I'm convinced these are going to be the next big interior design thing after we get bored of everything marble, gold and copper. They are so ridiculously beautiful and look stunning even in a non-Moroccan interior. Plus they are not stupidly expensive either, you can get them for about £50 a pop on Amazon (you only get the cover and you stuff it with either polystyrene balls which you get at local market or stationery supplies or you can stuff them with old clothes or textiles). Click here to check out the brown one. They are all handmade and hand-embroidered, aaaah! I just can't decide which colour is prettier, damn you first world problems.

Which floor lamp would you pick?
And what do you think about the Moroccan poufs? 

Moroccan poufs
(1, 2)

Moroccan poufs
(3, 4)

Moroccan poufs
(5, 6)

19 January 2015

FASHION | That camel coat

Camel coat and burgundy scarf
Camel coats are apparently the thing this winter - but let me tell you, it's easier to do a 5k run than to find a really nice camel coat. They are either an odd shape, an odd shade of stinky old camel or are too thick or thin. Now when I went to the Czech Republic for a brief pre-Christmas visit, I snatched this luverly camel coat from a shop called Pimkie (it's a French brand & the coat is still on their website!) for mere £15. Because that's how Czech people roll. And because they don't give a damn about camel coats. GOOD.   

It's the right shade of pale (slightly ill) camel and the right length for my short body. And it looks really nice paired with colours at the warmer end of the colour spectrum. The scarf I'm wearing is a lambswool scarf in a really rich burgundy colour which I feel looks really neat and adds a clean cut edge to the whole look.

Have you found YOUR camel coat yet?
Which colours do you think pair well with camels (and camel coloured coats)?       

Camel coat and burgundy scarf
coat: Pimkie // top: American Vintage via Repertoire Fashion // jeans: Zara // heels: H&M // scarf: Moorlands Sheepskin

Camel coat and burgundy scarf

Camel coat and burgundy scarf

18 January 2015

FOOD | Soda bread with pesto & olives

Pesto soda bread with olives
I'm not much of a cook (in all honesty our monthly cooking ratio with Justin is probably 30:1 and even then that only happens when the month actually has got those 31 days). Now the new year, new me thing has hit me (not extraordinarily hard, but hard enough to attempt some life standard improvement) and I decided to start testing my cooking abilities yet again - you can see my first documented recipe here (a kale and bacon salad, nomz). This weekend I felt surprisingly brave so I tried baking soda bread with pesto & olives - and you know? It was flippin' delicious!   

I found the recipe in my favourite cookbook - it's called Step-by-Step Book's Encyclopedia (bought in it Asda for a fiver almost a year ago - now I can only find it on E-bay here for £21 - although the RRP is £25 so still a decent deal I guess, erm). If you're a beginner then I can't recommend this book enough - it's got fairly simple recipes (you don't have to go out and buy 5234534 ingredients you wouldn't otherwise need), they show you every single step in a photograph and although it's not specifically called a budget recipe book, it's definitely at least pocket friendly. 

So what do you need for this ah-mazing soda bread?
250 g plain flour
250 g strong bread flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp pesto
300 ml buttermilk
55g pitted olives 
olive oil

Preheat the over to 200ÂșC. Mix flours, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Mix pesto and buttermilk together and add into the original mix together with olives. Add water if needed (now this is where I made a mistake - add lukewarm water, not bloody cold otherwise it'll create a sloppy layer inside of your loaf). Shape the dough into a ball and then squash it into a super thick pancake. Make a deep cross cut with a knife across the loaf. Brush with milk and bake on a baking paper greased with olive oil for 30 minutes. Voila - you're a fuckin' baker!!

Seriously, so easy and you can eat it with soft cheese or just on its own because the pesto and olives give it a nice taste anyways. 

Have you tried baking bread before?
If so, what your favourite bread recipe?

If you'd like to see more of my cooking efforts don't forget to follow me on Instagram (@cityscapebliss) - the land of pretty pictures of food, cats and sunsets.      

Pesto soda bread with olives

Pesto soda bread with olives

Pesto soda bread with olives

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