Cure Aqua Gel – Exfoliator!

My all time favourite exfoliator, the Cure Aqua gel. This product is a big hit in Japan, #1 selling product. I can see why though, the product is so gentle and yet effective. It works the second you apply it to your skin, you can see the dead skin forming into little balls which is so satisfying to see. What’s also great is that it can be used on other parts of the area, yes hands, feet, body and don’t forget your neck! What I also love is, it leaves your skin feeling super smooth and soft!

How to use the product:

  1. Cleanse your face and completely dry your skin
  2. Pump a good amount (2-3 pumps) and apply it all over your face, wait a couple of seconds for the gel to settle into the skin
  3. When the gel turns white, start to gentle massage your face in a circular motion (don’t need to rub hard). You’ll start seeing tiny balls of dead skin form and that’s the satisfying part you actually see the product working! (The gel will also feel runny)
  4. Rinse thoroughly with cold water to close the pores and say hello to baby smooth skin! 🙂
  5. Pat skin dry and moisturise your skin!

Ingredients in Cure Aqua gel: 

Water (activated hydrogen water, non-acidic and purified), glycerin, acrylates/C10-30, alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, dicocodimonium, chloride, steartrimonium bromide, aloe barbadensis leaf extract, gingko biloba extract, rosmarinus officinalis/rosemary leaf extract, butylene glycol.

The product claims: 

  • Free from preservatives, fragrance, artificial coloring or alcohol
  • Contains 90% activated hydrogen water
  • Contains natural plant extracts such as aloe vera, gingko, and rosemary
  • Used to prevent enlarged pores and decrease pore size, blackheads, pimples, blemishes and dull skin tone (definitely helps me with the dull skin part) 

If you have any recommendations on what exfoliators are great for normal-dry skin, comment below beautifuls! 🙂 xx

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Morning skincare routine

My current morning skincare routine consists of these 3 main products: The Clinique Pep-start eye cream, COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin power essence and COSRX Honey Ceramide full moisture cream. I’ve recently just came back from a trip in Korea and let me say I’ve totally fallen in love with COSRX. The amazing thing is, the brand uses very minimal ingredients and usually water is the main ingredient in other skin care brands however COSRX products main ingredient is what the title states e.g. Snail mucin.

I have normal to dry skin, right now it’s Autumn so I’m using products that are hydrating and moisturising. In Korean beauty routines, they like to layer on products for example: they start off with essence, serum and moisturiser. Each product has it’s own function and by layering products you increase hydration and moisture. Anyways, down to my quick morning routine: After cleansing and applying toner, I tap on Clinique pep-start eye cream, then I apply the COSRX snail essence also tapping some around my eye area, once that is absorbed I apply the COSRX honey ceramide cream!

Clinique Pep-start Eye cream: 

  • It’s a hydrating and brightening cream
  • Leaves the eye area feeling smooth and looking fresh

COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence: 

  • The essence contains 96% of snail secretion filtrate as the first ingredient 
  • It repairs the skin and provides super hydration
  • It’s filled with revitalising and replenishing nutrients to help and repair damaged skin and boost elasticity
  • Function: “Snail mucin has the ability to repair everything from dry patches, to acne breakouts while helping zap hyperpigmentation, so with loyal use your skin will glow to look its healthiest” 
  • It’s quite slimy but when you put it on your skin, it absorbs so fast and it does not leave any sticky or uncomfortable residue behind. Instead my skin pretty much “drinks” it up! 🙂

So far, it’s been amazing for my skin. My skin is more hydrated, supple, smooth and looks healthy. If you’re new to snail mucin, give it a go! Always research the products you’re interested in and make sure you read reviews. COSRX is such a popular line in Korea and Koreans are known for their great skin care products.

COSRX Honey Ceramide Full Moisture Cream:

What I love about this moisturiser is, it doesn’t leave a greasy and heavy feeling behind. Most often creams leave a residue all over my face and doesn’t absorb well, however this cream is amazing!

  • The moisturiser is loaded with honey extracts and ceramide, it works by adding hydration and moisture to the skin and also calms and protects the skin all day against moisture loss
  • The moisturiser also contains honey extract as it’s first ingredient, along with minimal ingredients which means it’s a great formula!
  • I’ve read that it’s also suitable for acne-prone skin types, since the texture is lightweight which means it’ll absorb fast into the skin.

Origins Clear Improvement Mask

The Origins clear improvement mask is one of my all time favourite mask to use when my skin is feeling and looking dull and congested. After several weeks of not using the mask, I noticed my skin had a lot of little bumps and it was just very dull looking. My skin type is normal to dry which is why I don’t use this mask on a weekly basis, as I’m cautious about the product being to drying for my skin. Therefore, I only use the mask when I need to.

 

 

So the mask acts as a deep purifying mask for the skin, reduces visible pores. Great for normal, oily and combination skin. Helps with dullness and uneven texture, oiliness and pores. The active charcoal helps flush out toxins the skin takes in from the environment, dirt, debris and clogged pores that causes dull looking skin. It leaves the skin clarified, refreshed, healthier-looking.
 “Bamboo charcoal acts like a magnet to draw out deep-dwelling pore-cloggers, white China clay absorbs environmental toxins, and lecithin dissolves impurities.”

I like to use the mask right before I shower, so I cleansed my face first and rinsed it with warm water to open the pores. Then I dried my face and lathered quite a thick layer on, concentrating more on the areas of concerns (e.g. cheeks). I left the mask on for about 10 minutes, when the mask is on you will feel a minty and tingly sensation which is normal and feels quite nice! Once the mask is completely dried or when you feel like you can’t move your face, rinse it off with lukewarm water.

As you can see on the before image, my skin looked very dull, I had some shiny areas and little bumps. After the mask my skin was definitely smoother, softer, felt super clean and more radiant looking which was what I was after. My pores were definitely less visible as well.

 

Results: Before the mask, using the mask and after the mask!

Healthy baked Falafels

I can’t believe that it is already October, I can still remember January 2016. Time does really fly, it’s true what they say if you enjoy doing something, do more of it. Stop wasting time and being afraid of change, step outside of that comfort zone and explore. I have to admit, when I look back I kind of wished I did more fun things instead of holding back myself. Now that I’m older and wiser, I feel like life is too short wasted on negative people, things that don’t excite me, experiences that don’t add positivity to my life and you know things that don’t help me grow or learn.

The thing I love most about staying up late, are these late night thoughts sometimes they can feel draining but it feels good to write or type… it really helps clear the mind. It helps to talk about things but not all people will understand, people can only understand you at the depth that they’ve met themselves at. Situations, experiences, history, childhood all shape a person’s personality. Hence why, these days when situations happen, I tend to try to understand more rather than jump to conclusions and get mad or judge. I try my best not to judge people and situations because you never really know what someone is going through. Someone could be having a bad day or something drastic has happened to them, we all need to be more compassionate and understanding in this world. If you can’t find a kind person around you, BE ONE. Anyways enough yapping, time for my recipe!!!

I decided to make baked falafels as a healthy alternative to “fried” falafels. It’s super easy and delicious, you have your sautéed onions, garlic, chickpeas, paprika, cumin, fresh parsley, lime juice, lemon juice and of course some salt and pepper. To bind these goodies up, I added some flour and olive oil. You may be wondering how these managed to hold their shape… well! that’s where the fridge comes in, 30 minutes in the refrigerator and out come these falafels. Once baked, serve it in pita break with Tzatziki, slices of cucumber and tomato! YUM!

Ingredients:

  • 400f of canned chickpeas
  • a small slice of lemon
  • a small slice of lime
  • 1/4 cup parsley (you can add more)
  • 3 cloves of garlic (sautéed)
  • 1 small brown onion (sautéed)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • 3 tablespoon flour
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees, line a baking tray with cooking oil/spray.
  2. In a pan, sauce the onion and garlic for a few minutes until onions have turned translucent.
  3. In a food processor, add the chickpeas, onion, garlic, cumin, paprika, parsley, olive oil, flour and season it with salt and pepper (a pinch of each will do). Blend until the mixture is almost smooth (DO NOT over blend the mixture – should look a tad chunky).

4. Make small balls out of the mixture and lay them on baking paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

5. Remove the falafels from the fridge and place them on the baking tray prepared with oil. I didn’t have any cooking spray left, so I poured some olive oil and used a glove to spread it around.

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6. Bake the falafels in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Make sure to flip the falafels around when it hits the 15 minute mark.

7. Take them out of oven and cool slightly. Enjoy it with pita bread and tzatziki sauce, fill it with cucumbers, tomatoes, your favourite choice of salad! ENJOY 🙂

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LUSH Love Lettuce Mask

I finally went into LUSH today and gave in my 5 tubs of finished products and the staff there were so helpful, she asked me what my skin type was and I told her it was normal to dry and sometimes I would get little flaky spots on my nose. She recommended me the love lettuce mask and the BB seaweed mask. I must say, I fell in love with the love lettuce the moment she washed it off my hand. Immediately my hand was soft, glowing, supple and oh so gracious! I loved it!!!

After cleansing my face, I slathered on a layer of love lettuce and wow it was incredible. My skin was soft, super supple, glowing and smooth. There was no greasy film left on my skin and I could feel it working when I had it on. The lady also suggested that I didn’t scrub the product at first application but rather smooth it on and then gently scrub it off with lukewarm water (warm water always works best to remove masks in my experience)!

The smell of the mask is pretty earthy but I don’t mind it because it’s doing good for my skin! The texture is grainy of course to exfoliate and remove the dead skin cells but the after results are amazing! I just love it when I find another great product, especially when it’s natural and no animal testing is done to produce this product!

The only downside about these masks is that it only lasts for 3 weeks, so the lady also recommended me to use it up to 3 times a week and no more. If you can’t finish it, share it with your mother or friends!

My rating is: 10/10 🙂

Spiced pumpkin and spinach quinoa salad

Hello! I’m always looking for new and fresh ideas especially for my post-workout meals or lunches made for work. This recipe was inspired by Woolworths “Persian couscous” it was so tasty and satisfying after work as it was filled with citrus flavours and haloumi cheese. I’m a big cheese lover however in this recipe I used my danish feta, quinoa instead of couscous and just added in some olives. The quinoa can be seasoned to what you like, I seasoned it with lime and lemon juice to keep it simple. I then roasted my pumpkin in paprika, cinnamon, honey, salt, pepper and olive oil! Tossed it with spinach and basil mmm!

Quinoa: 

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (cook according to package)
  • 150g of washed spinach
  • 100g of olives (I used marinated mixed olives)
  • Chunk of feta (Mine came off a big block)
  • Lemon juice to taste
  • Lime juice to taste

Method:

  1. Place quinoa in bowl, add the lemon and lime juice to taste.
  2. Shred your basil and spinach over the quinoa.
  3. Add chopped olives and break a part the feta over the quinoa.
  4. Served with roasted pumpkin 🙂

Roasted spiced pumpkin:

  • 1/2 a butternut pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp of paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celsius
  2. Peel and chop pumpkin in bite-sized pieces
  3. In a bowl add the olive oil, honey, cinnamon, paprika, salt and pepper. Mix well
  4. Place in oven until golden brown and tender, this process took about 30 minutes.

 

ENJOY XX

 

 

 

Cream puffs

The cream filling: Ingredients:

  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

The puff: Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk (CAN SKIP THIS)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup flour
  • Pinch salt
  • 5 whole eggs (1 is used for the egg wash)

FIRST –> preheat oven to 220 degrees Celsius

To make the pastry cream:

  1. Pour the milk and 1/4 cup of sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, make sure to stir so the milk doesn’t thicken at the bottom too much.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks and whole egg together. Then mix together the sugar and cornstarch and stir them into the egg mixture until smooth.
  3. When the milk comes to a boil, drizzle the milk into the egg mixture slowly. In a thin and steady stream, constantly mixing. Careful to not scramble the eggs.
  4. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and slowly bring to a boil, stir constantly so the eggs do not curdle.
  5. When the mixture starts to boil and thicken, remove from the heat. Add in the butter and vanilla, mix until the butter is completely blended.
  6. Pour the mixture into a heat-proof bowl and cover with plastic wrap directly on top of the mixture to avoid a skin forming on top. Refrigerate until chilled.

To make the puff:

  1. Preheat your oven to 220 celsius degrees
  2. In a medium saucepan, add the butter, water, coconut milk and salt. Over medium heat, allow all the ingredients to combine and boil. When the mixture begins to boil, reduce heat to medium-low and sift in the flour.
  3. Mix the flour thoroughly using a wooden spoon, continue stirring and mixing until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the saucepan, this should take a few minutes.
  4. Remove the saucepan from the heat and transfer to a mixing bowl. Allow the dough to cool down for a little before adding the eggs.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure it’s mixed thoroughly before adding the next egg.
  6. Transfer mixture to piping bag, you can spread open a piping bag over a cup to allow easy pouring of the mixture. Pipe the mixture onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper in to 1 and half inch circles.
  7. Dip your finger in some water to smooth out any peaks or ridges on top of the circles, this will prevent the tips of the puffs from burning and make them nice and round.
  8. Brush the puffs with the egg wash and place the tray in the oven.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes at 220 degrees celsius, then reduce heat to 175 degrees (DON’T open the oven) and bake for a further 15 minutes.
  10. Remove the puffs from the oven, using a knife make a small x at the bottom of each puff to allow them to cool and then place them on a cooling rack.
  11. When you want to serve the puffs, pipe the cream before serving or 2 hours beforehand, sprinkle with some icing sugar and enjoy!!!

 

 

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DOUGH:

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yummy puffs: