Sunday, 29 June 2014

Lemon my cello

Happy Sunday everyone, 

this post is long awaited I'm sure as I promised it almost a whole month ago! My friends are probably sick to the back teeth of receiving limoncello as gifts but i am plundering on regardless! I have also infused some other alcohol but with less success - i will tell my tale if anyone cares.

Anyways time for some cheap vodka drink for your belly...

disclaimer: this takes a week to make so don't get too excited initially

70cl of vodka (any kind cheap is fine)
10 lemons
glass jars for infusing (i use Ikea ones - you know the sort)
glass bottle for presentation (again Ikea)
sugar (any kind it will dissolve) 
muslin cloth for straining (you can use a clean tea towel if no muslin)

Step 1: remove the peel from the lemons (try not to include the white pith) - you don't need the actual lemons or lemon juice - so think of some other recipe as not to waste, or keep them thinking you'll do this then bin them one week later like me.

Step 2: put the lemon peel and vodka into infusing jar and leave for minimum 5 days and maximum one month. 

One week later...

Step 3: the lemon vodka will now be a lovely yellow colour so strain through the muslin cloth into a bowl and throw away the peel as it will now be vodka flavoured so no use. 
Step 4: heat one cup of water with minimum half cup of sugar and maximum one cup (if you need more liquid to fill your final bottle then use more water and sugar accordingly). Once sugar is fully dissolved add this to the lemony vodka (in your final glass bottle) mix all together then leave for one day ...

then drink! limoncello is great on its own over ice or put into prosecco or soda water - just lemony goodness...

Love Bean

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

If You Buy One Thing...

...Make it MUA Luxe Velvet Lip Lacquer. A quick Hump-day post to let you know of my latest discovery. I am the world's biggest fail at lip products. Don't get me wrong, I love applying them when I do my make-up. I then walk out of the door, forget I'm wearing it, nibble my lips and drink lots of tea. The result: no lip colour left at all and I definitely cannot be bothered to reapply every 2 minutes. The new range of liquid lipsticks hitting the beauty market are genuinely changing my life. They stay really stay on!

I was cruising the aisles of my local beauty havens as one does on a Wednesday. As well as picking up a few brands recommended by other blogs, I found this gem that I haven't heard a peep about! So swatched it, liked the colour and purchased (doing a little sideways heel tap in my head when I saw the price!)

It wasn't until I got home and washed my hands of the entire face of make up I had piled onto it, that I realised the true staying power of this product. Check out the picture, this was after washing my hands with soap! Either I need to learn to wash my hands properly or this is one durable lipstick.

That's not the best bit - due to my complete revelation today, what better product to include in our Summer Giveaway! Keep an eye on our twitterings @barrelandbean to have a chance of slathering your cake hole in this wonderful lip colour.

Much midweek love,


Thursday, 29 May 2014

Beauty, Belly and Big Fans of #4

Hi there, here is this week's useless snippet of our lives.
I went to a wedding recently (weddings are officially my favourite hobby now) and thought what better opportunity to use one of those products that I had set aside for 'a special occasion' - along with a multitude of glittery body lotions. I received the Anatomicals - Puffy The Eye Bag Slayer Under Eye Patches in a Glossybox (more to come on these boxes of genius). They promise to reduce dark circles and eliminate puffiness and are enriched with moisturising agents. As well as preventing the signs of under eye ageing. Being a dehydrated skin gal I leaped for joy upon reading this. 

I'm not sure they do achieve all these goals however they a bloody good fun to put on. Like little slippery jelly fish hanging out on your face. I used them for 30 minutes before applying my make up. They definitely woke my eyes up, and the skin did appear slightly brighter. I'm not sure they were moisturising enough for me but for anybody who suffers from puffy eyes these are perfect! 

I would recommend them for a relaxing pick me up when you are about to hammer your face with lotions and potions for a big night out - or even after! 

So I decided to go on some weird health kick - but obviously I still want chocolate - so I went a googling to find a low fat low calorie brownie recipe - this one promised me the world. (You'll find it if you google it involves; oats, cocoa powder, fake sugar, greek yoghurt, baking powder and some milk). 

DO NOT MAKE this - it was horrendous - I ate the corner as you can see then put it in the bin! It looked like it was doing well in the oven but it tasted like poop, not sweet chocolate porridge. My advice - eat a full fat brownie and move on, this one will scar you!

Big Fans of...
Twittering tweeting and twooting! It's so exciting getting involved in the beauty bloggers' chats. I have never been a huge fan of twitter personally but now I can see how addictive it is! So many little gems to be picked up on here. If you haven't already found us, here we are...@barrelandbean 

Friday, 23 May 2014

My Top 3 Fake Tans

Ok so it's on everybody's shopping list at the moment, fake tan! I am naturally very fair and blonde but lucky enough to go brown in the sun (after the initial burn). However during the winter i resemble casper in the see through skin club. So for my early summer outings i need a good fake tan that prevents the dreaded 'corn beef legs'...when you go out in the sun wearing a premature summer get up only to get cold legs with skin tone resembling a tinned meat.

Introducing Xen-Tan Dark Lotion Absolute LUXE. It's awesome enough said. I'm not going to rabbit on about undertones and olive shades and all that bumf. I am pale and it looks perfectly natural on me. I took a gamble and went for the ultra dark. This was risky as the name suggests and also because it is quite pricey. However buying it on Amazon is about £15 cheaper than on the high street.

My only vital tip is when applying use a mitt! the first time I didn't and it was like spreading PVA glue into my skin and I ended up using more product than needed. A little goes a long way and it lasts and fades really well. I use this on my face as well and feel a lot more comfortable going without make up when I have!

My second favourite would be Fake Bake Original. This is cheaper and i think the best colour on me. However the single reason it is not number one before Xen-Tan is because it has that hateful fake tan smell. Not as bad as some of the cheap ones but still enough to feel like a wee soaked buscuit. However if you aren't going out the next day and lounging around, opt for this. It lasts so well and literally is impossible to make streaky!

If you are more patient than myself and maybe a little apprehensive about changing race over night then the gradual tan of choice would be St. Tropez Everyday Gradual Tan. It's a great colour and actually very moisturising.

As I'm sure you all know its best to exfoliate before using fake tan, and put a thin layer of body lotion over knees, elbows, hands and feet (did anybody else read that to the tune of 'heads, shoulders, knees and toes'?) to prevent nasty orange stains.

On another note...

Cue humourous tanning mitt photo. So after I finished tanning myself into Grecian Goddess status I rinsed my mitt under warm water (as any normal human would do). It is made of sponge so naturally I squeezed it to get the water out...and this happened.

My mitt did an impression of a Sharpay. It is now going in the bin and I am off to buy a new one. Total balls up.

Happy bronzing my pasty pals, Barrel

Beauty, Belly and Big Fans of #3

Hello there all! I hope you are enjoying the drastic improvement in British weather as much as us. I have already managed to spend 20 minutes in the sun and gained a shameful t-shirt tan/burn line...let the vicious circle of attempting to correct tan lines while creating worse ones begin! aka summer (for some not entirely keep your peepers open for the fake tan blog coming soon. Here's what we've been loving this week...

Time for a rant about my dry skin that resembles a grape found at the bottom of the fruit bowl whe i don't drink any water. I have a classic case of dehydrated skin. I try my best to drink water and I do notice the difference when I do. However there are times when I literally forget because I can't fit fifteen wees into one day. All concealer and foundation seems to apply gloriously, but when I get home I look in the mirror and do a big sigh. It tends to highlight any fine lines and generally appear matte in the wrong way. 

So after much viewing of make up tutorials for varying skin types, a general all round favourite seems to be Bobbi Brown - Creamy Concealer. I went in to the shop (in duty free...bargain!) and had it properly colour matched. They do one with a setting powder but it came up a bit yellow on my skin so i ended up going with a rose toned one. AMAZING. I live for it. It lasts and very little goes a long way, i feel this little compact (with mirror...excellent) will be my friend for a long while yet!


In a bid to be healthy I picked up a GIANT bag of kale (not influenced by the fact it was reduced to 30p). After trying to eat it by boiling, using in a risotto and mixing it with mash - it still tasted bland and like it was healthy. So I went a googling and decided to make kale crisps and they were AMAZING and still healthy. Here is how I did it...

1- buy kale
2- make sure you buy pre cut kale (if not cut out all the biggish stalks leaving the leaves)
3- put in a mixing bowl and use a tablespoon or so of any oil (I used vegetable) 
4- salt the leaves, add any other flavours you want - eg, black pepper, lemon, paprika and so on 
5- spread out on a baking tray and bake at 180 until crispy!

Word of warning do NOT open the oven when they are cooking, kale smells like rotting seaweed when cooking, never an appetising smell. 


Big Fans Of...
Why has no one told me that Forever 21 exists? Ventured in today and amidst disco hot pants (you did not misread that) and 57 varieties of crop top there are some gems. 

Now I don't have any thing exciting to show you as I was on my own and attempting to buy clothes to make me 'cool' and 'edgy' without Barrel's stern words means like I end up looking like the weird theatre kids at uni. But I did buy leggings for £3 - who can hate on that! And a makeup bag along with £7 jeans stretchy enough so I can wear them all month long!


Hope we made you smile...

Barrel & Bean

Monday, 5 May 2014

Bloody cheap foundations

Evening all,

I have oily, semi-spotty and newly dry in patches skin - blackheads that immediately re-appear after removed. It's not as bad a picture as I have painted, if you met me you would not be offended by my skin, but me and my x10 mirror notice things others don't.

I haven't found any high end foundation that I love, I hate having a make up caked woman try several colours on me, and despite my protests, trying to convince me I am not in fact the palest colour - I ALWAYS AM! So I shall stick to drug store foundation for the mean time and here are my favs (slight coincidence they are also the cheapest!)

1 - Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation
I wear 100 Ivory, and I really like this foundation! It is well reviewed and rightly so. Goes on really light and using a small bit will even give you a tinted moisturiser effect. It is as sparkly as a shimmery eye shadow but I think that is okay for the summer and definitely gives you the elusive "dewy" look.

2 - Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation (old bottle) 
This has ALWAYS been in my make up collection (for 6 years?!) it is a great every day foundation, no orange tints and controls my shine and so cheap, bloody love it - go and buy it! Has anyone used this from the new bottle - be keen to hear how it compares.

3 - NYC all day long foundation 
 Bought this little number because it was on a deal in Superdrug and think I paid £2.99?! It is a heavy coverage foundation - do not use if you have nothing to cover! It also smells naaaaasty, kind of like a fishy white wine? Smell fades once its on, so nothing too horrendous for the price. All in all, it lasts and is a really pale colour, great for a night out. And FYI I wear 737 classic ivory - have you noticed an ivory theme?

4 - Nivea BB Cream
NOT A FAN! It says it is a light colour, it's not. Upon opening the bottle I saw an orange cakey colour, maybe this is better if you have a tan, I don't, so it made me look like an orange chav. It smells AMAZING, like all Nivea products, and maybe I'll retry it once I am a bit more tanned, but pale kids do not buy this!

5 - Garnier BB Cream
LOVE LOVE LOVE. Smells amazing, lovely light coverage doesn't turn orange, like your skin but better. Obviously not as much coverage as the foundations but if I'm on a good skin day this is the way forward - use a moisture full primer and you will glow all day!

Hope this has helped, cheap foundations are a minefield, and I do not have enough time or money to buy posh ones! 

Bean x


Sunday, 4 May 2014

Beauty, Belly, Big Fans of #2

Round 2 - hope everyone has has a good week and isn't resenting getting back to work after the bank holiday weekend! Here are some thoughts to get you smiling ...

You can sniff Lush shops from 20 furlongs away because they smell like a bunch of pungent flowers has mated with the fruit and veg aisle. I held my breath and ventured in because I wanted a face mask. I'm pretty sure every product you buy despite ingredients has been infiltrated by the Lush trademark smell. I opted for 'The Sacred Truth'- anti ageing because being in my twenties I thought this was essential. 

In fact, it was the only one that didn't look like porridge or another brown concoction. It makes me look like the witch from Wicked and has no lasting effect on my visage. It's fun, I guess, and doesn't aggravate my skin, being oily it has a slightly drying effect. The best thing is the tightening effect whilst it's on I feel that my lines are being stretched into baby soft skin. Won't re purchase - will be sticking to the £1 sachet numbers because... They do the same thing ! 

Ice cream for fatties who don't like feeling guilty! So I am keen to try anything that tricks my stomach that it's bad for me, when in fact, it is the opposite. In and effort to inspire/guilt trip myself into doing exercise I follow many a clean eating Instagram pages. For any of you who haven't yet stumbled across these - imagine a page with alternating posts of beautifully toned abs, fruit salads and protein shakes. This is how I found cheat's ice cream. I am honestly not exaggerating when I say it has changed my life. All you will need is a magimix resembling blender (the kind with a bowl and a decent blade), ripe bananas, honey, peanut butter and raw cacoa powder.

1. slice your bananas and put in a zip and seal bag. put these in the freezer for about 5 hours (or overnight).

2. remove from freezer and put in the magimix. Here's a tip...allow them to defrost a wee bit so they aren't quite like ice cubes. Otherwise you have a very tense moment when you think you may have broken your £250 magimix as bullet like banana slices batter the blade. If you have cheap blender then whack them on in there...who cares?!

3. to the bananas add 1 tbsp peanut butter (eat a spoonful to check it's good quality...), 1 or 2 tbsp of honey (up to you) and as much cacao as you would like depending on chocolate preference.

4. blend away! keep on blending until the mix resembles creamy beautiful ice cream...honestly it does, literally like magic. If you have an element of self control put the mix in the freezer and serve as and when you need an ice cream fix. Or if you are like me...whip out the blade (safety first) and devour the entire bowl full.

Top tip is to use really ripe bananas for maximum flavour!


Big Fans of...
Britain's got talent - JOKE - my Saturday nights are now ruined by a show that could be condensed into 20 mins. A genuine big fan of Vera on Itv Sunday at 8pm - yes I have the taste of a 68 year old and yes I have a penchant for murder mysteries - but I'm content with that! 


Barrel & Bean