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

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Be Gone Jelly Belly!

OK so it's not long until summer, as if we haven't guessed by increased Special K adverts and pictures of celebrities paddle boarding all over the Daily Mail (my only source of current affairs much to Bean's disgust). So I am whole heartedly jumping on the band wagon to look like Millie Mackintosh in two weeks's good to have goals.

Firstly I HATE running, unless it's somewhere nobody can see me so I can stop loads. I also don't want to spend my money on a gym membership, I'd rather spend it in Boots buying endless products promising better effects than the exercise in said gym would bring.

Myself and a friend have been working pretty antisocial hours lately and so have been fitting in our exercise using Fitness Blender. It is an archive of totally free workout videos, of varying difficulty. The great thing is that you can look up exactly how many calories you are burning. Simply cruise the workouts and find out exactly what you need to do to burn off an entire packet of custard creams. Simple.

My favourite combination is the Quick Sweat Cardio followed by At Home Abdominal and Oblique Exercises and Express Glute and Thigh Toning Routine. Each one takes 10 minutes. Half an hour in total is worth it for a killer beach bod (which I'm hoping will show its face soon).

And the best bit? You can do it in your pants! Give it a try and let us know how you get on. Also any recommendations are welcome on our mission to chase the jelly belly away!

I'm off to do some lunges...


Friday, 2 May 2014

Beer in my hair

I spend endless money on shampoo and other hair potions to give me the instant shine, volume and thickness we all crave. But recently I gave up with this and resorted to buying Alberto Basalm for near enough free - convincing myself it made no difference.

As well as having slippery skin I also have oily hair - painting a picture of attractiveness! Although I am blessed with thickish straight hair i was soon consumed with YouTube blogs and an overriding feeling that I must buy more hair things ! At the end of the month when I am always in my graduate account overdraft I'm not going to try out Bumble and Bumble - (although almost was conned into the salty spray which surely is just salt water ?!). Instead I went with the grandmas favourite ... Anelco Beer.

The previously popular Linco beer was discontinued but Superdrug soon brought out Anelco Beer in pretty much the same packaging - methinks it's the same thing. And I bloody love it! So many good things 

1- it's cheaper than a bag of chips
2- shampoo and conditioner - the lazy girls dream 
3- I feel like I'm being organic and helping the environment (I'm not)
4- my hair gets uber volume ! 
5-  I've been washing my hair less and I look less like a greaseball on non wash days - meaning I don't have to pull my hair back into a 90s sporty spice number.

Not so lovely things...

1- Okay so it doesn't smell amazing - I won't be wafting my hair in people faces so that's not such an issue.
2- using a shampoo and conditioner makes me feel like I'm camping

Apparently you can also just put beer on your hair but then you really would smell and having your colleagues smell a tinge of alcohol on you is never good.

Let me know if you like the shampoo- or think I'm talking codswallop! 

Friendly fist bump,


Beauty, Belly, Big fan of

Beauty, Belly, Big fan of

So a new blog brings a new tradition. Somewhere to begin. In these posts we talk about a product we love, a food we cant go without and a little thing that makes life good. It’s a popular theme among bloggers and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. 

In order to keep the alliteration theme my first beauty big up is going to be Bioderma. It took a while for me to be sold on this due to it being £15 for what seemed to be a product that ‘acts like water’. This seemed to me a silly idea, spending money to imitate water. But it literally does. I’m the dry critter out of the two of us and I love this stuff. I hate the idea of chemicals and perfumes drying out what little moisture God gave me. A little goes a long way and it takes care of all my make up. My latest routine involves using this to remove my make up, follow up with a super-nourishing cleanser (to be reviewed shortly), then another wipe of this holy water. I find it to act as a toner like stage, without the stripping feeling they sometimes bring. So if you are on the fence, jump down and buy this.

I'm now going to ruin the alliteration here, because I can. As much as I like to pretend I live somewhere with excellent shopping, I don't- and after watching many people tell me I must have Bioderma (including a recommendation from Barrel) I couldn't get hold of it. But I could get hold of Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water - which was £5 - and I'm now addicted to it! A side effect of buying either of these waters means you obsessively clean your face. I, being the oily spotty one (how attractive), don't like putting lotions and potions on my face but this takes my makeup off and leaves me squeaky clean - what's not to like?  Also my spots and pores have been looking better - I think this is largely due to another product (review to come) but surely my skin wasn't clean before using magic water! 

As I write this, I am marooned on a sofa filled to the brim with chocolate. But that’s ok because it’s Easter Sunday and I don’t feel remotely guilty. In future posts I will try to stick to healthy or adventurous culinary exploits but this time it’s the power of a Creme Egg. They are the balls.

After Barrel cooking me a cracking Easter lunch then forcing me to do a YouTube workout (Fitness Blender - look out for a future post), which I resented, I travelled back to my house and ate a fish finger sandwich followed by a banana one. Yes you are correct - 4 pieces of bread within 10 mins. 

Big Fans of…
Blogging! Woohoo another B to finish things off. We are new to it (hopefully not too obvious) and we are very excited about our new hobby. So if you are reading this and haven’t found it too much drivel then come back soon!

Barrel and Bean

p.s. find us on twitter, we'll be making noise shortly! @barrelandbean