Friday, 20 March 2015

Monu Skincare Range Sample Review

Hey my lovelies!! Hope you are well today, the sun is shining and N.Ireland is into Spring!!
My Friend Rebecca Montgomery of Reb's Health & Beauty Parlour was so kind to help me out with a charity night I had a few months ago and we decided as a little thank you I would review some of the Monu skincare range that she uses and is a stockist of. We decided that I would try the:
Aromatic Mask rrp £28.95
Micro Exfoliant for face rrp £16.50
Body Buffer rrp £25
Enriched Body Cream
Hydration Collagen Cream

Monu is a brand that is predominantly for use in salons but can be bought for personal use. All of the ingredients utilise the special properties of pure, natural ingredients using plants and herbs, minerals and essential oils giving it a luxurious feel. You can purchase through their dedicated Customer Website and they have skincare, bodycare, makeup, mens skincare and tanning products.
Aromatic Mask
I got some of this mask in a little pot and I knew I would only have enough for one good application. When I opened the pot what hit me was the gorgeous scent, it was just “spa like” it smelt luxurious and expensive. This mask is claimed to be good for normal to combination skin, I would say I fall into the combination/oily category so I wasn’t sure how good this would be. I used it all over and left on for the recommended 10-15 mins and removed with a hot cloth.  The clay aspect of the mask is said to be deep cleansing and without a doubt I felt my skin was nice and clean afterwards. This is £28.95 to buy and personally I do feel there are better masks out there on the market that are more suited to my skin and at a better more competitive price.  For someone that wants a gentle cleansing mask and don’t mind spending the money this might be for you.

Micro Exfoliant for Face
In this little pot I had enough for one try of it, and again the gorgeous scent was the thing that impressed me the most. On the site this product claims to blend a combination of ingredients to ensure  a flawless appearance throughout the day it claims to intensely cleanse skin and the signs fine lines will be significantly reduced. It is aimed at being suitable for all skin types which concerned me as I always use something suited to my personal skin type, but I had no need to worry. This exfoliant is paraben free and it aims to renew skin cells. To me this was claiming a lot for something that is £16.50rrp. I cleansed as normal then applied this and in gentle circular motions rubbed it into my face. Due to the fact I didn’t have a lot I added a little water to lather it up slightly. It left my skin feeling lovely and soft and bright. This is a product that I would definitely  consider purchasing as I feel it was gentle but still made an impact. I would without a doubt recommend this as a gentle exfoliant but if you want something a little more “scrubby” I wouldn’t recommend it.

Monu Spa Body Buffer
This is a body buffer that is used on wet skin to buff away dead skin cells to leave the skin smooth and sift. I only had enough to use on one forearm so I don’t feel I can give this a full review, I wet my arm and used this and in all honesty I would not recommend it. My body shop scrub is a lot better and less than half the price of this body buffer. This product rrp is £25 and if I am honest there is no way I would purchase this for myself,I feel it is over priced and not a great product.

Moisture Rich Collagen Cream
This cream came in a little sachet so again only one use was available. This claims to relieve dryness and smooth fine lines. I have combo skin so I decided to use this only on my dry cheeks and other dry patches.  It has some rose and geranium oils to comfort dry skin and include plant flavonoids to enhance the appearance of the skin. Its rrp is £22.50 which isn’t bad for a moisturiser.I applied this after cleansing and it was a nice consistency, the main thing that put me off was the strong rose scent, this isn’t personally a favourite scent of mine so this would put me off using it in the future. Unfortunately I cant give a full review as I wouldn’t see any difference after one use, but it did feel nice and moisturising.

Enriched Body Cream
This cream came in a little tube and there was no way it would go over my body! I thought the best way to try it would be to use it after the body buffer over my forearm. The rrp of this is £24 and I was expecting great things for the price it would cost. Again it had the spa smell and I knew it would be lovely. It has quite a thick consistency but I don’t mind that in a body cream. Again there are rose and geranium essential oils but this also includes orange and lemon,  again the smell of rose was quite powerful but without a doubt you could smell the zesty freshness of the citrus scents and that cut the sweetness. It was nice to apply but again for the price I think there are many other brands out there just as good.
Overall it’s a brand that I feel I wouldn’t purchase a lot from, the only thing being the face micro exfoliant. I think the brand has a lot of other products that sound wonderful but again the prices and scents put me off.
Rebecca has a lovely salon in Garvagh which gives great treatments at great prices. You can check her facebook page out in the above link, don’t hesitate to give her a yell. Thanks to her for providing me with these samples to try
Have a fab day, Lots of love
Ali x

Friday, 13 March 2015

Vanilla Cupcakes

Hey my lovelies
Today I have a different type of post, some nice simple plain vanilla cupcakes
Nothing I love more than making cupcakes on a rainy afternoon and sharing with friends or family with a nice cuppa.The ones I make are basic and simple but taste yummy. I am a firm believer cupcakes or fairy cakes as I used to know them when mummy made them don’t need loads of ingredients to make them fab, and they don’t have to be expensive either.
I have truly fond memories of mummy making little “plain buns” as she would call them and dad and I would literally stand at the oven as they would come out and always burn our hands and mouths trying to eat them but it was just our little thing.  Mummy wasn’t the best of bakers which surprised me as her daddy was a master baker and made wedding cakes, but god love her the talent didn’t pass down. Mummys skills were sticky buns, rice krispie buns and these wee plain buns.
I always reach for this recipe if I am just wanting a nice plain base, sometimes I would add cocoa to make a chocolate sponge but the basic sponge mix is the same.
This receipe will make approx. 9 cupcake size buns or 12 smaller fairy cakes.
Mummys recipe
100g butter softened
100g self raising flour
100g caster sugar
2 eggs
As you can see its plain and simple, I will add a wee nip of vanilla essence in normally but that’s the only changes I make.
Preheat oven gas mark 4/180'C/170'C fan my oven is on the hot side so I normally do mine down at 160
2.Whisk all the ingredients until creamy and spoon into bun cases – I use an ice cream scoop to easily measure and when all in I give the tray a little tap on the workcase to level it out.

3.Cook for about 10-15 minutes - to check they are cooked just press gently and they should spring back
4. Take the buns out of tin and place on a wire rack to cool
Once cooled you can decorate if they haven’t already been eaten!
To keep things to a budget and easy, a nice vanilla buttercream is hard to beat for this you will need
140g butter softened
280g icing sugar
1-2 tbsp milk
1 tsp of vanilla essence
Beat the butter until creamy
Add in the icing sugar little by little, add in a little of the milk
Add in the rest of the milk if the mixture becomes too stiff
You can get piping bags and nozzles on ebay or amazon and a nice large swirl can look very pretty
You can let your imagination run wild when it comes to decoration, sprinkles, drizzles of chocolate, wafer flowers, favourite sweeties.

A favourite of hubbys is chocolate sponge, with jack daniels flavour icing and a cola bottle on top.
This is a basic and cheap recipe that I am sure many people have used before but I thought I would share it with you guys.
I am now off to take these cupcakes up to my besties for a cuppa with her, her hubby and their gorgeous wee boy
Love you all
Ali xx
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