New Year’s Resolution: Draw more 

I don’t tend to make huge New Year’s resolutions that you struggle desperately to keep within the first few weeks of January. However, if there’s one thing I want to invest more time in, it’s to draw more!

So to kick things off, here are a few of my recent sketches.

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Coconut Thai Curry with Aubergine, Butternut Squash & Chickpeas

With the Winter months rolling in and the temperature having dropped drastically as of late (AKA the time of year when I have to sit in my car for a good ten minutes for the ice to defrost) this is definitely my favourite warming go-to dinner at the moment!

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This is by far my favourite meal at the moment. It is absolutely heavenly. It’s from Deliciously Ella’s cookbook, which my Mum makes a lot. However, since I was having ever-so-slight withdrawal symptoms, I just had to make it for myself! The combination of the creamy coconut milk, aubergines and butternut squash makes for a really melt-in-your-mouth kind of dish and the ginger adds a lovely warming kick. Plus, the chickpeas transform it into a hearty and filling meal. I always find myself coming back for seconds!

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Ella’s recipe:

(serves 4)

  • 2 x 400ml tins coconut milk
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 2cm-3cm (about 1in) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1-2 teaspoons chilli flakes
  • 1 large butternut squash, about 1kg (2¼ lb)
  • 2 medium aubergines, about 600g (22oz) total
  • handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained
  • 3 teaspoons brown miso paste
  • brown rice, to…

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Autumn Berries: Charlotte Tilbury’s Bad Romance & Glastonberry

I don’t know about you, but I am so ready for Autumn. With only a smattering of sunny days over the Summer months I feel as though it’s about time we kiss adieu to Summer and welcome in Fall with open arms. Plus, there are leaves already forming on the ground and it’s my birthday season, therefore officially making it the best one out of the four.

So I thought it was only fitting that I do a much-needed review of Charlotte Tilbury’s Lip Cheat lip liner in Bad Romance and her Matte Revolution lipstick in Glastonberry. The most beautiful rich mauvey berry colours- perfect for Autumn!

When I bought the two together, I definitely fell prey to the ever-persistent beauty counter assistant at Selfridges, who absolutely insisted the two had to be bought together. In fairness, she was right.

The lip liner 

9/10

Glides on like a dream and really does give the appearance of fuller lips. In fact, the colour and consistency are so great you could probably wear it completely on it’s own.

The lipstick

7/10

The colour is deep and purpley and everything you could want from an Autumnal lipstick, with just the right amount of shine. My only criticism is that because of the shade, I do think the coverage could be a tad better, considering the price! You really have to layer it up because otherwise it has a tendency to look a little uneven and streaky.

Overall, the two products are fab together and I’ll definitely be on the look out over the coming weeks for my next Charlotte Tilbury Autumn-inspired duo.

 

Olympics Inspired Mission: GET FIT

As our eyes have turned to Rio and the world has become transfixed with the impressive leaps, jumps, dives, sprints and somersaults (to name a few) over the last week and a bit, it has brought me to a much-needed conclusion. I need to get fit.
Watching the unfaltering determination and sheer brilliance of the world-class athletes that have been filling our television screens has awoken in me the once-sporty version of myself. Looking back to a time where I used to do athletics, swimming, hockey, tennis and dance, it has made me determined to get off my ass and regain the fitness levels of my 15 year old self. Currently not being able to afford a gym membership, it looks like running it is!

Day One:

Now it is with no exaggeration when I say that I am cannot long distance run. I despise the sport. I tell myself it’s because I used to sprint when I was younger and therefore I’m naturally not ‘built’ for it- but let’s be honest, I’m just not very good at it.

My first run in what seems like forever was, to put it mildly, painful. I had to stop countless times and my chest was on fire, but at least I made it out the door. Baby steps hey? Plus, Radio 1’s Dance Anthems in Ibiza helped me a little (a lot), along with some beautiful views which were just asking to be taken a photo of…


Achieved: 2.5 miles

Day Two:

After watching Mo Farah win the Men’s 10,000m whilst tucked up in bed this morning, I realised I needed to get the hell up and get out there again. Ever the optimist, I was ready to run like Mo. Feeling good I left the house to meet my friend, ready to run the race of my life. Realistically, I got to the end of the road and had to stop before my chest felt like it was going to implode, yet again.

Achieved: 2.5 miles of running/walking. (But mainly walking and talking, not going to lie).

Day Three:

I’m just hoping the route on my Nike Running app is slightly more green than orange tomorrow…

Any running tips would be warmly welcomed!

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The Perfect Brow

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If like me, you’ve been living under a rock for the past year and have never heard of how amazing the Anastasia Beverly Hills eyebrow range is (although I’m sure most of you have), then let me enlighten you!

I discovered the brand at the end of last year after my sister recommended it to me. Not only was it a breath of fresh (h)air for my eyebrows, but the products are also completely and 100% cruelty free- and proud of it.
Initially, despite being tempted by the Dipbrow Pomade, (I came to the conclusion I’d end up with a messy Scouse brow so decided to steer clear of anything too scary and liquidy) I started off with buying the Brow Wiz (in Medium Brown), which has a very fine retractable pencil, to imitate the strokes of hair, perfect for creating fuller brows. After hours of deliberation over which colour to buy, once it had arrived, I loved the pencil as the control you had over how much or how little you used was so precise. However, the downside was that it definitely didn’t last very long considering the price of £15.50.

The other day, when the remains of the pencil rather unfortunately came to it’s sorry end after falling out of the retractor, I thought I would give the Perfect Brow pencil a go. At £18 it is more expensive, but it will probably last about 3 x longer than the Brow Wiz.

First impressions?

Even though the Brow Wiz is the holy grail of ABH’s products in terms of the endless rave reviews it receives (and you only have to check Beauty Bay to confirm this), I actually prefer the Perfect Brow!

I ordered it in the same colour of Medium Brown, yet somehow it seems ever so slightly lighter and is in fact a better match for my hair colour, much to my delight. It’s long lasting, it looks more natural and doesn’t resemble that somewhat shiny appearance that the previous pencil occasionally did in warm weather, after a long day at work. Plus, it also comes with a spooley brush, handy for brushing up those brows and getting as much volume in them as possible after applying.

All in all, I’m over the moon that I finally discovered Anastasia Beverley Hills- thanks sis!

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My Mini Magazine- June Lookbook & Beauty Guide

Hey lovelies!

So I thought I would have a bit of fun and I’ve created my very own online mini magazine for June. I’ve explored my lust-haves for the coming month in the form of a lookbook, along with my top beauty discoveries, from lipstick and hair repair, to lotions and potions. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed making it, and I would love to know what you all think!

VIEW MY MAGAZINE HERE

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I’ve been crowned a Coconut Queen! Exclusive 20% off 

I recently discovered this really fun, quirky and cute boutique brand called Coconut Lane through a fellow blogger (thanks Scarlett Sherwood) . And I’m so glad I did. I love what they’re about- think weird and wonderful, gold pineapples and flamingos with a generous helping of unicorns and all things sass.

When I found out that they collaborate with bloggers of all shapes and sizes, I simply had to get in touch straight away! The lovely Charlotte (CEO and founder) swiftly got back to me that evening and said she would love for me to join the team, so here I am! I’m officially a coconut queen. (Best title ever for a coconut loving gal like myself, if you ask me). 

For this very special honour, I would like to share with you all an amazing 20% off at Coconut Lane by using the discount code ‘immimarsh20‘! You’re so welcome. 

I can’t wait to make my first order, which I’m sure you will all hear about very soon! They sell some fab stuff, from sunglasses (which I’m itching to get my hands on as soon as my favourite pair come back into stock), to adorable gold pineapple stickers, home decor, gorgeous notebooks ideal for blogging ideas, to phone cases and the cutest rings and jewellery that I can’t wait to adorn myself in. 

Check out Coconut Lane for yourself. 

Happy shopping everyone! X 

NEW: Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue Masque 

Ever since this exciting new Dermalogica product hit the shops, I’ve wanted to get my mits on it! It is an ‘All-in-one treatment masque [which] detoxifies, brightens and invigorates all skin conditions’, made of charcoal. Now, this is the part that really intrigued me- having never owned a charcoal based skin product until now.

The masque is designed to rescue tired and lackluster skin, which is where the charcoal comes in. It contains activated Binchotan Charcoal from Japanese Oak trees, which produces some of the highest quality charcoal in the world. This absorbs the impurities of your skin, and the sulfur in it ‘promotes cell turnover for dramatically brighter skin.’ Other exotic ingredients include Volcanic Ash, Sea Silt, Bamboo Extract, Chilean Wild Mint (great for refining pores). I absolutely adore how natural Dermalogica products are! You can rest assured that what you are putting on your skin is packed full on nutrient rich ingredients that have been thoroughly researched, and none of those nasty artificial beauty fillers and fragrances that clog up far too many products these days.

The masque: left my skin feeling softer than a baby’s bottom, and felt a whole lot cleaner and brighter. I really did feel like all those lingering toxins and impurities had been sucked from my face, which was a refreshing feeling.

When removing the masque, (I’ve found this to be easier to do when having a shower, as it can get a little messy), the grainy texture turns into a handy exfoliator allowing you to gently massage off. I love this aspect, as it transforms it into a 2-in-1 product- perfect for buffing away any dry skin. My skin did go rather red upon removal- I know others experienced the same- but I assume this was simply down to the exfoliation, and any blotchiness soon settled down.

I would definitely recommend!

Top SS16 picks this May

From gypsy embroidery, to pompoms and palms, these are a few of my favourite things in the shops this May! (Sung Sound-of-Music-style) If only my paycheck was generous enough to treat me to all of these beautiful Spring delights… Could you tell I have an ever so slight obsession with Zara at the moment?

blog- may top picks

1. Zara, Printed Bomber Jacket, £39.99,  2. Zara, Special Edition Embroidered Crop Top, £49.99   3. Mango, Bead Embroidery Dress, £39.99  4. Whistles, Mini Belted Skirt, £110  5. Fjallraven Kanken Classic Plum Backpack, £67   6. Jeepers Peepers Sunglasses @ ASOS, £18.99  7. Zara, Cropped Flowing Trousers £19.99  8. Regal Rose, ‘DWYN’ Black Mother of Pearl Chain Choker,   9. Zara, Dress (Editorials)  10.  Whistles, Cut About Stripe Jumpsuit, £130  11. Urban Outfitters, Black Leather and Suede Fringe Duffle Bag, £59  12. Zara, Pompom sandals, £49.99