Nicky Clarke Hair Therapy Straighteners | Review

Hello again,

I decided to use a Boots gift voucher I got for Christmas to buy myself some new hair straighteners. I didn’t want to get expensive ones because I do already have really good ones. Conveniently, these Nicky Clarke ones were reduced from £39.99 to £19.99 in Boots’ post-Christmas sale.

I’m really glad I found some for that price because I can now justify having straighteners in Cornwall and in London. I got these ones because they’re small and compact so they won’t take up much room in my suitcase for Budapest and won’t break my luggage weight limit.

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For the price, I’m so impressed with how well they work!

They heat up really quickly when you turn them on and also cool down quickly when you’ve turned them off. This is so useful if you’re in a rush to go out and you need to take them with you. It took mine about 15 minutes to cool down completely after I switched them off.

The heat setting comes in the form of a dial, where you can choose fine, medium, high and max. Fine to medium heat is for shorter or thinner hair and high to maximum heat is for longer or thicker hair. I used medium for mine and it was definitely hot enough – my hair is thin but still quite long. It only took me 20 minutes to straighten my hair perfectly, although someone else probably could have done it a lot quicker because I took boredom breaks.

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This might seem stupid but another thing I like about these straighteners is that they actually have an on/off switch. My other hair straighteners don’t have a switch so I have to turn them off by the plug, which I always forget to do. It’s definitely the little things in life…

I don’t use hairspray but my hair still stayed in tact all day which is definitely a good sign. I feel like I don’t have to use these straighteners a lot to get the straightness that I want, which is obviously better for the condition of my hair. I wash my hair every other day so even when I’m on ‘second day hair’, my hair is still really straight and I only have to quickly go over it to get it how I like it.

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As always, thank you for reading.

Let me know which hair straighteners and curlers you use…

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x

6 Ways I’m Saving My Dry, Damaged Hair

Hello again,

As someone with naturally dry hair I’ve tried quite a lot of products and tips to save my hair from becoming brittle and damaged. My hair colour is also dyed and I’ve recently started using a lot of heat on my hair so I’m now giving my hair a little more TLC.

Giving the heat a rest

Since I had my hair dyed from platinum blonde to a more natural colour, I’ve been trying to use less heat on it. I still blow dry my hair nearly every time I was it because I’m in a rush for uni but I’ve been trying to curl it less and less.

Using heat protection

My Aussie Miracle Recharge Leave-in Conditioner Spray (what a mouthful) is an aboslute God send. It smells like fresh fruit and stops my hair dryer from frying my hair. What more could a girl want in a heat protectant spray? Also, £4.99 is a small price to pay when you think of how much use the product will give you and how much you put your hair through. If you constantly blow dry, straighten and curl your hair, you should defiitely invest in a heat protectant spray. If you’re looking for a slightly cheaper alternative, this Vo5 one is also a winner, especially for those of you with curly hair.

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Regular haircuts 

I regularly cut my hair myself because I know that I’ll only be disappointed by going to the hairdressers and getting 5 inches cut off when I only asked for 1 inch to be taken off. I hate looking at my hair and realising that the ends probably died months ago.

Sorting out the frizz

The John Frieda Frizz Ease is my best friend. I’ve been using it for as long as I can remember. All I do is spread two pumps of the serum into my hair as soon as I get out of the shower. It makes my curls more defined and stops my hair from turning into an uncontrollable, frizzy mess.

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Saying no to brushing

I used to brush my hair every time I got out of the shower. I know it’s bad to brush your hair when it’s wet but my hair was so matted and tangled after I had it dyed in the hairdressers. Now, I comb my fingers through my hair in the shower when I’ve got conditioner on. After, I put Frizz Ease in my hair and use my Aussie spray and gently comb them in with my fingers again.

Saying yes to combing

Even if I’m blow drying it I don’t feel the need to brush it. Sometimes on the day I don’t wash my hair I’ll use a thick comb to untangle it but I’ve completely stopped using a brush.

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As always, thanks for reading.

Let me know if you have any hair saviour tips or product recommendations…

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x

My Birthday | November 2016

Hello again,

This year my birthday started off a little different. At about 12:30am (so it’s only just my birthday here) I went to the toilet because I was about to go to bed. I didn’t take my room key fob with me because the rooms don’t lock by themselves.

When I tried to get back into my room, it was locked. I didn’t even have my phone with me or my slippers on either. I went downstairs to ask the security guard if he could let me in and he told me that the people from reception hadn’t left him the master key so he was unable to open my room. After about an hour of me standing in my kitchen watching an episode of Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares from 2013, he found some sort of emergency door unlocking device that eventually opened my door.

What a way to start the day.

During the day, I had to go to uni from 2pm until 5pm before I could spend an evening free of assignments and uni related stress.

Me and Cem went for dinner at Frankie and Benny’s. I had spaghetti and meatballs and it was heavenly. I was also too full to move afterwards and I didn’t even eat all of it.

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Straight after we ate, we went to play TopGolf. We’re both highly competitive so we both thought we were going to win. I’m usually the loser of golf but today I had a feeling that today I was going to win.

As you can see, I was well on my way to victory. At one point I scored 13 which is unheard of in our games – we’re not the best golfers…

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In the end we ended up drawing. I would’ve won but one of the balls I scored four with didn’t end up counting. I usually lose so I’ll take a tie over that. However, I spent a good 10 minutes sulking over the ball that never counted.

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All in all I had a really chilled out birthday. I loved reading all of the birthday wishes that everyone sent me and I really enjoyed opening my cards. My cards will probably still be pinned to my notice board for the next few months, they look a lot nicer than the ‘to do’ lists and uni reminders that I have to stare at every day.

As always, thank you for reading.

…and thank you to anyone who wish me a happy brithday – I had a lovely day.

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x

Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies Baking Recipe

Hello again,

Today I just really felt like making some cookies. I’ve only actually made my own cookies once before and they spread all over the baking tray – I basically ended up with a tray of cookie dough. It still tasted nice, but it was far from the 12 perfectly round cookies that I thought I was going to have baked.

For these cookies I found a recipe online as a guideline but changed the amount of almost every ingredient because I don’t like using sugar in baking. Although this recipe still has a lot of sugar, it has about half as much as the original recipe told me to put in.

I also discovered that if you leave the cookie dough in the fridge for a few days in a sealed container, when you take it out it’ll taste just like the cookie dough chunks that Ben & Jerry’s put in their ice cream. There’s an idea…

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Ingredients

  • 270g self-raising flour
  • 185g soft brown sugar
  • 15g caster sugar
  • 175g unsalted butter
  • 2 small eggs
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 175g chocolate chips

Steps

Cream together butter, brown sugar and caster sugar

I put the oven in the microwave a little bit until it went down to room temperature so it would mix with the sugar easier than it would if it came straight out of the fridge. I used my electric mixer because I doubt a hand whisk would’ve mixed it all together well.

Add eggs and vanilla extract

Again, using the electric mixer.

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Sift in flour

Because there’s such a lot of flour I added a little bit at a time so I could see if the mixture was looking too dry or too soggy. I didn’t want to put all of the flour in at once and realise that I’d put too much in and it also makes it easier to mix together when you add it in stages.

Add chocolate chips

The recipe told me to use 325g of chocolate chips so I bought three packets of them, which gave me 300g. I ended up using less than two packets because it seemed like there was way too much chocolate in the mixture. Also, the mixture already contained quite a lot of sugar by this point so I didn’t want to add too much chocolate. Surely that would’ve been sickly?

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Preheat the oven

I preheated mine to 170 degrees because that was the rough number that the recipes I looked at online gave me.

Cool the dough 

I ended up leaving mine in the fridge for nearly an hour because I was waiting for my boyfriend to come so I didn’t have to leave the cookies baking in the oven by themselves. However, I’m sure about 15 minutes is fine. Also, I saw some recipes that didn’t say anything about cooling the dough, so maybe it’s fine to just put them straight in the oven…

Cook the cookies!

I ended up cooking mine for 15 minutes because when they come out of the oven, you can eat them when they’re warm or soft. Then, when they’ve cooled down, you can eat them when they’re crumbly. The first batch I put in made quite thick cookies as I rolled the dough into perfectly round balls so they only spread a little bit. With the second batch, I pressed them down so they were a little thinner. The thinner ones are definitely better if you want to dunk them in tea.

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Thanks for reading!

Current Skincare Favourites

Hello again,

Recently I’ve been shopping around for more skincare products to prevent my skin from drying out and to clear up my recent break-outs. I think I’ve found a skincare routine that’s right for my skin so I wanted to tell you about some of the skincare products that I’ve been loving recently.

Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Facial Cleanser

I’ve been using this product for a long time; I always wash my face with it each morning and night. It’s great for clearing impurities from your face, including dirt, oil or that smudge of makeup you didn’t remove. After washing my face with this I feel fully cleansed, I will repurchase this product many times more as I am constantly trying to prevent acne, breakouts and blackheads from uninvitedly invading my face.2015/01/img_0992.jpg

Derma Pad Deep Pore Treatment Pads

When I’ve removed my makeup and washed my face I use exfoliating pads to clean any breakouts on my face. Using this every night ensures that spots dry out more quickly; I’ve also found that fewer spots appear on my face. Prevention is better than a cure.

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Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water

This is a product that I’ve been using for a few months, after seeing it appear on many blogs and YouTube channels. I was a bit hesitant at first, thinking ‘why am I paying for glorified water?’, how wrong I was… The cleansing water not only removes makeup but it doubles up as a toner. My face feels refreshed, clean and even immediately after use. Another perk of this product is that it contains perfume, meaning that it doesn’t sting my eyes when I’m using it to remove my mascara and it doesn’t irritate my pores or aggravate breakouts.2015/01/img_0995.jpg

Soap & Glory Puffy Eye Attack Hydragel Turbo-Boost

I received this eye gel in the Soap & Glory Face Time gift set for Christmas. Where have I been without this? More often than not I struggle to sleep at night and wake up the next morning with dark, puffy under eyes. This product has helped me to minimalise the tiredness in my eyes and will brighten up my face. I would recommend this to anyone with the same problem. Even if your eyes aren’t that puffy it will still brighten up your eyes. Try it!

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Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Scrub

 
This was another Christmas gift that I have also received in previous years. I will never stop loving this product. I would recommend using this when you’ve finished work or after a long day; it leaves my skin feeling exfoliated and refreshed. I work in fast food so I need to ensure that my skin is free from greasy impurities after my shifts, this product works really well for this. Another perk of this scrub is that it smells absolutely amazing; it’s a very fruity product.2015/01/img_0999.jpg

The Body Shop Chocomania Body Lotion

I received this chocolatey lotion in a limited edition Christmas gift set, I love the whole set but this product is definitely one that stands out. As well as making my skin feel baby-bum soft, I smell deliciously like chocolate after use. I would highly recommend purchasing this product either for yourself or as a gift!2015/01/img_1002.jpg

Thank you for reading!

Do you like any of this products? What are your skincare must haves?

Ways you can reach me:

  • Email: courteneynoonan@hotmail.co.uk
  • Twitter: @courteneyjn
  • Instagram: @courteneynoonan

Bye for now,

Courteney x

Brownies With A Creamy Chocolate Sauce

Hello again,

After looking through numerous recipes for brownies, I came across one that impressed me by the gooey topping that you coat over the top to the brownie. I found this on the BBC’s GoodFood website, titled ‘Alex’s Mega Brownies’. The recipe claims to make between 16 and 20 servings, depending on the size of the cut brownie squares. They can be small, appetising snacks or larger desserts. The method is very easy to follow; I chose it so it would be easy for me to bake with my younger brother and sister. Complicated recipes are no fun for them.

Ingredients

100g unsalted butter
175g caster sugar
2 large eggs
50g cocoa powder
1 teaspoon of baking powder
3 tablespoons of milk
4 tablespoons mixed white and milk chocolate chips
100g milk chocolate
75g full-fat soft cheese

Method

Heat your oven to 180°c so it’s hot enough for when you want to bake the brownie.

Line a 20cm square tin, or a tin of a similar size, with butter or grease-proof paper.

Beat the butter and sugar together with a whisk.

Add the eggs one by one and whisk the mixture together.

Sift in the flour, cocoa powder and milk and whisk all of the mixture together. You can use an ordinary or electric whisk – it doesn’t really matter.

Spoon the mixture into the tin evenly.

Bake for approximately 30 minutes but keep checking them before hand so they don’t burn. To check if the brownie is done, poke a knife into different points in the brownie and if there’s no mixture on the knife when you pull it out, it’s done.

Topping

Melt the chocolate and mix with soft cheese
Spread over cooled brownies

Thank you for reading!

Let me know if you decide to bake these brownies…

Ways you can reach me:

  • Email: courteneynoonan@hotmail.co.uk
  • Twitter: @courteneyjn
  • Instagram: @courteneynoonan

Bye for now,

Courteney x

Haul: Beauty and Accessories

Hello again,

Today I have a collective haul for you! Most of these items were purchased last night or other the past couple of weeks, I’m going shopping this weekend so I haven’t been buying as much lately. There’s only one city near where I live so shopping is a rather rare occasion; luckily for me we still have internet access in Cornwall so it doesn’t pose a huge problem.

New Look white and gold statement necklace

I was lucky enough to find this necklace in the New Look sale for just £3, I couldn’t not buy it at such a cheap price. Also, the colours are neutral so I can wear it with almost anything; it jingles when I walk too. I love a bit of white and gold. This will look lovely with my Forever 21 sheer white blouse or a simple knitted jumper.

IMG_9568.JPGPeacocks scrunchies

These two lovely hair accessories set me back a measly £2.50… until the cashier gave me a discount because Peacocks were running a 20% off promotion for students. I can’t wait to wear them – they’re so dainty and feminine.

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TK Maxx floral notebook



I’ve been looking for a lined notebook to write down all of my ideas for blog posts and when I walked past this one I couldn’t leave it in the shop. On the bottom right corner of each page there is a small picture of a butterfly. What’s not to love? Oh, and it cost me £4, reduced from £10!IMG_9570.JPG

 

Real Techniques Powder Brush



This is my most treasured makeup brush, I didn’t think it would be possible to feel so attached to an inanimate object. I’m sorry to say that’s it’s taken the place of my Mac powder brush in my makeup routine. This brush was actually a gift from my boyfriend, and I couldn’t be more appreciative!

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H&M beauty blender

This is the first beauty blender I have ever tried and it’s made applying concealer and BB cream particular easier. I find that I’m gaining much more coverage from my products and my makeup is feeling a lot more even. It was only around £1.50 too. All hail the beauty blender!IMG_9575.JPG

Ways you can reach me:

  • Email: courteneynoonan@hotmail.co.uk
  • Twitter: @courteneyjn
  • Instagram: @courteneynoonan

Bye for now,

Courteney x