One of the things I love about Youtube is that it's a wonderful network of so many varied talents and through simply watching your favourite beauty blogger you then find another Youtuber, a musician in this case., and so the small little world that is Youtube continues to connect more and more people. Today I want to create a Music Monday post for one very special girl on Youtube called Charity, because after finding her talent only very recently, I felt the need to tell everyone how amazing she is, because she is destined to be massive, that I am sure!
So enter Charity Vance, a US singer-songwriter with the sweetest voice who has loved to put pen to paper to create self-penned songs since childhood. Since she was just 7 years old Charity has performed each year at Riverfest, performed countless half-time and National Anthem performances, and at the age of 9, she played the lead role in the musical Annie for a 50 show run. Just two years years later, Charity then went onto win the Radio Disney Superstar Kid Contest, and has made regular appearances at special events at Little Rock’s famed Peabody Hotel (best hotel in the world, for the record! In just two words: duck house!). Charity’s frequent performances helped her become a skilled performer, and she grew more and more comfortable with her vocal abilities. So much so that by the time she was 11, she was employed by Soundscapes and doing voice-overs for radio commercials nationwide. In 2010 Charity's hit TV screens across America with extensive coverage on Season 9 of the hit USA TV talent show American Idol, where she first wowed the judges in Chicago with her rendition of the infamous 'Summertime'. After making it through to the Hollywood stages, Charity headed into the studio with Nashville based production team ZodLounge, who have worked with Leann Rimes, to work on her debut album.
Charity's music makes me think of American sweethearts such as Mandy Moore, Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood (she has the beauty of all three, and I think she has a tad of Ellie Goulding to her look too, don't you think? Musically too!) with a sweet, sugary pop gloss, but Charity is far more than your stereo-typical pop princess, and her music shines out from all manufactured pop acts out there for her truthful melodies, and lyrics from the heart. This is evident when you hear her discussing how much writing means to her: “To have the most delightful day possible, all I need is a pen, my right hand, and my beaten-up notebook I am trying to keep alive. Writing is a part of me, it owns a room in my heart and I love visiting that room! I want my music to be the choice of the group of girls driving to the park. I hope it streams through the open windows to meet the wind on its way out. I hope my music gets the chance to live.” Well, since I discovered Charity's music it has certainly been living in my world, and despite it being chilly as we get ever-nearer to Christmas, I love driving along my in my car playing it with my imaginary sun roof and with a group of girlfriends in tow so I just know that if you like the above, you will adore Charity's music as much as I do.
Check Charity out here:
Have a listen to the song 'Icing', probably Charity's most well-known to date and let me know what you think!
Today I want to post a new Christmas craft video and this one is for my fellow dairy free friends! Christmas is a time where the chocolates are out in full force, from humongous sized tin selections (oh hai, Quality Street!) to advent calendars and oh so much more temptation. I have an allergy to dairy, not completely severe, but if I have too much I get bad asthma symptoms and terrible, painful eczema and rashes on my skin. Thus, avoiding dairy altogether is really a much safer plan for me and whilst you can get lots and lots of yummy dairy free chocolates in most shops, I thought I’d show you how to make these healthy coconut oil based chocolate treats.
Coconut oil is one of the few foods that can be classified as a superfood. Its unique combination of fatty acids can have profound positive effects on health. Of late, coconuts and coconut oil suddenly seem to be all over the food shelves (until recently, finding coconut oil in my local supermarket was rare). However poor old coconut oil in the past has been given an unhealthy reputation unfairly and has long been avoided because it's considered a source of harmful saturated fats. On going research however is starting to show that coconut oil may actually be a source of healthy fats, along with being a versatile ingredient that has dozens of uses beyond cooking too (this makes for another post for sure!). Wonder properties include: controlling weight, eases digestion, manages type-2 diabetes, supports immunity, boosts metabolism, anti-aging, cooks in high temperatures, stops sugar cravings and so much more.
The coconut oil is then mixed with rich high organic cacao which is yet another food getting that fancy superfood label due to continued research showing us that antioxidants in cocoa help prevent cancer, heart disease, age-related macular degeneration and aging in general because they fight free radicals in the body.
To make these chocolates you simply melt down coconut oil and cocoa powder, along with a drop or two of vanilla extract and honey (if you fancy!) in a pan or microwave, then add the liquid chocolate to a tray or mold and after 30 minutes or so in the fridge, ta-da, healthy dairy free chocolates that everyone will love!
To watch in more detail watch my little video above but just in case you need anymore persuasion this blog article here has tons of more nutrional details for this recipe and the above DIY is based on this recipe, with a few alterations.
Would anyone like to see a post on how I live dairy free, or more dairy free recipes perhaps? Let me know!
I have been obsessing with quite a bit during the month of November, so I'll dive in!
1. Botanics All Bright Gentle Cleansing Cream
A long, long time ago now I fell out of love with make up wipes so for ages now I use a cleansing cream to remove my make up. I do a cleansing cream and then a cleansing balmy type cleanser. For the past year or so I have used and re-purchased LUSH's 9 to 5 Cleanser but one day I ran out unexpectedly (*cough* disorganised *cough*) and so I had to scour Boots for something similar. I straight away headed to Botanics as I adore their products which are similar to LUSH's in many ways, especially their ethics, and they are extremely price conscious too. I stumbled across their all bright cleansing cream and it's literally identical to 9 to 5 in performance and I really, really love it. I think, if I remember correctly, it was a mere £2.99 which is so fabulous for 250ml worth and it is lasting me forever. I am going to re-purchase this for a while now! It doesn't leave skin with an oily cast and removes make up effortlessly whilst leaving the skin free from all irritation and is non-drying. It is also very slightly exfoliant due to Hibiscus, nature's brightness booster, and the natural AHA's from the flower act as mild exfoliators to help leave skin smoother and brighter. But there's no harsh exfoliating beads it's very creamy and gentle you don't even think it is exfoliating but I can inform you all it really does brighten the skin. Hurrah Botanics for this wonderful product!
2. Lime Crime 'Babette' Lipstick
So everyone in the beauty world talks about Lime Crime lipsticks and I personally really love them, and even more so recently as I swear they have improved the formula. Some of the colours are totally and completely out there (we're talking yellow, we're talking blue and we're even talking green, oh yes!) but Babette was introduced this year for neutral lip statements. This pink-peachy nude is so soft and so pretty I can imagine it to look so fabulous on all and I adore it for an everyday go-to lip, or something to compliment a smokey eye. Sure, there are probably dupes but you guys it has unicorn packaging, UNICORN PACKAGING! *breathes*.
3. LUSH Cupcake Face Mask
They say chocolates causes spots, which sucks, but with this LUSH face mask you can seek all the comforts of the most loveliest chocolate bar without spots, hurrah! In fact, this face mask was created especially for teenagers with skin prone to oiliness and blemishes. It is packed full of spot bursting ingredients but linseed infusion and cocoa butter do a lovely job of nourishing the skin too. It literally smells like a huge slab of the yummiest chocolate and I use this on breakouts I have and it's fabulous. I have very sensitive skin and yet this surprisingly works magically for me. I would definitely suggest to try it in a LUSH store, but with 5 pots, you can get a mask for free!
4. LUSH Helping Hands Hand Cream So I have horrible, horrible hands that are riddled with eczema and it makes me extremely self-conscious. I think I am going to do a blog post talking about eczema because it is something that so many people have, however for me the very best thing to do is watch your diet, but aside from that it is all about moisturising, moisturing, moisturing. The problem with eczema can be when the skin gets so dry it starts to bleed. Therefore, my hands to need a huge helping hand indeed and that's why I really adore this hand cream from LUSH. It was invented with nurses in mind, or those who have to wash their constantly. It contains linseed mucilage which helps with the cracking of the skin, and honey, which moisturises any cuts and abrasions. I slather this on constantly and it helps so much. I think eczema is a constant battle: if you spend every waking second watching what you eat, moisturise all the time and generally care for your skin around the clock it can become manageable but for me, life does get in the way rather, please tell me I am not alone?! Anyway, in a nutshell, let this help soothe your poorly hands. It's a great comfort. 5. MAC Cosmetics 'Naked' Pigment
For me autumn/winter make up is all about deep, dark lips from smouldering reds to fun plums and with that statement lip I prefer to play it safe with my eyes so I have used MAC's 'Naked' pigment so much this month because it is what it is: naked! It's a pretty slightly peachy, champagne nude that works for all and that doesn't overpower any make up look. I highly recommend this pigment if you're looking for just one to get from MAC. This sample pot however lasts me such a long time! 6. MAC Riri Loves MAC 'Her Cocoa' Eyeshadow Palette
So the beauty blogger went into a frenzy when the Rihanna and MAC eye shadow collection was launched and this palette 'Her Cocoa' because one of the pieces everyone was obsessing over, and I can see why! I was kindly gifted this for my birthday and since being in my make up collection, I seriously love it! This palette is seriously beautiful from the luxe rose gold packaging, (and magnetic!) to the notice-me-pink Riri <3s alone="" am="" and="" basically="" days="" done="" drama="" face="inherit" font="" for="" hated="" have="" i="" in="" it="" labels="" mac="" olde="" people="" perfectly="" remembering="" s="" sticker="" stickers="" text="" the="" their="" them="" to="" used="" ye="">And the colours too so suits-everybody-perfect from bronzey light gold, soft peach, a warm golden brown, and a light taupe brand. This is my new go-to travel palette.3s>
7. International Magazines
So lately I have become fascinated with discovering where my Beauxoxo customers are from, and to my delight so many are wearing my hair accessories in far away lands such as Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, and more! I wanted to find out more about my audience in these countries and how I can make my products more accessible to this market as I know sometimes the time things take to reach international destinations, and the overall postage costs is a problem all sellers face. So, I found a magical area in Selfridges that house magazines from all over the world, and as a magazine obsessed girl it was a gem of a find! I picked up a lot of magazines from all over the world and the Australian magazines, such as SHOP are definitely my favourite. I then later on that day found a second shop called JP Books that sells magazines, books and more from Japan. I am so in love with Japanese fashion and style so this was just perfect for me and I spent many an hour flicking through all the amazing magazines. Granted, I can't read a word, but you know what they say; a picture says a thousand words, and for me, it is so fascinating to get an insight into the lives of my international friends. 8. Oasis Mollie King Floral Jacquard, Tapestry Dress
This is a bit of a random favourite but I got this beeeeautiful tapestry dress for my birthday and I just adore it so much, but then, you know I'm obsessed with tapestry. It's the heaviest dress I own but so beautifully made, full and the colours are perfect. It's selling out pretty fast, but here's a link to see if they have your size, it really is the loveliest dress!
9. Rude Health 'Almond Drink'
I adore almond milk I have it with porridge every morning and occassion love a little drink of it with some dark chocolate. I have tried many brands over the years but this Rude Health one is my new obsession. It's made with fully organic, natural ingredients and just tastes pure almondy goodness. A hug in a carton! I buy my Rude Health products from Waitrose but a stockist list can be found right here.
10. Josh Record 'Bones' As always the last favourite is saved for a song or musician I adore and this month it is Josh Record, and in particular his beautiful single 'Bones'. I have been hearing this on the radio and about so much lately and it really is, to sum up in one word, mahestic. Truly majestic. The track Bones has a wonderful spiritual feeling to it, with Josh's soft voice ebbing towards to a symphonic climax with the most beautiful choir harmony I have heard for quite some time in the charts. You will absolutely fall in love with this song, it will absolutely be something you sit up and listen to from start to finish. What have you loved in November? Share your favourites with me below :). xoxo
Hello lovely readers! So today is my birthday and I’m literally just getting ready to go out for a meal but I wanted to do a very quick blog post because I didn’t want to nom my whole way through my little custom made Russian Doll cupcakes without showing you, as they are too wonderful not to photograph and post online in some medium, haha.
The totally adorable cupcakes are made by the wonderful Lulubelle's Cakes in Dorset. I am so excited to share them with family and friends but for now I want to quickly share my gift to you all today. Simply enter BIRTHDAYFUN at checkout at Beauxoxo for 40% off, just for today!
Thank you all so very, very much for your sweet messages today, it means so much to me and your kindness overwhelms me!