FOOD DIARIES| HELP, MY CAKE BROKE



So you've just spent some time following a cake recipe to a tee and then through sheer bad luck your cake breaks when you lift it out of the tin (or you drop it, oopsy). It was for your dinner party, or a special dinner for two. What do you do? 

how to fix a broken cake, cake in a jar
Crumbled cake 
Don't fret. I got you covered. Grab some of these (mine are from desserts I've bought in the past and I just keep them because they're glass and re-usable). Or you could even use champagne glasses (or anything glass really. I've even used a jar before) 

cake in a jar

Press some pieces of the  cake into it. 

cake in a jar

Pipe a pretty rose on it. 

cake in a jar

Optional: Put in a chocolate stick.

Voila. All sorted. No one would be wiser and people would actually think you must have slaved over making these. Win win :) 

p.s. My cake didn't break. My cake just wouldn't ok?  :) 
The pieces were leftover cake from another cake being leveled off before being frosted. 

Sneak peak at the actual cake: 

rose frosted cake
This the base tier of a 3 tiered cake we did for someone. They didn't send us the photo of the cake fully assembled :( 

Plus some matching cupcakes: 

rose frosted cupcakes


SKIN DIARIES | Kayennat


I don't change my skin care routine according to the weather, rather I change it according to how my skin feels. For the most part it feels pretty great :D

First things first: Some of us are blessed with great skins no matter what we do (e.g. me and not Nigar) and some of you us have to work a bit harder. If you're in the latter then I must stress how important it is to feed yourself properly (check out my glittering green smoothie if you need some extra help). What you put inside your body is much much more important and effective than what you put on the outside. 


AM Routine: 

Oil cleanse with a hot flannel or Cleanse with a non foaming cleanser
Eye Cream (eye cream before anything else for me)
Hydrating Spray Toner (La Roche Posay)
Moisturiser
Apply Makeup



PM Routine: 

Oil Cleanse with a hot flannel 
Cleanse with a non foaming cleanser (depending on my my skin feels)
Tone with a glycolic acid toner or a hydrating one 
Apply an oil
Lip Balm

Face wash/Cleanser: 

I have a really basic routine and I believe that's key in achieving and maintaining good skin. I really recommend avoiding all cleansers that foams (e.g. anything with sodium laureth sulphate [SLS]). There is absolutely no need for your face to foam with bubbles, and essentially dries out your skin over time and cause blemishes. I used to give myself spots when I was younger because I used to wash my face with foaming cleansers then break out then use anti blemish face wash (again containing SLS) then break out more. It was a stupid cycle that was driven by foaming cleansers. I didn't know better then. But now I do.  It really irks me to see that pretty much every single anti blemish cleansers still containing foaming agents.

Foaming agents changes the pH of the skin; your skin's natural pH should be below 5 (acidic) and foaming agents causes your skin to become alkaline.

The acidity of the skin is known as the acid mantle; overwashing or washing with agents that alter the pH damaged this mantle, which is needed to regulate, function, and re-generate your skin. It is also a barrier for bacteria; they can't function/grow/multiply in acidic environments. 
  
If you break out or if your skin is just not behaving (e.g. it's dry and crackly because it's not regenerating because you have effectively destroyed the acid mantle) and you don't know why, then this might be a reason. JUST SAYING.

Also, that "tight" feeling you might get after washing your face? You've over-washed. Your skin shouldn't feel tight. It should feel comfortable. Your skin feeling tight is a sign that your skin is dry or dehydrated. Or both. Dryness (caused by lack of oil in your skin) and dehydration (caused by a lack of water in your skin) are two different conditions. Dry skin is normally a skin "type" (but you can give yourself temporary dryness) and dehydrated is a skin "condition" that can affect all skin types. Hope that makes sense. 

Break up with your cleanser now

I  also don't use a makeup remover, and the last time I used that has been.....erm.......about 5 years? I have been oil cleansing for about that long and it's the best thing you can do for your skin. Ever. Minus changing your eating habits. Oil cleansing removes all makeup in no time- even waterproof mascara. (I do own a makeup remover for correcting winged liners gone wrong)

I double cleanse when am wearing makeup; i.e. cleanse twice. This could either be once with an oil and followed by a cleanser or once with an oil, rinse face and again with the oil.

Staple products: Oil Cleansing with Face Flannels; use one flannel a day (clean one in the morning and reuse in the evening then put to wash)
Non Foaming Cleansers I really like: Super Facialist by Una Brennan (smells like roses; but not the old women rose scent) and Anthony Glycolic Facial Cleanser (this one is for guys but oh my, what a great product)

Staple Products: Spray hydrate with La Roche Posay Serozinc, My own blend of facial oil (divine, if I may say so myself)

If I'm going to be home and not go out during the day then I'll do my PM routine in the morning as well as the evening. I like to nourish my skin as much as possible.

Toners:  I love toners; some people love them and some thinks it's an unnecessary step. They're NOT to remove last traces of makeup off your face. If you're using a toner and makeup is still coming off your face you need to go wash your face again. They re-balance your skin's pH post cleansing and prepare your face for whatever step you're doing next. I alter between a hydrating one and a glycolic acid one (If I use the glycolic cleanser then I would use the hydrating one because my skin can't handle that much acid). Avoid toners with alcohols. There's no need for them. They cause your face to feel tingly and "tight". You don't want your face to feel that way. Please be nice to your skin.
Toners I love: Clarins Daily Energizer Wake-Up Boost, Pixi Glow Tonic (I've ran out :() aand Bravura Revitalising Ginseng Toner 

Face Masks: 

Occasionally I do a face mask; typically once to twice a month, depending on how my skin feels. 

Check out my favourite masks here. My absolute favourite is the neem mask. It's so lush; after you've washed it of course, it does smell a bit strongly of neem while it's on your face. Please don't lick it. It's beyond bitter.  Follow with a face oil. 

From bottom up: The Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture Cream, Origins GinZing Moisturiser, The Body Shop Vitamin E Aqua Boots Sorbet, Garnier Moisture Match Creme Bienfasiante (I have the entire collection of the Garnier Moisture Match and rotate between them a lot) 

Moisturisers: 

I'm not particularly loyal to any facial cream partly because I've not met one that I love. I do prefer gel textures over cream textures.
Same with eye cream; not convinced they do much yet.

SPF: 

And this one is controversial; I don't believe in SPF for my skin. I don't spend enough time in the sun to warrant it so I avoid it like the plague and really get bothered when most face creams come with SPF in it. IF I was lounging around on a hot beach I'd probably use one but for my day to day living nah. I wear makeup when am out mostly, and that is enough of a barrier for my skin. There's a group of people who are so scared of being in the sun (we'll turn dark, we'll get dark spots, we'll burn, we'll get cancer and so on). Being in the sun makes you happy, ask people who live in countries like the UK, we get something called SAD here (Seasonal Affective Disorder) which is triggered by the reduction of sunshine in the winter months and it can make you have depression like symptoms. It can be very severe. Being in the sun makes your body produce Vitamin D which is needed by your body (very very hard to get from your diet alone, pretty damn impossible actually), most importantly for help with calcium absorption for bone strength. Lack of Vitamin D also causes random pains. So what I'm saying is that the sun is very important and yes excessive exposure could be disastrous but be sensible about it. Skincare with SPF in it doesn't have enough and just lures you into a false sense of security. If you need an SPF then apply one independently to your moisturiser/foundation.

Make sure it's a broad spectrum one that protects against UVA AND UVB rays. UVA rays are what causes breakdown of collagen in your skin and the effects are seen much later on in life (wrinkles caused by excessive sun exposure), whereas UVB rays damage can be seen pretty much instantaneously e.g. your skin burns. 

Let's throw in a no makeup selfie ;)


Ok I cheated a little; wearing eyeliner and a lipstick in this. I have dark circles, it's hereditary. And oh this picture is from I was 27 (a few months ago),
 I am now 28. I look the same though, promise! 
Do you have a skin care routine? How often do you change it?
What's your staple products?

FREE INTERNATIONAL DELIVERY: BEAUTY EDIT


I thought this post would be useful for those of you who wanted to purchase beauty stuff available in the UK, but you live outside. The majority of our readers are from India and USA (you guys are spoilt in the shopping department by the way) so this post will show the retailers (reputed) who offers free international delivery. Woohooo! Well it's sad for your wallets.....



Asos: While Asos is mainly known for their clothes, they do stock a lovely little stash of beauty products;  Nars, Illamasqua, Bourjois, Barry M, Benefit, Bare Minerals, Pixi and GHD (the straighteners) to name a few. However, certain products cannot be delivered to certain countries, but on the product page it will mention that.


Beauty Bay: They stock a ridiculous amount of products for hair, makeup, skincare, and electricals. Including: Balm Balm, Edward Bess, Eyeko, Face Atelier, HD Brows, Louise Young, Sarah Happ and Urban Decay.



Look Fantastic: Brands stocked includs Dermalogica, Too Faced, Benefit, Exx1, RMK, Urban Decay, Perricone MD, Real Technique (the awesome brushes from Pixiwoo) and Stila


HQ Hair: Stocks Nars, Urban Decay, Kardashian Beauty, Daniel Sandler, Pixi and Elizabeth Arden among many others. 


Feel Unique: Stocks Biotherm, Elemis, Benefit, Eve Lom, Eyeko, Murad, Tanya Burr, Dior, Real Techniques, and Lancome


Illamasqua: Illamasqua also offers free delivery for purchases over the sum of £50 which to honest is quite easily spent on their site. Sign up for the newsletter: lots of flash sales! 

I think there is a restriction on the shipping of nail polish via aeroplanes as that is illegal (at least it is from the UK). 

It is also worth signing up for the newsletters from these companies as they email discount coupons very regularly and these typically range from 10% to 20% off your order. 

This is by no means an exhaustive list but it does encompass the major online companies with the bigger presence here. 

If you live in a country where you know things go missing from parcels (ahem India, Pakistan, Mauritius.....) then  I would suggest paying for the tracked shipping option as it would add the extra peace of mind.

You might have to pay custom charges once the parcel arrives in your country but that's depending on your country's custom regulation and rules. I hope this post has been helpful to somebody! 

Disclaimer: We are not being paid or compensated in any way to mention any of these companies. All views are my own. Check with your countries custom regulations prior to ordering.

Weekend Post



This one is very applicable to me. I just do nothing and "hope" things will change. It ain't going to if you don't do something about it. So here's to taking control, having discipline and booting complacency in it's butt. 
Have a great weekend everyone :) 

OOTD | Nigar's Graduation


I graduated this week! Woohoooo. After 17 years of education, I have finally received the piece of paper I got myself into debt for. 


 
Dress: Asos | Shoes: Asos | Bag: Primark

Face
I kept the face the same as always really plus lashes. 
Cut crease eyeshadow, eyeliner, pale pink blush, bronzer, and Inglots 408 lipstick. Oh and eyebrows of course! Lashes were Ardell's 105's. 
Nails
Bourjois So Laque Glossy in 05.Taupe Modele 


OOTN
We went for dessert after Iftar that night, and this is what I wore. I actually went home and slept in full makeup and what not, and it was all there when I woke up for iftar. I was impressed. The lashes had to go though. 

Top: H&M | Skirt: Primark | Shoes: Asos | Bag: Primark


The whole family came of course. Kayennat wearing a H&M long sleeved blue maxi, which is unfortunately out of stock, and moms wearing a white and black maxi from Mango via Asos. Also, wearing flats from Primark in this picture cause I was not going to tempt fate and walk in heels all day.
 
 So upset this picture is blurry :(





3 Things Thursday




This weeks 3 Things Thursday is dedicated to books, and in particular book series. This is only my [Nigar's] opinions and Kayennat's would be different. Minus number 1. Of course.

1. Harry Potter. by J.K.Rowling
There is really no need to say much on this one. If you've read them, they'd be on your list too. If you haven't, you're crazy and most likely one of those 'cool kids' who watches only the movies. 

My best memories of Harry Potter: 
-> If I remember correctly, I started these books while I was in year 5, so 4 of the books had already been released by that time. I had finished them all by the time Order of the Phoenix came out and we had ordered two so that me and Kay could both read it at the same time. 
-> I remember putting the title of the Order of the Phoenix as a hangman word cause I thought I was cool and no one else would know it, as it hadn't come out yet, I failed. 
-> While at uni, me and my two friends did a marathon once of all the movies. We were up till after 10 in the morning, after which they dragged me shopping. These were two guys btw.


Why I love Harry Potter:
WHY NOT! This is such an amazing series. And I actually don't have a favourite book. Like, I have a favourite out of the movies, which I love btw, because I decided one day to start watching them expected them to be different and decided to accept the changes they'd made after years of hating. 

I love how you can see how she grows up and refines her own writing style as the books go on. Which is exactly what is needed as the characters grow up. The books get progressively darker, and longer. Always a good read, so much that I've started my 3rd time reading them. [Kay's on the 3832932nd time reading them]
After writing that I've cried for the Narnia books, I realised I have defo cried on more than a few occasions in this book. 
I know I haven't said much about the actual books, but if you haven't read them or never plan on doing so; we're going to have a rocky friendship fer sure. [alas, my best friend hasn't read them either :( ]

2. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S.Lewis
Another Childhood favourite. 
Im not sure when I started reading these, but I've read them over 5 times each. 

Why I love Narnia:
These books take you to a place of fantasy. A place that every kid, and hell a lot of grown ups too would love to go to. Full of adventure, talking animals, a bit of fighting, handsome princes, gorgeous scenery, and a big fluffy lion that I've always to just hug. But these books are not just full of fluffy animals and make believe. They all have a message. They all teach you something. And I swear Aslan is such a biblical figure. And I have cried a few times as well. 

What I love even more, is the writer. He was already around 50 when he started to write the books, so his writing style had already developed, and even cuter, he wrote them for his granddaughter. 

'But someday you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again'

This is one of my favorite quotes. His death was a tragedy as Im sure he would have gone on to write many more wonderful books.  

A bit on the movies:
I friggin adore the movies! The music, the visuals, Liam Neeson voice for Aslan. But again, they do deviate from the books. And so much for Prince Caspian and The Dawn Treader. They completely changed how Peter reacts to Caspian in PC. Completely. That upset me. 
The Silver Chair is the next upcoming movie in the series, and I can't wait for it!

3. The Emperor's Edge by Lindsay Buroker
One of my newest reads. I got this on Kindle after Christmas 2013, and I think its only available for digital download anyway. I literally couldn't stop reading. I even added this to my January favourites post. This is what I wrote;

"It is sort of an accidental "steampunk" fantasy riddled with magic, adventure and the frustrating attraction between two of the main characters. Its frustrating because I'm onto the fifth book and their [Amaranthe and Sicarius']  story hasn't progressed. This doesn't take away from the authors talent, which grows from the first book, its just the way their story is. 

I have basically been reading book after book, while doing uni work of course, and fully recommend it. There are seven books in total, with (I think) four short stories. The first book is even free on amazon via kindle! And the rest of them are really cheap too. 

Update: OK, so its been a few days since I wrote this post, and let it sit in drafts, and I'm onto book 7, and OMG what the hell just happened! I read the last chapter and I cried. I was dying inside to know what happened so instead of starting book 7 at the first chapter I skipped and read the last (I'm reading from the beginning now though)"


For real guys, give this series a try. It's a relatively easy read, and a very enjoyable one at that! 

Are are some of your favourite book series? 
We'll do individual stand alone books another day ;)

Much love!
Nigar

p.s. Don't forget to check out Raj Thandi's 3 Things Thursday as well on Pink Chai Living!

Weekend Post


Over-hyped Products



We don't really do negative reviews, so we thought we'd do a collective review of all the products we'd bought due to hype and either hated, was disappointed by, or like for other reasons. 


Elnett Hairspray
K: STINKS, cannot tolerate the smell of this and not sure how this can be the best selling hairspray of all times. 


Liz Earle Cleansing Polish
K: A big blogger favourite here in the UK. This irritated my skin slightly and I get really annoyed how when you search for natural/organic skin care in Google Liz Earle used to be the top advertiser. They are neither (not that it's a bad thing, but they were paying Google to promote them as such. Very misleading). 


Benefit They're Real Mascara
K: ANOTHER misleading advert. They zoom into the eye with the mascara on ever so slightly to make the eye look bigger (Nigar doesn't agree with this, so we'll agree to disagree)....PLUS I hated the brush. It scratched my eyes and did nothing for my lashes. And I have good lashes. Even cheap mascaras look good on them. This is pants for me. 


N: I hated how the brush felt on my lashes, and didn't think the results were worth it to keep using the horrible brush. 

Benefit Porefessional Primer
N: I got a tube free from a magazine a few months ago. I am so glad I didn't buy this. I found it doesn't help me in anyway as the hype suggests. My makeup doesn't last any longer, and doesn't look any more amazing. 


Benefit Benetint Lip & Cheek Tint
K: Not sure why everyone goes gah gah over this. It really isn't all that. Not even right for my skin tone. I bought this because of all the hype. I looked like a china doll. The kind you that scares you so you can't even sleep.

N: Is there anyone else who just can't use this product and always end up looking like you got b*tch slapped?

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion
N: This broke me out. Horribly. I was so disappointed. Im sure my skin is to blame, but still, hate this product. Clinique's all about being dermatologically tested so their products aren't supposed to cause your skin to break out in spots, but this was just not good for skin.

K: I hate this. I tried it a few times and it did nothing, and I repeat nothing for me. Oh wait it broke me out as well. I don't even have sensitive skin. It smells funny too. 


La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo Moisturiser 
N: I like this. I use it. But for a different reason to the hype. A few months ago there was a YouTube ad that went round with bloggers using this as a primer. Er, nah. It's a pathetic primer. Doesn't stay at all. 
As a moisturiser I like it, it reduced my breakouts slightly. Didn't completely stop the spots or scars. 


Micellar Waters
K: I understand the point of them but they take so so long to remove your makeup. I have used La Roche Posay, Bioderma and Garnier. And I don't have a problem with then product per say but I don't know why I would sit there and take 10 minutes to remove my makeup when I can take it all off in 1 minute by oil cleansing. Just saying. But if you must use one I recommend the Garnier one because it's incredible value for money. 


Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream
K: Basically an expensive vaseline that stinks. The smells is worse than Elenette. Just vile. Use Vaseline instead if you must. 


Vaseline
K: I hate vaseline. It's a cheap cheap product (petroleum jelly made of liquid petroleum which is a by product of crude oil) that does nothing for you. It irritates me when I see people rave on about Vaseline. People who have dry anything and uses vaseline/petroleum based products ALWAYS have to use it or they're dry skin worsens. It creates a barrier where nothing can go in or out of your skin. So it never ever fixes the problem. It temporarily makes it feel/look better.  It dries your lips out and clogs pores on your skin. Anything with petroleum has no place being anywhere near your face. Do your skin a favour and skip it. You're worth better than that. 

The only time I think Vaseline is a useful product is when you're dying your hair and need to prevent your hair line from staining. It's great for that.  Coz it lets nothing through! 


Egyptian Magic
N: I tried this years ago. I first heard about it from BubzBeauty, who described it as a multi-purpose cream as it could literally be used for everything. One use was on scars, and this is kind of what sold it for me. It was around £30. And it was not a product I ended up keeping. I didn't feel it helped in anyway for anything, and so I gave it to my best friend. Im sure it must have worked for some people, but I was not one of them. 


Clarins Balm Eclate
K: Does anything, I've tried it and mum's tried it. We saw nothing. 


Tweezerman Tweezers
K: err not sure why this is the best tweezers in the world. Expensive. It comes with free lifetime warranty for sharpening. Except you have to ship it back to San Francisco.....


Philip Kingsley Elasticizer
K: another poopy product. Everyone goes on and on about this and it did nothing for my hair. AT ALL. 


MAC Lipstick in MEHR
k: This is touted at the lipstick that every desi must have. Skip it. It has a horrible texture, the pigmentation is patchy, the formula is drying and the colour changes a lot depending on the light. It alters between pink and purple. Eeew. 


Cloud 9 Straighteners 
N: We're a GHD family. Have been for years since Kay got hers. When I went away to uni and was going to buy mine, we thought we'd give Cloud 9 a go. Cloud 9 are the people who made GHD, and we expected great things. My problem with the one I had is not how they work as straighteners, but as curlers. We curl our hair using our straighteners, so when I used the Cloud 9's to curl my hair, I was not happy. It tugged on my hair, and was overall not a good experience. 

K: I don't hate the Cloud 9's. I think it's OK and use it sometimes when I don't have access to the GHD's but if there's a choice then GHD wins every single time. I don't have as hard a time as Nigar to curl my hair but it does tug. I hate the fact that it has a temperature control that you have to set every single time you turn it on. I always use the highest setting and sometimes forget to change it and some after wondering why my hair isn't curling I realise it's because I forgot to adjust the temperature. It's a chore.
All bloggers went crazy for this when it was originally released (pr samples....) and I fail to see why. 

They do have great customer service (our rabbit ate the wire of the Cloud 9's and they offered to replace the wire for free if it was under warranty and if we had proof of purchase (we'd lost the receipt) and we ended up paying £30 for them to replace it and they sent it back within 2 days. I was seriously impressed with that. They are lovely to deal with.  For the record mum uses the Cloud 9's as she only every straightens her hair.


Macaroons 
N: WTH is the hype with macaroons. Seriously. 
K: See above. 


What are your over-hyped products? 
Ever bought something because the blogosphere went crazy for it only to discover it was poopy and pants. POOPY PANTS. 
Any over-hyped products you think is worth it? 

Wedding Post

[ This is a repost of one of our earlier posts, circa 2012. We were getting so many spam comments on it that I thought I would just repost and see if that solved the problem. ]

This is the outfit I wore to my bro-in-laws brothers wedding reception. The event was held in the wonderful restaurant Akbars, Birmingham. I love this place, the food and the decor, is so nice, that we didn't really need to do much to make it better. 

I wore a sari, and as this was only my 2nd time wearing one, I think I did relatively well. I had bought it online on http://www.cbazaarsarees.co.uk/ after searching throgh the internet for the best priced one. It was from the Zarine Khan collection, so quite a few websites were selling them. 

 

Instagram Pictures! @nigar_


Buy Here : (Cbazzar is not stocking the sari at this point in time, but Utsav is.)

I was very happy with the quality of the sari. The blouse came unstitched, which was great as I wanted it made here in the UK. There were options for: readymade stitched saree, £10, customised inskirt, £8, and fall and edging work, £1. I think these were amazing prices, but only went for the fall/edging work. There was also an option for made -to-measure blouses'.

I had my doubts about buying online, but after seeing the Zarine Khan collection, I fell in love with quite a few of them. So after shopping around, I ordered it, and it came within 2 weeks, which was amazing in my eyes. I have not been asked to review any thing, and all opinions are my own. I just think that a lot of people have doubts about buying asian clothes online, and after having a wonderful first experience, I want to share this.

Edit* Click for close up of Kayennat's Lehenga 

Thank you for stopping by,
Much Love,
Nigar