Dancing Like We're Made of Starlight

Dress: H&M
Necklace: Forever 21





















My heating's broken. Well, no, my boiler is broken. Which means no heating or hot water. A bit of a nightmare during Reading Week, when I'd planned to stay home for most of the week and do some serious work on my assignments. Keeping my fingers/arms/legs/eyes crossed that the emergency plumber makes it out to our house tomorrow morning, as I'd just managed to get over one bout of flu and now another's sneaking up on me.
The joys of living in a student house, eh?

In fact, just about the only thing which is making me feel any better right now is putting on some of my prettiest clothes and bopping along to Taylor Swift's new album instead of getting work done.
I think this is one of the most amazing dresses I've ever owned. It was a complete impulse-buy for a night out last semester at university, and has since become a firm favourite in my wardrobe, even if the sheer lace does make it a little impractical.
Plus, spinning around in such a flowy skirt is very theraputic - perfect for when you're feeling under the weather. 

If anyone feels like telling me their horror stories from shared student housing, they might make me feel a little better...

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Estee Lauder Maximum Cover Camouflage Foundation [Review & Swatches]

Warning: this is going to be another post in which I reference how awful my skin is, lately.
And whilst I am doing pretty much everything in my power to improve it (I'll be posting a lot more about that in the next week or so), even the best treatments take time to get to work, which means I've had to seriously consider some new maximum coverage options to conceal all those imperfections in the meantime.
Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation has been on my 'beauty wishlist' for as long as I can remember, but I'm ashamed to say I had no idea there were so many coverage options within the double wear range (light, normal, and maximum cover), and upon stumbling across the maximum cover camouflage foundation at my local Fenwick store a couple of weeks ago, I knew I had to take the plunge and invest.
Double Wear maximum coverage comes in 6 shades, and, after about 15 minutes of indecision, I finally settled on 'creamy ivory'; the Estee Lauder counters don't stock samples of this particular product, so, naturally, I ended up going home with a shade which was a bit darker than I would've liked (should have gone for 'very light', instead, but ah well!), but still fell a little in love with this product, all the same.
(And the swatch shown above is probably about half of what I'd use on a daily basis - which means the tube lasts for ages, always a bonus!)
I'd recommend using a stippling brush (mine is MAC 187, available here - or it may be worth taking a look on eBay, here) to apply the product, as it's very thick, and could easily look 'cakey', if applied with fingers or a standard foundation brush, but other than that, it's a pretty impressive product. Whilst I wouldn't quite feel confident leaving the house with just this as a base, and no concealer, I certainly have to use much less, and it has seriously impressive staying power.
My only real complaint is the fact that, as it is such a heavy product, it does require quite a lot of powder to stop your face looking unpleasantly shiny, and it does require a bit of getting used to - it could be very easy to build it up just a little too much and end up looking a bit...overdone.

Would I recommend it? Yes, but only if you need it; it's not a light foundation, and it doesn't exactly look entirely natural, so unless you have serious acne, scarring, or any other problem that requires serious camouflage, it might be better to opt for a lighter base. For anyone like me, however, who's a bit desperate for better coverage, it's a serious make up bag necessity.
Estee Lauder Maximum Cover Camouflage Foundation retails for £27.50, and is available at Estee Lauder counters nationwide (as well as their website, here), and the Boots website, here.
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Loving Him Was Red

Necklace: Forever 21
Dress: Dorothy Perkins
Bangles: Primark
Nails: Models Own Golden Green & Gold Finger






















I just couldn't post this outfit and not reference Taylor Swift's new song, 'Red', which I have pretty much had on repeat since its release just under a week ago, in the title. I'd apologise, but it wouldn't be very genuine, I'm a Swiftie through and through.

I absolutely adored this dress, from the moment I laid eyes on it; the perfect autumnal shade, intricate lace, billowing sleeves, and not so short that I need an extra slip or bodycon skirt underneath...but it does pose a rather sizable problem (and I'm not just talking about the fact that I somehow dropped a dress size since I bought it) - the sleeves.
As I'm sure you can see in the two different pictures above, the sleeves, when let out to their full length, stop short just shy of my wrists, and they're huge. I'm pretty sure there's enough excess fabric in these bad boys to form a whole new dress. My solution? Safety pins. Pinning the ends of the sleeves back into the lining of the dress is the only way to make them bearable (and also makes me feel a lot handier than I actually am).

This nail combination is pretty much my current favourite look for A/W, as it seems to suit most of the colour palettes I have going on for the season so far, and, in case I haven't made it obvious enough, I'm a total sucker for gold...well, everything. Can you blame me?

What's your song of the moment? Do you have one of 'those' dresses - that can't be worn in public without serious help?

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Nutella Cinnamon Rolls [Recipe] (Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Rolls with Nutella Ganache)

Sorry for the awful quality of pictures in this post, but I'm in the process of moving back to university, and won't have time to make these gorgeous creations for a while - having promised the recipe a couple of weeks ago, now, I figured it was better to share my version of the recipe and hope you'd take my promise that they smell/taste/look divine as an incentive to get into your kitchen!

I'm not much of a breakfast person. I know it's the most important meal of the day, but honestly, with the amount of time it takes me to get ready in the morning, I can rarely stomach getting up any earlier than I have to, and normally end up grabbing a strong black coffee and either a cereal bar or one of my protein-packed microwave muffins on the go.
Which is why I love Sundays. Sundays have always been my 'free day', the 'day off' - the day for a slight lie-in, a late breakfast, baking or cooking a family meal. My day to relax. 

This is not a quick breakfast; it requires a little time, a little love. Unlike conventional cinnamon rolls, you don't need to let the dough rise, though - you don't have to wait too long for your gooey chocolate & cinnamon encrusted fix.
Make this breakfast on your day off; don't get caught up in the neatness of your rolls, it's part of their charm, and you don't even have to change out of your pyjamas, no one will care once the smell of these starts wafting out of your kitchen.

Nutella Cinnamon No-Rise Rolls:
Makes 8 Rolls; enough for 2-4 very hungry chocolate lovers.
Adapted from this recipe from Bakingdom.


For the Rolls:
The Filling:

Ingredients:

  • 30g melted unsalted butter 
  • 50g chocolate chips (dark work best - and that's coming from someone who doesn't even like dark chocolate!)
  • 200g light brown sugar
  • 50g caster sugar
  •  2tsp cinnamon
  • A (very small!) pinch of salt
Method:
  1. Melt the butter; I zap mine in the microwave for about 10 seconds at a time (because it's such a small amount, you have to be so careful not to burn it). Set aside to cool slightly.
  2. Separately, combine the dry ingredients, mixing carefully with a fork until everything's evenly distributed. 
  3. Pour the melted butter over the dry mixture, mixing it in until the mixture's sandy - this might take about 3-4 minutes with a fork, but it's so worth it to make sure it's well-mixed. Set the mixture aside.
The Dough:
Ingredients:

  • 325g flour (all-purpose, not self-raising)
  • 250ml buttermilk (I use Elmlea single cream, which I only discovered is actually 95% buttermilk about 6 months ago, whoops!) 
  • 85g melted unsalted butter
  • 40g caster sugar 
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 1/2tsp baking soda
Method: 
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°, coating your cake tin with some unsalted butter - the best method is just to rub some kitchen towel over the butter and then over the sides of your tin (I use a springform tin, just FYI, so the rolls are easier to remove once they're cooked).
  2. Combine the flour, caster sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, mixing with a wooden spoon until they're all evenly distributed, then pour in your buttermilk and about a third of the butter (2tbsp), mixing again until it starts to form a loose dough. 
  3. Lightly flour the surface you're going to be kneading the dough on, and pour it out; if you feel the dough's too sticky, add a little more flour to it before kneading. The idea is to make the dough as smooth as possible - generally, I find this takes about 4-5 minutes of kneading. 
  4. Rub a rolling pin with flour, then use it to roll out a fairly large rectangle (about the size of a sheet of A5 paper) with the dough. If you don't have a rolling pin, you can do it with your fingers, as it doesn't need to be particularly even, but it'll take a little longer.
  5. Pour another third of the butter over the dough, spreading it evenly with your fingers or the back of your spoon, then pour the filling you made earlier over the top, spreading it into a fairly even layer over your dough. You want to leave a gap of about half an inch uncovered around the edges.
  6. This part can be a little tricky, so be careful! You want to start rolling the dough, from the shortest edge, into a roulade shape (think the jam roly-poly your school used to give you as dessert!) - when you get to the end, press the end of the dough firmly, so that it seals, then place the 'roll' seam-side down on your table, and slice into eight equal pieces.
  7. Place each of the eight pieces 'swirl-side-up' in your cake tin - the point is to make sure they're all touching, but you don't have to take up the whole tin, as they will spread (see my before and after, above!).
  8. Pour the remaining melted butter over the rolls, then place on the middle shelf of your oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the pan whilst you make the Nutella ganache. 
For the Nutella Ganache:
  • 60ml single cream (I tend to just use Elmlea again)
  • 170g of Nutella (yes, really - so worth it, though!)
  1. This parts really tricky, so play attention! Mix the Nutella with the single cream. I know, I know, it's complicated (!); pour the mixture all over the cinnamon rolls, reserving a little just in case anyone wants to use it as a dip - yum!
  2. Serve them up to your magically assembled family (and yes, mine do find their way to the table without being told to), and enjoy.
What do you do with your day off?
As always, let me know if you make these, and how you like them - tweet me pictures if you'd like, @so_divinely.  
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Serendipity

Necklace: Forever 21
Bustier/Bralette: River Island (via ASOS)
Skirt: H&M


















This outfit is the definition of the phrase 'happy accident'; both the skirt and the bralette I'm wearing today were on my 'OMG want' list for a while - the skirt had, unfortunately, sold out in every H&M store within a 50 mile radius of my house (slight exaggeration), and yet, somehow, miraculously turned up in my size in the H&M online sale a few weeks ago, and the bralette was one of those items that I just wasn't sure I could 'pull off' - however, after seeing it in the ASOS sale for the bargain price of £8 a couple of weeks ago, I snapped one up sharpish (luckily - it was sold out five minutes after I got my confirmation email!), and hence, this outfit was born.
I don't think I'm quite brave enough (or warm-blooded enough, it's getting chilly) to wear the bralette without something high-waisted and snug, but I really love this combination together - and it's seriously flattering, given that I'm a pretty classic hourglass.

Although I definitely wouldn't think twice about throwing this outfit on with a pair of heels and wearing it to dance the night away, today I'm pairing it with my favourite biker jacket and some ankle boots for a bit of a casual feel - I do love some good old versatility.
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