Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate | Product Review

Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate sitting in its original packaging, on an embroidered white floral duvet
I've made no real secret of the fact that, for the past few years, I've been struggling with 'problem skin' (you can see the entire archive on my skincare here); however, as I mentioned recently (here), my skin's been on the up for a while, and I've found myself having to deal with an entirely new problem - scarring. Having read what felt like a thousand reviews for various overnight treatments, I found myself torn between Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate, and Estée Lauder's Advanced Night Repair Recovery Complex; naturally, the decision came down to price, and I finally took the plunge and ordered myself the Midnight Recovery Concentrate a few months ago.
Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate sitting in its bottle on a white embroidered floral duvet on francescasophia.co.uk
Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate comes in a gorgeous midnight blue glass bottle (and that is what you call taking a concept and running with it!), and has a drop/pipette applicator, which means you don't end up wasting any of that precious liquid. The scent is vaguely herbal, but not particularly noticeable, and the liquid itself is a dry oil (think the scented oils you'd use in a diffuser), so your skin isn't left with that horrid greasy residue that a lot of overnight serums leave behind.
As for the effects? It's been a month, and the scarring has gone down, noticeably so - so much so that I now actually feel comfortable leaving the house without any skin make up on (unheard of, for me, from the age of about 13). I'll probably have to make my peace with the fact that I'll never have 'glowing' skin, but this product has been a miracle-worker for evening out my skin tone, and getting me my confidence back.
Would I recommend? Obviously, the high price point seems a little off-putting, but honestly, whilst I can't speak for everyone else, I know that the amount of 'drug store' alternatives I've tried for this very problem probably amounts to much more money, over the years - and I honestly believe this product is worth every penny. My skin is smooth, much more even, and feels healthier; no longer as dry as my many treatments and lotions have made it, over the years. I'd really suggest anyone with similar problems invests.
Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate has an RRP of £36, and can be bought from Liberty, John Lewis, or Kiehl's stores, as well as Kiehl's online store.
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The (Freezable!) Chocolate Chip Cookie | Recipe

a chocolate chip cookie, broken in half, revealing oozing chocolate and gooey cookie on francescasophia.co.uk
In case you couldn't tell from my growing list of recipes, I love to experiment in the kitchen; baking, cooking, making cupcakes to order, dishing out homemade Christmas gifts, I'm all for trying new things - but I think it's pretty important to have the basics down, too. Few things are as soothing as a fresh chocolate chip cookie, straight from the oven, warm and just-soft-enough in the middle. They're the first thing I think of when my friends are looking for a bit of comfort food and sympathy, and with this recipe, you can make yourself a huge batch, and keep a few in your freezer, ready to be baked (or microwaved!), for any little 'comfort emergencies' (break-ups, bust-ups and over-emotional stess-isodes) that might spring up.
chopped chocolate on a chopping board brown sugar and butter in a mixing bowl, ready to be mixed
Any recipe that starts with taking a bar (or two!) of chocolate and breaking it into pretty huge chunks with a knife (carefully, though!) is going to be a good one. And the creaming of butter and sugar together doesn't exactly make it unappealing, either.
cookie dough with chocolate chunks in a mixing bowl with a wooden spatula, on francescasophia.co.uk
Cookie dough is pretty much one of my favourite things in the world; in fact, if you leave out the egg in this recipe, you can quite easily just munch on this with a few girlfriends, whenever you need one of those 'lets just pretend calories don't exist' evenings.
six balls of raw cookie dough lying on a baking sheet on a baking tray, ready to go into the oven six cookies on a baking tray in the oven, in the process of baking
If you're not feeling quite that trashy (not that I'm knocking it, trashy's fun, every once in a while), you simply have to scoop the dough onto a lined baking sheet, and then either whip up a batch by throwing them in the oven for 10 minutes, or place them, still on the baking tray, into the freezer for about an hour - just until they're frozen enough that you can remove them all from the baking tray and transfer them to a food bag without them sticking together - then, next time you get a craving, you can bake fresh cookies, one at a time - perfect for if you just want a quick sweet treat, without having to make the whole batch!
6 cookies on baking parchment, fresh from the oven and perfectly round
The dough will keep in the freezer for about three weeks, and can be microwaved for about 2 minutes.
Chocolate Chip Cookies:
Makes 24 small cookies.


Ingredients:
  • 225g unsalted butter
  • 350g light brown sugar
  • 400g flour (all-purpose)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 225g dark chocolate
Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to 170° (gas mark 3); chop the chocolate bar into large chunks, and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  2. Combine the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl, mixing thoroughly so everything's evenly distributed.
  3. Separately, cream together the butter and sugar, being careful not to overmix (this will make your cookies spread & go flat) - about 2 minutes by hand should do it; add the eggs to this mixture, one at a time, and the vanilla.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mixture, stirring until it's just combined. Then add the chopped chocolate, mixing just enough that the chunks are evenly distributed through the mix. 
  5. Use an ice cream scoop to get consistently even cookies, scooping 6 cookies about 2 inches apart on the baking sheet at a time; cook the cookies in batches, placing each newly filled tray into the middle of the oven for 10 minutes. 
  6. If freezing the cookies, place the filled baking sheet into the freezer, and allow to set for about an hour; then remove the dough balls from the sheet and place into a food bag, back in the freezer, for up to 3 weeks.
What do you consider to be your 'baking basics'?
When was your last 'emergency comfort food' situation?
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