MAC Eyes

Winged eyeliner is my go-to look for eyes (as mentioned here).  Whether worn during the day or at night, it's a look that is chic and sophisticated, with a hint of vintage. 

From Topshop and here
I particularly love the winged eyes below, by MAC for the Marlene Birger AW12 show at Copenhagen Fashion Week.  They compliment the '60s hair perfectly and seems like a simple yet dramatic look for nights out.  I've always stuck with black eyeliner, but after seeing these photos I'm definitely tempted to try out some subtle inky shades sometime soon!  Some that have caught my eye on the MAC website are Smoky Heir Superslick Liquid Eye Liner and Dark Diversion Fluidline.  My MAC wishlist is growing bigger every day!

MAC for Marlen Birger images from here

Vintage on the BBC

In my opinion, nobody does a good historical drama better than the BBC and recently I've been spoilt by both Call the Midwife and We'll Take Manhattan.  Both are brilliantly shot and the costumes and set design left me drooling!

Call the Midwife is based on Jennifer Worth's memoirs, during her time as a midwife in London's East End during the late 1950s.  The series follows Jenny as she moves to Nonnatus House to reside along nuns and nurses.  The show really does have everything you need for perfect Sunday night TV; it will make you laugh and cry throughout and leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy!  The casting is superb.  Fresh faces play alongside more experienced actresses such as Pam Ferris and Jenny Agutter.  Acting experience correlates nicely with the fictional midwifery experience, making the characters and relationships believable.  There's also been quite a buzz about Miranda Hart's participation.  I personally really enjoy her role as Chummy and think she brings a special comedic element to the whole programme.

Story lines and acting aside, what I love most is the costumes, hair and makeup!  Jenny is definitely my favourite.  When she's not in her blue and maroon nurses uniform she's looking impeccable in cute 50s dresses and a matching pastel cardigans!  Her overall look is rather prim and proper but the Springtime palette of her wardrobe is really fun and adorable.  Her makeup is really simple but striking too; a matte red lip and strong brows.  Another character whose style I admire is Trixie, the flirtatious blonde.  Her non-uniform outfits mainly consist of a black chic numbers and posh cigarettes.  My favourite look of hers however, is with her hair in pin curls and a gorgeous aqua floral dressing gown.  She brings a lot of glamour to the group; a welcome distraction from their frantic jobs.

The show has proved to be so popular that the BBC have commissioned a second series.  The current one ends on 19th Feb, and the final episode has been moved to a slightly later time slot, reportedly to avoid clashing with Coronation Street.  I'll certainly miss Call the Midwife and am eagerly anticipating the next series already.  However, the BBC have cleverly scheduled the second series of Upstairs, Downstairs to start following this season's finale to keep us sweet!

If you've missed Call the Midwife, you can catch up here and look out for more on We'll Take Manhattan later in the week!

Very Lemony Cupcakes

I took a break from uni this weekend and popped home to celebrate a birthday and enjoy the snow!  These lemon cupcakes were part of an afternoon tea that I made (other goodies included shortbread and macarons).  I really love lemon; whether I'm eating a drizzle cake in the garden with a book in Summer or making the most of a sore throat and indulging in endless cups of hot honey and lemon whilst snuggled up on the sofa.  These cupcakes were the product of my own creation (and many lemon cake recipes I've used in the past)!  A note of caution, these are really very lemony and may not be to everyone's taste - but that's just how I like them!

Very Lemony Cupcakes 
Makes 12

For the cupcakes:
125g Stork margarine
125g caster sugar
2 large eggs
125g self-raising flour
Juice of half a lemon
Splash of milk
For the syrup:
2/3 tbsp caster sugar
Juice of half a lemon
For the icing:
Juice of half a lemon
Icing sugar
Yellow food colouring
Sugar stars
  • Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4.
  • Beat together the margarine and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  • Beat the eggs in a small bowl or mug.  
  • Add a little of the eggs and sift in a little of the flour and mix well until all of the eggs and flour have been added.  
  • Add the juice of half a lemon and mix in.
  • Add a splash of milk to the mixture.  The mixture should be a little runnier than normal cupcakes.
  • Spoon into cases and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until they are golden brown and spring back when pushed in the centre.
  • While the cakes are in the oven, add the sugar and lemon juice to a pan and heat gently.  Once combined, take off the heat.
  • When the cakes are out and on a wire rack to cool, prick each one with a cocktail stick or fork and spoon over the syrup.
  • To ice, mix together the juice of half a lemon and icing sugar.  I just keep adding more icing sugar until I have the correct consistency!  Add in food colouring until you have the shade of yellow you are after and spoon onto the cakes.  Finish with yellow and white sugar stars.