Offer: 10% off at Clay & Blossom *and* free postage!

Lovely readers, is this gruesome weather depressing you? Work a little intense? Your summer holiday over that bit too soon? Well, The Beauty Hall and Clay & Blossom want to get you smiling again with a very special treat! How about 10% off brands like Phtyo, Xen-Tan, Lierac and my new favourite hair obsession, Macadamia Natural Oil? Oh, and did I mention free standard postage? No? Well, there's free standard postage, too!

To get your hands on some of the most fabulous products around, head on over to Clay & Blossom, fill your basket to your heart's content, enter the code 'Beautyhall' in the 'Coupon' box (as per the image below), and we'll zap 10% off and send your goodies out for free. Aren't we lovely? So, go on: spoil yourselves. The code is valid on all products and all brands on Clay & Blossom's site, so there's no excuse not to! If your other half/bank manager asks you why you needed any more products when your enormous parcel arrives, just tells them about the discount and that it would make very poor financial sense not to have bought so much. Simple economics!

And if you're not already following them on Twitter, go and show them some love here!

Small print: Offer is open to UK residents only: sorry to those of you overseas! Promotion closes on 4th August. This is an exclusive offer for readers of The Beauty Hall so please don't re-post or advertise the code through any other channel. If you'd like to advertise this offer, please do so by linking back to this post. Any questions about advertising, drop me an email.


Review: Macadamia Natural Oil haircare

I'm sure none of you are in any doubt about how deep my haircare obsession runs. When you were born with the kind of hair that does what it likes, when it likes, you find that life becomes some sort of Lord of the Rings-style quest for the perfect product. Even when I find something amazing, like a certain hair oil, I still can't help but try other products in the hope that I'll one day be frolicking around in corn fields like the girl from the old Timotei ads...

So, it's with very great excitement that I proclaim Macadamia Natural Oil products the best shampoo, conditioner and treatments I've ever used. Yep, that's better than Pureology, better than Kerastase, better than Rahua (need I go on?). My hair is naturally pretty dry, and this gorgeous, fresh-scented, light yet ultra-nourishing range has left my hair sleek, glossy and with that shampoo-ad swish we all crave. It's not cheap (the shampoo is £15.45 and conditioner £17.99 from Clay & Blossom) but a little of these argan and macadamia oil elixirs go a long way: really worth the investment for those of you whose tresses need a little TLC.

If you're interested in trying Macadamia Natural Oil, The Beauty Hall will have an exclusive discount code for Clay & Blossom's website which will be live at 9am tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Small print: discount will be available to UK readers only and will be live from 9am tomorrow


Nails: The Caggie-Cure

Don't cry, Cags! Your nails look fabulous!

Those of you who watched Made in Chelsea will no doubt have noticed Caggie's multi-coloured manicures, and anyone with as many bottles of nail varnish as me will see this as a perfect opportunity to get some use out of them all!

My day job is far too straight-laced to get away with this Monday-Friday, so welcome to the weekend and some nail-creativity! I know: I live the craziest life!

First, the polishes. From left to right: No. 17 Lasting Fix in Pink Grapefruit, Barry M in Cobalt Blue, Revlon in One Perfect Coral, Barry M in Berry Ice Cream and Barry M in Mushroom.

And now the finished look!

Will you be following in the footsteps of mani-muse Caggie or will you be sticking to something more simple?


Eat: Beautiful Brownies

After a hugely busy and slightly draining day in the office, the last thing I wanted to do was come home and fulfill my promise to bake brownies for my colleagues, but I'm so glad I did. Despite needing to go and buy everything, including the electric whisk and brownie tin, it's been a very worthwhile exercise, and licking the bowl has been my greatest pleasure this week! Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, you've saved me from hitting the gin!

The top picture shows the finished result (they're seriously the best brownies I've tasted) and the bottom picture shows the mixture just before it's baked: I was sorely tempted just to stick my face into the goo and eat my way out.

If you fancy being nice to your colleagues, friends or family, or just want to gorge yourself on chocolately goodness, you could do a lot worse than these! Enjoy!

Cocoa brownies - makes 16.

170g butter

200g caster sugar

100g light muscovado sugar

3 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

100g cocoa powder

50g plain flour

¼ tsp salt

100g walnut halves or chopped chocolate (optional)

Heat the oven to 170C/325F/gas mark 3. Lightly grease a 22cm x 22cm x 5cm brownie tin and line with two strips of baking parchment. Let the strips hang over the sides of the tin by about 8cm – this'll make the brownies easier to remove when they're cooked.
Place the butter in a medium-size saucepan and melt it over a medium heat until it turns golden brown and smells slightly sweet and nutty. Set aside to cool.

In a mixing bowl, and using an electric hand mixer, beat together the sugars and eggs until very thick and glossy – when you lift up the beaters, a ribbon of batter should stay on the surface of the mixture for several seconds. Beat in the vanilla and the browned butter.
Sift together the cocoa, flour and salt into a separate bowl. Gently fold this into the batter with a spatula, being careful not to overmix. Fold in the walnuts or chocolate chunks, if using, and scrape into the prepared tin with a spatula.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out of the middle of the brownies with a few moist crumbs attached. Place the tin on a rack and let the brownies cool completely. Lift them out of the tin with the parchment and cut into 16 squares.

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