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Monday, February 18, 2013

Manicure Monday: OPI Skyfall Collection, Live And Let Die

I was very excited to try the new(ish) Skyfall Collection by OPI. It came out in the fall, along with the movie of the same name. This collection is an homage 007 on his 50th anniversary. It happens to have several gorgeous and unique shades with Bond-inspired names.

There were four shades I was dying to try; The Living Daylights, The World Is Not Enough, Goldeneye, and Live And Let Die.

Here is my review of the first shade I've tried so far.

Live And Let Die. (Excuse my nasty dry cuticles.)

I had read many great reviews for this shade. It is definitely the most unique of the collection. Many recommended that, if you only got one shade, this was the one to get. I would have to agree. There is no other color quite like this in my collection.

Live and Let Die is a dark forest green, almost black in dim lighting. When the light hits it it's very obviously green with gold flecks. So, so, so beautiful. I couldn't stop staring at my nails. I've mentioned before I'm not a fan of green polish, but this one is very flattering. It only takes one coat for an opaque finish, which is pretty impressive. Most of all, it is unique.

I'll post pictures of the others I purchased when I get the chance to try them out. So far I'm impressed with the Skyfall collection.

Have you tried any of the Skyfall shades?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentines Day Manicure


Happy Valentine's Day! I hope you're spending it with someone special. I haven't posted in a while, so here is a late nail update. I tried out this festive nail design earlier this week.


For this manicure I used two coats of Revlon Plum Seduction. When first applied it looks like a bright pink, even though it looks purple in the bottle. After about a day though, it darkens to match the color in the bottle. Very strange. Even Mike noticed that my nails were suddenly a different color, and he is color blind. (I don't say that to be funny. They won't even let him join the military.)

To make the heart I used Revlon Pearl, and cut a heart stencil using painter's tape and a hole punch.  I thought I was pretty clever until I searched the internet and found that someone else thought of it first.


How are you spending this V-Day? I went out with Mike, and now we're cuddling at home watching a movie. It feels like a weekend, even though it's only Thursday!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Blizzard Cookies Recipe

In case you didn't hear, we are in a state of emergency here in Massachusetts, and banned from going out in the blizzard. Being stuck in the house all day proved to be good motivation to get all the house work done. Once I finished all the laundry, dishes, and cleaning the only thing left to do was to go on a boredom-induced cooking spree.

I got the sudden urge for cookies. Strange, because I'm not a cookie person. I usually make them when someone else asks. My go-to is chocolate chip, but I didn't have the ingredients. And I sure as hell wasn't going outside to get them. So I took stock of what was in the cabinets. I happened to have marshmallows,  caramels, and coconut left over from christmas-time baking, and that was my inspiration for these cookies. Sometimes you've got to work with what you got. This was completely improvised. I like that the end result coincidentally looks like a blizzard.

The base of this cookie is a basic shortbread. It is very buttery and flakey. Yet surdy enough to hold all the melty gooey goodness on top. The marshmallow and caramel make it very chewy, and the butter makes it melt in your mouth. So, so, so good. If you've ever had the candy marshmallow coconut toasties, it's like that, but as a cookie!

Blizzard Cookies




Ingredients:
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • marshmallows
  • caramels
  • shredded coconut
Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2. Cream butter, and slowly whisk in sugar.
  3. Mix flour and salt.
  4. Combine the two mixtures into shortbread dough.
  5. Roll out dough until 1/4 inch thick. Cut into squares, or use cookie cutters.
  6. Place on ungreased pan
  7. Place marshmallows and caramels on top of cookies.
  8. Bake 20-25 mins.
  9. Sprinkle with shredded coconut in last 5 mins of baking.

Things I would do differently, in retrospect:
  • Cut up the marshmallows or use mini marshmallows so they melt more evenly.
  • Spread cookies further apart on baking sheet, they expand quite a bit.



If you try making them, share pictures :)

Monday, February 4, 2013

Manicure Monday: Pink & Brown Feather Design



This Monday's manicure was inspired by photos I found on pinterest. I have to say, I don't think it came out as good as in the photos. I had to give it a try, though. It uses actual feathers!

I started with Orly Bonder Rubberized Basecoat, and two coats of Sephora by OPI "Dear Diary . . ." While the nail color was still wet, I placed a feather on top and pressed down gently. I then trimmed the feather around the edges to fit my nail. I finished with a coat of Seche Vite to hold everything in place. This topcoat covered up the feather's texture well.

I love this light pink shade, but I think I could have found a prettier feather. This is just what I had lying around in my craft supplies. Maybe next time I'll plan ahead to find a nice peacock feather.

What do you think of this feather look? If you try it out share pictures.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

January Beauty Favorites

Hello, my beautiful readers! This is a new series called Monthly Beauty Favorites. I'm going to hopefully add a new installment each month. The idea is to share with you a round-up of any new and note-worthy beauty products I try each month. Each of these products have become go-to favorites that I grab in the morning when I'm in a rush.

Revlon Lip Butter in Red Velvet
Revlon Lip Butter's aren't really a new product to me, or anyone else in the blogosphere, but this is a new shade I just picked up. Like everyone else, I've been obsessed with Revlon's moisturizing pigmented formula for months. If you haven't heard of them, they are the perfect mixture of a lipstick and a lip balm. They are not as heavy as a lipstick, but just as pigmented. They are also moisturizing like a balm, but not as sheer. This is a new favorite, along with two other shades I already own, Tutti Fruitti and Lollipop. I always have one of these floating around in my bag.
Eyeko Mini Skinny Mascara
This is, in my mind, the perfect wand shape. It is very skinny which makes it perfect for tiny lashes. This helps grab onto those ones in the corners and on the bottom lash-line. Also, because all my lashes are naturally pretty short, it is great for me. I have to maximize  what little lashes I have! It came as part of a set, with the eyeko eyeliner, from Sephora. I had been wanting to try the eyeliner for a while, and this just happened to be an unexpected bonus.
Eyeko Mini Skinny Eyeliner
I've been dying to try this, and it lives up to it's reputation. It is a liquid liner, but with a felt tip. Almost like drawing with a thin tip marker. I'm terrible at traditional liquid liner brushes! It makes creating a thin straight line simple. Most importantly, it is impossible to smudge. The best way to describe this is a fine-tip sharpie marker for your face.

MAC Viva Glam Nicki
A very unique hot pink lipstick, which I had been dying to try. This product had a whole post of it's own earlier in the month, so go check it out if you're interested.

Benefit Watt's Up Highlighter
One of my favorites this month is a free gift I got from Sephora for my birthday!  I was surprised to like this highlighter so much. I never use highlighter, and was surprised how much of a difference it makes! I tried a powder highlighter once, but didn't feel that it was a necessary extra step. It was hardly noticeable. Since getting this, I've been using highlighter every single day on top of my usual bronzer to eccentuate my cheekbones. Perhaps the fact that this formula is so creamy makes the difference. I just can't get over how creamy and smooth it is! It reflects the light in a way that gives your cheeks a natural glow. I was afraid, having oily skin, that this would make my
face look greasy. Not the case.

Nars Concealer in Custard
I am constantly on the search for a decent concealer that matches my skin and provides heavy-duty coverage. Having cystic acne and hyper-pigmentation makes it difficult to find a concealer strong enough. This has to be the best I've found so far! You'll notice how the color almost disappears on my skin in the photo - a perfect match.

Swatches, left to right: Eyeko Mini Skinny Eyeliner, Revlon Lip Butter in Red Velvet,  Mac Viva Glam Nicki, Benefit Watt's Up, Nars Concealer in Custard
What are some of your favorite products? Anything I should try? Let me know in the comments!




Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Veggie Faux-Pasta

Trying to get more veggies in your diet, but don't really like eating veggies? Well, if you close your eyes this dish might just fool you into thinking its spaghetti. But why would you want to? Look how pretty it is!


So bright and colorful. That variety of color means a variety of nutrients too! The trick to this faux-pasta is peeling and slicing the veggies into very long thin strips. Once cooked, the veggies resemble spaghetti. To be honest, the only real reason I eat spaghetti is to twirl it around my fork and smother it in tomatoe sauce anyway.

Ingredients:

  • olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • basil
  • oregano
  • 1 onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 zuchinni
  • 1 summer squash
  • cayenne pepper *optional
  • sauce

Directions:

  1. Halve and slice the onion and pepper as thin as humanly possible. Seriously, there's no such thing as too thin.
  2. Use a peeler to peel the zuchinni and squash into thin strips. The seedy part in the middle wont hold together as well during cooking, so you might want to just discard that part.
  3. Mince garlic.
  4. Heat a pan with a Tbs of olive oil, garlic, basil and oregano. When you start to smell the herbs it is time to add the onion and pepper. These take longer to cook than the other vegetables. Sautee until they break down. The onions should be soft and clear.
  5. Season with cayenne pepper if you like spicy food.
  6. Mix in zuchinni and squash. It won't take long for the other vegetable to steam them. I wait about a minute which leaves them "al dante", but if you prefer mushier vegetables leave it on longer.
  7. When vegetables reach your desired texture, remove from heat.
  8. Mix in sauce.


You can add whatever sauce you would normally put on spaghetti. Just remember, if you're trying to eat clean, some sauces are healthier than others. I was lazy and just used a can of crushed tomatoes, which turned out delicious.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Manicure Monday: Geometric Glitter (Tutorial)

What You'll Need:
  • tape
  • a base coat
  • a solid nail color
  • a glitter polish
  • a top coat

Products used (left to right) scotch tape, Orly rubberized basecoat,
Orly  Bubbly Bombshell, Revlon Rock, L'Oreal Paris top of the line
I applied one coat of basecoat and two coats of Revlon Rock. Make sure your nails are completely dry before trying the next step. 

How to Create a Geometric Design

Step 1
Step 3
Step 2

  1. Use scotch tape to make a right angle and then taped it to the nail, creating a small triangle at the bottom. I taped all the nails except the ring finger.
  2. Then apply a coat of glitter over each nail. For this look I needed two coats of Orly Bubbly Bombshell.
  3. Wait at least 2 minutes before trying to remove the tape. When you do removed the tape, do it quickly, like removing a band-aid.  I thought carefully and gingerly removing it would be the best way. I was wrong. When I pulled the tape off too slowly, polish came with it. Don't know why.




Apply top coat and clean up the edges with a q-tip.

Nail Tip: Fast drying top coats work best to set designs with a lot of coats and details. My favorite is Seche Vite. Their formula binds all the layers of polish, so that it's not only the top coat which dries faster.