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

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

  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.


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


  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.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Mediterranean Chicken and Quinoa

Quinoa. How the heck do you pronounce that anyway? (Its keen-wah, I found out after I'd been eating it for a few months) What do you think when you hear that? My initial reaction was "God bless you." By now I think we've all heard a hipster mention it. Well, turns out it's not just hip, it's good for you too! But, like a lot of things hat are good for you, it might not seem appetizing.

Luckily, the first time I had quinoa was at a restaurant, and it was delicious! I immediately fell in love. I decided to buy some right away. Then I got it home . . . and realized I had no idea what to do with it.

It was plain. It was brown. It was bland. It tasted like warm bird seed. Because that's what it is- seeds.

Well, quinoa happens to be one of my favorite foods now and I eat at least twice a week. It's clean, protein-rich, and can be delicious. If this is your first foray into preparing quinoa, try this recipe for starters.

Mediterranean Chicken and Quinoa

  • skinless boneless chicken breast
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Olive oil
  • 1 water
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 large tomatoes, diced ( I used plum, but I think cherry tomatoes would be yummy too)
  • 1 large green bell pepper, diced
  • 3 oz crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/8 cup chopped fresh scallions or chives (2 tsp dried)
  • lemon juice
  • balsamic vinegar, to taste
  1. Cut chicken into cubes. If you have time, you can marinate the chicken in balsamic vinegar and lemon juice beforehand for added flavor and tenderness.
  2. Season cut chicken with oregano and garlic powder. Add 1 Tbs of olive oil to a skillet, and cook chicken over medium-high heat for about 10 mins.
  3. Put the broth and garlic in a pot and bring to a boil. If using dried scallions, you'll want to add those to the boiling pot too. Add quinoa and cook for recommended time. Usually about 15 mins.
  4. You have the option of sauteing the onions, or leaving them raw. I prefer cooked onions.
  5. When the quinoa is finished cooking, stir in the remaining ingredients (chicken, onion, bell pepper, feta cheese, tomatoes and scallions). Then drizzle with lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and oil to your taste.
This makes about 3 servings. Each of those have around 400 calories and 19 grams of protein! That's right, 19. Damn. Can't wait to see your guns after eating this. Send pics ;)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Viva Glam Nicki Review

I finally picked up Viva Glam Nicki, after a year of lusting after it. It is a limited edition MAC liptstick, created with Nicki Minaj as part of their celebrity-inspired Viva Glam line. I was having so much trouble finding it in stores that I thought it might not be sold anywhere anymore.

It's such a unique hot pink, I'm not sure these photos do it justice. I spotted it in the store from about 10 feet away, and was immediately on that shit. My fiance remarked "That one's nice." I said "I KNOW", to which he looked terrified. I then explained how I've been looking for it forever, and he seemed even more confused. Mike convinced me that $15 is a more than reasonable price for lipstick, and I should buy it as a birthday present to myself.

Here's a swatch for you. You'll notice it's very pigmented on its own.

On my lips: Rimmel Exaggerate Full Colour Lip Liner 063 Eastend Snob, MAC Viva Glam Nicki, DuWop Lip Venom

The color in this photo is true to life. I added some liner and gloss. On it's own this lipstick is more on the matte side. It is what MAC calls a "satin" finish, which might be hard to wear on its own if you have dry or chapped lips. I was surprised by this. All the other Viva Glam liptsicks I have are "lustre" finishes, which I find much more flattering. If I could change one this about Viva Glam Nicki, I'd make it a lustre so it would be easier to wear on its own.

 Here are some photos in natural light so you can see the difference.

Sometimes I like to pretend I'm Billy Idol, and make silly faces. Hehe.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Manicure Monday: Geranium

Everyone knows, Essie polishes are the best! This week's manicure is another one of my favorites from my collection.

Geranium by Essie

This is a vibrant orange red. Perfect for summer time, or anytime I just need to feel a bit more sunny. So I'm going to wear this color in the dead of winter and pretend it's summer.

Nail Tip: When applying a top coat, don't just apply it to the tops of your nail. Apply it on the tips and corners, as well. This will keep the polish from chipping at the edges where they see the most wear.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Manicure Monday: Fashionista

I'm disappointed in this week's manicure. This is one of those colors that looked really nice in the bottle, but then I got home and tried it on.

Fashionista by Revlon

It is a deep opaque teal. I wanted to try more greens and jewel tones, because those are the fashionable nail colors right now. All the photos on pinterest got me excited!  However, I am a firm believer that green polishes just do not work with my skin tone. I keep forgetting that, and buying them! This might look nice on some else, though. So I gave it away to my friend Julie. I hope she enjoys it more than I did.

Also, I couldn't for the life of me get it to go on smoothly. You'll notice the bubbles in this photo. This isn't true of all Revlon polishes, though. Some of my favorites are from Revlon, and I've never had this problem. I think this bottle was a dud. I'd still recommend Revlon polishes, and will review some more for you another Monday.

Nail Tip: To mix polish before applying, never "shake" the bottle. This will create air bubbles. Instead, roll the bottle back and forth between your palms. Polish will go on smooth, not bumpy.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Manicure Monday: Havana Dreams

This is the first in a weekly installment I'm trying out called "Manicure Mondays". Each Monday I'll be posting a picture of what I'm wearing on my nails, because I enjoy occasionally talking about shallow girly things. Also, I have two drawers overflowing with colors to share with you! Nail polish is my one true vice.

This week's color is one of my favorites- Havana Dreams from Sephora by OPI.

This is a very light true blue. It reminds me of Easter eggs and springtime! To get this opacity I need to use three coats, minimum.

I love the colors from Sephora by OPI, but one thing I've noticed about their polishes is that they thicken very quickly. All polish will thicken over time, but Sephora's seems to do so  noticeably quicker than other formulas. Because of that, I now have to be very careful about applying this polish to avoid streaks. Regardless, the color is beautiful enough that I will continue to be patient while applying, and most likely purchase another when I run out.

Weekly Nail Tip: To make a manicure last longer, apply a clear top coat every other day.