Sunday, May 24, 2015

Get That Perfect Shade of Nude Lipstick From What You Have!

How many times have you bought a shade of nude lipstick only to find it washed out your coloring with too much beige?  Instead of bothering to return it or stashing it away with your growing collection of bad makeup choices, I want to tell you how to customize that unflattering shade and turn it into the ideal nude.

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Experiment and blend to create a customized nude like this one!

All that is called for is looking through your lip gloss stash for a sheer pink gloss to layer over it.  You won’t believe how wonderfully you can transform the original dull shade just with an extra dose of healthier color to liven it up.  

If the end result of that nude-pink tone is still too ghostly for your skin, then reach into your assortment of lip gloss again and try a deeper pink gloss instead!

I hope you try this little makeup tip because you will solve this mistake easily and get a lot more mileage out of your makeup bag 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

My Apple-Carrot Spice Cake Should Be on Your Make This Weekend Treat List!

My Apple-Carrot Spice Cake.jpeg
My Apple-Carrot Spice Cake stays fresh and moist for so long.

As you know, I am a lazy cook when it comes to slaving away in the kitchen. Why work so hard when you can make just as delicious of a recipe only with fewer steps?  This is my motto and it holds true like this incredible sheet cake that I have for you today with my Apple-Carrot Spice Cake

This recipe makes a moist cake with a tender crumb that has cooked apple, grated carrot and some yellow raisins mixed along with the spices and just a hint of unsweetened cocoa to nurture that incredible flavor along.  It also has extra protein from the addition of some oat flour to the regular flour along with an unusual Choco-Spice Crumb Topping.

You’ll love the taste, ease of whipping one up, and especially how well this cake stays fresh–that is, if it can last that long.  

Try it this weekend if you get a chance.  You love all those compliments that will roll in once it is served.

My Apple-Carrot Spice Cake

Cake Batter:

½ cup of cooked apples (microwave about two of any variety like Gala that I used)
1 cup of oat flour
1 cup of all-purpose flour
3/4 cup of brown sugar (light or dark, packed)
2 large eggs
1/4 cup of white sugar
1 teaspoon of baking powder, leveled
½ teaspoon of baking soda, leveled
2 teaspoons of unsweetened cocoa 
½ teaspoon of ground nutmeg
½ cup of canola oil
1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon of milk

Choco-Spice Crumb Topping:

1/4 cup of firmly packed brown sugar (light or dark)
1/4 cup of flour
2 tablespoon of butter
½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa

Rub the ingredients together as you do when making a pastry.  Set aside.

Peel and chop the apples into small pieces before cooking in the microwave for a few minutes or on the stove in some water until they are soft enough to mash.

Place mashed apples in your mixing bowl with the sugars, spices, eggs, oil, and milk before gradually adding the flour sifted with the baking soda and baking powder as you beat to combine.

Pour into a well greased baking pan about 12-3/4" x 9" x 2" and top with the Choco-Spice Crumb mixture. 

Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 25-30 minutes depending on how your oven is regulated.  Test with a toothpick, slender knife or cake tester to determine if it is done.


Apple-Carrot Spice Cake #2.jpeg
My Apple-Carrot Spice Cake is so simple to make and will please!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Celebrate ELLE Magazine's 30th Birthday---#HappyBirthdayELLE Surprise Gift Review

Disclaimer:  This post is based on a free product provided by a company as a press sample so that I may offer my own  opinion, which may be the same or differ from yours.

ELLE Magazine is having a 30th birthday and kindly included me in their celebration.  Check out my gift in this #HappybirthdayELLE box I was sent.

The other day I got an unexpected surprise.  ELLE Magazine sent me a surprise gift box of products in celebration of their 30th birthday.  Here’s to wishing them another 30 years of sharing incredible beauty and fashion to inspire and excite us.

Inside I found a 6.8 oz. tube of Vaseline Intensive Care Healing Serum, which smells awesome even closed. The scent with ten times deep healing power cream is a beautiful rose floral with amber and vanilla that does feel silky, non-greasy and heals red, irritated hands quite well.  

Next, I got a packet of Farmer’s Market Berry Crumble that I made in the microwave for breakfast.  It has whole rolled oats, steel cut oats, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and quinoa in this ThinkThin protein and fiber hot oatmeal from Think Products.

I also was treated to a ThinkThin High Protein Bar in Brownie Crunch.  This was yummy, gluten-free with 0 grams of sugar and a whooping 20 grams of protein and 230 calories.  It tasted like a candy bar but was only better for you. 

There was also a 0.04 oz. sample of Calvin Klein’s Euphoria Eau De Parfum, which I adore in how those exotic fruits, black orchid and woods come together.

Last of all, I got a sample box of Tampax Radiant Tampons of three that always comes in handy.

Thanks ELLE Magazine for my making me a part of your birthday!  Congratulations again and here’s wishing your great publication many more birthdays yet to come.

*Disclaimer:  This is my own honest opinion.  A free product was provided solely to facilitate this review.*

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Dazzle Like You Were Born to--IT Cosmetics NEW CC + Vitality Brightening Creme Blush with Angled Radiance Brush (Review)

Disclaimer:  This post is based on a free product provided by a company as a press sample so that I may offer my own  opinion, which may be the same or differ from yours.

IT Cosmetics logo.jpeg

IT Cosmetics really does understand how to enhance a woman’s beauty and work with an aging face.  With their new CC+ Vitality Brightening Creme Blush and Angled Radiance Brush for application that I have been using, you can’t help but notice how fresh and genuine of a glow emerges while fading some years off a face in the process.

IT Cosmetics CC+ Vitality Brightening Creme Blush.jpeg
IT Cosmetics CC+ Vitality Brightening Creme Blush

This blush comes in only one universal shade called Naturally Pretty, an innocent pink that reminds me of an infant’s cheek with its tender flush.  Regardless of your coloring, I think this particular tone of the creme blush shade can compliment all complexions from how this illuminating influx of healthy color manages to seep through the skin. 

You do have an advantage of picking up just enough of this creamy blush with how well this airy, angled brush captures this smooth spreading pigment.  If you need more, you just need to dip your brush in again for another round of pigment.

IT Cosmetics Angled Radiance Brush.jpeg
IT Cosmetics Angled Radiance Brush helps better deliver that amazing glow.

With my dry complexion, I loved how the CC+ Creme Blush made my cheeks beam to look dewy and so angelic while keeping that beautiful look intact for hours.  The glow was more natural appearing than a powder with how thoroughly it merged with my complexion.  

IT Cosmetics NEW CC + Vitality Brightening Creme Blush swatch.jpeg
Here is a swatch of IT Cosmetics CC+ Vitality Brightening Creme Blush.

Thanks to IT Cosmetics amazing anti-aging technology that also hydrates with ingredients like with peptides, hydrolyzed collagen, niacin, algae, silk, anti-Oxidants, and Drops of Light Technology for brightening, this CC+ Creme Blush does a better job of distracting the eye from those fine lines and creases while it colors.  I call that remarkable.

Take it from this IT Cosmetics girl, try this CC+ Vitality Brightening Creme Blush ($24) and the Angled Radiance Brush ($48) and start subtracting some time of your face as well!   This one will be a keeper.

*Disclaimer:  This is my own honest opinion.  A free product was provided solely to facilitate this review.*

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Discover Lilee Beauty and Lifestyle Subscription Box -- May 2015 Box Review

Disclaimer:  This post is based on a free product provided by a company as a press sample so that I may offer my own  opinion, which may be the same or differ from yours.

Lilee logo.jpegSubscription box addicts, there is a new beauty and lifestyle subscription that you may not be aware of.  Let me introduce you to the Lilee Box that comes to you from the same company that puts out Beauty Box 5--Snap Brands.

Lilee Box for May 2015, unopened.jpeg
Look at how nicely packaged the Lilee Box is upon arrival.

What exactly makes up a Lilee Box?  Well, you can find anything from cosmetics, jewelry, hair and skin care, stationery, coffee or tea, scarves or gloves, home accents, fragrances, nail care or beauty tools.  All the products in each box are full-size and estimated with at least a $120 value.

Lilee Box for May 2015, opened.jpeg
Take a first glimpse inside Lilee Box for May 2015.

This cost is $49 a month with free shipping in the United States or $189 for a four-month commitment or $499 by enrolling for a year.

Lilee Box for May 2015 out of the box.jpeg
Here is everything from  Lilee Box for May 2015 up close.

Now that you have a better understanding about Lilee, I want to show you the May 2015 box.  The theme is “brunch” with all the items you need to do it right girl-to-girl style!

Here are the Your Minerals Blush and Marsk Mineral Eyeshadow.jpeg
On the left is the Your Minerals Rose Hip Rouge Blush with the Marsk Mineral Eyeshadow on the right.

Lilee Box May 2015

1.  Lilee Invites (Set of four) ----------------------------------------------------------$10.00

2.  Texas Coffee Trade (Lilee Coffee 2.5 oz. Bag)------------------------------$6.99

3.  Knotty Floral Chain Bracelet/Hair Tie----------------------------------------- $14.99

4.  Your Minerals Rose Hip Rouge Blush ----------------------------------------$26.00

5.  Lilee Tea Towel----------------------------------------------------------------------$22.99

6.  Rachel’s Plan Bee Facial Oil (1 oz.)--------------------------------------------$20.00

7.  Perk Naturals Coffee First Body Scrub (7 oz.)-------------------------------$19.63

8.  The Perth Soap Co. Sparkling Champagne Cleansing Bar (6 oz.)------$10.00

9.  Lilee Champagne Stopper---------------------------------------------------------$15.99

10. Bonus Gift (Marsk Mineral Vanilla Frosting Eye Shadow)-----------------$22.50

11.  Bonus Gift (Love Life Skin’s Hand & Body Cream (1 oz.)---------------- $5.00

Total Value:    $174.09

The Lilee Invites features four cards with coordinated pink envelopes.

The bag of Lilee Coffee is Lilee’s Brunch Blend in Medium/Dark.  You have enough ground coffee to brew one half gallon.  I had some for breakfast and it was delicious.

The Knotty Floral Chain Bracelet that can be used also as a hair tie is a yellow floral ribbon with a small brass colored section of chain with a Knotty symbol dangling from it.  This is not my style, but it is lovely if you go into that sort of thing.

The Your Minerals Rose Hip Rouge Blush is a nice pink shade that is fresh looking and quite natural when applied.  It gave my cheeks a healthy glow to them.

The Lilee Tea Towel has a cocktail recipe printed on it.

I didn’t try the Perk’s Natural Coffee Body Scrub yet, but coffee as an ingredient in this type of product does help in the war against cellulite.  This looks like a wonderful body care aid yet to discover.

The Rachel’s Plan Bee Facial Oil is for normal to dry skin.  It has vitamin E, olive squalane, apricot kernel and cranberry seed oils among other plant-based ingredients.  This also looks like a product that I am going to love using once I finish with my current skin care testing.

The Perth Soap Co.’s Sparkling Champagne Cleansing Bar has an incredible fragrance that greeted me as soon as I opened this box.  It also has argan oil to make it extra moisturizing.

I have used the Marsk Vanilla Frosting Mineral Eye Shadow before after finding it in a Beauty Box 5.  I liked getting another one because it always comes in handy for highlighting.

The Love Life Skin Moisture Reservoir Hand & Body Cream comes sealed.  This is a rich formula that is fragrance, paraben, and sulfate free.  I did like how this stuff handled dryness on my hands.

The Lilee Champagne Stopper will go into a drawer for now.  It will come in handy for special occasions.  

Overall, I did think it was an impeccably packaged box that made a beautiful presentation from the design of the outside of box, the bow to how it was gift-wrapped with a black tissue and gold seal.  Though the products were very nice, I do think some of the products were overestimated in value for their worth like $22.99 for a tea towel? Nonetheless, Lilee is still a great box that you should check out.

*Disclaimer:  This is my own honest opinion.  A free product was provided solely to facilitate this review.*

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Review: Beauty Box 5 May 2015

Disclaimer:  This post is based on a free product provided by a company as a press sample so that I may offer my own  opinion, which may be the same or differ from yours.

It’s that fun time to dive into a new assortment of beauty from Beauty Box 5.  The theme for this month’s box is “Super Outstanding Skin” with skin care, tools, and cosmetics to help you get there.

For those still in the dark about how this beauty subscription service works, then let me give a few details. Each box has four to five beauty items from full sizes to samples at a cost of $12 a month with free shipping. If this sounds tempting, just wait until you hear what came in this box.

Beauty Box 5 May 2015

Essenza Luxury Hand Soap (2 fl.oz. Sample) -----------------$1.00

Styli-Style Blush/Highlighter Stick (FULL SIZE 0. 21 oz.)---$5.99

Dermalogica Active Moist (Sample 0.24 fl. oz.)---------------$ 4.20

Coastal Scents Classic/Synthetic Brush (FULL SIZE)-------- $2.49

Bio Swiss Stainless Steel Mini Tweezer–(FULL SIZE)------- $4.99

  Total Value----$19.67

The Essenza Luxury Hand Soap is a fragrant liquid soap with essential oils.  The variety I got was the Rosemary Mint, which I enjoyed very much for how well it cleansed and scented without irritating my sensitive hands. 

The Styli-Style Blush Glide-On Blush that arrived was in the shade of “Pretty-in-Pink.”  This was a lovely warm pink that had a delicate glow to it.  Use sparingly because this little tube has a lot of beautiful pigment to it.

The Dermalogica Active Moist is an oil-free moisturizer that will also come in handy as the weather keeps heating up.  It is lightweight and feels comfortable even for someone with a drier complexion like mind.

The Coastal Scents Synthetic Brush is a Medium Eyeshadow brush, which you can never seem to have enough of.  I think it’s quite a nice brush for how inexpensive it is.  

The Bio Swiss Tweezer is something that I wouldn’t use.  It should have been better quality for this type of tool.

Basically, I thought it was a well put together collection with the exception of the tweezer.  

Have you tried Beauty Box 5 yet?  Do check this beauty subscription service out and start having some fun yourself.

*Disclaimer:  This is my own honest opinion.  A free product was provided solely to facilitate this review.*

Monday, May 18, 2015

Behold the Unfolding Beauty of L’Occitane en Provence’s Pivoine Flora Fragrance/Body Care and Sublime Line Collection (Review)–SWATCHES!

Disclaimer: This post is based on a free product provided by a company as a press sample so that I may offer my own opinion, which may be the same or differ from yours.

L'Occitane logo.jpeg

L’Occitane en Provence expanded their bewitching Pivoine Flora (Peony) Fragrance and Body Care line with an official launch on May 11, 2015 and will now include peony-based skin care and cosmetics with their Pivoine Sublime products.  

L'Occitane's new Pivoine (Peony) Collection.jpeg
Discover the magic of  the peony flower with L'Occitane's new Pivoine Collection.

The scent of their Pivoine Eau de Toilette is something exquisite for how fresh and green this fragrance fully showcases the sweet floral beauty of the peony. Read my review to feel how its notes of black currant, bergamot, pink pepper, peony, freesia, white sandalwood, musk and peach work so perfectly together.  

I had reviewed other Pivoine Body Care products like the Pivoine Flora Beauty Cream and the Shimmering Oil, but I never got to try the Bath Gel until it recently arrived with the products for this review.  I do warn you that when you get into the tub with the Pivoine Flora Shower Gel ($20), then you will not want to get out. The scent is so intoxicating that you will keep on lingering until others pound on the door of the bathroom to check if you have, indeed, drowned. This should tell you how long you may be tempted enjoying those captivated scented bubbles that leave skin hydrated and delicately scented, making the ideal base for that Pivoine Flora Eau de Toilette ($55).

What if I told you that L’Occitane managed to harvest even more beauty out of that flower with their new line of Sublime skin care and cosmetics?   I received a few of those new products for this review as well.

L'Occitane's Pivoine Sublime CC Cream (left) and Perfecting Cream (right).jpeg
L'Occitane's Pivoine Sublime CC Cream (left) and Perfecting Cream (right).

These products utilize peony extract with their specially developed Perfecting Peony Complex along with mineral-based pigments and pearlizers, hyaluronic acid, chestnut extract and natural powders. 

I got the Pivoine Sublime CC Cream ($34) in Light.  This is a white, hydrating cream base that develops its color once on the skin.  I wasn’t sure how much coverage it would provide, but it smoothed and radiated such a lovely, natural glow that it distracted the eye from fine lines and wrinkles. With the way this can brighten and illuminate, you can wear it under your makeup or just alone and it will perk up a dull complexion beautifully!

Another joy to use was the Pivoine Sublime Perfecting Cream ($42).  With my allergies, my complexion is extra sensitive at this time of year.  However, I am happy to report I had no problem with any irritation because it left quite a comforting feel that felt silky and nicely moisturized when I stroked my face.  

L'Occitane's Pivoine Sublime Lip Balms.jpeg
 Here are two of L'Occitane's new Pivoine Sublime Lip Balms.  Rose Plum  is one the left and Rose Nude is on the right.

My lips were not neglected either.  I got to test out two of the new Pivoine Sublime Lip Balms ($16) in Rose Nude ( sheer glowing, soft pink)  and Rose Plum (deeper pink-plum).   This product quenches dry lips with soothing hydration and a sheerer wash of color.  It does have a slight peony scent as well.

L'Occitane's Pivoine Sublime Lip Balms swatches.jpeg
I swatched the Pivoine Sublime Lip Balms for you.  The Rose Nude is on the left and the Rose Plum is on the right.

There is also a Pivoine Sublime Perfecting Essence ($48) and a Perfecting Mist ($24) in the line, which sound worth checking out.  Do visit L’Occitane and browse the new Pivoine products because they are quite nice!

*Disclaimer: Free product was provided to facilitate this review--not my opinion.*