Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Live the Dream! Kim Kardashian's Glam Perfume Review 

**Disclaimer:  This post has been compensated through a free product (s) or monetary payment.  Opinions are solely mine. All links are "no-follow" links.**

Kim Kardashian's Glam Perfume.jpeg
Kim Kardashian's Glam Perfume

Beautiful, trendsetting celebrity, Kim Kardashian, did it again with her new recently launched fragrance, Glam, a sophisticated fruity-floral that captivates through intoxicating lush layers in such a way that you instantly feel propelled to the spotlight with all the glamour and attention that comes with it.  Think of this very feminine perfume as your own exclusive invitation to a red carpet event.

The opening notes of Glam are bubbly citrus, blackberry, and watermelon to reflect that anticipated excitement like poised cameras and light as you arrive.  

The sweet notes of this perfume's heart are where you step out of the limousine and dazzle in that stunning designer gown and glittering jewels with star jasmine, Egyptian tuberose, and rose absolute.  You pose for those admiring eyes focused intently on you and smile confidently at the crowd, feeling utterly beautiful and desirable.

Of course, like the notes in the base, you can't help but warm the atmosphere and hearts with your sensuality from the sandalwood, creamy orris butter, and heady musk.  Softly your memory will linger in men's minds long after you leave because you in your Glam will burn an impression that is hard to forget.

Even the bottle is all out glamour in bright pinks and chrome accents dolled up with sparking rhinestones circling the cap. A 3.4 oz. Eau de Parfum retails for $65 and the 1.7 oz. goes for $50. 

Personally, I have loved all of Kim's perfumes.  However, I can honestly say in my opinion Glam is Kardasian Fragrance's best perfume to date and simply am in love with it.  If you haven't had a chance to experience this one, then you must because it is exquisite and would make an ideal holiday gift to thrill any lucky lady! 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Aveda's Control Force Firm Hold Hair Spray Review

**Disclaimer:  This post has been compensated through a free product (s) or monetary payment.  Opinions are solely mine. All links are "no-follow" links.**

Aveda's Control Force Firm Hold Hair Spray.jpeg
Aveda's Control Force Firm Hold Hair Spray

No wonder so many stylists recommend Aveda hair products to their clients.  After my experience with Control Force Firm Hold Hair Spray, I can totally understand the reason.  In my opinion, it happens to be a sensational hair spray if this is an example of their line.

Why do I think this hair spray is special?  Besides keeping your style in tact practically all day without drooping even on a humid day, this Control Force Firm Hold Hair Spray will not leave your hair feeling sticky or caked with a residue like some others often can.  

You can achieve amazing texture with buildable firm hold with this hairspray.  All I did was to layer applications to get that firmest of holds.  The important thing to remember is to make sure to let each coat dry completely before  spraying another layer to the level of firmness you need. 

Usually, I always just spray my finished style with hair spray as the last step.  However, a friend suggested that I should spray my hair first with some before putting my curling iron to it to really turn on the shine.  And to my surprise, your sprayed hair does look to have more gloss.  Then, I finished with a bit more as usual. 

Organic essential oils of lavender, bergamot, palmarosa, and vetiver give this hair spray a calming aroma with sort of a woodsy smell.  The formula also has UV filters and anti-oxidants to keep hair healthy and protected.

Seriously, there is a lot to love about this Aveda Control Force Firm Hold Hair Spray as I mentioned.  If you are in the market for a great new hair spray, this is one you definitely need to try.  A 9.1 fl. oz. can retails for $26.

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

Monday, October 29, 2012

Jane Iredale's Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream Review (BB 5) + SWATCHES!

**Disclaimer:  This post has been compensated through a free product (s) or monetary payment.  Opinions are solely mine. All links are "no-follow" links.**

Jane Iredale's Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream.jpeg
Jane Iredale's Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream

A company that lives up to their name as skin care makeup is Jane Iredale with their Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream that I was fortunate enough to be sent in BB 5 (a light beige).  I can't wait to tell you why this is a must for you to try.

This product delivers because it is an excellent foundation for a flawless complexion plus serious skin care in one.  What you can expect is incredible, beautiful coverage that banishes anything from a tiny blemish to dark circles under the eyes. 

Another bonus is that this BB cream  wore exceptionally well and was great for sensitive skin while it gave me a nice silky finish.  

For one, this product is not any sheer formula like any tinted moisturizer.   If you are familiar with their Jane Iredale's Dream Tint in Medium Light, BB 5 is the one that matched me perfectly without being too pale or too dark for my warm light complexion.  This also comes in five other shades.

Do check this swatch of that shade on my arm in the photo below.  I put it on thickly so you see the color more clearly.  Otherwise, this blended effortlessly and enhanced my own natural skin color.
swatched Jane Iredale's Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream in BB5.jpeg
Here is a swatch of Jane Iredale's Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream Review (BB 5).

Best of all, I loved how the more times I wore Jane Iredale's Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream, the better my skin was looking.  It does brighten with botanicals and did help with improving texture that really excited me.  Yet that is not all that this amazing cream does.  Besides nourishing and working its magic with anti-aging ingredients, it also protected my complexion from UV and free radial damage with a waterproof SPF 25 and recommendation by the Skin Cancer Foundation!

If you want to see a beautiful transformation, I think you'll want to think about picking up a tube of Jane Iredale's Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream for yourself.  It sells for $48 for 1.7 fl. oz.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Recipe: Happy Faces Will Appear Once You Serve My Special No-Fail Applesauce Cake!

Those that love the taste of apple need to sample this recipe that I have for you today.  Imagine what a great way to chase away a chilly and dismal Fall day than with a hearty piece of my applesauce cake that is jammed pack with raisins, chopped nuts, and a fragrant blend of spices to bring out the maximum flavor of apples.  

This sounds yummy, doesn't it?  Let me assure you that it is.  I have made this cake many times because it is a family favorite.  This cake is wonderful to serve plain or top with your favorite white icing.  

When I had my apple tree, I made good use of my yearly apple avalanche and baked lots of apple related recipes from my one tree, including a homemade applesauce for this simple cake.  Sadly enough, that tree serving us so well through the years,  finally became diseased and had to come down.  As you can imagine, I miss it dearly because that old girl was very good to us.  Now I have a youngster of an apple tree planted, but it will take time before she produces.  Until that time, my little sapling is able to share her bounty of apples, I use a canned applesauce, which also makes an utterly delicious recipe for this moist and delicately spiced applesauce cake--only it's easier.

I recommend sifting your dry ingredients together for ultimate success.  This way your baking soda will not land in one spot to ruin your cake with that bitterness it can often have if you forgo that step.  Trust me, I have made this mistake and now regularly sift or dissolve my soda in sour milk, buttermilk, or sour cream if called for in a recipe to prevent failure.

One day soon, I do hope you try my recipe!  Seriously, readers, I think once you do that you'll add it to your own recipe boxes as well.

My No-Fail Applesauce Cake

1 cup of raisins
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
3 cups of flour
1-1/2 cups of sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
3/4 cup of canola oil
1 jar (15 oz. size) or 1-1/2 cups of applesauce
2 eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla

Preheat your oven to 350-degrees. 

Next, I usually grease a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan and then dust it lightly with flour.  Tap out the excess and set it

In a small bowl, toss the raisins and nuts with one tablespoon of the flour and reserve this until later.

In a larger mixing bowl, sift together the remaining flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.

Add the oil and applesauce next to those measured dry ingredients and beat thoroughly with your electric mixer for about two minutes or so until well combined.

You will add the eggs and vanilla next and beat in for another minute.

Now is the time to toss in your reserved raisins and nuts and stir into the batter until well blended.

Pour the batter into that prepared pan and bake for about 40 minutes at 350-degrees. 


Friday, October 26, 2012

Jurlique's Herbal Recovery Night Cream Review 

**Disclaimer:  This post has been compensated through a free product (s) or monetary payment.  Opinions are solely mine. All links are "no-follow" links.**

Jurlique's Herbal Recovery Night Cream.jpeg
Jurlique's Herbal Recovery Night Cream

Today, I want to tell you about what I think of Jurlique's Herbal Recovery Night Cream in this continuing review of their natural skin care products that the company sent me to evaluate.   As I mentioned, I have been putting those items through a vigorous period of testing more than five weeks now and want to clue you into my findings.

What's interesting about this antioxidant night cream is that it uses moth bean extract to replicate the effect of commercial retinol for improving skin texture for increased radiance and protecting from environmental damage.   Other botanicals such as African birch and Kakadu plum are included in this formula to work on those fine lines and aid in returning elasticity and firmness to the skin as well as  moisturize.

First, you should know this cream has a luxurious consistency to the touch.  What you immediately notice besides its beautiful flowery smell is how quickly this product absorbs into your skin.  Sometimes, my dry skin can be sensitive, but this cream was extremely gentle without being too greasy or sticky.

Over the weeks of use, I did notice my face had increased softness plus appeared brighter with fewer visible pores.  In addition, this night cream did see to work on some fine lines very well, but had less impact on deeper wrinkles.  

The best thing about this Jurlique Herbal Recovery Night Cream was how it let the skin breathe while repairing aging problems and boosting moisture in a lightweight formula that feels like a safer natural alternative to me than countless chemicals in the traditional commercial version. The 1.7 oz. jar retails for $48 and goes a long way. 

If you care about what sinks through your pores like I do and are looking for a great anti-aging cream, then I definitely think you should look into this product! 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Beyoncé's Midnight Heat Perfume Review and Giveaway!--Ends November 12, 2012

**Disclaimer:  This post has been compensated through a free product (s) or monetary payment.  Opinions are solely mine. All links are "no-follow" links.**

Beyoncé's Midnight Heat Perfume ad.jpeg
Beyoncé's Midnight Heat Perfume

You can feel the electric energy of pop superstar, Beyoncé's newest fragrance for Coty Beauty, Midnight Heat, setting off sparks almost immediately in this spicy gourmand fruity-floral.  Working with perfumer, Olivier Gillotin, this latest addition to the Heat family is tantalizing and takes a deeply sensual evening spin on the line that excites the senses and evokes raw passion.

Ripe succulent fruits of plum, apricot, dragon fruit, and star fruit are the opening notes that give this fragrance its lively jolt of bubbling fruity sweetness to charge the senses.  The feeling is exhilarating prep before the scent begins to warm in the heart. 

The heart is where that sparkling quality in the opening loses its slight fruity tartness when influenced by the floral.  Through notes of orchid, black tulips, and pink peony now give the fragrance heavier sweetness.  

As this fragrance further warms in its oriental base, the more intense and sinfully sexy with spice  it becomes.  Midnight Heat draws you in with a perfect blend of amber, sandalwood, and earthy patchouli to also add to that creamy, haunting softness from the now powdery floral that delightfully lingers.  

I really liked the slow teasing of this sexy perfume as it developed and added Midnight Heat as one of my new date night favorites.  Sample this one for yourself, but allow it time to wrap its embrace to fully appreciate its powerful allure and then you'll want to pick up a bottle for yourself.

Thanks to Beyonce Parfums, one lucky winner in the continental United States will win a 1.7 oz. bottle of Midnight Heat Eau de Parfum Spray ($45 value)!

Beyoncé's Midnight Heat Perfume and box.jpeg
Beyoncé's Midnight Heat Perfume and box

Both Are Mandatory to Enter:

1. You must follow me on Google Friends Connect before any of your entries will count.  If you already follow, then INCLUDE your ***EMAIL*** with name in a comment!

2. Go to Beyonce Parfums and tell me which Heat fragrance is your favorite or what other Beyonce perfume you also would love to try from their site in another comment.

Extra Entries:

(Provide proof once with email when doing each form of entry and number the rest):

Tweet  Smell Hot! #Win #MidnightHeat Perfume @BeyonceParfums #Giveaway! @Nuts4Stuff Ends 11/12 (can be done daily)--1 extra entry per day in another comment

"Like" Beyonce Parfums on Facebook--2 extra entries to leave in two separate comments

Follow Beyonce Parfums on Twitter--2 extra entries to leave in two separate comments

Share Beyonce Parfums on your Facebook Wall--5 extra entries to leave in five separate comments (show me the proof) 

Follow Beyonce Parfums on Pinterest--2 extra entries to leave in two separate comments

Check out Beyonce Parfums on YouTube and tell me something you learned--2 extra entries to leave in two separate comments

Subscribe to Beyonce Parfums Email--2 extra entries to leave in two separate comments

"Like" Nuts 4 Stuff on Facebook--2 extra entries (leave two separate comments)

Add @Nuts4Stuff to Your Twitter and tell me so in your comment with your Twitter id--2 extra entries to leave in two separate comments

Subscribe to the Nuts 4 Stuff blog by email--2 extra entries (must confirm) to leave in two separate comments

Subscribe to Nuts 4 Stuff in a reader--2 extra entries (Orange button in my sidebar) to leave in two separate comments

List this giveaway on any giveaway site just leave a link to this post wherever you share it--5 extra entries (leave five separate comments and tell me where with proof in one of them)

Blog about this giveaway and comment with a link to the post--5 extra entries (leave five separate comments and tell me where with proof in one of them)

Grab my Nuts 4 Stuff button and paste it in your sidebar--5 extra entries (leave five separate comments and tell me where you left it with proof in one of them)

Add Nuts 4 Stuff to your blogroll  (using my URL) with a link back to me (comment where you left it for 2 more extra entries to leave in two separate comments)

Enter the HBL Hair Care Straightening & Styling System Giveaway--1 extra entry 

Enter another Nuts 4 Stuff giveaway (enter as many as you want, however, only 1 extra entry will count) and tell me which one in a comment--1 extra entry

Leave a separate comment for each entry.  Be sure you include your email address inside your comment so I can contact you if you win.   This giveaway is only open to residents of the continental United States.  No PO Boxes--just USA based street addresses are eligible.

***Any entries that contain a link or website address for redirecting readers to your site to sell your products will be deleted when found.  I am giving you a chance to win, not advertise for free.*** Do follow  the rules because I check entries.   Be alert that if you attempt to enter using multiple identities will be grounds for disqualification. 

This giveaway ends November 12, 2012 at 12 PM Eastern Standard Time. The winner will need to respond to my email with name and shipping address within 48-hours or another winner will be picked.  

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Rimmel London's Exaggerate Waterproof Eye Definers Review

**Disclaimer:  This post has been compensated through a free product (s) or monetary payment.  Opinions are solely mine. All links are "no-follow" links.**

Rimmel London's Exaggerate Waterproof Eye Definers.jpeg
Rimmel London's Exaggerate Waterproof Eye Definers

Like most of you, I don't feel complete without my stash of eye liners in various forms and colors since well defined eyes can really do wonders for beautifying your overall look.  For those that feel eyes are their best feature as I do and love to draw people in with those stunning peepers, then I know you will be interested in learning more about Rimmel London's Exaggerate Waterproof Eye Definers that I received for this review.

These are highly pigmented pencils that swivel up and self sharpen while being complete with a smudger on one end.  

Starting from the top in the above photo is #250 Emerald Shock (more of a stunning teal-green) followed by #290 Precious Gold (gleaming copper-gold), then #230 Deep Ocean (riveting dark metallic blue), and #270 Purple Shock (bright, flirty purple) at the bottom.

You can get a nice line with just the right thickness that goes on smooth and blended well without tugging on delicate skin.  With my dry skin, I noticed how these shades stayed true without fading or smearing for most of the day. 

Besides lining the entire eye, I liked using these fun bright colors against my lower lids while also using Rimmel London's Exaggerate Liquid Liner in black that I recently told you about on the top.  Together, this product duo on my dark brown eyes made them pop.  And when I added smoky shadow and several coats of black mascara, the effect gave my eyes even more striking impact.

I really liked these eye liner pencils well enough to want to pick up more colors in the future to play with.  If you an inexpensive way to perk up eyes, I think investing in Rimmel London's Exaggerate Waterproof Eye Definers is a good way to start!

*Disclaimer:  This is my own honest opinion.  Free products were provided to facilitate this review.*

Monday, October 22, 2012

Melvita's Rose Nectar Fresh Micellar Water Review

**Disclaimer:  This post has been compensated through a free product (s) or monetary payment.  Opinions are solely mine. All links are "no-follow" links.**

Melvita's Rose Nectar Fresh Micellar Water.jpeg
Melvita's Rose Nectar Fresh Micellar Water

A cleanser and toner are equally important but have different purposes in your skin care regime.  But what if I told you one product can take off your makeup, gently cleanse your face, and tone it at the same time?  This sounds great to me since I was looking forward to testing micellar water from French brand, Melvita, with their Rose Nectar Fresh Micellar Water for this review.

To use this product, you need to dab a cotton ball with some and start swiping away.  This does dissolves makeup and clean your face without any tightness.  You don't even need to rinse!

For some, the need for water in the equation to feel clean will be surprised at how unbelievably fresh your complexion will look once you check your mirror.  Take it from me, I used to even follow with up with soap and water after using cleansing wipes--that is until working with this Rose Nectar Fresh Micellar Water.  Trust me, but you won't miss the water.

I have been using this micellar water regularly in the mornings than evenings when I have lots of makeup to remove for prepping my skin before I apply cosmetics.  Although this product removes makeup easily enough, I am lazy when it comes to changing cotton balls for stripping a lot of it away.  On the other hand, the morning is perfect to give me a balanced and comfortable clean with a glow to my complexion.

Save yourself some steps in your skin care and look into picking up the Rose Nectar Fresh Micellar Water. This product sells for $22 for the 6.7 oz. size. 

Like everything else from Melvita, I feel good knowing that nothing but the finest certified organic ingredients are in their products to keep me beautiful as well as healthy.  Isn't that what you want also?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Recipe: Paradise Is Digging Into One of My Moist Pineapple Muffins!

I have a confession.  I am a muffin freak.  Regardless of the slightly sweet type to the more bread like variety, I adore them.  One of my favorites happens to be this yummy pineapple muffin that is so moist and topped with  tasty brown sugar and spiced crumbs.

Before you begin, you need to check your margarine.  If you see the word spread on your package, then it has too much water content and will ruin your baking.  You need to have at least 80% fat content in the margarine to be successful.  So if you have been disappointed and wondering why whatever you bake has been trying out bad, this very well could be the reason. 

The next time you get that urge for muffins, you should give my recipe a shot because I do think you will enjoy it!

My Moist Pineapple Muffins

2 cups of flour
1/2 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup of milk
1/4 cup canola oil or melted margarine (not spread)
1 small can of crushed pineapple (8-ounce size)

Brown Sugar Crumb Topping:

1/2 cup of flour
1/3 cup of firmly packed brown sugar (light or dark)
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons of melted margarine  (not spread)

To Make the Muffin Batter:

Drain the pineapple and save 1/4 cup of the liquid to add later.

In your mixing bowl, sift together the two cups of flour, the granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt. 

Next, make a well in the center.

Add your egg, milk, the measured pineapple liquid to that well and combine with those dry ingredients just until moistened.  Don't mix this too much or it will make the muffins less moist.

Grease your muffin cups and proceed to fill each one half full.

Now is the time to sprinkle some crushed pineapple over the tops of each filled cup before finishing with the brown sugar crumb topping.

To Make the Brown Sugar Crumb Topping:

In another mixing bowl, mix the 1/2 cup of flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and melted margarine until combined.

Spoon each muffin with some topping.

Bake your muffins in a 375-degree oven for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Recipe: You Will Hunger for My Delicious Fresh Apple Cake Once You Taste It!

Apples are delicious and great to bake with.

Fall is the perfect season to take advantage of apples. Today, I want to share my favorite recipe for a fantastic fresh apple cake that is moist and chalked full of fruit, nuts, and cinnamon. 

Besides how divine this tastes, you'll like how simple this is to make because  no creaming  is involved!  This recipe uses oil and requires just a minimum of effort, which endears it even more to my heart. 

I can't also stress what your home will smell like as this cake in your oven releases its delicious, welcoming aroma of cinnamon and apples to scent the air.  Trust me, but this scent permeates the rooms better than any commercial product with such incredible goodness.

I used to make this recipe quite often when I had still had my apple tree.  Those luckily enough to have apple trees may want to save this recipe because it is a keeper!

If you love the taste of apple like we do, I think you would enjoy sampling this cake.  I hope you try it.

My Fresh Apple Cake

1-3/4 cups of flour
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 cup of canola oil
1 egg
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1/2 cup of milk
2 cups of chopped, pared apples (any variety)
1/4 teaspoon of salt

Cake Topping:

1/2 cup brown sugar (packed of either light or brown variety)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons of margarine (not spread)
2 tablespoons of flour
1 teaspoon of cinnamon

For the cake:

Sift together the 1-3/4 cups of flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into your mixing bowl.

Combine the oil, egg, milk, and vanilla.  Add these mixed liquid ingredients to those dry ingredients in that mixing bowl.

No electric mixer is required.  Stir until well blended with your wooden spoon and then add your chopped apples.

Pour the cake batter into a greased pan approximately 10" square.  I usually make this one in a Corning dish of that size since I can refrigerate it later in the same dish with a cover.  If it lasts, you can later pop it in the microwave to freshen it up.  However, I doubt you have any cake left once the family smells it.

For the topping:

Using your hands, mix the margarine with your brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour until it resembles coarse crumbs. 

Toss in your walnuts and mix again until well combined. 

Then top over your cake.

Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Friday, October 19, 2012

NYC New York Color Cosmetics Sparkle Eye Dust Review (Champagne #893, Pink Champagne, #14 Karat Rose #892) + SWATCHES!

**Disclaimer:  This post has been compensated through a free product (s) or monetary payment.  Opinions are solely mine. All links are "no-follow" links.**

NYC New York Color Cosmetics Sparkle Eye Dusts.jpeg
NYC New York Color Cosmetics Sparkle Eye Dust 

What I discovered with NYC New York Color Cosmetics Sparkle Eye Dust shadows in Champagne #893, Pink Champagne #14, and Karat Rose #892 are that they are ideal for capturing beams of pure sheer color to play up your eyes.  These three shades in particular come across as more of a highlight shade but don't let that stop you from using that gorgeous array of radiance on the entire eye lid.

In my above photo, Karat Rose #892 is on the left followed by Champagne #893 in the middle and ending with Pink Champagne #14 on the right.

These shadows are in the form of loose powder shadow that comes in a pot with attached brushed.  You don't have to worry about flying eye shadow powder to ruin your application.  Pull the brush out from inside the powder, dab against the sides of the container and there is no mess.

Champagne #893 is a gleaming beige-peach that you'll adore because it is so natural looking but effective as it lights up eyes.  Pink Champagne #14 will give you a pale mauve-pink with gold while the Karat Rose #892 provides a shimmering medium toned pink..  Have fun with these by themselves, or to highlight as well as to work with other shades to change those stunning effects that are possible.

I did try swatching these shades for you on my arm.  However, the photo did not come out where you could see those magnificent ribbons of light that these three Sparkle Eye Dust shadows throw off.

swatches of the Sparkle Eye Dust trio.jpeg
Pink Champagne #14 is on the left with Karat Rose #892 on the middle of my arm while Champagne #893 is on the right.

You will also appreciate how long lasting these shadows are.  If you haven't given them a try yet and want to shine with gleaming light on your eyes without glitter specks to spoil that effect, then I seriously suggest looking into buying these NYC New York Color Sparkle Eye Dust shadows.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Lisa Hoffman Beauty's Japanese Agarwood Eau de Parfum Spray and Variations Fine Fragrance Oils Review

**Disclaimer:  This post has been compensated through a free product (s) or monetary payment.  Opinions are solely mine. All links are "no-follow" links.**

Lisa Hoffman Beauty's Japanese Agarwood Eau de Parfum Spray.jpeg
Lisa Hoffman Beauty's Japanese Agarwood Eau de Parfum Spray

Serenely beautiful like music from wind chimes as they drift lazily against a gentle breeze in peaceful solitude.  This is the soulful feeling that you can expect from this exquisite Japanese Agarwood Eau de Parfum Spray ($65) and the matching set of four distinct Japanese Agarwood Variations Fine Fragrance Oils ($95) from Lisa Hoffman Beauty.

This haunting and very feminine perfume is a woody-floral fragrance that is the perfect balance of freshness with luminous notes of bergamot and lemon with an underlying trail of floral from the lily of the valley and jasmine set against the warmth of exotic woods,  sensual amber and intriguing spices of mysterious ginger and cardamom that will luxuriously wrap its rich essence over you like the comfort of soft mink.  Wearing Japanese Agarwood Eau de Parfum Spray is sophisticated and earthy at the same time as it secretly bewitches those caught up in its spell.

The Japanese Agarwood Variations Fine Fragrance Oils are an incredible way to totally experience the power of this hypnotic perfume into four unique variations of the scent according to morning, daytime, evening, and bedtime in roll-on form.  The scent is so enticing it is easy to understand why in 2009, it was a FiFi Finalist in the fragrance awards.

Vial 01:  Morning helps gives a slightly brisker essence that is a delightful way to begin a day with a bit more emphasis on the wonders of lemon, cardamom, and bergamot to make this fragrance bloom.

Vial 02:  Daytime is magical as those precious woods and spicy ginger merge with the bergamot, tempting so gracefully,  it is difficult to ignore the overall calming beauty it creates.

Vial 03:  Evening is when this scented oil shows more of its romantic side with the lily of the valley and spiced ginger as they mingle with woods to make it sexy and ever so alluring.

Vial 04Bedtime takes sheer cedarwood, sandalwood and infuses the formula with delicate jasmine to make this scented oil soft and seductive like a lover's caress.

Lisa Hoffman Beauty's Japanese Agarwood Variations Fine Fragrance Oils.jpeg
Lisa Hoffman Beauty's Japanese Agarwood Variations Fine Fragrance Oils

This is the second perfume that I ever reviewed from Lisa Hoffman Beauty and I must confess that I am becoming a big fan of her remarkable fragrances and can't wait to try another.  Without question, I loved the Japanese Agarwood Eau de Parfum Spray and the sheer beauty behind it.  At the same time, I am crazy about the Japanese Agarwood Variations Fine Fragrance Oils also for those different takes on the same scent, its amazing lasting ability and the fact that I can throw a roll-on oil easily in my handbag compared to the larger Eau de Parfum Spray.   I honestly recommend both forms of this gorgeous perfume because these are simply stunning!

*Disclaimer:  This is my own honest opinion.  Free products were provided to facilitate this review.*

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sally Hansen Ahead of The Curve Sapphire File and Hard As Nails Boards Review

**Disclaimer:  This post has been compensated through a free product (s) or monetary payment.  Opinions are solely mine. All links are "no-follow" links.**

Sally Hansen Ahead of The Curve Sapphire File and Hard As Nails Boards.jpeg
Sally Hansen Ahead of The Curve Sapphire File and Hard As Nails Boards 

I typically depend on emery boards when I do a manicure.  However, I wanted to see how well Sally Hansen's Ahead of The Curve Sapphire File would work on my fingernails and what the company's Hard As Nails Coarse Boards could do for a pedicure.  

Unlike those old-fashioned steel nail files of the past, this sapphire file has two fine gritted sides for filing and a contoured handle for a better grip.  The inner one is slightly coarser than the top side so you can easily smooth out fingernail length and shape.  On the other hand, the top side is for the finishing touches with an excellent finer grit that miraculously got my manicure done more quickly than using normal emery boards.

The next time I did a pedicure, I took out those Hard As Nails Coarse Boards to do those stronger toenails.  These boards are sold two to a package.  One side has a much coarser grit for tending to nail length and smoothing while the other is more of a medium grit for perfecting and finishing those nails.  

You can use these coarse boards on fingernails just as you can toenails, but I wanted them strictly for doing a pedicure.   I did think these simplified my task so much more

I can say that I really liked both of these Sally Hansen products and definitely will keep using them.  If you haven't tried either of these items yet and want a way to help improve your manicure and pedicure, do pick these up.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Jurlique Citrus Purifying Mist (Review) to Awaken Your Complexion!

**Disclaimer:  This post has been compensated through a free product (s) or monetary payment.  Opinions are solely mine. All links are "no-follow" links.**

Jurlique Citrus Purifying Mist.jpeg
Jurlique Citrus Purifying Mist 

When I found the Citrus Purifying Mist that was among the natural skin care products I was sent from Jurlique, I was skeptical at first.  The reason I was concerned was that this mist is advertised to rebalance oiliness.  Since I am on the dry side, I was wondering how this might play out on my skin.   And then, I went ahead and gave it a try.

Wow!  The first thing that awaited me was the most pleasant burst of lemony freshness once I sprayed my freshly washed face with an invigorating blast of this mist like I was treated to some aromatherapy as well.  The soothing mix of lemon and tangerine oils, witch hazel, vitamin E and C, glycerin, aloe vera and grapefruit seed among other skin pleasing botanicals really felt comforting even to someone with dry skin like mine.  What else I loved was how this mist lightly hydrated my complexion as it toned and kept it velvety.  

Whether you use this before your moisturizer and makeup, setting your makeup or for a great way to refresh stale makeup when you're in a rush, you will be surprised at how nicely this product works regardless of your skin type. 

Seriously, I even tested this Citrus Purifying Mist without following up with my moisturizer and my face still felt good with adequate moisture.   I would love to try their Rose Mist one day, which is geared more for dry skin and see how that compares because this one is impressive.

My suggestion is to try Jurlique's Citrus Purifying Mist because it is gentle enough and does work even on dry skin!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Recipe: Keep Warm With a Bowl of My Creamy Fresh Mushroom Soup!

Nothing can be finer to chase away the cold weather than a big hearty bowl of soup to warm you up.  Yesterday, I gave you my recipe to make bread sticks, which go beautifully with this soup. Today, I want to share my favorite recipe to make your own homemade mushroom soup that is simply out of this world.  Unlike what you find in a can, my soup is rich, velvety and loaded with lots of fresh mushrooms to make it substantial for more of a satisfying meal. 

Although you don't have to add dry sherry to it, a bit of this alcohol does seem to spark that fabulous flavor to new heights.  However, I have made this recipe without using sherry and substituted apple cider and it does taste wonderful as well.  Either option will result in a superior mushroom soup.

Be warned:  my delicious mushroom soup can be habit-forming! 

My Creamy Fresh Mushroom Soup

1 pound of fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup of margarine (not spread) or olive oil
1/4 cup of sifted flour
3 cups of half-and-half cream
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
1/2 cup of dry sherry or apple cider
3 cups of milk

Slice the caps of the mushrooms and chop the stems.

Saute in the melted margarine or olive oil until lightly browned.

Remove from the heat and stir in the flour until well coated.

Return to the heat and cook on low for about five minutes.

Slowly add the half-and-half and milk to the mushroom mixture.  Be sure to use a wire whisk and mix well.  Simmer this for about fifteen minutes, stirring frequently.

Combine the lightly beaten egg yolk with the sherry or cider and add to the thickened soup.  Season this big pot of soup with salt and pepper to your taste.  Cook an additional minute to blend through.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Bring Something Special to The Table With My Savory Bread Sticks Recipe!

As those temperatures keep falling, I go into soup mode and make lots of different ones from scratch.  Somehow, a bowl of piping hot homemade soup along with a few of my tasty bread sticks warms the tummy more than other foods as you eat snugly inside while the leaves are whirling madly outside.

You will find my recipe involves making a raised yeast dough that is made zesty with flavor from rosemary, pepper, and Parmesan cheese.

Not only do these bread sticks go gloriously with any soups, but they are delicious with any pasta.

I think once you try my bread sticks, you'll want to make this recipe more often!

My Savory Bread Sticks

3-1/2 cups to 4 cups of flour
1 tablespoon or 1 package of dry yeast
2 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of dried rosemary, crushed
1/8 teaspoon of pepper
1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
1-1/4 cups of warm (not scalding) water
3 tablespoons of canola or olive oil
1 egg white, slightly beaten
1 tablespoon of water
3 tablespoons of sesame seeds (optional)

Dissolve the yeast in the 1-1/4 cups of warm (but not scalding hot) water along with the teaspoon of sugar.  The sugar will help the yeast grow faster.

In a large mixing bowl, combine 1-1/2 cups of sifted flour, salt, pepper, cheese, and rosemary. 

Once the yeast starts foaming in your cup is the time to add it to your mixing bowl along with the oil. 

Beat this mixture with your electric mixer on a low speed for a few minutes until thoroughly combined.  At this stage, the dough will be sticky.

Now is the time to put away your electric mixer and resort to mixing with your wooden spoon or by hand when adding more flour.  Just use as much flour to work the dough so you can knead it on a floured surface without sticking for about five minutes.

Place your dough in a greased bowl and cover the top.  You can use a lid or a wet dish cloth to keep the dough moist.

Let your covered dough rise in a warm spot until doubled.  This will take about 45 minutes.

Punch the raised dough down.  Then divide the dough into four parts.  Divide each fourth into six pieces.
Roll each piece into a 12-inch rope.  Place each one-inch apart on a greased cookie sheet.

Combine the egg white and the tablespoon of water in another cup. 

Brush the tops of the bread sticks with that egg mixture.  You can top with sesame seeds, if desired.

Bake in a 400-degree oven for about 25 to 30 minutes or until a deep golden brown. 

This makes about two dozen bread sticks.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Jurlique Balancing Foaming Cleanser Review 

**Disclaimer:  This post has been compensated through a free product (s) or monetary payment.  Opinions are solely mine. All links are "no-follow" links.**

Jurlique Balancing Foaming Cleanser.jpeg
Jurlique Balancing Foaming Cleanser

Although I have heard many wonderful things about Jurlique and their natural skin care products, I never tried any until I was asked if I would be willing to review some.  Since beautiful skin is a constant quest of mine, of course, I accepted this new challenge and will be filling you in regarding the products sent to me that I have been using for five weeks now.

Today, I want to introduce you to Jurlique's Balancing Foaming Cleanser.  In my opinion, the perfect cleanser is a combination of mildness and hydration regardless of your skin type.  And if it foams and is easy to wash away without leaving impurities and makeup residue behind, then I am happy.  Yet, I am even more ecstatic if I find those same necessary properties in a natural skin care product like I did in this particular cleanser.

Using the best of nature with ingredients like calendula, daisy, peppermint, vitamins, ginseng root, rose hip oil, and marshmallow, this cleanser cares for delicate skin without stripping away skin's oils to clean and return moisture in the process.  

Another nice thing about this cleanser is that it pumps out and requires only a small amount to do a thorough cleaning of dissolving grime and stubborn makeup.

I really loved the dual skin care effect from this Jurlique product.  You will find a great cleanser plus toner that leaves skin a bit more moisturized than you may expect.  I do recommend Jurlique's Balancing Foaming Cleanser!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

How to Find Your Right Shade of Illuminating Products for The Best Glow!

A sure bet way to instantly revive your complexion is with an illuminator to highlight and bring that much needed glow to your face such as your cheekbones, browbones and temples. 

Nonetheless, you may have discovered that some of these products look better on you than others and you may be wondering why.  Instead of gambling with your hard earned dollars, there is a better method to judge colors appropriate for you.

If you have a fair complexion and are more on the cool side, you will probably have better luck with silvery or pearly-tinted highlighters.

On the other hand, if you happen to have warm tones and darker skin, then golden or a bronze type of shade will compliment you the best.

Those with oily skin should also consider buying a powder form while those with normal to dry should pick up the liquid or cream versions.

When using your highlighting product on your cheekbones, it is important to remember to keep your blush in the apples of your cheeks for the most impact. 

Do try these few suggestions that I have for you and be pleasantly surprised at the results!


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Do You Want an Easy Way To Pump Up Your Hair's Volume?

A quick trick that I want to pass on is how to really boost the volume of your hair with just a little change of technique and product.  This stylist-recommended tip will help even those with fine hair to create the image of more hair.

The next time you blow-dry your hair, you should turn your head upside down and work your fingers massaging the roots of your hair while drying.  When the hair feels nearly dry is the time to try a volumizing spray before finishing the process in which you toss your head back and work with your round brush to shape it.

Do try this simple technique because it does work!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Rimmel London's Glam 'Eyes Professional Liquid Liner Review

**Disclaimer:  This post has been compensated through a free product (s) or monetary payment.  Opinions are solely mine. All links are "no-follow" links.**

Rimmel London's Glam 'Eyes Professional Liquid Liner.jpeg
Rimmel London's Glam 'Eyes Professional Liquid Liner

When I am trying to make my eyes as dramatic as possible, I rely on liquid liner instead of my usual choice of eyeliner pencils.  Though I can't smudge and soften the effect as I do with pencils for daytime, I do love that bold definition this form can provide when I do it just right, especially when you find a great product like Rimmel London's Glam 'Eyes Professional Liquid Liner  that I recently tested.

The shade was Black Glamour and I must admit this was not a shy gray like some others that you may have tried.  This Glam 'Eyes Professional Liquid Liner is a true matte black color, coal-black, that is easy to use with just the ideal thickness to line like an expert.   Whether you want to draw a thin line or glam it up with a more intense thick line, this thin brush will help you do it. 

Furthermore, this liner does not smudge and seemed last the entire day while being gentle on my sensitive eyes. 

Honestly, I thought this Glam 'Eyes Professional Liquid Liner was fantastic for performance as well as helping make my eyes pop big time.  I highly recommend picking this Rimmel London product up because it really rocks!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Rimmel London Glam 'Eyes Quad Eye Shadows Review (#023 Beauty Spell, #002 Smokey Brun, #026 Precious Crown) + Swatches!

**Disclaimer:  This post has been compensated through a free product (s) or monetary payment.  Opinions are solely mine. All links are "no-follow" links.**

Rimmel London Glam 'Eyes Quad Eye Shadows.jpeg
Rimmel London Glam 'Eyes Quad Eye Shadows

Eye shadow happens to be one of my favorite cosmetics.   Furthermore, eye products are ones that I can't live without since it draws attention to what I consider my best feature with my brown eyes.  I'm sure many of you feel the same way and are always on the lookout for exciting new shades to do the trick like myself.  Therefore, I was eager to review the Glam 'Eyes Quad Eye Shadow from Rimmel London in #023 Beauty Spell, #002 Smokey Brun, and #026 Precious Crown to share with you.

To begin, I will tell you about #023 Beauty Spell.  This compact has four shades of coordinated shadows in the mauve/purple family that blended nicely and held up without creasing for most of my day.  The colors are on the cool side with shimmer ranging from slight to more with instructions by number to apply.  The #3 silvery white color is the highlight with bits of sparkle with the lid color #1 of shimmering cool pale purple while the crease color #2 is a pretty mauve-purple with less shimmer to this shade while the  black with bits of sparkle is the #4 accent shade.

Next, I tried the #002 Smokey Brun compact, which happened to end up being my favorite.  This foursome is a gorgeous brown-toned compact with just the right amount of shimmer and ideal coordination of shades.  For the #3 highlight, there is a champagne color with pink and gold gleaming within, the #1 lid color is a mixture of rose and gold with taupe, the #2 crease color is gleaming golden-bronze while the #4 accent shade is a chocolate with gold luster.  This compact had just the right amount of pigmentation, but if you need more I recommend either wetting the sponge applicator first or use a shadow base, which will intensify the richness of the shades.

Finally, I worked with the #026 Precious Crown.  In this compact, the deep shades have a shimmer and are ones of a dark plum (#2 crease color), a dark forest green for the (#3 highlight choice), a midnight blue color for the (#1 lid color), and a charcoal-gray accent #4 color.  What I discovered is that the colors do not necessarily appear the same when used than they do in the compact, which surprised me like the dark green  and midnight blue shades that looked more deep charcoal-gray than having any hints of blue or green--at least to my eyes.  However, the dark plum shade comes out more true to the compact. 

In this photo,  #026 Precious Crown is on the left and #023 Beauty Spell takes the right while #002 Smokey Brun is alone at the bottom.

swatches of theGlam 'Eyes Quad Eye Shadows.jpeg
Starting from the left to the right in the next photo below, you will see the four swatches of #002 Smokey Brun followed by the second four swatches of #026 Precious Crown and ending with four swatches of #023 Beauty Spell.

Overall, I liked Glam 'Eyes Quad Eye Shadows, especially Smokey Brun for creating a nice look and how long they lasted without fading or creasing.  Do look for these shadows as well from Rimmel London the next time you shop!


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Enjoy a Fall Pleasure With My Incredible Pumpkin Cake Roll

This time of year is the perfect time to try my wonderful pumpkin cake roll.  My recipe will give you a fabulous spice cake that you will stuff with a sweet cream cheese filling for an absolute incredible way to indulge.  You can add nuts to this batter to give it more crunch or enjoy plain.

Canned pumpkin is the easiest way to go.  However, if you want to take advantage of fresh pumpkin, then you need to be aware of one thing.  Once you peel and cut the pumpkin into pieces to cook in some water in your saucepan, you must be careful not to use too much water.  If you do cover those pumpkin pieces over with too much water and think it will work, you will be disappointed to find that you end up with a mushy pumpkin soup instead.   Try as little water for the amount of pumpkin that you can and watch your pot as it cooks.  This is your safest bet when trying to cook pumpkin down and being later able to mash it into a suitable puree. 

Nonetheless, if you do have a fresh pumpkin that you wish to play with, you can make lots of delicious recipes at a fraction of the cost from one tiny fresh one over a commercial can.  

One last thing that I want to mention is about baking powder.  Do check your labels and read the ingredients.  As you will notice, most varieties have aluminum, which is said to be unhealthy for brain health in particular.  I use Rumford baking powder only since it is the only one that I have ever found to be free of that aluminum.

Either route you take will give you a beautiful pumpkin cake roll that is moist, springy to the touch and an ideal one to receive that creamy sweet cheese filling.   I honestly do hope you will be tempted to try my recipe because it is yummy especially the next day once those flavors totally come together in your refrigerator.

My Incredible Pumpkin Cake Roll

3 eggs (medium size is best for this type of cake)
1 cup of sugar
2/3 cup of pumpkin
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon of ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of finely chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
3/4 cup of flour

Pumpkin Cake Roll Filling:

1 cup of confectioners' sugar
6-oz. of Neufchatel cheese or cream cheese
4 tablespoons of margarine (not spread)
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

To make the cake roll: 

Beat your eggs with your electric mixer on high for about five minutes until nice and fluffy in your mixing bowl. 
Add the sugar  and beat in gradually.

Stir in the pumpkin and lemon next.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, spices, and salt into a separate mixing bowl.  Take these dry ingredients and fold into slowly into your pumpkin mixture.

Grease and flour a baking pan approximately 15" x 10" x 1" size and pour in the batter.

At this stage, you can add chopped nuts, if desired.  (I only add the nuts if I happen to have them in the house or for special occasions).

Bake this roll in a  375-degree oven for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Be sure to sprinkle a towel with some confectioners' sugar before trying to remove your cake.  (I like to let this cool at least five minutes first before attempting to this hot cake).

Starting at the narrow end, roll the towel and cake together.  Let this cool thoroughly in this fashion before unrolling to stuff with the filling.

To Make the Filling:

Mix thoroughly all the filling ingredients together with your electric mixer until well combined and creamy.